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ReliefWeb - Updates

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


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    Source: International Rescue Committee
    Country: Cameroon, Nigeria

    La commune de Kolofata dans l’Extrême Nord du Cameroun (département de Mayo Sava), située à moins de dix kilomètres de la frontière nigériane, est jusqu’à présent une zone largement voilée du regard des acteurs humanitaires. La volatilité de la situation sécuritaire dans la zone et sa proximité au champ de conflit au Nigéria ont eu des conséquences catastrophiques pour la population déplacée comme pour la population hôte. Ces mêmes facteurs ont également mené à la conclusion que l’accès humanitaire n’est pas possible. Kolofata est donc l’une des zones les plus touchées par la crise et aussi l’une des zones les moins assistées par l’aide humanitaire.

    Afin de toucher du doigt la situation réelle du terrain en vue d’apporter une assistance aux personnes vulnérables dans cette zone, une équipe IRC composée du Directeur Adjoint d’Opérations, Coordinateur WASH, et Responsable de Sécurité est descendue le 7 novembre 2016 à Kolofata. Le présent rapport, basé sur leurs observations, retrace de manière globale la situation actuelle des personnes déplacées vivant à Kolofata.

    Situation humanitaire

    Kolofata est pratiquement devenu un camp de déplacés. Ceux-ci sont installées à tous les endroits de la ville : dans les écoles, les maisons abandonnées, ou encore dans les tentes en tige de mil. Sur un total de 31,5451 personnes déplacées que compte la commune, 14,908 déplacés sont à Kolofata centre – ce qui est en soi double la population d’environ 7,000 habitants en temps normal.

    Ces personnes vivent sans abri, sans accès à l’eau potable et aux latrines, et sans les moyens fondamentaux de vie. Un total de 17 points d’eau en panne ont été identifiés, contre seulement quatre ou cinq fonctionnels. Avec la forte pression sur les quelques points d’eau toujours fonctionnels, beaucoup de personnes se ravitaillent en eau dans des puits peu profonds creusés à la main. Cette situation sera encore plus difficile à partir de janvier, quand les puits s’assécheront. Quant à l’hygiène, il n’existe que quelques latrines vétustes construites par quelques familles, et la population manque des articles de base d’hygiène et d’abri.

    Le fonctionnement des structures administratives et gouvernementales dans la zone est largement réduit. Seul les bureaux de la sous-préfecture et le centre de santé sont fonctionnels, mais avec un personnel très réduit. Les institutions financières, y compris les services de transfert d’argent, ne sont pas fonctionnelles.

    Les installations de distribution d’électricité et d’eau courante ont été vandalisées. Seuls quatre ou cinq points d’eau manuels sont en fonctionnement. Les activités de marché sont largement limitées au petit commerce.

    Bien que les besoins soient énormes dans tous les secteurs, on note surtout les besoins urgents en abri, en nourriture, en eau, hygiène et assainissement, en kits NFI, et en protection


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    Source: Assessment Capacities Project
    Country: Burundi, Iraq, South Sudan, World

    Weekly picks

    SOUTH SUDAN

    Catastrophic levels of food insecurity are expected in pockets of Unity and Northern Bahr el Ghazal from January 2017. Emergency food insecurity is expected to generalise in these areas, with some households who have exhausted all coping mechanisms reaching Catastrophe. The majority of the population across the country is likely to be severely food insecure.

    IRAQ

    As security forces push further towards Mosul, serious protection issues are reported: the ISF is accused of extrajudicial killings, and the Peshmerga of demolishing dozens of homes in recaptured areas. There is a serious gap in medical services and restricted access is limiting assistance. Severe injuries from shelling and bombing are being reported, and a large number of civilians are suffering from respiratory problems due to burning oil. Qayyarah and Hamdaniya hospitals are not functional.

    BURUNDI

    Revised estimates suggest that 3 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in Burundi, up from 1.1 million. Each sector has seen considerable rises in estimated needs, including health (3 million in need), WASH (2.5 million), protection (1.8 million), and nutrition (670,000).

    Updated: 15/11/2016. Next update: 22/11/2016.


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


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


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    Source: North Atlantic Treaty Organisation
    Country: Mauritania

    Mauritania is facing growing threats from terrorism and is affected by droughts and other climate change disasters. A national crisis management centre, supported by NATO’s Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme, has been inaugurated in Nouakchott to help authorities quickly respond to crises and coordinate an appropriate response.

    “The arrangements put in place will strengthen, without any doubt, the operational capacity for civil protection and provide effective responses to various crises,” said Ahmedou Ould Abdella, Minister of Interior and Decentralisation of Mauritania at the inauguration ceremony on 8 November 2016. He added that the centre will also improve civil protection, early warning of the population against threats and risks, and enhance preparedness against crises affecting national security.

    A modern communication system

    The centre is financed by a NATO Science for Peace and Security (SPS) project and is based on a system which provides modern communication equipment for crisis monitoring, alert and management.

    Four regional operational coordination centres across the country have also been created with portable kits for mobile crisis coordination. This comprehensive system has been referred to as an example for the entire Sahel region.

