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Turkey boosts UNICEF humanitarian appeal for children in 2012

© UNICEF Kyrgyzstan/2010/Cliff Volpe
Zulhumar Amanbaev kisses her three-year-old son, Abdulmutalib, in their fire-gutted home in the southern city of Jalal-Abad.

ANKARA, 2 February 2012 – Turkey is joining forces with UNICEF to ensure that children are protected in emergencies by appealing for US$1.28 billion to fund the UN body`s humanitarian operations in 2012 assisting more than 25 countries globally.

Turkey has a growing leadership role in humanitarian aid regionally and globally, primarily through providing health services in emergencies. Recognizing the country`s capacity to deliver assistance and to mobilise other countries, UNICEF today launched its 2012 Humanitarian Action for Children in Ankara, a few days after the publication`s global release in Geneva. The appeal highlights the funding needed to meet children and women`s immediate and long-term needs, to secure their right to healthy survival, development and protection. The report is accessible at

Turkey`s Minister of Health, Prof. Dr. Recep Akdað, said at the launch, “We are aware of these tragedies around the globe and we cannot remain passive and silent. The Government of Turkey and the people of Turkey have always been caring and generous in providing humanitarian assistance. Through our aid programmes, we are contributing to immediate and short-term solutions while supporting extended development needs. We urge all countries, governments and communities to help children and women in their struggle to survive, thrive and be protected,” he added.

He recounted Prime Minister Recep Erdogan`s recent visit to Somalia to galvanize the international community to further help the Horn of Africa`s first famine in 20 years. The Turkish Ministry of Health has implemented health programmes there including immunization and nutrition for infants, which is helping to lower infant mortality rates.

Marie-Pierre Poirier, UNICEF Regional Director for Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States said:  “I am proud that Turkey has partnered with us to speak up for the most vulnerable of people, the children in many long-standing or sudden onset crises. Together, Turkey and UNICEF call on other partners to extend financial assistance, strengthen mutual cooperation, and share expertise, knowledge, experience and resources to help the children who need us the most.”

She added, “Our region, Eastern Europe and Central Asia is one of the least supported for humanitarian action. Emergencies in our part of the world happen silently, far from the international headlines and are often overlooked by public opinion and donors although hundreds of thousands of children are suffering from violence, continued displacement, and destruction.”

Georgia, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan in the neighbouring vicinity of Turkey are part of the US$1.28 billion global appeal. In these countries, hundreds and thousands of boys and girls have either been displaced by violence stemming from political and communal violence or from natural disasters and health epidemics such as polio.

© UNICEF Tajikistan/2011/Nozim Qalandar
A boy and his mother carry out their belongings from their homes in Khatlon, South Tajikistan which had been destroyed by flooding.

The appeal outlines financial support needed by UNICEF to strengthen health services such as cold storage chain management and vaccines for routine immunization; procurement of water tanks, soaps, buckets, water purification tablets; ensuring access to live-saving micronutrients to protect girls and boys from preventable diseases. It focuses on the most vulnerable children, girls, children with disabilities, and children in institutions, and in south Kyrgyzstan, children of different ethnic groups.

Marie-Pierre Poirier emphasized that the report reiterated the importance of emergency preparedness and building resilience as critical in reducing death and injury to boys and girls, and to break the cycle of recurring emergencies.

The most funds from the appeal, nearly one third, are for the massive humanitarian operation in the Horn of Africa where UNICEF activated its highest level of emergency response to run an operation to save the  lives of hundreds of thousands of children and women in that region. West and Central Africa, which includes the Sahel region, now teetering on the edge of a widespread nutritional disaster, is the second most important focus for the appeal asking for more than US311 million.

UNICEF is on the ground in 22 countries and territories in Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.  UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, safe water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.  UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit:

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For further information, please contact:

UNICEF Regional Office for CEECIS in Geneva
Lely Djuhari
Tel: +41 792 0444 82

Didem Akan
Tel: + 90532 505 40 86





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