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COORDINATION ACTIVITIES IN THE FIELD

 
 
Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN)
 
 
Africa
 
 
   
Burundi  
 
   
Central African Republic  
 
   
Chad  
 
   
Côte d’Ivoire  
 
   
Democratic Republic of the Congo  
 
   
Eritrea  
 
   
Ethiopia  
 
   
Guinea  
 
   
Republic of Congo  
 
   
Somalia  
 
   
Sudan  
 
   
Uganda  
 
   
Zimbabwe  
 
   
Regional Office for Central and East Africa  
 
   
Regional Office for Southern Africa  
 
   
Regional Office for West Africa  
 
Middle East
 
 
Asia
 
 
Europe
 
 
Americas and the Caribbean
 

 

Burundi


The post-conflict political and institutional transition in Burundi made significant progress in 2005, marked by the gradual but sustained advancement of the Arusha peace process and the establishment of a new government. With the support of regional governments and the UN peacekeeping mission in Burundi (ONUB), elections were successfully completed, the Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) Programme has continued to make progress, and military integration and police reform are being implemented. However, important challenges remain for 2006. The cessation of hostilities between the Burundian Transitional Government and the Front National de Libération (FNL) reached in May 2005 did not hold, and FNL remains outside the peace process. Protection of civilian populations remains a major humanitarian concern in the areas that are still insecure.

Much remains to be done to consolidate the achievements obtained through the peace process and to improve humanitarian conditions particularly food security and provision of basic services. Top priorities for the United Nations and the international community include: support to the building of institutional capacities; civilian disarmament; justice; and security forces reform. Burundi will also require comprehensive support for the establishment of recovery and development programmes. The extreme structural poverty affecting the majority of the Burundian population will also require accelerated development funding in the coming year. In this setting, OCHA will continue to strengthen the coordination of humanitarian activities, while integrating these with transitional programming activities.

Basic healthcare, nutrition and food security indicators for Burundi remain above internationally-defined emergency thresholds. However, even though the country has not fallen back into large-scale emergency peaks, such as the one experienced in 2001-2002, general living conditions for the majority of the population remain extremely fragile. The projected return of 80 to 90 percent of the 230,000 refugees living in Tanzania by December 2006, in addition to the approximately 117,000 IDPs living in displacement sites countrywide, is likely to create an additional burden for Burundian households.

The long-term consequences of the conflict as well as the substantive changes in the general context require an approach whereby humanitarian action continues both to address the immediate needs of the most vulnerable populations and to support community recovery and population reinsertion. In order to ensure the establishment of appropriate linkages between relief and development, the 2006 Common Humanitarian Action Plan includes a comprehensive revision of humanitarian coordination mechanisms by sector to improve information sharing and surveillance systems, planning, impact monitoring and analysis.

In general, the humanitarian situation has improved in many parts of the country, with the exception of areas affected by the conflict with the FNL (Bujumbura rural, Bubanza and Kayanza). Humanitarian programmes in 2006, therefore, will continue to focus on addressing the consequences of the protracted crisis on one hand and on containing the risk of an expanded emergency situation on the other.

Thus, OCHA’s key objectives for 2006 are: improved coordination of joint rapid assessments and response, contingency planning and cross-border operations; support for the process of transition from relief to development with an emphasis on short to medium-term programmes focusing on population reinsertion and community recovery; continued harmonization of common databases and information systems in priority sectors to support planning, monitoring and impact evaluation of response plans; and continued advocacy on protection of civilians, victims of gender-based sexual violence and support to mainstreaming human rights-based approaches in humanitarian action. In 2006, OCHA will undertake a mission to Burundi to consult with humanitarian partners on the possibility of a viable exit strategy.

Activities:

  • Support the improvement of early warning systems in the health, nutrition and food security sectors and monitor potential population displacements in areas still affected by armed conflict. Lead rapid assessments and response, and support contingency planning and the strengthening of emergency preparedness.
  • Ensure the integration of transition and post-conflict related issues at all levels of humanitarian response. Lead and coordinate the elaboration of the plan of action for the reinsertion of IDPs. Provide regular analyses regarding persistent humanitarian needs and impact of humanitarian action on the most vulnerable. Establish a joint UN agency-humanitarian donor coordination group under the chairmanship of the Humanitarian Coordinator.
  • Regularly update the Who Does What Where database, develop a new website portal and integrated databases and information tools on population return and reinsertion as well as on school rehabilitation activities. Continue to facilitate information exchange on landmine accidents.
  • Continue to monitor and report on protection of civilians, especially in those areas still affected by insecurity and armed conflict. Provide support to human rights monitoring and to dissemination and promotion strategies and programmes, including advocacy actions in the area of gender-based sexual violence. Continue to support ONUB military teams to ensure dissemination of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights norms.

Indicators:

  • Attendance rates of humanitarian organisations in the restructured coordination mechanisms.
  • Inter-agency contingency plan updated and effectively used by a wide range of actors.
  • Government endorsement of national policy and/or plan addressing IDP reinsertion. Recorded volume of funded reinsertion programmes (according to CAP requirements).
  • Average monthly number of users accessing OCHA/Burundi website (hits).
  • Existence of special measures to address the special needs of women and children within the national policy/plan for IDPs.
BURUNDI
Planned Staffing Extra-budgetary
Professional
6
National
5
Local (GS)
7
UN Volunteers
-
Total
18
Staff costs (US$)
1,494,880
Non-staff costs (US$)
502,059
Total costs (US$)
1,996,939

 


Central African Republic


The year 2005 was marked by tremendous progress in the political process in the Central African Republic (CAR), although the humanitarian and socio-economic situation continued to deteriorate. Following a two-year transitional period, transparent, free and fair presidential and legislative elections were successfully completed in June 2005. But the return to constitutional normality and relative political stability is seriously compromised by the deteriorating situation in these other realms. A decade of chronic instability and recurrent armed conflict, capped by a civil war between October 2002 and March 2003, plunged the country into a situation of widespread poverty and vulnerability. In the past ten years, the percentage of people living below the poverty line has risen from 49 to 71 percent, while life expectancy has dropped from 49 to 43 years. Some 1.1 million Central Africans (1/3 of the population) are estimated to be in need of humanitarian assistance, including 800,000 in the five most affected regions to the north of the country near the Chadian border. The vast majority of these people are women and children.

The insecurity that prevails in parts of the country remains a major concern, including in the northern provinces, where security incidents between June and September caused the displacement of about 12,500 Central Africans to the south of Chad. As a result of insecurity, peasants already lost two farming seasons with dire consequences for the nutritional situation and for rural incomes in areas almost entirely dependent on cotton farming for employment and livelihoods. The on-going insecurity also prevents the resumption of basic social services and hinders the provision of adequate assistance to vulnerable populations, as no safe access can be guaranteed to humanitarian workers. Joint efforts by CAR, Chad and Cameroon (through the tripartite Commission) to address this issue have not yet yielded any positive results.

There remains a severe lack of capacity on the part of the government to stabilize the security situation and begin recovery efforts for key institutions. CAR has suffered from the fact that the majority of its partners either left the country or suspended their programs following the 2003 coup. Today, only four international NGOs operate in the country. Resources provided by the international community remain inadequate. At the time of writing, less than 30 percent of the requirements for the 2005 CAP (US$ 27 million) had been received. The direct consequence of this chronic under-funding has been the continued degradation of already poor infrastructures and basic social services, including the nutritional and health situation of the most vulnerable. The situation in CAR requires urgent assistance that cannot afford to wait for the gradual resumption of normal development programming. Efforts in the fields of good governance, institutional support, financial reform, long-term economic recovery and poverty reduction must be undertaken in tandem with humanitarian programs that focus on the immediate needs of the most vulnerable, key sectors being food security and nutrition, health, education and protection. Humanitarian needs for one third of the population will remain acute throughout 2006.

At the same time, progress in the political process has created new opportunities for increased engagement by the international community, particularly in the fields of security, good governance and the rule of law, financial reform, economic recovery and poverty reduction, which will in the long-run have a positive impact on human security and overall humanitarian conditions of the population.

Against this background, OCHA will continue to support the Humanitarian Coordinator and the UNCT in strengthening information exchange among partners and developing inter-agency field oriented strategies to maximize the use of available resources to meet the needs of the most vulnerable while multi-sectoral development assistance is being provided to build the resiliencies of communities.

In particular, in the coming year, OCHA’s objectives are to: strengthen coordination mechanisms to ensure a timely provision of assistance to vulnerable populations in need, particularly in northern areas of the country; improve common humanitarian information systems and tools to facilitate the identification of priority areas of intervention based on geographic and sector needs and the formulation of an advocacy strategy on humanitarian needs in the country. OCHA will aim at ensuring the application of a collaborative approach between humanitarian and development actors to maximize the impact of programs. In 2006, OCHA will advocate for a joint mission with relevant humanitarian and development partners to review the UN strategy toward CAR. OCHA will, at the same time, review its presence in the country.

Activities:

  • Strengthen information management systems, including early warning and surveillance systems.
  • Spearhead the review of rapid response coordination mechanisms according to IASC guidelines.
  • Lead the contingency planning process.
  • Support the Humanitarian Coordinator’s office in its activities related to the monitoring and implementation of the CHAP and the 2006 CAP. Establish a joint UN/donor coordination group to ensure progress of CHAP/CAP implementation.
  • Strengthen UN agencies’ coordination and needs assessment capacities, as well as capacity gap identification.
  • Ensure appropriate linkages between humanitarian response and transition activities by organizing a regular flow of information between development and humanitarian actors, and provide analysis on the impact of humanitarian strategies and persistant gaps; organize a joint mission between development and humanitarian actors to define a roadmap for CAR.
  • Provide timely and accurate information to external partners (medias, donors, government actors, etc.).
  • Increase media coverage through regular press briefings and conferences and the publication of news bulletins.
  • Organize and support specific events, including workshops, seminars, etc.

