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ReliefWeb - Updates

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

    Highlights

    • Despite increased security risk in the context of the presidential election on 10 April, no humanitarian consequences have been reported nationally or in the Lake region, on Election Day or after the announcement of provisional results on April 21.

    • The existing funds are exhausted as significant humanitarian needs persist in all sectors.

    • A rate of 6.12% of severe acute malnutrition (SAM) well above the emergency threshold of 2% was reported among 997 displaced children screened by WFP in April in eight displacement sites.

    • The humanitarian response continues with school feeding in 10 schools since early April and the reinforcement of activities of prevention and treatment of gender based violence (GBV) by UNFPA.

    Background

    Insecurity persists in the Lac region, with small arm and mortar shootings (from Nigeria) reported in various locations in recent weeks, just as the presence of men suspected of belonging to armed groups. However, these incidents had no civilian casualties nor had humanitarian impact. Despite the increased security risks around the presidential elections of 10 April and the announcement of provisional results on 21 April, no humanitarian consequence directly related to the electoral process has been reported.

    According to the latest update of displacement figures made by the Shelter/AME/CCCM Cluster, the total number of displaced people in the Lac region reached 106,353: 50,129 registered IDPs, 39,715 estimated displaced people (undetermined status), 10,224 returnees, 6,220 refugees, and 605 third-country nationals. Several new displaced people sites have recently been reported by the authorities and some partners. They are Loudia, Lgui and Lom (on Liwa axis), Yare and Gouarama (north of Liwa between Kiskra and Kiskawa) and three sites in the Bol area (Foulatari, Ligra and Sommi). However, their existence is to be checked.

    The Humanitarian Country Team and the Inter-cluster are working on a new CERF Rapid Response funding request firstly to meet the humanitarian needs in the northern basin of the Lac (Liwa-Daboua axis), Kangalom and Tchoukoutalia; and secondly to address the food insecurity and malnutrition crisis, whose deterioration in the entire Sahel belt (Lac, Bar el Ghazal and Hadjer Lamis regions), is confirmed by the recent results of the Harmonised Framework.

    Besides, the 592 displaced persons from the Lac region who live in the village of Ideter (near Am-Timan, southwestern Chad), continue to receive assistance in health from the NGO IMC, and received WFP food distribution in early April. Those IDPs who want to return to their areas of origin in Lac region (six villages near Baga-Sola) have been requested to express their will. The authorities and partners (including IOM) are in discussing about support to return and a reintegration package.


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    Source: Tufts University, ODI - Humanitarian Policy Group
    Country: Mali, Niger, Senegal

    By Antonio Donini and Giulia Scalettaris

    The Sahel rarely makes headlines. Until the early 2000s, it was on the margins of geopolitical interest and of humanitarian action and debate. Today, the Sahel is on center stage because a complex crisis, that has potential ramification far beyond the region, is brewing there. The impending crisis is due to a set of interconnected factors including:

    • the emergence of conflicts, strong non-state armed and non-armed actors, transnational criminal networks, and a counterterrorism agenda

    • the tense relationship between humanitarian action and development, which has fostered a competitive rather than collaborative environment among organizations operating in the region

    • the protracted and intractable nature of the structural issues across the region

    • the impact of climate change on livelihood

    • the weakness of governance across the region

    • increased migration within and out of the region

    This report describes how these issues are playing out across the Sahel and discusses the implications for humanitarian action. It raises important questions for the future of humanitarian action in the Sahel and beyond.

    The findings in this report are based on field visits to Mali, Niger and Senegal. It is one of four case studies developed for the “Planning from the Future” study, conducted in collaboration with Kings College London and the Humanitarian Policy Group.


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    Source: UN Development Programme
    Country: Burkina Faso

    Communication Strategy and Automatic Weather Stations: The Backbone for an Efficient Early Warning System

    By Ulrich Diasso

    Devastating droughts and floods, inconsistent rain patterns and other extreme weather events are becoming more frequent in the West African nation of Burkina Faso. These events are challenging Burkina’s ability to adapt to climate change and reach development goals.

    Improved localized weather observation networks and integrated communication strategies are essential building blocks to improve the nation’s resilience to climate change, create a strong early warning system, foster good decision-making, and protect lives and livelihoods.

    Over the past five years, Burkina Faso’s meteorological service has been taking purposeful steps to modernize their observation system. The country recently acquired 150 Adcon Automatic Weather Stations (AWS) and 16 hydrological stations that will fill existing gaps in their monitoring system.

    UNDP’s Programme on Climate Information for Resilient Development in Africa (CIRDA) is playing a central role in Burkina’s modernization efforts, offering technical support to the country by helping them to define the technical specifications of new equipment. With 10 new synoptic stations, 40 agro-climatic stations and 100 rain-gauges adding to the mix, Burkina’s hydro-meteorological monitoring system is set to become one of the most substantial in West Africa.

    In order to maintain these new systems and ensure proper transmission of early warnings, the Government of Burkina Faso will need to allocate budgetary resources for system maintenance and work with cellphone companies to ensure the automated transfer of data. The Burkina Meteorological Service intends to replace all manual weather and climate monitoring stations with easy-to-maintain Automatic Weather Stations. With support from CIRDA, the Met Service will initiate discussions with local cellphone companies to establish win-win partnerships and reduce the costs of data transfer.

    During the recent “Last Mile” workshop in Zambia, the Burkina Faso delegation requested support from the CIRDA programme in building their Standard Operating Protocol (SOP). In response to this request, the April 2016 CIRDA support mission assessed roles and responsibilities, as well as the existing mandates of the various stakeholders involved in Burkina’s Early Warning System. The final goal of the SOP will be to have a common communication platform that involves all the stakeholders, and ensures the effective issuance of early warnings to vulnerable communities across the country.

    The CIRDA support mission also assessed the current status of the project and provided guidance to overcome some persistent challenges. Top recommendations included advice on how to reduce the cost of data transfer via public-private partnerships with telecommunications providers, and the need to review mechanisms for the sustainable maintenance of newly procured monitoring equipment.

    As improved monitoring systems are deployed, the Burkina Met Service will need to integrate the information collected from these stations into forecasts, early warning alerts and other tailored weather products. Ongoing support from the CIRDA programme will include a review of Burkina’s current forecasting system and the finalization of the Terms of Reference for the development of improved forecasting and early warning systems capabilities.

    Ulrich Diasso is a Country Support Specialist in Meteorology and Climate Monitoring for the CIRDA programme. Ulrich holds a PhD in Meteorology and Climate Sciences. Besides his role in the CIRDA programme, Ulrich supports climate change assessment at the African Centre of Meteorological Application for Development (ACMAD). He is also member of the Coordinated Regional Climate Downscaling Experiment (CORDEX) group for model evaluation in Africa.


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Nigeria

    Abuja, Nigeria | AFP | Thursday 5/19/2016 - 23:37 GMT

    by Ola AWONIYI with Bukar HUSSAIN in Maiduguri

    A second Chibok schoolgirl has been rescued, Nigeria's army said Thursday, after President Muhammadu Buhari met the first student to be found and voiced fresh hope for the recovery of the more than 200 others still being held.

    Army spokesman Colonel Sani Usman said the student was found by troops and civilian vigilantes at about 11:00 am (1000 GMT) on Thursday in the Damboa area of Borno state, northeast Nigeria, during military operations.

    "Her name is Miss Serah Luka," he added in a statement, saying she was believed to be a Christian pastor's daughter and originally from Madagali, in neighbouring Adamawa state.

    A photograph released by the military showed a young woman in a long, dark blue hijab common in the region and seen on abducted girls in previous videos from the Boko Haram Islamist militant group.

    Boko Haram's shadowy leader, Abubakar Shekau, has previously claimed all the girls had converted to Islam.

    The first student to be found, Amina Ali, flew with her mother to meet the president at his official Aso Rock residence in the capital, Abuja.

    Buhari said he was "delighted" at her release and the government was doing "all it can to rescue the remaining Chibok girls", who were abducted from the remote town in northeast Nigeria on April 14, 2014.

    "Amina's rescue gives us new hope, and offers a unique opportunity for vital information," he said.

    A total of 276 girls were kidnapped from the Government Girls Secondary School. Fifty-seven escaped in the hours that followed.

    The abduction provoked global outrage and brought worldwide attention to the conflict but until Amina and the latest student were found, there were few indications about their possible release.

    • Reunion -

    Community leaders said Amina told her relatives at a brief reunion at the family home in Mbalala, near Chibok, that most of the girls were still in the Sambisa Forest area of Borno state but six had died.

    Nigeria's military has been conducting operations in the former game reserve for weeks in the hope of flushing out militants and destroying Islamist camps in the sprawling semi-desert scrubland.

    Borno state governor Kashim Shettima said on Thursday soldiers were "already moving into the forest aggressively".

    "I am an eternal optimist. I believe that in the coming days and weeks more recoveries will be made," he told reporters.

    The abducted girls have long been thought to have been taken to the forest. Satellite imagery provided by the United States and Britain reportedly identified the location of some of the students.

    But Nigeria's military failed to act on the intelligence, Britain's former ambassador to Nigeria has claimed.

    Former president Goodluck Jonathan's delayed response to the abduction and overall handling of the insurgency was seen as a major factor in his election defeat to Buhari last year.

    • Medical treatment -

    Amina was brought to the Borno state capital, Maiduguri, with her four-month-old baby girl named Safiya and a man she said was her husband.

    Her purported husband, identified by the army as "suspected Boko Haram terrorist" Mohammed Hayatu, was shown in one photograph cradling the infant on a hospital bed.

    The army said he was "undergoing further investigation at (the) Joint Intelligence Centre" and was being "well-treated".

    Boko Haram has used kidnapping as a weapon of war in the conflict, which has killed at least 20,000 people, forced 2.6 million from their homes and devastated the northeast since 2009.

    Young women and girls have been forced to marry rebel fighters, becoming sex slaves and even suicide bombers in the group's campaign for a hardline Islamic state.

    Men and boys have also been seized and forcibly conscripted.

    • Victim support -

    Boko Haram is thought to have kidnapped several thousand women and young girls and there have been calls for Nigeria to do more to support former hostages.

    Buhari said Amina would receive "the best care the Nigerian government can afford" and disclosed she had undergone medical tests for about five hours and met trauma experts.

    The resumption of her education would be "a priority", he added. "Every girl has the right to an education and a life choice," he said.

    Francisca Vigaud-Walsh, from Refugees International (RI) said such specialised care was not available to most former hostages.

    "On the contrary there is a seemingly arbitrary and haphazard approach to dealing with these women and girls," she said.

    RI and other agencies have highlighted in particular the lack of facilities for victims of sexual violence and psychological services.

    Northern Nigeria, which is largely Muslim, is deeply conservative and kidnap victims have reportedly been shunned on their return home.

    bur-str-ola-phz/jah

    © 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: Save the Children
    Country: Niger

    by Sylvia Szabo, Nutrition Policy and Advocacy Adviser, and Denis Kovalenko, Corporate Grant Manager

    The latest Human Development Report ranks Niger bottom out of 188 countries on the human development index. The human development index is a composite indicator of socio-economic development, which takes into account countries’ health, education and income.

    Despite some progress in reducing child malnutrition, recent statistics show that today 44% of children in Niger suffer from stunting and 18% from wasting. The prevalence of malnutrition is particularly high among children from the poorest households, from rural households residing and from households in the Diffa region. In addition, acute malnutrition in children under five continues to be persistently high. Rates of acute malnutrition exceeded emergency thresholds in 2005 and 2010.

    These statistics imply that a significant effort is required – along with better governance and accountability – to scale-up the fight against malnutrition. It is vital for Niger’s socio-economic development. It is also essential for the country’s performance against the targets set out in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – including SDG 2 on hunger and nutrition.

    Niger’s recently approved national policy framework for nutrition security (Politique nationale de sécurité nutritionnelle) with ambitious targets and policies to reduce malnutrition. It’s the first-ever time a national policy in Niger has set out a multisectoral approach to malnutrition.

    However, Niger’s entire country’s health system remains underfunded. If action plans are to reflect the real costs of treating of malnutrition, the government will have to significantly increase its budget in order to provide adequate funding. Free healthcare for children under five and good-quality care are crucial for the prevention and treatment of malnutrition in Niger. But delayed disbursements from the government to service providers affects the availability and quality of all healthcare services – including community-based management of acute malnutrition.

    In this context, tracking nutrition commitments and influencing future budget allocations become a key advocacy priority for civil society organisations.

    Together with partners, Save the Children has been working at both national and regional levels in Niger to advocate for an improved planning and budgeting for nutrition. We visited Save the Children’s office in Niamey in April 2016. Here are a few examples of the steps being taken by the country office and partners to improve children’s nutrition:

    Campaigning during presidential elections: During the election campaign in February and March 2016, Save the Children worked with members of the Alliance Nutrition to put the spotlight on malnutrition. A joint advocacy campaign ‘My life, My future, Nutrition’ succeeded in engaging presidential and parliamentary candidates,  with three presidential candidates committing to prioritise nutrition in a pre-election ‘Manifesto’. There is real hope that these commitments have laid the ground for Save the Children’s future advocacy to convince country’s leadership to prioritise nutrition in their policies.

    Engaging parliamentarians: the Scaling-Up for Nutrition (_Tous Unis pour la Nutrition_, or _TUN_) Network – which we are a member of – has been engaging newly elected Members of Parliament to raise the profile of nutrition – in order to have an impact on nutrition policies and budgetary allocations. Following the recent presidential and parliamentary elections, it is now critical to revitalise and mobilise parliamentary networks and to identify new nutrition champions at the national level. Similar work should be carried out at the sub-national level in the context of forthcoming local elections.

    Budget analysis training in Maradi: During the same visit, Dr Sylvia Szabo, and Dr Garba Dandano Ibrahim, Project Director of TUN, led training on budget analysis and advocacy in Maradi. In preparation for the training, the country office was central in coordinating participant nominations and engaging partners in Niamey and the regions. During the week leading up to the training, Save the Children’s National Advocacy and Communication Officer Souley Harouna Issaka organised a number of meetings with partners from civil society, government and donors to help develop training content and engage them in budget analysis work. The training was well attended by regional committees of TUN. It featured content on budgetary process in Niger at the national and local levels, the importance of budget advocacy, and an overview of the budget analysis methodology and practical exercises. Innocent Ifedilichukwu, Advocacy & Campaign Coordinator with Save the Children in Nigeria, gave a presentation show-casing Nigeria’s experience in the budget analysis process. The TUN committees are now well equipped to conduct budget analysis at the national and sub-national level and thus generate evidence for nutrition advocacy.

    What next?

    Following the training, TUN will coordinate the regional committees to develop a plan of action for budget analysis. Once the plan is finalised, TUN will support the committees to carry out budget analysis in 2016.

    The results of this analysis will feed into a national analysis report of allocations for nutrition. It’s expected that the analysis will inform policy-makers about gaps in nutrition planning and budgeting and, as a result, influence their policy-making and planning to improve the nutritional status of children.

    To further support budgeting for nutrition, TUN is also planning to disseminate a synthesis report summarising results of multisectoral analysis of allocations to nutrition at the regional level in four regions.

    Save the Children will continue informing the public, engaging with the media and empowering communities to keep child nutrition a key priority on the political agenda.

    Given the current level of human development in Niger, the high rates of child malnutrition, and the persistent socio-economic inequalities, it is critical to invest in improved planning and budgeting. This will allow not only reducing the malnutrition burden, but also helping create effective accountability mechanisms and advance progress towards SDGs.


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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Afghanistan, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Congo, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Gambia, Guatemala, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, Iraq, Kenya, Liberia, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Myanmar, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Paraguay, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Uganda, Ukraine, World, Yemen, Zimbabwe


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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Afghanistan, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Congo, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Gambia, Guatemala, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, Iraq, Kenya, Liberia, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Myanmar, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Paraguay, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Uganda, Ukraine, World, Yemen


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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: International Organization for Migration, CCCM Cluster, Shelter Cluster
    Country: Chad, Nigeria


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    Source: Norwegian Refugee Council
    Country: Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Nigeria

    The Lake Chad Basin is today’s Africa’s fastest growing displacement crisis with approximately 2.6 million people displaced as a result of Boko Haram related violence. The region is also experiencing acute humanitarian challenges with approximately 9.2 million people in need of urgent assistance.

    The protection consequences of the crisis include civilian deaths, destruction/damage to civilian infrastructure, widespread displacement, sexual and gender based violence, among others. The Lake Chad Basin is as much a protection crisis as it is a humanitarian emergency.

    While a significant proportion of the displaced population remaining in rural areas and the majority of the people fleeing toward the urban centres being relatively wealthier households, the humanitarian response has continued to focus on delivering assistance to IDP settlements in urban areas.

    The potentially more vulnerable households affected by the crisis in the Lake Chad Basin are so far not being reached by urgently needed assistance. More should be done to respond to the protection needs of people in the region as well as to prevent further harm.

    “The focus on ending the insurgency in north east Nigeria and meeting humanitarian needs in the region should be complimented by the centrality of protection in all interventions, improved humanitarian access and stronger efforts towards addressing the underlying drivers of the crisis”. Says Maria Wangechi, the NRC Country Director, Nigeria.


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Niger, Nigeria

    Niamey, Niger | AFP | Friday 5/20/2016 - 14:24 GMT

    At least six civilians were killed and seven injured in an attack by Boko Haram Islamist fighters in Niger on Thursday evening, according to the country's army.

    Four of the victims were burned alive and two were shot dead during the attack near the south eastern garrison town of Bosso, close to the border with Nigeria, according to an army statement broadcast on state TV and radio Friday.

    Cross-border raids by the Nigeria-based Boko Haram group are not uncommon. In November Boko Haram killed 18 people and injured 11 others during a raid in the village of Wogom, close to Bosso.

    The army said that the fighters struck the village of Yebi at around 10:50 pm (2150 GMT) on Thursday, setting fire to the local market, 10 houses and killing several cattle before fleeing back to Nigeria along with two stolen cars.

    "Search operations are ongoing in the area to neutralise these terrorists," said the army statement.

    Since February 2015, Niger has been plagued by Boko Haram attacks in its south east region.

    In April, two civilians were killed in a suicide attack near the town of Diffa, the regional capital.

    On March 30, six Nigerien soldiers were killed in an ambush by Boko Haram fighters, also in the Diffa region which borders north east Nigeria, the cradle of the Islamist insurgency.

    The violence has forced more than 240,000 people in the region to flee their homes.

    Boko Haram's insurgency has left at least 20,000 people dead and made more than 2.6 million homeless in neighbouring Nigeria.

    bh/gw/ccr

    © 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Niger, Nigeria

    Niamey, Niger | AFP | vendredi 20/05/2016 - 13:45 GMT

    Au moins six civils ont été tués et sept autres blessés jeudi soir dans une attaque "du groupe terroriste de Boko Haram", près de la ville de Bosso dans le sud-est du Niger, a indiqué vendredi l'armée nigérienne.

    "Le bilan provisoire de l'attaque est le suivant: six morts dont deux tués par balles, quatre brûlés vifs et sept blessés", a précisé un communiqué de l'armée lu sur la radio et la télévision d’État.

    Les sept blessés, ont été "évacués d'urgence" dans un hôpital.

    L'attaque a visé vers "22h50 (21H50 GMT)", le village de Yébi, à côté de la ville-garnison de Bosso, sur les rives de la Komadougou Yobé, un cours d'eau qui sert de frontière naturelle avec le Nigeria, indique le texte.

    Avant de se retirer vers le Nigeria, les éléments de Boko Haram ont "incendié" quelque "dix habitations", le marché local et "plusieurs têtes de bétail". Ils ont également emporté deux voitures appartenant à des particuliers.

    L'armée assure que "des opérations de ratissage sont engagées dans le secteur pour neutraliser ces terroristes".

    Depuis février 2015, le Niger est en proie à d'incessants assauts de Boko Haram dans le sud-est, proche du bastion des insurgés islamistes au Nigeria.

    Début avril, deux civils ont été tués dans un attentat-suicide près de la ville de Diffa, la capitale régionale.

    Le 30 mars, six soldats nigériens ont été tués dans un embuscade tendue par des éléments de Boko Haram dans la zone de Diffa, proche du nord-est du Nigeria, berceau de des insurgés et où l'armée du Niger peine à contenir leurs incursions meurtrières.

    Trois jours avant la présidentielle du 20 mars, un commandant de l'armée avait été tué dans une attaque de kamikazes dans le même secteur. Ces violences ont contraint plus de 240.000 personnes à fuir leur foyer -réfugiés nigérians et déplacées internes- au Niger. On estime que le conflit a fait 2,6 millions de déplacés au Nigeria voisin.

    bh/eak/spb

    © 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: World Health Organization
    Country: Afghanistan, Equatorial Guinea, Jordan, Lao People's Democratic Republic (the), Lebanon, Nigeria, Pakistan, Turkey, World

    **WHO statement **

    The 9th meeting of the Emergency Committee under the International Health Regulations (2005) (IHR) regarding the international spread of poliovirus was convened via teleconference by the Director­General on 12th May 2016. As with the seventh and eighth meetings, the Emergency Committee reviewed the data on wild poliovirus as well as circulating vaccine­derived polioviruses (cVDPV). The latter is important as cVDPVs reflect serious gaps in immunity to poliovirus due to weaknesses in routine immunization coverage in otherwise polio­free countries. In addition, any further spread of type 2 cVDPVs is a public health emergency following the globally synchronized withdrawal of type 2 OPV completed 1st May 2016.

    The following IHR States Parties submitted an update on the implementation of the Temporary Recommendations since the Committee last met on 12th February 2016: Afghanistan, Guinea, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Nigeria and Pakistan.

    Wild polio

    The Committee noted that since the declaration that the international spread of polio constituted a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) in May 2014, strong progress has been made by countries toward interruption of wild poliovirus transmission and implementation of Temporary Recommendations issued by the Director­ General. There has been a decline in the occurrence of international spread of wild poliovirus, with no international spread in 2015 or thus far in 2016 except between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    The Committee was encouraged by the intensified efforts and progress toward interruption of poliovirus transmission in Pakistan and Afghanistan despite challenging circumstances, and the renewed emphasis on cooperation along the long international border between the two countries. The committee particularly applauded the strong progress being made in Pakistan, with consistent evidence of reduced transmission in 2016, and welcomed Pakistan’s determination to complete eradication this year.

    The Committee noted however that the international spread of wild poliovirus has continued, with two new reports of exportations from Pakistan into Afghanistan, one of which had occurred in October 2015 but only recognized recently following a new analysis of genetic data, and the second more recently in February 2016. These cases occurred in Nangarhar and Kunar Provinces, in the eastern region, adjoining the Pakistan border. While there has been no new exportation from Afghanistan to Pakistan, ongoing transmission particularly in inaccessible parts of the Eastern Region of Afghanistan close to the international border presents an ongoing risk. The new virus in Kunar was closely related to Pakistan viruses circulating at least since June 2014 in the Khyber-Peshawar block. The new Afghan virus in Nangarhar was closely related to Pakistan viruses also circulating during 2015 in the Khyber-Peshawar block.

    The committee expressed its appreciation of the ongoing scientific cooperation between the Polio Regional Reference Laboratory in Islamabad and the Global Polio Specialized Laboratory in Atlanta to monitor the genetic characteristics and poliovirus sub-types in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and noted that the powerful tools employed to do this would be of great benefit in the polio endgame. This closer tracking of WPV1 means that chains of transmission across the border are more likely to be detected than in the past.

    The committee reaffirmed that under the IHR, spread of poliovirus between two Member States constitutes international spread. The Committee acknowledged that cross border collaboration efforts have continued to be strengthened. Whilst border vaccination between these two countries is limited to children under ten years of age, efforts are being made to vaccinate departing travellers of all age groups from airports when leaving this epidemiological block formed by the 2 countries. The committee noted that all countries, and particularly those with embassies in Afghanistan and Pakistan, should facilitate implementation of Temporary Recommendations through adopting procedures that include proof of polio vaccination as part of visa application processes for travellers departing from Afghanistan or Pakistan, and urged the WHO secretariat to further assist in developing this process.

    The committee was particularly concerned by the deteriorating security in parts of Afghanistan leading to more children becoming inaccessible, heightening anxiety about completion of eradication in 2016, thereby delaying the global polio endgame. The committee also noted that globally there are still significant vulnerable areas and populations that are inadequately immunized due to conflict, insecurity and poor coverage associated with weak immunization programmes. Such vulnerable areas include countries in the Middle East, the Horn of Africa, central Africa and parts of Europe.

    The hard­ earned gains of the GPEI can be quickly lost if there is re­introduction of poliovirus in settings of disrupted health systems and complex humanitarian emergencies. The large population movements across the Middle East and from Afghanistan and Pakistan create a heightened risk of international spread of polio. There is a risk of missing polio vaccination among refugee and mobile populations, adding to missed and under vaccinated populations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. An estimated 3 to 4 million people have been displaced to Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey and are at the centre of a mass migration across Europe.

    The committee acknowledged receipt of final reports as requested from Israel, South Sudan and Iraq, and agreed that these three countries are no longer subject to the Temporary Recommendations. However, noting some gaps in surveillance in South Sudan and Iraq, the committee urged the GPEI and partner organizations to continue to provide support to these countries, in addition to Ethiopia and Syria which sent their final reports in February.

    Vaccine derived poliovirus

    The current circulating vaccine­derived poliovirus (cVDPV) outbreaks across four WHO regions illustrate serious gaps in routine immunization programs, leading to significant pockets of vulnerability to polio outbreaks. In 2015, six outbreaks of circulating vaccine derived poliovirus occurred – three cVDPV type 1 outbreaks (Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Madagascar and Ukraine) and three cVDPV type 2 outbreaks (Guinea, Myanmar and Nigeria). In 2016, transmission is continuing in Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Nigeria and possibly Guinea.

    In Guinea, the outbreak appears to be confined to one region, Kankan, but there appears to be a medium to high risk of continuation beyond OPV2 withdrawal. The possibility of missing transmission cannot be ruled out due to gaps in surveillance that were identified during the outbreak response assessment. Furthermore, surveillance indicators in neighbouring Liberia and Sierra Leone are below required standards and urgent efforts are needed to enhance surveillance in these countries.

    The committee noted that in Lao People’s Democratic Republic there was ongoing circulation of vaccine derived polioviruses, particularly in hard to reach populations, underlining the importance of communication to counteract vaccine hesitancy. The lessons learnt from the ongoing efforts in the cVDPV outbreak should be used to revise the existing communication and social mobilization plan for routine immunization so as to address the vaccine hesitancy in these communities, including the use of local vernacular mobilization materials, intensified routine immunization campaigns in all identified high-risk and hard-to-reach areas to improve the vaccination coverage, revision of microplanning for routine vaccination to identify the high risk communities in every catchment area, and assessing the vaccination coverage in these communities during periodic coverage surveys.

    The committee was very concerned that in Nigeria, a circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) has been detected in an environmental sample in March 2016 in Maiduguri, Borno State, north-east Nigeria. Genetic sequencing of the isolated strain indicates it is most closely linked genetically to a cVDPV2 strain from Borno in November 2013 and last detected in May 2014, indicating the strain has been circulating without detection for almost two years, but different to the strain identified in 2015 in the Federal Capital Territory and Kaduna. The committee noted that a very robust outbreak response is under way by the Government of Nigeria, but was concerned that the risk of international spread of this strain of cVDPV2 from Nigeria was high. Surveillance and immunization activities need to be strengthened in neighbouring countries in the Lake Chad region.


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Niger, Nigeria

    Assaga, Niger | AFP | Saturday 5/21/2016 - 03:04 GMT
    by Boureima HAMA

    "Take us away from this hell," said Boussam, a mother of seven cradling skeletal goats in Niger's Assaga camp, where thousands of desperate refugees fleeing Boko Haram Islamist insurgents are living in hunger.

    She spoke to AFP in the south eastern camp near the border with Nigeria where some 6,000 people are crammed in UN tents in baking sun after being displaced by the violence.

    The size of the camp has swollen quickly since people began to arrive from mid 2015, having fled attacks that have engulfed the region as Boko Haram seeks to carve out a hardline Islamist state in the north east of neighbouring Nigeria.

    Conditions in the camp have deteriorated in recent months as food aid has struggled to reach its occupants who live with just basic medical care and schooling.

    The UN emergency relief coordinator Stephen O'Brien, who visited the camp this week, warned that the raging conflict has "catastrophically exacerbated" the vulnerability of the region's refugees, displacing people already dogged by chronic food insecurity.

    Anger is rising in the camp that more is not being done to help them.

    "I think that everyone has abandoned us," said Ibrahim, a refugee in his fifties.

    Niger's humanitarian affairs minister Lawan Magadji, who accompanied O'Brien on his visit to the region, accepts that not enough aid has reached the camp.

    "There is not enough food. Distribution operations are based on the neediest households," he said.

    The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has blamed a lack of funds for the shortages.

    - 'I am ashamed' -

    Of the $316 million (283 million euros) needed to finance humanitarian efforts in Niger just under a quarter has been raised, according to the agency.

    O'Brien has promised to raise funds at the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, starting May 23.

    And despite receiving a warm welcome from children in the camp, O'Brien and the UN have not yet eased the daily grind of life in Assaga.

    "I am ashamed not to be able to feed my family properly," said Elhaj Moustapha, a once wealthy pepper grower forced into exile by the violence.

    Mariam, a Nigerian refugee living in the camp, accosted O'Brien in person to complain about conditions in the camp.

    "It has been four months since we last received food aid," she said

    But an influx of cash may not be enough to improve her situation and that of others like her.

    Several charities have warned that tough security measures imposed by Niger's authorities in its battle against Boko Haram have hampered the flow of food aid to Assaga.

    Markets have been closed, the fish and pepper trades suspended and whole areas evacuated, placing a major toll on the area's economy, already under strain from chronic shortages.

    Abdou Kaza, the region's military governor, insists the measures are necessary to cut off funds destined for the insurgents and will only be temporary.

    But according to the UN, restoring normality to the region will be a herculean task.

    Some 9.2 million people in the Lake Chad basin that straddles Niger, Nigeria and Chad are in need of food aid as the Boko Haram insurgency, launched in 2009 and responsible for as many as 20,000 deaths, continues unabated.

    bh/pgf/gw/ccr

    © 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: International Committee of the Red Cross, Caritas, UN Children's Fund, Médecins Sans Frontières
    Country: Nigeria

    1. Timeframe

    • 05th to 10th April 2016 : data collection
    • 11 th to 18th April 2016 : data entry, analysis and reporting

    2. Stakeholders

    RUWASA, ACF, CARITAS, UNICEF, DDPs leaders SEMA, MSF Spain, ICRC

    3. Objective

    The purpose of the assessment is to appreciate the current WASH services provided to IDPs, identifying the needs and gaps in water, sanitation and hygiene promotion with priorities to those living in camps or villages camps The outcomes of the current assessment shall inform the Yobe’s WASH working group on the areas of priorities and orient their strategy response through evidence based in decision making.

    4. Methodology

    1. Physical observation and counting of WASH infrastructures
    2. Interview: Focus group discussion and house to house interview. Sampling size was limited to a max of 60 households per camp and preference was usually given to interviewing women mostly involved in water collection, hygiene and sanitation.
    3. Literature and contact: reports, Health workers, Maps, meeting with local authority, IDPs leaders, health workers etc…

    5. Introduction

    Referring to the DTM round VIII, 139,550 IDPs (31,908 households) mainly displaced by the ongoing insurgency and counter insurgency operation in the North-east region of Nigeria are living in Yobe Sate off which about 92% live in host communities. Damaturu LGA, where most of the emergency WASH response is focalized, is hosting 38,086 IDPs representing 27, 3% of the state’s caseload and its camps population is about 32%.

    The assessment was limited to camps and communities in Damaturu LGA.

    Findings

    1) In camps Motorized or solar powered boreholes and water Trucking are the main water supply sources for IDPs and host communities living in the camps premises. Over 86 % of IDPs living in Pompomari,
    Kukareta and Mohammadu Gombe have adequate water compare to sphere standards indicator of 15 litres per person per day required. They crude water supply per capita shows a minimum of 18l/p/d.
    In Kasaisa and Bukar Ali camps ( 14% of the IDPs population in camps ) the crude indicator of water provided is about 10 l/p/d however from the House hold survey they are collecting an average of 19 l/p/d but the nearest waterpoint is located 3 kms away or water cost 10Naira per container.

    Compared to the recommended indicator of 250 people per tap, the number of person per tap is over 300 people in Kukareta, Pompamari and Bubakar Ali camps while it is 174 in Kasaisa camp and 114 in Mohammadu camp.

    In general, water collection points are located in a distance of less than 100 meters average from household.

    From the household survey the average time spends in fetching water is about 94 minutes in Kasaisa, 59 minutes in Kukareta and 37 minutes in Bukari Ali camps. It is about 11 minutes in Pompari and 29 minutes in Mohammadu camps.

    In most of the camps, water sources don’t have backup generator, submersibles pumps neither maintenance kits.

    2) Host communities Focus groups were conducted in 5 Wards and below are the outcomes.

    • Water is available from tapstand connected to borehole (50%) or from local sellers (45%)

    • 100% pay for water at 10 Naira for a 25 liters jerrycan and household could spend between 70 to 200 Naira daily to cover their water needs - Challenges highlighted were lack of water container (60% of respondents) and cost of water.

    • 50% recognized having received WASH NFIs from Caritas, ACF or UNICEF


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

    Depuis le début de l’année 2016, 5.369 personnes (soit 290 en moyenne par semaine) ont été enregistrés au camp de Minawao.

    Au 13 Mai 2016, la population totale de réfugiés s’élève à 56.805 personnes. 60,91% de la population totale du camp à moins de 18 ans, les femmes représentent 53,29%de la population totale du camp.

    Avec une augmentation continuelle de la population du camps de Minawao, la capacité d’accueil du camp a atteint ses limites et crée de nouveaux besoins

    Ces besoins sont notamment l’identification d’un nouveau site pouvant désengorger le camp de Minawao, l’approvisionnement en eau et en quantité suffisante, la construction de nouveaux abris familiaux, la mise en œuvre des activités de prévention du choléra et le renforcement des mesures sécuritaires.


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    Source: UN Security Council
    Country: Mali

    SC/12366-AFR/3381-PKO/581

    The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Amr Abdellatif Aboulatta (Egypt):

    The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the terrorist attack on 18 May 2016 against a convoy of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) near Aguelhok, in the Kidal region, during which five peacekeepers from Chad were killed and three others injured.

    The members of the Security Council expressed their deepest condolences and sympathy to the families of the victims, as well as to the Government of Chad.

    The members of the Security Council called on the Government of Mali to swiftly investigate this attack and bring the perpetrators to justice. They underlined that attacks targeting peacekeepers may constitute war crimes under international law.

    The members of the Security Council reaffirmed that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security. The members of the Security Council underlined the need to bring perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of these reprehensible acts of terrorism to justice. They stressed that those responsible for these killings should be held accountable and urged all States, in accordance with their obligations under international law and relevant Security Council resolutions, to cooperate actively with all relevant authorities in this regard.

    The members of the Security Council reiterated that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed. They reaffirmed the need for all States to combat by all means, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and other obligations under international law, in particular international human rights law, international refugee law and international humanitarian law, threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts.

    The members of the Security Council reiterated their full support for MINUSMA and the French forces that support it. They reiterated their strong support for the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Mali, Mahamat Saleh Annadif, and for MINUSMA to assist the Malian authorities and the Malian people in their efforts to bring lasting peace and stability to their country, including through MINUSMA’s support to the implementation of the Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in Mali. They paid tribute to the peacekeepers who risk their lives in this respect.

    The members of the Security Council expressed their concern about the security situation in Mali. They noted that the full implementation of the Agreement and the intensification of efforts to overcome asymmetric threats can contribute to improving the security situation across Mali. They further stressed the importance that MINUSMA has the necessary capacities to fully fulfil its current mandate.

    For information media. Not an official record.


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    Source: Voice of America
    Country: Cameroon, Japan, Nigeria

    Moki Edwin Kindzeka

    ZAMAI, CAMEROON—Cameroonian Yeguie Issa says he has not seen his only brother since they were contacted a year ago by visitors to their village and were offered $500 per month to join Boko Haram.

    Issa, 29, did not accept the offer and now takes care of his poultry farm in Cameroon's Zamai village, near the northern town of Mokollo. He got started with the help of chickens provided by the government and farming advice from U.N. staff.

    As a result, Issa said, he is financially and physically more stable, and he can provide for his wife, three children and 72-year-old mother — and peers no longer jeer at him for being unable to take care of his family.

    Issa is one of several hundred people who have benefited from the U.N. initiative to steer youths away from Boko Haram, which has frequently attacked northern Cameroon over the past three years.

    The coordinator of the U.N. system in Cameroon, Najad Rochdi, said the goal of the initiative is help the area's economy grow despite the continued violence.

    "Because the region was tragically and dramatically impacted by insecurity on the one hand and extreme violence on the other hand, it was very important to provide the enabling environment for the revival of the local economy, capitalizing on the know-how of the people in the region," Rochdi said. "Obviously, the know-how here is about agriculture, handicraft, agropastoral activities."

    Japan contributes

    Cameroon has provided $4 million in emergency funds to create jobs for youths on its northern border with Nigeria, where the unemployment rate is over 90 percent. Japan has contributed $2 million to the U.N. for the second phase of the project, focused on the entire conflict zone in Cameroon.

    Ibrahim Hamaoua, traditional ruler of Zamai, said the assistance has reduced delinquency among the 30,000 people he leads.

    Hamaoua said he was grateful to the U.N. Development Program and the government of Cameroon for initiating the resilience project and constructing a livestock market to supply protein to both internally displaced persons and refugees. The project has boosted the local economy and improved the living conditions of the population that grow livestock, he said.

    About a hundred meters from Issa's poultry farm, Hamza Falama waters his one-hectare garden. He said the produce villagers grow — maize and sorghum during the rainy season, carrots and cabbages during the dry season — enables them to send their children to school, take care of their health needs, feed their families and save for difficult moments.

    Cameroon hopes to see more gardens grow, and fewer difficult moments in the north, in order to weaken Boko Haram.


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    Source: Center for Strategic and International Studies
    Country: Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, United States of America, World, Yemen

    By Kimberly Flowers

    In a world that has become increasingly interconnected and chaotic, with more displaced persons since World War II, and with an array of humanitarian disasters that has outstripped the international community’s budgets and capacity to respond, why should global food security remain an imperative development priority? Why has the United States invested so heavily, to the tune of $5.6 billion over the past five years, in agricultural development and nutrition to reduce extreme poverty?
     
    Agriculture’s Economic Power
     
    Agriculture is the primary source of employment and income for 70 percent of the world’s rural poor, and it contributes more than a third of gross domestic product (GDP) in many of the least developed countries. In light of evidence that GDP growth originating in agriculture can be four times more effective than growth in other sectors in raising incomes of the extremely poor, the economic leverage of agriculture for development is hard to dispute.
     
    Aligning foreign assistance with country-led strategies for agricultural growth is the most effective approach to achieving results for vulnerable smallholder farmers, their families, and their communities. Government ownership is critical to sustaining development investments and to ensuring a sound policy environment for private-sector engagement. In order for agriculture to reach its potential to generate employment, raise smallholder incomes, and catalyze markets, both the will of country leadership to dedicate resources and the ability of local and international private companies to invest along the value chain are required. In some cases, this translates into tough policy reforms that take time to understand, to implement, and to enforce.
     
    National Security Risks
     
    There is a causal relationship between food insecurity and political instability, as escalating and volatile food prices have resulted in urban riots, toppled governments, and regional unrest from the Caribbean to the Middle East. A paper released by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs in April 2016 reminds us that “food price shocks can act as a catalyst for both nonviolent and armed conflict.” Global food security undergirds economic security, national security, and human security; it goes well beyond a moral obligation or humanitarian response.
     
    The intelligence community recognizes this nexus and the increasing security risk in the face of dwindling resources. Last October, the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence produced a report stating that “the overall risk of food insecurity in many countries of strategic importance to the United States will increase during the next 10 years because of production, transport, and market disruptions to local food availability, declining purchasing power, and counterproductive government policies.” One of the greatest global development challenges that wealthy and poor countries face together is increasing agricultural production to meet shifting consumer preferences and a growing population while using less water and fewer hectares and managing the unpredictable effects of climate change.
     
    A Changing Global Climate
     
    Erratic weather patterns, emerging pests and diseases, and extreme natural disasters are among the overwhelming obstacles to ensuring that all people have access to safe, affordable, and nutritious food. The U.S. Global Research Program, which is a consortium of 13 federal agencies, published a report in December 2015 that said “climate change is very likely to affect global, regional, and local food security by disrupting food availability, decreasing access to food, and making utilization more difficult.”
     
    A changing global climate poses a unique set of interwoven challenges to agricultural growth in developed and developing countries alike. Shifting and increasingly variable temperatures and modified rainfall and humidity throughout the growing season impact not only crop maturation, but also the array of weeds, pests, and diseases that farmers must contend with. Increasingly arid conditions across the Sahel and soil salinity in South Asia both highlight the need for improved seed varieties, irrigation techniques, and other inputs to help smallholders adapt to new conditions. It is also a reminder of the importance of investing in and scaling up innovative technological solutions from transgenic crops to mobile solutions. Without strategic interventions directed at mitigating climate change–induced agricultural productivity losses, the consistency and predictability of staple crop supplies and prices in local markets is far less assured. Because households in many developing countries spend over 60 percent of their budgets on food, even modest price fluctuations mean that many will go hungry.
     
    Volatility as the New Norm
     
    According to the World Meteorological Organization, 2016’s _El Niño_ is one of the most extreme weather patterns on record, worsening the existing impacts of climate change in many places in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. In Ethiopia, the government estimates that 10.2 million people will need humanitarian assistance in 2016 due to a drought severely exacerbated by the effects of _El Niño_. Meanwhile, it is unlikely that the conflicts in Syria, South Sudan, Nigeria, and Yemen will be quickly resolved; the protracted unrest has disrupted agricultural production and market activity and damaged critical infrastructure, causing billions of dollars in losses that will take decades to recover from.
     
    The Malnutrition Continuum
     
    The irreversible effects of childhood malnutrition are not limited to conflict environments but may contribute to their instability. Poor nutrition causes about 3.1 million deaths among children under five each year, and one in three children in developing countries is stunted. Undernutrition in early childhood has been linked to adverse health outcomes throughout life in addition to reduced educational attainment and lower earnings as an adult. In the long run, malnutrition undermines a country’s economic growth potential by diminishing the cognitive and physical capacity of its emergent workforce. Addressing nutritional deficits is thus a critical component of any strategy that seeks to harness the potential of youth.
     
    Development Glass Half Full
     
    Agricultural development may take time to show results, but with the right kind of partnerships and country leadership, it works. While Feed the Future, the U.S. global hunger and nutrition initiative launched by the Obama administration, has room for improvement, its achievements in poverty reduction and improved nutrition in select focus countries are laudable. Smallholder farmers are learning improved cultivation and management practices and utilizing new technologies. The private sector has been engaged: small and large actors alike are making investments across various value chains. Children are eating more diverse and nutritionally complete diets. And the United States has established itself as a global development leader by fulfilling its promise to address food insecurity while leveraging substantial investments of other countries to complement its initiative.
     
    Bipartisan Support
     
    There are few topics that have broad bipartisan support in both congressional chambers, but global food security has proven to bring both sides of the aisle together in solidarity. The Global Food Security Act, which would codify Feed the Future into law and authorize $1 billion a year for the initiative, was passed by the House on April 12 with 370 votes of support and by the Senate with unanimous consent on April 20. There are slight differences in the two versions, including an emergency food aid component, that will need to be worked out in conference, but it looks likely that the bill will be signed into law ahead of a new administration in 2017. This is nothing short of a ground-breaking moment that signals strong U.S. leadership and, more importantly, continues services to the millions of smallholder farmers and families who currently receive direct support to sustainably increase their incomes and to improve their diets.
     
    [This essay was initially published as a chapter in Global Development Monitor: A Changing World, edited by Conor M. Savoy (Washington, D.C.: CSIS, May 2016).]
     
    Kimberly Flowers is director of the Global Food Security Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.


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    Source: UN Office for West Africa
    Country: Benin, Cabo Verde, Chad, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger

    Dakar, 20 May 2016

    1. At the invitation of Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Mohamed Ibn Chambas, the Heads of the United Nations Missions in West Africa and their representatives held their Twenty-ninth High-level Meeting on 20 May 2016 in Dakar.

    2. In attendance were the Special Representatives of the UN Secretary-General and Heads of UN Missions in Guinea Bissau (UNIOGBIS), Mr. Modibo Touré; in Liberia (UNMIL), Mr. Farid Zarif; and in West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Mr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas, as well as the Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General of UN Missions in Mali (MINUSMA), Mr. Koen Davidse; and the Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Ms. Hiroute Guebre Sellassie.

    3. The objective of this bi-annual meeting is to provide insights and exchange views on peace and security dynamics in the areas of operation of the respective missions and in the West African region as a whole, and to strengthen coordination in order to address common challenges in such areas as elections, cross-border security, transnational trafficking, violent extremism, security sector and constitutional reform processes, and democratic transitions in the West Africa region.

    4. The meeting welcomed the peaceful and credible electoral processes in Benin, Cabo Verde and Niger. Participants noted that the region was making progress in terms of democratic transition. In this regards, the Heads of missions expressed the hope that the upcoming elections in Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, and Mali will achieve similar successes and consolidate democratic processes in countries emerging from crisis situations. In addition, participants noted the need to further promote the increased representation of women in the political sphere.

    5. The meeting welcomed the ongoing constitutional reforms in a number of countries, which all preserve limitations of presidential mandates, and strengthen institutions, thus consolidating democracy. The meeting called for enhanced national and regional programs of collection and management of small arms and light weapons.

    6. The Heads of missions strongly condemned the recent terrorist attacks in the region and highlighted the importance of support to countries in the region and regional organizations in countering this threat. Participants emphasized the need for a comprehensive approach, which combines security-based counter-terrorism measures and intelligence-sharing, with preventive measures to address root causes of violent extremism, in accordance with the Secretary-General Plan of Action to prevent violent extremism.

    7. The Heads of missions strongly condemned the killing of five peacekeepers of the Chadian contingent of MINUSMA in Northern Mali on 18 May 2016.

    8. Participants noted the impact of climate change affecting countries in West Africa and the Sahel. Regarding migration movements in the region, the Heads of missions called for a regional approach taking into account root causes of migration as well as developmental issues, with a particular focus on providing opportunities for youth.

    9. Participants welcomed the progress made in the fight against the Ebola Virus Disease and called on governments and international partners to remain engaged throughout the Ebola-recovery process.

    10. The Heads of missions called for the comprehensive implementation of the Malian peace agreement. The meeting welcomed the engagement of various actors and initiatives in the Sahel, highlighting the importance of coordination in order to create synergies and to increase benefits for the populations of the region.

    11. The Heads of missions discussed the situation in Guinea Bissau following the dismissal of the Government of Prime Minister Carlos Correia. They took note of ongoing consultations among all parties. They urged all national stakeholders to promote dialogue, inclusiveness and the rule of law, and to protect and defend the interest of the population as they continue to search for a sustainable solution to the political crisis.

    12. Regarding the situation in Liberia, participants welcomed national efforts towards assuming security responsibilities from UNMIL and efforts in preparing the 2017 presidential and legislative elections. The Heads of missions expressed hope for greater progress in constitutional reform to strengthen national unity, and the fight against armed robbery, and sexual and gender-based violence and called for sufficient funding for the ongoing security transition to the Government of Liberia from UNMIL.

    13. Participants agreed to continue to cooperate closely and to share information and experiences on key issues affecting the region.

    14. The Heads of missions thanked SRSG Chambas of UNOWAS for the organization of the meeting.


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