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World: Stop the War on Children: Protecting Children in 21st Century Conflict

Source: Save the Children
Country: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Mali, Myanmar, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, World, Yemen

At least 100,000 babies die every year because of conflict

More children are living in areas affected by armed conflict than at any time over the past two decades, a new report from Save the Children reveals

At least 550,000 babies are thought to have died as a result of armed conflict between 2013 and 2017 in the 10 worst-affected countries, according to new analysis by Save the Children — an average of well over 100,000 every year.

The infants succumbed to indirect effects of conflict and war such as hunger, damaged infrastructure and hospitals, a lack of access to health care and sanitation, and the denial of aid. They probably would not have died if they hadn’t been living in areas affected by conflict, Save the Children says.

The total deaths from indirect effects jump to 870,000 when all children under the age of five are included. While imperfect, the estimates may be conservative, according the charity. By comparison, Save the Children has estimated from available data that in the same five-year period almost 175,000 fighters were killed in the conflicts.

The numbers of indirect child deaths are published in a Save the Children report, Stop the War on Children, launched ahead of today’s opening of the Munich Security Conference. For the second year in a row, the report includes the most comprehensive collection of data on the number of children living in conflict-affected areas. It reveals that more children — almost 1 in 5 — are living in areas affected by armed conflict and war than at any time in more than 20 years.

New research by the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), commissioned by Save the Children, found that 420 million children were living in conflict-affected areas in 2017 (18% of all children worldwide) — up 30 million from the previous year. Afghanistan, Yemen, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Syria, Iraq, Mali, Nigeria and Somalia are the countries where children were hardest hit by conflict in 2017.

Helle Thorning-Schmidt, CEO of Save the Children International, said:

“Our report shows that the way today’s wars are being fought is causing more suffering for children. Almost 1 in 5 children are living in areas impacted by conflict – more than at any time in the past two decades. The number of children being killed or maimed has more than tripled, and we are seeing an alarming increase in the use of aid as a weapon of war.

“It is shocking that in the 21st century we are going backwards on principles and moral standards that are so simple – children and civilians should never be targeted.

Our analysis clearly shows the situation is getting worse for children and the world is allowing this travesty to happen. Every day, children come under attack because armed groups and military forces disregard international laws and treaties. From the use of chemical weapons to rape as a weapon of war, war crimes are being committed with impunity.”

Part of the reason for the increased number of children living in conflict-affected areas is that today’s conflicts are more likely to be protracted, urban and fought among civilian populations. Increasingly, international rules and norms are flouted.

The Stop the War on Children report includes a breakdown of UN data on verified grave violations against children. According to these figures, grave violations rose worldwide from just under 10,000 in 2010 to more than 25,000 in 2017—the highest number on record. Every day children face the threat of being killed or maimed, recruited by armed groups, abducted, falling victim to sexual violence, seeing their school attacked or humanitarian aid denied. In many cases, children are specifically targeted.

Masika*, 15, from the DRC, is the youngest of seven children whose father died and left them unable to support themselves. She left school and joined an armed group to survive. “Everything I had thought I could do and could be one day now seemed impossible. I thought my only option was to get involved with armed groups. [The soldiers] wouldn't stop asking me to satisfy their sexual urges and I found myself having to give in.”

Save the Children’s report also highlights how efforts to keep schools safe, avoid the use of certain weapons, seek accountability for crimes against children or pursue new ways to support their recovery from the horrors of conflict can make a huge difference in their lives.

The charity included more than 20 recommendations for governments and other influential organisations to ensure children are protected during war and conflict. The commitments range from signing a Safe Schools Declaration and a minimum age of 18 for military recruitment to the avoidance of using explosive weapons in populated areas and tightening conditions for arms sales.

Ms Thorning-Schmidt continued: “When the rules of war are broken, the international community must be clear that this will not be tolerated and hold perpetrators to account. And for the children whose lives are wrecked by conflict, we must do all we can to protect them from further harm and help rebuild their future.”

