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. Return to main appeal page.
- The Latin America and the Caribbean region is historically prone to disasters. More than 88 per cent of disasters between 2020 and July 2022 were related to natural hazards, including hurricanes, floods, landslides and drought; these impacted livelihoods, homes and access to services.
- Violence, poverty and socioeconomic and structural inequality and sociopolitical turmoil, paired with the long-term effects of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, are exacerbating cumulative humanitarian needs and are the main drivers of internal displacement and cross-border migration. More than 18.4 million people in the region are displaced due to violence and disasters and are in need of protection and humanitarian assistance.
- UNICEF appeals for US$15.1 million to strengthen emergency preparedness for compounding humanitarian situations and to respond to emerging crises.
1.8 million children in need of health and nutrition services
2.4 million children in need of protection services
2.2 million children in need of access to school
5.6 million people lack access to safe water
8 million people affected by natural hazards
Funding requirements for 2023
Regional needs and strategy
Countries in Latin America and the Caribbean are historically prone to disasters. Between 2020 and July 2022, 88 per cent of hazards were climate-related: hurricanes, floods, landslides and drought, and these impacted livelihoods, homes and access to services. As natural hazards increase in intensity and frequency, their impacts on children compound and include multiple socioeconomic crises with serious humanitarian implications. These natural hazards are a life-threatening reality for children.
Crises in the region are interwoven. Gender-based and other types of violence, poverty, socioeconomic and structural inequality and sociopolitical turmoil, all exacerbated by the secondary effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, are the main drivers of internal displacement and cross-border migration of millions of people throughout the region. Pre-existing precarious conditions leave little room for resilience to the smallest shock and expose children to acute humanitarian needs.
The region continues facing multiple crises, including deteriorating sociopolitical circumstances; protracted migrant cross-border situations; urban violence and armed violence; disease outbreaks; and food insecurity. After sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean has the highest number of countries (19) facing a triple exposure to impacts of the war in Ukraine: rising food prices, rising energy prices and tightening finances. This can greatly erode the living conditions of 96 million people and fuel social instability. More than 3.8 million people, including 1.5 million children, were affected by disasters in 17 countries and territories between Januaryand September 2022.
In 2023, small island and developing states in the Caribbean are expected to face increased vulnerability caused by climate-related migration and food insecurity. With losses and structural damage from tropical cyclones and a rising sea level, anticipatory action and resilience building are critical to mitigating the worst situation for children.
With multiple ongoing humanitarian crises and given the risk profile of the Latin America and Caribbean region, UNICEF promotes strategies to address immediate humanitarian needs while building local/regional capacities for emergency preparedness and resilience. Guided by the Core Commitments for Children in Humanitarian Action, during emergencies that may occur in countries, or related to crises, not covered by other humanitarian appeals in the region, UNICEF will provide timely and integrated humanitarian responses to children and the most vulnerable populations, including pregnant and breastfeeding women, people with disabilities and indigenous communities. Cross-sectoral issues (e.g., gender, prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse, early childhood development and adolescents) and Grand Bargain commitments (localization, strengthening government and local actors’ capacities, accountability to the affected population, humanitarian cash transfers), will be mainstreamed.
UNICEF will invest in building shock-responsive systems and will continue its strategic investments to strengthen national capacities for emergency preparedness and response, including through supporting comprehensive, risk-informed programming at the regional and country level. Preparedness in compliance with UNICEF’s Minimum Preparedness Standards will lay the foundations for situational analysis and evidence-based planning and improved implementation, monitoring, reporting and evaluation.
Given that most countries in the region have increasing demands for greater humanitarian response capacities and experience, UNICEF will continue to strengthen its regional surge mechanisms to ensure staff with expertise are on the ground when needed. Capacity building workshops, climate resilience assessments and national communication campaigns will be prioritized in 2023.
UNICEF will reinforce the linkages between humanitarian and development programming, taking into account climate change adaptation and risk management, advocating for child-sensitive climate and environmental policies and promoting youth engagement.
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.