By Noora Jussila, Finnish Red Cross
In Swaziland, a small land-locked country in southern Africa, the worst El Niño weather phenomenon in decades has left 25 per cent of the population, or more than 320,000 people in desperate need of food assistance. With entire crops failed, the Red Cross is turning to cash transfers to help see families through the difficult times.
Disease epidemics result in substantial ill health and loss of lives and therefore pose a threat to global health security, undermine socio-economic lives and destabilize societies.
The humanitarian impact of the 2015-2016 El Niño is deeply alarming, affecting over 60 million people globally. The El Niño phenomenon is now in a neutral phase, but food insecurity caused by drought is not likely to peak before December. East and Southern Africa are the most affected regions, and humanitarian impacts will last well into 2017.
Women and girls among displaced people remain at high risk of GBV in the region.
Conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV) is the most prevalent form of GBV in humanitarian settings in eastern Africa.
Child marriage, rape and physical abuse are the common forms of GBV in stable environments, including southern Africa.
Regional WHS Commitments on gender call for end to financing gender blind programming.
An Emergency Operation will follow WFP’s on-going immediate response to the drought caused by El Niño. WFP will provide emergency food and cashbased assistance to 150,000 drought affected people – almost half of the projected 320,000 people that are affected by the drought and in need of assistance – through this operation.
Context and Investment Case
One of the strongest El Niño events ever recorded places the lives of 26.5 million children at risk of malnutrition, water shortages and disease in ten countries in Eastern and Southern Africa. UNICEF is responding to four primary needs:
Over 1 million children are in need of treatment for severe acute malnutrition (SAM) in the region.
UN predicts deteriorating food security levels across the region by July
Drought-affected households in Lesotho and Swaziland report urgent water needs
USAID contributes an additional $52 million for drought response activities in Southern Africa
What is El Niño?
El Niño is the warming of sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific, which occurs roughly every two to seven years, lasting from six to 24 months.
June 17, 2016 IASC Early Warning, Early Action and Readiness Report for the period June to November 2016. The Report is biannual, with a 6 month horizon. It is the product of a group of Agency analysts. In most cases these individuals work for their respective Emergency Directors. Analysis of preparedness status is provided by OCHA. The Report complements more frequent interaction between RC/HC and the ERC as the IASC system officials accountable for ensuring interagency early action and readiness. This should take place using the IASC Emergency Response Preparedness approach.
(15th June 2016) - An estimated 41 million people - 23 per cent - of the 181 million rural population in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) are food insecure, and out of this figure, more than 21 million are in urgent need of assistance.
UNITED NATIONS, New York/Nkhata Bay, Malawi – Five years ago, people living with HIV could receive HIV services and antiretroviral therapy (ARV) at Mzenga Health Centre in Malawi’s Nkhata Bay district only on Tuesdays. As a result, anyone seen entering the clinic on that day of the week was branded as living with HIV and subjected to stigma and discrimination by the community.
UNAIDS and PEPFAR announce dramatic reductions in new HIV infections among children in the 21 countries most affected by HIV in Africa
Concerted global efforts have led to a 60% drop in new infections among children, which has averted 1.2 million new HIV infections among children in 21 priority countries since 2009
Photos are available for download here: http://uni.cf/1U26L1e
LONDON/MBABANE, Swaziland 8 JUNE 2016 – UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador David Beckham travelled to Swaziland this week to see how 7: The David Beckham UNICEF Fund is helping UNICEF to support and protect HIV-positive children. During his visit Beckham heard and saw how the worst drought in decades - now taking hold of vast swathes of Eastern and Southern Africa - is threatening to wreak havoc on the lives of children and families already made vulnerable by HIV.
With its onset in early 2015, the current El Niño event is one of the strongest on record. The southern Africa region is the hardest hit region globally, with some 32 million people, or nearly half of the entire current global caseload, affected by food insecurity, in large part due to El Niño’s impact.
The humanitarian impact of the 2015-2016 El Niño remains deeply alarming, now affecting over 60 million people. Central America, East Africa (particularly Ethiopia), the Pacific and Southern Africa remain the most affected regions. The El Niño phenomenon is now in decline, but projections indicate the situation will worsen throughout at least the end of the year, with food insecurity caused primarily by drought not likely to peak before December. Therefore, the humanitarian impacts will last well into 2017 .