Emergencies and Transition

Recent academic research has identified high population growth and an increasing urban population in informal settlements as emergent environmental and social pressures in the Southern Africa region. There is a critical need to build on IOM's ongoing work in the areas of community-based disaster risk management, community stabilization, disaster risk reduction, and Camp Coordination Camp Management (CCCM). This work can play a key role in helping migrants, communities and countries adapt to and recover from shocks in a manner that reduces chronic vulnerability, mitigates migration during future natural disasters, and enhances communities' resilience.

Southern Africa is vulnerable to a variety of slow- and sudden-onset disasters including floods, drought, disease epidemics, food and energy insecurity, and political unrest. Population growth, migration, urbanization, water scarcity, climate change and environmental degradation are additional social and environmental risk factors. Excluding the protracted humanitarian situations in Angola, Zimbabwe and DRC, there were over 45 defined humanitarian emergencies in Southern Africa between 2000 and 2012. These emergencies resulted in more than 14 million people requiring international humanitarian assistance from flood incidents alone. Regional governments are increasingly supportive of disaster risk reduction initiatives focused on building the resilience of communities chronically affected by conflict and natural disasters. However, further capacity building, including training, cross learning, and collaboration across governments, is required to ensure effective and targeted responses to humanitarian emergencies.

IOM will assist forced migrants and communities at risk by mainstreaming Disaster Risk Management (DRM) and climate change adaptation (CCA) into regional and national development policies and plans, and work with governments, local communities and other stakeholders to build resilience of communities to natural and man-made crises. In addition, IOM will seek to increase the number of communities that have access to early warning and disaster reduction tools to ensure that communities are better prepared to face disasters. IOM will strive to increase the capacity of national authorities to respond to various types of disasters with the goal of strengthening the protection and assistance of displaced per-sons. Finally, through IOM's role as global cluster lead on camp coordination and camp management (CCCM), IOM will seek to improve the availability of direct assistance and services to IDPs, as well as work at the community level to restore livelihoods and provide targeted early recovery interventions. IOM will place particular focus on ensuring that the most vulnerable individuals receive the needed assistance.