EU Nobel Peace Prize award to help build foundation of peace for children UNICEF among five agencies to benefit

 

EU Nobel Peace Prize award to help build foundation of peace for children UNICEF among five agencies to benefit

Global News 00:26

Girls attend class in a village in Nowshera District, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province The school was damaged by the floods, but has been rehabilitated with UNICEF support. [#2 IN SEQUENCE OF TWO] In December 2010 in Pakistan, millions remain affected by the massive flooding that began in July 2010 and spread through most of the country. Nearly 200,000 people continue to live in camps in the provinces of Sindh and Balochistan, and millions more are returning to homes damaged by floodwater. Returnees confront persistently high water levels, washed-out roads and bridges, and damaged infrastructure, property and livelihoods. Meanwhile, the arrival of winter has made the need for shelter increasingly acute. Road damage and security concerns related to ongoing conflict are hampering access by aid groups to many areas. Pakistan, one of four polio-endemic countries in the world, has also experienced a rise in polio infections, with 139 cases reported in 2010. In response, UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Food Programme (WFP) and others have launched coordinated programmes to meet the needs of flood-affected populations. Nearly 21,000 children under age five have received therapeutic feeding, and many more have received supplementary feeding. UNICEF and partners have immunized 11.7 million children against polio, and UNICEF is distributing children’s winter clothes, blankets, and additional supplies in areas that anticipate freezing temperatures. UNICEF has reached 150,000 children with temporary learning centres, 195,000 children with school supplies, and 180,000 with child-friendly spaces. The agency also continues to provide safe drinking water to over 3 million people per day and sanitation facilities to 1.7 million people. To date, 76 per cent of UNICEF’s US$251 million funding requirements under the joint United Nations appeal have been met, including US$22.9 million in pledged funds.BRUSSELS/ NEW YORK/ HONG KONG, 19 December 2012 – The decision by the European Union (EU) to give a portion of the Nobel Prize award to UNICEF, means that more children in Pakistan will have better chance at education and learning.

UNICEF is among five humanitarian organisations to receive funds for programming in complex emergencies from the EU which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on 10 December 2012. The EU also announced that in addition to its prize money of around HK$9.3 million (€930,000), it will top up its donation to a total of around HK$20 million (€2 million) for education in emergencies projects towards the EU Children of Peace initiative.

“We are honored and grateful to the EU – not for UNICEF itself, but for the children we serve,” said Anthony Lake, UNICEF Executive Director.

Complex emergencies can have a deep and lasting effect on children – physically, psychologically and emotionally. Education helps children learn skills to develop values and attitudes that prevent conflict and build peace.

Ten-year-old Khairzada Zaman (right) and other boys play with blocks in a UNICEF-supported child protection centre in Ghaniabad Village of Dera Ismail Khan District, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province. Khairzada wears a cloth bandage over his broken hand. “I was home when water came,” he said about the floods. “It was about 4 p.m. We had to leave immediately, leaving everything behind… Water destroyed everything, even my textbooks. My school uniform is rotten. Later, when we came back, there was a lot of mud around. I slipped and broke my hand.” Khairzada now lives in a tent with his parents and seven siblings. By the end of January 2011, the people of Pakistan continue to struggle with the effects of the worst flooding in their country’s recorded history. The flooding began in mid-July 2010 and, at its height, affected 20 million people, half of them children. An estimated 170,000 people remain displaced in camps and spontaneous settlements, primarily in Sindh Province, but all four provinces and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas face difficult recoveries. Millions have returned to ruined homes and damaged infrastructure, with recovery and rebuilding costs estimated at US$8-10 billion. Six months after the crisis began, a joint nutrition survey conducted by the Government and aid agencies, including UNICEF, has revealed that malnutrition rates for children under five far exceed critical levels: the rate of severe acute malnutrition, a deadly condition, stands at 6.1 per cent in northern Sindh, and the province’s global acute malnutrition rates are between 21 and 23 per cent. Forty per cent of households lost entire food stocks, and over 2 million hectares of crops were destroyed, leaving over 5.7 million people ‘food insecure’. In Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province, 650,000 people are displaced by civil conflict and unable to return due to winter conditions. They are further threatened by landmines that have been moved by floodwaters. From the start, UNICEF has joined the government, other UN agencies and partner NGOs in responding to this unprecedented emergency. UNICEF is supporting: the supply of drinking water to 3.5 million people daily, and sanitation facilities to more 1.9 million; the provision of services for 120,000 malnourished children and women in feeding centres; the immunization of 9 million children against measles and polio; and the creation of temporary learning centres for 180,000 children, and child-friendly centres for 200,000 children. UNICEF has appealed for US$251 million to fund its emergency response, of which US$198 million has been received or pledged – leaving a US$52 million gap still needed to meet vital child rights concerns.The funds will benefit 3,000 Pakistani children from three to 9 years old in 30 camp schools in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The education packages for the displaced include school-in-a-box supplies, training for teachers, education for peace training and psychosocial counseling that will help children cope with traumatic experiences.

UNICEF congratulates the other recipients of the financial award: the Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development, UNHCR, Save the Children and the Norwegian Refugee Council.