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UNICEF seeks $1 billion for children in protracted emergencies

Category: Gender in the world 
2009-01-28

The UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF, is looking to raise one billion dollars to assist children and women facing hunger, disease and poverty.

The funds will be used in 36 countries, mainly in Africa, where according to UNICEF the death of children and women due to disease, poverty and hunger largely goes unnoticed. Patrick Maigua reports from Geneva:

UNICEF says its annual funding appeal for protracted emergencies had soared to the billion-dollar mark largely because of increased needs in eastern and southern Africa. Over half a billion dollars will be spent in five of the largest global humanitarian operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda and Zimbabwe. Launching the appeal in Geneva, UNICEF's Executive Director Anne Veneman said higher food prices; climate change and the effects of the global financial crisis will increase the vulnerability of women and children in most of the countries for which the emergency aid is sought:

'From the cyclone in Myanmar, to hurricanes in Haiti and other parts of the Caribbean, to drought in Kenya and Ethiopia and conflict in Somalia, women and children are the ones who suffer the most. One of the things many are saying in the humanitarian world is that we cannot allow these who will suffer most to be left without, to be starving, to be left without health care, to be left without the basic necessities to live.'

Ms Veneman says climate change related disasters would over the next decade put the lives of 175 million children at risk. Sixty per cent of the one billion dollars being sought by UNICEF will be spent on health, nutrition, water and sanitation related activities. Patrick Maigua, UN Radio Geneva.

 

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