Lesotho + 6 more

Southern Africa: Food Insecurity Appeal no. 05EA023 Operations Update no. 9

Originally published


The Federation's mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity. It is the world's largest humanitarian organization and its millions of volunteers are active in over 185 countries.
In Brief

Period covered: 16 May to 28 July 2006

Appeal coverage: 26.8%.


Adjusted Appeal coverage (based on revised budget): 100%.

Appeal history:

- Launched on 18 October 2005 - http://www.ifrc.org/docs/appeals/05/05EA023.pdf* for CHF 39,360,753 (USD 30,193,299 or EUR 25,301,687) for 9 months to assist up to 1.5 million beneficiaries.

- Operations Update no. 1 - http://www.ifrc.org/docs/appeals/05/05EA02301.pdf* was issued on 7 November 2005.

- Operations Update no. 2 - http://www.ifrc.org/docs/appeals/05/05EA02302.pdf* was issued on 21 November 2005. This update focused on Malawi and the impact of DREF.

- Operations Update no. 3 - http://www.ifrc.org/docs/appeals/05/05EA02303.pdf* was issued on 4 January 2006.

- Operations Update no. 4 - http://www.ifrc.org/docs/appeals/05/05EA02304.pdf* was issued on 25 January 2006.

- Operations Update no. 5 - http://www.ifrc.org/docs/appeals/05/05EA02305.pdf* was issued on 17 February 2006.

- Operations Update no. 6 - http://www.ifrc.org/docs/appeals/05/05EA02306.pdf* was issued on 6 March 2006.

- Operations Update no. 7 - http://www.ifrc.org/docs/appeals/05/05EA02307.pdf* was issued on 5 April 2006; it focused on Malawi.

- Operations Update no. 8 - http://www.ifrc.org/docs/appeals/05/05EA02308.pdf* was issued on 19 May 2006.

Disaster Relief Emergency Funds (DREF) allocated: CHF 1,160,000

Outstanding needs: No further funds are required from donors for this Appeal as coverage (based on revised budget) adds up to 100% ; cash 85% and in- kind donations over 15%.

Related Annual Appeal: Southern Africa Regional Programmes and National Society Capacity Building: Appeal 2006-2007 (MAA63001). Refer to: http://www.ifrc.org/docs/appeals/annual06/MAA63001.pdf*

Operational Summary: This Appeal was launched in October 2005 in response to a backdrop of food insecurity affecting an estimated 12 million people in southern Africa. It adopts an integrated short to mid-term food security (FS) approach, closely linked to the HIV and AIDS programme of the Red Cross/Red Crescent Societies in the region and brings together the provision of food and innovative livelihood projects such as livestock, cash distribution, food-for-work, agricultural starter packs, backyard gardens as well as water and sanitation (WatSan). Household, community-based and national society capacity building are effective through project implementation and deployment of delegates, recruitment of additional national society staff/volunteers, workshops, country exchange visits and hands-on training.

Projects in the livelihoods, WatSan and capacity building sectors are largely being implemented in Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe as outlined in the Appeal. However, poor response of donors to the Appeal has resulted in the cancellation of the majority of the planned food component, which could not be provided when the needs were high. Adjustments were therefore made, targeting priority projects in Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe with the limited resources available.

Poor donor response also contributed to delays in project commencement in the livelihood and WatSan sectors. Hence, a correspondingly later finish date is now required to enable project completion or integration into the longer-term programmes, such as the Regional Five-Year Food Security Strategy and the Regional Five-Year HIV and AIDS Strategy.

In summary, the impact of the low funding levels, coupled with late funding commitments and the reduced food needs have resulted in a reduction of the budget. Crops from the harvest have now generally improved household food security across the region.

The Appeal will be extended by just over two months, until 30 September, to ensure that all activities can be completed or integrated into other longer-term programming and that all remaining funds can be spent. This is a no-cost Appeal extension, with a budget reduction. No further funds are required from donors for this Appeal.

