Map of Eastern and Southern Africa Region
UNICEF photo:  Mustafa Abdullah, 2, stands next to his mother, Amal Muhammad, while she prepares a meal in a kitchen located just outside Bunj Hospital’s in-patient stabilization centre for children suffering from severe acute malnutrition. © UNICEF/NYHQ2012-1403/Sokol Mustafa Abdullah, 2, stands next to his mother, Amal Muhammad, while she prepares a meal in a kitchen located just outside Bunj Hospital’s in-patient stabilization centre for children suffering from severe acute malnutrition.

Eastern and Southern Africa

Updated January 2014

Country Office 2014 Requirements: US$26,979,500

x Donate Now
Please confirm your country and we will take you to the right donation page:

Regional Office 2014 Requirements: US$2,735,000

Of the 21 countries in Eastern and Southern Africa, 18 are at high or medium risk of humanitarian crises, including disasters related to food and nutrition insecurity, climate variability, political instability, disease, conflict and displacement.1 While parts of Kenya and Ethiopia have made significant progress towards recovery, humanitarian needs throughout the region remain linked to food and nutrition insecurity and refugee populations. During the first half of 2014, Somalia and South Sudan will continue to experience complex and large-scale humanitarian needs linked to conflict, displacement and food and nutrition insecurity. In the Great Lakes region, ongoing concerns requiring immediate support include conflicts leading to recurrent cross-border population displacement (impacting Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda), heightened protection challenges related to unaccompanied children and gender-based violence, newly displaced people and long-term refugee caseloads. Countries in southern Africa, including Angola, Namibia, Swaziland and Lesotho, will continue to grapple with drought and food insecurity in contexts characterized by high HIV prevalence, which negatively impacts children’s survival, development and educational opportunities. Climate variability, which has led to high likelihoods of flooding and cyclones, is also an ongoing concern in the region and can put millions of children at risk of displacement and disease. UNICEF will aim to strengthen context-specific strategies for preparedness and response by working to build the capacity of governments and national partners to prepare for and respond to the unique humanitarian needs of women and children, while developing long-term strategies to build the resilience of highly vulnerable communities exposed to recurrent shocks. Millions of children are in need of humanitarian assistance in Eastern and Southern Africa, a region with limited resources and capacity to respond to these challenges.

  • Regional Office (RO) - Planned results for 2014

    Results from 2013

    UNICEF appealed for US$25,856,339 for 2013, and as of 31 October 2013, a total of US$9,983,104, or 39 per cent of requirements, had been received in contributions.2 In 2013, ESARO prioritized assistance to high-risk countries for preparedness, response and disaster risk reduction, including strategic planning, inter-agency simulations, coordination training and technical consultations in Comoros, Ethiopia, Malawi, Lesotho, Somalia, Zambia, South Sudan, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Madagascar, Angola, and Namibia. Work with inter-governmental bodies resulted in the adoption of new policy frameworks, including the African Union’s new standard operating procedures for treating children in conflict operations. In addition, ESARO supported the development of strong links between family tracing and interim care across national and regional boundaries in the Great Lakes region, as well as between Yemen and Ethiopia, by working with partners, including IOM, to develop standards of appropriate care for children in mixed migration flows. In education, national policy frameworks were strengthened through strategic engagement with 14 country teams (composed of ministries of education, national disaster management bodies, UNICEF and civil society), which aimed to identify substantial ways of integrating disaster risk management and conflict-sensitive approaches into national education policies. Specific work was also undertaken with the World Health Organization (WHO), Oxfam and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) to develop the Joint Cholera Initiative for Southern Africa. Enhanced strategic engagement between UNICEF and UNHCR at country and regional levels resulted in improved service delivery for women and children in refugee camps in the region. Significant technical support was provided to develop resilience frameworks for Somalia and the Karamoja sub-region in Uganda, and a resilience partnership framework for South Sudan is under discussion. UNICEF, WFP and FAO organized a regional workshop on resilience focused on knowledge sharing and strengthening collaboration.

    The Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office (ESARO) will work with country offices and partners to develop appropriate risk reduction and humanitarian preparedness and response strategies to address the diverse country situations and risk profiles in the region. Working with humanitarian partners, UNICEF will support country offices to enhance the capacity of governments to prepare for and respond to the needs of women and children through the development of appropriate policies and strategies, capacity building, simulation and testing. ESARO will also support countries to define and implement resilience strategies for vulnerable populations exposed to recurrent shocks. The Minimum Standards for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action will continue to be rolled out throughout the region. Given the increasingly complex and dynamic flows of cross-border populations and mixed migrations, ESARO will also continue to prioritize the development and implementation of appropriate cross-border and regional partnerships and strategies with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), specifically for the Great Lakes, the Horn of Africa and southern African regions. Resource mobilization efforts will continue for the Joint Cholera Initiative for Southern Africa. ESARO will also continue to support country and regional multi-stakeholder initiatives aimed at strengthening resilience programming, including by developing joint frameworks and carrying out resilience analysis and measurement to inform policy and programme development. In addition, ESARO, the Food and Agriculture Administration (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) have agreed to form a joint resilience analysis unit to strengthen the capacity of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).

  • Burundi - Planned results for 2014

    Results from 2013

    UNICEF appealed for US$1,500,000 for 2013, and as of 31 October 2013, a total of US$1,721,813, or 117 per cent of requirements, had been received in contributions. Funding from the Central Emergency Response Fund enabled the response to the return of 30,000 Burundians from Tanzania, over half of them children. UNICEF delivered WASH services to approximately 17,500 people, and provided tents, classroom equipment, and learning materials to more than 30,800 school-aged children, including 7,374 returnee children that were fully integrated into the national education system. Approximately 8,242 children under 5 suffering from SAM, more than half of them girls, were treated in community-based nutrition programmes. UNICEF also provided the three transit centres, Makamba, Rutana, Muyinga, with non-food items for more than 500 people and 10,000 litre bladders and appropriate latrine systems.

    In 2014, the humanitarian situation in Burundi will continue to be shaped by population displacement, cholera and measles outbreaks, food and nutrition insecurity and political uncertainty linked to the 2015 elections. An estimated 70,000 people, both refugees and irregular migrants, will need protection and material assistance, and 78,900 internally displaced persons will need more sustainable solutions.3 Approximately 22,000 returnees under 18 will require protection and access to basic social services for both transit and reintegration phases, including education, health, nutrition and potable water and sanitation facilities. The majority of returnees have been reabsorbed into their areas of origin but have had to cope with the destruction caused by the civil strife in Burundi. The five provinces with the largest number of returnees are Makamba, Rutana, Ruyigi, Muinga and Ciankuso. The election period will be a critical moment for Burundi. Significant youth unemployment and unresolved issues over land and property access could trigger tensions and the need for humanitarian assistance. UNICEF will also support ongoing prevention, preparedness and response efforts for the recurrent cholera outbreaks. 2014 programme targets are:

    • 35,000 children with severe acute malnutrition (SAM) provided with support, including therapeutic food, equipment and drugs, and coordination of programmes, including links between HIV and AIDS and integrated management of childhood illness
    • 14,000 schoolchildren continue their learning through the provision of 31 school classrooms, 14,000 school kits and 50 recreational kits, with access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) promotion in all temporary accommodations and resettlement areas, including primary schools
  • Madagascar - Planned results for 2014

    Results from 2013

    Although UNICEF appealed for US$14,980,000 for 2013, no humanitarian funding was received as of the end of October 2013. As a result, in 2013, UNICEF used resources from its regular programme to support the response following Cyclone Haruna in February. This support enabled over 22,000 schoolchildren (of the 35,000 planned) to continue their learning through school-in-a-box and recreation kits. UNICEF also provided temporary classrooms to 50 cyclone-affected schools, and provided access to safe drinking water for 16,750 people (of the 14,650 targeted).

    In 2014, UNICEF will provide an immediate and integrated response to the humanitarian needs of some 25,000 people likely to be affected by cyclones, flooding or food insecurity.4 The organization will continue to support government efforts to expand essential services for affected populations through community-based interventions, including nutrition and health centres, child-protection networks, education centres and the provision of safe water and sanitation. UNICEF will also pursue opportunities to rapidly transfer resources to affected areas through standing partnership agreements with proven responders from non-governmental organizations, short message service technology and the provision of cash transfers in emergencies. 2014 programme targets are: 

    • 5,000 children under 5 who suffer from SAM have access to treatment and 100,000 children are screened
    • 25,000 internally displaced persons and host community members (including approximately 16,250 children) have safe water to drink
    • 25,000 school-aged children, including adolescents, have access to quality education (aided by temporary structures)
  • Malawi - Planned results for 2014

