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    Note: Map in 14 pages

    Country:  Chad, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Gambia (the), Mali, Mauritania, Niger (the), Nigeria, Senegal
    Source:  UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

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    Source:  UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country:  South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Swaziland, Zimbabwe

    (Harare / New York, 19 October 2012): United Nations Deputy Humanitarian Chief Catherine Bragg wrapped up her five-day visit to southern Africa today, calling on countries and partners in the region to strengthen their efforts to work together to promote disaster preparedness and tackle food insecurity.

    Food insecurity continues to be a chronic problem in southern Africa, particularly in Lesotho, Malawi, Swaziland and Zimbabwe. Across the region, more than 5.5 million people in eight countries - a 40 per cent increase from 2011 - face food shortages due to the impact of recurrent natural disasters like droughts and floods, and rising food prices.

    “Southern Africa is facing a silent food insecurity emergency,” said Ms. Bragg, Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, who visited Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe. “Regional food production has been weakened by recurrent disasters. In Lesotho, about a third of the population does not have enough food to eat or sell. In Zimbabwe, 1.6 million people are expected to be food insecure and many families are selling their own livestock to cope with this dire situation."

    In Zimbabwe, Ms. Bragg met with Government officials, including the Ministers of Regional Integration and International Cooperation, and Labour and Social Services, to discuss ways to further strengthen the resilience of affected communities. With the humanitarian community, Ms. Bragg also reviewed increased efforts to usher Zimbabwe into recovery.

    Earlier in the week ASG Bragg met with representatives from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in Botswana, to discuss ways to further strengthen the partnership, including in disaster preparedness and response. A civilian stand-by surge mechanism for disaster response is expected to soon become operational.

    In South Africa, Ms. Bragg also met representatives from the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation and the nascent South African Development Partnership Agency to discuss closer partnership between OCHA and the Government.

    “South Africa has been increasingly active in supporting regional and international humanitarian responses. It has provided significant financial support to the CERF, and for humanitarian responses to the earthquake in Haiti and the Sahel crisis,” said ASG Bragg.


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    Source:  Agence France-Presse
    Country:  Mali

    10/19/2012 14:03 GMT

    BAMAKO, Oct 19, 2012 (AFP) - The United Nations and the African Union will open permanent offices in the Malian capital to coordinate respective actions in north Mali which has been occupied by armed Islamist groups for more than six months, senior officials of the two organisations said Friday.

    The announcements were made separately by UN deputy secretary-general Jan Eliasson and African Union chief Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma on the opening day of an international north Mali crisis meeting.

    stb/gk/mb

    © 1994-2012 Agence France-Presse


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    Source:  Agence France-Presse
    Country:  Mali

    10/19/2012 15:14 GMT

    BAMAKO, Oct 19, 2012 (AFP) - Mali's President Dioncounda Traore said Friday not a second should be lost to recapture the desert north of his country from armed Islamists, as African and European leaders met to work on the logistics of such a move.

    "We must not lose a single second. This is an emergency, this is a race against time," said Traore in a speech to the foreign officials.

    The summit comes a week after the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution giving West African nations 45 days to lay out details for military intervention.

    The vast region the size of France fell under control of radical Islamist groups in the chaos that followed a March coup in the country that was once considered one of Africa's most stable democracies.

    Concerned that the area could become the same type of haven for Al-Qaeda Islamists that Afghanistan was a decade ago, Mali's neighbours and the West are keen to drive the radicals out.

    In the months that they have been in control of the region, the Islamists have imposed their version of sharia law, arresting unveiled women, stoning to death unmarried couples and amputating the limbs of suspected thieves, according to residents and rights groups.

    They have also destroyed ancient Muslim shrines that have been revered for centuries and are classed as World Heritage Sites, but which the radicals consider blasphemous.

    The Malian leader thanked the international community, and notably the African Union, the United Nations and former colonial master France, for their support since the start of the crisis.

    "Thanks to your support and solidarity our country, Mali, has never felt alone," he said.

    The West African regional bloc ECOWAS has said that it could send up to 3,000 troops to recapture the area.

    Among those attending Friday's summit were new African Union chief Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan.

    The number-two EU diplomat Pierre Vimont, France's envoy to the Sahel Jean Felix-Paganon, and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's special envoy for the region, former Italian prime minister Romano Prodi, also took part.

    European Union leaders meeting in Brussels meanwhile vowed to help Mali by backing up an international military force and training Malian defence forces.

    An EU summit statement said the situation "poses an immediate threat to the Sahel region as well as to West and North Africa and to Europe".

    "The EU will support Mali in its efforts to restore the rule of law and re-establish a fully sovereign democratic government with authority throughout Malian territory," the statement said.

    The 27-nation bloc "will examine support for the envisaged military force" and "speed up planning of a possible Common Security and Defence Policy military operation to help reorganise and train the Malian defence forces".

    The EU would also resume development cooperation as soon as Mali's coup leaders provided evidence of moves to restore constitutional order.

    "In the meantime the EU will step up its humanitarian response," the statement added.

    The United Nations and the African Union said they would open permanent offices in Bamako to coordinate their respective actions in north Mali.

    Representatives from ECOWAS countries, which are the only ones expected to send troops into Mali, will begin laying out their strategy for recapturing the area, according to Western diplomats.

    They will set out their military needs and take note of what ammunition and ground troops Mali has available.

    "It has to be very well thought-out, otherwise the Security Council won't be on board if it deems the plan to be flawed," said one diplomatic source.

    Underlining the importance of Friday's meeting, Malian presidential advisor Moussa Diakite told AFP "it will be for us Malians, and for our partners from the international community an opportunity to agree upon a plan to kick out the terrorists".

    France's Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, who has in the past called the Islamist-occupied north "a terrorist sanctuary", warned the international community was serious about driving out the radicals.

    France has pledged logistical support to the Mali military intervention.

    On Thursday, Guinea said it was ready to deliver to Mali weapons purchased by the regime of president Amadou Toumani Toure before he was overthrown in March.

    ECOWAS has blocked delivery since late July and Guinea said it wanted to make sure the weapons fell into the right hands in Mali.

    Friday's meeting will also discuss the possibility of negotiation with some of the armed groups controlling the north.

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    © 1994-2012 Agence France-Presse


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    Source:  NATO Civil-Military Fusion Centre
    Country:  Somalia, Algeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Morocco, occupied Palestinian territory, South Sudan (Republic of), Sudan (the), Tunisia

    This document provides an overview of developments in the Mediterranean Basin and other regions of interest from 09 — 15 October, with hyperlinks to source material highlighted and underlined in the text. For more information on the topics below or other issues pertaining to the region, please contact the members of the Med Basin Team, or visit our website at www.cimicweb.org

    Security in Sinai (pg 1)
    North Africa (pg 2-3)
    Northeast Africa (pg 4-5)
    Horn of Africa (pg 6-7)


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    Source:  UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation
    Country:  Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger (the)

    (Bamako/Dakar), 19 octobre 2012: La mission de la délégation humanitaire de partenariat Nations Unies et Organisation de la Coopération Islamique (OCI) dans le Sahel a achevé sa visite au Mali qu’elle avait entamé le 17 octobre. La mission a eu des entretiens avec le Gouvernement, le corps diplomatique, la communauté humanitaire et les organisations de la société civile Malienne. Elle a par ailleurs visité un centre nutritionnel dans le district de Kangaba, région de Koulikoro.

    La délégation conduite conjointement par l’Ambassadeur Yehia Lawal, de l’OCI et Monsieur Aurélien Agbenonci, Coordonnateur Humanitaire et Coordonnateur Résident du Système des Nations Unies au Mali, a fait part de sa profonde solidarité et de son engagement à soutenir le pays qui se trouve confronté à une situation humanitaire grave.

    «Nous réitérons notre engagement à soutenir les efforts du Gouvernement du Mali à travers cette visite. La souffrance que connaissent les enfants affectés par la malnutrition est inacceptable et interpelle toutes les bonnes volontés à plus de solidarité » a déclaré l’Ambassadeur Yahia Lawal à la fin de la visite du centre nutritionnel de Kangaba, le 19 octobre 2012.

    Plus de cinq millions de personnes ont besoin d’une assistance humanitaire immédiate au Mali soit un tiers de la population estimée à 15,8 millions de personnes. Quelque 4,6 millions de personnes sont en situation d’insécurité alimentaire tandis que 560 000 enfants sont touchés par la malnutrition. La situation humanitaire est aggravée par l’instabilité sécuritaire dans le nord du pays qui a causé le dysfonctionnement des services sociaux de base tels que la santé, l’éducation et l’eau et l’assainissement dans un contexte où la protection des civils n’est plus assurée. La crise dans le nord du Mali est à l’origine du déplacement d’environ 320 000 personnes dont 118 000 à l’intérieur du pays et 200 000 réfugiés dans les pays voisins.

    « La visite de la mission de partenariat nous a permis de présenter à la communauté internationale la complexité de la situation humanitaire» a confié M. Aurélien Agbénonci, Coordonnateur Humanitaire et Coordonnateur Résident du Système des Nations Unies au Mali. « Il est urgent de renforcer l’assistance humanitaire pour sauver des vies dans le respect de la dignité humaine et prévenir un accroissement des besoins humanitaires dans les pays voisins du Mali. Les interventions ne doivent plus attendre car les besoins humanitaires s’accroissent de jour en jour tandis que les ressources disponibles sont encore insuffisantes. » a-t-il ajouté.

    Cette visite avait pour but de mieux comprendre la situation humanitaire qui prévaut au Mali, l’assistance fournie ainsi que les défis rencontrés par le Gouvernement et les acteurs humanitaires. Compte tenu du caractère transfrontalier de la crise humanitaire dans le Sahel, les membres de la mission qui venaient du Niger se rendront au Burkina Faso après le Mali Plus de 2,8 million de personnes sont affectées par la crise alimentaire et nutritionnelle au Burkina Faso, dont 100 000 enfants qui sont à risque de malnutrition aiguë sévère.

    OCHA team Mali.


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    Source:  UN News Service
    Country:  Mali

    19 October 2012 – The international community must help the Malian authorities put in place a credible political process that addresses the underlying causes of the country’s crisis and helps them with any military operations which may be needed to return parts of the country to Government control – while also ensuring that military action “does not exacerbate existing tensions or worsen an already fragile humanitarian situation.”

    That was a key message of the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, Jan Eliasson, in his remarks today to an African Union (AU), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and UN Meeting of the Support and Follow-up Group on Mali, held in Bamako, in the West African country’s capital.

    “Any military action must also support a coherent political strategy for the country’s reunification. And for the international community to back an international military force, human rights and humanitarian law must be scrupulously respected,” Mr. Eliasson said.

    “The aim of the political process should be to build a broad-based national vision for the future of Mali. This will require a roadmap for the Transition so that preparations for elections can begin,” he added.

    Currently led by Interim President Dioncounda Traoré, Mali has been dealing with a range of security, political and humanitarian problems since the start of the year. Fighting between Government forces and Tuareg rebels broke out in the country’s north in January. Since then, radical Islamists have seized control of the north, where they have imposed an extremist version of Muslim Sharia law as well as restrictions that target women in particular.

    Addressing reporters at UN Headquarters last week after a visit to parts of Mali, a senior UN official, the Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, Ivan Šimonovic, cited, among a litany of human rights abuses committed by the Islamists, “very drastic punishments,” the recruitment of child soldiers, and enforced marriages that are a smokescreen for enforced prostitution.

    The instability and insecurity resulting from the renewed clashes, as well as the proliferation of armed groups in the region, drought and political instability in the wake of a military coup d’état in March, have led over 250,000 Malians to flee to neighbouring countries, with 174,000 Malians estimated to be internally displaced.

    In his speech in Bamako, the Deputy Secretary-General said that any political process in Mali should enable its Transitional Authorities to engage in talks with the rebel groups in the north, which represent the legitimate grievances of communities which have suffered from years of marginalization and neglect.