    Strengthened crisis management on all levels

    Mr Julien Marion, Deputy Director General of the French Directorate General for Civil Security and Crisis Management (DGSCGC) emphasised the benefit of the new crisis management centre for the local populations, including both in urban areas and remote regions of Mauritania.

    On a national level, the new system ensures optimal operational watch and early warning. It also supports emergency response by compiling and analysing information from various sources, using modern technology and simulations.

    Regionally, it facilitates situational awareness in the different provinces of Mauritania. The centres are receiving and processing emergency calls, track incidents, and sharing the information gathered with the national level and other regions that may be affected by a particular event.

    “The implementation of this system will allow to cover all regions, ensure consistency in crisis prevention and risk management, and help to connect very remote areas of the country, and thus ensuring the same level of protection and safety for the whole population,” said US Ambassador Larry André from the NATO Contact Point Embassy in Nouakchott. He congratulated the project directors from Mauritania and France on the successful implementation of the project.

    High-level political support

    The inauguration ceremony was also attended by the Ministers of National Defence, Health, and Environment and Sustainable Development of Mauritania. The Director General for the Protection of Civilians and France’s Ambassador to Mauritania also participated in the event.

    The crisis management centre financed in the framework of the NATO SPS Programme also received substantial national contributions from France and Canada.


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    Source: Human Rights Watch
    Country: Gambia

    Media Freedom Crucial Prior to December 1 Election

      (Nairobi) – Gambian authorities arbitrarily detained three journalists just days before the November 16 start of the two-week presidential election campaign, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities should appropriately charge or release the journalists and ensure that Gambian and international media can operate without fear of harassment or arbitrary arrest.

    On November 8, officials from Gambia’s National Intelligence Agency (NIA) arrested the director-general of Gambia’s state television and radio broadcaster, Momodou Sabally, along with his colleague Bakary Fatty. NIA officers arrested Alhagie Manka, an independent photojournalist, on November 10. All three have yet to appear in court, in violation of Gambian law.

    “The Gambian government’s arrest of three journalists before the start of the presidential election campaign could have a chilling effect on the media’s ability to fairly cover the election,” said Babatunde Olugboji, deputy program director at Human Rights Watch. “Intimidation and threats against the media need to stop for voters to be able to make informed decisions.”

    The December 1 presidential election will mark the fifth time that incumbent President Yayha Jammeh has sought a new five-year term since coming to power in a 1994 coup. Human Rights Watch raised concerns about the fairness of the election in a November 2 report.

    Local activists told Human Rights Watch that Gambia Radio and Television Services employees believe that Sabally was arrested because the station broadcast video footage of an opposition candidate’s nomination at the time when the station was scheduled to cover an agricultural initiative led by the first lady, Zineb Jammeh. Fatty, a reporter at the station, was arrested at the station’s headquarters on the same day as Sabally.

    Gambian journalists reported that NIA officers arrested Manka on November 10, in a suburb of Banjul, the capital. None of the three detained journalists have appeared before a judge, despite a provision in the Gambian constitution requiring that anyone arrested or detained be brought to court within 72 hours. 

    During the two-week election campaign, Gambia’s Independent Election Commission grants all parties the right to equal airtime on state television and radio. Several Gambian journalists told Human Rights Watch that they were concerned that the arrests would discourage the state broadcaster from ensuring fair and impartial coverage of opposition parties during the election campaign.

    Gambia’s election campaign began with 30 opposition supporters, including the leader of the United Democratic Party, the largest opposition party, serving three-year prison terms for their role in peaceful protests in April. Another 14 opposition activists are on trial in relation to a May 9 protest. Omar Malleh Jabang, a businessman and opposition supporter, was arrested and detained on November 10, and has since been held incommunicado without charge. An opposition leader told Human Rights Watch that Jabang had been providing financial and material support to opposition parties.

    “Fair elections are only possible if all candidates and parties can freely campaign and journalists can report freely,” Olugboji said. “The Gambian government and security forces need to allow everyone to make their voices heard during the election campaign.”


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    Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
    Country: Mali

    The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) monitors trends in staple food prices in countries vulnerable to food insecurity. For each FEWS NET country and region, the Price Bulletin provides a set of charts showing monthly prices in the current marketing year in selected urban centers and allowing users to compare current trends with both five-year average prices, indicative of seasonal trends, and prices in the previous year.

    Le mil, le riz et le sorgho constituent les aliments de base de la majorité de la population malienne. Le mil est l'aliment le plus consommé traditionnellement, mais depuis 2005 le riz est devenu un substitut populaire chez les ménages urbains. Le sorgho est généralement plus important pour les ménages ruraux que pour les ménages urbains. Les marchés inclus sont révélateurs des conditions locales dans leurs régions respectives. Ségou est l’un des marchés les plus importants tant pour le pays que pour la région, dans la mesure où il se trouve dans une très vaste zone de production de céréales. Bamako, la capitale et le centre urbain le plus étendu du pays, fonctionne comme un marché de regroupement. Elle reçoit des céréales de Koulikoro, Ségou et Sikasso destinées à la consommation et fait également office de marché de regroupement pour les échanges avec les régions nord du pays (Kayes et Koulikoro) et avec la Mauritanie. Les marchés des régions déficitaires du pays (Tombouctou et Gao) reçoivent leurs approvisionnements en mil et en riz de Mopti, Ségou et Sikasso.


