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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    03/14/2013 17:07 GMT

    GAO (Mali), 14 mars 2013 (AFP) - Quelque 5.800 personnes qui avaient quitté Gao pour fuir les jihadistes, sont revenus s'installer dans cette ville du Mali, la plus grande du nord du pays, selon un recensement effectué par l'ONG malienne Tassaght, communiqué à l'AFP jeudi.

    Avec l'aide des conseillers et chefs de quartier de Gao, l'ONG a fait remplir des questionnaires aux déplacés de retour. Selon ces résultats, 5.800 personnes qui avaient fui l'occupation de Gao par les jihadistes sont revenus, "la plupart" après la libération de la ville fin janvier, a indiqué à l'AFP Almahadi Ag Akeratane, responsable de Tassaght.

    L'enquête a commencé le 2 mars, mais elle inclut des personnes qui sont rentrées avant, dont certaines avant le début de l'intervention militaire française le 11 janvier pour chasser les jihadistes du nord du Mali. La grande majorité des déplacés et réfugiés est toutefois rentrée ces dernières semaines.

    D'après les résultats de cette enquête "leurs premiers besoins sont alimentaires", indique Almahadi Ag Akeratane. "Les déplacés reviennent sans rien", dit-il. "5.800 c'est un début, beaucoup de personnes ont quitté Gao, beaucoup vont encore revenir", affirme le responsable.

    Après l'intervention des armées française et malienne pour libérer la ville et des raids jihadistes, Gao est redevenue calme depuis trois semaines et les cars de retour de la capitale Bamako sont bondés, a constaté l'AFP.

    Quelque 170.000 Maliens ont fui la région pour des pays voisins et 260.000 autres ont été déplacés dans le pays, depuis début 2012, selon l'agence onusienne de coordination des affaires humanitaires.

    A Gao où vivaient environ 90.000 habitants, le responsable de l'ONG Tassaght assure que 80% des habitants ont fui. "Il n'y a pas une famille où il ne manque pas quelqu'un", avait indiqué à l'AFP Yacouba Maïga, conseiller municipal.

    sj/stb/hba


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    Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
    Country: Mali, Niger

    Mangaizé, Niger, 8 mars (HCR) – En cette Journée Internationale de la Femme, Tidine Walet, réfugiée malienne au camp de Mangaizé au Niger, a mis les plus beaux habits qu'elle a pu emporter dans sa fuite en exil depuis le Mali vers le Niger.

    « Cette journée est très particulière pour nous les femmes car elle rappelle aux hommes que nous avons des droits », commente-t-elle en scrutant les hommes assis sur une natte à l'intérieur de son abri.

    D'un regard autoritaire malgré son âge avancé, Tidine Walet Al Hassan, octogénaire, inspire beaucoup de respect. Elle est une source d'inspiration et de sagesse. Même sous un soleil de plomb dans un abri de fortune pour se protéger contre le soleil, les habitants du camp de Mangaizé, sages y compris, viennent passer un moment avec elle.

    Son vœu le plus ardent est que la paix revienne au nord du Mali pour qu'elle, et tous les autres réfugiés puissent retourner dans leur pays. « J'ai appris que la paix revient petit à petit, nous avons hâte de retrouver les nôtres qui sont restés au Mali », dit-elle résolument après quelques minutes de silence.

    La douleur se lit encore dans le visage plein de rides de Tidine Walet quand elle raconte les difficultés qu'elle a rencontrées pendant sa fuite du centre de Meneka au nord du Mali l'année dernière.

    « Je me suis cachée dans la brousse à côté de la gare de Meneka au moment où mes petits-enfants sont allés chercher une charrette pour me transporter jusqu'au taxi de brousse », explique-t-elle en montrant ses jambes fatiguées qui ne peuvent plus supporter son corps.

    « J'ai payé 19 000 francs CFA pour traverser la frontière nigérienne avec mes trois petits enfants. Ce conflit a couté la vie de beaucoup de gens », a-t-elle expliqué d'un air pensif, en ajoutant qu'elle s'est échappée de justesse, poursuivie par une moto lors de sa fuite au Niger.

    « C'est une journée qui nous rappelle les différentes fêtes que nous organisions au pays », explique Abidin Algalass avec nostalgie. C'est l'un des sages qui ont suivi la conversation.

    « Elle signifie que les femmes ont aussi des droits au même titre que les hommes. Les femmes ne doivent pas être battues par les hommes comme c'est le cas souvent », renchérit Aminata Wallet Issafeitane, l'une des femmes responsables dans le camp de Mangaizé.

    Les réfugiés du camp de Mangaizé comme tous les autres réfugiés vivant au Niger ont célébré avec faste cette journée. Les femmes du village se sont jointes à eux pour donner plus de couleur avec leur tam-tam. A cette occasion, le Préfet de la ville de Ouallam, Adamou Namata a encouragé « la discrimination positive » dans le camp de Mangaizé.

    Il a recommandé de favoriser les femmes dans l'attribution des responsabilités pour arriver à un équilibre hommes-femmes, surtout que les femmes représentent 51 % de la population du camp, comme il le souligne. Il a aussi promis le déploiement des femmes policières à l'unité de sécurité du camp pour s'occuper au quotidien des cas de violences faites aux femmes.

    « En tant que membre de la communauté internationale, le HCR se doit de contribuer à la lutte contre la violence à l'encontre des femmes et à la promotion des comportements qui respectent les droits de la personne humaine », indique Jean Bosco Nimubona, Chef du bureau a.i du HCR à Ouallam.

    Cette manifestation exceptionnelle était aussi une occasion de confirmer l'aménagement d'un espace pour les femmes qui sera construit dans le camp. Elles pourront s'y réunir et discuter de leurs problèmes.

    Le Niger héberge environ 50 000 réfugiés maliens dans trois camps, deux sites de réfugiés et en milieu urbain. Le Gouvernement nigérien, le HCR et ses partenaires assurent l'assistance et la protection internationale, avec le soutien des bailleurs de fonds en attendant des solutions durables, notamment le retour dans leur pays quand la situation le permettra.


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    Source: IFRC
    Country: Malawi

    by John Sparrow

    Children are wasting away in southern Malawi. Mothers are distraught and beg for emergency feeding.

    The season of hunger has started – the lean months between the planting of crops and the coming of harvest – and at a health centre in Chikhwawa district, the number of malnourished children worries nurse Ellen Ng’ombe. The figures are soaring, already 50 per cent higher than those of a year ago.

    If the nurse had her way, every hungry child would be fed, but the centre must adhere to protocol: the weight-for-height measure that establishes who is malnourished and who is merely underfed. The mothers must wait, and agonize, until a child loses enough weight to qualify.

    “There’s no food at home,” Ng’ombe says, and the women want to know why the downward slide cannot be prevented.

    Of about two million people currently hungry in Malawi, children are among the hardest hit and, unless there is sufficient intervention by the end of the lean months, more than 36,000 youngsters under the age of five are likely to have suffered severe acute malnutrition.

    Chikhwawa’s farmers fight to keep food on the family table, but droughts and floods have stacked the odds against them. Coping for many means eating less. People have run out of options.

    It isn’t a dramatic turn of events that threatens southern Malawi, more calamity creep, but another failed harvest in April and May could have catastrophic consequences. As an appeal by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in support of the Malawi Red Cross Society has underlined, food aid is essential to see people through the short term. But what this drought-prone region desperately needs is an emergency response that develops into adequate food supplies for everyone in the long term.

    More than 40 per cent of Malawi’s population lives on less than US$1 a day, and 90 per cent of those living in affected areas depend on subsistence farming. The depletion of food stocks, the damage done to crops, seed supplies, livestock, the economic fabric and local markets has left people exposed and threatened. Red Cross operations would restore and diversify livelihoods, strengthen the ways in which people cope and leave communities more resilient.

    The village of Lauji sits in the Lower Shire valley where the Red Cross is stepping in. People here contend with more than changing climate. There is rampant inflation – now above 30 per cent – with massive hikes in the price of food. Maize, the key staple, costs double what it did a year ago.

    Lucia Genty, a young mother of two, says her family eats only once a day. Even if food is at the market, they can afford to buy little.

    The meal today isn’t much, just a little maize-meal porridge, and wild vegetables gleaned from the countryside. No one is starving in Lauji. There is no famine yet but the hunger is chronic.
    Asked if their children’s condition is worsening, a neighbour’s vague answer is telling. “Yes,” she says. “Some are unwell. More are unhealthy than there used to be but it’s difficult to say. Things have been this way so long we are used to it.” In many Lower Shire villages, listless children with headaches and stomach pains, who are prone to diarrhoea and vomiting, are no longer considered unusual.

    As the lean times have grown, farmers have sold their assets and turned to casual labour, particularly in the less affected wetlands close to the river. Women head for those fields as well, and pull their children out of school to accompany them. The 60 or 70 cents a day earned from weeding partly explains a 20 per cent drop in school attendance, a figure which also reflects growing ill health.

    Disease has increased with the hunger, but prostitution of the poor, food for sex, the vulnerability caused by urban drift, all contribute to the country’s eleven per cent HIV rate. Flooding leaves stands of stagnant water and malaria is growing. In the past five years, cholera has returned to Malawi, particularly in the Lower Shire.

    But the first substantial rains of the planting season have induced a cautious air of optimism. Elsewhere the deluge has damaged homes, fields and infrastructure, pouring from the uplands to trigger floods. As the rains eased, however, these villagers started planting.

    Manuel Lauli, 33, pauses in the field he hopes will bring a crop of early maturing sorghum. He’s had a bad time; four months without food he has grown, the longest gap he has known and one that is far from over. His 2012 cotton – his cash crop – did badly as well and the price he received for it was pitiful.

    So he’s wasting no time in the wake of the rain but says he’ll need more than what is now falling. By early afternoon the clouds are dispersing. The sun comes through and the temperature soars. Will the fields dry up or will the clouds return and throw Manuel a lifeline?

    He points to an army of bright red beetles. Known as Ana Rmulungu (the children of God), these minuscule creatures are a traditional early warning system. When the beetles appear, the villagers say, lots of rain can be expected. They clutch at straws in the Lower Shire.


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    Source: European Commission Humanitarian Aid department
    Country: Niger

    14/03/2013 – In Niger, population growth outpaces food production and two-thirds of the population lives in extreme poverty: the smallest choc, such as a drought or a failed harvest, can tip the vulnerable over the edge. WFP, with the support of the European commission’s humanitarian aid and civil protection department (ECHO), is providing support so that the poorest can make ends meet, especially during the lean season, when resources are scarce. See in this story how WFP, with the help of the European Commission, pays special attention to the most vulnerable and protected close to 1 million children under 2 from malnutrition in 2012.

    The small village of Assakaram is located over 1,000 km north east of the capital Niamey, somewhere between the cities of Agadez and Zinder. To get there, you have to leave the main road and drive for at least an hour on unmarked desert trails. Assakaram is a cluster of simple mud brick houses, often surrounded by straw fences. Saying that life here is difficult is an understatement. People grow food on parcels of land that have more in common with sand pits than agricultural fields.

    “This is millet,” a farmer and his wife proudly say of tiny green shoots emerging from the sand. Assakaram is isolated, extremely poor, and also representative of many communities the World Food Programme works with in Niger. “All we have left to eat is this,” says Nana Aboubacar as a member of her family shows a handful of maize. Like everyone else in the village, her family are farmers. And like everyone else, last year’s harvest was bad so they make do with whatever food they can get. Maize is not her favorite food and she knows that eating only this day after day won’t give her all the vitamins and nutrients she needs to properly breastfeed her baby.

    Two days earlier, WFP distributed Super Cereal, a fortified blend of corn and soya flour that is used to prevent malnutrition. Each household with children below the age of 2 or with breastfeeding mothers received a monthly ration of the highly nutritional product.

    “Preventing and treating acute malnutrition is at the core of our response in the country,” said Darline Raphael, head of WFP’s nutrition unit in Niger. Malnutrition has always been a concern in the country, especially during the lean season.

    Outside her house, with her baby in her arms and her other children watching, Nana Aboubacar demonstrates how to cook a porridge with the fortified food she received. “When I eat this, I have a lot of milk for my baby,” she said. Her little girl wears a few “gris-gris” –charms given to her by the local marabout- to protect her from diseases. Aboubacar is convinced this helps keep her baby healthy, but she also knows that eating the Super Cereal every day is at least equally as important.

    Author: Stephanie Tremblay, WFP Public Information Officer


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    Source: European Commission
    Country: Mali

    Catherine Ashton

    High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission

    European Parliament/Strasbourg

    13 March 2013

    Honourable members,

    The last time we discussed, on 15 January, the situation was in full crisis.

    I want to explain the progress made since then, the EU’s role in it, the challenges that remain, and what we are doing to support Mali – and the region – in overcoming them so that the people of Mali can live in peace and security and return to the path of development.

    Must pay tribute first of all to the efforts and sacrifices of one member state, France, in driving the terrorists out of the cities and regions of the north, taking the battle to their retreats in the northern mountains. Pay tribute also to all those who have provided support to that effort, whether European, African or American, in particular the armed forces of Chad who have made a significant sacrifice.

    Thanks to these efforts, the people of northern Mali have been liberated from control by the terrorists, but we must not under-estimate the threat that remains. This requires security forces to remain present and active to head off potential terrorist attacks in the future. But the situation is now very different.

    We are today acting on all fronts in a coordinated manner. This is an illustration of what comprehensive approach is all about and how we turn it into concrete actions: since the extraordinary FAC in January, we have convened two Crisis Platforms (with all EU services involved) in order to produce a comprehensive overview of our activities - covering EUTM, our support to AFISMA, and a quick identification of a stabilisation and development package.

    We have also immediately deployed on the field an interservice mission to support our delegation in Bamako. This has allowed to identify EU activities in the field of stabilisation and development, but also to start implementing them.

    Our work allows liaising the diplomatic activity with the security and the development in policies in a mutually reinforcing way.

    On the security side, our long-term objective is to enable the Malian security services and armed forces to protect their own citizens.

    This is why we accelerated the planned launch of the EU Training Mission to 18 February. The Force Commander is there and first counselling actions have already taken place. If things go according to plan, training of forces should begin in April. This has required a great effort on the part of the Member States, but there has been real collective will to act.

    With this training mission, we aim to help the re-structuring of the armed forces to ensure their effectiveness and we plan to make sure that human rights is part of the training for the Malian troops. UN human rights experts are already in the field and we are also working with the African Union to provide monitors to AFISMA forces. Encouraging that Mali has withdrawn 5 of its troops from Timbuktu following accusations of human rights abuses. This must be taken seriously.