Save the Children is also calling for an independent body to investigate and analyse all violations of international humanitarian law and of human rights, notably children’s rights.

Uganda: UNICEF Uganda Humanitarian Annual Situation Report – January – December 2018

Source: UN Children's Fund
Country: Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Uganda

Highlights

• In 2018, Uganda responded to several crises including the refugee influx from DRC, Burundi and South Sudan, disease outbreaks such as cholera, and flooding in Bududa, Eastern Uganda.

• Those most affected by emergencies in Uganda were women and children. Sixty per cent of refugees and host communities were children still in need of essential services for their survival, development and well-being.

• With UNICEF support, 25,100 children were treated for severe acute malnutrition; and 475,700 children aged 6 months to 15 years were vaccinated against measles in refugee hosting districts. While 4,700 unaccompanied and separated children benefitted from individual support and alternative care services.

• Since the start of the Ebola outbreak in August, in neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), UNICEF has been involved in Ebola prevention and preparedness efforts with the Ministry of Health and partners

Situation Overview and Humanitarian Needs

In 2018, the Government of Uganda with support from UNICEF and other partners responded to several humanitarian crises including the refugee influx from DRC, Burundi and South Sudan, disease outbreaks such as cholera, the threat of EVD from neighbouring DRC, and flooding in Bududa, Eastern Uganda.

Refugees

Uganda is home to over 1.2 million refugees. A verification exercise conducted by the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) and UNHCR in 2018 showed that over 789,099 refugees originated from South Sudan; 312,699 from DRC; 34,981 from Burundi; and over 54,000 from Somalia, Rwanda and other countries.

Children in refugee settlements in Uganda continue to be at risk of abuse, neglect, violence and exploitation. Case management reports from the field revealed that the types of violence against children include separation from caregivers/families, psychosocial distress, sexual and gender-based violence, physical violence, child labour and neglect. New arrivals mainly children continued to display symptoms of distress caused by witnessing violence and conflict in their countries of origin. These protection concerns require adequate and timely provision of critical child protection services.

In 2018, Uganda’s Ministry of Education and Sports with support from partners launched the Education Response Plan for Refugees and Host Communities (ERP) as a means to facilitate the integration of the planning of education services to benefit refugee children and host communities. The increasing number of refugees put pressure on Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres, primary and secondary schools, many of which already face challenges of poor infrastructure and insufficient teachers. For example, in Yumbe district, the school-aged population has more than doubled since early 2016. As a result, many children, adolescents and youth in refugee settlements and host communities are not able to obtain an education, either because they have missed the opportunity for schooling due to the protracted crisis and are too old to join the formal schools, or do not have the necessary examination certificates. Education interventions are particularly important to build social cohesion among refugees and between refugees and host communities. Life skills interventions, accelerated learning programmes and vocational training are essential opportunities for adolescents and young people.

The OPM, UNHCR and REACH Initiative, conducted a joint Multi-Sector Needs Assessment of refugees and host communities in Uganda. The assessment reported high levels of food insecurity among refugees.1 The average Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) (WHZ < -2 SD) increased from 7.2 per cent in 2016 to 9.5 per cent in 2017; above the WHO emergency threshold. Stunting was also above the WHO emergency threshold of 20 per cent across all settlements in the South West. Across all settlements, women and children suffered from anaemia, which was above the WHO emergency threshold of 40 per cent. There is need to intensify efforts to address micronutrient deficiency, GAM, and stunting to reduce the current burden of Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) across the refugee hosting districts. According to the Lancet series, about 20 per cent of all child morbidity and mortality can be averted with appropriate infant and young child feeding practices of breast and complementary feeding and these will continue to be prioritised in 2019.

With an increasing refugee population and anticipated refugee influxes through to 2020, the capacity and resources of primary healthcare institutions remain at a constant risk of being overstretched. In particular, refugees living in urban areas and outside the settlements access government health facilities that have not planned for additional patient caseload, leading to increased workload on health workers, frequent shortage of medicines and out-of-pocket medication expenditures by both refugee and host communities during stock-out periods2 .

