Improving readiness to respond in crisis-stricken Eastern and Southern Africa

Earlier this month, participants from over 10 UN agencies and NGOs working across Eastern and Southern Africa participated in a two-day regional Emergency Response Preparedness (ERP) training in Nairobi, facilitated by ESB. The region has some of the most acute humanitarian needs in the world, with threats to people’s lives and welfare ranging from conflict and insecurity to drought and floods.

The training covered a general introduction and background on the ERP; risk analysis and monitoring; and a detailed review of preparedness actions. Participants identified several next steps to improve readiness to respond in their respective countries of responsibility, including: mapping humanitarian response capacity and risks across the region; developing an ERP roll-out strategy for priority countries based on the mapping exercise; and undertaking a periodic review of ERP implementation at the national level.

The team from ESB also held meetings with OCHA Somalia and the Somalia cluster coordinators, which fostered a common understanding around rolling out the ERP approach in Somalia in early 2017. The process will likely include the following basic steps: defining the capacity of the humanitarian system and resources; agreeing on the severity of the risks at the sub-national level; identifying the gaps within the existing humanitarian response system; and defining and implementing the required preparedness actions.

For more information on the Emergency Response Preparedness approach, visit

Women, walking with what possesions they can carry, arrive in a steady trickle at an IDP camp erected next to an AMISOM military base near the town of Jowhar, Somalia, on November 12. Heavy rains in Somalia, coupled with recent disputes between clans, has resulted in over four thousand IDPs seeking shelter at an AMISOM military base near the town of Jowhar, with more arriving daily. AU UN IST Photo / Tobin Jones



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