Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel

Embed this content in your HTML


Report adult content:

click to rate:

Account: (login)

More Channels


Channel Catalog

Channel Description:

ReliefWeb - Updates

older | 1 | .... | 547 | 548 | (Page 549) | 550 | 551 | .... | 728 | newer

    0 0

    Source: World Food Programme
    Country: Senegal


    • WFP is preparing the 2016 lean season response which aims to assist urgently 434,700 people affected by food insecurity and malnutrition.

    • In 2016, WFP aims to give more technical assistance to the government and communities, ensuring the appropriation and the durability of programmes and projects.

    • As of 31 April, WFP assisted 134,900 individuals, of whom 2,200 children (6 to 59 months) have received food under targeted supplementary feeding (treatment for moderate acute malnutrition).

    Operational Updates


    • WFP is working with the Senegalese Government on a national nutrition response to provide nutrition support to children under five, pregnant and nursing women living in the five most affected regions after the publication of the 2015 SMART survey.

    • WFP, together with the Civil Society Platform and Senegalese SUN Movement, developed a communication strategy and advocacy tool to Strengthen Nutrition interventions in Senegal.

    • WFP met with the key nutrition actors in Senegal to discuss the content of the Country Programme extension (2017-2018). Rural Resilience (R4 project/Rural Development):

    • WFP has completed the preparatory work for the implementation of the R4 Rural Resilience Initiative for 2016.

    • Contracts have been signed with implementing partners; regional planning and lists of participants, registered through the SCOPE platform, were validated for use in May 2016 interventions.

    Targeted Food Assistance:

    • The 2016 Senegal Government response plan is being finalized after the Cadre Harmonisé of March 2016. Some 434,700 food insecure people will need rapid assistance.

    • Based on the availability of resources, WFP Senegal will support the government’s appeal with a caseload of 94,000 people in Matam, Tambacounda, Koumpentoum and Podor departments through cash based transfer modality.


    • Senegal is a case study for WFP in an ongoing assessment on Gender and market analysis.

    • WFP Senegal hosted a workshop involving the country office (Dakar and three Sub offices) and key partners on gender issues through the implementing of the second phase joint project: “Innovations from the Field: Gender mainstreaming from the ground up to WFP-IDS Partnership Programme”. A national work plan will be designed for a timeframe of two years.

    0 0

    Source: World Food Programme
    Country: Gambia


    • The country office and partners have completed data collection for the Comprehensive Food Security and Vulnerability Analysis (CFSVA).

    • Preliminary findings of the school meals cost benefit analysis were presented to key partners. Cost benefit Tools and examples from other countries were also shared in a forum facilitated by the WFP Centre of Excellence, Brazil.

    Operational Updates

    • The border closure between Gambia and Senegal which came into effect in February has affected the timely delivery of rice resulting to the provision of reduced rations to more than 100,000 school children.

    • The drafting of the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) 2017 – 2021 is complete but its validation awaits the finalization of the new National Development Plan.

    • The draft National School Feeding Policy document was validated in early December 2015. The final policy is subject to Cabinet approval.

    • Plans to launch the CBTs pilot for decentralized community procurement for the school meals programme is advancing. Furthermore, the training of pilot schools is complete. They have been provided with tender boxes, procurement templates, office safes and food scales. Schools have launched tenders and open transfer bids of funds to schools.

    • The deadline affecting the ban on imports of rice has been extended from 31 December 2015 to September 2016.

    0 0

    Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
    Country: South Sudan, Sudan

    This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Adrian Edwards – to whom quoted text may be attributed – at the press briefing, on 3 June 2016, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

    By: Adrian Edwards | 3 June 2016

    This weekend marks the 5th anniversary of the conflict in Sudan’s South Kordofan State. Tragically, people are today still fleeing the region, with most crossing into neighbouring South Sudan. So far in 2016, more than 7,500 refugees have arrived in Yida in South Sudan’s northern Unity. The area is already home to some 70,000 refugees. Nearly 3,000 people arrived in May alone. With the conflict intensifying, thousands more are expected in the coming weeks.

    Refugees, mainly from Heiban, Um Doreein and Al Boram Counties, in South Kordofan’s Nuba Mountains, speak of escalating violence, including ground attacks and aerial bombings. The recent arrivals also cite lack of food and no access to schools for children as reasons for leaving, especially in and around Um Doreein. Most people are arriving by truck while others come on foot or by bicycle, traveling up to seven days.

    Refugees who have arrived this week say the conflict has recently shifted to the north-east part of South Kordofan, with some people trapped in conflict areas and unable to escape. Nearly 90 per cent of new arrivals are women and children. One child in every ten is alone or without a family member. At the Yida transit centre, UNHCR and its partners are providing immediate assistance to the arrivals. This means a hot meal, water, a measles vaccination, a place to rest and other help. Refugees are registered to ensure that those at risk or with special needs are quickly identified and assisted.

    From Yida, refugees are transported after a few days by bus to Ajuong Thok, a camp established in 2013 to help ease some of the pressure. There they are provided with plastic sheeting and poles to build a temporary home. They also get cooking pots and pans, mosquito nets, blankets, sleeping mats and food. Children who are unaccompanied or separated from their families are reunited with their families or placed in foster care.

    With nearly 41,000 Sudanese refugees already living in Ajuong Thok, the camp has almost reached capacity (46,000 people). UNHCR and its partners have been expanding camp infrastructure to meet the needs of a growing population. We have installed six additional water tanks, built hundreds of latrines, opened a new primary school and have begun constructing another one. A new camp is underway at Pamir, some 50 kilometres south of the border, to receive new arrivals and refugees who have been living in Yida for the past five years.

    As the refugee influx continues, services are becoming overstretched. In the past four weeks, available water has dropped from 19 litres per person per day to 16. Schools have become extremely overcrowded with more than 100 students sharing the same classroom. With UNHCR’s operations in South Sudan funded at just 17 per cent, services and service quality are inevitably threatened.

    Since the start of the war in the Nuba Mountains in 2011, nearly 250,000 Sudanese refugees have fled to South Sudan, mostly to Unity and Upper Nile. A solution to the conflict and an end to the suffering are needed more than ever. South Sudan is itself home to some 1.69 million internally displaced people.

    For more information on this topic, please contact:

    In Juba, Rocco Nuri, +211 927 725 535

    In Geneva, Adrian Edwards, +41 79 557 9120

    In Geneva, Nora Sturm, +41 79 200 7610

    0 0

    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Algeria, Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Togo

    Environ 20 personnes ont perdu la vie suite au conflit inter communautaire dans la localité de Malemana située dans le cercle de Tenenkou (la région de Mopti). Ce conflit a entrainé le déplacement de d’environ 800 personnes dans la région de Ségou. Le rapport d’évaluation rapide réalisé par CARE, HKI et COOPI fait état de nombreux besoins non couverts dans les domaines de la santé, sécurité alimentaire, eau, hygiène et assainissement, abri et bien non alimentaire et protection.

    Selon les résultats de la campagne de dépistage de masse, la situation nutritionnelle demeure toujours préoccupante particulièrement dans la région de Tombouctou où le taux de malnutrition aiguë globale atteint 17,9%.