On average, refugee hosting sub-counties accessed 16 litres of water per person per day (lpd). According to sector reports, supply was inequitably distributed between settlement, hosting populations and districts. Refugee and host populations from West Nile had the highest lpd (average 17.5 lpd for host community, 18.7 litres for refugees). Households of refugees from DRC and Burundi in the southwest region accessed 15 lpd or less (68 per cent for host community, 74 per cent for refugees) and 10 lpd or less (38 per cent for host community, 49 per cent for refugees) respectively. Seventy nine per cent of households in host community and amongst refugees own a family latrine. The unavailability of materials for construction of family latrines coupled with low levels of community participation to shift from communal to family latrines, especially amongst South Sudanese refugees, is hindering efforts to ensure all households own a latrine.

Child poverty and deprivation in refugee settings

The first study to apply a consensual approach to measuring poverty3 and deprivation in emergency situations in the country and globally – Child Poverty and Deprivation in Refugee Hosting Areas – was launched in June 2018. The study4 assessed child poverty, deprivation and social service delivery and provided unprecedented evidence on the situation and vulnerability of refugees in Uganda, including urban refugees in Kampala, and that of host communities in the main refugee-hosting regions. The analysis identified the determinants of social service insufficiency and provided practical recommendations on how to manage social service delivery equitably for both refugees and host communities. The evidence highlighted that while refugee children tend to be more deprived of socially perceived necessities, deprivation among refugees tends to reduce over time. Within five years of residence, deprivation rates among refugees were on a par with those of host communities; the reason being that levels of deprivation among host communities are already high. As such, the evidence reiterates the urgent need to facilitate integration of services provided for both host and refugees and special focus is for refugee-hosting districts. More details on the report can be accessed on https://www.unicef.org/uganda/ChildPovertyRefugees-FINAL-Lores.pdf

Disease outbreaks

Throughout 2018, refugee producing countries neighbouring Uganda and refugee-hosting areas inside Uganda remained vulnerable to communicable disease outbreaks due to cross border movement, congestion, inadequate sanitation and geographic location of settlement necessitating preparedness and response for disease outbreaks especially at district and local level.

Cholera: In 2018, the Ministry of Health (MOH) with support from UNICEF and other humanitarian partners responded to Cholera outbreaks in eleven districts with a total of 2,699 cumulative cases and Case Fatality Rate (CFR) of 2.22 per cent which is above the WHO threshold. Majority of the cases were refugees from DRC who imported the outbreak Ituri (DRC), other outbreaks to note are Amudat and Bulambuli that were believed to be associated with cross border engagements among the Pokot and Karamojong in North Eastern Uganda.The re-emergence of cholera in Kampala city in December, two months after controlling an earlier outbreak, has been attributed to risk factors of poor sanitation and lack of clean water. There is need to address the risk factors associated with WASH in addition to risk communication and social mobilization for behaviour change.

Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever (CCHF): Uganda experienced sporadic cases of CCHF in the eight districts of Ibanda, Isingiro, Kabarole, Kakumiro, Kiboga, Kiryadongo, Nakaseke, Masindi and Sembabule, along the cattle corridor. The cumulative number of confirmed cases reached 14 with six fatalities (CFR = 43 per cent).

Rift Valley Fever (RVF): In 2018, Uganda contained a RVF outbreak that was reported along the cattle corridor in 17 districts;33 cumulative cases, and 18 deaths were reported.

Anthrax: In 2018, an Anthrax outbreak was reported in four districts of Arua (West Nile), Kiruhura (South western), Isingiro (West Nile) and Kween (Eastern). Ten cases were confirmed with one death. The outbreak has been contained.

Black Water Fever: Fourteen children were affected by a Black Water Fever in Manafwa District, Eastern Uganda. The MOH deployed a rapid response team and provided timely treatment to the affected thus controlling the outbreak.

Measles and rubella: In 2018, Uganda was hit by a measles outbreak with 76 out of 122 districts affected with 1,216 cumulative cases. About 33 districts also reported a rubella outbreak across the country with 196 cases and zero case fatality rate. With Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisations (GAVI) support, the country will now introduce the Measles Rubella combined vaccine into the national immunization schedule in 2019.

Ebola preparedness and prevention: As of 31 December 2018, the MOHhad not confirmed any case of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in Uganda. Surveillance continues at the community, health facilities, formal and informal points of entries (POE) in all 30 high risk districts. MOH and partners continue to identify alerts, validate, isolate suspected cases and collect samples which are tested in-country at the Uganda Virus Research Institute.

Floods and Landslides

In October, a flood and landslide occurred in Bukalasi sub county, Bududa district, affecting 13 villages and killing 43 people, including eight children, and injuring 21. The OPM and partners rescue teams conducted search and recovery of the dead bodies and evacuated the injured. Road infrastructure, water and sanitation facilities, and education facilities were destroyed.

World: Thematic series: The ripple effect: economic impacts of internal displacement – February 2019

Source: Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre
Country: Central African Republic, Haiti, Libya, Philippines, Somalia, South Sudan, Ukraine, World, Yemen

First estimates of the financial impact of internal displacement have been released by the Intern...

رسالة الأمين العام للأمم المتحدة بمناسبة اليوم الدولي للمرأة والفتاة في ميدان العلوم، ١١ شباط/فبراير ٢٠١٩

           إن المهارات في مجالات العلوم والتكنولوجيا والهندسة والرياضيات تُحفِّز الابتكار وهي بالغة الأهمية في تحقيق أهداف التنمية المستدامة.            وتؤدي النساء والفتيات دورا حيويا في جميع هذه المجالات. ومع ذلك فتمثيلهن ناقص على نحو محزن.           ويمكن للقوالب النمطية الجنسانية والافتقار إلى نماذج بارزة يُحتذى بها والبيئات والسياسات غير الداعمة أو حتى العدائية أن تعوق سعيهن إلى […]

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL’S VIDEO MESSAGE ON THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF WOMEN AND GIRLS IN SCIENCE, 11 February 2019

Skills in science, technology, engineering and math drive innovation and are critical to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
Click here to show the video:
http://webtv.un.org/search/antónio-guterres-un-secretary-general-on-the-occasion-of-the-...

Democratic Republic of the Congo: République Démocratique du Congo: UNHCR Mise a Jour Intermediaire (1 – 15 janvier 2019)

Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Country: Angola, Burundi, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, South Sudan

Ce document fournit une mise à jour intermédiaire sur les principaux évènements ayant lieu entre la pub...

South Sudan: UNICEF South Sudan Humanitarian Situation Report, 1- 31 December 2018

Source: UN Children's Fund
Country: South Sudan

Highlights

  • The cumulative effects of years of conflict, violence and destroyed livelihoods have left more than 7 million people, approximately two thirds of the population, in dire need of humanitarian assistance and protection in 2019, the same proportion as in 2018. While the situation is no longer escalating rapidly, the country remains in the grip of a serious humanitarian crisis. Overall, the revitalized peace process promises to offer new opportunities in 2019 for South Sudan’s women, men and children.

  • In 2018, UNICEF in coordination with partners reached 205,641 children suffering from SAM, approximately 257,842 children with psychosocial support (PSS), 265,312 with WASH services and 1,653,640 children with curative health services.

  • Through national and state level task forces, UNICEF and partners continue to closely monitor the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), intensifying preventive and preparedness activities in targeted high-risk areas and potential points of entry.

Situation Overview and Humanitarian Needs

In 2018, UNICEF and humanitarian partners continued to face restrictions on humanitarian access that limited and/or prevented life-saving assistance and services from reaching vulnerable children. Over the course of the year, UNICEF and partners faced at least 80 access incidents, which limited sustained access to an estimated 400,000 people mostly women and children, while according to OCHA, the humanitarian community at large faced over 800 access incidents.

