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ReliefWeb - Updates

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    Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
    Country: Burkina Faso
    preview


    Situation alimentaire normale pour les ménages très pauvres et pauvres

    MESSAGES CLÉS

    • Dans au moins 80 pour cent des ménages très pauvres et pauvres, les stocks de céréales et les revenus plus que normaux (orpaillage, maraichage, vente des cultures de rente) permettent une alimentation satisfaisante jusqu’en juin. Ainsi, ils seront en insécurité alimentaire Minime (IPC Phase 1).

    • Le faible recours des ménages aux marchés a favorisé le maintien des prix des céréales à des niveaux globalement stables depuis janvier et similaires ou en hausse n’excédant pas 12 pour cent comparés à la moyenne quinquennale. Ce qui contribue positivement à l’accès des ménages à l’alimentation.

    • La demande institutionnelle actuelle en céréales n’a pas encore pu influencer la tendance saisonnière normale des prix. De même aucune menace majeure ne pèse sur les flux de denrées alimentaires entre les zones de production et les zones structurellement déficitaires.


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    03/27/2013 15:56 GMT

    BAMAKO, March 27, 2013 (AFP) - Hundreds of troops began human rights lessons Wednesday as part of their training for the Malian army, which is accused of abuses in its battle to flush Islamists out of its northern desert.

    A group of 300 soldiers were given a manual spelling out the obligation of the front-line trooper to "refrain from the use of his weapon against the civilian population" and "protect and save women and children from attacks".

    "Respect for civilians, mostly women and children, should be the top priority for all combatants," said To Tjoelker of the Dutch Embassy in Bamako, which is organising the training with the United Nations.

    "Abuses have been committed in northern Mali by rebel groups and by the Malian military. We must move towards a situation of full respect for human rights on the ground."

    French forces launched a surprise intervention on January 11 to help the Malian army stop Al Qaeda-linked fighters who had controlled the north since April 2012 from moving southward and threatening the capital Bamako.

    Islamist groups have largely been driven out of the main cities in the north and are waging a guerrilla war against French, Malian and other troops seeking to help the government assert its control over the entire territory.

    The UN's human rights body has accused Malian soldiers of carrying out retaliatory attacks since the French involvement that have appeared to target Tuareg and Arab communities, often conflated with jihadists.

    Malian army commander Aminata Diabate, who was taking part in the training, described some of the accusations against the army as "pure fantasy" while admitting that several rights abusers had already been punished.

    "Sanctions may go right up to expulsion from the army and prosecution," she said.

    New York-based Human Rights Watch urged the transitional regime in Bamako on Tuesday to investigate claims that soldiers had tortured seven suspected supporters of Islamist groups near Timbuktu, in northwestern Mali.

    sd-stb/mrb/ft/mbx


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    03/27/2013 15:40 GMT

    BAMAKO, 27 mars 2013 (AFP) - L'armée malienne a pour la première fois donné mercredi un bilan de la guerre contre les islamistes dans son pays, affirmant que 63 de ses soldats et environ 600 islamistes avaient été tués depuis janvier, au moment où se prépare l'envoi d'une mission de maintien de la paix de l'ONU.

    "Depuis le début de l'offensive militaire lancée le 11 janvier 2013 contre les islamistes, le bilan humain est de 63 soldats maliens tués et nos adversaires ont perdu environ 600 combattants", a déclaré à l'AFP le lieutenant-colonel Souleymane Maïga, porte-parole de l'armée malienne.

    Il a par ailleurs indiqué que deux soldats togolais et un burkinabè étaient morts accidentellement au Mali.

    Fin février, le Tchad avait annoncé avoir perdu 26 soldats au combat au Mali, bilan qui n'a pas été actualisé depuis.

    L'armée française a enregistré la mort de cinq soldats depuis le début de son intervention le 11 janvier pour empêcher une avancée vers le sud du Mali des groupes islamistes armés qui occupaient le nord de ce pays depuis neuf mois, y commettant de nombreuses exactions.

    L'opération militaire lancée par la France, qui a envoyé 4.000 soldats en soutien à l'armée malienne, a permis la reprise des villes du nord du Mali, mais les jihadistes résistent encore dans le nord-est du pays, dans le massif des Ifoghas et dans la région de Gao, plus grande agglomération du Nord.

    Al-Qaïda au Maghreb islamique (Aqmi) a été "affaiblie" par l'opération militaire française Serval, a déclaré le chef d'Etat-major de l'armée française de terre française, le général Bertrand Ract-Madouxui, qui a encouragé ses troupes à porter leur attention sur la région de Gao.

    Une Mission internationale de soutien au Mali (Misma), composée de 6.300 soldats d'Afrique de l'Ouest et du Tchad, est aussi présente au Mali et sa transformation en force des Nations unies est actuellement en préparation.

    "Force parallèle"

    L'ONU envisage de déployer au Mali une mission de maintien de la paix forte de 11.200 hommes au maximum, accompagnée d'une "force parallèle" pour combattre les islamistes, selon un rapport du secrétaire général de l'ONU Ban Ki-moon présenté mardi à New York.

    Les chefs des armées de Mauritanie, d'Algérie, du Mali et du Niger se sont eux réunis mercredi à Nouakchott pour "évaluer la situation" sécuritaire dans le Sahel marquée par l'intervention au Mali. Ils ont affirmé avoir pris les "dispositions nécessaires pour renforcer et améliorer les capacités opérationnelles" de leurs armées.

    Dans le même temps, 300 soldats maliens ont débuté à Bamako une formation au respect des droits de l'Homme en zone de conflit, alors que l'armée malienne est régulièrement accusée d'exactions.

    "Le respect des civils, surtout des femmes et des enfants, doit être la priorité des priorités pour tous les belligérants", a déclaré To Tjoelker, chargée d'affaires de l'ambassade des Pays-Bas à Bamako, dont le pays participe avec l'ONU et l'armée malienne à cette formation.

    "Des exactions ont été commises dans le nord du Mali par les groupes rebelles et par des militaires maliens. Nous devons évoluer vers une situation de respect total des droits humains sur le terrain", a-t-elle ajouté.

