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US$8.2 million needed now for children in humanitarian crises in Central Asia and Caucasus, says UNICEF

ASTANA, 31 January 2013 – UNICEF is requesting donors in Central Asia and the Caucasus to join forces with UNICEF to raise US$8.2 million to ensure children are protected in emergencies in the region in 2013.

UNICEF will assist children affected by humanitarian crises in Georgia, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan in particular by improving disaster preparedness, and strengthening the resilience of communities to withstand and minimize the impact of new shocks.

In the three countries hundreds and thousands of boys and girls were displaced by violence stemming from political and communal violence in Abkhazia, Georgia and Osh and Jalal-Abad Kyrgyzstan while natural disasters and health epidemics such as polio impacted on children in Tajikistan. Particular focus has been given to girls, children with disabilities, and children in institutions, and in south Kyrgyzstan, children of ethnic groups.

The Central Asia and Caucasus appeal is part of UNICEF’s global Humanitarian Action for Children 2013 appeal which is seeking $1.4 billion US. While it includes countries prominent in today’s news headlines such as Syria, much of the funds raised will contribute to emergencies in many other countries that receive much less media coverage but which also require urgent attention and assistance.

Representing UNICEF, Jun Kukita, UNICEF’s Representative in Kazakhstan described these emergencies as silent emergencies. “Just because they don’t feature prominent in the daily media that doesn’t mean that children are suffering any less.”

“I pleased to be here today with sister agencies and donors and urge on others to strengthen our mutual cooperation, share expertise, knowledge, experience and resources to help the children who need us the most.’

Contributions to UNICEF’s 2013 global requirements will allow the organization to build on its work in 2012. Some of the results achieved between January through October 2012 include:

·         Health: 38.3 million children immunized

·         Water, Sanitation & Hygiene: 12.4 million people provided access to safe water for drinking, cooking and bathing

·         Education: 3 million children provided access to improved education

·         Child Protection: 2.4 million children provided with child protection services

·         Nutrition: 2 million children treated for severe and acute malnutrition

·         HIV and AIDS: 1 million people provided access to testing, counseling and referral for treatment

In 2012, large funding gaps in emergencies in the region of Abkhazia, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan left many needs unmet. In many countries, access, security and the capacity of partners are other major constraints to delivering humanitarian assistance.

“Contributions to the appeal are sound investments in children and their futures,” said Ted Chaiban UNICEF’s Director of the Office of Emergency Programmes at the global launch in Geneva on 25 January. “UNICEF seeks un-earmarked resources to allow the organization to respond to consistently underfunded emergencies or where the needs are greatest, to apply innovative solutions to complex situations, and to integrate early recovery in large-scale emergencies – many of which extend across multiple countries at the same time.”

In addition to the US$8.2 million required for the CEE/CIS region, as part of the response to the Syrian refugee crisis, UNICEF in Turkey requires US$14 million to support the Government of Turkey in its response to the humanitarian needs of Syrian boys and girls.

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To download the Humanitarian Action for Children 2013 Report

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UNICEF is on the ground in over 22 countries and territories in Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.  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.
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For more information and to confirm your attendance the press conference, please contact: UNICEF Regional Office for CEECIS in Geneva, John Bud, +41 794 311537, UNICEF Kazakhstan Sultanbek Khudaibergenov, +7 701 943 06 90,



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