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ReliefWeb - Updates

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    Source: UN Radio
    Country: Niger, Nigeria

    Écouter / Télécharger

    Le Coordonnateur humanitaire pour le Sahel a achevé, jeudi une visite de quatre jours au Niger, au cours de laquelle au cours de laquelle il a notamment appelé la communauté internationale à augmenter son appui aux habitants de la région de Diffa et de l'ensemble du bassin du lac Tchad.

    Toby Lanzer a salué la solidarité des communautés d'accueil de la région parmi lesquelles, en dépit de conditions de vies difficiles, de l'absence de revenus et de moyens de subsistances, des milliers de familles continuent de venir en aide à des personnes encore plus démunies qu'elles.

    Environ 280 000 personnes ont dû quitter leur foyer au Nigéria et dans la région de Diffa suite aux raids lancés contre leurs villages par Boko Haram.

    Deux personnes sur trois ont été forcées de se déplacer plus d'une fois ce qui n'a contribué qu'à aggraver leurs souffrances. Des villages entiers ont été vidés de leurs habitants, des pans entiers de champs n'ont pu être cultivés et l'accès aux services de bases comme l'eau, la santé et l'éducation est de plus en plus limité. Selon les dernières estimations de l'ONU, 400 000 personnes ont désormais besoins d'aide humanitaire.

    (Mise en perspective : Cristina Silveiro)


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    Bamako, Mali | AFP | samedi 17/09/2016 - 21:37 GMT

    Des affrontements entres groupes armés signataires de l'accord de paix au Mali ont fait une dizaine de morts dans le nord du pays, où la situation restait tendue, a-t-on appris samedi auprès des deux parties.

    Les accrochages, entre combattants du Groupe d'autodéfense touareg Imghad et alliés (Gatia, pro-gouvernemental) et Coordination des mouvements de l'Azawad (CMA, ex-rébellion à dominante touareg) se sont produits vendredi à Intachdayte, à 85 km au nord-est de Kidal, selon ces sources et une autre source de sécurité étrangère.

    "Nous avons perdu six hommes et un autre est porté disparu", a déclaré à l'AFP Almou Ag Mohamed, porte-parole de la CMA.

    "Nous avons emporté un important lot de matériel de guerre, dix véhicules. Il y a eu 15 tués. C'est une base du chef d'état-major du MNLA (Mouvement national de libération de l'Azawad, composante de la CMA) et de la CMA, Mohamed Najim, qui a été attaquée", a affirmé un combattant du Gatia, Mohamed Ag Télouf.

    Dans un communiqué publié samedi, la CMA affirme que c'est le Gatia qui l'a attaquée vendredi à Intachdayte, dénonçant "une ènième violation du cessez-le-feu" par les groupes pro-gouvernementaux et "prévient qu'elle ne peut demeurer indifférente à ces agressions des milices qui bénéficient des équipements et de la logistique de l'armée nationale du Mali".

    "La situation est tendue dans la région de Kidal samedi. Les groupes ont le doigt sur la gâchette, et l'ONU fait tout pour que la situation s'apaise", a déclaré à l'AFP une source sécuritaire étrangère contactée dans le Nord.

    "La ville de Kidal est calme, mais la tension persiste entre les groupes en dehors de la ville. Les civils surtout ont peur", a indiqué de son côté un élu municipal de Kidal.

    Des affrontements meurtriers entre la CMA et le Gatia s'étaient déjà produits en août pour le contrôle de Kidal, bastion de l'ex-rébellion. Des réunions s'étaient ensuite tenues entre les protagonistes à Bamako, sans régler le différend.

    La situation s'est récemment dégradée dans le nord du Mali en raison d'une tribalisation accrue des rivalités, selon les analystes.

    Un nouveau groupe qui a fait scission du MNLA, le Mouvement pour le salut de l'Azawad (MSA), centré sur la région de Ménaka, près de la frontière nigérienne, a marqué son rapprochement avec le Gatia, manifesté par un communiqué conjoint vendredi évoquant notamment l'organisation de patrouilles conjointes pour lutter contre l'insécurité.

    Le nord du Mali est tombé en mars-avril 2012 sous la coupe de groupes jihadistes liés à Al-Qaïda. Ces groupes en ont été en grande partie chassés à la suite du lancement en 2013, à l'initiative de la France, d'une intervention militaire internationale, qui se poursuit actuellement.

    Mais des zones entières échappent encore au contrôle des forces maliennes et étrangères, malgré la signature en mai-juin 2015 d'un accord de paix, censé isoler définitivement les jihadistes.

    sd/sst/elp

    © 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    Bamako, Mali | AFP | Saturday 9/17/2016 - 22:57 GMT

    Clashes pitting Malian armed groups in defiance of a peace deal have left at least a dozen fighters dead in the north of the country, sources on both sides of the violence said Saturday.

    The fighting on Friday pit members of the pro-government group GATIA, the Imghad and Allies Tuareg Self-Defence Group, against ex-rebels from the Coordination of Azawad Movements (CMA).

    The clashes took place in Intachdayte, some 85 kilometres (50 miles) northeast of the restive town of Kidal, sources from the two sides and a foreign security source said.

    "We have lost six men and another is missing," CMA spokesman Almou Ag Mohamed told AFP.

    "We seized a significant amount of military gear including 10 vehicles. Fifteen people were killed" in an attack on a group that is loyal to the CMA, GATIA fighter Mohamed Ag Telouf said.

    In a statement published on Saturday, the CMA confirmed the clash erupted after an attack Friday by GATIA members, branding it "the umpteenth ceasefire violation" by pro-government groups.

    It warned it "cannot remain indifferent to these attacks by militias that benefit from the Malian national army's equipment and logistics."

    A foreign security source in northern Mali told AFP on condition of anonymity that "the situation was tense in the Kidal region on Saturday. The (armed) groups have their finger on the trigger and the UN is doing all it can to restore calm".  

    The fighting was the latest round of violence to occur since deadly clashes erupted in August for control of Kidal, a bastion of the former rebellion.

    While the two sides held several meetings in the capital Bamako, no solution was reached.

    Analysts say tribal rivalries have led to a deterioration of the situation in northern Mali.

    Northern Mali fell in spring 2012 into the hands of jihadists linked to Al-Qaeda.

    Ongoing international military intervention since January 2013 has driven the Islamist fighters away from major population centres. 

    Despite a peace deal signed in 2015 aimed at ending years of fighting in northern Mali and turning the page on the Islamist takeover of 2012, large tracts of the sub-Saharan country are still not controlled by Malian and foreign troops. 

    sd/sst/ser/aph

    © 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: World Food Programme
    Country: South Sudan, Uganda

    In Numbers

    1.61 million internally displaced people (OCHA est.)

    169,418 people seeking shelter with the UN (UNMISS est.)

    4.8 million people in emergency or crisis level food insecurity (IPC, May - July 2016)

    Highlights

    • In August, WFP reached a total of 2.5 million people with food and nutrition assistance, despite immense security and access constraints.

    • FSAs for Northern Bahr el Ghazal received, enabling resumption of airdrops of assistance.

    • Number of South Sudanese refugees surpasses one million.

    WFP’s Activities

    Assessments

    • An inter-agency rapid assessment mission is ongoing in several locations south-west of Wau town. The assessment includes nutrition screening, focus group discussions to gain a better understanding of the food security situation, and distribution of High Energy Biscuits (HEBs) by WFP for displaced populations.

    • The Juba urban study is ongoing and the results of the study are expected by the end of this month. The study will help to inform the implementation of the urban cash pilot through which approximately 45,000 people will receive food assistance for participation in skills training programmes, such as nutrition, health, urban agriculture, and entrepreneurship/marketing.


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    Source: Reuters - AlertNet
    Country: Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Nigeria

    Nine million people urgently need aid in northeast Nigeria, as political violence and mass migration caused humanitarian crisis

    • Islamist insurgency in northeast Nigeria since 2009

    • Mass migration towards Europe adds to problems

    • U.N. appeals to donor countries for $559 million

    By Helen Reid

    LONDON, Sept 16 (Reuters) - Nine million people urgently need aid in northeast Nigeria and nearby countries, as political violence and mass migration have caused a humanitarian emergency, a United Nations official said on Friday.

    Read the full story here


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Cameroon, Nigeria

    Koza, Cameroon | AFP | Monday 9/19/2016 - 02:35 GMT

    by Reinnier KAZE

    "Boko Haram butchered nine people in front of me. That day I decided to leave my village," says Rachel Daviguidam, still devastated by the carnage she witnessed in September 2015.

    One year on and this 30-year-old Cameroonian is still unable to get the images out of her mind.

    And this mother of seven cannot see herself returning to her village of Golvadi in Cameroon's Far North, an area that has suffered multiple attacks by Boko Haram jihadists based just across the border in Nigeria.

    Over the past year, Daviguidam and her husband and children have been living in Koza, a small town surrounded by mountains about 100 kilometres (60 miles) from Maroua, capital of the Far North region.

    Around 200,000 Cameroonians from the region have fled their villages in fear of the violence carried out by militants from Boko Haram, who last year pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group.

    Jihadists in this region kill, they torch entire villages, they loot and they steal livestock.

    Sitting on the ground in Koza's stadium, this young mother cradles her youngest, who is just three months old, occasionally breastfeeding him.

    Around her sit other displaced families.

    - 'Life became intolerable' -

    Nearby, hundreds of people are waiting in line to receive food handouts from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

    Over the past 15 months, the ICRC has organised food deliveries in Koza in a bid to combat malnutrition, says Ibrahim Dit Falke, a local who works for the organisation.

    "Each household receives a package of 50 kilos (110 pounds) of rice, 25 kilos of maize flour, 25 kilos of black-eyed peas, 10 litres (20 pints) of oil, a kilo of salt and 12 kilos of enriched flour," he says.

    In this area where many of the displaced have gathered, there have been numerous cases of malnutrition, some of them severe.

    "We are in an area dominated by farming and agriculture, where most households make their living through agriculture," Dit Falke says.

    "When you cut a household off from its fields, you cut it off from its livelihood."

    As the food is handed out, Daviguidam, who comes from a Christian family, recounts her story.

    "Life there became intolerable," she says.

    "For three months, they would come to my house and flog me and my children," she explains.

    "They said we were pagans.

    "They demanded that we convert to Islam but we didn't want to."

    If at the start, the Nigerian jihadists were only targeting Christians, they soon stopped making any distinction between Christians and Muslims, she says, as she gets up to go and collect her food package from a Red Cross volunteer.

    - 'I can't cope' -

    "I am happy to receive this gift," smiles another woman, Veved Nadama carrying a sack of rice on her head, as two other women help her carry the rest of the supplies.

    For the past two years, this 25-year-old has lived in Koza since she fled the border town of Kerawa, which is home to 50,000 people and has been regularly targeted by Boko Haram.

    "When they killed two pupils in the village, my husband and I decided to leave," says the mother of two.

    "There was shooting all the time. We weren't able to sleep in our home, we preferred to hide in the bush."

    Another of the displaced, Yauba Sumbi, says he's grateful for the sense of security in Koza, but like many others, he is haunted by what he witnessed.

    "I am traumatised. I saw dead people, people with their throats cut," he says.

    "I can't cope anymore."

    He fled the border town of Amchide in 2014 with his wife but only two of his children.

    "On the day we left, our neighbourhood was stormed by Boko Haram and there was shooting. We walked for three days and three nights through the bush" to reach Koza.

    While part of the family managed to escape, he has had no news about his five other children who were unable to get out.

    "I don't know if they are alive or dead, if they are in Nigeria or Cameroon," he says.

    "God only knows."

    rek/mc/hmw/ser

    © 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: Norwegian Refugee Council
    Country: Nigeria

    Hundreds of thousands of people flee from brutality and violent attacks in northeast Nigeria.

    Monguno, a small town in northeast Nigeria, used to be home to 130,000 people. Over the past few months, the population has expanded to 350,000 people. The vast majority of the newly arrived are internally displaced people seeking safety and security for themselves and their families, away from insurgency and violence.

    The crisis in Nigeria is among the fastest growing displacement crises in Africa. Since 2009, violent attacks on civilians by the armed group Boko Haram have left widespread devastation in northeast Nigeria, and approximately two million people are displaced within the country.

    Hunger

    Many families have not eaten for days when they reach Monguno and they arrive severely malnourished.

    “We are hungry and we need food. Life in the camp is hard, it is very hot and the water is of poor quality. Many people die from hunger,” says Fatima, an older resident of one of the camps in the town.

    Fatima walked with her daughter and her grandchildren to Monguno from Marte, a town 40 kilometers away. Over the past few months, Monguno has seen an influx of thousands of people from Marte, which continues to be affected by the conflict.

    Lack of income

    To gain an income, Fatima collects and sells firewood, but the money is not enough to feed her family. They live on one meal a day.

    “Many children die of lack of food or bad water, the situation is very difficult,” says Fatima.

    Waterborne illnesses, such as diarrhea and cholera, particularly affect children and older people with weak immune systems. NRC’s country director in Nigeria, Olivier David, is worried and says the situation for the population in Monguno is dire.

    “Despite the declared state of emergency, the town has received little humanitarian assistance and what we have been able to deliver so far barely scratches the surface of addressing the urgent needs for food, water and sanitation, and shelter,” says David.

    Pushing the limits

    The small town is now home to more than double its former population, with current local services and infrastructure being severely strained in their ability to tailor to the immense needs of the displaced population.

    “The population in and around Monguno are dangerously close to famine. If these communities do not receive assistance, we will be looking at an even greater disaster. Their needs are large and urgent and the global community must do more to reach the people in need now,” says David.

    Must do more

    Earlier this month, NRC conducted a security and programme assessment of Monguno in an effort to expand our activities in northeast Nigeria.

    “Initial assessments underline the critical humanitarian needs in Monguno, which include food assistance, shelter as well as securing clean water and sanitation facilities”, says David.

    As humanitarian actors increasingly have access to the northeast, NRC endeavors to establish presence in liberated and formerly inaccessible areas such as Monguno.

    “We are looking to increase our funding in order to meet immediate humanitarian needs,” says David.

    As the conflict severely restricts people’s access to markets and farmlands, their needs for food and clean water are not met.

    “The result is that agricultural production has dropped, which we expect will lead to long term food insecurity,” says David.


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Cameroon, Nigeria

    koza, Cameroun | AFP | lundi 19/09/2016 - 06:50 GMT

    par Reinnier KAZE

    "Boko Haram a égorgé neuf personnes en ma présence. C'est ce jour (de septembre 2015) que j'ai décidé de quitter mon village", témoigne, encore bouleversée, Rachel Daviguidam, une Camerounaise de 30 ans.

    Un an après avoir été témoin de cette atrocité, cette mère de sept enfants n'arrive pas à effacer ces images de sa mémoire et n'envisage pas de retourner à Golvadi, un village de l'Extrême-Nord du Cameroun, frontalier du Nigeria et cible de plusieurs assauts des islamistes nigérians de Boko Haram.

    Depuis plus d'un an, Rachel, son mari et leurs enfants vivent à Koza, une petite cité enclavée située en pleine zone montagneuse, à environ 100 km de Maroua, la grande ville de la région.

    Comme elle, près de 200.000 Camerounais de la région de l'Extrême-Nord ont fui leurs villages, situés à la frontière du Nigeria, redoutant les exactions de Boko Haram, qui a rallié l'organisation de l'Etat islamique (EI). Dans cette région, ils tuent, incendient des villages entiers, pillent et volent du bétail.

    Assise à même le sol dans le stade de Koza bondé de monde, Rachel porte dans ses bras un bébé de trois mois qu'elle allaite de temps en temps. Autour d'elle, d'autres déplacés ont pris place.

    - Vie intenable -

    Ils sont des centaines à attendre de recevoir l'aide alimentaire du Comité international de la Croix-rouge (CICR). Depuis quinze mois, le CICR organise des "rounds de distribution" d'aliments, dit un responsable local des opérations dans la zone de Koza, Ibrahim Dit Falke.

    "Chaque ménage reçoit un kit composé de 50 kg de riz, 25 kg de farine de maïs, 25 kg de niébé (haricot), 10 litres d'huile, un kg de sel et 12 kg de farine enrichie", conçue pour prévenir la malnutrition, explique-t-il.

    Un peu partout dans la région où les déplacés ont afflué, de nombreux cas de malnutrition parfois sévère ont été signalés.

    "Nous sommes dans une région à vocation agro-pastorale. L'essentiel des ménages vivent de l'agriculture", souligne M. Dit Falke: "quand tu sépares un ménage de son champ, tu le sépares de ses moyens de subsistance".

    Pendant la distribution, Rachel raconte son calvaire passé. "La vie là-bas était devenue intenable".

    "Pendant trois mois, ils (les islamistes nigérians) arrivaient chez moi et me fouettaient, ainsi que mes enfants. Ils nous traitaient de +kirdi+ (non musulmans). Ils disaient que nous sommes des païens", souligne cette femme chrétienne: "ils nous demandaient de nous islamiser, mais nous ne voulions pas".

    Si au début de leurs attaques, les islamistes nigérians s'en prenaient uniquement aux chrétiens, majoritaires à Goldavi, ils ne faisaient plus de distinction entre chrétiens et musulmans par la suite, ajoute-t-elle en se levant soudainement pour se diriger vers un volontaire du CICR qui vient d'appeler pour recevoir son kit de nourriture.

    - Enfants disparus -

    "Je suis contente d'avoir reçu ce don", s'enthousiasme une autre déplacée, Veved Nadama, transportant sur la tête un sac de riz, accompagnée de deux autres femmes qui l'aident à porter son stock de vivres.

    Depuis plus de deux ans, Veved, 25 ans, maman de deux enfants, vit à Koza après avoir fui Kerawa, à la frontière nigériane. La partie camerounaise de cette localité a été la cible de plusieurs incursions de Boko Haram. "Lorsqu'ils ont tué deux élèves du village, mon mari et moi avons décidé de partir", explique-t-elle.

    "Il y avait des coups de feu tout le temps. Nous n'arrivions plus à dormir chez nous, on a préféré se réfugier en brousse", se souvient-elle.

    Yaouba Soumbi, un autre déplacé, apprécie lui aussi la sécurité qui règne à Koza, mais reste hanté par ce qu'il a vu "Je suis traumatisé. J'ai vu des morts, des personnes égorgées. Je ne me retrouve pas".

    Il a fui Amchidé en 2014: "J'ai été obligé de partir avec ma femme et deux de mes enfants".

    "Le jour où nous partions, notre quartier avait été envahi par Boko Haram et il y avait des tirs. Pendant trois jours et trois nuits, nous avons marché dans la brousse" afin de rallier Koza.

    Si une partie de sa famille a pu se tirer d'affaire, il dit être sans nouvelles de cinq autres de ses enfants restés à Amchidé.

    "Je ne sais pas s'ils sont en vie, s'ils sont morts, s'ils sont au Nigeria, au Cameroun. Dieu seul le sait".

    rek/mc/jpc/jhd

    © 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: Médecins Sans Frontières
    Country: Cameroon, Chad, El Salvador, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Libya, Mexico, Myanmar, Nigeria, Somalia, Syrian Arab Republic, World

    On 19 September, leaders from all over the world will meet to adopt the New York Declaration, coming together to work on a more “coordinated and humane approach to address large movements of refugees and migrants”.

    Ahead of the Summit, MSF has released a short report, titled Reality Check, on the current situation in nine pressing emergencies affecting refugees and migrants. The report is not designed to be an exhaustive look at displacement or migration but instead aims to show the reality as seen from MSF projects assisting some of the 65 million forcibly displaced and the 244 million migrants around the world.

    As the leaders sit down to trumpet their pledges, 75,000 Syrian refugees are trapped on the Jordanian border with Syria just kilometers from a war zone, 350,000 Somali refugees are at risk of being sent back to a war zone from Dadaab (Kenya) and tens of thousands are enduring hell in Libya as they await their chance at the Mediterranean crossing that has killed 3200 men, women and children in this year alone. Elsewhere in the world, Central American asylum seekers in Mexico are treated appallingly under Programa Frontera Sur, funded by the United States, the Rohingya people are denied their rights and exploited across South East Asia and 2.6 million people have been forced from their homes by Boko Haram in Lake Chad.

    MSF urges world leaders not to turn a blind eye on the suffering faced by millions of refugees and migrants around the globe.

    On the eve of the New York meetings, a reality check is in order. Listed below are just some of the context where MSF is working with refugees and migrants and which feature today’s most dire contexts:

    Reality Check: Syrian refugees in the Berm

    On 21 June in the name of national security, Jordan closed its northern border with Syria after a car bombing targeted a Jordanian military base near an area referred to as ‘The Berm’. This left 75,000 people, four out of five of whom are women and children, stranded in the desert without assistance, with insufficient access to water and almost no access to food (in early August, UN agencies, using a crane, conducted a one off drop of food supplies intended to last for a month). The Berm is not a bona fide refugee camp but a settlement of people fleeing war. No humanitarian actors are currently able to provide assistance, meaning inhabitants lack basic humanitarian services. Read more

    Reality Check: Somali refugees in Dadaab

    The sprawling Dadaab camp in Kenya is home to some 350,000 Somali refugees, making it the largest refugee camp in the world. Originally planned more than 20 years ago as a temporary camp, it has only expanded and suffered from chronic underfunding. Insecurity and violence have also plagued the camp inhabitants.

    In November 2013, a tripartite agreement was signed by the governments of Kenya and Somalia and UNHCR to promote the voluntary repatriation of camp residents as security began to improve in Somalia. Yet, as security ultimately deteriorated, few people have elected to return “home”. Nonetheless, as the end of the three-year agreement approaches, the Government of Kenya has communicated publicly that efforts will accelerate to return Dadaab residents to Somalia for “security, economic and environmental reasons.” Read more

    Reality Check: Refugees and migrants in Libya

    Since launching search and rescue operations last year in the central Mediterranean Sea, MSF teams have saved more than 34,000 people from drowning and have assisted many others. Regardless of their country of origin or their reasons for trying to reach European shores, almost everyone rescued from this stretch of water passed through Libya.

    Many people report experiencing violence in Libya, while almost all rescued people report witnessing extreme violence against refugees, asylum seekers and migrants, including beatings, whippings with hoses, sexual violence, and killings. MSF medical teams on board three rescue vessels in the Mediterranean continue to treat, and bear witness to, the consequences of physical and psychological violence inflicted on men, women and, increasingly, unaccompanied children (some as young as 10 years old). Although it can be difficult to definitively identify mental trauma in the short period they are present on MSF boats, the evidence of physical violence is unmistakable, linked to inhumane detention conditions, torture, and other ill-treatment, including sexual violence. Read more

    Reality Check: The Mediterranean crossing

    So far this year, 3,198 people have died attempting to reach Europe. The Central Mediterranean crossing, from Libya to Italy, is almost twice as deadly as it was last year. With seemingly no political will to provide safe and legal alternatives to the deadly sea crossing, the European Union and European government policies continue to cut the safest exit routes, leaving people no other choice but to resort to overcrowded boats headed for Europe. Read more

    Reality Check: Reception and transit in Italy, Greece and the Balkans

    Two years into the so-called European Refugee crisis, the situation in many parts of Europe continues to be both chaotic and inhumane. In the six months since the EU-Turkey deal, signed by the 28 EU Member States who will all be present in New York, came into effect—the right to seek asylum within the EU is now dangerously restricted, with thousands of people stuck at borders and denied protection, living in dire conditions and with little hope for the future.

    With the approval of Member States, and in violation of the principle of non-refoulement men, women and children—including the most vulnerable— are pushed back and rejected at borders in Bulgaria, Serbia and Hungary without assessment of their protection needs. These people are then pushed back to inefficient asylum systems in Turkey, Serbia or Greece and forced to live in inhumane conditions. Read more

    Reality Check: Fleeing violence in Lake Chad

    Some 2.6 million people have been forced to flee their homes in Northeast Nigeria due to violent attacks perpetrated by Boko Haram insurgents and the military forces combatting them. Civilians pay the price of extreme violence and are left with little means to cope and little hope to rebuild their lives. Some receive assistance in refugee camps while the majority lives in precarious conditions in host communities, where resources are already limited. Some have sought refuge, or have been forcibly moved to locations where they are trapped and entirely reliant on outside assistance.

    High insecurity in these areas makes the provision of aid difficult, leaving people in dire condition and unmet basic living and health care needs. MSF assisting the displaced in a number of locations throughout Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger, where there is a worryingly high prevalence of epidemics and diseases related to poor living conditions, including waterborne illnesses and very high malnutrition rates. Read more Reality Check: Victims of violence and asylum seekers from Central America in Mexico and the U.S

    Every year, an estimated 300,000 people flee violence and poverty in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala (Northern Triangle of Central America or NTCA) and enter Mexico with the hope of reaching the United States. The violence people experience is not unlike that in war zones around the world. Murders, kidnappings, threats, recruitment by non-state armed actors, extortion and forced disappearance are the daily burden of thousands who live in areas de facto controlled by gangs and criminal groups. Sixteen percent of the NTCA patients cared for by MSF teams in Mexico mentioned direct attacks as the main reason for fleeing their country, while as much as 41 percent decided to leave after receiving individual threats. Read more

    Reality Check: Rohingya people in South East Asia

    For years Rohingya people in Myanmar have had no option but to use smugglers in order to flee persecution. As a stateless minority, there is no other way for them to leave the country and although departures have fallen following a crackdown on smuggling networks, some continue to try.

    In Rakhine state, Rohingya people are subjected to severe movement restrictions– both those living in displacement camps and those living in their own villages– that have severely limited their access to healthcare for years and continues to do so. Outside of displacement camps, MSF is one of their only options to access basic healthcare. Read more


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

    Thousands of refugees fleeing violence and human rights violations in South Sudan benefit from major aid operation.

    By: Charlie Yaxley

    KAMPALA, Uganda – Thousands of refugees fleeing violence and human rights violations in South Sudan have begun to benefit from a major aid operation following the arrival of a Boeing 747 aircraft in Entebbe on Sunday morning carrying more than 100 tonnes of emergency relief items.

    The shipment contained thousands of mosquito nets, sleeping mats, plastic sheeting, kitchen sets and solar lights which are set to be delivered to refugee settlement areas in Adjumani, Arua and Kiryandongo districts, as well as to those residing in the newly opened Bidibidi settlement in Yumbe.

    The cargo jet was provided to UNHCR by Dubai Royal Wings thanks to the generosity of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, Vice President of the United Arab Emirates and Emir of Dubai, who agreed to partner on the shipment after hearing of the untold suffering being faced by the South Sudanese people since the outbreak of violence in Juba on July 8.

    “The people of South Sudan are suffering.”

    The delivery comes just days after the number of South Sudanese people who have been forced to seek safety in neighbouring countries passed the one million mark, including more than 185,000 people in the last ten weeks alone.

    “The people of South Sudan are suffering, as we’ve seen by the record numbers that have fled to Uganda and other neighbouring countries in recent weeks,” said UNHCR’s acting Representative to Uganda Bornwell Kantande. “We’re extremely grateful to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid for his ongoing support to UNHCR and for making it possible for us to ensure this much-needed aid gets delivered to thousands of the recent arrivals. This shipment will go a long way towards ensuring these people are living in a safe and dignified environment.”

    Those arriving in Uganda are disproportionately young and female, with around 90 per cent of new arrivals being women or children under the age of 18. This presents the humanitarian response with distinct challenges, particularly in the prevention and treatment of sexual and gender-based violence, and child protection.

    Severe and chronic underfunding threatens to undermine humanitarian response.

    The solar lights will help in UNHCR’s endeavors to provide each family with light, enhancing security and ensuring children are able to study after dark as many areas where refugees are settled lack electricity. Malaria nets will provide crucial protection against the disease as many of the settlements are located in high-prevalence areas. Malaria is the number one reason for people seeking assistance from health professionals in refugee-hosting locations. Kitchen sets will play a key role in helping to ensure that refugees are able to eat a healthy diet, something of critical importance with many refugees having fled from areas in South Sudan where food is difficult to get hold of or is prohibitively expensive.

    The large number of refugees fleeing to Uganda in a relatively short amount of time has placed great strain on the resources available to the humanitarian response. Stocks of key relief items begin to dwindle almost as soon as they arrive as thousands continue to flee to Uganda on a daily basis. The situation looks only set to get worse, with current expectations predicting that 110,000 more South Sudanese could flee to Uganda before the end of the year.

    Severe and chronic underfunding threatens to undermine the effectiveness of the humanitarian response to South Sudanese refugees to deliver even the most basic services. UNHCR and partners have so far received just 20 per cent of the US$701 million needed to provide adequate assistance to South Sudanese refugees in 2016.


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    Source: International Organization for Migration
    Country: South Sudan

    Sectors of assistance

    CCCM 76,131 Approximate numbers of IDPs

    WASH

    14 Litres per person per day (UNMISS Site) 25 Repaired in Wau Municipality

    S-NFI

    58 Communal shelters constructed by IOM

    HEALTH

    4,081 Consultations provided at the three sites in the last 7 days

    CCCM

    • Wau PoC camp management has negotiated with the existing camp leadership group to support the new camp governance structures; nominations for candidates to stand for the upcoming elections is ongoing.

    • Wau PoC camp management has begun site mapping and have marked block boundaries in Zone A and Zone B.

    • DTM: More people exited both the Wau Poc and the Cathedral collective centre than entered during the past week with all of those exiting intend to return to locations outside of Wau Town.

    S-NFI

    • The IOM S-NFI teams is providing technical guidance to cluster partners to perform identification and distribution according to S-NFI cluster guidelines. 14 new households have been identified for distributions at Lokoloko collective centre.

    WASH

    • IOM continues to ensure access to safe water for IDPs, providing an average of 387,140 litres of water each day to 18 water points at the Wau PoC. IOM continues to provide daily water quality monitoring of all water points.

    • During the week three boreholes were rehabilitated in Wau Municipality, with 4 hygiene promotion sessions held in the surrounding area.

    HEALTH

    • The top morbidity at the three clinics was malaria (2,578 consultations) followed by Upper Respiratory Tract Infection (669 consultations).

    • Routine vaccination continued during the week with 209 children receiving vaccinations.

    • 36 pregnant, and 94 non-pregnant women received the tetanus toxoid vaccine during the week.

    • 3,868 individuals were provided with health promotion messages at the three clinics, including the importance of vaccinations for children and women of reproductive age, family planning and malaria prevention.

    Psychosocial support (PSS): 7,890 individuals were provided with PSS services by community mobilizers, including counselling (6 individuals), medical support and referral (42 individuals) and PSS messaging (7,818) which included coping with change and service availability.


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

    FOREWORD

    From the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator

    Sudan continues to face significant and diverse humanitarian needs, both protracted and emerging, and at the end of the year, more than 3 million people remained internally displaced. During 2015, some 359,000 people were newly displaced internally, over 194,000 refugees crossed into Sudan, and many states in Sudan remained above emergency malnutrition thresholds.

    The 2015 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) appealed for US$1.04 billion, to which donors generously contributed $53.5 million through the Sudan Humanitarian Fund. In line with the HRP, the main objectives of the fund in 2015 were 1) To provide emergency relief to people affected by conflict and disaster; 2) To provide humanitarian protection to affected populations; 3) To reduce food insecurity and malnutrition [below emergency levels across Sudan]; and 4) To strengthen resilience and facilitate durable solutions for conflict-affected people, including voluntary return and integration.
    Through its different allocation processes, the Sudan Humanitarian Fund has in 2015 supported the response to new emergencies, as for example the dengue fever outbreak, but also supported vulnerable people in protracted displacement and people suffering from malnutrition. The allocation in the second half of the year complemented the CERF Underfunded Emergencies Grant to North Darfur by providing funds to support the humanitarian response to displacement in South and Central Darfur.
    Through a coordinated prioritisation and allocation process, humanitarian actors worked together to identify priority needs and select projects that best responded to those needs. The SHF has boosted the effectiveness of the humanitarian response and its coordination mechanisms. The engagement of all stakeholders – implementing partners, IASC Sectors, national and international NGOs, UN agencies, donors, members of the Advisory Board, and the Humanitarian Country Team – remains key to the success of the Sudan Humanitarian Fund.

    The SHF continues to build capacity and provide funding directly to national NGOs who have already established trust and links with the communities, thereby facilitating delivery of assistance to people in need in hard-to-reach areas. It encourages partnerships between national and international actors to ensure that people receive the life-saving assistance they need.

    Following internal and external review processes including the tri-annual external evaluation, I was happy to see the important steps undertaken towards a clearer definition of the fund’s governance and procedures, a more explicit definition of the fund strategy and an updated accountability framework that includes a risk-based grant management approach.

    I would like to take this opportunity to thank our donors – Denmark, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK – for their continued financial support as well as their involvement in the strategic orientation of the fund through their participation as SHF Advisory Board members. The commitment of our donors is particularly noteworthy, as humanitarian needs in recently emerging global and regional crises have noticeably increased in 2015.

    In addition to the donors, I would also like to thank all the people and organisations who have contributed to SHF operations in 2015, especially the members of the Advisory Board and the IASC Sectors. My particular appreciation goes to the strong team working on the fund both at OCHA and UNDP.

    The 2016 HRP foresees no decrease in humanitarian needs in Sudan. Continued donor support is therefore crucial if the Sudan Humanitarian Fund is to continue to provide life-saving assistance to vulnerable people in an efficient manner.

    I would like to express my commitment to keeping the Sudan Humanitarian Fund fit for its stated purpose of providing principled humanitarian funding to alleviate the suffering of people in need in Sudan.

    Marta Ruedas United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator

    Executive Summary

    The purpose of this annual report is to provide an overview of the Sudan Humanitarian Fund during 2015 including contributions, allocation processes, fund performance and accountability mechanisms, and results achieved in each of the humanitarian sectors.

    Context The 2015 Sudan Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) targeted assistance to an estimated 5.4 million of the most vulnerable people, including 1.2 million of the most severely malnourished children under age five. Vulnerability is primarily driven by conflict-induced displacement, chronic food insecurity and malnutrition.

    At the end of 2015, some 3.1 million people in Sudan were internally displaced; the majority in Darfur. A further 0.7 million people were refugees displaced from their country of origin or South Sudanese who were unable to return to South Sudan.

    During 2015, 247,000 people were displaced from their homes by conflict in Darfur. 110,000 of these internally displaced persons received humanitarian assistance in 2015, while 70,000 live in areas to which humanitarians have limited or no access (mainly in the Jebel Marra area of Darfur). About 67,000 of the people displaced this year have returned to their area of origin.
    In government-controlled areas of South Kordofan State an estimated 52,000 people were displaced in 2015, of whom 21,000 people have returned; and in government-controlled areas of Blue Nile State, an estimated 60,000 people were displaced (24,000 relocated; 26,000 returnees; and 10,000 displaced) during 2015.

    Donor Support In 2015, the SHF received contributions from eight donors amounting to $53.5 million. The contributions represented a seven per cent decrease in comparison with SHF funding in 2014, and accounted for eight per cent of funding for the Sudan HRP 2015. This remains at a similar level in comparison to the last three years. Not taking into account the 2014 contributions intended for 2015, a more significant downtrend is apparent. Globally, the Sudan Humanitarian Fund was the fifth largest OCHA-managed country-based pooled fund in 2015 and accounted for 8 per cent of donor contributions to 18 pooled funds globally.

    More than 20 per cent ($10.9 million) of donor contributions was received before the start of the year, while the remaining 80 per cent ($42.6 million) was contributed throughout 2015.
    Germany presented itself as a new donor to the fund in 2015.

    Targeted allocations Funding was channelled through 11 sectors to 168 projects.
    More than 90 per cent of funds was allocated to projects that addressed the HRP’s strategic objectives 1 (saving lives) and 2 (protection). The SHF targeted 65 per cent of its funding towards the Darfur region, whereas the 77 per cent of the 2015 HRP funding was directed towards the Darfur states.

    As in 2014, the SHF conducted two allocation rounds during the year. In addition, the Reserve for Emergencies window was used to respond to rapid-onset crises including the displacement in North Darfur following conflict in Eastern Jebel Marra, displacement in East Darfur, the refugee influx in West Kordofan State and the viral haemorrhagic fever outbreak.

