This operation update reflects the current situation and information available since the last operation update published in September 2020.
The operation timeframe will be extended by one month to end on 31 May 2021 to allow for a final evaluation to be completed. Simultaneously, as needs persist and the funding gap in 2020 allowed to reach less than half of the targeted people in many places, extending the operation further beyond May is being discussed. Following discussions with the National Societies and estimates of needs and possible activities, a new operation update may be published to extend the timeframe or the Emergency Appeal may be revised should a change of activities be foreseen.
In parallel, the IFRC is looking to launch a new 10-year food security programme for Southern Africa and a Zero Hunger Agenda to provide longer term support to the small holder farmers affected by persistent adverse weather conditions with the aim to support the vulnerable families to be food secure. The programme and the Zero Hunger Agenda are planned for launching in the first half of 2021. The work and results of this Emergency Appeal operation will be used to inform the programme design and provide the ground on which to continue the resilience work. The planned final evaluation is to shed light on the main lessons and recommendations to be considered.
Since the last Operation Update, Botswana Red Cross Society (BRCS) was able to finalise their 6 months of food assistance to 300 households. BRCS also upgraded its voucher system to a digital one and it is looking to use the adopted system across its programmes where relevant. BRCS embarked on a procurement process to engage suppliers for the 100 beneficiary gardens to be constructed to improve household food production.
Baphalali Eswatini Red Cross Society (BERCS) carried out crop management trainings and seed distributions to 1979 beneficiaries. This was done using conditional mobile cash whereby attendance at the training was a condition to receive the cash to purchase seeds at a fair organized adjacent to the trainings. BERCS will distribute backyard garden inputs to 1000 beneficiaries using the same conditional cash modality in the first quarter of 2021. An additional month of cash support distributions will also be conducted to support households during the lean season.
Lesotho Red Cross Society (LRCS) distributed seeds and garden inputs to 2005 households at multiple seed fairs organized over three weeks close to the beneficiaries in November 2020. Vouchers were used as purchasing medium at the fairs where suppliers had first been procured through a tender system. LRCS organized food preservation workshops to lead farmers, volunteers and beneficiaries in the communities as part of enhancing food preservation skills in preparation for the lean season. In Lesotho it is likewise foreseen to provide an additional month of mobile cash support for the lean season to beneficiaries in the first quarter of 2021. Besides unconditional cash, conditional cash is planned in exchange for work in community preparedness projects planned together with community disaster management teams.
Namibia Red Cross Society (NRCS) started its cash assistance for basic needs distributing three rounds of support - for October-December2020. Cash assistance is planned to continue through January-February 2021 targeting in total 5 months of support for 1204 households. Waterpoint rehabilitation interventions have not been started but NRCS is committed to complete 15 of them by the end of the operation reaching 200 households.
Following fundraising efforts and partner engagement the Appeal had attracted CHF 3 188 435 cash contributions and CHF 68 400 in HR support and is in total 44% covered at the end of 2020. The implementation rate at the end of December 2020 stands at 80,6%.