Children and new born babies have been hit hardest. We estimate that the lives of almost 18,000 mothers and babies could be at risk, unless urgent action is taken to restore healthcare systems. In addition, the latest statistics show that around twelve babies are being born every hour without access to basic healthcare.
This year the world has the opportunity to keep more children safe. Together we can help children realise their rights, fulfil their potential and protect them from violence and danger. How the world looks tomorrow is dependent on how children grow up today - and the time to act is now, we haven't a moment to lose.
The well of pain runs deep in many parts of Africa, and yet it is young people who offer the best chance for true conflict resolution, and lasting peace. Conflict-affected youth are often the most ambitious, the hardest workers. They want back what was taken from them: opportunity. They want an education and they want to earn a livable wage.
This time last year I travelled to the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon to see how Unicef, the world's leading children's organisation, is keeping Syrian children safe and warm as the temperatures plummet. Nothing could have prepared me for the heartbreaking situation I encountered; the conditions for families living in these informal camps were just horrendous. It's not somewhere that anyone should have to call a home, especially not a child. The over-crowded and unsanitary conditions need just one storm to set off a terrible chain reaction. The cold weather already makes children susceptible to respiratory infections like pneumonia.
In a country where young people make up a significant proportion of the available labour force, yet unemployment rates for 20 to 24yearolds have been estimated to be as much as five times greater than those for older adults, Building Young Futures works hard to support hard to reach people in places where there are few jobs or prospects for the bulging youth population. What's the alternative?
Surely no-one wants our most vulnerable children to suffer, even in harsh economic times. And they don't need to. Different choices are possible. We know because many other countries have done better. It is possible to reduce child poverty and deprivation even as we take steps to recover from the great recession.
AL-Hasakeh/Damascus, 23 October 2014 - While many of Syria's war-torn cities and governorates are grabbing the headlines, the humanitarian situation in the north-eastern governorate of Al-Hasakeh governorate is largely in the shadows. With a population of 1.5 million people - almost half of them children - much of the governorate has been cut off from humanitarian aid for almost two years...