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- 10/31/12--04:01: _Somali Refugees in ...
- 10/31/12--04:08: _Somalia: South Cent...
- 10/31/12--04:10: _Somalia: Total IDPs...
- 10/31/12--04:50: _Pastoralists, too, ...
- 10/31/12--06:10: _Lesotho: Food Insec...
- 10/31/12--06:15: _Statistics on Inter...
- 10/31/12--06:20: _Prévenir les confli...
- 10/31/12--06:26: _Humanitarian Bullet...
- 10/31/12--06:28: _ECOWAS urges suppor...
- 10/31/12--11:04: _Food Security Outlo...
- 10/31/12--11:57: _Friction along the ...
- 10/31/12--12:17: _Lesotho: Food Insec...
- 10/31/12--14:38: _USAID/OFDA Health S...
- 10/31/12--17:30: _Yemen Complex Emerg...
- 10/31/12--17:58: _USAID/OFDA Water, S...
- 10/31/12--18:56: _Situation Update: T...
- 10/31/12--19:50: _Chad Food Security ...
- 10/31/12--20:12: _Southern Africa Foo...
- 10/31/12--21:11: _Ethiopia Food Secur...
- 10/31/12--22:44: _Djibouti Food Secur...
- 10/31/12--04:01: Somali Refugees in the Region - As of 31 October 2012
- 10/31/12--04:08: Somalia: South Central Dashboard - Period: 01-Aug-12 to 25-Oct-12
- 10/31/12--04:10: Somalia: Total IDPs by Region - October 2012 (27 Oct 2012)
- 10/31/12--04:50: Pastoralists, too, can be displaced
- 10/31/12--06:10: Lesotho: Food Insecurity DREF operation n° MDRLS002 Final Report
- 10/31/12--06:15: Statistics on International Development 2007/08 – 2011/12
- 10/31/12--06:20: Prévenir les conflits entre les agriculteurs et les éleveurs
- 10/31/12--06:26: Humanitarian Bulletin Eastern Africa, Issue 17, 16-29 October 2012
- 10/31/12--11:04: Food Security Outlook October 2012 to March 2013
The population in need of humanitarian assistance declined from 2.2 million in February 2012 to 2.1 million in September 2012. The decline was higher in pastoral areas than in marginal agricultural livelihood zones. The majority of the food insecure households are Stressed (IPC Phase 2) while about 10 percent of the food insecure population is categorized as in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).
Total maize output from the long rains is likely to be below average, but the below-average harvest will minimally affect food security.
The October to December 2012 short rains are expected to be average to above average and result in an above average harvest in February, concentrated in the Southeast and coastal areas.
Considerable improvement in food security is expected through March 2013. Of those currently in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) in the pastoral zone and the southeastern marginal agricultural areas, the food security situation is set to improve to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) by December, driven by increases in crop production and livestock productivity resulting from the near average to above average October to December 2012 short rains.
Expected improvement in food security in southeastern marginal agricultural and coastal lowlands could slightly be undermined by the persistence of well above average maize prices, destruction of roads by floods, political activities that could motivate conflict and cause displacements and market disruptions, or widespread water- and vector-borne diseases.
Widespread maize lethal necrosis disease (MLND) in cropping areas could also lead to an extreme deterioration of food security
- 10/31/12--14:38: USAID/OFDA Health Sector Update – October 2012
- 10/31/12--17:30: Yemen Complex Emergency Fact Sheet #1, Fiscal Year (FY) 2013
As internally displaced persons (IDPs) increasingly began to return home in southern Yemen, the number of registered IDPs countrywide fell to approximately 508,000 people by the beginning of October, down from more than 545,000 people in July, according to the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). As of September 30, more than 51,000 people were registered as returnees in Yemen, including more than 21,000 individuals who returned to Abyan Governorate since the beginning of August. UNHCR reported that nearly 16,000 people returned home in southern Yemen in September alone.
Farmers in Yemen are likely to harvest eight percent less sorghum, maize, and millet during the upcoming harvest season compared to last year’s harvest, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported in October. The decrease in production is due to below-average rainfall, social unrest, and insecurity, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.
Through more than $117 million in FY 2012 programming, the United States Government (USG) continues to support activities that address the needs of IDPs, refugees, and other vulnerable individuals throughout Yemen. USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) supports nearly $30 million in ongoing interventions, including more than $16 million in the nutrition and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) sectors. USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (USAID/FFP) provided nearly $68 million in food assistance in FY 2012, and the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (State/PRM) supports approximately $20 million in ongoing FY 2012 health, livelihoods, protection, shelter, and WASH interventions for refugees, migrants, IDPs, and conflict-affected populations.
- 10/31/12--18:56: Situation Update: The Sahel Crisis 2012 (31 October 2012)
The growing season in the Sahel is coming to an end with good crop prospects. Still, the situation in the region remains difficult due to the uneven pastoral situation, flooding, the locust threat and high grain prices combined with widespread poverty and high vulnerability, in particular for those households that could not benefit from livelihood support during the past season.
18.7 million people are still facing food and nutrition insecurity. More than 1 million children under the age of five are at risk of severe acute malnutrition.
The humanitarian and security situation in Mali is deteriorating, due to the conflict in the northern part of the country, with serious repercussions on the region and beyond. As of now, 412 401 people have left their homes; 203 843 are internally displaced; and 208 558 have crossed the borders to neighbouring countries, primarily Burkina Faso, Mauritania and the Niger.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has requested USD 112 million for urgent action in 2012, to improve the food and nutrition security of 7.8 million vulnerable people in the Sahel.
To date, FAO has received USD 39.7 million. With this amount, FAO has assisted, or is assisting, more than 4.6 million beneficiaries by supporting food and livestock production, animal protection and related technical assistance.
As of now, funding has not been enough to adequately address the crisis in a timely manner and a funding gap of USD 72.3 million remains in order to address food and nutrition insecurity in the region.
Moreover, a desert locust threat, the most serious since 2005, is threatening the livelihoods of 50 million people in the Sahel.
An additional USD 10 million was requested to address the desert locust threat. In response to the appeal, FAO has received a total of USD 3.1 million, and USD 1 million has been committed bilaterally toward components identified within the requirements for the Niger.
Another USD 5.9 million is needed to control the desert locust threat in the region.
- 10/31/12--19:50: Chad Food Security Outlook Update September 2012
Due to the availability of food from the early harvests and steady cereal prices, food security conditions are stable compared to August. Currently, the Sahelian zone is Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and all of the Sudanian zone is classified as IPC Phase 1 (Minimal/None). Beginning in October, both the Sahelian and Sudanian zones will be in IPC Phase 1 (Minimal/None), due to an average harvest occurring from October to December.
Flooding, caused by heavy rains, has occurred in the country’s main agricultural regions (Salamat, Moyen Chari, Les deux Logone, Tandjilé, and Mayo kebbi). However, crop damage has been limited and national production levels will not be greatly impacted.
This year’s weather conditions are favorable for the reproduction and development of desert locusts. Immature and mature solitary locusts, as well as swarms, were observed at the beginning of September in the Borkou, Ennedi, Wadi-Fira, and Bahr El-Gazal regions. So far, damage to forage biomass has been very limited although reproduction continues and could be cause for concern at the end of the rainy season.
- 10/31/12--20:12: Southern Africa Food Security Update - October 2012
- 10/31/12--21:11: Ethiopia Food Security Outlook Update October 2012 to March 2013
Overall Meher production is expected to be near average, particularly in the western, surplus-producing areas. However, in some parts of the eastern, marginal, Meher-producing areas and in the Belg-dependent and sweet potato-producing areas in Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR), the harvest is expected to be below average due to soil moisture deficits, hailstorms, and flash flooding during the June to September Kiremt rainy season.
The timely onset of Deyr/Hagaya rains in southern and southeastern parts of the country has helped improve livestock body conditions and productivity. The short season rains are likely to continue in these areas. However, areas at risk of resource-based conflict and at risk of flooding along the Shebelle river in Afder, Liben, and Shabelle (formerly Gode) Zones in Somali Region are expected to face increasing food insecurity.
The price of grain from October to December is expected to show some seasonal decline but remain at its elevated level. From January to March, significant increases in grain prices are expected, which will significantly reduce the purchasing power of the market-dependent poor and the very poor.
Although Meher production is expected to improve overall food availability , market access to food by poor and very poor households in the eastern, marginal, Meher-producing areas, in Belg-dependent and sweet potato-producing areas of SNNPR, and in pastoral and agropastoral areas of Afar, Borena Zone in Oromia, and Somali Regions will be limited. Food insecurity in these areas is likely to be higher from January to March and require humanitarian interventions.
- 10/31/12--22:44: Djibouti Food Security Outlook Update October 2012 to March 2013
ISIOLO, 31 October 2012 (IRIN) - Can pastoralists, who spend much of their lives itinerant, in search of pasture, become displaced? They can, and up to 400,000 pastoralists in northern Kenya are currently internally displaced persons [IDPs], according to a new report.
"Movements cease to be normal once factors that give rise to them are 'coercive' in nature," Nuur Sheekh, one of the researchers of Kenya's Neglected IDPs, a report released in October, told IRIN.
"In the case of pastoralists, these could range from violence and conflict over pasture and water resources, inter-ethnic conflict over these resources, and political-economic resources where politics is the underlying cause like in recent cases of Isiolo, Tana River, Moyale, Mandera, [and] Wajir counties."
Movement is not necessarily forced in the case of drought, provided government ministries and humanitarian organizations are able to supply water, fodder and veterinary services for animals and water and food for people, added Sheekh.
"The displacement of pastoralists in northern Kenya must be considered in the context of many factors, which are often interlinked: the legacy of colonialism; violence and conflict; cattle raiding; natural and climatic disasters; human rights violations; border politics; small-arms proliferation; activities of militant groups, including the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF); and the on-going conflict in Somalia," said the report, which was published by the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) and the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC).
Though pastoralists are believed to occupy over 70 percent of Kenya's landmass, census figures of their communities are largely considered unreliable. Their constant movement results in difficulty assessing not only their numbers and locations but their humanitarian needs as well.
"Whereas displacement in other parts of Kenya, such as the Rift Valley, has drawn international attention, in northern Kenya the problem has so far received little recognition and inadequate or no support and assistance," the report states. "National and international reports on displacement in Kenya rarely mention displacement among pastoralist communities in northern Kenya despite their occupying a large part of Kenyan territory."
Displacement is often treated as normal and part of the pastoralist communities' lifestyle, Abdi Sheikh, an elder from the northeastern district of Wajir, told IRIN. But pastoralist movement is linked to much more than the search for pasture.
People are at times forced to move because of fear of attacks linked to rustling, whether from across the borders or internally.
Northern Kenya - an expansive area extending from central Kenya to the borders with Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda - has been marginalized by successive governments. Much of the area is characterized by acute poverty and recurrent resource-based conflicts that leave tens of thousands displaced annually.
"Because governments in [the Horn of Africa] have tended to neglect pastoralist areas, both in terms of development and provision of security, pastoralists have tended to arm themselves in order to protect their communities," said Sheekh. "This can sometimes have negative consequences, especially when state security apparatuses use force to disarm pastoralist communities. This tends to lead to all sorts of violations where villages and people are attacked."
Violent crackdowns date back to the 1960s, when part of the region then known as the Northern Frontier District wanted to secede from Kenya and become part of Somalia. "The government was determined show its force. The innocent suffered from the state's anger, which was provoked [when] a few individuals declared they wanted the region to secede and join Somalia," said Omar Elmi, an elder from Wajir District.
"The chief's police [administration police] and the military were all over. All young men - I was 18 years old - were rounded up, tortured and ordered to produce guns. Many were killed; some committed suicide after their livestock were shot dead. The situation was bad. Human and livestock bodies were strewn all over."
Elmi fled after being separated from his family, eventually ending up in Laikipia, where he worked as a herder at a private ranch.
Recent government efforts at disarmament have been unsuccessful, with communities saying the process exposes them to enemy attacks. Human rights organizations have accused the government of being heavy handed in past security operations, urging it to address the underlying economic, social, cultural and political causes of gun prevalence in the region.
Long-term solutions needed
The ISS/IDMC report notes that responses to internal displacement in northern Kenya have been short-term and inadequate: "Agencies tend to respond with temporary solutions like food aid, and little effort is made to implement lasting solutions based on security and development, devised in consultation with pastoralist communities themselves. Where displacement is preventable, measures are rarely taken to prevent it."
Thousands of people who fled violence late last year in the pastoralist border area of Moyale are still living in Ethiopia, said Wario Katelo, a human rights activist.
"They can't come back. Where will they stay? Their houses were burnt; nobody has offered to assist them. I am sorry this is one of the factors that results [in the] vicious cycle of clashes. Youths whose parents have been killed must [seek] revenge; they have to raid to recover lost livestock, hence [the] permanent pattern of fighting and displacement," he said.
Isaiah Nakoru, the commissioner of the Marsabit County, which neighbours Moyale said: "We have managed to mobilize NGOs to help those affected by clashes start life afresh, to help them with iron sheets to put up houses [and to] start income generating activities. Constituency development funds have also helped rebuild schools that were burnt."
According to researcher Sheekh, a draft IDP policy before the cabinet and the Internally Displaced Persons Bill, 2012, which is currently awaiting the president's signature, contain important provisions that will provide much-needed protection and assistance to the displaced, and it will oblige the state to prevent displacement.
"The other important provision is that IDPs can actually seek legal recourse for compensation for life and property lost, given that the state has primary responsibility to prevent displacement," he added, noting that it is not enough for the policies to be passed - it is also necessary to build capacity at the national and county levels so that these laws are fully implemented.
To prevent displacement, the ISS/IDMC report recommends the government: develops a strategy to respond to security threats in pastoralist areas; put in place an efficient data-collection and management system on IDPs in pastoralist areas; invest in and use early warning information on conflict and climate; and protect the existing assets of pastoralist communities.
Summary: CHF 196,831 was allocated from IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) on the 8th February 2012 to support Lesotho Red Cross Society (LRCS) in delivering immediate assistance to some 800 families (4,000 beneficiaries) for four months. Unearmarked funds to repay DREF are encouraged.
Prolonged periods of drought followed by excessive rains resulted in food insecurity in Lesotho due to significant crop losses during the 2011 cropping season.
After detailed needs assessments in February 2012, DREF resources were prioritised to support the four districts of Mokholong, Kena, Mafeteng and Quthing, which had strong National Society branch structures.
Beneficiary identification, selection and verification were conducted during March and April, and distribution of food rations continued up until the end of June. The operation was initially planned to be implemented over four months; however, a one month extension was requested to complete the relief distributions.
LRCS provided assorted food to 1,063 households (4,000 beneficiaries) in the form of maize meal, pulses, vegetable oil and salt and also continued to train volunteers who had been deployed at the onset of the disaster. The families reached were reportedly able to maintain three meals per day which significantly improved their nutritional status and reduced stress related to search of food. The operation also built the capacity of Lesotho Red Cross to manage similar operations in the future through the valuable lessons learnt in the four districts.
The major donors and partners of DREF include the Australian, American and Belgian governments, the Austrian Red Cross, the Canadian Red Cross and government, Danish Red Cross and government, the European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO), the Irish and the Italian governments, the Japanese Red Cross Society, the Luxembourg government, the Monaco Red Cross and government, the Netherlands Red Cross and government, the Norwegian Red Cross and government, the Spanish Government, the Swedish Red Cross and government, the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID), the Medtronic and Z Zurich Foundations, and other corporate and private donors. The IFRC, on behalf of the National Society, would like to extend thanks to all for their generous contributions.
Annual publication Statistics on International Development (SID) provides information on the UK’s Gross Public Expenditure on Development (GPEX) which includes both the DFID aid programme and official aid provided through other UK government departments
OUAGADOUGOU, 31 octobre 2012 (IRIN) - Alors que les incidents violents entre les éleveurs et les agriculteurs sédentaires s'étendent vers l'est et le nord du Burkina Faso, le ministère des Ressources animales a mis en place une série d'ateliers à destination des deux groupes, mais aussi des leaders des communautés, des gouverneurs locaux et des maires.
Selon les estimations du Ministère, quelque 600 conflits éclatent chaque année, entraînant la mort de pasteurs, d'agriculteurs ou de fonctionnaires, la destruction de fermes et de logements, ainsi que les blessures ou décès d'animaux. Édith Vokouma, directrice des Espaces et des Aménagements pastoraux au sein du ministère de l'Élevage, estime que 55 personnes ont trouvé la mort au cours des 4 000 affrontements signalés au cours de ces quatre dernières années. Le nombre d'incidents augmente d'année en année.
« C'est un sujet très sérieux », a dit Jérémie Ouedraogo, le ministre des Ressources animales, depuis la capitale Ouagadougou. « Comment faire pour utiliser nos ressources naturelles ensemble sans déclencher de conflit ? Voilà l'objectif que nous espérons atteindre ».
Le dernier incident signalé s'est produit en juin à Tapoa, dans la région Est : des éleveurs de cette région principalement agro-pastorale ont attaqué les maisons des gardes-forestiers après l'arrestation d'un éleveur accusé d'avoir arraché les feuilles d'un arbre pour nourrir ses animaux, selon Bertin Somda, gouverneur de la région Est.
Le bétail est la principale source de revenus de bon nombre de familles au Burkina Faso : 80 pour cent des foyers ruraux ont au moins un ou deux animaux pour survivre en période de crise. « Ils sont comme un compte en banque », a dit M. Ouedraogo.
Causes de l'augmentation des affrontements
Comme dans une grande partie du Sahel, les conflits éclatent lorsque des agriculteurs empiètent sur les routes de transhumance, poussant ainsi les éleveurs à pénétrer sur des terres cultivées afin de nourrir leurs animaux. On note également une intensification de la concurrence pour les terres agricoles, car la population croît à un rythme de 3,1 pour cent par an, l'un des taux les plus élevés au monde.
Le problème de la pénurie foncière a été aggravé par l'accaparement des terres par des agro-entreprises après l'adoption de nouvelles lois qui favorisent la propriété foncière privée, mais aussi par l'augmentation du nombre de chercheurs d'or traditionnels, qui écartent les éleveurs des routes de transhumance et polluent les points d'eau en utilisant des produits chimiques. Quelque 800 sites miniers traditionnels ont été ouverts depuis 2007.
Bon nombre des affrontements qui ont éclaté dans le nord de la région du Sahel suivent les lignes des clivages ethniques entre les éleveurs Fulani et les agriculteurs Mossi.
Hassan Barry est le président de l'Association Tabital Pulaaku qui contribue à la résolution des conflits dans les zones à haut risque à travers le pays (y compris Zoundweogo et Nahouri dans la région Centre-Sud, Gourma et Kompienga dans la région Est, Sissili et Ziro dans la région Centre-Ouest, Poni et Noumbiel dans la région Sud-Ouest) depuis 2010. Selon lui, les conflits sont devenus plus violents au début des années 2000 : un tournant est intervenu en 2003 à Balere, dans la région Est, lorsque dix éleveurs ont été tués par des habitants de la région suite à des conflits liés à la destruction de leurs cultures.
L'arrivée par le Nord de 35 000 réfugiés maliens, des pasteurs pour la plupart, n'a pas, pour l'instant, aggravé les tensions, ont indiqué des responsables gouvernementaux, car les pâturages sont abondants après la saison des pluies. L'arrivée de dizaines de milliers de réfugiés supplémentaires à la suite d'une intervention militaire dans le Nord pourrait toutefois exacerber les tensions.
La solution, c'est la prévention, a dit M. Barry.
« Il est difficile de mettre fin au conflit une fois qu'il a commencé. Il est crucial d'empêcher que les conflits ne dégénèrent en confrontations sanglantes entre les différents groupes - ou pire en affrontements interethniques entre des personnes qui fréquentent les mêmes mosquées et les mêmes marchés, qui enterrent leurs morts ensemble », a-t-il souligné.
La plupart des conflits sont le fruit d'une mauvaise compréhension mutuelle des règles et règlements fonciers qui protègent les terres agricoles et les routes de transhumance, a-t-il noté.
La diminution de la compréhension est liée au fait que bon nombre de pasteurs envoient leurs enfants (dont un grand nombre sont analphabètes et ne connaissent pas les règles) s'occuper des animaux. « Quand nous étions des enfants, il y avait moins de conflits, car les éleveurs étaient des hommes instruits et respectueux », a expliqué M. Barry.
« Les problèmes surviennent souvent la nuit, lorsque les animaux s'éloignent pour paître alors que les agriculteurs dorment », a dit M. Somda.
Les ateliers mis en place par le gouvernement abordent les questions suivantes : la règlementation foncière ; l'importance de la protection des routes empruntées par les nomades ; et la manière dont les agriculteurs et les pasteurs ou agro-pasteurs peuvent travailleur ensemble pour utiliser les ressources naturelles de manière durable.
Les responsables locaux encourageront également les agriculteurs et les pasteurs à s'entendre sur les routes de transhumance et à passer des accords plus contraignants.
Si la plupart des conflits sont réglés par les leaders des communautés, certains dossiers sont traités par des cours locales, qui ont besoin d'aide pour faire leur travail, a dit M. Hassan, car il faut parfois des années pour traiter les dossiers, ce qui aggrave les tensions au sein des communautés.
Il recommande l'établissement d'une cour spéciale chargée de répondre aux tensions liées aux ressources naturelles et de traiter les dossiers en suspens ; et l'établissement d'un ensemble de bureaux spécialisés dans chaque municipalité afin d'élaborer des cartes, de surveiller les routes empruntées par le bétail, de prévenir et de régler les conflits.
Mais pour avancer, tous les groupes doivent également comprendre comment utiliser des ressources naturelles limitées de manière plus efficace, a dit M. Ouedragogo, notant que quelque 110 000 hectares de forêt sont détruits chaque année au Burkina Faso, principalement pour des raisons commerciales, mais aussi pour nourrir les animaux.
M. Ouedragogo a indiqué que le ministère des Ressources naturelles essaye d'encourager les éleveurs à stocker de l'herbe à la fin de chaque récolte pour qu'ils ne dépendent pas autant des herbes sauvages et des arbres. Le ministère des Ressources animales financera des projets visant à aider les pasteurs et les agriculteurs à récolter six millions de bottes de foin qui seront stockés à travers le pays cette année, et investira 7 millions de dollars sur plusieurs années pour créer davantage de points d'eau, de réservoirs et d'aires d'attentes pour les animaux.
M. Barry indique toutefois que la protection et la promotion des éleveurs ne sont pas suffisamment financées : le gouvernement a alloué 1,13 pour cent de ses dépenses au bétail en 2005 (aucun chiffre récent n'est disponible), alors que le secteur représentait 18 pour cent du PIB et un quart des exportations.
Si des fonds supplémentaires ne sont pas investis pour répondre aux besoins des éleveurs et aider les agriculteurs à augmenter leur productivité, les terres agricoles continueront de s'étendre et les affrontements se multiplieront, a mis en garde Mme Vokouma du ministère des Ressources naturelles.
Localized heavy rain showers impact Somalia and Kenya
Food security in the region has improved as harvests start to reach the markets
DRC Crisis: more than 772,450 people have been displaced in North Kivu since January 2009
Ethiopia: number of severely malnourished children declines for third straight month in August
Up to 3,000 IDP families in need of humanitarian support in Luuq, Somalia
South Sudan: health situation in Upper Nile refugee camps remains fragile
Marburg hemorrhagic fever outbreak kills five in Uganda
30 October 2012 [Lagos - Nigeria]
The ECOWAS Commission has called for total support for its latest initiative to strengthen regional peace and security through the establishment of a Mediation Facilitation Division (MFD) within its Political Affairs Directorate. In a keynote address to the opening session of a three-day needs assessment workshop for the proposed MFD, in Lagos on Tuesday 30th October 2012, the ECOWAS Director of Political Affairs, Dr. Abdel-Fatau Musah, stressed the need for a dedicated structure within the Commission to promote coherence and coordination for mediation initiatives in the region.
Speaking on behalf of the President of the ECOWAS Commission, His Excellency Kadre Desire Ouedraogo, the director explained that this initiative will enable Member States and civil society organizations to better structure and coordinate their mediation architectures and to link them with the regional processes as part of contributions to “give real meaning to the new ECOWAS vision that seeks to transform the region ‘from an ECOWAS of States into an ECOWAS of Peoples.’” He traced the new initiative to the Preventive Diplomacy component of the ECOWAS Conflict Prevention Framework (ECPF) which calls for the development of “a mediation facilitation capacity within the ECOWAS Commission to promote preventive diplomacy interventions in the region through competence and skills enhancement for mediators, information sharing and logistical support.” The MFD idea, Dr. Musah explained is not intended to reinvent the wheel but inspired by similar structures that exist in the UN which has its UN Mediation Support Unit while there is an ongoing effort to create the African Union Mediation Support unit. Moreover, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) also have similar structures as part of their conflict mediation tool.
He expressed the Commission’s gratitude to development partners for their support, including the Center for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD) for contributing to the preparation of the workshop and co-funding it, and the Danish Government through its International Development Agency (DANIDA), for being instrumental to the development of the ECOWAS Conflict Prevention Framework, and pledging an initial US$3 million towards the establishment and activities of the MFD.
The director also said that the Commission has been in constant exchanges with the United Nations and the Africa Union in the process, while other partners including the Governments of Germany, UK, Finland, Sweden, Switzerland and Canada among others have also shown keen interest in the MFD project.
“Given the array of knowledgeable institutions and experts assemble here, I have no doubt that we shall accomplish the task before us with great success,” he added.
In his remarks, a representative of the United Nations Office in West Africa (UNOWA), Mr. Peter Sampson, acknowledged the “enormous mediation knowledge” within ECOWAS, ranging from negotiation of cease-fires and brokering peace agreements, to setting up national dialogue processes, and addressing unconstitutional challenges to power.
He affirmed the support of the UN and other partners to the creation of the MFD, adding: “we are not here to give lessons or look at how we can transplant our experience onto ECOWAS,” but rather, to share experiences.
Other speakers, including Dr. Katia Papagianni, HD director, Dr. Jibrin Ibrahim of the West African Civil Society Forum (WACSOF), and Mrs. Nana Asantwea Afadzinu, Executive Director of the West African Civil Society Institute (WACSI), all commended the idea of the MFD within the ECOWAS Commission and pledged their organizations’ support.
On behalf of the ECOWAS Council of the Wise, Honourable Leopold Ouedraogo commended the Commission for the MFD project and other initiatives in promoting regional peace and security.
The establishment of the MFD is part of ECOWAS’ determined efforts to strengthen its mediation architecture for the sustenance of peace and security in the region. The workshop is to assist in elaborating the human capacity, technical and financial requirements for the Division in the short to medium term, and propose a resource mobilization strategy.
The Division is expected to establish a Mediation Resource Centre and ensure capacity building in mediation including by facilitating the creation of a database of resource persons and issues in mediation, developing modules for mediation training, organizing workshops/seminars/conferences for mediations resources and facilitating exchange programmes for mediation resources.
The Office of the ECOWAS Commissioner in charge of Political Affairs, Peace and Security, draws its mandate from the provisions of the Revised ECOWAS Treaty (1993) and its derivative Protocols, in particular, the Protocol on Conflict Prevention, Management, Resolution, Peacekeeping and Security also known as the Mechanism (1999).
Food and nutrition security expected to improve through March 2013
The Tuareg peoples – or alternatively, the Kel Tamasheq – are a territorially concentrated, mostly nomadic Berber ethnic group in the desert regions of northeastern Mali, southern Algeria, western Niger and parts of Libya and Burkina-Faso (See Appendix, Figure 1). There are approximately 500,000 Kel Tamasheq in Mali, and various factions of this population have revolted against the central government in Bamako four times since independence. The first of these uprisings occurred in 1963-64, and have been followed by armed conflicts from 1990-96, 2006-09, and since January 2012. Consistent with the first, second, fourth and fifth of Edward Azar’s propositions for social conflict, the first three rebellions were intrastate conflicts motivated by attempts to secure greater autonomy within the Malian state due to security issues stemming from socioeconomic marginalisation and threats to Kel Tamasheq identity. Gurr’s invocation of Huntington’s assertion that ethnic conflicts are likely to occur along civilisational fault lines also appears germane to both the current and past ethnic conflicts in Mali.
Period covered by this Ops Update: 15 October 2012 – 31 October 2012-10-31 Appeal target (current): This Emergency Appeal seeks CHF 1,119,000 in cash, kind, or services to support the Lesotho Red Cross Society to assist 8,000 beneficiaries (1,600 households) for 9 months, and will be completed by July, 2013.
Appeal coverage: 0%; Appeal history:
• An Emergency Appeal was launched on 15 October, 2012.
• CHF 100,000 was allocated from the IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support the National Society to start up activities and be able to provide immediate assistance. Unearmarked funds to repay DREF are encouraged.
• This operations update provides further information on the situation and the needs that were given in the Emergency Appeal document as a result of the Household Economic Survey (HES) workshop which was facilitated from 16 – 20 October by a HES specialist, provided by the British Red Cross.
Summary: Agricultural production has dramatically decreased across Lesotho in recent months and severe food insecurity is affecting all ten districts of the country, including the mountainous areas, the foothills and the lowlands. More than 725,000 people are at serious risk of food insecurity. This year’s crop failures follow poor harvests last year, and the two consecutive years of reduced crop yields have increased the vulnerability of many of the country’s poorest farmers. While food insecurity and chronic vulnerability to hunger are unfortunately common in rural Lesotho, poor soil and the cumulative effect of the two bad harvests have pushed people into negative coping strategies and many have resorted to selling assets, taking children out of school and reducing meals.
The sharp reduction in agricultural yields has also been exacerbated by repeated flooding, late rains and early frost in mountainous regions. The situation is compounded by the fact that Lesotho has the third highest HIV prevalence rate in the world at 23.5%. Adequate and nutritious food is critical for these people.
Populations affected by natural disasters and complex emergencies experience diverse public health impacts, often complicated by population displacement and the disruption of basic services. Supporting a wide range of health interventions, including life-saving medical assistance, immunization campaigns, disease surveillance systems, vector-control activities, and capacity-building trainings for national health workers, USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) remains at the forefront of the humanitarian community’s efforts to mitigate mortality and morbidity during crises. Recognizing the inextricable link between health and other core humanitarian sectors, particularly nutrition and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH), USAID/OFDA supports integrated programs to simultaneously address multiple determinants of poor health in emergencies. USAID/OFDA provided approximately $95 million in Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 funding to help mitigate and prevent the health impacts of natural and manmade crises. Assistance included nearly $90 million for health interventions in 15 countries and more than $4.5 million for global and regional health initiatives.
Water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) programs often represent vital components of USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) responses to rapid-onset disasters and complex emergencies, as disaster-affected populations are more susceptible to illness and death from waterborne and communicable diseases. WASH interventions often include latrine construction, hand-washing promotion, sanitation education programs, and the provision of safe drinking water. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2012, USAID/OFDA provided more than $100 million for WASH programs in 29 countries. USAID/OFDA also links emergency activities with transition and development programs funded by other offices in USAID and incorporates institutional partners—such as local governments—in program planning and implementation to promote sustainability.
Food Security Conditions Stable Despite Flooding
Food security conditions to deteriorate as the lean season begins
Although food insecurity conditions in most parts of the region have remained Minimal (IPC Phase 1) since the beginning of the consumption period, conditions are expected to deteriorate over the next six months with the start of the lean season in October.
Food access continues to be constrained in southern Malawi, south-western Zimbabwe, and southern Mozambique. Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food insecurity conditions continue to persist at the household level in all these areas.
While farmers are now preparing for the upcoming agricultural season, normal to below-normal rainfall in the 2012/13 season has been forecasted in many of the southern parts of the region. If these forecasts are realized, it is likely that the same areas that experienced prolonged dry spells during the 2011/12 season may be impacted again during the upcoming 2012/13 season.
The food security situation in the eastern part of the country remains stressed
Southeast border pastoralists and urban households still in Crisis
• Around 70,000 vulnerable populations in rural areas are currently at Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) levels of food insecurity, and household food deficits in many areas of the northwest and southeast are met by WFP’s food assistance programs.
• During the October 2012 to March 2013 scenario period, households in the Northwest pastoral zone will maintain Stressed (IPC Phase 2) levels of acute food insecurity, supported by continuous food assistance and improved livestock productivities. Although the Karan/Karma rains were generally favorable, dependence on food assistance remains high and more than 60 percent of household food supply is still provided by food assistance.
• In the Southeast pastoral border livelihood zone, households are marginally able to meet minimum food needs only through accelerated depletion of livelihood assets and adoption of unsustainable coping strategies such as charcoal sales. Households in this zone are expected to remain at Crisis levels (IPC Phase 3) throughout the Outlook period. Households in the Central pastoral livelihood zone and the Southeast roadside sub-zone are expected to remain at Stressed levels through the scenario period.
• In urban areas of Djibouti City, food insecurity is driven by high prices of basic commodities during a time of year when expenses are high. Poor urban households are expected to remain at Crisis levels of acute food insecurity until the end of the year and to return to Stressed levels from January to March, as household expenditures on non-food items seasonably decline.