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ReliefWeb - Updates

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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    03/01/2013 20:10 GMT

    BAMAKO, 01 mars 2013 (AFP) - L'élection présidentielle au Mali aura lieu au mois de juillet, a déclaré vendredi à l'AFP un responsable du cabinet du Premier ministre malien, sans donner de date précise.

    "Le mois de juillet a été retenu pour l'organisation des élections présidentielles", a déclaré à l'AFP Boubacar Sow, directeur de cabinet du Premier ministre malien Diango Cissoko, sans évoquer les législatives.

    "Les dispositifs sont pris pour respecter les délais. La situation sécuritaire sur le terrain, le retour dans le Nord de l'administration, des déplacés et des réfugiés sont des préalables auxquels nous sommes en train de trouver des réponses rapides", a-t-il ajouté.

    "Dans deux ou trois mois", une partie de l'administration malienne sera "en principe" de retour dans les trois principales villes du nord du Mali, Tombouctou, Gao et Kidal, qui étaient occupées par des groupes islamistes armés avant le début le 11 janvier d'une intervention internationale, dirigée par la France, qui les en a chassés.

    Le président malien par intérim Dioncounda Traoré avait exprimé le 29 janvier à Addis Abeba sa "détermination à organiser le plus rapidement possible, en tout cas, (c'est) notre souhait, avant le 31 juillet 2013, des élections propres, c'est-à-dire transparentes et crédibles", lors d'une conférence de donateurs pour le Mali.

    L'organisation des élections et la libération des régions occupées font partie des missions fixées aux autorités de transition mises en place après le coup d'Etat militaire du 22 mars au Mali.

    Ce coup d'Etat contre le président de l'époque Amadou Toumani Touré avait précipité la perte du nord du pays au profit de groupes touaregs et islamistes.

    Présente à Bamako pour une "mission d'information et de contact", un responsable d'une délégation de la Francophonie s'est félicité vendredi de cette nouvelle annonce sur les élections.

    "Il faut un retour à l'ordre constitutionnel le plus rapidement possible et naturellement, la communauté internationale (et) la Francophonie aideront le Mali dans le processus de préparation de ces élections", a déclaré à l'AFP Philippe Beaulne, représentant personnel du Premier ministre canadien pour la Francophonie.

    sd/mrb/de


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    Source: International Food Policy Research Institute
    Country: Somalia

    Climate change leads to more frequent and more intense droughts in Somalia. In a global context, weather shocks have been found to perpetuate poverty and fuel civil conflict. By relating regional and temporal variations in violent conflict outbreaks with drought incidence and severity, we show that this causality is valid also for Somalia at the local level. We find that livestock price shocks drive drought-induced conflicts through reducing the opportunity costs of conflict participation. Our estimation results indicate that a temperature rise of around 3.2 degrees Celsius—corresponding to the median Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change scenario for eastern Africa by the end of the century—would lower cattle prices by about 4 percent and, in turn, increase the incidence of violent conflict by about 58 percent. Hence climate change will further aggravate Somalia’s security challenges and calls for decisive action to strengthen both drought and conflict resilience, especially in pastoralist and agropastoralist livelihoods.


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    03/01/2013 21:35 GMT

    BAMAKO, March 01, 2013 (AFP) - The presidential election meant to haul Mali out of crisis will take place in July, the prime minister's chief of staff said Friday, without giving a precise date.

    "Measures have been taken to respect the deadline," Boubacar Sow, chief of staff for Prime Minister Diango Cissoko, told AFP, a month after interim president Dioncounda Traore promised a vote by July 31.

    "The security situation on the ground, a return to government in the north and of refugees and displaced residents are the prerequisites for which we are trying to find quick solutions," Sow said.

    The elections are part of a roadmap adopted unanimously by parliament in January to restore constitutional rule in what was once considered one of west Africa's most stable democracies.

    Mali is struggling to claw its way out of a crisis unleashed by a March 22 coup that ousted democratically elected president Amadou Toumani Toure, creating a power vacuum that the Islamist rebels exploited to seize the north of the country.

    A French-led military operation launched on January 11 pushed the rebels from the towns they controlled.

    Sow said that in two or three months, a part of the Malian administration would "in principle" be restored in the north's three main cities of Timbuktu, Gao and Kidal.

    He did not offer any details on when polls might take place.

    Critics have said July is too soon to organise the presidential and parliamentary polls given the problems Mali faces.

    The French-led offensive continues to battle ongoing insurgent attacks in a nation weakened by a deeply divided military and where hundreds of thousands of people have fled their homes.

    Senegal's President Macky Sall said Friday that while it would be more "realistic" to hold elections at the end of the year, it was still too early to push back the date from July.

    "Political dialogue needs to resume and in particular, the process of defining the electoral register needs to take place at the same time. If we work on those two aspects at once, we might make it," he said in an interview with the France 24 news channel.

    sd/amj/vjf


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    03/02/2013 13:57 GMT

    BAMAKO, 02 mars 2013 (AFP) - Des combats ont opposé vendredi près de Gao les islamistes du Mouvement pour l'unicité et le jihad en Afrique de l'ouest (Mujao) et des soldats maliens et français, a-t-on appris samedi de source islamiste et auprès de l'armée malienne.

    "Nous avons livré un combat sans merci aux troupes maliennes avec leurs complices français à 60 km à l'est de Gao vendredi. Pour le bilan, nous allons voir après", a déclaré à l'AFP le porte-parole du Mujao, Abou Walid Sahraoui, sans plus de détails.

    "Nos troupes sont aussi vers Kidal pour le jihad contre la France", a ajouté la même source.

    Gao et Kidal sont deux des principales villes du nord du Mali, qui étaient occupées par les islamistes avant d'en être chassés par une intervention internationale dirigée par la France à partir du 11 janvier.

    Gao, la plus grande ville du nord du Mali, était sous le contrôle du Mujao, un des groupes islamistes alliés à Al-Qaïda au Maghreb islamique (Aqmi).

    Elle est située au sud de Kidal et à 1.200 km de Bamako.

    Kidal se trouve à 1.500 km au nord-est de la capitale.

    L'information sur les combats de vendredi près de Gao a été confirmée par un soldat malien contacté par téléphone dans cette ville depuis Bamako.

    "J'ai participé aux combats à In-Manas (60 km à l'est de Gao) vendredi. Nous avons détruit une base du Mujao. Ils ont eu beaucoup de morts dans leurs rangs. Nous sommes revenus à Gao, sans perte dans nos rangs", a précisé le militaire malien, sans donner d'autres détails.

    sd/mrb/aub


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    03/03/2013 19:42 GMT

    PARIS, 03 mars 2013 (AFP) - Des dizaines de combattants islamistes et un soldat français ont été tués au cours de violents combats dans le nord-est du Mali, dans les régions de Gao et du massif des Ifoghas, où seraient détenus des otages français, suscitant de nouvelles inquiétudes sur leur sort.

    Un parachutiste français a été tué samedi soir, alors qu'il "montait à l'assaut d'une position ennemie" dans le massif des Ifoghas, région montagneuse proche de la frontière algérienne où se sont retranchés les groupes jihadistes, a annoncé dimanche le porte-parole de l'armée, le colonel Thierry Burkhard.

