UNICEF Regional Multi-country Humanitarian Situation Report (July-September 2019)

  • Ongoing climate shocks across Africa, including drought in southern Africa have worsened food insecurity, malnutrition and communicable disease outbreaks across the region.
  • UNICEF continues to strengthen community surveillance and referral systems through active management of acute malnutrition throughout the region. From January to September, more than 4,000 children were admitted for treatment of severe acute malnutrition in Lesotho, Namibia, Tanzania and Zambia, including 233 refugee children with SAM in Tanzania during the reporting period.
  • Tanzania and Zambia host more than 320,000 refugees and asylum seekers, largely from Burundi and DRC and of which more than half are children. UNICEF and partners ensured quality and equity-based education, psychosocial services, WASH services and malnutrition screenings for refugee children in Tanzania and Zambia so far in 2019.
  • The ongoing Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) continues to threaten neighbouring countries including Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Zambia. UNICEF continues to play a key role in the UN Ebola prevention and preparedness response, which was scaled up after three cases of Ebola were confirmed in Uganda in June.


September 2019

# of people in need of humanitarian assistance

# of children in need of humanitarian assistance

UNICEF Appeal 2019
US$ 13.6 million

Regional Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs

Climatic Shocks

The Eastern and Southern Africa region (ESAR)1 is affected by recurrent disasters that are undermining the hard-fought development gains of recent years and resulting in major social and economic setbacks. Prolonged dry spells during the second half of the 2018/2019 rainy season resulted in reduced seasonal production, food deficits, price increases and increased food insecurity in many parts of southern Africa. More than 11 million people in nine southern African countries are now experiencing crisis or emergency levels of food insecurity (IPC Phases 3 and 4) and the number is likely to rise as low rainfalls continue. While Angola, Madagascar, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe are facing the worst of the impacts of the drought, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi and Namibia have also seen increases in food insecurity, lack of access to clean water and a rise in communicable disease outbreaks linked to the climate crisis.

In Zambia, 58 out of 116 districts (primarily in the Southern, Eastern and Western provinces) have been severely impacted by the poor rainy season and are projected to be in IPC Phase 3 (54 districts) or 4 (4 districts). As of September 2019, 1.7 million people were estimated to be food insecure with a total of 2.3 million estimated to reach iPC Phase 3 or worse by the end of the lean season in March 2020.

With the situation worsening, the Government of Lesotho declared a nationwide state of emergency on October 30, 2019 due to drought and food insecurity. According to estimates, every district of the country is estimated to be in IPC Phase 3 or worse in the period from October 2019 to March 2020, with estimated 433,410 people in rural areas and 74,715 people in urban areas needing humanitarian assistance. In total 508,125 people are facing food insecurity across the country, with children under 18 making up almost a quarter of those in need (115,8490).

A drought emergency was declared in Namibia by the President in May which has now been extended to March 2020. Since the onset of the emergency response, the Government has gradually increased its initial response from around 270,000 beneficiaries to over 980,000 beneficiaries. Grazing conditions for livestock were reported to be very poor in many areas of the country.


Source: UN Children’s Fund