The vulnerability assessment has been completed with the analysis of results being finalized for dissemination. The assessment will provide an up to date and accurate picture of the impact of the drought, and predictions for the coming months. Preliminary results suggest that the number of food insecure people requiring emergency assistance will have increased to 350,000.
UNICEF Swaziland hosted UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador David Beckham who met with children affected by the drought. During his visit Beckham heard and saw how the worst drought in decades - now taking hold of vast swathes of Eastern and Southern Africa - is threatening to wreak havoc on the lives of children and families already made vulnerable by HIV. His mission contributed towards raising the profile of the impact of drought on children in Eastern and Southern Africa, (Swaziland included) and supporting fundraising initiatives.
The Ministry of Health (MoH) launched a measles and rubella immunization campaign, supported by UNICEF and WHO, to provide vaccination to all eligible children. The campaign is expected to be completed by August.
UNICEF has trained staff at 25 of the 31 Integrated Management of Acute Malnutrition (IMAM) sites in the country for the collection of real time information on supplies and children’s cases.
SITUATION IN NUMBERS
Date: June 2016 (The numbers below are estimates and represent people affected by end of March 2016)
300,320 people affected by drought
189,000 children affected by drought
165,000 children affected by drought in the two most affected regions of Lubombo and Shiselweni
200,897 people food insecure
90,404 children food insecure
8,460 children 6-59 months affected by severe and moderate acute malnutrition (1,410 SAM; 7,050 MAM)
Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs
An El Niño-induced drought has seriously affected food and nutrition security and water availability across Swaziland. A national emergency was declared by the Government of Swaziland in February 2016. The number of people in need has been particularly hard to establish given that the humanitarian needs arising as a direct consequence of the drought exacerbate existing high levels of poverty and inadequate nutrition. A quantitative picture of the impact of the drought is expected on completion of a Vulnerability Assessment report that will be released in July. The report will provide updated figures of the number of people in need for both food security and livelihoods and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). Several sectors are in the process of reviewing their implementation plans to ensure they are updated as the crisis develops. The risk of La Niña impacts must now be considered, as the possibility of flooding and storms following the severe El Niño event could further devastate a population with limited resilience due to the drought.