Amid the crowds sheltering in a school, a displaced Iraqi girl dreams of home
SINJAR, Iraq, 22 July 2014 – The Zarifa Usi school, where Marwa now lives, is a far cry from the Golden Dunes school, where she used to study.
Mia Farrow talks about the tremendous loss suffered by children and women displaced in the Central African Republic
BODA, Central African Republic, 7 July 2014 – “There’s not only the loss of possessions, a home or the lives of family members… there’s the trauma of insecurity, the sense that they don’t have any safety. They wonder: Will we wake up in the morning?” says Mia Farrow. The UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador has just visited the Central African Republic for the fourth time.
Four months after Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines, the wounds are deep – but the healing has begun
TACLOBAN, Philippines, 6 March 2014 – Loss cuts deep here, four months after one of the most powerful and destructive typhoons on record killed more than 6,000 people.
After floods in Gaza, critical supplies help children recover and return to school
GAZA, State of Palestine, 21 January 2014 – In December, powerful thunderstorms and four days of torrential rain hit Gaza. Hundreds of families were stranded in their homes, inundated by rising waters, while others were forced to abandon their houses and seek safety on higher ground.
Field Diary: Children caught in violence in the Central African Republic
BANGUI, Central African Republic, 13 January 2014 – Early Saturday morning I arrived in Bangui as part of UNICEF's emergency response team in the Central African Republic. As the plane taxied towards the airport terminal, we could see the vast site bordering the airport where 100,000 people have built a makeshift camp after they fled fighting in and around Bangui.
In South Sudan’s capital, critical aid reaches conflict-displaced families
NEW YORK, United States of America, 8 January 2014 – Children in the world’s youngest country are no strangers to conflict. Three years ago, the people of Southern Sudan voted for independence after decades of civil war between north and south – a war that took a significant toll on both sides. And for many children and their families in South Sudan, internal conflict has also been a source of threat.
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, helping reach zero new HIV infections by reaching HIV-positive expectant mothers
LUBUMBASHI, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 6 December 2013 – A group of pregnant women sit on parallel rows of wooden benches, listening to Nurse Alain Nzengu. Some nod, others frown or look puzzled.
Youth filmmaking: Big screens, big experiences
AMSTERDAM, the Netherlands, 16 December 2013 – The lights dimmed in the sold-out theatre as OneMinutesJr. videos took the screen.
Mothers in the Niger are screening their children for malnutrition and disease
ZINDER, Niger, 13 December 2013 – Zila squats down under the tree in front of her home to measure the mid–upper arm circumference of her baby daughter Mariama with a bracelet. She is checking Mariama’s nutritional status.
Safe spaces for new mothers and their babies, as recovery from Typhoon Haiyan continues in the Philippines
TACLOBAN, Philippines, 16 December 2013 – Cristina Yuzol cradles baby Kathlyn in her arms. Kathlyn was born on 19 November, shortly after Typhoon Haiyan hit.
Hope and resilience for learning, amid destruction in the Philippines
TACLOBAN, Philippines, 2 December 2013 – Damage and debris are the only sights in Tacloban. The occasional building that stands is a hollow shell, with roof and windows blown away.
Government and UNICEF provide support and training for Syrian teachers in Turkey's refugee camps
ADANA, Turkey, 7 November 2013 – When Muhammed Ismael, 41, first arrived in Turkey from Edlib, in the Syrian Arab Republic, he did not want just to sit idle. After settling in the Altinozu camp in Hatay, the father of six decided to put his skills and experience as an English language teacher in service to children who, like him, are living as refugees.
Searching for creative solutions in humanitarian action
NEW YORK, United States of America, 21 October 2013 – What if vaccines could tell us their exact location and temperature in real time as they are transported along the cold chain? What if aid agencies could use a virtual marketplace to let beneficiaries determine which emergency supplies and services they need most?
UNICEF officer says Syrian children need us today
NEW YORK, United States of America, 30 August 2013 – As the stakes in the Syrian conflict continue to rise, UNICEF Emergency Specialist AbdulKadir Musse prepares to return to one of the most dangerous places on earth.
Continuing commitment to the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Democratic Republic of the Congo, 19 August 2013 – UNICEF has been present in the Democratic Republic of the Congo since 1963, responding to needs and seizing opportunities for development.
He narrowly escaped death when their UNICEF vehicle came under attack in Afghanistan but Mohammad Qasim Nazari still stands strong as a champion for children's rights
Kabul, Afghanistan, 23 May 2013 – Mohammad Qasim Nazari started his career with UNICEF Afghanistan in 2001 when he was appointed as WASH Assistant with UNICEF in Herat, western Afghanistan. Later he was promoted to the position of WASH Officer in the same region.
A UNICEF staff member in Sudan recalls a night caught in fierce fighting
KADUGLI, Sudan, 21 May 2013 – I’m a Sudanese national working with UNICEF Sudan as a child protection officer in Kadugli Zone Office.
On World Humanitarian Day, aid workers talk about why they serve
NEW YORK, August 17, 2013—UNICEF is commemorating World Humanitarian Day by recognizing those who have lost their lives in the course of their work, as well as those who continue to serve.
In rural Homs, reaching families displaced by conflict
HOMS, Syrian Arab Republic, 12 August 2013 – Summer is usually the time of year when schools sit empty, but hundreds of them in the Syrian Arab Republic are busy and crowded, providing emergency shelter for displaced children and their families.
Rapid route to reuniting Congolese refugee children in Uganda with their families
BUNDIBUGYO, Uganda, 5 August 2013 – Ten-year-old Rosete Simanyi’s dream was to attend school. But her family could not afford to send her and her three younger sisters. Rosete* was needed for household chores, such as fetching water and firewood and helping to do the washing.
UNICEF's first international photographer
NEW YORK, United States of America, 8 July 2013 – In early 1948, UNESCO Director of Mass Communications and Public Information John Grierson telegraphed the photographer David Seymour to advise that he was “most anxious discuss immediate photographic journey to eastern European countries”. Seymour, nicknamed Chim, eagerly accepted the assignment. Its focus would be the situation of children in five war-devastated European countries and the relief response of United Nations agencies, including UNICEF, which had been created in December 1946, less than two years before. The countries were Austria, Greece, Hungary, Italy and Poland.
Responding to the urgent needs of children in Central African Republic
BANGUI, Central African Republic, 28 June 2013 – “I came here because my child was sick,” says Manuella Zokwe. “I tried to force her to eat, but she would not.”
At Security Council: A call for more action to end the violation of children's rights, in conflict
NEW YORK, United States of America, 20 June 2012 – His face and body are badly burned. He can barely speak. His home in Hama, Syrian Arab Republic, went up in flames when it was hit by a rocket – and the family couldn’t get 4-year-old Adnan out in time. Safe, if destitute, in a makeshift camp in Lebanon, Adnan lives with constant reminder of the brutal war – his own body, his continuing fear.
Mia Farrow calls for more protection and support for the world's refugees
NEW YORK, 20 June 2013 – UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow has added her voice to those calling for more protection and support for the world’s more than 45 million refugees on World Refugee Day.
A voice from a Malian refugee camp in the Niger
MANGAIZE and NIAMEY, Niger, 19 June 2013 – As conflict in northern Mali escalated, Fadimata Agali, 15, was forced to flee her home in Menaka, leaving family and friends behind.
UNHCR says forced global displacement at an 18-year high
NEW YORK, 19 June 2013 – More than seven million children are refugees, and a new report by UNHCR says global forced displacement is the highest it’s been for 18 years.
For Syrian children in Turkey, school brings choices and challenges
URFA, Turkey, 10 June 2013 – It’s 10 a.m., and the children in the front yard of the Information and Education Centre for Syrian Guests are getting restless. They are waiting to see what their new classrooms look like, and they are hot, thirsty and impatient.
Health workers take a low-profile approach to help save lives
BAIMA, Mali, 21 May 2013 – “When the war came, I was very scared,” says 20-year-old Soumaila Coulibaly. “But I have never stopped work or run away. I just adapt to the situation."
In a refugee camp, getting more children in school and more schools for children
MBERA CAMP, Mauritania, 20 May 2013 – Although he is only 15, Malal Guisse has already had a hard journey. When crisis arose last year in his native Mali, he moved from his village of Léré, in Timbuktu Region, to the region of Segou in the south, where he lived with his aunt in Niono. He then moved across the border to the Mbera refugee camp in Mauritania.
Back to school after Typhoon Bopha
NEW BATAAN, Philippines, 13 May 2013 – Glenn Larabez can’t wait to go back to school. The 8-year-old usually attends second grade in his village in New Bataan in the province of Compostela Valley. As he speaks about the typhoon that destroyed his family’s home and stole away his pet bird, Alimokon, his voice becomes quiet, matching his tiny frame.
UNICEF supports Malians displaced by conflict
SÉGOU, Mali, 19 April 2013 – A needle, some dyed straw and a razor blade are all Aicha Dicko needs for some economic relief for herself, her two daughters and six grandchildren.
Six months after the floods, life is slowly returning to normal in Sindh province, Pakistan
KASHMORE DISTRICT, Sindh province, Pakistan, 4 April 2013 – On a bright, sunny morning, children disembark from a boat in Kandhkot and run excitedly towards their school – or what remains of it.
It is lunchtime, at Chiaquelane transit centre in Mozambique
CHIAQUELANE TRANSIT CENTRE, Mozambique, 25 March 2013 – It is almost lunchtime, and the smell of cooking fires wafts through the air. A boisterous group of sanitation volunteers have gathered near a handful of tents pitched along one of the main paths that cut across Chiaquelane transit centre.
As more and more Malian refugees arrive in Mauritania, UNICEF steps up relief efforts
MBERA REFUGEE CAMP, Mauritania, 19 March 2013 – Nightfall in Mbéra refugee camp brings some relief for the refugees and humanitarian workers after a hard day in this hot, dry, remote region.
In the Niger, quality care saves a Malian refugee baby's life
MANGAIZE, Niger, 12 March 2013 – Mariama Sadou and her three young children fled Mali four weeks ago to escape the violence. For 11 days, they travelled under the scorching sun by foot and by donkey until they crossed into the Niger.
Two years into conflict, Syrian Arab Republic is on the verge of losing a generation to violence
NEW YORK, United States of America, 12 March 2013 – For the past two years, the world has seen crisis explode in the Syrian Arab Republic. Twenty-four months of chaos and conflict have cost the country thousands of lives, many of them children.
International effort responds to the needs of children in Rakhine State, Myanmar, across ethnic lines
RAKHINE STATE, Myanmar, 5 March 2013 – The ethnic conflict that erupted in Myanmar’s Rakhine State in June 2012 and had a resurgence in October displaced 115,000 people, and caused loss of life and livelihood.
UNICEF's emergency officer, Konady Kone, assesses the conditions in Jordan's Za'atari refugee camp
ZA’ATARI, Jordan, 31 January 2013 – Every day is different for Konady Kone, who is UNICEF’s man on the ground at Za’atari, a sprawling refugee camp in the northern Jordanian desert, near the Syrian border.
School helps Malian refugee children in the Niger return to normalcy
MANGAIZE, Niger, 1 March 2013 – It is the first day of class for Malian refugee children at the primary school in Mangaize camp.
Risks for children and women are far from over, in Mali
15 February 2013 – Since last year, Mali has been facing a serious food and nutrition crisis, aggravated by political instability and conflict in the North. Nearly 400,000 people have been forced out of their homes by the conflict in Mali, including some 227,206 internally displaced people and 167,245 refugees who have crossed into Algeria, Burkina Faso, Mauritania and the Niger.
UNICEF officer shares the story of one young girl in Tartous, Syrian Arab Republic
TARTOUS, Syrian Arab Republic, 14 February 2013 - During my recent mission to Tartous, where approximately 200,000 people are in need of humanitarian assistance, I went to assist with the distribution of family hygiene kits to affected families. Distribution was implemented by UNICEF’s local partner Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC).
Quick response to Cyclone Giovanna had 20,000 children back in the classroom in Madagascar
BRICKAVILLE, Madagascar, 13 February 2013 – Marie Helene is visiting the ruins of her former school. Among the rubble under the destroyed thatched roof, she points to where her desk used to be, before Cyclone Giovanna lashed the east coast of Madagascar and left more than 1,400 classrooms destroyed in Brickaville and Vatomandry districts.
Podcast #70: Towards education for all in Haiti
NEW YORK, United States of America, 15 February 2013 – Three years after the devastating earthquake of 2010, the education of children in Haiti has seen significant improvement. Many schools have been reconstructed, and more children are going to school now than before the earthquake.
Food aid helps Malian refugees in Niger get through difficult times and tackle alarming malnutrition rates
MANGAIZE, Niger, 14 February 2013 – It is around midday at Mangaize refugee camp in the Niger, about 50 km south of the Malian border. Children are arriving at a feeding centre for their ration of nutritious cereal. Some are accompanied by their mothers, others by senior family members.
Support in Mauritania for thousands of refugees from conflict in Mali
FASSALA, Mauritania, 5 February 2013 – As conflict rages in northern Mali, thousands of people caught up in the fighting are struggling to survive, trying to escape hardship and reach more secure areas. Many remain stranded.
Refuge from the floodwaters in Gaza province, Mozambique
CHIAQUELANE, Mozambique, 29 January 2013 – A small crowd has gathered on the edge of the Xai Xai bridge in Mozambique’s Gaza province. The group watch anxiously as a Navy rescue team moors a boat of people who have been forced to flee their flooded homes.
Dire situation for children in the Syrian Arab Republic - even where there is no fighting
AMMAN, Jordan, 25 January 2013 – We spoke with UNICEF Regional Emergency Adviser Bastien Vigneau during his mission to Tartous, a key port city in the Syrian Arab Republic, on the Mediterranean Sea.
Helping children caught in emergencies and conflict - Humanitarian Action for Children 2013
NEW YORK, United States of America, 25 January 2013 – Displaced from their homes by violence, victims of the 22-month-long conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic are now facing bone-chilling temperatures in makeshift shelters in Lebanon. The brutal winter, snowstorms, widespread flooding and severe food shortage have brought the worst upon them.
Field diary: Impressions from the battered war zone of Homs, Syrian Arab Republic
HOMS, Syrian Arab Republic, 15 January 2013 – Homs has been the scene of some of the heaviest fighting in the Syrian Arab Republic’s 22-month conflict, with hundreds of thousands of residents displaced.
In Za'atari refugee camp in Jordan, working with children who have lived through war
AMMAN, Jordan, 7 January 2013 - Jane MacPhail shows me a mountain of drawings done by Syrian refugee children at the camp. We go through them together, and I notice that they are mostly happy images with no guns, tanks or blood.
Children affected by the recent violence in the State of Palestine are encouraged to come to terms with the past
GAZA CITY, State of Palestine, 26 December 2012 – In a small, dark flat, a dozen boys aged 8 to 13 sit in silence.
Syrian refugee children are dying, they are hurt and they need healing, says UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Sir Roger Moore
NEW YORK, United States of America, 19 December 2012 – The number of Syrian refugees has risen to over half a million. UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Sir Roger Moore has made an urgent plea for additional humanitarian assistance for women and children who have had to flee their homes – especially as winter has presented even more challenges.
In Pakistan, flood-affected children get a second chance to attend school
Farhat, 14-years-old, sits with a notebook in her hand, awaiting her lesson on a hot summer day. She is the oldest student in her school, and certainly one of the brightest. She was admitted in the 2010-2011 school year, and within eighteen months has progressed to the third grade, owing to her keen interest and eagerness to study. Her father, Ghulam Abbas, is a father of eight and works as a mason in their village of Basti Poly, located in Rajanpur district. He earns an average of USD 3 a day when he has a steady income, but that has been infrequent due to the economic downturn.
UNICEF staff member visits scenes of devastation in the aftermath of Typhoon Bopha
DAVAO ORIENTAL, Mindanao, Philippines, 12 December 2012 – It has been a week since Typhoon Bopha, ‘Pablo’, hit the southern Philippines. I was one of six UNICEF staff deployed as part of the government and United Nations assessment to the four most affected regions. Presently, about 2.3 million children are affected.
In Jordan, young Syrian refugees meet to discuss their concerns and receive guidance and support
AMMAN, Jordan, 13 December 2012 - Rahaf, 19, was studying to be a doctor in the Syrian Arab Republic before she fled to Jordan one month ago. She and her family were reluctant to leave their home in Dera’a until a bomb blast killed her two sisters and injured her oldest brother. “After that, my parents saw there was nothing to do but get away,” she says.
In occupied Palestinian territory, new lives blossom in the aftermath of violence
GAZA CITY, occupied Palestinian territory, 11 December 2012 – A girl in school uniform searches for belongings among pieces of furniture hurled against the walls by a blast. She picks up a dress through the rubble and gives it to her stepfather, Mohammed, who hangs it on a window frame. The window has blown out.
In the face of ongoing insecurity in Pakistan, a 13-year-old boy plays an active role in a camp for displaced persons
JALOZAI CAMP, Pakistan, 5 December 2012 – In his spare time, 13-year-old Irfan Ullah practises spin bowling, copying his favourite Pakistani cricketer, Shahid Afridi. Handy with a bat, Irfan hopes to represent Pakistan’s national team one day.
In the Philippines, UNICEF responds to families affected by Typhoon Bopha
PHILIPPINES, 7 December 2012 - UNICEF is providing assistance to families affected by Typhoon Bopha (local name ‘Pablo’), with a focus on ensuring clean water supply and providing temporary sanitation and non-food items for displaced families.
Field Diary: Parents in the Syrian Arab Republic brave fighting to get their children vaccinated
HOMS, Syrian Arab Republic, 6 December 2012 - At the vaccination clinics I visited, the sounds of children crying after their injections mixed with the explosions of gunshots and shelling in the streets outside.
In Gaza, children returning to school are scarred by violence
GAZA CITY, occupied Palestinian territory, 27 November 2012 – As schools reopen across Gaza, children have only one thing on their minds – the violence they have witnessed and cannot forget.
As UNICEF and partners redouble efforts to deliver emergency assistance to Rakhine State, Myanmar, two children give voice to the situation
RAKHINE STATE, Myanmar, 21 November 2012 – Since ethnic tensions erupted in Rakhine State in June, the conflict has displaced an estimated 110,000 people.
With children and families on the frontline of conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, UNICEF and partners respond urgently
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO, 21 November 2012 - “We are on the ground and are reaching out to children affected by the crisis,” says UNICEF Representative in the Democratic Republic of the Congo Barbara Bentein.
In occupied Palestinian territory, the violence has had a direct impact on children, and families struggle to cope
GAZA, occupied Palestinian territory, 20 November 2012 – The violence has had a direct impact on children, and families are struggling to cope.
In Haiti, library project opens doors - and minds
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 19 November 2012 – Sadrac Neolin, 13, lives in the most disadvantaged and dangerous slum in Port-au-Prince. The sounds of gunshots and police sirens in Cité Soleil have been a staple of his childhood. Like most of his neighbours, Sadrac has no running water or electricity.
Hit hard by massive flooding for the third successive year, people of Pakistan's Sindh province have no respite
JACOBABAD, Sindh, Pakistan, 13 November 2012 – As the only breadwinner of a family of 13, Sikandar Ali is deeply concerned about the health and nutrition of his wife, nine children and two sisters. Although the family had hardly recovered from hardships brought by floods in 2010, widespread monsoon flooding has, once again, deprived him of his livelihood.
Children affected by Thailand's worst flooding speak out about their experiences
BANGKOK, Thailand, 19 November 2012 – Natthasit Muangsawang, 11, is familiar with flooding. His home is inundated almost every year during the rainy season.
Months after famine conditions have ended, health centres across southern Somalia help children suffering from malnutrition
MOGADISHU, Somalia, 13 November 2012 – Ten-month-old Ifrah Mohamed Abdi was born as the first famine declared in more than 20 years in Africa held its grip on the village in which her family has lived for generations.
At Za'atari refugee camp in Jordan, UNICEF supports Syrian refugee families
AMMAN, Jordan, 7 November 2012 - As the canvas roof of her family’s tent flaps in the wind, Fatma* holds her son close, gently brushing dust from his face.
In Lebanon, UNICEF and partners race to provide clean drinking water and prevent disease
BEKAA VALLEY, Lebanon, 23 October 2012 – The large chalkboard is a reminder that the crowded shelter housing Zaineb, her family and more than a hundred other Syrian refugees is actually a school.
In Pakistan, UNICEF and partners provide essential services in area devastated by monsoon floodwaters
JACOBABAD DISTRICT, Pakistan, 19 October 2012 - Reshma is a cheerful first-grader with hopes and aspirations for her future. She makes beautiful dolls in her spare time.
In the Central African Republic, UNICEF and partners bring healthcare to displaced families
OBO, Central African Republic, 17 October 2012 – In a hospital pediatric ward, three babies are recovering from malaria. Moris Mbodoli is looking after his son Anissa. “When Anissa had fever, vomiting and diarrhoea, I brought him here. We have been here for three days now. He is getting better and will be able to leave today,” he says.
UNICEF requires US$900 million to meet the needs of children and women worldwide
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.
In Kenya, minors find essential care in a refugee camp supported by UNICEF
DADAAB, Kenya, 12 October 2012 - The world’s most populated refugee settlement is in Dadaab, North Eastern Province, Kenya. The Dadaab refugee complex comprises Dagahaley, Hagadera, Ifo, Ifo II and Kambioos refugee camps, with a total population of more than 470,000, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
In Jordan, huge water delivery and testing operation meets the life-saving water and sanitation needs of Syrian refugees
MAFRAQ, Jordan, 10 October 2012 - Massive water trucks trundle slowly through Za’atari refugee camp, filling the tanks that supply drinking taps and latrine and shower blocks.
UNICEF supports the Government of Haiti to bring free quality education to as many children as possible
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 9 October 2012 – Six-year-old Gloria Lincee is attending school for the first time this year.
UNICEF and partners respond to the refugee situation in Maban, South Sudan
BUNJ, South Sudan, 5 October 2012 - You can hear the heavy rains outside the hospital in Bunj, in Maban County, South Sudan. Inside, Dr. Evan Atar treats 2-year-old Mustapha for severe malnutrition.
In Jordan, Syrian refugee children continue education as first school opens at Za’atari refugee camp
MAFRAQ, Jordan, 8 October 2012 – “I’m very happy that school has started,” says Tabark, 12, who is in her fifth day of class at Za’atari refugee camp’s new emergency school. “I enjoy Arabic and writing the most. I would like to be an Arabic teacher.”
In Japan, football star Makoto Hasebe appeals for support for the world's children
TOKYO, Japan, 3 October 2012 - “This will become the symbol of our town’s recovery,” said mayor of Minami-Sanriku Cho Jin Sato of the town’s new kindergarten.
Global leaders demand urgent action for education in emergencies
NEW YORK, 25 September 2012 - At a high-level meeting at UNICEF’s New York headquarters yesterday on delivering education in humanitarian environments and conflict-affected states, global leaders demanded urgent action to deliver quality education for children who live in countries scarred by war, conflict and other humanitarian emergencies.
Pursuing universal salt iodization in Haiti
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 21 September 2012 - From the outside, the clinic does not look like a health clinic at all. It is one of many modest buildings huddled together under the blazing sun, surrounded by a sea of tents. But inside, the clinic bustles with activity. Women queue to receive food, pregnant women sit waiting patiently on folded chairs, and, everywhere, babies squirm, bawl and slumber in their mothers’ arms.
As population in a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan soars, focus is on needs of children
AMMAN, Jordan, 11 September 2012 - Maradi pushes her 2 1/2-year-old son Safwan on a swing while holding her 4-month-old daughter Sofian. Safwan’s twin brother Omran is back in their tent with Maradi’s husband.
Amidst talk of relocation, internally displaced children express themselves through recreational activities
DAMASCUS, Syrian Arab Republic, 5 September 2012 - “Where we will be taken?” “Where are they going to put us?” “What will happen to us?” Such are the concerns of internally displaced persons housed in schools in the Syrian Arab Republic. As the school year approaches, rumours have spread that the families will be moved.
UNICEF and partners continue to provide humanitarian assistance for Syrian children and families in Jordan
AMMAN, Jordan, 15 August 2012 – Umm Ghassan sat inside her tent in Za’atari camp, holding her two-year-old grandchild. She was waiting for the child’s siblings and mother, who had gone to fetch the water necessary to meet the family’s drinking and washing needs.
Child Friendly Spaces Restore Normalcy in Syrian Children’s Lives
HERMEL, Lebanon, 20 July 2012 – 13-year-old Hiba* has a determination rarely seen in a child of that age. “I want to go back home, I loved it back there in Syria,” she says. “For now, I want to do French classes here to be able to go to school. I have lost one year. I do not want to lose another one.” Her classroom in Syria was destroyed by a bomb, an act she witnessed, but she remains strong and looks to the future. “This is all I wish for - to go back to school.”
UNICEF helps children affected by armed conflict in North Kivu, in DR Congo
GOMA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 30 July 2012 – “In the centre, I learn how to knit gloves and make baskets. I love to participate in the discussion groups here,” said Zele Flora, 15. Since she arrived in Mugunga, a site for internally displaced persons (IDPs), last April, she has frequented one of the child-friendly spaces (CFS) that UNICEF and its partner AVSI established in order to give children affected by conflict a place where they can be what they are: children, who play, learn and hope.
Ordinary citizens pitch in to assist people displaced by the violence in Syria
DAMASCUS, Syria, 27 July 2012 – These have been difficult times for everyone in Damascus. Thousands of people have had to leave their homes to seek refuge in safer areas, often in schools and mosques. By the weekend, dozens of schools in and around Damascus were full of displaced families.
Field Diary: A mourning mother in Mogadishu
MOGADISHU, Somalia, 23 July 2012 – At 50 years old, Kaltuumo Abdi Ibrahim left her life behind. She came to the capital from Dahar Village, where she had been an agro-pastoral farmer, after the drought killed her animals and crops.
Daily hardship remains a way of life for many children in Somalia
BOSASO, Somalia, 19 July 2012 – A year after the declaration of famine in the Horn of Africa, 9-year-old Osman Adan Mohamed still faces daily hardship. Osman was displaced by the famine that hit parts of southern Somalia in 2011. Today he lives in the town of Bosaso and works on the street as a shoe shiner to support his mother and four siblings. He does not go to school.
Ambitious UK aid plan delivers strong, measurable results for the world's poorest
NEW YORK, USA, 20 July 2012 – More than 12 million children have been vaccinated against preventable diseases, 6 million people have received emergency food assistance, and 5.3 million children have secured schooling. These are among more than a dozen achievements made by UNICEF’s long-time partner, the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), over the last two years.
One year after Somalia's famine, a story of recovery
MOGADISHU, Somalia, 18 July 2012 – Amina walked briskly with her 4-year-old son, Ismail Mohamed, to fetch water at the edge of the camp where they live in Mogadishu. As the sun rose, they could hear the sound of babies crying and distant gunfire.
One year after the declaration of famine, Somalia sees signs of progress
MOGADISHU, Somalia, 18 July 2012 – Dressed in helmets and body armour, UNICEF Emergency Specialist Maulid Warfa takes an armed convoy through Mogadishu, passing through the strategic K4 crossroads.
Aid workers in Jordan race to meet the needs of Syrian refugee families
AL MAFRAQ, Jordan, 9 July 2012 – Funnels of dust race like miniature tornadoes at this former airfield near the town of Al Mafraq, in Jordan’s north.
UNICEF-supported summer camps are helping Syrian and Lebanese children integrate into public schools in Lebanon
BEKAA VALLEY, Lebanon, 6 July 2012 – “I was here at seven this morning because I did not want to be late for class,” said 8-year-old Razan*, looking up from her drawing book. “Here we get to read stories and learn new words, and sing and dance.”
Summer camps help Syrian refugee children recovery, regain missed education
AMMAN, Jordan, 5 July 2012 – At a large primary school on the outskirts of the capital Amman, 11-year-old Basma* and her 7-year-old sister are among around 180 children, most of them Syrian refugees, taking part in a summer camp.
UNICEF launches its largest-ever operation against malnutrition in Chad
MAO, Chad, 19 June 2012 – According to UNICEF’s estimates, 127,000 children will be at risk of severe acute malnutrition, a deadly condition, in Chad this year, part of the broader food and nutrition crisis afflicting the Sahel region of Africa.
In Jordan, Syrian children are on the road to recovery after fleeing ongoing violence in their country
RAMTHA, Jordan, 19 June 2012 – Reem* and her six children fled their home in southern Syria in February after her husband Abood* was abducted by armed men. The children were between ages 5 and 18. “The children were scared and insecure when we first came to Jordan,” Reem said. “When they saw cars [like the one that took their father], they would start screaming.”
Insecurity in north-western Pakistan adds to mounting displacement pressure
JALOZAI, Pakistan, 20 June 2012 – More than 200,000 people – over half of them children – have been registered as displaced from Khyber Agency, in volatile north-western Pakistan, since January. They are joining families displaced by earlier insecurity, creating a total displaced population of close to 720,000 people in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).
In Pakistan, an uncertain future for displaced families in host communities
PESHAWAR, Pakistan, 15 June 2012 – Rafil Afridi rubs his eyes in a dusty village on the outskirts of Peshawar, the capital of Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province. The sound of rocks being crushed at the neighbouring gravel factory makes it difficult to concentrate.
New survey shows rates of child malnutrition are decreasing in Haiti
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 18 June 2012 – In March, slightly more than two years after Haiti’s devastating 2010 earthquake, UNICEF and the World Food Programme (WFP) supported the Ministry of Health’s national SMART nutrition survey.
In Mauritania, UNICEF and partners provide integrated assistance to Malian refugees
M’BERA, Mauritania, 12 June 2012 – In February, 2-year-old Habibi was diagnosed with severe acute malnutrition, a life-threatening condition.
Donated UPS flight brings life-saving supplies to crisis-affected communities in Mauritania
NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania, 6 June 2012 – Mauritania continues to face its worst lean season in years. Twenty-five per cent of households are food insecure, and 52 per cent of those are severely food insecure. Many children are now suffering from malnutrition and many more are expected to be affected before the end of the lean season in late September.
In Jordan, Syrian refugee children are learning to cope with the violence they’ve witnessed
MAFRAQ/AMMAN, Jordan, 4 June 2012 – On their way to school in Homs last year, 9-year-old twins Seema* and Nour* saw dead bodies in the street.
In Chad, finding long-term solutions to the nutrition crisis
MAO, Chad, 4 June 2012 – “My other children were able to walk when they were 8 months old, but not Ereta,” said Zaïnabou Mamataya. At 8 months, Ereta weighed only 2.6 kg and was admitted to hospital in Nokou, Western Chad's Kanem Region.
Preventing family separation during mass displacement in DR Congo
GOMA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 29 May 2012 – When gunfire began in Bihambwe, Tuisenge had no choice but flee.
Nigerien women take the lead in implementing practices to protect their families during the nutrition crisis
GARIN GOULBI, Niger, 29 May 2012 – In Garin Goulbi, a small village more than 500 kilometres from Niger’s capital, women have taken the lead in protecting their families and community during the country’s dire food security and nutrition crisis, which has left more than six million people across Niger facing food shortages.
Immunization and education for Malian refugees in Mauritania
M’BERA, Mauritania, 23 May 2012 – Conflict in Mali has displaced hundreds of thousands. Around 64,000 Malian refugees, including 39,000 children, are now living in a refugee camp at M’Bera in the far south-eastern corner of Mauritania. The camp is now the largest settlement in the district, three times larger than the capital Bassikunou.
As nutrition crisis intensifies, Nigerien mothers struggle to save their children
NIAMEY, Niger, 17 May 2012 – In the nutrition ward of Niamey’s regional hospital, all the beds are full of children showing the familiar signs of severe acute malnutrition: severe wasting, skins stretched tight over bones. The room is silent except for the noise of a small fan and the occasional cry of a child.
In Mali, community health programmes put malnourished children on the road to recovery
BAMAKO, Mali, 22 May 2012 – You wouldn’t think it to look at her, but Bintou Traoré is 18 months old. She is very small for her age because her little body has not had enough nutrients to grow normally.
Ewan McGregor issues appeal for the children of the Sahel
NEW YORK, USA, 21 May 2012 – As aid agencies warn of a major funding shortage for the crisis in the Sahel, actor and UNICEF Ambassador Ewan McGregor has added his voice to those calling for more help for the region.
In southern Turkey, Syrian refugee children are caught between a harrowing past and an uncertain future
HATAY, Turkey, 10 May 2012 – In a quiet house outside Antakya in southern Turkey, parents fleeing 14 months of violence in Syria have set up a makeshift school for their children. The sounds of lessons in maths, English, Turkish and the Koran ring through the living rooms and bedrooms, and the garden has become a lively playground.
Syrian refugees in Lebanon cope with hardships, fear for their families at home
AL FAQIHA, Lebanon, 7 May 2012 – The little hilltop town of Al Faqiha is located in one of the more remote corners of the Bekaa Valley, a fertile swath of land along Lebanon’s eastern frontier. It’s also the region closest to Syria, Lebanon’s troubled neighbour, making it a natural refuge for Syrian families seeking sanctuary from the unrest in their homeland.
Displaced families find shelter in north-western Pakistan
NOWSHERA, Pakistan, 2 May 2012 – Safe now at a camp for displaced people, Jan Bibi recalls the horrific events that led her family to flee for their lives earlier this year.
Field diary: Journey to recovery from severe acute malnutrition in Niger
AGUIE, Niger, 1 May 2012 – Two-and-half year old Oumarou Seydou sat motionless in his mother’s arms. He was not smiling or crying. He did not move.
Mia Farrow appeals for aid on behalf of children in the Sahel
NEW YORK, USA, 1 May 2012 – UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow has issued an urgent appeal on behalf of a million children in the Sahel whose lives are threatened by severe acute malnutrition
Q&A with Professor Michael Golden: Tackling malnutrition in Mauritania
NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania, 30 April 2012 – In the world of nutrition, Professor Michael Golden is something of a celebrity. Mr. Golden is famous for his work in developing Formula 100 (F-100), the basis for therapeutic foods that treat malnutrition.
UPS helps UNICEF deliver life-saving supplies to drought-hit Mauritania
Nouakchott, Mauritania, 23 April 2012 – At 10:40 Sunday morning, a UPS flight carrying 46,000 kg of live-saving UNICEF supplies touched down in Nouakchott, Mauritania. It was the first dedicated cargo flight of UNICEF supplies shipped to Mauritania, donated by UPS in cooperation with the U.S. Fund for UNICEF.
In Niger, children are forced to drop out of school to support their families
NIAMEY, Niger, 20 April 2012 – Only a few months ago, 12-year-old Oumar Soumana was happily living with his family in Damana, in south-western Niger. But when the village’s food stocks were depleted – a result of the massive food crisis occurring throughout the Sahel region of Africa – he was forced to leave home and travel to the capital in search of work.
Selena Gomez calls for life-saving action on behalf of children in the Sahel
NEW YORK, USA, 19 April 2012 – Actress, recording artist, designer and UNICEF Ambassador Selena Gomez is lending her star power to UNICEF’s campaign to save lives in the Sahel region of West and Central Africa.
UNICEF Deputy Executive Director visits Niger, calls for swift action on crisis in the Sahel
MARADI/NIAMEY, Niger, 13 April 2012 – UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Yoka Brandt called for urgent and enhanced action to save the lives of over one million children at risk of life-threatening severe acute malnutrition across the Sahel region. Ms. Brandt recently visited Niger, where an estimated 394,000 under-5 children will need treatment for severe acute malnutrition this year.
In Chad, UNICEF and partners step up emergency response to food crisis
N’DJAMENA, Chad, 11 April 2012 – Khadija’s 6-month-old son, Nawal, had been suffering from vomiting and diarrhoea for days, but she thought it was related to his teething. Finally, when his fever did not go down, she brought him to a clinic in N’Djamena, where he was diagnosed with severe acute malnutrition.
Field Diary: Niger’s children under siege from the worsening nutrition crisis
MARADI, Niger, 11 April 2012 – Walking through the door into the intensive care ward, I am struck by sensory overload – children’s cries come seemingly from every direction; medical staff buzzing around me, inserting a feeding tube here, testing for malaria there; and an oppressive 40 degree Celsius heat from which there is no escape.
Families in Mali struggle to feed themselves as the crisis in the Sahel worsens
NEW YORK, USA, 9 April 2012 – It’s dinner time in the fishing village of Tako, and Mariam Dianapo is worried about how to feed her five hungry children.
UNICEF Executive Director visits Chad to highlight looming crisis in Sahel
NEW YORK, USA, 4 April 2012 – UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake has called for an urgent escalation in humanitarian efforts in the Sahel region of Africa to prevent the deaths of more than 1 million children.
Sound the Alarm - One million children at risk in the Sahel
More than a million children in the Sahel region of West and Central Africa are currently at risk of becoming severely malnourished. Below is a collection of videos, images and discussions about the current situation in the Sahel and what UNICEF is doing to help.
UNICEF is raising funds to provide life-saving assistance to over 1 million at-risk children in the Sahel
NEW YORK, USA, 2 April 2012 – As the hunger season begins in the Sahel region of Africa, UNICEF is launching a massive fund-raising campaign to help the more than 1 million children in danger of dying from severe acute malnutrition.
