OCHA in 2007
Activities and Extra-Budgetary Funding Requirements

coordination activities in the field


 

Colombia


Colombia is among the most violent countries in the world, having endured internal armed conflict for the past 45 years. In addition to the humanitarian consequences of the armed conflict, Colombia is also prone to major natural disasters including high-magnitude earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Annual rainy seasons cause landslides and floods, further affecting at-risk communities.

In 2006, armed confrontations in Columbia were widespread, putting more than 100 communities at-risk. Approximately 162,000 IDPs were recorded in 2006, approximately 1,100 landmine victims were recorded during 2005, and approximately 11,000 children were in the ranks of non-State armed actors. Within this context, the GoC has finalized the demobilization of all paramilitary forces, numbering some 32,000.

The Government of Colombia and the International Community have relied on the work of humanitarian organizations to complement the government's humanitarian operation. Currently, provisions for humanitarian action are contained within the Sixth Block of the International Cooperation Strategy, set to directly assist approximately 3 million IDPs and a broad range of victims suffering the consequences of extended internal armed conflict. Special emphasis is placed on ethnic minorities, as nearly 1 million IDPs are indigenous and afro-Colombian.

The Community Partnership Team (formerly IASC-CT) will be finalizing a Common Humanitarian Action Plan (CHAP) aimed at: 1) promoting an integral response by the State; 2) Raising awareness and understanding of the humanitarian crisis and promoting the complementary response of Colombian civil society and the international community; 3) Providing humanitarian assistance and rapid response to emergencies; and, 4) Increasing synergies and coordination for humanitarian response through a validated Cluster Approach, respecting the basic principles of accountability, predictability and partnership.

OCHA will support the HC/RC in these efforts, key partners will be found within the Community Partnership Team and three Thematic Groups (Protection, Assistance and Services and Early Recovery) at the national and field levels. The key challenges for 2007 will be to ensure an adequate response to the humanitarian needs created by the shifting nature of the internal armed conflict. In particular, assistance will be required by almost 3 million IDPs, landmine victims, child soldiers and those forcibly recruited, and other at-risk communities. There is the potential for additional humanitarian need in territories led by paramilitaries once demobilization occurs. Similarly, peace-talks with the National Liberation Army (ELN) and possibly with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) will continue to be at the top of the agenda for UN organizations in the country. Finally, a focus on natural disasters, which tangentially have a major impact on IDPs in settlement zones, will require an expanded alliance with key actors such as ICRC, Columbian Red Cross and the United States Office for Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), among others.

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

Strengthening and broadening in-country coordination: OCHA Colombia will focus on supporting the collective efforts of the humanitarian community, through the finalization of a fully functional cluster system. The prolific number of actors and the complex diversity of humanitarian situations require increasing in-country coordination efforts based on collective decisions taken through humanitarian coordination mechanisms at national and local levels. OCHA's value-add will be to foster bridges between civil society organizations, the UN system and government and donors at the national and local levels. The field presence of OCHA will facilitate local preparedness planning processes and allow broad-based training on humanitarian issues. This will be done in accordance with UN reform priorities.

Improved analysis of humanitarian trends, events and situations: Information sharing through the Humanitarian Situation Room shall be the cornerstone underlining all coordination efforts. By improving and publicly profiling analysis of humanitarian trends and issues at the national and local levels, OCHA will ensure adequate comprehension on the impact of conflict, promoting common advocacy policies and specific principle capacities of humanitarian actors, conducting advocacy activities through the national press, leading to heightened awareness regarding humanitarian issues and principles. OCHA's value-add will be the provision of early information and analysis to the humanitarian actors to ensure that humanitarian response is carried out in an integral and non-duplicative manner, better delivering humanitarian assistance to a larger number of beneficiaries affected by both complex emergencies and natural disasters. Training efforts will also include information management processes. This effort will take into account UN reform priorities and new organizational structures per IASC mission recommendations.

