Supplementary memorandum submitted by
the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
I. WHAT ARE
1. UNICEF has over 50 years of experience
in supporting children, women and their families in Afghanistan.
The organisation has been active in the education, health, nutrition,
water and sanitation and child protection sectors in Afghanistan
before and during the conflict and, given the high levels of poverty
and child and maternal mortality, it will continue its assistance
in the medium- and long-term, especially in reconstruction and
2. Programmes for and with children and
young people are an ideal way of uniting Afghans from various
backgrounds behind a common aim. Furthermore, children and young
people are key to medium and long-term reconstruction and peace-building
in Afghanistan. They must not only be considered in all stages
of the recovery and rehabilitation process, they must also participate
in such efforts.
3. In early November UNICEF organised a
consultation with the Afghan Diaspora in Peshawar to discuss issues
related to the sectors in which it has been and will continue
to be active: health and nutrition, education, water
supply and environmental sanitation, child protection and
the involvement of women. The outcomes of this exercise
served as the basis for a series of discussion papers UNICEF has
helped to put together for the World Bank, UNDP, Asian Development
Bank `Watching Brief' meeting in Islamabad (27 to 29 November
4. UNICEF has also actively engaged itself
in the development of the UN strategy paper on recovery and reconstruction
that will be presented at the Afghan Support Group meeting early
in December. UNICEF will also participate in the upcoming meeting
in Brussels on the involvement of women (organised by UNIFEM).
5. Planning for longer-term programmes is
faced with major constraints due to a range of issues including
uncertainty of political reconciliation, weak local government
capacities and lack of physical infrastructure as well as absence
of quality data in the social sector.
6. Bearing the above in mind, UNICEF's overall
aim in Afghanistan is to promote the rights of children and women,
create hope and build trust, support reconciliation amongst various
communities and ethnic groups and support efforts for return and
integration of the displaced civilians in Afghanistan.
7. To achieve this, UNICEF has adopted a
two-pronged approach. As long as humanitarian crisis conditions
exist, UNICEF will maintain life-saving emergency assistance.
8. Immediate Survival interventions
will remain the priority over the next six months, through the
winter. These will include:
a) Emergency healthprovision of emergency
health kits, essential drugs, ORS;
b) Mother and Child Healthprovision
of midwife kits, hygiene kits mother and child health centre equipment;
c) Immunisationsupport to mass measles
d) Nutritionprovision of therapeutic
and supplementary food including high energy biscuits;
Water and Sanitation: provision
of clean drinking water through water bladders, hand pumps, purification
tablets, construction of wells and pit latrines;
Shelter and protection from
the cold: provision of family tents and tarpaulin, plastic sheeting,
blankets, winter clothing and fuel for heating.
Basic Education: Provision
of learning opportunities as a means of restoration of normal
life and psycho-social support.
9. At the same time UNICEF will launch parallel
recovery and rehabilitation initiatives. Such initiatives
will be based on the following principles:
Participation: Afghan participation
and leadership will be key elements in all recovery and rehabilitation
efforts. A special effort will be made to involve traditionally
marginalised groups, including women, ethnic minorities, adolescents
Promotion of Respect for Human
Rights: human rights standards (particularly those relating
to women's and children's rights) will underpin and guide all
reconstruction and rehabilitation actions.
Promotion of Good Governance:
UNICEF will support capacity building and systems strengthening
particularly in the area of juvenile justice, based on human rights,
democratic principles and participatory processes which are locally
inspired and locally led.
Partnerships: UNICEF will
build on existing partnerships with Afghans, NGOs, educators,
health workers, women's and civil society groups and academia.
It will broaden partnerships with new governmental counterparts
at local and national levels, and local and international non-governmental
organisations and the returning Diaspora.
10. To date we have identified the following
priorities for recovery and rehabilitation:
10.1 Advocacy and Rights Promotion
UNICEF will attempt to ensure that:
any peace agreement or political
settlement incorporates clear provisions for disarmament, demobilisation
and reintegration of soldiers, including child soldiers;
institutional frameworks are established
and advocate for disarmament and the safe disposal of landmines,
unexploded ordinance, small arms and ammunition;
women participate in the peace and
children are seen and used as a unifying
force; this will entail ensuring that laws, social and economic
policies and programmes in the post-conflict rehabilitation phase
are child-friendly and in accordance with child rights.
10.2 Support for Major Cities as Nodes
of Development and for Children and Schools as centres of HOPE
for Community-based Reconstruction/Rehabilitation Initiatives
rehabilitation and re-equipment of
schools, hospitals, basic health centres, and child care facilities;
minor repair and rehabilitation of
water and sanitation facilities with an emphasis on health and
In the community-based initiative, possible interventions
development of schools as community
centres to foster community mobilisation and life-long learning;
community-based mine and unexploded
ordinance awareness initiatives with a child/youth focus;
for mine and polio victims and other children/youth with physical
Reintegration of demobilised child
soldiers, street and working children including education,
livelihood and life skills development;
(Re)construction of child-friendly
kindergartens and playgrounds to encourage opportunities for
early childhood development and parental networks;
Youth radio programmes and youth
magazines to increase access to information and possibilities
for youth participation;
Community Child Protection and
Monitoring Networkbuilding on traditional protection
systems and mechanisms (shura, elders etc.);
Support to local Women's Organisations
to strengthen women's role in the community;
Social mobilisation on community
health and hygiene issues.
