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- 09/09/15--14:14: _World: Women must b...
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- 09/10/15--10:53: _Nigeria: Nigeria: p...
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- 09/11/15--01:37: _Mali: In Mali, frag...
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- 09/09/15--03:59: Nigeria: Humanitarian Bulletin Nigeria Issue 05 | August 2015
Heavy rains and poor WASH conditions cause increased rates of malaria and AWD in Maiduguri.
High likelihood of increased prevalence of IPC 4 in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa.
Returnees from Cameroon have been relocated en masse to Maiduguri.
A range of coping mechanisms has been identified in IDP communities.
- 09/09/15--09:22: Nigeria: Nigeria: Humanitarian Dashboard (as of 31 August 2015)
- 09/09/15--09:41: Nigeria: Nigerian army releases 128 Boko Haram suspects
Although decreased rains are expected in West Africa, high ground moisture sustains the risk for floods.
- Poorly distributed rains strengthen seasonal deficits over parts of central Ethiopia, South Sudan and Uganda
- 09/09/15--13:24: Mali: Our humanitarian assistance in the Sahel region
- 09/10/15--10:53: Nigeria: Nigeria: protection monitoring summary, as of July 2015
- 09/11/15--00:48: World: Global Weather Hazards Summary September 11-17, 2015
Heavy rainfall in August has led to saturated ground conditions and localized flooding in several regions of West Africa. Heavy rainfall is forecast to continue across the region during the next week.
While the recent increase in precipitation in August is expected to lead to more favorable ground conditions, a delayed onset and uneven rainfall distribution observed during the June-September season may negatively impact cropping and pastoral conditions in the region.
Despite a recent increase in rainfall, the much delayed start to the rainfall season has resulted in drought, which has severely impacted ground conditions and led to livestock death across parts of north-central and eastern Ethiopia.
Significantly below-average rainfall during August has led to increased moisture deficits throughout several provinces in southern South Sudan and northern Uganda. Below-average rainfall is forecast in the region during the next week
- 09/11/15--01:37: Mali: In Mali, fragile progress requires extreme vigilance
- Homemade bomb -
- 09/11/15--07:51: Chad: Sahel Crisis 2015: Funding Status as of 11 September 2015
Le nombre estimé de personnes déplacées depuis le 21 juillet s’élève à plus de 48 120, désormais répartis dans 18 sites spontanés, des communautés hôtes et le long de l’axe Meli-Bol.
De ces personnes déplacées, 16 169 ont reçu une assistance humanitaire dans les sites de Bol centre, Yakoua, Kaya, Koudouboule, Koloum, Kafia, Kousseri, Tagal, Dar Nahim, Koulkime, et Bibi.
Des besoins urgents restent à combler dans les secteurs des abris, la sécurité alimentaire, l’eau, l’hygiène et l’assainissement et la santé.
Depuis début août, 39 femmes et enfants ont été libérés par les forces armées tchadiennes d’un groupe armé dans la région du lac.
- 09/11/15--09:39: Nigeria: Millions going hungry because of Boko Haram
BAMAKO, 9 septembre 2015 (IRIN) - Nombre d’habitants du nord du Mali nourrissaient l’espoir que leur quotidien s’améliore suite à la ratification d’un accord de paix en juin. Mais les affrontements continus dont le nord du pays est le théâtre menacent sans cesse davantage les moyens de subsistance de millions de personnes en affectant tous les aspects de leur quotidien, notamment l’accès à la nourriture, à l’eau, aux pâturages et à l’éducation.
Les populations peinent à trouver du travail et à cultiver leurs terres depuis l’éclatement du conflit en 2012, tandis que les effets du changement climatique et l’insécurité durable menacent toujours plus durement leur survie. On estime à 136 000 le nombre de réfugiés et à 90 000 celui des personnes déplacées à l’intérieur de leur propre pays (PDIP) ; bien que certains aient commencé à rentrer chez eux, la plupart vivent encore dans des communautés d’accueil ou dans des camps.
Afin de s’en sortir, entre 10 et 15 pour cent de la population malienne aurait emprunté de l’argent, vendu du bétail ou se serait livrée à une activité illégale (trafic), selon le Programme alimentaire mondial (PAM) et l’Organisation des Nations Unies pour l’alimentation et l’agriculture (FAO).
Pas de nourriture ni d’eau
On estime à environ 3,1 millions le nombre de personnes en situation d’insécurité alimentaire au Mali, d’après le Bureau de la coordination des affaires humanitaires des Nations Unies (OCHA). Cela signifie que près d’un cinquième de la population manque de nourriture ou n’a pas accès à des aliments nutritifs de type viande et légumes.
Pour l’essentiel, ces personnes vivent dans le nord où les déplacements forcés, l’effondrement des marchés et l’accès humanitaire restreint pour la distribution d’aide alimentaire ont abouti à ces conditions. La situation s’est dégradée avec la restriction de l’accès aux pâturages pour les animaux et le nombre croissant d’agriculteurs abandonnant leurs champs par crainte des attaques de groupes armés.
« Nous sommes très durement frappés par la crise », a dit Kadidja Konaté, une agricultrice de Konna. Les années précédentes, a-t-elle expliqué, le gouvernement lui fournissait une aide alimentaire - notamment du riz, de l’huile de cuisson et du millet. Cette année, elle n’a rien reçu du tout.
Le gouvernement – épaulé, entre autres, par le PAM, la FAO et le Comité international de la Croix-Rouge (CICR) - n’a jusqu’alors été en mesure de n’atteindre que 22 000 personnes sur les 45 000 visées par l’octroi d’une aide à l’agriculture et à l’élevage cette année.
En dépit de taux de précipitations supérieurs à la moyenne, des pluies irrégulières ont été signalées en début de saison dans de nombreuses régions du pays, d’après le Système national d’alerte précoce, ce qui a perturbé les cycles de plantation.
« En temps normal, on observe quelques bonnes années entre deux sécheresses, pendant lesquelles les communautés peuvent se relever », a dit Wanalher Ag Alwaly, consultant humanitaire à Gao. « Au Mali, en raison de l’insécurité permanente, les communautés sont moins résilientes. »
Pour ne rien arranger, plus de 54 000 personnes sont privées d’un accès adéquat à de l’eau potable dans le nord du Mali, signale l’OCHA. De nombreuses sources d’eau se sont asséchées, y compris des étangs et des puits, en conséquence du manque de pluies accusé en début de saison. Certaines pompes sont en ruine, et ne peuvent être réparées du fait du contexte sécuritaire.
Pas d’accès au marché
De mai à juillet 2015, l’accès aux marchés de Tombouctou a également été gêné par l’insécurité. La situation s’est légèrement améliorée depuis, mais la liberté de mouvement est encore limitée dans certains villages par peur du harcèlement et du pillage.
« Pour beaucoup, se rendre au marché était compliqué et, dans certains cas, des personnes ont été attaquées et volées sur le chemin du retour », a dit Jean-Pierre Nereyabagabo, coordinateur du programme de sécurité économique du CICR au Mali.
À Ménaka, une ville proche de la frontière avec le Niger dont la population se compose essentiellement de Touaregs nomades, les denrées de base comme le riz, le millet et l’huile de cuisson sont devenues rares car les attaques de bandits visant les camions et les véhicules privés dissuadent les chauffeurs de transporter des biens depuis la ville de Gao, au nord, ou le Niger voisin.
« Les camions circulant par la route depuis Gao ou Ansongo sont arrêtés par des hommes armés qui volent les véhicules, détroussent les passagers et les chauffeurs, et parfois même tuent [ces derniers] », a dit Bajan Ag Hamatou, une figure politique locale de Ménaka.
D’après M. Ag Hamatou, des centaines de tonnes de nourriture, dont de l’aide alimentaire, ont été volées entre janvier et juillet de cette année.
« La population souffre », a-t-il dit.
Au moins 715 000 enfants de moins de cinq ans sont atteints de malnutrition aiguë dans le nord du Mali, rapporte l’OCHA.
Une enquête SMART récente a révélé que le taux de malnutrition aiguë globale (GAM) était de 12,4 pour cent, et celui de malnutrition aiguë sévère (MAS) de 2,8 pour cent. À Tombouctou, où se déroule le gros des combats, ces taux atteignent 17, 5 pour cent et 13,5 pour cent respectivement.
Selon la classification de l’Organisation mondiale de la santé (OMS), un taux de GAM supérieur à 10 pour cent est considéré comme « sévère ».
« De nombreuses femmes enceintes et mères allaitantes n’ont pas les moyens de s’acheter de la viande ou des légumes pour elles-mêmes ou pour leurs enfants », a dit Moussa Daou, médecin à la clinique Cescom de Mopti, en expliquant que dans certaines régions les prix ont été multipliés par deux voire trois.
Disparition des pâturages
Le Mali connaît un climat de plus en plus chaud et sec depuis les années 1960, et les niveaux de précipitations y ont chuté de 30 pour cent depuis 1998. Le désert gagne du terrain vers le sud à un rythme de 48 kilomètres par an, contraignant des communautés entières à migrer en les repoussant vers des territoires occupés par d’autres groupes.
Sekou Ladjou, un berger de Konna, dans la région malienne de Mopti, a dit à IRIN qu’il avait vu « Les cours d’eau diminuer et les pâturages disparaître » avec la raréfaction des pluies.
Faute de pouvoir s’offrir du fourrage, certains éleveurs nomades ont vendu une partie de leur troupeau en échange d’espèces afin de pouvoir s’acheter des denrées de base pour nourrir leur famille.
Depuis le début de l’année 2015, un nouveau groupe islamiste radical - le Mouvement de libération du Macina (MLM) – a perpétré des attaques dans le centre du Mali, du côté de la ville dont M. Ladjou est originaire, contrariant chaque fois davantage l’accès aux routes nomades traditionnelles et aux pâturages. Dans certaines zones, des groupes armés ont détruit les pâturages et les points d’eau. « Les éleveurs nomades n’osent pas s’aventurer loin du village et ceux qui le font s’exposent au risque de se faire voler par les bandits », a dit M. Ladjou.
Dans un rapport récent de Human Rights Watch (HRW), des agriculteurs et des commerçants rapportent avoir été pris en embuscade et détroussés alors qu’ils se rendaient au marché. Alors que les groupes armés prennent le contrôle de certaines régions et d’importantes routes de commerce, des communautés entières risquent de se retrouver piégées sans accès à de la nourriture.
Les attaques et les affrontements incessants ont provoqué la fermeture de quelque 450 écoles dans la région, contrariant l’éducation de plus de 20 500 élèves. Au moins 100 de ces écoles ont fermé depuis janvier.
En outre, les examens de fin d’année ont été interrompus dans les régions de Gao, Tombouctou et Mopti, empêchant de nombreux élèves de valider leur année ou d’accéder à l’université. À Douentza, dans la région de Mopti, le taux d’absentéisme aux examens du Diplôme d’études fondamentales est passé de huit pour cent en 2013 à 19 pour cent cette année, d’après l’OCHA.
Dans certains cas, le manque d’éducation et l’incapacité des familles à subvenir à leurs besoins ont poussé des enfants à rejoindre ces groupes armés.
« Les motifs pour lesquels des enfants s’engagent dans les groupes armés sont nombreux : ils sont notamment attirés par les fausses promesses d’éducation ou d’un salaire pour leur famille ou pensent qu’ils seront en mesure de protéger leurs familles et leurs villages contre d’autres acteurs armés », a dit Ramsey Ben-Achour, spécialiste de la protection de l’enfance chez UNICEF.
TWIN SUICIDE BLASTS KILL AT LEAST 30
On 3 September, two suicide blasts killed at least 30 people and injured over a hundred in northern Cameroon near the border with Nigeria where recurrent attacks by suspected Boko Haram militants have restricted movement and humanitarian response to those affected by the violence.
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC (CAR)
CONCERN OVER IDP CAMP CLOSURE
On 28 August the Central African Government announced its decision to close the M'Poko site next to Bangui’s International Airport runway for internally displaced persons (IDPs) as of 15 September, where some 146 families still reside, the main reason being to enable the construction of a wall around the airport. The humanitarian community has expressed its concern and has called on all stakeholders concerned to prioritize dialogue in order to reach a feasible solution.
NEW POLIO CASE CONFIRMED
On 7 September, WHO announced that a case of type 2 poliovirus (which is spread after being excreted by people who have been immunized with live oral polio vaccine) has been confirmed in Mali’s capital Bamako. The country is on high alert after the authorities detected a paralysis case with onset on 20 July. The patient is a 19-month old child of Guinean nationality whose paralysis occurred seven days prior to arriving in Bamako to seek health care. The last case of wild polio virus in Mali dates back to June 2011 in Timbuktu Region.
MILITIA HANDS OVER CONTROL OF TOWN
On 6 September, the pro-government militia group GATIA (Groupe autodéfense touareg Imghad et allies) handed over control of the northern Mali town of Anefis to government forces. Clashes in the town over the past month had forced hundreds of civilians to flee to nearby Kidal. WFP has pre-positioned 76.7 tons of food in Kidal some of which will be used to assist around 2,000 people in Anefis.
OVER 2.1 MILLION DISPLACED IN THE NORTHEAST
More than 2.1 million people or 300,000 households are now internally displaced in northern Nigeria, according to IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM). The increase in the number of IDPs from the 1.3 million recorded in the June DTM report can be attributed to the intensification of attacks carried out by insurgents as well as to improved access to previously inaccessible areas of Borno State where currently there are well over 1.6 million Internally Displaced People (IDP).
30 KILLED IN ATTACKS
On 4 September 30 people were killed and several more injured when a person-borne IED was detonated in Linkmara village market in Gwoza Local Government Area, Borno state.
FLOODS AFFECT OVER 300,000
An estimated 302,200 people have been affected by floods in 10 Local Government Areas in Adamawa State since 30 August. The floods were triggered by spillage due to damage at a nearby dam in Gombe State. Recent heavy rainfall has also worsened the flooding. The National Emergency Management Agency has held a meeting to map out the response, and UNICEF and ICRC have conducted preliminary assessments.
2 CASES IN GUINEA AND SIERRA LEONE, LIBERIA DECLARED EBOLA-FREE On 1 September, one confirmed case was reported in Ratoma sub-prefecture in Conakry, Guinea. On 5 September one case was confirmed in Sierra Leone in Kambia district. On 3 September, the Ministry of Health and WHO declared Liberia free of Ebola transmission for the second time this year. Liberia has now begun a 90-day intensive surveillance period. A medical team conducting experimental Ebola vaccination in Guinea began vaccination in neighbouring Sierra Leone. The Phase III trial (which tests the effectiveness of a vaccine) of the VSV-EBOV vaccine is being carried out using a so-called ‘ring vaccination’ strategy that involves vaccinating all contacts and contacts of contacts
30 MORTS DANS DES ATTAQUES-SUICIDE
Le 3 septembre, deux attentats suicide ont tué au moins 30 personnes et blessé plus d'une centaine dans le nord du Cameroun. Les attaques récurrentes des militants présumés de Boko Haram ont restreint la réponse humanitaire.
REPUBLIQUE CENTRAFRICAINE (RCA)
INQUIÉTUDE AUTOUR DE LA FERMETURE D’UN CAMP DE PERSONNES DÉPLACÉES
Le 28 août, le gouvernement centrafricain a annoncé sa décision de fermer le site de M'Poko à côté de l'aéroport international de Bangui pour les personnes déplacées internes (PDI) à compter du 15 septembre, où quelques 146 familles résident encore, afin de permettre la construction d'un mur autour de l'aéroport. La communauté humanitaire a exprimé sa préoccupation et a appelé toutes les parties prenantes concernées à privilégier le dialogue afin de parvenir à une solution réalisable.
NOUVEAU CAS CONFIRMÉ DE POLIOMYÉLITE
Le 7 septembre, l'OMS a annoncé qu'un cas de poliovirus de type 2 (qui se propage après avoir été excrété par des gens qui ont été vaccinés contre la polio par voie orale) a été confirmé à Bamako. Le pays est en état d'alerte après que les autorités ont détecté un cas de paralysie le 20 juillet. Le patient est un enfant de nationalité guinéenne âgé de 19 mois dont la paralysie eu lieu sept jours avant d'arriver à Bamako pour des soins de santé. Le dernier cas de polio virus sauvage au Mali remonte à juin 2011 dans la région de Tombouctou.
UNE MILICE CÈDE LE CONTRÔLE D’ANEFIS
Le 6 septembre, le groupe de milice GATIA (Groupe autodéfense Touareg Imghad et alliés) a cédé le contrôle de la ville d'Anefis, au nord du Mali, aux forces gouvernementales. Les affrontements dans la ville au cours du mois passé ont forcé des centaines de civils à fuir à proximité de Kidal. Le PAM a pré-positionné 76,7 tonnes de nourriture à Kidal, dont une partie sera utilisée pour aider environ 2 000 personnes dans Anefis.
PLUS DE 2,1 MILLIONS DE PERSONNES DÉPLACÉES DANS LE NORD
Plus de 2,1 millions de personnes soit 300 000 ménages sont maintenant déplacées dans le nord du Nigeria, selon la Matrice de suivi des déplacements de l'OIM (DTM). L'augmentation du nombre de personnes déplacées, depuis le 1,3 million enregistré dans le rapport DTM de juin, peut être attribuée à l'intensification des attaques menées par les insurgés ainsi que l’amélioration de l'accès à des zones auparavant inaccessibles de l'État de Borno, où il y a actuellement plus de 1,6 million de PDI.
30 TUES DANS DES ATTAQUES
Le 4 septembre, 30 personnes ont été tuées et plusieurs autres blessées lorsqu'une personne a déclenché un engin explosif improvisé (EEI) dans le marché du village Linkmara dans la zone de gouvernement local Gwoza, dans l'Etat de Borno.
LES INONDATIONS AFFECTENT PLUS DE 300 000 PERSONNES
Environ 302 200 personnes ont été touchées par les inondations dans 10 zones de gouvernement local de l'Etat de l’Adamawa, depuis le 30 août. Les inondations ont été provoquées par un déversement en raison de dommages à un barrage dans l'État de Gombe. De récentes fortes pluies ont également aggravé la situation. L'Agence nationale de gestion des situations d'urgence (NEMA) a tenu une réunion pour planifier la réponse et l'UNICEF et le CICR ont procédé à des évaluations préliminaires.
2 CAS EN GUINEE ET EN SIERRA LEONE, LE LIBERIA DECLARE EXEMPT DE
Le 1er septembre, un cas confirmé a été signalé dans la sous-préfecture de Ratoma à Conakry, en Guinée. Le 5 septembre un cas a été confirmé en Sierra Leone dans le district de Kambia. Le 3 septembre, le ministère de la Santé et l'OMS ont déclaré le Libéria exempt l’épidémie pour la deuxième fois cette année. Le Libéria a débuté une période de surveillance intensive de 90 jours. Une équipe médicale ayant conduit des vaccinations expérimentales en Guinée a commencé la vaccination en Sierra Leone. L'essai de la phase III (qui teste l'efficacité d'un vaccin) du vaccin VSV-EBOV est effectuée en utilisant une stratégie dite "vaccination en anneau" qui implique la vaccination de tous les contacts et les contacts de contacts
The increase in security incidents in the northeast, particularly in Borno and Yobe states, has resulted in fresh displacement. The fifth round of the Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM), conducted in July and August 2015, showed 2.2 million internally displaced persons (IDPs). The previous DTM assessments were conducted in six states of north-east Nigeria. The most reccent one has included two additional in the central part of the country (Abuja and Nasarawa). 52 per cent of the total increase in the number of IDPs compared to the last DTM (June 2015) is mainly due to the intensification of attacks by the insurgents.
With the poor security situation and limited access to the affected areas or population, compounded by the limited resources to respond to the urgent shelter and NFI needs of the IDP and returnee populations are resulting in the increased vulnerability of already vulnerable groups; viz. Women, children and the elderly (53% of the IDP population are female and 47 % are male. Children under 18 constitute 58% of the IDP population and more than half of them are 5 years old or younger).
WASH and Shelter are still significant needs, as demand has increased as a result of ongoing displacement, returns from Cameroon, Chad, and Niger and the heavier-than-anticipated rains.
Maiduguri, Nigeria | AFP | Wednesday 9/9/2015 - 14:52 GMT
Nigeria's army said on Wednesday it had released 128 detainees held on suspicion of being Boko Haram militants, two months after nearly 200 others were freed after security screening.
Human rights groups have repeatedly accused the military of arbitrary detention of civilians in the country's northeast, which has been wracked by Islamist violence in the last six years.
Senior commanders have strongly rejected claims of wrongful imprisonment, torture, ill-treatment and even extra-judicial killings of prisoners.
A batch of 182 detainees was released in early July and on Wednesday 128 more -- 109 men, seven women and 12 boys -- were handed over to the Borno state governor Kashim Shettima in Maiduguri.
All had been arrested across the state as part of counter-insurgency operations, said Nigeria's highest-ranking army officer, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, who was at the ceremony.
They were declared "clean" after screening from military intelligence officers, the police and members of the Department of State Security or secret police, the chief of army staff added.
"This is (a) clear manifestation that the army is clearly professional," Tukur said at the handover.
Amnesty International said in June there was sufficient evidence for the International Criminal Court to probe senior Nigerian officers for war crimes because of the treatment of detainees.
At least 20,000 mostly young men and boys have been arrested during the conflict while hundreds of people were unlawfully killed and thousands more died in military custody, the group alleged.
UN rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein echoed Amnesty's concerns.
President Muhammadu Buhari, who has made defeating Boko Haram a priority and vowed to review military rules of engagement to try to end concerns about rights violations, has promised to probe the claims.
Last month he gave his new team of military three months to defeat the Islamic State group-allied rebels, whose insurgency has left at least 15,000 dead and displaced more than two million since 2009.
© 1994-2015 Agence France-Presse
1) While a recent increase in August precipitation is expected to lead to more favorable ground moisture, a delayed onset and uneven rainfall distribution observed during the June-September season may negatively impact cropping and pastoral conditions in the region.
2) Despite recent increase in rainfall, the much delayed start to the rainfall season has resulted in drought, which has severely impacted ground conditions and already led to livestock death across parts of north-central and eastern Ethiopia.
3) Heavy August rainfall has led to a saturation of ground conditions and localized flooding in several regions of West Africa. The continuation of heavy rainfall remains forecast across the region for the upcoming outlook.
4) Well below-average rainfall during August has led to a strengthening of moisture deficits throughout several provinces in southern South Sudan and northern Uganda. Below-average rainfall is expected in the region for the upcoming outlook period.
Le département de la Kadey entretien depuis longtemps des liens importants avec la République Centrafricaine voisine. Il a ainsi récemment été très marqué par les conflits de l'autre côté de la frontière et notamment par l'arrivée massive de réfugiés.
The semiarid Sahel region spans from the Sahara Desert in the north to the humid savannahs in the south. The countries in the Sahel region are among the poorest and least developed in the world. The food crisis is widespread and there are several on-going military conflicts in the region.
The Swedish support to the Sahel region is focused on Chad, Niger, Mali and Nigeria, with additional support to Cameroon, Burkina Faso and Mauritania.
A great majority of the population in the Sahel region depends directly or indirectly on small-scale farming. This makes the population highly vulnerable to droughts and other natural disasters. The dry climate and the recurrent famines are permanent obstacles for the development of the region. It is estimated that 5.8 million children will be acutely malnourished.
Lack of food, poor water and problems in maintaining good hygiene, together with malaria and other infectious diseases has resulted in a child mortality rate that is among the highest in the world. The UN estimates that over 20 million people (2015) in the region are food insecure.
The population density in the Sahel is low, only one person per square kilometre. Weak states, and the fact that the long borders between the countries are difficult to control, have contributed to a situation where criminal gangs and armed groups can move relatively freely. There are on-going armed conflicts in several countries in the region. In Mali alone three million people were forced to flee their homes after extreme Islamist groups temporarily managed to take control of parts of the country in 2012-2013.
Sida support to the Sahel region
The Sahel region has for many years been one of the largest recipients of Swedish humanitarian aid. In 2014, Sida's humanitarian assistance to the region amounted to about SEK 260 million. The funds are mainly channelled through the UN system and international organizations. The humanitarian aid is devoted to saving lives, as well as strengthening people’s capacity so that they will be better prepared for the next disaster. Sweden also provides support personnel with expertise in humanitarian relief to various UN agencies through the Swedish Civil Contigencies Agency (MSB).
Examples of Sida's support to the Sahel region
Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) Burkina Faso: NRC provides construction material and equipment to refugee families from Mali so that they can build new settlements. Shelter materials and construction methods have been adapted to local customs and functions in cooperation with the refugees.
UNHCR Chad: The refugee crisis in Chad has been going on for over 15 years and the country has received more than 450,000 refugees from Sudan, Central African Republic and Nigeria. As a way to empower the households and break their dependency on aid, UNHCR is working through the project "Seeds for Solutions" to provide opportunities for refugees to start new businesses, animal husbandry or cultivations.
Islamic Relief Chad: There are many Internally Displaced Persons (IDP’s) in Chad who lack access to water resources, capital and arable land to start a new life. Islamic Relief will help municipalities that receive new inhabitants to drill wells, build dams to store rainwater and help the IDPs, especially women, to start their own small-scale farming.
UN humanitarian coordination office, OCHA Niger: Coordination is key to making sure that humanitarian aid is delivered in the most efficient way possible. When 105,000 Nigerians crossed the border to the Diffa region in Eastern Niger, donor coordination was a pre-condition for an efficient humanitarian aid.
9 September 2015 – Increased attention needs to be given to women so they can be empowered to actively help counter terrorism and violent extremism around the world, a senior United Nations counter-terrorism official told a news conference in New York today.
“Terrorist groups such as Daesh, Boko Haram and Al Shabaab are becoming increasingly creative in their strategies by also including women, [who] take a more active role in their criminal enterprise,” said Jean-Paul Laborde, the Executive Director of the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED). “I would even say ‘forcing’ women to take this active role, but this is my word.”
Mr. Laborde was briefing reporters ahead of a meeting of the UN Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee on the role of women in countering terrorism and violent extremism.
“Until recently, terrorism has been viewed predominantly as a male problem,” Mr. Laborde stated. “In reality, terrorist organizations are gradually using women to recruit other women […] including women to act as suicide bombers.”
He further explained that many do not even know they are recruited to serve this purpose.
Recently, thousands of women in Iraq, Kenya and Nigeria were abducted by terrorist groups. Three women from these countries were invited to the press conference to share first-hand stories and to speak about their work fighting this trend.
Among them was Hanaa Edwar, a women’s activist from Iraq who underlined how the absence of security and stability in her country since 2003 has created weak state institutions and chaos, as well as influenced the growth of local militias.
“Daesh, the so-called Islamic State, occupied about one-third of our country in June 2015. This was a very hard moment in our Iraqi history, especially as the suffering of people increased every day,” said Ms. Edwar, adding that between 2003 and 2014, around 14,000 women in Iraq were killed.
She explained that the scale of gender-based crimes has been horrible, with sexual violence being used as a tool in the terrorists’ policy; as a result, many women have committed suicide due to the absence of safety, human rights and institutions to seek care.
Last July, Daesh reportedly announced a list of 2,070 people who were killed. Among them were 300 women, many of them lawyers, journalists, activists, or employees in the Government.
Nonetheless, Ms. Edwar underlined that she is hopeful thanks to the work of many non-governmental organizations in the county, several of which she founded.
“I feel hope when I look at the growth of the movement, the women’s movement, civil society movements against this terrorism and extremism,” she said. “We do a lot inside the community. We try to work with the children and young people to make them aware [of] how to counter terrorism.”
She also mentioned that a regional forum of women activists in the Middle East recently addressed how to counter “this heinous policy of terrorism,” but insisted that the support of the international community is needed.
9 septembre 2015 – Des efforts supplémentaires doivent être entrepris afin de permettre aux femmes de prendre une part active à la lutte contre le terrorisme et l'extrémisme violent, a déclaré mercredi un haut responsable des Nations Unies lors d'une conférence de presse au siège de l'Organisation, à New York.
« Les groupes terroristes tels que Daech, Boko Haram et Al-Chabab se montrent de plus en plus créatifs dans leurs stratégies, notamment en incluant davantage les femmes qui jouent désormais un rôle actif dans leur entreprises criminelles », a indiqué le chef de la Direction exécutive du Comité contre le terrorisme (DECT), Jean-Paul Laborde. « Je dirais même 'en forçant' les femmes à jouer ce rôle actif, mais cela n'engage que moi… », a-t-il ajouté à l'attention des journalistes, auxquels il s'adressait quelques instants avant d'assister à une réunion du comité de sanctions du Conseil de sécurité de l'ONU sur ce sujet.
« Jusqu'à récemment, le terrorisme a principalement été perçu comme un problème masculin », a poursuivi M. Laborde, ajoutant que les organisations terroristes utilisent en réalité de plus en plus de femmes afin de recruter d'autres femmes ou de les utiliser comme kamikazes, ce que beaucoup d'entre elles ignorent, a-t-il précisé.
Alors que des milliers de femmes en Iraq, au Kenya et au Nigéria ont récemment été enlevées par des groupes terroristes, plusieurs militantes des droits des femmes issues de ces trois pays participaient également à la conférence de presse aux côtés de M. Laborde.
Parmi elles, Hanaa Edwar, une militante iraquienne, a souligné combien l'absence de sécurité et de stabilité dans son pays depuis 2003 a affaibli les institutions étatiques et contribué à la montée en puissance des milices locales.
« Daech, l'Etat soi-disant islamique, occupait environ un tiers de notre pays en juin 2015. Cela a été un moment très difficile dans l'histoire de l'Iraq », a-t-elle déclaré, ajoutant qu'entre 2003 et 2014, près de 14.000 femmes ont été tuées en Iraq.
Mme Edwar a décrit l'ampleur qu'ont prise les crimes à caractère sexuel en Iraq ainsi que l'utilisation de la violence sexuelle par les terroristes à des fins politiques et militaires. De nombreuses femmes iraquiennes, a-t-elle ajouté, commettent des suicides en raison de l'absence de sécurité et de respect de leurs droits.
Au mois de juillet, a poursuivi Mme Edwar, Daech aurait publié une liste de 2.070 personnes exécutées par le groupe terroriste, parmi lesquelles se trouvaient 300 femmes, dont de nombreuses avocates, journalistes, militantes ou fonctionnaires.
Mme Edwar s'est cependant déclarée pleine d'espoir face au succès du mouvement des femmes en Iraq.
« Nous agissons beaucoup à l'intérieur de la communauté », a-t-elle dit. « Nous essayons de travailler avec les enfants et les jeunes pour leur apprendre la façon de lutter contre le terrorisme ».
Summary findings and protection trends
-Top protection issues: Key protection issues facing IDPs include denial of access to assistance and separation of family members, with issues including discrimination, injuries due to armed violence, restricted freedom of movement and harassment/sexual violence thereafter.
-Vulnerable groups: The most prevalent categories of persons with specific needs reported are elderly heads of households, single elderly, child heads of household, pregnant/nursing mothers and female heads of household.
-Pressing needs: Vulnerable IDPs reported urgent assistance needs in food, health, education, livelihood and financial assistance, as well as psychosocial support.
-Safety & Security: Among those who reported not to feel safe in their communities, the main reasons cited are armed encounters, killing of civilians and destruction of property.
-Documentation: The most commonly reported reasons for not having a national ID/certificate are lack of knowledge on how to get an ID and having difficulty with accessing the civil register. The most reported impact of lack of access to documentation includes inability to access assistance, restriction on travel and difficulty in participating in voting.
-Housing, Land and Property: Destruction of housing/property, destruction of crops, forced evictions and land-related conflicts are reported as main protection concerns.
Background on Displacement in FCT
The Boko Haram insurgency and counter-insurgency activities thereto widened in scope and intensity throughout 2014 and 2015 in the three North East States of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa. There have been increased security incidents, leading to masses of internally displaced persons seeking safety. While the majority of displaced persons are currently in the most affected North East states,1 IDPs have also moved to other States throughout the country, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Further, in the North Central, fierce clashes have ensued between Fulani pastoralists and Tiv or other farmers as well as communal and religious violence in Kaduna, Plateau, Nasarawa and Zamfara, which has also contributed to large numbers of internally displaced persons.2
This displacement from North East and North Central conflicts led to the establishment of a number of IDP locations (including informal settlements and host communities) with the FCT. As of July 2015 FEMA has reported 20,659 IDPs in FCT originating from Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States.
GENEVA— The World Food Program (WFP) says it is scaling up aid for hundreds of thousands of hungry people, many severely malnourished, who have fled to Chad, Niger and Cameroon to escape attacks by Boko Haram militants in northeastern Nigeria.
According to the WFP, nearly three quarters of a million people in countries bordering Nigeria are facing a worsening food crisis linked to increased violence by Boko Haram militants.
WFP spokeswoman Bettina Luescher told VOA that recent attacks have led to a sudden surge of internally displaced people and refugees.
“We are quite concerned about people [who] are really afraid of Boko Haram. They are telling harrowing stories about fleeing from the violence, being on the run, sometimes traveling for several days and we have to make sure that especially the children and moms are being taken care of,” Luescher said.
The WFP says it plans to increase food aid to more than 650,000 vulnerable people in Chad, Niger and Cameroon. The agency warns the security crisis playing out in the region could lead to prolonged hunger.
Impacts from this emergency already are visible. The WFP reports a dramatic rise in malnutrition among children under five and women in the areas affected by Boko Haram violence. It says acute malnutrition rates in some areas of Chad have passed the World Health Organization’s emergency threshold of 22.5 percent.
In addition, WFP spokeswoman Luescher said peoples’ livelihoods in the countries of refuge are being severely disrupted.
“Closed borders have disrupted trade. They have halted access to farmland, prevented herders from reaching grazing land. Fishing, which is a really important part for living for many people in Chad, is banned for security reasons. In Chad, rural households in affected areas sold more livestock than in a normal year, meaning they are trying to get some money in order to buy food,” she said.
Luescher added that people are resorting to extreme measures to survive. She said one in three households reportedly are falling into debt and selling whatever they have to obtain food.
She said the WFP is appealing for $16.3 million to respond to the emergency.
Dry conditions forecast for areas of Central America already in severe drought
Africa Weather Hazards
Despite the signing of a peace agreement in June this year violence continues in the north of Mali and sporadically in other parts of the country. Disarming rebel groups and rooting out criminal networks are the immediate priorities of the government of Mali and the international community, which do not always see eye to eye. The African Union (AU) and the Peace and Security Council (PSC) have been involved in the peace process ever since war broke out in 2012.
On 20 June 2015, the last major rebel group finally put pen to paper on the Algiers Agreement, a peace plan designed to end the conflict in Mali and heal the great north–south divide that has been such a source of instability since independence in 1960.
The government, along with militias ostensibly loyal to it, had already signed in May, but the Coordination of Movements of Azawad (CMA) held out for more concessions.
The plan worked. The CMA, which, in its previous iteration (as the Movement for the National Liberation of Azawad) initiated the civil war in 2012, succeeded in having its fighters included in a security force for the north and won guarantees from the government that residents of the region would be better represented in government institutions.
Both the government and the international community welcomed the plan. ‘Hand in hand, let us make Mali better, more brotherly, more united than ever,’ said President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta on the conclusion of the deal. ‘Long live a reconciled Mali! Long live peace!’
The achievement of the peace plan was regarded by many as an unexpected twist, underlining yet again Mali’s seemingly unlimited capacity to surprise. In this country making predictions is a mug’s game – which only makes planning for the future even more difficult. Besides, as always, signing things is easy, but implementing them is another story altogether.
‘It is important not to have unrealistic expectations regarding the peace agreement. Its main objective is to lay down the framework that will enable the Malian parties to find a sustainable solution to the crisis. Consequently, the agreement does not cover either the structural causes or the root causes of the crisis, nor the different dimensions of the crisis. The Malian crisis goes beyond the distribution of political power between the different regions. The crisis facing the country extends to other important challenges such as drug trafficking, poor governance, lack of legitimacy and endemic corruption in all state institutions,’ said Ibrahim Maiga, a senior researcher at the Institute for Security Studies.
The PSC Report travelled to Mali in late August to assess the country’s progress. In the last few months there has been a noticeable increase in international media reports of violence and confrontation, specifically terrorist attacks. Most significant was the attack in early August on the Byblos Hotel in the central town of Sevare, which left 13 people dead, including five officials from the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).
Other incidents in the last month alone include a ‘heavy arms attack’ on a Malian army checkpoint, which killed two; an ambush of an army camp at Gourma-Rharous, which killed 10; another ambush of a checkpoint on the Diabaly-Nampala road in the Niono district, which killed two; and an attack by gunmen on Gaberi village, killing 10 civilians. In many cases the assailants remain unidentified.
As Bruce Whitehouse, a Bamako-based anthropologist, explained on his blog, the recent spate of attacks is a worrying sign that violence is actually spreading in the wake of the Algiers Agreement: ‘[T]he “bad guys” who, for the most part, once contained their nefarious activities to Mali’s unruly northern reaches – particularly the regions of Timbuktu, Gao, and Kidal – have penetrated into the rest of the country. Of Mali’s nine administrative regions plus the District of Bamako, each has now been the scene of at least one terrorist attack, and most have seen terrorist violence within the last 90 days.’
In light of this, the PSC Report wanted to obtain a first-hand, on-the-ground perspective on the current situation. Is the Algiers Agreement holding? How fragile is the peace? Is Mali on the brink of civil war again and, most importantly, is there anything that the AU and specifically the PSC can do about it?
Conversations with government officials, representatives of the AU and the UN, leading civil society figures, academics and Western diplomats – most of whom would only speak candidly if their anonymity was guaranteed – created a picture of a country that has made significant progress since the crisis of 2012, but which remains dangerously volatile. Complicating the situation is the fact that the threats come from several different directions and the various actors involved in finding a solution are not necessarily all trying to solve the same problem.
The first major challenge is managing – and eventually disarming – the various armed groups operating in central and northern Mali. Generally speaking, these fall into three broad categories: separatist rebels seeking an independent state in the north (the would-be state of Azawad), mainly under the banner of the CMA; militia groups opposed to the separatists, negotiating as the Platform movement, over which the government has some limited authority; and radical Islamist groups such as al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. There are overlaps among these categories and some groups that fall outside them.
An exploration of ways of dealing with these armed groups reveals a divided approach between the government and the international community. Prior to the Algiers Agreement the government had been advocating a hard line against the separatist rebels, favouring a military solution. This perhaps explains a widely held perception, expressed by several interviewees, that the government is supporting, or even financing, the Platform militias. ‘In this context, terrorism is a secondary priority for the government: it’s a problem, but you can’t fix terrorism until you’ve fixed the political situation. Having said that, there is a political and ideological connection between some of Mali’s armed groups and al-Qaeda, Islamic State, etc. But it is not an operational connection,’ said a source in MINUSMA.
The international community is much more focused than the government on the terrorism element. Major regional and international powers, particularly Algeria and France, are worried that the vast, unprotected deserts of northern Mali have been and will continue to be used as a base for terrorist organisations wishing to destabilise the region as a whole. That is presumably why Algeria insisted on being allowed to lead the international mediation team and why France created Operation Barkhane, a counter-terrorism force of 3 000 soldiers designed to combat terrorism in the Sahel. At present France takes the lead in almost all counter-terrorism operations in Mali (the Malian government does not have the capacity to do so, and MINUSMA wants to avoid direct combat operations). Operation Barkhane is the follow-up to Operation Serval, which stopped terror groups from advancing to the capital, Bamako, in January 2013.
‘Algeria wants security in the north at all costs. And I have to be honest, most of the international community agrees. Security is the priority,’ a Western diplomat confirmed. This clash of priorities may have important ramifications when it comes to the allocation of scarce time and resources. For example, the government regularly criticises MINUSMA for not being active enough in confronting rebel groups. Not that there is much the government can do about this: in key areas of the north, most notably Kidal, it has no real presence and must rely on MINUSMA to carry out some of the functions of the state.
‘Government reach is limited. There is still no government presence in Kidal. The Mali government is not in control of north and is entirely reliant on Operation Barkhane and MINUSMA, who have different interests,’ complained a senior government official. The government’s authority is also limited by control issues with the military, which is notoriously unwilling to be deployed into dangerous areas. Incidents such as the killing of more than 100 Malian soldiers during a massacre in Aguel’hoc at the beginning of the war, in January 2012, have contributed to this reluctance.
France’s interests are clear: Operation Barkhane is explicitly about counter-terrorism. But it is not always as easy to work out the motivations for MINUSMA’s decision-making. The mission’s mandate is broad, even though the United Nations (UN) Security Council did attempt to narrow it down in June 2014: ‘[T]he Security Council amended the mandate of the Mission and decided that it should focus on duties, such as ensuring security, stabilization and protection of civilians; supporting national political dialogue and reconciliation; and assisting the reestablishment of State authority, the rebuilding of the security sector, and the promotion and protection of human rights in that country,’ said MINUSMA in a statement.
Although MINUSMA is one of the largest and most expensive peacekeeping missions in the world (with 10 207 uniformed personnel and an annual budget of US$628.7 million), this is a daunting list of duties. Complicating things further is the mission’s large and unwieldy leadership team – a function of the quotas for fair geographic representation – which can disagree at times over how to interpret the mandate.
The highest-profile example of these internal divisions came in late August, when Arnauld Akodjènou, the mission’s Deputy Special Representative in charge of political affairs, resigned – allegedly in response to criticism both internally and externally (from the government and rebel movements) of his decision to establish an exclusion zone around Kidal.
MINUSMA’s difficulties are exacerbated by the severity of the working conditions in the north. Although staff at the Bamako headquarters enjoy air-conditioning and access to a swimming pool and golf course, peacekeepers in the field must contend with the extremely hot, dry climate and the thick dust that accumulates quickly, often making equipment (especially electronic equipment such as laptop computers) unusable. It is also dangerous: since its inception in 2013, MINUSMA has suffered 56 fatalities.
It is in managing the conflicting priorities of these various actors that the AU is probably able to make the greatest impact. Although the AU Mission for Mali and the Sahel (MISAHEL) is vastly under-resourced and under-staffed compared to MINUSMA, Pierre Buyoya, the AU High Representative for Mali and the Sahel, is playing an active – and, by most accounts, effective – role in political negotiations. Mali’s government believes the AU can provide much-needed support to argue the government’s case on the international stage and to make sure that it is not only the interests of the major powers that are taken into account.
Increasingly, however, decision makers in both Mali and the international community are realising that the political situation is only half the problem – and therefore a political solution is only half a solution. The other major factor is that northern Mali has become increasingly popular as a route for drug smuggling from South America into Europe. These routes are also used for human trafficking and to smuggle cheap, illegal goods from southern Algeria’s preferential tax zone into Mali. Because of its illicit nature, quantifying the flow of narcotics across the Sahel is impossible, but analysts agree that the drug trade and political instability are intricately linked: the drugs help to fund the armed groups, which must also resist state control in order to protect their illegal profits.
‘It is easy for criminals to claim the political discourse to excuse their activities, and to prevent a stronger state from clamping down,’ said Ibrahim Iba N’Diaye, a professor at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure in Bamako. N’Diaye explains that elements of the state are involved too. ‘There is some government implicated, especially military, in the drugs trade.’
Trade routes have always been northern Mali’s economic lifeline. In such a harsh, inhospitable environment there are few other economic opportunities. Historically, traders would transport commodities such as salt and gold; these days it is cocaine and hashish. The narco-trafficking is largely controlled by the various armed groups, but ordinary northerners benefit too – and this makes it difficult for them to welcome a political settlement wholeheartedly. ‘So, while people want doctors and teachers back, they don’t necessarily want police or borders or the full state apparatus – that would be bad for business,’ said N’Diaye.
The drug trade may be contributing to the instability in other ways too. Sources in MINUSMA said they are worried that South American drug traffickers may also bring lessons in political resistance; the worst-case scenario is that Mali’s armed groups will start learning from Colombian groups such as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), if they have not done so already. FARC members are experts in blending politics and criminality, with devastating long-term consequences for the state.
‘Organised crime, including drug trafficking, is undoubtedly one of the greatest challenges that Mali will continue to face in the short and medium term. Resolving this problem is one of the main preconditions for settling the Malian crisis … A number of recent initiatives taken at national and regional level have contributed to strengthening the legal arsenal and the material means to fight drug trafficking. However, the results that have been achieved until now do not match the expectations, considering the resources deployed. The involvement of certain politicians, security officials and businessmen in the traffic is a major hindrance to effectiveness,’ said Maiga.
No time to relax
Although Mali’s progress since the 2012 crisis is encouraging, there is clearly plenty to be worried about. One can take one’s pick from a variety of destabilising factors, such as the failure by all concerned parties to implement the Algiers Agreement (the terms of which have already been repeatedly tested by aggressive rebels and sluggish government implementation); the presence on Malian soil of radical Islamists; the diverging aims of the Malian government and the international community; and the growing economic dependence on narco-trafficking in the north.
Against this background it is vital for the AU to keep a close watch on the situation and use its influence to protect Mali’s long-suffering citizens in the best way possible. This is not the time to relax – the crisis is far from over.
Yola, Nigeria | AFP | Friday 9/11/2015 - 15:37 GMT
At least seven people were killed and 20 others injured in a blast at a camp for people displaced by the Boko Haram conflict in northeast Nigeria, the country's main relief agency said on Wednesday.
A homemade bomb planted inside a tent went off shortly before 11:00 am (1000 GMT) at the Malkohi internally displaced persons (IDP) camp near the Adamawa state capital, Yola.
"So far seven persons lost their lives and 20 persons were injured in the bomb blast," a spokesman for the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Sani Datti, said in a statement.
"Among the injured, seven were treated and discharged while 13 persons, including four NEMA officials, are still receiving treatment at (the) Federal Medical Centre, Yola."
There was no immediate claim of responsibility but Boko Haram Islamists have previously hit "soft" civilian targets with improvised explosive devices (IEDs) or suicide attacks.
Adamawa state police spokesman Othman Abubakar initially gave a lower toll of two dead and seven injured, while the Red Cross said three had been killed and nine injured.
Suleiman Mohammed, director of response, relief and rehabilitation at the Adamawa State Emergency Management Agency (ADSEMA), told AFP five were killed and 20 injured.
The Adamawa state governor, Jibrilla Bindow, was reported as telling a meeting of northern governors that some of the many children at the camp were among the dead.
Lionel Rawlings, head of security at the American University of Nigeria (AUN), which is based in Yola, confirmed student volunteers were slightly injured by flying debris.
"None was in direct contact with the explosion but there was flying shrapnel. We dodged the bullet," he said.
Abubakar and Mohammed both said the blast was caused by an IED left by tents in the sprawling camp, which is just outside Yola to the south and near an army base.
Security had been tight after hundreds of women and children held hostage by Boko Haram were brought to the camp after they were rescued by the military earlier this year.
Armed soldiers manned the gates and carried out checks on vehicles and passengers, AFP reporters witnessed on a visit to the camp in May.
"Our men are there," said Abubakar. "They are trying to find if there are any other explosives."
Yola has been seen as a relative safe haven from the violence and last year its population more than doubled in size to about 400,000 as those made homeless flocked to the city.
Many of the displaced were housed at state-run camps or stayed with relatives and friends.
Nigeria's former vice-president Atiku Abubakar, who founded the AUN and is from Yola, said in a series of tweets that he was "deeply saddened" by the bombing.
"Only persons with hearts of evil could do this," he wrote.
"The Yola IDP camp is the largest in Nigeria, and is refuge to thousands of people who fled the insurgency from mostly Borno and Yobe (states).
"Today's attack is an attempt to break the spirits of the people who came to seek refuge. The perpetrators will know no peace."
President Muhammadu Buhari, elected earlier this year on a promise of defeating the Islamist militants, on Monday said the military was gaining ground in the counter-insurgency.
He has given his new military high command, appointed in early August, three months to end the conflict, which has left at least 15,000 dead and made more than two million homeless since 2009.
© 1994-2015 Agence France-Presse
Ce Rapport de Situation concerne la vague récente de déplacés depuis le 21 juillet 2015.
By Fragkiska Megaloudi and Jennifer Lazuta
ABUJA/DAKAR, 11 September 2015 (IRIN) - Families driven out of villages, farmers unable to tend crops, food stocks of entire communities raided: Boko Haram’s impact on the people of Western and Central Africa lingers long after the rape and slaughter.
More than 5.5 million people living in conflict areas in Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger and Chad, nearly half of whom have been displaced due to ongoing attacks by the Islamist militant group, don’t have enough to eat or else lack access to nutritious foods, according to the UN’s emergency aid coordination body OCHA.
“These are people who have seen guys with guns show up in their villages and kill their [families], or have had their villages torched and then they’ve fled,” Toby Lanzer, OCHA’s regional humanitarian coordinator for the Sahel, told IRIN. “The impact has been devastating. They have no food. They’ve lost their livelihoods. They’ve been thrust out of their villages… and can’t get back to harvest.”
An estimated 2.5 million people have been displaced in the region due to Boko Haram since May 2013. For most, it is an extremely challenging road back to self-sufficiency.
From ‘breadwinner’ to ‘beggar’
Some 234,000 people have returned to Nigeria’s northeastern Adamawa State during the past four months, following the government‘s recent push for the displaced to go home.
For many, there is nothing to return to. Houses have been destroyed, shops looted, schools burnt and fields lie barren.
Mohamed Ali, a 45-year-old farmer, recently returned to his village in northern Adamawa, only to find himself unemployed and doing menial jobs to survive. His field has been burnt to the ground and he has no access to seeds, tools or fertilisers to rebuild his life. Nor has he any money.
The loss of all these assets has had a severe impact on Mohamed’s self-esteem, especially as he can no longer provide for his family.
“We cannot afford to buy food from the market and we [now must] depend on the kindness of strangers to survive,” he told IRIN. “I was the breadwinner. Now I have become a beggar.”
Humanitarians warn that the trail of destruction left by Boko Haram, marked pervasive fear and insecurity, are hampering the efforts of returnees to rebuild their lives. Main roads are the targets of frequent attacks, obstructing markets, and supply and trade routes.
“This means that the resumption of livelihoods in areas of return has been stalled,” Kasper Engborg, head of OCHA’s Nigeria office, told IRIN.
According to Oxfam’s country director in Nigeria, Jan Rogge: “Our assessments indicate that 90 percent of the displaced across all the three (affected) states have lost all assets they possessed before the insurgency. Currently, only 10 percent of the respondents have indicated they possess some assets such as motorcycles, mobile phones, radios and jewellery, and mainly depend on their relatives and friends.”
Nothing to eat
While small villages in the countryside are most affected by the conflict, a recent assessment by the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) said people in towns and cities also had little or no access to land and are forced to buy their own food. For the most vulnerable, who cannot afford rising market prices, there are few options but to seek help from friends, the wider community, or beg.
Nigeria has been the worst hit. Some 2.1 million people have been forced to flee their homes and 4.6 million are in need of humanitarian assistance, according to OCHA.
“The ongoing insecurity in the northeast means that farmers cannot access their fields to plant and harvest crops,” Engborg said. “Food and productive assets have been lost due to attacks and displacement, and raids on farms for food by Boko Haram insurgents are still ongoing.
“This is a situation that is not just affecting the displaced people, but the whole population of northeast Nigeria. Host communities in particular are seeing their vulnerability to food insecurity increasing.”
Displaced families have already exhausted their own resources and with thousands of farmers not able to grow staple crops, the main harvest season that begins in October will be below average for the third consecutive year, FEWS NET says.
As a result, much of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states could face a severe food crisis, while some areas, including Maiduguri, will experience emergency (Phase 4) acute food insecurity.
Cecile Barriere, deputy country director of Action Against Hunger, warned: “If we don’t do anything, the needs are going to be massive.”
Not just Nigeria
As Nigerians flee and Boko Haram increasingly widens its campaign across the border, Chad, Niger and Cameroon have also been affected.
In Cameroon’s Far North Region, for example, more than one in three people are food insecure and one in 10 are severely food insecure, according to the UN’s World Food Programme reports. This means they often have insufficient food and certainly lack nutrition in their daily diet. OCHA says an estimated 545,000 people overall are food insecure in the region, a number that is three times higher than in 2013.
“Crop failure is expected this year as a result of the widespread insecurity,” Elvira Pruscini, WFP’s deputy country director in Cameroon, told IRIN. “Many of these farmers have been pushed away from the border and no longer have access to their land and livelihood means.”
In Chad, where some 140,000 people are in need of food aid, according to the WFP, the price of millet, a key part of the staple diet, has risen by as much as 20 percent compared to the five-year average. This is attributed to cross-border trade disruptions with Nigeria due to Boko Haram.
“There are issues with border closures, which means no free movement,” said WFP’s programme advisor in Chad, Nitesh Patel. “Small-scale agriculture for host populations has been disturbed and now [farming] activities won’t be able to continue until the next harvest season.”
Additionally, for those displaced Chadians who normally depend on fishing, moving inland away from the lake has meant a loss of their traditional livelihoods.
In Niger’s Diffa Region, where the majority of the country’s Boko Haram refugees have settled, an estimated 340,000 people are now going hungry.
The effect on malnutrition is already being seen across the region, with global acute malnutrition rates exceeding 12 percent in Cameroon, according to UNICEF, and 22 percent in Chad, according to the WFP.
“The situation is quite bleak, as whole populations have been affected,” Patel told IRIN. “The biggest challenge right now is having enough funds to respond to all those in desperate need and provide assistance.”