UNICEF in emergencies

UNICEF requires US$900 million to meet the needs of children and women worldwide

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© UNICEF/NYHQ2012-0142/Sokol
Jeroch Nyandit holds her 4-month-old granddaughter Yaudat Lor at Pibor Boys Primary School, Pibor Town, Jonglei State, South Sudan. Yaudat’s mother was killed during inter-ethnic violence in their home village. The school is serving as a centre for a UNICEF-assisted supplementary feeding programme, run by Swiss NGO Medair, which is providing nutritional aid to 2,000 conflict-affected children.

New York, United States of America, 17 October 2012 - UNICEF has revised its Humanitarian Action for Children appeal upwards by 14 per cent to US$1.46 billion for 2012.

With only 38 per cent of this figure funded as of the end of August, the organization faces a US$900 million gap.

New and continuing emergencies at the national and regional levels

The change in the amount of the appeal reflects both new emergencies and changes in requirements in existing humanitarian situations.

The year has seen numerous new and continuing emergencies. The food and nutrition crisis across the Sahel belt now requires a humanitarian response in nine countries. Cyclical shocks in the region have driven a reflection on how humanitarian action can better lay the seeds for developing stronger systems and building community resilience.

UNICEF and partners have so far treated over 520,000 severely malnourished children under 5 across the Sahel (47 per cent of the target), vaccinated 1.9 million against measles (30 per cent of the target) and provided insecticide-treated nets to 7.3 million families as part of malaria control programmes (79 per cent of the target).

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© UNICEF/NYHQ2012-0467/Brandt
Oumou Sy feeds fortified milk to her severely malnourished 7-month-old son Kumbaba at the UNICEF-supported nutrition centre in Kaédi Hospital in the city of Kaédi, Gorgol Region, Mauritania. Mauritania is one of nine countries affected by the severe nutrition crisis in the Sahel. In addition, the country has seen an influx of refugees from neighbouring Mali.

Internal displacement and refugee outflows to neighbouring countries have followed the complex emergency inside Mali, leading to an increase in protection and education concerns. Simultaneously, a regional outbreak of cholera is resulting in an increase in cases and deaths, against the backdrop of the arriving rainy season and a poorly funded water, sanitation and hygiene sector.

In and around Mali, UNICEF has provided emergency supplies, including to 141,000 people in northern Mali. In addition, household water treatment to prevent and mitigate cholera outbreaks has reached 94,000 people across the region.

The crisis in the Syrian Arab Republic continues to escalate, affecting an estimated 2.5 million people inside the country, about half of them children. It has also caused a refugee crisis in surrounding countries. Working with local partners, UNICEF has supported the vaccination of 285,000 children under 5 against measles, complemented with vitamin A supplementation, and provided over 100,000 people with access to soap and hand-washing facilities, among other key interventions.

Equally worrisome – and less noticed – are continuing humanitarian needs that have failed to capture the attention of the world. For example, the children of South Sudan, the world’s youngest nation, face a worsening nutrition situation and lack of access to social services stemming from the country’s political tensions with the Sudan.

UNICEF has provided some 231,000 internally displaced persons, refugees and returnees with access to improved water sources (46 per cent of the target) and treated over 57,000 children under 5 for severe acute malnutrition (50 per cent of the target).

Strengthening capacity at the global level

UNICEF’s work at the global level has provided direct and remote technical support to field responses for both large-scale and chronic crises, while strengthening internal systems for more efficient response. For example, UNICEF has reinforced its commitment to global cluster coordination responsibilities for the three clusters and two areas of responsibility that UNICEF leads by establishing a dedicated unit in Geneva, core functions of which are funded by UNICEF’s core budget.

These efforts have contributed to the Inter-Agency Standing Committee’s ‘Transformative Agenda’ to strengthen the overall humanitarian system’s capacity to respond.

For more information on UNICEF’s humanitarian appeals, please click here.


 

 

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