El Niño Eastern & Southern Africa Region Investment Case and Humanitarian Requirements, 16 July 2016

from UN Children's Fund
Published on 16 Jul 2016

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:

  1. Over 1 million children are targeted for severe acute malnutrition (SAM)treatment in the region.

  2. Water shortages remain a key concern. Many health facilities and schools are in critical need of improved water supply and sanitation facilitiesto enable the continuity of services.

  3. Children face protection risks as families and communities move in search of work, food, water and grazing land for animals. Children are also finding it difficult to stay in school, due to hunger and/or lack of water.

  4. In Southern Africa in particular, the global epicenter of the AIDS pandemic, drought is making life even more precarious for children affected by HIV.

Governments and partners have been responding since 2015, but the scale of the crisis has outstripped the coping capacities of communities and the resources of government, putting decades of development gains at risk. Urgent investment is required as the crisis is likely to continue well into 2017, and may be further compounded by the coming La Niña which would bring more erratic weather conditions.

In 2016, UNICEF has reached:

  • 169,000 children with SAM treatment

  • 2.7 million people with clean water and WASH support

  • 97,000 children with child protection and psychosocial services

  • 100,000 people with HIV education and services

To meet the humanitarian needs of women and children affected by El Niño, UNICEF still urgently needs US$120 million of the US$219 million requirement:

  • US$33 million for lifesaving treatment for malnourished children, including treatment for SAM

  • US$28 million for the WASH response

  • US$8 million for child protection services

  • US$4 million for provision of HIV education and access to services

  • US$47 million for education, immunization, social protection, and other sectoral services