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ReliefWeb - Updates

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    Source:  Counterpart International
    Country:  Ethiopia

    By Abe Henry

    Eleven Ethiopian men and women surrounded me, talking excitedly and gesturing, my interpreter struggling to keep up. They were trying to explain to me their feelings at seeing their land - hillsides they called home and relied on for grazing and farming - come back from the brink of destruction.

    Near the town of Arsi Negele in the Central Rift Valley of Ethiopia, deforestation had removed so much of the plant cover that in some areas, vegetation had been worn away to bedrock. The soil had lost its nutrients, animals had literally left for greener pastures, and no plant life remained to soak up the rains that now flooded the fields of crops below.

    When I visited Arsi Negele, things were starting to turn around. Counterpart had intervened with a large-scale watershed management project that planted seedlings and constructed check dams- low-budget rock structures that direct manageable amounts of water to corn and teff fields while preventing flooding and erosion.

    Community members noticed small patches of grass growing back at the start of the rainy season. More shrubs and plants were returning. Then, suddenly, a highly useful bush that could be ground to make anti-diarrheal medicines for humans and goats began making its comeback as well. Without this herbal medicine, people had suffered longer illnesses, and goats had become malnourished and thin.

    I could see for myself the transformation of the landscape. Now, members of a Resource User Group who had come to welcome me to their community sat in a circle, lobbing adjectives around in an attempt to convey their feelings.

    As the group crowded around me, expressing how they felt when they saw their vital plants return, my interpreter struggled to find the words to explain how much this meant to the people who live here.

    “It’s the feeling of surprise, as if the wind knocks you back a step,” he tried to explain, laboring to find an English equivalent for what these people were so animatedly saying.

    “Blown away.” This was the phrase he was searching for.

    Soon, the group members were repeating the simple phrase in English, “blown away, blown away.”

    The people of Arsi Negele were overwhelmed by the impacts of their own hard work and the results that could be achieved with an effective partnership.

    The project in Arsi Negele and a similar project in nearby Lake Ziway are part of Counterpart’s Ethiopian Sustainable Tourism Alliance (ESTA) program, focused on strengthening local communities while promoting biodiversity conservation and environmental stewardship.

    A resource user group like the one that welcomed me to Arsi Negele was also created in Lake Ziway, where together we demarcated a Community Conservation Area and identified water drainage issues that were causing similarly harmful erosion.

    After two months of digging and arranging land materials, the group had completed the check dam system along the north face of the hill. Just like in Arsi Ngele, results were almost immediate.

    The Government of Ethiopia was so impressed by the effects and the ease of construction that it wasted no time in inquiring about Counterpart and local partners’ techniques. The government decided to take action on its own and replicated the entire check dam system on the opposite side of the hillside.

    That community participation translated so directly into visible environmental gains and even government support, well, it blew me away.


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    Source:  Counterpart International
    Country:  Ethiopia

    The village of Beshera Chafa in Ethiopia’s Central Rift Valley is turning a wasteland into a profit center.

    “We felt sad even looking at this area because it was so barren. You couldn’t see grass or trees or animals,” says Abbe Edao, Chairperson of the Beshera Chafa Peasant Association.

    A year ago, Counterpart’s Ethiopian Ecotourism Development Program teamed with this community to rehabilitate 1,000 hectares (nearly 2,500 acres) in an area badly degraded by overgrazing, drought and erosion.

    Edao and eight other villagers were elected to decide what to do with the community conservation area. They chose to close off the worst parts and let nature take over.

    One year later, the trees look healthy. Hares hop and oribi gazelles run through the tall grasses.

    The conservation area is now managed and monitored by a Resource User Group, or RUG – about 25 community members. The men and women are responsible for protecting the demarcated land. If cattle or unauthorized people enter, the RUG may enforce a fine of 10 birr, or 57 cents – half of which goes to the RUG members.

    Once the land is rehabilitated, members of the RUG gain user rights, with the opportunity to begin sustainable income-generating activities, like beekeeping or selling the grass.

    “It is only through this one year that we’ve seen all this change. And we hope that next year the trees will grow taller, the grass will grow taller, and my community will benefit from the land,” Edao says.


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    Source:  UN Children's Fund
    Country:  Mali, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Gambia (the), Mauritania, Niger (the), Nigeria, Senegal

    Highlights

    Nutrition Crisis More than 576,000 (out of 1.1 million target of estimated SAM caseload) have already been reached with therapeutic care for treatment of SAM. Even though the lean season is now over, and the worse of the crisis has been weathered due to the emergency response and government action, the impact on vulnerable households remains a key concern.

    Mali Complex Emergency UNICEF continues to respond to the needs of IDPs in Mali, and refugees/ host communities in Mauritania, Niger and Burkina Faso and returning nationals in Niger, in collaboration with UNHCR. The lack of a potable water, food and shelter, the prevention of epidemic diseases as well as ensuring a protective environment for vulnerable children and women continue to be the most pressing humanitarian needs.

    According to UNHCR, the number of Malians seeking refuge in neighboring countries slowed with 23,500 in August, compared to 60,000 in July.

    UNHCR reviewed of numbers in Burkina Faso from 107,929 refugees down to 34,877 individuals following the level 2 refugee registration (3 Oct); this includes 8,816 households including 19% of children under five years old or 6,627 children under five.

    Emerging threats Heavy rains causing flooding and inundation along the Niger and Benue Rivers have led to the displacement of thousands of people and many fatalities in eastern Nigeria.

    The risk of cholera outbreaks is decreasing with the end of the rainy season, but the flooded areas are still of concern.

    Funding Fundraising is progressing, but with a funding gap of 44% (USD 105,037,061) of the total needs for the integrated response to the nutrition, Mali and cholera crises.

    The 2013 Consolidated Appeal Process was launched in September. Partners in Mali, Niger, Mauritania, Burkina Faso and Chad are analyzing the impact of emergency scenarios on humanitarian needs in 2013, existing response capacities and funding requirements.


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    Source:  ICRC
    Country:  Mali, Niger (the)

    Le président du CICR Peter Maurer a estimé à la fin d'une visite de trois jours au Mali et au Niger que les déploiements militaires et la reprise des hostilités dans la région auraient inévitablement des conséquences humanitaires pour la population. De passage à Mopti, au Mali, M. Maurer a dit que "la nourriture, l'eau et les médicaments sont indispensables en de grandes quantités", ajoutant que le CICR avait demandé aux donateurs un soutien accru à ses opérations au Mali et au Sahel.

    Watch the video - Niger / Mali: ICRC scales up operations


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    Source:  Famine Early Warning System Network
    Country:  Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad, Liberia, Mauritania, Niger (the), Nigeria, Senegal

    Poursuite des pluies en octobre au Sahel confirmant les bonnes perspectives agricoles

    MESSAGES CLÉS

     L’amélioration globale de la sécurité alimentaire se poursuivent au Sahel et en Afrique de l’Ouest avec les récoltes qui se généralisent, les prix qui baissent et la multiplication des opportunités de revenus avec les ventes des productions de rentes et des productions pastorales.

     L’insécurité alimentaire minimale correspondant à IPC Phase 1, se généralise dans toute la région excepté au centre-nord du Mali, à l’ouest du Niger, et localement au sud de la Mauritanie, où les pauvres et très pauvres sont en IPC Phase 2 : Stress. L’assistance humanitaire bien ciblée est toujours necessaire pour empecher une dégradation, surtout dans les zones agropastorales et rizicoles du Mali.

     Les bonnes perspectives agricoles projettées en septembre par le CILSS/PREGEC se confirment avec la poursuite des pluies au Sahel jusqu’en octobre 2012. En attendant l’évaluation formelle de la production agricole régionale en novembre 2012, le comportement actuel de la saison, carctérisé par la poursuite des pluies jusqu’en octobre au Sahel prevoit une récolte au moins moyenne, et supérieure à la moyenne dans la plupart des pays saheliens, renforçant ainsi les hypothèses présentées dans la perspective regionale d’aout.

     Avec la fin de la saison pluvieuse au Sahel, on attend que la deuxième génération des criquets pèlerins, qui est en train de s’organiser en essaims au Tchad, Niger, et probablement au Mali, va migrer vers l’Afrique du Nord pendant le mois d’Octobre en cherchant les conditions plus favorables. On n’attend pas des dégats signicatifs sur les cultures céréalières dans la region.


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    Source:  Government of Eritrea
    Country:  Eritrea

    Hamelmalo, 27 October 2012 – The inhabitants of Gizgiza Administrative area, Hamelmalo sub-zone, are engaged in popular undertaking with a view to improving potable water quality in collaboration with EDF members. Reports indicate that water resources in the locality have higher salinity, and that the current venture is aimed at securing better access to potable water from Anseba River through laying 12 Km-long pipes.

    Mr. Mohammed Idris Ali, Administrator of Genfelom Administrative area, pointed out that more than 150 inhabitants are participating in the undertaking, in addition to 200 EDF members.

    Among the EDF members, Ahmed Saleh and Hamd Idris voiced satisfaction with taking part in the campaign, and said that they have been participating in various popular development initiatives, besides the labor support they extend to families of fallen heroes.

    Out of the inhabitants, Mr. Al-Jami’e Mohammed explained that the inhabitants of the villages of Griesh, Basheri, Hitsats, Kimiel, Zuron, Qush and Gam, as well as the residents of Hamelmalo semi-urban center also are demonstrating active participation in the process.


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    Source:  Government of Ethiopia
    Country:  Ethiopia

    Addis Ababa October 27/2012 Ethiopia marked on Saturday the 5th Global Handwashing Day, which promotes the importance of handwashing with soap as an effective, simple, and inexpensive way to prevent the spread of life-threatening diseases and reduce child mortality. Speaking on the occasion Health State Minister, Dr. Kebede Werku said by making handwashing with soap a regular action, the public can prevent the spread of diarrheal diseases and the needles death of children. He urged the public to help children and young people change their behavior and consider handwashing with soap as a n important method to prevent the spread of diarrheal diseases. Education State Minister, Fuad Ibrahim on his part said because of the seldom practice of handwashing with soap, millions of children suffer disproportionately from diarrheal and respiratory diseases and deaths. According to him, the major cause for the spread of up to 80 percent of diarrheal disease in Ethiopia is lack of safe water, sanitation and basic hygiene services. The country is working hard to raise the safe water supply in schools from the current 32 percent, as children are the most affected portion of the society by the spread of these diseases, he said. Child mortality figures released by UNICEF last month show that some 2,000 children under five die each day from diarrheal diseases. Of these the vast majority or about 1,800 children per day die from diarrheal diseases due to lack of safe water, sanitation and basic hygiene. Though the number has significantly declined in the five years since Global Handwashing Day was established, UNICEF says it is still too high. As diarrheal diseases are basically faecal-oral in nature, one of the simplest and most inexpensive barriers to infection is handwashing with soap at critical times, such as before handling food and after defecation or changing a diaper. A vast change in handwashing behavior is critical to meeting the Millennium Development Goal of reducing deaths among children under the age of five by two-thirds by 2015.


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    Source:  ActionAid
    Country:  Nigeria

    ‘’For every two bags of fertilizer given to a man, a woman should be given four’’.

    This is how the leader of the FCT chapter of ActionAid Nigeria’s facilitated network of smallholder women farmer’s cooperatives in Nigeria bluntly put it at a press conference organized by ActionAid Nigeria to mark the 2012 World Food Day. "The women deserve double portion" she says.

    "The women deserve double portion"

    Women are the predominant actors in the Nigerian Agricultural space constituting between 60 to 80 per cent of the agricultural labor force. They are responsible for carrying out 50 per cent of animal husbandry related activities and about 60 per cent of food processing yet, their access to agricultural services and involvement in agricultural policy formulation is by far lower than the men such that one is forced to wonder how far ahead our road to eliminating hunger in Nigeria is.

    "This year’s world food day provided another opportunity for us to answer the question of eliminating hunger in Nigeria. Smallholder women farmers it is."

    Acknowledged, Nigeria has demonstrated some level of commitment largely by the development of the Agricultural Transformation Agenda, a plan which takes a departure from previous agricultural policies calling for increased food production, reducing losses among others. But I wonder, how can we achieve economic growth using agriculture as a veritable tool and quash the tide where over 60 million Nigerians go to bed hungry, when the smallholder women farmers who produce the bulk of the food for domestic consumption are not specifically targeted by government agricultural policies or when their voices do not count?

    How can we eliminate hunger in Nigeria when despite the changing climate, our government has not incorporated sustainable agricultural practices as a means of rejuvenating the sector and serving as insurance to thousands of smallholder famers especially the women? Will hunger ever be deported from our land with our government investment in agriculture grossly inadequate as it has consistently disrespected its own signature on the Maputo declaration wherein she pledged to allocate 10% per cent of its annual budget to agriculture?

    "Women have little or no access to land. The processes for accessing support and credit largely alienates smallholder women farmers. This is surely not the way to go if truly, we must eliminate hunger in Nigeria."

    Nigeria is currently at the verge of an obvious food shortage following the floods that have continued to ravage the country. Thousand of farmlands have been washed and food crops destroyed.

    But If Nigeria must increase food production and yields, reduce post harvest losses by 50 per cent, half the proportion of households and persons who are food insecure and create a reign of food security as detailed in the Agricultural Transformation Agenda, then it is imperative that there must be a fundamental shift in agricultural policies and how these policies are formulated. Agricultural policies must largely focus on smallholder women farmers and the process for their formulation must be made transparent and participatory such that the voices of these women count.

    Increased access to land and agricultural inputs, credits and support, eliminating land ownership practices that exclude the majority of those who feed Nigeria is not negotiable.

    "Increased access to land and agricultural inputs, credits and support, eliminating land ownership practices that exclude the majority of those who feed Nigeria is not negotiable."

    Eliminating hunger in Nigeria is no joke, it is serious business thus government must increase investment in agriculture. The Nigerian government at all levels must respect the accord it entered on behalf of the Nigeria people in the Maputo Declaration and begin a process for achieving the allocation of 10 per cent of Nigeria’s annual budget to agriculture.

    This is not the time for mere verbal commitments as we witnessed in the past but a time for commitments that is marked by relevant action. If the problem of hunger in Nigeria will ever be tackled and won, then the smallholder women farmers are the answer and supporting them is a ‘do or die’ affair.

    "If the problem of hunger in Nigeria will ever be tackled and won, then the smallholder women farmers are the answer and supporting them is a ‘do or die’ affair."


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    Source:  World Food Programme
    Country:  World, Armenia, Colombia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Kyrgyzstan, Malawi, Niger (the), Peru, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Syrian Arab Republic (the), United Republic of Tanzania (the)

    This bulletin examines trends in staple food and fuel prices, the cost of the basic food basket, terms of trade and consumer price indices for 70 countries in the third quarter of 2012 (July to September, Q3-2012). The issue contains also a special focus on countries most vulnerable to the tightening of the global grain markets.

    Highlights

    Following two successive quarters of decline, the global cereal price index increased by 5.2 percent in Q3-2012 (July-September quarter). This upward trend is driven by global wheat and maize prices which increased by 11 and 9 percent respectively during Q3-2012 compared to the same quarter of last year.

    Droughts and extreme summer heat in the United States and the Black Sea region have resulted in reduced global grain production and exports. Their impact is not yet widespread across vulnerable countries. However, seasonally adjusted prices of cereals (maize and wheat) increased significantly in July-September compared to April-June 2012 in several cereal import dependent countries (e.g. Armenia, Colombia, Guinea Bissau, Kyrgyzstan, Malawi, Peru, Senegal, Sri Lanka and Syria).

    The impact of staple commodity price changes on the cost of the basic food basket (Figure 1) is severe (above 10%) in only 3 out of 70 countries (Ghana, Guinea Bissau and Malawi), and high (between 5 and 10%) in 5 countries (Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Niger, Syria and Tanzania). The most severe effects are driven by maize prices in Malawi, wheat prices in Kyrgyzstan and Armenia, and imported rice in Guinea Bissau (Figure 2).


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    Source:  MSF
    Country:  Chad

    It is early morning, and already hot, when two 4x4 vehicles pull up in front of a small health center in the village of Angara in eastern Chad. A crowd of women and children huddle under a small roof to avoid the beating sun as they wait for the weekly consultation to start. They watch patiently as the team from Doctors Without borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) sets up its mobile therapeutic feeding center.