10.3 Support to Policy Development and
Institution Building at National Level
UNICEF will provide assistance in Education, Health,
Child Protection and the Promotion of Women's Rights.
This will include the promotion of relevant legislation, policies,
processes, strategies, and programming and the provision of technical,
financial and material assistance in the different sectors.
II. HOW IS
UNICEF AS AN
11. UNICEF depends entirely on voluntary
contributions from governments and the private sector. In 2000,
UNICEF raised a total of US$1,139 million. US$748 million (66%
of total) was raised from Governments and US$343 million from
the non-governmental and private sector. The remaining amount
was derived from exchange rate fluctuations, interest payments
and sundry adjustments. It should be noted that the very high
percentage of UNICEF funds coming from the private sector is possible
due to the work of UNICEF National Committees, which carry out
fund-raising and awareness raising on development issues on behalf
of the organisation in 37 countries, including the United Kingdom.
12. As with other UN funds and programmes,
UNICEF funds fall into two broad categories Regular (core, unearmarked)
and Other (earmarked) Resources. Under the rubric Other Resources,
a distinction is made between contributions earmarked for ongoing
UNICEF assistance through specific country programmes and those
earmarked for emergency programmes. In the year 2000, UNICEF received
US$ 563 million (49%) for Regular Resources, US$377 million (33%)
for Other Resources allocated to ongoing country programmes, and
US$199 million (18%) for emergency programmes.
13. Funding for major emergency programmes
is usually generated jointly with other UN agencies through an
inter-agency coordination mechanism or through the Consolidated
Appeal Process (CAP) under the overall co-ordination of the Office
for the Co-ordinator of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). While the
introduction of the Consolidated Appeal Process has improved planning
and coordination among the different UN agencies active in emergency
response. To facilitate a swift response in the first few days
of an emergency, UNICEF have established mechanisms whereby country
offices can access resources through re-programming or apply for
a reimbursable loan from emergency reserve funds. In addition,
UNICEF can also seek reimbursable loan from the Central Emergency
Revolving Fund under OCHA administration.
14. In an attempt to simplify and streamline
processes and procedures, UNICEF has been in discussions with
several donors, including the United Kingdom, to secure flexible,
`up-front' emergency funding, based on UNICEF's core emergency
competencies. Under such a system, a donor would indicate an `envelope'
figure for the amount of emergency funding that would be available
in a particular year and UNICEF would be able to draw down on
this amount, in consultation with the donor, but with minimum
delay once emergency funds were needed. The above system would
go a long way to increasing the speed and relevance of emergency
15. The other major constraint associated
with current funding arrangements for emergencies is the extremely
heavy reporting burden imposed by donors. In spite of co-ordination
mechanisms such as the Consolidated Appeal Process, many donors
require their `own' proposal and their `own' reports. This places
enormous strains on field staff and keeps them away from work
on the ground. The UNICEF Executive Board has asked the UNICEF
Secretariat to set up emergency reporting systems that provide
one narrative report per appeal per year for all donors. (Financial
reports will of course continue to be produced for each contribution).
Most donors, including the United Kingdom, have been able to accept
this type of reporting.
III. HOW MANY
UNICEF CURRENTLY CLASSIFY
16. UNICEF currently classifies 31 states
as being in a state of emergency or crisis. An additional 35
states are on a watch-list of countries at risk of becoming
crises or emergencies.
17. UNICEF reviews and updates its list
of emergency countries and its watch list every month through
an inter-divisional process involving the Programme Division (geographic
sections & focal point for conflict prevention) and the Office
of Emergency Programs.
18. UNICEF does not have a definition of
"failing states." However, in establishing its `watch-list'
of potential crises or emergencies or situations requiring humanitarian
response, it uses criteria related to:
conflict and/or violence:
acute political tension; civil disturbancelocal or large-scale
incidents; acute economic distress/poverty; international conflict;
civil war; localised armed conflict, ethnic/clan/tribal/communal
incursions; criminality, banditry, kidnapping; terrorist actsbombings,
assassinations, disappearances; child soldiers; landmines; refugees;
internal displacement; repatriation/forced return.
natural phenomena: earthquakes;
floods, riverbank erosion; landslides; cyclone, typhoon, hurricane,
tidal waves; tsunami; volcanic eruption; drought; firesforest,
other; unusually cold weather/winter emergency.
environmental hazards: air
pollution; water scarcity or quality; arsenic- or fluoride-poisoning;
radioactive hazards/nuclear contamination; poisoningchlorine,
cyanide, mercury, lead pollution; other (dam breaks, sea rise,
biological warfare waste, anthrax).
health conditions: HIV/AIDS;
health systems crisis; acute malnutrition/food distress; diarrhoea,
cholera, measles, polio, meningitis; acute respiratory infection;
tuberculosis; malaria, other fevers; drug use/transit.
