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ReliefWeb - Updates

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    Source: MSF
    Country: Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger

    Despite some appearances of relative calm in Mali in recent weeks, the emergency is not yet over for the vast majority of the population in the country’s northern reaches. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has been supporting medical facilities in two of three regions in northern Mali since April 2012 to ensure access to free medical care for the vulnerable, but ongoing insecurity is still limiting the teams’ ability to carry out activities in rural areas. Meanwhile, hundreds of refugees continue to cross the border into Mauritania every day.

    While fighting has moved south towards the Kidal region, people in some rural areas in the north remain afraid to leave their houses, and the general atmosphere makes it difficult to get a clear picture of the health needs. “Due to the insecurity,” says Rosa Crestani, MSF emergency program coordinator, "we cannot assess the needs of those living outside the urban areas in which we are working.”

    "We fear that some patients remain trapped at home," she continues. “It is difficult for these people to access food, and the risk of malnutrition is significant. The people must not be the target of violence and must be able to safely access the vital medical and humanitarian aid they need.”

    For nearly a year, fear of violence in northern Mali forced thousands to flee to the country’s center or across the borders. Many Malian medical professionals fled along with them. "The conflict has weakened and disrupted health facilities that were already fragile and affected by drugs shortages," explains Crestani.

    MSF and Malian volunteers have been running activities in the regional hospital of Timbuktu in northern Mali since April 2012. Teams have performed more than 50,000 consultations, assisted with 400 births, and treated 50 wounded patients in the hospital or in health centers supported by MSF in this region. Ambulances are also transporting referral patients to Timbuktu from the Niafounké and Gourma Rharous district hospitals, along the Niger River.

    In the Mopti region in central Mali, MSF supports a community health center in Konna and a community and reference health center in Douentza. Since November 2012, MSF has treated nearly 8,000 people. Since February, MSF has treated five wounded individuals injured by unexploded munitions in Konna. In Gao and Ansongo in eastern Mali, teams have treated nearly 1,500 patients since September 2013.

    “The objective of MSF's activities is to ensure access to free medical care for those who really need it,” says Crestani. "We primarily treat malaria, respiratory infections, and obstetrical and gynecological cases. Being a doctor in times of conflict does not just involve treating the wounded, but also ensuring that a mother can give birth in safe and sanitary conditions,” she says.

    Nearly 170,000 refugees have reached refugee camps in Burkina Faso, Mauritania, and Niger, where MSF teams are providing primary and secondary medical care. Since the start of the year, MSF has carried out nearly 12,000 medical consultations and 5,000 vaccinations for refugees in these three countries. Mauritania has the most Malian refugees at present, with the camp in Mbera accommodating nearly 70,000 people. In late January and early February, the border point in Fassala, Mauritania, registered an average of 300 arrivals a day—most of them women and children from Timbuktu, Lere, Goundam, Larnab, and Niafounké.

    MSF has been working in Mali since 1992 and is currently working in Timbuktu, Niafounké, Gourma Rharous, Gao, Ansongo, Douentza, and Konna. Since 2009, MSF has also been running a pediatric program in a 350-bed hospital and in five health zones in the district of Koutiala, in the south of the country.

    All work related to the conflict in the north is funded exclusively by private donations.

    MSF teams are working with Malian refugees in Mauritania, Niger, and Burkina Faso.

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    Source: Institute for Security Studies
    Country: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali, Somalia

    In November 2012, M23 rebels overran the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) army’s defences and captured the eastern city of Goma, raising the spectre of a new, large-scale conflict with far-reaching regional implications. The United Nations Stabilisation Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) stood helplessly by.

    In spite of the explanations provided by United Nations (UN) officials, who emphasised that MONUSCO’s mandate is to protect civilians and not take part in fighting between warring parties, this situation generated an outcry both within and outside the country. Many failed to understand why the largest UN peacekeeping operation in the world, deployed under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, was not making use of its capabilities to stop the advancing rebels.

    Some 2 500 km away, contingents belonging to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) were pursuing their offensive against Al-Shabaab, focusing on stabilising Kismayo and opening the Afgoye-Baidoa road. AMISOM’s change of fortune began in August 2011, when the African Union (AU) peace support operation unexpectedly pushed Al-Shabaab out of Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu.

    To make sense of these radically different approaches to the use of force in peace operations, it is worth considering how the two organisations’ experiences have shaped their interventions. These different approaches should not be seen as an obstacle to cooperation but rather as a call to build greater complementarity in addressing Africa’s complex peace and security challenges. This is particularly important in the context of ongoing discussions on how best to consolidate the gains made in northern Mali following the French-led Operation Serval. The question is whether the current security challenges can be addressed through a UN peacekeeping mission or whether the nature of the threat should compel ECOWAS, the AU and the UN to craft a response to the security concerns on the ground. A review of the trajectories of UN and regional arrangements regarding peace operations provides some insight into the international community’s quest to secure what has become a sanctuary for transnational criminal activities, religious radicalism and terrorism.

    The first UN operations were deployed between armies of conflicting states to oversee the implementation of ceasefire agreements and undertake related tasks. Three guiding principles frame UN interventions: consent of the parties; impartiality; and the non-use of force, except in self-defence and in defence of the mandate. For as long as the UN stood between warring state parties, these principles were relevant. However, with the increasing number of intra-state conflicts involving a variety of actors that deliberately target civilians, such principles are no longer in tune with the reality of many crises.

    Steps have been taken at the UN to adjust to the evolving nature of conflict (e.g. the 2000 Brahimi Report and 2008 Capstone Doctrine). However, and as exemplified by the recent developments in the eastern DRC, much remains to be done, and the existence of a ‘peace to keep’ is still an important condition for UN deployment. Many factors are at play. For one, it is difficult to break with a tradition half a century old. Issues of political will, respect for state sovereignty, suspicions about hidden agendas, definition and interpretation of mandates, as well as the capabilities of troop-contributing countries, are equally important factors.

    On the other hand, the AU’s doctrine regarding peace operations was heavily influenced by the inability of the AU and the larger international community to stop the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. The 2002 AU Constitutive Act contains provisions on the right of the AU to forcefully intervene in a member state in cases of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, or at the request of a government. The operations undertaken in Burundi (2002–2003) and in the Darfur region of Sudan (2004–2007), the ongoing mission in Somalia, and the Regional Cooperation Initiative for the Elimination of the Lord’s Resistance Army (RCI-LRA), launched in early 2012, are illustrative of a different approach to peace operations.

    Significantly, the AU’s operations are called peace support operations and not peacekeeping operations. The AU does not feel constrained by the UN’s guiding principles; neither does it wait for peace to prevail or for a political process to be underway to intervene. Instead, as indicated by AU Commissioner for Peace and Security Ramtane Lamamra in June 2010, in situations where there is no peace to keep the AU considers it its duty to intervene to create conditions that will facilitate the emergence of peace. The AU has also proved to be less risk averse and more willing to sustain heavy casualties. AMISOM’s casualty rate, which runs into several hundreds, would be unacceptable by UN standards.

    Paradoxically, these diverging trajectories should not be seen as an obstacle to cooperation or a cause of concern. In fact, they create opportunities for complementarity between the two organisations. This implies a division of labour, where the AU carries the burden of peace enforcement before transitioning to the UN, which undertakes the long-term stabilisation and post-conflict reconstruction process. Such transitions happened in Burundi, when the UN took over the AU Mission in Burundi (AMIB) through the creation of the UN Operation in Burundi (ONUB), and in Darfur following the establishment of the UN-AU Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID), an experiment based on the ‘rehatting’ of the AU Mission in Sudan (AMIS). The AU also hopes that, at some point, AMISOM will evolve into a UN operation.

    As the international community debates the best way to consolidate the military gains in northern Mali, it is worth considering the doctrinal differences between the UN, on the one hand, and the AU and its regional mechanisms for conflict prevention, management and resolution, on the other. The security situation is likely to remain volatile for some time. Given this, it may be advisable, for the time being, to focus on helping a properly manned and well-resourced African-led International Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA) take up the challenge of securing the north, in conjunction with the Malian and French forces and with the cooperation of neighbouring countries. This would require the mobilisation of significant financial and logistical support, notably from the UN, through either an AMISOM-type support package or another innovative arrangement. Only when conditions are deemed appropriate would a UN peacekeeping operation take over.

    Other alternatives would be for the UN to deploy a robust operation whose mandate breaks with its practice to date, or devise another creative arrangement to confront the challenges. Set-ups such as the UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire and the French Operation Licorne, the beyond-the-horizon model developed by the United Kingdom in Sierra Leone in 2000 or the contemplated regional intervention brigade within MONUSCO in the DRC, come to mind.

    Regardless of the options, the Malian crisis is putting the regional, continental and UN peace and security arrangements through a tough test. The situation highlights once more the need for flexibility and creativity, as well as a closer partnership between the UN and regional organisations to successfully address the changing nature of threats to peace and security in Africa.

    While attention is focused on the type of peace operation to put in place in Mali, the international community should not lose sight of the fact that a peace operation alone will not suffice to bring about a lasting solution to the profound security and governance crisis that has led Mali to its current predicament.

    Lori-Anne Théroux-Bénoni, Senior Researcher, Conflict Prevention and Risk Analysis Division, ISS Dakar

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    Source: IRIN
    Country: Mali

    DAKAR, 12 March 2013 (IRIN) - As humanitarian agencies grapple with a deepening displacement and food security crisis in Mali, analysts point to the need for deep-seated reforms in the government and army if longer-term stability and development is to be attained.

    Since the beginning of the conflict in early 2012, an estimated 431,000 (260,665 IDPs and 170,313 refugees) have been displaced and 4.3 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

    The conflict has exacerbated food insecurity in northern Mali and placed huge strain on host communities' scarce resources in central and southern regions. Ethnic tensions remain high and there are disturbing reports of retaliatory violence and killings, it says.

    According to a recent UN assessment of priority needs, "the dynamics of Mali's crisis have changed dramatically in the security, political and humanitarian fronts [since January 2013.] To a certain extent, the context has become more complex and less readable and predictable than before. Uncertainties remain on the political front and one cannot exclude the emergence of new tensions."

    The humanitarian situation is intertwined with a political crisis the root causes of which, according to Gilles Yabi, the International Crisis Group (ICG) think tank director for West Africa, "Malian elites do not seem ready to confront collectively. They should be able to agree on a minimum [criteria to restore governance] and right now the conditions for such a debate are not met."

    Many Malians complain about a lack of development, despite considerable Western aid. Widespread perceptions of high-level corruption contributed to the enthusiasm with which Capt Amadou Sanogo was welcomed immediately after his 22 March 2012 coup.

    "The real question is: Are Malians going to rebuild their governance system or will they narrow their aim to reviving the old system? To be honest, we don't really feel that there is a spirit for change," said a European diplomat who preferred anonymity.

    "The truth is that interim president Dioncounda Traoré does not hold all the power. Capt Sanogo and his men are still the law in Bamako. There are still two captains in the Mali ship," said a US diplomat also on condition of anonymity.

    Meanwhile, some believe a peaceful transition is possible, at least in the short term: "There are still serious political and security challenges, but the transition period should hold until the election, if not in July, at least within a reasonable time frame," said Yabi.

    However, Sanogo and other loyal hardliners may be loath to completely and permanently relinquish politics, argued a French diplomat who spoke to IRIN on condition of anonymity. "There is the risk posed by the radicals in Sanogo's entourage, though he seems to be controlling them. Then there is the risk that he will try to stay forever in the political arena - for example by endorsing a presidential candidate."


    Mali's current government is unelected and was established following pressure by regional organizations and Western governments after the coup. Its authority is limited and its backers are keen on a government with broader and stronger legitimacy. Under a roadmap to end the transition, the interim authorities plan to hold elections in July.

    However, there are doubts whether an electoral list can be drawn up, voting cards issued and campaigns conducted in time to render the poll date viable and the polls credible. Popular participation in the elections is also doubtful, say some observers, especially in the north which was occupied for nine months by Islamist militants.

    "It's already March and there is no campaign. We still don't know who will be running. Many of the voter lists were destroyed in northern Mali but also in parts of the south. The question of how northerners will participate has not been answered either," said Peter Tinti, a Mali-based freelance journalist.

    "On top of that, elections are expensive. It is going to take the commitment of the international community to give the necessary funds to conduct a free and fair election in a country where there are several crises - so the timeframe depends largely on what resources the international community is willing to commit to carry out an election and the extent to which Malians themselves make it a priority."

