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ReliefWeb - Updates

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

    There's a received wisdom that tree stumps, shoots and bushes should be cleared from a field before planting crops. It seems logical, but the experience of farmers in southern Niger suggests otherwise. There, the practice of Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) has been found to significantly improve soil quality and crop yields, along with additional resources and income from tree products.

    Read the full report


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    Source: UN Radio
    Country: Niger

    Écouter / Télécharger

    « La volonté du Niger est que la sécheresse ne rime plus avec famine et malnutrition ». Telle est la volonté affichée par les autorités nigériennes à l'ouverture de la quatrième session de la Plateforme mondiale pour la réduction des risques de catastrophe. Niamey entend ainsi partager avec les différents représentants gouvernementaux et du secteur privée, leur détermination à limiter les conséquences de la sécheresse pour les populations.

    Dans une interview accordée à la Radio des Nations Unies, le Ministre et Directeur de Cabinet du Premier ministre du Niger a rappelé l'initiative lancée par le pays à savoir les « trois N » : les Nigériens Nourrissent les Nigériens. L'objectif est de ne plus revivre la famine ou la faim, suite à un cycle de sécheresse. « Plus de faim au Niger et que les fortes pluies ne soient plus synonymes d'inondation », fait remarquer Saidou Sidibé. Ce préalable atteint, « le peuple nigérien se remettra ainsi à travailler et devenir un acteur de développement ».

    Autre piste soulevé lors de cette conférence, la création d'une banque agricole et la mise en place d'un fonds d'indemnisation des catastrophes ou des calamités. Niamey songe aussi à redynamiser une Mutuelle destiné aux agriculteurs face aux risques de catastrophes.

    Au cours des quarante dernières années, le Niger a connu plusieurs types de catastrophes allant de la sécheresse aux inondations et invasions acridiennes. Ainsi, au phénomène de sécheresses quasi chroniques que vit Niamey est venu s'ajouter la récurrence des inondations et des crues entre 1998 et 2012. Des phénomènes qui constituent « de véritables drames pour les populations vulnérables, l'environnement et l'économie » du pays. En 2012 par exemple, ces catastrophes ont entraîné la perte de plusieurs dizaines de milliers de tête d'animaux, la dégradation de plusieurs centaines d'hectares de cultures, la détérioration de plusieurs infrastructures. (Interview : Saidou Sidibé, Ministre, Directeur de Cabinet du Premier ministre du Niger ; propos recueillis par Alpha Diallo)


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    Source: World Vision
    Country: Niger

    World Vision Niger reported zero child deaths in three of the last five months from its 20 area development programmes that serve 45,552 children. This new trend contrasts with the average 10 deaths per month in 2011 and five deaths per month in 2012.

    Many children were regularly dying from preventable causes because they were not being taken to the hospital early enough or did not receive treatment for underlying conditions such as malnutrition, which made them vulnerable to malaria and typhoid.

    Now, WV Niger is more actively educating mothers about the need to take their sick children to the hospital as fast as possible and not wait for their children’s illnesses to become worse. Staff are assertively encouraging the use of mosquito nets and helping children, particularly those under five years of age, to receive vaccinations.

    Several other major efforts have contributed to the decrease in child deaths, such as campaigning about good sanitation, proper consumption of potable water, diversified diets and other aspects of healthy family living. WV Niger has been advocating for early diagnosis of malnutrition in children, mothers and pregnant women as well as retention of the malnourished in rehabilitation programmes.

    “One approach that should not be overlooked is that of the ‘Femme-Relais’ or ‘relay women,’ who are community volunteers that work with World Vision at the community level,” said Esperance Klugan, national director, WV Niger. “Relay-women” simply means ‘pick up the baton where the mothers drop it’.”

    The relay women travel door to door in communities and inquire about the well-being of children under the age of five with their mothers. With time, community members come to know the relay women by name and view them as respectable people to whom they can be held accountable to.

    Importance of the femme relais

    In addition to encouraging mothers to vaccinate their children and referring those with malnutrition to health centres, the relay-women also closely watch the health of children whose mothers have ceased to continue checking in with health centres.

    “In my opinion, the grace of God is the key element in all we do and we can never overlook that,” said Dr Naroua Ousmane, health and nutrition director, WV Niger.

    WV Niger remains in prayer that zero child deaths will become the norm for every month of the year through dutiful health interventions, ensuring that no more tiny bodies are wrapped up and hurriedly put into the ground.


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    Source: UN Children's Fund
    Country: Mali

    5 April 2013: UNICEF correspondent Alex Duval Smith reports on the important role of community health workers in rural Mali.

    By Alex Duval Smith

    BAIMA, Mali, 21 May 2013 – “When the war came, I was very scared,” says 20-year-old Soumaila Coulibaly. “But I have never stopped work or run away. I just adapt to the situation.”

    Mr. Coulibaly is a community health worker in this rural village 20 kilometres from Sevare in northeastern Mali’s Mopti region. The war he is talking about is the struggle during the past year for control of northern Mali by an alliance of separatists and Islamist groups, in which hundreds of thousands of residents fled south or to neighbouring countries. Schools, health centres and anything else associated with the Malian state were targets for rebel attacks.

    UNICEF-supported community health agents like Mr. Coulibaly have emerged as unsung heroes of the recent conflict in Mali, playing a front-line role in saving children's lives as rebels targeted the country's formal health system. The health agents’ low-key but widespread coverage of rural Mali kept up a minimum level of health provision.

    Continuing crisis

    This past January, the rebels moved further into Mopti region – within a day’s drive of the capital, Bamako – prompting the Government to request immediate military assistance. France sent an intervention force of 4,500 troops to defend its former colony and re-establish Government control of the north.

    In July, a 12,600-strong United Nations peacekeeping operation will be deployed to help stabilize the country. But nearly 500,000 civilians are estimated to have fled the north since last year – including civil servants, teachers and health staff – and they are still largely reluctant to return home, where insecurity and an ongoing food crisis remain serious obstacles.

    All along, Mr. Coulibaly has carried on with his work.

    Back to basics

    UNICEF Mali has supported 1,700 community health agents in rural settlements five kilometres or more from a public clinic or hospital. The programme pays for their training, salaries and starter kits.

    Mr. Coulibaly arrived in Baima from his native Sevare in June 2012. He lives with his wife, Mariam, in a mud-brick house with a straw roof, just like everyone else’s. The only difference between him and the local livestock farmers of the village is that he earns a salary – 40,000 CFA (US$80) per month – and has a solar panel to charge his mobile phone. “Of course, coming from a city, living in the darkness of a community without electricity takes some getting used to,” he says.

    “I mainly see cases of malaria, diarrhoea and respiratory disease in under-fives.” He says. “Another concern is malnutrition. My training has taught me to know when cases should be referred.”

    Mr. Coulibaly’s home was built for him by the community and includes a self-contained ‘surgery’ – a separate small house where a locked cupboard holds a range of basic medicines: water purification tablets, zinc suspension, rehydration salts, malaria treatments and antibiotics.

