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    Source: Médecins Sans Frontières
    Country: Cameroon, Nigeria

    London/Geneva, 27 July 2016 – More than 500,000 people are living in “catastrophic” conditions in villages and towns across Borno state, northeastern Nigeria, according to international medical organisation Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF), which is calling for the provision of emergency aid for those people in immediate danger of dying from malnutrition and disease.

    Forced to leave their homes by fighting between Boko Haram and the armies in the region, much of the population has been affected by months of food shortages, and their health situation is now desperate.

    “In Banki, a town near the border with Cameroon, some 15,000 people are living in a half-destroyed town, and malnutrition and disease are wreaking havoc,” says MSF’s emergency coordinator Hugues Robert, who has just returned from the area. “They need quickly to be provided with food, water and urgent medical supplies.”

    An MSF medical team that reached Banki, which is accessible only with a military escort, estimated extremely high mortality rates. After carrying out a rapid assessment of the local population, they found that as many as one in 12 of the population may have died in the past six months.

    For children under five, the situation is especially alarming. In Banki, nearly one in three children is malnourished, while 15 percent of children screened by our teams are suffering from severe acute malnutrition, putting their lives at risk.

    To respond to this humanitarian emergency, between 20 and 22 July MSF teams provided more than 4,900 children with therapeutic food, specially formulated to combat malnutrition, and vaccinated them against measles. A total of 3,600 families received emergency food aid and six people in a critical condition were transferred to a hospital in Mora, Cameroon. In Banki, MSF will also continue to provide clean water and improve sanitation.

    The situation in Banki is similar to that found by Nigerian authorities and other MSF teams and aid organisations in different parts of Borno state.

    "We’re discovering the extent of this crisis and we are particularly concerned for the inhabitants of the remote areas that we have not been able to access,” says Robert.

    Aid efforts are made more difficult by the high level of insecurity in the region, with ongoing conflict and roads that are sometimes mined. Logistics are further complicated by the onset of the rainy season, making roads impassable.

    “In conditions as dangerous as these, it is essential that people are allowed to seek refuge in safer areas, either in Nigeria or in neighbouring countries, and that those people who are seriously ill are referred to hospitals in the region,” says Robert.

    MSF is calling on international organisations to mobilise to provide emergency food and medical aid to the people of Borno state.

    With more than 2.7 million people uprooted from their homes, the Lake Chad basin is currently home to one of the African continent’s biggest humanitarian crises. The region is reaching breaking point due to attacks by Boko Haram and a strong military response launched to curb the violence. In response to people’s humanitarian needs, MSF has significantly scaled up its medical activities and assistance to people in the Lake Chad region in Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria. In 2015, our medical teams provided more than 340,000 consultations, treated 13,000 children for malnutrition and vaccinated more than 58,500 people against cholera.


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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: World Health Organization
    Country: South Sudan

    People affected

    35 000 people displaced by a fresh wave of violence in July
    1.6 million displaced prior to the escalation of the conflict
    4.7 million people in need of health services

    Impact on the health sector

    28% facilities damaged, 10% closed
    30% health workers have fled, 2% have been injured
    162 cases of cholera
    915 cases of measles
    26 770 cases of malaria

    Funding needs

    Health Cluster
    US$ 110 million requested
    US$32 million received

    WHO
    US$ 17.6 million requested
    US$ 4.3 million received

    At a glance

    • A fresh wave of violence erupted in South Sudan on 7 July causing more than 300 casualties and displacing thousands.
    • Even before the recent resumption of hostilities, the health system in South Sudan was facing crisis due to near economic collapse.
    • The Ministry of Health has recently confirmed 162 cases of cholera in Juba and Duk Counties.
    • The country is also facing malnutrition, measles and malaria.
    • The World Health Organization and Health Cluster partners are supporting the Ministry of Health to combat the spread of disease and to respond to the health needs of those affected by the conflict.

    Current situation

    Despite the peace agreement signed in August 2015, violence erupted in South Sudan on 7 July, with over 300 casualties recorded in the capital, Juba. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) estimates that more than 35 000 people fled their homes during the recent bloodshed.

    This is in a country already facing a long-standing crisis. Some 1.6 million people were already displaced and 4.7 million were in need of health services prior to the recent escalation of the conflict.


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    Source: Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation
    Country: South Sudan, Switzerland

    Berne, Communiqué de presse, 27.07.2016

    Au Soudan du Sud, des milliers de personnes ont fui les récents affrontements entre fractions politiques rivales. Ces nouvelles violences ont décuplé les besoins humanitaires déjà considérables dans le pays. La Suisse a décidé de mettre à disposition deux millions de francs supplémentaires, en réponse à la détresse des populations sur place.

    La Suisse est préoccupée par le sort réservé à la population civile du Soudan du Sud à la suite des affrontements qui ont éclaté début juillet 2016 dans la capitale Juba et dans le reste du pays. Deux millions de francs seront débloqués par la Direction du développement et de la coopération (DDC) pour assister les victimes de cette nouvelle vague de violences.

    La moitié de ce montant est destinée au Fonds humanitaire commun des Nations Unies pour le Soudan du Sud, auquel la Suisse contribue depuis 2014. Elle permettra de financer les opérations dans les trois secteurs prioritaires de la DDC dans ce pays, à savoir la sécurité alimentaire, l’eau et la protection des civils. L’autre million sera alloué au Programme alimentaire mondial (PAM) afin de lutter contre l’insécurité alimentaire qui touche plus de quatre millions de personnes.

    Ce nouvel épisode aggrave une situation déjà dramatique sur le plan humanitaire. Le Soudan du Sud est en effet confronté à une extrême pauvreté et la guerre civile ronge le pays depuis décembre 2013.

    Le plus jeune Etat au monde fait partie des zones d’interventions prioritaires de l’aide humanitaire suisse, dont le budget 2016 se chiffrait à environ 18 millions de francs, avant cette nouvelle contribution.

    Le Soudan du Sud est aussi un pays prioritaire de la Division Sécurité humaine (DSH) du DFAE qui s’engage pour la mise en œuvre de l'accord de paix d'août 2015. La DSH est également impliquée dans le travail de réconciliation et le renforcement de la gouvernance locale, en collaboration avec des autorités traditionnelles. Le budget alloué aux activités de promotion de la paix s’élève à environ un million de francs par an.

    Contact

    Information DFAE
    Palais fédéral ouest
    CH-3003 Berne
    Tél.: +41 58 462 31 53
    Fax: +41 58 464 90 47
    E-Mail: info@eda.admin.ch


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

    Mr. President,

    Thank you for the opportunity to brief the Security Council on the humanitarian situation in the Lake Chad Basin. And may I thank my colleague, Under-Secretary-General Jeffrey Feltman, and endorse his powerful and clear statement. This region, which hosts Africa’s fastest growing displacement crisis, needs our urgent, united and collective attention. Violence and brutality to the most heinous, barbaric and unconscionable extent, almost, unimaginable, perpetrated by Boko Haram is resulting in massive forced displacement, human rights violations, severe disruptions to livelihoods, and unprecedented humanitarian needs in a region that was already endemically and deeply vulnerable. As I witnessed during my travels to North East Nigeria and South East Niger and their capitals just a few weeks ago in May, boundless insecurity has deepened the vulnerability of communities in this fragile region, already impacted by severe climate, climate change, progressive desertification, environmental degradation, including the massive drying up of Lake Chad itself straddling four countries’ unpoliceable borders, highest population growth in the world, and our planet’s most widespread, endemic and deepest extreme poverty. The region remains precarious for every one of the millions of our fellow human beings in this area, and the current, exacerbated crisis vastly surpasses the capacity of national and local authorities to respond. People across the Lake Chad Basin desperately need our help.

    Across the Lake Chad Basin, spanning parts of Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon, the UN estimates that over nine million people need humanitarian assistance. About 2.8 million of these people have been displaced, fleeing violent attacks in their towns and villages, like 52 year old grandfather Mustafa, newly relocated into a 7ftx7ft wood and sheeting shelter, after having fled from his torched lifetime house in Bama 11 months before, when Boko Haram brutes ransacked his village – bravely holding his shard of mirror to tell me he was still trying to be the barber he had always been – but his stoicism couldn’t hold back the tears of his fears and his plea for our help. Many are in camps; where living conditions are grim, but the vast majority is living with host communities, who are themselves among the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people, living in the Sahel zone which faces chronic drought and food insecurity putting over a million children’s lives at risk year in, year out using next season’s seeds to feed those they’ve taken in, hundreds of thousands of farmers have missed three successive years of planting leaving them without any stocks or income whatsoever to live on. Vital trade routes have been severely disrupted, leaving an estimated 5.2 million people severely food insecure. People in the Lake Chad Basin are some of the toughest in the world - they are used to coping with extreme hardship, exploiting every and any option they can to keep their families going. But as many of the affected people themselves told me during my visit, this suffering has pushed them to the absolute limit - it is unlike anything they have felt before. Personally, I have been travelling throughout this region on and off for the past 37 years – I have never heard such fear and desperation. This is a new terrible.

    Children are particularly vulnerable, especially the 1.7 million children who have been displaced across the Lake Chad Basin. Children risk being abducted and forcibly recruited by Boko Haram to take part in the violence including acting as suicide bombers. From January to June 2016, more than 50 children have been coerced to carry out suicide bombings across the four countries. Gender-based violence and sexual exploitation are widespread, and women and girls are at great risk of forced abduction into sexual slavery.

    Mr. President,

    Nigeria is bearing the brunt of the crisis, despite the significant efforts undertaken by the federal and local authorities to address this burgeoning catastrophe. Seven million of the nine million people in need across the Lake Chad Basin, are in Nigeria. As the Nigerian army has progressively regained control of a number of towns and villages in Borno State up in its North East centred round Maiduguri, aid agencies have gradually been able to access new areas. What we have uncovered and assessed is deeply, distressingly alarming, even for those of us who have witnessed such depths of humanitarian need before.

    Last month, the Nigerian authorities rightly declared a nutrition emergency for Borno State. Direct reports from the field indicate that affected communities are rapidly running out of food. We have no time to lose: the lean season, which puts millions in this region at real risk of hunger and malnutrition each year across the Lake Chad Basin, has already started. If we do not act now, the human suffering will only get more extreme.

    Children are no exception: UNICEF reports that in Borno State alone, 244,000 children are suffering from severe acute malnutrition. Among these, almost one in five risks death this year if they are not treated. This is 134 children dying each day from a preventable condition. We have to stop this – we can with will, with money, with urgency and with coordination.

    While the sheer number of people suffering is mainly in Nigeria, all of the affected countries are deeply vulnerable. In Niger, one single attack by Boko Haram left over 70,000 people displaced in Bosso town in June this year, bringing the total number of displaced people in the Diffa region to over 160,000. Niger is the poorest country in the world; yet despite living on virtually nothing, families there have welcomed the displaced into their homes, and shared their meagre supplies of food and water with the newcomers, as I saw with utter humility and total admiration in equal parts for myself when I visited Fatimah in Diffa, who had voluntarily taken in two families of 11 people in all, sharing her diminishing staple food supplies and her very modest home.

