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Consolidated Appeals Process(CAP) : Mid-Term Review of the Humanitarian Appeal 2005 for West Africa

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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.

ORGANISATIONS PARTICIPATING IN CONSOLIDATED APPEALS DURING 2005:
AAH
ABS
ACF/ACH
ACTED
ADRA
Africare
Alisei
AMREF
ARC
Atlas Logistique
AVSI
CAM
CARE Int'l
CARITAS
CEASOP
CESVI
CIRID
COLFADHEMA
COMED
COOPI
CORDAID
CPA-LIRA
CPAR
CPCD
CRC
CREAF
CRS
DDG
DENAL
DRC
EMSF
ERM
FAO
Fondn. Suisse Déminage
GAA
GPI
HA
HABEN
Handicap Int'l
HDIG
HDO
HFe.V
HIA
Horn Relief
HWA
IFRC
ILO
IMC
INTERMON
INTERSOS
IOM
IRC
IRIN
Islamic Relief
JVSF
KOC
LIBA
LSTG
MAG
Mani Tese
MAT
MDA
NE
Non-Violence Int'l
NPA
NRC
OCHA
OCPH
OHCHR
Open Continent
Orphan's Aid
OXFAM-GB
PAPP
PIN
PRC
RUFOU
SBF
SCF / SC-UK
SCU
SERLO
SFP
Solidarités
TASO
TEARFUND
TEWPA
UNAIDS
UNDP
UNESCO
UNFPA
UN-HABITAT
UNHCR
UNICEF
UNIFEM
UNMAS
UNODC
UNRWA
UNSECOORD
VESTA
VETAID
WACRO
WANEP/APDH
WFP
WHO
WV Int'l

1. Executive summary

Since the launch of the Consolidated Appeal for 2005, a number of significant changes in the humanitarian environment have taken place and the overall humanitarian situation in West Africa has deteriorated considerably. The humanitarian community is witnessing a food crisis in Niger that requires immediate action as well as a protection crisis in Togo affecting both Benin and Ghana. The situation in Guinea Bissau as of early June is that of a structural emergency, with the risk of deteriorating into a humanitarian crisis given the tense political climate in the period leading to the presidential elections. Beyond preparedness measures, this situation calls for a comprehensive peace-building effort, with significant quick impact initiatives aiming at giving the populations a stake in the peace process. Furthermore, the ongoing "no-war-no-peace" situation in Côte d'Ivoire continues to affect the sub-region, with its impact on the economic and social fronts in neighbouring countries becoming increasingly obvious. Although renewed massacres have taken place in western Côte d'Ivoire in May and June, prospects are more encouraging than before for Ivorians and populations of neighbouring countries, considering ongoing efforts to encourage political actors to follow through on their commitments to peace including the disarmament process.

On a more positive note, although small infestations of locusts are present in northern Mali and probably in Burkina Faso, Guinea and the Air Mountains in Niger, they are not currently expected to pose a significant threat. The commitment of the European Union (EU), and intentions expressed by regional organisations and other partners, to send observers to the presidential elections in Guinea Bissau, some of them long-term observers, is also a positive step from recent developments in Togo where media reports and images of soldiers and other armed men raiding polling stations and seizing boxes of uncounted ballots were difficult to ignore and led the opposition to contest results.

In February and March 2005, the effects of the locust invasion, the drought, and the political developments in Guinea Bissau, Togo and Côte d'Ivoire led the participating humanitarian organisations in the Consolidated Appeals Process (CAP) to review the situation and reconsider the most pressing humanitarian challenges. As a result, a revision was issued in March 2005 changing the global amount needed from US$ 152,280,099 to US$ 190,258,786, and focuses primarily on food insecurity, population movements, and the impact of sub regional instability. The Mid-Year Review (MYR) has therefore mainly focused on developments during the second quarter of 2005.

The revisions that have taken place within the context of the MYR are primarily related to the situation in: 1) countries currently affected by drought and the locust invasion of 2004, i.e. Niger, Mali, Mauritania and Burkina Faso; 2) Togo and neighbouring Ghana and Benin; and, 3) Guinea Bissau. As such, the review of the Common Humanitarian Action Plan (CHAP) and the strategic priorities has led to a revision of the Consolidated Appeal (CA) to US$ 195,988,702 for the year 2005. With the donor response standing at 38% as of 10 June 2005, unmet requirements for the remainder of 2005 total US$ 121.3 million.

2. Changes in the context and humanitarian consequences

Conflicts and natural hazards have continued to transcend national borders in West Africa in 2005 and require a regional response. The clusters of countries identified as priority areas in late 2004 during the process of the Consolidated Appeal were: 1) locust and drought affected countries Burkina Faso, Cap Verde, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Nigeria; 2) Côte d'Ivoire and neighbouring countries Mali, Burkina Faso and Ghana; and, 3) the Mano River Union (MRU): Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

While this categorisation still remains valid, the locust and drought affected cluster is currently mainly focused on Niger, Mali, Mauritania and Burkina Faso. In addition Togo, Benin and Ghana have been added as a fourth cluster, and in view of the situation in Guinea Bissau, a fifth cluster containing Guinea Bissau, Senegal and Guinea-Conakry is under consideration.

Niger, Mali, Mauritania, Burkina Faso

All indicators point towards increased poverty in Niger due to a rapidly increasing demography, desertification, locust infestations, rain shortfalls, and the socio-economic impact of crises in the sub-region, combined with a weak national capacity. Although most of the difficulties in Niger are due to structural or chronic food insecurity, and this years' cereal harvest was only 3% less than the 5 year average CILSS and International Fertilizer Development Centre (IFDC) March 2005, a joint Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)/ Comité (permanent) inter-Etats de la lutte contre la sécheresse dans le Sahel (CILSS)/ Famine Early Warning System (FEWS)/ World Food Programme (WFP) crop and food supply assessment mission with a WFP-conducted household access component estimated that some 1.6 million persons were at risk and would need assistance from March to August this year. In April 2005, nutritional data from an evaluation carried out by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) France reconfirmed a critical situation in which the number of children requiring treatment for severe malnutrition was abnormally high. In March 2005, 200 to 300 children were admitted weekly to the MSF feeding programme in Maradi, which is far above the 50 to 100 severely malnourished children normally admitted per week in the month of March Data is not available to show whether the increase in admissions in the MSF programme in places such as Maradi is due to migration or to a degradation of the local situation, but it nevertheless confirms the strong negative impact on both pasture and cereal production.. As of March 2005, prices were 46% higher in agro-pastoral areas than at the same time in 2003. In this environment, poor households are increasingly moving to towns in search of food and income, and taking children out of school. Source: FEWS, March 2005 A 36% deficit of animal fodder compared to last year's figures is endangering the survival of livestock that are traditionally used by rural communities to get cash on the markets. A dramatic drop of livestock prices has considerably reduced their already limited purchasing power and has increased their vulnerability.

According to Niger's Early Warning System, 3.6 million of its 12 million inhabitants have been directly affected by the food crisis. To compound this, the country could face an even more critical food crisis if drought and locusts once again affect the 2005 agricultural campaign. The most acute areas of concern in relation to the food crisis in Niger are the regions of Tillabéri, Tahoua, Maradi, Diffa, Agadez and Zinder.

In April, social tensions were triggered by the introduction of a Value Added Tax (VAT) negotiated with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as a condition for budgetary aid. Through dialogue, the Government and the civil society coalition leading the protests reached an agreement on 18 April, and the VAT was maintained only for sugar, while all other basic commodities were exempted and other sources of revenue identified.


Illustration 1: Critical events timeline for Niger (source: FEWS net)

In Mali, the combined effects of the drought and the desert locust invasion have resulted in a significant decrease in agricultural production compared to last year. Dry cereal prices have increased in average by 70% compared to last year. Approximately 2.2 million people (20% of the population) are likely to suffer from food insecurity or famine if ongoing actions are concluded before the end of the lean season due to lack of financial support.

Fodder and fish production have both decreased significantly during the period. Areas of the country that are hard to access (some areas in Gao, Kidal and Toumbouctou) are confronted with serious difficulties in terms of cereal supply (millet) leading to significant price increases that are higher than the five year average for the same period (185 Francs of the African Financial Community (CFA)/kg compared to 150 CFA/kg). The terms of trade used by pastoral nomadic populations to exchange their animal stock for dry cereals has deteriorated rapidly with the 100 kg/bag of millet passing from 2.5 goats in early February to 3.7 today. This seriously compromises the ability of pastoral nomadic populations to survive in the future.

Nutritional surveys undertaken in April 2005 by OXFAM and Action Contre la Faim (ACF) in the north of the country (Gao and Kidal) show an increase of general Malnutrition Amongst Children (MAC). A severe nutritional degradation in these regions can be diagnosed with some regions showing that one out of two children are affected.

Additionally, health and reproductive health needs of refugees, returning migrants and host communities remain largely neglected, requiring urgent assistance strengthen primary health care services, routine immunisation services and nutrition supplementation.

The food security situation also continues to deteriorate throughout Mauritania, particularly in agro-pastoral areas and shantytowns. Some 750,000 people or 26% of the population remain affected by last year's locust invasion. Malnutrition rates in certain areas are preoccupying, especially in the River valley and the Aftout areas: in the communal area of Magthar Lahjar in Brakna region 19.31% of infants are severely malnourished. In some areas of the same region, global malnutrition rates are estimated in the area of 36% according to an evaluation carried out by Mauritanian authorities in April 2005. Food prices have significantly increased: a bag of wheat has risen from Mauritania Ougulya (MRO) 2,500 (US$ 9.5 at current rate) in 2003 to MRO 5,000 (US$ 19) in 2005. Sorghum is impossible to find on the market, increasing pressure on already impoverished households. The ability of a large number of people to cope with this situation has been exhausted following several years of drought and poor harvests.

Decreasing access to water and grazing for herders (6% of the population) in Mauritania is precipitating their seasonal migration towards Mali and Senegal as tensions increase between this group and farmers who compete for the use of wells and cropland. In April/May the police station in Aioun was attacked and weapons were stolen. The recent wave of arrests of militant Islamists and the closure (under police guard) of Mosques except for prayer has alienated parts of the population and could lead to further conflict.

Further, in an effort to curb corruption and ensure loyalty among cabinet members in the run up to the oil production windfall (75,000 barrels / day is expected from 2006), President Taya has increased his Minister's salaries by 600%.

The drought and locust invasion of 2004 also had an impact on Northern areas of Burkina Faso with an official estimate of some 500,000 people in need of food assistance. Official estimates of populations affected by locust invasion in the Northern regions of Burkina Faso are of 491.056. These populations have received emergency assistance from government, but estimates from the Ministry of Agriculture revealed in December 2004 that about 1,622,000 people all over the country will be suffering from the effects of the locust invasion and drought and will need assistance. In late 2004, the Government initiated a three step emergency operation of 1.162 billion CFA (US$ 2.2 million) to assist populations in 15 provinces affected by locust and drought. This operation is expected to continue until the next harvest in October 2005. United Nations (UN) agencies, bilateral and multilateral partners such as the World Bank, the EU, the Red Cross Commodity Research Bureau (CRB) and International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), and countries like France, the Netherlands, and international and national Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) are now involved in food distribution to most vulnerable people; sale of cereals at subsidised prices; securing livestock; and the sale of seeds.

Togo and neighbouring countries (Benin, Ghana)

The situation has deteriorated drastically in Togo over the past three months as the political crisis, which started in early February with the death of the former President, degenerated into civilian unrest. Street protests broke out in the aftermath of the presidential election, which took place on 24 April, amid accusations of fraud, causing several hundreds of casualties, thousands of wounded, and an outflow of refugees to Benin and Ghana along with estimated internal displacement of 12,000 persons. As of 26 May, the number of refugees stood at 34,000 of whom 19,272 were in Benin and some 15,000 in Ghana. While refugees in Ghana are staying with host communities, in Benin some 6,621 are living in camps while the rest are staying with host families or on their own. A joint United Nations/Government assessment carried out in Burkina Faso determined in May that there were no Togolese refugees in need of assistance in this border area.

As of early June, the situation in Togo has calmed down considerably and is being considered a protection and human rights crisis marked by restrained and unsafe access of civilians to social services.

Côte d'Ivoire and neighbouring countries (Guinea, Liberia, Ghana, Mali, Burkina Faso)

The effects of the crisis in Côte d'Ivoire on bordering countries are also becoming progressively apparent. Militants have reportedly crossed into both Guinea and Liberia, and lately Ghana (April 2005) heightening the circulation of small arms. As in Guinea and Mali, host communities in Burkina Faso are caught in a latent and invisible crisis, in particular in areas along the borders with high concentrations of returnees, which is gradually eroding their income and coping capacities.

Having fled the violence after the crisis broke out in Côte d'Ivoire a few returnees received emergency assistance upon arrival in their home country. Two years later, many men have returned to Côte d'Ivoire to work in cocoa and coffee plantations leaving behind women and children. The primary challenges for these households are in the sectors of food, health, water and sanitation, school, and employment. Some returnees are living with host families but the majority have settled in new areas creating competition for scarce natural resources generating conflicts between communities and a high risk for deforestation. As seen elsewhere, conditions of poverty also foster the spread of Human Immuno-deficiency Virus /Acquired Immuno-Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS). For the unemployed young men, in addition to HIV/AIDS, the main threats are drugs and crimes linked with the high proliferation of small weapons in the sub-region. Sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) is widespread, especially in Liberia and Côte d'Ivoire, yet few women have access to direct medical, psychosocial or legal services. Thus, the situation of returnees in the sub-region continues to be a latent crisis that requires a specific and dedicated response.

Guinea Bissau

The human security situation in Guinea Bissau continues to deteriorate due to the combined effect of several elements. These include the multi-dimensional socio-economic crisis that already has the profile of a "structural emergency", the manipulation of the ethnic diversity for political/electoral purposes, a dysfunctional and weak State, and the frustration of the people for not having visible peace dividends.

It is worth noting that 65% of the population lives below the poverty line, 45% has no access to safe drinking water, 36% of the population is affected by food insecurity, and 30% of children under five are malnourished. Against this background, in the presence of a highly divided and interventionist army as well as the increase in arms and light weapons in the sub-region, the Presidential elections scheduled for 19 of June constitute a source of tension and further instability.

The United Nations Secretary-General has appointed former President Joaquim Alberto Chissano of Mozambique as his Special Envoy for Guinea-Bissau tasked with facilitating peaceful and credible Presidential elections. Tensions are on the rise, particularly after former President Kumba Yalla proclaimed himself President on 15 May and occupied the Presidency on 25 May accompanied by a number of individuals, including members of the military. The proclamation and illegal occupation of the Presidency, denounced by the authorities and members of the international community as a 'failed coup attempt' was deplored by the Armed Forces and led to a large peace demonstration. Neighbouring countries Senegal and Guinea, as well as the African Union (AU) and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) are attempting to diffuse the tensions. The international community has concurred with the position of the national authorities that Presidential elections should be held on 19 of June. The EU has committed to sending 100 observers to the election who will remain in the country if a second round run-off vote will be held in July.

