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ReliefWeb - Updates

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    Source: World Food Programme
    Country: Mali

    Children are headed back to school in the desert city of Timbuktu as life gets back to normal after conflict in northern Mali. The promise of a daily, nutritious meal helps to fill the classrooms—particularly among girls, who might not otherwise be allowed to come. The fighting left northern Mali exposed to widespread malnutrition, a problem which food assistance programmes like school meals can help to address.

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    Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
    Country: Senegal

    Good rebound in rainfall favors an average to good harvest.


    • The rebound in seasonal rainfall in late July helped jumpstart cropping activities in major peanut and cereal producing areas in the central reaches of the country, as well as in the north. Good planting rates of over 70 percent favor a good harvest assuming that weather forecasts predicting likely continued rainfall into October prove accurate.
    • Stable prices and, availability (though limited) of on-farm food stocks are maintaining staple food access. There are no major anomalies in sources of household income, which are generating normal earnings, providing households with average purchasing power.
    • Stable staple food prices, normal income-generating activities, and improving incomes among pastoral households will keep household food insecurity at Minimal levels (IPC Phase 1) through December, particularly with the upcoming harvests beginning in October.

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    Source: US Agency for International Development
    Country: Senegal

    BioReclam is a major activity being conducted with vulnerable women to provide them with access to land for producing food and earning income during the rainy season. The project works with Communities to allocate abandoned lands to vulnerable people, This land is being reclaimed using a package of innovative techniques and is used to produce lucrative, low maintenance crops rich in micronutrients such as Okra and Hibiscus (leaves and flowers). These crops/varieties are selected to be particularly rich in Iron and Zinc. Learn more about we are doing in Senegal.

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    Source: African Union
    Country: Mali

    Addis Ababa , 6 September 2013: The African Union (AU) received, on 4 September 2013 and amount of $ 1,000,000.00 (One Million US Dollars) from the Government of Sierra Leone, in honoring the pledge made by it s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Samura Kamara, on behalf of the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, H.E. Ernest Bai Koroma during the Donors’ conference on Mali, held in Addis Ababa, on 29 January 2013.

    Sierra Leone’s Permanent Representative to the African Union, Ambassador Andrew Gbebay Bangali, handed over the cheque to the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, Ambassador Ramtane Lamamra, who received it on behalf of the Chairperson of the Commission.

    The pledge was made in response to the request by AU Peace and Security Council (PSC), at its 341 st meeting, held on 13 November 2012, to the Chairperson of the Commission, to mobilize adequate support for the African-led international efforts to help resolve the multidimensional crisis in Mali.

    Sierra Leone joins other Afr ican countries and institutions, which include Gabon ($1m), Namibia ($1m), Nigeria ($5m) and CEN-SAD ($1m), which have already honored their pledges to the AU Trust Fund, which administers the financial support to AFISMA.

    The AU extends its deep appreciation to these countries and institutions and urges others to also honor their pledges to the Trust Fund.


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    Source: Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development
    Country: Niger

    ABALA [ACTED News] – Une vaste campagne de vaccinations des animaux a été lancée par ACTED en août 2013 dans le camp de réfugiés d’Abala, au Niger. En tant que gestionnaire du camp, ACTED a mis en place depuis 2012 un suivi épidémiologique du petit et du gros bétail que les réfugiés maliens ont pu apporter avec eux. La formation d’auxiliaires vétérinaires directement sur le camp (un par quartier, soit 5 au total) a aussi été menée et 1674 animaux, toutes espèces confondues, ont été vaccinés contre la pasteurellose, la peste des petits ruminants, et la clavelée. Ces animaux ont également reçu un traitement antiparasitaire. Ce projet est réalisé en partenariat avec le service vétérinaire de la ville d’Abala et Vétérinaires Sans Frontières et est soutenu par L’Agence des Nations unies pour les réfugiés.

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    Source: Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development
    Country: Niger

    ABALA [ACTED News] - ACTED a mis en place une formation professionnelle en mécanique auto et en couture pour 250 jeunes hommes et jeunes femmes, âgés de 15 à 40 ans dans le camp de réfugiés d’Abala, au Niger.

    La première phase de cette formation professionnelle s’est déroulée en août 2013. Pendant deux semaines, les 250 participants ont bénéficié de cours théoriques et pratiques visant à faciliter leur accès à l’emploi et leur intégration professionnelle dans les sociétés nigérienne et malienne. A l’issue de cette première phase de formation, les apprentis les plus motivés pourront intégrer des formations complémentaires et recevoir des kits professionnels spécialisés. Certains jeunes, qui exercent déjà ces métiers, seront également choisis pour être formateurs.

    « Mon souhait, c’est de continuer la formation car il me reste beaucoup pour comprendre la mécanique », a expliqué l’un des apprentis.

    Ce projet est soutenu par l’Agence des Nations unies pour les réfugiés.

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    Source: Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development
    Country: Niger

    ABALA [ACTED News] – ACTED a lancé une vaste campagne de formation des ménages à l’utilisation du gaz domestique en août 2013, dans le camp de réfugiés d’Abala, au Niger, à l’issue d’une phase pilote d’expérimentation de combustibles, qui a permis d’identifier le gaz domestique comme étant la source d’énergie de prédilection des ménages. Une formation sur l’utilisation à moindre risque du gaz domestique a donc été proposée aux 2757 ménages présents dans le camp.

    Les bénéficiaires se sont progressivement familiarisés avec cette source d’énergie, encadrés par les équipes d’ACTED. « Appuyez sur ce bouton puis ouvrez le gaz. Lâchez le bouton dès que le gaz s’allume », rappelle inlassablement le responsable formateur. Fatouma, une réfugiée du camp d’Abala, essaie, l’allumeur en main, de montrer au formateur ce qu’elle a appris. Sans hésiter, elle allume le gaz et se tourne vers lui, tout sourire. D’autres y arrivent après plusieurs essais, sous l’œil vigilant du responsable du projet d’ACTED qui s’assure que chaque utilisateur maîtrise parfaitement l’utilisation des bonbonnes de gaz.

    Ce projet a été mené grâce au soutien du Haut Commissariat des Nations Unies pour les Réfugies et de l’Ambassade de France au Niger.

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    Source: World Food Programme
    Country: Mali

    Through its rural development programme in southern Mali, WFP’s food- for-work activities help fight hunger in a region where chronic malnutrition rates are amongst the highest in the country.

    Souleymane Keita, 39, is feeling especially pleased. “This year the harvest will be good”, he says.

    Thanks to a WFP food- for- work project that helped to build a small dam in Ouelessebougou, in the Koulikoro region of Mali, he has been able to diversify his agricultural production.

    “Before, I was only cultivating millet”, he said. “The farmers of the region were heavily dependent on the rain. When the rainy season was poor, like in 2011, our families were starving. Now, we can better control the circumstances, and diversify our cultures. Thanks to the water retained by the dam, we are now growing paddy rice, potatoes, tomatoes and of course millet. We have also built a small fishing pound, so we can eat better. And we sell our products, which brings in money for the community.”

    Around 30 percent of the Koulikoro’s inhabitants suffer from chronic malnutrition. These are among the highest rates in the country, yet most of the cereals in Mali are produced in here in the south.

    “The lack of development keeps the people in a situation of high poverty”, explained Mahamadou Tanimoune, WFP Nutrition Officer in Mali. “People are spending most of their resources on one or two basic foods which are not enough to give them all the nutriments they would get from a more diverse diet.”

    WFP Mali’s rural development programme aims to assist communities in areas of chronic food insecurity. The programme is implemented through a food-for-work approach that mobilizes rural communities to undertake high intensity labor in exchange for food.

    The assets created benefit the whole community and improves agricultural productivity. This way WFP helps people meet their immediate food needs while enabling them to increase their self-sufficiency in the longer term.

    Forty-seven people have been working on this project. In exchange of their work they receive two kilograms of dry food rations of millet and rice per person per day. Food distributions are organized on a weekly basis by WFP’s implementing partner REACH Italia.

    “The dam had countless benefits for our community”, said Souleymane. “The project is a good incentive for young men of the village to stay here instead of leaving for bigger cities to find a job. Now they want to continue helping their families from here, they have new ambitions.”

    Around 2,000 people live in Ouelessebougou, where the dam provides a new boost to the local economy. On the banks of the dam, villagers are also experimenting with new crops.

    For Aminata, who sells the community’s produce on the local market, these novelties will help fight poverty.

    “Moringa is a vegetable that contains lots of vitamins, minerals and proteins,” she explained. “It sells at a high price on the local market. The leaves are used in traditional medicine. Baobab is also well-known throughout Mali for its capacity to treat inflammations, and is used in many traditional recipes. We can also produce baobab honey and earn a good income from it.”

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    Source: REACH
    Country: Somalia


    In Somalia, identified gaps in shelter, health, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), as well as in protection data, are hindering effective, coordinated and, most importantly, accountable delivery of assistance to internally displaced persons (IDPs). Recognizing the lack of centralised and integrated datasets on IDP settlements in South Central Somalia, REACH is developing a more uniform process to enhance the accountability, targeting, and effectiveness of humanitarian programming in South Central Somalia. This will improve the quality, availability and accessibility of information relating to IDP infrastructure and services in IDP camps for humanitarian actors. Following discussions with the Inter-Cluster, WASH and Shelter Cluster Coordinators, Doolow and Mogadishu have been identified as priority locations for conducting the IDP mapping exercise.

    In partnership with ACTED, REACH will map 9 camps using a combination of secondary and primary data collection. This will include a secondary data review, data collection from partner agencies, satellite mapping, remote sensing and enumerator observations of camps and household conditions. The assessment will result in the production of maps, factsheets and a final report for use by approximately 80 organisations including cluster members, United Nations agencies, NGOs and donors.


    This secondary data review summarizes information available on Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Mogadishu and Doolow. The analysis considers recent events and information from mapping/profiling that have impacted the humanitarian conditions faced by IDP’s in Mogadishu and Doolow. The review helps to build a good understanding of the humanitarian situation, developments and data gaps, in the IDP camps.

    The document aims to inform an assessment to support partners involved in the relocation plan of IDPs in Somalia. The relocation plan is linked to durable solutions for IDP’s, as such, key primary and relevant data is needed to inform policy and programmes.

    The secondary data has been gathered from a range of quantitative and qualitative national/international sources (position papers, needs analysis, humanitarian updates, mapping etc). Despite this, due to the complexities of the operating environments, many sources of secondary data are not available and unaccounted for.

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    Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
    Country: Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Togo

    1) The onset of the rainy season was delayed by more than four weeks across southeastern Sudan, northwestern Ethiopia, and southern Eritrea. This has delayed planting, reduced planting areas, and negatively impacted crops across the region. Though an increase in rainfall has been observed since the beginning of August, seasonal rainfall deficits have been sustained over many local areas.

    2) Frequent and above-average rains over the past several weeks have resulted in large rainfall surpluses across far western West Africa. Additional heavy rains are forecast across Guinea Conakry and southern Mali during the next outlook period. This could exacerbate ground conditions over many areas.

    3) Since June, an insufficient and poorly-distributed rainfall has led to large rainfall deficits across the Gulf of Guinea countries. The resulting dryness has reduced maize yields in Ghana and southern Togo and affected maize crops in southwestern Nigeria. Some relief is expected during the upcoming week, with increased shower activities.

    4) Heavy amounts of precipitation in late August led to flooding across northern Nigeria, and increased water discharges at the Kainji, Shiroro, and Jebba dams in the southern Kebbi, and Niger states of the country. This has elevated the risk for basin inundation along the Niger River for many local areas downstream.

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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo


    • 2013 has been a less damaging rainy season vis-à-vis floods and agricultural implications than 2012.

    • 323,396 people have been affected by floods this rainy season.

    • 30,445 people been displaced by floods this rainy season.

    • At least 34,000 Hectares of agricultural land have been destroyed by floods.

    • Delays in onset of the rainy season likely to have impact on agricultural yields unless rainfall increases in the next month.

    • 30-day rain deficits recorded in Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, Togo and Benin.

    • Damaging floods have occurred in nine countries in the region, most recently in Benin, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, and Senegal.

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    Source: World Bank
    Country: Burkina Faso, Honduras, Kyrgyzstan, Mali, Nicaragua, Uganda, World, Yemen, Zambia

    WASHINGTON, September 11, 2013—Partners in the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP), a multi-donor trust fund established in 2010 to improve food security in the world’s poorest countries, today announced the allocation of $254.5 million in grants to eight countries. The grants will support country-led initiatives to increase agricultural productivity, improve food and nutrition security, and reduce poverty in Burkina Faso, Honduras, Kyrgyz Republic, Mali, Nicaragua, Uganda, Yemen, and Zambia.

    International food prices have spiked three times in the last five years. With the outlook for future food pries uncertain, GAFSP seeks to improve food security and reduce poverty by delivering targeted financing for the agriculture sector in low-income countries. It takes up where emergency and recovery assistance leaves off, targeting transformative and lasting long-term development

    "Canada is proud that its investment of more than $250 million since 2010 has made a significant contribution to the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program's efforts to secure positive results in developing countries such as increased agricultural productivity, strengthened links between farmers and markets, and enhanced technical capacity of institutions to develop agricultural policies,” said the Honourable Christian Paradis, Canadian Minister of International Development. “Increasing food security is one of Canada’s priority international development themes and we are pleased to be part of this global partnership which promotes sustainable, country-led solutions to strengthen agriculture as a pathway to prosperity.”

    Including these new allocations, GAFSP has allocated $912 million to 25 countries and expects to improve the incomes and food security of over 10 million beneficiaries, mainly smallholder farmers and their families. The program is already having a large impact on the ground. For example, in Sierra Leone, where the agriculture sector contributes 40 percent to GDP, GAFSP support has already worked to rehabilitate 1,300 hectares of inland valley swamps and to increase access to rural financial services including creating 15 Financial Services Association and 4 community banks.

    “GAFSP provides merit-based financing that consistently produces high impact, sustainable results, focused on smallholder farmers in poor communities,” said Lael Brainard, U.S. Treasury Under Secretary for International Affairs. “It’s no surprise that demand for GAFSP's targeted assistance remains high, as evidenced by the record number of well-developed programs received this round. Given the importance of global food security, the United States is proud to support this innovative and successful program, and we ask that other nations increase their investment in GAFSP."

    The Steering Committee allocated new funds to the following country proposals:

    • In Burkina Faso, GAFSP funds totaling $37.1 million will increase agricultural production in the cereal, horticulture, livestock, and fish value chains in three food deficit regions.

    • In Honduras, GAFSP funds totaling $30.0 million to improve food security, under-nutrition and rural poverty in the most vulnerable area in Central America.

    • GAFSP has allocated an additional $21.5 million to the current GAFSP project in the Kyrgyz Republic. The funds will support the ongoing project rehabilitating irrigation and drainage systems, building the capacity of water user associations, and promoting a nutritional component.

    • In Mali, GAFSP funds totaling $37.2 million to support water control, improve farm productivity, and build capacity for local authorities and farmer organizations.

    • In Nicaragua, GAFSP funds totaling $33.9 million will focus on small producers, ethnic minorities, and value chains with growth potential in the impoverished Caribbean coast region of Nicaragua.

    • In Uganda, GAFSP funds totaling $27.6 million will support the government to link agriculture, nutrition, health and education through school-based demonstration gardens, nutrition education, and small gardens.

    • In Yemen, GAFSP funds totaling $36 million will strengthen community land and water management as well as enhance access to animal health services, higher value crops, and microenterprise.

    • In Zambia, GAFSP funds totaling $31.1 million will improve food production, develop value chains, and build capacity in districts with the highest levels of poverty and food insecurity.

    The successful country proposals were selected by the GAFSP Steering Committee from a very competitive pool of 20 complete proposals. The fund’s Steering Committee is comprised of members from donor and recipient countries, as well as representatives from civil society organizations, supervising entities, and other stakeholders. Successful country proposals demonstrated a high level of need, a supportive policy environment, and a comprehensive plan for agricultural development.

    “Smallholders are central players as both actors and beneficiaries in solving the food security problem,” said Uon Sophal, Chair of the Asian Farmers Association. “We are happy that GAFSP is channeling more resources to strengthening smallholder activities and smallholder-owned enterprises.”

    The countries awarded GASFP funding in previous rounds are: Bangladesh, Burundi, Cambodia, Ethiopia, The Gambia, Haiti, Kyrgyz Republic, Liberia, Malawi, Mongolia, Nepal, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tajikistan, Tanzania, and Togo.

    GAFSP was established in the wake of the food price crisis to fund long-term solutions that build resilience, put policies in place to help people cope with price volatility, and help avert future crises. To date, a total of $1.3 billion has been pledged to GAFSP by Australia, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Canada, Japan, Ireland, the Netherlands, South Korea, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States, with funds going to countries that have strategic, innovative and credible plans already in place to improve agricultural productivity and food security. United States has issued a funding challenge to match an additional $1 to GAFSP for every $2 contributed by other donors up to $475 million from the United States; in order to maximize the pledge, GAFSP needs to raise an additional $575 million from other donors.


    In Washington
    Amy Stilwell
    tel : (202) 458-4906

    In Washington
    Kimberly Parent
    tel : (202) 458-5623



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    Source: UN Children's Fund
    Country: Mali

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    Source: Society for Threatened Peoples
    Country: Algeria, Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger

    Mali, nine months after the beginning of the French military intervention (September 11):

    Göttingen, 10. September 2013

    Nine months after the beginning of the French military intervention in Mali, about 510,000 refugees are still waiting for the situation to become safe enough for them to return to their homes in the north of the country. On Tuesday, the Society for Threatened Peoples drew attention to the fate of these forgotten war refugees. "It is still uncertain when northern Mali might be safe enough from new attacks by Islamist extremists for the refugees to return home unharmed," reported the STP's Africa-consultant, Ulrich Delius. "The refugees desperately need more humanitarian assistance, for there is not enough support from abroad to keep up many of the support measures."

    The human rights organization criticized the disproportion between the costs for the French military intervention and the expenses for providing humanitarian assistance to the war refugees. The operation, which started on January 11, 2013, will cost France more than 400 million Euros by the end of the year. According to estimates by French military representatives, the deployment of a single French soldier causes annual costs of 100,000 Euros. The UN estimated that the humanitarian aid measures for Mail will cost about 359 million Euros. "However, only 34 percent of the amount have so far been covered by the donor countries," criticized Delius.

    Currently, there are about 334,000 war refugees from northern Mali living in the south of the country as IDPs. Another 75,000 Tuareg and members of other ethnic groups have escaped to neighboring Mauritania – and another 50,000 to Niger and Burkina Faso each. Around 1,500 Malians escaped to Algeria. "In the shadow of the Syrian crisis, these refugees are being ignored," said Delius. Surveys showed that 80 percent of them are hoping to be able to return to their home towns, but at least 60 percent of the people living in southern Mali as IDPs would not risk returning before next year – at the earliest.

    The refugees have little influence on the development in their home country. Only 4,000 refugees were able to vote in the Malian presidential elections in August 2013. The authorities still have serious problems trying to rebuild a functioning administration in the north of the country. Because of the uncertain security situation, even the officials are reluctant to return. France has promised a budget of 750,000 Euros to provide financial incentives in order to persuade them. Also, France was forced to postpone a withdrawal of the troops because it is uncertain if the UN peacekeeping force MINUSMA will be able to ensure safety.

    Ulrich Delius is available for further questions: +49 (0)551-49906-27.

    Translated by Robert Kurth

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    Source: European Commission Humanitarian Aid department, World Food Programme
    Country: Burkina Faso, Mali

    Blog - ECHO in the field

    12/9/2013 – OUAGADOUGOU, BURKINA FASO – les 21 et 22 août derniers, le Programme Alimentaire Mondial (PAM) a lancé la première distribution de vivres et d’argent au profit des réfugiés du site de Sag-Nioniogo, à une vingtaine de kilomètres de Ouagadougou, la capitale du Burkina Faso. Financée par une contribution du service d’Aide Humanitaire de la Commission Européenne (ECHO), il s’agit d’une opération en phase pilote qui pourra s’étendre progressivement au camp de réfugiés de Bobo-Dioulasso, ainsi qu’aux plus grands camps de Goudebo et Mentao dans la région du Sahel. Menée conjointement avec le Haut Commissariat des Nations unies pour les réfugiés (HCR), le gouvernement et des partenaires opérationnels, cette nouvelle initiative permettra aux réfugiés de répondre aussi bien à leurs besoins alimentaires qu’à d’autres besoins primaires.

    Dans le cadre de cette opération, la dotation habituelle en vivres de chaque bénéficiaire sera réduite de moitié pour le riz, le haricot et le CSB (un mélange de farine de maïs et de soja fortifiée) mais ils continueront à recevoir l’intégralité des rations de sel et d’huile végétale ainsi qu’une somme fixe d’argent. Le montant de l’argent par personne est évalué en fonction des prix des produits alimentaires du marché local. Sur cette base, les réfugiés régulièrement enregistrés recevront 3 500 FCFA (5,3 Euros) par personne et par mois, en plus des vivres.

    Ainsi, Safi Wallet Lamordi, mère de 5 enfants a reçu 21 000 FCFA (pour les 6 membres de sa famille), en plus des vivres. «Cet argent va me permettre d’offrir un petit déjeuner à mes enfants, d’acheter du lait notre aliment de base, de la viande, des condiments, du bois de chauffe, etc. En plus, j’aurai toujours de la liquidité par devers moi et n’aurai plus besoin de vendre une partie de mes objets pour acheter des condiments ou des denrées de première nécessité», a-t-elle déclaré.

    En ce qui concerne l’évaluation du coût du panier alimentaire, un suivi des prix du marché sera régulièrement fait. De même, un suivi après la distribution sera réalisé deux semaines après la première distribution d’argent pour appréhender essentiellement la satisfaction des bénéficiaires et l’usage fait de l’assistance. Les résultats de cette évaluation permettront d’étendre éventuellement l’opération aux autres camps de réfugiés du Burkina et de faire des ajustements, si nécessaire.

    Stimuler l’économie locale

    Le PAM livre chaque année des centaines de milliers de tonnes de produits alimentaires, mais de plus en plus, il distribue de l’argent ou des bons à ceux qui ont faim leur permettant ainsi de se procurer les vivres dont ils ont besoin. Avant la mise en place du projet au Burkina Faso, une rencontre de sensibilisation a eu lieu au dit camp avec les chefs de groupe des réfugiés, en présence d’acteurs humanitaires partenaires concernés par la prise en charge des réfugiés, à savoir : le PAM, le HCR, la Croix Rouge Burkinabè, l’ONG Urgence Internationale pour l’Aide au Développement (IEDA Relief), la Société burkinabè de micro-finance (MICROFI) et la Commission Nationale pour les Réfugiés (CONAREF). Cette rencontre a permis d’expliquer aux réfugiés les raisons de cette nouvelle initiative, de transmettre les messages clés et d’échanger pour avoir une compréhension claire et uniforme du processus de paiement du cash.

    Pendant les deux premiers jours de distribution, plus de 15 000 Euros, soit environ 10 000 000 FCFA, ont été distribués aux réfugiés du camp de Sag-Nioniogo. Cet argent sera injecté dans les marchés des localités proches du camp et contribuera ainsi à dynamiser l’économie locale. En effet, un petit marché existe au niveau du camp où les réfugiés peuvent acheter de la viande, du poisson sec, du lait, des épices, des condiments, etc.

    Le jour de la distribution, deux femmes peulhs des villages environnants ont, en un rien de temps, vendu toute la quantité de lait qu’elles sont venues proposer aux réfugiés et attendaient, les calebasses vides, d’être payées. «Les affaires sont bonnes. Les réfugiés ont tout acheté à crédit et nous attendons maintenant qu’ils viennent nous payer après la distribution», a dit Assaïtou Diallo, l’une d’elles.

    «Tout comme l’opération de distribution de coupons initiée par le PAM en 2009 au profit des ménages vulnérables de Ouagadougou et de Bobo-Dioulasso pour leur permettre de faire face à la flambée des prix à l’époque, nous espérons que cette nouvelle initiative qui est la première du genre au profit des réfugiés maliens en Afrique de l’Ouest connaîtra également tout le succès escompté», a déclaré M. Mamadou Diouf, Directeur Adjoint, chargé du bureau du PAM .

    Par Célestine Ouedraogo, Programme Alimentaire Mondiale

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    Source: British Broadcasting Corporation
    Country: Mali

    Malian government forces have clashed with separatist Tuareg rebels in the first fighting since the two sides signed a peace accord in June.

    Read the full report from the BBC.

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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    09/12/2013 14:46 GMT

    Par Serge DANIEL avec Sébastien RIEUSSEC

    BAMAKO, 12 septembre 2013 (AFP) - La rébellion touareg a accusé jeudi l'armée malienne de l'avoir attaquée dans le nord-ouest du Mali, premier accroc aux accords de paix signés en juin entre le gouvernement et les Touareg.

    A Bamako, l'armée a minimisé l'incident, évoquant un simple accrochage avec des "bandits" armés lors d'une opération de "sécurisation", alors que le pays se remet lentement de l'occupation de la moitié nord de son territoire par les rebelles touareg et des groupes jihadistes armés.

    Cet affrontement intervient à une semaine de l'investiture officielle du nouveau président malien, cérémonie hautement symbolique à laquelle doivent participer plusieurs chefs d'Etats étrangers, dont le président français François Hollande.

    Selon le vice-président du Mouvement national de libération de l'Azawad, Mahamadou Djeri Maïga, l'incident s'est produit mercredi dans la région de Léré, près de la frontière mauritanienne.

    Plusieurs militaires maliens ont été tués et deux hommes du MNLA, principal mouvement de la rébellion touareg, blessés, a-t-il affirmé à l'AFP.

    "Nous avions demandé aux combattants qui ont des armes de poing de se regrouper pour un cantonnement. L'armée en a profité pour les attaquer et, selon nos informations, d'autres attaques se préparent", a expliqué M. Maïga.

    Du côté de Bamako, le porte-parole de l'armée, le lieutenant-colonel Souleymane Maïga, a reconnu qu'un accrochage s'était produit avec "des bandits" mais il a nié tout affrontement entre soldats réguliers et combattants touareg.

    Le porte-parole a évoqué de simples "échanges de coups de feu", la capture d'"une dizaine de bandits armés" et des blessures légères chez deux soldats lors d'une opération de "sécurisation des personnes et des biens vers Léré".

    "Nous n'avons pas eu en face des combattants du MNLA. Nous avons eu en face des bandits armés qui empêchaient les populations de vivre", a-t-il assuré.

    Le lieutenant-colonel Maïga a fait état de deux militaires "légèrement blessés", et le porte-parole du ministère de la Défense, le lieutenant-colonel Diarran Koné, de trois militaires blessés légers et trois morts dans le camp adverse.

    Selon le porte-parole militaire, "une dizaine de bandits armés" ont été arrêtés et sont en route pour Bamako.

    Un accrochage a été confirmé à l'AFP par une source militaire africaine et une source humanitaire qui ignoraient toutefois l'identité des hommes armés impliqués.

    Pour le vice-président du MNLA, l'incident fait peser une menace sur l'accord passé avec le gouvernement, un facteur clé de la réconciliation nationale dont le nouveau président malien, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, élu en août, a fait sa priorité.

    "Nous adressons un message aux autorités maliennes pour la cessation des arrestations, la libération des prisonniers et surtout pour le respect de l'accord de Ouagadougou", a lancé le vice-président du MNLA.

    "Nous, nous sommes dans la logique de cet accord. Nous ne voulons pas nous lancer dans un conflit parce que nous voulons respecter notre parole", a-t-il dit.

    Mais "si les attaques se poursuivent, nous prendrons tous les risques sur les positions de l'armée", a-t-il mis en garde.

    Le MNLA, et un autre mouvement rebelle touareg, le Haut conseil pour l'unité de l'Azawad (HCUA), ont signé le 18 juin à Ouagadougou un accord de paix avec Bamako.

    Cet accord visait à permettre la tenue de la présidentielle de juillet-aout à Kidal, ville du nord-est du Mali restée sous contrôle de Touareg malgré l'intervention française qui a chassé les djihadistes qui occupaient depuis le printemps 2012 la moitié nord du pays.

    L'accord prévoit un cessez-le-feu, un retour progressif des forces maliennes à Kidal et un cantonnement des combattants rebelles touareg sur des sites de regroupement.

    Le nord du Mali a été occupé une grande partie de 2012 par des groupes islamistes armés, alliés à Al-Qaida, qui s'étaient dans un premier temps alliés aux touareg avant de les évincer.

    Les jihadistes ont été chassés à leur tour à partir de janvier 2013 par l'intervention militaire dirigée par la France, l'ancienne puissance coloniale, toujours en cours.

    Cette pacification a permis l'élection du président Keïta qui a prêté serment le 4 septembre et doit être investi jeudi prochain.

    L'armée malienne a nié que l'opération lancée cette semaine ait un rapport avec le calendrier politique.

    "Il y a des cas de vols de bétails signalés, des coupeurs de route également. Il faut sécuriser les populations", a commenté le lieutenant-colonel Maïga, assurant que "les patrouilles n'ont rien à voir avec l'investiture du 19 septembre".


    © 1994-2013 Agence France-Presse

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    Source: IRIN
    Country: Mali, Niger

    NIAMEY, 12 September 2013 (IRIN) - The takeover of northern Mali by Islamist rebels after a 2012 coup, and the subsequent French-led intervention, have widened fears of a spill-over of insurgency in the region. Niger, which has socio-political problems comparable to those of Mali, is battling to secure its territory from militants still operating in Sahel’s remote wilderness.

    Insecurity is an ever-present threat. The country suffered twin attacks on 23 May, when assailants struck a military base and a French-run uranium mine in the north, killing dozens.

    Mokhtar Belmokhtar, a prominent and long-time Sahel jihadist who had claimed responsibility for the Algerian gas plant attack in January, said his fighters were behind the strikes. The Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), which had operated in northern Mali before being dislodged by the French military, also claimed responsibility.

    Bolstering security

    Niamey has been working to bolster its security strategy.

    In October 2012, it launched a five-year US$2.5 billion plan to secure and develop its northern region, whose residents, especially the Tuareg, say they have been marginalized. As in neighbouring Mali, the Tuareg in northern Niger have carried out a series of rebellions demanding autonomy, social and political inclusion, and the development of their homeland.

    The country has also introduced legal reforms, enacting anti-terrorism legislation, setting up a special team of lawyers and security officers to work with the government on terrorism matters, upgrading military hardware, and cooperating with France and the US on security. US drones began operating in Niger in December 2012. Nigerien troops are also being trained by their American and French counterparts.

    “Niger has shown not only political commitment, but a certain level of coherence in dealing with the threat of terrorism,” David Zounmenou, senior researcher on West Africa at the Institute for Security Studies (ISS), told IRIN.

    Niger, an impoverished Sahel nation prone to droughts and food scarcity, also faces additional threats from Boko Haram insurgents in Nigeria to the south and from militias in the north suspected to be operating in southern Libya, analysts say.

    Politically, Niger has worked to improve the inclusion of its Tuareg population to end the cycles of insurgency.

    Failed unity coalition

    During Niger’s 3 August independence day celebration, President Issoufou Mahamadou called for the formation of a national unity government, part of a political cohesion plan he sees as crucial to dealing with the country’s security threats. However, a subsequent cabinet shake-up has cost his ruling coalition the support of its main ally, who quit in protest of the seats it was allocated in the new government set-up.

    “In terms of security plans, it certainly weakens the national consensus that has prevailed thus far in Niger. Institutional consensus has been the backbone of the response mechanism to offset the spill-over of the insurgency in Mali and to manage successive attacks,” said Zounmenou.

    But West Africa political analyst Kamissa Camara says the political disagreements have little bearing on Niger’s security worries.

    “The political fall-out is more indicative of the superficial political arrangements made before the second round of the 2011 presidential elections and the ensuing struggle for influence between two complementary but oxymoronic political figures,” Camara said, referring to the president and Hama Amadou, the leader of his coalition’s main ally.

    Other threats

    In addition to its security worries, Mahamdou’s government, which came to power in 2011 after a brief period of instability, is struggling to better the lives of citizens, the bulk of whom are living in extreme poverty. The country sits at the bottom of the UN Human Development Index.

    Although the government is making improvements in sectors such as health, education and agriculture, some 85 percent of Nigeriens survive on less than US$2 a day. Around 2.9 million people currently face food shortages.

    Natural disasters and recurrent food shortages are greater threats to many Nigeriens than security fears, say analysts. The country recently appealed for help following devastation by floods that have killed two dozen people and left some 75,000 others homeless.

    Niger has the world’s largest uranium reserves, but receipts from uranium mining have made little impact on the lives of many Nigeriens. And while the country began pumping its first oil in early 2011, it was later was forced to cut back its budget due to poor revenue. The shortfalls could impact Niger’s security budget.

    “An intense focus on security could affect Niger’s budget spending on other strategic sectors. The defence budget more than doubled in 2012, although it’s still behind the health and education expenditure,” said Jean-Hervé Jezequel, a senior analyst with the International Crisis Group.

    “The risk is that [expenditure] on social assistance programmes could increasingly be adjusted depending on security concerns, and it is doubtful that this will be to the benefit of the Nigerien population as a whole,” Jezequel told IRIN.


    When Islamist rebels began advancing on Mali’s capital in January this year, Niger supported the French intervention. It has also sent some 900 soldiers as part of the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali. However, there are concerns that its stance in the Mali crisis and its security cooperation with Western countries could stoke extremist militia threats.

    “As Islam is dominant in our country, it is easy for these forces of evil to infiltrate Nigerien youths,” noted Zarami Abba Kiari, the ruling party’s deputy spokesman, who argued that the national unity government could forestall such risks.

    Insurgent groups have used Niger for their cross-border activities in Mali, Nigeria and Libya, and with light government presence in certain regions of Niger, the country risks becoming a safe haven and rear base for militant groups targeting other countries, like Chad and Algeria, that have largely expelled these groups from their territories, ISS reckons.

    “The structural complexities of Niger, illustrated by its vast desert, its arid territory, and the borders it shares with Algeria, Libya and Chad, are certainly contributing factors to these [security] threats,” Camara told IRIN.

    Weak governance, underdevelopment and poverty have created a breeding ground for militancy in West Africa and the Sahel, academics argue.

    “There is need for concrete response to [Niger’s] socio-economic problems. Young people are looking for jobs, effective health care, education… If they are not satisfied, this can provide them with a reason to join jihadist movements,” said ISS’s Zounmenou.


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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Central African Republic, Chad, Mali, Niger, Nigeria


    • Chad malaria cases hit emergency levels (The Guardian, 06/09/13)

    • Le HCR découvre des villages brûlés et désertés ; il y a des dizaines de milliers de déplacés dans le nord de la République centrafricaine (UNHCR, 06/09/13)

    • Sécurité alimentaire: la situation au Sahel continue d’inquiéter(Journal du Tchad, 06/09/13)

    • Inondation : le calvaire des N’Djaménois (N’Djamena Bi-Hebdo, 09/09/13)

    • Un vaccin contre la méningite A très efficace à grande échelle (AFP, 11/09/13)

    • Meningitis vaccine a "stunning" success (IRIN, 12/09/13)

    • Tchad: recrudescence du paludisme (Xinhua, 12/09/13)

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    Source: Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel
    Country: Burkina Faso, Chad, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal

    Les fortes précipitations enregistrées durant le mois d’août au Sahel ont permis d’atténuer les effets négatifs du démarrage tardif de la saison des pluies. Elles ont néanmoins occasionné des inondations dans diverses localités de la bande sahélienne.

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