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Consolidated Appeals Process (CAP): Mid-Year Review of the Humanitarian Appeal 2005 for Eritrea

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Consolidated Appeals Process (CAP)
The CAP is much more than an appeal for money. It is an inclusive and coordinated programme cycle of:

a) strategic planning leading to a Common Humanitarian Action Plan (CHAP);
b) resource mobilisation (leading to a Consolidated Appeal or a Flash Appeal);
c) coordinated programme implementation;
d) joint monitoring and evaluation;
e) revision, if necessary; and
f) reporting on results.

The CHAP is a strategic plan for humanitarian response in a given country or region and includes the following elements:

a) A common analysis of the context in which humanitarian action takes place;
b) An assessment of needs;
c) best, worst, and most likely scenarios;
d) Stakeholder analysis, i.e. who does what and where;
e) A clear statement of longer-term objectives and goals;
f) Prioritised response plans; and
g) A framework for monitoring the strategy and revising it if necessary.

The CHAP is the foundation for developing a Consolidated Appeal or, when crises break or natural disasters occur, a Flash Appeal. The CHAP can also serve as a reference for organisations deciding not to appeal for funds through a common framework. Under the leadership of the Humanitarian Coordinator, the CHAP is developed at the field level by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Country Team. This team mirrors the IASC structure at headquarters and includes UN agencies, and standing invitees, i.e. the International Organization for Migration, the Red Cross Movement, and NGOs that belong to ICVA, Interaction, or SCHR. Non-IASC members, such as national NGOs, can be included, and other key stakeholders in humanitarian action, in particular host governments and donors, should be consulted.

The Humanitarian Coordinator is responsible for the annual preparation of the consolidated appeal document. The document is launched globally each November to enhance advocacy and resource mobilisation. An update, known as the Mid-Year Review, is presented to donors in June of each year.

Donors provide resources to appealing agencies directly in response to project proposals. The Financial Tracking Service (FTS), managed by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), is a database of donor contributions and can be found on www.reliefweb.int/fts

In sum, the CAP is about how the aid community collaborates to provide civilians in need the best protection and assistance available, on time.

1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

In November 2004, the United Nations, in collaboration with the Government of the State of Eritrea (GSE) and the Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) community, launched the Consolidated Appeal (CAP) for Eritrea 2005 in which programmes amounting to approximately US$ 157.15 million were laid out. Funds appealed for were designed to combat continuing chronic household food security problems, raising levels of malnutrition, as well as ensuring basic cross-sectoral services to the most vulnerable Eritreans among others.

The food security situation worsened in the last half of 2004 and continued in this pattern throughout the early months of 2005. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) World Food Programme (WFP) post-harvest Crop and Food Supply Assessment (CFSAM) conducted in November 2004 estimated a cereal production of 85,000 MTs, down from 106,000 metric tonnes (MTs) in 2003/2004(1) and below the average of the last 12 years. Compounding this, the inflation of cereal prices over the last year was between 50 to 100%(2). The overall food aid distributions throughout the first half of 2005 has varied between approximately 75% (first quarter) and 55% (second quarter) of the CFSAM mission projected food aid requirements primarily as a result of food pipeline concerns. Factors such as low production, inflation of market prices and insufficient food assistance being distributed, has further exhausted already overstretched coping mechanisms of the poor.

The stalemate in the peace process between Eritrea and Ethiopia over the continuing border dispute also adds another constraint to both household and national coping mechanisms. Many investment programmes are postponed, and families are often missing their men folk as a result of conscription, placing an unprecedented burden on women and children. While the nutritional status of the population remains stable, it is also locked at levels that do not allow proper health and growth development. Four out of six districts were covered by nutritional surveys in the last quarter of 2004, where an average of 14% of children and 40% of women were acutely malnourished(3).

Overall financial contributions to the CAP follow similar patterns to previous years with late pledging by the donor community: including funding levels that have reached only about 59% of WFP food requirements. With funding levels for non-food sectors below last year's, some agencies have been forced to reduce support in vital areas such as health and water. One fundamental difference between CAP 2004 and 2005 is that in non-food activities in particular, there were far fewer funds available for carry-over in 2005 than from the previous year, which has contributed to the delay in implementation of many important programmes.

The protracted humanitarian crisis has rendered the poorest Eritreans even more vulnerable. The Common Humanitarian Action Plan (CHAP), which places emphasis on life saving sectors and offers limited support for recovery, remains valid. As such, even those projects that have received no or limited funding will generally be maintained - as the needs have increased relative to last year. The most important emphasis in the coming months will be on improving response to food and food security projects (food and nutrition, water, agriculture, recovery activities) in order to avoid even greater human suffering.

In light of the changes in the context and consequent humanitarian needs, financial requirements have been revised to US$ 156.4 million. With the donor response standing at 52% as of 10 June 2005, requirements for the remainder of 2005 total US$ 74.5 million.

2. CHANGES IN THE HUMANITARIAN CONTEXT


March 2005 Rainfall as compared to the normal, March 2004, March 2003 and March 2002 rainfall


In the past half-year, key indicators in areas such as health care and nutritional status point to a sustained high level of risk. Additionally, indicators such as climate, food markets, livestock prices and overall security concerns, are also pointing toward a deteriorating situation. High food insecurity has resulted in increased food assistance needs compared to 2004. In excess of 2.3 million people or, 60% of the population, will continue to rely on food assistance throughout the remainder of the year.

Generally, there has been no major change in the political environment and regional stability. However, the no-war/no-peace environment has restricted micro and macro-economic activities(4), especially as smaller scale and petty trade has traditionally been at the core of the livelihoods of many farmers and pastoralists. As the demarcation process has been delayed, tensions between Eritrea and Ethiopia have persisted with growing rhetoric and increased military activity in the border area. The potential for a return to conflict remains.


Source: National Food Information System

Source: National Food Information System


Data collected from health clinics is available up to February 2005 and shows no improvement as compared with 2004. The 'hunger season' traditionally starts in May and concludes in September of each year. However, due to reduced food availability resulting from low harvests and a reduction of food assistance quantities, the 'hunger season' commenced in early March. This has been manifested by the significant increases in the admissions of severely malnourished children into therapeutic feeding programmes and heightened under-five morbidity and mortality from diarrhoea as compared to the same period of previous years. As such, the average figure of 14% of children under five years of age being acutely malnourished according to the recent nutritional surveys, is likely to further increase in the coming months because of five years successive drought, a protracted 'hunger season' coupled with a lack of assets, reduced value of remittances and an economy that continues to operate poorly. Moreover, the National Nutrition Surveillance Surveys (NNSS) show that malnutrition affects approximately 30-60% of women of age between 18 and 60 living in Eritrea. Pregnant and lactating women are more vulnerable due to the extra caloric requirement of their physiological condition.

In addition, coping mechanisms such as consumption and sale of livestock, employment in day labour, cross border movements and use of wild and famine foods have all become scarce: livestock losses over years and grazing farther from communities prohibits families from relying on this important coping mechanism. Furthermore, a lack of labour opportunities, able bodied men and environmental degradation (deforestation) has reduced the availability of wild foods. Recent field visits to assess response behaviour at the household level in the southern districts of Debub and Gash Barka showed that negative coping mechanisms were already prevalent. Meals were reduced in number, while livestock was generally unavailable for food and income. Many household heads predicted a worse year than any in the past five years of poor rains, primarily because so few household assets remained(5). The number of female-headed households is over 50% in some areas, creating an enormous burden on women who are often culturally barred from engaging in some agriculture activities such as ploughing.

As a means to further reinforce local coping mechanisms, ensuring the timely arrival of adequate food aid - coupled with community-based recovery inputs such as seeds, tools and implements, credit, animal nutrition and health support - will be key. Eritrean aid agencies refer to this new strategy as "humanitarian plus", without which adapting to the current drought prone conditions will be impossible. Rapid and increased injection of both life saving food assistance, health and water support and reinforcing the recovery components of the CAP are required for an holistic humanitarian impact to be achieved.

3. REVIEW OF THE COMMON HUMANITARIAN ACTION PLAN

3.1 IMPACT OF FUNDING LEVELS

The components of the 2005 CHAP for Eritrea are outlined as: a) food aid; b) food security and water; and c) relief and resettlement of war-affected displaced. Food aid distribution levels have been lower than in 2004 due to a combination of reduced availability (pipeline) factors and difficulties in distribution due to the lack of fuel. While this may have been tolerated from October 2004 through May 2005, failure to increase food distribution levels will likely produce much higher levels of malnutrition than last year.

