The release of an estimated 2000-3000 children from an armed faction in South Sudan began today in Greater Pibor, in the eastern part of the country. Saudamini Siegrist, Senior Adviser for Child Protection in Emergencies at UNICEF, recently travelled to the country to assist with the preparations for the release. She sat down with UNICEF Connect to share some of her experiences.
• An estimated 3,000 children associated with the Cobra Faction are being released in Greater Pibor following a peace agreement between the Government of South Sudan and the leader of the Faction. The first group of 249 children was released this week and phased releases of the other children will occur over the coming month. UNICEF and partners are supporting the children with immediate interim care – shelter, clothing, basic health care, education and psychosocial support as well family tracing and reunification.
Continuous rains in Chikwawa district on 29th and 30th January 2015 have resulted in people arriving at some IDP sites.
A total of 27,131 people have so far been reached with sanitation services and 23,941 have been provided with safe drinking water in the hard hit affected areas. Work on provision of these services in continuing to reach more people.
BEIRUT, 30 January 2015 – A top European humanitarian official visited a public school in Lebanon, supported by European Union funding through UNICEF. The European Union Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Mr. Christos Stylianides, accompanied by the Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Lebanon Ambassador Angelina Eichhorst and UNICEF Representative in Lebanon Mrs. Annamaria Laurini, visited the intermediate public school in Geitawi, Beirut today.
Since the beginning of January 2015, Malawi has been experiencing floods due to heavy rains. An estimated 121,000 people have been displaced since the floods hit the southern region of the country, with many families taking shelter in camps established in schools. Over half of those affected are children, and one fifth are under the age of five. The floods have caused extensive damage to crops, livestock and infrastructure including schools and health facilities. The southern districts of Nsanje, Phalombe, Chikwawa, Machinga and Zomba are so far the most affected.
Despite slightly better rainfall at the end of 2014, seven years of drought have put Djibouti’s population under severe stress. Child survival in Djibouti remains at risk due to food insecurity, inadequate care practices, constrained basic social services and a proliferation of communicable diseases including malaria and measles. In December 2013, 17.8 per cent of children under-five suffered from wasting and 5.7 per cent were severely acutely malnourished – largely exceeding WHO emergency thresholds of 15 and 2 per cent respectively.
Due to a series of natural disasters in recent years, including Super Typhoon Haiyan and Typhoon Hagupit, and decades of conflict in Mindanao, some regions of the Philippines are struggling to recover and prepare for future shocks and stresses. The Philippines is the third most disaster-prone country in the world experiencing an average of 20 typhoons each year as well as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.1 UNICEF works in close partnership with the Government to prepare for and respond to the needs of children when disasters hit.
In the programming context in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), structural causes of vulnerability remained unchanged; life-saving humanitarian assistance continues to be a critical need across areas of nutrition, health, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and education – particularly in the north-eastern provinces and remote counties. Support is critically needed to address the underlying drivers of vulnerability.
Since 2011, an estimated 15.5 million people in the northeastern states of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe have been adversely affected by the Boko Haram insurgence. An inter-agency assessment mission in May 2014 showed that the number of IDPs had almost reached 647,000 but more recently the Presidential Initiative for the North East (PINE) estimated that there are 1.5 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the six states of that region.
Since late December 2013, Uganda has stretched its capacity to assist both host communities and approximately 130,000 new South Sudanese refugees in the remote West Nile sub-region, including women, child survivors of sexual violence, and separated and unaccompanied children in urgent need of protection. Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) rates of 19.6 per cent and Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) levels of 4.1 per cent1 can be found among the South Sudanese refugees in Arua, Adjumani and Kiryandongo districts.
UNICEF is requesting US$116.9 million to meet the humanitarian needs of children in Sudan.
Eritrea is situated in the drought-prone region of the Horn of Africa, rendering it vulnerable to persistent water shortages and food deficits. In good years, approximately half of total food needs are met by domestic production; in bad years, about one quarter. The economic condition has been dominated by a resource-sapping “no war no peace” situation with Ethiopia and a soaring cost of food staples that Eritrea needs to import – especially cereals, which have more than doubled in price over the past four years.
UNICEF is requesting US$111,705,413 to meet the humanitarian needs of women and children in Somalia in 2015.
Kenya continues to face high levels of vulnerability to shocks including drought, floods, and internal and cross-border civil strife, especially among marginalized communities. These factors have contributed to devastating rates of chronic and acute malnutrition. Due to below-average rains, constrained food access and high food prices, over 1.5 million people who live mainly in the northern pastoral areas and the marginal agricultural areas of the country currently require food assistance.
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), armed conflict and the corresponding displacement of people continue to dominate the humanitarian context in the eastern part of the country, including southeastern Katanga province, with over 2.7 million people still displaced.In Katanga alone, the number of newly displaced people increased by 22 per cent in the second half of 2014.2 Population movement in DRC is complex and dynamic: attacks on people and gross violations of human rights by numerous armed actors continue, with zones of violence and displacement constantly shifting with zones …
The situation in the Central African Republic (CAR) has developed from a silent emergency into a visible and complex humanitarian and protection crisis, as a result of a Seleka rebel offensive that began in December 2012 and a seizure of power in March 2013. Following this regime, the country’s political and military situation progressively worsened with new rebellions (anti-Balaka) fighting against Seleka.
By Mohammed Al-Asaadi
UNICEF’s launches its Humanitarian Action for Children 2015 on 29 January. The global appeal highlights the situation of children and women living in some of the most challenges circumstances, the support required to help them survive and thrive, and the results UNICEF and its partners have achieved and are working towards. The 2015 appeal calls for US$3.1 billion to reach more than 60 million children in 71 countries, including Yemen.