© UNICEF/HQ95-1095/Pirozzi

Ahmed Hamad lived in a settlement for internally displaced people near Massawa in Eritrea. Over 40,000 conflict-affected people have been resettled while 13,000 remain in temporary camps.


Due to weather changes and cycles of drought leading to a lack of clean water, many children in Eritrea remain vulnerable to diarrhoea, acute respiratory infections and malnutrition. Only 60 per cent of the rural population has access to potable water and only one out of ten rural villages has a latrine of any kind. Global acute malnutrition rates in 2005/2006 ranged from 11 to 21 per cent among under-five children. The Government, supported by UN agencies, continues to resettle internally displaced persons (IDPs), which is putting an extra burden on already stretched basic social services in villages of return. Over 40,000 IDPs have been resettled, while 13,000 are still in camps.


As cluster lead in nutrition and water & sanitation, UNICEF works to address the consequences of previous droughts targeting 45,000 children, including over 10,000 malnourished children for treatment and care, and 60,000 drought-affected people for water & sanitation. UNICEF maintains its capacity to respond to the needs of an estimated 20,000 people affected by any environmental weather change, possibly leading to disease outbreaks, and to the needs of the remaining 13,000 IDPs.

Health and nutrition: Some 13,000 IDPs (including 2,000 under-five children) in Gash Barka and Debub regions, 45,000 under-five children (including 10,700 severely and moderately malnourished children) and pregnant women will be targeted. UNICEF will procure/distribute essential emergency drugs and equipment; support 53 therapeutic feeding centres and 39 community-based therapeutic feeding sites; ensure national coverage of supplementary feeding to moderately malnourished children; ensure malaria control and distribute 10,000 insecticide-treated mosquito nets; support training of health staff; and improve coordination and data collection. 

Water, sanitation and hygiene: Some 60,000 persons will be targeted with activities for increased access to clean water and sanitation facilities. UNICEF will support the construction of 10 water supply systems; rehabilitate 30 unprotected dug wells and/or drill 20 boreholes followed by the installation of handpumps; provide water trucking; promote ‘open defecation-free’ villages; train 50 village technicians; and provide clean water and sanitation facilities for children in 10 primary schools.

Education: A total of 6,450 children and 540 teachers will benefit from basic school materials and recreational kits, the training of teachers and the construction of 35 temporary classroom structures.

Child protection: UNICEF will develop 20 child-friendly spaces; train social and community workers on response to violence/abuse; support prevention, psychosocial counselling and family tracing; supply recreational kits; and provide alternative income-generating activities for the early recovery of 4,000 vulnerable families. 

Mine action: UNICEF will support 14 mine-risk education teams and 1,000 community volunteers for the sensitization of 50,000 people, including 15,000 children; and support psychosocial counselling for injured children.

Non-food items: Some 33,000 vulnerable people, including IDPs, will be targeted with a special focus on child- and female-headed households.

Summary of UNICEF financial needs for 2008
Sector US$
Health and nutrition 4,000,000
Water, sanitation and hygiene 5,000,000
Education 1,300,000
Child protection 1,500,000
Mine action 375,000
Non-food Items 800,000
Total* 12,975,000

* 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.


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