Humanitarian Action Report 2007 - Homepage

ESARO ZAMBIA

CRITICAL ISSUES FOR CHILDREN

The mutually reinforcing ‘triple threat’ of high HIV/AIDS prevalence, chronic and acute food insecurity and poverty, and weak governance, continues to take its toll on one of the world’s poorest nations. Health indicators are at critical levels, with under-five mortality estimated at 182 deaths per 1,000 live births; maternal mortality ratio at 750 deaths per 100,000 live births and life expectancy at birth at 38 years, the fourth lowest in the world. Malaria accounts for one-third of under-five deaths, with HIV/AIDS, diarrhoea, respiratory infections and neonatal conditions constituting other main causes. Almost 50 per cent of under-five children suffer from chronic malnutrition. Sixteen per cent of Zambians aged 15-49 years are HIV-positive and an estimated 1.1 million children are orphaned, many themselves HIV-positive.

In rural areas, some 4.8 million people lack access to safe water and 6.6 million to adequate sanitation, with cholera endemic in several areas. The education sector is seeing a combination of low school enrolment and low school achievement, leading to only one out of five children realizing his/her right to a quality basic education. Traditional coping mechanisms are breaking down, and gender-based abuse and violence against women and children are increasing.

PLANNED HUMANITARIAN ACTION FOR 2007

Health, nutrition and HIV/AIDS: UNICEF will establish a nutritional status surveillance system; support the rehabilitation of severely malnourished children; strengthen the existing disease surveillance recognition and response system; support malaria prevention and control through the distribution of impregnated mosquito nets and antimalarial drugs; ensure targeted measles vaccination of children under 15 years in vulnerable areas; maintain and increase immunization coverage.

Water and environmental sanitation: In the Southern and Eastern provinces, UNICEF will construct/rehabilitate 100 boreholes, latrines and handwashing facilities in 200 schools; conduct hygiene campaigns; distribute 20-litre jerrycans in 200 schools and vegetable seeds for school gardens; and provide programme support in 10 districts.

Education: In all drought-affected and vulnerable schools in the Western, Southern, Eastern and Lusaka provinces, UNICEF will promote sports as a medium for messages on HIV/AIDS prevention and child abuse; provide recreation and school-in-a-box kits; and train teachers and parents/community school committee members on social mobilization and advocacy through sports.

Child protection: UNICEF will support consultations and promote the enactment of the draft bill on gender violence; train 90 community facilitators on international legal instruments related to children’s and women’s rights to raise awareness in 100 communities in 18 districts; support 100 Community Welfare Assistance Committees (CWACs) to monitor abuse and gender violence; provide psychosocial support to victims of violence and households caring for orphaned and vulnerable children (OVC); strengthen coping mechanisms of elderly-headed households caring for OVC and ensure access to basic social services; train 300 law enforcement officers on human rights instruments and management of abuse cases; provide technical assistance to implement and monitor child protection emergency interventions.

Summary of UNICEF financial needs for 2007

Sector

US$

Health, nutrition and HIV/AIDS

3,000,000

Water and environmental sanitation

890,000

Education

1,450,000

Child protection

750,000

Total*

6,090,000

* 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.