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DEC East Africa Crisis Report 2013

Disasters Emergency Committee East Africa Crisis Final Report

10/31/2013 Disasters Emergency Committee Prepared by Kate Akhtar

DEC East Africa Crisis Final Report

East Africa Crisis Appeal – Summary Report It was a crisis many had predicted. The warning signs had been there in mid 2010 but the world only took it seriously in June 2011 when extremely malnourished Somalis started to arrive at the Dadaab refugee camp in eastern Kenya in ever greater numbers. Two weeks before famine in Somalia was declared the DEC launched an appeal to the British public to support member agencies’ programmes across four affected countries: Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia and South Sudan. A total of £79 million was raised, with over £39 million coming directly to the DEC for distribution to members. Over 43% of the total allocations were spent in the first six months, with the balance used over the following 18 months. Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia received similar levels of funding with 2% allocated by members to South Sudan. Programmes responded to the most urgent needs. Food was provided and/or vouchers to purchase food where this was available. Water and sanitation in the most desperate places involved trucking water, but where possible agencies dug and mended wells, laid water pipes and captured rainfall. Health and nutrition programmes supported Ministries of Health to deliver healthcare and treat malnutrition of children and breastfeeding women. After the first six months of the response there was an increase in livelihoods programmes, with member agencies working with communities to help strengthen their resilience against future droughts. Several agencies have conducted independent evaluations of their programmes and published these on their own and the DEC websites. Two years after the launch of the appeal all DEC funds have been expended, although member agencies continue to work in many of the countries using funding from other donors.

Background In 2011 the arid regions of north East Africa suffered one of the worst droughts for 25 years. People in Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and South Sudan who had been worn down by years of poor rains and crop failures were ill-prepared for a crisis. In Somalia the situation was exacerbated by 20 years of conflict and the lack of a functioning government. The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Appeal was launched in July 2011. The generosity of the British public enabled the support of emergency programmes responding to those in need. Building on their long standing presence in the regions, DEC member agencies have supported over 3 million people through emergency life saving interventions and longer term recovery assistance to help build resilience and coping mechanisms against future shocks. As prices of essential food items rose dramatically (more than doubling in some cases), levels of acute malnutrition reached 37% in parts of north east Kenya, over twice the emergency threshold. At the time of the appeal, over 11 million people in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and the Republic of South Sudan were left in need of food, water and emergency healthcare. Hundreds of thousands of people had fled Somalia due to drought, conflict and famine. At times, more than 1,300 people a day were arriving into Dadaab refugee camp in eastern Kenya, home to almost 500,000 refugees largely from South Central Somalia. In addition, elections in Kenya caused heightened political tensions and threats of violence; ongoing conflict in Somalia continued to make it a difficult and complicated operating environment. Studies carried out in response to DEC funded programmes highlighted issues largely relating to how the international community responds to protracted humanitarian crises of this nature and how changes must be made to ensure a rapid response once early warning systems detect the onset of a crisis.


DEC East Africa Crisis Final Report

Overview of DEC Appeal and Members’ Response The DEC appeal raised over GBP £79 million for relief and recovery work, the third highest appeal total in the organisation’s 50 year history.1Of this total, £39 million was donated to the DEC and transferred to the individual member agencies, whilst the remainder went directly to the members. The response was split into an initial phase of six months from 1st July to 31st December 2011, focusing on the critical immediate emergency response, followed by a second phase lasting 18 months from 1st January 2012 to 30th June 2013, incorporating longer term recovery assistance and measures to reduce the risk of future disasters. Figure 1: Allocation of DEC funds to Member Agencies (GBP) 6,000,000 5,000,000 4,000,000 3,000,000 2,000,000 1,000,000 0

All 14 of the DEC member agencies took part in the appeal, launching substantial humanitarian response programmes. Programmes were supported in Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia and South Sudan, which all had differing contexts and challenges. In parts of Ethiopia and Somalia, rains were unprecedentedly short and insufficient, necessitating on-going emergency response activities such as water trucking lasting into the recovery phase of programmes. Parts of the Dadaab camp were prone to flooding due to deforestation, necessitating improved drainage and shelter. Threats of violence in Kenya and conflict in Somalia hindered access to programme areas. Despite such challenges, DEC member agencies reached over 2.2 million people in the first six months of the response, providing emergency food supplies, shelter and non-food items, water and sanitation, emergency healthcare and nutritional support. Table 1: Beneficiaries reached by DEC Member Agencies Total people reached by all agencies across ALL SECTORS: Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Food Health Livelihoods Shelter Education, Training and Capacity Building Non Food Items Policy & Protection Other

Phase 1 2,385,978 1,126,050 698,965 685,664 126,286 63,000 2,204 149,225 47,063 4,500

Phase 2 3,219,820 1,194,402 220,949 768,383 382,818 23,673 222,581 43,523 358,093 5,398


The 2004 Tsunami Earthquake Appeal (£392m) and the 2010 Haiti Earthquake Appeal (£107m) are the only other emergency appeals to have surpassed this amount.


