2022's Key Moments
Children and UNICEF’s work in the Middle East and North Africa
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From climate change, education and mental health, to ending racism and discrimination, UNICEF will never stop working to promote and defend children's rights.
We have no time to waste – for our children, families, nations, and the world.
Adele Khodr, UNICEF Regional Director in the Middle East and North Africa
In the Middle East and North Africa, protracted conflicts, climate change and social and natural hazards continue to threaten the lives and well-being of children. Consequently, 101.2 million people, including 50 million children, need humanitarian assistance.
The region continues to host one of the largest populations of refugees and internally displaced people globally, 6.4 million refugees and approximately 6.9 million internally displaced children, are in need of humanitarian assistance. UNICEF keeps working to meet the immediate needs of the most vulnerable children in the region.
Too many children have lost their lives since the beginning of this year nearly 580 children have been killed in conflict or violence across several countries in the region. Many more have been injured.
As a result of ongoing crises, 71.8 million people need health and nutrition assistance, 29.3 million children need protection services, 24.9 million children need education support, and 50.4 million lack access to safe water.
In June UNICEF welcomed the two-month extension of truce in Yemen, the renewal of the ceasefire positively impacts the safety and well-being of children and their families in Yemen, after far too many years of suffering.
In November, UNICEF called for an end to all forms of violence and abuse that have reportedly claimed the lives of over 50 children and injured many more during the public unrest in Iran.
Lebanon’s crisis threatens the present and the future of millions of children, On World Day Against Child Labour, UNICEF Lebanon addressed the issue of child labour and children's basic rights to health, food, education, and protection.
UNICEF invests in the first 1,000 days of the lives of vulnerable children by initiating a program in Sudan - "Mother and Child Cash Transfer Plus Programme" - to support the first thousand days of a child’s life and promote women's health by providing care services for pregnant and lactating women, and building the capacity of midwives in rural and urban areas. The programme is piling on UNICEF’s integrated approach by promoting safe health and nutrition practices among beneficiaries and extending WASH services to targeted communities.
On the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the Asian Business Leadership Forum (ABLF) awarded UNICEF National Ambassador Majid Al-Usaimi with the Social Influencer Award during a prestigious ceremony at Expo 2020 Dubai, in recognition of his inspirational achievements, sense of responsibility and diligent work to promote inclusion and support the children and people with disabilities.
During the 16 days of Activism, Unicef Libya with national and international partners conducted focused group discussions, awareness-raising sessions and empowerment activities targeting 6480 women and girls in various locations.
UNICEF Djibouti, was proud to be part of FEMFI project that protects girls and women against all forms of violence, in particular Female Genital Mutilation which has huge and traumatic impact on women’s reproductive health.
Gender-based violence, a global crisis and a human rights concern. In December, UNICEF Iraq encouraged Fatima and girls like her to speak up and speak out on issues that affect her and provided her with needed services.
A cholera outbreak was declared in September 2022 in Syria and thousands of cases of acute watery diarrhoea have been reported. To keep children safe, UNICEF continues to invest in preventive measures and scale up a rapid response to curb the spread of the disease and limit its negative impacts.
Since July, Unicef Morocco encouraged children and young people to participate in creating artistic expressions to promote the rights of children through art, In November, those children stood proudly as their work was displayed at the headquarters of the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO).
UNICEF Oman was proud of the technical expertise and support they gave for the Child Friendly Education model that was launched in February which promotes education quality to enable all children to achieve their full potential. It is based on the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and has six core principles: child-centredness; participation; inclusiveness; protection; equity and equality; and resilience and sustainability.
In December 2022, UNICEF was part of COP27 to insure that the climate crisis is recognized as a crisis for children and their rights, to promote approaches to decrease climate risk for those who are most vulnerable, and to support children and young people’s participation in COP27 as part of efforts to support children and young people’s participation in climate-related decision-making.
UNICEF in State of Palestine celebrated World Water Day, and its work to provide 75,000 people with clean drinking water through the desalination plant in Gaza. Once the current expansion is complete, it will serve 250K people.
On World Children’s Day - UNICEF celebrated the children of Jordan and the adoption of the Child Rights Law, allowing Jordan to enter its second centenary, realizing the importance of investing in childhood, and realizing the law’s compatibility with the Economic Modernization Vision, including the law’s emphasis on educational reform as a basis for economic development.
On 19 December, Algeria celebrated the 30th anniversary of its ratification of the International Convention on the Rights of the Child. The anniversary was marked by the first National Conference on the Reality of Childhood "Achievements and Challenges" in their effort to promote and protect children's rights.
UNICEF’s mission is to support children and young people everywhere. But we cannot fulfill this mission without all of you, our staff, our supporters, our advocates, our partners, our readers. From the UNICEF family, and on behalf of millions of children in the region, we wish you a New Year filled with peace, happiness and health.
Thank you for helping us making a real difference in children’s lives!