Each year, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) responds to more than 200 emergencies1 around the world, working with governments, civil society, communities, private companies and nongovernmental organizations to meet urgent needs, protect children’s and women’s rights, and take decisive action to improve resilience, strengthen capacities and reduce risks. In nearly all of these emergencies, the organization’s response is based on existing programmes, partnerships and resources. Our mission, in both humanitarian and evelopmental contexts, is to promote and protect children’s rights, help meet their basic needs and expand their opportunities to reach their full potential.

UNICEF’s Humanitarian Action Report 2010 examines crises that require exceptional support – where urgent action is imperative to save lives, protect children against the worst forms of violence and abuse, and ensure access to water and sanitation, health care, nutrition and education. The 28 countries featured in the report include those engaged in the 2010 Consolidated Appeals Process (CAP) as well as countries in other protracted crises where high levels of chronic vulnerability, life-threatening undernutrition and limited access to basic services are compounded by localized emergencies, population movements or other obstacles to long-term recovery. Regional and global support – including the critical need for early warning and preparedness in advance of new crises – are highlighted in dedicated chapters.

In 2009, the world celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The most widely ratified human rights treaty in the world, the Convention affirms the fundamental rights of children everywhere, including in emergency settings. While significant progress has been achieved in realizing children’s rights to survival, development, protection and participation in the past 20 years, much remains to be done.

Ensuring that the Convention’s promise becomes a reality for every child will require even greater efforts in humanitarian settings, where complex environments complicate efforts to provide the services, protection, recovery and reintegration that are essential to fulfilling the rights of children, women and families.

Present in more than 150 countries, UNICEF has witnessed how such global threats as climate change, the 2008–2009 global financial crisis and economic downturn and food prices at historic highs have directly affected the lives of children. In response, UNICEF is actively developing new strategies and approaches, and partnering with communities, governments and civil society to strengthen local capacities and mitigate the impact of such threats on children and families.

Innovative collaboration remains crucial to realizing children’s rights, strengthening preparedness and emergency response, expanding access to essential services for those affected by disaster and conflict, and supporting recovery. For this reason, partnership is the overarching theme for Humanitarian Action Report 2010.

Country chapters highlight how UNICEF is working with civil society, government authorities, the private sector and donors to respond to emergencies, support recovery, build capacities and strengthen systems to protect children and women. The diversity and complementarities of UNICEF’s partnerships help foster innovation, broad learning, outreach, participation and effective programming for the ever-increasing number of children in need of assistance.

In the midst of profound global climatic and economic shifts, it is imperative that donors strengthen their commitment to support UNICEF in its mission to reach the tens of millions of children affected by humanitarian crises in the 28 countries represented in the report. Increased donor commitment will enable UNICEF and its partners to establish stronger systems of preparedness and support while ensuring that children remain at the forefront of policy debates and humanitarian action. In particular, UNICEF continues to welcome thematic humanitarian funds that facilitate responsive and efficient programming based on country-specific and global priorities.

The evolving context of humanitarian action

A number of challenges are emerging that increasingly pose risks for children and women and threaten achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and other internationally-agreed development
goals, particularly in humanitarian and post-crisis contexts. Major threats to further and faster advances on children’s rights include risks associated with climate change, global economic volatility, the changing nature
of conflict and the widespread prevalence of sexual violence against children and women.

Most of the countries lagging furthest behind on MDG targets and indicators are experiencing or recovering from emergencies, or have a long history of humanitarian crises. Several of these countries are consistently among the nations with the weakest indicators for child survival, health and health care, nutrition, water and sanitation, education, and protection. In such settings, adequate funding and capacity to deliver humanitarian assistance are critical in advancing children’s rights and fostering sustainable human development.

