Press Releases and News Notes
Time is running out for children as famine, drought and war threaten millions
NEW YORK/DAKAR/NAIROBI/AMMAN, 28 March 2017 – More than a month after famine was declared in South Sudan, time is running out for more than a million children as drought and armed conflict devastate lives in northeast Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen, UNICEF said today.
UNICEF statement on killing of aid workers in South Sudan
NEW YORK, 27 March 2017 – “All of us at UNICEF are shocked by the senseless killing of staff belonging to our partner organization, the Grassroots Empowerment and Development Organization. The humanitarian workers were travelling in a car that was clearly marked as belonging to a non–governmental organization.
Families in Yemen turning to extreme survival measures as war hits two-year mark
SANA'A, 27 March 2017 – After two years of brutal conflict, families in Yemen are increasingly resorting to extreme measures to support their children, said UNICEF in a report released today as the war in the Middle East’s poorest country enters its third year.
From coast to coast: Africa unites to tackle threat of polio
GENEVA/BRAZZAVILLE/NEW YORK/DAKAR, 24 March 2017- More than 190,000 polio vaccinators in 13 countries across west and central Africa will immunize more than 116 million children over the next week, to tackle the last remaining stronghold of polio on the continent.
Statement attributable to Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF Regional Director, deploring continued attacks on children in Syria
AMMAN, 23 March 2017 –”As another round of peace talks starts in Geneva today, we are appalled that children throughout Syria continue to come under attack.
Statement by UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake following his visit to Iraq
BAGHDAD, 22 March 2017 – “I leave Iraq at a time when the country is facing significant challenges and opportunities.
Nearly 600 million children will live in areas with extremely limited water resources by 2040 - UNICEF
NEW YORK, 22 March 2017 – Some 600 million children – or 1 in 4 children worldwide – will be living in areas with extremely limited water resources by 2040, according to a UNICEF report released on World Water Day.
United Nations, UNICEF and Smurfs team up to celebrate International Day of Happiness
NEW YORK, 18 March 2017 - Voice actors from the upcoming animated movie Smurfs: The Lost Village today joined officials from the United Nations, UNICEF and United Nations Foundation at the world body’s headquarters in New York to celebrate International Day of Happiness with a campaign promoting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
One year on after EU-Turkey statement the human cost to refugee and migrant children mounts up
GENEVA, 17 March 2017 – One year after the Balkan border closures and the EU-Turkey Statement which were aimed at stopping mass migration flows, refugee and migrant children face greater risks of deportation, detention, exploitation and deprivation, says UNICEF.
UNICEF humanitarian airlift arrives in Madagascar in aid of thousands affected by Cyclone Enawo
ANTANANARIVO, 17 March 2017 – A cargo flight carrying 79 tons of humanitarian supplies has arrived in the capital of Madagascar as part of the UN Children’s Fund’s (UNICEF) ongoing response to Cyclone Enawo which caused significant damage in the northeastern part of the country and has affected much of the rest of the world’s fourth-largest island.
EU and UNICEF to reach thousands of refugee children in Turkey with Conditional Cash Transfer for Education
ANKARA, 16 March 2017 - The European Union and UNICEF have launched the largest ever EU humanitarian contribution to Education in Emergencies, valued at EUR 34 million. The Conditional Cash Transfer for Education (CCTE) project aims to increase the number of refugee children enrolled in and attending school in Turkey.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dubai Cares and UNICEF call for investment in childhood development
DUBAI, 15 March 2017 - Dubai Cares, the global philanthropic organization based in United Arab Emirates (UAE) and UNICEF, in coordination with the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MOFAIC), came together today in Dubai at a two-day event to urge greater investment in early childhood development (ECD).
Yemen needs urgent assistance to prevent famine - FAO, WFP, UNICEF
SANA'A/AMMAN, 15 March 2017 - Severe food insecurity threatens more than 17 million people in conflict-ridden Yemen, according to the latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) analysis released by the United Nations and humanitarian partners today.
