Map of South Asia
UNICEF photo © UNICEF/2014/Khursheed

South Asia

Regional Office 2014 Requirements: US$3,700,000

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South Asia is one of the most disaster-prone places in the world with cyclical emergencies caused by torrential rains, tornadoes, cyclones, droughts, and famine. In addition to natural disasters, parts of South Asia continue to be affected by conflict, political strife, civil unrest and armed insurgencies. For example, in Afghanistan, during the first half of 2014, some 42,114 people were displaced due to conflict and an additional 80,000 were displaced due to flash floods and landslides. Pakistan’s north-western areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) have been experiencing major population displacements for years due to insecurity, sectarian conflicts, insurgency, and military operations against non-State armed groups. Some 958,000 people remain displaced since 2008 (46 per cent female), with the majority (96 per cent) living in host communities, mainly in Peshawar valley. Lack of stable income opportunities, and rising rent and food prices, have significantly increased their vulnerability, and contributed to their concentration in urban or semi-urban areas. Four percent of internally displaced persons (IDPs) (the majority originating from the FATA Agencies of Bajaur, Khyber, Kurram and Orakzai) reside in three organized camps. In mid-July 2014, over 992,649 people (74 per cent women and children) were newly displaced from North Waziristan due to military operations there. Almost all have left their homes and taken refuge in the adjacent districts in Khyber Pushtoon Khwa province. In addition, an estimated 112,000 people have crossed the border into Afghanistan, seeking refuge. Return movements have coexisted with patterns of displacement in the conflict-stricken areas of KP and FATA, depending on the evolving security situation. The FATA Disaster Management Authority (FDMA) estimates that as of June 2014, 1.45 million persons periodically displaced since 2009 have returned to their place of origin after the government declared it safe for IDP return, including over 44,346 returns from January to June 2014. The inter-agency early return assistance framework (ERAF), designed to support IDPs in their areas of return, is underfunded and access to these areas remains a challenge.

Regional Office – Humanitarian strategy

Results 2014 (January to June)

During the first half of 2014, UNICEF ROSA hosted a Global Resilience Workshop – the outcomes of which were used to inform a Global Policy Paper on Resilience. ROSA provided continuous technical support on sub-regional contingency planning for the Afghanistan transition, which led to strengthened emergency readiness of the UNICEF Afghanistan Country Office. Increased regional technical capacity for security management was provided to 22 UNICEF country offices in South Asia and East Asia and the Pacific regions where localized high-level security risks exist for UNICEF staff.

In light of the region’s high vulnerability to natural disasters and conflict, UNICEF’s Regional Office for South Asia (ROSA) is working to enhance resilience, disaster risk mitigation, preparation and emergency response strategies and capacities at regional and country levels. ROSA is also working to build emergency preparedness of country offices and national partners by providing capacity building and technical support, including through the roll-out of the global emergency preparedness and response training package, and is contributing to further policy development and operational approaches to programming in high-risk environments. UNICEF is strengthening its partnerships with regional institutions, such as the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), specifically in the area of disaster risk management. ROSA channels emergency funding and technical support to respond to small- or medium-scale emergencies in countries that do not have a separate appeal in the Humanitarian Action for Children 2014.

Pakistan – Revised 2014 Programme Targets

Results 2014 (January to June)

During the first half of 2014, UNICEF supported the provision of measles vaccinations to 13,120 children in accessible emergency-affected areas of Khyber Pushtoon Khwa and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). Health response remained limited to three IDPs camps mainly due to funding constraints. To prevent and respond to high levels malnutrition of both IDP children and those from host communities (which are equally vulnerable1), some 11,906 children aged under 5 years were admitted to outpatient therapeutic programmes (OTP) in the last six months. To prevent water-related disease outbreaks, UNICEF provided safe drinking water to 191,688 people in emergency-affected areas. In education, UNICEF and its implementing partners supported 18,214 children in accessing quality education through temporary learning centres and IDPs camp schools. Critical education supplies, including tents, school in box, schools bags and training of teachers on improved teaching methods supported children who were enrolled in schools before displacement, as well as new beginners and out-of-school children. In addition, through Protective Learning and Community Emergency Services (PLaCES) centres, 36,460 children and their caregivers, were provided with protection, psychosocial support, recreation services and life skills education. Limited humanitarian access to affected areas, particularly in the FATA region, and limited humanitarian funds, constrained the full achievement of results at mid-year.

UNICEF, in coordination with the government of Pakistan, and UN and NGO partners, is responding to the humanitarian needs of millions of children and women affected by insecurity in the country, and is preparing for the upcoming monsoon flood season. Following the large-scale displacement of populations from North Waziristan in July 2014, the government formally requested the UN to support humanitarian assistance to IDPs. An inter-agency preliminary response plan was developed to meet the life-saving needs of 500,000 IDPs from that region. UNICEF has revised its 2014 humanitarian programme targets upwards in light of this response, as well as in light of continued support for IDPs in KP and FATA, and refugee populations from Afghanistan.

Revised programme targets for 2014:

  • 275,000 people (including 247,530 children and 27,470 women) access life-saving interventions, including through measles campaigns and child health days
  • 27,880 children aged from 6 to 59 months with severe acute malnutrition (SAM) admitted into therapeutic feeding programmes
  • 720,000 people (including approximately 360,000 children) access sufficient water of appropriate quality and quantity for drinking, cooking and maintaining hygiene, with sanitation facilities and hygiene education
  • 152,253 people (112,054 children and 40,297 women) have safe access to protective spaces and related services
  • 121,609 children (52 per cent girls) access quality education through safe and secure learning environments that promote protection and well-being of learners

Funding requirements

UNICEF is requesting a total of US$48.8 million to respond to the humanitarian needs of children and women in the South Asia region. This includes US$3.7 million to carry out planned regional emergency support in South Asia region for 2014, including US$200,000 for regional technical support and US$3.5 million for countries that are not included in a separate chapter of Humanitarian Action for Children 2014 and/or may not benefit from inter-agency flash appeals to respond to small- or medium-scale emergencies. As of 30 June 2014, US$201,472 (5 per cent) was available against the regional appeal. In addition, UNICEF Pakistan has revised its appeal upwards to US$45.1 million to support growing humanitarian needs in 2014. As of 30 June 2014, a total of US$37.2million, or 82 per cent of funds, were available against the 2014 appeal. Additional funding is needed through the end of 2014 to enable UNICEF to fully meet the humanitarian needs of children and women in the region.

1 Acute and chronic malnutrition in Pakistan exceeds emergency thresholds for malnutrition
2 This target does not include women or children aged 0-6 months