Lesotho + 5 more

Regional Humanitarian Assistance Strategy in Response to the Crisis in Southern Africa

Format
Appeal
Source
Posted
Originally published


This updated appeal replaces the original appeal of 18 July 2002*

Lesotho
Malawi
Mozambique
Swaziland
Zambia
Zimbabwe

July 2002 - June 2003


1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Almost 13 million people in Southern Africa are on the very edge of survival as the region struggles with shortages of food not seen since the drought of 1992. While climatic factors again have played their part to create these shortages, the impact of the food deficit in the region have been compounded by questionable government policies and the general economic downturn in region as well as the additional threats caused by limited access to basic social services and an alarmingly high prevalence of the Human Immune-deficiency Virus (HIV). It is estimated that 12.8 million people (of whom more than half are children) will be threatened by starvation and communicable diseases such as measles, cholera, malaria, the plague and Human Immune-deficiency Virus / Acquired Immune-deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) that will lead to increased morbidity and mortality unless collective action is taken to address the current humanitarian crisis. The magnitude of the humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe where over 6 million people are at risk is of particular concern.

The aim of this document is to bring to the attention of the International Community the severity of the current crisis in Southern Africa and to support the efforts of national Governments to mobilise sufficient resources to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe. The document provides an overview of the current crisis, an outline of the critical issues that are affecting lives and livelihoods in the region and a framework within which the requirements in the most critically affected countries can be viewed. In this respect, the document reflects on the needs in Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe although it should be understood that the effects of the current crisis are felt in other countries in the region.

Recent destabilising events, in concert with underlying food insecurity, high prevalence of HIV/AIDS and chronic malnutrition, have led to a dire situation that requires immediate humanitarian assistance. In addition to a massive food aid operation, urgent support is needed throughout the region in the sectors of agriculture, health, nutrition, water and sanitation, and education/protection. Humanitarian assistance in these areas will be provided on the basis of priority of human need alone and without conditionality. Special consideration will be given to the most vulnerable and socially excluded groups including the elderly, female-headed households, children and those infected with HIV/AIDS.

The approach presented in this document has been developed through concerted assessment and dialogue with all stakeholders (Governments, Non-Governmental Organisations [NGOs], Red Cross Movement and South African Development Community [SADC] technical bodies) and as such, encompasses common understandings of needs and priorities. While the needs identified in this document, and as elaborated in the individual country Appeals, are of an immediate short-term nature, these needs should be viewed against the growing structural deficiencies that are prevalent in the region. For this reason, this programme of planned humanitarian support is not considered as an end in itself. In view of the length of time taken to recover from serious food insecurity and drought, United Nations (UN) agencies and their partners stress from the outset that the package of assistance presented within the framework of this document should be part of revised approaches to tackling food security needs to preventing HIV/AIDS and other communicable diseases and reversing the negative trends affecting the livelihood of many people in the region.

Notwithstanding, donors are urged to respond now to solve immediate food shortages and institute emergency measures in the crucial "non-food" sectors. It is paramount that assistance is provided immediately so that major famine and an ensuring humanitarian catastrophe can be averted. The total amount requested to support and implement humanitarian activities in the six countries is US$ 611 million.

Table I
Total Funding Requirements for the
United Nations Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeal
In Response to the Humanitarian Crisis in Southern Africa 2002 - 2003
By Sector and Appealing Organisations
July 2002 - June 2003
SECTORS
REQUIREMENTS (US$)
Agriculture
31,190,725
Coordination and Support Services
8,993,183
Economic Recovery and Infrastructure
1,949,000
Education
4,917,450
Family Shelter and Non-Food Items
900,000
Food
507,273,091
Health
48,267,057
Multi-Sector
1,229,462
Protection/Human Rights/Rule of Law
1,425,000
Water and Sanitation
5,195,300
GRAND TOTAL
611,340,268
APPEALING ORGANISATIONS
REQUIREMENTS (US$)
Food and Agriculture Organization
31,015,725
Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
980,000
United Nations Children's Fund
26,799,300
United Nations Development Programme
9,665,492
United Nations Population Fund
6,572,000
United Nations Children's Fund / Food and Agriculture Organization
182,000
World Food Programme
510,718,244
World Health Organization
19,658,477
World Health Organization / United Nations Children's Fund
2,968,000
Inter-Country People's Aid
2,063,030
World Vision Zimbabwe
107,000
Zimbabwe Aids Prevention and Support Organisation
611,000
GRAND TOTAL
611,340,268
TABLE II: TOTAL FUNDING REQUIREMENTS FOR THE
UN CONSOLIDATED INTER-AGENCY APPEAL IN RESPONSE TO THE
HUMANITARIAN CRISIS IN SOUTHERN AFRICA 2002 - 2003
BY AGENCY AND COUNTRY
APPEALING ORGANISATION
COUNTRY
TOTAL (US$)
LESOTHO
MALAWI
MOZAMBIQUE
SWAZILAND
ZAMBIA
ZIMBABWE
REGION
Food and Agriculture Organization
3,288,600
1,594,600
6,000,000
1,418,525
2,604,000
16,110,000
31,015,725
Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
980,000
980,000
United Nations Children's Fund
3,045,000
3,539,900
6,653,200
1,812,000
3,455,000
7,794,200
500,000
26,799,300
United Nations Development Programme
243,800
1,229,600
2,472,462
1,431,300
340,000
3,768,330
180,000
9,665,492
United Nations Population Fund
42,000
1,530,000
5,000,000
6,572,000
United Nations Children's Fund / Food and Agriculture Organization
182,000
182,000
World Food Programme
33,184,065
135,045,868
27,247,038
13,598,996
61,662,209
236,534,915
3,445,153
510,718,244
World Health Organization
1,272,000
2,931,143
1,300,000
543,939
1,805,000
10,156,395
1,650,000
19,658,477
World Health Organization / United Nations Children's Fund
2,968,000
2,968,000
Inter-Country People's Aid
2,063,030
2,063,030
World Vision Zimbabwe
107,000
107,000
Zimbabwe Aids Prevention & Support Organisation
611,000
611,000
Grand Total
41,033,465
144,341,111
43,672,700
19,028,760
71,396,209
285,112,870
6,755,153
611,340,268
TABLE III: TOTAL FUNDING REQUIREMENTS FOR THE
UN CONSOLIDATED INTER-AGENCY APPEAL IN RESPONSE TO THE
HUMANITARIAN CRISIS IN SOUTHERN AFRICA 2002 - 2003
BY SECTOR AND COUNTRY
SECTOR / ACTIVITY
COUNTRY
TOTAL (US$)
LESOTHO
MALAWI
MOZAMBIQUE
SWAZILAND
ZAMBIA
ZIMBABWE
REGION
agriculture
3,288,600
1,594,600
6,000,000
1,418,525
2,779,000
16,110,000
31,190,725
coordination and support services
243,800
1,229,600
331,000
171,300
1,262,330
5,755,153
8,993,183
economic recovery and infrastructure
1,949,000
1,949,000
education
245,000
84,000
2,458,450
1,430,000
700,000
4,917,450
family shelter and non-food items
900,000
900,000
food
33,184,065
135,045,868
27,247,038
13,598,996
61,662,209
236,534,915
507,273,091
health
3,616,200
5,652,043
4,559,250
2,339,939
4,400,000
26,699,625
1,000,000
48,267,057
multi-sector
672,462
557,000
1,229,462
protection/ HUMAN RIGHTS/ rule of law
600,000
325,000
500,000
1,425,000
water and sanitation
455,800
735,000
2,404,500
800,000
800,000
5,195,300
Grand Total
41,033,465
144,341,111
43,672,700
19,028,760
71,396,209
285,112,870
6,755,153
611,340,268

2. THE HUMANITARIAN CONTEXT

2.1 Scope of Humanitarian Need

During the last quarter of 2001, Governments and assistance actors in the region began noticing the signs of a worsening food security situation. These signals were accompanied by a sharp deterioration in health and nutrition indicators. In early March the threats were clear and as a consequence the humanitarian agencies of the UN with NGO and SADC partners, began to mobilise efforts to determine the gravity of the problem, both in terms of food shortages and related humanitarian requirements. Multi-sector assessments in the areas of food-security, nutrition, health and social protection, were launched during April and May in conjunction with Food and Agriculture Organizations-World Food Programme (FAO-WFP's) Crop and Food Supply assessments. Multi-sectoral needs assessments were undertaken in Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe where nutrition surveys and health assessments revealed increased rates of total and severe malnutrition. These factors multiply occurrences of widespread epidemics (mainly cholera), due to body weaknesses, with a corollary amplified mortality and morbidity rate in the most affected areas, further aggravating the dimension of the humanitarian crisis.

