Part III
Coordination Activities in the Field

Regional Office for West Africa



  Requirements* 3,507,337  
  Income from Voluntary Contributions1 3,270,118  
  Staff Costs 1,913,347  
  Consultant Fees and Travel 18,079  
  Travel 178,152  
  Operating Expenses 248,767  
  Contractual Services 157,778  
  Supplies, Materials, Furniture and Equipment 152,614  
  Fellowships, Grants and Contributions 20,000  
  Programme Support Costs 349,537  
  Total Expenditure (US$) 3,038,274  
1 Includes allocations from the Field Coordination Reserve Fund of US$ 924,099



While the overall humanitarian situation in the West African region improved in 2006, there were still unacceptable levels of human suffering caused by undernutrition, forced displacement, floods, epidemics and poorly functioning political systems.

In 2006 attention continued to be drawn to the issue of under-nutrition of young children in the Sahel. The population displacements in Guinea-Bissau in early 2006 also underlined the importance of being able to provide efficient and targeted humanitarian assistance and protect civilians forced to flee their homes. There is cautious optimism about the situation in Liberia and Sierra Leone, although humanitarian actors phasing out of Guinea and Liberia continue to raise concerns over the fragile human security environment.


Activities and Accomplishments

Continuous and sustained donor support for humanitarian coordination in West Africa over the years had paid off, as key stakeholders in 2006 reached an agreement on priority transnational humanitarian issues that must be addressed in the coming years: Food Security and Nutrition in the Sahel; Rapid Response to Health Crises; and Protection and Population Movements. OCHA fostered strategic dialogue among governments and their partners on the types of cooperation that can be accessed to address humanitarian and human security needs in a comprehensive and integrated manner, for example the 10th European Development Fund, poverty reduction facilities, humanitarian appeals and UNDAF.

Given the regional implications of the situation in Côte d’Ivoire, RO-WA conducted a contingency planning process bringing together humanitarian CTs in Côte d’Ivoire and its five neighbours: Liberia, Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso and Ghana. The process was appreciated by OCHA’s partners, and allowed for enhanced crossborder collaboration and overall preparedness – setting an example which is now being followed elsewhere. RO-WA also facilitated national contingency planning by humanitarian CTs in the region.

With Avian and Human Influenza (AHI) appearing in West Africa in February 2006, extensive preparedness support was provided to governments and humanitarian CTs. In late 2006 OCHA established a small AHI unit tasked with setting up a regional AHI platform – pulling together the efforts of all actors under the guidance of the United Nations System Influenza Coordinator.

The OCHA Head of Office continued to advise the United Nations Office for West Africa’s (UNOWA) Special Representative to the Secretary-General on humanitarian concerns, ensuring that they remained high on the agenda of the quarterly meetings of Special Representatives in Liberia, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone and West Africa. RO-WA assisted UNOWA, UNHCR and UNDP in the conduct of a sub-regional conference of the three countries of the Mano River Union (Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone) which aimed at formulating a subregional stability and solidarity pact.

Some of the outcomes of donors’ investment in strengthening system-wide humanitarian coordination arrangements in West Africa were best shown by the improved ability of humanitarian actors to understand the nature and scope of humanitarian crises in West Africa, including the gaps in linkages with human security and development issues, and the use of appeal processes to ensure that resources are most effectively used.

In 2006 RO-WA took up the challenge of promoting humanitarian reform at both regional and national levels in all 18 countries it covers, and in this it actively engaged the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). While humanitarian consultations with national counterparts were carried out primarily through the humanitarian CTs, consultations and coordination with the ECOWAS and the Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel continued at a strategic level in the areas of regional capacity-building and contingency planning.

Through the collection, processing and dissemination of information in 2006, RO-WA’s Information Management Unit (IMU) enhanced the capacity of the Office to provide effective, timely and accurate coordination support to monitoring, planning and response. Along with supporting the day-to-day operations of RO-WA and the humanitarian community in general, the IMU also had a more long-term focus on data-preparedness. By better management of data, it ensured a more predictable response to the many humanitarian situations often overlooked due to lack of basic data.

Performance Evaluation