Famine, war, drought threatening millions of children in 4 countries: UNICEF

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UNICEF Nutrition Officer Judy Jurua Michael (centre) weighs 13-month-old Alakaii during a malnutrition screening at Gabat Center, a UNICEF-supported Outpatient Therapeutic Programme in Aweil, South Sudan, Monday 13 March 2017. Photo: UNICEF/Mackenzie Knowles-Coursin

Time is running out for more than one million children in four countries affected by famine, drought and war, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) warned on Tuesday.

UNICEF is appealing for nearly US$255 million to respond to immediate needs in northeast Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen, where over 20 million people are going hungry or facing devastating levels of food insecurity.

The agency and its partners have been working in the four countries to respond to the famine threat and to prevent it from spreading.

Dianne Penn reports.

The appeal comes just over a month after famine was declared in parts of South Sudan.

UNICEF says some 22 million children in the four countries have been left hungry, sick, displaced and out of school.

Nearly 1.4 million "are at imminent risk of death this year" due to severe malnutrition.

The funding will be used to provide children with food, water, health, education and protection services for the coming months.

The bulk of the money will go towards nutrition programmes to screen children for malnutrition.

UNICEF says the resources needed are part of a broader appeal for the entire year, totalling US$712 million.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 46"

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