Clean water brings fresh hope to poor neighbourhoods in Haiti
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 27 March 2012 – All day long, a steady stream of residents, young and old, queue to fill their buckets with affordable, clean water at the water kiosks of Cité l’Eternel, a neighborhood in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
In Mauritania, UNICEF and partners are providing critical assistance amid overlapping refugee and nutrition crises
FASSALA, Mauritania, 27 March 2012 – For Nanni Oueled Faghi and her 2-year-old grandson, Habibi, the journey from their home in Léré, Mali, to the border town of Fassala, Mauritania, was long and dangerous. By the time they arrived in Mauritania, Habibi was suffering from diarrhoea and severe malnutrition.
UNICEF and partners prepare for the worst of the nutrition crisis in the Sahel region
NEW YORK, USA, 26 March 2012 – A time bomb is ticking in the Sahel. April marks the beginning of the region’s lean season. It rains only once a year in the Sahel, an arid region that stretches across eight countries in West-Central Africa.
In Niger, refugees from Mali are assisted with clean drinking water
MANGAIZÉ, Niger, 22 March 2012 – For the displaced families in the Mangaizé settlement site, located in a dry, empty stretch of the Sahel, access to clean drinking water is a matter of survival. Over 35,000 refugees and returnees have come to Niger seeking safety from the ongoing fighting in northern Mali.
In a historic judgment, the International Criminal Court convicts Thomas Lubanga Dyilo of recruiting children into armed conflict
NEW YORK, USA, 14 March 2012 – In a landmark ruling today, Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga Dyilo was convicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) of war crimes for recruiting children into his armed movement. The verdict is the first ever delivered by the ICC, the world’s only permanent, independent war crimes tribunal, since its establishment in 2002.
In Niger, UNICEF and partners address the Sahel Region's looming food crisis
OUALLAM/ NIAMEY, Niger, 13 March 2012 – When Zelika, 2, was admitted to a hospital three weeks ago with severe acute malnutrition, her odds of survival were low. But her life was saved after intensive nutritional and medical care in a treatment centre in Ouallam.
Members of the Bureau of UNICEF's Executive Board assess programmes and progress in post-conflict Sri Lanka
COLOMBO/JAFFNA, Sri Lanka, 12 March 2012 – Families of children who disappeared during Sri Lanka’s 27-year-long conflict wait for news of their lost ones outside a UNICEF-funded Family Tracing and Reunification Centre (FTR) in the northern town of Mullaitivu.
UNICEF supports children and women displaced by insecurity in north-western Pakistan
JALOZAI CAMP, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, Pakistan, 9 March 2012 – Ongoing insecurity in north-western Pakistan has caused thousands to flee their homes. Families are streaming into Jalozai Camp seeking shelter, support and food.
In Jordan, UNICEF and partners offer services to help refugee children recover from conflict in Syria
MA’AN, Jordan, 8 March 2012 – On a cold February day, Syrian refugee children and their parents gathered at the Jordan Hashemite Fund for Human Development (JOHUD) Centre, a UNICEF partner, in the southern Jordanian town of Ma’an.
UNICEF and partners support victims of inter-communal conflict in Jonglei, South Sudan
PIBOR, South Sudan, 1 March 2012 – It was an ecstatic scene as Nora Wacha, a 20-year-old woman who had been abducted during the recent fighting between the Murle and Lou Nuer tribes in South Sudan’s Jonglei State, was reunited with her family in Pibor.
UNICEF races to prevent a major food crisis in the Sahel
NEW YORK, 24 February 2012 – UNICEF is racing to prevent a second major food crisis in Africa in less than a year.
Statement by UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake on Syria following the report of the independent international commission of inquiry
NEW YORK, USA, 23 February 2012 – “UNICEF is appalled by the impact on children of the escalating violence in Syria.
Hunger season comes early for Chad's most vulnerable
N’DJAMENA, Chad, 22 February 2012 – At a medical clinic outside of Bol, a town in Chad’s Lac Region, I recently met Adama Abdulai – a 30-year-old mother of six. Her 3-year-old son Abdou was being treated for severe acute malnutrition; at eight kilograms, Abdu weighed roughly the same amount as his 9-month-old brother.
In Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, assisting children alone in the big city
ABIDJAN, Côte d'Ivoire, 21 February 2012 – After a fight with his father, 9-year-old Junior Coulibaly left his house in a huff. It was a Friday afternoon in mid-January 2011. Nine months would pass before he would see his father again.
UNICEF provides emergency support for displaced families in Niger
MANGAIZÉ, Niger, 15 February 2012 – As thousands flee into Niger to escape the ongoing conflict in Northern Mali, UNICEF, in partnership with the Government of Niger, NGOs and sister UN agencies, is stepping up relief efforts to respond to the immediate needs of displaced families.
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow visits malnourished children in Chad
MAO, Chad, 15 February 2012 – A layer of dust cloaks the horizon around Mao, a town in Western Chad, deep in the Sahel region of Africa. Rain hasn't fallen in years, and four seasons of crops have failed. Animals have long been dying here, but lately, children have too.
In Mauritania, help needed to protect children from emerging malnutrition crisis
GAET TEIDOUMA, Mauritania, 15 February 2012 – Each year, the period between the rains and the new harvest is a lean season, when mothers like Fatima Mohammed struggle to feed their children – in Ms. Mohammed’s case, seven of them.
In Niger, urgent measures needed to fight malnutrition among children
MARADI, Niger, 13 February 2012 – Four-year-old Bassira was motionless in her hospital bed while a tube running through her nose delivered nutrient-rich therapeutic milk to her body – treatment for severe acute malnutrition.
Food shortages force children to drop out of school in Niger
NIAMEY, Niger, 6 February 2012 – The effect of food insecurity on children’s health is obvious; children, particularly those under age 5, are vulnerable to life-threatening malnutrition.
Two major storms strike Mozambique in quick succession, causing widespread damage
MAPUTO, Mozambique, 27 January 2012 – Mozambique faced a double disaster this month when both Tropical Storm Dando and Tropical Cyclone Funso struck coastal areas, leaving significant damage to homes and infrastructure.
In Qatar, forum calls for better inclusion of children with disabilities in humanitarian responses
DOHA, Qatar, 26 January 2012 – At the fifth annual International Shafallah Forum, held from 22 to 24 January in Doha, Dr. Rima Salah, UNICEF Deputy Executive Director (a.i.), stressed the need not to let children with disabilities be the forgotten victims of emergencies.
‘Humanitarian Action for Children 2012’ calls for continued focus on the Horn of Africa
NEW YORK, 26 January 2012 – The ongoing crisis in the Horn of Africa will remain a significant part of UNICEF’s global humanitarian response in the coming year, according to the ‘Humanitarian Action for Children 2012’ report, which launches tomorrow.
After flooding in the Philippines, teachers help students recover and resume studies
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines, 25 January 2012 – In City Central School, in Cagayan de Oro City, two teachers recently held their first day of classes since the devastating floods that swept through their community – even as their own futures looks uncertain.
In post-quake Haiti, early childhood development aids recovery
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 19 January 2012 – It might look like simple fun, but the dominos, colouring pencils, construction blocks, hand puppets, puzzle pieces and memory games in Jean Pierre’s school are about more than just a good time.
In Haiti, an unprecedented expansion in nutrition services for children and women
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 18 January 2012 – In two cramped UNICEF tents in the middle of the General Hospital, Head Nurse Bluette Jean-Louis and Dr. Josiane Andrianarisoa attend to severely malnourished children. Many of them are ill.
Partners work to bring peace to children associated with armed groups in DR Congo
BUKAVU, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 16 January 2012 – “I was 13 years old when the rebels came to my village. They didn’t ask questions. ‘Take your jacket and come, or we kill you,’” recounts Christian, 16.* “I stayed with them for three years, no thinking, just functioning.”
Over 1.2 million Libyan children return to school after months of conflict
TRIPOLI, Libya, 13 January 2012 – On 7 January, nearly a year after conflict broke out in Libya, more than 1.2 million children returned to school, many for the first time in many months.
Four Haitian filmmakers explore conditions for children two years after the quake
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 12 January 2012 – UNICEF challenged young Haitian filmmakers to reveal how they view their country – and its conditions for children – two years after the January 2010 earthquake.
Field diary: UNICEF prepares to help victims of conflict in South Sudan
PIBOR, South Sudan, 12 January 2012 – It was 7 a.m. when I boarded a UN MI8 helicopter with colleagues from the Human Rights and Child Protection section of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), as well as representatives from the South Sudan Human Rights Commission, the South Sudan Peace Commission, the World Food Programme, and media representatives from South Sudan Radio and Television.
Tens of thousands remain displaced in Cagayan de Oro, Philippines
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines, 6 January 2012 – The gymnasium and multi-purpose hall of Macasandig Village, in the centre of Cagayan de Oro City, is normally a place of activity and entertainment. During summers and fiestas, sports competitions and musical programmes are staged here. Locals fill the gym to its topmost bleachers, cheering for their favourite teams or applauding dance performances.
Protecting vulnerable, flood-affected children in the Philippines
ILIGAN CITY, Mindanao, Philippines, 3 January 2012 – Janella Delfino, 9, sat quietly on the front steps of the San Lorenzo Ruiz Parish Church in Barangay Hinaplanon, in Iligan City.
UNICEF in 2011: The year in review
NEW YORK, 30 December 2011 – From famine in the Horn of Africa to flooding in Pakistan and uprisings across the Middle East, 2011 was a challenging year for families in the developing world.
Vulnerable children struggle to cope with the aftermath of floods in Pakistan
BENAZIRABAD DISTRICT, Pakistan – 29 December 2011 – In the Quaid-e-Awam relief camp, 11-year-old Tariq Ali’s eyes are rimmed with shadows.
A 'children's crisis' unfolds in West and Central Africa's Sahel region
NEW YORK, USA, 27 December 2011 – Even as the battle against hunger continues in the drought-hit Horn of Africa, another crisis has begun to unfold in eight countries across West Africa.
Displaced Syrian children in Jordan show signs of distress
RAMTHA, Jordan, 23 December 2011 – As I pull out my camera, Salwa looks at me and blurts out, “No, no pictures, please. Otherwise the police will slaughter us.” She is 5 years old.
In disaster-prone Bangladesh, a UNICEF-supported programme helps children stay in school
NEW YORK, USA, 23 December 2011—Low-lying Bangladesh is one of the countries most affected by climate change, and the people who live in the Chars – small islands created by floods or erosion in the vast Ganges delta—are the most vulnerable of all.
UNICEF responds to extensive flood destruction in the Philippines
ILIGAN CITY, Philippines, 21 December 2011 – In a city devastated by floods and fatalities, the arrival of Christmas is the last thing on people’s minds.
UNICEF responds to Philippines communities devastated by Tropical Storm Washi
MANILA, Philippines, 19 December 2011 – Over 600 people have been killed, and hundreds more are missing, after flash floods devastated northern and western parts of Mindanao, an island in the southern Philippines.
In Kenya, school offers meals, shelter, education and hope
TURKANA District, Kenya, 16 December 2011 – Gabriel Ekalale, the head teacher of Napuu Primary School in the north-western Turkana District, proudly displays the certificates and awards his school has received. There is one for ‘most disciplined school’, another celebrating the school’s achievements in national exams, and many more for participation in culture, music, tourism and environmental activities.
Urgent need for aid continues in Pakistan in wake of devastating floods
NEW YORK, USA, 14 December: “All these houses have drowned. We are getting no help here,” said 9-year-old Saeen Bukhsh in September, after torrential monsoon rains and flooding destroyed his home in Farooqabad, Pakistan. “We don’t even have anything to put on the ground and sit.”
Threat of malnutrition dire in Africa's Sahel region due to increasing food shortages
DAKAR, Senegal, 12 December 2011 – It’s not a tsunami or an earthquake – it is a predictable emergency. UNICEF estimates more than a million children under five will need to be treated in feeding centres for severe malnutrition in the Sahel region of Africa. It is a staggeringly high number, and there is little time to prepare.
UNICEF and SAACID promote exclusive breastfeeding in Somalia's drought-affected communities
MOGADISHU, Somalia, 9 December 2011 – Nawaal Mohamed Nur, a 34-year-old mother of nine in the Shingani District of Mogadishu, has had a harrowing several months. In June of this year, her daughter Amira was diagnosed with acute malnutrition.
Mobile school is the answer to a Turkana girl’s prayers
TURKANA COUNTY, Kenya, 5 December 2011 – Rebecca Ekusi remembers what life was like before she came to Kalokutanyang Mobile School. In those days, she spent her days tending her family’s goats as they grazed in the vast, semi-arid expanse of Turkana, north-western Kenya.
A young leader works to confront the effects of climate change in the Philippines
MANILA, Philippines, 5 December 2011 – “We cannot really change the world, but we can change ourselves for the world,” said Arnel Alipao, an 18-year-old youth advocate from Mainit, Surigao del Norte, in the Philippines.
Measles infection rates on the decline after successful vaccination campaign in Somalia
MOGADISHU, Somalia, 28 November 2011—Weaving between makeshift huts of plastic sheeting, health workers urgently knock on every door in Mogadishu: “Today’s the day!” they say, “Vaccination day!”
In wake of the floods, malnutrition threatens thousands of children in Pakistan
JAMSHORO, Pakistan, 21 November 2011 – Mohammad Ali, of Southern Pakistan, is not the world famous boxing legend, but a true fighter nonetheless. This Mohammad Ali is just two-and-a-half-years-old and from a small village outside of Jamshoro in Pakistan’s Sindh Province. He is winning his struggle to survive after nearly succumbing to health complications associated with severe acute malnutrition.
Famine on the retreat in southern Somalia, millions still remain in need
NEW YORK, 18 November 2011—UNICEF has welcomed the news that famine is on the retreat in southern Somalia.
Thousands of families face an uncertain future in post-flood El Salvador
SACACOYO, El Salvador, 10 November 2011 - When Erick Alberto Montano, 25, recently took his son, Abner, to his grandmother’s house, as he did every Saturday, he never thought it would wind up saving their lives. It had been raining heavily four days straight, and upon returning home, they discovered Abners room had been washed away by a landslide. From one moment to the next, Erick and his family were forced to leave everything behind.
UNICEF Child Friendly Spaces provide support to displaced children in Somalia
MOGADISHU, Somalia, 9 November 2011 - For hundreds of thousands of displaced Somali children, daily life is a mixture of fear and insecurity. Communities break apart, as one by one families leave their villages to flee ongoing conflict. If they survive the journey to Mogadishu, life is not much easier, as they are faced with the daily challenge of finding food and shelter.
Disaster Risk Reduction training helps build a culture of safety in Kyrgyzstan
CHENGEN, Kyrgystan, 9 November 2011 - In the village of Chengen in southern Kyrgyzstan, the sights and sounds of the continuing clean-up are everywhere. Less than two weeks after a massive mudslide ripped through here, claiming scores of homes, the memory of it is still intensely painful for 10-year-old Ruslan Omurbaev and his three brothers and sisters.
Medical supplies reach Kenya, with help from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
NEW YORK, United States, 4 November 2011 - More than 40,000 kilogrammes of medical supplies, which the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Denmark helped to pack at the UNICEF warehouse in Copenhagen on Wednesday, have reached their destination in Nairobi, Kenya.
UNICEF aims to ensure all children in Côte d’Ivoire receive an education
ABIDJAN, Côte d’Ivoire, 3 November 2011 – Despite the official reopening of schools in Côte d’Ivoire for 2.5 million primary school children, the recent crisis in the aftermath of the presidential elections has slowed down the economy, leaving a majority of the nation’s families unsure whether they’ll have the means to cover all the miscellaneous school fees.
In Copenhagen, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Denmark visit UNICEF's Supply Centre
COPENHAGEN, Denmark, 2 November 2011 – This afternoon the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge made a special visit to the UNICEF Global Supply Centre in Copenhagen to help maintain the world’s attention on the humanitarian crisis in East Africa, which has left more than 320,000 children so severely malnourished that they are at imminent risk of death unless they get urgent help.
UNICEF assists returnees to South Sudan with shelter, water and temporary learning facilities
RENK, South Sudan, 2 November 2011 – Three months after South Sudan separated from Sudan, becoming an independent nation, many South Sudanese are struggling to return home.
Q&A with UNICEF Somalia’s Hannan Sulieman: ‘It’s about children, no matter where they are’
NAIROBI, Kenya, 31 October 2011 – In a recent conversation with UNICEF.org, Hannan Sulieman, UNICEF Deputy Representative in Somalia, described the daunting challenges that face Somali children and families amidst the Horn of Africa’s worst drought crisis in decades.
Crisis continues 100 days after famine was declared in Somalia
NAIROBI, Kenya, 28 OCTOBER 2011 – Just two months ago, three-year-old Moktar Mohamed was on the verge of death. After his parents lost their livestock and crops to the drought, they travelled by foot and truck from Middle Shabelle to Mogadishu, a trek of over 100 kilometres.
Thousands of families remain displaced by torrential rains in El Salvador
SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador, 26 October 2011 – Following two weeks of floods and school closures, students are finally returning to class in Usulután Province.
Mekong flooding causes widespread damage in Viet Nam
AN GIANG, Viet Nam, 26 October 2011 – A relentless series of tropical storms and typhoons has filled the Mekong River to record levels, causing widespread flooding that now covers much of south and central Viet Nam in water.
Seasonal rains are a mixed blessing for parched north-eastern Kenya
NAIROBI, Kenya, 26 October 2011 – The rain has begun on schedule in north-eastern Kenya, bringing the first real precipitation that many people in the semi-arid region have seen for months, if not years. But while eagerly anticipated, it’s both a blessing and a curse.
In the wake of the Libyan conflict, UNICEF provides support to traumatized children
BENGHAZI, Libya, 24 OCTOBER 2011 – Four-year-old Omar Salem lies in a hospital bed, his tiny body covered in scars. One freshly healed wound traces its way down the full length of his torso, serving as a permanent reminder of the day he almost died.
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors make an appeal for continued support in the Horn of Africa
NEW YORK, USA, 6 October 2011 – Goodwill Ambassadors Yuna Kim, Serena Williams, Ishmael Beah and Angelique Kidjo are making an appeal for continued support in the Horn of Africa, utilizing social media to distribute a new series of Public Service Announcements (PSAs) which call on their fans to engage in the ongoing effort to end this devastating crisis.
UNICEF-supported campaign aims to immunize millions of children against polio in Côte d’Ivoire
GRAND-BASSAM, Côte d’Ivoire, 6 October 2011 – Côte d’Ivoire’s Minister of Health and AIDS control, Professor Thérèse N’dri Yoman, recently launched a four-day nationwide UNICEF-supported vaccination campaign, with the aim of immunizing seven million children under the age of five against polio.
Back-To-School campaign facilitating access to schools amid continuing violence in Yemen
SANA’A, Yemen, 5 October 2011 - Two weeks after the belated launch of the new school year in Yemen, many thousands of children in the capital city of Sana’a are either still at home or in the process of finding a safe and available school.
‘Water is our life’ – Pastoralists adapt to village life in drought-stricken north-eastern Kenya
DADAAB, Kenya, 3 October 2011 – “The last time I saw rain was five years ago,” says Fatima Suthi, a 50-year-old mother of eight living in Labisigale village, 15 km from Dadaab town in north-eastern Kenya. Host to over 400,000 refugees from Somalia in three camps, Dadaab is now considered the most populous refugee settlement in the world.
UNICEF sends in health experts to prevent cholera epidemic in Somalia
MOGADISHU, Somalia, 3 October 2011 - In a small classroom in Mogadishu, over twenty qualified Somali nurses, men and women are gathering tools to fight cholera and acute watery diarrhoea.
A displaced family sets up a makeshift 'home' in flood-affected southern Pakistan
BADIN DISTRICT, SINDH, Pakistan, 22 September 2011 – Lado Shero holds her 3-year-old granddaughter Shama tenderly to her body as she sits on the ground in a makeshift roadside shelter in the severely flood-affected Badin District, in southern Sindh Province.
UNICEF Representative visits devastated flood zone in southern Pakistan
BADIN DISTRICT, SINDH, Pakistan, 23 September 2011 – Pakistan has been hit for a second year running by heavy monsoon rains that have turned the lives of millions of people upside down. With flood waters covering vast expanses of land, this new emergency is affecting 5.4 million people, almost 2.7 million of whom are children.
A future prison provides educational opportunity for Pakistan’s flood-displaced children
THATTA DISTRICT, SINDH, Pakistan, 26 September 2011 - Inside the high walls of a prison near Thatta city, children displaced by Pakistan’s recent monsoon floods are enjoying the opportunity to return to class. A prison may seem a surprising place for a relief camp, but this jail is only partially completed, and the large empty, flat space inside the walls make for an ideal location to set up row upon row of tents.
Ali’s story: In drought-ravaged Kenya, education is the key to a brighter future
WAJIR, Kenya, 26 September – 2011 - In a futile attempt to save the last of the goats, Ali Yusef Omar, 16, and one of his younger sisters had no other option but to feed the ravenous animals handfuls of shredded-up cardboard boxes they had scavenged from the local town. Kept in a make-shift pen made of thorn bushes, only three remain out of a herd that had once numbered two hundred.
UNICEF provides an underage miner with a second chance in DR Congo
KATANGA PROVINCE, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 21 September 2011 – Daniel, 16, has his life back after three years of working in a copper mine located in the southern section of the Democratic Republic of the Congo – one of the worst jobs on earth.
In Ethiopia, water trucks provide essential life-line amidst drought
MELBENA VILLAGE, BORENA, Ethiopia, 22 September 2011 - The women and children of Melbena Village anxiously await the arrival of a water truck in the drought-stricken Borena zone of the Oromia Region in southern Ethiopia, along the border with Kenya. The area has not received decent rainfall in over two years and the impact has been devastating for the largely pastoral community.
UNICEF scales up life-saving operations to reach displaced families in southern Pakistan
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, 19 September 2011 - For the second time in a year, Pakistan has been hit by severe flooding caused by the monsoon rains. With the scars of the 2010 floods hardly faded and the area residents still struggling to get their lives back to normal, heavy rains have caused widespread destruction in the southern province of Sindh.
In Kenyan camps, vaccine protects Somali refugee children from killer pneumonia
DADAAB, Kenya, 14 September 2011 – About six months ago, Kenya was one of the first countries in Africa to introduce the pneumococcal vaccine, and children now have access to this life-saving intervention through routine immunization in the Dadaab refugee camps in the north-east of the country.
Displaced youth in South Yemen cope with the effects of war
ADEN, Yemen, 15 September 2011 - It is the fourth day of Ramadan in Aden, a port city in the south of Yemen, and the temperature has reached over 40 degrees centigrade. Although it is summer holiday, the yard of Belqis School in Aden is full of children. Some play under the sun, while others attend educational sessions in a tent organized by UNICEF. The children are from families displaced by fighting in the restive region of Abyan between government troops and militants suspected of links to al-Qaeda.
UNICEF Executive Board closes with renewed commitment to vulnerable children
NEW YORK, USA, 15 September 2011 - The UNICEF Executive Board concluded its September session with a renewed commitment to vulnerable children, despite increasing financial challenges.
In Pakistan, new floods leave displaced families in limbo
BADIN DISTRICT, SINDH, Pakistan, 15 September 2011 – Mubarak, 37, and his son Rajab, 10, wade through the dirty flood waters up to their waist. They are attempting to rescue something from the murky depths, but from a distance it is not clear what it is. As they get closer and the water shallower, a heavy wooden chest comes into view.
In Pakistan, monsoon floods return to new areas causing widespread devastation
BADIN DISTRICT, SINDH PROVINCE, Pakistan, 14 September 2011 - Like déjà vu, exceptionally heavy monsoon rains that caused an unprecedented disaster in Pakistan during 2010 have returned with a vengeance to hit the southernmost part of the country.
Aden’s story revisited: One child’s journey of survival from Somalia to Kenya
DADAAB, Kenya, 14 September 2011 – Six weeks ago, a three-year-old boy’s desperately worried father brought him to the nutrition stabilization centre at the Hagadera refugee camp here in Dadaab, north-eastern Kenya. Like many children arriving at the UNICEF-supported facility, he was close to death – malnourished, dehydrated and suffering from respiratory infections.
UNICEF aims to ensure that schools throughout Libya are open in September
BENGHAZI, Libya, 14 September 2011 – Unable to attend school due to the uprising in mid-February, Hesham, 10, has been temporarily minding a family-run shoe shop in Meydan Albaladya, near Benghazi’s city centre. The majority of schools have been closed across Libya since the first days of the conflict, affecting the lives of an estimated two million children.
Mobile health units saving lives in drought-affected Ethiopia
GODE, Ethiopia, 13 September 2011 - For Halimo Faliid, 70, the arrival of baby Higad Mahad was bittersweet. In gaining a grandson she lost her daughter, a family tragedy that is still too common in the Horn of Africa, where the current drought is adding to the hardships of women and children.
Horn of Africa focus of Executive Board opening session
NEW YORK, USA, 12 September 2011 - The crisis in the Horn of Africa dominated the opening session of the UNICEF Executive Board, with Executive Director Anthony Lake warning that conditions can only get worse for the millions of families suffering from famine, rising food prices and drought.
Podcast #45: Ongoing drought in the Horn of Africa threatens the new school year
NEW YORK, USA, 12 September 2011 - As the emergency escalates throughout the Horn of Africa, the numbers of those in crisis continue to grow. Currently, 13.3 million people in the region are in need of humanitarian assistance. Somalia is the worst-affected country, with more than 750,000 people at risk of death.
With water scarce, innovative solutions in Kenya
WAJIR, Kenya, 12 September 2011 - At the side of the road in one of the most remote parts of Wajir in north east Kenya, a flurry of activity buzzed around a covered water tank.
For Somali refugee children in Kenya, the new school year offers a fresh start
DADAAB, Kenya, 9 September 2011 – For children around the world, the end of the school holidays usually comes with mixed feelings. That was surely the case as schools re-opened their doors this week in the Dadaab refugee camps in north-eastern Kenya.
Kenyan schools struggle to cope with influx of children displaced by drought
GARISSA, Kenya, 8 September 2011 – Dekha Mohamed Noor, 15, has not seen her family for more than a month. At the end of July, after schools closed for the August holidays, they sent her to live with a relative in Garissa, a bustling commercial hub 165 km west of her home village, Modogashe. The drought in north-eastern Kenya and much of the Horn of Africa had decimated their livestock, throwing the family into a desperate scramble for survival.
UNICEF supports stabilization centres to treat malnourished children in Somalia
MOGADISHU, Somalia, 8 September 2011 – Mohamed, 2, weighed just over five kg when he was brought to Benadir Hospital in Mogadishu recently. His family had arrived in the Somali capital just a month earlier. Due to prolonged drought, they had lost all of their livestock back home in Elbur, located in the Galgaduud region of central Somalia.
Goodwill Ambassador Youssou N'Dour meets Somali refugee children in Dadaab, Kenya
DADAAB, Kenya, 7 September 2011 – UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Youssou N’Dour met children in the Dadaab refugee camps in north-eastern Kenya earlier this week, hearing for himself some of the many stories of suffering amongst the more than 435,000 people who have fled to the camps to escape famine, drought and insecurity in Somalia.
School clubs provide normalcy for children affected by unrest in Syria
DAMASCUS, Syria, 6 September 2011 – Civil unrest has disrupted normal life in Syria since mid-March, taking a serious emotional toll on children, in particular. Between witnessing violence and having their family lives and routines upended, children are paying a heavy price.
Emergency aid arrives as UNICEF and partners work to restore Libya’s water system
TRIPOLI, Libya, 2 September 2011 – The fighting in Libya, particularly in the past weeks, has left the capital short of water and fuel. The disruption of the water supply to Tripoli through the country’s ‘Great Man-Made River’ pipeline system has left approximately 4 million people without potable tap water.
UNICEF combats measles in overcrowded displacement camps in Somalia
MOGADISHU, Somalia, 2 September 2011 –“He doesn’t sleep,” says Furiyay, a mother whose young son sits lethargically on her lap. The boy is thin and his legs are covered with sores. “He vomits the whole night and has diarrhoea,” his mother adds.
Over a year later, children return to rebuilt school in post-conflict Osh, Kyrgyzstan
OSH PROVINCE, Kyrgyzstan, 1 September 2011 – Hundreds of children from Shark village have settled down in the new Tolstoy School following a year-long journey.
Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow issues urgent appeal after visiting Somali refugees
NEW YORK, USA, 30 August 2011 – “Something huge is happening, and it’s terrible,” said UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow after visiting the world’s largest refugee settlement in Dadaab, north-eastern Kenya.
School is a safe haven for children displaced by famine and conflict in Somalia
MOGADISHU, Somalia, 30 August 2011 – Nearly 100 Somali schoolchildren flip through paperback books with as much excitement as if they were the latest comics fresh off the presses. The pages, however, are covered with maths, science formulas and handwriting exercises.
UNICEF acts to stave off potential water crisis caused by fuel shortages in Libya
BENGHAZI, Libya, 29 August 2011 – As sporadic fighting continues across Libya, the country is facing a potentially disastrous water shortage. The crisis results mainly from disruptions of the pipeline network that serves desert areas lacking local water sources.
At African Union pledge event, Ghanaian boy calls for urgent action on Horn of Africa crisis
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, 26 August 2011 – On his first airplane flight, and his first trip outside of his native Ghana, Andrew Adansi-Bonnah, 11, arrived here with his father to give an inspirational speech at the African Union’s pledging conference. The event was held this week in support of more than 12 million people affected by drought in the Horn of Africa.
In a Kenyan district hard-hit by drought, children survive on one meal a day
WAJIR DISTRICT, Kenya, 26 August 2011 – Either let through by the bigger children, or squeezing through unnoticed, many of the smallest were at the front when head teacher Habiba Mohamed Shuriye gave the order to serve the lunch. Their assortment of bowls, cups and jugs – held out by small, eager hands – were first to be filled from the vats of steaming porridge.
In Djibouti, families fleeing conflict and drought continue to struggle in camp
DJIBOUTI CITY, Djibouti, 24 August 2011 – In what looks like a rubbish dump off of the main road southwest of the capital city Djibouti, a few hundred families have set-up makeshift tukuls and call them home. They have no water, no toilets, no electricity, and barely any hope.
Outpatient therapeutic feeding programmes save lives in Ethiopia
BORENA, Ethiopia, 24 August 2011 – Berida Jateni, 40, appears worried and gaunt and much older than her years. Sitting next to her hut in drought-ravaged Borena near the Kenya border she laments the impact of the drought that is threatening to destroy her pastoralist way of life.
Improving lives by providing access to safe water in Haiti
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 23 August 2011 – For seven-year-old Babylove Milande Clement, every new day means tiring walks in the sun across her displacement camp outside of Port-au-Prince to buy safe water for her and her mother. Carefully balancing the water-filled bucket on her head so as not to spill a drop, she makes her way from a water kiosk to the tent where the two live alone.
In Kenya, families struggle to cope with loss amidst drought
WAJIR DISTRICT, Kenya, 22 August 2011— Inside the camp settlements that have mushroomed around towns like Wajir, men are conspicuously missing. As drought ravages the vast and barren expanse of northern Kenya, decimating livestock and displacing hundreds of pastoralist communities, rather than stay in the settlements, the men have opted to salvage whatever little livestock is left by scouring the arid ranges of northern Kenya and sometimes southern Somalia in search of water and pasture. Leaving behind their families, they hope the government and aid agencies will fill the void.
On World Humanitarian Day, the UN celebrates the extraordinary efforts of aid workers
NEW YORK, United States, 19 August 2011 - From the Horn of Africa to Haiti, Pakistan and Japan, millions of aid workers are working tirelessly to help those in need. They brave danger and take on the greatest risks in countries far away from their homes to help others rebuild their lives, survive war and battle disease.
UNICEF mounts urgent response to contain the spread of cholera in Somalia
NAIROBI, Kenya, 18 August 2011 - Foday Ali’s five-month-old baby is looking around, showing signs of life for the first time in four days since she was admitted to the Banadir Paediatric Unit in Mogadishu for severe malnutrition. She was born in an Internally Displaced Person (IDP) camp in Mogadishu just days after her mother completed the 25 kilometre walk from her home just north of El Ma’an.
In Kenya’s refugee camps, hygiene promotion aims to prevent disease by changing behaviour
DADAAB, Kenya, 18 August 2011- It is early morning amidst the shelters of Hagadera refugee camp in north-eastern Kenya, and Mohamed Shorie, 22, is already at work promoting the benefits of hygiene. Surrounded by three families from Block B 0C, in what seems just a matter of seconds, at least 20 more people arrive, most of them women and children, curious to hear what he has to say.
Feeding centres aim to alleviate chronic malnutrition in drought-affected Djibouti
BALBALA, Djibouti, 17 August 2011 – At the therapeutic feeding centre of Balbala, on the outskirts of the capital city Djibouti, Abdelfattah, 20-months-old, stares suspiciously at the visitors who have just walked in.
In Gaza, poverty forces children to choose between survival and school
GAZA STRIP, Occupied Palestinian Territory, 17 August 2011 - Ayman, 15, lives in Khuza’a, an impoverished village in southern Gaza, where extreme poverty has dramatically increased due to the blockade. For Ayman, whether or not he’s able to go to school each day is determined by how much food is left in the cupboards.
In Somalia, schooling continues for IDPs and incoming children amidst drought crisis
MOGADISHU, Somalia, 16 August 2011 - Nearly 100 young Somali children flip through paperback books with as much excitement as if they were reading the latest comic book hot off the presses. The pages, however, are covered with maths and science formulas and handwriting exercises.
One mother’s hopes and fears in drought-stricken Kenya
DADAAB, Kenya, 15 August 2011- When the skies fill with a grey blanket of thick clouds and the wind blows hard, anywhere else in the world would be expecting rain – but Dadaab, the sprawl of refugee camps approximately 100 km from the Somali border, is not anywhere else in the world, and there is little chance of rainfall here in this drought-hit region of East Africa.
After the storms, the rebuilding process continues in Lao PDR
BORIKHAMXAY PROVINCE, Lao PDR, 15 August 2011 – Seven-year-old May had been asleep for hours when the floodwaters came rushing through her village in the middle of the night.
Thousands of lives at risk in Chad due to cholera epidemic
N’DJAMENA, Chad, 11 August 2011 - Cholera has resurged in Chad affecting more than 7000 people since March 2011, most of whom are the poorest and most vulnerable.
Mobile Schools aim to ensure education in Kenya
NASIGER, Kenya, 11 August 2011 – Across this vast and semi-arid north-western corner of Kenya, threatened by alarmingly high malnutrition rates, live the Turkana, a traditional ethnic group who work the dry plains as shepherds. In a valley of microclimates, when water and green brush run dry and brown, the communities move on foot to new areas - roaming for life’s essentials.
UN Secretary-General meets students affected by the diaster in Japan
FUKUSHIMA, Japan, 10 August 2011 – Japanese youth must combine their strengths to help facilitate the nation’s recovery, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, told a crowd of high school students this month in Fukushima City, while on a three-day trip to Japan.
Ethiopian mothers struggle to feed their children amidst drought crisis
ODOLEKA, Ethiopia, 10 August 2011 – In a small farming community just outside the capital of Addis Ababa, Montegbosh nurses her 18-month-old son. Like many young mothers in this drought-inflicted country, she is opting to nurse longer - she simply has nothing else to feed her toddler.
Government of Japan supports therapeutic feeding to treat malnutrition in Ethiopia
FEDIS DISTRICT, Ethiopia, 9 August 2011 – Zara Ahmed is worried. The youngest of her seven children, 10-month-old Nayle Kelifa, has not been eating well and has lost a lot of weight. Drought in eastern Ethiopia has delayed the harvest of corn, peanuts, cabbage, potatoes and other vegetables that Ms. Ahmed relies on to feed her children.
Operations Centre at the heart of UNICEF's response to crisis in the Horn of Africa
NEW YORK, USA, 9 August 2011 – The eyes of the world are turned to the Horn of Africa, where a humanitarian disaster threatens the survival of millions. With famine declared in five areas in southern Somalia – and the United Nations warning that it could quickly spread – UNICEF’s Operations Centre, or OPSCEN, is playing a critical role in the agency’s crisis response.
Feeding centres treat malnourished children amidst famine in southern Somalia
NEW YORK, USA, 8 August 2011 – Habib Isack has left her home in Wajid, southern Somalia, for the first time – but not by choice. Drought killed her crops and her livestock. Sheer desperation drove her to take her children and set out on foot for Doolow, near the border with Ethiopia, in search of help.
Staff profile: UNICEF Yemen Nutrition Officer fights child malnutrition with a passion
SANA’A, Yemen, 5 August 2011 – “I graduated in Liverpool in 2006 with a Master’s degree in tropical paediatrics, and on graduation day, someone asked me what I thought I could do with such a degree in Yemen,” Dr. Rajia Sharhan says, laughing. “I replied that I was going back to treat the children that I once didn’t know how to treat.”
