UNICEF/UN0253363/ Huwais


UNICEF in the Middle East and North Africa: UNICEF programming reaches vulnerable children and families in Algeria, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, State of Palestine, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

Conflict, climate change impacts and other emergencies

Tens of millions of children across the Middle East and North Africa are heavily impacted by conflict, the climate change crisis and other protracted emergencies. Humanitarian emergencies and extreme poverty are driving waves of internal and external displacement, as children and families embark on dangerous journeys in pursuit of safety, education and better economic prospects. The situation is compounded by growing gender inequality and gender-based violence. 

Humanitarian assistance that covers all major UNICEF program areas

UNICEF’s Middle East and North Africa Regional Office supports the most vulnerable children and families with humanitarian assistance in several areas, in many different ways, including:

  • Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) — increasing access to safe water for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene, critical to preventing disease; providing sanitation and hygiene supplies and support

  • Nutrition — counseling mothers on best feeding practices, screening for malnutrition and treating severe acute malnutrition

Inside an informal tented settlement in Zarqa governorate, Jordan, a UNICEF health worker immunizes a young boy as part of a joint UNICEF-WHO vaccination campaign. ©UNICEF/UNI347548/UNICEF Jordan

  • Health — supporting the delivery of routine services, including immunizations, and providing mental health and psychosocial support services

  • Education — getting kids back to school, equipping classrooms and supporting teachers, connecting kids to learning when schools are closed and making schools safer

  • Social Protection — strengthening social systems and interventions to reduce and ultimately end child marriage, child labor, trafficking and sexual exploitation and abuse and strengthening gender-based violence risk mitigation, prevention and response

8-month-old Omar receives care at a UNICEF-supported center in ​​Thulaa‏ Hamdan, outside Sanaa, Yemen. ©UNICEF/UN0280847/Huwais AFP Services

  • Emergency Relief — meeting urgent needs in times of crisis and building shock-responsive systems and strengthening the resilience of vulnerable communities (UNICEF also works closely with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to support refugee children and families)

  • Communication for Development — engaging communities in social and behavioral change, giving youth a voice on issues that matter to them and countering misinformation that threatens to undermine critical public health interventions

Learn more about UNICEF's work in the Middle East and North Africa.

Learn more about UNICEF's global Humanitarian Action for Children (HAC) plan for 2022 and why the $9.4 billion emergency funding appeal to assist 177 million children affected by conflict, the climate crisis and COVID-19 is its largest ever. 

Top photo: 9-month-old Yahya, photographed at his family’s home near Sana’a, is one of hundreds of thousands of children in Yemen who have suffered from malnutrition as conflict has pushed the country to the brink of famine. UNICEF works with partners to screen and treat children for malnutrition and disease as part of its ongoing humanitarian response in the country. ©UNICEF/UN0253363/ Huwais