Indicators:

  • Number of joint assessment and monitoring missions and percentage of recommendations implemented.
  • Existence of an updated inter-agency contingency plan and number of times it was activated by agencies to respond to a new crisis situation.
  • Common monitoring mechanisms and sectoral groups established (plus number of agencies participating and frequency of meetings).
  • Number of populations reached (depending on access).
  • Percent of remaining gaps between development and humanitarian assistance.
  • Percent CAP funding by year-end as compared to previous years funding received.
  • Percent sectoral funding received, by sector.
  • Number of donors contributing to CAP.
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
Planned Staffing Extra-budgetary
Professional
3
National
-
Local (GS)
2
UN Volunteers
-
Total
5
Staff costs (US$)
327,582
Non-staff costs (US$)
258,205
Total costs (US$)
585,787

 


Chad


In 2005, the humanitarian situation of the 200,000 Sudanese refugees from Darfur in the east of the country stabilized. However, the prospect for their return became more remote given the persistance of conflict in Darfur and the lack of progress in the political process. The presence of the refugees continues to weigh heavily on eastern Chad’s fragile populations and environment, which is characterized by poor infrastructure and the absence of basic social services. Competition for water, firewood and grazing land has led to increased tensions between the refugees and their hosts. In order to avoid aid becoming another source of instability, humanitarian actors will have to ensure that refugees and host populations are both included in mid- to long-term sustainable development programs and that relief is provided equitably between the two groups.

Additionally, in southern Chad about 12,500 Central Africans entered the country following an upsurge of violence in the northern provinces of the Central African Republic (CAR) between June and September. This new caseload of refugees adds to the already 30,000 Central African refugees present in the south of the country since the 2003 coup in CAR. As the situation in northern CAR is likely to remain chaotic for months, a new influx of refugees may occur in the near future, leading to an expansion of current humanitarian programmes.

The evolution of the humanitarian situation in Chad remains largely contingent on developments in neighbouring Darfur and CAR. At the same time, rising internal military and political tensions, as well as the increasing fragility of the socio-economic environment, call for intense monitoring of the situation and the development of preparedness measures. The general weakness and absence of national capacity and infrastructure in Chad - one of the poorest and least developed countries in the world - makes the situation very difficult for aid agencies. Humanitarian actors face enormous constraints, which considerably increase the complexity and the cost of relief operations. Providing day-to-day assistance to 200,000 refugees spread among 12 camps along the 600 km Sudanese border, in the absence of reliable roads and communication networks, amounts to a real logistical nightmare. This is particularly problematic in eastern Chad’s hostile and poor human security environment, which is characterised by the scarcity of natural resources, including water. In the south, access to refugee populations remains difficult throughout the rainy season. The lack of reliable base-line data on Chadian populations and the environment add to the humanitarian challenges.

Given the prevailing situation in Darfur, Sudanese refugees are not likely to return home in the near future. Humanitarian agencies will therefore have to maintain their full capacity in the east throughout 2006. Additionally, insecurity along Chad’s border with Sudan and CAR will most likely persist, and may spread to other parts of the country, leading to greater vulnerability of the Chadian population.

Within the current context, OCHA will support the Humanitarian Coordinator in strategic coordination by providing secretarial support to the UN Country Team for the planning, monitoring and evaluation of humanitarian assistance provided and ensuring linkages with development initiatives.

OCHA’s key objectives in 2006, therefore, are to: ensure that humanitarian strategies and response to the two refugee situations, in the east and in the south, include assistance to vulnerable Chadians within host communities and is coordinated with national development strategies; strengthen national and international humanitarian coordination mechanisms, as well as information management and assessment tools; and advocate with international partners, including the donor community, to increase resources for a more comprehensive response to the crisis, which would include improvement in the security environment, provision of resources for community-based recovery initiatives and timely response to the emerging humanitarian situation in the south. In 2006, OCHA will undertake a mission to Chad to consult with humanitarian partners on the possibility of a viable exit strategy.

Activities:

  • Support the HC’s office in monitoring the implementation of humanitarian strategies agreed upon within the CHAP/CAP process.
  • Support existing coordination mechanisms as required; ensure the participation of national authorities NGOs and international partners in coordination meetings.
  • Collect and consolidate humanitarian data and ensure an efficient flow of information between humanitarian actors, including through the creation of a humanitarian documentation centre.
  • Ensure cross-border coordination between humanitarian operations in Darfur and in CAR through regular exchange of information.
  • Ensure coordination between relief operations in the eastern and southern provinces and decision making at the central level, including development of strategies and response guidelines.
  • In coordination with UNDP, develop strategic documents for the coordination between relief and development.
  • Develop an outreach strategy and provide international actors with relevant humanitarian information (through meetings, briefings, news bulletins, reports, etc.).

Indicators:

  • Humanitarian documentation centre is established, operational and contains updated humanitarian data, including on Chadian host populations.
  • Attendance level of national and international actors in coordination meetings organized by OCHA.
  • Number and percent of active coordination fora organized by OCHA.
  • Existence of an integrated plan that links relief to development programs.
CHAD
Planned Staffing Extra-budgetary
Professional
3
National
-
Local (GS)
3
UN Volunteers
-
Total
6
Staff costs (US$)
597,725
Non-staff costs (US$)
215,943
Total costs (US$)
813,668

 


Côte d’Ivoire


Three years into the crisis, Côte d’Ivoire remains a divided nation. The overall humanitarian situation is characterized by a prolonged and steady decline of the living conditions resulting from the combined effects of a sustained economic downturn, reduced access to basic social services and an escalation of inter-ethnic and inter-communal violence. In areas controlled by the Forces Nouvelles, which roughly represent 60 percent of the country, the weak presence of state administration has resulted in the growing vulnerability of a large swath of the population who are deprived of basic social services, particularly in the areas of education, health, food security, protection and human rights. While the erratic provision of water and electricity in the north contributes to the insecure human environment and to high morbidity and mortality rates, in the west, the upsurge of violence has triggered new waves of internal displacement, now estimated at over 550,000 country-wide. Grave human rights violations and breaches of international humanitarian law continue to be reported by human rights organisations nationwide, particularly within the Zone of Confidence and in the west, where impunity continues to reign.

The prevailing state of lawlessness represents a serious setback for reconciliation efforts between communities, and further hampers the provision of assistance to increasingly vulnerable groups by humanitarian actors. Humanitarian activities implemented so far have contributed to averting a full blown crisis by creatively addressing needs as they arise and enhancing preparedness within the country and the sub-region. However, since the outbreak of the crisis in September 2002, funding for the needs of vulnerable groups remains low and unequal between sectors stretching to the limits the ability of humanitarian actors to respond adequately and in a timely fashion. In 2005, the Consolidated Appeal for Côte d’Ivoire received only 35 percent of the overall requirements. This shortfall has contributed to the rapid rise in vulnerability among populations still affected by a volatile and tense situation.

The political outlook for Côte d’Ivoire remains extremely uncertain, which is due in part to the lack of trust between the parties. The bitter debate on the “political transition” will undoubtedly exacerbate existing tensions in a climate of violence. The challenges mentioned above suggest a tense and probably violent scenario with the possibility of increasingly frequent and violent outbreaks with negative implications for the consolidation of the peace process and the stability of neighbouring countries.

OCHA’s key objectives for 2006 in this environment are to: strengthen inter-agency planning, preparedness and resource mobilisation to meet the most urgent humanitarian needs of vulnerable populations; help ensure the effectiveness of humanitarian response through improved coordination; and sustain a relevant advocacy strategy for the protection of civilians and in support of efforts to reduce impunity.

Activities:

  • Maintain active participation of key partners in regular humanitarian coordination meetings, in particular by supporting the policy-setting Inter-Agency Humanitarian Coordination Committee (IAHCC) and its sector working groups to periodically review implementation of jointly agreed CHAP strategies, policies and related action plans.
  • Establish and strengthen sector groups within field offices and organise cross-sector thematic workshops on topical issues to promote integrated action strategies by humanitarian actors.
  • Broaden coverage of targeted humanitarian needs through improved collaboration between the UN system, NGOs, Red Cross Movement and other relevant partners; provide timely security-related information to the humanitarian community.
  • Keep political and economic actors abreast of humanitarian challenges through reports, publications and briefings to ensure that relevant consideration is given to humanitarian issues when peace or “economic” agreements are developed.
  • Reinforce OCHA’s advocacy capacity through implementation of quick assessments of humanitarian needs in key thematic and/or geographical areas and development of a multi-media advocacy strategy aimed at informing the public of the country’s most pressing humanitarian issues and its implications for the sub-region.
  • Increase inter-agency efforts regarding the protection of civilians by reinforcing existing mechanisms including the protection network, the dissemination of information that advocates on behalf of the civilian population, and the formulation of protection policies and interventions.


Indicators:

  • Number of coordination initiatives facilitated/ promoted by OCHA leading to the implementation of joint integrated action strategies.
  • Number of peace agreements signed with provision for the safe delivery of humanitarian assistance and the protection of civilians.
  • Number of needs assessments and inter-agency missions organized, and percentage of follow-up actions implemented.
  • Number of meetings with armed groups and government actors, and number of agreements reached through these meetings.
  • Contingency plans, early warning systems, and surge capacity mechanism in place and updated on a quarterly basis through inclusive consultation.
  • Number of activities in new geographical areas and sectors (including forgotten areas) and of transition activities.
  • Number and percentage of the population reached with key basic services.
  • Number of rapid-onset crises addressed through complementary, inter-agency actions.
  • Number of advocacy strategies and policies developed in response to protection information or for prevention.
CÔTE D’IVOIRE
Planned Staffing Extra-budgetary
Professional
10
National
11
Local (GS)
11
UN Volunteers
2
Total
34
Staff costs (US$)
2,713,514
Non-staff costs (US$)
782,915
Total costs (US$)
3,496,429

 


Democratic Republic of the Congo


The humanitarian situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) continues to be amongst the worst in the world. Although there was considerable political progress in the DRC during 2005, the situation remains fragile. In certain areas, notably in Ituri and in North and South Kivu, foreign and domestic armed groups remain active and in conflict with government troops. The continued violence and instability has caused population displacement, limited humanitarian access, and has subjected the population to continued acts of violence and aggression; more than 1,000 people die every day from conflict-related causes. Overall, the population of the DRC faces serious humanitarian challenges. There are over 2.1 million internally displaced people. Some 42 million people are in a precarious food security situation. Natural disasters, including flooding and volcanic eruptions, threaten the homes and livelihoods of hundreds of thousands. Preventable and treatable diseases including endemic malaria, plague, cholera, measles and ebola, continue to kill by the thousands.

