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ReliefWeb - Updates

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    Source: Government of Guatemala
    Country: Guatemala

    La presidenta en funciones de Guatemala, Roxana Baldetti, supervisó hoy la entrega de raciones alimentarias a 3.814 familias de tres municipios del departamento oriental de El Progreso. A San Cristóbal Acasaguastlán se destinaron 1.700 raciones, a San Agustín Acasaguastlán 1.100 y a El Jícaro 800. Las bolsas contienen maíz, frijol y arroz.

    Baldetti reiteró en su discurso el compromiso del gobierno del presidente Otto Pérez Molina (de visita en Panamá, donde participa en el Foro Económico Mundial para América Latina) de seguir con este programa que forma parte del Pacto Hambre Cero.

    "Este municipio forma parte del corredor seco, por lo que hoy junto a algunos ministros les estamos entregando estos alimentos, recuerden que no están olvidados, estamos para respaldar las necesidades que tienen", resaltó.

    La mandataria en funciones exhortó a los pobladores de El Progreso para que denuncien cualquier anomalía al número 1577 porque "los programas impulsados por este gobierno son gratis, nadie puede estar cobrando nada, porque juntos vamos a lograr una Guatemala mejor", dijo.

    El apoyo que otorga el Gobierno a las familias es en repuesta al hambre estacional ocasionada por la escasez de alimentos debido al cambio climático en varias regiones de Guatemala. Durante su visita a esta región, Baldetti estuvo acompañada de los titulares de las carteras de Agricultura, Ganadería y Alimentación (MAGA), Elmer López, y de Salud, Jorge Villavicencio, así como del secretario de Seguridad Alimentaria y Nutricional, Luis Enrique Monterroso.

    Agradecimiento

    Estefany Morales, originaria del municipio de San Cristóbal, expresó su agradecimiento a la presidenta en funciones por el apoyo que ha brindado a las mujeres.

    "Mi más grande agradecimiento a Roxana Baldetti por este apoyo que nos está brindando a las personas de escasos recursos, yo soy madre soltera y estos alimentos vendrán a ayudar mucho a mis cinco hijos, Dios los bendiga", indicó Morales.

    El pasado 27 de febrero el nuevo director regional para América Latina y el Caribe del Programa de Alimentación de la Organización de Naciones Unidas, reconoció el esfuerzo de las autoridades guatemaltecas para disminuir la desnutrición en este país centroamericano.


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    Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
    Country: Algeria, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Togo
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    Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
    Country: Niger, Nigeria

    The morning of March 18, 2014, 31 visually impaired people from the town of Maine Soroa traveled to Diffa, Capital of the region of the same name, to be operated for cataract. Among them, 29 Nigerian refugees now living in Maine- Soroa following the violence that hit Nigeria. Aware of the passage of the eye care caravan set up by the Government of Niger, UNHCR got in touch with the medical team of the said caravan and deployed logistics and financial resources for refugees to benefit from surgical intervention.

    During assessment missions carried out by UNHCR, discussions with people with special needs had highlighted the challenges faced in supporting visually impaired and their families. Blindness requires a particular endeavor in terms of protection. Recovering the view appears as the key to the problem.


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    Source: UN Children's Fund
    Country: Mali, Mauritania
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    Highlights

    • In 2014, Mauritania continues to suffer from a multi-dimensional crisis related to food insecurity, the high prevalence of malnutrition, the presence of Malian refugees, and significant flooding that hit the country in 2013. 531,000 people will require assistance in 2014, including 315,200 children (as stated in the 2014-2016 Mauritania Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO)-Strategic Response Plan (SRP)).
    • UNICEF will continue working with the government and partners to respond to the humanitarian needs of populations affected by food insecurity and malnutrition, aiming in particular at treating 30,741 children suffering from Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM).
    • UNICEF will also continue to provide life-saving interventions to the Malian refugees in the Mbera camp and among host communities, in close coordination with the Government of Mauritania as well as other UN agencies and NGOs.
    • UNICEF is requesting 21.3 million USD to respond to the humanitarian needs in Mauritania in 2014. 21% of this amount has been funded as of March 2014 and UNICEF would like to acknowledge in particular the generous contribution of the Government of Japan and other donors in support to its emergency programmes.
    • As the lean season is approaching, populations will become more vulnerable and UNICEF urges the international community to keep providing support so that UNICEF and partners can provide a timely emergency response and meet the humanitarian needs of women and children in Mauritania.

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    Source: Food and Agriculture Organization
    Country: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal
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    HIGHLIGHTS

    • Despite the 2013 harvest in the Sahel being equivalent to the last five years average, more than 25 million people remain food insecure in 2014. The agricultural production of the poorest households in 2013 was insufficient to restore their livelihoods and covered only their nutritional needs until March 2014. They now depend entirely on markets to access food.

    • In order to reduce the food insecurity burden in the Sahel, additional and timely efforts are needed to strengthen the livelihoods and enhance the resilience of poor and very poor households in the region. In 2014, FAO is appealing for over USD 115 million, of which USD 74 million is needed by the end of April 2014 to adequately respond to the main agriculture campaign.

    • In 2013, FAO received USD 26.5 million for its operations in the Sahel. Thanks to these contributions, FAO assisted more than 2.5 million beneficiaries by supporting food and livestock production, as well as providing livelihood protection and technical assistance.


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    Source: International Committee of the Red Cross
    Country: Mali

    On 8 February 2014, the ICRC lost contact with one of its vehicles as it was travelling between Kidal and Gao with five people aboard, all of them Malian. After suspending its movements in northern Mali following this incident, the ICRC has now decided to gradually begin them again. Christoph Luedi, head of the ICRC’s delegation in Mali, takes stock of the situation.

    Do you have any news of the ICRC team that went missing on 8 February 2014?

    Allow me first to say that my thoughts are with the families who are enduring this appalling uncertainty with such dignity and courage. I would also like to pay tribute to all the people who are doing everything they can to find our missing colleagues and bring them back safe and sound.

    Despite all our efforts, we still have no useful news about them. At this stage, while we're unable to say who is responsible, everything leads us to believe that they’re being held somewhere in the north of the country.

    We must bear in mind that human lives are at stake here, so it’s important to remain circumspect and avoid speculation. We’re sparing no effort and are using all the resources available to us to find these people.

    What practical steps is the ICRC taking to find them?

    We’ve approached all our contacts in the region who may be able to help us find a positive outcome to this crisis, which has lasted now for several weeks. We’ve set up crisis groups in Gao, Bamako and Geneva to follow the situation closely.

    We're working ceaselessly and doing our utmost to locate them. Among other things we're maintaining regular contact with all the parties in northern Mali. Obviously, it’s important that we find them as soon as possible.

    How is this situation affecting the ICRC’s work in Mali and the people you're assisting?

    The main consequence is the slow-down in our activities. We immediately suspended all movements in northern Mali. We only continued a few activities that didn't require travel outside urban centres.

    Our medical team carried on its work at Gao Hospital, and we continued to collect and distribute Red Cross messages in conjunction with the Malian Red Cross, visit people detained in Gao, Timbuktu, Kidal and Bamako and repair water-supply systems in some towns.

    Nonetheless, many people living in rural areas depend on outside aid, and they are beginning to feel the effects of the suspension.

    The ICRC has decided to start travelling round northern Mali again, although the five staff members are still being held somewhere. Isn’t that dangerous?

    Although we still have no news of our colleagues, we’ve decided to gradually start using some roads for which we’ve obtained firm security guarantees. Continuation of our activities will depend on a constant reappraisal of the security situation.

    While we’re aware that security risks remain, it’s nonetheless important to take up some of our activities again so as not to allow further hardship to be inflicted on the people who continue to suffer the effects of the conflict.

    Naturally this doesn’t at all mean that we’re abandoning our efforts to find our team. On the contrary, finding them remains our top priority.


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    Source: Government of the United States of America
    Country: Mali, World

    Meet Dr. Emily Van Houweling, Associate Director of Women and Gender in International Development at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), home of two Feed the Future Innovation Labs. Emily has worked across Sub-Saharan Africa with development partners including the U.S. Government, universities, local NGOs and the World Bank to improve rural water supplies. From 2006-2008, she served as a Water Resource Management Extension Agent in Mali with the Peace Corps. We talked with her to learn why water matters for food security and economic growth.

    Tell us a little about your research and interest in international development.

    As the Associate Director for Women and Gender in International Development, I support the gender aspects of donor-funded collaborative research projects, design projects, prepare proposals, and publish articles on research and project findings. My dissertation research involved 14 months of ethnographic study exploring the social and gender related impacts of a large water supply project in Nampula, Mozambique. At Virginia Tech, I’ve taught classes that integrate gender, the environment, and international development from both theoretical and applied perspectives.

    What spurred your interest in water and the issues around management of this critical resource?

    I grew up in central Oregon, a very dry region of the United States. As Americans, I think we understand the basic concept that we should try to conserve water: don’t let the faucet run while you brush your teeth; if it’s yellow, let it mellow; keep showers short; etc.

    But it wasn’t until I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Mali that I really understood the true value of water. In Mali, every day you have to think about where you’re going to get water and how you will use it. You have to consider, “Should I take a bath, or should I do laundry?” There’s a trade-off between activities, and there were times when I drank water that I shouldn’t have because I didn’t have a choice. I knew that while the situation was temporary for me, water was always a daily concern for the families I lived with.

    What are some examples of how access to water impacts rural communities in developing countries?

    Although it may sound obvious, water is an incredibly important food security issue. It is a top concern for farmers, especially in the dry, flat, crowded places of the world. Most farmers in Africa are completely dependent on rain, and they often lose crops because of erratic rainfall patterns and have long months of food shortages. When a population spends half their time collecting, managing and protecting water, they struggle to achieve the economic development that ensures health, sustainability and food security.

    Water management also has implications for women’s empowerment in rural communities. Gender roles are strictly defined in Mali, so I spent a lot of time with women while I was a Peace Corps Volunteer there. In the dry season, women spend the majority of their day collecting water. Children would often help their mothers with the task at the expense of their education. The day-to-day experience of having to walk to get water makes you see clean water pouring out of the faucet as an amazing thing.

    You’ve worked with a wide variety of organizations on water issues in Sub-Saharan Africa. What are some of the lessons learned based on your experiences?

    After my Peace Corps Service, I returned to the United States to complete my Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning, and became involved with an impact evaluation of a Millennium Challenge Corporation project that installed over 600 hand pumps in northern Mozambique. I then applied for and received a Fulbright grant that allowed me to spend time in these communities and observe the societal changes brought by the influx of new water pumps.

    The results were surprising: While some women did save time collecting water with the nearby hand pumps, they didn’t use the extra hours in ways that the project designers had anticipated (i.e. economic development). Instead they spent more time with their families and working in the fields.

    Furthermore, the benefits of the new water pumps were not evenly distributed throughout the communities; households who had the resources to pay the monthly pump fee understandably gained more, as did families who lived closer to the pumps. New politics developed around pump access, and while women still bore the brunt of the water responsibility, men often controlled the new pumps.

    We tend to think that improving water access is a matter of technology while ignoring all the social aspects that are key to making changes sustainable and reducing poverty. But it’s complicated – there is no panacea.

    What’s one thing you wish more people understood better about water’s impact on development and food security?

    The good news is that there are some new approaches to water planning that holistically address both domestic water needs and productive needs (agriculture, livestock, services, etc.). Multiple use water services designed around agricultural livelihoods can have profound impacts on health, food security and women’s empowerment goals.


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    Source: World Food Programme
    Country: Burkina Faso, Ghana, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone, United Republic of Tanzania, World
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    Inside this issue:

    Local bean sales in West Africa…………………pages 1-2
    Procurement update……………………………....page 3
    Blog: Call for post-pilot in Latin America………..page 4-5
    Spotlight on P4P in Tanzania…………………….pages 5
    P4P contact information and news………………page 6


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    Source: UN Development Programme
    Country: Central African Republic, Chad

    Highlights

    • The ongoing conflict in the Central African Republic has forced more than 100,000 nationals from Chad to return home. UNDP will help to resettle 80,000 of these
    • The humanitarian community is raising US $33 million as part of an emergency response to the crisis.
    • The fund will benefit 150,000 people for a period of 6 months
    • The United Nations in Chad says around $6 million has been received from donors. A further $27 million is still urgently needed

    Thirty-nine-year-old Aziza Galmi knows little about Chad, her country of citizenship. Her parents migrated to the Central African Republic decades ago, where she was born, and where used to call the capital, Bangui, her home. But now, with a violent conflict raging since December, she and tens of thousands of ethnic Chadians are being forced to return to a country that many of them have never known.

    "In Bangui, we lived so peacefully with Central Africans, we had no problems and we used to live as one family," Galmi says. "Then all the problems started." After witnessing her husband's murder – the result of growing religious and ethnic violence – Galmi fled to the airport with three young daughters in tow. "We were terrified," she says. "I lost everything and I saw people die with my husband. I even had to leave one of my children behind."

    Galmi is one of 100,000 people – mostly women and children – who have fled the Central African Republic to Chad. Across several locations, many are living day-to-day in transit camps. They now face the prospect of life in an unfamiliar country.

    UN agencies have responded to this emerging humanitarian crisis by establishing camps and offering services and other urgent lifesaving help. One of the first priorities, says UNDP, is to understand the scope of the problem. UNDP, the International Organization for Migration, the UN High Commission for Refugees, as well as UNICEF, are collecting data which will be used by Chad’s Ministry of Planning to identify the areas that need help the most and begin resettlement efforts.

    For the Chadian communities hosting the large numbers of newcomers, the situation can be difficult. In a country with already scarce resources, the effect on healthcare, schools and basic services, like garbage removal, not to mention livelihoods, and the availability of jobs is expected to be devastating and will exacerbate an existing humanitarian crisis that is the result of years of drought in the Sahel region.

    The government is predicting that this year’s harvest will be 19 percent lower than the annual average and that 1.5 million Chadians will be “food insecure” by the end of 2014. UNDP is developing a range of long-term activities that will address some of these issues and has pledged local-level support to resettle refugees, as well as investment in better job opportunities and basic social services. (Similar interventions will take place in Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of Congo.)

    But right now, the situation remains critical.

    “The refugees are arriving in areas that are already struggling to fulfil the basic needs of local populations, let alone absorb the newcomers,” said Thomas Gurtner, the UN’s Humanitarian Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Chad. “Because permanent resettlement is a possibility, we need to help local authorities accommodate these new people and increase services, such as education and healthcare, to all.”

    Meanwhile, in the transit centre in N'Djamena, in south-western Chad, many returnees are still baffled about the recent violent turn of events. Among these, is Ahmad Abubakar, an 18-year-old student who was born and raised in Bangui.

    "I was born there, I have friends," he says. "But then neighbours — my own neighbours — came to attack me at home. It hurts. How can a person with whom we lived, with whom we played ball, suddenly want to kill you?"

    Many refugees have become resigned to a long wait. For Galmi and her three daughters, the way back to the Central African Republic which they once called home, appears closed.

    "What is certain is that I don't want to go back to Bangui. I no longer feel safe after what happened to my husband," Galmi says. "Neighbours have told me that my house has been destroyed. I have to rebuild my life now."


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    04/05/2014 18:39 GMT

    BAMAKO, April 5, 2014 (AFP) - An influential Mali tribal chief returned to his homeland on Saturday after two months in hospital in Morocco, calling for a decisive resolution to the deeply-divided west African nation's fragile peace process.

    Intalla Ag Attaher's tribes of the northern Ifoghas mountains were a key partner in the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), an armed collective of ethnic Tuaregs which rose up against the state in 2012.

    "On his arrival, the patriarch (called on) all the sons of Mali to make lasting peace, so that the people of the north, of the south, can work for the development of the country," an aide in his home town of Kidal told AFP.

    Attaher is thought to be more than 90 years old and is revered and respected by Tuaregs throughout the Kidal region, where almost no move, political or paramilitary, can be made without his consent.

    Greeted on his return to Kidal by hundreds of cheering wellwishers, Attaher appeared in "much better shape", according to witnesses, than when he had left for Rabat in February, on the invitation of the King of Morocco, Mohammed VI.

    "Yes, after his triumphant return... Intalla Ag Attaher appealed for peace in northern Mali, in southern Mali, across Mali," said Mamoud Diakite, an official in the governor's office.

    Diakite said the tribal chief urged the Moroccan king to "continue its efforts to restore peace in northern Mali".

    Mohammed VI visited Mali in February to support its peace process, with Rabat aiming to wrest the diplomatic initiative from its more dominant regional rival Algeria.

    The visit took place with preliminary meetings under way in Bamako ahead of peace negotiations between the government and armed insurgents in the north, including the MNLA.

    Mali was thrown into chaos in 2012 when the MNLA launched an offensive in the northern desert helped by Islamist militants linked to Al-Qaeda who then cast aside the Tuareg rebels and took the region for themselves.

    The Islamists were driven out after nine months by a French-led military intervention launched in January 2013. But they are regrouping in the desert and remain an ever-present threat to security.

    The operation was backed by Morocco which, despite having no border with Mali, counts Islamist militants throughout Africa's Sahel and Maghreb regions as a high priority security threat.

    With Keita's blessing, Mohammed VI received MNLA chief Bilal Ag Acherif in January, encouraging him back to the table with the Malian government after the rebels had walked out on UN-sponsored talks in Algiers.

    Attaher shocked fellow Tuareg when he declared in a statement that he was withdrawing from the MNLA.

    sd/ft/cc

    © 1994-2014 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    04/05/2014 23:22 GMT

    BAMAKO, April 5, 2014 (AFP) - Mali's first post-war prime minister has been replaced just six months into office after announcing the resignation of his entire government, a statement from the presidency said on Saturday.

    President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita made leading economist Oumar Tatam Ly his prime minister in September as the troubled west African nation began to set up a government charged with turning the page on months of political chaos and war.

    "The president of the republic... has brought to an end the duties of Prime Minister Oumar Tatam Ly, upon receipt of the resignation of the government of the republic," a statement from Keita's office read out on state television said.

    Keita appointed planning minister Moussa Mara to take over from Ly and asked him to form a new government, the statement said.

    It gave no details about the reasons for the government's resignation.

    Ly, a 50-year-old career technocrat and the son of a celebrated writer, was an adviser to the governor of the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO), based in the Senegalese capital Dakar, before being appointed to the premiership.

    He is the son of the late novelist and political activist Ibrahima Ly, who fled Mali after spending time in jail and complaining of being tortured under the regime of Malian military dictator Moussa Traore.

    His mother, Madina Tall Ly, served as an ambassador under Alpha Oumar Konare, president of Mali during most of the 1990s.

    Ly pipped a number of more obvious choices, including Tieman Coulibaly and Soumeylou Boubeye, both recent foreign ministers.

    One of his stated priorities was to make good on the president's pledge when he was inaugurated in September to unite Mali and end endemic corruption.

    Keita won a landslide victory in the presidential election in August last year after a campaign focused on law, order and ending the culture of impunity in public office.

    His election in the first presidential polls since 2007 was seen as crucial for unlocking more than $4 billion in aid promised by international donors who halted contributions in the wake of a coup.

    Army officers angry at the level of support they had received to combat a separatist Tuareg rebellion in Mali's vast desert north overthrew the democratically-elected government of president Amadou Toumani Toure on March 22, 2012.

    In the chaos that followed, the Tuareg seized control of an area larger than France before being ousted by Al-Qaeda-linked groups who imposed a brutal interpretation of Islamic law on the local population, carrying out amputations and executions.

    Their actions drew worldwide condemnation and prompted France to launch a military offensive at Mali's behest in January last year that ousted the Islamists.

    sd/ft/gk

    © 1994-2014 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    04/06/2014 07:24 GMT

    BAMAKO, 6 avril 2014 (AFP) - Le Premier ministre malien Oumar Tatam Ly a présenté la démission de son gouvernement et a été remplacé par le ministre de l'Urbanisme et de la Politique de la ville, Moussa Mara, a-t-on appris de source officielle à Bamako dans la nuit de samedi à dimanche.

    "Le président de la République (...) a mis fin aux fonctions de M. Oumar Tatam Ly, Premier ministre, sur présentation par celui-ci de la démission du gouvernement de la République", précise un communiqué officiel lu à la télévision nationale. Selon la même source, le président Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, "a nommé M. Moussa Mara, (actuel ministre de l'Urbanisme et de la Politique de la ville) Premier ministre et l'a chargé de former un nouveau gouvernement".

    Le communiqué ne précise pas les raisons de la démission du gouvernement.

    Oumar Tatam Ly avait été nommé chef du gouvernement en septembre dernier, au lendemain de l'investiture de M. Keïta, qui tournait la page de 18 mois de crise politico-militaire ayant divisé et meurtri le pays.

    M. Ly, un banquier de 50 ans, ancien conseiller spécial du gouverneur de la Banque centrale des Etats de l'Afrique de l'Ouest (BCEAO), était l'un des artisans du programme économique du président Keïta.

    Moussa Mara, son cadet du 11 ans, avait été candidat au premier tour de l'élection présidentielle de juillet 2013 remportée par M. Keïta. Ce comptable, maire d'une commune de Bamako, avait remporté 1,5% des suffrages.

    sd/sd/pt

    © 1994-2014 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    04/06/2014 18:08 GMT
    by Serge Daniel

    BAMAKO, April 6, 2014 (AFP) - Mali's new prime minister was in talks on Sunday to appoint a government to lead the west African nation's post-war recovery after the surprise resignation of his predecessor and the entire cabinet.

    Former planning minister Moussa Mara, 39, was promoted to the premiership on Saturday after Mali's first post-war prime minister Oumar Tatam Ly quit just six months into office, a statement from the presidency said.

    He has not spoken in public since his appointment but wrote a brief message on Twitter thanking Malians for their support.

    "Now the hard part begins. I count on the support but also the constructive criticism of all. Have a good Sunday and viva Mali," he said.

    President Ibrahima Boubacar Keita's office gave no reason for the resignation of Ly and his ministers, but it emerged on Sunday that the prime minister had become frustrated over being unable to enact reforms in the administration.

    Ly, 50, said in his resignation letter, seen by AFP, that he had been unable to convince Keita to act on "the inefficiencies and inadequacies that I found in the running of government that greatly reduce its ability to meet challenges".

    "Accordingly, in consideration of these differing views which make the mission you have entrusted to me untenable, I am sorry to present my resignation as prime minister," Ly wrote.

    A source close to Ly said he had "insistently, since early March, brought to Keita's attention the need not only to restructure the government team, but also to change old habits in the running of Mali".

    "When you are in charge of running a government, you need your hands free to work. If this is no longer the case, you have to draw your own conclusions and that is what that Mr Ly has done," another close aide told AFP.

    The press in Bamako suggested that tensions between the two men had been exacerbated by the fact that Ly felt undermined by the president's son, Karim Keita, the deputy leader of the national assembly.

    Keita appointed Ly, a leading economist but a surprise choice to many, after his inauguration in September last year, with Mali looking to set up a government that would turn the page on months of political chaos and war.

    • Strict discipline -

    Mara, active in Bamako and then national politics since his late 20s, was a losing candidate in the August election, garnering 1.5 percent of the vote as president of Yelema -- "change" in Mali's Bambara language -- a party he founded in 2010.

    Married with two children, Mara comes from a political family.

    His father Joseph Mara was a soldier and justice minister who spent time in jail in the late 1970s under the military dictatorship of Moussa Traore.

    Mara, his brother and his sister were brought up by their mother and grandmother, who taught him the value of "a strict adherence to discipline", according to his website.

    An academic high achiever, he studied economics and remains one of the youngest members of Mali's institute of chartered accountants.

    One of Mara's top priorities will be to make good on the president's pledge when he was inaugurated last September to unite Mali, get the economy back on track and end endemic corruption.

    Keita's landslide victory in the first presidential polls since 2007 was seen as crucial for unlocking more than $4 billion (2.9 billion euros) in aid promised by international donors who halted contributions in the wake of Mali's 2012 coup.

    Army officers angry at the level of support they had received to combat a separatist Tuareg rebellion in Mali's vast desert north overthrew the democratically elected government of president Amadou Toumani Toure on March 22, 2012.

    In the chaos that followed, the Tuareg seized control of an area larger than France before being ousted by Al-Qaeda-linked groups who imposed a brutal interpretation of Islamic law on the local population, carrying out punitive amputations and executions.

    Their actions drew worldwide condemnation and prompted France to launch a military offensive at Mali's behest in January last year that ousted the Islamists.

    sd/ft/cc


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    Source: Peace Direct
    Country: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ghana, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Togo

    April 3 2014: Halima Nuhu outlines some of the organisations working at different political levels to mediate conflicts in West Africa.

    The importance of mediation as a peacebuilding tool in any society today cannot be overemphasised. Since gaining independence in the 1960s, Nigeria has played a major role in peace advocacy and conflict resolution and has sought to manage its inter-state relations under the framework of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and other bilateral arrangements with its immediate neighbours.

    Civil society is widely assumed to be an important actor for peacebuilding in Nigeria. It plays an important role in reducing violence and in facilitating the conditions necessary for building a sustainable peace in any society. In Nigeria, local facilitation by civil society groups is highly relevant during all phases of conflict and peacebuilding and is performed by community leaders such as traditional and religious leaders or by local NGOs and associations.

    Some civil society organisations in Nigeria, such as WIPNET, have helped to harmonise and develop conflict prevention through peacebuilding. WIPNET provides a platform for women’s groups and associations working and living in conflict situations to form strong alliances aimed at ensuring women’s involvement in peacebuilding at all levels. Similarly, the Interfaith Mediation Centre aims to create a peaceful society through non-violent and strategic engagements in Nigeria and beyond. Another excellent local peacebuilding organisation is WANEP, whose credibility and commitment to peace and stability in West Africa has been recognised by ECOWAS. All of these organisations play a vital role in peacebuilding in Nigeria.

    The role of Nigeria in the resolution of conflicts has been vigorous. The ECOWAS mechanism for conflict prevention, the Plan of Action for the Implementation of the Programme for Coordination and Assistance for Security and Development (PCASED, 2002), the Protocol Relating to Mutual Assistance of Defence (1981), and the Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance (2001) are all mechanisms for the resolution of both domestic and regional conflicts. Some of these protocols have led to the establishment of specialised institutions such as the Mediation and Security Council, Defence and Security Commission, ECOMOG, the Council of Elders, and the office of Political Affairs, Defence and Security (PADS).

    In Nigeria today, peacebuilding has increasingly assumed a priority position in good governance policymaking. The need to mainstream peacebuilding in development has arisen owing to the realisation that conflict disorders in the country continue to jeopardise efforts to combat poverty. The dominant role in the mediation of the crises between Liberia and Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso and Mali, and Togo and Ghana are some of the clearest indications of this peace building role; the biggest effort to date is probably the case of the conflict between Nigeria and Cameroon over the Bakasi Peninsula. Here and elsewhere in West Africa, local peacebuilding initiatives are playing an increasingly important role in resolving conflict.


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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Mali, Niger, Nigeria
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    FAITS SAILLANTS

    • Plus de 10 000 personnes en provenance du Nigéria sont arrivées en mars dans la région de Diffa.

    • Le Gouvernement met en oeuvre son plan de soutien aux populations vulnérables.

    • Le faible accès à l’eau potable favorise la propagation du choléra dans les zones riveraines du fleuve

    • Les organisations humanitaires sont inquiètes du faible niveau de financement.


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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger
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    The figures of people in need of immediate food assistance has increased from 812,000 in December 2013 to 1.5 million people in March 2014 according to the findings of the Cadre Harmonisé.
    If an adequate food assistance is not provided to these people their figure will reach 1.9 million in June according to the same source.


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    Source: UN Children's Fund
    Country: Central African Republic, Chad, Japan

    The Government of Japan granted UNICEF US$ 6.2m to support humanitarian efforts in Chad

    N’Djamena (CHAD), 7th April 2014 – The Government of Japan granted UNICEF a significant new funding to support humanitarian efforts in Chad. The funding comes at the time the Chadian Government and partners, among which UNICEF, are responding to urgent humanitarian needs of over 90,000 Chadian returnees and CAR refugees who fled violence in CAR to take refuge in southern and eastern Chad.

    In addition to chronic challenges with structural causes, including malnutrition, Chad is currently facing simultaneous acute emergencies that are stretching response capacities. Children in Chad face risks of recurrent disease epidemics and outbreaks, cyclical floods, drought and displacement. The situation is exacerbated by political instability in neighboring countries, which has resulted in 450,000 refugees, 90,000 internally displaced persons and 270,000 returnees in Chad, all of whom need access to protection, education, nutrition, health and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services.

    “Through this new assistance, UNICEF will be able to accelerate and scale up its humanitarian response in the areas of nutrition, health, water, sanitation and hygiene, as well as education and child protection," said Bruno Maes, UNICEF Representative in Chad. “UNICEF will implement an integrated interventions aimed at responding quickly to emergency needs of children at risk, while focusing on building capacities and reducing risks.”

    In the area of nutrition, this contribution will allow UNICEF to treat more than 75,000 children suffering from Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) and provide Micronutrient supplementation to 500,000 children and 10,000 pregnant women in the Sahel Belt and southern Chad. WASH activities will be integrated to those interventions. UNICEF will also provide curative care for 150,000 children and 60,000 women, and antenatal care services including Prevention of Mother to Child HIV/AIDS Transmission (PMTCT) to 10,000 pregnant women across the 11 regions of the Sahel belt of Chad.

    Moreover, this funding will contribute to strengthening UNICEF immunization programs in prevention to recurrent disease epidemics and outbreaks. UNICEF will target 1.5 million children in 30 health districts through the Reach Every District Initiative by providing vaccine and cold chain equipment. 2.3 million children under five years of age who are exposed to the risk of contracting Poliomyelitis will receive the polio vaccine. UNICEF will strengthen hygiene promotion and cholera prevention interventions in 30 Cholera-prone health districts targeting 2 million people.

    In the area of education and child protection, more than 60,000 school aged children affected by displacement and nutrition crisis will benefited from primary education services. UNICEF will provide school supply to 20,000 refugee and returnee children and more than 15,000 children affected by malnutrition and displacement will receive psychosocial support.

    About Japan’s support to UNICEF in Chad

    In 2012, thanks to the financial support provided by the Government of Japan, UNICEF has been able to respond to nutritional emergencies and to cope with the emergence of the poliovirus. The Government of Japan granted UNICEF Chad US$ 4.2m to contribute to the reduction of infant mortality and morbidity caused by severe acute malnutrition in the Sahel belt as well as to strengthen the planned response to the emergence of polio in Chad. In 2013, the Government of Japan has provided an additional funding to UNICEF of US$ 3m to intensify efforts to eradicate polio in Chad and step up the fight against malaria. In the area of polio eradication, the aid packages were used to strengthen communication and social mobilization efforts and to improve the cold chain and logistics system. Concerning malaria prevention, the focus was the acquisition and distribution of insecticide treated mosquito bed nets and preventive medication and on communication and social mobilization activities.

    About UNICEF

    UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: http://www.unicef.org Note for editors

    Chad continues to face high rates of child malnutrition. For 2014, an estimated of 2.3 million people will experience food insecurity, including 1.2 million people at risk of extreme food insecurity. This situation may further compromise the nutritional status of vulnerable children. It is also estimated that in 2014, more than 500,000 children under 5 will be affected by acute malnutrition in the Sahel belt of Chad.
    In addition, the country is experiencing numerous cyclic shocks (drought, floods) and recurrent epidemics such as polio, cholera, measles and meningitis, putting a heavy burden on a structural weak health system. The situation is exacerbated by political instability in neighbouring countries, which has resulted in 450,000 refugees, 90,000 internally displaced persons and 270,000 returnees in Chad, all of whom need access to protection, education, nutrition, health and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services. The continued violence in CAR has led to additional displacements of 90,000 people into Chad. Based on the country’s inter-agency Humanitarian Needs Overview and 2014 Strategic Response Plan, UNICEF is requesting US$62,500,000 to meet the humanitarian needs of children in Chad in 2014.

    For more information:

    Lalaina Fatratra Andriamasinoro, Chief of Communication, +235 66 36 00 42, lfandriamasinoro@unicef.org, UNICEF Chad Country Office

    Ngata Salomon, Communication Officer, + 235 66 53 72 99, ysngata@unicef.org, UNICEF Chad Country Office


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    Source: International Fund for Agricultural Development
    Country: Burkina Faso

    Rome, 7 avril 2014 – Le Fonds international de développement agricole (FIDA) vient d’accorder un financement supplémentaire de 28,98 millions d’USD dont 50 pourcent sous forme de don au titre du cadre pour la soutenabilité de la dette et 50 pourcent sous forme de prêt à des conditions particulièrement favorables pour améliorer les conditions de vie et augmenter les revenus des ménages pauvres dans trois régions du pays.

    La lettre d’amendement de financement supplémentaire pour le Projet de gestion participative des ressources naturelles et de développement rural du Nord, Centre-Nord et Est (projet Neer-Tamba: ‘‘l’espoir qui nous réunit’’) a été signée ce jour à Rome par Lucien Marie Noël Bembamba, Ministre de l’Économie et des Finances du Burkina Faso auprès du FIDA, et Kanayo F. Nwanze, Président du FIDA.

    «Le Projet Neer-Tamba est parfaitement cohérent avec la Stratégie de Croissance Accélérée et de Développement Durable 2011-2015 et contribuera à la réalisation des objectifs du Programme National pour le Secteur Rural 2011-2015 du Burkina Faso» a déclaré Nwanze lors de la cérémonie de signature de la lettre. «Neer-Tamba visera à réduire la pauvreté rurale en améliorant directement et indirectement les revenus et les conditions de vie d’un million deux cent mille ruraux pauvres personnes, en particulier les jeunes et les femmes» il a conclu.

    Cofinancé par le gouvernement du Burkina Faso, ce nouveau projet d’un coût global de 115 millions d’USD dont 80,14 millions provenant des ressources du FIDA, constitue le plus large investissement du Fonds dans le pays et sera exécuté par le Ministère de l’agriculture et de la sécurité alimentaire dans les régions du Nord, du Centre-Nord et de l’Est. Il couvrira près de 2 000 villages situés dans 12 provinces dont 10 d’entre elles bénéficient déjà de deux programmes du FIDA en cours d’exécution mais en voie de clôture: le Programme de développement rural durable et le Programme d’investissement communautaire en fertilité agricole. Grâce à une approche de reproduction à plus grande échelle, le projet Neer-tamba s’appuiera sur les activités de la conservation des eaux et la défense et restauration des sols que le FIDA avait déjà appuyées dans le cadre des projets antérieurs dans le pays.

    Le projet vise à renforcer la résilience des ménages, des exploitations et des villages face aux aléas climatiques; à favoriser l’intensification et la diversification des activités agricoles et de l’élevage; à valoriser les produits agro-sylvo-pastorales en termes d’environnement, de reconstruction et gestion durables des ressources naturelles; et renforcer les capacités des populations cibles et de leurs organisations. Près de 200 000 ménages ruraux touchés par la pauvreté et l’insécurité alimentaire, dont les femmes et les jeunes, vont bénéficier du projet Neer-Tamba.

    Avec ce nouveau projet, le FIDA en est à la treizième opération financée au Burkina Faso, pour un investissement global de 209,7 millions d’USD ayant bénéficié à plus de 500 000 ménages.

    Communiqué de presse n°: IFAD/27/2014

    Le Fonds international de développement agricole (FIDA) œuvre aux côtés des populations rurales pauvres afin de leur permettre de cultiver et de vendre davantage de produits vivriers, d’accroître leurs revenus et de déterminer le cap de leur propre existence. Depuis 1978, le FIDA a investi dans des projets quelque 15,6 milliards d’USD sous forme de dons et de prêts à faible taux d’intérêt octroyés à des pays en développement, permettant à plus de 420 millions de personnes de se libérer par elles-mêmes de la pauvreté et favorisant ainsi la création de communautés rurales dynamiques. Le FIDA est une institution financière internationale et une agence spécialisée des Nations Unies dont le siège est à Rome – la plateforme alimentaire et agricole des Nations Unies. Il représente un partenariat unique, regroupant 173 membres, entre l’Organisation des pays exportateurs de pétrole (OPEP), d’autres pays en développement et l’Organisation de coopération et de développement économiques (OCDE).

    Contacter

    David Paqui
    FIDA
    Division de la communication
    Tél.: +39 06 5459 2213
    Portable: +39 335 7516406
    d.paqui@ifad.org


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    Source: UN Children's Fund
    Country: Senegal
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    Highlights

    • 4,015 children have been admitted to treatment in January and February 2014, or 11% of the annual target.
    • The national Infant and Young Child Feeding policy was validated in January with UNICEF funding and technical support.
    • All 14 regions integrated screening for malnutrition into the national supplementation campaign. This strategy allows to reach at least 95% of all children aged 6 to 59 months who also receive Vitamin A and deworming.
    • UNICEF trained the Division of Food and Nutrition (DAN) at the Ministry of Health on data management for decision making. A three day workshop to build the capacity of the Nutrition Technical Assistants provided to the DAN and the health regions also took place on 18-20 March.
    • There is insufficient funding to sustain the pipeline of RUTF throughout the year and to maintain the technical assistance structure established in the health regions to support the nutrition response.
    • The emergency appeal of $5,000,000 is 4% funded. Urgent unfunded needs include RUTF and technical assistance, particularly for the period from August until the end of the year.
    • Flood preparedness ahead of the August flood season also requires additional funding.

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    Source: European Commission Humanitarian Aid department
    Country: Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Mali, Somalia

    AMOUNT: EUR 10 000 000

    0 . MAJOR CHANGES SINCE PREVIOUS VERSION OF THE HIP

    Early 2014, ECHO has decided to open an ECHO Flight service in Chad and Mali. These services are financed until the end of April 2014 under the ECHO Flight HIP 2013 whose budget had been increased. Two additional Caravan C208 have been added to the fleet.

    DAC Aviation International Ltd, a Kenya-based operator, has won the call for tender and is going to be the contract holder for the next 4 years.

    The amount of the ECHO-Flight HIP 2014 was foreseen to cover the ECHO Flight service in DRC and Kenya. Decision has been taken to maintain the ECHO Flight service in Mali and Chad in addition to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Kenya. Therefore, the present HIP is extended to cover Mali and Chad as well.


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