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.
- In the Middle East and North Africa, protracted conflicts, climate change and social and natural hazards continue to threaten the lives and well-being of children. Consequently, 50 million children, including 6.4 million refugees and approximately 6.4 million internally displaced children, are in need of humanitarian assistance. UNICEF prioritizes meeting the immediate needs of 18.8 million of the most vulnerable children in the region.
- UNICEF will support risk-informed responses linking disaster risk reduction and climate adaptation with anticipatory action and emergency preparedness. It will build inclusive systems and support cash-based solutions, promote child-centered and conflict-sensitive approaches, mainstream gender and gender-based violence and integrate sexual exploitation and abuse prevention and mitigation in its response.
- UNICEF is requesting US$61.3 million to support its humanitarian action in the region, including enhancing its technical capacity to prepare for, coordinate and respond to emergencies. With this funding UNICEF aims to meet the needs of 4 million vulnerable people (including more than 2.8 million children) in Algeria, Djibouti, Egypt and Morocco, while also focusing on a coordinated preparedness and response approach to those crises with broader, regional impacts.
83.9 million people in need of health and nutrition assistance
34 million children in need of protection services
36.9 million children in need of education support
59 million people lack access to safe water
Funding requirements for 2023
Regional needs and strategy
In the Middle East and North Africa, over 90.6 million people, including 40 million children, need humanitarian assistance. The region continues to host one of the largest populations of refugees and internally displaced people globally. The numerous humanitarian crises and situations in the region are troubling and complex. While active hostilities and protracted conflicts put the lives and well-being of civilians at risk, economic deterioration and an uncertain political landscape diminish national capacities to address people's growing vulnerabilities. The war in Ukraine has exacerbated this situation by increasing food and energy prices. This, in turn, has further aggravated poverty and increased vulnerabilities, especially food insecurity, throughout the region. This situation has negatively affected humanitarian operations for Sahrawi refugees in Algeria, increased food costs in Egypt and heightened food insecurity in Djibouti.
On 8 September, in Morocco an earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale with epicenter in Atlas mountainous areas 70 km from Marrakesh hit several regions of the country. As of 13 September, official statistics count 2,946 dead and 5,674 injured.
The magnitude of hostilities in the State of Palestine has resulted in grave humanitarian consequences, placing children and their families at risk and restricting their access to essential services. Ensuring sustained humanitarian aid in the State of Palestine is imperative, along with strengthening the readiness of UNICEF and its partners to respond in neighbouring countries.
The region is already susceptible to dry and hot weather, and the effects of climate change are worsening this fragile situation. Drought and drought-like conditions have affected children and families in several countries in the region. In addition to directly impacting the water supply, this situation has negatively affected children’s access to basic nutrition and increased the risk of public health emergencies and outbreaks, including cholera. At the same time, floods are becoming more severe as rainy seasons become more compact, resulting in intensified damage and displacement, such as in Libya in September.
This situation negatively impacts the most vulnerable children and adolescents by exposing them to various forms of violence. Due to climate change, inadequate governance and conflicts, the number of children at risk of losing access to safe drinking water and to sanitation and hygiene (WASH), essential health and nutrition services and quality learning opportunities is increasing. Children are at risk from such negative coping mechanisms as child labour, child marriage and various forms of violence. Women and girls, children with disabilities, refugees and social minorities are disproportionately affected by this.
UNICEF's priority is to address the immediate humanitarian needs of the most vulnerable populations throughout the region. Driven by the Core Commitments for Children in Humanitarian Action and the Humanitarian-Development-Peace nexus, UNICEF will strengthen national and local capacities to cope with future shocks and stresses. UNICEF is expanding partnerships to enhance coordination and create synergy among humanitarian actors as well as promoting localization of humanitarian action across the Middle East and North Africa region. UNICEF will also promote accountability to affected populations, strengthen protection from sexual exploitation and abuse, engage young people and work with local partners, including local women's organizations.
Improving evidence generation and information management in humanitarian situations is a priority for UNICEF in the region. This includes effective use of technology, supporting inter-agency planning processes and expanding regional partnerships. Given the volatility of the context, the unprecedented effects of climate change in the region and diseases outbreaks, UNICEF is strengthening efforts for early detection of hazards to ensure an effective and timely response to emergencies. UNICEF aims to ensure rapid response and delivery of supplies through robust supply planning, pre-positioning, streamlined processes for customs clearance, optimal warehousing and distribution networks, skilled human resources, strategic partnerships and local and regional sourcing initiatives. UNICEF will strengthen its technical capacity to prepare for and respond to emergencies across programme sectors as both cluster lead and focal point agency, notably for WASH, nutrition, health, child protection and education. Additionally, UNICEF will work towards enhancing capacities for inclusive humanitarian cash transfer solutions in the region.
UNICEF will promote gender-responsive emergency response planning and the participation of women-led organizations in humanitarian-development-peace programming. It will further collaborate with regional partners to empower young girls and boys and promote their engagement in humanitarian planning. In addition to regional preparedness needs and responses, this appeal also includes humanitarian assistance provided in Algeria, Djibouti, Egypt and Morocco.
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.