Global Annual Results Report 2021: Humanitarian action

Progress, results achieved and lessons from 2021 in UNICEF humanitarian action



Around 235 million people globally required humanitarian assistance in 2021. For children, this alarming reality meant being malnourished, missing school, lacking clean water to drink or adequate facilities for hygiene and living at risk of violence. The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused some of these harms and exacerbated existing challenges.  

With its partners, including Governments, UNICEF provided an array of services and support for children and families in humanitarian crises:  

  • Clean water and sanitation for 41.7 million people

  • Treatment of severe acute malnutrition for 5 million children

  • UNICEF led procurement and delivery of COVID-19 vaccines as procurement coordinator for the COVAX Facility, which delivered 958 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to 144 countries

These results for children were made possible by the $2.96 billion in humanitarian funding UNICEF received in 2021.  

This report presents an overview of how UNICEF responded to save lives and help emergency-affected children and families to realize their rights in 2021. It describes key challenges and how UNICEF plans to apply the lessons learned to future humanitarian response. 

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