Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief
Providing Relief to Children in Emergencies
UNICEF is the world leader in providing humanitarian relief for children and their families. And this year, UNICEF needs an additional $900 million to meet the needs of women and children caught up in emergency situations. Among the crises that UNICEF is currently responding to are:
- the nutrition crisis in the Sahel, and Mali's complex emergency
- the conflict and refugee crisis in Syria
- malnutrition and displacement in Somalia and South Sudan
- cholera and recruitment of child soldiers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
- flooding in the Philippines and Colombia
- instability in Central and Eastern Europe
- a cyclone, heavy rain, and reduced harvests in Madagascar
Learn more about UNICEF’s lifesaving emergency and disaster relief work and this year’s critical funding needs. Read the Humanitarian Action Report Update.
Leader in Disaster Relief
UNICEF was created after World War II to help children living in war–ravaged areas. And though its work has grown exponentially, UNICEF is still the leader when it comes to emergency and disaster relief efforts for children. With more than 11,000 staff worldwide; 350 warehouses globally; strategic transit hubs in Copenhagen, Dubai, Panama and Shanghai; and a 24/7 emergency operations center in New York, UNICEF stands ready to provide both immediate and long-term necessities—food, water, shelter, protection and physical as well as mental health care—whenever a crisis arises. UNICEF also works to reunite children with family and provides care for those who are orphaned.
In 2011, UNICEF responded to 292 emergencies—from civil conflicts to earthquakes—in 80 countries.
Related Emergency and Disaster Relief Links
May 21, 2013
UNICEF is extremely concerned about the safety of civilians in the embattled city of Qusayr in Syria and fears that thousands of children and women could be trapped there by fighting. Heavy clashes have been reported in Qusayr, a city near the Lebanese border, with a population of some 30,000. Between 12,000 and 20,000 people, many of them children, are thought to still be inside the city.
May 15, 2013
As Cyclone Mahasen threatens to hit the communities in Rakhine State, home to thousands of displaced people, UNICEF stands ready to support the government of Myanmar to respond to humanitarian needs. Heavy rainfall and possible flooding that come with the cyclone is likely to deteriorate sanitation and safe water supply, with subsequent increased health threats especially for children. The living conditions of the people in Rakhine are already precarious as a result of inter-communal conflict and displacement.
May 10, 2013
In January 2012, rebellion erupted in northern Mali. The Dicko family fled by truck, empty-handed, and arrived in Ségou just over a year ago. They are now are among an estimated 292,648 Malians who have fled the fighting in the North but have stayed within the country’s borders. According to the governor, little Ségou’s houses, riverbanks and yards have gained 36,000 people in the past year. UNICEF has provided kits containing everyday items like pots, mosquito nets and blankets, along with water, sanitation and hygiene items.
More on UNICEF's Emergency Relief Efforts