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 eastern Ukraine, some 3.4 million people, including 430,000 boys and girls, are living along the 420-km contact line. These people are bearing the brunt of the five-year, protracted conflict, with direct threats to their physical and mental well-being, and limited access to basic services. In one of the world's most mine-contaminated areas, fear of stepping on a landmine is a daily reality for conflict-affected communities. The area is also prone to freezing temperatures in winter, which further increases vulnerability.
Water infrastructure is relentlessly targeted in the fighting, with a total of 67 incidents so far in 2019, threatening access to safe water for millions of people. Access to learning is also imperiled, with 23 education facilities damaged in 2019 compared with 16 in 2018. With no resolution in sight, children and their families require continuous psychosocial support and protection services, including for gender-based violence and violence against children.
Ensuring access to basic services, including safe water supply, sanitation, hygiene and education, remains a priority. Given the disturbingly low immunization rates and high HIV prevalence, access to essential health services, especially for children and women living with HIV, is of critical importance.
Key planned results for 2020
800,000 people accessing a sufficient quantity of safe water for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene
30,000 boys, girls and caregivers reached with psychosocial support
36,500 girls and boys benefiting from education and early learning supplies and rehabilitated inclusive schools and kindergartens
Funding requirements for 2020
In 2020 and 2021, UNICEF’s strategy in Ukraine will focus on protecting children and realizing child rights on both sides of the contact line. Responding to the urgent needs of 800,000 children and their families, UNICEF will continue to strengthen social protection and psychosocial support, as well as health, education and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services.
The capacities of local professionals, authorities and civil society actors will be enhanced to strengthen preparedness and accountability to affected children. UNICEF will improve access to quality, inclusive, age- and gender-sensitive social services for children and families to increase their resilience to protection-related risks, including through cash-based interventions.
UNICEF will work with humanitarian partners to target those closest to the contact line, while also strengthening educational and community-based systems to support those impacted by the conflict. This bridging of humanitarian action and development programming will be central to UNICEF’s approach. As lead agency for the WASH and education clusters and the child protection sub-cluster, UNICEF will continue to advocate with parties to the conflict to comply with international humanitarian law and child rights standards. This includes intensifying advocacy efforts with the Government to endorse and implement the Safe Schools Declaration.
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 Ukraine; the strategies that we are using to respond to these situations; and the donor support that is essential in this response.