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ReliefWeb - Updates

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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger

    LES TITRES

    • Violences faites aux femmes: certains pays freinent les efforts de l’ONU (UN, 5 mars)
    • Tchad : 78% d’analphabètes, un frein au développement (Xinhua, 6 mars)
    • Mauritanie, Niger, Tchad et Mali : Une étude révèle que les femmes utilisent peu les services de planification familiale (Le Soleil, 1er mars)
    • Des experts alertent sur les menaces de désertification en Afrique subsaharienne (Xinhua, 4 mars)
    • Sida : première « guérison » d’un enfant contaminé à la naissance (Le Nouvel Observateur, 4 mars)
    • Analyse: Rhétorique et réalité de la résilience dans le Sahel (IRIN, 7 mars)
    • Le ministre des Affaires étrangères tchadien estime que la guerre au Mali était nécessaire face au "péril" terroriste (AFP, 5 mars)

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    Source: DanChurchAid
    Country: Malawi

    Last year many farmers from Nsanje, Malawi, lost all of their crops due to floods and drought. Because of the scarcity of seeds, prices at the local markets reached an exorbitant level, which many people could not afford. In order to survive they had to eat wild fruits, vegetables and flowers.

    Nsanje, located in the lower Shire basin in Malawi, is a drought prone area. With its characteristic hot temperatures and unpredictable weather patterns, the district has proved to be a perpetual disaster zone.

    Last year, flash floods damaged a large percentage of crops in the district forcing many to eat wild fruits to survive.

    Jeremiah Nikisi, 45, a father of six says his crops were destroyed by floods leaving him with nothing to eat.

    “I used to do some menial jobs to get a little money for food but now everyone seems to be having some problems and such jobs are hard to come by,” he says. “All my crops were swept away by floods and we had to eat wild fruits and vegetables to survive.”

    Struggling to put food on the table

    A DCA recovery project being implemented in Nsanje through local partner Churches Action in Relief and Development (CARD) and with funding from the European Commission on Humanitarian Office (ECHO) saw that Jeremiah's food reserves could be boosted by giving him some seeds.

    “They also saw that I have potential to do better if I am supported with farm inputs,” explains Jeremiah on why he was selected to be one of the beneficiaries. “Also, the drought wiped out all my crops and I was left with nothing to eat. I always keep part of the harvest for seed but this time I had nothing,” says Jeremiah who comes from the Nyathumbi village in the district.

    Jeremiah was given four kilogrammes of millet seed to plant in his fields. He says that he went through tough times because of the drought and subsequent crop failure.

    “I am just praying that my crops make it through this season,” he says. “I am struggling to put food on the table for my family and the best I can do is to give them one meal per day for them to survive.”

    Hoping for a bumper harvest

    With the seed aid, Jeremiah is hopeful that he can turn around his food situation with a bumper harvest if the rains continue falling well.

    “I think the seed will help me a lot since I have managed to plant almost all of my two fields. It has germinated so well and it’s now my prayer that the rains continue falling well,” says Jeremiah.

    He adds: “I very much appreciate the help from the project because it’s going to ease my food problems. It was really difficult for me to get the seed on the local market because people were not selling as they also had challenges due to the drought,” he says.

    Jeremiah says that, with all conditions pointing to a bumper harvest, he will keep some of the seeds for the next planting season as he cannot rely on handouts for ever, “I have planted a big area and I am sure that I will harvest more than six bags. From these, I will have to keep seeds so that I will not suffer when planting time comes again,” he says.

    Seed shortage on all markets

    Another beneficiary of the seed programme is Wyson Meke, 32, a father of five, also from Nyathumbi village. Wyson, says he has a big field but was failing to get sorghum seeds from the local market.

    “Last year, I faced the same problem of seed shortage. I visited several markets here but couldn’t find the seeds. I ended up planting the little I had and managed to get only one bag of sorghum,” he says.

    He adds: “Now that I have the seeds, I planted my whole field. I am going to harvest in March and expect a good harvest. I am hoping to get about eight or more bags from my field. That would be enough to take me to the next season,” says Wyson.

