Humanitarian Action Report 2007 - Homepage

SOUTH ASIA

CRITICAL ISSUES FOR CHILDREN

Despite rapidly growing economies, governments’ commitment to the Millennium Development Goals, rights-based constitutions and ambitious development plans, the children in South Asia face a myriad of challenges. The region has the highest number of children living in absolute poverty, the highest prevalence of underweight children and the highest child mortality rates in the world. The region also lags behind in primary school enrolment and completion, and has the greatest number of primary school-aged children out of school. While there has been progress, more than 900 million people still live without access to improved sanitation facilities. In addition to systemic abuse through child labour, bonded labour and trafficking, children face many challenges compounding those related to poverty and access to quality social services, such as social exclusion due to gender, caste, religion, ethnicity, language, disability, and geographical location. Pervasive armed conflicts and frequent and severe natural disasters are realities in many countries, with earthquakes, droughts and floods affecting tens of millions of people perennially. In addition, political crises and civil strife are posing severe challenges for human rights and child protection.

PLANNED HUMANITARIAN ACTION FOR 2007

Reinforcement of linkages from preparedness to early action at the country level: Specific activities of the UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia (ROSA) include improving tools and practices for the formulation of updated generic preparedness plans and for specific hazard-based contingency planning at country level; providing direct field support for contingency planning in Country Offices facing imminent crisis, undertaking special simulation exercises and offering training opportunities to strengthen staff’s programmatic and operations capacities in scenario-specific emergencies; providing direct technical assistance in supply management and logistics, mobilization of resources for Country Office-managed purchases and pre-positioning of emergency contingency supplies; extending the use of newly developed monitoring and evaluation tools for emergency response activities, notably DevInfo 5.0 and UNITRACK.

Human resources reinforcement – establishment of a comprehensive Regional Rapid Response Team (RRRT) and surge capacity at regional level: To ensure minimal levels of readiness are in place, ROSA will establish a comprehensive rapid response team and external surge capacity commensurate with UNICEF’s global cluster approach leadership roles in coordination and partnership with other humanitarian actors, and ROSA’s technical support, guidance and oversight accountabilities as required in UNICEF’s Core Commitments for Children in Emergencies. This will include ensuring the permanence of the Regional Emergency Planning Cluster Assistant and Project Officer positions, and the addition of an Emergency Regional Nutrition Adviser to reflect all programme areas of UNICEF’s cluster approach leadership responsibilities.


Regional Office financial needs for 2007

Sector

US$

Reinforcement of linkages from preparedness to early action at country level

 

1,258,100

Human resources reinforcement – establishment of a comprehensive Regional Rapid Response Team and surge capacity at regional level

 

537,700

Total*

1,795,800



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

© UNICEF Afghanistan/2006