Despite this, stability is returning to large areas of DRC, including to provinces that were until recently cut off by insecurity, such as Maniema. Increasing numbers of IDPs and refugees are returning home to restart shattered lives. Support to the vulnerable populations who are now living in peace and stability is as urgently needed as emergency programming.

2006 will be a year of great significance in the history of the DRC. Elections will take place by 30 June 2006, bringing an end to three years of transitional government. Electoral registration is ongoing and voter response has been encouraging. At the same time, many challenges remain. The creation of an integrated armed force remains incomplete, as does the disarmament and demobilization of both foreign and domestic combatants. These security challenges complicate an environment with serious structural difficulties, such as crumbling infrastructure, lack of basic equipment, low education levels, extreme poverty and lack of involvement of the state in social affairs. Rule of law issues must be addressed, such as continuing high levels of corruption and the difficulties of bringing the perpetrators of criminal acts, including sexual violence, to justice. Public administration systems and public structures no longer function effectively in most areas and ethnic divisions have resulted in the marginalisation of whole communities, which could potentially rekindle violence and force new population displacements.

The DRC needs a strategy that addresses the immediate humanitarian needs of the most vulnerable groups in the population, while also taking full advantage of opportunities for early recovery and transitional efforts. The humanitarian community has developed the 2006 Plan of Action to ensure that a full range of programmes will be available to meet these varied needs. This includes increased and improved response to emergencies, as well as emergency preparedness and enhanced capacity to respond to rapid-onset emergencies and transitional programmes to provide basic services such as clean water, schools and healthcare to returning IDPs and refugees. Basic infrastructure and the restarting of agricultural activities are vital to reducing the vulnerability of their populations and providing the conditions for once violent zones to remain stable.

Although the humanitarian situation has improved slightly in some areas, the situation in much of the DRC remains fragile due to social, ethnic and political tensions exacerbated by the lack of key infrastructure and basic services, epidemics, natural disasters and humanitarian access difficulties. The geographic size of the DRC, the isolation of many communities, and the relatively small humanitarian and development presence make effective coordination imperative to ensure prioritized responses to the overwhelming needs. OCHA currently has 18 provincial and/or district level offices to carry out local coordination activities, and supports a wide range of inter-agency and sectoral coordination groups and meetings. During 2006, OCHA will ensure these mechanisms while working closely with the development and humanitarian communities to ensure that transitional coordination needs are also addressed.

In 2006, OCHA’s key priorities are to: ensure that decisions are taken in the best interests of vulnerable populations; strengthen planning, preparedness and resource mobilisation to meet humanitarian needs in the DRC; ensure the effectiveness of humanitarian response in DRC through improved coordination; optimize future actions through the evaluation of humanitarian response; and strengthen the management and back-up support of OCHA’s operations.

Activities:

  • Conduct standardized needs assessments, inter-agency missions and humanitarian analyses, and ensure that the results and other appropriate humanitarian information are widely disseminated; maintain contact with armed groups, civil society, church groups, civilian and military authorities, traditional leaders and other key actors to preserve humanitarian space; monitor developments to highlight the humanitarian consequences of political and military decisions; increase local and international awareness of the humanitarian catastrophe in DRC.
  • Develop and update provincial contingency plans and early-warning mechanisms; map and enhance surge capacity and rapid response mechanisms; promote the timely funding of humanitarian and transitional activities in the 2006 Action Plan; support donors in the implementation of GHD principles, including contributions to the GHD fund.
  • Broaden coverage of targeted humanitarian needs through improved collaboration between the UN system, NGOs, the Red Cross Movement and other relevant partners, and through the provision of information on needs and gaps in response; develop linkages for capacity building and implementation partnerships between local NGOs and international organizations; provide timely security-related information to the humanitarian community; strengthen sectoral working groups, including the identification of lead organizations and the encouragement of cross-sectoral exchanges and complementary sectoral responses.
  • Conduct real-time evaluations and integrate recommendations in future planning; monitor the implementation of the 2006 Action Plan by identifying priority sectors and geographical areas where no response is being undertaken and seeking to fill the gaps.
  • Put in place an enhanced organizational structure for Operations (Procurement, Asset Management and Logistics) and Finance/Administration; develop Standard Operating Procedures for logistics, procurement, personnel, and administrative functions; standardize software and equipment in all OCHA/DRC offices.

Indicators:

  • Number of needs assessments and inter-agency missions organized, and percentage of follow-up actions implemented; number of meetings with armed groups and other key actors, and number of agreements reached through these meetings.
  • Rapid Response funds to respond to rapid-onset crises within 20 days.
  • Percentage of GHD fund requirements met.
  • Number of activities in new geographical areas and sectors (including forgotten areas and transition activities); number and percentage of the population reached with key basic services; number of up-dated matrices and maps disseminated on humanitarian activities per sector and area; quantity and quality of output produced by IASC and sectoral working groups (number of reports, attendance and recommendations); number of rapid-onset crises addressed through complementary, inter-agency actions.
  • Service delivery time for procurement, asset deployment, payments, recruitment, etc. reduced by at least 33 percent from 2005 average performance.
  • CAP funding received by sector, in US dollars.
  • Number of donors contributing to CAP.
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO
Planned Staffing Extra-budgetary
Professional
22
National
24
Local (GS)
34
UN Volunteers
8
Total
88
Staff costs (US$)
6,513,569
Non-staff costs (US$)
3,756,171
Total costs (US$)
10,269,740

 


Eritrea


Eritrea faces chronic humanitarian risk due to four years of extreme drought and the continuation of the no war no peace situation. A large segment of the population, up to 50-60 percent or two million people, are facing economic hardship, loss of livelihoods and assets, high food insecurity, unacceptable levels of malnutrition and weakened health and lack of potable water at the community level. Because of previously high mortality and current national security demands, one-third to one-half of families are headed by women – adding a strong gender dimension to the crisis.

The lack of resolution of the border conflict with Ethiopia and delays in the demarcation of the border have resulted in a high military mobilization, drained fiscal resources for normal recovery and development activities and stunted the government’s capacity to invest in structural reforms and poverty reduction schemes. Continued instability along both borders has also resulted in a steady incidence of landmine accidents, restricted agricultural and pastoral grazing opportunities and constrained trade. Some 52,000 people, mostly women and children, remain displaced in camps due to this border instability. The current stalemate on the demarcation of the border continues to result in heightened political and military tensions between the two countries and the need for constant attention to preparedness in the event of an acute emergency.

More recently, tensions have increased between the international community and the government due to various factors. This has included control of relief programmes through NGO registration and work procedures, as well as added complications in the working environment, such as the recent request to move quickly to ‘food-for work’ programmes. Additionally, the government does not wish to enter the Consolidated Appeal Process this year, but says it will determine its own humanitarian appeal needs by year’s end. While some factors that barred relief operations have been lifted, including the registration of NGOs and the provision of work permits, the working environment is made difficult through lack of fluid communication and clarity on delays in the release of humanitarian goods imported by NGOs and countrywide relief food distributions, and the continuing impounding of UN vehicles and seizure of UN warehouses. Thus the coordination functions of OCHA have gained greater importance to avoid further tensions and ensure humanitarian work is continued without interruption.

While rains have started to return to normalcy, two or three more good seasons are needed before water tables and grazing land regenerate, resulting in predicted hardship for at least another 18 months. The drought recovery process will be slow given the extreme poverty that has been created as a result of asset loss, particularly loss of livestock through distress sale and deaths, and economic strain over the past years. In this regard, the role of coordination between government and partners (UN, donor and NGO) will become more instrumental in order to strengthen dialogue and align the use of resources toward strategic and effective emergency and recovery interventions.

Overall, the situation is becoming more tense as government patience is reduced. This could spiral into a crisis if open conflict over the border resumes and large scale displacement occurs. This is not considered likely, however, given the high risk of instability such events would cause in the region. The resolution of the border dispute, (an agreement with Ethiopia on the Border Commission decision), would lead to three to six months of intense effort in monitoring and ensuring the protection of displaced populations on both sides of the border, as well as to the eventual need to settle tens of thousands of people in longer term situations.

Such circumstances necessitate that the OCHA office be prepared for an array of events that would result in a high demand for coordination functions. In this regard, the office will play an instrumental role. In so doing, OCHA will be performing a preparedness function should rapid and fluid coordination be needed in the event of a more acute situation. Additionally, the humanitarian situation is expected to continue to deteriorate in 2006 if progress on the peace process/border demarcation is not made and if the resources for effective humanitarian aid are reduced and restrictions on effective delivery are not lifted.

In 2006, OCHA’s key objectives are: the assessment, monitoring and analysis of humanitarian risks and the conditions of affected populations, including the impact of humanitarian risks on drought victims, IDPs, returnees and the urban destitute; fund raising and coordination through strengthening humanitarian partnerships and reinstating a regular discussion and planning forum on emergency areas; capacity building in the areas of early warning for acute disasters, analysis of inter-sector data and GIS/mapping capacities, information and communication on emergency issues, and rapid assessment techniques; and contingency planning for border incidences, population displacements/movements, and any related event including a possible resurgence of a complex emergency. In 2006, OCHA will undertake a mission to Eritrea to consult with humanitarian partners on the possibility of a viable exit strategy.

