Map of West and Central Africa Region

West and Central Africa

including Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Republic of Congo, and Senegal

Country Office 2015 Requirements: US$46.5 million

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Regional Office 2015 Requirements: US$3.5 million

Women and children in West and Central Africa remain affected by a variety of humanitarian crises, including insecurity and conflict, drought, flooding, epidemics and acute malnutrition. Conflicts in the Central African Republic (CAR) and in North East Nigeria have led to mass displacement, grave human rights violations and the initiation of self-defence groups that threaten stability in the sub-region. Widespread insecurity persists in northern Mali, with significant instability in Kidal. Although refugee numbers have declined slightly in Mauritania, Burkina Faso and Niger, remaining refugees are not likely to return to their homes soon. In Eastern DRC, despite the defeat of the M23, one of the major armed groups, other resurgent armed groups have emerged, perpetuating violence and conflict, committing violations against the population and are the cause of serious protection issues, which may result in increased humanitarian assistance needs. In the Sahel countries, children under 5 years continue to suffer from acute malnutrition coupled with gastro-enteritis and respiratory infections, added to a significant increase in malaria cases that has been observed. Although cholera caseloads declined in 2014, significant outbreaks of cholera continue to affect the Mano River, Lake Chad, Congo River and Niger River basins. The region remains confronted by Ebola, ravaging Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia as well impacting neighbouring countries at immediate risk, requiring steadfast scale-up of humanitarian response, as well as increased prevention and preparedness efforts.1 Flooding remains a recurring risk to families with the advent of rainy season throughout the region. With both local and national elections upcoming in 2015 in many countries (e.g. CAR, Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire, and Burkina Faso)2 women and children in the region may be affected by further civil unrest and turmoil.

  • Regional Office

    2015 Planned Results: The 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 in 2015. WCARO will continue to support cross-border response in conflict-affected countries, notably for children separated from their families and/or recruited by armed forces and groups. WCARO will also continue to reinforce an integrated, multi-sector approaches to the nutrition crisis, incorporating Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) treatment and prevention with a package of interventions for health, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), education, promotion of essential practices, as well as psychosocial support. The regional office will continue to support country offices to mitigate and respond to cholera, meningitis, measles and other epidemics as well continue to support Ebola preparedness, prevention and response. In support of timely country office response to humanitarian situations, regional rapid response mechanisms will be reinforced including, capacity mapping and rapid assessment, surge staff deployments, and regional supply hubs in Accra and Douala enabling timely stock pre-positioning. WCARO will support capacity building across all sectors to provide country offices and partners with the practical tools, skills and knowledge needed to support crisis-affected children. The regional office will continue to strengthen results monitoring in humanitarian situations, and will support and oversee emergency-related evaluations. The resilience agenda will continue to be promoted to assist countries with chronic and recurrent humanitarian needs to develop in-depth risk analysis and mitigation plans.

    2014 Results: UNICEF appealed for US$12,550,000 million in 2014, and at the end of 2014, a total of US$ 7,781,690 (non-Ebola funding), or 62 per cent of requirements, had been received through contributions.3 In response to conflict in the Central African Republic and growing numbers of displaced people, WCARO scaled up its cross-border response in CAR and in neighbouring countries (Chad, Cameroon, DRC and Congo). Education in Emergency and peacebuilding activities were supported in 9 countries4. Regional Rapid Response Mechanisms (RRRM) have enabled the rapid deployment of 150 personnel to support UNICEF programming in emergency countries including CAR, Chad, Cameroon, Nigeria and Mali.5 With WCARO’s two regional supply hubs (located in Accra and Douala), UNICEF prepositioned life-saving supplies for over 35,000 people. By having these hubs at the ready, UNICEF has been able to quickly dispatch life-saving supplies to women and children in emergencies. With the importance of understanding populations at risk who are on the move, it is essential that UNICEF can map and assess evolving humanitarian needs. As such, WCARO established agreements with organisations who are swiftly deployed to conduct GIS/ Information management for rapid assessments. Over US$2 million was provided to several countries confronted by emergencies, including those affected by measles, conflict and displacement and the onset of Ebola6. The ongoing challenge of addressing malnutrition across the Sahel remained a top priority for UNICEF. Over US$10 million were mobilized to support the provision of ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) and other essential nutrition and health supplies in six countries in the Sahel (Burkina Faso, Chad, Gambia, Mali, Mauritania and Niger).7 WASH, communication for development, emergency and health staff also provided technical support to country offices to respond to cholera outbreaks, notably in Nigeria, Cameroon and Ghana.