    Had to eat nyika flowers

    Despite the unavailability of millet and sorghum seeds on the local market in Nsanje, some farmers could not raise enough money to buy from other areas.

    Fagesi Simbi, 25, says she engages in firewood business but the amount she gets from sales is not enough to cater for her daily food requirements and for the seeds.

    “I managed to buy only two small cups of seed,” says Fagesi. “Due to the scarcity of the seeds, those who have it sell at exorbitant prices which puts it out of reach for many people.”

    With hunger pressing hard on her family, Fagesi had to turn to nyika flower, a wild tuber that is locally found in the Shire River.

    “Its bitter but we don’t have a choice,” says Fagesi adding that the children do not like it because of its taste. “My child refused to eat nyika and was malnourished,” she says.

    The coming of the seed aid will greatly change her food situation, says Fagesi, “With these seeds, I will be able to plant a big part of my field this year. I hope to harvest more than I have done in the past when I had problems with the seeds.”

    By Joseph Scott, Communications Officer, DCA Malawi


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    Source: NATO Civil-Military Fusion Centre
    Country: Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Mali, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand
    preview


    This document provides complex coverage of global events from 26 February – 04 March 2013 with hyper-links to source material highlighted in blue and underlined in the text. For more information on the topics below or other issues pertaining to events in the region, contact the members of the Complex Coverage Team or visit our website at www.cimicweb.org.

    INSIDE THIS ISSUE

    Iraq 1
    Mali 3
    Syria 4
    IED/Demining 5


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    Source: The Global Fund
    Country: Mali

    Date : 07 March 2013

    Geneva - The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria said that it is committed to supporting health services in Mali, despite logistical challenges caused by recent military and political uncertainty.

    Lelio Marmora, Head of the Global Fund's West Africa and Middle East Department, told a news briefing yesterday that the Global Fund is deeply concerned about the current situation in Mali and is talking every day to partners on the ground.

    "The people of Mali need support now more than ever," said Mr. Marmora. "Our policy is to stay involved, to face the risks, and to help our partners deliver treatment and prevention wherever possible."

    In November, 2012, the Global Fund signed a grant agreement to resume full-scale HIV screening, prevention and treatment in Mali, worth EUR58 million, together with the United Nations Development Program. To implement the grant, many special precautions had to be taken, including some shifts to adapt to changing conditions on the ground, a zero-cash policy and a staggered sequence of delivery of health products.

    Two additional grants are expected to be finalized later this month, one for malaria and the other for tuberculosis, worth EUR 45 million and EUR 7 million, respectively.

    "These new grants will allow the distribution of 4.9 million bed nets, the purchase of 4 million malaria treatments, the diagnosis of 15,000 tuberculosis patients and of 72 cases of multi-drug-resistant TB," said Tina Draser, the Global Fund's Regional Manager for Western Africa.

    The new grants incorporate firm measures taken by the Global Fund and its partners after mismanagement of funds was discovered in 2010. Instead of pulling out of Mali, with its extreme poverty and high disease burden, the Global Fund decided instead to stay and take what steps were possible to continue support for essential services.

    More than 30,000 people living with HIV in Mali are receiving antiretroviral treatment with support from the Global Fund and a further 20,000 are getting quality care.

    The Global Fund has been funding programs in Mali since December 2003, and did not stop after a coup d'état in March 2012. The Global Fund works in close coordination with national and international partners, by taking necessary precautions, and by applying intelligent grant management, which means constantly adjusting to a changing reality.

    "All our results in Mali have been achieved thanks to our excellent collaboration with multilateral and bilateral partners, such as USAID and France; United Nations agencies including UNDP, UNICEF and UNAIDS; French civil society organizations, among them Coalition Plus, Esther, Sidaction and Solthis; and our national partners," said Tina Draser.

    #

    For more information, please contact:

    ANDREW HURST
    Head of Media and Translations
    Mobile: +41795616807
    E-mail: Andrew.hurst@theglobalfund.org


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    Source: IFRC
    Country: Lesotho

    By John Sparrow in Lesotho

    Ask Red Cross volunteer Malikhang Matsoakeletse what troubles Lesotho’s foothill villages and she will take you to her clients: the hungry and lonely elderly, the struggling mothers, the orphaned children, those with HIV, and the impoverished grandparents caring for their children’s children.

