Articles on this Page
- 06/15/13--10:02: _Mali: Civic and Pol...
- 07/08/13--05:09: _World: Global Emerg...
- 07/08/13--05:39: _Mali: Sécurité alim...
- 07/08/13--06:04: _Mali: Sahel Regiona...
- 07/08/13--06:11: _Mali: Tension à Kid...
- 07/08/13--06:35: _Kenya: Working towa...
- 07/08/13--12:23: _Somalia: Durable So...
- 07/08/13--13:50: _Kenya: Two years on...
- 07/08/13--13:57: _Mauritania: Maurita...
- 07/08/13--19:06: _Mali: Ban Ki-moon n...
- 07/08/13--19:06: _Mali: Ban Ki-moon n...
- 07/09/13--01:12: _Mali: Mali: Food In...
- 07/09/13--06:12: _Malawi: “Will Malaw...
- 07/09/13--11:24: _Mali: Exchanging On...
- 07/09/13--11:52: _Mali: Deux blessés ...
- 07/09/13--12:29: _Mali: Two civilians...
- 07/09/13--18:41: _Mali: Crisis leads ...
- 07/10/13--08:54: _Somalia: Somalia Co...
- 07/10/13--09:33: _Mali: Mali’s displa...
- 07/10/13--09:36: _Mali: Climate Predi...
- 07/08/13--05:09: World: Global Emergency Overview Snapshot 1 July - 8 July 2013
- Un hivernage globalement humide en Afrique de l’Ouest notamment dans la bande ouest sahélienne
- Situation acridienne : retour de la menace au Sahel
- Sécurité alimentaire des populations rurales menacée en Guinée Bissau à cause de la mauvaise campagne de commercialisation de la noix de cajou
- 07/08/13--06:11: Mali: Tension à Kidal après l'arrivée de l'armée malienne
- 07/08/13--13:57: Mauritania: Mauritania Food Security Outlook Update June 2013
- 07/09/13--01:12: Mali: Mali: Food Insecurity (MDRML009) Final Report
- 07/09/13--11:24: Mali: Exchanging One Crisis for Another?
- 07/09/13--11:52: Mali: Deux blessés graves à Kidal, évacués sur Gao
- 07/09/13--12:29: Mali: Two civilians wounded in northern Mali rebel stronghold
- 07/10/13--08:54: Somalia: Somalia Common Humanitarian Fund CHF - Annual Report 2012
- 07/10/13--09:33: Mali: Mali’s displaced people face uncertain future
- Moderate to heavy rains continue to push north across the Sahel.
- Moderate seasonal rainfall deficits grow across northwestern Ethiopia, southern Eritrea and bordering Sudan.
In spite of Mali’s international recognition as a beacon of good governance in the region, decades of free and fair elections and extensive civil liberties failed to engender public support for democracy following the March 2012 coup d’état. Demonstrations against the military junta were half as large as demonstrations in support of it. What looked to be strong democratic institutions from the outside were often hollow shells that privileged the elite class and marginalized everyone else – not a system ultimately worth fighting for. This essay discusses some of the constraints to democratic accountability in Mali and what can be done to mitigate them.
In Syria, the regime’s offensive on Homs governorate and city is on-going with artillery and air strikes being reported. An estimated, 2,500 and 4,000 civilians are allegedly trapped in and around the city. Meanwhile, the number of Syrian refugees in neighboring countries continues to increase and is now approaching 1.75 million people according to UNHCR.
A 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck southwest of Bener Meriah District, Aceh province in western Indonesia. According to local authorities, at least 22,125 people took refuge at emergency shelters while the earthquake also destroyed an estimated 15,919 houses and 623 public facilities. Information about the actual number of affected is still lacking.
Assam State, in northeastern India, was hit by new floods while the State Government declared a red alert across 4 districts and directed the administration to evacuate people. According to local estimates, some 27,000 people have been affected so far while new heavy rainfall hit the State later during the week. Meanwhile, as of 4 July, 580 people have been confirmed dead after floods hit the State of Uttarakhand in late June. According to local sources, up to 3,000 people remain missing. Overall, the disaster has affected approximately 500,000 people across 13 districts. Over 100,000 people have been displaced from their homes and around 10,000 people have been injured.
The serious deterioration of the security situation in Borno State in neighbouring Nigeria has resulted in a significant influx of refugees into Cameroon’s Far North Region since 10 June. The number of arrivals is uncertain, with statements by national and local authorities indicating between 4,000 to 20,000 newly arrivals. The refugee influx could strain the capacity of the already extremely vulnerable Far North and North regions, where some 350,000 people are estimated to be food insecure.
Tensions continue to run high between South Sudan and Sudan. Last week, Juba allegedly accused Khartoum of launching two separate attacks with planes and land troops on areas near their common disputed border, notably hitting Unity State. To date, little information is available. In addition, wide-spread tribal fighting was reported in Darfur region over last week with notably clashes occurring in Nyala, one of Sudan’s biggest cities and also an area hosting large number of displaced. During the clashes, two aid workers from an international aid organization were killed.
Last Updated: 08/07/2013 Next Update: 15/07/2013
07/08/2013 11:06 GMT
Par Serge DANIEL
BAMAKO, 8 juillet 2013 (AFP) - Quatre jours après l'arrivée de soldats maliens à Kidal, la tension était vive lundi dans cette ville du nord-est du Mali, berceau des Touareg et de leur rébellion, où les manifestations pour et contre la présence de l'armée se succèdent.
L'entrée vendredi de 150 soldats maliens à Kidal, ville située à 1.500 km au nord-est de Bamako, s'est faite parallèlement au cantonnement des combattants de la rébellion touareg du Mouvement national de libération de l'Azawad (MNLA), conformément à un accord de paix signé le 18 juin à Ouagadougou.
Mais l'armée malienne a accusé le MNLA de "violer" cet accord et de "manipuler" les habitants touareg de la ville.
"Depuis samedi, le MNLA a mobilisé femmes et enfants à Kidal, pour jeter des pierres sur les populations noires, sur les militaires africains et maliens. C'est une grave violation de l'accord de paix" de Ouagadougou, a déclaré à l'AFP le lieutenant-colonel Diarran Koné, un responsable de l'armée.
Selon lui, "les manifestants, manipulés par le MNLA, ont blessé trois militaires africains de la Mission de stabilisation de l'ONU au Mali (Minusma) et caillassé trois véhicules de l'armée malienne dont une ambulance".