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    Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
    Country: Niger

    Le Réseau de Systèmes d’Alerte Précoce Contre la Famine surveille les tendances des prix des aliments de base dans les pays vulnérables à l'insécurité alimentaire. Pour chaque FEWS NET pays et la région, le Bulletin des prix fournit un ensemble de tableaux indiquant les prix mensuels à la campagne en cours dans certains centres urbains et en permettant aux utilisateurs de comparer les tendances actuelles à la fois les prix de cinq ans en moyenne, une indication des tendances saisonnières, et les prix l'année précédente.

    Le mil, le maïs, le niébé et le riz importé sont les produits alimentaires les plus importants consommés au Niger. Le mil est consommé aussi bien par les ménages ruraux que les ménages pauvres urbains dans l’ensemble du pays. Le maïs et le riz importé sont plus importants pour les ménages urbains, tandis que le niébé est principalement consommé par les ménages pauvres des régions rurales et urbaines en tant que source de protéine. Niamey est le marché national le plus important et un centre du commerce international ; elle approvisionne en outre les ménages urbains. Tillaberi est aussi un centre urbain approvisionnant les localités environnantes. Le marché de Gaya est le principal marché urbain pour le maïs avec des liens transfrontaliers. Maradi, Tounfafi et Diffa sont des marchés de regroupement régionaux et des marchés transfrontaliers pour le Niger et d’autres pays de la région. C'est dans ces marchés que vont régulièrement acheter leur nourriture les ménages et les éleveurs des régions déficitaires en céréales du nord. Agadez et Zinder sont également d’importants marchés nationaux et régionaux. Nguigmi et Abalak se trouvent dans des zones pastorales, où la population dépend largement des marchés céréaliers pour leur approvisionnement alimentaire. Ces deux marchés sont particulièrement importants pendant la saison des pluies, lorsque les éleveurs sont confinés dans la zone pastorale.


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    Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
    Country: Senegal

    Le Réseau de systèmes d’alerte précoce contre la famine (FEWS NET) surveille les tendances des prix des aliments de base dans les pays vulnérables à l'insécurité alimentaire. Pour chaque pays et chaque région couvert par FEWS NET, le Bulletin des prix fournit un ensemble de graphiques indiquant les prix mensuels de l’année commerciale en cours pour certains centres urbains, et permettant à l’utilisateur de comparer les tendances actuelles à la fois aux moyennes quinquennales, qui indiquent les tendances saisonnières, et aux prix de l'année précédente.

    Au Sénégal, le riz, le mil, le sorgho et le maïs constituent la base de l’alimentation des ménages. L’arachide représente aussi bien une source importante de protéine et communément une culture de rente. Le riz importé est consommé quotidiennement par la grande majorité des ménages, particulièrement dans les centres urbains de Dakar et Touba. Le riz produit localement dans la vallée du fleuve Sénégal y est consommé. St. Louis est le principal marché dans la vallée du fleuve Sénégal. Le mil est consommé dans les régions centrales où Kaolack représente le marché régional le plus important. Le maïs est produit et consommé dans les zones autour de Kaolack, Tambacounda et dans la vallée du fleuve Sénégal. Du maïs est aussi importé, principalement du marché international. Il existe une forte demande pour tous les produits à Touba et à Dakar. La récolte des céréales et celle de l’arachide débutent en Octobre et les stocks de céréales locales baissent de niveau tout au long de l’année de commercialisation qui s’achève en Octobre. Le Sénégal dépend plus des importations à partir du marché international, surtout le riz, que du commerce transfrontalier qui concerne essentiellement le bétail provenant du Mali et de la Mauritanie pour approvisionner Dakar et les marchés environnants.


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    Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
    Country: Mauritania

    Le Réseau de Systèmes d’Alerte Précoce Contre la Famine surveille les tendances des prix des aliments de base dans les pays vulnérables à l'insécurité alimentaire. Pour chaque FEWS NET pays et la région, le Bulletin des prix fournit un ensemble de tableaux indiquant les prix mensuels à la campagne en cours dans certains centres urbains et en permettant aux utilisateurs de comparer les tendances actuelles à la fois les prix de cinq ans en moyenne, une indication des tendances saisonnières, et les prix l'année précédente.

