In 2013, UNICEF and partners plan for:
80 per cent
(around 400,000) of children identified with severe and moderate acute malnutrition) treated through the community-based management programme
children treated for severe malnutrition with adequate access to safe water during treatment
2013 requirements (US$)
The 2011–2012 agricultural season was marked by below-average rainfall patterns, as low as 60 per cent, resulting in a national cereal shortfall of more than 400,000 tons. The drought has affected over 2 million people in 10 coastal and central provinces, including an estimated 500,000 children under 5 affected by acute malnutrition. Twenty per cent of these children (100,000) are estimated to have severe malnutrition, with a 20 per cent mortality rate. The treatment of child malnutrition remains a challenge because the country’s primary health care system is not fully operational and does not have the capacity to treat acute malnutrition. In addition, the referral of malnourished children to the health services is often delayed, as they are initially treated by traditional ‘healers’, whose methods at times can be ineffective and even harmful, delaying the children’s access to professional and safe treatment. Access to safe water is also in short supply, with people in many communities accessing as little as 5 litres of water per day and recent assessments indicating that 90 per cent of water is contaminated with faecal matter. Children are greatly affected by poor access to water; not only are they at high risk of being infected with waterborne diseases, but they are often used as labour for water collection, agriculture and informal street trading. Children are also left unattended and neglected during the day while their caregivers travel long distances to fetch water, seek food, to trade or work. Various forms of violence against children, both psychological and physical, are increasing in the household and harming children’s psychosocial well-being.
In response to the emergency situation, the Government of Angola took the lead and developed a national work plan that was approved in June 2012. UN agencies and NGOs have been closely monitoring the drought situation since March and have been proactively engaging with government partners to support the response, particularly with regard to addressing the impact on children, women and other vulnerable groups. The drought-induced crisis is expected to grow worse, as the next main harvest is not expected until early 2013
Planned results for 2013
2013 programme targets
Health and Nutrition
- Over 80 per cent (around 3 million) of children under 5 screened for acute malnutrition in affected provinces
- 80 per cent (around 400,000) of children identified with severe and moderate acute malnutrition) treated through the community-based management programme
- At least 80 per cent (around 3 million) children under 5 screened for acute malnutrition receive deworming tablets and Vitamin A supplements
- All children treated for severe malnutrition (approximately 100,000 children) at in-patient and outpatient therapeutic programs have adequate access to safe water during treatment
- A plan is in place for preventing and responding to major child protection risks, building on existing systems and with special focus on strengthening community-based mechanisms.
Communication for Development (C4D)
- 80 per cent of the families with children under 5 in affected provinces are reached with key lifesaving practices, including infant and young children feeding, hand washing and hygiene.
In 2013, UNICEF will support the Government of Angola’s response to the humanitarian needs of more than half a million children affected by the drought.
Since all cases of acute malnutrition will be managed both at facility and outpatient level, UNICEF interventions will focus mainly on providing support to the Ministry of Health to scale-up community-based management of the acute malnutrition (CMAM) programme, in partnership with a consortium of NGOs led by World Vision. To this end, UNICEF will develop and implement a comprehensive strategy for advocacy, communication, and social mobilization that will support capacity-building of community health workers and NGOs. UNICEF will also ensure timely procurement and distribution of therapeutic products and supplementary food for community-based management of acute malnutrition. In addition, UNICEF will provide support to strengthen and intensify child immunization and care for pregnant women, including the prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) services. Children being treated for malnutrition will also be tested for HIV and receive referral for adequate treatment, care and support in case of positive testing.
Moreover, in order to address water-borne diseases and displacement of people due to lack of proper water and sanitation facilities, UNICEF will integrate the water and sanitation components into the emergency response.
In child protection, as part of the community-based management of acute malnutrition (CMAM) intervention, UNICEF will provide technical support to the Government’s design of intervention strategies, including encouraging community-based response strategies.
UNICEF will continue to coordinate with government partners, WHO, and FAO, as well as with the UN technical group and NGOs on a continuous basis to discuss progress reports and future plans. Coordination meetings will be held monthly, to avoid duplication, following the sub-national plans for each of the targeted provinces.
At the national level, UNICEF will hire an international consultant for regular contact and coordination with the Ministry of Health (MoH), and with the nutrition section in particular. At provincial level, UNICEF will hire national consultants to be based in each of the four affected provinces; these consultants will provide significant support to institutional capacity-building of the provincial departments of health, and will coordinate activities with the provincial and municipal counterparts.
Results from 2012
With contributions of US$3,452,207 received as of 31 October from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), UNICEF and partners’ 2012 humanitarian response focused on delivering supplies while building capacity at the local level. Communities, including church members, traditional leaders and other community-based organizations, were trained to help mothers to adhere to the community-based approach treatment protocol and adopt life-saving feeding practices.
In support of community-based nutrition management, UNICEF collaborated with the Ministry of Health to plan and prepare for a massive acute malnutrition screening of children in the 10 most affected provinces in December 2012. Children screened through the nutrition programme were also provided with Vitamin A and deworming tablets. Of the total 3 million children under 5 in the most affected provinces, an estimated 500,000 are affected by acute malnutrition. UNICEF also supported the Government in developing community-based management of acute malnutrition protocols, guidelines and tools. All UNICEF emergency nutritional supplies received were sent to the provinces based on the existing distribution plans and needs. A comprehensive social mobilization and communication strategy has been finalized, and a first draft of key messages (on nutrition treatment, WASH, and child protection) and training materials have been tested. Psychosocial components were strengthened in the manual for community-based and hospital-based care of malnutrition.
In mid-August, UNICEF supported a child protection rapid assessment in one of the most affected provinces, aimed at monitoring the impact of food insecurity on children’s rights. This exercise contributed to building capacity among governmental partners at the national and local level, especially on vulnerability assessment, and facilitated child protection mainstreaming in the Government emergency response. Finally, UNICEF supported the training of provincial WASH technicians in three of the most affected provinces and carried out a rapid assessment of water availability in the three provinces.
Implementation has been challenged by insufficient national commitment, leadership and ownership, supply stocks and inadequate distribution, as well as by weak capacity for scaling up and the lack of adequate monitoring and evaluation systems. Low levels of funding have also curtailed UNICEF’s capacity in supporting the Government-led response and in providing comprehensive treatment to malnourished children and supporting their caregivers.
UNICEF funding requirements for 2013
UNICEF is requesting US$5,300,000 to meet the humanitarian needs of children in Angola in 2013. This amount does not include the funds required for operational expenses of government services that would be financed directly by the Government of Angola. Without additional funding, UNICEF will be unable to support the national response to the country’s continuing nutrition crisis.