    Results from 2013

    UNICEF appealed for US$10,196,189 for 2013, and as of 31 October 2013, a total of US$4,250,508, or 42 per cent of requirements, had been received in contributions. In response to floods, UNICEF provided learning materials to restore quality learning for 15,200 children in flood-affected areas in Phalombe, Mangochi, Chikwawa and Karonga districts. The WASH response included the provision of water treatment supplies to 80,875 flood-affected people to cover a period of four months, and hygiene promotion campaigns and health education sessions to approximately 30,000 people. Over 15,000 children under 5 with SAM were admitted for treatment and benefitted from therapeutic supplies provided to community-based programmes and capacity building of health workers, local leaders and volunteers. In addition, 18,647 children with moderate acute malnutrition were discharged or cured. UNICEF also supported the 16 affected districts by providing psychosocial services to more than 7,000 children through community child care centres, including capacity development for psychosocial care providers, early childhood caregivers, community policing volunteers and human rights monitors. In addition, UNICEF supported the protection of women and children against violence through victim support units, which resulted in 30,000 cases reported.

    As November 2013, 1,855,183 people are food insecure as a result of of localised crop failures and a general increase in the cost of living.5 Although acute malnutrition rates remained below five per cent in the 16 food insecure districts assessed, the nutrition security of children is likely to deteriorate during the lean season without intensified efforts to prevent, treat and manage malnutrition. UNICEF will therefore continue to monitor the situation. Cholera also remains a major threat in Malawi, with recurrent outbreaks during the November to April rainy season exacerbated by flooding, food shortages and malnutrition. Typhoid fever outbreaks are also increasing. The Government’s capacity to respond may be constrained in the short and medium terms, following donor withdrawal of budget support in October 2013 due to fiduciary risks. 2014 programme targets are:

    • 18,557 children aged 6 to 59 months with SAM and 22,372 children aged 6 to 59 months with MAM treated
    • 419,000 flood-affected people access safe water through household water treatment or rehabilitation and repair of water points
    • 400,000 affected people reached with messages on hygiene practices, especially hand washing with soap, use of latrines and use of safe drinking water through various channels
    • 400,000 children affected by emergencies provided with psychosocial support through community-based child care centres and children’s corners
    • 12,000 flood-affected schoolchildren benefit from school supplies (school-in-a-box and recreation kits)
  • Namibia - Planned results for 2014

    Results from 2013

    UNICEF appealed for US$7,400,000 for 2013, and as of 31 October 2013, a total of US$325,117, or 4 per cent of requirements, had been received in contributions. UNICEF continued to provide technical and financial support to the Namibian Red Cross, Directorate of Water Supply and Sanitation Coordination, Ministry of Health and Social Services and Directorate of Disaster Risk Management. UNICEF-supported results included 775 children under 5 screened for acute malnutrition, with 50 cases detected, including eight severe cases referred for inpatient treatment. UNICEF also trained 320 Red Cross volunteers on household screenings for acute malnutrition, counselling on infant and young child feeding, and hygiene practices. In addition, 920 people were reached with hygiene promotion messages and 2,000 people received access to safe water through the provision of 8,092 water purification tablets. Access to safe water in schools was improved through the distribution of nine water tanks.

    More than 778,000 people (including 109,000 children under 5) were directly affected by the drought emergency declared in May 2013, which is expected to last until at least March 2014, when the first harvest will take place pending good rains between December and February. UNICEF will scale up and accelerate several initiatives, including community-based management of acute malnutrition and community-led total sanitation. In response to Namibia’s ongoing rain shortfalls, UNICEF will work through line ministries, non-governmental organizations and communities to build resilience with a sustainable approach. UNICEF will expand support for access to clean water, hygiene practices, and community identification and treatment of acute malnutrition in up to eight regions in the north. 2014 programme targets are:

    • 80,000 children aged 6 to 59 months in rural areas, and 15,000 pregnant and lactating women benefit from community-based management of acute malnutrition and nutrition screening and treatment
    • 109,000 children provided with multi-micronutrient supplementation
    • 350,000 people in six target regions benefit from community-led total sanitation, household water treatment and storage and hygiene education
  • Lesotho - Planned results for 2014

