UNICEF appeals for US$ 4.4 million to respond to latest Ebola outbreak in North Kivu
GOMA, 29 OCTOBER 2021 – UNICEF needs US$ 4.4 million to fund its emergency Ebola response in Beni, located in the eastern province of Nord Kivu in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
These funds will enable UNICEF to quickly scale up its response, promote integrated life-saving interventions, implement a community-based approach to provide more timely, effective and efficient support to affected communities and children, and strengthen prevention and preparedness activities.
This latest Ebola resurgence was declared on 8 October 2021 and is the second this year in DRC. Seven people were infected – including three children under five – and five have died in the Beni Health Zone in the North Kivu province.
As part of its contribution to the Ebola response plan led by the Congolese Ministry of Health, UNICEF and its partners will:
- Strengthen infection prevention and control measures in health facilities and other social services spaces, and promote improved hygiene practices;
- Engage communities to improve access to life-saving information on safe and preventive behaviours;
- Provide nutritional care for Ebola patients and children, and promote appropriate child and infant feeding practices in the Ebola Treatment Centers and affected communities;
- Ensure continuity of essential health and nutrition services, including promotion of COVID-19 vaccination and maternal and newborn care;
- Provide mental health and psychosocial support to families and children affected by Ebola;
- Support integrated outbreak analysis to better understand outbreak dynamics and its impact on communities for a more effective response.
UNICEF will continue to prioritize prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse (PSEA) and gender-based violence and will apply this approach to all its activities in a holistic and systematic manner.
UNICEF has already allocated US$ 750,000 of its core funding to meet critical needs. Together with its partners, UNICEF has been on the ground since the first days of the outbreak to provide services and assistance. Examples of the ongoing work to Ebola include:
- Distributing 160 cubic meters of critical water & sanitation and nutrition supplies to health centers in the Beni Health Zone. These supplies include large capacity water tanks, buckets, personal protective equipment, chlorine to treat water, soap bars and antibiotics;
- Distributing water and sanitation and hygiene kits to more than 20 health facilities, 48 households and 13 schools and in the Beni Health Zone;
- Training 289 Community Action Cells (CAC) to bring Ebola awareness and infection prevention messages to more than 65,000 people in the Beni and Mabalako Health Zones;
- Setting up a creche to care for children whose parents are receiving treatment in the Ebola Treatment Centre in Beni;
- Providing psychological support to patients in the Ebola Treatment Center and isolation units, as well as to their family members and those who have had their homes disinfected;
- Training 24 trainers on prevention of sexual abuse and exploitation (PSEA) representing 24 structures and organizations involved in the Ebola response. All participants signed the humanitarian code of conduct;
UNICEF’s response to the resurgence of Ebola in North Kivu is part of its DRC Humanitarian Action for Children 2021, which is only 24 per cent funded. More than ever, UNICEF needs flexible and timely funding to slow down the spread of Ebola and limit its impact on children in DRC.