© UNICEF/HQ04-0846/D'Elbee

Gladys Kunda, 12, breastfeeds her infant at her parents’ home in Luapula Province, Zambia. The baby’s father deserted them. Girls are often forced to marry young.


In Zambia, one out of every six children does not live to see his/her fifth birthday and out of every 100,000 live births, 729 mothers die from pregnancy-related complications. The causes of under-five mortality are mostly preventable and treatable diseases compounded by malnutrition and HIV/AIDS. HIV prevalence is 16 per cent in the general population but stands at a disproportionately high 19 per cent among pregnant women. It is estimated that HIV and AIDS contribute as high as 16 per cent to under-five mortality and exacerbate poverty and vulnerability, particularly in children. In the face of the high HIV and AIDS burden, families struggle to cope with reduced incomes and children face the social and economic hazards of being orphaned. In 2002, 51.3 per cent of the population had access to improved drinking water sources and 23 per cent had access to sanitation. In 2004, it was estimated that 19 per cent (1.1 million) of Zambian children under the age of 18 were orphaned. Zambia is also prone to regular flooding and droughts. In 2007 damage to schools caused by flooding disrupted the education of about 150,000 children.


UNICEF is the cluster lead for nutrition and water, hygiene and sanitation. UNICEF participates in consultative groups on child protection, education and health and nutrition. UNICEF-supported programmes are expected to reach at least 1million children and 500,000 women in 2008.

Health and nutrition: UNICEF will procure and distribute essential emergency drugs and equipment to some 500 health centres to minimize the impact of both AIDS and the ongoing food crisis on the health and nutritional status of under-five children; ensure that pregnant women in affected areas are identified and provided with micronutrient supplementation, malaria prophylaxis, prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV services plus care and treatment for mothers, infants and family members (PMTCT Plus).

Water, sanitation and hygiene: UNICEF will plan and implement emergency water, hygiene and sanitation interventions in flood-affected and drought-prone districts through the construction/rehabilitation of water sources (approximately 100 boreholes) in Southern, Western and Eastern provinces; construct/rehabilitate latrines (separated for boys and girls) and handwashing facilities; and promote hygiene education and hygiene awareness programmes in 200 schools.

Education: UNICEF will support the Ministry of Education to rehabilitate 255 schools damaged by the 2007 floods, provide 300 schools with basic school materials and recreational kits; train 1,000 primary schoolteachers; provide temporary school/classroom structures for 300 schools in case of emergency.

Child protection: UNICEF will train 90 community facilitators on the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and other humanitarian principles to raise the awareness of community members about their roles and obligations as duty bearers and claim holders; train 100 community welfare assistance committees to monitor abuse and gender-based violence and to provide psychosocial support to victims of violence; train at least 300 law enforcement officers within a victim-friendly paradigm.

Summary of UNICEF financial needs for 2008
Sector US$
Health and nutrition and HIV/AIDS 4,000,000
Water, sanitation and hygiene 1,410,000
Education 1,550,000
Child protection 750,000
Total* 7,710,000

*The total includes a maximum recovery rate of 7%. 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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