Climate change

It is now generally accepted that climate change is likely to increase the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, accelerate displacement and simultaneously undermine coping mechanisms and resilience of the most vulnerable populations.2 Compelling evidence indicates that many of the main killers of children – including acute respiratory infections, diarrhoeal diseases, malaria, other vector borne diseases and under nutrition – are highly sensitive to environmental conditions that are likely to deteriorate as a result of climate change. Children in developing countries are already bearing the brunt of increasingly more frequent and more intense floods, storms and droughts, and this burden is expected to worsen over time.3 It is estimated that during each of the next 10 years, 175 million children are likely to be affected by climate-related disasters alone.4

In resource-stressed environments, greater competition for access to water, grazing land and other limited natural resources is leading to increased intercommunal clashes and cross-border tensions. Moreover, there is significant potential for existing conflicts to intensify and for new conflicts to be generated by escalating disputes over coastal boundaries, food security, availability of safe drinking water and population distribution.5 The risk of
conflict in countries and communities facing resource constraints is often exacerbated by long-standing social, economic and political risks and disparities.

Adaptation to the impact of climate change has been identified as a global priority and articulated in the Copenhagen Accord of December 2009, with specific considerations for “adaptation action aimed at reducing vulnerability and building resilience… especially in those [countries] that are particularly vulnerable.”6 As a fundamental approach to humanitarian action, UNICEF is committed to the development of national capacities to reduce risk and strengthen resilience.

Economic threats: financial, food and fuel

“Prolonged drought resulting from climate
change is impacting food production, resulting
in increasing nutrition insecurity. If a child
suffers from malnutrition, particularly under the
age of two, she or he is likely to have lifelong
diminished cognitive and physical development,
contributing to an intergenerational cycle of
poverty. The impact of disasters such as floods
and typhoons is especially harsh on the most
vulnerable populations, washing away homes,
schools and health centres and impactinglivelihoods.”

Ann M. Veneman, Executive Director, UNICEF
Extract of remarks at launch of ‘Children and
Climate Change’, 23 September 2009, New York

Developing countries are particularly vulnerable to the combined effects of high global food prices and the lingering effects of the 2008–2009 global financial crisis and economic downturn. These events, combined with
volatile and often elevated fuel prices in recent years, have exacerbated pressures on households already struggling to access basic and social services. Global economic turmoil is, in turn, about to squeeze fiscal and foreign aid budgets, heightening the risk of lower public spending on essential services for children and women.7

In early 2010, there are some signs of a nascent recovery in the global economy. Nonetheless, the impact of the 2008–2009 global slowdown on the poorest and most vulnerable is likely to linger for some time, particularly if the recovery is sluggish or haltering, and developing countries face a weak export rebound, limited tax revenues and high levels of volatility and uncertainty in the provision of international aid.

Children and women have been especially hard hit as their families have struggled to secure food and other essential services. In 2009, it was reported that more than 1 billion people in the world were hungry – a rise of at least 100 million compared with 2008.8

Humanitarian Action Report 2010 and field surveys report an alarming upward trend in child under nutrition, with many more poor families forced to reduce the quantity and quality of their food intake. In South Asia alone, an estimated 400 million people suffered from hunger in 2009 – around one quarter more than the regional average for the period 2004–2006.9 A pronounced decline in household income has undermined school attendance and ability to access health services among poor families. High food prices have further strained household budgets, raising the risk that vulnerable families may suspend their children’s education and resort to coping mechanisms to bolster family income. Some of these coping mechanisms – such as allowing children to engage in domestic service and the worst forms of child labour – can severely endanger children’s health, well-being and protection.

The overall effects of profound economic shocks can be devastating – pushing a family from chronic vulnerability to immediate humanitarian need overnight when an emergency occurs. For countries presently in, or recently recovering from emergencies, elevated food prices and fuel price volatility can exacerbate an already difficult situation. The sluggish global economic growth of recent years may have negative implications for poverty reduction over the medium term, and could increase the risk of tensions over resources and other vulnerabilities.10

The changing nature of conflict

Conflict threatens children’s access to quality health care, nutrition, clean water and sanitation. It disrupts childhood when schools are closed or used to house displaced families; in some settings, educational institutions are also at risk of attack. Children are particularly vulnerable to violence and forced recruitment by armed groups. Women and girls are at great risk of abduction, trafficking and sexual violence, including the use of rape as a weapon of war; emergencies, in most cases, also exacerbate gender based vulnerabilities.

