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Map of Eastern and Southern Africa Region
UNICEF photo: a group of school girls © UNICEF Uganda/2019/Abdul The UNICEF-supported Girls’ Education Club helps crisis-affected girls in Uganda build vital skills.

Eastern and Southern Africa

Regional Office 2020 requirements: US$19,200,000

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Protracted and new disasters have impacted a staggering number of people in Eastern and Southern Africa, and in 2020 will require substantial effort in terms of emergency preparedness and response strategies, mechanisms, tools and partnerships. More than 33 million people in the countries covered in this regional appeal,1 including nearly 17 million children, are in need of humanitarian assistance due to climate-related shocks, health emergencies, conflict, economic shocks and displacement.2 Since the beginning of the southern African monsoon season in 2019, rainfall deficits have led to lower seasonal production, food deficits, price increases, lack of access to clean water, growing food insecurity and a rising number of severe malnutrition cases in many countries in the region.3 Some 2 million people affected by climate shocks in seven countries are included in the scope of this regional appeal.4 The public health risk in the region is also growing, with 10 out of 21 countries reporting cases of cholera and acute watery diarrhoea.5 The Ebola outbreak in the Kivu and Ituri provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo continues to threaten neighbouring countries.6 Other health risks include outbreaks of measles in the Comoros and dengue fever in the United Republic of Tanzania.7 The United Republic of Tanzania and Zambia are also hosting and responding to the needs of more than 330,000 refugees from Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, including 230,000 children on the move.8

Regional humanitarian strategy

Humanitarian funds channelled through the UNICEF Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office are strategically allocated to country offices to facilitate the organization's response to the most pressing needs of children across the region. These funds enable countries to enhance their preparedness and response to emergencies, particularly emergencies that require a multi-country, integrated and immediate response, but that are not large enough in scale to warrant a standalone country appeal. This appeal focuses on four components in line with the Core Commitments for Children in Humanitarian Action. The first is to support multi-country actions for children and women who are displaced and have crossed borders as refugees or migrants by providing technical assistance to governments and partners on child protection case management, family tracing and reunification, alternative care for unaccompanied and separated children, and basic services for health, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), nutrition and education. The second is to support climate-induced disaster response, including to drought, cyclones and flooding, through the delivery of life-saving interventions for children, in partnership with national and international actors. The third is to support preparedness and response to health emergencies by providing clean water supplies, household sanitation and hygiene, WASH in schools and health facilities, and strengthening national health systems to prepare for and respond to epidemics, including Ebola, should the outbreak spread from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.9 The fourth is to provide regional technical assistance, quality assurance and oversight to support countries to achieve humanitarian results in nutrition, health, WASH, child protection, education, HIV and AIDS, social protection and communication for development. UNICEF will also support capacity building for effective preparedness and response to and recovery from humanitarian situations, including on humanitarian performance monitoring, information management preparedness and sector integrated humanitarian response, with a focus on national systems strengthening and resilience building.

Results from 2019

As of 31 August 2019, UNICEF had US$15.78 million available against the US$33 million appeal (48 per cent funded).10 In 2019, UNICEF provided multi-sectoral technical assistance to all medium- and high-risk countries in the region, including to support capacity development and systems strengthening for health emergency response; ongoing drought and flood responses in the Horn of Africa and southern Africa; preparedness for Ebola in the Great Lakes; protection of children on the move in the Great Lakes, the Horn of Africa and southern Africa; and protection of children in conflict settings in the Great Lakes and the Horn of Africa. UNICEF continues to play a key role in the United Nations-wide Ebola prevention and preparedness response, having reached more than 170,000 people with key Ebola messages and prevention supplies in countries without standalone Humanitarian Action for Children appeals. More than 25,000 children have been vaccinated against measles and approximately 60,000 refugees and host community members accessed safe water for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene. UNICEF and partners ensured quality and equity-based education for more than 112,000 refugee children in Rwanda, the United Republic of Tanzania and Zambia. Community surveillance and referral systems were strengthened through active case management of acute malnutrition throughout the region. More than 600 children were admitted for treatment of severe acute malnutrition in Eswatini, the United Republic of Tanzania and Zambia, including 376 refugee children in the United Republic of Tanzania. Strengthened partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) resulted in significant progress in the refugee response. The development of regional humanitarian performance dashboards for five key sectors facilitated analysis of humanitarian performance for countries in the region, which helped improve accountability and determine course corrections. Emergency preparedness capacities were significantly strengthened through updates to UNICEF's online Emergency Preparedness Platform.

