Country Offices: Africa

Central African Republic

Key Facts
  • The Central African Republic (CAR) is rated 159 out of 169 on the Human Development Index.
  • The population is 4.5 million. Up to 36 per cent of the population is directly affected by conflict.
  • There are 192,000 Internally Displaced Persons in CAR and 162,000 Central African refugees in Cameroon and Chad.
  • CAR hosts 31,500 refugees, mainly from DRC and Sudan.
  • The 2010 CAP requested $145 million in 2010, of which $64 million (44 per cent) was received.


OCHA operates within a complex, volatile and evolving environment in CAR. Despite improved political dialogue between feuding parties, Central Africans still face chronic vulnerability due to sporadic conflicts. In some regions of the country, signs of early recovery include the safe return of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to their villages of origin. In other regions, renewed violence threatens an already dire humanitarian situation.

OCHA has been instrumental in consolidating the
humanitarian coordination system to address these recurrent threats. It has advanced and supported nine fully functioning clusters, including updating strategies and implementation plans. When faced with new humanitarian emergencies, OCHA takes the lead in coordinating rapid responses by establishing ad hoc operational task forces. It also leads advocacy efforts with national forces and non-state actors to promote respect for International Humanitarian Law. In 2009, OCHA-led negotiations secured a humanitarian corridor between north CAR and the Chadian border, allowing food assistance for 19,000 refugees.

In 2011, OCHA will work to reinforce coherence between humanitarian action and early recovery, peace consolidation and development initiatives. It will improve the quality of the Consolidated Appeal Process (CAP) by expanding and enhancing consultations with the Government, national and international NGOs, United Nations entities and donors.

The scheduled January 2011 presidential and parliamentary elections should encourage the further return of IDPs and refugees. OCHA will support the development of an IDP strategy to enable safe and voluntary movements. Villages have been attacked by the Lord’s Resistance Army, which originally based itself in south-east CAR but is now in the north-east. In response, the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) has requested OCHA to lead negotiations with non-state actors on humanitarian access. This will include those yet to join the peace process.

The cluster system will also benefit from improved leadership and stronger ownership in 2011. OCHA will support the Humanitarian Coordinator in leading the humanitarian system through continuous engagement with cluster leads and co-leads. Through its tools and services, OCHA will support the inter-cluster framework and ensure a consistent approach to cross-sector issues.

OCHA will also organize inter-agency assessments in areas affected by violence. Results from assessments will be summarized and analysed by the respective clusters, and will feed into an updated Needs Analysis Framework. In consultation with the HCT and the inter-cluster forums, OCHA will the review the prioritization criteria applied to CAP projects and used during the Common Humanitarian Fund and the Central Emergency Response Fund allocation process.


Key Facts
  • Chad is ranked 163 out of 169 on the Human Development Index.
  • The population is 11.5 million. Approximately 1.6 million Chadians are affected by the food-security crisis in the Sahel belt.
  • The worst cholera epidemic in a decade has affected over 2,000 people and caused over 200 deaths.
  • Chad hosts 314,000 refugees from Sudan and CAR. There are 170,000 Internally Displaced Persons in the country.
  • The revised 2010 CAP requested $544 million, of which $332 million (61 per cent) was received, with significant inequalities among the sectors.


The humanitarian situation in Chad includes several challenges: malnutrition and food insecurity in the west and the centre; the continuing but slow return of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and the prevalence of vulnerable households in the east; the continued presence of refugees in the east and south; and the imminent departure of the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT) before the end of 2010. The number of security incidents has substantially decreased, but the nature and gravity of recent incidents continue to be a great concern.

The food crisis in western and central areas affects the Sahel belt, specifically in Kanem, Bahr El Gazal, Guera and Batha regions. In eastern Chad, some IDPs are slowly returning to their places of origin or settling at third locations. However, the majority remain at the IDP sites and are still dependant on humanitarian aid.

OCHA is supporting the development of a return strategy for IDPs, taking into account their specific needs and reviewing the criteria for receiving humanitarian aid. It is critical that sustainable solutions form an integral part of the response plans for IDP assistance, and that the role of early recovery in the strategy is reinforced and supported.

OCHA provides support to the Humanitarian Country Team and the humanitarian community through the appeal-development process and subsequent resource mobilization, including through the Central Emergency Response Fund. With the departure of MINURCAT, OCHA should strengthen its coordination of humanitarian actors, national security forces and the Bureau de Sécurisation et des Mouvements. Inter-cluster coordination should be reinforced and the cluster approach strengthened with improved links to Government structures.

In 2011, OCHA will continue speaking out on behalf of vulnerable groups according to their level of vulnerability and not their status. A Gender Advisor will be deployed through the Inter-Agency Standing Committee-Norwegian Refugee Council Gender Standby Capacity Project to integrate gender-specific programming into all sectors of humanitarian response. OCHA will also increase training opportunities for local authorities, partners and security forces in early warning and emergency preparedness.

To strengthen common analysis and advocacy for the region and to ensure appropriate sub-regional contingency planning, OCHA will engage in closer collaboration with OCHA country offices in CAR and Sudan.

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Key Facts
  • The Democratic Republic of the Congo is ranked 168 out of 169 on the Human Development Index.
  • The population is 67.8 million. The average life expectancy is 45 years.
  • Over 1.7 million people were displaced due to attacks and armed confrontations in 2010.
  • The 2010 HAP requested $827 million, of which $427 million (52 per cent) was received.


Several humanitarian crises affect the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Each crisis has separate causes and dynamics related to different domestic and regional armed conflicts. However, they all share a background of widespread poverty, chronic instability, and continuous abuses against civilians by foreign and Congolese armed groups.

Poverty and weak state capacity to deliver basic services mean even areas without violent conflict face significant humanitarian challenges. High rates of malnutrition, child mortality and maternal mortality are widespread. Ongoing concerns are the recurrence of natural disasters, such as floods and landslides, and the risk of volcanic eruptions and earthquakes.

OCHA continues to be concerned with the protection of civilians and respect for international humanitarian law in conflict-affected areas where ordinary Congolese are victims of attacks, rapes, killings, lootings and property destruction. Hundreds of thousands of people have been forced to flee and are unable to meet their basic needs such as food, shelter, protection, health, education and access to clean water.

Humanitarian access is deteriorating, particularly in North and South Kivu where attacks on aid workers have intensified. A total of 142 attacks have been recorded in those areas since the beginning of 2010. As a result of insecurity, humanitarian relief operations in Haut and Bas Uélé have become increasingly dependent on escorts and patrols from the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO -
formerly MONUC).

Humanitarian access is continually frustrated by tax and administrative obstacles, the country’s size, its poor infrastructure, and the isolation of populations in need in areas such as Walikale, Shabunda and Minembwe.

DRC has hosted the world’s largest United Nations mission – MONUSCO – over the past 10 years. Its deployment remains crucial in supporting the Government in protecting civilians. The Government has voiced its intention to strengthen its leadership role in the reconstruction and development process in 2011. While this is encouraging, a dangerous vacuum could emerge should the mission be asked to lower its profile.

Through its main office in Kinshasa and 15 sub-offices in five conflict-affected provinces, OCHA has played a pivotal role in all aspects of the coordination, information management, advocacy and financing of the humanitarian response. As custodian of the Humanitarian Action Plan (HAP), OCHA facilitated the development of humanitarian strategies and was instrumental in distributing Central Emergency Response Fund and pooled fund allocations.

OCHA’s role has become critical in the relationships between humanitarians and the national and local authorities, civil society, donors and the diplomatic community. In support of the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-
General/Resident Coordinator/Humanitarian Coordinator, OCHA has been the link between the United Nations mission and the broader humanitarian community. With UNHCR, OCHA represents the humanitarian community at the MONUSCO Senior Management Group on Protection.

OCHA also coordinates hundreds of local and international humanitarian actors who are active across a wide swath of territory. Over the previous year, it bolstered its coordination capacity through establishing a Humanitarian Country Team.

Keeping humanitarian priorities on the agenda in 2011 will be a challenge for OCHA. While significant humanitarian needs remain, humanitarian action is at risk of being crowded out by other initiatives, such as the Government stabilization plan, the International Security and Stabilization Support Strategy, and other regional United Nations peace-consolidation programmes taking centre stage.