    Along with Baima, which has a population of just over 1,000 people, Mr. Coulibaly also covers two smaller communities, which he visits once a week, one of them an hour’s bicycle ride away.

    A gentle approach

    “During April [this year], when the fighting got really close, I had to cancel my visits to Bougue and Dongoro. I could not go to Sevare to stock up on medicines,” he says. That fighting pitted French and Malian forces against the retreating rebels and Islamists.

    “That is also the time when I shaved my beard, stopped wearing a djellaba [traditional robe] and started dressing like a youth,” he says, pointing to his Western attire of blue trousers and white polo shirt. “We were afraid the army is going to mistake us for Islamists.”

    Mr. Coulibaly has had to tread respectfully in this village where the wisdom of age, the religious calendar and the vagaries of the rains are guiding forces. He was training to be an electrician when the opportunity arose to become a community health agent. He says he loves his work.

    “Every morning after I have prayed, I pay a courtesy visit to the chief and elders and look around for children that might need attention. If I see a case of suspected malnutrition, for instance, I find the mother and suggest she speaks to her husband about bringing the child to me,” he says.

    Being the closest Baima has to a professional medical practitioner, he is addressed as ‘doctor’. “But I try to take a gentle approach, because people here are used to going to the traditional doctor,” he explains. “It is important to respect that.”

    His sensitivity has paid off. “I feel totally safe here. The community has taken me in like a son of their own.”


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    Source: Islamic Development Bank
    Country: Mali

    Jeddah, KSA-16.05.2013 - The Islamic Development Bank is contributing US$250 million for the development of the Republic of Mali. This was disclosed by IDB Vice President (Corporate Services), Dr Ahmet Tiktik, on behalf of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB). Dr Tiktik was speaking at the international conference for the reconstruction of Mali which took place in the city of Brussels on 15th May 2013. “The IDB Group is very optimistic about the future of Mali. I am confident that the new cooperation with the international community will yield positive results for the development of Mali”. Dr Tiktik added. During the meeting, a financial commitment and pledges of € 3.25 billion were made, out of the €4.343 billion budget needed to implement the Plan for the Sustainable Recovery of Mali (PRED), presented by the government of Mali.


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    Source: ICRC
    Country: Mali

    Protection des détenus et de la population civile

    • visité et enregistré plus de 300 personnes détenues en relation avec le conflit armé, à Bamako, Mopti, Gao, Tombouctou et Kidal ;
    • fourni des soins à des détenus dans les prisons de Bamako, Koulikoro et Kati ;
    • finalisé les travaux à la prison de Koulikoro pour améliorer l'accès des détenus à l'air libre ;
    • soutenu le branchement de la nouvelle prison de Sévaré au réseau d'eau et d’électricité ;
    • réhabilité le système d'assainissement de la prison de Bamako.
    • enregistré et aidé des enfants qui avaient été associés aux groupes armés à rétablir le contact avec leur famille au travers de messages Croix-Rouge ;
    • documenté des violations du droit international humanitaire et poursuivit un dialogue bilatéral et confidentiel avec les autorités ;
    • suivi des cas de personnes portées disparues en lien avec le conflit ;
    • facilité 125 appels téléphoniques et l'échange de plus de 170 messages Croix Rouge pour la transmission de nouvelles entre des membres de familles séparées par le conflit ;
    • enregistré, dans les camps de déplacés de Mopti, 13 demandes de recherche de proches et 10 enfants non accompagnés par un membre de leur famille ;
    • rappelé à toutes les parties au conflit leurs obligations découlant du droit international humanitaire ;
    • maintenu un dialogue avec les autorités maliennes, les forces armées maliennes et internationales ainsi qu'avec le MNLA.

    Santé

    Hôpital de Gao

    • poursuivi son soutien à l'hôpital, avec notamment la mise à disposition d'une équipe de médecins pluridisciplinaires et un approvisionnement en médicaments et matériel médical ;
    • fourni de l'électricité et de l'eau potable ;
    • pris en charge plus de 690 personnes hospitalisées dont 60 blessés ;
    • pris en charge 575 accouchements et plus de 11 000 consultations externes ;
    • évacué des blessés graves et assuré leur prise en charge dans des hôpitaux à Niamey au Niger.

    Hôpital régional Sominé Dolo de Mopti

    Donné du matériel médical et des médicaments.

    Accès aux soins de santé primaire

    • soutenu neuf centres de santé communautaires dans les régions de Gao et Tombouctou avec un approvisionnement en médicaments, matériel et équipement médicaux, un versement d'indemnités au personnel et une mise à disposition de personnel de santé du CICR ;
    • réhabilité plusieurs centres de santé.

    Assistance

    Eau, électricité, assainissement et habitat

    • permis à plus de 120 000 habitants de Gao, Tombouctou, Kidal et Ménaka d'avoir accès à l'eau potable et à l'électricité avec la fourniture de 293 000 litres de carburant ;
    • fourni 1 500 kg de produits de traitements de l'eau à la station de Gao ;
    • réhabilité six latrines, construit 16 nouvelles latrines et réhabilité neuf puits et forages dans la commune de Tinzaouatène ;
    • distribué 73 000 sachets de produits de traitements d'eau à usage domestique et 1 200 jerrycans en plastique à 12 000 familles déplacées dans la région de Tinzaouatène.

    Vivres, biens de première nécessité et soutien aux agriculteurs et éleveurs

    • distribué, avec la Croix-Rouge malienne, plus de 6 700 tonnes de vivres à plus de 415 000 personnes, dans les régions de Gao, Kidal, Tombouctou, Mopti et Diabali ;
    • distribué, avec la Croix-Rouge malienne, des biens de première nécessité (couvertures, bâches, moustiquaires, savons, articles de cuisine et d’hygiène etc.) à 2 000 familles déplacées dans les régions de Kidal, Tombouctou et Diabali ;
    • distribué, avec la Croix-Rouge malienne, des semences et de l'outillage à sept associations maraîchères de la région de Gao, au profit de plus de 500 familles.
    • soutenu la campagne de vaccination et de traitement du cheptel (péripneumonie contagieuse des bovins, peste des petits ruminants et pasteurellose des camelins), de déparasitage interne et externe ainsi que de traitement contre les avitaminoses ;
    • soutenu la vaccination et le traitement de 687 000 têtes de bétail, appartenant à près de 18 000 familles d'éleveurs des régions de Tombouctou et de Mopti.

    Respect du droit international humanitaire

    Organisé 18 séances de sensibilisation à l’intention de 1 600 militaires maliens et des contingents togolais, sénégalais, béninois, nigérians, ghanéen et burkinabé ainsi que de la Mission Africaine de soutien au Mali (MISMA), à Mopti, Bamako, Ségou et Kidal.