    Tinti said Malians are apathetic about elections despite complaining of difficulties. The people believe that new leaders will not be different from previous ones whom they blame for failing them, he said.

    "Elections should be held as soon as possible, but not under any conditions," said Yabi. "For these elections to be meaningful there is a need to convince the population that they will be part of a process to get out of the current crisis. In a country where turnout has always been quite low compared to others in the region, conditions must be made so that people would want to go to vote."

    But even with a greater turnout, elections may not bring a much needed renewal of the political elite. "Competition will be most likely between a few figures of the Malian political scene who have been around for the past 20 years, so there is not much change to hope for," said Alexis Roy, a researcher who wrote a PhD thesis on Malian society.


    The interim government recently announced that a Reconciliation and Dialogue Commission (CDR) will be set up soon to initiate dialogue among Malians, identify political and social groups to be taken on board, and tackle cases of rights violations across the country.

    "The problem with such a commission or conferences is that they can be used to say anything. Will it be used in a constructive manner or just to say they have done it - it is not clear yet," said a European diplomat who preferred anonymity.

    "Another issue with these types of bodies is that it is never clear if people who have been appointed to represent certain groups really represent them," said Tinti.

    Restoring some degree of national unity is a key goal of reconciliation, but there are obstacles: The Tuaregs want more autonomy, and nationalist sentiment in the south may hinder reconciliation given that many southerners see northerners as foreigners.

    "Public opinion in Bamako is not ready for dialogue. When you say dialogue with the North, they hear impunity and reward for criminals who have taken up arms," said Roy.

    Military reforms

    The Malian army was routed by a Tuareg onslaught in early 2012. Subsequently Islamist and Al Qaeda-linked groups usurped the Tuaregs and occupied swathes of territory in the north.

    "The whole of the security sector requires a deep-rooted reform that will take years to complete. It has to start now because it is very important to find a way out of the current crisis," said Yabi.

    A European Union training mission has begun work with the Malian army which, it is hoped, will eventually be able to execute its role effectively. The UN-backed African-led international support mission to Mali is also being set up to support the political and security process.

    "In the short term, the foreign armies' presence is a stabilizing factor. The French military, the [African troops] and the European training mission for the Malian army are protecting the civilian authority from undue intrusion of an army still largely under putschist's control," said ICG's Yabi.

    "In the medium and long term, there is need for much more than a training mission with limited aims to actually reform this army. The problems date back years, so to totally rebuild this army will need a much more ambitious programme than what is being implemented now," he added.



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    Source: UN News Service
    Country: Mali

    12 March 2013 – The recent military intervention in northern Mali has been followed by a serious escalation of retaliatory violence by Government soldiers who appeared to be targeting members of various ethnic groups perceived to be supportive of the armed groups, a senior United Nations official warned today.

    Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Kyung-wha Kang told the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva that members of the Peuhl, Tuareg and Arab ethnic groups were being targeted.

    “The situation has been exacerbated by the propagation of inflammatory messages, including through the media, stigmatizing members of these communities, thousands of whom have reportedly fled out of fear of reprisal by the Malian army,” she stated.

    “Those who remain in the country are afraid of being targeted not for what they have done, but for who they are,” Ms. Kang added, as she presented the High Commissioner’s report on the situation of human rights in Mali.

    The report is based on the findings of two missions deployed by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to the region late last year, and covers the period from 17 January to 20 November 2012.

    It highlights the human rights violations committed primarily by the various armed groups that controlled the three main regions of northern Mali – Kidal, Gao and Timbuktu – but also raises some issues of concern in the south.

    Northern Mali was occupied by radical Islamists after fighting broke out in January 2012 between Government forces and Tuareg rebels. The conflict uprooted hundreds of thousands of people and prompted the Malian Government to request assistance from France to stop the military advance of extremist groups.

    According to the report, reprisal attacks and inter-ethnic conflicts appear to have materialized since January, when the French intervention took place. While the violations by the extremist groups have largely been stopped, there have been widely reported allegations of serious human rights violations taking place in the recovered territories.

    Among the human rights issues that require the most urgent attention are the displacement of populations from northern Mali; the increase in incidences of ethnically motivated human rights violations, including violence; and the continuing insufficiency of the Government’s response to human rights violations, including to the challenges in the administration of justice.

    Ms. Kang acknowledged the public commitments made by the Government of Mali to fulfil its obligations under international human rights law and to fight impunity, as well as statements by senior government and military officials condemning human rights violations and retaliatory violence.

    “These commitments are, however, not yet sufficiently translated into concrete actions to ensure that prompt and independent investigations are carried out in order to identify and prosecute perpetrators and provide effective remedies to victims,” she stated.

    “We call on the Malian authorities to protect the communities at risk and to ensure that their troops act in accordance with human rights law and international humanitarian law. The civilian population should be protected and the suspected rebels who have been arrested should be treated humanely and their due process rights respected,” Ms. Kang added.

    “Allegations of involvement of the elements of the Malian army in acts of reprisals against civilians should be investigated and those responsible should be brought to justice.”

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    Source: British Broadcasting Corporation
    Country: Mali

    Unicef is launching a campaign in Mali to raise awareness among children of the dangers posed by explosives that have been left behind by rebels and soldiers.

    Watch the video on the BBC.

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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    03/12/2013 20:05 GMT

    GAO (Mali), 12 mars 2013 (AFP) - Le grand marché de Gao, la principale ville du nord du Mali, a réouvert mardi après deux semaines de fermeture due à un incendie provoqué par un raid de jihadistes, a constaté l'AFP.

    Viandes, poissons, légumes étaient à nouveau vendus par près de 200 vendeurs au marché situé au bord du fleuve Niger, dans une halle encore noircie par les flammes où les clients se sont pressés dans la journée.

    La réouverture du marché était très attendue dans la plus grande ville du nord du Mali, où le manque d'approvisionnement a fait monter les prix des denrées de première nécessité. Elle intervient après celles des écoles et de l'axe routier Bamako-Mopti-Gao ces dernières semaines.

    "C'est le signe que la vie reprend. C'est le Gao qu'on a l'habitude de voir avec les bouchers qui amènent la viande, les vendeurs de nattes et tous les gens qui affluent vers le marché", s'est réjoui l'élu Boubacar Al Bachari Touré lors du conseil municipal qui s'est tenu mardi.

    Le marché, en partie détruit, va être réaménagé avec l'aide de l'armée française, ont annoncé les élus lors du conseil. "Le détachement de coopération des actions civilo-militaires est en train de monter un projet pour aider les commerçants à réaménager le marché du centre-ville de Gao", a confirmé à l'AFP un porte-parole de l'armée française à Gao.

    Le marché avait été fermé le 21 février après un incendie provoqué par une attaque de jihadistes qui s'étaient infiltrés dans Gao après avoir été chassés fin janvier de la ville par les frappes de l'armée française, en appui à l'armée malienne.


    © 1994-2013 Agence France-Presse

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    Source: UN News Service
    Country: Mali

    12 mars 2013 – La récente intervention militaire lancée dans le nord du Mali a été suivie d'une escalade sérieuse des représailles de la part des troupes gouvernementales, qui semblent prendre pour cible des membres de divers groupes ethniques perçus comme des partisans des groupes armés, a indiqué mardi un responsable des Nations Unies.

    La Haut Commissaire adjointe des Nations Unies aux droits de l'homme, Kyung-Wha Kang, a confirmé mardi devant le Conseil des droits de l'homme que les Peules, les Touaregs et les Arabes était particulièrement visés : « La situation a été exacerbée par la propagation d'une rhétorique incendiaire, notamment dans les médias, qui stigmatise les membres de ces communautés, dont des milliers auraient pris la fuite de crainte de représailles de la part de l'armée malienne. »

    « Ceux qui restent dans le pays redoutent d'être pris pour cible non pas pour ce qu'ils auraient fait, mais pour ce qu'ils sont », a expliqué Mme Kang, tandis qu'elle présentait le dernier rapport en date de la Haut Commissaire sur la situation des droits de l'homme au Mali.

    Ce document s'appuie sur des témoignages recueillis en novembre 2012 dans ce pays, ainsi qu'au Burkina Faso, en Mauritanie et au Niger. La période couverte s'étend de janvier à novembre 2012, pendant laquelle plusieurs groupes armés – Al-Qaïda au Maghreb islamique (AQMI), Ansar Dine et le Mouvement pour l'unicité et le jihad en Afrique de l'Ouest (MUJAO) notamment – ont imposé une stricte application de la loi islamique.

    Cette situation a entraîné de graves violations des droits de l'homme, des exécutions sommaires, des viols punitifs « pour piété insuffisante » et des tortures, ainsi que des amputations au nom d'une interprétation particulière de la charia. Le rapport signale aussi des allégations d'exécutions extrajudiciaires, par le Mouvement national de libération de l'Azawad (MNLA) notamment.

    Mais le rapport, a insisté Mme Kang, attire aussi l'attention sur les violations des droits de l'homme dans les régions sous contrôle gouvernemental, notamment en ce qui concerne l'exercice de la justice, la liberté d'expression et le droit à l'information.

    Aussi a-t-elle appelé les autorités à protéger les communautés à risques, avant de précisé que le Haut Commissariat aux droits de l'homme avait, de son côté, commencé de renforcer son équipe chargée de surveiller la situation sur le terrain.

    Le Haut Commissariat des Nations Unies pour les réfugiés (HCR) estime à plus de 200.000 le nombre de personnes déplacées et à 45.000 celui des réfugiés dans les pays voisins.

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    Source: Food and Agriculture Organization
    Country: Angola, Ethiopia, Malawi, Niger, World

    Une enquête annuelle pour mieux évaluer la faim dans le monde

    13 mars 2013, Rome - Une nouvelle méthode, plus rapide et plus précise, pour mesurer la faim et l'insécurité alimentaire dans le monde va bientôt être testée sur le terrain par la FAO dans plusieurs pays pilotes.

    Cette nouvelle approche consiste à recueillir des informations sur l'ampleur et la gravité de la faim ressentie par les personnes exposées à l'insécurité alimentaire au moyen d'une enquête annuelle élaborée avec soin, menée en collaboration avec l'institut de sondages Gallup.

    Dès ce mois-ci, la FAO s'emploiera à mettre la touche finale à cette méthode - le projet Voices of the Hungry - avec l'aide des principaux experts sur le terrain. L'Organisation la testera ensuite dans quatre pays pilotes: l'Angola, l'Éthiopie, le Malawi et le Niger. Ces pays se sont attelés à éliminer totalement la faim, conformément au défi Faim zéro lancé par le Secrétaire général de l'ONU, M. Ban Ki-moon.

    Il est prévu d'élargir par la suite l'enquête à 160 000 personnes interrogées dans plus de 150 pays dans le cadre d'un sondage mondial Gallup, et de publier chaque année les résultats actualisés, pays par pays. Ce projet, d'une durée de cinq ans, permettra d'établir une nouvelle norme certifiée par la FAO pour le suivi de la sécurité alimentaire, facilement transposable dans d'autres enquêtes sur les ménages.

    Un outil essentiel dans la lutte contre la faim

    «Cette méthode innovante constituera un outil essentiel pour les pouvoirs publics, la société civile et les organisations internationales dans leur lutte contre la faim», explique M. Jomo Sundaram, Sous-Directeur général de la FAO responsable du Département du développement économique et social. «Elle sera aussi décisive pour renforcer la responsabilité des gouvernements et les encourager à s'engager en faveur de l'élimination de la faim».

    Malgré de récentes améliorations, la méthode actuelle de la FAO ne permet pas de dresser un tableau complet de la faim dans toutes ses dimensions. A l'heure actuelle, l'Organisation est en mesure d'assurer le suivi des disponibilités alimentaires à l'échelle nationale, notamment en termes d'apport énergétique potentiel, tandis que le nouvel indicateur mesurera l'accès à la nourriture au niveau individuel et donnera une vision plus claire des expériences personnelles de l'insécurité alimentaire.

    Cette nouvelle approche viendra compléter l'indicateur existant de la FAO sur la proportion de personnes sous-alimentées, élaboré pour mesurer les progrès accomplis en vue de la réalisation du premier Objectif du Millénaire pour le développement, qui consiste à réduire de moitié le nombre de personnes souffrant de la faim d'ici 2015. Ce nouvel outil sera le bienvenu, puisqu'il offrira des informations sur toute une série d'aspects caractérisant l'expérience de l'insécurité alimentaire, plutôt que de se limiter aux apports caloriques.

