OCHA in 2009 Cover
Map of ROSEA

Regional Office for Southern and Eastern Africa


Fast Facts

There are five Consolidated Appeals in the region in 2010, totaling US$ 2.6 billion in humanitarian assistance. In Southern and Eastern Africa, more work is needed to strengthen regional and national response and preparedness capacities due to the increasing frequency of natural disasters, including trans-boundary disasters, and growing population movements – resulting from compounded pressures on livelihoods, including conflict. Specific concerns include:

Historically, OCHA has led coordination in humanitarian planning preparedness and response coordination out of both Johannesburg and Nairobi. In 2010, the coordination from Nairobi will be undertaken through a SRO, reporting to the Regional Office in Johannesburg. OCHA possesses the knowledge, expertise and credibility to bring United Nations and non-United Nations partners together around agreed priorities. OCHA can leverage this cooperation both in support of intergovernmental regional bodies, as well as through the RC/HC system in support of national level action. As an active member of the United Nations RDT for East and Southern Africa, OCHA can support and mobilize the system to act on humanitarian priorities with greater predictability and accountability. As the custodian of IASC emergency response tools and services, it can support inter-agency humanitarian partnerships and action in the region with authority, as well as the buy-in of all key stakeholders. Lastly, OCHA IM capacities are among the few that can provide multi-sectoral analysis to humanitarian decision makers.

In 2010, OCHA will continue to promote a greater understanding of underlying vulnerability in the region through the synthesis and analysis of varied data in support of decision-making. In particular, OCHA will facilitate interactions between regional and national meteorologists to inform planning for possible hazard- related impacts in all key sectors. OCHA will use these conclusions to: (i) annually update national multi-hazard contingency plans; and, (ii) expand the use of inter-agency disaster simulations in the region, by building on existing best practice adapted to the Southern and Eastern Africa context. In Southern Africa, OCHA will also support the harmonization and refinement of existing assessment tools and methodologies, through the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Regional and National Vulnerability Assessment Committees. OCHA will ensure greater incorporation of crosscutting issues, such as protection, gender and HIV/AIDS, in assessments of both sudden and slow onset crisis. Furthermore, OCHA will develop guidance for countries in early warning, preparedness and response for drought.

ROSEA will act as the first responder for humanitarian coordination needs resulting from disasters in countries where there is no OCHA presence. ROSEA will also work closely with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to provide technical support and guidance to countries in transition.

OCHA will facilitate the development of a collaborative framework for system-wide support to the establishment of SADC Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Unit and implementation of its regional DRR strategy. OCHA will also continue to support annual consultations between SADC Member States and its international cooperating partners to measure progress towards the implementation of a minimum set of agreed response preparedness priorities and address gaps. In Eastern Africa, OCHA will support the development of inter-agency strategy for engagement with regional bodies on a disaster risk reduction agenda.

OCHA will lead the development of a Management Accountability Framework for regional humanitarian coordination in Southern Africa that ensures more predictable, appropriate and comprehensive support to countries for preparedness and response. OCHA will seek to build consensus for the same in Eastern Africa. It will also support the development of inclusive humanitarian coordination fora in countries with limited humanitarian capacity and strengthen cluster lead coordination capacities through targeted training. OCHA will continue its systematic engagement with operational partners in Southern and Eastern Africa.

OCHA will also expand its cooperation with global cluster leads, think tanks, universities and other actors with the aim to improve the analysis of, and further humanitarian action in at least five of the countries supported. Specifically, cooperation with the global protection cluster will help humanitarian operations to more systematically address protection concerns in natural disasters and in large scale irregular migration in Southern Africa, both from within the region itself, and from the Horn and Great Lakes regions.

Supporting Regional Disaster Preparedness

Over the past several years, to mitigate the impact of disasters – in particular the extreme impact of climate change – OCHA in Southern Africa has spearheaded international humanitarian community efforts to ensure minimum preparedness measures at the national level. Southern Africa is currently experiencing earlier and more erratic rainy seasons; an increase in the number of Category Four and Five cyclones in the Indian Ocean Basin; shortened drought cycles; and higher sea levels.

Since 2007, OCHA has thus supported SADC, its Member States and their partners to:

The result has been improved collaboration between SADC national disaster managers and their international cooperating partners in preparing for and responding to disasters. This has led to: