CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE, COMMONWEALTH OF INDEPENDENT STATES
Zulhumar Amanbaev kisses her son, Abdulmutalib, in their home in Jalal-Abad, Kyrgyzstan. Natural disasters in Tajikistan and the political crisis in Kyrgyzstan have displaced hundreds of thousands and increased health risks for children.
Children and women in crisis
CEE/CIS is a region prone to an array of natural disasters, from floods to earthquakes and avalanches, as well as occasional political crises. Such conditions leave women and children highly vulnerable to displacement, protection concerns and severe health problems. In 2010, a combination of floods and earthquakes in the Pamir Mountains and in southern Tajikistan resulted in displacement of families, destruction of schools and public health facilities, and loss of life. In addition, 476 cases of polio were reported in the country, some 70 per cent of them in children,1 in the first outbreak since the European Region was certified polio-free in 2002.2 In spring 2010, the violent overthrow of the Kyrgyzstan Government became a regional humanitarian crisis when about 400,000 people were displaced and an additional 75,000 refugees, among them 30,000 children, briefly sought shelter in Uzbekistan.3
Meeting urgent needs and building resilience in 2011
In 2011 UNICEF’s CEE/CIS Regional Office will place priority on continuing to build capacities for emergency response among staff in country offices and partner agencies. Risk reduction activities will be further expanded, with particular attention to the education sector.
- The CEE/CIS Regional Office will roll out the organization’s Early Warning and Preparedness system as the primary tool for implementing emergency preparedness procedures and activities in the region.
- The regional team will coordinate, manage and oversee the Disaster Preparedness Programme of the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid Department (DIPECHO)-funded disaster risk reduction programme in South Caucasus and Central Asia. The programme covers risk reduction activities in the education and early childhood development sector in the following countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
- The regional office will expand and build a regionally based surge capacity of trained staff for rapid emergency response and deployment.
Humanitarian funding at work: Highlights from 2010
In 2010, UNICEF estimated that US$1,650,000 was needed to fund emergency response work in the CEE/CIS region. As of October 2010, a total of US$2,110,059 had been received. In 2010, the UNICEF CEE/CIS Regional Office supported the country offices in responding to a number of emergencies, including earthquakes in Tajikistan and Turkey, and floods in Kazakhstan, Montenegro, the Republic of Moldova and Tajikistan. UNICEF country offices responded by supporting national authorities and partners in conducting rapid assessments and carrying out the relief response. In Kyrgyzstan, UNICEF was able to respond quickly to the needs of displaced women and children by being an active member of the humanitarian country team – and within this framework, led the clusters for WASH, child protection and gender-based violence, and co-led the education cluster with Save the Children. In response to the polio outbreak in Tajikistan, the regional office coordinated a major vaccination effort, with the goal of a 99 per cent coverage rate for children under 15 years old.
Funding requirements for 2011
UNICEF is requesting US$900,000 for its regional support to humanitarian work in Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States in 2011 in order to strengthen readiness and response to the different types of disasters that could leave women and children in the region vulnerable to displacement, serious protection concerns and health-related issues.
More information regarding the details of the humanitarian action plans for Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States can be found at www.unicef.org/hac2011 and at the regional website at www.unicef.org/ceecis.
1 Global Polio Eradication Initiative, ‘October/November 2010: Facts & Figures’, World Health Organization, Geneva, 9 November 2010, <www.polioeradication.org/Mediaroom/Monthlysituationreports.aspx>, accessed 1 December 2010.
2 World Health Organization, ‘Polio in Central Asia and the North Caucasus Federal Region of the Russian Federation’, WHO, Geneva, 13 November 2010, <www.who.int/csr/don/2010_11_13/en/index.html>, accessed 30 November 2010.
3 Kyrgyzstan extended and revised flash appeal, June 2010 – June 2011, June 2010, p. 12.
UNICEF Emergency Needs for 2011 (in US dollars) Total $900,000