The drivers of armed conflict are evolving, and now include such factors as climate change, demographic pressures and increased disparities in access to essential services and protection among population groups.
Conflict situations are also increasingly characterized by protracted intra-state clashes that severely affect civilians, including mass internal displacement.

Renewed violence in post-conflict settings currently accounts for approximately half of all civil wars.11 As a result, protracted crises and transitional contexts require multiple and distinct approaches, creating further challenges for emergency response. In many contexts, humanitarian assistance in one part of the country must be carried out simultaneously with peace-building and development efforts in another. International agencies must be equipped to nimbly and effectively switch between these programme approaches.

The inter-agency operating environment in emergencies is becoming increasingly complex, including issues related to integrated UN presences. Integration offers important opportunities for the United Nations to strengthen its work in crisis and post-crisis countries, and expand resources and capacities. But integration also poses challenges to agencies and other participants to ensure that they employ a principled approach in all of their humanitarian actions.

Respect for key humanitarian principles has come under particular attack during the past decade, making it difficult to protect ‘humanitarian space’. In certain contexts, warring factions do not perceive UN agencies as neutral, and deliberate targeting of aid workers and UN staff has intensified. In 2009, more than 30 UN staff members, including some working for UNICEF, were killed in the line of duty during terrorist attacks in Afghanistan, Pakistan and other countries.12 The use of military personnel in delivering aid has further blurred the lines of humanitarian action, and has affected perceptions of the neutrality of humanitarian agencies such as UNICEF. Humanitarian space is also threatened by general insecurity and denial of access to affected populations by some government authorities.

Sexual violence against children and women

“Sexual violence against children is a gross
violation of their rights, a moral and ethical
outrage and an assault on the world’s

Ann M. Veneman, Executive Director, UNICEF
Extract of Press Statement, Global Public-
Private Initiative to Address Sexual Violence
against Girls, 25 September 2009, New York

Sexual violence against children and women in any setting is a grave violation of their human rights. Emerging evidence is providing alarming insights into the widespread and pervasive nature of sexual violence against women and children. The issue of sexual violence is raised in a number of country chapters throughout the Humanitarian Action Report 2010, demonstrating the prevalence of this form of abuse.

In recent years, international concern over the growing incidence of sexual violence in emergency settings has risen sharply. During the first days of an emergency, children are at heightened risk of being separated from their families and subjected to violence and abuse. They also face new risks as the emergency situation stabilizes and they are relocated to a camp setting. In these concentrated population areas, children are particularly vulnerable to sexual and other violence, trafficking, abduction and involuntary recruitment by armed groups or forces. In the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where it is estimated that more than half of all reported rapes between January and April 2009 were committed against girls under age 18, fighting forces continue to engage in sexual violence with impunity.13

The international framework to combat sexual violence in conflict saw important advances in 2009. The UN Security Council passed two groundbreaking resolutions – Resolutions 1882 and 1888 – condemning of the use of sexual violence in conflict and sanctioning the establishment of a new special representative of the UN  Secretary-General on sexual violence in conflict.14 Resolution 1882 specifically raises deep concern about the “high incidence and appalling levels of brutality of rape and other forms of sexual violence committed against children.”

It accordingly strengthens the monitoring and reporting mechanism on grave violations of children’s rights during conflict to require direct reporting on and response by parties that commit such violations of international law. Member States will require regular reporting and progress by all parties to a conflict that are found to be engaged in systematic violations.

The mechanism, established under Security Council Resolution 1612, requires reporting on six grave violations in conflict settings: killing or maiming children; recruitment or use of children as soldiers; attacks against schools or hospitals; rape and other grave sexual violence; abduction of children; and denial of humanitarian access. It is active in 14 countries highlighted in this report: Afghanistan, Burundi, the Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Myanmar, Nepal, the Philippines, Somalia, Sri Lanka, the Sudan and Uganda.

