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African emergencies dominate UNICEF 2012 humanitarian appeal

Conflict-affected people in South Kordofan.
© UNICEF Sudan/2012
Conflict-affected women and children in South Kordofan.

UNICEF appeals for USD1.28 billion for its humanitarian operations to assist children in 2012

GENEVA/Khartoum, 29 January 2012 - Sudan and 22 other African nations dominate UNICEF’s appeal for USD1.28 billion to fund its humanitarian operations in 2012. The list of countries includes many long standing or so-called “silent” emergencies, but the crisis in Somalia and in other countries in the Horn of Africa accounts for nearly one-third of the total amount.

“While much of the world’s attention focuses on the humanitarian needs in the Horn of Africa, we must not forget those in the many long-standing emergencies around the globe, the silent emergencies,” said Rima Salah, UNICEF Deputy Executive Director (a.i.), at the launch of UNICEF’s 2012 Humanitarian Action for Children report in Geneva on Friday.

“In the Sahel, we are facing a nutrition crisis of a larger magnitude than usual. In addition, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Chad and the Central African Republic, to name just a few, are all emergencies requiring funding if their most vulnerable people, children and women, are to survive,” she added.

The UNICEF report describes the daily situation of some of the world’s most vulnerable children and women caught up in emergencies across the world and the funding required to meet their immediate and long-term needs, their right to healthy survival and development. It highlights the massive humanitarian operation in the Horn of Africa where UNICEF activated its highest level of emergency response to run an operation to save the  lives of hundreds of thousands of children and women on the brink of survival in that region.

It notes the needs of children and their families displaced by violence stemming from the November 2010 elections in Cote d’Ivoire and the independence of South Sudan from the Republic of the Sudan.

The report's chapter on Sudan says violence and insecurity, particularly in Abyei, Blue Nile and South Kordofan states, has severely affected or displaced an estimated 440,000 people -- most of them women and children.

In Darfur, where 1.9 million people remain displaced in camps, the sharp decline in funding levels has been a significant challenge. Meanwhile, the report adds, the diminishing harvests and the increased cost of living have exacerbated the existing socio-economic context. It says the rates of undernutrition have reached crisis levels, as confirmed by the Sudan Household Survey 2010 which showed that more than 300,000 children in Sudan are facing life-threatening severe wasting at any given time, well above the international thresholds for an emergency situation.

To address the urgent needs of more than seven million at-risk children and women in Sudan’s conflict-affected regions, UNICEF is requesting USD98,083,000.

To address the urgent needs of more than seven million at-risk children and women in Sudan’s conflict-affected regions, UNICEF is requesting USD98,083,000.

The report also highlights the needs of the five million people affected by a second year of flooding in Pakistan and the operation to rebuild Haiti two years after an earthquake shattered the poorest country in the western hemisphere.

The report cites the wave of political turmoil and change in the Middle East and North Africa as creating humanitarian needs in the region especially in countries such as Yemen which is already affected by a long standing emergency crisis.

The report stresses the importance of emergency preparedness and building resilience as critical in reducing death and injury in emergency situations.

“We have achieved many positive results in emergency settings in 2011 but the urgent and long term needs of millions of children and their families will continue in 2012. UNICEF requires adequate funding in order to fulfill its commitments towards children.” Salah said. “They not only represent the future but are the most vulnerable, and deserve generous and consistent support from the donor community.”

UNICEF is on the ground in over 190 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF’s work visit: or
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For further information, please contact:
Marixie Mercado, UNICEF Geneva, +41-22-909-5716,
Patrick McCormick, UNICEF Geneva, +41-22-909-5713,
Chris Tidey, UNICEF Geneva, +41-22-909-5715, 
Simon Ingram, UNICEF Khartoum, + 249 156 553 670 x 306, +249 912 177 573,



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