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ReliefWeb - Updates

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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Brazil, Cabo Verde, Central African Republic, Côte d'Ivoire, Niger, Nigeria

    CABO VERDE

    ZIKA STRAIN FROM AMERICAS DETECTED

    The WHO announced that the strain of Zika virus circulating in Cabo Verde is the same as the one that has infected some 1.5 million people in Brazil. The WHO says the strain was imported by a traveller coming from Brazil, before it began spreading locally last October. As of May, 7,557 suspected Zika cases had been registered in Cabo Verde, as well as three cases of microcephaly. The information will help African countries to reevaluate their level of risk and adapt and increase their levels of preparedness.

    CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

    MSF MEMBER KILLED IN CONVOY ATTACK

    Medical aid organisation Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has suspended its activities in part of the Central African Republic after a staff member was killed in an attack on a convoy on 18 May. The convoy which was transporting staff and patients was stopped by armed men in Kouki in the Ouham province, and the team was robbed of personal belongings and medication and one of the drivers was shot and killed. The NGO informed it will resume its activities when it receives adequate guarantees for the safety of its staff and the acceptance of its medical and humanitarian activities.

    ASSISTANCE PROVIDED TO CONFLICT-AFFECTED PEOPLE

    On 24 April clashes were reported between armed groups in the regions of Koui and in Bocaranga. An assessment mission identified over 16,000 people newly displaced in both regions. Assistance is being provided by partners through the distribution of non-food items and cooperation with the government.

    CÔTE D’IVOIRE

    DECREASE IN NUMBER OF IDPS IN BOUNA

    In the north-eastern town of Bouna, the number of IDPs decreased from 2,800 to 1,846. This figure results of urban IDPs returning to their homes, relocating with host families or renting new accommodation in the town of Bouna. However, no return movements to the villages of origin outside of Bouna have been registered. Clashes in Bouna between the Lobi and Fulani communities had triggered displacements late March.

    LAKE CHAD BASIN

    ERC VISITS NIGER AND NIGERIA AHEAD OF WHS

    From 16 to 19 May, a few days ahead of the World Humanitarian Summit, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien visited Niger and Nigeria, to take stock of the humanitarian situation in the Lake Chad Basin region and call for greater world attention on the crises unfolding in the region.

    NIGERIA

    CHIBOK SCHOOLGIRL RESCUED

    On 17 May, the Civilian Joint Task Force reportedly rescued one of the more than 200 girls kidnapped by Boko Haram from a school in Chibok, in the northeastern state of Borno in 2014. Currently, 218 girls still remain missing. They are believed to be located in the Sambisa forest where Boko Haram members have been hiding out.


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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Brazil, Cabo Verde, Central African Republic, Côte d'Ivoire, Niger, Nigeria

    CABO VERDE

    ZIKA: SOUCHE DES AMÉRIQUES DÉTECTÉE

    L'OMS a annoncé que la souche du virus Zika circulant au Cabo Verde est la même que celle qui a infecté quelque 1,5 millions de personnes au Brésil. Selon l’OMS, la souche a été importée par un voyageur en provenance du Brésil, avant le début de sa propagation locale en octobre dernier. En mai, 7 557 cas suspects de Zika avaient été enregistrés dans le pays, ainsi que trois cas de microcéphalie. L'information aidera les pays africains à réévaluer leur niveau de risque et adapter et augmenter leurs niveaux de préparation.

    RÉPUBLIQUE CENTRAFRICAINE

    UN MEMBRE DE MSF TUÉ DANS L’ATTAQUE D’UN CONVOI

    L’organisation Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) a suspendu ses activités dans certaines parties de la République centrafricaine après qu’un membre de son personnel a été tué dans une attaque contre un convoi le 18 mai. Le convoi qui transportait le personnel et les patients a été arrêté par des hommes armés à Kouki, dans la province de l’Ouham, des effets personnels et des médicaments ont été dévalisés et l'un des chauffeurs a été abattu. L'ONG a informé qu‘elle ne reprendra ses activités que lorsqu’elle recevra des garanties suffisantes pour la sécurité de son personnel et l'acceptation de ses activités médicales et humanitaires.

    ASSISTANCE FOURNIE AUX PERSONNES TOUCHÉES PAR LE CONFLIT

    Le 24 avril, des affrontements ont été signalés entre des groupes armés dans les régions de Koui et Bocaranga. Une mission d'évaluation a identifié plus de 16 000 personnes nouvellement déplacées dans les deux régions. Une assistance est fournie par les partenaires à travers la distribution d'articles non alimentaires et une coopération avec le gouvernement.

    CÔTE D’IVOIRE

    BAISSE DU NOMBRE DE DÉPLACÉS À BOUNA

    Dans la ville de Bouna au nord-est du pays, le nombre de personnes déplacées est passé de 2 800 à 1 846. Ce chiffre résulte du fait que les déplacés en milieu urbain retournent dans leurs foyers, se relocalisent avec des familles d'accueil ou louent un hébergement dans la ville de Bouna.
    Toutefois, aucun mouvement de retour vers les villages d'origine à l'extérieur de Bouna n’ont été enregistrés. Les affrontements à Bouna entre les communautés Lobi et peules avaient déclenché des déplacements fin mars.

