Eastern and Southern Africa Region Appeal
Humanitarian Action for Children
UNICEF’s Humanitarian Action for Children appeal helps support the agency’s work as it provides conflict- and disaster-affected children with access to water, sanitation, nutrition, education, health and protection services. Return to main appeal page.
- In the 11 countries covered in this Eastern and Southern Africa regional appeal, approximately 38 million people, including 23 million children, are in need of humanitarian support due to climate-related shocks, health emergencies, conflict and civil unrest, economic deterioration and displacement.
- In collaboration with partners, in these 11 countries UNICEF will deliver life-saving services for children, women and families affected by emergencies, including 860,000 people living in displacement and refugee camps. Advocacy for education will be prioritized to address learning losses incurred during emergencies.
- UNICEF will work with women, youth leaders and community-based organizations to strengthen capacities for emergency preparedness and response. The goal is to build shock-responsive and climate adaptive systems for better child-centred resilience. UNICEF will continue to address gender-based violence prevention, mitigation and response, including protection from sexual exploitation and abuse; and will promote disability inclusion and accountability to affected communities.
- UNICEF is appealing for US$45 million to address humanitarian needs in the 11 countries covered in the regional appeal.
16.1 million people in need of health assistance
7.6 million people in need of nutrition assistance
6.1 million children in need of protection services
3 million out of school children
16.6 million people lack access to safe water
Funding requirements for 2023
Regional needs and strategy
Nearly 38 million people, including 23 million children, need humanitarian support in the 11 countries covered in this regional appeal. Climate-related shocks (including their impact on food insecurity), malnutrition, health emergencies (including Ebola, cholera, measles and polio), civil unrest and conflict, economic deterioration and displacement are the major drivers of humanitarian need. People in need of assistance are as follows: Botswana: 38,000; Burundi: 1.8 million; the Comoros: 345,000; Eswatini: 347,000; Malawi: 3 million; Namibia: 441,000; South Africa: 14 million; United Republic of Tanzania: 750,000; Zambia: 11 million; Lesotho: 582,000; and Rwanda: 4 million. These countries are home to about 860,000 refugees, asylum-seekers and people of concern. They also continue to struggle with the residual impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and a global economic downturn. These have disrupted routine services, predisposing children to the risks of disease and death.
Sixteen million people need urgent health care in the 11 countries, and about 17 million people need clean water and sanitation and hygiene (WASH) support. Poverty and food insecurity have left 7.6 million people in need of nutrition support and other basic services (health, WASH, education, protection and other services). Disrupted learning driven by emergencies, including the residual impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, affects children's education in a context where more than 3 million children are out of school in these 11 countries.
The risks of gender-based violence, including sexual violence, exploitation and abuse and intimate partner violence are becoming even more acute in the region. This is due to drought, widespread food insecurity, displacements, conflict and public health emergencies. Female-headed households, older women, adolescent girls and those with disabilities face heightened vulnerabilities to sexual violence, exploitation and abuse, and greater risk of child marriage and female genital mutilation during emergencies. Extreme poverty is exacerbated by emergencies, and this is also driving displacements. Humanitarian needs are further compounded by the negative impact of climate in the region which is witnessing an increase in the frequency, severity and scale of climate hazards.
In line with government and inter-agency response plans and the Core Commitments for Children in Humanitarian Action, the Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office will provide multisectoral technical, operational and advocacy support to the 11 UNICEF country offices covered in this appeal. This support will strengthen an integrated, multisectoral response to deliver life-saving services for children, women and families affected by climatic shocks and disease outbreaks, including people living in displacement and refugee camps. Additionally, UNICEF will promote sustainable social and behavioural change to prepare for and respond to crises, and will link humanitarian action with development programmes.
UNICEF will support integrated approaches to preventing and treating wasting by offering a continuum of care for children and mothers. UNICEF will emphasize prevention, early detection and treatment (including for HIV) through health facilities and community-based platforms. WASH interventions will address waterborne diseases and contribute to preventing undernutrition, and they will include providing basic services for people affected by emergencies. Access to water in camps, menstrual hygiene and health facilities and schools will be prioritized. UNICEF will advocate for learning in emergency contexts and address the massive learning losses through innovative approaches. UNICEF will work with women, youth leaders and community-based organizations to address gender-based violence, including protection from sexual exploitation and abuse. UNICEF will promote disability inclusion and accountability to affected communities. Strengthening prevention and response to mental health and psychosocial needs in the region will be a priority, including strengthening psychosocial training and support systems for front-line workers, parents and caregivers, children and adolescents.
UNICEF will support risk analysis, preparedness for predictable risks – including health emergencies, climate-shocks and economic deterioration - and regional team technical readiness for deployment where needed. The Regional Office will support country offices to ensure effective and timely response microplanning in emergencies, including through missions/surge deployments.
Humanitarian Action is at the core of UNICEF’s mandate to realize the rights of every child. This edition of Humanitarian Action for Children – UNICEF’s annual humanitarian fundraising appeal – describes the ongoing crises affecting children in Eastern and Southern Africa; the strategies that we are using to respond to these situations; and the donor support that is essential in this response.