Drought in the Horn of Africa

Partnership Objective

Provide healthcare to people affected by drought.

Organizations and their partners have to act quickly, but only after having evaluate the population’s needs, and coordinating with the other NGO/health authorities acting on the field. Organizations and their partners have to act quickly, but only after having evaluate the population’s needs, and coordinating with the other NGO/health authorities acting on the field. Copyright UNICEF

What are the health needs and challenges?

The worst drought in 60 years is plaguing the Horn of Africa (Somalia, Djibouti, Kenya and Ethiopia). There has been no rain for four years in some localities, leading to a severe food crisis and soaring prices for basic foodstuffs. In these countries, 13.3 million people are in need of humanitarian aid, and over 841,130 people are refugees. These populations are affected by problems of access to safe water and food in general, and malnutrition in particular.

Description of partnership activities and how they address needs and challenges

The assistance provided by Sanofi Espoir Foundation to UNICEF in the healthcare field has been mainly focused on Somalia, the epicenter of the crisis.

To help children affected by the crisis, UNICEF has sent five tons of supplies (therapeutic foods, drugs) since last June as well as equipment to improve water supplies in Baidoa (South-West of Somalia). UNICEF is working with local Health Ministries, the World Food Program, NGOs and international organizations, mainly to maintain routine immunization campaigns, stepping up access to drinking water programs, and improving sanitation facilities in the camps.

UNICEF priority healthcare actions in Somalia include:

Providing technical support (training health workers) and logistics solutions (e.g. vaccines, basic equipment, essential drugs) at more than 200 clinics for maternal and child health and 100 healthcare centers (target: reach out to 2.5 million women and children).

  • To extend immunization coverage against measles to 2.5 million children aged from 6 months -15 years.
  • Providing Vitamin A supplements for more than 1 million children aged 6 to 59 months.
  • Ensure each month the therapeutic management of at least 17,000 children with severe acute malnutrition by means of technical and logistical support to 200 intensive nutritional rehabilitation programs located in the south (Target: 200,000 children)

Lessons learned

Healthcare is one the most vital needs in humanitarian disasters. Organizations and their partners have to act quickly, but only after having evaluate the population’s needs, and coordinating with the other NGO/health authorities acting on the field. Emergency activities have to be followed by more long term actions. In all the cases we have been through, the crisis still continues for months, even for years.

Summary of impact through December 2013 and forward looking information

At the end of 2011, 3,500 medical kits were distributed to 150 health centers for mothers and children as well as 300 healthcare and prevention programs in schools. 670,000 children (6 months-15 years) have received Vitamin A tablets. 700,000 children (6 months-15 years) were vaccinated against measles.

Videos

Actions by AMREF in Kenya

Partnership information

Company(ies) Sanofi

Partner(s) African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF), UNICEF

Type of Partner(s) IGOs, NGOs

Therapeutic Focus Women and Children's Health, Vaccine-Preventable Diseases, Other

Disease(s) Children's Health, General Health, Malnutrition, Measles, Women's Health

Program Type(s) Availability of Treatment - Emergency Aid, Health System Infrastructure - Outreach & Medical Services, Prevention Programs - Vaccines

Targeted Population(s) Children, Elderly, Marginalised / Indigenous People, Men, Mothers, People with low income, Women, Youth

Region(s) Middle East & North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa

Number of Countries 4

Country(ies) Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia

Start Date 2011

More information Sanofi Espoir Foundation

Completed date 2012

« Children do not die simply because they have nothing to eat. The various stages of malnutrition make them more vulnerable to other diseases. The higher the rate of malnutrition, the higher the risk for the children. »

Elhadj As Sy, UNICEF Director for the Eastern and Southern Africa Region