    There are still challenges in re-equipping the Malian forces, but we are working on it.

    But it will take time for the Malian forces to be ready. The EU is therefore supporting AFISMA (the African-led International Support Mission to Mali) with €50m, committed at the fund-raising meeting hosted by the AU on 29 January. A number of MSs are helping train and equip AFISMA troop contributing countries.

    As you know, converting AFISMA into a UN-hatted force would assure future funding. The discussions on such an option are presently going on in New York, where the UN Secretary General should report to the Security Council, before the end of this month.

    On the political track, I hosted a meeting in Brussels of the International Follow-up and Support Group on 5 February. The Malian Government presented its Road Map for the Transition back to democratic and constitutional rule. The EU has pledged to support its implementation. I would like to stress two key elements:

    Firstly, the establishment of National Commission for Dialogue and Reconciliation on 6 March, which should bring together all the different political forces in the country, including from the north, to discuss how to re-build the country’s political structures on an inclusive basis. Essential that the political structure is free of military influence and inspires the trust of all communities;

    Secondly, the holding of presidential elections by end of July 2013, to re-establish a legitimate national government following the coup d’etat a year ago which interrupted the elections planned for April last year. Legislative elections will follow later. We will provide assistance to the electoral process and, as you know, we are examining the possibility of an Electoral Observation Mission.

    Finally, on the development and stabilisation track, EU Development Ministers have agreed to gradually resume EU aid to Mali. €250m are available under the EDF for State-Building Contract budget support and specific projects in the field of small irrigation and key infrastructure. An additional, €20m of fast-disbursing assistance is available from the Instrument for Stability to support the restoration of public authorities and services in post-conflict areas, for reconciliation activities and for the first phase of the electoral process.

    Honourable members,

    We will host two important meetings in the near future to support Mali:

    In early April I will co-chair with Mme Bachelet, the UN Women’s Envoy, and Romano Prodi, the UN Special Envoy for the Sahel, a meeting on Women in the Sahel. Their role will be vital in re-establishing a stable and viable future for the region. Women's rights and gender balance must be an integral part of everything we do.

    Talent is wasted, wisdom is lost and economic opportunities are missed when a society refuses to break with inequality, whether in North Africa, Europe or the Sahel.

    Secondly, in mid May, the EU and France will convene in Brussels a High Level International Conference on Development in Mali, to bring together the key donors to coordinate our support for the reconstruction of the country. The Government of Mali will present its 2013-14 National Action Plan as a basis for our collective action to help restore the economy and government services.

    I am conscious that solving Mali’s problems, in development and food resilience as much as in the struggle against terrorism and political exclusion, requires an approach that encompasses the whole Sahel region. That is the principle underlying the EU’s Strategy for Security and Development in the Sahel, which remains as relevant as ever. In the same spirit, a EUSR for the Sahel is to be nominated in the coming days.

    The EU will remain heavily engaged and fully committed to Mali and the region. It is in our interests to do so; as instability in the Sahel can threat our own citizens. So we will continue to help the people of Mali in their efforts to re-establish their sovereignty, democracy and prosperity


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    Source: IRIN
    Country: Mali

    DAKAR, 14 mars 2013 (IRIN) - Alors que les organisations d'aide humanitaire sont aux prises avec une crise du déplacement et de la sécurité alimentaire qui s'accentue au Mali, les analystes suggèrent que des réformes profondes du gouvernement et de l'armée sont nécessaires pour atteindre une stabilité et un développement à long terme.

    Selon le Bureau de la coordination des affaires humanitaires des Nations Unies (OCHA), depuis que le conflit a commencé, début 2012, environ 431 000 personnes auraient été déplacées (260 000 déplacés à l'intérieur de leur propre pays et 170 313 réfugiés) et 4,3 millions de personnes auraient besoin d'une aide humanitaire.

    Le conflit a exacerbé l'insécurité alimentaire dans le nord du Mali et pompé les faibles ressources des communautés d'accueil du centre et du sud du pays. Selon l'OCHA, les tensions ethniques restent importantes et des rapports inquiétants font état de violentes représailles et de meurtres.

    Selon un récent rapport des Nations Unies sur les besoins prioritaires, « la dynamique de la crise malienne a fortement changé sur les plans sécuritaire, politique et humanitaire [depuis janvier 2013]. Dans une certaine mesure le contexte s'est même complexifié, devenant encore moins lisible et prédictible qu'il ne l'était antérieurement. Sur le plan politique les incertitudes demeurent et l'on ne peut exclure l'apparition de nouvelles tensions ».

    La situation humanitaire est étroitement liée à la crise politique. Selon Gilles Yabi, directeur d'International Crisis Group (ICG) en Afrique de l'Ouest, « les élites maliennes ne semblent pas prêtes à faire face collectivement [aux causes profondes de cette crise politique]. Elles devraient pouvoir se mettre d'accord sur un minimum [de critère pour restaurer une bonne gouvernance], mais actuellement, les conditions ne sont pas réunies pour un tel débat ».

    Nombreux sont les Maliens qui déplorent l'absence de développement, malgré une aide occidentale conséquente. Le sentiment général selon lequel la corruption règne dans les hautes sphères de la société a contribué à l'accueil enthousiaste fait au capitaine Amadou Sanogo au lendemain de son coup d'État du 22 mars 2012.

    « La véritable question est de savoir si les Maliens vont se rebâtir un système de gouvernance ou s'ils vont revoir leurs objectifs et simplement restaurer l'ancien système. Honnêtement, nous n'avons pas l'impression qu'il existe un réel désir de changement », a dit un diplomate européen qui a souhaité garder l'anonymat.

    « À la vérité, le président par intérim, Dioncounda Traoré, ne détient pas tout le pouvoir. M. Sanogo et ses hommes font toujours la loi à Bamako. Le navire malien a toujours deux capitaines », a dit un diplomate américain également sous couvert d'anonymat.

    Certains croient cependant en une transition pacifique, ne serait-ce qu'à court terme. « Des difficultés politiques et sécuritaires de taille demeurent, mais la période de transition devrait être maintenue jusqu'aux élections, qui devraient avoir lieu en juillet ou au moins dans des délais raisonnables », a dit M. Yabi.

    M. Sanogo et ses irréductibles sympathisants sont toutefois probablement peu disposés à renoncer pour de bon à la politique, a dit un diplomate à IRIN sous réserve de garder l'anonymat. « Il y a le risque posé par les radicaux de l'entourage de M. Sanogo, bien que ce dernier semble les contrôler. Et puis il y a le risque qu'il essaye de se maintenir pour toujours sur la scène politique, en soutenant par exemple un candidat à la présidentielle ».

    Élections

    L'actuel gouvernement malien n'a pas été élu. Il a été nommé en réponse aux pressions exercées par les organisations régionales et les gouvernements occidentaux après le coup d'État. Son pouvoir est limité et ses partisans tiennent à un gouvernement disposant d'une légitimité plus large et plus forte. Dans le cadre de la feuille de route visant à mettre fin à la période de transition, les autorités intérimaires ont prévu la tenue d'élections au mois de juillet.

    Le doute subsiste cependant sur la possibilité d'établir une liste électorale, de délivrer des cartes d'électeur et de mener des campagnes à temps pour que les élections puissent avoir lieu à la date fixée et que le scrutin soit crédible. Certains observateurs doutent également de la participation populaire aux élections, notamment dans le Nord, qui a été occupé pendant neuf mois par des militants islamistes.

    « Nous sommes déjà en mars et il n'y a pas encore de campagne. Nous ne savons même pas qui va se présenter. De nombreuses listes d'électeurs ont été détruites, non seulement dans le nord du Mali, mais également dans certaines zones du Sud. Nous ne savons pas encore comment les habitants du Nord vont participer », a dit Peter Tinti, journaliste indépendant au Mali.

    « De plus, les élections sont coûteuses. La communauté internationale va devoir s'engager à apporter les fonds nécessaires pour mener une élection libre et juste dans ce pays ébranlé par plusieurs crises. Les délais dépendent donc des ressources que la communauté internationale veut bien allouer aux élections et du degré de priorité que les Maliens eux-mêmes lui accordent. »

    M. Tinti affirme que les Maliens sont indifférents aux élections, bien qu'ils se plaignent de leurs difficultés. Selon lui, la population estime que les nouveaux dirigeants ne seront pas différents des précédents, qu'ils accusent d'avoir manqué à leurs obligations.

    « Des élections devraient avoir lieu le plus vite possible, mais pas dans n'importe quelle condition », a dit M. Yabi. « Pour que ces élections aient un sens, il faut convaincre la population qu'elle va participer au processus pour sortir de la crise actuelle. Dans ce pays où le taux de participation est généralement faible comparé au reste de la région, il faut que les conditions soient réunies pour que les gens veuillent voter. »

    Or, même avec un taux de participation plus élevé, les élections ne vont peut-être pas entraîner le renouvellement des élites politiques tant attendu. « Les élections vont probablement voir s'opposer quelques personnages présents sur la scène politique malienne depuis 20 ans. Il ne faut donc pas s'attendre à de grands changements », a dit Alexis Roy, un chercheur qui a rédigé une thèse de doctorat sur la société malienne.

    Réconciliation

    Le gouvernement intérimaire a annoncé récemment qu'une Commission dialogue et réconciliation (CDR) allait bientôt être créée pour favoriser les échanges entre les Maliens, identifier les groupes politiques et sociaux à prendre en considération et s'attaquer aux violations de droits dans tout le pays.

    « Le problème avec ce genre de commissions ou de conférences, c'est qu'elles peuvent servir à dire tout et son contraire. Va-t-elle être utilisée de manière constructive ou va-t-elle simplement leur servir à dire qu'ils l'ont fait ? Ce n'est pas encore très clair », a dit un diplomate européen qui a préféré garder l'anonymat.

    « Un autre problème avec ce genre d'institutions, c'est qu'on ne sait jamais vraiment si les personnes qui ont été nommées pour représenter certains groupes les représentent vraiment », a dit M. Tinti.

    Rétablir une certaine unité nationale est essentiel à la réconciliation. Or, certains obstacles demeurent : les Touaregs veulent une plus grande autonomie et le nationalisme dans le Sud peut entraver la réconciliation, car de nombreux habitants du Sud considèrent ceux du Nord comme des étrangers.

    « À Bamako, l'opinion publique n'est pas prête pour le dialogue. Lorsque vous parlez de dialogue avec le Nord, ils croient que vous parlez d'impunité et de récompense pour les criminels qui ont pris les armes », a dit M. Roy.

    Réforme de l'armée

    L'armée malienne a été mise en déroute par une attaque touarègue début 2012. Par la suite, des groupes islamistes liés à Al-Qaïda ont pris la place des Touaregs et occupé de vastes étendues de territoire dans le Nord.

    « L'ensemble du secteur de la sécurité nécessite une profonde réforme qui prendra des années. Il faut commencer dès maintenant, car il est très important de trouver une manière de sortir de la crise actuelle », a dit M. Yabi.

    Une mission de formation de l'Union européenne a commencé à intervenir auprès de l'armée malienne qui, on peut l'espérer, pourra à terme remplir son rôle avec efficacité. Une mission internationale de soutien au Mali sous conduite africaine et financée par les Nations Unies est également en train d'être mise sur pied pour faciliter le processus politique et sécuritaire.

    « À court terme, la présence d'armées étrangères est un facteur de stabilité. L'armée française, les [troupes africaines] et la mission de formation de l'Union européenne protègent les autorités civiles d'une intrusion non désirable de l'armée, qui est toujours majoritairement contrôlée par des putschistes », a dit M. Yabi, d'ICG.

    « À moyen et long terme, il faudra bien plus qu'une mission de formation aux objectifs limités pour réellement réformer cette armée. Les problèmes datent de plusieurs années et un programme bien plus ambitieux que celui qui est appliqué actuellement est nécessaire pour reconstruire l'armée », a-t-il ajouté.

    cb/ob/am/cb -ld/amz

    [FIN]


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


    Highlights

    • Mauritania is the single largest recipient of refugees fleeing the conflict in Mali.

    • 75,019 refugees are living in the Mbéra camp, including 20,815 new arrivals in 2013.

    • 57% of the refugees are children and many have been in the camp for over a year, resulting in overlapping emergency and medium term needs.

    • Refugee children face a range of threats to their health, nutrition, education and family lives. Many have experienced severe trauma and are suffering from malnutrition and need specialised attention and care.

    • UNICEF, in coordination with UNHCR and partners, are providing education in the camp for 5,790 children in 6 schools and psychosocial stimulation for 1,152 children at 4 child friendly spaces. All 14 schools, child friendly spaces and treatment centres for severe acute malnutrition in Mbéra refugee camp have been provided with access to clean water and sanitation.

    • More resources are needed to fill gaps including 19,510 children not getting an education.

    • UNICEF Mauritania has received $710,170 through CERF to meet the basic needs of 15,000 new refugees over the next 6 months.

    • In 2013, the expected caseload of Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) for the entire country is 122,719 children under 5 years, including 23,901 cases of Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM).

    • A multi-sectorial package of services is being scaled up from 291 to all 488 nutrition centres in the country and the WASH in Nutrition package is being strengthened.

    • Results of the latest SMART survey on nutrition have been released. A joint UNICEF, WFP and FAO programme, supported by the EU, to build resilience will be launched soon to improve nutrition, food security and social protection.


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    Source: World Bank
    Country: Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia

    WASHINGTON, March 14, 2013 – The World Bank Board of Executive Directors today approved an International Development Association (IDA) credit of US$ 89.4 million to support efforts of the Governments of Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia to boost food and farm productivity.

    Agriculture is the largest sector in the economies of the three countries and a major source of livelihoods for an estimated 277 million people living across southern Africa. Raising agricultural productivity is critical for fighting poverty, achieving food security and protecting the environment.

    “Africa is taking major strides to improve its farm economy, which is necessary for building shared prosperity,” said Tijan Sallah, World Bank Sector Manager for Agriculture and Irrigation in Malawi and Zambia. “This program will finance strategic investments that will empower farmers with cutting-edge knowledge while increasing regional cooperation in agricultural research across southern Africa.”

    The funding will help to establish Regional Centers of Leadership for major food staples including maize, rice, and food legumes, build agricultural research capacity, support regional collaboration in technology dissemination, boost farmer training and intensify knowledge-transfer activities. At least 30 percent of targeted farmers will be women.

    The project is fully aligned with the Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP) and supports its call for scaling-up regional collaboration in agricultural research and development as a way to efficiently address capacity constraints and increase technology spillovers in the rural economy. In addition to targeting farmers and livestock producers, the program is expected to directly benefit agricultural researchers, extension agents, seed producers and farm input suppliers. Every R&D project financed under the program will have a dissemination plan and support activities designed to ensure that new technologies do not remain “on the shelf” and move quickly to farmers fields.

    “The agricultural sector has a strong influence on growth, employment, food security and poverty reduction efforts benefiting the entire economy,” said Michael Morris and Melissa Brown, World Bank Co-Task Team Leaders. “We look forward to the successful implementation of this innovative project that takes a farmer-centric approach to development and dissemination of improved crop varieties and promising farm practices.”

    The Agricultural Productivity Program for Southern Africa will also provide a US$0.6 million grant to the Centre for Coordination of Agricultural Research and Development for Southern Africa (CCARDESA).

    Note to Editors:

    The program’s goals are closely linked to the World Bank’s Regional Integration Assistance Strategy, its country partnership strategies developed jointly with each client country, as well as the strategic national priorities such as Malawi’s Growth and Development Strategy II, Mozambique’s Plano de Acção de Redução de Pobreza (PARP), and Zambia’s Sixth National Development Plan 2011-15.

    *The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing loans (called “credits”) and grants for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 81 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change for 2.5 billion people living on less than $2 a day. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 108 countries. Annual commitments have increased steadily and averaged about $15 billion over the last three years, with about 50 percent of commitments going to Africa.

    MEDIA CONTACTS

    In Washington
    Aby K. Toure,
    tel : (202) 473-8302
    akonate@worldbank.org

    In Washington
    Sarwat Hussain
    tel : (202) 473-4967
    shussain@worldbank.org


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    Source: IRIN
    Country: Mali

    DAKAR, 15 March 2013 (IRIN) - Aid workers and experts are calling for more attention to education in Mali, where 200,000 children are out of school due to the crisis but where money for emergency education has yet to come forward.

    Though most schools in northern Mali are closed or thinly staffed, and thousands of children risk missing two years of schooling, donors have once again de-prioritized education to focus on what they say are more direct life-saving activities.

    The 2013 humanitarian appeal for Malis calls for US$18 million to fund emergency education activities this year. So far nothing has been pledged. The Sahel-wide call for $36 million (including the above), has also received no pledges.

    Last year within the emergency appeals in Mali, Chad and Mauritania, emergency education was funded at 6.4 percent, 14.5 percent and 0 percent respectively.

    UNICEF has been able to mobilize just under US$3 million for emergency education activities from other funding sources.

    "Most of the donors have drawn back after the [2012] crisis - we are still trying to mobilize as much funding as possible," Euphrates Gobina, head of education at UNICEF in Mali, told IRIN.

    Emergency education advocates have for years tried to leverage more funding and awareness for the importance of education activities in emergency response, but while some progress has been made - including minimum standards for emergency education response - the money often does not come through.

    Education activities made up just 0.9 percent of global received humanitarian funding in 2012.

    The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) says dozens of schools in the north have been closed, destroyed, looted or, in places, contaminated with unexploded ordnance. It estimates the education of 700,000 children across Mali has been disrupted by the crisis.

    In the north, some 5 percent of schools have reopened in Timbuktu; a handful in Kidal; and more in Gao, but only 28 percent of teachers were estimated to have returned to work there as of the end of February, said UNICEF.

    Many teachers are too afraid to return to the north, while already overcrowded schools in the south cannot cope with the influx.

    "The school year is three semesters. If you lose four months, you lose the school year," warned Youssuf Dembélé, who is teaching displaced northern Malians in the central town of Mopti. Funding for the over-stretched school rarely comes in, he said. "It's too willy nilly. It's not well-organized. They say money is coming, but it never does."

    Disconnect

    The problem is that while parents and children prioritize education in emergency response, donors tend not to. The 2012 Sahel crisis was seen by donors as a food security and malnutrition crisis, thus sectors that are linked to this but seen as tangential, such as water and sanitation, health and education, were neglected.

    "Parents ask for it [education]," said Lori Heninger, director of the International Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE). "Droughts are usually slow-onset and are not going to go away. How do you say to people in a chronic drought scenario: we're going to give you food, water and shelter - what does that mean for the development of the child, and for the development of that society in general?"

    "If there are ways to learn about how to use the land in this changing paradigm, that will only happen through education," she added.

    Ample evidence has been collected over the years demonstrating how important it is for children to return to school - for their psychosocial well-being, to help safeguard them in crises, and to enable their parents to rebuild their lives while their children are at school. However, such evidence appears to have had only a marginal impact in long-term crises like the Sahel's.

    "It's changing slowly," said Heninger, "but given the fact that 80 percent of what we call crises are long-term in nature, the fact that 0.9 percent of last year's humanitarian budget went to education, is pretty abysmal."

    Sector already stressed pre-crisis

    While immediate help is needed to save the school year for Malian students, the long-term support donors give to education in Mali has also been severely depleted following donor cuts in response to the March 2012 coup d'état.

    Big donors, including the European Commission, USA, the Netherlands, Canada and others, withdrew donor support to the government following the coup. Half of the 2012 education budget was donor-fed.

    Some donors, such as the Netherlands, tried to find ways to keep up the funding and redirect it away from the Education Ministry towards NGOs; the Canadian International Development Agency redirected some of its funding for school materials directly to UNICEF.

    Since the transitional government adopted a transition roadmap in January 2013, many donors, including the European Commission, restarted aid with education a priority. But severe gaps remain.

    "Before the crisis the education system was already challenged in Mali," said UNICEF's Gobina. "An already stressed system has received displaced children in many schools: class sizes have ballooned, there are not enough materials - the infrastructure was just not prepared for this emergency."

    But a lesson to be applied in future is to include emergency education in overall education sector planning, particularly in crisis-prone countries, said Gobina.

    Refugee education

    The lack of emergency education funding is a disincentive for the many qualified teachers who are volunteering in makeshift schools to teach their former pupils.

    Masa Mohamed, from Timbuktu, is teaching many of her former pupils at a school in Mbéra refugee camp in eastern Mauritania. But there are big differences: she used to teach 30 per class, now she must handle up to 100. "We don't have enough teachers, we don't have enough schools, we just teach in a tent, there are no desks, and it's very difficult." NGO Intersos pays her a small fee for her work, but most of the teachers are not paid.

    Ahmed Ag Hamama was a school director in Timbuktu. His old school has opened, he said, but it has no students or teachers. His school's 400 former students are in Mopti, Ségou, Kayes and Bamako in Mali, as well as in Mauritania and Burkina Faso, he said.

    Some 15 Malian refugee teachers are teaching in Mbéra, most of them paid with a small food ration. "It is not enough - life is very expensive here. Conditions are not good, and there is not enough food," he said commenting on the World Food Programme family ration size.

    "A guardian will be paid 90,000 ouguiya ($300 per month) but a teacher is not paid," he complained.

    Teachers in refugee camps in Niger, Burkina Faso and Mauritania, as well as in Mali, said displaced children showed signs of trauma. Many of them are just "not there", said Konaté Souleymane who is teaching in Goudeba camp in northern Burkina Faso. "Students are distracted, their minds are elsewhere."

