Nearly 1 million children affected by massive floods in Iran

Source: UN Children's Fund
Country: Iran (Islamic Republic of)

Over 1,000 health facilities and 1,000 schools have been destroyed or severely damaged forcing 100,000 children out of school and depriving thousands of essential healthcare.
Over 1,000 health facilities destroyed or damaged: UNICEF vaccines cold chain equipment arrives in country

Multimedia available here

TEHRAN, 19 April 2019 - Devastating flooding in three quarters of Iran’s provinces has affected 10 million people, of whom 2 million are severely impacted and 500,000 displaced – half of them are children. Over 1,000 health facilities and 1,000 schools have been destroyed or severely damaged forcing 100,000 children out of school and depriving thousands of essential healthcare.

UNICEF’s vaccine cold chain equipment, including 200 vaccine carriers and 100 cold boxes, arrived in-country last night. The equipment will help restore essential immunization services for children in affected provinces and prevent the spread of diseases. Eighty vaccine refrigerators have also been dispatched.

The needs of flood-affected children in Iran are getting more acute by the day and more supplies are urgently needed.

To provide emergency assistance to flood-affected children in Iran, UNICEF has appealed for US$9.8 million. To date, UNICEF is facing a US$8 million funding gap. Additional child health, education, water, sanitation and hygiene supplies will be purchased once funding is secured.

Notes to editors

Contributions made into accounts recently established for the flood response will allow UNICEF to procure essential supplies from our overseas supply hubs and transport them into Iran. Donations can be made here.

For more information about UNICEF Iran and our work for children, visit:

Follow UNICEF Iran on Twitter, Instagram and facebook

Media Contacts

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Zimbabwe: Cyclone Idai component of the Flash Appeal 17 per cent funded

Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Country: Zimbabwe

The revised Flash Appeal calls for $294 million (including $60 million for the Cyclone Idai response). Donors have contributed at least $10.1 million for the cyclone-response component.
This Situation Report is produced by the office of the UN Resident Coordinator in Zimbabwe and the OCHA Regional Office for Southern and Eastern Africa in collaboration with humanitarian partners. The Situation Report builds on previous Flash Updates and provides more detailed information on the situation and response. It covers the period from 10 April to 16 April 2019. The next Situation Report will be issued on or around 24 April.


• Local authorities estimate that 60,000 people are displaced in the four worst-affected districts (Buhare, Chimanimani, Chipinge and Mutare).

• In light of this week’s wet weather, upcoming cold weather, and expected movement of people for Easter holiday, operational urgencies will include distribution of non-food items, especially blankets, ensuring adequate temporary shelter for all, and oral cholera vaccination.

• Oral cholera vaccination targeting 336,699 people in Chipinge and 139,635 in Chimanimani is under way.

• Food Security Cluster partners have so far assisted an estimated 155,000 people in the worst-affected areas of Chimanimani and Chipinge, out of an initial target of 270,000.

• About 70,000 people have gained access to a sufficient quantity of water for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene, out of an initial target of 270,000.

• Confirmed funding for the cyclone component of the flash appeal is $10.1 million, or 17 per cent of requirements.

• The UN system together with the humanitarian partners are fully engaged with the Government of Zimbabwe to provide all comprehensive humanitarian assistance across all sectors.


One month after Cyclone Idai affected 270,000 people in eastern Zimbabwe, clusters are activated, and in the most-heavily-affected districts (particularly Chipinge and Chimanimani), aid materials are flowing and coverage is rising, although gaps remain. Humanitarian partners are working to reach all people in need with essentials such as blankets: night-time temperatures (currently around 15 degrees Celsius) will soon fall to 10° C or lower.

WHO reports an increase in acute respiratory infections, which may indicate that some people are suffering exposure.
Roads to all wards have become accessible by 4x4, although rainfall may make the dirt roads impassable again.

Bad weather is forecast for this week—thunderstorms and up to 3cm of rain—which will ground the WFP helicopter, and might threaten the temporary road repairs. OCHA and Logistics Cluster have therefore advised partners to pre-position all necessary materials in Chipinge and Chimanimani, in case their roads are cut off again.

WHO and partners are administering oral cholera vaccine in all affected areas this week, before the expected visits of many Mozambicans to their relatives in neighbouring districts of Zimbabwe for the Easter holiday.

Data from new assessments (including for early recovery) is being assimilated and compiled, which together with upcoming assessments should yield refined figures for people in need and targets. One key ambiguity for assessments to resolve is the location and intentions of displaced people whose houses were destroyed or damaged beyond habitability: many are reportedly staying with relatives or host families, but many of these may be in other districts. Host families are also likely to need support. The Government and Zimbabwe Red Cross Society are preparing three temporary displacement centres with tents, for those who have no host families; CCCM Cluster is engaging to support. Intentions regarding return or resettlement will have to be documented and considered by reconstruction actors: some people’s house plots were destroyed by landslides, others are traumatized and wish to re-settle elsewhere. The Government’s programme for house reconstruction is already in motion.

The Government launched its humanitarian assistance appeal for the cyclone response, for US$613 million, targeting 16,500 households for multisectoral support through the next harvest in May 2020.

How education and children's futures were battered by Cyclone Idai

Source: Theirworld
Country: Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe

Theirworld provides an in-depth look at how the deadly storm and flooding have disrupted the schooling of half a million children in southeast Africa - and the efforts to rebuild.
Ewan Watt, Online Editor, Theirworld

An in-depth look at how the deadly storm and flooding have disrupted the schooling of half a million children in southeast Africa - and the efforts to rebuild.

First comes the shock and the terror. Then the fight for survival - to find food, water and shelter, and to avoid diseases.

But in the wake of a natural disaster, children very quickly need protection and education. Being in a safe learning environment with other youngsters is crucial if they are to begin to recover from the trauma.

Children who are out for school for a long time after a disaster are in danger of falling prey to child labour, early marriage, trafficking and other risks. Many will never return to education.

It's a scenario repeated over and over as communities around the world fall victim to floods, earthquakes, landslides, hurricanes and other natural disasters.

"Nearly 40 million children a year have their education interrupted by natural disasters such as earthquakes and disease outbreaks," said Theirworld's recent report Safe Schools: The Hidden Crisis.

"The impacts on children and young people’s education can be profound, with the poorest and most marginalised, including girls, most at risk. The devastation is often most severe and long-lasting in contexts where education capacity and resources are already low."

However, the report warned, "education is rarely a core focus in emergency responses". It added: "The rebuilding of school infrastructure is often considered a secondary priority, resulting in children being educated in temporary learning centres for years after the event."

What happens when disaster strikes?

The latest big-scale natural disaster was Cyclone Idai, described by the United Nations as "one of the deadliest storms on record in the southern hemisphere". It struck southeast Africa a month ago, causing massive devastation and flooding in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi.

More than two million people - 1.8 million of them in Mozambique - were affected, thousands lost their homes and the death toll stands at over 1,000. Thousands of classrooms were damaged or destroyed and half a million children have had their education disrupted.

"For children affected by Cyclone Idai, the road to recovery will be long," said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore said. "They will need to regain access to health, education, water and sanitation. And they will need to heal from the deep trauma they have just experienced."

Here we look at how Cyclone Idai has affected education in those three countries and what efforts are underway to get children back into safe schools as quickly as possible.

Emergency education aid

More than 500,000 children and youth will get emergency education thanks to a $14 million funding package. Half of that will come from Education Cannot Wait - the fund for education in emergencies - $5.2 million from the United Kingdom's Department for International Development and $2 million from the organisation Dubai Cares.

“A sudden and unexpected natural disaster of this magnitude causes immense human suffering. For a child or adolescent, the losses are especially devastating,” said Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait.

“Unless education services are given priority, the suffering will be prolonged and cause deeper disruption and trauma in their lives."

Psychosocial support

It's not just about providing education. Making children feel safe and able to cope with their trauma is crucial too.

"When the situation is terrible, like Cyclone Idai, education can give children a sense of normalcy," Kenji Ohira - UNICEF Education Specialist in Maputo, Mozambique - told Their News.

