Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel


Embed this content in your HTML

Search

Report adult content:

click to rate:

Account: (login)

More Channels


Showcase


Channel Catalog


Channel Description:

ReliefWeb - Updates

older | 1 | .... | 284 | 285 | (Page 286) | 287 | 288 | .... | 728 | newer

    0 0

    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Côte d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone
    preview


    CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

    5 KILLED, 10 INJURED AS REBELS ATTACK IDP SITE

    On 1 October, armed rebel groups attacked an IDP camp in Bambari, killing 5 and injuring 10 persons, according to media sources. The NGO Mercy Corps was also pillaged during the attack. Senior Humanitarian Coordinator for CAR, Clare Bourgeois, issued a statement condemning the violence against civilians and aid workers.

    CAMEROON

    8 KILLED IN ROCKET ATTACK FROM NIGERIA

    On 6 October, eight people were killed in Cameroon after Nigerian insurgency group, Boko Haram, reportedly launched a rocket attack from the northeast Nigerian town of Banki into Amchide town in northern Cameroon. MALI

    10 UN PEACEKEEPERS KILLED IN GAO AND KIDAL

    On 3 October, nine UN Peacekeepers were killed in an ambush in the northern region of Gao. This is the single deadliest attack on UN troops in Mali since the mission was deployed in July 2013. On 7 October, at least one UN Peacekeeper was killed in an attack on a UN compound.

    NIGERIA

    9 MILLION AFFECTED IN NORTHEAST, 3 MILLION NEED ASSISTANCE The Nigerian National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) reports that some nine million people in the Northeast have been affected by the region’s growing conflict— with some three million persons in dire need of humanitarian assistance. NEMA also reports that 500 educational institutions and 3,000 health facilities in the region are closed or have been partially destroyed by the insurgency.

    TOWNS RE-CAPTURED

    Media reports indicate that the Nigerian military has re-captured three towns in Adamawa from insurgent group, Boko Haram. An estimated 500,000 people fled these towns following attacks by the group, who has controlled the area for the past three months. OXFAM and IRC to continue activities in Madagali and Michika.

    REGIONAL : EBOLA

    23 PER CENT INCREASE IN EVD CASES

    WHO reports this week that there are currently 8,033 EVD cases (suspected, probable and confirmed) resulting in 3,879 deaths—a 23 per cent increase in caseload since last week. The first case of transmission outside of West Africa was reported on 6 October of a health worker in Madrid, Spain who treated patients from West Africa. A first case of EVD was also reported in Beyla in Guinea, on the border of Ivory Coast.

    UNMEER DEPLOYS TO EVD AFFECTED COUNTRIES

    The head of UNMEER, SRSG Anthony Banbury, is in the region this week, visiting headquarters in Ghana and meeting with key actors in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

    THE GAMBIA

    200,000 GAMBIANS IN NEED OF EMERGENCY FOOD AID

    Poor rains this year have worsened conditions for 1.8 million food insecure Gambians, 200,000 of who are in need of urgent food insecurity. Regional Humanitarian Coordinator, Robert Piper, has called for $USD18 million to support humanitarian efforts, only 21 per cent has been funded this year.


    0 0

    Source: Food and Agriculture Organization
    Country: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Guinea, Honduras, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Philippines, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Syrian Arab Republic, Uganda, World, Yemen, South Sudan
    preview


    HIGHLIGHTS

    • The forecast for global cereal production in 2014 has been raised closer to last year’s record, which is expected to boost inventories to a multi-year high.

    • Export prices of wheat and maize decreased further in September to multiyear lows, driven by expectations of large global supplies in 2014/15. Even rice prices, which had been rising in previous months, fell in September.

    • In Western Africa, the Ebola virus disease outbreak in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone has disrupted markets, farming activities and livelihoods, seriously affecting the food security situation of large numbers of people. Moreover, irregular rains in several areas of the Sahelian belt result in mixed production prospects.

    • In Central Africa, food crop production in the Central African Republic is estimated to have increased from the sharply reduced 2013 output, but still remains well below average due to the impact of widespread civil insecurity.

    • In Eastern Africa, the overall food security situation is improving as harvesting has started in several countries. While food prices are generally stable or declining, they are at record high levels in Somalia and the Sudan.

    • In Western Africa, in spite of adequate cereal supplies at the regional level following last year’s above average harvests, humanitarian assistance is still needed in several parts, due mostly to conflict related population displacements

    • In Southern Africa, food security conditions improved significantly in response to bumper maize harvests and generally lower prices.

    • In North Africa, a slightly below-average cereal crop was gathered in 2014. Wheat production in Tunisia recovered from last year’s weather-stricken harvest, while reduced plantings following poor rains caused a sharp reduction in Morocco.

    • In Central America, drought conditions have significantly reduced the 2014 main first season harvest in key producing countries. In Mexico, cereal production is expected to remain above average due to better-than-expected yields.

    • In South America, higher yields offset reduced plantings, with coarse grains production estimated at an above-average level. Wheat production is forecast to recover strongly following two consecutive low crops, due to increased plantings.

    • In the Near East, drought conditions resulted in a below-average cereal harvest. Food security in the Syrian Arab Republic and Iraq continues to deteriorate as a result of the persisting conflict.

    • In the Far East, aggregate cereal output is estimated to be close to last year’s record level. A considerable drop in the exportable surplus from India is expected to reduce aggregate cereal exports in the 2014/15 marketing year.

    • In CIS Europe, cereal production is estimated at a record level. Accordingly, exports are forecast at an all-time high.

    • FAO estimates that globally 36 countries, including 26 countries in Africa, are in need of external assistance for food due to conflict, crop failures and the impact of localized high food prices on vulnerable groups.


    0 0

    Source: Government of the Republic of Mali
    Country: Mali

    I-INTRODUCTION

    L’impact des niveaux élevés de sous-nutrition sur la survie des enfants, leur croissance et leur développement ainsi que le coût social et économique que cela représente pour les nations, est bien connu et documenté. En effet, Il y a plus de vingt ans que la nature et les facteurs déterminants de la sous-nutrition maternelle et infantile ont été décrits et présentés dans un premier cadre conceptuel élaboré par l’UNICEF. Ce cadre a permis de comprendre que la sous-nutrition infantile n’est pas seulement due à une carence en aliments adaptés ou suffisamment nutritifs, mais aussi à la fréquence des maladies, aux mauvaises pratiques en matière d’hygiène et de soins et au manque d’accès aux services sociaux et de santé1. De nos jours de nouvelles données et connaissances ont permis d’établir que la sous-nutrition risque d’enfermer les enfants, les familles, les communautés et les pays dans un cycle intergénérationnel caractérisé par la mauvaise alimentation, la maladie et la pauvreté. Aussi des données bien établies ont permis de mieux comprendre les effets dévastateurs de la sous-nutrition sur la morbidité et la mortalité. La connaissance de l’impact du retard de croissance et des autres formes de sous-nutrition sur le développement socio-économique et sur la formation du capital humain a été étayée et développée par des recherches plus récentes.

    Au Mali, la malnutrition et ses corollaires notamment les morbidités et mortalité infantiles font l’objet d’une attention particulière de la part du Gouvernement et ses Partenaires Techniques et Financiers (PTF) présents dans le pays. Plusieurs enquêtes réalisées auprès des ménages notamment les Enquêtes Démographiques et de Santé du Mali (EDSM), les enquêtes par grappes à indicateurs multiples (MICS), les enquêtes SMART nationales et locales réalisés par les ONG, montrent déjà l’ampleur de la situation nutritionnelle au niveau national, régional et voire local.

    Afin de briser le cercle vicieux de la malnutrition au Mali, des interventions d’envergure sont planifiées sur les court, moyen et long termes. De manière concomitante, et en collaboration avec des acteurs de différents secteurs, il s’agit d’assurer la prévention, la détection et le traitement des cas de malnutrition aiguë tout en travaillant sur les facteurs structurels (nombreux et complexes) de cette pathologie à travers le renforcement des capacités de résistance aux chocs des communautés et la consolidation des acquis du système national en la matière (PRS)4. En plus de ces interventions, il est indispensable de faire un suivi rigoureux de la situation à travers des évaluations périodiques bien planifiées telles que les enquêtes SMART annuelles, en vue de mieux documenter la situation et mettre à la disposition des décideurs et acteurs clés du domaine des données fiables actualisées d’où l’intérêt de la présente enquête.


    0 0

    Source: World Food Programme
    Country: Mali

    By Krystle van Hoof

    In Mali, even at the best of times, poor infrastructure and washed out roads in the rainy season make access to remote communities a constant challenge for humanitarian workers. Add to that the ongoing security concerns of the past two years, including frequent rocket-fire in the North and IED (improvised explosive device) explosions on roads, and humanitarian access can become very difficult.

    BAMAKO – In March of 2012, a military coup d’état left a political vacuum in the North of Mali, allowing non-state armed groups to forcefully take control of several regions, impeding humanitarian access. In early April, WFP’s northern sub-offices were ransacked, six vehicles were stolen, and some 2,000 metric tonnes of food were looted from warehouses. Nearly 100 WFP staff and their dependents were subsequently evacuated from the North.

    Enter the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS)

    When access by road to the North became too dangerous in Mali, UNHAS started offering humanitarian flights as far north as they could safely go. In the beginning (April 2013), that meant Mopti; but, as international forces arrived and pushed back armed groups, UNHAS began providing flights to Timbuktu, Gao and, eventually, Kidal.

    Regular Flights to Irregular Destinations

    In early 2014, at the request of its humanitarian clients, UNHAS added flights to what we call ‘secondary airfields’ or, perhaps more accurately, ‘bush tracks’, to the northern sites of Niafounké, Goundam, Ménaka and Douentza. With the help of WFP partner, Save the Children, two of these remote airfields (Niafounké and Goundam) were repaired and are being maintained to meet safety standards.

    Flights to remote, difficult-to-reach areas not only make it possible for humanitarian workers to expand their reach, but also allow donor countries like Canada to monitor the results of their projects.

    “Here in Mali, the Canadian embassy staff have used UNHAS services to travel to field sites to monitor our projects and speak with the individuals and communities reached, which is essential to ensuring that we are achieving development results.”

    Marc-André Fredette, Head of Cooperation, Canadian Embassy, Mali

    Helping Humanitarians Stay Safe After Tragedy

    On May 29, 2014, a Norweigan Refugee Council vehicle was travelling on the road from Timbuktu to Goundam when it hit an IED. The two aid workers in the vehicle were killed as a result of the explosion. Following this terrible event, and taking into account the rising frequency of similar events, additional routes were added between Goundam and Timbuktu and between Niafounké and Timbuktu – allowing humanitarians to avoid these increasingly-dangerous roads.

    Reduced Flight Schedule

    In September 2014, after multiple calls for additional funding failed, UNHAS was forced to remove flights to Ménaka and Douentza from its roster and to reduce the number of planes it uses. This service reduction will have significant consequences for the humanitarian community in Mali and the people they serve – particularly in the country’s North.

    “Up until now, we have been carrying about 1,000 passengers per month and this number has been on the rise,” says Mr. Moussard. “With the reduced flight schedule and smaller planes, we will only be able to carry, maybe 600 or 700, maximum, per month. Basically, we are going to have to start turning people away – people who cannot do their jobs without safe access to the North by air.” he added.

    Funding: 2014 and Beyond

    As with all WFP funding, UNHAS is funded on a voluntary basis by member states. It recovers some costs through booking fees; however, this alone is not enough to sustain the service.

    In 2014, UNHAS has been able to serve the humanitarian community in Mali thanks to generous support from Canada, the European Commission, Ireland, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States.

    Most recently, thanks to a generous contribution from the European Union, UNHAS will be able to continue at its reduced service level until the end of the year.

    The humanitarian air service continues to be a vital tool – particularly for those working in Mali’s most remote and vulnerable communities. To ensure UNHAS is able to continue serving the humanitarian community in Mali next year, it requires approximately US$6 million for its 2015 budget.


    0 0

    Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
    Country: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria
    preview



    0 0

    Source: World Food Programme
    Country: Central African Republic, Chad, Sudan

    Le PAM annonce l’augmentation de la ration de céréales dans les camps des réfugiés Soudanais et Centrafricains au Tchad grâce au nouvel arrivage de céréales en Mars et en Avril dernier.

    La situation actuelle de stock en vivres permet au Programme alimentaire mondial (PAM) de procéder à une légère hausse de la ration de céréales d’Octobre à Décembre 2014. Concrètement, la ration de céréales passera de 150 grammes par personne par jour à 250 grammes par personne par jour. La valeur calorifique de la ration correspondra à 1161kcal par personne par jour. Ceci étant, les autres denrées comme les légumineuses, l’huile ou le sel resteront inchangées dans la constitution d’une ration.

    Cet accroissement de la ration des céréales est possible grâce à un don additionnel en vivres pour une valeur de 17.145.000 dollars au PAM Tchad.

    Optimisation des stocks

    Pour éviter la rupture de stock en vivres notamment en céréales en 2013 et l’arrêt des distributions dans les camps des réfugiés, le PAM a procédé à la réduction des rations. A partir de décembre 2013, les rations ont été réduites de moitié soit 826 Kcal par personne par jour dans les camps de l’Est et du Sud du Tchad.

    Cette augmentation de la ration de céréales à l’attention des réfugiés fait partie des efforts continus que le PAM met en œuvre pour améliorer la sécurité alimentaire des réfugiés que nous assistons dans ce pays.

    En 2014, le PAM prévoit d’apporter une assistance à 1,2 millions de personnes dans le cadre de son opération de secours et de redressement, en plus de son aide aux autres communautés vulnérables. Pour cette opération, le PAM a besoin de 55 millions de dollars pour fournir de la nourriture et de l’aide aux réfugiés et la population tchadienne vulnérable pour les prochains mois.

    Au Tchad, le PAM assiste environ 450.000 réfugiés, dont 361.000 refugies soudanais et 93.000 refugies centrafricains par mois, dans 19 camps de réfugiés dans le pays.

    Le PAM est la plus grande agence humanitaire qui lutte contre la faim dans le monde en distribuant de la nourriture dans les situations d'urgence et en travaillant avec les communautés pour renforcer leur résilience. En 2013, le PAM a apporté une assistance à plus de 80 millions de personnes dans 75 pays.

    Suivez-nous sur Twitter : @wfp_fr


    0 0

    Source: Government of the Republic of Mali
    Country: Mali
    preview


    Points saillants :

    • Amélioration de la pluviométrie ;

    • Regain d’espoir chez les producteurs ;

    • Evolution de la campagne agricole moyenne à bonne.

    • Bon approvisionnement des marchés céréaliers.

    • Améliorations des conditions générales d’élevage.


    0 0

    Source: Redhum
    Country: Guatemala

    Guatemala, 09 de Octubre 2014
    Fuente: Prensa Libre

    El número de familias afectadas por la sequía prolongada subió de 266 mil a 300 mil después de una nueva verificación de las autoridades en el campo en últimas semanas.

    El ministro de Agricultura, Élmer López, explicó que cuando se efectuó el barrido anterior muchas familias no habían sufrido pérdidas, por lo que fueron descartadas para recibir ayuda alimentaria cada mes durante un semestre.

    Sin embargo, ahora “son 300 mil familias afectadas por la sequía. Después de otra revisión, con fotos, mostraron que al momento del barrido no tenían pérdidas, pero después lo perdieron todo”, explicó López.

    Eso supone la adquisición de más alimentos para repartir en la provincia, como parte de la distribución mensual que se hará durante seis meses.

    Ayuda internacional

    López afirmó que el Programa Mundial de Alimentos (PMA) puede otorgar 30 mil raciones adicionales iguales a las que entrega el Gobierno: cien libras de maíz, 30 de frijol y 17.5 libras de harina de soya con vitaminas y nutrientes.

    “Así, poco a poco hay países que se nos han acercado y quieren colaborar. Será con apoyo internacional que se irá cubriendo a estas familias que van saliendo”, con nuevos controles, señaló el funcionario.

    Indicó que ya disponen de Q117 millones para los alimentos que se van a distribuir en noviembre, previstos para 300 mil familias.

    López reconoció que hay personas que se niegan a trabajar la tierra y quieren que el Estado les cubra la alimentación sin nada a cambio.

    El funcionario indicó que la Secretaría de Seguridad Alimentaria y Nutricional calcula que menos del 5 por ciento de los afectados creen eso, pero que hay una confusión porque deben trabajar en recuperar sus tierras para recibir el beneficio.

    Sin embargo, aunque es una minoría, hay casos en que son personas de la tercera edad que no están en condiciones de trabajar, por lo que se pedirá al Consejo Nacional de Seguridad Alimentaria y Nutricional que elabore el acta para que los libere del trabajo.

    Cifras

    266 MIL familias se registraron en el primer barrido.

    300 MIL familias son ahora las afectadas por la sequía.

    30 MIL raciones adicionales aportará el PMA.


    0 0

    Source: Overseas Development Institute
    Country: Burkina Faso

    In the face of increased pressures on land and natural resources as well as a changing climate, the need for sustainably managed agricultural systems will become ever more important. The farmers of the Central Plateau region of Burkina Faso know this all too well. For decades, successive droughts, demographic pressures and the encroaching Sahel have exposed this area to the impacts of climate change. Many smallholder farmers have adapted to these pressures by reclaiming land through the adoption of techniques to conserve soil and water, measures that have also helped to mitigate the impacts of climate change on nutrition, food security and rural incomes. This case study describes the factors that have enabled 200,000–300,000 hectares of degraded land in Burkina Faso to be brought into productive use through the application of improved traditional farming techniques.

    Three main factors have contributed to achieving such progress in sustainable farming in a context of environmental stress and limited resources. First, farmers themselves have been adapting these farming techniques for generations and local knowledge of suitable and efficient methods was crucial. Second, information about the improved sustainable techniques was effectively diffused through existing community networks, facilitated by civil society organisations, international non-governmental organisations and government extension agents. Third, the adoption of these improved techniques was encouraged by the provision of financial support for the initial labour and start-up costs, which was essential for many of the poorest farmers.

    While progress in land reclamation and sustainable farming in Burkina Faso is by no means complete and many areas remain vulnerable to environmental and economic shocks, the gains made in soil and water conservation over the last 30 years have clearly contributed to the resilience of communities and their ability to mitigate these shocks, which are now understood to be recurrent. Important lessons can be drawn from the case of Burkina Faso regarding the diffusion and adoption of appropriate agricultural technologies, effective social organisation and the role of finance in supporting and promoting progress in sustainable agriculture.

    Read the full report


    0 0

    Source: UN Security Council
    Country: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali, Syrian Arab Republic

    7275th Meeting (AM)

    Swift adaptation to ever-more perilous environments was critical to protect both peacekeepers and civilians under their mandate, the Security Council was told this morning as it met with force commanders of a number of United Nations missions.

    “Action has to be taken immediately to deal with the situation,” Major General Jean Bosco Kazura, Force Commander of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) said at a meeting that also heard from the military leaders of missions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Syrian Golan, who were introduced by Lieutenant General Maqsood Ahmed, Military Adviser for Peacekeeping Operations.

    General Kazura said that internal tensions, radicalization, illicit trafficking and terrorism contributed to a deteriorating security environment in the areas of operations of many missions, particularly MINUSMA, which he stated was in a terror-fighting situation without the mandate or capabilities to face the threat. In such situations, wider operations against terrorists were critical, along with the provision of the means to the Mission itself to take a more robust stance. Quick reorganization, planning and guidance were required.

    Stressing the importance of strengthening protection of civilians in the current climate, Lieutenant General Carlos Alberto dos Santos Cruz of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) said, “Civilian protection is far more than text in a mandate, it is a moral duty.” The best way to pursue that task was becoming proactive through a robust posture clearly understood by everyone involved. Troops must have the mindset, capabilities and leadership to take such a posture, and be prepared to take the risks.

    Lieutenant General Iqbal Singh Singha of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in the Golan Heights, said that abductions, weapons snatching, restrictions of movement and the vandalizing of United Nations property had forced his mission to adapt. With the conflict in Syria and growing power of extremists, four troop-contributing countries had already left the mission.

    In response, he said, liaison capability had been doubled, operational capabilities and logistical supply chains had been reconfigured and the vehicle movement code had been improved, among other measures. Most importantly, Israel and Syria had reaffirmed their commitment to support UNDOF’s mandate, and the opposition understood that the United Nations presence in the area of separation would continue.

    Following those briefings, Council members commended peacekeepers on their sacrifices under dangerous conditions and affirmed the importance of frequent interaction with the force commanders so that the Council could better understand emerging challenges and support peacekeeping operations in adapting to ensure the safety of their personnel and, where mandated, to more effectively protect civilians.

    Appropriate training, adequate resourcing, use of new technologies, clear mandates that were quickly reconfigured to adjust to conditions on the ground, a unified chain of command, accountability of all parties, viable political processes and other factors were proposed as essential in that effort.

    At the same time, some speakers stressed that peacekeeping contingents mandated and equipped to take “robust” postures towards threats to themselves or to civilians must use the force available to them. The representative of the United Kingdom said that it was unacceptable that operations did not act to protect civilians when mandated to do so. If it was a question of interpretation of a mandate, such ambiguities must be resolved.

    Speaking again after those interventions, the force commanders answered questions posed and provided further details on the kinds of changes needed to respond to the current security climate, stressing the need to constantly monitor the situation on the ground and act quickly to adapt. “Terrorists are not going to wait for us to get the equipment we need before they attack,” General Kazura said.

    Also speaking were representatives of Rwanda, Chile, Republic of Korea, United States, Lithuania, Russian Federation, France, China, Chad, Australia, Nigeria, Jordan, Luxembourg and Argentina.

    The meeting began at 10:07 a.m. and ended at 1:15 p.m.

    Briefings

    Lieutenant General Carlos ALBERTO DOS SANTOS CRUZ, Force Commander of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), speaking on protection of civilians, said that that task had been more clearly described in current mandates, but there was still room for interpretation and much depended on various factors. It was without question a critical task in the current peacekeeping environment, however. “Civilian protection is far more than text in a mandate, it is a moral duty,” he stated.

    The best way to protect civilians was becoming proactive rather than reactive, especially when dealing with armed groups that threatened thousands of lives, he said. The United Nations, in that light, should not wait until communities were ravaged and hundreds of thousands of displaced persons sought refuge at mission bases. Deterrence by mere presence was not always effective, he said, adding that only a robust posture was able to defuse the threats. Troops must have the mindset, capabilities and leadership to take a robust posture. Such an approach did not undermine mandates and was consistent with international law, despite risks of collateral damage. Action to stop violence was expected by all actors and, while inaction had played into resulting tragedies, there were very few cases of problems due to effective action. Yet action must be accompanied by a civilian component that dealt with non-military aspects of creating a better security environment.

    Major General JEAN BOSCO KAZURA, Force Commander of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), said that internal tensions, radicalization, illicit trafficking and terrorism were worsening the security environment in many areas of operations and had certainly posed a threat to the mission. Last year’s military actions had “broken the back” of many of the armed groups in the north. The failure to make progress on national control in the north, however, had led to a resumption of terrorist threats that were becoming stronger and stronger. MINUSMA was in a terror-fighting situation with neither the mandate nor capabilities to face that threat.

    Action had to be taken immediately to deal with the situation, he said. Operations against terrorists in northern Mali were critical, along with the provision of the means the Mission needed to protect its staff and to take a more robust stance. Armed groups must understand that they would be held accountable for their attacks, he said. Reorganization, planning and guidance were required by all missions that had found themselves in deteriorating security situations. With that in mind, MINUSMA must adapt and stay the course, he said, lest the entire region become negatively affected.

    Lieutenant General IQBAL SINGH SINGHA, Force Commander of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF), said it had been mandated to, among other things, keep the military forces of Israel and Syria apart through the establishment of a separation zone and to observe and report on violations in that area. Describing events since March 2012, he cited fighting between opposition groups and the Syrian army in the separation area, which had violated the mission’s mandate. Abductions, weapons snatching, restrictions of movement and the vandalizing of United Nations property had affected peacekeepers’ work. As of this year, radical groups now controlled more moderate opposition elements. Opposition groups had launched a southern offensive, having captured areas up to Route 7 and pushed Syrian forces east. When 45 Fijian peacekeepers were detained by opposition groups, radicals surrounded another 72 peacekeepers from the Philippines, saying the United Nations was not required in the area.

    He said it was not an easy task to operate in such an environment, but UNDOF had adjusted to meet the challenges, having honed its capabilities, carried out its mandate differently and addressed concerns. Operational capabilities had been reconfigured, as had logistical supply chains. In 2013, it had improved a vehicle movement code and four troop-contributing countries had left the mission. Yet, UNDOF had doubled its liaison capability, while support for the mission had realigned itself. The mission also carried out constant information collection, including through surveillance equipment and thermal imaging devices. Israel and Syria were committed to continue operating under the mandate. The opposition groups now understood the United Nations presence in the area of separation, while the parties to the 1974 Disengagement Agreement appreciated UNDOF’s presence.

    Statements

    EUGÈNE-RICHARD GASANA (Rwanda) said the Council was obliged to set clear tasks for peacekeeping missions, including timing and design. The host country was responsible for protecting its civilians and when that did not happen, United Nations missions must intervene. As new threats emerged, peacekeepers should be trained and equipped to use force to protect civilians, he said, adding that contingents that did not fulfil those requirements should not be deployed. When civilians were attacked near a United Nations camp, missions lost credibility. In Mali, peacekeepers were dealing with asymmetric threats that transcended traditional tasks. Posing questions to some Force Commanders, notably on improving responses and handling terrorist threats, he said national interests of Council members could not be pursued at the expense of affected populations.

    CRISTIAN BARROS (Chile), affirming his country’s continued support for United Nations peacekeeping efforts, said that all operations should continuously be monitored by the Security Council and other actors throughout the life of the missions. To encounter the new challenges of peacekeeping, new technologies should be tried with the consent of all parties. It was particularly important to strengthen early-warning mechanisms for civilian protection, as had happened in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In Mali, the threats clearly indicated the need for reconfiguration of the Mission. UNDOF’s security had also been threatened, and, in that case, strong communication with all parties in its area of operation must be established. All mandates should be clear and well-supported by sufficient resources.

    OH JOON (Republic of Korea) said that in peacekeeping situations, “safety based on impartiality can no longer be taken for granted”. Training, advanced technologies and regional support were critical factors to allow missions to fulfil their mandates in situations of threat. MONUSCO’s robust approach was a good direction for civilian protection. Condemning attacks on MINUSMA and noting its expanded tasks, he asked what kind of support the Mission needed most to fulfil its mandate. He also asked how UNDOF should be strengthened and how further attacks could be prevented. He stressed the importance of progress in inclusive political processes in post-conflict countries as a factor in helping peacekeepers do their jobs.

    MARK LYALL GRANT (United Kingdom) while commending peacekeepers for their sacrifices in dangerous conditions, said it was unacceptable that operations did not act to protect civilians when mandated to do so. If it was a question of interpretation of the mandate, such ambiguities must be resolved. He asked how often civilian-protection strategies were discussed among military officials and the Department of Peacekeeping Operations. He expected that all peacekeepers understood their obligations. Threats to missions in Mali and the Golan, he stated, underlined the complexities of dealing with non-State actors. Tough decisions had to be taken on the future of MINUSMA and the entire matter of operations in dangerous environments. He asked whether a fundamental shift in peacekeeping was required in that context and what kind of support was needed. He understood the Council’s obligation to facilitate clear mandates and the resources to fulfil them, but wanted to know what other factors needed to be addressed.

    SAMANTHA POWER (United States) said that long processes were under way to better train and equip peacekeepers to face the threats of the current environment and that those who attacked peacekeepers must be brought to justice. She said there had been both successes and failures in missions’ attempts to face new challenges. Continuous communication on facing those challenges was critical. She praised General Cruz’s support for “protection through action”, and affirmed that proactive measures against armed groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo must continue. She was concerned that peacekeepers often did not use the force that they were authorized to utilize and said dual chains of command must be considered a problem in that light. She called MINUSMA “the most dangerous mission in the world” and, surveying the threats to UNDOF, said that the abrupt change in that Chapter VI mission had required a flexible response by all. She asked what could be done by all international actors to increase cohesion, capabilities and will across missions, and what more could the international community do to strengthen accountability for attacks on peacekeepers.

    RAIMONDA MURMOKAITĖ (Lithuania) supported all initiatives aimed at enhancing civilian protection by United Nations peacekeepers. Noting MONUSCO’s efforts to improve its early warning and response mechanisms, she said the creation of hotlines and support for the implementation of local protection plans had helped to reduce threats to civilians. Such efforts should be considered in other operations, she said, voicing strong support for the “one mandate, one mission, one force” approach. More broadly, she cited as problems a lack of training and proper equipment and insufficient backing by air assets and modern technologies to counter conventional and asymmetric threats, notably in Mali. The Council must prioritize peacekeepers’ safety when designing or adjusting mandates, she said, asking about proactive reconnaissance, mandate design and modern technology use.

    PETR ILIICHEV (Russian Federation) said the experience of the intervention brigade and use of unmanned aerial vehicles in the Democratic Republic of the Congo must be assessed. Voicing serious concern over the desire to “loosely interpret” international humanitarian law on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, he said it was unacceptable to pursue political aims, including the removal of legitimate authorities in sovereign States. A priority should be to work out interactions between peacekeepers and local authorities, who bore responsibility for protecting their populations. A threat assessment must be considered when planning operations, he said. In Mali, moving the core United Nations force to the north could not be done without unwarranted risks to peacekeepers. In the Middle East, attacks against UNDOF showed a need to ensure their security. He thus called for support by those with influence.

    FRANÇOIS DELATTRE (France) said the Council was obliged to ensure peacekeepers had the resources they needed to succeed to be used with the greatest degree of professionalism. Contingents must be immediately available and well trained, while States should help to fill the gaps, as Mexico and Angola were prepared to do. Further, the Council must strengthen logistical and operational support to missions, as well as adapt peacekeeping operations to their mandates. The balance between force protection and the carrying out of goals was also important. The Council should allow peacekeepers to incorporate modern technology, especially for increasing observation operations, and to foster inter-mission cooperation. Missions must be adapted to local contexts and build close links with those they were meant to protect. In sum, he said France would be following up on the 2009 New Horizon report, which was part of a process of assessing policy and strategy dilemmas facing United Nations peacekeeping and reinvigorating the ongoing dialogue with stakeholders on possible solutions.

    WANG MIN (China) urged a focus on the relevance of United Nations peacekeeping operations. The Council should ensure that mandates were “realistic and feasible”, and that they defined priority tasks. Results should be assessed in a timely manner. Adjustments made by the African Union/United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) to its functions could serve as a reference for others. Further, peacekeepers should observe Council resolutions vis-à-vis respect for sovereignty. Missions should improve their efficiency, as rapid deployment capacity affected their ability to fulfil their required roles. He called on peacekeepers to enhance capacity-building, notably in technology, equipment and personnel training, and to coordinate closely with regional organizations. In closing, he said China had sent its first security troops to MINUSMA and was considering dispatching helicopters to other peacekeeping operations.

    MANGARAL BANTE (Chad), noting the increasing complexity of peacekeeping operations, said that early warning, mobility and active intervention was critical to meet growing threats to peacekeepers and civilians. MINUSMA must be given all means it needed to protect its personnel, perpetrators of attacks had to be brought to justice and political progress in Mali was necessary. Security for UNDOF also must be ensured. He asked what the best protection strategies for MINUSMA were and how UNDOF was adapting to the new paradigms.

    GARY QUINLAN (Australia) said each mission was grappling with institutional and environmental challenges that reflected the changing nature of peacekeeping: from generating forces in vast environments, to implementing a robust security posture, to confronting non-State actors. He supported the Secretary-General’s forthcoming strategic review of peace operations. The use of new technologies, including unmanned, unarmed aerial systems, and the capacity to assess new threats should be an essential part of peacekeeping. Posing questions to the Force Commanders, he said Australia looked forward to replicating the meeting’s format next month during the first ever briefing with Heads of Police Components.

    ANTHONY BOSAH (Nigeria), noting his country’s extensive contributions to United Nations peacekeeping over many years and the growing complexity of those operations, said that protection of civilians mandates must be clearly defined from the onset and must address all local factors, with cooperation from all actors. Careful consideration of options available must be made. A robust posture must be maintained where threats were high; missions must be quickly adapted to growing threats, with the support of the Security Council. When peacekeepers were in the line of fire, a change in posture could be needed, he stressed, pointing to the experience of UNDOF. He asked what form of planning and guidance was needed in conflict environments and what more could be done to protect civilians in such environments.

    DINA KAWAR (Jordan), also noting her country’s contributions to peacekeeping operations, reaffirmed the importance of transparency and neutrality of missions. Resources needed for fully carrying out mandates must be constantly reassessed. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, she expressed concern over continued crimes against civilians in the east, as well as attacks on the mission. Activation of a justice mechanism and reintegration of armed groups were particularly important in that context. She asked whether clarification of the rules of engagement was needed there. On Mali, she said efforts to bring about lasting stability must be accelerated, and the Mission’s mandate should be strengthened in that area. She asked how the rule of law could be implemented in the north of Mali. She also called for measures to ensure the security of UNDOF personnel as well so that they could return to their positions.

    OLIVIER MAES (Luxembourg) said that peacekeepers needed to be well trained to protect civilians and to deal with more complex situations. He welcomed actions taken to improve effectiveness of protection in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He asked if the experience of that Mission, in such areas as robust mandates and the use of a rapid-reaction force, was useful for situations faced by other missions, such as MINUSMA. He expressed willingness to support the strengthening of MINUSMA to face current threats. UNDOF as well must be adapted to be able to continue to perform its important tasks, with the cooperation of all in the region. Timely, well-defined strategies, the use of force, effective command and control, adequate resources and other support and appropriate training were factors that needed to be considered to adapt all missions to the current environment.

    MARÍA CRISTINA PERCEVAL (Argentina), Council President for the month, spoke in her national capacity. The mandate of the MONUSCO intervention brigade should not be expanded or confused with that of the rest of the Mission, which was concerned with civilian protection, a task that should not be confused with neutralization of armed groups through aggressive activities. In the Middle East, UNDOF was the target of terrorist groups, requiring the Council to consider the most secure way for it to fulfil its mandate. Risk mitigation measures should be implemented by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, while parties should show maximum restraint and use the communications channels UNDOF had made available. She condemned attacks against MINUSMA. Finally, in considering the future of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), it was important to act with caution and make decisions based on ground conditions. The Mission should not remain in Haiti longer than necessary.

    Responding to questions, Mr. AHMED said there were two tasks of military peacekeepers: the physical protection of themselves, other United Nations personnel and assets, and the protection of civilians. Both were linked to the understanding of the troop contributors. Some considered peacekeeping in conventional terms, believing that peacekeepers were respected and came under no harm. “We find it hard to convince our capitals that we are being deployed into difficult conditions,” he said.

    The second gap in understanding was between expectations and responsibilities, he said. Host nations had high expectations. The same contingent could be deployed in various contexts but would respond differently each time. With support from capitals, mission leadership would have the direction to perform on the ground. As for training, it was “an absolute must”. The Department was working on 11 manuals, which would likely be completed by early 2015. As for capability gaps, he said he had requested help for troop contributors, as uniformed personnel were on the ground but lacked equipment, stressing that those resources should be provided as soon as possible.

    On technology, he said it gave missions “lead time”, either to pre-empt atrocities or to react quickly to them. Technology was a great enabler; however, it was not being used to its full capacity. Its absorption for better results required Headquarters to be trained. In sum, he said the principles of peacekeeping held true, even under the changed global environment. The use of force was ascribed under two conditions: self-protection and protection of civilians. The Secretary-General’s strategic review would provide an opportunity to examine United Nations systems and procedures, notably vis-à-vis rules of engagement.

    Mr. CRUZ said mandates and rules of engagement had never forbidden the use of force for self-defence or defence of a third party. It was a universal law. He agreed that some mandates must be refined, but there was also a need for a singular interpretation of them from a “practical point of view”, especially when guidance did not allow troops the freedom to execute.

    When guidance was clear, the mindset expected by the Council on the ground was important, he said, while also calling for more use of technology, supported by a commitment to take action. A strong posture created more risks for troops, but “we have the means to compensate for the risks”, he said, citing improved military combat procedures and night combat tactics. The experience of the intervention brigade was useful in that regard.

    On the question of Kotakoli camp for ex-combatants in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and reports that more than 100 people there had died, he noted that the camp was administered by the Congolese Government and formed part of its disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programme. MONUSCO was there to support the Government.

    Mr. KAZURA said he was pleased to hear that “we all speak the same language” about the problem of terrorism. Thirty troops had already died in Mali, he said, stressing that political talks in Algiers must produce “something concrete” to ensure stability. He urged that attention be given to training, saying that turning a peacekeeping operation into an anti-terror operation required a change of attitude and mind-set. The only solution was to train people and make appropriate resources available. “Terrorists are not going to wait for us to get the equipment we need before they attack,” he stressed.

    Mr. SINGH SINGHA said the cooperation between the Department and the mission had been “exemplary”, taking place in real-time. The approach to it must be multipronged. A high-level mission by the Department had visited the area and would present options on 20 October. It was important to analyse and manage the ground situation. He requested the Council to use its leverage by cautioning parties against targeting the United Nations.

    As for mandate achievement, he said that the main thrust was along the Alpha line, along which the mission would like to install new positions. All violations had been observed and reported. The use of new technology would help fulfil the mandate, as would “right sizing” of the force. “We are studying all possible options”, he said, adding that the communication among UNDOF, the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and Headquarters had been good. Finally, capacity-building would be enhanced so the mission could interact more proactively with parties, and information collection would be enhanced.

    For information media. Not an official record.


    0 0

    Source: World Food Programme
    Country: Guinea, Mali
    preview


    Points Saillants:

    • Perturbation du fonctionnement des marchés au début de la crise de l’Ebola dans le cercle de Yanfolila (région de Sikasso) et dans la commune de Sagalo (région de Kayes)

    • Poursuite des flux des produits alimentaires entre les deux pays

    • Prix des produits alimentaires restent inférieurs à leur tendance normale malgré la crise de l’Ebola

    • Pas de changements des coûts de transport des marchandises depuis le déclenchement de la crise de l’Ebola

    Contexte

    L’Afrique de l’ouest, précisément la Sierra Leone, le Liberia et la Guinée, est confrontée depuis mai 2014 à une épidémie de fièvre hémorragique Ebola. Comme mesure de protection, certains pays voisins de ces zones touchées ont décidé de fermer les frontières (le cas du Sénégal avec la Guinée), ou de renforcer les mesures de contrôle des mouvements des personnes et des biens (le cas du Mali avec la Guinée). Du fait des conséquences néfastes de l’Ebola, vue les transactions commerciales entre la Guinée et le Mali ; la nécessité pour le gouvernement malien et les agences humanitaires d’éviter une crise sanitaire et alimentaire au Mali devient un enjeu majeur. Partant du fait que le Mali continue de maintenir ses relations commerciales avec la Guinée voisine, la question principale qui se pose - entre autres - pour le PAM Mali, est de savoir si cette épidémie a perturbé le commerce des produits alimentaires entre ces deux pays plus spécifiquement au niveau des marchés transfrontaliers.

    C’est dans ce contexte qu’une évaluation rapide des marchés et des échanges a été conduite du 25 septembre 2014 au 03 octobre 2014 dans les régions frontalières du Mali avec la Guinée.


    0 0

    Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
    Country: Burkina Faso, Mali
    preview



    0 0

    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia
    Country: Somalia
    preview


    (New York/Mogadishu, 10 October 2014) The humanitarian operation in Somalia requires urgent scale-up. We are in a race against time to save lives in areas stricken by drought and conflict.

    I am extremely concerned about the humanitarian crisis unfolding in southern, central and north-eastern Somalia. Bakool, Bay, Gedo, Hiraan and Galgaduud have been the most affected. Families in these communities desperately need water, food and healthcare.

    Humanitarian organizations have scaled up activities in response to early warnings. However we need to do much more. Road access is particularly critical to reach communities.

    Despite competing crises in the world today, not responding to the humanitarian situation in Somalia is not an option. Critical funding is needed today to expand operations. Funding pipelines for food security, nutrition, health, water, sanitation and hygiene services must be increased without delay.

    Aid workers have shown that despite challenges and persisting insecurity they can reach many more people in need through different modalities, if provided with adequate and timely resources. We are enhancing risk management systems across the humanitarian community in order to respond in a more effective manner.

    For further information please contact:
    Michelle Delaney, OCHA Somalia, +254 731 043 156 or delaneym@un.org


    0 0

    Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
    Country: Burkina Faso, Mali
    preview



    0 0

    Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
    Country: Burkina Faso, Mali
    preview



    0 0

    Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
    Country: Burkina Faso, Mali
    preview



    0 0

    Source: Famine Early Warning System Network, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
    Country: Afghanistan, Benin, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Mali, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Tajikistan, Togo, Uzbekistan, South Sudan
    preview


    1. Despite a return of seasonally normal rainfall during August, moisture deficits persist in northwestern Senegal. The delayed onset of the season in July has resulted in poor growing conditions and crop development.

    2. Poor July rains in several local areas of Mali have resulted in poor crop and pastoral conditions. August and September rains have improved ground conditions, although the rainy season is quickly coming to a close.

    3. Poor seasonal rainfall since mid-August, including prolonged dry spells, has led to late-season moisture deficits that have inhibited crop development throughout parts of the Tillaberi region of southwestern Niger and eastern Mali. Below-average rains are forecast in these areas for the next week.

    4. Since the beginning of September, poor rains have inhibited crop development and compromised planting activities throughout Rwanda.

    5. A second week of torrential rain is forecast for typically dry parts of the Greater Horn of Africa, including central and northeastern parts of Somalia. Localized flash flooding is likely in areas that receive heavy rains.


    0 0

    Source: European Commission Humanitarian Aid department
    Country: El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua

    In view of the the harsh draught which has plaqued Central America, five of ECHO's regional humanitarian partners have come together to jointly express their concern of the implications to the region's populations. Our colleagues at Oxfam, Cooperazione Internazionale (COOPI), Action Against Hunger, Save The Children, and Goal Honduras are calling for action - now.

    Staple crop producers in the so-called ‘Corredor Seco’ (Dry Corridor) of the Central American, which spans Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador, have been severely affected by a drought caused by the ‘El Niño’ phenomenon. It has the most prolonged drought in 40 years, according to the regional meteorological services.

    Subsistence agriculture in the Dry Corridor, based on maize and beans, is highly vulnerable to climatic phenomena such as drought since the crops are planted in dry and non-irrigated soil. The Dry Corridor region has the highest levels of food insecurity in Central America because thousands of families depend on subsistence farming and on agricultural daily labour, both of which have been hard hit in the last three years by the drought and by the coffee rust. The coffee rust plague affected 70% of the region’s coffee plantations and consequently dramatically reduced demand for day labourers.

    Although the drought has had differentiated impacts in each of the four countries, overall more than 500 000 families (over 2 million people) are facing a situation of food insecurity due to losses in agricultural production and livestock as well as the loss of income from daily labour.

    We come from five NGO working in the region, long time partners of ECHO, and we are deeply worried. The effects of the drought in Guatemala have reached unprecedented peaks. The Food Security Secretariat (SESAN) estimates maize losses at 80% and bean losses at 63%, affecting over 250 000 vulnerable families (1.4 million people), with half a million children suffering from hunger. At the same time, the price of beans in El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua has doubled since last year.

    “We’ve seen severe changes in the children here. Children are malnourished. Some severely. We have also seen the elderly growing more tired because of the lack of food,” says Esperanza, a coffee picker from El Salvador who now can only work 15 days of the year because the coffee rust has devastated the crop around her community.

    We’ve been to the field assessing the damage and the prospects for the future and the situation does not look good. The situation is particularly worrying in Guatemala, which ranks 5thin the world in infant malnutrition and where the State of Calamity has been declared by the Government. “We’ve suffered droughts before but never like this one. Lack of rain used to last 20 or 25 days. This year was the toughest. We’ve gone through 45 days without rain. Our production for family consumption has been halved,” Guatemalan farmer Pascual Ramírez told us. “It’s even worse because there are no jobs anywhere. Because of the drought, there are no crops and our children are hungry,” another farmer told us. Our studies show that in communities like Chiquimula, the level of food consumption of nearly 58% of the families surveyed is poor.

    Adding to this, maize prices have doubled and continue to rise. Thus families are facing huge difficulties in accessing food, since many households have no income opportunities apart from crops. Impossibly high prices together with an alarming drop in income and food production: this is the terrible equation thousands are facing.

    Thousands of families have been forced to resort to desperate means in order to survive, like reducing the number of meals per day or the portions, and selling family assets, which only makes them poorer and even more vulnerable. Drought has a particularly strong impact on female producers, due to gaps in access to land and other livelihoods. Women farmers on average have 13% less land than male farmers for maize and over 50% less for beans: this means that female-headed households have less food reserves than male-headed households (1,3 months less), putting their food and nutritional security at great risk.

    Not only the current situation is alarming. The future prospects are, too. Our studies show that only 32% of households will be able to plant crops during the next sowing cycle. This means that the rest -nearly 70% of the farmers affected by the drought- will not be able to harvest until August 2015. Less than 10% of these households have access to government social protection programs transferring them some cash to survive.

    Initiatives like the Drought Resilience programme funded by the EU’s department of Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection, are very much needed. With a funding of 3.5 million euros in the last 4 years, ECHO and its partners have helped communities along the Dry Corridor to take measures than increase their ability to cope to face drought.

    But the worse drought in four decades demands an additional response. There is a humanitarian emergency and the local resources are not enough to address it. On September 26th, Guatemala and Honduras have asked for international help. The food insecurity situation requires immediate action to facilitate access to food for the most vulnerable groups; to identify and treat undernourished children; and to support the 2015 agricultural production to break this cycle so that the families affected by drought can recover their livelihoods.

    Iván Aguilar (Oxfam Guatemala), Saskia Carusi (COOPI), Miguel Ángel García (Action Against Hunger Central America), Roberto Cabrera (Save The Children), Bernard McCaul (Goal Honduras)


    0 0

    Source: European Commission Humanitarian Aid department
    Country: El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua

    In view of the the harsh drought which has plagued Central America, five of ECHO's regional humanitarian partners have come together to jointly express their concern of the implications to the region's populations. Our colleagues at Oxfam, Cooperazione Internazionale (COOPI), Action Against Hunger, Save The Children, and Goal Honduras are calling for action - now.

    Staple crop producers in the so-called ‘Corredor Seco’ (Dry Corridor) of the Central American, which spans Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador, have been severely affected by a drought caused by the ‘El Niño’ phenomenon. It has the most prolonged drought in 40 years, according to the regional meteorological services.

    Subsistence agriculture in the Dry Corridor, based on maize and beans, is highly vulnerable to climatic phenomena such as drought since the crops are planted in dry and non-irrigated soil. The Dry Corridor region has the highest levels of food insecurity in Central America because thousands of families depend on subsistence farming and on agricultural daily labour, both of which have been hard hit in the last three years by the drought and by the coffee rust. The coffee rust plague affected 70% of the region’s coffee plantations and consequently dramatically reduced demand for day labourers.

    Although the drought has had differentiated impacts in each of the four countries, overall more than 500 000 families (over 2 million people) are facing a situation of food insecurity due to losses in agricultural production and livestock as well as the loss of income from daily labour.

    We come from five NGO working in the region, long time partners of ECHO, and we are deeply worried. The effects of the drought in Guatemala have reached unprecedented peaks. The Food Security Secretariat (SESAN) estimates maize losses at 80% and bean losses at 63%, affecting over 250 000 vulnerable families (1.4 million people), with half a million children suffering from hunger. At the same time, the price of beans in El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua has doubled since last year.

    “We’ve seen severe changes in the children here. Children are malnourished. Some severely. We have also seen the elderly growing more tired because of the lack of food,” says Esperanza, a coffee picker from El Salvador who now can only work 15 days of the year because the coffee rust has devastated the crop around her community.

    We’ve been to the field assessing the damage and the prospects for the future and the situation does not look good. The situation is particularly worrying in Guatemala, which ranks 5thin the world in infant malnutrition and where the State of Calamity has been declared by the Government. “We’ve suffered droughts before but never like this one. Lack of rain used to last 20 or 25 days. This year was the toughest. We’ve gone through 45 days without rain. Our production for family consumption has been halved,” Guatemalan farmer Pascual Ramírez told us. “It’s even worse because there are no jobs anywhere. Because of the drought, there are no crops and our children are hungry,” another farmer told us. Our studies show that in communities like Chiquimula, the level of food consumption of nearly 58% of the families surveyed is poor.

    Adding to this, maize prices have doubled and continue to rise. Thus families are facing huge difficulties in accessing food, since many households have no income opportunities apart from crops. Impossibly high prices together with an alarming drop in income and food production: this is the terrible equation thousands are facing.

    Thousands of families have been forced to resort to desperate means in order to survive, like reducing the number of meals per day or the portions, and selling family assets, which only makes them poorer and even more vulnerable. Drought has a particularly strong impact on female producers, due to gaps in access to land and other livelihoods. Women farmers on average have 13% less land than male farmers for maize and over 50% less for beans: this means that female-headed households have less food reserves than male-headed households (1,3 months less), putting their food and nutritional security at great risk.

    Not only the current situation is alarming. The future prospects are, too. Our studies show that only 32% of households will be able to plant crops during the next sowing cycle. This means that the rest -nearly 70% of the farmers affected by the drought- will not be able to harvest until August 2015. Less than 10% of these households have access to government social protection programs transferring them some cash to survive.

    Initiatives like the Drought Resilience programme funded by the EU’s department of Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection, are very much needed. With a funding of 3.5 million euros in the last 4 years, ECHO and its partners have helped communities along the Dry Corridor to take measures than increase their ability to cope to face drought.

    But the worse drought in four decades demands an additional response. There is a humanitarian emergency and the local resources are not enough to address it. On September 26th, Guatemala and Honduras have asked for international help. The food insecurity situation requires immediate action to facilitate access to food for the most vulnerable groups; to identify and treat undernourished children; and to support the 2015 agricultural production to break this cycle so that the families affected by drought can recover their livelihoods.

    Iván Aguilar (Oxfam Guatemala), Saskia Carusi (COOPI), Miguel Ángel García (Action Against Hunger Central America), Roberto Cabrera (Save The Children), Bernard McCaul (Goal Honduras)


    0 0

    Source: Première Urgence - Aide Médicale Internationale
    Country: Mali

    COMMUNIQUÉ DE PRESSE (10/10/14) - 81 ONG internationales, dont PU-AMI, expriment leur profonde préoccupation face à l’insécurité croissante et la réduction de l’espace humanitaire dans le nord du Mali. La recrudescence des attaques depuis mai 2014 ciblant les ONG compromet l’assistance et l’accès aux populations vulnérables, et ce alors que la situation humanitaire reste toujours critique.

    Nous rappelons que nous sommes des organisations non gouvernementales qui apportent de l’aide aux populations selon les principes humanitaires suivants :

    1. protéger la vie et la santé et garantir le respect des êtres humains
    2. ne pas prendre parti mais agir dans la neutralité
    3. aider impartialement ceux qui sont dans le besoin et sans discrimination
    4. agir indépendamment de toute visée politique, économique ou militaire.

    La communauté humanitaire au Mali intervient dans des domaines essentiels tels que l’eau, l’hygiène et l’assainissement, la santé, l’éducation, la sécurité alimentaire, la nutrition, la protection et l’accès à la justice. En 2014, les acteurs humanitaires au Mali apportent une assistance à plus de 2 420 000 personnes vulnérables.

    "La dégradation de la situation pourrait avoir de graves conséquences sur les capacités des ONG humanitaires à répondre de manière adéquate aux besoins de la population affectée", déclare un représentant du Forum des ONG internationales au Mali*, principale cellule de coordination inter-ONG du pays. "Les acteurs humanitaires ont été victimes de nombreux incidents et d’attaques qui ont déjà coûté la vie".

    Ces derniers mois, les incidents sécuritaires impliquant les ONG ont presque triplé. Une vingtaine de cas d’intimidations, de menaces physiques et d’attaques violentes contre le personnel humanitaire ou leurs matériels et locaux ont été enregistrés depuis janvier 2014. Deux incidents liés à l’utilisation d’engins explosifs improvisés (EEI) ont fait deux blessés et coûté la vie à deux travailleurs humanitaires.

    Nous sommes par ailleurs très préoccupés par la réduction des capacités de transport aérien humanitaire des Nations Unies en direction du nord du Mali, due à un manque de financement. Ce qui nous oblige à emprunter plus fréquemment les routes et donc d’augmenter les risques pour notre personnel.

    Nous attirons l’attention sur les difficultés croissantes à mener nos activités dans les régions du nord du Mali et lançons un appel d’urgence pour une préservation de l’espace humanitaire et un accès sécurisé sans lesquels il nous est impossible de répondre adéquatement aux besoins des populations vulnérables.

    *Le Forum des ONG Internationales au Mali rassemble 81 ONG humanitaire et de développement intervenant au Mali

    Pour plus d’informations ou pour toute demande d’interviews, veuillez contacter :

    Raphael Sindaye - Directeur Pays, Save the Children Mali et Guinée : (223) 76 40 49 29 Dominique Koffy Kouacou - Directeur Pays Mali-Burkina Faso, Danish Refugee Council : (223) 71 80 86 59
    Franck Vannetelle - Directeur Pays, ACF-Espagne : (223) 76 40 41 10
    Frantz Mesidor - Directeur Pays Mali-Burkina Faso, Norwegian Refugee Council : (223) 75 99 54 14
    Rachel Mikanagu - Advocacy Manager, World Vision : (223) 63 64 78 51
    Matthieu Moraly - Advocacy & Policy Manager, Oxfam au Mali : (223) 66 75 25 10


older | 1 | .... | 284 | 285 | (Page 286) | 287 | 288 | .... | 728 | newer