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

ASEAN Ministers Set to Push for South China Sea Agreements

According to documents obtained by VOA Khmer, ministers will stand up for 'freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful maritime commerce, trade and over flight' More

Puerto Rico Defaults on $58M Debt Payment

Payment was due Saturday, default is first in country's 117 years as a United States possession More

Turkish Public Fears Jihadists More Than Kurds

Turkey facing twin threats of terrorism by Islamic State and PKK Kurdish separatists, says President Erdogan’s ruling AK Party 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.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs