West and Central Africa
2013 requirements (US$)
The West and Central Africa region is plagued by a growing number of humanitarian crises. In 2012, the ongoing nutrition and food security crisis impacted nine countries in the Sahel, while a coup and conflict in Mali caused internal displacement and refugee flows to neighbouring countries. Insecurity is also a major concern in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and in north-eastern Nigeria, with greater instability and emerging threats pervading the region in general.
Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia continue to recover from the post-electoral crisis in Côte d’Ivoire in 2011, although with renewed outbreaks of violence and displacement in recent months. Tensions remain high because of a post-electoral coup in Guinea-Bissau and delayed legislative elections in Guinea. Cholera epidemics are also of great concern: As of 11 November, more than 75,000 cholera cases had been reported in 15 countries during the year. Case fatality rates are unacceptably high, ranging from 0.9 to 7.2 per cent nationally and reaching greater heights at district level in many countries. Outbreaks have spread throughout Guinea Bissau and the countries of the Mano River basin (Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone), the Niger River basin (Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger) and the Congo River basin (Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo), as well as cross border between Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire. Flooding has also displaced a significant number of people in large parts of Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria. The potential risks of these combined factors demand UNICEF’s attention in 2013.
Planned results for 2013
Results from 2012
UNICEF’s original appeal for US$27,156,000 was revised downward at mid-year to US$24,377,305. As of 31 October, US$4,345,805, or 18 per cent, had been received as contributions for the regional office. Significant funding received early in the year enabled UNICEF to rapidly scale up its delivery of lifesaving interventions.
In the Sahel, more than 700,000 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition had received treatment by the end of September; ready-to-use therapeutic food pre-positioned in January rapidly covered needs for the first six months of the year. The WASH in Nutrition strategy and the WASH minimum package were rolled out and psychosocial support was provided to mothers and children in Chad, Mauritania, Niger and Senegal. Comprehensive support for education and child protection emergency preparedness and response was provided to the nine Sahel countries affected by the food and nutrition crisis as well as in countries hosting Malian refugees. Catch-up classes benefited 8,000 out-of-school children in Burkina Faso, Cameroon and Chad.
Effective approaches to emotional stimulation of severely malnourished children and psychosocial support to mothers and caregivers as part of an integrated nutrition response were developed. Both gender-based violence prevention and response to separated children and children at risk of recruitment into armed forces or groups were strengthened to include cross-border coordination and harmonization systems in the early stages of the Mali crisis.
An independent real-time assessment of UNICEF’s Sahel response resulted in key improvements in the ongoing response as well as lessons for future crises. Regional office investment in both humanitarian performance monitoring and regional rapid assessment and response mechanisms, including innovative partnerships with NGOs in the region, have resulted in better-informed, timely decisions to underpin UNICEF’s humanitarian action in 2013.
The cholera crisis in the Mano River basin was addressed with hygiene promotion, support for access to safe water and sanitation services, and access to treatment. In addition to procuring significant quantities of supplies, UNICEF country offices adopted the cholera ‘sword and shield’ approach, helping to deliver a timely, quality and integrated cross-sectoral response. WCARO provided country offices with technical assistance in developing and rolling out C4D prevention and response strategies in Cameroon, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Niger and Sierra Leone (for the cholera response) and in Chad, Mauritania and Senegal (the nutrition crisis).
Building on the achievements of 2012, UNICEF’s West and Central Africa Regional Office (WCARO) will continue to provide technical coordination and improve preparedness to help country offices reach vulnerable children and women throughout the region in 2013.
- UNICEF will improve and reinforce regional capacity for multi-sectoral rapid needs assessments and for immediate emergency response.
- WCARO will continue to strengthen results monitoring in humanitarian situations and to support and oversee emergency-related evaluations within the region.
- UNICEF will reinforce resilience activities by further developing risk assessment guidelines and helping countries with chronic and recurrent humanitarian needs gain a more in-depth understanding of the risks associated with these crises. Further, in collaboration with headquarters and country offices, the regional office will develop planning and guidance for factoring resilience implementation into country programming, as well as a monitoring and evaluation framework for resilience in the region.
- WCARO will build on lessons identified in 2012 to underpin a robust and holistic approach to cholera prevention, preparedness and response.
- In order to reduce risks for children under 5 and pregnant or breastfeeding women, the regional office will monitor nutrition crises and support preventive activities and lifesaving response, The nutrition team will also support Integrated Management of Acute Malnutrition (IMAM) programme supervision and quality improvement; nutrition protocol revision; the design, implementation and analysis of nutrition surveys with SMART[i] methods; as well as RapidSMS implementation in Nigeria. A more integrated approach to the nutrition crisis involving the participation of the health, WASH, education and child protection sectors will be promoted.
- Regional health colleagues will develop training on emergency health, will support epidemiological studies within and across borders, will work with the HIV team to develop and disseminate tools to assist countries in planning for HIV in emergencies and will provide technical assistance.
- The water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) team will strengthen emergency response to floods, cholera, and refugee and internally displaced persons (IDPs) crises through integrated interventions targeting nutrition centres and the ‘mother/carer – child’ pairs.
- The regional office will provide technical assistance for education in emergencies, aiming to maintain children’s access to education and prevent school drop-outs. WCARO will support country offices in rolling out and integrating conflict and disaster risk reduction into their education planning processes in light of the resilience and peacebuilding agenda. Strengthened regional collaboration between UNICEF and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees is planned for the refugee response, beginning with a joint workshop targeting Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania and Niger in early 2013.
- Child protection will focus on supporting children separated from families, on the release and reintegration of children associated with armed groups and on increasing access to basic protective services, particularly for victims of gender-based violence. The child protection team will strengthen its focus on chronic emergencies by integrating cross-cutting issues, such as psychosocial support, into all country office responses and putting into place a comprehensive child protection response.
- The communication for development (C4D) regional team will reinforce technical assistance to country offices to ensure that quality C4D prevention and response strategies are developed and implemented, including monitoring of communication indicators and supporting fundraising and documentation.
- Social policy support will be provided for the transition from cash transfers in emergencies to cash transfers for resilience within a broader national system-building agenda.
The country is still responding to the effects of malnutrition and flooding that affected more than 130,000 people in 2012. It is estimated that in 2013 there will be 83,300 severe acutely malnourished children under 5 in the northern regions and that more than 50,000 people displaced by flooding will require continued humanitarian assistance. Additionally, Adamawa and East regions have more than 80,000 refugees from the Central African Republic, many of whom suffer from severe acute malnutrition. UNICEF plans to scale up its support for malnourished children through community-based management of acute malnutrition and support for the delivery of nutritional supplements to 58,317 severe acute malnourished children, together with essential drugs for the treatment of complications. UNICEF will also scale up WASH interventions in therapeutic feeding centres and will roll out community-led total sanitation in IDP camps, including latrines. UNICEF will support prevention and treatment of cholera, an endemic problem in these regions, through behaviour change, WASH lists and supplies. Support will also be provided for cholera case management by ensuring the availability of essential supplies and by training partners in case management. UNICEF will also support immunization campaigns against killer diseases such as measles, and will provide vitamin A supplementation and deworming for more than 2 million children. Emergency education, child protection and HIV prevention for displaced populations will also be supported.
Nigeria is a disaster-prone country where the frequency and intensity of both natural and human-induced disasters have increased significantly in recent years. There is growing insecurity in the north, vulnerable conflict hot spots in the middle belt and tenuous peace in the Niger Delta region. UNICEF will ensure immediate response to flood-affected populations and contribute to cholera prevention by providing lifesaving essential medical supplies and supporting the provision and use of safe drinking water, safe excreta disposal and family kits for 2.1 million displaced persons, in addition to promoting hand-washing practices in cholera-prone states. Moreover, during 2013, about 260,000 severely malnourished children in 11 states will receive essential nutrition supplements, including therapeutic foods, and community-based health workers in 100 feeding centres will be trained in case management of acute malnutrition. UNICEF will also address the health of children by providing vitamin A supplements and vaccinations for polio and measles. Finally, UNICEF will establish 110 safe school spaces for 56,000 children affected by flooding and violence. UNICEF will continue to strengthen and support community-based child protection networks in emergency-prone states through training in international and national human and child rights laws, child protection in emergencies, children and armed conflict and other protection issues. Because UNICEF has a substantial regular programme in Nigeria, the needs expressed here reflect complementary humanitarian funding needs for 2013.
UNICEF funding requirements for 2013
UNICEF is requesting US$30,250,000 to provide technical support and coordination for humanitarian work throughout West and Central Africa in 2013. This includes US$21,300,000 for programmes in Cameroon and Nigeria, which are not separately profiled in this publication. Regional funds may be used for countries that are not included in the following individual country chapters and may not benefit from inter-agency flash appeals to respond to small- or medium-size emergencies. UNICEF WCARO gratefully acknowledges donors’ strong response during 20122 and invites supporters to maintain or increase their commitments to meeting the humanitarian needs of the region’s children and women in during emergencies in 2013. It is important to note that UNICEF, together with the wider United Nations system, is facing great challenges with the multitude of protracted and new humanitarian crises occurring in West and Central Africa at a time of declining financial resources; therefore, full funding is critical.
1 Standardized Monitoring and Assessment of Relief and Tensions
2 As of 31 October 2012 Senegal received $3,673,135 against a requirement of $6,825,560; Gambia received $187,190, against a requirement of $806,232.