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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    08/02/2013 19:30 GMT

    by Thibauld Malterre

    BAMAKO, August 2, 2013 (AFP) - Mali's presidential election will go to a second round on August 11, the government said Friday, after no candidate secured a majority in the crunch poll which the runner up said was tainted by electoral fraud.

    Figures for Sunday's ballot announced on live television showed former prime minister Ibrahim Boubacar Keita in the lead with 39.2 percent of the vote, ahead of main rival Soumaila Cisse with 19.4 percent.

    But Cisse accused the government of allowing widespread fraud to tarnish the vote after the interior ministry said more than 400,000 ballot papers had been spoiled out of some 3.5 million votes cast.

    "The high turnout on July 28 should not distract from the unpreparedness, poor organisation and fraud that have characterised the first round of the presidential election," Cisse told a media conference in Bamako.

    The 63-year-old said he was "astonished" by the high number of spoiled ballots and would be asking Mali's constitutional court to investigate.

    "In preparation for the second round, I urge the government of Mali and its partners to take strict measures to ensure a clean and clear expression of the will of the people," he added.

    Cisse, a former finance minister and erstwhile chairman of the Commission of the West African Economic and Monetary Union, said "thousands, or even tens of thousands" of Malians were unable to find their names on voting lists, or even the correct polling station to attend.

    His comments came after his party said Wednesday the election had been marred by "ballot stuffing", a form of electoral fraud in which people submit multiple votes during a poll in which only one ballot per person is allowed.

    A credible election is seen as key to Mali's recovery after a coup in March last year overthrew Amadou Toumani Toure, plunging one of the region's most stable democracies into political crisis and leading to an Islamist insurgency.

    As hardline Al-Qaeda allies took control of the country's vast desert north, and threatened to extend their often violent rule, former colonial power France launched a military offensive in January to drive out the Islamist fighters.

    Four former prime ministers and an array of political heavyweights -- but just one woman -- featured in a list of 27 presidential hopefuls, although analysts always characterised the election as a two-horse race between Keita, 68, and Cisse.

    Dramane Dembele, the candidate for Mali's largest political party, the Alliance for Democracy in Mali, polled just 9.6 percent, taking third place.

    Analysts believe Dembele's votes and those of fourth placed candidate Modibo Sidibe, making a total of 14.5 percent, are likely to be transferred to Cisse in the run-off.

    This means the backing of the also-rans -- who garnered more than 25 percent between them -- will be crucial.

    Acting president Dioncounda Traore and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon have acknowledged that the vote may be "imperfect" in a country with 500,000 citizens displaced by conflict, but have urged Malians to respect the outcome.

    Critics have argued that Mali, under pressure from the international community, rushed to the polls and risked a botched election which could do more harm than good.

    But the country has been praised by the international community for running a transparent, credible and peaceful election.

    The official turnout was recorded at 51.5 percent, eclipsing Mali's previous best of 38 percent.

    Despite heavy security during voting amid fears Al-Qaeda linked militants would attack polling stations, no serious incidents were reported on election day.

    A UN peacekeeping mission integrating more than 6,000 west African soldiers into its ranks is charged with ensuring security in the post-election period, and will grow to 11,200 troops, plus 1,400 police, by the end of the year.

    The deployment allows France to start withdrawing most of the 4,500 troops it sent to Mali in January and Paris plans to have just 1,000 troops on the ground before the end of the year.

    "We believe we are emerging from this crisis," Mali's Prime Minister Diango Cissoko said on a visit to Ivory Coast where he thanked President Alassane Ouattara, who is chairman of the Economic Community of West African States, for the bloc's contribution to Mali's efforts to achieve stability.

    str-ft/fb


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    Source: Guardian
    Country: Burkina Faso, Niger

    Those displaced by climate change are not granted refugee status or protection. Their plight should not be overlooked

    Migration has always been a way of life in the Sahel, an arid belt of land that stretches across Africa just south of the Sahara. Many of the region's 100 million inhabitants lived for millennia as nomadic pastoralists who moved with their herds in search of water and pasture.

    Read the full report on the Guardian.


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    08/02/2013 12:40 GMT

    Par Serge DANIEL

    BAMAKO, 2 août 2013 (AFP) - Un second tour de la présidentielle au Mali opposera Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, cacique de la vie politique arrivé largement en tête du premier tour du 28 juillet avec 39,2% des voix, à Soumaïla Cissé, économiste qui a obtenu 19,4%, selon les résultats officiels publiés vendredi.

    Ce second tour doit avoir lieu le 11 août, ce qui laisse à peine neuf jours aux deux candidats pour mener leur campagne dans un pays qui a été déstabilisé par un an et demi de crise politico-militaire.

    Le candidat du plus grand parti malien, l'Alliance pour la démocratie au Mali (Adéma), Dramane Dembélé, arrive en troisième position avec près de 9,6%, selon le ministre de l'Administration territoriale (Intérieur), le colonel Moussa Sinko Coulibaly.

    Le quatrième, Modibo Sidibé, un ancien Premier ministre comme Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, obtient près de 4,9% des suffrages. Et les 24 autres candidats du premier tour - y compris un qui s'était retiré de la course avant le scrutin - se partagent les voix restantes.

    Sur 6.829.696 inscrits, le nombre de votants a été de 3.520.242 (dont 403.532 bulletins nuls), soit un taux de participation de 51,5%, exceptionnel pour le Mali où la participation à ce type de scrutin n'avait jamais dépassé 38%.

    Des "tendances" portant sur un tiers des bulletins données le 30 juillet par le colonel Coulibaly faisaient état d'une "large avance" d'Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, 68 ans, face à son principal rival Soumaïla Cissé, 63 ans.

    "Si ces écarts sont confirmés, il n'y aura pas de deuxième tour", avait affirmé le colonel Coulibaly, ce qui avait provoqué l'indignation du camp de Soumaïla Cissé.

    Le parti de M. Cissé, l'Union pour la République et la démocratie (URD), avait de son côté dénoncé mercredi "un bourrage d'urnes" et affirmé qu'un second tour était "sûr à 100%" entre les deux candidats favoris. Il avait réclamé la démission du colonel Coulibaly, accusé d'avoir outrepassé son rôle.

    Second tour ouvert

    L'annonce d'un second tour devrait apaiser et rassurer les partisans de Soumaïla Cissé car en dépit de son avance de 20 points, une victoire au second tour d'Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, dit IBK, est loin d'être acquise.

    La logique voudrait que les voix de Dramane Dembélé et Modibo Sidibé, soit 14,5%, se reportent sur Soumaïla Cissé.

    Ce dernier est comme eux membre du Front pour la démocratie et la République (FDR), coalition de partis et de mouvements de la société civile créée après le coup d'Etat du 22 mars 2012 qui avait précipité la chute du nord du Mali aux mains de groupes jihadistes.

    Tout dépendra également des consignes de vote des autres candidats au premier tour qui représentent au total plus du quart des votants.

    Malgré les inquiétudes, le premier tour s'était déroulé sans aucun incident majeur et avait fortement mobilisé les Maliens, signe de leur volonté de sortir au plus vite d'un an et demi de crise.

    Cette crise a été marquée en janvier 2012 par une offensive de rebelles touareg dans le Nord, suivie par un coup d'Etat, une occupation du Nord par des groupes criminels et jihadistes liés à Al-Qaïda et une intervention armée étrangère initiée par la France pour les en chasser.

    Les observateurs nationaux et internationaux s'étaient réjouis de l'attitude des Maliens, Louis Michel, chef des observateurs européens, parlant d'un scrutin "paisible" sur tout le territoire qui s'est déroulé dans "d'excellentes conditions". Il avait félicité la population malienne "qui a pris conscience de l'enjeu et de l'importance de son vote".

    La France, ex-puissance coloniale qui, après son intervention militaire réussie pour chasser les groupes islamistes armés du Nord, avait exercé une forte pression sur le régime de transition à Bamako pour qu'il organise l'élection en juillet, n'avait pas non plus caché sa satisfaction et son soulagement.