    “It is imperative that these groups cut off all ties to terrorist organizations, as called for in Security Council resolution 2071,” Mr. Eliasson said, adding that “the military forces are to refrain from interfering in the political arena.”

    The Council unanimously adopted resolution 2071 last Friday, citing the threat to regional peace from terrorists and Islamic militants in rebel-held northern Mali. In it, it held out the possibility of endorsing, within 45 days, an international military force to restore the unity of the West African nation.

    The 15-member body called on Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to support the Malian political process and provide, at once, military and security planners to ECOWAS, the AU and other partners, to help frame a response to a request by Mali’s Transitional Authorities for such a force, and to report back within 45 days.

    Upon receipt of the report, and acting under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, the Council said it was ready “to respond to the request of the Transitional authorities of Mali regarding an international military force assisting the Malian Armed Forces in recovering the occupied regions in the north of Mali.”

    Chapter VII of the Charter allows the Council to use force in the face of a threat to peace or aggression, taking “such action by air, sea, or land forces as may be necessary to maintain or restore international peace and security,” including blockades and other operations by the forces of Member States.

    “The important work already done by the Malian authorities, ECOWAS and the AU will serve as a solid basis for our joint efforts,” Mr. Eliasson said, adding that the world body is ready to provide immediate support to a national dialogue and assistance to strengthen national capacities for political negotiations.

    “We are also in the process of deploying military planners and security sector reform advisers to Bamako,” he noted.

    The Deputy Secretary-General added that the Malian defence and security forces must be at the forefront of internationals effort to combat terrorism and crime in the country’s north.

    “A critical first step in this direction will be to support the re-organization of the defence and security forces, as requested by the Malian authorities,” he said, noting that, as called for by the Security Council, comprehensive reform of the security sector must also be at the core of the international community’s collective efforts to consolidate Malian state institutions.

    In his remarks, the deputy UN chief also noted the presence at the meeting, and the role of the recently-appointed Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Sahel, a former Italian Prime Minister, Romano Prodi.

    “The Special Envoy will be working closely with all of you to mobilize international financial support, coordinate the United Nations integrated regional strategy for the Sahel, and help bring about a comprehensive solution to the crisis in Mali,” Mr. Eliasson said.

    The Sahel region, which stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea, and includes Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and parts of Sudan, Cameroon and Nigeria, is currently facing a swathe of problems, which are not only political but also involve security, humanitarian resilience and human rights.

    In addition to political instability in Mali, the region suffers from extreme poverty, with human development levels among the lowest in the world, porous borders that present significant security challenges, as well as human rights problems.

    Added to that is the humanitarian crisis affecting the region this year, in which over 18 million people are estimated to be at risk of food insecurity and over one million children risk severe acute malnutrition.


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    Source:  UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation
    Country:  Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger (the)

    (Bamako/Dakar, 19 October 2012): The joint humanitarian mission in the Sahel region, comprising the United Nations and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), has now completed its two-day visit to Mali.

    During its visit to Mali, the mission discussed the humanitarian crisis in the country with the Government, the diplomatic corps as well as the humanitarian community and civil society organizations. Participants of the mission also visited a nutritional centre in the district of Kangaba, region of Koulikoro.

    The delegation was jointly led by Ambassador Yehia Lawal from the OIC and Mr Aurélien Agbenonci, Humanitarian Coordinator and Resident Coordinator of the United Nations System in Mali. The mission expressed its deep solidarity with the people and Government of Mali, which is faced with a grave humanitarian situation, and its commitment to provide support.

    "We reiterate our commitment to support the efforts of the Government of Mali through this visit. The suffering experienced by children who are affected by malnutrition is unacceptable and calls for more solidarity," said Ambassador Lawal Yahia at the end of the visit to Kangaba nutrition centre, on Thursday, 19 October 2012.

    Indeed, more than five million people are in need of immediate humanitarian assistance in Mali. This represents about one third of the population estimated at 15.8 million. Around 4.6 million people are food insecure, while 560,000 children are affected by malnutrition. This situation has been exacerbated by the unstable security situation in the north of the country which has disrupted basic social services such as health, education and water and sanitation in a context where the protection of civilians is no longer assured. The number of people displaced by the crisis is estimated at around 320,000 of whom 118,000 are internally displaced and 200,000 have sought refuge in neighbouring countries.

    "The visit of the joint mission has allowed us to present the complexity of the humanitarian situation to the international community,” said Mr Aurélien Agbénonci, Humanitarian Coordinator and Resident Coordinator of the in Mali. "It is urgent to strengthen humanitarian assistance to save lives while respecting human dignity and preventing an increase of humanitarian needs in countries neighbouring Mali. Interventions can no longer wait because humanitarian needs are becoming bigger day by day while available resources are still insufficient” he added.

    The aim of the visit was also to better understand the current humanitarian situation in Mali, assess the assistance already provided, as well as discussing the challenges faced by the Government and the humanitarian actors. Given the cross-border character of the humanitarian crisis in the Sahel, members of the mission who flew to Mali from Niger will be leaving to Burkina Faso afterwards. It is worth noting that more than 2.8 million people are affected by the food and nutrition crisis in Burkina Faso, including 100,000 children who are at risk of severe acute malnutrition.


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    Source:  United Nations
    Country:  Mali, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Gambia (the), Mauritania, Niger (the), Nigeria, Senegal

    "Too often households and communities do not have the capability to withstand the damaging effects of the multiple climate and market shocks they are facing.

    The repeated humanitarian crises in the Sahel are due to a failure of development. A strategy of resilience should therefore directly support those households most vulnerable to humanitarian crises so that they can better absorb shocks, rebuild after a crisis and support a longer-term transformation through education and livelihoods diversification. An effective resilience program should support improved agricultural productivity with a particular emphasis on women’s role in agriculture, promote resilient behavioral practices, encourage sustainable livelihoods, diversification of revenues, and sustainable natural resource management, scale up coverage of basic social services, strengthen early warning and risk management systems, and extend social protection coverage to vulnerable households."