    Il s'agit du troisième militaire français tué depuis le début de l'intervention au Mali, le 11 janvier, le second dans cette région.

    Le ministre français de la Défense Jean-Yves Le Drian a souligné qu'il s'agissait de l'"un des combats les plus violents" depuis le déclenchement des opérations.

    Selon l'état-major, qui évoque des combats "à très courte distance, parfois inférieure à 50 mètres", "au moins une quinzaine" de combattants islamistes ont été "neutralisés", c'est à dire tués ou blessés, samedi au cours de ces affrontements.

    "Nous avons face à nous un adversaire fanatisé qui défend fermement des positions sur lesquelles nous sommes obligés successivement de donner l'assaut pour les fouiller et les réduire", a indiqué le colonel Burkhard.

    Par ailleurs, au moins 50 islamistes du Mouvement pour l'unicité et le jihad en Afrique de l'Ouest (Mujao) ont été tués depuis vendredi dans d'autres combats avec des soldats maliens et français près de Gao, un ancien bastion islamiste dans le nord-est du pays, a-t-on appris de source militaire malienne.

    L'annonce de ces affrontements meurtriers survient alors qu'on est toujours dans l'attente d'une confirmation de la mort dans des combats, dans le massif des Ifoghas, de deux des principaux chefs jihadistes, les Algériens Abdelhamid Abou Zeid et Mokhtar Belmokhtar, annoncée par le Tchad.

    Vendredi soir, le président tchadien Idriss Déby Itno a déclaré qu'Abou Zeid, un des principaux chefs d'Al-Qaïda au Maghreb islamique (Aqmi), avait été "abattu" par les soldats tchadiens. Et samedi, l'armée tchadienne a indiqué dans un communiqué que Mokhtar Belmokhtar dit +le borgne+", ancien haut responsable d'Aqmi récemment entré en dissidence, avait été tué au cours d'un nouvel affrontement dans la zone.

    Dimanche, le ministre français de la Défense, Jean-Yves Le Drian, a appelé à la "prudence" après les annonces par N'Djamena de la mort des chefs jihadistes.

    "J'en appelle à la prudence et à l'esprit de responsabilité à l'égard d'indications que nous ne sommes pas en mesure de confirmer matériellement à ce stade", a déclaré le ministre dans une interview.

    "La priorité, c'est de saper les bases des terroristes, leur organisation, leurs moyens", a ajouté le ministre.

    "la guerre n'est pas finie"

    "On veut que ça puisse être vérifié, c'est une question de temps. On n'est pas en mesure de confirmer", expliquait dimanche une source au ministère français des Affaires étrangères.

    Le ministre de la communication tchadien Hassan Sylla a affirmé dimanche que le Tchad "ne parle pas dans le vide". "Nous allons présenter prochainement des prisonniers, des lieutenants qui étaient avec eux (chefs islamistes), des armes", a-t-il déclaré à l'AFP.

    "La France ne veut pas être en première ligne sur ce type d'annonce, d'abord car la guerre n'est pas finie, ensuite en raison des otages. La non confirmation par Paris maintient un certain flou qui minimise l'événement. Ca permet de ne pas alimenter les velléités de représailles", estime Anne Giudicelli, spécialiste du terrorisme.

    Quinze otages français sont retenus en Afrique, dont au moins six au Sahel par Aqmi et certains d'entre eux se trouveraient dans la région du nord-est du Mali où se déroulent les combats.

    "Pour nos soldats sur le terrain, bien évidemment la sécurité des otages est une priorité et une préoccupation permanente", a souligné le colonel Thierry Burkhard.

    Plusieurs proches des otages français enlevés au Mali, interrogés par l'AFP, ont refusé dimanche de commenter les informations sur la mort présumées de deux chefs islamistes, en raison du caractère non confirmé des informations.

    Les informations sont aussi confuses: selon une version, Abou Zeid aurait été tué dans un bombardement de l'armée française, selon un autre lors d'un accrochage avec des militaires tchadiens.

    L'armée française ne permet pas à des journalistes de se rendre dans la zone des combats.

    Des résultats de tests ADN, actuellement effectués en Algérie, devraient être déterminants pour identifier Abou Zeid, selon la presse algérienne.

    Pour Anne Giudicelli, "on laisse au Tchad le privilège de communiquer. Ca s'inscrit dans la stratégie politique qui depuis le début consiste à ne pas se mettre en avant et laisser les Africains en première ligne".

    Le Tchad, qui a déployé plus de 2.000 hommes au Mali, est au premier rang aux côtés de l'armée française lors de ces opérations de nettoyage de l'Adrar des Ifoghas, où il a subi des pertes importantes, les plus lourdes parmi les différents contingents étrangers au Mali.

    "Nous avons perdu beaucoup de Tchadiens. Nos hommes sont courageux, ils se battent au corps à corps", a reconnu le ministre, Hassan Sylla.

    Vingt-six soldats tchadiens ont été tués au cours de ces combats, ainsi que plus de 90 combattants islamistes, selon N'Djamena. Les Tchadiens sont commandés par le fils du président Idriss Déby, le général Mahamat Idriss Déby.

    bur-thm/aub/sba

    © 1994-2013 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: UN Children's Fund
    Country: Mali, Niger
    preview


    Highlights

    1) As of 18 February 2013, figures released by the UNHCR Level 2 registration indicate 33,776 officially recorded refugees in camps, spontaneous sites and urban areas in Niger. This number does not include the 17,000 refugees in Agando and Chinewaren soon to be relocated from Tillia to Tahoua. Thus, so far maintaining the number of refugees at just over 50,000. Since early February, UNHCR, in collaboration with IOM, is carrying out a logistics-intensive operation to relocate refugees from Banibangou to safer sites further away from the border.

    2) As of 10 February, 28,840 children under-five have been admitted to therapeutic feeding centres for severe acute malnutrition (SAM), while another 41,229 have been receiving treatment for moderate acute malnutrition (MAM).

    3) On 18 February, the CAP 2013 was officially launched in Ouallam by the Prime Minister and the Humanitarian Coordinator for Niger, in the presence of the humanitarian community and government officials. The total amount requested is US$354,414,493 to support approximately 3 million people at risk of food insecurity across the country.

    4) As part of the continued response to the overflowing of the Komadougou River, which caused much damage in the Diffa region, UNICEF is still monitoring the situation in the 11 spontaneous sites hosting displaced people.

    5) The relocation of some 750 households from four districts (Karadjé, Lamordé, Kirkissoye and Nogaré) affected by floods in Niamey to the new site of Seno has been completed. To ensure education for relocated children, UNICEF provided several tents to create 6 classrooms, offered 10 education kits and will cover additional educational needs.

    6) On 15 February, the 2013 National Support Plan for vulnerable populations has been adopted for approximately US$275 million. It is the primary tool for planning and programming interventions related to the prevention and management of natural disasters and food crises. It is elaborated annually after the post-harvest assessments, following a participatory and inclusive process.