    Quel qu'il soit, le nouveau président aura la lourde tâche de relever un Mali économiquement exsangue et surtout de réconcilier des communautés plus divisées que jamais.

    bur-stb/cs/jlb


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    Source: Oxfam
    Country: Somalia
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    HIGHLIGHTS

    • Moderate to heavy rains in March marked an early start to the April-June Gu rainy season, with Gaalkacyo, Eyl, Laas Caanood in Mudug, Nugaal and Bari, Jowhar and Baardheere districts in Southern Central Somalia recording significant downpour. While bringing relief to dry conditions, the intense rains have led to flooding, damaged an estimated 6,397 hectares of crops and displaced about 50,000 people

    • Rape in Somaliland has been on the rise. 299 rape cases were reported in 2012 and 2013 alone. According to the Needs Assessment department in Somaliland’s Health Ministry, 104 rape cases have been reported in 2013 so far

    • The first confirmed case of the Wild Polio virus in more than six years was reported in Somalia after a two-year old girl from Mogadishu contracted it. In response, the Government of Somalia conducted a four day emergency vaccination campaign in Banadir and Afgooye

    • Plans to relocate internally displaced people from Mogadishu to sites on the outskirts of the capital progressed in May. Preparatory work including site planning and profiling started in April and the actual relocation of the first group of about 78,000 people is expected in July/August

    • UNSC unanimously approved the new UN Political Mission in Somalia on May 2nd. The new mission will be based in

    • Mogadishu with further deployments throughout the country as requested by the Somalia National Government. It will be operational from June 3rd 2013 for an initial period of 12 months headed by Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia and Head of Mission (UNSOM), Nicholas Kay

    • The London Conference on Somalia took place at Lancaster House on May 7th, co-hosted by the UK and the Somalia National Government, and attended by fifty-four friends and partners of Somalia. More than $300 million was pledged to Somalia


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    Source: Government of Malawi
    Country: Malawi
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    Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
    Country: Malawi
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    Poor crop production in localized areas and high food prices likely to result in food security Crisis

    KEY MESSAGES

    • Official third round crop estimates released by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (MoAFS) have projected a national maize production estimate of 3.64 million MTs, comprised of 3.09 million MTs of rain-fed gross maize production and 551,000 MTs from anticipated irrigated gross maize production. Based on the above projections a maize surplus production of 194,000 MTs is expected. However, reduced irrigated harvests look likely and could resultin a lower surplusif any.

    • Household food security in localized areas in the southern, central, and northern region will likely begin to deteriorate from July to September as a result of low crop yields due to dry spells. It is expected that poor rural households in these areas will begin to deplete their food stocks and incomes from crop sales, resulting in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity outcomes in some districts in Southern Lakeshore (SLA), Kasungu Lilongwe Plains (KAS), Lower Shire (LSH), Northern Karonga (NKA) Mzimba Self Sufficient (MZS), Middle Shire (MSH), Lake Chilwa-Phalombe (PHA), Rift Valley Escarpment (RFT), and Western Rumphi and Mzimba (WRM) livelihood zones during this period.

    • The food security situation is likely going to get worse in these highlighted areas as household stocks run out and staple food prices rise resulting in consumption deficits between October and December. Poor households are likely going to experience food consumption deficits in some districts in KAS, PHA, LSH, NKA, MZS, MSH, LSH, RFT, and SLA livelihood zones during this period.

    • Maize prices were generally stable between May and June, but on average 249 percent above last year’s prices and 169 percent above the five-year average. These higher than normal prices are due to the lingering effects of last year’s localized production shocks, macro-economic instability, and high demand despite recent harvests. Given these factors FEWS NET projects that between July and December maize prices will increase.


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    Source: UN Children's Fund
    Country: Senegal
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    Highlights

    • 7,764 children under five years old with SAM have been treated in the first half of 2013. 1,583 of these children were admitted to the program in the month of June. The region of Diourbel has already reached 95% of its annual SAM target.

    • The National Nutrition Guidelines for Management of Acute Malnutrition have been validated by the Ministry of Health on July 16th.

    • The CLM, which is the government body in charge of the June nutrition survey (SMART), is to release preliminary results this week.

    • A Rapid SMS data collection system has helped the region of Kaffrine improve reporting on nutrition performance indicators by health facilities. The approach is being documented and shared with other regions that currently have difficulties compiling data.

    • UNICEF Senegal’s requirements of US$3,305,266 in the HAC are currently 60% funded.


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    Source: Reuters - AlertNet
    Country: Nigeria

    DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – More than half a million children in northern Nigeria face severe malnutrition this year in a humanitarian crisis that has largely gone unnoticed because of ongoing conflict in the region, aid agencies say.

    Read the full story on AlertNet.