    Huit questions

    Dans le cadre du projet Voices of the Hungry, des échantillons nationaux représentatifs de 1 000 à 5 000 personnes, selon la taille du pays, seront sélectionnés pour répondre à huit questions portant sur l'expérience de l'insécurité alimentaire par les répondants au cours des 12 derniers mois.

    Ces questions sont les suivantes:

    Au cours des 12 derniers mois, y a-t-il eu un moment où, par manque d'argent ou d'autres ressources:

    1. Vous avez craint de vous trouver à cours de nourriture?

    2. Vous n'avez pas pu avoir une alimentation saine et nutritive?

    3. Vous avez consommé des aliments peu diversifiés?

    4. Vous avez dû sauter un repas?

    5. Vous avez mangé moins que ce dont vous estimiez avoir besoin?

    6. Votre ménage s'est trouvé à cours de nourriture?

    7. Vous avez eu faim mais n'avez pas mangé?

    8. Vous avez passé toute une journée sans manger?

    Ces questions sont formulées de manière à situer les répondants sur une Échelle des expériences de l'insécurité alimentaire, qui distingue trois degrés d'insécurité alimentaire: faible, modérée et grave. Des questionnaires et des échelles similaires ont été utilisés aux États-Unis pour identifier les bénéficiaires de bons alimentaires, et au Brésil pour cibler le programme social Bolsa Familia.

    Un indicateur abordable et rapide

    «Cette nouvelle initiative de la FAO est passionnante, car elle nous aidera à mieux cerner la gravité de l'insécurité alimentaire, de manière rentable et rapide», estime M. Carlo Cafiero, le statisticien de la FAO chargé du projet. «Elle nous apportera un outil abordable, méthodologiquement cohérent, de surveillance de la faim dans le monde.»

    Au lieu de quelques années, le résultat de chaque enquête sera disponible après seulement quelques jours, ce qui permettra à la FAO de prendre un cliché presque instantané de la situation d'un pays au regard de l'insécurité alimentaire. Ce sera aussi la première fois que l'Organisation assumera la responsabilité de la collecte des données. Parallèlement, la FAO aidera les pays à intégrer l'Échelle à leurs programmes d'enquête en cours, afin de les pérenniser.

    La FAO est actuellement en discussion avec de potentiels partenaires, dans le but de mobiliser des fonds pour l'ensemble du projet Voices of the Hungry; le projet pilote mené dans les quatre pays pilotes bénéficiera, quant à lui, d'un financement distinct.

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    Source: MSF
    Country: Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger

    Dans deux des trois régions du nord du Mali, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) appuie depuis avril 2012 des structures médicales afin de garantir un accès aux soins gratuits aux populations vulnérables. L’’insécurité empêche les équipes médicales de sortir des agglomérations pour évaluer les besoins des populations. En Mauritanie, des centaines de réfugiés continuent de traverser la frontière chaque jour. Pour les équipes de MSF, l’urgence n’est pas terminée.

    Dans de nombreux endroits du nord-Mali, la population n’a toujours pas retrouvé un accès aux soins. Bien que les combats aient progressé vers la région de Kidal, plus au Sud il existe encore des « zones grises » inaccessibles et où la population appréhende de circuler. « En raison de l’insécurité, nous ne pouvons évaluer les besoins des populations qui résident au delà des zones où nous travaillons », explique Rosa Crestani, coordinatrice des programmes d’urgence de MSF. Le climat de tension et de méfiance risque de fragiliser davantage l’accès aux soins. «Nous craignons que des patients restent coincés chez eux », poursuit-elle. Pour ces populations, l’accès à la nourriture est difficile et le risque de malnutrition est réel. Selon MSF, il demeure fondamental que les populations ne soient pas la cible de violences et qu’elles puissent recevoir, sans danger, les soins médicaux vitaux et l’aide humanitaire dont elles ont besoin.

    Depuis près d’un an, la peur des violences dans le nord du Mali a poussé des centaines de milliers de personnes à fuir vers d’autres localités à l’intérieur du pays ou vers les pays frontaliers. Une partie du personnel médical malien a également fui les structures de santé. « Le conflit a affaibli et désorganisé des structures de santé déjà fragilisées et affectées par une pénurie de médicaments », explique Rosa Crestani.

    Au nord du Mali, à l’hôpital régional de Tombouctou, les équipes de MSF et des médecins volontaires maliens gèrent l’hôpital depuis avril 2012. Au cours de la dernière année, MSF a enregistré plus de 50.000 consultations, 400 accouchements et soigné près de 40 blessés dans l’hôpital et les centres de santé soutenus par MSF dans cette région. Des ambulances transfèrent également vers cet hôpital des patients des hôpitaux de district de Niafounké et de Gourma Rharous, le long du fleuve Niger.

    Au centre, dans la région de Mopti, MSF soutient un centre de santé communautaire à Konna et un centre communautaire et de référence à Douentza. Elle y a soigné près de 8000 personnes depuis novembre 2012.En février, MSF a traité 5 blessés ayant été touchés par des munitions non explosées à Konna. A l’est du pays, à Gao et Ansongo, ce sont près de 1500 patients qui ont été soignés depuis septembre 2012.

    Les activités de MSF visent à maintenir l’accès aux soins gratuit pour une population qui en a extrêmement besoin. « Nous soignons principalement des cas de paludisme, d’infections respiratoires et de gynéco-obstétrique », précise Rosa Crestani. « Etre médecins en période de conflit, ce n’est pas seulement soigner des blessés, c’est aussi assurer qu’une maman puisse accoucher dans les meilleures conditions », poursuit-elle.

    Près de 170.000 réfugiés ont également rejoint les camps de réfugiés au Burkina Faso, en Mauritanie et au Niger, où les équipes de MSF dispensent des soins de santé primaires et secondaires. Depuis le début de l’année MSF a réalisé près de 12.000 consultations et 5.000 vaccinations dans ces trois pays.La Mauritanie est le pays abritant le plus grand nombre de réfugiés, le camp de Mbéra abritant près de 70.000 personnes. Fin janvier et début février 2013, le poste- frontière de Fassala (Mauritanie) a enregistré en moyenne 300 arrivées par jour. Ce sont majoritairement des femmes et des enfants venant de Tombouctou, Léré, Goundam, Larnab et Niafounké. Ces réfugiés maliens continuent de vivre dans des conditions précaires.