    7) Within the framework of Mali+3, UNICEF Niger provided ACF and MSF Spain, in support of their interventions in Mali, 30 box of Aquatabs and cold chain equipment, respectively.


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    Source: Government of Ethiopia
    Country: Ethiopia
    preview


    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

    The overall good performance of the 2012 meher/deyr/karma rains has resulted in an improved food security situation in most parts of the country, apart from pocket areas in belg-dependent and pastoralist/agro-pastoralist areas that experienced poor consecutive seasonal rains. The food security situation in some of these areas (south eastern and north eastern) may be further impacted by below-normal performance of the 2013 belg/gu rains. Thus, in light of the forecast recently issued by the National Meteorological Agency (NMA), the situation in these belg-producing and gu/ganna-receiving areas requires close monitoring over the coming months.

    The present document identifies approximately 2.4 million beneficiaries in need of relief food assistance from January to June 2013, identified through the multi-agency assessment and subsequent monitoring results.

    The total gross emergency food and non-food requirement for the period January to June 2013 amounts to USD 258.9 million. Considering available resources amounting to USD 83.2 Million ,the net total requirement stands at USD 175.7 million. The net food and TSF requirement totals to 165,751.69 MT, estimated to cost around USD 132.4 million. In addition, a total of net USD 43 million is required to respond to the non-food needs of identified beneficiaries in the health and nutrition, water and sanitation and agriculture and education sectors.


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    Source: Food and Agriculture Organization
    Country: Algeria, Chad, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan, Tunisia, Western Sahara, World, Yemen
    preview


    The Desert Locust situation remained worrisome during February in the winter breeding areas along both sides of the Red Sea where locust infestations continued to increase. Adults formed groups and swarms in Egypt, Sudan, Eritrea and Saudi Arabia. Some of these moved into crops along the Nile River in northern Sudan, laid eggs and caused damage, while a limited number of groups and swarms moved north along the Egyptian coast where they could eventually threaten the Nile Delta. Substantial control operations were carried out by the three countries. A smaller, second generation of breeding is expected to occur along both sides of the Red Sea. Groups of adults are likely to move to the interior of Saudi Ababia where one generation of breeding can occur. Elsewhere, a few small swarms formed in the Western Sahara and moved into adjacent areas of northwest Mauritania.


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    Source: Assessment Capacities Project
    Country: Afghanistan, Angola, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Haiti, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Myanmar, Niger, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Philippines, Samoa, Senegal, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, World, Yemen, Zimbabwe, South Sudan (Republic of)
    preview


    Clashes and violence escalated during the past week in Bangladesh, following the sentencing to death of a senior Islamist leader, marking the bloodiest bout of violence since the country’s independence four decades ago.

    Continuous rains have caused floods in Agusan del Sur in the Province of Pampanga in the Philippines. Some 49,073 persons were affected as of 27 February.

    In Syria, the Government renewed its campaign to suppress the insurgency around the capital, leading to heavy clashes. Intense fighting was also reported in Aleppo and north-eastern Syria. The number of Syrian refugees continued to rise, amounting to a total of 958,098 as of 28 February.

    Intense fighting persisted over the last week in the Adrar des Ifoghas mountains in northern Mali, where rebels have regrouped. Meanwhile, rebels continue to undertake reprisal and guerilla attacks in liberated towns of northern Mali, in particular Gao and Kidal.

    In Central African Republic, an armed faction of the Seleka rebel coalition attacked the northern town of Sido in an apparent breach of the recent peace accord. The security situation is worrying and 1,100,000 people are estimated to be affected by the current crisis in the Seleka-controlled areas.

    Clashes between FARDC and the APCLS rebel group escalated on February 27 in the Democratic Republic of Congo, leaving at least 36 people dead and forcing 3,000-4,000 people to take refuge. Meanwhile, dissension within the rebel group M23 triggered heavy clashes in the Rutshuru Territory.

    Global Emergency Overview web interface


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    Source: IRIN
    Country: Algeria, Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger

    GAO/DAKAR, 4 March 2013 (IRIN) - Nearly 3,000 Malians who fled towns and villages in the north when armed men occupied their homeland have headed home, but the vast majority are staying put in the south or in neighbouring countries, for fear of insecurity, reprisal killings, and in the knowledge that basic services are still sorely lacking.

    “Recent attacks and fighting, unexploded ordnance, the fear of reprisals, and the lack of basic services, are all elements dissuading people from returning,” said Helene Caux, spokesperson with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

    Most of the 170,300 registered refugees in Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Niger and Algeria, are ethnic Tuaregs or Arabs, and many of them fear reprisal attacks, being targeted by the Malian army, criminality and the presence of jihadists in some communities.

    Timbuktu school director Amhedo Ag Hamama, a Tuareg now volunteering as a teacher in Mbéra refugee camp in eastern Mauritania, told IRIN: “No one [in Mbéra] is ready to go back… Living conditions are very difficult here, there is not enough food, teachers are working for no pay, but we will not return until there is sustainable peace.”

    Many refugees IRIN spoke to talked of the 1990-91 Tuareg rebellion in the north that caused them to flee. “We will only return if there is a viable solution,” Hamama continued, “not if in one, two, three years, we will have to flee again… We are scared of reprisal killings. We are scared of attacks from Malian soldiers. No one dares return.”

    UNHCR stresses the need for reconciliation efforts, together with efforts to combat impunity, to encourage peaceful coexistence between communities and help long-term stabilization, according to a 1 March briefing.

    Hamama has a paid job to return to in Timbuktu, but “even the money won’t draw me back,” he said. “Who can assure our safety, our security? No one. I do not have confidence in anyone.”

    Restricted movement

    Some want to flee but cannot. Arab shopkeeper Najim Ould Abadallah told IRIN he wants to go to Burkina Faso but is afraid of being harassed or detained at the military checkpoints en route.

    After hiding in his house for three weeks, he fled to a neighbour’s house and upon returning found his house looted - by Malian soldiers, a neighbour told him.

    Some Tuareg families from rural villages in Gao Region have fled to Gao town, as they feel they are safer there. Ahmed Haïdara, a Tuareg from Djebok, 40km east of Gao, took refuge with his family in a sandy courtyard belonging to house on the outskirts of Gao. "We are safe here. I trust Mali's army to protect us,” he told IRIN. “In Djebok there is nothing - no soldiers, no policemen. The Islamists can come back any time," he told IRIN.

    Many cattle-herders sold their animals to pay for transport to flee and cannot afford to return, according to IOM spokesperson, Judy Dacruz. “Likewise many farmers were unable to plant because of displacement and thus have no way of supporting themselves through the rest of the year,” she said.

    UNHCR and IOM are not encouraging or facilitating returns because of the security situation, but Caux pointed out: “We cannot prevent people going back spontaneously.”

    Some families are travelling up to Mopti in central Mali, and taking a boat onto Timbuktu.

    Most of the people IOM talked to said they wanted to return as soon as possible, with almost all wishing to go back this year, while a small group said they would wait longer for the situation to stabilize.

