UNICEF seeks $3.3 billion in emergency assistance for 48 million children caught up in conflict and other crises

Malnutrition poses “silent threat” to children, agency’s 2017 appeal says

NEW YORK/GENEVA, 31 January 2017 – 48 million children living through some of the world’s worst conflicts and other humanitarian emergencies will benefit from UNICEF’s 2017 appeal, which was launched today.

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.

“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,” said UNICEF Director of Emergency Programmes, Manuel Fontaine.

UNICEF’s Humanitarian Action for Children sets out the agency’s 2017 appeal totalling $3.3 billion, and its goals in providing children with access to safe water, nutrition, education, health and protection in 48 countries across the globe.

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.

“Malnutrition is a silent threat to millions of children,” said Fontaine. “The damage it does can be irreversible, robbing children of their mental and physical potential. In its worst form, severe malnutrition can be deadly.”

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;

* Treating 3.1 million children with severe acute malnutrition.

In the first ten months of 2016, as a result of UNICEF’s support:

* 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;

* 2.2 million children were treated for severe acute malnutrition.


Notes to Editors:
The Humanitarian Action for Children 2017 appeal can be found here: www.unicef.org/HAC2017

Video and photos are available for download here: http://weshare.unicef.org/Package/2AMZIF0Y3VA

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.au

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For more information or for interviews please contact:
Christopher Tidey, UNICEF New York, Tel: +1 917 340 3017, ctidey@unicef.org
Joe English, UNICEF New York, Tel: +1 917 893 0692, jenglish@unicef.org
Christophe Boulierac, UNICEF Geneva, Tel: +41 (0)22 909 5716, Mobile: +41 (0) 799639244, cboulierac@unicef.org
Nicole Lawrence, UNICEF Australia, Tel: +61 419 748 624, nlawrence@unicef.org.au