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    Source: Food and Agriculture Organization
    Country: Algeria, Chad, Eritrea, India, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen
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    General Situation during July 2013
    Forecast until mid-September 2013

    The Desert Locust situation improved during July as locust infestations declined in the northern part of the Central Region and in the spring breeding areas of Northwest Africa. Nevertheless, the situation remained serious in the interior of Yemen where breeding occurred, causing locust numbers to increase. Control operations were not possible due to insecurity. Low numbers of solitarious adults appeared in the summer breeding areas of the Sahel in West Africa and Sudan, and along both sides of the Indo-Pakistan border. During the forecast period, small-scale breeding will cause locust numbers to increase in all of these areas.


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    Source: UN Children's Fund
    Country: Mali

    By Alex Duval Smith

    For a young mother struggling to survive, a programme that assists women affected by violence in northern Mali is a chance to build a future.

    MOPTI, Mali, 2 August 2013 – At the Bas Fond landfill in Mopti, residents sift through the rubbish, the dregs of other people's consumption. In a country as poor as Mali, they have to dig deep to find something for the keeping. The people living around this squalid waste disposal area are the poorest of the poor. Yet 16-year-old Fatoumata Traoré* would rather stay here than return to Tonka, the town in Mali’s Timbuktu region she was forced to flee.

    She cradles 5-month old Moussa as she recounts the horror of the day last year when she was abducted from her family home by members of the rebel group that had taken control of northern Mali.

    Fatoumata found herself prisoner in an abandoned house with 15 other girls. They were gang-raped for a week.

    “My mother had gone to the market. I was doing the housework. I heard gunfire. I ran to pick up all the cups. I wanted to get my brothers into the house. They jumped over our gate, into the yard,” Fatoumata recalls.

    “They grabbed me and I resisted all I could. I still have pain in my wrists and arms from being dragged by them,” she says. “They took me to an abandoned house on the outskirts of town. There were 15 other girls there. Some were younger than me, maybe 13.”

    She continues, “They didn't beat us. They raped us. One group would come in and rape us while the other stood guard outside. They brought animals for us to eat. The meat wasn't properly cooked. It lasted a week. Then they threw us out and left.”

    A wave of sexual violence

    Women and girls have been the main victims of the conflict in northern Mali brought about by the region’s takeover in 2012 by Islamist and secessionist rebels. Not only did their imposition of fundamentalist Islamic law force drastic changes in their lives; they also were the targets of what is emerging as a wave of sexual violence.

    Now, with the fighting subsided, women make up the majority of the hundreds of thousands of displaced people living in towns in the central and southern parts of the country.

    Fatoumata lives with her 38-year-old mother in a shelter pieced together from straw and black plastic sheeting on the edge of Bas Fond. So poor are mother and daughter that they don't eat every day. They take turns breastfeeding Moussa. They do not know where Fatoumata's father is – he abandoned the family home after he learned of his daughter’s rape.

    Aïssata Cissé, an outreach worker in Mopti with NGO Family Care International (FCI), says that the father’s disappearance is typical of a society where rape is the ultimate taboo.

    “In Mali, when there's been a rape it is dealt with inside the family. There is no going to a tribunal or to the police,” she explains. “Often girls do not even tell their mothers what has happened. If it becomes known that a girl has been raped, she will have a problem. Even at school, her friends or other pupils will tease her.”

    Support for survivors

    Fatoumata's plight came to the attention of FCI after she gave birth to Moussa in a Mopti clinic this past February. “She did not know she was pregnant. She had even thought the contractions were a digestive problem,” says Ms. Cissé, who arranged counselling and payment of medical expenses for Fatoumata.

    Soon, with UNICEF support, FCI expects to be able to make cash transfers available to 1,500 vulnerable girls and women who are survivors of the conflict.

    UNICEF child protection specialist Moussa Sidibé says Mali’s displaced women are dealing with a wide range of physical and emotional scars. Many are also in deep economic hardship as a result of having fled the support of their home towns and villages.

    “This conflict has taken a terrible toll on women,” he says. “Some of the displaced women suffered untold horrors before they fled from the north. We are talking of hundreds of traumatized women who ought to be receiving counselling.”

    Mr. Sidibé explains that the struggle does not end when they find a new home. “Once they arrive in a place like Mopti, they face tremendous challenges” he says. “Many find themselves as heads of their households because their husbands have stayed in the north or disappeared. The need to eat, feed their children and pay for accommodation pushes them to the most extreme solutions, like prostitution.”

