CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE, COMMONWEALTH OF INDEPENDENT STATES Tajikistan
© UNICEF Tajikistan/2010/Sodiqov
A girl receives an oral polio vaccine during a countrywide immunization campaign. The first known outbreak of polio in the country since 1997 struck 458 people, nearly 90 per cent of them children under age 15.
Children and women in crisis
In 2010, a string of emergencies caused by natural disasters and epidemics affected thousands of children and women in Tajikistan, the poorest country in Central Asia.1 Imposing mountainous terrain and geographical isolation make assisting the most vulnerable children even more difficult. An earthquake in Vanj District in January and flooding in Kulob District in April knocked out schools, medical centres, and water and sanitation facilities, restricting women’s and children’s access to essential services, and weakening the health and nutritional status of close to 10,000 people. The first known outbreak of polio in the country since 19972 struck 458 people, nearly 90 per cent of them under age 15, and severely taxed the capacity of national response systems.3 The outbreak was contained, but not before it spread to several neighbouring countries. The global economic crisis, high food prices, political tension with Uzbekistan and deteriorating internal security, particularly in the Rasht Valley, have compounded the acute distress and humanitarian need of ordinary people in Tajikistan.
Meeting urgent needs and building resilience in 2011
In 2011, UNICEF will continue to work with the Government of Tajikistan, other UN agencies and NGOs to improve the welfare of 3.1 million children as well as 1.7 million women of reproductive age. UNICEF, which is the lead agency for the WASH cluster and co-lead in the education cluster with Save the Children, expects to achieve the following results:
- Children will be protected from the scourge of polio through the supply of two rounds of oral poliovirus vaccine, along with social mobilization interventions to ensure a 99 per cent coverage rate against polio among 3 million children under age 15.
- Micronutrient supplements will help prevent deterioration in the nutritional status of 20,000 undernourished children and mothers at risk.
- Up to 30,000 households affected by floods, earthquakes and human-made disasters will benefit from ongoing emergency hygiene education and the distribution of 100,000 20-litre water containers, 270 water purification packs, 300,000 hygiene kits and 600,000 bars of soap to ensure access to safe water, sanitation and basic hygiene.
- Children in emergency-affected areas will find continuity in schooling when temporary learning centres are established: 1,500 schoolchildren will benefit from School-in-a-Box kits with essential supplies for learning; 10,000 children in residential care institutions and boarding schools will have access to basic care and services, should an extreme weather emergency occur, and psychosocial support will be provided for an estimated 10,000 children through established child-friendly spaces in resettlement areas and communities.
- UNICEF, together with the ministry of education and the Government of Tajikistan’s Committee of Emergency Situations and Civil Defense, will pilot a school-based disaster risk reduction (DRR) model in selected schools in disaster-prone areas. The model helps DRR capacity building of schools by training teachers and relevant local officials, promoting emergency preparedness activities, mobilizing communities and providing emergency preparedness and response-related supplies.
Humanitarian funding at work: Highlights from 2010
In 2010, UNICEF estimated that US$6,200,000 was needed for humanitarian activities in Tajikistan. As of October 2010, a total of US$200,000 – only 3 per cent of the goal – had been received. UNICEF, however,was able to mobilize resources quickly for the polio emergency and supported six rounds of national and one round of sub-national polio immunizations. Around 2,000 people affected by floods in Kulob District benefited from an emergency hygiene campaign that included distribution of chlorine tablets; around 300 households (2,100 people) received water containers, hygiene kits, soap and water purification tablets. In 510 schools of the 20 most disaster-prone districts, over 1,000 teachers were trained in simple and effective disaster risk reduction measures. In addition, about 750 children and 560 adults received psychosocial support following the earthquake in Vanj.
Funding requirements for 2011
To make significant strides in stabilizing the welfare of women and children in disaster-prone areas of Tajikistan, UNICEF is requesting US$5,540,000 for 2011. Immediate and full funding can help children and women in Tajikistan find a foothold of health and stability.
More information regarding the details of the humanitarian action plans for Tajikistan can be found at www.unicef.org/hac2011 and the country office at www.unicef.org/tajikistan.
1 United Nations Development Programme, Human Development Report 2010 – The Real Wealth of Nations: Path-ways to human development, UNDP, New York, 2010, p. 145.
2 World Health Organization, ‘Polio in Tajikistan, First Importation Since Europe Certified Polio-Free’, WHO Global Alert and Response, Geneva, 23 April 2010, <www.who.int/csr/don/2010_04_23/en/index.html>, accessed 7 December 2010.
3 World Health Organization, ‘Polio in Central Asia and the North Caucasus Federal Region of the Russian Federation’, WHO Global Alert and Response, Geneva, 13 November 2010, <www.who.int/csr/don/2010_11_13/en/index.html>,accessed 7 December 2010.
UNICEF Emergency Needs for 2011 (in US dollars) Total $5,540,000