GENEVA / UNICEF APPEAL

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29-Jan-2019 00:03:47
UNICEF Director of Emergency Operations Manuel Fontaine warned that there has “never been as much conflict in the world in the past 30 years as this year” as his agency appealed for 3.9 billion USD to support its humanitarian work around the world. UNTV CH

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STORY: GENEVA / UNICEF APPEAL
TRT: 3:47
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 29 JANUARY 2019, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

SHOTLIST:

FILE - GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

1. Wide shot, Palais des Nations exterior

29 JANUARY 2019, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

2. Wide shot, journalists and podium
3. Close up, appeal brochure
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Manuel Fontaine, Director of Emergency Operations, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF):
“There’s never been as much conflict in the world in the past 30 years as this year. So, it is obviously a particular threat. I think what we’re seeing as well is increasingly what we see as being accepted as a new normal of attacks on schools and hospitals and detention of children and the fact that increasingly children are being seen as not only as victims when they’ve been actually been recruited by an armed group or used by a particular armed group, but also as a perpetrator and detained once they’ve been released by an armed group.”
5. Close up, hands typing on laptop
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Manuel Fontaine, Director of Emergency Operations, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF):
“At the same time, I would say we’ve also done great progress; we’ve also done great progress in the way we can bring humanitarian assistance; we keep on all the time finding new ways to do it better and bring better support and better assistance. So, it is not a fatality, it is the behaviour of parties to conflict that actually creates this kind of situation. Should they give us more access, should they give us more ways to protect children, and should they themselves respect the sanctity of the protection of children, things would actually go a lot better.”
7. Med shot, journalists
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Manuel Fontaine, Director of Emergency Operations, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF):
“Nearly eight years after the conflict broke out we still have 2.5 million Syrian children living as refugees in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey where demand for basic services such as health and education outstrip the capacity of institutions and infrastructure to actually respond.”
9. Wide shot, podium
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Manuel Fontaine, Director of Emergency Operations, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF):
“There might be cases of some families, some children who decide they want to go back and we accompany them. For the time being, we are just making sure that we can provide support and services wherever they are. So, for the moment they are still in Jordan and Egypt and Turkey and Lebanon; this is where focus of our actions for them is. But we are ready to transfer that inside Syria if they make that decision to return. I think it’s a bit early right now to see how that’s going to happen in practice.”
11. Med shot, journalists and cameras
12. SOUNDBITE (English) Manuel Fontaine, Director of Emergency Operations, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF):
“Projections from 2019 are that nearly 400,000 children will suffer from life-threatening severe acute malnutrition in Yemen during the course of the year.”
13. Close up, hands writing on laptops
14. SOUNDBITE (English) Manuel Fontaine, Director of Emergency Operations, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF):
“Violations against children include forced recruitment by armed groups and rampant sexual abuse. The insecurity has also seriously hindered the response to the Ebola outbreak in North Kivu and Ituri and aggravated disastrous malnutrition conditions across the country. It is important to note that an estimated 1.4 million children – which is over three times the number in Yemen - of children are actually projected to require lifesaving treatment for some severe acute malnutrition during the course of 2019.”
15. Close up, journalists
16. SOUNDBITE (English) Manuel Fontaine, Director of Emergency Operations, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF):
“We are very concerned about the risk of violence. We are obviously calling on everyone to protect children in this particular moment and adolescents in particular. We also are working in the neighbouring countries, in Colombia, Brazil, Ecuador and other countries to help the struggling host communities receiving families and children that are crossing the border.”
17. Close up, hands typing, leafing through appeal brochure
18. Wide shot, podium
19. Close up, photographer
20. Med shot, journalists typing on laptops

STORYLINE:

UNICEF Director of Emergency Operations Manuel Fontaine warned that there has “never been as much conflict in the world in the past 30 years as this year” as his agency appealed for 3.9 billion USD to support its humanitarian work around the world.

Speaking to reports in Geneva today (29 Jan) at the launch of UNICEF’s appeal, Fontaine stressed that the long-held notion that children should be protected above all others is also coming under threat, amid countless reports of deadly attacks on civilians and places of shelter – both of which are prohibited under international law.

