UNICEF calls for HK$17.2 billion to help 59 million children in emergencies

 

UNICEF calls for HK$17.2 billion to help 59 million children in emergencies

Global News 00:00
Largest emergency appeal on record, almost 40 per cent for Syria and region
GENEVA/ HONG KONG, 21 February 2014 – UNICEF appealed today for almost HK$17.2 billion (US$2.2 billion) to provide life-saving humanitarian assistance in 2014 to 85 million people, including 59 million children, who face conflict, natural disasters and other complex emergencies in 50 countries.
On 21 February 2014, Ted Chaiban, UNICEF's Director of Emergency Programmes, speaks at the press briefing launching UNICEF's Launch of Humanitarian Action for Children 2014 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. The appeal highlights the daily challenges faced by children in humanitarian crises, the support required to help them survive and thrive, and the results that are possible even in the most difficult circumstances. UNICEF appealed for almost US$2.2 billion to provide life-saving humanitarian assistance in 2014 to 85 million people, including 59 million children, who face conflict, natural disasters and other complex emergencies in 50 countries.

© UNICEF/NYHQ2014-0232/PIERRE ALBOUY

On 21 February 2014, Ted Chaiban, UNICEF’s Director of Emergency Programmes, speaks at the press briefing launching UNICEF’s Launch of Humanitarian Action for Children 2014 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.

“I have just returned from South Sudan, the latest large-scale conflict to disrupt the lives of millions of innocent children. Over 400,000 children and their families have been displaced by the conflict, and over 3.2 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance. The rainy season is coming and we need to preposition supplies and reinforce essential services, for which we need urgent funding to prevent a catastrophe,” said Ted Chaiban, UNICEF’s Director of Emergency Programmes.
“The children of South Sudan join millions of others affected by conflict in the Central African Republic and Syria. But while today’s headlines focus on these complex, under-funded crises, many other desperate situations also require immediate funding and urgent humanitarian assistance. These include Afghanistan, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Myanmar, Somalia and Yemen, and other countries reflected in UNICEF’s appeal,” Chaiban said.

UNICEF’s Humanitarian Action for Children 2014 appeal highlights the daily challenges faced by children in humanitarian crises, the support required to help them survive and thrive, and the results that are possible even in the most difficult circumstances.

For Syria and the sub-region, UNICEF is appealing for HK$6.5 billion (US$835 million) to deliver life-saving assistance including immunisation, water and sanitation, education, and protection; and to support the social cohesion and peace-building skills needed to build a more sustainable future.

“Children are always the most vulnerable group in emergencies, facing a high risk of violence, exploitation, disease and neglect,” Chaiban said. “But when support is made available, we can change the lives of children for the better. With its partners, UNICEF is working to address a diverse range of humanitarian situations including malnutrition in the Sahel; lack of safe drinking water and adequate sanitation in Yemen; cholera in Haiti; increased attacks on children in Afghanistan; and drought in Angola.”

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On 15 December, (right) UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake administers a dose of oral polio vaccine to 2-month-old Winnoa Mae Oliva, who is being held by her mother, at the Rural Health Unit Office in the town of Guiuan in Eastern Samar Province, Eastern Visayas Region. Guiuan is among the areas worst affected by Typhoon Haiyan. UNICEF is working to re-establish the cold chain to deliver vaccines to more than 1 million children in typhoon-affected areas. In mid-December 2013, UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake visited the Philippines, where government-led recovery and relief operations continue in the wake of the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan, which struck the country on 8 November. Some 14 million people – including 4 million who are displaced – have been affected by the storm, one of the strongest ever to make landfall. The storm (known locally as Yolanda) also destroyed homes, schools, hospitals, roads, communications and other basic infrastructure, and damaged power and water supply systems. Mr. Lake met with schoolchildren and with displaced people sheltering in an informal ‘tent city’ and also participated in a mass national campaign to immunize typhoon- affected children against measles and polio. Children are also receiving vitamin A to help boost their immunity during the campaign, which is supported by the World Health Organization, UNICEF and other partners. Mr. Lake also visited a UNICEF-supported child-friendly space providing psychosocial assistance for children traumatized by the disaster and a UNICEF warehouse serving as a distribution hub for supplies to affected areas. UNICEF has appealed for US $61.5 million for its typhoon response – including programmes in water, sanitation and hygiene, child protection, nutrition, health and education – through May 2014.

© UNICEF/NYHQ2013-1238/JEOFFREY MAITEM

On 15 December 2013, UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake (above right) administers a dose of oral polio vaccine to a 2-month-old baby.

Funds raised by the appeal will also help UNICEF in its work with partners to strengthen communities’ abilities to cope with future conflict or natural disaster shocks, by reinforcing national preparedness systems and developing resilience among children and communities.

Contributions to UNICEF’s 2014 appeal will allow the organisation to build on its work in 2013, during which the following results were achieved:

• 24.5 million children immunised against measles;
• Nearly 20 million people provided with access to safe water for drinking, cooking and bathing;
• 2.7 million children provided with access to improved education, both formal and non-formal;
• 1.9 million children treated for severe acute malnutrition; and
• 935,000 children reached with psychological support.
However, funding gaps in some countries – such as Angola, Eritrea, Lesotho and Madagascar – as well as inadequate humanitarian access, insecurity and a challenging operating environment meant that many needs were not met. UNICEF particularly seeks resources that are not ear-marked for specific programmes or emergencies. This would allow the agency to respond to underfunded emergencies or where the needs are greatest; to apply innovative solutions to complex situations; and to integrate early recovery programming in large-scale emergencies, many of which affect several countries simultaneously.

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