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

    This is a summary of what was said by the UNHCR spokesperson at today’s Palais des Nations press briefing in Geneva. Further information can be found on the UNHCR websites, www.unhcr.org and www.unhcr.fr, which should also be checked for regular media updates on non-briefing days.

    A cholera epidemic declared by the Niger government on May 11 has left 7 people dead in the west of the country, including 2 Malian refugees.

    The two refugees are a 45-year-old man who died on May 13, and a 3-year-old boy who passed away last Sunday, after arriving at the health center at a late stage of the disease. Both were refugees in the Mangaize camp which hosts 15,000 in the Tillaberi region.

    To date, 248 cases have been registered in the Tillaberi region, including with 31 cases among refugees in Mangaize and Tabareybarey camps.

    Cholera is typically contracted by consuming contaminated water.

    We are responding to the outbreak in the camps by implementing emergency health and sanitation measures, such as increasing the supply of clean water. The affected refugees are being treated in the Cholera Treatment Centres (CTC) run by Medecins Sans Frontieres (-Suisse). Together with our partners, we are also providing oral rehydration solutions, soap and aquatabs. However, more drugs are urgently needed in the centres to treat potential new cases.

    We are working to spread public health messages in the camps through sensitization campaigns. The same measures are being put in place for the local community in the surrounding areas.

    We are currently reinforcing our team with the arrival yesterday (Monday) of a regional health co-ordinator who will work with authorities and partners on additional measures to contain the epidemic. The implementation of a vaccination campaign for the population at risk, both inside and outside the refugee camps, is a key measure under consideration.

    Last year, a cholera epidemic affected 5287 people and killed 110 throughout Niger. The region of Tillaberi was the most affected with 4.792 cases and 87 deaths. No refugee died at that time.

    Cholera outbreaks are recurrent in Niger, one of the poorest countries in the world. Niger is currently hosting some 50,000 Malian refugees, including 31 000 in 3 camps in the Tillaberi region. They fled a conflict in the North of their country which started in early 2012.

    The Malian conflict has forced 174,000 people to flee to Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Niger. It has also uprooted more than 300,000 Malians inside their country.

    For more information on this topic, please contact:

    In Niger (on mission), Helene Caux (Regional) on mobile + 221 77 333 1291
    In Niger, Charlotte Arnaud on mobile + 227 92 19 19 03
    In Geneva, Fatoumata Lejeune-Kaba on mobile +41 79 249 34 83


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    Source: Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development
    Country: Mali

    The situation in these regions is critical and humanitarian aid is still very limited

    Since the start of the conflict in Mali, the population in the North of the country has been in a desperate situation, as humanitarian aid is still very limited in this region. There is no administration, nor public service, and medical centres as well as schools have been sacked and partially destroyed. Markets are working at a slow pace and economic activity is stalling. ACTED is one of the few organisations present in the region, and carries out food distributions to tackle alarming food insecurity problems for the most vulnerable families.

    While many people have fled North Mali to take refuge in the Southern parts of the country or neighboring countries, others have stayed by choice but more often by lack of means or other alternatives. In the Menaka Circle, located in the Gao region in the Northeastern part of the country, families that have stayed behind have suffered from violence occurring between different armed forces in the region. Thousands of displaced people have also come to take refuge in the towns of Menaka and Anderamboukane, where local communities have shown great solidarity. But resources that have been scarce for many months of conflict are becoming nearly depleted, rendering the overall living situation very precarious.

    Nowadays, economic activity is still at a standstill

    Markets are not well supplied, due to the unstable security situation in the region and the transporters who are less willing to take the risk of traveling. Household food stocks are slowly dwindling, making them more and more dependant from markets, where prices are skyrocketing. Many farmers have not been able to grow their crops or have lost their livestock, and have therefore lost their main sources of income and food supplies. The poorer households have become very fragile and cannot cover their basic nutrition needs. The risks of a rapid deterioration of food security are alarming.

    Distribution of food supplies

    To tackle this dire situation, ACTED is distributing food supplies in Menaka and Anderamboukane with the help of the World Food Programme (WFP). This immediate assistance programme helped meet the vital needs of 25,000 displaced persons and local families. Beyond this emergency aid programme, it is essential to help local families hosting displaced persons to recover their livelihoods. To this end, there are two crucial elements: supporting agricultural production and livestock farming as well as reviving the local economy. This will be ACTED’s leitmotiv for the coming months in Mali.


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    Source: IRIN
    Country: Somalia

    NAIROBI, 22 May 2013 (IRIN) - Over one million people in Somalia are currently food insecure, according to a May report [ http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/somalia_fsou_05... ] by the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET). This number is a significant drop from the 3.7 million [ http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/astern%20Africa... ] considered food insecure in mid-2011.

    The improvement has been attributed to good ongoing 'gu', the March-to-June rains, and the 2012 October-November 'deyr' rains.

    Successive droughts and poor rains had culminated in a famine in Somalia in 2011. The famine [ http://www.irinnews.org/Report/93280/SOMALIA-Time-for-immediate-action-o... ] led to an estimated 258,000 excess deaths, meaning deaths above normal mortality numbers, according to a 2 May study [ http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/Somalia_Mortali... ] commissioned by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) and FEWSNET.

    Most of these deaths were in the Banadir, Bay and Lower Shabelle regions, where 4.6 percent of the overall population is estimated to have died. In the Lower Shabelle region, a death rate of at least 9 percent was recorded among all ages, with 17.6 percent of under-fives there dying between October 2010 and April 2012, the study notes.

    "There is consensus that the humanitarian response to the famine was mostly late and insufficient, and that limited access to most of the affected population, resulting from widespread insecurity and operating restrictions imposed on several relief agencies, was a major constraint," said the study.

    Humanitarian workers are keen to avoid a repeat of the famine, which has been described by many as a mainly "manmade" disaster. In this report, IRIN asks a Somalia experts and analysts whether the conditions that led to the famine are still in place, and whether another famine could occur in Somalia.

    The experts interviewed were: Abdihakim Ainte, a Somali analyst; Abdirahman Hosh Jibril, a member of the Somalia parliamentary committee for human rights and humanitarian affairs; Abdullahi Jimale, chairman of Somalia's national disaster management agency; Olivia Maehler, operations liaison manager for Save the Children's Somalia/Somaliland programme; Alun McDonald, Oxfam's media and communications adviser for the Horn, East and Central Africa; and Daniel Molla, FSNAU's chief technical advisor.

    What have been the key lessons learned from the famine in Somalia?

    Daniel Molla: There [was] sufficient and actionable early warning information and analysis provided by FSNAU and FEWSNET [ http://www.fews.net/Pages/default.aspx ] in the lead-up to the declaration of famine in July 2011. However, as widely documented, this did not translate into [a] timely and adequate response on the part of the humanitarian community and donors... Nutrition and mortality surveys should be undertaken outside of the regular calendar when early warning information indicates a deteriorating food security situation, in order to assess the situation and recommend appropriate interventions in a timely manner.

