(Bloomberg) -- More than 100,000 children are at risk of dying from severe malnutrition in Ethiopia’s war-torn Tigray region in the next year as food stocks fall to a record low, according to the United Nations.
The estimate follows the screening of more than 435,000 children, while other studies showed that 47% of pregnant and breastfeeding women are currently acutely malnourished in the Horn of Africa nation’s northern province, the UN Children’s Fund said in a report on its website.
“These alarming rates suggest that mothers could face more pregnancy-related complications, increasing the risks of maternal death during childbirth as well as the delivery of low-birth-weight babies who are much more prone to sickness and death,” it said.
A nine-month conflict between federal forces and the region’s fighters has driven hundreds of thousands of people from their homes and devastated the Tigrayan economy. The violence has now spread to the neighboring Afar and the Amhara provinces as the Tigrayans attempt to push back government troops.
The head of the World Food Programme warned that UN food stocks in Tigray would run out this week and that current needs in the region amounted to 100 trucks of supplies per day, as Ethiopian government and Tigrayan leaders blame each other for blockages in getting aid to those in need.
Some loads were en route to Tigray on Friday, UN officials said.
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