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Map of Eastern and Southern Africa Region
UNICEF photo: a girl holds a baby © UNICEF Mozambique/2018/Claudio Favrelle Five-month-old Avelino is treated for SAM in a pediatric ward in Mozambique.

Eastern and Southern Africa

Regional Office 2019 requirements: US$33,000,000

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The Eastern and Southern Africa region is affected by recurrent disasters that are undermining the hard-fought development gains of recent years and resulting in major social and economic setbacks. More than 30 million people,1 including 17 million children (45 per cent) are in need of humanitarian assistance due to climate-related shocks, health emergencies and displacement. Droughts, floods and cyclones have left more than 27 million people food insecure.2 The El Niño-related drought developing in southern Africa is affecting more than 8 million people in the six most-affected countries,3 and flooding will likely increase the burdens on vulnerable drought-affected communities. In addition, populations in Comoros, Madagascar and Mozambique remain at risk due to seasonal cyclones and tropical storms. The public health risk in the region is also growing, with 10 out of the 21 countries reporting some 35,000 cases of cholera and acute watery diarrhoea and 420 deaths—a 1.2 per cent case fatality rate4—since the beginning of 2018. The Ebola Virus Disease outbreak in the North Kivu and Ituri provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo continues to threaten neighbouring countries.5 Other health risks include outbreaks of yellow fever in Ethiopia, plague in Madagascar and typhoid fever in Zimbabwe. The situation in South Sudan remains catastrophic for children, with more than 2.1 million people seeking refuge in neighbouring countries, including 1.3 million children on the move.6 The political instability in Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo has led to growing humanitarian needs for children and their families, who have been forced to flee into neighbouring countries.

Regional humanitarian strategy

Humanitarian funds channelled through the Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office are strategically allocated to facilitate response to children’s most pressing needs, across the region. These funds also enable countries to enhance their preparedness and response to emergencies, particularly those emergencies that require a multi-country, integrated and immediate response, and those countries that are likely to require new humanitarian programming in 2019 but without dedicated appeals in Humanitarian Action for Children 2019. This regional appeal focuses on four components. 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 other service providers on child protection case management, family tracing and reunification and alternative care for unaccompanied and separated children, as well as basic services for health, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), nutrition and education. This also includes facilitating the generation and dissemination of child-focused knowledge products, tools and guidance for effective programme monitoring and advocacy. The second is to support climate-induced disaster response, including to drought- and flood-affected countries, through the delivery of life-saving interventions for children, in partnership with national and international actors. This component will use a multi-sectoral and integrated approach in key sectors, including WASH, nutrition, education and health, and support sector coordination. The third is to support preparedness and response to health emergencies by providing clean water supply, household sanitation and hygiene and WASH in schools and health facilities, and contribute to strengthening national systems to respond to Ebola, should the outbreak spread from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 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. The Regional Office will also facilitate country collaboration across borders to ensure that assistance is provided to populations in vulnerable border regions and harmonized across country offices. UNICEF will also support capacity building for effective preparedness for, response to and recovery from humanitarian situations, and emergency preparedness and response training, including on humanitarian performance monitoring and sector-specific humanitarian action. The Regional Office will also support country offices to maintain preparedness by meeting the minimum preparedness standards set out in the Emergency Preparedness Platform.

2019 programme targets

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Results from 2018

As of 31 October 2018, UNICEF had received US$9.3 million for its US$20.8 million appeal (45 per cent funded).7 In 2018, UNICEF provided multi-sectoral technical assistance to all medium- and high-risk countries in the region, including to support: capacity development and system strengthening for responses to health emergencies (i.e., cholera, acute watery diarrhoea and Ebola) in Angola, Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe; ongoing drought and flood responses in the Horn of Africa; preparedness and early action for El Niño-related drought episodes predicted for late 2018/early 2019 in southern Africa; protection of children on the move in South Sudan, the African 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 and partners provided 8 million people with access to clean water, reached nearly 2.3 million women and children under 5 years with life-saving health interventions and provided 700,000 children with SAM with therapeutic treatment. In addition, 1 million children were able to remain in or return to school and 600,000 children received comprehensive child protection services. UNICEF supported more than 26,000 households through the provision of emergency unconditional cash assistance. Strengthened partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) resulted in significant progress in the refugee response, especially through the implementation of the multi-sectoral 2018 Regional Framework for Collaboration. To reinforce humanitarian programming and facilitate learning, UNICEF supported capacity building to implement the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework, provide humanitarian cash transfers and improve accountability to affected populations. The development of regional humanitarian performance dashboards for five key sectors facilitated analysis of humanitarian performance in 10 countries, which helped improve accountability and determine course corrections. Emergency preparedness capacities were significantly strengthened through the roll out of UNICEF’s online Emergency Preparedness Platform in all 21 countries in the region.

Funding requirements

UNICEF is requesting US$33 million to meet the region’s emergency preparedness and response requirements in 2019. Due to continued instability, especially in South Sudan and the Great Lakes Region, resulting in prolonged displacement, UNICEF requires US$12.5 million to respond to the needs of refugee and displaced children and women. Due to the increasing risk of health emergencies, which includes cholera and Ebola Virus Disease, UNICEF is seeking US$4.1 million for effective preparedness and response to epidemics/pandemics. US$13 million is needed to mitigate and respond to the impact of the evolving El Niño situation in southern Africa and address the existing pockets of malnutrition due to chronic food insecurity. These funds will also be used to address flood episodes across the region. An additional US$3.4 million is required 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. Without adequate funding, UNICEF will be unable to support the humanitarian needs of children and women affected by humanitarian crisis.8

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1 Figure calculated based on the number of people in need, as highlighted in humanitarian needs overview, humanitarian disaster resilience plan and other needs documents, including Famine Early Warning System Network Integrated Food Security Phase Classification reports.
2 This figure is based on the number of people categorized as Integrated Food Security Phase Classifications 3 (crisis) and 4 (emergency), according to Famine Early Warning System Network 2019 near-term projections.
3 Food Security and Nutrition Working Group, August 2018.
4 World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa, ‘Weekly Bulletin on Outbreaks and Other Emergencies Week 45: 03 - 09 November 2018’, WHO, 9 November 2018.
5 These countries include Angola, Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan, Uganda and Zambia.
6 Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, ‘South Sudan: 2018 Humanitarian Needs Overview’, OCHA, 2017, https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/South_Sudan_2018_Humanitarian_Needs_Overview.pdf, accessed 11 December 2018.
7 In addition to the US$9.3 million received in 2018, US$2.5 million was carried forward from the previous year for ongoing humanitarian action in countries without a specific Humanitarian Action for Children appeal.
8 There are an estimated 6.3 million people in need, including 3.2 million children, in the countries covered by this appeal.
9 Composed of the budgets for Rwanda, Tanzania and Zambia.
10 Composed of the budgets for Malawi, Rwanda and Zambia.
11 Composed of the budgets for Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi and Mozambique.
12 Applies to support for all 21 countries in the region.