© UNICEF/NYHQ2007-2302/Kamber

A displaced family sits in their tent on the outskirts of the city of Suleimaniya in the northern Kurdistan region of Iraq. Protracted conflict and high levels of displacement in the region continue to take their toll on children.

Critical Issues for Children and Women

The Middle East and North Africa region faces a range of humanitarian concerns affecting children due to the combination of sharp economic disparities, increasing hardship and a number of protracted conflict situations – including those in Iraq, the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Sudan – as well as several emerging conflicts, such as that which has recently affected parts of northern Yemen. Extremely high levels of internal displacement associated with these complex emergencies, for example, 2.7 million people in Darfur and 2.2 million people in Iraq, present a range of challenges. While the region suffered only a limited number of natural disasters in 2009, severe drought in Djibouti has led to a nutrition crisis in which the global acute malnutrition (GAM) rate among children under five in Djibouti is reaching critical levels of 28.8 per cent in the most affected areas.  As a result, emergency preparedness for rapid response across the region remains essential.

Planned Humanitarian Action for 2010

In 2010, UNICEF in the Middle East and North African Regional Office (MENARO) will continue to strengthen both regional and in-country capacity to prevent, prepare for and respond to crises affecting children in the region.  Working with partners, MENARO will focus on providing immediate resource mobilization (supply, human and financial) for emergency response, as well as training and development of in-country capacity. This includes supporting country offices in their Inter-Agency Standing Committee global cluster lead accountabilities in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, Nutrition and Education Clusters, and the Child Protection Sub-Cluster.  The following are the expected results of UNICEF’s emergency interventions:

Emergency Readiness and Response for UNICEF Country Offices

Emergency Preparedness and Response for National Partners

Analysis Tools for Advocacy

Emergency Response in Djibouti

Summary of UNICEF Emergency Needs to fulfil
Core Commitments for Children for 2010
Sector US$
Emergency Readiness and Response for UNICEF Country Offices 500,000
Emergency Preparedness and Response for National Partners 400,000
Analysis Tools for Advocacy 100,000
Emergency Response in Djibouti 3,000,000
Total 4,000,000