With the 2010 HAP just over half funded, OCHA will continue focusing its efforts on resource mobilization. The office will work to ensure that protection and early recovery are key pillars of the 2011 HAP and that the appeal is linked to partners’ longer-term initiatives.

In 2011, OCHA will support inter-cluster coordination so that cross-cutting issues, such as sexual and gender-based violence, HIV/AIDS and early recovery, are included in evaluations, response strategies and programming. It will also introduce coordination mechanisms with local authorities and humanitarian and development partners in relatively politically stable provinces that might still be prone to man-made or natural disasters. Advocacy for improved humanitarian access on behalf of the broader humanitarian community will continue to be a top priority.


Key Facts
  • Eritrea is one of several countries not ranked on the Human Development Index.
  • The population is 5.2 million.
  • Eritrea is vulnerable to climate variability, recurrent drought and food insecurity.
  • The unresolved border dispute with neighbouring Ethiopia has adversely affected Eritrea’s overall macro-economic situation, hampering efforts to bolster agriculture.


Located within the volatile Horn of Africa region, Eritrea is prone to drought, food insecurity and refugee outflows from neighbouring countries. Government policy on humanitarian action has emphasized self-reliance and cash-for-work programmes rather than free food distribution, and investment in long-term food security including mining and fisheries. Within this context, OCHA ensures that the needs of the most vulnerable people remain on the assistance community’s agenda.

Since the discontinuation of the consolidated appeal in 2006, the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) is the strategic framework that encompasses development and humanitarian programmes. The UNDAF aims to support the Government through an integrated multi-sector approach so that Internally Displaced Persons and affected populations can access basic services and secure their livelihoods.

OCHA faces many coordination challenges due to reduced access, a diesel embargo on the United Nations Country Team (UNCT) and lack of approval of NGOs as implementing partners for United Nations agencies. Despite a challenging operating environment, OCHA has systematically supported the Resident Coordinator/Humanitarian Coordinator’s (RC/HC’s) advocacy agenda to promote strategic coordination and dialogue on priority issues with the Government and partners. OCHA has also functioned as an honest broker in allocating funds from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF).

In 2011, OCHA will continue to play a pivotal role in ensuring that humanitarian concerns remain in the UNDAF framework. It will develop a resource mobilization strategy for Eritrea and support the RC/HC and the UNCT in consolidating CERF proposals.

In support of inter-cluster/sector coordination, tools and services will be provided in the critical areas of food security, health, nutrition, emergency education, livelihoods, mine action, and water, sanitation and hygiene. An inter-agency contingency plan will be developed ensuring emergency stocks and staff capacity are identified in agency regional hubs in case of sudden-onset emergencies.


Key Facts
  • Ethiopia is ranked 157 out of 169 on the Human Development Index.
  • The population is 84.9 million.
  • The country remains highly vulnerable to flooding and drought, heightened food insecurity, disease outbreaks and internal displacement.
  • A total of 7.8 million people continue to receive cash and/or food vouchers under the Productive Safety Net Programme.
  • The 2010 Humanitarian Requirements Document requested $286 million to meet the needs of 5.2 million beneficiaries.


There are numerous constraints to effective humanitarian preparedness and response in Ethiopia. These include poor transportation infrastructure in rural areas, ad hoc procedural measures by the Government and the prioritization of development over humanitarian assistance. There is also insufficient analysis of countrywide emergency non-food requirements to support the strengthening of the national needs assessment framework. The type and severity of constraints vary according to region, but are most acute in the Somali region.

Another important factor in the overall humanitarian environment is frequent cross-border population movements from neighbouring countries into Ethiopia. Migration occurs from Somalia into the Somali region; from Eritrea into the Tigray and Afar regions; from Sudan into Gambella and other Eastern areas; and from Kenya into southern pastoralist areas.

OCHA has provided critical support to the humanitarian community to address this difficult operational setting. It rolled out the access monitoring and reporting framework to better understand access constraints and their impact. It also supported joint advocacy for a standardized access-clearance process.

OCHA provides support for timely and comprehensive Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) assessments. It also promotes multi-hazard, multi-sectoral response planning at the regional level, particularly in Gambella and the Somali region. It has also worked to strengthen national capacity for preparedness and response planning.