Senegal

The peace accord signed in late December 2004 between the Senegalese Government and the rebel Mouvement des forces démocratiques de Casamance (MFDC) has been followed by detailed talks on issues such as disarmament and the reintegration of ex-combatants. These negotiations on the practical modalities of the agreement took place on 1 February 2005 in Foundiougne, about 160 km southeast of Dakar, and reveal better prospects for lasting peace in Casamance than the three previous peace accords (1991, 1993, 1995). The Government has promised to spend 210 billion CFA francs (about US$ 402 million) on the region's reconstruction and development, but the programme will not be implemented until a conclusive peace materialises. The spill over effects of an eventual crisis in Guinea Bissau could have adverse effects on some of the most vulnerable areas of the country.

Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea

Liberia continues to move towards a fragile post-conflict situation. Preparations are underway for the general elections scheduled for 11 October and improvements have taken place in the security situation. Humanitarian actors continue to be faced with the challenge of responding to the needs associated with the return and reintegration of hundreds of thousands of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and refugees. Although the disarmament process has been completed, there is still much work to be done in terms of reintegration. As Liberia enters the recovery phase, the resettlement and reintegration of IDPs, refugees and ex-combatants, requires the strengthening of the socio-economic fabric of the communities of return. Due to a notable lack of basic services and high rates of unemployment (especially in the interiors of Liberia) many men (mainly ex combatants), women, and children are crossing the border into Guinea and Côte d'Ivoire. A recent study conducted in March 2005, by Columbia University/United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) showed that although SGBV is widespread and recognised, very few international or government agencies have programmes designed to raise awareness and address the needs of SGBV victims. Additionally, the poor quality -- or outright absence in some cases -- of physical infrastructure (roads, power, and other services) poses an even greater challenge for the government and international community in attempting the difficult job of reconstruction and reconciliation.

Guinea remains fragile because of the combined political uncertainty linked to the health of the Head of State and the dramatic deterioration of socio-economic conditions. Prices of rice, fuel and most of the other basic commodities continue to increase dramatically and as living conditions worsen tensions continue to rise throughout the country. Although Sierra Leone is enjoying peace and stability and registering progress with the implementation of reintegration programmes, there are still lingering humanitarian needs to be met. Some observers continue to express concerns regarding the overall stability of the country once the United Nations peace mission withdraws.

HIV/AIDS

In West Africa there is little evidence of changes in HIV prevalence levels, and most countries continue to have prevalence between 1 and 5% (Ghana: 3.1%; Togo: 4.1%; Nigeria: 5.4%, Mauritania: 0.6%; Gambia: 1.2%; Senegal: 0.8%; Guinea: 3.2%; Benin: 1.9%; CI: 7%; Mali: 1.9%; Burkina: 4.2%; Niger: 1.2% as of 2003). Although HIV prevalence in West Africa is relatively low compared to other areas in Africa, the forced displacement of people -- within and outside states boundaries -- poses a serious challenge to the prevention, treatment and containment of this devastating epidemic. Côte d'Ivoire is known have the highest prevalence rate and the conflict in Côte d'Ivoire has resulted in the destruction of many health care facilities in the west, while medical staff have fled the rebel-held north. Only 2,300 people currently have access to anti-AIDS drugs, although funding was available to provide the subsidised treatment to many more people. The target of putting 63,000 HIV-positive people under treatment by the end of 2005 will likely fail because of fighting in some parts of the country.

Crime

The overall political instability of the region also continues to sustain the growth of and facilitate the rooting of transnational organised crime. Whilst cannabis continues to be cultivated, marketed, and consumed widely in almost all countries in the region, important cocaine seizures and ongoing investigations indicate the gradual upgrading of the West African coast from simple transit to stockpiling to redistribution deposits. As a logical reflection of the large quantities of cocaine transiting through West Africa, several countries in the region reported seizures of small quantities of locally manufactured crack cocaine that can be easily sold at affordable prices even to poor consumers in post-conflict countries.

Trafficking human beings and arms, counterfeiting products and natural resources such as diamonds, timber, and ichthyic resources significantly contribute to instability in the region. Providing financial resources to fighting groups and weakening the efforts of transitional administrations and the international community to restore the rule of law further add to destabilization. In Guinea Bissau no prison is available for jailing convicted criminals. In Liberia, none of some 80 cases brought to the attention of the judiciary system resulted in convictions. The supply of small arms to organised criminal groups is sustained by both smuggling from zones of conflicts and by diverting them from legitimate army deposits. The proliferation of small arms and its logical corollary in terms of violence seriously undermines people's mobility, commerce, and access to basic services.

3. CHAP Review

3.1 Summary

The CHAP will continue to centre on sectors related to the following key thematic areas: 1) population movements and protection; 2) health and cross-border epidemics; 3) humanitarian space and disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR); 4) governance; 5) preparedness and mitigation of complex emergencies and natural disasters.

Recent trends in the sub-region suggest that elections can trigger political instability leading to human rights violations and localised humanitarian crises for which United Nations teams across West Africa are not necessarily prepared, hence the need to provide additional support in preparedness and response. Although inter-agency support has been provided in contingency planning and preparedness, the lack of a flexible emergency funding mechanism to deal with unexpected and localised crises is hampering the ability of regional actors to move from planning to action at the inception of a crisis. In 2005, upcoming elections include: presidential election in Guinea Bissau on 19 June; presidential and parliamentary elections in Liberia on 11 October and 30 October for Côte d'Ivoire; presidential election in Burkina Faso on 13 November; parliamentary elections in Cape Verde on December 2005; and, parliamentary elections in Benin.

