© UNICEF/HQ06-0504/Getachew

A mobile ‘alternate education’ school for the children of nomadic pastoralists, in Ethiopia’s Afar Region. Flooding, renewed conflict and a cholera epidemic slowed progress for children in 2007.


The humanitarian situation faced by the Ethiopian children in 2007 has remained severe, marked by a continuing epidemic of cholera (called ‘acute watery diarrhoea’) at national level which started in 2006, floods in several regions of the country, a situation of armed conflict in the Somali Region with severe protection and assistance consequences on the civilians, the unresolved border tension between Ethiopia and Eritrea, and some of the worst child and maternal survival indicators in the world.

Global acute malnutrition (GAM) levels are as high as 20.8 per cent and severe acute malnutrition (SAM) levels as high as 3.2 per cent – both rated critical. It is estimated that more than 280,000 under-five children are suffering from severe acute malnutrition in Ethiopia (Demographic and Health Survey 2005), 30 to 50 per cent of which are dying if not treated. Meanwhile, a severe and complex humanitarian crisis has emerged in the Somali Region of Ethiopia where the Ethiopian Defence Forces have engaged into high-intensity level counter-insurgency warfare against the Ogaden National Liberation Front and other smaller armed groups which cross the border from neighbouring Somalia. There are fears that the situation could further deteriorate and UNICEF is particularly concerned about the protection of children and women.


Health and nutrition: UNICEF is planning the following activities: vitamin A supplementation, deworming, measles vaccinations and nutritional screening to benefit 7 million children under the UNICEF-backed Enhanced Outreach Strategy (EOS); purchase therapeutic products to benefit 160,000 severely malnourished children; distribute 400 emergency drug kits benefiting more than 1 million people; support 15 mobile health teams reaching 400,000 remote patients in the Somali Region; prepare for further outbreaks of acute watery diarrhoea (AWD) or malaria epidemics; procure meningitis vaccines and syringes for an at-risk population of 2.3 million people; procure measles vaccines; and respond to health emergencies among pastoralist populations, benefiting an estimated 800,000 people.

Water, sanitation and hygiene: UNICEF has planned the following key activities: provide safe water through water tankering to up to 30,000 people suffering from acute water scarcity; provide water, sanitation and hygiene facilities in up to 30 health facilities in emergency-affected areas, including 10 in the conflict-affected Somali Region; train up to 500 government health staff on AWD; provide water purification chemicals, water storage containers and soap for up to 150,000 people affected by flooding and AWD; provide up to 15 emergency water supply kits for 50,000 displaced people; promote hygiene education and hygiene awareness programmes for some 100,000 individuals; provide water and sanitation kits for up to 50 case treatment centres in AWD-affected areas; provide technical assistance in monitoring, evaluation and coordination of anticipated emergency water, sanitation and hygiene interventions.

Education: An estimated 540,000 schoolchildren will benefit from the following interventions: conduct rapid assessments to quickly resume education for 100 per cent of school-going children in situations of displacement; undertake advocacy, training and social mobilization on the importance of basic education even during emergencies; support alternative basic education centres/semi-permanent learning centres, and train facilitators; provide basic educational materials; undertake advocacy in order to ensure that schools are not occupied by the military or armed groups in Somali and Gambella regions; provide technical assistance and monitoring and evaluation of the performance of anticipated emergency education interventions and develop a humanitarian education cluster.

Child protection: Children will benefit from the following interventions: follow up on the Committee on the Rights of the Child’s recommendations on improving legal and social protection practices for children in emergency situations in Ethiopia; introduce ‘zones of peace’ in five additional regions to protect children in schools; implement 50 child rights trainings for military troops in border zones; deliver basic social services for 2,000 victims of abuse, exploitation or trafficking; demobilize and reintegrate child soldiers in the Somali Region; strengthen capacity of Child Protection Police Units to operate during times of political unrest; develop an effective surveillance system that includes data collection on mine-risk education (MRE) activities, victims of unexploded ordnance (UXO), suspect mined areas, and village profiles in the Somali Region.

HIV/AIDS: Some 1.2 million children/youth and women in emergencies and HIV-positive people will be targeted through the following key activities: develop training materials for peer facilitators in an emergency; develop capacity of the Federal Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Commission on HIV/AIDS; ensure that the Federal and Regional HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Offices have a sufficient store of condoms, post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) kits, drugs for sexually transmitted infections and rapid test kits; establish youth committees/teams at regional, zonal and woreda levels who are equipped to respond rapidly in an emergency to support Regional AIDS Commissions (RACs); develop mapping and monitoring tools to assist the identification of vulnerable groups and risk areas and high-risk behaviour in affected populations.

Summary of UNICEF financial needs for 2008
Sector US$
Health and nutrition 16,300,000
Water, sanitation and hygiene 5,000,000
Education 1,150,000
Child protection 3,240,000
HIV/AIDS 850,000
Total* 26,540,000

* 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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