In 2011, OCHA will further strengthen coordination, particularly at the operational level. It will continue to manage the Humanitarian Response Fund (HRF), an emergency funding mechanism established to address gaps in critical, life-saving response. From 2006 to 2009, the HRF allocated more than $105 million in assistance.

OCHA will ensure that the annual Humanitarian Requirements Document (HRD) includes the specific needs of IDPs and the total caseload of those in need of protection support. It will ensure there is agreement from the Humanitarian Country Team on operational aspects of needs assessments in advance of the annual planning cycle. OCHA will also facilitate the development of cluster-response plans to complement the strategies identified in the HRD.


Key Facts
  • Kenya is ranked 128 out of 169 on the Human Development Index.
  • The population is 40.8 million.
  • The number of people requiring food assistance declined from 3.8 million in August 2009 to 1.6 million by the 2010 mid-year review.
  • The country hosts 380,000 refugees from Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda.
  • The revised 2010 Emergency Humanitarian Response Plan for Kenya sought $585 million, of which $356 million (61 per cent) has been received.


Although acute emergency needs in Kenya have subsided, the country still faces a mix of humanitarian obstacles: chronic food insecurity and poverty; deepening socio-economic inequality; and spillover from neighbouring conflicts — the country hosts the highest number of refugees in Africa. Infectious diseases plague people, their livestock and their crops. Ethnic tensions have resulted in more human rights violations, and droughts and floods are becoming more frequent.

These challenges have attracted a vast group of national and international humanitarian actors. OCHA works to support them and the Government to mobilize and coordinate effective action through the Humanitarian Coordinator.

While Government and national partners have made great strides towards improved disaster preparedness and response, more needs to be done to increase local capacity and consolidate achievements. OCHA facilitates contingency planning for natural disasters and outbreaks of violence. It was instrumental in developing the Government’s coordination structure, and drafting the “National Disaster Management Policy”, the “National Disaster Response Policy” and the “National IDP Policy”. These documents have been presented to Parliament but have yet to be approved.

As the implementation of Kenya’s newly approved constitution moves forward and Government ministries are restructured, there is a fear that disaster management will take a back seat to other Government priorities. In response, OCHA will provide guidance for the integration of preparedness mechanisms into new administrative structures and work to consolidate existing capacity within relevant Government entities.

While the 2010 Emergency Humanitarian Response Plan (EHRP) for Kenya sought assistance for a single year, OCHA will develop a multi-year humanitarian appeal in 2011, drawing on longer-term strategic planning. The ambition is to synchronize funding through OCHA mechanisms such as the Central Emergency Response Fund, EHRP, the Human Security Trust Fund, the Peace Building Fund, and the United Nations Development Assistance Framework.

OCHA will start scaling down its presence in 2011 and hand over critical aspects of its work to other United Nations agencies and partner agencies. It will work to strengthen the linkages between humanitarian and development efforts. A transition strategy is being developed that will provide guidance on how to support programming in areas that do not traditionally qualify as strictly humanitarian (such as urban vulnerability), but which have humanitarian consequences.


Key Facts
  • Niger is ranked 167 out of 169 on the Human Development Index.
  • The population is 15.8 million.
  • Following a protracted food crisis, Global Acute Malnutrition rates increased from 12.3 per cent in 2009 to 16.7 per cent in 2010.
  • Widespread flooding in 2010 affected 226,000 people and triggered a cholera epidemic. Malaria affected over 1.5 million people.
  • The Niger Emergency Humanitarian Action Plan and the Consolidated Appeal for West Africa together requested $381.5 million for Niger, of which $259 million (68 per cent) has been received.


As with other countries in the Sahel, Niger has faced recurrent food crises over the past three decades. The cumulative effects have exhausted households’ coping mechanisms and delayed longer-term recovery and development.

Niger also has a long history of political instability and coups d’état – the most recent was in February 2010. International donors suspended all non-humanitarian aid to the country at the end of 2009 over political infighting.

In 2010, nearly half of Niger’s 15.2 million inhabitants faced hunger due to failed harvests. Heavy rains and flooding compounded existing problems. They spread malaria and cholera, killed livestock, submerged precious farmland and destroyed homes. Access to those in need is limited as security conditions deteriorate. These multiple crises are expected to continue affecting millions of people throughout 2011.