    Olivia Maehler: I would think that lessons learned [include]. the need to keep in place a rigorous programme responding to humanitarian needs in normal times so that this can be scaled up [in emergencies]. We were able to scale up quickest in places where we already had a large humanitarian input. Also, the fact that cash transfer programmes proved very successful and stimulated rather than overwhelmed markets, and the need for humanitarian funding to move toward multi-year funding to allow for building resilience.

    In the long term, the focus for avoiding hunger crises like this one lies in enhancing the resilience of communities themselves, and national governments have a central role to play. More than aid, government policy, practice and - crucially - investment, are vital to build people's resilience by reducing disaster risk and protecting, developing and diversifying livelihoods.

    Alun McDonald: The biggest lesson is that timeliness of the response is key, and early action saves lives. The humanitarian response saved many lives and helped millions of people by providing them with food, water, medicine and other aid - not only for saving lives but also helping farmers and pastoralists rebuild their livelihoods and support their families. However, the response ultimately came too late for many people.

    Abdihakim Ainte: Keys lessons are that [the] absence of coordination from the international relief [community] worsen[ed] the enormity of the famine. Also, lack of preparedness on the part of the Somali government and local organizations [was a] key takeaway from the famine. We've also learned that the role of [the] Somalia diaspora in alleviating the famine was critical.

    Could the famine have been avoided?

    Molla: It is difficult to say famine could have been avoided altogether, but the scale and severity of it could have definitely been curtailed through [a] timely and robust response to the early warning information...

    Ainte: [The famine] came at [a] critical time when most of the affected regions [were] run by Al-Shabab, [an insurgent group that] ban[ned] aid agencies. That hostility profoundly worsened the magnitude of the drought. From this point of view, it could have being averted, and it's safe to say it was [a] man-made disaster.

    What went wrong?

    Molla: The 2011 [famine was] precipitated by a combination of a severe drought and consequent harvest failures for two seasons, low purchasing power of the poor, high food prices, and reduced humanitarian assistance hampered by insecurity and inadequate funding - all taking place in the context of an already weakened population whose resilience has been eroded by repeated exposure to frequent shocks and persistently high levels of acute malnutrition. The result was widespread excess mortality.

    McDonald: There was a collective failure by governments, aid agencies and donors to act early. There was a reluctance to act and commit resources until there was certainty about the scale of the crisis - by which time [it was] already too late. Many governments don't step up their response until the crisis is in the news - but it's not in the news until people are already dying. Somalia was also an incredibly difficult place for aid agencies to respond effectively. After years of conflict, it was one of the most difficult and dangerous places in the world to work. There are lots of lessons to learn about how best to work and provide aid in such an environment. All our work in Somalia is done with local partners, who can often get better access than international agencies.

    Ainte: The belated respon[se] from the international community, together with Al-Shabab's blockade [of] aid organizations is what went wrong. If Al-Shabab is wiped out of Somalia, and the international community continues to build an early warning system to enable the Somalia government and local organization to forecast drought, chances of [famine] happening again [are] very slim.

    Could a famine occur again in Somalia?

    Molla: A majority of the rural poor and displaced population of Somalia remains extremely fragile, with its resilience weakened as a result of frequent and repeated exposure to shocks. Under such conditions, the risk of future famines can't be ruled out unless sustained short-term humanitarian assistance as well as long-term development assistance are provided. [Even so,] the conditions that led to the famine are not there at present. While insecurity continues to pose challenges for humanitarian access, food prices have come down substantially and terms of trade and the purchasing power of the population [are] more stable now. The 2012 'deyr' rains have been good and the current 'gu' rainy season is proceeding normally and is expected to yield average to above-average harvest[s] and good pasture and water conditions for livestock.

    Maehler: Given how vulnerable communities continue to be to seasonal shocks, future deterioration in their situation could occur unless we continue to respond and build communities' resilience. We are making progress, but humanitarian funding is dwindling. This could have a potentially devastating impact on the. chances for thousands of families across Somalia.

    McDonald: Droughts, food crises and poor rains will definitely continue to happen in Somalia and the wider region. But droughts are natural events, whereas famines are ultimately manmade... [For example,] there was a severe drought in Kenya at the same time, but without the massive loss of life. The tragedy in Somalia happened because of a combination of drought, conflict, poor humanitarian access, a slow response, high food prices and a lack of effective government. If these issues are not addressed, then famine could occur again. Somalia was the first famine of the 21st century, and we need to make sure that it is also the last.

    What is the way forward?

    Molla: Resolution of the ongoing conflict in Somalia is ultimately a prerequisite to address food insecurity and avert famine in Somalia in [a] meaningful and sustainable manner. In the lead-up to the 2011 famine, insecurity ha[d] adversely impacted both assessment and monitoring of the food security and nutrition situation in several parts of Somalia, as well as humanitarian response. At present, there are several areas in south and central Somalia that remain inaccessible due to insecurity.

    McDonald: We need to explore more innovative ways of delivering aid and using new technology - for example one of our partners used SMS and mobile phones to transmit cholera-prevention messages to people in insecure areas. In some areas, there was food available but prices were high and people couldn't afford to buy it - so we need to look at alternative aid such as providing people with cash rather than with food aid. We also need to ensure better links between our short-term humanitarian work and longer-term development work.

    Ainte: Three initiatives should be put in place: First of all, building an [early] warning system is very critical. Secondly, strengthening local capacity, including civil society organization[s], is very important. Thirdly, continued engagement and partnership with [the] Somali government and local organization[s] is very crucial.

    Is Somalia ready to for another food security emergency?

    Ainte: [The] government has [laid] down core priorities, and security is at the top of everything. In some respects, despite its international focus and support, the current government is better situated and equip[ped] to address future disasters.

    Jimale: I think Somalia will be able to respond to a drought like the one in 2011 if government capacity to provide services is consolidated and [the] international community acts in a timely manner.

    Jibril: The government is yet to provide services in liberated towns [where Al-Shabab has been driven out], and many areas are still in Al-Shabab hands, so it is hard to react if drought erupts.

    aw-amd/rz

    [END]


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    Source: US Department of State
    Country: Algeria, Burkina Faso, Chad, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Tunisia

    Testimony, Donald Y. Yamamoto
    Acting Assistant Secretary, Bureau of African Affairs
    Opening Statement
    Washington, DC
    May 21, 2013

    [Before the House Subcommittees on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights; International Organizations; Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade; Middle East and North Africa]

    Thank you very much Chairmen Smith, Poe, and Ros-Lehtinen, Ranking Members Bass, Deutch, and Sherman, and Members of the Committee; for the opportunity to testify before you on this important topic. The countries of the Sahel face a complex series of interconnected and ever-evolving challenges. The crisis in Mali, and security vacuum following the Libyan revolution, exacerbated the Sahel’s longstanding political, economic, and humanitarian vulnerabilities. Instability in Mali and increased arms flows from Libya into the region, collided with a humanitarian crisis brought on by drought and poor harvests in a region already burdened by chronic poverty and food insecurity.

