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Copy of UNICEF director appeals for emergency humanitarian aid

Request for Three Billion Dollars To Go To 45 Million People In Crisis Globally

WASHINGTON DC, 19 November 2003 — Carol Bellamy, Executive Director of UNICEF, today led a call for donor countries to contribute more aid to the humanitarian crises impacting millions of people around the world.
The appeal, which she made on behalf of humanitarian agencies worldwide, is for $3 billion and aims to alleviate crises affecting more than 45 million people around the world. This year, the appeal goes beyond national borders, and looks at 21 specific crises—like famine and the HIV/AIDS pandemic that are affecting much of southern Africa—that are regional in nature and require a complex, coordinated response.

“As important as the crises affecting Afghanistan and Iraq are, these are not the only places in the world where children’s lives are being devastated by emergency conditions,” said Bellamy. “It’s our responsibility to look beyond the headlines to the crises and emergencies that are impacting millions of people in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.”

The theme of the 2004 appeal—known as the Consolidated Appeal Process (CAP)—is “Hear Our Voices.” The CAP is announced annually and is produced by the world’s leading humanitarian agencies for the international community and donors. At the center of the 2004 appeal are the needs of children and their families struggling to survive in natural and man-made emergency conditions.
“UNICEF recognizes that when crisis strikes, tailor-made, rapid responses are critical, but to be effective in the long-term responses must also bring sustainable solutions,” said Bellamy. “Humanitarian aid is not about band-aids and blankets. A road map out of the crisis and into long-term development and recovery is critical to our mission.”

Children are always the most vulnerable in emergencies. Most children who die in wartime do not die as a direct result of violence but from the consequences of conflict: malnutrition, disease, lack of shelter, no access to safe water or sanitation.

UNICEF’s commitment is to protect the most vulnerable children and women, in times of crisis. It focuses on providing strategic relief on the areas of survival, health, water and sanitation, resumption of schooling and protection for the most vulnerable children. Examples of specificUNICEF activities in select emergency countries include:  

  • The organization provides HIV/AIDS counseling and information to child soldiers in demobilization camps in Burundi.
  • In Zimbabwe, UNICEF will be providing nutritional supplements to 200,000 malnourished children
  • In Tajikistan, pit latrines constitute the only sanitation in 87% of the schools, a factor that discourages girls from going to school. UNICEF is working to improve the water and sanitation infrastructure in schools and promote better hygiene practices.
  • In Sudan, where approximately 40% of the deaths of children under five are attributed to diarrhoea, UNICEF plans to repair of 800 hand pumps which will help to bring safe water to 200,000 people
  • UNICEF recently launched a Back to School Campaign in Liberia where only 50% of school aged boys and 24% of girls are enrolled in primary school. Basic school and teaching supplies will be provided by the organization and will enable at least 750,000 children to return to school.

The challenge of saving lives and sustaining livelihoods in crisis situations requires a team effort.  UNICEF works closely with colleagues from WFP, UNHCR, UNDP, UNFPA, WHO, FAO, OCHA, UNSECOORD, and partner NGOs. 

“Complex problems require equally complex solutions, said Bellamy. “UNICEF, in partnership with our long term development and humanitarian allies, is committed to finding these solutions. We need donors to commit with the same vigor and dedication. The CAP 2004 presents a clear picture of where we must focus our attention.”

The 21 crises at the heart of the 2004 CAP appeal are: Angola, Burundi, Chechnya and neighboring republics (Russian Federation), Central African Republic, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Great Lakes region, Guinea, Liberia, occupied Palestinian territory, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Southern Africa, Sudan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Uganda, West Africa and Zimbabwe.

UNICEF believes that nurturing and caring for children are the cornerstones of human progress. The organization works with other partners throughout the world to overcome the obstacles that poverty, violence, disease and discrimination place in a child’s path.  Breaking the cycle of poverty requires investments by governments, civil society and families in children's rights. Spending on a child's health, nutrition, education, equality and social, emotional and cognitive development is not only an investment in a more democratic and a more equitable society, it is also an investment in a healthier, more literate and, ultimately, a more thriving and safe population. 

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For more information please contact:

Alfred Ironside, UNICEF Media, New York, 212 326 7261, aironside@unicef.org
Erin Trowbridge, UNICEF Media, New York, 212 326 7269 etrowbridge@unicef.org





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At the center of the 2004 appeal—known as the Consolidated Appeal Process (CAP)—are the needs of children and their families struggling to survive in natural and man-made emergency conditions.

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