Beyond meeting immediate needs, the overarching challenge for the United Nations and development partners remains finding durable solutions to the country’s cyclical food crises and the impact of climate change. Without stable medium- and longer-term assistance aimed at reducing susceptibility to droughts and building resilience, another crisis within the next few years is inevitable.

OCHA supports the Humanitarian Country Team and seven clusters. It does this through its Country Office in Niamey and five sub-offices in Agadez, Diffa, Maradi, Tahoua and Zinder. It has established ad hoc coordination mechanisms for national and regional emergencies. OCHA also provides regular briefings to the Government, partners and donors on the humanitarian situation.

With sub-offices and staff on the ground where many humanitarian partners are not present, OCHA is uniquely placed to monitor evolving situations. OCHA provides a timely and effective response to developing crises and keeps the broader humanitarian community informed through information products and services.

In 2011, OCHA will focus on resource mobilization, particularly among non-traditional and emerging donors. It will collaborate with Government authorities to foster partnerships and improved information exchange. Activities will be undertaken to strengthen planning, preparedness and response capacity, and to build bridges between emergency and transition programmes so that humanitarian priorities are considered in development activities.


Key Facts
  • Somalia is one of several countries not ranked in the Human Development Index.
  • The population is 9.3 million.
  • Twenty-seven per cent of the population needs humanitarian assistance.
  • Eighty per cent of people who need assistance remain concentrated in South-Central Somalia, where most of the fighting occurs and humanitarian access is limited.
  • There are an estimated 1.4 million Internally Displaced Persons in Somalia. More than 300,000 people were newly displaced in 2010.
  • The 2010 CAP requested $596 million, of which $365 million (61 per cent) has been received.


OCHA is coordinating humanitarian efforts in Somalia against an ever-changing operational background. In South-Central Somalia, humanitarian access has fallen to unprecedented low levels, as has the number of humanitarian actors able to work there. OCHA will continue to engage with local authorities in order to expand humanitarian access to vulnerable people. During July, almost 900 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Puntland, North-East Somalia, were arrested and deported south of the Puntland border. This was the largest deportation to date.

Through its main office in Nairobi, OCHA supports the policy initiatives of the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) and the United Nations Country Team (UNCT), including the development and implementation of the UNCT “Policy on Humanitarian Engagement”. Over the previous year, OCHA successfully raised the profile of IDPs’ needs, while strengthening inter-agency assessments. It has overseen information gathering from the field, notably on the humanitarian consequences of flooding and fighting.

Funding was a particular challenge in 2010: levels dropped by 33 per cent compared with 2009. A $20 million Common Humanitarian Fund (CHF) for Somalia was recently introduced, replacing the Emergency Humanitarian Response Fund. OCHA anticipates the CHF will improve targeting of assistance to beneficiaries, make better use of funds and increase donor support.

Through the development of the 2010 Consolidated Appeal Process, OCHA ensured that projects were jointly analysed, drawing important delineations between humanitarian response initiatives and the recovery and development activities under the United Nations Transition Programme (managed by the Resident Coordinator’s Office). OCHA has a significant challenge in coordinating a 2011 action plan with authorities and partners that meets the needs of displaced people due to lack of access, particularly in South-Central Somalia, and the hardened stance of the Government in the North-East.

In 2011, OCHA will focus in particular on the challenges in South-Central Somalia. It will strengthen coordination in areas where access is available. It will also work with partners to develop a joint access framework to support inter-agency negotiations with non-state actors to reach a higher percentage of those in need.

OCHA will improve preparedness and response in Somalia by developing local-level humanitarian coordination bodies. It will encourage the identification of field-cluster focal points, and facilitate information exchange between Nairobi and field-based coordination forums. Following a comprehensive humanitarian gap analysis, activities will be undertaken to improve conditions in IDP settlements and facilitate the successful relocation of settlements.


Key Facts
  • Sudan is ranked 154 out of 169 on the Human Development Index.
  • The population is 43.1 million.
  • There are more than 4 million Internally Displaced Persons in the country.
  • Close to 9 million people receive humanitarian assistance.
  • The 2010 CAP requested $1.8 billion, of which $1 billion was received (62 per cent).