Un soldat français de l'opération Serval a également été "très légèrement blessé" par un jet de pierre, selon des sources militaires concordantes.
Une source africaine de la Minusma, présente à Kidal aux côtés de l'armée française, a affirmé que plusieurs dizaines de civils maliens s'étaient "réfugiés" dans un camp militaire de la ville où se trouvent des soldats maliens, français et africains.
Les habitants "subissent des représailles de la part de groupes touareg armés" pour avoir manifesté leur joie à l'arrivée des soldats maliens dans la ville qui étaient occupée par la rébellion touareg depuis février, a ajouté cette source.
Elle s'est inquiétée du "climat de tension"à Kidal alors qu'a débuté, dimanche, dans tout le reste du pays, la campagne pour le premier tour de la présidentielle du 28 juillet qui, grâce à l'accord de Ouagadougou, doit théoriquement se dérouler aussi à Kidal. Mais aucun des 28 candidats ne s'est rendu dimanche à Kidal et aucune réunion électorale ne s'y est tenue, contrairement aux deux autres grandes villes du Nord, Gao et Tombouctou.
Loi électorale "violée"à Kidal
L'entrée des soldats maliens à Kidal était attendue depuis des mois, mais les rebelles touareg s'y opposaient, craignant que l'armée ne se rende coupable d'exactions à l'encontre des "peaux rouges" - membres des communautés touareg et arabe, souvent assimilés au MNLA et aux groupes jihadistes liés à Al-Qaïda qui ont occupé le Nord en 2012.
Le MNLA lui-même avait expulsé début juin de la ville des non-touareg accusés d'être des "agents" de Bamako, ce qui avait aussitôt entraîné un mouvement des troupes maliennes vers Kidal.
Cette tension dans la ville et la crainte que le premier tour de la présidentielle ne puisse s'y dérouler normalement a poussé Tiébilé Dramé, candidat à la présidentielle et artisan de l'accord de Ouagadougou au nom du gouvernement de transition à Bamako, à demander lundi à la Cour constitutionnelle un report du scrutin.
"Au nom du candidat Tiébilé Dramé, je viens de déposer une requête à la Cour constitutionnelle pour l'annulation du décret convoquant le collège électoral, pour violation grave de la loi", a déclaré à l'AFP Me Hamidou Diabaté, avocat de M. Dramé et membre de sa formation, le Parti pour la renaissance nationale (Parena).
"Il y a violation de la loi, parce qu'elle dit que le collège électoral ne peut pas être convoqué tant que les listes électorales ne sont pas établies" sur l'ensemble du territoire national "or, les listes électorales des 13 communes de la région de Kidal (nord-est) ne sont pas établies", a fait valoir l'avocat.
Me Diabaté a affirmé avoir "bon espoir que la Cour" constaterait qu'il y a "violation flagrante" de la loi dans la région de Kidal pour "en tirer les conclusions qui s'imposent" et décider d'un report.
The year 2012 was a highly productive and strategically important one for our Country Office as well as for our key partners. With a continuing emphasis on bringing transformative change at the grass roots level to the most vulnerable communities across Kenya, we empowered them to build resilience from the ‘inside-out’ so that they could withstand the shocks of drought and economic crisis and bounce back with confidence. Using a ‘bottom-up approach’ our integrated and inclusive approach to programming ensured that communities in the most marginalized and remote areas benefitted from catalytic change in terms of improved quality of life as a direct result of our interventions with Government and Development partners as well as with civil society.
This Annual Report for 2012 provides compelling evidence of transformative change and its impact on the lives of the communities we reached out to across Kenya. From Climate Change interventions to Inclusive and Sustainable Economic Growth programmes, the results of our work under our current CPAP and impact for the better in favour of our beneficiaries and stakeholders, leaves little room for doubt as to the direction our programming will continue in the year ahead.
DRC / NRC: Durable Solutions – Somali refugee perspectives
More than a quarter of the Somali population have fled their country since civil war broke out in 1991. Millions remain in displacement in the region. What are their perspectives on the future? Do they believe in eventual return to Somalia? These are among the themes explored in the report ‘Durable Solutions’.
Civil war and armed conflict in Somalia has caused large-scale internal and external displacement. More than every fourth Somali is today living in displacement - the majority has moved to a safer area within the country, but large numbers have fled to another country.
A significant number of Somali refugees have been living in Kenyan and Ethiopian camps for up to two decades and new generations of Somalis are born in displacement. According to UNHCR more than 1.1 million people are displaced within Somalia and more than 1 million, mostly from South Central Somalia has claimed asylum in another country.
The report ‘Durable Solutions - Perspectives of Somali Refugees in Kenyan and Ethiopian Camps and Selected Communities of Return’ explores the different scenarios facing Somali refugees living in displacement: Repatriation, local integration and resettlement.
Findings in this research point to a fairly significant proportion of refugees in camps who would consider returning to Somalia when conditions become conducive for a safe and sustainable repatriation. A significant minority, on the other hand, have been in exile for decades and have limited repatriation prospects, even if conditions for return improve, calling for creative use of other durable solutions as well..
Access to land and restoration of livelihoods will present a significant challenge, a sensitive issue which remains crucial to address, not least in the light of a majority of potential returnees relying on farming and agro-pastoralism as their traditional livelihood and income opportunity. In the absence of access to land, sustainable livelihoods are limited which eventually will affect returns and reintegration.
The report aims to provide constructive input to the debate and effort by governments and aid agencies in preparing Somali refugees for durable solutions once conditions allow for this. ‘Durable Solutions’ looks back at return programmes in the region with the objective of drawing lessons for future interventions. While providing perspectives from Somali refugees in neighbouring countries on durable solutions, it also explores the perspectives of and views among possible return communities in Somalia.
The research at hand demonstrates that smaller and incremental population movements, coupled with assistance and monitoring of returnees can help make return and reintegration sustainable. It also highlights the importance of viewing repatriation as more than simply a logistical movement of people, but rather an integrated part of wider development and peace building projects. The ‘Durable Solutions’ report finally underlines that strengthening the resilience and building the capacities among refugees while in displacement will enhance their prospects of return and reintegration and ability to contribute more substantially to the reconstruction of Somalia .
For more information, please contact Danish Refugee Council's Regional Information and Communications Adviser Alexandra Strand Holm on firstname.lastname@example.org
Two years ago East Africa experienced its worst drought in 60 years, leaving 13 million people in need of humanitarian assistance. I visited Kenya where ActionAid is using text messages to help deliver food aid and empower drought affected communities.