    Needs are also dire in Chad’s Lac region, where there are over 60,000 registered displaced persons, and tens of thousands who have not yet been registered. In the Far North region of Cameroon (which has been under a State of Emergency and lock-down for security reasons), the number of people in need of immediate food assistance has quadrupled since June 2015, to over 200,000 today, and the total number of IDPs has increased in the same period to around 190,000. Severe acute malnutrition rates for children under five have surpassed the emergency threshold in the three neighboring countries, as is the case in Nigeria. And the three ‘departments’ along the east of Cameroon were already food insecure because of taking in over a quarter of a million refugees from CAR’s violent conflict over the past two years, with as yet few of those returning to Central African Republic.

    Mr. President,

    Humanitarian actors have been scaling up their assistance, despite a dangerous operating environment. Since January 2016, the Humanitarian Country Team has been able to reach two million people with primary health care out-patient services in North-East Nigeria, including close to 91,500 people in the areas of Borno State where the state has re-established a presence. As of the end of June, WFP had provided 54,000 children at risk of malnutrition with supplementary food, and the agency is targeting one million people for food assistance this year. In the first half of 2016, 148,000 girls and boys were reached with psychosocial support through child-friendly spaces across the four affected countries. However, as is clear, considerably more needs to be done, and needs to be done now.

    Humanitarian agencies are taking a regional approach. Last week, the Humanitarian Country Teams in Cameroon and Nigeria partnered to provide vital, cross-border assistance to people in Banki, Nigeria, where up to 20,000 IDPs have been cut off from aid since last year. The food and relief items were transported by road from Cameroon and then distributed by WFP staff from Nigeria, in close cooperation with national authorities in both countries.

    It is urgent that we continue these efforts, and complement them with increased development assistance. We must be ready to capitalize on the advances made by the Nigerian State to regain control of territory, as evidenced by the recent reopening of the road leading east of Maiduguri to Dikwa, along which I couldn’t travel even on 19 May this year. This is essential to promote trade and income generation along this vital road axis. But we must be clear – to ourselves and to the Nigerian Government also, this is not just a security issue: the Lake Chad Basin, and the protracted violence of the terrorists of Boko Haram, is for the millions of people there, caught up in this for years, as much or now even more a humanitarian catastrophe as it is a security priority. We, the international community and the Nigerian Government must act accordingly and act now.

    Protection must be at the core of the humanitarian response, particularly for women and children, who are at severe risk of exploitation and abuse. Without more help villagers are left to defend themselves. In the town of Baga Sola in Chad, villagers have erected their own checkpoint to try to fend off further attacks. It is nothing more than a flimsy rope. “We are unarmed, so if anybody comes with explosives or attacks us, we will hold him down until the police arrives,” said a youth manning it.

    The affected countries have themselves recognized and drawn attention to these protection concerns. Last month, the Governments of Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger held a Regional Protection Dialogue, and agreed on a set of comprehensive actions to enhance protection and respond to the most urgent needs of refugees, internally displaced persons and other affected populations. I commend the four countries for this strong initiative, and urge them to fully implement the commitments made.

    Mr. President,

    Despite the best efforts by the regional authorities and humanitarian actors to expand their reach and scale up life-saving assistance, the means to support the humanitarian response in northeast Nigeria, and throughout the Lake Chad Basin, does not match the staggering scale of need. The 2016 Humanitarian Response Plan for Nigeria is only 28 per cent funded, while those of Niger, Cameroon and Chad are similarly under-funded. I earnestly appeal again to Member States to increase their contributions to the ongoing humanitarian operation rapidly, now.

    Earlier this month, at the initiative of the Humanitarian Community including the Regional Humanitarian Coordinator, the Country Teams in Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Chad developed a 90-day plan highlighting the priority humanitarian needs. A united call for US$221 million in funding between July and the end of September to address life-saving needs, was made. I welcome the generous new pledges and contributions that have been made following the release of the 90-day plan. This adds to the CERF allocation of $13 million for Nigeria that I approved at the end of June – and the nearly $90 million already provided by the CERF to the Lake Chad Basin since last year. The scale of the allocation, something of a record in terms of the quantum for one, albeit regional crisis CERF allocation, but I judged to be wholly necessary and proportionate, intended to jumpstart, not be a substitute, please note, for Member State contributions.

    I am working with my counterparts in humanitarian agencies to take measures to quickly scale up capacity at the field level, where it is most required. This includes the deployment of additional UN staff, establishing operational hubs, mobilizing relief supplies, and the deployment of international NGOs, which are central to the response. Agencies such as UNICEF, WFP and IOM, as well as their NGO partners, have ambitious scale-up plans which require urgent resources to implement.

    We urgently need to strengthen international attention onto this neglected crisis. For months I have been shouting into what feels like an empty room to highlight the dire situation in the Lake Chad Basin. My trip to the region in May was part of this effort. Ambassador Power’s visit to the region in April was also vital in shedding light on this dreadful situation. I also want to take the opportunity to thank the Government of the United States and the European Commission for partnering with the United Nations and the affected countries on an event focused on the humanitarian situation in the Lake Chad Basin during ECOSOC one month ago. It was also highlighted in a packed side-event at the World Humanitarian Summit on 23 May.

    We all know that the humanitarian response in itself is insufficient to reestablish people’s lives and livelihoods. We must move from delivering aid to ‘ending need’ a crucial outcome for the World Humanitarian Summit. This means that, in parallel to providing life-saving assistance and protection, which we as humanitarians do, we need a concerted effort with political actors to address the root causes of the violence highlighted by USG Jeffrey Feltman just a few minutes ago. And to move from delivering aid to ‘ending need’ we must work with development partners to address the drivers of vulnerability across this region. It is also important to recognize that national authorities in the four countries have been investing in ensuring greater security for their people but they cannot do it alone. We need to give them our support and partnership in this effort.

    Mr. President,

    During my mission, I visited a camp in Konduga, Nigeria, hosting some 1,600 displaced people. During my visit there, I met a group of displaced women and men who had fled from Bama, some 35 kilometres away. Aissa, Amina, Falmata, Bukar, all of whom had had to flee Bama, described vividly how venturing outside the camp to fetch firewood carried the risk of attack or abduction by Boko Haram, and how they continue to live in abject fear. They also shared with me their concerns for their children, who are not getting enough food and no longer go to school. These displaced persons who I met, and so many others affected by this crisis, desperately need assistance and protection. In the camp, I witnessed not only human suffering, but also the aspirations of so many individuals and families, for a better future or perhaps I should say, for accuracy, just a future. They are looking to the United Nations, to you the Security Council, to all of us, for help urgently. It is within our and your power to be relevant, to do so, to do the right thing for our fellow human beings who need us most. It requires our determination, our decision, and to will – in very real resources – the means. I urge you today, not to fail the people in and around the Lake Chad Basin.

    Thank you.


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    Source: Médecins Sans Frontières
    Country: Nigeria

    Authors: Hugues Robert, Dorian Job Edesk / OCG

    #0. Executive Summary:

    MORTALITY AND HEALTH STATUS

    • Estimated population between 15’000 and 25’000 people in extremely deprived condition
    • Rapid mortality survey : CMR1
    • = 4.16 death / 10’000 / day during the last seven months so extremely high mortality, U5 MR2 = 6.2 death /10 000 / day (IC 4.4-8)
    • MUAC assessment: High rate of severe malnutrition among children screened (14.4 % SAM) : 648 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition (SAM); 540 suffering from moderate acute malnutrition; GAM = 1188 children
    • Among the interview done during the screening every second family has suffer the loss of 1 or more people in the last 6 months (data will be shared soon)
    • Malnutrition is probably affecting also other aged groups but we could not spend enough time to investigate that part
    • Food security: literally no presence if food stock in the houses visited, familes cooking dry goats skin in order to fill the stomach

    INITIAL MSF RESPONSE PROVIDED ON 19th and 21st July 2016

    • MSF has provided measles immunization to 4’900 children
    • 648 SAM children received 30 sachets of 92g of Plumpy Nut
    • 4’300 children received 15 sachets supplementation of 92g of Plumpy Nut (8mt)
    • 3’600 families received 12 kg of high Energy BP5 biscuits (44 MT)
    • 6 severe medical cases were referred to the MORA hospital supported by MSF in Cameroon

    RELIEF & ASSISTANCE

    • NFI: Extreme deprivation. Traditional water container and also few jerrycans are present in the town and in the houses, but the rest is missing ( matts, blankets, shoes, spare clothes are inexistent or in extremely small quantities). A number of families are apparently forced to sell few belongings (cooking pots) in order to gain access to cash.
    • Shelter: Contrary to Bama reports, the displaced are using the existing house to shelter themselves and therefore have at least a roof above their heads.

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    Source: International Organization for Migration
    Country: Nigeria

    The West African Nation of Nigeria is the most populous country on the African continent, with a wide spectrum of wealth, traditions and faiths across 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. As a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), it is the 12th largest producer and 8th largest exporter of petroleum in the world. Despite that, economic instability and insecurity continue to impact the country.

    In the north-east of the country, Boko Haram – an Islamic extremist group whose name roughly translates to “western education is forbidden” – has been staging an insurgency since 2009, which advanced to take control of large territories in 2014. The Nigerian Military campaign has since liberated most communities and pushed Boko Haram back to a large extent. They now rely on the use of terrorist tactics against “soft” targets in urban areas, such as public markets and mosques, and sporadic attacks on rural villages. On at least two occasions to date (September 2015 and January 2016), Boko Haram has detonated bombs inside camps sheltering displaced people.

    Estimates by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) indicate that approximately 1.9 million people have been displaced in Nigeria, as a direct result of Boko Haram’s insurgency, since 2014 (as of April 2016). Some areas, including parts of Adamawa, Yobe and southern Borno states, have settled sufficiently to make returns possible and safe, and tentative returns have begun. However, for many hundreds of thousands of people, multiple protracted displacements have become the norm, and life remains uncertain.

    Through the efforts of the Government of Nigeria and humanitarian stakeholders, thousands of displaced persons have been assisted with essential basic services including food, housing, water, sanitation and psychosocial support. However, much more needs to be done to address their plight and ensure dignified and durable solutions for the affected populations.

    Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, was once a major regional trade centre. It became the epicentre of the Boko Haram insurgency, and the military campaign against it. Today, Maiduguri is ringed with protective trenches and military roadblocks, making the city a comparatively safe haven. As a result, more than 1,180,000 people from surrounding areas have flooded into Maiduguri, resulting in a growing displaced population which almost doubles Maiduguri’s original population. Tens of thousands of people have moved into 16 government-managed camps, and even more into numerous informal settlements, living with friends and family, or renting accommodation if they are able to afford it.

    Those displaced in Maiduguri struggle every day to meet their basic needs, but they can still be considered among the luckier ones. Hundreds of thousands are displaced beyond Maiduguri’s trenches, with a much thinner line of protection, and supply routes for food and other basic needs heavily constrained by insecurity. Tens of thousands of people live in high density camps under military protection, with no or few civilian actors present to provide support.

    The leading agency for emergency response in Nigeria, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the Borno State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) have been there since the outset, and continue to address the needs of the displaced population to the extent of their means. Resource constraints leave urgent gaps, including in shelter and camp coordination.

    International agencies have been supporting the Government’s response, re-establishing presence in Maiduguri, Borno state, in early 2015. More than a year later, international actors and supplies are only just beginning to reach out beyond the trenches that surround Maiduguri to bring humanitarian aid into Borno state’s worst affected areas, and into the hands of those most in need. The response is stretched far beyond capacity: more help is needed.

    In the midst of this upheaval, classes continue to be held in Maiduguri’s University, albeit diminished; weddings are celebrated on weekends; and football matches are held daily before sunset between state-level teams. Heavy traffic bustles all over town with licence plates donning the state’s slogan “The Land of Peace”.


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    Source: Johns Hopkins University, US Agency for International Development
    Country: Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, World, Zimbabwe


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    Source: UN Security Council
    Country: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Niger, Nigeria

    SC/12463

    7748th Meeting (AM)
    SECURITY COUNCIL
    MEETINGS COVERAGE

    Speakers Hail Regional Military Efforts, Call for More International Support

    Violence by Boko Haram had led to massive forced displacement and a widespread humanitarian crisis in West Africa’s Lake Chad Basin, senior United Nations officials told the Security Council today, as speakers called for increased international support for regional efforts to combat terrorism and meet the needs of 9.2 million people facing unimaginable desperation across four countries.

    Jeffrey Feltman, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, and Stephen O’Brien, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator, briefed the Council ahead of a debate on peace and security in Africa, describing the dramatic impacts of terrorism and humanitarian needs on the region. Mr. Feltman had visited Gabon, Congo, Chad, Guinea-Bissau and Senegal, from 20 to 26 July, and Mr. O’Brien travelled to Nigeria and Niger in May.

    Mr. Feltman welcomed efforts by the Lake Chad Basin countries to combat Boko Haram, noting that the Multinational Joint Task Force comprising military forces from those countries, had recaptured 80 per cent of territory under the group’s control. However, it faced a severe lack of funding, he said, noting that only $250 million had been pledged at an African Union donors’ conference held on 1 February in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Even less had been disbursed, he said, emphasizing that success for the Task Force would depend on timely, actionable intelligence as well as specialized counter-terrorism skills and equipment.

    “Lake Chad Basin countries need our support to help ensure that military operations are followed by stabilization measures and the restoration of State authority,” he continued. Noteworthy recommendations had emerged from a regional security summit held on 14 May in Abuja, Nigeria, which had underscored the impact of climate change. He encouraged the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to adopt a common regional strategy to address the crisis.

    Mr. O’Brien said boundless insecurity had weakened a region already impacted by environmental degradation — including the shrinking of Lake Chad — the world’s highest population growth and widespread extreme poverty. An estimated 9 million people across Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon were in need of assistance, he said, adding that 2.8 million of them had been displaced by violence. In Nigeria, home to 7 million of the 9 million people in need, 244,000 children in Borno State suffered from severe malnutrition, while in Niger, a single attack by Boko Haram in June had left more than 70,000 people displaced in Bosso town.

    He went on to spotlight the existence of more than 60,000 registered displaced persons and tens of thousands of unregistered ones in Chad’s Lac region, adding that in the Far North region of Cameroon, the number of people needing immediate food aid had quadrupled to more than 200,000 since June 2015. Indeed, the Lake Chad Basin was as much a humanitarian catastrophe as a security priority. “I have been shouting into what feels like an empty room to highlight this dire situation,” he said, calling for increased international attention to the region. “It is within our — and your — power to be relevant.”

    In the ensuing debate, speakers agreed that the Lake Chad Basin faced multiple interconnected challenges: poverty, terrorism, organized crime and climate change among them. Many commended regional countries for their leadership in combating Boko Haram and advocated increased support for the Multinational Joint Task Force in the form of training, capacity-building, equipment and logistics. On that point, the Russian Federation’s representative said it should not be forgotten that Boko Haram had declared allegiance to Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh), which had established itself in Libya. Such links made it necessary to address that urgent threat in Africa.

    Speakers also expressed concern over the alarming humanitarian situation, with France’s representative saying that his country’s President had launched the Lake Chad initiative. Egypt’s representative said that addressing the crisis was a top international priority, adding that his country was prepared to step up its cooperation with Governments in the region. He called for a holistic approach to address political, military, humanitarian and development challenges.

    The representative of the United States said the need for robust military efforts to combat Boko Haram was critical, given the group’s ability to move across borders. Noting her country’s contributions, she urged more Member States to step up while emphasizing the need to respect human rights. When security forces rounded up civilians and carried out torture and scorched earth tactics, they alienated those whose support was crucial, she cautioned. More must be also done to address the region’s dire humanitarian situation. “We have to plan the long game in countering violent extremism” while at the same time keeping people alive “in the here and now”.

    Senegal’s representative said the drastic shrinking of Lake Chad, together with climate change and over-exploitation of natural resources, had left people vulnerable, especially to terrorist groups like Boko Haram. Regional countries needed more support to deal with security, humanitarian and sustainable development challenges.

    Along similar lines, Angola’s representative said that shifting climate patterns, diversion of water and increasing demand had impacted Lake Chad’s size. The Basin was no longer able to provide livelihoods and the related poverty and joblessness had created fertile conditions for radicalism and terrorism.

    Also speaking today were representatives of the United Kingdom, Spain, China, Ukraine, Malaysia, Venezuela, Uruguay, New Zealand and Japan.

    The meeting began at 10:03 a.m. and ended at 12:02 p.m.

    Briefings

    JEFFREY FELTMAN, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, said that despite commendable efforts, Boko Haram still threatened regional stability, adding that countries of the Lake Chad Basin faced a serious humanitarian crisis. Sexual and gender-based violence among the displaced had been reported, he said, emphasizing that concerned States must ensure accountability for serious human rights violations by their national forces. States must also ensure the protection of civilians and respect for due process when dealing with persons arrested for Boko Haram-related charges. Children in particular should be treated as victims and dealt with in accordance with international standards of juvenile justice, he emphasized.

    The economic impact of the crisis had been devastating, he continued, noting that high youth unemployment provided Boko Haram with fertile recruitment ground. Military operations must complement long-term development interventions that would include addressing the effects of climate change. Welcoming the efforts of the Lake Chad Basin countries to combat Boko Haram, he said the Multinational Joint Task Force had recaptured 80 per cent of the territory previously under the group’s control, but it faced a severe lack of funding. Only $250 million had been pledged at an African Union donors’ conference held in Addis Ababa on 1 February and even less had been disbursed, he noted. Success for the Multinational Joint Task Force also depended on timely and actionable intelligence as well as specialized counter-terrorism skills and equipment.

    He went on to state that the Lake Chad Basin counties were bearing financial responsibility for combating Boko Haram and were increasingly frustrated by delays in providing international support to the Multinational Joint Task Force. Urging the international community to support it by mobilizing political, logistical and financial support in a flexible manner, he stressed: “A military approach, while essential, will not bring an end to the Boko Haram threat.” Root causes — including the grievances of marginalized communities — must also be addressed. “Lake Chad Basin countries need our support to help ensure that military operations are followed with stabilization measures and restoration of State authority.”

    Some noteworthy recommendations that had emerged from a regional security summit held in Abuja, Nigeria, underscored the impact of climate change, he noted. The United Nations stood ready to support the Lake Chad Basin countries, and encouraged leaders of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to adopt a common regional strategy to address the crisis, and the Council’s support would help to underscore the urgency of the matter.

    STEPHEN O’BRIEN, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator, emphasized that the region, host to Africa’s fastest-growing displacement crisis, needed the Council’s urgent attention. Violence by Boko Haram had led to massive forced displacement, while boundless insecurity had deepened the fragility of a region already impacted by unpoliceable borders, environmental degradation — including the drying up of Lake Chad itself — and the world’s highest population growth. Across the Basin — spanning parts of Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon — more than 9 million people were in need of assistance, he said, citing United Nations estimates while noting that some 2.8 million of them had been displaced by violence.

    He went on to report that while many lived in camps amid grim conditions, the vast majority were living with host communities which were themselves among the world’s poorest people. Hundreds of thousands of farmers had missed three years of planting, and the disruption of trade routes had left 5.2 million people severely food-insecure. He said that while the people of the Lake Chad Basin were used to coping with extreme hardship, he had never heard such desperation in 37 years of travelling in the region. “This is a new terror,” he added. Some 1.7 million displaced children risked being forcibly recruited by Boko Haram, while gender-based violence and sexual exploitation were widespread.

    “Nigeria is bearing the brunt of the crisis,” he continued, pointing out that 7 million of the region’s 9 million people in need lived in that country. While the Nigerian army had regained control of a number of towns in Borno State and aid agencies had been able to access new areas, Nigerian authorities had declared a nutrition emergency last month. “We have no time to lose,” he emphasized, noting that 244,000 children in Borno State alone were suffering from severe acute malnutrition, and almost one in five risked death in the course of 2016.

    Turning to the other Lake Chad Basin countries, he said a single attack by Boko Haram in June had left more than 70,000 people displaced in Bosso town, Niger, bringing the total number of displaced in the Diffa region to more than 160,000. Needs were also dire in Chad’s Lac region, where more than 60,000 people were registered as displaced and tens of thousands of others were unregistered. In the Far North region of Cameroon, the number of people requiring immediate food aid had quadrupled to more than 200,000 since June 2015.

    Humanitarian actors had scaled-up their efforts and taken a regional approach, he said, recalling that last week, humanitarian country teams in Cameroon and Nigeria had partnered in providing cross-border assistance to Banki, Nigeria, where 20,000 internally displaced persons had been cut off from aid since last year. Such urgent efforts must be complemented with increased development assistance. The Basin was as much a humanitarian catastrophe as a security priority, he said, emphasizing that protection must be at the core of the humanitarian response. During the Regional Protection Dialogue held in June, Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger had agreed on actions to take in response to the most urgent needs of refugees, internally displaced persons and others.

    Despite the best efforts, however, the means to support the humanitarian response did not match the needs, he stressed, pointing out that the 2016 humanitarian response plan for Nigeria was only 28 per cent funded. However, a united call for $221 million between July and September to address life-saving needs had been made, he said, welcoming the contributions made after the release of a 90-day plan. They added to the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) allocation of $13 million for Nigeria and the nearly $90 million already provided to the Basin since 2015.

    “I have been shouting into what feels like an empty room to highlight this dire situation in the Lake Chad Basin,” he said, underlining the need for increased international attention to the issue. Apart from providing aid and protection, political efforts were needed to address the root causes of violence, as were efforts with development partners to address the drivers of vulnerability. Recounting his visit to a camp in Konduga, Nigeria, hosting 1,600 displace persons, he said people were looking to the United Nations for help. “It is within our — and your — power to be relevant,” he said, underscoring the need for determination to find the means.

