UNICEF appeals for $635 million in humanitarian assistance
GENEVA / NEW YORK – 29 January 2007
UNICEF today launched its Humanitarian Action Report (HAR) 2007, calling on donors to provide $635 million to assist children and women in 33 humanitarian emergencies, ranging from Timor-Leste to Haiti, Eritrea and the Central African Republic.
The HAR provides an annual overview of the agency’s emergency assistance programmes within the context of UN-wide appeals. The report sets out UNICEF’s relief activities and its financial requirements for meeting the needs of children and women.
“Emergencies, both natural disasters and new or protracted conflicts, continue to take a toll on the lives of children and women around the world,” UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman said today. “Life-saving activities are essential for those children in peril.”
“Many of the crises in which UNICEF operates are neglected because they are no longer considered emergencies by the public,” Dan Toole, the Director of the Office of Emergency Programmes for UNICEF, said from New York. “The crisis for children does not end when the media coverage ends, whether a child lives in Darfur or Haiti. As long as a humanitarian situation exists for children, UNICEF will be assisting.”
UNICEF’s emergency funding raised $513 million in 2006 (as of 1 November), covering 53 emergencies. Immediate tragedies continued to garner global media attention during the past year, but forgotten emergencies – highlighted in the HAR – received only 37 per cent of the funding required. Overall, UNICEF appeals for emergencies were 49 per cent funded.
East Asia and the Pacific, still recovering from the 2004 tsunami, faced an increase in the number and size of emergencies during 2006, including earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, cyclones, typhoons, heavy rains and consequent floods. In addition, armed conflict continued to cause disruption, displacement and death throughout the region, affecting women and children the worst.
Relief and recovery activities include providing basic survival supplies as well as training in education, child protection and health and nutrition. With adequate resources, UNICEF can continue to support education by providing School-In-A-Box kits, treat children suffering from severe and moderate malnutrition, establish safe drinking water supplies and sanitation facilities, protect tens of millions of children against measles and malaria and assist in the demobilization and reintegration of child soldiers, among other essential programmes.