As of September, UNICEF and partners reached 64,178 people with safe water on a daily basis in Lubombo and Shiselweni, representing 99 per cent of UNICEF’s 2017 Emergency Response Plan Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) target.
The UNICEF Child Protection response remains critically underfunded with only eight per cent of humanitarian funding needs met, drastically reducing UNICEF’s ability to meet the needs of 10,000 emergency-affected children with essential psychosocial support and negatively impacting their full recovery.
The study by the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) on the socio-economic impacts of the 2015/16 El Niño-induced drought in Swaziland indicates the total lost revenue due to the drought in 2016 as US$296 million (E3.8 billion).
The Ministry of Health activated the Epidemic Task Force to increase monitoring following the suspected five cases of H1N1 and suspected four cases of cholera.
USAID-OFDA has generously contributed US$579,312 to the overall emergency response in support of critical Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), nutrition and health interventions.
SITUATION IN NUMBERS
350,000 Total affected population
308,059 Food Insecure People
189,000 Children affected by drought
165,ooo Children in need in the two most affected regions of Lubombo and Shiselweni
8,460 Children 6-59 months affected by severe and moderate acute malnutrition (1,410 SAM; 7,050 MAM) (Source: Swaziland Vulnerability Assessment Committee 2016 Preliminary Findings, June 2016)
UNICEF Appeal 2017 US$ 3.25 million
Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs
Currently 350,000 people are affected by the prolonged drought, including 189,000 children, 165,000 of whom are located in Shiselweni and Lubombo regions. In addition, 308,059 people remain food insecure, while 1,410 children are affected by severe acute malnutrition (SAM) and 7,050 by moderate acute malnutrition (MAM). The ongoing drought is further exacerbating levels of vulnerability among the population which are compounded by chronic food insecurity, malnutrition, high rates of HIV/AIDS (26 per cent prevalence), poverty and protection concerns, including gender based violence. Close to six per cent of children under 5 years are underweight, while two per cent are wasted. More than a quarter of the children are stunted.
The Southern Africa Regional Climate Outlook Forum (SARCOF-21) released the rainfall forecast for the season 2017/2018, indicating Swaziland is likely to receive normal to below-normal rainfall for most of the period of October to December 2017, and normal to above-normal rainfall for the January to March 2018. Swaziland Meteorological Services forecast mirrors that of SARCOF-21. While the 2018 forecast is positive, the current prolonged drought conditions continue to be felt in Shiselweni and Lubombo regions affecting food and water security for a significant part of the population. The preliminary results from the 2017 Vulnerability Assessment indicate that over 25 per cent of the population in Shiselweni and Lubombo regions are food insecure, and over 53 per cent and 55 per cent of the population in Shiselweni and Lubombo regions access water from unprotected sources. The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has received an increase in requests for support for provision of water, including from smaller urban centres.
In July 2017, the NDMA released a study on the socio-economic impacts of the 2015/16 El Niño-induced drought in Swaziland indicating that the drought cost the country E3.843 billion (US$ 296 million), representing 7 per cent of Swaziland’s Gross Domestic Product in 2016, equivalent to 18.58 per cent of government expenditure in 2016. The study recommended that the government revise and integrate disaster mitigation into all policies to promote coordinated planning among all stakeholders, and to create a proactive disaster mitigation and response environment in the country.