The situation in Togo has again served to clearly underline the need for strengthening protection measures in this sub-region. As such the conclusions of the Joint Humanitarian Review Mission undertaken in 2003 emphasising the protection issues at stake in West Africa remain valid. Regrettably, protection activities proposed in the CAP continue to be chronically under-funded but the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) continues to foster the implementation of the Regional Protection Strategy endorsed by the regional IASC working group based in Dakar. Professional staff has been recruited to advance this crucial agenda for the sub-region. It should also be noted that United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has received funds from European Commission Humanitarian Office (ECHO) outside of the CAP for a sub-regional child protection project. The project aims to reinforce the coordination of child protection in the sub-region by supporting systems for information sharing between governments, United Nations agencies and child protection agencies across borders on the situation of children and the development of compatible database across the sub-region. Particular attention has been given to harmonising approaches to DDR, SGBV, and children separated from their families. Additionally, UNFPA (Côte d'Ivoire) has also received ECHO funds to provide emergency Reproductive Health (RH) services and programme for HIV prevention/SGBV case management among ex-combatants.

A recurrent discussion that has also come up during the Mid Year Review is that of lack of viable information on humanitarian needs in the sub-region. As an example, there is a general consensus that the food security situation in Niger is 'more critical' than that of Mali or Mauritania. But Mid Year Review participants present in Dakar also agree that this perception may very well be the result of the lack of data and inadequate advocacy. By applying the IASC Needs Analysis Framework for the 2006 CAP, humanitarian actors intend to ensure that the severity of humanitarian crisis is determined by adequate data management and not by the media. In this context, the Information Management Unit (IMO) of OCHA's regional office is expected to soon be sufficiently functional to support a more reliable needs-based approach. It is crucial to establish information management systems in this region that allow for better documentation of active or simmering crises including acute vulnerability issues across the region, and, support an advocacy approach that can tackle humanitarian as well as human security and human rights issues.

Initiatives to strengthen of preparedness and mitigation of complex emergencies in the sub-region also remain without funding. In comparison with the same time last year, important steps have, however, been taken, in particular in terms of inter agency contingency planning. Countries that now have developed Inter Agency Contingency Plans (IACP) include Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Togo. Prior to elections in Togo, an IACP exercise involving Togo, Ghana and Benin and supported by OCHA's Regional Support Office, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Emergency Security Service in Geneva and the Emergency Unit of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Regional Office predicted the scenario that later took place. A seminar on International Humanitarian Law and Guiding Principles of IDPs was also held for the members of the United Nations country team (UNCT) and NGOs in Togo a week before the post-election crisis. And although there are lessons to be learned in terms of immediate response mechanisms to be put in place, these activities served to strengthen cooperation to the advantage of refugees arriving in Ghana and Benin as well as affected populations in Togo. The UNICEF Regional Office has received a contribution from Department for International Development (DFID) outside of the CAP for capacity building in emergency preparedness as well as a contribution from ECHO for enhancing preparedness in four priority countries, out of which one is in West Africa (Côte d'Ivoire).

Lack of funding to the health sector has caused a major dent in service delivery, leaving United Nations agencies to utilise limited resources in meeting the needs of the most affected communities in the sub-region, but finding little room to succeed. International donors must focus on fostering sustainability of Health/Reproductive health programmes, including SGBV and HIV/AIDS, so that both the government and non-governmental groups will be able to provide efficient services when inevitable reductions in international assistance occur.

The tragedy of the situation in Guinea Bissau as of early June is that the humanitarian community in West Africa may once again watch a country spiral into what may become a humanitarian crisis without being able to significantly strengthen preparedness measures. The capacities at hand to respond to this situation both in country and sub-regionally are negligible. As long as funding for humanitarian activities in West Africa within the CAP remain limited to food and -- to a lesser extent -- coordination and support services, the ability to ensure a proper and efficient response to a crisis, which has been threatening to erupt for several months, will be severely hindered.

Per cluster, the Mid Year Review has led to the following adjustments in the CHAP:

Togo, Benin, Ghana

Given that the situation has somewhat returned to normal in Togo, this period of relative stability will be used by the United Nations in alleviating undue human suffering by mobilising all resources already available in country; securing additional support needed; reinforcing emergency management capacity; and, pursuing the dialogue with the Government on peaceful political process; and respecting humanitarian principles.

WFP, UNHCR, UNICEF and World Health Organization (WHO) conducted an inter-agency assessment missions to determine the needs of refugees in camps and evaluate the need for assistance where refugees have settled with host communities. UNHCR immediately deployed emergency response teams to affected areas to assist refugees fleeing Togo following the announcement of the election results on 26 April. Two camps had been prepared in line with the Contingency Plan, which enabled the prompt provision of assistance as refugees started arriving. Following the initial phase of the emergency, UNHCR procured and transported to Benin additional Non-Food Items (NFIs) for 7,500 people. UNHCR, in coordination with the Ministry of Interior, ensures the registration of refugees in the camps of Come and Agame (Lokossa) as well as in its office in Cotonou. UNHCR Protection and Community Service teams are present daily at the two sites to ensure the protection of refugees and specific care for the more vulnerable cases.

