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.
- The humanitarian situation in Guinea has been exacerbated by the socioeconomic impact of COVID-19, political instability, and the recurrent threat of disease outbreaks, including hemorrhagic fevers (Ebola, Lassa and Marburg), measles, polio, and COVID-19 prolonged school closures contributed to the decrease of access to school, placing almost 4,5 million children at risk of learning interruption.
- The resurgence of the Ebola virus disease in 2021 and the growing risk of spillover of conflict and armed violence from the neighboring Central Sahel countries highlight the need to maintain a robust emergency readiness capacity in the country, while continuing to invest into systems strengthening for the delivery of essential services.
- UNICEF requires US$27.3 million to continue responding to the threat of disease outbreaks, supporting basic service provision, and protecting women and children from violence and abuse.
Key planned targets for 2022
91,200 children admitted for treatment for severe acute malnutrition
604,404 children vaccinated against measles
285,000 people reached with critical WASH supplies
316,000 women and children accessing gender-based violence mitigation, prevention, response
Funding requirements for 2022
Country needs and strategy
Half of Guinea's children already lived in poor households before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Their vulnerability has been exacerbated by the socioeconomic impact of COVID-19, low access to social protection mechanisms, political instability, and the recurrent threat of disease outbreaks, especially hemorrhagic fevers, measles and polio. The pandemic lead to the interruption of education for thousands of students, exacerbating gender inequalities, increasing the likelihood of early and/or forced marriage as well as concern on gender-based violence. Violence against women and children has increased by 20 per cent since the onset of COVID-19, aggravating an already alarming situation in a country where violence – including sexual violence – is widespread.
The resurgence of the Ebola virus disease in 2021 placed additional pressure on a fragile health system that was still recovering from the 2014–2016 Ebola outbreak and is characterized by inadequate facilities and limited capacity to ensure the required vaccination coverage for children. In 2022, more than 2.2 million children under 5 years of age require polio vaccination and 604,404 are in need of measles vaccination following the under-utilization of health services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The lack of adequate WASH services in health facilities, schools and communities is another challenge to curbing outbreaks, with 21 per cent of households, 69 per cent of health facilities and 64 per cent of schools lacking access to safe water. The nutritional situation of children is fragile due to economic impact of COVID-19 and persistent food insecurity. In 2022, it is projected that 286,000 children will suffer from severe acute malnutrition nationwide. In addition, over 4 million children are at risk of dropping out of school, if there is any further epidemic resurgence.
While the security situation in Guinea has remained relatively calm following a military coup in September 2021, the longer-term socioeconomic impacts are not yet clear, particularly as the country faces the growing risk of spillover of conflict and armed violence from the neighboring Central Sahel countries.
In 2022, UNICEF will seek to reach more than 8 million people in need of humanitarian assistance in Guinea, including 4.4 children. UNICEF's humanitarian action will be guided by three strategies: (1) supporting the continuity of essential services and access to social protection, (2) enhancing community engagement and (3) strengthening emergency preparedness.
To respond to the multiple epidemic threats in the country, UNICEF will ensure the continuity of health and immunization services through community-based surveillance, vaccination, strengthening laboratory capacity, procurement of essential medicines and critical pharmaceutical supplies, and support for mobile clinics in remote areas. Building on lessons learned from the 2021 Ebola outbreak, UNICEF will take a community-based approach to its humanitarian action, revitalizing and strengthening the capacities of community-based organizations and working through community networks to reinforce resilience. UNICEF will focus on survivor follow up and health systems strengthening, investing in cross-sectoral support for the continuity of essential health and other social services, while simultaneously strengthening emergency preparedness. This will include supporting WASH services in health centers, communities and schools.
UNICEF will draw on its strong field presence and prepositioning of emergency stocks to ensure timely response to disease outbreaks, natural disasters, and conflict, in line with the Core Commitments for Children in Humanitarian Action, while maintaining strong linkages with longer-term development actions.
To address the nutrition needs of children in Guinea, UNICEF will focus on early detection and adequate care for children with severe acute malnutrition by strengthening its presence and operational support to health centers and community platforms.
In education, UNICEF will focus on supporting the continuity of learning in safe environments, facilitating access to learning materials, and providing WASH services, quality emergency supplies and consumables in schools and early learning centers. Building on good practices and lessons learned, UNICEF will also consider and strengthen distance learning and digital platforms approaches depending on COVID-19 dynamics in the country.
To respond to the critical protection challenges worsened by disease outbreaks, conflict and a fragile security situation, UNICEF will support violence prevention services for children and women, focusing on mental health, psychosocial support and gender-based violence, including programmes for the empowerment of women and adolescents.
UNICEF will invest into a systemic approach to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse, including regular training, community engagement, risk assessment, increased vetting and human resources measures.
In social protection, UNICEF will focus on strengthening national social protection systems, providing emergency cash transfers to the poorest households and linking emergency cash programming with the national social register.
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 Guinea; the strategies that we are using to respond to these situations; and the donor support that is essential in this response.