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ReliefWeb - Updates

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    Source: Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development
    Country: Mali

    Face à la situation nutritionnelle inquiétante que connaît le Mali, aggravée depuis 2012 par l’instabilité politique et sécuritaire, ACTED intervient dans le cercle de Koro (région de Mopti) pour lutter contre la malnutrition infantile aigüe.

    La malnutrition : une urgence au Mali

    En 2016, on estime à 709 000 le nombre d’enfants de moins de 5 ans en situation de malnutrition aigüe au Mali, dont plus de 20 000 dans le cercle de Koro (région de Mopti). Pour répondre à ce problème urgent de santé publique, ACTED met en œuvre depuis juillet 2015 un projet multisectoriel de prévention, de lutte et de prise en charge de la malnutrition aigüe sévère chez les enfants de moins de 5 ans, avec l’appui du service d'aide humanitaire et de protection civile de la Commission européenne (ECHO),.

    Intégrer la communauté locale au cœur de la lutte contre la malnutrition

    ACTED promeut une forte implication et responsabilisation communautaire dans la détection des cas de malnutrition aigüe et de leurs référencements aux différents centres de santé pour leurs prises en charge.

    Dans ce cadre, plus de 900 relais communautaires ont été identifiés puis formés et équipés afin de mener des actions de dépistage, de référencement ou encore de suivi à domicile auprès d’enfants ayant abandonné en cours de traitements. Les relais communautaires sont aussi formés à être des sensibilisateurs pour informer les populations sur les risques que comportent la malnutrition et les moyens à disposition pour pouvoir la prévenir, en termes de bonnes pratiques de nutrition et d’hygiène, et la traiter dans les structures adéquates.

    Renforcer la qualité et l’efficacité de la prise en charge de la malnutrition infantile

    Afin d’assurer une prise en charge de qualité de la malnutrition infantile aigüe, ACTED renforce les compétences techniques du personnel de santé et la capacité matérielle des centres de santé à travers des formations pratiques, le détachement d’un personnel médical spécialisé dans la prise en charge urgente de cas de malnutrition ou encore avec la réhabilitation et la fourniture d’équipements médicaux spécialisés.

    ACTED met aussi en œuvre un dispositif d’accompagnement qui facilite l’accès pour les couples mères-enfants au centre de santé de référence avec notamment un appui aux frais de transports et de médicaments, à la restauration des accompagnants pendant la durée du séjour des enfants ou encore à travers la distribution et la sensibilisation aux kits d’hygiènes pour endiguer le cercle vicieux « maladies diarrhéiques-malnutrition ».

    Avec ces mécanismes de prise en charge et d’accompagnement, ACTED prévoit d’ici à juin 2016 d’augmenter le nombre d’admissions d’enfants et de sensiblement améliorer le taux de guérison en Unité de Récupération et d'Education Nutritionnelle Ambulatoire Sévère (URENAS) au sein des centres de santé communautaires et dans l’Unité de Récupération et d’Education Nutritionnelle Intensive (URENI) au sein du centre de santé de référence de Koro, qui traite les cas de malnutrition présentant des complications.

    Améliorer la gestion du système de surveillance nutritionnelle et d’approvisionnement à Koro

    L’une des clés pour fluidifier la réponse apportée à la malnutrition et son suivi est d’établir un système coordonné et rapide de partage de données et d’informations accessibles à tous les acteurs concernés par cet enjeu majeur de santé publique.

    ACTED appuie les différents centres de santé dans la gestion des statistiques nutritionnelles et aide à améliorer la complétude, la promptitude et la fiabilité desdites données pour les différents réseaux de communication. De plus, au sein des centres de santé, et face aux risques de ruptures de stocks des médicaments en raison de livraisons irrégulières ou d’un manque d’espace pour l’approvisionnement, ACTED appuie la mise en place d’un système plus adapté et efficace de gestion, de suivi et de distribution des stocks.


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    Source: UN News Service
    Country: Mali

    7 mars 2016 – Lors d'une visite de deux jours au Mali ce weekend, le Conseil de sécurité de l'ONU a rencontré les participants à l'Accord de paix et les a encouragés à aller de l'avant en mettant pleinement en œuvre ce document.

    « Nous sommes venus à un moment où nous tenons à faire en quelque sorte un bilan, faire le point sur les progrès, la façon dont ça évolue et dont nous parviendrons à la paix et la mise en application de l'Accord qui a été signé », a déclaré le Représentant permanent de l'Angola et Président du Conseil de sécurité pour le mois de mars, Ismael Abraão Gaspar Martins, lors d'une conférence de presse à Bamako, dimanche.

    « Nous avons rencontré tous les participants à cet Accord, c'est-à-dire le gouvernement et les deux autres cosignataires, nous avons rencontré aussi la société civile, pour voir comment cette société civile peut aussi faire en sorte que le processus de paix suive son chemin et que l'on parvienne à cet objectif final : la paix et la consolidation du processus ici au Mali », a-t-il ajouté.

    La Plateforme, une coalition de groupes progouvernementaux, et la Coordination des mouvements de l'Azawad (CMA), une ex-rébellion à dominante touarègue, ont signé l'accord l'an dernier.

    Outre des rencontres avec le Président malien, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, des responsables politiques de la majorité et de l'opposition et des représentants de la société civile, la délégation du Conseil de sécurité s'est rendue à Mopti et dans le nord du pays, à Tombouctou.

    L'objectif de cette visite est « d'encourager l'ensemble des acteurs maliens, à ce moment charnière dans l'histoire du pays, à donner un coup d'accélérateur unanimement à la mise en œuvre de l'Accord de Paix », a déclaré le Représentant permanent de la France auprès des Nations Unies, François Delattre.

    Selon lui, il faut que cet Accord « trouve sa traduction dans l'ensemble des domaines de la vie des Maliens », que « le processus de réconciliation et de retour de la confiance entre les uns et les autres trouve son rythme et devienne productif » et que « ceux qui sont contre le processus de paix, les groupes terroristes, soient combattus le plus efficacement possible ».

    « C'est le message que nous avons passé à tous nos interlocuteurs », a ajouté M. Delattre. « Il y a là je le pense, une opportunité historique, à bien des égards, pour concrétiser , accélérer encore cette dynamique positive, fragile bien sûr, mais positive que nous voyons à l'œuvre dans l'ensemble des domaines et donc nous repartons les uns et les autres plus encouragés encore, plus engagés encore à soutenir les efforts du Mali ».


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    Bamako, Mali | AFP | lundi 07/03/2016 - 19:59 GMT

    La Haute Cour de justice du Mali, habilitée à juger les dirigeants et ex-dirigeants du pays, a rejeté la plainte pour "haute trahison" déposée contre le président Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta par un collectif d'associations, selon un de ses responsable lundi.

    "Ce document a été rejeté par la Haute Cour", a déclaré à l'AFP un responsable de cette institution dont les membres sont choisis parmi les députés à chaque renouvellement de l'Assemblée nationale.

    La même décision est publiée dans un document interne de la Haute Cour consulté par un journaliste de l'AFP.

    Le collectif baptisé Bloc d'intervention patriotique pour la réunification entière du Mali (Biprem) avait annoncé avoir déposé le 2 mars une plainte contre le président Keïta "pour haute trahison et gestion calamiteuse" du pays auprès de la Haute Cour.

    Le Biprem reprochait à M. Keïta d'avoir échoué dans le serment prêté lors de son investiture en septembre 2013 de "garantir l'intégrité territoriale" du Mali, ajoutant que la ville de Kidal (extrême nord-est) échappait toujours au contrôle de l'Etat et que le pays demeurait en proie à l'insécurité.

    La Haute Cour "ne considère pas ça comme une plainte, c'est un tract dans sa présentation (et) ces associations ne sont pas habilitées à déposer une telle plainte. Et surtout, ce n'est pas du tout la procédure à suivre", a expliqué le responsable, qui a souhaité conserver l'anonymat.

    Les membres actuels de la Haute Cour ont été nommés en 2014. Cette institution est habilitée à juger les ministres, présidents, ex-ministres ou anciens présidents de la République mis en accusation devant elle pour des crimes ou délits commis dans l'exercice de leurs fonctions.

    D'après les dispositions en vigueur, "la mise en accusation est votée par scrutin public à la majorité des deux tiers des députés composant l'Assemblée nationale".

    Selon la loi relative à son fonctionnement, "lorsque le président de la République est susceptible d'être inculpé à raison des faits qualifiés de haute trahison, l'Assemblée nationale en est saisie par son président".

    Le Biprem est présidé par Lassine Diawara, journaliste, qui avait déclaré soutenir le capitaine Amadou Aya Sanogo, meneur du coup d'Etat ayant renversé en mars 2012 le président Amadou Toumani Touré.

    M. Diawara a ensuite soutenu la candidature d'Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta pour l'élection présidentielle de 2013, avant de rejoindre l'opposition.

    sd/cs/cyj

    © 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    Bamako, Mali | AFP | Monday 3/7/2016 - 21:48 GMT

    Mali's High Court on Monday rejected an attempt by a civil society collective to have President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita face a charge of high treason.

    A group of associations filed the complaint against Keita last week to the court, which is competent to judge the country's leaders if accused by the National Assembly of misconduct in office.

    The Biprem collective -- the Popular and Pacific Intervention Block for the Reunification of Mali -- accused Keita of "high treason and calamitous management" of the country.

    Biprem also accused the president of reneging on a promise made at his 2013 investiture to "guarantee Mali's territorial integrity" amid widespread ongoing insecurity.

    Mali's vast, desolate north continues to be beset by violence, having fallen under the control of Tuareg-led rebels and jihadist groups linked to Al-Qaeda in 2012.

    A landmark peace agreement was reached last year between the Mali government and Tuareg-led rebels, but jihadist violence remains a threat.

    "The High Court has rejected the document," a court official told AFP. The decision was also published in a High Court document.

    The court said it considered Biprem's complaint against Kaite as merely a "tract" and added that "these associations are not entitled" to bring such a case.

    It added to accept a case would require the support of two-thirds of national assembly lawmakers.

    Biprem's announcement that it was filing a complaint last week sparked controversy in Mali as intellectuals and a politician cited as members or signatories denied having any part in it.

    They included writer Seydou Badian Kouyate, who was a minister under Mali's first president Modibo Keita.

    "I categorically deny it. I'm not a member of Biprem and I did not sign the document. I do not see why my name is mentioned," Kouyate told AFP on Monday.

    Biprem is headed by Lassine Diawara, a journalist and supporter of Amadou Aya Sanogo, an army officer who led a 2012 coup against then president Amadou Toumani Toure.

    Diawara backed Keita at the 2013 election but then switched to the opposition.

    sd/cs/cyj/cw/mtp/jah

    © 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Niger

    A le voir assis devant sa boutique au marché de Diffa, au sud-est du Niger, Souleymane semble avoir vécu le double de son existence. Une profonde amertume se lit sur son visage. Pourtant, il n’a que 28 ans et vaquerait probablement à son activité d’exploitant de moto-taxi si sa région n’était pas affectée par les violences liées au groupe armé Boko Haram.

    Suite >>


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    Source: World Food Programme
    Country: Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Nigeria


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    Bamako, Mali | AFP | mardi 08/03/2016 - 12:20 GMT

    Deux cents jeunes qui appartenaient à des groupes jihadistes ayant multiplié les attaques depuis 2015 dans la région de Mopti, dans le centre du Mali, se sont engagés à quitter ces mouvements au terme d'une opération de sensibilisation, ont indiqué mardi à l'AFP des initiateurs de la campagne.

    L'opération, qui n'a pas été médiatisée, a impliqué responsables gouvernementaux, élus locaux, chefs religieux, associations et notables dans cette région.

    Mopti est à la lisière du nord du pays, contrôlé pendant près de dix mois entre 2012 et 2013 par des groupes jihadistes liés à Al-Qaïda, dont celui de l'ex-rebelle touareg Iyad Ag Ghaly, Ansar Dine.

    "Depuis plusieurs semaines, nous avons mené des négociations et une campagne de sensibilisation à l'endroit des jeunes qui ont intégré les groupes armés radicaux du centre du Mali", a affirmé Hama Cissé, notable et ex-maire d'une localité de la région de Mopti.

    "Deux cents jeunes ont accepté de déposer les armes et de quitter les rangs des jihadistes", ils "ont accepté de se +déradicaliser+. Actuellement, ils sont dans la région de Mopti pour convaincre d'autres jeunes de déposer les armes", a ajouté M. Cissé.

    D'autres membres du collectif ayant mené la campagne ont précisé à l'AFP que les jeunes approchés seraient essentiellement membres du Front de libération du Macina (FLM), apparu début 2015 et dirigé par le prédicateur radical malien, Amadou Koufa, un Peul.

    Le FLM est allié d'Ansar Dine. Plusieurs attaques perpétrées dans le nord et le centre du pays ont été revendiquées par ces groupes ou leur ont été attribuées.

    D'après Ousmane Diallo, un des membres du collectif, certains des jeunes "ont fourni des précisions sur des attaques commises par les groupes islamistes auxquels ils appartenaient", tandis que d'autres agissaient "en groupes isolés", s'en prenant à des civils et des symboles de l'Etat.

    "Ces jeunes sont nos enfants. La plupart ne savaient pas ce qu'ils faisaient. Il est normal d'être intervenus", a affirmé l'imam Hamadou Cissé, membre de Tabital Pulaku, influente association de Peuls du Mali.

    Un ministre a indiqué à l'AFP sous couvert d'anonymat que le gouvernement souhaitait inclure les jeunes dans le processus de désarmement prévu par l'accord de paix signé en mai-juin 2015 par Bamako, des mouvement alliés au gouvernement et des groupes rebelles. "C'est une solution qui permettra de les éloigner les groupes extrémistes", a-t-il dit.

    sd/cs/sst/cyj

    © 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Nigeria, Senegal, Uganda

    RÉPUBLIQUE CENTRAFRICAINE

    ENLÈVEMENTS DE LA LRA EN HAUSSE

    Des hommes armés de l’Armée de résistance du seigneur (LRA) ont enlevé 217 personnes, dont 54 enfants, dans l’est de la RCA depuis le début de l'année, selon le groupe de défense Invisible Children, basé à Washington.

    Quarante et un des enfants restent en captivité ou sont portés disparus, a indiqué le groupe dans un communiqué le 3 mars, en notant que les enlèvements mettent en évidence les lacunes dans la protection des civils. Cette année, jusqu‘ici, la LRA a enlevé presque deux fois plus de personnes qu’au cours de l'ensemble de l’année 2015.

    L’INSÉCURITÉ ALIMENTAIRE RESTE ÉLEVÉE

    La production agricole 2015 est restée à 54% en dessous des niveaux d'avant la crise en dépit d'une augmentation de 10% au cours de la saison 2014, selon les résultats de la Mission d'évaluation des récoltes et de la sécurité alimentaire du PAM et de la FAO publiées le 1er mars. Les récoltes de céréales ont continué de baisser l'an dernier, avec une production de 70% inférieure à la moyenne d'avant la crise.

    La production agricole globale en 2015 s’élevait à 838 671 tonnes, soit environ un million de tonnes de moins que la moyenne avant la crise. Environ 2,5 millions de personnes, soit la moitié de la population, sont confrontées à la faim.

    NIGERIA

    QUELQUES 22 000 NIGERIANS SONT RETOURNÉS DU CAMEROUN

    En date du 29 février, 21 998 Nigérians, y compris un grand nombre qui a fui en raison de la violence de Boko Haram, sont retournés du Cameroun. Quelque 54% des rapatriés sont des enfants, 46% des femmes et presque tous sont de l'Etat de Borno au nord-est. Le HCR et les partenaires humanitaires soutiennent la surveillance des mouvements de retour et le profilage des rapatriés, en fournissant une assistance ciblée, le développement des capacités et la défense des conditions de retour pour se conformer aux normes juridiques internationales

    SÉNÉGAL

    DÉVELOPPEMENT D’UN PLAN D’INTERVENTION TRANSFRONTALIER CONJOINT

    Les autorités bissau-guinéennes et sénégalaises, ainsi que les partenaires humanitaires internationaux ont organisé, du 3 au 5 mars, un atelier dans la ville de Ziguinchor au sud, pour élaborer un plan d'urgence transfrontalier sur le virus Ebola et les catastrophes naturelles. Les deux pays ont convenu d'une approche commune pour répondre aux situations d'urgence transfrontalières. Un atelier similaire a également été mené précédemment avec les autorités de la Guinée voisine, d’où le premier et seul cas d'Ebola au Sénégal provenait.

    MALADIE À VIRUS EBOLA (MVE)

    LE CAS SUSPECT DE LA GUINÉE TESTÉ NÉGATIF

    Aucun nouveau cas n’a été signalé dans la semaine se terminant le 6 mars. Les 1er et 2 mars, les représentants de la Guinée, du Liberia et de la Sierra Leone ont examiné leurs plans d'intervention Ebola avec les partenaires internationaux au cours d’une réunion sur la Phase 3 de la riposte des pays, à Conakry. En Guinée, un patient soupçonné d'avoir été infecté par le virus Ebola a été admis dans un centre de traitement le 29 février. Cependant, les tests se sont révélés négatifs pour le virus Ebola.


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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Nigeria, Senegal, Uganda

    CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

    LRA ABDUCTIONS ON THE RISE

    Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) gunmen have abducted 217 people, including 54 children in eastern CAR since the start of the year, according to the Washington-based advocacy group Invisible Children. Forty-one of the children remain in captivity or unaccounted for, the group said in a statement on 3 March, noting that the abductions highlight gaps in civilian protection. So far this year, the LRA has abducted nearly twice as many people as in the whole of 2015.

    FOOD INSECURITY REMAINS HIGH

    The 2015 crop production remained at 54 per cent below the pre-crisis levels despite a 10 per cent increase over the 2014 season, according to WFP and FAO Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission assessment released on 1 March. Cereal harvests continued to decline last year, with production 70 per cent lower than the pre-crisis average.
    Overall crop production in 2015 amounted to 838,671 metric tons, around one million metric tons less than the average before the crisis. Around 2.5 million people, or half the entire population are facing hunger.

    NIGERIA

    As of 29 February, 21,998 Nigerians, including many who fled due to Boko Haram violence had returned from Cameroon. Some 54 per cent of the returnees are children, 46 per cent are women and nearly all of them are from the north-eastern Borno State. UNHCR and partners are supporting the monitoring of return movement and profiling of returnees, providing targeted assistance, developing the capacity of key stakeholders to the response and advocating for conditions of return to comply with international legal norms.

    SENEGAL

    Guinean-Bissau and Senegalese authorities as well as international humanitarian partners on 3 - 5 March held a workshop in the southern Ziguinchor town to develop a cross-border contingency plan on Ebola and natural disasters. The two countries agreed on a common approach to respond to crossborder emergencies. A similar workshop was also conducted previously with authorities from neighbouring Guinea, where Senegal’s first and only Ebola case came from.

    EBOLA VIRUS DISEASE

    No new cases were reported in the week ending on 6 March. On 1 - 2 March, representatives from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone reviewed Ebola response plans with other international partners during the Country Phase 3 Response meeting in Conakry. In Guinea, a patient suspected to have been infected with Ebola was taken ill at a treatment centre on 29 February. Tests however turned out negative for Ebola.


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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Nigeria


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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Nigeria

    2.2 million Nigerians are internally displaced in 13 states in the northern and central parts of Nigeria, according to Round VIII of the Displacement Tracking Matrix. 81% of the total number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) are living in Adamawa, Borno, Gombe and Yobe. Borno itself is hosting 68% of displaced people. New IDP locations have been identified in inaccessible areas by humanitarian partners.
    Furthermore, more than 176,000 Nigerians have escaped the conflict to neighbouring countries. A relative improvement in the security situation in some areas in the North-East has resulted in spontaneous movements of return. With the joint efforts of the Nigerian government and humanitarian partners, some IDPs were relocated from schools to Dalori and Bakassi camps. The humanitarian community is working hard to meet the needs of IDPs in the areas of shelter and NFI, food and nutrition, education, health, WASH, protection, and early recovery and livelihoods.


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    Bamako, Mali | AFP | Tuesday 3/8/2016 - 12:31 GMT

    Two hundred young Malian jihadists are ready to lay down their weapons as part of a new government and civil society deradicalisation programme, its organisers said Tuesday.

    Some of the youths, aged between 16 and 30, had mounted attacks in the central Mopti region over the past year as members of the Macina Liberation Front, sources within the campaign said.

    "For the last few weeks, we have overseen talks with and an awareness campaign for young people who had joined radical armed groups in the centre of Mali," said Hama Cisse, a former mayor of a Mopti district.

    "Two hundred of them agreed to lay down their weapons and leave the ranks of the jihadists," he added.

    "They are currently still in the Mopti region to convince their peers to give up their weapons," Cisse said.

    Mopti borders the northern area of Mali that was overrun by Al-Qaeda-linked extremist groups and Tuareg-led rebels in 2012.

    Those involved in central Mali's jihadist demobilisation drive include representatives from central and local governments, religious leaders and other prominent figures, campaigners told AFP.

    The young people were not being paid to leave but had received free meals, they said.

    Some of them had supplied information about attacks they were involved in, said Ousmane Diallo, a member of the collective, while others admitted they were part of small cells attacking civilians and symbolic government targets.

    "These young people are our children. The majority didn't really know what they were doing. It makes sense to have intervened," said imam Hamadou Cisse, a civil society group member.

    Malian, French and UN forces are attempting to maintain order over vast stretches of desert where extremist groups roam after being ousted from key northern towns after a French-led intervention in 2013.

    The encroachment of armed groups beyond the country's troubled north and into the centre and south of the country was raised as an area of concern by Human Rights Watch (HRW) in a report last month.

    sd/cs/jom/ach

    © 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: Assessment Capacities Project
    Country: Afghanistan, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Guatemala, Haiti, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, World, Yemen, Zimbabwe

    Snapshot 2–8 March 2016

    Malawi and Mozambique: Flooding and drought have led to the most severe food crisis Malawi has faced in a decade: 2.8 million people face acute food insecurity, including 900,000 facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food security outcomes. In Mozambique, an estimated 600,000 people are in Crisis due to drought. In addition, 9,300 Mozambicans in Malawi who fled armed conflict need WASH, health and shelter assistance.

    DRC: On 2 March, armed men abducted three humanitarian workers in Lubero, Nord-Kivu. Several organisations have suspended activities in the area. In Rutshuru, intercommunal tensions also led to the suspension of activities. Attacks on humanitarian organisations increased by almost 20% between 2014 and 2015.

    South Sudan: In Pibor, Jonglei, 2,000 have people fled to the UN base while thousands more have fled to the bush, after fighting between government forces and armed youth at the end of February. Five humanitarian facilities were looted and markets in the town were burned. Urgent health and WASH needs are reported.

    Updated: 08/03/2016. Next update: 15/03/2016.

    Global Emergency Overview Web Interface


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    Source: UN Human Rights Council
    Country: Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, South Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, World, Yemen

    MORNING / MIDDAY

    Concludes Interactive Dialogue on Foreign Debt and on the Right to Food, Hears Statements in Observance of International Women’s Day

    GENEVA (8 March 2016) - The Human Rights Council today held a clustered interactive dialogue with Marta Santos Pais, Special Representative of the Secretary-General on violence against children, and Leila Zerrougui, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for children and armed conflict. It also concluded its clustered interactive dialogue with Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky, Independent Expert on the effects of foreign debt, and Hilal Elver, Special Rapporteur on the right to food.

    Speaking in observance of International Women’s Day, the President of the Council, Kate Gilmore, Deputy United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and Canada, speaking on behalf of 116 countries, emphasized the importance of gender equality and eliminating violence against women for the realization of the Sustainable Development Agenda.

    Ms. Santos Pais welcomed that the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda included a clear target to end all forms of violence against children. It was high time to address the root causes of such violence. In 2014, over one billion children aged 2 to 17 were exposed to violence, which weakened the very foundation of social progress. Thousands of unaccompanied and separated children had reached Europe seeking refuge, and were in need of special protection measures. She referred to the issue of cyberbullying, which could cause profound harm to children.

    Ms. Zerrougui drew attention to the continuation of the plight of children in armed conflict in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Palestine, Israel, Nigeria, South Sudan, and Afghanistan. Those conflicts had led to an increasing number of child casualties and recruitment, and of refugees and internally displaced persons, almost half of whom were children. Obligations of States of origin, transit and destination should not be discarded on the basis of national security, or even just due to popular opinion. Responses to extreme violence perpetrated by armed groups that did not comply with international law risked inflicting further harm on civilians. Emphasis had to be put on the right to education.

    In the ensuing dialogue, speakers welcomed the inclusion in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of a specific target to end all forms of violence against children. They emphasized the importance of implementing this Agenda through legislative measures and cooperation. Despite important progress, the human rights of children were still systematically threatened. Violence, sexual violence both online and offline, corporal punishment, the effects of the economic and refugee crises, and ill-adapted justice systems were just a few of the obstacles that needed to be overcome. Speakers acknowledged that information and communications technologies provided new opportunities to children, but noted that they also posed serious risk of harassment and abuse, including cyberbullying. The private sector should play an important role in preventing such online violence against children.

    Turning to the situation of children and armed conflict, speakers noted that children in armed conflicts and in territories under occupation faced serious threats. They condemned the recruitment of children by extremist groups, and insisted on the need to consider these children as victims rather than perpetrators, and to rehabilitate them. Speakers highlighted the importance of the right to education in conflict situations and the far-reaching negative impact of attacks on schools, teachers and students during armed conflicts. They agreed on the necessity to prevent recruitment by extremist groups through education, and asked what the private sector could do in that regard.

    Speaking were Brazil on behalf of the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries, European Union, Pakistan on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Kuwait on behalf of the Arab Group, Dominican Republic on behalf of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, Croatia, also on behalf of Austria and Slovenia, South Africa on behalf of the African Group, Belgium, Georgia, Republic of Korea, France, Namibia, El Salvador, United States, Estonia, Russian Federation, Qatar, Switzerland, Norway, Portugal, Israel, Council of Europe, Tunisia, Italy, Syria, Côte d’Ivoire, China, Iran, Australia, Malaysia, Libya, Sudan, Sovereign Military Order of Malta, Bulgaria, Brazil, Bolivia, Egypt, Angola, Panama, South Africa, Viet Nam, New Zealand, Spain, Thailand, Ecuador, Pakistan, Botswana, Algeria, Colombia, Maldives, Paraguay, Venezuela, Cuba, Nigeria, Germany, Afghanistan, Liechtenstein, Indonesia, Luxembourg, Malawi, State of Palestine, Kyrgyzstan, Benin, Iraq, Morocco, Zambia, Azerbaijan, and Mexico, as well as the International Committee of the Red Cross and the United Nations Children’s Fund.

    The following non-governmental organizations also spoke: Defense for Children International, Colombian Commission of Jurists, Istituto Internazionale Maria Ausliatrice, Association for Defending Victims of Terrorism, Organization For Defending Victims Of Violence, Child Foundation, International Humanist and Ethical Union, International Catholic Child Bureau, Iraqi Development Organization, Liberation, Khiam Rehabilitation Centre for Victims of Torture, Global Network for Rights and Development, Imam Ali’s Popular Students Relief Society, Al-Khoei Foundation and Association Miraisme International.

    Earlier this morning, the Council concluded its clustered interactive dialogue with Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky, Independent Expert on the effects of foreign debt and other related international financial obligations of States on the full enjoyment of all human rights, particularly economic, social and cultural rights, and Hilal Elver, Special Rapporteur on the right to food. They presented their reports to the Council at noon on Monday, 7 March and a summary of their comments and the first part of the interactive dialogue with them can be found here.

    In the interactive dialogue, speakers expressed concern about the fact that armed conflict was one of the main obstacles for access to food. They added that economic inequalities had led to severe hardship for citizens of the global South, which had been adversely affected by the financial crisis, followed by the Ebola crisis. Speakers expressed concern at violations of women’s right to food, particularly in the context of climate change, and condemned violence against women’s rights defenders working on land-related issues. They noted that the undemocratic nature of major financial institutions contributed to the inequalities.

    In concluding remarks, Mr. Bohoslavsky said that the right to development posed a limit to what could be considered an acceptable level of inequality from a human rights perspective. It was worth exploring and developing the idea of human rights impact assessments regarding tax policies and tax reforms. A rigid interpretation of the principle that contracts had to be respected was not consistent with legitimacy and international human rights law standards.

    Ms. Elver said the right to food was not just related to the sovereign right of States, but that all kinds of financial institutions should be respectful about States’ economic and social responsibility to their citizens. Development aid projects were important as regards the right to food, but had to respect governments’ social and economic policies. Fighting powers trying to use food systems to help their war machine were committing crimes against humanity.

    Speaking in the interactive dialogue were Libya and Sierra Leone.

    Also taking the floor were Temple of Understanding, Foodfirst Information and Action Network, Human Rights Advocates, International Muslim Women’s Union, International Commission of Jurists, International-Lawyers.org, Asian Legal Resource Centre, Villages Unis, Arab Commission for Human Rights in a joint statement with the Independent Research and Initiative Centre for Dialogue, International Youth and Student Movement for the United Nations, Maarij Foundation for Peace and Development, Espace Afrique International, Liberation, Centre for Human Rights and Peace Advocacy, and World Barua Organization.

    The Council is holding a full day of meetings today. A 2:30 p.m., it will hold a clustered interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of punishment and the Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography.


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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Nigeria


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    Source: European Commission Humanitarian Aid Office
    Country: Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Honduras, Niger, Senegal, Serbia

    I. International

    Senegal – Nutrition crisis (ECHO, UNICEF) 

    • According to the recently published results of the latest nutrition survey, the north and east of Senegal suffer a nutrition crisis for the fourth consecutive year. In four regions (St Louis, Matam, Tambacounda and Louga), the WHO threshold for Severe Acute Malnutrition of children under five has been exceeded. The department of Podor (region of St Louis) remains the most affected, with a prevalence of Global Acute Malnutrition of 18.2%.
    • The survey recommends more structural support to capacity building in the health sector and for community actors to improve the capacity of managing malnutrition. It also advocates for medium- to long-term interventions to contribute to the resilience of the population.

    Niger – Meningitis epidemic (ECHO, WHO, Niger Ministry of Public Health) 

    • 414 cases of meningitis, including 33 deaths, have been registered in Niger in January and February 2016. This exceeds significantly the number of cases recorded during the same period in 2015 (95 cases). Most of the cases are registered in the districts of Niamey, Tahoua, Tillabery and Dosso (South West of Niger). This outbreak is suspected to be caused by Group C meningitis bacteria. 
    • 72 878 persons have been already vaccinated in the most affected districts. However, this figure remains far from the target of 546 045. The Ministry of Public health has already placed an order for vaccines to complement the existing national stock. However, there is concern about the production capacity for the vaccines, which could limit outbreak control.

    Dominican Republic – Cholera outbreak (ECHO, Ministry of Health, Dominican Red Cross) 

    • An increased number of cholera cases have been reported in Santo Domingo (in the Victoria Jail) during the last 10 days. As of 7 March, 75 suspected cases and 4 deaths are reported. It is the biggest jail in the country and has an estimated population of more than 8 000 inmates while its original capacity is for 1 000 inmates. 
    • In the past, reports indicated challenges with the jail conditions, especially due to overcrowding and poor sanitary conditions. The cause of this current outbreak is linked to a rupture of a water tube. 
    • Response actions are ongoing and involve the Ministry of Health and the Dominican Red Cross. This cholera outbreak comes only three weeks after an outbreak in the Public Jail of Bani with 20 inmates being affected and two deaths reported. The source of the outbreak was also linked to poor sanitary conditions.

    Honduras, El Salvador – Violence (ECHO) 

    • An increasing level of violence has been observed in Central America in the last few days. On 3 March, an indigenous rights activist was killed in Honduras, followed by execution of 12 youth in the capital Tegucigalpa on 5 March. On 3 March, 11 workers were kidnapped and executed in El Salvador, with the level of violence doubling in the country in the first two months of the year and reaching its highest level since the end of the civil war. 
    • Increasing gang violence is worsening the already precarious humanitarian situation of the population in the affected countries. The limited access to basic services such as health and education, and growing risk of indiscriminate violence and death, requires an increased multisectorial humanitarian response. 
    • A related surge in unaccompanied children from Central American countries has been observed arriving in the United States, with an estimated 75 000 children expected this year, raising major protection concerns.

    II. Europe

    Serbia – Floods (Serbian Ministry of Interior) 

    • On 7 March, due to heavy rainfalls and flooding threats, an emergency situation has been declared for 14 cities and municipalities in central and western parts of Serbia.
    • As of 8 March, 118 persons were evacuated by fire and rescue units of the Ministry of Interior. Additionally 710 households have been flooded while around 500 may be affected.
    • Safety and security measures are being undertaken in the form of mobilization and deployment of water pumping capacities as well as specialized water rescue teams.

    MeteoAlarm – as of 8 March, 6.20 UTC (EUMETNET - MeteoAlarm) 

    • Ice and snow in southern **Germany **- Orange Alert. 
    • Avalanche risk in Nordland (**Norway**); north-western **Slovenia** - Orange Alert. 
    • Coastal events in north-eastern **Spain **- Orange Alert.

    Reported high discharges/floods warnings during the last 24 hours by National services (EFAS) 

    • Hungary: Alert level 2 is exceeded on some tributaries of Tisa river (eastern part of Hungary). Water levels are stable or slowly decreasing.
    • Croatia: The national service reports alert level 3 (out of 4) on Sava and Ilova rivers and Retencija Lonjsko Polje, alert level 2 on some tributaries of Sava river. Water levels are stable.
    • Serbia: The national service issued warnings of alert level 2 for Zapadna Morava and Ibar rivers.

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    Source: Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation
    Country: Chad

    Over half of Chad’s population is female. Women are increasingly participating in local economic activity thanks to measures aimed at improving education and literacy. They play a key role in the SDC’s project on the management of run-off water in Chad’s Sahel region.

    There is still significant gender inequality in Chad. By taking part in local economic activity, women are attempting to cast off their traditional role and improve their living conditions. Predominantly living in rural areas, they are making an increasingly important contribution to the agricultural sector. They work in market gardening and livestock farming in particular. Over three-quarters of the nation’s economically active population works in agriculture, which faces growing difficulties due to climate change and soil degradation.

    Rémadji Mani manages the national programme in Chad for the SDC. On International Women’s Day, she gives an insight into the work being done by women and their involvement in the SDC’s project on the management of run-off water in the Chadian Sahel.

    What position do women occupy in Chad and in the Sahel region in particular?

    Generally speaking, the woman’s place is in the home in Chad. From when the cockerel crows, they go to find water, cook meals and look after their husband and children. They then tend their vegetable plots. When they return from the fields, they resume their domestic chores. Their day is a long one and girls are brought up from a young age to perform household duties. Especially in the Sahel region, they are married off very young and spend little time at school.

    What role do women play in the SDC’s project?

    Women are involved in building and maintaining weirs. They help to transport water and gravel. More of them take part in the construction work than men because they are willing to accept wages that the men refuse.

    In this poverty-stricken region, many men move to the towns in search of better pay. They can be away from a few months to over a year. The men who stay behind work on the building of the weirs. They are involved in selecting the sites and designing the weirs and dig the canals. They also deal with the purchase of equipment, such as motorcycles and motor-driven pumps. These men also look after the livestock.

    Large numbers of women work in market gardening and small-scale livestock farming in the cultivated valleys. They grow lettuces, tomatoes, okra and cucumbers on small plots of land. The harvest is used to feed their families and to produce modest additional income through the sale of some produce at the market. They not only carry out seeding and planting but are also involved in picking and processing the harvest (sorting, winnowing, shelling and pounding, etc.). Rainfall is too low in this region to allow for intensive farming. Water presents a major challenge in the Sahel. The women bear the weight of the food security of the communities living in these areas on their shoulders.

    How is the involvement of women perceived by the other players in the project?

    Women work a lot in the cultivated valleys. The ones who can be seen in the fields are the same women you meet at the market selling the fruits of their labour. The objectives of the SDC’s project cannot be achieved without the participation of women. They are the main intermediaries.

    Measures aimed at raising awareness about the role of women have been undertaken since the start of the project. Today, the entire community holds a positive view of women working to improve the land and water situation.

    Do gender synergies produce efficiency gains?

    Such synergies clearly increase efficiency. Today, the roles performed by men and women complement one another enabling weirs to be built and cultivated valleys to be farmed. The beneficiaries of the project – 50,000 people in the three regions of the Chadian Sahel – are satisfied. Women are seeing a gradual change in their situation. Despite the arduous nature of the work, it gives them a sense of satisfaction and dignity. The rest will come over time.

    Why is it important that women take part in the project?

    The population of Chad stands at around 13 million. Women account for over half that figure – between 51 and 52% according to the statistics. 40% of them live in rural areas. Women perform a wide range of productive jobs. They make a major contribution to the national economy and its development. At the SDC’s annual conference, Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, applauded Switzerland’s efforts towards the achievement of the 2030 Agenda’s Sustainable Development Goals, especially those concerning gender equality, the availability of water for all, and the promotion of peaceful societies. These three objectives are part of Chad’s national development policy. What are the next challenges to overcome?

    Women of course take part in the construction of the weirs and farming in the cultivated valleys but are still not involved in decision-making processes to a sufficient extent. You will not see any women amongst the men, for example, when the subsidised farming equipment is handed over. In Chad, women do not dare to speak in public, especially if there is a man in the group. The situation is beginning to change gradually but there is a long way to go.

    When I plan visits to the beneficiaries, for instance, I notify them beforehand and ask for the women to attend as well. I explain the importance of their presence. The men have understood and accepted this. The efforts to involve women must be continued. We also wish to ensure better recognition of the remarkable work they do. We are currently reflecting on how to approach this.


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    Source: Government of Chad, UN High Commissioner for Refugees
    Country: Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, Sudan

    Changements clés

    • Augmentation générale de 1 867 personnes par rapport au 31 janvier 2016 dont plus de 1 025 nouveaux nés. Les autres sont des cas de régularisation dans le cadre du processus d’enregistrement continu.

    • Mission d'enregistrement à Bagasola pour la régularisation des personnes absentes pendant la vérification et de nouveaux cas spontanément présentés à la CNARR (Gouvernement). Ceci explique l'augmentation de la population dans le camp de Dar Es Salam.

    • Démarrage des missions de renforcement de capacité des acteurs impliqués dans le processus de l'enregistrement comme prévu dans le plan d'actions de l'après vérification pour la pérennisation des acquis. Bagasola a été la première étape.

    *: Villages hôtes / communautés d’accueil.

    Tchad: Cartographie de la population des personnes concernées par le HCR au Tchad (29/02/2016)


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    Source: Food and Agriculture Organization
    Country: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Nigeria

    FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

    • Concerns over upcoming 2016 cropping season in Far North Region

    • Reduced 2015 crop production in Far North Region due to erratic rainfall and civil insecurity

    • Low inflation rates in recent years

    • Food security situation sharply deteriorated in 2015 due to massive refugee influx and internal displacements

    Concerns over upcoming 2016 cropping season in Far North Region, strong livelihood support required

    In bi‑modal rainfall areas of the Centre and the South, planting of the 2016 maize crop started recently. According to remote sensing analysis, the onset of the rainy season was timely, with southern areas beginning to receive rains in the third dekad of February (see Estimated precipitation map). In the uni‑modal North, planting of sorghum and millet is expected to begin in May. However, agricultural operations continue to be severely affected by civil unrest which spread from neighbouring Nigeria in late 2014 and resulted in displacement of people, caused input shortages and depleted households’ productive assets that were already inadequate, due to recurrent climatic shocks which have eroded the resilience capacity of a large number of households. As a result, a reduced agricultural output for the second consecutive year is likely and a timely and effective support to the agricultural sector is required to mitigate the extent of the impact of the protracted and widespread insecurity on the agricultural sector.

    FAO is appealing for USD 3.4 million to support vulnerable households affected by the Boko Haram insurgency and the households affected by natural disasters with improved seeds, tools and fertilizers.

    Reduced 2015 crop production in Far North Region due to erratic rainfall and civil insecurity

    In several bi-modal rainfall areas of the Centre and the South, harvesting of the 2015 second season crops was completed last January, while the main season harvest was concluded in October 2015. According to satellite-based analysis, abundant rains from March to May were followed in parts by erratic and below-average rainfall from June to September, with a negative impact on long‑cycle main season crops and early‑planted second season crops. Subsequently, adequate precipitation in October and November benefited second season crops. According to remote sensing analysis, vegetation conditions in late November, immediately before the harvest, were good. In northern uni-modal areas (North and Far North regions), where sorghum and millet crops are predominantly grown, harvesting of 2015 crops was concluded in November. Early season dryness in April and May caused a delay in planting operations and negatively affected crop establishment. Average to above-average rainfall in the following months reduced moisture deficits; however, as of September, remote sensing analysis still indicated below‑average vegetation conditions in parts (see ASI map). In addition, in the Far North Region, civil insecurity severely disrupted agricultural activities and caused a reduction in the planted area. According to the Emergency Food Security Assessment (EFSA) carried out by WFP in June 2015, 60 percent of farmers in the region indicated major land access constraints because of civil insecurity. Official production estimates are not yet available.

    Low inflation rates in recent years

    According to the IMF, the average inflation rate, which was estimated at a low of 2 percent in 2015, is forecast to slightly increase to 2.1 percent in 2016. In the last several years, rates of inflation were highly volatile, varying from a low of 1 percent in 2007 to 5 percent in 2008 and then declining to 3 percent in 2009 and to 1 percent in 2010. Rates rose again in 2011 to 3 percent, before progressively declining to 1.9 percent in 2014.

    Food security situation sharply deteriorated in 2015 due to refugee influx and internal displacements

    Local resources in northern and eastern regions have been put under added strain by the arrival of large numbers of refugees from neighbouring Nigeria and Central African Republic (CAR). As of late January 2016, the number of refugees from CAR, who sought refuge mainly in Cameroon’s East and Adamaoua regions after a surge in sectarian violence in December 2013, were estimated at about 138 000. Taking into account the refugees who had entered the country in earlier waves since 2004 to escape rebel groups and bandits, the total number of refugees from CAR residing in Cameroon is currently put at about 267 000. Refugees from Nigeria, who entered the country following the serious deterioration of the security situation in Borno State in June 2013, were estimated at about 71 000 in late January 2016 and are located in the Far North Region. In addition, civil unrest spread from Nigeria into the region and caused the displacement of 158 000 Cameroonians. The overall food security situation has sharply deteriorated in 2015 due to multiple shocks, including the influx of refugees from CAR and Nigeria, increasing civil insecurity and natural hazards. The number of food insecure people was estimated in February 2016 at 2.4 million, more than twice the level of June 2015. The area most affected by food insecurity is the Far North Region, where according to an EFSA conducted in September last year, 35 percent of the population is food insecure. In this region, 32 percent of IDPs and 22 percent of the local population have exhausted their food stocks and the percentage of households relying on humanitarian assistance increased from 6 percent in 2014 to 33 percent in 2015. IDPs are the most vulnerable group, with an increasing number resorting to negative coping strategies. An estimated 75 percent of IDPs have engaged in “crisis” and “urgency” strategies such as the reduction of non‑food essential expenses, sale of productive assets and begging.


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    Source: Food and Agriculture Organization
    Country: Afghanistan, Algeria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Syrian Arab Republic, Ukraine, United Republic of Tanzania, World, Yemen, Zimbabwe

    Global crop prospects benign, but hunger intensifies in areas suffering from conflict

    Food security worsens further in Southern Africa due to drought

    9 March 2016, Rome - Thirty-four countries, including 27 in Africa, are currently in need of external assistance for food due to drought, flooding and civil conflicts, according to a new edition of FAO's Crop Prospects and Food Situation report released today.

    The figure has grown from 33 last December, after the addition of Swaziland.

    Drought associated with El Nino has "sharply reduced" 2016 crop production prospects in Southern Africa, while expectations for the harvest in Morocco and Algeria have been lowered due to dry conditions.

    Also in areas of Central America and the Caribbean, ongoing dry conditions linked to El Nino may affect sowings of the main season crops for the third consecutive year.

    Moreover, persistent conflicts in Iraq, the Syrian Arab Republic, Yemen, Somalia, and the Central African Republic have taken a heavy toll on the agricultural sector, further worsening the humanitarian crisis in those countries.

    In most cases, the impact of conflict extends into neighbouring countries such as Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of Congo that are hosting refugee populations.

    In several countries already in need of external assistance for food, conditions generally worsened in the past three months, according to the report from FAO's Global Information and Early Warning System (GIEWS), mainly in the Southern Africa sub-region, where food prices have reached record highs.

    The report also warned that last year's reduced production would negatively impact the food security situation in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, where "most households were already estimated to have borderline or poor food consumption."

    Elsewhere, the outlook for the 2016 crops already in the ground, mostly winter grains in the northern hemisphere, is generally favourable. Early forecasts indicate large 2016 wheat crops in most countries of Asia.


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