These assessments revealed a number of findings relating to causes of the crisis. One immediate conclusion was that the drought conditions in the region were not the only cause for the widespread food shortages. While erratic rainfall has contributed to low production during the 2001/2 cropping season, drought conditions have not devastated the region in the same way as they did in 1992. Indeed, the crisis facing Southern Africa is due to a complex mixture of factors. Although prevailing drought can be identified as one principal cause, it is clear that this has been exacerbated by serious problems of governance, the HIV/AIDS pandemic, a challenged, under-funded social sector, a poorly functioning private sector, and in general, poor macro-economic performance in a number of key countries the region.

The food and crop assessments did confirm that the shortfall in food production and food availability in the region is severe.

Cereals production for the six countries assessed indicate a deficit of 4,071,300 metric tonnes (MTs) in the region. Taking estimated commercial imports and government programmes into account, the corresponding cereals requirement for the region until March 2003 is 1.2 million MTs, for an estimated 12.8 million people. Most severely affected are the countries considered by this appeal - Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe. However, this does not discount the affects on vulnerable people in other countries in the region.

Finally, the impact of the crisis in the region is compounding an already desperate situation for many in Angola. Since the humanitarian requirements of millions of Angolans are of such a dimension, they are addressed separately through a forthcoming revision of the 2002 Consolidated Appeal (CA).

2.2 Regional Dimensions of the Crisis

While the situation from country to country varies greatly, there are also common elements to the crisis. These include endemic poverty, the impact of high rates of HIV prevalence, lack of financial resources for Government social services and chronic nutritional problems. The high degree of economic integration within the region has meant that the downward trend in production and economic opportunities have had ripple effects throughout. It is this complex mix of influences that has highlighted the importance of a multi-sectoral response.

2.2.1 Poverty

The fight against poverty is at the core of most assistance activities in the region. For a variety of reasons the region has slipped back in terms of political, economic and social development all of which has increased the numbers of people living below the poverty line. (See table below)

Population Living below the poverty line
1996*
2001**
Lesotho
49%
49%
Malawi
60%
65%
Mozambique
69%
69%
Swaziland
48%
66%
Zambia
69%
86%
Zimbabwe
61%
75%***
* Figures from UNDP Poverty Report 2000
** Figures from UNDP Human Development Report
*** From UN Common Country Assessment

These figures refer to the condition of extreme poverty, which is defined as a lack of income necessary to satisfy basic food needs. Given the high levels of poverty, families have little money available to access health and education services. Not surprisingly, the figures coincide with the large percentage of the region's population requiring emergency food aid.

The figures point to the assertion that good governance is at source of economic growth and poverty reduction. The assistance provided through this appeal is mindful of this, and while proposed interventions will look to address the life saving needs of people in the region, it will only be through effective implementation of responsible fiscal, economic and social policies at the macro level that the underlying causes of peoples vulnerability will be addressed. This situation points to the need for the international assistance community to collectively review their policies and strategies used to tackle poverty in the region. In doing so, one should be mindful of the crucial importance of the social safety nets, including health care and education services that are likely to suffer when poverty conditions aggravate, thus challenging the capacity to survive extreme conditions.

2.2.2 HIV Prevalence

HIV/AIDS is recognised as one of the greatest threats to the Southern Africa region. The prevalence rates in the six countries of the appeal average at around 24.9%, ranging from 16.4% in Malawi to 33.7% in Zimbabwe.

There is a direct relationship between HIV/AIDS and food insecurity. As people become increasingly desperate for food and other resources, they may engage in high-risk behaviour such as exchanging sex for food or cash. In Southern Africa, a number of such coping mechanisms facilitate the spread of HIV, putting young people, especially girls, at high risk of infection. For some HIV positive people the only way to support themselves and their families may be to sell sex, thereby furthering transmission. HIV/AIDS continues to strain communities in Southern Africa, by killing some of the most productive members of society, including civil servants, teachers, farmers, and parents.

