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2014.09.18

UNICEF Requests More Money to Deal with Severe Emergencies
Asset Duration: 02 min 20 secs


In 2010 there was plenty of evidence that the world is becoming more dangerous.


Catastrophic floods in Pakistan, and an earthquake that flattened Haiti, were just two examples of natural disasters that overwhelmed already fragile nations.


SOUNDBITE (English) Louis-Georges Arsenault
UNICEF Director of Emergency Programmes
"We know that the number of natural disasters and people affected, is growing year by year. We were having 200 occurrences a year maybe 15-20 years ago and now its 400 occurrences."


Overshadowed by headline grabbing disasters are the so-called forgotten crises, such as the violent conflict in DR Congo and Afghanistan. But although the circumstances are different, the needs are often the same.


Every year UNICEF assesses its emergency response and asks for funds to assist families living in crisis. The theme of this year's Humanitarian Action for Children Report is resilience—helping communities to help themselves.


SOUNDBITE (English) Louis-Georges Arsenault
UNICEF Director of Emergency Programmes
"It's about making sure that communities have a better capacity to absorb risk or threat, triggered either by natural disaster or conflict, so it's about ensuring that there is a level of preparedness."


Whether it's teaching children disaster safety techniques or constructing sturdier health clinics and schools, preparation not only saves lives, it builds confidence and hope in the future.


UNICEF is asking for 1.4 billion dollars – a twenty one per cent increase from 2010. The figure reflects the increasing severity of natural disasters, and the need for immediate action.


SOUNDBITE (English) Louis-Georges Arsenault
UNICEF Director of Emergency Programmes
"It's true that the financial environment is very difficult but we have to make a strong case that we want to be able to decrease the need in the future, we need to invest now."


Weather-proof classrooms and health clinics are tangible symbols of resilience. But to meet the needs of more challenging world, UNICEF has broader goals—to help families, communities and entire nations assess risks, prepare to face them and to recover as quickly as possible.