NATIONS (Xinhua) -- The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
warned on Tuesday that at least 400,000 children in the
Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) are severely malnourished
and at risk of dying in 2018.
The dire situation in the Kasai region
of the country has largely been caused by violence, mass
displacement and reduced agricultural production over the past
18 months, UNICEF said in a press release.
While the security situation has
stabilized in parts of the region and some displaced populations
have begun to return to their homes and communities,
humanitarian conditions remain critical, it said.
The violence and displacement of 1.4
million people in the Kasai region has led to food shortages,
with two-thirds of households unable to work their land to grow
crops. Severe food insecurity is now affecting large parts of
the region, and conditions are not expected to improve before
June 2018, because the planting seasons in 2017 were lost.
Health facilities have also been
devastated, making it more difficult to provide medical
treatment and care for severely malnourished children.
Approximately 220 health centers were destroyed, looted or
damaged, leading to a weakening of the health delivery system,
reduced access to health care and an increased risk in the
spread of communicable diseases like measles, said UNICEF.
More than 750,000 children across the
Kasai region are acutely malnourished, while 25 health zones in
the region are now in a situation of nutritional crisis, said