Activities:

  • Support integrated rural fieldwork with the UN, government line ministries and NGOs to identify
    key indicators and reporting systems for vulnerability identification and monitoring of trends of conditions.
  • Support the government in establishing a Humanitarian Communication Centre for synthesizing existing databases on vulnerable populations – including IDPs and refugee returnees, orphans, child headed households and other war affected people.
  • Compile and disseminate regular humanitarian updates and reports, including technical discussion papers and other periodicals for coordination on pertinent areas such as nutrition, water, food security, etc.
  • Support the addressing of humanitarian issues within the UN structure of thematic groups and task forces for better targeting of UN programmes to high risk groups.
  • Provide Emergency Preparedness and Response training to government and NGO staff at least twice in central areas and once in the high risk districts, and develop a regular coordination with government counterparts for early warning systems and collaboration in preparedness for response.

Indicators:

  • Amount of funding allocated through national planning processes that is targeted to areas with critical humanitarian needs.
  • Number and percent of updated contingency plans with national bodies to ensure stand by readiness in the case of any acute emergency.
  • Amount of funding received for humanitarian joint programmes.
ERITREA
Planned Staffing Extra-budgetary
Professional
2
National
3
Local (GS)
2
UN Volunteers
-
Total
7
Staff costs (US$)
486,049
Non-staff costs (US$)
237,537
Total costs (US$)
723,586

 


Ethiopia


In 2004, an effort was made to differentiate between the chronically and acutely food insecure populations of Ethiopia and two complementary action plans were developed. The 2005 Humanitarian Appeal was designed to address the acute needs of the food-insecure population whilst the government’s Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP) tackled longer-term food security needs through cash or food for public works.

Large segments of the Ethiopian population, particularly in the rural areas (who make up more than 85 percent of the total population), will continue to be extremely vulnerable and remain chronically food-insecure. At least 6-8 million people fall in this category and will require cash or food assistance and other non-food assistance. The PSNP will attempt to address the needs of at least five million and possibly up to seven million of this group. An additional one to three million people will likely require emergency food and non-food assistance in 2006, including vulnerable populations in pastoral areas that are not likely to be covered by the PSNP, others located in ‘hot spots’ affected by localized drought, flooding and other quick onset natural disasters or epidemics and populations affected by ethnic conflict. This does not assume any major widespread drought conditions or major cross border conflict with Eritrea.

Major problems were encountered in the implementation of the PSNP in 2005, including weak government capacity at the local level and constraints in the resettlement programme that are expected to continue in 2006 and which pose additional humanitarian risks. Internal displacement of populations in several parts of the country has increased during 2004 and 2005 (Oromia, Somali, and Gambella Regions in particular) due primarily to inter-ethnic conflicts, and requires increased attention and coordination with government authorities. Gaps in response to quick on-set emergencies, particularly large scale, as well as localized flooding, require added attention to improve response. Building government capacity in emergency management is needed and provides a challenge to OCHA in 2006.

While the government’s desire to switch from an emergency response mechanism to longer-term approaches to address chronic food insecurity is lauded and supported by the UN and donors it will take some time to fully achieve an effective transition while also avoiding humanitarian risks to needy populations. Therefore, efforts in 2006 must focus on designing humanitarian and longer-term programs that compliment and support one another. The medium term goal must be to re-orient the humanitarian appeal process to address populations that are acutely affected by shocks (both natural and man-made), while managing the risks associated with newly established food security activities. Overcoming and reversing the lack of confidence by donors on definitions and assessments related to emergency non- food needs is a major challenge of the UN and partners. Progress is expected to be made to better define and establish a framework for assessments of emergency non-food requirements.

The UNCT is now developing its UNDAF and explicitly looking at how to best link humanitarian and development goals, objectives, and activities to protect and enhance livelihoods of the most vulnerable in Ethiopia. Increasing efforts are needed to further address both emergency response mechanisms and the underlying causes of emergency situations in the country. The humanitarian situation is expected to remain stable with eight to ten million people remaining chronically or acutely food insecure. Several factors, including a projected good harvest and strong linkages between emergency and food security programmes, could improve the overall situation.

Given the current situation, OCHA’s key objectives for 2006 are to: strengthen humanitarian coordination mechanisms and their linkages with longer-term food and livelihood initiatives; provide a strong field presence to improve early warning and response to emergency situations and field coordination; provide effective information and advocacy related to vulnerable populations; support strategic contingency planning, strategies for assessments and the humanitarian appeals process to help ensure appropriate humanitarian funding; and improve the management of and ensure necessary funding for the OCHA Office. In 2006, OCHA will undertake a mission to Ethiopia to consult with humanitarian partners on the possibility of a viable exit strategy.

Activities:

  • Adapt to the expected new emergency management structure at the federal level to maintain coordination linkages with relevant sections of the new structure, including for early warning, aid coordination, information, external relations and policy and planning.
  • Initiate with UN and other partners capacity strengthening to include coordination training and information management support at the regional and sub-regional levels in order to strengthen partnerships with regional authorities and NGOs at sub-federal levels (as part of UNDAF Joint Programming).
  • Undertake joint UNCT and OCHA field missions to key regions for monitoring, assessing and reporting on ‘hot spots’ and on emerging and ongoing humanitarian situations, in order to facilitate humanitarian response by government and other partners and to support advocacy initiatives.
  • Enhance mapping and data bases for service to the humanitarian community (WWW, NGO mapping, UN agency mapping), contributions to tracking and reporting (to be linked to OCHA Financial Tracking System - FTS). Establish and support the UNCT mapping support and exchange forum.
  • Lead and facilitate the preparation of joint UNCT preparedness and response plans and updates related to humanitarian aspects of the border issues between Ethiopia and Eritrea as well as on cross-border issues with other neighbouring countries.
  • Develop and carry out inter-office technical training (software and other skills development) and external professional development training for professional and support staff.


Indicators:

  • Working group and other M&E mechanisms in place that routinely monitor complementary programmes and determine gaps related to the Joint Appeal and longer-term initiatives.
  • Number of regular information products issued, and feedback from formal stakeholder surveys and analyses on relevance and usefulness of information products (specific indicators developed in the questionnaire).
  • Number of agencies that use information and advocacy products; analysis of achievement of advocacy initiatives.
  • UNCT contingency plan is updated on a regular basis.
  • Quantitative and qualitative analysis of field missions and feedback from partners.
  • Feedback from formal stakeholder surveys and analyses on relevance and usefulness of information products (specific indicators developed in the questionnaire).
  • Number and percent of OCHA and joint field missions and reports that include quantitative and qualitative analysis of field missions and feedback from partners.
  • Vacancy rate of the OCHA office.
  • Funding received for OCHA Ethiopia.
  • Percentage of requirements funded.
ETHIOPIA
Planned Staffing Extra-budgetary
Professional
5
National
5
Local (GS)
7
UN Volunteers
-
Total
17
Staff costs (US$)
1,187,806
Non-staff costs (US$)
702,295
Total costs (US$)
1,890,101

 


Guinea


Guinea continues to suffer from the impact of hosting nearly one million refugees following more than a decade of armed conflict in Liberia and Sierra Leone. Between 2000 and 2001, the country became a victim of violence and destruction within its own territory as a result of political dissent and cross-border incursions from Sierra Leone and Liberia, which destroyed infrastructures and displaced over 100,000 Guineans. Meanwhile, the socio-economic environment has seen a steady decline in the last five years, exacerbated by the suspension of development aid due to the government’s lack of compliance with the international community’s demands for political and economic reforms. This has had a significant impact on the country’s capacity to recover from the sub-regional crisis, consequently perpetuating a vicious cycle of progressive vulnerability compounded by the incapacity of the government to deliver basic social services.

Today, the majority of the population remains vulnerable, facing high mortality, morbidity and malnutrition rates due to poor access to health services, potable water, sanitation, education and food security, especially in Haute Guinea, Moyenne Guinea and Guinée Forestière. Some 32 percent of the Guinean population is undernourished and 70 percent of the adult population is illiterate. Only 54 percent of children have access to primary education. The region of Guinée Forestière, which has hosted the bulk of the refugee and IDP population, remains a potential source of instability for both Guinea and for neighbouring countries. The region hosts some 25,000 Liberian refugees, whom UNHCR expects to repatriate during 2006 contingent upon the outcome of elections in Liberia. Guinea also has an estimated 30,000 IDPs who would need support to return to their places of habitual residence. The continuing presence of some 5,000 ex-combatants along border towns, and the unresolved crisis in Côte d’Ivoire remain issues of concern.

A number of reforms implemented during 2005 have helped ease the isolation of the government and facilitated the re-engagement of some members of the international community in rehabilitation and sustainable development interventions. According to a recent evaluation by the IMF, conditions have not been created for the resumption of the budget-supported programme, which was interrupted in June 2004. Additionally, the humanitarian community’s plan to address the remaining humanitarian needs related to the presence of refugees and IDPs in tandem with a transition programme has not yet been fully realized.

While the situation on the political front will improve as a result of additional reforms, the humanitarian situation most likely will slightly deteriorate due to the population’s continued lack of access to basic social services, decreasing coping mechanisms and inadequate levels of assistance. The possible resumption of the conflict in Côte d’Ivoire could prevent the voluntary repatriation of 3,000 Ivorians during 2006, and generate an additional 23,000 refugees and 30,000 Guinean returnees and third country nationals.

OCHA’s key objectives in 2006, therefore, are to: support the UNCT to enhance strategic and sector coordination with all NGO, government and donor partners, and ensure a link between response to the residual humanitarian concerns and recovery/transitional efforts; provide comprehensive analysis and needs assessments with particular attention to Haute and Moyenne Guinea and Guinée Forestière, and develop a Plan of Action targeting the most vulnerable communities; and enhance early warning and emergency preparedness measures while strengthening the capacity of the government to respond to recurring natural disasters such as floods and earthquakes.

