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UNICEF calls for US$2.2 billion to help 59 million children in emergencies


Largest emergency appeal on record, almost 40 per cent for Syria and region

TORONTO/GENEVA, 21 February 2014 – UNICEF appealed today for almost US$2.2 billion to provide life-saving humanitarian assistance in 2014 to 85 million people, including 59 million children, who face conflict, natural disasters and other complex emergencies in 50 countries.

UNICEF’s Humanitarian Action for Children 2014 appeal highlights the daily challenges faced by children in humanitarian crises, the support required to help them survive and thrive, and the results that are possible even in the most difficult circumstances.

“In the Central African Republic, 2.3 million children need protection. Children are directly targeted in violent attacks, recruited into armed groups, subjected to sexual violence or decapitated. These children are counting on us – all of us,” said David Morley, UNICEF Canada’s President and CEO. “Partnering with national governments, civil society, and humanitarian agencies, we must do all we can to provide life-saving support to the children who need us most, in the most inaccessible of places.”

“Children are always the most vulnerable group in emergencies, facing a high risk of violence, exploitation, disease and neglect,” said Ted Chaiban, UNICEF’s Director of Emergency Programmes. “But when support is made available, we can change the lives of children for the better. With its partners, UNICEF is working to address a diverse range of humanitarian situations including malnutrition in the Sahel; lack of safe drinking water and adequate sanitation in Yemen; cholera in Haiti; increased attacks on children in Afghanistan; and drought in Angola.”

For Syria and the sub-region, UNICEF is appealing for US$835 million to deliver life-saving assistance including immunization, water and sanitation, education, and protection; and to support the social cohesion and peace-building skills needed to build a more sustainable future. 

Funds raised by the appeal will also help UNICEF in its work with partners to strengthen communities’ abilities to cope with future conflict or natural disaster shocks, by reinforcing national preparedness systems and developing resilience among children and communities.

Contributions to UNICEF’s 2014 appeal will allow the organization to build on its work in 2013, during which the following results were achieved:

  • 24.5 million children immunized against measles;
  • Nearly 20 million people provided with access to safe water for drinking, cooking and bathing;
  • 2.7 million children provided with access to improved education, both formal and non-formal;
  • 1.9 million children treated for severe acute malnutrition; and
  • 935,000 children reached with psychological support.

However, funding gaps in some countries – such as Angola, Eritrea, Lesotho and Madagascar – as well as inadequate humanitarian access, insecurity and a challenging operating environment meant that many needs were not met.

UNICEF particularly seeks resources that are not ear-marked for specific programs or emergencies. This would allow the agency to respond to underfunded emergencies or where the needs are greatest; to apply innovative solutions to complex situations; and to integrate early recovery programming in large-scale emergencies, many of which affect several countries simultaneously.


The Humanitarian Action for Children 2014 appeal and related country information can be found here:

Notes to Editors

The 50 countries and areas featured in the Humanitarian Action for Children 2014 appeal are highlighted due to the scale of these crises, the urgency of their impact on children and women, the complexity of the response, and the capacity to respond.


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 more information about UNICEF, please visit


For further information:

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