Tunisia

Tunisia: Floods Appeal No. 04/03

Format
Appeal
Source
Posted
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 178 countries. For more information: www.ifrc.org
IN BRIEF

THIS APPEAL SEEKS CHF 308,000 (USD 229,000 or EUR 210,000) IN CASH, KIND AND SERVICES TO ASSIST 3,000 BENEFICIARIES FOR 2 MONTHS

Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) Allocation: CHF 50,000.

Situation

Since early January Tunisia has been affected by a cold wave and heavy rainfall especially in the north and central parts of the country. Several governorates in the mountainous area have also experienced below freezing temperatures and snowfalls. Such conditions are unusual in Tunisia where houses are not built or heated to cope with such conditions. Roads have been cut due to water and snow. The water level in the largest river, Oued Mejerda, which crosses the northern part of the country from the Algerian border to north of Tunis, has risen causing overflow in nearby fields and villages. Altogether nine governorates have been affected, four seriously. These are Jendouba, Béja, Manouba and Bizerte. Kasserine, Kairouan, Sidi Bouzid, le Kef and Monastir have suffered less. Over several weeks - and the rains continue - the situation has developed into a disaster requiring external assistance. The rains come after three years of drought, which has left the soil quite hard, making it difficult for the water to be absorbed, thus causing extensive flooding. This is the worst flood disaster in ten years. Tunisia has faced severe floods before, in 1969, 1983 and in 1989-90.

The total number of families affected is 5,500, or 27,500 persons. These families have had to be evacuated due to their houses being destroyed or seriously flooded. About one hundred soil houses have been wiped out and others have been damaged. The people have lost most of their belongings, including warm clothing and the years' food reserves (including olive oil and couscous). A number of cattle and sheep has also been lost, and small businesses devastated. At least six children have drowned.

Governorate
Families affected
Persons affected
Governorate
Families affected
Persons affected
Jendouba
3'600
18'000
Kasserine
100
500
Beja
500
2'500
Kairouan
100
500
Mannouba
400
2'000
Sidi Bouzid
100
500
Bizerte
500
2'500
Le Kef
100
500
Monastir
100
500
Most affected
5'000
25'000
Somewhat affected
500
2'500
Total affected
5'500
27'500
* Government statistics.
* One family = 2 parents, one elderly person, 2 children.

The overall objective of the Tunisian Red Crescent operation is to provide emergency assistance to the most vulnerable among those affected. Basic food and non-food relief items will be distributed to 600 families or 3,000 persons (about 11% of all seriously affected) in the four most affected governorates during February and March.

Needs

Immediate Needs

From the onset of the disaster, the Tunisian Red Crescent (TRC) mobilised its regional and local structures, which have collaborated efficiently with the regional authorities in assisting affected families. Warm clothing, foodstuffs and small scale financial assistance has been provided. Last week the Society sent an assessment team to evaluate the situation in the worst affected governorates and to verify what support the local RC committees may require. The Society's relief stocks of blankets, clothing and tents are practically used up. 40,000 Tunisian Dinars (CHF 40,000) from the TRC emergency relief fund has been used to buy food and relief items leaving the fund almost empty. In addition to the emergency assistance the TRC is in need of replenishing its relief stocks with blankets and warm clothing, as well as reconstituting its emergency fund.

The Federation Tunis office has assisted the Tunisian Red Crescent in needs assessment and production of a Plan of Action for February and March. A Relief Delegate arrived on 25 January for a short mission to help the Society with an initial needs assessment, visiting the two worst affected areas of Mannouba and Jendouba and meeting with regional Red Crescent representatives and local authorities. A follow-up mission took place on 4 February. In view of the winter lasting another two months, the Society foresees supporting the most affected families in a follow-up emergency action. The Society plans to focus its efforts on the most vulnerable, namely children, pregnant women and elderly people. The assistance will consist of provision of basic foodstuffs, blankets and warm clothing as well as social and financial support. The programme will be closely coordinated with regional and local authorities.

The intended beneficiaries will be 3,000 persons or 600 families in the most affected governorates as follows:

  • 1,200 children, aged 3-12 years
  • 1,200 adults
  • 600 elderly

The most urgent needs are basic food, blankets and warm clothing. The Tunisian Red Crescent is, as the first phase of this operation, compiling and distributing family relief parcels of basic food and hygiene items as well as blankets using the DREF allocation of CHF 50,000. As soon as more funding and/or assistance in kind is available they will distribute warm clothing and more blankets, as well as family food parcels for the second month of the operation.

Coordination

The rescue operation was mainly carried out by the army and the civil defence, assisted by the Tunisian Red Crescent volunteers. The President of the Republic has appointed a technical commission to assess the material and economic damage. It looks into repairs of infrastructure, including roads, and losses affecting agriculture and cattle. The commission has not yet finished its work. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Solidarity provides assistance to affected families through the Tunisian Union of Social Solidarity. The Tunisian Red Crescent is co-ordinating its assistance activities with this body and the local authorities. There are no other major actors that provide assistance.