Community Based Nutrition programme holds off hunger in drought-prone Ethiopia
CHANCHO, Ethiopia, 4 August 2011 – Brightly clad mothers with babies strapped to their backs make their way to the centre of Chancho village, located in the Deder district of eastern Ethiopia. There, volunteer community health worker Kasim Jibral is setting up weighing scales for the village’s monthly growth-monitoring session.
Field diary: At a refugee camp in Kenya, a father's devotion helps his young son survive
DADAAB, Kenya, 3 August 2011 – Most of the Somali refugees crossing into Kenya to escape drought and conflict are women and children. Many of the families I see queuing at the Dadaab refugee reception centres are headed by mothers, grandmothers and older sisters. I often wonder where all the men have gone.
UNICEF supports transitional schools for children in post-flood Punjab, Pakistan
PUNJAB, Pakistan, 3 August 2011 – “Before the floods, this village had a one-room Masjid [mosque] school. Most of the children sat under a tree. We now have this beautiful school, and the children love it,” says Mukhtar Ahmad, Headmaster of the Government Primary School in Mullanwala village, located in the Muzaffargarh District of Pakistan’s Punjab Province.
Podcast #43: One year on, flood disaster's impact lingers in Pakistan
NEW YORK, USA, 3 August 2011 – The unprecedented monsoon floods that hit Pakistan a year ago claimed hundreds of lives, washed away 2 million hectares of cropland and damaged or destroyed 1.7 million homes. Nearly 10,000 were schools also damaged or destroyed, taking a heavy toll on the education system.
UNICEF supports fight against child malnutrition in flood-ravaged districts of Pakistan
NOWSHERA, Pakistan, 2 August 2011 – Since the floods destroyed his crops, Ibrahim, 36, a teacher and father of four, has been struggling to make ends meet for his family. Ibrahim’s two youngest children have been recovering from severe acute malnutrition.
A greater humanitarian response is needed as crisis deepens in the Horn of Africa
NEW YORK, USA, 5 August 2011 – As the crisis in the Horn of Africa deepens, the United Nations has warned that all of southern Somalia could slip into famine in the next two months. Just this week, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs declared that three new areas in Somalia have deteriorated into a famine situation.
UNICEF helps to rebuild a school in a flood-ravaged village in north-west Pakistan
NOWSHERA, Pakistan, 1 August 2011 – In July 2010, when floods reached the village of Kheshgi Bala, Maryam’s school – located right next door to the Kabul River – sat directly on the front line. Normally a sleeping giant, the river swelled with the intense monsoon rains and surged onto the land, filling the school with up to three metres of water and half a metre of mud.
Improved health services for mothers and newborns in flood-hit villages of Pakistan
HAJI GHAZI, Pakistan, 29 July 2011 – In Haji Ghazi, a small town and Union Council in southern Punjab Province, dozens of women – some pregnant, others holding their newborn children – fill a room in the town’s Basic Health Unit, or BHU. A doctor carefully examines and provides medical advice to each of them.
UNICEF and partners race against time as Horn of Africa crisis worsens
NEW YORK, USA, 28 July 2011 – History is repeating itself in the Horn of Africa. Images of severely malnourished children – and of people walking great distances across parched earth in search of food and water – haunt the public conscience. A combination of drought, conflict and soaring food prices is turning deadly for the region’s most vulnerable children and families.
Ejaz’s story: A young boy remains hopeful in the aftermath of Pakistan floods
SINDH PROVINCE, Pakistan, 28 July 2011 – Ejaz Najum, 12, was living in Karampur, in the northern part of Sindh Province, when floods ravaged his entire village and surrounding communities in late July 2010. Across Pakistan, the massive floods inundated farms, schools and health facilities, and disrupted basic social services, from the Himalayas to the Arabian Sea.
Of bullets and blackboards: Libya’s war-weary children hope for return to the classroom
BENGHAZI, Libya, 26 July 2011 – Aisha and Aya in Benghazi, Hassan in Al-Bayda and Haya from Nalut all tell me the same thing: They want to go back to school. In fact, virtually every child I speak with in Libya expresses hope for a return to the classroom as soon as possible.
In Ethiopia, UNICEF-supported programme fights malnutrition amidst severe drought
BELINA ARBA, FEDIS, 25 July 2011 – Genete Mohammed carries her 18-month-old daughter Iman to the Belina Arba Health Post in drought-affected Fedis District in Eastern Ethiopia for the weekly UNICEF-supported outpatient therapeutic programme (OTP).
Field diary: The road to Dadaab
DADAAB, Kenya, 25 July 2011 – Driving the nearly 100 kilometre sand road from the Somali border to the refugee camps in Dadaab, Kenya, is like an otherworldly odyssey across an arid landscape seemingly devoid of life.
UNICEF delivers crucial supplies as the situation in the Horn of Africa deteriorates
NEW YORK, USA, 22 July 2011 – A tragedy of epic proportions is unfolding in the Horn of Africa, where hundreds of thousands of children are facing death due to starvation. The disastrous combination of a paralyzing drought, skyrocketing food prices and conflict has left over 11 million people battling hunger to survive.
UNICEF supports effort to trace missing children in post-conflict Sri Lanka
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, 20 July 2011 – Jhoncy sits in the shaded courtyard of a children’s home, alone in quiet thought. Understandably, she has a lot on her mind. When we arrive, Jhoncy, 20, gets up from her chair and wanders over to greet us. We shake hands and she looks us in the eye. Her first question is, “Can you help me find my brother?”
Field diary: Mindanao families and children endure the reality of flooding in the Philippines
COTABATO CITY, Philippines, 15 July 2011 – A number of tropical storms have hit the Philippines recently, bringing floods, flash floods and landslides to many regions. During my mission, most of central Mindanao, in the southern part of the country, was submerged.
UN Security Council adopts new resolution to protect schools and hospitals during conflict
NEW YORK, 12 July 2011 – UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake has welcomed a United Nations Security Council resolution aimed at increasing efforts to protect schools and hospitals from armed attack.
Libya’s other crisis: 2 million children at physical and emotional risk as conflict drags on
BENGAZHI, Libya, 12 July 2011 – After months of media coverage of the conflict in Libya, one could be forgiven for thinking that the country is devoid of children. The vast majority of images in the media feature soldiers on the front lines, a defiant Muammar Gaddafi, NATO fighter jets streaking across the skies, and queues of mostly male migrant workers crossing the borders into Tunisia and Egypt.
Field diary: Somali refugee, 14, waits for her life to begin again in Dadaab, Kenya
DADAAB, Kenya, 12 July 2011 – It was at Block N-Zero in Ifo camp that I first saw her. This is the camp where some of the new arrivals first settle. Her young face was hidden by the headdress that she wore.
Amidst the region's worst drought in decades, Somali refugees crowd camps in Kenya
NEW YORK, USA, 11 July 2011– Hundreds of thousands of refugees are overwhelming camps in Dadaab, north-eastern Kenya, where they are seeking a haven from drought and conflict in neighbouring Somalia.
UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake visits youth centres rebuilding lives in Kyrgyzstan
OSH, Kyrgyzstan, 29 June 2011 – In spite of the heat, the smiles on the faces of the children performing their dance of welcome were genuine. They betrayed no hint of the psychological scars they may still be suffering.
Displaced by political conflict, Ivorian child refugees attend school at Liberia's Bahn camp
NIMBA COUNTY, Liberia, 24 June 2011 – Forty-year old Philippe Cheugui used to teach history and geography at a school in Danane, a town in western Côte d’Ivoire. He was a successful teacher and public spokesperson, an inspiration to many.
Goodwill Ambassador Shakira inspires Israeli and Palestinian children during school visit
JERUSALEM, 22 June 2011 – UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and global education advocate Shakira visited the Max Rayne ‘Hand-in-Hand’ School for Bilingual Education in Jerusalem yesterday, meeting with students to talk about the power of education.
UK Government boosts support for a more effective response to humanitarian crises
NEW YORK, USA, 16 June 2011 – Following a comprehensive review of its humanitarian response to natural disasters and armed conflicts, the Government of the United Kingdom has announced a series of steps to strengthen emergency-aid efforts worldwide.
UNICEF provides thousands of people displaced by Sudanese fighting with life-saving services
KHARTOUM, Sudan, 15 June 2011 – Ten days after hostilities erupted in and around Kadugli, the morning routine for the small UNICEF team still in the town has begun to take on a familiar feel.
In the city of Misrata, children bear the brunt of the ongoing Libyan conflict
MISRATA, Libya, 6 June 2011 – On a hospital bed in the besieged Libyan city of Misrata, five-year-old Malak Al-Shami flicks through pictures of her brother and sister on her father’s laptop. Three weeks ago the three children were asleep at home when a rocket smashed through the ceiling of their house.
In Geneva, young people launch 'Children’s Charter' for staying safe in disasters
GENEVA, Switzerland, 23 May 2011 – Children make up more than half the population in countries predicted to be most affected by climate change and are facing increasing impacts from tumultuous events. It is estimated that as many as 175 million children a year will soon be affected by disasters.
Weeks before Southern Sudan's independence, UNICEF helps children in troubled border areas
MALAKAL, Southern Sudan, 19 May 2011 – The bullet hole is high on the whitewashed wall of what is, in other respects, a perfectly normal conference room, the kind you might find in a UNICEF office anywhere in the world. But to the staff of UNICEF’s Malakal office, the broken plaster – and its ricochet in the frame of a map on the opposite wall – is a stark reminder of the challenges they face.
UNICEF helps provide counselling support for school children in post-crisis Côte d'Ivoire
ABIDJAN, Côte d’Ivoire, 18 May 2011 – The on-going political crisis in Côte d’Ivoire has had a tremendous effect on the country’s adolescents and children. Since the crisis began last November, more than 300,000 Ivorians have fled their homes.
In Timor-Leste, UNICEF joins government child-friendly efforts to rebuild education
LACLUBAR, Timor-Leste, 13 May 2011 – High along the mountainous spine of Timor-Leste, one of Asia’s poorest countries, children in the remote town of Laclubar head for class. Yet the tranquil setting of this quiet place, nestled under the canopy of tall trees, masks a darker history that is only now beginning to fade.
Hundreds of thousands of children return to school in Côte d’Ivoire
MAN, Côte d’Ivoire, 11 May 2011 – Ange Michel Kouakou, 13, is enjoying her first day back at school in Koumassi in the city of Abidjan. She’s only recently returned after escaping violence that hit her neighbourhood. For the last two months, she took shelter in her father’s village in eastern Côte d’Ivoire, where the situation was less tense.
Podcast #39: The role of education in protecting children when disaster strikes
NEW YORK, USA, 9 May 2011 – More than 175 million children are estimated to be affected each year by climate-related disasters. While coping with climate change is becoming essential, so is preparing future generations to deal with the aftermath of disasters and adapt to the ever-changing climate.
New UNICEF Iraq Ambassador Kadhum Al-Sahir highlights needs of the most deprived
BAGHDAD, Iraq, 9 May 2011 – Today, the Iraqi singer acclaimed worldwide as one of the great artists of contemporary Arabic music, Kadhum Al-Sahir, was appointed as the first-ever UNICEF Iraq Ambassador. Returning to Iraq for the first time in 14 years, Mr. Al-Sahir highlighted the need to focus on equity for Iraq’s most deprived children.
Thousands of displaced Ivorians return home to face new challenges
MAN, Côte d’Ivoire, 4 May 2011 – Reine Kpea Zehe, her husband and sister-in-law pack two heavy bags filled with cooking pans and clothes on to a small barge on the Liberian side of River Nuon, a 50-metre wide border with Côte d’Ivoire.
UNICEF kicks off a post-crisis measles immunization campaign in Côte d’Ivoire
DUÉKOUÉ, Côte d’Ivoire, 28 April 2011 – After four and a half months of conflict, Côte d’Ivoire is finally getting back on its feet with a renewed immunization drive.
Nine-year-old boy, injured in Misrata fighting, reflects risks facing Libyan children
BENGHAZI, Libya, 26 April 2011 – First there was an explosion, but what made Mr. Mohamed jump were the screams. Shrieks and cries have become frighteningly familiar for residents of the western Libyan city of Misrata, but this was a singular scream. This was the voice of Mr. Mohamed’s son, Mufteh.
Moroccan children send messages of solidarity to earthquake-hit Japan
RABAT, Morocco, 25 April 2011 – Hafsa Zerhouni, 10, understands what Japanese children are going through following last month’s earthquake, even though she lives thousands of miles away in Morocco.
UNICEF helps health centres re-open in aftermath of violence in Côte d’Ivoire
ABIDJAN, Côte d’Ivoire, 21 April 2011 – Health centres in Côte d’Ivoire’s economic capital Abidjan are progressively re-opening after weeks of near shutdown.
UNICEF delivers more supplies to embattled Misrata
AMMAN, Jordan, 20 April 2011 – A ship carrying UNICEF life-saving supplies reached the port of Misrata in western Libya today.
UNICEF on the ground in Benghazi, as Libyan children face increasing threat
BENGHAZI, Libya, 19 April 2011 – Before intense fighting engulfed the western Libyan city of Misrata some 50 days ago, Dava (not her real name), 5, would play dress-up and make beaded necklaces. In this, she was probably typical of most five year olds living in Misrata.
UNICEF unloads first supplies for families displaced by conflict in Côte d'Ivoire
NEW YORK, USA, 18 April 2011 – After four months of conflict, the dark clouds of political uncertainty are slowly clearing in Côte d’Ivoire. For the first time since the crisis began following presidential elections there last November, UNICEF was able to airlift medical, nutrition, education, water and sanitation supplies to the country this weekend.
UNICEF and partners respond as heavy rains displace tens of thousands in Namibia
ONDANGWA, Namibia, 13 April 2011 – A few sunny days offer some respite for citizens reeling from the impact of the worst floods in northern and central Namibia since 2008, and its heaviest recorded rains.
UNICEF supports the reconstruction of schools in Haiti
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 8 April 2011 – Reconstructing damaged or destroyed schools has been a UNICEF priority since last year’s earthquake. It’s one of the most effective ways of reintroducing normalcy to the shattered lives of children in this small Caribbean nation.
In Pakistan, UNICEF-supported temporary learning centres create opportunities for girls
LAYYAH DISTRICT, Pakistan, 6 April 2011 – Pakistan’s catastrophic flooding last summer is leading to a change in attitudes towards sending girls to school.
Deputy Executive Director calls for step up of emergency response for Ivorian refugees
GRAND GEDEH, Liberia, 4 April 2011- More than 100,000 Ivorians have fled to Liberia since last November’s disputed presidential election. About two-thirds are children, who are now in desperate need of food, clean drinking water, shelter, sanitation facilities and medical care.
UNICEF provides relief at the Egyptian border as thousands of families flee violence in Libya
SALLOUM, Egypt, 4 April 2011 – Escaping the crisis in Libya, tens of thousands of families have been arriving at the Salloum crossing on the Egypt-Libya border. Some have been travelling for days with little food and water as they struggle to head back to their countries of origin.
Executive Board members from UN agencies witness development efforts in the Philippines
GENERAL SANTOS CITY, Philippines, 1 April 2011 – From agro-forestry to parent skills initiatives, Executive Board members from various United Nations agencies this week saw how their programmes are helping the Philippines recover from years of armed conflict.
A young man holds on to his dream amid violence in Yemen
SANA’A, Yemen, 30 March 2011 – Ahmed Al-Sayyani, 17, is holding on to his aspirations, despite the violence in his country.
An adolescent girl maintains hope for a brighter future in earthquake-affected Haiti
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 30 March 2011 – It’s late afternoon and dark clouds hover, promising rain in the Haitian capital. Elisabeth Lambert, 16, joins her sister and a girlfriend for a walk through their neighbourhood, along streets still strewn with crushed cars and the rubble of collapsed buildings.
UNICEF supports child-friendly spaces on Tunisia-Libya border for children displaced by conflict
RAS JDIR, Tunisia, 28 March 2011 – Samia (not her real name), 7, is holding hands with other children as they move in a circle, singing a song in a child-friendly centre located in a medium size tent in the Shousha transit camp.
Major League Baseball and players association commit $500,000 to UNICEF toward Japan relief effort
NEW YORK, USA, 28 March 2011 – Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) are joining together to contribute $500,000 toward earthquake and tsunami relief efforts in Japan to UNICEF, and will be encouraging baseball fans to support the effort during Opening Week and dates following. In-stadium fundraising drives will allow fans to join MLB and the MLBPA in offering additional support to the relief efforts.
UNICEF Tunisia Representative visits a transit camp on the Tunisia-Libya border
RAS JDIR, Tunisia, 24 March 2011 – UNICEF Representative in Tunisia Maria-Luisa Fornara visited the Shousha transit camp on the Tunisia-Libya border today to review the emergency response to the crisis in Libya.
Japanese staff members from UNICEF head home to help with disaster response
NEW YORK, USA, 23 March 2011 – “If I can be useful, I prefer to go,” said UNICEF Intergovernmental Affairs Officer Miho Fukuhara, who is returning to Japan to help her home country recover from this month’s triple disaster.
UNICEF Executive Director offers sympathy and support to survivors of Japan quake tragedy
NEW YORK, USA, 14 March 2011 – UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake today issued a statement conveying the organization’s deep concern and support for the Japanese people in the aftermath of the disaster they have experienced in recent days.
Emergency support for migrants on the Tunisia-Libya border
RAS JDIR, Tunisia, 9 March 2011 – Desperate to earn money for her family, Joy left her four-year-old son in her mother’s care in Nigeria two years ago and moved to Libya to work as a cleaner. Now, seven and a half months pregnant, she is sitting in a camp at the Tunisia-Libya border, waiting for a plane to take her home.
Children struggle to access basic education as schools remain closed in Côte d’Ivoire
BOUAKÉ, Côte d’Ivoire, 9 March 2011 – Since last November’s disputed presidential election, many schools in Côte d’Ivoire have remained closed. There are now nearly 800,000 children waiting to get back to learning.
Building resilience: UNICEF launches '2011 Humanitarian Action for Children'
NEW YORK, USA, 7 March 2011 – UNICEF has launched a $1.4 billion dollar appeal to respond to increasingly severe humanitarian crises. This year’s ‘Humanitarian Action for Children’ report emphasizes the importance of helping vulnerable communities to prepare for disasters before they occur.
New report details armed conflicts’ toll on education and calls for boost in international aid
NEW YORK, USA, 3 March 2011 – More than 40 per cent of the world's out-of-school children live in conflict-affected countries, according to UNESCO’s newly released 2011 ‘Education for All’ Global Monitoring Report (GMR), which details how the humanitarian community is failing to provide critical educational needs to 28 million children around the world.
UNICEF and partners accelerate humanitarian response to Libyan crisis
NEW YORK, USA, 3 March 2011 – As tens of thousands flee into Egypt and Tunisia to escape the escalating conflict in Libya, UNICEF is sending relief supplies to help meet the immediate needs of women and children at risk. In support of this emergency effort, the organization is appealing for $7.2 million in additional funding.
UNICEF steps up efforts to vaccinate displaced women and children in Côte D'Ivoire
TIÉBISSOU, Côte d’Ivoire, 3 March 2011 – Since last November’s disputed presidential election, the political crisis in Côte d’Ivoire has deepened into an emergency.
Egypt's young people play critical role in defending rights and shaping the future
CAIRO, Egypt, 2 March 2011 – Passionate, mature, dignified, inspirational. These are just some of the words used to describe the youths who led the recent uprising in Egypt. Their actions show a new generation of young people who are pro-active in defending their rights and dignity.
UNICEF and partners deliver critical aid amidst harsh Pakistani winter
KOHISTAN DISTRICT, Pakistan, 18 February 2011 – United Nations helicopters quickly load UNICEF supplies – including children’s clothes and shoes, blankets, newborn kits and nutritional supplements – from the Pattan warehouse facility in Kohistan, one of the most flood-ravaged districts in Pakistan’s north-western Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province.
Psycho-social support for children caught in violence on Egypt's streets
CAIRO, Egypt, 22 FEBRUARY 2011 – UNICEF has launched a psycho-social support programme for children who were affected by violence during the uprising in Egypt in recent weeks.
Warnings on shortage of essential drugs amidst crisis in Côte d'Ivoire
KANI, Côte d’Ivoire, 3 February 2011 – Malaria is the leading cause of mortality among children under the age of five in this West African nation, and UNICEF is concerned that stocks of essential drugs to treat the deadly disease are in danger of running out in two to four weeks’ time.
Amidst political uncertainty, UNICEF supports yellow-fever immunization in Côte d’Ivoire
KATIOLA, Côte d’Ivoire, 31 January 2011 – Amidst a continuing political stalemate in Côte d’Ivoire, more than 800,000 people received life-saving injections against yellow fever last week. The mass immunization campaign was conducted in four health districts, with support from UNICEF, because 25 Ivorians have died from the disease since November.
Christian's story: A boy picks up the pieces, and remains optimistic, in post-quake Haiti
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 31 January 2011 – Christian Dubois, 16, stands with his mother, Estelle, at his side in the empty lot where their family home once stood. All that remains is a small section of crumbled wall.
Six months after floods struck, malnutrition hits hard in affected areas of Pakistan
SINDH PROVINCE, Pakistan, 27 January 2011 – The floodwaters that swept the length of Pakistan six months ago have abated to reveal a new humanitarian crisis: child malnutrition.
Going the extra mile: UNICEF supplies for the displaced reach western Côte d’Ivoire
MAN, Côte d’Ivoire, 24 January 2011 – Late last week, after an exhausting three-day drive across the country – a trip that was rerouted for security concerns – a UNICEF cargo truck safely offloaded emergency supplies for nearly 20,000 displaced people in western Côte d’Ivoire.
UNICEF and partners respond to a drought and nutrition emergency in Chad
MAO, Chad, 24 January 2011 – After four weeks in a hospital feeding centre, Fatime, 5, weighs 7 kg – less than half what a child her age should weigh. This is good news.
UNICEF helps protect vulnerable Haitian children in residential care centres
PORT-AU- PRINCE, 24 January 2011 – After the January 2010 earthquake – indeed, even before – some impoverished Haitian families chose to send their children to residential care centres in hopes of giving them a better life. But as the story of Amelie demonstrates, these hopes were not always met.
After floods and conflict, schools in Pakistan's Swat Valley welcome children back
KHYBER PAKHTUNKHWA, Pakistan, 21 January 2011 – As farmers busily work in their fields in the beautiful Swat Valley village of Sheen Patay – located in Pakistan’s troubled Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, where both conflict and floods have taken a toll – students excitedly rush to the newly renovated Government Girls’ Primary School.
Shasha's story: UNICEF revisits a Haitian girl in a camp for the displaced
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 19 January 2011 – When the UNICEF communications team caught up with Shasha Liza, 14, in early December, she was alone in a tent, cutting up chicken feet, which her mother would cook and sell on the streets. Shasha was still in the camp where she had been living since her home was destroyed in the January 2010 earthquake.
As floodwaters start to recede in eastern Sri Lanka, UNICEF supports displaced families
BATTICALOA, Sri Lanka, 18 January 2011 – It has been a week since flooding became severe in eastern Sri Lanka, and most routes still remain barely passable. To get to a remote village, we have to travel by boat.
UNICEF concerned about children living in shelters after Brazil floods
NEW YORK, USA, 17 January 2010—More than 600 people are dead and some 15,000 homeless after flooding in Brazil that is being described as the country’s worst natural disaster in decades.
Logistics specialists help UNICEF deliver nutrition supplements to Haitian children
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 17 January 2011 – It’s hard to overstate the life-saving role that nutritional supplements can play in bringing acutely malnourished children back from the brink in Haiti and around the globe.
Podcast #33: Cholera education in Haiti, one year after the earthquake
NEW YORK, USA, 14 January 2011 – The children of Haiti suffered multiple crises in 2010, from the 12 January earthquake to the devastation caused by Hurricane Tomas, and the outbreak of cholera in October – all of which seriously affected their access to education.
Strained resources for refugees from Côte d’Ivoire and their hosts in Liberia
NIMBA COUNTY, Liberia, 14 Jan 2011 – Sanata, 9, was home alone when chaos erupted in her village on the western border of Côte d’Ivoire. Just days after the Ivoirian presidential elections in late November, tension between the country’s political parties was heating up and violence was feared as both candidates claimed victory.
One year on, UNICEF revisits two young Haitian quake survivors and best friends
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 14 January 2011 – About a month after the earthquake in Haiti, a UNICEF communications team met and interviewed two best friends who survived the disaster: Miratson Guerrier, now 14, and his neighbour Ricardo Rocourt, 13. We recently revisited the boys to see how they and their families were faring.
UNICEF accelerates child survival efforts as Southern Sudan looks to rebuild
JUBA, Southern Sudan, 12 January 2011 – It is nearly daybreak outside Juba's El Shabbah Children’s Hospital, where a group have women wait patiently to be let in. Soon after sunrise, their patience is rewarded as the hospital springs to life like a well-oiled machine.
Hundreds of thousands displaced by floods in eastern Sri Lanka
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, 13 January 2011 – Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced and about two dozen killed by flooding in eastern Sri Lanka, where water levels in some areas are two metres higher than normal – and more heavy rains are forecast.
UNICEF and partners support Haitians living with HIV and AIDS after the quake
NEW YORK, USA, 12 January 2011 – In a Haiti still struggling to recover from last year’s devastating earthquake, evidence of UNICEF’s response to the HIV and AIDS epidemic there can be found in some unexpected places – even among children at play.
Panellists discuss working together to prevent sexual violence in Haiti
NEW YORK, USA, 11 January 2011 – Maricia Jean was raped and thrown into jail. Her son was brutally murdered, but she never made it to his funeral. She lived in hiding, fearing for her life and that of her remaining family members. And yet she is alive and taking action.
Education and health care help quake-affected children start fresh in a Haitian mountain village
JACQUOT, Haiti, 10 January 2011 – Until recently, health care and education facilities were non-existent in the Haitian mountain village of Jacquot, near the capital, Port-au-Prince. But 12 months after the earthquake that devastated this Caribbean nation, local residents now have both.
Podcast #32: Rebuilding Haiti’s education system one year after the earthquake
NEW YORK, USA, 10 January 2011 – UNICEF Radio podcast moderator Amy Costello spoke late last month with Carlos Vasquez, architect and UNICEF Education Specialist, and Tania McBride, UNICEF Communication Specialist, to find out how the education system in Haiti is managing to move forward a year after the earthquake that devastated the country’s schools, affecting millions of children.
A young returnee to Southern Sudan looks to the referendum and beyond
JUBA, Southern Sudan, 7 January 2011 – With the Southern Sudan referendum on independence scheduled for 9 January, hundreds of thousands of southerners are heading home to vote. While some have been assisted by the Southern Sudanese government, many others are returning on their own by rail, road, river and air.
A Haitian engineer helps UNICEF rebuild education from the ruins
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 7 January 2011 – From a hill in the densely populated Delmas area of Port-au-Prince – where vendors hawk household goods, charcoal, vegetables and multi-coloured paintings – there is a stunning postcard view of the ocean.
For children and families in Haiti, the long road from relief to recovery
NEW YORK, USA, 6 January 2011 – One year on, children in Haiti are still reeling from the lingering impact of the 12 January 2010 earthquake, the single largest catastrophe to hit the country in centuries.
UNICEF supports community mobilization to stop spread of cholera in Haiti
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 6 January 2011 – Even as it addresses the aftermath of the January 2010 earthquake, Haiti now faces a devastating cholera epidemic that has killed thousands and sickened many more.
Families in Haiti's Cité l’Eternel struggle to get through each day
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 6 January 2011 – Surrounded by her meagre possessions – a foam mattress, a blanket, a few pots, a bucket and a basin – Deliverance ‘Tite Soeur’ Boislo struggles to get through her daily chores in the two-room concrete shell that has been home to her family for months.
Income-generating programme keeps quake-affected families together in Haiti
LEOGANE, Haiti, 6 January 2011 – Far from the congested capital of Haiti lies Leogane, a provincial town that was near the epicentre of the January 2010 earthquake, which claimed more than 220,000 lives. Scenes of devastation still characterize the once-bustling seaside municipality.
At NYU, 'Design for UNICEF' students tackle information management for emergencies
NEW YORK, USA, 5 January 2011 – Information management in emergencies is a complex task. Whether the challenge is getting accurate map files, understanding where vulnerable populations are located or assessing supply inventories, data management is critical in any humanitarian response.
A mother in Haiti recalls the moments that changed her family's life
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 4 January 2011 – Ezana Tales is a mother three children – Jefflove, 11, Vekerson, 9, and Manoupnepha, 4 – who all survived the earthquake that struck Haiti last January. She recently recalled the trauma her family experienced during and after the disaster.
UNICEF in 2010: The year in review
NEW YORK, USA, 30 December 2010 – For UNICEF and the world’s children, the past 12 months have been marked by unprecedented difficulties and extraordinary opportunities. As 2010 draws to a close, it’s worth highlighting some of the moments that made this a year like no other.
Thousands of Ivorians flee political crisis, seeking refuge in Liberia
NIMBA COUNTY, Liberia, 28 December 2010 – Wonyen Basee, 12, describes her family’s ordeal – a three-day walk through the bush and across the border into Liberia – in wake of violence that has followed the presidential run-off in her native Côte d’Ivoire last month.
UNICEF and partners help educate children displaced by conflict in DR Congo
WALIKALE, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 20 December 2010 – Ujumbe Kiwabantu and her family were displaced by the conflict in DR Congo two years ago, when they fled their home and came to live with distant relatives in Walikale, a remote rainforest territory.
UNICEF and Japan support '1,000 Classrooms Project' in Afghan capital
KABUL, Afghanistan, 17 December 2010 – Girls and boys were thrilled with the recent inauguration of a new high school in the Afghan capital, built as part of a major project in which the government will construct over 1,000 new classrooms in 58 schools in and around Kabul. The project is supported by UNICEF and the Government of Japan.
UNICEF Executive Director brings a message of hope to Haiti's most vulnerable
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 16 December 2010 – In a surprise visit to Haitian capital, Executive Director Anthony Lake yesterday reaffirmed the commitment of UNICEF and other UN agencies to continue the fight against the cholera epidemic here, and encouraged Haitians themselves to take action against the disease.
After the floods in Benin, school year starts under harsh conditions
GANVIE, Benin, 16 December 2010 – In the past two months, Benin has experienced some of its worst floods since the 1960s. And now, students in the flood zone are returning to school under harsh conditions.
UNICEF supports emergency polio immunization efforts in Congo
POINTE NOIRE, Republic of Congo, 14 December 2010 - The Republic of Congo is carryibng out a three-round emergency immunization campaign launched in the wake of a deadly polio outbreak. Unusually, most of the victims have been young adults aged 15-29, pointing to inadequate or failing childhood vaccinations.
Millions displaced by devastating floods in Pakistan brace for winter without a home
PUNJAB PROVINCE, Pakistan, 8 December 2010 – Flood waters that have devastated one-fifth of Pakistan’s lands and affected the lives of more than 20 million people have been receding in most of the affected areas, but the misery left behind is indescribable. And now, at least 10 million displaced persons across the country are returning home to try to rebuild their shattered lives.
Nutrition in a time of cholera: A challenge for Haitian mothers and babies
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 6 December 2010 – In the cramped and squalid conditions of the tented city in Mais Gate, a camp for Haitians displaced by the January earthquake, baby Sebastian brings a sparkle to his mother Lucienne’s eyes.
Child-friendly centres help young victims of floods and conflict in north-western Pakistan
KHYBER PAKHTUNKHWA PROVINCE, Pakistan, 29 November 2010 – The floodwaters may have receded in Dera Ishmail Khan district’s Band Koray village, but the troubles of families returning home have multiplied. Here in north-western Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, the situation remains dire for millions who have lost what little they had.
UNICEF-supported campaign raises awareness about cholera prevention in Haiti
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 23 November 2010 – As Haiti’s cholera epidemic continues and hospitals here struggle with a mounting number of patients seeking help, UNICEF and its partners are conducting an information campaign to raise awareness about preventing the spread of the disease.
UNICEF supports efforts to fight malnutrition in Pakistan's flood-affected Sindh Province
THATTA DISTRICT, Pakistan, 22 November 2010 – The devastating monsoon floods that recently affected more than 20 million people in Pakistan – including 2.8 million children under the age of five – have brought many underlying problems to the surface. In a country that already had alarmingly high rates of malnutrition, the floods have made the situation worse.
UNICEF psycho-social teams bring relief to Palestinian children in East Jerusalem
EAST JERUSALEM, 22 November 2010 – In the West Bank and Gaza Strip, military occupation sets the tone of daily life. Children of all ages must cope with violence, confinement, lack of opportunity and economic hardship.
UNICEF Haiti stresses cholera prevention in overcrowded districts of Port-au-Prince
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 19 November 2010—Fabiula Deballe, 27, looks exhausted as she stands in front of a tented cholera treatment centre at the Gheskio clinic in Port-au-Prince, the Haitian capital. For three days, she has been sitting by her son’s bed who is recovering from cholera.
UNICEF supports a pitch for peace at cricket camp in war-torn Afghanistan
JALALABAD, Afghanistan, 15 November 2010 – In a city where girls are rarely seen on the streets without burquas, this past 11 October marked a special day for 140 girls here, as they donned cricket whites and took to the pitch to learn the basics of batting and bowling.
Temporary learning centres offer opportunities for children in Pakistan camps
BALOCHISTAN, Pakistan, 15 November 2010 – Sitting in her family’s tent, Reshma, 8, proudly shows her mother a textbook she received from the temporary learning centre – or TLC – here in a relief camp located at the Jaffarabad Flour Mill
UN appeals for funding as cholera outbreak worsens in Haiti
GONAÏVES, Haiti, 12 November 2010 – The death toll in Haiti's cholera epidemic has now climbed to some 800, with more cases reported in the capital, Port-au-Prince, and other areas outside the Artibonite Region where the outbreak originated. In response to the worsening situation, the United Nations has issued a new appeal for $163 million in donor aid.
Board game teaches Honduran schoolchildren about managing risk
TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras, 10 November 2010 – La Isla School was flooded and lost all its equipment last June, when Tropical Storm Agatha caused the nearby Choluteca River to overflow. But today, students at the school gather around Riesgolandia, or Riskland, a board game created by UNICEF that aims to instill a culture of risk management in the schoolchildren of Honduras – one of the Latin American countries where natural disasters are regular occurrence.
In Gonaïves, cholera cases increase in aftermath of Hurricane Tomas
GONAÏVES, Haiti, 10 November 2010 – After several 14-hour days battling a cholera epidemic in the coastal town of Gonaïves, the last thing Dr. Dieula Louissaint needed was a hurricane.
A Haitian mother struggles to provide her family with safe water
L’ESTERE, Haiti, 9 November 2010 – It is late morning in L’Estere, a small community in Haiti’s Artibonite region, north of the nation’s capital of Port-au-Prince. Igenice Merceda has arrived at the community hospital. She’s happy because today she will be taking home her son Godson Noel. Only yesterday, Igenice wasn’t sure if her son’s three siblings would ever see him alive again.
UNICEF supports mothers and children in flood-stricken Benin
COTONOU, Benin, 9 November 2010—When floodwaters inundated Vossa, a suburb of Cotonou, Lucie Zanou had to leave her house in the middle of the night carrying her two children. The floods destroyed most of her belongings and all of the crops she grew to support her family.
Amidst ongoing cholera crisis, UNICEF and partners respond to hurricane threat in Haiti
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 5 November 2010 – After the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti in January, coupled with a cholera epidemic over the past two weeks, Hurricane Tomas now poses yet another threat to the most vulnerable part of the country’s population – its children.
UNICEF constructs treatment centres to control the spread of cholera in Haiti
L’ESTERE, Haiti, 4 November 2010 – As tropical storm Tomas continues it’s ominous path towards Haiti, the possibility that it could strengthen into a hurricane poses a major threat to the beleaguered island nation. With over a million people living in temporary camps and an outbreak of cholera currently tearing its way north, Tomas – expected to pass over Haiti on Friday - would worsen an already dire situation dramatically.
UNICEF school kits support children returning to classrooms in flood-ravaged Benin
KPOTO, Benin, 4 November 2010 – As floodwaters slowly recede in Benin, the magnitude of the tragedy is being revealed. The recent floods here and elsewhere in West Africa have killed almost 400 people and affected 1.5 million. Children are the hardest hit.
Reintegrating 'restavek' children with their parents in post-earthquake Haiti
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 3 November 2010 – For the children at Foyer l’Escale, a UNICEF-supported children’s shelter, performance is a form of therapy.
Time is running out for marooned flood victims in a district of Pakistan's Sindh Province
DADU DISTRICT, Pakistan, 2 November 2010 – The recent floods in Pakistan have been particularly cruel to the Dadu district in the country’s southern Sindh Province. With nearly half its population of 1.3 million displaced, and virtually everyone in the region affected, providing much-needed supplies and medical assistance to flood victims has indeed been a monumental endeavor.
Haiti cholera response broadens to include focus on prevention in local communities
SAINT-MICHEL, Haiti, 1 November 2010 – A three-hour drive up a steep, bumpy road brings two vehicles filled with oral rehydration salts, intravenous fluid and other medical supplies to Saint-Michel, a small agricultural area 300 km north of Saint-Marc, the epicentre of Haiti’s cholera outbreak.
