The UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF, launched a $6.4 billion emergency funding appeal to reach more than 190 million children affected by humanitarian crises amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
The appeal for 2021, which is a 35 percent increase over the funds requested for this year, is the largest ever by the UN agency. It will support essential programmes in 149 countries and territories.
It is an “unprecedented” situation, said Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director.
“Today we are facing a child rights emergency in which COVID-19 and other crises are combining to deprive children of their health and wellbeing. This unprecedented situation demands a similarly unprecedented response.”
She called on donors to contribute “so that together we can help the world’s children get through this darkest of times and prevent a lost generation.”
As the world confronted the COVID-19 pandemic, new humanitarian crises erupted in Ethiopia’s Tigray region and Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado provinces in recent weeks while powerful storms wreaked havoc in Central America and the East Asia, and protracted emergencies worsened globally.
“When a devastating pandemic coincides with conflict, climate change, disaster and displacement, the consequences for children can be catastrophic,” said Ms. Fore.
As part of its Humanitarian Action for Children, which sets out UNICEF’s 2021 appeal, the agency plans to assist, about 300 million people – including 190 million children. Priority sectors include education, water, sanitation and hygiene, WASH,, nutrition, health and child protection.