UNICEF works with a wide range of partners at the country level to provide children and women who have been affected by conflict with a full range of services – health, psychosocial, protection, legal, and access to education, economic opportunities and skills building – and monitors and reports on violations of their rights.

Partnering for humanitarian action

In its humanitarian response, UNICEF has always fostered strong partnerships. Such humanitarian collaboration aims at improving the quality of emergency response by UNICEF and its partners, especially at the national level. Partnership is essential to ensure delivery of vital support, services and protection, and it allows UNICEF to leverage diverse approaches as a force for achieving better results for children in humanitarian action. The organization’s approach to partnership is evolving, with a strong emphasis on adding value to collaboration based on innovation, transparency and results-oriented planning.

In June 2009, the UNICEF Executive Board endorsed a new Strategic Framework for Partnerships and Collaborative Relationships to reflect an institutional shift in how the organization works with a range of different partners. While maintaining a principal role in working in support of governments, UNICEF collaborates with other UN agencies, global public partnerships, donors, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, foundations, research institutes, universities and civil society organizations to advocate for policy change and deliver essential services to children. In humanitarian contexts, such partnerships are vital to ensure that children’s rights are promoted and protected, and that they receive assistance and care.

As a follow-up to the Strategic Framework, a conceptual shift is taking place throughout UNICEF, from working with partners as vendors for service delivery to engaging collaboratively with civil society based on shared objectives and risks, complementary approaches and mutual transparency. As of January 2010, a new partnership agreement format has been approved to bring this approach into all field operations. This is of particular importance to partnerships in humanitarian action.

UNICEF National Committees and the countries, communities and individuals they represent contribute up to one third of the organization’s global budget and advocate for children’s rights at the domestic and international  levels. UNICEF also works directly with youth organizations to foster child participation, and ensure that children’s issues and voices directly inform policy development and decisions. Empowered governments, civil society organizations, communities and individuals are powerful agents in supporting children’s rights in emergency and other crisis settings.

Reducing future risks and assisting governments to avert potential disasters requires a strengthened focus on community safety and resilience, preparedness, response, recovery and capacity development. Emergency risk reduction is an effective and sustainable means of utilizing development financing, and stands in sharp contrast to the high direct costs of addressing humanitarian crisis and long-term recovery from armed conflicts and disasters.15

Specific partnering strategies aimed at reducing disaster risk are currently in process. One such strategy is being rolled out in Kenya, where UNICEF is partnering with local government and the Kenyan Red Cross to assess district-level vulnerability and capacity. In the area of water, sanitation and hygiene, UNICEF and partners are focusing on rainwater harvesting in drought-prone Eastern Africa, and on protecting wells and pumps from unseasonable flood levels in South Asia.

To reinforce the preparedness of staff members and partners in each country, UNICEF is scaling up a combination of emergency training, contingency planning and a decentralized, global early warning system through which country offices monitor ongoing threats and take early action to reduce risk and implement preparedness measures.

Cluster leadership and partnership

As a partner and a member of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC), UNICEF has focused considerable efforts on supporting humanitarian reform, an initiative that aims to improve predictability, accountability and leadership in humanitarian action.16 These efforts are based on a partnership approach that focuses on improving UNICEF’s capacity for effective implementation of the cluster approach at the global and country levels.

The organization is the global cluster lead for nutrition and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), and is co-lead for education with the Save the Children Alliance in the only cluster that has developed a model of NGO engagement in the leadership structure. UNICEF is also the focal point agency for child protection and for gender-based violence ‘areas of responsibility’ – co-leading with the United Nations Population Fund – under the broader Protection Cluster. The organization chairs the cross-cutting Mental Health and Psychosocial reference group, and is an engaged member in the Health, Logistics and Early Recovery Clusters.

