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Map of Middle East and North Africa Region
UNICEF photo: A man holds a soccer ball while talking to 3 boys © UNICEF/2016/Rich Syrian refugee boys in a Makani learning centre in Amman, Jordan. At the centre the children have been learning, exploring ways of better integrating into their new communities and handling the pressures of having lived through war.

Middle East and North Africa

Regional Office 2017 Requirements: US$3,500,000

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The Middle East and North Africa region continues to face multiple and complex conflicts, displacement and damage to vital health care, education and water infrastructure. With globally declared acute and protracted Level 3 emergencies in Iraq, the Syrian Arab Republic, countries hosting Syrian refugees and Yemen, as well as emergencies in Libya, the State of Palestine and the Sudan, there are 56.6 million1 people in need across the region. The needs of affected populations are increasing in scale and are aggravated by economic crises, chronic underdevelopment, disease and natural disasters. The conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic has given rise to serious protection concerns due to indiscriminate or targeted attacks and widespread violations of human rights by parties to the conflict. In Yemen, the nutrition crisis has put 462,000 children2 at risk of severe acute malnutrition and the collapse of the health system has left more than 7 million people in cholera-affected or at-risk areas. The complex emergency in Iraq, including the operation to retake Mosul, has increased displacement, with possible spill over into neighbouring countries that has compounded the burden on already stretched public services. Some 9.4 million people3 in Libya, the State of Palestine and the Sudan require humanitarian assistance.

Regional humanitarian strategy

Given the increasing scale and complexity of crises in the region, the UNICEF Middle East and North Africa Regional Office (MENARO) is providing direct and remote humanitarian and resilience programme support. Several emergencies in the region require support at the sub-regional level, including cross-border programmes into the Syrian Arab Republic, efforts to support refugees on the move and operational support in high-risk environments such as Iraq, Libya and Yemen. Support is provided through technical assistance and quality assurance, including on preparedness, emergency coordination, resource mobilization, contribution management, humanitarian planning, performance monitoring, analysis and advocacy. This also entails the deployment of technical experts when needed through regional technical personnel rosters. MENARO coordinates the operationalization of the Whole of Syria approach, which is implemented from Jordan, the Syrian Arab Republic and Turkey. MENARO also supports key initiatives with a medium- to longer-term perspective, such as the No Lost Generation initiative, in the Syrian Arab Republic, countries hosting Syrian refuges and Iraq. The regional humanitarian learning strategy includes training and support on operating in high-threat environments, bridging humanitarian and development responses and promoting human rights and international legal obligations in humanitarian contexts. MENARO develops and disseminates best practices and lessons learned to improve response and preparedness. With established humanitarian analysis capacity, MENARO aims to improve analytics and knowledge management in humanitarian situations across the region, including through the systematic documentation and sharing of humanitarian best practices and lessons learned from operations across the region, in cooperation with United Nations agencies, donors and other stakeholders. To ensure the regional coherence of programming, UNICEF engages international partners and conducts regional network meetings to document and share best practices. MENARO provides oversight and quality assurance in country office preparedness planning through the online Early Warning Early Action system. MENARO is working to support country offices to strengthen accountability to affected populations in humanitarian action, an essential component of ensuring appropriate, timely humanitarian response. UNICEF maintains a regional humanitarian contingency stock of supplies in Jordan and Turkey sufficient for 650,000 people, and foresees the considerable turnover of these supplies to respond to needs.

Results in 2016

As of 31 October 2016, UNICEF had received US$1,460,181 against the US$3.5 million appeal (42 per cent funded). In 2016, MENARO staff conducted more than 760 days of support missions to country offices with humanitarian operations, including Djibouti, Iraq, Libya, the State of Palestine, the Syrian Arab Republic and Yemen. To facilitate the operationalization of the Whole of Syria approach, MENARO staff from Amman, Jordan, and Gaziantep, Turkey, spent more than 460 days on mission delivering cross-border programmes and coordinating with partners from Jordan, the Syrian Arab Republic and Turkey. Furthermore, MENARO-supported UNICEF colleagues spent more than 80 days on mission to support operations at the berm in Jordan. MENARO also provided surge support to Iraq for the response to the Mosul emergency; to Yemen for capacity building of staff on communication and humanitarian law and programmes; to Egypt to strengthen the response to children on the move; and to Djibouti to support management capacity. MENARO dispatched contingency stocks valued at more than US$3.3 million to Iraq, the Syrian Arab Republic and Yemen in 2016. The Regional Office also built capacities across country offices and partners in the region, for example, on children associated with armed forces and armed groups, immunization and preparedness.

Funding requirements

UNICEF is requesting US$3.5 million to assist women and children during humanitarian crises and ensure that emergency-prone countries are prepared for rapid responses and resilience building. In addition, MENARO funding may be used to respond to situations in the region that are not included in a separate chapter of Humanitarian Action for Children 2017 and may not benefit from inter-agency flash appeals. The funding requirement reflects the need to enable MENARO to support country offices to prepare for emergencies and assist populations affected by crisis.

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1 This figure represents the aggregate total number of people in need as indicated in the Humanitarian Action for Children 2017 appeals for Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, the State of Palestine, the Sudan, the Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey and Yemen.
2 See Humanitarian Action for Children 2017 appeal for Yemen.
3 See Humanitarian Action for Children 2017 appeals for Libya, State of Palestine and the Sudan.