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Snap Shot Analysis of Humanitarian Response to Congo Crisis

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Published: Fri, 13 Oct 2017

Instructions

The exam will be a paper (max. 2500 words), in which the participant presents either a snapshot analysis or a stakeholder analysis of a crisis of his or her choice. Prepare either a full-fledged snapshot analysis or a full-fledged stakeholder analysis. “Full-fledged” means that you cover all the steps as they were carried out and discussed in class”.

Students should make sure that they comply with the standard conventions of scientific writ-ing: provide references to sources, use correct citations, include a list of references. The papers should have a proper introduction and conclusion section. Papers should also ad-dress the methodology used, and a discussion of the quality of the data.

THE TASK

A SNAP SHOT ANALYSIS OF THE HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE IN THE CRISIS IN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO

Introduction

Conflict and humanitarian crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo have taken the lives of over 5.4 million since 1998 and continues to leave 45000 dead every month. This form of humanitarian crisis is among the world’s most complex and protracted emergencies. Recurrent out breaks of fighting in the DRC have led to numerous displacements of people and an ongoing humanitarian crisis. Internally displaced persons (IDPs) especially in the east of the country are in most urgent need of humanitarian assistance. At the end of November 2012, there were about 2.4 million IDPs in the DRC with more than 420,000 Congolese refugees in the neighboring countries. According to the International Rescue Committee (IRC), as of 2013, the DRC continues to suffer high levels of armed violence resulting in the displacement of 2.6. Vulnerable populations face looting, rape, unsanitary conditions, worsening levels of malnutrition and epidemics of measles, cholera and Malaria[1].

This situation therefore called for humanitarian assistance in the country. The Humanitarian assistance in DRC grew between 2002 and 2010 from $98m to $585 m into a six-fold. This makes the DRC world’s fifth largest recipient of the humanitarian aid. Most humanitarian funding is linked to the humanitarian appeal process which in the DRC takes the form of annual Humanitarian Action Plan. These plans are used by the international humanitarian community to prioritize objectives, monitor humanitarian response and advocate for funding.[2]

Measuring Comprehensive Security of the UNHCR’s Intervention in Humanitarian Crisis in DRC

Steps of the Snap Shot analysis

The Level of Analysis and Periods of Assessment

This article presents a snap shot analysis of the humanitarian response to the crisis in the DRC since 1998 to 2013 (post conflict). It is focused on the role of the UNHCR in the intervention of the crisis since 1998 – 2013 by analyzing the environment under which it has been operating. It is a snap shot of both the internal and external environment under which the United Nations Humanitarian Commission on Refugee has been operating since the break out the conflicts in the DRC since 1988. The purpose is to gain insight into the effectiveness on the UNHRCs interventions into the humanitarian crisis affecting the people especially those who have been uprooted from their homes (IDPS), refugees from other countries like Angola and evaluate the challenges that have faced the UNHCR’s interventions for over a decade.

The UNHCR’S Intervention in the Humanitarian Crisis in the DRC

Since the outbreak of the conflicts in the DRC, the UNHCR has been and continues to protect those who have been affected by the conflicts. The organization has been assisting the affected population both urban and rural areas to enhance their livelihoods and self-reliance. For internally displace persons, the UNHCR instituted and continues to lead the protection cluster and coordinate assistance that focus on life-saving activities and the provision of basic services such as shelter, health, water and sanitation. To support the reintegration of returnees, the office has organized for and supported community-based activities including livelihood programmes to aid the returnees with livelihood opportunities.

At the end of 2011 the UNHCR was assisting some 101,300 refugee in the DRC mainly from Angola, Burundi and Rwanda. Following the invocation of the cessation clause for Angolan refugees on 30th June 2012, some 16000 Angolans have returned home from the DRC while 2000 individuals will benefits from an exemption procedure. Of the 71000 Angolans forma refugees currently remaining in the DRC some, 23,000 have expressed their wish to return to their country and some 48000 would like to integrate locally. Therefore as part of its comprehensive solution strategy, UNHCR upholds both options in cooperation with the Government of DRC and Angola to expedite the expatriation process. So far 10000 people have been repatriated and it is expected that another 13000 will have followed by the end of 2013.

For those wishing to stay in the DRC, at estimated 1500 residence permits have bee issued while another 46,500 to were to be delivered this year. At the same time, in the first half of 2012, some 15000 refugee from the DRC returned home mainly to Equateur province. Their reintegration was supported by UHNRC through community based projects and provision of assistance to individuals to enhance their livelihoods.