    "It is the second time I have brought my daughter to the feeding program," says Maryoma Abdallah, who squats in the shadow of a nearby tree. Like many other mothers, she has travelled a long way this morning by donkey to receive treatment for her malnourished daughter, Kadidja.

    A Diet of Millet Porridge

    “This year hasn't been good, and neither was last year,” says Maryoma. “At home all I have to give [my daughter] is millet porridge—I can’t afford to buy milk or fruit. My daughter was very weak, but thanks to the therapeutic food she receives, she is gaining weight again.”

    Two-year-old Kadidja is one of more than 1,000 children currently being treated in MSF's emergency feeding program in eastern Chad’s Biltine district. Every week, mobile teams visit 11 remote health centers like the one in Angara.

    In each health center the procedure is the same. As the mothers come forward one by one, each child is weighed, measured, and examined thoroughly by a nurse. Children on their first visit are tested for malaria. Where necessary, nurses prescribe medicine, which is handed out by the team’s pharmacist. Finally, each mother receives a weekly ration of therapeutic food for her child. This ready-to-use paste of peanuts and milk contains all the essential vitamins and minerals needed to help malnourished children regain their strength.

    Since the program began in April 2012, more than 3,500 severely malnourished children have been enrolled in outpatient treatment and more than 1,200 children have been cured and discharged.

    A Small Step Forward

    "We have made a small step forward,” says Marcus Bachmann, MSF’s project coordinator in Biltine. “The total number of children in our program has decreased—from 1,300 in June to 1,000 in September. But we are still seeing an average of 200 new admissions per week. That means there are still many severely malnourished children."

    In Angara, outreach nurse Carole Antoine Riolobos screens the group of waiting mothers and children, looking for those who need immediate care. "As well as malnutrition, we see many sick children," she says. "The biggest problem is dehydration as a result of diarrhea. People here have no access to safe drinking water, and the children often drink directly from rivers.”

    Riolobos stops in front of a woman in a bright green robe and examines the child on her lap. This little boy, Adil, is severely dehydrated and urgently needs intensive care. As the nurse begins preliminary treatment, she explains to Adil’s mother that her son is very ill and will have to be admitted to the hospital in Biltine. An MSF vehicle will take them to town when the consultations are over at the end of the day.

    The Harvest Comes In

    Since April, more than 500 severely malnourished children requiring intensive care have been admitted to MSF’s nutrition ward in Biltine district hospital. The team hopes the number of admissions will decrease as the harvest comes in and the annual “hunger season” comes to an end.

    With no other health organizations working in the area, MSF will continue its emergency nutrition program until early December.

    Though the hunger season may be drawing to a close, Bachmann warns that underlying problems remain. “Even if we have overcome this year’s malnutrition peak, there is no reason to be overly optimistic, because the structural nutritional crisis persists and can’t be solved by our emergency feeding program alone."

    Every year, the people of Chad face recurrent food crises, putting tremendous strain on families and communities. While MSF’s emergency programs save lives, the underlying causes need to be addressed.

    “The Real Emergency Is to Get Out of Emergency Mode.”

    “There is a possibility that next year the same crisis will develop in the places where we are running our emergency programs this year,” says Stefano Argenziano, MSF’s country director. “The real emergency in Chad is to get out of emergency mode.”

    Other MSF nutrition projects in Chad

    At MSF’s anchor project in Am Timan, in eastern Chad, 6,535 malnourished children have received outpatient treatment since January, and 731 severely malnourished children have been treated as inpatients.

    MSF runs a 160-bed pediatric hospital in the town of Massakory in western Chad's Hadjer Lamis region. Since January, MSF has treated 7,800 severely malnourished children. Of these, 2,012 were admitted to hospitals and 5,725 were treated as outpatients. MSF works in six health centers in the district and provides nursing support at two others.

    In Yao, central Chad, MSF opened a nutrition program in April and treated 1,559 severely malnourished children. An additional 388 children suffering of malnutrition and/or other childhood diseases were hospitalized in an MSF-run nutritional center in N'Djamena Bilala. The program closed at the end of September.

    In May, MSF opened a program in Abu Deia, in northeast Chad, and treated some 1,400 children. The program was handed over to local authorities in early October.

    In July, MSF opened a program in Bokoro, in eastern Chad. To date, 2,702 children have been treated at 10 outpatient feeding centers and more than 230 severely malnourished children have been treated as inpatients. MSF will hand the program over to local authorities in December.


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    Source:  International Fund for Agricultural Development
    Country:  Niger (the)

    Rome, 25 October 2012 – The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) will provide a US$21.46 million loan and grant to the Republic of the Niger to improve the food security of smallholder farmers in the country. The loan is co-financed by the Spanish Food Security Cofinancing Facility Trust Fund.

    The loan agreement for the Ruwanmu Small-scale Irrigation Project was signed today by Amadou Boubacar Cissé, Minister of State and Planning, Land Management and Community Development of the Republic of the Niger, and Kanayo F. Nwanze, President of IFAD. In Hausa language, ruwanmu means ‘our water’.

    At least six million people in Niger are suffering from food shortages this year due to last season's failed harvest. Irrigated land makes up around five per cent of the total cultivated land in the country. “Recurrent droughts over the last 40 years have had dramatic consequences on agropastoral production, food security and people’s livelihoods in Niger,” said Vincenzo Galastro, IFAD Country Programme Manager for the Niger. “A well-performing and sustainable small-scale irrigation system is vital to increase agricultural productivity and food security in the country.”

    Cofinanced by the Government of Niger, the project will be implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture in the regions of Maradi Tahoua and Zinder. It will cover 30 communes in the farming and agropastoral areas and more than 65,000 poor rural households will benefit from the project, of which nearly 60 per cent are women and young people. One of the aims of the project is to increase the income of rural women and youth through viable microenterprises integrated to the local agricultural economy.

    The new project will contribute to a sustainable increase in the productivity of the irrigated areas and strengthen the capacity of smallholder farmers to manage water and land resources. In addition, smallholder farmers will receive training to improve post-production and marketing of the products generated by the irrigation schemes.

    With this new project, IFAD will have financed 11 programmes and projects in Niger for a total investment of $168.7 million benefitting 733,200 rural households.

    Press release No.: IFAD/64/2012

    The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) works with poor rural people to enable them to grow and sell more food, increase their incomes and determine the direction of their own lives. Since 1978, IFAD has invested about US$14.3 billion in grants and low-interest loans to developing countries through projects empowering over 400 million people to break out of poverty, thereby helping to create vibrant rural communities. IFAD is an international financial institution and a specialized UN agency based in Rome – the United Nations’ food and agriculture hub. It is a unique partnership of 168 members from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), other developing countries and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).


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    Source:  Government of Eritrea
    Country:  Eritrea

    Barentu, 28 October 2012- The selected crop seeds that have been distributed to farmers in Gash-Barka region by the Ministry of Agriculture branch have strong contribution in increasing agricultural productivity, exemplary farmers from different sub-zones expressed.

    They expressed from experience that the crop seeds that have been experimented by agro experts and distributed to farmers have the capacity of enduring drought and other crop diseases and that they are able to collect bumper harvest.

    From the farmers, Mr. Mohammed Saleh Omar and Mr. Solomon Abraham indicated that the selected sorghum seed they were provided by the Ministry of Agriculture branch was immune from crop diseases and as a result they are able to collect bumper harvest. They further explained that the experience they gained at the Haikota agricultural experiment facility has also helped them in properly cultivating their farm lands.

    Resident of Hashenkit, Ms. Askalu Tewoldebrhan and farmer in Mogolo Mr. Ali Mahmud Haj on their part explained that they are able to collect good harvest with the selected crop seeds they have been provided six years back and called on farmers not to mix the seeds with non-selected ones so that they would not loose originality.

    Ms. Solomon Tsehaie, representative of the Ministry of Agriculture branch in Haikota sub-zone, indicated that the seed experiments that have been conducted in different centers were proved successful and that farmers that use selected crop seeds and follow guidelines could bring qualitative change in their agricultural harvest.


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    Country:  Somalia, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya
    Source:  US Agency for International Development

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    Source:  European Union
    Country:  Burkina Faso, Angola, Benin, Ghana, Nigeria, United Republic of Tanzania (the)

    Luxembourg 28/09/2012

    Improvements in access to safe drinking-water and basic sanitation are critical elements in meeting the Millennium Development Goals. The Court assessed whether EU development assistance for drinking-water supply and basic sanitation in six sub-Saharan countries is leading to sustainable results. It concluded that in general, equipment had been installed and was in working order. However, fewer than half of the projects met beneficiaries' needs and results and benefits will not continue to flow in the medium and long term unless non-tariff revenue is ensured. The Commission did not make good use of its management procedures to increase the likelihood that projects will bring lasting benefits.


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    Source:  Sudan Tribune
    Country:  Ethiopia

    October 27, 2012 (ADDIS ABABA) - Ethiopia’s Charities and Societies Agency (CSoA), announced Saturday that it has shut down 10 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) under the county’s new civil society and charity law.

    CSoA decided to revoke the licenses of the organizations due to alleged misconduct and violation to the law of charities and society’s proclamation, the agency public relations head Asefa Tesfaye said.

    The agency warned a further 400 organizations that it said were operating against rules and regulations of the country. The agency is currently investigating the cases of some 17 organizations.

    Financial related violations including not paying tax were the main cause for the closure of NGOs while license revocations of IRRC and Awelia School was because they accused of involvement in religious activities contrary to mission they were licensed for.

    Despite international criticism, the Ethiopian government endorsed the Charities and Societies Proclamation in 2009.

    Many international human rights groups and civil society groups condemned the controversial law saying it was a tool designed to strictly control and restrict the activities of civil society.

    The law criminalizes human rights-related work undertaken by Ethiopian organizations that receive more than 10% their funding from overseas.

    The 2009 law contravenes international and regional human rights treaties Ethiopia has signed, according to right groups.

    Despite existing opposition to the law, the Charities and Societies Agency says it has registered hundreds of new associations and charities following the endorsement of the new law.

    Currently there are nearly 3,000 international civil society groups, NGOs and charities operating in the horn of Africa nation.

    (ST)


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    Source:  European Centre for Development Policy Management
    Country:  Somalia, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan (Republic of), Sudan (the), Uganda

    Executive Summary

    In 2003 the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) was established by the assembly of the African Union (AU) aiming to raise agricultural productivity by at least 6% per year and increasing public investment in agriculture to 10% of national budgets per year. After an initial phase focused primarily on interventions at the national level, there is growing awareness on the need to work more on the regional dimensions of the CAADP. In this context, the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM) has undertaken policy-oriented analysis and stakeholder consultations on regional CAADP processes - and issues at stake - as well as on its linkages with the broader regional integration dynamics, in various African regions. This paper focuses on the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), with the objective to stimulate further discussions among involved stakeholders, to contribute to the consultative processes around the development and implementation of CAADP at regional level, as well as to contribute to lessons-sharing across Africa on regional approaches to food security.