    Le riz local et le sorgho sont les produits alimentaires les plus consommés par les ménages pauvres de la Mauritanie suivis par le blé importé qui est l'aliment de substitution auquel ces ménages recourent le plus. Le riz local est cultivé dans la vallée du fleuve (dans le sud des régions du Trarza, du Brakna, du Gorgol et du Guidimakha). Le sorgho est produit dans toutes les zones de production (sorgho pluvial) et dans les walo et barrages (sorgho de décrue). Toutefois, une importante partie est importée du Mali et du Sénégal. La Mauritanie vit beaucoup plus de ses importations (70 % en bonne année agricole et jusqu'à 85 % en mauvaise année) que de sa production interne. Nouakchott est le principal marché de collecte pour les produits venant de l'extérieur et également le marché de distribution où viennent s'approvisionner les animateurs des marchés de distribution secondaire que sont les autres marchés référenciés. L'huile de cuisson est essentiellement consommée dans les zones urbaines. La vente des animaux est une mode d’existence dans toutes les zones et une importante source de revenus et de nourriture.


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    Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
    Country: Chad

    Le Réseau de systèmes d’alerte précoce contre la famine (FEWS NET) surveille les tendances des prix des aliments de base dans les pays vulnérables à l'insécurité alimentaire. Pour chaque pays et chaque région couvert par FEWS NET, le Bulletin des prix fournit un ensemble de graphiques indiquant les prix mensuels de l’année commerciale en cours pour certains centres urbains, et permettant à l’utilisateur de comparer les tendances actuelles à la fois aux moyennes quinquennales, qui indiquent les tendances saisonnières, et aux prix de l'année précédente.

    Le sorgho, le mil, le maïs blanc et le riz local et d’importation sont les produits alimentaires les plus importants. La consommation de mil est la plus forte dans les régions est et nord du pays. Le riz local est un autre produit alimentaire de base, en particulier pour les ménages plus pauvres. Le riz importé et le maïs blanc sont le plus couramment consommés dans la capitale et ses environs. Le marché d'Atrone à N’Djamena, la capitale, est le marché le plus important pour les céréales. Moundou est un important centre de consommation pour le sorgho et le deuxième marché en importance après la capitale. Le marché d’Abéché est situé dans une zone de production au nord. Le marché de Sarh est à la fois un marché de détail local et un marché transfrontalier


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    Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
    Country: Burkina Faso

    Le Réseau de systèmes d’alerte précoce contre la famine (FEWS NET) surveille les tendances des prix des aliments de base dans les pays vulnérables à l'insécurité alimentaire. Pour chaque pays et chaque région couvert par FEWS NET, le Bulletin des prix fournit un ensemble de graphiques indiquant les prix mensuels de l’année commerciale en cours pour certains centres urbains, et permettant à l’utilisateur de comparer les tendances actuelles à la fois aux moyennes quinquennales, qui indiquent les tendances saisonnières, et aux prix de l'année précédente.

    Le mil, le maïs et le sorgho sont les produits alimentaires les plus importants pour la consommation ménagère. Le mil est le produit de base des ménages les plus vulnérables, tandis que le maïs et le sorgho contribuent aussi au panier alimentaire de la majorité des autres ménages. Le marché de Sankaryare est le plus vaste et le plus important de Ouagadougou; il approvisionne d’autres marchés du pays et dans la région. Koudougou se trouve dans l'une des régions les plus peuplées du pays, où une majorité des ménages dépend du marché pour son ravitaillement alimentaire. Djibo se situe dans la zone sahélienne, hautement vulnérable. Pouytenga est un marché de regroupement pour les produits du Nigeria, du Ghana, du Bénin et du Togo. Solenzo est un marché rural situé au milieu d’une zone de production excédentaire. Bobo Dioulasso est un important centre tant pour la consommation que pour la production : elle fait office de capitale économique du Burkina-Faso et se trouve dans une importante zone de production céréalière.


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    Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
    Country: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo

    Le Réseau de systèmes d’alerte précoce contre la famine (FEWS NET) surveille les tendances des prix des aliments de base dans les pays vulnérables à l'insécurité alimentaire. Pour chaque pays et chaque région couvert par FEWS NET, le Bulletin des prix fournit un ensemble de graphiques indiquant les prix mensuels de l’année commerciale en cours pour certains centres urbains, et permettant à l’utilisateur de comparer les tendances actuelles à la fois aux moyennes quinquennales, qui indiquent les tendances saisonnières, et aux prix de l'année précédente.

    L'Afrique de l’Ouest peut être divisée en trois zones agro-écologiques ou en trois bassins commerciaux (bassins de l’ouest, bassin du centre, bassin de l’est). Les deux sont importants pour l'interprétation du comportement et de la dynamique du marché.

    Les trois principales zones agro-écologiques incluent la zone Sahélienne, la zone Soudanaise et la zone Côtière où la production et la consommation peuvent être facilement classifiées. (1) Dans la zone Sahélienne, le mil constitue le principal produit alimentaire cultivé et consommé en particulier dans les zones rurales et de plus en plus par certaines populations qui y ont accès en milieux urbains. Des exceptions sont faites pour le Cap Vert où le maïs et le riz sont les produits les plus importants, la Mauritanie où le blé et le sorgho et le Sénégal où le riz constituent des aliments de base. Les principaux produits de substitution dans le Sahel sont le sorgho, le riz, et la farine de manioc (Gari), avec les deux derniers en période de crise. (2) Dans la zone Soudanienne (le sud du Tchad, le centre du Nigéria, du Bénin, du Ghana, du Togo, de la Côte d'Ivoire, le sud du Burkina Faso, du Mali, du Sénégal, la Guinée Bissau, la Serra Leone, le Libéria) le maïs et le sorgho constituent les principales céréales consommées par la majorité de la population. Suivent après le riz et les tubercules particulièrement le manioc et l’igname. (3) Dans la zone côtière, avec deux saisons de pluie, l’igname et le maïs constituent les principaux produits alimentaires. Ils sont complétés par le niébé, qui est une source très significative de protéines.