    Addressing the Sahel’s intertwined security and humanitarian problems demands a comprehensive approach. We are working closely with regional countries and organizations to improve their capacity to secure porous borders and challenge terrorists and transnational criminal networks. The United States also continues to lead the robust international response to meet the needs of the Sahel’s most vulnerable people. Any short-term progress, however, could be jeopardized by the region’s continued political and economic frailties, including persistently poor governance, weak institutions, and the lack of economic opportunities, particularly for youth. Building strong democratic institutions and promoting inclusive government and economic growth are at the center of our approach as we attempt to solidify security gains and restore stability to the Sahel and its people.

    Crisis and Conflict in the Sahel

    By extension, security in the Sahel and North Africa are inextricably linked. Porous borders and limited government presence and capacities mean that insecurity in one part of the region can quickly become a security threat in another. In 2011, one result of the Libyan revolution, among many others, was an increase in the flow of dangerous weapons and well-armed, experienced fighters into the Sahel. The collapse of Libyan security institutions caught the Sahel at an especially vulnerable time. In Mali, a rebellion in the north by heavily armed, primarily Tuareg rebel groups, together with weak governance in Bamako, corruption, and an ineffectual counterterrorism response, culminated in a March 2012 coup d’état. Terrorist and extremist groups, including al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), exploited the resulting political vacuum and seized control of the northern two-thirds of Mali. Terrorists enjoyed greater freedom of movement and, temporarily, access to a larger pool of potential recruits and training opportunities. At the same time, transnational criminal networks used well-established smuggling routes to increase their trafficking in weapons, drugs and people. Chad has been a steady route for illicit weapons trafficking out of Libya. However, the Chadian Government, with State Department support, has significantly increased its efforts to counter the illicit trafficking of advanced conventional weapons including man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS).

    In the aftermath of the terrorist takeover of northern Mali, neighboring countries – including Mauritania, Burkina Faso, and Niger –intensified their own efforts to block violent extremists and criminal networks from expanding their operations into other parts of the region. The Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership (TSCTP) has been the United States primary vehicle to assist these and other countries in the region to improve their capacity to monitor and control border areas and improve their overall counterterrorism capability. TSCTP supports a coordinated and comprehensive U.S. Government approach to building long-term security capacity in Algeria, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mauritania, Niger, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, and Tunisia. The program is designed to support partner and regional efforts to contain and marginalize terrorist organizations, disrupt efforts to recruit and train extremists, counter efforts to establish safe havens, and disrupt foreign fighter networks. Niger, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, and Chad are utilizing the training and equipment provided under TSCTP to contain the threat of AQIM and other extremist groups.

    Sahel countries have played an active role in supporting the French and African-led military intervention that has pushed extremists back into isolated areas in northern Mali. Chad’s role in Mali has been significant. Chadian troops deployed using Chadian assets and have played a central role in counterterrorism operations. Both Burkina Faso and Niger have each contributed around 670 soldiers to the African-led International Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA) and have pledged to increase their troop contributions when appropriately-vetted elements of AFISMA transition into a UN peacekeeping operation in July 2013.

    The United States is in the process of providing up to $96 million to support AFISMA troop and police contributing countries, including Niger and Burkina Faso. Our support includes training, vehicles, communications equipment, and personnel equipment, which will help AFISMA contingents to transition from a regional force into effective UN peacekeepers.

    While the French and African-led intervention successfully wrestled control of the majority of Malian territory from terrorists and weakened AQIM, continued asymmetric attacks against international and Malian forces in and around northern population centers illustrate that Mali and the region remain vulnerable to violent extremism. A stable and successful future in Mali depends on a coordinated approach to security, political, development, and humanitarian challenges. We firmly supported the adoption of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2100 (2013). The Resolution lays out a comprehensive approach to addressing the multifaceted crises in Mali – an approach that prioritizes not only the need to confront the immediate security challenges in Mali, but also stresses the need to restore democratic governance, implement an inclusive national dialogue, protect civilians, promote human rights, reform Mali’s security sector, deliver humanitarian assistance, and establish effective mechanisms for justice and accountability.

    Addressing insecurity in Mali is only one piece of the Sahel’s security puzzle. Terrorists pushed out of Mali will show up in other ungoverned spaces. Instability in Libya and the lack of government control over its southern territory will continue to post an ever-present threat to the Sahel. Porous borders and insufficient reach by security services makes the Mali – Niger – Libya corridor an area of concern because it can facilitate the movement of terrorist groups and transnational criminal networks. We will continue to work with regional partners and organizations to build their capacity and improve regional cooperation to combat this shared threat.

    Humanitarian Challenges

    Responding to the instability in Mali and Libya alone would have presented an enormous challenge. Yet in the midst of the international community’s response to this spike in regional instability, the Sahel faced a serious humanitarian crisis in 2012 brought on by a severe drought and failed harvests that put 18.7 million people at risk for food insecurity, including one million children at risk of severe acute malnutrition. Since the beginning of the conflict in Mali, more than 475,000 Malians have been displaced internally or across borders, further straining already stretched resources. Burkina Faso, Mauritania, and Niger have generously welcomed some 175,000 refugees, despite their own food insecurity. The United States continues to lead the international response to this humanitarian crisis. Since Fiscal Year 2012, we have been providing over $550 million in humanitarian assistance across the Sahel to address food insecurity and the needs of conflict-affected Malians, including refugees.

    Early warning systems and a robust international response helped prevent a humanitarian catastrophe; but an estimated 10 million people remain at risk of food insecurity. Sadly, food shortages are nothing new for the arid Sahel, which has experienced debilitating, recurring droughts throughout its history. More attention is needed to alleviate chronic food insecurity and break the cycle of emergency assistance. USAID Assistant Administrator Nancy Lindborg will provide details on a new U.S. Government initiative to build resilience throughout the Sahel.

    Consolidating Gains: Building Governance and Inclusive Economic Growth

    While the acute security and humanitarian challenges facing the Sahel today demand a robust international response, we must remember that our short-term successes may be fleeting if we fail to address the longstanding political and economic fragility that make the Sahel susceptible to persistent crisis and conflict. Poor governance, weak democratic institutions, and a lack of development and economic opportunity cultivate fertile ground for instability. Helping these countries to strengthen their institutions and be more responsive and inclusive is equally critical to addressing the region’s deep-seated security, political and development challenges.

    The Sahel remains vulnerable, but we are also seeing signs of progress throughout the region to improve governance, boost transparency and accountability, and promote inclusive economic growth. Niger has made measurable progress on political and economic reform since returning to democracy after a 2010 coup. In 2012, Niger achieved eligibility for a Millennium Challenge Corporation compact. There are also signs of progress in Burkina Faso, which in December 2012 held successful parliamentary elections that were judged free and fair by the international community. In Mauritania, long-delayed parliamentary elections are now scheduled for October 2013.

