Nearly $4 billion needed to protect 41 million children from conflict and disaster

© UNICEF/UN0248372/Watad Children at a school tent in the northern Idlib, Syria. Humanitarian emergencies deprive children of health, nutrition, water and sanitation, education and other basic needs.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.


Tens of millions of children living through conflict, disaster and other emergencies in dozens of countries urgently need protection, UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said on Tuesday, in an appeal for $3.9 billion to support its humanitarian work around the world.

Speaking in Geneva, the agency’s Director of Emergency Operations, Manuel Fontaine, warned that conflict is at a 30-year high: “There’s never been as much conflict in the world in the past 30 years as this year, so it is obviously a particular threat,” he said.

Amid countless reports of deadly attacks on civilians and places of shelter – both of which are prohibited under international law – Mr. Fontaine insisted that the long-held notion that children should be protected above all others is also being undermined.

He said it was “being accepted as a new normal of attacks on schools and hospitals and detention of children,” adding that increasingly, “children are being seen not only as victims, when they’ve been actually recruited by an armed group or used by a particular armed group, but also as a perpetrator and detained once they’ve been released by an armed group.”

A total of 59 countries are to benefit from UNICEF’s Humanitarian Action for Children 2019 appeal, as the agency pursues its goal of providing 41 million children with safe water, food, education, health and protection.

Syria still number one concern

Child protection funding amounting to $385 million includes more than $120 million for youngsters affected by the Syria crisis, whose needs are estimated at $904 million – the largest part of UNICEF’s overall appeal.

“Nearly eight years after the conflict broke out, we still have 2.5 million Syrian children living as refugees in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey where demand for basic services such as health and education outstrip the capacity of institutions and infrastructure to actually respond,” Mr. Fontaine explained, noting that aid was needed for Syrian refugees and host communities.

Asked if he expected a significant number of Syrian families to return to the country, the UNICEF official replied that such a development was likely premature.

“There might be cases of some families, some children who decide they want to go back and we accompany them,” he said. “I think it’s a bit early right now to see how that’s going to happen in practice.”

Yemen: Two million children need food support

Needs in Yemen represent UNICEF’s second largest individual appeal, at just over $542 million, as a fragile and as-yet unimplemented ceasefire deal between Houthi militants and the internationally recognised government over the Red Sea port of Hudaydah continues to cause serious concern among humanitarians.

Nearly four years since conflict escalated, more than 22 million people need humanitarian assistance, including two million Yemeni children who will require food assistance this year. “Projections from 2019 are that nearly 400,000 children will suffer from life-threatening severe acute malnutrition in Yemen during the course of the year,” Mr. Fontaine warned.

 

Other emergency situations include the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), a vast country facing a significant escalation of violence and armed conflict linked to terrible rights abuses. An ongoing outbreak of deadly Ebola virus in the east of the country has made matters worse.

“Violations against children include forced recruitment by armed groups and rampant sexual abuse,” the UNICEF official explained. “The insecurity has also seriously hindered the response to the Ebola outbreak in North Kivu and Ituri and aggravated disastrous malnutrition conditions across the country.”

According to the UNICEF appeal, an estimated 1.4 million children – over three times the number at risk in Yemen – are projected to require lifesaving treatment for severe acute malnutrition in 2019.

Venezuela’s adolescents in dire need of protection

Turning to Venezuela, where 40 people have died in recent clashes between demonstrators and security forces, according to UN human rights office, (OHCHR), Mr. Fontaine appealed for children to be protected.

“We are very concerned about the risk of violence,” he said. “We are obviously calling on everyone to protect children in this particular moment and adolescents in particular.”

The UNICEF official confirmed that an estimated three million people have left the troubled South American country in recent years, and that the agency is “working in the neighbouring countries, in Colombia, Brazil Ecuador and other countries to help the struggling host communities receiving families and children that are crossing the border”.

‘Toxic stress’ last longer than physical wounds

Faced with such unprecedented needs, UNICEF is appealing for funding that can be allocated where it is needed most urgently, not least to under-reported emergencies including the Lake Chad region, where nearly 21 million people in Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, Niger and Nigeria have been affected by ongoing conflicts.

Despite the challenges, Mr. Fontaine insisted that the agency has been successful in helping vulnerable children, not least those whose mental scars caused by the “toxic stress” of conflict often take longer than physical wounds to heal.