    Les trois bassins commerciaux sont simplement connus sous les noms de bassin Ouest, Centre, et Est. En plus du mouvement du sud vers le nord des produits, les flux de certaines céréales se font aussi horizontalement. (1) Le bassin Ouest comprend la Mauritanie, le Sénégal, l’ouest du Mali, la Sierra Leone, la Guinée, le Libéria, et la Gambie où le riz est le plus commercialisé. (2) Le bassin central se compose de la Côte d'Ivoire, le centre et l’est du Mali, le Burkina Faso, le Ghana, et le Togo où le maïs est généralement commercialisé. (3) Le bassin Est se rapporte au Niger, Nigéria, Tchad, et Bénin où le millet est le plus fréquemment commercialisé. Ces trois bassins commerciaux sont distingués sur la carte ci-dessus


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    Source: Mercy Corps
    Country: Niger

    The drive to Hajia’s village tells the story. Out the window, miles of papery millet fields stretch in yellow blankets to every horizon. Millions of plants shoot out from the sand, thumping in the distance against the windshields of trucks that cut through on dusty curves.

    But it is late August, and temperatures today will touch 100 degrees. It is far too early to harvest anything. Every turn through the fields reveals the paradox of life in southern Niger: food as far as you can see, and nothing anyone can eat.

    Locals call it the hunger gap, a period from roughly April to September every year when food from the previous year’s harvest has run out, but the next one is not yet ready.

    It’s like going thirsty at sea. Every year the spring rains move out, the dry season settles in, and millions of people living in Niger’s hidden rural communities must once again figure out how they will bridge the long months until harvest, in villages surrounded by crops they cannot touch.

    “In this period, what people have harvested and stocked tends to finish,” says Zakaria, a local Mercy Corps worker who trains farmers here. “The farm work will soon start. That’s what makes it difficult, because they spend a lot of energy and have to eat more.”

    Unlike natural disasters, which can be unpredictable, or droughts, which can be variable, the hunger gap is frighteningly regular. These sandy fields are part of the Sahel, an arid dividing line between desert and savannah that stretches across the belly of central Africa. It is the last breath of the Sahara, a place where every element of daily life funnels through one basic but resounding question.

    What is there to eat?

    Almost everyone here relies on farming to survive, and the average family can include 10 people or more. It is not hard, looking at the math, to see how the burdens of daily life in the Sahel converge into one unavoidable truth: You simply can’t grow enough food.

    How you survive the hunger gap depends on your circumstances. Whether you are married, otherwise employed, or have money saved will determine how you make it to harvest. But whatever your situation, your options are scarce.

    Option one: Don't eat.

    The most basic reality for most people in the hunger gap is to simply go without food. Many people only eat one meal a day, or simply rely on whatever they can find, sometimes eating, but otherwise not.

    This is particularly common among parents, who will sooner go without in order for their children to have food. That’s the situation for Balki, a mother of six who lives in the village of Chadawana. She is most likely to eat millet, beans and greens in a given day, though not on the day we meet.

    “We don’t have anything to eat,” she says. “Even now I have to go and look for something.”

    “It’s hard. It’s so hard to live in this hunger gap. You have to go out in the bush and find fodder for the animals, and then try to do other things to find food for the children. … It’s hard because we don’t have money, and we don’t have food.”

    Two years ago, Mercy Corps gave Balki two red goats that provide milk for her family. With that expense gone, Balki can save her money or spend it on other necessities like clothes for her children. The goats are also an important safety net: She can sell them, or their milk, if she needs extra money.

    “The two goats have changed our lives … we can give their milk to the babies and mix it with food,” she says. “[They’ll] say, ‘Mama, thank you.’”

    Balki wants a better life for her children: a job that lets them build a future, a chance to leave the village behind. Maybe they will become judges, she dreams, and then she’s carried away on the vision of a day when the burden of providing enough to eat is at least a few stomachs lighter.

    “When they come in the village,” she says, “I can welcome them, clapping.”

    A profound lack of food is also most likely to touch widows and the elderly, who are often left to find food on their own. Rabi, a widow in the village of Garake, is one of the poorest women in her village, yet she still has several people who depend on her.

    “It’s hard,” she says. “It’s a very hard period. I have no husband, I have no children. My daughter has just died. I have two orphans and other children that live with me.”

    “We don’t have enough food to eat. We don’t have husbands to help us.”