    Promoting economic growth and development is also critical to putting the Sahel on a path to stability. Creating viable economic opportunities and meeting the basic needs of its citizens remain a daunting task for countries that consistently rank at the very bottom of any measure of human development. Ensuring women’s full participation in the economy is critical for countries to raise productivity, generate demand, and pull communities out of poverty. We are working with all our partners in the Sahel on a wide variety of economic, health, and education programs. In Burkina Faso, a five-year, $481 million Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact, which is on track to successfully conclude in 2014, is reducing poverty through investments in roads, improved agricultural productivity, land use rights, and primary education. In Mauritania, the U.S. - North Africa Partnership for Economic Opportunity (NAPEO) is building a network of U.S. and North African business leaders, entrepreneurs, civil society and public sector leaders to foster job creation, regional cooperation, and entrepreneurship, with a focus on youth. Assistant Administrator Lindborg will have much more to share on our efforts to promote economic growth and development.

    Comprehensive Solutions to Complex Problems

    Addressing the complex and evolving security, political and humanitarian challenges in the Sahel demands a comprehensive regional and international approach. Under the leadership of Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman, the State Department and USAID have convened a working group, chaired by the Deputy Assistant Secretaries of the Africa, Near East, and Counterterrorism bureaus, that is conducting a thorough review of our approach to security in the Maghreb and Sahel to ensure that our regional and functional bureaus are effectively working together to address the region’s interconnected challenges. Many of our partners, including the European Union, the United Kingdom, and France, are engaging in similar efforts to create multidimensional, Sahel-wide strategies, and we are coordinating closely to ensure a common and complementary approach. The United States is also supporting the ongoing efforts of the UN Special Envoy for the Sahel, Romano Prodi, to develop an integrated UN strategy for tackling the region’s multiple crises.

    In closing, we must continue our efforts to approach the Sahel and the Maghreb’s interconnected problems with a comprehensive regional and international effort. Such an effort must address the immediate security threat posed by violent extremists and transnational criminal networks, while at the same time building the institutional capacity needed to address the Sahel’s political economic and humanitarian challenges.


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    05/22/2013 20:39 GMT

    OUAGADOUGOU, 22 mai 2013 (AFP) - La rébellion touareg MNLA, qui occupe Kidal, dans le nord-est du Mali, est prête à permettre la tenue de la présidentielle en juillet dans cette ville mais refuse d'y laisser entrer l'armée malienne, a déclaré mercredi l'un de ses responsables.

    Une délégation du Mouvement national de libération de l'Azawad (MNLA) s'est entretenue à Ouagadougou avec le chef de la diplomatie burkinabè Djibrill Bassolé, dont le pays mène une médiation dans la crise malienne au nom de la Communauté économique des Etats d'Afrique de l'Ouest (Cédéao).

    "Nous avons rencontré le ministre Bassolé pour l'informer que la commission de négociations du MNLA est en ce moment réunie à Ouagadougou et souhaiterait à la fin de ses travaux remettre officiellement son rapport au médiateur de la Cédéao", a indiqué à l'AFP le responsable aux relations extérieures du MNLA, Ibrahim Ag Mohamed Assaleh.

    "Nous lui avons aussi dit que nous souhaitons que la date du 28 juillet fixée par le président malien de transition (Dioncounda Traoré) pour la tenue de l'élection présidentielle soit honorée par les deux parties, c'est-à-dire le MNLA et les autorités de Bamako", a-t-il poursuivi.

    Selon M. Assaleh, le mouvement rebelle touareg, laïque et autonomiste, va proposer à la médiation burkinabè un "accord-cadre" pour permettre l'organisation d'une élection qui aboutira à l'installation d'un nouveau président "avec lequel nous allons discuter de tous les problèmes de l'Azawad", nom employé par le MNLA pour désigner le Nord malien.

    Cependant, ce responsable a précisé que son groupe refuse toujours que l'armée malienne entre à Kidal.

    "Nous proposons que la sécurité des élections soit assurée par les troupes des Nations unies, pas seulement à Kidal mais dans tout l'Azawad, parce qu'aucun citoyen +azawadien+ ne peut aller élire le futur président du Mali sous la protection de l'armée terroriste du Mali", a lancé M. Assaleh.

    Un haut responsable du ministère burkinabè des Affaires étrangères a confirmé les "échanges" entre M. Bassolé et des membres du MNLA, sans plus de précision.

    Kidal est occupée par le MNLA et le Mouvement islamique de l'Azawad (MIA), dissident des islamistes armés d'Ansar Dine. Des groupes jihadistes, auxquels le MNLA a été un temps allié, occupaient tout le nord du Mali depuis 2012 avant d'en être chassés depuis janvier par une opération militaire franco-africaine.

    Bamako et Ouagadougou s'emploient actuellement à relancer le dialogue avec ces mouvements touareg en vue de la présidentielle. roh/tmo/jeb

    © 1994-2013 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Niger, Nigeria
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    FAITS SAILLANTS

    • Les premières réponses d’urgence s’organisent face à l’afflux de populations fuyant les violences au nord-Nigeria.

    • L’épidémie de choléra semble se stabiliser, aucun nouveau cas n’a été enregistré ces derniers jours.

    • La récurrence des crises alimentaires pousse de plus en plus de femmes et d’enfants des zones rurales à migrer vers la ville.


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

    The UN’s senior humanitarian representative in the Sahel region of West Africa has called on the international community to maintain its commitment to millions of people who face another year threatened by malnutrition, displacement, conflict and high food prices.

    Read the full article


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    Source: UN Mine Action Service
    Country: Japan, Mali

    Government of Japan Provides more Support to UNMAS Humanitarian Mine Action Work in Africa

    NEW YORK, New York, 22 May 2013 — The Government of Japan donated an additional six million US dollars in April to the UN Trust Fund in support of the African-led International Support Mission to Mali (AFISMA) to support United Nations humanitarian mine action activities in Mali. Earlier this year Japan gave 18 million dollars to the UN Voluntary Trust Fund for Assistance in Mine Action for mine action work in Africa and in Afghanistan.

    The six million dollar donation will be used to lay the groundwork for the implementation of the civilian humanitarian mine action in support of United Nations Security Council resolution 2100. UNMAS established an office in Mali in January of this year and has been advising, training and mentoring Malian and African Union personnel in addressing landmines, unexploded ordnance and improvised explosive devices.

    As the United Nations prepares to deploy the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), UNMAS will continue to coordinate and support humanitarian mine action organizations and build the national capacity in the country to ensure that the threat of landmines and explosive remnants of war are dealt with quickly. This grant will help the people of Mali by allowing for the voluntary return of refugees and of internally displaced persons and will help to provide humanitarian organizations safe access to all Malian communities.

    “The Government of Japan continues to demonstrate its strong commitment to humanitarian demining. This generous and timely contribution will be disbursed to our programme in Mali immediately. It will help ensure that all preparations are on schedule for the deployment of MINUSMA, and that Malians and peacekeepers are able to safely navigate the terrain,” explained Agnès Marcaillou, the Director of UNMAS who will be travelling to Tokyo in June to attend the Fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V).

