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

Jihadist Assassin says Goal of Tunisia Murders Was Chaos

Abu Muqatil at-Tunusi’s remarks in a propaganda interview also cast light on attack on Bardo Museum More

Russia Denies License to Tatar-Language TV Station in Crimea

OSCE official says denial shows 'politically selective censorship of free and independent voices in Crimea is continuing' More

Kenyan Startups Tackle Expensive Remittances Through Bitcoin

Some think services could give Western Union a run for its money, though others say it’s still got a long way to go 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.
Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedomi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 01, 2015 1:41 AM
Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Welcome Buhari's Return to Power

Crowds of jubilant Nigerians nationwide have celebrated the return to power of former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. The retired army general won this year's presidential election with more than 2 million votes more than incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. Buhari's supporters hope he can strengthen the country's economy and security once he takes office in late May. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Gamma Ray Observatory to Open Soon in Mexico

American and Mexican scientists have completed construction of the world's largest gamma ray observatory, situated high in central Mexico’s Sierra Negra Mountain. The observatory's huge array of water-based detectors will soon start discovering secrets about black holes and supernovas. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More