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West and Central Africa: Flood preparedness Emergency appeal No. MDR61003 Operations update No. 1

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Period covered by this Ops Update: 11 July-14 August 2008;

Appeal target (current): CHF 750,000 (USD 731,134 or EUR 462,475);

Appeal coverage: donor support is currently being recorded, and will be made available in the next update

Appeal history:

- This Emergency Appeal was initially launched on a preliminary basis on 11 July 2008 for CHF 750,000 for 2

months to assist 47,500 beneficiaries.

- Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF): CHF 483,047 was allocated from the Federation's DREF to support the national society to respond.

Summary:

A preliminary Emergency Appeal was launched based on the evolving climatic forecasts and scientific data on the current rainy season. This preliminary Emergency Appeal aimed to respond to a request from national societies in West and Central Africa, and focused on providing timely and appropriate support to pre-emptively prepare to provide rapid flood relief during the 2008 rainy season. All the nine countries at high risk of being flooded this season have developed contingency plans and have prepared their national disaster response teams. Relief supplies have been pre-positioned at strategic locations and volunteers have been trained. With support of the Federation Regional Logistics Unit in Dubai, relief supplies have been shipped to Accra, Ghana and Yaoundé in Cameroon while Dakar has already received its stock.

Despite some flooding that has already occurred in the region (Liberia, Togo and Niger), country-based approach is being observed to respond with the support of this Appeal in terms of coordination from the Federation. As the situation evolves, the Federation is going to adapt its strategy accordingly and encourages donor support to this Appeal which remains timid, but which is achieving its goal with the contribution from the Federation DREF funds.

The situation

West and Central Africa region has experienced severe floods over the last two years that have claimed thousands of lives, with extensive damage to property and an enormous impact on livelihoods. West Africa is one of the most vulnerable regions in the world in terms of disaster impact and the number of persons affected. Given the humanitarian challenges in the region, the Federation and National Societies consider it vital to focus on reducing the impact of disasters. The International Federation is therefore increasing its commitment to the early and timely analysis of meteorological information that can be critical in efforts to pre-emptively prepare for weather-related disasters. This information is available through climate science organizations which have made enormous strides in their forecasting capacities. Through partnerships with these organizations, the Federation is now able to make use of appropriate seasonal predictions to assist National Societies to enhance their planning, preparedness, and response capacities process in order to effectively deliver assistance to where it is most needed.