Key indicators for 2007
  • Number and percentage of fully functioning sector committees/clusters
  • Percentage of people affected by emergencies reached through humanitarian assistance
  • Number of local preparedness planning processes facilitated by OCHA
  • Number of OCHA trainings incorporating humanitarian issues

COLOMBIA

Planned Staffing
Extra Budgetary

Professional
7
National
14
Local (GS)
4
UN Volunteers
1
Total
26

Staff costs (US$)
2,195,237
Non-staff costs (US$)
698,170

Total costs (US$)
2,893,407



Haiti

A successful electoral process in early 2006 led to the election of a new President and the constitution of a new Government. However, Haiti continues to suffer from steady economic and social degradation, coupled by the impact of devastating natural disasters and environmental degradation, especially in rural areas. There has also been an increase in crime and violence and the systematic abuse of human rights. The profile of social indicators continues to be very low, with more than forty percent of the population food insecure. Malnutrition rates are high and much of the population has limited access to health and basic social services, including potable water. This situation is further aggravated by the recent expulsion of more than 35,000 Haitians from the Dominican Republic; the internal displacement of more than 100,000 persons from the slum areas of Port-au-Prince; and the increased activity by illegal armed groups operating in the capital. This is causing an estimated 200,000 people to live in a hostage-like situation under dire conditions, and requires a principled humanitarian intervention.

The newly elected Government and its development partners have agreed to a close linkage between stabilization and the country's development record. Stabilization requires a concerted approach to address the humanitarian, social and economic needs of the people, and in a country like Haiti that is prone to natural disasters, stabilization also demands effective mechanisms for disaster management to protect its vulnerable population and safeguard any development gain. While the extension of the Interim Cooperation Framework (ICF) focuses on the medium-term development concerns to the end of 2007, a Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) process has been initiated to prepare the ground for long-term development planning. The Programme d'Appaisement Social (PAS) is the government's key response to provide short-term, high-impact, rapid emergency assistance at the communal level. The socio-economic stabilization process counts on the UN collectively and requires a review and reinforcement of existing coordination structures in order to better support the Humanitarian/Resident Coordinator (H/RC) and the United Nations Country Team (UNCT), while providing an improved focus on the humanitarian issues.

Essential changes are necessary in Haiti before coordination and information management systems can achieve greater synergy and enhance a cohesive approach among the UN Agencies, NGOs, the international community, the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), and Haitian Government institutions. Such an approach will facilitate support to the Government authorities at central, departmental and local levels. In this context, activities on disaster preparedness and response are a priority, in close cooperation with the UNDP Risk and Disaster Management Project, UN Agencies, MINUSTAH, NGOs and Government institutions. It is essential to create a solidly and substantively cooperative environment with all actors in order to reinforce the capacities of the Haitian Government, especially in partnership with the international community, particularly in its humanitarian, early recovery and disaster preparedness roles.

Against this background, OCHA's key objectives in 2007 will be:

Greater engagement and coordination with national and international NGOs, and strengthened in-country coordination: OCHA will ensure a more inclusive system of coordination, allowing an improved and more global picture of humanitarian and recovery activities. OCHA in Haiti will work with partners to identify and agree on sectoral priority needs and strategies that will allow a timely response to people's needs.

More coherent and accurate advocacy on humanitarian issues and principles: OCHA will ensure the development of a multi-sectoral global needs and vulnerability diagnostic tool and support the formation of a common humanitarian strategy.

Greater incorporation of risk reduction objectives into humanitarian strategies, including recovery and transition: OCHA will promote the inclusion of objectives from the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) on risk reduction, into the National Plan on Natural Disasters. OCHA will also ensure that areas most prone to natural disaster are integrated into the UN framework assistance program for 2008.

Key indicators for 2007
  • Number of sectoral meetings/clusters that meet at least monthly; degree of satisfaction of key stakeholders with OCHA coordination (survey)
  • Percentage of people affected by emergencies that receive humanitarian assistance
  • Number of joint needs' assessment missions conducted by UN Agencies, Government counterparts and NGOs; number of meetings with UN Agency and humanitarian partner focal points on common humanitarian strategy
  • National action plan to implement Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) adopted by the Directorate of Civil Protection within the National Plan for natural disasters by end of the year; number of Appeal projects that contain disaster risk reduction (DRR) objectives

HAITI

Planned Staffing
Extra Budgetary

Professional
2
National
2
Local (GS)
1
UN Volunteers
0
Total
5

Staff costs (US$)
369,492
Non-staff costs (US$)
281,935

Total costs (US$)
651,427