In the wake of Benin's flood crisis, support for the most vulnerable is essential
ZAGNANADO COMMUNE, Benin, 29 October 2010 – Constante Dagninhoun, 33, married and the mother of five young children, is among the 680,000 people affected by the floods that have wreaked havoc in Benin.
UNHCR airlifts tents as UNICEF focuses on safe water for flood victims in Benin
COTONOU, Benin, 28 October 2010 – In one of the first large-scale responses to a crisis that seemingly hasn't yet registered with much of the world, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees has airlifted thousands of tents for people displaced by the devastating floods in Benin.
UNICEF prepares for a potential cholera outbreak in Port-au-Prince
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 27 October 2010 – While efforts to contain the cholera epidemic are ongoing in the affected zones of the Artibonite region, UNICEF and its partners have been gearing up for a potential outbreak in Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince.
Emergency aid and long-term solutions meet cholera outbreak in northern Cameroon
MOKOLO, Cameroon, 27 October 2010 – At the temporary cholera treatment centre in Mokolo village, northern Cameroon – a series of specially built tents accommodating cholera patients – Aminatou, 14, lies listlessly on a bed, weak from days of severe diarrhea. An intravenous drip is in her arm to stave off extreme dehydration.
Lucie's story: A mother of two copes with life in flood-affected Benin
COTONOU, Benin, 26 October 2010 – Lucie Zannou, 30, lives in Vossa, a small suburb of Cotonou that has been devastated by the recent floods in Benin. Leaning on her makeshift shelter – a dilapidated old truck – she describes the horrific situation she and her two young children face daily in the wake of the disaster. As she speaks, she rubs her belly, sadly revealing that she is seven months pregnant.
UNICEF and partners work to contain the cholera outbreak in Haiti
ARTIBONITE, Haiti, 26 October 2010 – The worst is not yet over for Haiti. Ten months after a powerful earthquake devastated the country, a cholera epidemic has spread fear and misery. The outbreak is the country’s biggest medical crisis in recent years. At L‘Estere Medical Centre here in the country’s Artibonite Department, north of Port-au-Prince, the flow of new patients doesn’t seem to stop.
Psycho-social services help Pakistan flood survivors cope with devastation
KHYBER PAKHTUNKHWA, Pakistan, 26 October 2010 – In a disaster, it is always children who pay the highest price. For Umair, 7, a victim of the recent floods in Pakistan, that price was the tragic loss of his mother.
UNICEF steps up efforts to contain cholera in Haiti's Artibonite Department
SAINT-MARC, Haiti, 25 October 2010 – Val Voyalant , 10, and her sister Cledna, 3, live in the small community of Pisto, south of Dessaline and near the Artibonite River, the region most affected by the current cholera outbreak in Haiti. The two lie quietly on a hospital gurney against the back wall of an open room. Intravenous tubes feed their arms with a concentrated saline solution.
As cholera toll mounts in Haiti, UNICEF and partners aim to prevent wider outbreak
NEW YORK, USA, 25 October 2010 – Concern is growing in Haiti as the number of cases of acute diarrhoea caused by cholera continues to rise, and fear of a wider outbreak grows. Since the first cases were confirmed last week, a total of some 3,000 cholera cases and more than 250 deaths from the waterborne illness have been reported.
Podcast #30: Building hope for adolescent girls in post-earthquake Haiti
NEW YORK, USA, 20 October 2010 – As schools open for the new academic year in Haiti, the hope is to bring all boys and girls to school – both those who attended before the earthquake struck in January and those hardest to reach, who will go to school for the first time.
UNICEF Emergency Director spotlights successes and challenges in DR Congo
GOMA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 19 October 2010 – UNICEF Director of Emergency Programmes Louis-Georges Arsenault has just concluded a six-day trip to DR Congo that highlighted the challenges facing children and families here.
Pregnancy and childbirth support in Pakistan
THATTA, Pakistan, 19 October 2010 – When the floods hit the town of Belosheher in Pakistan’s southern province of Sindh last August, Haleema Gafoor, 20, was in the final weeks of her pregnancy. With waters quickly submerging their home, she and her family had no choice but to flee.
UNICEF and partners respond as floods inundate two-thirds of Benin's territory
COTONOU, Benin, 19 October 2010 – UNICEF, other UN agencies, non-governmental organizations and the Government of Benin are mounting a humanitarian response to massive flooding that has covered two-thirds of the country’s land mass.
Child-friendly spaces reach those with special needs in post-flood Pakistan
SINDH PROVINCE, Pakistan, 15 October 2010 – Rehana, 12, is a special needs child whose eyes have simply seen far too much misery for one so young. Having fled with her family from the floodwaters that submerged her home in Sindh province, Pakistan, she now lives in a poor area of the province where girls are isolated within their communities, have limited access to schools and cannot earn much.
Doctors in Kyrgyzstan learn new treatments to fight top child killer
OSH, Kyrgyzstan, 12 October 2010 – The lives of children in southern Kyrgyzstan, an area which suffered from recent civil strife, are now under another threat: diarrhoea.
Young flood survivors in Pakistan face an uphill struggle against malnutrition
MINGORA, Pakistan, 13 October 2010 – Last month, Najma Syed Ali Khan, 19, brought her seven-month-old daughter Rukhsar to the Nutrition Stabilization Centre at Saidu Teaching Hospital here in the Swat district of north-western Pakistan. Distressed and confused, Najma learned that the baby was not only severely malnourished but also suffered from gastroenteritis.
UNICEF report highlights advances in programming for education in emergencies
NEW YORK, USA, 13 October 2010 – In 2009, over 6 million children around the globe benefited from interventions to restore learning and improve the quality of education in countries affected by emergencies. As the world marks the International Day for Disaster Reduction today, a report released by UNICEF shows how education programmes in countries affected by conflict or natural disasters – and sometimes both – are overcoming odds and contributing to long-term development.
Water and sanitation are most urgent needs as Pakistan's flood crisis persists
THATTA, Pakistan, 11 October 2010 – There’s a cruel irony that hangs over Pakistan’s vast, tented camps in the wake of the country’s devastating floods. While water is what damaged or destroyed nearly two million homes and affected the lives of more than 20 million people just weeks ago, today water exactly is what those people need most.
Sports initiative in Bangladesh breaks down barriers to female participation
COX’S BAZAR, Bangladesh, 6 October 2010 – Outside her modest family home, made of bamboo and clay, Bappi Dey, 12, practices batting in preparation for a friendly cricket match in her neighbourhood, Hindupara. As an opener, her teammates always depend on her for good score.
On the first day of school, UNICEF provides support for earthquake-affected children in Haiti
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 5 October 2010 – For thousands of temporary residents of the Primature displacement camp in the Haitian capital, yesterday’s routine began as it has every day since the earthquake struck here in January. But for others, there was one major difference: It was a school day.
In Pakistan, UNICEF and partners promote hygiene in schools amidst conflict and floods
SWAT DISTRICT, Pakistan, 4 October 2010 – Water levels along the Swat River have returned to normal, but evidence of the devastation from recent floods is everywhere. Bridges, roads, schools, health facilities, water supply and sanitation systems in Swat Valley – which were already suffering from the effects of military conflict over the last two years – are severely affected.
A family's story: early flood warning saves lives in Pakistan
SUKKUR, Pakistan, 1 October 2010 – Samia sat under the shade tarp on a string bed with her son, Saddam, 2. The child writhed and wriggled in her arms.
UNICEF Executive Director makes first official visit to post-earthquake Haiti
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 30 September 2010 – Jant Garane and her four children have been living in a tiny shack at the Accra camp for displaced people since a massive earthquake devastated Haiti last January. The camp is home to more than 20,000 people, including some 8,000 children.
Despite challenges, UNICEF partners in Mogadishu strive to reach women and children
MOGADISHU, Somalia, 29 September 2010 – It is hard to think of a place where children are more at risk than Somalia.
Sports programmes lift youth spirits in post-earthquake Haiti
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 29 September 2010 - Fifteen year-old Simeon Kenson has a lot of worries.
In Pakistan's Swat valley, health workers reach out to women and children already struggling
SWAT VALLEY, Pakistan, 28 September 2010 - The scenic Swat valley in Pakistan’s northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province is facing a complex emergency situation. Since May 2009 military operations and conflict have ravaged the area and in July 2010 floods came, affecting some 3.8 million people in the province and devastating thousands.
As flood crisis persists, UNICEF provides health and education aid in southern Pakistan
THATTA, Pakistan, 27 September 2010 – Thatta, a town in southern Pakistan’s Sindh province, is one of the areas hardest-hit by the country’s recent floods. It is also home to the famous Makli Hills, a renowned burial place for some 125,000 Sufi saints.
Unique education in emergencies fund reaches out to the most vulnerable
NEW YORK, USA, 17 September 2010 – Representatives of the Government of the Netherlands, the European Commission and UNICEF met in New York this week to review progress achieved under an innovative programme to improve Education in Emergencies and Post-Crisis Transition.
In Pakistan's flood-devastated Sindh province, female health workers play key role
AGHA ALI JATOI, Pakistan, 15 September 2010 – A breeze whispers through a plantation of date palms in the small village of Agha Ali Jatoi, in Pakistan’s Sindh province. On the mud brick houses, watermarks – some up to two metres high – are silent reminders of the devastating floodwaters that have since receded in this tiny rural village of 900 people.
UNICEF supports emergency education for children displaced by floods in Pakistan
SUKKUR, Pakistan, 13 September 2010 – Over the past several weeks, monsoon floods in Pakistan have displaced millions and destroyed or damaged some 1.8 million homes and over 9,000 schools. The latest UN estimates place the total number of people affected at 20.5 million – including, of course, millions of vulnerable children and women.
Field Diary: A firsthand look at the devastating floods in Pakistan's Punjab province
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, 3 September 2010 – I accompanied UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake on his recent visit to flood-affected areas of Pakistan.
UNICEF and World Food Programme chiefs visit Pakistan's flood-stricken Punjab province
GUJRAT, Pakistan, 2 September 2010 – In a show of support for the victims of flooding in Pakistan, UNICEF and World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Directors Anthony Lake and Josette Sheeran visited the agencies’ humanitarian operations in the Muzzafargarh district of Punjab, one of the worst-affected provinces of the country.
UNICEF Executive Director visits Pakistan's flood-stricken Charsadda district
CHARSADDA DISTRICT, Pakistan, 31 August 2010 – UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake’s two-day visit to Pakistan, which wraps up today, has reflected the unprecedented scale of emergency the country faces, with more than 17 million people affected by floods caused due to exceptionally heavy monsoon rains.
UNICEF UK Ambassador Martin Bell says children are worst victims of Yemen crisis
AL-MAZRAQ, Yemen, 31 August 2010 – UNICEF UK Ambassador for Humanitarian Emergencies Martin Bell witnessed the horrifying impact of conflict on children when he visited northern Yemen recently. Fighting between government and rebel forces has raged in the region for several years, displacing thousands of families.
Podcast #29: Pakistan floods and education
NEW YORK, USA, 30 August 2010 – Pakistan has experienced some of the worst monsoon-related floods in history, devastating large parts of the country, wiping out towns and villages, and displacing entire communities. Millions of children have been affected, losing their homes, loved ones, and schools, leaving them vulnerable to disease and abuse.
As Executive Director visits Pakistan, UNICEF works to deliver safe water to flood zone
NEW YORK, USA, 30 August 2010 – Massive flooding continues to devastate Pakistan. Nearly 18 million people have been affected and about a fifth of the country remains underwater. The number of people killed has increased to almost 1,600 since the beginning of the flooding just over one month ago.
UNICEF Regional Director for South Asia visits relief camps in Pakistan
SUKKUR, Pakistan, 20 August 2010 – The extent of the misery and devastation caused by Pakistan’s recent flooding is unprecedented, said UNICEF Regional Director for South Asia Daniel Toole after visiting the area this week. The country is facing its worst disaster in more than 30 years.
UNICEF emergency aid arrives in Pakistan amidst continuing flood crisis
KARACHI, Pakistan, 12 August 2010 – As the worst natural disaster in living memory continues to unfold in Pakistan, a chartered airliner carrying 100 metric tonnes of UNICEF emergency relief arrived in the southern port city of Karachi early today. The shipment includes health kits, nutrition supplies, midwifery kits and tarpaulins for families affected by weeks of monsoon rains and flooding around the country.
Field diary: Six days in Pakistan flood zone
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, 15-19 August 2010 – This week UNICEF Regional Director for South Asia Daniel Toole has been visiting the provinces worst-affected by flooding in Pakistan. Here are his latest updates on the relief effort.
Urgent scale-up of interventions are urgently needed in flood-affected Pakistan
CHARSADDAH DISTRICT, Pakistan, 18 August 2010 – Flood waters have left behind a trail of destruction affecting some 20 million people in Pakistan, according to government estimates. In Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province in the country’s north-west, the floods have affected millions, with women and children representing the vast majority.
Scale of flood crisis in Pakistan unimaginable
PESHAWAR, Pakistan, 17 August 2010 – UNICEF Regional Director for South Asia Daniel Toole visited Pakistan’s Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province this week to survey the devastation caused by the country’s severe flooding.
In flood-devastated Pakistan, 3.5 million children are at risk of disease
KARACHI, Pakistan, 17 August 2010 – More than 3 million children are at high risk of deadly water-borne diseases in Pakistan, making them the most vulnerable victims of one of the worst natural disasters in history.
Displaced by floods now reaching southern Pakistan, families seek shelter and relief
SUKKUR, Pakistan, 10 August 2010 – The floods that have inundated north-western Pakistan in recent weeks have now moved south, expanding the emergency into Sindh Province as torrential monsoon rains continue across wide areas of the country.
Flood-affected women and children in north-western Pakistan urgently need aid
PESHAWAR, Pakistan, 6 August 2010 – “I spent four nights on top of a tree,” says Araba Bibi, 70, a widow from Jala Bela village on the outskirts of Peshawar in north-western Pakistan’s flood-ravaged Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province.
Aid workers focus on staving off disease outbreaks in Pakistan flood zone
NEW YORK, USA, 4 August 2010 – As relief efforts accelerate in provinces of north-western Pakistan inundated by torrential rains this week, floodwaters are slowly receding and some stricken areas are finally becoming accessible. The Government of Pakistan and its humanitarian partners – including UNICEF – are now assessing the full extent of crisis.
UNICEF and partners respond as food crisis in Niger reaches a critical level
GAZOURA, Niger, 3 August 2010 – Much-needed rains have begun falling across this parched West African country, breaking one of the most devastating droughts in memory. But Niger remains in the grip of a severe food crisis whose effects have been especially hard on women and children.
UNICEF responds as floods affect over 3 million in north-western Pakistan
NEW YORK, USA, 3 August 2010 – More than 1,400 people are dead and more than a million children are in need of emergency assistance after the worst floods to hit Pakistan in 80 years devastated large parts of the country in recent days. As floodwaters begin to recede, UNICEF and its partners are sending emergency aid to the flood zone.
Life in war-torn Yemen slowly returns to normal
SA’ADA, Yemen, 29 July 2010 – When you walk down the Al-Shara’a Al-A’am main road to the old town of Sa’ada, through the main gate of Bab Al-Yaman and pass by the ancient mosque of Emam Al-Hadi, you are immediately drawn into the past. The town, deeply rooted in history, used to be a beacon of Islamic teaching and a symbol of tolerance. From there you idle through the small but bustling ‘souq,’ or traditional market, and into the maze of the ancient mud houses where you can literally smell the scent of history.
UNICEF and partners open child-friendly spaces in Qinghai earthquake zone
BEIJING, China, 26 July 2010 – In the aftermath of the April 2010 earthquake that struck Qinghai Province's Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, UNICEF and the National Working Committee on Children and Women (NWCCW) have combined to establish four child-friendly spaces to support the long-term recovery and well-being of earthquake-affected children and women.
Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow visits Ugandan children affected by conflict
GULU and KOTIDO, Uganda, 16 July 2010 – UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow has made a round of visits to Uganda communities this week, in advance of her participation in the first-ever African Youth Forum, which begins tomorrow in Entebbe.
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Lionel 'Leo' Messi visits earthquake-ravaged Haiti
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 16 July 2010 – For the people of Port-au-Prince, the last six months have been fraught with difficulties in the wake of the catastrophic earthquake that left their lives in shambles. But while the images out of Haiti still show displacement and poverty, they were replaced yesterday – at least for a few hours – by a sense of uncontainable excitement, as Haitians poured into the streets to greet UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Lionel ‘Leo’ Messi.
New child-friendly schools bring new hope to communities in Sri Lanka
AMPARA DISTRICT, Sri Lanka, 15 July 2010 – Thousands of schoolchildren in Ampara district, eastern Sri Lanka, recently cheered in a new era in education, with marching bands playing and UNICEF flags waving during official ceremonies in their villages.
'Second-chance' examination for schoolchildren affected by conflict in South Darfur
SOUTH DARFUR, Sudan, 14 July 2010 – UNICEF and the Ministry of Education in the South Darfur region of Sudan have witnessed the successful completion of a key goal: providing a ‘second-chance examination’ for eighth-grade students affected by conflict in the locality of East Jabel Marra.
Child-friendly spaces for learning and playing without fear in Osh, Kyrgyzstan
OSH, Kyrgyzstan, 13 July 2010 – After weeks of violence in southern Kyrgyzstan, Osh is beginning to witness tiny signs of a return to normal life: The streets are filling up with people and cars. Some rush to the market to buy food, others go to visit their relatives and share their blankets and clothes with those who lost everything.
Podcast #27: Educating Haiti’s children, six months on
NEW YORK, USA, 12 July 2010 – Today marks the six-month anniversary of the earthquake that devastated Haiti, killing more than 220,000, displacing many more and severely affecting the education system.
Six months on, UNICEF reviews Haiti quake-relief milestones, and looks forward
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 12 July 2010 – Six months after the earthquake that ravaged Haiti on 12 January, UNICEF has released a detailed report chronicling relief efforts to date. Titled ‘Children of Haiti: Milestones and looking forward at six months,’ the report begins by implicitly asking the question: What did not happen following the earthquake?
On the ground in Haiti, after the quake
NEW YORK, USA, 9 July 2010 – Kent Page left New York for Port-au-Prince on 20 January, just over a week after the earthquake that shattered Haiti’s most densely populated areas – and the lives of its most vulnerable children. He had been asked to leave his UNICEF headquarters post for a month-long assignment as the agency’s chief media spokesperson in the Haitian capital.
UNICEF helps displaced families start afresh after violence in Osh, Kyrgyzstan
OSH, Kyrgyzstan, 6 July 2010 – Viewed from the hill that dominates the centre of Osh, it’s hard to imagine the violence that swept through this city in mid-June. The plumes of smoke that hung over the skyline have long since gone, but when you look more closely, you notice the blackened patches of entire neighbourhoods that were burned out.
Breaking the cycle: Iraqi refugee students in Syria need help to go back to school
DAMASCUS, Syrian Arab Republic, 6 July 2010 – Lulls in conversation with 16-year-old Iraqi refugee Gailan are soon filled with the gentle inhale-exhale of sleep. Outside, the Damascus streets are silent, except for the shuffling of those woken early by the intense morning heat.
Prince Harry's UNICEF visit reflects commitment to humanitarian aid
NEW YORK, USA, 29 June 2010 – As part of his official visit to New York this past weekend, Prince Harry of the United Kingdom visited the Emergency Operations Centre at UNICEF headquarters to see how the organization operates strategically during global crises.
UNICEF honoured for short film on 'Protecting Childhood' in Occupied Palestinian Territory
NEW YORK, 28 June 2010 – UNICEF has been honoured for its coverage of the challenges facing Palestinian children in ‘Protecting Childhood’, a short film that recently won the Award of Excellence in the 2010 Communicator Awards, which are sanctioned and judged by the International Academy of the Visual Arts.
As Uzbek refugees return to Kyrgyzstan, UNICEF airlifts aid to affected region
TASHKENT, Uzbekistan, 28 June, 2010 – Mashura Mamakhanova’s thumb and index finger seem impossibly large as they caress her daughter’s tiny hand in the incubator where the newborn sleeps. Born 10 weeks premature, the baby weighs just 900 grammes, but doctors at the Perinatal Centre in Andijan, Uzbekistan had no choice but to induce her birth.
Floods devastate north-eastern Brazil, destroying schools and displacing thousands
NEW YORK, NY, USA, 25 June 2010 – Severe floods damaged large areas of Pernambuco and Alagoas states in north-eastern Brazil this week. Residents continue to face the effects of heavy rains as authorities scramble to implement recovery efforts.
For displaced families in Kyrgyzstan, a difficult road back from the brink
BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan, 25 June 2010 – The civil unrest in southern Kyrgyzstan has not spared any household in Djalal-Abad province.
Letter from Mogadishu
NAIROBI, Kenya, 25 June 2010 – I went to Mogadishu to visit the UNICEF compound and spend time with our colleagues there. I was told that it was the first visit by a UNICEF Representative to the Mogadishu office since 2007, due to a deterioration of security conditions in the city.
Algeria's forgotten refugees: After 35 years, conditions in Sahrawi camps remain harsh
TINDOUF, Algeria, 24 June 2010 – “I want to become a teacher,” says Maimouna, 10. Yet in her fifth-grade math class, she is struggling to sum the three parts of her triangle. She finally does, with a little help from a classmate.
In post-earthquake Haiti, children's voices are integrated into reconstruction effort
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 21 June 2010 – Over the buzz of children chatting excitedly in Creole, nine-year-old Marie-Ange hunches over her poster paper, meticulously tracing the outline of a school. “This is the school of my dreams,” she says.
Aid reaches displaced and refugee families in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan
BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan, and KURGANPATA, Uzbekistan, 24 June 2010 – Despite concerns about security, UNICEF has organized a continuing airlift and overland distribution of supplies to people displaced by violence in Kyrgyzstan. At the same time, a significant proportion of the ethnic Uzbek families that fled the country into neighbouring Uzbekistan have now returned home – though thousands are still refugees.
UN and UNICEF take humanitarian action in response to Kyrgyzstan crisis
NEW YORK, USA, 18 June 2010 – As the crisis in Kyrgyzstan enters its second week, there are reports that violence against ethnic Uzbeks in the southern part of the country is gradually declining. However, the situation remains volatile and could still deteriorate.
Amidst violence in southern Kyrgyzstan, a mother and son seek refuge
BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan 16 June 2010 – At 3 a.m. last Sunday, Malika and her son Emil, 8, left their house in Osh, Kyrgyzstan. The moonless night concealed ruins and dead bodies scattered near their home. Caustic fumes spread from the neighbouring burning houses, reminders of the atrocities that had been raging in the town for days.
Refugees pour into camps in Uzbekistan, escaping Kyrgyz clashes
ANDIJAN, Uzbekistan, 16 June 2010 – Navruza, 14, seems calm but her eyes are full of sorrow. Along with her mother and two brothers, she managed to escape deadly clashes in the town of Osh, in southern Kyrgyzstan, and find refuge across the border in neighbouring Uzbekistan.
Call centre responds to needs of separated children in Haitian quake zone
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 15 June 2010 – “Hello, Separated Children Call Centre, how can I help you?” an operator asked. “Where exactly did you say the child is currently? He is at the health Centre? Did the child come by himself or was he brought in by someone? Thank you for calling – we will dispatch two case workers who will arrive at the centre in 30 minutes.”
UNICEF trucks supplies to ethnic Uzbeks fleeing violence in Kyrgyzstan
NEW YORK, USA, 15 June 2010 – UNICEF Representative in Uzbekistan Jean-Michel Delmotte has described a chaotic situation as thousands of ethnic Uzbeks, mostly women and children, flee ethnic violence in neighbouring Kyrgyzstan.
UNICEF supports resumption of education in China earthquake zone
BEIJING, China, 27 May 2010 – As relief pours into Yushu County, the epicentre of the 7.1-magnitude earthquake that struck China’s Qinghai province on 14 April, outlying areas on the Qinghai Plateau still require urgent attention.
In post-quake Chile, supporting the emotional recovery of children
SANTIAGO, Chile, 21 May 2010 – Nearly three months after Chile’s devastating 8.8-magnitude earthquake, a UNICEF-commissioned study has found that 93 per cent of children in the quake-affected region show signs of emotional stress. Most remember the quake in detail and many still fear another earthquake or tsunami.
Child-friendly space helps protect young survivors of Haiti earthquake
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 21 May 2010 – Over 100 young voices rise in harmony to affirm a common sentiment. “Sa ki pa nan espas n’ap voye yo ale,” they sing in Haitian Creole. “Those that do not belong in this space should be out of this place.”
Poverty, conflict and girls' right to education
New York, USA, 20 May 2010 – More than half of the 72 million primary school-aged children out of school are girls. These children mostly come from the world’s poorest communities and, in many cases, from nations with long histories of conflict.
Judith's story: In the face of grief, education brings hope in Haiti
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 14 May 2010 – On the day of the quake, Ms. Lambert, our school director, sent us home early. I usually stayed after class to help clean the trash in the schoolyard. But that day, Ms. Lambert had heard that not far from our school a university teacher had been killed and there was fear of rioting. She insisted that we rush home and not linger on the streets.
Social mobilizers throughout Haiti spread the word about vaccines
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 12 May 2010 – Haiti is still struggling to cope with the aftermath of the devastating 12 January earthquake, which claimed more than 200,000 lives, destroyed schools, homes, and water and sanitation systems, and left more than 1 million people homeless.
After alarming rise, UNICEF calls for release of Somali child soldiers
NEW YORK, NY, USA, 7 May 2010 – As reports warn of an alarming rise in the recruitment of child soldiers in Somalia, UNICEF and the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict are calling on all parties to put an immediate end to this criminal practice.
Field diary: Returning to Haiti, UNICEF staffer finds hope
PANAMA CITY, Panama, 5 May 2010 – I have just returned from Haiti, my first visit there since witnessing the indescribable destruction just after the 12 January earthquake.
Vaccination Week of the Americas targets 44 countries, including Haiti
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 5 May 2010 – Countries in Latin America and the Caribbean are wrapping up the annual Vaccination Week of the Americas, an initiative covering 44 countries and territories in North, Central and South America and the Caribbean. In Haiti alone, an estimated 60,000 children under the age of five were immunized last week.
‘Beyond School Books’ – a podcast series on education in emergencies
NEW YORK, USA, 3 May 2010 – Every day, despite significant risks to their safety, journalists bring stories from disasters and conflict zones to people around the world. These stories can shape the international response to humanitarian emergencies and, ultimately, have an impact on the lives of children.
Survivors recount earthquake's toll on schools in Qinghai Province, China
JIEGU, China, 26 April 2010 – When this small town in remote western China was hit by an earthquake on 14 April, 13-year-old Sangqiuyixi was sweeping the floor of her classroom at Yushu No.2 Ethnic High School. He broke the window and managed to escape.
‘Beyond School Books’ – a podcast series on education in emergencies
NEW YORK, USA, 21 April 2010 – The global economic downturn, escalating conflicts and widespread disasters threaten to reverse advances made in the last decade in increasing enrolment and reducing the gender gap in schools around the world.
Chilean earthquake takes a toll on education and security
NEW YORK, USA, 16 April 2010 – More than six weeks after a major earthquake struck Chile, survivors in some areas are resuming their normal routines. For young people, that means getting back to regular classes.
Field Diary: Camp's children excited about return to learning in Haiti
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 31 March, 2010 – You only have to mention the word 'school' and a sparkle comes into Taïma Celestin's dark brown eyes. It's not hard to understand why. The scheduled reopening of Haiti's schools on 5 April will be the first real opportunity for this confident 10-year-old to leave what is today her home – a tiny lean-to covered with a blue tarpaulin in a former sports ground in the suburbs of Port-au-Prince.
Rescued by a neighbour, a young Haitian earthquake survivor dreams of normalcy
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 29 March 2010 – When the earth began to shake on 12 January 12, Rachel Lunique, 17, sprinted out the door of her family's second-floor apartment. Rachel was just a few steps from the safety of the street, when she heard the desperate cries of the woman in the apartment next to hers.
After the earthquake, protecting Haitian women and girls from violence
ANSE-A-PITRE, Haiti, 29 March 2010 – The effects of the earthquake that struck Haiti some two and a half months ago have reverberated across the country. Both in and beyond the capital, Port-au-Prince, progress made in tackling long-standing human rights issues – including the problem of gender-based violence against women and girls – seems a distant memory.
UNICEF works to reunite children with their families in Haiti
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 24 March 2010 – We met eight-year-old Jefferson (not his real name) at a reception centre in the heart of Haiti’s shattered capital. Jefferson had spent two weeks at the centre, one of perhaps thousands of children who became separated from their families in the aftermath of the massive earthquake of January 12.
Former US President Bill Clinton praises crisis response by UN and UNICEF in Haiti
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 24 March 2010 – During a visit to Haiti yesterday, former US President and UN special envoy Bill Clinton praised the United Nations for its response to the devastating 12 January earthquake, saying now was the time to help the country escape its impoverished past and build a better future.
UNICEF partner ‘Heal Africa’ treats survivors of sexual violence in eastern DR Congo
NEW YORK, USA, 23 March 2009 – In the war-ravaged eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, UNICEF is working with Heal Africa, a local non-governmental organization, to provide free health and psycho-social services to survivors of rape and gender-based violence.
UNICEF Regional Director highlights challenges for girls in visit to Afghanistan
KABUL, Afghanistan, 23 March 2010 – UNICEF Regional Director Dan Toole has highlighted the challenges facing children and families during a six day visit to Afghanistan.
Tropical storm Hubert leaves dozens dead and thousands affected in Madagascar
MANANJARY DISTRICT, Madagascar, 19 March 2010 – One week after tropical storm Hubert wreaked havoc on south-eastern Madagascar coastal towns, the flood waters have receded and families are returning to their homes in the district of Manajary.
'Beyond School Books' - a podcast series on education in emergencies
NEW YORK, USA, 17 March 2010 – The earthquake that shook Chile on 27 February reportedly killed hundreds of people and caused widespread damage to homes, hospitals, schools, roads and other infrastructure.
Emergency assistance reaching thousands after landslides in Uganda
BUDUDA DISTRICT, Uganda, 16 March 2010 – Two weeks after deadly landslides engulfed three villages in eastern Uganda, emergency assistance is reaching those who need it. But continued heavy rains and flooding have raised the fear that similar landslides may occur in neighbouring districts.
Field Diary: A family reunited after the earthquake in Haiti
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 12 March 2010 – On assignment as a UNICEF photographer in Haiti, I had the pleasure of meeting five-year-old Sterling Vincent – a child who had been separated from her family in the aftermath of the 12 January earthquake. I only came to know her over two days, and yet her joy, grit and determination will stay with me forever.
After the quake, Haiti braces for storm season
NEW YORK, 10 March 2010 - As Haiti begins to dig itself out of the rubble of January's earthquake, UNICEF and its partners there are preparing to face another challenge – the rainy season.
Panel cites women's critical role in building sustainable peace in Afghanistan
NEW YORK, USA, 9 March 2010 – More than eight years after the fall of the Taliban regime, the women of Afghanistan still face enormous challenges. Perhaps the most daunting of these are the continuing violence and insecurity that disproportionately impede women's access to essential rights and services for themselves and their children.
UNICEF and partners stand ready to help after massive earthquake strikes Chile
NEW YORK, USA, 1 March 2010 – UNICEF and its UN partners are monitoring events and stand ready to help in the aftermath of an 8.8-magnitude earthquake that shook Chile early Saturday, 27 February.
Young campers find healing after Typhoon Pepeng in the Philippines
LA TRINIDAD, Philippines, 23 February 2010 – Harry, age 10, and 84 other children from Sto Nino Elementary and Pre-school recently took part in a two day resiliency camp at Benguet State University, which was organised by the Sunflower Children's Centre, a long-time UNICEF partner.
A Haitian father's account of the earthquake and its aftermath
FOND PARISIEN, Haiti, 19 February 2010 – Dieuveil Marcelin Aristide and his son Lemark, 12, are encamped in a small tent with a dozen other strangers located some 50 km from their former home in Port-au-Prince, the Haitian capital.
‘Baby tents’ offer quake-affected Haitian mothers a safe place to breastfeed
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 18 February 2010—Amidst the collapsed buildings and temporary camps of this battered city stand 12 special tents dedicated to providing mothers and their infant children a safe and calm place to breastfeed.
Field Diary: Children’s ward treats Haitian quake survivors in the Dominican Republic
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic, 18 February 2010 – The moment I arrived at the children's ward at Dario Contreras Hospital, I heard cries from the wounded. About a dozen injured young people lay in one room, some crammed two to a bed. Some had a parent by their side, some were alone.
UNICEF Executive Director meets quake-affected children and families in Haiti
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 5 February 2010 – UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman visited the Haitian capital yesterday, meeting with UNICEF staff, g overnment leaders and survivors of the massive earthquake that struck here on 12 January.
UNICEF Humanitarian Action Report 2010 emphasizes power of partnerships
NEW YORK, USA, 4 February 2010 – As much of the international community continues to focus attention on the disaster in Haiti, UNICEF's flagship Humanitarian Action Report emphasizes the critical role of partnerships in assisting vulnerable children and families caught in crisis situations worldwide.
Radio provides a vital link to families amidst the children's emergency in Haiti
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 2 February 2010 – A cacophony of songs and voices drifts from the tented camp as thousands of handheld radios transmit entertainment and, more important, information.
Focus on Haiti: A UNICEF photographer bears witness to the children's emergency
NEW YORK, USA, 1 February 2010 – Award-winning freelance photographer Roger LeMoyne has been taking pictures for UNICEF since 1990, and has spent a great deal of time on assignment in Haiti. He was one of the first photographers to arrive in the country after the earthquake struck on 12 January.
A day in the life of UNICEF staff members on the ground in Haiti
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 1 February 2010 – UNICEF has maintained a presence in Haiti since 1949. The earthquake that struck this country with such disastrous force on 12 January has significantly affected the agency’s capacity to respond, but staff members have been adapting to difficult conditions on the ground.
Helping Haiti's orphaned and separated children find their families
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 29 January 2010 – Rodrigue wipes away his tears and carries on talking. It's an astounding act of bravery for the 12-year-old Haitian boy, who saw his parents die in the 12 January earthquake here.
UNICEF overcomes logistical challenges to help hundreds of thousands in Haiti
NEW YORK, USA, 28 January 2010 – More than two weeks after a powerful earthquake struck Haiti, UNICEF's emergency relief effort is reaching hundreds of thousands of survivors. As of last night, 13 planes had brought health, nutrition, and water-and-sanitation supplies to Haiti and the neighbouring Dominican Republic.
Return from Haiti: UNICEF staffer reflects on the children’s emergency
PANAMA CITY, Panama, 28 January 2010 – After a week in Port-au-Prince immediately following the earthquake, it was time for me to return home. Entering the city had been an ordeal; leaving was just as stressful.
Third camp opens to accommodate displaced communities in northern Yemen
HARADH, Yemen, 20 January 2010 – Hundreds of displaced people have begun moving into a new displacement camp in al-Mazrak. This community in north-western Yemen has received tens of thousands of people in the past few months.
UNICEF and partners provide safe water for Haitian children and families
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 26 January 2010 – Two weeks after the earthquake that devastated Haiti, UNICEF continues to reach children with life-saving support, including urgently needed safe water.
Charlie's ride: London boy, 7, gets on his bike to raise £150,000-plus for Haiti appeal
LONDON, United Kingdom, 26 January 2010 – In a stirring example of the generosity seen worldwide in the aftermath of the 12 January earthquake in Haiti, Charlie Simpson, 7, has raised tens of thousands of British pounds for children in Haiti by completing a five-mile sponsored cycle around his local park.
To help Haiti’s children heal, build back education better than before
NEW YORK, USA, 25 January 2010 – With nearly half of the country's population under the age of 18, children have been significantly affected by the 12 January earthquake in Haiti. Schools have been destroyed, and children are taking shelter in camps for the displaced. Many have been orphaned or separated from their families.
Crisis response continues in Haiti, with an eye on challenges that pre-date the quake
NEW YORK, USA, 24 January 2010 – Aid is reaching children in parts of Haiti devastated by the 12 January earthquake, but huge humanitarian challenges remain. Many of the disaster’s worst effects – including its impact on child health and safety – are aggravated by the country’s longstanding impoverishment and instability.
A young Haitian earthquake survivor uses art to cope with disaster
NEW YORK, USA, 22 January 2010 – Until their home was destroyed in last week’s earthquake, Bruno Rene, 18, lived with his mother in the southern Haitian port city of Jacmel. Since then, Bruno, an aspiring artist, has been working on art projects to cope with the impact of the disaster.
Young, injured Haitian quake survivors cross Dominican border for treatment
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic, 21 January 2010 – Nine days after the earthquake that devastated Haiti, UNICEF is delivering life-saving support to children and families in need. Several planeloads of aid have landed in Haiti and the neighbouring Dominican Republic. Half a dozen more supply flights are scheduled to arrive before the end of the week.
The stars come out for Haiti relief
NEW YORK, USA, 23 January 2009 – The two-hour, star-powered ‘Hope for Haiti Now’ global concert benefiting Haiti earthquake relief – broadcast last night – featured more than 100 artists, many of whom have shown a long-time commitment to supporting UNICEF’s work in emergencies.