Activities:

  • Manage and promote a comprehensive vulnerability analysis of the most critical regions and sectors.
  • Enhance strategic and sector coordination with the government, donors, NGOs and UN agencies in Conakry, Guinée Forestière and Haute Guinea through the holding of regular meetings, bringing together NGOs, UN agencies, ICRC and the Breton Woods institutions in cooperation with the National Service on Humanitarian Action (SENAH) to facilitate joint strategic planning.
  • Ensure coordination of the Humanitarian Appeal for Guinea with the UN strategic joint planning framework to ensure complementarity between humanitarian and recovery /rehabilitation activities.
  • Support cross-border coordination and situation analysis within the Mano River Union Region and Côte d’Ivoire through enhanced information sharing with UNCTs from the region and the OCHA office in Dakar.
  • Regularly update the inter-agency Contingency Plan.
  • Ensure the effective functioning of the newly established Information Management Unit and the production of relevant and standardized IMU products to serve the humanitarian community in Guinea and the sub-region.

Indicators:

  • Number of functioning strategic and sectoral coordination structures and percentage of
    decisions implemented.
  • Existence of an updated contingency plan with natural disaster and complex emergency components.
  • Number of border areas with operational early warning mechanisms.
  • Existence of a functional CHAP which links the CAP and the CCA/UNDAF (2007-2011).
  • Amount of funding received for transitional activities.
GUINEA
Planned Staffing Extra-budgetary
Professional
5
National
1
Local (GS)
7
UN Volunteers
-
Total
13
Staff costs (US$)
727,505
Non-staff costs (US$)
323,666
Total costs (US$)
1,051,171

 


Republic of Congo


After a decade of political violence, which resulted in massive displacements and deaths, the Republic of Congo (RoC) underwent significant changes in 2005. These changes resulted mainly from the decision to proceed with elections in the Pool region and from the efforts to implement the March 2003 Peace Agreement now that Ninjas Chief Frederic Bitsangou, alias Pastor Ntumi, has expressed his intention to be part of the political and Disarmament Demobilization, and Reintegration (DDR) process. All these factors have contributed to relative stability in the country and in the Pool region.

Nevertheless, the stability is fragile and security incidents involving rebel groups or regular forces still occur. One of the key challenges in 2006 will be the successful implementation of the DDR process to consolidate the stability originating in the 2003 peace accords. The DDR process, which is just about to be launched, will offer professional training and community-based support to promote reinsertion and demobilization of disarmed ex-combatants.

On a humanitarian level, many basic needs remain 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. Reconstruction and rehabilitation needs are considerable as well. An estimated 70 percent of the RoC population lives below the poverty line and some 100,000 internally displaced persons live in the Pool. In a context of community recovery and transition from relief to development, meeting these urgent needs in cooperation with government authorities is an essential task in preventing a deterioration of the humanitarian situation and consolidating a durable peace. Other challenges that need to be overcome if the transition from emergency relief to development is to be successful are the continuing security incidents which cause problems of restricted access, logistical hurdles, a lack of reliable data regarding vulnerable populations and a reduced humanitarian presence on the ground.

The long-term consequences of the conflict in the RoC as well as the persistent humanitarian challenges require an approach whereby humanitarian action continues to address the immediate needs of the most vulnerable populations. Three main priorities identified for humanitarian action in 2006 are to: ensure and facilitate access to basic social services; ensure and strengthen early warning and rapid response to populations at risk; and support the process of transition from relief to development with an emphasis on short- to medium-term programmes focusing on population reintegration and community recovery.

As such, OCHA’s key objectives for 2006 are to: coordinate joint assessments and response in the Pool region, and contingency planning and natural disasters preparedness at the national level; support the process of transition from relief to development, with an emphasis on population reinsertion and community recovery, particularly in the Pool; continue the harmonization of common databases and information systems; and continue advocacy on protection of civilians. In 2006, OCHA will undertake a mission to RoC to consult with humanitarian partners on the possibility of a viable exit strategy.

Activities:

  • Support to the improvement of early warning and surveillance systems in the health, food security and nutrition sectors. Improve needs assessment and coordination mechanisms. Revitalize sectoral groups.
  • Ensure integration of transition and post-conflict related issues at all levels of humanitarian response. Analyse humanitarian needs and the impact of humanitarian action on vulnerable populations and identify gaps. Coordinate the elaboration and monitor the implementation of the Common Humanitarian Action Plan for 2006. Establish a joint UN/humanitarian donor coordination group chaired by the HC.
  • Produce a Who Does What Where database, including national NGOs, to monitor the humanitarian situation in the RoC.
  • Continued monitoring and reporting on protection of civilians, especially in those areas still affected by insecurity and armed conflict.

Indicators:

  • Number of humanitarian organisations participating in the reviewed coordination mechanisms.
  • Completion of joint rapid assessment/ monitoring mission.
  • Number and percent of new emergencies where reaction time was less than 24 hours.
  • Government endorsement of national policy regarding durable solutions for population reintegration and community recovery.
  • Recorded volume of funded reinsertion programmes (according to CAP requirements).
  • CAP funding by sector.
REPUBLIC OF CONGO
Planned Staffing Extra-budgetary
Professional
1
National
-
Local (GS)
4
UN Volunteers
-
Total
5
Staff costs (US$)
284,096
Non-staff costs (US$)
206,903
Total costs (US$)
490,999

 


Somalia


In June 2004, warlords and politicians signed a deal to set up a new parliament and a government and subsequently elected Abdullahi Yusuf as President. This brought renewed hope to Somalia’s approximately seven million people following fourteen years of widespread civil war that took the lives of thousands of civilians and displaced thousands more.

The temporary relocation of the President and the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) from Kenya to Jowhar while other members of the TFG moved back to Mogadishu in June 2005 has restricted the government’s ability to effectively exercise its functions. Still, despite the weakness and slowness of the political process, some positive developments were observed in terms of access to basic social services for the civilian population. Indeed, increasing local reconciliation processes, as well as initiatives and pressures from civil society, including women’s associations, could lead to new opportunities for humanitarian re-engagement to assist the most affected populations.

The TFG is likely to gradually continue to extend its authority on the ground despite existing differences and a political stalemate, which will lead to delays in the implementation of the peace process. Consequently, the complete relocation of the government to Mogadishu might not be achieved in 2006. Meanwhile, local reconciliation initiatives continue to provide humanitarian partners with opportunities to improve access to the civilian population mainly in the central-south region.

An estimated 370,000 to 400,000 people remain displaced within Somalia - more than five percent of the population. They are extremely vulnerable having lost all their assets and are subject to multiple human rights violations. They do not enjoy protection through clan affiliation; in some parts of the country the de facto authorities do not protect them and often divert humanitarian assistance. In response, in 2005 the UNCT developed an IDP strategic framework and requested the Humanitarian Coordinator, with the support of OCHA, to coordinate the overall response to IDP issues.

Localised conflicts, mainly in central and south Somalia are likely to result in some displacement in the same way they did in 2005 and will impede any resettlement attempt of existing internally displaced communities. Thus, the majority of the IDPs might only benefit from sporadic and urgent assistance. Northern Somalia is likely to remain stable though tensions could erupt between Somaliland and Puntland over the contested areas of Sool and Sanaag, resulting in a continuation of the current restricted operating environment. Resettlement of IDPs around urban areas in Somaliland and Puntland is likely to benefit from the stable environment. In terms of security, the targeting of aid workers by extremist groups is likely to remain a significant and possibly growing threat, adding to the difficulties of achieving humanitarian access. Due to the volatile security environment, the operational costs to meet MOSS compliance will remain expensive. Finally, the preparedness of the UN agencies and the INGOs to respond to natural disasters will have to be strengthened in 2006.

Additionally, despite the good 2004/05 Deyr and 2005 Gu rains, close to a million Somalis are still affected by the impact of the cumulative effects of more than three years of consecutive drought, tsunami, floods, intermittent humanitarian access, inter- and intra clan violence and environmental degradation. The precarious humanitarian and security situation will continue to persist throughout 2006 in many parts of Somalia, with one million people requiring urgent humanitarian and recovery assistance as well as protection. In some areas, local reconciliation initiatives are expected to improve humanitarian access to communities affected by inter- and intra-clan conflict.

Thus, in 2006, OCHA’s key objectives are to: increase sustainable access to basic humanitarian services for vulnerable populations; enhance the protection of and respect for the human rights and dignity of IDPs and vulnerable communities; enhance preparedness of humanitarian partners as well as the local capacity to respond to natural disasters or complex emergencies; support the shift from emergency to recovery in zones in transition; and enhance advocacy activities and resource mobilisation.

Activities:

  • Lead access negotiations with the authorities and communities; develop an access framework and support local reconciliation initiatives in key locations to sustain humanitarian access.
  • Ensure implementation of the UNCT strategic framework on IDPs through the development of an action plan and resource mobilization.
  • Collect gender disaggregated data and give particular attention to issues related to sexual and gender based violence.
  • Facilitate the development of a comprehensive national contingency plan for Somalia taking into consideration the regional specificities.
  • Manage and promote the Humanitarian Response Fund to improve the timeliness and effective responses of humanitarian partners to natural disasters or complex emergencies.
  • Ensure coordination with the Joint Need Assessment (JNA), the UN transitional plan for Somalia and UN strategic joint planning framework to ascertain that links between emergency and development activities are maintained.
  • Refocus the CAP on humanitarian and emergency needs and activities and ensure their complementarity and continuity with development activities.
  • Develop an advocacy strategy to raise awareness on Somalia.

Indicators:

  • Number of new regions where humanitarian access to reach the affected populations is granted; number of MOUs agreed upon with local authorities to facilitate full and unhindered access; and local reconciliation processes are supported by the UN.
  • Number and percent of protection networks that are operational; endorsement of a protection plan by the UNCT.
  • Number and percent of CAP projects that are linked to longer term strategies under the JNA.
  • Percent CAP funding by year-end.
  • CAP funding received by sector, in US dollars.
  • Funds available for the Humanitarian Response Fund to support projects.
  • Early warning mechanisms are operational along the Juba and Shabelle rivers.
SOMALIA
Planned Staffing Extra-budgetary
Professional
10
National
14
Local (GS)
6
UN Volunteers
1
Total
31
Staff costs (US$)
2,549,818
Non-staff costs (US$)
956,658
Total costs (US$)
3,506,476

 


Sudan


The situation in Sudan will present immense humanitarian challenges in 2006 that will vary substantially from region to region, requiring extensive coordination support across the three states of Darfur, most areas of South Sudan, and other priority areas. OCHA’s presence in Sudan has been expanding since early 2004 and throughout 2005 in response to the growing demands. In 2006 OCHA, in close cooperation with the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), will consolidate and focus its presence on the humanitarian priorities of these areas. Concurrently, the expanding Resident Coordinator’s office (RCO) will begin to lead coordination efforts for recovery and development activities.

