© UNICEF/NYHQ2009-2192/Kamber

A child with measles sits with his mother in a hospital in Conakry. Fewer than 10 per cent of Guineans have access to basic health services. Poverty, flooding and growing food insecurity are contributing to increasing political instability.

Critical Issues for Children and Women

Political instability and socio-economic hardship in Guinea deepened in 2009, leading to further waves of anti-government demonstrations and general strikes. The 28 September 2009 killings and widespread incidence of sexual violence against anti-government protesters during a rally in Conakry, the capital, further aggravated this fragile situation. A series of disasters, such as unusually severe flooding, have reduced harvests, leading to an increase in malnutrition.  Prices of rice, sugar, oil and other basic foods are also on the rise in Conakry, creating more tension in urban areas as living standards continue their steady decline.  The combination of poverty and constant hunger is driving young boys and girls to succumb to child trafficking and child labour, activities which often lead to forced sexual intercourse and other forms of violence and which deprives them of their chance to an education and prejudices their overall well-being and development.

Planned Humanitarian Action for 2010

UNICEF will partner with the Government of Guinea, United Nations agencies and international and national NGOs for the provision of emergency relief in line with the Core Commitments for Children to reduce vulnerabilities of more than 2.2 million food-insecure children and who are most at risk of exploitation, especially in urban areas. UNICEF’s focus will be on ensuring access to health and nutrition, safe drinking water and appropriate sanitation and hygiene, with view to reducing the incidence of cholera and other waterborne diseases and improving the overall nutritional status of children. Throughout 2010, UNICEF will reinforce government and civil society capacity in emergency preparedness and response.  Following are the expected results of UNICEF emergency interventions:

Health: Essential health care for up to 10,000 children and women at risk of waterborne disease outbreaks and other emergencies will be provided through sensitization initiatives for national and local preparedness and the pre-positioning of medical supplies and drugs. Emergency health preparedness and response measures will also be put in place to respond to potential infectious diseases such as influenza A (H1N1).

Nutrition: Immediate response to the needs of 50,000 severely acutely malnourished children under five will be provided in collaboration with the World Food Programme thereby reducing the rate of severe acute malnutrition to below 10 per cent and improving the overall nutritional status of children. UNICEF will also support the Government of Guinea in the coordination of emergency nutrition responses as part of its role as co-lead of Nutrition Cluster with Save the Children.

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH): To reduce the incidence of cholera and other waterborne diseases, up to 300,000 vulnerable people will receive reliable access to safe water and sufficient sanitation facilities and hygiene promotion. Access to adapted sanitary facilities which ensure privacy and security of women and girls will be made available through the construction of 6,000 latrines that meet Sphere standards in areas identified by mapping analyses as high risk for waterborne disease outbreaks.

Education: Displaced or vulnerable children will return or enrol for the first time in school through the construction of temporary learning spaces and the provision of basic school materials.  Education authorities will be able to respond more effectively to education in emergencies as a result of training in preparing local contingency plans and emergency response, while teachers will receive training in HIV/AIDS prevention and peace education for use in schools.

Child Protection: Survivors of sexual and gender-based violence will be provided legal assistance, psychosocial support and rehabilitation care. UNICEF will also reinforce government and civil society capacity in appropriate child protection measures in emergencies, including the United Nations Code of Conduct against Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in Humanitarian Settings.

Summary of UNICEF Emergency Needs to fulfil
Core Commitments for Children for 2010
Sector US$
Health 1,500,000
Nutrition 700,000
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) 1,270,000
Education 1,000,000
Child Protection 850,000
Total 5,320,000