    Fund management In 2015, numerous consultation and evaluation processes were undertaken to ensure that the Sudan Humanitarian Fund would remain fit for purpose, including the 2011-2014 external evaluation, the first allocation after action review, and the in-country review process. All recommendations made were combined under three categories, namely strategy, governance and accountability, in a management response plan with proposed actions for the Sudan Humanitarian Fund. As a result, an Operational Manual including all SHF procedures and governance arrangements was drafted and discussed during the second half of 2015. Clear criteria were established for the Reserve for Emergencies and it was agreed that the Reserve for Emergencies would constitute 20 per cent of the incoming contributions of the fund to ensure a more dynamic and re-active funding mechanism. Besides Advisory Board meetings related to allocations and ad-hoc topics, bi-annual meetings to review the SHF operations were put in place, and the first bi-annual meeting took place in November 2015. The draft Operational Manual also introduced risk-based grant management in line with the Global Country-based Pooled Fund Handbook.

    This report provides a comprehensive overview of the results and challenges of the fund in 2015. It also identifies some recommendations for the coming cycle including speeding up SHF allocation and disbursement procedures to ensure the fund remains a timely and responsive financing instrument, and to increase the donor base to maintain or expand the contribution level.


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    Source: Caritas
    Country: Ethiopia

    Every day is a struggle to survive for Rahel, 34, and her family in Sebeya, a village in one of the worst drought-affected areas on the Ethiopian border with Eritrea. Her husband is a soldier and often away. She works as a farm labourer when she can find work to feed herself and her young daughters, Danait and Melat.

    “This last year has been the worst ever. I have little or no money coming into the house,” said Rahel. “There has been no rain, no harvest. The ground has remained a desert, offering us nothing.”

    Most Ethiopians rely on farming and cattle-herding to feed their families and make a living. But worsening drought, irregular rainfall and poor soil quality due to overgrazing and deforestation have had a devastating impact.

    Demand for aid has risen dramatically. More than 10.2 million people now need emergency food assistance, 1.2 million women and children need supplementary food aid, 400,000 children are suffering from severe malnutrition.

    Worse than 2011

    Caritas Ethiopia (the Catholic Secretariat of Ethiopia) is providing cash to a vulnerable households while offering cash-for-work projects, such as water tanks and dams, seed support and water and sanitation assistance.

    In a good harvest season, Rahel can earn somewhere between 250 to 300 Birr ($US11 – $13). This year her income has dropped to less than half that amount.“We are barely surviving,” said Rahel. “I must do everything I can to make sure we survive.”

    Rahel has made a little money selling eggs but has relied on support from Caritas. She has just taken part in a ‘cash-for-work’ scheme at a local dam which is collecting rainwater from mountain runoff for the community.

    She has trouble earning enough money to feed her children. “It’s the worst thing as a mother to see your child losing weight, getting skinny, it’s very depressing for me,” she said. “I can’t remember when we all last ate three meals a day.”

    Every child a meal at lunchtime

    Fr. Solomon, from the Adigrat Caritas diocesan office said, “We’re reaching the most vulnerable in communities with direct cash transfers and cash for work. We’re getting aid to where it is needed, but we’re doing it in such a way that it gives the person dignity.”

    “People don’t want to be dependent, but the severity of this drought has tested their coping strategies,” he said. “We know that if we can feed every child a meal at lunchtime, this is a reassuring outcome to many of the parents struggling to feed their children.”

    Only 1 percent of Ethiopia’s 96 million people are Catholic and the Catholic Church is one of the largest providers of health and education in the country after the government.

    Fr. Solomon said many of the 210 young pupils at the local parish’s Holy Trinity primary school, including Rahel’s daughter Danait, had been suffering from alarming levels of hunger until the church stepped in to feed children and stop them from dropping out of school.

    “Children can walk up to two hours to come to school, many of the children came without eating breakfast. They were hungry and not able to do their best in class.”

    We must save lives

    At school they now receive a bowl of maize and bean porridge, which not only gives them a meal but takes pressure off families who do not have enough to eat.

    Herit is a farmer in the village of Arato. Divorced from her husband, she has five children and the youngest – aged 15 and 9 years of age – live with her at home. The diocesan Caritas in Mekelle is providing her with food aid, as she has not been able to grow any crops this season to feed herself and her family.

    The cash transfer programme is a lifeline for Herit. The 477 Birr ($US22) she receives will enable her to feed her family.

    “If I did not get this assistance, me and my children would be dead here. Because I have been able to buy this food, my children are living and we are surviving,” she said.

    Elder Baraki Gebrai-Woldu, who has seen many droughts in Ethiopia in the past, said the latest is particularly severe as farmers have been unable to deliver a harvest for two seasons. “Not one farmer in the area has harvested a kilo of grain, not a husk for the cattle,” he said.

    Bridging the gap

    Shiferaw Mamo, humanitarian programme co-ordinator for the Catholic Secretariat of Ethiopia (Caritas Ethiopia), said the numbers of those in need is alarming. His office has been working with Catholic agencies co-ordinating a joint response to the emergency.

    “We are able to do this work because we come together with our Caritas brothers and sisters and work together. The sharing of skills, expertise, the solidarity shown towards us, gives us the ability to reach affected communities in the greatest need.”

    In 2011 Ethiopia and other countries in the East and Horn of Africa – namely Kenya and Somalia – were hit by a devastating drought. Shiferaw believes that the current drought Ethiopia is experiencing is even worse.

    “People simply haven’t been able to grow anything. Our work is to ‘bridge’ the gap, and simply make sure that people do not go hungry and have enough to eat in the coming weeks ahead,” he said.

    But Shiferaw is also concerned about the long-term implications of climate change and what it means for Ethiopia.

    “Pope Francis has instructed us, he has called on us to take care of our planet,” he said. The situation will just get worse if we don’t stop to think about the severity of climate change.”

    “We must save lives.”


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    Source: World Health Organization
    Country: Nigeria

    Maiduguri, 12 September 2016 - The World Health Organization (WHO) has supported the Borno State Ministry of Health (SMOH) to establish Early Warning Alert and Response System (EWARS) by training over 80 health professionals.

    EWARS is a WHO disease surveillance, alert and response initiative for early detection and containment of disease outbreaks in humanitarian emergency settings.

    The intervention follows WHO’s recent decision to substantively increase support towards addressing the health needs of the humanitarian emergency situation in Borno and three (3) other states in the North East of Nigeria.

    According to Dr Rex Mpazanje, the acting WHO Country Representative, over 3.7 million people are in dire need of urgent health assistance in the affected states of Borno, Adamawa, Yobe and Gombe.

    Consequently, one of the most immediate responses for WHO in this emergency is “that of setting up EWARS, to detect and facilitate rapid reaction to suspected disease outbreaks in internally displaced persons (IDPs) camps and host communities in Borno, Yobe, Adamawa and Gombe states,” Dr Mpazanje stated.

    “WHO has so far trained 33 Disease Surveillance and Notification Officers (DSNOs) and assistant DSNOs, 50 Surveillance Officers and Camp Coordinators from targeted health facilities in Maiduguri, Borno state and will train more health personnel in other states”, he added.

    For over six (6) years, the north eastern part of Nigeria faced insecurity that left most health facilities and infrastructure damaged, many health workers either killed or abducted while others fled to areas of safety. This negative fall-out has left millions of people with limited or no access to any basic primary health services, exposing them to risks of diseases and other health complications.

    The aim of EWARS is to strengthen and expand the existing national Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response (IDSR) system in an effort to reduce the number of cases and deaths due to epidemic prone diseases and other health conditions.

    In the first phase, a total of 56 health facilities and 16 IDP camps will be covered by EWARS in five (5) partially accessible local government areas (LGAs) of Maiduguri, Jere, Konduga, Mafa and Kaga. Through this, approximately, 1.2 million IDPs will be covered. The EWARS combines mortality and morbidity surveillance for a total of 17 diseases/health events including all those in the existing national Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response weekly reporting of diseases such as cerebrospinal meningitis, measles and cholera among others.

    WHO will also be assisting the SMOH in 16 LGAs to conduct an initial assessment of Health Resource Availability Monitoring System (HeRAMS) in all targeted health facilities in order to establish baseline indicators on the capacity of health facilities to deliver primary health care services to IDPs and host communities.

    The results of the assessment will be used to guide the SMOH and partners to appropriately deploy scarce resources and technical support.

    Meanwhile, the current rainy season coupled with overcrowding, poor living conditions lack of adequate nutrition have placed the IDPs in camps as well as host communities with heightened risk of communicable diseases, such as measles, acute watery diarrhoea and malaria.

    Technical contact:
    Dr Mary Stephen: +234 816 289 9789; Email: stephenm@who.int

    Media contacts:
    Ms Charity Warigon; Tel: +234 810 221 0093; Email: warigonc@who.int
    Ms. Pauline Ajello; Tel: +234 803 402 2388; Email: ajellopa@who.int


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Nigeria

    Abuja, Nigeria | AFP | Monday 9/19/2016 - 21:33 GMT

    Two suspected Boko Haram attacks in northeast Nigeria have left up to 14 people dead and three soldiers wounded, the army and local residents said on Monday.

    On Monday afternoon, six people were killed in an ambush of a commercial convoy escorted by the military in the Sanda district of Borno state.

    "Suspected elements of the remnants of Boko Haram terrorists who were foraging for food, ambushed troops... escorting commercial vehicles from Damboa to Maiduguri," said army spokesman Sani Usman.

    "Unfortunately, five civilians lost their lives at the incident and another died on the way to the hospital," he said.

    "Three soldiers also sustained injuries."

    Another attack took place on Sunday when eight people were killed outside a church by suspected Boko Haram gunmen on bicycles shortly after morning service in Kwamjilari village, about 30 kilometres (19 miles) east of the town of Chibok, in Borno state.

    "Some of the worshippers remained around the church and the gunmen opened fire and eight men died," said Luka Damina, from nearby Kautikeri village, where locals fled.

    The attackers set fire to homes and fields of maize that were almost ready for harvest, according to a local chief in Kautikeri, who also said eight people were killed.

    The army spokesman, however, disputed the facts saying only two people were killed "by Boko Haram suspects looking for food."

    The chief said soldiers were later deployed to Kwamjilari from Chibok -- the scene of a notorious kidnapping in 2014 when more than 200 schoolgirls were seized.

    A similar attack in the area last month left 10 people dead and saw 13 others kidnapped, while homes were looted and set on fire.

    Both raids bear the hallmarks of Boko Haram Islamists, who have frequently attacked villages, churches and mosques across northeast Nigeria and beyond since 2009.

    Nigeria's military maintains it now has the upper hand against the insurgents in a conflict that has left at least 20,000 dead and made more than 2.6 million people homeless.

    But such sporadic attacks underline the continuing difficulty in securing remote rural areas.

    abu-phz/boc/adp

    © 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse


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

    Nigeria’s north-east region is undergoing a humanitarian crisis due to prolonged conflict, continuous violence wrought on civilians by Boko Haram, and counter-insurgency measures to combat the terror. Over the last six years, more than 2 million people have fled towns and villages across Adamawa, Borno, Gobme and Yobe states as their homes and farms were razed to the ground. For the third consecutive year, fields remain unplanted, and hundreds of thousands of people are trapped in inaccessible areas without food, water and basic health services.

    People who managed to flee went towards Borno’s state capital, Maiduguri, and moved in with host families, placing a huge strain on the local population. The city’s population was once 1 million but now tops 2.4 million. This huge surge of people is comparable to the entire population of Sweden’s capital, Stockholm, fleeing to Denmark’s capital, Copenhagen.

    Read the full story here.


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    Source: Médecins Sans Frontières
    Country: Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Chad, Croatia, El Salvador, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Libya, Mexico, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, Serbia, Slovenia, Somalia, Syrian Arab Republic, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, World

    On September 19, United Nations (UN) member states came together to formulate a more “coordinated and humane approach to address large movements of refugees and migrants," according to the New York Declaration that was ratified today at the UN's Global Summit on Refugees and Migrants.

    Many of the right things were said before and during the summit, but it's the follow up, the actions taken, that will dictate how much those words mean for the more than 65 million people displaced globally—the most there have been since World War II. Many concerns have already been expressed. Based on what our teams are seeing while providing emergency medical care to displaced people the world over, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has its own as well. The declaration aims for “concrete results in 2018,” which may be too long for many to wait. And some of the same states that ratified the declaration have been implementing increasingly harsh, restrictive, and often inhumane policies around refugees and migrants. Will this change anything?

    And at all times, we must remember who we are talking about: men, women, and children who've been forced from their homes by war, privation, persecution, or some other crisis. Listed below are just some of the contexts in which MSF works, where the struggle to survive goes far beyond even the best intentions.

    SYRIAN REFUGEES IN THE BERM

    On June 21, in the name of national security, Jordan closed its northern border with Syria after a car bombing targeted a Jordanian military base near an area referred to as "The Berm." This left 75,000 people—four out of five of whom are women and children—stranded in the desert without assistance, with insufficient access to water, and with almost no access to food [in early August, UN agencies, using a crane, conducted a drop-off of food supplies intended to last one month]. The Berm is not a refugee camp, but rather an ad hoc settlement of people fleeing war where no one would choose to reside. No humanitarian aid organizations are currently able to provide assistance, meaning inhabitants of The Berm lack basic humanitarian services.

    From May 16 to June 21, MSF was able to access the population trapped at The Berm. MSF teams saw patients with chronic conditions and serious life threatening diseases—such as diabetes, heart conditions, cancer, and congenital abnormalities— all of which require medical care to keep the patients alive. Our teams conducted 3,501 consultations and treated more than 200 malnourished children [10 of whom were severely malnourished] and 450 pregnant women, some of whom were high risk pregnancies. One baby was delivered.

    The population is stuck in an extremely harsh environment without access to vital humanitarian assistance and still vulnerable to violence from Syria. The protection and the humanitarian and legal needs of the refugees must be the sole consideration for solving their isolated and dangerous living situation. The provision of humanitarian aid to The Berm must be allowed to resume, although the resumption of emergency aid is not a long-term solution, and leaving people to suffer in the desert is unacceptable.

    SOMALI REFUGEES IN DADAAB

    The sprawling Dadaab camp in Kenya is home to some 350,000 Somali refugees, making it the largest refugee camp in the world. Originally planned more than 20 years ago as a temporary camp, it has only expanded and suffered from lack of funding. Insecurity and violence have plagued the camp inhabitants.

    In November 2013, an agreement was signed by the governments of Kenya, Somalia, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to promote the voluntary repatriation of camp residents as security began to improve in Somalia. Few people chose to return to Somalia, however, because security remained shaky in many places and had actually deteriorated in others. Nonetheless, as the end of the three-year agreement approaches, the government of Kenya has communicated publicly that efforts will accelerate to return Dadaab residents to Somalia for “security, economic, and environmental reasons.”

    Despite repeated reports that the camp residents lack sufficient water, food, and shelter, participants in focus group discussions and a household survey conducted by MSF in August 2016 strongly indicated that they would prefer to remain in Dadaab where they feel more secure and have access to basic health services and education. Even though they are unable to live or move freely within the confines of the camp, most said they found Dadaab preferable to the instability, insecurity, and lack of basic amenities in Somalia.

    In the _New York Declaration_, governments declared that refugee camps must be an exception, rather than the rule, for managing refugee flows. While keeping hundreds of thousands of refugees in Dadaab is hardly a long-term solution, forcing them back to Somalia is inhumane and in violation of _non-refoulement_, a law that forbids refugees or asylum seekers from being forced to return to places where they are in danger.

    While it is evident that refugee camps are not ideal for managing prolonged refugee situations, closing them should not place people at greater risk. MSF strongly opposes the Kenyan government’s intention to close Dadaab. Without other feasible solutions, the closure of the camp means that refugees will be forced to return to Somalia, which holds dramatic and life-threatening consequences.

    REFUGEES AND MIGRANTS IN LIBYA

    Since the launch of search and rescue operations last year in the central Mediterranean Sea, MSF teams have saved more than 34,000 people from drowning and many other life-threatening situations. Regardless of their country of origin or their reasons for transport to European shores, almost everyone rescued in the central Mediterranean passed through Libya.

    And almost all of them reported witnessing or experiencing extreme violence against refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants in Libya including beatings, whippings with hoses, sexual violence, and killings. MSF medical teams onboard three rescue vessels in the Mediterranean continue to treat and bear witness to the consequences of physical and psychological violence inflicted on men, women, and growing numbers of unaccompanied children, some as young as 10 years old.

    Although it can be difficult to definitively identify mental trauma in the short period rescued people spend on MSF boats, MSF medics have seen countless examples of the abuse and brutality endured on the migratory route through Libya. They’ve seen, to cite a few examples, a man with a week-old infected machete wound on his forearm, a young woman with a perforated eardrum caused by repeated blows to the head, men with severe swelling from beatings to the groin, a man with a broken collarbone and extensive scarring on his back from lashings he received while in detention, and a man with shattered hand bones from being hit repeatedly with a Kalashnikov rifle. Women have reported being raped, forced into prostitution or kept in captivity as domestic servants. They’ve reported unwanted pregnancies, knocked out teeth, and hands burned in fires, among the many acts of abuse.

    THE MEDITERRANEAN CROSSING

    Already this year, 3,198 people have died attempting to reach Europe. The Central Mediterranean crossing, from Libya to Italy, is almost twice as deadly as it was last year. With seemingly no political will to provide safe and legal alternatives to the deadly sea crossing, the European Union and European government policies continue to eliminate the safest exit routes, leaving people no other choice but to resort to overcrowded boats headed for Europe by inexperienced guides.

    While the New York Declaration promises to strengthen search and rescue mechanisms at sea and on land, establishing safe and legal routes is the only way to end deaths at sea. In the meantime, MSF has repeatedly called for a dedicated and proactive search and rescue mechanism to complement efforts put in place by the Italian government in the Central Mediterranean.

    RECEPTION AND TRANSIT IN ITALY, GREECE AND THE BALKANS

    Two years into the widely identified European Refugee crisis, the situation in many parts of Europe continues to be both chaotic and inhumane. In the six months since the EU-Turkey deal— signed by the 28 EU member states—came into effect, the right to seek asylum within the EU has become dangerously restricted, with thousands of people stuck at borders, denied protection, and living in dire conditions with little hope for the future. 

