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How humanitarian crises are affecting the people we help around the world

POSTED October 24, 2022

How humanitarian crises are affecting the people we help around the world

Our CEO gives an update and shares ways we’re providing support

By Fred Witteveen, CEO,

Children Believe CEO, Fred, reads to kids at a child-safety space in Burkina Faso as humanitarian crises continue to affect people we help

It never gets any easier to hear stories of need from the people we help. I often recall the anxious words of a mom in Burkina Faso who shared her daily struggle of providing for her family as compounding challenges pushed up food prices earlier this year.

“I have difficulty taking care of my four children, because I don’t have any money to buy cereal,” she told us. “What I had, I spent it all…. I have to prepare one meal a day.”

This summer, you may recall me sharing about my visit to Burkina Faso where I saw how the escalating crisis in Africa’s Sahel region, which includes Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali and Niger, is affecting the people we help.

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has called it one of the fastest-growing displacement crises in the world, yet few have heard how armed conflict has driven 1.5-million people from their homes in Burkina Faso alone.

Inflation, the pandemic and extreme weather conditions have intensified the issue. Sadly, this is not the only country we support where the situation has been especially challenging this year.

In Ethiopia, thousands of refugees — largely women and children — have been fleeing fighting in Northern Ethiopia (Tigray, Amhara and Afar regions). This is happening as the country is facing its worst drought in 40 years. Meanwhile, India is recovering from extreme flooding and heat. And, nearly seven-million people have been displaced due to the war in Ukraine.

These compounded emergencies are having a huge impact on education, which was already in crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You may recall that predictions stated 24-million students may never return to school.

In Burkina Faso, UNHCR reports violence and insecurity led to the closure of 6,600+ schools.

Yet, we’re hopeful. We’re thankful we can help thousands of women and children in Burkina Faso. In partnership with UNICEF last year, we gave 25,000+ kids access to 55 child-friendly spaces daily, so they could play, learn and regain a sense of routine again — an essential part of recovery (I’m at one of these spaces in the picture above)

Meanwhile, our partners at ChildFund Germany are working in Ukraine to provide life’s basic necessities, safe spaces, medicine, mental-health and education support.

Within our programs around the world, we’re constantly reassessing needs and providing care and relief where it’s most needed.

Our Gifts for Good catalogue makes a big difference, providing 54 gifts that help us continue to support basic needs and break barriers to education so more children can dream of brighter futures.

Learn more about how you can give gifts to Help where the need is greatest, contribute to our Refugee child education fund or give where you’re most moved.

We’re so grateful for your support, thoughts and prayers. You’re making a difference every day. Thank you.

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Children Believe works globally to empower children to dream fearlessly, stand up for what they believe in — and be heard. For 60+ years, we’ve brought together brave young dreamers, caring supporters and partners, and unabashed idealists. Together, we’re driven by a common belief: creating access to education — inside and outside of classrooms — is the most powerful tool children can use to change their world.

About ChildFund Alliance:

A member of ChildFund Alliance, Children Believe is part of a global network of child-focused development organizations working to create opportunities for children and youth, their families and communities. ChildFund helps nearly 23-million children and their families in 70 countries overcome poverty and underlying conditions that prevent children from achieving their full potential. We work to end violence against children; provide expertise in emergencies and disasters to ease the harmful impact on children and their communities; and engage children and youth to create lasting change and elevate their voices in decisions that affect their lives.

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