    On the morning we met her, Malikhang’s rounds took us to the home of Mafilipi Nthaha, 56, who cares for her nine-year-old grandson, a bright boy who wants to be a footballer. Who knows, perhaps he will, but tonight he will probably go to bed hungry.

    Mafilipi is struggling. A food crisis is consuming great swathes of Lesotho, Malawi, Angola and Zimbabwe, and the field where she normally plants maize and sorghum has been swamped by flood and parched by drought. She has run out of seed and her land is barren. She does have a vegetable garden but survives mostly on maize meal borrowed from neighbours. Malikhang helps whenever she can.

    Tlhokomelo’s father – Mafilipi’s son – died in 2011, and his mother left when he was a toddler. Now his grandmother is left to bring him up on her own. Hers is one of several thousand households receiving assistance from the Lesotho Red Cross Society.

    Malikhang is a determined woman. She is used to the troubles of her neighbours; her response is calm and practical. She isn’t easily given to pessimism, yet she says the situation is dire. “I have never known anything as bad as this. It is by far the worst we have faced.”

    Farming, she says, is on its knees. Successive harvests have failed, and many animals have died in the cycle of drought and flood. “I’m afraid that people will be next,” she says.

    A recent Lesotho Red Cross Society programme in partnership with the German Red Cross and with financial support from the European Union helps families establish gardens that produce a year-round supply of vegetables. Seed fairs which took place through the year provided access to seeds suitable for both the location and season and training was provided to ensure that the seeds didn’t just provide one harvest, but would go on making a difference for years to come.

    Malikhang shows people how to preserve and bottle their produce, and also helps individuals and groups to build livelihoods. The kitchen of her home contains hundreds of chicks which will become a source of income for orphanages, HIV support associations and other groups.

    Malikhang keeps a close eye on the most vulnerable villagers, including those in need of medical assistance. But she also helps promote the importance of hygiene and mental well-being, both vital during times of crisis. Malikhang talks eagerly of the projects she is involved in, but reluctantly about herself, her needs, her hunger, the child in her care.

    The truth is she has the same needs as everyone else.

    Her husband is a farmer but they have no land of their own and normally live from sharecropping. They plant and harvest other people’s fields and share the yield with the owners. The crisis has put an end to that: half of almost nothing doesn’t count and last year they were unable to plant.

    Her granddaughter, now 16, was born to an HIV-positive mother and abandoned as a baby. Today Malikhang is concerned for her future: they cannot afford the fees of a high school education.

    Having nothing is one thing but having nothing to give is what hurts most. She talks about the hungry children who call at her house in search of food. But her reserves have gone.

    “I don’t have anything either. I feel so bad when I can’t help them,” she says.

    Sometimes she thinks she should leave the village, look for a job in town. She’s smart, resourceful and Red Cross-trained.

    “But how can I do that? I can’t turn my back on the people here. I can’t turn my back on the children.”

    The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the Lesotho Red Cross Society are also providing emergency food assistance to households severely affected by this crisis. Additionally, the local Red Cross societies in Malawi, Zimbabwe and Angola are helping people grappling with food insecurity in their countries in partnership with the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    03/08/2013 09:55 GMT

    Par Stéphane JOURDAIN

    MOPTI (Mali), 08 mars 2013 (AFP) - Ce sont des enfants qui ont ramassé la grenade abandonnée pour jouer avec dans la cour d'une case en terre de Mopti, au centre du Mali. Amadou, 19 ans, l'a regardée puis il l'a jetée. Et elle a explosé. Amadou a perdu les doigts de sa main gauche. Simone, un bébé de 13 mois, est morte.

    Depuis avril, sept personnes ont été tuées et 53 blessées par des munitions ou des engins explosifs abandonnés, résidus du conflit qui oppose les jihadistes aux autorités maliennes et à leurs alliés. Les enfants sont en première ligne : 5 morts et 38 blessés en quelques mois, selon l'Unicef.

    "La situation est extrêmement préoccupante", s'alarme Laurent Duvilliers, porte-parole de l'Unicef rencontré à Bamako. "Deux cent mille enfants sont exposés à des risques de blessures ou de morts dans le nord et dans le centre du Mali en raison de ces munitions de guerre" disséminées "avec lesquelles ils veulent jouer".

