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Aug 27, 2019

Update: Bolstering Education within Syria

10 year old Amira taking a placement test with SLP
10 year old Amira taking a placement test with SLP

Dear Friend,

The Syria crisis, now in its ninth year, has had a disastrous impact on the lives of children, youth and their families across the region. Since 2011, the crisis has affected over 11.8 million Syrians. Of these, 6.2 million have been internally displaced, many multiple times, and 5.6 million have sought refuge in a host country.

The crisis in Syria has had a dire impact on education in the country. The conflict has significantly increased the proportion of out-of-school Syrian children and youth from 14% in the 2011-12 school year to 36% (2.1 million children) in the 2017-18 school year. Every year since 2013, around one-third of school-age children and youth in Syria have been out of school and a whole generation of children and youth has received inadequate education.

In an effort to address these challenges facing out-of-school children in Syria, UNICEF developed quality alternative education models, enabling children with limited or no access to school to continue their learning at home, in non-governmental organization (NGO) centers, in community learning centers or in public school settings, in order to both catch up with lost learning and prepare for placement tests and national exams, ultimately offering a pathway for reintegration into formal education systems and opening up a lifetime of possibilities.

Over three years, UNICEF plans to reach at least 298,000 out-of-school children in Syria with self-learning materials, supportive teachers, safe and inviting learning spaces, and increased access to essential psychosocial support and recreational activities. Since the beginning of the program in 2018, a total of 139,003 out-of-school children enrolled in Self-Learning Program or Curriculum B activities across Syria. As of June 30, 2019, UNICEF and partners have accomplished the following results:

  • Enrolled 54,571 out-of-school children in the Self-Learning Program;
  • Supported the activation of 537 learning spaces in public schools, homes, community centers and tents in camps;
  • Reached 42,792 children with psychosocial support; and
  • Recruited 6,534 teachers and trained 3,693 to be facilitators for the Self-Learning Program

Despite the many challenges, the Self-Learning Program provides a flexible approach to learning that gives children easier access to education, particularly for populations on the move. Thanks to your generous support, UNICEF is able to provide out-of-school children in Syria with one of the most important keys to unlock their full potential – education.


In Partnership,



Jul 22, 2019

Update: Empowering Women and Girls

Dear Friend,

Thank you for your support of UNICEF’s Empowering Women and Girls Project! Due to your generosity, UNICEF was able to implement programs around the world that help vulnerable women and girls. Examples of these UNICEF programs include:

  • Enhancing digital skill development for adolescent girls. In some contexts, girls are being left behind in developing digital and technological skills due tolong-standing gender norms. UNICEF is working to bridge this gap.Through networks of Innovation Hubs,UNICEF Tajikistan and UNICEF Jordan offer trainings for adolescent girls to help them acquire 21st century skills, digital skills, social entrepreneurship skills and access to jobs. In Bolivia, UNICEF continues to support Technovation, a program focused on building digital skills for adolescent girls aged 10-18.
  • Supporting the protection of women and girls at risk of or exposed to gender-based violence. Girls have a higher risk of experiencing gender-based violence, especially during humanitarian emergencies. In 2018, nearly 1.3 million women, girls and boys in humanitarian contexts received prevention and response services such as clinical health services, distribution of dignity kits, safe spaces and community safety planning. In non-emergency settings, more than 2 million boys and girls who experienced violence were reached by health, social work or justice and law enforcement services. In Ghana for example, UNICEF supported gender-sensitivity training on sexual violence case management and child-friendly policing for nearly 3,000 social workers and police officers.
  • Promoting girls’ health throughout their life cycle. Millions of adolescent girls face unique, gender-specific health vulnerabilities, with lifelong consequences: early pregnancy, higher risks of HIV and cervical cancer, and inadequate nutrition. In addition, studies show that adolescent girls drop out of secondary school partially driven by the lack of understanding about ways to manage menstrual hygiene. As more UNICEF country programs prioritize dignified menstrual health and hygiene results, coverage of facilities and services for girls has expanded, coupled with improved access to water and sanitation facilities at schools for girls and boys. Through UNICEF support, sex-segregated water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities were provided in 7,710 schools in 70 countries in 2018.

We appreciate your continued support of women and girls around the world through UNICEF’s programs. You will continue to receive updates on the progress UNICEF is making to improve the lives and futures of women and girls around the world, learning how you are creating an impact.



Whitney Simon

Jun 14, 2019

Update: Silent Emergencies

Nurse supporting child with malnutrition in Kenya
Nurse supporting child with malnutrition in Kenya

Dear Friend,

More countries are embroiled in internal and international fighting now than at any time in the past 30 years and every conflict comes with terrible consequences for children. Each year, UNICEF’s humanitarian programs provide millions of children in conflicts and other emergencies with a range of lifesaving services to over 300 emergencies throughout the year. However, someemergencies are often smaller in scale and protracted leading to a reduced amount of media visibility and funds received. Consequently, the needs of children in these neglected and protracted crises are severely affected. Thanks to global emergencies support like yours, UNICEF has the flexibility to allocate funds to these forgotten emergencies and reach the most marginalized children in the most hard-to-reach areas such as:



Disease outbreaks continue to affect vulnerable populations in Kenya, with polio reported in Nairobi, cholera reported in 20 counties and measles outbreaks reported in six counties. In addition, Kenya is now hosting more than 468,000 refugees and asylum seekers, of whom more than 268,000 are children. Additionally, the country is vulnerable to the effects of the El Niño phenomenon. Between March and September 2018, over 800,000 people were affected by flooding, including some 311,000 people who were displaced by floods. In response, UNICEF has supported nearly 143,00 children affected by diarrhea, malaria or measles, 31,000 people with safe water, and nearly 11,000 children with access to education in 2019.



Haiti remains vulnerable to natural disasters, and in October 2018, was hit with an earthquake. An estimated 982,000 people are still facing severe food insecurity, including 39,000 children who will be affected by acute malnutrition. The risk of an upsurge in cholera remains high and over 640,000 people will require access to primary health care in 2019. The Haitian-Dominican migration situation also remains a concern, as most deportees arrive in Haiti under precarious conditions, without resources and separated from their families. On average, 10,000 Haitians are deported from the Dominican Republic every month. In response, UNICEF has supported more than 240,000 people with access to safe water, more than 37,000 children with learning materials and 10,700 children treated for malnutrition in 2018.



The humanitarian crisis in Burkina Faso intensified in 2018 due to continuing food insecurity as a result of persistent conflict in the North, East and Sahel regions. Approximately 1.5 million people are affected by conflict, including nearly 1.1 million children. The number of security incidents linked to violent extremist groups has almost doubled, increasing from 65 incidents in 2017 to 124 in 2018. Threats by violent extremist groups have led to 440 school closures since the beginning of the 2018/19 school year, depriving over 66,000 children of education. Persistent insecurity has also displaced nearly 23,000 children and is affecting access to health services. Additionally, in 2019, food insecurity will affect an estimated 676,000 people, and some more than 133,000 children will suffer from severe acute malnutrition. In response, UNICEF has supported nearly 15,000 children treated for malnutrition, more than 12,000 children vaccinated against measles and more than 5,000 people with access to safe water in 2019.

Thank you for your generous support of UNICEF’s response to humanitarian emergencies around the globe. Your support has made, and will continue to make, a positive difference for children living through these lesser known emergencies.


Many Thanks,

Whitney Simon

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