Responding to emergencies with life-saving supplies
UNICEF mobilizes life-saving supplies for children affected by humanitarian crises. We work toward early recovery, long-term development and preparedness for the future.
During humanitarian crises, children are especially vulnerable to disease, malnutrition and violence. While their needs are urgent, our work to reach them with assistance can be hindered by disrupted infrastructure and insecurity in conflicts or disasters, which threaten access to basic necessities like shelter, healthcare and hygiene, education and social support.
Medical and nutrition products, safe water and sanitation, as well as education and recreation supplies, must be appropriate for children in vulnerable situations and withstand the pressures of an emergency. The logistics of storing and transporting these supplies are complex, especially given the time-sensitive nature of an emergency response, and this means we must be ready and prepared, no matter where the challenge arises.
But our work does not stop at delivery. We must ensure that our assistance continues to have a positive impact in the long term, so that children can hope to enjoy healthy lives and fulfill their dreams.
At the onset of an emergency – whether it’s a conflict or a disaster – UNICEF is capable of delivering pre-positioned life-saving supplies within 72 hours from a network of supply hubs around the world. Pre-positioned supplies are essential items that are ready to be deployed from strategic locations at any moment, to bring timely relief to an emergency anywhere in the world.
UNICEF sends pre-packed kits that can be assembled, shipped and distributed rapidly in emergency situations. Commonly used kits include the Interagency Emergency Health Kit (IEHK), the WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) and Dignity Kit, and the Acute Watery Diarrhoea Kit, which contain products and instructions for use in health posts and camps for refugees and displaced persons.
UNICEF also mobilizes education supplies and child-friendly spaces for small children and young people to continue learning and playing in prolonged crises. Our School-in-a-Box and Recreation Kits, among others, help to provide stability and structure in often traumatic situations that can jeopardize children’s long-term well-being.