The births of more than 70,000 children in Liberia during the Ebola crisis were never recorded, leaving them vulnerable to marginalization as noncitizens, denial of government services, trafficking and illegal adoption, Unicef reported Thursday. The agency said birth registrations in 2014 and so far this year had dropped sharply compared with levels before the Ebola epidemic. Quoting Ministry of Health data, Unicef said the births of only 700 children had been registered between January and May of this year, when many health facilities were overwhelmed or closed. Sheldon Yett, the Unicef representative in Liberia, said the agency was helping the government to register the others. Registration is required to obtain basic health and social services and identity documents. “Children who have not been registered at birth officially don’t exist,” he said in a statement. More than 4,800 people have died in Liberia because of the Ebola crisis, according to the World Health Organization.

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