    Results from 2013

    UNICEF appealed for US$7,563,949 for 2013, and as of 31 October 2013, a total of US$855,074, or 11 per cent of requirements, had been received in contributions. The main lesson from the 2012/2013 emergency response is the potential roles that can be played by the National Information System for Social Assistance and the Child Grant Programme, to address the needs-based and pro-poor targeting of vulnerable households, and cost-efficient management for a quick response. In addition, using this national system is key to facilitating the enrolment of beneficiaries into the national social protection system. In 2013, 6,150 households were provided with emergency cash transfers supported by UNICEF and 5,000 of those households registered for the regular Child Grants Programme. UNICEF also contributed to the expansion of the National Information System for Social Assistance with the registration of approximately 16,000 additional households. In addition, during 2012/2013, 35,555 women were reached with iron/folate and vitamin A supplements and 791 severely malnourished children were provided with therapeutic nutritional support. Finally, 2,059 moderately malnourished children received take-home supplementary feeding rations.

    The late rainfall in 2013 has generated concerns about the humanitarian situation in Lesotho. In line with the Government of Lesotho’s priorities and based on lessons learned from the 2012/2013 response, UNICEF will build the resilience of vulnerable households in the 10 districts most affected by the food and malnutrition crisis through social protection, nutrition and WASH interventions. UNICEF will also maximize synergies with other partners, focus on the most vulnerable areas, and build and align its work with national capacities. This includes training 250 village health workers and nutrition extension workers and 300 village assistant committees on promoting behavioural change. 2014 programme targets are:

    • At least 20,000 ultra-poor and very poor households with at least one child receive a monthly cash transfer of LSL 250 (approximately US$25) from October 2013 to March 2014 in the targeted areas
    • At least 1,500 severely malnourished children aged 0 to 5 years are treated and cared for in the targeted areas
    • At least 6,000 children aged 0 to 5 years receive multi-micronutrient supplementation in targeted areas
  • Rwanda - Planned results for 2014

    Results from 2013

    UNICEF appealed for US$4,500,000 for 2013, and as of 31 October 2013, a total of US$2,884,093, or 64 per cent of requirements, had been received in contributions. UNICEF’s response focused on the approximately 60,000 children and mothers among the 75,000 refugees largely from the DRC that were facing challenges related to early childhood development, child protection, education and WASH. The overcrowded transit centre in Nkamira and the slow procedures for resettling refugees in safer camps created particularly challenging conditions. UNICEF-supported teacher trainings benefitted approximately 7,000 children through improved teaching skills.

    UNICEF will continue to focus on preparedness and response for refugees arriving in Rwanda from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to improve and maintain the quality of services in existing camps and support a similar level of quality in the newly opened camp (Mugombwa), while establishing preparedness and contingency planning for future crises, including future population movements from DRC. Early childhood development (ECD) programmes will provide safe recreational and learning spaces with school preparedness, while child protection efforts will focus on unaccompanied children and children with special vulnerabilities. The education response will focus on primary education for refugees and host communities. 2014 programme targets are:

    • 7,000 refugee children enrolled in ECD services
    • 1,000 refugee children receive special protection measures
    • 6,000 additional refugee pupils receive essential teaching and training material
    • 11,000 refugee students will benefit from improved teaching skills through teacher trainings
    • 6,000 refugee families will benefit from WASH through maintenance and newly established systems
    • 20,000 newly arrived refugees (16,000 mothers and children) will receive adequate ECD, protection, education and WASH services through contingency planning
  • Swaziland - Planned results for 2014

    Results from 2013

    Although UNICEF appealed for US$500,000 for 2013, no humanitarian funding was received as of end of October 2013. As a result, UNICEF used resources from its regular programme to support the rehabilitation of affected schools and disaster risk reduction sessions for children and teachers in response to severe weather and food insecurity. UNICEF worked with the Swaziland Red Cross Society to establish a rapid short message service to improve information systems for emergency response and link with the Ministry of Health’s information system. In addition, UNICEF and UNHCR supported the rehabilitation of the water and sanitation system, as well as the ECD centre at the Swaziland refugee camp, which shelters refugees from the sub region. With the support of United Nations agencies, Swaziland carried out a comprehensive country assessment on disaster risk reduction and emergency preparedness and response in 2013, which will inform the design of a national framework and action plan for capacity development. UNICEF also supported the Ministry of Education and Training to develop an education in emergencies and response plan.

