UNICEF launches new appeal to bring aid to 48 million children
UNICEF, the UN children’s agency, is appealing for $3.6 billion to help support almost 50 million children in some of the world’s most devastating conflicts.
The organisation estimates that one in four children are now living in a country affected by conflict or disaster. These are often ongoing and well-known conflicts impacting children for years, including across Iraq, South Sudan, Syria, Yemen and Nigeria, among others. Over $3 billion of the appeal is planned to go directly towards providing basic services to children in conflict zones.
Syria will also receive the largest amount of UNICEF’s support over the next year with almost $1.3 billion planned to provide essential services, such as water and sanitation infrastructure, to an estimated 6.9 million children in the region.
UNICEF’s Director of Emergency Programmes, Manuel Fontaine, said:
“117 million people living through emergencies lack access to safe water and in many countries affected by conflict, more children die from diseases caused by unclean water and poor sanitation than from direct violence”
In addition to its work in Syria, the humanitarian agency aims to provide 35.7 million people with access to safe water; treat 4.2 million with malnutrition and immunize 10 million children against measles. The agency estimates that it provides over half of the emergency water, sanitation and hygiene services in humanitarian crises. This often means directly supporting hospitals, treatment centres and delivering water to displacement camps on a daily basis.
Mr. Fontaine continued:
“Children cannot wait for wars to be brought to an end, with crises threatening the immediate survival and long-term future of children and young people on a catastrophic scale. Unless the international community takes urgent action to protect and provide life-saving assistance to these children, they face an increasingly bleak future.”
Image Credit: Larm Rmah
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