© UNICEF/NYHQ2006-0188/Kamber

Children in the Kibera slum in Nairobi, Kenya – the largest urban slum in Africa. An estimated 18.4 million people are in need of basic humanitarian assistance in the Eastern and Southern Africa Region.

Critical Issues for Children and Women

Humanitarian needs are increasing across the Eastern and Southern Africa region as families face multiple crises including natural disasters, conflicts, epidemics, food insecurity and further erosion of their coping mechanisms and livelihoods. In 2009, 17 of the 20 UNICEF country offices in the region have mounted an emergency response.  Many countries in the region are suffering their third, fourth or fifth rains failure.  Although the forecasted arrival of El Niño in some areas should ease the drought, this event brings with it increased risks of flooding and disease outbreaks, including Influenza A (H1N1), and the likely further destruction of assets. The impact of soaring food prices and global economic instability across the region is an added concern.     

Planned Humanitarian Action for 2010

Together with governments, United Nations agencies, NGOs and other partners, the UNICEF Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office (ESARO) will further strengthen its emergency preparedness and response capacity in the region using the recently adopted United Nations disaster risk reduction framework as a guide, and also continue to support countries facing ongoing and/or potential new emergencies. In 2010 this support will include reinforcing technical assistance to those countries using the inter-agency cluster coordination mechanism to meet UNICEF’s commitments as cluster lead in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, Nutrition, Education, Emergency and Child Protection.  Following are the expected results of UNICEF’s emergency interventions:

Emergency Preparedness and Response: UNICEF will strengthen emergency preparedness and response in its 20 country offices in the region by providing training in emergency assessments and action plans, gap analysis, supply and human resources assessments and other tools to meet a minimal level of readiness. UNICEF will also support national capacity development in contingency planning, standard operational procedures and disaster risk reduction.

Health: Together with the World Health Organization and other partners, UNICEF will work to reduce the impact and outbreak of waterborne diseases and to improve access to essential health care among children and women in emergencies through continuous assessment, monitoring and deployment of technical support as needed. 

Nutrition: UNICEF will strengthen capacity to respond effectively to ongoing and new nutrition crises among children under five and pregnant and lactating women by providing training and technical guidance to its 20 Eastern and Southern Africa country offices and its Nutrition Cluster leadership.

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH): UNICEF will provide support to county offices to develop WASH preparedness and response plans and provide direct technical guidance to WASH cluster leads principally through training, such as with the UNICEF/OXFAM cholera training package. 

Education: UNICEF will work with national education counterparts to minimize the disruption to schooling for students and teachers during emergencies through training in preparedness and education in emergencies response. UNICEF will also provide technical guidance to Education cluster leads.

Child Protection: Capacity support will be provided to country offices to further develop their child protection response, in part through the Child Protection Sub-Cluster mechanism. This will include response to the special needs of separated or unaccompanied children, orphans, children associated with armed groups or forces, and victims of gender-based violence, psychosocial distress or exploitation.

Summary of UNICEF Emergency Needs to fulfil
Core Commitments for Children for 2010
Sector US$
Emergency Preparedness and Response 800,000
Health 300,000
Nutrition 1,600,000
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) 300,000
Education 350,000
Child Protection 300,000
Total 3,650,000