    MSF est une organisation médicale humanitaire qui dispense des soins d’urgence en toute impartialité, dans le strict respect de la neutralité. Pour ses activités liées au conflit au nord du Mali, MSF ne reçoit pas de fonds des gouvernements, ses activités étant exclusivement financées par des dons privés.

    L’organisation travaille actuellement à Tombouctou, Niafounké, Gourma Rharous, Gao, Ansongo, Douentza, Konna. Depuis 2009, MSF intervient également avec un programme pédiatrique (soins primaires et secondaires) dans l’hôpital et dans 5 aires de santé du district de Koutiala, dans le sud du pays.

    Des équipes MSF interviennent auprès des réfugiés maliens en Mauritanie, au Niger et au Burkina Faso.

    MSF travaille au Mali depuis 1992.

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    Source: Food and Agriculture Organization
    Country: Angola, Ethiopia, Malawi, Niger, World

    FAO's Voices of the Hungry pilot project to run in four countries

    13 March 2013, Rome - A new, faster and more precise way of measuring hunger and food insecurity across the world is soon to be field-tested by FAO in several pilot countries.

    The new approach relies on gathering information on the extent and severity of hunger from food-insecure people, through a carefully-designed annual survey to be conducted in collaboration with polling specialists Gallup, Inc.

    Starting this month, the new approach - known as the Voices of the Hungry project -- will be finalized in collaboration with major experts in the field and tested on a pilot basis in four countries - Angola, Ethiopia, Malawi and Niger. These countries have agreed to move towards the complete eradication of hunger, in line with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's Zero Hunger challenge.

    The plan is to then extend the survey to more than 160 000 respondents in up to 150 countries covered by the Gallup World Poll and to publish updated results on each country every year. The project will run for five years and will lead to the establishment of a new FAO-certified standard for food security monitoring that could then be easily adopted by other household surveys.

    Essential tool in the fight against hunger

    "This innovative method will be an essential tool for governments, civil society and other national and international organizations in the fight against hunger", says Jomo Sundaram, FAO Assistant Director-General for Economic and Social Development.

    "It will also be key to increasing the accountability of governments and in encouraging them to commit to hunger eradication".

    Despite recent improvements, the methodology currently used by FAO is not able to provide a comprehensive picture of the many dimensions of hunger. At the moment, FAO is able to accurately monitor food availability at the national level, particularly in terms of potential energy intake, whereas the new indicator will measure food access at the individual level, and will provide a clearer idea of personal experiences with food insecurity.

    The new approach will complement FAO's existing indicator on the percentage of undernourished in the population, which was developed to monitor progress towards the first Millennium Development Goal of halving the prevalence of hunger by 2015. This is a much needed addition, since it provides information on a range of aspects that characterize the experience of food insecurity, rather than only caloric consumption.

    Eight questions

    Under the Voices of the Hungry project, nationally representative samples of 1 000 to 5 000 people, depending on the size of the country, will be selected to answer eight questions designed to reveal whether and how respondents have experienced food insecurity in the previous 12 months.

    The questions are:

    During the last 12 months, was there a time when, because of lack of money or other resources:

    1. You were worried you would run out of food?
    2. You were unable to eat healthy and nutritious food?
    3. You ate only a few kinds of foods?
    4. You had to skip a meal?
    5. You ate less than you thought you should?
    6. Your household ran out of food?
    7. You were hungry but did not eat?
    8. You went without eating for a whole day?

    The questions are phrased in such a way as to establish the respondents' position on a Food Insecurity Experience Scale which differentiates between mild, moderate and severe food insecurity. Similar questionnaires and Food Insecurity Scales have been used by the US Government to identify food stamp beneficiaries, and by Brazil in targeting its Bolsa Familia social welfare programme.

    An affordable and timely indicator

    "This is an exciting new initiative for FAO because it will enable us to better understand the severity of food insecurity in a cost-effective and timely way," says Carlo Cafiero, the FAO statistician in charge of the project. "It will also provide FAO with an affordable and methodologically consistent tool for monitoring hunger worldwide."

    Results of the surveys will be available in days rather than years, allowing FAO to take an almost real-time snapshot of a nation's food insecurity situation. This will be the first occasion that FAO takes on responsibility for data collection. In parallel, FAO will assist countries to include the Scale in their ongoing survey plans and programmes to ensure future sustainability.

    FAO is currently holding discussions with potential resource partners in order to mobilize funds for the overall Voices of the Hungry project, while the four-country pilot project will be financed by a separate initiative.

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    Source: World Food Programme
    Country: Mali

    Un an après le conflit ait commencé au Mali, des centaines de milliers de personnes se trouvent confrontées à la faim. La sécheresse et la pauvreté chronique ont encore aggravé la situation. Voici 8 faits à savoir sur la faim au Mali ainsi que les actions du PAM pour apporter de la nourriture et de l’espoir aux populations.

    1. La situation de la sécurité alimentaire et nutritionnelle s’est dégradée ces derniers mois suite à un conflit au nord du pays qui a déplacé environ 335 000 personnes et a également entravé l’accès humanitaire vers les populations qui se trouvent toujours bloquées dans les régions affectées.

    2. Plus de 80% des familles au Mali dépendent entièrement de ce qu’elles cultivent elles-mêmes sur leurs petites parcelles. La région est en proie à la sécheresse, les inondations et la sauterelle et un manque de systèmes d’irrigation et de l’équipement agricole a rendu la population très vulnérable aux chocs climatiques.

    3. Environ 15% des enfants au Mali étaient touchés par la malnutrition aigue même avant la crise. Plus d’un-cinquième des enfants d’âge scolaire ne vont pas à l’école : trois-quarts de ces enfants sont des filles.

    4. Environ 69% de la population malienne vit en dessous du seuil de pauvreté. Le pays est ainsi classé 175e sur 187 pays selon l’indice du développement humain du PNUD.

    5. Cette année, le PAM prévoit de soutenir environ 1 million de personnes au Mali dont plus de la moitié s’agissent des familles touchées par le conflit. Parmi les autres se trouvent des personnes habitant au sud du pays qui participent à des projets communautaires et reçoivent un soutien nutritionnel en contrepartie.