    UNICEF is trying to work with the Education Ministry in Bamako to find ways to get teachers working in the north, said Gobina.

    According to school prinicpal Hamama, who is an ethnic Tuareg like most of the refugees in Mbéra, two fellow Tuareg teachers had recently left Mbéra to pick up their salaries in Bamako, but they were held at gunpoint for 24 hours.

    "We can't go back to Mali if this is the situation," he said.

    aj/cb


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

    I. Key Messages

    1. The humanitarian situation in Somalia has continued to improve since the famine, but 1 million people are still in crisis. Continued humanitarian assistance is required to help these most vulnerable people and consolidate the gains to prevent future crises
    • The number of people who can not meet their basic needs without assistance has reduced by half to 1 million. This shows that our innovative approaches to aid delivery, coupled with relatively favorable rains, has made a profound difference in people’s lives. However, the situation remains fragile. A further 1.7 million people who emerged from crisis in the past year could fall back without continued support to build up their livelihoods.

    • Malnutrition rates remain among the highest in the world. An estimated 215,000 children under five years of age are acutely malnourished (14 per cent of all children under 5) of which 45,000 are severely malnourished. In southern Somalia and parts of the North and Central regions, the nutrition situation is likely to remain critical in the first half of the year due to the lack of health infrastructure, poor feeding practices and outbreaks of acute watery diarrhea and measles during the April to June rainy season.

    • An estimated 1.1 million Somalis are internally displaced, often living in deplorable conditions.
      Another one million Somalis are refugees in neighbouring countries.

    1. The progress made in the food security situation over the past year and the changing security and political landscape present opportunities to break the cycle of recurring crises brought on by drought and conflict
    • While the humanitarian situation in Somalia remains critical, we now have the best opportunity in the past 20 years to break the cycle of repeated crises.

    • Access continues to gradually improve, although Somalia remains one of the most challenging and dangerous environments in the world for humanitarians. Nine aid workers were killed in Somalia in 2012.

    • Humanitarian efforts have been given a boost by the good harvest in January and we expect the number of people in crisis to rise only marginally between now and June, a period when food stocks begin to run low and rains increase the risk of disease. By building up Somalis’ ability to cope with drought and other shocks, we can prevent future humanitarian catastrophe.

    1. Humanitarians have an innovative three-year strategy that addresses the protracted nature of crisis in Somalia
    • The Consolidated Appeal Process (CAP) strategy, which was launched in Somalia for the first time in December and is also the first multi-year CAP, allows for far greater continuity in programming, which enhances resilience needed to address the protracted nature of the crisis.

    • The $1.33 billion required in the first year of the three-year CAP will fund projects that address the needs of 3.8 million Somalis. The funding appeal will allow humanitarian organizations to scale up their presence in Somalia to increase programming and enhance monitoring to ensure donor funds are properly spent. The CAP in 2013 includes multi-sector projects for 60,000 Ethiopian and Eritrean refugees in Somalia, as well as increased programming to ensure returns are durable.

    • Famine conditions developed in 2011 and tens of thousands of lives were lost because impoverished people were unable to withstand another shock. Without the generous support of donors, many more lives would have been lost. Support for the resilience programming in the CAP is an investment that will help Somalis move from crisis towards a sustainable situation.

    1. We remain deeply concerned about the effects of ongoing conflict on civilians
    • For decades, civilians, especially women and children, have borne the brunt of conflict in Somalia. This is unacceptable. All parties to the conflict should make every effort to protect civilians and allow full humanitarian access to people in need. When put in place, measures to minimize civilian casualties have proven to be successful.

    • Humanitarian actors remain strictly neutral and independent of the political and military processes. Our aim is always to help those most in need. We call on all parties to the conflict to cease the illegal recruitment or use of children in armed conflict.


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    Source: Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development
    Country: Mali
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    Contexte et Objectifs de l’évaluation rapide

    Le cercle de Douentza, se situe dans la région de Mopti et a été depuis avril 2012 occupé par l différents groupes armés (MNLA et MUJAO). Le 10 janvier 2013, le village de Konna est passé sous le contrôle des groupes armés et suite à des combats avec les forces armées, le village de Konna est repassé sous contrôle gouvernemental le 13 janvier 2013. Les différents villages qui se trouvent entre l’axe Konna – Douentza, même s’ils n’ont pas fait l’objet d’affrontements, n’en restent pas moins vulnérables en raison de l’absence de services étatiques et d’une assis-tance humanitaire limitée. A ceci s’ajoute des restric-tions de déplacement dans certaines zones rurales et l’interdiction de regroupement de personnes, deux fac-teurs importants qui ont empêché la mise en place des foires dans les différents marchés de la zone.

    ACTED a envoyé une équipe dans cette zone, du 7 au 10 février 2013, afin d’évaluer dans un premier temps l’accessibilité aux services de base et aux marchés lo-caux et dans un second temps évaluer les conséquences de l’occupation des groupes armés sur les moyens d’existence et les capacités de production des ménages résidant dans cette zone. 7 villages situés sur l’Axe Kon-na - Douentza (RN 6) ont été enquêtés au cours de cette évaluation rapide : Bima, Amba, Boré, Gnimignama, Noumboli, Tabako et Synda.

    Mali - Evaluation rapide sur l’axe Konna – Douentza menée par ACTED, Région de Mopti - Février 2013


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    Source: Afrique Verte
    Country: Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger
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    Commentaire général:

    Début mars, la tendance à la hausse des prix se poursuit notamment pour les céréales sèches. Seuls deux marchés ont enregistré de légères baisses sur 2 produits (-3% sur le riz à Agadez, -8% sur le maïs à Niamey). Les hausses les plus significatives ont été enregistrées pour le mil (+14% à Tillabéry ; +11% à Zinder et +9% à Maradi) ; pour le sorgho (+15% à Tillabéry et +10% à Zinder) et pour le maïs (+5% à Dosso).

    L’analyse spatiale des prix classe le marché d’Agadez au premier rang des marchés les plus chers, suivi de Niamey, Maradi, Zinder, Tillabéry et Dosso. Comparé à début mars 2012, les prix sont inférieurs pour le riz sur 3 marchés et stables sur 3 autres.

    Pour les céréales sèches, ils sont inférieurs uniquement pour le mil à Tillabéry et pour le maïs à Agadez. Ils sont stables pour le sorgho à Tillabéry et à Agadez et pour le maïs à Dosso. Ailleurs, ils sont en hausse pour l’ensemble des céréales sèches : mil (+4 à 19%), sorgho (+5 à 31%) et maïs (+7 à 20%).

    Analyse de l’évolution des prix en fonction des produits : Riz : Baisse à Agadez et stabilité sur les autres marchés. Mil : Stabilité à Tillabéry et Niamey, hausse sur les autres marchés. Sorgho : Stabilité à Dosso, Agadez et Niamey, hausse sur les autres marchés. Maïs : Baisse à Niamey, stabilité à Zinder et Tillabéry et hausse sur les autres marchés.


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    Source: Caritas
    Country: Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Senegal

    Caritas lance une intervention d’envergure couvrant quatre pays pour aider les personnes touchées par le conflit qui a éclaté récemment au Mali et qui a forcé des centaines de milliers de personnes à quitter leurs maisons.