    IGAD Regional CAADP compact: parallel initiatives, one goal

    Between 2010 and 2011, parts of the Horn of Africa experienced some of their worst droughts in history. This prompted Heads of State and Government from IGAD and the East African Community (EAC) to come together to endorse a more preventative, regional and holistic approach towards ending drought emergencies in the region. The Summit gave birth to the IGAD Drought Disaster Resilience and Sustainability Initiative (IDDRSI) and a number of related initiatives aimed at operationalizing the drought resilience agenda in the region’s Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL). This includes the Common Programming Frameworks (CPF) to guide national interventions, a Regional Programming Framework (RPF), an IGAD regional CAADP process and an IDDRSI Strategic Plan, all geared, in one way or the other, towards addressing regional aspects of the resilience effort. An IDDRSI Regional Platform is also being established to coordinate and mobilize resources around all the processes. These initiatives are currently being developed simultaneously and are all ‘work-in-progress’. While perceptions around the initiatives are still evolving, most stakeholders appear to have differing views on the value of each initiative, neither are they clear about how these parallel initiatives can complement each other.

    National-Regional nexus: operationalizing the principle of subsidiarity

    There is a high degree of consensus among various stakeholders that regional action is very important for reducing the vulnerability of the ASAL areas to drought and food insecurity. In this sense, the consensus strongly leans toward adopting a long-term, resilience-focused regional approach. The regional IGAD compact is expected to build on and complement the national CAADP compacts, where they exist, and national agriculture strategies/ policies of other member states, which have not yet developed CAADP compacts. During the process of national consultations for the regional compact, it emerged that the national-regional nexus is not always well thought through by most countries. Being already involved in the other processes that focus more on country challenges, the sense of momentum around the regional CAADP does not appear to be fully shared by technical ministries at the country level. In addition, there is the challenge of working out ways to operationalize the principle of subsidiarity. Different stakeholders have different ideas on what regional CAADP means, which could make operationalizing issues of complementarity and subsidiarity between regional and national processes a likely challenge.


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    Source:  Agence France-Presse
    Country:  Mali

    10/29/2012 16:28 GMT

    BAMAKO, Oct 29, 2012 (AFP) - Mali's desert north has fallen into the hands of Islamist hardliners over the past six months, sparking regional and international fears of a new haven for extremists in north Africa.

    The insurgents, boosted by weapons obtained thanks to last year's upheaval in Libya, swept through the region following a coup in the capital Bamako on March 22.

    Ethnic Tuareg desert nomads and Al-Qaeda linked extremists quickly took key towns in northern Mali, a land of ancient caravan routes that is also notorious for drugs and arms smuggling and kidnappings for ransom.

    Since then, the hardline Islamists have largely eclipsed their former brothers-in-arms, the secular Tuareg group called the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA).

    The Islamists, among them local representatives of Al-Qaeda, have imposed strict sharia law and destroyed world heritage-listed religious monuments in the fabled city of Timbuktu.

    The Economic Community of West African States, the main regional grouping of countries, is planning to send an intervention force of more than 3,000 troops into Mali.

    Below are profiles of the main hardline groups:

    -- Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) --

    AQIM stems from a group started in the late 1990s by radical Algerian Islamists, who in 2007 formally subscribed to Al-Qaeda's ideology.

    The group, formerly known as the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat, has bases in northern Mali from where it regularly carries out attacks and abductions of westerners in the sub-Saharan Sahel zone.

    The group is led by Algerian Abdelmalek Droukdel, with several other notorious Algerian extremists leading katibas, or fighting units.

    -- Ansar Dine ('Defenders of the Faith' in Arabic) --

    This new Islamist movement was formed by renowned Tuareg commander Iyad Ag Ghaly who led a 1990-95 rebellion. He then became a key player in peace talks between the government and Tuaregs during a 2006-2007 rebellion.

    Boosted by members of AQIM, Ansar Dine took the towns of Kidal and Timbuktu. In both cases, Ghaly made a triumphant entrance and planted black flags around the captured towns.

    In Timbuktu, his forces chased out the Tuaregs and ordered women to cover themselves with veils.

    Unlike the MNLA, Ansar Dine does not demand independence for the north but wants the strict implementation of its hardline interpretation of sharia law.

    -- The Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) --

    MUJAO, which has long been presented as an AQIM splinter group, advocates jihad, or holy war, in West Africa. It has claimed a number of abductions in the northeast of the country, but also in neighbouring Algeria where it has also claimed several attacks on Algerian forces.

    In June it seized the northeastern town of Gao, ousting the MNLA after deadly clashes between the once-allied groups, in which at least 35 people were killed.

    Recent reports, confirmed by Malian government security sources, say that hundreds of Islamist fighters have arrived in northern Mali from other countries, notably the Moroccan-ruled territory of Western Sahara and Sudan. However the Tuaregs of the MNLA have denied those reports.

    bur-acm/jmy/ds/fb/lc

    © 1994-2012 Agence France-Presse


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    Source:  Agence France-Presse
    Country:  Mali

    10/29/2012 15:09 GMT

    BAMAKO, 29 oct 2012 (AFP) - Le nord du Mali, région en majorité désertique représentant les deux-tiers de son territoire, est depuis fin mars-début avril sous contrôle de groupes armés alliés à Al-Qaïda au Maghreb islamique (Aqmi), qui prônent l'application la charia (loi islamique) dans tout le pays.

