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Aid suspended in Northern Nigeria by UN after the attack on Convoy

The U.N. children's agency, UNICEF, says an employee and a contractor were injured in the attack and are being treated at a local hospital.

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UNICEF suspended aid in Borno district. Image Source: www.vanguardngr.com
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  • The U.N. children’s agency, UNICEF, says an employee and a contractor were injured in the attack and are being treated at a local hospital
  • The convoy was in Borno state, carrying humanitarian aid from the town of Bama to Maiduguri, in the heart of the area where the militant group Boko Haram operates
  • The charity Doctors Without Borders warned this week that more than 500,000 people in Borno state urgently need emergency assistance

The United Nations says it is suspending humanitarian assistance missions to Nigeria’s Borno state pending a security review, after an aid convoy was ambushed by unidentified attackers Thursday in northern Nigeria.

UNICEF suspended aid in Borno district. Image Source: www.un.org
UNICEF suspended aid in Borno district. Image Source: www.un.org

The U.N. children’s agency, UNICEF, says an employee and a contractor were injured in the attack and are being treated at a local hospital. It did not elaborate.

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The convoy was in Borno state, carrying humanitarian aid from the town of Bama to Maiduguri, in the heart of the area where the militant group Boko Haram operates. In a statement, UNICEF says the assistance was “desperately needed.”

“This was not only an attack on humanitarian workers. It is an attack on people who most need the assistance and aid that these workers were bringing,” the statement continued.

Boko Haram. Image Source: www.abc.net.au
Boko Haram. Image Source: www.abc.net.au

The charity Doctors Without Borders warned this week that more than 500,000 people in Borno state urgently need emergency assistance.

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It said 15,000 people in the town of Banki have been isolated by Boko Haram violence and depend entirely on humanitarian aid. A Doctors Without Borders representative said most Banki residents have been in hiding for more than a year because of Boko Haram violence.

Months of food shortages have resulted in a catastrophic health situation, with very high levels of malnutrition, particularly among small children.

Source: VoaNews

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Millions Of Urban Children in Worse Condition Than Rural People: UNICEF

ICLEI, a global network of more than 1,500 cities, towns and regions, said disasters were more likely to impact the most vulnerable in cities, including children.

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Urban CHildren
A girl sells candies along a street in the Miraflores district in Lima. VOA

Millions of poor urban children are more likely to die before their fifth birthday than those living in rural areas, according to a U.N. study released Tuesday that challenges popular assumptions behind the global urbanization trend.

The UNICEF research found not all children in cities benefited from the so-called urban advantage — the idea that higher incomes, better infrastructure and proximity to services make for better lives.

“For rural parents, at face-value, the reasons to migrate to cities seem obvious: better access to jobs, health care and education opportunities for their children,” said Laurence Chandy, UNICEF director of data, research and policy.

urban children
Children play in a pool that has no system to replace the water in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 13, 2015. Brazil is among the world’s largest economies, but lags in access to water and sanitation. Rapid urban growth in recent decades, poor planning, political infighting and economic instability are largely to blame, experts say. VOA

“But not all urban children are benefiting equally; we find evidence of millions of children in urban areas who fare worse than their rural peers.”

Although most urban children benefit from living in cities, the study identified 4.3 million globally who were more likely to die before age five than their rural counterparts, and said 13.4 million were less likely to complete primary school.

“Children should be a focus of urban planning, yet in many cities they are forgotten, with millions of children cut off from social services in urban slums and informal settlements,” said Chandy in a statement.

Urban Children
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About 1 billion people are estimated to live in slums globally, hundreds of millions of them children, according to the U.N. children’s agency.

A decade ago, the world officially became majority urban, and two-thirds of the global population is expected to live in urban areas by 2050, according to the United Nations.

“We applaud UNICEF for putting numbers around a problem that will only get more serious as more and more families move to cities,” said Patrin Watanatada of the Bernard van Leer Foundation, which works to promote early childhood development. “Cities can be wonderful places to grow up, rich with opportunities — but they can also pose serious challenges for a child’s healthy development.”

 Urban children
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Poor transport links, limited access to health clinics and parks, as well as growing air pollution and stressed caregivers can exacerbate city living for children, said Watanatada.

Improved walking and cycling infrastructure, affordable housing and transportation, and polices targeted at supporting children and those who care for them could help ease life for urban families.

Also Read: Ebola Increases The Number Of Orphans in DRC: UNICEF

ICLEI, a global network of more than 1,500 cities, towns and regions, said disasters were more likely to impact the most vulnerable in cities, including children.

“Children are disproportionately affected by gaps in urban services, especially when it comes to water, sanitation, air quality, and food security,” said Yunus Arikan, head of global policy and advocacy at ICLEI. (VOA)