    Statements

    MATTHEW RYCROFT (United Kingdom) quoted a news photographer’s blog post about a camp for 16,000 displaced people in Nigeria’s Borno State: “You can practically taste the despair”, saying that the humanitarian nightmare was the direct consequence of Boko Haram’s actions. Today was a chance to refocus attention on the crisis. Millions needed humanitarian assistance, but “for many, I fear we are simply too late.” Calling for strong United Nations leadership to coordinate the international effort, he said the international community and Governments in the region must, meanwhile, redouble their efforts to help the Organization scale up urgently needed support, “and that means putting our hands in our pockets”. The United Kingdom was considering where it could do more and hoped others around the Council table would do the same, he said. Protection of civilians must be at the centre of the United Nations response and it was vital that displaced people return home only when it was safe to do so. Addressing the root causes of the crisis meant stopping the conflict, and defeating Boko Haram would require a comprehensive approach with the protection and empowerment of women at its centre. It must also offer something the extremists could never provide — the rule of law. Any action against Boko Haram must be taken in full compliance with human rights standards, he emphasized.

    IHAB MOUSTAFA AWAD MOUSTAFA (Egypt) said the Sahel region and the Lake Chad Basin faced many interconnected challenges, including insecurity in Libya, organized crime, terrorism and climate change. Egypt supported all efforts by the Multinational Joint Task Force to combat Boko Haram and commended the leadership of countries in the region in countering the threat posed by the group, he said. While the Task Force had carried out its operation in accordance with international law and international humanitarian law, it still needed support from the international community, particularly in terms of training, capacity-building, equipment and logistics. Urging all partners to honour the pledges they had made in Addis Ababa, he expressed concern about the deteriorating humanitarian situation and appealed for a holistic approach that would address political, military, humanitarian and developmental challenges. Dealing with the humanitarian crisis meant putting it at the top of the international community’s list of priorities, he said. It required international solidarity and Egypt was prepared to step up its cooperation with Governments in the region.

    ISMAEL ABRAÃO GASPAR MARTINS (Angola) said that environmental degradation, security threats and a huge humanitarian crisis were occurring against a backdrop of extreme poverty. The Lake Chad Basin’s resources benefitted 20 million people, but shifting climate patterns and diversion of water amid increasing demand had impacted the lake’s size. Despite national and regional efforts to manage its shrinking resources, the Lake Chad Basin Commission charged with regulating use of its waters had not improved replenishment. One project had the potential to radically change the Basin, and regional countries should strengthen the political will required to mobilize the international community, which should consider extending support to that project because the region risked becoming a hotbed of conflict. Noting that the Basin was no longer able to provide livelihoods, he said poverty and joblessness had created conditions for radicalism and terrorism. A regional approach would be the most effective in denying safe havens to groups like Boko Haram, which were intensifying their violence, making it imperative for the international community to support the Multinational Joint Task Force. The scale of the crisis called for a renewed sense of urgency, and it was crucial that the Basin countries continue joint efforts to address the many related challenges, he said, voicing support for regional and international efforts to rehabilitate Lake Chad.

    ALEXIS LAMEK (France) said Boko Haram was far from being defeated and more than 20 million people were under threat. Some 2.8 million people had been displaced, a number three times greater than that of two years ago. People needed food, water, health care, protection and education. France supported the Multinational Joint Task Force, as well as efforts by regional countries to fight Boko Haram, he said, adding that it had provided logistical support to Chad and Niger in addition to training Cameroonian forces. Ongoing military operations had been effective, he said, noting that Boko Haram had withdrawn into safe havens. Successes had also been seen thanks to efforts by Chadian and Nigerian military forces, he noted, urging support for offensives by regional countries. The fight must also involve development policies, without which Boko Haram would continue to flourish.

    FODÉ SECK (Senegal), noting that water management was a main priority of his country’s foreign policy, said the drastic shrinking of Lake Chad, together with climate change and over-exploitation of natural resources, had left the region’s people more vulnerable while exacerbating conflicts. The region had become fertile ground for violent extremists and terrorist groups, with Boko Haram first and foremost among them. Countries in the region needed more support to deal with security, humanitarian and sustainable development challenges, he said, emphasizing that displaced people, most of them women and children, were exposed to every possible risk, including exploitation and abuse. Besides military efforts, an appropriate humanitarian response was needed, he said, commending the various actions taken in response to urgent humanitarian needs. He also welcomed the June regional dialogue on ways to improve civilian protection that had taken place in Abuja.

    SAMANTHA POWER (United States) said the crisis deserved greater attention from the Council and the broader international community. Recalling that she had led a delegation to the region in April, she said virtually everyone she had met in camps for displaced people had had a horror story to recount. They included a 14-year-old girl from Cameroon who had become a Boko Haram slave to save her family from being massacred. No longer in captivity, she would still carry the guild and trauma she had suffered for the rest of her life. The need for robust military efforts to combat Boko Haram was critical, given the group’s ability to move across borders, but there was insufficient support for countries on the front lines of the fight. Noting the contributions of the United States, she urged more Member States to step up, emphasizing the need to respect human rights. When security forces rounded up civilians, carried out torture and scorched earth tactics, they alienated those whose support was crucial. More must be done to address the region’s dire humanitarian situation, she said, pointing out that humanitarian appeals were grossly underfunded. “We have to plan the long game in countering violent extremism” by addressing its root causes while at the same time keeping people alive “in the here and now”, she said.

    JUAN MANUEL GONZÁLEZ DE LINARES PALOU (Spain), noting that humanitarian crises in the Lake Chad Basin were becoming chronic, said that international cooperation in addressing them had been neither sufficient nor timely. The situation arose from various factors, including a lack of State control over national territory, poverty, climate change, terrorism and violent extremism. Echoing calls for regional cooperation in fighting Boko Haram, he emphasized that such operations must focus on the needs of girls and women, and on health and psychosocial services for survivors. It was also important to recognize links to human trafficking networks and to pay attention to security in and around camps for the displaced. The shrinking of Lake Chad had caused migration and displacement, and was fuelling violent extremism and terrorism, he said, voicing support for the proposal by the Executive Director of the Counter-Terrorism Committee on examining the extent to which climate change was making people more vulnerable to terrorist groups. He urged a focus on early-warning mechanisms and called for greater political will.

    WU HAITAO (China) welcomed the significant progress made by the Multinational Joint Task Force and said the international community must support the anti-terrorism efforts of countries of Central and West Africa, including those of the Lake Chad Basin. More cooperation was needed with regional and subregional organizations, including the African Union and the Lake Chad Basin Commission, he said, adding that the unique advantages of such organizations must be recognized. Furthermore, there must be more humanitarian access to the region, he said, stressing the need to observe the principles of neutrality, impartiality, sovereignty and territorial integrity. Regional countries must receive assistance to address the root causes of conflict and build capacities for economic and social development.

    YURIY VITRENKO (Ukraine) expressed full support for all international initiatives to stabilize the region, and encouraged efforts to address all key drivers of conflict. Humanitarian aid must be delivered wherever it was needed most, with Nigeria’s Borno State a vivid case in point. With only 22 per cent of the $559 million United Nations humanitarian response plan financed so far, donors were encouraged to support the effort. With Boko Haram undermining international and regional efforts to take recovery forward, confronting the group would require coherent national programmes against violent extremism. Commending the results of the Second Regional Security Summit, held on 14 May in Abuja, he called on the Secretariat to help regional efforts as much as possible and to enhance cooperation with the Multinational Joint Task Force. The Counter-Terrorism Committee’s upcoming high-level visit to the Lake Chad Basin should be aimed first and foremost at strengthening and promoting cooperation between the international community and the region, he said.

    SITI HAJJAR ADNIN (Malaysia) said Boko Haram’s continuing ability to carry out large-scale attacks, and its pledge of allegiance to Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh), was the cause of much concern, and Malaysia was pleased that the Multinational Joint Task Force had undertaken operations against the group. Welcoming measures to prevent attacks and reduce civilian targets, she said it was utterly abhorrent that one in five Boko Haram suicide bombers was a child. The Task Force needed predictable and sustainable resources, she said, urging those able to do so to meet those needs. Lost access to education for children was particularly worrying because it created a pool of potential recruits for terrorist and criminal groups, she warned, emphasizing that all children, including displaced ones, must continue their education. She urged the Multinational Joint Task Force to give children special protection, noting that, once freed from Boko Haram’s ranks, they faced serious challenges in getting their lives back. They were often stigmatized by their own communities and needed help, not to be ostracized and shamed.

    RAFAEL DARÍO RAMÍREZ CARREÑO (Venezuela) said that food insecurity, poverty, exclusion, drought and cross-border organized crime had compounded the threat posed by Boko Haram, leading to forced displacement. Condemning Boko Haram’s actions, he said Venezuela would continue to support all Council efforts and initiatives to promote a sustainable solution to that security threat. He demanded the immediate and unconditional release of all abductees, including those forcibly recruited. The crisis in the Lake Chad Basin represented a debt that the United Nations owed to the region and it should step up its efforts, he said, adding that States should honour their commitments to ease the humanitarian situation. Welcoming efforts by the Multinational Joint Task Force to fight Boko Haram, he voiced hope that regional countries would continue to coordinate their own efforts, emphasizing that anti-terrorism actions should be taken with respect for the principles of sovereignty and self-determination.

    LUIS BERMÚDEZ (Uruguay) said the crisis in the Basin must be viewed from a comprehensive perspective, since it arose from situational and structural factors. Security had been undermined by Boko Haram, food insecurity and the failure to meet basic needs. Some 2.4 million people had been affected by Boko Haram, a striking comparison with Uruguay’s population of 3.5 million. Urging recognition of efforts by the World Food Programme (WFP), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), he said hunger and the lack of education, drinking water, security and medical facilities were factors underlying the crisis. Noting that Boko Haram had engaged in human and ivory trafficking, he declared: “They behave as common criminal groups and we need to address this.”

    VLADIMIR K. SAFRONKOV (Russian Federation) said Boko Haram’s declaration of allegiance to ISIL, which had established itself in Libya, should not be forgotten. Such links made it necessary to respond to urgent and robust threats in Africa. Concerned about Boko Haram’s preference for soft targets over direct clashes with Government forces, he said that resolving the refugee question would be impossible without eliminating the threat posed by the group. That was an absolute priority. Commending the efforts of the Multinational Joint Task Force so far, he emphasized that the “terrorist hydra” could only be overcome through collective efforts in Africa and elsewhere. He also commended measures taken by the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) and other United Nations entities supporting the Task Force, adding that the Russian Federation would also be cooperating with the region.

    PHILLIP TAULA (New Zealand) said Boko Haram’s actions were exacerbating an already difficult humanitarian situation, with the disruption of farming and herding contributing to a looming food crisis in north-east Nigeria. Welcoming the gains made by the Multinational Joint Task Force, including the rescue of 2,300 abductees and the arrest of key Boko Haram members, he said New Zealand encouraged regional solutions to regional issues, describing the Task Force as a practical example of that. Ensuring adequate funding for the Multinational Joint Task Force spoke to the deeper problem to fund regionally-led counter-terrorism and peace operations, he said, pointing out that his country had made, and would continue to make, financial contributions to African-led operations. Besides defeating Boko Haram, it was necessary to address the conditions that had enabled extremism to take hold in the region, including political and economic marginalization, limited access to education, scarce employment and economic opportunities, and food insecurity.

    KORO BESSHO (Japan), Council President for July, spoke in his national capacity, noting that 9.2 million people — “a population greater than that of New York City” — needed help urgently. Their vulnerability would be compounded by the rainy season and a lean harvest. Only through effective Multinational Joint Task Force operations could vulnerable communities gain access to humanitarian assistance. The impact of Boko Haram violence had led to major local challenges, he said, noting that in Diffa, Niger, trading in hot peppers and dried fish had been banned for fear that the profits would benefit the group. The growing of maize was also prohibited out of concern that Boko Haram fighters could find safe havens in maize fields. The people of the Lake Chad Basin needed not only humanitarian assistance, but also extended State authority, credible governance, improved public administration and expanded security, he said, emphasizing that the international community must support their immediate and long-term needs. Japan was ready to do its part.

    For information media. Not an official record.


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    Source: Human Rights Watch
    Country: Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Israel, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Syrian Arab Republic, World

    Children Detained in War Zones

    Thousands Held Without Charge, Tortured

    (New York, July 28, 2016) – Thousands of children in conflict-affected countries have been detained without charge for months or even years as national security threats, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Untold numbers have been tortured or have died in custody. Governments should immediately stop detaining children without charge and appropriately punish those who mistreat them.

    The 35-page report, “Extreme Measures: Abuses against Children Detained as National Security Threats,” documents the arrest and detention of children for alleged association with non-state armed groups or involvement in conflict-related offenses.

    Overbroad and vague counterterrorism legislation adopted in response to extremist armed groups such as the Islamic State and Boko Haram has increased the detention of children perceived to be security threats. Human Rights Watch specifically examined the detention and treatment of children in Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Israel/Palestine, Nigeria, and Syria.
    “Governments are trampling on children’s rights in a misguided and counterproductive response to conflict-related violence,” said Jo Becker, children’s rights advocacy director at Human Rights Watch. “The indefinite detention and torture of children needs to stop.”

    The report is based on Human Rights Watch interviews with scores of former detainees, including children, in the six countries; on United Nations reports; and other secondary sources.

    Human Rights Watch field research found that, in addition to children who are arrested for actual criminal offenses, many are rounded up in massive sweeps or arrested based on flimsy evidence, groundless suspicion, or alleged terrorist activity by family members. Some children, including babies, are detained when their mothers are arrested on suspicion of security-related offenses. Security forces have tortured children and treated them in other cruel, inhuman, and degrading ways to elicit confessions, extract intelligence information, or as punishment. Former child detainees report having been beaten, raped, given electric shocks, forced to remain in prolonged stress positions and to strip nude, and threatened with execution.

    In countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Somalia, and Syria, the authorities may have hundreds of children in detention at any given time for alleged conflict-related offenses. Many are denied access to lawyers or relatives, or the chance to challenge their detention before a judge. They are often detained under appalling conditions, and confined in overcrowded cells with adults, and with grossly inadequate food and medical care.

    In Nigeria and Syria, unknown numbers of children have died in detention from a lack of medical care, starvation, dehydration, or as a result of torture. In Afghanistan, security forces torture children more frequently than adults, according to interviews conducted by the UN.

    Security forces may also detain children for the alleged activity of their family members, without any evidence of their own wrongdoing. In Iraq, for example, security forces have detained both boys and girls, and used torture to coerce information implicating family members in terrorist acts.

    A growing number of countries have introduced or amended laws allowing authorities greater scope to detain people, including children, who are perceived to be security threats. Such laws increase periods of detention, allow punitive and indefinite detention, and expand the scope of military courts.

    Israel, for example, tries hundreds of Palestinian children in military courts each year for security related offenses – primarily throwing stones at Israeli soldiers – without the juvenile justice safeguards required under international law. Hundreds of Palestinian children have alleged ill-treatment by Israeli security forces during arrest, custody, and detention, including kicking, beatings, and other physical violence.

    In his most recent annual report on children and armed conflict, which will be debated by the UN Security Council on August 2, 2016, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged UN member countries to urgently put in place alternatives to detention and prosecution for children who have been associated with armed groups or who have engaged in violent extremism.

    Governments should immediately end all use of detention without charge for children, and transfer children associated with armed groups to child protection authorities for rehabilitation. In cases in which children are charged with a valid criminal offense, they should be treated in accordance with international juvenile justice standards, which emphasize alternatives to detention, and prioritize the rehabilitation and social reintegration of the child.

    “The alienation felt by children drawn to militant groups will only be compounded by torture and other abuse suffered at the hands of the authorities,” Becker said. “Detaining children is the wrong way to deter them from involvement in future violence.”


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    Source: UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
    Country: Mali

    En 2010, deux ans avant le coup d'état et l'occupation du Nord du pays par des groupes extrémistes, la situation des journalistes maliens était jugée "plutôt bonne." Avec la crise sécuritaire qui secoue le pays depuis maintenant quatre ans, la situation s'est considérablement dégradée et les atteintes aux libertés de la presse se sont multipliées.

    Un an après la signature de l'accord pour la paix et la réconciliation au Mali, les atteintes sont moins sévères, mais le nord du pays demeure une zone extrêmement dangereuse pour les journalistes où il s'avère très difficile d'exercer leur métier. C'est dans ce contexte, que l'UNESCO, en partenariat avec le Ministère de la Sécurité et de la Protection Civile et de l'EUCAP Sahel vient d'organiser deux sessions d'atelier de formation visant à renforcer les compétences des forces de sécurité maliennes pour garantir le droit des citoyens à la liberté d'expression et d'information, en améliorant la sécurité des journalistes à l'Ecole de Maintien de la Paix de Bamako (du 13 au 18 juin 2016).

    « Travailler avec les journalistes aujourd'hui est plus que nécessaire », confie le Commandant Mohamed Issa Ouédraogo, chef de la Division des relations publiques de la DIRPA et qui a assisté à l'atelier. Ce dernier a notamment servi sur le théâtre des opérations dans le nord du Mali avant d'intégrer le service de communication de l'armée. Il explique que les journalistes viennent fréquemment les solliciter mais « ce n'est pas toujours facile car les journalistes sont très pressés alors que nous avons, de notre côté, des contraintes ».

    Comme le résume très bien l'un des formateurs, le Commandant Ian Lafrenière, expert canadien auprès de l'UNESCO et membre de la police de Montréal, « il existe une grande proximité entre la mission des journalistes et celle des forces de défense et de sécurité mais leurs chemins diffèrent ». Et de poursuivre, « la différence entre nous, c'est lorsque nous devons faire usage de ce que nous découvrons ». C'est ainsi que des journalistes étaient invités le dernier jour de chacune des sessions, à échanger avec les membres des forces de défense et de sécurité pour tenter de mieux comprendre et prendre en compte leurs contraintes de travail respectives.

    Ramata Diaouré est une figure incontournable de la presse malienne. Journaliste et formatrice, elle est également membre du comité des experts de la maison de la presse du Mali. Elle a répondu à l'invitation de l'UNESCO et s'est joint aux stagiaires le dernier jour de l'atelier pour échanger avec les forces de sécurité. « Pendant la crise on a pas toujours pu travailler comme on voulait » confie-t-elle, tout en concédant qu'il n'y a pas « objectivement, de gros freins ». Elle déplore néanmoins une certaine méconnaissance des textes de lois qui régissent la profession qui peut entraîner de la méfiance de part et d'autre. Cet atelier, qui a reçu un soutien technique du Royaume de Norvège, a donné lieu à des échanges parfois houleux mais aussi fructueux entre les journalistes et les forces de sécurité. A l'issue de ces échanges, Ramata Diaouré exprime quelques recommandations qui pourraient contribuer à l'amélioration du climat de confiance. « Si les forces de sécurité et les journalistes se rencontraient plus souvent, les gens se connaitraient mieux et cela lèverait certaines suspicions » explique-t-elle. Pour cette journaliste aguerrie, « il faut que chacun garantisse à l'autre la liberté d'exercer sa profession ». Concrètement, elle suggère de réinstaurer les « portes ouvertes » dans les postes et commissariats de police pour voir comment se passe le travail au quotidien.

    Lors de la clôture de cet atelier, Sasha Rubel Diamanka, Conseillère Régionale pour la Communication et l'Information au bureau de l'UNESCO à Dakar a rappelé que cet atelier s'inscrivait dans le cadre du Plan d’Action des Nations Unies pour la sécurité des journalistes et la question de l’impunité et de la Déclaration de Carthage adoptés en 2012. La Déclaration de Carthage appelle spécifiquement les États membres de l'UNESCO à former les forces de sécurité à interagir positivement avec les professionnels des médias, en particulier lors de manifestations pacifiques et des protestations civiques.

    Selon le commandant Fatoumata B. Coulibaly, de la Protection civile, il est indispensable « d'établir des relations gagnant-gagnant entre journalistes et forces de sécurité surtout dans le contexte sécuritaire du Mali ». Depuis 2015, les attaques terroristes se sont multipliées dans le pays et la capitale malienne n'a pas été épargnée puisqu'elle a été la cible de trois attentats (La Terrasse, Hôtel Radisson, EUTM). Couvrir ce genre d'évènements s'avère très délicat pour un journaliste. « L'accès aux sources d'information est généralement difficile » explique Mariam Kamba Keita, journaliste aux studios Tamani. Et face à cette difficulté d'accès aux informations auprès des forces de sécurité, les journalistes se tournent à défaut vers des sources d'information moins fiables.

    Le sergent Kali Diakité, chargé de communication à la Direction de la police explique que de réels efforts ont été faits dans le domaine de la communication au cours des dernières années. Une cellule de communication a été créée pour donner plus de visibilité aux actions et missions de la police qui a également relancé la revue « Gardien de la Paix ». Lors des récentes attaques terroristes qui ont frappé la capitale malienne, le sergent précise qu'un périmètre de sécurité a été mis en place pour limiter l'accès au théâtre des opérations et garantir la sécurité des journalistes. Un policier chargé de communication venait fournir des informations en temps réel aux journalistes qui ont selon lui - apprécié ce geste. Et de conclure, « les journalistes ne sont pas nos adversaires, il faut multiplier ce genre de rencontres ».

    Adama Diarra est journaliste au quotidien l'Essor. Il a accompagné le premier convoi de l'armée malienne qui est rentré dans Gao lors de la libération du Nord du Mali en 2013. Intégrer cette mission compliquée et dangereuse était primordial pour ce spécialiste des questions de sécurité et de défense qui tenait à voir de ses propres yeux cet événement historique pour son pays. Mais ce ne fût pas une mince affaire et il obtint l'autorisation qu'après d'âpres négociations, précise-t-il.

    En conclusion, Lazare Eloundou, le représentant de l'UNESCO au Mali, a formé le vœu que le dialogue initié lors de ces ateliers se poursuive bien au-delà afin de continuer à faire progresser le climat de confiance entre journalistes et forces de sécurité et de défense.

    Ce reportage a été produit avec le soutien de l'UNESCO.


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    Source: UN Children's Fund
    Country: Benin, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria


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    Source: European Commission Humanitarian Aid Office, UN Children's Fund
    Country: Chad

    N’DJAMENA (Tchad), le 28 juillet 2016 – La direction générale de la protection civile et des opérations d’aide humanitaire européennes (ECHO) et le Département du Développement International du Royaume-Uni (DFID) renforcent la réponse de l’UNICEF à la crise multiple dans la bande sahélienne au Tchad grâce à deux subventions, à hauteur de 4 500 000 et 350 000 euros. Ces financements permettront le traitement de 45 000 enfants souffrant de malnutrition sévère et la vaccination contre la rougeole de près de 475 000 enfants.

    « Ce financement multisectoriel soutiendra l’UNICEF et ses partenaires pour répondre aux quatre crises du Plan de Réponse Humanitaire 2016, à savoir l’insécurité alimentaire et la malnutrition, les mouvements de populations, les catastrophes naturelles et les épidémies, » a déclaré Philippe Barragne-Bigot, Représentant de l’UNICEF au Tchad. « Nous remercions l’UE et le Royaume-Uni de leur soutien continu au Tchad, en particulier dans la bande sahélienne. »

    « L’Union européenne réitère son engagement à répondre aux besoins des enfants en situation d’urgence et renforcer la résilience des communautés », a déclaré Olivier Brouant, Chef du Bureau de l’aide humanitaire de la Commission européenne au Tchad. « Les crises multiples ont des répercussions au Tchad et les enfants sont les plus affectés. Nous avons décidé de renforcer, d’une part, l’assistance vitale assurée par l’UNICEF aux personnes les plus vulnérables et, d’autre part, les capacités nationales en matière de prévention et de réponse aux crises. »

    Grâce à ces deux subventions, l’UNICEF mettra l’accent sur la réduction de la malnutrition, le renforcement du système de gestion des approvisionnements, le soutien à l’élaboration d’un plan national d’urgence, ainsi que des plans de préparation aux épidémies de rougeole et de choléra. Ces interventions humanitaires visent à réduire les taux de morbidité et de mortalité liés à ces différentes crises. Ces financements contribueront à améliorer les interventions d’urgence dans les quinze régions les plus touchées : Batha, Bahr El Ghazal, Ennedi, Guera, Hadjer Lamis, Kanem, Lac, N’Djaména, Ouaddaï, Salamat, Sila, Wadi Fira, Borkou, Tibesti et Chari Baguirmi.

    Dans ces régions du Tchad, les études les plus récentes révèlent un taux de malnutrition aiguë globale (MAG) dépassant le seuil d’urgence de 15%. En étroite coordination avec des organisations gouvernementales et non gouvernementales, l’UNICEF assurera la livraison systématique d’aliments thérapeutiques et de médicaments à plus de 500 structures sanitaires en vue de traiter plus de 45 000 cas de malnutrition aiguë sévère (MAS) d’ici la fin de l’année. L’UNICEF va également mettre en place des activités de renforcement de capacités des districts sanitaires pour le traitement de la MAS.

    De plus, l’UNICEF assurera la vaccination immédiate de près de 475 000 enfants âgés de 9 mois à 14 ans contre la rougeole dans les districts sanitaires les plus touchés. L’UNICEF va également pré-positionner des stocks de secours pour préparer la réponse d’urgence pour 33 000 personnes déplacées par les conflits, les inondations et dans les zones à risque élevé de choléra.

    En raison de la situation précaire de la bande sahélienne exacerbée par les conflits des pays voisins, notamment le Nigéria, le Soudan et la République Centrafricaine, cette contribution permettra de fournir une assistance essentielle aux communautés les plus vulnérables dans les régions touchées. Au Tchad, l’Union européenne est le premier donateur humanitaire de l’UNICEF et parmi les cinq plus importants donateurs de l’UNICEF au Tchad.

    A propos de l’aide humanitaire et à la protection civile de l’UE

    L’Union européenne et ses États membres sont les premiers donateurs mondiaux d’aide humanitaire.

    L’aide d’urgence est une expression de la solidarité européenne envers les populations victimes de crise humanitaires. Elle a pour objectif de sauver et préserver des vies, de prévenir et soulager les souffrances humaines et de sauvegarder l’intégrité et la dignité des populations affectées par les catastrophes, qu’elles soient de cause naturelle ou humaine.

    Le service d’aide humanitaire et de protection civile de la Commission européenne assure la livraison rapide et efficace de l’aide d’urgence de l’UE à travers ses deux instruments principaux : l’aide humanitaire et la protection civile. La Commission, via la direction générale de la protection civile et des opérations d’aide humanitaire européennes, assiste plus de 120 millions de victimes de conflits et de catastrophes chaque année sur la seule base des besoins humanitaires.

    Pour plus d’informations, visitez le site web de la Commission européenne : http://ec.europa.eu/echo

    A propos de l’UNICEF

    L’UNICEF travaille dans 190 pays et territoires pour aider les enfants à survivre et à prospérer, de la petite enfance à l’adolescence. En plus d’être le plus grand fournisseur mondial de vaccins aux pays en développement, l’UNICEF soutient la santé et la nutrition infantiles, l’accès à l’eau potable et à l’assainissement, une éducation de base de qualité pour tous les garçons et les filles et la protection des enfants contre la violence, l’exploitation et le sida. L’UNICEF est entièrement financé par des contributions volontaires de particuliers, d’entreprises, de fondations et de gouvernements. Pour plus d’information, visitez www.unicef.org et pour des informations sur le partenariat entre l’UNICEF et l’Union européenne, consultez: http://www.unicef.org/eu/

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    Des agents de santé tchadiens passionnés et travaillent d’arrache-pied, tels que Darasalam, conseillère en nutrition, pour sauver des vies d’enfants. Ecoutez son histoire et téléchargez des contenus multimédias: http://ow.ly/agPC302vPTi

    Pour plus d’informations, veuillez contacter :

    Isabel Coello, Chargée régionale de l’information, Direction Générale de l’aide humanitaire et de la protection civile, Commission Européenne, Dakar, Tel. +221 33 869 60 92, Mob. +221 77 740 92 17, Isabel.Coello@echofield.eu

    Maria Fernandez I Chef de la Communication I UNICEF Tchad +235 66 36 00 42 I mfernandez@unicef.org I www.unicef.org/chad


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    Source: UN News Service
    Country: Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Nigeria

    27 juillet 2016 – Deux hauts responsables des Nations Unies ont réclamé mercredi devant le Conseil de sécurité un soutien international accru aux pays du bassin du lac Tchad pour les aider à lutter contre le groupe terroriste Boko Haram, qui menace la stabilité régionale, et à affronter une crise humanitaire grave.

    Le Secrétaire général adjoint des Nations Unies aux affaires politiques, Jeffrey Feltman, a rappelé que la Force multinationale mixte, qui réunit des éléments du Nigéria, du Tchad, du Cameroun, du Niger et du Bénin, a récemment fait reculer Boko Haram.

    « Les opérations offensives de la Force ont permis de reprendre 80% des zones sous contrôle de Boko Haram, de libérer des milliers de personnes capturées et de prévenir des attaques terroristes », a-t-il dit.

    Selon lui, le principal défi de cette Force est un financement très insuffisant. Les promesses de dons s'élevaient à 250 millions dollars sur les 750 millions de dollars requis. M. Feltman a insisté sur le risque que des retards dans la fourniture d'un tel appui ne favorisent la contagion de Boko Haram à d'autres pays. « J'appelle la communauté internationale à appuyer la Force en mobilisant le soutien politique, logistique et financier nécessaire de manière flexible », a-t-il déclaré.

    De son côté, le Secrétaire général adjoint des Nations Unies aux affaires humanitaires et Coordonnateur des secours d'urgence, Stephen O'Brien, a déclaré que la région, qui abrite la crise des déplacés ayant la croissance la plus rapide d'Afrique, nécessitait une attention urgente, unie et collective de la communauté internationale.

    Il a estimé à plus de 9 millions le nombre de personnes ayant besoin d'une aide, parmi lesquels 2,8 millions sont des déplacés ayant fui la violence. Face à cette situation, les moyens manquent, a affirmé M. O'Brien, précisant que le plan humanitaire 2016 pour le Nigéria, pays le plus touché, n'était financé qu'à hauteur de 28%. « Les États Membres doivent augmenter leurs contributions aux opérations en cours dans la région, rapidement et maintenant », a-t-il dit.

    Enfin, Jeffrey Feltman a souligné la nécessité de s'attaquer aux causes profondes des crises que connaissent les pays de la région, en particulier les griefs politiques et économiques des communautés marginalisées.


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    Source: Médecins Sans Frontières
    Country: Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Nigeria

    The Lake Chad basin has in recent years become an important epicentre of violence, its population suffering intensified attacks by the Islamic State’s West Africa Province (ISWAP), also known as Boko Haram. At the end of 2014, ISWAP’s violence expanded from northeast Nigeria to Cameroon, Chad and Niger. Multiple suicide bombings and raids targeting civilians in villages and in cities around the Lake Chad basin have caused widespread trauma.

    In response, the international community established a Multinational Joint Task Force involving Niger, Chad, Cameroon, Benin and Nigeria focusing exclusively on a security approach with a military containment strategy. The armed confrontation takes on a regional dynamic with direct consequences for civilian populations, including forced displacement and indiscriminate violence perpetrated by all armed belligerents.

    Violence has uprooted more than 2.7 million people from their homes across the four countries, of whom 2.2 million are internally displaced in Nigeria alone. Many of the displaced have found refuge with host communities, putting a heavy strain on their already dire resources.

    Thousands of schools have shut down, state services, already running at low capacity, as well as agricultural activities and cross-border trade have been dangerously disrupted. In addition, the targeting of health facilities has forced many health workers to flee.

    In early June, around 70,000 people were forced from their homes in Niger’s southeastern Bosso area when ISWAP carried out a series of raids. Attacks by the armed group have been on the rise in southern Niger since March, as a result of increased pressure from military operations in Nigeria and Cameroon. Chad has seen a lull in attacks in recent months, allowing aid organisations to reach more people affected by the conflict in the western Lac region.

    More areas in northeast Nigeria’s Borno State have become accessible as the military dislodges ISWAP from towns and other strongholds. But in areas where the intensity and frequency of attacks have reduced, insecurity remains a huge obstacle for humanitarian access and for people who want to return to normal life.

    According to OCHA (Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs), in the entire Lake Chad basin, some 3.8 million people are now facing hunger. The violence, displacement and disenfranchisement of millions of people across the Lake Chad basin have exposed them to abuse and human rights violations.

    The crisis is only aggravating an already dire situation in a region suffering from poverty, extreme vulnerability, food insecurity, recurring outbreaks of disease and an almost non-existent health system. People affected by the ongoing crisis are in urgent need of food, drinking water, shelter, healthcare, protection and education.

    NIGERIA

    Maiduguri

    MSF has been working in Maiduguri on a permanent basis since April 2014 and had previously intervened on several occasions to help control cholera epidemics. Today, more than 1.2 million internally displaced people (IDPs) are living in Maiduguri, most of them with the host community and others in camps (informal camps and 11 official camps).

    In Maimusari and Bolori health centres, MSF runs an outpatient department (OPD; 400 consultations per day in Maimusari and 300 in Bolori), an Ambulatory Therapeutic Feeding Centre (ATFC; where people seen on an outpatient basis) and a maternity ward assisting simple deliveries.

