In Ukraine and in ongoing crises across the globe, children’s lives are being torn apart. Their survival and recovery depends on us.

So many Ukrainians have fled their homes. Estimates vary but some put this number at 12.7 million people – approximately 30% of Ukraine’s pre-war population. UNICEF was one of the first charities on the ground when war broke out in February. We’ve now distributed emergency supplies to over 2.2 million people.UNICEF has also provided life-saving medical supplies to 49 hospitals across 9 regions, drinking water and psychosocial support to those in need.

Humanitarian needs are multiplying by the hour as the fighting continues. Children are being killed, wounded and deeply traumatised by the violence all around them. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, visiting Kyiv recently, called Ukraine “an epicentre of unbearable heartache and pain” which just about sums it up.

Unfortunately, Ukraine is only the latest in a string of armed conflicts and humanitarian crises around the world. The unpalatable truth is that before a single tank rolled into Ukraine, before a single missile was launched or one Ukrainian fled their country, a staggering 82.4 million people around the world had been forced from their homes. This is the highest number on record, and includes nearly 26.4 million people who swelled the ranks of the world’s gigantic refugee population. Almost half were children, many unaccompanied or separated from their families.

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On 21 April 2022 in Ukraine, Myroslava (right), a primary care physician at a health centre in Uzhgorod, Ukraine performs a medical checkup on one-year-old twins Solomiya (second from left) and Myron (behind her) as they sit with their mother, Hanna. © UNICEF/UN0632024/Hudak

What UNICEF is doing

Every day our teams are working in 190 countries, collaborating with other aid organisations and local partners to deliver life-saving humanitarian aid and to build lasting change. From vaccinating children in war zones to providing critical medical equipment for safe childbirth, your philanthropy helps us to protect children and families the world over. No matter what. Nothing stops us, not conflict, not danger, not tyrannies of distance or difficulties of access. 

Today we need your help as never before. 

Alongside our emergency response in Ukraine, UNICEF is also helping children in crisis in countries like Afghanistan where an estimated 97% of Afghanistan’s population is now living below the poverty line and girls across the country are being forced to stay home from school. To stop the education system from collapsing completely, UNICEF facilitated direct payments thanks to the support of a grant to ensure 194,000 public school teachers still got paid and is working to get girls in Afghanistan back in school.

We are working in Syria where children are bearing the brunt of an 11-year conflict with 13.4 million Syrians (6.1 million children) requiring urgent humanitarian assistance. While the media spotlight has moved on, need in Syria is rising fast, driven by economic crisis, continued hostilities, mass displacement, devastated public services and the Covid-19 pandemic. UNICEF is on the ground delivering water, sanitiation and hygiene (WASH) health and education supplies.

In Yemen where protracted armed conflict, widespread economic collapse, and over-stretched national systems and services have left 70% of Yemenis, including 11.3 million children, in dire need we are continuing to deliver life-saving support to children. There is evidence of grave human rights violations against women and children, and the pandemic has further strained the country’s fragile health system. Nearly 400,000 children are severely malnourished, and in imminent danger without urgent intervention. UNICEF’s humanitarian strategy in Yemen pursues a dual focus on direct life-saving aid and systems strengthening. 

A girl washes her hands with soap outside the UNICEF supported community-based accelerated learning centre where she studies in Gulab Khail Village in Maidan Wardak Province, Afghanistan © UNICEF/UN0609171/Karimi

How you can help

The plight of children in Ukraine, Afghanistan, Syria and Yemen, and other crises too numerous to list is why we ask you to support UNICEF’s Children in Crisis appeal this tax-time. The reality is that children’s needs are more urgent than ever and UNICEF’s challenges greater than at any time in our 75 year history.  

The good news in all of this – and it is significant – is how far your gift will go in helping children in crisis and what a difference your generosity will make. Consider:
  • $5,000 could provide psychosocial support to 19 children affected by the situation in Ukraine
  • $10,000 could provide 125 water and hygiene kits containing soap, gloves, masks, buckets and water purification tablets to children in need in Afghanistan
  • $25,000 could support UNICEF to deliver 47,000 sachets of life-saving Ready to Use Therapeutic Food (RUFT) enough to bring 373 children back from severe acute malnutrition across Yemen. 
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