    Alongside NGOs such as Catholic Relief Services, IOM provides food packages and emergency kits for displaced families at major transit points such as Mopti in central Mali.

    Governance and basic services

    As well as security, many say they are waiting for a return of basic services and governance structures - particularly mayors and a judicial structure - to be in place before returning. In an IOM survey displaced Malians also stressed the need for livelihood opportunities to be in place.

    While some government officials have returned to Gao town, which was occupied by separatist Tuareg rebels and militant Islamists last spring, government officials have yet to take up office.

    Social services are still largely provided by humanitarian organizations; shops remain closed and the same is true for banks, some food markets and pharmacies. Very few Tuaregs or Arabs remain.

    Schools are only now reopening, having closed in early January following the French-led intervention. In Timbuktu, schools have reopened but are all empty, said Hamama, as most of the students and teachers are living in Mbéra refugee camp.

    Families who have registered their children in schools in the south want to wait out the school year before re-enrolling elsewhere, said UNHCR’s Caux.

    If people do start to return in large numbers, huge pressure could be put on infrastructure in transit points such as Mopti and Ségou, where stocks of food, water and medical supplies are running low, said Dacruz. “Government and humanitarian agencies need to start planning for receiving the IDPs [internally displaced persons].”

    Fresh displacements

    Meanwhile, ongoing conflict in the mountainous area north of Kidal, as well as recent fighting in Gao town, continue to cause fresh displacement.

    IOM monitors have counted an additional 18,702 people fleeing areas of conflict since the French invasion on 11 January 2013.

    Some 260,665 Malians were registered as being displaced within the country as of the end of February 2013 - up from 227,207 in December 2012.

    In Tinzawatene, in Kidal Region in the far north of Mali, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is trying to support people fleeing fighting. The supply of food and other items here and in Kidal and Tessalit has been seriously affected by the conflict and the closure of the border with Algeria, said UNHCR in a communiqué.

    “They have come from Kidal, Gao and even from as far as Ménaka, some 600km away. We are currently helping 1,100 families, a figure that might rise as fighting continues,” said Valery Mbaoh Nana with ICRC in Gao.

    kh/aj/cb


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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan (Republic of)

    Humanitarian Requirements Document Update

    The 2013 Humanitarian Requirements Document (HRD) covering the first half of the year was launched on 28 February. The document identifies emergency requirements in the food and non-food sectors based on the findings of the joint meher/deyr/karma multi-sectoral assessment conducted from 20 November to 15 December 2012, as well as government early warning information. In the first half of 2013, some 2.4 million people will require relief food assistance nationwide. As in the previous year, the regions with the highest requirements are Somali and Oromia, with 963,801 (38 per cent) and 846,417 (34 per cent) beneficiaries respectively. Overall, some US$ 175.7 million are identified in net requirements, including 165,751.69 MT of food (estimated at $132.4 million) and $43 million in non-food assistance. Given the poor belg (Mid-February to May) rains forecast by the National Meteorological Agency (NMA), early revision of the beneficiary figures may be required, as additional vulnerable households may need humanitarian assistance in the coming months. For more information, contact: infodrmfss@gmail.com

    Food Security Outlook

    According to the National Meteorological Agency (NMA), seasonal agricultural activities in much of the eastern half of the country will likely suffer, as a result of the forecast poor belg rains. The pastoralist and agro-pastoralist parts of southern Oromia, central and southern Somali and northern Afar Regions will also likely experience water and pasture shortages, through the next rainy season. Meanwhile, the forecast near-normal to above-normal belg rains in the central, southern and south-western Ethiopia will positively impact the overall belg agricultural activities, as well as improve availability of water and pasture in pastoralist and agro-pastoralist areas, according to NMA. Contrary to the forecast timely onset, however, the rains are already one month late in Amhara and three weeks late in Oromia and SNNP Regions – these areas had suffered from the late onset of the 2012 belg rains. Given the increasing water shortages reported from north-eastern Amhara, Afar, Tigray, south-eastern Oromia and southern Somali Regions, and the resultant deterioration in the food and nutritional security, poor and very poor households in these areas might require humanitarian assistance to meet basic survival needs in the coming months. A recent report from the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (Fews Net) indicated that East and West Harerge zones of Oromia Region have become increasingly food insecure, as a result of two consecutive, poorly-distributed rainy seasons. With the forecast for the belg rains still unclear, according to the Fews Net report, and limited income from other sources, increased humanitarian assistance is necessary to prevent further loss of assets, facilitate the planting of short-cycle belg crops in March and long-cycle crops in March/April, and prevent further deterioration of food security in these areas. For more information, contact: ethiopia@fews.net

    Health Update

    As we are currently in the peak meningitis transmission season, which extends up to May, suspected cases of meningitis were reported from SNNP and Oromia Regions. Since the start of the season in January, sporadic cases were recorded from close to 60 woredas across 14 zones of SNNP, Oromia and Tigray, with upsurges of cases in 16 woredas of SNNP and Oromia. Woredas reporting increased cases of meningitis include Arbaminch Zuria, Halaba, Hawassa town, Dale, Shebedino, Gorche and Wonsho in SNNPR and Arsi Negele, Shalla, Shashemene Town, Shashemene Rural, Dodolla, Siraro, Wondo and Gedeb Assassa in Oromia Region. In response, the SNNP and Oromia Regional Health Bureaus and Woreda Health Offices, in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health/Ethiopian Health and Nutrition Research Institute and health partners, are vaccinating high-risk groups, including people between the ages of 2 and 30 years, and those living in crowded settings like prisons and universities. Some 721,000 people have so far been vaccinated, and some 2.5 million additional doses of vaccine are required to reach targeted people in high risk areas nationwide. The Ministry of Health and Regional Health Bureaus have strengthened preparedness and response measures, including enhanced disease surveillance system, strengthened case management, community awareness-raising and distribution of required drugs and medical supplies to health centres. Field-level interventions are closely monitored and supported by technical experts, and through coordination forums, including the federal level command post.

    Meanwhile, suspected measles outbreaks were reported from Kebribeyah woreda of Fafan zone (Somali) and Semen Bench woreda of Bench Maji zone (SNNP), in the past weeks. Children between the ages of 5 and 14 years in Somali and between the ages of 1 and 4 years in SNNP Regions, are reportedly the most affected by the outbreaks. Health authorities have strengthened surveillance and case management, including provision of Vitamin A supplement, in all affected areas. Community health education and evaluation of risk factors are ongoing to prevent the spread of the outbreaks, and reduce mortality and morbidity. For more information, contact: who-wro@et.efro.who.int

    Refugee Update

    The Dollo Ado refugee complex continues to receive increasing number of Somali refugees, with over 4,650 new arrivals registered in February, compared to 3,654 in January. With the existing camps already at capacity – 190,444 people are currently hosted across five camps - UNHCR, and the Government refugee agency, ARRA, are focusing on expediting the opening of the sixth camp, as well as increasing the capacity of existing ones. Elsewhere in southern Ethiopia, UNHCR updated its contingency plan for Moyale in view of the March elections in Kenya. Registration and settlement sites were identified to receive and assist displaced Kenyans, should election-related violence forces civilians to cross the border. Core Relief Items were also identified from existing stocks, enough to cover needs of some 20,000 people. Shortage of shelter, however, remains a challenge.