During the first week of May, WFP launched Immediate Response Emergency Operations (EMOP) in both Benin and Ghana. Distributions started the same week from stocks available in country. Further to the findings of the inter-agency assessment mission, WFP intends to launch an operation to cover the needs of those affected by cross-border and internal displacements. UNICEF's response to the influx of Togolese refugees in Benin started immediately and has encompassed the registration and family tracing of unaccompanied minors, provision of water and sanitation facilities, vaccination and education for refugee children. UNFPA has also provided emergency reproductive health kits and supplies to address the needs of IDPs in Togo and Togolese refugees in Benin.

Through a flash appeal released in May, the Government of Benin has requested assistance from the international community to support its efforts as well as those of the United Nations System to respond to the immediate needs of Togolese refugees. The United Nations System in Togo carried out an evaluation in mid May which indicated that capacities at hand were sufficient to respond to the needs of IDPs and host communities over a period of three months (May - August 2005) in four priority sectors: health, education, food and, protection. So far, 2,500 IDPs have been assisted by UNICEF Togo with the provision of Non Food Items kits, while an additional 5,000 will be assisted by UNHCR through the distribution of NFIs. Further, UNHCR will support IDPs through protection related activities while UNFPA is preparing to supply hygiene kits/packs to IDPs in Togo and to address psychosocial needs of affected communities.

In Ghana, the Government and UNHCR have embarked on several fact-finding missions to the Togolese border to assess the situation. The Ministry of Interior maintains that the situation in Togo is not having any negative impact on Ghana and contingency arrangements have been made for any eventuality that might arise in Togo. So far, all refugees could be accommodated in host families/communities. In addition, areas in the Tongu, Jasikan, Ketu and Akatsi districts have been prepared to accommodate refugees from Togo. The Ministry is also working in close collaboration the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) whose mandate includes providing humanitarian assistance.

UNHCR has provided assistance to refugees arriving from Togo. Jointly with the Ghana Immigration Service and a specialised NGO, UNHCR continues to register refugees in the border areas in Ghana and has dispatched mobile teams to remote border areas to monitor refugee movements. At the moment, the situation has stabilised and no further arrivals have been observed since the end of May. It must be noted that in addition to the refugees from Togo, Ghana is already host to some 42,000 refugees and asylum seekers from Côte d'Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Chad, and Guinea among others.

Besides hosting refugees, Ghana is also a transit location for thousands of third country nationals returning to their countries. There is, therefore, the need to have in place an efficient and sustainable contingency and emergency preparedness plan that will ensure that the UNCT will be prepared for any humanitarian situation.

Locust and drought affected countries: Niger, Mali, and Mauritania

In view of the seriousness of the situation, Niger was included in the West Africa CAP for the first time in 2005. It should be noted that in May 2005, the need to mobilise resources before the rainy season called for the issuance of a Flash Appeal on 19 May for US$ 16 million. WFP's operation in Niger continues to face critical shortfalls, which have hampered its implementation so far. WFP intends to support populations affected by the drought and the locust infestations in 2004 through Food-for-Work (FFW), Food-for-Training (FFT) and cereal banking activities. In response to the high level of malnutrition, UNICEF Niger is aiming to support identification and correct case management of 30,000 malnourished children as well as community based nutritional activities. This will be possible only if additional resources estimated at US$ 1.3 million will be made available immediately for the procurement of therapeutic products, cereal banks and seeds.

In order to confront the critical situation in Mali the National Food Security System (CSA/PRMC) has begun general food distributions and subsidised sales and other alternative activities such as FFW and the constitution of cereal banks from the National Food Security Stock (SNS). If all the planned response activities continue, this critical food reserve will be practically depleted by December 2005. WFP is thus requesting for a contribution of the donor community of 10,000 MTs of dried cereals to ensure a minimal reconstitution of this important reserve.

In February 2005 WFP approved a nine-month EMOP to cover the food needs of 444,500 people. 12,839 MTs have been requested with 3,500 MTs going to reconstitute the National Food Security Stock and 9,339 MTs to carry out alternative activities to revitalise next year's agricultural campaign. With the WFP Immediate Response Account (IRA) advance and donor contributions, a local purchase of 3,687 MTs of millet is underway, and an additional 460 MTs of millet will be purchased soon. The current shortfall of cereals amounts to 8,813 MTs (reimbursement of the IRA advance excluded) and no contribution has been received for the 339 MTs of vegetable oil.

WFP's relief operation in Mauritania is currently resourced at 64% for 2005. If no new donations are confirmed, the operation could face a pipeline break in August, at the peak of the lean season when food aid needs are highest

Guinea Bissau, Guinea-Conakry, Senegal

The United Nations system is providing significant support to the Government of Guinea Bissau, including emergency budget support to pay the salaries of civil servants, for the preparation of elections and good offices for political facilitation aimed at decreasing the risk of social explosion and preventing the collapse of the state. The initiatives undertaken have bolstered the State but resources are very limited for initiatives directed at the population that could increase and help maintain the peace dividends, including increased access to social services, quick impact projects or income generating activities that could encourage the maintenance of peace. A coherent and synergic United Nations action in Guinea Bissau would be possible through an increased allocation of resources to implement a transitional humanitarian strategy including quick impact projects of an economic and social nature.