    6. Le PAM utilise de petits bateaux pour transporter des vivres via le fleuve Niger vers les villes de Tombouctou et de Gao au nord du Mali. Depuis le début de la crise, l’agence a ainsi acheminé des vivres suffisantes pour nourrir 68 000 personnes pour un mois. Le transport routier est difficile et dangereux mais un convoi du PAM chargé de vivres pour 6 500 écoliers a réussi à traverser la frontière nigérienne à destination de Gao.

    7. Outre l’assistance alimentaire fournie aux familles déplacées, le PAM commencera également des distributions d’argent qui permettront aux bénéficiaires d’acheter de la viande, des légumes et des produits frais selon leur préférence. De plus, cela permettra également de dynamiser l’économie locale.

    8. Amadou et Mariam, le couple de chanteurs de renommée internationale, viennent tous les deux du Mali. Ils se sont rencontrés dans un institut des jeunes aveugles à Bamako où ils ont commencé à chanter ensemble. Les chanteurs sont devenus Ambassadeurs du PAM contre la faim en 2010. Suite à leur nomination, le couple s’est rendu en Haïti dévasté par le séisme où ils ont tourné le clip de leur chanson ‘Labandela’ dédiée à la lutte contre la faim.

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    Source: Médecins du Monde
    Country: Mali


    Le dimanche 3 février 2013, le CSREF de Gao qui est en charge des CSCOM du Cercle de Gao a sollicité les équipes de Médecins du Monde – Belgique (MdM-B) pour un appui à la prise en charge d’une trentaine de cas suspects de rougeole référés au CSCOM de Tacharane (20 km de Gao). Le même jour à la suite d’une réunion MdM-B, il a été décidé d’envoyer une mission conjointe (CSREF + MdM-B) afin d’apporter un appui au CSCOM pour une meilleure gestion des cas suspects de rougeole enregistrés dans l’aire de santé dudit CSCOM.

    Date de départ de la mission : le lundi 04 février 2013. Cette intervention de MdM-B a reçu l’appui financier de l’UNICEFet d’ECHO.

    Tacharane est situé au bord du fleuve Niger, à 20 km au sud de la ville de Gao, sur la route menant à Ansongo. N’Tahagwen et Asakfo se trouvent dans l’aire de santé de Tacharane, respectivement à 10 km et à 12 km de Tacharane.

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    Source: World Food Programme
    Country: Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal

    • Persistance de situations d’insécurité alimentaire provoquées par des inondations , des taux élevés de malnutrition et des prix encore élevés pour les ménages les plus pauvres au Sahel, conséquences de la crise de 2011 - 2012.

    • Tendance à la hausse des prix des céréales sèches après les baisses post - récoltes de 2012

    • Dommages liés aux inondations de juillet et octobre 2012 plus sévères qu’initialement prévus au Nigéria.

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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia


    • New data confirms a 9 per cent decline in malnutrition rates over a six-month period, but the situation remains fragile.
    • Health partners respond to reports of confirmed and suspected cholera cases in southern and central Somalia.
    • About12,000 refugees crossed the border back into Somalia in January and February, the majority from Kenya. However, conditions are not yet viable for large- scale returns.

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    Source: Inter Press Service
    Country: Mali

    OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso, Mar 13 2013 (IPS) - As the Malian army and its foreign partners are slowly securing northern cities in the West African nation, it is still unclear how the country will turn its back on the political crisis that led to the March 2012 military coup.

    “If the Malian government wants to re-establish itself over Mali, they need the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad. We, Tuaregs, have been at war for 52 years. And we will continue until our people’s living conditions change,” Ibrahim ag Mohamed Assaleh, from the separatist organisation known by its French acronym MNLA, tells IPS in an exclusive interview in Burkina Faso’s capital, Ouagadougou.

    In January 2012, the MNLA led an attack against a military base in Menaka, in Gao region, calling for an end to the marginalisation of northern Mali‘s nomad populations. Three months later they took control of the country’s north. Soon after, however, the MNLA was pushed aside by a coalition of Islamists militants composed of Al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb, Ansar Dine and the Movement of Unity and Jihad in West Africa.

    “The (January) intervention of France and the international community is welcomed in the Azawad by the MNLA as long as they are fighting terrorists, who we have fought for many months,” says Assaleh, who is part of the team negotiating with the Malian government.

    On Jan. 29, Mali’s interim President Dioncounda Traoré announced a roadmap for transition, setting elections for no later than the end of July. But the MNLA says it has not been consulted and included, and therefore will not participate.

    “They might organise elections where they feel like it. But we do not see those elections happening, at least in our land. Our concerns have not been taken into consideration,” says Assaleh.

    Mediation was initiated between the Malian government, the MNLA and the Islamist group Ansar Dine by neighbouring Burkina Faso’s President Blaise Compaore in August 2012, but the talks are now stalled.

    “They still occur, but at a slower pace since the French intervention was launched,” explains a member of the Burkinabe mediation team who prefers to remain anonymous. Mali has been pressured by United Nations Resolution 2085 to negotiate with non-terrorist groups.

    “Some lobbies in Bamako do not see the point of negotiating any more. That weakens peace. And this might be costly to the government,” comments Assaleh.

    Yvan Guichaoua, a West African expert on non-government armed groups and a lecturer at the University of East Anglia, tells IPS that the responsibility of the present chaos is shared between those in the north and south of Mali.

    “The problem is that Bamako authorities show no intention at all to negotiate with the MNLA at this stage. The MNLA is considered to have initiated the present chaos, which is only partly true – recurring rebellions have hit Mali since its independence.”

    However, Dr. Roland Marchal, senior research fellow and specialist on the economics and politics of conflict in sub-Saharan Africa at the National Centre for Scientific Research, based at Sciences-Po in Paris, tells IPS that a political compromise between the government, the MNLA and Ansar Dine is not the way to secure northern Mali.

    “First, all those actors may not be representative of the population enough to define and enforce an agreement. That is why a formula such as a National Conference that would encompass many actors rooted in the political, social, religious and cultural arenas, may offer a greater chance to reach a sustainable agreement,” he says, adding that all three groups also face allegations of huge violations of basic human rights.

    “There is a need to fine tune between a new social contract that would include some kind of amnesty and the need for justice. This can be achieved by the Malians themselves, not the international community or the International Criminal Court (ICC).”

