The Response UNICEF/NYHQ2012-1706/Estey People affected by Typhoon Bopha receive family hygiene kits and jerrycans at an aid distribution site in the flood-ravaged town of New Bataan, in Compostela Valley Province in Davao Region in south-eastern Mindanao, the Philippines

The response

UNICEF worked with partners in support of host governments and civil society to provide results for children and women through the delivery of programmes in nutrition; health; water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH); child protection; education; and HIV and AIDS. In many countries, UNICEF was also responsible for leading or co-leading clusters and areas of responsibility for nutrition; WASH; education; child protection; and gender-based violence.

Prominent among the results through October 2012 was the treatment of malnutrition (2 million children treated), including more than 700,000 severely malnourished who were reached as part of a Sahel-wide scale-up. Achievements also included the provision of vaccinations (38.3 million immunized), micronutrients and safe drinking water (12.4 million people provided with access to safe water for drinking, cooking and bathing); and basic child protection services (reaching 2.4 million children with a variety of services). Some 3 million children were provided with access to improved education, including through temporary spaces, and 1 million people were provided with access to HIV and AIDS testing, counselling and referral for treatment.

UNICEF response in 2012 included the following results.1

2 million children
were treated for severe and moderate malnutrition

38.3 million children
were immunized

12.4 million people
were provided with access to safe water for drinking, cooking and bathing

2.4 million children
were provided with child protection services

3 million children
were provided with access to improved education, including through temporary spaces

1 million were provided with access to testing, counselling and referral for treatment

Children and women were reached through innovative approaches, such as the continued expansion of community-based interventions and improved coordination and collaboration among partners and sectors. Increased efforts to mobilize and train community members in detecting and referring malnutrition and child protection cases enabled more children to be treated and more child protection cases to be addressed. Where crises affected several countries, or spilled over into neighbouring states, cross-border strategies and subregional mechanisms were increasingly used, such as the approach to the three major cross-border cholera outbreaks in West and Central Africa. Additional results were possible through the use of pre-positioned stocks, which enabled some country offices to respond to emergencies in a timely manner, while in others, Colombia and Madagascar, for example, some of the emergency needs were met by the re-allocation of funds from regular programme resources. Closer partnerships and improved cohesion in programme planning, implementation and monitoring between sectors, coordination groups and organizations led to increased efficiency and to better and more timely delivery of services. This was increasingly evident between the WASH and nutrition sectors in the Sahel; between WASH and health sectors in the response to cholera, including in Haiti; between WASH and education in providing toilets in schools; and in the provision of health, WASH and education services to child protection centres.

But humanitarian responses also faced significant constraints. Scarce resources meant prioritizing some sectors and services over others, compromising the ability to address child rights comprehensively. Sanitation services, hygiene promotion, improved education, health-care services and the launching of information campaigns to prevent HIV and AIDS or landmine injuries were severely compromised, with lack of funding given as the main, but not the only, constraint. People’s ability to access humanitarian assistance was also hampered or denied, prevented at times by insecurity and at times by the physical challenges of poor infrastructure. Some of these challenges were also compounded by insufficient national and international commitment and political will. Weak implementation capacity and a lack of resources for local and international partners also compromised the ability to scale up effectively and adequately in some cases.

1 2012 results include HAC countries only; Humanitarian results covering all UNICEF responses will be available in 2013.