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ReliefWeb - Updates

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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal
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    Source: ECOWAS
    Country: Mali

    N°: 326/2013

    20 November 2013 [Abuja - Nigeria]

    Prof. Amos Claudius Sawyer, former President of Liberia’s Interim Government of National Unity is leading a 100-strong ECOWAS Observation Mission (EOM) to Mali’s 24th November 2013 Parliamentary polls.

    The mission, comprising election experts from National Election Commissions of Member States, ECOWAS Ambassadors and Council of the Wise, as well as representatives of civil society organizations, among others, will be deployed to most of the country’s regions.

    Bamako will serve as the operations centre for the mission, whose members would be adequately briefed before deployment across the country. The deployment by the President of the ECOWAS Commission His Excellency Kadre Desire Ouedraogo is within the framework of relevant protocols empowering the Commission to assist Member States holding elections as a means of deepening democracy and good governance in the region.

    Following the return of relative peace characterized by the successful July/August presidential polls, which were also monitored by ECOWAS and other international observers in the aftermath of Mali’s political and security crises, the country’s ruling and opposition parties have formed political alliances to field more than 1,100 candidates for the 147-seat national parliament.

    Mali, a largely conservative country with rich tradition and culture has an estimated population of 16.5 million people. According to the national electoral commission figures, out of the 6.5 million voters registered to cast their ballots in more than 20,000 polling centres for the parliamentary poll, 3.3 million are women.

    A successful parliamentary election will mark the end of the political transition facilitated by ECOWAS and help the country consolidate peace, national healing and the process of national unity, reconstruction and recovery after the crises, which ECOWAS and international partners played a major part in resolving.


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    Source: ALIMA
    Country: Mali

    Du 28 octobre au 4 novembre 2013, les équipes de Alima et de son partenaire au Mali, l’Alliance Médicale Contre le Paludisme (AMCP), ont réalisé la première distribution d’Aliments Supplémentaires Prêts à l’Emploi (ASPE) dans le district de Kangaba en partenariat avec les autorités sanitaires locales de la région de Koulikouro. Au total, 4439 enfants ont ainsi reçu une ration de 4 pots de Plumpy’doz.

    Le plumpy’doz est une pâte constituée de lait en poudre et d’arachides, c’est un complément alimentaire, dont la prise quotidienne permet de satisfaire les besoins des enfants de 6 à 36 mois en micronutriments essentiels. Il a été conçu pour réduire l’incidence de la malnutrition dans des pays où l’accès à une alimentation est monotone et ne satisfait pas les besoins nutritionnels spécifiques de cette tranche d’âge. L’utilisation de suppléments nutritionnels permet une réduction de la malnutrition chronique et a un réel impact sur la diminution de la malnutrition aigüe globale.

    « Lors de cette distribution, nous avons ciblés les enfants sains âgés de 06 à 23 mois car après la phase de l’allaitement maternel, cette tranche d’âge est la plus vulnérable en termes de mortalité et de retard de développement » commente Ouologuem Sekou, le responsable du projet Alima/AMCP dans le district. Dans cette zone, les enfants souffrent également du paludisme ; ils vont cesser de s’alimenter correctement pendant deux à trois jours, ce qui les rend encore plus vulnérables aux maladies. A l’inverse, la dénutrition les expose à des risques accrus de maladies. La prévention de la malnutrition dans sa globalité est donc essentielle pour réduire la mortalité infantile liée aux pathologies courantes comme les diarrhées et infections respiratoires.

    Une distribution de Plumpy’doz préparée et menée avec les acteurs de santé locaux

    En amont de la distribution, le personnel des centres de santé et du district ont été formés et associés aux campagnes de sensibilisation à travers l’identification et l’encadrement des agents de santé et relais communautaires pour mener des opérations de dépistage au porte à porte. Les enfants atteint de malnutrition ont été référés vers le centre de santé le plus proche pour une prise en charge appropriée par Alima/AMCP et l’ONG Afasso.

    L’ensemble des accompagnants des enfants a été informé des dates de distribution du plumpy’doz et ont bénéficié de recommandations sur l’alimentation des jeunes enfants. Des messages de sensibilisation en langue locale (le malinké) ont également été diffusés à travers les radios locales. Malgré les difficultés d’accès de la zone découpée par la rive droite du fleuve Niger, en huit jours, 17 756 pots de Plumpy’doz ont été distribués.

    « Ma petite sœur Nassira n’a pas encore 2 ans », nous explique Lala Traoré, âgée de 18 ans, lors de la distribution dans le Centre de Santé Communautaire de Habala Dougou Kenieba. « Tous les jours, elle mange du riz et d’autres aliments selon ce que la famille peut trouver. Je ne sais pas ce qu’est la malnutrition, mais j’ai bien compris que ma petite sœur devait prendre 3 cuillères à soupe des pots reçus entre les repas pour rester en bonne santé ».

    La distribution d’ASPE cible au total 6958 enfants dans 189 villages du district de Kangaba. Appuyée par l’UNICEF, elle s’inscrit dans le cadre du programme de réduction de la mortalité infantile de la région de Koulikoro de Alima/AMCP au sud Mali. Les équipes de Alima/AMCP envisagent d’étendre cette activité à 5 autres districts de la région de Koulikouro.


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    Source: Food and Agriculture Organization
    Country: Burkina Faso

    Women and youth main beneficiaries in Burkina Faso, West Africa

    21 November 2013, Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso/Rome - A project that supplied chickens, turkeys, sheep and pigs to smallscale farmers, most of them women, has proven that with training, veterinary support and a nearby market, livestock are an excellent way to lift people out of poverty.

    The three-year Italian-funded project, implemented by the Ministry of Animal Resources and Fisheries with FAO technical support, helped 200 farm families near the towns of Bobo-Dioulasso and Nouna in western Burkina Faso get started in the livestock business.

    Besides providing animals, the project helped farmers to build inexpensive shelters, provided veterinary inputs such as vaccines and food supplements and trained farmers in livestock care.

    Project beneficiaries used some of the animals as high-protein food, and sold the rest at market for additional income. The average income gained in one year per family was about $600 for pigs, $270 for chickens and $216 for turkeys.

    "This is a fine example of the government taking the lead, backed up by FAO and our donor Italy, in a pilot project that took a simple, well-targeted idea and made it into a success that can be replicated elsewhere," said François Rasolo, FAO Representative in Burkina Faso.

    Ministry to expand concept

    The success of the project has led the ministry to draw up a masterplan to introduce small livestock keeping to target groups in all 45 provinces of the country.

    Of the 200 farms benefiting from the project, around 130 were managed by women, a fact that was lauded by former Minister of Animal Resources and Fisheries Jérémie Ouédraogo after a visit to project farms near Nouna.

    "It is very satisfying to see how women have picked up the skills necessary to raise small livestock," he said. "With techniques learned only recently, they find themselves today with operations that have already generated income for some of them of 200 000 CFA francs ($400)."

    "I have just seen the reality that small livestock keeping generates wealth with minimum training and a bit of individual and collective investment," he added.

    The project, worth $550 000, fits into a larger national policy on investment in the livestock sector.

    National policy goals include poverty reduction and food security enhancement as well as the slowing of rural migration to the city, encouraging youth to stay on the land, and helping women and youth to participate in the development of their communities.


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    11/22/2013 01:46 GMT

    by Serge Daniel

    BAMAKO, November 22, 2013 (AFP) - Ravaged by war, hamstrung by political chaos and mired in poverty, Mali sets out on the road to recovery on Sunday with the first parliamentary polls since it was upended by a military coup.

    The election will complete the troubled west African nation's return to democracy, finalising a process which started with the election of its first post-conflict president amid joyful scenes in the capital Bamako three months ago.

    But the vote takes place amid an upsurge in violence by Al-Qaeda-linked rebels who stalk the vast northern desert, an ever-present danger to French and African troops who are tasked with providing security for the election alongside the Malian army.

    Militants shelled the northern city of Gao on Thursday, and although their rockets fell harmlessly short of the main urban centre, the attack underlined the continuing security threat.

    Islamists ousted by French and African troops in January from the northern towns they had occupied last year resumed their deadly insurgency on September 28, after a lull of several months.

    Since then, a dozen civilians as well as Malian and Chadian soldiers in the United Nations' MINUSMA peacekeeping mission have been killed in and around Gao, Timbuktu and Kidal.

    In a grisly reminder for the West of the ongoing security crisis, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb on November 2 kidnapped and shot dead two French radio journalists who had come to Kidal, 1,500 kilometres (930 miles) northeast of Bamako.

    Uncertainty remains over security ahead of the vote in the largely lawless region, the cradle of a Tuareg rebellion and the stronghold of the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), despite the presence of peacekeepers and French and Malian troops.

    Uninspiring campaign

    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.

    Four seats are up for grabs in the Kidal region, a vast but sparsely populated expanse of desert with an electorate of around 30,000.

    Yet no candidate has run a campaign of any note in the area, and the leaders of the major political parties have in particular been conspicuous by their absence.

    The three-week campaign, which ends Friday, has not caught fire in Mali, and pundits are predicting a lower turnout than the 50 percent achieved in the presidential election won by former prime minister Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.

    The ruling Rally for Mali (RPM) has vowed to deliver "a comfortable majority" to smoothe the path for the reforms Keita plans to put in place to rebuild Mali's stagnant economy and soothe simmering ethnic tensions in the north.

    But Bamako-based social scientist Mamadou Samake told AFP that it would be "difficult or impossible" for any one political party to manage an overall majority, predicting that the RPM would be required to go into coalition to form a government.

    Such a deal would almost certainly require the acquiescence of the Alliance for Democracy in Mali (Adema), one of the country's most established parties, which was split during the presidential polls between Keita and his rival, Soumaila Cisse.

    Cisse, who is vying to represent the Union for the Republic and Democracy (URD) in his home region of Timbuktu, aims to become the leader of the parliamentary opposition.

    He was among the fiercest opponents of former junta chief Amadou Sanogo, who has recently been summoned before a judge to answer accusations that his men committed atrocities after overthrowing the democratically elected government in March last year.

    Sanogo, controversially promoted to general in August by the outgoing transitional government, has not responded to the summons, angering a coalition of anti-coup politicians that includes Cisse.

    Sunday's election will be supervised by hundreds of Malian and international observers, including a European Union mission.

    A second round will take place on December 15 if no party is able to form a government following Sunday's vote.

    bur-stb/ft/nb/jmm

    © 1994-2013 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: African Development Bank
    Country: Nigeria

    November 14 marked a milestone in the history of Zaria, Kaduna State, with the launch of its $480 million Water Supply, Expansion and Sanitation Project. The start-up was launched at the site of the newly built water treatment plant in a ceremony with the Governor of Kaduna State; the Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris; Ajisegiri Benson, representative of the Minister for Water Resources; and the Country Director of the African Development Bank as guests of honour.

    The African Development Bank loan of $100 million will focus on putting infrastructure and systems in place to ensure water produced gets to the end users leading to improved access from 30 per cent to 80 per cent by 2017, improved sanitation of schools, health centres, markets, motor parks and other public places to 90 per cent by 2017 and improved capacity and commercial viability of the Kaduna State Water Board.

    Over 2.2 million people from 23 communities in seven Local Government Areas will be benefitting from this project by the year 2025.

    In his remarks, the Country Director of the AfDB, Ousmane Dore, urged Kaduna State Government to bear in mind the importance of building sustainability mechanisms into the project, ensuring that the State Water Board is legally and financially autonomous and able to operate in a commercially-oriented manner. He also reiterated that setting of water tariffs must be realistic to cover the cost of production and delivery, and urged the Government to encourage private-sector participation.

    In response, the Governor of Kaduna State, Mukhtar Ramalan Yero, expressed appreciation for the AfDB loan of $100 million (NGN 15 billion) to fund Phase III, which is the rehabilitation and extension of distribution network, capacity support for improved sustainable service delivery by Kaduna State Water Board and provision of sanitation facilities. He also recognized the loan of $81 million (NGN 12.5 billion) from the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) for Phase III, the construction and transmission mains and service reservoirs, adding that both Phases II and III of the project will be finished in 2017.


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    Source: IRIN
    Country: Mali

    GAO/BAMAKO, 21 November 2013 (IRIN) - Eleven months after French forces dislodged Islamist militants from northern Mali, the region’s humanitarian crisis is far from over. Hunger levels are higher this year than last, with malnutrition reaching emergency levels in Gao town, Bourem and Ansongo. Banditry is preventing herders throughout the north from accessing grazing land, and insecurity is barring some aid agencies from accessing remote populations in need.

    “This is the most challenging situation Mali has ever experienced. In the previously rebel-controlled areas [of Kidal] the situation is extremely volatile. Half a million people were displaced during the conflict; 200,000 children suffer from acute malnutrition; and 1.3 million people are food insecure and depend on food distributions,” UN Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) Deputy Special Representative David Gressly told IRIN in the capital, Bamako.

    Insecurity hot spots are: Kidal Region’s Ifoghas Mountains; Tessalit, east of Timbuktu town, towards the border with Mauritania; and Gao in the area around Menaka towards the border with Algeria, according to Gressly and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

    Fernando Arroyo, head of OCHA in Mali, told IRIN: “It’s difficult to move outside urban areas, not only in Kidal, but also in Timbuktu, Gao and former occupied areas around Mopti. In towns like Tessalit, we have no or very little access.”

    Hunger

    A July 2013 food security assessment by the government, the World Food Programme (WFP) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates three out of four households in Gao, Timbuktu, Kidal and the previously occupied parts of Mopti Region are dependent on food assistance to survive. Half of the population in these areas has already sold off or mortgaged critical assets, further threatening food security. Some families are spending up to 90 percent of their incomes on food, said WFP’s Mali spokesperson Alexandre Brecher.

    Next year, as internally displaced people continue to return to the north, the number facing hunger in that region could reach 1.5 million, estimates the assessment.

    According to the Standardized Monitoring and Assessment of Relief and Transition (SMART) survey, conducted in May by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and its partners, global acute malnutrition rates in Gao hit 13.5 percent, rising to 17 percent in Bourem district.

    Action Against Hunger, the government, the European Commission’s humanitarian aid arm (ECHO), and UNICEF are responding to malnourished children’s needs in the regional hospital in Gao and local clinics in Gao and Bourem. SMART surveys have not yet been done in Timbuktu or Kidal because of security issues, said UNICEF.

    Mali is just emerging from its annual lean season, but food access in the north has also been hampered both by the fallout of the 2011-2012 drought and conflict-related disruptions. These include mass displacement. While some returned to harvest their crops during the rainy season, many did not, said Wanalher Ag Alwaly, of the NGO Tassaght in Gao.

    An exodus of Gao’s and Timbuktu’s Arab traders into neighbouring countries has disrupted trade, as has the closure of the Algeria border, a key trade hub. The Algerian government has said last week it will open up the border for limited periods of time.

    The road between Gao and Kidal “is still not safe”, said Soumeila Cissé, a truck driver in Gao. “Bandits frequently stop private cars and rob trucks of their cargo. That is why we haven’t been able to deliver goods to the villages north of Gao,” he told IRIN. Some Gao-based transport companies have stopped delivering goods to the north altogether, he said.

    However, the road south of Gao to Niamey, in Niger, has improved almost to pre-conflict levels.

    In the regions of Bourem and Gao, where the main crop is rice, sowing was delayed because of the late rains and flooding of the Niger River, which prevented farmers from accessing the fields. This year’s rice harvest in Gao and Bourem is not expected to be promising, said Christian Munezero, humanitarian programme manager for Oxfam in Gao.

    “By this time last year, the barn was almost full with millet,” said Aishatoun Touré, a farmer in Gao Region. “This year, we have already used up all of our reserves and won't have any millet until the next harvest. The months ahead will be very hard.”

    Authorities in some communities are coming to Oxfam in desperate need of help.

    “If the current volume of assistance is not amplified, we are probably moving towards a much more significant situation than the 2012 food crisis,” said Oxfam country director Mohamed Coulibaly.

    Oxfam is currently assessing the emergency needs in parts of Gao where it works.

    Banditry limits grazing

    Moussa Ag Bilal, a pastoralist from Forgho, a small village 25km from Gao, told IRIN many herders are too afraid of bandit attacks to venture more than 10km from their village. As a result, herders are concentrated in a small area, where pasture is fast running out.

    “Pasture is already becoming scarce, and sometimes herders are forced to cross into grazing land that belongs to other pastoralist groups. Since rains were scarce, wells and rivers didn’t fill up properly. In some areas, access to water is becoming a huge problem,” he told IRIN.

    While agencies have worked to rehabilitate 70 percent of the water points for animals along traditional grazing routes in Gao Region, and 50 percent of those water points in Bourem, according to Oxfam, the lack of human resources and spare parts makes maintaining them difficult.

    Tassaght’s Ag Awaly told IRIN: “I fear the situation will be very critical, with pasture and water becoming more and more scarce and possibly running out in coming weeks.”

    Basic services

    Government capacity to address these problems remains very limited, said aid officials, although many improvements to state services have been made. Much of the electricity and water systems have been restored in Gao and Timbuktu, for example.

    Civil servants were given incentives of up to US$400 to return to the north, but many did not return, leaving regional government offices in Gao and Timbuktu only partly operational. Many hospitals, schools and basic social services are still not fully functioning, leaving the population to rely on the assistance of humanitarians on the ground.

    While 480 schools are officially open in Gao and Timbuktu, they lack material, books and desks, and many of them lack teachers. No schools have yet re-opened in Kidal.

    The main hospitals are functioning with the help of partners, while many health clinics are now open - 80 percent of Timbuktu's, 94 percent of Gao's and 66 percent of Kidal's, though many lack staff and equipment, according to Claude Dunn, emergency coordinator for UNICEF Mali.

    Healthcare is a problem in Kidal, said its mayor, Arabcane Ag Abzayack. “In Kidal town, ICRC [the International Committee for the Red Cross] and local NGOs provide healthcare. People in the desert and villages far from Kidal still have to go to Tamanarasset and Tin Zaouatine, in southern Algeria, for medical treatment."

    Access

    While some agencies, such as ICRC, have been able to negotiate humanitarian access in all three northern regions, others say their access has been limited.

    ICRC staff member Attaher Maiga said the organization is the only humanitarian group present in the eleven regions of Kidal.

    “There are no areas where we can’t work. We have been present in all the regions since the north was liberated [in January]. During the occupation we worked with local leaders to gain access both in Gao and Kidal. We are working closely with the Malian forces and MINUSMA, notifying them when we go into sensitive areas around Ansongo and Menaka and [west] of Timbuktu towards the border with Mauritania,” he said.

    Oxfam said it could access Gao Region, but they are constantly monitoring the evolving security risks. MSF has operations and staff in Timbuktu and Gao, but not in the Kidal Region. UNICEF is working in Gao and Timbuktu but not Kidal, while WFP is delivering food in Kidal through ICRC and local partners.

    UN agencies will revert to military escorts only as a “last resort” said Gressly. “It’s a volatile environment. We are working on increasing humanitarian access in remote areas without depending on troops,” he told IRIN.

    kh/aj/rz


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    Source: Government of Niger, UN High Commissioner for Refugees
    Country: Mali, Niger

    Aujourd’hui mercredi 20 novembre 2013, M. Karl Steinacker, Représentant du Haut-Commissariat des Nations Unies pour les Réfugiés et les autorités nigériennes représentées par M. Adamou Namata, Préfet du département de Ouallam, lancent le démarrage officiel de la facilitation du rapatriement des réfugiés maliens au camp de réfugiés de Mangaize (département de Ouallam).

    Le retour volontaire des réfugiés est facilité par le HCR et la Commission Nationale d’Eligibilité au statut de réfugiés, la CNE. En échange de leur attestation de réfugiés, les candidats au retour reçoivent un formulaire de rapatriement volontaire, un document important leur servant de document de voyage pour faciliter leur passage à la frontière.

    Au camp de Mangaize, quelques 250 réfugiés, regroupés dans 52 ménages, sont les premiers à bénéficier de la facilitation du retour. Dans les trois camps de la région de Tillabéry, ils sont à ce jour environ 5.000 réfugiés soit plus de 1.000 familles à avoir sollicité l’assistance du HCR et de la CNE pour un retour volontaire vers des zones suffisamment sécurisées avec des départs échelonnés jusqu’à la fin de l’année.

    Le Gouvernement du Niger, à travers la Commission Nationale d’Eligibilité, et en coopération avec l’UNHCR va continuer à accorder l’asile, la protection et l’assistance aux réfugiés maliens se trouvant sur son territoire.

    Le Représentant du HCR saisit l’occasion pour rendre hommage à l’accueil et à l’extraordinaire générosité dont le peuple et le Gouvernement du Niger font preuve envers les réfugiés maliens. Il réaffirme son engagement à offrir une solution durable à la situation des réfugiés, et à aider à rapatrier ceux qui souhaitent rentrer chez eux.


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    Source: ECOWAS
    Country: Mali

    22 November 2013 [Bamako - Mali]

    Head of ECOWAS Election Observation Mission, Prof. Amos Sawyer has appealed for peaceful parliamentary polls in Mali on Sunday to consolidate the progress made towards the restoration of constitutional order and the country’s territorial integrity.

    Speaking to journalists shortly after his arrival in Bamako on Thursday 21st November 2013, Prof. Sawyer, former President of Liberia’s Interim Government of National Unity, who is leading 100 ECOWAS observers urged Malian political parties, the electorate and other stakeholders to replicate the political maturity they demonstrated during the recent successful presidential elections in the country.

    He explained that ECOWAS attached great importance to the parliamentary election in demonstration of its determination to accompany Mali along the process of ending its political transition facilitated by the regional organization following the country’s political and security crises.

    “That is the reason we are here because what happens in Mali affects everyone in our region,” said the Head of Mission, who was received by Ambassador Aboudou Toure Cheaka, ECOWAS Commission President’s Special Representative to Mali.

    He urged Malians to turn out massively to elect members of the147-seat National Assembly from the more than 1,100 contending candidates.

    The Head of Mission said the regional observers would be deployed to all the country’s eight regions, with the UN Mission, MINUSMA offering to assist with the airlift of observers to the northern regions of Kidal, Gao and Timbuktu.
    He commended President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita for his government’s commitment to national reconciliation, noting that Mali was on the right path to regaining its prime position and role in the region.

    Later at a briefing for the observers, Prof. Sawyer urged them to maintain neutrality, and demonstrate a high sense of professionalism with strict adherence to regional guidelines and regulations governing poll observation.

    On security, he said they should see their task as “an opportunity for the display of solidarity with our Malian brothers and sisters,” for the deepening of democracy and good governance in the country and the region.

    Ambassador Cheaka and the ECOWAS Director for Political Affairs, Dr. Abdel-Fatau Musah provided the observers with the historical and political background of the Malian crises and outlined ECOWAS’ proactive involvements in the resolution of the conflict.
    The observers were also given security briefing ahead of their deployment.
    Meanwhile, ahead of Sunday’s poll, Prof. Sawyer is expected to meet with heads of other observation missions and Malian political stakeholders including the General Delegate to the Election and the National Electoral Commission as well as MINUSMA officials.

    On Election Day, he is expected to visit some of the 20,000 polling centres to observe the electoral process as more than 6.5 million registered voters from Mali’s estimated 16.5 million population cast their ballots.

    The country’s electoral code provides for a second round of voting to be decided by a majority vote in a situation where no independent candidate or list of coalition candidates scored the mandatory 50% plus one vote in the first round.


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    Source: Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict
    Country: Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Mali, Myanmar, Philippines, Somalia, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Uganda, Yemen, South Sudan (Republic of)
    preview


    This month’s update highlights children and armed conflict concerns and provides recommendations for the protection of children in the situations of the Central African region / Lord’s Resistance Army, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Yemen and the Philippines. It includes recommendations in particular for the inclusion of grave violations against children as a specific aspect of all reports published by the UN Secretary-General on the situation in Abyei, along the Sudan-South Sudan border.

    Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict is a network of local, national and international non-governmental organizations striving to end violations against children in armed conflicts and to guarantee their rights. Monthly updates are based on the experience of Watchlist and its member organizations in specific country situations and Watchlist’s expertise in over a decade of engagement with the Security Council’s children and armed conflict agenda.


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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal
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    Source: UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali
    Country: Mali

    La Division des droits de l’homme de la MINUSMA réactive son Centre d’appel, ouvert 24/24h et 7 jours/7, afin de permettre à toute personne, citoyennes et citoyens maliens ou non, de rapporter toute allégation, incident ou cas de violation des droits de l’homme, dans la langue de son choix (Arabe, Bambara, Français, Peulh, Songhai et Tamashek).

    Numéros de téléphone: MALITEL 800 55 56 / ORANGE 800 66 66

    Conformément au mandat établi par la résolution 2100 (2013) du Conseil de sécurité des Nations Unies, la Division des droits de l’homme de la MINUSMA contribue à la promotion et à la protection des droits de l’homme au Mali.

    La Division des droits de l'homme surveille entre autres les atteintes ou violations concernant les droits de l’homme ou violations du droit international humanitaire commises sur toute l’étendue du pays, y compris les droits de l’homme dans un contexte électoral.

    Les élections libres et transparentes sont à la base d’une société démocratique garante de la promotion et de la protection des droits de l’homme.

    Comme le stipule l’article 25 du Pacte international relatif aux civils et politiques, ratifié par la République du Mali le 16 juillet 1974, tout citoyen a le droit et la possibilité, sans aucune discrimination - fondée sur la couleur, l’origine sociale, le sexe, la langue, la religion, l’opinion politique - et sans restrictions déraisonnables, de prendre part à la direction des affaires publiques.

    De manière directe, ou alors par l'intermédiaire de représentants librement choisis au cours d'élections périodiques, honnêtes, au suffrage universel et égal et au scrutin secret, assurant l'expression libre de la volonté des électeurs. La Constitution malienne reconnait et protège ces mêmes droits.

    En effet, la participation effective et sans discrimination aux affaires publiques est un droit fondamental en démocratie, accordé aux citoyennes et citoyens à travers les élections. Cet exercice requiert, en plus des devoirs, la jouissance de droits protégés tels que la liberté d’association, d’expression, d’opinion, ainsi que la liberté de réunion.

    Les élections doivent se dérouler dans un climat apaisé et dénué de toute intimidation ou corruption électorale.

    La Division des droits de l’homme de la MINUSMA poursuit ses efforts dans le but d’aider les autorités maliennes dans leur entreprise de promotion et de défense des droits de l’homme.

    Au cours des prochaines élections législatives, la Division accordera une attention particulière à la surveillance des violations des droits de l’homme avant, pendant et après les élections: violences pendant la campagne, intimidations et représailles contre des électeurs, des candidats et en particulier les femmes.

    Une attention particulière sera également accordée aux personnes vulnérables souvent marginalisées pendant le processus électoral (femmes, refugiés, personnes déplacées internes, jeunes, minorités, personnes en situation de handicap).

    A cet effet, la Division des droits de l’homme de la MINUSMA a créé un Centre d’appel, ouvert 24/24h et 7 jours/7, afin de permettre à toute personne, citoyennes et citoyens maliens ou non, de rapporter toute allégation, incident ou cas de violation des droits de l’homme, dans la langue de son choix (Arabe, Bambara, Français, Peulh, Songhai et Tamashek).

    Les informations reçues par le Centre d’appel feront l’objet d’une utilisation approfondie et d’un traitement confidentiel, y compris dans le cadre d’une enquête.

    Vous pouvez appeler aux numéros verts suivants : MALITEL 800 55 56 / ORANGE 800 66 66

    Le Centre d’appels peut aussi être joint sur les numéros suivants

    Téléphone fixe :
    44 25 00 00
    44 25 00 01
    44 25 00 02
    44 25 00 03

    Téléphone portable
    79 99 93 43
    79 99 93 67
    79 99 93 69
    79 99 93 82


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    11/23/2013 02:29 GMT

    by Serge Daniel

    BAMAKO, November 23, 2013 (AFP) - Kidal, the sand-swept desert home of numerous armed factions in the most isolated, inhospitable corner of Mali, is preparing for legislative elections on Sunday under the ever-present threat of bloodshed.

    Capital of the harsh Saharan region of the same name and the cradle of the nomadic Tuareg, the town has slipped from the regimented control of separatist rebels into a state of lawless anarchy which allowed the recent murders of two French journalists by Islamists.

    "The Malian army, the Tuareg rebels, the UN force and the Islamists are all armed in Kidal," said a local government employee on condition of anonymity.

    "We don't know who's doing what, there is no life here, every part of the city is controlled by an armed group."

    Mali's President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita recently described the situation in Kidal as "unacceptable", while his defence minister Soumeilou Boubeye Maiga conceded that "Kidal is the only region at the moment where the sovereignty of the state is not effective".

    A coalition of parties opposed to a military coup in March last year that precipitated the fall of northern Mali to Islamists has asked the government to postpone Kidal's participation in the nationwide vote for a new national assembly.

    But the vote is set to go ahead amid a security operation involving Malian soldiers, African peacekeepers and the French deployment, boosted from 200 to 350 troops in the wake of the November 2 murders of Radio France International journalists Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon by Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

    Non-existent campaign

    If the parliamentary election campaign has failed to capture the imagination of ordinary Malians, it has been all but non-existent in the Kidal region, where only 30,000 voters out of a total of 6.5 million countrywide are registered.

    Echoing the apathy evident during the August presidential election, many of Kidal's inhabitants are dismissing the parliamentary polls as a "sham" and expect a weak turnout, perhaps lower than the 11 percent who made it to the polling booths when Keita was elected.

    Such indifference is hardly surprising in a region which gave birth to the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), a secular, separatist fighting force which has denounced the "marginalisation" of northern Mali and is calling for autonomy from the elites 1,500 kilometres (930 miles) away in Bamako.

    The MNLA was routed last year by armed Islamists linked to Al-Qaeda who occupied northern Mali, but made a comeback to Kidal in late January, taking advantage of a French-led military operation which ousted the extremists.

    But AQIM's murder of the journalists and a deadly attack on Chadian peacekeepers by the group in October have underlined that the MNLA's grip on Kidal has been loosened as foreign troops have entered the region to secure Mali's return to democracy.

    Four legislators will be elected to represent the Kidal region, taking their place among 143 other members of the new national assembly, being launched as part of Mali's long road back to economic recovery and parliamentary democracy.

    Almost all the candidates in Kidal are members of the High Council for the Unity of Azawad, a Tuareg political movement which, alongside the MNLA, signed a peace accord with the government in June allowing the staging of the presidential elections and peace talks, which have yet to take place.

    "I am confident. I know that the elections will bring peace. We want to negotiate and we need the government to agree to negotiate," said Hamada Ag Bibi, a candidate for Keita's party, the Rally for Mali (RPM).

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    Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
    Country: Burkina Faso, Burundi, Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda
    preview


    Operational Highlights

    • The UN Refugee Agency provides protection and multi-sectorial assistance in coordination with CONAREF (Commission Nationale Pour les Réfugiés) along with UN Agencies and 17 NGOs it coordinates to 45,699 Malian Refugees.

    • Consolidation of Camps: UNHCR has consolidated 3 official camps (Goudoubo, Mentao and Sag-nioniogo) in order to improve UNHCR’s ability to deliver assistance as well as relocating the refugees at a safer distance from the border. Since mid-October 2012, over 11,300 refugees have been relocated from camps and spontaneous site located near the border.

    • Biometric Registration: UNHCR in Burkina Faso has finalized the first phase of the Biometric Registration Level III launched on 19 August. The first phase included Ouagadougou and Bobo-Dioulasso cit and Sag-nioniogo and Mentao camp. So far, the results of Mentao Camp have been consolidated with 12,270 refugees and the registration exercise is underway in Goudoubo camp.

    • Launch of Food and Cash Transfers by UNHCR-WFP: During the month of September, WFP in collaboration with UNHCR undertook cashtransfers to all official refugee camps in Burkina Faso (Sag-nioniogo, Mentao and Gouboubo), except in the spontaneous Sites of Ouadalan. The cash-food transfer is an effort to adapt food assistance to the current needs of the refugee population.

    • Refugee Committees: CONAREF (Camp Administrator), IEDA-RELIEF (Camp Manager) and UNHCR (Inter-Camp Coordinator) completed the election and training of four refugee committees and four sectorial committee in Sag-nioniogo.

    • Income Generating Activities: 401 women have received cash-grants from IEDA-Relief and have been further trained on the efficient use of their cash grant (150 Mentao, 150 Goudoubo, 50 Sag-nioniogo and 51 in Bobo-Dioulasso). CREDO has selected 10 children for vocational and technical education. The NGO Terre des Hommes continues to follow up on their income generating grants provided to 335 refugees (156 Goudoubo, 106 Sag-nioniogo and 73 in Bobo-Dioulasso).


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    11/24/2013 13:46 GMT

    Des hommes armés ont dérobé dimanche une urne, utilisée pour le premier tour des élections législatives, dans un bureau de vote d'une localité de la région de Goundam, près de Tombouctou (nord-ouest du Mali), a indiqué le maire de Goundam.

    "Dans la localité de Bajakary, à 80 kilomètres de Goundam, des hommes armés ont enlevé une urne" d'un bureau, a déclaré la maire, Oumou Sall Seck. "J'ai envoyé des huissiers sur place pour constater les faits", a-t-elle ajouté, en signalant également qu'à "Takoubao, autre localité située à 15 kilomètres de Goundam, les cartes d'électeurs ont été confisqués".

    Mme Sall Seck n'a fourni aucune indication sur l'identité de ces hommes armés.

    Dadié Diango, président local de la Commission électorale nationale indépendante (Céni) de la région de Goundam, a par ailleurs noté "plusieurs anomalies" dans cette région du sud-ouest de Tombouctou, en particulier l'absence de plusieurs urnes dans des bureaux, dont certaines ont été enlevées "par un élu", qu'il n'a pas nommé.

    Quelque 6,5 millions d'électeurs sont appelés à voter pour les législatives censées parachever le retour à l'ordre constitutionnel, interrompu par un coup d'Etat en mars 2012 qui avait précipité la chute du nord du Mali aux mains de groupes islamistes armés liés à Al-Qaïda, traqués depuis janvier par une intervention armée étrangère initiée par la France.

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    © 1994-2013 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    11/24/2013 18:34 GMT

    Par Serge DANIEL et Ahamadou CISSE

    BAMAKO, 24 novembre 2013 (AFP) - Hormis des incidents provoqués par des indépendantistes Touareg dans le nord du Mali, les élections législatives se sont déroulées dans le calme dimanche dans ce pays, mais sans susciter la même ferveur que la présidentielle de juillet-août.

    A Talataye, à l'Est de Gao, la plus grande ville du nord du Mali, des habitants, indépendantistes touareg, ont manifesté et saisi le matériel électoral pour empêcher le déroulement du vote, ce qu'ils ont réussi à faire.

    Des incidents, également provoqués par des indépendantistes touareg, ont aussi eu lieu à Kidal (nord-est) où des vitres de voitures ont été brisées, les éclats ont blessé une femme, selon une source militaire ouest-africaine dans la ville.

    Les bureaux de vote qui avaient ouvert à 08H00 (locale et GMT) ont fermé à 18H00. De premiers résultats devraient être connus lundi.

    Des journalistes de l'AFP ont constaté une faible affluence tout au long de la journée à Bamako et des témoins contactés dans le Nord, où sévissent les jihadistes, ont confirmé cette tendance.

    "Il n'y a pas de monde, les candidats n'ont pas mobilisé", a noté Oumou Sawadogo, électrice d'un bureau installé dans un lycée de la capitale.

    En allant déposer son bulletin dans l'urne à Bamako, le chef de l'Etat a fait part de sa "joie" de pouvoir voter et estimé que ces législatives prouvaient que "le Mali est debout et avance".

    Dans les trois régions et grandes villes du Nord - Gao, Tombouctou et Kidal - "des mesures de sécurité nécessaires" avaient été prises pour "éviter toute surprise", à savoir une action islamiste armée, selon le ministère malien de la Sécurité.

    Un "cordon sécuritaire" y a été mis en place, composé des forces armées maliennes, de celles de la Mission de stabilisation de l'ONU au Mali (Minusma) et des militaires français de l'opération Serval.

    Dans la région de Kidal, à l'extrême nord-est du Mali, fief des Touareg et de leur rébellion où deux journalistes français ont été tués le 2 novembre, "dans certains bureaux de vote, il y a même plus d'agents électoraux que d'électeurs", selon Oumar Touré, responsable local de la Commission électorale nationale indépendante (Céni).

    La tendance était la même à Gao, la plus grande ville du nord du Mali, et à Tombouctou (nord-ouest): calme, mais peu d'électeurs.

    "Nature des élections différente"

    Le taux de participation devrait donc être bien plus faible que pour la présidentielle de juillet-août, où il avait tourné autour de 50%.

    "La nature des élections, présidentielle et législatives, est différente", a estimé dimanche à Bamako Louis Michel, chef des observateurs de l'Union européenne (UE). "Quel que soit le taux de participation, on ne peut pas utiliser cet argument pour disqualifier ces élections", a-t-il ajouté.

    Près de Goundam, au sud de Tombouctou, des hommes armés non identifiés ont dérobé une urne utilisée dans un bureau de vote.

    Quelque 6,5 millions d'électeurs étaient appelés à voter pour ces législatives censées parachever le retour à l'ordre constitutionnel, interrompu par le coup d'Etat de mars 2012 qui avait précipité la chute du Nord aux mains de groupes islamistes armés liés à Al-Qaïda.

    Plus de 10 mois après une intervention armée internationale initiée par la France en janvier 2013 pour les traquer, ces groupes continuent d'y mener attaques et attentats. Depuis fin septembre, ils ont tué une dizaine de soldats maliens et tchadiens et des civils.

    Vendredi à Bamako, un gendarme français a été légèrement blessé par un tireur embusqué aux motivations encore floues, première action de ce type dans la capitale malienne depuis le début de l'intervention française.

    La veille, des roquettes, sans doute tirées par des islamistes, étaient tombées dans la périphérie de Gao, sans faire de victime.

    La présidentielle avait été largement remportée au second tour, le 11 août, par Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta face à Soumaïla Cissé, qui avait reconnu sa défaite avant même les résultats officiels.

    L'objectif du parti présidentiel, le Rassemblement pour le Mali (RPM), est de donner au chef de l'Etat une majorité confortable parmi les 147 députés de l'Assemblée nationale, mais il sera sans doute obligé de nouer des alliances.

    Soumaïla Cissé, 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.

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    © 1994-2013 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: Reuters - AlertNet
    Country: Mali
    • Turnout appears lower than in August presidential runoff

    • Polls opened at 0800 GMT amid security concerns

    • President Keita expected to win a majority

    • Protest in northern town of Kidal

    By Tiemoko Diallo and Adama Diarra

    BAMAKO, Nov 24 (Reuters) - Malians trickled to the polls amid high security for a legislative ballot on Sunday, in the second set of elections since France intervened this year to oust al Qaeda-linked militants from the country's north.

    Read the full story on AlertNet


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    11/24/2013 18:28 GMT

    BAMAKO, November 24, 2013 (AFP) - Tuareg separatists in northeastern Mali prevented parliamentary elections from taking place in their town on Sunday, a Malian military source and the local separatist mayor told AFP.

    "No vote, we want independence," chanted the protesters, who destroyed ballot boxes in Talataye, 180 kilometres (110 miles) east of the city of Gao, said the military source.

    Talataye mayor Mohamed Assaley said at least 2,000 people took part in the demonstration. That figure was not confirmed by the military source.

    "Here, where 10,000 voters are registered, there has been no vote. The population demonstrated to prevent voting and seized election material," Assaley said.

    Assaley was a member of the ethnic-Tuareg National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad armed rebel group before switching allegiance a month ago to an assembly of Tuareg civil society members that includes former separatist militants and ex-jihadists.

    Mali's vote on Sunday was meant to cement the troubled west African nation's return to democracy after chaos and unrest sparked by a military coup in March last year. French troops in January this year led a campaign against Al-Qaeda-linked insurgents in northern towns.

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    © 1994-2013 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    11/24/2013 19:24 GMT

    by Serge Daniel

    BAMAKO, November 24, 2013 (AFP) - Malians voted on Sunday in parliamentary elections intended to seal the troubled west African nation's return to democracy but which were marred by low-level civil unrest and apparently poor voter turnout.

    The polls marked Mali's first steps to recovery after it was plunged into chaos by a military coup in March last year, and finalised a process begun with the election of its first post-conflict leader in August.

    But voters were prevented from taking part in Talataye, a northeastern town of around 14,000 people, where Tuareg separatists destroyed ballot boxes, according to a military source, and chanted: "No vote, we want independence".

    Tuareg separatists also smashed car windows in the remote northern rebel stronghold of Kidal, injuring at least one woman, according to a west African military source in the city.

    Some 6.5 million Malians were eligible to cast ballots for a new national assembly, with more than 1,000 candidates running for the 147 seats -- but turnout initially looked weak across the country and there were reports of thefts of ballot boxes in the north.

    The polls were open for 10 hours, closing at 6:00 pm (0800 GMT). AFP correspondents witnessed poor turnout at polling stations across Bamako throughout the day, while residents contacted by telephone painted a similarly sparse picture in northern Mali.

    In a polling station in the capital Bamako, Boubacar Tembely said he had come to do his "civic duty" despite feeling bitter about how little progress has been made in Mali.

    "The politicians are all the same. I left my ballot blank as a protest to them," he told AFP.

    The election played out place amid an upsurge in violence by Al-Qaeda-linked rebels who stalk the vast northern desert, an ever-present danger to French and African troops who are tasked with providing security for the election alongside the Malian army.

    Al-Qaeda-linked insurgents ousted by French and African troops in January from the northern towns they had occupied last year resumed their deadly insurgency on September 28, after a lull of several months.

    Since then, a dozen civilians as well as Malian and Chadian soldiers in the United Nations' MINUSMA peacekeeping mission have been killed in the country's vast desert north while French security personnel were targeted for the first time last week.

    Much of the worry ahead of the polls has been focused on the largely lawless region of Kidal, occupied for five months by ethnic Tuareg separatists until a ceasefire accord signed in June allowed in the Malian army.

    In a grisly reminder for the West of the ongoing security crisis, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) on November 2 kidnapped and shot dead two French radio journalists who had come to the regional capital, also called Kidal.

    Ballot box thefts

    UN peacekeepers, the Malian army and French troops are tasked with ensuring voters' safety in the Kidal region, the stronghold of the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), an ethnic-Tuareg armed rebel group.

    Voting began in an atmosphere of calm across the north, according to witnesses contacted by AFP from Bamako.

    "It's going well here. The only problem is that there is no rush at the moment. In some polling stations, there are even more election officials that voters," said Kidal's local electoral commission head.

    Turnout was also weak in Gao, the largest northern city, while officials in polling stations near the historic caravan city of Timbuktu reported the thefts of ballot boxes, several by an elected official and at least one by an unidentified armed gang.

    Malians were voting for a new parliament following the 2012 coup that toppled democratically elected president Amadou Toumani Toure and created an opening that allowed the MNLA and groups allied to Al-Qaeda to seize northern Mali.

    The ruling Rally for Mali (RPM) party has vowed to deliver "a comfortable majority" to smoothe the way for the reforms President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita plans to put in place to rebuild Mali's stagnant economy and soothe simmering ethnic tensions in the north.

    "I wanted to express my joy at coming to vote," Keita said after casting his ballot in Bamako.

    "If you had told me a few months ago that we would be staging parliamentary elections I would have thought I was dreaming. But this is reality. Mali is standing on its own two feet and moving forward," he added.

    Louis Michel, head of the EU's observation mission, told reporters at a polling station in Bamako he was impressed with the organisation of the vote and the even spread of men and women casting ballots.

    "Election officials know what they are doing. Everything seems to be going as it should. From a logistical point of view, I didn't observe anything unusual," he said.

    He said unrest in the north should not be a bar to successful elections there.

    A second round will take place on December 15 if no party is able to form a government following Sunday's vote.

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    © 1994-2013 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: World Bank
    Country: Mali

    WASHINGTON, November 21, 2013 - The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved an International Development Association (IDA)* credit of US$80 million to boost water supply for Bamako and improve access and quality of service in the capital city.

    “The Kabala Project is fully aligned with the Bank’s Interim Strategy Note (ISN) for Mali covering the period 2014-15, which defines the short-term reengagement strategy in Mali after the crisis, particularly, its third pillar that aims to prepare conditions for economic recovery,” said Ousmane Diagana, World Bank Country Director for Mali.

    The Kabala Project aims to increase water production for Bamako by an additional capacity of 144,000 m3 per day, to respond to immediate water supply deficits, meet rising water demand; expand water storage, transmission and distribution capacity; and facilitate access to improved water services by constructing water points for households and communities.

    “The number of direct project beneficiaries is estimated at 610,000 people. 390,000 additional people would get access to improved water sources through household connections and stand posts and 220,000 people −already connected to the existing water networks but facing low water pressure and intermittent service− would benefit from an enhanced (24/7) water service”, explained Matar Fall, Lead Water and Sanitation Specialist and World Bank Task Team Leader for the project.

    Eleven donors, including IDA, will be participating in the Kabala Project through parallel financing arrangements for a total funding envelope of US$400 million.

    The access rate to safe drinking water in Mali was estimated in 2012 at 68.5 percent of the population (66.3 percent in rural areas and 74.6 percent in urban areas, lower in Bamako, the capital city). Since 2001, progress has been made in expanding access, but the objective of achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) targets of 78 percent of the population served in rural areas and 91 percent in urban areas remains a challenge.

    The population without access to adequate water sources is vulnerable to water-borne diseases and the lack of maintenance and underinvestment put at risk gains made in the expansion of services. This is evidenced by the large number of rural water systems that are not operational and the insufficient water production and distribution capacity in Bamako, the capital city.

    The development of water supply services in Bamako has been limited since 2003 by an investment backlog that created several bottlenecks including (i) limited production capacity, 198,000 cubic meters (m3) per day against a water demand of 380,000 m3 per day, meaning a water supply deficit of 48 percent; (ii) 80 percent of the water production capacity is located on the left bank of the Niger River, whereas half of the population lives on the right bank; (iii) limited capacity of the transmission mains between the two river banks; (iv) limited water storage capacity, particularly in higher-lying areas of the city.

    These bottlenecks impact both the availability and quality of the water service as evidenced by low and uneven development of access through household connections, which reaches only 40 percent of the population of Bamako; and insufficient pressure in the water distribution networks causing frequent interruptions in water service delivery, particularly on the right bank of Niger River where half of the consumers are negatively impacted.

    The project is expected to become effective by February 2014 and completed by 31 December 2018.

    *The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing loans (called “credits”) and grants for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 81 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change for 2.5 billion people living on less than $2 a day. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 108 countries. Annual commitments have increased steadily and averaged about $15 billion over the last three years, with about 50 percent of commitments going to Africa.

    MEDIA CONTACTS

    In Washington
    Aby Toure
    tel : 202 473-8302
    akonate@worldbank.org

    In Bamako
    Moussa Diarra
    tel : 223 20 22 2283
    mdiarra@worldbank.org


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