    Amid the need for rapid crisis support for up to 350,000 displaced people in Mali – most of whom are women and children – UNICEF has opted to play a coordinating role, drawing on and boosting existing expertise in local NGOs. FCI supports and counsels 100 destitute girls and women like Fatoumata. It also runs information sessions to alert displaced women to the issue of gender-based violence.

    For Fatoumata and Moussa, the focus has to be on moving forward – on giving the young mother enough space and the financial wherewithal to concentrate on building a future.

    As the neighbours’ teenage girls and other children play on a rope hanging from a tree in the Bas Fond slum, Fatoumata puts her mind to a very grown-up question: What would help you put this horrible event behind you?

    “If we could have a proper place to live, for me and my mum and Moussa, and enough to eat – that's all we need,” she says.

    • Names have been changed

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    Source: Food and Agriculture Organization
    Country: Algeria, Chad, Eritrea, India, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen
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    Source: European Commission Humanitarian Aid department, ALIMA
    Country: Burkina Faso

    29/07/2013 – Aminata habite Kirsi, un petit village situé à 45 km du district de Yako où l’ONG ALIMA et son partenaire national KEOGO mènent un programme de prise en charge de la malnutrition aiguë sévère des enfants de moins de cinq ans. Vu que le taux de malnutrition aigüe dans ce district continue à dépasser le seuil critique, le département d’aide humanitaire de la Commission Européenne (ECHO) soutient ALIMA afin de garantir un traitement et référencement corrects des enfants malnutris ainsi qu’un transfert de compétences vers les partenaires locaux.

    Aminata nous raconte les difficultés qu’elle a à soigner et à nourrir ses enfants.

    « J’habite à Kirsi, un village situé à 45 km de Yako, c’est très loin d’ici. Un superviseur est venu dans mon village et l’état de santé de mon enfant l’a inquiété car il toussait beaucoup. Il m’a demandé de venir au CRENI (Centre de Récupération Nutritionnelle Intensive) pour que mon enfant soit pris en charge. On m’a amené ici en moto avec mon enfant.

    C’est la deuxième fois que mon enfant vient à l’hôpital. La première fois c’était au mois d’août pour une diarrhée et une fièvre prolongée. Cette fois c’est pour la toux qui ne s’arrête pas depuis la fin de l’année dernière. L’enfant a été déclaré guéri mais il a rechuté. Quand la maladie a commencé, le père de l’enfant a dit que l’on n’avait pas d’argent pour les soins. J’ai commencé par traiter mon enfant de manière traditionnelle avec une décoction de feuilles à boire. J’ai ensuite été au dispensaire, où il y a un programme de malnutrition, pour recevoir quelques produits nutritifs à donner à l’enfant.

    Durant la saison des pluies, je n’ai pas pu cultiver car l’enfant était malade. Je ne sais pas comment je vais pouvoir nourrir mes deux enfants (le grand frère de Sofiane a 5 ans) quand je vais rentrer chez moi. Je vais dépendre des autres femmes de mon mari pour nourrir ma famille. C’est humiliant pour moi. Je suis en colère contre mon mari. Il a deux autres femmes et de nombreux enfants et il ne tient pas son rôle de père. Je m’en occupe seule. Il n’est jamais venu voir l’enfant pendant les deux hospitalisations. Certains pères sont inconscients et n’assurent pas leur rôle pour subvenir aux besoins de leurs enfants.

    Ici je ne paye rien. Le matin on me donne de la bouillie, à midi du riz et le soir du riz ou autre chose. A mon entrée j’ai reçu un pot pour l’hygiène, une couverture et une moustiquaire. Chaque semaine on me fournit une boule de savon et les médicaments pour l’enfant sont fournis gratuitement. Le transport pour amener l’enfant à l’hôpital et le ramener à la maison est aussi pris en charge.

    Je ne connais pas le nom de l’association qui s’occupe de nous à l’hôpital. Je les remercie pour le travail qu’ils font pour nous. Ils ont sauvé mon enfant, je ne pensais pas qu’il pourrait être soigné, il avait trop de difficultés à respirer. Je prie dieu pour que plus d’enfants soient sauvés. »

    par Cécile André, Chargée de développement et de communication, Alliance for International and Medical Action (ALIMA)

    Information complémentaire


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    08/04/2013 10:05 GMT

    CORTE, 4 août 2013 (AFP) - Le représentant en Europe du Mouvement national de libération de l'Azawad (MNLA, regroupant des rebelles Touaregs du Nord du Mali) a annoncé qu'il allait proposer un statut d'autonomie au gouvernement malien après le second tour de l'élection présidentielle.

    "Nous allons proposer après les soixante jours de négociations prévus dans le cadre de l'accord préliminaire à la présidentielle, qui prévoit un cessez-le-feu, un projet d'autonomie au pouvoir central de Bamako", a déclaré samedi à Corte (Corse), Moussa Ag Assarid.

    Le dirigeant du MNLA s'exprimait lors d'un débat public sur la situation au Nord Mali lors des Journées internationales du parti nationaliste corse Corsica Libera auxquelles il était invité.

    Soulignant que son mouvement boycottait le scrutin présidentiel, il a déclaré qu'il "n'avait pas de choix à faire entre les deux candidats en lice au second tour, mais que quel que soit l'élu, il nous trouvera ensuite sur son chemin".

    "Nous continuons le combat de façon démocratique, mais s'il le faut nous reprendrons les armes", a-t-il ajouté. Moussa Ag Assarid a déploré que l'armée française, "qui a fait revenir l'armée malienne sur notre terriroire, n'ait pas empêché les massacres de populations civiles". "Nous avons été très actifs et plus efficaces que l'armée française contre les narcoterroristes", a-t-il affirmé, relevant que c'est le MNLA qui a retrouvé le cadavre de l'otage français Philippe Verdon et en a informé l'armée française alors que le nom de son mouvement "n'a pas été mentionné dans les compte-rendus". "Le fait que l'armée française est présente avec l'armée malienne constitue une responsabilité importante, historique, pour notre avenir et la France a la clé de la solution pour l'Azawad", a-t-il poursuivi. Il a considéré que son mouvement a "quelque chose à négocier avec la France sur la base de l'expérience de ceux qui ont été sur le terrain", précisant que le MNLA "ne bénéficie d'aucun soutien financier (..) à la différence des organisations narcoterroristes" combattues par les militaires français. Estimant que "l'ONU restera au moins dix ans" au Mali, Moussa Ag Assarid n'a pas fait de pronostic sur la durée du séjour des troupes françaises. "Si les Français veulent la paix, ils auront la paix. S'ils veulent autre chose que la paix, ils auront autre chose. La seule certitude, c"est que la lutte du MNLA continuera", a-t-il conclu. pl/rl/jag/aub

    © 1994-2013 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: World Food Programme, Government of Senegal
    Country: Senegal
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    FAITS SAILLANTS ET PERSPECTIVES

    L’approvisionnement des marchés en mil reste correct grâce aux déstockages déclenchés par la forte demande des producteurs en semences et des consommateurs pour le Ramadan.


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

    BAMAKO, 5 August 2013 (IRIN) - There is little discernible economic infrastructure on the 635km drive from Mali's capital, Bamako, to the central town of Mopti, except for speed bumps and checkpoints where local vendors congregate to target vehicles as they slow. Rusted signs and faded banners from international donors dot the scrubland, advertising development projects either long abandoned or never undertaken.

    It is difficult to reconcile the poverty and dysfunction in Mali with the pre-conflict and pre-coup narrative of development success espoused by multilateral organizations and international NGOs alike. Right up until the ouster of President Amadou Toumani Touré in March 2012, the West African state was a darling of the aid community, lauded for having strung together multiple successful democratic transitions since 1991.

    But the data tell a different story.

    At best, aid to Mali has been ineffective from an economic or institutional development perspective, enabling corruption, undermining the government's will and ability to raise revenue through productive means or taxation, and insulating it from accountability to the population, according to analysts and observers. At worst, these conditions directly led to the conflict in the north and political crisis in Bamako.

    Money for nothing

    Mali is one of the poorest countries in sub-Saharan Africa, ranking 182 out of 186 on the 2012 Human Development Index (HDI), 34 out of the 45 countries in sub-Saharan Africa in terms of 2012 GDP purchasing power parity (PPP) per capita, and has a negative real GDP growth rate.

    As such, the country is heavily dependent on foreign aid, with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) estimating in 2008 that donors provided 60 to 80 percent of Mali's special investment budget.

