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UNICEF Humanitarian Action Update: East and Southern Africa 18 Oct 2007

Format
Situation Report
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Posted
Originally published

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UNICEF PROVIDES HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE TO CHILDREN AND WOMEN AFFECTED BY DROUGHT, CONFLICT, FLOODS AND DISEASE OUTBREAKS

- Violent attacks in Mogadishu, Somalia, have caused over 402,000 people to flee their homes since March. Tensions are high in the Great Lakes region with new refugee movements taking place into neighbouring countries. In Western Kenya, 67,000 people remain internally displaced following the Mt. Elgon ethnic clashes.

- The prolonged dry spells in southern Africa are affecting 401,200 and 407,000 people in Lesotho and Swaziland respectively, while in Zimbabwe, an estimated 2.1 million people continue to face a humanitarian crisis.

- A major UNICEF emergency response is underway to assist more than 400,000 people seriously affected by flooding in Northern and Eastern Uganda. Populations in Kenya, Rwanda and Ethiopia have also been affected by these floods.

- Ethiopia, Somalia and Angola continue to face AWD/cholera outbreaks.

1. EMERGENCY OVERVIEW AND ISSUES FOR CHILDREN

In the Horn of Africa, the unresolved conflict in Somalia, continuing border tensions between Ethiopia and Eritrea and unresolved ethnic clashes in Kenya and Ethiopia pose continuing and potentially increasing threats to human security and ongoing humanitarian assistance.

The "El Nino" phenomenon, blamed for severe drought in much of the Horn of Africa in 2005-2006 has also affected southern Africa. Drought has increasingly affected Lesotho, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe where rains failed or were erratic in many areas.

In past months, the incomplete disarmament of militia groups in Eastern DRC has led to increased conflict in the Kivus regions. The population has been victimized by reported war crimes and human rights violations including widespread rapes. Such a situation puts major stress on the diverse interests of the governments of DRC, Rwanda and Uganda who fought previously along with several other states over resources and ethnic affiliations. The frequency and magnitude of thus far, short-term population displacements into Uganda and more lately, Rwanda may be increasing.

Across the region, as the short rain season begins in the Horn this month and more substantial rains get underway across Southern Africa, a number of countries in the continue reporting Acute Watery Diarrhea (AWD) or cholera cases, several of which have been in sustained crisis for many months. WHO data shows a progressive increase in the number of countries in Africa reporting such outbreaks over the last two years.

Further details of the emergency programmes in East and Southern Africa can be obtained from:

Robert McCarthy
UNICEF Regional Office
Nairobi
Tel: + 254 20 7622176
Fax: + 254 20 7622746
rmccarthy@unicef.org

Esther Vigneau
UNICEF EMOPS
Geneva
Tel: + 41 22 909 5655
Fax: + 41 22 909 5902
evigneau@unicef.org

Gary Stahl
UNICEF PFO
New York
Tel: + 1 212 326 7009
Fax: + 1 212 326 7165
gstahl@unicef.org