Humanitarian action for children in 2018
The year 2017 has been ruthless for children.
Today, one in four children in the world lives in a country in conflict or ravaged by major upheavals. Nearly 50 million girls and boys have had to flee their homes because of violence, poverty or natural disasters.
These figures highlight an alarming reality: the impact of humanitarian crises on children has reached appalling levels.
In so many places around the world, the brutality of confrontation is generating humanitarian needs at critical levels. In the course of 2017, the conflicts that have raged for many years, particularly in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Nigeria, South Sudan, the Syrian Arab Republic and Yemen, have continued to intensify. to become more complex.
For children affected by these wars, everyday life is a nightmare. Last year, these girls and boys faced the constant threat of violence. Many have been uprooted. Many were hungry. Many have contracted deadly diseases, and infrastructure and health, sanitation and drinking water supplies have been put out of action.
In Bangladesh, for example, renewed violence in Myanmar has led to a massive influx of Rohingya refugees, including a large number of children, in August 2017. Due to the scale of the exodus, temporary reception camps have been exceeded. providing deplorable hygienic and sanitary conditions, at the origin of the development of epidemics of water-related diseases.
The year 2017 was also marked by an unprecedented number of cholera outbreaks, particularly in conflict-affected areas such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, northeastern Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen. In many cases, the violence of the clashes and the collapse of public services have led to the breakdown of sanitation systems, increasing the spread of cholera and creating an emergency situation in a hurry.
What motivates UNICEF’s work is to know that behind every emergency, behind every inconceivable statistic, behind every story of atrocities, behind exile and hunger, is a little girl or boy. . A child who should be in school, but who is not, his school having been damaged or destroyed. A child alone and frightened because separated from those he loves. A child who dies of cholera, a totally preventable disease.
Migrant, refugee or uprooted in his country, a child is a child, and all children must be protected. All children must be able to stay with their families and have the chance to go to school. No matter the situation.
At UNICEF, one of the fundamental principles of our work is to take into account the complex and specific needs of every child whose life has been suspended due to a humanitarian crisis. The report Humanitarian Action for Children in 2018 reaffirms this commitment. It describes the results that we have achieved with the support of our partners in the field in 2017, the strategies we will deploy to meet the challenges of 2018, as well as the support of our donors so essential to our response capacity.
There you will find information about our actions in countries such as Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen, where the combined effects of conflict, displacement, drought, scarcity and The fragility of infrastructure has raised the risk of famine in 2017 and exposed nearly 1.4 million children at imminent risk of famine. In each of these countries, UNICEF and its partners were on the ground to provide help even before the threat of famine reached its critical threshold.
For example, in Somalia, donors came in early, allowing massive increases in services and extended assistance. By November 2017, UNICEF and its partners had treated more than 220,000 severely acutely malnourished children and provided assistance to nearly 1.8 million people affected by drought by giving them temporary access to drinking water and strengthening control of outbreaks of cholera and other water-borne diseases.
Even where needs are most urgent, UNICEF is committed to delivering humanitarian assistance for development and long-term effects. In the western part of Mosul, Iraq, UNICEF has invested in repairing and rebuilding water distribution networks to meet the immediate needs of the population while contributing to the development of a more sustainable water system. the community will continue to benefit in the coming years.
These results and the progress described in this call were made possible thanks to the remarkable support of our donors. As we continue our work in more complex humanitarian situations, many of which are distinguished by the dangerousness of their operational contexts and the obstacles to humanitarian access, your support is paramount. With your flexible contributions, we can respond quickly and allocate resources where the need is greatest. With your generosity, we can help every child in crisis to return to school, reunite with their family, escape preventable diseases and access nutrients and safe drinking water that are essential to their survival and survival. his development to become a healthy adult.
Together, we can give every child who benefits from our actions the chance to survive today and thrive tomorrow.
Deputy Director General of UNICEF