As I stepped off the bus the first thing that hit me was the blistering heat, then a sharp surge of wind, stinging my eyes with course sand. The ground was rock hard and black. It was obvious Isiolo in northern Kenya had not seen rain in months.
I’d come to this drought-struck area to see a food aid distribution with a difference – the entire thing had been coordinated by text message.
In partnership with InfoAsAid ActionAid gave basic mobile phones and solar charges to 250 women in drought affected communities. These women, chosen by their own villages, have become the ‘point people’ for text message alerts, sent from a central computer at ActionAid’s Isiolo office.
ActionAid’s texts tell communities:
What food aid is coming, when and where If any substitutions have been made based on availability, like switching sorghum for wheat or beans for lentils.
The community’s texts tell ActionAid:
What food they need Which roads aid trucks should avoid in case of conflict or natural obstructions like trees on the road How the food aid distribution went and what could be done better.
The thought of throwing bags of grain off the back of a truck at needy people has always jarred with me. Where is the dignity in having food thrust at you, no matter how desperate you are? And how does an aid agency ensure the most vulnerable receive what they need amidst the scrum? Not to mention the security risks to both the community and aid workers if things go wrong.
ActionAid’s approach couldn’t have been further from this. The scene in front of me was incredibly well organised. Each family had arrived on time and laid out a plastic sheet, upon which they placed measuring jugs and their registration books, recording clearly how much food they had received and what they were expecting.
In the centre stood 38-year-old local woman, Cecilia. Holding her mobile phone in one hand, Cecilia calmly and with great authority began coordinating the pouring, weighing out and administration of a truck load of maize, rice and cooking oil, among other provisions. The whole thing was over in 30 minutes, with every grain accounted for and no disputes.
Award-winning work in action
Cecilia told me that by appointing women headed committees to coordinate food distribution, the community could guarantee that every member got its fair share. The women were accountable to the community, which reduced the risk of any food going missing.
This principle of accountability was weaved through every stage of the relief effort. The communities receiving the aid not only coordinated its distribution on the ground, they drove the vehicles, loaded the trucks at the warehouse and fed back to ActionAid staff on what could be improved.
For me this was the best example I’d seen of ActionAid’s Human Rights Based Approach in action and no doubt why the project won the Tech 4 Good Innovation Award in July 2012.
Over the past two years, ActionAid Kenya has provided general food support to some 419,799 people. We’ve given clean water to nearly 57,000 people and provided school feeding for over 46,000 children. But ActionAid’s work doesn’t stop there.
Long term food security
Find out in part two, how ActionAid is helping communities in Kenya also build long-term resilience to drought. I report back from the same community in Isiolo, on an innovative farming and water harvesting project, designed to help recipients of food aid make the long-term transition to self sufficiency.
Minimal food insecurity among most rural populations
Light rainfall in early June are consistent with seasonal forecasts (by the ACMAD, the Regional Agrhymet Center, and the National Weather Services of CILSS member countries) for season-long normal to above-normal cumulative rainfall totals, particularly in the southern part of the country (the two Hodhs, Assaba, Guidimakha, Gorgol, Brakna, and Trarza).
The extension of previous assistance programs such as SAVS (village-level food security stocks) and government subsidized boutiques de solidarité has prevented a deterioration in food security despite the ongoing lean season in pastoral areas since April and the presence of 81,500 Malian refugees in southeastern Mauritania.
Markets are well-stocked with affordable staple foods, resulting in favorable terms of trade for sheep/cereal. With the improvement in farming and pastoral conditions, poor households will be experiencing IPC Phase 1: Minimal food insecurity by July.
8 juillet 2013 – Le Secrétaire général de l'ONU, Ban Ki-moon, a annoncé lundi la nomination de David Gressly, des États-Unis, en tant que Représentant spécial adjoint pour la Mission multidimensionnelle intégrée des Nations Unies pour la stabilisation au Mali (MINUSMA); Coordonnateur résident des Nations Unies, ainsi que Coordonnateur de l'action humanitaire et Coordonnateur résident du Programme des Nations Unies pour le développement (PNUD).
M. Gressly possède plus de 20 années d'expérience du système des Nations Unies et a notamment occupé diverses fonctions au service du Fonds desNations Unies pour l'enfance (UNICEF), en particulier au Nigéria, en Côte d'Ivoire, en Guinée et au Sénégal.
Il a été, de 2008 à 2011, Coordonnateur régional de la Mission des Nations Unies au Soudan (MINUS) puis, de 2012 à 2013, Coordonnateur régional des secours humanitaires pour le Sahel, où il a dirigé, l'an dernier, l'intervention humanitaire pour la sécurité alimentaire et la nutrition dans la région.
Plus récemment, M. Gressly a occupé les fonctions de Chef de mission du Bureau des Nations Unies au Mali (BUNUMA) et, dans l'attente de l'arrivée du Représentant spécial du Secrétaire général pour le Mali, M. Albert Gerard (Bert) Koenders, il a servi comme Représentant spécial adjoint du Secrétaire général par intérim pour la MINUSMA.
M. Gressly est titulaire d'un master en administration des entreprises et en finance internationale de l'American Graduate School of International Management (École américaine de gestion internationale) de Glendale, en Arizona (États-Unis).
Né en 1956, il est marié et père de six enfants.
8 juillet 2013 – Le Secrétaire général de l'ONU, Ban Ki-moon, a annoncé lundi la nomination d'Abdoulaye Bathily, du Sénégal, en tant que Représentant spécial adjoint pour la Mission multidimensionnelle intégrée des Nations Unies pour la stabilisation au Mali (MINUSMA).
M. Bathily est, depuis 2012, Ministre d'État au sein du Cabinet du Président du Sénégal. Avant d'occuper cette fonction, il a été, de 1993 à 1998, Ministre de l'environnement et de la protection de la nature, puis de 2000 à 2001, Ministre de l'énergie et de l'hydraulique.
M. Bathily a été élu député à l'Assemblée nationale du Sénégal pour la période de 1998 à 2001, avant d'y assumer les fonctions de Vice-Président, de 2001 à 2006.
Au cours de cette période, M. Bathily a également siégé au sein du Parlement de la Communauté économique des États d'Afrique de l'Ouest (CEDEAO) et au sein du Groupe de contact de l'Union africaine concernant la crise à Madagascar.
