The Comoros has experienced 21 coups or coup attempts since its independence from France in 1975. In 2001, a new constitution establishing the Union of the Comoros was adopted, with considerable autonomy accorded to each of the three islands. Peaceful elections were held in December 2010.
Some 45% of the population lives below the poverty line, and the Comoros was ranked 169th (out of 187 countries) in the 2012 UN Human Development Index.
In an already intense 2011/12 rainy season, heavy rains inundated the Comoros islands in April 2012, causing the country’s worst flooding in decades. A total of 64,987 people (9% of the total population) were directly affected. The following rain season was much milder on the Comoros, where 860 people in total were affected by floods.
Since 2007, OCHA ROSA has supported various activities in the Comoros, including:
- Developing CERF Rapid Response applications in 2008 and deploying three Humanitarian Affairs Officers as surge capacity to coordinate humanitarian response to an emerging social conflict;
- Developing a Multi-Hazard National Contingency Plan in 2009;
- Organizing a UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) disaster response preparedness mission in 2010;
- Leading a UNDAC mission to assess the impact of the 2012 floods which affected some 9% of the total population, as well as supporting flood response and CERF application, and launching an Early Recovery Plan;
- Facilitating national and regional training on emergency preparedness and response;
- Carrying out real-time assessment on information management and developing an information management strategy.