OCHA in 2007
Activities and Extra-Budgetary Funding Requirements

coordination activities in the field


 

REGIONAL OFFICE FOR CENTRAL AND EAST AFRICA


The Regional Office for Central and East Africa (ROCEA) covers 14 countries, 11 of which have an OCHA presence. OCHA's most recently established presence, in Kenya, operates under the supervision of ROCEA to support the Resident Coordinator system.

The CEA region is home to more than 13 million displaced persons - both IDPs and refugees. A return and reintegration process is being established following successful political agreements. However, open conflict, violent ethnic and resource-based clashes, as well as sudden onset and/or recurrent natural disasters, including droughts, floods, and irregular rainfall, complicate already fragile political and economic contexts. The shortened recovery period between emergencies means populations are in constant need of relief and in competition for scarce resources, which continues to fuel tensions among communities whose coping capacities are already strained to the limit.

Several countries in the Horn of Africa are still coping with the effects of the worst drought in decades, now complicated by recent flash flooding. The forthcoming rainy season may be insufficient for drought recovery.

Some countries are going through post-conflict transition linked to fragile economies and weak overall governance, and civil authority is not uniformly established. The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Burundi, Central African Republic (CAR), Chad and Republic of Congo are all transitioning politically, and recovery and socio-economic development has not taken sufficient hold to avert serious humanitarian need. The humanitarian situations in Darfur, Sudan and eastern Chad are also key concerns as violent attacks displace thousands and reduce access to populations in need. The targeting of humanitarian workers is a worrying trend.

Life-threatening diseases such as cholera are prevalent, malaria is endemic to the region and HIV/AIDS continues to be a serious concern. Previously eradicated diseases have re-emerged, including polio in the Horn and the bubonic plague in the DRC. Environmental degradation also has a strong and often unrecognised impact on livelihoods in the region.

Kenya's three successive cycles of drought have decimated livelihoods and exacerbated the vulnerability of households in the pastoralist districts, which are already suffering from decades of under-development due to chronic inequity and poverty. Infant and maternal mortality rates in these districts are significantly higher than national averages while very low education enrolment rates reinforce the marginality of pastoralism within national development and economic policy. There is long-term displacement due to the political violence of the 1990s, and subsequent pastoralist displacement due to drought, floods and resource-based clashes. Kenya now has nearly 400,000 IDPs living in makeshift settlements. Depleted pasture and water resources have intensified armed conflict, particularly amongst nomads. Border areas continue to experience sporadic clashes, sometimes linked with the Ethiopia/Somalia situation.

A mixture of political, religious, and clan tensions in Somalia threatens to degenerate into proxy or civil conflict. Although hope remains that the different factions can find an agreement and work together, worsening insecurity in Somalia may increase an already high refugee influx into Kenya.

Traditional humanitarian responses to drought - mostly based on food aid - are insufficient to address the complexity of problems within this region. The ROCEA will continue to network with development partners and regional institutions to initiate coordinated strategies to address structural causes of vulnerability. Emphasis will be placed on linking disaster preparedness/response activities with short- to medium- and long-term strategies, involving partners that are under-represented in this process. In line with continued efforts to better coordinate responses and solutions, advocacy and public information activities will be conducted with institutional partners, governments, and the donor community to raise the profile of human suffering in the region.

In Burundi, DRC, Central African Republic, and Republic of Congo the ROCEA will capitalize on political achievements through increased engagement, improved analytical reporting and dissemination of information, providing support to, and implementing, advocacy strategies, and facilitating workshops, conferences, and other discussions. The office will also reinforce disaster preparedness activities at a national level.

The Kenya presence will focus on advocacy and policy initiatives to support recovery in the pastoralist districts and prepare for possible drought disaster in the event of a rain shortfall. Further emphasis will be placed on raising the profile of the approximately 400,000 internally displaced people and on enhancing sectoral coordination in the pastoralist districts. Dialogue between the United Nations, civil society and the government on IDP rights, on humanitarian and recovery issues will be revived and NGO involvement in these processes increased. A WWW database will be established to improve humanitarian planning and gap analysis and the office will be involved in joint assessments.

In 2007, ROCEA will increase its capacity in information management and technology. This upgraded capacity will allow ROCEA to provide a greater breadth of information products and enhance its support to field operations. A new post of Information Management Advisor will be created to support information management systems and tools. An additional new post will be filled to ensure a coordinated response to planning for an outbreak of Avian and Human Influenza at the regional level. This staff person will work in close cooperation with key technical agencies responsible for animal and human health and with the UN Special Influenza Coordinator. OCHA ROCEA will also conduct staff development initiatives to enhance the skills required to meet new and emerging humanitarian challenges.

Against this background, ROCEA's key objectives for 2007 are as follows:

Greater engagement and coordination with national and international NGOs and enhanced network with development partners: Recognizing that traditional humanitarian responses (mostly based on food aid) are insufficient in addressing the region's problems, the ROCEA will network with development partners, national and international NGOs and regional institutions to address structural causes of vulnerability in a coordinated fashion.

Improved, and publicly profiled, analysis of humanitarian trends and issues: ROCEA will monitor, analyze and report on trends and humanitarian issues in order to improve preparedness, early warning and response. It will also improve and create new key information products.

Strengthened information management and information technology: An improved information management capacity will contribute to ROCEA's ability to provide a greater breadth of information products and will also allow for support to information management and information technology capacity at field level.