DEC East Africa Crisis Final Report

Early Response by Member Agencies – Phase 1 Due to inadequate funding it was only with the launch of the DEC appeal in 2011 that agencies were able to expand existing operations rapidly, building on their strong existing presence and local partnerships in the region. Agencies responded to the most pressing needs in Phase 1, including food needs (through the provision of nutrition support, food vouchers and cash for food); water, sanitation and hygiene needs (including water trucking, latrines and hygiene promotion); and health needs (in particular supporting primary health care facilities). Figure 2 shows the split of funds across different sectors for Phase 1. To ensure the most effective response possible, DEC member agencies sought to address root causes of the crisis whilst also saving lives. For example, Merlin reported providing lifesaving treatment of malnutrition, but also addressing issues of a weak health system, including improving health infrastructure such as primary health clinics and training of Ministry of Health staff in Ethiopia. Figure 2: Expenditure by programme sector over the first six months

2% 7%



Water & sanitation Health


Household items Livelihoods




During the early response, a high proportion of member agencies worked through local partners and, where appropriate, sought to support and strengthen relevant government departments. This approach ensured that vital capacity building was implemented. Security constraints, particularly across Kenya and Somalia, made a partnership approach particularly effective. It also meant that limitations on the agencies’ staff access and travel did not hinder programme implementation. For example, CARE International developed and adopted remote monitoring tools to support their local partner’s implementation of food voucher distributions. This enabled CARE to participate in the review of participant feedback and support the local partner in adapting programmes accordingly. *’Other’ relates to programme activities which fall outside of the categories, such as capacity building of partners to support them in the response

Figure 3: Expenditure by country As can be seen in Figure 3, funds were split fairly evenly between Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia, with the remaining percentage spent in South Sudan. In total, more than 2 million individuals benefitted from response activities in Phase 1.




Kenya Somalia Ethiopia


South Sudan

As well as providing life saving support, such as that provided by the British Red Cross in the form of food, water and tents in Dadaab camp, a number of organisations sought to restore people’s livelihoods by providing vaccinations and feed for livestock, as well as cash to purchase animals. In East Africa, livestock and agriculture represent a way of life, providing not only a means of income but also a type of household insurance policy (i.e. selling off livestock during lean times). Supporting the rehabilitation of this vital sector has therefore


DEC East Africa Crisis Final Report

been paramount to the success of a humanitarian response. In Kenya, ActionAid worked with farmers in destocking and restocking of livestock (i.e. buying existing stock and distributing meat as food to vulnerable households and schools whilst providing new goats/heifers to the families), alternative farming methods, and distributing drought resistant seeds, fertiliser and tools to 3,350 households. As a result of these interventions, and thanks to a return to more normal weather patterns, the affected communities are better positioned for the next inevitable weather related hazard.

Response in Phase Two Of the total allocations of ÂŁ39 million made through DEC appeal funds, ÂŁ22 million (or 57%) was assigned to activities in the recovery phase which began six months after the appeal was launched. Figure 4: Expenditure in Phase 2 over 18 month Water/sanitation 2% 2%


Food 4% Livelihoods



Health & Nutrition Shelter


Household items 23%

Education & Training Policy;Protection;capacity building and other

In Phase 2, as in Phase 1, the highest proportion of expenditure went towards food and water and sanitation interventions, as shown in Figure 4. There was an increased emphasis on livelihoods as agencies sought to help communities reestablish themselves. The balance of expenditure by country changed slightly, with 38% going to Kenya, 34% to Somalia, 25% to Ethiopia and 2% to South Sudan. Over this time, weather patterns returned to normal. In addition to supporting agriculture, the rains improved regeneration of pasture/grazing for cattle, in turn improving productivity of livestock, especially milk production. This had a positive effect on the nutritional status of affected communities.