  • Senegal

    2015 Planned Results: Women and children in Senegal remain vulnerable to malnutrition, food insecurity and floods. In 2014, three regions reached the critical threshold of acute malnutrition8. In 2015, estimates show that 326,370 children will suffer from acute malnutrition, out of which 68,647 cases will be severe acute malnutrition. UNICEF will continue to support health districts to improve SAM management and to strengthen treatment quality through training, the provision of materials and overall supervision and coordination. Senegal is also faced by the threat of floods and displacement of people. As such, efforts are underway to reinforce early warning and prevention measures to ensure that communities are prepared. In Senegal, emergency activities are an integrated package that includes nutrition, health, WASH and communication for development activities. When an emergency strikes, UNICEF ensures that affected children in vulnerable areas also have access to child-friendly spaces. 2015 programme targets are:

    • 55,000 children treated for severe acute malnutrition
    • 500,000 people provided with safe water
    • 75,000 women and children affected by flooding to receive psychosocial support, educational and recreational activities

    2014 Results: UNICEF appealed for US$5,000,000 in 2014 to meet the humanitarian needs of children and women in 2014. As of December 2014, a total of US$4,004,7389 or 80 per cent of the requirements were received against the appeal. UNICEF supported emergency response in all 14 regions. Ready-to-use therapeutic food, therapeutic milks, essential medicines and health survey equipment were supplied. Senegal’s national nutrition protocol was approved and more than 1,160 health facilities are now providing treatment for acute malnutrition.1, 382,858 children under 5 were screened for malnutrition (every 3 months) at the community level; of which 20,954 children under five were admitted for SAM treatment. 10,348 community health workers and 429 service providers were trained on how to treat and help prevent malnutrition among children. As for WASH in Nutrition, UNICEF supported the delivery of a minimum package of WASH services in 880 SAM treatment facilities, as well as improved water quality with 3,000 modern wells, and implemented Community Led Total Sanitation initiatives in 300 villages. During the flood season, 3,468 children had access to child friendly spaces.

  • Mauritania

    2015 Planned Results: Mauritania is a country characterized by pockets of vulnerabilities exposing a portion of the population to risks including food insecurity, malnutrition and sudden humanitarian crises. The country hosts 55,231 Malian refugees who fled political instability and insecurity in northern Mali. In 2015, it is expected that more than 147,500 children under 5 will suffer from acute malnutrition10 as part of the broader nutrition crisis in the Sahel, and that humanitarian assistance will still be required for approximately 48,000 Malian refugees. UNICEF will continue to support the Government and partners by providing essential basic services to vulnerable populations affected by the Sahelian nutrition crisis and for Malian refugees. UNICEF Mauritania will further strengthen its emergency preparedness capacity to respond to sudden humanitarian situations, as well as conduct risk informed planning and programming in an effort to strengthen long-term community resilience. 2015 programme targets are:

    • 28,700 children under five treated for severe acute malnutrition
    • 14,540 refugee children have access to formal and non-formal education

