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. Read more about this year’s appeal here.
The humanitarian crises in the Middle East and North Africa are affecting a staggering number of people. Across the region, over 70 million vulnerable people, including 32 million children, require assistance.
Conflict remains the main driver of humanitarian needs and is dramatically impacting children and women, who are disproportionately affected by the violence. The conflicts in the Syrian Arab Republic and Yemen, the deteriorating security situation in Libya, the ongoing violence and instability in Iraq and the State of Palestine, and the political unrest in Algeria and the Sudan have exposed children to extreme risks, including death, forced recruitment into armed groups and early marriage.
These crises are also triggering waves of internal and external displacements, with spill-over effects on neighbouring countries. Across the region, 5.8 million children are refugees. The humanitarian situation in the region is also compounded by growing gender inequality, gender-based violence and fragile or economically strained institutions.
Against the backdrop of violence, the region is confronting infectious disease outbreaks, including cholera in Yemen, as well as natural disasters, such as the chronic droughts in Djibouti and flooding in Iran and Libya. Approximately 14.3 million children remain out of school across the region.
Funding requirements for 2020
The Middle East and North Africa has the greatest concentration of humanitarian needs in the world, with two Level 3 emergencies in the Syrian Arab Republic and Yemen and many countries facing protracted conflicts, civil unrest and/or political transition.
To deliver faster, more effective and at-scale humanitarian response for disadvantaged children and marginalized populations in 2020, the UNICEF Middle East and North Africa Regional Office will increase its technical and quality assurance support for all country offices in the region. This will include supporting preparedness, contingency planning and emergency response, and providing guidance on strengthening the linkages between humanitarian response and longer-term development goals to build resilience against shocks.
Country offices will be guided on strengthening their programmatic focus on key cross-cutting issues such as the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse, prevention and response to gender-based violence in emergencies, inclusion of people with disabilities and gender equity.
UNICEF will address less visible but still urgent crises, such as in Djibouti and Iran, and coordinate the cross-border response to the Syrian crisis. The regional strategy will also focus on enhancing country programme excellence by ensuring quality programme design, implementation, monitoring, evaluation and reporting, as well as stronger alignment and compliance with UNICEF’s global guiding frameworks, policies and standards.
UNICEF will also support country offices to operationalize the accountability to affected populations policy around four key strategic objectives:
- ensure UNICEF procedures and systems support people-centred approaches;
- design, implement and monitor all UNICEF programmes incorporating the feedback and participation of affected people;
- strengthen the centrality of accountability to affected populations in the organization’s culture; and
- ensure that UNICEF contributes to effective collective accountability mechanisms, including for the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse.
UNICEF will also scale up resource mobilization to attract flexible and predictable multi-year funding.
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.