Humanitarian Action Report 2007 - Homepage



In 2006 severe floods in 7 out of Ethiopia's 11 regions killed at least 635 people, destroyed farmland, forced thousands to leave their villages and exposed up to 235,800 under-fives to risks of homelessness, water-borne diseases and malnutrition. The pervasive poverty of most Ethiopian children increases their vulnerability to the onset of emergencies. This is in turn compounded by inadequate implementation capacity at local level, gender inequality, disproportionate service provision between urban and rural areas, poor sanitation and underserved vulnerable groups, including pastoralist communities.

Children have to face the appearance and spread of a range of conditions, including measles, acute watery diarrhea (AWD), meningitis and polio. While under-five mortality has declined by 1.8 per cent per year since 1990 and is now estimated at 164 per 1,000 live births, preventable conditions such as malaria, diarrhoeal diseases, pneumonia and neonatal complications still account for nearly a quarter of all child deaths. Global acute and severe acute malnutrition levels are critical at 23.5 and 3.9 per cent respectively, malnutrition remaining the underlying cause of more than half of all child deaths in the country.

Children's education suffers badly during emergency situations. Schools across the drought-hit Somali region closed as pastoralists took their children out of classes to help supplement the family income, and many schools were closed or destroyed as floodwaters overwhelmed communities during the rainy season. Children across Ethiopia are facing alarming levels of physical, sexual and physiological violence in the private as well as the public domain. There are also indications that increasing numbers of children are made more vulnerable to cross-cutting problems like trafficking and commercial sex work.


Health and nutrition: UNICEF will purchase therapeutic products for 240,000 severely malnourished children; supply life-saving package of interventions, including vitamin A supplementation, de-worming, measles vaccination and nutritional screening for 7 million children; procure and distribute 500 emergency drug kits for 1,250,000 people; fund, equip and support 25 mobile health teams reaching 450,000 remote patients; support operational costs for preparedness in the event of further AWD outbreaks and a malaria epidemic affecting 1 million people; procure meningitis vaccines and syringes for an at-risk population of 3 million people; procure measles vaccines and cover emergency operational costs; respond to health emergencies among pastoralist populations, benefiting some 800,000 people.

Water and environmental sanitation: UNICEF will provide safe water through water tankering to 100,000 people; rehabilitate/construct 100 deep wells and 500 shallow wells; train 5,000 water, sanitation and hygiene committee members, 1,500 pump attendants and 150 government staff on scheme management, operation and maintenance; train 1,000 health government staff on response, prevention and management of AWD; construct demonstration and model household latrines and promote appropriate household latrine construction for 700,000 community members; provide water purification treatment for 150,000 people affected by flooding and AWD; undertake hygiene education/awareness programmes; provide hygiene, sanitation and isolation kits for 50 case treatment centres; provide essential education information materials; organize mass communication awareness programmes and awareness-raising campaigns on AWD for 1 million community members; provide school water and sanitation packages for 14,000 schoolchildren in drought-affected areas; provide water and sanitation facilities to 30 health institutions in drought-affected areas; provide technical assistance in monitoring, evaluation and coordination of anticipated emergency water, sanitation and hygiene interventions.

Education: Benefiting an estimated 650,000 schoolchildren, UNICEF will undertake advocacy, training and social mobilization on the importance of basic education during emergencies and on psychosocial and educational needs of children in crises situations; support the establishment and equipping of alternative basic education centres/semi-permanent learning centres and train community facilitators; provide school-in-a-box kits for pupils seriously affected by emergencies; promote girls’ education by providing school uniforms, incentives and tutorial classes for needy/emergency-stricken girls and orphan students; provide technical assistance, monitor/evaluate the performance of emergency education interventions.

Child protection: UNICEF will follow up on the recommendations of the UN Secretary General’s Study on Violence Against Children, with special emphasis on gender-based violence against young adolescent girls; follow up on the recommendations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child on improving legal and social protection practices for children in emergency situations; roll out the emergency package for vulnerable children to reach 2.5 million orphans by end-2007; introduce further ‘zones of peace’ in five regions to protect children in schools; implement 50 trainings on child rights for military troops in border zones; train 250 social workers on psychosocial techniques to support children in emergencies; deliver basic social services for 2,000 victims of abuse, exploitation or trafficking; fund the African Child Policy Forum's Children's Legal Protection Centre for legal aid to children in conflict with the law; strengthen the capacity of child protection police units to operate during times of political unrest; work with partners to develop an effective surveillance system that includes data collection on mine-risk education activities, on victims of unexploded ordnance, on suspect mined areas, and on village profiles.

HIV/AIDS: Benefiting some 5 million children/youth and women, UNICEF will develop training materials for peer facilitators in emergencies; develop the capacity of secretariats and the Federal Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Commission on HIV/AIDS; ensure that the Federal and Regional HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Offices have sufficient stocks of condoms, post-exposure prophylaxis kits, rapid testing kits, and drugs for sexually transmitted infections; establish youth committees/teams at regional, zonal and woreda levels to support Regional AIDS Commissions in emergencies; develop the capacity of zonal and woreda officials and youth associations/clubs to respond rapidly and effectively in an emergency; develop mapping/monitoring tools to identify vulnerable groups, risk areas and high-risk behaviour in affected populations.

Summary of UNICEF financial needs for 2007



Health and nutrition


Water and environmental sanitation




Child protection






* The total includes a maximum recovery rate of 7 per cent. The actual recovery rate on contributions will be calculated in accordance with UNICEF Executive Board Decision 2006/7 dated 9 June 2006.