Proposed Operation

Objectives and activities planned to reach the objectives

This operation aims to provide emergency assistance to the most vulnerable among those affected. During an estimated two months period basic relief items will be distributed to 600 families (or 3,000 persons) in the four worst affected governorates of Jendouba, Beja, Mannouba and Bizerte.

Relief: distribution of food and basic non-food items

Objective 1: Distribution of relief parcels to most vulnerable families

In the first phase, each family will receive one parcel containing the following: Basic food items:

  • 5 litres olive oil
  • 2 kg pasta (couscous, spaghetti, shorba)
  • 2 kg rice
  • 2 kg sugar
  • 2 kg canned tomatoes
  • 1 kg jam
  • Soap, detergent
  • 3 blankets.

These parcels will be compiled by experienced TRC volunteers and distributed by local RC committees in co-ordination with local authorities. As soon as more resources become available, it is planned that each family will receive 2 more blankets, warm clothing and a second food parcel to take them through the most difficult period until the end of March. A small financial assistance of 30DT is also foreseen.

Capacity of the National Society

The Tunisian Red Crescent's role in disaster response is mainly realised through its volunteers in regional and local branches. The Society has 24 regional branches, one in each governorate, and 220 local branches. Its main activities are first aid and social work. While not an important player until now in relief and rescue operations, which is mainly the domain of the Civil Defence, it has good experience in social work, including relief distributions. Each year during the holy month of Ramadan the TRC distributes 3,000 parcels of food and non-food items to needy families, and in the beginning of each school year the local committees give educational items and clothing to needy children. This flood operation will provide an opportunity for the TRC to strengthen its role with local authorities and its capacity to respond to disaster. It will also benefit the Societies' volunteers through on-the-job training, and hopefully more formal training once the emergency is over.

Monitoring and Evaluation

It has been agreed with the TRC that a delegate will be assigned to monitor the distributions and to ensure co-ordination and reporting on the operation as well as assessment of further needs. The TRC training needs in the area of disaster management will also be evaluated.

Capacity of the Federation

The Federation has currently a Representative in Tunis, covering the five countries of North Africa. The Tunis office has been assisting the TRC in producing Information Bulletins and the Appeal. In addition, the Project Coordinator in Algeria, charged with follow-up of flood operations in that country as well as in Morocco, will continue to assist the Society in different aspects of the flood operation, including assessment, monitoring and reporting.

Budget summary

See Annex 1 for details.

For further details please contact:

  • The Tunisian Red Crescent Society in Tunis, Phone +216-71-32.55.72; Fax +216-71-320.151 ; email hilal.ahmar@planet.tn
  • Federation Office in Tunis, Phone +216-71-86.24.85, Fax +216-71-86.29.71, email ifrctu01@ifrc.org
  • Evgeni Parfenov, Phone 41 22 7304325; Fax 41 22 733 0395; email Evgeni.Parfenov@ifrc.org.

All International Federation Assistance Operations seek to adhere to the Code of Conduct and are committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (SPHERE Project) in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable.

In line with the Minimum Reporting Standards, the first operations update on this appeal will be issued within 30-days of the launch and the second will be issued over the course of the operation; a final narrative and financial report will be issued no later than 90 days after the end of the operation.

This operation seeks to administer to the immediate requirements of the victims of this disaster. Subsequent operations to promote sustainable development or longer-term capacity building will require additional support and these programmes are outlined on the Federation website.

For support to or for further information concerning Federation operations in this or other countries, please access the Federation website at http://www.ifrc.org

Abbas Gullet
Director
Disaster Management and Coordination

Didier J. Cherpitel
Secretary General

Annex 1

BUDGET SUMMARY
APPEAL No. 04/2003
Tunisia: floods
TYPE
VALUE IN CHF
RELIEF NEEDS
Clothing & textiles
204,000
Food & seeds
26,000
Water and sanitation
4,000
Other relief supplies
18,000
TOTAL RELIEF NEEDS
252,000
PROGRAMME SUPPORT
Programme support (6.5% of total)
20,000
TRANSPORT STORAGE & VEHICLE COSTS
Transport and storage
5,000
Vehicle costs
2,000
PERSONNEL
Expatriate staff
10,000
National staff
5,000
ADMINISTRATIVE & GENERAL SERVICES
Travel & related expenses
6,000
Information expenses
3,000
Administrative & general expenses
5,000
TOTAL OPERATIONAL NEEDS
56,000
TOTAL APPEAL CASH, KIND, SERVICES
308,000
LESS AVAILABLE RESOURCES (-)
NET REQUEST
308,000