By bringing together UN agencies, non-governmental organizations, other international organizations and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to identify needs and gaps and establish standards for response, the cluster approach is improving coverage and predictability for affected populations. In several countries, governments have taken a very active role by adapting the approach to national structures.

UNICEF’s integration in the cluster approach has helped strengthen its capacity to meet the needs of children and women in humanitarian settings, broaden its partnerships, and expand its surge responses. It has also prompted the organization to address critical gaps in standards, tools and guidance, and is increasingly forming part of preparedness efforts in countries that are not currently facing a humanitarian emergency.

Finally, the cluster approach is fundamentally transforming the first line of emergency response as capacities are leveraged and strategies become increasingly complementary across the humanitarian community. The innovation and creativity generated by this shift have extended to broader evidence-based good practice and development of new inter-agency initiatives to jointly address operational and technical gaps.17

Standby arrangements

In conjunction with cluster leadership, UNICEF continues to strengthen its surge capacity at the onset of a humanitarian crisis through standby arrangements to deploy personnel for field-based response. UNICEF and its partners maintain a pool of operational resources – personnel, technical expertise, services and equipment – that can be deployed at short notice for rapid assistance. Although the standby arrangements were originally established to help fill critical, temporary staffing gaps at the field level, the partnerships themselves have brought about stronger collaboration on strategic advocacy, complementary planning processes and strengthened capacities among humanitarian organizations and within UNICEF.18

By the end of 2009, 17 organizations were included on UNICEF’s standby roster and 128 technical personnel had been seconded to emergency settings through standby partnerships.19 This represents more than 17,000 working days of staff support time in short term deployments providing the best response possible during the first days following an emergency.

Standby partnerships have also provided key support as UNICEF continues to strengthen its cluster engagement and fulfil its responsibilities for leadership in a growing number of emergencies. For instance, the global WASH cluster deploys expert staff as part of a rapid joint response team whose members include Action Against Hunger, CARE and Oxfam. The team is trained by UNICEF and other WASH cluster members.

Planned humanitarian action in 2010

In 2010, UNICEF plans to work with its full complement of partners and stakeholders to reach tens of millions of emergency-affected children in the 28 countries featured in this report. Humanitarian Action Report 2010 highlights UNICEF’s engagement in countries and communities before, during and after an emergency, and explains how specific programmes and mechanisms strengthen humanitarian action. Each chapter outlines the critical issues for children and women, including core country data,20 key achievements in 2009 and planned humanitarian action for 2010, and associated funding requirements. To illustrate how this work is undertaken, each chapter also provides a snapshot of partnership in action.

Together with governments and other partners, UNICEF will continue to support quality needs and risks assessments to improve humanitarian action for disaster – or conflict-affected children. Capacity building in mitigation, preparedness and emergency response is an integral part of UNICEF strategy, as is support for transition from emergency to development by integrating early recovery approaches into response. In this context, the October 2008 partnership agreement of between the World Bank and the United Nations to strengthen their cooperation in crisis and post-crisis settings has substantial potential to harmonize action, and enhance national capacity for crisis prevention, response and recovery.

UNICEF’s ability to undertake humanitarian assistance is largely contingent on funding from donors. As the global economy begins a tentative recovery in 2010 following the 2008-2009 downturn, it is crucial that donors maintain or increase their aid commitments to protecting children and women in emergencies. Only through sustainable and adequate funding can UNICEF and its partners achieve better results for children, fulfil the promise of the Convention on the Rights of the Child for all children, and work towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals and other internationally-agreed targets on children’s rights – irrespective of the setting.

Funding trends

Humanitarian Action Report 2010 outlines the priority needs for humanitarian action, identified from more than 80 countries every year. The report reflects the needs of Consolidated Appeals Process (CAP) countries and non-CAP countries but excludes Flash Appeals and any other ad hoc appeals that UNICEF issues during the year to respond to a sudden-onset emergency. The non-CAP countries include those ‘silent’ emergencies where high levels of chronic vulnerability and poverty, life threatening undernutrition and limited access to basic services are often compounded by localized droughts or floods, communal violence, population movements and other obstacles to long-term recovery.

