Part III
Coordination Activities in the Field

Regional Office for Southern Africa

 

 

  Requirements* 1,889,734  
  Income from Voluntary Contributions1 1,017,411  
  EXPENDITURE    
  Staff Costs 821,913  
  Consultant Fees and Travel  
  Travel 97,653  
  Operating Expenses 178,163  
  Contractual Services 33,454  
  Supplies, Materials, Furniture and Equipment 23,650  
  Fellowships, Grants and Contributions 102,431  
  Programme Support Costs 168,667  
  Total Expenditure (US$) 1,425,931  
1 Includes allocations from the Field Coordination Reserve Fund of US$ 417,411
* Includes SAHIMS

 

Context

During 2006 there was a significant improvement in the humanitarian situation in Southern Africa, with the number of food-insecure people dropping from 12 million to 4.3 million. This was largely the result of a successful 2005–06 harvest in most countries. Nonetheless, more persistent underlying issues such as HIV/AIDS and poverty meant that millions of people remained chronically vulnerable and food-insecure. The region experienced shocks from natural hazards including floods, drought, cyclones and earthquakes, which – combined with the high levels of chronic vulnerability – continued to
threaten the lives and livelihoods of millions of people.

Transitory crises often associated with climatic events still received the most immediate and urgent attention in the region, despite the fact that most of the hungry (approximately 90 per cent) suffer from chronic hunger and more deaths are related to malnutrition than to transitory food insecurity. Actors in 2006 reflected critically on the need for more concerted efforts to address chronic – as opposed to transitory – vulnerability. A fundamental reorientation of strategies and programmes is needed to prioritize responses to this chronic crisis.

Objectives

Activities and Accomplishments

In support of strategic and operational coordination at the regional level to strengthen local preparedness and response, RO-SA led the Regional Director’s Team (RDT) Emergency Preparedness and Response Cluster and chaired the regional IASC forum, and supported the work of the Special Envoy of Humanitarian Needs in Southern Africa who visited the region twice in 2006. Through these, OCHA facilitated information-sharing for the development of a common view of regional vulnerabilities, including the issues surrounding transitory and chronic vulnerability and a coordinated response to these. Debate and action were facilitated on broadening the scope of national vulnerability assessment to include measures of chronic vulnerability and harmonization of assessment tools across countries. RO-SA undertook joint advocacy on regional issues for a global audience, in particular raising the profile of the needs of chronically vulnerable households as a result of the triple threat (HIV/AIDS, food insecurity and weak governance). Attention was also drawn to neglected humanitarian issues in the region such as the acute cholera crisis in Angola, which bolstered the response.

RO-SA worked on strengthening its information management tools through SAHIMS, to support relief to development programming and monitor progress towards the Millennium Development Goals. It incorporated development indicators into Vulnerability Assessment Committee (VAC) databases and provided training to national VAC members on the DevInfo system. As a result, Zambia, Lesotho and Malawi now have increased capacity to analyse vulnerability through both humanitarian and development indicators.

RO-SA spearheaded Avian and Human Influenza (AHI) non-health contingency planning in the region, and facilitated programme coordination through a regional inter-agency AHI platform for Southern Africa, in close cooperation with the Southern Africa Development Community.

In responding to the major earthquake in Mozambique, OCHA’s Regional Office for Southern Africa (RO-SA) deployed a Humanitarian Affairs Officer to assist the RC in supporting the government and its international partners to assess the damage and develop a coordinated response plan. Subsequently, RO-SA assisted the UNCT in incorporating earthquake preparedness measures into their contingency plan.

In Malawi, where there were floods and food insecurity, RO-SA supported the RC and UNCT during the flash appeal which ran until March 2006 to meet the needs of thousands of food-insecure people. In addition, RO-SA provided technical support to the Inter-Agency Contingency Plan on floods using the cluster approach. This was the first instance of humanitarian reform being applied in the region.

In Namibia, RO-SA provided in-country rapid response support during the Marienthal floods in March 2006, and subsequently assisted the government in finalizing an inter-agency flood contingency plan. RO-SA also assisted the UNCT in establishing a Disaster Risk Management Technical Team to interface with the government.

Following the volcanic eruption in the Comoros, RO-SA deployed a Humanitarian Affairs Officer to strengthen national contingency planning, and in Madagascar and Lesotho, RO-SA assisted in the preparation of a United Nations Inter-Agency Disaster Plan, including information preparedness measures.

Performance Evaluation