    Le Nord est tombé aux mains des islamistes armés, qui ont profité d'un coup d'Etat militaire contre le président Amadou Toumani Touré (ATT) le 22 mars. Ils ont évincé leurs ex-alliés du Mouvement national de libération de l'Azawad (MNLA, rébellion touareg), qui avait lancé l'offensive en janvier.

    Amnesty International a dénoncé la multiplication des violences et châtiments corporels infligés par les islamistes dans le Nord, "au nom de leur interprétation de la charia": exécution par lapidation d'un couple non marié, amputations de présumés voleurs, à la suite de "parodies de procès", flagellations de buveurs d'alcool ou de fumeurs. Les islamistes ont également démoli la majorité des mausolées des saints musulmans de la cité de Tombouctou.

    --AL-QAIDA AU MAGHREB ISLAMIQUE (AQMI)--

    ========================================

    Issue de l'ex-Groupe salafiste pour la prédication et le combat (GSPC) algérien, Aqmi a fait allégeance à Al-Qaïda et dispose depuis 2007 de bases dans le Nord malien, d'où elle commet régulièrement des attaques et enlèvements d'Occidentaux dans plusieurs pays du Sahel. Aqmi est dirigée par des Algériens, parmi lesquels Mokhtar Belmokhtar dit "Le Borgne" et Abdelhamid Abou Zeid.

    --ANSAR DINE (DEFENSEURS DE L'ISLAM)--

    ======================================

    Dirigé par Iyad Ag Ghaly, ex-militaire et ex-figure des rébellions touareg des années 1990 au Mali, Ansar Dine est apparu au grand jour cette année. Mais son équipe est renforcée par des combattants qui étaient membres actifs de la branche maghrébine d'Al-Qaïda. Parmi eux figure Abdelkrim Taleb, un cousin touareg d'Ag Ghaly, qui dirigeait une petite unité au sein d'Aqmi.

    Le groupe ne réclame pas l'indépendance du Nord, contrairement à la rébellion touareg du MNLA. Il a des liens avec des cellules d'Aqmi dont des combattants l'appuient et est désormais ouvertement soutenu par des chefs d'Aqmi.

    --LE MOUVEMENT POUR L'UNICITE ET LE JIHAD EN AFRIQUE DE L'OUEST (MUJAO)--

    =========================================================================

    Le Mujao, qui a longtemps été présenté comme une dissidence d'Aqmi, prône le jihad en Afrique de l'Ouest. Il a revendiqué des enlèvements à Gao (nord-est), mais aussi en Algérie, où il a également revendiqué plusieurs attentats contre des forces algériennes.

    Le Mujao, qui était très présent à Gao, s'en est rendu totalement maître en évinçant le MNLA fin juin à l'issue de violents combats (au moins 35 morts). Récemment, Aqmi a révélé avoir été impliquée dans ces affrontements et être intervenue contre le MNLA.

    Neuf Européens, dont six Français, sont aux mains d'Aqmi. Le Mujao retient au moins trois otages algériens.

    Des témoignages, confirmés de source sécuritaire malienne, ont fait état de l'arrivée récemment de "centaines" de jihadistes étrangers et prêts à se battre aux côtés des groupes islamistes, en cas d'intervention armée internationale. Le MNLA a démenti "formellement".

    bur-acm/bc/stb/sba

    © 1994-2012 Agence France-Presse


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    Source:  World Food Programme
    Country:  Mali, Algeria, Chad, Libya, Morocco, Senegal

    As families in the Sahel struggle to recover from this year’s hunger crisis, tens of millions of locusts threaten to swarm across the region devouring the new harvest. To ensure that doesn’t happen, WFP has airlifted insecticide to Mali and Chad in a joint operation with its sister agency, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.

    ROME—WFP airlifted thousands of litres of insecticide to countries in the Sahel last week as part of an effort to prevent an onslaught of desert locust swarms just as people in the region are beginning to get back on their feet after this year’s drought.

    The pesticide was donated by Morocco and Senegal through an arrangement with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), which says that locust populations in Mali and Chad have swelled into the tens of millions following heavy rains last summer.

    “We were pleased to be able to assist FAO in this mission,” said WFP Aviation Chief Pierre Carasse. “Given the destinations, we managed to merge the requirements into a single flight in less than 24 hours providing a timely and cost-effective solution.”

    Though prevailing wind patterns suggest the locusts will migrate north to Algeria, Libya and Morocco, FAO warned that they also posed a threat to harvests in drought-ravaged countries of the Sahel. It added that the situation was particularly worrying in northern Mali, where conflict has impeded humanitarian access and made the swarms difficult to track.

    Help from neighbours

    After registering the alarming increase in locust numbers, FAO brokered agreements with Algeria, Morocco and Senegal to donate some of their pesticide stock to Chad and Mali where the locusts are breeding

    Last week, WFP stepped in transport 32,000 litres of the pesticide from Morocco to Mali and another 18,000 litres from Senegal to Chad. Hopes are that the insecticide will help to thin the locusts’ numbers before they take to the skies.

    Following the winds, adult locusts can travel up to 150 km per day and consume their weight in food—about two grams per insect. FAO says that even a small swarm can eat the same amount of food as 35,000 people, making them a serious threat to a region still recovering from the effects of drought.

    Responding to a third hunger crisis in less than a decade, WFP provided food assistance to some 10 million people in the Sahel this year. With the hunger season behind them, farmers in the region are counting on a strong harvest to replenish their food stocks and rebuild their herds.