    2014 Results11: UNICEF appealed for US$14,190,865 in 2014 to meet the humanitarian needs of children and women in 2014. As of December 2014, a total of US$9,218,082 or 65 per cent of the requirements were received against the appeal. As part of the nutrition response, UNICEF assisted 16,684 severely acutely malnourished children under 5 years by providing an integrated package of services, including treatment, at 508 nutrition centres. Also, 41,780 children (6-24 months) were reached through a blanket feeding programme. In order to reduce the effect of the Sahelian nutrition and food insecurity crisis, 2,500 households were assisted through a cash transfer program. For Malian refugees, UNICEF and partners provided assistance through a multi-sectoral approach with protection, education, health, nutrition and water sanitation programming. 55,000 Malian refugees and host communities have improved access to essential basic services. With the sudden flood and two epidemics (gastrointestinal and Ebola in neighboring countries) emergencies, UNICEF supported the development of contingency plans and provided assistance to more than 9,800 people and 32 schools affected by the floods. Non-food items were provided as well as awareness raising programmes on essential hygiene and family practices such as hand washing and water treatment.

  • Burkina Faso

    2015 Planned Results: Estimates show that in 2015 the caseload of children with severe acute malnutrition is expected to be 120,000. UNICEF will support the Government and partners by providing ready-to-use therapeutic food and strengthen the capacity to treat and manage children with SAM. Through implementing community programming for improving infant and young child feeding (IYCF) 190,000 pregnant women and 300,000 lactating women will have access to a package of preventative services to improve the survival, growth, and development of children. In an effort to improve water and sanitation for refugees, UNICEF will work to improve WASH infrastructure, support healthy hygiene practices and construct WASH systems in schools and health centres. 120,000 people, including 21,600 under five will benefit from WASH programming. UNICEF will continue to prevent and respond to cholera and meningitis outbreaks nationwide; provide routine immunization to 1,660 children aged 0 to 11 months and 1,660 pregnant women; and distribute 1,660 insecticide-treated mosquito nets to pregnant women. To improve education and safe learning environments, UNICEF will distribute education and pedagogical materials, equipment for temporary learning spaces and training for teachers and animators. 18,000 children will benefit from literacy programmes and psychosocial support. 2015 programme targets are:

    • 120,000 children treated for severe acute malnutrition
    • 1,660 refugee children under 1 and 1,660 pregnant refugee women covered with routine immunization
    • 18,000 children receive psychosocial support through recreation activities and access to safe spaces
    • 120,000 people access WASH services

    2014 Results 2014: In 2014, UNICEF appealed for US$19,084,702 to meet humanitarian needs of children and women in 2014. As of December 2014, a total of US$6,186,961 or 32 per cent of requirements were received against the appeal.13 UNICEF and its partners helped ensure over 80,000 severely malnourished children were newly admitted for treatment nationwide. 200,000 pregnant and lactating mothers were reached with infant and young child feeding services. UNICEF coordinated the WASH programme, including supplying schools and health posts with clean water and hand washing stations. Humanitarian WASH activities reached over 97,000 people. Behavior change communication and access to clean water and latrines successfully prevented cholera transmission in the Sahel region where zero cases of cholera were reported. UNICEF worked to improve access to quality primary, pre-school and non-formal education to 12,243 children in refugee camps and surrounding communities. Bridging classes hosted 563 children who were originally out of school. UNICEF also supported the launch of a new social mobilization campaign in the Sahel region from September to December 2014, to enroll 47,000 children in school. The cluster system is not activated in Burkina Faso.

  • Republic of Congo (RoC) [14]

    2015 Planned Results: In 2015, UNICEF Congo will continue to support refugees from CAR as well as host communities. Congo currently hosts over 26,000 refugees from the Central African Republic (CAR), most of whom have been arriving since the outbreak of violent conflict in CAR since 2013. In addition, UNICEF Congo will also support the return process of DRC refugees. As the country, faces recurrent risks of cholera, cholera prevention and preparedness efforts will be strengthened. Key programme targets for 2015 include:

    • 1,500 malnourished children receive support
    • 26,000 refugees receive primary health care
    • 3,000 refugee children have access to education and receive education materials
    • 5,560 children receive support through child friendly spaces
    • 85 water points rehabilitated

