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West and Central Africa: Early Warning/Early Action for Climate Events Emergency Appeal No. MDR61005

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This preliminary emergency appeal seeks CHF 918,517 (USD 852,531 or EUR 604,645) in cash, kind, or services to support National Societies of West and Central Africa to assist 25,000 beneficiaries. This operation is expected to be implemented over 9 months, and will therefore be completed by 31 May 2010 as the disaster season starts in July in West Africa and ends in April in Central Africa; a Final Report will be made available by July 2010 (three months after the end of the operation).

Summary: This appeal is launched to prepare National Societies, in particular the Red Cross of Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo, for the enhanced risk of climate related hazards in the coming months, based on seasonal climate forecasts by the African Centre of Meteorological Application for Development (ACMAD). The appeal will enable National Societies in the region to respond more effectively to the expected small and medium emergencies in the framework of early warning-early action (EW-EA). Should the region also experience large-scale disasters, a specific emergency appeal will be launched separately. Donors and partners are invited to support with in-kind for contingency stocks and non-earmarked funds to allow flexibility and adaptability to emergencies' contexts.

This 2009 EW-EA operation aims to build on the 2008 similar experience when an EW-EA appeal made the difference with only two persons recorded dead as opposed to 30 the previous year. In 2008, the cost per beneficiary was 30 per cent lower than in 2007 with an efficiency of intervention within 48 hours. This had positively impacted on the living conditions of the most vulnerable communities and had positioned the National Societies supported by the Federation as key and preferable partners for Governments and other humanitarian actors during emergencies related to floods in the affected countries. This anticipative approach had been strongly approved by most of the Participating National Society (PNSs) supporting emergency operations in the zone as this was an innovative way to manage risk and to improve the responses' capacities. Floods and storms have happened - till today - as predicted by the African Centre of Meteorological Application for Development (ACMAD) seasonal forecast, and by weekly ACMAD tailored bulletin for the Federation West and Central Africa Zone.

Heavy rains and storms since June 2009 cause severe flooding in Ghana, Benin and Central African Republic as well as storm in Gambia. It is estimated to 35,000 people who have been affected and are in need of immediate relief assistance in the form of basic non-food relief, shelter, food, clean water, sanitation and recovery. DREF allocation is being used in initiating relief operation.

Based on the situation, this Emergency Appeal responds to a request from the National Societies in the countries likely to be affected, and focuses on implementing an early warning-early action framework in setting up a community based early warning system, organizing refresh training course on contingency planning, increasing National Societies' rapid assessment capacities, putting on standby Regional Disaster Response Team (RDRT) for rapid deployment, strengthening regional contingency stocks and integrating livelihood issues as appropriate for timely response.