    In Maimusari, the government has just handed a new building over to MSF, which which allow us to evolve from a basic health care centre to a comprehensive healthcare facility with hospitalisation capacity. MSF has recently moved its outpatient activities (OPD and ATFC) inside this new building and next week will open an inpatient department with 50 beds for paediatrics and 10 beds for referrals from camps outside Maiduguri.

    In Gwange, a Maiduguri district, MSF now has an 100-bed Inpatient Therapeutic Feeding Centre (ITFC) that has received people referred from Bama (18) and Dikwa (27) on 20 July. The ITFC is under tents, in the compound of health centre run by the Ministry of Health.

    Epidemiological surveillance continues in the 11 official camps and in Mouna camp, an informal settlement with around 15,000 people. People arriving in Maiduguri go first to a camp where there are security screened by the army, then go either to Mouna camp, a camp close by set up on a private land, or to Custom camp made of unfinished buildings hosting between 2,000 and 3,000 people.

    The disease surveillance system is now being strengthened to react rapidly to emergencies popping up in Maiduguri and on its outskirts. Since last week, cases of measles have been reported inside Maiduguri in the so-called “Arabic teaching college” camp and outside Maiduguri in Konduga, the last big town on the road to Bama that is for now accessible without escort. MSF teams are undertaking containment and case management at these sites.

    Between 13 and 15 June, Nigerian authorities and a local NGO organised the evacuation of 1,192 people requiring medical care from the Bama area to the city of Maiduguri, capital of Borno State. This group of mostly women and children was placed in the “Nursing Village” camp for internally displaced people. Out of the 466 children screened by MSF in the camp, 66 per cent were emaciated, and 39 per cent had a severe form of malnutrition. Upon assessment, 78 children had to be immediately hospitalised in the MSF feeding centre, which has an inpatient capacity of 86 beds.

    A team visited Bama with a military escort for the first time on 21 June and found people in a catastrophic situation. Out of the 800 children screened, 19 per cent were suffering from severe acute malnutrition (SAM). Estimates of mortality at that time were very high. Medical data from the health centre reported 188 deaths between 23 May and 21 June, mainly from diarrheoa and malnutrition; counting of the graves in the cemetery behind the camp showed more than 1,200 graves had been dug since the internally displaced had gathered in the hospital compound. Five children died whilst the assessment was being undertaken.

    MSF returned to Bamamid-July. Today, Bama is a ghost town held by the army. People live in a camp inside the hospital compound. Despite 1,500 people being evacuated by the authorities and some food distribution, the estimated malnutrition rates remain high (severe acute malnutrition is estimated at 15 per cent). An estimated 10,000 to 12,000 internally displaced (official figures 27,000) are living in terrible conditions in shelters made of rusty corrugated iron sheeting and cannot leave the camp. There are hardly any men or boys older than 12. We don’t know what has happened to them.

    Another MSF team arrived on 19 July to provide medical and nutritional support: Ambulatory Therapeutic Feeding Centre, consultations, set up seven beds for observation and stabilisation, and improve water quality through chlorination. A referral system to Maiduguri has been organised with SEMA (State Emergency Management Agency) via ambulances and school buses.

    Monguno

    An estimated 150,000 people, including 65,000 internally displaced, are living in Monguno. They have had almost no access to healthcare since January 2015.

    A team visited Monguno last week and will return again soon. The UNICEF clinic and the ALIMA clinic are currently overwhelmed. MSF are planning to restart activities in the hospital, which has not been operational for several months. First an inpatient department will be set up under tents in the hospital compound. There will be 50 beds for general cases and 50 beds for malnutrition cases.

    Dikwa

    Dikwa is located in an enclaved area on the frontline. An MSF team undertook a two-day assessment this week. The estimated population in the camp for internally displaced is around 55,000, with new arrivals still streaming in from the new open areas. The majority of Dikwa's inhabitants (40,000) left for Maiduguri in 2014, and around 12,000 stayed and moved into the camp. Other people have arrived from the surrounding villages. Water is a big concern in the camp, both the quantity and the quality.

    Dikwa was largely deserted until the governor allowed people to visit the town and to farm the surrounding land. On 20 July, the Dikwa population were allowed to visit their houses which are being repaired by government construction workers.

    UNICEF and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) have been running a clinic in the camp for several months, and the ICRC distributes food every day. A rapid screening by MSF showed that 12.5 per cent of children were suffering from severe acute malnutrition. We are considering opening an Inpatient Therapeutic Feeding Centre and an Ambulatory Therapeutic Feeding Centre in the general hospital, which is currently empty.

    Damboa

    Damboa, in southern Borno, has been greatly affected by the current conflict in northeast Nigeria. Currently the population is estimated at between 50,000 and 60,000, with many being displaced people from the surrounding area who are living in the town as well as in three camps. Malnutrition rates are very high, with an average of 12 per cent of children suffering from severe acute malnutrition. An MSF team has been on the ground treating patients in Damboa since 17 July, and the majority of patients seen have presented with malnutrition, malaria, diarrheoa and/or skin infections.

    The ICRC has started food distribution in Damboa but access to food remains a major challenge. Water and santitation is also a big issue, as there is limited access to clean water and there are an inadequate number of latrines in the camps.

    Lake Chad region

    Last year and in the first months of 2016, violence by ISWAP generated a mass movement of people within the Lake Chad region as well as, on a smaller scale, an influx of refugees from neighbouring Nigeria. In addition, the Chadian government’s response to ISWAP attacks forced tens of thousands of residents of the Lake area to leave their villages. Even if some were not directly escaping military action, many left because they were asked to by the government.

    Although violence has since decreased and major population movements have consequently slowed, many who have settled across the Lake region have now lost their sources of livelihood and their belongings. These people are still in dire need of support.

    MSF has teams based in Baga Sola and Bol, and runs mobile clinics that provide basic healthcare to displaced people and resident populations. MSF also supports a health centre in Tchoukoutalia.

    In March, a mobile clinic service was launched in Djamaron, north of Liwa, around 100 kilometres from Baga Sola, where new pockets of displaced people are gathering. In June 2016, MSF added a mobile clinic that visited six new sites on the Liwa-Daboua axis.

    Close to Baga Sola, MSF is also working in the Dar as Salam refugee camp providing mental healthcare to refugees.

    MSF has recently started working in Bol district hospital, where the team has begun supporting the Ministry of Health with mother and child health services.

    In addition to its medical activities, MSF is continuing to distribute relief items.

    In the first six months of 2016, nearly 50,000 medical consultations were carried out by MSF mobile clinics across the region. Diarrheoa and respiratory diseases linked to poor living conditions are the main health threats affecting MSF patients in the region. Malnutrition remains an issue, although it affects a smaller number of children aged under five. Since the beginning of the year, 1,667 household water treatments and 357 non-food item kits have been distributed.

    N'Djamena

    Since April 2015, MSF has been training Ministry of Health staff in two N’Djamena hospitals on mass casualty management in order to help increase the national capacity to respond to potential influxes of wounded.

    Throughout 2015 after major suicide attacks both in the capital and in the Lake Chad region, MSF provided medical and surgical equipment to local hospitals and assisted with the transfer of wounded patients. In February 2016, a three-day training on mass casualty planning was delivered at two main hospitals in the capital.

    NIGER

    According to official sources, more than 280,000 people have sought refuge in Diffa region, in southern Niger, due to the continuous violence in the area. This figure includes Nigerian refugees, Nigerien returnees and internally displaced people in Diffa.

    Security-wise, the state of emergency declared by the Nigerien government is still in place. At the beginning of June, 70,000 people fled after attacks on the town of Bosso.

    Diffa

    To improve healthcare for the local and displaced population, MSF is working alongside the Ministry of Health in the main maternal and paediatric health centre in the city of Diffa, in the district hospital in Nguigmi town and in several centres in the districts of Diffa, Nguigmi and Bosso. Since the beginning of June, MSF has also been providing assistance at the Garin Wanzam site and in Kintchandi, where tens of thousands of displaced people settled after the 3 June attacks in Bosso.

    In the mother and child health centre in Diffa, MSF ensures free access to healthcare for the local population, as well as refugees and displaced people. The team supports the treatment of children under 15 in the outpatient and inpatient departments. From January to June 2016, more than 8,300 consultations were carried out and over 630 children were hospitalised. MSF is also supporting the maternity department, and during the first six months of 2016 more than 870 deliveries were assisted.

    In Nguigmi, MSF is supporting the paediatric and obstetric emergency departments of the town's district hospital. During the first semester of 2016, MSF supported the treatment of 207 children and assisted 763 deliveries.

    MSF also works in six health centres in Diffa region: in Ngarwa and Kitchandi (in Diffa district), in Nguigmi, Ngalewa and Bilabrim (in Nguigmi district) and in Toumour (in Bosso district). From January to June, over 73,800 consultations were carried out in these health centres. The organisation is also providing healthcare in Garin Wanzam site (Diffa district), where newly displaced people settled after the 6 June attacks in Bosso.

    In addition to medical activities, MSF is also providing water and is building latrines for the recently displaced population living in Kintchandi and Garin Wanzam.

    In mid-July, MSF teams conducted a measles vaccination campaign in Garin Wazam, Kintchandi and Gagam (another site where recently displaced people have settled). More than 24,000 children aged between 6 months and 15 years were vaccinated.

    Due to the high level of violence and trauma that people in the region have faced, MSF has launched specific psychological care activities in the supported health centres for host and displaced populations. Between January to June 2016, almost 3,000 people received psychological support. Most mental health consultations were caused by conflict, medical conditions and loss or separation of family.

    MSF is still supporting the health centres in Assaga camp and Chétimari village. In early June, in light of the decrease in the number of consultations, MSF decided to close its basic healthcare clinic in Gagamari and concentrate all its activities in Chétimari health centre, a few kilometres away.

    Also in early June, violence erupted in the Bosso area. As a consequence, around 7,000 people arrived in Diffa town. Since the middle of June, MSF teams have been supporting two additional health centres in Diffa with mobile clinics, in Bagarra and Chateau, areas where most of the newly displaced people are concentrated.

    In May and June an average of 4,500 medical consultations were carried out in all facilities.The main pathologies were respiratory infections, diarrheoa, eye infections and malaria. In June, teams carried out around 50 deliveries and provided more than 850 antenatal consultations. The teams vaccinated around 1,960 children in the supported health centres.

    In July, a catch-up vaccination campaign against measles was carried out in Diffa city and Chetimari, targeting around 40,000 children aged under five.

    CAMEROON

    Maroua

    MSF has been working in Minawao refugee camp since February 2015, providing medical care and conducting water and sanitation activities. MSF is providing 4,000 to 5,000 medical consultations a month, mainly for malaria, respiratory tract infections and diarrheoa. There are approximately 50 admissions for malnutrition per month. The MSF medical team also offers reproductive healthcare, including antenatal and postnatal consultations.

    In August last year, MSF started providing nutritional and paediatric services in Mora district hospital and 380 children were admitted monthly. Basic healthcare consultations are also provided in two health centres in the town, where MSF teams offer reproductive health services and treats children for malnutrition, diarrheoa and malaria. Some 41,000 internally displaced people live in the area but there are few fully functioning health structures. Outpatient consultations increased to around 5,000 per month, but this can probably explained by heightened insecurity and attacks in the area.

