Unlike the 2011 Humanitarian Appeal, which represented a record both in terms of the total funding sought and the number of beneficiaries targeted with humanitarian assistance, the United Nations (UN) Consolidated Appeal Process (CAP) for 2012 does not offer many exciting headlines. However, it does present another net increase in the overall funding sought by the CAP, albeit with a slight decrease in the average requirement by appeal. The new Humanitarian Appeal calls upon donors worldwide to contribute US$7.7 billion for the humanitarian relief of 51 million people in 16 countries, two more than were included in the 2011 CAP at the time of its launch. This represents an increase of 4% in the Humanitarian Appeal requirements and a 2% rise in the number of aid beneficiaries.
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Table 1: Comparative analysis of UN CAP appeals at launch. [Source: Development Initiatives based on UN OCHA FTS and UN OCHA Humanitarian Appeal data]
However, the new Humanitarian Appeal seeks to mobilise US$93 million less than did the mid-year review (MYR) of the 2011 CAP, which represents a 1% decline. Yet, any direct comparison between global CAP requirements at the time of launch – which takes place on the last day of November each year – and at its mid-year review point – which occurs each July – can be misleading. This is due to the fact that new consolidated appeals are added after the annual CAP is issued and flash appeals are launched in response to sudden onset emergencies that could not be foreseen in the annual CAP. Therefore a detailed analysis of individual appeals is essential in order to assess the actual variations taking place.
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Table 2: Comparative analysis of 2011 and 2012 UN CAP requirements. All figures are in US$ million. [Source: Development Indicatives based on UN OCHA Humanitarian Appeal data]
Somalia is the country experiencing the single most dramatic escalation of requirements for 2012 with a staggering increase of over 500%, in the course of a single year, up to US$1.5bn, driven by the severe drought crisis in the Horn of Africa. Requirements by beneficiary also soared to US$380 per person, a 93% increase from 2011. Yet, even with recent improvements in the security situation and better humanitarian access, it remains doubtful that such a vast volume of funding can be successfully implemented in one of the most unstable and volatile countries in word.
Figure 1: Somalia consolidated appeals’ total requirements and requirements per beneficiary for 2011 and 2012. [Source: Development Initiatives based on UN OCHA Humanitarian Appeal data]
Requirements for Kenya and Djibouti – the other two CAP countries most severely affected by the Horn of Africa crisis – also feature predominantly in the Humanitarian Appeal for 2012. Kenya’s is the third largest consolidated appeal for 2012 with a 26% increase in needs compared to six months ago and a 45% rise from the 2011 CAP levels. Funding sought for drought-affected Djibouti more than doubled, with requirements per beneficiary also rising by some 18%.
In its first year, The Republic of South Sudan has taken place in the UN CAP for the second time. The country’s first consolidated appeal was launched at the time of the 2011 CAP MYR last July and represented the separation of humanitarian plans and the associated financial requirements for South Sudan from those of Sudan. In 2012, both Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan see their requirements per beneficiaries grow well beyond 100% when compared the previous year, despite a more moderate increase in net appeal requirements: collectively needs increased from US$1.7bn in 2011 to US$1.8bn for 2012. Looking at each country, the Republic of South Sudan sees the funding sought increase by a quarter while Sudan’s requirements decline marginally by 4%.
Figure 2: Sudan 2011 CAP and consecutive separated South Sudan and Sudan consolidated appeal requirements. [Source: Development Initiatives based on UN OCHA Humanitarian Appeal data]
Many traditional consolidated appeals begin 2012 with declining funding requirements: Afghanistan, Central African Republic (CAR), Chad and the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) all see their funding diminished. In the case of Afghanistan and CAR, this is happening despite an increase in the number of beneficiaries (32% and 18% respectively), while Chad sees those considerably reduced. Such apparent contradiction reinforces the perception that there is little connection between the identification of humanitarian needs and the level of funding requirements in the Humanitarian Appeal.
Figure 3: CAP requirements for Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Chad and occupied Palestinian territory (2011-2012). [Source: Development Initiatives based on UN OCHA Humanitarian Appeal data]
The CAP 2012 document states that “coordinated needs assessments are more systemically practised, and this is likely to be fine-tuning the identification of people in need and of the scope of their needs. Also, information management innovations are likely playing a part in reducing funding requests (…)”. Nevertheless, this is at best a tenuous explanation of the widely varying scenarios presented by the 2012 Humanitarian Appeal: while Afghanistan is experiencing drought and intensified conflict, leading to an increase in the number of vulnerable people, its funding requirements are being slashed by a quarter; on the other hand, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has lost 31% of its beneficiaries and yet funding requirements remain unchanged from those of the previous year.
With regards to the countries included in the 2012 Humanitarian Appeal, they are few highlights, apart from the disappearance of the West Africa regional appeal which has been part of the CAP for the past 11 years. The West Africa appeal used to encompass some 15 countries, many of which experience small-scale but persistent humanitarian crisis and high vulnerability. Traditionally it has been a rather small appeal, with average requirements comprising only 4.4% of the CAP. However, if the level of funding requested has usually been low, so has been the response too: the West Africa appeal received on average just 4.1% of all CAP funding and was the worst funded consolidated appeal in 2011.
Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia and Niger frequently participate in the CAP process with individual appeals as these countries face larger-scale emergencies that demand targeted response. Indeed, Niger and Côte d’Ivoire are part of the 2012 Humanitarian Appeal and Liberia is expected to come on board by the beginning of 2012. However, at least another five countries in the region – Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, Guinea and Burkina Faso – are currently experiencing cholera outbreaks. Leaving them outside of the CAP is not likely to raise donor awareness of their needs, nor help to provide adequate assistance to affected populations.
In the Philippines, the population of Mindanao continues to face the triple effects of insecurity, natural hazards and poverty. During 2011 heavy rains and severe weather caused repeated flooding in central and southern Mindanao, the last flash floods happening only a few days ago.
Finally, the 2012 UN Humanitarian Appeal suggests that a more strategic identification of objectives exists now than it did previously, with clearer boundaries being set between humanitarian needs and secondary aims. This could account for the marked decline in funding requirements for some humanitarian contexts, as demonstrated below.
- The oPt CAP for 2012 seeks 22% less money than it did in 2011 placing requirements at their lowest level for the last five years. Although the appeal acknowledges that “the humanitarian needs in the oPt have not fundamentally changed”, this CAP opts for a narrower scope than was seen in previous years.
- Nearly two years after the devastating 2010 earthquake, Haiti is in a transitional phase and CAP requirements have gone down by 40% compared to those from the CAP MYR., However, when compared to funding requirements from 12 months ago, this decrease reaches 75%. According to the appeal document this is not a transition appeal but one which focuses on critical humanitarian needs only, leaving reconstruction and development work to other funding mechanisms.
- In Zimbabwe, the humanitarian community has revised funding requirements for 2012 downwards by 45%, as only priority humanitarian needs will be covered under the 2012 CAP, while recovery work will be addressed by other initiatives such as the Zimbabwe UN Development Assistance Framework.
This new, more targeted approach of the UN CAP is a welcome development as it helps to keep the appeal process more firmly grounded in key humanitarian objectives. It should also help to bridge the gap between humanitarian requirements and humanitarian funding. On average, a third of humanitarian needs have gone unmet in the last five years with provisional levels for 2011 being the highest ever, at 41%. However, meeting needs can only be achieved if humanitarian donors maintain current levels of funding despite the squeeze on their budgets and do not reduce the size of their country envelopes in line with decreased appeal requirements.