For people living with HIV/AIDS, food shortages bring a host of problems such as secondary infections as their resistance declines due to poor nutrition. The resulting increased costs of care giving and loss of productive labour has an asset-stripping effect on households as well as on their purchasing power, and implies a dire lack of cash for school attendance or clothing.

As a result, the HIV epidemic has led to more households headed by women, children, or the elderly. Families fostering orphans have greater demands on their scant resources. The impact of the drought on these families is particularly severe.

This reality leaves people acutely vulnerable to economic and physical shocks. Floods, droughts, price rises, the additional burden of care for HIV/AIDS carriers, easily undermine fragile coping mechanisms. This situation demands further detailed analysis and understanding of vulnerability in the region in order to ensure assistance strategies take full account of the impact of HIV/AIDS on the prospects for survival and recovery.

Southern Africa's food security crisis has a myriad of implications far beyond the direct consequences of malnutrition. The presence of so many HIV/AIDS affected families and orphans creates enormous challenges for those assessing needs, distributing food and providing nutritional support to ensure that their special needs and vulnerabilities are identified and given requisite attention. Issues of stigma and discrimination will need to be addressed.

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and partner agencies will ensure that families directly affected by HIV/AIDS (including child-headed households and those caring for children who have lost a parent to AIDS) are identified and provided with the necessary support. Humanitarian agencies will accelerate on-going social mobilisation activities and efforts to reduce the vulnerability of the uninfected, such as by keeping girls in school. In addition, the humanitarian community will work together to seek to eliminate any possibility of sexual abuse or exploitation of beneficiaries or others in need, by humanitarian workers or support staff. Agencies will work with truck drivers, relief distribution teams, and military and civil authorities to promote the new IASC approved core principles of sexual conduct to promote zero tolerance of sexual abuse and exploitation and to ensure that condoms and effective HIV risk avoidance messages are being distributed.

2.2.3 Economic and Political Factors

In spite of modest economic growth rates and a general trend in democratisation, the major challenge facing the region continues to be the achievement and maintenance of rates of growth that are high enough to increase per capita incomes, raise standards of living and thereby reducing poverty and decreasing vulnerability. This lack of sufficient and sustainable growth and poverty reduction have been constrained by many factors such as low output levels, low savings and domestic and international investment rates, inconsistent and unsustainable macro-economic frameworks, ineffectual fiscal policies and external debt burdens. This is in the face of virtually non-existent welfare and social security systems. In addition to which, the seriousness of the HIV/AIDS epidemic exacerbates the challenges faced by the health systems of the countries in question, through a shortage of qualified and trained human resources as well as medical supplies.

The complex interplay between emergent governance systems and economic development performance, and the consequent long-term vulnerability means that the humanitarian response has to reinforce rather than undermine current efforts at economic development, good governance and institutional capacity development. The value added from regional integration in both the reduction of vulnerability and the response to crises is a developmental challenge that the UN system will also address in the longer-term context of this response.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

  • Table I: Total Funding Requirements - By Sector and Appealing Agency
  • Table II: Total Funding Requirements - By Agency and Country
  • Table III: Total Funding Requirements - By Sector and Country

2. THE HUMANITARIAN CONTEXT
  • 2.1 Scope of Humanitarian Need
  • 2.2 Regional Dimensions of the Crisis
    2.2.1 Poverty
    2.2.2 HIV Prevalence
    2.2.3 Economic and Political Factors

3. PROBLEM ANALYSIS
  • 3.1 Food Shortages
  • 3.2 Social Sector Service Delivery
  • 3.3 Logistical capacity

4. REGIONAL ACTION PLAN
  • 4.1 REGIONAL ACTIVITIES
    4.1.1 Coordination and Information Management
    4.1.2 Logistics Operations
    4.1.3 On-going Assessments
    4.1.4 Development of a Sustainable Recovery Framework:

5. COUNTRY SUMMARIES
  • 5.1 Lesotho
  • 5.2 Malawi
  • 5.3 Mozambique
  • 5.4 Swaziland
  • 5.5 Zambia
  • 5.6 Zimbabwe

ANNEX I. PROJECT SUMMARIES
  • Coordination

ANNEX II. ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMS

Note:

For details on programme interventions in each country, please refer to the respective appeal documents:


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