    0 0

    Source: OPEC Fund for International Development
    Country: Armenia, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Egypt, Ethiopia, Jordan, Lebanon, Lesotho, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Paraguay, Saint Lucia, Senegal, Swaziland, Syrian Arab Republic, Viet Nam, World, Zimbabwe


    Vienna, Austria, June 3, 2016. Seventeen partner countries stand to benefit from the latest round of financing, totaling over US$233m, that was approved at the 155th Session of the Governing Board of the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID). Commenting on the sectoral distribution of the fresh approvals, OFID Director-General Suleiman J Al-Herbish said: “Our strategic focus continues to highlight the interdependency of the energy-water-food nexus, supported by the transportation sector. This is our priority moving forward.” The public sector loans, which total around US$118m, will support the following projects/programs:

    Country - Project - US$m


    Agriculture Value Chains Development Program, Phase II. To develop and improve crop and livestock production activities and strengthen community-based initiatives, and in turn enhance food security and incomes for over 200,000 people.



    Hamusit-Estie Road Upgrading. To improve connections along a 77km-long stretch in the South Gondor Zone, a key agricultural production area. This will enhance farmers’ access to markets, reduce travel costs and time and enable the 500,000-strong population to reach social services more efficiently.



    Metropolitan Area Electricity Transmission and Distribution System Improvement. To help meet present and future energy needs and expand coverage in the Asuncion metropolitan area, populated by around two million people. In addition to replacing and installing new infrastructure, the project will carry out institutional strengthening.


    Saint Lucia

    Millennium Highway Upgrade, Phase II. To facilitate the movement of agricultural and industrial goods, reduce transport costs and help boost living conditions of low-income communities in the capital Castries and the northwest. Around 19,000 households are expected to benefit from the project.



    National Referral Hospital. To enhance the efficiency and quality of healthcare services by constructing and equipping a 250-bed hospital as well as an out-patient clinic and staff housing. The new facility will serve around 1.3 million people and reduce the need to send patients abroad for treatment.



    Dam Vac Bridge. To build a bridge over the Dam Vac lake to improve connectivity between the northern urban and southern rural regions of Vinh Yen City. This will help increase income-generating opportunities and access to social services for over 100,000 people living in the project area.



    Poverty Alleviation. The project will carry out activities in three provinces populated by around 3.8 million people. These include: awareness campaigns to sensitize communities and stakeholders; community support initiatives to identify demand-driven sub-projects and farm demonstration exercises to improve livestock productivity; and support to savings and credit cooperatives.


    Total 117.56

    Four grants totaling US$2.3m were also approved to the following organizations:

    International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA). US$500,000. To improve small-scale irrigation technologies and introduce on-farm water management practices with a view to increasing agricultural productivity and enhancing food security in Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali and Senegal. The project will also introduce solar-driven systems for operating irrigation pumps and for household use. In all, the project will benefit about 20,000 resource-poor smallholder farmers.

    Hilfswerk Austria. US$400,000. To reduce maternal-child mortality in rural areas in 12 districts in Sofala province, Mozambique. This will be done by improving/installing water and sanitation systems and providing renewable energy systems to health posts; expanding coverage and outreach of public health campaigns; and, capacity building, among other activities. The project is expected to directly benefit around 265,000 women and 130,000 children under the age of five.

    United Nations Development Program (UNDP). US$800,000. This grant aims at strengthening host communities’ resilience in Jordan and Lebanon by constructing additional infrastructure and providing necessary equipment, as well as improving waste management facilities in areas where Syrian refugees reside. Around 50,000 Syrian refugees and over 26,000 local residents in the host countries are expected to benefit from the scheme.

    Austrian Development Agency (ADA). US$600,000. This grant will support the third phase of the “Southern Africa Solar Training and Demonstration Initiative” which aims at reducing energy poverty by improving access to renewable energy; specifically solar thermal solutions. Activities will include policy workshops, development of national solar thermal roadmaps and installation of solar thermal demonstration systems. OFID’s grant will cover activities in Lesotho, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe. The initiative will help reduce energy costs and improve living standards for approximately 7,000 people.

    Under OFID’s private sector facility, six financing facilities totaling over US$98m were approved to co-finance sustainability energy schemes in Egypt. Under OFID’s trade finance facility, US$15m was approved to help support SMEs and finance international trade activities in Armenia.

    0 0

    Source: European Commission Humanitarian Aid Office
    Country: Niger

    Violence is increasing in the Region of Diffa where three attacks by Boko Haram were reported in the last two weeks. Two of them targeted the town of Yebi, in Bosso district, where thousands of people displaced from the Lake Chad area have settled. At least 15 people were killed and eight more were severely injured. Hundreds of houses and the market were destroyed as well as a mobile hospital and water and sanitation installations.

    It is estimated that about 10 000 people fled Yebi for Bosso which has a stronger military presence. The third attack actually targeted military installations in Bosso situated directly on the border with Nigeria.

    0 0

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

    0 0

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

    0 0

    Source: African Union
    Country: Burkina Faso, Mali

    Addis Abéba, le 2 juin 2016: La Présidente de la Commission de l'Union africaine (UA), Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, condamne fermement les attaques terroristes perpétrées hier, mercredi 1er juin 2016 au Nord de la République du Mali et au Burkina Faso. Ces actes ignobles ont causés la mort de 4 personnes et plusieurs blessés parmi le personnel de la MINUSMA à Gao, et blessés trois policiers au Burkina Faso. Elle présente les condoléances les plus attristées de l'UA aux familles des victimes et souhaite prompt rétablissement aux blessés. Elle renouvelle l'appui de l'UA à la MINUSMA et salue l'engagement et le sens du sacrifice des pays contributeurs de troupes et de personnels de police.

    La Présidente de la Commission note que ces nouvelles attaques, qui sont intervenues quelques jours après celles qui ont visé les contingents tchadiens et togolais, sont une illustration supplémentaire de la gravité de la menace que font peser les groupes terroristes sur la sécurité des populations maliennes et le processus de mise en œuvre de l'Accord pour la paix et la réconciliation au Mali. Elles mettent en relief la nécessité d'efforts plus soutenus pour neutraliser les groupes terroristes et criminels opérant à la frontière entre les deux pays.

    À cet égard, la Présidente de la Commission exhorte les parties maliennes à accélérer la mise en œuvre de l'Accord, y compris dans ses dispositions relatives aux aspects sécuritaires, notamment la mise en place des unités spéciales de lutte contre le terrorisme et d'unités mixtes. Elle appelle les partenaires du Burkina Faso et du Mali à soutenir effectivement ces arrangements sécuritaires.

    La Présidente de la Commission attend avec intérêt les propositions que le Secrétaire général des Nations unies soumettra bientôt en vue du renforcement des capacités de la MINUSMA, au regard des menaces asymétriques auxquelles la Mission est confrontée. Elle forme l'espoir que le Conseil de sécurité saisira l'occasion du renouvellement du mandat de la Mission, ce mois, pour prendre les mesures attendues à cet égard.

    La Présidente de la Commission réitère l'engagement de l'UA à continuer à œuvrer au renforcement de la coopération sécuritaire régionale dans le cadre du Processus de Nouakchott. Elle réaffirme la détermination de l’UA à poursuivre et intensifier les actions engagées en vue de l'approfondissement de la coopération opérationnelle, y compris la mise en place des modalités appropriées face à la menace terroriste au Mali.