    Rabi works several hours a day in a garden in front of her home, alongside Haua, another village woman who has two children. Not long ago, one of Haua’s sons taught her to plant cassia, a hearty and nutritious plant that grows well here. Rabi and Haua pick the leaves together, then cook them down in an iron pot and season them with a spicy paste made from crushed nuts.

    Calm and determined in the midday heat, Rabi and Haua are a picture of resilience in Niger: two women who have found in their shared circumstances a sense of community that helps get them through. This small meal together is likely the only thing they will eat today.

    “When we start harvesting, there will be fewer problems,” Haua says. “I have not had any millet for five days. It will be ready in one month. The millet is not ripe, it is not ready. But in one month we can get it.”

    Option two: Leave your family.

    The hunger gap weighs differently on women and men. While women often assume the responsibility of caring for their families, men are charged with providing for them. That is not possible for a farmer in the lean season, which can mean a difficult but necessary decision: leaving home.

    Badamasi leaves for Nigeria every year during the hunger gap. He looks for simple work there — cooking, pushing a water cart, or basic farm labor — in order that he might earn enough money to send back to his wife, Hajia, and their five children.

    “Before the rain comes, it’s hard,” he says. “I go to Nigeria or to other regions to find money since we don’t have a lot to eat here.”

    “The problem is that when the rainy season arrives, it is not really good at the beginning. Some people plant, then there is not enough rain, and now it has damaged the seeds. It is not until the rains come frequently that we can plant. That is why it is long from the beginning to the end of the hunger gap.”

    t’s an absence felt deeply by the women left behind. Salma, a mother of five in the village of Magaria Tounkour, is working even harder to provide for her children with her husband gone. Mercy Corps has provided seeds and taught her modern farming techniques to grow more food, faster. It’s given her a great advantage to feed her children, she says. But they are still young and largely unable to help. Until her husband comes back, the responsibility of keeping them alive falls almost completely on her.

    “He migrates to Zinder and when he gets a little money he comes back again,” she says. “There are a lot of difficulties. I have to go in all directions — going into the bush, getting wood, doing this and doing that — so I can get a little money to feed them.”

    Yet it’s also a loss felt deeply by the fathers who have to leave. Alhaj, a father of eight, has been working with Mercy Corps for four years to learn how to help his wife care for their children. He has practiced housework, cooking, cleaning, and, most touchingly, childcare. He is a tender and affectionate father, laughing as he holds his twin 1-year-old sons, Hasan and Useini, while his wife looks on from the doorway of their home.

    The closer he grows to them, the harder it is for Alhaj to accept the truth of what he knows is coming. Until it rains again, he has to leave.

    “There is much suffering,” he says. “I leave my farm and go to somebody else’s farm who can give me money that I can bring back to feed my family.”

    Option three: Learn to adapt.

    For Hajia, the hunger gap now represents a new opportunity.

    Before, the only place for women to get food was from their husbands’ land. But through Mercy Corps, they discovered a simple solution to a complex problem: Families could grow more food if they had a bigger place to do it.

    So a short drive from her village, in a precious, shady plot of Nigerien soil, 101 women from Hajia’s village share 20 vegetable beds Mercy Corps provided for them to farm themselves. Everything they grow is theirs, to eat or sell.

    They are mothers, sisters, aunts and grandmothers, a new corps of female farmers fighting the hunger gap with babies strapped to their backs.

    “We contribute in the process of feeding our family,” Hajia says. “But we also are able to sell some of our produce and we can have social ceremonies like weddings, because these ceremonies need money. We can get the money from this produce.”

    Selling her produce can earn Hajia as much as $50 extra in a country where the average person earns less than $400 per year, a more than 10 percent increase in her family’s income. That extra money is a tremendous benefit to her family and has taken some of the pressure off her husband.

    “I’m happy,” Badamasi says. “It’s helped us a lot. It has done a lot to improve our lives. … Before, we had problems. We were living in difficulties. But now, things have gotten better. We have improved a lot of the parts of our lives. It works.”

    In the garden, Hajia paces the long rows of lettuce for more than an hour, quietly watering the ground alongside her sister, Leza. Before they had this land, the hunger gap meant going without. It was a time of suffering, she says. Their land — and the potatoes, tomatoes and cabbage they get from it — hasn’t changed the reality of living here. The hunger gap will return, as surely as the warm spring winds will blow the rains away.

    But now, when it does, she knows what to do.

    “Now, we go to the garden,” she says.


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

    Protection Sector Working Group Nigeria | November 2016

    Main conflict and protection trends for 2017

    Nigeria will remain in situation of non-international armed conflict in the year 2017. Whilst food insecurity and nutrition needs will prominently surface, the main driver of the humanitarian crisis in the North East will be the ongoing Boko Haram conflict and the counter-insurgency measures. The Nigerian military, vigilantes and its Multinational Joint Task Force (MJTF) partners will likely to maintain strong counter-insurgency posture which will further consolidate gains achieved in 2015 and 2016. Boko Haram’s shifting tactics and the military response thereto will likely result in fresh displacements, protection risks and abuses to civilians.

