UNICEF: A million children need treatment for malnutrition in Africa

Almost 1 million children are in need of medical treatment for severe acute malnutrition in drought-hit parts of eastern and southern Africa, the UN children's fund (UNICEF) said Wednesday.

About 435,000 children are severely malnourished in Ethiopia alone, UNICEF representatives said in Johannesburg.

A total of about 140,000 children need treatment in Angola and Mozambique, while in Malawi 6,500 children were treated in January.

The need for medical treatment comes amid two years of erratic rain and drought, combined with the climatic phenomenon known as El Nino. The ongoing drought has left about 50 million people food insecure in southern and eastern Africa, according to UN figures.

"We are seeing transactional sex starting to happen to get food. We are seeing children dropping out of school," said Mahimbo Mdoe, a UNICEF representative in Malawi.

"UNICEF is requiring 155 million dollars for the crisis response, but it's only 15 per cent funded," said Megan Gilgan, regional emergency advisor for the UN fund in eastern and southern Africa.

"We expect the numbers to worsen, the needs will grow," she added.

Last update: Wed, 17/02/2016 - 15:35

More from World

Bees, not snakes or spiders, cause most deaths in Australia

Bees and other insects are the biggest public health threat in Australia when it comes to deadly bites and stings,...

Russia invites incoming US administration to Syria peace talks

The incoming US administration led by Donald Trump is invited to take part in Syria peace talks in Kazakhstan's...

Istanbul suspect admits to New Year's attack, found with cash

The captured suspect in the Istanbul New Year's nightclub shooting which left 39 people dead has admitted to...

Search for missing MH370 plane ends after three years

After nearly three years of searching, the hunt for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has come to an end ...

Trudeau faces ethics probe over vacation on Aga Khan's private island

Canada's ethics watchdog is investigating whether Prime Minister Justin Trudeau violated his own conflict of...