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ReliefWeb - Updates

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

    The security situation in South Eastern Niger continues to deteriorate due to a growing number of attacks by Boko Haram. On 6 February 2015, the armed group Boko Haram attacked Niger for the first time, with an incursion in Bosso. Several other incursions occured in the Diffa region during the period February 2015 to February 2016. As a consequence, thousands of people displaced, with humanitarian needs that are barely met due to limited access by humanitarian organizations. In November 2015, some settlers along the Komadougou river moved preventively to escape from the attacks of Boko Haram insurgents.


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    Source: Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development
    Country: Niger

    Au Niger, l’accès à l’eau et à des conditions d’assainissement et d’hygiène est particulièrement crucial dans la région de Diffa, régulièrement touchée par des épidémies de choléra.

    Depuis 2014, le climat d’insécurité dans la région a poussé les populations originairement installées sur les rives du Lac Tchad à s’installer dans la région de Diffa au Niger. Face à ces déplacements massifs de populations, ACTED est mobilisée pour apporter une réponse d’urgence dans la région.

    Les équipes d’ACTED y ont identifié d’importants besoins en matière d’accès à l’eau et à l’hygiène. Pour y répondre, les équipes d’ACTED ont lancé, avec le soutien de l’Union Européenne (ECHO), la réalisation de 5 points d’eau et de plusieurs centaines de latrines dans les communautés, les écoles et les centres de santé des sites accueillant beaucoup de ménages déplacés. Cela permet aux populations les plus vulnérables de pouvoir accéder à de l’eau potable de qualité, et de vivre dans des conditions d’hygiène décentes.

    Pour poursuivre et compléter cette action dans la région de Diffa, ACTED réalise depuis janvier 2016, avec le soutien de l’UNICEF, de nombreux points d’eau et latrines sur des sites d’accueil temporaires dont le nombre ne cesse de s’accroître en raison des importants mouvements de populations en provenance de la zone frontalière du Nigéria et des rives du Lac Tchad. Ces deux interventions devraient permettre d’améliorer les conditions de vie d’environ 35 000 personnes sur l’ensemble des sites.


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    Source: IRIN
    Country: Cameroon, Nigeria

    By Mbom Sixtus

    Nigeria’s war against Boko Haram is finally swinging in the government’s favour, but it’s going to take much longer for food production to recover in the country’s northeast. The same is true in neighbouring Cameroon, which has also felt the impact of the violence.

    More on IRIN


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    Source: International Organization for Migration
    Country: Libya, Nigeria, World

    Libya - IOM yesterday (10/03) helped 172 stranded Nigerian migrants, including 6 women, to return home to Nigeria from Libya. One hundred forty-two had spent months in immigration detention centers.

    The repatriation – done in close cooperation with Libyan authorities, Nigeria’s Embassy in Tripoli and the IOM office in Nigeria – was on board a charter flight departing Tripoli’s Mitiga Airport and arriving in Lagos in the morning.

    Before departure, IOM Libya staff provided clothes, shoes, underwear, and hygiene kits. A mobile patrol from the Tripoli Security Committee escorted the buses to Mitiga airport.

    Almost all the migrants traveling on this charter were detained as they were trying to cross to Europe. Despite ending their journey of hope inside detention centres, these migrants consider themselves lucky to have escaped death on the Mediterranean, which this year has taken the lives of 97 migrants and refugees on the route linking Libya to Italy.

    The funds for this charter were provided by the European Union and the Italian Ministry of Interior, under the project called Prevention and Management of Irregular Migration Flows from the Sahara Desert to the Mediterranean Sea (SAHMED).

    The stories were similar in the light of the current unstable situation in Libya, which caused migrants many physical and psychological problems.

    For further information, please contact Othman Belbeisi at IOM Libya, Tel +216 29 600389, Email: obelbeisi@iom.int or Ashraf Hassan, IOM Geneva, Tel: + +216 29794707Email: ashassan@iom.int

    Analysis:

    Adam, a 26-year-old construction worker, said: "The beginning of my suffering was in the desert road from Agadez (Niger) to Al Qatrun (South Libya). I was ill and my sickness got worse during the trip, so the driver threw me out of the car in the desert, where I stayed for a whole day suffering from fever without water, food or shelter. Then I had been rescued by two people who took me to the detention centre in Al Qatrun. I remained there for nearly 3 weeks and had been released after I contacted my family to pay 1200 LYD (916 USD) for medical treatment.”

    Josh, 18 years old, one of the youngest detainees in Abu Saleem Centre, said: "This is not the first time that I have been detained in Libya since I came with my brother (Issa) almost a year ago. I stayed alone in Qatrun detention centre for about a month, after the release of my brother, until he was able to pay an amount of approximately 1050 LYD (800 USD) to someone there to release me.” His brother Christin, 34, continues. "We lived with my parents and my sister... After graduating from college, I worked in the field of computers, but the income was very humble so we decided to travel to Libya. My father gave me money and I decided to take my brother Josh with me because I thought that the trip would be safe and employment opportunities were available. However, the reality was much worse than I imagined. I paid a total of nearly 6,500 LYD (4960 USD) to get here and as you can see, we are being held in a detention centre with nothing. "

    The road from Sabha to Tripoli is not less difficult from the one of Agadez to Al Qatrun, where sometimes smuggling gangs put more than 22 migrants in a Toyota pickup truck and pay bribes at security checkpoints. Usually they switched cars to transport migrants (each smuggler transports within his area).

    Yusuf, 18, came to Libya nine months ago looking for work and money to cross to Europe, or the "Land of Dreams", as he calls it. "Crossing to Europe was my dream. In order to achieve it, I bore the long risky road, hunger and cold but now my dream is to go back safe to my mother, my brothers and my friends. And IOM helped me to make it true.”


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    Source: Food and Agriculture Organization
    Country: Mali, Mauritania

    FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

    • Despite slow onset of seasonal rains, overall crop prospects remain favourable

    • Food prices stable, reflecting adequate supplies

    • Humanitarian assistance continues to be needed, including for Malian refugees

    Despite irregular rains in parts of the country, above-average 2015 cereal harvest was gathered

    The slow start of the rainfall during the 2015 cropping season has initially delayed plantings of rice and coarse grains in several parts of the country. However, precipitation increased significantly from July, improving soil water reserves and crop prospects across the country. Despite the late start of the rains, dieri (rainfed) crop production improved significantly compared to the previous year and the five‑year average. Similarly, the irrigated coarse grains crops developed normally as the water need satisfaction index has generally remained adequate for these crops. By contrast, the rice planted area and production have been negatively affected.

    A joint CILSS/FAO/FEWSNet/WFP Crop Assessment Mission that visited the country in November estimated the 2015 aggregate cereals production at some 342 000 tonnes (including off‑season crop harvest forecasts), about 8 percent lower than the 2014 bumper crop but 15 percent above the average of the previous five years. The decline in aggregate cereal output (compared to 2014) was driven by a 24 percent drop in rice production. Production of sorghum and maize increased by 63 percent and 38 percent, respectively. The filling levels of most water points were adequate, pastures regenerated well and animals are reported to be in good condition.

    A bumper crop was gathered last year. The aggregate 2014 cereal production was estimated at about 373 000 tonnes, 20 percent above the previous year’s reduced crop and 45 percent above average.

    Food prices stable reflecting adequate supplies

    Mauritania’s domestic cereal production only covers one-third of the national utilization requirement in a normal year. The country is highly dependent on imports of coarse grains (millet and sorghum) from its neighbours Senegal and Mali, as well as wheat purchased on the international market.

    Food prices have been generally stable in recent months, reflecting good supplies of imported staple foods and stocks from the above‑average cereal harvest gathered.

    Food situation improved but continued assistance needed, especially for vulnerable people

    A large segment of the Mauritanian population relies on traditional agriculture and livestock‑related activities to maintain their livelihoods, and, therefore, remain in a state of chronic vulnerability due to unpredictable seasonal rains and climatic conditions. Moreover, the high import dependency rate for food exposes the population to fluctuations of the global market. In addition, the armed conflict in Northern Mali has forced thousands of Malians to cross the border into Mauritania. According to UNHCR as of early February 2016, more than 52 154 Malian refugees were still living in Mauritania, mostly in the Mberra Camp. Results of the last “Cadre Harmonisé” analysis in the country indicate that about 149 000 people are in Phase 3: “Crisis” and above and require urgent assistance for food.


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Nigeria

    Kano, Nigeria | AFP | Sunday 3/13/2016 - 04:05 GMT

    by Aminu ABUBAKAR

    The annual rains are approaching in northeast Nigeria but with farmers having fled the Boko Haram conflict and their fields fallow, it's feared another planting season will come and go.

    "If this crop season is missed, the food situation will worsen," warned Mohammed Rijiya, president of the Borno State Chamber of Commerce.

    "It is not sustainable to continue feeding the displaced in camps. They need to go back home and cultivate," he told AFP.

    At least 17,000 people have been killed since the conflict began in 2009, most of them in Borno state. More than 2.6 million others have been forced to flee their homes.

    Fears of raids or the aftermath of deadly attacks have left towns and villages deserted, forcing many in the largely agricultural region into camps for the internally displaced or host communities.

    With harvests missed, stores of grains looted, livestock stolen and roads blocked, food has been in increasingly short supply in rural Borno and even the towns and cities where many have fled.

    The World Food Programme last month said 5.6 million people in the Lake Chad Basin of northeast Nigeria, northern Cameroon, southeastern Niger and southwestern Chad were "food insecure".

    A total of $32 million (29 million euros) was "urgently required to meet the most immediate needs in the four countries over the next six months", the WFP said.

    Last year, nearly 6,500 children were found to be severely malnourished in IDP camps in Borno, according to health officials.

    Malnutrition was a factor in the deaths of 459 from preventable childhood illness.

    • Rural lifeline -

    With the Islamists now on the run after a sustained military counter-offensive over the last year, business leaders believe trade should be at the forefront of the region's revival.

    "The government has to ensure the resumption of security in the areas affected by the violence and the resumption of economic activities there for normal life to return," said Rijiya.

    Currently, all 280 rural markets across Borno have been shut because of the violence, with the government and military worried about Boko Haram's use of local trading centres to raise money.

    Last week, the Borno authorities shut down four cattle markets following security reports they were being used by the militants to sell stolen livestock.

    That -- and the closure of the main cattle market in the state capital, Maiduguri -- has led to a shortage of meat, provoking a public outcry.

    Even Boko Haram itself has not been immune from the shortages, with reports dozens of starving fighters have surrendered and forced into neighbouring countries in the search for food.

    There are fears that reopening the markets -- a lifeline for local traders and people -- could turn on the militants' supply routes again.

    But Rijiya said: "These rural markets drive the local economy of Borno because they provide patronage to our traders. As long as these markets remain closed there is no end to our suffering."

    • Security key -

    Nigeria's military recently announced it has secured and re-opened the Damboa to Biu and Maiduguri to Gamboru roads, which were previously prone to regular attacks on motorists.

    Securing all major routes in to and out of Maiduguri and other commercial centres is now key to allowing people to return.

    "The security situation is precarious because only Maiduguri is secure," said Abubakar Gamandi, who heads the fishermen's union in Borno.

    "But once you venture three kilometres (nearly two miles) outside the city you are prone to Boko Haram attacks because the gunmen are not far from the city."

    The road to Gamboru, on Borno's eastern border with Cameroon, is still a known hot-spot for attacks and all but impassable without a military escort, which is impossible for most, Gamandi said.

    Borno's government aims to return the displaced to areas secured by the military as part of its reconstruction, resettlement and rehabilitation programme.

    But the commissioner responsible, Babagana Umara, has said the project could take years and the state doesn't have the huge resources needed to rebuild hundreds of destroyed towns.

    Several traders instead proposed paying compensation to the displaced to allow them to rebuild at their own pace and get the economy moving again.

    "It is not about reconstruction, it is all about restoring security to our homes and resuming trade and commerce," said Bundi Abba, who heads the boat operators' union in Baga, on Lake Chad.

    "Once that is done we will gradually rebuild our lives because we have all it takes to do that."

    abu/phz/cw

    © 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse


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

    Hier vers 19h, un tragique incident s’est déroulé dans le camp de la MINUSMA à Tessalit, région de Kidal, lorsqu’un Casque bleu a tiré sur trois de ses collègues.

    Deux morts sont à déplorer, un autre a été légèrement blessé.

    Le suspect a été arrêté, la sécurité dans le camp a été renforcée, une enquête permettra de déterminer les causes et circonstances exactes de l’incident.


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    Source: Government of Nigeria
    Country: Nigeria

    Ertharin cousin Executive Director world food program and Yaya Olaiton Nigerian Ambassador to Rome and other officials visited Maiduguri Borno state to launch a conditional cash transfer CCT program sponsored by the United Nations World Food Program UNWFP targeting 45,000 households amongs the 1.2 million Internally Displaced persons residing in host communities across the metropolis.

    Before flagging off the exercise and interacting with beneficiaries at Chezkon IDP host community, the team was led on a courtesy call to the Deputy Governor of Borno state Alh Usman Durkwa by the zonal coordinator NEMA North East AlhMohammed Kanar . The team which visited Maiduguri also included officials from NEMA Headquarters, Mr Kayode Fagbemi Deputy Director Planning, Research/Forecasting and TPL Akande Isiaka Iyiola Deputy Director Disaster Risk Reduction . WFP has been a major partner of NEMA especially in providing technical support to the Agency in managing Disaster across the country


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


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    Source: UN Office for West Africa
    Country: Burkina Faso, Guinea, Niger, Nigeria

    Opening Remarks

    The Department of Political Affairs (DPA), in cooperation with UNOWAS, organized a field visit of donors who have contributed to the Multi-Year Appeal over the last two years. The meeting took place in Dakar, Senegal, on 14-15 March 2016. Kindly find below the full remarks of Mohamed Ibn Chambas, the Special Representative of the Secretary General and Head of United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS).

    Dakar, 14 March 2016- Excellences, Ladies and Gentlemen,

    I am very honored to host this first field visit of DPA donors to UNOWAS in Dakar. I welcome the Ambassadors and the representatives of the diplomatic corps, and thank you all for their participation. I am pleased to welcome my very good friend Mr. Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support, who has been an invaluable support to many of UNOWAS’ initiatives. I thank the UNDP Resident Coordinator for Senegal, Ms. Bintou Djibo, for attending our meeting.

    I am grateful for this opportunity to present our work to all of you, as a relevant example of what UN Special Political Missions under DPA can achieve, in a region that is not spared from challenges to peace and security, as we have sadly witnessed yesterday with the events in Cote d’Ivoire.

    Established in 2002, this office was the first regional conflict prevention and peacebuilding office of the United Nations. We cover 16 countries and we also have a presence in Cameroon, in the framework of the Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed Commission (CNMC). As you recall, our current mandate gives this office the responsibility to lead UN efforts in preventive diplomacy, conflict resolution, mediation and support to sub-regional organizations in the region. In this regard, we assist member states and organizations to tackle transnational security challenges, to promote good governance, respect for Rule of Law and human rights, while advancing gender mainstreaming for conflict prevention. In one of today’s sessions, our gender affairs officer will introduce our contribution towards higher participation of women during elections in the region, notably through the establishment of Women Situation Rooms (cases de veille), an endeavour for which the contribution of the Peace-Building Support Office has been essential. In Guinea, over 2000 women observers were mobilised throughout the country during last October’s elections. They were able to alert on challenges on the ground in a timely fashion. Similarly, we have worked closely with PBSO to establish an advisory capacity on Security Sector Reform in Guinea, since 2013, and more recently in the context of the post-Ebola recovery. We are currently looking into expanding this partnership, notably in Burkina Faso, where I will travel with Mr. Fernandez-Taranco in a couple of days. In January 2016, the Security Council instructed the Secretariat to proceed with a merger of UNOWA with the Office of the Special Envoy on the Sahel (OSES). This brings the implementation of the UN Integrated Strategy for the Sahel and our advocacy for Sahel-related issues under my responsibility.

    Distinguished colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen,

    Improving socio-economic conditions is essential for longer-term prosperity and stability in West Africa: ever since my arrival at UNOWA in October 2014, I have met very regularly with the 13 UN regional agencies based in Dakar, as their programs seek to address some of the structural causes for conflicts. I have worked very closely with the Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Sahel, Mr. Toby Lanzer, who leads UN agencies’ efforts to respond to the dramatic humanitarian situation in the Lake Chad Basin area. I would like to take this opportunity to advocate, also, for the continuous support of partners, so that the UN system maintains this level of mobilization; this is critical, as countries affected by the Boko Haram crisis continue to witness flows of refugees and displaced persons - a total of over 5 million of women, men and children who struggle to secure basic necessities, amidst disruption of their living conditions.

    Earlier in my introduction, I mentioned our role with regard to the implementation of the 2002 International Court of Justice ruling on the land and maritime boundary dispute between Cameroon and Nigeria. Our team of technicians and military observers assists in advancing the delimitation of the border. This has seen delays over the last 2 years, due to the insecurity generated by Boko Haram. Nonetheless, the parties held technical planning meetings in Abuja and Yaoundé in November and December 2015 for the construction of the remaining 1,800 pillars. I am hopeful the new impetus given by President Buhari’s administration will help to resolve outstanding issues. In February, I visited both Cameroun and Nigeria to discuss the dates for reconvening the ministerial meeting, with the view to finish the delimitation of the remaining 100km of border. In this context, continuous support for our activities with regard to the CNMC, including confidence-building projects for the communities involved in the delimitation of the border, remains essential.

    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    I mentioned our dedicated support to regional organizations; this includes the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), our main institutional partner, but also the African Union, the Mano River Union, the Lake Chad Basin Commission (in coordination with the regional office for Central Africa, based in Libreville) and the Gulf of Guinea Commission. We have also been engaged with the G5 Sahel, through the former office of the Special Envoy for the Sahel. We collaborate closely with the African Union, ECOWAS, the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) and the Commonwealth during electoral periods.

    With regard to ECOWAS, our wide range of activities features high-level coordination and joint initiatives for conflict prevention, promoting women’s participation and contribution to stability in West Africa, advancing maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea with ECCAS, and supporting the newly- established ECOWAS Mediation Support Division, for which a UNOWAS team travelled to Abuja last week. We will hear later on today of the feedback of ECOWAS colleagues on this specific item. The DSRSG will further present the details of our partnership with regional organizations. This is an aspect of our mandate that is streamlined in all our activities, and helps us deliver more effectively: these partnerships are an essential part of our ability to ensure longer-term solutions to political tensions in the region.

    I would now like to draw your attention to the type of activity this office undertakes in support for my good offices and preventive diplomacy, and why your contributions have enabled UNOWAS to fulfil its duties: I took my functions at UNOWA in October 2014. Since then, a number of political and security upheavals have taken place in the region, which I have sought to address effectively with the help of regional and international partners. I estimate that over 90% of my activities have actually taken place outside of Senegal. This 2015-2018 electoral cycle, in which the 16 countries under our watch will have witnessed presidential elections, has shown intrinsic risks of instability. The prevention of electoral violence has been high on our agenda. Notably, the availability of funds through which DPA sustains our efforts in the field has been critical for early warning missions, deploying staff for in-depth monitoring and to support my efforts, conducting crisis interventions as well as stabilizing the political situation. Several crises situations, such as the ones encountered in Burkina Faso, and the unravelling political context in Guinea, have required rapid reaction, quick mobilization of support, as well as my engagement for unforeseen periods of time. In this regard I would like to emphasize here the contribution of Resident Coordinators to my good offices. We maintain constant contact during critical times, such as the electoral processes currently taking place in Niger and in Benin.

    Our engagement during the uncertain period of the elections in Nigeria, in 2015, spanned over one month, during which an advanced team was dispatched to monitor the electoral campaign and identify risks of violence. Weeks before the polls, together with national and regional partners, we brought the main contenders and party leaders to sign a code of conduct, and commit to abide by rules of mutual respect, and to impose such standards to their constituencies and supporters. As the potential for these elections to derail was significant even on Election Day, collective efforts were required for the results to be accepted and the power shift to be peaceful. In the 2011 Presidential elections, over 800 casualties were deplored during post-electoral violence. This time around, in 2015, there were less than 60 victims, all during the pre-electoral period, and for the most part the product of internal skirmishes. Preventing violence and loss of lives is bound to remain a paramount objective for UNOWAS. As shown by the example of Burkina Faso, the region is not immune to constitutional changes driven by leaders willing to extend their terms in office. In the future, a scenario similar to that unfolding in Burundi cannot be totally ruled out. In such circumstances, having the means to conduct preventive diplomacy and engage with key actors at the right time, in order to restore confidence, trust, and constitutional order, is decisive.

    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    The advancement of democracy and stability in the region requires vigilance. It often depends on a timely response. Due to the specific nature of our work, this “time” factor often tilts the scale between success and failure. Over the years, this office has developed the ability to address different emerging issues simultaneously. The examples of working at the same time on Nigeria, Guinea and Burkina Faso, reflect how targeted and rapid funding can make a difference. As evidenced in our current deployment in Niger, where the country awaits the second round of Presidential elections under increasing uncertainties, we frequently rely upon extra-budgetary and rapid-reaction funds. We are grateful for the important support received from DPA’s XB and hope this will continue. I would also like to advocate for further support to the joint UNDP/DPA programme of Peace and Development Advisors, which have proved to be valuable assets for Resident Coordinators in the region, as my colleague in Togo will inform.

    I am proud that the name of the UN has continued to be associated to the consolidation of democratic stability in West Africa under my tenure. I would like to share these achievements with my entire office, including our mission support section which provides services to both UNOWAS and CNMC. Again, I would also like to thank your respective governments and institutions for enabling this office to fulfill its responsibilities, and assist national governments and regional organizations in their efforts to maintain peace, stability, democracy and sustainable development.

    I thank you for your attention.

    Bureau de la Communication et de l’Information Publique
    Kouider Zerrouk, Chef de bureau – (+221) 33-869-8560 / 77- 3324928 – zerrouk@un.org
    Vicky Delore Ndjeuga, Chargé de communication – (+221) 33-869-8544 / 77- 3339414 – ndjeuga@un.org
    Angelita Mendy Diop, Chargée de communication – (+221) 33-869-8547 / 77-450-6181– mendya@un.org
    Presentation by SRSG Chambas
    Dakar, 14 March 2016


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    Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
    Country: Cameroon, Nigeria

    Objectifs Stratégiques - 2016

    HRP

    1 .Recueillir les données sur les risques et les vulnérabilités, les analyser et intégrer les résultats dans la programmation humanitaire et de développement

    2 . Soutenir les populations vulnérables à mieux faire face aux chocs en répondant aux signaux d’alerte de manière anticipée, réduisant la durée du relèvement post-crise et renforçant les capacités des acteurs nationaux.

    3 . Fournir aux personnes en situation d’urgence une assistance coordonnée et intégrée, nécessaire à leur survie.

    RRRP

    1 . Assurer la protection des réfugiés nigérians, y compris l'accès à l'asile et maintenir le caractère civil et humanitaire de l’asile

    2 . Assurer que les besoins fondamentaux des réfugiés au camp Minawao sont remplies et encourager la résilience des réfugiés et celle des communautés d'accueil


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    Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
    Country: Cameroon


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

    CONVERGING CHALLENGES, COMPOUNDING RISKS

    A REGION UNDER HIGH PRESSURE

    In the Sahel, extreme poverty, fastgrowing populations, climate change, recurrent food and nutrition crises, armed conflicts and insecurity are building up to a perfect storm threatening the lives of communities already living on the brink of crisis.

    The region is one of the world’s climate change hotspots. Increasingly unpredictable weather patterns, more frequent droughts and floods and land degradation threaten the livelihoods of a population in which the majority relies on agriculture for survival.

    Environmental shocks, insecurity, chronic hunger and malnutrition have a dangerously symbiotic relationship in the Sahel. A spike in armed conflict and violence worsens the Sahel’s chronic hardship and has led to new peaks in displacement across the region. Lack of opportunities and unemployment, deteriorating security, economic and social inequality expose youths to risks of radicalization and recruitment. Many seek brighter prospects elsewhere, fueling the global migration crisis.

    Faced with serious threats, Governments risk channeling more resources to address security challenges at the expense of social development. Past gains and future development prospects are at stake. If these challenges remain unaddressed, the prospects for the region are dire, and the most vulnerable communities will suffer the most.

    HOTSPOT OF CLIMATE CHANGE

    ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION HITS THE MOST VULNERABLE FIRST

    Although their region has contributed the least to global carbon emissions,
    Sahelians are paying a steep price for the consequences of human-induced climate change. Experts predict that West Africa and the Sahel are becoming a “hotspot” of climate change, with unprecedented climates not seen in the rest of the world. Analysing exposure to extreme events, vulnerabilities and adaptive capacity, experts identify Chad, Niger and Nigeria amongst countries at “extreme climate risk”. All other Sahel countries will be facing a “high risk”. Considering the fragility of its economies, reliance on natural resources, fast population growth and weak governance, the repeated exposure to extreme climate risks further deteriorating the region’s existing vulnerabilities.

    UNCERTAINTY IS THE NEW NORM

    The impact of climate change is already being felt. Over the past decades, growing climate fluctuations and more frequent shocks have pushed Sahelians on the brink of humanitarian disasters.
    Over the past two decades, the start of the rainy season has become erratic, annual precipitation amounts variable, with longer drought periods. Extreme weather events such as floods are more frequent and severe. The regional climate trends observed over the last 40 years show that overall average temperatures have risen. The most recent severe drought, in 2012, was the third to hit the Sahel in less than a decade. With climate shocks coming at a higher rate, vulnerable households are increasingly less able to cope with crises and struggle to recover in time before they are hit again. Many have to adopt survival strategies, such as selling livestock, cutting down on meals or taking children out of school, which is making them more vulnerable over time. Today, vulnerability is such that millions of households require only a relatively small shock to fall into crisis.

    GROWING NEEDS, SHRINKING RESOURCES

    The population of the Sahel grows at a runaway rate of an average 3.5 per cent every year, doubling every three decades. Experts fear that available food resources will not be sufficient to sustain a growing population. Projections estimate that twice more cereals will need to be available to sustain the food needs of the population by 2050. Water for the region’s agriculture –which 98 percent is rainfed- is getting scarcer.


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    Source: World Food Programme, UN Children's Fund
    Country: Mali, Mauritania

    NOUAKCHOTT, MAURITANIA, March 10, 2016 – Le Programme alimentaire mondial (PAM) et le Fonds des Nations Unies pour l’Enfance (UNICEF) lancent un appel d’urgence aux bailleurs de fonds afin de mobiliser les ressources nécessaires pour maintenir l’assistance vitale apportée aux familles mauritaniennes les plus vulnérables.

    En Mauritanie, le PAM travaille avec le gouvernement, les agences des Nations Unies et des ONGs nationales et internationales pour fournir une aide alimentaire à plus de 380 000 personnes qui vivent dans l’insécurité alimentaire, plus de 117000 enfants de moins de cinq ans et 72000 femmes enceintes et allaitantes souffrant de malnutrition ainsi que 50 000 réfugiés maliens dans le camp de M’berra. Le manque crucial de fonds a déjà conduit le PAM à cesser les distributions de repas dans les écoles depuis la fin du mois de Décembre, laissant plus de 150 000 écoliers des familles vulnérables dans l’insécurité alimentaire.

    “Nous craignons que ces déficits de fonds anticipés nous obligent à suspendre de nouveau l’assistance que nous apportons. Ceci des effets dévastateurs sur la sécurité alimentaire des familles les plus pauvres » explique Janne Suvanto, le Représentant du PAM en Mauritanie. « Sans financement supplémentaire, le PAM se verra contraint de distribuer des rations plus petites et réduire la fréquence des distributions. De plus, en raison du manque de fonds, il n’y a aucune intervention dans les régions du Brakna et du Hodh El Gharbi ».

    En Mauritanie, l’UNICEF cible les femmes enceintes et les enfants de moins de cinq ans pour prévenir la malnutrition et ses conséquences. Dans sa lutte contre la malnutrition, l’UNICEF conduit un important nombre d’activités, comme la promotion de l’allaitement maternel, l’apport d’une alimentation complémentaire pour les enfants de plus de 6 mois et de suppléments en micronutriments pour mères et enfants afin de remédier à toutes les carences. En 2015, 80% des structures de santé ont intégré les soins CRENAS/CRENI. Ainsi, 18,280 enfants affectés par la malnutrition aigüe sévère ont été admis et traités. “La situation nutritionnelle en Mauritanie s’est dégradée pendant la période de soudure de 2015” a souligné Souleymane Diabaté, Représentant UNICEF en Mauritanie. “Ceci a conduit à une augmentation du nombre d’enfants souffrant de malnutrition. Nous craignons que ce nombre augmente davantage cette année. Sans fonds supplémentaires, nous ne serons pas en mesure de faire face à cette situation ».

    Plus de 450 000 mauritaniens vivent dans l’insécurité alimentaire. Le PAM, avec la Commission Nationale pour la Sécurité Alimentaire et l’UNICEF, mènent une lutte contre la faim et la malnutrition. “Notre incapacité à répondre à cette situation aurait des conséquences graves sur les familles les plus vulnérables. Nous avons besoin de 21 millions de dollars pour pouvoir poursuivre nos activités jusqu’en Août » explique Janne Suvanto.

    En Mauritanie, en Juin 2015, la prévalence de la malnutrition aigüe sévère était de 14%, la plus élevée depuis 2012, exposant ainsi encore plus les populations vulnérables aux risques nutritionnels. Ces urgences nutritionnelles deviennent de plus en plus récurrentes : d’un cycle de 5 ans, elles surviennent désormais tous les 2 ans. “Nous avons besoin de 2 millions de dollars pour faire face à cette situation” a déclaré Souleymane Diabaté. “Cette année, le taux de guérison des enfants affectés par la malnutrition aigüe sévère était de 80%. Un taux que nous espérons pouvoir améliorer grâce à la mobilisation des ressources».

    “Notre assistance conjointe est vitale pour les familles vulnérables, toutefois, les ressources disponibles ne nous permettent pas d’apporter l’assistance nécessaire aux populations vulnérables. Nous avons besoin du soutien de tous pour poursuivre ces interventions vitales » a conclu le Représentant du PAM en Mauritanie.

    /# # #

    Le PAM est la plus grande agence humanitaire qui lutte contre la faim dans le monde. Chaque année, le PAM apporte une assistance à quelques 80 millions de personnes dans près de 80 pays.

    L’UNICEF, un des principaux organismes d’aide humanitaire et de développement, travaille partout dans le monde en faveur des droits de chaque enfant. Les droits de l’enfant commencent avec un hébergement sûr, une bonne nutrition, la protection contre les catastrophes naturelles et les conflits et durent toute la vie : soins prénatals pour une naissance en bonne santé, eau propre et assainissement, soins de santé et éducation. L’UNICEF s’efforce depuis près de soixante-dix ans d’améliorer la vie des enfants et de leurs familles.

    Pour plus d’information veuillez contacter (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org):

    PAM Mauritanie: Enrico Piano, Chargé de l’Information et des Rapports, enrico.piano@wfp.org +222 26891399


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

    HIGHLIGHTS

    • UNHCR opened a field unit in Menaka, Gao region.

    • More than 300 households, or more than 950 returned refugees, were registered in December, coming back from Mauritania and Burkina Faso.

    • Members of the Malian parliament gathered on 16 December to adopt the texts on the accession to the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness. Mali becomes the 10th member state of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to accede to the 1954 convention and the ninth ECOWAS member state to accede to the 1961 convention.

    • The 2015 cash-based intervention (CBI) pilot project successfully came to an end, benefiting a total of 4,307 returned refugees (2,479 in Gao, 336 in Mopti and 1,492 in Timbuktu). Returnees received $110 per adult and $50 per child. The beneficiaries expressed their deep appreciation for this initiative, which contributed to enhancing self-reliance among returnees. The project will continue in 2016.

    Operational Context

    Mali is slowly pulling out of the intense political and military crisis that started in 2012. Insecurity across the country remains high due to aggravated terrorist and criminal threats with lawlessness characterizing large swaths of territory. Violations of basic human rights are still reported, prices of basic necessities are high and local populations are in dire need of access to public services, documentation, water and food security. To date, more than 140,000 Malian refugees in neighboring countries and nearly 62,000 displaced persons in Mali are waiting to see whether conditions in their areas of origin improve to allow them to return in safety and dignity.

    Malian armed forces have launched anti-terrorism and anti-criminality operations in the regions of Mopti and Ségou. However, unsecured roads make the use of escorts and armored vehicles mandatory in the riskiest areas, including where UNHCR has field offices (entire Gao and Timbuktu regions, and parts of Mopti region); access to persons of concern is therefore increasingly difficult. Although terrorism and crime constrain freedom of movement, there is no doubt that the agreement between parties in the North has created new hopes for stability and conducive conditions for returns in some areas. Community dialogue is bearing fruit in several conflict-prone areas. Nonetheless, insecurity and absence of state control increases displaced persons’ vulnerability to endemic criminality. In December, two unidentified armed men stole a UNHCR vehicle in use by its partner, Mercy Corps, in Timbuktu. Regular criminal acts continue in the regions of Mopti, Timbuktu and Gao, where UNHCR operates, even in urban areas. During the holiday season, the threat of terrorist attacks was high throughout the country and many public events had to be canceled. In the wake of the November 2015 attack on the Radisson Hotel in Bamako, the Malian government extended the state of emergency until 31 March 2016.


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    Source: Food and Agriculture Organization
    Country: Nigeria

    As part of the on-going assessment of the food security (FS) situation of IDPs affected by the ongoing insurgency, a rapid fact-finding mission to Adamawa, Borno and Yobe was recently concluded by a FAO/FSS coordination team between February 26th and March 7th 2016. The fact-finding team visited several formal and informal camps, and engaged in conversations with agencies and resident IDPs. There were also a number of bilateral discussions with other stakeholders and government agencies (primarily SEMA & NEMA)1

    Key findings of the fact-finding team:

    • Based on information from government agencies, and other humanitarian actors, the overall food security situation in the formal camps throughout Adamawa, Borno and Yobe is fairly tolerable.

    • In the formal camps in Adamawa, the food security was deemed adequate by the fact-finding team.

    • In the formal camps in Borno, the food security situation is moderately sufficient.

    • In the formal camps in Yobe, the food security situation is unclear, which could be a cause of concern, and in need of further assessment. Based on information from a selection of stakeholders and humanitarian actors, the main challenge is access to the camps in question, which makes a proper assessment of the situation difficult.


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    Source: World Food Programme, Food and Agriculture Organization, Food Security Cluster
    Country: Nigeria

    Food Security Sector (FSS) Highlights for February 2016

    • Food Security situation in IDP camps in the Northeast In late January 2016, the National Food Security Working Group (FSWG) received reports from partners in the states that the food security situation in the IDP camps was deteriorating. A coordinated FAO/FSS fact-finding mission was conducted between February 26th and March 7th 2016 to ascertain the food security situation in the camps. The preliminary findings from the mission indicate that the overall food security situation in the formal camps is fairly tolerable. The full report of the assessment mission will be published in the March 2016 bulletin.

    • Summary of FS interventions for February 2016 A total of 11,042 households (94,512 persons) benefitted from Food Security & Livelihoods interventions in February 2016. The main interventions were in the form of food assistance, unconditional cash transfers (cash for food), and crop production inputs for Kitchen Gardening (see table 1 below).

    • Cadre Harmonisé Food Security Analysis The Cadre Harmonisé food security analysis (CH) 1 for Northeast and Northwest Nigeria took place from the 26th of February to the 1st of March, 2016 in Kano. The national consolidation workshop took place in Abuja on the 3 rd and 4th of March, 2016.
      The full report of the analysis will be published in the March 2016 bulletin, and is available on the Humanitarianresponse.info web-site.

    • Control of Avian Influenza As of 26th February 2016, Avian Influenza has now spread to 25 states in the country, including the FCT (Abuja). The disease has so far affected farms and poultry establishments in 118 LGAs across Nigeria. The total reported number of birds culled is 2,964,961, while compensation has only been paid for 1,050,904 culls, and 382,931 destroyed eggs. The total number of birds culled and awaiting compensation payment has increased to 2,027,510 (amongst 393 farmers/farms).

    • Continuing depreciation of the Naira (₦)
      The value of the local currency (₦) depreciated by more than 30% between December 2015 and February 2016, primarily due to reduced oil revenues, and continues on a downward slide, with increasing discrepancies between the official rate and secondary market rates. This has significantly reduced Nigeria’s purchasing power for imports of foods, such as rice and wheat, manufactured goods from international markets, and livestock and cash crops from the Sahel. An official devaluation could be expected in the coming months. This will aggravate food insecurity in the Northeast further.

    • Boko Haram conflict update The on-going Boko Haram insurgency continues to negatively affect livelihood activities in the Lake Chad region, with Borno state seeing the highest number of affected households that have had consecutive years of substantially below-average harvests, and restricted income levels, resulting in severely reduced food access, and low dietary diversity scores. Poor households in these areas will continue to have difficulties meeting their minimal food needs through September 2016, and will remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food insecurity levels, depending on the area.


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

    (Bagasola, Chad, 3 March 2016): "At dawn, my village was attacked. I was already 8-months pregnant but I had no choice, I had to run as fast I could," explains Binta Mahamadou, a young mother of 6 children. “We were living in Baga on the shore of the Lake in Nigeria. We fled to Chad by boat. It was the middle of the night and we did not have time to carry anything with us.”

    Read the full article


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    Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
    Country: Cameroon, Nigeria

    DEVELOPPEMENTS MAJEURS

    • Le Haut Commissaire Adjoint pour la Protection, M. Volker Turk, a effectué du 22 au 24 février, une visite au Cameroun pour de constater de visu la situation des réfugiés nigérians et apporter son appui au Bureau du Cameroun dans la gestion des questions de protection. Au cours de cette visite, M. Turk a eu d’importantes rencontres avec les autorités camerounaises, les représentants des pays donateurs basés au Cameroun et les Agences du Système des Nations Unies. Il a également visite le camp de Minawao où il a eu l’occasion de s’entretenir avec une famille réfugiée récemment arrivée au centre de transit et avec la communauté réfugiée du camp. Lors de ses rencontres à Yaoundé, la question du retour des refugies nigérians et de l’accord tripartite en vue de ce retour a été soulevée; tout en insistant sur le respect des principes clés de protection internationale en matière de rapatriement volontaire des réfugiés, M. Turk a réitéré la disponibilité du HCR à apporter son expertise dans l’élaboration de l’Accord Tripartite.

    • Une équipe de la National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) en provenance du Nigeria, a effectué le 3 février, une mission dans l’Extrême Nord pour s’enquérir de la situation des ressortissants nigérians au Cameroun. L’équipe a visité le camp de Minawao et s’est ensuite rendue à Fotokol et à Kousseri dans le département du Logone et Chari, accompagné du HCR. A Fotokol, les ressortissants nigérians ont posé comme conditions à leur retour le rétablissement de la sécurité, la réhabilitation de leurs maisons détruites dans les villages d’origine, le renforcement de la présence des forces de sécurité dans leurs villages d’origine et la désinfection des villages étant donné la possible présence de corps en putréfaction. En retour, NEMA les a rassurés que Boko Haram ne contrôle plus aucune partie du territoire nigérian même si des actes de terrorisme continuent d’être enregistrés. Ils ont fait remarquer que certains réfugiés ne pourront probablement pas rentrer directement dans leurs villages d’origine, mais que le Gouvernement peut les aider à s’installer dans des villages ou villes proches en attendant la stabilisation de la situation dans leurs villages d’origine.

    CONTEXTE OPERATIONNEL

    • Les opérations militaires conjointes menées par le Cameroun, le Nigéria et la Force Mixte multinationale se sont intensifiées depuis le 11 février 2016, se soldant par la mort de plus d’une centaine de membres de Boko Haram, la libération des plus de 100 otages, la destruction des camps et usines de fabrication d’explosifs, et la récupération de la base militaire de Kumshé (Nigéria) tombée auparavant entre les mains Des insurgés groupe terroriste dans un combat face à l’armée nigériane. Malgré ces succès militaires, les insurgés Haram semblent ne pas lâcher prise et poursuivent leurs incursions en territoire camerounais.

    C’est ainsi qu’au cours de la période en revue, plusieurs incidents ont été rapportés dont la plus importante reste celle perpétrée dans la nuit du 23 au 24 février dans la localité de Wawouli non loin de Kolofata où 65 cases ont été incendiées.


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    Source: Croix-Rouge Malienne
    Country: Mali

    Active en matière de lutte contre la malnutrition au Mali depuis 2009, la Croix-Rouge de Belgique appuie la Croix-Rouge malienne dans la mise en œuvre d’actions de lutte contre la malnutrition à Nioro depuis 2013.

    Une intervention à deux niveaux pour lutter contre la malnutrition

    À Nioro, la Croix-Rouge malienne agit à deux niveaux en matière de lutte contre la malnutrition:

    Active en matière de lutte contre la malnutrition au Mali depuis 2009, la Croix-Rouge de Belgique appuie la Croix-Rouge malienne dans la mise en œuvre d’actions de lutte contre la malnutrition à Nioro depuis 2013.

    Une intervention à deux niveaux pour lutter contre la malnutrition

    À Nioro, la Croix-Rouge malienne agit à deux niveaux en matière de lutte contre la malnutrition:

    Le niveau préventif

    La Croix-Rouge accompagne le personnel de santé afin que la prise en charge des cas de malnutrition ait lieu directement au niveau local.

    La malnutrition n’est plus traitée séparément, et les enfants reçus au sein des centres de santé pour toute autre pathologie sont aussi systématiquement dépistés et traités pour la malnutrition lorsqu’ils en montrent les symptômes.

    Nos actions en quelques chiffres

    • Les actions de la Croix-Rouge à Nioro ont permis la prise en charge médicale et le traitement de plus de 15.000 enfants malnutris à Nioro depuis 2013.

    • La situation nutritive des enfants de moins de 5 ans et des femmes enceintes et allaitantes est considérablement améliorée.

    • Les actions de lutte contre la malnutrition sont menées par la Croix-Rouge malienne, avec l’appui de la Croix-Rouge de Belgique.


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