Map of West and Central Africa Region
UNICEF photo: Mali, September 2013. Children at Babale Santana school where flood victims found a shelter. © UNICEF/UKLA2013-03571/Cindy Cao Mali, September 2013. Children at Babale Santana school where flood victims found a shelter.

West and Central Africa

including Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Senegal

Country Office 2014 Requirements: US$52.4 million

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Regional Office 2014 Requirements: US$12,500,000

Humanitarian situation

Women and children in West and Central Africa are 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 political instability in Kidal. Although refugee numbers have declined in Mauritania, Burkina Faso and Niger, remaining refugees are not likely to return to their homes soon. Improved humanitarian access after the recent defeat of Mouvement du 23-Mars (M23), one of the main armed groups in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), has revealed larger caseloads of malaria, measles and acute malnutrition, which may result in increased humanitarian assistance needs. In the Sahel countries, children under 5 years continue to suffer from 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 2013, significant epidemics continue to affect the Congo River and Niger River basins. Flooding remains a recurrent risk to families with the advent of rainy season throughout the region. In addition, both local and national elections upcoming in 2015 in various countries (e.g. Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, and CAR) may trigger further upheaval and turmoil.

The region is also confronted with Ebola, claiming hundreds of lives in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. UNICEF is supporting affected countries and neighboring countries at risk1 through distributing health and hygiene supplies and communication activities at the local level. The activities planned and funding requirement for the Ebola response and preparedness in West Africa starting from September 2014 to February 2015 are included in a dedicated Ebola appeal. For more information on the Ebola response and funding needs please refer to the UNICEF Appeal for the Ebola Outbreak Response page [PDF].

  • Regional Office

    Planned results for 2014: 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 2014. 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 approach to the nutrition crisis, incorporating health, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), education and communication for development, as well as psychosocial support. WCARO will monitor nutrition crises in the region and support prevention activities as well as life-saving responses. The nutrition team will also support oversight and quality improvement of integrated management of acute malnutrition programmes. Regional health, WASH and communication for development teams will support country offices to mitigate and respond to cholera, meningitis, measles and HIV. Response plans will be scaled up, to cater for cross-border crisis, capacity mapping, local staff training, and stock pre-positioning. WCARO will continue to strengthen results monitoring in humanitarian situations, and will support and oversee emergency-related evaluations. The resilience agenda will continue to be strengthened to assist countries with chronic and recurrent humanitarian needs to develop in-depth risk analysis and mitigation plans. As for education, WCARO will support capacity building to provide country offices and partners with the practical tools, skills and knowledge needed to support education for crisis-affected children.

    Results 2014 (January to June): At the end of June 2014, a total of US$ 7,781,690, or 62 per cent of requirements, had been received through contributions.2 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, Cameroun, DRC and Congo). Peacebuilding activities are being supported in five countries. An Established Regional Rapid Response Mechanisms (RRRM) have enabled the rapid deployment of 143 personnel to support UNICEF programming in emergency countries including CAR, Chad, Cameroun, Nigeria, Guinea and Sierra Leone. With WCARO’s two regional supply hubs (Accra and Douala), UNICEF has prepositioned life-saving supplies for over 35,000 people. 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 rapidly deployed to conduct GIS/ Information management for rapid assessments. Over US$800,000 were provided to several countries confronted by emergencies, including those affected by measles and Ebola. The ongoing challenge of addressing malnutrition across the Sahel, remains 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).3 WASH, communication for development, emergency and health staff also provided technical support to country offices to respond to cholera outbreaks, notably in Nigeria and Cameroun.

  • Nigeria

    Planned results for 20144: Nigeria is facing a growing number of emergencies, including floods, disease outbreaks, food insecurity, and conflict, mainly in the northern states. In 2014, UNICEF will treat over 323,000 children with Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) and provide essential supplies, including ready-to-use therapeutic food, equipment and medicine, and will train health workers on case management in 500 community-based management of acute malnutrition sites. In addition, some 405,0005 people affected by flooding, cholera and displaced by conflict will have access to water, sanitation and hygiene promotion services. UNICEF will support women, men and children’s access to behavioural change communication interventions to improve health care and feeding practices. In 2014, UNICEF support will engage 258,000 school-aged children including adolescents to be reached by child-friendly and adolescent-friendly emergency non-formal education programmes. UNICEF will work with volunteers from 11 local government areas in Borno state, including four from Chibok, to provide access to basic psychosocial support for 297,000 children affected by conflict. UNICEF will support child protection networks in emergency-prone states. In July 2014, Boko Haram was listed in the UN Secretary-General’s 13th Annual Report on Children and Armed Conflict for killing or maiming of children and for attacks against schools or hospitals. The listing of Boko Haram obligates the UN to establish the Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism (MRM) in Nigeria, making it the fifth MRM country in West and Central Africa after CAR, Chad, DRC and Mali. The United Nations Country Team in Nigeria is currently in the process of rolling-out the MRM. 2014 programme targets are:

    • 323,000 children under 5 suffering from SAM receive adequate quality treatment
    • 297,000 children enrolled in psychosocial activities
    • 405,000 people have access to improved water
    • 258,000 children access child-friendly and adolescent-friendly emergency non-formal education programmes

    Results 2014 (January to June): UNICEF is appealing for US$27,400,000 to support emergency affected children and women in 2014. As of 30 June 2014, a total of US$777,778, or 3 per cent of requirements, had been received in humanitarian contributions against the 2014 appeal. This includes emergency funds carried over from 2013. UNICEF and its partners responded to emergencies, including conflict-related population displacement, flooding, and cholera outbreaks. UNICEF is working with the World Health Organization (WHO) for joint interventions concerning Polio vaccination. UNICEF treated 98,620 children with SAM in 3 states in emergency situations, and is providing 90,000 children with early learning and education supplies. Some 39 master trainers from Borno state were provided with basic psychosocial helping skills and Psychological First Aid training to provide support to conflict affected children. UNICEF provided improved water to 4,900 people affected by emergency.

