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Tuesday, 18 August, 1998, 07:55 GMT 08:55 UK
UNICEF says children in Indonesia facing serious health threat

The United Nations children's agency, UNICEF, says that a serious threat to the health of children in Indonesia amounts to an international emergency.

It says four-million children under the age of two are severely malnourished and the fate of millions more is at stake.

UNICEF told the BBC that it was concerned about the growing levels of malnutrition among very young children because of the escalating cost of basic foods.

Many goods have more than doubled in price in the wake of the country's economic crisis.

The government estimates around forty per cent of Indonesia's population now live below its own poverty line.

UNICEF warns that fifty-billion dollars pledged in emergency loans by the international community may not be enough.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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