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Stepping up aid for emergencies

Jan 27, 2009

UNICEF’s Humanitarian Action Report 2009 notes that overlooked emergencies like disasters and conflicts around the world are worsening hunger, disease and poverty for women and children. The report outlines the need for approximately $1 billion to assist people affected by ongoing food crisis, socio-political unrests and climate change.

Humanitarian Action Report 2009

Publisher: UNICEF, January 2009

High food prices have put increased hardship on the populations of many countries around the world in 2008 and will likely continue to be of concern in 2009. Climate change and the rising frequency and intensity of disasters are further challenges.

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UNICEF’s Humanitarian Action Report (HAR) is seeking $981 million – 15% more than in 2008 – to cope with the growing severity of emergencies; 38% of the funding will support health and nutrition programmes, and 22% will fund water and sanitation projects.

The report is UNICEF’s annual funding appeal for children and women affected by protracted emergencies. This year’s HAR highlights the plight of children and women in humanitarian emergencies in a total of 36 countries, including Zimbabwe, Occupied Palestinian Territory and Myanmar.

The HAR notes that the Asia-Pacific region has an emergency profile characterised by a combination of natural disasters and civil/political unrest with pockets of conflict situations.

In 2008 the Asia-Pacific region has been struck by two major natural disasters in China and Myanmar, and heavy floods have badly affected countries yearly hit by typhoons and cyclone seasons, devastating the lives of millions of people.

The situations in conflict/war-torn and politically unstable countries seem nowhere near resolution, further increasing the number of internally displaced persons and general disruption to society.

In addition to the structural threats, which are intrinsic to the region, Asia-Pacific is also affected by global threats, such as the consequences of high food and fuel prices and the risk of pandemic influenza and other emerging diseases.

"Many countries featured in the report are silent or forgotten emergencies," Women and children are dying every day due to disease, poverty and hunger, but sadly their deaths go largely unnoticed, " said UNICEF chief Ann Veneman.

Source : UNICEF
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