Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Syria, Turkey
- In Iraq, emergency health kits for 1,150,000
children have been distributed. A first measles campaign is scheduled for
mid-February. There are vaccine shortages in the North, particularly measles
- UNICEF sub-offices for emergency interventions
are being equipped and staffed in Iran, Kuwait, Syria and Turkey.
- Emergency supplies for children continue to be pre-positioned in Iraq and the surrounding countries (health kits, high protein biscuits, education and recreation materials, water and sanitation facility equipment).
UNICEF sectors affected by funding shortfall include water and sanitation (US$ 468 million), education (US$ 396 million) and health (US$ 369 million).
Emergency health kits for 900,000 children arrived and are pre-positioned in south/centre Iraq. UNICEF requisitioned additional health kits for additional 900,000 children. The northern Iraq office has distributed kits to assist 250,000 children.
UNICEF is also purchasing drugs to combat potentially fatal black fever in the South. Until now, 642 children have been stricken with the fever and will die within weeks if not treated.
The northern offices currently have 356,000 sachets of Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS) in their stocks, with another 200,000 in the pipeline.
UNICEF is scheduling the second round of polio immunization days in 2003 for February 23-27. The campaign will immunize four million children under the age of five years.
UNICEF is also preparing for two defaulter tracing measles campaigns in high risk districts in February for children aged 6 to 12 years. The first campaign will begin directly after Eid holiday. For the second campaign, UNICEF ordered 500,000 doses of vaccines. Routine measles immunization of children under the age of five years has been intensified. Children under the age of five years have already been immunized in a campaign in 2002 reaching 95 per cent of the target group. In the North, stocks of vaccines, particularly for measles, are extremely low.
In south/centre Iraq, 150 metric tons of therapeutic milk and 1,160 metric tons of high protein biscuits are distributed to 63 paediatric hospitals and 2,800 community child care units in south/centre Iraq. An additional 400 metric tons of biscuits were ordered.
Breastfeeding campaigns in south/centre have been intensified.
In the North, supplies to establish 30 therapeutic feeding centres have been stored including weighing scales, measuring boards, cooking pots, stoves and other equipment.
In the North, tents for the use of classrooms have been pre-positioned in UNICEF warehouses along with chalkboards, student kits, recreation and first-aid kits. Kurdish and Arabic textbooks are pre-positioned in the warehouses of the departments of education.
In the North, UNICEF is supporting preparations to establish mobile social care teams to provide assistance for unaccompanied/separated children.
In the South, meetings with International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on child tracing were held and a framework for collaboration developed.
A total of US$ 6.9 million is available for emergency preparedness activities in Iraq. Out of this, a total of US$ 6,016,759 has been committed in support of UNICEF's emergency preparedness activities.
Co-ordination and Partnerships
In the South, UNICEF and ICRC have agreed on a framework to assist unaccompanied children. UNICEF reached an agreement with the General Co-operation of Water and Sewerage to overhaul back-up generators and water treatment plants in urban and semi-urban areas. The first contracts for four governorates have been prepared.
The Jordan country office has received 95 per cent of ordered contingency supplies
UNICEF as lead agency for health has been asked to draft a briefing on the health sector emergency strategy for the visit of Ross Mountain, the Office for Coordinator of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Deputy Humanitarian Co-ordinator, at the end of February.
UNICEF will support a training course with MSF-France on health interventions in emergencies. The MSF team is due to arrive in two weeks.
Existing textbooks designed by Relief International and accepted by the government of Iran are being reviewed by UNICEF.
A total of 15,000 sweaters, 15,000 boots and 5,000 jackets are pre-positioned in Kermanshah. Additional 10,000 boots have been ordered.
UNICEF warehouses are being expanded, including the one in Kermanshah. An additional warehouse in Ahwaz has been identified.
Co-ordination and Partnerships
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees Ruud Lubbers will visit Iran March 5-6.
Ross Mountain, OCHA Deputy Humanitarian Co-ordinator visited Syria on February 5 to discuss emergency preparedness issues with UN agencies and to meet the Deputy Prime Minister.
UNICEF is leading the health and nutrition team in the UN/International organizations (IO) refugee co-ordination group.
Water and Sanitation (WES)
A WES Officer has been deployed to assist water and sanitation preparations in al-Hol camp. A team of Oxfam and UNICEF staff will construct water and sanitation units in al-Hol camp. UNICEF is leading the water and sanitation team within the UN/IO refugee co-ordination group.
UNICEF will deliver 20 emergency health kits to be used by the Ministry of Health. The expected arrival date is March 1.
UNICEF chaired the first education and mine awareness meeting with Minstry of Education. The Turkish Red Crescent, International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC), UNDP and the Social Services and Child Protection Agency. All parties agreed on the importance of education in the mother tongue. A total of 50 winterised tents are ordered, expected to arrive February 24.