Il a aussi pris part à plusieurs missions de règlement des conflits dans des pays d'Afrique de l'Ouest, notamment le Libéria, la Sierra Leone, la Guinée-Bissau, le Niger, la Guinée et le Mali.
M. Bathily a enseigné l'histoire pendant 30 ans à l'Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar (UCAD), au Sénégal, et a donné des conférences dans plusieurs universités à travers le monde. Il a publié de nombreux ouvrages sur l'histoire de l'Afrique, la politique et les questions militaires.
Il est membre du Conseil de la Coalition pour le dialogue sur l'Afrique (CoDA), ainsi que d'un large réseau d'institutions universitaires et d'organisations de la société civile.
M. Bathily, qui possède le titre de docteur d'État ès lettres, décerné par l'Université Cheikh Anta Diop, est également titulaire d'un doctorat en histoire de l'Université de Birmingham, au Royaume-Uni.
Né en 1947 au Sénégal, il est le père de quatre enfants.
Period covered by this Final Report: 4 June 2012 to 31 March 2013.
Appeal target: CHF 1,042,363
Appeal coverage: 72%
· This Emergency Appeal was launched on 7 June 2012 for CHF 2,537,138 to assist 142,740 beneficiaries (21,960 households) for 9 months.
· Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF): CHF 258,538 was initially allocated on 5 June 2012 from the Federation’s to support the Mali Red Cross (MRC) in delivering assistance.
· A Revised Emergency Appeal was issued on 18 October 2012 and reduced the budget to CHF 1,042,363 and the number of beneficiaries to 58,500 (9,000 households).The 9 months’ timeframe remained unchanged.
· A 6-month summary update was issued on 14 January 2013 and provided an update of the operation progress for the initial 6 months of the operation.
· An Operations update n° 2 was issued on 25 January 2013 to announce a 1 month extension of the operation timeframe in order to complete the community garden activities. All activities were completed at the end of March 2013.
Summary: In February 2012, the Government of Mali identified 1,841,513 people in 111 communes as being food insecure. However, because of the political instability that prevailed in Mali in 2012, it took time for the authorities to make an official request for international humanitarian assistance to help with the food crisis; the Emergency Appeal for Mali was therefore delayed and the last to be launched out the seven countries affected by food insecurity. The interventions were aligned to the priorities defined by the Malian authorities and FAO to respond to the food crisis and focused on the 2012 seasonal agricultural calendar.
At the start of the emergency operation, the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement partners agreed that the ICRC would be leading the assistance in the three Northern provinces, whilst the IFRC would support MRC in the five southern regions of: Kayes, Koulikoro, Mopti, Ségou and Sikasso. The activities which began in July 2012 have concentrated on a twin-track approach covering emergency needs with food and fodder assistance simultaneously with mid to longer term food security interventions and livelihood support.
Despite slow and low funding, the tripartite partnership signed in September 2012 between WFP, MRC and IFRC allowed to scale up assistance with food and fodder ration distributions to support communities during the lean season and avoid the beneficiaries from resorting to negative coping strategies such as the sale of their livestock. In October 2012 funding allowed the implementation of the second phase of the appeal which sought to improve the targeted communities’ resilience to food access by reinforcing vegetable garden crop production through the distribution of certified seeds; the rehabilitation of farming and irrigation infrastructure and training women in improved gardening techniques.
Today the country is recovering from the effects of the drought and the 2012/2013 harvest has proved generally above average in most of the Sahel countries. However food shortages and the high price of food continues to have a negative impact particularly in northern and central Mali due to the ongoing conflict and the limited livelihoods of poor households in the northern rice-growing and agro pastoral areas.
Financial situation: The appeal budget of CHF 1,042,363 was 72 percent funded by partners including Danish RC/Government, Canadian RC/Government, Japanese RC, Red Cross of Monaco and WFP. A total of CHF 1,015,471 income was received including in kind contribution (personnel) amounting to CHF 135,280 as well as a DREF of CHF 258,538. The short-fall in funding required an appeal revision in October 2012, and the budget was reduced to CHF 1,042,363 and the number of beneficiaries reduced from 142,740 to 58,500 people.
The initial DREF loan to the appeal will be reimbursed partly with the CHF 141,685 remaining at the close of the operation.
· The timeframe for setting up the community vegetable gardens was too short since the construction of the garden perimeters required 6 months instead of 3 months as originally planned.
· In order to avoid wrong estimations before the excavation of wells, hydrological surveys took place to estimate the depth required to access water.
· The rehabilitation and the building of new irrigation systems were based on past experience which required the use simple technology in order to assure sustainability.
· Activities were based on the seasonal calendar (established by Fewsnet) which provided the mapping of critical timings to respect for the seed distributions so that beneficiaries could plant on time at the start of the rains for main harvest season. The calendar will be used for longer-term food security planning by Movement partners in Mali.
· Better coordination with government and NGOs through the cluster and regional administration would have improved the identification of beneficiary coverage gaps.
· Involving the communities at the start of the recovery phase and allowed them the choice of the type of assistance they required and was unquestionably an added value reaching a high level satisfaction among the beneficiaries.
· The operations employed local technical services which helped avoid possible mistakes and ensured the vegetable garden associations to be able to count on long-term support.
· The operations somewhat suffered from a lack of a financial expertise. It is recommended in future that a strong finance RDRT be deployed from the start of the operations, in order to support the National Society adopt to the required reporting procedures.
· Despite lower funding than planned, the over commitment of the Mali Red Cross combined with the changing priorities with the situation unfolding in the northern part of the country did not allow the money at hand to be spend according to plans.
· In order to relieve the National Society from too many operational demands the IFRC has put in place a Movement Coordinator to encourage a better geographical and thematic coordination of support needed in Mali and how to better capture resources to adequately support the work of MRC
The IFRC, on behalf of Mali Red Cross Society, would like to extend thanks to all partners for their generous contributions.
GENEVA (9 July 2013) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Olivier De Schutter, will conduct an information-gathering mission to the Republic of Malawi from 12 to 22 July 2013, to assess the realization of the right to food in the country.
Malawi’s ambitious efforts to strengthen food security over recent years have been praised, notably its policy to increase domestic crop production by subsidizing inputs such as fertilizer and seeds. “However,” Mr. De Shutter said, “food insecurity remains high, affecting some two million Malawians, while challenges remain in terms of soil infertility, inequitable land distribution and other structural causes of poverty and hunger.”
