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ReliefWeb - Updates

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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal

    SRP REQUIREMENTS US$ 1,986 million

    SRP FUNDING US$ 327 million

    SRP UNMET REQUIREMENTS US$ 1,659 million

    FUNDING OUTSIDE SRP US$ 134 million


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    Nations unies, Etats-Unis | AFP | vendredi 24/04/2015 - 17:27 GMT

    Le secrétaire général de l'ONU Ban Ki-moon s'est déclaré vendredi "très préoccupé" par les récentes attaques contre la Mission de l'ONU au Mali (Minusma) et a souligné "l'urgence d'un règlement politique" entre Bamako et les rebelles du Nord.

    Ces attaques, dont la plus récente a blessé jeudi sept Casques bleus à 100 km au sud-ouest de Kidal (nord), ont tué au total cinq civils et blessé 13 civils et 16 Casques bleus depuis la semaine dernière, souligne un communiqué de l'ONU.

    "Les attaques contre les civils et les Casques bleus constituent une grave infraction au droit international" et M. Ban "demande à ce que les responsables de ces attaques soient poursuivis en justice".

    "Cette série d’attaques souligne l’urgence d’un règlement politique de la situation et du rétablissement de la sécurité au nord du Mali", ajoute le communiqué.

    Le chef de la Minusma a dit jeudi son "espoir" de voir la rébellion à dominante touareg du nord du Mali signer l'accord de paix d'Alger avec le gouvernement malien avant l'échéance du 15 mai.

    avz/elm

    © 1994-2015 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: International Federation of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies
    Country: Niger, Nigeria

    A. Situation analysis

    Description of the disaster

    On 12 December 2014, 10 cases of cholera were reported in the Chetmari area of Diffa region of Niger. By 14 December 2014, 91 cases and four deaths had been reported; and by 20 December 2014, this had risen to 183 cases. On 24 December 2014, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) released CHF 261,637 from the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support the Red Cross Society of Niger (NRCS) respond to the needs of the affected population. The DREF operation was intended to support 3,000 households (15,000 people) in the Diffa region, with heath and care, water, sanitation and hygiene promotion activities; over a period of three months.

    On 6 February 2015, due to the evolving insecurity situation in the Diffa region, which has included incursions by the Boko Haram group into Niger, all components of the Red Cross Red Crescent (RCRC) Movement were forced to suspend activities to ensure the safety of staff, volunteers and the beneficiaries being served. The International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC), as the lead agency in the region, have continued to monitor the security situation.

    On 5 March 2015, following a meeting between all Movement partners operating in Diffa, it was agreed that activities could be resumed in accordance with a new “intervention strategy for Diffa region”, which will prioritize: awareness raising / sensitization, distribution of water purification tablets and oral rehydration solutions (ORS), provision of hygiene items and disinfection of latrines in health centres / schools. On 20 March 2015, an Operations Update was issued to extend the timeframe of the DREF operation to enable the activities planned to be completed in accordance with the new intervention strategy, which included a revision to the schedule as per the Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA). As of 13 April 2015, it is estimated that 50% per cent of the activities planned have been completed, and progress made in accordance with the agreed EPoA in the following areas:

    • Training of 30 volunteers on response against cholera outbreaks using the ECV manual and disinfection of facilities and use of ORS; as well as 14 volunteers on cholera surveillance via SMS.

    • Awareness raising / sensitization campaigns for cholera prevention and control, which have reached 3,158 people.

    • Referral of 31 cholera cases via SMS to the nearest health facilities.


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    Source: UN Secretary-General
    Country: Mali

    SG/SM/16698-AFR/3122-PKO/479

    The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:

    The Secretary-General is deeply concerned by a series of attacks directed against the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) and MINUSMA contractors that have killed five civilians and injured 13 civilians and 16 United Nations peacekeepers since last week.

    On 15 April, in Ansongo (Gao region), a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device detonated outside the MINUSMA camp killing two civilians and wounding 12 civilians, including four children, as well as nine peacekeepers. On 17 April, 25 kilometres west of Gao, two unidentified armed assailants attacked a convoy of MINUSMA-contracted trucks and killed two drivers and injured another contractor. On 20 April, 30 kilometres west of Gao, unidentified armed men killed the driver of another truck contracted by MINUSMA. On 23 April, in Kidal region, 100 kilometres south-west of Kidal, seven peacekeepers were wounded when a MINUSMA vehicle struck an explosive device.

    Attacks against civilians and United Nations peacekeepers constitute a serious violation of international law. The Secretary-General urges that those responsible for these attacks be brought to justice.

    This series of attacks highlights the urgency of finding a political settlement and re-establishing security in the north of Mali.

    The Secretary-General expresses his deepest condolences to the families of the deceased and the Government of Mali. He wishes a speedy recovery to those who have been injured. He reiterates the commitment of the United Nations to support the Malian people in their search for peace and expresses his profound gratitude to the brave peacekeepers serving in Mali and to the countries contributing these troops.

    For information media. Not an official record.


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    Source: UN News Service
    Country: Mali

    24 avril 2015 – Le Secrétaire général de l'ONU, Ban Ki-moon, s'est dit vendredi très préoccupé par une série d'attaques à l'encontre de la Mission multidimensionnelle intégrée des Nations Unies pour la stabilisation au Mali (MINUSMA) et de ses fournisseurs, qui ont tué cinq civils et blessé 13 civils et 16 Casques bleus depuis la semaine dernière.

    Le 15 avril, à Ansongo (région de Gao), un véhicule transportant un engin explosif improvisé a détoné à l'extérieur du camp de la MINUSMA tuant deux civils et blessant 12 civils, y compris quatre enfants, ainsi que neuf casques bleus.

    Le 17 avril, à 25 km à l'ouest de Gao, deux assaillants armés non-identifiés ont attaqué un convoi de camions de fournisseurs de la MINUSMA et tué deux chauffeurs et blessé un autre contractant.

    Le 20 avril, à 30 km à l'ouest de Gao, des hommes armés non-identifiés ont tué le chauffeur d'un autre camion contracté par la MINUSMA.

    Le 23 avril, à 100 km au sud-ouest de Kidal, sept casques bleus ont été blessés par une explosion aux abords d'un véhicule de la MINUSMA.

    « Les attaques contre les civils et les casques bleus constituent une grave violation du droit international. Le Secrétaire général appelle à ce que les responsables de ces attaques soient poursuivis en justice », a dit son porte-parole dans une déclaration à la presse. « Cette série d'attaques souligne l'urgence d'un règlement politique de la situation et du rétablissement de la sécurité au nord du Mali ».

    Le Secrétaire général a exprimé ses condoléances les plus sincères aux familles des victimes et au gouvernement du Mali et a souhaité un prompt rétablissement à ceux qui ont été blessés.

    Il a réaffirmé l'engagement des Nations Unies à soutenir le peuple malien dans sa quête de la paix et a exprimé « sa profonde gratitude aux courageux soldats de la paix qui servent au Mali, ainsi qu'aux pays contributeurs de troupes ».


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Nigeria

    Maiduguri, Nigeria | AFP | Saturday 4/25/2015 - 00:44 GMT

    Suspected Boko Haram insurgents have forced hundreds of soldiers to flee Marte, a border town along the shores of the Lake Chad, a local official and witnesses said Friday.

    "The terrorists, numbering over 2,000, appeared from various directions on Thursday and engaged the soldiers in Kirenowa town and adjoining communities in Marte," said Imamu Habeeb, a local community leader.

    "They fought with soldiers over the night and the fight continued today (Friday), forcing hundreds of soldiers to flee," he added from Borno state capital Maiduguri.

    Local fighter Shehu Dan Baiwa said the more than 2,000 fighters had been armed with bombs and tanks. "They used the weapons without restraint and succeeded in killing several people," he said.

    This is the third time Boko Haram has seized control of Marte in restive Borno state, a key battleground of their six-year insurgency, which has killed more than 13,000 and left 1.5 million homeless.

    The city is among several retaken in recent weeks by Nigeria's military, which has launched an offensive against the Islamists as part of a regional operation supported by Chad, Cameroon and Niger.

    But Boko Haram have been fighting back, and Nigerian troops were also forced to retreat from Boko Haram's Sambisa Forest stronghold this week after a landmine blast killed one soldier and three vigilantes.

    A senior local politician confirmed, on condition of anonymity, that the insurgents had retaken Marte.

    "We lost many (people) because some of our people that fled to Chad and Cameroon have return after Nigerian troops recovered the town recently," he added.

    A senior military official confirmed the attack on Marte, but refused to say whether Boko Haram had retaken the town, describing the army's retreat as "strategic".

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    © 1994-2015 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
    Country: Nigeria

    HIGHLIGHTS

    • UNHCR staff and partners completed a two‐day training program on the protection of IDPs. Presiding at the closing ceremony, the UNHCR Representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ms. Angele Dikongue‐Atangana, called on participants to take the principles learned through the workshop to continue to improve and scale up the implementation of the protection response in Nigeria.

    • UNHCR, in partnership with the Nigerian Red Cross Society (NRCS), has commenced the distribution of Non Food Items (NFIs) in Gombe State, targeting 3,000 of the most vulnerable households.

    • Benue State Governor, Gabriel Suswam, has commended its partnership with UNHCR, which recently provided agricultural materials to IDPs in Benue State to enable them to resume their agricultural livelihoods.


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    Source: International Federation of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies
    Country: Senegal


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Niger

    Kano, Nigeria | AFP | Monday 4/27/2015 - 12:05 GMT

    Boko Haram gunmen massacred residents who tried to jump into Lake Chad seeking safety and burnt others alive after overpowering soldiers in a weekend attack in the restive region, a witness said Monday.

    The military and a local official in Niger had previously confirmed the April 25 raid by the Islamists on Lake Chad's Karamga island.

    An official in the town of Diffa said the Nigerien army suffered "very heavy" casualties, but precise figures were not immediately available.

    Umar Yerima, a Nigerian fisherman living on the targeted island confirmed that troops "were caught off guard" and suffered major losses.

    "After finishing with the soldiers, (the Islamists) turned their guns on residents," Yerima told AFP by phone, adding that he was "among the lucky ones" who managed to flee.

    "Some sought to escape by plunging into the lake but gunmen stood on the shore shooting them...

    "They would aim their gun from the edge of the lake and shoot any head that emerged from the water, shouting Allahu Akbar," he further said. "They burnt the entire village and went on a shooting spree. Many residents were burnt alive in their homes."

    Yerima said he managed to stay out of site by hiding in the long grass that lines the water's edge.

    After launching the attack shortly before sunrise, the gunmen remained on a rampage until roughly midday, withdrawing when a military jet began bombarding the area.

    It was impossible to estimate the death toll, Yerima told AFP, but said he believed the number was "huge" and that he saw the Islamists kidnap a number of women and children as they fled.

    Boko Haram has been hit hard by a four-nation offensive launched in February by Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon, with much of the fighting concentrated in the Lake Chad area.

    While the militaries involved have claimed major successes, including the recapture of a series of towns and villages held by the Islamist rebels, experts believe Boko Haram fighters have carved out new hiding spots in remote enclaves.

    The Nigerien military said the Islamists stormed Karamga on motorised canoes after setting off from a base elsewhere on the lake.

    The Boko Haram conflict has killed more than 13,000 people since 2009, mostly in northern Nigeria, but the fighting has increasingly spread to neighbouring states since 2013.

    Despite the apparent gains made the multi-national offensive, security experts say Boko Haram has the capacity to regroup and have urged the region's forces to maintain military pressure.

    Nigeria's president-elect Muhammadu Buhari takes office on May 29 and has vowed to fight Boko Haram more effectively than the country's outgoing leader, Goodluck Jonathan.

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    © 1994-2015 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Nigeria

    Kano, Nigeria | AFP | Monday 4/27/2015 - 17:24 GMT

    by Aminu ABUBAKAR

    Boko Haram gunmen killed dozens of soldiers and massacred civilians in a weekend attack on an island on Lake Chad, after 21 people were shot dead in northeastern Nigeria.

    The region has been relentlessly targeted by Boko Haram throughout the jihadist group's six-year uprising, but there has been a lull in violence in recent weeks.

    A coalition of troops from Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria has claimed major victories over the rebels since February, reportedly flushing the militants out of areas they previously controlled.

    But the latest unrest highlighted the continuing and grave threat posed by Boko Haram, an extremist group which has killed at least 15,000 people and forced 1.5 million from their homes.

    • Island attack -

    Islamist fighters travelling in motorised canoes stormed the island of Karamga on Lake Chad before sunrise on Saturday.

    Troops from Niger stationed on the island "were caught off guard" and suffered heavy losses, said Umar Yerima, a fisherman who witnessed the raid but managed to escape.

    Niger's military has confirmed the attack but defence officials were not immediately available to provide a death toll.

    A security source in Chad who requested anonymity said Niger lost 48 soldiers and another 36 were missing.

    Another source, an official from southeastern Niger's Diffa region, said the toll was much higher at 80 dead and some 30 missing.

    Yerima told AFP the Islamic State group-allied militants "turned their guns" onto civilians after overpowering the troops.

    "Some sought to escape by plunging into the lake but gunmen stood on the shore shooting them...

    "They would aim their gun from the edge of the lake and shoot any head that emerged from the water, shouting 'Allahu akbar' (God is greatest)," he added.

    "They burnt the entire village and went on a shooting spree. Many residents were burnt alive in their homes."

    Yerima said he managed to stay out of sight by hiding in the long grass that lines the water's edge.

    The gunmen remained on a rampage until about roughly midday (1100 GMT), withdrawing when a military jet started bombarding the area, according to Yerima, who estimated the civilian death toll was "huge" but could not provide specifics.

    The security source in Chad said an aerial bombardment on the island was carried out by Chadian helicopter gunships based in Diffa.

    • 'Returnees' killed -

    Suspected Islamists disguised as soldiers on Friday intercepted a group of people trying to return to their homes to collect abandoned food supplies in northeastern Nigeria's Yobe state.

    "The men, 21 of them, were stopped at Bultaram (village) by gunmen we believe are Boko Haram who shot them dead," said Baba Nuhu, an official with the Gujba local government in Yobe state.

    Nuhu and Haruna Maram, the brother of one of the victims, spoke to AFP from Yobe's capital Damaturu, where many Gujba residents have sought refuge from the violence.

    "My brother and 20 others wanted to bring back their grains to augment their lean food supplies," Maram said. "Unfortunately, they were killed by (the) same Boko Haram we ran away from."

    Gujba is one of a handful of districts in Yobe that Boko Haram captured during its sweeping offensive last year.

    It was also the scene of a gruesome massacre at an agricultural college in 2013 that targeted students sleeping their dormitories.

    • Warning -

    Following the purported victories secured in the joint offensive, Nigeria's military and outgoing President Goodluck Jonathan have encouraged those displaced by the uprising to return home.

    But community leaders in the embattled region have warned civilians are still at risk, especially those returning to remote areas like Gujba where the military's deployment has typically been thin.

    Many experts agree that Boko Haram is likely to transition from capturing and holding territory -- a tactic seen from mid-2014 -- and revert to a pattern of hit-and-run attacks.

    Analysts say boastings from regional armies should be treated with caution, as the Islamists are far from defeated and can easily regroup, especially if there is a let-up in the military pressure.

    Nigeria's president-elect Muhammadu Buhari, an ex-army general, takes office on May 29. He has vowed to fight Boko Haram more effectively than Jonathan.

    burs-bs/phz/ser

    © 1994-2015 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Nigeria

    Abuja, Nigeria | AFP | Monday 4/27/2015 - 21:33 GMT

    Nigeria's president-elect Muhammadu Buhari on Monday denounced Boko Haram's claim to be a religious group, slamming its attacks on civilians and vowing a hard line against the Islamist militants.

    "The fraud called Boko Haram can be defeated by denying it a recruitment base. No religion allows for the killing of children in school dormitories, in markets and places of worship," he said.

    "They have nothing to do with religion. They are terrorists and we are going to deal with them as we deal with terrorists."

    Buhari, 72, won presidential elections last month with a promise of a tough stance against Boko Haram, whose insurgency has killed at least 15,000 since 2009 and left more than 1.5 million homeless.

    The former military ruler accused his opponent President Goodluck Jonathan of a failure of leadership in tackling the security threat.

    On Jonathan's watch, Book Haram kidnapped more than 200 schoolgirls from their home town of Chibok in the northeastern state of Borno. More than a year on, 219 are still being held.

    "The worst thing anybody can do is to deny children access to education," Buhari said in a statement issued by his All Progressives Congress (APC) party.

    "That will be destructive to their lives and we are not going to allow that to happen."

    Buhari, who takes office on May 29, has cautioned he cannot make promises to return the kidnapped schoolgirls.

    But he has pledged to help areas hit by the violence -- as well as years of social and economic deprivation -- with development programmes to prevent radicalisation.

    ola-phz/mfp

    © 1994-2015 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Nigeria

    Maiduguri, Nigeria | AFP | Monday 4/27/2015 - 22:52 GMT

    by Bukar HUSSAIN with Aminu ABUBAKAR in Kano

    Hundreds of people have been found dead in the northeast Nigerian town of Damasak, apparently victims of the Boko Haram insurgency, as details emerged on Monday of fresh attacks by the militants.

    Reports of decomposing bodies littering the streets of Damasak came as president Muhammadu Buhari denounced the Islamists as a bogus religious group and vowed a hard line against them when he comes to power at the end of next month.

    Northeast Nigeria has been relentlessly targeted throughout the jihadists' six-year uprising but there had been a lull in violence in recent weeks.

    A coalition of troops from Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria has claimed major victories since February, reportedly flushing the militants out of areas they previously controlled.

    The discovery of hundreds of bodies, including women and children, and the latest attacks underlined both the brutality of the conflict and the continuing threat posed by the extremists.

    • Mass graves -

    The grim find in Damasak "far outnumbered" that of about 100 bodies found in a mass grave under a bridge after the town was liberated in early March by Chadian forces, said local resident Kaumi Kusur.

    "Dead bodies were found in houses, streets and many more in the Damasak River which has dried up," he said, adding the victims were buried in 20 mass graves at the weekend.

    Mohammed Sadiq, another local who helped in the burials on Saturday, put the death toll at more than 400 but the Borno state government did not state a precise figure, giving a toll of "hundreds".

    The victims had been covered by sand from the encroaching desert, with the burial ordered by the state authorities, which are looking at the return of thousands of people displaced by the violence.

    Buhari, who takes office on May 29, was elected last month on a pledge of a tougher approach to Boko Haram than the current administration of President Goodluck Jonathan.

    The former military ruler said in a statement issued by his All Progressives Congress party: "No religion allows for the killing of children in school dormitories, in markets and places of worship.

    "They have nothing to do with religion. They are terrorists and we are going to deal with them as we deal with terrorists."

    Buhari was speaking after Boko Haram fighters stormed the island of Karamga on Lake Chad in motorised canoes before sunrise on Saturday.

    Troops from Niger stationed on the island "were caught off guard" and suffered heavy losses, said Umar Yerima, a fisherman who witnessed the raid but escaped by hiding in long grass near the shore.

    Niger's military confirmed the attack but did not provide a death toll. A security source in Chad said Niger lost 48 soldiers and another 36 were missing.

    Another source, an official from southeastern Niger's Diffa region, said the toll was much higher at 80 dead and some 30 missing.

    Yerima told AFP the Islamic State group-allied militants "turned their guns" onto civilians after overpowering the troops, firing at people who had jumped into the water to avoid detection.

    Some residents were also burnt alive in their homes, he added.

    • Shot dead -

    On Friday, suspected Boko Haram fighters disguised as soldiers intercepted a group of people trying to return to their homes to collect abandoned food supplies in northeastern Yobe state.

    "The men, 21 of them, were stopped at Bultaram (village) by gunmen we believe are Boko Haram who shot them dead," said Baba Nuhu, an official with the Gujba local government.

    Like many Gujba residents, Nuhu and Haruna Maram, the brother of one of the victims, have sought refuge from the violence in Yobe's capital Damaturu.

    "My brother and 20 others wanted to bring back their grains to augment their lean food supplies," Maram said. "Unfortunately, they were killed by (the) same Boko Haram we ran away from."

    Gujba is one of a handful of districts in Yobe that Boko Haram captured during its sweeping offensive from mid-2014.

    It was also the scene of a gruesome massacre at an agricultural college in 2013 that targeted students sleeping their dormitories.

    Community leaders have warned civilians are still at risk, especially those returning to remote areas like Gujba where the military's deployment has typically been thin.

    Many experts agree that Boko Haram is likely to transition from capturing and holding territory to reverting to a pattern of hit-and-run attacks.

    Analysts say boastings from regional armies should be treated with caution, as the Islamists are far from defeated and can easily regroup, especially if there is a let-up in the military pressure.

    burs-bs-phz/mfp

    © 1994-2015 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: World Bank
    Country: Gambia

    WASHINGTON, April 27, 2015—The World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors approved a total of US$5 million in new financing for The Gambia to strengthen primary health care services and improve community nutrition for the country’s most vulnerable children and women. The project is expected to reach approximately 477,000 direct beneficiaries (children under five and women aged 15-49 years) by 2019.

    The additional financing in the form of an International Development Association (IDA*) grant and a credit supports the original Maternal and Child Nutrition and Health Results Project, which brings community-based nutrition and primary health care services for women and children in three of the country’s poorest regions: the Upper River, the Central River, and the North Bank West Regions. The additional financing expands the coverage to the North Bank East and Lower River Regions.

    The Gambia has been affected by the threat of two potential emergencies. The Ebola epidemic could surface in The Gambia at any time, which, given the weak capacity of the health system to respond effectively, is a major concern. Even with no Ebola cases reported till now, the tourism industry has taken a substantial hit. In addition, the 2014 rains arrived late and were erratic, affecting agriculture, which is heavily dependent on rain and the main source of livelihood for two thirds of the population. In The Gambia, maternal and child nutrition and health outcomes have to a large extent stagnated or even deteriorated. As a result, the maternal mortality ratio as well as the prevalence of stunting for children under-five in The Gambia are high and lag behind several nearby countries.

    The additional financing would consolidate early achievements and support the government’s response to the dual emergencies enhancing food and nutrition security activities, scaling up results-based financing for community nutrition and primary health care services, strengthening the Ebola response, and replenishing the initial reallocation of funds for Ebola. Enhancing household food security, community nutrition and primary health care will strengthen the resilience of communities and households to food and nutrition insecurity shocks.

    “This project is very innovative in that it combines the purchase of health and nutrition results from communities and health facilities through results-based financing,” said Rifat Hasan, World Bank Task Team Leader for this Project. “Through this reform, health facilities and communities are motivated to work harder and more closely together to improve the delivery and increase the use of better quality services for children and women’s nutrition and health. By simultaneously addressing supply-side and demand-side barriers, the Maternal and Child Nutrition and Health Results Project will go a long way towards improving health and nutrition of vulnerable families.”

    Under this project, health facilities will receive payments if they can show that their services have increased in number and improved in quality. Similarly, communities will receive payments if they can show that indicators of hygiene, sanitation, and health and nutrition behaviors have improved. Pregnant women will receive incentive payments for seeking antenatal care within the first trimester followed by three additional visits in the course of their pregnancy. Today’s project combines supply-side and demand-side interventions to enhance community nutrition and primary health care for women and children, who often bear the most severe consequences, in the poorest regions with a longer term goal of contributing to poverty reduction and shared prosperity.

    *The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 77 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change for 2.8 billion people, the majority of whom live on less than $2 a day. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 112 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $18 billion over the last three years, with about 50 percent going to Africa.

    MEDIA CONTACTS

    In Washington
    Aby Toure
    Tel : (202) 473-8302
    akonate@worldbank.org

    In Dakar, Senegal
    Mademba Ndiaye
    Tel : 221-33 859 4140
    mademba@worldbank.org


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    Source: Food and Agriculture Organization
    Country: Botswana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe

    28 April 2015, Rome - Southern Africa's maize harvest is expected to shrink this year by some 26 percent compared with 2014's bumper crop, a situation that could trigger food price increases and adversely affect recent food security gains, FAO warned today.

    For 2015, the early production forecast for maize - a staple food throughout the subregion - stands at about 21.1 million tonnes, some 15 percent lower than the average for the last five years, FAO noted.

    The fall is mostly due to the impact of erratic weather conditions, including the late start of seasonal rains in November/December, followed by heavy rains that caused flooding in parts of some countries, and then a long dry spell in the southern areas of the subregion during February and early March.

    "Last year, the subregion saw a bumper harvest, which has made this year's harvest prospects look even weaker so we have to be cautious until governments, often with the support of FAO, have completed all the assessments in the coming days. FAO is closely monitoring the situation on the ground," said David Phiri, FAO's Subregional Coordinator for Southern Africa.

    An expected significant drop (some 33 percent less than in 2014) in the harvest of South Africa - the subregion's main producer and exporter accounts for most of the overall decline in maize production.

    Malawi and Zambia, the second and third biggest maize producers in the subregion, are also expected to register smaller harvests compared with the 2014 bumper crop. Lower maize harvests are also anticipated in Botswana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland and Zimbabwe.

    Prices on the rise

    The poor outlook is already having some impact on cereal markets. South Africa recorded significant price increases in February - although the rise eased in March following improved rains.

    These price increases are expected to mostly affect those countries that rely more on maize imports such as Namibia where relatively high price increases were already recorded in February.

    2014 bumper harvest resulted in ample stocks

    In most countries, maize prices have remained below the same period last year due to the current ample supplies, which could, however, rapidly dwindle.

    "The carry-over stocks from 2014's bumper maize crop is expected to partly offset the impact of lower domestic production and somewhat contribute to stabilising national supplies in some countries," said Phiri.

    Imports set to increase

    The poor outlook for 2015 is expected to result in increased imports in Southern Africa with forecasts for aggregate maize imports in the 2015/16 marketing year (May/April) indicating an increase to about 1.8 million tonnes, approximately double the low level of 2014/15 and one third above the average.

    The bulk of the growth in imports is expected from South Africa, mainly consisting of yellow maize used in the feed industry.

    In Zimbabwe, large volumes of maize imports are forecast, and larger import volumes than 2014 are also forecast in the deficit-producing countries of Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland. Given the contraction in South African export availabilities, alternative export supplies may be needed.

    2014 food security gains at risk

    The expected decline in 2015 maize production follows a favourable year in 2014 when ample supplies and low prices contributed to improved food security conditions that resulted in a significant decline of people in need of food assistance in the subregion, with Zimbabwe, for instance, recording a 75 percent decrease.

    "With the expected fall in maize production in the subregion, and the resulting price hikes, the improved food security situation may be reversed in 2015/2016, especially if no timely interventions are made. Close monitoring is critical to trigger early action to reduce any negative effects on people's food security and livelihoods. This is at the core of FAO's efforts to build more resilient livelihoods," said Dominique Burgeon, FAO's Resilience Coordinator.


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Nigeria

    Kano, Nigeria | AFP | Tuesday 4/28/2015 - 13:15 GMT

    by Aminu ABUBAKR with Bukar HUSSAIN in Maiduguri

    Boko Haram still poses a threat to civilians, despite a military crackdown, officials and experts said on Tuesday, after hundreds of bodies were found in a liberated northeast Nigerian town.

    The grim discovery in Damasak, near Lake Chad in the far north of Borno state, came as the local government looked at the feasibility of returning thousands of people who fled the violence.

    Decomposing bodies were found in houses, on the streets and in a dried up river, some of them covered in desert sand, although it was unclear when the killings took place.

    The deaths, the level of destruction in the town, which was retaken in early March, and a separate attack that killed 21 displaced people in Yobe state, underlined the continuing risks posed by the Islamists.

    The chairman of the Borno State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Grema Terab, said more than 100,000 people were living in camps in the state capital Maiduguri or with relatives.

    "But we would not allow them to back to their domains until we (have) fully secured the towns and villages," he added.

    Bulama Mali Gubio, from the Borno Elders Forum civil society group, also called for tighter security before the displaced can return, including a permanent presence of troops.

    "There is no way people can go back to their homes in the present arrangement where soldiers leave the areas they retake from Boko Haram the moment the insurgents are pushed out," he told AFP.

    "Every time soldiers retake a town from Boko Haram the insurgents flee into the bush and lurk around. Once they understand the troops have withdrawn they resurface," he added.

    Better cooperation

    Gubio said there needed to be greater cooperation between the state and federal authorities, as well as the international community and private sector, to secure and rebuild the areas.

    "If we work in cooperation like a colony of ants we shall make substantial progress in six months," he added, pointing to post-conflict rebuilding in places such as Vietnam and Bosnia.

    At least 15,000 people have been killed since 2009 and more than 1.5 million made homeless as a result of Boko Haram's fight to create a hardline Islamic state in northeast Nigeria.

    On Friday, 21 internally displaced people (IDPs) were killed after returning to their homes in Bultaram village, in the Gujba area of Yobe, to collect abandoned food supplies.

    A separate attack on Saturday targeted Nigerien soldiers stationed on an island on Lake Chad before the militants turned their guns on civilians.

    Earlier this week, Islamist fighters forced hundreds of troops from Marte, also near Lake Chad, although the military denied the claim and said it had instead made a tactical withdrawal.

    'Soft targets'

    Security analysts said the attacks showed that despite an apparent lull and coalition forces claiming success against Boko Haram, the Islamic State-allied group was still present and a threat.

    "If Boko Haram could retake Marte with all the security deployment there it goes to show other areas with less security protection can be retaken," said Bawa Abdullahi Wase, who tracks the conflict.

    Some suggested they were biding their time, possibly regrouping and adapting strategy to the operations by coalition troops, as well as its new affiliation with the IS group.

    "Odds are it will only get worse," said Yan St-Pierre, from the Modern Security Consulting Group (MOSECON) in Berlin, recalling the wave of attacks that followed a similar hiatus last September.

    Boko Haram could now be conducting "business as usual", which could test the ability of the coalition to work together successfully," he added.

    Ryan Cummings, chief Africa analyst at consultants Red24, suggested Boko Haram may have tactically retreated, particularly to northern Cameroon, to avoid confrontation with the coalition.

    Focus now for Nigeria's incoming president Muhammadu Buhari and the country's neighbours is tackling Boko Haram within and outside its traditional area of operation, he added.

    "Given the prevailing situation, I think one would be hard-pressed to support the repopulation of IDP's in the northeast," he told AFP in an email exchange.

    "The fact is that the conditions which made them vulnerable to violence in the first place, ie the presence of a predatory armed group and a lack of governance/security structures, remains relevant in the current context," he said.

    Military victories against Boko Haram would likely spur the group to carry out retributive attacks against "soft" targets, with civilians in the firing line, he added.

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    © 1994-2015 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: UN Children's Fund
    Country: Cameroon, Nigeria


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    Source: Assessment Capacities Project
    Country: Afghanistan, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guatemala, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, India, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Kiribati, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Philippines, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Uganda, Ukraine, Vanuatu, World, Yemen

    Snapshot 22–28 April 2015

    Nepal: The 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit the country on 25 April has affected 8 million people. As of 28 April, 5,057 people have been reported dead, and more than 8,500 injured. Hundreds of thousands of people are living in tents, while the villages closest to the quake’s epicentre remain inaccessible.

    Burundi: President Nkurunziza has confirmed he is seeking a third term in power, and insecurity in the country is growing, with two killed during protests in the capital. 800 people are crossing into Rwanda every day. 20,400 are now in Rwanda, and 5,000 in DRC, as tensions relating to elections continue to increase.

    Niger: 3,080 cases of measles were recorded across the country from 1 January to 23 April, with 77% in Zinder region. WHO reported another 1,150 suspected cases of meningitis, including 129 deaths, have been recorded for all regions except Diffa 1 January–27 April.

    Updated: 28/04/2015. Next update: 05/05/2015

    Global Emergency Overview Web Interface


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    Source: World Food Programme, Government of Mauritania
    Country: Mali, Mauritania

    FSMS Juin 2014: FAITS SAILLANTS

    A. En début janvier 2015, 23,8% des ménages mauritaniens sont en insécurité alimentaire. C’est le taux le plus élevé observé en période post-récoltes depuis la mise en place du système biannuel de surveillance de la sécurité alimentaire des ménages. En janvier 2014, 18,5% des ménages étaient en insécurité alimentaire.

    B. Ce taux d’insécurité alimentaire ne varie que faiblement comparativement à la période de soudure 2014 où 26,3% des ménages étaient en insécurité alimentaire. De ce fait, plusieurs mé-nages qui étaient en insécurité alimentaire au mois de juin ne sont pas sortis de soudure.

    C. L’insécurité alimentaire connait une évolution importante au Tagant (31,4%) mais les wilayas du sud et de l’est du pays restent les plus touchées par le phénomène: Hodh Echarghi (37,1%),
    Gorgol (35,1%) et Guidimakha (33,1%). La situation reste stable à Nouakchott où 17% des ménages sont en insécurité alimentaire.

    D. 837 000 personnes sont en insécurité alimentaire au début du mois de janvier 2015 contre 635.000 personnes à la même période de l’année précédente. Ces chiffres sont pratiquement similaires à ceux de la période de soudure 2014. Parmi ces personnes en insécurité alimentaire, 197 000 personnes sont en insécurité alimentaire sévère et 639 000 en insécurité alimentaire modérée. Les ménages dans cette seconde catégorie ont connu une forte progression aussi bien en effectif qu’en pourcentage. Cela traduit une dégradation progressive de la situation en particulier dans la zone de cultures pluviales confrontée pour la seconde année consécutive à une mauvaise campagne agricole.

    E. La majorité des ménages en insécurité alimentaire résident dans la zone agropastorale, la zone des cultures pluviales et dans la vallée du Fleuve Sénégal. Près de 600 000 personnes en insé-curité alimentaire dans le pays vivent dans ces zones. L’ensemble des personnes en insécurité alimentaire sévère dans ces 3 zones atteint 128 000 personnes. Contrairement à la crise de 2011/2012 où la zone de la Vallée du Fleuve a été quelque peu épargnée, cette année, elle est sérieusement affectée surtout sa partie est.

    F. La mauvaise pluviométrie en 2014 et ses conséquences sur la production agricole, l’élevage et la main d’œuvre agricole sont les premières causes de l’accroissement de l’insécurité alimentaire dans toutes les zones du pays. Les ménages qui n’ont rien récoltés ont essayé de vendre leurs petits ruminants pour pouvoir se procurer de la nourriture. Cela s’est traduit à plusieurs endroits du pays par une augmentation relativement importante de l’offre de bétail sur les marchés, qui à son tour a entrainé une baisse des prix des animaux provoquant ainsi une détérioration des termes de l’échange entre le petit bétail et les céréales ainsi qu’une réduction du pouvoir d’achat de ces ménages. Certains d’entre eux ont été contraints de ne consommer essentiellement que des céréales, de l’huile et du sucre entrainant ainsi une détérioration de leur situation de sécurité alimentaire avec des risque sur l’état nutritionnel des enfants.

    G. Ainsi, l’insécurité alimentaire constatée au mois de décembre 2014 est à la fois un problème de disponibilité (faibles production de céréales locales et de niébé) mais surtout d’accessibilité due à la réduction de la production agricole destinée à la revente et à la baisse des ressources financières des ménages issue de la main d’œuvre agricole et de la vente des animaux.

    H. Le Gouvernement, prenant la mesure de la récurrence des crises liées aux facteurs climatiques, a souscrit à la mutuelle panafricaine de gestion des risques African Risk Capacity (ARC). Le mauvais déroulement de l’hivernage 2014 a entrainé le décaissement d’un montant de 6,3 millions de dollars USD au profit du Gouvernement. Ce financement devrait couvrir les besoins essentiels de quelques 300.000 personnes dans les zones agricoles les plus affectées par la sécheresse.

    I. Les interventions prioritaires du Gouvernement et de ses partenaires doivent cependant prendre en compte la nécessité d’une plus grande synergie des actions aussi bien dans le temps que dans l’espace afin d’optimiser les ressources et de couvrir le maximum de personnes dans le besoin tout en évitant les chevauchements.

    J. La période de soudure est attendue de façon précoce cette année. Pire, certaines zones du pays ne sont pas sorties de soudure depuis le mois d’avril 2013. Si on ajoute le fait que plusieurs de ces ménages ne se sont pas encore relevés des crises passées en particulier celle de 2011/2012, on peut s’accorder sur l’urgence de mettre en place cette assistance et de s’assurer qu’elle cible les plus vulnérables.


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    Bamako, Mali | AFP | Tuesday 4/28/2015 - 15:51 GMT |

    The head of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali said Tuesday an attack by loyalist fighters on rebel positions in the north threatened "months of intense negotiations" for peace.

    The UN's MINUSMA force head Mongi Hamdi condemned the pro-government Imghad and Allies Tuareg Self-Defence Group (GATIA) which seized key positions in the desert town of Menaka from rebels on Monday.

    "I urge the parties to immediately cease hostilities and return to their positions," Hamdi said in a statement, accusing GATIA of "serious violations" of a ceasefire agreement.

    "This resurgence of tensions threatens the efforts of all to restore lasting peace in Mali."

    The skirmish came after the main Tuareg rebel alliance, known as the Coordination for the Movements of Azawad (CMA), a group that GATIA opposes, announced it was committed to a deal to bring stability to the conflict-hit nation.

    The Malian government and a coalition of armed groups from the north known as the Platform had already signed the document, brokered by Algeria under UN auspices over the past eight months.

    But the CMA had been holding out, demanding an amendment guaranteeing political recognition for "Azawad", the name used by the Tuareg for the northern part of Mali.

    "Months of intense negotiations involving all parties to put an end to the Malian crisis could be threatened," Hamdi said.

    He added that he had met rebel leaders on Sunday in Mauritanian capital Nouakchott who "confirmed their intention to initial the agreement".

    The rebels blamed "elements of the Malian army and its militias" for Monday's attack but the government said in a statement it had learnt of the incident "with great surprise and a strong concern".

    It condemned "the resumption of hostilities and the resumption of violence at a time when, with the international community and stakeholders, all efforts are being made to reach a peace agreement".

    GATIA told AFP it had only ousted the CMA after the rebels engaged the pro-government group 40 kilometres (25 miles) southwest of Menaka.

    Meanwhile a security source from the UN peacekeeping mission told AFP there had been "several skirmishes on Tuesday" near the northwestern caravan town of Timbuktu.

    Fighting broke out between the army and rebels who had "fired gunshots, without serious consequences", the source said.

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    © 1994-2015 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali
    Country: Mali

    A la lumière des dangereux développements sur le terrain hier à Ménaka et aujourd’hui à Tombouctou, le Représentant Spécial du Secrétaire général (RSSG) et Chef de la MINUSMA, M. Mongi Hamdi, exprime sa plus vive préoccupation quant au processus de paix engagé il y a plus d’un an pour résoudre durablement et pacifiquement la crise sécuritaire malienne.

    « Tôt ce matin, à proximité de Tombouctou, des véhicules de la MINUSMA ont été pris pour cible à l’extérieur de la ville par la CMA. Il n’y a pas eu de victimes. La CMA nous indique qu’il s’agit d’une méprise de leur part et réclame le départ des FAMAs,» a déclaré le RSSG avant d’ajouter que « ces deux évènements sont extrêmement préoccupants car ils mettent le processus de paix en danger. A l’heure actuelle, nous établissons les faits. »

    Les accords de cessez-le feu signés par les parties prévoient qu’elles restent sur leurs positions pendant la période des négociations, et qu’elles s’abstiennent de tout acte, direct ou indirect, qui compromettrait les perspectives de paix. La MINUSMA, en toute impartialité, insiste pour que cet engagement soit respecté par tous.

    « Les équipes de la MINUSMA sur le terrain et à Bamako sont totalement engagées pour que cette spirale de tensions très inquiétante cesse au plus vite. Nous sommes en contact avec la Plateforme, la Coordination et le Gouvernement du Mali pour un retour au calme dans les plus brefs délais. Je renouvelle donc mon appel au calme afin de laisser toutes leurs chances au dialogue et à la paix. Je regrette la tournure que prennent les événements, mais je tiens à rester optimiste quant aux chances de voir aboutir le processus de paix le mois prochain. Il n’existe aucune alternative à la signature de l’Accord de paix, » a conclu le RSSG.


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