Algeria: Cold wave - Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA) DREF Operation n° MDRDZ003

A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

Algeria has been suffering from a cold wave that began on 16 January 2017. As of 20 January it became clear that additional support would be needed and the Algerian Red Crescent (ARCS) requested DREF support on 20 January.

The falling snow and cold weather in Algeria has affected the Eastern, Central and the high plateau regions. The snow has cut off numerous communities and villages, particularly in the mountainous areas, causing losses to livelihoods due to isolation, power cuts and material damages to the residents of these areas. Dwellings have been damaged by the heavy snowfall, especially the tents used by nomadic population. Initial assessments carried out by the ARCS indicate that up to 25,000 families have been affected by the adverse weather conditions to various degrees. To cope with the situation substantial Government and military resources have been deployed.

Summary of the current response

Overview of Host National Society

The Algerian Red Crescent is an Algerian humanitarian volunteer organization founded in 1956. It was recognized by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in 1963 and since then a member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.
During the current disaster, all branches of ARCS have been mobilized and are involved in the response operation around the clock.
To date, ARCS has provided nearly 5,000 families with relief items, including blankets, food parcels, clothing, mattresses. In addition to the 5,000 families, ARCS has provided 320 nomadic families with blankets, food parcels, clothing, mattresses and tents.
The food parcel per family consists of the following items: 1kg of rice, 5 liters of oil, 500 g of tinned tomatoes, 1kg of lentils, 500g of couscous, 1kg of sugar, 1kg of white beans and pasta.
ARCS has also distributed 12 generators to isolated villages cut off from electricity supply due to the main electricity grid having been damaged by the adverse weather. In addition, ARCS teams have also been mobilized to assist the homeless and the migrant population with hot meals, clothing, blankets and first aid kits.

The current needs are greater than the capacity of the ARCS and the National Society has asked for additional support to 2,000 families, which reflects their current capacity to engage in terms of organizational and human resources. The needs that will be covered in this DREF is not met by any other agency.

Overview of Red Cross Red Crescent Movement in country

The IFRC Country Cluster North Africa Office in Tunis and the DCPRR and PMER units at IFRC MENA Regional Office in Lebanon are continuing to monitor the situation and will continue to work hand in hand with the National Society in order to provide the necessary support to facilitate the implementation of the planned relief operations.

IFRC works in coordination with the ICRC, which has been in Algeria since the 1954 war of independence. At that time, its main focus was on visiting prisoners and helping refugees in Morocco and Tunisia. Today, the ICRC’s main activity consists of visiting detainees. ICRC also cooperates with the Algerian Red Crescent on a number of files, such as First Aid, dissemination of IHL/HP, and or Restoring Family Links (RFL).

Overview of non-RCRC actors in country

The public authorities, including the Algerian Civil Protection, have deployed all available equipment to facilitate the clearing of the roads. Due to the scale of the disaster the People’s National Army of Algeria have also deployed their personnel and logistical resources to facilitate the clearing of the roads and to support the delivery of relief supplies.