    L'armée malienne a été accusée de graves violences contre des membres des communautés arabe et touareg, souvent assimilées aux groupes islamistes.

    Mardi, l'organisation Human Rights Watch (HRW) a encouragé le régime de transition à Bamako à enquêter sur des affirmations selon lesquelles des soldats maliens ont torturé sept personnes soupçonnées d'être des partisans de groupes islamistes armés à Léré, près de Tombouctou", dans le nord-ouest du Mali.

    bur-stb/jpc


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    03/27/2013 15:05 GMT

    by Serge Daniel

    BAMAKO, March 27, 2013 (AFP) - The Malian army said Wednesday 63 of its troops and 600 rebels had died since the launch of French-led operations two months ago to take back the north from hardline Islamist groups.

    The announcement by the military came as UN leader Ban Ki-Moon said up to 11,200 troops could be needed for a peacekeeping mission in the troubled west African nation.

    In a surprise intervention, France sent troops to Mali in January to prevent an advance on the capital Bamako by Al Qaeda-linked fighters who overran northern Mali a year ago, taking advantage of a vacuum left after a coup.

    "Since the start of the military offensive launched January 11, 2013 against the Islamists, the death toll is 63 Malian soldiers killed and our opponents have lost about 600 fighters," army spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Souleymane Maiga told AFP.

    He said one Togolese and a Burkinabe soldier had also been killed in Operation Serval, which has also claimed the lives of five French troops.

    France, which has 4,000 troops in the country, is eager to withdraw and hand over to an African force, known as AFISMA, which would be transformed into a UN peacekeeping mission.

    It has urged the 15-member council to pass a resolution in April to set up the peacekeeping force that could be in place by July.

    AFISMA currently has around 6,300 soldiers from west African countries and Chad.

    Ban said the 11,200-strong peacekeeping mission would need to be backed up by a "parallel" military force to battle Islamist fighters.

    The peacekeepers could only cover main towns "assessed to be at highest risk", Ban said in a grim report on conditions in Mali that the UN Security Council will discuss later Wednesday.

    The UN leader said there would be a "fundamental requirement for a parallel force" in Mali and possibly neighbouring countries -- in a clear signal that France will have to maintain a strong military involvement in the conflict.

    The second force would "conduct major combat and counter-terrorism operations and provide specialist support beyond the scope of the United Nations mandate and capability," the UN secretary general said.

    Having been beaten out of Mali's northern cities, the Islamists have retreated to inhospitable desert and mountain hideouts from where they launch guerrilla attacks on French, Chadian and Malian forces trying to flush them out.

    Ansar Dine, which occupied northern Mali last year with two other Islamist groups, has vowed to continue its fight to drive out French and African troops.

    "We reassure our parents in Mali, particularly in Azawad (northern Mali), that their sons within Ansar Dine are in a good situation, resist by the grace of Allah and continue to lead the fighting..." the group said Tuesday in a statement published by Mauritanian news portal Sahara Media.

    Ansar Dine, along with Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa, are accused of committing atrocities while in control of the northern cities of Gao, Timbuktu and Kidal, including amputations and summary executions.

    While the militant groups have gone underground, Ban's report said there was a "crisis of governance" in Bamako, marked by "endemic corruption" and a lack of state authority.

    A political roadmap adopted by the transitional government calls for elections to be held by July 31.

    But UN peacekeeping deputy chief Edmond Mulet said in a confidential report to Ban, obtained by AFP, that he thought it "unlikely" the elections could be held on time.

    sd/stb/ft/fb


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    Source: Swiss Red Cross
    Country: Mali

    Pour la première fois depuis une année, il est à nouveau possible de se rendre dans la région de Tombouctou, dans le nord du Mali. La Croix-Rouge suisse (CRS) entend contribuer à la reconstruction des villages dans lesquels elle était active avant le début des violences.

    La situation s’est apaisée depuis que les rebelles ont été repoussés hors de Tombouctou à la fin janvier. Des familles qui avaient fui vers le sud et les pays voisins retournent désormais dans le nord. Le délégué de la CRS a quitté Bamako pour regagner Tombouctou. Aux côtés de la Croix-Rouge malienne et des autorités locales, il évalue les dégâts survenus au cours des derniers mois dans les villages où la CRS s’engageait depuis de nombreuses années dans les domaines de la santé et de l’approvisionnement en eau.

    «La situation est critique, rapporte Kamilou Wahabou. Les robinets et les canalisations sont cassés, rendant de nombreuses fontaines inutilisables.» Quant aux capteurs solaires qui équipaient une partie des pompes à eau, ils ont été volés. Sans parler des dispensaires pillés et des écoles et bâtiments publics détruits. En raison du conflit, l’approvisionnement de cette région aride et isolée a par ailleurs été totalement interrompu. Les conditions de vie, déjà extrêmement difficiles en temps de paix, se sont détériorées de façon dramatique.

    Les besoins humanitaires sont colossaux, alors que l’incertitude prévaut dans le pays. Dès que la situation sécuritaire le permettra, la CRS aidera les populations du nord les plus durement touchées par la brutalité du conflit à réaliser des travaux de reconstruction et de réhabilitation. La première étape consistera à réparer les puits.

    Aide d’urgence à Mopti

    Il y a une année, la violence et l’insécurité grandissantes ont forcé la CRS à interrompre son engagement à long terme dans la région de Tombouctou. Son délégué a été muté à Bamako, d’où il a coordonné, en collaboration avec la Croix-Rouge malienne, les opérations d’aide d’urgence en faveur des personnes déplacées. A Mopti, la CRS soutient la distribution de rations alimentaires, de couvertures et de moustiquaires à 3000 familles. Elle soulage en outre les foyers qui ont recueilli des personnes déplacées en leur fournissant des semences, du fourrage et des outils. A ce jour, l’aide d’urgence apportée par la CRS au Mali se monte à 600 000 CHF.