Sebastien’s story: A young Haitian earthquake survivor speaks
NEW YORK, USA, 21 January 2010 – The earthquake in Haiti has wiped out the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people and crippled essential services for some 3 million Haitians from all walks of life – ranging from the desperately poor to middle-class and the affluent.
Delivering supplies and protecting children in the Haiti earthquake zone
NEW YORK, USA, 20 January 2010 – A powerful aftershock struck Haiti early this morning, adding to the stress of children and families affected by the 12 January earthquake there but apparently causing little further damage. Relief operations are ongoing.
Field Diary: Supplies and protection for unaccompanied children in Haiti
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 19 January 2010 – One week has gone by since an earthquake turned what was already a desperately poor part of the world into a full-fledged humanitarian emergency. The race against time to bring relief to the people of Haiti continues.
Donors worldwide support Haiti relief efforts of UNICEF and partners
NEW YORK, USA, 19 January 2010 – As the full magnitude of the crisis in Haiti continues to unfold, donors have rushed to provide UNICEF with funding to meet the needs of children and families at risk.
UNICEF steps up efforts to protect child health and safety in Haiti quake zone
NEW YORK, USA, 17 January 2010 – Thousands have died, an unknown number are injured and an estimated 300,000 are homeless following the earthquake that struck Port-au-Prince and other densely populated areas of Haiti on 12 January, affecting a total of more than 3 million people.
UN and UNICEF launch aid appeal to overcome massive challenges in Haiti quake zone
NEW YORK, USA, 15 January 2010 – The people of Port-au-Prince and other areas affected by this week's devastating earthquake in Haiti are living outdoors, surrounded by the ruins of their homes. Picking through the rubble, they try to salvage what they can from a tragedy that defies comprehension.
Angélique Kidjo appeals for Haiti earthquake relief donations
NEW YORK, USA, 15 January 2010 – UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Angélique Kidjo has added her voice to the global call for donations to bring urgently needed assistance to the children of Haiti and their families. The singer and activist took time out from her European concert tour to record a fundraising appeal in Paris.
Aid begins to arrive in Haiti for earthquake survivors in dire need
NEW YORK, USA, 14 January 2010 – UNICEF is part of a massive international relief effort now under way to assist up to 3.5 million people affected by Tuesday’s 7.2-magnitude earthquake in Haiti.
Supplies on the way to survivors of the earthquake in Haiti
NEW YORK, USA, 13 January 2010 – The first shipment of UNICEF supplies for survivors of yesterday’s devastating earthquake is on its way to Haiti. The emergency aid is urgently needed, as basic services and infrastructure in the western hemisphere’s poorest nation were already close to collapse even before the 7.0-magnitude quake struck.
UNICEF gears up relief efforts for earthquake-stricken Haiti
PANAMA CITY, Panama, 13 January 2010 – Despite heavy damages to its own offices in Port-au-Prince, UNICEF is ready to provide immediate support to the victims of the unfolding humanitarian crisis following the earthquake that hit Haiti yesterday.
‘Build back better’ has made concrete improvements for children five years after the tsunami
NEW YORK, USA, 22 December 2009 - ‘Building back better’ has been the mission of UNICEF’s recovery work in the countries that were devastated by the Indian Ocean tsunami five years ago.
Salvadoran floods test resilience of families and effectiveness of humanitarian aid
LA LIBERTAD, El Salvador, 11 December 2009 – Ismael Linares, 13, put a brave face on the story of how his family fled for their lives in the floods that struck El Salvador in early November. In the tiny hamlet of Melara, he pointed to a stretch of rocks and barren ground – all that remained of the houses where he and his relatives used to live.
‘Beyond School Books’ – a podcast series on education in emergencies
NEW YORK, USA, 10 December 2009 – This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, yet challenges remain in ensuring that its promise becomes a reality for all of the world’s children.
European Commission, European Union and UNICEF reaffirming Afghan child rights
KABUL, Afghanistan, 8 December 2009 – Representatives for the European Commission, the European Union and UNICEF came together late last month to sign a joint Declaration that reaffirmed the importance of child rights in Afghanistan. The conference was part of the month-long worldwide celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).
Displaced Yemeni children face nutrition, health and education challenges
NEW YORK, USA, 7 December 2009 – In Yemen, where more than half of all children show signs of stunting – a consequence of chronic nutritional deprivation – UNICEF is working to address the serious nutrition problems facing many children displaced by ongoing conflict in the northern part of the country.
UNICEF and the Embassy of Denmark launch refurbished water plant in drought affected central Syria
SALAMIEH, Syria, 2 December 2009 – Syria is experiencing a severe drought that is jeopardizing the livelihoods of thousands of families. After a second straight year of poor rainfall, this country in the heart of the fertile crescent is, in places, becoming barren.
Schools adapt and continue despite post-typhoon flooding in the Philippines
MANILA, Philippines, 25 November 2009 – Most schools in metropolitan Manila have reopened after four typhoons caused massive flooding in September and October, but teachers and students in the flood zone are still in urgent of school supplies.
Child Health Days reach displaced communities in Somalia’s Afgoye Corridor
NAIROBI, Kenya, 24 November, 2009 – For the first time ever, a Child Health Days campaign has reached displaced children and women in Somalia’s Afgoye Corridor, a 30 km stretch of road west of Mogadishu that is the world’s most densely populated settlement for the displaced.
UNICEF Deputy Executive Director urges stepped-up response to crisis in Somalia
NAIROBI, Kenya, 19 November 2009 – Time is running out for children in Somalia. The number of people affected by hunger and severe food insecurity has doubled in the last year to more than 3.6 million. Almost half are children. Without immediate funding, UNICEF will have to close many feeding centres for undernourished children.
Therapeutic feeding saves children’s lives in drought-stricken Ethiopia
ANJA JAFFA, Ethiopia, 13 November 2009 - Almaz Kare, 20, a mother of two, watches as her four-year-old daughter Masento finishes the sachet of ready-to-use-therapeutic food.
Mothers encouraged to breastfeed in aftermath of Philippines flooding
MANILA, Philippines, 12 November 2009 – Some seven weeks after Tropical Storm Ketsana – known locally as Ondoy – caused massive flooding in the Philippines, thousands remain homeless. Many of the displaced are families with young children, pregnant mothers and newborn babies.
Breastfeeding encouraged for quake-affected Indonesian mothers
PADANG, Indonesia, 4 November 2009 – The stacks of formula milk in a former ballroom in the city of Padang, West Sumatra, had to be quickly removed. Though generosity motivated local companies to donate these supplies in response to the 30 September earthquake here, such donations could have proved fatal.
Vanessa Redgrave gives benefit performance to support children in Gaza and southern Israel
NEW YORK, USA, 29 October 2009 – Legendary thespian, tireless advocate for human rights and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Vanessa Redgrave gave a special benefit performance of ‘The Year of Magical Thinking’ this week in New York.
Conflict intensifies as winter closes in on displaced families in Pakistan
NEW YORK, USA, 26 October 2009 – Women and children in north-western Pakistan are once again on the move because of conflict in the region.
Funding shortfalls may threaten critical humanitarian assistance in Somalia
NEW YORK, USA, 21 October 2009 – UNICEF officials worry that funding shortfalls may threaten the humanitarian assistance activities that are urgently needed for roughly 3.6 million people in Somalia, including for 1.4 million affected by severe drought and about 1.5 million displaced primarily by conflict.
Restoring normalcy for children in aftermath of tropical storm Ondoy
PASIG CITY, Philippines, 19 October 2009 – The flood waters that still inundate much of the Philippines' capital have become black with waste and garbage, a daily reminder of tropical storm Ondoy, which struck the country on 26 September.
Tsunami-affected children head back to school in Samoa
APIA, Samoa, 12 October 2009 – UNICEF is working closely with the Samoan Government’s Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture to ensure that tsunami-affected children are able to resume their education as soon as possible.
UNICEF delivers life-saving hygiene kits in West Sumatra earthquake zone
TANJUNGSARI, Indonesia, 9 October, 2009 – Children and families in Tanjungsari, a hamlet located in the Agam District of Indonesia’s West Sumatra province, recently endured three successive – and massive – natural disasters.
UNICEF Executive Director visits flood-stricken Philippines
MANILA, Philippines, 8 October 2009 – UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman visited the Philippines yesterday to see the damage done by Tropical Storm Ondoy and subsequent massive flooding.
Cameroon trains teachers on HIV education in primary schools
NEW YORK, USA, 5 October 2009 – According to UNAIDS, some 500,000 people in Cameroon are living with HIV. To help prevent and combat the further spread of infection, the government has begun integrating HIV/AIDS education into the country’s formal primary school curriculum, making it mandatory for children from 6 to 12 years of age.
Learning provides hope amidst the rubble in quake-stricken West Sumatra
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 5 October 2009 – Less than a week ago, the children of Padang, in Indonesia's West Sumatra province, were standing amidst the devastation of an earthquake that had destroyed buildings, caused massive landslides, blocked roads and shattered the water supply. They talked to aid workers of their fears: that more shocks would hit the town, that their homes – if still standing – would fall, that their lives would forever be changed for the worse.
‘Beyond School Books’ – a podcast series on education in emergencies
NEW YORK, USA, 5 October 2009 – In some parts of the world, teaching can be a deadly profession. To commemorate World Teachers’ Day, which is being observed today, UN and UNICEF Radio moderator Amy Costello recently spoke with two experts about targeted attacks on teachers in Colombia and southern Thailand, and their devastating impact on education.
In Syria, ‘capoeira’ helps Palestinian-Iraqi children heal psycho-social wounds
AL-TANF CAMP, Syrian Arab Republic, 2 October 2009 – In al-Tanf, a refugee camp set up in the no-man's-land near the Syrian-Iraqi border, Palestinian children who have fled the conflict in Iraq participate in various activities designed to help them heal their psycho-social wounds.
Triple punch tests disaster preparedness in Asia-Pacific region
NEW YORK, 2 October 2009 – A convergence of severe natural disasters has left millions of people in distress across Asia and the Pacific this week. Since 26 September, a total of six countries have been hit by flooding, a typhoon, a tsunami and earthquakes.
In the storm-stricken Philippines, a true story of a mother’s love
MANILA, Philippines, 1 October 2009 – It was a day that would be etched forever in Lea Mariano’s memory. On 26 September, she and 90 million other Filipinos went about their day in the usual fashion: enjoying a typical Saturday with family, running errands, going to the mall or taking care of their babies.
UNICEF and partners respond to flood crisis in the Philippines
NEW YORK, USA, 5 October 2009 – More than 200 people have died, and hundreds of thousands have been displaced from their homes, due to flooding triggered by Tropical Storm Ondoy in and around metropolitan Manila in the Philippines just over a week ago. Additional flooding affected rural areas this past weekend as another storm, Parma, struck primarily in northern Luzon province.
Floods devastate Agadez region of northern Niger with lingering effects
AGADEZ, Niger, 25 September 2009 – Unprecedented rainfall has led to severe flooding in northern Niger's Agadez region in recent weeks.
Humanitarian access still limited by conflict in Yemen
NEW YORK, USA, 23 September 2009 – Humanitarian access is still limited in northern Yemen, where over 100,000 people have been displaced by fighting between government and rebel forces.
UNICEF Regional Ambassador Mahmoud Kabil visits Palestinian children at risk
JERUSALEM, 17 September 2009 – UNICEF Regional Goodwill Ambassador and Egyptian actor Mahmoud Kabil has visited the Occupied Palestinian Territory to raise awareness about the situation of marginalized Palestinian children, especially Bedouins.
Liberia’s first post-war generation starts primary school
GANTA, Liberia, 11 September 2009 – Salomie Kieah is one of many six-year-old children starting school this month in Liberia. After a final adjustment to fit her new uniform and a stop at the stationery shop to buy supplies, she is ready for her first day in primary school.
Children need urgent assistance as conflict intensifies in Yemen
NEW YORK, USA, 9 September 2009 – As the violent conflict in northern Yemen enters its second month, UNICEF has called on all parties to allow aid agencies immediate, unconditional access to civilians caught in the fighting.
UNICEF Executive Director hears stories of hope amidst conflict in eastern DR Congo
BUKAVU, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 31 August 2009 – The deep, ongoing problems facing women and children in eastern DR Congo have been highlighted during the visit by UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman.
Children and families in DR Congo face multiple crises
NEW YORK, USA, 28 August 2009 – The situation facing children and families in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo was critical enough as they faced increasing conflict and insecurity in recent years, “but at this moment the country is facing three major crises,” says UNICEF Deputy Representative in DR Congo Steven Lauwerier.
UN and UNICEF issue appeal for Yemeni families displaced by conflict
NEW YORK, USA, 2 September 2009 –UNICEF has appealed for international help for the more than 100,000 people fleeing conflict between government and rebel forces in northern Yemen.
Executive Director joins NBA star to launch new health facilities in DR Congo
KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 26 August 2009 – As this country tries to recover from years of civil war and unrest, the Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital (BMMH) offers hope in an impoverished Kinshasa neighbourhood.
UN report finds crisis in Somalia at its worst in two decades
NEW YORK, USA, 26 August 2009 – A new report confirms a stark picture of the situation facing children and families in Somalia, where UNICEF has been stymied in its efforts to slow a surge in malnutrition in parts of the country most affected by escalating violence.
Essential supplies being delivered to conflict-affected families in Yemen
SANA'A, Yemen, 21 August 2009 – Sa'ada – about 240 kilometres north of the capital of Sana'a – has been embroiled in conflict since 2004, but recent days have seen this escalate.
Child-friendly spaces help conflict-affected children play and learn in Georgia
LAMISKANA, Georgia, 19 August 2009 – The village of Lamiskana lies a few hundred metres from disputed territory. People here live with an ever-present tension, and many children witnessed violence during last year's conflict.
Rebuilding lives of families conflict-affected in Swat
MINGORA, Pakistan, 13 August 2009 – Taj Meena, a mother of ten, hails from a small village in the beautiful Marguzar Valley, once a popular tourist haven in the Swat District of Pakistan's North-West Frontier Province. When conflict began in April, her family, unlike thousands of others, chose to stay.
Rebuilt water and sanitation systems help heal scars of conflict in Georgia
GORI, Georgia, 3 August 2009 – Tortiza Village School near Gori still bears the scars of the 2008 conflict in and around South Ossetia, Georgia. One of the main school buildings is blackened by fire and stands in ruins.
Polio immunization drive reaches children on the move in Pakistan
RAWALPINDI, Pakistan, 31 July 2009 – Dr. Mohammed Salem walks alongside volunteers carrying small coolers filled with oral polio vaccine around the streets of Fauji Colony in Rawalpindi, Punjab Province.
Breastfeeding a crucial priority for child survival in emergencies
NEW YORK, USA, 31 July 2009 – UNICEF and the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action are commemorating World Breastfeeding Week, 1-7 August 2009, by underscoring the vital importance of breastfeeding during emergencies.
UNICEF provides a new model of health care for refugees in Syria
HUSSINAYA, Syria, 30 July 2009 – Situated only 14 km from Damascus, the Hussinaya district – home to many Iraqi refugees and other displaced people – feels a long way from the rapid development so visible elsewhere in Syria.
UNICEF rebuilds a child-friendly school in cyclone-affected Myanmar
DIDIER, Myanmar, 28 July 2009 – Aye Nandar Win enjoys attending fifth grade at the rebuilt Sinku Primary School here in cyclone-affected Didier Township. "I love this school!" she exclaimed. "I love the space, the colours, my desk – everything."
Japanese Government partners with UNICEF for ‘Thousand Classroom Project’ in Afghanistan
KABUL, Afghanistan, 17 July 2009 - Sonia is one of the 2,800 students at the Soraya Girls’ High School located in the Karta-i-Char area of Kabul. Just 13 years old, she has already decided on a career.
Children from conflict hit areas in Pakistan urgently need life-saving health services
TAKKAR, Mardan District, Pakistan, 16 July 2009 – It is sweltering and overcrowded in the Government Higher Secondary School in Takkar, which is now home to 106 displaced families from conflict-hit areas of Swat and Buner districts in north-west Pakistan.
New UNICEF kit meets developmental needs of young children in emergencies
NEW YORK, USA, 15 July 2009 – Building on the success of its School in a Box kits for education in situations of conflict or natural disaster, UNICEF today launched a new product designed for children under the age of six living in emergency or post-crisis environments.
Dutch delegation commended for aiding education in crisis and post-crisis situations
NEW YORK, USA 9 July 2009 – Representatives of UNICEF and the Dutch Government met at UNICEF House yesterday to review progress achieved under the Education in Emergencies and Post-Crisis Transition Programme funded by the Netherlands.
Aid reaches some displaced families as fighting continues in Mogadishu
MOGADISHU, Somalia, 9 July 2009 – As battles between government forces and armed groups continue to rock Mogadishu, more families are being driven out of their homes in search of safety every day. Over 200,000 of the city's residents have been displaced since a new round of intense fighting erupted at the beginning of May.
Influx of refugees creates silent emergency in eastern Cameroon
DHAHONG, Cameroon, 6 July 2009 – On the surface, the refugee situation in eastern Cameroon looks like a success, but it is also one of immense chaos. Since 2002, over 60,000 refugees from the neighbouring Central African Republic (CAR) have been integrated into host communities here.
‘Beyond School Books’ – a podcast series on education in emergencies
NEW YORK, USA, 1 July 2009 – After participating in the Second Global Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction – held in Geneva in mid-June – UNICEF Disaster Risk Reduction Specialist Antony Spalton and Rhee, a 16-year-old boy from the Philippines, spoke with UNICEF Radio’s Amy Costello about the role of children in protecting their communities from natural disasters.
‘The Youth Times’ newspaper speaks volumes for Palestinian teenagers
NEW YORK, USA, 25 June 2009 – Although much of the news from the Occupied Palestinian Territory is focused on violence and conflict, there is different, yet just as important, reporting happening on the ground in the region – reporting from a distinctly youth perspective.
Coming to terms with grief in Nablus: ‘Fatima helped me’
NABLUS, Occupied Palestinian Territory, 9 June 2009 – Several times a month, Fatima Alshopy navigates the narrow streets of the Number One Refugee Camp in the West Bank city of Nablus to visit Maha Qatouny, a mother of three who recently suffered a terrible loss.
Reaching out to families torn apart by fighting in Pakistan
NOWSHERA, Pakistan, 5 June 2009 – Three weeks ago, Hanifa and her four children fled their home in Mingora, in the Swat valley in the North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan, where fighting has intensified heavily over the past month.
UNICEF and ECHO prepare for a new storm season in Haiti
NEW YORK, USA, 4 June 2009 – This year’s Atlantic storm season began on Monday and many forecasters are expecting that it will not be as intense as last year, which saw 16 tropical storms and eight hurricanes.
Cholera cases in Zimbabwe near 100,000 as 'Twin Disaster' continues
HARARE, Zimbabwe, 3 June 2009 – Zimbabweans continue to suffer through the worst cholera outbreak in Africa in fifteen years. According to a new report by the Red Cross, nearly 100,000 cases of cholera have been reported throughout the country, and over four thousand people have died.
Rebuilding stronger schools for earthquake survivors in Rwanda
KIGALI, Rwanda, 2 June 2009 – The day began like any other quiet Sunday in the western province of Rwanda. Lake Kivu glimmered in the sun and the hills surrounding it were green and filled with life.
Pakistan reels as global financial crises hits poor families hard
KARACHI, Pakistan, 29 May 2009 – As she places a chronically malnourished child on a weighing scale in the hospital ward she runs, Dr. Noreen Anwar has no doubt that the economic crisis that started in far-off lands is now having a direct and devastating effect on her most fragile patients.
‘We were scared’: As supplies arrive, children try to cope with conflict in Pakistan
NORTH-WEST FRONTIER PROVINCE, Pakistan, 29 May 2009 – The girls in the tent hosting first-grade students at the Yar Hussain displacement camp were reciting the day’s lessons. Amidst the group of six- and seven-year-olds sat Habiba Rojan, who looks much older than the others but does not know her age because she was not registered at birth. She thinks she is 12.
UNICEF Regional Director assesses situation on the ground in Afghanistan
KABUL, Afghanistan, 27 May 2009 – UNICEF Regional Director for South Asia Dan Toole concluded a four-day visit to Afghanistan last week, assessing the situation on the ground.
UNICEF Regional Director meets children and families displaced by conflict in Pakistan
JALALA CAMP, Pakistan, 26 May 2009 – The hot summer sun beat down as UNICEF Regional Director for South Asia Dan Toole walked around Jalala camp. Mr Toole was here last week to see how UNICEF is supporting those affected by the biggest population displacement in Pakistan's history.
UNICEF supports psychosocial relief in child-friendly safe spaces
NEW YORK, USA, 18 May 2009 – Worldwide, an estimated 18 million children are currently displaced by armed conflict and natural disasters. As soon as immediate health and safety concerns have been attended to, emergency situations require a special level of care for emotionally distressed children.
Burundi’s last child soldiers homeward bound toward a new life
GITEGA, Burundi, 15 May 2009 – This week, 136 former child soldiers separated from Burundi’s last rebel group, the Forces Nationales de la Libération (FNL), left the Gitega Transit Centre to rejoin their respective families in Bujumbura Mairie, Bujumbura Rural, Bubanza and Gitega.
Beyond School Books – a podcast series on education in emergencies
NEW YORK, USA, 15 May 2009 – Last year in Afghanistan there were nearly 300 documented attacks on schools, killing 92 people and injuring 169. In Pakistan, 172 government and private schools, particularly girls' schools, have been destroyed in the Swat Valley district since 2007.
UNICEF and ECHO help victims of election violence rebuild their lives in Kenya
ELDORET, Kenya, 14 May 2009 – Grace Githinji has a small garden in Eldoret, in central Kenya, where she grows cabbages, kale and corn. This is the region that produces most of Kenya’s food, and her crops are thriving in the rich red soil.
A catastrophe for Sri Lankan children trapped in northern conflict zone
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, 13 May 2009 – Engulfed by gunfire, Tharshini, her husband and their two-week-old baby daughter, Anandi, plunged into the lagoon. Caught amid intense fighting between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and government troops, the new parents were making a desperate bid to escape the conflict zone.
One year after China earthquake, schools bring hope and opportunity
XIHE, China, 11 May 2009 – Well before dawn, sixth-grader Yang Mei, along with her younger brother Yang Zhen and sister Yang Yamei, leave their home in rural Gansu province for school.
Aid for children and families displaced by fighting in Pakistan’s Swat Valley
JALALA CAMP, Pakistan, 11 May 2009 – Kiyanet, a 10-year-old girl, walked with determination among groups of men waiting for aid distribution. Nearby, newly arrived families, sweaty and covered in dust, tried to register at this camp for the displaced in north-west Pakistan’s Mardan district.
Safe spaces help children deal with aftermath of China’s 2008 earthquake
FEISHUI, China, 5 May 2009 – Tang Xiaoping used to own one of the most popular private kindergartens in Feishui, a small township in Anxian, part of southwest China’s Sichuan Province. She had thought she would spend the rest of her life doing just that.
Education for All Week: Gaza’s students struggle to return to damaged schools
NEW YORK, USA, 29 April 2009 – While the world celebrates Global Action Week 2009 with a focus on education for all, the children of the Gaza Strip are still struggling to return to school in the aftermath of the conflict that ended there in January.
Crisis for children in Sri Lanka: Over 100,000 flee fighting, thousands more trapped
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, 23 April 2009 – On any random morning, most 11-year-old Sri Lankan children are seated safely behind their school desks. In a nation that prides itself on being the regional leader in education, these students in their pristine uniforms listen attentively before the school bell says it's lunchtime. The clanging old bells are the loudest interruption of any school day.
UNICEF ‘builds back better’ to improve water supply in China quake zone
CAOCHUAN, China, 20 April 2009 – It was a chilly morning in early March, and Gou Xiumian, carrying a plastic bucket, walked to the water point in her courtyard and turned the tap.
Beyond School Books – a podcast series on education in emergencies
NEW YORK, USA, 16 April 2009 – The UN General Assembly last month hosted a thematic debate on access to education in crisis and post-crisis situations. Experts from the development community were on hand to press for outcomes benefiting children who are suffering in emergencies that deny them their right to an education.
Bakhit’s story: Working to protect children from unexploded mines in Chad
N’DJAMENA, Chad, 6 April 2009 – All it took was a simple moment of curiosity to tragically change a young Chadian boy’s life forever. The incident occurred in January 2008, when Bakhit, 7, was playing with his friends and happened upon an unexploded landmine.
International Day for Mine Awareness: Clearing the legacies of war from Afghanistan's soil
NEW YORK, USA, 3 April 2009 – The world's first humanitarian mine-action program began in Afghanistan two decades ago, but the country remains dangerously contaminated.
Life skills training gives young Palestinian refugees new hope
DAMASCUS, Syrian Arab Republic, 26 March 2009 – In the refugee camps of Syria, life for Palestinian adolescents is challenging. Although better off than many in the region—with civil rights almost equal to those of Syrian citizens—poverty, violence and alcoholism are common. Adolescents often lack opportunities to develop important skills relevant to life outside of the camps.
Children create giant mural to mark World Water Day in Laos
VIENTIANE, Laos, 25 March 2009 – As part of international celebrations for World Water Day 2009, Laotian school children joined forces to create a huge mural.
Education in emergencies discussed at UN high-level thematic debate
NEW YORK, USA, 18 March 2009 – The United Nations General Assembly hosted a thematic debate on education in emergencies today, with participation by representatives of Member States, academia and civil society, as well as UN experts, teachers and students.
Hundreds of children reported killed, more injured, in Sri Lankan violence
NEW YORK, USA, 18 March 2009 – In a statement issued yesterday, UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman expressed alarm at the high number of children affected by continuing violence in the northern area of Sri Lanka known as the Vanni.
Beyond School Books - a podcast series on education in emergencies
NEW YORK, USA, 17 March 2009 – The recent Gaza conflict left about 1,000 Palestinian civilians dead and many more injured. Children, who make up more than half of Gaza’s population, have born the brunt of the conflict and its aftermath.
Amid last year’s destruction, Haiti braces for another hurricane season
GONAÏVES, Haiti, 16 March 2009 – As Haiti braces for another hurricane season, UNICEF Representative in Haiti Annamaria Laurini recently surveyed Gonaïves, the country’s third largest city, to evaluate its emergency preparedness. She was accompanied on the visit by UNICEF Emergency Operations Chief Lucia Elmi.
Death in Dungu: Rebel violence escalates in north-eastern DR Congo
NEW YORK, USA, 13 March 2009 – The Ugandan rebel group, the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), has killed more than 900 people in the north-eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo since December of last year. Hundreds of children have been abducted and tens of thousands of Congolese have been displaced by the fighting.
Executive Director calls for stronger protection for Palestinian and Israeli children
JERUSALEM, 9 March 2009 – UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman concluded a four-day visit to the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel on Saturday with a call for stronger action to protect children.
UN agencies express concern over humanitarian aid crisis in Sudan
NEW YORK, USA, 9 March 2009 – UNICEF and several other UN agencies have expressed deep concern about the Sudanese Government’s recent suspension of the activities of 16 non-governmental aid organizations.
'Girl Power' reception outlines plans for UN task force on adolescent girls
NEW YORK, USA, 6 March 2009 – Leaders from seven international organizations converged for a 'Girl Power and Potential' reception this week in New York. The event featured a panel of speakers outlining the strategies and goals of the United Nations Interagency Task Force on Adolescent Girls.
UNICEF Director of Emergency Programmes visits projects in Somalia
NAIROBI, Kenya, 4 March 2009 – UNICEF Director of Emergency Programmes Louis-Georges Arsenault has returned from a visit to Somalia, where he saw firsthand the situation of children and women, and efforts to provide them with life-saving aid and critical services.
Deputy Executive Director calls for release of all child soldiers in DR Congo
NEW YORK, USA, 3 March 2009 – UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Hilde F. Johnson has urged armed groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to release all children associated with the conflict.
In South Africa, few comforts await children fleeing Zimbabwe
MUSINA, South Africa, 2 March 2009 – Gift Dube (not his real name) was 11 when his father abandoned the family and his mother died. Six years later, he is still on his own in the South African border town of Musina, where thousands of Zimbabweans have joined him as economic crises and a cholera outbreak force a massive migration from their country.
Campaign fights infectious diseases in the wake of Gaza's long crisis
EAST JERUSALEM, 25 February 2009 – A fragile peace is holding in Gaza since hostilities ended last month. But damage to vital infrastructure is widespread, and primary health care services have been reduced by 90 per cent.
Children trapped in Sri Lanka’s conflict
VANNI, Sri Lanka, 23 February 2009 – Sennappu had a split second, a moment, literally a heartbeat to throw her body around her 18-month-old daughter before the bomb landed. Her reactions were enough time to save the life of her baby girl. Sennappu was killed instantly.
UNICEF Chad aids families fleeing violence in the Central African Republic
DAHA, Chad, 18 February 2009 – Musa sits quietly on a mat under a small grass shelter, and the bewilderment in his eyes is palpable. The four-year-old has recently arrived in Daha, a small village in a remote part of south-eastern Chad near the border with the Central African Republic (CAR).
Regional Goodwill Ambassador Mahmoud Kabil lends support to hospital serving Gaza
GAZA STRIP, Occupied Palestinian Territory, 17 February 2009 – Egyptian actor and UNICEF Regional Goodwill Ambassador for the Middle East and North Africa Mahmoud Kabil paid a special visit last week to El-Arish hospital in Egypt, near the Rafah border crossing to Gaza.
On 'Red Hand Day', children call for an end to their forced use in conflict
NEW YORK, USA, 13 February 2009 – Children from 101 countries have appealed to international leaders to take stronger action to end the use of child soldiers.
US tour to raise awareness of V-Day/UNICEF campaign against rape in DR Congo
NEW YORK, USA, 12 February 2009 – On the eve of a five-city US speaking tour designed to raise awareness about the effect of sexual violence on the women of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, activist Eve Ensler warned yesterday that western consumption of DR Congo's resources has "consequences ... on the bodies of women."
Child-friendly spaces bring hope to Iraqi refugee children in Syria
DAMASCUS, Syria, 10 February 2009 – With as many as 1.5 million Iraqi refugees in Syria, it is a struggle to provide basic necessities for people who have left everything behind in their war-torn country. In this setting, the special needs of children can be overlooked.
Back to school in Gaza, children welcome chance to resume normal lives
NEW YORK, 26 January 2009 – With the return of hundreds of thousands of children to school in Gaza, UNICEF is providing essential educational equipment and materials to reinstate learning and recreational activities, create safe environments and help restore a sense of normalcy for children in Gaza.
Cyclone Fanele hits Madagascar and stalls existing reconstruction work
MENABE REGION, Madagascar, 28 January 2009 – The southern part of Madagascar has been brutally affected by Cyclone Fanele, which hit the island in the early hours of 21 January. A recent World Health Organization assessment notes that over 20,500 people have been affected by Fanele and Tropical Storm Eric, which arrived on the 19th.
2009 Humanitarian Action Report launched today in Geneva
NEW YORK, USA, 26 January 2009 – The 2009 Humanitarian Action Report (HAR) was launched today in Geneva by UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman and Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa Sigrid Kaag. This year’s HAR highlights the plight of children and women in humanitarian emergencies in a total of 36 countries and territories, including Zimbabwe, the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Myanmar.
UNICEF rehabilitating learning centres for adolescents in Gaza
JERUSALEM, 23 January 2009 – The recent and extreme levels of conflict in Gaza have affected the lives of some 800,000 children and young people. Many have lost their schools, health facilities, play areas and even neighbourhoods, which have been destroyed in the violence.
Displaced families in Gaza face public health crisis
NEW YORK, USA, 23 January 2009 – While the fighting in Gaza has stopped, tens of thousands of Palestinians remain in United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRAW) emergency shelters. Thousands of others who fled their homes remain with friends or relatives.
‘Everything is destroyed’: Siblings describe destruction of their school in Gaza
NEW YORK, USA, 22 January 2009 – When Gaza’s schools reopen in the coming days, Maram, 12, does not know where she’ll go. “I want to see what happened to my school,” she said in a telephone interview with UNICEF Radio. “I saw pictures of it – It was very, very destroyed.”
Migrants face humanitarian crisis on South Africa’s border with Zimbabwe
MUSINA, South Africa, 22 January 2009 – A humanitarian crisis is unfolding in the South African border town of Musina. Historically the transit point for migrants seeking work in the country’s larger cities, it has now become the entry point for many desperate Zimbabweans fleeing the economic and social collapse in their country.
As early recovery work begins, the toll of conflict on Gaza’s children is clear
NEW YORK, USA, 21 January 2009 – Amira, 15, is a survivor. After her two siblings and father were killed during the conflict in the Gaza Strip, she crawled from her family’s home and was found three days later in a neighbour’s house.
Ceasefire holds in Gaza: ‘It’s a hopeful day’
NEW YORK, 19 January 2009 – UNICEF is moving swiftly to deliver supplies and support to children after a ceasefire was declared on Saturday following three weeks of conflict.
Fighting halts in Gaza but humanitarian challenges remain
NEW YORK, USA, 18 January 2009 – UNICEF emergency supplies are ready to go into the Gaza Strip now that a ceasefire has been declared.
Executive Director visits Zimbabwe, with new support for health workers fighting cholera
HARARE, Zimbabwe, 17 January 2009 – UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman, has announced a $5 million incentive package aimed at rescuing the ailing Zimbabwean health sector. Speaking at the end of her two-day visit to Zimbabwe, Veneman highlighted the need for major stakeholders to put children at the forefront of their collective agenda.
As infrastructure collapses, UNICEF supplies water for shelters in Gaza
NEW YORK, USA, 16 January 2009 – After 20 days of military operations in the Gaza Strip, the humanitarian situation there has deteriorated to new levels of desperation.
‘We didn’t sleep at all’ – Gaza aid worker evacuates home
NEW YORK, USA, 16 January 2009 – Shelling and bombing continue in the Gaza Strip, impeding movement into and within the territory and further damaging infrastructure and public utilities.
‘We cannot wait’ – Gaza aid worker’s wife about to give birth amidst crisis
NEW YORK, USA, 14 January 2009 – The conflict in the Gaza Strip holds special terror for Sajy, one of 10 UNICEF staff members who have persevered in the territory throughout the current crisis. His wife is due to give birth any day.
Statement by UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman regarding the humanitarian situation in Gaza
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, 14 January 2009 - "Over 300 children have been killed and more than 1,500 wounded, since the beginning of the Gaza crisis on 27 December, 2008.
UNICEF Project Officer and mother of three copes with Gaza crisis
NEW YORK, USA, 12 January 2009 – UNICEF has 10,000 staff working around the world in a wide range of environments, including conflicts such as the one now under way in the Gaza Strip. Ten stalwart UNICEF staff members have remained in Gaza throughout the current crisis there, working under very difficult and dangerous conditions in an effort to bring some relief to children in need.
‘I wish the war would end’ – Gaza’s children pay psychological cost of conflict
NEW YORK, USA, 12 January 2009 – The children of Gaza have three hours a day in which it’s safe, at least in theory, to go out. The humanitarian ceasefire does not always hold, but it provides a measure of relief for those who need to find food and water, or try and retrieve possessions from their former homes.
UNICEF delivers emergency supplies for children and families in Gaza
NEW YORK, USA, 11 January 2009 – As the conflict in the Gaza Strip escalates into deeper ground incursions, UNICEF is appealing for $16 million in new funding to provide families and children with emergency supplies.
UNICEF staff perseveres under difficult and dangerous conditions in Gaza
NEW YORK, USA, 10 January 2009 – UNICEF has 10,000 staff working around the world in a wide range of environments, including conflicts such as the one now under way in the Gaza Strip. Ten stalwart UNICEF staff members have remained in Gaza throughout the two-week crisis there, working under very difficult and dangerous conditions in an effort to bring some relief to children in need.
Statement by UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman regarding the humanitarian operation in Gaza
NEW YORK, USA, 8 January 2009 – "UNICEF is deeply concerned that the ongoing violence has forced UNRWA to suspend its humanitarian operation in Gaza. This can only deepen an already critical humanitarian situation and put children at even greater risk of death or permanent damage. The distribution of food, water, fuel and medicine should not be impeded."
UNICEF mobilizes emergency supplies for children at risk in Gaza
AMMAN, Jordan, 11 January 2009 – As the conflict in the Gaza Strip continues in its third week, UNICEF teams are working to ensure that critical supplies are ready to reach women and children at risk.
As UN aid operations are suspended, a Gaza teenager describes life amidst conflict
NEW YORK, USA, 8 January 2009 – As fighting in the Gaza Strip continued into its 13th day today, UN humanitarian assistance in the territory was suspended for an indefinite period because of the danger facing aid workers there.
Some aid distributed to Palestinian families amidst ongoing crisis in Gaza
NEW YORK, USA, 7 January 2009 – As fighting in Gaza continued into its 12th day today, a three-hour ceasefire allowed for the limited movement of humanitarian aid within the territory. UNICEF was able to distribute some supplies, including family water kits and health kits, to civilians affected by the ongoing conflict.
