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    Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
    Country: Mali
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    The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) monitors trends in staple food prices in countries vulnerable to food insecurity. For each FEWS NET country and region, the Price Bulletin provides a set of charts showing monthly prices in the current marketing year in selected urban centers and allowing users to compare current trends with both five-year average prices, indicative of seasonal trends, and prices in the previous year.

    Millet, rice, and sorghum constitute the basic staple foods for the majority of the Malian population. Millet has traditionally been the most widely consumed, but since 2005 rice has become a popular substitute in urban households. Sorghum is generally more important for rural than urban households. Markets included are indicative of local conditions within their respective regions. Ségou is one of the most important markets for both the country and region because it is located in a very large grain production area. Bamako, the capital and largest urban center in the country, functions as an assembly market. It receives cereals from Koulikoro, Ségou, and Sikasso for consumption and also acts as an assembly market for trade with the northern regions of the country (Kayes and Koulikoro) and Mauritania. Markets in the deficit areas of the country (Timbuktu and Gao) receive their supplies of millet and rice from Mopti, Ségou and Sikasso.


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    Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
    Country: Guatemala
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    The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) monitors trends in staple food prices in countries vulnerable to food insecurity. For each FEWS NET country and region, the Price Bulletin provides a set of charts showing monthly prices in the current marketing year in selected urban centers and allowing users to compare current trends with both five-year average prices, indicative of seasonal trends, and prices in the previous year.

    Maize is the main source of calories and protein in the Guatemalan diet. White maize is more heavily consumed than yellow maize, but the latter is preferred in some regions and used as poultry feed. Every Guatemalan household consumes black beans: as a protein source it is a particularly valuable complement to cereals in regions where households have limited access to animal products. Consumption habits are strongly linked to tradition and culture. Rice is mainly consumed in urban and peri-urban, but some rural households consume it as well. Guatemala is highly dependent on imported rice. The market in Guatemala City is the largest in the country and feeds the highest concentration of the population.


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    Source: ACT Alliance
    Country: Malawi
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    Geneva, 1 October 2014

    1. Brief description of the emergency and impact

    A delayed start of the agriculture season and prolonged dry spells in some parts of the country ranging from 2 to 4 weeks in the 2013/14 growing season has caused food insecurity to a total of 640,009 people across the nation, requiring about 15, 830 MT of maize equivalent to address the food shortage (MVAC preliminary report, July 2014). Nineteen out of twenty eight districts namely Karonga, Mzimba and Rumphi in the Northern Region; Dedza, Dowa, Lilongwe Rural, Mchinji, Ntcheu and Salima in the Central Region and Balaka, Blantyre Rural, Chikhwawa, Mulanje, Phalombe, Machinga, Mwanza, Neno, Nsanje and Zomba in the Southern Region will face food deficits ranging from two to four months. Many of these areas are impact areas for ACT members’ developmental and humanitarian projects.

    2. Why is an ACT response needed?

    An ACT response is needed to assist those affected by the food insecurity, including the vulnerable groups like women and under- five children, by providing the essential basic food needs and providing a linkage for early recovery. The affected populations will not be able to meet all their food needs even with the use of other coping strategies. An ACT response is also needed to safeguard on-going development projects and to prevent the plunging of the affected populations deep into poverty.

    3. National and international response

    The “Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee’s Food Security and Nutrition Outlook: April 2014 to March 2015” recommends that Government and its collaborating partners should move swiftly to plan a response for the needs of the affected population to avoid worsening of the current situation. The Malawi Government, through the Department of Disaster Management Affairs, in conjunction with the UN (under the lead of WFP) and other humanitarian stakeholders, are planning to respond with food aid and cash transfers to all affected households. Meetings are in progress to decide on the way forward by the humanitarian stakeholders. A market assessment was done to help make a decision on the approach to be used for the response.

    4. ACT Alliance response

    Following assessment reports by the government and Ministry of Agriculture, the Malawi Forum is planning to respond to the crisis by issuing an ACT appeal. CARD, ELDS and BSHDC will be the ACT requesting members.


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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Mali
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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Mali
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    Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
    Country: Central African Republic, Chad
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    Des signes d’amélioration de la securité alimentaire dans les régions en crise alimentaire

    MESSAGES CLÉS

    • Dans la zone soudanienne, l’accès aux aliments des ménages s’est nettement amélioré grâce aux bonnes pluies de juillet/août qui ont permis la récolte précoce du maïs, sorgho et l’arachide comme en année normale. La bonne disponibilité laitière et l’augmentation des revenus issus des prémices ont aussi contribué à augmenter la consommation alimentaire dans ces zones durant le mois de septembre.

    • Dans la zone sahélienne, malgré l’installation tardive de la saison, la situation pluviométrique s’est améliorée nettement avec les pluies régulières d’août et une partie de septembre. Toutefois, les récoltes seront probablement quelques semaines plus tard que d'habitude en raison des retards dans le développement des cultures par endroits. Le niveau de pâturage est supérieur à la normale et les animaux présentent un meilleur embonpoint.

    • Les ménages pauvres de Wadi Fira et du Sud Bahr El-Ghazel (BEG) continuent à faire face à un déficit de consommation et couvrent à peine le minimum de leurs besoins alimentaires jusqu’à la fin du mois. A cet effet, ces deux régions restent en Crise (Phase 3 ! de l’IPC). Quant aux régions voisines du Kanem, Hadjer Lamis, le nord BEG, et le Batha elles sont Stressées (Phase 2 de l’IPC) et y resteront jusqu'à la fin du mois.


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    Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
    Country: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo
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    L'Afrique de l’Ouest peut être divisée en trois zones agro-écologiques ou en trois bassins commerciaux (bassins de l’ouest, bassin du centre, bassin de l’est). Les deux sont importants pour l'interprétation du comportement et de la dynamique du marché.

    Les trois principales zones agro-écologiques incluent la zone Sahélienne, la zone Soudanaise et la zone Côtière où la production et la consommation peuvent être facilement classifiées. (1) Dans la zone Sahélienne, le mil constitue le principal produit alimentaire cultivé et consommé en particulier dans les zones rurales et de plus en plus par certaines populations qui y ont accès en milieux urbains. Des exceptions sont faites pour le Cap Vert où le maïs et le riz sont les produits les plus importants, la Mauritanie où le blé et le sorgho et le Sénégal où le riz constituent des aliments de base. Les principaux produits de substitution dans le Sahel sont le sorgho, le riz, et la farine de manioc (Gari), avec les deux derniers en période de crise. (2) Dans la zone Soudanienne (le sud du Tchad, le centre du Nigéria, du Bénin, du Ghana, du Togo, de la Côte d'Ivoire, le sud du Burkina Faso, du Mali, du Sénégal, la Guinée Bissau, la Serra Leone, le Libéria) le maïs et le sorgho constituent les principales céréales consommées par la majorité de la population. Suivent après le riz et les tubercules particulièrement le manioc et l’igname. (3)
    Dans la zone côtière, avec deux saisons de pluie, l’igname et le maïs constituent les principaux produits alimentaires. Ils sont complétés par le niébé, qui est une source très significative de protéines.

    Les trois bassins commerciaux sont simplement connus sous les noms de bassin Ouest, Centre, et Est. En plus du mouvement du sud vers le nord des produits, les flux de certaines céréales se font aussi horizontalement. (1) Le bassin Ouest comprend la Mauritanie, le Sénégal, l’ouest du Mali, la Sierra Leone, la Guinée, le Libéria, et la Gambie où le riz est le plus commercialisé. (2)
    Le bassin central se compose de la Côte d'Ivoire, le centre et l’est du Mali, le Burkina Faso, le Ghana, et le Togo où le maïs est généralement commercialisé. (3) Le bassin Est se rapporte au Niger, Nigéria, Tchad, et Bénin où le millet est le plus fréquemment commercialisé. Ces trois bassins commerciaux sont distingués sur la carte ci-dessus.


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    Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
    Country: Niger
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    Le Réseau de systèmes d’alerte précoce contre la famine (FEWS NET) surveille les tendances des prix des aliments de base dans les pays vulnérables à l'insécurité alimentaire. Pour chaque pays et chaque région couvert par FEWS NET, le Bulletin des prix fournit un ensemble de graphiques indiquant les prix mensuels de l’année commerciale en cours pour certains centres urbains, et permettant à l’utilisateur de comparer les tendances actuelles à la fois aux moyennes quinquennales, qui indiquent les tendances saisonnières, et aux prix de l'année précédente.

    Le mil, le maïs, le niébé et le riz importé sont les produits alimentaires les plus importants consommés au Niger. Le mil est consommé aussi bien par les ménages ruraux que les ménages pauvres urbains dans l’ensemble du pays. Le maïs et le riz importé sont plus importants pour les ménages urbains, tandis que le niébé est principalement consommé par les ménages pauvres des régions rurales et urbaines en tant que source de protéine.

    Niamey est le marché national le plus important et un centre du commerce international ; elle approvisionne en outre les ménages urbains. Tillaberi est aussi un centre urbain approvisionnant les localités environnantes. Le marché de Gaya est le principal marché urbain pour le maïs avec des liens transfrontaliers. Maradi, Tounfafi et Diffa sont des marchés de regroupement régionaux et des marchés transfrontaliers pour le Niger et d’autres pays de la région. C'est dans ces marchés que vont régulièrement acheter leur nourriture les ménages et les éleveurs des régions déficitaires en céréales du nord. Agadez et Zinder sont également d’importants marchés nationaux et régionaux. Nguigmi et Abalak se trouvent dans des zones pastorales, où la population dépend largement des marchés céréaliers pour leur approvisionnement alimentaire. Ces deux marchés sont particulièrement importants pendant la saison des pluies, lorsque les éleveurs sont confinés dans la zone pastorale.


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    Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
    Country: Burkina Faso
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    Le Réseau de systèmes d’alerte précoce contre la famine (FEWS NET) surveille les tendances des prix des aliments de base dans les pays vulnérables à l'insécurité alimentaire. Pour chaque pays et chaque région couvert par FEWS NET, le Bulletin des prix fournit un ensemble de graphiques indiquant les prix mensuels de l’année commerciale en cours pour certains centres urbains, et permettant à l’utilisateur de comparer les tendances actuelles à la fois aux moyennes quinquennales, qui indiquent les tendances saisonnières, et aux prix de l'année précédente

    Le mil, le maïs et le sorgho sont les produits alimentaires les plus importants pour la consommation ménagère. Le mil est le produit de base des ménages les plus vulnérables, tandis que le maïs et le sorgho contribuent aussi au panier alimentaire de la majorité des autres ménages.

    Le marché de Sankaryare est le plus vaste et le plus important de Ouagadougou; il approvisionne d’autres marchés du pays et dans la région.

    Koudougou se trouve dans l'une des régions les plus peuplées du pays, où une majorité des ménages dépend du marché pour son ravitaillement alimentaire. Djibo se situe dans la zone sahélienne, hautement vulnérable.

    Pouytenga est un marché de regroupement pour les produits du Nigeria, du Ghana, du Bénin et du Togo. Solenzo est un marché rural situé au milieu d’une zone de production excédentaire. Bobo Dioulasso est un important centre tant pour la consommation que pour la production : elle fait office de capitale économique du Burkina-Faso et se trouve dans une importante zone de production céréalière.


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    Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
    Country: Mali
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    Le Réseau de systèmes d’alerte précoce contre la famine (FEWS NET) surveille les tendances des prix des aliments de base dans les pays vulnérables à l'insécurité alimentaire. Pour chaque pays et chaque région couvert par FEWS NET, le Bulletin des prix fournit un ensemble de graphiques indiquant les prix mensuels de l’année commerciale en cours pour certains centres urbains, et permettant à l’utilisateur de comparer les tendances actuelles à la fois

    Le mil, le riz et le sorgho constituent les aliments de base de la majorité de la population malienne. Le mil est l'aliment le plus consommé traditionnellement, mais depuis 2005 le riz est devenu un substitut populaire chez les ménages urbains. Le sorgho est généralement plus important pour les ménages ruraux que pour les ménages urbains. Les marchés inclus sont révélateurs des conditions locales dans leurs régions respectives. Ségou est l’un des marchés les plus importants tant pour le pays que pour la région, dans la mesure où il se trouve dans une très vaste zone de production de céréales. Bamako, la capitale et le centre urbain le plus étendu du pays, fonctionne comme un marché de regroupement. Elle reçoit des céréales de Koulikoro, Ségou et Sikasso destinées à la consommation et fait également office de marché de regroupement pour les échanges avec les régions nord du pays (Kayes et Koulikoro) et avec la Mauritanie. Les marchés des régions déficitaires du pays (Tombouctou et Gao) reçoivent leurs approvisionnements en mil et en riz de Mopti, Ségou et Sikasso.


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    Source: International Committee of the Red Cross
    Country: Mali

    Members of the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) and of the High Council for the Unity of Azawad (HCUA) are attending an ICRC course on international humanitarian law in Kidal today.

    "This is one session in a series that began a few weeks ago. So far, we've raised awareness of international humanitarian law among more than 200 fighters from the MNLA, the HCUA and the Arab Movement of Azawad in Ménaka, Ber and Kidal," said Christoph Luedi, head of the ICRC delegation in Mali. "The long-term goal is to make these armed groups aware of their responsibilities in terms of respect for international humanitarian law, and to help them to better understand the rules of behaviour applicable in conflict situations."

    The participants are made aware in particular of issues relating to the protection of civilians and people no longer taking part in hostilities, the treatment of people who have been captured, and respect for humanitarian principles. International humanitarian law is a set of rules designed to limit the effects of armed conflict. It protects people who are not or are no longer taking part in hostilities and restricts the means and methods of warfare.

    "It's because of the good relations we have had for many years with the leadership of these various armed groups that we are able to give this course," said Mr Luedi. "In accordance with its mandate, the ICRC maintains dialogue with all parties to the conflict and provides them with the support they need in the area of international humanitarian law."

    The ICRC, in its capacity as a neutral and impartial humanitarian organization, has contacts with everyone involved in the conflict in Mali. For several years it has helped all armed forces achieve a better understanding of and show greater respect for international humanitarian law.

    For further information, please contact:
    Valery Mbaoh Nana, ICRC Bamako, tel: +223 76 99 63 75
    Thomas Glass, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 31 49 or +41 79 244 64 05


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    Source: Islamic Relief
    Country: Malawi

    Regina Kamwendo lives with her three children in a 2-room, basic thatched house in Nyambi village, Machinga District. They rely on firewood for cooking, and their water supply comes from a nearby tap using a gravitational system, built by Islamic Relief.

    “Before Islamic Relief installed the water system, I used to walk long distances to get water” Regina tells us, smiling. She finds it challenging to provide enough food for her children, and often the children would go to school with no breakfast. The children’s health is also threatened by the fact that the closest clinic is a considerable distance from the village, and often Regina is unable to afford transport when the children are ill.

    Regina is a member of the Fish Farming Committee (FFC) in the village and takes part in the Small Scale Fish Farming and Vegetable Production project. She says, “I used to get up early to go look for work to feed my children, now I have a place I go to work and earn some money for my family.”

    Regina now earns money from the project by assisting with the construction of the fish ponds as well as from the harvest of the fish and vegetables. “When we sell the fish, it benefits more people in the villages surrounding us as there is no source of fresh fish in our villages. The vegetable garden is making it easy for villages to get fresh vegetable nearby,” Regina tells us.

    As part of the scheme, six fish ponds have been built, most of them fully stocked and harvested. All six ponds will be stocked with a fast growing species of Tilapa fish which will ensure better harvest and more income for the local people. 120 Fish Farming Committees have been set up in the region, with 80% of the members being women. All committee members have been trained in fish farming and vegetable production by the Department of Fisheries and the Department of Agriculture.

    “My life has changed; the problems I used to have are no longer there, thanks to Islamic Relief.” Regina has learned new skills in fish farming and vegetable production and she feels more empowered now as a single mother raising three children on her own.

    Islamic Relief has been operating in Malawi since 2006. Islamic Relief is distributing food, improving water, sanitation and irrigation facilities. We are also working in partnership with local communities to improve livelihoods and increase their ability to cope with droughts.


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    Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
    Country: Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia
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    • Favorable, late-season rains continued throughout many regions of West Africa during the last week.
    • Significantly heavy rainfall forecast over northern Somalia and eastern Ethiopia.

    1) Below-average rains during the Belg season and a late onset of the Kiremt rains have led to persistent moisture deficits, which have delayed planting and negatively affected the development of already-planted crops over the Arsi and West Arsi zones in central Oromia of central Ethiopia.
    2) Despite a seasonable return of precipitation during August, moisture deficits have persisted in northwestern Senegal. The delayed onset of the season in July has already resulted in deteriorated conditions and affected crops on the ground.
    3) An early cessation of Mar-May seasonal rainfall, as well as, an anomalously dry July have led to deteriorated crop and degraded pasture conditions across several zones in central and northern Ethiopia.
    4) Poor seasonal rainfall since the middle of August has led to late-season moisture deficits, increasing the likelihood for adverse ground impacts throughout many parts of western and southern Niger, eastern Mali, and northern Nigeria. Below average rains are forecast in the region for the upcoming outlook period.
    5) Poor July rains throughout several local regions in Mali have resulted in degraded crop and pastoral conditions. August and September rains have continued to help improve ground impacts.
    6) Torrential amounts of precipitation forecast over arid northern Somalia are likely to trigger localized flooding in the region.
    7) Since the beginning of September, poor rains have led to deteriorating crops and compromised planting activities throughout Rwanda.


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    Source: AlertNet
    Country: Gambia

    Misha Hussain

    DAKAR, Oct 1 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Pestilence, cyclical droughts and floods, and the West Africa Ebola crisis have pushed hunger to record levels in Gambia, where 200,000 people need urgent food assistance, the United Nations says.

    Read the full article here


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    Source: International Crisis Group
    Country: Afghanistan, Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, China, China - Hong Kong (Special Administrative Region), Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Cyprus, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Fiji, Georgia, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Mali, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Serbia, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), World, Yemen, Zimbabwe, South Sudan
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    The U.S. expanded its aerial campaign against Islamic State (IS) militants in late September with strikes in Syria’s north and east. The operation, which targets both IS and fighters linked to al-Qaeda’s central leadership and the affiliated group Jabhat al-Nusra, risks alienating other rebel groups in Syria and strengthening support for IS. The mainstream armed opposition faced another serious blow when most of the senior leadership of the influential group Ahrar as-Sham was killed in an unexplained bomb blast in early September. Meanwhile, IS continued its advance on the ground, including around the predominantly Kurdish city Kobani near the Turkish border causing some 160,000 Kurds to flee. (See our recent report and commentary on the possible fall of greater Aleppo and the impact this could have on the wider Syrian rebellion).

    In Iraq, the beheading of captive U.S. journalists and a British aid worker by IS militants drew strong condemnations. U.S. President Obama vowed to dismantle the group’s “network of death” and several countries, including France and the UK, joined the U.S.-led aerial campaign against IS. Adding to the sectarian divides that aided IS’s initial rise, Iran continued to support Shiite militias in central Iraq, while Western and Iranian support for the Kurdish Regional Government provoked additional tensions by bypassing Baghdad. (See our recent commentary on the rise of the Islamic State, alternatively known as ISIL, ISIS or Daesh.)

    The Syrian conflict continued to spill over into Lebanon. In September jihadi groups executed three Lebanese soldiers captured the previous month in the eastern city of Arsal, exacerbating ethnic and communal tensions, and sparking attacks on Syrian refugees. Clashes between the Lebanese army and Syrian rebels also continued in the east leaving several soldiers, Sunni militants and Hizbollah members dead.

    Weeks of anti-government protests led by Yemen’s Huthis degenerated into several days of fighting in the capital Sanaa in mid-September. Over two hundred were killed as the Huthis clashed with rival forces loyal to General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar and, to a much lesser extent, Sunni Islamist fighters around Iman University. Large parts of the security forces sided with the Huthis who seized key parts of Sanaa, including government buildings, and were allowed to control security in the city. A new peace deal and power sharing agreement signed on 21 September called for the implementation of national dialogue outcomes and the government to be replaced, but the balance of power on the ground has shifted solidly towards the Huthis. Prospects for a Huthi withdrawal from the capital remain uncertain: a new prime minister has yet to be appointed, and since the agreement Huthis have surrounded and entered the homes of political enemies as well as attacking the home of Yemen’s national security chief Ali al-Ahmadi in late September. (See our most recent report on Yemen’s Huthis.)

    After months of deadlock, Sudan’s armed and political oppositions signed a statement on principles for a national dialogue process that would include them both. The government, the SPLM-N and Darfur rebels agreed to meet in October – under the auspices of the African Union High Level Implementation Panel – to discuss a possible cessation of hostilities in all conflict areas. The African Union Peace and Security Council welcomed the planned talks.

    September 2014 – Trends

    • Deteriorated situations Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Yemen
    • Improved situations

    October 2014 – Watchlist

    • Conflict risk alerts Syria
    • Conflict resolution opportunities Sudan

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    Source: Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict
    Country: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali, Somalia, Syrian Arab Republic, Yemen
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    This month’s update highlights children and armed conflict concerns and provides recommendations for the protection of children in the situations of Mali, Somalia and Yemen. In particular, the update provides recommendations ahead of the African Union Mission in Somalia’s (AMISOM) expected mandate and logistical support package renewal.

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


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    Source: African Union, UN Department of Public Information
    Country: Central African Republic, Libya, Mali, World, South Sudan

    AFR/2981

    PKO/441

    On 29 September 2014, the United Nations-African Union Joint Task Force on Peace and Security held its ninth consultative meeting at United Nations Headquarters in New York, on the margins of the sixty-ninth session of the United Nations General Assembly. The United Nations Secretariat and African Union Commission were represented by senior officials from the two organizations.

    The Joint Task Force discussed issues of common interest and identified areas of collaboration in a number of countries, including in Libya, South Sudan and the Sahel. The meeting also discussed forthcoming elections in Africa and agreed on how to coordinate United Nations-African Union actions in support of national efforts to ensure that those elections are conducted smoothly, in order to contribute to the consolidation of peace and security. The Joint Task Force also discussed cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union on a lessons learned exercise on transitions from African Union peace operations to United Nations peacekeeping operations in Mali and the Central African Republic.

    The meeting expressed its serious concern at the security and humanitarian situation in South Sudan where millions of people have become vulnerable to a possible famine. The Joint Task Force called on the warring parties to extend full cooperation to the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD)-led mediation and meaningfully participate in the talks to conclude an inclusive peace agreement that addresses the root causes of the conflict.

    The Joint Task Force declared its full support for the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) and called upon all parties in South Sudan to respect the Mission’s mandate, cooperate with humanitarian support operations and cease all restrictions to their freedom of movement. The Joint Task Force declared that sustainable peace was not possible without determined efforts to ensure accountability, healing and reconciliation and, in that regard, expressed its full support for the work of the African Union Commission of Inquiry for South Sudan, UNMISS and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

    The Joint Task Force expressed serious concern over continued conflict in Libya and called on the parties to cease fighting and engage in an inclusive dialogue. The meeting noted the need for enhanced coordination among all stakeholders on initiatives to promote peace in Libya. The meeting also called on all actors and the rest of the international community to fully support the facilitation role of the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General, Bernardino León. The meeting was encouraged by the results of the meeting that brought together the parties in Ghadames on 29 September 2014, and urged the parties to build on this positive step to further the peace and reconciliation process. The meeting also welcomed the proposed convening under United Nations and African Union auspices of the inaugural meeting of the International Contact Group on Libya established by the African Union Peace and Security Council on 23 September 2014.

    The Joint Task Force expressed its full support for the inter-Malian talks underway in Algiers. Participants urged the Malian parties to pursue the discussions in a spirit of compromise and reconciliation, based on the agreed principles of the respect of the unity and territorial integrity of Mali, as well as the secular nature of the State. The participants noted with satisfaction the steps already taken to include all strands of Malian society in the political process and encouraged continued efforts in that regard, noting that the outcome of the talks can only be sustainable if it has wide support among Malians. The participants strongly condemned the continuing acts of violence and terrorism in northern Mali, including attacks against United Nations peacekeepers. They urged the armed movements represented in Algiers to abide by their commitment to fully cooperate with the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) and others in efforts to bring such attacks to an end. The meeting urged countries in the Sahel to undertake reforms promoting good governance in order to create a conducive environment to enable the international community’s support to the region to be more effective. Participants highlighted the need to improve coordination among the various initiatives on the Sahel by ensuring the effective functioning of the Coordination Platform for the Sahel, including by strengthening the capacities of the Technical Secretariat and supporting the Government of Mali in its presidency of the platform.

    The Joint Task Force agreed to deepen the partnership between the United Nations and the African Union on electoral issues, particularly in the areas of pre-election needs assessments, information-sharing and analysis and joint/mutual capacity enhancement. In that regard, the meeting noted the recently adopted Security Council resolution 2167 (2014) by which the Council reaffirms its intention to consider further steps to promote closer and more operational cooperation between the United Nations and regional and sub-regional organizations in the fields of early warning, conflict prevention, peacekeeping and peacebuilding, and of ensuring coherence, synergy and collective effectiveness of their efforts.

    The meeting welcomed the adoption of Security Council resolution 2167 (2014), which, inter alia, requested the Secretary-General to initiate, in full and close cooperation with the African Union, a lessons learned exercise on the transitions from African Union peace operations to United Nations peacekeeping operations in Mali and the Central African Republic and to produce specific recommendations that could be used for possible future transitional arrangements by no later than 31 December 2014.

    The Joint Task Force expressed its full support for the steps already undertaken by the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the United Nations Office at the African Union, in close consultations with the African Union, the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) and MINUSMA, to undertake the proposed exercise. The Joint Task Force stressed the need for the exercise to come up with innovative recommendations that would help guide future transitions from the African Union to the United Nations in the area of peacekeeping, and underlined the timeliness of the exercise, and its anticipated outcome, in the context of the review of United Nations-led missions, requested by the Secretary-General.

    Finally, the meeting agreed on the need to intensify collaborative efforts to develop policies and implement strategies in the areas of rule of law and security institutions, including through the African Union Policy Framework on Security Sector Reform, the African Union Disarmament Demobilization and Reintegration Capacity Programme and the Strategic Framework for Mine Action and Explosive Management.


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

    Agriculture is the cornerstone of rural livelihoods in the developing world, and irrigated agriculture contributes to rural economic growth and food security through more reliable water supplies in the face of low and unevenly distributed rainfall. In partner countries around the world, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is supporting irrigated agriculture, ensuring that farmers have access to the water they need to grow crops and earn income.

    But agriculture in arid regions can be difficult even without climate change, and shifts in historical temperatures and rainfall patterns that alter the timing and quantity of annual water flows pose ever-increasing challenges to irrigation.

    That’s why MCC develops its irrigation investments with climate variability and long-term climatic changes in mind. In the Sahel region and North Africa, MCC projects are reducing vulnerability and improving resilience to the potential effects of climate change.

    In Mali, an irrigation project in Alatona helped farmers reduce water loss and make efficient use of scarce dry season water for seasonal food and cash crops. Through Mali’s country compact, MCC promoted a variety of approaches to water management, including modifying the way land is allocated for farming and working with local government and farmer groups to establish water distribution rules for both rainy- and dry-season production. For example, farmers received four hectares of land for growing rice that would only be irrigated in the rainy season, and an additional one hectare that would be irrigated in both seasons, enabling farmers to grow and profit from two different crops per year. MCC has also helped communities adopt computerized systems for real-time monitoring of water management operations.

    Similarly, in Morocco, MCC investments have responded to serious shortages of dry-season water flows in order to improve productivity among horticulture farmers. Working closely alongside locals to adapt traditional irrigation and water allocation systems in a modern context, MCC’s project involved physical improvements to established fruit tree perimeters, accounting for the variability of different water sources such as springs and groundwater in order to increase the sustainability of orchard farming. The project also focused on working with local research and extension services to improve water balance (how water flows in and out of a system) and tree agronomic information while developing strategies for improving fruit tree productivity under water-stress situations.

    In order to achieve a good return on its investments, MCC has focused on improving efficiencies and productive use of limited water supplies – a necessary strategy for coping with increased climate variability. Meanwhile, investments may also contribute to rural communities’ ability to adapt and prosper in uncertain times. In this way, MCC is ensuring vulnerable communities have the resilience to continue producing adequate food under variable climactic conditions well into the future.

    The Millennium Challenge Corporation supports country-led requests for agriculture and food security-related investments through MCC compacts including irrigation, post-harvest infrastructure, property rights and land policy, agricultural finance and nutrition. Learn more about how MCC contributes to Feed the Future through food security investments.


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    Source: Stability: International Journal of Security & Development
    Country: Algeria, Mali, Niger, World
    preview


    Erik Alda1, Joseph L. Sala2
    1. American University, United States
    2. Independent consultant, United States

    Abstract

    Many observers hold that terrorist groups and transnational criminal networks share many of the same characteristics, methods and tactics. There are many examples cited to demonstrate these observations are not coincidental, but indicative of a trend: a trend that is a growing threat to the security interests of many nations. We propose that the intersection of criminal networks and terrorist organizations can be broadly grouped into three categories – coexistence (they coincidentally occupy and operate in the same geographic space at the same time), cooperation (they decide that their mutual interests are both served, or at not least severely threatened, by temporarily working together) and convergence (each begins to engage in behavior(s) that is/are more commonly associated with the other). The activities of these types of organizations in the Sahel region of Africa provide examples of all three categories of interactions. This perceived threat has prompted action and policy choices by a number of actors in the sub-region. But this assessment might not be accurate and may, in fact, be an attempt to force an extra-regional, inappropriate paradigm upon a specific situation and set of circumstances where they do not apply.


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    Source: United Nations
    Country: Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guinea, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Somalia, World, South Sudan

    Following are UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson’s remarks at the high-level briefing by the African Regional Economic Communities to Member States of the United Nations, in New York today:

    First of all, I want to welcome all the high-level representatives of the African Regional Economic Communities present here today. I am honoured to speak to you.

    We meet at a turbulent and, at the same time, [a] dynamic time at the United Nations.

    This past week has been full of activity — with a strong focus on Africa, ranging from peacekeeping and humanitarian crisis to the serious Ebola epidemic.

    I am pleased that today’s gathering will discuss development and the long-term future of the continent in the light of the African Union’s visionary “Agenda 2063”.

    Africa has for long and consistently been a top priority for Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the entire United Nations System.

    We applaud Africa’s remarkable progress. Economic growth is impressive. More African children go to school than ever before. There are great advances on women’s empowerment and gender equality. Participatory governance and institutions are on the rise.

    All this has been possible thanks to the leadership and commitment of African Governments, the African Union, the Regional Economic Communities and many other partners. The United Nations is one such partner, not least through the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). We always stand with Africa.

    Regional Economic Communities have shown their unwavering resolve to promote interregional trade, as well as social and economic cooperation. You have also demonstrated an increasing capacity to deal with the root causes of conflict in your respective regions.

    There are many examples of progress.

    The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) helped to consolidate peace in Mali and the Sahel region. The Economic Community of Central African States is playing a mediating role in the ongoing crisis in Central African Republic.

    I also welcome efforts by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to resolve the situation in South Sudan. The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is working with the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region to implement the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Great Lakes Region.

    The Secretary-General has convened a number of high-level meetings over the past week relating to Africa. We have seen progress towards some of our common goals. But crises on the continent still threaten lives and undermine development.

    The Ebola virus disease presents new and very serious challenges in West Africa.

    I commend the efforts of ECOWAS and the African Union in quickly mobilizing resources and awareness to reduce the impact of Ebola. The United Nations has mobilized to a degree rarely seen.

    Our Special Envoy and the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) are working hard to stop the outbreak, treat the infected, provide essential services, preserve stability and prevent the spread of the disease.

    The affected nations and the international community have a joint responsibility to contain and stop the epidemic urgently. The affected countries have a right to expect concrete and immediate acts of solidarity.

    The humanitarian and security situations in the Central African Republic and South Sudan remain dire. Northern Nigeria and Somalia continue to face rising terrorist threats from Boko Haram and Al-Shabaab. The political situation in Libya is growing more complex and dangerous. Lesotho is facing a risky political stalemate. All these situations have potential spillover effects on subregions and the continent.

    Let us remember that development is both a cause and consequence of peace.

    There has been great social and economic progress across Africa. But, as in the rest of the world, its economies have not kept pace with legitimate demands. Above all, we need more jobs, especially for Africa’s young people. Unemployment is not only an economic challenge. It is also a social, psychological and political problem.

    Trade among African countries remains limited, mainly because they do not have adequate railways, roads and other infrastructure. Many African economies also lack sufficient economic diversification, productivity and well-functioning institutions. As a result, even though African countries have impressive growth, Africa is still off track to meeting many of the MDGs (Millennium Development Goals).

    We are here today to consider how we can do more to reduce poverty and inequalities, improve food and water security, and enable more African mothers and children to live healthy lives. Women’s empowerment is especially important to advancing progress for all. We can unleash enormous energy and gains across Africa if we end discrimination and violence against women and girls — and invest in their future as leaders in all areas of society.

    Agenda 2063 offers a way forward for Africa with key regional objectives. The Regional Economic Communities can make the difference between failure and success. Agenda 2063 has a global dimension that must be harmonized with international development trends, particularly the post-2015 agenda.

    I congratulate Africa on the Common African Position on the post-2015 development agenda. As the negotiations continue, we will work to ensure that the continent’s concerns are appropriately reflected in the next global development agenda.

    The transformative changes envisaged in Agenda 2063 will need to be forged around stronger regional integration. There is tremendous power and potential in intensified regional and interregional cooperation, not least for landlocked countries.

    Stronger integration will require increased competitiveness in African economies. The process should also be underpinned by major investments in human development, science, technology and infrastructure.

    All this will to a great deal depend on effective governance, and durable peace and security in all parts of the continent.

    This meeting provides an opportunity for you as Regional Economic Communities to tell us how you are contributing to Agenda 2063 and how the United Nations can better support your efforts. I also look forward to hearing from our Special Envoys and Special Representatives on how the United Nations System can enhance its cooperation with the Regional Economic Communities and the Member States.

    Working together, we can demonstrate that the international community accepts its shared responsibility for Africa. Working hand in hand with Africa will also benefit the world at large, advancing common global goals for peace, development, human rights and human dignity.

    Thank you.


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