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    03/27/2013 18:20 GMT

    BRUXELLES, 27 mars 2013 (AFP) - La mission de l'Union européenne au Mali (EUTM) est prête à accueillir, à partir du 2 avril, le premier bataillon de 670 soldats qu'elle va former afin de permettre à l'armée malienne d'assurer la défense du pays sur le long terme, a indiqué mercredi son commandant à Bruxelles.

    "Les premiers soldats seront accueillis mardi 2 avril, comme prévu", a déclaré à la presse le général François Lecointre, après une réunion d'étape au siège du Conseil européen.

    "C'est un tour de force pour une opération multinationale" et en raison du contexte au Mali, deux mois et demi après le lancement de l'opération de reconquête du nord du pays par l'armée et les forces françaises, a-t-il estimé.

    Les effectifs de la mission EUTM, proches de 550 personnes, dont 200 formateurs, sont tous arrivés sur la base de Koulikoro, à une soixantaine de kilomètres de Bamako, à l'exception d'une section espagnole attendue pour la mi-avril.

    23 pays de l'UE participent à cette mission, dont la France est nation-cadre et le plus grand contributeur. Viennent ensuite les Allemands, les Espagnols, les Tchèques, les Britanniques, alors que certains pays, comme la Lituanie, participent pour la première fois.

    EUTM est dotée d'un budget de 12,3 millions d'euros pour les frais généraux pour un mandat initial de quinze mois, éventuellement renouvelable. Chaque pays contributeur finance le déploiement de ses militaires.

    Son quartier général est situé à Bamako, où elle mène aussi depuis plus d'un mois une mission de "conseil et d'expertise" afin de réorganiser l'armée malienne; qui avait été incapable de résister aux groupes armés ayant envahi le nord du pays et qui menaçaient Bamako début janvier.

    Un premier rapport, récemment établi par EUTM, dresse un constat "sévère" de l'état de cette armée "destructurée", qui "est incapable de se projeter dans l'avenir" et qui "souffre de lacunes en terme d'équipements", a indiqué le général Lecointre.

    "Au Mali, tout le monde est conscient de ces faiblesses" et "l'armée est prête à se réformer avec l'aide de l'UE", a-t-il ajouté. "Cela crée des attentes fortes, auxquels les Européens devront répondre", selon lui.

    L'armée malienne a annoncé mercredi que 63 soldats maliens et environ 600 islamistes avaient été tués depuis le 11 janvier, tandis que les Tchadiens ont perdu 26 soldats et la France 5.

    jri/siu/jeb

    © 1994-2013 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: AlertNet
    Country: Mali

    By Emma Batha

    LONDON (AlertNet) – Persistent fighting in northern Mali is hampering efforts to tackle hunger caused by a combination of conflict and last year’s drought, the head of the U.N.’s World Food Programme said.

    Read the full article on AlertNet


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    Source: UN Children's Fund
    Country: Mali

    By Katarina Johansson Mekoulou

    In a relatively peaceful part of Mali, a new programme is addressing pervasive malnutrition and malaria.

    OUÉLESSÉBOUGOU, Mali, 27 March 2013 – Continuing conflict in the northern part of Mali has had tremendous impact on the country. Mali has also been facing food and nutrition crisis aggravated by the political instability and conflict in the north. Schools have been closed, health centres looted and vandalized, children’s rights violated.

    But in the region of Koulikoro, where small villages of huts with mud walls and conical thatched roofs dot the land, things have been relatively peaceful, even with the large number of displaced people taking shelter here.

    But children here could be fighting for their lives in a very different kind of conflict.

    Different kind of conflict

    In villages throughout the district of Ouélessébougou, malaria is all too common.

    Combined with the chronic malnutrition in Mali, malaria is the main cause of death for children under the age of 5.

    These deaths often occur at home, far from life-saving medical treatment.

    But a dynamic programme financed by UNICEF and the European Union humanitarian aid department (ECHO) is improving the odds against the killer.

    “I can’t even give you numbers for how many lives they have saved,” says son of the elder chief of the village of Bladier Salif Samake. He’s talking about the services of Alliance Médicale Contre le Paludisme (AMCP)/ALIMA, made available in this district last March.

    Mr. Samake summons a young woman, who has just returned from the central hospital with her 3-year-old child. The girl had been gravely ill with malaria, he says – “so sick I thought she would die”.

    The child and her mother, who had already lost four children to malaria, were admitted to hospital for free medical service. Ten days and one blood transfusion later, they are back home, safe.

    Bridge between village and healthcare

    In Ouélessébougou, AMCP/ALIMA comprises a team of 25 doctors, nurses, field agents and coordinators who have changed the course of child survival in the district. Young, Malian, and armed with scales, measuring tapes, therapeutic food and anti-malaria pills, they run a programme that is bridging the gap between remote villages and state health facilities that have been underutilized by the people who need them most.

    “Before the programme, we had few children in the hospital, many dropped treatments and many deaths,” explains director of the central hospital Dr. N’Dji Boubacar Diarra. Dr. Diarra notes that few families could afford hospitalization, and even fewer understood the importance of following medical treatment. But, since the programme began, additional investments by ECHO have made it possible to waive hospital fees and to follow up cases with mobile teams of doctors.

    Mobility is at the heart of the programme. Each doctor assigned to 20 villages spends the mornings in the field, where she or he screens each child under 5 for malnutrition and malaria. The doctors dispense therapeutic food and anti-malaria pills and instructions on how to administer the treatment. They refer cases with complications to the nearest health centre, where the parents are not only given free care, but are also fed and advised throughout their child’s stay.

    As affordable and accessible as possible

    Souleymane Ba coordinates field operations for the team in Ouélessébougou. He and Dr. Bakary Sidibe, the chief of medical staff, were both founders of the first AMCP/ALIMA programme in neighboring Kangaba, the success of which encouraged ECHO to expand the programme to Ouélessébougou and another district.

    “Now, even more districts are asking us to come,” says Mr. Ba.

    “Whenever I put a new strategy in place,” he continues, “you will find me checking how my team has implemented them, watching the results. Like when I realized that the low role of admission to health facilities for kids with severe malaria could be helped by including rapid malaria testing with malnutrition screening.”