Life in the midst of Gaza conflict, through the eyes of a Palestinian teenager
NEW YORK, USA, 5 January 2009 – Ten days of aerial bombing on Gaza has caused extensive devastation throughout the territory and is threatening the health and welfare of many children. Most of Gaza is without electricity, and the situation is turning into a massive humanitarian crisis.
UNICEF appeals for help as asylum-seekers flee Zimbabwe for South Africa
MUSINA BORDER, South Africa, 5 January 2008 – Women and children sit on a patch of grass under one of a few leafy trees that lessen the heat from the harsh midday sun. They are among the most recent asylum-seekers who are flooding across the border from Zimbabwe.
UNICEF’s Eminent Advocate, Queen Rania, speaks out on Gaza crisis
AMMAN, Jordan, 5 January 2009 – At a UNICEF-organized press conference here this morning, Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah made an urgent plea on behalf of all the civilians living in Gaza – especially children – for a “humanitarian ceasefire” and for the international community to do all it can to help alleviate the suffering.
Nigel's Story: The tragedy of Zimbabwe's cholera outbreak
HARARE, Zimbabwe, 19 December 2008 – Deep grief is evident in Nigel Chigudu's eyes. In a tortured voice, he slowly recounts the harrowing tragedy that saw him lose five siblings in five hours to the cholera epidemic that has been sweeping across Zimbabwe.
Flooding in Colombia brings destruction and disease
PUERTO CASABE, Colombia, 17 December 2008 – In Puerto Casabe there are 60 families, 98 children, 100 adults and a lot of water. Every year, the majestic Magdalena river floods their wood and brick homes.
Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow witnesses devastation and emergency relief in North Kivu
NORTH KIVU, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 12 December 2008 – UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow is visiting conflict-affected North Kivu, on a three-day mission to eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
Afghanistan struggles with a food crisis in the harshest of seasons
BAMYAN, Afghanistan, 9 December 2008 – For the people of Afghanistan, it’s fast becoming one crisis too many. Already wrecked by war and insurgency, they are now battling a new force – a food crisis in the harshest of seasons.
Widespread collapse of social services creates 'twin disaster' in Zimbabwe
HARARE, Zimbabwe, 5 December 2008 – After a widespread breakdown in social services, the Government of Zimbabwe declared a national cholera crisis on Wednesday. The country’s health sector has collapsed and hospitals are closing, creating a ‘twin national disaster’.
Villagers still struggling to rebuild lives after devastating Bihar floods
MADHUBANI, India, 24 November 2008 – Dinesh Mandal knew he had to get his family to higher ground when the Kosi River rose over it’s banks and surged towards his village. He tried desperately to lift his 10-year-old daughter, Rekha, up onto an elevated railroad track, but he lost his grip and she was swept away in the raging flood waters.
Thousands of schools closed in eastern DR Congo
NEW YORK, USA, 21 November 2008 – Fighting in the North Kivu province of eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo has caused massive disruptions in schooling for hundreds of thousands of children. Throughout the province, thousands of schools are closed. Many schools are now occupied by displaced people.
UN launches largest-ever humanitarian appeal for 2009
NEW YORK, USA, 19 November 2008 – Donors, civil society groups and non-governmental organizations gathered in Geneva today for the launch of the UN’s 2009 Consolidated Appeal, or CAP, for humanitarian aid.
A day on the ground in crisis-stricken North Kivu, DR Congo
KIBATI CAMP, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 18 November 2008 – In the last two weeks, well over 100,000 people have fled their homes due to fighting and insecurity in eastern DR Congo. Over 35,000 are on the move as I write. In the last two and a half months, around 250,000 people have fled their homes. Some 1.1 million people in North Kivu – or 20 per cent of the province’s population – are now in displacement.
Children abducted by armed groups in eastern DR Congo
NEW YORK, USA, 14 November 2008 – Continued fighting in North Kivu province, eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, is placing children at risk of abuse and exploitation by armed groups, according to UNICEF representatives in Goma.
UNICEF condemns attacks on schools in Afghanistan
KABUL, Afghanistan, 14 November 2008 – UNICEF has condemned the increasing number of attacks on schools and students in Afghanistan. A recent acid attack on 15 female students walking to school in the southern city of Kandahar blinded two of the girls and injured two others.
Aid flights arrive in DR Congo, but insecurity persists
NEW YORK, USA, 11 November 2008 – Insecurity persists in the North Kivu region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where more than 250,000 people have been forced from their homes in the last two months alone, due to fighting between the army and a rebel group.
Fighting resumes in DR Congo as displaced civilians languish
NEW YORK, USA, 7 November 2008 – A fragile ceasefire is falling apart in North Kivu province, eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, further deepening an already catastrophic humanitarian situation. Over the last two days, fighting between rebels and government troops and their allies has forced thousands more to flee.
Tens of thousands displaced by flooding after a rare tropical storm hits Yemen
NEW YORK, USA, 5 November 2008 – Up to 300,000 people have been affected by flooding in Yemen following a rare tropical storm there.
UNICEF and ECHO distribute health supplies to cyclone-affected Malagasy families
BESALAMPY, Madagascar, 4 November 2008 – Local health authorities recently distributed mosquito nets and essential medicines free of charge to cyclone-affected families here. The distribution was part of UNICEF’s partnership with the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid Department (ECHO) and the Malagasy Government.
Six months on, Myanmar marks progress in recovery from Cyclone Nargis
NEW YORK, USA, 4 November 2008 – In early May of this year, hundreds of thousands of people in south-western Myanmar’s Irrawaddy Delta were forced from their homes by Cyclone Nargis. Today, six months on, emergency relief efforts are on track, but more support is needed to ensure long-term recovery for cyclone-affected children and their families.
Continued insecurity hinders aid to displaced families in DR Congo
NEW YORK, USA, 6 November 2008 – Continued violence in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo is seriously hampering humanitarian agencies from reaching more than 1 million displaced people in the region.
Sabnan’s story: Support for the most vulnerable in Pakistan quake aftermath
BALOCHISTAN, Pakistan, 31 October 2008 – Sabnan Guldin, 3, is trying to bite an apple but suddenly looks up in fear as strangers enter the family compound. He is sitting on a mat in an area cleared of rubble where his family's home collapsed in the earthquake that struck Balochistan province, south-western Pakistan, on 29 October.
In Balochistan province, Pakistan, quake leaves children vulnerable
BALOCHISTAN, Pakistan, 5 November 2008 – The death toll from a 6.4-magnitude earthquake that struck the south-western province of Balochistan, Pakistan, on 29 October stands at more 200. The quake has affected about 108,000 people; 50 per cent of them are children, and some 19,000 are under five years of age.
As severe floods engulf Central America, children are some of the worst affected
NEW YORK, USA, 29 October 2008 – Severe flooding caused by heavy rains during the past two weeks continues to engulf Central America, leaving dozens of people dead and affecting 410,000 – 70 per cent of them in Honduras.
‘Beyond School Books’ – a podcast series on education in emergencies
NEW YORK, USA, 28 October 2008 – High-level talks about progress towards the Millennium Development Goals took place last month during the United Nations General Assembly. Special attention was paid to commitments and progress in some of the poorest African nations, particularly in the area of education.
In Georgia, help for disabled children affected by conflict
GENEVA, Switzerland, 17 October 2008 – For a moment during the recent war in and around South Ossetia, Georgia, the front line nearly passed through the Senaki Institute, a residential school for 105 mentally and physically disabled children abandoned by their parents. In the opening days of the conflict, a bomb flattened an adjacent building.
As cold weather nears, UNICEF and partners shelter Kyrgyzstan earthquake survivors
NEW YORK, USA, 10 October 2008 – Five days after a 6.6-magnitude earthquake struck the town of Nura in the Alai Rayon region of southern Kyrgyzstan, UNICEF, its partners and the Ministry of Emergency Situations are working around the clock to provide relief to quake victims.
Children bear the brunt of earthquake in Kyrgyzstan
BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan, 7 October 2008 – Hundreds of children and their families have been left homeless and need urgent assistance following the severe earthquake that struck eastern Kyrgyzstan on 5 October.
Disaster preparedness for schools in the Philippines
ALBAY PROVINCE, Philippines, 7 October 2008 – At Banadero Elementary School, the clanging of the alarm bell echoes around the schoolyard. Children file out of their classrooms in orderly columns to pre-arranged assembly points. All the pupils, even the youngest, have the calm composure that comes from practice, because they have been through this drill before.
In from the cold: Sheltering Tajik children from disaster with early childhood care
ISFARA, Tajikistan, 7 October 2008 – Almost a year ago, Nargis Juraeva began the winter of 2007 happily. She gave birth to twin sons Hasan and Hussein last November, doubling the number of her children from two to four. But her newfound joy soon turned to anxiety.
Preventing a water crisis in a camp for the displaced in Georgia
GENEVA, Switzerland, 3 October 2008 – The rumours began shortly after the conflict in and around South Ossetia, Georgia, ended in early September. The water in the Gori camp wasn't safe, they said. The enemy was poisoning the water supply. Children were getting sick.
Haiti’s flood-damaged schools struggle to reopen
GONAIVES, Haiti, 3 October 2008 – Venette and her sister arrived at their school around mid-morning. They were handed a shovel. Then they joined a crew of mud-splattered men and waded into what used to be their cafeteria.
After the storms: Field diary from flood-stricken Gonaïves, Haiti
GONAÏVES, Haiti, 25 September 2008 – I have worked in Latin America and the Caribbean from 1994 to 2000 and have visited Haiti several times during that period. As I landed in Port au Prince this time around, I saw that after more than eight years the situation of poverty and despair has not changed much. Misery can be seen everywhere. Children are begging and women are trying, mostly unsuccessfully, to sell some homemade products.
Classrooms in Syria crowded with Iraqi children whose families have fled conflict
DAMASCUS, Syria, 25 September 2008 – It is the beginning of the new school year in Syria, but a majority of the students are not Syrian. They are Iraqis whose families have fled conflict. When the lives of children like these are turned upside down, going to school can provide the stability they need.
UNICEF Nepal support helps maintain sanitation and hygiene at relief camps
MADHUBAN VILLAGE, Nepal, 24 September 2008 – One day earlier this month, Lalita Kumari Sah, 6, returned with a jar of potable water to the makeshift camp where her family resides. Their house was inundated when the Saptakoshi River burst its banks in August, flooding great swathes of the Nepali and Indian countryside.
For Peace Day, Afghan children get a chance to be immunized
NANGAHAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan, 22 September 2008 – Afghan and international forces, including the Taliban, have been asked to lay down their weapons in support of the biggest Peace Day that Afghanistan has ever experienced.
Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow urges tsunami-like response in Haiti’s disaster zones
GONAÏVES, Haiti, 22 September 2008 – Looking down from helicopter at the devastation wrought by a month of hurricanes and catastrophic flooding, actress Mia Farrow made an immediate comparison.
Frontline diary: UNICEF doctor’s harrowing tale of survival amidst Bihar floods
BIHAR, India, 9 September 2008 – My mind was spinning with questions as I left Delhi and set off for Bihar: How can a river that is the source of life become the source of such misery and destruction, savagely disrupting the lives of hundreds of thousands of people? The people of this state are far too familiar with misery; even without a disaster, 40 per cent of children under five were already malnourished. How were they going to cope now?
UN schools in Syria serve thousands of Palestinian refugees
DAMASCUS, Syria, 2008 – Palestinian children residing in Husseiniyeh camp here are suffering from overcrowded classrooms and double-shift schools. Faced with staggering challenges outside the classroom, children are now in danger of losing their right to a quality education.
Delivering life-saving aid to hurricane-affected children and families in Haiti
GONAÏVES, Haiti, 17 September 2008 – Fernando Thermidor has the look of a toddler who is all cried out as he buries his tear-stained face in his mother’s shoulder.
‘Beyond School Books’ – a podcast series on education in emergencies
NEW YORK, USA, 15 September 2008 – The ongoing conflict in Iraq continues to have a devastating impact on children and schools there. Insecurity and violence have forced teachers to flee, kept students at home and, in some cases, closed schools completely.
Cuban schools devastated by Hurricanes Gustav and Ike
HAVANA, Cuba, 12 September 2008 – Two powerful hurricanes, Gustav and Ike, have pummelled the island of Cuba in the last nine days with high winds and torrential rains that left a broad path of destruction.
Displaced mothers and their children get help at UNICEF-supported breastfeeding centre
GENEVA, Switzerland, 11 September 2008 – In a classroom in a public school in Tbilisi, mothers held their newborn infants and shared stories of their flight from last month’s fighting in and around South Ossetia, Georgia. A week after their displacement from the region around Gori, only two of these new mothers had been able to resume breastfeeding.
UNICEF supplies begin to arrive in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike
NEW YORK, USA, 8 September 2008 – As the fourth major storm in less than a month barrels through the Caribbean, governments and aid groups are struggling to provide support to hundreds of thousands of people affected by high winds and massive flooding.
After floods in Laos, safe water is a priority for families
VIENTIANE, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, 8 September 2008 – In the nine years that he’s been director of the Sendin Village primary school, Sengtun Vongsay has had more than one opportunity to reflect on the destructive force of the nearby Nam Ngum River.
Storms batter the Caribbean, displacing thousands of children and their families
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 5 September 2008 – Over 200 people are dead and nearly 600,000 urgently need help after a series of storms that have battered Haiti over the past three weeks, according to UN officials. And there may be more storms to come.
UNICEF sets up centres for families who fled conflict in and around South Ossetia
GENEVA, Switzerland, 5 September 2008 – When the conflict broke out last month in and around South Ossetia, Georgia, Solomon Surameli, a 10-year-old living in the frontline village of Brotsleti, fled south with his parents.
Hurricane Gustav leaves behind a path of destruction in Cuba
HAVANA, Cuba, 5 September 2008 – Hurricane Gustav, one of the most devastating hurricanes to strike Cuba in 50 years, hit the island hard overnight on 30-31 August.
Women and children are the worst-affected by flooding in Bihar
ARARIA, India, 3 September 2008 – Zafeda Khatum has just lost her newborn baby son to the icy waters of the Kosi River. The 18-year-old maintains a stoic silence even as her family members clamour around to explain how she lost her infant.
Flooding in Nepal leaves women and children vulnerable
SUNSARI, Nepal, 2 September 2008 – In better times, the classroom in the Sunsari district of southern Nepal would be filled with young students. Today, it is occupied by 10 families – a total of about 80 people – seeking refuge after the Saptakoshi River flooded and washed away everything they had.
Two families face the future – in Tbilisi, Georgia, and North Ossetia, Russian Federation
GENEVA, Switzerland, 28 August 2008 – From the same conflict in and around South Ossetia, Georgia, these are the stories of two families: two stories, two temporary shelters in different places, but one very uncertain future.
Food interventions are crucial as Somalia faces ‘worst-case scenario’
BOSSASO, Somalia, 21 August 2008 – Malnutrition is the one of the biggest challenges facing Somali children today, and according to an upcoming UN report, it could be getting worse.
‘Bee’ system prototypes represent the future of connectivity in emergencies
NEW YORK, USA, 20 August 2008 – UNICEF has successfully tested the first two prototypes of the ‘Bee’, a mobile communication system developed by the Division of Communication. The Bee will allow communication, connectivity and data access in field conditions where such technologies are often difficult or impossible to use.
Conflict in Georgia: Thousands of children displaced and vulnerable
GENEVA, Switzerland, 19 August 2008 – Children of different ages played in the yard of a Tbilisi kindergarten. More than 24 hours had passed since they left the conflict zone around South Ossetia, and some of them were still afraid to enter the building.
UNICEF responds to urgent needs of children and women in Georgia and Russia
NEW YORK, USA, 15 August 2008 – UNICEF remains deeply concerned about the safety and well-being of civilians affected by the hostilities in and around South Ossetia, Georgia. According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, 100,000 people, many of them children and women, have been displaced as a result of the fighting. Many others have reportedly been killed or wounded.
UNICEF continues relief efforts for Myanmar cyclone victims
YANGON, Myanmar, 12 August 2008 – UNICEF Myanmar has pledged to continue relief works until the lives of cyclone-affected families are fully restored.
UNICEF to set up ‘child-friendly spaces’ in the Sichuan earthquake zone
BEIJING, China, 11 August 2008 - UNICEF will work with the government of China to set up 30 centres for the long-term psychological recovery of children and families affected by the 12 May earthquake. To that end, intensive training and basic facilities are being provided to local partners and social workers.
UNICEF Hong Kong Ambassadors show support for children in quake-affected Sichuan
BEIJING, China, 31 July 2008 – Three top celebrities who are also Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF Ambassadors visited earthquake-affected Southwest China’s Sichuan province recently.
Project aims to ensure education for child labourers in drought-affected Ethiopia
AWASSA, Ethiopia, 28 July 2008 – In the districts around Awassa, it is becoming increasingly difficult to earn a livelihood. As the population has grown, the size of available plots of land has diminished. And now drought, along with rising food prices, has exacerbated an already desperate situation.
UNICEF Executive Director pays first visit to Madagascar to see cyclone recovery
ANALANJIROFO, Madagascar, 28 July 2008 – Ann M. Veneman, on the first-ever visit by a UNICEF Executive Director to Madagascar, spent Sunday in Analanjirofo, the region hardest hit by Cyclone Ivan earlier this year.
Organized ‘recreation days’ relieve stress for children in Gaza
GAZA, Occupied Palestinian Territory, 25 July 2008 – Every day, children and adolescents throughout the Gaza Strip suffer from the disruption of basic services and deteriorating living standards. The children of Shoka, a small Bedouin area bordering with Israel, are no exception.
UNICEF’s child-friendly spaces use movement and dance to help children heal
NEW YORK, USA, 21 July 2008 – The tragedies of war and natural disasters leave children struggling to cope with deep psychological wounds. One of the ways that UNICEF and other organizations have helped to alleviate children’s emotional scars is through dance and movement.
Aid for cyclone-affected schools, still struggling in remote areas of Myanmar
NEW YORK, USA, 17 July 2008 – In the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis, up to 1 million people were displaced from their homes and villages in Myanmar. Over the past two months, a massive effort has sought to repair the damage caused by the storm – especially in the Irrawaddy Delta, where it hit hardest.
UNICEF and ECHO provide vital health services to cyclone-affected Malagasy villages
ANTISIRAKA, Madagascar, 17 July 2008 – At first glance, the village of Antsiraka is an idyllic setting. Clear blue waters lap the shores of a white sandy beach, and palm trees mark the entrance to this remote village, which is only accessible by bicycle or boat.
Mia Farrow sees children returning to schools in northern Central African Republic
KAGA BANDORO-KABO, Central African Republic, 27 June 2008 – On a recent visit to the northern regions of CAR, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador witnessed first-hand how schools have begun to reopen, improving the lives of children affected by conflict here.
'Not by Bombs and Bullets' – overcoming the legacy of violence in DRC
GOMA, Democratic Republic of Congo, 26 June 2008 – The road to Rutshuru runs past hazy active volcanoes and silver lakes. It would be the stuff travel brochures are made of – that is, if this route on the eastern edge of DRC, flush with Rwanda, wasn’t literally lined with the hardware of a war few understand.
‘Beyond School Books’ – a podcast series on education in emergencies
NEW YORK, USA, 25 June 2008 – With an estimated 10,000 child fatalities from school collapses in the Sichuan earthquake in China, safe school construction has become a central issue for parents, governments and the international development community.
Adolescent-friendly learning centres support young Palestinian refugees in Syria
HUSEINEYEH CAMP, Syria, 24 June 2008 – If Aziza Melkash were not in this yellow-curtained room among 31 other teenagers intently discussing research findings, she would be holed up at home with little to do and nowhere to go.
Rebuilding the lives of earthquake-affected children in China
LONGNAN PREFECTURE, China, 20 June 2008 – Bending over a tiny desk, seven-year-old Zhang Ziwen does his homework in a tent near the Bailongjiang River.
UNICEF Iraq helps the children of Sadr City regroup after intense violence
NEW YORK, USA, 20 June 2008 – Forty days of recent intense violence took a toll on close to 1 million children in Baghdad’s Sadr City, which is home to 2.5 million Iraqis. During April and May, the streets of the sprawling neighbourhood turned into a battlefield – trapping children in their homes without access to water, school or play areas.
UNICEF begins rebuilding schools in cyclone-stricken Myanmar
YANGON, Myanmar 17 June 2008 – The weather has become an added challenge to delivering aid in cyclone-ravaged Myanmar.
Ban on humanitarian aid threatens Zimbabwe’s most vulnerable children
HARARE, Zimbabwe, 12 June 2008 – Last week, the authorities here banned non-governmental organizations from distributing aid throughout the country. For many Zimbabweans already suffering from food shortages and rampant inflation, the lack of aid could prove disastrous.
UNICEF Regional Director visits Palestinian children bearing brunt of conflict
GAZA, Occupied Palestinian Territory, 9 June 2008 – UNICEF Middle East and North Africa Regional Director Sigrid Kaag visited the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel recently to see first-hand the enduring impact of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on children.
After the quake, safety and a sense of security for Sichuan schoolchildren
NEW YORK, USA, 6 June 2008 – UNICEF has concluded its second assessment mission through China’s quake-damaged Sichuan province, organized to identify the most pressing needs for the millions of children whose schooling was disrupted by last month’s earthquake.
A month after deadly cyclone, classes resume in Myanmar
YANGON, Myanmar, 3 June 2008 – A new school year has begun as children head back to classes, just one month after Cyclone Nargis damaged or destroyed more than 4,000 schools in Myanmar.
Chinese children take the first steps to recovery after earthquake
CHENGDU, China, 29 May 2008 – More than two weeks after a devastating earthquake in Sichuan Province toppled schools, wiped out towns and killed an estimated 67,000 people, children in the worst-hit areas are still experiencing the staggering psycho-social aftershocks.
A health worker sets aside personal loss to help others recover in Laputta
LAPUTTA TOWNSHIP, Myanmar, 23 May 2008 – Health worker Myint Myint Yi lost her home when the cyclone struck the small town of Laputta. Although her life has been turned upside down, she has put her misery aside for the moment in order to help others.
UNICEF and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcome news of more international aid access in Myanmar
NEW YORK, USA, 23 May 2008 – UNICEF has welcomed the announcement by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that Myanmar’s leaders will allow more international aid workers into the cyclone-damaged areas of the Irrawaddy Delta.
In the wake of violence, working to repair the damage done to children’s schools and confidence
AMMAN, Jordan, 23 May 2008 – The Baghdad Girls Primary in Iraq’s Sadr City had only been occupied by students for a few months before violent clashes erupted between military forces and militia groups in the area.
Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow calls for more international support to Central African Republic
BANGUI, Central African Republic, 23 May 2008 – UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow has wrapped up a week-long journey to the Central African Republic by calling for more international support for the tiny, impoverished nation.
Child-friendly spaces offer protection and hope for cyclone-affected families
PHAYARGYI VILLAGE, Myanmar, 22 May 2008 – When the 10-foot tidal wave surged into three-year-old Thè Su Wai’s village in Kungyangone Township, she was swept away from her mother, somehow managing to survive by holding on to a strong tree.
Helping quake-affected children cope with trauma in Sichuan province
MIANYANG CITY, China, 21 May 2008 – Wang Yue, a fourth-grade primary school student, can’t think about the events of last week’s earthquake in Sichuan province without crying.
Vaccination campaign continues in cyclone-affected Myanmar
LAPUTTA TOWNSHIP, Myanmar, 21 May 2008 – The rush to provide relief to the victims of Cyclone Nargis continues. The United Nations now estimates that as many as 2.5 million people have been severely affected by the cyclone and its aftermath. Forty per cent of those affected are children.
Providing protection and emotional care for children living in camps in Cameroon
KOUSSERI, Cameroon, 20 May 2008 – The bridge connecting Kousseri, Cameroon to N’djamena, Chad takes about five minutes to walk across, but in the hot afternoon sun, it might feel like much longer – especially if the bridge is crowded, as it was in the first days of February when tens of thousands fled violence between the Chadian military and rebel forces.
UNICEF seeks additional funds to aid children affected by Ethiopia’s growing food crisis
EAST HARERGHE, Ethiopia, 19 May 2008—Ibro Bekeri Yusuf’s daughter Khesna, age five, is severely malnourished. He has carried her to the UNICEF-supported therapeutic feeding unit at Bissidimo Hospital so that she can receive life-saving treatment such as therapeutic milk.
Psycho-social support helps children deal with the ‘storm in their mind’ after Cyclone Nargis
KAWHMU TOWNSHIP, Myanmar, 19 May 2008 – Cyclone Nargis may be over but the effects are not gone. Since the storm devastated the impoverished Irrawaddy Delta in southwestern Myanmar two weeks ago, the villagers have united to rebuild, one by one, their small, fragile homes, made of leaves and bamboo.
Rescue efforts continue in Juyuan after devastating earthquake
JUYUAN, China, 16 May 2008 – Rescuers are still racing against time to search for survivors in the Juyuan Township Middle School, which collapsed in the earthquake here on 12 May. As of this week, some 50 people have been confirmed dead with about 100 still buried beneath the rubble.
Growing concern for the safety of Myanmar’s storm-affected children
NEW YORK, 19 May 2008 – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will visit the cyclone-damaged region of Myanmar this week. The Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes began a three day visit there yesterday.
China requests emergency supplies to aid in quake recovery
SICHUAN, China, 15 May 2008 – Two days after the largest earthquake to hit China in a generation, the Chinese Government yesterday formally requested the support of the international community to respond to the needs of affected families.
UN Secretary-General appeals for further cyclone aid as UNICEF supplies arrive
NEW YORK, USA, 14 May 2008 – The devastation caused by Cyclone Nargis could quickly turn into a catastrophe for the people of Myanmar. According to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the health of at least 1.5 million people is at severe risk.
UNICEF concerned about children affected by powerful earthquake in China
SICHUAN, China, 13 May 2008 – UNICEF expressed growing alarm today about children affected by a powerful earthquake in southwestern China that toppled houses and schools, leaving at least 60 students dead and, at latest count, over 4,700 children buried under the rubble of collapsed buildings.
UNICEF focuses on restoring normalcy for young survivors of Cyclone Nargis
GYO PHYU, Myanmar, 12 May 2008 – “We ran to higher ground when the water rose,” explained Kaung Myat, 12, standing on what used to be his family's bamboo hut in Gyo Phyu village, part of Kungyangone township in Myanmar’s southern Yangon Division.
UNICEF safe-water supplies arrive in Myanmar to aid cyclone survivors
NEW YORK, 9 May 2008 – A Thai International airliner carrying 3 million water-purification tablets for the victims of Cyclone Nargis landed in Myanmar’s former capital, Yangon, at 8:45 local time this morning.
‘Beyond School Books’– a podcast series on education in emergencies: Segment #7
NEW YORK, USA, 8 May 2008 – Exactly one month ago, Rwanda commemorated the 14th anniversary of its genocide. By this time in 1994, some half a million Rwandans had already been killed in an ethnic-cleansing campaign.
UNICEF and partners appeal for funding to aid families in Myanmar’s cyclone zone
NEW YORK, USA, 8 May 2008 – To meet the urgent needs of children and women affected by the cyclone last weekend in Myanmar, UNICEF today issued an emergency appeal for $8.2 million. The initial funding request is part of an interagency appeal prepared with the organization's UN partners.
UNICEF helps protect children and families at risk on the Cameroon-Chad border
KOUSSERI, Cameroon, 6 May 2008 – According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, about 8,000 people, including over 2,800 infants and children, are currently living in Maltam Camp, a refugee settlement in northern Cameroon. For these displaced families, all taking refuge from the violence in southern Chad, time seems to stand still.
UNICEF crisis response focuses on water and hygiene in aftermath of Cyclone Nargis
NEW YORK, 7 May 2008 – With 5,000 square km underwater and an estimated 1 million people homeless and in need of assistance, Myanmar continues to reel from the effects of Cyclone Nargis, which struck last weekend. In its response to the crisis, UNICEF is focusing on providing safe water and hygiene supplies to children and families at risk of life-threatening water-bourne diseases.
Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict calls for action on child rights in Iraq
NEW YORK, USA, 2 May 2008 – The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Radhika Coomaraswamy, has called for immediate action to improve the lives of Iraqi children.
‘Beyond School Books’– a podcast series on education in emergencies: Segment #6
NEW YORK, USA, 29 April 2008 – At the 52nd Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women last month, global leaders met to discuss some of the most pressing issues facing women and girls today. The theme this year was financing for gender equality and empowerment of women.
Violence in Iraq disrupts lives and education
AMMAN, Jordan, 21 April 2008 – Over the last two weeks, families in Basra and Baghdad’s Sadr City have been plunged into one of the most violent episodes in Iraq’s recent history. As Iraq’s security forces mobilized against militia groups, widespread clashes and curfews kept families trapped indoors and led to shortages of water, food and medical supplies.
After devastating floods, Namibians fight cholera and wait for a return to normalcy
ENGELA and OSHIKANGO, Namibia, 16 April 2008 – Since February, floodwaters have inundated thousands of square kilometres of rural north-central Namibia. According to the Namibian Government, over 71,000 people have been affected by the floods.
Junior Goodwill Ambassador 'Name Six' visits child-friendly spaces in Madagascar camps
ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar, 15 April 2008 – Malagasy rap star and UNICEF Junior Goodwill Ambassador for Eastern and Southern Africa 'Name Six' visited young victims of cyclone Ivan recently here in Madagascar’s capital city.
Playrooms for young population affected by Peru quake serve many roles
CHINCHA, Peru, 7 April 2008 – Every day, Rosa Linda Díaz and her son Daniel have lunch at the Los Angelitos centre in Pueblo Nuevo, Chincha Province.
On International Mine Awareness Day, Afghanistan still copes with landmines
KABUL, Afghanistan, 3 April 2008 – Landmines have killed or injured more than 70,000 Afghans in the last two decades, and they continue to cause hundreds more casualties each year.
Thousands remain homeless after torrential rains and flooding in Ecuador
LOS RIOS PROVINCE, Ecuador, 2 April 2008 – Rain and floods are not unusual in Ecuador’s winter, but this year torrential rains have continued since early January, affecting 13 provinces – nearly half the country.
UNICEF responds to critical needs with water tankers in Basra crisis
AMMAN, Jordan, 31 March 2008 – For children in an Iraqi city paralyzed by violence, the arrival of a UNICEF water tanker in their street was an unexpected miracle. Thirsty families queued for up to two hours to fill whatever containers they could. For some, it was the first fresh water they had seen in days.
An appeal for aid as Madagascar struggles to rebuild after cyclones
NEW YORK, USA, 14 March 2008 – It has been more than four weeks since Cyclone Ivan first touched down on the island nation of Madagascar and triggered devastating floods, leaving 93 people dead and more than 330,000 homeless.
Temperatures rise, but Tajikistan still on alert after winter crisis
NEW YORK, USA, 13 March 2008 – Two months after severe temperatures left the mountainous country of Tajikistan in deep freeze and without power, warmer temperatures are bringing a new set of dangers.
Kenyan leaders sign power-sharing agreement as children hope for peace
NEW YORK, USA, 29 February 2008 – Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odiniga yesterday signed a power-sharing agreement to restore peace to a country that has been engulfed by violence since the disputed presidential elections there in December.
As violence continues in Darfur, children go missing and families are torn apart
SIRBA, Sudan, 22 February 2008 – Hundreds of children are unaccounted for, following militia attacks on villages in Sudan's West Darfur region.
Cyclone Ivan leaves 22 dead and communication networks damaged
TOAMASINA, Madagascar, 21 February 2008 – On the heels of a major storm that hit Madagascar just last month, this island nation was devastated once again earlier this week, when Cyclone Ivan touched down near Toamasina on its north-eastern coast.
UNICEF seeks emergency support for Somalia’s undernourished children
HARGEISA, Somalia 15 February 2008 – They were noises Khadra Abdullahi knew all too well: first, the blast from a bomb; then the screams and the clanging of pots as she threw her family’s possessions into a bag and fled.
Students return to Gaza schools still suffering from lack of heat and electricity
GAZA, Occupied Palestinian Territory, 13 February 2008 – Nearly 400 government schools in Gaza have reopened their doors to a quarter of a million students returning from winter break – but teachers and children have been met with classrooms that have neither heat nor light due to reduced power supplies.
UNICEF issues annual appeal to meet needs of children and women in global emergencies
NEW YORK, USA, 12 February 2008 – Calling on donors to help address 39 specific crises around the world, UNICEF today launched its annual Humanitarian Action Report outlining the organization’s funding requirements for emergency work in 2008.
UNICEF appeals for $37 million to save vulnerable Iraqi children
AMMAN, Jordan, 12 February 2008 – Iraq’s children saw little respite from violence and instability in 2007. But help may be on the way. A consolidated appeal for Iraq will be launched today to help humanitarian organizations respond to widespread suffering and deprivation.
Bandit attacks lead to mass displacement across north-western CAR
BOSSANGOA, Central African Republic, 18 January 2008 – Despite the pain and hardship of being displaced from their homes, the Peuhl people of the Central African Republic (CAR) are continuing with their traditional way of life. They remain immaculately dressed in vivid fabrics and beaded jewellery, an amazing feat considering their ordeal over the past several weeks.
Violence subsides but families remain displaced in post-election Kenya
NEW YORK, USA, 11 January 2008 – The effects of post-election violence in Kenya continue to reverberate throughout the country. An estimated 250,000 people have fled their homes and are in need of food, shelter housing and essential medicines.
‘Beyond School Books’– a podcast series on education in emergencies: Segment #5
NEW YORK, USA, 2 January 2008 – Providing education to children in regions and societies affected by conflict – or emerging from it – is a major challenge. Yet communities in conflict-affected areas consistently rank education as a high priority. And they demonstrate astounding resourcefulness and resilience in seeking out and providing schooling for their children.
Goodwill Ambassador Shakira reaches out to cyclone survivors in rural Bangladesh
PATUAKHALI, Bangladesh, 21 December 2007 – Internationally acclaimed singer, musician and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Shakira traveled to Bangladesh recently and met with women and children whose lives have been affected by Cyclone Sidr.
Child-survival campaign reaches families displaced by conflict in Mogadishu
AFGOYE, Somalia, 18 December 2007 – Hawa Ali, a mother of two, fled fighting in the Somali capital of Mogadishu last month and found refuge in the makeshift Eelasha Biyasha settlement here. This camp and others like it, along a 30-km stretch between Mogadishu and Afgoye, are now home to some 200,000 children, women and men displaced by conflict.
‘Beyond School Books’– a podcast series on education in emergencies: Segment #4
NEW YORK, USA, 18 December 2007 – Providing education to children in regions and societies affected by conflict – or emerging from it – is a major challenge.
Education suffers amidst political tension and conflict in Gaza
GAZA STRIP, Occupied Palestinian Territory, 12 December 2007 – Najwa Al Smairi, 11, goes to school just metres from Gaza’s heavily guarded perimeter. She is one of the brightest students in her class but fears failure due to the violence and uncertainty around her.
After the storm, Bangladesh cyclone survivors struggle through trying times
BAGERHAT, Bangladesh, 6 December 2007 – It was close to noon in Khuriakhali Bazaar, a market in the Sharankhola sub-district of Bagerhat, when the UNICEF team arrived after a long walk.
Psychosocial help gives children in Iran the tools to cope with challenges
BAM, Iran, 4 December 2007 – After the devastating 2003 earthquake in Bam, Athare Majidian, who lives here and works for Iran’s Ministry of Education, spent much of her time helping children overcome the effects of this tragic event and develop their resilience for possible future disasters.
UN Joint Mission visits cyclone survivors in Bangladesh
DHAKA, Bangladesh, 23 November 2007 – A week after Cyclone Sidr pummelled Bangladesh, the survivors are struggling to pick up the pieces. A roof overhead, food, water and sanitation are the most critical needs.
Cyclone in Bangladesh: UNICEF and partners join emergency relief effort
NEW YORK, USA, 18 November 2007 – UNICEF and its humanitarian partners in Bangladesh are rushing emergency supplies to hundreds of thousands of families in areas devastated by Cyclone Sidr, the deadliest storm to hit the impoverished nation in a decade.
‘Beyond School Books’ – a podcast series on education in emergencies: Segment #3
NEW YORK, USA, 16 November 2007 – Providing education to children in regions and societies affected by conflict – or emerging from it – is a major challenge.
Flood response targets immediate needs of children in Tabasco and Chiapas
VILLAHERMOSA, Mexico, 9 November 2007 – The roads leading into Villahermosa, Tabasco’s capital city, are muddy and strewn with ruptured sandbags where floodwaters have finally receded. Also lining the streets on the city’s outskirts are clusters of families who refuse to leave their badly damaged homes and have rigged makeshift shelters from cardboard and tarpaulin.
UNICEF Executive Director ends first visit to Sudan with sense of optimism
KHARTOUM, Sudan, 5 November 2007 – UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman wrapped up her first visit to Sudan yesterday, expressing optimism at progress she had witnessed for women and children, while noting more efforts were needed, especially in tackling high rates of child and maternal mortality.