As illustrated in Figure 1.1, overall emergency funding to UNICEF amounted to US$572.4 million for the period January–October 2009, including funding received by the 36 countries in six regions featured in Humanitarian Action Report 2009. This funding reflects a decrease of 5 per cent from the 2008 level of humanitarian funding of US$600 million for the equivalent 10-month period (January 2008–October 2008). In 2009, UNICEF responded to 15 CAP countries, eight Flash Appeals, 27 non-CAP countries and 10 other appeals,21 requiring a total budget of US$1.19 billion.

UNICEF’s humanitarian action report budget for the year 2009, which totalled US$1.15 billion, was only 39 per cent funded in the period January–October 2009. Of the total request, the CAP countries were 45 per cent funded, while the non-CAP countries were 33 per cent funded. For the equivalent period of 2008, the overall humanitarian action response budget was comparatively better funded at 44 per cent, but while the CAP countries were also comparatively better funded at 53 per cent, the non-CAP countries received only 29 per cent of funding. In January–October 2009, Flash Appeals received only 47 per cent of their total 2009 funding needs, compared to the January–October 2008 level of 61 per cent.

In January–October 2009, the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) remained the largest source of humanitarian funding for UNICEF, contributing a total of US$89.8 million – US$52.2 million through the Rapid
Response window and US$37.6 million through the Underfunded window. The United States of America was the second largest source of humanitarian funding to UNICEF, providing funding to Ethiopia, Iraq, Pakistan, the Sudan and the Syrian Arab Republic, among other recipients. With a 59 per cent increase in humanitarian funding for UNICEF compared to 2008, the European Commission Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO) was the third largest donor in January–October 2009. Japan continues to be one of the largest and most consistent bilateral donors, providing US$57 million over the period. The top 10 donors of humanitarian funding, shown in Figure 1.2, accounted for 78 per cent of total humanitarian funds received by UNICEF for its emergency operations in January–October 2009.

Of the total humanitarian contributions of US$572.4 million received in the ten months to end-October 2009, only 9 per cent (US$52.7 million) was provided thematically. In both percentage and absolute terms, the January–October 2009 thematic funding level is half the amount received in the corresponding period of 2008. Thematic funding for January–October 2008 reached US$115 million, representing 19 per cent of total 2008 humanitarian contributions.

In January–October 2009, US$130.8 million (23 per cent of the total humanitarian funding of US$572.4 million)
was received through humanitarian pooled funding mechanisms including CERF, Common Humanitarian Funds, Humanitarian Response Funds and Multi-Donor Trust Funds, administered by the World Bank. The CERF made up the largest portion, at US$89.8 million of the total humanitarian funding received, accounting for 16 per cent of the total other resources in emergencies (ORE), which represents a slight decrease from the January to October 2008 level of US$91.9 million. The value of non-humanitarian pooled funding – received from such sources as the Expanded ‘Delivering as One’ Funding Window for Achievement of MDGs, the Millennium Development Goals Fund, the One UN Fund and the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund – was US$42.7 million in January–October 2009, up 14 per cent from US$37.5 million in the corresponding period of 2008.

The Japan Committee for UNICEF was the top thematic donor in January–October 2009, with thematic humanitarian contributions of US$11.3 million. Among the government donors, Norway is the largest contributor of thematic humanitarian funds (US$9.7 million), followed by Finland (US$5.6 million). Listed in order, the top 10 thematic donors to humanitarian funding are the Japan Committee for UNICEF, the Government of Norway, the German Committee for UNICEF, the Government of Finland, the United States Fund for UNICEF, the United Kingdom Committee for UNICEF, the Netherlands Committee for UNICEF, the Italian Committee for UNICEF, the Spanish Committee for UNICEF and the Canadian UNICEF Committee.