Violence and intimidation against aid workers, ongoing armed hostilities and bureaucratic impediments were the main access challenges confronted by humanitarians in South Sudan in 2018. Over 50 per cent of all access incidents (442) involved violence against humanitarian personnel and assets, including killings, abductions, illegal detention and robberies along roads and within compounds. Bureaucratic impediments and operational interference also remain key challenges for predictable and efficient emergency programmes.

Despite the overall reduction in armed hostilities following the February 2018 Ceasefire Agreement and the 12 September signing of the Revitalized Agreement for the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (RARCSS), armed clashes and insecurity continue to impede and prevent humanitarian operations specifically within Central Equatoria. In Central Equatoria, ongoing hostilities between the SSPDF and multiple non-state armed actors, attacks against civilians and robberies/abductions along main roads are impeding access to an estimated 200,000 people in the greater Yei area.

The 2019 Humanitarian Needs Overview, published December 2018, illustrates that conflict and associated economic decline have eroded the Government’s ability to provide consistent basic services to its people. Currently, one primary health center serves an average of 50,000 people. Only 40 per cent of nutrition treatment centers have access to safe water, a gap that puts more vulnerable people, particularly women, boys and girls, at risk of malnutrition and disease.
Only about one in five childbirths involves a skilled health care worker and the maternal mortality ratio is estimated at 789 per 100,000 live births. Every third school has been damaged, destroyed, occupied or closed since 2013, and more than 70 per cent of children who should be attending classes are not receiving an education.

Through national and state level task forces, UNICEF and partners continue to closely monitor the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), intensifying preventive and preparedness activities in targeted high-risk areas and potential points of entry. Priority preparedness activities include surveillance, screening at points of entry, and capacity development on case management, safe and dignified burial, pre-positioning of supplies and risk communication to increase community awareness on EVD. Following a prioritization exercise on EVD preparedness on 17 November and feedback from the joint independent monitoring mission (15-19 November), UNICEF continued providing preparedness support, primarily on risk communication and WASH activities.

Democratic Republic of the Congo: Democratic Republic of the Congo UNHCR Mid-Month Update (1 – 15 January 2019)

Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Country: Angola, Burundi, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, South Sudan

This document provides a mid-month update on major developments between the publication of UNHCR’s mont...

Democratic Republic of the Congo: Democratic Republic of the Congo Country Refugee Response Plan (CRRP) January 2019 -December 2020

Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Country: Burundi, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, South Sudan

Background and Achievements

For decades, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has maintained an “open-do...

Kenya: UNICEF Kenya Humanitarian Situation Report January to December 2018

Source: UN Children's Fund
Country: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan

HIGHLIGHTS

• In 2018, approximately 700,000 people were food insecure by August 2018, down from 3.4 million in August 2017.

• The above-average ‘long’ rains resulted in mass displacement with 311,000 people displaced by mid-May 2018.

• In 2018, a total of 306,514 children were reached with life-saving health interventions through integrated health outreach. While over 2.9 million children were reached as part of the polio vaccination campaign for the Horn of Africa.

• With UNICEF support, 245,219 acutely malnourished children were admitted for treatment in therapeutic and supplementary feeding programmes in 2018.

• Over 189,883 people in drought, cholera and flood-affected counties benefitted from permanent access to safe water through repair of water points.

• In 2018, UNICEF’s Humanitarian Action for Children appeal of US$ 34.2 million had a funding gap of 58 per cent.

Situation Overview and Humanitarian Needs

Approximately 2.55 million people were food insecure in March 2018, down from 3.4 million in August 2017, as Kenya continued to face the effects of the severe drought from the previous year and high staple food prices. However, by August 2018 the population requiring food assistance had reduced significantly to 700,0009 , due to substantial crop production, low market prices and available supplies in the local markets following record-high ‘long’ rains from March – May. According to the National Drought Management Authority, all 23 Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) counties were categorized in the normal drought phase by August 2018 (stressed, IPC phase 2), and majority of the open water sources were filled with water, stabilizing average return distances to water points. According to the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET), the October to December short rainy season was significantly below average and crop production is expected to be 70 percent of average. As a result, deterioration in food security will most likely be gradual, and additional ASAL counties are anticipated to move to Stressed level (IPC phase 2) from February 2019.

