Latin America and the Caribbean Region Appeal
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. Read more about this year’s appeal here.
Countries in Latin America and the Caribbean are increasingly facing rapid-onset and protracted socio-economic crises with serious humanitarian implications. Risk scenarios projected 18 million people in need of assistance in 2019, up from 9 million in 2018.
Climate change, violence, poverty and political turmoil have forced millions to migrate across the region. The Venezuelan migrant crisis is the third largest migration flow globally, with over 4 million people having left the country through regular and irregular channels; and the number of migrants moving through Central America and Mexico – including extra-regional migrants – reached unprecedented peaks in 2019.
The region is also extremely prone to natural hazards, with 17 countries at high/very high risk. Between January and July 2019, 15 countries experienced disasters affecting 960,000 people, including 300,000 children. Climate change and human-driven factors are compounding the region's risks, with devastating impacts. In Central America and Haiti, droughts have led to declining livelihoods and rising commodity prices, resulting in 1.7 million children facing crisis/emergency levels of food insecurity. In Paraguay, intense rains – partly due to extensive deforestation – have affected nearly 300,000 people in 2019.
The region is also experiencing a dengue outbreak, with some countries accumulating more cases by the end of July 2019 than in all of 2018.
Funding requirements for 2020
The UNICEF Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Office will provide direct and remote support to country offices in the region to address the increasing number of complex crises affecting children, emphasizing transboundary situations and the impacts of climate change. This work will ensure strong linkages between humanitarian action and development programming, including by building shock-responsive social services and keeping the protection of children at the centre of humanitarian action.
UNICEF will reinforce its partnerships with governments, regional bodies and humanitarian, development and private actors to contribute to collective outcomes and timely responses to the needs of children on the move and children affected by emergencies, while reducing vulnerability and risk over time. UNICEF will prioritize an integrated response to national and regional crises.
Emergency preparedness and response capacities will be strengthened through comprehensive risk-informed programming. This will lay the foundations for solid situation analysis and evidence generation, and improved programming, implementation, field monitoring, reporting and evaluation.
UNICEF will also build a comprehensive human resources surge and learning strategy to ensure the short-term deployment of highly qualified staff to meet urgent needs through timely and effective humanitarian action on the ground, in line with the revised Core Commitments for Children in Humanitarian Action.
UNICEF will place special emphasis on responding to emerging needs associated with internal displacement and migration across Central America and Mexico by scaling up advocacy, technical assistance and service delivery; while also addressing recurrent and chronic situations, such as violence, droughts, food insecurity and malnutrition.
UNICEF will also focus on the situation in Colombia, where uncertainty regarding the implementation of the peace accords and the upsurge in violence are putting thousands of children at risk of forced displacement and other protection challenges.
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 Latin America and the Caribbean; the strategies that we are using to respond to these situations; and the donor support that is essential in this response.