    Though the country did achieve substantial GDP growth rates after the 1990s, the failure of that growth to improve the quality of life of most Malians suggests that it was most likely due to currency devaluation and gold exports rather than real economic production, said a working paper of the United Nations University-World Institute for Development Economics Research.

    Further, anecdotal evidence suggests that aid has become something of a self-perpetuating system in Mali, generating employment while the dollars are turned on, but failing to create the conditions for sustainable economic growth, poverty reduction or institutional development.

    "When the NGOs left, we were hit twice," said a youth advocate in Mopti, speaking of the retreat of donors after the 2012 coup. "Of course the aid projects were important, but the unemployment effects were worse - up to 30 percent of youth worked for humanitarian organizations."

    These economic conditions cannot be attributed to the coup leaders, the separatist Tuareg rebels or Islamist militias; the country has languished at the bottom of the development pile since long before the 2012 coup and even before the HDI was first published in 1990.

    Crisis of confidence

    Mali has fared little better in terms of its political and public sector institutional development.

    From 2003 to 2011, the country consistently ranked as mediocre in popular perceptions of public sector integrity, and in any given year was worse than at least half of the rest of sub-Saharan Africa. Tellingly, the single largest increase in public confidence, a 21.4 percent improvement, came after the 2012 coup.

    Further, for every election cycle from 1992 to 2007, Mali largely trailed its Sahel neighbours in voter turnout for both parliamentary and presidential contests.

    According to a February 2013 Malian opinion poll, the two most frequently cited perceived causes of the country's various crises were "lack of patriotism among leaders" and "weakness of the state" (31 percent and 16 percent, respectively); a full 76 percent of respondents were unable to name their political representatives.

    Aid and accountability

    Channelling aid through the government of a country that suffers from endemic corruption at all levels perverts the state's incentive structure, say analysts. It removes the need for the government to be externally accountable to its outside investors, in this case donors who knowingly participated in corruption. It also internally eliminates the need for the public sector to develop basic governing institutions, which represent the "vital link of accountability between state and citizen," according to aid expert and author Jonathan Glennie. Without this accountability, citizens are removed from the political process and elites are free to extract and expropriate from the state with abandon, creating the conditions for state failure and conflict.

    One local manifestation of this lack of accountability and oversight is the diversion of aid resources. According to Mahmoud Cheibani, a teacher at a Timbuktu secondary school, "we are poor not because of a lack of aid, we are poor because aid does not reach the targeted populations."

    The situation is particularly problematic in the north.

    According to the head of a local Malian NGO that operated in the north throughout the crisis and the Islamist occupation: "In Timbuktu, the president of the Haut Conseil Islamique [High Islamic Council] takes the biggest cut; in Gao it is the mayor; in Kidal it is the Intallah) family [Ifoghas Tuareg tribal leaders]."

    Aid and conflict

    At the sub-national and sub-regional level, there have been situations in which aid money has clearly fuelled ethnic conflict in Mali.

    One prominent example was an ill-fated UN Development Programme project after the 1990s rebellion, where millions of dollars intended for disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of ex-combatants were given disproportionately to one ethnic group, the Ifoghas Tuaregs, and directly used to buy loyalty and consolidate power at the expense of their ethnic rivals, the Imghad Tuaregs.

    Tracing a causal relationship between aid and conflict at a macro scale is more difficult, but several rigorous studies have confirmed this anecdotal evidence from Mali.

    The argument is that aid drives conflict in countries that suffer from a low degree of institutional development and a high degree of unchecked executive power, instigating competition for "rents" - non-tax revenues - among elites. This is Mali in a nutshell: disproportionate executive power, bolstered by foreign aid that is channelled primarily through that branch of government at the expense of other institutions, widening the gap between citizenry and leadership and driving competition for the money.

    Taken together, these data suggest that Mali's problems are rooted in its institutions and further corroborate what some scholars have already asserted: the coup, Tuareg rebellion, al-Qaeda penetration and corruption of the state were all symptoms of the same basic institutional dysfunction. Nothing has fundamentally changed to address the deficiencies in accountability and oversight, yet over US$4 billion of development aid is poised to come online at the conclusion of the current political transition.

    At such a critical transition point in Mali's development, prospective donors would do well to examine new models and priorities for ensuring the effectiveness, sustainability and value of development projects.

    Certainly not all aid is counterproductive, and this data by no means implicates all humanitarian relief efforts. Emergency disaster response by multilateral organizations and local and international NGOs was critical to mitigating the 2011-2012 Sahel food crisis, for example. But developing strong Malian institutions capable of taking the lead on such a response would ultimately be the most effective and sustainable path to prosperity.

    fm/ew/ob/rz

    [END]


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    Source: IFRC
    Country: Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia
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    Period covered by this Final Report: 15 October 2008 - 31 May 2013

    Summary:

    Responding to a situation in 2008, where populations in large areas of Kenya and the Horn of Africa were facing an exceptional humanitarian crisis, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and National Societies in the affected countries launched an “Exceptional Food Security Crisis” emergency appeal. This was to provide urgent food assistance and a range of complementary interventions to combat very high global acute malnutrition levels and threats to coping mechanisms. The combined effect of high worldwide food prices and a crippling drought were seriously jeopardizing the lives, livelihoods, and dignity of up to 20 million people in both rural and urban communities. The affected population was those already living on the margins of survival due to conflict, displacement and chronic poverty.

    With conditions in the Horn of Africa deteriorating significantly in many areas (most notably in Kenya) in 2009, the emergency appeal was substantially revised. The main changes were a significant increase in activities in Kenya (across all sectors, but particularly with respect to food), with a reduction in food activities in Ethiopia as prompted by the fact that distributions had to be completed before the arrival of the Belg harvest in the local markets (so as not to undermine local farmers or markets). Other emergency interventions continued in a similar vein as initially envisaged. Across all of the appeal countries, sectors supported in the emergency phase included food assistance, emergency health and care and emergency water, sanitation and hygiene promotion.


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    Source: Assessment Capacities Project
    Country: Afghanistan, Angola, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Malawi, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Myanmar, Namibia, Nicaragua, Niger, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Philippines, Somalia, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Thailand, Uganda, World, Yemen, South Sudan (Republic of)
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    In Syria, Government forces are advancing in Homs and expected to retake opposition-held districts in the short-term, while operations have been ongoing in other major cities, including Aleppo and Damascus. Meanwhile, infighting within opposition forces is spreading between various armed groups. Clashes are continuously reported between Kurdish fighters and al-Qaeda affiliated Islamists near the border with Turkey in Al-Hassakeh and Ar-Raqqa governorates. Besides, tensions are also rising between the Free Syrian Army and fighters of the Islamic State Iraq and Syria, mainly in Aleppo and the countryside of Idleb. As of 5 August, over 1.89 million Syrian refugees have been registered in neighbouring countries according to the UNHCR.

    Flash floods across Asia have affected several countries with at least 250,000 people affected in the Philippines 165,000 affected in Pakistan, 124,000 in Bangladesh, around 38,000 in Myanmar and 20,000 in Thailand. Flash floods triggered by days of torrential rain have killed more than 40 people and destroyed dozens of houses in Afghanistan however there is no information yet on the number of affected.

    Similarly this week floods and a dengue epidemic affect Central America with more than 12,500 flood affected in Nicaragua and 16,000 in Colombia. On 31 July, Honduras declared a state of emergency after an outbreak of dengue fever that has killed 16 people so far this year. More than 13,000 people have been diagnosed with the disease.

    In Botswana, the Government declared a drought for the 2013/2014 agricultural season, affecting the whole country. Almost half of the rural population, 18% of the total population, is estimated to be food insecure. Agro-based livelihoods are expected to suffer further losses and asset depletion.

    Last Updated: 05/08/2013 Next Update: 12/08/2013

    Global Emergency Overview web interface


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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Algeria, Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger
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    Le Mali fait toujours face à une crise humanitaire sans précédent. Parallèlement à l’amélioration progressive de la situation sécuritaire, des mouvements significatifs de retours spontanés vers le nord sont notés. D’importants besoins restent à couvrir dans tous les secteurs.


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

    • The United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) urgently needs 2.8 million dollars to continue its operations until December 2013.

    • In the areas that were occupied by armed groups, 65 per cent of health structures are partially- or non- functional compared to 17 per cent nationwide.

    • Accelerated curricula are underway in 588 schools in Gao and Timbuktu regions.

    • At least 77 people were killed or wounded by unexploded ordnances and other explosive remnants of war in northern Mali between March 2012 and July 2013.

    • The Consolidated Appeal for Mali is 32 percent funded. More than $152 million are mobilized on a requirement of $477 million.


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