    Soigné à l'hôpital, Amadou est triste et déprimé. Sur son bras gauche, un bandage blanc laisse deviner un moignon. Il explique qu'il a pris la grenade pour regarder ce que c'était. "J'étais curieux, je l'ai dévissé pour la jeter et ça a explosé".

    "Je suis d'abord fâché contre moi même parce que je savais bien que ce n'était pas bon", dit-il tout doucement. "Mais j'en veux également à ceux qui ont amené cet engin dans la ville", lâche-t-il sous le néon blanc de sa chambre d'hôpital.

    Devant la case au toit de chaume de la famille d'Amadou, une bassine en fer a été trouée par l'explosion qui a secoué le quartier "bas-fonds" le 28 février. Le frère d'Amadou, trois ans, en garde des cicatrices, au cou, à la poitrine, au genou.

    "Situation extrêmement préoccupante"

    D'où vient la grenade? En plein centre du pays, à la limite de cette moitié nord qui a subi l'emprise des jihadistes, Mopti n'a pas connu de combats directs. Mais son hôpital a reçu les blessés des combats qui ont secoué Konna, 70 kilomètres plus au nord.

    "Nous savons que les jihadistes se sont introduits dans la population", dit le docteur Boubacar Diallo, directeur de l'hôpital de Mopti.

    "On a eu deux explosions en quelques jours. Ce sont les effets collatéraux de la guerre", explique le docteur en passant sa main sur la tête d'Amadou. La première explosion a blessé trois enfants à Konna. La deuxième a tué Simone et envoyé Amadou dans l'hôpital flambant neuf financé par la France et la Belgique.

    A Konna par exemple, "il y a des munitions à même le sol, des grenades, et des rapports font état d'obus qui n'ont pas explosé", dit-il. A l'entrée de la ville, "des véhicules de jihadistes remplis de munitions ont explosé. Mais tout n'a pas explosé et ça crée une sorte de champ dangereux".

    Les deux parties du pays les plus concernées sont le nord (Tombouctou, Kidal, Gao) et le centre (Konna, Diabali) où des combats directs ont eu lieu.

    Pour limiter ces effets collatéraux de la guerre, l'Unicef et ses partenaires ont lancé une campagne de sensibilisation. Des bandes dessinées sont distribuées dans les villes pour sensibiliser les enfants, des bâches informatives sont dépliées dans les écoles. Les dessins déjà utilisés en Afghanistan ont été adaptés au Mali. En quelques mois, 27.000 enfants ont pu être sensibilisés.

    sj/stb/de


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    03/08/2013 13:07 GMT

    BAMAKO, 08 mars 2013 (AFP) - Quatre civils ont tués dans la nuit de jeudi à vendredi par des islamistes présumés dans la région de Tombouctou, dans le nord-ouest du Mali, a-t-on appris de sources concordantes.

    "Quatre habitants de Tonka (à 100 km au sud de Tombouctou, ndlr) ont été tués par des hommes armés non loin de chez eux en brousse", a declaré à l'AFP Mamady Konipo, le maire de la localité. "Nous croyons que ce sont les islamistes qui ont fait ça pour voler la voiture des gens tués", a-t-il ajouté. "Quatre civils maliens ont été tués dans la nuit dans la région de Tombouctou par des islamistes", a confirmé une source sécuritaire malienne.


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    03/08/2013 14:10 GMT

    BAMAKO, March 08, 2013 (AFP) - Armed Islamists in northern Mali killed four civilians in an overnight attack not far from the city of Timbuktu, local officials said Friday.

    Mayor Mamady Konipo said four residents of Tonka, which lies south of Timbuktu, were killed by a group of men in the bush near their homes, apparently trying to steal their car.

    The deadly attack was confirmed by a Malian security source.

    sd-tmo/stb/txw/rm


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    Source: IRIN
    Country: Chad, Libya

    DAKAR, 8 March 2013 (IRIN) - In the violence immediately before and after Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was toppled in October 2011, thousands of sub-Saharan migrants were forced to flee. Since then, however, the authorities have detained in harsh conditions, and subsequently deported, hundreds more, according to former Chadian migrant workers.

    More than 2,000 Chadians and other sub-Saharan African nationals have been returned since 2012, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM). Many of the deportees had been detained for several months or years, and were taken back to Chad in open trucks, said returned migrants, recounting that they had been arrested for lack of valid papers or on suspicion of being mercenaries who supported the Gaddafi’s regime.

    “Irregular repatriation has lately become more intense. Since last year, Chadian authorities have observed an influx into the north of Chad of migrants previously detained in Libya. This is causing a serious humanitarian challenge,” said Qasim Sufi, IOM’s chief of mission in Chad.

    Sufi told IRIN: “Returnees are faced with a multitude of challenges ranging from dealing with the trauma of having been detained for long periods (some up to 27 months), to having experienced or witnessed violence.”

    “As per the returned migrants, Libyan authorities organize trucks that depart from Libya into Chad where they deposit the returnees. It seems that trucks are often ill-equipped for transporting people and are not provided with food, water or first aid kits for the often 10-day or longer journey.”

    Some 300,000 Chadians lived and worked in Libya before the February 2011 revolt, according to the Chadian government. They mostly provided low-skilled labour in Tripoli, Benghazi or Sabha where most had lived for 1-5 years.

    Since January 2012 alone, Libya has deported 566 Chadians (freed from detention centres). “The returnees arrive in deplorable condition; many are severely dehydrated, suffer from infections and wounds as well as stomach problems,” said Sufi.

    Upon deportation recently, 26-year-old Mahamat Zene Issa, who had lived in Libya for five years, recounted mistreatment in the detention centre where he and other migrant workers had been held for long periods without a formal charge.

    “One day I was on my way to visit my cousin just 5km from my apartment. Then an army vehicle picked me up and [the soldiers] beat me so badly until I lost consciousness,” Issa, who is from Chad’s Lake Region, told IOM.

    “When I woke up I found myself in a detention centre and I didn’t know why and there was no one to ask why I was there. I stayed in the detention centre for 27 months under harsh conditions, but thanks to Allah I am still alive because many others did not make it. I saw others get killed or they died of illness… They treated us like dogs.”

    Racism against blacks has a long history in Libya, but has been a particular problem for sub-Saharan migrants - nationals from countries like Chad, Niger, Sudan, Senegal, Mali and Nigeria - since the Libyan uprising. Rebels who fought for Gaddafi’s ouster accused him of using black African mercenaries to help quell the revolt.

    Long before his fall, Gaddafi had been accused of using Chadian soldiers, Tuareg warriors from northwest Africa, and other non-Libyan combatants, in the Libyan military, notably the Khamis Brigade, led by one of his sons.

    The migrants deported from Libya to Chad by road often come to Faya, the largest city in northern Chad, where they are received at a transit centre by IOM, the Chadian Red Cross and local authorities.

    Since July 2012, three waves of Chadian migrants have been deported from Libya, according to the IOM. Earlier, bloody revolution clashes had seen more than 150,000 migrant workers flee the country.

    “Beaten every day and night like animals”

    Twenty-five year-old Moussa Adam Béchir said he was arrested and beaten in detention where he was held for 14 months before being released suddenly without any explanation.

    “We were all tortured in the detention centre. We weren’t treated like humans, but beaten every day and night like animals for no reason other than that we are Chadians and were accused of being mercenaries,” Béchir said in an interview with IOM.

    “One day we were taken to a hospital where nurses drew our blood. We didn’t know why they did this,” he added, explaining that more than 2,000 people, including Malians and Nigeriens were held in the same detention centre he was in.

    “I don’t know why we were freed. One night we were told that the following day we were going to return home. That day they put us in trucks to ferry us back home.”

    Returned migrants have difficulty resettling, as many are without ID papers, money or even clothes, and have to turn to their families that they had previously been assisting through remittances for support, Sufi explained. Some families back home had not heard from their kin for long periods and presumed they had died.

