The United Nations Children Fund, UNICEF has launched an appeal to raise the sum of $3.3 billion for emergency assistance for the 48 million children living through some of the world’s worst conflicts and other crises.
UNICEF’s chief of communication Doune Porter, said that out of the total sum, the agency will be seeking for $147 million, for emergency response for children and families affected by the Boko Haram insurgency in North East Nigeria.
“From Syria to Yemen and Iraq, from South Sudan to Nigeria, children are under direct attack, their homes, schools and communities in ruins, their hopes and futures hanging in the balance. In total, almost one in four of the world’s children lives in a country affected by conflict or disaster,”a statement released by Porter read in part.
The statement also quoted Manuel Fontaine, UNICEF’s Director of Emergency Programmes, as saying that natural disasters and climate change are also part of the dangers facing children all over the world.“In country after country, war, natural disaster and climate change are driving ever more children from their homes, exposing them to violence,disease and exploitation,” Fontaine said.
“Malnutrition is a silent threat to millions of children,” he added. “The damage it does can be irreversible, robbing children of their mental and physical potential.“In its worst form, severe malnutrition can be deadly.”
Doune Porter, in the statement noted that the $3.3 billion appeal which is required to fund the UNICEF Humanitarian Action for Children, will help the agency to provide children in crisis areas with access to safe water,nutrition, education, health and protection in 48 countries across the globe.
He stated that an estimated 7.5 million children will face severe acute malnutrition across the majority of appeal countries, including almost half a million each in northeast Nigeria and Yemen.
Doune wrote: “The largest single component of the appeal is for children and families caught up in the Syria conflict, soon to enter its seventh year.
“UNICEF is seeking a total of $1.4 billion to support Syrian children inside Syria and those living as refugees in neighbouring countries.”
“In total, working alongside its partners, UNICEF’s other priorities in 2017 are: providing over 19 million people with access to safe water;reaching 9.2 million children with formal or non-formal basic education;immunizing 8.3 million children against measles; providing psychosocial support to over two million children, and treating 3.1 million children with severe acute malnutrition.”
The UNICEF chief of communication also enumerated some of the agency’s achievement “in the first ten months of 2016.”They include: 13.6 million people had access to safe water; 9.4 million children were vaccinated against measles; 6.4 million children accessed some form of education and 2.2 million children were treated for severe acute malnutrition.