Humanitarian Action for Children 2019 - Eastern and Southern Africa
Eastern and Southern Africa
The Eastern and Southern Africa region is affected by recurrent disasters that are undermining the hard-fought development gains of recent years and resulting in major social and economic setbacks. More than 30 million people, including 17 million children (45 per cent) are in need of humanitarian assistance due to climate-related shocks, health emergencies and displacement. Droughts, floods and cyclones have left more than 27 million people food insecure. The El Niño-related drought developing in southern Africa is affecting more than 8 million people in the six most-affected countries,3 and flooding will likely increase the burdens on vulnerable drought-affected communities. In addition, populations in Comoros, Madagascar and Mozambique remain at risk due to seasonal cyclones and tropical storms. The public health risk in the region is also growing, with 10 out of the 21 countries reporting some 35,000 cases of cholera and acute watery diarrhoea and 420 deaths — a 1.2 per cent case fatality rate — since the beginning of 2018. The Ebola Virus Disease outbreak in the North Kivu and Ituri provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo continues to threaten neighbouring countries. Other health risks include outbreaks of yellow fever in Ethiopia, plague in Madagascar and typhoid fever in Zimbabwe. The situation in South Sudan remains catastrophic for children, with more than 2.1 million people seeking refuge in neighbouring countries, including 1.3 million children on the move.6 The political instability in Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo has led to growing humanitarian needs for children and their families, who have been forced to flee into neighbouring countries.
Regional humanitarian strategy
Humanitarian funds channelled through the Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office are strategically allocated to facilitate response to children’s most pressing needs, across the region. These funds also enable countries to enhance their preparedness and response to emergencies, particularly those emergencies that require a multi-country, integrated and immediate response, and those countries that are likely to require new humanitarian programming in 2019 but without dedicated appeals in Humanitarian Action for Children 2019. This regional appeal focuses on four components. The first is to support multi-country actions for children and women who are displaced and have crossed borders as refugees or migrants by providing technical assistance to governments and other service providers on child protection case management, family tracing and reunification and alternative care for unaccompanied and separated children, as well as basic services for health, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), nutrition and education. This also includes facilitating the generation and dissemination of child-focused knowledge products, tools and guidance for effective programme monitoring and advocacy. The second is to support climate-induced disaster response, including to drought- and flood-affected countries, through the delivery of life-saving interventions for children, in partnership with national and international actors. This component will use a multi-sectoral and integrated approach in key sectors, including WASH, nutrition, education and health, and support sector coordination. The third is to support preparedness and response to health emergencies by providing clean water supply, household sanitation and hygiene and WASH in schools and health facilities, and contribute to strengthening national systems to respond to Ebola, should the outbreak spread from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The fourth is to provide regional technical assistance, quality assurance and oversight to support countries to achieve humanitarian results in nutrition, health, WASH, child protection, education, HIV and AIDS, social protection and communication for development. The Regional Office will also facilitate country collaboration across borders to ensure that assistance is provided to populations in vulnerable border regions and harmonized across country offices. UNICEF will also support capacity building for effective preparedness for, response to and recovery from humanitarian situations, and emergency preparedness and response training, including on humanitarian performance monitoring and sector-specific humanitarian action. The Regional Office will also support country offices to maintain preparedness by meeting the minimum preparedness standards set out in the Emergency Preparedness Platform.