More than 38 000 Batswana require humanitarian assistance, the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has revealed. In their regional appeal, UNICEF, the agency in charge of delivering humanitarian assistance and developmental help to children globally, claims in its regional appeal that the request was necessitated by, among other things, food insecurity and economic decline.
According to the regional appeal, which comprised eleven countries in Eastern and Southern Africa, there are almost 38 million people who need humanitarian assistance, including 23 million children.
Countries from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) covered in the appeal include Botswana where 38,000 need assistance; Eswatini: 347,000; Malawi: 3 million; Namibia: 441,000; South Africa: 14 million; Tanzania: 750,000; Zambia: 11 million and Lesotho: 582,000.
In order to fulfill the increased emergency planning and response needs in the eleven countries, UNICEF is requesting US$45 million. Interventions connected to COVID-19 are not included in the regional humanitarian needs for 2023 since they have been incorporated into regular programs and longer-term development needs.
The needs outlined in this appeal pertain to improved readiness and response for drought, cyclones, and floods, worsening economic conditions, among others.
Given that Botswana experienced significant food insecurity even before the Covid-19 pandemic, it is not surprising that the pandemic would result in even greater food insecurity in Botswana. Many households are experiencing acute lack of resources to purchase food, and and women are especially vulnerable.