SOUNDBITE (English) Manuel Fontaine, Director of Emergency Operations, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF):
“There’s never been as much conflict in the world in the past 30 years as this year. So, it is obviously a particular threat. I think what we’re seeing as well is increasingly what we see as being accepted as a new normal of attacks on schools and hospitals and detention of children and the fact that increasingly children are being seen as not only as victims when they’ve been actually been recruited by an armed group or used by a particular armed group, but also as a perpetrator and detained once they’ve been released by an armed group.”

A total of 59 countries are to benefit from UNICEF’s Humanitarian Action for Children 2019 appeal, with the goal of providing 41 million children with safe water, food, education, health and protection.

Child protection funding amounting to 385 million USD includes more than 120 million USD for children affected by the Syria crisis, whose needs are estimated at 904 million USD– the largest part of UNICEF’s overall appeal.

SOUNDBITE (English) Manuel Fontaine, Director of Emergency Operations, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF):
“Nearly eight years after the conflict broke out we still have 2.5 million Syrian children living as refugees in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey where demand for basic services such as health and education outstrip the capacity of institutions and infrastructure to actually respond.”

Asked if he expected a significant number of Syrian families to return to the country, the UNICEF official replied that such a development was likely premature.

SOUNDBITE (English) Manuel Fontaine, Director of Emergency Operations, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF):
“There might be cases of some families, some children who decide they want to go back and we accompany them. For the time being, we are just making sure that we can provide support and services wherever they are. So, for the moment they are still in Jordan and Egypt and Turkey and Lebanon; this is where focus of our actions for them is. But we are ready to transfer that inside Syria if they make that decision to return. I think it’s a bit early right now to see how that’s going to happen in practice.”

Needs in Yemen represent UNICEF’s second largest individual appeal, at 542.3 million USD. Nearly four years since conflict escalated, more than 22 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, including two million Yemeni children who will require food assistance this year.

“Projections from 2019 are that nearly 400,000 children will suffer from life-threatening severe acute malnutrition in Yemen during the course of the year,” Fontaine warned.

Other emergency situations include the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), a vast country facing a significant escalation of violence and armed conflict linked to terrible rights abuses.

An ongoing outbreak of deadly Ebola virus in the east of the country has made matters worse.

SOUNDBITE (English) Manuel Fontaine, Director of Emergency Operations, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF):
“Violations against children include forced recruitment by armed groups and rampant sexual abuse. The insecurity has also seriously hindered the response to the Ebola outbreak in North Kivu and Ituri and aggravated disastrous malnutrition conditions across the country. It is important to note that an estimated 1.4 million children – which is over three times the number in Yemen - of children are actually projected to require lifesaving treatment for some severe acute malnutrition during the course of 2019.”

According to the UNICEF appeal, an estimated 1.4 million children – over three times the number at risk in Yemen - are projected to require lifesaving treatment for severe acute malnutrition in 2019.

Turning to Venezuela, where 40 people have died in recent clashes between demonstrators and security forces, according to UN human rights office, OHCHR, Fontaine appealed for children to be protected.

“We are very concerned about the risk of violence,” he said. “We are obviously calling on everyone to protect children in this particular moment and adolescents in particular.”

The UNICEF official confirmed that an estimated three million people have left the troubled South American country in recent years, and that the agency is “working in the neighbouring countries, in Colombia, Brazil Ecuador and other countries to help the struggling host communities receiving families and children that are crossing the border”.

Faced with such unprecedented needs, UNICEF is appealing for funding that can be allocated where it is needed most urgently, not least to under-reported emergencies including the Lake Chad region, where nearly 21 million people in Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, Niger and Nigeria have been affected by ongoing conflicts.

Despite the challenges, Fontaine insisted that the agency has been successful in helping vulnerable children, not least those whose mental scars caused by the “toxic stress” of conflict often take longer than physical wounds to heal.

“At the same time, I would say we’ve also done great progress; we’ve also done great progress in the way we can bring humanitarian assistance,” he said. “We keep on all the time finding new ways to do it better and bring better support and better assistance.”

In an appeal for greater humanitarian access and cooperation from warring parties, Fontaine noted that “it is the behaviour of parties to conflict that actually creates this kind of situation. Should they give us more access, should they give us more ways to protect children and should they themselves respect the sanctity of the protection of children, things would actually go a lot better.”
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