EASTERN AND SOUTHERN AFRICA Eritrea
A health worker measures a toddler’s mid-upper arm circumference to gauge his nutrition status. Pervasive child undernutrition is one result of ongoing political instability, food insecurity and recurrent natural disasters.
Children and women in crisis
The children and women in Eritrea remain vulnerable to pervasive undernutrition that limits young children’s physical growth and development and to landmines that demarcate an often hidden border between safety and danger. High consumer prices, drought and floods contribute to continuing levels of food insecurity, and a perennial political impasse with neighbouring Ethiopia hinders efforts to reduce poverty, lessen disaster risk and develop human capacities. Finding a way to work amid government restrictions to deliver effective assistance is crucial to improving the immediate well-being of the country’s most vulnerable people.
Meeting urgent needs and building resilience in 2011
In 2011, UNICEF will continue to work with the Government of Eritrea, UN agencies and non-governmental partners to respond to the needs of about 1.5 million people, primarily children, mired in poverty, plagued by food insecurity and vulnerable to natural hazards. UNICEF’s focus will be ensuring access to health and nutrition care, safe drinking water, and appropriate sanitation and hygiene, and on improving mine-risk education and child protection.
- About 530,000 pregnant and lactating women and children under age 5 will benefit from micronutrient supplementation, vitamin A supplementation and therapeutic feeding programmes.
- One million such children will have access to better health services that offer more trained staff, improved equipment and more efficient drug procurement.
- A safe water source is one of the gateways to health. More than 20,000 people throughout all six of the country’s regions will have access to drinkable water and better sanitation through new or rehabilitated boreholes.
- Around 15,000 nomadic and internally displaced children will be able to count on the stability of an education when they attend child-friendly learning spaces.
- UNICEF will ensure that vulnerable children in communities affected by armed conflict benefit from child-focused landmine risk education and child protection. This work includes providing first aid kits and training community medical volunteers.
Humanitarian funding at work: Highlights from 2010
In 2010, UNICEF estimated that US$24.8 million was needed to fund its work in Eritrea. As of October 2010, only 27 per cent of this request had been received. Despite the shortfall, funding from donors enabled UNICEF and its partners to meet immediate humanitarian needs. Nearly 6,000 children with severe acute malnutri-tion received life-saving treatment, and more than 37,000 people gainedaccess to safe drinking water and sanitation. Landmine risk education reached close to 200,000 people, including 150,000 children.
Funding requirements for 2011
To make significant strides in stabilizing the welfare of women and children in Eritrea, particularly their nutritional status, their access to safe water, and education and protection, UNICEF is requesting US$14,075,000 to carry out its planned activities. Any delay in fully funding programmes will further limit the health and the human potential of Eritrea’s vulnerable population.
More information on achievement of 2010 and the humanitarian action planned for Eritrea in 2011 can be found at www.unicef.org/hac2011.
UNICEF Emergency Needs for 2011 (in US dollars) Total $14,075,000