Action Plan 2006 - Democratic Republic of Congo
The 2006 DRC Action Plan aims to provide a framework for the humanitarian and stabilisation activities in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) that will save lives where they are threatened by conflict and other emergency situations, build a protective environment for communities and accelerate recovery and reconciliation.
A chronic and unrelenting emergency
The DRC has suffered years of economic and political turmoil along with episodes of internal violence and regional conflict, all of which have perpetuated a chronic and unrelenting emergency for well over a decade. The basic elements of service provision such as health and education have been deprived of resources for many years and critical elements of urban and rural infrastructure such as water supply and transportation are barely functioning. Against this background there are still protracted incidents of acute distress, often local in nature and provoked by acts of violence especially Sexual Gender Violence Based (SGVB), perpetrated by a variety of armed groups and Congolese forces.
Yet, even faced with such a daunting situation, the Congolese people, women and men have demonstrated a remarkable resilience that deserves far greater international support than it has so far received. Congolese Health and Education professionals have struggled to keep some of the basic structures functioning, frequently only through unpaid contributions and religious organizations which currently mainly support more the educational system. There are however limits to the Congolese peoples’ resilience as it continues to be tested by violence and conflict.
Violence and conflict continue to shatter the lives of millions of Congolese people
In some parts of the country violence has created a cycle of displacement. An estimated 40,000 people flee their homes every month mostly in Ituri, the Kivus and Katanga. There are currently an estimated 1.66 million displaced persons in the DRC and a further 1.68 million people recently returning from displacement trying to re-establish their homes and livelihoods. Most of them are women, youth and children, and require special measures to ensure their reintegration process.
Killings, abductions and sexual violence continue as a result of the predations of domestic and foreign armed groups. The continued non payment of soldiers’ salaries only serves to exacerbate this situation. Widespread acts of sexual violence have eroded the very fabric of society. In the DRC women are too often victim of sexual violence and suffer from the trauma and associated social stigma. The number of killings and unlawful deaths are inadequately recorded, but the frequency of such acts is sufficient to have created persistent levels of insecurity in a number of areas, the fact that most of these acts go unchecked creates a climate of impunity that all recognise must be addressed immediately.
Violence and conflict add to the already dire situation prevailing in the DRC where 80% of the population live below the absolute poverty line (less than $1 a day), 54% have no access to basic health services, 71% suffer food insecurity and 57% have no access to safe water.
The scale of the crisis facing the DRC is immense
The scale of the crisis facing the DRC is immense, both in geographical terms and in terms of the numbers of people affected. In a country where each province is the size of large European countries and where there is poor transport, the cost of providing humanitarian and development assistance is extremely high.
A large proportion of the estimated population of up to 60 million people is affected by the crisis. For example, it is estimated that there are over 3 million internally displaced persons or recent returnees from displacement, including over 46,000 refugees who have returned from exile. The returning refugees require comprehensive support to rebuild their shattered lives. It has also been estimated that the failure of services following the recent war led to an excess mortality of some 4 million people. The overall levels of humanitarian and transitional assistance required to make an impact must be proportionate to the scale of the crisis.
A crisis of neglect
Many aspects of governance and all parts of the country have suffered from decades of neglect. Poor governance and mismanagement of resources have all contributed to the chronically poor state of services and have created reticence by the international community in fully addressing DRC needs.
Previous appeals have been modest in relation to the scale of need and even so funding requests have only been partially met. Compared to other humanitarian crises, the DRC has been among the lowest per capita recipients of assistance. Such neglect can only deepen the chronic nature of the crisis facing the DRC.
The Action Plan launch comes at a critical time
There is now greater potential to more effectively meet the humanitarian needs of the population and accelerate the pace of recovery. As a result of increased capacity and improved coordination with the UN Mission in DRC (MONUC), humanitarian access is greater than ever before, and efforts must be sustained to increase access further.
There is now greater assistance capacity to support humanitarian and development actions and the closer co-operation between partners that now exists will ensure a more effective response. The success of the registration process and recent referendum on the constitution sets the scene for holding the first elections in four decades and creates a political opportunity that has not existed since independence to secure the stability that will underpin these actions.
Too often slow responses to transition have jeopardised their outcome, this should not be permitted in the DRC. The tremendous economic potential of this country has in the past been the cause of its distress. This should not be allowed to happen again when the time is ripe to capture the potential of this country for the benefits of its people.
The humanitarian parts of the Action Plan are based on a multi-sector needs assessment
The starting point for the first two Lines of the Action Plan has been a multi-sector humanitarian needs assessment that was carried out across most of the DRC, which for the first time provides a comprehensive overview of needs.
