UNICEF responds to emergency needs of children and women affected by xenophobic violence in South Africa
Pretoria, SA, 26 May 2008…Following ten days of violent attacks on foreign nationals, migrant workers, refugees and asylum seekers and South African citizens living in some of the country’s informal settlements, UNICEF South Africa has joined forces with the cities of Johannesburg, Ekhuruleni, and Tshwane, areas hardest hit by the violence, to provide emergency relief supplies to meet immediate needs of vulnerable women and children.
The provisions, including adult hygiene kits, food, clothing, and blankets for victims of the violence, most of whom fled their homes with few no possessions, will help ensure that babies, young children and mothers are adequately clothed, safely and appropriately fed and that basic hygiene is maintained.
Exact figures vary, but at least 17,000 people have been displaced in Gauteng alone, among them a minimum of 6,000 children and women. Western Cape and KwaZulu Natal Provinces are also reporting large numbers of displaced people.
To date, UNICEF has delivered the following emergency supplies to the South African Red Cross and the City of Johannesburg Migration Desk:
Needs exacerbated as temperatures plummet
Supporting early childhood care
UNICEF contributes to the emergency response effort organized by the Joint Operational Centres (JOCs) of the City of Johannesburg, Ekhuruleni Metropole, and the Province of Gauteng and coordinates its efforts through United Nations sister agencies, under the leadership of IOM, with support from OCHA.