Funding requirements

UNICEF is requesting US$19.2 million to meet heightened emergency preparedness and response requirements in Eastern and Southern Africa in 2020. These heightened needs are due to the expanded drought response and preparedness for disease outbreaks. The total request includes US$3.2 million to provide multi-sectoral technical support to new and ongoing emergency situations, strengthen coordination and ensure that countries have adequate capacity to prepare for and launch emergency responses. In addition, US$16 million is required for preparedness and response for natural disasters, climate shocks, children on the move and refugee response.11 The protracted nature of the region’s crises necessitates a complex regional agenda. Regional funding will therefore be critical to supporting countries facing protracted emergencies, as well as countries facing small- or medium-scale emergencies – primarily climatic shocks, disease outbreaks and displacement – that do not have individual 2020 inter-agency or Humanitarian Action for Children appeals. Support is also needed to scale up preparedness and response programming in countries at risk of civil unrest and economic instability and to build resilience in vulnerable communities. Without this funding, UNICEF will be unable to support an adequate response to the humanitarian needs of children and women affected by humanitarian crisis in 2020.

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1 Figure calculated based on the number of people in need, as highlighted in countries' humanitarian needs overviews, humanitarian disaster resilience plans and other needs documents, including health epidemic situation documents and Famine Early Warning System Network Integrated Food Security Phase Classification reports. The countries covered are the Comoros, Eswatini, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, the United Republic of Tanzania and Zambia.
2 This is based on the humanitarian performance monitoring table of needs for Southern Africa, which highlights the number of people and children in need due to multiple hazards such as climate shocks (drought/floods), children on the move/refugee response, Ebola preparedness and non-Ebola health emergencies.
3 This includes southern Angola, northern Namibia, southern Zambia, Zimbabwe, and parts of Lesotho and Botswana. Many areas across the region are experiencing crisis and emergency outcomes (Integrated Food Security Phase Classifications 3 and 4).
4 This is based on the humanitarian performance monitoring table of needs for Southern Africa, which highlights the number of people and children in need due to multiple hazards such as climate shocks (drought/floods), children on the move/refugee response, Ebola preparedness and non-Ebola health emergencies.
5 Almost half of the countries in Eastern and Southern Africa have been affected by cholera outbreaks since the beginning of 2019. More than 12,100 cholera/acute watery diarrhoea cases, including 51 deaths, have been reported in 10 countries in the region since the beginning of 2019, with an average case fatality rate of 0.4 per cent. These countries include Angola, Burundi, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Somalia, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Mozambique accounts for 58.1 per cent (7,034) of the total caseload reported this year, followed by Kenya at 23 per cent (2,789). Malawi, the United Republic of Tanzania and Zambia are all included in this regional appeal.
6 Including the United Republic of Tanzania, with the alert of a suspected Ebola case in September 2019. UNICEF Tanzania stepped up Ebola preparedness under the overall coordination of the National Task Force co-chaired by the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children and the World Health Organization (WHO). Preparedness activities will continue in 2020.
7 World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa, 'Weekly Bulletin on Outbreaks and Other Emergencies: Week 34 – 19–25 August 2019’, WHO, 25 August 2019.
8 United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, 2019.
9 More details can be found in the 2020 Humanitarian Action for Children appeal for the Ebola response.
10 Available funds include US$12,321,280 received against the 2019 appeal and US$3,455,770 carried forward from the previous year.
11 US$13.31 million is required for preparedness and response to climate shocks, including ongoing drought and flood risks (this includes the budgets for the Comoros, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia); US$3.15 million for children on the move and refugee response (this includes the budgets for the Comoros, South Africa, the United Republic of Tanzania and Zambia); and US$2.74 million for disease outbreak preparedness and response at the country level (this includes the budgets for Malawi, Namibia, the United Republic of Tanzania and Zambia).
12 Ibid.
13 Ibid.