    BASSIN DU LAC TCHAD

    LE CSU VISITE LE NIGER ET LE NIGERIA EN PRELUDE AU WHS

    Du 16 au 19 mai, quelques jours avant le Sommet humanitaire mondial (WHS), le Secrétaire général adjoint aux affaires humanitaires de l’ONU et Coordonnateur des secours d'urgence Stephen O'Brien a visité le Niger et le Nigeria, pour faire le point sur la situation humanitaire dans la région du bassin du Lac Tchad et appelé à une plus grande attention sur les crises qui se déroulent dans la région.

    NIGERIA

    UNE LYCÉENNE DE CHIBOK SECOURUE

    Le 17 mai, des membres de la Force d'intervention conjointe civile auraient secouru l'une des plus de 200 jeunes filles enlevées par Boko Haram d'une école de Chibok en 2014, dans l‘État nord-est de Borno. Actuellement, 218 filles restent toujours portées disparues. Elles seraient retenues dans la forêt de Sambisa où les membres de Boko Haram se seraient cachés.


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Nigeria

    Kano, Nigeria | AFP | Tuesday 5/24/2016 - 18:01 GMT |

    A state government in northern Nigeria on Tuesday declared a state of emergency after moths destroyed swathes of tomato fields, threatening supplies of the country's leading staple food.

    Nigerian farmers describe the outbreak as 'tomato Ebola' after the deadly disease that devastated West Africa in 2014.

    The news from Kaduna state saw Nigerians voice fears on social media they would not be able to make jollof rice -- a beloved national dish made with tomato paste -- because of the scarcity.

    Tomato prices have shot up as a result of the moth Tuta absoluta, adding to existing hardships from a 67 percent rise in the price of petrol and spiralling inflation in Africa's largest economy.

    "We have declared a state of emergency over the outbreak of a moth that has destroyed over 80 percent of tomato farms in the state," Kaduna state agriculture commissioner Manzo Daniel told AFP.

    The tomato shortage caused by the outbreak has caused prices to go up "astronomically", he added.

    A wholesale basket containing hundreds of tomatoes now sells for 42,000 naira ($212, 186 euros), up from 300 to 1,500 naira before the outbreak, he said.

    "This is only the beginning of a disaster if we don't take drastic measures because the disease is fast spreading across the north," he warned.

    More than 200 tomato farmers in the region have already suffered losses of more than one billion naira from the disease, he said.

    Experts have been sent to Kenya to develop a strategy to combat the brown moth, which lays eggs on tomato plants and develops into a hungry caterpillar that feeds on the leaves, stems and fruit.

    More than 90 percent of 17,000 hectares (42,000 acres) of tomato fields outside the northern city of Kano have been destroyed by the insect, according to the state's agriculture officials.

    A $200-million tomato processing factory built by Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote has been forced to shut down because of the shortfall in supply, managing director Abdulkareem Kaita said.

    Tuta absoluta, which originated in South America and spread to Europe and Africa, quickly develops resistance to pesticides, making it difficult to contain.

    abu/sf/phz/kjl

    © 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse


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

    Regional Security Meeting in Abuja and UNHCR-World Bank Lake Chad Basin Displacement Workshop

    As a follow-up to the Paris Summit of 17 May 2014, the 2nd Regional Security Summit was held on 14 May 2016 in Abuja. The high-level conference was preceded by a meeting of experts which, among others, deliberated on security, challenges of displacement and developments around the Lake Chad Basin area. The Summit acknowledged the heavy toll Boko-Haram related violence brought on countries and communities involved. It calls on all parties involved in the Multi-National Joint Task Force to ensure that security operations are carried out in compliance with international standards. It also stressed the importance of supporting GBV survivors and renewed commitment to take immediate action to address the humanitarian crisis. Appreciating the burden Lake Chad Basin countries are facing in hosting refugees, the Summit concluded with a commitment to work together to ‘generate conditions of security and public services ‘to allow refuges to return home in safety and dignity in cooperation with relevant international aid agencies.

    UNHCR-Nigeria participated in a regional workshop on forced displacement in the Lake Chad basin, co-organized by UNHCR and the World Bank. The workshop was held from 18 to 20 May 2016 in Dakar, Senegal. Representatives of government officials, UNHCR and World Bank from Cameroon, Nigeria, Niger and Chad participated in the meeting. Breakout groups discussed prioritization of regional and country specific needs and responses in the short and long-term, based on recommendations provided in the report.


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    Source: World Food Programme
    Country: Chad, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Indonesia, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Philippines, Somalia, Sudan, Swaziland, Timor-Leste, World, Zambia, Zimbabwe

    IN NUMBERS

    60 MILLION people affected globally at present.

    32 MILLION people food insecure in Southern Africa.

    10.2 MILLION people in Ethiopia need emergency food assistance.

    50 PERCENT crop losses in Haiti due to El Niño-influenced drought.

    HIGHLIGHTS

    • With its onset in early 2015, the current El Niño event is one of the strongest on record.
      At present, it has affected an estimated 60 million people globally and their food security is severely impacted.

    • Despite the weather phenomenon winding down in the second quarter of 2016, the number of people affected is expected to increase through to early 2017.

    • WFP is rapidly scaling up relief operations but resources are stretched.

    SITUATION UPDATE

    • With its onset in early 2015, the current El Niño event is one of the strongest on record. At present, it has affected an estimated 60 million people globally. Despite the weather phenomenon winding down in the second quarter of 2016, the number of people affected is expected to increase through to early 2017.

    • Food security of vulnerable populations is severely impacted. Particular areas of concern include nearly all of Southern Africa which is the hardest hit region; Ethiopia and its neighbours Somalia and Sudan in East Africa; Central America’s ‘dry corridor’, nearby Haiti and the northern region of South America while floods affect the southern region; and many of Asia’s island nations including Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Philippines.

    • Countries will continue coping with the effects on harvests and livestock through the end of 2016, with the humanitarian impact expected to increase. In some locations, the current droughts and adverse weather conditions have only added to consecutive harvest failures, in some cases for the second or third successive time.

    • El Niño is expected to aggravate the already serious chronic malnutrition situation in particular for hardhit communities and for vulnerable groups such as young children and the elderly. Reduced food access, resulting from falling food production and food price increases, will reduce dietary diversity.
      This will impact the quality of infant and young child feeding and increase the risk of acute malnutrition. Access to essential protein and iron-rich foods may also be reduced, particularly in rural areas, as a result of drought impact on livestock.


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    Source: UN Children's Fund
    Country: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Nigeria

    Highlights

    • Within the Lake Chad Basin crisis, Cameroon is the second country most affected by displacement after Nigeria. In the last month an increase of 20,000 IDPs in the Far North has been reported bringing the number to 190,591 people.

    • Since the beginning of 2016, 1,361 refugee children under 5 and 9,952 Cameroonian children <5 with SAM have been admitted to therapeutic care.

    • 505 children (out of 4,650 expected children) unaccompanied and separated as a result of the CAR refugee crisis and the Nigeria crisis have been either placed in interim care and/or are receiving appropriate follow-up through UNICEF support.

    • The funding situation remains worrisome and is hampering the implementation of lifesaving activities: Child protection, education, WASH and health remain the most underfunded sectors and globally, only 5% of UNICEF appeal has been funded.


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

    Food Security Sector (FSS) Highlights for April 2016

    Summary of on-going humanitarian assistance:
    Number of people targeted by 2016 HRP: 1.5 million people
    Total budget of Food Security Sector in 2016 HRP: US$ 71.4 million
    HRP resources mobilized to dateL US$ 7.9 million
    Reached with food and livelihoods assistance in 2016: 347,403 people

    Projected needs for the coming lean season (June -September 2016)
    A total of 3 million people are in need of assistance through the coming lean season.

    Plans for the lean season (interventions with firm commitments):
    According to the latest survey of Food Security Sector partners, the lean season will see a total of 1.8 million people targeted, with the majority provided with direct food assistance in the form of in-kind distributions or cash & voucher programmes.


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    Source: US Agency for International Development
    Country: Liberia, Nepal, Nigeria, Syrian Arab Republic, United States of America, World

    Posted by Evelyn Rodriguez-Perez on Tuesday, May 24th 2016

    Education is a core component of a humanitarian response. However, too often education remains severely underfunded given competing priorities. But without it, children — and girls in particular — are at increased risk of abuse, exploitation, disempowerment or worse.

    While working in international education for more than 30 years, I’ve seen how natural disasters, famines and wars can sideline education.

    And yet we know from research — and our own life experiences — that going to school and learning is critical; it provides children with a sense of normalcy and helps prepare them for the future. An extra year of secondary school for girls can increase their future earnings by 10 to 20 percent. Research even shows that investing in women and girls can boost an entire country’s GDP.

    However, over the past decade, we have seen greater consideration of the long-term need of children affected by crisis and conflict. Education in these contexts is prioritized by the U.S. Government — we know it’s critical to the global effort to end extreme poverty and build peaceful democratic societies.

    Providing access to quality education for children and youth in crisis and conflict is one of USAID’s priorities for education. Between 2011 and 2015, we provided millions of out-of-school children and youth in 20 countries with access to education.

    That’s good progress, but it’s not enough. As a result of the conflict in Syria, the world is experiencing the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II. Syria is among 35 crisis-affected countries where 476 million children are in desperate need of educational support.

    A shift in USAID education response

    For decades, humanitarian and development assistance were often partitioned, and this sometimes led to not focusing on returning many displaced children and youth to school until after a crisis or conflict had ended. Education has always been a key focus in the international refugee response; but this at times has not been true in the case of natural disasters or even in the case of internally displaced children.

    As crises have become longer — families are displaced for 20 years on average — children may spend their entire childhood exiled from their homes. Without education, a new generation grows up without the basic skills needed to contribute to their community and society.

    The U.S. Government is now committed to ensuring that whenever a crisis or conflict hits, education is not disrupted. Prioritizing the continuity of education reaps long term rewards, and contributes to a smooth transition from humanitarian assistance to sustainable development.

    In the past year, the United States has responded to the education needs of children living in a range of crises, including violent conflict in South Sudan, gang violence in El Salvador and Guatemala, the Syrian refugee crisis, earthquakes in Nepal, and the Ebola outbreak in Liberia.

    • Nepal: On April 25, 2015, Nepal was shaken by a magnitude 7.8 earthquake that claimed lives, destroyed homes, and reduced thousands of schools and classrooms to rubble. USAID and partners sprang into action by building more than 1,000 temporary learning centers to ensure children could continue their education while the rest of the communities were rebuilt around them.

    • Liberia: In August 2014, at the height of the worst Ebola outbreak in history, all schools were closed, leaving 1.5 million children at home and unable to learn. Crises like Ebola don’t only affect the health of communities, but also their ability to continue working and learning. In response, USAID worked with the Liberian Government to integrate basic Ebola prevention and treatment information into the curriculum, supply classrooms with prevention supplies, and prepare for future suspected cases. These measures allowed schools to reopen six months later.

