Summary of major revisions made to emergency plan of action:
This Operations Update 2 is issued to inform stakeholders of the need to extend the timeframe of this DREF operation by three (3) months (new end date 30 November 2020). The main reason for this extraordinary extension is to enable the Malagasy Red Cross Society and IFRC to complete the replenishment of non-food items (NFIs) taken from the emergency/contingency stocks of the National Society (NS). This replenishment process started only after distributions were made on 21 August 2020, logistics process only allows replenishment after distribution has been completed documented (proof of exit from warehouse, distribution reports, etc.) before the requisition for replenishment should be issued.
Constraints linked to the COVID-19 Pandemic:
In mid-March 2020, restrictive measures such as total lockdown, limited movements to access some regions, prohibition of gatherings, etc.) were put in place by the Malagasy Government. The NS was not well equipped to protect the volunteers from contamination. In compliance with Government measures, the National Society suspended implementation of the operation for 3 months (April - June 2020). This information was duly communicated to IFRC Africa Region.
By end of June 2020, the Government eased the lockdown measures and access to some regions. In consultation with the NS, the request for a 2 months’ timeframe extension from 1 July to 31 August 2020 (six months operation timeframe) was submitted and approved, to cover the community needs identified during previous assessment which raised huge expectations (NFI and cash distribution) from communities.
In July 2020, the Government re-established some lockdown measures and the number of persons to gather, which again, disrupted implementation and further delayed the planned distributions.
After consultations with NS, it was decided to focus on the main activities (with a realistic plan of what can be done in the Covid-19 context withing the given timeframe) such as training of volunteers, community mobilisation on hygiene promotion, NFI and cash distribution, post distribution monitoring, lesson learnt workshop and replenishment of distributed items. Some objectives of the DREF were just considered as non-realistic within the given time frame.
All activities were implemented as planned (before 31 August 2020). The last distribution of NFI (items were taken from the pre-positioned stock of the NS, made available by PIROI), ended on 18 August 2020 and the replenishment process could only be initiated after getting the report from the distribution activities.
The requisition for the replenishment was sent to the Logistics Unit in Nairobi on 21 August 2020 following the logistic process (items should be first distributed and documented: exit from store proof, distribution report). After exchange between logistic unit in Nairobi, Dubai and at cluster level on non-availability on one item (cuvette), the final requisition was signed and sent on 31 August 2020.
Unfortunately, when the finance in Dubai used the project code provided for replenishment, the DREF had already ended. Hence, this request for an extraordinary timeframe extension and reopening of codes for due payment of the items. Without this replenishment, the NS will be left with no pre-positioned stocks to kickstart response in the event of another disaster.
To note, although the distribution plan was disrupted by the restrictive measures related to COVID-19, it was finally carried out and about 84% of the targeted households were received the items. The replenishment process launched, practically by the end of August because of difficulties mentioned above, has not been completed after the closing of the operation. This was only notified one week later after the operation closed on 31 August 2020. No changes in activities or additional budget are requested through this extension as most of the planned activities have been completed as seen in the Detailed operational plan below.