Xenophobic Violence Outbreak
Important note: The information on this page is out of date and is only available for archival purposes.
The current focus is on the reintegration of the remaining displaced families in both Gauteng and the Western Cape Provinces. UNICEF continues to compliment the UNHCR response – that is two-pronged a) the immediate needs of the families as they depart from the Shelters through a cash transfer; and b) the psychosocial and protection interventions to ensure a smooth reintegration process over the coming months.
A brief summary of UNICEF’s overall response to the Emergency
UNICEF worked closely with the South African government in the response to the humanitarian crisis through interventions in the areas of Health and Nutrition; Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, Basic Education and Child Protection. A brief overview of the interventions is as follows:
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
UNICEF was the Sector Leader in Water, Hygiene and Sanitation (WASH) during the emergency and the response included:
Health and Nutrition
UNICEF was the Sector Leader in Nutrition and WHO in Health. The response included:
The UNICEF Protection response (Sector Lead on Child protection sub-sector of the Protection cluster lead by UNHCR) included:
The Education (UNICEF – Sector Lead) response included:
The humanitarian community in South Africa supported the National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC) in providing humanitarian technical expertise and standards. Coordination meetings were held weekly and then bi-monthly in the last two months within and among the clusters, in collaboration with the NDMC.
Towards the end of the emergency response UNICEF moved to the recovery phase which in this case consisted of education and protection interventions to promote the reintegration process for those families who are not eligible for repatriation or asylum as part of UNHCR’s programme. The interventions specifically include the following:
Community-based reintegration activities and psycho-social support
During the emergency UNICEF had a Health & Nutrition response, a limited sanitation response, and a larger Education and Protection Response. Supply items in bulk did make up a component of the response but this has since ended. UNICEF is implementing the final reintegration phase of the response via a two-pronged approach:
The reintegration activities are largely implemented through the Education and Protection programmes. Currently, Gauteng camps are all officially closed (although a small number of people still stay in a closed site in Akasia) whilst Western Cape camps are de-registered but still host approximately 770 people in Blue Waters – Camp B & C.
Exit Cash Transfer Scheme
UNHCR implemented a cash transfer programme through JRS (Jesuit Refugee Centre) in Gauteng and is currently working through CTRC (Cape Town Refugee Centre) in the Western Cape specifically for Non-South Africans who are either registered asylum seekers or claiming asylum/repatriation. In an agreement on the division of labour with UNHCR it was agreed that UNICEF would cater for Non-South Africans who have been displaced and who wish to reintegrate into South African communities with an Exit Cash Transfer Scheme. Many of the internally displaced come from Mozambique and Malawi with some additional numbers of households from Congo. In general, the numbers of households that participated in the UNICEF scheme have been significantly smaller than those of the UNHCR programmes.
In Gauteng, a total of 868 displaced households with 398 children participated in the UNICEF Exit Cash Transfer Scheme and were consequently able to safely reintegrate back into the respected communities.
In the Western Cape, a total of 139 displaced households with a minimum of 45 children have participated in this scheme thus far and an additional 19 families will still participate in the scheme in the coming week.
UNICEF focused its response on two levels – protection needs during the period of displacement, and protection needs during the process of reintegration. In both cases the practical emphasis has been on psycho-social Care and Support. To support the reintegration process UNICEF formed a partnership with the Centre for Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR) in Gauteng which is working with its own partners in turn, to build capacity to facilitate the successful integration of people affected by the xenophobic attacks. Specifically, the partnership will aim to do the following:
In Addition, UNICEF formed a partnership with Trauma Centre in the Western Cape which is focusing on caring for the mental health of the internally displaced people, ‘psycho-education’ and awareness on contributing factors to mental wellbeing. Specifically the partnership will aim to do the following:
As the camps have now been disbanded the focus continues to be on reintegration and the provision of psychosocial support. UNICEF through the Refugee Children’s Project (RCP) is working closely with the schools, children, parents and the communities at large on issues of tolerance, conflict resolution, diversity, and psychosocial support particularly at school level. During the period of 1 November – 31 December (and possibly beyond) RCP is focusing on service delivery, working with the schools, and working into the communities.
During the period of 1 – 30 November, UNICEF through the Educational Support Services Trust (ESST) monitored children at schools to which they have returned as well as monitoring children in transit.