In the last few days we have witnessed two major crises unfolding in our world:
a magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck Haiti
and the rapid escalation of the conflict in Afghanistan.
UNICEF is extremely concerned about the rapid escalation of grave violations against children, and deeply troubled about reports that children are being recruited into the conflict by armed groups.
With each and every day, the flaring conflict in Afghanistan is taking a greater toll on the country’s women and children. Half of the population – more than 18 million people, including nearly 10 million children, – need humanitarian assistance.
UNICEF has 13 offices in Afghanistan and a range of partners that support us in delivering lifesaving supplies to the most disadvantaged. To support the about 10 million children, and their families, affected by the humanitarian crisis, UNICEF is currently delivering life-saving services such as ready to use therapeutic food to nourish starving children and mobile health clinics to give urgent medical care. UNICEF is also delivering water to those most affected by the drought, including in camps for internally displaced people. Despite the ongoing humanitarian crisis, UNICEF is distributing hygiene kits and continuing vaccination for babies and young children. UNICEF is also expanding its humanitarian response in the country by prepositioning supplies. In the past week, in several of the new camps for internally displaced people in Kabul, UNICEF established child-friendly spaces, nutrition hubs, and vaccination sites.
The devastating earthquake hit Haiti on August 14th, with major impact in the southwestern region. Right now, more than half a million Haitian children have limited or no access to shelter, safe water, health care and nutrition.
What UNICEF is working on:
– UNICEF was able to reach affected areas with medical supplies within hours of the earthquake, delivering medical kits to three hospitals in the area with enough supplies – including gloves, painkillers, antibiotics and syringes – to treat 30,000 earthquake victims over three months
– UNICEF and partners are also distributing tarpaulins for emergency shelter, latrines and showers; water reservoirs for safe water distribution; and hygiene kits including water treatment tablets. UNICEF has also already provided clean water and hygiene and sanitation items to over 108,000 affected women and children.
– UNICEF is planning community-based engagement activities to prevent family separation and to ensure protection and psychosocial support for children
– UNICEF is working closely with the government and partners to carry out rapid assessments of children’s needs
In response to the earthquake, UNICEF is requesting a total of US$122.2 million to scale up its emergency interventions in Haiti this year.
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