"UNICEF, through Save the Children, is providing psychosocial support training to teachers who would take care of their students. While the scale is not large enough in the medium term, we are planning to expand this support."

Maria Waade, Save the Children’s Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Specialist in Mozambique, said: “We are extremely concerned about the long-term wellbeing for the children in the aftermath of this devastating cyclone.

"Seeing everything you love and know being destroyed in the blink of an eye is a horrific experience that no child should have to live through - and the impact will be felt by children long after the floodwaters recede."

Mozambique: situation report

  • 600 schools destroyed, 3,504 classrooms damaged or destroyed, according to the government and Education Cluster.
  • 335,000 children have had their education disrupted as a result of the cyclone.

Celina, 14, wants to be back at school with her friends. The irony is that, after her family home was destroyed by the cyclone, she is living temporarily at a school in the city of Beira. Thousands like her are sheltering in those schools that survived.

“I want to go back to school. I wish I could be at home with my friends," she said. "I don’t know how things will be in the future. They want to move us out of the school so classrooms can restart and we don’t know where we will go.”

UNICEF is helping to provide emergency education in the aftermath of the cyclone and flooding.

"In the short term, UNICEF and other partners are providing educational supplies such as learners' kits, school-in-a kit, early childhood development (ECD) kits, chalkboards etc," said UNICEF's Ohira. "This is along with temporary learning centres.

"We are expecting to reach at least 107,000 children through these supports. However, this is only a third of affected children, based on the education ministry’s estimated figure - so UNICEF and partners are doing their best to mobilise funds to reach as many affected children as possible."

Tarpaulin classrooms are seen as a temporary measure and work will need to begin on more permanent solutions within a few months. Even those schools and classrooms that were not badly damaged will need to be cleaned and disinfected before children can resume lessons.

"It is not only children who suffered. So did teachers," added Ohira. "One cannot forget teachers. UNICEF is proposing the education ministry and donors include short-term financial support for affected teachers to help them re-establish their own lives and get back to school.

"The country has already been struggling with low learning achievement. Only 4.9% of Grade 3 students can read and 7.7% can do basic calculations. The ongoing disaster will not help and the dropout rate may increase."

The charity World Vision is also establishing temporary learning spaces so children whose schools are damaged or used as shelters can continue to be educated.

Carey Lodge, World Vision UK Media Manager, went to Mozambique to assess the situation after the cyclone. She told Their News: "In some areas schools are still functional but conditions are poor. Classes are being held in classrooms without roofs and or under trees.

“In Beira, the worst hit area in Mozambique, the government needs funding to repair school infrastructures and replace equipment for teachers and students. Unfortunately it’s a challenge to say how long this will take, as there is so much to be done.”

World Vision has set up a child-friendly space at a primary school in Beira.

"It's wonderful to see children playing, singing, playing sport and to hear so much laughter,” said Frieda Mwebe, World Vision's Child Protection Specialist. "The displaced children have been through so much hardship, so being able to offer this place to children means they can forget about their troubles for a few hours."

Caritas - the organisation of Catholic relief and development agencies - talked to teacher Veronica Mavundo in Beira. Her third-grade classroom was destroyed.

She said: “When I got here, it was worse than I feared - there was so much water. The classrooms were filled with water. It was overwhelming. Even all of our teacher residences have been destroyed.

“We will start teaching outside until the roofs of the other buildings are complete. It’s difficult to teach outside. We won’t have our blackboards, our maps, our clipboards. But it is a new experience we have to face.”

Aid workers in Mozambique are particularly worried about orphaned children and those separated from their families.

Rik Goverde from Save the Children said: "Children are out there on their own - without the supervision or care of a trustworthy adult. They can easily fall victim to sexual violence or human trafficking. We are aware and very concerned about it."

Zimbabwe: situation report

  • 139 schools damaged but reports have still to come in, said UNICEF.
  • 90,000 children are having their education disrupted.

Schools are currently closed for the holidays. But UNICEF is helping to ensure damaged classrooms are ready to open when the new term begins on May 8.

The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education is also setting up temporary classrooms and getting ready to distribute learning materials.