UNICEF continues to welcome thematic humanitarian funds as they allow more responsive programming, based on country and global priorities. This type of funding further underscores donors’ commitment to the Good Humanitarian Donorship principles. Thematic contributions reduce transaction costs and simplify management of programme budgets at the country level.

The level of funding received determines UNICEF’s capacity to respond in an effective and timely manner. In Afghanistan, for example, 66 per cent of the calendar year funding request was met in by end-October 2009, and up to 5,000 undernourished children under age five were treated in UNICEF-supported outpatient clinics and centres across the eight provinces most affected by drought and high food prices. A mass measles immunization campaign resulted in the vaccination of more than 3 million people. Combined vitamin A supplementation and polio vaccination campaigns reached 98 per cent of all children under five. Through the construction of water systems and installation of hand pumps and sanitary facilities according to the Sphere project’s minimum  standards in disaster response nearly one third of the estimated 1 million people affected by drought were given access to sustainable safe drinking water and sanitation. Together with the Ministry of Education, Save the Children and other partners, UNICEF supported the reopening of 214 schools, or nearly one third of the 651 schools that had closed by November 2008 because of threats and violence.

In Ethiopia, where requirements were 53 per cent funded during January–October 2009, UNICEF – working with the Government of Ethiopia, and national and international partners – was able to respond to the humanitarian needs of an estimated 6 million children in food-insecure areas throughout 2009. These efforts urgently require sustained efforts in 2010. In Somalia – arguably one of the most difficult humanitarian operating environments – UNICEF has been able to work with more than 100 national and international partners to assist children and women through new and flexible approaches: In 2009, 1.8 million people received basic health services, and
more than 50,000 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition were treated – double the number reached in 2008. The distribution of mosquito nets continued to expand, Child Health Days more than doubled immunization coverage in targeted locations, and the country remains polio free.

Emergency funding needs for 2010

In 2010, US$1.2 billion is needed to support UNICEF assisted humanitarian action.22 Humanitarian Action Report 2010 includes 28 country-specific appeals, compared with 36 in 2009.23 As shown in Figure 1.3 below, the financial needs for emergencies in Asia have more than doubled. This is due to the addition of Pakistan and the Philippines to the 2010 report, as well as current disasters and ongoing conflict in Afghanistan. The requirements for West and Central Africa have also increased, mainly as a result of acute emergency situations in Chad and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Both countries are facing internal and cross-border violence, mass displacement and limited access to areas in humanitarian need..

Eastern and Southern Africa has the highest funding requirements. It is estimated that in 2009 alone, up to 24 million people were affected by drought, chronic food insecurity and armed conflict. In addition, the situation remains severe in Zimbabwe, with a nationwide cholera outbreak, a reduction in food security and the continued high prevalence of HIV and AIDs that has deepened the vulnerability of the country’s children and women.

The 2010 regional requirements for Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Middle East and North Africa remain similar to their corresponding levels in 2009.

UNICEF is grateful for donors’ strong support in 2009. We will continue to provide careful stewardship and effective distribution of the funds committed throughout 2010 to help meet life-saving needs, fulfil children’s and women’s rights, and take decisive action to improve resilience and reduce future risks.

