Thousands of children counseled for terror-related stress
from OKORO CHINEDU in Lagos, Nigeria
LAGOS, (CAJ News) – THE United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) says it had counseled more than 35 000 local Nigerian children suffering depression from the deadly terror Boko Haram sect is perpetrating in the country.
Geoffrey Njoku, UNICEF’s spokesperson in Nigeria, said the UN entity and its partners were working with national authorities to reduce children’s vulnerability by identifying minors who were without parents or relatives, and providing them with appropriate care.
“In addition, over 35 000 children have been reached with psycho-social support so they can cope with the acute distress they have suffered as a result of the conflict,” Njoku said ahead of local commemorations of Children’s Day.
The day is celebrated on May 27 annually.
Ahead of the day, it was estimated the Boko Haram conflict has uprooted 743 000 children in the three most-affected states in the West African country.
Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States are hardest hit by the terror.
The number of unaccompanied and separated children could be as high as 10 000, according to UNICEF estimates.
“Many children have been separated from their families when they fled the violence, and have no one to look after them,” said Jean Gough, UNICEF Representative in Nigeria.
“Without the protection of their families, these children are at greater risk of exploitation by adults, and this can lead to involvement in criminal or armed group activities,” Gough added.
– CAJ News
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