    “Although I really don’t know what will happen to me now, I’m happy to be back home as no one will ask me for documents or beat me and jail me for nothing,” Issa said.

    ob/cb


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



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    Source: ICRC
    Country: Mali

    08-03-2013 Communiqué de presse 41/13

    Genève / Niamey (CICR) – Plus de 24 000 personnes dans les localités de Gao et de Gounzoureye (nord-est du Mali) reçoivent depuis jeudi 7 mars une aide alimentaire fournie par la Croix-Rouge malienne et le Comité international de la Croix-Rouge (CICR).

    Cette assistance, constituée de 432 tonnes de riz, mil, semoule, huile et sel iodé, permettra à ces personnes rendues vulnérables par les effets conjugués d'une situation socio-économique difficile et du conflit qui sévit dans cette région du pays, de couvrir leurs besoins alimentaires pendant deux mois.

    « La diminution des échanges commerciaux avec le nord du Mali a entraîné une hausse des prix, notamment des denrées de première nécessité. Le pouvoir d'achat de la population étant faible, celle-ci ne peut subvenir à ses besoins essentiels sans un soutien extérieur », explique Ibrahima Bah, délégué du CICR à Gao.

    Afin de répondre aux besoins des personnes touchées par le conflit dans le nord du pays, le CICR et la Croix-Rouge malienne poursuivront ces prochaines semaines leurs activités d’assistance en faveur de plus de 260 000 personnes vulnérables dans les régions de Mopti, Tombouctou et Gao.

    Depuis le début du conflit en janvier 2012, le CICR et la Croix-Rouge malienne ont fourni vivres et biens de première nécessité à près de 800 000 personnes dans les régions de Mopti, Kidal, Gao et Tombouctou.

    Informations complémentaires :
    Valery Mbaoh Nana, CICR Niamey, tél. : +227 97 45 43 82 ou Bamako, tél. : +223 76 99 63 75
    Wolde-Gabriel Saugeron, CICR Genève, tél. : +41 22 730 31 49 ou +41 79 244 64 05


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    Source: World Food Programme, Government of Senegal
    Country: Senegal
    preview


    This bulletin aims to deepen and complement the existing information on market prices of cereals and pulses in Senegal with other trade indicators in order to inform on the current and future trends availability and accessibility to food by the most vulnerable households.

    In a context of global price volatility and climate change affecting the harvest in the Sahel, the monitoring of food and labour market behaviour, as well as cross-border trade, has great relevance for food security in Senegal and the neighbouring countries.


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    Source: Islamic Relief
    Country: Kenya, Somalia

    This month Islamic Relief completed the construction of five schools in IFO 2 refugee camp in Dadaab, northeast Kenya.

    The camps hosts Somali refugees fleeing instability and violence across the border.

    We constructed five schools, benefitting 1,000 children in the camp. Each school has five toilets and has access for people with disabilities- including an easy-access toilet in each school.

    We are currently covering the day-to-day costs of the schools, which each have a playground, five water points for cleanliness and ablution, as well as chairs and desks for each student.

    During the construction of the schools, we provided training for imams and sheikhs in the local community on the integration of Islamic and academic education.

    In this community, most people cannot afford to send their children to school, but highly value informal religious education. By educating religious teachers on academic subjects and the rights of children to education, we were able to join the two streams of teaching into a combined and rounded curriculum that is relevant to the local community.

    Following the success of this project, we are now running primary education in 22 schools across the two camps, IFO 1 and IFO 2. We are also managing education for people with special needs across three camps- IFO1, IFO2 and Dagahaley.

    In addition to managing education, Islamic Relief will also be managing the health, sanitation and shelter sectors for all of IFO 1, which hosts 500,000 Somali refugees.

    Islamic Relief has been working with Somali refugees in Kenya since 2006.


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

    (Dakar, 8 March 2013). – Robert Piper, the new Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Sahel, took up his assignment this week in Dakar. Mr. Piper is taking over from David Gressly.

    Robert Piper, an Australian national, brings 24 years of experience with the UN to his new role, including two Resident Coordinator/Humanitarian Coordinator assignments in Kosovo and Nepal, two years as Chief of Staff to President Clinton when he lead the international Tsunami recovery effort, a period as Senior Advisor on UN reform at UNDP Headquarters, a stint as Deputy of what is now UNDP's Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery and various long-term field assignments in Thailand, Cambodia and Fiji. His experience spans peace-building, risk reduction, development and humanitarian coordination, all of which are especially relevant for the complex challenges in front of us in the Sahel.

