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Liberia: Margibi Floods Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA) DREF Operation no.1 (MDRLR002)

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A. Situation analysis

Summary: The Liberian National Red Cross Society (LNRCS) is providing emergency assistance to an initial target of 2,500 affected by floods in Lower and Upper Margibi County in Liberia. The LNRCS started providing relief assistance from its prepositioned stocks to affected people on the 29 June 2016 immediately following reports of the floods.

A total of CHF 75,155 was allocated from the IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) on 7 July 2016 to support the LNRCS to provide emergency assistance to 2,155 people (431 people) affected by floods in Lower and Upper Margibi County in Liberia. The target was revised downwards from an estimated 2,500 people to be assisted originally after a more detailed assessment was carried out.

To appropriately determine the scope of intervention, and the level of assistance, LNRCS, supported by IFRC, conducted a rapid needs and damage assessment exercise in accessible affected areas between 29 June to 4 July, covering 11 affected communities and nine internally displaced people (IDP) centres in Lower Margibi and nine communities in Upper Margibi.

The outcome of the rapid assessment was used to develop an Emergency Plan of Action to implement the DREF. Key action areas for intervention in the plan of action include emergency shelter and non-food items, emergency health and emergency food relief as well as replenishment of items distributed from the National Society’s prepositioned stocks. Distribution of assorted relief items commenced on 13 July 2016 in the affected communities. An in-country IFRC support and technical team continues support to the LNRCS to assess the situation. Based on operational challenges, largely due to procurement related delays for the replenishment of items used in the early days of the response, a one-month extension up to 8 October 2016 is requested to enable completion of the planned distribution of food and non-food items which are still needed by the affected families that are still vulnerable. The budget has also been revised to acknowledge items which were provided in-kind from partners towards the operation, as well as to include further complementary non-food items to support the emergency shelter component which were not included in the original plan. The overall total budget remains unchanged.

Coordination and partnerships

NRCS was part of the Inter-Agency Group assessment team led by the Government which comprises of international organizations and other key national actors from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Liberia Refugees Repatriation and Resettlement Commission (LRRRC). Interagency coordination meetings brought together all the humanitarian actors, the Margibi County local authority and line ministries responsible for coordinating the response to the disaster. The meetings held until early August were for information sharing on the various ongoing interventions and plans of action. LNRCS provided regular updates on the situation to all Red Cross Red Crescent Movement partners in-country. The Movement partners’ coordination is maintained by the IFRC and led by the LNRCS.

The Danish Red Cross, German Red Cross, ICRC and IFRC supported the National Society’s floods response operation from the onset with technical assistance, logistics capacity and donations of relief materials. Coordination meetings are convened with Movement partners to share information and discuss issues related to coordination of the operation in the field. The following items were provided from stock by the LNRCS, IFRC and German Red Cross for the floods response.

Since the above items which had been included in the initial DREF budget were subsequently donated, the related budget lines were reallocated towards procurement of additional materials including timber, nails and accessories for emergency shelter construction that were not captured in the previous budget. The shelter component is critical as the rains continue and affected persons still require assistance. Most organisations previously involved in the response are no longer forthcoming. The 2016/2017 fiscal year budget has not been passed by parliament making it difficult for government institutions to mobilize resources to intervene appropriately. As such the government lacks adequate capacity and was relying on NGOs to assist in meeting the needs in affected communities.