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ReliefWeb - Updates

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    Source: World Health Organization, Government of Nigeria
    Country: Nigeria


     FHI360, through the PEPFAR/USAID funded Strengthening Integrated Delivery of HIV and AIDS Services (SIDHAS), supported the Borno State Government with laboratory equipment, reagents, medical consumables and national monitoring and evaluation tools to strengthen provision of comprehensive HIV/AIDS services in 10 hospitals in seven LGAs and 15 IDP camps in Maiduguri City Municipality (MCM).

     The World Health Organization (WHO) through the State Ministry of Health delivered essential medicines and medical supplies to Mafa and Dikwa IDP camps, two of the 15 areas liberated this year. The supplies are sufficient to treat 15,000 people for three months.

     UNFPA has established mobile outreach teams to deliver sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services for communities in newly liberated areas in Borno State that have limited or no available primary health care services.

     UNICEF procured and distributed 20 Passive Vaccine Storage Devices (ARKTEK) to newly liberated LGAs of Monguno, Bama, Gwoza,
    Dikwa, Kukawa, Ngala and Kalabalge.

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    Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
    Country: Central African Republic, Côte d'Ivoire, Mali, Mauritania, Syrian Arab Republic


    • Since August, UNHCR observed a new wave of arrivals from northern Mali, which progressively increased to reach a peak between end of September and early October, when more than 300 people arrived in less than two weeks. This represents a fourfold increase compared to the total number of new arrivals over the last 8 months. In total, UNHCR registered 394 people between August and early October. While influxes keep occurring, new arrivals are assisted with emergency food, shelter and basic items.

    • There is an urgent need to replace shelter and latrines – 50% of latrines in Mbera camp will reach their maximum storage capacity by the end of 2016. This is particularly crucial considering the unstable situation in northern Mali, with unlikely massive return and recent waves of arrivals to the camp.

    • On 30 September 2016, the UNHCR-Mali-Mauritania Tripartite Commission held its first meeting in Bamako. The Tripartite Agreement framework offers a platform for discussion to ensure safe conditions of return for refugees and safe conditions of asylum while in the host country.

    Operational Context

    In collaboration with the Mauritanian Government who has kept its borders open to new influxes, UN organizations and national and international NGOs, UNHCR continues to lead the humanitarian response for 42,096 Malian refugees in Mbera camp. In addition, the organization ensures the protection and assistance of 1,453 urban refugees and 388 asylum seekers, mainly from the Central African Republic, Syria and Côte d’Ivoire.

    UNHCR works closely with Mauritanian authorities to enhance the protection space for refugees and asylum seekers in Mauritania, notably through the development and implementation of a national asylum law and system. Pending the adoption of a national refugee legislation, UNHCR advocates for further integration of refugees by improving access to basic services, such as health, economic opportunities but also to documentation and birth registration.

    The majority of Malian refugees living in Mbera camp arrived in 2012: violent clashes in north Mali triggered important waves of displacements into Mauritania, where a refugee camp was established 50 Km from the Malian border in the Hodh el Charghi region. Following the military intervention in northern Mali in January 2013, new influxes of Malian refugees were accommodated in Mbera camp.

    On 16 June 2016, Mauritania, Mali and UNHCR signed a Tripartite Agreement to facilitate the voluntary repatriation of Malian refugees. The tripartite agreement reiterates the voluntary nature of repatriation and reconfirms the commitments of the Mauritanian and Malian states to protect refugees. However, despite the signing of a peace agreement in Mali in June 2015 and the voluntary return of more than 1,800 refugees from Mbera camp so far in 2016, the security conditions in northern Mali remain volatile. Large-scale returns of refugees are therefore not yet envisaged and UNHCR and its partners maintain their presence in Bassikounou to sustain the humanitarian response in Mbera Camp where some 500 new arrivals from Mali have been registered in 2016.

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    Source: World Food Programme, Logistics Cluster
    Country: South Sudan

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    Source: International Organization for Migration, World Vision, Shelter Cluster
    Country: South Sudan


    • As a result of the recent fighting in multiple locations across the country, mainly in Greater Equatoria and Greater Barh El Gazal, the population within the UN bases, NGOs and other collective centers have significantly increased. The cluster partners continue work to support those displaced population with shelter and basic household items under the modality of mobile teams being supported by pipeline supplies.

    • In order to include the new humanitarian needs in Greater Equatoria and Western Bahr El Gazal, which were not accounted in the 2016 Humanitarian Response Plan, the Inter-Cluster Working Group agreed on adjusting appeal by increasing the Population Targeted and Population In Need (figures updated in the snapshot below).

    • Continued food insecurity, dysfunctional markets, impossibility to harvest due to security and lack of livelihood opportunities remain the key displacement factors towards locations were security situation is conducive enough for humanitarian partners to provide services.


    • In 2016, Cluster partners have reached 126,140 households with NFI and 43,101 households with shelter materials. These represent 41% and 53% of respective target in Revised Cluster Response Plan (CRP) 2016.

    • The cluster partners worked and are working cooperatively to respond with shelter and NFI interventions in all these locations where access was guaranteed and needs justified.

    • Partners in static field locations continue to conduct in-depth assessments to determine how S-NFI assistance can address varied and longer term needs within communities resettling themselves after displacement.


    • The government keeps hindering access to many of the locations controlled by the opposition or by third parties, even though humanitarian needs in these locations are recorded as very dire.
    • Tax exemptions for humanitarian supplies (i.e. pipeline items) are being granted with delays of 3 to 4 months, challenging the replenishment of the pipelines.

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    Source: World Food Programme
    Country: Niger

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

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    Source: UN Development Programme
    Country: Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Haiti, Mali, Niger, Sudan

    Women and men access, use, and benefit from water differently; yet due to existing gender disparities, their relationship to water is often unequal.

    In many households, women are the primary users and managers of water for domestic activities, including cooking, cleaning, subsistence agriculture, health and sanitation; men primarily use water resources for income-generating activities such as irrigation for cash crops or supporting livestock.

    These inequalities are being further exacerbated, as climate change is causing increased water scarcity and uncertainty, more extreme flooding and droughts, and polluted freshwater resources.


    With support from the Government of Canada under the Canada-UNDP Climate Change Adaptation Facility (CCAF), and the Global Environment Facility’s Least Developed Countries Fund, six countries are implementing climate-resilient water management measures as a means of adapting to these climate change impacts.

    Working in Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Haiti, Mali, Niger and Sudan, context-specific adaptation strategies implemented by CCAF are addressing the impacts of climate change on water resources in three ways:

    1) Water for drinking and domestic use: This includes individual water storage tanks, installing water networks connecting homes to water sources, solar-powered pumps, drilling of tube-wells, and construction or rehabilitation of open wells and reservoirs.

    2) Water sources for watering small-scale vegetable gardens: This includes individual home gardens (Cambodia, Cabo Verde, Haiti) and collective gardening plots (Niger, Mali, Sudan);

    3) Water for irrigating agriculture: This includes collective ponds for watering crops, rehabilitation of small-scale irrigation infrastructure (small dams, check dams, water reservoirs and channels), and installation of drip irrigation systems.


    In implementing these adaptation solutions, an explicit effort has been made to address the underlying gender dynamics in each country. This means ensuring that the benefits equally reach men, women and children.

    Oftentimes these benefits are measured in men’s terms – i.e. improving agricultural irrigation which results in better crop production and higher income levels. However, with the right interventions, there are many benefits that target women and children as well.

    Improving water access and governance often leads to improved hygiene, fewer diseases, and improved safety and education of children. A specific benefit of improved water access is a reduced workload for women and girls, providing more time for other more productive things. In sub-Saharan regions, women may save up to three hours of daily work when water is available near their homes in the dry season.


    During periods of water scarcity, conflicts over water occur frequently both at household and community levels. These conflicts often have a gender dimension, given the difference in men and women’s uses of water, their roles in society, and their power structures. Communities do not always have the mechanisms in place to equitably distribute water and address these conflicts.

    In times of water scarcity tensions can run high.

    In Cabo Verde, Ms. Filomena F., a woman from Órgãos Pequeno, Santiago Island, explains: “In my village, June-July is when we face water scarcity; in that period, men go at night to take water for irrigation, so when women go out in the morning to get water for the house, there’s no more water in the reservoir. This creates a lot of tension!”

    Under the CCAF project in Cabo Verde, impressive networks of water reservoirs and canals have been developed to increase access to water for irrigation. To avoid reinforcing existing gender inequalities in water access, monitoring mechanisms were put in place to ensure that women enjoy equal access to the new system.

    In all 6 CCAF projects improved access to water has reduced tensions at the household level and has had a positive impact on gender relations and family well-being.


    Women’s participation and leadership on water management is imperative for ensuring equitable water access. CCAF activities therefore complemented new water infrastructure with active support in the creation of water management groups,. With women as equal and active participants, these mechanisms can support equal distribution and use while also leading to significant positive changes in gender dynamics at the household level.

    In Cambodia, the CCAF activities sought to increase women’s leadership and participation in local water management committees. In 2014, efforts to support the election of women to formal positions in these groups meant that 55 percent of villages had at least two (sometimes three) out of three group leaders who were women. By 2015, the target goal of 40 percent female membership was met.

    In order for women to exert influence over decision-making and to contribute substantially to adaptation action it is imperative that they are able to actively participate in the groups formed at local or regional levels. Supporting women’s participation in groups is a long-term investment.


    Enhancing water access and management does not, in and of itself, build gender equity or advance gender equality. However, it contributes to reducing women’s workload, and when coupled with gender-sensitive approaches that ensure equitable water access and management, the provision of water can also influence gender power dynamics.

    All six CCAF projects have worked to strengthen resilient access to water, taking a proactive approach to ensuring equitable water access and management - improving the overall health and well-being of entire families. More specific examples and experiences are explored in the new publication Filling Buckets, Fuelling Change: Ensuring Gender-Responsive Climate Change Adaptation. The publication provides highlights specific inputs, resources and partnerships needed to design and implement effective gender-responsive approaches.

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


    • The Diffa region continues to be affected by the ongoing crisis in northeast Nigeria, but in the month of August there was a decrease in attacks. An attack on villages near Nguigmi has caused new displacements towards Toumour. According to recently released official figures, the Diffa region is currently hosting an estimated 302,000 displaced people, including Nigerian refugees and returnees, and internally displaced persons.

    • In August, UNICEF and its partners, with funding from ECHO; CERF and Australia, provided access to safe water to additional 18,766 people in Diffa through the Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM) project.

    • 2,378 measles cases were reported at the end of August in Niger. Nationwide 9,035 children (9ms - 14ys) have been vaccinated. The last vaccination campaign was carried out in Toumour (Diffa Region).

    • Following the 2 new cases of wild polio virus (WPV) in Borno State, Nigeria, a sub-regional vaccination campaign was initiated and will include 5 rounds.

    • In August new suspected cases of Rift Valley fever were registered in Niger, in the region of Tahoua. Investigations conducted after the alert confirmed the outbreak. At the end of August, the fever had affected several animals and 22 humans, with 16 people dead, mostly within nomadic communities. An investigation mission was conducted at the end of August and several partners were alerted to support the regional health directorate for the treatment of cases.

    • Floods continued to affect several regions in Niger in August. UNICEF supported the government for the provision of NFI assistance to affected populations. Kits were distributed to 2,540 households (almost 18,000 people), bringing the overall NFI assistance to over 23,000 floods-affected people (3,390 households). Where necessary, water treatment tablets where also distributed and support provided for the rehabilitation of affected wells.

    • As of the end of August, a total of 215,945 under-5 children suffering from SAM have been admitted to the health centers. A SMART nutrition survey and infant and young child feeding (IYCF) assessment were organized in the IDP sites of Assaga, Boudouri, Garin Wazam, Guidan Kadji, Kitchendi, Ngagam, Nguigmi and Toumour.

    Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs

    A number of simultaneous crises continue to have a major impact on the humanitarian situation in Niger in 2016. This includes: displacement caused by insecurity, and increased attacks, outbreaks and epidemics of measles, food insecurity and spikes in malnutrition and natural catastrophies, including floods. The humanitarian needs are growing, particularly in the regions affected by the sharp increase of malnutrition rates and natural disasters, notably floods. In the Diffa region, after the crisis of early June and the increased security measures, displacement has decreased, but the vulnerability and needs of affected populations, particularly in terms of shelter, food and sanitation remain high.

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

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

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    Source: World Food Programme
    Country: Niger

    Points Clés:

    La situation alimentaire s’est améliorée à Diffa. En Août 2016, 73% des ménages ont eu une consommation alimentaire acceptable contre 16% en Juin 2016. Cette diminution peut être expliquée par la diminution du déplacement et l'augmentation des ménages qui ont reçu une aide ali-mentaire par rapport à Juin.

    Seulement 26% des ménages ont eu recours à des stratégies d’adaptation.

    Relative stabilité des prix des principales denrées alimentaires par rap-port aux mois de juin et juillet 2016. Les niveaux atteints en Août res-tent cependant supérieurs à ceux de 2015 mais demeurent toujours inférieurs à la moyenne des cinq dernières années.

    Mise à jour de la situation

    Au début du mois de Juin 2016, la situation sécuritaire s’est considérablement dégradée dans la région de Diffa et plus particulièrement dans le département de Bosso, suite à une série d’attaques perpétrées par Boko Haram. Cette nouvelle crise aurait occasionné le déplacement forcé de près de 40,000 personnes et la suspension des distributions pour des raisons de sécurité. Par conséquent, la situation alimentaire à Diffa s’est globalement détériorée en Juin. Depuis l’attaque de Juin il n’y a pas eu d’incidents majeurs qui auraient pu bouleverser la situation.

    En Juillet et Août, le PAM a poursuivi son assistance alimentaire, ce qui a eu un effet positif sur la situation alimentaire dans la région de Diffa. En effet, la proportion des ménages ayant une consommation alimentaire pauvre est passée de 44% en Juin à 4% en Août. La proportion des ménages ayant une diversité alimentaire moyenne ou forte est également passée de 18% à 63% entre Juin et Août 2016. Par ailleurs, en Août, les ménages ont utilisé moins de stratégies d’adaptation pour obtenir de la nourriture par rapport à Juin (en baisse de 33 points).

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    Source: European Commission
    Country: Burkina Faso

    European Commission - Press release

    Brussels, 13 October 2016

    Neven Mimica, Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, will today sign off a commitment, on behalf of the European Commission, to provide aid worth €84 million to the people of Burkina Faso.

    A sum of €80 million will go towards improving access to healthcare for mothers and children and a further €4 million will be earmarked for civil society in the health sector in Burkina Faso. The aid, in the form of budget support, will be signed off by Commissioner Mimica and Burkina Faso's Minister of the Economy, Finance and Development, Ms Sori Coulibaly, in the presence of Burkina Faso's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alpha Barry.

    Commissioner Mimica made the following statement: ‘We know that sustainable development and growth are impossible without a healthy population. The EU is therefore reaffirming its commitment to the national authorities to support extending healthcare coverage to the entire population. Specifically, we aim to safeguard access to care for children and pregnant women. Much remains to be done, but the results achieved in the last few years in maternal and child health in Burkina Faso are encouraging. This new European support should help to reinforce this positive trend for the country's vital human resources.'

    The budget support provided by the EU will help to fund the pilot phase of the universal health insurance scheme. It will help the government, as part of its health sector reform, to fund investment in under-performing health districts, buy therapeutic food for malnourished children and ensure that children and pregnant women continue to be exempt from charges. Institutional support will also ensure improvements in the quality of care and the efficient use of the resources available. Research groups will produce empirical evidence to support decision-making, and civil society organisations will provide information about how the quality of health services is perceived.


    In the last two years Burkina Faso has achieved a remarkable and peaceful process of democratic transition. Nevertheless, the country has emerged from this process economically weaker, making it more difficult to implement programmes aimed at improving people's lives. Against this background, the EU first supported the country's stabilisation under a State-building contract for 2015-2016 (€120 million). The EU is now seeking to provide the government with the means to respond to its people's social needs.

    Burkina Faso will receive €623 million from the 11th European Development Fund covering the period 2014-2020. The three focal sectors are: good governance (€325 million), health (€80 million) and food security, sustainable agriculture and water (€190 million). Support for civil society will receive €21 million and €7 million will go to accompanying measures.

    Significant progress was made in the area of public health between 2000 and 2015. Infant and maternal mortality rates remain high, but infant and child mortality fell by 50% between 2000 and 2015, malnutrition fell by 20% between 2013 and 2015, and the use of contraception doubled in the same period. This is due to improved physical and financial access to basic health services. Burkina Faso also recently adopted a law on health insurance. It faces two major challenges, i.e. reducing disparities in performance between regions and improving the quality of care.

    The budget support will help the government, during the pilot phase of the universal health insurance scheme, to correct geographical disparities by investing in under-performing health districts.

    For more information

    Website of Commissioner Neven Mimica:

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    Source: European Commission
    Country: Burkina Faso

    Commission européenne - Communiqué de presse

    Bruxelles, le 13 octobre 2016

    M. Neven Mimica, Commissaire pour la coopération internationale et le développement, va signer aujourd'hui au nom de la Commission européenne l'octroi d'un important soutien de 84 millions d'euros à la population du Burkina-Faso.

    Une enveloppe de 80 millions d'euros est destinée à financer un meilleur accès aux soins de santé des mères et des enfants, et sera accompagnée d'une aide de 4 millions d'euros à la société civile travaillant dans le secteur de la santé au Burkina-Faso.

    La signature du soutien, qui prendra la forme d'un appui budgétaire, aura lieu entre le commissaire M. Mimica et la Ministre de l'Economie, des Finances et du Développement de Burkina-Faso, Mme Sori Coulibaly en présence du Ministre des Affaires Étrangères du Burkina Faso Alpha Barry.

    Le Commissaire Mimica a fait la déclaration suivante: "Parce que nous savons qu'il n'y pas de développement durable et de croissance sans une population en bonne santé, l'UE confirme son engagement auprès des autorités nationales pour soutenir l'extension de la couverture santé à toute la population. Il s'agit tout particulièrement de pérenniser l'accès aux soins des enfants et des femmes enceintes. Beaucoup reste à faire, mais les résultats obtenus ces dernières années auprès des enfants et des mères burkinabè sont encourageants; ce nouvel appui européen devrait permettre de renforcer cette dynamique positive pour les forces vives du pays".

    L'appui budgétaire fourni par l'UE permettra de soutenir la phase pilote de l'assurance maladie universelle. Elle aidera le gouvernement dans sa réforme du secteur de la santé à financer des investissements dans des districts sanitaires à faible performance, à acquérir des aliments thérapeutiques pour les enfants mal nourris et à garantir la poursuite des exemptions de paiement pour les enfants et femmes enceintes. Un appui institutionnel permettra aussi d'améliorer la qualité des soins et l'utilisation efficiente des ressources disponibles.

    Des unités de recherche vont produire des données factuelles en aide à la décision et des organisations de société civile fourniront des informations sur la qualité perçue des services de santé.


    Au cours de deux dernières années, le Burkina-Faso a réussi un remarquable processus de transition démocratique pacifique. Cependant, le pays s'en est sorti économiquement affaibli, ce qui a mis en difficulté la réalisation des programmes destinés à améliorer la vie de la population. Dans ce contexte, l'UE a tout d'abord soutenu la stabilisation du pays dans le cadre d'un contrat d'appui à la consolidation de l'État (120 millions d'euros) pour la période 2015-2016. A présent, l'UE vise la mise à disposition du gouvernement des moyens de répondre aux besoins sociaux de ses citoyens.

    Le Burkina-Faso reçoit 623 millions d'euros du 11ème Fonds européen de développement pour la période 2014-2020. Les trois secteurs prioritaires sont: la bonne gouvernance avec 325 millions d'euros, la santé avec 80 millions d'euros et la sécurité alimentaire, l'agriculture durable et l'eau pour 190 millions d'euros. Le soutien à la société civile bénéficiera de 21 millions et 7 millions iront à des mesures d'accompagnement.

    Dans le domaine de la santé de la population, des progrès importants ont été accomplis entre 2000 et 2015. Les taux de mortalité infantile et maternelle sont toujours élevés mais la mortalité infantile et juvénile a chuté d'environ 50% entre 2000 et 2015 alors que la malnutrition a diminué de 20% de 2013 à 2015 et l'utilisation de contraceptifs a doublé sur la même période. Ceci est dû à l'amélioration de l'accès physique et financier aux services de santé de base. Le Burkina-Faso a aussi adopté récemment une loi sur l'assurance maladie. Deux grands défis à relever seront la réduction des écarts de performance entre les régions et l'amélioration de la qualité des soins.

    L'appui budgétaire permettra, à travers la phase pilote de l'assurance maladie universelle, d'aider le gouvernement à corriger ces différences géographiques par le biais d' investissements dans des districts sanitaires moins performants.

    Pour en savoir plus

    Site web du commissaire Neven Mimica:

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    Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
    Country: Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger


    Urban refugee children received financial assistance to access primary school education.

    Returned refugees, IDPs, IDP returnees and host community members received vouchers to support their agricultural activities in Mopti region.

    Classrooms located in zones of return were restored in the districts of Timbuktu and Goundam to help children return to school.


    USD 49.2 million
    requested for the operation


    • 850 Malian IDP returnee households targeted to receive adequate and durable shelter

    • 6,000 Malian refugee returnees targeted to receive a one-time cash-based assistance

    • 2,500 Mauritanian refugees and local community members targeted to receive improved access to potable water

    • 1,000 refugee children targeted to receive educational support


    • On 30 September, UNHCR participated in the inaugural meeting of the Tripartite Commission between the Republic of Mali, the Islamic Republic of Mauritania and UNHCR on the voluntary return of Malian refugees living in Mauritania. The meeting adopted the rules of procedure and put in place a technical working group.

    • UNHCR’s partner, Association Malienne pour la Survie du Sahel (AMSS), identified 58 protection incidents in the regions of Gao and Timbucktu. Five survivors of sexual violence were referred to partners for psycho-social and medical support.

    • 19 sensitization campaigns on social cohesion and peaceful coexistence organized by UNHCR’s partner, AMSS, reached 450 returnees and host community members in the regions of Gao and Timbuktu.

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    Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
    Country: Mali, Niger, Nigeria


    Displaced persons in the Diffa region: estimates published in September by the Niger authorities with the support of UNHCR

    Malian refugee households received mosquito nets in Mangaize camp in September to minimize the risk of malaria

    Vulnerable displaced and host families received gas bottles for domestic energy in the Diffa region in 2016

    Newly arrived Malian refugees between January and the start of September 2016



    • Nigeria situation: From the 31st of August to the 2nd of September, the Deputy Representative of UNHCR, the Deputy Representative of UNICEF and the Country Director of IRC carried out a joint mission to Diffa. The mission was to discuss synergizing the efforts of the three organizations as regards to the provision of a coordinated protection response. UNHCR have recruited additional Protection experts to strengthen the community based protection mechanism in the Diffa region.

    • Mali situation: From 16 to 17th September the Burkina Faso National Commission for refugees visited the Malian refugee camps of Tillabery region to exchange and learn about the innovative actions of the Niger Commission for Civil Status and Refugees, supported by UNHCR. This is part of the overall UNHCR Regional Response to the Mali Situation.


    • Mali situation: UNHCR awarded the annual prestigious DAFI scholarships to refugees in the region during the month of September. Of 11 refugee students selected in the region, 4 were selected from Niger. This includes 3 Malian refugees living in Tabarybarey and Abala camps and Niamey, and 1 Nigerian refugee living in Diffa. All of the students will be supported to undertake third level studies in the University of Tahoua, with whom UNHCR Niger recently signed a MoU with the aim of supporting tertiary education for refugees in Niger.

    • Nigeria situation: Of 69 Nigerian students (40 BECE – junior cycle, 29 SSCE – senior cycle) who travelled to Kano in Nigeria in April and May to complete their end of year exams, as part of the UNHCR supported Distance Education Programme, 87% passed their exams on the first attempt. The remaining students will travel again to Nigeria in October and November to repeat the exams.


    • Nigeria situation: 20,000 mosquito are being distributed inside and outside of the camps in the Diffa region in an effort to minimize cases of malaria. The fourth polio vaccination campaign this year is currently underway in the Diffa region. At the beginning of September, the cumulative vaccination coverage rate for the Diffa region was 108%.


    • Nigeria situation: On the 22nd of September a regional workshop was held in Diffa in the Framework of the preparation of the Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) and Nigeria Regional Refugee Response Plan (RRRP) processes by UNHCR and OCHA. Representatives of the national authorities from the various Regional Directorates, as well as UN agencies, INGO and NGOs participated. The workshop was facilitated by OCHA and UNHCR. The results will feed into the national validation workshop which will be held in October in Niamey.

    Livelihoods and Self-Reliance

    • Mali situation: In preparation for the roll out of Targeted Cash Assistance in 2 of the 5 Malian refugee camps / hosting areas in January, WFP and UNHCR have completed surveys and enumeration of 2,958 households, in addition to carrying out 17 focus group discussions with refugee representatives and numerous sensitization and community outreach sessions. A complaints mechanism has been established, while final steps in terms of the identification of a mobile money provider is under way. A Cash and Learning Partnership (CaLP) study carried out in Mangaize camp earlier in the year revealed that cash assistance was having a positive impact on the local economy, whilst refugees expressed overwhelming preference for cash rather than in-kind assistance.

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

    One morning more than two years ago, Boko Haram insurgents suddenly entered Ganza town in Borno State, north-eastern Nigeria. Hajja Kolo Bulama was at home with her three-year-old son preparing the family breakfast. Her husband was at the market, and their two older children were already out of the house.

    When Kolo realised what was happening, she grabbed her youngest child and fled as the insurgents plundered, looted, killed and razed the village to the ground. No home was left untouched, and people lost everything they owned as flames destroyed their homes.

    Kolo and the rest of Ganza began a six-hour trek to Maiduguri, Borno State’s capital. It once had a population of 1 million, but this number has swollen to 2 million due to similar Boko Haram attacks in other villages and towns.

    Read the story here.

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    Source: European Commission's Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations
    Country: Chad

    According to latest information, the nutritional situation of children under five remains alarming as compared to the situation a year ago. The rate of Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) has exceeded the emergency level of 2% in 10 out of 23 regions in the country, and Moderate Acute Malnutrition (MAM) has increased to 9.3% (8.9% in 2015). There has also been an increase in the number of admissions to the nutritional therapeutic wards in the Sahelian belt of Chad from January to August 2016 as compared to the same period last year.

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    Source: UN Children's Fund
    Country: Nigeria

    Chibok girls’ family reunions highlight plight of thousands of girls held by Boko Haram

    ABUJA, 18 October 2016 – The emotional reunification with their families on Sunday of 21 of the girls kidnapped by Boko Haram more than two years ago in Chibok, northeast Nigeria, highlights the need for intensive support for women and girls who have been held by the group.

    “The release is great news and we are delighted to see the girls back with their families, but we must keep pressing for all the women and children held by Boko Haram to be freed,” said Gianfranco Rotigliano, Representative of UNICEF Nigeria a.i. “And we must bear in mind that all of those who have been held by Boko Haram will face a long and difficult process to rebuild their lives after the indescribable trauma they have suffered.”

    The more than 200 Chibok girls abducted by Boko Haram in April 2014 are among thousands of women and girls that UNICEF estimates have been held and subjected to violence by the group.

    UNICEF has supported hundreds of women and girls who have already been released or escaped from Boko Haram.

    The girls report they have been subjected to rape – frequently in the form of forced “marriages” – beatings, intimidation and starvation during their captivity. Many returned pregnant or with babies as a result of rape.

    When they do reach safety, girls who have been held by Boko Haram are often ill, malnourished, traumatized and exhausted; they are in need of medical attention and psychosocial support so they can begin to come to terms with their experiences and reintegrate with their families and communities.

    Frequently, returning to their families and communities is the beginning of a new ordeal for the girls, as the sexual violence they have suffered often results in stigmatization. People are also often afraid the girls have been indoctrinated by Boko Haram and that they pose a threat to their communities. The use by Boko Haram of children – mostly girls – as so called ‘suicide’ bombers has fuelled such fears. Children born as a result of the sexual violence are at even greater risk of rejection, abandonment and violence.

    Since January, UNICEF and its partner International Alert have been providing psychosocial support for women and girls who have experienced sexual violence at the hands of Boko Haram. UNICEF and International Alert are also working with affected communities through a network of trained religious and community leaders to promote acceptance and to address negative perceptions that hamper the reintegration of women and girls who have suffered such violence.

    Funding from the Swedish International Development Agency and the UK Department for International Development has so far this year enabled UNICEF to provide a comprehensive programme of reintegration assistance to more than 750 women and girls subjected to Boko Haram-related sexual violence.

    With such large numbers of women and girls having been held by the group, however, the long-term provision of much-needed support remains heavily underfunded.

    For more information, please contact:

    Doune Porter, UNICEF Abuja, Tel: +234 803 525 0273,

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    Source: UN Human Rights Council
    Country: Nigeria

    GENEVA (18 October 2016) – A group of United Nations human rights experts today welcomed the release of 21 Chibok girls from Boko Haram captivity, and called on all Nigerians to fully support their immediate reintegration and rehabilitation.

    “While we commend the Nigerian authorities for the successful outcome of these negotiations, all institutions, together with the released girls’ communities and families must stand strong to support them in their recovery and reintegration and protect them from stigma, ostracisation and rejection,” said the UN Special Rapporteurs on sale of children, Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, on slavery, Urmila Bhoola, and on the right to health, Dainius Pūras, who visited* Nigeria earlier this year.

    “The road to full recovery and rehabilitation may prove challenging and it is vital that their families and communities, as well as the Nigerian people stand in solidarity with the girls in the days, weeks and years to come,” they stressed.

    “The recently released girls may not be able to access to the services they need including, sexual and reproductive health services, information on remedies and livelihoods opportunities,” the experts warned, “so we urge all levels of Government: Federal, state and local, to take all the measures needed to provide these services not only to these girls but to all individuals who have been rescued from Boko Haram control.

    The human rights experts pointed out that providing this kind of support is not only a moral duty, but a legal obligation according to women and children’s rights provisions within international law.

    “We must not forget all other children and other victims, who continue to live in captivity under Boko Haram control,” the experts said. Recalling that 197 girls are still missing of the 276 students abducted at gunpoint from their secondary school during a violent raid in the village of Chibok, in north-eastern Nigeria in April 2014, the experts remain deeply concerned about the plight of the girls still in captivity and their families.

    In that regard, the UN Special Rapporteurs urged the Nigerian Government to swiftly take all necessary measures to locate them, ensure their safe return and recovery, and provide them with adequate assistance and protection. “Moreover,” they stressed, “Nigeria must hold the perpetrators accountable, while respecting international human rights norms and standards.”

    “We would like to reiterate, as stated at the end of our joint visit, that a comprehensive approach to addressing challenges in the North East provides a good opportunity not only to reintegrate women and children affected by Boko Haram but also to strengthen the health and educational sectors which are crucial for peace, security and sustainable development in Nigeria,” the experts stressed.

    “We remind the authorities of the recommendations issued in our report on the joint visit to Nigeria in January 2016 and stand ready to provide further advice and support,” the Special Rapporteurs concluded.

    (*) Check the Special Rapporteurs’ report:

    The United Nations Special Rapporteurs are part of what it is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights, is the general name of the independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms of the Human Rights Council that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity. Learn more, visit:

    UN Human Rights, Country Page – Nigeria:

    For further information and media requests, please contact Federica Donati (+41 22 917 9496) or write to

    For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
    Xabier Celaya – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 /

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    Source: Amnesty International
    Country: Nigeria

    By Aster Van Kregten, Amnesty International's Senior Research Advisor for Nigeria

    Two and a half years since 219 Chibok schoolgirls were abducted by Boko Haram in Nigeria, sparking a global outcry and the #BringBackOurGirls campaign, there has finally been some good news.

    Yesterday, 21 of those girls were reunited with their families in an emotional ceremony in Abuja, embracing the parents they thought they'd never see again.

    But it's not a completely happy ending - the girls are traumatized and distressed after 30 months in captivity, and little is known about the fates of the almost 200 others who are still missing.

    And even less is known about the other children caught in the web of this conflict, those who are suffering horrific abuses perpetrated not by Boko Haram, but by the Nigerian government.

    An Amnesty International investigation in May revealed that more than 120 boys were being held incommunicado in a disease-infested cell at the notorious Giwa barracks detention center in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state. Children under five years of age were detained in three women's cells.

    The same investigation showed that 12 children, including infants and babies, died in Giwa between January and May, falling prey to malnutrition and disease. (Nearly 150 adults also lost their lives.)

    These children are the forgotten victims of Nigeria's fight against Boko Haram.

    The government claims that Giwa houses Boko Haram suspects in transit to more established detention centers, but in fact, its detainees are just as likely to be displaced civilians caught in the army's counter-insurgency dragnet.

    More than 1,000 people are still believed to be held at Giwa, most of them arrested en masse without being formally charged.

    Broken promises

    After Amnesty International's report was published May, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari told CNN's Christiane Amanpour there would be a thorough investigation into the detention facility.

    Five months on, there have been reports of some releases of "cleared detainees" from Giwa Barracks, but there has still been no investigation into the detention of children, or into the deaths of adults and children at Giwa. Our research shows that the cells at Giwa are still being filled, and adults and children are still dying there.

    Since President Buhari's on-air promise to CNN, Amnesty International has confirmed the deaths of 15 more babies and toddlers at Giwa. Babies are also being born in detention: one former detainee who was released earlier this year told us that 15 babies were born in the six months she was detained.

    Umar, a young boy who was recently released from Giwa, spoke to Amnesty International about conditions there, describing how more than 200 boys were crammed into his cell, a significant increase from the 120 boys Amnesty recorded in the same cell in May.

    Their cell is so cramped that some boys have no choice but to sleep on top of each other, said Umar, whose name has been changed to protect his identity. They are never allowed outside, except to be counted by their captors. Umar said that 50 of the boys in his cell were no older than 6.

    Umar was taken to Giwa from a displacement camp in Bama after he and his family fled violence and intimidation by Boko Haram militants. His father was accused of aiding the group, and so Umar was locked up in Giwa without charge.

    Until May this year, an adult detainee from Giwa would visit the boys' cell each morning to try to continue their schooling. He taught the boys the English alphabet and numbers by rote, but when he was released, the boys just waited in their cell for the day to pass.

    Umar says they had nothing but a few balls provided by the soldiers to roll around the cell. That, and the occasional roll call outdoors, were almost the only things punctuating the boredom of their detention.

    It often took two days to get a doctor to see those who were sick. Many of Umar's cellmates had malaria, including a seven-year-old who died of the disease.

    "They took him outside. I don't know where to," Umar said. "There was not enough food and water. It was unhygienic."

    As with all detainees at the barracks, Umar claims that he and the rest of the children were held incommunicado and denied access to their families and the outside world.

    The wider crisis

    Beyond the horror of the abducted Chibok girls and the children left to die in Giwa, "free" children in northeastern Nigeria don't necessarily fare much better.

    The region is facing one of Africa's largest humanitarian crises. Since 2009, Boko Haram has wreaked havoc in the region, killing thousands of people. Around 2.4 million have been displaced, the majority of whom are children.

    Many are living in camps in horrific conditions, at risk of dying from severe malnutrition, dehydration and inadequate medical care, and with little to no assistance from the outside world.

    Conditions in Borno State are particularly dire and humanitarian assistance is urgently needed.

    Unicef says there are 244,000 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition in Borno, and that an estimated 49,000 children will die if they don't receive treatment.

    Displaced people at the Bama camp where Umar stayed have given Amnesty International harrowing accounts of life there, describing how children regularly succumb to starvation and disease.

    "Most of the women have lost children," one woman told us after leaving Bama. "In our group, there are 15 women from one village -- we lost 20 children."

    Médecins Sans Frontières has counted 1,233 graves near the camp in the past year. Of them, 480 were for children.

    What can be done?

    We call on President Buhari to keep his word and investigate thoroughly the abuse and deaths at Giwa. It's a death camp that must be closed. The fight against Boko Haram is no excuse to imprison children.

    The previous government was astonishingly slow to respond to the Chibok girls' abduction in the first place; President Buhari's administration must now spare no efforts to bring them back, along with all the others who have been abducted.

    The wider crisis has been neglected long enough. The response to the humanitarian needs of those affected by the conflict has not only been slow, but also inadequate.

    The government and international community must not forget the children who suffer in silence in places like Giwa and the displacement camps in Borno, surrounded by tiny graves that shame us all.

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