Mid-Year Review of the Critical Humanitarian Needs for Côte d'Ivoire 2009
Côte d’Ivoirehas seen important achievements and some positive changes in the socio-economic sector during the political transition period, which started with the signing of the Ouagadougou Political Agreement in 2007. Delayed twice before, a presidential election is now announced for 29 November 2009. As a sign of transition, financial institutions have made new commitments towards the country. The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund approved Côte d’Ivoire in the Highly Indebted Poor Countries initiative and committed to support its post-crisis programmes. However, these positive developments have not completely halted the degradation of social conditions resulting from five years of crisis and its impact on all aspects of Ivoirians’ daily life.
Out of approximately 120,000 persons internally displaced during the 2006-2007 inter-community clashes, an estimated 78,000 have voluntarily returned to their areas of origin in the western part of the country as of 31 May 2009. United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) allocations and other funding have allowed for UNHCR protection monitoring teams to provide valuable information to partners in the field on humanitarian needs identified amongst returnees and host communities as well as for the continuation of social cohesion activities in sensitive areas. However, land disputes and an overall weak social fabric still pose a threat to the sustained pace of return of the remaining internally displaced, and hinder the provision of durable solutions for returnees and host communities.
It is also feared that upcoming elections might trigger increased tensions and possibly movements of populations in some return areas. Protection, social cohesion, as well as emergency preparedness thus remain priority sectors of intervention for the remainder of 2009. In view of transition trends, the United Nations agencies and NGOs have also planned for more medium- and longer-term initiatives aimed at providing access to basic social services and support to economic recovery of crisis-affected households through more sustainable approaches in line with national development priorities.
Response to high malnutrition rates continues to be a critical need in the north of the country. Assistance has so far reached 10,000 malnourished children under five years of age and mothers. Collecting new data on malnutrition has been clearly identified as a priority and a new SMARTsurvey will be conducted in July with the participation of all stakeholders. If possible, this should also be done in the western part of the country where malnutrition cases have been reported. This will allow for better-targeted actions in the second half of 2009.
A number of factors contribute to the problem of malnutrition in Côte d’Ivoire(food insecurity, limited access to quality health and social services, reduced access to quality food due to high food prices, lack of nutritional knowledge, and morbidity). Addressing those factors goes beyond emergency relief alone, but a quick eradication of malnutrition in Côte d’Ivoire is possible if resources are allocated in an integrated response in support of national response capacities. It is therefore this recovery approach that should prevail as of 2010 through the appropriate planning mechanisms such as the National Response Plan (Plan de Riposte National) and the relevant sectors of the National Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper.
Over the next six months, the operational environment should be focused on the implementation of prerequisites for the elections to successfully take place. For humanitarian actors this means also giving priority to activities supporting the consolidation of peace. At the same time, it is equally important that emergency preparedness and risk mitigation be reinforced.
Humanitarian partners in Côte d’Ivoire have agreed that the current transitional context requires responses that are more anchored in recovery and development objectives, and coordination frameworks have been adapted to meet this new reality. Unless the situation changes dramatically, it is foreseen that no Critical Humanitarian Needs strategy or Consolidated Appeal will be prepared for 2010 and that the humanitarian strategy will give way to medium- and longer-term planning. A local transition fund has been set up within the UNDP-administered Crisis Exit (Sortie de Crise)Basket Fund. The transition fund will as a priority ensure funding for humanitarian activities that are still ongoing in 2010.
Critical Humanitarian Needs 2009 projects have so far received US$14,890,666(41%) of their total original financial requirements, including a $2 million allocation from the Under-Funded Emergency CERF window. The level of needs estimated in late 2008 for the year 2009 has not changed as an effort was made then to identify only critical necessities, but it is important to mention that funding has been scarce especially for protection-related programmes. Members of the Inter-Agency Humanitarian Coordination Committee have now slightly readjusted their funding requirements, and the revised requirements now total $36,685,921, leaving unmet requirements of $21,795,255 to meet the remaining critical needs.