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UNICEF launches US$3.1 billion appeal to reach more children in emergencies including in Ukraine

GENEVA/ KYIV, 29 January 2015 - UNICEF is launching a US$3.1 billion appeal – its largest ever – to reach 62 million children at risk in humanitarian crises worldwide. To help children in Ukraine, UNICEF is appealing for US$32.45 million as the country faces a humanitarian crisis.

©UNICEF \ Ukraine \ 2014 \ Pavel Yurkin

Boy from an internally displaced family from Luhansk. Kharkiv, January 2015

“From deadly natural disasters to brutal conflicts and fast-spreading epidemics, children across the world are facing a new generation of humanitarian crises,” said Afshan Khan, UNICEF’s Director of Emergency Programmes. “Whether in the headlines or hidden from view, emergencies sparked by social fracture, climate change and disease are stalking children in ways we have never seen before.”

Growing numbers of children are facing increasingly complex and destructive conflicts, natural disasters and other emergencies, which are placing them in extraordinary danger of violence, hunger, disease and abuse – and require increasingly more resources to address.

More than 1 in 10 of the world’s children – or 230 million – currently live in countries and areas affected by armed conflicts alone. The violent conflict and indiscriminate attacks have endangered the lives of 1.7 million children in Ukraine.

“Violence in eastern Ukraine continues to escalate daily with multiple civilian casualties, including children. UNICEF calls on the international community to provide funds to enable urgent upscaling of the humanitarian response. UNICEF needs US$32.45 million to scale up its humanitarian response to address the urgent needs of 600,000 children and their families in Ukraine” – said Giovanna Barberis, UNICEF Representative in Ukraine.

UNICEF’s Humanitarian Action for Children 2015 appeal targets a total of 98 million people, around two thirds of whom are children, in 71 countries. The biggest portion of the appeal is for Syria and the sub-region, but also to accelerate UNICEF`s work in the heart of Ebola-affected communities and in Nigeria, where attacks by armed groups have escalated in the past year.

The appeal also includes hugely under-funded and forgotten crises where children are in desperate need – including Afghanistan (35 per cent funded in 2014), the State of Palestine (23 per cent funded in 2014) and Niger (35 per cent funded in 2014).

©UNICEF \ Ukraine \ 2015 \ Pavel Yurkin

Delivery of early childhood development kits to the IDP communityin Kharkiv. January 2015

“This appeal will reach the most vulnerable children, wherever they are,” said Khan. “Where a child is born should not determine his or her destiny. We must get vital services and care to children in acute need now. This is not just about immediate humanitarian action as these short-term investments will have long-term gains.”

In 2014, UNICEF reached millions of children with humanitarian support – including vaccinating 16 million children against measles, treating 1.8 million children for the most serious form of malnutrition, providing almost 2 million children with psychological support and providing 13 million people with access to safe water. 2 million children were also given a better education – a crucial part of UNICEF’s emergency response as it helps restore children’s routine and gives them hope for the future.

In Ukraine UNICEF with partners is providing critical assistance to children who are particularly vulnerable to the devastating effects of the ongoing violence in eastern Ukraine. UNICEF has provided safe drinking to 100,000 women, children and men in conflict-affected areas. About 20,000 internally displaced children have benefitted from UNICEF education kits. UNICEF has delivered emergency kits with basic and specific drugs, disposable supplies and primary health care equipment helping 86,000 IDPs (families and children).


The full Humanitarian Action for Children 2015 appeal and related country information can be found here from 09:30 GMT on 29th January 2015:  

Video and photos are available for download here:  

Notes to Editors

The 71 countries and areas featured in the Humanitarian Action for Children 2015 appeal are highlighted due to the scale of these crises, the urgency of their impact on children and women, the complexity of the response, and the capacity to respond.

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

For more information about UNICEF and its work visit:
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For more information, please contact:

Christophe Boulierac, UNICEF Geneva, Tel: +41 (0)22 909 5716, Mobile: +41 (0) 799639244,  

Rose Foley, UNICEF New York, Tel: + 1 212 303 7987, Mobile: + 1 917 340 2582,  

Veronika Vashchenko, UNICEF Ukraine, +38 044 254 2439,  



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