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Map of Eastern and Southern Africa Region
UNICEF photo: a woman holds a child who is being fed a package of therapeutic food © UNICEF/UN055445/Modola Angelina Nyanin, 25, holds her niece, Nyalel Gatcauk, 2, who suffers from malnutrition, as a UNICEF nutrition worker gives the baby therapeutic food during a Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM) mission in Thonyor, Leer county, South Sudan.

Eastern and Southern Africa

Regional Office 2017 Requirements: US$20,330,000

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The worst drought in a generation continues to deepen in a number of countries in the Greater Horn of Africa (Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya), exacerbated by three consecutive failed rainy seasons. Approximately 10.2 million children (18.5 million people) are in need due to malnutrition, water shortages, lack of health services, child protection violations and disruption to education. In Somalia, a famine has been adverted but remains a possibility. About 1.4 million people are internally displaced as a direct result of the drought in all three countries, with Somalia accounting for over half of this total. Outbreaks of acute watery diarrhoea / cholera remains a critical concern with over 90,000 cases reported in the Horn of Africa since January 2017. The crisis in South Sudan is deepening and has now left 1.9 million people internally displaced, with 2 million South Sudanese living as refugees in neighbouring countries. Forty percent of the South Sudanese population are food insecure, with children among the most vulnerable facing violence and abuse, hunger, life-threatening diseases, displacement and lack of protection and education opportunities which is exacerbated by a deteriorating economic situation.

In the Great Lakes, at least 3 million people, including 1.2 million children, have been affected by political crisis and continued economic decline in Burundi, while 417,000 Burundians have fled to neighbouring countries as refugees.

Southern Africa continues to be affected by the impact of previous El Niño drought and La Niña floods. While good harvests this year have improved access to food, poor health and pockets of high malnutrition persist, particularly amongst children in Zimbabwe and Southern Madagascar, particularly in the aftermath of cyclones and flooding earlier in the year. Angola has also received over 32,000 refugees from the Kasai region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Disease outbreaks including cholera, typhoid, diarrhoea, dysentery and malaria persist in many parts of the region. Political tensions also present additional compounding risks in some parts of the region, and could trigger further internal displacement and cross-border movements.

Regional humanitarian strategy

The Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office (ESARO) regional humanitarian strategy has two tracks:

The first track provides timely technical assistance and regional level surge support to UNICEF country offices to enable the delivery of effective interventions in the areas of nutrition, health, child protection, education, HIV/AIDS, social protection and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), reaching those most affected by crises. Support is also provided to build capacities and strengthen emergency preparedness, response and risk informed programming by country offices and partners.

The second track focuses on coordinated sectoral and multi-sectoral responses to crises that are regional or sub-regional in nature. This track supports country offices to effectively work together to deliver results at scale across several countries for greater impact, and to ensure optimal collaboration and alignment of approaches between countries. This strategy is currently being implemented in Southern Africa, the Greater Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes sub-regions where the impact of drought and conflict continue to affect children and their families’ in-country, and as communities move between countries.

ESARO mobilizes resources against this regional HAC to respond to both tracks of humanitarian strategy. The aim is to provide technical support and mobilize resources for delivery of results in all sectors at country level, and in multi-country responses.

This regional approach also allows for more effective regional cooperation with other organizations, including through several inter-agency bodies and mechanisms such as: the inter-agency humanitarian coordination forum in Southern Africa (RIASCO), in support of the South Sudan and Burundi Regional Refugee Response Plans (RRRP) and the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF), as well as the Intergovernmental Authority of Development (IGAD) to build further resilience to drought.

Results in 2017

Since January 2017, UNICEF and partners have reached 2.6 million women and children under-5 with life-saving health interventions in the Eastern and Southern Africa region. Half a million children with severe acute malnutrition have received therapeutic treatment; 3.4 million people have been reached with clean water, nearly a million children have been supported to remain/return to school, more than 120,000 children have been provided with comprehensive child protection services; and more than 25,000 households have received emergency unconditional cash-based assistance.

Drawing on enhanced regional capacities, ESARO has supported humanitarian preparedness and response in 17 countries, and trained more than 130 UNICEF staff members in humanitarian programme and emergency response. Significant progress has also been made to support regional bodies to coordinate inter-agency humanitarian action in the region. ESARO continues to support the Level 3 emergency response in South Sudan and Level 2 drought response in the Greater Horn of Africa through operational support, resource allocation, surge capacity, technical guidance and oversight.

Funding requirements

UNICEF has revised its regional humanitarian funding appeal from US$4.3 million to US$20.3 million to meet the growing humanitarian needs among children in Eastern and Southern Africa. To date, the Regional Office has received $9.7 million and has allocated $7.9 million of these funds to the following countries in the region for humanitarian interventions against their HAC appeals, and related multi-country plans and cross-border strategies: South Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Angola. This funding will support urgent humanitarian action for immediate results, while ensuring that the significant development progress achieved for children over the last few decades is not reversed. Without additional funding, UNICEF will be unable to support ongoing and evolving humanitarian action, which will limit the availability of expertise to provide technical guidance and leadership in the sectors of HIV/AIDS, nutrition, health, child protection, education, social protection, operations, logistics and WASH. Humanitarian funds that are mobilized against the regional HAC will also be used to respond to regional and sub-regional situations that are not included in a separate Humanitarian Action for Children 2017 appeal and may not benefit from inter-agency flash appeals to respond to small- or medium-scale emergencies.

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