Hitting rock bottom: Children's suffering in Syria at its worst - UNICEF
DAMASCUS/AMMAN, 13 March 2017 – Grave violations against children in Syria were the highest on record in 2016, said UNICEF in a grim assessment of the conflict’s impact on children, as the war reaches six years.
UNICEF mourns deaths of young girls in Guatemala shelter, calls for end of institutionalization of children
PANAMA CITY, 9 March 2017 – “We are deeply saddened by the tragic deaths of more than 20 girls in the Hogar Seguro Virgen de la Asunción shelter in Guatemala as a result of a fire in which many others were injured. We extend our deepest sympathies to the families of the victims and to the people of Guatemala.
Statement on impact on children of new law in Hungary - attributed to UNICEF Regional Director and Special Coordinator for the Refugee and Migrant Crisis in Europe, Afshan Khan
GENEVA, 9 March 2017 – "UNICEF is alarmed by the adoption of a new law in Hungary that foresees the mandatory detention of refugee and migrant children over 14 years of age. We appeal to the President to treat all children as children first and foremost, before signing this new law.
National polio immunization campaign reaches five million children in Yemen as conflict intensifies
SANA’A, 8 March 2017 – Amid escalating violence, UNICEF and partners have completed the first round of a nationwide door-to-door vaccination campaign reaching 5 million children under the age of five with oral polio vaccine and vitamin A supplementation.
Statement by UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake on new US rules on refugees
NEW YORK, 7 March 2017 – “Refugee children fleeing violence and terror need our support now more than ever. They are among the most vulnerable and traumatized children in the world. UNICEF is committed to continuing our work with the United States and other government partners to help them.
Sweden contributes $80 million to UNICEF’s work in 2017
STOCKHOLM, 7 March 2017 – The Government of Sweden has just announced an $80 million contribution to support UNICEF’s life-saving work around the world. A significant part of the new funds – $20 million– will be allocated to UNICEF’s humanitarian work in countries affected by wars and other emergencies.
New European Union returns policies put children at risk
BRUSSELS, 3 March 2017. The European Commission yesterday adopted a Recommendation and Renewed Action Plan for EU member states to consider in their procedures to return men, women and children staying irregularly in the EU to their countries of origin or transit. It encourages member states to undertake swift returns, which limit basic safeguards and rights that should be guaranteed to all migrants, including in cases involving children.
More than 1 million children affected by drought in Kenya - UNICEF
NAIROBI, Kenya, 2 March 2017 – The onset of a severe drought in 2016 has hit arid and semi-arid regions in Kenya, affecting over 2.7 million people. UNICEF is supporting the Government of Kenya in initiating and implementing emergency response efforts by delivering life-saving assistance to affected households, strengthening coordination activities, assisting in monitoring of vulnerable groups and in advocacy.
UNICEF announces collaboration with telecommunications giant in drive for ‘Big Data’ for social good
NEW YORK, 1 March 2017 –UNICEF and Telefonica, one of the largest European telecommunication companies, will work together on UNICEF's "Magic Box" initiative – an innovative use of data to inform and plan humanitarian responses to emergency situations.
A deadly journey for children: The migration route from North Africa to Europe
NEW YORK/GENEVA, 28 February 2017 – Refugee and migrant children and women are routinely suffering sexual violence, exploitation, abuse and detention along the Central Mediterranean migration route from North Africa to Italy, UNICEF warned in a new report.
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Orlando Bloom meets children and families affected by Boko Haram violence on Niger trip
NEW YORK/NIAMEY, Niger, 24 February 2017 – UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Orlando Bloom this week travelled to Diffa, south-east Niger, to highlight the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the Lake Chad Basin where Boko Haram violence has caused huge population displacements. Hundreds of thousands of children across the region have been forced from their homes, are out of education and at risk of malnutrition.
