Children caught up in emergencies are among the most in danger of being left behind and having their normal development interrupted.
Children may account for 50 to 60 per cent of those affected by any emergency.
As well as the immediate threats to their survival, emergencies threaten children’s mental health and long-term well-being. A crisis can threaten their sense of security – a fundamental part of childhood – particularly when they experience things no child should experience. They become vulnerable to trafficking, sexual exploitation and abuse, while their future prospects are disrupted by the loss of education, health care and economic opportunities.
Since independence in 1964, Zambia has been a stable and peaceful country. Nevertheless, situations requiring humanitarian response do arise, through armed conflict and violence in neighbouring countries, and internally with droughts, and disease outbreaks. The capital, Lusaka, faced an outbreak of cholera in 2017-18, which saw more than 5,000 infections and 114 deaths. Ongoing instability in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo, has provoked arrivals of refugees, most recently in 2017 and 2018, when around 10,000 sought shelter in Nchelenge District.