The Water Sector has only received approximately US$ 1,291,128 or 20% of its required US$ 6.5 million with only the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and Cooperazione e Sviluppo (CESVI) receiving donor support thus far. This has slowed the ability of the sector to meet the critical water needs of priority groups. Additionally, as the Bahri rains (October to March) performed very poorly along the eastern escarpment, particularly the northern and north central parts of the country, those areas have witnessed a growing crisis of decreasing water tables and acute water shortages. As a result, UNICEF has been requested to increase water trucking from 60,000 to 90,000 people. The nutrition survey in the Northern Red Sea area undertaken in January 2005(6) confirms that a lack of water is having an adverse affect on the health of local populations, especially children with some 62% falling ill during the previous two weeks prior to the survey, and 35% of these cases as a result of diarrhoea, which was significantly higher than six months previously.

In the Agriculture Sector, resources committed to date have been sufficient to cover 43% of the total requirement. Availability of good quality seeds in the country is currently very low and the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) permits only small-scale importations of improved seeds. This is the reason why the quantities of seed for distribution, requested in the CAP 2005, are lower than the seed gap estimated (5,000 MTs) by the MoA. Only 800 MTs or 16% of the required seeds for the forthcoming planting season have been secured, including some funds for NGOs. The seed multiplication project, which has been funded, represents the most effective alternative, allowing farmers to locally produce good quality seeds.

Most vulnerable households/communities, affected by Human Immuno-Deficiency Virus/Acquired Immuno-Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) or by high malnutrition rates, remain uncovered by agricultural assistance. Support for enabling greater self-sufficiency with regard to home gardening, improvement of diet and small income generation activities, should be promoted in collaboration with other existing programmes. The agricultural project of CARE International, in partnership with Haben and the MoA, that aims to strengthen coping mechanisms of vulnerable populations, has been revised upward, from US$ 429,150 to US$ 555,479. This is now fully funded by the Norwegian Government. Funding shortfalls for the Agricultural Sector remains at US$ 1.73 million.

In the Health Sector, some US$ 2.059 million, or 40% of funding for the three-agency component, has gone to UNICEF-supported nutrition programmes. This funding has allowed the procurement of special foods for 42,500 malnourished children and women and support to 40 Therapeutic Feeding Centres (TFCs) serving 3,000 severely malnourished children. It has also allowed support to an emergency meningitis vaccine programme to stem the limited outbreak that occurred in February. Meanwhile, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have had to rely on funding from other sources. UNFPA is utilising its core resources to provide training on Reproductive Health (RH) issues (health workers training on Life Saving Skills (LSS) and Traditional Birth Attendance (TBA) training on the recognition of danger signs of pregnancy and early referral). While standard RH equipment and commodities have been purchased, commodities and supplies additionally required to meet extra demand have not yet been procured due to lack of funding. The ability to maintain a positive trend in reducing maternal mortality is at risk unless greater amount of funding becomes available for the health sector. Due the unavailability of funds through the CAP 2005, WHO implemented CAP-related activities by reprogramming its regular budget. This reprogramming has affected recovery activities planned for 2005 such as maternal health programmes, vulnerability reduction which are equally important to prevent crisis generated by the lack of these programmes.

UNICEF has only been able to secure 6% of its funding requirement for activities geared toward children living in camps. Those funds carried over for UNICEF Mine Risk Awareness (MRA) activities will be depleted by August. Given the return of 19,000 IDPs into high mine risk areas in February, there is an urgent need for funding in this sector. During the past five months, the UN Mine Action Coordination Centre (UNMACC) has reported 11 landmine incidents and there are still an estimated 650,000 people who are living in 481 landmine-impacted communities throughout the country.

In terms of relief assistance to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), the United Nations Development Fund (UNDP) has raised only one-third of shelter needs for IDPs in camps and in settlement areas. The result is that nearly 8,000 IDP households in camps are still without adequate temporary shelter. In terms of resettlement, recovery and reintegration activities, funding has been more favourable and UNDP has secured more than US$ 10 million for IDP resettlement (most outside of the CAP). UNHCR is financing its operations through allocations from contributions earmarked at the country or regional level and from allocations from unrestricted contributions. For its programme in Eritrea, country level earmarked contributions currently amount to approximately US$ 2.2 million. The balance of the current requirements is thus met from broader or un-earmarked funding received.

