During 2012, the sociopolitical situation in Côte d’Ivoire gradually improved. But the situation remained fragile, as evidenced by a surge in armed attacks between June and October and ongoing inter-community tension. Relative stability was brought on by a new Parliament and Prime Minister, and by the gradual implementation of the Security Sector Reform and the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) process. These developments contributed to the steady return of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees, uninterrupted humanitarian assistance and a general improvement of the humanitarian situation. As a result, most IDPs have returned home, and humanitarian agencies were able to focus on recovery work.
Coordination and response efforts started to target residual humanitarian needs and pockets of vulnerability, and ensure closer links with early recovery and development frameworks. A key outcome was the cluster-deactivation process and the elaboration of a cluster/sector needs analysis for 2013 to prioritize response to residual and structural needs, with increased NGO participation.
Humanitarian action in Côte d’Ivoire in 2012 was guided by the OCHA-managed Consolidated Appeal Process (CAP) 2012, which mobilized 63 percent of the US$160 million requested. OCHA helped humanitarian partners work and plan together through monthly coordination meetings, such as the Inter-Cluster Coordination meeting and Humanitarian Country Team. OCHA provided information management and information product support to partners, including thematic maps, contact lists, a monitoring database, humanitarian snapshots and the Humanitarian Dashboard, as well as capacity-building for Government counterparts.
OCHA worked with the Inter-Agency Contingency Planning Task Force to update the contingency plan to ensure appropriate levels of emergency preparedness. OCHA also helped secure $9 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund for three rapid response and 16 underfunded humanitarian projects.
To ensure civil-military coordination, OCHA established and maintained a communication network with the UN Peacekeeping Operation in Côte d’Ivoire, force components, Government forces and the NGO community. OCHA also participated in the development of ONUCI’s Protection of Civilians strategy. OCHA helped facilitate trainings for over 400 prefects and over 200 soldiers of the national armed forces in the field of humanitarian principles. OCHA has strengthened its relations with the National Office for Civil Protection and started work on reinforcing national preparedness and response capacity within the DDR processes.
OCHA strengthened its public information. It produced regular humanitarian bulletins, press and donor briefings and key messages, and it improved contact and communication with the media. In August, ambassador-level donor visits were organized to humanitarian priority areas as part of the CAP midyear review advocacy exercise.
Due to the gradual improvement of the humanitarian situation in Côte d’Ivoire, OCHA developed a strategy for cluster hand-over (exit strategy) during the second half of the year. By the end of the year, six out of 10 clusters were deactivated. The remaining four (Health, WASH, Food Security and Education) will handover coordination responsibilities to respective line ministries during the first half of 2013.
Early phase-out and the lack of capacity of some clusters has seriously affected the regularity and effectiveness of sector meetings (such as health and early recovery), and the hand-over to Government counterparts appears to have been unsuccessful in key sectors, such as protection. Following the CAP midyear review, OCHA experienced increasing difficulties in mobilizing partners and clusters in joint planning processes, particularly regarding the 2013 humanitarian-needs exercise. Coordination, advocacy, follow-up and participation in coordination mechanisms were hampered by the general lack of high-level leadership and senior-level participation at Humanitarian Country Team meetings.