Statement attributable to Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF Regional Director, urging all parties at Geneva talks to put Syria’s children first
DAMASCUS/AMMAN, 23 February 2017 – "The heart-wrenching image of a young boy screaming for his father just minutes after losing both his legs in an apparent assault in Idlib last week is another brutal reminder that children continue to come under attack in Syria’s conflict."
UNICEF statement on Baquer Namazi
NEW YORK, 22 February 2017 – “One year ago today, our respected former UNICEF colleague, Baquer Namazi, was imprisoned in Iran. Our concerns for his health and wellbeing have grown deeper with each passing day.
Life-saving support urgently needed in Greater Unity region
ROME, 21 February 2017 - The latest food security analysis in South Sudan has led to a declaration of famine in Leer and Mayendit counties in Greater Unity region. Two other counties are at risk of famine. The lives of some 100,000 people are threatened.
Nearly 1.4 million children at imminent risk of death as famine looms in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen – UNICEF
NEW YORK/DAKAR/NAIROBI/AMMAN, 21 February 2017 – Almost 1.4 million children are at imminent risk of death from severe acute malnutrition this year, as famine looms in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen, UNICEF said today.
At least 65,000 children released from armed forces and groups over the last 10 years, UNICEF
NEW YORK/PARIS, 21 February 2017 – At least 65,000 children have been released from armed forces and armed groups in the past 10 years, UNICEF said today as leaders from around the world gather in Paris on the anniversary of the Paris Commitments to end the use of children in conflict.
Famine hits parts of South Sudan
20 February 2017, Juba – War and a collapsing economy have left some 100,000 people facing starvation in parts of South Sudan where famine was declared today, three UN agencies warned. A further 1 million people are classified as being on the brink of famine.
World must act now to save lives in Somalia, U.N. agencies warn
MOGADISHU, 17 February 2017– As a devastating drought grips Somalia, UNICEF and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) are warning that only a massive and immediate scale-up of humanitarian assistance can help the country avoid falling into another catastrophe.
Number of Ukrainian children needing aid nearly doubles to 1 million over the past year – UNICEF
KYIV/GENEVA, 17 February 2017 – As the volatile conflict in eastern Ukraine enters its fourth year, 1 million children are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance - nearly double the number this time last year, said UNICEF.
Statement by UNICEF Regional Director Geert Cappelaere on reports of children killed and injured in Syria
AMMAN, 10 February 2017 – ”Violence in Syria this week has reportedly killed at least 20 children and injured others in several areas across the war-torn country.
Statement by UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake on killing of ICRC workers in Afghanistan and SARC workers in Syria
NEW YORK, 8 February 2017 – “We are saddened and outraged by the cruel killings today of six workers for the International Committee of the Red Cross in northern Afghanistan, and two workers for the Syrian Arab Red Crescent in Aleppo, Syria.
Statement by Anthony Lake, UNICEF Executive Director, on the death of Hans Rosling
NEW YORK, 07 February 2017 - "Hans Rosling was not only a friend to his colleagues at UNICEF; he was a friend to the world’s children. No one used data more persuasively to make the case for why investing in the most disadvantaged children is not only the right thing to do; it is the smart thing to do. We will miss him."
Thousands of children out of school after classrooms hit by heavy shelling in eastern Ukraine
KYIV/GENEVA, 6 February 2017 – Thousands of children have been forced out of school in eastern Ukraine due to last week’s surge in fighting. At least five schools and two kindergartens have been damaged by heavy shelling and 11 other schools have had to close, according to humanitarian organisations supporting the emergency education response in Ukraine.
UNICEF seeks $42 million emergency assistance for children caught in conflict and crises in East Asia Pacific
BANGKOK, 6 February 2017 – As part of its annual global humanitarian appeal, UNICEF is seeking $42 million to deliver lifesaving aid for children in emergencies in two countries in the East Asia and Pacific region. The two East Asian countries that feature in the 2017 Humanitarian Action for Children report are DPR Korea and Myanmar, where children are affected by conflict, food shortages or natural disaster.