    The Malian army has been accused of committing arbitrary killings against the Tuaregs – executions that have been documented by several human rights groups. The claims forced the Malian army chief of staff, General Ibrahima Dahirou Dembele, to call presumed military perpetrators back from the front.

    Human Rights Watch accused the MNLA and its allies of committing executions, pillages and rapes during a 2012 attack on the Aguelhok military camp in northern Mali. The MNLA detained and executed up to 153 Malian soldiers, according the Malian government and the International Federation of Human Rights.

    The allegations were serious enough for the ICC to launch an investigation. The Malian government has issued arrest warrants against 26 people, including Assaleh. Four members of the MNLA have been arrested in Mali, to date.

    “The warrants are a non-event,” defends Assaleh. “Agelhok’s January 2012 massacres have not been perpetrated by the MNLA. We want an independent inquiry and we are ready to participate with the ICC.”

    Beyond the roadmap, Assaleh remains sceptical of developments.

    “We have signed many agreements in the past. Now we need to apply them. We need a definitive solution to the problems of the Azawad. Since the coup, nothing has changed. (Mali’s ousted President) Amadou Toumani Touré’s networks are still really powerful and want to retain control. The MNLA will not support that.”

    But who does the MNLA represent?

    Assaleh is adamant that the MNLA represents 90 percent of Tuaregs, 40 percent of Fulanis, and 30 percent of Arabs.

    “We have legitimate historical claims, even if we are a minority. This is our land. We invited all Tuaregs to join. But many do not want to talk to us. Among them are people who have supported all regimes, including the one of the dictator Moussa Traoré …they stayed in Bamako to keep their salaries, their privileges,” Assaleh says, referring to several Tuareg personalities who have joined the government and, he believes, made a lucrative business of the development of the north.

    But Guichaoua says the MNLA remains heavily Tuareg “despite some roles offered to non-Tuaregs (Arabs, Songhay) in its official, yet phony, structure of command.”

    “As a result, it arguably represents a small share of the population of the Azawad, mostly the Idnan and Chamanamas Tuareg tribes,” he says.

    Marchal agrees, saying that the MNLA is poorly representative of the Azawad or Tuareg population in north Mali.

    “The MNLA is seen as a group of thugs by many in Mali,” he says.

    In Kidal, the MNLA’s stronghold in northern Mali, the French and Chadian army have ensured the securitisation of the area in cooperation with the MNLA, to the detriment of the Malian army. According to the MNLA, the Malian army is not able to protect northerners and Assaleh says the deployment of the army could only lead to more repression for Tuaregs.

    But Guichaoua says that building a legitimate political representation from within the country will prevent the recurrence of another rebellion.

    “(It) is the challenge ahead.”

    *Additional reporting by Mathieu Carat in New York

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    Source: UN Children's Fund
    Country: Senegal


    • Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) caseload in 2012 more than doubled expectations with more than 13,000 SAM cases reported in Matam and Diourbel regions only. The 2013 SAM burden is estimated at 63,323 under-five children – with a targeted coverage of 38,968 SAM cases.

    • In the first month of the year 763 SAM cases have been reported bringing the number of SAM cases to 14,391 cases from the beginning of the response until end of January 2013.

    • Although partners have made good progress in improving the capacity and quality of the in- patient stabilization centers and out-patient nutritional facilities, funding to keep these units running is currently not forthcoming.

    • Training of health authorities on the treatment of SAM in the regions of Fatick, Kolda and Tambacounda has taken place in February, with training of 25, 19 and 23 trainers respectively. These trainings are already allowing the medical districts to open some nutritional centers. Training of health post staff will follow suit, allowing to officially open the planned nutritional facilities in these regions.

    • UNICEF has supported the MoH’s to update the sector’s management and monitoring tools, particularly to reflect malnutrition. The development of the training module and training of trainers took place in February, with cascade trainings to begin progressively in March down to region, district and health facility level.

    • Funding requirement estimates for the first half of 2013 are at 4,597,000 USD for a target of 38,968 children affected by the nutritional crisis and to preposition supplies for the summer floods. This emergency response plan is currently 19% funded.

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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Nigeria


    • At least 234 dead and 20,000 displaced by inter- communal conflict for January and February 2013.

    • The CERF approves 6.4 million USD for flood response in Nigeria. Projects to be implemented between January – June 2013

    • UNICEF projects approximately 491,862 children fewer than 5 will suffer from SAM and 926,529 from MAM in 2013.

    • 243 cases of Lassa Fever infection have been reported in 17 LGAs of 9 states.

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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Chad, Sudan


    • La récolte de 2012, estimée à 3,8 millions de tonnes de céréales, est le double de celle de 2011, mais une proportion significative de ménages va épuiser leurs stocks avant la période de soudure.

    • Presque 5.000 refugiés soudanais sont arrivés à Tissi et attendent encore une assistance.

    • Le DIS risque de devoir limiter l’assistance aux missions humanitaires si de nouveaux financements ne sont pas rapidement trouvés.

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    Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
    Country: Burkina Faso, Mali

    Household food stocks sufficient to meet consumption needs


    • Poor households are relying on their own cereal stocks and/or their normal income sources, such as gold-washing, market gardening, or cash crop sales, to meet consumption needs without needing to resort to harmful coping strategies. Households throughout the country will face Minimal/None (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity from now through the end of June.

    • Cereal prices have either been stable or have risen by less than eight percent since December. However compared to last year, prices have declined by up to 12 percent, improving household food access.

    • Procurements for the rebuilding of institutional and private food stocks are underway but, thus far, have not adversely affected market functioning, supply, prices, or the flow of cereals from surplus-producing areasto deficit-producing areas.

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    Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
    Country: Malawi

    Maize, rice, and cassava are the most important food commodities. Markets selected represent the entire geographic length of the country: two markets in each of the north, center, and south. In the north, Karonga is one of the most active markets in maize and rice and is influenced by informal cross-border trade with Tanzania. Mzimba is a major maize producing area in the northern region. Salima, in the center along the lake, is an important market where some of the fishing populations are almost entirely dependent on the market for staple cereals. Mitundu is a very busy peri-urban market in Lilongwe. In the south, the Lunzu market is the main supplier of food commodities such as maize and rice for Blantyre. The Bangula market in Nsanje district was chosen to represent the Lower Shire area, covering Chikwawa and Nsanje districts.

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