    Mr. Ba and three doctors will spend the next morning in the village of Manadougou, screening more than 100 children under 5. Over the course of two hours, they will identify 20 cases of malaria and three new cases of malnutrition.

    None of these children will be in need of hospitalization. They will be seen by the mobile team again in two weeks. They will likely recover, without the stress and inconvenience to their families of having to reach distant health facilities.

    But, before the team leave, Dr. Sidibe will make it clear that, if a child deteriorates rapidly, it will be imperative for parents to seek medical attention. And AMCP/ALIMA has made it as affordable and accessible as possible for them to do so.


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    Source: IRIN
    Country: Somalia

    JOHANNESBURG, 28 March 2013 (IRIN) - Parts of southern Somalia are yet to recover from the battering they took in 2010-2011, when severe drought followed excessive rain, and now the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) says insufficient rain may fall in the coming months. "We are concerned - our forecast shows that there is 80 percent probability that rains could trend from normal to below normal across Somalia," said Gideon Galu, a regional FEWS NET scientist based in Africa.

    The situation appears to be particularly bleak in southern Somalia, where rains during June/July are likely to be inadequate. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said they were "somehow optimistic". "This is a seasonal climate forecast which will depend very much on the spatial and temporal distribution of the rains during the season," said Hussein Gadain, chief technical advisor at FAO. "In fact, we expect some areas might even be flooded, especially along the Shabelle River, where farmers cut the. [banks] for irrigation."

    Accurately predicting the weather and its possible impact is tricky, and even more so in a year marked by the absence of strong climatic signals from the oceans. Phenomena like La Niña, when sea surface temperatures are cooler, or El Niño, when they are warmer, are part of the normal climate cycle in the Pacific Ocean and occur once every four to seven years. They can also provide clues as to how the weather may behave.

    Somalia has two distinct rainy seasons. The first is 'Gu', the long rains from March to June that support the main cropping season. The second is 'Deyr', the short rains, which occur at different times across the country but usually from October to November, according to FAO.

    "Normally, the climatic conditions in the Equatorial Pacific Ocean (El Nino and La Nina) tend to affect the Deyr rains more than the Gu rains, which are affected by the Somali Jet [a narrow wind-stream running north along the east African coast] and the conditions in the western Indian Ocean," Gadain noted.

    Galu said FEWS-NET uses an analogue year - when a similar forecast has been made - to build a picture of the likely impact on agriculture. "The year we used as a reference - especially 2002 (the most likely scenario) indicates that rainfall distribution during the coming months is also expected to be erratic in both space and time," but he added that no two seasons/years can be exactly the same.

    Some parts of southern Somalia received good Deyr rains between October and December in 2012, and farmers have managed to harvest an almost average crop of sorghum, but FAO noted that the agro-pastoral areas of Gedo, in the southwest, as well as Lower and Middle Juba, the country's southernmost regions, received inadequate rainfall.

    The severe drought in the Horn of Africa in 2010/11 displaced millions of people and left tens of thousands dead, and led the United Nations to declare a famine in parts of southern Somalia.

    "We are particularly concerned, as the same communities - who have not really had sufficient time to recover - could be affected by insufficient rains," said Galu. "Crop yield prospects in southern Somalia, particularly for the rainfed cropping areas, are likely to be reduced in [the] case of below-normal rainfall amounts and erratic distribution during the season."

    jk/he


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


    Faits saillants

    • Crises et catastrophes naturelles en 2013 : La réunion de Maradi s’entend sur le scénario probable

    • Santé: le nombre de cas de paludisme reste élevé

    • Malnutrition le système de prise en charge, une chance pour les groupes vulnérables


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    Source: UN Country Team in Mali
    Country: Mali

    Since 11 January 2013 and the deployment of the French Armed Forces as part of ‘Operation Serval’, of troops from the African-led International Support Mission to Mali (AFISMA) and other deployed troops, the humanitarian space has grown increasingly complex and the humanitarian community is now sharing its operational environment with a multitude of armed actors.

    This document, based on the principles and international guidelines applicable to complex emergency contexts, developed through a participative and consensual process by the Humanitarian Country Team (HTC), is not intended to substitute the Code of Conduct for Operational Humanitarian Assistance, but complement it.

    As a preamble, the HTC recalls that whereas military action supports a political purpose, humanitarian assistance is based on needs and delivered in a neutral, impartial, and independent manner.

    In the context of on-going military operations, the strategy for civil-military interaction adopted by the humanitarian community in Mali is one of coexistence. The participation of military personnel in humanitarian and/or cluster meetings is therefore inappropriate. This does not, however, exclude the establishment of minimum essential coordination to allow for the dialogue and interaction necessary to promote humanitarian principles and discuss key issues, such as access or the protection of civilians. Humanitarian Civil-Military Coordination (UN-CMCoord) and the Civil-Military Coordination Cell established in Bamako are intended to meet this requirement for a minimal and critical liaison.

    In order to ensure respect for the humanitarian principles and protection of the humanitarian space, the distinction between military and humanitarian personnel and activities is essential and necessary. It is thus emphasised that humanitarian teams cannot transport military goods or personnel, and that this cannot be imposed onto them by military actors. Humanitarian workers should never present themselves or their work as being part of a military operation, and military personnel must abstain from presenting themselves as humanitarian workers or as part of a humanitarian mission.

    In terms of the actual Malian context, the use of military or armed escorts by humanitarians is not foreseen. Using alternative options to ensure the safety and security of humanitarian convoys should therefore be prioritised. The humanitarian community in Mali has based its security strategy on acceptance, respect for and clear adherence to the humanitarian principles. The use of military or armed escorts by one or several humanitarian actors would therefore be detrimental to the perception of neutrality and independence of humanitarian actors and would put humanitarian workers and affected population in danger. Should a situation arise that requires use of military or armed escorts based on needs identified as critical, the decision to request or accept the use of military or armed escorts should not be imposed by military and/or political authorities, but done through coordination with the different humanitarian organisations. The use of armed escorts can therefore not be done in a unilateral way; it should result from a collaborative, consensual and transparent decision-making process within the HCT. It is noteworthy that humanitarian agencies should be able to conduct independent humanitarian evaluations, to enable them to determine the nature and extent of needs, and be able to continue to access all vulnerable populations in all regions affected by the crisis.