Agency performance against objectives The majority of programme objectives were met in a timely fashion by the implementing agencies. Some were even able to surpass their planned reach. In Kenya, by adapting their approach slightly, ActionAid were able to almost triple their impact by providing roof-water harvesting at schools rather than to individual households. In Ethiopia, Christian Aid had planned to benefit 8,870 people through the construction and reparation of water facilities. This number was increased to 18,910 people with the addition of complementary activities such as establishing water committees and providing tools to the community. In some instances, planned objectives were not met due to a variety of circumstances. Whilst Age UK successfully negotiated the inclusion of older people in the National Community Health curriculum, it was not rolled out within the time span of the DEC response. Age UK plans to support the roll out using other donor funding. In Somalia, CAFOD were unable to deliver quality seeds for the planting season to 4,300 farming households due both to heightened insecurity in the target areas and delays in obtaining permission from local leaders. The funding was subsequently allocated to providing food vouchers for vulnerable families affected by rising prices. Capacity building All DEC member agencies focused on building local capacity through their DEC funded programmes. This included on site training of Government Health Care workers on the supply management of drugs


DEC East Africa Crisis Final Report

and training of community water and sanitation committees for on-going maintenance of the new water points. In Kenya, Islamic Relief trained Disaster Mitigation Committees in six villages to carry out hazard mapping, resource mapping and development of disaster mitigation action plans within their communities. These committee members (72 in total) also received training in prevention and response on epidemics of communicable diseases such as cholera and malaria control. Age UK in Ethiopia sought to build the capacity of local partners and communities through skills training on advocacy for older people’s issues, community mobilisation, While ongoing emergency project planning and management. response operations are critical to address the acute Disaster Risk Reduction needs of disaster affected To mitigate the impact of future disasters, the humanitarian and communities, significant development community must work together, especially with weather investments in community extremes ever increasing in magnitude and frequency. Recognising this, resilience and longer term every DEC member agencies placed emphasis to include Disaster Risk programming are required to Reduction (DRR) in their emergency response programmes. reduce emergency situations in the future. British Red Community resilience and DRR was incorporated through stand alone Cross constructed a disaster risk reduction activities or mainstreaming within sectorial activities. drainage system in Dadaab, Examples include:Kenya to reduce the risk to beneficiaries residing in  Providing viable alternative livelihoods and diversification through flood prone areas of the the inputs distribution and training (e.g. drought resistant seeds, camp. This was important as the camp is particularly provision of drought resistant livestock species) vulnerable to flooding due to  Rehabilitating and constructing water harvesting structures, and deforestation, and even a building community assets such as water sources (wells, boreholes) small flood can be  Transfer of technologies and skills on sustainable agriculture. catastrophic due to exposed  Imparting knowledge on livestock and pasture management. and inadequate shelters of  Supporting development of Community Action Plans Rehabilitation many camp residents. of range land and establishing Disaster Mitigation Committee Plan UK reported that DRR training led to an increased demand from the communities to do more preparation for future shocks in Kenya. Additionally, hygiene and health related activities sought to increase people’s resilience to future shocks. Hygiene training carried out by agencies (including British Red Cross, Merlin, Save the Children and World Vision) aimed to reduce the risk of communicable disease spread and included immunisation campaigns in response to specific outbreaks of measles and whooping cough. Agencies including Concern in Ethiopia, World Vision in Somalia and CAFOD and British Red Cross in Kenya constructed public and household latrines, reducing the risk of disease and infection. Rehabilitating shallow wells and construction of water storage tanks gives the potential to mitigate against drought in the region where the biggest challenge is to access water for humans and livestock. Such interventions will greatly improve water supply and storage for the target communities. Innovation A number of agencies reported innovative approaches in their responses. Highlights of these are shown in Table 2.

CAFOD’s approach to Resilience & DRR included support to poor families by providing them with drought resistance livestock such as camels and goats in Ethiopia. CAFOD rehabilitated range land, by developing soil and water conservation structures to reduce erosion and improve moisture holding capacity of the land. The range land will now be less affected by variances in rainfall in future.

Table 2: Innovative programme activities Age UK Age UK constructed an underground water tank to harvest surface run-off during the rainy Kenya season while providing underground storage, limiting evaporation. World World Vision provided community water and sanitation committees with legal status and Vision link them to micro finance institutions to increase their influence. This allowed committees Ethiopia to officially collect money from water users, allowing them to scale up the services


DEC East Africa Crisis Final Report

provided using their own resources, whilst creating ownership and local capacity. Tearfund With the Ministry of Education and Public Health, Tearfund created a 7-lesson plan for a Kenya water and sanitation curriculum in a Turkana school. Teachers were trained to lead the process rather than the public health officers, facilitating a greater sense of ownership. Christian Christian Aid introduced the construction of hay shelters to promote collection and storage Aid of fodder for livestock in pastoralist areas. Communities can now collect grass, make hay Ethiopia and store it in the shelters to feed their animals during the dry season, contributing to resilience by encouraging traditional practices. Advocacy The East Africa drought response demonstrates the value of having a comprehensive humanitarian response that looks at longer terms issues to reduce the likelihood of a crisis recurring on such a scale. The DEC co-funded research by Chatham House, resulting in the publication ‘Managing Famine Risk, Linking Early Warning to Early Action’. This highlights the failure of the international community to respond appropriately to warning signs in East Africa. The publication makes specific recommendations to improve official early warning capacity and effectiveness, enable vulnerable communities to take action themselves and to look at institutional and funding reform. The report has received wide exposure with the impact still being assessed. At least one significant donor has indicated they are considering revisions to their funding streams. Oxfam and Save the Children worked together on a joint agency briefing paper, Dangerous Delays, published and shared widely. This states “(There) were clear early warning signs many months in advance, yet there was insufficient response until it was far too late. Governments, donors, the UN and NGOs need to change their approach to chronic drought situations by managing the risks, not the crisis.” In addition, Save the Children developed ‘A Charter to End Extreme Hunger’ – The Charter sets out specific actions that governments should take to stop widespread starvation as a result of drought, high food prices and conflict. Accountability to beneficiaries All 14 of the member agencies noted that involving affected communities in the design and implementation of the response was a crucial factor in its success. Such participation also helped ensure the inclusion of specific vulnerable groups (including women, girls, older people and people with disabilities). In Kenya, World Vision set up “exposure tours” whereby members of one community would visit another where similar programme activities were underway. They found attitudes towards the programme changed positively as the community was able to objectively view the challenges and successes of the programme. All Member Agencies have put various measures in place to promote greater accountability and transparency in their programmes, in line with key humanitarian standards. These included:        

Sharing contact details of senior staff to ensure that people are able to talk to those who are in a position to make changes Open information sharing with beneficiaries Installing complaints and suggestion boxes in appropriate locations Providing a community representative on the distribution monitoring team, to whom complaints or suggestions can be made Providing hotlines and toll-free numbers so that beneficiaries could easily provide feedback Clearly displaying entitlements at distribution sites Identifying key individuals within organisations to whom complaints were to be taken Carrying out interviews with community members using independent accountability assistants to encourage unhindered feedback

However, there were challenges. Christian Aid recognised the need to make future beneficiary selections more transparent and avoid community chiefs and elders selecting those that would receive assistance, despite participatory assessments having been carried out.


DEC East Africa Crisis Final Report

Adherence to Sector Standards DEC member agencies all sign up and adhere to sector quality standards, principally the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross, Red Crescent Movement NGOs in Disaster Response Programmes and Sphere Standards. In the East Africa Crisis Response, whilst no breaches of the Code of Conduct were reported, there were a limited number of occasions where meeting the Sphere standards was particularly challenging, chiefly in Somalia. For example, due to the lack of space for storage and availability of water in Mogadishu, the Sphere standard for the provision of 20 litres of water per person per day was not possible, so it was agreed by the WASH (Water Sanitation and Hygiene) Cluster that 7.5 litres per person per day was the realistic standard to which all agencies should adhere. CARE International harmonised a standard food voucher distribution with agencies in Mogadishu to ensure that a minimum quantity and quality of food was provided to families, in a context where only 64% of the related Sphere Standard could be met. The project ensured that an equivalent of $80 worth of food was provided to each household through weekly market and post distribution monitoring and ensuring that an active complaints/feedback mechanism was in place. The feedback had a well established case management system which ensured timely decision making regarding the quantities and quality of food items provided by the vendor.