    Many IDPs in camps and host communities have experienced trauma and neglect during the course of the conflict. Affected civilians, IDPs and returnees will all require continued community-based psychosocial interventions and other targeted services.

    Continued loss of territory by Boko Haram will diminish its capacity to raise resources; and plan and execute classical insurgency methods. Boko Haram will resort to new tactics and approaches. The spiritual and religious foundations of Boko Haram will be further eroded as the organization increasingly engages in opportunistic and criminal activities to raise money and carry out new tactics of attacks including using civilians as “suicide bombers.” Humanitarian actors will face risks of kidnapping and attacks. IDP sites will be considered ‘high visibility” targets; inviting further restrictions by security actors to movements in and out of IDP camps.

    The increased humanitarian needs in 2017 require robust life-saving intervention by all actors. Humanitarians will likely continue to focus on IDPs in camps and those settlements and sites in the newly accessible areas. Despite these enhanced focus, humanitarian’s ability to meet the vast majority of the needs of the civilians even in IDP camps will be considerably limited. In the newly accessible areas, considerable reconstruction and rebuilding initiatives are needed to restore essential services, reconstruct shelters, support civilians to work on their farms and implement livelihood activities, restore law and order, support co-existence and peace building initiatives, address potential conflicts and tensions and mitigate security risks from mines and other explosives.
    Inadequate access assistance may result in riots, frustration, negative coping mechanisms and sexual abuse and exploitation.

    Children will be exposed to street begging and other forms of abuse and neglect.
    Women, children, the elderly, persons with disability and minority groups require specific attention. Initial assessments have revealed that some of the households who are returning to newly accessible LGAs are female-headed due to the fact that the ‘husbands” have either disappeared, killed or been afraid to return. There are also reports of children engaged in “reconstruction activities.” This reveals the specific protection risks faced by men especially young adults and the burden and vulnerability experienced by women who have returned back to their LGAs without them. As several reports and assessments have revealed, limited access to humanitarian assistance and services has contributed to negative copying mechanisms and sexual abuse and exploitations including in IDP camps in Maiduguri.

    Return of displaced population will be a major phenomenon in 2017. Many IDPs particularly from camps in Maiduguri will move into the newly accessible areas including through government-facilitated programs. As of September 2016 more than 1 million civilians, including 152,000 Nigerian refugees, have returned. While some IDPs will be able to return to their homes; others will be stranded in secondary displacement. The number of IDPs returning or those who are involved in secondary displacement will likely increase as the Nigerian Military and MJTF secure many new areas and the security situation gradually improves. Organized movements of IDPs into their LGAs may likely be exposed to security risks. Some IDPs will not be returning back to their areas of origin or their homes; and instead may join IDP settlements in LGA headquarters. This secondary movement requires new approaches in understanding trends in displacement; humanitarian response in new sites and engagement with communities to ensure that return solution to areas of origin are achieved. Risks of potential tension and conflict between those who are returning and others who never left will likely be visible due to perceptions of association with Boko Haram. The security and safety of civilians who have never left can be undermined as a result of “negative perception of association with Boko Haram.” A strong co-existence and peace building initiative and access to justice programs will be needed.

    Host communities will continue to extend their solidarity with IDPs. As of October 2016, more than 80 percent of the displaced populations are outside of official camps, living with host communities. Many IDPs particularly those who are in host communities will encounter limitation in accessing basic services including education, health and food assistance. Coupled with the current economic climate and the soco-economic disruption resulting from the insurgency, the capacity and resource of host communities will be diminished. Tensions between host communities and IDPs will be exacerbated; and there be a negative perception towards humanitarian programs that solely target IDPs.
    There are opportunities for durable solutions for the displaced populations and the affected population. The “Buhari plan” brings together several initiatives by the government, allowing opportunities for the government to invest resources. However economic decline and recession will be an ongoing challenge faced by Nigeria which will significantly hamper government’s capacity to fully implement its reconstruction plans and activities.


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    Source: World Food Programme
    Country: Central African Republic, Chad, Sudan

    Highlights

    • According to the findings of the Cost of Hunger in Africa study, undernutrition is taking a significant toll on Chad’s economy: the annual cost associated with child under nutrition is estimated at USD 1.2 billion, equivalent to 9.5 percent of the GDP; 56.4 percent of adults suffered from stunting as children and 43 percent of child deaths are associated with undernutrition.

    • The recently published Global Hunger Index 2016 ranks Chad second to last out of 118 countries with alarming levels of hunger.

    • Data collection was completed in October for the National Food security Survey under the leadership of the Government and with WFP support.

    • The African Union donated USD 200,000 to support WFP’s activities in the Lake Chad region.

    WFP Assistance

    PRRO 200713: Under the PRRO, WFP provides food assistance to 350,000 long-term refugees from Sudan and the Central African Republic (C.A.R), and to 80,000 returnees from C.A.R as well as food-insecure Chadian households, particularly in the Sahelian belt of Chad. The PRRO also includes nutrition interventions for the prevention and treatment of moderate acute malnutrition, and activities to enhance the capacity of food-insecure communities and households to meet their food needs, strengthen their resilience and reduce risks associated with disasters and shocks.

    Chad is a pilot country for the WFP-UNHCR self-reliance project. Vulnerability-based targeting and livelihood activities are part of the strategy to empower refugees and build their capacities for self-sufficiency. In 2016, WFP lean season assistance targets 410,000 food insecure people in the Sahelian belt of Chad, where the combined effects of a poor agricultural season and the disruption of trade and pastoralism in the Lake Chad region have led to a deterioration of food security compared to the past three years. Children under two and pregnant and nursing mothers are also receiving specialised nutritional support to prevent the deterioration of their nutritional status.

    Regional EMOP 200777 (Lake Chad Crisis): The spillover effects from insecurity in northern Nigeria have caused a humanitarian crisis, island communities have fled their homes, fishing, livestock and agricultural livelihoods are disrupted and trade with neighbouring countries is impacted. WFP provides food and nutrition assistance to vulnerable people affected by this crisis. This includes 6,500 refugees and over 130,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs). WFP’s portfolio combines cash-based and food-based transfers tailored to market conditions as well as prevention and treatment of moderate acute malnutrition.

    Jointly with FAO and UNICEF, WFP develops more durable solutions with livelihoods support for both displaced and host communities. Participative Seasonal Livelihoods Programming workshops and community-level planning exercises were held to analyse the livelihoods needs of the vulnerable communities.

    Regional EMOP 200799 (C.A.R crisis): Under this operation, WFP Chad supports returnees in the Salamat region (southern Chad) who have fled the violence in C.A.R.

    DEV 200288: The limited funding available to WFP currently restricts the scope of the school meals programme to the Lake Chad region. Resources permitting, WFP plans to provide 128,000 primary school children with hot meals and take-home rations for girls in the Sahelian regions where food insecurity, acute and chronic malnutrition levels are high.

    SO 200785: UNHAS provides essential passenger services and light cargo transport to 100 humanitarian organizations. UNHAS serves 19 destinations across the country, with a fleet of 4 aircrafts. This service is essential to ensure the humanitarian community reaches areas where populations need assistance, in a country with vast distances and limited transport infrastructure, and where insecurity and heavy seasonal rains limit road transport. UNHAS transports 1,650 passengers and 8.9 mt of light cargo per month.


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    Source: World Food Programme
    Country: Gambia

    Highlights

    • A Lead Convenor for the national strategic review which will inform the Country Strategic Plan (2018-2022) has been officially identified upon endorsement by the Government.

    • IR-EMOP 201036 has been activated to assist households affected by 2016 heavy rainfall and windstorms.

    WFP Assistance

    The school meals project focuses on strengthening the overall institutional and policy framework for a national school meals system and consolidating and improving the gains achieved in access to pre-primary and primary education. Key activities include nutrition education and a local procurement cash based transfer pilot, which links school meals to local markets and small scale farmers.

    South-South Cooperation programme to strengthen broader social protection initiatives in The Gambia has been finalized with the WFP Centre of Excellence in Brazil.

    Following request for support from the Government, IR-EMOP 201036 has been activated to assist 10,000 affected by 2016 heavy rains and windstorms. WFP’s assistance is part of a multi sectoral response plan by the Government, other UN Agencies and NGOs. Food assistance through cash transfers will be provided to targeted households for three months. SCOPE, a corporate digital platform for transfer management and the registration of people assisted by WFP will be used for the implementation of the cash transfers.

    The Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation (PRRO) seeks to provide assistance to food insecure and vulnerable households, particularly children with moderate acute malnutrition, children of 6-23 months and pregnant and nursing women, especially during the lean season. The operation targets 157,100 people.


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    Source: Guardian
    Country: Nigeria

    Boko Haram insurgency has disrupted farming and trade in north-east, leaving 14 million people in need of humanitarian aid

    In Nigeria, 75,000 children risk dying in “a few months” as hunger grips the country’s ravaged north-east in the wake of the Boko Haram insurgency, the United Nations warned on Tuesday.

    Read the full article here


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

    Sécurité

    La situation sécuritaire dans la région de l’Extrême-Nord a été marquée par des attaques de Boko Haram sur les positions des forces de défense et de sécurité en territoire camerounais dans la localité de Sandawadjiri près de Kolofata le 09 Novembre. Le bilan fait état d’une vingtaine de combattants de Boko Haram tuée, des armes et munitions saisis.

    Développements majeurs

    Le HCR et le PAM ont tenu une conférence de presse le vendredi 11 novembre dans le but de communiquer sur la réduction annoncée de 50% de la ration alimentaire pour les réfugiés centrafricains dans les régions de l’Est, de l’Adamaoua et du Nord. Les Représentants des deux agences, messieurs Khassim Diagne et Abdoulaye Balde, ont souligné que cette diminution était due à l’insuffisance des ressources financières pour répondre aux besoins alimentaires de ces réfugiés. Ils ont par la même occasion appelé les bailleurs de fonds et principaux donateurs à plus de générosité envers cette situation humanitaire très préoccupante.


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