Humanitarian Action for Children
UNICEF’s Humanitarian Action for Children appeal helps support the agency’s work as it
provides conflict- and disaster-affected children with access to water, sanitation, nutrition,
education, health and protection services. Return to main appeal page.
- Conflict escalation in several areas, climatic shocks and disease outbreaks remain the main drivers of displacement, food insecurity and protection risks in Ethiopia. Over 29.4 million people, including 15.6 million children, are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. However, as the situation in Northern Ethiopia continues to evolve, more children are expected to suffer from the devastating impact of the conflict.
- In 2022, UNICEF continues its rapid response mechanism to deliver life-saving assistance in WASH and non-food items in hard-to-reach areas. UNICEF continues to identify and treat malnourished children and pregnant and lactating women and expand the delivery of health services through mobile health and nutrition teams; ensure rehabilitation of damaged or looted health facilities, water schemes and schools, and establishment of temporary learning/protective spaces.
- Despite operational challenges, UNICEF remains committed to stay and deliver and is appealing for US$351.1 million to meet the increasing humanitarian needs across Ethiopia.
Key planned results for 2022
619,482 children admitted for treatment for severe acute malnutrition
3 million children vaccinated against measles
3.5 million people accessing a sufficient quantity of safe water
187,000 children / caregivers accessing mental health and psychosocial support
Funding requirements for 2022
Country needs and strategy
Ethiopia is facing its worst humanitarian crisis in decades, impacting nearly 29.4 million lives, including 15.6 million children and 4.4 million persons with disabilities. Conflict across regions, climatic shocks and public health emergencies have significantly increased food insecurity, displacement, and protection risks, in addition to macroeconomic deterioration.
There are 4.2 million IDPs in the country, with the highest concentration in Tigray, Somali, Oromia, Amhara and Afar regions. Due to the ongoing expansions of conflict, these figures are expected to increase in 2022. Access to affected populations is limited and the presence of partners is diminishing due to insecurity and operational constraints.
Across the country, over 1.2 million children under 5 years of age require treatment for severe acute malnutrition (SAM); 1.3 million children aged 6 to 59 months are missing out on routine immunizations; 7.3 million children require emergency education assistance; 5.1 million children require emergency water and sanitation; 5.7 million women/children need emergency protection services; at least 204,500 unaccompanied/separated children need family tracing and reunification services; and nearly 5.6 million women/children need genderbased violence (GBV) services.
In Tigray region, the conflict has impacted over 90 per cent of people. Limited staff movements, lack of access to cash, fuel and life-saving supplies have greatly hampered humanitarian operations; the prevalence of moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) and SAM in children under 5 years of age is 18 and 2.4 per cent, respectively, exceeding global emergency global acute malnutrition (GAM) thresholds.
In Amhara and Afar, the Tigray conflict expansion, combined with previous risks/hazards, has significantly driven the needs of internally displaced people, while lack of funding/partner presence has prevented the scale of response required, in particular to the heightened protection-related risks of women/girls and needs of separated/unaccompanied children.
In other regions where conflict is also active (Benishangul-Gumuz, Oromia and Somali), looting of health facilities has prevented children and women from accessing essential health and nutrition services; and damage or destruction of schools has impacted children’s access to inclusive, formal education.
In Afar, Gambella, Southern Nations Nationalities and People’s Region, and Sidama, the frequency and duration of flooding and droughts has increased, with a predicted low harvest and growing food insecurity.
Together with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic across Ethiopia, the humanitarian situation in 2022 has the potential to negatively impact a decade of development gains with irreversible consequences without significant support from donors and scaled-up humanitarian action.
UNICEF will address the impact on children and women of the multiple complex crises occurring across many parts of Ethiopia through its strong regional footprint and capacity for remote community outreach. Our response leverages long-standing partnerships with government institutions and national and international non-governmental organizations to provide life-saving services for affected populations.
Scaled-up life-saving services will be provided to the most vulnerable children and their families as humanitarian needs continue to grow, while early preparedness and contingency planning will help to mitigate the worst-case scenarios.
Under Level 3 Emergency Procedures for Northern Ethiopia, UNICEF is expanding its operations throughout Tigray, Amhara and Afar regions. Through the activation of a rapid response mechanism across the country, integrated multi-sectoral responses in displacement settings, as well as through enhanced access efforts in hard-to-reach areas, UNICEF will ensure the delivery of supplies and services in areas most affected by conflict and climate shocks, and as provider of last resort where gaps in partner presence persist.
UNICEF will scale up campaigns to identify and treat malnourished children and pregnant and lactating women; expand delivery of health services through mobile health and nutrition teams; restore damaged or destroyed health facilities and schools; facilitate provision of water trucking, rapid WASH non-food item distributions, hygiene awareness and rehabilitation of water systems; ensure inclusive access to formal and informal education for out-of-school children while providing integrated, inclusive psychosocial support and protection case management; and increase the use of humanitarian cash transfers, which encompass promotion of child-focused integrated services. UNICEF will respond by leveraging its cluster leadership roles in WASH, nutrition, child protection and education.
The response will ensure a special focus on child protection and gender-based violence (GBV), addressing children victims of violence, abuse and neglect. Prevention and mitigation of GBV will be streamlined across all programme responses and accountability to affected populations will be assured through improved reporting mechanisms. Girls, boys, women and men will be meaningfully consulted and engaged in the research, design, planning, implementation and monitoring of the response through community platforms and religious institutions. UNICEF is also committed to strengthening prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse, has enhanced its reporting mechanisms, and is contributing to inter-agency efforts to establish community-based complaint mechanisms.
UNICEF’s response will be informed by a conflict-sensitive approach that involves monitoring, responding and adapting to the context, including sociopolitical and ethnic dynamics, while ensuring linkages to the humanitarian–development–peace nexus to the extent possible.
Humanitarian Action is at the core of UNICEF’s mandate to realize the rights of every child. This edition of Humanitarian Action for Children – UNICEF’s annual humanitarian fundraising appeal – describes the ongoing crises affecting children in Ethiopia; the strategies that we are using to respond to these situations; and the donor support that is essential in this response.