At the beginning of 2018, acute malnutrition remained at critical levels (phase 4, GAM WHZ 15 - 29.9 per cent) in Turkana Central, North, West and South, Tana River, Wajir North, North Horr and Laisamis sub-counties, while Isiolo and Kajiado reported a serious nutrition situation (phase 3, GAM WHZ 10.0 -14.9 percent). The nutrition situation improved due to the improvement in food security with the children in need of treatment for severe acute malnutrition (SAM) reducing to 85,105 by August 2018, down from 104,614 children in January 2018. However, critical GAM levels (15 - 29.9 per cent) were sustained in Mandera, Turkana, Samburu, and parts of Baringo (East Pokot), and Marsabit (North Horr) counties, primarily driven by poor childcare feeding practices and lack of suitable access to health facilities. Serious GAM levels (10 - 14.9 per cent) are anticipated in Wajir, Garissa, Isiolo, Laikipia, Tana River, and Marsabit (Laisamis) counties in January 2019.

The above-average long rains also resulted in massive flooding in 40 out of 47 counties, with 800,000 people affected, including 311,000 displaced (approximately 47 per cent children), 186 killed and nearly 100 injured by mid-May 2018. Of the displaced children, about 18,725 (42 per cent girls) required child protection interventions and about 46,000 children could not access schooling by mid-May as 329 schools were hosting people displaced by the floods. Timely emergency assistance to affected populations in the most hard-to-reach areas was compromised as major roads and school infrastructure was damaged. With the cessation of the long rains in May, floodwaters receded in most of the flood-affected areas which improved road access and displaced populations returned to their homes by end of June. However, in Tana River county, farms and villages mainly in Tana Delta area were still flooded, and most of the displaced were still living in camps, with 10 internally displaced population (IDP) camps still hosting 400 households.

The flooding also compounded ongoing disease outbreaks, with 5,470 cholera cases (78 deaths and case fatality rate of 1.4 per cent) reported across 19 counties; 111 Rift Valley Fever human cases (14 deaths) reported across Wajir (75), Marsabit (35) and Siaya (1) counties and 1,465 chikungunya cases reported. The first cholera outbreak began on 26 December 2014 and ended on 19 August 2018.The next cholera outbreak started on 8 September 2018 and ended 23 October 2018 with only 40 cases in three counties. Since the last case, three incubation periods have passed and by the 20 November the Government declared the outbreak under control10 . Additionally, 24 measles cases were reported in Wajir county in February and a circulating vaccine derived type 2 polio virus was found in a sewage sample in Nairobi county in May 2018. Since the beginning of the year, six counties (Mandera, Garissa, Wajir, Nairobi, Kitui and Murang’a) reported measles outbreaks with a total of 744 cases with 66 confirmed and one death reported by end of the year. There was significant reduction in the number of measles cases reported in the last quarter of the year in Mandera and Nairobi following the vaccination campaign, with no new cases reported between August and December 2018. However, there was a spike in the cases reported in Wajir County towards end of the year, with 15 cases being reported between 7 and 21 December 2018.

In the first half of the year, drought-related inter-ethnic conflicts and insecurity in Garissa, Mandera, Turkana, Samburu, Baringo, West Pokot, Wajir, Tana River intermittently affected access to learning and constrained emergency education assessments and interventions. In Baringo County, 133 schools were affected, and 20 schools were closed in February, affecting access for approximately 30,000 learners. On 12 February, a terrorist-related attack by armed militants led to the death of two non-local teachers in Qarsa Primary School, Wajir County, and resulted in 900 non-local teachers leaving Wajir county, negatively impacting learning for approximately 45,000 children. Inter-ethnic conflicts in Narok South, Baringo and Marsabit counties led to the temporary closure of over 30 schools, interrupting learning for more than 8,000 children (40 per cent girls) in September and October 2018.