    Un programme de 3 055 1345 € (4 millions de USD) permettra de renforcer les Caritas au Mali, au Burkina Faso, au Niger et au Sénégal afin qu'elles puissent aider les centaines de milliers de Maliens touchés par la crise.

    Le but premier de ce programme est d’apporter l’aide aux déplacés internes, aux réfugiés et à d’autres personnes qui sont victimes du conflit au Mali.

    « Les fonds accordés à cette crise nous donneront non seulement la possibilité d’étendre notre solidarité aux réfugiés maliens qui en ont besoin, mais aussi d’aider les organisations Caritas au Sahel à faire face à la situation d'urgence et à avoir de bonnes bases pour une collaboration lors des prochaines situations d'urgence », a déclaré Gaston Goro, responsable des urgences à Caritas Mali.

    Plus de 5 000 familles (30-35 000 personnes) au Mali et au Burkina Faso recevront des rations alimentaires pendant trois mois. Caritas distribuera de l’argent à plus de 1 000 familles de réfugiés au Burkina Faso pour acheter des animaux de ferme. Les agriculteurs de la région recevront des transferts en espèces pour vacciner et vermifuger leur bétail.

    Plus de 4 000 ménages au Mali recevront des kits de cuisine ou des tentes ou des matelas, en fonction de leurs besoins, tandis que 500 ménages recevront des cuisinières solaires.

    Caritas apportera l’aide aux réfugiés, aux personnes déplacées et aux rapatriés sous d’autres formes, par exemple : distribuer des graines afin qu'ils puissent cultiver à nouveau, donner aux enfants des kits scolaires afin qu'ils puissent retourner à l'école, dispenser les soins de santé et couvrir les frais de transport de personnes qui veulent retourner chez eux.

    L'investissement dans la formation du personnel et l’amélioration de l’aide logistique assureront aux organisations membres de Caritas au Mali, au Niger, au Burkina Faso et au Sénégal une meilleure préparation pour travailler ensemble sur de futures crises.

    Contacter Michelle Hough, chargée de la communication, au +39 334 234 4136 ou hough@caritas.va.


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    Source: Afrique Verte
    Country: Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali, Niger
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    1) Les spécificités de l’année 2012

    Au niveau Financier

    L’année 2012 s’est caractérisée par une baisse sensible des ressources due à la clôture des programmes européens : Facilité alimentaire au Mali et au Niger, fin d’octobre 2011, puis CE Food au Burkina à fin décembre 2011.
    Par contre, l’AFD a accepté un programme triennal multi pays (2012-2014). La crise alimentaire au Niger et la crise socio politique au Mali nous ont donné l’occasion de réaliser plusieurs programmes d’urgence, grâce aux soutiens de la Coopération française, des Conseil régionaux du Rhône Alpes et du Centre, de la Commune de Maurepas et du CCFD Terre Solidaire.

    Les autres programmes en cours se sont poursuivis au Sahel. On note néanmoins la fin du programme d’appui aux transformatrices de céréales depuis octobre 2012, dossier MAE FSP Genre (Burkina Mali Niger 2010-2012). Au final, en 2012, le budget de l’association s’élève à 1.666.600 €. Le bilan 2012 est équilibré.

    Au niveau des actions

    On note dans les 3 pays un ralentissement des activités d’appui au développement. En mars 2012, les évènements au Mali nous ont obligé à fermer deux zones d’intervention : Tombouctou (gérée par Afrique Verte) et Gao (gérée par Amassa). Par contre, Afrique Verte a initié des actions d’urgence et les a conduites avec succès.

    Enfin, les actions d’appui à la commercialisation se sont considérablement développées, avec l’organisation de deux bourses internationales et le renforcement de notre plaidoyer en faveur de la libre circulation des céréales dans la sous région.
    Au niveau Institutionnel

    L’année a été marquée par la fin du partenariat avec le GRET, suite à l’achèvement de nos projets européens « Facilité alimentaire » au Mali et au Niger. Le partenariat avec Misola au Mali s’est poursuivi sur le projet Conseil régional du Centre à Mopti et sur toutes les actions d’urgence, au Mali et au Niger.
    Le partenariat initié avec AGUISSA, en Guinée, à Kankan, depuis avril 2011 s’est poursuivi.
    Une rencontre Afrique Verte international a été organisée à Ouagadougou, en décembre 2012, regroupant tous les membres du groupe :
    AcSSA, AMASSA, APROSSA et Afrique Verte.
    L’association AGUISSA est devenue membre d’Afrique Verte international.

    Au niveau communication

    L’année a été marquée par les évènements au Mali et par la crise alimentaire au Niger qui ont donné de nombreuses occasions à Afrique Verte de communiquer auprès du public en France, sur les ondes (particulièrement sur RFI) et de renforcer son plaidoyer auprès des décideurs impliqués dans la gestion de la sécurité alimentaire au Sahel.


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    Source: UN Children's Fund
    Country: Chad

    "The three-day vaccination campaign, supported by UNICEF and WHO, targets close to 4 million children under the age of five across the country. Nomadic populations whose access to health services is often limited are among the priority targets. In Chad, 42% of children below one year are vaccinated with three doses of the pentavalent vaccine which protects them against five major diseases*.”

    N'Djamena, March 15, 2013 - The Chadian Government, with the support of UNICEF, WHO and partners is launching a national immunization campaign against poliomyelitis combined with the Vitamin A supplementation and deworming for children under 5 years. The combined campaign that will run from March 15 through 17, 2013, aims to reach about 4 million children across the country, including nomadic children.

    "The combined immunization campaign constitutes an important step forward for Chad in its agenda to accelerate child survival and development. These are two high-impact interventions to improve the nutritional status and health of children. Vitamin A supplementation offers the child a better chance of survival and lower risks of being infected by serious infectious diseases. Meanwhile, children who are dewormed have a better nutritional status, grow faster and develop better learning skills, "said Bruno Maes, UNICEF Representative in Chad.

    According to international studies including those conducted by the Lancet, the Vitamin A supplementation and deworming - if such interventions are systematically institutionalized every six months - can contribute to the reduction of a quarter (23%) of child mortality, half (50%) of measles related mortality and by 40% the mortality rate related to diarrhea.

    More than 9,600 additional community workers have been mobilized across the country to ensure that all targeted children are reached including nomadic children. Estimated at 350,000 people –3.5% of the total population of Chad-nomadic populations are often difficult to reach with health services. In addition, the analysis of polio cases in Chad shows that nomadic children are disproportionately affected. It is an underserved segment of the population that has not been charted in detail before.

    "The current campaign responds to a concern for equity. UNICEF is mandated to pay attention to the most vulnerable populations. We need to give every child the best start in life. UNICEF and its partners sought to provide help to these communities and develop strategies to find and immunize their children. This innovative effort with nomadic leaders begins to yield results in Chad. Even one case of polio is one too many," continues Bruno Maes.

    Chad has made tremendous progress towards the eradication of polio. The country recorded only 5 cases of polio in 2012 compared to the 132 cases in 2011, showing a reduction of 95%. Thanks to the continued commitment by the government and its partners, the country is on its way to complete eradication.

    “The campaign will help consolidate gains made in polio eradication in Chad, where no cases have been reported since June 2012,” stated Bruno Maes.