In Darfur, the largest ongoing relief operation in the world - involving some 1,000 international and more than 13,000 national relief workers - will have to continue to support more than 1.5 million IDPs and similar numbers of others affected by the conflict. The deterioration of security conditions in September, October and November of 2005 has resulted in further displacement and severe access restrictions in many areas. While there is hope that the talks in Abuja, Nigeria, will result in a peace agreement by early 2006, the large majority of IDPs is expected to remain displaced through 2006. In addition, and assuming a peace agreement is signed and followed by a marked improvement in the security situation, some voluntary and assisted returns may take place in parts of the region where security and livelihood conditions permit. The African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) and the potential expansion of the international security presence in 2006 will play a critical role in creating conditions that are favorable to returns. Returnees will require a range of humanitarian and recovery assistance in their villages, which will severely test the logistical and programming capacity of the humanitarian actors on the ground. High levels of insecurity are also expected to persist in many parts of Darfur, limiting access and posing a daily threat to relief workers. OCHA will retain the current level of its presence throughout Darfur in 2006, with four sub-offices and three satellite offices covering all three states.

In South Sudan, large-scale and acute humanitarian needs will remain in many areas, and will increase further in 2006 with the expected return of several hundred thousand IDPs and refugees. Security conditions have generally improved since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in January 2005, allowing increased access to many areas. While there are great expectations for early recovery and development activities to commence in some regions of the South, it will inevitably take several years before essential services can be provided in most areas by the new Government of Southern Sudan, which currently lacks capacity at every level. In the meantime, millions of Sudanese in the South will have to continue to depend on humanitarian assistance, with acute global malnutrition rates still reaching 30 percent in several areas during the hunger period, and no access whatsoever to clean water or basic health facilities in many counties. The situation is compounded by continuing insecurity and limited access in some areas, and the expected return of hundreds of thousands of IDPs from Khartoum and areas within the South, as well as of refugees from neighbouring countries. Assisting these returnees en route and providing relief and early recovery assistance in the main areas of return will be among the greatest challenges in 2006. All of these assistance activities have to be carried out in areas with virtually non-existent road and communications networks, making South Sudan one of the most logistically difficult, and operationally expensive, parts of the world for the humanitarian community. OCHA will provide support to the Deputy RC/HC for South Sudan through its main office in Juba, and maintain small area coordination offices in five other priority locations in South Sudan (Bor, Bentiu, Wasrab, Aweil, and Yei). OCHA will hand-over three offices to the RC structure in the first half of 2006 (Rumbek, Malakal, and Juba).

The ‘Three Areas’ (former transitional areas) present yet another set of challenges, with humanitarian assistance remaining a major priority in the southern part of Blue Nile, and the situation in Abyei likely to remain tense and requiring increasing levels of relief, including to returnees. OCHA will have a small international presence in Damazine (Blue Nile) and Abyei, and support UNMIS and RCO staff in other areas, such as Kadugli (Nuba Mountains) and Kosti.

In the eastern region, the major challenges include chronic underdevelopment and ongoing conflicts, both within the area and between the government and the ‘Eastern Front’. Other concerns are lack of access to parts of Kassala state (Hamesh Koreib), the risk of natural disasters, and the potential for a large-scale refugee influx should hostilities between Ethiopia and Eritrea re-ignite. It is hoped that progress will be made in the coming months in resolving the conflicts in this area. OCHA will have a small international presence in Kassala to help facilitate access and the humanitarian response, also covering the Port Sudan area.

Lastly, in and around Khartoum, the situation of several million IDPs will require focused attention in 2006, both to provide some minimum levels of targeted support and to help prevent forced relocations and returns. OCHA has been engaged in these issues since early 2005, and will continue to provide support as others strengthen their capacity to respond to some of the urgent protection and assistance needs.

OCHA’s key objectives in 2006 will be: to further improve the coordination of humanitarian assistance to IDPs and other populations in need in each of the areas mentioned above; to support, together with key partners, spontaneous and assisted returns of displaced people; to ensure that transition arrangements are in place for coordination functions to be taken on by the RCO in certain areas; and to strengthen the capacity of national counterparts to take
on coordination responsibilities, particularly in South Sudan. Other priorities include more effective disaster early warning and rapid response, as well as improved resource mobilization and tracking.

Activities:

  • Support the work of the Humanitarian Coordinator and his deputies in North and South Sudan in coordinating humanitarian activities, particularly through the area coordination offices in each region.
  • Negotiate unimpeded and safe access to populations in need.
  • Provide timely and high quality humanitarian information and analysis to guide decision-making, planning, advocacy and improved targeting.
  • Support protection and return activities, including through information gathering and analysis and handing over of the Tracking and Monitoring Project.
  • In Darfur, further improve camp coordination mechanisms.
  • In Darfur, effectively coordinate with AMIS on all humanitarian issues.
  • Collaborate with the RCO, UN agencies, UNMIS and with local authorities to facilitate the transfer of coordination responsibilities in areas where focus is shifting to recovery and development.
  • Support the capacity of the Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) and the Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Commission (SRRC) at local, state and national levels to effectively coordinate humanitarian and rehabilitation activities.
  • Coordinate effective response to rapidly developing crises, including through better early warning rapid deployment of coordination staff and improved preparedness.
  • Improve resource mobilisation, tracking and allocation to ensure effective implementation of the UN and Partners Work Plan 2006.

Indicators:

  • Number of sectoral and area coordination bodies in place in each major location.
  • All positions filled in all OCHA sub-offices and satellite offices.
  • Number of people accessed to the extent security conditions permit.
  • Accurate data on returns available, and effective return plans and programmes developed in collaboration with the UNMIS Return and Reintegration unit and other partners. Tracking and monitoring system for returns to the South remains fully operational through and after handover period.
  • Number of reported incidents of protection issues and percent reviewed by protection working groups.
  • Number of major camps in Darfur with functioning camp coordination arrangements in place.
  • Transitional strategy agreed with all stakeholders and initial transfer of responsibilities achieved in identified areas without reduction of services to populations in need.
  • Functioning HAC/SRRC offices in the ‘Three Areas’, SRRC offices in the ten southern state capitals.
  • Funding received for Work Plan 2006 by sector.
SUDAN
Planned Staffing Extra-budgetary
Professional
56
National
63
Local (GS)
55
UN Volunteers
15
Total
188
Staff costs (US$)
12,846,250
Non-staff costs (US$)
7,010,712
Total costs (US$)
19,865,962

SUDAN - DARFUR HIC
Planned Staffing Extra-budgetary
Professional
5
National
-
Local (GS)
7
UN Volunteers
-
Total
12
Staff costs (US$)
257,626
Non-staff costs (US$)
44,183
Total costs (US$)
301,809*


 


Uganda


The insurgency in northern Uganda is now in its twentieth year. Despite initial optimism in mediation efforts, there has been no visible progress in the peace process and some 1.7 million people remain internally displaced, the majority living in marginal conditions in heavily congested camps. Access to vulnerable populations in Teso, and much of Lango sub-region has generally improved, while in the Acholi sub- region and northern Lango only 21 out of 188 IDP settlements remain out of reach. However, only 21 out of 105 camps are accessible without armed escorts. Further influencing the situation, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued indictments against the top leadership of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), which will likely influence the LRA’s attitude towards the UN and other international humanitarian workers. Protection of civilians, particularly women and children, remains a major challenge.

The humanitarian situation varies between the four regions of the north: Acholiland (Gulu, Pader and Kitgum), Teso (Katakwi, Soroti and Kaberamaido), Lango (Lira and Apac) and Karamoja (Kotido, Moroto and Nakapiripirit). In the Acholi districts, conditions in the 105 IDP camps remain extremely difficult while efforts to decongest the camps have stalled due to continuing insecurity posed by the threat of LRA attacks and a restrictive security cordon imposed by the army that hinders return. This in turn affects land access by camp residents who are unable to undertake traditional agricultural activities. An estimated 35,000 “night commuters” in the Acholi sub-region, largely children, continue the daily routine of traveling from their rural homes to towns to seek safety from abduction. In the Teso districts and southern Lira district, there is relative peace and efforts are underway to begin transitional and recovery programs. The situation in the semi-arid Karamoja area is more complex. Low literacy levels, poor human mortality rates and very low coverage of basic services all compound the high degree of environmental risk and poverty prevalent in the area. Additionally, the practice of cattle-rustling and the diffusion of small arms contributes to continuous inter-clan conflict. Although not characterized as an emergency, this situation has been exacerbated by intermittent drought, which has made the sub-region food-insecure.

In July 2005, a national referendum opened the political space for multi-party activities, giving the National Resistance Movement Organization (NRM-O) the option of retaining President Yoweri Museveni as their Presidential candidate for the 2006 elections. The first half of 2006 is expected to be dominated by election politics, with possible negative consequences for northern Uganda, including increased LRA activity and decreased interest in the victims of the conflict.

It is assumed that the peace process will remain stalled as the ICC investigations and issuing of arrest warrants to top LRA commanders will likely harden the LRA’s attitude, resulting in increased violent attacks. Further, human rights abuses will continue and access to the justice system will remain limited in the conflict-affected districts. In Lira and the Teso districts, improved security will increase the possibility of voluntary return and implementation of recovery programmes. In the Acholi districts, access will continue to depend on security. Forceful disarmament in Karamoja is unlikely to succeed, undermining law enforcement and affecting security in Karamoja and eastern areas of Teso, Pader and Kitgum districts.