    Despite a good 2012 harvest, the Sahel region continues to be in crisis with over 10 million people living in food insecurity. Food prices remain high in many regions, preventing access to the market for the poorest households. Recent events in Mali have further exacerbated the fragility of the region.

    For 2013, a total of US$ 1.6 billion are needed to support millions of vulnerable people across the Sahel meet their immediate life-saving needs, kick-starting resilience programming and address the impact of the Mali crisis.


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    Source: World Food Programme
    Country: Afghanistan, Cameroon, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Guinea, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Mali, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Yemen

    Yokohama – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) welcomed this week the announcement of a US$140.7 million contribution from the Government of Japan. The generous donation will provide vital food and nutritional assistance to millions of people, including refugees, internally-displaced persons, malnourished children, pregnant and breastfeeding women in 16 countries in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. The funds will also support special logistics operations in three countries.

    “WFP is extremely grateful for this substantial and timely support, which will make a major difference in enabling us to meet urgent needs in many of the world’s hunger hotspots,” said Stephen Anderson, Director of WFP Japan Relations Office. “The Government and people of Japan have always been at the forefront in responding to humanitarian emergencies worldwide. This latest announcement is further evidence of Japan’s generosity and strong leadership in global food and nutrition security.”

    A large portion of the donation will support refugees and conflict-affected people in countries such as Yemen, Afghanistan and Jordan where it will help to promote peace and stability. In Jordan, the funds will be used to purchase commodities such as bread, pulses, and oil for Syrian refugees, most of whom are women and children. WFP recently expanded its humanitarian operations to respond to an influx of Syrian refugees into neighbouring countries.

    In Africa, Japan’s generosity will benefit people who have been severely affected by conflict and weather-related shocks such as drought and floods in 13 countries, mostly in the Sahel and the Horn of Africa. Japan attaches great importance to assistance for Africa, as shown by its hosting of the Fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V) scheduled for June 2013.
    WFP’s logistics operations will also benefit from Japan’s support including in Afghanistan, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo, where the agency is also responsible for the United Nations Humanitarian Air Services (UNHAS) which provides critical air transport and cargo services for the humanitarian community.

    The breakdown of the contribution is as follows: Yemen (US$25 million), Afghanistan (US$21 million), Niger (US$15 million), Ethiopia (US$15 million), Kenya (US$15 million), Mali (US$10 million), Senegal (US$8.5 million), Uganda (US$8 million), Sudan (US$5 million), Tanzania (US$4 million), Guinea (US$4 million), Jordan (US$3 million), Cameroon (US$2.2 million), the Democratic Republic of Congo (US$2 million), Rwanda (US$1.7 million), and the Republic of Congo (US$1.3 million).


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    Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
    Country: Mali
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    Security conditions continue to affect trade

    KEY MESSAGES

    • Limited trade volumes between the north and regular supply markets in the south, and to/from neighboring countries, is preventing a proper flow of food supplies to local populations. Shortages of imported foods from Algeria continue to be observed on markets in affected zones. The slump in livestock sales has put pastoral populations in food security Stress (IPC Phase 2).

    • Millet prices in the north jumped by 20 to 40 percent from mid-January and early February. Institutional procurements by neighboring countries for the rebuilding of national food security reserves and intervention stocks continue on major supply markets in the southern part of the country. This added demand could put pressure on cereal prices.

    • The re-opening of access routes into northern areas of the country is helping to slowly revive business and trade. However, continued insecurity in these areas could pose food access constraints among local populations at risk of food insecurity and propel pastoral populations into IPC Phase 3 (crisis) by the beginning of April.


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    Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
    Country: Mali, Niger
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    Minimal levels of general food insecurity despite delays in social programs

    KEY MESSAGES

     The government’s social assistance program is designed to meet the food needs of 865,000 recipients, compared with an average food-insecure population of four million for this time of year. The program was originally scheduled to run from January through May. Though the delivery of aid could be delayed by two months, this should not significantly affect the food security situation thanks to good food access and certain ongoing operations by the humanitarian community.

