CCCM Cluster responds to Malawi floods

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Since January 2015, heavy rains and flooding have resulted in the displacement of approximately 230,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs), most of whom are located in six districts in the Southern Region of Malawi. Preliminary inter-agency assessments conducted in February by a United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) team. A preliminary round of Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) site assessments in early February, indicate that of 253 sites initially reported by the Malawi Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) and the humanitarian community, 202 sites remain open, hosting an estimated 40,513 households and 62 have closed since the onset of the floods. Of the 162,000 individuals in camps, approximately 56% reside on only 25 sites, each hosting more than 500 households.

The Global Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) Cluster works in partnership with key government actors and national stakeholders to enhance capacity in coordination and management of displacement situations, based on general principles of disaster risk reduction and protection. The International Organization for Migration (IOM), Global CCCM-cluster Co-lead together with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), is currently implementing a regional disaster risk management project funded by the United States Agency for International Development Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance. This project helps strengthening the national capacity of key disaster risk management stakeholders and protect and assist displaced and at-risk populations in six countries in Southern Africa—Angola, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, and Zambia.

IOM is rolling out in Malawi CCCM/Displacement Tracking Matrix/Emergency Shelter and support for spontaneous returns. The CCCM Cluster has deployed an extra CCCM expert, two DTM experts from IOM, and a CCCM cluster coordinator, supporting the development of camp closure action plan at a district level and information sharing. Through IOM, the CCCM Cluster is rolling out CCCM induction trainings for camp monitors, with the objective to ensure a safety net, both in camps and in return areas as well as coordinating the government deployment. As of March 2015, 105 camp monitors were trained and 56% of the camps were supported by these mechanisms.

Trainings conducted in 2014 have made possible the deployment of 12 CCCM-trained camp managers to affected districts during the current flood response. Between 12 and 14 February 2015, Global CCCM Cluster Co-lead IOM worked closely with Action Aid, Concern Worldwide, and the Malawian Red Cross to facilitate refresher training courses for deployed CCCM-trained camp managers.

Between 12 February and 5 March, the CCCM team facilitated adapted training sessions at displacement sites to address skills gaps among acting camp monitors, local civil protection actors, Malawi Red Cross, and key NGO partners. The CCCM Cluster continues to adapt training materials and roll out training sessions at displacement sites and is coordinating with relevant partners to ensure gender issues are incorporated into the induction courses, and that camp monitors are aware of referral pathways for addressing the needs of survivors of gender-based violence and other protection violations.

Paired with the recent development of tools related to the selection of beneficiaries, communication and intention survey and return assessment, the CCCM Cluster also supported the development of a Framework for Durable Solutions, adopted by the GoM on the 24th of March. It provides a tool for assisting government and humanitarian / development partners to evaluate opportunities for achieving ‘durable solutions’ for disaster affected IDP populations in Malawi, through sustainable return or resettlement, as well as understanding the associated risks. Under the leadership of the Government of Malawi, and the appointed steering committee for IDP early recovery, the framework will facilitate programme prioritization, the strategies and resource mobilization of clusters and other coordination fora in support of the attainment of durable solutions through return and resettlement as well as targeted support to disaster affected (but not displaced) and host communities.

The CCCM Cluster is working closely with government and NGO partners in Malawi to ensure project activities build on existing capacities and knowledge of the country and are aligned with ongoing humanitarian efforts and work towards the promotion of durable solutions and early recovery.