News / Africa

Study Finds Children's Protection Programs Underfunded

A Somali man who fled violence and drought in Somalia with his family sits on the ground outside a food distribution point in the Dadaab refugee camp in northeastern Kenya on July 5, 2011
A Somali man who fled violence and drought in Somalia with his family sits on the ground outside a food distribution point in the Dadaab refugee camp in northeastern Kenya on July 5, 2011
TEXT SIZE - +

A study by a coalition of U.N. and private aid agencies finds protection programs for children caught in conflict and natural disasters are, after education, the most under-funded operations.  The study, commissioned by the Global Protection Cluster’s Child Protection Working Group, says lack of protection programs has devastating consequences for refugee and displaced children.  

Last year, about 250,000 people were affected by natural disasters.  Half of the victims were children.  Conflict also claims hundreds of thousands of victims every year.  And, it is the children who suffer the most.

And yet, during times of crisis, when children most need help from the international community, they are not getting it.  

Such were the findings of a recently published study conducted by the non-profit organization Save the Children.

The study looked at funding levels for child protection in the years 2008 and 2009.  Among other things, it found that, despite significant requests, only 47 percent of estimated total requirements were funded in 2008 and only 32 percent was funded in 2009.

The study also found that while humanitarian funding overall grew during the period, the same consistent trend was not seen in the child protection sector.

Rashid Khalikov, the Director of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Geneva, says funding levels for areas of conflict in Africa indicate the severity of funding deficiencies.

“Child protection issues very often are parts of larger protection issues when it comes to emergencies like the ones in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia and Sudan.  And, one could see that in the Democratic Republic of Congo, it is 22 percent, Somalia nine percent, and Sudan 12 percent of funding.  I would like to tell you that Libya child protection activities are not funded at all.  Not a single penny came for funding of that area and that is very important area,” said Khalikov.  

Deputy Director of the U.N. Children’s Fund, Dermot Carty calls this disconcerting, but not surprising.  He says child protection activities in emergencies are under-funded because they are not as visible as operations that provide clean water and sanitation or those that tackle cholera or other disease outbreaks.

He says governments like to see what they are getting for their money and showing how children are being protected from abuse and exploitation is very difficult to do.

Unfortunately, he says the money governments give to the United Nations tends to be earmarked for specific programs and can only be spent in these areas.

“So, I think the notion that there is a pile of money that goes into the U.N. and that the U.N. establishment has the ability to be able to put the hand into the pot and pull out that money and use that for its priorities-unfortunately, life is not quite as simple as that.  We do not have the ability to be able to do that,” he said.

According to statistics compiled by Save the Children, the United States was the largest single donor to child protection programs in 2009, accounting for just over $13 million and nearly one-third of overall funding.  

The Common Humanitarian Fund, comprising a number of donors and U.N. organizations, was the second biggest donor, providing nearly $4.5 million, or just under 10 percent of overall funding needs.

To improve funding levels, Save the Children recommended donors prioritize funding the full requirements of child protection projects rather than spreading funds across several projects.

The organization also suggested the child protection sector could make itself more attractive to donors by adopting interagency standards for child protection in emergencies to ensure quality programming at all levels of funding.

You May Like

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

36 people are confirmed dead, but some 270 remain trapped on board More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid