Corporates support UNICEF efforts to assist communities affected by unrest in KZN and Gauteng
Standard Bank, Nedbank, and Grey Advertising step up to provide ZAR 3.6 million for acute and longer-term needs for children and people affected by violence and looting
PRETORIA, 05 August 2021 – The recent unrest that engulfed parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng devastated the lives and livelihoods of people across the two provinces, with more than 300 people killed, including at least three children.
The damage to businesses, food supply chains, and health and education services, will increase the vulnerability of people already affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and long-standing poverty and deep-rooted inequality.
“Children will be affected by the impact of COVID -19 and their exposure to the unrest for months and years to come,” said Muriel Mafico, UNICEF Deputy Representative, following a two-day UN assessment visit to affected areas in KwaZulu-Natal.
“We will provide
a targeted and focused response to support their physical and mental wellbeing, as well engaging young people to help promote social cohesion,” added Mafico.
The UN visit to the Durban area included meetings with Provincial authorities and communities affected, including Intokozo FM, a youth focused radio station that was destroyed.
To help respond, vital funding from Standard Bank (ZAR3 million), Nedbank (ZAR500,000) and Grey Advertising (ZAR100,000), will support both short-term relief and long-term recovery efforts through UNICEF and its network of partners on the ground.
This support will take the form of:
- Distribution of food supplies, clothes and hygiene and sanitary products to people in affected areas.
- Support for small businesses, particularly street vendors, who have lost their merchandise through the looting.
- Rebuilding of four community radio stations and the production of youth-led programming that will reach approximately 300,000 listeners and which play a critical role in community dialogue and disseminating vital information at a local level.
- Community peace dialogues, including counselling sessions and psychosocial support for young people in particular.
UNICEF’s response is one component of the UN in South Africa’s support to affected communities. Following the UN visit to KZN last week, one of the key outcomes was the establishment of a task team between the UN and KZN authorities, including civil society organizations, who will set targets and monitor progress in rebuilding the province. This work will be conducted in line with the outcomes set out in the District Development Model.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in over 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special efforts on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children everywhere.
Working with a range of partners, UNICEF has had a presence in South Africa since the end of apartheid and continues to work towards bettering the lives of all children in the country.