Mid-Year Review of the Consolidated Appeal for West Africa 2009
Alongside some noticeable progress – notably the effort undertaken by stakeholders and states in the region to improve coordination through preparedness and contingency planning exercises and increases in national capacities to mitigate and respond to emergencies – the first six months of the year witnessed important humanitarian emergencies in the region.
By mid-May the region had suffered, a meningitis epidemic which affected some 67,000 persons, killing 3,000, and a measles outbreak with 35,000 reported cases which has killed some 250 people. Both showed the fragility and high vulnerability of the population, but also the lack of preparedness and capacity to respond to rapid onset, or to medium- to large-scale emergencies. At the same time, high food commodity prices continued to affect the region and had serious consequences on the most vulnerable groups and a direct impact on the already high rates of malnutrition. The start of the lean season, along with other global trends such as the financial crisis, the impact of climate change, and epidemics, may further worsen the situation.
On the political front, whilst a number of countries have achieved in the last few years a measure of peace and stability, they are still struggling with the longer-term effects of past conflicts and instability. Military coups d’état (Mauritania, Guinea and Guinea-Bissau), constitutional changes to extend presidential mandates (Niger), and social unrest or uncertainty surrounding political elections are worrying indications of the potential for a deterioration in regional stability with possible cross-border humanitarian implications.
The nature of the issues at stake implies that the humanitarian communities’ priorities in West Africa should continue to focus on emergency humanitarian response, on linkages between relief and development, on advocacy for hidden and neglected vulnerabilities, and on strengthening preparedness and response mechanisms and tools. The four priority areas agreed by the humanitarian community (Food Security and Nutrition; Health; Protection and Population Movements; Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) during the elaboration of the 2009 West Africa Consolidated Appeal will continue to be the backbone of humanitarian action in the region. A fifth priority area, comprising coordination, information management and support services, will continue to ensure principled humanitarian response and the provision of support and services to all stakeholders involved in humanitarian action.
As of 25 June the 2009 CAP has received US$ 176,157,688 (49%)of its initial requirements of $361,040,474. The low level of financing ensures that needs remain substantial across most priority sectors. While the Food Sector, which represents 61% of the 2009 CAP requirements, has received $151,766,138 (69%) of its requirements, the