    In western Ethiopia, UNHCR and ARRA are closely investigating reports of some 10,000 people from Sudan’s Blue Nile State, possibly moving towards Benishangul Gumuz Region of Ethiopia. In Gambella, UNHCR and ARRA are focusing their efforts on relocating some 16,000 refugees from South Sudan living in host communities along the border, in Gambella’s Wanthowa woreda, to Pugnido camp. For more information, contact: gegziabk@unhcr.org or prokopch@unhcr.org


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    Source: IRIN
    Country: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal

    DAKAR, 4 March 2013 (IRIN) - The annual gearing-up of humanitarian programmes to treat the chronic problems of vulnerable Sahelians is a clear sign that development there is not working. As a result, the Sahel is at the centre of the debate on the need to boost vulnerable people's resilience to shocks.

    Donors are starting to shift their approach, notably the Sahel's biggest humanitarian donors European aid body ECHO and the US Agency for International Development (USAID), but development donors remain behind, and donor fatigue means vulnerable Sahelians this year risk missing out on emergency aid, let alone aid to build their resilience.

    The US$1.66 billion humanitarian and resilience appeal for the Sahel in 2013 is 5 percent funded as of 1 March.

    "People are clearly distracted or are looking away from the region or largely through a security lens," said Oxfam's Sahel campaigner Elise Ford. "The challenge is how are you to make good on the resilience rhetoric. How do we consider this appeal?. Despite all the talk of resilience in 2012 we've seen very little from donors on how they're going to finance it."

    Sahel resilience meetings are being held globally - a meeting was held in Rome last week; another is being held now in Dakar, "but there seems to be a time lag: what is happening right now?" said Ford.

    For farmers to harvest their crops this year they need adequate seeds by May - this is mere survival, quite apart from embracing a more ambitious resilience agenda. According to a World Food Programme (WFP) study in Niger, it takes families three years to recover from a food security shock, and that is if harvests are good for three years running.

    Agencies need more money, not less, to make resilience happen in the Sahel, starting from 2013, stressed Jan Eijkenaar, ECHO's resilience and AGIR (Alliance Globale pour l'Initiative Resilience) focal point in the Sahel. But the way things are going, "there won't be enough time to do resilience properly this year," he told IRIN, noting it will take decades to get resilience right over the long term.

    Political commitment

    Having said that, many donors and national governments have understood the need to put resilience at the heart of Sahel programming. The most prominent example is the inter-governmental and inter-agency AGIR-Sahel initiative to build resilience in the Sahel, which has brought together all sorts of actors, including the European Commission (which leads it), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the West Africa Economic and Monetary Union, the Permanent Inter-State Committee to Fight Drought in the Sahel (CILSS), the Sahel and West Africa Club (SWAC).

    "Resilience is a priority now because of flawed development and governance," said Jan Eijkenaar, ECHO's Sahel lead on resilience and the AGIR initiative. We have an opportunity not to fail over the next 20 years. The AGIR declaration gives us the tools and scope to do so."

    Globally, donors have promoted resilience on a wide scale over recent years, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the World Bank are also promoting it, having realized that the impact of their development investments has been insufficient, says French research group Urgence, Réhabilitation et Développement (URD).

    Greater scrutiny of aid expenditure

    The backdrop to this has been the financial crisis in Europe and the US, which has led to more scrutiny of how existing aid money is used. The Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) analysed development portfolios and assessed that some had increased risk and poverty rather than building resilience. Further, the 2011 fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness agreed a new approach to dealing with fragile states, with resilience at its heart.

    However, the aid architecture as it currently stands, is not ready to embrace resilience yet. While certain actors have made progress in this vein - for instance the UN's common humanitarian action plans - a lot more holistic planning is needed.

    More integrated planning

    Holistic planning is easier said than done. USAID has come furthest in this area, setting up a joint resilience strategic cell made up of experts from agriculture, climate change, nutrition, health and food security, which work on joint plans to figure out how to put the most vulnerable people's coping strategies at the centre, said Chris Tocco, deputy director of USAID in West Africa.

    Other donors, such as ECHO, work with more unwieldy funding mechanisms, which make it much more difficult to set up integrated resilience planning cells. But ECHO's Eijkenaar recognizes that "stubborn sectoral, institutional, cultural and national needs must be overcome," as stated in a January 2013 presentation on the AGIR initiative, in which he encouraged donors and practitioners to get out of their silos.

    François Grünewald, head of URD, likens resilience in practice to cooking. "Integration would be like Thai cuisine (where the flavours of each ingredient can be distinguished from the others) in contrast to merging, which would be like Chinese cuisine (in which all the flavours are combined into a single flavour)," says the February 2013 edition of its magazine Humanitarian Aid on the Move.

    What does not work is when aid agencies and donors start labelling any and every activity as "resilience-focused", he noted. As the R-word gets bandied about in ever-wider circles, it has cropped up in unexpected places. For instance, according to URD, the US internal security website currently states that its main objective is resilience rather than security.

    Integrated programming will also, of course, require humanitarian and development actors to work together, something which the current aid architecture does not make easy. "It will take a long time for these different cultures to understand one another," said Sidi Mohammed Khattry, head of mission for the Mauritanian prime minister at a Dakar resilience workshop on 26 February.

    Different approaches to resilience

    Currently, despite a common definition of resilience, as articulated through AGIR ("the capacity of vulnerable households, families and systems to face uncertainty and the risk of shocks, to withstand and respond effectively to shocks, as well as to recover and adapt in a sustainable manner"), donors in the Sahel are approaching resilience through very different lenses. For instance, ECHO sees it through a malnutrition lens; USAID is more food security-focused; while the UN Development Programme orients itself towards system-wide development and governance.

    Other factors to bear in mind in order for resilience to work: Development actors must shift their targeting from broad macro-economic priorities to address the poorest of the poor (roughly 20 percent of the Sahel's population). "To date the ultra-poor have been invisible to them," Eijkenaar told IRIN, partly he said, because they largely limit themselves to capital cities, while humanitarians work with the most vulnerable, no matter where they are.

    On targeting in agriculture for instance, Peter Gubbels, West Africa expert at research group Groundswell International, told IRIN: "It is essential to promote agriculture that is not just productivity-oriented, but multi-functional and targeted to the needs of the more vulnerable based in the most risk-prone, ecologically fragile zones - not in the high potential agricultural zones."

    By multi-functional, he means agriculture that focuses on productivity, adaption to climate change, sustainability, and that is nutrition-oriented.

    For Oxfam's Ford, it is vital to find a balance between bottom-up and top-down programming: "Focusing on the very vulnerable is vital, but you also need good governance to create the political space for the focus on vulnerable households to happen," she said.

    Humanitarian and development actors must build upon the work that has already gone into resilience - notably from sustainable development, disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation experts, all of whom have been working on resilience-building for years. The 2005 Hyogo Framework for Action on building the resilience of nations and communities to disasters, is a clear start.

