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We’re on the ground, working to reach children and their families with life-saving support while helping communities recover. 

When war breaks out and disaster strikes, the chaos and insecurity that follows leaves children and their families at high risk. They lose their home, school and often loved ones. Their access to food, water and health care is affected, and many children are left vulnerable to abuse and exploitation.  

With the sheer scale of our infrastructure and long-term development work around the world, UNICEF can act quickly, delivering life-saving help to children in just 48 hours. When food is scarce in Yemen and across the Horn of Africa, we provide children with nutrition and health care. When schools are destroyed in Syria, we set up tented classrooms. In the Pacific, we deliver vaccines to stop preventable diseases that can thrive in the aftermath of disasters.  

These are just some of the ways UNICEF responds to help children and families impacted by emergencies.  

The fighting that erupted in Sudan on 15 April has displaced over 1.5 million children. On 3 June, displaced children relax in a gathering centre which is now their new home after fleeing from war.
The fighting that erupted in Sudan on 15 April has displaced over 1.5 million children.
© UNICEF/UN0856145/Mohamdeen

Sudan conflict leaves 1 in 2 children in desperate need of humanitarian support.

As violence continues in Sudan, over 1.5 million children have been displaced across Sudan and into neighbouring countries since the conflict began on 15 April. Children and their families who remain trapped in the crossfire of Sudan’s ongoing conflict, are terrified about the fighting and the possibility of running out of food, water and medicine. As of 11 July, over 330 children have reportedly been killed and nearly 1,900 children injured. There are increasing reports of gender-based violence against girls and women, and families are continuing to flee, seeking refuge in neighbouring countries, such as Chad, Central African Republic, Egypt, Ethiopia, Lybia and South Sudan.

UNICEF is working with our partners to deliver water, emergency health kits, essential supplies and medicines to hospitals and primary healthcare centres, and safe learning spaces. UNICEF is also in Chad, providing humanitarian relief to children and their families. 

Helping children and their communities to recover 

UNICEF responds to hundreds of emergencies every year, here in Australia and around the world. When disaster strikes, our teams act quickly to deliver clean, safe water and essential medical supplies to prevent malnutrition and illness. We help new mothers give birth safely, and we provide life-saving vaccines to protect children from deadly disease outbreaks.  

Helping communities recover also means creating safe spaces for children so that they can continue to learn and play, build innovative tents for children and families to shelter in, and provide psychosocial support to help children process and cope with their changing world. 

Happy Child in Syria carrying UNICEF supplies home

Always there in emergencies

Two girls wearing UNICEF backpacks© UNICEF/UN0622408/Holerga

Ensuring children caught up in conflict don’t miss out on education.

Sofiya and Liza fled the war together with their teacher Anastasia, leaving their families behind in Odessa, Ukraine. Before war broke out, Anastasia was teaching English in Ukraine. Now she is doing the same, but at a school in Romania for Ukrainian refugee children. While they wait to return home, Sofiya and Liza can continue their learning. Our teams sent several school-in-a-box kits, as well as sport kits and backpacks to support them.   

The girls received bags with school supplies, which contain notebooks, coloured pencils, and a painting pallet. Sofiya and Liza like their new school and said their favourite subjects are Math and English.   

We’re there when disaster strikes. 

When an earthquake struck in the Afghanistan’s Paktika province in June 2022, it caused a devastating loss of life and destroyed many homes and villages. It also put increased pressure on struggling health, nutrition, hygiene and education services, placing more children at risk. Because UNICEF has been in Afghanistan for over 50 years, delivering long-term programs, we were able to respond rapidly with much needed help to children and their families.  

Emergency response in Afghanistan | UNICEF

In one of the areas hardest hit by the earthquake in June 2022, UNICEF is supporting communities with access to clean water, soap, and hygiene promotion through community mobilization.

Help us keep children safe during emergencies

We’re working to protect children and help communities recover during times of emergency.

© UNICEF/UN0658495/Mukut