    Swaziland is susceptible to natural and man-made hazards such as droughts, dry spells, heavy rains, flash floods, cyclones, storms (wind and hail), wildfires, extreme temperatures, epidemics and other hazards and disasters induced by climate change, which have become more frequent and intense and are posing serious threats to livelihoods, environmental resources, agriculture production and food security. 2014 support will include strengthening the capacity of the education and child protection sectors, including finalizing the draft disaster risk reduction plan for education and pre-positioning supplies. UNICEF will also support nutrition screenings in selected communities and capacity development for nutrition partners, while providing hygiene promotion and pre-positioning in cholera-prone areas.



  • Zimbabwe - Planned results for 2014

    Results from 2013

    UNICEF appealed for US$4,590,000 for 2013, and as of the end of October 2013, a total of US$688,705, or 15 per cent of requirements, had been received in contributions. UNICEF and partner response focused on delivering programmes while building disaster reduction capacity at the local level as part of a transition process into recovery and development. With support from the Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Department of the European Commission (ECHO), the UNICEF-led WASH cluster maintained a minimum and coordinated response through its partnership with the Environmental Health Alliance. WASH cluster partners, including UNICEF, responded to emergencies such as typhoid, diarrheal disease, suspected cholera outbreaks and flooding, to reach more than 187,345 people (including 97,419 women and girls). UNICEF enabled three quarters of health facilities to provide treatment for acute malnutrition, with a remaining need to strengthen quality and integrate the programme into the service delivery and health information system. Humanitarian needs for child protection were largely unfunded but addressed through development and recovery programming. Qualitative assessments indicate improvements in the health, food, poverty and protection status of children living in households that received cash transfers to prevent unsafe coping strategies, including child labour and irregular migration.

    In 2014, UNICEF will support the Government of Zimbabwe’s preparedness and response to the humanitarian needs of more than 2.3 million children and women affected by drought, storms and flooding, water-borne disease and mass population movements. The therapeutic treatment needs of malnourished children and adults (including needs related to HIV and AIDS) will be addressed, including in high-risk districts affected by food insecurity. Working with partners, UNICEF will pre-position emergency supply stocks for up to 250,000 men, women and children and maintain the rapid response capacity required to contain the outbreak of water- and hygiene-related diseases. With the closure of the WASH cluster in 2013, UNICEF will support transitional sector coordination arrangements. UNICEF will also provide complementary support through ongoing programmes for decentralized prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, and HIV care, prevention and treatment, through the Ministry of Health and Child Care. UNICEF will continue to partner with the Government, civil society and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to address the immediate protection needs of children at risk of family separation, abuse and exploitation. Interventions will follow minimum global child protection in emergencies standards, including for family tracing and reunification, psychosocial support and child-friendly services for survivors of abuse. The Child Protection Network of Government, civil society and United Nations partners will remain active in monitoring, reporting and responding to child protection violations. 2014 programme targets are:

    • 250,000 women, men and children at risk of water-borne diseases provided with emergency WASH promotion
    • 10,000 vulnerable families, including those living in disaster-prone areas at risk or exposed to violence, exploitation and abuse benefiting from social cash transfers
    • 50,000 mother and infant pairs receiving appropriate infant and young child feeding in high-risk districts

Funding requirements

UNICEF is requesting US$29,714,500 to support humanitarian action in Eastern and Southern Africa. Of this, US$2,735,000 will allow ESARO to support humanitarian action and resilience building throughout the region. In addition, this funding may be used to respond to situations in the region that are not included in a separate chapter of Humanitarian Action for Children 2014 and may not benefit from inter-agency flash appeals to respond to small- or medium-scale emergencies. US$26,979,500 is sought to support humanitarian programmes in Burundi, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Namibia, Rwanda, Swaziland and Zimbabwe.

Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, ‘2013 Global Focus Model’, OCHA, <>, accessed 24 December 2013.
2 Income and requirements for ESARO in 2013 include Burundi, Malawi, Namibia, Rwanda and Swaziland
3 According to a 2013 joint profiling report by the Government, United Nations agencies and non-governmental organizations
4 First response capacity based on risk analysis of vulnerable areas and past experience
5 ‘Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Report’, November 2013.