    Find here an extract of the Action Plan developed by the United Nations in July 2012, outlining a common approach on resilience building in the Sahel region.

    The Sahel in 2012

    1. The countries of the Sahel covered by this paper are Burkina Faso, Chad, The Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and the Sahel regions of northern Nigeria and Cameroon. These countries face structural food and nutrition security problems that periodically require large-scale humanitarian response and therefore would most benefit from a resilience building programme. The Sahel lies on the border with the Sahara desert and is subject to variable rainfall and frequent drought. Despite the marginal productivity of the region, the Sahel supports over 115 million people and the population is rapidly growing. At current rates of growth, the population will double in the next twenty-five years to nearly a quarter of a billion people. Clearly, traditional means of subsistence will not be sufficient and a significant transformation will be required across the region.

    2. The Sahel faces complex political, security, human rights, development and humanitarian challenges. Human development is among the lowest in the world. Drought has become ever more frequent in the past decade. The current emergency is the third since 2005 and the ability of households to absorb the shock of repeated crises has been eroded. This year, over 18 million people are at risk of food insecurity and acute malnutrition. Over one million children in the region will suffer from severe acute malnutrition (SAM) in 2012.

    3. Compounding the development and humanitarian situation is the increase of insecurity in the region. Conflict, displacement, weak border management and the presence of transnational criminal and terrorist organizations have also resulted in the widespread flow of arms, drug trafficking and hostage taking. Insecurity in Mali, Nigeria, Mauritania, Niger, and Chad has become particularly acute due to the heightened activity of both Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and Boko Haram. Transnational criminal organizations in the region profit significantly from their activities. Such profits can and have been used to corrupt state structures in order to maintain criminal networks, further eroding state authority.

    4. The crises in Cote d’Ivoire and Libya last year further exacerbated those challenges leading to the proliferation of weapons, large number of returnees, additional strains on already weak government capacities, and a loss of remittances. Since mid-January, the complex emergency in northern Mali has led to the inflow of more than 252,000 refugees into neighboring countries, primarily, Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Niger, in areas already severely affected by the drought, and 174,000 internally displaced people within Mali.

    5. The complexity of issues in the Sahel requires an integrated strategy as mandated by Security Council Resolution 2056 (2012), articulating key priorities in the security, governance, human rights, development and humanitarian realms and their inter-relationship. This paper focuses on the development and humanitarian components of this integrated strategy.

    Building Resilience in the Sahel

    1. Too often households and communities do not have the capability to withstand the damaging effects of the multiple climate and market shocks they are facing. For the most vulnerable, survival strategies during a severe crisis include selling off assets, particularly livestock, pulling children out of school, reducing the quantity and nutritional quality of food purchased, and consuming grain that may be required as seed for the next planting season. While life saving, such strategies compromise the ability of households to rebuild after a crisis and have a life long impact on children’s physical, cognitive and educational development.

    2. The repeated humanitarian crises in the Sahel are due to a failure of development. A strategy of resilience should therefore directly support those households most vulnerable to humanitarian crises so that they can better absorb shocks, rebuild after a crisis and support a longer-term transformation through education and livelihoods diversification. An effective resilience program should support improved agricultural productivity with a particular emphasis on women’s role in agriculture, promote resilient behavioral practices, encourage sustainable livelihoods, diversification of revenues, and sustainable natural resource management, scale up coverage of basic social services, strengthen early warning and risk management systems, and extend social protection coverage to vulnerable households.

    3. In the short-term, humanitarian action will continue to provide life-saving assistance and address most acute needs, with particular emphasis on protecting assets and strengthen disaster risk management capacities; in the medium-term, and through a mixture of humanitarian and development assistance, disaster risk reduction and development interventions will aim at rebuilding assets, supporting livelihoods, scaling up social protection, and providing access to basic services, without any form of discrimination; in the long-term, it will be important to consolidate the gains achieved through the short and medium term interventions to achieve peace, inclusive, equitable and sustainable growth, and human development. In this respect, resilience is also about preventive action.

    Principles for Action

    Resilience-building activities undertaken by Governments, civil society, agencies and partners should be centered on the following key principles, and anchor themselves within policies aimed at promoting better governance, decentralization, community-level resilience and local development:

    1. Start and end at the local level: Resilience building in the Sahel should reflect local knowledge and promote community participation, ownership and empowerment in the design and implementations of programs.

    2. Place resilience at the center of programming: Resilience is not simply a re-labeling of existing activities. While many initiatives may reduce vulnerabilities indirectly, resilience strengthening should target households directly.

    3. Build within and upon countries’ policy planning frameworks: National leadership, ownership and accountability are key. Resilience should be firmly grounded in existing strategies, policies, and plans at the local, national, and regional levels.

    4. Focus on risk and uncertainty: Risk and vulnerability analysis and management should inform the design of all resilience activities and programs.

    5. Business as usual is not sufficient to tackle this challenge: Humanitarian and development organizations must work together to address the issues of resilience.

    6. A human rights based approach should drive the resilience building approach, ensuring that it is participatory, and non-discriminatory.

    7. Recognize that resilience is a long-term development objective: There will be a need for integrated multi-year programming of humanitarian and development assistance.

    8. Long term engagement can be achieved through active participation in global, regional and local partnership initiatives: UN agencies are well positioned to contribute meaningfully to such initiatives having both the ability to work downstream on household related initiatives and upstream on institutional and policy level development. A well-supported Resident and Humanitarian Coordination system with a coherent and impact oriented development programme for resilience is a prerequisite for success.

    Way forward

    UNCTs in Sahel Countries will develop country level plans on resilience for implemenation in 2013. Similarly, UN agency regional offices will work closely with regional institutions on a regional plan.