“At the same time, I would say we’ve also made great progress,” he insisted. “It is the behaviour of parties to conflict that actually creates this kind of situation. Should they give us more access, should they give us more ways to protect children and should they themselves respect the sanctity of the protection of children, things would actually go a lot better.”

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Somalia: UN urges steps to ensure future elections not ‘marred’ by rights abuses seen in recent polls

A Sting Exclusive: EU Commission’s Vice President Šefčovič accentuates the importance of innovation to EU’s Energy Union

Eurozone stagnates after exporting its recession to trading partners

These 4 trends are shaping the future of your job

Rehn ready to sacrifice part of the real economy

JADE visits Lithuanian Junior Initiatives

Nigeria: Top UN officials say more support needed to ease humanitarian crisis and rebuild lives in conflict-ravaged north-east

UN’s Grandi slams ‘toxic language of politics’ aimed at refugees, migrants

Rohingya refugee shelters ‘washed away’ in Bangladesh monsoon rains: UN agency

Brexit: reciprocal visa-free access for EU and UK nationals

Migration crisis update: What are the chances of a fair deal at this EU Summit?

Trump enrages the Europeans and isolates the US in G7

Here’s how drone delivery will change the face of global logistics

Brexit: No deal without marginalizing the hard Tory Eurosceptic MPs

Britain, EU take edgy steps to unlock Brexit talks as the war of words rages

The mother of all fights about inflation, growth and banks

Why the West supports the yen’s devaluation and Japanese over-indebtedness

David Cameron’s formal letter/threat that officially opens pandora’s box for the UK

How we overhauled healthcare amid Venezuela’s crisis

Millions at risk if Syria’s war moves to last redoubt of Idlib, warns senior aid official

Dramatic funding shortages a ‘severe catastrophe’ for people of Gaza: UN Coordinator

UNESCO experts ready to assist reconstruction of iconic Notre Dame, following devastating blaze

Making technology work for 1.3 billion Indians

State of the Union 2017: Juncker’s optimism about EU growth and Brexit’s impact

UN rights experts call on Russia to release Ukrainian film-maker whose life is in ‘imminent danger’

UN chief urges peaceful, free and fair elections in Cameroon

Venezuela: ‘A worrying destabilizing factor in the region’, Bachelet tells Human Rights Council

Italy solves the enigma of growth with fiscal consolidation: The Banking Union

Eurozone: How can 200 banks find €400 billion?

EU Budget 2019: focus on the young, on migration and innovation

The MH17 tragedy to put a tombstone on Ukrainian civil war

As the Universal Declaration of Human Rights turns 70 – is it time for a new approach?

Does hosting a World Cup make economic sense?

Ambassador Zhang wishes from Brussels great success and prosperity for the China-EU relations in the Year of the Dog

How to build a paradise for women. A lesson from Iceland

Australia now has 25 million people. Will it choose to keep growing?

Earth already has a perfect recycling system. So why not use it?

Radioactive nuclear waste is a global threat. These scientists may have a new solution

Eurozone: Even good statistics mean deeper recession

Is Eurozone preparing to abandon austerity and stagnation?

How revealing the cost of coal makes us all better off

At last some rules on banks

“The Arctic climate matters: to what degree?”, a Sting Exclusive co-authored by UN Environment’s Jan Dusik and Slava Fetisov

‘Open, cordial, and frank discussions’ held over future Somalia-UN relationship

EU-US trade agreement talks to be affected by American bugs

Japanese law professor elected new judge at the International Court of Justice

Mining the deep seabed will harm biodiversity. We need to talk about it

Half of Eurozone in deflation expecting salvation from monetary measures

Why the 33,000 staff European Commission did not have a real contingency plan for the refugee crisis?

ILO discusses world of work response to global refugee crisis

Mediterranean migrant drownings should spur greater action by European countries, urge UN agencies

To my Chinese friend

Protests, violence in Haiti prompts international call for ‘realistic and lasting solutions’ to crisis

Higher education becoming again a privilege of the wealthy?

AIESEC Vlog

Combatting terrorism: EP special committee calls for closer EU cooperation

Deutsche Bank slammed by the US-based trio of IMF, Fed and Moody’s

Yemen: Major UN aid boost for ‘up to 14 million’ as country risks becoming a land of ‘living ghosts’

Ethiopia will soon introduce visa-free travel for all Africans

Capital Markets Union: Making it easier for insurers to invest in the real economy

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s