© UNICEF/NYHQ2007-0004/Kamber

Children walk down a debris-strewn street in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia. Conflict and disaster emergencies continue to negatively affect millions of people in Eastern and Southern Africa, exacerbating health, nutrition and education shortfalls.

Children and women in crisis

For much of the past decade, millions of children and women in Eastern and Southern Africa have endured war, political instability, droughts, floods, food insecurity and disease. 2010 was no exception. In eastern Africa, an estimated 17.4 million people1 are food-insecure despite improvement in food security following favourable long rains, particularly in Ethiopia and the Sudan.2 Adverse weather patterns also caused severe flooding and landslides in early 2010; 48,000 people in Uganda and more than 55,000 people in Kenya, Namibia, Rwanda and Zambia were temporarily displaced.3  Flooding and poor sanitation among displaced people led to outbreaks of cholera, acute watery diarrhoea and measles. Armed conflict in southern Somalia threatens children and women and impedes delivery of essential services. In Madagascar and Zimbabwe, political instability, deteriorating physical infrastructure and the public sector’s inability to deliver basic social services have led to further decline in the overall health and well-being of the population. Millions of children remain out of school across the region, the vast majority in countries affected by chronic crises.

Meeting urgent needs and building resilience in 2011

In 2011, the Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office will continue to work with UN agencies, NGOs and other partners to address humanitarian needs across the region. The regional team will continue to provide technical assistance to countries in areas of WASH, health and nutrition, education, and child protection. This will include supporting countries applying the cluster approach with emphasis on ensuring global standards.

Humanitarian funding at work: Highlights from 2010

In 2010, UNICEF estimated that US$4.5 million was needed to fund coordination and technical assistance carried out by the Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office. As of October 2010, no funding had been received. Other resources, however, have been used to strengthen emergency preparedness and response capacities. Burundi, Comoros, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa, Swaziland, Uganda and Zimbabwe are among the countries that benefited from capacity-building support. To combat an increasing number of measles cases, the regional health team helped respond to outbreaks in all 14 countries affected during late 2009 and early 2010; in South Africa and Zimbabwe, the team assisted with nationwide measles immunization campaigns. In addition, UNICEF reached more than 1,200 front-line responders, with workshops on emergency preparedness and response as well as risk reduction in education.

Funding requirements for 2011

UNICEF is requesting US$5.6 million for its humanitarian work in the region in 2011, an increased requirement compared to 2010 stemming from the need to strengthen country office capacity in emergency preparedness and response across all programme sectors. Additional funding will be needed to respond to a refugee influx should the humanitarian situation in Sudan deteriorate in the wake of the referendum in January 2011.

More information on achievements of 2010 and the humanitarian action planned for Eastern and Southern Africa in 2011 can be found at www.unicef.org/hac2011 and at the regional office website at www.unicef.org/esaro.

1 This figure includes the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
2 OCHA Sub Regional Office for Eastern Africa, ‘Humanitarian Snapshot (3rd Quarter)’, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Geneva, October 2010, p. 1.
3 OCHA Sub Regional Office for Eastern Africa, ‘Humanitarian Snapshot (1st Quarter)’, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Geneva, 30 April 2010, p. 1.


UNICEF Emergency Needs for 2011 (in US dollars) Total $5,600,000