    0 0

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

    93.5 M required for 2016
    16.8 M contributions received, representing 18% of requirements
    76.7 M funding gap for the Nigeria Situation

    0 0

    Source: US Agency for International Development, International Medical Corps
    Country: Chad


    Contexte et objectifs de l’étude Link NCA

    L’étude SMART de 2014 a montré des résultats alarmants concernant le district sanitaire d’Abdi. En effet, un taux de malnutrition aiguë globale de 17,4% a été révélé, dont 4,0% de malnutrition aiguë sévère. Suite à cela, International Medical Corps a décidé de venir appuyer le Ministère de la Santé dans son programme de PCIMA.

    L’étude Link NCA permettra à International Medical Corps d’adresser les causes responsables de la malnutrition sur le long terme, en apportant des solutions adaptées. En effet, afin d’apporter des réponses durables, il est capital d’avoir une compréhension approfondie du contexte de la zone d’intérêt, des besoins spécifiques et des dynamiques d’interactions des causes sous-jacentes à la malnutrition.


    Sécurité alimentaire et moyen d’existence

    Avec la sécheresse de 2011, le Tchad est entré dans le cercle des 14 pays de la bande sahélienne qui ont été frappés par une crise nutritionnelle et alimentaire sans précédent avec une chute de plus de 40% de la production céréalière. Le district d’Abdi n’a pas été épargné. En 2012, la saison pluvieuse a commencé beaucoup plus tôt et d’importantes hauteurs d’eau ont été enregistrées. Cela a provoqué des dommages par inondations dans la zone d’Abdi, où les champs ont été détruits et les terres sablo-argileuses ont laissé place aux terres sableuses.

    Les résultats de notre étude montrent que les principales causes de l’insécurité alimentaire sont directement liées au caractère déficitaire de la production céréalière des ménages, à la forte dépendance vis- à-vis des marchés en période de soudure, à la faible diversification des sources de revenus, aux chocs récurrents et à la faible capacité de résilience des ménages et des communautés.
    Le travail de la terre est effectué principalement par les femmes, les hommes préférant généralement les migrations dans les villes voisines olé travail journalier agricole chez les plus nantis. L’enquête qualitative nous a permis d’établir que les facteurs limitant une production agricole suffisante étaient, entre autres, l’appauvrissement des sols, la faible pluviométrie et les attaques d’oiseaux sur les cultures céréalières.

    Pour pallier aux faibles ressources issues de l’autoproduction agricole, des sources de revenus complémentaires sont exploitées. Ainsi, la culture maraichère, le travail journalier agricole, l’élevage, le petit commerce, l’artisanat, la migration des hommes pour le travail aux mines, pour le travail agricole ou dans les grands centres commerciaux voisins sont aussi des sources de revenus secondaires utilisées par certains ménages.

    L’élevage est généralement pratiqué en complément d’une activité agricole. Posséder du bétail permet d’améliorer l’accès des ménages à la nourriture au moment où les stocks familiaux sont épuisés. Cependant, notre enquête quantitative révèle que l’élevage constitue une source de revenus principale pour seulement 3,9% des ménages et pour 10% des ménages il représente une source de revenus secondaire.

    Les faibles revenus issus de l’exploitation animale dans notre zone d’étude sont dus à la vulnérabilité aux épizooties, la vulnérabilité au vol des bêtes, l’insuffisance d’accès aux infrastructures sanitaires vétérinaires, aux techniciens spécialisés et aux produits de traitement curatif et préventif, au très faible encadrement technique de la filière, au faible accès aux pâturages et aux fourrages, au faible accès à l’eau durant la saison sèche ainsi qu’aux faibles connaissances et pratiques sur l’exploitation animale.

    De plus, la vulnérabilité à l'insécurité alimentaire dépend également de l'exposition d'un ménage au choc et à sa capacité de résilience. L'exposition à un choc varie en fonction de l’effet de ce choc sur les moyens de subsistance dont dépendent les ménages. L’insuffisance des pluies/la sécheresse est le premier choc mentionné par les ménages. Viennent ensuite les attaques d’oiseaux sur les cultures, la maladie ou le décès d’un membre important, etc.

    Face à ces chocs, les populations particulièrement vulnérables adoptent des stratégies de survie négatives, qui leur permettent de vivre, mais qui mettent en danger la durabilité des moyens d’existence et contribuent à aggraver leur vulnérabilité. Ces stratégies sont notamment la consommation des semences gardées pour l’année suivante et/ou des récoltes immatures, la diminution de la ration alimentaire journalière et du nombre de repas quotidien, ainsi que la décapitalisation ou le recours à l’endettement excessif.

    Par manque de sources de revenus complémentaires et de capacités de résilience face aux chocs, les ménages se trouvent très dépendants des sources de revenus agricoles qui impactent directement la sécurité alimentaire des ménages. Ainsi, 40,5% des ménages du district d’Abdi ont été identifiés en situation d’insécurité alimentaire sévère au moment de notre étude, qui s’est déroulée en fin de période de soudure.

    0 0

    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    Bamako, Mali | AFP | Friday 6/3/2016 - 17:55 GMT

    The United Nations mission in Mali on Friday said two people not four had died in the latest jihadist strikes on the country.

    A Chinese peacekeeper and a French explosives expert working for the mission, known by its acronym MINUSMA, died on Tuesday in separate attacks claimed by Al-Qaeda's North African affiliate AQIM.

    Two Malian security guards were also thought to have been killed in the attacks on the mission's camp.

    In fact, the security guards "were badly wounded and not killed as initially reported by a MINUSMA statement released on the evening of the attack", the mission said on its official Facebook page.

    "They are currently in a regional hospital in Gao where they are receiving treatment. MINUSMA wishes them a prompt recovery."

    The MINUSMA camp was targeted in a mortar or rocket assault followed by a second armed attack on a UN de-mining unit. It was during this second assault that the two Malians were hurt.

    The last month alone has seen three attacks on MINUSMA's operations, fuelling concern over its future with 65 peacekeepers killed in under three years.

    Northern Mali has been the scene of repeated attacks since it fell under the control of three radical Islamist groups, including AQIM, in 2012.

    The rebels were largely ousted by an ongoing French-led military operation launched in January 2013, but they have continued to mount attacks on security forces from desert hideouts.


    © 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse

    0 0

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

    Regional Highlights

    •  The Lake Chad Basin continues to witness violence, displacement and food insecurity. In north-eastern Nigeria, around 2.5 million people are facing hunger. Without urgent assistance, a famine-like situation could occur in the worst-affected areas.

    •  Security and humanitarian conditions are deteriorating in south-east Niger, where hundreds of thousands of people settled after fleeing Boko Haram violence.

    •  West and Central Africa leaders on 14 May held the 2nd Regional Security Summit to assess response to the threat posed by Boko Haram and encourage the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union to accelerate joint efforts to combat the armed group.

    •  In the run-up to the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, 23-24 May, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Stephen O’Brien, visited Niger and Nigeria on 16 - 19 May to take stock of the humanitarian situation around the Lake Chad Basin and call for greater world attention on the crises unfolding in the region.

    9.2m People in need

    5.2m Targeted for assistance

    2.7m People displaced

    21m People living in affected areas

    3.2m Severely food insecure

    $535 Funding requirement in 2016

    Humanitarian Priorities

    Population movement

     A total of 2.7 million people have been displaced by the crisis which continues to cause new displacements across the region. Assessments in newly accessible areas also revealed pockets of displacements.

    • In Nigeria’s Borno State, an April inter-agency needs assessment identified 200,000 IDPs in newly re-opened areas congregated in ‘satellite’ camps at the Borno LGA capitals, including Bama, Dikwa, Monguno, and Damboa. In mid-May, tens of thousands of new internally displaced persons (IDPs) reportedly arrived in Maiduguri and many are hosted in unofficial camps.

    • In Cameroon, the latest assessment in April found 157,000 IDPs, an increase by 20,000 over the last three months.

    • In Chad, with verifications underway, the total displacement figure in the Lake region now stands at 117,000, including 101,000 IDPs, 9,000 Chadian returnees, and 7,000 refugees

    • In Niger, the authorities’ latest data count is 127,000 IDPs, 82,500 Nigerian refugees, and 31,500 Nigerien returnees in Diffa province.

    0 0

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


    The violent conflict in the Lake Chad Basin has continuously deteriorated. Boko Haram raids and suicide bombings targeting civilians are causing widespread trauma, preventing people from accessing essential services and destroying vital infrastructure. Around 21 million people live in the affected areas across the four Lake Chad countries. The number of displaced people in the most affected areas has tripled over the last two years. Most of the displaced families are sheltered by communities that count among the world’s poorest and most vulnerable. Food insecurity and malnutrition in the affected region have reached alarming levels.

    Recent developments

    As of May 2016, a total of 2.7 million people have been displaced by the crisis. In Nigeria’s Borno State, an April inter-agency needs assessment identified 200,000 IDPs congregated in camps at the LGA capitals, including Bama, Dikwa, Monguno, and Damboa. In mid-May, tens of thousands of new internally displaced persons (IDPs) reportedly arrived in Maiduguri and many are hosted in unofficial camps. WFP is scaling up food and cash-based assistance for 430,000 people. WFP has warned that converging factors – such as poor sanitation, a prevalence of disease and people lacking access to food, water and healthcare – could create a famine-like situation if assistance is not urgently provided. In Cameroon, the latest assessment found 157,000 IDPs attributed to conflict, an increase by 20,000 over the last three months. In June, a multi-sector rapid needs assessment will assess priority needs of vulnerable populations in Logone and Chari, the most difficult area to access in the Far North region

    0 0

    Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
    Country: Afghanistan, Austria, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Eritrea, France, Gambia, Greece, Guinea, Hungary, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Italy, Libya, Mali, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal, Serbia, Slovenia, Somalia, Spain, Sudan, Switzerland, Syrian Arab Republic, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey

    Trends on sea arrivals

    So far this year, 203,981 people made the journey to seek safety in Europe. Almost three-quarters of these had travelled from Turkey to Greece prior to the end of March. Since March arrivals in the eastern Mediterranean route have decreased by 95.32%. In May 1,465 of people arrived to Greece by sea this is 40.13% less than in the previous month (3,650 arrivals).

    While in the past weeks we have seen several tragic incidents and thousands of people rescued in the Central Mediterranean route, the sea arrivals trends in this route remains similar to that of the previous year.

    Some 46,714 people arrived to Italy first five months of 2015 almost the same as the total recorded in the same period of 2015. In terms of nationalities, the main countries of origin of arrivals to Europe include the Syrian Arab Republic (41%), Afghanistan (21%), Iraq (13%), Pakistan (3%) and Iran (2%), amongst others. In Greece, these are the Syrian Arab Republic (49%), Afghanistan (26%), Iraq (15%), Pakistan (4%) and Iran (3%), amongst others, while in Italy, these are Nigeria (15%), Gambia (10%), Somalia (9%), Cote d’Ivoire, Eritrea (8%), Guinea (8%), Senegal (7%), Mali (7%) and Sudan (5%) as of end of April.
    On 31 May, UNHCR stated that at least 880 people are believed to have drowned last week in a spate of shipwrecks and boat capsizing on the Mediterranean.

    UNHCR Spokesperson, William Spindler, added that “Thus far 2016 is proving to be particularly deadly.
    Some 2,510 lives have been lost so far compared to 1,855 in the same period in 2015 and 57 in the first five months of 2014”.

    The Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) announced this week they will launch on 6 June their search and rescue mission in the Central Mediterranean by deploying two ships and two drones.

    Key developments

    Reception capacity on the mainland and the evacuation of the Eidomeni informal site The Greek Government’s efforts to increase the current reception capacity are on-going. According to the Alternate Minister for Migration Policy, 40,000 - 45,000 accommodation places were made available across the country in the past two months. The Alternate Minister for Migration Policy and the Regional Governor of Central Macedonia agreed that the refugee population present in Greece will be distributed fairly across the country by September 2016. The Minister explained that many of the current sites in Central Macedonia will close and be replaced by new sites across Greece. On 26 May, the Public Order Minister, the Alternate Secretary General of the Interior Ministry responsible for Migration and the Head of the Hellenic Police announced that all refugees and migrants have been evacuated from Eidomeni. The Police have yet to confirm the official figures. UNHCR is in the process of collecting information on nationality breakdowns per site and additional interpreters are deployed through UNHCR’s partners to support UNHCR in protection monitoring. In addition, UNHCR technical teams continued to assess needs at the new sites and modalities to provide assistance are being discussed (See UNHCR Briefing note of 27 May for additional details).

    In addition, UNHCR is actively supporting the Greek Government through site planning, shelter, Water,
    Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) activities, Non-Food and Core Relief Items distribution, counselling and provision of information on asylum amongst others, in the the 48 sites throughout the country, including 43 sites established by the Greek authorities and five informal sites (Piraeus Port and Victoria Square in Athens, and EKO gas station, Hotel Chara, and BP gas station in Northern Greece). In addition, UNHCR is working on establishing accommodation places for relocation candidates and asylum-seekers with specific needs as part of the commitment to create 20,000 accommodation places in Greece. These include various types of accommodation, including apartments, hotels, placement with host families and relocation sites. (1)

    On the mainland, conditions continue to vary between sites and tensions increased in some of these.
    According to local media in Larissa, a young refugee hung himself from a tree on 26 May. On 1 June, two children of 14 and 11 years old from the site of Pieria (Petra Olympou) went swimming at a nearby irrigation dam of the municipality and drowned. Hellenic Police and Army intervened. The municipality of Katerini will bear all the expenses for the funeral and graves.

    0 0

    Source: UN Security Council, UN Department of Public Information
    Country: Burundi, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Mali, occupied Palestinian territory, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, World, Yemen

    Peacekeeping reform would be among the top priorities of the Security Council’s work in June, François Delattre (France), its President for that month, said at a Headquarters press conference today.

    “We would like to make the French presidency an opportunity to deepen the understanding of what peacekeeping means today and reflect on what it will mean tomorrow,” he said, emphasizing that France’s would be one of the busiest presidencies of 2016 with a full programme of work, “maybe even the fullest of the year”.

    Elaborating on the Council’s peacekeeping-reform agenda, he pointed to emerging threats from non-State actors and stressed that the protection of civilians must be an integral part of all peacekeeping missions. That would be the main focus of a 10 June open debate, over which France’s Foreign Minister would preside, he added.

    He went on to state that the Council would also need to renew several peacekeeping mandates, including that of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF), and the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID). “This means that Africa would be centre stage of the presidency,” he said, adding that, as illustrated by recent events, peacekeeping mandates now faced particular difficulties and challenges. On a more positive note, he said MINUSMA had “unprecedented levels” of technical capacity and renewing its mandate would be quite important. The focus must remain on capacity-building and increasing troop levels.

    On 6 June, he continued, the Council would hold a debate on regional cooperation, which was pertinent to peacekeeping missions and the work of the United Nations in the Middle East, particularly Syria, Yemen and Libya. Additionally, the Council would consider a report of the Secretary-General on the situation in Lebanon.

    More immediately, the Council would hold an important open debate on sexual violence in conflict tomorrow, to mark the first ever International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, to be celebrated on 23 June. Tomorrow the Council would hear briefings by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Zainab Hawa Bangura, his Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict.

    On the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he said it was France’s belief that the status quo was backtracking as settlement construction continued and public opinion hardened. However, the French presidency could not give up, stand aside or hope for miracles, he said, reiterating that a two-State solution was the only viable option and calling on all sides to relaunch political discussions. “We want to see a specific timeline with clear goals before the end of the year,” he added.

    June would also be a month of elections, firstly those for the General Assembly presidency, then for non-permanent Security Council members on 28 June, he said. France also looked forward to continuing discussions on the appointment of a new Secretary-General and holding informal meetings on the candidates. “We’re looking at things quite positively as pertains to the General Assembly’s work,” he added.

    Asked about the situation in Libya, he said the highest priority was for all forces in that country to unite in order to strengthen border control, fight trafficking in migrants, and battle Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh). The positive dynamic currently under way must be fuelled even further, he added, noting that while many initiatives had been undertaken to unite the Government and integrate banks and oil company assets, much more remained to be done in uniting the Libyan people.

    When asked how the Council planned to increase MINUSMA’s troop levels, he said that effort would be based on the Secretary-General’s report.

    Questioned as to whether the Council planned to meet on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, he said a draft resolution was circulating, and described the proliferation of nuclear weapons as concerning and unacceptable.

    On Burundi, he said the major goals remained the same: to promote truly inclusive dialogue among Burundians within a framework of respect. He Underlined the need to strengthen the country’s police force as part of the increasing international presence, and the need for “eyes and ears” to follow the situation on the ground.

    Asked whether he thought convoys in Syria would be allowed to access those in need, he said the Council would hold consultations on the humanitarian situation there. The deteriorating situation was particularly alarming despite the commitments made by the International Syria Support Group, he said, pointing out that the cessation of hostilities was being repeatedly jeopardized. Hundreds of civilians had been killed in a recent bombardment, and civilian-protection commitments were not being respected. The Syrian regime continued to prevent and deny access, he said, underlining the importance of ensuring free and unhindered access for all humanitarian convoys.

    For information media. Not an official record.

    0 0

    Source: UN News Service
    Country: Indonesia, Nigeria, South Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, World

    3 June 2016 – Marta Santos Pais grew up in a happy home in Portugal. Seeing Roma girls her own age treated as outcasts and hearing stories from her father – a child welfare judge – about countless cases of her peers trapped in poverty and abandoned by their parents, troubled her, kindling a sense of duty to help others less fortunate.

    Today, as the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children, Mrs. Santos Pais mobilizes action to end maltreatment of children around the world and implement the recommendations, adopted by the General Assembly in 2006, of the UN’s first comprehensive study on the subject. More than half of all children suffer from physical, sexual and psychological abuse, according to the GA study.

    As of this year, the global eradication of all child abuse, exploitation and all other forms of violence against children is part of the universally approved 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

    Ahead of the International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression, marked annually on 4 June, the UN News Centre sat down with Mrs. Santos Pais. The interview touched on the state of the world’s children and her work with UN entities, governments, regional organizations and civil society partners to effect positive change.

    UN News Centre: Ten years ago, the UN released a global study on violence against children that said the problem was widespread and often underreported. Is the world a safer place for children today?

    Mrs. Santos Pais: It is better in the sense that we have it now more strongly anchored in the policy agenda of the United Nations, regional organizations and countries around the world. It’s a topic we talk more [about] in the public debate and that children more easily bring into the open. But when we try to compare the magnitude of the problem when the study was issued in 2006 [versus] today, it’s difficult to do because we didn’t have the data and information that was required to do that kind of comparison. Still today, it is very widely accepted, very pervasive and affects millions of children. In fact, last year [more than one billion children] between two and 17 years of age were affected by some form of violence – physical, psychological or sexual. The rates of homicide affect particularly, in a devastating manner, children below the age of 15. Eight per cent of global homicides affect children.

    When we talk about child trafficking, the face of children is very visible. In some regions, more than 60 per cent of the victims are children. Even if we recognize that we have better legislation, better policies, better data in a number of countries, we talk more and with greater confidence about what can help prevent and address violence, we still have countless thousands of kids whose life is shaped by dramatic levels of violence and that’s what we need to overcome now. That’s why we want to continue to implement the recommendations of the study and mobilize wide support around the world.

    UN News Centre: The UN’s development agenda includes for the first time a specific target to end all forms of violence against children by 2030. How will this be achieved?

    Mrs. Santos Pais: This is a huge achievement. It may seem a too ambitious goal but we believe it is achievable. And we say that with the confidence of the progress that we have seen happening over the past years. The real difference needs to happen at the national level. The first thing that we hope to see is more countries, including in their national development agendas, the priority of [ending] violence against children.

    In the process of preparing this new global development agenda there were many important consultations that were organized at the regional, global and national level, and more than 800,000 children very seriously contributed to those discussions. The top concerns that they expressed when they intervened were systematically violence against children, very often violence in schools. But mainstreaming this agenda at the national level is not simply saying that we have a law. If we do not allocate the necessary resources for implementation, if this does not become a concern that professionals who work in a school, a hospital, a community center or in a recreation center feel it’s imperative to contribute to the same goal, we will not achieve it.

    This is the reason why we decided to launch recently a very important initiative called “High Time to End Violence against Children,” which we hope will convey that sense of urgency and absolutely no acceptance or complacency.

    UN News Centre: Tell us more about this initiative.

    Mrs. Santos Pais: The launch of the initiative coincides with the beginning of the implementation of the new global development agenda. Now we can really try to rally efforts, reignite the commitment of governments, international organizations, civil society partners, religious leaders, community leaders. We are stressing that everybody is needed and everybody counts in the countdown to 2030.

    We feel very excited about such a movement and that children and young people are joining hands with us in this process. In fact, when we launched it we had a wonderful champion on the rights of the child and the fight against violence against children joining us from Liberia, as an ambassador of the millions of other children.

    UN News Centre: An estimated 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone some form of female genital mutilation. If current trends continue, 15 million more girls aged 15 to 19 will be subjected to it by 2030. As more countries join the legal ban on female genital mutilation, what tools are available for governments to stop the practice?

    Mrs. Santos Pais: The fact that the international community has recognized its pressing nature and has included it as a very specific target in the [new global development] agenda shows that there is a very shared concern for this practice. Certainly, it is very important to have strong legislation because the legislation conveys a message to society about what is acceptable and what is non-negotiable. It can help to mobilize all those in society who can help us change very deeply-rooted social conventions, perceptions and beliefs that people have never questioned.

    But the change can only happen when we engage in a real conversation with the communities where the practice is maintained, when we listen to the reasons why it has been kept, for instance, because a girl who does not undergo the practice is perceived to be not fit for marriage. When we understand the reasons we can work together on trying to overcome them.

    And we see today wonderful initiatives. In some of the communities in Africa where community leaders, the elders of the village, the women’s grassroots organizations organize a passage into adulthood with dances and song and celebration to really mark a new stage in the life of a girl. But without associating it [with] the practice that is violent in itself and creates incredibly negative impacts for the girl concerned, certainly health challenges in her present life, also in her future when giving birth. Very often girls are not able to attend school when they undergo the practice.

    We feel very confident that this can work because we have seen thousands of communities particularly in West Africa adhering to this movement and committing to an abandonment of the practice and engaging with other neighbouring communities to reach the same results. We have 22 countries that have strong laws condemning the practice and that in itself is a strong indication that we are moving in the right direction.

    UN News Centre: Child refugees and children living in war-torn nations like Syria and South Sudan are at very high risk for violence and trafficking. What is being done to protect them?

    Mrs. Santos Pais: I am particularly concerned about the situation of these children. Over the past few months of the wave of refugees, asylum seekers and [people] considered to be migrants who have reached Europe, 40 percent are children. We are not talking about a small number. We are talking about countless thousands of kids. We know that they have witnessed the killing of members of their families, of their best friends. And we know that along the way to reach hopefully a safe haven, they undergo traumatic situations of humiliation, of hunger, of stigmatization and very often xenophobic attitudes.

    At the same time, they are not recognized as being, above all, children. We are particularly worried that the face of the child, in a way, has become a bit diluted when Governments are trying to find a solution to address this issue.

    On the one hand, we feel encouraged by the fact that so many organizations across the United Nations system are joining hands to address this topic. No doubt UNHCR [United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees], UNICEF [United Nations Children’s Fund] are playing a wonderful role. So many civil society partners are joining hands and very often taking the first level of intervention. And we see countless people who are just common citizens taking a stand against the ill treatment, the humiliation, the neglect of children who enter their countries. When we see that movement, we can help.

    What is fundamental is that we safeguard the rights of each and every child. And that starts with the moment when we try to identify: is this a child or an adult? Does this girl or boy require the special protection of someone who talks the same language? Who listens to their story? Who registers them so we can trace their family members? Someone who helps to prevent future risks of trafficking for instance of those kids?

    Europol a few months ago published a report where it recognized that more than 10,000 children that had reached European countries had disappeared from the centres where they had been placed. These kids may be facing dramatic risks of trafficking, sexual abuse and labour exploitation. We don’t know where they are. In itself, that is really a call for urgent action by all of us. We are confident that a number of initiatives taking place in the United Nations very soon will help to put the face of the child at the center of the concerns, certainly the World Humanitarian Summit. Also, later in the year, in the context of the General Assembly there is going to be a high-level discussion on migrants and refugees. With many partners we are very committed to helping to make that happen.

    UN News Centre: Information technology is now an integral part of a child’s life. What is being done to ensure Internet safety so children don’t fall prey to online sexual predators and cyberbullying?

    Mrs. Santos Pais: These technologies offer huge opportunities for children, for instance to make them aware of their fundamental rights, to let them know about where they can go if they are at risk of being victims of violence or if they suffer sexual abuse or humiliation, who is ready to help them. But there are risks associated.

    We know more and more of cases of children who are trafficked by use of the technologies and we know that the number of images depicting children in sexually abused situations is growing dramatically. In the course of a decade the growth of the number of sexual abuse images of children was more than 1,500 per cent. More than 80 per cent of those images depict children below the age of 10 and many of them are below the age of two. Law enforcement agencies are facing dramatic challenges, but they are working together to go faster than the development of the new technologies. What we see working is a multi-faceted strategy in a way. The first thing that we need to do is to work with children. We need to alert them to the risks, empower then to know where not to go, what are the paths that they can follow with confidence.

    And we need to work with parents. There is a huge digital divide between generations. Parents very often feel disempowered because they don’t know how to advise their children. They feel either very frightened and they want to find all the censorship solutions that can help reduce the risk or they say “you will not use the iPad or the iPhone.” We need to empower parents and support them with the skills and knowledge so that they can work with their children. The same way we cross the street giving a hand to our little kid, we need to give a hand to our children so they can engage in cyberspace.

    But we also need to empower professionals. Cyberbullying is something that happens anywhere. It can start at school. But very often teachers don’t receive the necessary training or skills. The children [do] not ask for support because they feel that they are going to be punished rather than supported and assisted. If the school can become the place where the teacher is empowered and knowledgeable and the child trusts the teacher and parents can come and learn and be part of a debate, then things change. We have seen in many countries, like Costa Rica and the Philippines, where initiatives like this are really being promoted and where the risks are getting perhaps less visible. And children and everyone else feels better and more empowered in the use of these technologies.

    UN News Centre: Recently, you were in Lagos, Nigeria’s capital, to take part in the launch of a state-sponsored campaign to end violence against children there. What was your message?

    Mrs. Santos Pais: It was the first country in West Africa that has developed a survey on violence against children. With a call for a year of action to end violence against children, [it] was launched by the President himself in September 2015. I feel very encouraged by the great determination of the President in Nigeria to expose the magnitude of the problem. At the same time to present to the nation a commitment of the government to a policy agenda that everybody is encouraged to implement.

    My message was to also emphasize how important it is to meet the expectation of the call for action. If the policy agenda is not made known to the people of Nigeria, if the state governors don’t feel the ownership behind it and do not translate it into their own communities, if we don’t bring it to the home of each and every family, naturally all these beautiful texts and data that have been collected will remain a very distant reference for people.

    I was very encouraged, for instance, by a wonderful meeting we had with religious leaders from all different faiths in Nigeria who joined in a whole-day discussion to identify commitments that they would pursue in promoting the implementation of this common agenda. I hope many other actions will follow in Nigeria and in neighboring countries.

    UN News Centre: In February, you travelled to Indonesia to meet with the Deputy Secretary-General of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and senior Indonesian officials. What policy strategies did you discuss for the region?

    Mrs. Santos Pais: ASEAN is the first region that has adopted [in November 2015] a very strong regional plan to eliminate all forms of violence against children, aligned with the new global development agenda. My visit was to sit and engage in a very important dialogue with the members of the ASEAN Commission on the Rights of Children and Women in Jakarta on how they are anticipating the implementation of this plan. I felt very encouraged by the strong sense of commitment and leadership that was expressed in that meeting.

    This helped to raise huge awareness in the country about the impact of violence on children in Indonesia, about strategies that can help prevent it, the strong legislation, the coordination of action at the national and subnational level. I was very encouraged that in the country one of the key priorities is to decentralize the budget to make sure that across the islands that compose the archipelago the local authorities will have the resources to implement the national strategy. The next High-level Political Forum will take place here in July in New York and it will be a great opportunity for nations to tell about these good practices that can encourage other countries to replicate.

