Coordination Activities in the Field
|Income from Voluntary Contributions||1,019,599|
|Consultant Fees and Travel||–|
|Supplies, Materials, Furniture and Equipment||53,500|
|Fellowships, Grants and Contributions||2,500|
|Programme Support Costs||105,861|
|Total Expenditure (US$)||920,179|
The overall humanitarian situation in Sri Lanka deteriorated significantly in 2006. Recurrent violence persisted in the north and east, triggering multiple localized humanitarian crises. Intensified hostilities between the government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), along with the failure to implement the Cease Fire Agreement, do not promise an easy and swift return to normalcy.
The humanitarian consequences of the fighting in the north and east exacerbated the plight of populations already affected by past conflict and the tsunami. Tsunami recovery programmes in those areas were disrupted or halted by spreading insecurity. In 2006 fighting between the LTTE and government security forces killed more than 4,000 people, including an increasing number of civilians. More than 218,000 were displaced between April and December 2006; this new caseload came on top of the 315,000 IDPs from previous fighting and about 40,000 families still living in transitional shelter since the tsunami. Aid workers witnessed a significant reduction in humanitarian space due to threats, attacks, access curbs and bureaucratic hurdles. In 2006, 29 staff members of humanitarian agencies were killed; in one unprecedented act of violence alone 17 staff members of the INGO Action Contre la Faim were killed in early August in the town of Muttur. National and international monitoring bodies reported numerous human rights violations. Another troubling development was the paramilitary activities conducted by the ‘Karuna’ faction, a splinter group of the LTTE in eastern Sri Lanka. A growing portion of the local population in affected areas, particularly in Jaffna and the Wanni, was also becoming increasingly vulnerable.
Renewed violence and the humanitarian consequences of the evolving complex emergency in Sri Lanka impacted on OCHA’s presence in the country. While three sub-offices in the south involved in tsunami response coordination were closed, another two were planned for the north in early 2007.
OCHA facilitated the establishment of the IASC-CT in April 2006. Responding to the evolving complex emergency, and in a process facilitated by OCHA, the IASC-CT developed a short-term stand-alone CHAP for the period September–December 2006. Projects prioritized by sector sought US$ 29,965,284 (of which US$ 18,945,787 was received) for interventions in protection, shelter, food, water/sanitation, health, education, livelihoods and logistics in a coordinated manner and with predefined roles and responsibilities. At the end of 2006 a new oneyear CHAP was developed for 2007, which included 72 projects totalling around US$ 66 million. CERF funding of US$ 9.7 million was received, allowing implementing agencies to jumpstart operations and ensuring immediate support for critical humanitarian interventions.
Acting as the Secretariat of the IASC-CT, OCHA was instrumental in facilitating coordination with central government. Government Agents in the districts, the Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights, the Ministry of Defense and the Consultative Committee on Humanitarian Assistance were OCHA’s key coordinating partners in the humanitarian community.
OCHA’s field presence in support of United Nations focal points in districts was recognized as playing a pivotal role for improved coordination on the ground. For instance, in April/May 2006 the OCHA office in Trincomalee took the lead during the first in a series of local crises, facilitating rapid assessment, reporting and information management, and coordinating immediate response.
Tasked by the UNCT, OCHA facilitated the development of an Inter-Agency Contingency Plan in early 2006. It was subsequently endorsed by the Government of Sri Lanka, and elements of the Plan were tested in crisis situations in different districts throughout the year.
OCHA’s Humanitarian Information Centre (HIC), which was deployed immediately after the tsunami, was phased down by mid 2006. OCHA’s Information Management Unit took over from the HIC as the main provider of information products and services for stakeholders including government, NGOs and donors.