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US$1.4 billion needed now for children in humanitarian crisis says UNICEF

Philippines emergency
© UNICEF/2012/Estey
People affected by Typhoon Bopha in Philippines receive family hygiene kits and jerrycans at an aid distribution site in the flood-ravaged town of New Bataan, Compostela Valley Province in Davao Region in south-eastern Mindanao.

GENEVA, 25 January 2013 – UNICEF appealed today for almost US$1.4 billion to meet the immediate, life-saving needs of children in 45 countries and regions gripped by conflict, natural disasters and other complex emergencies this year. Funds raised by the annual appeal will also go towards improving disaster preparedness, and to strengthening the resilience of communities to withstand and minimize the impact of new shocks.

East Asia and the Pacific is already the region most affected by natural disasters. These disasters are expected to become even more frequent because of urbanization, population growth, deforestation and climate change. More than 1 million people in this region are currently displaced within their own country as a result of conflict or natural disaster. Children whose lives have been disrupted by disasters need help to stay healthy and safe and to rebuild their lives so they can fulfill their potential.  UNICEF is seeking funds to help these children – and those in other parts of the world – to survive and thrive.

“We are still in the first month of 2013, which has already proved harsh for millions of children suffering in Syria and for refugees who had to flee to neighbouring countries. Mali and the Central African Republic are also experiencing worsening conflict, threatening the lives of children and women,” said Ted Chaiban, UNICEF’s Director of the Office of Emergency Programmes. “Children are extremely vulnerable in emergencies, often living in unhealthy and unsafe conditions, at high risk of disease, violence, exploitation and neglect.”

The Humanitarian Action for Children 2013 appeal includes countries prominent in today’s news headlines along with many other countries that receive much less media coverage, such as Chad,  the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Ethiopia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Somalia and Yemen, but which also require urgent attention and  assistance.

“The complex emergency in Syria represents one important focus of UNICEF’s global emergency response,” said Chaiban. “But we are also delivering results for children in highly challenging and largely forgotten emergencies around the world.”

© UNICEF MYANMAR/2012/ Myo Thame
Children at water point of Set Yone Su IDP camp in Rakhine.Safe water and good sanitation is hard to come by in the congested IDP sites.

An estimated 115,000 people have been displaced as a result of the outbreak of inter-communal conflict in Rakhine State, Myanmar. The situation there is slowly improving, but living conditions remain difficult for displaced people, particularly for children, and may get worse once the rainy season arrives. UNICEF is also working to address the urgent needs of children in both government-controlled and non-government controlled areas in conflict-affected Kachin State.

In the Philippines, an estimated 6.2 million people have been affected by Typhoon Bopha, around 2.6 million of whom are children. Over 216,000 homes were destroyed or damaged by the typhoon, displacing more than 226,000 families. UNICEF is working to protect and care for children affected by the disaster.

The 45 countries and regions in the appeal are priorities due to the scale of the crises they are experiencing, the urgency of their impact on children and women, the complexity of the response and the existing capacity to respond.

Contributions to UNICEF’s 2013 requirements will allow the organization to build on its work in 2012 across many countries. Some of the results achieved between January through October 2012 include:
• Health: 38.3 million children immunized
• Water, Sanitation & Hygiene: 12.4 million people provided access to safe water for drinking, cooking and bathing
• Education: 3 million children provided access to improved education
• Child Protection: 2.4 million children provided with child protection services
• Nutrition: 2 million children treated for severe and acute malnutrition
• HIV and AIDS: 1 million people provided access to testing, counseling and referral for treatment
In 2012, large funding gaps in some countries such as Madagascar and Colombia left many needs unmet. In many countries, access, security and the capacity of partners are other major constraints to delivering humanitarian assistance.

“Contributions to the appeal are sound investments in children and their futures,” said Chaiban. “UNICEF seeks un-earmarked resources to allow the organization to respond to consistently underfunded emergencies or where the needs are greatest, to apply innovative solutions to complex situations, and to integrate early recovery in large-scale emergencies – many of which extend across multiple countries at the same time.”

To download the Humanitarian Action for Children 2013 Report
Please click here:

UNICEF works in more than 190 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good 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 more information, please contact:

Marixie Mercado, UNICEF Geneva
Tel: +41-22-909-5716 Cell: +41-79-756-7703 Email:

Chris Tidey: UNICEF Geneva
Tel: +41-22-909-5715 Cell: +41-79-204-2345 Email:

Kent Page, UNICEF New York
Tel: 1-212-326-7605 Cell: 1-917-302-1735 Email:

Christopher de Bono, UNICEF Bangkok Cell: +66 84 427 7431, Email:





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