From deadly natural disasters to brutal conflicts and fast-spreading epidemics, children across the world are facing a new generation of humanitarian crises. Whether in the headlines or hidden from view, emergencies sparked by social fracture, climate change and disease are stalking children in ways we have never seen before.
- Millions of children are born into and grow up amid crises and are deprived of stability. Without support, not only the lives of those children but the future of entire countries will be hanging by a thread.
- There are as many as 16.7 million children caught in violent conflicts in the Central African Republic, Iraq, South Sudan, the State of Palestine, Syria and Ukraine. Many of these children are internally displaced or live as refugees.
- In Syria, the violent conflict enters its fifth year at the start of 2015 and no end is in sight. More than 5.6 million children inside Syria are in need of support – with an additional 1.7 million children who have fled their country.
- Schools and health facilities have not been spared. In Pakistan, children attend school in fear following the brutal attack in December on a school in Peshawar. In Nigeria, there has been a persistent trend of attacks against schools and abduction of school girls.
- Many other conflicts and chronic crises have been hidden from view, but they are no less of a tragedy for the children trying to survive. An estimated 230 million children worldwide live in countries affected by armed conflicts. In Somalia, there is an entire generation of children who have never lived in peace.
Under these extraordinary circumstances, children miss out on the basics of life: health, shelter, education, and protection. They are at risk of accepting violence and trauma as part of normal life, and they are at risk of perpetuating the traumas that stole their futures.
UNICEF is launching a $3.1 billion appeal to be able to assist children affected by humanitarian situations during 2015, no matter where they are. With partners, we aim to provide critical assistance to 62 million children worldwide, including in Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Iraq, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, as well as in the countries affected by the Ebola crisis.
Click here for more information on the Humanitarian Action for Children report 2014.