Number of countries enduring violent conflicts is at a 30-year high with devastating impact on world's most vulnerable children
TORONTO and GENEVA, June 10, 2019 /CNW/ - In 2018, UNICEF responded to 285 humanitarian emergencies in 90 countries around the world, providing vital life-saving support to millions of children.
Crises that UNICEF responded to included:
- 87 health crises such as the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo;
- 68 socio-political crises such the violent conflicts in Syria, Yemen and north-east Nigeria;
- 80 natural disasters including earthquakes and extreme weather events such as drought and flooding;
- 22 nutrition crises including emergency levels of child malnutrition in countries such as South Sudan and Yemen.
Although the number of crises UNICEF responded to declined from 2017, protracted crises have become increasingly complex, with some conflict-affected countries facing emergencies within emergencies and heightened risks to already vulnerable children.
"When countries are beset by conflict and disaster, children are always among the most vulnerable," said Manuel Fontaine, UNICEF's Director of Emergency Programmes. "Our humanitarian response work is saving children's lives, keeping them safe, and then helping them rebuild their lives. We're there before crises hit, and we stay long after the world's attention moves on."
UNICEF's humanitarian response is made possible thanks to the strong collaboration with national partners, as well as the generous contributions from private donors, corporate companies and governments.
"The support of governments, companies and the public around the world has been invaluable in allowing us to reach millions of children as quickly and efficiently as possible," added Fontaine. "Yet the needs remain huge. Sustainable, long-term funding allows UNICEF to be more strategic and predictable, to respond effectively where needs are greatest and to bridge humanitarian action and development programming."
Examples of key humanitarian results by UNICEF and partners in 2018 included:
- Providing 3.6 million children with psychosocial support;
- Reaching more than 43 million people with access to safe water;
- Providing 3.4 million children with treatment for severe acute malnutrition (SAM);
- Vaccinating 19.6 million children aged 6 months to 15 years against measles;
- Providing 6.9 million school-age children with formal and non-formal education, including early learning, and 2.4 million households with cash assistance.
- In addition, UNICEF sent 85 shipments of vaccines to 19 countries, delivering more than 24.7 million doses of vaccines.
In 2019, UNICEF is appealing for $3.9 billion to support its work for children in humanitarian crises. Needs in some areas have increased due to the effects of climate change, as recently seen in Mozambique in the aftermath of the cyclones where UNICEF and partners are committed to helping children and families get back on their feet stronger. To date, critical gaps remain. As of 31st May, UNICEF's 2019 emergency appeal for children received only 24% of the funding required, potentially affecting humanitarian aid where it's needed most.
Notes for editors:
Additional information on UNICEF's humanitarian response for children in 2018 can be found in the Humanitarian Action Study. More detailed information is available in the 2018 Annual Results Report (Humanitarian Action).
Further information on UNICEF's humanitarian programmes available at www.unicef.org/appeals
UNICEF is the world's leading humanitarian organization focused on children. We work in the most challenging areas to provide protection, healthcare and immunizations, education, safe water and sanitation and nutrition. As part of the United Nations, our unrivaled reach spans more than 190 countries and territories, ensuring we are on the ground to help the most disadvantaged children. While part of the UN system, UNICEF relies entirely on voluntary donations to finance our live-saving work. Please visit unicef.ca and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
SOURCE UNICEF Canada
For further information: To arrange interviews or for more information please contact: Marie-Hélène Bachand, Communications Manager, UNICEF Canada, (416) 482-4444 ext. 8425/mobile: 514 232-4510, [email protected]