“Tents have been procured to establish safe learning spaces where classrooms have been damaged. Teaching and learning materials including text books, along with early childhood development and recreational kits, have been ordered and will arrive soon," said Denise Shepherd-Johnson, UNICEF Zimbabwe's Chief of Communications in the capital Harare.

"Psychosocial materials have been developed by the ministry with support from UNICEF to be used by teachers in the classroom. Support to counselling for children and teachers is being provided.”

The UN agency is also working with the government and civil society organisations to coordinate child protection services.

“World Vision will train teachers and pastors on psychosocial support so that they provide care and support for those affected by the cyclone," said Carey Lodge. This will be done through a grant funded by Education Cannot Wait.

“Schools damaged by the cyclone will need to be repaired, and furniture and teaching and learning materials replaced. There are a number of risks - children are more vulnerable to abuses due to the breakdown of family structures and the lack of food and other necessities.”

Malawi: situation report

  • 104 schools hosting people displaced by floods.
  • 77,134 children out of school, according to government figures.

UNICEF has provided tents, school-in-a box kits and recreation kits to provide safe learning spaces for children whose schools have been damaged or occupied by displaced people.

The agency said over 170 schools are affected (flooded or occupied) in Chikwawa, Phalombe, Nsanje and Zomb districts. This has resulted in overcrowded or non-operational schools, affecting an estimated 77,000 students.

World Vision will establish temporary learning spaces in the same way that it's doing in Mozambique. The charity is also conducting awareness campaigns on ending child marriage as one way of keeping children - especially girls - safe until their learning resumes.

“In any crisis of this nature where schooling is disrupted, there is a risk that children and families will turn to negative coping strategies," said Carey Lodge.

"These can include early marriage, the use of substances and the development of negative social groups. Education is a lifesaving intervention as it provides immediate protection to children by providing them a safe space to spend time and learn.”

Mozambique update from HLA members

We have been coordinating responses from various HLA members on the current emergency situation in Mozambique following Cyclin Idai.

Club of Mozambique - emergency update

Club of Mozambique, the online gateway to Mozambique, reported that on 18 March the first international airlift arrived in Beira, Mozambique from UNHRD in Dubai. WFP are handling the distribution of supplies. For more information, read here.

Aero Africa - capacity

Reporting on 21 March, Jamie AndersonDirector -  African Solutions, said: "Remarkably I have not seen any humanitarian aid requests freely on the market for air cargo into Mozambique as of yet. It appears that the international call to help has yet to gather pace. I spoke to a few forwarders who handle NGO’s yesterday and they said the same. There are relief convoys en route ex South Africa. Day by day the world is starting to see the big picture therefore I expect a lot more activity in the coming days."

In terms of carrier availability, he added: "We would welcome any enquiries as we are very in touch with aircraft availability along the entire eastern coastline of Africa. Astral Aviation has the 727F based in NBO. There are also ample AN26F and also a C310 in MGQ that could also be called into play, as the operators do have spare hours".

Volga-Dnepr - capacity

Reporting on 21 March, Stuart Smith, Director Global Humanitarian, said of Volga-Dnepr's capacity: "1 x VDA IL76 is now ready in Maputo and will operate flights in coming days for BEW/Beira International Airport. We may consider ops also to Chimoio/VPY inside Mozambique. We may also look to offer B737F of Atran Cargo (Volga-Dnepr Group) ex EU and UAE origins, in case of smaller loads requirement. BEW, as we understand it, is not able to download larger freighters due lack of MDL but smaller freighters (forklift/low loader etc) as yes OR ramp". - shelter

John Vasila of Sheltereach said: “Zimbabwean President, Emmerson Minangagwa, of town Chmanimani Government wants to ensure that houses are built back with stronger materials. Sheltereach designs can be summed up with the word Simple. Simple for the end users, simple in terms of logistics and simple in procurement.

This leads to safe, affordable housing with access to services. We can also help local people to understand the building principles and materials used in our shelter/housing systems. We can partner with Government and NGOs to ensure appropriate disaster relief and reconstruction methods are used, increasing the strength by up to 30 times of  the original structure, usually without increasing the minimal budget cost".

See attached for typical shelter options and a diagram of a Disaster Cycle, in terms of shelter.