19. UNICEF defines an emergency as:
"any situation in which the lives and well-being of children
are at such risk that extraordinary action, i.e. urgently required
action beyond that routinely provided, must be mobilised to ensure
the survival, protection and well-being of children." (from
UNICEF Executive Board document E/ICEF/1997/7 and 15.)
20. Natural or technological disasters,
epidemics or conflicts may create emergencies. Emergencies are
usually characterised by severe disruption of family life and
community services. This typically overwhelms the normal coping
capacities of the affected people and society. UNICEF distinguishes
between three main types of emergency: `sudden disaster', `slow
onset' and `complex, conflict-related' emergencies.
21. The UNICEF Security Team is finalising
a new field reporting system to standardise the collection of
data on security incidents. The new system will make data collection
more routine and increase the flow of information on security
incidents from field-level to headquarters. This will allow
for more accurate assessments of baseline levels of insecurity
and better informed analysis of overall trends. The UNICEF Security
Team works in close collaboration with the UN Office of Security
Co-ordination, which in turn maintains a list of high-risk countries
based on recommendations from country-level Security Management
22. UNICEF also participates in several
inter-agency processes related to early warning and conflict
The UN Common Country Assessment
and the UN Development Assistance Framework (CCA-UNDAF)
provide the opportunity to work with other UN agencies and, to
use vulnerability analysis to target those in greatest need, and
to address those factors that can precipitate conflict. Country
offices also develop emergency profiles to assess and project
possible threats to peace and early warning or contingency plans
to assist in readjusting programmes to take account of potential
conflicts and crises.
Since 1998, a UN framework team,
composed of senior representatives of 14 UN departments, agencies,
programmes and offices, has been meeting monthly to exchange information
on different areas of competence, and to assess the potential
for armed conflict, complex emergencies, or other circumstances
that may lead to UN involvement. The framework team is becoming
an important forum for preventive strategies within the UN system.
A number of UN inter-agency task
forces have provided the opportunity to address "failed states"
more systematically. UNICEF has participated in these task forces
and has been able to call attention to complex emergencies in
the making. The task forces undertake vulnerability assessments
of selected countries, which can help lead to more targeted support
by the UN system.
Draft Inter-agency Contingency
Planning Guidelines have been prepared as part of the Inter-agency
Standing Committee's (IASC) work on contingency planning. These
guidelines are intended to help UN country teams develop contingency
23. Support received from the UK Department
for International Development (DFID) for Strengthening UNICEF
Humanitarian Action and Response has made much of UNICEF's intensified
work in early warning, preparedness and response possible.
IV. UNICEF ASSISTANCE
24. Vaccination against measles is the most
effective public health intervention in reducing childhood mortality
during the current crisis. Large population displacements provide
fertile ground for measles outbreaks. Worsening malnutrition,
particularly vitamin A deficiency, will further increase the case
fatality rates associated with measles.
25. While regular Expanded Programme of
Immunisation (EPI) activities continue in Afghanistan, measles
campaigns are taking place in all provinces except Nimroz. UNICEF
will continue and intensify its focus on immunisation against
measles, building on the campaigns carried out earlier in the
year. All children from nine months to five years of age will
now be targeted (estimated 5 million). In addition, Vitamin A
will be administered alongside polio vaccination during National
26. The region of Afghanistan and Pakistan
accounts for 30% of the total number of polio virus cases registered
in 2001. This region is thus a major priority for the Global Polio
Eradication Initiative. During National Immunisation Days, doses
of oral polio vaccine are given to all children under five years.
Immunisation days usually take place in two rounds, with the second
round occurring approximately four to six weeks after the first.
27. The first round of polio immunisation
days in Afghanistan was undertaken in September 2001. Reports
indicate that 33,400 volunteers, 3,300 social mobilisers, 2,500
cluster supervisors and 400 provincial and district co-ordinators
throughout Afghanistan reached over five million children through
28. Coverage results from the second round,
which took place in November, are still being finalised. So far,
it is known that at least 1.6 million children were reached
with polio and vitamin A inside Afghanistan. Some areas, however,
were not accessible during the fighting.
29. Given that polio eradication is a global
initiative, Afghanistan was part of a regional polio campaign
involving the neighbouring countries in a synchronised manner.
In Pakistan, 30 million children under five were the goal,
including Afghan refugees. The coverage rate is expected to be
very high. Initial data also suggest that in Tajikistan
97% of the goal of 700,000 children was reached. This included
Afghan refugee children. In Turkmenistan approximately
395,000 children were reached and in Uzbekistan the goal
was 2.46 million children.
30. In Iran, sub-national polio immunisation
days took place in the eastern provinces bordering Afghanistan,
(Sistan, Baluchestan, Khorassan, Kerman and Hormozgan provinces)
in mid-November, with a goal of reaching 1.3 million children
under age five. A report on coverage will be available in early
United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
3 December 2001