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Curriculum vitae of Dr Jacques Diouf


2001 Consolidated Appeals Process (CAP) Launch

Address by Dr Jacques Diouf

Rome, Italy, 29 November 2000



His Excellency Lamberto Dini, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I welcome you all to the launch of the 2001 United Nations Inter-Agency Consolidated Appeals.

This year, the United Nations has brought the presentation of the Consolidated Appeals to selected agencies and donor capitals around the world in order to ensure wide coverage and an understanding of the magnitude of the needs, as well as to reinforce the dialogue with donors at all levels. We are honoured and extremely grateful for the cooperation of the Italian government in this important event. Today, we will highlight here in Rome the Appeals for Angola, Somalia and Tajikistan.

The Consolidated Appeals Process, often referred to as the "CAP," is how the UN system and its humanitarian partners work together to develop and carry out a plan to address serious humanitarian crises.

In response to particularly complex and protracted emergencies around the world, the concerned UN system organizations, the Red Cross Movement, international and national NGOs, and Governments perform needs assessments, develop project profiles and set strategies to address such issues as nutrition, health and sanitation, food security and education.

Initially, the Consolidated Appeals were a means to raise funds quickly in response to emergencies. The process has evolved over the years and now includes the development of a targeted strategy for humanitarian action with a concrete plan to implement the strategy.

The CAP is used by the UN system as a coordination tool. More than a collection of individual agency appeals, the CAP reflects a coherent strategy and a prioritization of needs, and serves as a benchmark against which an operation's effectiveness can be monitored and evaluated. Furthermore, the UN system has sought to increase consultations with donors at all levels, particularly in the field.

Apart from providing for immediate relief and protection to the victims of crises, the CAP also examines and addresses the root causes of these crises. Each Appeal is designed to decrease vulnerability, restore stability and link relief with sustainable development, and it is also structured to mitigate the consequences of crises and prevent their re-occurrence.

This year, we are targeting 19 of the world's poorest and most war-torn countries and regions. Most of the victims are in Africa, a continent where many countries are caught in a cycle of poverty and war at this particular time in history. Together we can break this cycle in countries like Angola, the Republic of the Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi, Sudan and Uganda. We require aid for Tanzania to help it deal with refugees from the Great Lakes crisis. Relief is also being sought for those affected by civil strife and drought in the Horn of Africa, including Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia. A regional appeal for West Africa is being launched to assist countries like Liberia, Côte d'Ivoire and Guinea deal with displaced victims of war. Also, we are appealing for assistance for the victims of the civil war in Sierra Leone.

Outside of Africa, aid is required for the victims of the conflict and current drought in Afghanistan. An appeal is being launched for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, which is suffering through its seventh consecutive year of food shortages. Support is also being sought for the victims of war in the Maluku islands of Indonesia and in the North Caucasus. Finally, this year's CAP seeks to accelerate the transition from relief assistance toward sustainable development in Tajikistan and in Southeastern Europe, namely Kosovo, Serbia and Montenegro.

All told, the UN system is seeking over 2 billion dollars in order to implement this year's ambitious programmes.

As I already mentioned, today in Rome, we will be highlighting the appeals for Angola, Somalia and Tajikistan. The respective UN Humanitarian Coordinators in these countries will outline the severe humanitarian needs in these countries and the challenges and constraints they are confronted with in their work.

As it is estimated that women and children account for some 80% of all victims in situations of internal conflict, it is appropriate that the theme for this year's CAP is "Women and War." Whether as victims of physical abuse or of the social structures that aggravate their situation, women bear a disproportionate share of the suffering in conflict situations, from rape and displacement to the denial of the right to food and health care. For this reason, we must continue to support initiatives to strengthen protection for women in war.

While this year's Appeals will cover the practical needs of women, such as protection, food and health services, many of the project proposals in the Appeals seek to enhance the participatory role of women, empowering them to move from victim to leader. Women must be a part of the planning and decision-making of humanitarian assistance programmes.

Another focus of this year's CAP is to ensure safe and secure access for humanitarian aid workers. This is both to protect their lives and to ensure them easy access to vulnerable populations for the provision of effective assistance.

In the field, humanitarian workers increasingly put their lives at risk. The recent murders of FAO staff in Baghdad and refugee protection officers in Timor tragically underscore this fact. At the field level, there is a need to improve security and to strengthen preventive and preparatory measures. However, more security officers and increased training will not be enough unless there are firm commitments by all parties to the conflict to allow aid workers to do their job. Principles relating to the protection of civilians in armed conflict, neutrality and impartiality have been integrated in planning assistance as described in the Appeals.

Together, we must put an end to the brutal irony of aid workers losing their lives in order to save the lives of others.

Through the years, funding for the Appeals has varied, often depending upon the amount of media coverage of the crisis. Most of the countries covered in today's presentation are suffering through emergencies that have dragged on for many years. Given our appetite for quick news bite and headline, the media coverage of some of these crises may give the impression that they are no longer newsworthy. To the millions of the war-weary and the displaced, the hungry and the poor in these countries, there is nothing more immediate and newsworthy than their day-to-day survival.

If humanitarian programs are to fulfill their mandate to save lives, support community survival, and establish firm foundations for sustainable development, we need the media attention and the political support to gather resources to do so.

You have been provided with copies of the Appeals for Somalia, Angola and Tajikistan, which is be the subject of special focus today. In addition, you will find briefing kits containing a short summary of each of the Appeals being launched for 2001. The Appeals and related information are available on the Internet as indicated in the briefing kits.

I hope to have conveyed to you a glimpse of the Consolidated Appeals Process and the priorities we have set for ourselves in 2001. We cannot let the faces of the suffering fade from our memory when they fade from the media headlines. Let this year's Appeals ring with the voices of the 35 million men, women and children whose needs must urgently be addressed. Together, we can ensure that their cries for support are heard today so that they may live a dignified life tomorrow.


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