A sudden influx of asylum seekers from Ethiopia to Moyale in Marsabit county due to intercommunal conflict was reported in March 2018, with a total of 10,557 people (over 80 per cent women and children) registered at the peak of the crisis. The Dambala Fachana camp in Moyale that was hosting the asylum seekers was closed on 29 September, with 302 individuals transferred to Kakuma, while 700 individuals opted to return to Ethiopia. In December, conflict was reported in the border area, and Kenya Red Cross estimates that a total of 8,620 household crossed the border to Mandera county and are integrated in the host community of Banisa and Takaba. According to the UNHCR November 2018 update, Kenya hosts 470,088 refugees and asylum seekers (56 per cent children). Almost 55 per cent of refugees and asylum seekers in Kenya originate from Somalia. Other major nationalities are South Sudanese (24.4 per cent), Congolese (8.7 per cent) and Ethiopians (5.9 per cent). Since the beginning of the year, 5,116 refugee children (3,170 boys and 1,946 girls) have arrived in Kakuma and Kalobeyei refugee camps.

Ethiopia: UNICEF Ethiopia Humanitarian Situation Report #12 – January to December 2018

Source: UN Children's Fund
Country: Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan

Highlights

▪ In 2018, UNICEF Ethiopia’s Humanitarian Action for Children (HAC), costed at US$123 million, was 47.8 per cent funded, and reached 5.5 million people with life-saving interventions by December (70 per cent of those in need).

▪ Severe ethnic conflicts during the year resulted in large scale internal displacement, bringing the number of displaced to 2.95 million from 1.6 million at the start of 2018.

▪ Lack of access to affected communities, due to insecurity or poor infrastructure, has posed significant challenges to the provision of humanitarian assistance to those in need in 2018.

▪ With UNICEF Ethiopia support, 312,586 children under five were treated for severe acute malnutrition while 4,189 children were reunified with their families or placed in alternative care arrangements.

▪ Despite the complexities and needs in 2018, UNICEF managed to meet most of its targets set in the HAC appeal.

Situation Overview and Humanitarian Needs

While 2018 was marked by unprecedented political and economic reforms, the ongoing transformation resulted in increased unrest and conflict across the country creating a complex humanitarian situation. Severe ethnic conflict during the year led to large scale internal displacements, which increased the number of people displaced to 2.95 million1 by December from 1.7 million in February, as illustrated in Figure 1 below. From October to December, newly displaced people in Gedeo Zone of Southern Nations Nationalities Peoples Region (SNNPR) added significant numbers to the total. Given the ongoing context in the country, additional displacements throughout 2019 are expected as the country draws closer to national elections in 2020.

In addition to internal displacement, cross border displacement also occurred. Ethiopians displaced by the conflict in the Oromia region crossed into Kenya, with peak crossings recorded in March and November.

The total number of registered refugees and asylum seekers in Ethiopia in 2018 reached 919,938. The refugees are largely from South Sudan (422,240), Eritrea (173,879) and Somalia (257,283). There was a large influx of new Eritrean refugees into Ethiopia following the reopening of two border crossing points in September, with a total of 14,107 reported by UNHCR as of 20 October. Additional new arrivals were registered during the year, with 17, 554 people coming from South Sudan and an additional 759 arriving from Somalia.

Apart from conflict, Ethiopia remained vulnerable to the effects of climate change and continued to experience droughts and floods. Repeated disease outbreaks, such as acute watery diarrhoea (AWD), measles and scabies experienced in 2018, compounded by conflict-and climate-induced displacement, highlighted structural weaknesses in the health and sanitation systems. Despite improvements in rains and harvests in the first half of 2018, 7.95 million people required food assistance and 312,586 children were treated for severe acute malnutrition (SAM) by November 2018.

The national humanitarian appeal (after its mid-year review) stood at more than US$ 1.4 billion, equivalent to about 10 per cent of the Government’s annual budget. UNICEF Ethiopia’s HAC appeal of US$123 million was 47.8 per cent funded, and reached 5.5 million people with life-saving interventions (70 per cent of total people in need).

