In 2013, UNICEF and partners plan for:
children under 5 are provided with one round of supplementary immunization against polio
pregnant mothers and caregivers have access to essential messages on infant and child feeding
children and community members benefit from disaster risk reduction training in schools
2013 requirements (US$)
Because of its location in a mountainous and seismic zone, Tajikistan is prone to natural disasters. Every year, the country’s children experience the impact of these disasters, which result in damage to infrastructure and sometimes loss of life. In May 2012, an earthquake measuring 5.7 on the Richter scale erupted in the Rasht Valley, causing significant damage to infrastructure, including schools. Widespread flooding occurred in Khatlon Region in spring 2012, and large areas of the country are also threatened by mud slides. In addition, shortcomings in routine immunization in the past have left children susceptible to vaccine-preventable diseases, as shown by the large polio outbreak of 2010. Severe cold and energy shortages in winter often disrupt basic services and affect livelihoods. According to a recent report, 61 per cent of households experienced a harsh winter and weather-related crop losses 2011/2012, up from 27 per cent a year earlier.1 This had an adverse impact on nutrition and food security, resulting in higher food prices. Internal and external conflicts also pose a continuous threat. In 2012, fighting in Khorog, in Gorno Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast (province), disrupted social services and livelihoods and put psychological stress on children. Tajikistan’s long border with Afghanistan also exposes it to imported instability from its neighbour, a threat that may become more acute as foreign troops leave Afghanistan over the next two years.
Planned results for 2013
2013 programme targets
- 1,000,000 children under 5 are provided with one round of supplementary immunization against polio
- 10,000 children affected by acute respiratory infection and diarrhoea have access to lifesaving curative interventions
- 50,000 people affected by disasters have access to lifesaving primary health-care services
- 2,000 children under 5 suffering from severe acute malnutrition admitted to therapeutic feeding centres
- 50,000 children under 5 and 20,000 pregnant women provided with micronutrient supplementation
- 100,000 pregnant mothers and caregivers have access to essential messages on infant and child feeding
- 20,000 children and community members benefit from DRR training in schools
- 10,000 children benefit from temporary school settings
- 10,000 children and family members benefit from water and sanitation supplies and hygiene education following a disaster
- 300 children benefit from reconstructed or rehabilitated schools
- Advocacy with national Government develops a plan to ensure protection of children in disasters
UNICEF will further strengthen capacity and coordination to ensure continued access to essential health, nutrition, education, water and sanitation, and protect
tion services for children affected by natural disasters, high food prices or conflict. Within the health and nutrition sectors, UNICEF will continue to support the Ministry of Health in addressing immunization gaps to prevent disease outbreaks and will contribute to the promotion of infant and young child feeding and therapeutic and supplementary feeding programmes to ensure survival of children under 5.
In education, UNICEF will lead the international community’s disaster preparedness and response efforts in schools and preschools. Disaster risk reduction (DRR) training will be conducted, equipment will be provided and school-based emergency plans will be developed. Where required, UNICEF will establish temporary spaces to avoid interruption of the academic process and will ensure a child-friendly, gender-sensitive learning environment in the post-emergency phase.
UNICEF will continue to support local municipalities in establishing safe settings for young children during emergencies and will provide early childhood development (ECD) kits. UNICEF’s response to the 2012 earthquake in the Rasht Valley will continue, in the form of investment in education infrastructure. Further, UNICEF will create a stock of WASH supplies for distribution to up to 10,000 affected people in the event of disasters caused by natural hazards. Child protection efforts will focus on helping the Government plan for child protection in emergencies and on strengthening the capacity of service providers in psychosocial support for children.
Results from 2012
For 2012, UNICEF appealed for US$2,046,000 for Tajikistan through the Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CEE/CIS) Regional Office. As of 31 October, a total of US$1 million, or 49 per cent of requirements, had been received. The late receipt of funding did not allow UNICEF to fully meet its programming targets for the year. Nonetheless, with the funds available, the Ministry of Health was supported in conducting two rounds of supplementary immunization against diphtheria. Approximately 712,000 children aged 3–6 years (99 per cent of the age group) and 2,336,000 children and adolescents aged 7–21 years (95 per cent of the age group) were immunized against diphtheria. Close to 900,000 children aged 6–59 months (99 per cent of the age group) received vitamin A. UNICEF also provided the Ministry of Health with therapeutic food for the management of severely malnourished children: For the first six months of 2012, more than 800 severely malnourished children received treatment according to international protocols. UNICEF continued support for micronutrient supplementation, reaching 30,000 children aged 6–24 months and 18,000 pregnant women through August. UNICEF and the Ministry of Health’s Mother and Child Health department conducted national- and regional-level training workshops on nutrition in emergencies, providing approximately 100 health managers, including paediatricians and family doctors, with better knowledge of operational emergency preparedness, response and recovery in nutrition, including infant and young child feeding and good-quality nutrition programming before and during emergencies.
By the end of 2012, UNICEF was due to have completed the construction of a school to replace one destroyed by floods in 2012, and began the reconstruction of two more destroyed by the earthquake in 2012 and rehabilitated another damaged by severe winter conditions. Due to changes in UNICEF’s approach to WASH, incorporating latrines better suited to the local context and adjustments to hygiene education, as well as limited funding for humanitarian response in WASH, coverage in the sector was well below the target. UNICEF continues to play an active role in the Rapid Emergency Assessment and Coordination Team (REACT) mechanism in Tajikistan, chairs the WASH cluster and is the alternating chair of the education cluster.
UNICEF is requesting US$1,872,500 to work with the Government of Tajikistan and partners in delivering quality and timely assistance during emergencies. This support is critical to ensuring that the frequent disasters in Tajikistan cause minimal suffering and disruption of vital social services for children. If timely assistance is not provided and the impact of disasters on children is not addressed, there may be a long-term effect on children’s well-being.
1World Food Programme Tajikistan, Tajikistan Food Security Monitoring System Bulletin, no. 11, WFP Tajikistan, Dushanbe, April 2012.