Ten million children living in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger are in urgent need of humanitarian aid, twice as many as in 2020, in the face of intensifying conflict, Unicef said Friday.

Burkina Faso, the scene of two military coups in 2022, has been caught since 2015 in a spiral of jihadist violence that began in Mali and Niger a few years earlier and has spread beyond their borders.

“Armed conflicts are increasingly affecting children, who are victims of intensified military clashes or targeted by non-state armed groups,” observes Unicef’s regional director for West and Central Africa, Marie-Pierre Poirier, in a statement.

According to UNICEF’s Chief of Emergencies for West and Central Africa Nicola Bennett, in humanitarian emergencies, children tend to suffer first, and often they suffer most, especially in the Sahel region.