Update on UNHCR's global programmes and partnerships 2010
Geneva, 4-8 October 2010
30 September 2010
This update presents some examples of challenges, progress and new developments in global programmes and partnerships since the last strategic overview presented to the 47th meeting of the Standing Committee in March 2010. A more comprehensive report will be provided in the forthcoming Global Appeal 2011 Update.
A. Major challenges, progress and new developments
(i) Shelter and physical planning
Large numbers of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) live outside camps today, and urban displacement has become a common occurrence in humanitarian crises.
Shelter response and camp planning for IDPs and refugees in complex emergencies - such as in Georgia, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan and Pakistan - have required innovative and locally compatible solutions. UNHCR has been supporting field operations to develop comprehensive shelter strategies; conduct assessments for appropriate shelter solutions, design and quality; analyse shelter and physical planning-related components of operations; and provide inputs to enhance the quality of programmes. UNHCR has also continued to function as lead agency in the inter-agency global emergency shelter cluster.
The Office's shelter and physical planning interventions in 2009/2010 - both in emergencies and in protracted refugee situations - had a direct and positive impact on the welfare of refugees and other persons of concern. With the aim of providing effective, timely and environmentally-friendly shelter solutions, four strategic objectives will be pursued in 2011: delivering effective and timely field support in emergencies; developing the capacity of UNHCR and partner staff; providing policy guidance and leadership; and building strategic partnerships.
UNHCR also organized training of staff in the three clusters of emergency shelter, protection and camp coordination, with participants from Afghanistan, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines and Sri Lanka. The training will be replicated in the southern Africa and Asia-Pacific regions to enhance internal capacity for cluster work. Collaboration with other cluster partners, as well as with local NGOs in the respective countries, resulted in enhanced response capacity and effective coordination in the implementation of shelter and physical planning operations.
(ii) Water, sanitation and hygiene promotion (WASH)
At the request of the High Commissioner, a 3-year WASH Strategic Plan (2011-2013) is being developed, which will form the basis for WASH needs to be met in a progressive manner. More WASH staff have been hired in 2010 to increase technical expertise in the Field. Additional funding has allowed certain operations, particularly in Africa, to repair or replace dilapidated infrastructure. UNHCR has continued to strengthen its WASH partnerships in 2010 including with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and the University of Neuchatel. Hygiene promotion activities have been strengthened in the Field and hygiene promotion guidelines produced.
(iii) Nutrition and food security
Improved assessments and monitoring and evaluation of nutrition programmes have provided more data to allow UNHCR and its partners to more effectively incorporate nutrition considerations into their programmes. In 2010, nutrition surveys have been carried out in 21 countries, in particular to measure levels of anaemia. Lessons learned on preventing and treating micronutrient deficiencies, including anaemia, in Bangladesh, Kenya and Nepal have been invaluable for planning similar interventions in other countries including Algeria, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Yemen. UNHCR has continued to work very closely with its nutrition and food security partners, notably WFP, as well as the Institute of Child Health at University College London, to develop the technical expertise necessary to implement the anaemia strategy in refugee settings. UNHCR and WFP have intensified their collaboration in addressing malnutrition, including micronutrient deficiencies, and food security in selected protracted refugee situations, as part of the High Commissioner's focus on protracted situations. Joint assessment missions were carried out in 11 countries in 2010. Similar activities will continue in 2011, with an increased emphasis on food security in urban settings, on cash and food voucher programmes where feasible, and on self-reliance activities.