“It is essential to ask whether the existing approaches are doing enough to realize the right to food of all Malawians, including small-scale food producers and the urban poor, as the country prepares to launch a new phase of agricultural investment under the G8’s New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition,” the human rights expert stressed.
The Special Rapporteur’s visit, which will give particular attention to those who are in vulnerable situations and to the lessons which can be drawn from national policies and programmes, will be the first to the country by an independent expert appointed by the UN Human Rights Council to monitor and report on the right to food worldwide.
During his eleven-day visit, undertaken at the invitation of the Government, Mr. De Schutter will meet with Government officials and experts as well as with representatives of civil society and the United Nations System in Lilongwe and in locations across the country.
The Special Rapporteur will present his preliminary observations on the visit at a press conference at 10 a.m. on Monday 22 July 2013 at Hotel Sunbird Capital, Lilongwe.
Olivier De Schutter was appointed the Special Rapporteur on the right to food in May 2008 by the United Nations Human Rights Council. He is independent from any government or organization. Learn more, log on to: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/food/index.htm or http://www.srfood.org
OHCHR Country Page – Malawi: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/AfricaRegion/Pages/MWIndex.aspx
For more information and press inquiries, please contact: Shorai Nyambalo (Lilongwe): +265 999 563407 / email@example.com Ulrik Halsteen (Geneva): +41 22 917 9323 (before and after the visit) / +41 79 444 4702 (mobile number in Malawi during visit) / firstname.lastname@example.org
For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts: Xabier Celaya, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / email@example.com)
UN Human Rights, follow us on social media: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/unitednationshumanrights Twitter: http://twitter.com/UNrightswire Google+ gplus.to/unitednationshumanrights YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/UNOHCHR Storify: http://storify.com/UNrightswire
Watch “The Riddle”: http://www.youtube.com/embed/sYFNfW1-sM8?rel=0
By Louise Arbour and Gilles Yabi
As Mali considers whether to move ahead with a first round of presidential elections on 28 July, Crisis Group president Louise Arbour and West Africa project director Gilles Yabi published an Op-Ed in Le Figaro today, “Au Mali : ne pas rajouter une crise à la crise”, advocating a delay. The English translation of their article is below. See also our recent statement on Mali and our 11 April report.
The window is closing for a delay in the first round of presidential elections in Mali, scheduled for 28 July. The Constitutional Council has validated 28 candidacies and the electoral campaigning began on 7 July. The minister for territorial administration remains convinced that “all the conditions for the unfolding of transparent and credible elections” have been met. He recalled also that his department was in sole charge of the election, a clear message to the national electoral commission (Commission électorale nationale indépendante, or CENI), which has a mandate to supervise elections and, in recent days, has frequently alluded to « imperfections » in the technical preparations for the vote.
A short delay remains the most sensible choice, but it seems less and less likely. If Mali votes on 28 July, the election risks being marred by such technical shortcomings, and with such a low rate of participation, that it could result in the election of a president deprived of the legitimacy necessary to lead a confused and weakened country back onto the road to stability and development. If this unfortunate decision continues to hold, then it becomes necessary to prepare security, political and logistical measures to at least limit the severity of an eventual postelectoral crisis.
Given that hundreds of people have died in postelection violence in Ivory Coast and elsewhere in recent years, many believe an African election can be counted a success if it manages to take place without bloody conflicts. It’s true that Mali does not seem to be running such a high risk, and that is a good thing. And the determination to keep the election date of 28 July was, until the last few weeks, plausibly justified: it helped pile on the necessary pressure to conclude a preliminary peace accord between the transitional government and armed Tuareg groups in the north, and it motivated transition authorities to accelerate their electoral preparations.
But today, the bad reasons outweigh the good: supposedly it is necessary to vote on 28 July and hang the costs, even if a large number of voters cannot receive their national identification cards in time — even if the administration is not yet present throughout the north of the country — simply because the Malian government has settled on that date, because the transitional government really ought to end, because a questionably elected president would still be better than an interim head of state, because a delay of a few weeks would not significantly improve the quality of the electoral process, because Mali’s partners want elections before they can provide the generous aid they have promised, because France’s president has meanwhile indicated that he won’t tolerate any change in the date of the elections in Mali.
Behind these arguments, some more implicit than others, lies a skepticism about the utility of an electoral process that appears to be a box to be ticked before the political class and international partners can get down to serious business. It’s as though everyone has become convinced that this presidential vote, whether well done, popular, imperfect, very imperfect or disastrous, won’t really make a big difference in the future of Mali. This belief is not altogether wrong. Even a credible and technically successful election would not suffice to establish Mali’s democracy on a firm foundation, introduce ethics into the practice of public affairs, reconstruct the Malian security services or reconcile the Malian people to each other. But to therefore resign oneself to having an « imperfect » election that could mobilise well under the 36 percent of eligible voters that participated in the last presidential vote (in 2007) is a peculiar way to encourage democracy in Mali.
If Malians, as everyone seems to assume, do indeed vote three weeks from now, everything should be done to prevent an imperfect election from turning into a catastrophic one. The Malian authorities, the United Nations mission for Stabilisation in Mali (MINUSMA, which has only been operational since 1 July), and the French forces of Operation Serval must prepare themselves for the possibility of terrorist attacks during the electoral campaign and on voting day. The remaining three weeks should be used to distribute the maximum possible number of identification cards, inform voters of the exact location of polling stations in order to limit disorder on the day of the vote, and demonstrate convincingly to both voters and candidates that the postelectoral process will be transparent, from the central collecting of ballots to the announcement of preliminary results. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Union and the United Nations must work together with Malian authorities towards securing every aspect of the electoral process.
Finally, all of the presidential candidates need to sign on to not just a code of conduct – as they have already done – but a solemn agreement to respect the results of the election, or to contest them exclusively by legal means and accepting any verdict of the Constitutional Court. The candidates should confirm publicly their acceptance of the well known and easily anticipated shortcomings of the electoral process and prepare themselves to live with the results of an election that will, after all, result in 26 or 27 of them losing.
07/09/2013 18:21 GMT
BAMAKO, 9 juillet 2013 (AFP) - Deux civils ont été grièvement blessés par balles dans des circonstances encore inconnues à Kidal, ville du nord-est du Mali où la situation est très tendue depuis l'arrivée de soldats maliens il y a cinq jours, a appris mardi l'AFP de source médicale.
