UNICEF funding shortage will leave 1 million children without life-saving supplies this winter
UNICEF has warned that nearly 1 million children across the Middle East and North Africa will be affected by a funding crisis this winter and will not receive life-saving supplies and cash assistance.
Without cash assistance and winter supplies children are at a significantly increased risk of illness, school absence and death.
To date UNICEF has received one third of its appeal for the region, leaving the agency with a US$33 million funding gap. As a result life-saving equipment such as warm clothes, blankets and water and sanitation kits.
Geert Cappelaere, Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, UNICEF, commented:
“Years of conflict, displacement and unemployment have reduced families’ financial resources to almost nothing. Staying warm has simply become unaffordable”
“With little nutritious food and healthcare, children have grown weak, becoming prone to hypothermia and dangerous respiratory diseases. Without help to protect them from the freezing weather, these children are likely to face dire consequences”
The cold winter temperatures in the region will exacerbate the hardship of children and families who are living in basic camps and shelters, with little protection against the cold.
This winter UNICEF are hoping to provide 1.3 million children in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria and Turkey with warm clothes, thermal blankets, water, sanitation and hygiene support, and cash assistance.
In these countries there are almost 4 million internally displaced children and 3.5 million living as refugees who need urgent assistance. Persistent conflict and displacement have made the humanitarian needs more acute.
A UNICEF winter clothing kits include warm clothes, gloves, hats, boots, socks, scarves and blankets, costing $40. A thermal blanket costs $7.
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Image credit: UNICEF