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UNICEF Seeking North African, Middle East Children's Funds

FILE: Tunisian Children holding a replica of the World Cup football trophy. Taken November 13, 2022

The UN children's agency UNICEF appealed Tuesday for $2.6 billion from international donors to fund life-saving aid across the war-torn North Africa and the Middle East.

"With almost half of the countries in the region living in crisis or undergoing ripple effects of conflicts and wars, children remain the most affected and in massive need of assistance," said the UN children's agency's regional director, Adele Khodr.

"Year after year, a dire situation gets much worse with many families becoming poorer as they face the impacts of multiple crises," she added.

UNICEF said the emergency funding would enable it to "deliver lifesaving assistance to over 52.7 million children in need" in 2023.

The region is home to some of the world's longest-running conflicts. Almost 12 years of war in Syria have left more than 6.5 million children dependent on aid, according to UNICEF.

Conflict in Yemen has created what the UN has dubbed the world's worst humanitarian crisis, with almost every child in the country dependent on some form of assistance.

UNICEF said the Middle East and North Africa, including Iraq, Lebanon, Sudan, Libya, Jordan and the Palestinian territories, account for 25 percent of the global funding it is seeking from donors for next year.