Humanitarian Action Report 2007 - Homepage

WEST AND CENTRAL AFRICA

CRITICAL ISSUES FOR CHILDREN

Throughout 2006, a number of countries in the West and Central Africa region continued to face the consequences of sub-regional crises, causing displacement, hindering the provision of basic services, and generally having a dire impact on the well-being of women and children. The nutritional situation in the Sahel region (northern Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger) remained at extremely critical levels, with acute child malnutrition rates among the highest in the world and widespread chronic malnutrition resulting from poor access to essential child survival services, inadequate infant feeding and hygiene practices, and lack of access to water. Moreover, a wave of cholera outbreaks throughout the region has resulted in some 60,200 cases and more than 700 deaths. Protection concerns remained significant, with cross-border movements having dire consequences in terms of sexual and gender-based exploitation and violence, in turn increasing the number of persons affected and/or infected by HIV/AIDS.

PLANNED HUMANITARIAN ACTION FOR 2007

Coordination and support services: To reinforce country level emergency preparedness and response capacity in small-scale emergencies, the UNICEF West and Central Africa Regional Office (WCARO) will manage a Regional Emergency Rapid Response Fund, support contingency planning processes and strengthen regional human resources surge capacity.

Child survival and nutrition: To assist under-five children suffering from acute malnutrition in Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania and Niger, WCARO will develop and implement national policies and protocols for managing acute malnutrition; strengthen national nutrition and child survival surveillance; ensure a pipeline of therapeutic and supplementary foods, anthropometric and monitoring tools AS WELL AS health and hygiene commodities; promote breastfeeding and complementary feeding practices; procure micronutrients and de-worming tablets; undertake measles vaccination; distribute impregnated mosquito nets; promote handwashing and treatment of diarrhoea; strengthen inter-agency coordination.

Water and environmental sanitation: To strengthen regional capacity to respond to cholera outbreaks, WCARO will exchange communication materials between countries and develop a regional reference centre for emergency and pre-emergency hygiene campaigns; establish a regional contingency fund and pre-position supplies in at-risk countries; conduct risk assessments and prepare water/sanitation plans for cholera-prone areas; coordinate country plans in four countries.

Child protection: WCARO will support the following three projects: monitor child rights’ violations along the border of the Mano River Union countries and Côte d’Ivoire; strengthen the inter-agency sub-regional initiative for the protection of children in the Mano River Union and Côte d’Ivoire; and stress counselling and mine-risk education for vulnerable populations in the Gambia, Guinea-Bissau and Senegal affected by the Casamance crisis.

HIV/AIDS: WCARO will undertake capacity-building activities and provide technical assistance to improve prevention and response to gender-based violence and HIV/AIDS among conflict-affected populations.

Basic social services: To assist children and women victims of armed conflict in Guinea, WCARO will implement activities on epidemic outbreak management; sexual abuse and exploitation; and HIV/AIDS. To assist vulnerable groups affected by population movements in Burkina Faso and Mali, WCARO will provide basic social services in protection, education, health and nutrition, and water and sanitation.

Regional Office financial needs for 2007

Sector

US$

Coordination and support services

256,800

Child survival and nutrition

13,598,371

Water and sanitation

882,750

Child protection

2,597,796

HIV/AIDS

802,500

Basic social services (including education)

3,928,826

Total*

22,067,043



* 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 Central African Republic/2006/Caccia