Due to the interventions by the UNHCR the quality of registration and profiling has improved and maintained. Sexual and gender-based violence continues to be a major concern for the UNHCR. Such violence prevents women and girl as well as boys and men from leading healthy lives. Refugee (mainly from Angola) and IDPs are particularly at risk of rape and sexual abuse at home, in public places and at school, while the perpetrators are rarely prosecuted and punished. UNHCR combats through prevention and response programmes that ensure coordinated responses for all survivors. The multi-sectoral response combines health care, legal and psycho-social support and safety interventions. They have also address gender inequality and other root causes through longer-term approaches aimed at changing behavior. At the same time all the IDPs are registered on an individual basis and basic needs and essential services shelter and infrastructure have been established. All returnee households live in adequate dwellings and are provided with shelter materials and maintenance tool kits.

Some of the long term solutions are that some 50% of Angolan former refugees opting for local integration have been provided with residence cards. The potential for voluntary return has been realized. They have returned to their country in safety and dignity, the UNHCR has been providing technical assistance to the Government to help it develop a local integration framework for Angolans who decide to remain in the DRC. It will also support the voluntary repatriation of Rwanda refugees and seek alternative solutions for those remaining in the DRC. Emphasis will be placed on self-reliance projects, mainly targeting vulnerable households.

In the Equateur province, the reintegration of returnees has been supported through community-based projects in return areas and the provision of individual and family assistance packages, including cash grants. The UNHCR has also been offering technical support to the central and provincial governments to help them integrate the IDPs locally and given them access to national social structures.

However this level of engagement has not been without constraints. Insecurity and poor infrastructure has been one of the greatest threats to the UNHCR’s intervention and continue to hamper access to a significant number of vulnerable people. Mainly territories in the DRC have weak administrative and legal structures, preventing humanitarian actors from performing their responsibilities effectively. Tensions in the hosting areas may hamper peaceful co-existence. More regrettably lack of security in some areas in the east of the country has forced the UNHCR to suspend assistance to an estimated 47,500 IDPs and refugees.[3]

Determination of Information Sources

Information for this article has been sourced from the Government of Congo documents, internet, UNHCR documentaries and information from other NGO sources such as WHO, WFP. These sources provided very reliable data in the context of the analysis for instance the government records provided information on the structure of the conflicts, the number of people who have died or displaced, intervention measures employed by the government and the government security measures that have been applied in the management of the crisis, its successes and failures. The major source of information in this article was the internet. Most of the Internet sources were documentaries from the United Nations websites. These documents were found to balanced, reliable and unbiased although one would pick certain tones of emotions in some of the documents especially on the government’s response to the crisis. The Congolese government has been accused of being ineffective in handling the crisis by Ted[4] on the background and current developments in the republic of Congo.

Determination of security dimensions, measuring validity and reliability, consistency of information and combination of information across indicators to a single assessment

Absolute Scaling

Security Dimensions

Indicators

Weakness

Opportunities

Threats

Environmental Security

Presence of a humanitarian crisis in DRC,

The creation of IDPs.

Lack of livelihood needs

Fragile operating environment due to continued fighting’s

Suspension of assistance due to insecurity

The UNHCR has the opportunity to provide assistance to the suffering population, have the chance to request for more appeals from other humanitarian organizations

The continued conflicts, The ever increasing number of refugees due to the continued conflict

Insecurity and poor infrastructure

Economic Security

The provision of funds by the united nations to aid the organization in its operations,

Sourcing for more funds through the humanitarian action plan (HAP) to advocate for funding.

The humanitarian action is subject to approval by the stakeholders, is evaluated and monitored to ensure compliance.

Must operate within the international legal framework

Ability to expand its operational scope, able to engage the government in finding a solution to the conflicts and the affected population in restarting their lives after the conflicts.

Entrance by other humanitarian organizations offering similar services,

Reduction of funds for the management of the crisis.

Political Security

Recognition of the UNHCR’s operation through the various united nations conventions

Acceptance as the global humanitarian organization by the government

The government using the organization to supplement on their level of interventions

Requires political good will for effectiveness

Has to employ local capacity in the management of the crisis

Inadeuquate administrative and legal framework

The government’s will to supplement their inventions with the UNHCR

The locals’ cooperation in the process seen as a source of livelihood.

