© UNICEF/HQ06-2268/Pirozzi

A primary school in Muediua Village in Mozambique. UNICEF supports the country’s child-friendly school initiative, including by building new water points and latrines at rural schools.


The Eastern and Southern Africa region continues to face humanitarian crises that have gravely worsened the well-being and livelihood of children and women. Violent attacks and ethnic clashes in Somalia and Kenya (Mount Elgon) have left over 500,000 people homeless. The prolonged dry spells have caused a massive crisis with more than 11 million people affected in the region. More than 400,000 people were seriously hit by flooding in northern and eastern Uganda in September 2007, just as populations in Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique and Rwanda during the early months of the year. In addition, more than 130,000 acute watery diarrhoea/cholera cases have been reported in the region. Urgency arises over the increased possibility of conflict in the Horn and Great Lakes subregions and the onset of instability in Zimbabwe as well as worsening food insecurity and seasonal natural disasters in Southern Africa.


Strengthening emergency response to natural disasters and other rapid onset emergencies (incl. contingency planning and regional surge response capacity): The UNICEF Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office (ESARO) will undertake simulations, vulnerability analyses, preparedness and contingency planning; support real-time evaluations and country/regional training; strengthen rapid response team; develop regional surge capacity rosters by strengthening the surge capacity mechanism for the region to allow fast deployment of experienced staff.

Building partnerships and coordination: ESARO will continue its coordination efforts at the regional level working closely with all partners, especially the Regional Humanitarian Partnership Team in Nairobi and OCHA Regional Office South Africa in Johannesburg.

Nutrition: ESARO will support nutrition information in emergencies, clusters, and programmes related to prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) and paediatric AIDS programming.

Water, sanitation and hygiene: ESARO will support Country Offices to update and develop water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) preparedness and response plans and provide direct technical assistance and training on cluster work planning, coordination, and review mechanisms.

Child protection: ESARO will support capacity-building on child protection in emergencies; provide technical support to documentation of lessons learned; provide technical support for initiatives promoting the participation of adolescents in emergency and post-conflict transition; enhance capacity-building of UNICEF and local NGO partners on psychosocial counselling; and provide technical support to Country Offices in HIV/AIDS in emergencies.

Comoros: In case of volcanic eruption and/or cholera outbreak, the UNICEF Comoros Country Office will provide 10,000 displaced persons with safe water and sanitation facilities; procure and distribute essential emergency drugs and equipment; provide temporary learning spaces etc.

Regional Office financial needs for 2008
Sector US$
Strengthening emergency response to natural disasters and other rapid onset emergencies (incl. contingency planning and regional surge response capacity) 600,000
Building partnerships and coordination 50,000
Nutrition 750,000
Water, sanitation and hygiene 250,000
Child protection 200,000
Comoros 500,000
Total* 2,514,500

* 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.