    While it sounds like common sense, resilience must be built around the priorities and existing assets of affected communities, say aid workers. Upcoming research by Oxfam reveals that communities themselves prioritize resilience and have myriad ways of coping with shocks: any aid they get they hope will reinforce these activities.

    National governments must not be sidelined, and more resilience programming and funding should be channelled through those that are able to take it on, say analysts.

    Finally, measuring resilience is important, and benchmarks of success need to be addressed alongside efforts to define what comes after the 2015 Millennium Development Goals. An AGIR team is currently working on success benchmarks - some of which may include the rate of malnutrition, under-two mortality, food insecurity, the humanitarian assistance burden, the proportion of a population's least resilient, people's purchasing power, cost of diet and food diversity scores, among many other aspects, said Eijkenaar. The Hyogo Framework for Action is a good reference for wider-scale benchmarks, say analysts.

    The money

    Thus far, the funding breakdown for resilience in the Sahel is not clear. The European Commission's DEVCO mobilized 164.5 million euros in 2012 for the Sahel crisis, part of which was used to advance resilience this year and next, said Eijkenaar. ECHO is already "resilience-friendly" in its approach to aid, he said, for instance by integrating and phasing its work into national programmes and using careful vulnerability targeting.

    USAID is set to announce its resilience-oriented funding soon; the UK Department for International Development (DFID) was unable to give global figures; and AGIR Sahel promises a new funding mechanism but has not yet detailed amounts.

    The World Bank declined IRIN's requests for an interview.

    Building resilience and dealing with the aftermath of crisis will require at least as much money as last year in the Sahel, said Ford. "It is still a crisis year. The poorest. did not suddenly get rich because of a good harvest this year. Extreme poverty is not a trap you get out of in just one year."

    But more important than an amount, is the way the money is allocated. Over the long-term, if used well, resilience could be cheaper, as evidenced by DFID's research in Ethiopia and Kenya, which revealed that it would cost 64 percent less to prevent crises than to respond to them. "Reducing the impact of natural disasters saves money, lives and livelihoods, especially for the poor," said DFID spokesperson John Levitt.

    aj/cb


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    Source: IRIN
    Country: Somalia, World

    JOHANNESBURG, 4 March 2013 (IRIN) - No one working in the aid community in recent years could have avoided the buzzword “resilience” - but what does the term mean practically, and how has it helped shape action on the ground?

    In fact, there is no standard definition of the term, points out a draft paper by the UN Development Programme (UNDP). The UN’s lead development agency, along with the Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), has been tasked with finding ways to consider how development and humanitarian actors can work better together on resilience.

    The UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction defines the term as “the ability of a system, community or society exposed to hazards to resist, absorb, accommodate to and recover from the effects of a hazard in a timely and efficient manner.” The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, meanwhile, describes resilience as “the amount of change a system can undergo without changing state”. The UK Department for International Development defines it as “the ability of countries, communities and households to manage change, by maintaining or transforming living standards in the face of shocks or stresses… without compromising their long-term prospects.”

    But according to UNDP, these and other definitions focus too narrowly on responding to shocks rather than preventing or preparing for them, and their stated goal is only to return beleaguered communities to their original state. UNDP therefore proposes to define resilience as a “transformative process of strengthening the capacity of people, communities and countries to anticipate, manage, recover and transform from shocks” - otherwise known as build back better.

    Resilience “is more of a process than an outcome,” said Samuel Doe, UNDP’s focal point on resilience, adding that he is bewildered when he hears about organizations planning to “roll out resilience.”

    Any community targeted by a programme with a resilience component is meant to end up with improved self-esteem, gender sensitivity, the ability to organize themselves, an effective early warning system, and other forms of self-sufficiency, he says.

    In the field, activities that improve the “resilience” of vulnerable households and communities - such as disaster risk reduction, livelihood support, social protection and basic services - are not new, explained Sarah Muscroft of OCHA.

    “What is new is the way in which needs are assessed and programmes are planned and delivered. Bringing together humanitarian and development actors and aligning assessment and planning tools will be central to this approach,” she added.

    Development or humanitarian?

    Resilience can potentially act as a bridge between emergency response and long-term development aid, tackling the vulnerabilities that make people susceptible to shocks. But there remains confusion over who should be more responsible - humanitarian workers providing immediate relief in a crisis or longer-term development actors.

    Simon Levine, a researcher with the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), said, “From what I see in discussions and workshops, there is more interest in ‘resilience’ from among the humanitarians, and there is a tendency to see resilience as something that humanitarian aid should be building in its response - ‘building back better’ - to prevent crises recurring.”

    He added, “I strongly believe that this puts the accent in the wrong place… the real driver behind the resilience agenda ought to be the realization that the job of ‘development aid’ is to prevent people falling into crisis.”

    But humanitarians argue they are already working beyond their mandate of providing relief. Recurrent crises - such as cyclones in the Indian Ocean, droughts in the Sahel and the Horn of Africa, and floods in Southern Africa - have already led to much introspection about whether humanitarian aid provides only a band-aid for systemic problems.

    Inspired by vulnerability studies in the mid-1970s, humanitarian officials have increasingly turned their attention to longer-term solutions. This led to the creation of the disaster risk reduction (DRR) approach. The Hyogo Framework for Action - the first internationally accepted framework on DRR, adopted in 2005, was “a first comprehensive attempt to detail what are the ingredients of resilience,” said Margareta Wahlström, UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction.

    Today, humanitarian aid is more than just drilling a borehole to provide water in a drought, explains Dorothée Klaus, the UN Children Fund’s (UNICEF) Horn of Africa chief of programme and planning. While doing that, an aid agency considers the needs of livestock and environmental erosion, and it tries to ensure households understand the reason for the intervention and take ownership of the project - factors that a development project would take into account.

    Jakob Wernerman, UNICEF’s disaster risk reduction specialist in the Sahel, says development and humanitarian aid aim to reduce different types of vulnerability. Development aid has tended to focus on reducing broad vulnerabilities, particularly with the objective of meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), he said. Humanitarian aid, on the other hand, has focused on reducing the vulnerability of a community or an individual to crises on the ground.

    Blurring the lines

    OCHA’s Muscroft says humanitarians’ embrace of resilience “will necessitate a shift from the traditional relief-to-development paradigm to embrace a much more integrated approach that is able to simultaneously address short-, medium- and long-term needs”.

    That is precisely what Luca Alinovi, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) representative for Somalia has been calling for. He says classifying aid as “relief”, “early recovery” or “development” does little to help countries like Somalia that are facing what is known in aid jargon as a “protracted crisis”.

    But how aid is classified affects how it is funded; money may be made available for only an immediate intervention, or it may be supplied on an annual basis.

    “If we want to help the country emerge from the crisis, we have to make a long-term commitment,” Alinovi told IRIN in 2011, ahead of the famine in Somalia, which many experts blamed on inadequate funding for long-term projects that would have boosted Somalis’ resilience to climatic shocks.

    Both humanitarian and development “streams have to converge around resilience outcomes,” he said in an email.

