Mid-Year Review of the Consolidated Appeal for the Republic of Congo 2005

29 June 2005

This Mid-Year Review revises the Consolidated Appeal in response to changes in the situation in the Republic of Congo (RoC) and more particularly in the Pool Region.  These changes result mainly from: (1) the recent announcement of legislative elections by President Sassou Ngesso; (2) the country’s efforts to implement the March 2003 Peace Agreement as Ninjas Chief Frederic Bitsangou, alias Pastor Ntumi, has now clearly expressed his intention to be part of the political process and has taken some concrete steps to confirm this option; and (3) the status of the Demobilisation, Disarmament and Reintegration (DDR) process. 

Pastor Ntumi has recently visited all districts in the Pool, claiming his intention to bring peace, collect arms and represent the region in the parliament.  It is not clear yet whether he has the backing of the present government and/or the support of the majority of the Pool inhabitants including the Ninjas. 

Conversely, the DDR programme, which was supposed to start in June, has been delayed again with some signs that the implementation may be more challenging than previously expected.  A postponed DDR programme may generate a sharp rise in criminal behaviour leading to increased threats against civilians as well as lootings of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and United Nations (UN) agencies.  It is widely believed that an inadequate or delayed DDRmay jeopardise any peace process. 

The impact of this evolution on humanitarian needs and strategy is not yet clear.  It is clear, however, that many basic needs are still unmet in the sectors of water and sanitation, education, agriculture, and health.  The nutritional situation of a vast majority of the population remains precarious, particularly in the Pool region, and there are still considerable reconstruction and rehabilitation needs. 

It is likely that the delayed DDR and lengthy political settlement, in the short term, will not help improve the humanitarian situation in the Pool.  On the contrary, it may (1) bring to light new needs and new trends as populations previously inaccessible are revealed, or (2) set further obstacles to access. 

A key achievement during the last six months has been the recent opening of a UN office in the Pool (Kinkala) that will be able to launch a strong advocacy campaign on protection of civilians, negotiate for access to areas of need with authorities and non-state actors on behalf of humanitarian partners, and implement rehabilitation and income generating projects. 

However, major constraints so far to the implementation of key components of the Common Humanitarian Action Plan (CHAP) have been: 

  1. Low funding levels(30% for the CAP);
  2. Impeded access due to logistical hurdles and insecurityas recently experienced by the attack on a UN convoy on its way to Mindouli;
  3. Lack of data regarding needs, location and priorities of vulnerable populations;
  4. Reduced humanitarian presence on the ground. 

Consequently, humanitarian partners must turn their attention to resource mobilisation and response strategies based on the evolving security situation and conditions of access that could have considerable impact on the type of aid as well as the locations where such assistance is most needed. The main priorities defined in the original 2005 CAP were to improve and rehabilitate basic social services, to re-launch farming activities, enhance access and promote a culture of peace. They remain relevant, but some of their short-term implementation strategies have been revised to ensure that the various constraints are fully taken into account. 

For this purpose, six new projects have been added to the CAP 2005, eight revised and three removed. The revised CAP 2005 increases the funding request from US$ 21,960,437 to US$ 24,110,476.  US$ 7,282,363 has been contributed or committed to date, leaving unmet requirements of US$ 16,828,113.
 

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29 June 2005

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