Mid-Year Review of the Consolidated Appeal for West Africa 2011
Communities in West Africa continue to be threatened by the compounded effects of climate change, natural disasters like floods and droughts, demographic change, epidemics, urbanization, acute and chronic malnutrition, chronic poverty, and by violent conflicts related to political, social and economic tensions. Countries in the region still struggle to build capacities to better respond to humanitarian needs and accelerate overall human development by addressing issues of stability, rehabilitation from conflict and natural disasters, and securing resources for short- and long-term needs.
Since the beginning of 2011, the political crisis in Côte d’Ivoire has been prominent on the agenda of humanitarian actors. This situation has resulted in a protracted humanitarian crisis adversely impacting not only Côte d’Ivoire but the entire region as well. As of 3 June 2011, and despite large-scale efforts of the humanitarian community, approximately 500,000 internally displaced people (IDPs), 135,000 third-country nationals (TCNs) and 212,000 refugees still need humanitarian aid in Côte d’Ivoire and in the neighbouring countries, mainly in Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali and Togo.
To adequately address the needs of the affected populations, the humanitarian actors agreed to develop two separate “Emergency Humanitarian Action Plans” (EHAPs ) to complement the Regional Consolidated Appeal (CAP) 2011: the EHAP for CDI + 4 (US$ 179,621,255) and the EHAP Liberia ($146,511,863). In addition, the EHAP developed in 2010 in response to the floods in Benin ($19,615,463) has been updated. The reporting on these EHAPs (Côte d’Ivoire (CDI) + 4, Liberia and Benin) will be published separately.
Although the current challenges in Côte d’Ivoire remain enormous, the humanitarian community and donors should not lose sight of other humanitarian needs affecting the rest of the West African region. For instance, the International Research Institute Multi-Model Probability Forecast for Precipitation for July-August- September 2011 shows that Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal expect to have above-average rainfalls. This may cause flooding and related increase of humanitarian needs.
A regional humanitarian appeal for countries that mostly have no obvious crisis is admittedly against the grain. There are humanitarian needs in West Africa, but they are diffuse, often not linked to any clear disaster, trigger or exogenous event, and difficult to triage from the prevailing context of poverty and vulnerability. They cannot be ignored; but their diffuse nature and causality means that the perennial problem in the regional appeal is separating them from the common manifestations of poverty, and then convincing the necessary actors (especially donors) to treat them with rapid humanitarian methods. The regional offices of the main humanitarian organizations have addressed this problem with a needs analysis system that defines humanitarian need (as distinct from the discomfort, insecurity and misery of poverty) in terms of certain indicators and thresholds for nutrition and health. Geographical sub-units (provinces for example) in the region's countries where the indicators exceed the thresholds become targets for humanitarian action, because the indicators show that the situation has become life-threatening for the general population of that area, not just for unfortunate individuals. This analytical development has proven to be essential for framing the region's diffuse humanitarian problems and focusing the responses. However it remains to get full traction with other stakeholders, including donors.
The regional CAP for West Africa is among the least funded appeals in 2011. As of 30 June 2011, the CAP has received US$195,917,236 million (33%) of its initial requirements of $598,521,471. The Mid-Year Review includes 265 new projects as well as revisions of existing projects which bring the total funding requirements to $691,026,340. The total funding requirements excluding the Liberia, CDI and Benin EHAP is $246,478,566.