2023 was one of the worst on record for climate change, bringing relentless droughts and intense storms and floods to children in countries like Somalia and South Sudan. Natural disasters like earthquakes in Turkey and Syria and floods in Libya devastated children’s lives in an instant. While conflicts in the State of Palestine, Ukraine, Syria, Sudan and Yemen caused immense suffering to a staggering 460 million children.
But through it all, your support for children blazed a trail. In 2023, the people of Ireland showed extraordinary support for the world’s children, with many of you choosing to support UNICEF with your donations. Your support is invaluable and we hope you continue to support UNICEF’s work for children in 2024.
Continue reading to discover how your donations made a life-changing difference to children.
Gaza: You’re a Life-Saver
Every day, 11-year-old Salam risks her life braving the bombardments to collect the drinking water her family cannot survive without. The situation facing families like hers in the Gaza Strip is now beyond dire. In a region that has long suffered severe problems, water and sanitation services have reached the point of collapse with large scale disease outbreaks looming.
So far, you have helped us reach tens of thousands of children like Salam with life-saving water, as well as food, medicines and blankets. UNICEF has been supporting Palestinian children in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip since the early 1980s, and, thanks to you, we’re still there today helping children in what is now the most dangerous place on earth to be a child.
Turkey: You’re Healing Trauma
10-year-old Sidra still struggles to sleep at night. Sidra and her mother, Sernaz, were trapped beneath the rubble of their home for 18 hours. When they were eventually rescued, Sidra heard the terrible news that her father and older sister had both been killed.
Long after a crisis is over, children continue to suffer the traumatic after-effects, which is why UNICEF does not leave. With your help, we have reached over a million children and caregivers with mental health and psycho-social support through 47 child, adolescent and family support hubs.
Syria: You’re Giving Protection From the Cold
Radwan, 9, and his sister, Rimas, 5, have lovely warm clothes thanks to the cash transfer their mother, Maysaa, received from UNICEF with your help. Like millions of families in Syria, they were forced from their home by conflict and spent years in temporary shelters.
When the earthquakes hit northern Syria in February of last year, your kind donations helped to support displaced families like theirs through the harsh winter by providing them with money to spend on fuel for heating, gas for cooking, and warm clothes and blankets to protect their children from the bitter conditions.
Sudan: You’re Giving Life-Saving Water
At just nine years old, Wala has one of the most important jobs. Every morning before school she collects water for her family. In Sudan, over 17 million people lack access to a safe drinking water supply and are at risk of disease. Every time Wala brings water home to her family she knows she could be putting them in danger. But thanks to you, families like hers now have water purification tablets that help them to ensure their water is safe to drink.
Since April last year when civil war erupted in Sudan, you’ve helped us to deliver vital water treatment chemicals to clean drinking water for thousands of people. You have saved lives in what is now a dire humanitarian crisis.
You can continue to help us reach more children affected by conflict and natural disasters.