Humanitarian actions and development need to take place concurrently
This Action Plan recognises that in situations such as the DRC, where there are episodes of acute crisis set against the background of chronic neglect, humanitarian actions and stabilisation programmes will need to take place concurrently.
Projects and activities have therefore been grouped into three “Lines of Action” These Lines of Action will contribute to the commonly shared overall objective of relieving and preventing human suffering and promoting stability by helping people to live with dignity.
- The first Line of Action encapsulates those activities that are directly engaged in “saving lives” and will seek to ensure that there is an adequate and rapid emergency response and immediate protection capacity to meet the needs of those at acute risk.
- The second Line of Action provides the organising framework for “building a protective environment for communities” with the objective of safeguarding the ability of existing local structures and communities to function.
- The third Line of Action focuses on a select number of high-impact activities that “promote stability” by fast-tracking key elements of the country’s Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) during the critical post-election period when expectations among the population are high and Government capacities are weak.
- Establishing these Lines of Action ensures that there is no duplication of activity or creation of external relief structures that could jeopardise valuable local efforts. Linkages between the three Lines of Action will be reinforced through thematic, sector (cluster) and strategic coordination mechanisms.
Given the difference in planning horizons between humanitarian programmes, which require an early launch and stabilisation programmes, which need further, in-depth consultations linked to finalisation of the PRSP, two separate documents are being prepared.
In this document, the initial two Lines of Action are presented, including the sector strategies guiding humanitarian action, the regional plans that prioritise interventions at the local level and the individual projects that have been submitted by UN Agencies and non governmental organisations (NGOs) in support of these strategies and plans.
Chapter Five provides a resume of the third line of Action. The full document will be launched later in 2006. Concept notes for the six proposed stabilisation programmes will be presented as well as a monitoring and evaluation matrix and detailed explanations of the management and implementation modalities that will be used for the six programmes.
Effective implementation by strengthening coordination, financing and support
Effective implementation of the first two Lines of Action in the Plan will be ensured through strengthened coordination mechanisms among humanitarian actors and between the latter and development-oriented partners.
The third Line of Action will be implemented under the leadership of the Government through broad-based partnerships with donors, the international financial institutions, NGOs and civil society.
The Action Plan provides strategic focus through strengthened cluster coordination and financial mechanisms. As such, the Action Plan represents a significant step forward in humanitarian planning and coordination over previous appeals, enabling donors to have a clear overview and also ensure that the activities represented support common objectives that are geared towards securing greater stability for the peoples of the DRC.
Strengthened humanitarian coordination will be provided through fully engaging all relevant partners within the framework of a cluster approach. This will identify and respond to capacity gaps in each sector at the national level and where applicable at the provincial level.
Enhanced humanitarian financing mechanisms such as the Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM) will be used to ensure the flexibility and speed of response that is critical in addressing sudden acute needs. The Action Plan also envisages the use of a substantial Good Humanitarian Donorship Fund/Pooled Fund that will be used to support and strengthen sector and provincial strategies by allowing the more flexible use of funding for strategy critical elements of the operation.
Improved common support functions will be critical to the effective implementation of the Action Plan. Logistics support will be enhanced with a clearly identified humanitarian logistics component, the establishment of a humanitarian logistics cluster, the reinforcement of humanitarian air services within the DRC, and improved logistics coordination with MONUC.
Improved Information Management is another key area that will be strengthened to be able to respond more effectively to the demands created by the Action Plan. This will involve improved Financial Tracking, stronger sector information management, and improvements and support to telecommunication and data transfer capacities within the DRC.
For the third Line of Action, UN Agencies will maximise their impact and reduce transaction costs by implementing joint integrated programmes. This approach is fully consistent with the UN’s global reform agenda and the principles of aid effectiveness and harmonisation contained in Development Assistance Committees’ Fragile States initiative, for which the DRC is a pilot.
In Congo 1,200 people die in silence every day
The 2006 DRC Action Plan is thus a strategic tool that will allow us to respond to the enormous priority needs in DRC, by implementing both humanitarian and transition programmes.
What we need now are the resources to make the 2006 DRC Action Plan a reality: to save lives where they are threatened by conflict or other emergency situations, to build a protective environment for communities and to accelerate recovery and reconciliation. Every vulnerable person has the right to the fulfilment of all their human rights, including the right to live in dignity. Working together, we can help ensure a better future for the Congolese people.
Table of Contents
CONTENTS OF THE CD ROM
Common Humanitarian Strategy
2006 Sector Strategies
Regional Action Plans
Bridging the Gap between Relief and Poverty Reduction
Note: The full text of this appeal is available on-line in Adobe Acrobat (pdf) format and may also be downloaded in zipped MS Word format.
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