The world must make faster progress to end female genital mutilation by 2030
NEW YORK, 6 February 2017 - “It irreparably damages girls’ bodies, inflicting excruciating pain. It causes extreme emotional trauma that can last a lifetime.
UNICEF concerned about serious violations of children’s rights in the northern part of Rakhine state reported in OHCHR report
YANGON, Myanmar, 3 February 2017 - UNICEF has just seen the report of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and is very concerned about the reported serious violations of children’s rights in the northern part of Rakhine state.
Two refugees, generations apart, tell their story in new UNICEF film
NEW YORK, 3 February 2017 – A powerful new UNICEF film presenting the parallel stories of a young Syrian refugee and a World War II child refugee was released today as a stark illustration of the challenges that refugee children continue to face.
Deadliest winter for refugee and migrant children crossing the Central Mediterranean, says UNICEF
NEW YORK/GENEVA/BRUSSELS, 3 February, 2017 – A record number of refugee and migrant deaths in the Central Mediterranean over the past three months, including an estimated 190 children, has prompted an urgent appeal from UNICEF to leaders of European Union member states meeting in Malta.
Heavy fighting in Ukraine leaves thousands of children cold, thirsty and out of school – UNICEF
KYIV/GENEVA, 1 February 2017 – Following intense fighting over the last two days around the town of Avdiivka, Donetsk region, more than 17,000 people – including 2,500 children – are facing freezing weather without any heating, electricity or water.
New open source app helps protect children displaced by conflict
NEW YORK, 31 January 2017 – A life–saving service for vulnerable children caught up in crises is now available to government, aid agencies and social service workers through an open source app developed by UNICEF and its partners.
Schools in Syria rise from the rubble
DAMASCUS/AMMAN, 31 January 2017 - In the past weeks, UNICEF has supported the re-opening of 23 primary schools in the eastern parts of Aleppo city, allowing nearly 6,500 children to return to school.
UNICEF seeks $3.3 billion in emergency assistance for 48 million children caught up in conflict and other crises
NEW YORK/GENEVA, 31 January 2017 – 48 million children living through some of the world’s worst conflicts and other humanitarian emergencies will benefit from UNICEF’s 2017 appeal, which was launched today.
UNICEF statement on child refugees
NEW YORK, 30 January 2017 – “The needs of refugees have never been greater. Worldwide 28 million children have been uprooted by conflict, driven from their homes by violence and terror. They need our help.
4.7 million children in vaccination campaign against measles in northeast Nigeria
ABUJA, Nigeria, 26 January 2017 – In a major vaccination campaign concluding this week, 4.7 million children are being vaccinated in response to a measles outbreak in northeast Nigeria. The campaign is covering the three states most affected by the Boko Haram conflict – Adamawa, Borno and Yobe – where insecurity has limited vaccination efforts. In 2016, there were approximately 25,000 cases of measles among children in Nigeria; 97 per cent of the cases were in children under the age of ten and at least a hundred children died.
Schools reopen in East Mosul as violence subsides
BAGHDAD, 24 January, 2017 — As fighting subsides in East Mosul, 30 schools reopened on Sunday with help from UNICEF, allowing over 16,000 children to resume their education.
Humanitarians fear for the 750,000 civilians in western Mosul
BAGHDAD, 24 January 2017 - 100 days after military operations to retake Mosul started, humanitarian partners are expressing deep concern about the plight of the estimated 750,000 civilians who are currently living in the western sections of the city where fighting is expected to start in coming weeks.
Statement attributable to Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF Regional Director, on the children of Deir Ez Zor
DAMASCUS/AMMAN, 23 January 2017 – “Children living in the besieged city of Deir Ez Zor have come under intense attack in the past week.
