Middle East and North Africa 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.
- Armed conflict, protracted crises and natural hazards compounded with climate change and COVID-19 are threatening the lives and well-being of 35.1 million children, including 5.5 million refugees and over 7.2 million internally displaced children, in the Middle East and North Africa region.
- The UNICEF Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Regional Office will continue supporting national efforts to provide 24.2 million children with humanitarian assistance, and ensure continuity in provision of basic health, education, WASH and protection services in the context of COVID-19.
- UNICEF will further implement Grand Bargain commitments with governments and partners, localize capacities for emergency preparedness and response, improve accountability to affected communities, prevent and address sexual exploitation and abuse, and build shock-responsive systems for better child-centered resilience.
- UNICEF requests US$55.8 million to address COVID-19 and other humanitarian needs of 6.2 million people in Algeria, Djibouti, Egypt, Oman and Tunisia and support overall humanitarian action in the region.
80 million people in need of health and nutrition services
45 million people lack access to safe water
27 million children in need of protection services
23 million people in need of GBV services
29 million children in need of education support
Funding requirements for 2022
Regional needs and strategy
With 79 million people, including 35.1 million children, in need of humanitarian assistance in the Middle East and North Africa, the region continues to experience some of the gravest humanitarian situations in the world. Complex emergencies, including armed conflicts and protracted crises, in a region prone to natural hazards affect communities and threaten the lives of vulnerable groups, especially children, women and refugees and internally displaced people. Direct and indirect effects of COVID-19 and climate change, as crises and crisis-drivers, have exacerbated vulnerabilities. These continue to damage national economies, increase extreme poverty, disrupt provision of child-centered services, increase protection risks, and threaten social cohesion in vulnerable communities.
Protracted conflicts and hostilities continue to affect children in the region while the migration crisis puts more children at risk. In 2022, there will be around 14 million refugees and 14.5 million internally displaced people in MENA, with new refugee emergencies affecting Sudan and Iran. In Yemen and Syria alone, 14.8 million children suffer from conflicts. Widespread economic downturn, aggravated by COVID-19, has disrupted the livelihoods of millions of people across the region, plunging them into poverty and potentially reversing the development gains of the past few decades. Among others, sinking into one of the most severe global crises is Lebanon, with the majority of the country's population, including 844,000 registered Syrian refugees, falling into poverty. Tunisia is suffering from a deteriorating economic situation and increased vulnerabilities, while political uncertainties will further jeopardize essential services to children. The COVID-19 pandemic has put systems in MENA under unprecedented stress, with over 80 million children in need of urgent health and nutrition assistance and 29 million children in need of urgent assistance to access education. Climate change is contributing to water scarcity in the region, leaving 45 million people without access to safe drinking water.
In view of an active humanitarian crisis and the current risk profile of the region, UNICEF MENA adopts a two-pronged strategy to address the immediate humanitarian needs and build local capacities for emergency preparedness. Guided by the revised Core Commitments to Children in Humanitarian Action, UNICEF will provide timely humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable populations, including children, women, and persons with disabilities.
UNICEF MENA Regional Office will continue its strategic investments to build capacities at the regional and country levels for effective preparedness and response to ensure equitable and timely delivery of humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable populations. It will continue to provide strategic guidance and technical support to promote and inform child-centred risk-informed humanitarian and development nexus programming across all contexts, in order to contribute to crisis prevention and preparedness, build strong and resilient systems, and strengthen social cohesion. Drawing on COVID-19 lessons, UNICEF will further support strengthening national systems through support to governments and greater localization of aid to address the immediate needs of vulnerable people during future public health emergencies.
Promoting accountability to affected populations and working with local partners remains a key strategic priority contributing to building trust and strengthening local capacities to save lives and alleviate suffering. Focus will be placed on further developing predictable partnerships with national organizations, strengthening community-based interventions and adolescent and youth engagement. Regional Office activities will also contribute to increase protection from sexual exploitation and abuse, an organization-wide responsibility, by scaling up safe and accessible reporting channels, survivor-centred assistance, and strengthened accountability for child survivors.
Finally, UNICEF will continue to increase collaboration and coordination with the United Nations agencies for more predictable, timely, efficient and effective humanitarian action. Notably, the blueprint initiative with UNHCR will support building inclusive national systems to include refugee children.
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 the Middle East and North Africa; the strategies that we are using to respond to these situations; and the donor support that is essential in this response.