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El Niño events put 26.5 million children at risk in Eastern & Southern Africa

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Дата публикации

Context and Investment Case   

One of the strongest El Niño events ever recorded places the lives of 26.5 million children at risk of malnutrition, water shortages and disease in ten countries in Eastern and Southern Africa. UNICEF is responding to four primary needs:

  1. Over 1 million children are in need of treatment for severe acute malnutrition (SAM) in the region.

  2. Water shortages remain a key concern. Many health facilities and schools are in critical need of improved water supply and sanitation facilities to enable the continuity of services.

  3. Children face protection risks as families and communities move in search of work, food, water and grazing land for animals. Children are also finding it difficult to stay in school, due to hunger and/or lack of water.

  4. In Southern Africa in particular, the global epicentre of the AIDS pandemic, drought is making life even more precarious for children affected by HIV.

Governments and partners have been responding since 2015, but the scale of the crisis has outstripped the coping capacities of communities and the resources of government, putting decades of development gains at risk. Urgent investment is required as the end of this crisis is not in sight. It is likely to continue well into 2017, and may be further compounded by the coming La Niña which would bring more erratic weather conditions.

Already in the first months of 2016 UNICEF has reached:

• 155,000 children with SAM treatment

• 2.69 million people with clean water

• 82,000 children with protection services

• 100,000 people with HIV education and services

To provide the comprehensive emergency response, UNICEF still urgently needs US$127 million of the US$226 million goal:

• US$33 million for lifesaving treatment for malnourished children, including treatment for SAM

• US$28 million for the WASH response

• US$8 million for child protection services

• US$4 million for provisions of HIV education and access to services

• US$47 million for education, immunization, social protection, and other sectoral services.