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ReliefWeb - Updates

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    Source: Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit
    Country: Somalia

    KEY ISSUES

    The food security situation in all livelihoods of Somalia remains as classified during the post Gu 2012 analysis (Aug ‘12) with an estimated 2.12 million people in crisis until the end of the year. The major assumptions made in the food security situation projections in August-December 2012 have materialised. Specifically, lower than normal Gu off-season was harvested in riverine areas of southern Somalia due to poor performance of Hagaa rains. Normal to above normal Deyr rains in September-October 2012 facilitated timely start of the Deyr planting and improved pasture, water and livestock body conditions. Given the normal pace of Deyr planting, labour availability increased in farming communities in the South, benefitting poor farmers who rely on casual labour as a source of income during the lean season. Milk production has also improved in most pastoral areas as a result of calving (camel and cattle) and kidding during Hagaa and Deyr seasons


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    Source: Food and Agriculture Organization
    Country: Ethiopia, Somalia

    The 7-day cumulative satellite rainfall estimate (RFE) image (Map – 1) indicates moderate rains were received within the Juba and Shabelle basins both in Somalia and within the Ethiopian highlands.

    The rainfall forecast for the coming week (Map – 2) is pointing towards continued rainfall activities of moderate to heavy rains within the Shabelle and Juba basins both in Ethiopia and Somalia.

    There remains a moderate risk of flooding along the lower reaches of Shabelle River in Somalia given the rainfall forecast for coming week. There is however minimal risk of flooding during the coming week along the Juba River.


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    Source: Food and Agriculture Organization
    Country: Somalia

    Rainfall Performance (5th to 11th Nov. 2012)

    • Wet conditions were maintained in most parts of the country during the last week with many places recording light to moderate rains.

    • Observed river levels have increased along the Juba and Shabelle rivers during the last few days following the rains experienced in the Ethiopian highland and inside Somalia.

    Rainfall Forecast (12th to 18th Nov. 2012)

    • The three days cumulative rainfall forecast (Map 1) indicates maintenance of wet conditions in the southern parts of the country with light to moderate rains in the central and northern regions. The rains are expected to increase in both in space and intensity as the week progresses as seen on the seven day rainfall forecast map (Map 2).

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    Source: Food and Agriculture Organization
    Country: Algeria, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger (the), Sudan (the)

    Formation d’essaims au Soudan et au Mali

    La situation relative au Criquet pèlerin demeure sérieuse. De nouveaux rapports indiquent que les ailés de seconde génération forment des groupes et de petits essaims dans le nord-est du Mali. Au Niger et en Mauritanie, les opérations de lutte terrestre se poursuivent contre des groupes de larves et d’ailés. Des bandes larvaires se forment près de Tahoua, au Niger, et sur la côte de la Mauritanie, au sud de Nouakchott. Des opérations de lutte ont également été réalisées dans le sud de l’Algérie contre des groupes d’ailés, près de la frontière avec le Niger. On s’attend à ce que davantage de groupes et de petits essaims se forment au Mali et au Niger et se déplacent vers l’Algérie, la Libye, le nord-ouest de la Mauritanie et peut-être le Maroc dans les prochaines semaines.

    Au Soudan, des opérations de lutte aérienne et terrestre sont en cours contre des essaims qui se sont formés dans le désert de Baiyuda, au nord de Khartoum. Les ailés se déplacent vers les zones de reproduction hivernale le long de la mer Rouge du Soudan.


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

    GENERAL HIGHLIGHTS

    • As of 1 November, the total number of Malian refugees in Niger, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Algeria, Togo and Guinea is 208,306 persons. The new figure of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Mali as a result of the crisis is estimated at 203,843. The current number of Malian refugees and IDPs is 412,149 persons.

    • On 12 October, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 2071/2012 to support an international military intervention led by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to oust the Islamist extremists from the north of Mali.  The Organization of Islamic Cooperation visited Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso from 15 to 21 October to assess the current humanitarian situation as a result of the Mali crisis and to discuss the challenges facing the Governments and humanitarian actors providing response to the situation.  The United States Secretary of State, Mrs Hillary Clinton visited Algeria on 29 October to discuss the increasing threat posed by Islamist extremists in Mali with the Algerian Government.

    • UNHCR Regional Representation of West Africa in Dakar, in coordination with UNHCR offices in countries affected or likely to be affected by the Malian crisis, is in the process of updating a Mali Regional Contingency Plan in order to prepare for a well-coordinated refugee response to a further mass influx of Malian refugees into neighbouring countries in the event of a possible international military intervention.

    • The worsening security situation in the Sahel region impacts on the movements of humanitarian workers and on humanitarian operations in Niger, Burkina Faso and Mauritania requiring the use of regular armed escorts.  In Mauritania, the Level 2 Registration exercise started in Mbera camp on 18 September continues. The results are expected during the month of November 2012. The exercise has been scheduled to start in Niger on 12 November. New, revalidated Malian refugee statistics for the hosting countries are expected to be known in December 2012.

    • In Burkina Faso, 406 refugees composed of 134 households have been relocated from Deou Tamashek and Ferrerio in the Oudalan province to a safer and improved camp, Goudebo in the Seno province between 18 and 30 October. On 16 and 17 October, 200 refugees composed of 67 households were also relocated from Somgande in Ouagadougou to Saag Nioniogo.


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

    The revised Consolidated Appeal Process (CAP) for Somalia appeals for $1.16 billion dollars to build on the gains made since the famine was declared in July 2011. It focuses on interventions aimed at providing life-saving assistance and building sustainable livelihoods for millions of Somalis


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    Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
    Country: Angola, Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Somalia, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania (the), Zambia

     Heavy rains continue across eastern Kenya and Tanzania, while a mid-season cessation of rains bring developing moisture deficits to portions of Somalia and neighboring regions of Ethiopia and Kenya.

    Heavy, but not well-distributed rains received in parts of Kenya, Somalia.

    Since the end of October, two consecutive weeks of enhanced rainfall had overly saturated ground conditions and caused localized flooding for some local areas around the Lake Victoria region. While a slight reduction of precipitation was observed in this region during the last week, much of heavy rainfall shifted to the east over southeastern Kenya, with high totals (> 75mm) along the Tanzania, Kenya and Somalia coastline (Figure 1). Locally heavier totals in excess of 100mm, which have elevated the risk for flooding, were observed in the coast province, and southern Eastern, and North Eastern provinces of Kenya. Further north across parts of northeastern Kenya and southern Somalia, weekly rainfall accumulations were heavy, but poorly distributed in the region, with much of the Shabelle and Jubba River Basins generally receiving less than 40mm of precipitation.


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    Source: US Agency for International Development
    Country: Democratic Republic of the Congo (the), Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan (the), South Sudan (Republic of)

    Chronic conflict, cyclical drought, floods, disease outbreaks, environmental degradation, rapid population growth, and limited government capacity present significant challenges to vulnerable populations in the ECA region. Between Fiscal Year (FY) 2003 and FY 2012, USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) and USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (USAID/FFP) provided humanitarian assistance in response to a diverse range of natural and complex emergencies, including flooding, drought in Ethiopia and Kenya, food insecurity across the Horn of Africa, Lord’s Resistance Army-related conflict and displacement, and post-election violence in Kenya, as well as crises in Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and the DRC.

    Between FY 2003 and FY 2012, USAID provided more than $11.9 billion in humanitarian assistance in the ECA region, including nearly $2.4 billion from USAID/OFDA for programs in water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH), health, agriculture and food security, nutrition, economic recovery and market systems, protection, and shelter and settlements, as well as support for humanitarian coordination and information management and the provision of relief commodities. USAID/FFP assistance included nearly $9.5 billion in emergency food aid.

    In the last decade, USAID deployed eight Disaster Assistance Response Teams (DARTs) in response to complex emergencies in Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia, the DRC, and Sudan, as well as regional food security crises in the Horn of Africa. USAID assessment teams also traveled to CAR and DRC. In addition, USAID activated multiple Washington, D.C.-based Response Management Teams to support coordination and response efforts in Sudan and the Horn of Africa.

    Due to the recurring or chronic nature of many of the disasters in the region, USAID/OFDA promotes activities that increase the resilience of the population to cope with future shocks, while continuing to meet the immediate needs of vulnerable populations. USAID/OFDA has developed a disaster risk reduction (DRR) strategy in the region to complement emergency assistance interventions and address underlying causes of food insecurity and other vulnerabilities. The strategy takes a broad approach to livelihoods, increasing resilience by protecting assets, diversifying income sources, and reducing the impact of risks such as drought, floods, and conflict. USAID/OFDA also supports early recovery activities that help conflict-affected populations rebuild livelihoods and strengthen self-sufficiency, where possible, sustainable, and appropriate.

    Through emergency and development food assistance programs, USAID/FFP works to save lives and reduce food insecurity in times of crisis and situations of chronic food insecurity. USAID/FFP emergency food assistance includes both in-kind food aid and cash-based assistance in the form of local and regional procurement of food commodities, cash transfers, and food vouchers, where market conditions allow.


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Niger (the)

    11/14/2012 19:35 GMT

    PARIS, Nov 14, 2012 (AFP) - Niger rounded up aid pledges of $4.8 billion (3.8 billion euros) for its 2012-2015 economic and social development programme at a donor conference in Paris, officials said Wednesday

    A statement issued at the end of the two-day conference said the amount of the pledges reflected excellent cooperation between Niger and its partners.

    Niger's President Mahamadou Issoufou presided over the conference, attended by hundreds of delegations from international organisations and other countries.

    The development plan targets improving food security, promoting sustainable agricultural practises and social development, as well as strengthening public institutions.

    "Only economic and social development will allow the Sahel region to eventually live in peace," Issoufou said Tuesday, evoking the violence in neighbouring Mali and the trouble the arid countries south of the Sahara desert have feeding their populations.

    cf/rl/jhb

    © 1994-2012 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    11/14/2012 22:24 GMT

    OUAGADOUGOU, Nov 14, 2012 (AFP) - One of the main Islamist groups controlling northern Mali offered important concessions Wednesday, as plans to send an international military force to the country gathered steam.

    Ansar Dine, which in Arabic means "Defenders of the Faith", said it was ready to help rid the region of "terrorism" and "foreign groups", and that it no longer wanted to impose Islamic law, or sharia, across all of Mali.

    If the Islamist group were to negotiate with the Malian authorities, "one can foresee ways and means in which one can get rid of terrorism, drug trafficking and foreign groups," said Mohamed Ag Aharib, spokesman for an Ansar Dine delegation that has been talking with mediators in Burkina Faso.

    "We don't agree with taking hostages and drug trafficking," he told AFP.

    Mali rapidly imploded after a coup in March allowed ethnic Tuareg desert nomads, who had relaunched a decades-old rebellion for independence, to seize the main towns in the country's vast desert north with the help of Islamist allies.

    The secular separatists were quickly sidelined by the Islamists, who implemented their version of strict sharia and operated across the region with impunity, sparking growing international concern.

    Ansar Dine's comments further distance the group -- whose members are mostly Malian Tuaregs -- from the mainly foreign Islamists of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) who have been occupying the north alongside Ansar Dine since April.

    Top US General Carter Ham on Wednesday urged a global fight against AQIM, saying it could "export violence" to the West.

    Ham, the head of the US Africa Command, also said AQIM was linked to a deadly September 11 attack on the US mission in Benghazi that killed US ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three others.

    "If we, the international community, don't find a way to help the Africans address this threat, it's going to worsen," he said.

    Niger's Foreign Minister Mohamed Bazoum accused former Malian president Amadou Toumani Toure of complacency in handling AQIM, thereby allowing the group to take root in the north of the country.

    "It was since 2002 that AQIM set up in the north of Mali. The Malian government of that time was particularly complacent," he said.

    Malian authorities had received "precise information from Niger or Mauritania on AQIM's network" which could have helped to "cut off their supply routes" and weaken the group, said Bazoum.

    He stressed the need to combat "AQIM and the foreigners".

    "They are the most powerful because it's them who control the drug trade. We must chase them out," he said.

    Ansar Dine, AQIM and MUJAO have imposed a brutal regime in the north, stoning to death unmarried lovers, amputating thieves' hands and feet and whipping drinkers and smokers.

    Islamists in Timbuktu have also destroyed ancient Muslim shrines that have been revered for centuries and are classed as World Heritage Sites, but which the radicals consider blasphemous.

    But Ansar Dine has recently sent envoys to Burkina Faso and Algeria in a bid to negotiate an end to the crisis, and has also called on other fighters in northern Mali to join them in political dialogue.

    -- Mauritania would close the border --

    The growing readiness for dialogue comes after the 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) approved over the weekend plans to send a force of 3,300 troops, logistically backed by Western nations, to reconquer northern Mali.

    The African Union on Tuesday endorsed the plan and the United Nations is expected to pass a resolution approving the mission, though it remains unclear when the first troops could be deployed.

    Ansar Dine, which has previously said it wanted to see sharia across northern Mali, backtracked on its demands Wednesday, saying instead it would only push for the hardline religious law in the Kidal area, a sparsely populated region in the country's northeast.

    African Union Commission head Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma on Wednesday urged armed groups in Mali to sever ties with "terrorists".

    "We'd like to convince the armed Malian groups to come to the negotiations and to de-link themselves with the terrorists and criminal groups," Zuma said.

    "The preparations for the intervention are continuing, and we'll take it step by step," she added, stressing that she preferred a peaceful resolution.

    Also Wednesday, Mauritania said it was planning to close its immense border with Mali if a military force was deployed to tackle the armed Islamist groups.

    Mauritania was "worried of the consequences of this war on the country and is currently preparing a plan to close its borders with Mali and respond to any eventual threat," a Mauritanian military source said, reiterating that his country did not plan on sending troops into Mali.

    Algeria on Tuesday said it would take "appropriate measures" to ensure the defence of its interests and said it would protect its borders "to the maximum".

    The closure of the Mauritanian and Algerian borders -- spanning hundreds of kilometres (miles) -- with Mali is primarily aimed at stopping armed Islamist groups from encroaching on their territory.

    Landlocked Mali neighbours several nations but the bulk of its northern territory abuts Mauritania, Algeria and Niger.

    bur-tmo/amj/hmn/jhb

    © 1994-2012 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
    Country: Somalia

    Deyr rains subside in many parts of Somalia

    From November 1 to 10, both field reports and satellite-based rainfall estimates confirm that rains subsided in many parts of the country (Figure1). Comparing the rainfall estimate (RFE2) for November 1 to 10 and the 1983 to 2011 long-term mean (LTM), shows that the rainfall performance in most of the country had mixed trends with some areas receiving much more rainfall than others (Figure 2).

    In the Northeast, on November 9 and 10, localized light rainfall was reported in most livelihood zones including in coastal Deeh, Karkaar, East Golis, and on the Sool Plateau. In the Northwest, dry weather persisted in most of Awdal, Woqooyi Galbeed, and Togdher Regions. Pasture and water conditions are generally average except in pockets of the Hawd and Guban pastoral livelihood zone where dry conditions persist. Most parts of the Sool Plateau in Sanaag and Sool Regions and some parts of the Hawd and the Nugal Valley had poor rainfall since the start of the season in early October.


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    Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
    Country: Ethiopia

    Maize is the most widely consumed cereal by the rural poor. Sorghum is generally one of the cheapest cereals. Teff is also very important throughout the country. The most important markets for teff are the large cities including Addis Ababa, Bahir Dar, Mekele, and Dire Dawa. Addis Abada is the capital city, and Dire Dawa, Mekele, and Jijiga are major towns in the eastern, mainly food insecure, parts of the country. Bahir Dar is a major town in a surplus producing area. Sodo is an urban center located in the Wolayita zone, and is one of the most chronically food insecure parts of the region. Karati is in the Konso special woreda, a densely populated chronically food insecure area in Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples Region. Yabelo and Guradamole are in Borena and Bale zones of southern Oromia Region respectively. These are chronically food insecure, lowland zones.


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    Source: Think Africa Press
    Country: Mali

    Malians who have been internally displaced by the conflict in north urgently need greater assistance.

    ARTICLE | 14 NOVEMBER 2012 - 12:31PM | BY ALICE THOMAS

    Bamako, Mali:

    In a darkly-lit house on a dusty, garbage-strewn street on the outskirts of Bamako, an elderly couple and a man in a white robe are seated on the floor. Amadou, the owner of the home, is approximately 70 years old and a retired gardener. He says that since rebels took over northern Mali last April, 16 members of his extended family have come to live with him, having been forced to flee their hometown of Timbuktu.

    The most recent arrival is his cousin, Ahmeta, the man dressed in the white robe. He is – or was – the mayor of one of Timbuktu’s communes. His is a harrowing story. In late June, bandits carrying Kalashnikovs tried to break into his house and kill him and his family. While he was able to drive them off, he knew that as a public figure, he was a marked man. After the attack, he started sending his family members south to Bamako as resources allowed.

    “I haven’t slept in my own house since April 1”, Ahmeta tells me and my Refugees International colleague. “I have moved from house to house never sleeping more than three hours a night.” Two days ago, he finally made the journey to Bamako himself, taking an alternate route in order to avoid rebel checkpoints along the main road south.

    He describes the situation in Timbuktu, where Islamist groups who wish to impose sharia law now rule, as terrifying. “They cut off a woman’s ear in the market because she was not covered. If they see you talking to a woman who is not your wife, you get 50 lashes. It is unbelievable,” he says. “This is not according to our religion. To see an eight- or nine-year old boy with an AK47 – it is a catastrophe.”

    Caught in a double crisis

    To date, over 400,000 Malians like Ahmeta have fled the north, with about half seeking refuge in neighbouring countries. To make matters worse, at the time the conflict broke out, Mali and its neighbours were already struggling with a drought that had left millions of people across the region without enough food. The conflict in northern Mali has made it much harder for aid agencies to safely provide assistance, and rebel groups are reportedly diverting some of the aid as a ‘tax’.

    “Those who remain behind really need help”, Ahmeta says. “Before the conflict broke out, we didn’t have good rain. We went to the fields and saw our animals dying. We were supposed to plant in June and July, but with the rebellion we couldn’t plant our fields. If it were not for aid agencies doing distributions, there wouldn’t be anyone left.”

    While Ahmeta is clearly relieved to have escaped the north unscathed, worry and tension now line his face. His newly arrived family members have been unable to find steady work here in Bamako, and what limited resources they had are quickly running out. They are among the roughly 186,000 internally-displaced Malians who have fled south, mostly to urban areas where they have been taken in by relatives or ‘host families’. The fact that so many displaced Malians are being supported by extended families – as opposed to being packed into camps – is a positive development. But it also means that the displaced are scattered throughout large cities; hidden behind closed doors and tucked into spare rooms. This has made it challenging for aid agencies to identify which families are most vulnerable and what their needs really are.

    Help needed soon

    Far greater attention and resources must be put towards identifying the growing needs of Mali’s internally displaced – especially the most vulnerable – and to scaling up assistance, which at present is insufficient and unevenly spread. Urgent needs include helping families find alternative types of shelter (such as rented housing), as well as access to paid work and healthcare. All of this will certainly reduce the burden on host families, but they will still need direct assistance if their critical support role is to be maintained.

    While Ahmeta’s family members recently registered for assistance, so far they have not received more than a few bags of rice. Their wish, they say, is to return home. But with the rebels showing few signs of surrendering power and an international military force poised to intervene in the north, their prospects for a quick, safe return are slim. In fact, the situation is likely to grow far worse before it gets better, both in the north and the south.

    Aid agencies and donors cannot wait for that to happen: they must mobilise more staff and resources immediately, and also make plans for how they will adapt if the situation deteriorates. It is true that the victims of this crisis may be hard to identify, but the time to find them is now, since their numbers and their needs will only increase as this crisis wears on.


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    Source: Voice of America
    Country: Mali

    In Mali, spokesmen for Ansar Dine militants are denying reports that the group has offered to stop applying Islamic law in parts of Mali it controls.

    Two Ansar Dine representatives spoke with VOA French to Africa after an Ansar Dine official, Hamada Ag Bibi, was quoted as saying the group is "waiving application of Sharia law across the entire Malian territory" except in the city of Kidal.

    Sanda Ould Boumama, a spokesman for Ansar Dine in the city of Timbuktu, said the report from the French news agency is "absolutely false" and that Ansar Dine has never renounced Sharia.

    The other spokesman, Mohamed Ag Aharid, said "those are not the words of Ansar Dine," only of the man who spoke them.

    Aharid is spokesman for the Ansar Dine delegation in Burkina Faso's capital, Ouagadougou, of which Bibi is also a part. The delegation is talking with Burkinabe officials about ways of resolving the Mali crisis.

    Late Tuesday, the African Union endorsed a plan to send foreign troops to Mali to help oust Islamist militants who control the north.

    The proposal must now clear the United Nations Security Council.

    Mali's interim government requested forces to help drive out the militants, who seized control of the north after a coup in March toppled the elected government. The West African bloc ECOWAS is planning to send a 3,000-troop force.

    Ansar Dine is responsible for at least three executions in its effort to impose a strict form of Islamic law.

    The militants are alleged to have ties with al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb. Ansar Dine has said it is ready to cut ties to terrorists and open negotiations with Mali's interim government.


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    11/14/2012 23:24 GMT

    WASHINGTON, 14 nov 2012 (AFP) - Le Fonds monétaire international a estimé mercredi que le Mali souffrait "beaucoup" du coup d'Etat de mars et de ses retombées et a prédit que le pays, en butte à une insurrection islamiste au nord, tomberait en récession cette année.

    Devant l'urgence de la situation, le Mali a par ailleurs décidé d'annuler son programme en cours avec le FMI, étendu jusqu'en 2014 mais soumis à des conditions, afin de solliciter une aide de crise de 18 millions de dollars.

    "L'économie malienne traverse une période difficile. Déjà en difficulté à cause de la très mauvaise récolte de 2011-12, elle a beaucoup souffert du coup d'état de mars 2012 et de ses retombées", a souligné le FMI à l'issue d'une mission de deux semaines à Bamako.

    Dans le sillage du coup d'Etat militaire du 22 mars, des groupes islamistes armés ont pris le contrôle du nord du pays, suscitant l'inquiétude croissante de la communauté internationale.

    "L'occupation du nord du pays a fortement perturbé la production agricole et le commerce. La détérioration de la situation en matière de sécurité a provoqué une chute des voyages d'affaires au Mali", écrit le FMI.

    "Les secteurs du commerce, des hôtels et des restaurants ont été durement touchés", a ajouté l'institution de Washington, qui prévoit un recul du produit intérieur brut malien de 1,5% cette année.

    Le pays devrait renouer avec la croissance l'année prochaine, avec une progression prévue du PIB entre "4 et 5%".

    En décembre, le Fonds avait débloqué une ligne de crédit de 46,3 millions de dollars à verser sur trois ans, dont il avait versé une première tranche de 9,3 millions.

    C'est ce programme auquel le gouvernement malien a renoncé pour solliciter une aide plus rapide au titre du dispositif baptisé "Facilité de crédit rapide".

    La mission à Bamako a donné son accord préliminaire qui devra être entériné par le conseil d'administration "début février 2013", selon le communiqué du FMI.

    jt/sl/bdx

    © 1994-2012 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: UN Secretary-General
    Country: Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, India, Kazakhstan, Mali, Mauritania, Niger (the), Nigeria, Russian Federation (the), Senegal, Somalia, United States of America (the), World

    SG/SM/14631
    ENV/DEV/1326

    Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message to the International Conference on Food Security in Drylands, in Qatar on 14 November:

    I am pleased to send greetings to the International Conference on Food Security in Drylands, and I thank His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani and the Qatar National Food Security Programme for organizing it. I also thank Qatar for hosting the forthcoming 18th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

    Climate change and food security are closely linked, so I hope that the UNFCCC [United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change] will consider food security in its deliberations. The effects of climate change are particularly evident in the drylands, which occupy more than 40 per cent of our planet’s land area. Dryland inhabitants are among the world’s poorest and most vulnerable to hunger, with little resilience to the intensifying cycles of extreme drought and flood that climate change is causing. We must address their needs to achieve progress on the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.

    Last year, famine struck parts of Somalia and 10 million people across the Horn of Africa needed emergency relief. This year, 18 million people in the Sahel are struggling through their third drought in less than 10 years. The Sahel crisis also points to the broader threat climate change poses to development, peace and security. Diminishing water resources, degraded grazing grounds and declining agricultural yields increase the potential for conflict. Droughts, such as we have recently seen in the United States, Kazakhstan, Russia, Brazil and India, also raise prices in the marketplace — with potential economic, political and security ramifications.

    The impacts of climate change are with us already and will continue to intensify even as we develop mitigation strategies. We must, therefore, act as best, and as fast, as we can. Reversing land degradation and improving water security will be central to improving food and nutrition security for the 9 billion people who will inhabit the planet in 2050. This will entail reforming our current agricultural practices, which are not only hugely wasteful of water, but are a significant contributor of greenhouse gases.

    Making all food systems sustainable is at the centre of the Zero Hunger Challenge I launched at the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development in June. We must promote efficiency throughout the food chain, reduce inputs and waste and nurture the soil. We must increase investment in sustainable agriculture, and manage risk by improving our ability to forecast weather and by developing climate-resilient crops. And we must build innovative partnerships among farmers — small- and large-scale — Governments, businesses, academia, international organizations and civil society.

    Let us work together to scale up nutrition and ensure food security for all members of the human family, especially the vulnerable inhabitants of the world’s drylands. I commend Qatar for its leadership on both food security and climate change, and for highlighting the link between the two. I wish you a productive meeting.

    For information media • not an official record


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    Source: African Development Bank
    Country: Nigeria

    The Governor of Taraba State, Danbaba Suntai, on October 24, and the Deputy Governor of Oyo State, Chief Moses Alake Adeyemo, on November 1, launched the Urban Water and Sanitation Improvement Project – with an African Development Bank loan of approximately US $100 million for the rehabilitation, expansion and construction of water and sanitation facilities in Jalingo, Taraba State, and Ibadan, a city located in Oyo State, Nigeria. The project will improve access to clean water and sanitation for an estimated 1.5 million people.

    Taraba Water Supply Agency and Oyo State Water Corporation, the water utilities managing water supplies in the two cities, along with other small-scale service providers will benefit from capacity-building activities to improve their performance. Women and girls are to gain from the projects’ various gender-specific benefits promoted throughout the project.

    The Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Improvement Project in Oyo and Taraba States is intended to address the persistent shortage of water supply and inadequate sanitation that has resulted from a fast-growing population and inadequate infrastructure. Upon completion of the project, the number of residents having access to clean water and safe sanitation should rise considerably from 25 to 80 per cent. A majority of beneficiaries will be women, who represent 51 per cent of the population.

    While the main cross-cutting benefits of the project will be the improvement of living conditions and public health, special attention will be given to ensuring that women and girls are empowered and that their particular needs are met.

    Forty-two boreholes will be rehabilitated or constructed in Jalingo; 250 km of transmission and distribution will be rehabilitated and constructed in Jalingo, with another 450 km rehabilitated and constructed in Ibadan. In addition, 100 water kiosks will be built.

    To improve access as well as improve water management, 30,000 and 20,000 new water connections will be made in Jalingo and Ibadan, respectively.

    Regarding sanitation, 300 public water, sanitation and hand-washing facilities, with sufficient space to accommodate men, women and the disabled, will be constructed in schools, health centres and public places.

    The project also ensures that women will constitute 50 per cent of consumer committees and that women’s groups will be trained on hygiene education and promotion, giving them the opportunity to play a central role in sensitizing their communities and to participate in decision-making and actions affecting them.

    Moreover, institutional reforms and capacity training will also be offered to the water utilities of Taraba and Oyo States to improve service provision and ensure sustainability of services.

    Another special aspect of the project is the focus on access for low-income households. A unit for low-income households within the water utilities will ensure inclusion and provision of services for poor and marginalized people. In total, 30,000 low-income household connections and 100 water kiosks will be constructed in the two cities.


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    Source: UN Population Fund
    Country: Bangladesh, Chad, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, India, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger (the), Nigeria, Pakistan, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Tajikistan, United Republic of Tanzania (the), World, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Sudan (Republic of)

    Additional Investments in Family Planning Would Save Developing Countries More Than $11 Billion a Year

    Access to family planning is an essential human right that unlocks unprecedented rewards for economic development, says new UNFPA report

    • 222 million women in developing countries have an unmet need for family planning
    • Additional $4.1 billion in funding is needed to address current needs and those of the growing youth population

    LONDON, 14 November 2012—Making voluntary family planning available to everyone in developing countries would reduce costs for maternal and newborn health care by $11.3 billion annually, according to The State of World Population 2012, published today by UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund.

    Increased access to family planning has proven to be a sound economic investment. One third of the growth of Asian “tiger” economies is attributed to a demographic shift in which the number of income-generating adults became higher than those who depended on them for support. This shift, says the report, was a consequence of family planning and brought increased productivity, leading to economic development in the region.

    One recent study predicts that if the fertility rate fell by just one child per woman in Nigeria in the next 20 years, the country’s economy would grow by at least $30 billion.

    And the benefits are not just economic. The report finds that the costs of ignoring the right to family planning include poverty, exclusion, poor health and gender inequality. Failing to meet the sexual and reproductive health needs of adolescents and young people in Malawi, for example, contributed to high rates of unintended pregnancy and HIV. In the United States, the report showed that teenage motherhood reduces a girl’s chances of obtaining a high school diploma by up to 10 per cent.

    Family planning delivers immeasurable rewards to women, families, and communities around the world. By enabling individuals to choose the number and spacing of their children, family planning has allowed women, and their children, to live healthier, longer lives. Looking ahead, if an additional 120 million obtained access to family planning, the report estimates 3 million fewer babies would die in their first year of life.

    “Family planning has a positive multiplier effect on development,” said UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin. “Not only does the ability for a couple to choose when and how many children to have help lift nations out of poverty, but it is also one of the most effective means of empowering women. Women who use contraception are generally healthier, better educated, more empowered in their households and communities and more economically productive. Women’s increased labour-force participation boosts nations’ economies.”

    The State of World Population 2012 says that governments, civil society, health providers and communities have the responsibility to protect the right to family planning for women across the spectrum, including those who are young or unmarried.

    Nevertheless, the report finds that financial resources for family planning have declined and contraceptive use has remained mostly steady. In 2010, donor countries fell $500 million short of their expected contribution to sexual and reproductive health services in developing countries. Contraceptive prevalence has increased globally by just 0.1 per cent per year over the last few years.

    However, there are signs of progress. Last July, at the London Summit on Family Planning, donor countries and foundations together pledged $2.6 billion to make family planning available to 120 million women in developing countries with unmet needs by 2020. Developing countries themselves also pledged to increase support.

    But, according to the report, an additional $4.1 billion is necessary each year to meet the unmet need for family planning of all 222 million women who would use family planning but currently lack access to it. This investment would save lives by preventing unintended pregnancies and unsafe abortions.

    However, money is just one part of the solution. To ensure that every person’s right to family planning is realized, the report also calls on governments and leaders to:

    • Take or reinforce a rights-based approach to family planning
    • Secure an emphasis on family planning in the global sustainable development agenda that will follow the Millennium Development Goals in 2015
    • Ensure equality by focusing on specific excluded groups
    • Raise the funds to invest fully in family planning.

    “Family planning is not a privilege, but a right. Yet, too many women—and men—are denied this human right,” said Dr. Osotimehin. “The pledge we made in July in London to increase access to family planning will improve the lives of millions and will each year help avert 200,000 maternal deaths. As we approach the target date for achieving the Millennium Development Goals, I call on all leaders to build on this momentum, close the funding gap, and make voluntary family planning a development priority.”

    UNFPA works to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.

    For more information or interview requests, please contact:
    Omar Gharzeddine, +1 212 297 5028, gharzeddine@unfpa.org; or
    Mandy Kibel, +1 212 297 5293, kibel@unfpa.org

    For London based enquiries, please contact:
    Matthew Gould, +44 (0) 207 822 1721, matthew.gould@portland-communications.com; or Abubakar Dungus, +1 646 226 6120, dungus@unfpa.org

    For the full report and other resources, please visit:
    https://www.facebook.com/UNFPA
    https://twitter.com/UNFPA


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    Source: ECOWAS
    Country: Guinea-Bissau, Mali

    N°: 311/2012

    12 novembre 2012 [Abuja - Nigeria]

    Les chefs d’Etat et de gouvernement de la CEDEAO ont adopté, le 10 novembre 2012 à Abuja, le Concept harmonisé des opérations pour le déploiement d'une force internationale au Mali sous conduite africaine et ont demandé au Conseil de paix et de sécurité de l'Union africaine d'entériner ledit concept en vue de sa transmission aux Nations unies dans le délai de 45 jours prescrit par la Résolution 2071 du Conseil de sécurité de l’ONU.

    Dans un communiqué publié à l'issue de leur sommet extraordinaire sur le Mali, les chefs d’Etat de la CEDEAO ont exhorté le Conseil de sécurité à procéder à l’examen du Concept en vue d'autoriser le déploiement de la Force militaire internationale au Mali conformément au chapitre VII de la Charte des Nations unies.

    Le Concept a été élaboré par des experts militaires de la CEDEAO, de l'Union africaine, de l'Union européenne, des Nations unies et d'autres partenaires au cours d'une réunion tenue à Bamako, puis il a été examiné par les chefs d’état- major régionaux lors de leur réunion tenue également au Mali avant d’être examiné par la réunion ministérielle du Conseil de médiation et de sécurité tenue à Abuja le 9 novembre 2012.

    Les chefs d’Etat et de gouvernement ont réitéré leurs instructions à la Commission pour le maintien de la Force en attente «en état de préparation avancée, en prévision d’un déploiement imminent et ont exhorté les Etats membres à honorer leurs engagements relatifs à la fourniture de troupes et de logistique en appui aux efforts militaires de la CEDEAO».

    Tout en reconnaissant le rôle de premier plan du Mali dans les efforts militaires et diplomatiques visant à restaurer l’ordre constitutionnel ainsi que l’unité et l’intégrité territoriale du pays, le sommet a souligné le rôle de leadership que doit jouer la CEDEAO dans le déploiement de la force internationale sous conduite africaine ainsi que dans le commandement de la Force et la mobilisation des ressources, en étroite collaboration avec l’Union africaine et les Nations unies.

    La conférence a pris note de la déclaration du président malien par intérim selon laquelle «la feuille de route de la transition serait disponible dans les prochains jours». Elle a exhorté le gouvernement du Mali à diligenter les actions à ce sujet et à en assurer la mise en œuvre scrupuleuse en vue d’assurer le rétablissement de l’autorité de l’Etat sur toute l’étendue du territoire, ainsi que la tenue d’élections libres, justes et transparentes durant la période de transition.

    A cet égard, la conférence a réitéré sa décision selon laquelle ni le président par intérim ni le Premier ministre et les autres membres du gouvernement de transition ne pourront être candidats à la prochaine élection présidentielle.

    S’agissant de la Guinée-Bissau, les chefs d’Etat et de gouvernement ont condamné fermement la tentative de déstabilisation du 21 octobre 2012 et ont dénoncé tout recours à la violence ou à des moyens anticonstitutionnels pour exprimer des revendications politiques. Ils ont exhorté les autorités de transition à veiller au respect des principes de l’Etat de droit ainsi que des droits humains dans le cadre des investigations et éventuellement des poursuites liées à cette affaire.

    Le sommet a salué la signature du Protocole d’accord sur le programme de réforme du secteur de défense et de sécurité (PRSDS) et a instruit la Commission à prendre les mesures nécessaires à sa mise en œuvre rapide.

    Le sommet a aussi invité l’Union africaine et les autres partenaires à participer activement au processus et a exprimé ses félicitations aux éléments de l’ECOMIB ainsi qu’aux pays contributeurs de troupes pour les efforts consentis en Guinée-Bissau.

    Dans son discours à l'ouverture du sommet, le président en exercice de la CEDEAO et président de la Côte d'Ivoire, M. Alassane Ouattara, a affirmé : «Tout en demeurant ouverts au dialogue et à la négociation avec certains des groupes qui contrôlent le nord du Mali, nous devons poursuivre la préparation de l’action militaire contre les groupes terroristes et criminels qui prennent en otage les populations qui y vivent».

    A présent, a-t-il poursuivi, «la priorité serait de mobiliser nos efforts en faveur de l’adoption, par le Conseil de sécurité des Nations unies, d’une résolution sous le chapitre VII autorisant le déploiement de la Force de stabilisation au Mali ».

    Dans son allocution, le président Goodluck Jonathan du Nigéria a déclaré que «ce qui se passe en Guinée-Bissau et au Mali depuis des mois va à l'encontre de notre vision collective d'une région pacifique, stable et économiquement prospère».

    «Les populations martyres de la Guinée-Bissau et du Mali comptent sur nous pour mettre fin à leurs cauchemars et leur permettre de retrouver la sécurité et la prospérité. Nous ne devons pas les décevoir», a-t-il ajouté.

    Quant au président de la Commission de la CEDEAO, M. Kadré Désiré Ouédraogo, il a informé les dirigeants régionaux sur les progrès réalisés dans le cadre des initiatives régionales en collaboration avec des partenaires comme l'Union africaine, l'Union européenne, les Nations unies, entre autres, tout en soulignant que la crise malienne représente non seulement un défi grave pour le pays et la région, mais constitue également un grand risque pour la paix et la sécurité internationales.

    Il s’est félicité de la présence au sommet de représentants de l'Algérie, de la Mauritanie, du Tchad, de la Libye et du Maroc, ce qui constitue un témoignage d'amitié et de solidarité et confirme l’intérêt que ces pays portent à la sécurité régionale et internationale.

    Les représentants des Nations unies et de l'Union africaine ont prononcé des discours en réitérant l'engagement de leurs organisations respectives et leur soutien aux initiatives de la CEDEAO.

    Pour sa part, le Premier ministre tchadien, M. Emmanuel Nadingar, a salué les efforts régionaux et souligné la nécessité de privilégier les négociations, l'option militaire devant être, selon lui, le dernier recours pour une sortie de crise au Mali.


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

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