    However, huge challenges remain to be addressed in a context where routine immunization services as well as the demand for these services remain very low. In Chad, the immunization coverage survey done by the Ministry of Health with support of WHO and UNICEF, in 2012 showed that 42% of children below one year have been immunized with three doses of the pentavalent vaccine which protects against five major diseases.

    "While significant progress has been made in Chad, some fundamental concerns remain. There is still a significant number of unvaccinated or missed children during campaigns, the main reason being the absence of children. This is a concern in 8 of the 19 regions where the proportion of unvaccinated children has increased during supplementary immunization activities," concluded Bruno Maes.

    The current campaign is in line with the Government's commitment to child survival. Chad, like many other countries in the world has joined the UNICEF global initiative: "Commitment to child survival: a promise renewed" whose objective is to reduce the mortality rate to below 20 per 1000 births in each country by 2035.

    *Source: Enquête de couverture vaccinale au Tchad : Rapport finale Juin 2012.

    #

    About A Promise Renewed

    A UNICEF initiated, "A promise renewed" is a global movement for Child Survival, with partners who are committed to working together. Many governments, including Chad, are meeting with UNICEF to remind the world a promise, a promise that simply should not be forgotten, for child survival. The overall objective is to put an end to preventable child deaths. Intermediate objectives are to achieve MDGs 4 and 5 in 2015. In countries where the mortality rate is above 20 per under five 1,000 births, the goal is to reduce the mortality rate to 20 or less by 2035. http://www.apromiserenewed.org/

    About UNICEF

    UNICEF works in 190 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org


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    Source: Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development
    Country: Mali
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    La commune de Ménaka, se situe dans le cercle de Ménaka (r de Gao) au nord du Mali, à 1500 km de Bamako. et ses environs ont été le théâtre de violences, notamment depuis le 17 janvier 2012 avec l'attaque de camps militaires maliens dans la ville de Ménaka par les combattants du MNLA et par le groupe islamiste MUJAO. Beaucoup d’habitants ont d sont réfugiés dans des villages et camps de des camps de réfugiés comme celui d’Abala au Niger. La commune de Ménaka n’a pas souffert de destructions récentes. Elle n'en reste pas moins vulnérable car victime du manque de présence gouvernementale et d’actions humanitaires limitées depuis pl sieurs mois.


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    Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
    Country: Mali
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    Les flux commerciaux entre les régions du nord et les marchés d’approvisionnement en légère amélioration.

    MESSAGES CLÉS

    • La hausse des flux commerciaux au nord suite à la réouverture des axes routiers avec le sud du pays et le Niger et les appuis humanitaires permettent une disponibilité suffisante en denrées de base sur les marchés, particulièrement pour les zones agropastorales des régions de Tombouctou et de Gao. Pourtant, l’incertitude sécuritaire dans la région risque toujours de compromettre les actions d’assistance et d’activités commerciales.

    • Les prix des denrées en provenance du sud du pays présentent une baisse de niveau pour le mil de 15 à 30% par rapport au mois passé sur les marchés de Tombouctou et de Gao.. Ils restent stables mais très élevés sur le marché de Kidal. Comme pour les autres marchés du pays, ils restent supérieurs à la moyenne quinquennale de 10 à 30 pour cent.

    • L’épuisement des stocks, la mévente des animaux (faible demande), et le manque d’opportunité de revenu pour la majorité des populations pastorales dans les zones de conflit limitent leur accessibilité alimentaire. La situation de stress (IPC Phase 2) dans laquelle se trouvent les populations pastorales du nord évoluera à la Crise (IPC Phase 3) en avril si le statu quo se maintenait.


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    Source: Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
    Country: Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Mali, Myanmar, Nigeria, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, South Sudan (Republic of)
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    R2P Monitor:

    Provides background on populations at risk of mass atrocity crimes, with particular emphasis on key events and actors and their connection to the threat, or commission, of genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.

    Offers analysis of the country’s past history in relation to mass atrocity crimes; the factors that have enabled their possible commission, or that prevent their resolution; and the receptivity of the situation to positive influences that would assist in preventing further crimes.

    Tracks the international response to the situation with a particular emphasis upon the actions of the United Nations (UN), key regional actors and the International Criminal Court (ICC).

    Suggests necessary action to prevent or halt the commission of mass atrocity crimes.

    SYRIA

    Populations in Syria continue to face mass atrocity crimes committed by state security forces and affiliated militias.

    The increasingly sectarian nature of the civil war puts civilians at even greater risk.

    BACKGROUND

    After two years of internal conflict in Syria, civilians remain the primary victims of the violence as the fighting continues to move deeper into urban areas. On 11 March the UN Human Rights Council-mandated Commission of Inquiry (CoI) said, “a failure to resolve this increasingly violent conflict will condemn Syria, the region and the millions of civilians caught in the crossfire to an unimaginably bleak future.”


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    Source: IFRC
    Country: Mali

    By Moustapha Diallo, IFRC

    Until a few months ago, 60 year old grandmother Zeinabou Maiga lived in Gao in northern Mali. “I lost my only son during the conflict. Now I find myself alone with two grandchildren. Without adequate shelter and no money, we have a precarious life growing up in deprivation in Kati," she says.

    Zeinabou tells of her troubles at the border with Algeria, where she first sought refuge, before going to Kati, a town 40 kilometres from Bamako, the Malian capital.

    After several kilometres on foot under a blazing sun and four days travelling in a truck with her two grandchildren, Zeinabou came to Kati, destitute and completely exhausted.

    "We got sick once we arrived because we were close to 100 people crammed like sardines in the truck," she says.

    After the outbreak of the crisis in northern Mali, thousands of people were displaced within the country while others sought refuge in neighbouring countries. By March, UNHCR estimated that more than 260,000 people are displaced in Mali, while more than 170,000 have fled to Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Niger.

    For those who ran to safety in southern Mali, most ended up being hosted by families which themselves were already overwhelmed and unable to cope with the needs of their unexpected guests. They exchanged conflict for misery.

    “Everything was lacking and we depend on others to meet our needs. We are tired of begging in our own country," Zeinabou says. She is critical of some humanitarian organizations which came to conduct assessments but have not yet provided any assistance.

    With the support of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and partner National Societies, the Mali Red Cross is providing assistance. “Only the Mali Red Cross came to bring us 300kg of rice, but we have used it all within a few weeks,” says Zeinabou. “There are more than five families living in this house which fled the conflict in the north, so the food doesn’t last long."

    Like thousands of others, Zeinabou intends to return to her native region, but prefers to wait for the security situation to improve.

    For now, she tries to survive in a hut she made herself to protect her family from the harsh sun; a makeshift dwelling which could be destroyed by the slightest rain when the rainy season starts in less than three months.


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    Source: Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development
    Country: Mali
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    La commune de Ménaka, se situe dans le cercle de Ménaka (r de Gao) au nord du Mali, à 1500 km de Bamako. et ses environs ont été le théâtre de violences, notamment depuis le 17 janvier 2012 avec l'attaque de camps militaires maliens dans la ville de Ménaka par les combattants du MNLA et par le groupe islamiste MUJAO. Beaucoup d’habitants ont d sont réfugiés dans des villages et camps de des camps de réfugiés comme celui d’Abala au Niger. La commune de Ménaka n’a pas souffert de destructions récentes. Elle n'en reste pas moins vulnérable car victime du manque de présence gouvernementale et d’actions humanitaires limitées depuis pl sieurs mois.


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