"Deux civils gravement blessés par balles par des hommes armés ont été transférés mardi à Gao. Ils sont vraiment dans un état grave", a indiqué cette source médicale à Gao, plus grande ville du nord du Mali, située à environ à 300 km au sud de Kidal.
Les circonstances dans lesquelles ces personnes ont été blessées n'ont pas été précisées.
Depuis l'arrivée vendredi à Kidal de quelque 150 soldats maliens, conformément à un accord avec la rébellion touareg qui occupait la ville depuis février et dont les combattants ont été cantonnés, les tensions sont très vives entre partisans et opposants à la présence de l'armée malienne.
Des manifestations des deux camps ont lieu quotidiennement et au moins deux militaires de la force de l'ONU au Mali (Minusma) ainsi qu'un soldat français présents dans la ville ont été blessés par des jets de pierres pendant le week-end.
Plusieurs dizaines de civils ayant soutenu l'arrivée de l'armée malienne à Kidal étaient toujours réfugiés mardi dans un camp militaire, "parce que les éléments du Mouvement national de libération de l'Azawad (MNLA, rébellion touareg), veulent leur faire la peau et la situation est très critique sur place", a affirmé une source sécuritaire malienne.
Ces tensions à Kidal surviennent à moins de trois semaines du premier tour de l'élection présidentielle du 28 juillet, un scrutin censé mettre fin à la crise sans précédent qu'a traversée en 2012 le Mali, dont toute la partie nord a été occupée pendant neuf mois par des jihadistes, en grande partie chassés début 2013 par une intervention armée internationale emmenée par la France.
"Le gouverneur de Kidal, qui devait quitter mardi Bamako pour regagner son poste, n'est pas parti pour des raisons de sécurité", a appris l'AFP auprès d'un fonctionnaire du ministère de l'Administration territoriale. "Or il faut qu'il soit sur place pour organiser l'élection", a-t-il ajouté.
Selon un haut responsable malien, "si la situation continue à se dégrader à Kidal, on peut se demander si on peut envisager sur le terrain une campagne électorale, et même des élections".
La situation de cette ville, berceau des Touareg où la préparation du scrutin est encore plus délicate qu'ailleurs, est à l'origine d'une demande de report de l'élection déposée lundi à la Cour constitutionnelle par un des candidats à la présidentielle, Tiébilé Dramé, ancien ministre qui a négocié à Ouagadougou un accord de paix avec la rébellion touareg, portant notamment sur le statut de Kidal.
Avec les 27 autres candidats à la présidentielle, M. Dramé a été reçu mardi à Bamako par le président malien par intérim, Dioncounda Traoré, qui leur a déclaré qu'un "report de quelques mois" ne règlerait pas "les questions techniques fort judicieuses que certains ont soulevées". "Tous les candidats sont à égalité sur les insuffisances, et les imperfections relevées ici et là", a-t-il dit.
"Il ne saurait y avoir d'élection parfaite, encore moins dans un pays en sortie de crise", a estimé le président par intérim qui a affirmé avoir "la conviction que les imperfections du processus électoral peuvent être compensées par l'esprit civique, patriotique, des électeurs, des candidats".
07/09/2013 19:18 GMT
by Serge Daniel
BAMAKO, July 9, 2013 (AFP) - Two Malian civilians are fighting for their lives after being shot in Kidal, a medical source said on Tuesday, with tension boiling over five days after troops entered the flashpoint northeastern town to secure it for nationwide elections.
The violence came amid intensified protests in the rebel stronghold, where the Tuareg separatist National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) has allowed the Malian army to enter as part of a peace deal to pave the way for the July 28 vote.
"Two civilians seriously injured by gunshots from armed men were transferred on Tuesday to Gao. They are in a very serious condition," a hospital source in Gao, Mali's largest northern city, told AFP.
The circumstances in which the men were wounded was not immediately clear.
Kidal, a town prized by the Tuareg, has been occupied by the MNLA since January but the rebels agreed as part of the ceasefire deal reached in neighbouring Burkina Faso to let troops in to secure the elections.
Supporters and opponents of the Malian army have staged daily protests and at least two UN peacekeepers and a French soldier were injured by stones thrown during a violent demonstration over the weekend.
The occupation of the town by the MNLA has been a major obstacle to organising the election, seen as crucial to reuniting the west African nation after some 18 months of conflict.
Kidal's governor had been expected to fly in from Bamako on Tuesday to retake his post and lead the organisation of polling but cancelled "for safety reasons", an official from the Malian Ministry of Territorial Administration said.
"If the situation continues to deteriorate in Kidal, we might well ask if we can envisage even an election campaign on the ground, let alone the elections themselves," said a senior Malian government official.
Malian military officers staged a coup in March last year after being overpowered by an MNLA rebellion that seized key northern cities before being sidelined by Al Qaeda-linked allies.
A French-led intervention launched in January drove out the Islamists, but the MNLA took control of Kidal, 1,500 kilometres (930 miles) from the capital, which they consider the heart of the desert territory they call Azawad.
There is widespread scepticism about Mali's ability to stage credible elections, with the task of distributing more than seven million polling cards in a country where 500,000 people have been displaced, viewed by many as an impossibility.
By Alex Duval Smith
For Malian children displaced by crisis, early learning centres provide a chance to learn – and to heal.
SIRIBALA, Mali, 8 July 2013 - The conflict in northern Mali may have changed the lives of Fatoumata and Djeneba Touré forever – for the better.
The two girls, ages 5 and 3, are among 527,000 people who have been displaced by the crisis in northern Mali, according to the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). They have lost businesses, harvests and even their homes. Many are living in refugee camps in neighbouring countries, primarily Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Niger. But the majority are from families like the Tourés – enduring cramped conditions while living with relatives or in rented accommodation in central and southern Mali. Most of the people displaced are women and children.
Life was straightforward in their hometown of Niafunké, near Timbuktu. “We lived in a house with a sheep, a goat and a horse – a white horse,” says Fatoumata.
In April 2012, the family was forced to flee when fighting broke out between the army and separatist rebels. Their house faced a military camp. “Men with guns jumped over the wall [into our yard], and they made a noise, ‘boom, boom’,” says Fatoumata.
A year later, despite their parents’ financial hardships brought on by displacement, Fatoumata and Djeneba are enjoying life as they rarely did before. Every morning, they put on pink tunics and set off for an early learning centre here in the Ségou region of south-central Mali.
