CHILDREN ARE ESPECIALLY VULNERABLE DURING EMERGENCIES
During emergencies and humanitarian contexts, children are especially vulnerable to disease, malnutrition and violence. Children living in conflict areas are worst off- as demonstrated by the millennium development goals indicators. Countries in armed conflict situations are more likely to be living in extreme poverty, for instance, or not enrolled in primary school; they are also more likely to die before their fifth birthday. Of populations without sanitation and safe drinking water globally, approximately half live in countries affected by conflict. UNICEF focuses on these children and their families – on the essential interventions required for protection, to save lives and to ensure the rights of all children, everywhere. The chaos and insecurity of war threatens or destroys access to food, shelter, social support and health care, and results in increased vulnerability in communities, especially for children.
REALIZING THE RIGHTS OF CHILDREN
In recognition of the growth of UNICEF’s humanitarian action, its centrality to realizing the rights of children and of the need to further enhance dedicated capacities for early action and effective response and to more explicitly define strategies to support resilience, UNICEF is committed the specific and measurable performance targets both for humanitarian preparedness and response and for building resilience.
INTEGRATE HUMANITARIAN ACTION WITHIN UNICEF’S PROGRAMMES
At the same time, the commitment to integrate humanitarian action within UNICEF’s programmes at global and country level will be maintained because it provides unique opportunities to better link humanitarian response with development programmes. This is key to achieving a more effective response to humanitarian crises as well as to promote rapid recovery and build resilience to shocks.
CORE COMMITMENTS FOR CHILDREN IN HUMANITARIAN ACTION
UNICEF’s humanitarian action encompasses both interventions focused on preparedness for response to save lives and protect rights as defined in the Core Commitments for Children in Humanitarian Action (CCCs) in line with international standards and guided by humanitarian principles, as well as UNICEF contributions to address underlying causes of vulnerability to disasters, fragility and conflict through both its support in response to humanitarian crises, as well as through its regular programmes.
In health, nutrition, wash, child protection, education, and HIV/AIDS, the CCCs defines results targets for humanitarian preparedness and response – which correspond to international standards – as well as specific targets that will ensure a focus on addressing underlying causes of vulnerability, fragility and conflict.