This operation is aligned with the International Federation's Global Agenda, which sets out four broad goals to meet the Federation's mission to "improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity".

Global Agenda Goals:

- Reduce the numbers of deaths, injuries and impact from disasters.

- Reduce the number of deaths, illnesses and impact from diseases and public health emergencies.

- Increase local community, civil society and Red Cross Red Crescent capacity to address the most urgent situations of vulnerability.

- Reduce intolerance, discrimination and social exclusion and promote respect for diversity and human dignity.

All International Federation assistance seeks to adhere to the Code of Conduct and is committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable. For support to or for further information concerning Federation programmes or operations in this or other countries, or for a full description of the national society profile, please access the Federation's website at http://www.ifrc.org


The Food Insecurity Emergency Appeal for southern Africa was based on a need to respond to the 'triple threat': a combination of HIV and AIDS; erratic rain patterns and weakened government capacities which have resulted in an increasing number of chronically food-insecure households. Countries most affected in 2005 and at the beginning of 2006 were Malawi and Zimbabwe, where an estimated seven million people experienced severe food deficits. Large areas of Zambia, Mozambique, Lesotho, Swaziland and Namibia were also adversely affected, bringing the total affected in the region to 12 million people.

However, food security prospects this year improved amid indications that most countries in the region have secured much better harvests. Nine vulnerability and food security assessments were conducted by the Vulnerability Assessment Committees (VACs) in the region in April and May and presented to the UN's Regional Inter-Agency Coordination Support Office (RIACSO) on 27 June in Johannesburg; their findings were expected to be announced at the end of July. Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia should have maize surpluses, with Lesotho and Namibia's harvests expected to improve when compared to last year and Swaziland's to reach the same level as last year. Further assessment data is being analyzed in most countries to ascertain the number and location of acute and chronically food-insecure households, with the World Food Programme (WFP) estimating that up to three million people will continue to require food assistance up to December 2006. Indeed, whilst improved rainfall and a greater availability of inputs have resulted in a better harvest this year, which is helping to alleviate acute food insecurity, the harvest will not impact substantially on chronic food insecurity.

Food security is less certain in Zimbabwe, with the Federation/Zimbabwe Red Cross Society closely monitoring the situation and liaising on a regular basis with the government, WFP and other humanitarian organisations. Particular attention is been given to monitoring the food security status of households supported through the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society's HIV and AIDS home-based care (HBC) project.

The combination of short-term shocks resulting from the poor harvest last year and longer-term challenges in the region were addressed in the Appeal. This was achieved by adopting a strategy of reinforcing coping mechanisms and livelihoods, seeking to reduce hunger and vulnerability by building on existing projects and further integrating them into the longer-term strategies currently being developed.

July marks the ninth operational month of project implementation within the framework of this Appeal. The progress has been satisfactory in all sectors, with the exception of food distribution. It was only possible to provide food support through this Appeal for three of the seven NSs, with Disaster Relief Emergency Funds (DREF) used to initially fund the Malawi Red Cross Society's food operation. The total number of beneficiaries supported with food to date through this Appeal is 161,000.

Food was also provided by the NSs directly through partner national societies (PNSs), WFP, governments and the British government's Department for International Development (DFID) partnerships, resulting in an additional 310,000 beneficiaries receiving food rations at the peak of the crisis. Therefore, a total of 471,000 beneficiaries were supported by the Movement; 161,000 through this Appeal and 310,000 through other funding sources.

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

In Zimbabwe: Françoise Le Goff, Head of Southern Africa Regional Delegation, Harare; Email: francoise.legoff@ifrc.org; Phone: +, +; Fax: +

In Geneva: John Roche, Federation Regional Officer for Southern Africa, Africa Dept., Geneva; Email: john.roche@ifrc.org; Phone: +41.22.730.44.40, Fax: +41.22.733.03.95

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