    Lynn Brown, the World Food Programme's chief economist, says the problem is “trying to do emergency work in a way that seamlessly transitions to development as the immediate emergency dissipates.”

    Humanitarians can help build resilience by providing useful analysis to development actors, says Jackob Rhyner, director of the Institute for Environment and Human Security at the UN University in Bonn.

    But do development actors listen to humanitarian workers? This would involve a considerable shift in thinking, particularly for big donors involved in development work like the World Bank, which use different standards for evidence, says ODI’s Levine.

    Even so, donors such as the EU have called for a common planning process for both development and humanitarian aid, he points out.

    As each agency, organization and donor tries to draw up frameworks around resilience, it will help them arrive at a common understanding, says UNDP's Doe.

    Remember early recovery?

    There have been previous attempts to build bridges between humanitarian and development aid, including the “early recovery” approach, which was meant to help humanitarian programmes “catalyse sustainable development opportunities.”

    But “despite efforts, early recovery typically has been seen as separate rather than integral to humanitarian action,” said Muscroft.

    Doe hopes the resilience agenda will prompt greater emphasis on early recovery. Asked whether the resilience approach is meant to avoid the linear relief-recovery-development route, he responded that as discussions continue on the issue, the way forward will emerge.

    Muscroft says the “biggest challenges” to implementing a resilience approach will be “overcoming entrenched institutional sovereignty” and getting agencies to become more flexible and to adapt, think and act differently.

    Measuring an intangible

    Most donors, meanwhile, would like to know if their money is actually making people more resilient.

    UNICEF's Eugenie Reidy, who works in Somalia, says statistical measures such as immunization coverage, nutrition indicators and access to water could help build a picture of resilience. But there are indicators of resilience that are impossible to quantify, like confidence, capacity to adapt and empowerment.

    UNICEF has been consulting with a community in south central Somalia that had been affected by the 2011 famine to better understand what resilience means from the community’s perspective. They want to see if a mix of quantitative and qualitative data will help them assess the effectiveness of their resilience programming.

    Levine says “mixed method approaches are the way to go... My only disagreement here … is having a composite measurement of this ethereal essence.

    “You can’t add up a score which says how resilient a child is to an endemic disease (for which immunization helps, but only depending on where they live, what other health threats they face, etc.)… [or] how resilient their son may be to a downturn in the job market in 10 years’ time.”

    jk/rz/oa


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    Source: Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit
    Country: Somalia
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    Source: Government of Pakistan, World Health Organization
    Country: Somalia
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    Source: Oxfam
    Country: Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger

    As Mali endeavors to re-establish peace and territorial integrity in the North, Malians are still struggling to pick up their lives after a devastating drought, a conflict, and massive displacement.

    Oxfam is there

    Since January 2012, over 260,000 people have been displaced because of the conflict in Mali. More than 170,000 Malian refugees have sought safety in neighboring countries Niger, Burkina Faso and Mauritania.

    In recent months, Oxfam in Mali has provided 78,800 people in Bourem and Amderaboukane in the Gao region in the North with food, and water and sanitation needs.

    Oxfam has assisted over 150,000 Malian refugees and host communities in neighboring Mauritania, Burkina Faso and Niger with food, water and sanitation provisions, health and hygiene promotion, hygiene kits, and the construction of classrooms.

    Urgent needs

    Recently we traveled to the regions of Mopti and Ségou in Central Mali to assess the most urgent needs of affected communities, and came to the following conclusions:

    • Thousands of people that fled the North are not returning home yet, as they wait for the school semester to end, lack the means to return, or still fear insecurity in the North. While they remain displaced, the challenges they face include finding and paying for appropriate shelter, paying for food, and the lack of healthcare available.

    • Host communities are also very vulnerable: they were affected by last year’s food crisis, and this year’s rice harvest has been jeopardized because of the conflict. Vegetable gardens and seedbeds have also been lost, while markets remain poorly supplied. In the mean time, many families help the displaced communities by sharing their scarce resources.

    • Host and displaced communities continue to share the few functioning water points, while inappropriate hygiene practices put both communities at risk. The regions lack adequate sanitation provisions like proper latrines, making the area particularly prone to cholera epidemics.

    • Diabaly, a town north of Ségou, is known as Mali’s breadbasket because of its large-scale rice production. This year’s compromised harvest will affect the whole country, emphasizing the need for the local population to be supported.

    • A large part of both displaced and local populations are traumatized by the conflict, posing an additional challenge for people to rebuild their lives.

    “Displaced communities need support, but everybody’s coping mechanisms have been weakened by last year’s food crisis and the effects of the conflict. Both displaced and host communities have become so vulnerable that they can hardly manage,” says Philippe Conraud, Oxfam’s Country Director in Mali.

    “We are trying to assist the worst affected families while taking into account the different factors that will empower them to recover from this crisis.”

    We will continue to assist both displaced and host communities

    Once funding is secured, Oxfam will assist the most vulnerable of both displaced and host communities in the Niono and Diabaly areas, which so far have received only limited humanitarian aid. This will include livelihood reconstruction, food, water provision, hygiene promotion, latrine construction, the distribution of hygiene kits that include soap and water containers, and gender-based violence (GBV) sensitization.

    How to help

    Oxfam is calling for funds to provide urgently needed assistance to the most vulnerable conflict-affected communities in Mali. Please donate to the Malian Refugee Crisis Fund today


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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Burkina Faso, Mali

    Les agences humanitaires et le gouvernement du Burkina Faso ont lancé un Appel Global Consolidé le vendredi 1er mars 2013 d’un montant de 135,5 millions de dollars pour apporter une aide d’urgence aux personnes vulnérables dans différents secteurs. Cet appel global vise à mobiliser les ressources pour répondre aux besoins de 1,7 million de personnes affectées par l’insécurité alimentaire, 430.000 enfants souffrant de malnutrition aigüe modérée, 100.000 enfants souffrant de malnutrition aigüe sévère et 50.000 réfugiés maliens. Les fonds aideront à prévenir et contrôler les épidémies et réduire les taux de morbidité et de mortalité. Ils permettront enfin d’apporter une assistance multisectorielle aux réfugiés du Mali et déplacés potentiels tout en soutenant les communautés d’accueil.

    Cet appel de fonds « intervient dans un contexte d’inclusion progressive d’une stratégie de résilience qui vise à aider les communautés à faire face aux chocs récurrents auxquels elles sont soumises et à développer des activités de nature à réduire leur vulnérabilité, notamment par une meilleure préparation », a déclaré le Coordinateur humanitaire au Burkina Faso, monsieur Pascal Karorero.

    Le Burkina Faso est affecté par une crise multiforme qui touche la plupart des Etats du Sahel. Malgré une très bonne récolte en 2012, les effets de la crise alimentaire et nutritionnelle de l’année passée sont encore ressentis et la sécurité alimentaire des ménages les plus pauvres reste fragile, car ils ont dû vendre leurs maigres biens pour tenter de faire face à la crise alimentaire. N’ayant pas pu encore reconstituer leurs moyens d’existence, ces ménages sont très vulnérables à de nouveaux chocs.

