One in four children in the world has been living in a country affected by conflict or a disaster, the U.N. warned Tuesday. In a report on the humanitarian action for children in 2018, the U.N. Children's Fund revealed that nearly 50 million children have been displaced due to violence, natural disaster and poverty in 51 countries.
About 84 percent ($3 billion) of the 2018 UNICEF funding appeal ($3.6 billion) is destined for countries affected by violence, namely where conflict has endured for years such as in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Nigeria, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the report said.
"117 million people living through emergencies lack access to safe water and in many countries affected by conflict, more children die from diseases caused by unclean water and poor sanitation than from direct violence," UNICEF director of emergency programs, Manuel Fontaine said in a news conference in Geneva Tuesday.
Some 4.1 million children in Iraq, 11.3 million in Yemen, 5.3 million in Syria and 11 million Syrians in neighboring countries are in need of humanitarian aid.
UNICEF noted that 1.1 million children in Palestine are also in need of humanitarian aid.
Meanwhile, the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) launched emergency appeals for Syria and Palestine in a news conference by UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krahenbuhl.
About 1 million Palestinian refugees are dependent on emergency food assistance, Krahenbuhl said.
Krahenbuhl said 72 percent of the 1.9-million-strong Palestinian population in Gaza and 28 percent of 2.9 million Palestinians in the West Bank were refugees. He added that 924,310 Palestinian refugees in Gaza and 255,000 Palestinians in West Bank re dependent on UNWRA emergency food assistance.
Some 438,000 Palestinians remained inside Syria, over 95 percent of whom are in critical need of sustained humanitarian assistance, UNWRA said.
According to UNWRA, more than 120,000 Palestinian refugees from Syria have fled the country.
"Palestinian refugees across the occupied Palestinian territory continue to face Israeli occupation, repeated violations of human rights and high levels of violence," Krahenbuhl said. More than 690,000 people in Myanmar's Rakhine state, including 255,300 children and 400,000 stateless Muslims, require assistance in Myanmar despite the fact that 655,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled into Bangladesh since August 2017.
With this influx, an estimated 720,000 children, for the most part Rohingya children, are in need of humanitarian aid in Bangladesh, the report noted.
In addition, according to UNICEF, an estimated 60,000 children face starvation in North Korea due to international sanctions against the country, which also delays U.N. aid deliveries. About 18 million people are food insecure and 200,000 children acutely malnourished in North Korea, the report said.