'Beyond School Books’ – a podcast series on education in emergencies: Segment #2
NEW YORK, USA, 29 October 2007 – In countries emerging from conflict, getting children into school is the first and most critical challenge for international development agencies, governments and communities.
'Beyond School Books’ – a podcast series on education in emergencies: Segment #1
NEW YORK, USA, 22 October 2007 – In countries caught in a cycle of ongoing conflict, as well as those emerging from war, the rights of children and the right to education are most at risk.
Evacuation orders in effect as East Java volcano alert remains high
NEW YORK, USA, 19 October 2007 – Over 100,000 people have been evacuated from the region within 10 km of Mt. Kelud, as officials continue to monitor volcanic activity from the East Java volcano.
Former child soldiers trade guns for textbooks in rural Southern Sudan
RUMBEK, Southern Sudan, 15 October 2007 – At 15, he was a soldier. At 18, he traded his gun for a textbook and went back to school. Today, at 24, Mayom Mabuong is a community leader and a teacher at Deng Nhial School, one of the only institutions in Southern Sudan created specifically to address the needs of former child soldiers.
Protection centres aim to end the cycle of child labour in Pakistan quake zone
NORTH WEST FRONTIER PROVINCE, Pakistan, 9 October 2007 – For over seven months, eight-year-old Khairuddin and his brothers have been roaming the streets of Abbotabad, collecting empty bottles from garbage heaps to make a little money to bring home to their family.
Humanitarian supplies distributed in the wake of conflict in North Kivu, DR Congo
NORTH KIVU, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 27 September 2007 – Just a 20-minute drive west of Goma, the North Kivu provincial capital, the aftermath of recent fighting between government troops and dissident forces begins to unfold.
In West Africa flood response, UNICEF focuses on the most vulnerable children
NEW YORK, 25 September 2007 – Four weeks of heavy flooding have taken a damaging toll on countries in West and Central Africa, with hundreds of thousands of people displaced, several hundred killed, and homes and farmland swept away.
Rebuilding lives in marginalized communities of flood-affected Bihar
BIHAR, India, 19 September 2007 – In the remote village of Sarainyan, near the border of Nepal, the floods that came with this year’s monsoons destroyed homes and displaced many familes.
Providing vital supplies to vulnerable Nepalese families displaced by floods
NEPALGUNJ, Nepal, 19 September 2007 – The flood waters from the Dundhuwa river receded over three weeks ago, yet the destruction left in its wake still remains. Most of the homes and food stores of the people of Rajarampur Village have been completely washed away.
Displaced children especially vulnerable to illness and military re-recruitment in North Kivu
NORTH KIVU, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 18 September 2007 – In an era of extreme difficulty for the people of DR Congo, between 300,000 to 350,000 people have been displaced since November 2006. In the last few weeks, the situation has gone from bad to worse, with approximately 60,000 people displaced from their homes around North Kivu. In unstable circumstances like these, children are especially vulnerable to exploitation.
Combating acute malnutrition in flood survivors
BIHAR, India, 17 September 2007 – It is more than a month after the flooding began in Bihar, but millions of people continue to be affected. Food being distributed by the Government is often delayed because roads are still submerged or completely washed away.
Mothers and children hit hard by nutrition crisis in Somalia
MOGADISHU, Somalia, 13 September 2007 – Following a recent nutrition survey, UNICEF and its partners estimate that 83,000 children in central and southern Somalia suffer from malnutrition – 13,500 of whom are severely malnourished and at risk of dying.
Hurricane Felix: Nicaragua bears the brunt and Honduras endures heavy rains
NEW YORK, USA, 5 September 2007 – The eye of Hurricane Felix touched down in the northeastern town of Sandy Bay on the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua early yesterday morning, blowing the roofs off 90 per cent of homes and knocking out electricity over a wide area. An estimated 30,000 people have been affected by the disaster.
Women and children still suffering the effects of monsoon floods
SIRAJGANJ DISTRICT, Bangladesh, 4 September 2007 – Last month, 45-year-old Amena awoke to discover that monsoon-related flooding was filling her home with rushing water. As if in a dream, she felt the strong pull of a hand as she was taken to the safety of a nearby embankment.
Summer camps for Lebanese children help to heal the scars of war
AITA AL SHAEB, Lebanon, 30 August 2007 – Hearing the children of Aita el Shaeb sing and dance, it is difficult to believe that just one year ago this village in the south of Lebanon was suffering from the effects of conflict. The children are participating in a new UNICEF-supported summer camp programme, which is helping war-affected youths to heal through play.
After devastating quake, getting Peruvian children back to school is a priority
PISCO, Peru, 30 August 2007 – More than 220,000 children in southern Peru are waiting to return to school after the devastating earthquake of 15 August. Getting back to school is one of the most effective ways for children to resume a sense of normalcy in their lives after a traumatic event.
Families in need of aid as Portland Cottage is once again devastated by a hurricane
PORTLAND COTTAGE, Jamaica, 23 August, 2007 – Amid the rubble of clothes spread out to dry on fallen tree branches, water soaked mattresses and swollen pieces of furniture, the children of Portland Cottage cling shyly to their mothers for safety. For the second time in three years, this small fishing community has experienced the fury of a hurricane.
Women and children bear the brunt of flood effects in Bihar
BIHAR, India, 23 August 2007 – Three days after giving birth to her son, Subhagi Devi, 30, had to make a midnight escape from the floods that have submerged her village in East Champaran, Bihar state.
One week on, more aid needed to meet Peru quake survivors’ critical needs
NEW YORK, USA, 22 August 2007 – “I was watching TV in my room when suddenly the power went out,” recalled Peruvian earthquake survivor Ivan, 11.
As Hurricane Dean moves on, storm-affected communities pick up the pieces
NEW YORK, USA, 22 August 2007 – UNICEF and its humanitarian partners in the Caribbean region are taking action to protect children and families from the after-effects of Hurricane Dean in Jamaica, Mexico's Yucatan peninsula and other areas battered by the storm in recent days.
UNICEF and partners respond as Hurricane Dean batters Jamaica
NEW YORK, USA, 20 August 2007 – UNICEF and other UN and humanitarian agencies took action to help the authorities respond to the emergency needs of children and families in Jamaica as Hurricane Dean, a dangerous Category 4 storm, battered the southern coast of the Caribbean island nation yesterday.
Providing aid to children and families affected by severe floods in DPR Korea
NEW YORK, USA, 16 August 2007 – Many children may have drowned and many more are seriously affected by severe flooding in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
Mobile medical camps treat children and families displaced by floods in Bihar
BIHAR, India, 16 August 2007 – At a UNICEF medical camp, Kusum, 4, has been vaccinated against measles as a part of the effort to save lives after the recent monsoon floods here.
UNICEF galvanizes partners for flood relief to children and families in Uttar Pradesh
SILAUTA VILLAGE, Uttar Pradesh, India, 15 August 2007 – It is a wet August morning and Kishori, 4, is playing with her friends on a narrow, kilometre-long embankment.
Insecurity has not dampened children’s aspirations in Central African Republic
EN ROUTE TO PAOUA, Central African Republic, July 2007 – Our convoy stopped on the dirt road intersecting the northwestern village of Nana Barya. Climbing out of the car, we were confronted by the burnt ruins of a village. In the entrance of one house lay a tiny child’s sandal, left behind in the fracas of flight.
Communities struggle to cope with monsoon flooding in Nepal
JALESHWAR, Nepal, 9 August 2007 – A week ago, when it rained as if would never stop, 80 per cent of Mahottari District in the central Terai plains of Nepal was underwater. Floods had inundated 56 of the district’s 76 villages, displacing half the population of 600,000.
More aid needed for tens of millions affected by severe monsoon floods in India
NEW YORK, USA, 6 August 2007 – For the past two weeks, South Asia has seen some of the worst monsoon flooding in living memory. Across northern India, Bangladesh and Nepal, villages have been completely marooned, leaving tens of millions displaced and stranded.
Peace One Day ambassador Jude Law’s ‘secret’ mission to Afghanistan
NEW YORK, USA, 18 July 2007 – Oscar-nominated actor and movie star Jude Law has completed a ‘secret’ mission to Afghanistan to film UNICEF’s preparations for marking the 2007 UN International Day of Peace.
With help from the Government of Japan, Southern Sudan rebuilds its schools
NEW YORK, USA, 17 July 2007 – Japan has contributed $8.6 million to Southern Sudan, aiding the region’s school-rebuilding efforts following two decades of civil war that devastated the education system there.
UNICEF supplies arrive in Thandwe to help Myanmar flood victims
YANGON, Myanmar, 12 July 2007 – UNICEF emergency supplies have arrived in Thandwe township in Myanmar’s Rakhine State to help families affected by the recent floods there.
Najma’s ordeal: Surviving the floods in southwest Pakistan
SINDH PROVINCE, Pakistan, 10 July 2007 – The first thing that Najma remembers from the night of the floods was a voice shouting in panic: “Water, water!” It was midnight when the 14-year-old and her five siblings stumbled through the darkness and finally managed to reach the main road.
Relief efforts begin to reach flood-affected children and families in Pakistan
NEW YORK, USA, 5 July 2007 – Hampered by flash floods and blocked roads, relief efforts have started reaching the most vulnerable since Cyclone Yemyin struck Pakistan last week.
Malnutrition afflicts displaced children in camps in eastern Chad
KOUBIGOU CAMP, Chad, 5 July 2007 – The numbers keep growing, and growing fast. In 2004 there were 130,000; today, 240,000 Sudanese are in neighbouring Chad, having fled the fighting in the Darfur region of Sudan.
Cyclone floods in Pakistan leave thousands displaced and desperate
NEW YORK, USA, 3 July 2007 – Wading through waist-high water, families in Pakistan’s Sindh and Balochistan Provinces are looking for remnants of their homes and belongings – and sometimes for their lost loved ones.
Child-friendly journalism gives young people a voice in Iraq
AMMAN, Jordan, 29 June 2007 – Mohammad’s TV show, ‘Sabah El Kheir Mosul’ (Good Morning Mosul), is different than most Iraqi news programmes. To balance the grim daily reports of bombings and violence, Mohammad, 28, is trying a new focus – the lives of children.
Displaced by conflict at northern Lebanon refugee camp, children look to the future
BEDDAWI CAMP, Lebanon, 20 June 2007 – Leaving their homes between bouts of gunfire, an estimated 21,000 Palestinian refugees have fled the fighting at Nahr El Bared camp in northern Lebanon in recent weeks.
Months after an earthquake and tsunami, Solomon Islands struggle to recover
WESTERN PROVINCE, Solomon Islands, 20 June 2007 – Life in Gizo, the small administrative centre of Western Province in the Solomon Islands, is slowly returning to normal two and a half months after a massive undersea earthquake triggered a tsunami here.
Palestinian child health still suffers despite end of eight-month strike at clinics
NABLUS, Occupied Palestinian Territory, 19 June 2007 – Palestinian children’s access to health services is regularly jeopardized. The current intra-Palestinian conflict and Israeli military incursions place their physical and mental well-being at risk, even as they suffer from the effects of an eight-month health workers’ strike.
Recent violence in Gaza leaves many young people shaken
NEW YORK, USA, 19 June 2007 – The recent intra-Palestinian violence in the Gaza Strip left many young people traumatized and unable to carry out their daily activities. Last week’s clashes between Hamas and Fatah killed more than 110 people and injured another 500.
UNICEF Ambassador Lucy Liu visits families displaced by violence in DR Congo
NORTH KIVU, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 18 June 2007 – UNICEF Ambassador Lucy Liu has just returned from a trip to war-torn eastern DR Congo, where she witnessed the dire situation of displaced women and children.
Supplementary feeding centres boost nutrition in Pakistan quake zone
NORTH WEST FRONTIER PROVINCE, Pakistan, 12 June 2007 – At the brand new supplementary feeding centre in Attarshesha, Salma, 22, checks Usman’s weight and height. The four-year-old boy stares at the ‘Lady Health Visitor’, his eyes wide open.
Palestinian refugees in northern Lebanon displaced and in need
NEW YORK, 1 June 2007 – As problems persist for Palestinian refugees in the north of Lebanon – displaced as a result of armed conflict in the El Bared camp near Tripoli – UNICEF continues to respond to the crisis in close coordination with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and other partners.
Youth in Gaza and Sderot, Israel face daily violence
NEW YORK, 22 May 2007 – Julie is 17 years old and lives in Gaza in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (oPt). Violence has been an ongoing part of her world for her whole life, off and on, but in the last week there’s been an increase in the level of unrest in her community, both between the internal Palestinian factions of Hamas and Fatah, and in the form of air strikes from the Israeli Air Force.
Worst floods in 50 years displace thousands in Uruguay
NEW YORK, USA, 22 May 2007 – Unusually heavy rains in Uruguay have caused the worst flooding to hit the country in 50 years. Since 8 May, more than 110,000 people have been affected by the emergency, most of them children, women and elderly living in poor communities.
UNICEF Sri Lanka reaches out to children and families displaced by escalating conflict
NEW YORK, USA, 16 May 2007 – UNICEF is playing an increasing role in addressing the psychosocial needs of children affected by ongoing violence in Sri Lanka.
Transitional schools keep children learning in earthquake-affected areas of Pakistan
PAKISTAN-ADMINISTERED KASHMIR, 15 May 2007 – At 1 p.m., 54 students are actively participating in a mathematics class at Sarikala Government Girls’ Primary School in Pakistan-administered Kashmir. They frown and concentrate on the blackboard but smile mischievously from time to time.
UNICEF and ECHO reintegrate child soldiers in Côte d’Ivoire, and Béoué is ready for success
BÉOUÉ VILLAGE, Côte d’Ivoire, 15 May 2007 – Béoué, 18, is slender and looks rather small for his age. When he is carrying the mud for the chicken coop that he and his friends are building, it becomes clear how strong he actually is. He is obviously used to organizing activities and delegating responsibility, so the coop is built quickly.
Nutrition crisis undermines child survival in southern Madagascar
ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar, 14 May 2007 – Dr. Ranto Andriantsara hurried to his office when told that the team had just driven into the dusty compound that houses the Amboasary hospital. He looked startled, not quite expecting his visitors that early in the morning. Graciously, he ushered them in.
UNICEF and Government of Chad reach accord raising hopes for children in armed conflict
NEW YORK, 11 May 2007 – UNICEF and the Government of Chad signed an accord this week to work to demobilize child soldiers throughout the country.
UNICEF supports improved sanitation in the rebuilt homes of Aceh and Nias
BANDA ACEH, Indonesia, 9 May 2007 – Ibu Nuria is not happy. Even though she likes her newly built house in Klieng Cot Arun village, Banda Aceh, the facilities are incomplete. “There is no drainage system in place,” she says. “It concerns us.”
‘Days of Peace’ promote child survival and development in Philippines conflict areas
NEW YORK, USA, 9 May 2007 – For decades, an often violent battle between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has raged in the picturesque countryside of the southern Philippines. The conflict has devastated thousands of villages, leaving children without access to essential services.
UNICEF provides school supplies to 60,000 children in flood-affected areas of Zambia
LUSAKA, Zambia, 8 May 2007 – To help respond to humanitarian needs in flood-affected areas of Zambia, UNICEF has turned over 640 ‘School-in-a-Box’ kits to the country’s Ministry of Education. The kits will provide educational supplies to more than 60,000 children and 1,000 teachers in six provinces.
Learning takes centre stage for displaced adults and adolescents in Timor-Leste
METINARO, Timor-Leste, 8 May 2007 – The Metinaro camp for displaced persons is 30 km east of Dili, the capital of Timor-Leste. When widespread violence broke out in Dili in 2006, Metinaro was lined with tents sheltering thousands who had lost their homes or were afraid to return.
A post-tsunami milestone: 100 new schools built or under construction in Aceh and Nias
ACEH AND NIAS, Indonesia, 7 May 2007 – The mayor of Banda Aceh, Mawardi Nurdin, recently opened SDN 96 Primary School in the community of Neusu Aceh, Baiturrahman – thereby reaching a milestone of 100 new schools either completed or under construction since the December 2004 tsunami devasted the education infrastructure in this region.
A Darfur village turns its back on conflict, opting instead for child-centred development
SOUTH DARFUR, Sudan, 4 May 2007 – In the village of Yara, one finds a surprisingly different aspect of Darfur. In a region that has been portrayed as ripped apart by ethnic differences and tribal tensions, residents of the local Fur tribe and Arab nomadic families live side by side, working together on improvements to their community.
Despite dangers, measles vaccinators fan out across Iraq
AMMAN, Jordan, 26 April 2007 – In one of the biggest humanitarian operations in Iraq in the last two years, 8,000 vaccinators are working to prevent a possible outbreak of measles among children, many of whom have not received routine immunization due to violence and conflict.
UNICEF Somalia relief efforts hindered by lack of access to conflict-affected areas
NEW YORK, USA, 25 April 2007 – Somalia’s security situation has been in a steady decline since the beginning of 2007 – along with all the consequent health and protection issues for children and families.
After devastating cyclones, Madagascar rebuilds its shattered schools
ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar, 23 April 2007 – Florine, 8, was unaware of the extent of cyclone damage to her village in Ambanja, northeastern Madagascar, until she climbed to the roof of her partially destroyed house.
Mine awareness campaign aims to save lives and limbs in Nepal
KAVRE, Nepal, 13 April 2007 – An innocent game of football turned deadly when three young boys accidentally set off an explosive device buried in the ground.
After devastating cyclones, UNICEF and partners step in to help Madagascar
NEW YORK, USA, 10 April 2007 – The island nation of Madagascar has seen more than its fair share of nature’s destructive capacity recently. Since December it has been hit by six cyclones or tropical storms – including tropical storm Jaya, which struck last week – affecting more than 450,000 people.
More aid needed to help children and women affected by Cyclone Indlala
ANTSOHIHY, Madagascar, 30 March 2007 – “It was incredible. In just a few minutes the heavy floods washed out our house,” Véronique Miadana said with tears in her eyes. Living with her five children in the suburbs of Antsohihy, north of Sofia in northern Madagascar, Ms. Miadana and her family were among the first victims of Cyclone Indlala, which struck northern Madagascar on 15 March.
In conflict-affected eastern Sri Lanka, aid for a population on the move
BATTICALOA, Sri Lanka, 28 March 2007 – “By foot, by ferry, by bike, by tractor, by tuk-tuk, people are pouring in,” says UNICEF Emergency Officer Donna Carter.
Despite dangers, an Iraqi mother is determined to educate herself and her children
NEW YORK, USA, 28 March 2007 – Nada, 40, lives in Baghdad with her husband and four children – two boys and two girls, all school age. “Our life is a hard life,” Nada (not her real name) told UNICEF Radio in a telephone interview.
Lack of safe water endangers the health of Baghdad’s most deprived children
AMMAN, Jordan, 21 March 2007 – For thousands of Iraqis living in crudely built cabins in the Baghdad slums of Sab’ Qsoor, a safe drink of water used to be almost impossible to find. The area has only a few pipes to supply municipal water, and many of them are broken or contaminated.
Ecuador’s active Tungurahua volcano continues to affect nearby communities
QUITO, Ecuador, 20 March 2007 – The Tungurahua volcano in the central Ecuadorian Andes erupted again earlier this month, making worse the already vulnerable situation of the nearby population.
Children in Madagascar suffer in yet another flood caused by latest cyclone
NEW YORK, USA, 19 March 2007 – The rain is coming down in sheets over the capital city of Madagascar, Antananarivo, in the aftermath of Indlala, the latest cyclone to hit the island nation.
Displaced with her family in northern Iraq, a girl dreams of education
NEW YORK, USA, 19 March 2007 – Sheelan, 14, has never gone to school. Neither have any of her seven older sisters. Her family is Kurdish and has been displaced for two decades, ever since the Iran-Iraq War.
Theatre groups spread health messages among Mozambique’s flood victims
SOFALA PROVINCE, Mozambique, 16 March 2007 – There are few sights more pleasing than seeing 100 children’s faces light up with laughter. That the source of their joy is a message of good health and hygiene, dressed up as theatre, only adds to the moment.
UNICEF Sudan Representative sees hopeful opportunities amid chaos in Darfur
NEW YORK, USA, 14 March 2007 – UNICEF Representative in Sudan Ted Chaiban recently returned from that country’s Darfur region, where he saw firsthand the realities in the camps for displaced children and families who cannot return to their homes because of the violent conflict that continues there.
UNICEF Sri Lanka tests pioneering new tool for use in emergencies
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, 14 March 2007 – UNICEF is pioneering a new system in Sri Lanka that promises some hope of improving the efficiency of humanitarian crisis response.
Bolivia’s worst floods in decades displace families and disrupt children’s lives
NEW YORK, USA, 12 March 2007 – Much of Bolivia’s department of Beni today lies underwater. Since December, heavy rains have caused major rivers to overflow in the area, destroying crops, drowning cattle and isolating communities.
UNICEF supplies reach West Sumatra quake survivors
NEW YORK, USA, 12 March 2007 – UNICEF emergency supplies have reached the Indonesian province of West Sumatra, where two major earthquakes last week killed dozens of people and injured nearly 1,000 more.
For a young Iraqi woman, a second chance to learn and grow
WASSIT, Iraq, 9 March 2007 - In a small classroom in southern Iraq, Reem (not her real name), 22, is bent over her books. The stifling air is making it hard to concentrate, but she is determined to finish the lesson. She knows the few hours she spends here could determine the course of the rest of her life.
UN Executive Boards complete mission to post-war Liberia
MONROVIA, Liberia, 7 March 2007 – After more than 14 years of civil conflict, Liberia is moving forward on the road to recovery.
Emergency aid sent to quake survivors in West Sumatra, Indonesia
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 7 March 2007 – UNICEF is sending in truckloads of emergency supplies to victims of Tuesday’s quake in the Indonesian province of West Sumatra.
On International Women’s Day, an Iraqi mother and daughter stay focused on education
NEW YORK, USA, 7 March 2007 – As the 51st Session of the Commission on the Status of Women comes to close at the United Nations on 8 March, International Women’s Day, women and girls around the world struggle to make ends meet, get an education and stay safe. One of the places where these challenges are most acute is Iraq, where ongoing violence has become the norm.
Civil unrest in Guinea leads to rapes of women and children
CONAKRY, Guinea, 5 March 2007 – When Adelaid’s mother had to leave Conakry last month to forage for kola nuts, she left her in the care of an uncle to protect her from the violence that had overtaken Guinea’s capital city.
UNICEF provides emergency relief after cyclones and flooding hit Madagascar
ANTANAVARIVO, Madagascar, 2 March 2007 – Voahangisoa Nirina and her husband built a house when they got married 13 years ago and have since raised a family of five children there. But six weeks ago, Cyclone Bondo destroyed everything they had.
Two displaced Afghan children voice hopes for the future after returning to school
NEW YORK, USA, Afghanistan, 1 March 2007 - Despite the successful efforts of UNICEF and other humanitarian organizations in Afghanistan, some of the country’s children and young people – especially those living in camps for the displaced – still lack access to adequate education, nutrition and health care.
Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow highlights plight of CAR and Chad
NEW YORK, USA, 28 February 2006 – UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow was at United Nations headquarters in New York yesterday to draw attention to the plight of children and families displaced by conflict in the Central African Republic (CAR) and Chad.
Coastal town in Mozambique reeling but on the move after Cyclone Favio
VILANCULOS, Mozambique, 28 February 2007 – Just 48 hours after Tropical Cyclone Favio almost flattened chunks of this tranquil Mozambican coastal town, the people of Vilanculos were on the move – mending roofs, fixing broken power lines, cutting up fallen trees, carting off corrugated roofing and sweeping up debris.
Mia Farrow witnesses dire effects of conflict in eastern Chad
DJORLA, Chad, 22 February 2007 – The militia attacked the village of Djorla in eastern Chad before dawn. They torched the huts and ransacked the food stores. Unlike many villagers under similar attack in this area, the people of Djorla fought back, and paid a heavy price.
UNICEF Executive Director inaugurates Ethiopia’s first Plumpy’nut factory
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, 21 February 2007 - UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman inaugurated Ethiopia’s first Plumpy’nut therapeutic food factory in Addis Ababa yesterday.
Immunization drive for flood-affected children in Jakarta, Indonesia
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 21 February 2007 – Upon hearing that a free immunization drive was under way, Linda, 27, a mother of two, did not think twice before bringing her young daughters to an emergency health centre in central Jakarta.
Syria tightens entry requirements for Iraqi refugees as population pressure builds
NEW YORK, USA, 21 February 2007 – As Syria tightens entry regulations for refugees crossing the border from Iraq, UNICEF and its partners continue to advocate for humanitarian exceptions to the rules.
Thousands displaced in the Central African Republic struggle to survive
NEW YORK, USA, 20 February 2007 – Over the last year, brutal attacks on villages in the northwestern Central African Republic (CAR) have displaced thousands of people.
Protecting and educating children affected by floods in Mozambique
SOFALA PROVINCE, Mozambique, 20 February 2007 – Orlando and his family were among the first to arrive at Chupanga Camp, near the town of Caia in Mozambique’s Sofala Province, after the recent floods began.
Uganda launches education campaign for war-affected children
NEW YORK, USA, 15 February 2007 – UNICEF Uganda and its partners have put education in the spotlight this week with the launch of their ‘Go to school, back to school, stay in school’ campaign to help 1.3 million children get primary education in the country’s conflict-affected north and northeast.
School restoration campaign builds hubs of stability in Iraq
NEW YORK, USA, 15 February 2007 – Schools are becoming critical hubs of stability within Iraq, thanks to a UNICEF-supported restoration programme designed to stem school closures and growing drop-out rates.
Mia Farrow visits conflict-afflicted Central African Republic
BANGUI, Central African Republic, 13 February, 2007 – In a rapidly arranged ceremony, President François Bozizé awarded UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow a presidential Medal of Honour in recognition of her services to his nation.
Psychosocial support for children affected by conflict in south Lebanon
AL-KHIAM, Southern Lebanon, 13 February 2007 – Amid the ruins of one of south Lebanon’s more vibrant and well kept towns, children in Al-Khiam laughed as they played in the afternoon sun, almost oblivious to the agony they had suffered in recent months.
UNICEF aid reaches children and families affected by Jakarta floods
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 12 February 2007 – As torrential rains ease off and floodwaters begin to recede, thousands of people in Jakarta and surrounding areas are now returning to their homes.
When learning saves lives: UNICEF supports mine-risk education in south Lebanon
HOUMINE AL-TAHTA, Lebanon, 12 February 2007 – Though he spoke shyly, Hassan, 9, knew very well what unexploded cluster munitions look like.
Palestinian teens speak out on new agreement to end internal violence
NEW YORK, USA 9 February 2007 – After several weeks of internal fighting in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, leaders of the Hamas and Fatah parties yesterday signed an agreement to cease the violence. The agreement, known as the Mecca Accord, followed a two-day summit in Saudi Arabia.
Palestinian child health still faces challenges, despite end of strike at clinics
HEBRON, Occupied Palestinian Territory, 6 February 2007 – Government clinics have resumed routine services following a recent three-month health workers’ strike that began after clinic staff members had not been paid their full salaries for over 10 months.
Five girls killed in mortar attack on school in Baghdad
NEW YORK, USA, 29 January 2007 – At least five schoolgirls were killed in Baghdad yesterday when two mortars hit their high school.
Humanitarian Action Report 2007: Gender bias harms children in times of crisis
NEW YORK/USA, 29 January 2007 – In 2006 natural and man-made disasters continued to cripple the lives of children around the world. Devastating floods swept the Horn of Africa; conflicts continued in Darfur and elsewhere; and in countries such as Haiti, extreme poverty took its toll.
Three years after the quake, UNICEF closes its emergency office in Bam, Iran
BAM, Iran, 26 January 2007 – Three years after a devastating earthquake struck the ancient Iranian city of Bam, development and reconstruction continue apace and UNICEF has closed its emergency office.
Thousands homeless and without food after floods in Burundi
BUJUMBURA, Burundi, 26 January 2007 – Massive flooding hit 13 of Burundi’s 17 provinces last week, leaving thousands of families homeless and without food and drinking water.
No end in sight for Darfur’s humanitarian crisis
NEW YORK, USA, 22 January 2007 – The violence in the Darfur region of western Sudan continues unabated amidst reports over the weekend of villages being heavily bombed in the north. Meanwhile, a joint statement issued on 17 January by a group of United Nations relief agencies, including UNICEF, has put the humanitarian crisis back in the spotlight.
After floods, UNICEF helps children get back to school in southern Malawi
NSANJE, Malawi, 22 January 2007 – More than 1,000 children in southern Malawi are heading back to school – albeit a week late – in the aftermath of flash floods and heavy rains that devastated the area earlier this month.
Requiem for Darfur: A song of solidarity
NEW YORK, USA, 22 January 2007 – More than 100 musicians and 120 singers will join tonight in a song of solidarity for the victims of the ongoing violence in Darfur.
Flooding in Malaysia threatens children’s well-being
NEW YORK, USA, 19 January 2007 – Flooding in Malaysia from unusually high levels of rainfall has resulted in the displacement of thousands of people, many of them children.
Palestinian students return to school despite intense challenges and violence
NEW YORK, USA, 16 January 2007 – Students in the Occupied Palestinian Territory are finally beginning a new semester after violence and teachers’ strikes kept many away from their studies last year.
Afghanistan Representative visits schools and other UNICEF programmes
NEW YORK, USA, 16 January 2007 – In the few weeks since Catherine Mbengue became UNICEF’s Representative in Afghanistan, she has been touring the country to see what UNICEF is doing, particularly with regard to education for girls and women.
After Aceh floods, relief efforts help families cope with effects of ‘tsunami from the river’
TAMIANG DISTRICT, Indonesia, 12 January 2007 – After the Tamiang River burst its banks late last month, Rachwaty and her four children spent three days and nights on the roof of a mosque while their village was submerged in floodwaters up to three metres high.
UNICEF mourns the loss of Iraq staff member Janan Jabero, 1954-2007
AMMAN, Jordan, 10 January 2007 – On the last day of 2006, UNICEF staff engineer Janan Jabero, 52, left his house in Baghdad to go see a friend. He never made it. Several days later, his family and colleagues learned that he had been found shot to death in his car.
Relief efforts ‘contain’ effects of flooding on Indonesian children and families
NEW YORK, USA, 3 January 2007 – Following massive flooding that started on 22 December, UNICEF Indonesia and its partners have managed to get many of the disaster’s most serious effects under control.
Flash flooding and landslides bury Indonesian towns and displace 400,000
NEW YORK, USA, 27 December 2006 – The floodwaters have slowly begun to recede in the north, east and central Aceh regions and Sumatra, Indonesia, but a humanitarian crisis remains in their wake.
Young Thai girl finds inspiration through photojournalism project
PHANG NGA, Thailand, December 2006 – Hot and dry wind blows up gritty dust as a team of UNICEF staff approaches a roadside shack in rural Thailand. The dilapidated mixture of peeling wood, grey concrete and corrugated iron has been home to 13-year-old Mod and her 10-year-old brother since their father was killed in a recent motorcycle accident.
Micro-enterprises empower tsunami-affected Malaysian women
LANGKAWI, Malaysia, December 2006 – For the men who cast their nets off the tsunami-affected coast of Langkawi, life is finally returning to normal.
Treating water sources in Maldivian islands hard-hit by the tsunami
MEEDOO, Maldives, December 2006 – Govindarajan Saravanan, a United Nations Office for Project Services engineer working on a UNICEF contract, moves from house to house on the small island of Meedoo checking for groundwater contamination.
Philippines typhoon damage leaves thousands homeless and education at risk
CAMARINES SUR PROVINCE, Philippines, 21 December 2006 – Bato South Central Elementary School, in the province of Camarines Sur, was destroyed by Typhoon Reming – also known as Durian – on 30 November.
Conflict affects 1 million people in Central African Republic
NEW YORK, USA, 21 December 2006 – Nearly 1 million people are being affected by ongoing hostilities in a ‘forgotten emergency’ in northern Central African Republic (CAR).
Frontline diary: Lives uprooted by Somalia floods
ARARE CAMP, Somalia, 21 December 2006 – The broad picture of the torrential rains and floods in Somalia is grim enough – a huge expanse of some 100,000 productive hectares lies submerged after the Shabelle and Juba rivers burst their banks.
Basic school supplies reach children and teachers in post-war Southern Sudan
KWAJOK, Southern Sudan, 20 December 2006 – Angelina Nyanyok, 18, a student at the local primary school, identifies her classroom by the single element that provides any shelter.
School access a challenge for girls at camps in northern Uganda
PABBO CAMP, Acholi Region, Uganda, 19 December 2006 – Christine Lawil remembers vividly the day that the LRA came to her village near Pawel, Uganda. “My husband was working in our garden and the rebels attacked the village,” she says. “They beat him and then killed him.”
Samira’s story: Despite dangers, vaccinators fight to keep Iraq polio-free
BAGHDAD, Iraq, 15 December 2006 – Iraq’s fourth national polio campaign of 2006 is sending thousands of Iraqi vaccinators from house to house, to immunize children at their doorsteps.
UNICEF UK Ambassador Martin Bell witnesses ‘thirst for education’ in Afghanistan
NEW YORK, USA, 13 December 2006 – UNICEF UK Ambassador for Humanitarian Emergencies Martin Bell has returned from a week-long trip to Afghanistan.
Vigil held in memory of boys killed in Gaza
NEW YORK, USA, 12 December 2006 – The killing of three young brothers in Gaza City yesterday has shocked the Palestinian community across the political divide and exposed, once again, the plight of children living in the volatile region.
Rebuilding young quake survivors’ dreams at child centres in Central Java
YOGYAKARTA, Indonesia, 11 December 2006 – Six months ago, Mohammad Hisyan, 9, was left with little more than his guitar. It was one of the few belongings he managed to save when a devastating earthquake struck Central Java.
Somalia floods devastate communities
JOWHAR, Somalia, 6 December 2006 – Central and Southern Somalia have experienced widespread flooding that has affected over 300,000 people in recent weeks.
Emergency aid starts to reach Philippines areas hit by typhoon and mudflows
NEW YORK, USA, 5 December 2006 – In the Philippines, the death toll from Typhoon Reming, also known as Durian, has climbed to more than 570, according to the latest government figures.
Floods bring havoc to Dadaab refugee camp in northeastern Kenya
DADAAB, Kenya, 4 December 2006 – It was early Saturday morning and Kusa Yunis Hassan, 23, a Somali refugee mother of two, emerged from her plastic shelter. Her son Mohammed, 3, was playing outside. There had been a deluge for the past two weeks.
Bill Clinton visits rebuilt school in Aceh on final tour as UN tsunami envoy
BANDA ACEH, Indonesia, 4 December 2006 – Ibu Nurhayati has a big smile on her face. She just met Bill Clinton. The UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery has come to her school – SDN 1 Peukan Bada, on the outskirts of Banda Aceh – to take a look at UNICEF’s permanent school reconstruction program.
GEM clubs help more girls get to school in Southern Sudan
JUBA, Southern Sudan, 30 November 2006 – Like children everywhere, students in Southern Sudan spend most of their mornings studying textbooks, reciting lessons and trying to keep still. But for two days recently, 55 students and teachers came together to raise education awareness through an exuberant display of song and dance.
UNICEF officer describes the plight of displaced families in a Darfur camp
NYALA, South Darfur, Sudan, 29 November 2006 – Colourful fabrics strewn across thorn bushes greet us as we drive through. Men and women fasten sticks and twigs into giant, bug-shaped structures, which when completed will be their new homes.
Camps swell as women and children flee fighting in south Darfur
NEW YORK, USA, 16 November 2006 – Thousands of women and children have taken shelter at a camp in south Darfur after a sudden surge in fighting forced them to flee their homes.
Former US President Clinton chairs tsunami recovery meeting at UNICEF
NEW YORK, USA, 15 November 2006 – Former US President Bill Clinton, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery, chaired a session at UNICEF headquarters with partner agencies today to assess progress in the massive rebuilding effort.
Severe floods ravage eastern Africa
NEW YORK, USA, 14 November 2006 – Tens of thousands of people in eastern Africa have fled their homes, and many have died, as a result of heavy flooding in recent weeks. Somalia in particular has been severely affected, along with neighbouring Ethiopia and Kenya.
Far-reaching survey assesses learning spaces in post-war Southern Sudan
JUBA, Southern Sudan, 10 November 2006 – For the first time in the history of this war-torn region, a major survey has made it possible to identify the location and conditions of thousands of learning spaces – many of them ‘bush schools’ consisting of little more than a few benches under a tree.
UNICEF appeal cites ‘an emergency within an emergency’ in Afghanistan
New York, 8 November 2006 – UNICEF has issued an urgent appeal for help for the children of Afghanistan, who are suffering from the double tragedy of war and drought.
Renewed violence in Gaza raises serious concerns for children’s safety
NEW YORK, USA, 8 November 2006 – Renewed violence in Gaza is again raising serious concerns about the welfare of civilians, including children. Over the past week, the armed conflict has claimed the lives of an estimated 68 Palestinians – including 18 reportedly killed in shelling as Israeli tanks withdrew from the town of Beit Hanoun before dawn today.
