News / Health

    UNICEF Needs $1.4 Billion for Child Emergencies

    Maryam Sy comforts her 2-year-old son Aliou Seyni Diallo, the youngest of nine, after a neighbor gave him dry couscous to stop him from crying with hunger, May 1, 2012.
    Maryam Sy comforts her 2-year-old son Aliou Seyni Diallo, the youngest of nine, after a neighbor gave him dry couscous to stop him from crying with hunger, May 1, 2012.
    Lisa Schlein
    The U.N. Children's Fund is appealing for $1.4 billion in 2013 to meet the immediate, life-saving needs of tens of millions of children gripped by conflict, natural disasters and other complex emergencies in 45 countries and regions.  As in previous years, most of these emergencies are in sub-Saharan Africa. 

    Two emergencies are grabbing most of the headlines these days -- Syria and Mali.  The U.N. Children’s Fund says the new year has brought nothing but suffering and hardship for millions of Syrian children.  Many are homeless within their own country.  Others have been forced to flee to neighboring countries in search of refuge.  

    The United Nations estimates about 60,000 people have been killed since the popular uprising began in Syria nearly two years ago.  UNICEF says more than half of the approximately 2.5 million people in need of assistance are children.  It says providing the children with water, food, health care and education are among the priority needs.

    As for Mali, UNICEF’s Director of the Office of Emergency Programs, Ted Chaiban, expressed great concern about the situation of children in the north, where the fighting between militant Islamist rebels and the government is ongoing.

    He notes children in northern Mali are displaced, out of school and subject to violations including recruitment into armed groups and violence.  But, Chaiban says it is important to remember that the majority of the population lives in the South.  He says the needs there are great.

    “What is happening now comes on the heels of a food insecurity crisis in 2012, where malnutrition was one of the key issues that needed to be addressed.  In 2012, UNICEF and partners reached 40,000 children with treatment for severe acute malnutrition and we intend now to triple that to 125,000 children, or about 70 percent of the total caseload,” explained Chaiban.

    Most of UNICEF’s operations are not found in high profile countries, such as Syria and Mali.  More than 85 percent of the agency’s funding requirements are for humanitarian situations in places such as Chad, Colombia, Ethiopia, the Philippines,and Yemen.

    Chaiban says UNICEF cares for children in highly challenging and largely forgotten emergencies around the world.  Many of these countries are found in Sub-Saharan Africa, where the bulk of the appeal is centered.
     
    Last year, Somalia was UNICEF’s largest humanitarian operation.  The country no longer has to contend with the devastating drought that hit the Horn of Africa in 2012, nor does it have to deal with high levels of conflict.  So funding requirements this year have gone down from $162 million to $141 million.  Nevertheless, Somalia remains the biggest operation.

    Besides addressing basic needs, Chaiban says some of UNICEF’s focus in Somalia this year will be on early recovery projects to help support and stabilize the population.  He says the humanitarian situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo is also of concern, particularly in the east.

    “Generally, you have got about one million children in DR Congo that are malnourished.  It is the equivalent to the situation in the Sahel, but it is frequently unreported," Chaiban said. "At the beginning of this year, we were and still are very concerned about the situation in the Central African Republic with what was then the advance by Seleka on Bangui and we hope that the political process reveals a solution, which does not result in further displacement.  And, the situation, of course, in the two areas of Sudan -- Blue Nile and South Kordofan.”

    UNICEF says contributions to its programs this year will allow the organization to build on the work it began in 2012.  It says some of the results achieved between January through October 2012 include the immunization of more than 38 million children, the provision of water, sanitation and hygiene to more than 12 million people, improved education for three million children and treatment for two million severely and acutely malnourished children.

    You May Like

    Post-White House, Obamas to Rent Washington Mansion

    Nine-bedroom home is 3 kilometers from Oval Office, near capital's Embassy Row; rent estimated at around $22,000 a month

    Red Planet? Not so much!

    New research suggest that Mars is in a warm period between cyclical ice ages, and that during Ice Age Maximum over 500,000 years ago, the red planet was decidedly ice, and much whiter to the naked eye.

    Taj Mahal Battles New Threat from Insects

    Swarms of insects are proliferating in the heavily contaminated waters of the Yamuna River, which flows behind the 17th century monument

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora