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ReliefWeb - Updates

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    Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
    Country: Mali, Niger

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    Source: European Commission Humanitarian Aid Office
    Country: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Nigeria

    Key messages

    • Cameroon is currently hosting almost 331 000 refugees in total. Some 72 000 are Nigerians*, seeking asylum in the Far North region of Cameroon. The remaining refugees are from the Central African Republic (CAR)*. The situation constitutes a huge challenge for local administrations and communities, making it critical to provide emergency aid to meet basic needs.

    • Asymmetric attacks from the Boko Haram (or Islamic State in West Africa) have increased since July 2015 and have caused the internal displacement of around 139 000 Cameroonians who have fled the unsafe areas at the border with Nigeria. Floods have displaced an additional 30 600 people. The humanitarian response is hampered by the deteriorating security conditions in the Far North, which is reducing access for humanitarian organisations.

    • In the Far North Region, the number of people in need of immediate food assistance has tripled since June 2015 and is now 200 000 people, according to UN OCHA. Severe Acute Malnutrition levels exceed the 2% emergency threshold.

    • The European Commission has substantially expanded its humanitarian support to the affected areas. The €4 million initial allocation for Cameroun at the start of 2015 was increased to adapt to existing needs. By the end of 2015, the total contribution for Cameroon had been increased to €25.2 million. These funds were targeted to populations affected by the Boko Haram violence, to mitigate the impact of El Nino and to CAR refugees. In 2016, the initial funds allocated to humanitarian aid in Cameroon are €11 million.

    • EU funding provides emergency assistance to IDPs, refugees and host populations in terms of shelter, food, safe drinking water and sanitation, primary healthcare and child protection. It also helps address acute food and nutrition insecurity of the most vulnerable population.

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    Source: World Food Programme, Food and Agriculture Organization
    Country: Algeria, Burkina Faso, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Togo


    • Détérioration continue de la situation alimentaire des populations déplacées dans le bassin du lac Tchad.

    • Augmentation du nombre de populations déplacées au Nigeria et au Mali.

    • Poursuite des activités de cultures de décrue et de contre-saison dans la majeure partie des zones de la région.

    • Les approvisionnements en céréales sont jugés globalement satisfaisants dans la région.

    Les activités agricoles de décrue et de contre-saison permettront de générer des revenus pour les ménages pratiquant ces modes de production. La situation pastorale reste dans l’ensemble assez bonne malgré le début de la dégradation des conditions d’abreuvement au niveau des points d’eau et du tapis herbacé.

    Dans le bassin du lac Tchad, la situation alimentaire des populations sur les sites des sous-préfectures de Liwa et Daboua (Tchad) est préoccupante. Les déplacés ont perdu une grande partie de leurs ressources, car ils ont dû abandonner leur champs, bétail ou matériel de pêche durant leur fuite. Les communautés d’accueil sont également en situation de vulnérabilité partageant leurs stocks de nourriture (issus de la pêche, agriculture ou élevage), et parfois leurs terres avec les déplacés. De plus, les prix des denrées sur le marché ont augmenté avec l’arrivée des déplacés.

    Les résultats des missions conjointes d’évaluation des marchés conduites au mois de février 2016 montrent que les niveaux d’approvisionnement en céréales sont jugés globalement satisfaisants dans tous les bassins de la région et se sont améliorés par rapport à l’année dernière. Les prix des céréales ont en général baissé en particulier le maïs tandis que ceux des autres produits vivriers ont fluctué différemment suivant les types de produits ou suivant les pays. La demande est en général en baisse par rapport à l’année précédente et aussi par rapport à son niveau habituel. La disponibilité actuelle au niveau des ménages et des commerçants laisse présager un approvisionnement régulier et constant jusqu’à la période de soudure. Cependant, avec la réduction progressive des stocks des ménages, la demande sera plus importante sur les marchés à partir du mois d’avril sans pour autant perturber le fonctionnement des marchés.

    Dans les trois pays affectés par Ebola, il y a eu une réelle relance et l’approvisionnement des marchés est en nette amélioration par rapport à la période d’Ebola, mais l’animation des marchés reste encore faible par rapport à la période pré-crise.

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    Source: Mercy Corps
    Country: Ethiopia, Niger, South Sudan

    Hunger: It’s not a new problem for many countries in Africa.

    While food is a basic necessity for human life, the reasons why millions of people go hungry are complex.

    Crops are failing in **Ethiopia** due to dry weather conditions caused by El Nino, leading to the worst drought in a decade and triggering a hunger crisis that is affecting 10 million people.

    In **South Sudan**, political instability and widespread displacement due to violent extremism a have combined to create a double threat to food security.

    And in **Niger**, widespread gender inequality keeps good nutritional information and regular meals out of reach, especially for women and girls.

    These are just a few examples of why solving hunger takes more than just food. Better farming practices, safer communities and empowered women—these are some of the key ways we work within communities to tackle food insecurity at its source and come up with solutions that ensure families have enough to eat today, and tomorrow.

    In Ethiopia: Better business can create more food

    We define food security as a milestone achieved when all people at all times eat sufficient, safe, and nutritious food and practice behaviors that promote both their economic stability and well-being.

    In a country like Ethiopia, where 80 percent of the population relies on rain-fed agriculture for the food and income they need to survive, this means building resilience against El Nino, climate change and other unpredictable weather patterns.

    We’ve been on the ground in Ethiopia since 2004, working with local farmers and families to help them access more food and earn steady incomes. And we are continuing to work within communities to strengthen their economies and communities, so they can overcome the 2016 drought and hunger crisis.

    By supplying herders with animal feed, scaling up training and supplies for veterinarians, and connecting herders in hard-hit areas who need to sell animals with commercial livestock traders we are supporting livelihoods.

    And to help the Ethiopian government overcome these cycles of crisis for the long term, we’ve partnered with them to manage their early warning systems network, which monitors things like rainfall and market information to predict food shortages before they happen.

    In the agriculture sector, only crops that can weather climate change and drought will support food security in the long term.

    In South Sudan: Conflict and hunger create vicious cycle

    Food security and conflict are deeply connected.

    Take South Sudan, which declared independence from Sudan in 2011. While South Sudan has agricultural potential, civil war since 2013 has stunted its development as a nation. More than 2.4 million people — nearly 1 in 5—are displaced due to violence.

    Violence interferes with spring planting and then often closes markets due to safety concerns. What little food is available soars in price, and most displaced families have no money to buy any goods. These food shortages are the most dire in Unity, Jonglei and Upper Nile states.

    Since the conflict began, our team has been providing urgent food, water and sanitation assistance. We identify vulnerable families in otherwise inaccessible areas, ensuring critical assistance — vegetable seeds, fishing tools, water purification tablets, nutritional biscuits and other supplies — reaches the people who need it most.

    And in more accessible places, we distribute cash so people can get the food and provisions they urgently need to provide safe, healthy lives for their families.

    Local traders receive funds to resupply their market stalls specifically with the necessities that are most in-demand, including foods like sugar, flour, rice, beans and salt.

    Having access to clean water is key to sanitation and food safety in places like South Sudan and Somalia, where violent extremism and political instability has **displaced 1.1 million people.**

    Food shortages can also cause political instability. In 2007-08, rapid increases in food prices triggered unrest in 43 countries, including a government overthrow in Haiti, as populations reacted to rapidly rising costs for critical food staples.

    In Niger: Empowering women empowers communities

    Research shows that when men and women both have access to information, education and financial resources, everybody wins. Over the past few years, **women’s role in food security** has come into sharp focus.

    Women farmers produce 60–80 percent of the food in most developing countries and are responsible for half of the world’s food production.

    In the home, women—especially those in rural areas—are primarily responsible for selecting food and preparing meals, playing a decisive role in their families’ dietary diversity and health.

    In Niger, 10 percent of children suffer from acute **malnutrition **and 44 percent are chronically malnourished, according to the World Food Programme. Because women do most of the farming and feeding in Niger, we know that empowering them with information and resources is key to fighting hunger here.

    Our work throughout Niger helps mothers learn about proper nutrition. We train village leaders who in turn train the village’s mothers about the importance of good food and fruits and vegetables to ensure the health of their children.

    We also are teaching women new ways to keep animals healthy, manage new wells and use new farming techniques that make the most of limited resources and are **more resilient to climate change.**

    How you can help

    • Donate today. Your support helps us provide emergency food, support farmers and encourage budding entrepreneurs so they can feed their families.

    • Support policies the help empower women and girls. **Tell Congress to support policies that improve food security.**

    • Share with others. The hunger crisis in **Ethiopia** and the ongoing conflict in **South Sudan** need our continued attention. Share this story with friends so they can learn more about how they can help create lasting change that stops hunger for good.

    Filed by: Tamara Miller
    Digital Content Marketing Manager

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    Source: International Fund for Agricultural Development
    Country: Nigeria

    Abuja, 7 April 2016– Development projects supported by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in Nigeria have been effective in improving the livelihoods of rural poor people and strengthening their food production systems in a number of impoverished, remote communities, according to findings presented today in Abuja by the Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD.

    The main objectives of the evaluation were to assess the results and performance of the IFAD-Government partnership in reducing rural poverty and to generate findings and recommendations for the future partnership between IFAD and Nigeria. The evaluation found that the programme targeted poverty reasonably well. During the period covered by the evaluation, 2009-2015, IFAD-funded operations focused on the poorest states in the country, and have effectively provided support to poorer northern states. The single most important achievement according to the evaluation was the creation of community-based organizations which enabled local governments to channel funding into otherwise hard-to-reach places. These committees continue to play an active role planning community infrastructure and managing community assets in a sustainable way, in particular in northern Nigeria.

    IFAD-supported programmes reached 9.2 million people out of the 14.2 million targeted. The outreach was less than planned but the concentration of investments in a smaller number of villages enabled the activities to be delivered successfully and to create good results. Notable achievements were recorded with regard to access to financial services, community capacity-building and job creation. The benefits derived, in terms of building assets and disseminating technology, were visible and, according to a field survey conducted by the evaluation team, are well sustained. Local governments continued funding community activities beyond the lifetime of IFAD’s support. "The evaluation has allowed us to reflect on the impact of our work in areas such as community-driven development," said Ides de Willebois, Director of IFAD's West and Central Africa Division. "IFAD’s support in community-driven development activities has been particularly successful, especially with community development associations, linked to local government authorities and that continue to function after the project completion."

    The evaluation noted that the scale of the impact remained limited given the size of the country, and poverty statistics overall showed an increasing divide between the urban and rural areas and wealthy and poor people.

    In particular, the evaluation highlighted the need for a more strategic approach to partnership-building at federal and state levels and that IFAD expand its existing partnerships as well as develop new ones. "A missing partner, particularly in the earlier IFAD-supported operations, has been the private sector. Its involvement is crucial given the move towards markets and processing across the portfolio,” said Oscar A. Garcia, Director of the Independent Office of Evaluation. "It is necessary to mobilize a range of public-private partnerships around fertilizer, seeds and processing in line with the approach stipulated by Nigeria's Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA)."

    A more strategic approach would be supported by stronger coordination of donor-funded programmes at the federal level, the report concluded.

    Over the last 30 years, IFAD has supported 10 projects in Nigeria for a total cost of US$795.3 million, of which IFAD has provided $317.6 million.

    Press release No.: IFAD/19/2016

    The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) invests in rural people, empowering them to reduce poverty, increase food security, improve nutrition and strengthen resilience. Since 1978, IFAD has provided nearly US$17.3 billion in grants and low-interest loans to projects that have reached about 459 million people. IFAD is an international financial institution and a specialized United Nations agency based in Rome – the United Nation's food and agriculture hub.

    The Independent Office of Evaluation (IOE) conducts evaluations of IFAD-financed policies, strategies and operations to promote accountability and learning. The main purpose is to contribute to improving IFAD's and its partners' performance in reducing rural poverty in recipient countries. IOE's independent evaluations assess the impact of IFAD-funded activities and give an analysis of successes and shortcomings – to tell it the way it is – as well as identify factors affecting performance. Based on the key insights and recommendations drawn from evaluation findings, IOE also communicates and shares IFAD’s knowledge and experience in agriculture and rural development with a wider audience.

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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Chad

    N'Djamena, Chad | AFP | Thursday 4/7/2016 - 14:40 GMT | 275 words

    Prosecutors in Chad on Thursday demanded six month jail terms for five anti-government activists, as police fired live rounds and tear gas to disperse hundreds of protesters who rallied in their support.

    Five senior figures from several protest movements have been held in recent weeks on charges of attempting to disturb the peace for urging anti-government demonstrations, ahead of Sunday's presidential election.

    Demonstrations have been banned across the desert state of 13 million since opponents of President Idriss Deby's quest to extend his 26-year rule with a fifth term took to the streets in February.

    After a two-hour hearing closed to the media, a lawyer for the activists, Frederic Nanadjingue, told AFP that prosecutors had asked the court to jail the activists for six months. The next hearing in the case is due on April 14.

    Outside the court around 200 people with banners shouted slogans and sang the national anthem in support of the activists, crying "Liberty! Liberty!" as they emerged to be taken to prison.

    Police with automatic weapons broke up the protest, firing live bullets in the air and tear gas grenades, triggering a panic in which one person was injured.

    Anger at the government has been running high since the gang rape in February of a young woman by the sons of several leading officials who posted images of her on Facebook, naked and crying. The video triggered nationwide student protests.

    The security forces cracked down on the demonstrations, killing two youths.

    Deby, an ex-armed forces chief who seized power in 1990 after toppling his former rival Hissene Habre, faces 13 challengers in the first round of the presidential election.


    © 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse

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    Source: European Commission
    Country: Burundi, Mali, Nigeria, World

    European Commission - Statement

    Addis Ababa, 7 April 2016

    Today, the African Union (AU) Commission and the European Commission held the 8th College-to-College meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It was hosted by the African Union Commission, under the co-chairmanship of its Chairperson, Dr Nkosazana C. Dlamini Zuma and the Vice-President of the European Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini.

    On its part, the AU has developed a Fifty (50)-year Agenda known as 'Agenda 2063' and its First Ten (10)-Year Implementation Plan adopted at the Johannesburg Summit in June 2015 as a framework to accelerate the integration of the continent. Over the last twelve years, the European Union (EU) has grown from fifteen (15) to twenty-eight (28) Member States and has also taken steps towards greater integration through the creation of the Euro currency and the adoption of the Lisbon Treaty. As was the case on previous occasions, the College-to-College meeting was attended by the AU New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) Planning and Coordination Agency (NPCA) and was open to the African Regional Economic Communities (RECs)[I], the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the African Development Bank (AfDB), and the European Investment Bank (EIB).

    During the meeting, discussions touched upon the preparations of the next Africa-EU Summit, which is to take place in 2017 in Africa, and on cooperation between the two Commissions. Discussions were structured around the five (5) priority areas of the 2014-2017 Roadmap adopted at the Africa-EU Summit in Brussels, Belgium in 2014: (i) peace and security;(ii) democracy, good governance and human rights; (iii) human development; (iv) sustainable and inclusive development and growth and continental integration; (v) global and emerging issues.

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    Source: The New York Times
    Country: Cameroon, Nigeria

    MINAWAO REFUGEE CAMP, Cameroon — Hold the bomb under your armpit to keep it steady, the women and girls were taught.

    Sever your enemy’s head from behind, to minimize struggling.

    “If you cut from the back of the neck, they die faster,” said Rahila Amos, a Nigerian grandmother describing the meticulous instruction she received from Boko Haram to become a suicide bomber.

    More on the New York Times

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

    An overlooked crisis

    The violent conflict in the Lake Chad Basin has continuously deteriorated over the last two years. Boko Haram raids and suicide bombings targeting civilians are causing widespread trauma, preventing people from accessing essential services and destroying vital infrastructure.

    Around 21 million people live in the affected areas across the four Lake Chad countries. The number of displaced people in the most affected areas has risen in one year from 1.6 million to 2.4 million. Most of the displaced families are sheltered by communities that count among the world’s poorest and most vulnerable. Food insecurity and malnutrition in the affected region have rapidly deteriorated.

    The unfolding crisis is as much a humanitarian emergency as it is a protection crisis. Many civilians are caught in the conflict. Women and children represent the majority of the displaced and bear the brunt of the violence, as Boko Haram attacks continue and military operations intensify.
    Concerted engagement of political, development and security actors is needed to help stabilize the region and create conditions for people to survive and prosper.

    Recent developments

    Across the region, nearly three million people of whom 2.5 million are in north-eastern Nigeria, are facing severe food insecurity and urgently need support. Several markets have been closed across the conflict-hit areas to stem Boko Haram-linked suicide attacks. This has affected trade and food prices. Food insecurity is expected to worsen in the coming months as the lean season gets underway. In some areas, the lean season has begun earlier than usual due to the effects of conflict and poor harvests from the last season

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

    Regional Highlights

    • Despite facing sustained military pressure, Boko Haram gunmen continue to carry out attacks targeting civilians in markets, mosques and even settlements hosting the displaced. Their strategy has changed, preferring the more unpredictable suicide bombings, improvised explosive devices, raids on villages to loot food, and abductions.

    • While fewer displacements have taken place in the first quarter of 2016 compared to the large population movements observed in the last quarter of 2015, the situation remains volatile. In Nigeria, for instance, large numbers of spontaneous returns are being observed in Adamawa State, while in other parts of the country, displacements continue.

    • The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) will work with Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria on a regional tripartite framework to guarantee the right of refugees to voluntary return in safety and dignity. Since the start of the year, UNHCR estimates that around 64,000 Nigerian nationals have crossed the border from Cameroon’s Far North Region back to Nigeria (including both voluntary and involuntary returns).

    • As the lean season gets underway, food insecurity is set to worsen. Nearly three million people are currently grappling with severe food shortages in the conflict-hit regions of the Lake Chad Basin. Poor rainfall and harvests have meant an earlier than usual lean season in some regions. The number of people facing severe food insecurity is expected to rise in the coming months.

    9.2m People in need

    5.2m Targeted for assistance

    2.4m People displaced

    21m People living in affected areas

    2.97m Severely food insecure

    $535m Funding requirement in 2016

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

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    Source: AlertNet
    Country: Burkina Faso

    Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Thu, 7 Apr 2016 10:57 GMT

    By Zoe Tabary

    TAMISSI, Burkina Faso, April 7 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Dieudonné Sedogo waits patiently in line to see the doctor in the scorching 49-degree Celsius heat of this village in central Burkina Faso.

    Read the story on the Thomson Reuters Foundation

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    Source: European Commission Humanitarian Aid Office
    Country: Burkina Faso, Chad, Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria

    Sahel - Food and nutrition insecurity (ECHO, CILSS, FAO, WFP, Fewsnet)

    More than 6 million people are in need of immediate food assistance for the period of March to May in the Sahel countries of Chad, Burkina Faso, Gambia, Mauritania, Mali, Niger and Nigeria. Vulnerable people in Nigeria account to 57 % of them. Food insecurity is forecast to deteriorate during the forthcoming lean season from June to August, with an estimated 8.1 million people identified in crisis in the Sahel.

    In Chad alone more than one million people are facing a food crisis. Overall, food insecurity of populations affected by Boko Haram violence in the Lake Chad area is increasing. The situation in Northern Mali, the Sahelian areas of Niger and Burkina Faso, and West of Senegal also remains precarious.

    Poor food consumption and high levels of Global Acute Malnutrition remain very prevalent in the Sahel, despite the overall favourable results of the agricultural campaign of last year. Adapted and coordinated early response is required to tackle these issues in the entire region.

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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: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal

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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Chad

    Libreville, Gabon | AFP | vendredi 08/04/2016 - 13:53 GMT

    Une nouvelle rébellion baptisée "Front pour l'Alternance et la Concorde au Tchad" (FACT), opposée au régime du président Idriss Déby Itno, vient de voir le jour au Tchad, selon un communiqué envoyé vendredi à l'AFP.

    "Réunis en assemblée générale constitutive depuis le 02 avril 2016, des dignes fils du Tchad ont fondé ce jour (vendredi) à Tanoua, un mouvement politico-militaire dénommé Front pour l'Alternance et la Concorde au Tchad" explique le document.

    Le FACT "a pour objectif la réalisation des aspirations fondamentales du Peuple tchadien (...) la concrétisation de l'alternance politique", toujours selon le communiqué.

    Cette rébellion est une branche dissidente de l'ex-Union des forces pour la démocratie et le développement (UFDD), mouvement fondé par l'un des plus influents chefs rebelles, le général Mahamat Nouri.

    Joint au téléphone par l'AFP, le chef du FACT, Mahamat Mahdi-Ali, a affirmé se trouver à Tanoua, dans l'extrême-nord du Tchad, à la frontière avec la Libye, où il dit avoir "fondé une base" forte de 1.500 hommes aujourd'hui.

    "Nous avons pour ambition de faire partir Idriss Déby, et nous allons user de tous les moyens légitimes (...) cela peut aller jusqu'au conflit armé si nous n'avons pas d'autre choix que la violence, car jusque-là le processus électoral n'a aucun caractère transparent ni juste", a poursuivi M. Mahdi-Ali, ancien secrétaire général de l'UFDD, affirmant que le FACT était "bien équipé, bien armé".

    Des "affrontements" ont par ailleurs opposé la semaine dernière les hommes de Mahamat Mahdi-Ali à ceux du général Mahamat Nouri dans le sud libyen - base arrière historique des rébellions tchadiennes avec le Soudan - faisant "une vingtaine de morts de part et d'autre", selon le chef du FACT.

    Ce bilan a été confirmé de source sécuritaire tchadienne, qui parle de "querelles de clans" entre les chefs des groupes armés.

    "Nous avions des divergences politiques. Mahamat Nouri voudrait appliquer les anciens principes de guérilla qui consistent à remplacer Idriss Déby à la tête du pays alors que nous n'avons pas l'ambition de prendre le pouvoir", a déclaré Mahdi-Ali.

    En février 2008, l'UFDD, réunie avec d'autres rébellions au sein de l'Alliance nationale (AN) dirigée par Mahamat Nouri, avait mené une offensive sur N'Djamena et avait été tout près de renverser le régime du président Déby, retranché dans son palais.


    © 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse

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    Source: World Food Programme
    Country: Gambia

    School meals are a lifeline for more than 100,000 vulnerable children and their families across The Gambia. The European Union (E.U.) is one of the biggest supporters of WFP's school meals programme across the country.

    Kerewan – the E.U. Ambassador, the World Food Programme (WFP) Country Representative and government representatives have recently visited the North Bank and Central River regions. During their visit, they met with the teachers, students and parents of the Kerewan Lower Basic school where with the support of the E.U., WFP provides a nutritious meal to more than 500 children every day. The E.U. supports WFP's school meals programme in two out of the five regions where the programme runs.

    A community effort

    At the Kerewan Lower Basic school, mothers do more than hold bake sales. They roll up their sleeves and cook for all the school children. The composition of the meals is also a reflection of joint efforts. The meals consist of: rice, peas and oil provided by WFP, thanks to E.U.’s support; fresh vegetables grown in the school garden, which is maintained by the students and the parents; and peanut butter provided for free by the school's mothers’ club.

    “I am extremely pleased to see children eating in school. Caring for children is our obligation and I will continue to advocate for them,” said His Excellency, Mr. Attila Lajos, the E.U. Ambassador.

    The daily school meal provides a nutritious source of energy for children and encourages them to attend school and participate fully in class. It also reduces the burden on parents, especially on families that are affected by widespread food insecurity. Studies show that at least 10 percent of the population does not have enough food to eat to lead healthy lives, while 45 percent of the population is vulnerable to food insecurity.

    “I always eat lunch at the school. My next meal for the day would be dinner at home,” said Sira Dinding, a grade one student.

    Linking small-scale farmers to the school meals programme

    The current school meals programme in Kerewan, North Bank region began in 2012 and covers up to 137 schools including Early Childhood Development Centers, thanks to the generous support of EU.

    In line with WFP’s initiative to link small-scale producers to its school meals programme, together with the government, WFP has purchased up to 300 metric tons of food from local farmers. Linking school meals to local agriculture provides farmers with a ready market, offers great potential for economic growth and boosts community's ownership of the school meals programme.

    WFP needs support to be able to continue providing school meals for more than 100,000 students each year. In two out of the five regions where the programme runs, WFP has funding only until the end of this year.

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    Source: Armed Conflict Location and Events Dataset
    Country: Burkina Faso, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Egypt, Mali, Mozambique, Uganda, World

    Welcome to the April issue of the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project’s (ACLED) Conflict Trends report. Each month, ACLED researchers gather, analyse and publish data on political violence in Africa in realtime. Weekly updates to realtime conflict event data are published on the ACLED website, and are also available through our research partners at Climate Change and African Political Stability (CCAPS).

    This month’s issue focuses on a spike in protest activity in Chad in early 2016, widespread police abuses in Egypt, the resurfacing of RENAMO violence in Mozambique, AQIM and Al Mourabitoun attacks against foreign nationals in Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast and Mali and the rise of organised anti-state violence in the aftermath of Museveni’s electoral victory and anti-FDC violence in Uganda. A special report explores violence management and counter-balancing strategies for regime survival.

    Elsewhere on the continent, political violence decreased in Burundi, unrest continued in in Ethiopia as Oromia protests proliferate, and riots and protests continued to escalate in Gauteng and Western Cape provinces in South Africa.

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    Source: World Food Programme, Food and Agriculture Organization
    Country: Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Togo

    Key Points

    • Continued deterioration of the food situation of displaced populations in the Lake Chad basin.

    • Increased number of displaced people in Nigeria and Mali.

    • Continuation of the recession and off-season crops activities in most areas of the region.

    • Cereal supplies are deemed generally satisfactory in the region.

    Recession and off-season agricultural activities will generate income for households practicing these modes of production. The pastoral situation remains generally favorable despite the beginning of the deterioration of water levels and reduced grass cover.

    In the Lake Chad Basin, the food situation of the population in the sub-prefectures of Liwa and Daboua (Chad) is concerning. The displaced have lost much of their resources because they were forced to abandon their farms, livestock and fishing equipment when fleeing. Host communities are also vulnerable, sharing their food stocks (from fishing, agriculture or livestock), and sometimes their land with the displaced. Moreover, the price of commodities in the market have increased with the arrival of the displaced.

    The results of the joint assessment of markets conducted in the month of February 2016 show that the grain supply levels are deemed generally satisfactory in all basins of the region and have improved compared to last year.

    Grain prices have generally fallen, particularly corn, while other food products have fluctuated differently depending on the product or the country. Demand is still low compared to the previous years. The current availability at the household and trader levels suggest a regular and constant supply until the lean season.

    However, with the gradual reduction of household stocks, demand will be higher in markets from April, though this will not disrupt the functioning of markets.

    In the three Ebola-affected countries, market supply has improved compared to the Ebola period, but the market activity is still low compared to the pre – crisis period.

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    Source: Mercy Corps
    Country: Nigeria

    Boko Haram, one of the world’s deadliest armed groups, is waging an insurgency in the name of creating an Islamic caliphate. This violent conflict in Nigeria’s Northeast has killed nearly 17,000 people since 2009, displaced nearly 2.2 million people, devastated thousands of communities, and slowed the economy.

    New Mercy Corps research investigates key motives for youth to join Boko Haram, so that government actors, donors and civil society can design responsive programming to reduce youth participation in the violence. Through this research, Mercy Corps spoke directly to the youth involved to learn why youth join or were vulnerable to forced recruitment into Boko Haram. We spoke with 47 former members of Boko Haram in Nigeria’s Borno, Yobe, and Gombe states, in addition to dozens of youth who did not join, family and friends of members, and community leaders. We found that in the midst of challenges, the local strategies to prevent violence and support youth exercised by so many communities can form a strong foundation for the future of youth and stability in Northeast Nigeria.

    Key Findings

    1. There is no demographic profile of a Boko Haram member. Members we spoke to came from diverse backgrounds. Some had jobs, and others did not. Some had attended secular school, others Islamic school, and others had dropped out.

    2. Influence from social and business peers is a key factor in recruitment. Almost all former members cited a friend, family member, or business colleague as a factor in their joining Boko Haram.

    3. Youth see in Boko Haram an opportunity to get ahead through business support. Many youth described either accepting loans prior to joining or joining with the hope of receiving loans or capital for their mostly small, informal businesses; loans fueled their economic ambitions in an atmosphere of high inequality.

    4. Broad frustrations with government created initial community acceptance of Boko Haram. Boko Haram took advantage of deep grievances around government inadequacies and security abuses to gain a foothold in communities. About half of former members said their communities at some time generally supported the group, hoping it would bring a change in government.

    5. Local counter-narratives on the hypocrisy of Boko Haram are working. Youth who resisted joining shared a narrative of Boko Haram as a corrupt, greedy organization focused on enriching its leaders. These messages are being crafted by local religious and traditional leaders.

    Key Recommendations

    • Build trust in government by addressing the needs of conflict-affected youth and communities.

    • Prepare for comprehensive reintegration of former members.

    • Amplify local counter-narratives that already work to prevent recruitment into Boko Haram.

    • Develop opportunities for youth and government officials to improve communities together.

    • Facilitate connections to role models and support family dialogue on violent extremism.

    • Help youth achieve their ambitions, starting with increasing their access to financial and business services.

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