Humanitarian Action for Children 2016 - Malawi

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Total affected population: 2.8 million
Total affected children (under 18): 1.5 million
Total people to be reached in 2016: 882,000
Total children to be reached in 2016: 453,500

2016 programme targets

- 34,000 children under 5 years with severe acute malnutrition (SAM) enrolled in therapeutic feeding programmes
- 453,500 children aged 6 to 59 months provided with micronutrient supplementation

- 453,500 children aged 6 to 59 months immunized against measles
- 96,330 children provided with access to life-saving curative interventions

- 400,000 people benefitted from hygiene promotion campaigns
- 100,000 people provided with access to sanitation/temporary latrines
- 50,000 internally displaced persons and host community members provided with safe water as per agreed standards

Child protection
- 250 child protection cases recorded and referred to appropriate services
- 10,000 vulnerable women and children reached with protection messages to expand knowledge on protection services and service points

- 50,000 children received school supplies, psychosocial support, care and stand-by teaching from 200 volunteer teachers
- 5,000 girls and boys that are in and out of school accessed livelihood skills, literacy and social services

- 10,000 emergency-affected women retained on HIV treatment
- 100,000 emergency-affected adolescents provided with HIV-related information and access to services

Malawi is currently experiencing its worst food security crisis in over a decade. Some 2.8 million people, including 1.5 million children, are currently affected. This situation follows the late rains and prolonged dry spells that impacted crop production in 2014–2015, as well as the severe flooding that took place in early 2015 and left more than 230,000 people seeking refuge in displacement sites.2 The El Niño weather phenomenon is expected to contribute to erratic rainfall patterns in 2016, including with the likelihood of above normal rainfall. Given the devastating 2015 flood season, Malawi also remains extremely vulnerable to flooding. In some parts of the country, below normal rainfall amounts are expected at the end of the rainy season, which will further exacerbate levels of vulnerability. With more than 42.4 per cent of all children in Malawi already stunted,there are concerns of increased malnutrition rates and a higher likelihood of water-borne diseases, such as cholera, to which two thirds of Malawi’s districts are prone. These threats will negatively impact the health and survival of children, as exposure to violence, abuse and exploitation, including early marriage, may increase. Poor coping mechanisms in response to shocks also affect school attendance.

Humanitarian strategy

Together with partners, in 2016, UNICEF will focus on responding to populations at risk, addressing malnutrition and preventing disease outbreaks, including cholera.UNICEF will also continue to ensure that minimum preparedness measures and response capacities are in place to meet the immediate needs of affected populations, especially in areas impacted by floods and nutritional emergencies.Multi-sectoral interventions in health, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), nutrition, education and child protection will employ integrated approaches and will address cross-cutting themes, including HIV and AIDS and Communication for Development. To break the vicious cycle related to the impact of seasonal disasters, UNICEF will strengthen government capacity in disaster risk management at national and decentralized levels and will work with partners to develop a longer-term approach that builds the resilience of families and communities. UNICEF will ensure that agreements with existing partners operating in disaster-prone districts include an emergency response component to facilitate fast and effective response in times of emergency. UNICEF will also continue to play a key role in emergency coordination as the sector colead agency for the nutrition, education, WASH and child protection clusters, while also playing a major role in the health cluster and the gender-based violence area of responsibility.

Results from 2015

As of 31 October 2015, UNICEF had received 33 per cent (US$4.15 million) of the US$14,245,000 appeal, in addition to US$124,000 carried forward from 2014. With agreement from donors, US$3.59 million was reprogrammed to the response from regular and other resources, which contributed to the achievement of most of the planned results. UNICEF’s role in supporting the supervision of health workers, the provision of supplies and coordination contributed to achievement of above 75 per cent recovery rates for the 20,830 severely malnourished children enrolled in therapeutic feeding programmes. UNICEF surpassed its target for improved sanitation by 19 per cent and achieved 90 per cent of the safe water supply target through effective partnership coordination. UNICEF also enabled 72,750 children to access routine immunization and basic health care and 268,835 women (84 per cent of the target) to receive key health care and health promotion messages. UNICEF supported the Government to respond effectively to protection issues, enabling 9,860 men and 9,650 women to receive protection promotion messages, and 56,490 children to benefit from psychosocial support services. The continuation of teaching and learning was ensured for 193,920 children, surpassing the 2015 target by 85 per cent after additional funding for education was secured. Due to funding constraints, UNICEF was unable to reach its target for survival kits, leaving 5,780 families affected by floods without access to a number of essential household items. Due to inadequate funding, UNICEF’s planned support to the Government’s Social Cash Transfer Programme, which would have helped 350,000 most-vulnerable and labour-constrained families meet their daily basic needs, was not realized in 2015.