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Senegal: Senegal: Food Insecurity Emergency appeal n° MDRSN007 final report

Source: IFRC
Country: Senegal

Period covered by this Final report: 28 December 2011 to 30 April 2013.

Appeal target (current): CHF 1,603,923

Appeal coverage: 75%;

Appeal history:

· CHF 166,428 was initially allocated from the Federation’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) on 28 December, 2011 to support the Senegalese Red Cross Society (SRCS) in delivering assistance to some 1,000 households.

· An Emergency Appeal was launched on 20 April 2012 for CHF 3,765,905 to enable the Senegalese Red Cross Society assist 258,000 beneficiaries over a period of 12 months.

· An Operations Update n° 1 for the period 20 April to 31 May, 2012 was issued on 31 May 2012.

· A Revised Emergency Appeal was issued on 30 November 2012 seeking CHF 1,603,923 in cash, kind, or services to support the Senegalese Red Cross Society (SRCS) to provide assistance to 62,500 beneficiaries (8,929 families) over a period of 12 months, to be completed 30 April 2013.

Summary: The Emergency Appeal outcome was originally to cover the immediate needs of 258,000 beneficiaries in 9 regions through food and cash transfer distributions. Due to lack of funding and changes in priorities, the appeal was revised in November 2012 with a reduced budget and beneficiary target of 62,500 people (8,929 families) in 8 regions. Sufficient funding arrived on time to start on the cash transfer programme, the procurement and the distribution of improved seeds, fertilizer and tools for the main planting season between June to August 2012. The combined distributions of cash and seeds aimed at reducing the impact of the food shortages of agro-pastoralist households faced with the consequences of the limited 2011 harvest and the high price of food went hand in hand with the twin-track approach of providing emergency assistance, livelihood protection and recovery activities to contribute to building the resilience of households.

Shortly after the presidential elections that were held in March 2012, the new government officially asked for international assistance to help its population most affected by a food crisis which triggered off the launch of the emergency appeal. The SRCS soon negotiated a partnership with WFP with a local field agreement to deliver food assistance to 679,000 beneficiaries living in 7 targeted vulnerable regions of Ségou, Tambacounda, Kédougou, Louga, Matam, Thiès and Saint-Louis. Some 500,000 beneficiaries received direct food distributions covering four months rations in rice, oil, salt and beans. The other 179,000 beneficiaries received conditional cash vouchers to cover three months’ worth of food rations of rice, maize, millet, sugar, oil and salt. This partnership covered all and beyond the original food assistance objectives of the Emergency Appeal, except for some 500 household who benefited from food parcels of corn, millet and beans in the localities of Matam, Kanel, Ranérou and Dagana in the Saint Louis region during the emergency phase and through DREF contributions, and 857 additional food parcels that were distributed in two villages, Leboul and Ferlou in the Tambacounda region during the recovery period.

Between the launch of DREF and the revised emergency appeal there have been variations in the number of people who compose a household. DREF activities were formulated on the basis of 7.6 beneficiaries per household when in fact many households can contain closer to 10 or more household members depending on the rural region. The revised appeal focused on the needs of households composed 7 people.

Although reports on the 2012 harvest are rather good in the Sahel region in general and in most regions of Senegal as well, food insecurity will continue to persist among many vulnerable and poor households that have depleted their livelihoods with no means to restore them and very little purchasing power. The price of food remains high versus the same period last year, and most poor families only eat one meal a day. Contingency plans and discussions are ongoing among the local authorities, SRCS and other humanitarian organizations in order to continue to provide assistance and be ready and able to scale up support should food security fall back into a crisis situation.

Financial summary:

The low coverage of the appeal necessitated a revision of the original appeal budget from CHF 3,765,905 to CHF 1,603,923 as well as a reduction in the number of beneficiaries from 258,000 beneficiaries earlier targeted to 62,500 beneficiaries. The distribution and monitoring costs were under-budgeted as it did not take into account the numerous monitoring visits and distribution needs that were required by the volunteers.

This Emergency Appeal was closed with a positive balance of CHF 40,570. This positive balance was mainly caused by the delay in the completion of seed banks which were initiated late in the appeal timeframe. The balance will be transferred to the Sahel Regional Representation Disaster Management budget and will be used to complete and follow up seed banks and other resilience activities in the areas targeted by this appeal.

Lessons learned:

· This food insecurity operation was the first of its kind in which the Senegalese Red Cross was involved and operational right from the onset, when the crisis was identified late 2011 in certain regions of Senegal.

· In its role as an auxiliary of the authorities, SRCS was selected as one of the main partners of WFP for the delivery of emergency food, financial and humanitarian assistance in seven regions. With a contribution of some CHF 3.4 million given by the authorities to WFP to assure food distribution to over 500,000 beneficiaries living in the vulnerable targeted regions.

· The National Society headquarters has worked very effectively with its Red Cross branches and with the local authorities and the beneficiaries; through its humanitarian service delivery SRCS has been very well perceived by the population and has been praised on the national media.

· SRCS Beneficiary selection procedures were improved providing a more community based and inclusive approach.

· The operations in Senegal focused more on emergency assistance than on longer term livelihood projects, contributing to building the resilience of the targeted beneficiaries. During an exit meeting, future plans were discussed and the National Society leadership and management agreed this was an objective they would consider engaging in more in depth any future food security programming.

· As resilience building requires longer-term follow-up, the SRCS will in the future consider planning resilience building initiatives earlier in the appeal process.

· The beneficiary to household count in the Emergency Appeal for Senegal was based on a seven persons per family. Into the operations, however, it was revealed that the reality particularly in rural areas where a family size can reach up to 30 people. In those cases a double ration was delivered to these big households.

· The experience of the cash transfer or direct cash assistance has proved to be a valuable support process for many communities in need. SRCs taking on increased measures to build its capacity in this activity, and has been chosen as one of the leading National Societies that will carry forward the process after all the necessary training. The International Federation selected four pilot countries (Viet Nam, Philippines, Chile and Senegal) to support their National Societies with training and coaching, ensuring cash transfers and market assessment are embedded into their existing preparedness measures and Contingency Planning (CP) so that when a disaster occurs, an operation with a scalable cash transfer components will come rapidly into being. On 14 February 2013, with the financial support of ECHO and British Red Cross, the pilot project with the Senegalese Red Cross Society (SRCS) was launched. It is expected that the case studies and lessons learned from this pilot project will allow reaching other countries in the future.

The IFRC on behalf of the the Senegalese Red Cross Society would like to extend thanks to all these partners including the Finnish, Canadian, Danish, British, Monaco and Japanese Red Cross Societies for their generous contributions to this appeal.

All operations-related appeals, reports, updates and information are available on the Appeals, plans and updates section of the web site: http://www.ifrc.org/en/publications-and-reports/appeals/

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