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    Source:  Famine Early Warning System Network
    Country:  Chad

    Sorghum, millet, white maize, and local and imported rice are the most important food commodities. Millet is most heavily consumed in the eastern and northern regions of the country. Local rice is another basic food commodity, especially for poorer households.
    Imported rice and white maize are most commonly consumed in and around the capital. The Marché d'Atrone in N’Djamena, the capital city, is the largest market for cereals. Moundou is an important consumer center for sorghum and the second largest market after the capital. The Abéché market is located in a northern production area. The Sarh market is both a local retail market and a cross-border market.


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    Source:  World Food Programme
    Country:  Lesotho

    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

    Lesotho is facing the devastating effects of two successive crop failures compounded by a litany of socio-economic adversities. Increased food insecurity is expected to affect a large part of the population through the 2012/13 lean season. The findings of the recent Lesotho Vulnerability Assessment Committee’s reportas well as a rapid assessment conducted by the United States Agency for International Developmentindicate that Lesotho’s level of food security has declined significantly for the second year in a row. The impact of this season’s late rains and subsequent widespread drought adds to the increasing vulnerability of the population. The matter is worsened by the fact that the country faced a similar poor harvest in 2011.

    In contrast to flood damage in the previous year that primarily affected the highlands and Senqu River Valley areas, the current drought has affected almost all geographical zones and districts, representing almost a 30 percent increase in populations facing food insecurity compared with last year, further aggravating the suffering of those who were already in an emergency situation.

    The Lesotho Vulnerability Assessment Committee’s report concluded that 725,000 people face a survival deficitranging from 15 to 55 percent depending on their location. Among those, 210,000 most vulnerable people are classified as ‘very poor’. Most of them have already run out of food stocks and require immediate assistance. Levels of food insecurity are expected to peak as early as September, while the lean season normally runs from January to March. The Government recently declared an emergency food crisis and formally requested international assistance. A strategic response plan was developed taking into consideration both activities that address immediate needs of the most vulnerable households, and activities that address the vulnerability profile of the country.

    In response to the Government’s request, this emergency operation will address the food needs of 210,000 people classified as ’very poor’ from October 2012 to April 2013. WFP will target people living in the most food-insecure areas - mainly in the higher mountains, South Lowlands and Senqu Valley areas. Food assistance will be provided through targeted food distributions and livelihood support activities using cash-for-asset modalities.

    In line with the priorities of the Government and the United Nations system in Lesotho, the overall aim of this operation is to respond to the emergency needs, while seizing opportunities to contribute to resilience building and disaster risk reduction by addressing land and soil degradation, and strengthening watershed management practices. The operation will primarily address WFP Strategic Objectives 1 - Save lives and protect livelihoods in emergencies and 2 - Prevent acute hunger and invest in disaster preparedness and mitigation measures. The operation will also contribute to Millennium Development Goal 1. 4


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    Source:  Famine Early Warning System Network
    Country:  Mauritania

    Le riz local et le sorgho sont les produits alimentaires les plus consommés par les ménages pauvres de la Mauritanie suivis par le blé importé qui est l'aliment de substitution auquel ces ménages recourent le plus. Le riz local est cultivé dans la vallée du fleuve (dans le sud des régions du Trarza, du Brakna, du Gorgol et du Guidimakha). Le sorgho est produit dans toutes les zones de production (sorgho pluvial) et dans les walo et barrages (sorgho de décrue). Toutefois, une importante partie est importée du Mali et du Sénégal. La Mauritanie vit beaucoup plus de ses importations (70 % en bonne année agricole et jusqu'à 85 % en mauvaise année) que de sa production interne. Nouakchott est le principal marché de collecte pour les produits venant de l'extérieur et également le marché de distribution où viennent s'approvisionner les animateurs des marchés de distribution secondaire que sont les autres marchés référenciés. L'huile de cuisson est essentiellement consommée dans les zones urbaines. La vente des animaux est une mode d’existence dans toutes les zones et une importante source de revenus et de nourriture.


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    Source:  UN Radio
    Country:  Mali

    Ecouter

    Les organismes humanitaires sont préoccupés par la détérioration de la situation humanitaire dans le nord du Mali. Aux conséquences du conflit armé s'ajoutent le coût élevé des denrées alimentaires et les inondations récentes qui ont détruit une partie des cultures. Selon le Programme alimentaire mondial, près de 4,6 millions de personnes sont estimées être à risque d'insécurité alimentaire tandis que 560 000 enfants de moins de cinq ans sont à risque de malnutrition aigüe en 2012.

    Une enquête sur la sécurité alimentaire en situation d’urgence (EFSA) au Mali publié ce mois d'octobre montre une détérioration des conditions de vie au Nord, notamment à Tombouctou, Gao et Kidal. Par exemple, les prix des céréales (mil et riz importé) restent très élevés par rapport à la moyenne des cinq dernières années.

    Les populations affectées par le conflit sont estimées à 1,63 millions dans les trois régions du nord (Gao, Kidal et Tombouctou) et le nord de Mopti. Les personnes déplacées internes (PDI) sont quant à elles estimées à environ 119 000.

    Face à cette dégradation de la situation, le PAM poursuit ses distributions de vivres dans les principales régions touchées et est venu en aide à 250 000 personnes depuis le début du mois d'octobre. L'ONG Islamic Relief, en partenariat avec le PAM, a mené aussi des activités de prévention de la malnutrition chez les femmes enceintes et allaitantes avec la distribution de 56 tonnes de vivres. Aussi 25 tonnes de rations de couverture ont été distribuées aux enfants de moins de cinq ans. Ces activités ont été menées à Gao dans cinq communes rurales du cercle de Gourma Rharous (Bambara Maoudé, Gossi, Inadiatafane, Ouinerdène et Haribomo). Islamic Relief a aussi lancé les travaux d'aménagement de deux périmètres irrigués à Sheriffène Ergo et Arbichi dans les communes de Rharous et de Serere.

    D'autres activités de renforcement de la résilience des populations vulnérables du Programme Alimentaire Mondial (PAM) sont également en cours dans les régions de Kayes, Koulikoro, Ségou, Sikasso et Mopti. Ces programmes incluent la reforestation, la réhabilitation et la prévention de l'érosion des sols, la construction de classes d'écoles et de routes, la création de sources d'eau ainsi que les cultures maraichères.