1. United Nations Children’s Fund. Annual Emergency Response Study: 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008. UNICEF classifies an emergency as any situation that threatens the lives and well-being of large numbers of people and in which extraordinary action is required to ensure their survival, care and protection.
2. Parry, M. L., et al., editors, ‘Climate Change 2007: Impacts, adaptation and vulnerability’, Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC, Geneva, 2007.
3. Back, Emma, and Catherine Cameron, Our Climate, Our Children, Our Responsibility: The implications of climate change for the world’s children, UK Committee for UNICEF, London, 2008.; and United Nations Children’s Fund, Climate Change and Children: A human security challenge, UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre, Florence, Italy, 2008.
4. Save the Children, ‘In the Face of Disaster: Children and climate change’, International Save the Children Alliance, London, 2008.
5. United Nations Environment Programme, From Conflict to Peacebuilding: The role of natural resources and the environment, UNEP, Nairobi, 2009.
6. Copenhagen Accord of 18 December 2009, paragraph 3.
7. United Nations Children’s Fund, ‘Aggregate Shocks, Poor Households and Children: Transmission channels and policy responses’, Social Policy Working Paper, Division of Policy and Practice, UNICEF, New York, February 2009.
8. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, The State of Food Insecurity in the World: Economic crises – Impacts and lessons learned, FAO, Rome, 2009.
9. United Nations Children’s Fund, ‘A Matter of Magnitude: The impact of the economic crisis on women and children in South Asia’, UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia, Kathmandu, June 2009.
10. Rodrik, Dani, ‘Where Did All the Growth Go? External shocks, social conflict and growth collapses’, Journal of Economic Growth, vol. 4, December 199, pp. 358–412; and Murshed, Syed Mansoob, ‘The Conflict-Growth Nexus and the Poverty of Nations’, DESA Working Paper 43, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, New York, June 2007.
11. Collier, Paul, and Anke Hoeffler, ‘The Challenge of Reducing the Global Incidence of Civil War’, Copenhagen Consensus Challenge Paper, Centre for the Study of African Economies, Oxford University, Oxford, UK, 2004.
12. United Nations, Secretary-General’s Letter to Staff, December 2009.
13. Information obtained from UNICEF’s Democratic Republic of the Congo country office; see the country-specific chapter on the Democratic Republic of the Congo in this report.
14. Note, for example, United Nations General Assembly, Sixty-First Session, ‘Rights of the Child’, Note by the Secretary-General A/61/299 as well as S/RES/1888, adopted by the Security Council on 30 September 2009; the strengthened Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism; and the appointment of a new Special Representative to the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict.
15. Studies show that every dollar invested in disaster reduction saves $4–$7 in the long run, as noted in ‘Human Security and Disaster Reduction’, remarks by Under-Secretary-General John Holmes at the conference on Climate Change from the Perspective of Human Security, 31 July 2007, United Nations Headquarters, New York.
16. More information on the Humanitarian Reform effort can be found at <
17. United Nations Children’s Fund Executive Board, ‘Mapping of UNICEF Partnerships and Collaborative Relationships’, E/ICEF/2009/11, United Nations Economic and Social Council, 6 April 2009.
18. United Nations Children’s Fund, ‘Standby Arrangements in Emergencies’, Partnerships & Collaborative Relationships Case Study, UNICEF, New York, June 2009.
19. Includes non-governmental organizations such as Action Against Hunger, Austcare, CANADEM, CARE International, the Danish Refugee Council, Norwegian Church Aid, the Norwegian Refugee Council, Oxfam UK, RedR Australia and Télécoms Sans Frontières; public institutions such as the Icelandic Crisis Response Unit, Irish Aid, the Swedish Rescue Services Agency, the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation and the UK Department for International Development; and corporate partners such as Ericsson and Veolia Environnement.
20. Unless otherwise specified, all data reflect the latest international estimates available at the time of going to press and are derived from The State of the World’s Children Special Edition: Celebrating 20 Years the Convention on the Rights of the Child – Statistical Tables, accessible online at <
21. Other Appeals include ‘Immediate Needs’ documents and inter-agency appeals (excluding CAPs and Flash Appeals). Where a crisis dictates funding in excess of the fund reprogramming limits and no joint appeal is issued, a brief ‘Immediate Needs’ document is issued by UNICEF within 24–72 hours after the onset of the emergency.
22. The total requirement for UNICEF at country, regional and headquarter levels includes a maximum recovery rate of 7 per cent. The actual recovery rate on contributions will be calculated in accordance with UNICEF Executive Board Decision 2006/7 dated 9 June 2006.
23. Angola, the Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Timor-Leste and Zambia had separate appeals/chapters in Humanitarian Action Report 2009. As needed, remaining funds required for these countries to respond to smaller-scale emergencies and support capacity building and early recovery have been included in the 2010 regional appeals.