    In order to ensure that assistance is provided in accordance with the humanitarian principles, the military and civil defence assets (MCDA) belonging to belligerent forces or armed actors actively engaged in combat operations in Mali should not be used to support humanitarian activities . The HCT reiterates likewise the recommendations contained in the ‘Guidance on the Use of Foreign Military and Civil Defence Assets (MCDA) to Support Humanitarian Operations in the Context of the Current Military Intervention in Mali’, published by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on 1 February 2013 intended to provide guidance to the member states and the international community.

    Finally, the HCT recalls, as mentioned in Para 16 of the UNSC Resolution 2085, that all parties present in Mali must take ‘appropriate steps to ensure the safety and security of humanitarian personnel and supplies, and further demands that all parties in Mali ensure safe and unhindered access for the delivery of humanitarian aid to persons in need of assistance across Mali, consistent with international humanitarian, human rights and refugee law and the guiding principles of humanitarian assistance’.

    26 February 2013
    Humanitarian Country Team, Mali.


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    Source: UN Country Team in Mali
    Country: Mali

    Depuis le 11 janvier 2013 et le déploiement de l’Armée Française dans le cadre de l’Opération Serval, des troupes africaines de la Mission Internationale de Soutien au Mali sous conduite Africaine (MISMA) et des autres troupes déployées, l’espace humanitaire s’est complexifié et la communauté humanitaire partage désormais son environnement opérationnel avec une multitude d’acteurs armés.
    Ce document, basé sur les principes et lignes directrices internationales s’appliquant aux situations d’urgence complexe, est issu d’un processus participatif et consensuel au sein de l’équipe humanitaire pays (EHP); il ne se substitue pas au Code de Conduite pour l’Opérationnalisation de l’Assistance Humanitaire 3 mais le complète.

    En préambule, l’EHP rappelle que si l’action militaire soutient des objectifs politiques, l’aide humanitaire vise, quant à elle, à répondre à des besoins humanitaires avérés et est fournie de façon neutre, impartiale et indépendante.

    Dans le contexte des opérations militaires en cours, la stratégie d’interaction adoptée par la communauté humanitaire au Mali est une stratégie de coexistence. La participation des militaires aux forums humanitaires et/ou clusters n’est de fait pas souhaitable. Ceci n’exclut pas pour autant un minimum de coordination permettant le dialogue et l’interaction nécessaire pour promouvoir les principes humanitaires et discuter les questions clés d’accès ou de protection des civils. La coordination civilo-militaire humanitaire (UN-CMCoord) et la cellule de coordination civilo-militaire mise en place à Bamako ont pour vocation de répondre à ce besoin minimal et critique de liaison.

    Afin d’assurer le respect des principes humanitaires et la protection de l’espace humanitaire, la distinction entre le personnel et les activités militaires et humanitaires est essentielle et nécessaire. Il est donc rappelé que les équipes humanitaires ne peuvent transporter du matériel ou du personnel militaire et que ceci ne peut lui être imposé par les forces armées.

    Les travailleurs humanitaires ne doivent jamais se présenter ni présenter leur travail comme faisant partie d’une opération militaire et les militaires doivent s’abstenir de se présenter comme des travailleurs humanitaires ou prétendre assurer des missions humanitaires.

    Au regard du contexte malien actuel, le recours aux escortes armées ou militaires par les équipes humanitaires n’est pas envisagé. Des stratégies alternatives pour assurer la sécurité et la sureté des convois humanitaires doivent donc être privilégiées. Au Mali, la communauté humanitaire a basé sa stratégie sécuritaire sur l’acceptation et sur une claire mise en œuvre et respect des principes humanitaires ; l’utilisation d’escortes armées par un ou des acteurs humanitaires nuirait à la perception de neutralité et d’indépendance des acteurs humanitaires tout en mettant en danger les travailleurs humanitaires et les populations affectées. Si la situation l’exige au regard de la criticité des besoins, la décision de demander ou d’accepter l’utilisation d’escortes militaires ou armées ne saurait être imposée par les autorités militaires et/ou politiques et ne devrait être prise que de manière coordonnée par les différentes organisations humanitaires. L’utilisation d’escortes armées ne peut en effet se faire de manière unilatérale et doit être le résultat d’un processus décisionnel transparent, concerté et consensuel au sein de l’EHP. Il est à souligner que les organismes humanitaires doivent normalement être en mesure d’effectuer des évaluations humanitaires indépendantes permettant de déterminer la nature et l’ampleur des besoins et rester capables d’accéder à toutes les populations vulnérables dans toutes les régions auxquelles s’étend la situation d’urgence.

    Afin d’assurer une aide en conformité avec les principes humanitaires, les ressources des forces militaires et de la défense civile dont disposent les forces belligérantes ou les unités qui sont engagées activement dans les combats au Mali ne doivent pas être utilisées pour appuyer des activités humanitaires. L’EHP réitère également les recommandations formulées dans le ‘Guide sur l’utilisation des ressources militaires et de la protection civile (RMPC) étrangères en appui aux opérations humanitaires dans le contexte de l’intervention militaire en cours au Mali’, publié par le Bureau de Coordination des Affaires Humanitaires le 01 février 2013 à destination des Etats Membres de la communauté internationale.

    Enfin, l’équipe humanitaire pays rappelle comme mentionné dans le paragraphe 16 de la Résolution 2085 que toutes les parties présentes au Mali doivent veiller ‘à ce que l’aide humanitaire parvienne sans entrave et en toute sécurité aux personnes qui en ont besoin, où qu’elles se trouvent dans le pays, dans le respect du droit international humanitaire, du droit des droits de l’homme et du droit des réfugiés, ainsi que des principes directeurs de l’aide humanitaire’.