In Guinea Bissau, WFP carried out a vulnerability analysis in May 2005. The results indicated that needs in the most vulnerable areas (Bafata, Gabu and Oio) are higher than the assistance currently provided. Therefore, WFP has increased its current programme to meet these additional requirements. To strengthen emergency preparedness in Guinea Bissau, and upon request from the Country Team, OCHA has recruited a national humanitarian officer to support the Resident Coordinator (RC) in addition to deploying surge capacity from the Regional Support Office (RSO) in Dakar and Headquarters to the extent needed. IACP involving both Senegal and Guinea-Conakry is also being carried out.

In Senegal, WFP intends to expand all currently implemented activities of the Protected Relief and Recovery Operation (PRRO) 10188.1 to the entire Casamance region with the full support of the Government. This strategy is based on the results of the previous phase of the project and is in line with the Programme for the Revival of Economic and Social Activities in the Casamance (PRAESC) of WPF, launched in June 2001. The objectives of the PRRO are to: (i) increase the ability of the target population to manage shocks and meet necessary food needs, (ii) strengthen the local primary production capacity, (iii) mitigate the unemployment situation of vulnerable urban population groups, especially women, (iv) enhance access to literacy and life skills, especially for women, and (v) enhance primary level education and attendance of vulnerable children in WFP assisted schools.

WFP's two-year project currently faces a critical shortfall of 86% of its total requirements.

Côte d'Ivoire and neighbouring countries: Mali, Burkina Faso and Ghana

WFP's regional operation for Côte d'Ivoire and neighbouring countries (Mali, Burkina Faso and Ghana) faces a shortfall of 56% of its 2005 requirements. Significant commodity shortfalls (including cereals, oil and salt) will begin appearing in late summer. New donor support that is received now would enable the timely purchase and delivery of commodities, averting serious pipeline breaks in the autumn. The need to build on the assistance being provided is necessary. While the tenuous situation in Côte d'Ivoire continues, neighbouring Burkina Faso, Mali, and Ghana also continue to be impacted socio-economically, with the arrival of refugees and returnees.

Upon the request from the UN Country Teams there, OCHA has recruited national officers to support the RC in humanitarian coordination activities in Mali and in Burkina Faso.

Mano River Union (Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea)

WFP's regional operation for West Africa Coastal countries (Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea) is under-funded with only 45% of the 2005 requirements received. Major pipeline shortfalls are being faced. Steps already taken to mitigate effects of the pipeline shortages include:

  • In Liberia, rations for refugees, IDPs and returnees have been reduced since June 2004;

  • In Guinea, refugee rations have been reduced since September 2004, FFW and FFT activities planned to start in January 2005 have not yet commenced, and Emergency School Feeding (ESF) was temporarily suspended;

  • In Sierra Leone, FFW and FFT activities have been suspended; planned expansions for ESF have been halted, and starting this month, rations are reduced for the refugee and ESF programmes.

Unless new contributions are confirmed soon, WFP will be forced to continue distributing reduced rations for refugees and IDPs. WFP will also be forced to suspend some activities and possibly additional programmes. Given the importance of repatriation and resettlement in the region, additional donor support is urgently needed.

3.2 Scenarios

The most likely scenario for the sub-region continues to be one of limited uncontrolled population movements within and outside national boundaries. This is due to: sporadic confrontations and human rights violations, reduction of economic activities, particularly in the agriculture sector, absence or slow return of basic services in conflict affected areas, additional strain on communities of host countries especially along the border areas, tenuous progress of United Nations peace missions to ensure lasting human security in Liberia and Côte d'Ivoire, weak governance during pre and post elections, and the impact of the chronic drought that has been compounded by the locust invasion of 2004.

As mentioned, small infestations of locusts are present in northern Mali and probably in the Air Mountains in Niger, Burkina Faso and Guinea, but they are not currently expected to pose a significant threat (4 May). This said if strong measures to secure food availability to the most affected populations in Niger, Mali and Mauritania are not taken immediately, the end of the lean season risks to mutate towards a generalised and critical food security problem that will surpass the capacity of response of the national governments and its donors.

For Guinea Bissau, the situation has deteriorated over the past three months and the outlook is bleaker than it has been. Recent developments in Guinea Bissau show that there is a serious risk of deterioration of the humanitarian situation as result of the combined effect of the structural emergency, ethnic manipulation for political purposes and a highly divided and interventionist military.

Although the overall situation has apparently returned to normal in Togo, the low but yet continuous outflow of refugees into Benin warrants some caution suggesting that threats to civilians require more investigations and a forceful approach by the international community in general and the United Nations in particular to ensure that human rights violations cease and humanitarian principles are enforced. The outlook for Togo over the next six months is therefore highly uncertain. Stability will depend heavily on the opposition's readiness to accept the outcome of the flawed presidential elections and President Faure's conciliatory proposal to join a unified national government.