Youth centre helps spread messages of peace in Dili, Timor-Leste
DILI, Timor-Leste, 2 November 2006 – Elio Da Costa, 14, took a few steps back to study his handiwork and then moved forward again to add some finishing touches. He was busy painting messages of peace and non-violence on the walls of St. Joseph Minor Seminary here in the capital of Timor-Leste.
In northern Pakistan, ‘child-friendly spaces’ help young quake survivors heal
NORTH WEST FRONTIER PROVINCE, Pakistan, 1 November 2006 – As Britain's Prince Charles pays a highly publicized visit to earthquake-affected communities of Pakistan-administered Kashmir today, quake survivors there and in North West Frontier Province (NWFP) continue their struggle to resume a normal life.
Nutrition survey checks on health of children affected by conflict in Sri Lanka
MULLAITIVU, Sri Lanka, 1 November 2006 – Three-year-old Kisharthan doesn’t quite know why he’s lying on his back on a wooden board. His father’s hand is on his head and a nurse is holding his feet. He looks alarmed and seems about to cry, but before he can start he is whisked up onto his feet again.
Polio immunization campaign supports recovery in post-war Lebanon
BENT JBAIL, Lebanon, 31 October 2006 – In another key step towards recovery in post-war Lebanon, the first round of an emergency polio immunization campaign began yesterday, targeting all children up to five years of age.
Two girls in Lebanon and Israel discuss post-war concerns
NEW YORK, 30 October, 2006 – During the war between Israel and Hezbollah that ended with a ceasefire in August, young people in both Lebanon and Israel suffered while watching parts of their homelands attacked and people who lived there displaced or killed.
Zakia’s story: Support for education in Pakistan’s earthquake zone
BATTAGRAM, Pakistan, 27 October 2006 – Under the watchful eyes of her mother, Zakia Bibi is getting ready for school, diligently packing her books and folders.
Polio case in Kenya refugee camp raises fears and concerns
NEW YORK, USA, 26 October 2006 – As the escalating conflict in Somalia triggers an influx of refugees into neighbouring Kenya, a child living in a camp along the border has been diagnosed with polio. It is Kenya’s first reported case in 22 years.
Food supplies run low for Sri Lankan families displaced by violence
JAFFNA, Sri Lanka, 26 October 2006 – Sri Lanka’s Jaffna Peninsula has already seen decades of conflict. Now its population of 600,000 is feeling the effects of the recent upsurge in fighting between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and government forces.
Reclaiming normalcy, children in Lebanon return to school at last
ANSARIYYEH, Lebanon, 16 October 2006 – “During the war, I was very scared,” said Fatima Abbas, 10. “Every day, I thought I was going to die. There was so much bombing, and I thought things would never go back to normal again.”
Lebanese children returning to school for the first time since conflict
NEW YORK, USA, 13 October 2006 – Children in southern Lebanon will be headed back to the classroom on Monday, 16 October, as part of the National Back-to-School Campaign initiated by the Ministry of Education with support from UNICEF.
Aid reaches families displaced by conflict in eastern Sri Lanka
VAHARAI, Sri Lanka, 12 October 2006 – Not far from the shoreline, where rows of tents stretch into the distance, a group of children and women gather round a concrete well to wash clothes and dowse themselves in cooling water – a relief from the fierce heat.
Rebuilding lives in the Pakistan earthquake zone, one year later
NEW YORK, USA, 6 October 2006 – It has been an extremely difficult year for children living in the earthquake-affected regions of northern Pakistan.
‘Eye See’ photo project spotlights the views of young earthquake survivors in Pakistan
NEW YORK, USA, 5 October 2006 – To mark the one-year anniversary of northern Pakistan’s devastating earthquake, UNICEF has launched the ‘Eye See II’ photo project, a special initiative to highlight the unique experiences and needs of children in the quake’s aftermath.
European Commission funds support for Palestinian children caught in conflict
NEW YORK, USA, 4 October 2006 – Ninety-one children have been killed already this year in the West Bank and Gaza, almost double the number killed during the whole of 2005. Fear and violence are part of daily life in the occupied Palestinian territory, and children are suffering from increasing levels of stress.
School clubs spread message of hygiene across South Kordofan
SOUTH KORDOFAN, Sudan, 29 September 2006 – The students in the School Hygiene Club at Kagar-Al-Mak School in the Nuba Mountains of northern Sudan are quite busy these days. They are producing drama and songs with key messages on hygiene and sanitation that they will perform for about 600 other pupils and teachers.
Water and hygiene aid helps Lebanese families cope in war’s aftermath
EL KHIAM, Lebanon, 25 September 2006 – This southern Lebanese border town was severely damaged during the recent conflict between Israel and Hezbollah. No building was left untouched. More than 70 per cent of El Khiam’s houses and three of its five schools were destroyed.
Displaced children and families at risk in Jaffna, Sri Lanka
NEW YORK, USA, 20 September 2006 – Despite a ceasefire officially in effect in Sri Lanka, the conflict between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and government forces has brought escalating violence to the Jaffna District on the northern tip of the island nation. Shelling and skirmishes between the two groups are a frequent occurrence there.
Teenage girls in Israel and Lebanon talk about living through war
NEW YORK, USA, 19 September 2006 – Two teenage girls, one from Israel and one from Lebanon, had an opportunity to speak on the phone recently and tell each other about themselves and their experiences in the war between Israel and Hezbollah.
Two teenage girls in Israel and Lebanon find common ground
NEW YORK, USA, 14 September 2006 – Two teenage girls, one from Israel and one from Lebanon, had an opportunity to speak on the phone last week and tell each other about themselves and their recent experiences in the war between their two countries.
Lebanese children face post-war challenges
NEW YORK, USA, 14 September 2006 – In the southern Lebanese town of Srifa, older generations have lived through many wars. But the recent, month-long conflict between Israel and Hezbollah was the first for for 15-year-old Mariam Kamal El Dine and her younger sisters.
Child health suffers in Gaza and West Bank as government workers’ strike continues
NEW YORK, USA, 12 September 2006 – Thousands of children in the West Bank and Gaza have been without medical care since health workers went on strike earlier this month. Along with other government workers, they have not been paid for several months because of the continuing conflict in the occupied Palestinian territory.
The long road back to school for children in southern Lebanon
SRIFA, Lebanon, 7 September 2006 – Now that the fighting between Israel and Hezbollah has ceased, the children of southern Lebanon are trying to return to normal life. But the challenges are enormous. In the village of Srifa, half the buildings have been damaged or destroyed.
Making heroes out of children with a new emergency preparedness programme
KUALA MUDA KEDAH, Malaysia, 1 September 2006 – “I was watching TV when my neighbour came to my house to tell me to look at this long white line in the sea. When I saw the giant waves in the distance I thought to myself, how beautiful! I had never seen anything like it before..."
Students face challenges as new school year begins in Gaza and the West Bank
NEW YORK, 1 September 2006 – Ongoing violence in the West Bank and Gaza is threatening to disrupt the new school term as more than 1.6 million children prepare to return to classes.
Japan donation protects flood-affected children from malaria and polio
ADDIS ABABA, 29 August 2006 – UNICEF has received $4.7 from the Government of Japan for malaria control and polio eradication in Ethiopia.
UNICEF issues urgent appeal as Ethiopia flood toll rises and supplies run low
NEW YORK, 29 August 2006 – Hundreds of people have been killed and tens of thousands more made homeless by floods sweeping across Ethiopia. UNICEF has launched an emergency appeal for $18.35 million to provide food, shelter and medicine to those struggling to survive.
UNICEF provides emergency supplies for flood-stricken families in Nepal
KATHMANDU, Nepal, 29 August 2006 – UNICEF has started distributing supplies to families affected by devastating floods in the Mid-Western and Far-Western Regions of Nepal.
UNICEF and UN partners step up humanitarian aid in southern Lebanon
NEW YORK, USA, 28 August 2006 – As the fragile ceasefire between Israel and Hezbollah holds in southern Lebanon and UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan makes a diplomatic visit to the region, Lebanese children continue to suffer from inadequate services, water shortages and a lack of basic supplies.
Thousands remain displaced by Ecuador’s Tungurahua volcano
QUITO, Ecuador, August 25, 2006 – Ecuador’s active Tungurahua volcano had its biggest eruption yet last week, leading to the displacement of thousands of children and families who now remain homeless and in need of humanitarian assistance.
In the Philippines, UNICEF gears up response to Mount Mayon eruption threat
MANILA, Philippines, 23 August 2006 – More than a week after a high alert (level 4 out of 5) was declared at Mount Mayon in the Philippines province of Albay, the number of evacuees from the active volcano zone continues to rise.
For Lebanese children, the homefront is a landscape mined with dangers
TYRE, Lebanon, 23 August 2006 – Sikuna Marei, 12, lies in the intensive care unit of Tyre’s Jebel Amel hospital. Even the oxygen mask she’s wearing can’t conceal the pain she suffers from the wound where doctors removed a jagged piece of shrapnel from her liver.
Schools shelter Palestinian families displaced by violence in Gaza
NEW YORK, USA, 22 August 2006 – The Preparatory School for Boys in Rafah, southern Gaza, has become a temporary home for nearly 50 Palestinian families affected by ongoing hostilities.
Uncertain journey for Lebanese refugees returning from Syria
NEW YORK, USA, 18 August 2006 – Thousands of Lebanese refugees who fled to Syria during the month-long conflict between Hezbollah and Israel have been crossing the border again. More than 100,000 have made the journey back to Lebanon since the ceasefire took effect on Monday.
Frontline diary: On an aid convoy to war-torn Bint Jbeil, southern Lebanon
BIN JBEIL, Lebanon, 18 August 2006 – It’s 8 a.m. and our convoy of 16 battered trucks is lined up on the Tyre seafront. I am in the rear escort vehicle, an armoured Land Cruiser, in line with the tight security rules that apply to a zone of recent conflict.
Relief for children in southern Lebanon, but danger remains
NEW YORK, 17 August 2006 – UNICEF supplies of water and fuel have arrived in one of the worst hit areas of southern Lebanon. The town of Bint Jbeil was devastated in the month-long conflict between Israel and Hezbollah, but families are already returning home. As well as trying to rebuild their lives, they now face the threat of unexploded bombs.
Children suffer with no end to violence in Gaza
NEW YORK, USA, 16 August 2006 – As the fragile ceasefire continues to hold in Lebanon, children in Gaza are facing unprecedented levels of violence.
Monsoon floods cause widespread damage, affecting millions in India
BHUBANESWAR, India, 15 August 2006 – Lying on the floor of a congested relief camp, women and children wait anxiously for the return of their loved ones. Among them is Pratima Biswal, 32, whose husband Saroj went missing while trying to escape from the raging floodwaters.
As thousands of Lebanese families head home, UNICEF warns of unexploded bomb danger
NEW YORK, USA, 15 August 2006 – UNICEF is warning that thousands of Lebanese children are at risk from unexploded bombs as they return to their homes in the wake of Monday’s ceasefire between Israel and Hezbollah.
Young people in the Middle East talk about the toll of conflict
NEW YORK, USA, 14 August 2006 – Yasmin, 13, lives in the Gaza Strip. She says her life used to be beautiful, without the fears she has on a daily basis now. “I can’t go swimming, I can’t go anywhere, can’t look at the Internet because of the electricity shortage,” she says. “I can’t even take a bath because of the water shortage.”
Thousands head home following ceasefire in Lebanon
NEW YORK, USA, 14 August 2006 – Tens of thousands of Lebanese families are returning home, just hours after a ceasefire was agreed between Israel and Hezbollah. UNICEF estimates that some 6,000 people an hour are heading back towards the worst hit areas in the south of the country.
Immunization campaign for displaced children in Lebanon gains momentum
BEIRUT, Lebanon, 11 August 2006 – A UNICEF-backed campaign to immunize children displaced by the ongoing conflict in Lebanon against measles and polio is now under way across the country.
UNICEF renews call for cessation of hostilities to assist civilians in Lebanon
NEW YORK, USA, 11 August 2006 – UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman today reiterated her call for a cessation of hostilities in Lebanon to allow humanitarian agencies to deliver emergency aid.
Safe play areas offer some relief for children caught in Gaza conflict zone
NEW YORK, USA, 11 August 2006 – In the Palestinian village of Wadi Al Salqa, children at a playground are busy playing with their friends, just as children do everywhere. But what may look like a perfectly ordinary scene is not so ordinary in Gaza, where children have very few places to play.
The humanitarian challenge in Lebanon
NEW YORK, USA, 9 August 2006 – Nearly a month into the conflict in the Middle East, the challenges faced by Lebanon’s civilian population are unrelenting while the delivery of emergency aid remains almost impossible.
International community condemns killing of aid workers in Sri Lanka
NEW YORK, 9 August 2006 – The recent killing of 17 Sri Lankan aid workers has sent shock waves through the global humanitarian community. UNICEF Representative in Sri Lanka Joanna Van Gerpen called the execution-style killings “unprecedented, and perhaps one of the worst incidents in the history of humanitarian assistance.”
Crisis worsens Gaza’s already severe water shortage
NEW YORK, USA, 8 August 2006 – The water point in the southern Gaza town of Joret al Lout is the only place to get drinkable water for the more than 10,000 people who live there.
Community health workers reach out to quake-affected families in Pakistan
MUZAFFARABAD, Pakistan, 18 July 2006 – Firdaus, a 19-year old college student, entered the canvas-and-aluminium shelter of the Akhtar family in the ruins of Chela Bandi village, Pakistan-administered Kashmir.
Lebanese families fleeing conflict seek refuge at a camp in Syria
DAMASCUS, SYRIA/NEW YORK, USA, 7 August 2006 – The Zabadani Pioneer Camp near Damascus is one of Syria’s biggest hosting sites for refugees who have fled ongoing hostilities in Lebanon. The former children’s camp has cancelled its summer programme in order to accommodate 1,700 refugees.
Latest violence cuts off most humanitarian access to Lebanon
NEW YORK, USA, 4 August 2006 – Air strikes in northern Lebanon have destroyed the country’s last road links to the outside world, severely restricting humanitarian access.
Protecting the health and well-being of children displaced by conflict in Lebanon
NEW YORK, USA, 3 August 2006 – UNICEF has launched a measles immunization campaign in Lebanon to protect the health of tens of thousands of children forced from their homes by the conflict there.
Children displaced by violence in Timor-Leste face malnutrition and harsh conditions
DILI, Timor-Leste, 3 August 2006 – Little Nevia Nunes huddled close to her mother’s breast, her eyes half-open, her face a picture of exhaustion.
Psychosocial programmes help Palestinian children cope with crisis
NEW YORK, USA, 2 August 2006 – Since there are no places to play in Al Zaytoun, children wander the streets, improvising their own games in the heavily populated area east of Gaza City. Poverty is rife and ongoing hostilities have made matters worse.
Youth in the Middle East tell their stories of conflict... and hopes for peace
NEW YORK, USA, 1 August 2006 – Omer lives in Haifa, in northern Israel. She’s 15 years old. “After the siren we have about a minute to get into shelters. And usually we hear booms and faraway echoes. It’s kind of scary.”
As Middle East crisis continues, supplies reach southern Lebanon
NEW YORK, USA, 31 July 2006 – In the aftermath of Sunday’s attack in Southern Lebanon’s town of Qana — which left nearly 60 people dead including 37 children — UNICEF is calling on all parties to heed the call of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan for an immediate cessation of hostilities.
Violence takes heavy toll on Israeli and Palestinian children
NEW YORK, USA, 28 July 2006 – More than two weeks into the conflict, the ongoing violence between Israel and Hezbollah is taking a heavy toll on children living in the region. While the number of civilian casualties continues to rise, the psychological trauma inflicted on children is difficult to measure.
Escalating death toll for children in Gaza
NEW YORK, USA, 27 July 2006 – While clashes between Israel and Hezbollah intensify in Lebanon, fighting continues on a second front in Gaza in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt). And the crisis is taking a heavy toll on children.
Aid appeal launched as UNICEF supplies arrive in southern Lebanon
NEW YORK, USA, 26 July 2006 – The first convoy of humanitarian supplies for children has reached Tyre in southern Lebanon. The joint UN convoy contains 40 tonnes of much-needed emergency supplies destined for the tens of thousands of displaced children affected by the ongoing violence between Israel and Hezbollah.
Palestinian children hit hardest in ongoing Gaza crisis
NEW YORK, USA, 26 July 2006 – While clashes between Israel and Hezbollah intensify in Lebanon, fighting continues on a second front in Gaza in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt).
Lebanon aid appeal launched as first UNICEF supplies arrive
NEW YORK, USA, 24 July 2006 – UNICEF is asking for $23.8 million as part of a wider UN appeal of $150 million for emergency aid to Lebanon. Launched simultaneously in Beirut and at United Nations headquarters in New York, the appeal urges the global community to help displaced and refugee children and families in their hour of critical need.
UNICEF supplies are on the way, but access remains a major challenge in Lebanon
NEW YORK, USA, 21 July 2006 – Civilian refugees caught in the conflict in Lebanon and Israel are increasingly imperilled, especially in southern Lebanon, where fighting is expected to intensify. Gaining access to deliver aid to children and families at risk remains a major challenge for UNICEF and other relief agencies.
Aid distributed in communities hit by Java quake and tsunami
NEW YORK, USA, 21 July 2006 – UNICEF emergency supplies are being distributed among communities in Java to help them cope with the aftermath of the tsunami that struck the south coast of the Indonesian island on Monday, killing more than 500 people.
UNICEF prepares emergency aid for children caught in deepening Middle East crisis
NEW YORK, USA, 20 July 2006 – As the humanitarian situation deteriorates further amid continuing conflict in Lebanon and Israel, UNICEF is concerned for the lives, health and well-being of children caught in the crisis.
Supplies reach tsunami-stricken south coast of Indonesia’s Java island
NEW YORK, USA, 19 July 2006 – UNICEF supplies have reached the south coast of Indonesia’s Java island, where an earthquake and tsunami struck on Monday, leaving hundreds of people dead and tens of thousands homeless.
UNICEF and partners respond to escalating crisis in Lebanon and Israel
NEW YORK, USA, 19 July 2006 – With the crisis in Lebanon and Israel entering its second week, UNICEF is seriously concerned for civilians caught in the conflict and is racing to get critical emergency supplies to tens of thousands of children affected by the hostilities.
Summer schedule helps mountain schools in Pakistan's quake zone catch up
JABORI, Pakistan, 12 July 2006 – In the valley communities of northeastern Pakistan devastated by the 8 October 2005 earthquake, thousands of temporary tent schools supported by UNICEF are closed down for the long, hot summer.
Schools outside Timor-Leste capital overcrowded with students fleeing conflict
BAUCAU TOWN, Timor-Leste, 3 July 2006 – Over 700 secondary students fleeing violence in Dili, the capital of Timor-Leste, flooded into schools in the eastern district of Baucau last month. Ever since, Baucau Town’s three secondary schools have been struggling to cope with the overflow.
UNICEF youth spokesperson says the world is failing children in Darfur
NEW YORK, USA, 30 June 2006 – UNICEF Spokesperson for Youth Ronan Farrow has returned from a trip to the Darfur region of Sudan saddened by the changes since his last visit in 2004 but motivated to remind young people that they can make a difference.
Singing and sports help Timorese children cope in camps for displaced people
DILI, Timor-Leste, 27 June 2006 – The recent violence in Timor-Leste reopens emotional wounds for many. Forced out of their homes, tens of thousands of Timorese have had no choice but to live in crowded camps.
Scenes from the frontline: Mia Farrow’s Darfur video diary
DARFUR, Sudan, 23 June 2006 – UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow visited the war-torn Darfur region of Sudan in mid-June to highlight the importance of protecting children affected by the continuing violence there.
Flash floods kill over 200 on Sulawesi island, Indonesia
NEW YORK, USA, 22 June 2006 – More than 200 people have died in flash floods after three days of torrential rains swept through eight districts in South Sulawesi Province, Indonesia.
Young quake survivors battle tetanus infection
YOGYAKARTA, Indonesia, 19 June 2006 - Four-year-old Dani lies weak but restless in her hospital bed. She’s been here for four days with her mother, Ibu Gini.
UNICEF helps Dili residents made homeless by ethnic violence
DILI, Timor-Leste, 16 June 2006 - It seems like a different era, but just two months ago Don Bosco was simply a college. Today, the school and the grounds surrounding it have become one of the largest camps for people displaced by the ethnic violence in Dili, the capital of Timor-Leste.
In Ethiopia, better education for a better future
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, 15 June 2006 – As countries around the world commemorate the Day of the African Child tomorrow – the anniversary of a historic child-led protest for access to basic quality education in Soweto, South Africa – the day also marks a milestone for children in Ethiopia.
On Darfur visit, Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow appeals for international aid
NEW YORK, USA, 15 June 2006 – UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow has just completed a one-week visit to Sudan to highlight the need for further international aid in war-torn Darfur.
Mothers hit hard by drought in Horn of Africa
GARISSA, Kenya, 13 June 2006 – Signs of death litter the Horn of Africa, stark reminders of a fragile landscape deprived of sufficient water for years on end.
Education, water and sanitation at forefront of UNICEF quake relief in Indonesia
NEW YORK, USA, 12 June 2006 – While communities pull together in Central Java, Indonesia, gradually clearing buildings destroyed by the 27 May earthquake, UNICEF is putting education, water and sanitation at the forefront of its ongoing relief efforts there.
Puppet theatre welcomes children back to school in Pakistan earthquake zone
BALAKOT, Pakistan, 12 June 2006 – Schoolgirls topple over each other in a fit of giggles as they watch a puppet show performed by the Dosti Welfare Organization, a UNICEF local partner in Pakistan.
Amid conflict in Timor-Leste, a teacher cares for families displaced by violence
DILI, Timor-Leste, 9 June 2006 – Taking care of some 2,000 men, women and children means getting up at 4 a.m. and working until midnight for Antonio Soares, a volunteer coordinator at a camp for displaced people in Comoro Has-Lara, Timor-Leste.
In Java quake’s aftermath, UNICEF expands relief efforts and monitors volcano threat
NEW YORK, USA, 8 June 2006 – Nearly two weeks after the devastating earthquake in Central Java, Indonesia, UNICEF is concentrating its relief efforts on providing survivors with safe water and adequate sanitation, and has just launched a massive immunization campaign.
UNICEF helps displaced children and families survive in Chad’s desert
GOZ BEIDA, Chad, 6 June 2006 – “They came again and again, taking our things, killing and burning our villages,” says Fatime, a Chadian mother of five. “We had to leave our village near the border of Sudan because of the Janjaweed militia.”
Life after the earthquake in a village in Central Java, Indonesia
NOGOSARI, Indonesia, 6 June 2006 – A string of brick houses along a lush green hillside comprise the quaint village of Nogosari in Central Java, Indonesia. But at 5:55 a.m. on 27 May, Nogosari’s tranquillity was suddenly punctured. The 6.2 Richter-scale earthquake, its epicentre just a few km away, violently lifted up this village before setting it back down again as little more than a pile of rubble.
In Angola, fresh water saves many threatened by cholera outbreak
LUANDA, Angola, 1 June 2006 – Surrounded by buckets, cans and plastic basins, Susana Neto and Catarina Figueiredo can hardly keep up with the demand at a roadside water distribution point in Boa Vista, one of Luanda’s shantytowns.
UNICEF opens first child protection centre in Indonesia quake zone
NEW YORK, USA, 31 May 2006 – Just three days after a devastating earthquake struck Central Java in Indonesia, UNICEF has opened the first child protection centre in the quake zone.
UNICEF emergency supplies reaching thousands affected by Indonesia quake
NEW YORK, USA 30 May 2006 – UNICEF emergency supplies are flowing into Central Java, Indonesia, to assist thousands of victims of Saturday’s earthquake.
Relief supplies arrive to help survivors cope with Indonesia quake impact
YOGYAKARTA, Indonesia, 28 May 2006 – In the early hours of the day yesterday, a powerful earthquake measuring 6.2 on the Richter scale struck just south of Indonesia’s art and culture capital of Yogyakarta, Central Java. The quake left more than 4,600 people dead, mainly in the rural district of Bantul, situated between Yogyakarta city and the southern coast of Java.
Thousands reported killed in central Java earthquake; UNICEF responds
27 May 2006 – Almost 3,000 people have been killed in an earthquake that struck central Java, Indonesia, at 5:55 local time this morning, according to the provincial government’s Emergency Coordinating Agency.
UNICEF urges more international help to improve security for children in Chad
NEW YORK, USA, 23 May 2006 – UNICEF humanitarian workers have returned to their posts in eastern Chad after being evacuated for security reasons during the country’s recent presidential election.
In Ethiopia’s troubled Gambella region, a master plan to get children back to school
GAMBELLA, Ethiopia, 17 May 2006 – During a visit to western Gambella, UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Rima Salah laid out a master plan to get more children back to school in one of Ethiopia's most strife-torn regions.
On Indonesia’s Nias Island, UNICEF helps rebuild the lives of quake-affected children
GUNUNGSITOLI, Indonesia, 10 May 2006 – Well over a year since a violent earthquake shook the island of Nias in Indonesia, killing 800 people and destroying 90 per cent of the infrastructure, UNICEF continues to offer vital protection for children.
Health and nutrition survey provides vital information on Pakistan earthquake survivors
NEW YORK, USA, 9 May 2006 – Seven months after the terrible earthquake that devastated Pakistan in October, malnutrition persists as one of the major problems for children under the age of five in the affected areas. But the situation is gradually improving, thanks in part to an ambitious survey of the condition of earthquake survivors.
Goodwill Ambassador Johann Koss sees effects of war in Southern Sudan
Southern Sudan, 5 May 2006 – UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Johann Koss has just completed a visit to Southern Sudan to highlight both the challenges and opportunities for children here after 21 years of war.
Goodwill Ambassador Johann Koss visits camps for displaced families in Sudan
EL FATEH CAMP, Sudan, 2 May 2006 – UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and Olympic speed-skating champion Johann Koss is visiting Sudan to highlight the difficult situation of children living in camps for displaced families.
GOMA, DR Congo, 27 April 2006 – Over the course of five days earlier this month, our small group travelled through eastern DR Congo, visiting Bunia, Beni and finally Goma, the largest town in the Ituri region. It was clear that UNICEF is providing truly lifesaving emergency interventions on the ground in these war-torn areas. But any hope of moving from humanitarian aid to long-term development will depend on achieving peace here.
Goodwill Ambassador Angélique Kidjo witnesses devastation of drought in Kenya
NEW YORK, USA, 26 April 2006 – UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and Oxfam campaigner Angélique Kidjo visited the drought-affected Wajir district in northern Kenya this week to raise awareness about the severe crisis that has devastated the Horn of Africa.
UN appeal seeks $426 million for Horn of Africa drought relief
NAIROBI, Kenya, 10 April 2006 – The United Nations regional appeal for the Horn of Africa was launched Friday at a standing-room-only event here. Out of the total appeal for $426 million, UNICEF is asking donors for $97.7 million.
Six months after Pakistan quake, child nutrition and health care are key concerns
MUZAFFARABAD, Pakistan, 6 April 2006 – Six months after the earthquake that devastated this area in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, UNICEF is helping Pakistan’s Ministry of Health operate a therapeutic feeding centre for undernourished children in Muzaffarabad and extend health care to village communities where there was none before. These activities are intended to safeguard children’s health as the emergency phase of the quake relief effort changes to return, reconstruction and rehabilitation.
With the Horn of Africa on the brink of famine, need for drought relief grows
NEW YORK USA, 6 April 2006 – The need for humanitarian aid is growing in parts of the Horn of Africa where more than 15 million people – including 2.7 million children under the age of five – are affected by the worst drought to hit the region in decades. Aid will be even more vital to save children’s lives if the rains fail again this month the region, which includes Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia.
Children among the most vulnerable from quake and aftershocks in Lorestan, Iran
LORESTAN, Iran, 5 April 2006 – UNICEF is at the front lines of the emergency relief effort in the aftermath of the 31 March earthquake and aftershocks in Lorestan, Iran. UNICEF’s Representative in Iran, Christian Salazar, spent time over the last few days in the city of Boroujerd, one of the hardest-hit areas. “It’s like a ghost town,” he said. “Ten thousand houses and all the schools are destroyed.”
International Day for Mine Awareness: A landmine-free world within reach
NEW YORK, USA, 4 April 2006 – Children could be free from the threat of landmines and other explosive remnants of war much sooner than previously thought. According to the ‘Landmine Monitor Report 2005’, between 15,000 and 20,000 people – at least 20 per cent of them children – are killed or maimed by these devices each year. But that number has been decreasing over the last decade.
UNICEF helps to launch ‘Go to School’ initiative in post-war Southern Sudan
JUBA, Southern Sudan, 3 April 2006 – Getting the kids ready for a new school term can be a hectic and expensive affair, most parents would agree. But it pales in comparison with buying, shipping and packing school supplies for 1.6 million Southern Sudanese children – a process that demands a forklift for the pencil sharpeners alone.
Schools reopen in Bel Air, bringing hope and stability to Haitian children scarred by violence
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 31 March 2006 – Sitting in rows of four on benches newly provided by UNICEF, young girls and boys fill classrooms in the schools of Port-au-Prince’s rundown suburb of Bel Air. And you can read the joy and excitement on their faces.
12-14 March 2006: UNICEF UK’s David Bull reports from drought-stricken Kenya
LOKICHOGIO, Kenya, 12 March 2006 – Imagine walking through the dusty semi-desert of northern Kenya, where the temperature is in the upper thirties Celsius day after day. Your whole community has lost all the cattle, goats and donkeys that provided the only livelihood in this parched landscape, where even the usual meagre rains have been largely absent for the last two years or more.
UNICEF Pakistan supports services for women and children disabled by earthquake injuries
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, 24 March 2006 – Among the most vulnerable of the thousands injured in last October’s earthquake are those who suffered severe spinal injuries. In a society where disability is not easily addressed, UNICEF is providing support by helping Pakistan’s National Institute of the Handicapped to establish a special ward for injured women and children.
On Afghanistan visit, UNICEF Deputy Executive Director stresses need for education for all
BAMYAN, Afghanistan, 22 March 2006 – In the shadow of a huge sandstone arch that housed one of the famous Bamyan Buddhas in central Afghanistan prior to its destruction by the Taliban, UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Rima Salah today urged all Afghan families to give priority to education for the sake of long-term progress.
As drought lingers, Kenya’s nomadic Turkana tribes are among the worst affected
NEW YORK, USA, 21 March 2006 – The nomadic Turkana tribes of northeastern Kenya have been especially vulnerable to the severe year-long drought afflicting the Horn of Africa.
Haiti’s children still struggling for survival
NEW YORK, USA, 21 March 2006 – Haiti’s children are facing a continuing struggle for survival, with one in eight likely to die before the age of five. A lack of basic services such as water, health care and education are compounded by poverty and violence, locking children into a cycle of deprivation and abuse.
UNICEF Representative sees opportunities in Southern Sudan and urgent need in Darfur
NEW YORK, USA, 16 March 2006 – UNICEF’s Representative in Sudan, Ted Chaiban, is in Washington, D.C. today, meeting with U.S. Government officials about the critical situation in Darfur and Southern Sudan. In particular, Mr. Chaiban is emphasizing the urgent need for greater awareness and funds to help millions of people – most of them children and women – affected by conflict throughout Sudan. After his meetings on Capitol Hill, he will head to London and Berlin for further discussions with governments and donors.
Rescue teams continue search for survivors of mudslide
ST. BERNARD, Philippines, 22 February 2006 – Although time is running out, rescue teams in the Philippines have continued to dig in hopes of finding more survivors from last Friday’s deadly mudslide.
Coping with severe drought in Ethiopia's southern Moyale district
MOYALE DISTRICT, Southern Ethiopia, 20 February 2006 – More than 100 men, women and children crowd around the edge of a rough-cast well in Ethiopia's southern Moyale district – held back by a single man carrying a whip fashioned out of a broken branch.
Relief arriving for survivors of mudslide tragedy
ST. BERNARD, Philippines, 20 February 2006 – International aid has begun to pour in for the survivors of Friday’s mudslide in the Philippines. The first shipments of UNICEF supplies – including essential drugs, medical equipment and water purification tablets – arrived the next day. Relief efforts are being coordinated with the Philippines Armed Forces and the Red Cross.
UNICEF launches relief appeal as severe drought threatens Ethiopia
GODE, Ethiopia, 26 January 2006 – Two tiny babies lie cradled in the arms of their mother and older sister in Gode Hospital, near the southernmost edge of Ethiopia's remote, drought-stricken Somali region. At first glance you would never know that they were twins.
UNICEF launches Humanitarian Action Report 2006 with an appeal for more than $805 million for emergency relief in 29 countries
NEW YORK, USA, 23 January 2006 – Appealing to donors for more than $805 million for emergency relief in 29 countries, UNICEF has launched its annual Humanitarian Action Report. The Report outlines the organization’s work in emergency situations and the funding requirements for 2006.
‘Carol Bellamy Operations Centre’ unveiled
NEW YORK, USA, 18 January 2006 – In honour of former UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy’s extraordinary contribution to the initial creation and nurturing of the organization’s emergency programming focus, UNICEF today unveiled a new, completely renovated communication facility, renaming it the ‘Carol Bellamy Operations Centre’.
UN Delegations Women’s Club raises $120,000 for schools in Darfur
NEW YORK, USA, 27 October 2005 – UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman today accepted a cheque for $120,000 from the United Nations Delegations Women’s Club, for the construction of schools in Sudan’s conflict-ridden region of Darfur. The Club raised the money through an international bazaar held earlier in the year that featured raffles, food and hand crafted items from five continents.
Executive Director Ann M. Veneman: Supplies are critical to relief efforts
COPENHAGEN, 19 October 2005 – UNICEF’s Supply Division, based in this European city, has been key to the organization’s ability to respond to the devastating earthquake in South Asia. UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman is in Copenhagen today to review operations.
Katrina: UNICEF kits helping displaced children
MERIDIAN, Mississippi, 13 September 2005 – Having fled their New Orleans home after Hurricane Katrina struck, nine-year-old Tinitra Corely and her family are living at the United Methodist Central Church in Meridian, Mississippi. UNICEF ‘School-in-a-Box’ and recreation kits have now arrived in Meridian, and Tinitra and other children like her are putting them to good use.
Katrina: Children helping children
REDFIELD, Arkansas, 12 September 2005 – The United Pentecostal Church campground in this town is now a temporary home to roughly three hundred people displaced by Hurricane Katrina. The first people arrived from New Orleans a week ago.
'SMART Methodology Version 1' expected to save lives in humanitarian emergencies
NEW YORK, 23 June 2005 – UNICEF and its partners have launched a new computer-based system that is expected to save lives in complex humanitarian emergencies.
Day of the African Child 2005: An opportunity to reflect
NEW YORK, 15 June 2005 – Countries across Africa are set to observe the ‘Day of the African Child’, 16 June 2005 – an annual celebration and an opportunity to reflect on progress towards to health, education, equality and protection for all the continent’s children.
UNICEF Executive Director and UN leaders call for action in southern Africa
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, 25 May 2005 -- Three United Nations leaders called for the world to focus on the chronic problems and humanitarian needs of millions of people in southern Africa, especially children.
UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman heads to southern Africa
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, 20 May 2005 – UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman’s first field visit, to the southern Africa region, comes at a time of crisis – a quiet, unseen crisis away from the media spotlight.
UNICEF behind major campaign to fight Marburg outbreak
UIGE, Angola, 12 April 2005 – Following the deadly Marburg outbreak in Angola and recent attacks on World Health Organization (WHO) surveillance teams in the Northern Province of Uige, UNICEF is supporting the Ministry of Health and WHO in a major multi-media campaign designed to provide targeted and accurate information about the disease.
Learning lessons from tsunami response
NEW YORK, 7 April 2005 – Three and a half months after the tsunami devastated south-east Asia, UNICEF’s emergency response team is beginning to evaluate the lessons learned during the humanitarian response. Claudia Hudspeth, who is UNICEF’s Senior Coordinator for Emergency Operations (EMOPS), recently returned from a three-month posting to Aceh, Indonesia, where she helped organize aid efforts.
Darfur: situation could deteriorate
NEW YORK, 7 April 2005 - Unless peace can be achieved on the ground in Darfur in the coming months, the situation for women and children is likely to get worse. Over two million people have been affected by the crisis, and with the conflict deteriorating and a severe drought looming, UNICEF Special Representative Keith McKenzie says people in Darfur are going to require continued assistance in the months ahead.
Launch of Arabic version of Humanitarian Action Report 2005
Dubai, 5 April 2005 – UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Rima Salah today launched the Arabic version of the Humanitarian Action Report 2005 and called for international donors and humanitarian agencies to renew their commitment and support for countries in crisis.
UNICEF seeks $763 million for ‘forgotten emergencies’
NEW YORK, 26 January 2005 - UNICEF is appealing to the ‘tsunami spirit’ for more than $750 million for emergencies out of the spotlight.
Coordinating UNICEF’s relief efforts
NEW YORK, 5 January 2005 – The staff at UNICEF’s Operation Centre (OPSCEN), located at the organisation’s headquarters in New York City, have been working around the clock in order to coordinate the unprecedented relief efforts for survivors of the Indian Ocean tsunami.