The centre was funded by UNICEF and built by partner NGO Plan Mali. Set up under a straw roof in the playground of Siribala community pre-school, it is one of 18 such centres in Mali and accommodates 60 pupils.
Integration with the host community is a primary objective, so two-thirds of the pupils are displaced children, while the rest are local, including six with physical or mental disabilities. Attendance is free, and everyone receives a mid-morning bowl of porridge – a real benefit in a country where kindergarten is a costly luxury generally reserved for children of urban professional families.
The school's director, Kadiatou Sylla, says it’s clear that hosting the early learning centre has been the right move. “These children are really traumatized,” she says. “Often, if you make a noise near the displaced children, they don't like it. They run away.”
One teacher notes that she has seen displaced children run and hide when they see a plane in the sky.
Educational games provided by UNICEF are a big attraction for the pupils. There is singing and clapping, and the current focus is on learning the names of animals. To ensure that the children’s full range of needs is addressed, the centre's three teachers – all local mothers – have been trained to identify signs of trauma and to address these issues through playing games.
Accountant Aliou Sidibé, the grandfather of Fatoumata and Djeneba, hosts the girls at his home in Siribala, and he welcomes the early learning centre.
“It is quite something for these girls from Niafunké,” he says. “Not only are they experiencing education at an early age, which they would not have been able to do in the north, but they are meeting local children, and their trauma is being addressed.”
He notices how his granddaughters have suffered. “I have seen them have nightmares and jump out of bed at night. Their mother also has been affected and is not best-placed to support them, because she has become overprotective,” he says.
UNICEF Education Officer Souleymane Traoré has helped set up 10 early learning centres, and he sees them as an enormous success. “We had worked on an estimate of 50 children per centre, but in some of them up to 75 children are attending,” he says. “Not only do they receive a meal, which acts as an incentive for parents to send them there, but we have provided the teachers with training in spotting the signs of malnutrition, so we are closing a gap there.”
He believes that for girls like Djeneba and Fatoumata, attending an early learning centre can be a life-changer.
“In the northern Malian context, where early marriage remains a reality for girls, this chance for them to be awakened to education is an extraordinary opportunity,” Mr. Traoré says. “It could well impact positively on their parents’ decisions for them in the coming years.”
Foreword by the Humanitarian Coordinator
Dear Colleagues and Humanitarian Partners,
I am pleased to share with you the 2012 Annual Report of the Common Humanitarian Fund (CHF) in Somalia. This report provides an overview of donor contributions and funding allocations made during 2012 and presents a comprehensive set of achievements through the projects implemented by CHF Somalia partners.
During the course of the year, ten different donors contributed US$71 million to the CHF. These donors were: Australia, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and a new contributor to the CHF Somalia, Germany. These contributions combined with a carryover of $4.1 million from 2011 as well as $17.7 million received in December 2011, brought the total available funds in 2012 to a record $92.8 million. This represented 14 per cent of the total $640 million received for the 2012 Somalia CAP.
Of the $92.8 million, the CHF allocated and disbursed $90 million to various projects implemented by its partners. Forty-one per cent ($37 million) went towards supporting 76 international NGO projects, 25 per cent ($22 million) to 65 local NGOs projects, and 34 per cent ($31 million) to UN projects.
Since 2010, the CHF has been supporting urgent humanitarian needs across Somalia. During the 2011 famine, the CHF was able to play a crucial role in facilitating an immediate response to the emergency, at a time when other funding was slow to materialize. As this report shows, the fund continued to provide invaluable flexibility to respond to recurrent and unforeseen crisis over the year.
In 2012, the CHF Standard Allocation was able to target and meet urgent life-saving needs of extremely vulnerable people in southern and central Somalia, especially acutely malnourished children and pregnant and breastfeeding women. In addition to the life-saving activities, the Fund also addressed the needs of newly displaced people in Mogadishu with the tri-cluster (Shelter, WASH and Health) integrated strategy approach in providing basic services and semi-permanent shelters to almost 9,000 households. Similarly, the Fund supported projects that promoted coherent sustainable activities for returnees in Bay region with livelihood investment packages and access to basic services.
To respond to the potential effects of the projected El Niño and curb the spread of cholera, the CHF supported preparedness activities such as information systems for flood risk management and outbreak prevention in highly populated cholera-prone areas countrywide.
The CHF Emergency Reserve funded crucial interventions in response to Acute Watery Diarrhoea outbreaks and bolstered food and livelihood security among flood-affected communities through distribution of essential food and cash-for-work activities to inject cash while aiding in the clean-up of affected farm lands and irrigation canals. Additionally, the reserve addressed malnutrition in coastal communities in Mudug, Puntland.
While efforts were made towards improving the efficiency of the allocation processes, the CHF also focused on improving the overall accountability of the Fund. In December 2012, the CHF developed an accountability framework and initiated a capacity assessment of all 112 CHF-funded partners. A monitoring strategy was also finalized in the same month, with implementation planned for the first half of 2013. I am hopeful that these initiatives, among others, will greatly enhance mitigation of the risk of funding projects in Somalia. It will also help to identify underperforming projects in order to take corrective actions and to highlight good practices.
I am grateful to the efforts of the donors, the Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office, OCHA as the CHF Secretariat and Managing Agent, the CHF Advisory Board, and to all stakeholders for their continued support to the CHF. I would like to thank all our partners for their continued efforts in making the CHF more strategic and accountable to the needs of the Somali people.
UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Boubanar Traore wants desperately to go back to his home in northern Mali but doesn’t know how he would survive there. So he sits in a camp for displaced families in the south of the country, waiting and hoping that things will soon change.
A mechanic, his tools got left behind when he and his family fled in the middle of the night from the village of Hombori in 2012 after Islamist rebels killed the town’s chief. The Islamists seized most of Mali’s north before being driven out by French troops earlier this year.
Traore recently heard from friends in Hombori that the roof of his family house collapsed during heavy rains. Today he lives in a tent provided by the Swiss Red Cross in a camp on the outskirts of Mopti. ACT Alliance has helped Traore and the other 70 families in the camp with food, hygiene kits and cash, as well as helping them push for better support.
He is not alone in wondering when and how he can go home. According to the United Nations, Mali had 353,460 internally displaced people by June 20. Almost all stay with relatives or friends, often crowding into already cramped homes.