    Enfin, l'afflux de réfugiés au Burkina Faso depuis l’année 2012 du fait du conflit au Mali a exacerbé la situation. Selon le HCR, le pays a accueilli en fin 2012 près de 37.000 réfugiés maliens. Après la reprise des opérations militaires au Mali en début janvier 2013, de nouvelles arrivées ont porté ce nombre à plus de 47.205 réfugiés.

    En rappel, l’appel de fonds lancé en avril 2012, d’un montant de 126 millions de dollars pour huit mois, a été financé à hauteur de 85,5 millions de dollars, soit 68 pour cent, avec de fortes variations par secteurs d’activité. Alors que les projets dans les domaines de l’eau, hygiène et assainissement, de la nutrition et de l’assistance alimentaire avaient été très bien financés, les secteurs de l’agriculture, de l’assistance aux réfugiés et la santé avaient été délaissés avec seulement 28%, 34% et 47% des financements demandés.

    A ce jour, l’appel 2013 n’a reçu que 5,7 millions de dollars, soit 4,2% des fonds demandés. En lançant cet appel, nous espérons une mobilisation conséquente de la communauté des bailleurs de fonds, des organismes de bienfaisances, des institutions de coopération bilatérales et multilatérales, des pays amis du Burkina Faso et des acteurs du secteur privé afin de contribuer à répondre adéquatement aux besoins humanitaires du Burkina Faso.

    Mr Pascal Karorero

    Coordonnateur Résident du Système des Nations Unies au Burkina Faso Coordonnateur Humanitaire du Burkina Faso


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    Source: UN Children's Fund
    Country: Mali
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    HEADLINES

     On 10 February 2013, French and Malian troops successfully retaliated following a surprise attack by armed militant groups in the town of Gao. It is feared that rebel groups, who are hiding in the bush and desert, will engage in further guerrilla attacks.

     In February, two suicide bombings took place on separate occasions at a checkpoint in Gao. A car bomb also exploded on 26 February in the town of Kidal.

     On 7 February, the Ministers of Justice, of Women, Children and Family Affairs, of Internal Security, and of Defense, signed the Inter-ministerial Circular on the Prevention, Protection and Return to Families of Children Associated with Armed Forces and Groups. UNICEF provided technical inputs to this important document.

     To increase the capacities of host schools accommodating displaced children, UNICEF is installing 10 temporary learning spaces in Mopti in five host schools by the end of February, supporting the return to education for 3,992 students.

     In February, UNICEF supported the Ministry of Education to organize a workshop with key members of the Malian education sector on the conditions for the resumption of education activities in conflict affected areas.

     On 31 January 2013 the Renewed Efforts Against Child Hunger and Under-Nutrition (REACH) and Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) initiatives were officially launched in Mali.

     Due to the continuing crisis, UNICEF Mali has requested a one-year extension of its 2008-2013 Country Programme. In the meantime, the country programme approach has been revised to integrate humanitarian action and the development agenda, to build stronger community resilience and to foster peacebuilding.


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    Source: Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit
    Country: Somalia
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    1 . EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

    1 .1 KEY FINDINGS

    While the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance in Somalia has halved to 1.05 million since August 2012, malnutrition rates remain among the highest in the world, according to the latest data released today. Humanitarian assistance to protect livelihoods, reduce acute malnutrition, and help the most food insecure populations is needed over the next six months. The underlying vulnerability of poor households also requires action to address the causes and reduce the risks of food and nutrition insecurity by increasing the resilience of existing livelihoods.

    A new report by the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) with the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) warned that although average rains in Somalia boosted food production and livestock farming, these gains could easily be reversed. Following two consecutive seasons of extreme drought, the UN declared famine in parts of southern Somalia in August 2011. During the 2011 Gu season, the harvest only reached an estimated 26 percent of average, and 4 million people required humanitarian assistance.


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    Source: International Organization for Migration
    Country: Afghanistan, Angola, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Japan, Jordan, Lebanon, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Rwanda, Somalia, Turkey, World, South Sudan (Republic of)

    The National Diet of Japan has approved the country's supplementary budget fiscal year 2012, which includes USD 43.5 million to support IOM humanitarian operations for vulnerable migrants, internally displaced persons (IDPs), returnees, and host communities worldwide.

    The funding is designed to address unmet or unplanned needs during the fiscal year and is the largest amount that IOM has received to date from this Japanese funding mechanism.

    The money will fund IOM projects in Afghanistan and Iran, Angola and neighbouring countries, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Liberia, Ghana, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and countries neighbouring Syria.

    It will provide emergency humanitarian assistance to people affected by migration crises, facilitate return and reintegration of vulnerable migrants, increase government capacity to manage increasingly complex migration flows, and enhance coping mechanisms for communities hosting or receiving displaced populations.

    In Somalia, which will account for roughly 23% of the total, the money will be used to provide life-saving assistance through health and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) activities, to promote employment and income-generation through community-based livelihood activities, and to increase the capacity of legally mandated public bodies to address the needs of IDPs.

    Largely unregulated population mobility and the weak governance in Somalia have resulted in porous borders which have allowed allowing transnational crimes including piracy, human trafficking, smuggling, arms trafficking and terrorism to thrive.

    Funding for IOM operations in Afghanistan, which will account for 21% of the total and also covers Iran, will support continued reintegration and livelihood assistance to returnees from Iran and Pakistan, IDPs and victims of human trafficking.

    It will also help the Afghan Government and national NGOs to develop a national referral mechanism for the identification and protection of victims of trafficking. The money will also support the return and reintegration of highly qualified Afghans from Iran.

    Some 9.7% of the allocation will be used in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to mitigate two humanitarian crises related to forced migration. One project will focus on directly assisting vulnerable migrants returned from Angola and in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. The other will help IDPs in the eastern DRC through the implementation of emergency and conflict alert mechanisms, and reinforcement of the government's emergency response.

    Some USD 3.8 million will also be used to support IOM projects in Mali, Niger and Mauritania, all of which are suffering from the effects of conflict, drought, food scarcity and the return of tens of thousands of migrant workers from Libya.

    The money will provide water resources to meet the short-term emergency needs of IDPs; economic and security stabilization in areas heavily impacted by returnees from Libya; reintegration for returnees; community stabilization with a focus on young people; and interventions to enhance food security.

    Another USD 2 million will go towards saving lives and improving living conditions for some 93,000 refugees and migrants in Syria's neighbours - Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq.

    "Japan's contribution of USD 43.5 million towards IOM operations this year, the largest allocation so far through this funding mechanism, is a testament to a robust and growing partnership between Japan and IOM in relation to global humanitarian and peace building activities," said IOM Director General William Lacy Swing.

    The funding announcement comes shortly after Director General Swing's fifth official visit to Japan, during which he met high level officials from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Justice, and Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, and delivered a keynote speech at an international workshop on migrant integration organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ota City and the Council of Local Authorities for International Relations.

    For further information please contact Yuko Goto at IOM Tokyo, Tel: +81-3-3595-0108, Email: iomtokyo@iom.int.


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