Humanitarian Action for Children 2012


© UNICEF/NYHQ2011-0453/de Viguerie

A newborn sleeps in Wau Hospital, in Western Bahr al Ghazal State. South Sudan, the world’s newest country, faces complex humanitarian challenges including high infant mortality and continued rebel activity.

Update: CAP Mid-Year Review


Children and Women in Crisis

The Republic of South Sudan became the world’s newest country on 9 July 2011, entering statehood within a complex humanitarian landscape. Throughout 2011, activity by rebel militia groups, intertribal clashes, cattle raiding and attacks by the Lord’s Resistance Army continued to plague parts of the country, fuelled by underdeveloped rule of law institutions and governance gaps.

There is widespread chronic food insecurity, and acute malnutrition is above the emergency threshold, exceeding 20 per cent in certain areas. Just more than half of the population has access to improved sources of drinking water and only 20 per cent to improved sanitation.1 Access to health care remains highly inadequate; less than half of all children have received routine immunization, under-5 mortality is still quite high at more than 100 per 1,000 live births, and maternal mortality is 2,054 per 100,000 live births.2

Outbreaks of violence in the country (between government troops and rebel militia groups, sometimes along ethnic lines) and high levels of tension along the border with Sudan (Abyei crisis) have led to the displacement of more than 300,000 people.3 Clashes in Sudan’s South Kordofan and Blue Nile states have increased the influx of refugees into South Sudan, which currently number more than 18,000.4 This, coupled with an estimated 350,000 returnees from Sudan,5 has put pressure on a situation where there are virtually no social services and minimal existing economic opportunities to support integration. Humanitarian interventions are hampered by price increases and shortages of essential commodities such as fuel as a result of intermittent trade blockages along the border coupled with continued insecurity.

Meeting Urgent Needs in 2012

In 2012, UNICEF, as lead agency for the education, nutrition and WASH clusters, and sub-cluster lead for child protection, will work with the new Government of the Republic of South Sudan, other UN agencies and NGOs to address the emergency needs of approximately 1 million children and 1.5 million women throughout the country, with a priority focus on the volatile border region.

Humanitarian Funding at Work: Highlights from 2011

As of end October 2011, US$26,440,671 (36 per cent) of UNICEF’s mid-year request of US$72,750,000 had been received. UNICEF used this funding to improve the prospects of women and children. Measles immunizations exceeded the planned figure and reached more than 650,000 children 6–59 months old. At least 45,000 children under 5 – or 82 percent of the original target for 2011 – received treatment for severe acute malnutrition. Access to WASH education was provided to 95 per cent of the target or 370,000 people in high-risk areas. A campaign on HIV prevention, care, treatment and support services exceeded planned figures, reaching 380,000 young people, including nearly 40,000 pregnant women, and more than 30,000 benefited from access to HIV testing and counseling. In line with planned expectations, more than 400 separated children were identified and returned, and nearly 200 associated with armed groups were returned to their families. More than 30,000 children (60 per cent of the yearly goal) gained access to 221 protective learning spaces, and more than 300,000 received emergency education supplies. Psychosocial support training was provided to 2,500 teachers and nearly 1,500 community members.

Funding Requirements for 2012

UNICEF is requesting a total of US$62,500,000 to carry out its humanitarian work in the Republic of South Sudan as part of efforts to prevent further deterioration in the health of women and children and consolidate gains made during the past year. UNICEF has aligned this request with the Consolidated Appeals Process (CAP) requirements.

More information on humanitarian action planned for 2012 can be found at

1 United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, ‘Republic of South Sudan: 2011 Consolidated Appeal’, OCHA, New York and Geneva, 20 July 2011, p. 16.
2 Southern Sudan Household Health Survey, 2006, pp. 22, 161. 
3 World Food Programme, ‘The Republic of South Sudan (ROSS) Special Operation 200341’, WFP, Rome, 2011. 
4 United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, ‘Weekly Humanitarian Bulletin: 27 October 2011’, OCHA South Sudan, Juba, 2 November 2011.
5 Ibid.
6 Note that although this figure represents high gender disparity, on the advice of the IASC Gender Standby Capacity, it is calculated based on current enrolment in non-emergency situations, with a targeted 5 per cent reduction in disparity, which is realistic given the cultural context.