    26 février 2013
    Equipe Humanitaire Pays Mali


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    Source: ICRC
    Country: Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Tunisia

    Activités du CICR en 2012 en Tunisie

    Visite aux personnes privées de liberté

    En 2012, le CICR a :

    • visité 17 900 détenus au cours de 66 visites dans 27 lieux de détention et suivi individuellement 152 détenus ;
    • réhabilité une partie de la prison de Borj El Amri, près de Tunis, et y a installé un système anti-incendie.

    Rétablissement des liens familiaux

    En 2012, le CICR a :

    • aidé onze familles libyennes, installées dans le camp de Choucha, à la frontière tuniso-libyenne, à rétablir et maintenir le contact avec leurs proches ;
      • facilité plus de 16 200 appels téléphoniques entre les réfugiés ayant fuit la Libye, essentiellement des travailleurs migrants, et leurs proches.

    Depuis le début de la crise en Libye, en février 2011, plus de 113 000 appels téléphoniques ont ainsi été effectués par des réfugiés en Tunisie.

    Promotion des principes humanitaires

    Le CICR a sensibilisé au respect des droits de l'homme 63 officiers de police en partance pour des missions de maintien de la paix en Côte d'Ivoire et au Soudan.

    Activités du CICR en 2012 en Mauritanie

    Assistance d'urgence

    En 2012, le CICR a :

    • distribué, avec l'aide du Croissant-Rouge mauritanien, des produits de première nécessité à plus de 72 000 réfugiés maliens ;
    • fourni de l'eau et du matériel sanitaire à ces réfugiés par l'entremise d'autres organisations humanitaires.

    Visite aux personnes privées de liberté

    En 2012, le CICR a :

    • visité plus de 1 500 détenus au cours de 42 visites dans 11 lieux de détention et suivi individuellement 70 détenus ;
    • rénové les cuisines, l'éclairage et le système de ventilation de quatre prisons, permettant ainsi à 885 détenus de bénéficier d'un meilleur accès à l'eau potable et à de meilleures conditions de vie ;
    • fourni des compléments alimentaires à 100 détenus souffrant de malnutrition dans la prison de Nouakchott.

    Activités du CICR en 2012 au profit des réfugiés sahraouis

    Le CICR a fourni des services de réadaptation physique à 570 personnes grâce au centre de Tindouf.


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    Source: World Food Programme
    Country: Burkina Faso, Mali

    After fleeing her home in Mali, Dizawahet, 23, is about to give birth to her third child at a refugee camp in Burkina Faso. That's where she was born as well during another conflict in Mali that drove her parents across the same border. Dizawahet says she's grateful for the help families like hers receive at the camp, but that what she really wants is to go home.

    MENTAO (BURKINA FASO)--Dizawahet Mohamed’s life has come full circle. She was born 23 years ago in a refugee camp in Burkina Faso, where her family had escaped a civil war that raged in Mali from 1990-1995.

    Now, nine-months pregnant, she has fled conflict in her homeland and is once again living in a refugee camp, about to give birth to her third child.

    Today, she stands in the hot sun waiting for relatives to help her return to her shelter with her monthly food ration from WFP – cereal, lentils, salt, vegetable oil and a highly nutritious blend of corn and soya powder. She says she’s grateful for the assistance, but what she really wants is to return home.

    “We’ve always lived in difficult conditions. We are used to that. But before, we lived in freedom – that’s the most important thing. I love my country and I want to return.”

    Twice a refugee

    Dizawahet is part of a nomadic Tuareg community who herd their animals in traditional grazing lands about 30 km from Timbuktu in Mali.

    Six months ago, the conflict in Mali prompted them to flee. Dizawahet’s husband took her and their two children across the border to the area where she was born. He then returned to Mali to care for their animals – and she has not seen or heard from him since.

    Now she lives among about 16,000 Malian refugees living in five camps around the town of Mentao in Burkina Faso. In all, there are about 171,000 Malian refugees currently sheltering in Burkina Faso (47,000), Niger (50,000) and Mauritania (74,000).

    And inside Mali there are a further 270,000 internally displaced people -- most of them depending on food assistance from WFP and its partners.

    Crisis far from over

    This month, WFP’s Executive Director Ertharin Cousin met with women at Dizawahet’s camp in Burkina Faso, as well as visiting internally displaced people inside Mali, pledging to continue the support for as long as it is needed.

    “We continue to need support from the international community to ensure that we have adequate resources to meet the needs of the children and the families we are serving here, who still cannot go home,” she said.


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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Central African Republic, Chad, Libya, Mali, Sudan
    • Tchad: le HCR cherche 10 millions de dollars face à l'afflux de réfugiés (AFP, 26 mars)
    • Chadian Migrants Expelled from Libya "Growing Concern," says IOM (IOM, 22 March)
    • Tchad : L'Agence française de développement octroie 10,4 millions USD pour la santé dans la capitale (Xinhua, 28 mars)
    • Chad project tackles HIV isolation (Tearfund, 26 March)
    • RCA : Idriss Deby Itno annonce un mini-sommet de la CEEAC le 3 avril à N’Djamena (Xinhua, 28 mars)
    • Tchad : vers l’adoption d’un projet de loi portant asile (Xinhua, 28 mars)
    • Sahel crisis not over yet, WFP chief warns (AlertNet, 27 March)

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    Source: US Agency for International Development
    Country: Senegal

    Diara Mané fills her watering cans from a USAID-supported well. With access to sufficient water for her crops, she has been able to expand the plot she farms in Senegal where she grows onions, okra and eggplant throughout the year.

    “The new well allows me to grow enough to help feed my family and supplement my income by selling the rest,” she says.

    But the well is only part of the story.

    Mané lives in the Kaymor Rural Community, located along an ancient drainage system in Senegal known as the “Bao Bolong.” Since the 1970s, decreased rainfall combined with rising sea levels have permitted salt water from the Gambia River estuary to infiltrate adjacent land, killing forests and rendering the land useless for farming.

