Source: UNICEF. Photos added.
Eritrea Humanitarian Situation Report: January-December 2018
from UN Children’s Fund
- The year under review was a turning point for Eritrea. In July 2018, Ethiopia and Eritrea signed the historic Joint Declaration of Peace and Friendship, effectively ending two decades of political stalemate between the two countries, and in November 2018, the United Nations Security Council lifted the targeted sanctions imposed on Eritrea since 2009.
- In 2018, UNICEF supported the Government of the State of Eritrea (GoSE) to reach over 46,700 acutely malnourished children under five, treating over 13,430 children for severe acute malnutrition (SAM) and more than 33,290 children for moderate acute malnutrition (MAM).
- In total, 131,360 children were immunized against vaccinepreventable diseases including measles, and more than 32,100 children under five received lifesaving treatments through improved services for Community based Integrated Management of Child Illnesses (C-IMCI).
- UNICEF supported advocacy and behavioural change activities, enabling more than 67,000 people to adopt appropriate hygiene practices.
- More than 6,780 overaged children from drought-prone nomadic and semi-nomadic communities have enrolled in schools through the Complementary Elementary Education (CEE) programme.
- More than 97,800 children were reached with Mine Risk Education (MRE) and other critical protection services.
SITUATION IN NUMBERS
632,450 Total people to be reached in 2018 (HAC 2018)
542,000 Total children to be reached in 2018 (HAC 2018)
UNICEF Appeal 2018 US$ 14 million
Situation Overview and Humanitarian Needs
Eritrea is characterised by harsh climatic conditions, including cyclical drought, which affects groundwater resources, and flooding during rainy seasons. These events exacerbate the vulnerability of communities, making it difficult for families to fully recover from the effects of one emergency before being affected by another. In recent years, the country’s climatic conditions tested the coping capacities of the population, of which 80 per cent iare dependent on subsistence agriculture.
According to data from the Eritrea Population and Health Survey (EPHS) 2010 data (the latest available), half of all children under five were stunted, and children are affected by sporadic outbreaks of diarrhoea and measles. The risk of landmines and explosive remnants of war continues to affect border communities, particularly children. Approximately 300,000 children are out of school, with most of out-of-school children (OOSC) hailing from nomadic communities, vulnerable to natural disasters. Domestic food production is estimated to meet only between 60 to 70 per cent of the population’s needs. Eritrea generally receives low rainfall with annual rainfall in the highlands and lowlands between 200–700 mm, 700–1100 mm in sub humid zones, and less than 200 mm in the semi–desert areas.
It is expected that a new EPHS will be conducted in early 2019 and will provide updated figures. Until then, UNICEF and GoSE base their calculations on EPHS 2010 data, which revealed up to 23,430 children under five were at risk of SAM. According to Ministry of Education (MoE) 2018, there are around 300,000 OOSC in Eritrea; of whom 81 per cent are of preprimary school age, 29 per cent are of primary school age, and 41 per cent are of lower secondary school age. Many of these children are from nomadic and semi-nomadic drought-prone zobas of Anseba, Gash Barka, Northern Red Sea and the Southern Red Sea. UNICEF’s support to the national education response focuses on community involvement in setting up learning spaces, building capacity of teachers recruited from the local communities, and enrolling OOSC from nomadic communities.
In July 2018, Ethiopia and Eritrea signed the historic Joint Declaration of Peace and Friendship, effectively ending two decades of a political stalemate between the neighbours, and in November 2018, the United Nations Security Council lifted the targeted sanctions imposed on Eritrea since 2009.