These 10-day-old triplets who lost their mother during childbirth are this winter’s bravest survivors. Riad, Khaled and Ahmed were born 10 days ago to a Syrian refugee family in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley. Their father and mother have been living as refugees from Syria for the last three years in Dalhamieh, where hundreds of refugee families have settled in informal tented communities. On the day of their birth their mother was rushed to hospital but sadly did not survive.
By Veronika Vashchenko, UNICEF Ukraine Communication Officer
“Earth was shaking. Mum grabbed me and we ran. I was scared and was crying. I am allowed to go outside only for five minutes every day. Mum is very worried about me as there is shelling almost every day. I do not know what happened to our house”, says Kirill*.
Kirill (7) is sitting on the edge of his bed in a basement, which he shares with 64 other people – children and adults – from Petrivskyi district in Donetsk. He and his mom fled their home in August 2014 and have been living in the bomb shelter for over five months.
There are about 20 children, like Kirill, in this shelter, most of them aged between one and 12-years-old. Because he is not allowed to go outside, he misses out on education and is at risk of various diseases caused by the lack of sanitation.
By Lydia Adams, UNICEF NZ Advocacy Intern
Humanitarian action has been, and will always be, core to UNICEF’s mandate. We advocate for the rights and wellbeing of every child in every country.
Humanitarian Action for Children is UNICEF’s global appeal which highlights the daily struggle faced by children in crisis situations, along with the support required to help them not just survive, but flourish.
“From deadly natural disasters to brutal conflicts and fast-spreading epidemics, children across the world are facing a new generation of humanitarian crises,” said Afshan Khan, UNICEF’s Director of Emergency Programmes. “Whether in the headlines or hidden from view, emergencies sparked by social fracture, climate change and disease are stalking children in ways we have never seen before.”
More than one in ten of the world’s children – or 230 million – currently live in countries and areas affected by armed conflicts alone.
Over the past year millions of children and their families have faced tremendous challenges; forced displacement, loss of loved ones, and the threat of deadly disease. The Ebola epidemic in Western Africa sickened, killed, and orphaned thousands of innocent children. The conflict in Syria displaced and forced millions of families to seek refuge in surrounding regions. In Afghanistan a total of 175 schools, providing education to more than 87,500 kids, were attacked and closed down. Wherever we’re needed UNICEF is on the ground, providing healthcare, education and refuge in an otherwise helpless situation.
UNICEF and our partners have worked tirelessly to combat the struggles these children face, and it is only with the support of our donors that we can continue to do so.
Watch the inspiring video below to see why your continued support is of the utmost importance!
By Marc Vincent, UNICEF Representative in Haiti
It has been five years since the magnitude-7.0 earthquake struck Haiti. Today there is no doubt that the situation facing children has improved. There is clear evidence of meaningful progress. Yet more remains to be done.
Today we see the impact of a strong partnership built between UNICEF, the Haitian government and its partners. Children’s smiles illustrate what has been accomplished together.
By Aaron Martin, UNICEF NZ
The Indian Ocean tsunami on December 26, 2004, tragically killed around 170,000 people in the Indonesian province of Aceh. More than 500,000 people were left homeless, and around 800 kilometres of coastline was devastated.
It was one of the most severe natural disasters ever recorded – and one third of the victims were children.
Now, 10 years on we look back at the largest emergency and recovery operation in UNICEF’s history through the stories of some of the children affected. Support from New Zealanders and many others around the world helped spearhead the immediate humanitarian response and the long-term efforts to mend the lives of children, families and communities in the wake of such a traumatic event.
We don’t know when or where the next emergency will strike – please donate to the Children’s Emergency Fund to help and protect children when it does.
UNICEF Ambassador Tetsuko Kuroyanagi walks with 9-year-old Adi Saputra, through the debris and rubble left behind by the tsunami. Both of Adi’s parents were killed during the Tsunami. 2005. Read More