    A USAID-constructed anti-salt dike is keeping the rising river at bay and isolating water for use by farmers like Mané. By keeping the saltwater out, this dike has opened up more than 250 hectares of previously non-arable land, which can now be used for reforestation and growing rice, vegetables and grains.

    The dike also protects the local water table and ensures fresh water in the community’s wells, mitigating tradeoffs between water for household use and commercial agricultural production. This has enabled Mané to grow more for her family and the market.

    During the rainy season, the dike prevents water from flowing back into the river and out of the lowlands, instead creating a small lake that raises the water table, keeping community wells full. It also provides an oasis for the thousands of commercially-raised animals such as cows, goats and sheep from the nearby villages.

    The dike represents part of USAID’s efforts under Feed the Future to combat the devastating effects of climate change in Senegal and improve food security through recovered agriculture, forest and grazing lands. A dam farther inland, in Ndenderling, is another example of these efforts. It also forms a lake and captures rainwater, enabling villagers in the surrounding lowlands to use natural water resources resulting in more productively all year long.

    "Since the dam was built, our crops have doubled," said Serigne Cissé, a farmer in the area. "For the first time, we have attracted seasonal workers to earn money assisting us…Our relatives visit us at harvest season when we are flush with rice and onions."

    And just like in Kaymor, the reservoir formed by the dam in Ndenderling recharges the water table, keeping community wells full and making it easier for villagers to dig new wells for household and agricultural use.


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


    This document provides complex coverage of global events from 19 – 25 March 2013 with hyper- links to source material highlighted in blue and underlined in the text. For more information on the topics below or other issues pertaining to events in the region, contact the members of the Complex Coverage Team or visit our website at www.cimicweb.org.

    INSIDE THIS ISSUE

    Iraq 1
    Mali 3
    Syria 4
    IED/Demining 4


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    Source: UN News Service
    Country: Mali, Syrian Arab Republic

    28 March 2013 – In September 2010, Valerie Amos took up her post at the helm of the UN Office for the Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which is responsible for bringing together humanitarian actors to ensure a coherent response to emergencies. From deploying rapid-response teams and working with partners to assess needs, take action, secure funds, and facilitate civil-military coordination, OCHA plays a key role in crisis situations worldwide.

    As Emergency Relief Coordinator, Ms. Amos, a former member of the British Cabinet and Leader of the House of Lords, serves as a focal point and voice for humanitarian emergencies. She oversees more than 2,000 staff working in over 50 country, regional and headquarters locations, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe.

    UN News Centre: You’ve made several trips to Syria and the neighbouring countries that are hosting Syrian refugees. Can you describe what you’ve seen?

    Valerie Amos: Well the situation is getting worse all the time. I was last in Syria in January. There’s just constant shelling and I think that people are seeing what that is delivering through their television screens, through what we’re seeing on the news programmes. But how to describe when you speak to someone who is affected inside the country or to a refugee… the fear in their voice, the anger… People feel very strongly that the international community has abandoned them, that we are not doing as much as we can to bring an end to the crisis. They can’t quite believe it’s been two years. I talked to people in neighbouring countries. I’ve just been in Turkey. I was there last week, and people thought they were leaving for a few months and that they would be back home by now. So the despair…

    I worry because I think that the capacity that we have to meet those growing needs is not nearly enough. And of course it’s a difficult environment to work in. The security situation is very bad… just the day-to-day things that our staff have to do on the ground. Not only are they dealing with that insecurity – there was a bomb yesterday in Damascus; everyone, I’m very pleased to say, is safe – but they’re dealing with that on a daily basis. We’re trying to get convoys, supplies to very difficult to reach places. We can’t necessarily get through. We had the reports of the chemical attacks. We tried to get a convoy to Aleppo with medical supplies. It got hijacked. So I’ve got people, and there are people from the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, from other UN agencies, who are doing the best that they can. The Syrian people themselves are dealing with this on a daily basis, fearful for their lives, for the lives of their children, their communities. We, as an international community, have got to do more.

    UN News Centre: What are the most critical needs right now?

    Valerie Amos: Medical support is right at the top of the agenda. Syria is a country that used to produce its own medicines. Now it can’t. I was hearing just earlier this week in my conversations with the ICRC [International Committee of the Red Cross] that we’ve now reached a tipping point, so that more people are dying in Syria not as a direct result of the conflict but because the whole medical infrastructure has broken down. So people are appearing to die of natural causes but they would not have died a year ago, 18 months ago, when the medical sector was still functioning.

    I worry about the children. I worry about the women who are being sexually abused and traumatized. We’re hearing reports of men being abused and traumatized in detention centres. We’re now speaking of over a million refugees. So we have needs in terms of food, shelter, the impact on neighbouring countries as well.

    UN News Centre: In January donors pledged over $1.5 billion for the Syria humanitarian response. How do you go about getting them to fulfil those pledges as soon as possible?

    Valerie Amos: Well, that’s my current challenge. That was at the end of January. It’s now seven weeks since that conference. And I know that countries have to go through their processes. Some countries have to go through parliaments. Other countries are making decisions about exactly where they want that money to go. But in the meantime, the World Food Programme – trying to deliver food stocks; UNHCR – trying to help refugees; UNICEF – trying to help children; UNRWA – the urgent work that they are doing with the Palestinian refugees; they’re all running out of money. So I need the donors who made those pledges – and it was great to see the international community come together in the way that they did – to please turn those pledges now into real money in the bank so that we can continue the work that we’re doing.

    Valerie Amos speaks to the UN News Centre on recent visits to Syria and Mali and about providing humanitarian assistance in crises around the world.

    UN News Centre: What is the current situation in the Sahel region, which was a big focus last year?

    Valerie Amos: On one level, we did really well in the Sahel last year. We were all so worried that we were facing such a difficult situation with food insecurity as well as malnutrition that we were heading to a similar situation as the one we had seen the year before in the Horn of Africa, where we actually saw famine in Somalia. We didn’t get to that position, partly because of the governments themselves who, because of early warning, put in place strategies to deal with that, and the support they got from the international community, including the UN organizations. I think we’re all very pleased that we did not reach that very difficult situation.

