© UNICEF/NYHQ2008-1798/Pirozzi

A boy orphaned by AIDS peers out the window of his home in Harare. The country remains highly fragile following an 11-month cholera outbreak, reduced food security, a severe HIV/AIDS pandemic and continuing political instability.

Critical Issues for Children and Women

Despite the formation of the new All Inclusive Government in February 2009 and the subsequent signs of a clear commitment to improving conditions for women, children and other vulnerable groups, the overall general situation remains fragile in Zimbabwe as the country seeks to transition out of a complex crisis to a political and economic recovery. In 2009, an 11-month nationwide cholera outbreak, a reduction in food security and a massive but silent HIV/AIDS pandemic further deepened the vulnerability of Zimbabwe’s children and women. These triggers came on top of ongoing suffering caused by events of recent years such as hyperinflation, political instability and the collapse of basic social services.  An assessment conducted in May 2009 revealed high incidence of gender-based violence, highlighting the inadequacy of services for survivors especially in terms of patient-friendly care, psychosocial support and post-exposure HIV prophylaxis.

Planned Humanitarian Action for 2010

In 2010, UNICEF will work with the Government of Zimbabwe, international and local NGO partners, communities and other United Nations agencies to respond to the needs of at least 5 million people – including up to 3.5 million most vulnerable children and women.  Support will focus on early recovery and transition-related interventions across the country to strengthen delivery of basic services, including those for health and nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene, education, child protection and HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment. Following are the expected results of UNICEF’s emergency interventions:

Health and Nutrition: UNICEF will continue to play a key role in the Health Cluster and to lead the Nutrition Cluster to secure a coordinated and effective response.  Provision of essential medicines and medical supplies will benefit over 2 million women and children as will strengthening of nationwide nutrition surveillance, support for community-based management of acute malnutrition, pneumonia, diarrhoea, and infant and young child feeding.

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH): Reliable access to a safe water supply and proper sanitation and hygiene facilities for up to 500,000 people and 200,000 schoolchildren will be provided through the drilling of boreholes and the rehabilitation of water points and sanitary facilities. Other measures to reduce the spread of waterborne diseases will include hygiene education and promotion campaigns. UNICEF will lead the WASH Cluster for improved coordination of humanitarian assistance.

Education: UNICEF will concentrate its efforts on providing access to education for up to 2.5 million children and will support the recovery of the education sector through Back-to-School campaigns and the procurement and distribution of teaching and learning materials. UNICEF will continue to co-lead the Education Cluster with Save the Children.

Child Protection: UNICEF will lead the Child Protection Working Group to ensure that some 1.4 million orphans and vulnerable children have access to a more protective environment through the development of a standardized package of support services and strengthened laws and policies that protect children in contact with the law, whether as victims, witnesses or offenders.

HIV/AIDS: UNICEF will work to prevent the transmission of HIV among 100,000 vulnerable children and youth, and to support treatment for 75,000 people living with HIV/AIDS through training, the provision of antiretroviral therapy, palliative care and counseling and the distribution of home-based care supplies.

Summary of UNICEF Emergency Needs to fulfil
Core Commitments for Children for 2010
Sector US$
Health 38,100,000
Nutrition 7,000,000
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) 26,000,000
Education 24,000,000
Child Protection 1,300,000
HIV/AIDS 4,000,000
Total 100,400,000