Humanitarian Action for Children 2017 - Eastern and Southern Africa
One of the strongest El Niño events ever recorded has affected more than 51 million people and placed more than 26.5 million children at risk of malnutrition, water shortages and disease in 10 countries in the region.In 2016, more than 1 million children were targeted for treatment for severe acute malnutrition (SAM), and water shortages, protection concerns and the deterioration of basic social services remain key concerns. South Sudan's ongoing crisis has left 1.9 million people internally displaced since the conflict began in December 2013 and more than 1.1 million people are living as refugees in Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda, as well as in the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Sudan. In Somalia, some 5 million people are food insecure. Burundi remains unstable, with more than 325,000 people having crossed the border into the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda since April 2015. Political tensions are growing in some areas, with general elections due in Angola, Kenya and Rwanda in 2017, which could trigger internal and cross-border displacement. A further deterioration in the political situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo may also generate wider implications for the region. The annual rain and cyclone season expected in the first quarter of 2017 may cause displacement and heighten the risk of disease outbreaks, particularly cholera.
Regional humanitarian strategy
The Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office (ESARO) humanitarian strategy will focus on delivering results for children through sectoral responses in nutrition, health, child protection, education, HIV/AIDS, social protection and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). UNICEF will complement programmes with surge and technical support to crisis response, as well as humanitarian learning and logistical and operational support to ensure the timely and quality delivery of humanitarian action in line with the Core Commitments for Children in Humanitarian Action. ESARO support will focus on the effective implementation of inter-agency regional strategies and initiatives through the Regional Interagency Standing Committee, Southern Africa (RIASCO) Plan of Acton, the South Sudan and Burundi Regional Refugee Response Plans, the Democratic Republic of the Congo Regional Contingency Plan, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)-led Cholera Response Plan, the Joint Southern Africa Cholera Initiative and ongoing humanitarian responses to chronic crises such as in Somalia. Through inter-agency partnerships and collaboration, ESARO will seek to strengthen coordination and promote timely, quality and accountable humanitarian responses. Evidence gathering and continued engagement with the African Union, IGAD, the IGAD Drought Disaster Resilience and Sustainability Initiative Steering Committee Resilience Analysis Unit, and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) will feed into regional and global policy briefs, with a focus on children and the promotion of childfriendly policies. Sectoral emergency preparedness and response training, coupled with improved risk analysis, will better prepare UNICEF country offices, governments and partners to manage multi-hazard disasters in the region. Risk-informed programming remains a key lens through which to strengthen UNICEF capacity to develop shock-resilient programmes.