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Children needing protection from armed conflict significantly increases in 2013, new UNICEF report

2013-01-25

TORONTO, January 25, 2013 – UNICEF released its 2013 Humanitarian Action Report for Children today revealing a significant increase in resources needed to protect children from armed conflict.

There has been a 60 per cent increase in funds needed for emergency child protection programs while the amount of resources required for psycho social support, preventing child recruitment by armed groups, supporting children who have been demobilized and reducing the risk of injuries from land mines have doubled since last year.

“Children suffer the most from the increasing number of armed conflicts in the world today, even though they bear absolutely no responsibility for these crises,” says David Morley UNICEF Canada’s President and CEO. “A great deal is being done to protect children who have been exposed to unimaginable horror but it simply isn’t enough. This year UNICEF requires more than $150 million to reach children with these urgently needed programs.”

In addition to protecting children from conflicts featured prominently in the news such as those in Syria and Mali, the report also highlights the need to protect children living through violence in ongoing “silent emergencies” such as those in South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In the Blue Nile and South Kordofan states of Sudan conflict has driven more than 210,000 people into South Sudan and Ethiopia while nearly 2.4 million people remain internally displaced and extremely vulnerable in the DRC. 

In total UNICEF’s 2013 Humanitarian Action for Children report appeals for $1.4 billion USD to support children and their families in 45 countries and regions through emergency protection, nutrition, health, HIV and AIDS, education and water and sanitation programs.

The report highlights achievements made through UNICEF’s humanitarian interventions last year including;

  • Immunizing 38.3 million children
  • Providing access to safe water for 12.4 million people
  • Protecting 2.4 million children with critical child protection programs
  • Improving education for 3 million children during emergencies

Also as a result of increased food security in Kenya and Somalia and the treatment of over 2 million children for severe acute malnutrition, funding requirements have dropped significantly for East and Southern Africa this year.

“The generosity Canadians showed supporting UNICEF’s emergency response to famine in the Horn of Africa helped save children’s lives. This year funds needed for emergency nutrition interventions have decreased,” says Morley.

The report lists the Government of Canada as the fifth largest contributor of funds to UNICEF’s 2012 emergency appeals from January to October 2012. Canada through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) provided UNICEF with $39.5 million USD of humanitarian support for UNICEF’s emergency responses in West Africa’s Sahel region including Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Senegal as well as in DRC, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, North Korea, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen.

 UNICEF’s humanitarian interventions are supported entirely by voluntary donations and help all children regardless of race, religion or politics.

The report is available on www.unicef.ca

What: UNICEF’s new Humanitarian Action for Children report
           Children needing protection from armed conflict significantly increases in 2013      

Who: UNICEF Canada’s President and CEO David Morley, UNICEF experts on children and armed conflict

Where: Toronto and crisis regions around the world

When: 2013 Humanitarian Action for Children report released January 25, 2013

About UNICEF

UNICEF has saved more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization. We work tirelessly to help children and their families, doing whatever it takes to ensure children survive. We provide children with healthcare and immunization, clean water, nutrition and food security, education, emergency relief and more.

UNICEF is supported entirely by voluntary donations and helps children regardless of race, religion or politics. As part of the UN, we are active in over 190 countries – more than any other organization. Our determination and our reach are unparalleled. Because nowhere is too far to go to help a child survive.

For further information:

Stefanie Carmichael, Communications Specialist, (416) 482-6552 ext. 8866; Cell: (647) 500-4230, scarmichael@unicef.ca.
Tiffany Baggetta, Director, Communications and Brand, (416) 482-6552 ext. 8892; Cell: (647) 308-4806, tbaggetta@unicef.ca.