UNICEF launches interactive glimpse into Syrian children’s struggle for education
BEIRUT, 23 January 2017 – A new interactive documentary providing an intimate look into the lives of Syrian school-aged children living as refugees in Lebanon was launched by UNICEF today. #ImagineaSchool provides a first-hand account of the challenges Syrian refugees face in their struggle to access education.
Young refugee and migrant children at risk as extreme cold weather grips much of Europe – UNICEF
NEW YORK, 20 January 2017 – With no sign of a let-up in the extreme cold weather and storms sweeping Central, Eastern and Southern Europe, refugee and migrant children are threatened by respiratory and other serious illnesses -- and even death from hypothermia, UNICEF said today.
Children’s needs central to response as Gambia uncertainty continues
DAKAR, 19 January 2017 – As the Gambia faces an uncertain political transition, the situation raises concerns for the nearly 26,000 people – half of them children – who have left the country to neighbouring Senegal. The threat of unrest has also left thousands of children in the Gambia without access to education following the closure of schools in parts of the country.
EU and UNICEF inaugurate Gaza’s largest seawater desalination plant
GAZA, 19 January 2017 – Today the European Union and UNICEF officially inaugurated the largest seawater desalination plant built in the Gaza Strip so far.
Over 40 per cent of Syrian refugee children in Turkey missing out on education, despite massive increase in enrolment rates - UNICEF
NEW YORK/GAZIANTEP, Turkey, 19 January 2017 – Nearly half a million Syrian refugee children are currently enrolled in schools across Turkey. But despite a more than 50 per cent increase in enrolment since last June, over 40 per cent of children of school-going age – or 380,000 child refugees – are still missing out on an education, UNICEF said today.
Statement by UNICEF Director for Emergency Programmes Manuel Fontaine on the tragic loss of life in the Rann camp for displaced people, northeast Nigeria
NEW YORK, 17 January 2017 – “UNICEF is deeply concerned by the loss of life in Tuesday’s tragic incident in Rann, Borno State. Our thoughts are with all those who were injured.
Joint Statement on Syria- WFP, UNICEF, OCHA, WHO, UNHCR
DAVOS, Switzerland, January 16 2017– While efforts to fully implement a ceasefire in Syria continue, we again appeal for immediate, unconditional, and safe access to reach the children and families who are still cut off from humanitarian aid across the country.
Number of unaccompanied or separated children arriving by sea to Italy doubles in 2016 – UNICEF
LAMPEDUSA, Italy, 13 January 2017 – Some 25,800 unaccompanied or separated children arrived to Italy by sea in 2016 – that’s more than double the 12,360 who arrived during the previous year. These children account for a staggering 91 per cent of all the 28,200 children who reached Italy’s shores in 2016 as refugees or migrants.
Statement attributable to Meritxell Relaño, UNICEF Representative in Yemen, on attacks near a school
SANA’A, Yemen, 10 January 2017 – “One girl is confirmed dead and four others injured in two attacks this morning near a school in the Nihm district outside the Yemeni capital, Sana’a.
'Early Moments Matter' for children’s brain development, UNICEF
NEW YORK, 10 January 2017 – UNICEF today launched #EarlyMomentsMatter, a new campaign supported by the LEGO Foundation to drive increased awareness about the importance of the first 1,000 days of a child’s life and the impact of early experiences on the developing brain.
Update on water cuts in Syria
GENEVA, 6 January 2017 – Millions of people in Damascus and surrounding areas have been cut off from running water for two weeks. Fighting in and around Wadi Barada, on the outskirts of Damascus where the two primary water sources are located, has resulted in damages to the water network.
Three months after Matthew, UNICEF and its partners continue to bring assistance to affected population.
PORT-AU-PRINCE, 4 January 2017 – Almost three months after hurricane Matthew, UNICEF and its partners continue to deliver humanitarian aid to those most affected by the category 4 storm.
UNICEF in emergencies link
Stay current with UNICEF news by reading the latest press releases from the Press Centre.