1. At the request of the IASC Working Group, a multi-disciplinary mission including several UN agencies, NGOs and donors travelled to CAR from 4 to 11 November 2006. The mission led by Mr. Ibrahima Fall (UNICEF) provided the first opportunity for a collective focus on the level, scale and trends of humanitarian vulnerability in CAR and best ways to address existing challenges.
2. In its report, the mission described CAR as a country affected by a multi-faceted crisis in which political / governance, development, security and humanitarian challenges are intertwined. It further underlined that several areas of the country were currently in the midst of a complex emergency, including a protracted human rights and protection crisis. The mission took stock of the efforts already accomplished to address humanitarian challenges in CAR. It came to the conclusion that despite genuine efforts and opportunities, the humanitarian response remained insufficient to contain the deteriorating humanitarian situation. It therefore called for urgent and stronger engagement from all actors, so as to support the implementation of the IASC Country Team's strategy and priorities for 2007. Thus, the mission's report includes 12 recommendations on coordination, in-country emergency capacity and modus operandi, advocacy, protection and human rights and linkages between emergency and recovery. The conclusions and recommendations of the mission were presented to humanitarian partners in Brussels, Geneva, New York, Paris, and Washington in November - December 2006.
3. Since the mission occurred, several NGOs and donors, as well as Bretton Woods institutions have started re-engaging the country. UN agencies have progressively strengthened their operation in CAR. Media attention has increased. A political process including political and armed oppositions seems to emerge. Yet, as the USG / ERC noted during his mission to CAR (29 - 31 March), humanitarian needs continue to increase and additional efforts are required.
4. On 30 November, the Secretary General launched the 2007 Coordinated Aid Program (CAP) for CAR (USD 54 million). The Appeal focuses on four strategic priorities: improving human security by alleviating suffering; providing assistance and protection to internally displaced persons; enhancing local capacities with particular attention on risk reduction; and improving coordination. As of 17 April, the Appeal is 31% funded. It is noted though that CERF remains the first donor (USD 4.5 million).
Objectives of the mission
This is a follow-up mission, which primary objectives are to:
1. Take stock of the evolution of the humanitarian situation and response over the past 6 months. Particular attention will be paid to coordination and Human Rights and protection issues, as well as to linkages between relief and recovery.
2. With special reference to the human rights situation, assess the effectiveness of the existing protection mechanisms (Working Group on Protection; Human Rights Section of BONUCA) and requirements for a more effective response to human rights issues, including the protection of IDPs.
3. Assess the humanitarian response and progresses made in the implementation of the mission's recommendations.
4. As part as an advocacy strategy, help keep international attention on the vulnerability of Central African people.
Proposed dates and participation
1. The proposed dates for the mission are 10 - 17 May 2007
2. Ibrahima Fall will lead follow-up mission. ICVA and the Swedish Government are expected to confirm their availability. In addition, given the extent of human rights and recovery / development challenges in CAR, OHCHR and UNDGO will be invited to participate. Overall coordination and support at HQ and field level will be ensured by OCHA.
At the end of the mission, participants are expected to:
1. Give a comprehensive overview of progress made in the humanitarian response over the past 6 months and remaining issues;
2. Support the implementation of the IASC Country Team's strategy and priorities for 2007 through increased advocacy with relevant organisations and donors to address the needs of vulnerable groups;
3. Recommend / propose best ways to continue improve the humanitarian response in CAR, including linkages between relief and recovery;
4. Recommend a short term strategy to address immediate human rights challenges; initiate the development of a longer term human rights strategy.