Benin + 17 more

Humanitarian Action for Children 2022 - West and Central Africa



  • The West and Central Africa region is facing concurrent public health emergencies, increasing violence and insecurity, and large-scale population displacement. Across the region,107 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, including 60 million children.

  • The UNICEF West and Central Africa Regional Office will provide guidance and technical support to all countries in the region to prepare for and respond to emergencies, with support for programming in nutrition, health, water, sanitation and hygiene; as well as for child protection, education and social protection, and cross-cutting areas such as community engagement, resilience and emergency preparedness. This will be done using a systematic gender lens in the analysis and programme design.

  • In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, UNICEF will support the 10 countries embedded in this appeal to prevent the spread of the virus; control and mitigate its impacts; and ensure continuity in delivery of essential social services for women and children.

  • UNICEF is appealing for US$116.9 million to address humanitarian and COVID-19-specific needs in the region.


Children continue to bear the brunt of the multidimensional crises affecting West and Central Africa, leaving a steadily increasing number in urgent need of humanitarian assistance – this year a total exceeding 60 million. The security context across the region continues to deteriorate, impacting civilians and humanitarian activities. In the Central Sahel (Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger), Lake Chad Basin (Chad, Far North Cameroon, Niger and Northeast Nigeria), Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and North-West and South-West regions of Cameroon, entire communities are caught in the middle of unrelenting conflict, triggering massive displacement both internally and across borders and increasing vulnerability to human rights violations and sexual and gender-based violence. Spillover of conflict in the Central Sahel to neighboring coastal countries is on the rise.

The region is highly vulnerable to public health emergencies. In addition to the COVID-19 pandemic, children, their families and their communities face recurrent outbreaks of cholera, measles and polio. Ebola outbreaks can reemerge years after initial infections, threatening affected areas. At the same time, access to essential health services remains limited. Even before the pandemic, an estimated one in three children born each year were deprived of vaccines, the lowest childhood vaccination coverage in the world.

The cumulative effects of climate change, violence and the COVID19 pandemic have left more than 4.31 million children under 5 years of age at risk of severe acute malnutrition (SAM). 5 While many schools have reopened following earlier shutdowns, education remains under threat across the region. In the Central Sahel, 13 million children are out of school 6 and in Nigeria, mass abductions of students continue unabated. Environmental shocks compound these challenges. The countries of the region are particularly vulnerable, with 16 among the world's top 30 having the biggest climate change risks for children, threatening their health, education and protection.