UNICEF appeals for $1. 4 billion to help children in humanitarian crises

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Iran, 2011: A girl passes a wall on the way to school that reads: "God loves children who say their 'namaz' [prayers]." Bahl, Hormozgan Province/UNICEF

The UN children's agency (UNICEF) has appealed for more than $1 billion to help children in humanitarian crises around the world.

The agency says the money is needed to meet the immediate, life-saving needs of children in 45 countries and regions gripped by conflict, natural disasters and other complex emergencies this year.

Ted Chaiban, UNICEF's Director of the Office of Emergency Programmes, explains that without resources, the agency often has to make difficult choices about where to intervene in the countries facing crises.

"Today UNICEF is launching a $1.4 billion to protect children in emergencies across the world and this includes countries like Syria and Mali obviously, but it also includes places like Madagascar, Colombia and other places that are forgotten often and do not get the same level of attention. A few words on Mali, obviously the north is what we are currently concerned about. In the north children have been displaced, are out of school and are subject to egregious violations including recruitment into armed groups and violence."
Duration:  27"

On Syria, Mr. Chaiban said that he was part of a team of United Nations emergency directors that visited Syria early this week and saw the hardships under which the people live.

He said the infrastructure is being destroyed, families are being crammed into small places with minimal shelter and clothing in cold weather, without potable water, food or basic medicine.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1'21"

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