The humanitarian situation in Sudan varies greatly depending on the region. The overwhelming majority of needs are concentrated in Darfur and southern Sudan, and the situation in both places remains extremely fragile. A combination of conflict and environmental causes has left roughly half the population in southern Sudan and Darfur dependent on food assistance. Transmigration of pastoralist communities and diminishing access to natural resources are likely to cause further conflict. Intimidation and kidnapping of aid workers persists, reducing the overall capacity to assess needs and deliver assistance to vulnerable populations.

The country is also facing profound political challenges that have the potential for large-scale humanitarian implications. 2011 marks the end of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement. There are two planned, simultaneous referendums: one on the future status of southern Sudan, the other on whether Abyei will retain its special administrative status in the north or become part of Bahr el Ghazal. Highly contentious benchmarks leading up to the referendums are yet to be resolved. These include border demarcation, agreements on wealth-sharing arrangements and citizenship issues.

A number of high-risk scenarios may emerge during the referendum period and its aftermath. Clashes could start along the north-south border and progressively become widespread across southern Sudan, the northern-border states and within Khartoum State. Inter-tribal conflict could erupt and lead to displacement. A deterioration of the North-South relationship and tensions within northern and southern Sudan could lead to an outflow of people to neighbouring countries.

In 2011, the OCHA plan of action will remain adaptive to the humanitarian needs in each geographic area. In southern Sudan, OCHA will accentuate its presence within the states identified as pre- or post-referendum hotspots. Contingency planning support will be provided for both referendum processes, ensuring a coherent response should any of the above-mentioned scenarios take place. In the Three Protocol Areas, OCHA has agreed with the Resident Coordinator’s Support Office to take over humanitarian coordination. It will also continue coordinating response activities with Sudan’s two peacekeeping missions: the United Nations Mission in the Sudan and the African Union/United Nations Hybrid operation in Darfur.

OCHA’s support to the Humanitarian Coordinator and the Humanitarian Country Team will remain critical. It will work to ensure that humanitarian assistance is more predictable and more efficient through the continued roll out of the cluster approach in Darfur and southern Sudan, and the Humanitarian Country Team in Juba. OCHA established a presence in six states throughout 2010: Jonglei, Upper Nile, Unity, Warrap, Western Equatoria and Western Bahr el Ghazal. Intensified assessment and planning processes have revealed the need for a similar coordination and response capacity in the Three Protocol Areas and Khartoum State.

OCHA will facilitate the production of the Sudan Humanitarian Workplan, which will have an estimated requirement of $1.6 billion for activities undertaken in 2011. The workplan provides strategic direction for humanitarian action and is an important planning and resource mobilization tool. OCHA will also manage the world’s largest pooled fund, the Sudan Common Humanitarian Fund, which last year provided more than $130 million to partners.

OCHA will continue to negotiate humanitarian access and promote humanitarian principles. It will facilitate relations with the Government to reduce risk to humanitarian workers and their operations. OCHA will also work closely with both peacekeeping missions to promote protection of civilians and guide mission interventions. As a member of the Darfur Strategic Planning Team, OCHA ensures the roles and responsibilities of the missions and the United Nations Country Team are adhered to.


Key Facts
  • Uganda is ranked 143 out of 169 on the Human Development Index.
  • The population is 33.7 million.
  • Only 54 per cent of the population can access basic social services, such as health care, safe water and education.
  • Protection and human rights remain humanitarian concerns.
  • The 2010 CAP requested $184 million, of which $82 million (44 per cent) was received.


OCHA has continued scaling down operations in Uganda. Humanitarian programming has become increasingly integrated in its partners’ development efforts. Considerable humanitarian needs remain, particularly in the north, and poor funding of the 2010 Consolidated Appeal Process (CAP) (less than 45 per cent) has hampered the humanitarian community’s efforts to meet collective goals.

As the transition from humanitarian crisis to recovery moves forward, the United Nations system is working closely with the Government to meet the basic needs of people in the former conflict-affected areas. More needs to be done to sustain the gains made in the past three years to ensure that the benefits of durable peace are available to all.

There has been progress in addressing displacement in northern areas affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). According to UNHCR, 92 per cent of the 1.8 million original Internally Displaced Persons have returned home but an estimated 230,000 remain in camps. While population movement out of camps continues, major concerns remain. They include land disputes, rising crime, cattle raids, unexploded ordnance, inter-clan disputes, border conflicts with southern Sudan and lack of basic services in return areas.

