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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Yemen


    • Strong winds and heavy rains in Puntland leave an unknown number of people dead and thousands affected.

    • Outlook for food security remains cautious in parts of Somalia due to erratic rains.

    • Humanitarian air service seeks urgent funding to maintain its support to humanitarian activities.

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    Source: ECOWAS
    Country: Mali

    N°: 323/2013

    19 November 2013 [Bamako - Mali]

    The ECOWAS Commission will present Mali with about half a million US dollars in food aid within the next few weeks to support populations adversely affected by that country’s political and security crises, ECOWAS Commissioner for Human Development and Gender, Dr. Adrienne Diop announced in Bamako on Monday 18th November 2013.

    In an address at a ceremony for the official deployment of twenty (20) members of the ECOWAS Emergency Response Team (EERT) in the country, the Commissioner said the food items, which include rice, were being procured with the facilitation of the World Food Programme (WFP).

    In the address read by Ambassador Tcheaka Toure, Special Representative of the ECOWAS Commission’s President to Mali, the Commissioner recalled that apart from mobilizing international, political and diplomatic efforts to resolve the Malian crises, the regional organization has also rallied international financial support for post-conflict reconstruction of the country.

    In April 2012, ECOWAS donated US$3 million dollars to Mali and another US$1.5 million to neighbouring Burkina Faso and Niger to support Malian populations displaced by the conflict.

    The Commissioner thanked UN organizations including the refugee agency, UNHCR,
    WFP, International Organization for Migration and other partners for their various contributions to the Commission and ECOWAS Member States.

    She also commended EERT contributing countries and urged the team members to respect the ECOWAS core values, international humanitarian principles as well as Malian cultural values and people in their areas of deployment.

    “You are ECOWAS ambassadors and must conduct yourselves with dignity to protect the image of our common organization, ECOWAS,” the Commissioner added.

    Mali’s Minister of Labour, Social and Humanitarian Affairs, Mr. Hamadou Konate, who presided at the ceremony, expressed the gratitude of the Malian Government and people to ECOWAS and its Member States, for coming to the aid of the country during its time of need.
    He explained that the conflict which broke in Mali last year had unleashed an unprecedented burden of refugees, internally displaced persons and other socio-economic and humanitarian adverse effects on the country.

    The Minister expressed the hope that the ECOWAS deployment would help strengthen the capacity of the country in addressing the humanitarian challenges and thereby facilitate its post-conflict reconstruction and recovery.

    The Acting Head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) in Mali, Mr. Noel Tsekouras commended ECOWAS for its laudable humanitarian initiatives and pledged his organization’s willingness to partner with the regional economic bloc to deliver on the objectives of the humanitarian support.

    Speaking earlier at the beginning of a four-day pre-deployment training for the 20 EERT members, the UNOCHA official called for more international support for post-conflict recovery of Mali, noting that only 38% of the US$477 million appeal fund for the country had been received.

    It is estimated that the Malian crises produced more than 169,000 refugees with another 311,000 internally displaced persons, with some 1.3 million people needing immediate food assistance in the north of the country.

    Also, of the estimated 800,000 school age children in the country of some 16.5 million people, only 500,000 have been provided for in the 2013/14 academic year.
    As part of the training on Monday, the EERT members being deployed for three months received briefings from UN Development Programme officials on the general situation in Mali, as well as on the security situation by Mr. Soulemane Thioune, the Joint Operations Centre (JOC) chief of MINUSMA, the UN mission in Mali.

    In his welcoming remarks, the ECOWAS Director of Humanitarian and Social Affairs, Dr. Daniel Eklu enjoined the humanitarian support team to be mindful of the importance of their responsibility, while an ECOWAS consultant on humanitarian affairs, Mr. Alphonse Malanda, a former UNHCR Representative in Nigeria with accreditation to ECOWAS, outlined the team’s functions as well as do’s and don’ts.

    The deployment by ECOWAS, with UNOCHA support, is within the framework of a regional Humanitarian Assistance. Four of the team members would be seconded to the UNHRC to support its voluntary repatriation and reintegration programme in Mali.

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    Source: UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
    Country: Algeria, Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger

    The occupation of parts of northern Mali by armed groups earlier this year had an alarming impact on the region’s education system, concluded a mission to the region by UNESCO and the government of Mali, which took place from 18 to 23 October. It found that schools in and around Timbuktu were barely operational, while those in Gao and Kidal had not been able to reopen at all.

    During the occupation, many schools in Timbuktu, Gao and Kidal were destroyed. The mission observed that much of the educational infrastructure was vandalized or pillaged. School furniture was destroyed and used as fuel; electric and digital equipment (generators, cables, servers, computers, and printers ), books and laboratory material were damaged or burned.

    “The state of education in northern Mali is a source of grave concern,” said UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova. “By attacking schools, extremists tried to undermine the foundations of society, as I was able to observe when I visited the country in February. Everything possible must now be done to get children back into their classrooms. The future of the entire region hinges on this,” she said.

    The occupation also led to the displacement of many teachers, as well as primary and secondary school students. Some moved further inland while others left for neighbouring countries such as Niger, Mauritania, Burkina Faso and Algeria. In Timbuktu, the mission noted that most teachers were still away.

    In the Timbuktu administrative area only 52% of primary school teachers have returned to work and 1,197 teachers are still missing. In secondary education, only 8% of teachers are at work while 150 are still away. In technical and vocational schools, only 7.5% of teachers are at work and 134 teachers are missing.

    Only 60% of pre-school and primary school children have returned to the classroom while 3,200 out of 3,616 secondary school children remain absent. Only 167 out of 1,412 technical school students have returned.

    In the areas administered by Gao and Kidal, schools have not been able to reopen due to the non-payment of teachers’ travel and housing allowances.

    In view of this alarming situation, UNESCO and Mali are launching an appeal to raise funding for a public awareness campaign and bonuses to help teachers return to their posts in the north. An inventory of damage to education facilities will also be undertaken. The mission recommended the establishment of social and psychological support services for teachers, parents and students who have suffered trauma because of the crisis. It is also recommending the launch of a national literacy campaign, with a specific focus on women, to help them understand the importance of sending their children, notably girls, to school.

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    Source: Food and Agriculture Organization
    Country: Eritrea, Mauritania, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen

    Potentially dangerous situation may develop in Mauritania, Sudan and Yemen

    Control operations are in progress in northwest Mauritania, the interior of northern Sudan, and on the Red Sea coast in Yemen where hopper bands are currently forming as a result of local breeding. There is a risk that a potentially dangerous situation may develop in the coming months. Consequently, intensive survey and control operations should be maintained.

    In Mauritania, an outbreak developed in the northwest during October and good rains fell in early November. As a result, hoppers continue to form groups and bands while adults are forming groups in Inchiri, Dakhlet Nouadhibou, southwest Adrar and northern Trarza. Ground teams have treated more than 13,000 ha so far in November.

    In Sudan, hopper and adults are forming groups in those areas that remain green after the summer rains in the interior to the northwest of Khartoum and along the Atbara River. Hopper bands have also formed in these areas. Ground teams have treated more than 2,200 ha so far in November. More adult groups are expected to move from the interior to the Red Sea coast in the coming weeks.

    In Yemen, breeding continues along the northern coast of the Red Sea where first generation hoppers are forming groups and bands. Adults are maturing and forming groups. Second generation egg-laying starting about ten days ago and hatching and band formation are expected to commence from the end of November onwards. Ground teams treated about 8,000 ha during the first decade of November. Smaller infestations are present on the southern coast near Aden.

    In Eritrea, ground teams are treating hopper infestations in cropping areas on the Red Sea coast near Shelshela, and there are unconfirmed reports of locusts further north near the Sudanese border.

    In northern Somalia, a rare tropical cyclone brought heavy rains to the northwest coast which is a traditional winter breeding area for the Desert Locust. Surveys will be undertaken shortly to check the areas.

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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Togo


    • There are currently 283,000 IDPs in Mali, down 15 per cent since July.

    • An Emergency Food Security Assessment conducted in CAR indicates that some 1.1 million people are food insecure and that half of all IDPs in CAR are food insecure.

    • 74 per cent of households in Guinea Bissau reported that the failed cashew campaign was the principal economic shock in the past six months.

    • 10,000 Nigerians have fled violence in northeast Nigeria since the State of Emergency, 80 per cent to Cameroon.

    • USD$8 billion pledged to the Sahel following a joint visit by the heads of the UN, World Bank, African Union, and the African Development Bank.

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


     Les restes explosifs de guerre/mines ont blessé ou tué 99 personnes depuis le début de la crise en mars 2012.

     La baisse du nombre de personnes déplacées internes confirme la tendance au retour.

     Un plan d’actions prioritaires pour le nord d’un montant de 282 millions de dollars a été adopté.

     Le financement de l’appel de fonds humanitaire est passé de 37 pour cent à 47 pour cent en un mois.

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


     Explosive remnants of war/mines killed or wounded 99 people since the crisis started in March 2012.

     The lower number of internally displaced people confirms the trend for a return.

     A priority action plan of US$282 million was adopted for the north

     The funding of the humanitarian appeal increased from 37% to 47% in the last month.

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    Source: Assessment Capacities Project
    Country: Afghanistan, Angola, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Haiti, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Lao People's Democratic Republic (the), Lebanon, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Myanmar, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Viet Nam, World, Yemen, Zimbabwe, South Sudan (Republic of)

    Snapshot 12 – 19 November

    In Syria, government forces took control of opposition held areas near Qalamoun, at the outskirts of Damascus and in Aleppo governorate, increasing military pressure on the fragmented opposition. With no official date set for the delayed Geneva II peace conference, the gradual change in the military balance on the ground is likely to have lasting effects. After significantly strengthening their military position in recent weeks, armed Syrian Kurdish groups announced their intention to form a transitional autonomous administration similar to the Iraqi Kurdistan model, a move that is likely to further exacerbate the Kurdish issue on a regional level.

    In the Philippines, with a reported increase in humanitarian access, the fluctuating numbers of people affected by Typhoon Haiyan are being progressively refined. To date, an estimated 12.9 to 13 million people, including 5.4 million children, have been affected by the disaster according to OCHA. Over four million people, including 1.7 million children, are reportedly displaced. Humanitarian partners warn that the numbers of IDPs is likely to grow as people continue to move from the areas worst affected by the disaster in search of aid and shelter. To date, at least 3,600 people have been killed by Typhoon Haiyan.

    Although numbers of affected remain lacking, Vietnam has been affected by both Cyclone Podul and Typhoon Haiyan over the past ten days. At least 41 people have been killed in rains triggered by Podul, adding to the 14 people killed in the passage of Haiyan. Information on damages remains limited.

    According to humanitarian partners, an estimated 278,000 people have been affected by mid-November seasonal floods in South Sudan, with Jonglei state being the worst affected area. Information on damages remains lacking.

    Last Updated: 19/11/2013 Next Update: 26/11/2013

    Global Emergency Overview web interface

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    Source: UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
    Country: Algeria, Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger

    L’occupation des régions du nord du Mali par des groupes armés a eu de graves conséquences sur le système éducatif. Elle s’est traduite par la quasi paralysie du système éducatif dans l’académie de Tombouctou. A Gao et Kidal, la rentrée n’a pu avoir lieu. C’est ce qu’a pu constater une mission conjointe de l’UNESCO et du gouvernement malien qui s’est rendue sur place du 18 au 23 octobre.

    L’occupation des régions du Nord du Mali a été suivie par de nombreuses destructions qui ont affecté les écoles à Tombouctou, Gao et Kidal. La mission a pu constater qu’une grande partie des infrastructures scolaires a été saccagée et pillée. Le mobilier scolaire a été détruit et utilisé comme combustibles. Par ailleurs, les matériels électriques et informatiques (groupes électrogènes, câbles, serveurs, ordinateurs, imprimantes, etc.), les livres et le matériel de laboratoire ont été saccagés ou brulés.

    « La situation de l’enseignement dans le nord du Mali est particulièrement préoccupante. En s’attaquant aux écoles, les extrémistes ont tenté de saper les fondations de la société, comme j’ai pu le constater lors de ma visite dans le pays en février dernier. Il est fondamental aujourd’hui de mettre tout en œuvre pour permettre aux élèves de retrouver au plus vite le chemin de l’école. Il en va de l’avenir même de toute la région », a déclaré la Directrice générale de l’UNESCO, Irina Bokova.

    Par ailleurs, l’occupation a entrainé le déplacement de nombreux enseignants et d’élèves du primaire et du secondaire, à l’intérieur du pays mais aussi vers les pays limitrophes comme le Niger, la Mauritanie, le Burkina Faso et l’Algérie. A Tombouctou, la mission a constaté que la plupart des enseignants n’avaient toujours pas rejoint leurs postes.

    Dans le primaire, seuls 52% des enseignants sont aujourd’hui en poste et 1197 enseignants manquent à l’appel dans toute l’Académie de Tombouctou. Dans le secondaire, seuls 8 % des professeurs sont en fonction et 150 sont encore attendus. Au niveau de l’enseignement technique et professionnel, seuls 7,5 % des enseignants sont de nouveau en fonction, alors que 134 professeurs manquent à l’appel. Quant aux élèves du préscolaire et du primaire, ils ne sont que 60% à avoir retrouvé le chemin de l’école. Au niveau de l’enseignement secondaire, 3200 élèves sont absents sur les 3616 que comptait l’Académie. Dans l’enseignement technique seulement 167 élèves répondent à l’appel sur les 1412 attendus.

    Dans les régions de Gao et de Kidal la rentrée scolaire n’a pu avoir lieu en raison notamment du non-paiement des primes de déplacement et d’installation aux enseignants.

    Face à ces constats alarmants, l’UNESCO et le Mali lancent un appel à la communauté internationale afin de recueillir des fonds en vue d’assurer le retour des enseignants par une campagne de sensibilisation et par l’instauration de primes pour les enseignants exerçant dans les régions nord. Il s’agit aussi de dresser un état des lieux des dégradations de l’ensemble des infrastructures scolaires.

    La mission recommande également la mise en place d’un accompagnement psycho-social des enseignants, des parents d’élèves et des élèves traumatisés par la crise. Elle préconise aussi le lancement d’une campagne nationale d’alphabétisation, notamment à destination des femmes, afin qu’elles comprennent l’importance de scolariser les enfants et surtout les jeunes filles.

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    Source: World Bank
    Country: Mali

    BAMAKO, 18 novembre 2013 - Le Partenariat mondial pour la responsabilité sociale (GPSA) lance aujourd’hui son deuxième appel mondial à propositions afin de recueillir des initiatives et programmes de responsabilité sociale auprès des organisations de la société civile.

    Au Mali, le GPSA sollicite des propositions pour traiter de la surveillance de l'élaboration et la mise en œuvre du budget de l'Etat, en particulier au niveau local. L'information produite par les projets retenus sera utilisée par le Ministère de l'Economie et des Finances pour améliorer la gestion du budget et la mise en œuvre au niveau national et local.

    Les propositions du Mali porteront aussi sur la surveillance des services d'éducation préscolaire et primaire, avec un accent particulier sur les groupes vulnérables tels que les jeunes filles et les pauvres. Le but est de permettre au ministère de l'Éducation nationale d’utiliser l’information produite afin d'améliorer la prestation des services et de concevoir des mesures correctives pour améliorer l'accès à l'éducation des groupes vulnérables.

    Les propositions porteront enfin sur des activités de renforcement des institutions et des capacités grâce à un « apprentissage par la pratique » qui permettra d’améliorer la capacité des OSC à promouvoir la responsabilité sociale.

    « A travers ce programme, la société civile et les pouvoirs publics maliens peuvent relever ensemble les défis majeurs de la gouvernance. Pour ce faire, le GPSA apporte un appui stratégique aux initiatives des Organisations de la Société civile (OSC) en matière de responsabilité sociale visant à renforcer la transparence et l’obligation de rendre compte », a indiqué le Directeur des opérations de la Banque mondiale pour le Mali, Ousmane Diagana.

    Les propositions doivent inclure un budget détaillé dans une fourchette allant de 500.000 dollars à 1.000.000 de dollars sous la forme de don. Les demandes de financement inférieures à cette fourchette seront prises en considération. Le GPSA soutient les propositions dont la mise en œuvre s’étale de 3 et 5 ans, de manière à permettre la réalisation d’un financement stratégique soutenu en faveur de la responsabilité sociale. Les fonds demandés doivent correspondre à la durée du projet.

    Le programme s’appuie sur la collaboration directe et constante de la Banque mondiale avec les acteurs publics ainsi que sur un réseau mondial d’organisations partenaires. L’objectif est de créer un environnement propice à la remontée et à l’utilisation d’informations en provenance des citoyens pour résoudre les problèmes fondamentaux en matière de services et accroître l’efficacité des institutions publiques. Selon une approche adaptée à la situation de chaque pays, le GPSA soutient des activités mises en œuvre dans les secteurs où la Banque mondiale est très présente et peut aider les pouvoirs publics à réagir aux avis exprimés par les citoyens.

    Les OSC admissibles sont les organisations non gouvernementales, les organisations de médias à but non lucratif, les organisations philanthropiques, confessionnelles ou professionnelles, les syndicats, les organisations de travailleurs, les associations d’élus locaux, les fondations, les instituts de recherche et les groupes de réflexion sur la formulation des politiques.

    Pour de plus amples informations, veuillez visiter le site Internet à l’adresse:

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    Source: International Medical Corps
    Country: Mali

    By Sonia Lowman, International Medical Corps

    “Without art, the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable.” -George Bernard Shaw

    November 15, 2013 - In January 2013, Mali made headlines when rebel armed forces from the north began moving south, triggering French military intervention. Nearly a year later, over 300,000 Malians remain internally displaced from the conflict, with an estimated 4.2 million in need of humanitarian assistance (UNHCR). Working in the north of Mali, International Medical Corps is providing emergency health care, critical nutrition interventions, child immunizations, and protection services to Malians affected by the conflict. But with the reality of war indisputably ugly, International Medical Corps’ Country Director in Mali, Giorgio Trombatore, has also worked to bring some beauty into the lives of young Malians.

    Since August 2013, Giorgio has spent his weekends volunteering in the Bolle state prison for minors in Bamako, Mali. The prison—housing between 50 and 60 minors—is in desperate condition, with serious hygienic concerns and a near constant state of confinement for the prisoners to prevent their escape. Giorgio, a passionate Italian by birth, organized a group of local Malian painters to provide painting lessons for the adolescents. He has also worked with locals to clean the prison cell walls, improve prison sanitation, and distribute clothes to the young prisoners.

    Further, unable to bear the prison’s dire conditions, Giorgio decided to radically transform the prisoners’ aesthetic experience. Working with the local painters, Giorgio orchestrated three massive Caravaggio-inspired paintings to cover the inside walls of the prison for the young prisoners to see. Giorgio’s wish is that the paintings “inspire light to the darkness of life—with light perceived as hope for the future.”

    Just as art inspires light, it’s people like Giorgio who make the world a little more bearable.

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    Source: International Organization for Migration
    Country: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Libya, Niger, Nigeria, Sudan


    Cette étude a été lancée par l’Organisation Internationale pour les Migrations à la demande du Gouvernement du Tchad par le biais du Ministère des Affaires Etrangères et de l’Intégration Africaine. Avec l’appui des Ministères partenaires, ce document cherche à dresser un état des lieux de la migration au Tchad. Jusqu’à aujourd’hui, aucun document n’existe. Ce document est une base pour comprendre les dynamiques migratoires, dégager les défis et proposer des recommandations. Au Tchad l’intérêt pour cette question de la migration est nouveau, en témoigne l’ensemble des rencontres internationales et régionales auxquelles participe l’Etat tchadien.

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    Source: UN Security Council
    Country: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali, Nigeria, Uganda, South Sudan (Republic of)


    Security Council
    7065th Meeting (AM)

    Support Urged in Fight to End Insecurity, Piracy, Smuggling, Spread of Arms

    A sustained international focus was needed to eradicate the multitude of threats that had blighted Central Africa for years — from the security crisis in the Central African Republic, to piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, to the unrelenting terrorist threat posed by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) — the senior United Nations official in the region told the Security Council today.

    Abou Moussa, Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA), alerted delegates to the urgent need to address the crisis in the Central African Republic before it spread out of control. The Transitional Government’s inability to control Séléka elements had led to tensions with neighbouring Cameroon, as well as border closures, which had reduced vital bilateral economic activity. Cross-border refugee flows were straining a subregion already struggling to cope with multitudes of displaced persons, he added.

    Moreover, the incidence of piracy and armed robbery in the “inconsistently controlled” Gulf of Guinea had surpassed that occurring in the Gulf of Aden, off the coast of Somalia, he continued. Terrorism and extremism also threatened the subregion, with the Nigeria-based militant group Boko Haram having exploited the porous and poorly secured border between their country and Cameroon.

    He went on to say that UNOCA continued to guide State deliberations on subregional security challenges, while joint diplomatic efforts with the African Union Special Envoy for LRA Issues had ensured cooperation among the countries affected by that group’s activities. Recent attacks in South Sudan attributed to LRA were a reminder that the group remained a “serious and unpredictable” threat. UNOCA would update the implementation plan for the United Nations regional strategy to address LRA, with a view to identifying the most critical needs and funding gaps.

    Following that briefing, delegates stressed the present time was pivotal for the Central African subregion, especially following the recent decision by 23 March Movement rebels in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo to lay down their weapons. While LRA continued to exploit every opportunity to regroup, the goal of eradicating the threat it posed was within reach. Several speakers urged UNOCA to advance progress in delivering across the entire regional strategy, so that LRA could be permanently eradicated.

    Highlighting such progress, Francisco Madeira, African Union Special Envoy for LRA Issues, recalled that in January, key mission documents for the Regional Task Force had been adopted, including the Standard Operating Procedures for the Handling of Persons Suspected of Involvement in LRA Activities. On 13 February, the Congolese Armed Forces had handed over 500 troops to the Task Force. “These two events marked the end of the first phase of the operationalization of the Regional Task Force,” he said.

    However, a major setback had occurred with the 24 March coup d’état in the Central African Republic, which LRA had exploited to reorganize, step up cross-border movements, attack villages and displace civilians, he continued. Since then, the Task Force had undergone retraining and counter-LRA rehearsals, facilitated by the United States special forces, which had paved the way for resumed military operations by the Task Force on 9 August.

    The representative of the United States said that such efforts would have impacts beyond LRA. Commending the African Union’s Regional Task Force for ramping up operations and increasing cooperation, he said that had exerted unprecedented pressure on LRA, fragmenting its forces. UNOCA had the vital role of coordinating United Nations activities in the region and must be supported with the necessary staff and resources, he emphasized.

    Other speakers stressed that tackling piracy would save countless lives and usher the region towards the prosperity that its people deserved. Theyurged Central African leaders, and their counterparts in West Africa, to implement the decisions taken at the Yaoundé Summit with a view to enhancing maritime security through an interregional approach.

    Togo’s representative underscored that the defeat of the 23 March Movement in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo was due in part to the new United Nations strategy for re-establishing peace, security and cooperation in that country and in the wider Great Lakes region.

    Rwanda’s representative similarly commended the “awakened spirit of ownership and cooperation” among leaders in the region, stressing that Central Africa must be stabilized because it was a yardstick for the rest of the continent.

    Also speaking today were representatives of the United Kingdom, Azerbaijan, Republic of Korea, Australia, France, Morocco, Russian Federation, Pakistan, Argentina, Luxembourg, Guatemala and China.

    The meeting began at 10:10 a.m. and ended at 12:05 p.m.


    Meeting this morning to consider the Central African region, the Security Council had before it the report of the Secretary-General on the activities of the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA) and on Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA)-affected areas (document S/2013/671.


    ABOU MOUSSA, Special Representative and Head of UNOCA, presented the Secretary-General’s report, saying that the situation prevailing in the region was marked by instability in the Central African Republic and the spread of armed groups in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. The humanitarian and human rights situation in the former country was worsening significantly, and political transition arrangements were “tenuous”. There was an urgent need to address that crisis before it spread out of control and led to more loss of life. As for the latter country, although the defeat of the 23 March Movement had been a victory, no peace agreement had been signed and armed rebels continued to threaten local communities in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.

    Highlighting three key threats in the region, he said insecurity and instability in the Central African Republic continued to have security and humanitarian implications for neighbouring countries. The Government’s inability to control Séléka elements had led to tensions with Cameroon and border closures, which had reduced vital bilateral economic activity. Cross-border refugee flows from the Central African Republic were straining the capacity of a subregion already struggling to cope with multitudes of displaced persons. In addition, transnational crime was a serious challenge to security in Central Africa, he said, noting that there was a higher incidence of piracy and armed robbery in the Gulf of Guinea than in the Gulf of Aden off the coast of Somalia. Pirates and armed robbers thrived in such “inconsistently controlled” trans-boundary waters, he noted.

    Central African countries were also vulnerable to destabilization from the looming threats posed by terrorism and extremism outside the immediate subregion, he continued. Chadian peacekeepers, deployed to support the African-led and subsequent United Nations mission in Mali, had been the target of recent terrorist attacks in Tessalit, while the Nigeria-based militant group Boko Haram had exploited the porous and poorly secured border between their country and Cameroon. The conflict between the Nigerian army and Boko Haram had driven an estimated 8,000 refugees into Cameroon, some of whom were suspected insurgents, he said.

    On the critical issue of maritime insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea, he said UNOCA, alongside the United Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWA), had been a driving force in collective efforts to combat it. Central African Heads of State and Government, with their counterparts in West Africa, had adopted the Yaoundé Declaration, establishing a coherent inter-regional approach to combating piracy and other criminal activities. That “milestone” achievement reflected the cooperation among the coastal and landlocked States affected and with three organizations across the two subregions. As the secretariat of the United Nations Standing Advisory Committee on Security Questions in Central Africa, UNOCA continued to guide State deliberations on subregional security challenges. During the Committee’s thirty-sixth session in Kigali, Rwanda, member States had agreed that poaching, or illegally killing elephants for the purpose of selling their ivory was a direct security threat.

    Returning to the topic of the Lord’s Resistance Army, he said joint diplomatic efforts with Francisco Madeira, African Union Special Envoy on LRA, had ensured continuing cooperation among countries affected by the group’s activities. Operations of the relevant African Union Regional Task Force had resumed in the Central African Republic, while the Democratic Republic of the Congo had lifted border restrictions on operations conducted by foreign contingents. However, recent attacks in South Sudan attributed to LRA were a reminder that the group remained a “serious and unpredictable” threat, he said, urging continuing vigilance in advancing the implementation plan for the United Nations regional strategy to address LRA’s impact.

    Going forward, UNOCA would continue its institutional strengthening work with the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) in the area of mediation, he said. It would also take the lead on the issue of maritime insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea, working with UNOWA to carry out the decisions taken at the Yaoundé Summit. Also on the horizon were a counter-terrorism strategy for Central Africa, and a final proposal on mobilizing resources for a regional youth employment forum. As for LRA, UNOCA would continue its close partnership with the African Union and update the regional strategy implementation plan, with a view to identifying the most critical needs and funding gaps.

    He said it would also enhance coordination mechanisms to ensure that collective efforts had the greatest impact. UNOCA would focus on strengthening regional cooperation, with a high-level summit to be held on the LRA issue. A visa-free travel regime favouring five of the six member countries of the Monetary and Economic Community of Central Africa would go into effect in January. It would reflect the “gravitational pull” towards greater subregional integration. “These are encouraging trends and should be sustained,” he said. UNOCA would capitalize on those developments by redoubling its efforts to advance security, in close collaboration with States and subregional organizations.


    DOUGLAS WILSON ( United Kingdom) said UNOCA must continue to use its coordination role to deliver the regional strategy, so that LRA could be permanently eradicated. The United Kingdom had provided the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) with funding to protect women and children in LRA-affected areas. The affected countries must implement a standard operating procedure to deal with the group and enhance cross-border cooperation. It was also crucial to investigate LRA’s sources of funding, including elephant poaching and smuggling. Noting that criminality in the Gulf of Guinea threatened peace and development in the region, he said UNOCA must add real value to regional and subregional efforts.

    JEFFREY DELAURENTIS ( United States) said LRA’s “day of reckoning” had not yet arrived, but with sustained engagement, the international community had the reach to eliminate the group permanently. However, LRA had proven its willingness to wait the international community out and regroup, he cautioned, emphasizing that it must not be allowed to believe that it would win a reprieve, especially since it operated in countries where institutions were already fragile and the scale of human suffering was immense. Success in fighting LRA would have ramifications beyond the group, he predicted. Commending the African Union’s regional task forces for ramping up operations and increasing their cooperation, he said that had placed unprecedented pressure on LRA, fragmenting its forces. UNOCA had the vital role of coordinating United Nations activities in the region, and must be supported with the necessary staff and resources.

    The United Nations missions in South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo must work more closely with the African Union task forces, he stressed, adding that his country was proud of the contribution of its special forces and civilian personnel. Urging the international community to begin planning now for the day after Joseph Kony and LRA became relics of the past, he said the United States was concerned about the withdrawal of international aid organizations from LRA-affected areas. The group did not operate in a vacuum, he warned, pointing out that the ongoing security and humanitarian crisis in the Central African Republic was a matter of grave concern. At the present pivotal moment for Central Africa, the international community must act with forethought to prevent a number of crises brewing in the region, from terrorism to piracy, he said. There was a real opportunity to save countless lives and precious resources, while ushering the subregion towards the stability and prosperity it deserved.

    AGSHIN MEHDIYEV ( Azerbaijan) said the complex political, security and humanitarian crisis in the Central African Republic had affected the entire subregion. The deteriorating situation in that country was due in part to wide-spread criminality, the spread of weapons and the rising number of internally displaced persons. Welcoming the decision by the African Union Peace and Security Council to authorize the African-led International Support Mission in the Central African Republic, he said piracy and armed robbery in the Gulf of Guinea was another serious threat, and echoed the call for the implementation of decisions taken at the Yaoundé Summit to enhance maritime security. Poaching was among the major sources of financing for armed groups, including LRA, he said, calling for the implementation of all LRA-related initiatives of the United Nations and the African Union.

    JOON OH ( Republic of Korea), noting that the territory controlled by LRA was waning, said his Government was encouraged by reports of defections from among its ranks. Disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programmes must be implemented in LRA-affected areas, with adequate financial support. Eradicating LRA’s presence in Central Africa required cooperation by the affected countries, he said, adding that he expected the Central Africa Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan and South Sudan to support collective efforts to stem the group’s cross-border activities. Illegal poaching fed on rising youth unemployment, and with the Central African Republic becoming a safe haven for the remaining LRA operatives, the transitional authorities were apparently unable to stop them. Humanitarian assistance was needed to help those in need, he said, welcoming the Yaoundé Summit’s regional strategy and expressing hope that regional leaders would translate their resolve into concrete follow-up measures.

    PHILIPPA KING ( Australia) said the crisis in the Central African Republic was at risk of spiralling out of control, with devastating consequences for the country and the region. Australia supported the implementation of resolution 2121 (2013), which strengthened the mandate of the peacekeeping mission in that country. The international community must maintain momentum in the fight against LRA, which thrived in a vacuum, he emphasized, noting that the breakdown in security had given the group “room to breathe”. By retreating into rural areas beyond the reach of regional task forces, it had managed to regroup, and there were reports from South Sudan of suspected LRA attacks and a resumption of activities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. As LRA’s tactics continued to evolve, cross-border cooperation and information-sharing were vital, he stressed, adding that regional and international efforts were needed to deal with such illicit activities as elephant poaching.

    GÉRARD ARAUD ( France) said the people of the Central African Republic had been terrorized, threatened and steeped in violence. “The Christians are afraid of Muslims, the Muslims are afraid of Christians and the militia are engaging in blind violence.” More than a million people faced food insecurity, and State authority no longer existed, he said, noting that militia roamed through the country, making their own laws. While the Central African Republic was neither well known, nor “on the first page of the newspaper”, a massive tragedy was taking place there, and the risk of the entire region being transformed into a hive of instability was all too real. As for LRA, he noted that the African Union was now on the offensive against the group, and commended Uganda and other countries for their contributions. The Lord’s Resistance Army must not benefit from the security vacuum in the Central African Republic, and the west of the country should not be allowed to become a sanctuary for the group.

    KODJO MENAN ( Togo) said the defeat of 23 March Movement in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo was due in part to the new United Nations strategy for re-establishing peace, security and cooperation in that country and in the wider Great Lakes region. Togo hoped the negotiations in Kampala would lead to an agreement that would end the conflict once and for all. However, the Central African Republic continued to face security challenges since the assumption of power by Séléka elements, he noted, warning that unless the international community intervened in a robust manner, the country could fall into “total anarchy”. Describing LRA as a disruptive force, he said its leaders must be captured and prosecuted, which required enhanced cooperation on the issuance of arrest warrants. On piracy, he urged support for UNOCA, and expressed serious concern over the role of poaching and the killing of elephants as the primary source of financing for criminal and rebel groups.

    EUGÉNE-RICHARD GASANA ( Rwanda) said the Central African region was a yardstick for the continent as it faced ineffective State authority over its national territory and porous borders, especially those with the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The need to eradicate armed groups, including LRA, as well as gangs of thugs like Séléka and “genocidal” movements, such as the Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda (FDLR), could not be overemphasized. It was unfortunate that the subregion had been dominated by the deteriorating situation in the Central African Republic, he said, commending the “awakened spirit of ownership and cooperation” among regional leaders, while stressing that the region must be stabilized. He strongly condemned LRA’s violations against children, as well as its use of rape, sexual slavery and forced recruitment of child soldiers. He also expressed grave concern over the humanitarian situation of more than 350,000 displaced persons in LRA-affected countries, urging support for them. On poaching, he noted that the region had lost 70 per cent of its elephants over the last decade.

    ABDERRAZZAK LAASSEL ( Morocco) applauded UNOCA’s efforts to bolster security in the region, and the willingness of its States collectively to face its security and economic challenges. Coordinated and urgent responses were required as the situation in the Central African Republic continued to unravel, he said, adding that ECCAS had made many efforts to improve the situation. Noting the spread of piracy to Africa’s whole Atlantic coast, he said trafficking and the illicit trade in ivory were also very high in the subregion, and the revenues were used to fund transnational crime. Security deficits in the Sahel and Central African regions had also affected the Maghreb, he said, pointing out that his country was linked to the countries of Central Africa through traditional ties of friendship. Morocco was sharing its experiences and lessons learned in order to strengthen subregional cooperation.

    PETR V. ILIICHEV ( Russian Federation) said the armed conflict and subsequent crisis in the Central African Republic showed the clear impact of the Libyan crisis. Undoubtedly, normalizing the political and security situation in the Central African Republic was essential to peace and security in the region as a whole. There had been a general reduction in the activities of the LRA since the beginning of 2013, and its fighters were keeping a low profile. Nevertheless, bandits had reappeared in the contiguous region of South Sudan and coordinated efforts by regional players were crucial to tackling that threat. Welcoming the deployment of 3,000 African Union forces out of a planned total of 5,000, he nonetheless, cautioned that military action was not the only solution, emphasizing that pressing social and economic issues must be addressed and State power bolstered.

    MASOOD KHAN ( Pakistan) said the Central African region was at a crossroads, having coped for several years with a fragile security situation, the proliferation of weapons, cross-border crime and piracy. The principal threat emanated from the country’s deteriorating security and humanitarian situation, and UNOCA had a role in coordinating regional and international efforts to address it. The mission’s vital mediation role must be strengthened, he said. The Lord’s Resistance Army had been degraded, thanks to the African Union Regional Task Force, and that momentum must be sustained through political support. With the Task Force lacking the critical resources and enablers needed to exert sustained pressure on LRA, greater efforts were needed to mobilize resources at the regional and subregional levels. The international community must step up its efforts in other LRA-affected States, including the enhancement of their judicial systems.

    MARÍA CRISTINA PERCEVAL ( Argentina) human rights violations were a daily reality in the Central African Republic, with some 350,000 people seeking refuge in neighbouring countries. Transnational crime by armed groups was financed by illegal ivory trafficking, she said, urging the imposition of an arms embargo in addressing the existence of well-known corridors for illicit trade. Recalling that the head of the Transitional Government of the Central African Republic had promised extraordinary measures to address the critical situation engendered by Séléka elements, he emphasized that the Council must understand what those measures would entail, given that some were describing the situation as “pre-genocide”. Despite the decrease in LRA attacks, due to African Union efforts, Joseph Kony continued to evade justice, she pointed out. “Impunity cannot be the response,” she stressed.

    SYLVIE LUCAS ( Luxembourg) called for intensified efforts to implement the United Nations regional strategy to combat LRA. Commending the African Union’s regional cooperation initiative, she said resources, as well as the necessary equipment, should be mobilized for the effective functioning of its task forces. Luxembourg would be providing functional support to the headquarters of the Regional Task Force in South Sudan, she said. Member States in the region also had a vital role to play, especially in implementing the arrest warrants handed down by the International Criminal Court. LRA leaders must be prosecuted for war crimes, of which women and children were the chief victims. United Nations peacekeeping operations in the region must have sufficient means to protect children, she emphasized, calling upon the African Union to integrate the protection of children into the activities of its task forces. Luxembourg joined France in expressing concern over rising tension and sectarian violence among the communities of the Central African Republic, which could foreshadow genocide.

    GERT ROSENTHAL ( Guatemala) said that, without a doubt, the consequences of the ethnic and religious strife in the Central African Republic was being felt at the subregional level. Guatemala commended UNOCA’s efforts to support initiatives to grapple with that and other challenges, such as piracy and maritime insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea. UNOCA must double its efforts to support the different Central African States in addressing the illegal exploitation of natural resources, specifically the hunting of elephants, she said, noting that ivory poaching enabled criminal networks and armed groups to finance their activities. Regarding the ongoing threat posed by LRA, he condemned its criminal activities while commending the regional task forces of the African Union for reducing the number of LRA attacks. Despite reports of a weakening LRA, African Union forces must be maintained until the armed group was eliminated and its leaders brought to justice, he stressed.

    LIU JIEYI ( China), Council President, spoke in his national capacity, saying that, despite rapid economic growth, as well as progress on regional integration and the fight against LRA, peace and stability faced many challenges in Central Africa. China was concerned about volatility in the Central African Republic, he said, expressing hope that the parties concerned would end the violence and resolve their differences through dialogue. He expressed hope that the international community would leverage fully the leadership shown by the United Nations and regional organizations in fighting piracy in the Gulf of Guinea. It should also pay attention to the effect of other situations on the Central African region. Strongly condemning LRA, he called on the group to cease its illegal activities and take part in disarmament, demobilization, repatriation, resettlement and reintegration activities.

    FRANCISCO MADEIRA, Special Envoy of the African Union for LRA Issues, highlighted the progress made in coordination with troop-contributing countries, with support from the United States special forces, the European Union and United Nations offices and missions on the ground, especially UNOCA. In January, he recalled, the Joint Coordination Mechanism had adopted key mission documents for the Regional Task Force: the Strategic Directives, Concept of Operations, Standard Operating Procedures for the Handling of Persons suspected of involvement in LRA Activities, and Rules of Engagement. On 13 February, the Congolese Armed Forces had handed over 500 troops to the Task Force, he said.

    “These two events marked the end of the first phase of the operationalization of the Regional Task Force,” he continued, referring to the military component of the African Union’s regional cooperation aimed at eliminating LRA. However, it had been difficult to begin phase two — military operations — due to the logistical challenges faced by contingents from the Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan. That had left the Ugandan contingent, supported by the United States special forces, to continue counter-LRA operations until July. Nonetheless, they had achieved major success, killing nine LRA fighters, receiving 14 defectors, and recovering 17 modern firearms, four traditional weapons and six pieces of ivory.

    However, he said, a major setback had occurred following the 24 March coup d’état in Bangui, Central African Republic, which LRA had exploited to reorganize, step up cross-border movements, attack villages and displace civilians in Mbomou and Haut Mbomou prefectures. The picture had been further complicated by the 24 May attack on Obo town, by 87 “arrow boys” from Tumbura, South Sudan. The Task Force had apprehended 42 of them and handed them over to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) for repatriation. The Obo situation had renewed tensions between Séléka and the Task Force, he said, adding that he and Special Representative Abou Moussa had made joint efforts to defuse the tensions.

    He went on to say that between July and August, the Task Force had undergone retraining and counter-LRA rehearsals, facilitated by the United States special forces. That had paved the way for the Task Force to resume military operations in the Central African Republic on 9 August, and for the Congolese and South Sudanese to become operational in September. The current military pressure had kept the LRA “on the run”, forcing it to buy time by duping national authorities into “negotiations” that purportedly would allow Joseph Kony to “surrender” and resettle in the Central African Republic. According to the Task Force, the LRA had only used that time to relocate his fighters to north-eastern Central African Republic. As such, the Task Force would not relent until he and his top commanders surrendered or were removed from the battlefield, he stressed.

    For information media • not an official record

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    Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
    Country: Niger, Nigeria

    1. Contexte

    Depuis le mois de mai 2013, la région de Diffa, au Sud-Est du Niger, a accueilli 13,500 déplacés1 en provenance principalement des régions du Borno et Yobe, au Nord du Nigeria2. Ces mouvements de populations coïncident en partie avec la déclaration de l’état d’urgence dans les états de Borno, Yobe et Adamawa faite par le président du Nigeria Goodluck Jonathan le 14 mai 2013. Dans ce contexte, et en consultation avec les autorités nigériennes et les acteurs humanitaires, le Haut Commissariat des Nations Unies pour les Réfugiés (UNHCR) et REACH ont conduit une première enquête inter-agence sur la situation des populations déplacées dans la région de Diffa entre le 28 mai et le 1er juin 2013.

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    Source: Refugees International
    Country: Mali


    • The Humanitarian Country Team in Mali should develop a plan of action to address the protection and assistance needs of internally displaced people (IDPs) and acutely vulnerable members of the host community.

    • The United States and other donors must fund a long-term, comprehensive humanitarian program for southern Mali through the 2014 Strategic Response Plan.

    • The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and its partners should develop a global guidance note on best practices in the provision of protection and humanitarian assistance to urban IDPs.

    • The UN’s Emergency Relief Coordinator should support UNHCR in its efforts to secure the human and financial resources necessary to provide robust leadership and coordination of the protection cluster.

    • The Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General/Resident Coordinator/Humanitarian Coordinator for Mali must continue to defend the Humanitarian Country Team’s position on facilitated returns to the north.

    • The Malian government should invite the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of IDPs to begin consultations on the development of a national IDP policy, which should include local integration options for IDPs wishing to permanently remain in the south.

    Despite French and Malian government declarations of success against Islamist insurgents in the north of Mali, successful presidential elections in August, and the partial deployment of the United Nations Multidimensional Stabilization Mission (MINUSMA), security conditions in the country have not yet returned to normal.

    Malian government officials have not returned to the north in significant numbers, while basic services in that region remain extremely limited. And yet, donor states and other members of the international community are eager to present northern Mali as a counter-terrorism success story.

    This political narrative of stability in the north obscures the urgent need for an ongoing, robust humanitarian response to the plight of internally displaced people (IDPs) in the south of the country. There are an estimated 283,000 IDPs in Mali, most of whom live in the south without adequate protection or assistance. The humanitarian aid currently provided in the south fails to consider the medium-term needs of IDPs or to address basic protection gaps. Donors and humanitarian agencies must focus their attention on the needs of these IDPs and uphold the humanitarian principle of voluntary, safe, and dignified returns.

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    Source: Inter Press Service
    Country: Malawi

    Analysis by Mabvuto Banda

    LILONGWE, Nov 20 2013 (IPS) - Gogo Munthali, from Rumphi, a village over 400 km north of Malawi’s capital Lilongwe, dissolves into tears every morning as she worries about what to feed her five orphaned grandchildren, the youngest of whom has full blown AIDS.

    “Samson may not be with me for long; he is on treatment and I can’t give him the food he needs,” she tells IPS of her HIV-positive grandchild who is four years old.

    Munthali was among the first beneficiaries of Malawi’s Farm Input Subsidy Programme (FISP) when it was introduced some eight years ago by late President Bingu wa Mutharika.

    About 1.6 million poor farmers were targeted and provided with two 50-kilogramme bags of inorganic fertilisers, hybrid and open pollinating maize seed at 50 percent less the standard price. The local village headman identified beneficiary families, and priority was given to households headed by children and women.

    Nationwide, the results were phenomenal. Maize output more than doubled in the first two years from an average of 1.06 tonnes per hectare from 2000 to 2005, to 2.27 tonnes per hectare from 2009 to 2010. This pushed GDP growth to an average 7.4 percent, higher than the World Bank recommended rate of six percent for sub-Saharan Africa.

    Inflation slid into single digits and food security at household level also improved.

    But today, the 65-year-old widow is desperately poor. She is unable to produce the crop yields she previously did.

    “Fertiliser, for the last four years, has been arriving late after the first rains … I have had to plant my crop three weeks late and this has reduced my harvest drastically,” she says.

    Rumphi, in Northern Region, is one of the country’s biggest producers of maize and tobacco. But this year, it is one of the 21 districts out of 28 nationwide that are affected by hunger. According to the government, 14.3 percent of the population of about 16 million will need food aid. Delayed arrival of subsidy fertilisers, poor access to financial services and markets, and unfavourable weather has compromised yields in Rumphi.

    Mary Juma’s story is no different. “We got so used to waiting for cheap fertilisers every year but now things have changed. [One day] we are beneficiaries, the next day we are not,” she says from Dedza district hospital in Malawi’s Central Region. When the FISP fertiliser was delivered to her area, it was well below the required amount and many families who qualified for the subsidy did not receive any.

    Her husband decided to borrow money from a revolving fund to purchase fertilisers at the full price. But a prolonged dry spell destroyed their crop, leaving them 400 dollars in debt. Tensions between Juma and her husband worsened when she gave birth to their third daughter and she says she left her abusive husband shortly thereafter.

    The untold stories of Munthali and Juma offer a glimpse into how FISP has failed to change the status of most poor farmers in this southern African nation, 70 percent of whom are women.

    This is a failure that very few here want to talk about because FISP has always been reported as having a positive impact.

    “The story of FISP since it was launched has always been about how it has helped reduce poverty … no one has bothered to find out what has really happened to the poor farmers being targeted. Are they well-off or life has become unbearable for them?” says Chris Chisoni, national secretary for Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace, which conducted a study in 19 districts to find out the impact that corruption in the FISP had on poor farmers last year.

    “We discovered that those entrusted with the responsibility of selling the inputs are asking the poor farmers to pay more than the K500 (two dollars), which is the recommended subsidy price, forcing many who cannot afford to do without,” Chisoni tells IPS

    Wide scale corruption within FISP has played a huge part in the failure to change the lives of many farmers.

    An investigation into the programme by Malawi’s Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), conducted in 2007, which has not been publicly released but was seen by IPS, shows that the FISP nearly collapsed in 2005 after a preferred supplier from Saudi Arabia failed to deliver 70,000 mega tonnes of fertilisers on time.

    ACB found former Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe abused his office when he disregarded advice not to award the contract to supply fertilisers to a Saudi Arabian firm.

    Gondwe, according to ACB findings, went ahead and awarded the contract to the company, which only managed to supply half of contracted fertiliser and which resulted in a loss of 6.8 million dollars for the country.

    Gondwe, a former International Monetary Fund vice president for Africa, denies the allegations of wrongdoing.

    “The recommendation was that I abused my office but [the ACB] never proved if I had received any kickbacks as claimed. I dared them to take me to court if they had anything that could hold in the courts but they failed and therefore I was cleared,” he tells IPS.

    “President Mutharika dropped me from cabinet to allow for the investigations to take place and he was not convinced with what they [the ACB] found and he reappointed me to his cabinet.”

    However, since no one was punished from the alleged misconduct, delays in the delivery of fertilisers have now become the norm.

    The report shows that the initial late delivery of fertilisers set the trend for how this southern African nation was to procure fertilisers over the next eight years.

    Overall, during the course of the FISP, many targeted farmers began receiving their fertilisers much later in the season, resulting in low yields.

    In many cases contracts are awarded to companies with links to the ruling elite and have no capacity fulfil their contracts.

    Early this year, current President Joyce Banda, promised to act and she did. The Ministry of Agriculture disqualified suppliers, both local and international, who were delivering the inputs late. This year, many companies have been disqualified and removed as prequalified bidders to supply fertilisers because they failed to pass the due diligence and other new stringent measures recently put in place.

    Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture Jeffrey Luhanga blames the former government for fuelling corruption that in the end affected the poor farmers.

    “This is a good programme with good intentions but failure to rid corruption has ended up in some bad results for the programme and punished farmers and made others rich,” he tells IPS.

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    Source: IRIN
    Country: Mali, Mauritania

    MBERA/BASSIKOUNOU, 21 novembre 2013 (IRIN) - Depuis que le Haut Commissariat des Nations Unies pour les réfugiés (HCR) a lancé son programme d'enregistrement biométrique des réfugiés maliens dans le camp mauritanien de Mbera au mois d'avril, 8 000 des 68 000 réfugiés enregistrés ont été radiés du système - presque tous étaient des Mauritaniens originaires de villes et villages proches du camp, qui espéraient accéder à l'aide. En septembre, quelques résidents du camp ont tenté de détruire le centre d'enregistrement pour protester contre la mise en place de ce nouveau système, mettant ainsi en lumière une question fondamentale : quand et comment les organisations d'aide humanitaire venant en aide aux réfugiés doivent-elles assister les populations d'accueil vulnérables ?

    La situation de la Mauritanie est loin d'être unique ; dans de nombreux camps, des habitants locaux qui essayent d'accéder à l'aide viennent gonfler les rangs des réfugiés. Dans certaines situations d'urgence, le nombre d'habitants locaux est même plus important que celui des réfugiés, a indiqué une source du HCR.

    Il n'est pas rare que le HCR et d'autres organisations d'aide humanitaire viennent en aide aux populations d'accueil afin d'aplanir les tensions qui pourraient apparaître entre les réfugiés et les habitants locaux, mais elles n'en font généralement pas une priorité. Certaines organisations interviennent dès le début de la crise, tandis que le HCR agit après avoir pris en charge les situations de réfugiés prolongées lors de la phase d'urgence.

    Loubna Benhayoune, chef de l'équipe humanitaire du Bureau de la coordination des affaires humanitaires des Nations Unies (OCHA) en Mauritanie, demande que les populations locales reçoivent de l'aide le plus tôt possible. « Les populations d'accueil sont tout aussi vulnérables [que les réfugiés], si ce n'est plus », a-t-elle dit à IRIN. OCHA établit actuellement une cartographie pour déterminer qui fait quoi et où pour les populations locales.

    Le HCR a indiqué que sa priorité est de répondre à la crise actuelle des réfugiés. Mettre en place les services de base - nourriture, eau, abri et soins de santé - pour aider des dizaines de milliers de réfugiés dans une situation où l'agence n'avait pas de personnel et pas de bureau à moins de 1 000 km « était un véritable défi », a dit Hovig Etyemezian, qui gère le camp de Mbera pour le HCR. « Aujourd'hui, nous nous concentrons davantage sur les questions de qualité, y compris sur la meilleure manière de venir en aide aux populations d'accueil ».

    Des populations locales pauvres

    Le camp de Mbera se trouve dans le Hodh el Chargui, la région de Mauritanie où l'insécurité alimentaire est la plus forte : 37 pour cent de ses habitants sont exposés à la faim, selon le Programme alimentaire mondial (PAM). La région a enregistré de très faibles précipitations en 2011, et la situation ne s'est guère améliorée cette année. En octobre, période à laquelle des pâturages devraient apparaître même dans la zone désertique du nord du Sahel, il y en avait peu dans la région du Hodh el Chargui.

    Une mission conjointe d'évaluation réalisée par le PAM et le HCR en début d'année a conclu que si 80 pour cent des ménages réfugiés consommaient trois repas par jour, seulement 14 pour cent des familles locales avaient cette chance.

    Des journalistes d'IRIN se sont entretenus avec des Mauritaniens qui vivent à proximité du camp et qui ont manifesté de la bienveillance à l'égard des réfugiés. Fatouma Mint Lhessen, qui vit à Bassikounou, a dit à IRIN, « Ces gens sont des nôtres. Ils sont comme des frères et des sours, et nous sommes là pour les aider ».

    Mais sa famille connait elle aussi des difficultés. Cette femme vit dans un logement d'une pièce avec ses trois enfants ; son mari est parti chercher du travail dans le bush. Si elle avait vécu à proximité du camp, elle aurait essayé de bénéficier de l'aide alimentaire. « Les prix sont trop élevés. Souvent, je n'ai pas les moyens de faire de la sauce. D'une certaine façon, nous vivons plus comme des réfugiés que les réfugiés eux-mêmes ! »

    Elle a ajouté : « Nous vivons. Nous survivons. Parfois nous mangeons à notre faim, parfois nous ne mangeons pas - du riz, pas de sauce. J'ai l'habitude de vivre sur le fil du rasoir. C'est mon quotidien ».

    « C'est une région pauvre », a dit M. Etyemezian du HCR. « Les populations locales souffraient de malnutrition et de faim avant la création du camp ». Il a cependant indiqué que certains habitants locaux avaient bénéficié de l'aide alimentaire publique pendant plusieurs années.

    Selon Mohamed Ould Zeidane, responsable du département de la planification du ministère de l'Intérieur chargé de la réponse aux réfugiés, les familles vulnérables du Hodh el Chargui bénéficient d'un programme d'aide alimentaire publique, soutenu par le PAM. À la suite des manifestations dans le camp, le Département du Hodh el Chargui a reçu pour instruction de bloquer deux millions de dollars pour venir en aide aux populations locales. « Depuis, les tensions se sont apaisées », a dit Ould Zeidane. Les journalistes d'IRIN n'ont pas été en mesure de vérifier ces mouvements de fonds.

    L'impact des réfugiés

    D'après de nombreuses études, il existe souvent des tensions entre les réfugiés et les populations d'accueil, qui se font concurrence pour l'accès aux maigres ressources, comme l'eau, la nourriture et le bois pour le feu, et parfois pour l'accès à l'éducation, aux services de santé et aux infrastructures. En général, le développement de camps de réfugiés exerce des pressions sur les environnements désertiques telles que la déforestation, l'épuisement des nappes phréatiques et la dégradation des points d'eau, indique une note d'information sur le Rapport sur le développement dans le monde 2011 de la Banque mondiale.

    Selon une étude du HCR sur l'impact des réfugiés sur une communauté d'accueil dans l'ouest de la Tanzanie, les réfugiés consomment souvent plus de bois que leurs hôtes, car il leur faut plus de temps pour cuisiner les rations de céréales qu'ils reçoivent ; de plus, ils entretiennent un feu constant, car ils ne disposent pas de suffisamment d'allumettes. Le HCR et la Fédération luthérienne mondiale, une organisation non gouvernementale (ONG), ont distribué des réchauds à économie d'énergie à un grand nombre de réfugiés du camp de Mbera, mais il en faudrait davantage.

    La pression démographique exercée par les réfugiés du camp de Mbera crée des tensions sur un environnement désertique déjà fragile. L'arrivée des quelque 68 000 Maliens a fait tripler la population locale et le camp de Mbera est aujourd'hui la troisième agglomération de la Mauritanie. Le camp est entouré de terres inutilisées, et la majorité des buissons et des arbres sont dénudés, car les réfugiés ont ramassé du bois pour cuisiner, par exemple. Aucune évaluation de l'impact n'a été réalisée pour l'instant.

    Des programmes adaptés peuvent permettre de répondre à certains de ces problèmes, a dit Ahmed Ibrahim, responsable de l'ONG SOS Desert. L'organisation a essayé de mettre un frein à la déforestation en ramassant du bois mort dans les zones inhabitées pour le redistribuer à 20 000 réfugiés. Le bois qui n'est pas ramassé est en général rongé par les termites, mais il peut aussi favoriser les départs de feu dans le bush. Les responsables locaux du ministère de l'Environnement ont mis fin au projet, soulignant que le bois était la propriété des Mauritaniens. Distribuer du bois aux populations d'accueil et aux populations de réfugiés permettrait d'apaiser les tensions, a dit M. Ibrahim, qui travaille avec le gouvernement pour trouver des solutions.

    « Dans un monde idéal, nous donnerions un panneau solaire et un poêle économe en énergie à chaque foyer, mais cela nécessiterait le soutien d'une nouvelle génération de bailleurs de fonds », a dit M. Etyemezian.

    Il y a également une pression accrue sur l'eau destinée à l'abreuvement des animaux (la majorité des réfugiés du camp de Mbera sont des éleveurs). Le HCR, SOS Desert, l'ONG allemande SPANA et d'autres proposent d'améliorer les points d'eau le long des circuits de pâturage traditionnels, entre autres efforts.


    Le fait que les populations vulnérables tirent des avantages de la présence des réfugiés est rarement reconnu. D'après de nombreuses études, les réfugiés créent des possibilités économiques pour eux-mêmes et pour leurs hôtes, mais il y a des gagnants et des perdants des deux côtés : la dizaine d'organisations d'aide humanitaire installées à Bassikounou, à 18 km du camp, offrent des perspectives d'emploi aux Mauritaniens qualifiés, mais les réfugiés constituent une main-d'ouvre bon marché qui risque de faire perdre leur emploi déjà peu rémunéré aux travailleurs locaux.

    La présence des réfugiés peut aussi favoriser l'expansion des marchés de produits locaux, mais là aussi, il y a des inconvénients : en Tanzanie, les agriculteurs locaux ont vendu une grande partie de leur production aux réfugiés congolais et rwandais, si bien qu'ils n'avaient plus suffisamment de nourriture pour eux, ce qui a provoqué une flambée des prix alimentaires. À Bassikounou, un riche propriétaire terrien a décidé de faire passer le prix de la location de ses terres de 10 000 ouguiyas à 180 000 ouguiyas (de 33 dollars à 603 dollars) par mois, ce qui lui a permis de tirer profit de la crise, mais les travailleurs locaux n'ont pas les moyens de faire face à une telle hausse des loyers.

    Seule une évaluation de l'impact permettra de comprendre ces dynamiques et seules des évaluations détaillées des besoins permettront d'établir les besoins des populations locales, selon Ann Maymann, représentante du HCR en Mauritanie. « Cibler les populations d'accueil nécessitera de définir et d'évaluer les besoins, et pour cela il faudra des ressources financières », a-t-elle dit.

    À leur arrivée, les organisations d'aide humanitaire fournissent souvent une aide qui bénéficie aussi aux populations locales. Les Mauritaniens installés à proximité du camp de Mbera peuvent désormais abreuver leurs animaux aux deux réservoirs construits à l'extérieur du camp par Oxfam. L'UNICEF a participé à la construction de latrines dans les villages des environs et s'est associée à un partenaire local pour reconstruire deux écoles primaires dans le village de Mbera et une maternelle à Bassikounou. L'ONG Solidarité a fourni de l'électricité aux habitants de villages voisins. Oxfam et l'Organisation internationale pour les migrations (OIM) construisent ou réhabilitent des dizaines de puits à l'extérieur du camp, et l'ONG SOS Desert a remis en état deux puits utilisés par des éleveurs à deux kilomètres du camp.

    L'amélioration la plus notable concerne peut-être les services de santé : les Mauritaniens ont accès aux quatre centres de santé du camp, qui sont bien équipés et disposent d'un personnel suffisant et compétent. Trois de ces dispensaires sont gérés par Médecins sans Frontières, la quatrième par le Fonds des Nations Unies pour la population (UNFPA). Elles disposent du matériel nécessaire pour faire des échographies et peuvent assurer le transport des patients qui présentent des complications jusqu'au centre chirurgical d'urgence géré par MSF à Bassikounou. Fatimata Wahalatte Ahmed, une infirmière du secteur public qui travaille dans l'un des centres de santé du camp, a estimé qu'environ 10 pour cent des patients étaient originaires des villages voisins. Elle a ajouté que le camp avait fourni des possibilités d'emploi au personnel du ministère de la Santé.

    Fabien Kabongo, responsable de MSF à Bassikounou, estime que 70 pour cent des patients qui ont bénéficié d'une opération chirurgicale d'urgence sont des Maliens, les 30 pour cent restants des Mauritaniens. Auparavant, les femmes qui avaient besoin d'une césarienne devaient aller jusqu'à Nema, à 240 km de là. « Deux femmes sur cinq mourraient pendant le trajet », a dit Cheride Kasongo, le chirurgien du centre.

    Les liens avec le développement

    La meilleure façon de venir en aide aux populations d'accueil consiste à associer l'aide humanitaire aux efforts de développement actuels, indiquent des spécialistes de l'aide aux réfugiés, et notamment le HCR.

    Mais en général, l'aide aux réfugiés et les projets d'aide au développement sont mal coordonnés, selon le rapport réalisé en 2011 par la Banque mondiale. Les projets de développement innovants qui peuvent bénéficier aux réfugiés comme aux populations d'accueil sont plus « l'exception que la règle » en raison du manque de soutien des bailleurs de fonds et du manque de prise de conscience des opportunités offertes par la présence de populations de réfugiés, selon le rapport.

    Si la présence de réfugiés peut favoriser le versement d'une aide au développement supplémentaire à une région, ce qui est bénéfique, une spécialiste de la capitale Nouakchott a dit à IRIN qu'elle craignait que le versement d'une aide d'urgence pour les réfugiés n'encourage les acteurs du développement à réduire leurs activités. Elle a indiqué qu'il fallait poursuivre les recherches dans ce domaine.

    « Étendre l'aide aux populations d'accueil pourrait offrir une transition intéressante vers le processus de radiation des [faux] 'réfugiés'», a dit à IRIN Mme Maymann, la représentante du HCR. Elle a ajouté que le gouvernement n'a pas donné d'instructions concernant le ciblage des populations locales, mais « a salué » la proposition du HCR d'accroître l'aide qui leur est allouée.

    Depuis les manifestations de septembre à Mbera, il n'y a pas eu de tensions entre les populations d'accueil et les réfugiés, a dit M. Etyemezian. Les personnes qui estiment avoir été injustement radiées peuvent déposer un recours devant le HCR ; jusqu'à présent, 5 pour cent des dossiers ont débouché sur une réadmission après la conduite d'une enquête.



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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    11/21/2013 11:59 GMT

    Par Serge DANIEL

    BAMAKO, 21 novembre 2013 (AFP) - Trois mois après la présidentielle, les élections législatives au Mali, dont le premier tour a lieu dimanche, doivent parachever le retour à la légalité constitutionnelle dans un pays toujours fragilisé par le putsch de mars 2012 et l'activisme des groupes armés islamistes.

    L'ombre d'attentats ou d'attaques de groupes jihadistes toujours actifs dans le nord du Mali en dépit de la présence de milliers de soldats français et africains de l'ONU, plane sur ce scrutin dont la sécurité sera en grande partie assurée par ces militaires et l'armée malienne.

    Jeudi à l'aube, des roquettes, sans doute tirées par des éléments islamistes, sont tombées dans la périphérie de Gao, la plus grande ville du Nord, sans faire de victimes.

    Après une accalmie de plusieurs mois, les groupes jihadistes qui ont occupé totalement le Nord pendant neuf mois en 2012 avant d'en être en partie chassés par une intervention armée internationale initiée par la France en janvier et toujours en cours, ont repris leurs attaques meurtrières le 28 septembre.

    Depuis, une dizaine de civils et de militaires maliens et tchadiens membres de la mission de l'ONU au Mali (Minusma) ont été tués dans ces attaques à Gao, Tombouctou et Kidal.

    Le 2 novembre, deux journalistes français de Radio France Internationale (RFI), Ghislaine Dupont et Claude Verlon, ont été enlevés à Kidal ( 1.500 km au nord-est de Bamako), avant d'être tués peu après, une action revendiquée par Al-Qaïda au Maghreb islamique (Aqmi).

    Les auteurs de ces meurtres qui ont soulevé l'indignation au Mali, en France et au-delà, courent toujours en dépit de progrès dans l'enquête menée conjointement par la France et le Mali.

    L'incertitude demeure quant à la tenue du scrutin à Kidal, berceau des Touareg et de leur rébellion du Mouvement national de libération de l'Azawad (MNLA), où règne l'anarchie malgré la présence des forces françaises, maliennes et de la Minusma.

    Une campagne peu mobilisatrice

    Quatre sièges sont à pourvoir dans la région de Kidal (30.000 électeurs inscrits sur 6,5 millions dans tout le Mali), mais aucun candidat n'y a vraiment mené campagne, encore moins les leaders des grands partis politiques qui ont évité de s'y rendre depuis Bamako.

    De manière générale, la campagne électorale de trois semaines qui s'achève vendredi a peu mobilisé, a constaté l'AFP, ce qui pourrait entraîner une baisse du taux de participation par rapport à la présidentielle de juillet/août. Il avait alors tourné autour de 50%, un taux exceptionnel au Mali.

    La présidentielle avait été largement remportée au second tour, le 11 août, par Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta (dit IBK), face à Soumaïla Cissé qui avait reconnu sa défaite avant même la publication des résultats officiels.

    L'objectif du parti présidentiel, le Rassemblement pour le Mali (RPM), est bien sûr de donner au chef de l'Etat "une majorité confortable"à l'Asssemblée nationale de 147 députés pour lui permettre de mener à bien sa difficile mission de redressement du pays, selon un responsable du RPM, Moussa Diakité.

    Mais, selon Mamadou Samaké, sociologue à Bamako, "il sera difficile, voire impossible à un seul parti politique d'obtenir la majorité" et le RPM pourrait être obligé de devoir s'allier avec d'autres, en particulier avec l'Alliance pour la démocratie au Mali (Adéma).

    Ce parti, l'un des plus anciens et des mieux implantés, s'était déchiré au moment de la présidentielle, une partie de ses dirigeants ayant choisi de soutenir IBK, une autre Soumaïla Cissé.

    Ce dernier, originaire de la région de Tombouctou où il est le candidat de son parti, l'Union pour la République et la démocratie (URD), ambitionne de devenir le chef de l'opposition parlementaire.

    Il avait été l'un des plus farouches opposants au coup d'Etat du 22 mars 2012 mené par un obscur capitaine, Amadou Haya Sanogo, que la justice malienne a convoqué fin octobre pour répondre des nombreuses exactions dont ont été accusés ses hommes après le putsch.

    Sanogo, bombardé général en août par le régime de transition alors en place, n'a toujours pas répondu à cette convocation, ce dont s'est indigné une coalition de partis, dont celui de M. Cissé.

    Car Sanogo et ses hommes ont été parmi les principaux acteurs de la descente aux enfers du Mali en 2012.

    Le scrutin de dimanche sera surveillé par des centaines d'observateurs nationaux et internationaux, dont ceux de l'Union européenne. Un second tour est prévu le 15 décembre si nécessaire.


    © 1994-2013 Agence France-Presse

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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    11/21/2013 10:32 GMT

    BAMAKO, November 21, 2013 (AFP) - Rockets were fired on northern Mali's largest city of Gao Thursday, days before legislative elections are to be held in the troubled west African nation, security sources said.

    The first shot was heard around 5:00 am (0500 GMT), a security source in Gao said, adding that it was "a powerful shot, which made a lot of noise but left no damage".

    A military source in the city said there had been three rockets fired, adding that they had fallen outside the urban area, into the Niger river.

    Fisherman Boureima Maiga said he was on his boat when he heard "a loud noise and saw something fall into the river".

    Residents also reported seeing French military aircraft above the city.

    The rocket fire comes ahead of legislative elections on Sunday, three months after a presidential poll, which Mali hopes will see a full return to stability after a coup in March 2012 plunged the country into crisis.

    The coup opened the way for Islamist groups to seize the vast north of the country, where they ran cities under their brutal version of sharia law for nine months.

    Former colonial power France intervened in January to drive out the radicals.

    After several months of calm, with French and African troops overseeing security, jihadist groups launched fresh attacks in September, leaving a dozen civilians, Malians and Chadian troops dead.

    Mali is also battling the latest separatist rebellion launched by the Tuareg, traditionally a federation of nomad tribes who rebelled in Mali and Niger in the 1960s and the 1990s, and are seeking some kind of self-determination for the country's north, a swathe of desert the size of Texas they call Azawad.

    The National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), ambushed soldiers as they were on patrol at a market near the border with Niger on November 8.

    The clash followed three attacks by the MNLA on soldiers in the rebel stronghold of Kidal in September, after the militants pulled out of peace talks with the government, dealing a blow to hopes of a durable peace in the troubled west African nation.

    The collapse of the talks led to an upsurge in violence which saw two French journalists shot dead on November 2 during a kidnapping in Kidal by Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

    The chief suspect in the kidnapping is a Tuareg thought to have associated with both AQIM and the mainly secular MNLA.

    The Bamako government strongly opposes Tuareg autonomy but the two parties are scheduled to resume talks on a date yet to be agreed.

    Some 6.5 million Malians are eligible to elect a new national assembly on Sunday, with more than 1,000 candidates running for 147 seats.

    Cheick Oumar Diarrah, Mali's minister of northern reconciliation and development, said in an interview with French media earlier this month he remained confident that the shaky security situation in the north would not stop the elections going ahead.

    "We believe that things can improve by November 24 as far as the legislative elections are concerned," he said.


    © 1994-2013 Agence France-Presse

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    Source: Government of the Republic of Mali
    Country: Mali


    Le Système d’Alerte Précoce est un dispositif de veille sur la situation alimentaire et nutritionnelle du pays. Sa méthodologie est basée sur une collecte permanente de do nnées liées à la situation alimentaire et nutritionnelle des populations. Ces informations couvrent des domaines très divers tels la pluviométrie, l'évolution des cultures, l'élevage, les prix sur les marchés, les migrations de populations, leurs habitudes et réserves alimentaires, ainsi que leur état de santé.

    Les informations sont recueillies auprès des services administratifs, techniques (Agriculture, élevage, pêche, santé, météo, hydraulique, OMA, commerce concurrence...),de la société civile (ONG,
    Associ ation, chambres, d’agricultures...) et des élus locaux depuis les communes vers les chefs - lieux de cercles, les chefs - lieux de Régions et enfin Bamako. Des missions de terrain sont réalisées pour affiner d’avantage les données.

    Avant d'être transmises sous f orme de rapport mensuel à Bamako, ces informations sont examinées par un Groupe de Travail Régional SAP présidé par le Conseiller aux Affaires Economiques et Financières du Gouverneur de région. Ce groupe de travail se réunit mensuellement et regroupe les services techniques, les élus, les Organisations Internationales et les ONGs intéressées par la sécurité alimentaire.

    L’évaluation de la situation alimentaire est le résultat de multiples recoupements (combinaisons) entre différents paramètres en rapport a vec la situation alimentaire.

    Dans les zones où une dégradation de la situation alimentaire est suspectée, une équipe composée d’agents de la santé et des actions sociales dirigée par le SAP mène une enquête Socio - Médico - Nutritionnelle approfondie afin de préciser l’importance des problèmes suspectés.

    A Bamako les rapports régionaux, les résultats des enquêtes, et les informations collectées auprès des services techniques nationaux concernés sont analysés et rassemblés dans un rapport mensuel qui est examin é puis adopté par le groupe de travail S.A.P, avant d’être publié et distribué sous forme de bulletin national. Ce groupe de travail S.A.P est présidé par l’Institut de Statistique.

    Le bulletin mensuel est distribué aux autorités nationales, régionales, lo cales, communales et aux organismes internationaux afin de leur permettre de prendre les mesures susceptibles de prévenir une crise alimentaire

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