    A la date du 10 octobre, l'appel de fonds humanitaire pour le Mali n'est financé qu'à hauteur de 47%. 100 millions de dollars ont été mobilisés sur une requête de 213 millions de dollars.

    (Interview : Elisabeth Byrs, porte-parole du PAM à Genève ; propos recueillis par Alpha Diallo)


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    Source:  Missionary International Service News Agency
    Country:  Mali

    La réunion de la Communauté économique des Etats de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (Cedeao), qui se tiendra ce vendredi à Bamako, a été précédée par une manifestation contre l’éventuelle intervention militaire internationale dans le Nord du Mali. Les revendications de la manifestation de ce vendredi s’opposent à celles d’une initiative analogue qui a rassemblé la semaine dernière 2000 personnes seulement, indiquent certaines sources de presse.

    La réunion de vendredi verra notamment la participation de la nouvelle présidente de la Commission de l’Union africaine, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, élue en juillet. Alors qu’elle ne remplit officiellement sa fonction que depuis quelques jours, Mme Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma a déjà annoncé que la crise malienne figurait parmi les priorités de son mandat : “Nous ferons tout pour résoudre le conflit avant qu’il ne se propage dans la région”, a-t-elle déclaré.

    La semaine dernière, le Conseil de sécurité de l’Onu a approuvé une Résolution édictant un délai de 45 jours pour préciser les plans des pays membres de la Cedeao en prévision d’une intervention militaire dans le Nord malien.

    Pendant ce temps, les groupes rebelles qui occupent le territoire septentrional depuis avril dernier ont renforcé leurs positions et continuent de promouvoir leur programme politique. En attendant, d’autres mausolées de Tombouctou, considérés sacrés par la population locale auraient été détruits par les rebelles islamistes d’Ansar Dine.

    (GB/CN)


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    Source:  UN News Service
    Country:  Mali

    19 October 2012 – La communauté internationale doit aider les autorités maliennes à lancer un processus politique crédible qui tienne des causes profondes de la crise sévissant dans ce pays, et leur offrir toute l'assistance souhaitable sur le plan militaire pour aider à reconquérir le nord du territoire, a déclaré, vendredi, le Vice-Secrétaire général de l'ONU, Jan Eliasson.

    Il a également prévenu que toute intervention devait s'abstenir « d'exacerber les tensions existantes ni d'aggraver une situation humanitaire déjà précaire ».

    M. Eliasson a tenu ces propos lors d'une réunion de l'Union africaine, de la Communauté économique des États d'Afrique de l'Ouest (CEDEAO) et du Groupe de suivi et de soutien des Nations Unies au Mali, réunion qui s'est tenue aujourd'hui à Bamako, en Afrique de l'Ouest.

    « Toute action militaire doit se faire à l'appui d'une stratégie politique et de la réunification du pays. Et pour que la communauté internationale légitime une force militaire internationale, les droits humains et le droit humanitaire doivent être scrupuleusement respectés », a expliqué M. Eliasson.

    « L'objectif de ce processus politique est de forger une vision nationale et inclusive pour l'avenir du Mali. Ceci exige une feuille de route pour la transition, de manière à ce que les préparatifs puissent débuter », a-t-il ajouté.

    Actuellement dirigé par le Président par intérim, Dioncounda Traoré, le Mali fait face à une série de défis sur les fronts sécuritaire, politique et humanitaire depuis le début de l'année. Des combats entre forces gouvernementales et rebelles touaregs ont éclaté dans le pays au début du mois de janvier. Depuis, des islamistes radicaux ont pris le contrôle de la partie nord du pays, où ils appliquent une interprétation extrême de la charia, ainsi que des restrictions prenant en particulier pour cible les femmes.

    Depuis que les groupes islamistes tels qu'Ansar Dine, le MUJAO (Mouvement pour l'unité du djihad en Afrique occidentale) et AQMI (Al-Qaïda au Maghreb islamique) ont pris le contrôle du nord, « nous assistons à des exactions telles que des restrictions des droits civils et politiques […] et des peines cruelles et inhumaines sont systématiquement appliquées : exécutions, amputations et lapidations », avait indiqué, le 9 octobre dernier, le Sous-Secrétaire général des Nations Unies aux droits de l'homme, Ivan Šimonovic.

    L'instabilité et l'insécurité résultant de ces affrontements, ainsi que la prolifération de groupes armés dans la région, de la sècheresse et de l'instabilité politique au lendemain du coup d'état militaire de mars 2012, ont poussé plus de 250.000 Maliens à fuir dans les pays voisins, sans compter les 174.000 autres déplacés internes.

    Aujourd'hui, à Bamako, le Vice-Secrétaire général a estimé que tout processus politique au Mali devait permettre aux autorités de transition de s'engager dans des pourparlers avec les groupes rebelles du nord, qui ont des doléances légitimes, leurs communautés ayant été marginalisées et négligées pendant des années.

    « Il est impératif que ces groupes cessent tout contact avec les organisations terroristes, conformément aux exigences de la résolution 2071 du Conseil de sécurité », a indiqué M. Eliasson, qui ajouté que les forces militaires devaient s'abstenir d'interférer dans l'arène politique.

    Adoptée vendredi dernier, cette résolution donne 45 jours à la CEDEAO pour préciser les modalités d'une opération militaire, que le Conseil de sécurité se dit prêt à envisager au titre du Chapitre VII de la Charte des Nations Unies. Le Secrétaire général Ban Ki-moon est quant à lui chargé de soutenir le processus politique malien et de « mettre des spécialistes de la planification militaire et des questions de sécurité à disposition de la CEDEAO et de l'Union africaine pour mener à bien la planification conjointe qui permettrait à cette force internationale de voir le jour ».

    « Le travail déjà accompli par les autorités maliennes, la CEDEAO et l'Union africaine constitue une base déjà solide pour nos efforts conjoints », a reconnu M. Eliasson, qui a ajouté que l'ONU était prête à soutenir un dialogue national et une assistance pour renforcer les capacités nationales de négociations politiques.

