Humanitarian Action for Children 2020 - Eastern and Southern Africa

from UN Children's Fund
Published on 03 Dec 2019 View Original

Protracted and new disasters have impacted a staggering number of people in Eastern and Southern Africa, and in 2020, will require substantial effort in terms of emergency preparedness and response strategies, mechanisms, tools and partnerships. More than 35 million people in the region, including nearly 18 million children, are in need of humanitarian assistance due to climate-related shocks, health emergencies, conflict, poverty and displacement. Since the beginning of the southern African monsoon season in 2019, rainfall deficits have led to lower seasonal production, food deficits, price increases, growing food insecurity and a rising number of severe malnutrition cases in many countries in the region. Areas of concern include eastern Eswatini, southern Lesotho, Grand Sud of Madagascar, southern Malawi, northern Mozambique, western Zambia and most of Zimbabwe. Some 2 million people affected by climate shocks in six countries are included in the scope of this regional appeal. In addition, populations in Comoros, Madagascar, Malawi 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 21 countries reporting cases of cholera and acute watery diarrhoea. The Ebola outbreak in the Kivu and Ituri provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo continues to threaten neighbouring countries. Other health risks include outbreaks of measles in Angola, Burundi, Comoros, Madagascar and Rwanda; dengue fever in the United Republic of Tanzania; and typhoid fever in Zimbabwe. Rwanda and the United Republic of Tanzania are also hosting and responding to the needs of more than 400,000 refugees from Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, including 230,000 children on the move.

Regional humanitarian strategy

Humanitarian funds channelled through the UNICEF Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office are strategically allocated to country offices to facilitate the organization's response to the most pressing needs of children across the region. These funds enable countries to enhance their preparedness and response to emergencies, particularly emergencies that require a multi-country, integrated and immediate response, but that are not large enough in scale to warrant a standalone country appeal. This appeal focuses on four components in line with the Core Commitments for Children in Humanitarian Action. 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 partners on child protection case management, family tracing and reunification, alternative care for unaccompanied and separated children, and basic services for health, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), nutrition and education. The second is to support climate-induced disaster response, including to drought, cyclones and flooding, through the delivery of life-saving interventions for children, in partnership with national and international actors. 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; while strengthening national health systems to prepare for and respond to epidemics, including 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. UNICEF will also support capacity building for effective preparedness and response to and recovery from humanitarian situations, including on humanitarian performance monitoring, information management preparedness and sector integrated humanitarian response; and focus on national systems strengthening and resilience building.

Results from 2019

As of 31 August 2019, UNICEF had US$15.78 million available against the US$33 million appeal (48 per cent funded). In 2019, UNICEF provided multi-sectoral technical assistance to all medium- and high-risk countries in the region, including to support capacity development and systems strengthening for health emergency response; ongoing drought and flood responses in the Horn of Africa and southern Africa; preparedness for Ebola in the Great Lakes; protection of children on the move in the Great Lakes, the Horn of Africa and southern Africa; and protection of children in conflict settings in the Great Lakes and the Horn of Africa. UNICEF continues to play a key role in the United Nations-wide Ebola prevention and preparedness response, having reached more than 170,000 people with key Ebola messages and prevention supplies in countries without standalone Humanitarian Action for Children appeals. More than 25,000 children have been vaccinated against measles and approximately 60,000 refugees and host community members accessed safe water for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene. UNICEF and partners ensured quality and equity-based education for more than 112,000 refugee children in Rwanda, the United Republic of Tanzania and Zambia. Community surveillance and referral systems were strengthened through active case management of acute malnutrition throughout the region. More than 600 children were admitted for treatment of severe acute malnutrition in Eswatini, the United Republic of Tanzania and Zambia, including 376 refugee children in the United Republic of Tanzania. Strengthened partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) resulted in significant progress in the refugee response. The development of regional humanitarian performance dashboards for five key sectors facilitated analysis of humanitarian performance for countries in the region, which helped improve accountability and determine course corrections. Emergency preparedness capacities were significantly strengthened through updates to UNICEF's online Emergency Preparedness Platform.