    In case of emergency, severely wounded cases can be referred to Mora hospitals, where MSF supports the Ministry of Health with emergency surgical activities.

    MSF continues to provide support to local health authorities to help respond to mass casualties following violent attacks. On 17 February, MSF treated 75 people wounded after a suicide bombing rocked the town of Mémé. MSF is also assisting the Cameroonian Ministry of Health with mass casualty training for medical staff in different parts of the country.

    Kousseri

    There are tens of thousands of refugees and internally displaced people scattered around Kousseri, near the Chadian border. The majority are hosted by local communities and have little access to medical services and humanitarian assistance. MSF is scaling up its activities in the area.

    In June, MSF started providing surgical and obstetric care at the Kousseri district hospital. In May, 390 surgical interventions were carried out. In September, in order to respond to the needs of the local and displaced population MSF started to provide nutritional paediatric services at the hospital and in three health centres in the vicinity. During May, 173 children were admitted to the hospital and 138 were treated at the inpatient therapeutic feeding centre. An additional 330 children received treatment in the outpatient nutritional programme.


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    Source: UN Children's Fund, European Union
    Country: Chad

    N´DJAMENA (Chad), 28 July 2016– The European Union’s humanitarian aid and civil protection department and the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) are strengthening UNICEF response to multiple crisis in the Sahel belt in Chad with two grants of 4 500 000 and 350 000 Euro, which will support the treatment of over 45 000 severely malnourished children and the measles vaccination of close to 475 000.

    “This multi-sectorial funding will help UNICEF and its partners to respond to all four crises in the 2016 Humanitarian Response Plan, namely Food Security and Malnutrition, Population Movements, Natural Disasters and Epidemics,” stated Philippe Barragne-Bigot, UNICEF Representative in Chad. “We are grateful to the EU and the UK for their continued support for life saving interventions in Chad, especially in the Sahel Belt.”

    "The European Union is renewing its commitment to address the urgent needs of children and to build resilience of the communities,” said Olivier Brouant, Head of the European Commission's humanitarian aid office in Chad. “Multiple crisis are impacting Chad, and children are the most affected. We are stepping up to help UNICEF provide life-saving assistance to the most vulnerable and reinforce national capacities to crisis prevention and response.”

    Thanks to these two grants, UNICEF will focus on reducing the burden of acute malnutrition, strengthen the supply management system, support the development of a National Contingency Plan as well as the national measles and cholera preparedness plans. These interventions aim to reduce preventable suffering, and excess morbidity and mortality linked to the above crises. This humanitarian funding will contribute to improve emergency interventions in the fifteen most affected regions of Batha, Bar El Gazal, Ennedi, Guera, Hadjer Lamis, Kanem, Lac, N’Djamena, Ouaddai, Salamat, Sila, Wadi Fira, Borkou, Tibesti and Chari Baguirmi.

    In these regions, recent surveys have revealed a Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) rate above the emergency threshold of 15%. In close coordination with governmental and non-governmental organizations, UNICEF will strengthen the provision of therapeutic food and drugs for systematic and timely delivery to more than 500 health facilities to provide treatment for over 45,000 Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) cases before the end of 2016. UNICEF will also build up health districts capacities in the treatment of SAM.

    In addition, UNICEF will provide immediate measles vaccination for close to 475 000 children aged 9 months to 14 years in most affected health districts. UNICEF will also preposition contingency stocks to provide a rapid emergency response to 33,000 newly displaced people by flooding or conflict and assistance to 14 000 people affected by high risk of cholera.

    Given the current situation in the Sahel belt, exacerbated by the conflicts in neighbouring countries, especially Nigeria, Central African Republic and Sudan, this contribution will help to provide essential assistance to the most vulnerable communities in the affected regions. The European Union is UNICEF Chad’s leading humanitarian donor and among the five most important donors of UNICEF in Chad.

    About EU Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection

    The European Union and its Member States are the world's leading donor of humanitarian aid.

    Relief assistance is an expression of European solidarity towards people in need around the world. It aims to save lives, prevent and alleviate human suffering, and safeguard the integrity and human dignity of populations affected by natural disasters and man-made crises.

    The European Commission ensures rapid and effective delivery of EU relief assistance through its two main instruments: humanitarian aid and civil protection. The Commission, through its humanitarian aid and civil protection department, helps over 120 million victims of conflict and disasters every year. With headquarters in Brussels and a global network of field offices, the Commission's humanitarian aid and civil protection department provides assistance to the most vulnerable people solely on the basis of humanitarian needs.

    For more information, please visit the European Commission's website: http://ec.europa.eu/echo.

    About UNICEF

    UNICEF works in 190 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org

    To find out more about the EU-UNICEF partnership, visit http://www.unicef.org/eu/

    For further information, please contact:

    Maria Fernandez I Chief of Communication I UNICEF Chad +235 66 36 00 42 I mfernandez@unicef.org I www.unicef.org/chad

    Isabel Coello, Regional Information Officer, Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations, European Commission, Dakar, Tel. +221 33 869 60 92, Mob. +221 77 740 92 17, Isabel.Coello@echofield.eu


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    Source: World Food Programme, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
    Country: Afghanistan, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Iraq, Lebanon, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, World, Yemen

    Foreword

    As widely known, conflict is a leading cause of hunger – each famine in the modern era has been characterized by conflict. Hunger can also contribute to violence, and may act as a channel through which wider socio-economic and political grievances are expressed.

    Here is an overview of some key numbers: people in conflictaffected states are up to three times more likely to be undernourished than those who are living in more stable developing countries1. The most recent projections suggest that approximately half of the global poor now live in states characterized by conflict and violence. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) have a strong interest, and a potentially important role to play, in supporting transitions towards peace.

    Conflict undermines food security in multiple ways: destroying crops, livestock and agricultural infrastructure, disrupting markets, causing displacement, creating fear and uncertainty over fulfilling future needs, damaging human capital, and contributing to the spread of disease, amongst others. Conflict also creates access problems for governments and humanitarian organizations, which often struggle to reach those in need.

    When populations feel that their governments are not adequately addressing hunger needs, or are addressing them in inequitable manners, resentment and tension may arise. Similarly, rising food prices may leave people without the ability to meet the needs of their households and may contribute to protests, riots and instability. Over one-third of countries classified as “fragile” in 2015, had experienced recent conflicts, reflecting dynamic interrelationships among poverty (including hunger), governance and conflict.

    The 2030 Agenda recognizes peace as a vital threshold condition for development, as well as a development outcome in its own right, and recognizes that conflict impacts negatively on, and can inhibit, sustainable development. Addressing hunger can be a meaningful contribution to peacebuilding2. To this end, food security analyses aim at identifying marginalized individuals and communities to ensure the equitable and inclusive provision of assistance to the ones most in need.

    This report’s purpose is to shed light on the impact of conflicts on food security and nutrition, as well as to draw greater attention to the millions of people that are in urgent need of assistance, thus building on the efforts to both help prevent conflict, and sustain peace.

    José Graziano da Silva,
    FAO Director-General,

    Ertharin Cousin,
    WFP Executive Director


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    Source: Assessment Capacities Project
    Country: South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda

    Crisis overview

    Following the escalation of conflict in Juba on 7-11 July the situation across South Sudan has remained tense and clashes have been reported across the country. Immediately after the events in Juba a notable increase in violence was reported in Magwi and Torit counties in Eastern Equatoria. Clashes are likely ongoing. People are fleeing the area in anticipation of more heavy fighting. It is expected that the ceasefire in place since 11 July will not hold and violence will continue to spread. Between 7-27 July more than 37,500 people fled to Uganda, at a rate of 2,000 – 4,000 people per day. If clashes are ongoing it is also likely that thousands of people are currently internally displaced in Eastern Equatoria.

    Key findings

    Anticipated scope and scale

    Conflict: The political environment appears increasingly fragile and the opposition has become more fragmented. The ceasefire in place since 11 July, seems unlikely to hold and conflict in Juba will resume. This is likely to trigger an intensification of conflict in Eastern Equatoria and elsewhere.

    Displacement: As clashes intensify more people are likely to be displaced internally as well as to neighbouring countries, triggering a regional crisis.

    Priorities for humanitarian intervention

    • Protection: Reports of indiscriminate killings against civilians and sexual violence.

    • Shelter: An unknown number of homes have been burned down.

    • Health: As conflict triggers movement of people, containing the cholera outbreak is a priority: at least one case reported in Torit.

    Humanitarian constraints

    Attacks and looting of humanitarian supplies are occurring regularly in South Sudan. Access is made more difficult due to flooding as a result of the current rainy season. Flights are often cancelled due to lack of runway space.


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

    Introduction

    Needs of people across the Lake Chad Basin are amongst the highest in the world and, as national and local capacities to address the situation have become ever more stretched, the time has come most urgently to increase international aid in the region.

    Of the 20 million people living in the region, 9.2 million are now in need of life-saving assistance. 5.2 million people are severely food insecure. 2.7 million have been forced from their homes. Still more are hosts to the displaced and are also stretched. The situation is this grave because of a number of factors:abject poverty, climate change, and violent extremism come to the fore. Indeed, Boko Haram is considered the world’s deadliest extremist group.

    The national and local response to human suffering has been immediate, generous and long-standing. For example, the city of Maiduguri’s 1 million inhabitants have hosted up to 1.6 million internally displaced persons. The people of Diffa, arguably the poorest on earth, have welcomed 1 refugee for every 4 residents. Chad’s government is stretched on all of its borders trying to protect its own people as well as those from neighbouring countries who have sought refuge there. The adage that a ‘country is rich because it has oil and should therefore help its own people’ does not add up given global oil prices. Neither the authorities nor communities across the Lake Chad Basin can keep up with the tide of human suffering. It is high time for the international community to step up its humanitarian response.

    This short paper outlines the priorities in a number of key sectors that help protect people’s rights and ensure their survival: emergency education; food security; health; nutrition; protection; shelter (including non-food items such as cooking sets and soap); and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). The paper also calls for the donor community to put forward, without delay, US$ 221,561 million required by non-governmental organisations and United Nations agencies to address people’s priority needs up to the end of September 2016. Before then, more comprehensive and detailed revisions of the respective Humanitarian Response Plans for Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria will be available.

    While this paper does not seek resources to address the underlying causes of suffering, it is a call for organisations engaged in development and the environment to do much more for the region in support of the four concerned states and their people. Further, the need for security operations that both keep people safer and facilitate their ability to farm, fish and trade is vital. Indeed, re-igniting trade would perhaps be the single biggest source of succor for the communities across the region.

    Donors are called on to contact the Humanitarian Coordinators or sector (or cluster) leads directly in the four countries of concern: Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria. They, with the support of OCHA, are spearheading the response of non-governmental organizations and UN agencies to the emergency and it is thanks to them and partners that this paper has been written. Any further delay in funding for operations across the Lake Chad Basin will contribute to a deepening of the crisis and steeper financial requirements later in the year to meet ever-growing needs.


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