The overall trend of the humanitarian situation is deteriorating in Gulu, Kitgum, and Pader districts but is stable and improving in the remaining districts. These varying circumstances require a multi-faceted response by OCHA and the humanitarian community. In the affected districts in Acholiland, OCHA’s planned response includes coordinating the provision of emergency humanitarian relief and protection to civilians as well as advocating for improved access. In the Teso districts, OCHA will support recovery and transitional programming to facilitate the safe voluntary return and resettlement of IDPs. The humanitarian community will continue to support food security and closely monitor developments in Karamoja.

In response, OCHA’s 2006 objectives are to: support to the implementation of the National IDP Policy; increase the human rights and humanitarian protection response; improve coordination tools for the humanitarian response over the districts affected by conflicts; consolidate OCHA’s information management capacity vis-à-vis the aid community; and support the transition from emergency to recovery in relevant districts.


Activities:

  • Develop, improve and support the coordination mechanisms established within the national IDP Policy.
  • Strengthen UN/NGOs protection coordination and the coordination with the Government of Uganda.
  • Increase the involvement of the aid community in the Consolidated Appeal Process with the application and use of the Needs Assessment Framework.
  • Share available information with partners with a view to improving OCHA's information products in terms of quality and accuracy.
  • Advocate for safe and increased access of IDPs to land for production while supporting planning for voluntary, safe and sustainable return and resettlement.

Indicators:

  • Number and percent of plans drafted by operational committees are in agreement with the national policy and are implemented.
  • Number of aid agencies taking part in the monitoring of the CHAP and CAP.
  • Number and percent of decongestion and resettlement policies and district action plans clearly reflecting land related issues.
  • Number and percent of returning/resettling population installed in safe areas.
  • Percent CAP funding by year-end.
UGANDA
Planned Staffing Extra-budgetary
Professional
13
National
8
Local (GS)
10
UN Volunteers
-
Total
31
Staff costs (US$)
2,692,584
Non-staff costs (US$)
868,349
Total costs (US$)
3,560,933

 


Zimbabwe


Zimbabwe faces tremendous challenges, many of which are similar to those found in other countries in Southern Africa, such as the rapid decline in public institutional capacity for social services delivery, food insecurity and HIV and AIDS.

There are several inter-related factors that are contributing to the trend of deepening vulnerability of the population, including the HIV and AIDS pandemic and the depleted capacity in the social and health service sectors, the dry spell currently affecting several countries in the sub-region and the restructuring of the agricultural sector with its concomitant impact on food security and livelihoods. Additionally, the impact of Operation Murambatsvina/ Restore Order, and the economic decline and tacit restrictions by major donors on bilateral aid are affecting the recovery of Zimbabwe.

Faced with the “triple threat” of HIV and AIDS, food insecurity and limited capacity for social services delivery, communities are fighting for their very survival. Additional suffering is caused by reduced access to basic infrastructure such as water and sanitation, and by livelihood deterioration. Furthermore, frequent unavailability of essential commodities (such as maize, cooking oil and fuel) and major increases in costs combined with hyperinflation, without a corresponding increase in income and salaries, worsens the ability of many to meet their basic needs.

Internal displacements due to the recent evictions under Operation Murambatsvina (May-July 2005) and cross-border migration have significantly impacted vulnerable groups such as AIDS-affected families, orphans, the elderly and widows. Those displaced from resettled farms and urban areas generally have poor access to priority interventions such as shelter, food, water and sanitation, and HIV and AIDS care and treatment.

Humanitarian agencies are constrained by an inadequate operating environment due to continued uncertainty around the operational response mechanisms as well as the increasingly high operating costs imposed by the unfavorable exchange rate in the country. International and national humanitarian NGOs are also facing significant bureaucratic and practical restrictions on their ability to operate. Some still have to complete a complex and yet to be formalized registration process, while at the same time investing significant time and resources in seeking work permits for international staff.

Over the past five years, donors have provided support for humanitarian assistance for Zimbabwe through the United Nations specialized agencies and international and national NGOs. The humanitarian priorities in 2006 are to support social protection mechanisms and strengthen livelihoods in communities highly affected by the protracted humanitarian situation, and to implement community safety net programmes for facilitating the transition from humanitarian assistance-dependency to rehabilitation of the
household livelihood capacity.

OCHA, in consultation with the Government of Zimbabwe (GoZ) and all partners, will transform the existing team into a small office to ensure continued capacity in support of the humanitarian programming and to facilitate the interface between humanitarian relief and development issues. OCHA will aim to reduce the existing dependence and support sustainable solutions and a humanitarian strategy will be elaborated to ensure a progressive transition from humanitarian to recovery programming. OCHA will strengthen its coordination capacity for facilitating analysis, humanitarian assessment and response, and for ensuring transparency among all key stakeholders through the setting up of an efficient financial tracking system of contributions for purpose of accountability to beneficiaries and donors. More efforts will need to be put into building a common understanding with the GoZ on key policy areas impacting on livelihoods, food security, and access to basic services.

Overall, the humanitarian situation remains generally precarious as the recent displacements from the evictions and demolitions have created a new caseload of populations in need of assistance and more permanent housing and livelihood solutions are unlikely to be completed by the end of 2006.

Activities:

  • Develop a coordinated analysis among humanitarian stakeholders, including the GoZ on humanitarian priorities.
  • Assist and support the Humanitarian Coordinator, the field IASC and the overall UN country team and NGOs to ensure a coordinated humanitarian approach, programming, common services, response and contingency planning.
  • Carry out regular multi-sectoral field assessments and ensure a coordinated and timely response to the needs of impacted population.
  • Establish effective co-ordination within and among sectors.
  • Monitor the implementation of the 2006 Humanitarian Programming Document with the full participation of all key stakeholders.
  • Contribute to raising the funds for the humanitarian response.
  • Establish with all the stakeholders a disaster preparedness strategy (early warning, action preparedness and response).
  • Promote humanitarian principles through training of the various actors, regular field visits, consultations with various actors and advocacy.
  • Improve the humanitarian protection to vulnerable people and to other marginalized groups through principled assessments, response and advocacy.
  • Produce timely, relevant and multi-sectoral information on the ongoing humanitarian situation and response and disseminate to relevant stakeholders.
  • Regularly update the Who Does What Where database, including financial tracking information on humanitarian response and capacities of the different partners, including information on type of assistance, intended target group and implementing partnerships.

Indicators:

  • Percentage of recommendations from humanitarian working groups that are implemented.
  • Overall funding received for the humanitarian response.
  • Percent of funding received for critical sectors.
  • Number and percent of sectoral working groups that are fully functioning (as documented by minutes from meetings, sectoral strategies, etc.).
ZIMBABWE
Planned Staffing Extra-budgetary
Professional
6
National
12
Local (GS)
4
UN Volunteers
-
Total
22
Staff costs (US$)
1,799,435
Non-staff costs (US$)
410,529
Total costs (US$)
2,209,964

 


Regional Office for Central and East Africa


The Regional Office for Central and East Africa (RO-CEA) covers 12 countries and keeps a watching brief on Chad in the East and Central Africa region. The CEA region is comprised of countries at various points on the conflict-development continuum. Conflict continues to rage in four countries of the region (DRC, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda) including in three where there are United Nations Missions. The 19-year old insurgency in Northern Uganda by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) persists, as does violent volatility in Eastern DRC, Darfur and eastern Sudan. In Bujumbura Rural and in several areas of Somalia, mainly in the central and south of the country, fighting continues. Kenya has and continues to be vulnerable to and to experience sporadic, cross-border violence with Ethiopia and Somalia, as well as in isolated internal pockets.

Conflicts in the region have resulted in the displacement of nearly 13 million people (internally displaced and refugees) in the region. Eighty percent of these are IDPs, reflecting the volatility of in-country conditions, mainly as a result of protracted conflicts (Sudan, Uganda and DRC). With transitions (in DRC, Burundi, Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, CAR and RoC), the sustainable return of refugees and IDPs remains a key challenge, especially with regard to the absorption capacity of countries of origin and the risk of spread of disease across countries’ borders as some of the two million refugees return. Massive human rights violations are prevalent in the region. As in many conflict contexts, the breakdown of judicial and law and order infrastructures has spawned a culture of impunity. Women and children remain the most vulnerable segments of the affected populations in the region.

Conflict aside, sporadic natural disasters also present emergency challenges in the CEA region. These are principally floods and drought that require constant monitoring and assistance. In much of the region, food requirements and contributions far surpass that for non-food items, undermining the efficacy of food assistance, which relies on a balance of needs being met. The key challenges remain to sustain and enhance resource mobilization activities for continuing and emergent needs in the region and for sustainable recovery.

OCHA established its first regional structure in 1996 in Nairobi, when the crisis in DRC (then Zaire) began, in order to adequately address its regional dimension and subsequent regional humanitarian consequences. At that time, the office’s scope was limited to the Great Lakes region. In 2002, OCHA decided to expand the coverage of the regional office to the Horn of Africa and to develop additional activities, especially that of support to country offices and UNCTs in the region and for preparedness. Since then, the usefulness of regional services – through the swift deployment of OCHA experts from the RO-CEA in the field as and when required – has been proven, both in terms of cost-efficiency and speed of response. As in other disaster-prone regions of the world, OCHA also has deployed a Regional Disaster Response Advisor in the Central and East Africa region. The RDRA is fully integrated in the RO-CEA and focuses on disaster management with a view to improving the regional actors' response in emergencies, enhancing their preparedness for natural disaster crises and developing regional mitigation strategies. In addition to its support role vis-a-vis country offices and UNCTs in the CEA region, the RO-CEA also ensures the regular coordination function at regional level, which encompasses information, disaster preparedness and response, advocacy and resource mobilization.

For 2006, the RO-CEA’s objectives are to: improve support and assistance to country offices and UN Country Teams; enhance regional planning and response, including the maintenance and development of appropriate disaster preparedness and response mechanisms and tools; advocate and mobilize resources for humanitarian needs in the region; and improve the quality of information services provided at regional level.

