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ReliefWeb - Updates

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    Source: UN Development Programme
    Country: Niger (the)

    402 270 euros soit 263 871 822, 39 F CFA de matériel et équipement au profit des structures de mise en œuvre du projet «Contribution à la Consolidation de la Paix dans le Nord du Niger»

    Un lot de matériels et d’équipements a été remis officiellement le 22 novembre dernier aux partenaires de mise en œuvre du projet « Consolidation de la Paix dans le Nord du Niger ».

    Composé de trente-trois (33) ordinateurs de table ; cinq (5) ordinateurs portables ; trente trois (33) onduleurs ; tente trois (33) imprimantes laser, deux (2) photocopieurs et de quatre (4) véhicules tous terrains, ce matériel et équipement est d’une valeur de 402 270, 00 euros soit 263 871 822 F CFA.

    Il renforcera les capacités d’intervention de la Haute Autorité pour la Consolidation de la Paix (HACP) de la Commission Nationale de Collecte et de Contrôle des Armes Illicites (CNCCAI), du Gouvernorat d’Agadez et des quinze communes de la région Nord du Niger.

    Acquis dans le cadre du projet « Contribution à la consolidation de la Paix dans le Nord du Niger », Instrument de Stabilité à Court Terme, financé par l’Union Européenne, le Royaume de Danemark et le PNUD, le matériel et équipement offert contribuera à «consolider davantage la paix au Niger, la paix sans laquelle aucun développement n’est possible» a indiqué le Secrétaire Général a.i. de la HACP, M. Yahaya ADIE.

    En vue d’atteindre le premier objectif celui de contribuer à la sécurité des biens et des personnes, 90 motos en cours d’acquisition seront remises dans les prochains jours aux policiers municipaux et aux relais communautaires.

    En plus, dans le souci de contribuer à la sécurité des biens et des personnes, inscrites dans le premier objectif du projet, 90 motos en cours d’acquisition seront remises dans les jours à venir aux policiers municipaux et aux relais communautaires.

    Le PNUD et ses partenaires d’exécution notamment la HACP, la CNCCAI, au niveau central comme décentralisé, entretiennent un partenariat efficace pour la promotion de la Paix dans le Nord du Niger dont les premiers résultats sont : le recrutement et la formation de 235 policiers municipaux de la région d’Agadez (déjà déployés sur le terrain), l’ouverture d’opportunités de travail pour plus de 1000 jeunes dans la région d’Agadez à travers des travaux de haute intensité de main d’œuvre pour un montant d’environ 1 milliard de F CFA, le financement d’initiatives pour la paix par la société civile, l’appui aux relais communautaires, et le déminage humanitaire. Ce qui a amené le Représentant Résident du PNUD d’indiquer que « le PNUD se réjouit des impacts réels et positifs que la remise de cet équipement pourrait apporter à la bonne réussite du projet et à notre contribution à la cause de la paix dans le Nord. »

    Le représentant de l’Union Européenne a indiqué que dans l’optique d’ « une continuité de cette opération au niveau des trois régions ciblées (Agadez, Tahoua et Tillabéry), un ambitieux programme de soutien aux activités économiques est en cours de finalisation dans le cadre du Fonds Européen de Développement (FED) qui sera lancé au cours du premier trimestre 2013 avec une enveloppe de 25 millions d’euros. Dans le cadre de la mise en œuvre de l’Instrument de stabilité, des jeunes d’autres régions du Niger seront associés.»

    Présent à la cérémonie, le Président du Conseil régional d’Agadez a donné l’assurance que le matériel réceptionné sera utilisé à bon escient et s’est réjouit de l’excellence des relations entre la région d’Agadez et ses partenaires.


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    Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
    Country: Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan (the), Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania (the), South Sudan (Republic of)

    White maize is the main staple grain consumed in Tanzania, Kenya, and Ethiopia. In Uganda, white maize is grown mainly as a commercial crop for export in the region. Imported rice is a major staple for Djibouti and Somalia, which mainly consume belem—the imported red rice. Tanzania is also a major producer and source of rice in the region while Kenya and Uganda are minor producers. Both red and white sorghum are produced and consumed in the region. This is an important staple in Sudan, Djibouti and Somalia as well as in other marginal agricultural areas of the region. It is also a substitute cereal among the rural poor. Red sorghum is mainly grown in Ethiopia, Sudan, and Somalia, and is the preferred type for households in Djibouti. Beans are an important source of protein and a complementary food crop grown in the high potential agricultural areas of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and Ethiopia. It is consumed across household types. Maize and beans are the most heavily traded commodities in the region. The cooking banana– matoke—is the primary staple in Uganda. Uganda is also a main source of cooking and other types of bananas traded in the region especially in Southern Sudan. However, bananas are not traded nearly as heavily as maize or beans.


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    Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
    Country: Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, United Republic of Tanzania (the), Zambia, Zimbabwe

    KEY MESSAGES

    The 2012/2013 rainfall season is starting normally in most areas in the region.

    Several areas in the region are starting the season with below-average vegetation conditions.

    Forecasts call for below-normal rains in several of the areas affected by last season’s drought.


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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: Senegal

    Rice, millet, sorghum, and maize are the primary staple foods in Senegal. Groundnuts are both an important source of protein and a commonly grown cash crop. Imported rice is consumed daily by the vast majority of households in Senegal particularly in Dakar and Touba urban centers. Local rice is produced and consumed in the Senegal River Valley. St. Louis is a major market for the Senegal River Valley. Millet is consumed in central regions where Kaolack is the most important regional market. Maize is produced and consumed in areas around Kaolack, Tambacounda, and the Senegal River Valley. Some maize is also imported mainly from the international market. High demand for all commodities exists in and around Touba and Dakar. They are also important centers for stocking and storage during the lean season. The harvests of grains and groundnuts begin at the end of the marketing year in October; and stocks of locally produced grains are drawn down throughout the marketing year. Senegal depends more on imports from the international market for rice than from cross border trade which mainly includes cattle from Mali and Mauritania that supply Dakar and surrounding markets.


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    Source: Voice of America
    Country: Cameroon, Chad, World

    Unpredictable and deadly: that’s been the weather in Central Africa so far this year.

    The erratic start of the rainy season and a fear of drought have led farmers in northern Cameroon to plant their crops several times. Eastwards across the border in neighboring Chad, floods swept away numerous homes and worsened a cholera outbreak.

    Experts say the absence of early warning systems increases the effects of climate fluctuation on the poor.

    Meteorologists and disaster management experts are urging governments to endorse the construction of climate observatories across Central Africa. The recommendation was announced at a recent forum held in the Cameroonian capital, Yaoundé, in late September.

    Andre Kamga is with the African Center of Meteorological Applications for Development, AMCAD, based in Niger. He said setting up the climate monitors is a matter of urgency, considering the increasingly unpredictable changes in climate.

    "What we are planning to do is to have sub-regional climate centers that will take care of early warnings – a season in advance, a week in advance, a few days in advance and a few minutes before flooding events and other disasters," he said.

    There are few statistics on the social and economic effects of weather-related problems for Central Africa. But figures obtained from Cameroon’s National Meteorological Service indicate that 19 major natural disasters killed over 295,000 people around the world in 2010 with material losses evaluated at more than US$ 130 billion.

    Kamga said the centers would not only collect and assess climate data and other information for up-to-date forecasts­ that would help policy makers make better decisions.

    "What hampers policy awareness [and the ability to] work towards reducing disasters is the fact that in many countries, when a flooding occurs, there is no estimate of its cost [which would help] policymakers take the right decisions.," he said. "These climate centers will have as mandate to assess post-disaster impacts."

    Representatives from the governments of Gabon and Cameroon at the Yaoundé meeting pledged to back the creation of the centers. But a time frame for the construction has not been mentioned.

    Many people in Cameroon are growing frustrated – both with the unpredictable weather patterns, and the reaction to it by politicians and scientists.

    But meteorologist Andre Kamga remains hopeful. He said initial steps have been proposed.

    "One," he said, "is the (eventual) establishment of a mailing platform on the Web to exchange information between experts on climate and disaster risks in the sub-region. The platform would be run by ACMAD in collaboration with national meteorological offices. The second step is the strengthening of the process of establishing a climate center for Central Africa."

    Meantime, the African Center of Meteorological Applications for Development has issued its fifth regional climate outlook for Central Africa. The document, based on a consensus of experts, warns that coastal zones from Cameroon to the DRC are likely to witness above-normal rainfall this year. The center says such knowledge can help decision makers adjust their policies.

    They could make preparations for the flooding that accompanies torrential rains. They could also remind farmers to wait until the heaviest period of rainfall is tapering off before planting their seeds or suggest that farmers plant their crops twice.

    They say those suggestions would be an improvement over the situation as it is today, where weather catches farmers by surprise and unprepared.


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    Source: IFRC
    Country: Mali, Mauritania

    This Revised Emergency Appeal now seeks CHF 1,009,507 in cash, kind, or services to support the Mauritanian Red Crescent (MRC) to assist 12,000 households (72,000 beneficiaries) for 12 months, and will be completed by end of February 2013. The final report will be made available in May 2013, three months after the end of the operation.

    Appeal coverage: 41% against the previous emergency appeal budget, corresponding to 74 % of the revised appeal budget.

    Appeal history:

    • A Preliminary Emergency Appeal was launched on 22 December 2011 for a total of CHF 2,131,749 to deliver assistance to 10,000 households (60,000 persons).

    • CHF 200,000 was allocated from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) in December 2011 to support this operation.

    • The Emergency Appeal was launched on 25 April 2012 for CHF 1,794,192 to deliver assistance to 7,000 households (42,000 persons).

    • An Operation update was issued on 28 May 2012.

    • The current Revised Emergency Appeal decreases the budget from CHF 1,794,192 to CHF 1,009,507. Some food security activities of the operation have had to be cut out, scaled down or revised due to low funding. At the same time, activities to respond to the Malian refugee situation have been revised or added. In the process, the revised operation will actually reach more households. The revision also provides a summary update on the operation.


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    Source: Oxfam
    Country: Somalia

    Emergency water trucking to drought-affected populations, particularly in the Horn of Africa, has become cyclical intervention as rainfall patterns in these areas has become increasingly unpredictable. In addition to being expensive and unsustainable, cyclical water trucking is coming under increased scrutiny as it increasingly appears to have negative impacts on pastoralist livelihoods, existing coping mechanisms in times of water scarcity, and inflation in the price of water.

    This technical brief presents information on assessing the appropriateness of water trucking interventions, setup of emergency water trucking in drought, and alternatives to water trucking. It is intended to assist field staff and managers on the most appropriate option for emergency water provision in drought, and to give practical case studies demonstrating their setup and associated challenges. This guide is meant to be utilized in the initial stages of drought to select and appropriately implement (and responsibly exit from) the most suitable form of emergency water provision.


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    Source: Open Society Foundations
    Country: Kenya, Somalia, Uganda

    East Africa has emerged in recent years as a focus of both transnational terrorism and Western-backed counterterrorism efforts. Governments have a responsibility to combat terrorism in a lawful manner. But as this report documents, counterterrorism tactics and operations in East Africa have led to a variety of human rights violations. Governments in the region have cited the need to fight terrorism as a pretext to crack down on political opposition, human rights defenders, and lawful expressions of dissent.

    This report looks at how the governments of Kenya, Uganda, the United States, and the United Kingdom responded to the 2010 World Cup bombing in Kampala, Uganda. The counterterrorism actions that followed the bombing were characterized by human rights violations, including allegations of arbitrary detention, unlawful renditions, physical abuse, and denial of due process rights.

    In examining these abuses and the parties responsible for them, the report argues that Kenya, Uganda, and the Western countries that support them must thoroughly investigate the alleged abuses, and must pursue counterterrorism activities that do not entail human rights violations.

    The report was produced by the Open Society Justice Initiative and is supported by the East Africa Law Society, the Kenyan Section of the International Commission of Jurists, and the Pan African Lawyers Union.


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    Source: ECOWAS
    Country: Guinea-Bissau, Mali

    N°: 325/2012

    26 November 2012 [Abuja - Nigeria]

    The President of the ECOWAS Commission, His Excellency Kadre Desire Ouedraogo has called for urgent international action to reverse the deteriorating security situation in northern Mali, which has been taken over by secessionists and extremists.

    "Urgent action is indispensable in order to avoid further deterioration of the situation following the unacceptable destruction of the country's cultural heritage, the violation of human rights and the humanitarian consequences of the crisis,” the President told a delegation from the Kingdom of Spain led by that country's Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Gonzalo de Benito Secades.

    "What is happening in the north of Mali is unacceptable to us, that is why we are working with partners to resolve it not only because of its potential to destabilise neighbouring countries and the region, but also because of its link with criminality and extremism," he added.

    The President told the delegation that the Concept of Operations for an African-led force to assist Mali recover its territory from the separatist groups had been submitted to the UN Security Council in response to the Council’s 45-day deadline for the clarification of aspects of the proposed deployment. The Concept of Operation was produced with the support of partners including the UN, the African Union and the European Union.

    President Ouedraogo also briefed the delegation on the efforts being made to resolve political crisis in Guinea-Bissau where a military coup in April 2012 was followed by an ECOWAS brokered interim political arrangement in the country until elections scheduled for April 2013.

    To ensure durable democracy in the country, he said ECOWAS has contributed US$63 million to implement a defence and security sector reform programme that will professionalise the country’s military, insulate it from politics thereby subordinating it to civilian control.

    The Agreement for the reform programme was signed on 7th November 2012 by the ECOWAS Commission and the Guinea-Bissau Government.

    The President also informed the delegation about a planned summit of West and Central African leaders next year to develop a joint policy to address the maritime security challenges confronting the two regions.

    In his response, Mr. Secades praised ECOWAS as Spain’s strategic partner and pledged the country's determination to continue to support the region towards realising its mandate of promoting economic development, consolidation of peace and security and dealing with migration issues.

    He also assured that Spain will study a request by ECOWAS to support the deployment of the African-led force to help Mali regain its northern territory and stressed the need to encourage collaboration between the private sectors of West Africa and Spain particularly in renewable energy where the country possesses some expertise that could be the shared with ECOWAS.

    At the end of the meeting, the two parties agreed to undertake a joint evaluation of their collaboration in the first quarter of 2013 to ensure that the concomitant programmes are aligned with their strategic objectives.

    Spain supports ECOWAS projects mainly in the areas of migration, agriculture, energy, peace and security.

    The ECOWAS team at the meeting included the Commissioners for administration and finance, agriculture, macroeconomic policy, human development and gender, political affairs, peace and security and trade, customs, free movement and tourism.


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    Source: IFRC
    Country: Malawi

    Period covered by this Ops Update: 1 November to 27 November 2012.

    Appeal target (current): This emergency appeal seeks CHF 1,025,310 in cash, kind or services to support the Malawi Red Cross in delivering immediate assistance to 3,500 households (17,500 beneficiaries) for 9 months, and will be completed by end of June 2013.

    Appeal coverage: 16%

    Appeal history:

    • This Emergency Appeal was launched on 17 October, 2012.

    • Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF): CHF 100,000 was requested and approved for this operation to support the national society to respond.

    Summary: An in-country Household Economic Security (HES) workshop was conducted from 29 October – 2 November. The assessment workshop was facilitated by a HES Specialist supported by the British Red Cross. The food and livelihood security assessment orientation for MRCS staff and volunteers aimed at consolidating and deepening the existing analysis of food security and livelihoods issues for the two districts in the Lower Shire Livelihood Zone. The detailed assessment conducted also looked into strengthening analysis and planning for the imminent 9-month appeal implementation.

    The methodology used during the assessment included collection of primary and secondary information, field visits and observation. Tools included direct interviews with key informants (local authorities, lead gardeners and care facilitators) and communities (focus groups of males and females).
    Food sources, income sources and expenditure of each wealth group (poor, middle and better off) were explored and the impacts of each hazard on the food and income sources across the wealth groups documented.

    The IFRC Regional Representative for Southern Africa visited the proposed impact area and talked to some of the food insecure individuals during his visit in Malawi within the reporting period.
    To date, funds have been received from the Swedish Red Cross. Additional support from donors is encouraged in order to provide necessary support, as needs are critical and persistent. In particular, the window for preparing fields and planting new crops is short and needs to be capitalized on immediately to ensure food availability for families.


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    Source: IFRC
    Country: Lesotho

    Period covered by this Ops Update: 15 October 2012 – 20 November 2012

    Appeal target (current): This emergency Appeal seeks CHF 1,119,000 in cash, kind, or services to support the Lesotho Red Cross Society (LRCS) to assist 8,000 beneficiaries (1,600 households) for 9 months, and will be completed by July 2013.

    Appeal coverage: 0%

    Appeal history:

    • An Emergency Appeal was launched on 15 October, 2012.

    • CHF 100,000 was allocated from the IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support the National Society to start up activities and be able to provide immediate assistance. Unearmarked funds to repay DREF are encouraged.

    • A detailed household needs assessment was undertaken between 16 – 20 October 2012 with the support of the British Red Cross Household Economic Security (HES) Analyst to consolidate and deepen the understanding of the existing food security and livelihoods to feed into planning and implementation of the 9 month emergency appeal.

    • An Operation update was issued on 31 October 2012, to provide further information on the situation and the needs that were given in the Emergency Appeal document as a result of the Household Economic Survey (HES) workshop.

    Summary: While food prices, especially maize meal, continue to soar, the official number of people currently in need of food is 725,515. Most of the affected people are struggling to plant their fields due to scarcity of agricultural inputs despite government initiative to subsidize such inputs. Most of the inputs come from South Africa in quantities that are not enough to cover the whole population.
    During the reporting period, an in-depth needs assessment was undertaken with the support of the British Red Cross Household Economic expert. In preparation for the assessment, a training workshop was conducted on Household Economic Security assessment to strengthen the capacity of the National Society in this area.

    As a result of the support from the British Red Cross funded HES expert, the needs have been further analysed.

    Food sources, income sources and expenditure of each wealth group (very poor, poor, middle and better off) in each livelihood zone (e.g. highlands, lowlands etc.) were explored and the impacts of each hazard on the food and income sources across the wealth groups and livelihood zones.

    Disbursement of the DREF allocation has now taken place and implementation of activities can begin.
    LRCS is aiming to distribute food aid to a total of 1,600 families (8,000 beneficiaries) in a period of six months, and further strengthen household livelihood recovery through provision of agricultural starter packs for both field and garden crops. To build the community resilience, the appeal operation will also cover disaster risk reduction activities which include climate change adaptation techniques.

    To date, no funds have yet been received for this appeal. Donors are strongly urged to provide the necessary support, as needs are critical and on-going. In particular, the window for preparing fields and planting new crops is short and needs to be capitalised on immediately in order to ensure that families have new crops and therefore on-going food supplies.


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    Source: US Agency for International Development
    Country: Senegal

    According to legend in some parts of West Africa, the universe began from a single grain of fonio—a type of millet, one of Africa’s oldest and fastest growing cereal crops.

    Now, in Senegal, the highly-prized and nutritious millet is the focus of a $190,000 Feed the Future grant from the U.S. African Development Foundation (USADF) to improve community members’ incomes and household food security.

    Koba Club is a female-run economic interest group created in 1989 in the remote town of Kédougou in the Tambacounda region of southeast Senegal. Nearly 90 percent of local women in this region are involved in the production and processing of fonio, which grows easily in poor soils and is drought-resistant, but is extremely time-consuming to produce. Koba Club purchases fonio from local producers and transforms the cereal grain into a value-added product, but it has struggled to meet the market demand in terms of quality and quantity due to insufficient workspace and outdated production methods.

    With the Feed the Future grant they received from USADF, Koba Club’s 25 members have been able to purchase new machinery to improve threshing and hulling, resulting in a major time savings and reduction of labor. With the new machinery, the women can now mill 150 kilograms of fonio in one hour compared to the 12 hours it used to take to mill the same amount.

    Koba Club was also able to secure a more spacious production center that encourages hygiene, quality control and, most important, the safety of members.

    Thanks to Feed the Future, the members of Koba Club are earning more income and improving household nutrition and food security for their families and community. They are also well-positioned to become large-scale agro-processors of pre-cooked fonio in Senegal’s economy.

    A few simple, smart investments have made processing this traditional grain more feasible and are enabling Koba Club to reach local, national, regional and even international markets.


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    Source: ICRC
    Country: Somalia

    Geneva/Nairobi (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has just finished distributing food and seed to over 170,000 people in the Lower Juba and Gedo regions of southern Somalia.
    The population of these regions remains vulnerable due to a poor rainy season and the ongoing conflict.

    The ICRC and the Somali Red Crescent Society distributed seed to 15,000 farmers, who in turn will be able to feed around 90,000 people, given that the average family consists of six persons. In addition, 84,000 destitute people in the same areas, over half of whom displaced from scenes of conflict in and around Kismayo over recent weeks, received enough rice, beans, oil and other basic food to last them a month.

    "Constant humanitarian effort has improved the overall food situation in Somalia this year," said Patrick Vial, head of the ICRC delegation for Somalia. "However, the continuing armed confrontations and difficult climate mean that for many Somalis it’s still a struggle to get enough food. Large numbers of people are being forced to flee their homes and land, disrupting food production and economic activity."

    The ICRC is supporting the efforts of communities to feed themselves and generate an income, in addition to distributing emergency supplies. From October to December 2012, for instance, people along the coast in the Banadir, Lower Shabelle and Lower Juba regions are taking part in a fisheries programme that will enable them to produce more food and become more self-reliant.

    Mohamed Sheikh-Ali, who coordinates the ICRC's economic security programmes in the country, explains. "Our emergency food distributions aim to tide people over until the next harvest in January, whereas the seed distribution will hopefully improve the community’s ability to feed itself long-term."

    The ICRC has been working in Somalia since 1977. In close partnership with the Somali Red Crescent Society, it provides emergency and long-term support with the aim of strengthening community self-reliance. In addition, it promotes compliance with international humanitarian law and monitors the treatment detainees receive and the conditions in which they are held.


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    Source: IRIN
    Country: Djibouti

    BALBALA, 27 November 2012 (IRIN) - Successive years of poor rains have eroded the coping mechanisms of pastoralists in Djibouti's rural regions, even as high food prices and unemployment rates afflict the country's urban areas. These factors are increasing the vulnerability to food insecurity and spurring migration.

    The area of Balbala, about 12km outside of Djibouti City, has become home to families fleeing both harsh conditions in the countryside and dwindling livelihood opportunities in the city.

    "What we need most is food"

    Awale Farah, 65, migrated with his family of seven from the rural Ali Sabieh area, near the southern town of Dikhil, to Balbala three months ago. Dikhil lies along the border with Ethiopia and has a large number of migrants, complicating access to scarce basic resources there.

    Farah says that back in Ali Sabieh, residents are moving closer to the Ali Addeh refugee camp, hoping to obtain some of the assistance meant for the camp's 16,778 refugees. "I don't know how they are getting along. What we need most is food," he said.

    At present, about 70,000 people in rural Djibouti are food insecure. More than 60 percent of household food supply is being met by food assistance in the northwest pastoral zone, according to an October-to-March 2013 food security outlook by the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET [ http://www.fews.net/pages/country.aspx?gb=dj ]).

    In the southeast pastoral border area, "households are marginally able to meet minimum food needs only through accelerated depletion of livelihood assets and adoption of unsustainable coping strategies such as charcoal sales," the outlook says.

    The areas most affected by hunger include Obock in the north, Dikhil and Balbala. According to 2010 figures, 42.9 percent of the children in Obock showed signs of wasting. In 2006, Djibouti ranked second in the world for prevalence of wasting in children under five, at 21 percent [ http://www.unicef.org/progressforchildren/2007n6/index_41505.htm ].

    But life in Balbala is not easy, either. "The situation here is very hard. Sometimes we get money from family members in town," Farah said. "In Dikhil, at least we had livestock that would always provide us with food." Even so, many pastoralists have lost their livestock to the successive droughts.

    To cope, Farah has split up his family - two of his children are staying with relatives in Djibouti City.

    Unemployment and high prices

    Meanwhile, a lack of jobs is causing city residents to migrate to peri-urban areas such as Balbala.

    Abdillahi Djama Abdiguedi's family moved to Balbala from Gagada, an area closer to the city where rent cost them 5,000 Djibouti francs (about US$28.20) per month.

    "Here, we pay nothing," he said. "Most of the people around here moved from the city."

    Abdiguedi works as a casual labourer every morning, heading to town to search for work at construction sites. "Today, I left at 4am to go and look for work and came back home with nothing. There are days when we eat nothing," he said. "The children have forgotten what milk is."

    Meat prices have increased from 800 francs to 1,200-1,400 francs, notes FEWSNET.

    Water is also more expensive. At present, a jerrycan of water sells for 150 francs, up from 50 francs in 2011, according to Balbala residents. "The water companies say that the water is more expensive due to the high cost of fuel required to bring it in," said a resident.

    FEWSNET cites high unemployment, which stands at 48 percent, and high staple prices as reasons for poor urban households' acute food insecurity, which it estimates will remain at crisis levels up to December.

    About 90 percent of the land in Djibouti is arid and the ecosystem fragile; the country also has few natural resources. These and other factors force Djibouti to rely heavily on food imports.

    Improving child survival

    Food insecurity and drought are contributing to high rates of malnutrition among children, according to Mohamadou Bachir Mbodj, the chief of child survival and development at the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) office in Djibouti.

    Also contributing to child malnutrition are low rates of exclusive breastfeeding. A 2010 survey found that, while 98 percent of nursing mothers in Djibouti breastfed their infants, only 24.5 percent did so exclusively, Bachir said. "The challenge is: how can we narrow the gap between the 98 percent and the 24.5 percent?"

    For every 1,000 children born in Djibouti, 73 die before their first birthday, according to UNICEF. Good child feeding practices could help to lower these numbers. UNICEF is using 'grandmother counsellors' to encourage exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months as well as good weaning practices.

    "When you do early initiation of breastfeeding, practice exclusive breastfeeding for six months and timely weaning, one can help to reduce infant mortality by up to 19 percent," he said, noting that longer-term approaches with longer-lasting funds that address underlying factors should be put in place to deal with malnutrition.

    Safety nets and sustainability

    "There is a need for more integrated strategies in water, agriculture, health and nutrition for sustainability," said Mario Touchette, the UN World Food Programme's (WFP) Djibouti representative and country director.

    "For example, building small water catchments dams could help to improve the situation in rural communities. The access of health and nutrition services would also be important for them. There is also a need to provide alternative livelihood sources for rural-based populations, a majority of whom are pastoralists, but the environment is too challenging."

    Touchette said aid organizations must strike a difficult balance between meeting the needs of increasingly vulnerable urban populations and focusing on rural areas where humanitarian needs remain high and many donors expect action. "If we provide more assistance to the urban areas, vulnerable people from rural areas might be more attracted to migrate to urban areas," he noted.

    Still, food insecurity in urban areas is becoming a priority for WFP; Djibouti's population of about 800,000 is mainly urban.

    WFP is also keen on helping the country develop a national safety net programme. "The safety net should include food-cash vouchers, supplementary feeding programmes and school feeding programmes. We could link it also to some professional training, for example," Touchette said. "The challenge is how to continue providing assistance without maintaining them [beneficiaries] in this cycle of perpetual assistance."

    During the country's July-to-September lean season, WFP, alongside three local NGOs and the State Secretary for National Solidarity, provided food vouchers to some 3,000 households in Balbala. The coupons were distributed to women every week helping to supplement their households' food needs. This pilot programme received financial support from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund and the government of Switzerland.

    Djibouti is among the Horn of Africa countries that endorsed the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Drought Disaster Resilience and Sustainability Initiative (IDDRSI) [ http://reliefweb.int/report/somalia/regional-approaches-food-security-af... ] after the devastating 2010-2011 drought [ http://www.irinnews.org/Report/94567/HORN-EASTERN-AFRICA-Drought-highlig... ]. IDDRSI aims to help to end drought emergencies through long-term development initiatives focusing on the region's arid and semi-arid areas.

    aw/rz

    [END]

    This report online: http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?reportID=96904

    © IRIN. All rights reserved. More humanitarian news and analysis: http://www.irinnews.org/


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    Source: Intergovernmental Authority on Development
    Country: Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan (the), Uganda

    IGAD member states to work together as a region to increase investment towards ending drought emergencies by building sustainable livelihoods.

    NAIROBI, Kenya, November 26, 2012 -- IGAD member states and partners meet to validate the IGAD Drought Disaster Resilience and Sustainability Initiative (IDDRSI) Strategy. This strategy was developed by the IGAD Secretariat in consultation with member states, development partners, non state actors and other stake holders as a result of the Summit of Heads of State and Government which convened in Nairobi in September 2011 that declared their commitment to end drought emergencies from the IGAD region once and for all.

    In 2011, the IGAD region was hit by a severe drought that affected more than 13 million people and exacerbated chronic food insecurity to famine levels. In responding to the drought emergency, the Heads of State and Government of the Horn of Africa region made a collective decision that called for a strategy to end drought emergencies while emphasizing the need to do things differently (holistic approach in a regional setting) and supported by investment plans at member states’ and regional levels. The summit held in Nairobi tasked IGAD with the responsibility of leading and coordinating the implementation of the initiative.

    This strategy will guide and inform the process of coordinating and leading the implementation of the initiative. The initiative will drive a regional agenda to harmonize policies, strategies and systems throughout the IGAD region; it will improve efforts to enhance cooperation and integration among member countries and cause the execution of national and regional projects in a coordinated framework of implementation, aimed at ending drought emergencies.

    Indeed as stated by the September 2011 Summit ‘droughts need not, and should not, lead to famine and other disasters in the region’.

    For more information, please contact:

    Mr. Mohamed Moussa ( mohamed.moussa@igad.int), Director – Agriculture and Environment Division, IGAD Secretariat


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    Source: Christian Science Monitor
    Country: Mali

    Mali was hit by two successive shocks to its system this year – with the north seized by rebels and a coup in the capital – leaving its government fragile and the international community mulling intervention.

    Read the full article in the Christian Science Monitor.


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    Source: Government of Ethiopia
    Country: Ethiopia

    Debre Tabor November 26/2012 More than 41,980 farmers in Dera Woreda of South Gondar Zone, Amhara State are developing over 10,530 hectares land through irrigation, the woreda agriculture office said. The office told ENA that so far 3000 hectares of the stated area of land has been developed and covered with seeds. The area of land being developed through irrigation exceeds by over 600 hectares that of same period last year. The farmers will make use of over 3000 water pumping machines and more than 6000 quintals agricultural inputs to develop the land. The farmers will cultivate vegetables, legumes and spices, among others, on the stated area of land. Over 1.6 million quintals output is expected to be harvested.


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    Source: Government of Ethiopia
    Country: Ethiopia

    Ambo November 27/2012 Over 70.6 per cent of the ten million seedlings transplanted in Ilugelan Woreda, West Shoa Zone of Oromia State during the last main rainy season have already taken roots, the woreda agriculture office said. Natural Resource Development and Conservation Work Process Coordinator with the Office, Dinsa Yadeta told ENA on Tuesday that the tree and fodder seedlings were transplanted on over 1000 hectares depleted land. More than 15,710 farmers, associations, schools and stakeholders had taken part in the seedling transplantation activity


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    Source: Government of Ethiopia
    Country: Ethiopia

    Bahir Dar November 27/2012 The pastoralist community development office in Bale Zone, Oromia State said it has been undertaking various developmental facilities with an outlay of 26.3 million Birr. Office project coordinator, Abraham Megersa told ENA over the weekend that construction of educational and health facilities is underway in four woredas of the zone. Accordingly, construction of 23 primary schools and additional classrooms, five veterinary health posts and safe water units, among others are being constructed in the woredas. Up on going fully operational at the end of this Ethiopian year, the facilities are expected to benefit more than 170,000 pastoralists. The construction of the facilities is being undertaken with the financial support of the World Bank, IFAD and the regional government as well as with the contribution of the local community, Abraham said.


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