    An invasion of locusts could spell disaster for millions of families in the region who are still struggling to get back on their feet.


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    Source:  MSF
    Country:  Chad

    Le jour vient à peine de se lever et il fait déjà très chaud. Deux véhicules tout terrain s’arrêtent devant le petit centre de santé du village d’Angara dans l’est du Tchad. Une foule composée de femmes et d’enfants se presse sous un étroit auvent pour s’abriter du soleil brûlant en attendant qu’ouvre la consultation hebdomadaire. Ils observent patiemment l’équipe de Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) mettant en place le centre de nutrition thérapeutique mobile.

    « C’est la deuxième fois que j’amène ma fille au centre nutritionnel », explique Maryoma Abdallah, accroupie à l’ombre d’un arbre. Comme beaucoup d’autres mères, elle a fait un long chemin à dos d’âne ce matin pour venir faire soigner sa fille malnutrie, Kadidja.

    Une bouillie de millet pour seule nourriture

    « C'est une mauvaise année, comme l'an passé », déplore Maryoma. « À la maison, je ne peux lui donner que de la bouillie de millet. Je n'ai pas de quoi acheter des fruits ou du lait. Ma fille était très faible mais, grâce à une alimentation spéciale, elle reprend des forces. »

    Kadidja, deux ans, fait partie du millier d’enfants que MSF traite via son programme de nutrition d’urgence dans le district de Biltine, dans l’est du Tchad. Chaque semaine, les équipes médicales mobiles de MSF se rendent dans les 11 postes de santé reculés de la région, comme celui d’Angara.

    Dans ces centres, la procédure est toujours la même. Les mères d'enfants malnutris viennent l’une après l’autre; chaque enfant est pesé, mesuré et examiné de près par le personnel infirmier. Lors de leur première visite, les enfants sont testés pour le paludisme. Si besoin, on leur prescrit des médicaments qui leur sont remis par le pharmacien de l’équipe. Enfin les mères reçoivent une réserve d'aliments thérapeutiques pour la semaine : une pâte prête à l'emploi composée d'arachides et de lait, qui contient les vitamines et minéraux essentiels qui permettront à l’enfant de reprendre des forces.

    Depuis que le programme a été lancé en avril, MSF a inscrit dans son programme de traitement ambulatoire plus de 3 500 enfants souffrant de malnutrition sévère. Plus de 1 200 ont été guéris et ont pu rentrer chez eux.

    Un petit pas en avant

    « Nous avons fait un petit pas en avant », explique Marcus Bachmann, coordonnateur de projet pour MSF à Biltine. « Le nombre d'enfants que nous prenons en charge dans notre programme est passé de 1 300 en juin à 1 000 en septembre. Mais chaque semaine, nous voyons encore en moyenne 200 nouveaux cas, ce qui est encore beaucoup trop. »

    À Angara, Carole Antoine Riolobos, infirmière itinérante, procède au triage d’un groupe de mères et d’enfants qui font la file, cherchant ceux qui ont besoin d’une aide immédiate. « En plus de la malnutrition, nous voyons beaucoup d’enfants malades », dit-elle. Le plus gros problème est la déshydratation causée par la diarrhée. Les gens n’ont pas accès à de l’eau potable salubre, et les enfants boivent souvent l’eau des rivières. »

    Carole s’arrête devant une femme vêtue d’une robe vert vif et examine l’enfant assis sur ses genoux. Le petit garçon qui se prénomme Adil est gravement déshydraté et a besoin de soins intensifs de toute urgence. Alors que l’infirmière procède au traitement initial, elle explique à la mère de l’enfant que son fils doit être hospitalisé à Biltine car il est très malade. Un véhicule MSF les emmènera en ville lorsque les consultations seront terminées à la fin de la journée.

    Début des récoltes

    Depuis le mois d’avril, plus de 500 enfants souffrant de malnutrition sévère ont dû être admis à l'unité de soins intensifs de l'hôpital du district de Biltine. L’équipe médicale espère que le nombre de nouveaux cas va baisser maintenant que débutent les récoltes et que la « période de soudure » annuelle se termine.

    Comme aucune autre organisation médicale ne travaille dans la région, MSF poursuivra son programme nutritionnel d’urgence jusque début décembre.

    Bien que la crise alimentaire saisonnière tire quasiment à sa fin, Marcus annonce que le problème à long terme demeure entier. « Même si nous avons surmonté le pic de malnutrition cette année, il est difficile d’être optimiste car les causes structurelles de la crise nutritionnelle demeurent. Notre programme nutritionnel d’urgence à lui seul ne pourra pas remédier à ce problème. »

    Chaque année, les Tchadiens sont confrontés à des crises alimentaires récurrentes qui mettent à mal leurs familles et des communautés entières. Bien que les programmes d’urgence de MSF sauvent des vies, une solution doit être trouvée pour régler les causes sous-jacentes.

    « Le plus urgent est de sortir de la phase d’urgence »

    « Il est possible que les régions dans lesquelles nous travaillons actuellement soient de nouveau touchées par une crise nutritionnelle l'an prochain », affirme Stefano Argenziano, coordonnateur national pour MSF. « Le plus urgent est donc de sortir de la phase d’urgence. »

    MSF dirige d'autres programmes nutritionnels au Tchad : à Am Timan, Massakory, Yao, Abu Deia et Bokoro. Au total, cette année, 21 282 enfants malnutris ont été pris en charge par MSF.


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