• UNICEF has continued to scale up its financial and technical support in the rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations following new funding. The support includes direct cold chain technical support embedded at National and Provincial level to the National Department of Health (NDoH) and through Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) including social listening, data and evidence collection, community mobilisation and engagement. As a result of the support, the national vaccination rate has now topped 50% of the adult population, but variations (due to the tiered vaccine rollout and comparatively low levels of vaccine demand amongst youth) exist, from 37% of youth (18 – 34 years old) vaccinated, to almost 70% of the 60+ cohort.
• UNICEF’s financial and technical support and response to the flooding in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) continues to help alleviate the impact on children and families in the most devastated areas in and around Durban. This includes through WASH, psychosocial support and cash assistance, as well as engaging with community radio to provide lifesaving information and initiate dialogue and feedback about the situation and needs. This is coordinated as part of the UN emergency response, working with government and partners to assess and provide the specific support required.
• In late May, the South African government reported that the country had reached 50% COVID-19 vaccination coverage of the adult population. The focus now is on achieving the set 70% target by the end of 2022.
• The NDoH announced the end of remaining COVID-19 restrictions on 20 June 2022. Despite this, messaging from the NDoH and partners continues to encourage mask wearing in crowded or closed spaces and to promote outdoor events and gatherings to help lower the risk of contracting COVID-19.
• The KZN flooding in April 2022 killed at least 435 people and more than 19,100 households were directly affected. A recent survey by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition also put the cost of damage at ZAR 7 billion, with more than 31,200 jobs affected, the majority being in eThekwini district, Durban.