    EU member states have approved an effort that violates the principle of _non-refoulement _by rejecting men, women and children_ _at borders in Bulgaria, Serbia, and Hungary without assessment of their protection needs. These people are then pushed back to inefficient asylum systems in Turkey, Serbia or Greece and forced to live in unsafe conditions.

    The progressive closure of the Balkan route through Macedonia, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Croatia, and Hungary has left  smugglers as the only option for transit within Europe. The militarization of these countries’ borders has led to a staggering increase in violence. MSF data show that nearly one-in-three patients attending MSF clinics in the Balkans report abuse and violence; this includes women and children. The situation became so acute at the end of August that MSF teams in Serbia were forced to refer some patients to hospitals due to the severity of their wounds. While smugglers are responsible for much of this violence, patients report that at least half is perpetrated by state authorities.

    Although the _New York Declaration_ promises to "ensure a people-centered, sensitive, humane, dignified, gender responsive and prompt reception for all persons arriving_,"_ the reality is that in all countries, the reception system is failing to adequately provide the necessary care and services for those who have fled their homes.

    To wit: More than 13,000 people remain stuck on Greek islands, crammed into spaces meant to house 7,450. The areas lack basic services including health care and water, as well as information and avenues to due process, which is causing tensions to rise.

    The mainland is not much better; the conditions in many of the camps are sub-standard and some were built with materials containing harmful substances like asbestos. Around one-quarter of MSF’s patients on mainland Greece exhibit symptoms of depression and anxiety. In Italy, increasing numbers of people are excluded by the formal reception system and live in appalling conditions in squats and makeshift camps where there is also very little access to health care and other basic services.

    The _New York Declaration_ promises that "the special needs of all people in vulnerable situations will be recognized." But both Greece and Italy are extremely unprepared to provide appropriate services to vulnerable groups. For example: more than 90 percent of the minors arriving in Italy are unaccompanied—some as young as 10 years old. Not only have these children experienced and witnessed horrific events on their journeys, but once they arrive in Italy, they are often detained or kept in closed reception centers instead of structures that cater to the specific needs of child trauma survivors. The situation is no better in Greece.

    Mental health services are rarely provided in Italy and Greece, and both countries lack adapted services for victims of torture or appropriate screening practices to locate the vulnerable. The reception systems in Italy, Greece, and the Balkans also fail to properly provide for survivors of sexual violence and people with disabilities or severe medical conditions.

    The MSF team in Serbia, for example, identified a young Afghan woman who had developed breast cancer. After a mastectomy in Greece she was unable to stay to complete her radiation and chemotherapy treatment; she later relapsed in Serbia, where she was living in squalid conditions without anything approaching sufficient medical care, waiting to cross the Hungarian border. Putting people with serious medical cases in this position infringes on their right to health care.

    Despite the promises of the _New York Declaration_ and the millions of Euros invested by the EU, people arriving in the European countries where MSF works do not find refuge. They are instead forced to endure more hardship: detention, violence, squalid living conditions, and a lack of access to basic services. European countries are collectively failing those they have promised to protect.

    FLEEING VIOLENCE IN THE LAKE CHAD REGION

    Some 2.6 million people have been forced to flee their homes in northeast Nigeria due to violent attacks perpetrated by Boko Haram and the military forces combating them. Civilians pay the price of extreme violence and are left with little means to cope and little hope to rebuild their lives.

    Some receive assistance in refugee camps while the majority live in precarious conditions in host communities where resources are already limited. Some have sought refuge or have been forcibly moved to locations where they are trapped and entirely reliant on outside assistance. High insecurity in these areas makes the provision of aid difficult, leaving people in dire conditions with unmet basic living and health care needs.

    MSF assists the displaced in a number of locations throughout Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, and Niger, where there is a worryingly high prevalence of epidemics and diseases related to poor living conditions, including waterborne illnesses and very high malnutrition rates.

    Violence and displacement exacerbate an already dire situation in a region suffering from poverty, extreme vulnerability, food insecurity, recurring outbreaks and an almost non-existing health system. People affected by the ongoing crisis are in urgent need of food, drinking water, shelter, health care, protection and education.

    Today, people are stranded with no certainty that they can go back to their homes or rebuild their lives in an environment where they can raise their children in safety.

    VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE AND ASYLUM SEEKERS FROM CENTRAL AMERICA IN MEXICO AND THE U.S.

    Every year, an estimated 300,000 people flee violence and poverty in El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala, and enter Mexico hoping to gain asylum in Mexico or transit onwards to the United States.

    The violence many of these people have experienced and fled is not unlike that in war zones around the world. Murders, kidnappings, threats, recruitment by non-state armed actors, extortion and forced disappearance are the daily burden of thousands who live in areas controlled by gangs and criminal groups. Sixteen percent of the NTCA patients cared for by MSF teams in Mexico mention direct attacks as the main reason for fleeing their country, while as much as 41 percent decided to leave after receiving individual threats.

    Populations from Central America entering illegally into Mexico are systematically exposed to further episodes of violence across the country. According to MSF data, 68 percent of the migrant population cared for by MSF teams reported being victims of violence during their transit toward the United States. One-third of the women had been sexually abused.

    The consequences of violence on mental health and the ability to reach out for assistance are striking: 47 percent of the victims report being psychologically affected by the violence they were subjected to or witnessed. A large majority of the migrants [59 percent] affected by violence did not seek any assistance during the transit through Mexico despite self-identified needs, mainly because of fear for their security, retaliation or deportation. There is no doubt that Mexican laws affording the right to health care of every individual in its territory—independent of their administrative status—is not respected in practice.

    Programa Frontera Sur [Mexico’s south border strategy], which was implemented in Mexico with the financial support of the United States, exposes victims of violence in Central America to additional dangers and systematically deprives this population of the asylum and protection mechanisms they need. Despite an already existing framework for refugee claims for victims of organized gangs, only 0.5 percent of people fleeing Honduras and El Salvador have been granted asylum status in Mexico. In 2015, the government of Mexico deported 150,000 people from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, a 44 percent spike from the previous year.

    The plight of those who reach the United States is equally worrying. Those caught by migration authorities who make an asylum claim are held in detention centers to await asylum hearings before a judge. Very few are granted passage.

    Despite legitimate fear for their lives, people from Central America fleeing violence are systematically deported from Mexico and the U.S. to their country of origin in what constitutes a violation of the principle of non-refoulement. Lack of access to healthcare, protection, and humanitarian assistance for the population fleeing violence in Central America must be regarded as a collective failure of the states in the region.

    ROHINGYA PEOPLE IN SOUTHEAST ASIA

    For years, Rohingya people in Myanmar have had no option but to use smugglers in order to flee persecution. As a stateless minority, there is no other way for them to leave the country, and although departures have fallen following a crackdown on smuggling networks, some continue to try.

    In Rakhine state, Rohingya people are subjected to severe movement restrictions, both those living in displacement camps and those living in their own villages, that severely limit their ability to access health care. Outside of displacement camps, MSF is one of their only options to access basic health care.

    Many Rohingya people have fled to Bangladesh, where up to half a million are currently living, but most do not have formal refugee status and instead exist in a kind of legal limbo. This makes it extremely difficult for them to access health facilities, support services or protection from exploitation.

    In recent years, many Rohingya people have fled from Myanmar and Bangladesh to other countries, especially to Malaysia but also to Indonesia and Thailand. Many Bangladeshis have also followed this route, seeing smugglers’ boats as their only viable option to improve their situation.

    When they make it to their desired destinations in the region, Rohingya asylum seekers face considerable difficulties. As these nations are not participants of the Refugee Convention, they have no way of gaining formal legal status as refugees, which in turn affects their ability to access health care and meet other needs, while exposing them to the risk of arrest and detention as well.


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    Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
    Country: Burkina Faso

    Agricultural Season 2016-2017: Satisfactory development of crops

    Key Messages

    • The spatiotemporal distribution of rain was satisfactory through the second dekad of September, and seasonal rainfall is generally average or below average (1981-2010). Despite some crops losses due to flooding (and attacks by caterpillars on maize in Kompienga, Sanmatenga, and Noumbiel), the state of crops indicates that harvests will be above the five year average.

    • The prospects for good harvests has driven some traders and producers to anticipate the destocking of reserves, strengthening grain availability and stabilizing prices of staple foods to consumers around the five year average of 172 CFA francs per kg of white maize and white sorghum and 196 CFA francs per kg of millet.

    • In the late lean season, poor households are consuming as in a normal year, at least two meals per day. The stability of grain prices is comparable to the five year average and the new harvests such as early millet, maize, yams, and cowpeas place them in Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity.


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

    HIGHLIGHTS

    • The World Humanitarian Day 2016 was celebrated three months after the World Humanitarian Summit held 23 and 24 May in Istanbul (Turkey).

    • The Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has allocated US$10 million in favour of those affected by the forgotten crisis in southern Chad.

