Senegal: Food Insecurity Revised Emergency appeal MDRSN007

This Revised Emergency Appeal seeks CHF 1,603,923 in cash, kind, or services to support the Senegalese Red Cross Society (SRCS) to provide assistance to 62,500 beneficiaries (8,929 families) over a period of 12 months and will therefore be completed by end of April 2013. A Final Report will be made available by end of July 2013.

Appeal history:

· An Operations Update no.1 for the period 20 April to 31 May, 2012 was issued on 31 May 2012.

· An Emergency Appeal was initially launched on 20 April, 2012 for CHF 3,765,905 to enable the Senegalese Red Cross Society assist 258,000 beneficiaries over a period of 12 months.

· CHF 166,428 was initially allocated from the Federation’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) on 28 December, 2011 to support the Senegalese Red Cross Society (SRCS) in delivering assistance to some 1,000 households.

Summary:

There has been a low coverage of the appeal to date (28%) and this has necessitated a revision of the initial appeal budget downwards from CHF 3,765,905 to CHF 1,603,923 and a reduction in the number of target beneficiaries from 258,000 to 62,500 beneficiaries.

At the beginning of the operation, implementation of the planned activities was jeopardized by the lack of funding. However, with the contributions received to date, activities such as cash transfers, procurement and the distribution of improved seeds, fertilizer and tools have been done in time for the main planting season of June to August. This was aimed at mitigating the impact of the food shortages on households rendered food insecure due to last year’s limited harvest and go hand in hand with the twin-track approach of providing emergency assistance and livelihood protection and recovery activities to increase the resilience of households, with food and cash distributions (WFP) and the provision of improved seeds. A joint assessment planned by SRCS and its partners planned in mid-December will assess the impact of the interventions and measure the level of food security of the households that have received assistance and identify any new gaps. The evaluation findings will help to strengthen the operation and inform plans for further interventions.

The bilateral local field agreement (LFA) signed with WFP in 6 regions namely; Ségou, Tambacounda, Kédougou, Louga, Matam and Saint-Louis following the provision of CHF 3.4 million by the Government of Senegal enabled Senegalese Red Cross provide timely distributions of food to the affected communities considerably raising the National Society`s profile as a reliable humanitarian actor in Senegal, capable of providing quality humanitarian service. The SRCS reached 499,920 beneficiaries with food, fodder and cash distributions during the lean season when people were most in need of assistance. These activities have largely contributed to mitigating the food insecurity status of many beneficiaries. In this Emergency Appeal, the beneficiary to household count is based on seven persons per family. This count does not always reflect the reality particularly in rural areas where a family size can be as large as 30 people and therefore in such cases a double ration is delivered to these big households.

The budget has been adjusted to reflect realistic targets for cash vouchers as well as food security and livelihoods. The budgetary changes have resulted from the following:

· Relief items: This objective has been taken out of the Emergency Appeal. The Senegalese Red Cross has partnered with WFP in food delivery and distribution and signed a bilateral local field agreement (LFA) with WFP in 6 regions namely; Ségou, Tambacounda, Kédougou, Louga, Matam and Saint-Louis and 499,920 beneficiaries have received appropriate food rations. This was made possible through the contribution of CHF 3.4 million to WFP by the Government of Senegal to ensure food distribution to its most vulnerable population .Through this partnership, all food distribution activities, with the exception of food parcels that will be distributed in the recovery phase, have been taken out of this revised appeal.

· Emergency health: The planned outcome, outputs and activities will no longer take place due to insufficient funding of the appeal to date.

· Disaster risk reduction/food security/livelihoods: The number of targeted beneficiaries has been reduced from 70,000 to 55,000 due to insufficient funding.

· Reduction in cash transfer: The largest reduction has been in the cash transfer activities, with a reduction in the number of beneficiaries to 1,071 families in the region of Saint-Louis (originally planned for 13,000 families) with an equivalent total amount of CHF 150 distributed for 2 instead of 3 months. This was necessitated by low and late funding received.

· Food security: The food security section of this appeal will support a reduced number of regions and beneficiaries with reduced activities.

The revised Appeal will continue to focus on:

· Distribution of food parcels

· Distribution of seeds and tools

· Distribution of seeds for seed banks

· Distribution of cash vouchers (to 1,071 households in the additional region of Saint-Louis)

Although 2012 harvest is reported to being rather good, it is likely that a food crisis in 2013 will persist among many vulnerable families that have depleted their livelihoods and have not had the means to restore them. The price of food remains high compared to the same period in 2011. Contingency plans will be made following discussions between SRCS and all its partners in mid-December after the planned joint assessments are conducted.