    But we still have a situation this year where nearly 10 million people are still at risk because even in a year with good rains, this is a very vulnerable region. And all of that has been made worse by the situation in Mali. We had a coup last year. We had the extremists settling in the north. The French action since January has really helped to stabilize the situation. But how going forward do we really make people in the north feel that they are a continuing part of Mali. So the reconciliation discussions have to start. And how we, as an international community, are able to get them the help that they need, how we can deal with the ongoing insecurity because people fear that many of the groups have just disappeared into communities and will re-emerge once the French withdraw.

    The role of the UN going forward – what kind of support will the UN give in terms of state-building, elections, humanitarian support, development support, all of these discussions are happening right now. And in the meantime, you have continued displacement inside the country, you still have a refugee outflow, and of course you still have neighbouring countries that are affected by what is happening in Mali.

    UN News Centre: In addition to Syria and the Sahel, what are some of the most pressing crises that you are dealing with now?

    Valerie Amos: Well I worry about Yemen, which is not on the top of anybody’s agenda and where we have a major crisis across the country – in the north, in the centre, and in the south. I worry a lot about the Central African Republic. I also worry about ongoing tensions between Sudan and South Sudan which is having an impact on those two countries. But even within Sudan itself, the situation in Darfur which has remained stubbornly difficult for so many years. And of course, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia, Afghanistan… we have a long list of countries that we’re dealing with.

    UN News Centre: How do you tackle donor fatigue when there are so many situations worldwide competing for attention and resources?

    Valerie Amos: Donor fatigue and people fatigue too. I think the way that we have to deal with it… yes, there are a lot of crises, but at the same time, each of these crises is about people. It’s about the people who are affected, it’s about the children, it’s about the families, and part of the job that I have to do is to make that real for the world. To make it clear that it’s not just about numbers. It’s not just about the millions, the thousands. It’s about every single person. That’s how you have to do it and you have to continue to make the case. Do the best that you can.

    UN News Centre: You’ve been in your post for a few years now. What has been your biggest challenge?

    Valerie Amos: There are lots of challenges and there are lots of frustrations in this job. But there are also a lot of opportunities. If I had to talk about challenges, I would say that there are three really big challenges. One is how do you make our system, our humanitarian response system, as effective as possible. How do we collectively do the best we can to reach the people who need the help. Secondly, the point about advocacy, which we’ve already discussed – how do I make sure that the people that we are there to help and support, that their voice is heard and that their voice is heard in a way that touches the hearts of the people across the world so that we can raise the money that we need to raise to give people that support. I think that is a major challenge.

    The third major challenge is how do we make sure as crises are more complex, as there is more politics, if you like, in those crises, as we see in Syria right now, as we see in Mali right now, how can we make sure the work that we are doing on the humanitarian side – work which is about humanity, which is about impartiality, which is really about how do you reach the people in the greatest need – how do we make sure that that work is kept separate from those broader political agendas. And that’s harder and harder year each year.

    UN News Centre: You’ve travelled to several countries since assuming your post. Is there a situation, a story or an image that has stayed with you?

    Valerie Amos: There are a lot but if I only had to choose one, I would choose a child that I saw with her mother. They were in a camp in Ethiopia. They were very short of food, and her mother was feeding her with one of those enriched products that the WFP have, Plumpy’nut, UNICEF use it too, which really helps to build the children back when they’ve really been malnourished. She was really thin, she had a very big head, she was very frail. And her mother was feeding her but stopped because she was talking to me. And she grabbed her mother’s hand and basically brought the spoon back to her mouth. She wanted to live. She wanted to have the food that would help her to live. That is an image that always stays with me.

    UN News Centre: You have a gruelling travel schedule and deal with difficult situations all the time. What is needed for this job in terms of physical and mental stamina?

    Valerie Amos: Oh, a lot. I travel on average two weeks out of three. It’s very physically demanding but it’s also I think emotionally demanding because you do see terrible things but basically the people keep you going. I mean, I should eat a lot more healthily than I do. I should exercise more than I do. I tend to focus on the job at hand rather than on myself and I think the thing that does keep me going is that I know that in the work that I do and in the people that I work with, that we can really make change happen and that’s what I focus on.


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    Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
    Country: Lesotho
    preview


    Severe armyworm infestations likely to impact 2012/13 production

    KEY MESSAGES

    • As the peak of the lean season continues, many poor households will continue to face Stressed (IPC Phase 2!) acute food insecurity outcomes in March, in the presence of humanitarian assistance.

    • The 2012/13 agriculture season is characterized by a number of challenges that are likely to have a negatively impact on crop yields and production, especially cereals. These include a late start of the season, early frost in the mountains, a mid-season dry spell and severe armyworm infestations that have affected 25 percent of the estimated cropped area.

    • Minimal (IPC Phase 1!) acute food insecurity outcomes are projected during the April to June period because many households are expected to harvest enough food to take them through the first three months of the 2013/14 consumption period, and some poor households facing food and livelihood protection gaps will be receiving humanitarian assistance during this period.


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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Mali
    preview


    Faits saillants

    • L’insécurité dans le nord du pays liée aux combats, à la présence des mines et des engins non explosés ainsi qu’aux attaques suicides sporadiques, les acteurs humanitaires continuent les opérations dans les zones accessibles.
    • Le manque de ressources entrave les activités pour la prévention du choléra qui risque de resurgir vers juin/juillet. Depuis 2003, le choléra touche en moyenne 1 100 personnes chaque année.
    • Les personnes déplacées internes (PDI) au Mali sont estimées à 282 548 selon le dernier rapport de la Commission Mouvement de Population (CMP) publié le 20 mars. Ce chiffre n’inclut pas les 10 100 personnes déplacées identifiées au nord de la région de Kidal depuis le début de l’année par des ONG. * Le processus d’appel consolidé (CAP) pour le Mali est maintenant financé à hauteur de 21,5 pour cent. 88 millions de dollars ont été sécurisés sur une requête globale d’environ 410 millions de dollars.

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