  • Burkina Faso

    Planned results for 2014: In 2014, UNICEF will support the Government of Burkina Faso’s response to the humanitarian needs of 115,000 children under 5 with SAM, 500,000 pregnant and lactating women and 150,000 children aged 6 to 23 months suffering from micronutrient deficiencies. Nutrition centres in affected areas will be provided with a basic WASH-in-nutrition package. UNICEF will continue to prevent and respond to cholera and meningitis outbreaks nationwide; provide routine immunization to 1,750 children aged 0 to 11 months and 1,750 pregnant women; and distribute 1,750 insecticide-treated mosquito nets to pregnant women. In refugee camps and in host communities, 10,000 parents caring for children under 5 will be trained on life skills and child survival and development, and UNICEF will continue to provide approximately 10,000 children with access to psychosocial support through safe spaces and recreational activities. 2014 programme targets6 are:

    • 115,000 children under 5 suffering from SAM received treatment
    • 1,750 refugee children under 1 and 1,750 pregnant refugee women covered with routine immunization
    • 120,000 people, including 35,000 refugees and 85,000 from host communities, access safe WASH services
    • 15,000 children receive psychosocial support through recreation activities, and access safe spaces

    Results 2014 (January to June): UNICEF is appealing for US$19,084,702 to meet the humanitarian needs of children and women in 2014. As of 30 June 2014, a total of US$ 6,887,753, or 36 per cent of requirements, had been received in contributions against the 2014 appeal. UNICEF and its partners helped ensure over 31,200 severely malnourished children were newly admitted in therapeutic care nationwide. For health, 2,914,907 children were immunized against measles (41 per cent of the annual target). Behavior change communication and sterilization of water sources and latrines successfully prevented cholera transmission in the Sahel region where zero cases of cholera were reported. Latrines were constructed in all four Malian refugee camps and in some host communities. In addition, 12,978 children in camps were enrolled in the back-to-school campaign. Finally, 14,986 children from camps and host communities have access to child-friendly and safe spaces.

  • Senegal - Planned results for 2014

    Planned results for 2014: Women and children in Senegal remain vulnerable to malnutrition, food insecurity and floods, and could now be exposed to the new epidemic threat of Ebola. UNICEF will continue to support health districts to improve SAM management and to improve treatment quality, through training, technical support, the provision of materials and overall supervision and coordination. Emergency activities will cover all 14 regions with an integrated package that includes nutrition, health, WASH and communication for development activities. In addition, affected children in vulnerable areas will have access to child-friendly spaces. 2014 programme targets are:

    • 50,325 children under 5 newly admitted for SAM treatment and receive hygiene kits and key counselling on hygiene and nutrition
    • 300,000 people affected by floods receive hygiene kits, water treatment, school supplies, facility disinfection and their children have access to child-friendly spaces

    Results 2014 (January to June): UNICEF is appealing for US$5,000,000 to meet the humanitarian needs of children and women in 2014. As of 30 June 2014, a total of US$3,419,000 or 68 per cent of requirements, had been received in contributions 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 941 health facilities are providing treatment for acute malnutrition. 1,118,237 children under five are regularly reached (every 3 months) by screening activities at community level and 9,111 children with severe acute malnutrition were newly admitted for treatment. As for WASH in Nutrition, UNICEF supported the delivery of a minimum package of WASH services in 886 SAM treatment facilities, as well as improved water quality with 1,043 modern wells, and implementing Community Led Total Sanitation initiatives in 300 villages. 5,066 Hygiene kits were also given to households with severely malnourished children and 270,000 people benefited from learning about safe hygiene practices. For the cholera season, 10,000 hygiene kits are pre-positioned with 14 regions also receiving financial support to organize awareness campaigns targeting vulnerable households and communities.

Funding requirements

UNICEF is requesting US$64.9 million to provide technical support and coordination to address protracted and new humanitarian crises throughout West and Central Africa in 2014. This includes US$12.5 million for regional activities and US$52.4 million for specific country office activities in Burkina Faso, Senegal, and Nigeria, as well as sub-regional Ebola Response and Prevention activities from January to August 2014. Ebola funding requirements from September 2014 to February 2015 can be found in a dedicated Ebola appeal (UNICEF Appeal for the Ebola Outbreak Response page [PDF]). As of 30 June, 2014 US$19,803,660, or 30 per cent of funds, were available against the 2014 appeal. WCARO gratefully acknowledges donors’ strong response during 2013 and the first half of 2014 and invites supporters to maintain or increase their commitments to meeting the humanitarian needs of children and women in emergencies in the WCARO region.

1 Countries affected by Ebola include Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Neighboring countries at high risk for Ebola include Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Nigeria and Senegal.
2 This does not include Ebola related needs which are reflected in a separate funding table.
3 This includes regional contributions from ECHO (Sahel Nutrition) and DFID (Sahel Nutrition) as per regional proposals submitted by WCARO Nutrition team.
4 The preparedness, response and funding needs for the Ebola outbreak are included in the Ebola appeal.
5 This is the approximate indirect beneficiary number of people to be reached with WASH facility/community based interventions including borehole construction, CLTS around health centers, latrines and hand washing stations in health/community facilities, as well as hygiene promotion and distribution of hygiene kits.
6 The preparedness, response and funding needs for the Ebola outbreak from September 2014 to February 2015 are included in the Ebola appeal.