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

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

IS Militants Release 49 Turkish Hostages

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reports that no ransom was paid and no conditions accepted for the hostages' release; few details of the release are known More

Photogallery IS Attacks Send Thousands of Syrian Kurds Fleeing to Turkey

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 300 Kurdish fighters crossed into Syria from Turkey to defend a Kurdish area from attack by the Islamic militants More

Video Sierra Leone's Ebola Lockdown Continues

Thousands of health workers are going door to door in the West African country of 6 million, informing people of how to avoid Ebola, handing out soap 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.
Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’i
X
Jeff Seldin
September 20, 2014 10:28 PM
Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid