MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA
A displaced family sits in their tent on the outskirts of the city of Suleimaniya in the northern Kurdistan region of Iraq. Protracted conflict and high levels of displacement in the region continue to take their toll on children.
Critical Issues for Children and Women
The Middle East and North Africa region faces a range of humanitarian concerns affecting children due to the combination of sharp economic disparities, increasing hardship and a number of protracted conflict situations – including those in Iraq, the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Sudan – as well as several emerging conflicts, such as that which has recently affected parts of northern Yemen. Extremely high levels of internal displacement associated with these complex emergencies, for example, 2.7 million people in Darfur and 2.2 million people in Iraq, present a range of challenges. While the region suffered only a limited number of natural disasters in 2009, severe drought in Djibouti has led to a nutrition crisis in which the global acute malnutrition (GAM) rate among children under five in Djibouti is reaching critical levels of 28.8 per cent in the most affected areas. As a result, emergency preparedness for rapid response across the region remains essential.
Planned Humanitarian Action for 2010
In 2010, UNICEF in the Middle East and North African Regional Office (MENARO) will continue to strengthen both regional and in-country capacity to prevent, prepare for and respond to crises affecting children in the region. Working with partners, MENARO will focus on providing immediate resource mobilization (supply, human and financial) for emergency response, as well as training and development of in-country capacity. This includes supporting country offices in their Inter-Agency Standing Committee global cluster lead accountabilities in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, Nutrition and Education Clusters, and the Child Protection Sub-Cluster. The following are the expected results of UNICEF’s emergency interventions:
Emergency Readiness and Response for UNICEF Country Offices
- Critical Capacity Development for Preparedness: The capacity of country offices in the region to provide immediate and efficient humanitarian response will be improved through support to the emergency response and preparedness and contingency planning process, training in cluster coordination, emergency simulation exercises and the rapid deployment of experienced staff, particularly in sectors where UNICEF has sector/cluster leadership, as well as the roll-out of performance monitoring tools in at least two countries of the region.
- Improved Analysis for Early Warning: UNICEF’s capacity to identify possible threats to women and children and accurately define trends and opportunities to conduct more effective advocacy and action will be expanded through collaboration with an external think-tank for production of analytical reports which are integrated into early warning, early action systems.
- Sub-Regional Warehouse: Emergency preparedness and response capacity will be increased through the establishment of a road-accessible warehouse in a host country in the region with the capability to store enough humanitarian supplies for an initial response to 50,000 persons.
Emergency Preparedness and Response for National Partners
- Regional Training Centre: Opportunities for national partners (civil servants and staff of national organizations) to build their capacity for emergencies will improve through the establishment of a Humanitarian Training Centre located in a host country in the region. MENARO will also mobilize partnerships and stakeholders in preparation for opening of the centre in 2011.
- Disaster Risk Reduction: Counterpart capacity to identify, assess and react to disaster risks will be expanded through strategic partnership with the League of Arab states, support to innovative programmes focused on risk reduction in schools and technical assistance to ensure integration of this critical approach in national plans and priorities in the region.
Analysis Tools for Advocacy
- The Children in Conflict Monitor: Reliable data about the impact of conflict on children and women’s rights will be increasingly available for use in advocacy as a result of clarifying indicators and improving data collection tools and methods for tracking change over time.
Emergency Response in Djibouti
- Emergency needs: Targeted health and nutrition interventions will aim to contain and mitigate epidemics, illness and death, as well as address acute malnutrition in children under five. Water, sanitation and hygiene interventions will further expand to reduce waterborne disease, especially cholera. Children living and working on the streets and other vulnerable children will benefit from increased child protection support in part through the integration of child protection measures into cross-sectoral programmes, including education.
|Summary of UNICEF Emergency Needs to fulfil|
Core Commitments for Children for 2010
|Emergency Readiness and Response for UNICEF Country Offices||500,000|
|Emergency Preparedness and Response for National Partners||400,000|
|Analysis Tools for Advocacy||100,000|
|Emergency Response in Djibouti||3,000,000|