Strengthened administrative support: In order to provide better support to disaster response activities, and in response to OCHA field office requests, ROCEA will provide support to installing operational administrative systems.

Key indicators for 2007
  • Number of partners from UNCT, governments and NGOs participating in ROCEA sponsored activities such as joint analysis missions and regional workshops and percent of new partners participating
  • Percent of increased funding levels for neglected emergencies in the region
  • Number of OCHA country offices with strengthened IMIT capacity
  • Number of offices where the administrative capacity has been improved

RO-NAIROBI

Planned Staffing
Extra-budgetary

Professional
9
National
4
Local (GS)
2
UN Volunteers
0
Total
15

Staff costs (US$)
1,835,002
Non-staff costs (US$)
586,543

Total costs (US$)
2,421,545


 

RO-NAIROBI AHI

Planned Staffing
Extra-budgetary

Professional
1
National
1
Local (GS)
0
UN Volunteers
0
Total
2

Staff costs (US$)
238,778
Non-staff costs (US$)
90,739

Total costs (US$)
329,517


OFFICE FOR SOUTHERN AFRICA


OCHA's Regional Office for Southern Africa (ROSA) covers 11 countries, four of which have an OCHA presence.

The southern Africa region continues to struggle against a background of natural disasters, a high incidence of HIV/AIDS and limited, and sometimes declining, national capacities to provide socio-economic stability. The region is prone to a variety of natural disasters including droughts, floods and cyclones. In 2006, floods and cyclones affected more than one million people in the region and erratic and dry weather conditions necessitated the provision of humanitarian assistance to more than 9.5 million people in eight countries. Additionally, regular and increased seismic activity in Mozambique and Zimbabwe reinforced the vulnerability of people within the region.

Although overall vulnerability across the region remains high, food security improved during 2006 thanks to significantly improved harvests in many countries. Good rains at the beginning of the year also contributed, as did the timely provision of inputs. Populations were exposed to other vulnerabilities, however, including water borne diseases. Specifically, cholera was more wide spread, more persistent and more deadly than previously. Major outbreaks were recorded in Angola, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe, and all proved difficult to control.

OCHA ROSA continues to provide strategic leadership and coordination for IASC partners in support of humanitarian efforts in the region. Building on the 2005 Humanitarian Strategic Framework for Southern Africa, ROSA will advocate for actions to address immediate humanitarian needs, and support work which strengthens preparedness and mitigates and reduces vulnerability to future shocks. A major component of OCHA's approach has been to strengthen information management capacity at the regional level, within the Resident Coordinator system and with national disaster management authorities. This work will continue in 2007 and OCHA ROSA will work to harmonise humanitarian information with systems that support the monitoring of progress toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

An area of focus in 2007 will be continued work in support of a coordinated response to an outbreak of Avian and Human Influenza (AHI). This work will be done in close collaboration with the key technical agencies responsible for animal and human health in the region and the United Nations Special Influenza Coordinator (UNSIC).

Against this background, ROSA's key objectives for 2007 are as follows:

Ensure region wide understanding of the humanitarian reform initiatives as part of wider UN reform agenda pursued by the Regional Directors Team (RDT): Within the overall framework of support for coordinated action provided by the RDT, ROSA will ensure country level training supporting preparedness and contingency planning. This will include dedicated sessions on the use and application of the cluster approach as well as on the CERF. The office will actively pursue the broad participation of NGOs.

Coherent approach in the delivery of humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable in the southern African region: ROSA will provide strategic and operational coordination support services to regional partners as well as to UNCTs through the Resident Coordinator system. Strategic coordination support will involve engagement within the framework of the UN Regional Directors Team. Operational coordination support functions will include ongoing facilitation and maintenance of regional contingency plans and the coordination of IASC support for the implementation of the five year SADC regional programme on strengthening vulnerability assessment and analysis.

Improved and publicly profiled analysis of regional and country humanitarian trends and issues: ROSA will monitor, analyze and report on trends and humanitarian issues in order to improve preparedness, early warning and response. The quality of the key information products such as the RIACSO bulletin and the quarterly early warning and early action reports will be improved. Enable more rapid response to humanitarian need: When a natural disaster affects any country in the region, ROSA will provide direct support to the Resident Coordinator to lead a timely and effective international response. This will include the preparation of appeals, the facilitation and access to emergency grants, the provision of surge capacity, advocacy and information management services.

More coherent and sharpened advocacy on humanitarian needs and issues in the region: ROSA will provide leadership for a regional inter-agency advocacy group, which, over the course of the year, communicates messages through a variety of channels that highlight the humanitarian needs and issues. This will include messaging for prevention and mitigation of threats to lives and livelihoods from avian and human influenza, HIV/AIDS as well as other threats from natural disasters.

Increased incorporation of humanitarian principles and disaster risk reduction into UN and national planning efforts: In collaboration with UNDP/BCPR and ISDR and in support of the Regional Directors Team, ROSA will provide direct programming support to CTs to ensure humanitarian principles and preparedness actions are incorporated in all UNDAFs and PRSPs mainly through participation in joint programming support missions.

Key indicators for 2007

Number of new emergencies and preparedness planning activities where the cluster approach is implemented

  • Number of partners and CTs endorsing regional strategy
  • Number and percent of emergency situations flagged by early warning reports
  • Number of country based preparedness and response information platforms established and supported
  • Number of joint initiatives undertaken by IASC Advocacy group
  • Number and percent of plans incorporating humanitarian principles and disaster risk reduction