Global annual results report 2019: Humanitarian action
The key humanitarian results achieved for children by UNICEF and partners in 2019
In 2019, UNICEF and partners responded to 281 humanitarian situations in 96 countries. More than half of all UNICEF expenses in 2019 supported humanitarian action.
Globally, UNICEF and partners reached millions of children with life-saving, gender-sensitive and disability-inclusive interventions in the areas of health, nutrition, education, child protection, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), and social protection during the year.
This report highlights the results achieved and challenges faced during 2019, as well as UNICEF’s work plan for humanitarian action in 2020.
The humanitarian landscape in 2019
In 2019, global humanitarian needs grew to their highest levels ever. By the end of the year, more than 1 in every 45 people in the world – nearly 168 million people – needed urgent humanitarian assistance. Over the past five years, the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance has more than doubled.
Prolonged and violent conflict remained the main drivers of humanitarian crisis in 2019, with displacement, food insecurity, disease outbreaks such as coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), natural disasters and other emergencies giving rise to substantial needs.
UNICEF humanitarian action in 2019
In 2019, UNICEF and partners responded to 281 humanitarian situations in 96 countries. Forty-two per cent of these 96 country responses were to emergencies affecting more than 1 million people. While the number of situations declined from 285 in 2018, protracted crises are lasting for longer, with some conflict-affected countries facing emergencies within emergencies, which heighten risks to already vulnerable children. Needs have remained exceptionally high over many years in conflict-affected countries such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia, South Sudan, the Sudan, the Syrian Arab Republic and Yemen.
Type and scale of humanitarian response in 2019
281 humanitarian situations
|Health crises: 74||East Asia and the Pacific: 13 countries|
|Socio-political crises: 63||Eastern and Southern Africa: 18 countries|
|Natural disasters (hydro-meteorological): 82||Europe and Central Asia: 8 countries|
|Other: 29||Latin America and the Caribbean: 17 countries|
|Nutritional crises: 23||Middle East and North Africa: 13 countries|
|Natural disasters (geo-physical): 10||South Asia: 6 countries|
|West and Central Africa: 18 countries|
Delivering humanitarian results for children
These are some of the key humanitarian results achieved against targets for children by UNICEF and partners in 2019. In some contexts, achievements were constrained by limited resources, including across sectors; inadequate humanitarian access; insecurity; and challenging operating environments.
Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)
39.1 million people accessed safe water (100% of the targeted population)
4.1 million children with severe acute malnutrition admitted to treatment (86% of the targeted population)
3.7 million children accessed psychosocial support (87% of the targeted population)
41.3 million children aged 6 months to 15 years vaccinated against measles (95% of the targeted population)
7.4 million children accessed formal or non-formal basic education, including early learning (60% of the targeted population)
2.8 million households benefited from cash assistance
Key results from humanitarian responses
Bangladesh and Myanmar
In response to the Rohingya crisis in Bangladesh and Myanmar, nearly 295,000 children accessed education services, including early learning (83 per cent of the 356,000 targeted).
Nearly 663,000 severely malnourished children under 5 years affected by armed violence were admitted into therapeutic feeding programmes (51 per cent girls; 94 per cent of the 703,000 targeted).
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
Some 6.2 million crisis-affected people, including 450,000 children under 5 years, in 50 priority countries gained access to essential medicines (exceeding the 6 million targeted).
UNICEF reached 38 million people at risk of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and neighbouring countries through community engagement, advocacy and interpersonal communication interventions (exceeding the 36.4 million targeted).
Latin America and the Caribbean
Over 182,000 children affected by the migration crisis received programmes to prevent and address violence, abuse and exploitation, including gender-based violence (48 per cent girls; exceeding the 143,000 targeted).
In the aftermath of Cyclone Idai, UNICEF supported nearly 65,000 vulnerable households (around 264,000 people) in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe through humanitarian cash transfer programmes.
The Syrian Arab Republic
Since 2016, UNICEF and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour have reached 15,000 children with disabilities through an innovative humanitarian cash transfer programme. In 2019, the programme reached 7,500 children with disabilities.
UNICEF and partners reached over 1.4 million conflict-affected people with safe drinking water, and nearly 42,000 vulnerable people benefited from improved access to hygiene supplies.
A total of 600 surge deployments were reported and completed in 2019 to support coordination, programming and operations in emergencies. This year’s emergency surge missions totalled over 43,000 days, with an average mission length of 73 days.
Top 3 crises supported through emergency deployments
Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela response
Mozambique – Cyclone Idai response
Democratic Republic of the Congo – Ebola outbreak response
In 2019, UNICEF collaborated with 1,394 civil society partners – two thirds of them local partners. More than US$582.4 million in cash was transferred to civil society partners during the year. Nearly 57 per cent of these funds were transferred to local partners.
|Total partnerships: 1,394|
|East Asia and the Pacific region: 64|
|Eastern and Southern Africa region: 331|
|Europe and Central Asia region: 86|
|Latin America and the Caribbean region: 106|
|Middle East and North Africa region: 440|
|South Asia region: 143|
|West and Central Africa region: 224|
Globally, UNICEF procurement for emergencies reached US$346.1 million
94 per cent of this total went to Level 2 and Level 3 emergencies
Supplies were provided to 58 countries and territories preparing for and/or responding to emergencies
Vaccines and biological products were the largest component of UNICEF emergency supplies by value at US$88.8 million
The year’s results were made possible by the generous contributions of resource partners, including governments, National Committees and corporate partners. The UNICEF resource mobilization strategy for humanitarian action continued to put children at the centre of political and policy agendas to generate adequate and quality financial resources for better and more efficient results on the ground.
UNICEF’s 2019 Humanitarian Action for Children appeal totalled US$4.1 billion
By the end of the year, the appeal was 50% funded, reaching over US$2 billion
That included US$145 million in humanitarian thematic funding
And US$30.5 million in global humanitarian thematic funding
Global humanitarian thematic funding
UNICEF global humanitarian thematic funds – critical multi-year flexible funding – allowed the organization to meet critical needs. Allocations of global humanitarian thematic funding were used to expand activities and respond to increasing needs in countries such as Burkina Faso, where displacement rose dramatically during the year, and the Sudan, with the outbreak of violence and social unrest after the destitution of Bachir.
In 2019, UNICEF allocated US$31.8 million of programmable global humanitarian thematic funding. 80% went to humanitarian action in country and regional offices; 15% went to global work; and 5% went to global and country-level preparedness.
UNICEF will continue to strive to reach the most vulnerable children - as well as women and persons with disabilities - with the support they need in emergencies. A central element in achieving this will be the finalization and roll-out of the revised Core Commitments for Children in Humanitarian Action (CCCs) in 2020. The revised commitments will provide a more robust accountability framework for UNICEF and its implementing partners to ensure principled, timely, predictable and efficient humanitarian response.
UNICEF is also assessing its procedures and capacities to provide effective and timely responses to humanitarian crises as part of an ongoing "humanitarian review" process. Drawing on the results of this review, UNICEF will re-evaluate how it designs and delivers integrated programmes and interprets and acts on its own policies and procedures.
Finally, the outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), reported at the end of 2019, became a pandemic by early March 2020, swiftly throwing the world into an uncertain new reality. UNICEF is aligning its COVID-19 response with those of the World Health Organization and sister United Nations agencies to mitigate the socio-economic imapcts of the pandemic and deliver assistance to children in countries at greatest risk.