The Humanitarian Country Team aims to conclude humanitarian action in the LRA-affected areas by the end of 2010. Therefore, the Government and development actors will be further pressed to absorb relevant OCHA responsibilities and ensure residual humanitarian concerns are taken up in future programming.

The cluster system will be deactivated in 2011. It is currently in place to support humanitarian action in Acholi in the north. In north-east Karamoja – repeatedly exposed to drought, floods, epidemics and animal diseases – there will be a focus on early warning, preparedness and response. With the recent establishment of Resident Coordinator field offices in Acholi and Karamoja, support to district-led coordination structures in 2011 will be provided under the auspices of United Nations-appointed coordinators.

In 2011, OCHA will maintain a portfolio based on coordinating disaster preparedness and response and information management until after the Ugandan presidential, parliamentary and local government elections. These elections are scheduled for the first quarter of 2011. OCHA will also monitor any humanitarian implications of the referendum in southern Sudan.

Strengthening national capacity in disaster risk reduction and preparedness is currently underway, in collaboration with development partners. From the second quarter of 2011 onwards, the OCHA Country Office will become a Humanitarian Support Unit within the Resident Coordinator’s Office.

OCHA does not anticipate a 2011 CAP for Uganda. However, to avoid fragmentation of the humanitarian community, a common humanitarian analysis document will be developed to guide humanitarian action.


Key Facts
  • Zimbabwe is ranked 169 out of 169 on the Human Development Index.
  • The population is 12.6 million.
  • The average life expectancy is 41 years.
  • Cholera, measles, malaria and typhoid outbreaks continue to strain the already weak health-care system.
  • The HIV/AIDS prevalence rate has dropped to 13.7 per cent but remains one of the highest in the world.
  • The CAP 2010 requested $478 million, of which $209 million was received (44 per cent).


Despite overall improvements in Zimbabwe’s humanitarian situation, the country continues to face considerable obstacles. Throughout 2011, an estimated 6 million people (half the population) will remain vulnerable due to almost a decade of socio-economic decline. An equal number will still lack access to safe water and sanitation. The Government estimates that about 1.3 million people will require food assistance in the first quarter of 2011 alone. Zimbabwe is ranked lowest on UNDP’s Human Development Index.

Against this backdrop, Zimbabwe is transitioning from humanitarian crisis to recovery. While acute vulnerability remains, Government and donor priorities are shifting and there is a growing risk that humanitarian programmes and funding needs will come under pressure. Humanitarian and development actors will need to develop a common coordination framework to facilitate a smooth transition from a focus on life-saving assistance to recovery and rehabilitation.

Humanitarian access and the collaboration between Government and humanitarian partners are likely to be affected by the ongoing process of revising the constitution (a requirement stipulated by the Global Political Agreement signed in 2008 between Zimbabwe's main political parties), and anticipated presidential and parliamentary general elections in 2011.

In 2011, OCHA will continue ensuring a coherent response to evolving humanitarian challenges in Zimbabwe. OCHA provides support to 70 international and 1,200 national NGOs, 11 United Nations agencies, four Government ministries and various diplomatic missions. Given the large number of humanitarian organizations in the country, OCHA has a crucial role in coordinating efforts and bringing partners together around identified priorities.

Inter-cluster coordination managed by OCHA will become even more important in delivering effective response with the new 2011 Consolidated Appeal Process programme-based approach. Clusters will develop programmes that address entire cluster needs instead of agency-specific projects. OCHA will bring strategic focus to the mobilization and allocation of financial resources by ensuring that key priorities are highlighted and addressed through close collaboration between donors and clusters.

From Harare, OCHA will continue covering field coordination needs through frequent field missions with the aim of strengthening Government capacity at a local level. OCHA plans to extend its coordination support to all 10 provinces to equip partner agencies with the tools and capacity to progressively assume coordination responsibilities at the provincial level.

OCHA will closely monitor the political and socio-economic landscape to adjust its strategies to the changing context. Should the situation in Zimbabwe improve to a point that allows for a scale-down of operations, the Country Office will gradually hand over responsibilities to the Resident Coordinator’s Office and phase down to a Humanitarian Support Unit, with oversight from the OCHA Regional Office in South Africa.