    Japan has consistently supported the United Nations efforts to eradicate the threat of landmines and explosive remnants of war and over the last five year has been the largest contributor to the UN Voluntary Trust Fund for Mine Action.

    UNMAS supports mine action programmes in Afghanistan, Chad, Colombia, Cote D’Ivoire (UNOCI), Cyprus (UNFICYP), Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), Lebanon (UNIFIL), Liberia (UNMIL), Libya (UNSMIL), Mali, Republic of the Congo, State of Palestine, Somalia (UNSOA), South Sudan (UNMISS), Sudan (UNAMID), Syria and Western Sahara (MINURSO).


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    05/23/2013 02:47 GMT

    OUAGADOUGOU, May 23, 2013 (AFP) - Mali's main Tuareg separatist group said Wednesday it supported the holding of a nationwide presidential poll in July but ruled out allowing the army in its northern bastion of Kidal for the vote.

    A delegation from the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) held talks in Ouagadougou, the capital of neighbouring Burkina Faso, with the region's lead mediator in the Malian crisis, Djibrill Bassole.

    "We told him that we want both parties -- the MNLA and the Bamako authorities -- to respect the July 28 date set by Mali's interim president for the presidential election," MNLA envoy Ibrahim Ag Mohamed Assaleh.

    "We suggest that security during the vote be guaranteed by UN troops... because no Azawad citizen can elect the future president of Mali under the protection of Mali's terrorist army," he added.

    The northern city of Kidal is controlled by the MNLA and the Islamic Movement of Azawad (MIA), a smaller group that broke away from the Islamist Ansar Dine group.

    Azawad is the name Tuaregs used to refer to the northern half of Mali which their consider to be their heartland and for whose independence rebel groups have fought for years.

    It was the MNLA that launched a military offensive against the government in January 2012, quickly conquering much of the north on the back of a coup by renegade soldiers in Bamako.

    However the Tuareg separatists were soon overpowered by Ansar Dine and other groups with links to Al Qaeda, which imposed an extreme form of Sharia in the region and destroyed world heritage sites.

    France sent jets and troops in January 2013 when the Islamists threatened to push south towards the capital Bamako and the embattled MNLA sided with the foreign troops.

    France is slowly scaling down its military operations in Mali after breaking the back of the most radical Islamist cells and a UN force of mainly regional troops is expected to step in.

    roh/jmm/jj

    © 1994-2013 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
    Country: Kenya, Somalia
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    New developments

    Registration resumed

    On 8 May, the Department of Refugee Affairs (DRA) reopened registration of asylum seekers. This means that some 4,000 persons who have arrived to Dadaab since the closure of the latest two-week registration window on 30 November 2012 will now be registered and get access to services.

    Security

    While the security situation in the refugee camps remained fairly stable, events in North Eastern Province and acoss the border in Somalia were of concern. On 19 April, masked gunmen killed nine persons in an attack on a hotel in the provincial capital Garissa. The massacre led to a thorough security operation in Garissa town with police conducting house-to-house searches. Over 200 persons including a number of persons of concern to UNHCR were arrested during the operation. Most of the asylum seekers and refugees were released after screening and verification of their legal status. The perpetrators of the massacre were however not apprehended and there was some speculation that they were hiding in the refugee camps. In another perhaps related development on 6 May, alleged Al- Shabaab forces fought a fierce gunbattle in Dhobley town inside Somalia, attacking the police station. On 12 May, a Kenyan army truck narrowly escaped an IED explosion in Liboi, the Kenyan border town next to Dhobley. The perpetrators opened fire at the soldiers and later fled the scene.

    On 10 May a police reservist was shot dead at Bosnia Market in Ifo camp. A bystander was injured as well. The following day, residents held a demonstration expressing resentment at perceived increased insecurity in the camp. The demonstration turned violent and several persons were injured. Six alleged looters were arrested but later released without charges.

    On a positive note, Community Peace and Protection Teams (CPPTs) are effectively patrolling blocks in the refugee camps. Increased numbers of solar-powered street lamps have also contributed to a more secure environment especially in Ifo 2.


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    Source: Mercy Corps
    Country: Mali

    Last summer, Aissata Diallo watched her son leave their village in northern Mali. She did not want to let him go, but since her husband died, she had struggled to feed her four children — and at the height of the region’s hunger crisis, their situation had become desperate.

    “I have no source of income and no plot to grow food,” she explained. “Often all we had is what neighbors gave me from the rest of their meal.”

    So her oldest son, still far from an adult, went looking for work to help the family. She hasn’t heard from him since.

    A crisis doubled

    Aissata’s is one of many families that was torn apart last year — not just by the search for food, but by the violence that had taken hold of northern Mali.

    After the country’s government fell apart in a March 2012 coup, rebels and radical Islamist militants seized control of Gao and two other major towns in northern Mali — at the same time that drought was causing crops to fail there and across the Sahel region of West Africa.

    The political instability disrupted trade routes and caused food prices to skyrocket. Fighting displaced hundreds of thousands. Families had no fields to harvest and had no money to buy food in the market.

    What began as a severe natural disaster was now also an acute humanitarian crisis.

    You helped over 20,000 people get food

    Aissata, 41, is also one of many mothers who received our emergency vouchers last fall, after generous donations helped us launch efforts to address the crisis in Gao. Over 2,300 households — most of them headed by women — were able to buy food for their families thanks to your support.

    “It is because of your help that I can smile,” Aissata told our distribution team. “It was as if it was my son who had returned to me. These vouchers have value even beyond providing my family with meals — I was proud to choose and receive my items from the market.”

    Indeed, instead of trucking in predetermined food distributions, our voucher system gives people the freedom to decide what it is they need most. It’s empowering to individuals and bolsters the struggling local economy by bringing new business to market vendors.

    In fact, the vouchers also improved access to markets for some of the most isolated areas. Instead of people traveling to the main market in Gao, many vendors were motivated to bring their goods to remote villages for the first time, knowing people had the vouchers to spend.

    Our teams also found that the purchasing power of the vouchers reached beyond the families who received them. After their families’ immediate needs were met, many started buying larger quantities of basics like sugar, rice and oil.

    As Mahamadou Arboncana, 43, explained, “Food is very difficult for us. Every day is a battle to secure meals. But the culture of sharing exists here — we share with the poor and neighbors. A family in this program sometimes ended up helping more than three households.”

    Recovery interrupted by conflict — and cholera

    The vouchers not only made a huge impact for these communities, they were also the first step in starting our long-term programs in Mali.

    “Vouchers were an emergency solution for an immediate need. They helped people weather the storm,” noted Program Officer Sarah Wardwell. “We were planning to move on to the next phase of recovery: start trainings for financial management and business, food and health care for animals, better herding practices.”

