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

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infectionsi
X
November 28, 2014 3:31 PM
South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infections

South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violence

The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.

All About America

AppleAndroid