The UN children's fund (UNICEF) said Wednesday that about 1.7 million children are in urgent need of aid following the devastating  earthquake inNepal.

The organization launched a $50.35 million appeal for humanitarian assistance to children and their families amid a growing risk of disease outbreaks over the next three months, UNICEF said in a statement.

The 7.8 magnitude earthquake has killed more than 5,000 people and injured around 10,000 others.

"The lives of so many children have been torn apart and they are in desperate need of life-saving support, including clean water, shelter and sanitation,” said Tomoo Hozumi, UNICEF Nepal representative.

"More than 80 percent of health facilities in the five most severely affected districts have been extensively damaged, with treatment taking place outside," UNICEF said. 

UNICEF also said that many schools have been "either partially or fully damaged,"  which shows the "need for temporary learning spaces to protect children and allow them to establish a routine."

Anadolu Agency