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ReliefWeb - Updates

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    Source:  Refugees International
    Country:  Somalia

    There are currently 1.36 million Somalis displaced within their own country. These internally displaced persons (IDPs) face major protection challenges – including abuse and aid diversion by camp gatekeepers, as well as the threat of forced evictions. These vulnerabilities are not new to Somalia’s displaced population, but the context is changing. Refugees International recently conducted assessments of IDP settlements in Mogadishu and Hargeisa, Somaliland. In Mogadishu, security and stability is improving, and the election of a new president in September has generated cautious optimism throughout the capital. To the north, the relative stability of the self-declared autonomous region of Somaliland has primed it for long-term development opportunities. Unfortunately, while conditions in parts of Somalia are improving, the country’s internally displaced population is at risk of being left behind.

    MOGADISHU

    Overview

    In the year since Al Shabab, a United States-designated terrorist group, gave up control of the districts it held in Mogadishu, life in the city has improved. New businesses are popping up on every corner, local markets are buzzing with commercial activity, and there are traffic jams on the streets again. Certainly, serious risks and challenges remain. Al Shabab continues to carry out attacks, local political leaders and journalists are being targeted for assassination at an alarming rate, and highly localized and well-armed militias (with a diverse array of connections and motivations) have secured control over particular neighborhoods. But compared to the conditions when Refugees International last visited in October 2011, security and stability in the Somali capital have improved a great deal.

    Mogadishu’s displaced population, however, is not benefiting from the city’s current revival. The United Nations estimates that there are around 184,000 IDPs in the city, though the exact numbers are difficult to discern. Tens of thousands of displaced from southern Somalia arrived in Mogadishu last year, seeking refuge from famine and drought. They joined the many others who had been living in the city’s camps for years due to protracted food insecurity and repeated bouts of violent conflict. An untold number have been displaced multiple times.

    Though some camps are in better condition than others, the majority of IDPs live in dismal, slum-like settlements. All across Mogadishu, makeshift shelters constructed of twigs and sheets are crammed together only a few feet apart. Children play in areas strewn with debris and garbage. Through July, the UN Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) had raised about half a billion dollars for emergency relief throughout Somalia in 2012. Unfortunately, despite security improvements, there remain major challenges to delivering that relief in Mogadishu.


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    Source:  AlertNet
    Country:  Kenya, World, Zambia

    By Geoffrey Kamadi

    RONGAI, Kenya (AlertNet) - Small farmers across sub-Saharan Africa are turning to simple, affordable techniques to increase harvests and help them cope with climate extremes - from growing trees on their land, to keeping their soils healthy and making their own fertiliser.

    Read the full article on AlertNet


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    Source:  Famine Early Warning System Network
    Country:  Nigeria

    Widespread flooding across the country reduces crop production levels

    KEY MESSAGES

    • Widespread flooding peaked between September and mid-October across the country and was particularly severe in the north-central and coastal states. This flooding displaced over 1.3 million people and damaged several thousand hectares of cropland. To offset the impact of the flooding, the Government of Nigeria has indicated that it will provide flood-affected populations with early maturing seeds, fertilizer, and technical assistance to improve the potential of dry season activities, which will start in December.

    • The Boko Haram conflict has intensified in urban and rural areas of Borno and Yobe states. This conflict has displaced significant populations, restricted population movement, disrupted food inflow, and restricted agricultural activities. In these areas, displaced populations will be dependent on food assistance through December.

    • The harvest of major cereal crops, such as millet and maize, is currently underway. This harvest has improved household food availability and as a result, most households throughout the country will be food secure (IPC Phase 1) after the harvests. Government actions to increase dry season activities will also increase incomes and food availability starting in December, causing most households to continue to be food secure (IPC Phase 1) through March. However in the extreme northeast, the effects of the Boko Haram conflict will likely cause households to face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food insecurity from January to March.


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    Source:  UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country:  Chad, Central African Republic (the)

    I. LES TITRES
    • La crise alimentaire se termine mais la malnutrition persiste (MSF, 26 oct.)
    • Floods, locusts add to humanitarian challenges (IRIN, 26 Oct.)
    • UNHCR chief says his agency lacks cash to look after victims of conflict (The Guardian, 30 Oct.)
    • Analyse: Crise au Sahel – les leçons à tirer (IRIN, 29 oct.)
    • Les pays où il fait bon vivre quand on est une femme (jolpress.com, 29 oct.)
    • Centrafrique : rapatriement prochain de militaires tchadiens chargés de la sécurité du président Bozizé (RFI, 29 oct.)


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    • Tropical Storm Murjan brings heavy rains and flash flooding to northern Somalia.

    • Flooding continues across portions of Nigeria and Ghana as heavy rains impact the region.

    1) With seasonal rains ending and as vegetation dries out, locust swarms have formed in Chad and are expected to form in Niger and Mali. Swarms are expected to migrate towards the north as well as potentially into cropping areas in western/central Mali.

    2) Torrential, above-average rains forecast around the Lake Victoria region during the next week could cause isolated flash flooding damaging local infrastructure and negatively impacting cropping activities throughout Uganda, Kenya, northern Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi.

    Note: Map in 2 pages

    Country:  Somalia, Benin, Burundi, Chad, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Niger (the), Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Togo, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania (the)
    Source:  Famine Early Warning System Network

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    Source:  IFRC
    Country:  Malawi

    Period covered by this Ops Update: 15 October to 31 October 2012

    Appeal target (current): This Emergency Appeal seeks CHF 1,025,310 in cash, kind or services to support the Malawi Red Cross in delivering immediate assistance to 3,500 households (17,500 beneficiaries) for 9 months, and will be completed by the end of June 2013.

    Appeal coverage: 0%;

    Appeal history:

    • This Emergency Appeal was launched on 15 October, 2012.

    • Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF): No DREF allocation has so far been received, although CHF 100,000 was requested and has been approved.

    • An in country Household Economic Security (HES) workshop is currently ongoing (29 October – 2 November). The findings of the assessment and outcomes of the workshop will be covered in the next operations update.

    Summary: The June 2012 Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC) report highlights that 1.63 million people (of whom 277,000 are children) are at risk of food insecurity across Malawi for a period ranging between three to eight months.

    Administratively, most of the areas at risk are in the central and southern parts of the country including Balaka, Blantyre, Chikhwawa, Dedza, Machinga, Mangochi, Mulanje, Mwanza, Neno, Nsanje, Ntcheu, Phalombe, Salima, Thyolo, and Zomba. This operation will focus on immediate assistance to worst affected households in Nsanje and Chikhwawa, and may expand into Machina, Zomba and Phalombe, based on the findings of ongoing assessment

    MRCS is currently hosting a Household Economic Security (HES) specialist, supported by British Red Cross. The specialist is in the country for one week, facilitating a workshop with MRCS staff aimed at building capacity through robust analysis of existing food security information and identifying areas that need further specific food security assessment. The objective is to complement existing data focusing on areas where the national society can add value in reaching the most vulnerable. The workshop also aims to engage MRCS in addressing chronic food security challenges and strengthening the linkages between longer term programming including responses planned under the current emergency appeal (linking relief, recovery and development).

    To date, no funds have yet been received for this appeal.

    Donors are strongly urged to provide necessary support, as needs are critical and persistent. In particular, the window for preparing fields and planting new crops is short and needs to be capitalised on immediately to ensure food availability for families.


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    Source:  IRIN
    Country:  Somalia

    MOGADISHU/NAIROBI, 1 November 2012 (IRIN) - Already struggling to access sporadic humanitarian assistance, internally displaced people (IDPs) in the Somali capital Mogadishu are also facing eviction by returning landowners and unscrupulous camp "gatekeepers" who siphon away what little aid is received, a new report says.

    "When [insurgent group] Al-Shabab gave up control of the Somali capital, militia leaders, politicians and influential landowners re-consolidated their control over various parts of the city. This control extends to the displacement camps where international humanitarian assistance is directed," notes the report, Gatekeepers and Evictions: Somalia's Displaced Population at Risk, by Refugees International (RI).

    "On site, camp 'gatekeepers,' connected to these local powerbrokers through a complex network of influence, regularly demand a portion of the aid that displaced people receive as 'rent'."

    While some gatekeepers provide security in exchange for payment, others treat IDPs "as commodities for their own personal gain", the report says.

    Lack of management

    RI says the gatekeeper system emerged from "remote-control" service delivery, in which international humanitarian agencies provided assistance through local NGOs, during the years Mogadishu was highly dangerous to operate in.

    A June 2012 report by the UN Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea found that aid agencies working in Somalia "encountered a variety of sophisticated strategies to attract, control and divert humanitarian assistance". "The most pervasive and subtle of these involved the role of IDP camp managers and district officials as 'gatekeepers' to control physical access, manage aid resources and prevent effective monitoring of the use of aid," it found.

    Aid agencies say despite the withdrawal of Al-Shabab from Mogadishu in 2011, several militia groups continue to operate in the city. This insecurity and the lack of organizational structures within the camps continue to make it difficult to provide a steady stream of support.

    "Access to the IDPs remains difficult because of poor security, and humanitarian services are there but irregular. IDPs are coping by setting up bases in several settlements to access all services," Kilian Kleinschmidt, deputy humanitarian coordinator for the UN in Somalia, told IRIN.

    "One major shortcoming has been the lack of management and administrative structures within the IDP settlements, many of which are controlled by unscrupulous NGOs and gatekeepers, who may divert funds and supplies [intended for] the settlements. Some have even been known to set up fake camps, organizing for people to be there when aid agencies are visiting when in actual fact no one lives there," he said.

    Tough conditions

    "Our shelters, which we build ourselves, cannot even protect you from environmental factors like wind and sun, let alone provide our security. Besides this, it is overcrowded, and one is not even able to get enough space to cook or boil water," said Asha Ahmed, an IDP in Mogadishu.

    Healthcare in the camps is also hard to come by. "My womb is in critical condition after I gave birth to a dead infant earlier this year, and I am fearing that this may affect my other subsequent pregnancies," Amina Osman told IRIN.

    Thousands of IDPs recently demonstrated in Mogadishu to demand better service provision and housing.

    "The demonstration was about long-standing issues, and the IDPS are right to express their feelings. We hope that once the [political] transition comes to an end and the government falls into place, humanitarian issues will not be forgotten," Kleinschmidt said.

    "There needs to be a joint effort between line minsters, district commissioners, political leaders, humanitarians and other key stakeholders to ensure sustainable provision of services to the IDPs in Mogadishu."

    He stressed the need for proper policy on IDP settlements, without which humanitarian action would continue to be "sporadic and unpredictable".

    There are no concrete population statistics on the number of IDPs in Mogadishu, but a 2012 survey by the International Committee of the Red Crescent estimated that the number could be as high as 400,000, with 15 percent being urban poor originally from the city.

    "IDPs are living in very bad conditions with few humanitarian standards met. We had hoped that many would return after the end of the 2011 drought, but that has not really happened since many of the IDPs found livelihoods in the booming city," Kleinschmidt said.

    "When AMISOM [the African Union Mission in Somalia] took Afgooye [a town 25km west of Mogadishu] in February, many of the IDPs there moved to Mogadishu; many of them have joined the IDPs within and on the outskirts of the city."

    Better aid monitoring

    The RI report also highlights eviction as a major problem faced by Mogadishu IDPs.

    "As Mogadishu develops, businessmen, returning members of the Somali diaspora and government officials are all seeking to reclaim land where IDPs have settled," it states. "Both Somalia's new government and its donors must ensure that any urban planning and development takes into consideration the impact on IDPs."

    The report urges the UN and international NGOs to increase their presence in IDP camps and improve their monitoring of aid delivery, recommending that donor nations increase their funding for monitoring and evaluation. It also says the new Somali government "must hold local officials to account for the theft of aid and prevent any forced evictions of displaced persons or communities that violate international humanitarian law".

    Kleinschmidt noted that several UN agencies and international NGOs were increasing their presence within Somalia. He said 14 UN agencies and NGOs have started reorganizing one of the largest and most notorious IDP settlements, organizing the services’ shelters in a structured manner to promote ease of access.

    "Now that most of the city is fairly accessible, mapping of settlements and service provision is ongoing… while an interagency effort has begun profiling the city's IDP population to better understand who they are," he said.

    Improving security in the camps is also crucial for the expansion of humanitarian assistance. "Security is a precondition for the provision of services. We need stronger policing around the camps. AMISOM police is working with local police to address the issue of militias in the city who are responsible for insecurity. The return of the rule of law is crucial. UNDP's rule of law programme, in cooperation with the humanitarians, is trying to ensure that security in IDP settlements is provided by police,” he said.

    "The solution is not to pour more food and supplies [into the city] if they are not going to reach their intended beneficiaries but to change the security and governance paradigm," Kleinschmidt added.

    kr/hb/rz


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    Source:  Agence France-Presse
    Country:  Lesotho

    11/01/2012 16:33 GMT

    MASERU, Lesotho, Nov 01, 2012 (AFP) - The Lesotho government fears it may not raise enough cash to avert a pending food crisis caused by two successive crop failures, the head of the country's disaster management authority said Thursday.

    "We are far from reaching the amount required to bail the country out of the food crisis it's facing, we may not even get half of that money and we strongly appeal for more donors to assist us," said Mats'eliso Mojaki.

    The tiny mountainous country is trying to raise 1.8 billion maloti, or around $200 million it believes is needed to avert disaster caused by unfavourable weather.

    "We are in a dire situation and can only appeal to the international community to assist."

    Mojaki indicated that the country has not developed alternative plans in case they fail to get the entire amount.

    "At the present moment we do not have a plan B, but are however devising a long term prevention and adaptation plan.

    UNICEF Deputy Representative Naqib Safi described the situation as "dire"

    "More than two thirds of the country's population is facing a serious food crisis and we need assistance."

    Around 725,000 people out of a population of 1.8 million are said to be at serious risk this year and next.

    The kingdom relies on subsistence agriculture for income.

    tm/arb/rl


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    Source:  UN High Commissioner for Refugees
    Country:  Ethiopia, Somalia

    SHEDDER REFUGEE CAMP, Ethiopia, November 1 (UNHCR) – Seventeen-year-old Hodan's eyes sparkle with joy as she clutches her new English-Somali dictionary – a congratulatory gift from UNHCR on passing a national high school exam.

    She's one of 35 teenage refugee girls in Shedder and Awbare camps, near Jijiga in north-east Ethiopia, who recently passed the national exam to make it into Grade 11. An impressive 85 per cent of Hodan's classmates passed, triumphing over hardships that usually hold girls back in her traditional Somali society – and in the refugee camp she has called home for the last three years.

    "I have to help my mother," says Hodan. "I spend most of my time cooking, taking care of my brothers and sisters, cleaning our place. There is no time to do my homework during the daytime." When she does have time to study after finishing her chores, "it is already dark and there is no electricity in the camp."

    Undaunted, Hodan adds: "Sometimes I get up at two in the morning and light a candle to read my textbooks and write exercises."

    Against odds like those, fewer than 20 per cent of teenage girls were attending schools in the three refugee camps in Jijiga that host more than 41,000 Somali refugees. That was before UNHCR launched a special programme at the beginning of this year aimed at getting more girls to attend and stay in school. Since then female attendance has soared to 32 per cent.

    Even though education is free, families still struggle to pay for uniforms, books and supplies. If they have to make a choice, they educate their sons rather than their daughters.

    With support from the United Nations Foundation, the UN refugee agency began putting more books into refugee camp school libraries and hiring women teachers as role models and mentors. Girls got their own space in the schools where they could spend their breaks and do schoolwork.

    Even better bathrooms made a difference in boosting girls' attendance and classroom performance. In Shedder Camp, all 28 of the Grade 10 girls who sat for the national examination passed, and 75 out of the 76 male students.

    Another important ingredient of success was convincing parents and the rest of the community of the importance of educating girls. "We want to encourage more girls to continue studies," says Agnes Mukantwali, head of the UNHCR sub-office in Jijiga.

    Hodan, who fled the embattled Somali capital, Mogadishu, lives with her mother and five younger brothers and sisters. She says girls are often forced to drop out of school to get married at a tender age – often because desperately poor parents need the dowry money the daughters attract.

    "I am not yet married and hope to be able to complete the secondary school first," says Hodan.

    Mukantwali agrees that girls' education is essential. "If educated, refugee girls can change the life of the entire community – not only in the refugee camps, but also when they return to Somalia one day," she says. "These girls are the future of Somalia."

    The education project is now giving solar lanterns to all boys and girls in both camps in Grade 4 and above. For Hodan, it's a chance to study, do homework and read – even after the sun has gone down.

    "My dream is to get a scholarship and go to university to study computer sciences," she says. "Can you imagine a Somali female information technologies specialist? I want to prove that it is possible. I can do it."

    By Natalia Prokopchuk in Shedder Refugee Camp, Ethiopia


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  • 11/01/12--14:16: Mauritania needs water
  • Source:  United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR)
    Country:  Mauritania, Mali

    By David Tereshchuk *

    October 29, 2012—Few regions of the world are beset by as many intractable difficulties as the arid Sahel of northern Africa. And few Sahelian countries are as beset as badly as Mauritania, a nation twice the size of France.

    Across the region as a whole more than 18 million people face a food crisis in the wake of erratic weather that has brought appalling harvests and worsening water shortages since mid-2011.

    And now Mauritania is additionally suffering an outbreak of cholera.

    The situation is only deteriorating as this year’s rainy season sets in with heavy deluges, while clean drinking water is becoming increasingly scarcer. This will compound the already-deepening drought, which is considered to be the country’s worst for 15 years, with wells drying up and water flows being diverted from reservoirs and becoming heavily polluted. No headway can ever be made against a waterborne disease like cholera without access to clean potable water.

    UMCOR, the United Methodist Committee on Relief, has decided to step in—and in collaboration with the Canada-based international health charity GlobalMedic and the United Nations’ children’s program, UNICEF, it is helping to bring healthier water to Mauritania’s endangered communities.

    In especial need, and a particular target for the UMCOR-supported effort, are vulnerable Mauritanian families and the growing number of refugees who are flooding across the country’s eastern and southern borders from Mali. Not just drought conditions and starvation, but political instability and violence as well are now driving many Malians from their homes.

    The program will involve the purchase and distribution of water purification tablets known as “Aquatabs,” which kill the micro-organisms in water that cause cholera and also those that could bring typhoid and dysentery epidemics.

    Another vital tool is the PUR water-purifying powder, which families can pour into a bucket of unclean water; within 20 minutes the water can be strained though a filtering cloth and all its pathogens will have been destroyed by PUR’s active ingredients.

    UMCOR and its partners are providing 3.2 million Aquatabs, along with 330,000 packets or sachets of PUR.

    UNICEF’s representative in Mauritania, Lucia Elmi, has pointed out that Mauritania’s government has little capacity to address such issues, and that there are “too few” nongovernmental organizations—only 15—operating in the country. There is much gratitude for outside initiatives such as that taken by GlobalMedic, UMCOR, and UNICEF, working closely with agencies on the ground. “What is driving us all is saving lives,” said Elmi.

    “There is no doubt it will be difficult to reach children in a country this large and with populations so spread out,” Elmi added. “But all our responsibilities and mandates are to make sure every child counts. It is critical we respond now, especially to reach the poorest and most vulnerable, wherever they are.”

    Your gift to UMCOR International Disaster Response Advance #982450 will help communities in Mauritania and elsewhere counter the effects of waterborne diseases.


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    Source:  UN General Assembly
    Country:  World, Afghanistan, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo (the), Haiti, Liberia, Libya, Somalia, South Sudan (Republic of), Sudan (the), Syrian Arab Republic (the), Timor-Leste

    GA/SPD/516

    Sixty-seventh General Assembly
    Fourth Committee
    14th Meeting (AM)

    ‘Ambitious Experiment’ Begun 50 Years Ago Proceeds Unabated, As Multilateral Efforts Undergo Profound Change, Says Field Support Head

    Despite the low cost of peacekeeping, its rewards were very high, as evidenced by the decline of casualties in conflicts and the restoration of confidence for economic activities, the Fourth Committee heard today as it began its comprehensive review of peacekeeping operations, with briefings by the heads of the Departments of Peacekeeping Operations and Field Support.

    “Peacekeeping actually works,” Hervé Ladsous, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping said as he updated the Special Political and Decolonization Committee on his Department’s operations and strategy. Peacekeeping was the main tool in the broader architecture of international peace, he said, pointing out that the resources used by the international community for peacekeeping were a small part of the global defence expenditures.

    Highlighting the striking diversity of the missions deployed, he noted that a single model could not be applied to every single mission. Since 1948, there had been 67 operations, 16 of which were still deployed. Recognizing the strategic and dynamic character of peacekeeping, it was crucial to revise the design and configuration of the operations in as flexible a way as necessary.

    Even in the most challenging environments, he said, peacekeeping could respond, with Member State support. Last April, the Security Council had requested a mission to be deployed to Syria at extremely short notice. Despite the tight timelines and uncertain conditions, a wide range of troop-contributing countries had promptly offered personnel, following which observers from 60 countries were quickly deployed and operations commenced.

    Though the mission’s mandate had not been renewed due to difficult conditions, United Nations peacekeeping remained ready to support the efforts of Joint Special Representative Lakhdar Brahimi in bringing peace and stability to that region.

    The Department had also achieved tangible results in such operations as the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT), where, following the peaceful and orderly conduct of two rounds of presidential elections and the parliamentary elections, the mission was expected to move towards closure by the end of the year. On the other hand, grave challenges to peace operations remained, he said, citing as one example the ongoing conflict between Government and opposition forces in Darfur, increased criminality and banditry, and restlessness among militia. Close to one-third of all peacekeeping troops were currently deployed in Sudan, South Sudan, and Abyei, he noted.

    Among the biggest priorities of the Department in the year ahead, he said, was the introduction of an overarching quality assurance framework, supported by guidance and training, as a means to improve performance while also enhancing safety and security. The Department would also focus on boosting civilian capabilities, in particular, concerning the rule of law and security institutions.

    Clarifying the role of peacekeepers in peacebuilding was another crucial task and one in which the Department had made significant progress, by using an early peacebuilding strategy and focusing on advancing security for laying the foundation for institutional strengthening. Further, the Department was putting in place more effective and efficient arrangements that would enable it to respond “flexibly and rapidly” to evolving needs.

    Multilateral efforts in peacekeeping were “undergoing profound change”, driven in no small part by the vision of the Fourth Committee, declared Ameerah Haq, addressing that body for the first time as Under-Secretary-General for Field Support. Endeavours to reach agreement in recent weeks had proven that the ambitious experiment of United Nations peacekeeping – a process of discovery initiated half a century ago – proceeded unabated.

    She highlighted three factors – economic, technological and managerial - that would push United Nations peace operations to the next stage of their evolution over the coming two to three years. Economically, there was a greater emphasis on efficiency and cost sensitivity, and a greater appreciation of the value of financial and human resources. Technologically, hitherto unimagined advances in communicating, planning and monitoring had rendered many existing practices obsolete. And management, for its part, was rightly recognized today as a science that should be informed by past experience.

    It was in that context that there would be improvement in services to the field, but also progress towards greater economies of scale and efficiency gains, she pledged. The relationship between results, implementation and resources underpinned everything that the Organization did, she said.

    Speaking of the year ahead, she anticipated several milestones in the evolution of support to peace operations, which would include taking stock of the Global Field Support Strategy and articulating the next phase of its implementation, continuing to break down barriers between the various United Nations entities concerned with peacekeeping efforts, and strengthening relationships with relevant regional and subregional organizations.

    Underscoring that the foremost concern in all of those efforts must be for the countries receiving assistance and for United Nations personnel, she recalled the 73 United Nations peacekeepers who had lost their lives in the past year, and the African Union peacekeepers in Somalia, who continued to suffer casualties with tragic frequency.

    The Fourth Committee will meet again at 10 a.m. on Friday, 2 November, to begin its general debate on the question of peacekeeping.


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    Source:  UN Security Council
    Country:  Somalia

    SC/10804

    Security Council
    6853rd Meeting (PM)

    The Security Council this afternoon, meeting briefly in the wake of the storm that paralysed New York City and closed United Nations Headquarters for three days, authorized the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) to maintain deployment until 7 November under the terms of its existing mandate.

    Unanimously adopting resolution 2072 (2012) under the Charter’s Chapter VII, the Council’s text noted the “exceptional circumstances” in New York City arising from Hurricane Sandy, and, recognizing the need for a short extension of the Mission, authorized it to take all necessary measures to carry out its mandate as set out in resolutions 1772 (2007) and 2036 (2012).

    Prior to its adoption, Council President Gert Rosenthal of Guatemala said that if the Council failed to approve “this rollover”, the Mission would be “left literally bereft of a mandate as of midnight”. Everyone had in their hands the provisional text, and once translated, they would have the final version, he said.

    The Council was meeting under very unusual circumstances, he said, expressing the solidarity of the 15-member body with the host city and country, given the “magnitude of the disaster”. His presidency was very disappointed that it had been unable to conclude its planned activities, such as the open debate scheduled for Monday on women and peace and security. It had also been impossible to convene the briefing scheduled for this morning. Having been unable to “wrap up” as planned, his colleagues from India, whose delegation held the next presidency, “will have a whole series of issues to deal with”, he said.

    United Nations Headquarters “has also been considerably damaged”, he told Council members. It had been very difficult to come together today. There were problems translating the text and he expected the coming handover of “the baton” to the Indian delegation would not be as smooth as usual.

    In some personal remarks before adjourning, Mr. Rosenthal noted that the residents in his building were without electricity and water, which was why he was in “battle dress”. What had been discovered through this event, he added, was that the world without Internet and electronic communications “just doesn’t work”.

    The meeting was called to order at 3:39 p.m. and ended at 3:44 p.m.

    Resolution

    The full text of resolution 2072 (2012) reads as follows:

    “The Security Council,

    “Recalling all its previous resolutions and statements of its President concerning the situation in Somalia, in particular resolutions 1772 (2007), 2010 (2011) and 2036 (2012),

    “Noting the exceptional circumstances in New York City arising from Hurricane Sandy,

    “Recognizing, in those exceptional circumstances, the need for a short extension of the mandate of the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM),

    “Determining that the situation in Somalia continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security in the region,

    “Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,

    “Decides to authorize the Member States of the African Union to maintain the deployment until 7 November 2012 of AMISOM, which shall be authorized to take all necessary measures to carry out its existing mandate as set out in paragraph 9 of resolution 1772 (2007) and paragraph 1 of resolution 2036 (2012).”

    For information media • not an official record


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    Source:  UN General Assembly
    Country:  World, Ethiopia, Iraq, Nepal

    GA/EF/3348

    Sixty-seventh General Assembly
    Second Committee
    18th & 19th Meetings (AM & PM)

    Also Debates Agricultural Development and Food Security

    The 2016 habitat world summit — Habitat III — should reinvigorate, at the highest political level, the global commitment to sustainable urban development through the accelerated implementation of a new “Urban Agenda for the 21st Century”, the Second Committee (Economic and Financial) was told today.

    Dr. Joan Clos, the Under Secretary General and Executive Director of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) told delegations that the Summit, which was called for by the General Assembly last year, should produce a focused, political outcome document with clear, measurable and time-bound goals, which were aligned to the sustainable development goals based on the outcome document of Rio+20 and also aligned to the post-2015 United Nations development agenda.

    As the Committee began its consideration of issues relating to UN-Habitat, Dr. Clos introduced two reports of the Secretary-General on the Implementation of the outcome of the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) and strengthening of UN-Habitat, which contains recommendations on preparations for the Conference, and one on the coordinated implementation of the Habitat Agenda. He underscored that the preparatory process leading up to the “World Summit on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development” (Habitat III) should be inclusive of all relevant stakeholders, especially local authorities and other Habitat agenda partners.

    Further, he recommended the Conference be organized at the highest possible level, which would include the participation of Heads of State and Government. He further proposed that its theme be “Sustainable Urban Development: the Future of Urbanization”. It was important not to underestimate communication advances, as social media was playing an increasing role in getting the message out, he said, highlighting that the use of Facebook and Twitter helped reach thousands of people during this year’s Sixth Session of the World Urban Forum.

    In closing, after touching on the progress made in organizational reforms, he urged the Committee to expedite discussion and adoption of the resolution on the scope and organization of Habitat III, so the preparatory process could start.

    In the discussion that followed, speakers outlined the challenges their countries faced with increasing urbanization and the need for strengthening UN-Habitat. The representative of India said, for example, that by 2050, with developing countries accounting for most of the change, the global urban population was likely to increase to 70 per cent. Over the last few decades, India had seen a massive shift in its population from rural to urban areas, and presently, Indian cities and towns constituted the world’s second largest urban system and contributed to half of the country’s gross domestic product. Within the next two decades, India was poised to have over 590 million people living in urban areas, producing more than 70 per cent of GDP (gross domestic product) and accounting for 70 per cent of the new employment created.

    That growth in urban economic activity required infrastructure support in the sectors of power, telecom, roads, water supply, sanitation, solid waste management and mass transportation, he said. In that respect, he called on international entities to contribute to further capitalization of the United Nations Habitat and Human Settlements Foundation, so as to enable UN-Habitat to provide more financial and seed capital support for slum upgrading and prevention.

    The representative of Myanmar, speaking on behalf of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), said that the world was witnessing the fastest urbanization in history, as 90 per cent of the world’s population in a little over a generation from now would be living in towns and cities. The main challenges facing cities and towns were unemployment, social and economic inequalities, unsustainable energy consumption patterns, urban sprawl, high percentages of people living in slums and high levels of vulnerability to natural disasters. Nowadays, approximately a quarter of urban residents — more than 850 million people — lived in slums, and 90 per cent of the world’s urban expansion was in developing countries. As the proportion of humanity living in the urban environment grows, so too does the need to strengthen the urban focus of efforts to reduce poverty and promote sustainable development, he said.

    Also, as the Committee was meeting for the first time this week following the devastating impact of Hurricane Sandy on the Caribbean and the East Coast of the United States, including major damage and flooding in New York and New Jersey, many delegations said the storm was relevant to today’s agenda item and a reminder of the need to ensure sustainable human settlements in the face of worsening climate change.

    The representative of Japan, for example, said her country had experience in disasters, including the devastating earthquake and tsunami last year, and therefore, she believed it to be her country’s duty to share with the international community its experience in disaster reduction and preparation. It was time to include disaster reduction in the mainstream agenda. Underlining the connection between strong disaster resilience and sustainable development, she said that was crucial to building future cities.

    She encouraged the international community to “gather our wisdom”, based on experiences and lessons learned from Rio+20, as well as the Habitat II Conference. She hoped that Habitat III would be handled in the most effective and efficient way possible, implementing a more holistic approach and integrating the participation of local and national Governments, as well as the private sector. The agenda should be based on assuring human security.

    Speakers included the representative of Algeria (for the Group of 77 developing countries and China), Antigua and Barbuda (for the Caribbean Community), Bangladesh, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, Turkey, China, Singapore, Morocco, Brazil, and Bahrain. A representative of the European Union delegation also spoke.

    At its afternoon meeting, the Committee began its consideration of its agenda item on agricultural development and food security. Nikhil Seth, Director, Division for Sustainable Development, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, introduced the Secretary-General’s related reports. Speakers on that issue included the representatives of Algeria (for the Group of 77 developing countries and China), the Russian Federation, Thailand (for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations), Nepal, Chile, Belarus, Mexico, Ukraine, Bolivia, Australia, India, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Singapore, China, Iraq, Canada, Germany and Ireland. A representative of the European Union delegation also spoke in the afternoon.

    Due to technicalities caused by the storm, the Committee cancelled its meeting previously scheduled for Friday, 2 November. The Committee will meet again at 10 a.m. Monday, 5 November, to continue its discussion on agricultural development and food security.


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    Rainfall Performance (26th Oct. to 1st Nov. 2012)

    • The last few days have seen a reduction of rainfall activities in the country. Only a few places in southern parts of Somalia recorded light to moderate rains within the last three days.

    • Currently observed river levels along the lower reaches of Shabelle River are at bank full level with a moderate risk of flooding. However, observed river levels along the Juba are stable with no risk of flooding.

    Rainfall Forecast (2nd to 8th Nov. 2012)

    • The forecast for the coming seven days indicates a reduction of rainfall activities in the northern parts of the country, while the southern and central parts are expected to continue receiving rains during the forecast period but with reduced intensity compared to the previous week.

    Country:  Somalia
    Source:  Food and Agriculture Organization

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    Source:  ECOWAS
    Country:  Mali

    N°: 293/2012 1 novembre 2012 [Abuja - Nigeria]

    Le président de la Commission de la CEDEAO, M. Kadré Désiré Ouédraogo, a souligné mardi à Abuja les progrès réalisés dans le processus de stabilisation de la transition au Mali et sollicité l’appui de la communauté internationale pour aider au déploiement d’une force africaine destinée à lutter contre les réseaux criminels sévissant dans le nord du pays.

    S’exprimant devant un groupe de partenaires techniques et financiers avec lesquels il échangeait sur les actions prioritaires de son institution, M. Ouédraogo a lié lesdits progrès à la facilitation du retour, le 27 juillet 2012, du président par Intérim, M. Dioncounda Traoré, et à la formation, le 20 août 2012, d’un gouvernement d’union nationale de 32 membres conformément à une décision des chefs d’Etat et de gouvernement de la CEDEAO.

    Il a ensuite évoqué la précarisation de la situation sécuritaire dans le Nord malien avec, notamment, l’enracinement et la consolidation des groupes rebelles et terroristes dans les zones occupées, la détérioration de la situation humanitaire, ainsi que les violations continues des droits humains et des libertés fondamentales.

    Compte tenu de la nature des menaces que cette situation pose pour la paix et la sécurité régionale et internationale, M. Ouédraogo a rappelé les différentes initiatives qui ont été menées et à tous les niveaux pour essayer d’impliquer la région, l’Union africaine, les pays du champ, les partenaires de la CEDEAO et la communauté internationale dans le processus gestion de la double crise.

    Il a rappelé les positions fermes et courageuses exprimées par la CEDEAO dans la gestion de cette crise en résumant les dernières recommandations de son Conseil de médiations et de sécurité (CMS) du 17 septembre 2012, à savoir que la priorité est accordée à la recherche d’une solution par le dialogue. A noter à cet égard que le CMS a demandé aux autorités de transition d’instituer un comité de négociation pour faciliter la négociation directe entre le gouvernement du Mali et la rébellion au nord.

    Le travail de planification se poursuivra avec l’Union africaine (UA) et les Nations unies et ce, en concertation avec d’autres partenaires tels que l’Union européenne (UE), la France, les Etats-Unis en vue de mettre au point une approche harmonisée par rapport à l’intervention militaire envisagée.

    Le président de la CEDEAO a ensuite expliqué la déclinaison des trois phases du concept stratégique d’intervention adopté par les chefs d’état-major des Etats membres de l’organisation, puis exprimé sa gratitude pour l’implication et l’accompagnement des partenaires de l’institution, notamment l’UA, l’UE, l’ONU, les USA et la France dans le processus de planification.

    Il a insisté sur un certain nombre de situations qui ont connu chacune une évolution positive avant de saluer l’adoption, le 12 octobre 2012, la résolution 2071 qui vient soutenir l’engagement de toute la communauté internationale dans la résolution de la crise et frayer un chemin pour l’autorisation d’un déploiement de forces au Mali sous le chapitre 7 de la Charte des Nations unies.

    M. Ouédraogo a aussi indiqué les grandes orientations issues de la réunion du 19 octobre 2012 à Bamako entre l’UA, l’ONU et la CEDEAO dont la finalité a été l’adoption du concept stratégique pour la résolution des crises au Mali. Le concept a été entériné par le Conseil de paix et de sécurité de l’Union africaine, tenu le 24 octobre 2012.

    Après avoir cité les nombreuses autres initiatives de son institution, en consultation avec les Nations unies et l’Union africaine, le président Ouédraogo a tenu à saluer l’accompagnement de tous les partenaires de la CEDEAO dans ce processus et sollicité encore leur appui dans la prise en compte des besoins formulés pour la réussite d’un déploiement, à savoir l’expertise requise en la matière, la logistique des opérations, les équipements ainsi que les coûts financiers et humanitaires inhérents.


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    Source:  ICRC
    Country:  Mali

    Many families in northern Mali have been hit doubly hard by the combination of the food crisis affecting the Sahel region and the armed conflict. They are driven far from home and their plight is alarming. ICRC President Peter Maurer, during his visit to Mali, calls for support for humanitarian efforts to help civilians.


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    Source:  UN High Commissioner for Refugees
    Country:  Mali, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Niger (the)

    This is a summary of what was said by the UNHCR spokesperson at today’s Palais des Nations press briefing in Geneva.

    New data from Mali is showing a higher number of internally displaced people than previously reported. According to the Commission on Population Movement in Mali, a working group under the Protection Cluster lead by UNHCR, at least 203,845 people are currently displaced. Previously, the estimate was 118,795 people.

    The revised figure reflects in part better access to areas in the north by the Commission, as well as improved counting of IDPs in Bamako, thanks to work done by IOM. There the number of displaced people was estimated at 46,000 as of September from 12,000 last June and July

    However, there have also been indications of actual new displacement, with people reported to be fleeing because of general insecurity and a deteriorating human rights situation in the north of the country, fear of imminent military activity, and because of loss of livelihoods and limited access to basic services.

    New refugee arrivals are also being seen in neighbouring countries: In Niger there were 3853 refugees in September and October, while in Burkina Faso last month there were 1000. For UNHCR and its partners, access to refugees is becoming more difficult in Niger, Burkina Faso and Mauritania. The risk of abductions of aid workers means that our teams have to travel with armed escorts. Frequent security alerts are limiting access to the camps and our ability to assist the refugees.

    In Burkina Faso, we have started voluntary relocation of Malian refugees from Ferrerio camp and Deou Tamachek site in the northern province of Oudalan, to a safer and improved site further south at Goudebou. Ferrerio hosts 9,700 refugees and Deou accommodates 2,100 refugees, and so far 400 people have been moved from these sites to Goudebou. A new convoy is scheduled to leave today carrying 200 refugees from Ferrerio. Additional relocation convoys are planned from other sites over the next weeks.

    Security is also a concern in Niger. Schools have not started yet in the camps as school structures are still being built. UNHCR fears that without schooling, children and adolescents may return to Mali where there is a risk of recruitment by various armed groups. A lack of funding for recreational and professional activities in the camps means that many refugees are not meaningfully occupied.

    To date, we have received 41.7 per cent of the US$153.7 million we required to assist the Malian refugees and IDPs.


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    Source:  Adeso
    Country:  Kenya

    Khamar Ali Aden is a young mother of three children, married at an early age—she is only 20 years-old and has been married for 5 years. Khamar’s 3 children are aged 5 years, 2 years and 1 year.

    Before the 2011 drought, Khamar’s household was rich by local standards as they owned a herd of 65 camels but, by the end of the drought, all but two had died. As a result, they were no longer able to support themselves hence she moved into Masalani town. When the cash relief project started, she was identified as a beneficiary because she was in dire need of food.

    When the cash was distributed, Khamar utilized the money for her basic food needs, detergents and milk and medicine for the children. “The money assisted me very much,’’ she said. “There were days I would spend sleepless nights wondering what I would give my children before the cash transfer. There were days I did not even light a fire in my house because I had nothing to cook. After the cash transfer I never slept hungry again, I became credit worthy because of the money from Adeso.”

    Khamar had surgery twice in the last two years due to difficulties during childbirth. As she was not able to pay the hospital bills, the hospital administration withheld her national ID until she could clear the outstanding balance. She has used part of the cash distributed by Adeso to settle her medical bills and has thus freed herself from what could have been a debilitating debt:

    “After surgery I went back home with no national ID, I couldn’t go anywhere, I feel liberated now.”

    In order to ensure a sustainable livelihood, she saves Kshs 300 (USD 3.50) every month through a merry-go-round scheme (revolving fund). At the end, the group—which includes 10 other women beneficiaries of Adeso’s cash relief project—had saved Kshs 3,000 (USD 35) to start a kiosk. This kind of investment is so important for generating sustainable income once the cash payments have ended. Khamar and others have used innovative aid to create their own innovative solutions to the challenges they face, and Adeso is proud to be at the forefront of removing barriers to empowerment.

    “Although the business is new and just picking up, if it were not for the cash transfer, I would not be where I am today. My business is only one month old but there are signs that it will grow. It is a new life for me,” Khamar says with a smile on her face.


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    Source:  Government of the Russian Federation
    Country:  Mali, Russian Federation (the)

    On 02.10.2012, at 10:37 a.m. pursuant to order of the Government of the Russian Federation an Emergency Ministry’s Il-76 took off from Ramenskoye airport to the Republic of Mali to provide humanitarian assistance to the people. The jet is carrying blankets, tents, tins, and cereals.

    Overall weight of the cargo amounts to 35.196 tons.


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    Source:  Catholic Agency for Overseas Development
    Country:  Niger (the), Mali

    We are deeply concerned that military intervention in Mali could cause a major humanitarian crisis.

    Earlier this year, Aminata Mohamed and her twin daughters were forced to flee from their village in northern Mali. “We feared violence by the rebels,” she says. “They robbed our villages, threatening the inhabitants and spreading terror among women.”

    Aminata is one of more than 300,000 people who have been forced from their homes by a rebellion in Mali by a loose coalition of Islamist groups. The Malian government, already reeling from a military coup, has struggled to respond.

    Today, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is proposing to take military action against the rebels, supported in principle by the Malian government, the United Nations and by other countries including France and the United States.

    We are deeply concerned that military intervention could force thousands more people like Aminata from their homes. Mali and other countries in the region are in the midst of a serious food crisis – and war could make a fragile situation even worse.

    Earlier this year, CAFOD’s Michel Monginda Mondengele led a team to villages in Niger where Malian refugees were seeking sanctuary. He says:

    “The conditions that the refugees were living in were very, very bad – the worst I’ve seen in Niger. People were living in the open air, exposed to the sandy wind blowing around. They were on the edge of a desert: there were no trees, no shrubs, nothing around that they could use to help them build shelter.

    “Most of them had been forced to leave in a hurry, so they hadn’t been able to bring anything with them. The Nigerien villagers were doing their best to help, but the refugees desperately needed food, water, medicine and basic goods like pots, pans and blankets.

    “Military intervention in Mali could force thousands more people to cross the border into Niger. The region they’d be arriving in is already suffering badly from the food crisis – and the rains failed there again this year, which is likely to mean another very poor harvest. It’s also an extremely tough area for humanitarian agencies to reach, because of the difficult security situation.

    “All parties involved in planning the military intervention should think hard about the devastating impact it could have on civilians. The situation for Malian refugees in Niger is already precarious, and if thousands more people cross the border, the needs will be overwhelming.”

    Thanks to your support, we’ve been working with our partner CADEV-Niger to provide food, healthcare and emergency supplies like tents, jerrycans, blankets and pots and pans to thousands of Malian refugees in Niger. Despite the challenges, we are ready to scale up our response if necessary.

    Nick Harrop
    Writer: Emergencies and Fundraising
    CAFOD | 020 7095 5479


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