    • Syrian refugee crisis: Since the start of the conflict in Syria, the Department of State has worked with international and nongovernmental organizations to open and refurbish schools, provide educational materials, pay school fees, and offer accelerated learning programs for refugees and host communities in neighboring countries where 2.4 million Syrian refugee children now reside. These same partners provide protective family care and reunification, protect distressed children from violence and abuse, provide counseling and psychological support, and meet other critical needs of children both inside Syria and in neighboring countries.

    • Nigeria: Since 2009, a violent insurgency has gripped much of northeastern Nigeria and displaced more than 1 million children and youth, greatly diminishing their education and job prospects. Since 2014, USAID has worked with local partners and officials to ensure their education can continue by establishing about 600 nonformal learning centers in communities where displaced children and youth have relocated – temporary shelters, markets, churches, mosques and under the shade of trees. The international community is far from reaching all of those children in need, however. We must do more.

    Bridging the humanitarian and development divide

    No one donor can do this alone — we must work together with countries affected by these crises and a range of education experts. That is why the U.S. Government is enthusiastically supporting Education Cannot Wait: A Fund for Education in Emergencies.

    The fund is championed by the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Education Gordon Brown, Chair of the Global Partnership for Education’s Board of Directors Julia Gillard, UNICEF’s Executive Director Anthony Lake, the U.S. Government and other donors.

    Education Cannot Wait, managed by UNICEF, will help transform the global education sector and bridge the humanitarian and development divide by collaborating with non-traditional actors for a more agile and rapid response to education in emergencies. Ultimately, the fund will increase safe and quality education so that all children have the opportunity to learn, amid emergency and protracted situations.

    With 75 million girls and boys most directly affected by crises globally, we know that solving this problem requires collective action. This is why we call on the private sector, host country governments, civil society, and traditional and non-traditional donors to all come together.

    Education Cannot Wait must engage new actors — non-traditional donors, the private sector, foundations and philanthropists — to contribute to financing the platform. They can make education as much a priority as food security, shelter and health. New actors can unlock new funds, and their participation can help the international community create transformative and long-lasting change in the lives of the world’s most vulnerable young people.

    It’s a challenge that must be addressed through strong political will and financial support.

    As a veteran development worker and education specialist, I’ve seen firsthand what happens when children and youth are given an education–how going to school and continuously learning allows them to heal and grow.

    These children and youth, when provided with an education are given a new hope for a better future and a chance to succeed — they become self-sufficient, are better able to earn a decent living, and contribute to their societies in a productive way. We all benefit.

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Evelyn Rodriguez-Perez is the Director of USAID’s Office of Education in Washington, D.C. Ms. Rodriguez-Perez is a veteran educator of 30 years and a Foreign Service Officer previously stationed in Peru, Egypt and Honduras.


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    Source: Voice of America
    Country: Cameroon, Nigeria

    Moki Edwin Kindzeka

    TOUROU, CAMEROON— Boko Haram militants are believed to be holding hundreds of captives in Nigeria's Sambisa forest, including more than 200 Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped in 2014.

    The armed forces of Nigeria and Cameroon are trying to free the hostages, but the forest is a good place for militants to hide and a dangerous place for soldiers to operate.

    The Sambisa forest reserve in northeastern Nigeria has been a key Boko Haram hideout for years.

    Colonel Boubakar Bakary, one of Cameroon's senior military officers, commanding troops fighting Boko Haram around the forest, says Sambisa is very dangerous because it is one of Boko Haram's main remaining strongholds. 

    Many Cameroonian soldiers have lost their lives there.  Many Cameroonian hostages they are looking for are in that forest.  He says troops are doing everything possible to eliminate Boko Haram and take total control of the area.

    Cameroon says 30 soldiers have been injured, and two killed, since a fresh offensive on Sambisa was launched in March. But Bakary said his troops have taken part in raids on the forest for more than a year.

    Ideal hiding place

    Part of the challenge is just how vast Sambisa is, covering parts of four Nigerian states.  It's been called an ideal place for Boko Haram to hide because it's large, sparsely populated and has lots of tree cover that hampers aerial surveillance. It also has few roads and a rocky, hilly terrain, making access by land difficult to nearly impossible.

    The Nigerian military has bombed the forest and succeeded in overrunning several Boko Haram camps, but the presence of kidnapped women and children remains a concern. Bakary says Boko Haram uses the captives as human shields. The forest, he said, is also infested with landmines.
     
    Some good news
     
    In the Cameroonian border town of Tourou, hundreds of people turned out Sunday to welcome home Habibba Assale.
     
    Boko Haram grabbed the 16-year-old girl and several others two years ago and took them into Sambisa. She escaped last week during a raid by Nigerian soldiers but had to leave her baby behind.

    She says after they were kidnapped, they spent a few weeks in a detention camp in a cave in Sambisa and then the girls were handed over to Boko Haram fighters as wives.

    She says they were also given lessons on detonating bombs and told that if they died fighting Allah's course, they would go to paradise. She says she is very grateful to all the soldiers that saved her life but that so many girls and women are still in the forest.
     
    "Obviously, beyond what popular opinion thinks, that you can just storm that place and then solve the problem, it is not that easy,” said Fonka Mutta, a Cameroonian journalist who accompanied the military into Sambisa this month.
     
    Cameroon's military says it is giving food and medical care to liberated captives, but that it is impossible to know how many more Cameroonian citizens are being held. Families, fearing stigma and retribution from Boko Haram, don’t always report the abductions.


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    Source: UN Children's Fund
    Country: Chad, Niger, Nigeria

    By Aicha Chir Nour

    In Chad, the Daresalam refugee camp hosts more than 5,000 refugees from Nigeria and Niger. Here, every individual has fled atrocities and violence that plague their countries. The camp’s school is the only place where Yande Tchari, 17 years old and in first grade, feels safe. “Only in class am I able to take my mind off things. School gives me the opportunity to learn always something new,” she says.

    Yande carries her baby in her arms. Her white scarf with purple stripes covers her head completely, but reveals a pretty face marked by the hardships of life. Sitting on the floor next to her friend Yekaka Mahamadu and her baby Mariam, the two classmates and mothers seem much older than the others.

    During recess, I approached the young mothers to get to know them. Yande used to live in Lelewa, an island of Lake Chad in the territory of Niger. In her village, as a 15-year-old girl, she was already ready to get married. “One night, my parents called me and they told me they were going to give me away in marriage to a fisherman called Kando. I’d never seen him or met him. Out of respect for my parents, I said nothing.” I asked her if she was happy on her wedding day, and she immediately replied, “My parents were happy. That’s what mattered.”

    Yande then became pregnant and baby Alhadj was born a few months after their wedding. “Shortly after the birth, Kando was stopped by Boko Haram and killed because he refused to give up his belongings, his boat, a little money and all he’d been working for. Now, my son will never know his father,” she said with bitterness.

    “A few days later, soldiers ordered us to quickly leave the village because Boko Haram was coming to kill us. I had just lost my husband and I had a baby in my arms. There were lots of us. The children were crying, and some of the mothers, too. Luckily, some soldiers spotted us and took us to the Daresalam refugee camp.”

    At the camp, Yande reunited with Yekaka, her childhood friend from the same village. “My husband was also killed by Boko Haram. Our hardships have brought us together and we help each other out,” says Yekaka.

    Yande’s curiosity drove her to enroll in school for the first time. “With my baby, I was hesitant to come to school, but the principal said that I could come to class with him. The first sentence in French that I learned was ‘Comment tu t’appelles?’ (What’s your name?),” says Yande, amused.

    Recess was over and the children scrambled back into class. There are numerous challenges for teachers in these conditions: the classes are overcrowded, there’s a lack of educational materials, and for most of these children, it’s the first time they’ve had the opportunity to go to school.

    After class, I found Yande again and asked her about her motivation to go to school. “I think that school can help women to become self-sufficient. If you didn’t go to school, you wouldn’t be here asking us questions, right? If I had the opportunity to go to school, I wouldn’t have married so young. I would be helping my family, and my mother would be proud of me. Today, school is what helps me forget all my worries,” she says.

    While I was taking my notes, Yande took a piece of paper and a pen and started writing her first and last name, and helped Yekaka to do the same. “I think French language is very beautiful. You can learn a lot just by having fun. My son Alhadj will grow up to be a great writer. I’m going to teach him how to read and write, insh’ Allah (God willing).”

    I spoke a great deal with the two young girls about many things: marriage, school and their plans for the future. To finish, Yande told me, “Some people make fun of me when I tell them I want to continue going to school, but for me, there’s no right age for school; what matters is your will.”

    Aicha Chir Nour is Editorial and Publication Officer with UNICEF Chad

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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Nigeria

    Obagaji, Nigeria | AFP | Wednesday 5/25/2016 - 03:13 GMT

    by Aderogba OBISESAN

    Anyebe Peter has only recently returned to his farm in central Nigeria, nearly three months after attacks by Fulani herdsmen killed seven villagers, destroyed 250 homes and forced survivors to flee.

    "Nothing is left for us either on our farm or in our village after the attack," he told AFP in Adagbo, a stone's throw from the Benue river that forms the border between Benue and Nasarawa states.

    "The attackers destroyed all our farms and the yields. We have nothing to sell or eat now."

    More than 20 villages populated by mainly Christian Agatu farmers were attacked by the marauding cattlemen, according to community leaders.

    Unconfirmed reports say up to 500 people were killed. Homes, churches, mosques, grain stores and land were ransacked or destroyed.

    But beyond the cost to lives and property, the violence along the river and in other central states has exacerbated rising food prices that are increasingly having an impact across the country.

    "After harvesting we normally take our rice to processing mills in Abakaliki (southeast) and Kaduna (north) before we sell in Lagos and southern states," said one youth leader in Adagbo.

    "But we have nothing to eat now let alone to sell. We're famished and don't have any money. Our only source of income has been hampered by the killings."

    Fears of fresh attacks have forced many Agatu farmers to stay away and with no one to plant crops, the fields will go fallow. With less produce to sell, already high prices are climbing further.

    Rising inflation

    Clashes between Fulani herdsmen and farmers have been a regular feature of life in Nigeria's "Middle Belt" -- Benue, Taraba, Plateau, Nasarawa and Kogi states -- largely over grazing rights.

    In states such as Plateau, the often tit-for-tat violence goes beyond the fight for resources, with ethnic and religious undertones.

    All five states produce many of the food staples consumed in the south: pepper, yams, tomatoes, onions, carrots, rice, wheat, potatoes, millet and pumpkin.

    Nearly seven years of violence by Boko Haram insurgents in the agrarian northeast has also cut production and caused food shortages for the more than 2.0 million internally displaced.

    A shortfall in supply because of missed harvests, compounded by rising transportation costs and restrictions on imports because of a lack of foreign exchange, has sent prices spiralling.

    Overall, Nigeria -- Africa's largest economy -- is in bad shape. The slump in global crude prices has drastically cut government revenue from oil exports, weakening the naira currency.

    Inflation climbed for the sixth successive month in April to 13.7 percent, up from 12.8 percent in March, the National Bureau of Statistics said last week.

    Food inflation in April rose 1.3 percentage points to 13.2 percent, with the highest increases in fish -- a staple in the northeast -- fruits and vegetables, bread and cereals.

    "Inflation was driven by increases in prices of imported as well as domestically produced foods due to supply constraints," the NBS stated.

    'I can see hunger'

    The World Bank has since 2008 provided funding to the Nigerian government to support 'fadama' farms -- a Hausa-language term for low-lying irrigable land near major rivers.

    The $450 million (400-million-euro) scheme supports production and trade of rice, tomato and yams, as well as fishing, forestry and water for livestock.

    Nigeria's government wants to boost agriculture to diversify the economy away from a dependency on oil.

    But when AFP visited 'fadama' land in Obagaji it was almost completely deserted. Only a few fishermen were seen around the river bed.

    Analysts SBM Intelligence said in a report "Terror in the Food Basket" published last October that some farmers in the "Middle Belt" had not planted crops or harvested since 2006.

    The huge Mile 12 market is one of the biggest in Nigeria's commercial hub, Lagos, some 11 hours or more by road from Benue.

    "Only a quarter of the number of trucks from the north that daily discharged products in Lagos and the southwest are currently doing so," said market representative Jubril Magaji.

    "This is the main cause of the scarcity and sharp price increases," he added.

    For wholesalers and ordinary shoppers, the hikes are compounding rising costs for fuel and electricity, both of which are in short supply.

    "I bought four tomatoes for 200 naira ($0.99, 87 euros) instead of the usual 50 naira," said caterer Peju Adegoke out shopping in Mile 12.

    "A tuber of yam which sold for 250 naira a few months back now sells for 600 naira. I can see hunger staring us in the face. It's lamentable."

    ade/phz/rl/jv

    © 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: UN News Service
    Country: Niger, Nigeria

    24 mai 2016 – Le Haut-Commissariat des Nations Unies pour les réfugiés (HCR) a déclaré mardi avoir constaté une augmentation de l'insécurité et une aggravation de la situation humanitaire dans la région de Diffa, dans le sud-est du Niger.

    Selon des chiffres gouvernementaux, cette région accueillait à la mi-mai plus de 241.000 réfugiés nigérians, personnes déplacées et Nigériens rapatriés qui vivaient autrefois au Nigéria.

    « La sécurité autour des villes de Diffa et Bosso, à l'est, s'est détériorée au cours des derniers mois, avec une succession d'incidents criminels, dont des attaques suicide près de villages et de sites où des réfugiés nigérians et des déplacés ont trouvé refuge », a dit un porte-parole du HCR, Adrian Edwards, lors d'un point de presse à Genève.

    Environ 157.000 personnes ayant fui Boko Haram sont installées dans 135 campements de fortune le long de 200 kilomètres de la Route nationale 1, une route qui longe la frontière avec le Nigéria et la rivière Komadougou. Deux grands marchés le long de cette route sont fermés depuis avril de peur que des insurgés infiltrés commettent des attaques.

    « Les conditions de vie le long de la route nationale 1 sont difficiles : dans cet endroit reculé semi-désertique, les températures atteignent 48 degrés Celsius à l'heure actuelle, et les pluies qui vont suivre dans deux ou trois mois risquent d'inonder les campements de fortune », a dit M. Edwards.

    Les organisations humanitaires ont du mal à apporter une assistance aux personnes déplacées en raison de l'environnement très incertain, du nombre croissant de sites - certains d'entre eux étant éloignés - et d'un manque de financement. Sur les 112 millions de dollars requis par 22 organisations humanitaires, dont le HCR, pour les opérations dans la région de Diffa en 2016, seulement 20 millions de dollars ont été reçus à ce jour.

    « Les agriculteurs, les éleveurs, les pêcheurs, les commerçants et les négociants ont perdu leurs principales sources de revenus à la suite de leur déplacement et de l'insécurité dans la région. Un financement supplémentaire est nécessaire pour développer des moyens de subsistance pour ces personnes, de sorte qu'elles puissent devenir autonomes », a souligné le porte-parole du HCR.

    « De plus en plus de réfugiés et de déplacés internes nous disent qu'ils veulent s'éloigner davantage de cette zone frontalière instable, car ils craignent que les insurgés attaquent leurs campements au Niger », a-t-il ajouté.

    Il y a dix jours, à la demande du gouvernement, le HCR a commencé à déplacer des centaines de réfugiés installés dans deux sites de fortune le long de la Route nationale 1 vers un camp à environ 50 kilomètres de la frontière. Le camp accueille actuellement environ 3.000 personnes. La réinstallation volontaire de personnes déplacées des zones frontalières vers d'autres régions où la sécurité est meilleure est également prévue dans un avenir proche.


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    Source: US Agency for International Development
    Country: Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Nigeria, United States of America

    HIGHLIGHTS

    • Rapid assessments in northeastern Nigeria indicate urgent humanitarian needs 
    • More than 20,000 newly displaced people registered in Cameroon’s Far North Region between February and April 
    • ERC Stephen O’Brien calls for increased assistance for Lake Chad Basin response

    KEY DEVELOPMENTS

    • As the security situation in the Lake Chad Basin gradually improves, relief actors are evaluating security conditions and humanitarian needs in newly accessible areas. UN multi-sector rapid needs assessments conducted in northeastern Nigeria’s Borno and Yobe states in mid-April found significant humanitarian needs across multiple sectors—including food security, health, nutrition, protection, relief commodity, shelter, and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH)—among households affected by Boko Haram-related violence. Response actors note that further assessments are required to confirm the extent of humanitarian needs throughout the northeast. 

    • From May 16‒19, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator (ERC) Stephen O’Brien visited Niger and Nigeria; during the visit, he called for the humanitarian community to address the urgent needs among vulnerable households in the Lake Chad Basin, particularly in northeastern Nigeria. ERC O’Brien also urged relief organizations to coordinate with development and security actors to ensure a comprehensive response to the complex emergency in the Lake Chad Basin. 

    • In April, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) released a revised Humanitarian Needs and Response Overview (HNO) for the Lake Chad Basin, requesting $535 million to support approximately 5.2 million people in need. The UN estimates that approximately 9.2 million people in the region require humanitarian assistance. 

    • USAID/OFDA recently provided $2 million to a non-governmental organization (NGO) partner to support vulnerable households in northeastern Nigeria with emergency relief commodities, shelter assistance, and WASH support. The new funding brings total FY 2015‒2016 USAID/OFDA assistance for the Lake Chad Basin response to more than $36 million.


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


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    Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Protection Cluster
    Country: Nigeria

    OBJECTIVE

    The Borno PSWG Rapid Protection Assessment Report compiles information from both data collection in IDP sites around Maiduguri (Part I) as well as in recently liberated satellite camps of Damboa and Dikwa (Part II).

    The assessment of displacement sites around Maiduguri Metropolis (MMC, Jere, Konduga) was conducted in order to obtain a full picture of protection issues and severity in all sites around Maiduguri in order to prioritize the most pressing issues and severe sites, for targeted rapid interventions.

    Due to the opening up of limited humanitarian accessibility in areas formerly under Boko Haram control, the need for a rapid protection assessment in Dikwa and Damboa was urgently raised. The assessment objective was to identify pressing protection concerns in the satellite IDP camps to inform immediate interventions to the most vulnerable, a rapid Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) response, as well as to promote access, dignity and accountability to displaced currently experiencing the most severe of circumstances.


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    Source: World Food Programme
    Country: Burkina Faso

    Dans la perspective de contribuer au renforcement des capacités de résilience et à la sécurité alimentaire et nutritionnelle des communautés vulnérables, le PAM a développé une approche de diagnostic et de planification fondée sur la participation des communautés.

    Un exercice de formation et de mise en pratique de l’approche de « Planification communautaire participative » (PCP) s’est tenu du 4 au 8 avril 2016 à Banogo, région de l’Est. Les services publics au niveau central, local et régional, des ONG et les communautés locales y ont participé. L’association Appui à la promotion du développement durable des communautés (APDC), partenaire du PAM, a accueilli cet atelier.

    Au Burkina Faso, les communautés rurales sont sujettes aux risques de sécheresse, d’inondations, d’infestations, etc. A cela s’ajoutent des défis, tels le manque d’accès aux services sociaux de base, une croissance démographique forte, l’inégalité de genre et l’inflation des prix. Face à ces difficultés, les capacités des ménages à faire face aux chocs et à assurer leur sécurité alimentaire et nutritionnelle se réduisent progressivement.

    Le PAM soutient des activités de construction et de réhabilitation d’aménagements ruraux afin d’appuyer la production agricole et pastorale, soutenir la sécurité alimentaire et renforcer la résilience des populations rurales.

    Pour mieux comprendre et répondre aux besoins et aux attentes des communautés rurales et les inclure dans les processus de décision liés à ces activités, le PAM a développé l’approche PCP. Celle-ci permet d’établir un système de diagnostic des problèmes, et de proposer des solutions articulées dans un plan d’action élaboré et validé conjointement par les communautés et les différents acteurs qui interviennent au niveau local.

    Des experts de l’approche PCP basés au Siège du PAM à Rome et au Bureau régional de Dakar sont venus pour guider l’exercice et proposer une formation sur cette approche à l’équipe du PAM au Burkina Faso et ses partenaires.

    Lors de la première journée de cette formation, les objectifs ainsi que la méthode de la PCP ont été présentés aux participants. Les quatre jours suivants ont été consacrés à la mise en pratique dans le village de Banogo, auprès de la communauté et les acteurs locaux. Les représentants de la communauté villageoise ont défini leurs propres critères pour distinguer quatre groupes socio-économiques (des plus pauvres aux nantis) et déterminé la proportion de chaque groupe dans le village.

    Des discussions par sous-groupe ont permis d’identifier les itinéraires techniques, les calendriers saisonniers, les types de chocs vécus et leur fréquence, les stratégies d’adaptation et les acteurs institutionnels locaux. Les difficultés de chaque groupe social, divisés par âge et par sexe, ont aussi été évoquées. La communauté a également réalisé la cartographie du village. Les acteurs présents ont parcouru à pied le village sur 8 km, guidés par les habitants de Banogo. L’objectif de ce parcours était d’identifier les différentes unités territoriales, les ressources et les moyens de subsistance du village. Cette étape était fondamentale pour identifier les problèmes et les réponses possibles.

    D’après Charles Tankoano, Président de l’APDC, « l’exercice de planification communautaire participative dans ce village va stimuler la communauté. L’avantage de cette rencontre est le fait que plusieurs services étatiques, des ONG et le PAM vont se mettre ensemble pour appuyer la communauté afin de leur permettre d’avoir un plan de développement à mettre en œuvre. Cela permettra à chaque partenaire de s’engager dans un domaine précis et de mettre ensemble des activités au profit de cette communauté ».

    L’exercice a permis d’identifier les difficultés des habitants de Banogo, telles la dégradation des terres, absence d’activités de contre-saison, inondations qui rendent le marché et le Centre de Santé inaccessibles, etc. Cela a permis également d’identifier les activités à privilégier pour développer leur résilience, lutter durablement contre l’insécurité alimentaire et nutritionnelle et contribuer à l’insertion des jeunes dans leur village. C’est à travers les aménagements que l’on peut mieux gérer les ressources en eau, mettre en valeur les terres fertiles et restaurer les terres dégradées.

    Selon Marie-Jeanne Lankoandé, habitante de Banogo : « Il y a eu des échanges très intéressants et les habitants du village y ont participé. Ces activités, si elles sont réalisées, vont nous permettre de sortir de la pauvreté. »

    La contribution et l’engagement des divers acteurs locaux et partenaires du PAM aux côtés de la communauté de Banogo, sont indispensables pour mettre en œuvre le plan d’action établi durant l’atelier, au cours d’une période minimum de trois ans.


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


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    Source: World Food Programme
    Country: Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger


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    Source: US Agency for International Development
    Country: Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Nigeria


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    Source: UN Children's Fund
    Country: Nigeria

    By Emily Bamford

    Can all of Nigeria be Open Defecation Free by 2025? A Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Committee in the remote northern village of Gidan Darge is paving the way.

    JIGAWA STATE, Nigeria, 25 May 2016 – In north-eastern Nigeria, 300 miles north of the capital city of Abuja, lies the village of Gidan Darge. Though the village is located in a dry, remote area, it is pioneering advances in water, sanitation and hygiene for the entire country.

    Back in 2008, Gidan Darge was one of the first communities in all of Nigeria to be declared Open Defecation Free (ODF) as part of the Community-led Total Sanitation (CLTS) Programme. The initiative aims to ensure all families construct their own latrines, have access to safe water, and practice good handwashing techniques.

    To help inspire behaviour change, water and sanitation officers from the local government visited the village and worked with community volunteers to give a set of simple yet powerful demonstrations. For example, the ‘open defecation mapping’ demonstration had the community come together to draw a map of the village, highlighting water sources, houses and places where people practice open defecation. The facilitator then drew the link between open defecation and disease by showing how, when it rains, faeces will wash into nearby water sources and make their way back into the households.

    Habiba Umar, 35, was one of 15 people who volunteered to help lead this behaviour change within her community. Together, the volunteers decided to form a Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Committee (WASHCom).

    “Before, there used to be so much faeces in the community. It was everywhere, it was really terrible,” said Habiba. “I volunteered because I wanted to change this for my family, and also to help inspire other communities in the area. We were all experiencing the same problems and it was affecting our children’s health.”

    Building trust, changing behaviour

    Just 27 days after the community watched the demonstrations, all households completed the construction of their latrines and handwashing facilities. Three public latrines were also built during this time. The community was quickly declared ODF.

    In collaboration with UNICEF, the Nigerian Government then installed a new handpump for the community, which now provides safe drinking water for everyone. It also ensures households can practice handwashing and keep their toilets clean.

    But behaviour change does not happen overnight. It takes many months, if not years to become permanent. Being a WASHCom member is therefore a continuous commitment. Habiba and her colleagues constantly monitor progress, going house to house encouraging families to continue using and maintaining their facilities.

    Their hard work continues to pay off. The village is visibly clean and all toilets are spotless. Even child and animal faeces have been banished from Gidan Darge village – and it hasn’t gone unnoticed.

    “Now when the fish salesmen come round to the community, even they are shocked,” said Habiba with a laugh. “They are used to seeing so many flies wherever they go, but not in Gidan Darge.”

    The impact of the CLTS programme was so significant that neighbouring communities soon became curious. “They came to us and asked us to help them follow in our footsteps – and we were more than happy to do so,” she said.

    Inspiring action far and wide

    Habiba and the other 14 WASHCom members have since gone on to spark all 26 neighbouring communities into action. It’s no easy task, as communities are sparsely distributed across a rough desert terrain.

    “It was quite difficult at first, it takes time to build trust and get everyone to change their behaviour,” Habiba said. “There’s always a few stubborn people who don’t want toilets initially – and were resistant to change. But through persistence we got there eventually.”

    Other functions of the WASHComs include managing the water pump, going house to house to check latrines, spreading hygiene messages and collecting funds. Households contribute around 100 naira (US$0.50) each month, or however much they can afford.

    “We use to the money to repair the water pump if needed, upgrade latrine structures and buy basic medical supplies for the community,” said Idris Malami, the WASHCom Secretary. “The health centre is located quite far away, so it’s really helping to make a difference.”

    Gidan Darge is one of 746 communities in Jigawa State that have been certified ODF so far. There is still a long way to go until the whole state is Open Defecation Free by 2025 – as planned by the Government. But with dedicated WASHCom members like Habiba and Idris leading the way, it seems that anything is possible.


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