3.3 Strategic Priorities

The overarching humanitarian challenges that the international community and humanitarian actors have to address in West Africa remain:

a) The immediate consequences of both active and simmering civil conflicts (Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea Bissau, Togo) with a significant impact on various neighbours (Ghana, Mali, Burkina Faso, Benin, Liberia, Senegal, Guinea);

b) Management of the aftermath of the combined effects of the locust invasion and the drought in the sahelian countries (Mauritania, Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso);

c) Preservation and strengthening of the minimal coping capacities and social cohesiveness within host communities directly or indirectly affected by complex emergencies and natural disasters;

d) Fostering the country-based and sub-regional humanitarian coordination to ensure efficiency in a resource stringent environment, better advocacy for neglected crises and enhanced capacity of governments, UN agencies and NGOs to collectively address human security needs.

Lessons learned in the past few months indicate that new strategic priorities should also tackle the need to use humanitarian assistance as a full component of a system-wide response to preserving human security; to build information management systems that better document and track vulnerabilities linked to acute and slow onset crises (complex emergencies as well as natural disasters); to enforce the protection of civilians and alert on the rapid deterioration of basic livelihoods in the sub-region through aggressive advocacy.

3.4 Response Plans

For the sectors of Health, Protection/Human Rights/Rule of Law and Education the Mid Year Review has not led to far-reaching changes in comparison with the response plans outlined in the CAP 2005, and the revision of March 2005. Having gone through a thorough revision in March, the Agricultural sector's response plan remains as it is reflected in the recent revision apart from increased assistance in Guinea Bissau.

The review of the Food sector has, however, led to adjustments of requirements to cover the needs for the next six months, as the region continues to be marred by three mutually reinforcing problems: conflict, recurring natural disasters and food insecurity. The overall expected result remains to contribute to sub-regional stability and household food security for refugees, returnees, IDPs and affected host communities; and adjustment of plans has been carried out in order to align assistance provided with needs.

The peace process in Liberia is still at a cross road and remains fragile. Continuous support is needed in the medium term to assist in the consolidation of the gains realised thus far and create an enabling environment for the resettlement of returning refugees and IDPs and the reintegration of ex-combatants into their areas of origin. This requires the strengthening of the socio-economic fabric of the communities of destination. It is crucial that contributions are received to consolidate this process.

In Côte d'Ivoire, the need to build on the assistance being provided is necessary. While the tenuous situation in Côte d'Ivoire continues, neighbouring Burkina Faso, Mali, and Ghana also continue to be impacted socio-economically, with the arrival of refugees and returnees.

As mentioned, in Guinea Bissau, results of a vulnerability analysis carried out in May, indicated that needs in the most vulnerable areas (Bafata, Gabu and Oio) are higher than the assistance currently provided. Therefore, WFP has increased its current programme in Guinea Bissau to meet these additional requirements.

The sector response plan for Coordination and Support Services has also been fine-tuned to better support the country teams in the sub-region and monitor humanitarian situations. During the first half of 2005, the OCHA-RSO has been confronted with a remarkable increase in requests for urgent technical assistance in response to new needs linked to unexpected complex emergencies and natural disasters that have hit the sub-region. It has proven to be cost effective to address those requests by deploying permanent presence (national officers) to support the United Nations resident coordinators and humanitarian actors (Guinea Bissau, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger). Recent events and new trends suggest that similar deployment be envisioned for Benin, Togo and Nigeria (within ECOWAS' Humanitarian Unit). A good illustration of the effectiveness of this approach has been the capacity of OCHA to continuously monitor the situation in Guinea Bissau and increase OCHA's capacity to advocate for this neglected crisis, to gather information on vulnerability and support coordination to ensure proper preparedness.

Building on progress made over the last six months, the OCHA-RSO will keep its focus on sub-regional coordination, humanitarian monitoring, planning and response, the coordination of protection, the promotion of inter agency assessments, the pursuance of closer collaboration with United Nations and non-UN human security actors, and the use of advocacy to highlight vulnerability and neglected crises. The reinforcement of OCHA in Guinea-Bissau and the recruitment of National Officers in Niger, Togo, and Nigeria add to OCHA's requirements for 2005; however the increase is offset by the reduced duration of projects not yet funded and implemented, which are now budgeted for only six months (till year's end).

WHO remains focused on the sector response plan already outlined in the CAP 2005: a) fighting polio, particularly against increased risk of new cases in Nigeria and neighbouring countries; b) the timely detection of epidemic diseases with cross border/worldwide impact such as Lassa Fever particularly in the MRU Countries (Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia); c) calling and sharing health information for a better regional response and, facilitating health coordination at the sub regional level. Some activities were implemented through regular budget undermining key areas for the crisis prevention such training for vulnerability assessment

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

2. Changes in the context and humanitarian consequences

3. CHAP Review
3.1 Summary
3.2 Scenarios
3.3 Strategic Priorities
3.4 Response Plans

4. MONEY AND PROJECTS

5. CONCLUSION

ANNEX I.
Table I. Summary of Requirements and Contributions
By Appealing Organisations and by Sector

ANNEX II. Acronyms and abbreviations

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