Lack of adequate security for the UNHCR officers due to poor security infrastructure.

The locals may lack the expertise to participate in the exercise i.e the organization must be able to train the locals on their roles in the operation

Weak administrative and legal structures

Social Security

General recognition of the organization as the leading humanitarian organization world wide

The organization has a good rapport with the other stakeholders in the operation

Lacks capacity at the grass root level to provide information on the extent of the crisis

The government’s failure to provide adequate information on the affected populations estimates

To aid the affected population with live saving assistance.

To engage the government in finding a long term solution to the plight of the affected population

The officers on the ground’s falling victims of the conflict

Conflicting priorities between the government and those of the organization

Health Security

Protection on the officers on the ground from falling victims of the prevailing conflicts, providing adequate water, health and sanitation needs to officers on the ground.

Ensuring adequate supply of medical requirements to the officers while in the operation

The fragile environment where they operate is a threat to their health as well as their lives

Inability to access good health facilities as most them could have been affected by the conflicts

Delaying in providing health assistance to the affected populations due to inaccessibility caused by the conflicts

Provision of health services especially dealing with diseases outbreak like the measles, cholera, malaria and HIV/AIDS patients.

Offering health information to the affected communities.

The spread of disease among the population especially HIV/AIDS, measles and cholera

Poor weather conditions, insanitary conditions,

The being attacked by the diseases due to such as measles, cholera etc due to the poor health conditions under which the affected populations are living in.

Transport infrastructure poor as a result of the conflicts.

Some health facilities are in accessible and lack adequate resources to sustain the suffering population.

Food Security

Provisions of food aid to the affected population,

Ensuring continuous supply of food to the affected population at the time

Empowering the suffering population on means of food production i.e through employment and practicing agriculture were possible to supplement their efforts in containing the situation

Have no control on the number of affected population which are bound to change unexpectedly exceeding the estimated budget

Lack of reliable data on the actual number of affected population

Lack of enough food stocks within the country

Carry out a comprehensive assessment of the affected population to ascertain an approximate number of the suffering population

Appeal for intervention by other humanitarian organizations and stakeholders to assist in raising adequate food supply to affected population.

Engage the government in finding a solution to the crisis both short and long term

Lack of reliable data on the population in need of humanitarian assistance.

The uncontrolled and rising number of affected population especially the IDPs

Attacks on the food supply tracks and teams by the warring communities hence cutting the food supply programmes.

Lack of food reserves in the country due to the conflicts hence the organization has to source for food stuffs in other countries and at the ensure continuous supply which may not be sustainable in the long run.

Lack of community empowerment programmes on sustainable food production as a result of the conflicts.

Personal security

Security of the NHCR officers during the operation.

Security of the resources and materials that are used in the operation

Security of the affected population

Have no control on the continued conflicts.

Operations depend on the state of security in the entire country

The personal security of the UNHRC’s officers depends on the local security mechanism in the country.

Press the government and other humanitarian organization to support in ensuring adequate security during the exercise.

Have the opportunity to preach messages to the warring communities during distribution of assistance to help in stopping the conflict

Can easily fall victims of the conflicts

May loose all the resources that are used in the intervention due to attacks by the warring communities.

The continued fighting in the country is a threat to the population which is already in despair.

Radar presentation of the UNHCR’s intervention in the humanitarian crisis in Democratic Republic of Congo

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REFERENCES

James Addis (2013) Top Humanitarian Priorities for 2013 World Vision U.S

Sara Beiley (2011) Humanitarian action, early recovery and stabilization in the democratic republic of Congo. Humanitarian Policy Group, Overseas Development Institute, Westminster Bridge Road, London, UK

UNHRC, (2013) UNHCR County Operations Profile – Democratic Republic of the Congo, Working Environment.

Ted Dagne (2011), the Republic of Congo, Background and current development. Congressional Research Services for African Affairs


[1] James Addis (2013) Top Humanitarian Priorities for 2013 World Vision U.S

[2] Sara Beiley (2011) Humanitarian action, early recovery and stabilization in the democratic republic of Congo. Humanitarian Policy Group, Overseas Development Institute, Westminster Bridge Road, London, UK

[3] UNHRC, (2013) UNHCR County Operations Profile – Democratic Republic of the Congo, Working Environment.

[4]Ted Dagne (2011), the Republic of Congo, Background and current development. Congressional Research Services for African Affairs


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