    • The protection situation is increasingly worrisome in the Lac with incidents that threaten displaced people and host populations

    FIGURES

    Population 13.2 m

    Literacy rate 37.3

    GDP/capita US$2,021

    Life expectancy 50.7 yrs

    Under 5 mortality rate 150/1,000

    Maternal mortality rate 1,100/100,000

    Access to potable water 48.2%

    Returnees 93,000

    Refugees 388,339

    IDPs* (registered as of 01/09/2016)

    FUNDING

    567 million requested (US$) 24% funded

    A colourful 19th of August in Chad

    Renewed solidarity for those affected by crisis

    This year’s World Humanitarian Day (WHD) was special. It was celebrated about three months after the first World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, Turkey, and was an historic turning point that gave new guidelines for aid delivery worldwide. Participants to the summit adopted the Agenda for Humanity, which brings together five key guidelines (see OCHA Humanitarian bulletin May-June 2016), including the strengthening of global leadership to prevent and end conflict, upholding norms that safeguard humanity and switching from aid delivery to ending needs.

    The 2016 theme “One humanity” has enhanced awareness on the results of the World Humanitarian Summit. Thus humanitarian actors in Chad celebrated the WHD alongside local communities, people affected by crises and the authorities.

    Humanitarian actors, donors and the Government have amplified the voice of vulnerable people by calling for more engagement in addressing their urgent needs and favouring their empowerment. "It is painful to see that one in seven children dies before reaching five years or a woman in a hundred dies in childbirth due to lack of access to healthcare. During a recent visit to Lac, I was struck by the total lack of access to healthcare and medicine in some villages. It is the same for all basic social services: to Abougoudam, near Abéché, where I visited in early July, the children crowded around a well, the only water source in a twenty kilometre perimeter.

    Access to water is a major challenge in the country", the Humanitarian Coordinator,
    Stephen Tull deplored in his speech. Beside official speeches at the National Museum, a round-table on the future of humanitarian action in Chad gathered humanitarian partners, authorities and populations affected by crises, in order to discuss the implications of the World Summit humanitarian for Chad, as well as the necessary transformations of humanitarian work, which must in particular address the urgent needs while ensuring the empowerment of vulnerable populations. "If, in addition to facilitating our access to basic services, we can be granted support for agriculture, livestock, fisheries and small businesses, we would not need humanitarian assistance anymore", Cheikh Saleh, IDPs representative from Lac region said (he was invited to share the conclusion of a mini-summit organized in Baga-Sola by OCHA in May 2016 between IDPs, refugees and host communities. A strong advocacy was made in order to strengthen the capacity and role of local non-governmental organizations. Increased assistance via cash transfer and the promotion of social safety net programs were also discussed.

    The WHD has not only served to raising awareness of the results of the Istanbul Summit, but also to remember the basics of humanitarian aid: humanitarian principles. Thus, young Chadians from Gaoui, returnees from the Central African Republic joined their comrades from Maison de Quartier de Chagoua (a cultural centre in N’djamena) to paint a fresco depicting the humanitarian principles. This fresco, signed by participants on 19th August symbolizes the re-engagement of all for a more humane and humanitarian action based on the principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality and independence.
    Recognizing the media as agents of change, OCHA organized on 16 and 17 August, an exchange workshop with journalists on the theme "Journalism and Humanitarian Action”, in collaboration with UN agencies.

    With the aim of strengthening collaboration between the United Nations and the media, these exchanges have allowed journalists to improve their knowledge, especially on humanitarian action, humanitarian principles and techniques of writing articles on humanitarian issues.
    Moreover, an exhibition installed on the side-lines of the celebration ceremony at the Museum gathered photographs of several partners on humanitarian action and populations affected by crises in Chad, including portraits of participants to Baga-Sola Humanitarian mini-summit.


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

    FAITS SAILLANTS

    • La Journée Mondiale Humanitaire de 2016 a été célébrée environ trois mois après la tenue du Sommet Humanitaire Mondial les 23 et 24 mai à Istanbul (Turquie).

    • Le Fonds Central d’Intervention d’Urgence (CERF) a alloué 10 millions de dollars américains en faveur des personnes affectées par la crise oubliée du sud du Tchad.

    • La situation de protection est de plus en plus inquiétante dans la région du Lac avec des incidents qui exposent les personnes déplacées et des populations hôtes

    CHIFFRES CLÉS

    Population 13,2 m

    Taux d’alphabétisation 37,3%

    PIB/hbt 2 021US$

    Espérance de vie 50,7 ans

    Taux de mortalité des < 5 ans 150/1 000

    Taux mortalité maternelle 1 100 / 100 000

    Accès à l’eau potable 48,2%

    Retournés 93 000

    Réfugiés 388 339

    PDI (dont enregistrées au 1 er/09/2016) 109 605 (85 284)

    FINANCEMENTS

    567 millions fonds requis (en US$), 24% financés

    Un 19 août riche en couleurs au Tchad

    Solidarité renouvelée en faveur des populations affectées par les crises La Journée mondiale de l’aide humanitaire (JMAH) de cette année est particulière. Elle est célébrée environ trois mois après la tenue, à Istanbul, en Turquie, du premier Sommet mondial de l’humanitaire, un tournant historique qui a donné des orientations nouvelles à l’aide à travers le monde. En effet, les participants à ce sommet ont adopté le Programme d’action pour l’Humanité, qui regroupe cinq orientations clés (voire bulletin OCHA mai-juin 2016), entre autres, le renforcement d’un leadership mondial pour prévenir et mettre fin aux conflits, le respect des normes qui protègent l’humanité et le passage de l’assistance à l’élimination des besoins.

    Le thème de cette année « une seule humanité » a permis de renforcer la sensibilisation sur les résultats du Sommet Mondial de l’Humanitaire. C’est ainsi que les acteurs humanitaires du Tchad ont célébré cette Journée de l’aide humanitaire aux côtés des communautés locales, des personnes affectées par les crises et des autorités.

    Les acteurs humanitaires, les bailleurs de fonds et le Gouvernement ont porté haut la voix des personnes vulnérables en appelant à plus d’engagement dans la réponse à leurs besoins urgents ainsi qu’à leur autonomisation. «Il est douloureux de constater qu’un enfant sur sept meurt avant d’atteindre cinq ans ou qu’une femme sur cent meurt en couche, faute d’accès aux soins. Au cours d’une récente visite au Lac, j’ai été frappé de constater le manque total d’accès aux soins et aux médicaments dans certains villages. Il en est de même pour tous les services sociaux de base : à Abougoudam, à côté d’Abéché, où je me suis rendu début juillet, les enfants se pressaient autour d’un puit, le seul point d’eau à 20 kilomètres à la ronde.

    L’accès à l’eau est un défi majeur dans tout le pays », a déploré le Coordonnateur Humanitaire, Stephen Tull dans son discours.

    En dehors des discours des officiels au Musée national, une table ronde sur l’avenir de l’action humanitaire au Tchad a rassemblé partenaires humanitaires, autorités et populations affectées par les crises, afin d’échanger sur les implications du Sommet Mondial de l’Humanitaire pour le Tchad, ainsi que sur les transformations nécessaires du travail humanitaire, qui doit notamment répondre aux besoins urgents tout en assurant l’autonomisation des populations vulnérables. « Si, en plus de faciliter notre accès aux services de bases, nous pouvons avoir un appui à l’agriculture, l’élevage, la pêche et le petit commerce, nous n’aurions plus besoin de l’aide humanitaire», a déclaré Cheikh Saleh, représentant des personnes déplacées du Lac, venu pour partager les conclusions d’un mini-sommet de Baga-Sola organisé par OCHA en mai 2016 entre personnes déplacées, réfugiées et communautés hôtes. Un plaidoyer fort a été fait en vue du renforcement des capacités et du rôle des organisations non-gouvernementales locales. L’intensification de l’assistance via transferts monétaires et la promotion des programmes de filets sociaux ont été discutées.

    La Journée Mondiale de l’Aide humanitaire a non seulement servi à mener une sensibilisation sur les résultats du sommet d’Istanbul, mais aussi à rappeler les bases de l’aide humanitaire : les principes humanitaires. C’est ainsi que les jeunes Tchadiens de Gaoui, retournés de la Centrafrique se sont joints à leurs camarades de la Maison de quartier de Chagoua (N’Djamena) pour réaliser une fresque illustrant les principes humanitaires.

    Cette fresque, signée par les participants à la Journée du 19 août, symbolise le réengagement de tous en faveur d’un monde plus humain et d’une action humanitaire basée sur les principes d’humanité, d’impartialité, de neutralité et d’indépendance.

    Reconnaissant les médias comme des vecteurs de changement, OCHA, en collaboration avec les Agences des Nations Unies, a organisé, les 16 et 17 août, un atelier d’échanges avec les journalistes sur le thème « Journalisme et Action humanitaire ». Visant le renforcement de la collaboration entre les Nations Unies et les médias, ces échanges ont permis aux journalistes d’améliorer leurs connaissances notamment sur l’action humanitaire, les principes humanitaires et les techniques de rédaction d’articles à sujets humanitaires.

    Par ailleurs, une exposition installée en marge de la cérémonie de célébration, au Musée, a rassemblé les photographies de plusieurs partenaires sur l’action humanitaire et les populations affectées par les crises au Tchad, y compris des portraits des participants au mini-Sommet de l’Humanitaire de Baga-Sola.


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