    UN News Centre: In your annual report to the Human Rights Council on 8 March, you said more than 50 countries have enacted laws banning violence against children. Is this a sign of a growing commitment by governments to recognize and address the problem?

    Mrs. Santos Pais: I believe that legislation legitimizes the action in a country to move in the right direction and conveys to society a very strong message of what is acceptable and what the society cannot accept. It’s one of my key priorities to support Governments, to support parliaments in the development of strong national legislation. There are more than 50 countries today that have such legislation and in some cases it’s even in the Constitution of the country.

    But it’s not sufficient. When we have a strong legislation that people don’t know of, are not trained to use, [and] the law is not applied in courts, or in police stations or in welfare institutions, in detention centres, then we need to ask ourselves, what is the value of the law? So we have been very eager to support enforcement efforts. First of all, disseminate information about what is the law conveying and how we can translate it into things that people understand, including children. And we have fabulous initiatives – the oldest adopted by Sweden in 1979. The Swedish authorities decided to launch the legislation with a huge information and education campaign. So you could find notices about the legislation in the bus stop, in the carton of milk that was reaching the home of every family. It was debated in schools, in training centres for professionals.

    More than 70 countries have today an Ombudsman institution or national independent institution for children’s rights to help implement [the law] and we hope that other countries will follow. More than 50 other countries have committed to adopt such legislation and some of them are very, very, very near its adoption in the national congress or assembly. Less than 10 per cent of the children of the world have a law that protects them, so we need to do much more.

    UN News Centre: You helped draft the landmark 1990 Convention on the Rights of the Child and its three Optional Protocols. How are these treaties relevant on the ground?

    Mrs. Santos Pais: The treaties are extremely important. If I think back about how the world was in the ‘80s when we were drafting the Convention on the Rights of the Child, children were very invisible. They were not perceived as having the voice to contribute to our debates and to influence our decisions and to think with their own heads and minds. Today things have changed dramatically, and more and more, we see children as agents of change. In all countries we see this happening. It’s really very encouraging. And so these treaties help in a way challenging the country that commits to feel bound by them, to change the legislation, the policy, the practice, the mindset of people in relation to the rights of children.

    The Convention on the Rights of the Child is the most widely ratified in the whole history of the United Nations. It’s in force in 196 countries. Only one country is missing, and we hope it will join soon, which is the United States. The protocols are the same: the protocol on the protection of children from sale, from sexual abuse and sexual exploitation, and pornography is in force in 173 countries.

    So this commitment creates a platform for us to engage in dialogue with governments and to see: how can we help you narrow the gap between your commitment and reality? How can we bring good experiences from other countries that can give you ideas? How can we sit together with different countries in the region to learn from each other? And, therefore, we are seeing clearly an increasing change happening.

    But we feel very impatient. When we talk about children, it can take a minute to destroy the childhood of anyone. Therefore, the fact that it is taking so long makes us feel very pressed by the urgency of moving much faster. We hope that all of us will help in this course.

    UN News Centre: What inspired you to become an advocate for children? Was there a particular moment or experience in your life?

    Mrs. Santos Pais: I was a very happy child. And I was very privileged to have a wonderful family who believed in me, encouraged me, supported me. Who always said you can reach the frontier you establish for yourself and go beyond it. My mother was a teacher dealing with so many kids, some much less fortunate than I was, and my father was a judge of children and telling me stories that were so dramatically different from my own existence. I remember how shocked I was when I was still very, very small, and my dad was telling me about the families who could not afford to take care of their kids and were putting them in an institution. And they felt – which I hear today so often from children who are abandoned or who are placed in detention – “it is as if we are people of no value and without values.”

    So that triggered in me a sense of unfairness and injustice that I didn’t want to be part of. I wanted to contribute, little steps, to make a difference. But there was perhaps one incident I was only six or five, and in the village that I was spending my holiday, there were a number of families of Roma origin. At that time, there was this perception that perhaps these are families that may steal kids and they are a danger and you should not engage with them. Those children were watching us play and laugh [but] keeping a distance. I brought them in. I remember I said “why won’t you play with us.”

    The fact that you can always look around yourself and see who is not enjoying the same sense of belonging that you have, who feels not part of the game, who feels disadvantage in opportunity, not because he or she cannot achieve better than you do. But because birth set a kind of certificate that is setting the path for those kids that are going to be with them for so long. That is the call that I think we all need to overcome. I have been lucky enough to have the opportunity of working in this area and certainly I am very committed to continuing to do so.

    UN News Centre: The General Assembly has extended your mandate until 2019. What are your priorities for the next three years?

    Mrs. Santos Pais: We have been happy to celebrate so many changes in legislation, in policies, in better data, in better visibility of this topic and stronger commitments, [such] as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, but we need to consolidate these efforts.

    Telling about the success and the factors that have helped us to move ahead is something that I see as a very strong priority, including by widening the number of countries with strong legislation, strong agendas and coordinating mechanisms, strong budgets to address this issue, and strong data to provide the evidence to do the right thing rather than be reactive.

    The second thing is to work with Governments in the process of implementation of the Agenda 2030. And these first years of implementation of the new global development agenda are going to set the tone for how we are going to pursue [the children’s rights agenda]. If we dilute the visibility and importance of children and the protection of children from violence, certainly it will be more difficult to bring it back. This was a key lesson from the MDG [ Millennium Development Goals] process, that [if we dilute protection of children from violence] we will compromise progress in any other goal – in education, in health, in gender equality and empowerment, in safe public spaces. Everything will be compromised because violence generates poor rule of law, lack of confidence in institutions, people feel insecure and they are going to be doing things that are not promoting inclusive and peaceful societies for all. So these two things certainly are very high on my agenda.

    0 0

    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: South Sudan

    Foreword by the Humanitarian Coordinator

    For millions of people in South Sudan, 2015 was characterized by unspeakable devastation. Civilians faced brutal and intense violence and humanitarian needs increased exponentially. People were forcibly displaced – many multiple times – from their homes and land, livelihoods were disrupted and decimated, and basic services were destroyed, damaged or shutdown. By the end of the year, over 6.1 million people – more than half of the country’s population – were in need of humanitarian assistance.

    Despite the enormity of the challenges, humanitarian partners worked tirelessly across the country to reach people in dire need, including in some of the most dangerous and difficult areas.

    Throughout the year, the South Sudan Common Humanitarian Fund (CHF) played a vital role in enabling humanitarian action, providing flexible, prioritized and timely resources. We allocated US$92.3 million to 184 projects implemented by 68 partners across the country, making the CHF the fourth largest donor to the 2015 Humanitarian Response Plan.

    Under the CHF Advisory Board’s stewardship, our standard allocations funded the highest collective priorities, kick-starting the most urgent activities under the 2015 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) and providing an important injection of funding at the mid-year point.

    As the crisis escalated, we used the CHF reserve proactively to respond to rapidly rising needs, from supporting the release and return of children associated with armed groups in Jonglei, to assisting people fleeing intensifying violence to Protection of Civilians sites, and scaling-up humanitarian operations in southern Unity in response to the immense needs generated by the large-scale offensive which took place in the latter half of the year.

    We also leveraged the CHF to support a diverse array of humanitarian actors. Our intensive engagement with national and local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) paid off, with NNGO allocations reaching 11 per cent in 2015 (up from 8 per cent in 2014 and 7 per cent in 2013). In addition, some 30 per cent of CHF funding went directly to international INGO frontline projects, while some 59 per cent went to UN agencies (80 per cent of which was for common pipelines and services that enabled frontline projects).

    I am proud of the strides we made in 2015 in using the CHF as a catalyst to promote quality programming, placing protection at the centre of decision-making and ensuring that the unique needs of people of different ages and genders were at the forefront of programmatic analysis and response.

    As we look to 2016, funding levels for South Sudan are regrettably declining. We therefore need, more than ever, to ensure that money goes to the partners and projects that have the greatest impact. I remain convinced that the CHF is an invaluable tool in this endeavour, reinforcing our collective prioritization and strategic vision with funding at vital moments.

    I sincerely thank all of our partners - NGOs, UN agencies, and donors - for making the CHF a success in 2015, and look forward to our continued close collaboration in the year ahead.

    0 0

    Source: GFDRR
    Country: Nigeria


    Nearly fifteen million people have been affected by the violence of Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati Wal-Jihad, popularly known as Boko Haram (BH), and the resulting military operations in the NorthEast of Nigeria since 2009. The conflict has become particularly intense since 2014, leading to the loss of an estimated 20,000 lives and the displacement of nearly 2 million people.

    On August 21, 2015, the Government of Nigeria requested assistance in assessing the needs associated with peace building and crisis recovery. This support was provided in accordance with the 2008 Joint EU-UN-WB Declaration on crisis assessment and recovery planning.

    The Recovery and Peace Building Assessment (RPBA) informed a collective vision and strategy on peace building and recovery, and provided a framework for coordinated and coherent support to assist conflict affected people in the North-East. The assessment covered the six states of Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Gombe, Taraba, and Bauchi, and provided an overarching framework for stability, peace building, and recovery.

    The RPBA was founded on the recognition that a durable resolution to the conflict in the North-East requires addressing the structural and underlying drivers of conflict. This understanding has also underpinned the identification and prioritization of needs presented in the final report, which covered provided recommendations in three areas: restoring critical infrastructure and services; peacebuilding and social cohesion; and economic recovery.

    GFDRR’s role

    GFDRR provided technical assistance in the development of the assessment methodology, and co-led the damage and needs assessment of critical infrastructure and services. To this end, GFDRR organized and coordinated sector experts from the tri-partite agencies, as well as experts from the six North Eastern states and federal line departments, and provided technical advice on the characterization and estimation of the impact of the crisis. It provided technical assistance in the formulation of preliminary strategic options and scenarios for the restoration and recovery of infrastructure and service delivery. It also contributed to discussions among the assessment partners on future modifications to the methodology in order to better adapt to the changing nature of conflict, as well as to meet the needs of in-conflict assessments.

    GFDRR also provided expert assistance in the use of satellite imagery based assessment technologies. This was the first time that satellite assessment technology was used extensively in a large-scale assessment. Under GFDRR’s leadership, the technology contributed successfully to gap-filling and validation of baseline and damage data, and provided the basis for the estimation of losses across numerous sectors, including housing, environment, health, and education. In addition to its support in the technical aspects of assessment, GFDRR was instrumental in authoring the final report, as well as state-specific damage and needs assessment briefs.

    Key Results

    ➊ The government-led North-Eastern Nigeria RPBA provided a detailed assessment of the impact of the conflict on peace building and social cohesion; infrastructure and social services, and economic recovery. Based on this assessment, and through consultations with a variety of recovery stakeholders, the report also presented quantified assessments of recovery needs, as well as recommendations on policy and institutional frameworks for recovery.

    ➋ Through a multi-staged consultation process, including development of the assessment methodology, collection, and validation of data and progressive corroboration of results, the RPBA helped to engage federal and state governments, local and international NGOs, affected communities and international development partners to develop an agreedupon framework for peacebuilding and recovery in the country.

    ➌ The results of the RPBA have been embraced by the Government of Nigeria as a critical component of national recovery and peacebuilding planning. Led by the Government of Nigeria, under the leadership of the Office of the Vice President, and being particularly State-driven with State focal points guiding the coordination of assessment efforts, the RPBA has been highlighted as having full ownership of political leadership at both state and federal levels.

    ➍ The RPBA has also been instrumental in shaping the World Bank Country Office’s portfolio revision. As a critical input to the Country Partnership Framework (CPF), the RPBA informs the priorities of all projects in the country

    0 0

    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Niger, Nigeria, World

    Dakar, Senegal | AFP | Saturday 6/4/2016 - 19:11 GMT

    by Jennifer O'MAHONY

    West Africa should "think harder" about developing a new anti-terror force, a top regional official said Saturday, as Niger announced the latest deaths among its troops battling Boko Haram jihadists.

    Over the past year West Africa has suffered terror attacks on nations previously untouched by jihadists, as well as confronting an Islamist insurgency that began in northeast Nigeria but has spread to several neighbouring countries.

    That meant greater intelligence sharing and military co-operation is required, said the incoming head of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) commission, which implements policy decisions agreed by its 15 members.

    "The multiplication of terrorist hotbeds in our region compels us to share information on their activities, to communicate, co-ordinate and harmonise our efforts," said Benin's Marcel Alain de Souza at an ECOWAS summit in Dakar.

    "This naturally makes us think harder about the creation of a regional intervention force against terrorism," he added, according to comments released by Senegal's state news agency APS.

    He was speaking after 32 troops were killed in a clash with Boko Haram fighters on Niger's border with Nigeria, one of deadliest tolls inflicted by the jihadists.

    A multinational force from Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Benin and Cameroon already exists and is due to launch a major offensive on Boko Haram around Lake Chad.

    But Boko Haram's seven-year insurgency has left at least 20,000 people dead in Nigeria and made more than 2.6 million homeless, leading to calls for more support within the region.

    Senegal's President Macky Sall, outgoing chairman of ECOWAS, said Muslim-majority states such as his own had nothing in common with Boko Haram, describing terrorism as an ongoing "source of concern".

    As expected during the session, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was named the new chairman of ECOWAS, the APS agency reported, for what is also expected to be her final year as Liberia's president.

    Gambian President Yahya Jammeh did not appear at the meeting, after months of harsh words for hosts Senegal due to a border dispute.

    There was also a palpable nervousness at the regional gathering with the news that Guinea Bissau's sacked prime minister Domingos Simoes Pereira might attempt to make an appearance along with his recently appointed replacement.

    Although the new premier Baciro Dja appeared alone, a group of around 40 protesters appeared to denounce his presence, which is viewed as unconstitutional by some lawmakers in his own PAIGC party as he was named by the president.

    "We are here to show we don't agree with the president's decision," said Badile Domingos Sami, a youth leader of the faction-ridden PAIGC.

    Sall called on Guinea Bissau to "preserve the democratic achievements" of the country, which has been plagued by coups and instability since its independence from Portugal.


    © 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse

older | 1 | .... | 547 | 548 | (Page 549) | 550 | 551 | .... | 728 | newer