    But the conflict that was holding northern Mali hostage all year reached a breaking point in January. A French-led intervention against the rebels included airstrikes throughout Gao. Market vendors fled, and humanitarian aid and food shipments were cut off.

    The offensive eventually succeeded in driving rebels into hiding and putting the Malian government back in tenuous control. But communities that had begun to recover were thrown back into a deeper hunger crisis.

    Once our staff could reach communities again, they found that 90% of people in Gao said they didn’t have access to enough food. We had to address these immediate needs again before we could transition to resilience-building initiatives.

    Acting quickly to meet communities’ changing needs

    And we knew what worked.

    So our teams launched another round of emergency voucher distributions in April to help people buy food in the reopened markets until harvest time returns.

    This time, the distributions are also addressing a new concern that the current rainy season brings: cholera. The deadly water-borne disease broke out just last month in Niger and is quickly migrating into northern Mali as pastoralists roam back and forth across the border with their herds.

    “For the last decade, the area we work in had only a medium risk for cholera, but last year it was hit the hardest,” Sarah explained. “The needs are great — there are entire villages without a single latrine. We knew we had to help people prepare.”

    Along with offering information about healthy sanitation at the distributions, these vouchers also allow people to purchase hygiene supplies like soap, bleach and water purification tabs.

    Recipients like Alkafietou Hamidou, who cares for her blind mother and handicapped daughter, are grateful. “The risk of getting sick is always here,” she said. “Getting these hygiene supplies is really beneficial. It gives me a reason to smile in a difficult life.”

    An immediate response meets a long-term outlook

    As we’ve seen in the first year of our work in Mali, the difficulties are complex and unpredictable. Conflict has subsided, but the rebels are still in hiding and attack sporadically. Will the situation stay secure? Rains have improved and pastures are regenerating, but seeds for new crops were limited. Will the harvests be enough?

    In the midst of the uncertainty, it’s that ability to smile that stands out the most for Sarah: “It’s been a tough year — there were multiple shocks that no one expected. But Malians are very optimistic. They hope they can restore their crops and improve their herds.”

    Emergency vouchers are critical at this point, but we’re also beginning our efforts to help communities turn those hopes into reality: distributing goats that provide more milk for mothers and children; keeping livestock healthy with vaccines and veterinary care; supporting markets and small business development.

    While the past year has shown that a crisis can turn for the worst in an instant — and require our rapid response — we work with the knowledge that recovery does not happen overnight.

    You have helped us bring emergency relief to Mali when they need it most. With your continued support, we will be there, no matter what the circumstances, helping communities steer their own course toward a stronger, more resilient future.


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    Source: UN Radio
    Country: Niger

    Les travaux de la 66e session de l'Assemblée mondiale de la santé se poursuivent à Genève, avec notamment les allocutions des délégations ministérielles. Ce mercredi matin, le Niger s'est inquiété de la situation épidémiologique et nutritionnelle dans ce pays sahélien. Et pour réduire cette prévalence, Niamey a adopté de nouvelles politiques nutritionnelles et un plan pour lutter contre la malnutrition infantile.

    Selon le Ministre de la santé publique du Niger, « malgré les progrès significatifs enregistrés dans le cadre de la lutte contre la maladie, la situation épidémiologique reste dominée par les maladies infectieuses et de parasitaires dont le paludisme, les infections respiratoires aigues, les maladies diarrhéiques, la méningite, le choléra ou la rougeole et le noma ».

    L'incidence des maladies non transmissibles demeure aussi un défi majeur pour Niamey. « Dans mon pays situé au cœur du sahel, la situation nutritionnelle s'affirme comme un problème de santé publique récurrente qui sévit sous diverses formes avec une forte prévalence développée de façon persistante depuis 1992 et surtout avec les crises alimentaires nutritionnelle de 2005 et 2010 ». Selon Soumana Sanda, ces problèmes constituent un « problème de développement national ».

    Pour réduire significativement cette prévalence et la mortalité qui en résulte chez les enfants de moins de cinq ans, le gouvernement nigérien a adopté plusieurs initiatives, notamment la politique nationale de nutrition 2012-202, le plan stratégique pluriannuel de lutte contre la malnutrition ou l'initiative 3N, « les Nigériens nourrissent les Nigériens ».

    (Extrait sonore : Soumana Sanda, Ministre de la Santé publique du Niger)


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    Source: Afrique Verte
    Country: Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger
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    Debut mai, la tendance générale des prix des céréales sèches est à la : hausse au Mali, stabilité au Niger et baisse au Burkina


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    Source: Croix-Rouge Burkinabé
    Country: Burkina Faso, Mali

    Du 06 au 07 avril 2013, le projet kit d’hygiène de la Croix-Rouge Burkinabè a procédé à sa troisième distribution de kits au profit des refugiés maliens sur les sites de Saag-Nioniongo à 35 kilomètres de Ouagadougou et de Bobo Dioulasso. Cette distribution, qui s’est faite simultanément dans les 02 localités, contenait une double ration et couvrira une période de 02 mois.

    La problématique de l’hygiène dans les camps de refugiés a été identifiée comme étant prioritaire, compte tenu des conditions de vie particulièrement difficiles des populations réfugiées, qui arrivent en zone d’accueil, parfois dans le dénuement total. Ainsi, pour améliorer leur condition d’hygiène, la Croix Rouge Burkinabè en collaboration avec la Croix Rouge Espagnole a mis en place un projet de distribution de kits d’hygiène aux réfugiés de Ouagadougou et de Bobo Dioulasso, grâce au financement de la Generalitat Valenciana et de la Junta de Castilla y León, 02 ONGs Espagnoles.

    D’une valeur estimée à 18 904 815 de francs CFA, chaque kit contenait des savons corporels et de lessive, des paires de tapette, des seaux avec couvercle de 15l, des gobelets de 0,6l, des tubes de dentifrice, des paquets de 10 serviettes hygiéniques et des serviettes de toilette. Ce sont au total, 4054 refugiés, dont 1303 ménages, qui ont bénéficié doublement de ces kits, qui contiennent les éléments nécessaires pour répondre à leurs besoins hygiéniques de base, sur 02 mois.

    Au cours de ces distributions, les bénéficiaires ont été sensibilisés sur l’hygiène et sur l’utilisation des composants du kit. De plus, l’équipe de distribution de la Croix-Rouge Burkinabè, a été appuyée par les volontaires refugiés et le président des refugiés, afin de faciliter les vérifications des attestations et les remises des kits. Notons que la distribution du site de Saag-gnioniogo s’est faite sur place et a duré une journée. Quant à celle de Bobo, elle s’est effectuée dans le quartier « Bobo 2010 », un lieu qui est à proximité des domiciles des refugiés vivant dans cette localité, et à duré 03 jours, afin de permettre aux retardataires de rentrer en possession de leur kit. Certains refugiés de Bobo, dont les vieilles personnes, ont réceptionné leur kit à domicile, car ne pouvant se déplacer.


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