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Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
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situation continues to ride on the gains made in late 2009, as reflected
by a stark decline in humanitarian needs. The reduced funding requirement
for the 2010 Consolidated Appeal (CAP) of US$378 million bears testimony
to this. However, the situation remains fragile and could succumb
to any sudden shocks, which calls for cautious optimism.
Threats of a strike by
civil servants, continued disease outbreaks and scanty rain marked
by long dry spells that threaten prospects of a good harvest, indicate
that the worst is not yet over and could reverse the gains made
While providing humanitarian
assistance to vulnerable communities, it is imperative to remain
cognisant of the impending transition to early recovery. It is vital
to maintain balance and flexibility in supporting both the humanitarian
and the recovery elements of assistance. The uncertainty of the
situation means the pendulum could either swing into a humanitarian
emergency or full scale recovery. While only time will tell, whichever
way the pendulum swings, preparation is essential.
To this end,
the Government of Zimbabwe (GoZ) and humanitarian stakeholders are
engaged in ensuring that adequate preparations for any eventuality
are in place. Activities include assessments and planning exercises
that will inform future decision making in line with the changing
have also refined disaster response mechanisms. The national Civil
Protection Committee (CPC) met in January 2010 to clarify future
responses to disasters and agreed that in the event of an emergency,
the GoZ and the Humanitarian Coordinator (HC) will coordinate the
strategic response with the collaboration of all humanitarian actors
from the Government, UN and NGO community, and the private sector
if possible. Coordination of all disaster response should be done
through the Department of Civil Protection (DCP) on the Government
side, whereas OCHA should take the lead on behalf of the HC in coordinating
the UN and I/NGOs. Other sectoral arrangements should fit within
this set-up and structures. OCHA and the DCP would therefore jointly
lead coordination efforts at national level while the District Administrators
(DA) as chairs of the district CPU would lead the response at local
the United Nations Country Team
(UNCT) late this month held a retreat on coordination mechanisms.
work, however, should be supported by sound financial backing using
mechanisms such as the 2010 CAP. This is ideal as it includes early
recovery and "humanitarian plus" interventions which,
although of a recovery nature, are considered timecritical and life-saving
in the context of Zimbabwe.
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