Activities:

  • Provide backstopping/surge capacity and technical support, as well as training to OCHA country offices and UN Country Teams.
  • Develop cross-border preparedness and planning, sectoral and thematic coordination, and emergency response mechanisms.
  • Organize and facilitate regional CAP workshop and other CAP strategy meetings, liaise with donor community and maintain media network.
  • Act as the lead agency for the Humanitarian and Social Issues cluster of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region.
  • Develop information management mechanisms, tools and outputs, and elaborate, consolidate and disseminate analytical reports on affected populations, regional trends, cross-border issues, emerging and forgotten crises.

Indicators:

  • Number of surge capacity/technical support missions.
  • Number and quality of training sessions, and number of people trained.
  • Endorsement and effective implementation of regional strategy by key partners.
  • Adoption by the IASC of a regional planning and response strategy.
RO – CENTRAL & EAST AFRICA
Planned Staffing Extra-budgetary
Professional
8
National
2
Local (GS)
3
UN Volunteers
-
Total
13
Staff costs (US$)
1,681,226
Non-staff costs (US$)
355,272
Total costs (US$)
2,036,498

 


Regional Office for Southern Africa


In 2006, southern Africa will experience an acute phase of the chronic crisis that has beleaguered the region since 2002. Food insecurity continues to haunt the lives of millions and to exacerbate the vulnerability of the poor and those suffering from HIV/AIDS and other life threatening diseases. The failure of the harvest in several countries in the region, notably Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe, has made the situation for more than 10 million people extremely fragile. This acute phase challenges the capacity and resources of governments in the region to secure the basic human needs of their people.

While the food crisis was originally attributed to drought, closer analysis showed that the roots of the crisis were much deeper than the force of nature. This realization brought with it a need to rethink responses and to develop innovative approaches to meet the needs of the most vulnerable across the region. Since the beginning of 2004, the work of the UN has been guided by the “triple threat” approach – tackling food insecurity, AIDS and weakened capacity for governance at the same time.

The triple threat approach, developed under the leadership of the Special Envoy for Southern Africa with support from OCHA’s Regional Office for Southern Africa (RO-SA), acknowledges that southern Africa requires simultaneous humanitarian and development action. Accordingly, the UN and its partners have requested that donors support actions that address immediate needs while simultaneously addressing long term needs. In a region where life expectancy, human capacity and economic indicators have been in reverse for several years, largely due to the impact of HIV/AIDS, the conventional concept of “recovery” has little meaning. The region will continue to experience “shocks” from natural hazards such as floods, droughts and cyclones. However, the region’s endemic poverty and vulnerability have meant that assistance is geared toward arresting the decline in human development indicators.

The OCHA Regional Office has been at the forefront of identifying humanitarian needs and shaping strategies for effective and appropriate responses in the region. The Inter-Agency Regional Humanitarian Strategic Framework for southern Africa, developed by OCHA RO-SA in partnership with UN agencies and NGOs, provides a base for short and long term responses. Under the Framework, humanitarian and development agencies undertake joint actions that address immediate needs while also working to reduce the negative impact of vulnerability to future shocks and risks and build livelihood resilience. The challenge for 2006 is to strengthen partnerships and to mobilize resources to implement actions within the Framework.

A major component of the OCHA RO-SA strategy is to strengthen information management capacity at the regional level, within the Resident Coordinator’s system and with national disaster management authorities. In this regard, the Southern Africa Humanitarian Information Management network (SAHIMS) will continue to deploy training and support activities, targeting technical operatives as well as senior managers, to ensure that effective, integrated information management for preparedness and response is fully realised.

OCHA’s role in southern Africa in 2006 remains key, not only to strengthen disaster response preparedness and to facilitate coordinated delivery of humanitarian assistance, but also to support the dynamic process of UN reform that is underway in the region – specifically geared to address the challenges of the triple threat. The mix of factors that are contributing to deepening and widening vulnerability demands vigilance that only OCHA, with its advocacy and information management capabilities, can provide. To effectively respond to the growth of demand for our services, there is a modest increase in budget requirements.

In keeping with this, the RO-SAs objectives for 2006 are to: provide strategic and operational coordination services at the regional level along with coordination support for preparedness and response to the Resident Coordinator System (RCS); strengthen advocacy and communication for humanitarian response, access and protection, resource mobilisation and partnerships; facilitate resource mobilisation for humanitarian action; and support information management (SAHIMS).

Activities:

  • Engage actively within the Regional Director’s Team to ensure a strengthened, coordinated UN response to the triple threat.
  • Support the Special Envoy to facilitate strategic direction to the regional operations.
  • Deliver efficient secretariat functions for regional IASC forum (RIACSO) for coordinated planning and response.
  • Ensure situation monitoring and analysis of risks for early warning.
  • Ensure coordinated IASC support to five year Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) regional programme on strengthening vulnerability assessment and analysis.
  • Provide training and develop capacity for preparedness, contingency planning, and assessments. In collaboration with UNDP, strengthen national capacity for disaster risk management.
  • Provide information management tools (databases, mapping, data dissemination, etc), training and capacity development and facilitate national information-sharing platforms for disaster management.
  • Coordinate regional inter-agency advocacy efforts. Spearhead advocacy on HIV/AIDS and emergencies.
  • Map risks and vulnerability for early warning and response.
  • Develop SAHIMS.NET website as a regional information portal.
  • Organise training events and the promotion of best practices in data standards, collection, analysis, dissemination, communication.

Indicators:

  • Continued satisfaction of support functions provided to key clients (Special Envoy, IASC/ RIACSO partners, RCS, donors).
  • Number of UN staff receiving support and training from SAHIMS.
  • Number and percent of Vulnerability Assessment Committee (VAC) led assessments result in adequate data to determine assistance needs.
  • Amount and percentage of resources mobilized through the CAP for emergency activities across the region.
  • Extent of flexibility applied by donors in their allocation of funds to address the ‘triple threat’.
RO – SOUTHERN AFRICA
Planned Staffing Extra-budgetary
Professional
7
National
1
Local (GS)
7
UN Volunteers
-
Total
15
Staff costs (US$)
1,315,777
Non-staff costs (US$)
346,176
Total costs (US$)
1,661,953

 


Regional Office for West Africa


The over-all human security environment in West Africa continued to deteriorate throughout 2005. Even peaceful countries bordering on crisis areas are severely affected by the slow but steady deterioration of the region’s overall human security environment. The lack of solutions to protracted tensions exacerbates humanitarian needs by further degrading the coping abilities of civilian populations who have traditionally used migration to mitigate temporary stresses on their livelihoods. As such, the strategic planning assumption adopted by OCHA since the establishment of its regional presence, reflecting a deterioration of the human security environment in West Africa across the region, has unfortunately proven to be realistic.

Initially set up in Abidjan in 2002 and transferred to Dakar in June 2003, the OCHA Regional Office for West Africa (ROWA) was established to improve coordination of more effective humanitarian assistance and foster stronger partnership with development and political actors as well as donors at a regional level in West Africa. The ROWA supports UN Humanitarian Coordinators and Regional Coordinators across the region with strategic and technical coordination and information tools, and also facilitates coordination between regional UN, NGO, Red Cross and governmental bodies. In addition, the office has an advisory role for the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for West Africa.

The ROWA expects requests for support from Country Teams and governments to increase in 2006. This is not only due to the deterioration of the human security environment, but also to the increased awareness of humanitarian principles and internationally established response mechanisms. In order to respond to such an increase for strategic guidance and technical support, the OCHA Regional Office will in 2006 have to build the expertise needed to respond to a wide variety of crises occurring simultaneously.

Meeting this challenge will require placing an even heavier focus on information management and early warning systems as it relates to vulnerability monitoring and early action; further expanding its coordination leadership to a larger and broader constituency on humanitarian matters; facilitating inter-agency early action, and ensuring a more cost effective response; reinforcing its advisory and technical support capacity to governments and UN country teams; developing regional capacity to prevent and mitigate natural disasters; expanding its ability to advocate for the rights of victims; mobilizing resources for neglected crises; and facilitating the search for new and innovative solutions to vulnerability reduction.

In light of this, OCHA’s key objectives for 2006 are to: foster ongoing strategic and operational coordination efforts across the region; contribute to the improvement of protection and the reduction of vulnerability in West Africa caused by humanitarian crises, including silent emergencies and natural disasters; and improve the use of information management and advocacy for decision making and resource mobilisation.

Activities:

  • Strengthen regional IASC-mirrored coordination structure (technical and strategic levels) and Emergency Response Task Force (coordination meetings, joint inter-agency missions, regular and surge support to UN country teams and governments).
  • Formulate and update contingency plans and other preparedness instruments.
  • Build capacities among ECOWAS member states for natural disaster mitigation.
  • Coordinate joint activities with the UN Office for West Africa on cross-border issues and support routine interactions with other UN Peace Missions across the region.
  • Advise the SRSG for West Africa and regional governments on humanitarian matters.
  • Operate and coordinate regional networks of protection experts, information officers, surge capacity coordination officers, etc.
  • Reinforce the capacity of UN country teams in West Africa to assess, monitor and respond to vulnerability reduction needs related to complex emergencies and natural disasters.
  • Consolidate the Information Management Unit of the office to facilitate decision-making and advocacy.

Indicators:

  • Frequency of joint inter-agency activities on coordination, planning, monitoring and response with inclusion of NGOs, governments and donors.
  • Number of UN contingency plans developed and updated yearly in risky countries of the region.
  • RO surge capacity is used timely and effectively in the event of an emerging crisis as determined by lessons learnt.
  • Percentage of funding against requirements mobilized through the CAP or flash appeals for emergency activities across the region.
  • Number of countries implementing the protection strategy.
  • Number of countries implementing the Disaster Management Strategy by September 2006.
  • A PI/Advocacy Unit is established and an Advocacy Strategy is formulated by mid-2006.
RO – WEST AFRICA
Planned Staffing Extra-budgetary
Professional
10
National
14
Local (GS)
5
UN Volunteers
1
Total
30
Staff costs (US$)
2,187,261
Non-staff costs (US$)
639,023
Total costs (US$)
2,826,284