UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 22 (Xinhua) -- Millions of children living in areas affected by conflict and disaster are at risk because of substantial shortages in funding for lifesaving humanitarian programs, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said on Tuesday.
Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said that UNICEF has received only about half of 4.16 billion U.S. dollars needed to meet the basic health, education, nutrition and protection needs of 41 million children in 59 countries so far this year.
Heading into the final quarter of 2019, the funding gap stands at 46 percent, according to UNICEF.
Emergencies with the largest funding gaps include Pakistan, Cameroon, Burkina Faso and Venezuela. Large-scale emergencies in Syria, Yemen, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Bangladesh also remain significantly underfunded, said the press release.
For example, in Democratic Republic of the Congo, a total of 61 million U.S. dollars is urgently required to provide essential services for communities in areas that have long suffered from humanitarian and security crises, and at the same time to create an environment conducive to an effective Ebola response.
UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore said that while the organization continues to appeal for an end to conflicts and better readiness to emergencies, it needs additional donor support to meet children's most basic needs.