Around 123,000 children have been affected by the flooding in Niger, which has resulted in the outbreak of various diseases in the country, the United Nations children’s agency said on Friday.
“Niger is facing simultaneous emergencies that are stretching the capacities of government and partners to respond. Children in Niger face malnutrition, recurrent disease outbreaks and epidemics, cyclical floods, drought and displacement,” Marixie Mercado, UNICEF spokesperson in Geneva told a press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.
Mercado also noted that the situation was made worse by instability in neighbouring countries, “which has resulted in an influx of thousands of refugees, returnees and migrants, all of whom need access to basic social services for survival.”
Niger has been hit by heavy rainfall over the past several weeks, and forecasts show that the situation is likely to continue in the coming weeks.
According to the UN, more than 40 people have lost their lives in the floods, with over 66,000 others affected mainly in the regions of Maradi, Zinder, Agadez, Dosso and Niamey.
The flooding has caused great damage to crops in the affected regions and swept away houses, shops and schools.
The Niger Government has called for the relocation of the most at-risk population.