Such hospitality is an essential part of Malian culture. Moha Ag Oyahitt and his family fled Timbuktu last year to discover ample generosity in the nation’s capital. “Since we arrived in Bamako, we’ve lacked nothing. There hasn’t been one day that any of the displaced people have been hungry or sick and not received help. That help comes from all the people here no matter if they are Muslim or Christian. Everyone comes to help, bringing food, clothes and beds. This hospitality broke our hearts and makes us happy,” says Oyahitt, a Baptist pastor.“Even people who didn’t have anything to share would come to show how happy they were to see us. All the Muslim organisations came to show their hospitality, bringing things to help us,” he said.
Such spontaneous gestures aren’t always appreciated by aid professionals, who say organised camps are more efficient models of aid delivery.
“We met with the UN to ask why they didn’t target people living with host families. But they’re biased against those who are hosted by their relatives. They want to see big refugee camps,” says Yacouba Kone, Mali manager for Christian Aid, an ACT member.
“When someone from the north stays with someone in the south, that deeply depletes the household’s resources. Ignoring that is a big mistake. We need to make sure the livelihood of host families is also taken into account. We don’t go to a community and ask who is a refugee, and only give them some food. We target both the displaced and the hosts who welcome them, because the hosts become vulnerable when their relatives come to town,” Kone says.
According to Bony Mpaka, Mopti coordinator of the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the Malian government also discourages large camps believing they present a negative image of the country. “But I know one family that hosted 27 displaced people in their home. We might as well call that a camp,” he said.
Mpaka is worried many displaced families may go home sooner than they should because they feel they’ve placed an intolerable burden on their hosts.
Northern homecoming tainted
Seasonal rains will soon swell the Niger River, making it navigable to northern cities. Many displaced people want to get home in time to enroll their children for the new school year. But schools have yet to reopen everywhere. In Timbuktu, most government offices and banks remain closed, and the economy is depressed.
While Tuareg rebels reached a deal with the interim national government on June 18 which promises to help ease tensions, the political crisis in the north is far from over. The French military campaign against the Islamists continues. In recent weeks, according to UN monitors, families fleeing south number roughly the same as those returning to Timbuktu and other liberated northern areas.
Part of France’s role is to be assumed by a contingent of more than 12,000 UN-sponsored African troops and police officers but many people, including UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, wonder if they will keep terrorists at bay as well the French troops did.
And while national elections have been scheduled for July 28 it remains to be seen whether the country can pull off the vote on such short notice. Much of the international community seems to think a bad election is better than no election. Many of the displaced people agree. “We’re going to vote here, even though we’re displaced, because it will help Mali to have a new president. The current president has no real power. A new one will have legitimacy,” said Traore.
Yet many other voices are pleading for elections to be deferred. The International Crisis Group says that pressing ahead with July 28 would risk an election so “technically deficient” and with such low turnout that it would fail to bestow legitimacy on the new president and could feed a new cycle of instability.
According to Mpaka, the sum of these developments means that the “humanitarian space” for the UN and NGOs is increasing. “But the needs are also increasing. New attacks in Niger are making some refugees think that Mali might be safer. And when the displaced do return home in large numbers, supporting them is going to be much more complicated and expensive for us than supporting them while displaced, because we must support the entire community as it moves from the emergency phase into long-term development,” Mpaka said.
Long-term issues add to political concerns
Political crisis comes on the heels of several years of food shortages in the Sahel, which exacerbated problems for many communities hit by violence. Plentiful rains last year produced better harvests, yet the still depressed economy left most people with little purchasing power.
“Returning refugees and displaced persons can access food. It’s in the market. But they don’t have money to buy what’s in the market. So we’ve had to combine our response to the conflict with our intervention in response to food insecurity in the Sahel. That means helping people better manage their assets, such as food and cows, but also providing cash through direct transfer programmes and cash for work opportunities,” said Philippe Bassinga, Christian Aid’s Ouagadougou-based manager for the Sahel crisis.
Yet another complication for humanitarian workers in Mali is the perception that all is now well. “Many in the international community think the crisis in Mali ended when the French military intervened. With all the attention being paid to Syria and other crises, it’s hard to get people to focus on Mali. Or if they do, they’re giving more money to the UN military mission and neglecting the humanitarian response,” Mpaka said. As of June 20, the UN’s $US410m appeal for humanitarian assistance in Mali had only a third of funding.
ACT Alliance has announced a $US400,000 appeal to provide Malian refugees in Mbera Camp in Mauritania and the host communities with shelter, psychosocial support, nutrition, and help to farmers and pastoralists.
Mpaka said the ecumenical network is a welcome partner in the response to the situation in Mali today. “We’re happy to have ACT Alliance here. We know them from other countries. They bring a balanced view in that they respond to emergencies but with a perspective on long-term development. That’s not always the case with NGOs,” Mpaka said.
The ACT Alliance appeal will ensure members are ready to help displaced people and refugees if and when they return home in massive numbers. Programmes are already underway to help farmers get on their feet and get seeds in the ground, to help schools with educational material and nutritious food for students, and to help women and girls who were victims of gender-based violence to recover their dignity.
In a region torn by ethnic tensions for centuries, ACT Alliance-sponsored programmes will borrow on successful land dispute models to ease both racial tensions as well as newer conflicts between returnees and those who endured the long months of the jihadists’ version of sharia law. Violent settling of accounts with those seen as collaborators of the rebels have added to a general sense of instability and insecurity, the lessening of which will be needed before large numbers of people are willing to return north.
1) During much of May and the beginning of June, intermittent and insufficient rains had increased rainfall deficits over parts of northeastern Nigeria, resulting in poor NDVI values and delayed planting. However, recent moderate to heavy rains have decreased seasonal rainfall deficits. Moderate to heavy rains are forecast over the region during the next outlook period and, though, they may not be sufficient to fully overcome accumulated deficits, rains should be enough to satisfy cropping requirements.
2) A migratory locust outbreak in October-November was accelerated with the landfall of Tropical Cyclone Haruna in February, which provided favorable conditions for locust breeding throughout western Madagascar. This large-scale outbreak should subside with cooler weather in June-August.
3) Heavy rains during the past month have led to rainfall surpluses greater than 150mm in Guinea and Sierra Leone. With torrential rains forecast for the next week, there is an increased chance for localized flooding across parts of Guinea and Sierra Leone.
4) A poor start of season across northwest Ethiopia, southern Eritrea and bordering areas in Sudan has begun to negatively impact cropping activities, including delaying planting. For the next week, below-average rains are expected to continue, further increasing seasonal rainfall deficits.