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- 11/22/16--21:13: _Nigeria: Maternal a...
- 11/23/16--01:08: _Cameroon: Boko Hara...
- 11/23/16--02:53: _Niger: WFP Niger Co...
- 11/23/16--03:12: _South Sudan: WFP So...
- 11/23/16--05:27: _Mali: Belgian Gover...
- 11/23/16--09:06: _Chad: Tchad : HRP 2...
- 11/23/16--09:07: _Chad: Chad: HRP 201...
- 11/23/16--11:42: _Chad: Tchad: Région...
- 11/23/16--13:01: _Nigeria: “They woul...
- 11/23/16--15:46: _World: Secretary-Ge...
- 11/23/16--21:34: _Nigeria: Medical co...
- 11/24/16--02:58: _Democratic Republic...
- 11/24/16--04:15: _Nigeria: Northeast ...
- 11/24/16--04:40: _Nigeria: Nigeria: F...
- 11/24/16--07:46: _Burkina Faso: Le So...
- 11/24/16--08:40: _Nigeria: Working to...
- 11/24/16--08:54: _Mauritania: UNHCR, ...
- 11/24/16--14:34: _Mali: Mali: “MUAC f...
- 11/24/16--17:38: _Mali: Mali : « La D...
- 11/25/16--01:45: _Cameroon: Cameroun:...
- 11/22/16--21:13: Nigeria: Maternal and Newborn Health Disparities: Nigeria
- 11/23/16--02:53: Niger: WFP Niger Country Brief, October 2016
WFP continues to face critical funding constraints that threatens the continuation of its resilience activities and risks to reverse the important gains and investments made in recent years. For Malian refugees a challenging transition strategy which moves towards vulnerability targeting and self-reliance is being finalized.
The PRRO evaluation survey confirms the positive trends of resilience indicators amongst the very poor populations.
Results of the Emergency Food Security Assessment highlights that more than 350,000 people in the Diffa region are potentially affected by food insecurity.
- 11/23/16--03:12: South Sudan: WFP South Sudan Country Brief, October 2016
WFP completed phase III scale up of emergency assistance to households facing acute hunger in Northern Bahr el Ghazal.
WFP delivered assistance to communities affected by insecurity and violence in Central Equatoria.
So far in 2016, WFP has assisted 3.4 million people across South Sudan with food and nutrition assistance.
- 11/23/16--05:27: Mali: Belgian Government Contribution Helps Saves Lives In Mali
- 11/23/16--09:06: Chad: Tchad : HRP 2016 Suivi des financements au 23 novembre 2016
- 11/23/16--09:07: Chad: Chad: HRP 2016 - Funding Monitoring as of 23 November 2016
Emotional: sudden nature of the traumatic event leads to shock and numbness; fear and anxiety disorders (but panic is not common);9 helplessness and hopelessness; dissociation (feeling numb and ‘switched off’ emotionally); anger (at any/everybody – perpetrators, themselves and the authorities); anhedonia (loss of pleasure in doing that which was previously pleasurable); depression (a reaction to loss); suicidal ideations or attempt; guilt (e.g. at having survived if others died, and for being taken hostage).8 Their emotional bond with family and friends is severed and in the face of terror, some develop Stockholm Syndrome. The term Stockholm Syndrome refers to the particular psychological response, sometimes seen in abduction cases, in which the victim forms an attachment to their perpetrators. Children could be particularly susceptible to the development of Stockholm Syndrome. Dr Shirley Jülich explains in her paper published in the ‘Journal of Child Sexual Abuse’ that if unable to escape and isolated from others, victims turn to offenders for nurturance and protection. The need to be nurtured and protected combined with the will to survive compel victims to actively search for expressions of kindness, empathy or affection from the offender. The victim suppresses any feelings of danger, terror or rage, and through this denial, is able to bond to the ‘positive’ side of the offender. Additionally, to facilitate survival, the victim similarly suppresses his or her own needs and becomes both hyper-vigilant and hypersensitive to the offender’s needs, feelings, and perspectives.10
Cognitive: impaired memory and concentration; confusion and disorientation; intrusive thoughts (‘flashbacks’) and memories; denial (i.e. that the event has happened); hyper-vigilance and hyper-arousal (a state of feeling too aroused, with a profound fear of another incident);8
Social: withdrawal; irritability; avoidance (of reminders of the event).
Denial (i.e. a complete or partial failure to acknowledge what has really happened) has often been maligned as a response to extreme stress, but it has survival value (at least in the short term) by allowing the individual a delayed period during which he/she has time to adjust to a painful reality.
‘Frozen fright’ and ‘psychological infantilism’ are two extreme reactions that have also been noted.11 The former refers to a paralysis of the normal emotional reactivity of the individual, and the latter reaction is characterized by regressed behaviour such as clinging and excessive dependence on the captors. Extended periods of captivity may also lead to ‘learned helplessness’12 in which individuals come to believe that no matter what they do to improve their circumstances, nothing is effective.
Another common consequence is indoctrination, where victims are ‘brain-washed’ to accept wrong / distorted norms, beliefs, and values. This distortion of their fundamental beliefs may be temporary, or occasionally permanent.
Genuine psychopathology has also been noted e.g post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).8 The International Classification of Mental and Behavioural Disorders (ICD 10) also recognises the ‘Enduring personality change after a catastrophic experience’ as a possible chronic outcome after a hostage incident. This condition is characterised by:
- Receive medical attention,
- Be in a safe and secure environment,
- