The 2006 Consolidated Appeals Process (CAP) for the Great Lakes Region was launched in Nairobi at the beginning of December 2005 by United Nations agencies in collaboration with International non-governmental organisations and other international bodies including the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. At that time, stakeholders highlighted the critical need for continued humanitarian assistance, despite the emerging transitional context in the region. Whilst Burundi continues to enjoy political progress and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has maintained steady progress, humanitarian needs remain enormous. Furthermore, localised conflict and violence still remain a threat to many.
The impact of the region's crises on its populations is clear and includes the continuing high numbers of excess deaths, severe poverty, food and livelihood insecurity, and vulnerability to disease and human rights abuses. In the International Rescue Committee's (IRC) mortality survey in the DRC (originally conducted in 2004, and updated in 2006), it is estimated that 38,000 deaths occur every month in excess of what is considered a normal level for the country. This equates to 1,250 excess deaths every day. According to the study, over 70% of these deaths occur in the east of the country and are attributable to easily preventable and treatable diseases. Similarly the findings of a mortality survey among Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in northern Uganda, conducted by the Ministry of Health (MoH) along with United Nations (UN) partners including World Health Organization (WHO) and the IRC, revealed an excess mortality of 25,694 for the Acholi region between January and July 2005. This is the equivalent of 1,000 excess deaths per week. The third most frequent cause of death was found to be violence, accounting for almost 4,000 of these deaths. The Government of Uganda has disowned the recent survey.
In April, a preliminary review meeting was held to review progress against the Great Lakes CAP, in which stakeholders reaffirmed the urgent need to redouble efforts towards the region to ensure that the enormous extent of need does not go unnoticed and unmet. The mid-year review meeting held in Nairobi in mid-May offered stakeholders an opportunity to collectively reflect on key developments in the region, the outlook for the second half of the year and to evaluate their progress with regard to the CAP. Since the appeal was launched, humanitarian crises in other parts of the world have continued to compete for international attention and resources. Not least of which has been the drought and subsequent livelihoods crisis in the Horn of Africa (HoA), which not only led to competition for resources, but the response has diverted much of the existing regional level capacity. This has effectively limited the capacity of regional actors to support operations in the Great Lakes region, since almost all offices have a geographical purview that includes both regions.
Despite lack of funds for some activities and the additional demands placed on regional actors in the early months of the year, there have been concrete achievements reported in all areas of the strategy for the Great Lakes Region. In particular, agencies have contributed to the development of the work of the Inter-Agency Working Group (IAWG) as well as thematic working groups and task forces and in turn have enhanced collaborative efforts in a number of areas of the strategy. Monitoring and evaluation is one area where fewer specific initiatives have been reported although ad hoc and less formal mechanisms continue to be employed. In addition, whilst agencies have pursued advocacy efforts on a range of issues, coordinated efforts will form a priority focus for the coming months of the year. In April, the advocacy focal points meeting was re-activated to this end and will continue to meet on issues related to the Great Lakes region.
In 2006, the Great Lakes CAP seeks to continue support to those most in need in the region by helping to provide support to country-level response, providing cross-border and multi-country assistance and by responding to gaps where capacity may not exist in-country. The Common Humanitarian Action Plan (CHAP), elaborated in consultation with all CAP stakeholders, outlines four operational goals, each highlighting specific priority areas of action. The joint plan also highlights three thematic priorities again with an emphasis on specific areas of focus.
No revision to the CAP has been made with no new projects added or existing projects revised. The total requirement for the 2006 Great Lakes appeal remains US$ 153,546,211 Contributions to the appeal as of 23 June stand at approximately $80 million or 52% of the revised requirement.
2. CHANGES IN THE HUMANITARIAN CONTEXT AND HUMANITARIAN CONSEQUENCES
The first half of 2006 has largely seen a continuation of the same level and scope of humanitarian needs in the region. The number of people displaced as refugees or as internally displaced has remained at similar levels with rates of refugee return to Burundi and DRC substantially slowing to their lowest levels in April. Insecurity has continued in parts of eastern DRC and in the provinces of Bubanza, Cibitoke and Bujumbura Rural in Burundi. The activities of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in northern Uganda have continued sporadically and the presence of the rebel group is as well reported in both DRC and Southern Sudan. At the moment, the activities of the rebels seem to focus mainly on the need for survival (food raids). Food insecurity has continued to be a key and widespread humanitarian issue with an intensification caused by drought conditions in Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda and Karamoja region of Uganda in the early months of the year. Agencies continued to respond to needs both at country and regional level but reported that under-resourcing has affected response and that access continues to be a problem in assisting populations in DRC.
In Burundi, the country's political transition has sustained its progress in the early months of the year. In April, the Forces Nationales de Liberation (FNL) announced that it would agree to negotiations with the Government. A new calendar has been set and a facilitator appointed. Negotiations started on 29 May. In response to the emerging transition, the United Nations Operation in Burundi (UNOB) forces have begun gradual withdrawal as responsibility is transferred to the Government and its institutions. However, the rate of refugee return slowed considerably during the early months of the year to just a few hundred returns in April. The deceleration has been largely attributed to prevailing uncertainty about the stability of the peace with the FNL still fighting and the extent of food insecurity in areas of returns. The latter has also led to thousands of Burundians - many of whom are recent returnees - seeking asylum in Tanzania. Over 13,000 new arrivals from Burundi were recorded in the first quarter of the 2006, the large majority of whom were determined not to be eligible for asylum. In a move to encourage return to Burundi, an agreement between the tripartite members (Government of Burundi (GoB), Government of Tanzania (GoT) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)) has determined a move from facilitation to promotion of return as of 20th June. Due to funding restrictions, refugees are currently receiving approximately 75% of the full ration as the result of anticipated shortfalls as of June. In addition to the over 195,000 refugees who remain in camps in neighbouring countries, an estimated 100,000 Burundians remain displaced in camps inside the country. Burundi has also been the recent recipient of asylum seekers from Rwanda, whom are currently undergoing status determination leading to the repatriation of many. As of June, large numbers of these asylum seekers have started registering for voluntary returns.
Whilst delays in the political timetable have affected the pace of its peace process, the DRC, has also successfully continued with its political transition. Elections have been delayed on a number of occasions, but are currently scheduled to take place on 31 July. Despite this progress, insecurity continues to affect some areas in eastern DRC and the targeting of MONUC has been ongoing. The engagement of mission forces with armed militias has, however, helped to lessen the extent of the targeting. Insecurity surrounding the activities of the Mission d'Observation des Nations Unies au Congo (MONUC) and Forces Armées de la République Démocratique du Congo (FARDC) has led to the displacement of 120,000 per month and increased protection needs. Demobilisation activities have continued to be hampered and child recruitment has been increasing in the East. In relation to access, improvements have been reported in parts of the Kivus but a combination of insecurity and torrential rains has restricted access in Katanga.
The start of voluntary repatriation of Congolese refugees from Tanzania in October 2005 saw a fairly high number of returns in late 2005 and early 2006, with rates of return slowing to below one thousand returns per month towards mid 2006. In addition, some temporary re-displacement saw frequent cross-border movement in the first quarter of the year. Climatic conditions have also created humanitarian needs in DRC as a result of both flooding - which caused considerable damage and loss of life in Kinshasa and other areas - and drought. Seismic activity in Mount Nyiragongo was noted but fortunately no eruption occurred.
Speculation and rumours surrounding Rwanda's Gacaca process continued to prompt cross-border population movement into Burundi and to Uganda. However, this movement stopped early 2006 and seems to have been prompted mostly by the situation of drought in the communities bordering Burundi. To date, only about 5% of the asylum seekers screened in Burundi have been accepted as refugees; the remaining 19,000 still need to be screened. Most are expected to return to Rwanda where the UN system is mounting a special assistance programme in concerned communities. The World Food Programme (WFP) will provide supplementary feeding via Nutrition Centres and assist Food for Work (FFW) projects in collaboration with partners. The early months of the year also saw an emerging drought situation leading exacerbating food insecurity in some areas. Late and below normal rainfall levels for the last three agricultural seasons have resulted in significantly reduced crop yields in a number of districts. Rainfall in January 2006 was well below normal, and due to lack of seeds, poor germination and pests, the production of sorghum, maize and cassava for June season 2006 will be reduced.
The drought conditions that have prevailed in the region have also had a major impact on populations in Tanzania. In February, the Food Security Information Team (FSIT) announced that drought conditions, lack of cereal production, rising cereal prices and livestock deterioration were severely affecting access to food. According to the survey 3.7 million Tanzanians required assistance through subsidised food or in the case of over half a million people with free food. In line with recommendations made, the GoT has assisted those affected using stocks from the Strategic Grain Reserves and in May 2006, WFP appealed for $16 million to contribute to assistance. The onset of rain is reported to have mitigated the situation in parts of the country, although some areas are believed to have received lower than average rainfall, whilst others have been affected by heavy flooding. Army worm infestations have also threatened crop production. Lack of adequate water supply also led to a number of cases of cholera in coastal areas, particularly in Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar.
In Uganda, the Uganda Peoples Defence Force (UPDF) have continued their military operations against the Lords Resistance Army (LRA) although there has been a recent reduction in attacks and a gradual improvement in civil security in Lira and Acholi districts. The UPDF's pursuit of the LRA has crossed over the border into DRC. In May, Parliament amended the Amnesty Bill (2003) to exclude the five International Criminal Court (ICC) -indicted LRA commanders from being considered for Amnesty and review for two more years the Amnesty Commission's mandate. Whilst improvements in security have been seen in Teso, Lango and Acholi regions, a lack of basic facilities in areas of return is raising some concerns. Overall, numbers of IDPs have remained unchanged with a slight reduction in the number of night commuters in three Acholi districts. Over 53 IDP camps mainly in Lira and Gulu are accessible without military escorts due to the steady decline in LRA activities. Conditions in the camps however, continue to be overcrowded with inadequate provision of basic services including health care. These conditions, combined with Human Immuno-Deficiency Virus/Acquired Immuno-Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) prevalence and malaria, translate to mortality rates remaining alarmingly high. Two pieces of legislation passed by the Ugandan parliament in the first half of the year are expected to have an impact on humanitarian activities. The first being the Refugee Bill which outlines the framework for assistance to refugees and the second being the Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) Bill which requires the vetting of NGO registration applications by security agencies and periodic renewal of their registration.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. Executive summary
2. Changes in the humanitarian context and humanitarian consequences
3. Review of the common humanitarian action plan
3.2 Strategic priorities
3.3 Funding and its impact on project implementation
3.4 Progress towards stated goals and objectives
5. Annex i : (requirements, commitments/contributions and pledges per sector and per appealing organisations)
6. Annex ii. Updates on implementation of projects presented in the CAP
7. Annex iii. Acronyms and abbreviations
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