    2014 Results 2014: In 2014, UNICEF requested US$3,138,337 to meet humanitarian needs of children and women. As of December 2014, a total of US$727, 614 or 23 per cent of requirements were received15. Around 7,862 CAR refugees have benefited from the health care supplies and referral services (including treatment of common diseases, nutritional screening, awareness of key family practices, and deworming) including 2,600 children under 5 years and 4,304 women through 184 health providers. UNICEF Congo has also built 70 latrines for CAR refugees in the department of Likouala (in schools and medical centers and for host families). More than 3,900 refugees have access to basic sanitation facilities. 11 wells have been built (including 5 in schools) and 11 wells have been rehabilitated in refugees’ sites. Community volunteers have conducted awareness campaigns on Life Savers. 10,534 people have been sensitized on hygiene practices. In addition, more than 1,000 children (mostly from the CAR) have been supported in child-friendly spaces (CFS). In the overcrowded and poorly equipped secondary school of Betou with more than 1,500 students (22 per cent CAR refugees), UNICEF Congo has built and equipped 3 new classrooms, latrines and an administrative office. UNICEF Congo has provided more than 5,000 primary CAR refugees students with recreational and school kits. UNICEF Congo also provided assistance to DRC migrants in a transit site in Brazzavile (The Beach) before their transfer to their country of origin (due to immigration and security issues). Two large tents (shelters), 20 temporary latrines, 12 showers and 7 bladders have been installed by UNICEF Congo. More than 21,400 people on transit have benefited from these facilities. In addition, 4,239 children of DRC migrants in the transit site have been supported in a child friendly spaces.

Funding requirements

For 2015, UNICEF is requesting US$50,062,000 to provide technical support and coordination to address protracted and new humanitarian crises throughout West and Central Africa in 2015.This does not include funding requirements for Ebola, which are in a separate UNICEF appeal. This includes US$3,500,000 million for regional activities and US$46,652,000 million for specific country office activities in Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Congo (RoC), Senegal. WCARO gratefully acknowledges donors’ support during 2014 and welcomes their continued commitment to meeting the humanitarian needs of children and women in emergencies in the WCAR region.

1 Requirements for Ebola response and funds received for Ebola are reflected in the Sub-regional Ebola HAC appeal.
2 Countries with general (legislative/presidential) elections are listed in order of occurrence in 2015 (CAR and Nigeria in February, Cote D’Ivoire in October and Burkina Faso in November).
3 This does not include Ebola related needs or funds received which are reflected in a separate funding table.
4 For peacebuilding, countries include those covered by the Learning for Peace Initiative: Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast and Chad; Mali was added this year. Other countries supported for Education in Emergencies include Cameroun, Nigeria, Niger and Guinea
5 Ebola related surge staff is reported against separate Sub-regional Ebola HAC Appeal.
6 Funds allocated by RO to Ebola were to kick start activities at the onset of the outbreak in March 2014, before the corporate emergency activation in August 2014.
7 This includes regional contributions from ECHO (Sahel Nutrition) and DFID (Sahel Nutrition) as per regional proposals submitted by WCARO Nutrition team.
8 SMART survey 2014.
9 Includes regional funding allocations provided by RO from regional ECHO, DFID and OFDA nutrition funding.
10 This is both moderate and severe acute malnutrition figures. SAM and MAM burdens expected to be comparable to 2014.
11 Results for 2014 on average are about < 50% of target achieved; this is in large part due to insufficient levels of humanitarian funding available.
12 In Mauritania, both humanitarian funds and UNICEF regular resources have covered the routine immunization campaign in five regions affected by the crisis, thus increasing the expected results.
13 In Burkina Faso, some results for WASH and Health were achieved through the use of non-humanitarian funds. Cost of some interventions in these sectors were covered by UNICEF regular resources.
14 UNICEF Congo will continue to support the government and other partners on Ebola Preparedness and Prevention, in the areas of WASH, C4D, Protection (PSS), and technical assistance for M&E. The funding requirements are included into the UNICEF Ebola HAC which are separate from this appeal.
15 In Congo, some results were achieved through the use of non-humanitarian funds. Cost of some interventions in these sectors were covered by UNICEF regular resources.