UNICEF Appeals for $2.6B in 2023 Emergency Funding for MENA Region
UNICEF, the UN Children’s Fund, on Tuesday called for $2.6 billion in emergency funding to provide lifesaving assistance to more than 52.7 million children in the Middle East and North Africa region in 2023. “With almost half of the countries in the region living in crisis or undergoing ripple effects of conflicts and wars, children remain the most affected and in massive need of assistance,” said Adele Khodr, UNICEF’s director for the MENA region, in a statement. The region is suffering from some of the world’s longest conflicts, and these emergency funds would enable UNICEF to reach children impacted by conflicts and humanitarian crises in a timely and relevant manner, she said. Millions of children live in critical conditions, including more than 6.5 million who rely on assistance due to the Syrian civil war, and millions more in places like Lebanon, Sudan, and Yemen, where the conflict has created the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, she said. In 2022, UNICEF helped educate 2.8 million children in the MENA region and provided 1.2 million children with learning materials. It provided treatment to more than 338,000 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition; gave critical water, sanitation and hygiene supplies and access to safe water for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene to around 13.1 million people; and provided humanitarian cash assistance to around 1.4 million households.
UNICEF’s work in the MENA region focuses on addressing the unique challenges facing children in the region. This includes providing access to quality education and health care, promoting gender equality, and protecting children from violence, exploitation, and abuse. UNICEF also works with governments, civil society organizations, and other partners to advocate for children’s rights and support the development of policies and programs that benefit children.