Humanitarian Action Report 2007 - Homepage

ESARO SWAZILAND

CRITICAL ISSUES FOR CHILDREN


AIDS is having a devastating impact on children in Swaziland. An estimated 69,000 children have been orphaned due to AIDS-related causes, and an additional 60,000 are highly vulnerable due to the extreme poverty of caregivers, the sickness of parents, or home situations of abuse and exploitation. As a result of the impact of AIDS, more than one third of children cannot access basic services, including health, food, education, water and sanitation and psychosocial support. While Neighbourhood Care Points (NCPs) help many of the poorest and most vulnerable meet basic needs, they are only reaching about 20 to 25 per cent of orphaned and vulnerable children (OVC). Swaziland’s under-five mortality rate, estimated at 74 per 1,000 live births in 1995, now stands at 156 per 1,000.

The plight of children is further exacerbated by successive years of drought, which have one third of children stunted and one third of the country’s population dependent on food aid. The regional food crisis in 2006 will aggravate the situation, further increasing the burden on communities already trying to take in orphaned children.

PLANNED HUMANITARIAN ACTION FOR 2007

Health and nutrition: At least 25,000 OVC will benefit from expanded community outreach and counselling services, using community-based personnel supervised by nurses. UNICEF will procure and distribute essential emergency drugs and micronutrients for 250 outreach sites and 500 NCPs, as well as support the strengthening of outreach services to NCPs and communities in the crisis areas.

Water and environmental sanitation: UNICEF will provide safe water to at least 12,000 children in drought-affected NCPs by drilling wells and boreholes, installing village-level operation and maintenance pumps, providing maintenance training, meeting operational costs for emergency water provision from identified safe sources, supplying soap, water purification tablets and two 5,000-litre water storage tanks for 438 existing NCPs.

Education: UNICEF will train and equip 1,675 caregivers to provide early childhood development services and life skills education to some 25,000 children at 335 NCPs.

Child protection: More than 25,000 children will benefit from activities that seek to strengthen community resources for child protection and to promote the basic rights of OVC, by establishing 335 NCPs that will provide day care, feeding, shelter, protection, and psychosocial support; and by providing cloth to NCP caregiver associations to make basic clothing.

Summary of UNICEF financial needs for 2007

Sector

US$

Health and nutrition

500,000

Water and environmental sanitation

870,000

Education

120,000

Child protection

2,150,000

Total*

3,640,000

* The total includes a maximum recovery rate of 7per cent. The actual recovery rate on contributions will be calculated in accordance with UNICEF Executive Board Decision 2006/7 dated 9 June 2006.