    « Nous sommes également en train de déployer des spécialistes de la planification militaire et de la réforme du secteur de sécurité à Bamako », a-t-il ajouté, avant de dire que les forces de défense et de sécurité maliennes devaient se trouver à l'avant-garde du combat contre le terrorisme et la criminalité dans le nord du pays.

    « Une première étape déterminante sera de soutenir la réorganisation de ces forces, comme le demandent les autorités maliennes », a-t-il souligné. Il a noté que, conformément à l'appel du Conseil de sécurité, une réforme globale du secteur de la sécurité devait figurer au cœur des efforts de la communauté internationale pour consolider les institutions maliennes, avec pour point focal l'Envoyé spécial du Secrétaire général pour le Sahel, l'ancien Premier Ministre italien, Romano Prodi, qui était également présent à la réunion de Bamako.


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    Source:  Agence France-Presse
    Country:  Mali

    10/19/2012 22:47 GMT

    Par Stéphane BARBIER

    BAMAKO, 19 oct 2012 (AFP) - De hauts représentant de la communauté internationale réunis vendredi à Bamako ont exprimé leur totale "solidarité" avec le Mali, en grande partie occupé par des islamistes armés, lui demandant de redoubler d'efforts pour faciliter l'envoi d'une force armée pour les combattre.

    Au cours de cette réunion, les échanges "ont été francs et robustes", a déclaré le numéro deux de l'ONU, Ian Eliasson.

    Mais au bout du compte, tout le monde a "été d'accord sur ce qui a déjà été fait et ce qui reste à faire", a affirmé, elle, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, présidente de la commission de l'Union africaine (UA).

    "Il y a des difficultés devant nous, mais si nous travaillons tous ensemble de manière coordonnée, cela rendra les choses plus faciles", a ajouté Mme Dlamini-Zuma lors d'une conférence de presse à l'issue de la rencontre.

    Représentants de l'ONU, de l'UA, de l'Union européenne (UE), de la Communauté économique des Etats d'Afrique de l'Ouest (Cédéao), mais aussi de pays voisins comme l'Algérie et la Mauritanie, ont estimé dans une déclaration commune que cette réunion avait "symboliquement marqué la réintégration du Mali dans la diplomatie multilatérale" au sein de la communauté internationale.

    Elle "a donné l'occasion aux participants de s'unir dans la solidarité avec le peuple malien et de convenir avec l'Etat du Mali d'une mobilisation optimale en faveur (...) de la restauration de l'ordre constitutionnel, de l'unité nationale et de l'intégrité territoriale du Mali", dont le Nord est occupé par des islamistes armés emmenés par Al-Qaïda au Maghreb islamique (Aqmi)

    Cette déclaration ouvre la voie à une reprise de la coopération sous tous aspects, y compris militaires, des partenaires internationaux du Mali.

    La coopération avait été suspendue au lendemain du coup d'Etat du 22 mars qui a renversé le président Amadou Toumani Touré et précipité la chute du nord du Mali aux mains de groupes armés islamistes.

    Les militaires auteurs du putsch, dirigés par le capitaine Amadou Haya Sanogo, ont rendu le pouvoir à des autorités de transition, mais restent influents.

    Elections "au premier trimestre" 2013

    La déclaration de Bamako appelle les autorités maliennes "à redoubler d'efforts et à tirer profit de l'élan international actuel" en "renforçant la cohésion entre les institutions de la transition (...) pour la restauration de l'autorité de l'Etat" dans le Nord "et "l'organisation d'élections libres régulières et transparentes au cours du premier trimestre de l'année 2013".

    Elle leur demande d'établir "une feuille de route détaillée avec des mesures concrètes assorties d'un chronogramme clair" pour réaliser ces objectifs, et de prendre "des mesures immédiates pour faciliter les efforts de la communauté internationale" en vue d'une intervention militaire pour reconquérir le Nord.

    Une force armée de quelque 3.000 hommes venant de pays de la Cédéao est en préparation, avec l'aval de l'ONU.

    Aucun détail sur sa composition précise et son financement ne figure dans la déclaration finale, un représentant de la Cédéao indiquant simplement qu'elle était "disponible" et que son "plan de déploiement sera enrichi par nos partenaires".

    En ouvrant la réunion, le président malien par intérim, Dioncounda Traoré, a avait souligné "l'urgence" d'une intervention armée étrangère pour libérer le nord de son pays. "Nous ne devons plus perdre la moindre seconde. Il y a un caractère d'urgence, nous sommes engagés dans une course contre la montre", a-t-il dit.

    Il a remercié la communauté internationale pour son soutien au Mali depuis le début de la crise qui lui a permis de ne s'être "jamais senti seul". Il l'a assurée de "la totale collaboration du gouvernement".

    Comme pour, eux aussi, souligner le caractère d'urgence que représente à leurs yeux la situation au Mali, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma et Jan Eliasson ont annoncé l'ouverture de bureaux permanents de l'UA et de l'ONU à Bamako pour mieux coordonner leurs actions respectives.

    Très applaudie, Mme Dlamini-Zuma a fait part de son "engagement personnel" à l'égard du Mali, premier pays dans lequel elle se rend depuis son entrée en fonction à la tête de la Commission de l'UA le 15 octobre.

    Démoralisée et sous-équipée, l'armée malienne n'est pas en mesure de reprendre le Nord où elle été laminée et où les islamistes imposent avec brutalité la charia (loi islamique), y commettant de nombreuses exactions: meurtres, lapidation, amputations, coups de fouets, destruction de monuments sacrés.

    Le principe de l'envoi d'une force ouest-africaine est acquis, mais, a mis en garde M. Eliasson, il faudra être attentif aux conséquences "humanitaires" de l'intervention, ajoutant qu'il ne faudrait pas qu'elle "exacerbe les tensions".

    stb/cs/et/

    © 1994-2012 Agence France-Presse


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    Source:  UN News Service
    Country:  Mali

    19 October 2012 – The United Nations humanitarian food agency today announced it was intervening in eight regions of Mali with food assistance as part of the world body’s overall efforts to fight the growing humanitarian crisis there.

