UNICEF seeks 1.4 billion dollars for crisis-affected children, women

08:39, March 08, 2011      

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The United Nations Children 's Fund (UNICEF) on Monday sought 1.4 billion U.S. dollars in its annual appeal to assist children and women caught in crises in dozens of countries, UN spokesperson Martin Nesirky told reporters.

The appeal was contained in the UN agency's Humanitarian Action for Children Report (HAC) 2011, which highlights projected needs in 32 countries and territories and six regions, and emphasizes the increasing importance of strengthening the resilience of communities. The report was released here on Monday.

The 2011 requirements rose by 21 percent over those for the previous year, Nesirky said at a daily news briefing.

"Investing in children and building the resilience of countries and communities living on the edge not only shortens their road to recovery, but also helps them to manage anticipated risks before a crisis strikes and to mitigate loss when it does," said UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Hilde Johnson.

The world witnessed overpowering humanitarian crises in 2010: flooding in Pakistan submerged one-fifth of the country; the earthquake in Haiti claimed more than 200,000 lives and displaced millions; the parched earth and lack of food across the Sahel continued to threaten hundreds of thousands of children with severe acute malnutrition.

These emergencies claim the headlines, but there are many more lesser-reported crises affecting the lives of children and families.

Around the world, drought, famine, violent conflicts, and long- term displacement are a reality for millions of people. These humanitarian crises have dire consequences for children, among them recruitment into armed forces, sexual violence, and the loss of basic services such as water, health and education.

UNICEF said that it is deeply committed to "granting vulnerable communities the skills to face and withstand risk, an increasingly important component of humanitarian action," the UN spokesman said.

Source: Xinhua
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