Ethiopia: Ensuring equal opportunities for refugee and host community children in Ethiopia

Source: UN Children's Fund
Country: Ethiopia, South Sudan

Gambella Region, Ethiopia

By Amanda Westfall

Refugee primary school teacher Changkuoth Ter Wal explains the importance of investing in new schools and teacher training diploma programmes. With US$15 million from the Education Cannot Wait (ECW) fund, new schools and trained teachers are on the rise in the refugee-hosting regions of Gambella and Benishangal-Gumuz.

Like most children in Tierkidi Refugee Camp in Gambella, Ethiopia, 15-year-old Pal Biel Jany fled from violence in South Sudan five years ago. He left his entire immediate family behind and currently lives with his aunt in the camp.

Pal has been displaced and separated from his parents and siblings for nearly one-third of his life. For refugee children, especially those experiencing traumatic displacement processes, it is imperative that they find stability and support – and schools can play a significant role.

Pal is lucky to have Changkuoth Ter Wal as his fourth-grade teacher at Teirkidi #3 Primary School. Changkuoth was never given the opportunity to attend formal training for teaching, (like most refugee teachers who hold no professional diplomas and only participate in short trainings offered at the camp). Nevertheless, he is determined to improve the conditions for the next generation.

“I can see how education is good for the community and the children. In South Sudan and here in the camps, there are more illiterate people than educated.”

But the situation changed last summer when he was given an opportunity of a life time. He and 343 other refugees were told they would be able to attend college and pursue teaching diplomas. Now, they can finally become professional teachers and improve the quality of education for refugee children.

In addition to investing in teachers, the refugee camps are benefitting from the construction of new schools and classrooms. Primary and secondary school access is still low (at a 75 per cent and 12.5 per cent Gross Enrollment Ratio for Gambella region) and class congestion is extremely high (primary school student/teacher ratio is 106:1). With the expansion of learning spaces and investments in teacher training, the hope is to bring more children to school, reduce congestion, and improve the delivery of education.

The new schools are part of a US$15 million two-year investment by ECW which includes the construction of three new inclusive model secondary schools, 41 classrooms in eight secondary schools, 84 classrooms in four primary schools, and the provision of classroom furniture (desks, chairs, chalkboards) in Benishangul-Gumuz and Gambella regions that are host to mostly South Sudanese refugees.

But the support goes further than construction, since infrastructure alone may increase access to schools, but doesn’t guarantee quality of teaching in the schools. The project also supports teacher training through diploma programmes (like what Changkuoth attends) as well as provides teaching and learning materials.

Equal opportunities for refugees and host communities

Pal’s camp sits within three kilometers of the neighboring ‘host’ Ethiopian community. Like their refugee peers, the host community also struggles with poverty and low quality and access to education. The ECW-supported project brings equal opportunities for education to both host and refugee children and introduces integrated services through the construction of new secondary schools where both refugee and host children can learn together in government-run schools overseen by the Ministry of Education.

Moving from temporary to stable

Classrooms like those currently at Tierkidi #3 were first constructed as temporary solutions when it was uncertain how long the refugees would stay in Ethiopia. the temporary low-cost structures were made of wood and metal sheets that could be destroyed by harsh weather but as the conflict continues in South Sudan, services can no longer be viewed as short-term solutions. Changuoth explains,

“The [temporary] school may fall down because of rain and wind so we are very excited with the new classrooms [permanent structures built from concrete bricks]. There will be so many advantages. When the students hit the metal sheets, it makes loud sounds and disturbs the children who are learning inside. With the new buildings this won’t happen.”

The impact of the investment

Pal’s family trusts in him to gain a good education so he can help his younger siblings one day. For this reason, his family agreed that he lives with his aunt in Tierkidi camp since there are no educational opportunities in South Sudan where his immediate family still lives. As Pal explains,

“I have to work hard to complete my education so I can support my two younger brothers and three younger sisters who are still in South Sudan and can’t go to school.”

Through the investment in construction, teacher training, and provision of teaching/learning materials, Pal and an expected 12,000 other children from refugee camps and surrounding host communities will enjoy an improved quality of education.

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