ISLAMABAD: The United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) has launched a $10.3 billion emergency funding appeal to reach more than 173 million people, including 110 million children, affected by Covid-19 pandemic worldwide and the growing threat of climate-impacted severe weather events.

Funds will support essential programmes for over 110 million children across 155 countries and territories through 2023, according to a Unicef press statement released on Tuesday.

Around the world, a resurgence of disease outbreaks, including cholera and measles, bring an additional danger to children in emergencies, said the statement.

With humanitarian needs at an unprecedented high, Unicef is calling on partners to increase support to life-saving humanitarian response for children, maximising the flexibility of this funding, prioritise climate-adaptive anticipatory action and preparedness efforts, urgently adopt no-regrets approaches to preparedness and response, and ensure equitable and principled humanitarian assistance.

This year began with an estimated 274 million people in need of humanitarian assistance and protection. Throughout the year, these needs grew considerably, largely due to conflict, including the war in Ukraine; to rising food insecurity; to threats of famine brought about by climate-related and other factors; and to the devastating floods in Pakistan.

“Today, there are more children in need of humanitarian assistance than at any other time in recent history,” said Unicef Executive Director Catherine Russell. “Across the globe, they are facing a deadly mix of crises, from conflict and displacement to disease outbreaks and soaring rates of malnutrition.

Meanwhile, climate change is making these crises worse and unleashing new ones. It is critical that we have the right support in place to reach children with decisive and timely humanitarian action.”

Published in Dawn, December 7th, 2022

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