The European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Department (ECHO) has provided an additional 1 Million Euros contribution to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to support the agency’s 2015 emergency response to South Sudanese refugees in Uganda.
UNICEF will support four main interventions in the districts of Adjumani, Arua, Koboko, Yumbe and Kiryandogo in northern Uganda.
In the area of Immunisation, over 145,000 children in refugee camps and host communities will be immunised against measles while around 62,000 under give children will be immunised against polio.
In the area of nutrition, within both refugee and host communities, Vitamin A supplements will be provided to around 63,000 children aged 6-59 months, deworming medication given to nearly 150,000 children aged 1-14 years and over 2,500 children will receive Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) therapeutic care. In addition, infant and young child feeding services, maternal nutrition counselling services and iron/folic supplements will be provided to over 16,000 pregnant women. The comprehensive response is intended to contribute to reducing the high levels of Global Acute Malnutrition (19.9%) and SAM (4.5%) among refugees as shown in a 2014 nutrition assessment. H.E. Park Jong-Dae (L), Korean Ambassador to Uganda Ms. Jun Youngsuk, KOICA Uganda Office Resident Representative Ms. Aida Girma, UNICEF Representative at a recent function
In the area of water & sanitation and protection, 42,000 refugees and school children will be provided with access to water, sanitation and hygiene services while 25,000 refugee children will also be able to access psychosocial and recreational support services at 25 child friendly centers. UNICEF will also continue to register and re-unite separated children with their families using the innovative RapidFTR child identification and family reunification system as well as further assist vulnerable children by strengthening increased access to psychosocial and recreational support at 25 child friendly services.
This is the second tranche of funding UNICEF has received from ECHO towards emergency response to South Sudan refugee crisis in Uganda. The first tranche of funding totaling 1.9 Million Euros was provided in August 2014.
“With this additional funding, we are now able to expand our emergency response to thousands of South Sudanese refugee children in Uganda,” said UNICEF’s Representative to Uganda, Ms. Aida Girma. “We are extremely grateful to ECHO and the people of the European Union for the ongoing support to provide technical services that will improve the health, education and protection of South Sudanese children in Uganda.”
Under the overall coordination of Office of Prime Minister and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), UNICEF is providing technical leadership in areas related to its mandate. This includes water and sanitation, health and nutrition for children and lactating mothers, child protection and emergency education.
“We are proud to continue our partnership with UNICEF to expand life-saving services to South Sudanese refugee children and their families in Uganda and remain committed to supporting the people of South Sudan with humanitarian assistance as needed,” said ECHO’s Isabelle D’Haudt – Humanitarian advisor, Horn of Africa team – Kenya and Uganda.
With funding from ECHO and other partners, to-date UNICEF has set up 36 child friendly spaces in Arua, Adjumani and Kiryandogo with recreational, indoor and outdoor materials; registered and provided birth certificates to 1,714 refugee children under the age of five; established 17 Early Childhood Development centres with current enrolment at 5,975 children; facilitated the construction and equipping of classrooms in 21 schools; sent supplies to 23 overcrowded schools; constructed 11 motorised water systems to reduce the distance to access water from 1km to 500m from house to water point; 72 health facilities have been supported to establish therapeutic feeding programme while 1,424 children with severe acute malnutrition have been treated.
Of the around 144, 000 South Sudanese refugees currently in Uganda, over 70, 000 (65%) are children.