UNICEF Middle East and North Africa Regional Office 2022 Annual Report
For every child, every right
In the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region UNICEF supports programmes in 16 country offices covering 20 countries in MENA. Despite progress toward many social indicators in recent decades, inequalities between and within countries remain substantial. A wide range of country typologies are represented in MENA, as are differing stages of demographic transition and complex political economies presenting diverse humanitarian challenges.
While children experienced improvements in their situation between 1990 and 2020 (e.g., declining child mortality and child marriage and increased attendance in primary education) by 2022 positive trends had begun to stagnate, or reverse, due to: COVID-19; stalled reforms; climate change; and/or protracted security, economic or political crises.
MENA has long had the highest number of verified grave violations of child rights in armed conflict: 32 per cent of all 290,000+ global violations, including killing, maiming and recruitment of child soldiers. In 2021 the UN Secretary-General reported that 36 per cent of all violations worldwide occurred in MENA.