     Market supplies of locally grown crops are normal and account for most available supplies of millet. However, prices are still above seasonal averages with high institutional demand and increasing household consumption, with the normal depletion of household cereal reserves and this year’s smaller than usual flow of labor migration.

     Aside from elevated prices, no major anomalies have been observed to-date on border markets despite potential pressure from the growing numbers of refugees in the western part of the country. Likewise, early reports of crop failures in Nigeria have not yet triggered unusual trends on key cross-border markets.


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    Source: Norwegian Refugee Council
    Country: Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali, Norway, Somalia, Syrian Arab Republic

    The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the The Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) have signed a historic three years partnership agreement with NRC, worth 993 million NOK. It supports NRC’s work for people displaced by war and conflict and will directly benefit approximately 800,000 people in 2013 alone.

    It is the first time NRC has signed a global partnership agreement with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Norad. The three years agreement will replace a dozen separate contracts.

    • This agreement is a milestone for NRC and is very important in terms of providing predictability and flexibility for NRC’s work. The agreement enables NRC to assist more than 800,000 displaced people this first year. The funds will be used to provide children schooling and building shelters for displaced families, says Toril Brekke, Acting Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council.

    The agreement covers humanitarian assistance in 19 countries, including Somalia, Mali, DR Congo and Afghanistan, as well as Syria's neighboring countries.

    • NRC has scaled up our response to the crisis in Syria significantly over the last months, assisting a rapidly growing number of Syrian refugees in the region. To achieve this, we need donors who responds quickly and substantially, like the Norwegian Foreign Ministry, says Brekke.

    She gives the Norwegian government credit for being a good humanitarian donor:

    • There are international principles for good humanitarian donorship . Norway is in the forefront when it comes to follow these principles, says Brekke.

    NRC has grown during recent years to become Norway’s largest humanitarian organization with an annual turnover of 1.4 billion Norwegian kroner. In addition to Norway, other major contributors include the UN, EU, Sweden and the UK.

    • Holistic partnership agreements with donors, spanning several years and having built in flexibility is important in order for us to work effectively with lasting impact. Norway is still our main supporter, but more than half of NRC's funding comes from international donors, says Brekke.

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    Source: ICRC
    Country: Mali

    Geneva / Niamey (ICRC) – Over 24,000 people in Gao and Gounzoureye (in north-eastern Mali) have since 7 March been receiving food aid from the Mali Red Cross and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

    For people hit doubly hard by the combined effects of socio-economic hardship and the conflict affecting this part of the country, the 432 tonnes of rice, millet, semolina, oil and iodine-enriched salt distributed will cover their food needs for two months.

    "Prices have risen because of the decline in trade with northern Mali," said Ibrahima Bah, an ICRC delegate in Gao. “With food staples particularly affected, people can’t afford to cover their basic needs without outside support.”

    The ICRC and the Mali Red Cross will continue their relief work over the coming weeks to assist over 260,000 people affected by the fighting in the northern regions of Mopti, Timbuktu and Gao.

    Since the conflict broke out in January 2012, the ICRC and the Mali Red Cross have delivered food and other essentials to some 800,000 people in the regions of Mopti, Kidal, Gao and Timbuktu.

    For further information, please contact:
    Valery Mbaoh Nana, ICRC Niamey, tel. +227 97 45 43 82 or ICRC Bamako, tel: +223 76 99 63 75
    Wolde-Gabriel Saugeron, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 31 49 or +41 79 244 64 05


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    Source: Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict
    Country: Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali, Somalia, Uganda, South Sudan (Republic of)

    This month’s update highlights children and armed conflict concerns and provides recommendations for the protection of children in the situations of Afghanistan, the Central African Region, Mali, Somalia and South Sudan. It includes recommendations in particular for enhancing the protection of children in the renewals of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

    Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict is a network of local, national and international non-governmental organizations striving to end violations against children in armed conflicts and to guarantee their rights. Monthly updates are based on the experience of Watchlist and its member organizations in specific country situations and Watchlist’s expertise in over a decade of engagement with the Security Council’s children and armed conflict agenda.


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