Key challenges of the response & Lessons from Evaluations Key Challenges: Many programmes were affected by conflict and insecurity, such as kidnapping and clashes over water and pasture. In eastern Kenya, foreign nationals were abducted and government targets attacked, which forced some programmes to close and others to be scaled back. Agencies dealt with this problem by remotely managing some projects so aid could still be delivered. Working in Somalia was particularly difficult due to increasing restrictions imposed on UN agencies and charities in south central Somalia directly affecting aid distribution and project monitoring. Coordination has also been difficult due to the lack of a properly functioning government. In Ethiopia, the government has a key role in planning aid delivery and has shown strong leadership in preventing and managing food crises. However, new or increased aid work needs government approval, delaying the response. An independent real-time evaluation [RTE2] of the DEC funded early response found that it has been largely efficient and effective. It also highlighted that the global response to the crisis, which preceded the appeal, was both slow and late. Independent evaluations of the response by member agencies ActionAid, Christian Aid, Concern and Save the Children were also funded by the DEC identified the key lessons below: Early warning/early action: Recognising the triggers for humanitarian crisis is essential, accompanied by early action to avoid similar situations in future. Donors must respond flexibly to fluid situations, there is a need to establish a collective, national-level approach to early warning and early action that encompasses all levels of civil society and links to existing bodies. It is also important to keep track of weather forecasts and food security alerts at UK office level, leading to checks for the need for assessments at National level. Funding flexibility: Funders should be flexible in their interpretation of disaster beyond the actual management of the disaster, in order to address the issues around gaps in disaster response. Using DEC funds, Merlin was able to save lives through treatment of malnutrition, whilst simultaneously addressing issues of health system strengthening including infrastructure and capacity building of government health workers. This has helped build resilience of the Ministry of Health in Ethiopia and would not have been achieved without flexibility from the donor.


RTE – Real-time evaluations differ from full evaluations in that they are conducted early on in the response and aim to assess progress in order to provide recommendations for how the programmes should evolve. They do not set out to assess the impact of interventions.


DEC East Africa Crisis Final Report

Disaster Risk Reduction is essential as part of Emergency Response Programmes: Integration of activities that aim to reduce future crisis into emergency response to the East Africa crisis have been helpful in increasing impact and the reach of emergency response programmes. Sensitisation, capacity building and close monitoring of activities will help to avoid dependency syndrome for long term benefit. Cash programming: Food voucher systems are more secure in unstable environments than food distribution, giving choice, security and convenience. Complementing cash transfer programmes with livelihood and DRR interventions may provide an entry point to address diverse community needs, whilst also increasing communities’ resilience. Payment modalities should be standardised between the agencies running projects in the same area to allow effective community mobilisation. Livelihoods and livestock programming: Incorporating income generation activities, skills transfer and support to livestock can have one of the highest impacts to communities in complex emergencies and can prevent vulnerable people resorting to begging. Vaccinating and treating animals before distribution will avoid deaths later, but if this is not possible, other means such as enabling community members to administer direct treatment and providing animal feed should be conducted. Research to evaluate current methods of restocking recommended a different animal mix from that which was commonly used, demonstrating the importance of making context specific decisions. Flexibility: Programme designs need to be flexible to respond to changing disaster contexts and changing community priorities. In post-war environments, additional time (3-4 months) is required to obtain local authorities approvals. Managing insecurity: Working with and training refugees can help ensure security of camps and provide long term benefits. Working with local partners can enable access to insecure areas and improve monitoring. Working through partners: Building on indigenous knowledge and systems encourages independence for long term benefit. Working with authorities: Support of local authorities is crucial for successful implementation of activities, especially in difficult and insecure environments. These relationships need constant attention in order to establish joint ownership and ensure problems are resolved quickly. Other: Developing a common language and framework(s), across relief and development sectors identifies levels of context change and appropriate response actions. There is a need to balance the urgency of the need to respond with the quality of the response.

Headline Achievements Table 3: Headline Achievements: Healthcare

Water and Sanitation

Food Livelihoods


623,687 people provided with improved community health services, sessions and supplies 608,000+ people educated in health and hygiene 182,000 people provided with healthcare 59,000 malnourished children treated 731,935 people with increased access to more secure, reliable sources of clean and safe water 747,204 people received hygiene promotion 28,031 people with access to a latrine (public and household) 698,965 people given food or cash/vouchers for food 97,000 people receiving cash or paid work 5,186 people benefitting from the provision of livestock 81,683 farmers provided with tools or seeds 194,060 animals vaccinated 63,000 people given basic shelter


East Africa Crisis - Final Report  

This report provides an overview of the DEC member agencies’ response to the crisis that gripped East Africa. It outlines the key areas of h...