    A spokesperson for the World Food Programme (WFP), Elisabeth Byrs, told reporters in Geneva that the UN agency had already reached more than one million people in the Sahelian country despite its volatile political and security situation.

    Ms. Byrs’ announcement comes against the backdrop of a high-level meeting held today in Mali’s capital, Bamako, where an African Union (AU), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and United Nations Meeting of the Support and Follow-up Group on Mali discussed how to address the security, political and humanitarian problems facing the country since the start of the year, when fighting between Government forces and Tuareg rebels broke out in the country’s north.

    Since then, radical Islamists have seized control of the north, where they have imposed an extremist version of Muslim Sharia law as well as restrictions that target women in particular.

    The instability and insecurity resulting from renewed clashes, as well as the proliferation of armed groups in the region, drought and political instability in the wake of a military coup d’état in March, have led over 250,000 Malians to flee to neighbouring countries, with 174,000 Malians estimated to be internally displaced.

    Ms. Byrs reported that preliminary findings from a joint WFP/Early Warning System survey conducted this month confirmed the deterioration of living conditions in the north of the country. She added that overall, 4.6 million people across Mali remained at risk of food insecurity and 560,000 children under the age of five were at risk of acute malnutrition.

    In addition to its free targeted food distribution centres, which she said had helped more than 250,000 people in the month of October, the WFP spokesperson further noted that the agency was implementing long-term empowerment strategies through capacity building initiatives, such as reforestation, rehabilitation, prevention of soil erosion, building classrooms and roads and well as creating accessible water sources.

    Ms. Byrs also said that WFP was preparing its Emergency School Feeding programme, targeting 290 schools in southern Mali, where children will receive a WFP ration of ‘Supercereal’ – a highly nutritious product which will enable them to concentrate on class work.

    Also on Friday, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) announced that a joint mission with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) completed a two-day visit to Mali.

    The aim of the visit was also to better understand the current humanitarian situation in Mali, assess the assistance already provided, and discuss the challenges faced by the Government and humanitarian actors.

    “The visit of the joint mission has allowed us to present the complexity of the humanitarian situation to the international community,” said the UN Humanitarian Coordinator and Resident Coordinator for Mali, Aurélien Agbénonci, in a joint news release.

    “It is urgent to strengthen humanitarian assistance to save lives while respecting human dignity and preventing an increase of humanitarian needs in countries neighbouring Mali,” he added. “Interventions can no longer wait because humanitarian needs are becoming bigger day by day while available resources are still insufficient.”

    During its visit, the joint mission’s participants discussed the humanitarian crisis in the country with the Government and the diplomatic corps, as well as the humanitarian community and civil society organizations. They also visited a nutritional centre in the district of Kangaba, in the region of Koulikoro in the country’s west.

    In the joint press release, OCHA and OIC noted that more than five million people are in need of immediate humanitarian assistance in Mali, representing about one third of the estimated population of 15.8 million.


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    Source:  UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country:  Lesotho, Malawi, Swaziland, Zimbabwe

    UN deputy humanitarian chief Catherine Bragg wrapped up her five-day visit to southern Africa today with a call for regional Governments and humanitarian organizations to work together to break the cycle of food shortages and poverty in the region.

    Read full interview on the OCHA website.


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    Source:  Government of Eritrea
    Country:  Eritrea

    Araeta, 19 October 2012 – The regional Administration of Southern Red Sea region indicated that 92% of Araeta sub-zone inhabitants have become beneficiaries of potable water supply.

    Mr. Teklom Tsegai from the infrastructure department said that such accomplishment could enormously be registered on the basis of projects implemented over the past 5 years. Accordingly, a total of 42 potable water supply facilities have already been implemented in the sub-zone, besides 2 more that are being constructed in the villages of Asagala and Ad-Ela.

    The inhabitants explained that they are in a position to improve their livelihood in line with the availability of the facilities.

    Araeta, one of the four sub-zonal administration centers in the Southern Red region, encompasses 45 villages inhibited by a total of 22,000 people.


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    Source:  World Food Programme
    Country:  World, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo (the), El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritania, Niger (the), Pakistan, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Syrian Arab Republic (the), Yemen, Zimbabwe

    In focus

    • Some 3 million people require food and livelihoods assistance in Syria. A surge in displacement took place between June and September;

    • In September, flooding in Pakistan affected 4.5 million people; seven flood affected districts are in IPC phase 3 (crisis) or phase 4 (emergency);

    • In the Democratic Republic of Congo, 5.4 million people require humanitarian assistance. Since June 2012, conflict has displaced 550,000 people in the East;

    • According to the August IPC round, 46 percent of the Yemeni population - more than 10.5 million people - are food insecure; 24 percent are in phase 4 (emergency) and 22 percent in phase 3 (crisis), due to conflict impacts;

    • Food insecurity levels have increased in Lesotho, Malawi, Swaziland and Zimbabwe following poor crop performance in 2011-2012. Humanitarian needs are peaking as the lean season approaches; seasonal forecasts from a number of sources all indicate below average rainfall through the next growing season;

    • Following a lean season where acute malnutrition rates exceeded the ‘critical’ 15 percent threshold in parts of Chad, Niger, Mauritania and Senegal, seasonal rains have led to short-term improvement in food security conditions across the Sahel. Flooding in August and September affected some 1.5 million people in West Africa;

    • Drought has affected the primera harvest El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, causing maize price increases. Poor weather and Hurricane Isaac have disrupted rural livelihoods in Haiti;

    • Although global food price increases have generally not passed through to domestic retail markets, increases are being observed in wholesale prices in some import-dependent countries; and

    • The developing El Nino might lead to increased precipitation in the greater horn of Africa and in the Philippines, and to below average rains in Central America and parts of Southern Africa.


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