Mid-Year Review of the Consolidated Appeal for West Africa 2008
At a regional level, humanitarian partners have for 2008 agreed to focus on five priority areas for humanitarian interventions in West Africa:
- Food Security and Nutrition;
- Rapid Response to Health Emergencies;
- Protection and Population Movements;
- Natural Disaster Preparedness;
- Water, Sanitation and Hygiene.
Efforts of regional and national humanitarian partners in these areas are slowly but steadily showing an added value in terms of ensuring early notice of impeding crises; strengthening preparedness and joint programming of response; advocating in favour of neglected situations; mobilising efficient and timely human and financial resources; reaching out to new actors; and, sustaining policy dialogue with non-humanitarian partners. Regional coordination within the framework of the West Africa Consolidated Appeals Process (WA CAP) not only ensures that emergency resources are most effectively used on life-saving activities, but also provides the necessary exposure to development issues. This exposure will in turn allow humanitarian actors to engage in meaningful policy dialogue with non-humanitarian actors on ways to reduce poverty and maintain the disaster-coping capacities of States, communities, households and individuals. The current issue of the food price hike represents an additional challenge for the humanitarian community in West Africa.
At a strategic level, as humanitarian reform efforts progressively rally humanitarian partners into cluster leadership and cross-sector coordination, the rising challenge in West Africa will be to ease a foreseeable transition whereby the humanitarian community will progressively depart from a decade-old culture of coordinating humanitarian actions related to conflicts to a new emerging and very demanding role of coordinating humanitarian affairs to ensure that countries, regional organisations and new actors are fully engaged in disaster risk reduction activities that span from conflict to natural disasters.
This will require that we also evolve from a humanitarian response system which is mostly based on addressing highly visible needs to a livelihood-based approach that places rights to food, protection and health at the centre of a search for better human security a prerequisite to durable development.
Our sophisticated technology, advanced knowledge and coordinated efforts will best serve the millions of vulnerable people of West Africa if there is a greater commitment to build stronger linkages between humanitarian and development actors and a clearly stated commitment to bring aid delivery accountability to the heart of humanitarian work.
As a result of the mid-year review, the revised requirements now amount to US$ 416.5 million, leaving outstanding requirements at $236.5 million.