3.1.1 Scenarios

Overall, the anticipated 'Most Likely Scenario' as outlined in the 2005 CHAP remains the same, although it has been aggravated by the short-term impact of the revised exchange policy. Drought conditions have persisted and any likely improvement in 2005 will only be seen at the time of the first harvest (October/November), with no impact on the current 'hungry months' (March/September). Food insecurity and the continual weakening of the economy are evident and the no-peace/no-war situation has persisted. While the 'Worst-Case' scenario outlined the possibility for the resumption of hostilities, this has so far been avoided. Many other risks associated with high physical, social and economic vulnerability have indeed evolved over the past months, threatening the ability of the government and humanitarian aid agencies to contain the situation.

3.1.2 Strategic Priorities for Humanitarian Response

Strategic humanitarian priorities for the second half of 2005 remain the same: a) prevent high levels of malnutrition; b) ensure basic survival of vulnerable groups; c) support resettlement and durable solutions for previous displaced; d) prevention of landmine incidents; and e) strengthen coordination capacities in government and civil society counterparts. Projects that have received no or partial funding remain highly valid, and even when many might appear at first sight not immediately life saving, they remain equally important. Priorities in the next months will be on improving response to food security projects (food aid, water, agriculture, recovery activities) so as to avoid loss of life and to start to bridge humanitarian initiatives to more sustainable solutions.

The strategy envisages an integrative mode where sector specific inputs catalyse other investments. For example, improving supply to potable water will allow food aid to have greater impact on child health, while health programmes such as supplementation of Vitamin A will equally contribute to improved nutritional status by lowering infections and reducing the burden on health care. Agricultural and livelihood inputs (economic assets) support will reduce household food insecurity and will allow some semblance of recovery from the past harsh years. Only the solid support of the donor community for all components of the outlined strategy will have the largest cumulative impact on relief and recovery in the country.

Notes:

(1) FAO/WFP - Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission report, January 2005.
(2) Famine Early Warning System (FEWS) report, April 2005.
(3) Ministry of Health, NNSS. UNICEF circular. May 2005.
(4) In addition to this, the tightening of regulations and increased control on the foreign currency has brought more hardship, even though from a macro-economic point of view it has led to increased stability. By abandoning the preferential exchange rate of 19 Nakfa per dollar for nationals (basically remittances from abroad and dollars from visiting Eritreans) and establishing a unified of 15 Nakfa to the dollar (up from 13.5) the result has been a sudden loss of purchasing power of 21% for those receiving remittances, further aggravated by high inflation.
(5) Many women predicted growing illness and malnutrition among their children because the lowered food rations had resulted in a diet of mostly bread and occasional tomatoes, and not the traditional porridge and milk. The local markets of more remote areas confirm the lack of milk and butter, and most who do produce this are now selling and not consuming such by products
(6) Source: Ministry of Health (MoH). Preliminary Report of the National Nutrition Survey System (NNSS), Northern Red Sea, January 2005.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

2. CHANGES IN THE HUMANITARIAN CONTEXT

3. REVIEW OF THE COMMON HUMANITARIAN ACTION PLAN

3.1 Impact of funding levels

  • 3.1.1 Scenarios
  • 3.1.2 Strategic Priorities for Humanitarian Response

4. SECTOR RESPONSE PLANS

4.1 Food Aid
4.2 Agriculture
4.3 Health and Nutrition
4.4 Water and Sanitation
4.5 Family Shelter and Household Items
4.6 Coordination
4.7 Mine Action
4.8 Economic Recovery and Infrastructure
4.9 Education
4.10 Multi-sector

5. CONCLUSION

ANNEX I. MONEY AND PROJECTS

ANNEX II. TABLE I. SUMMARY OF REQUIREMENTS AND CONTRIBUTIONS BY APPEALING ORGANISATION AND BY SECTOR

ANNEX III. ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS

Note: The full text of this appeal is available on-line in Adobe Acrobat (pdf) format and may also be downloaded in zipped MS Word format.

Full Original Mid-Term Review [pdf* format] [zipped MS Word format]

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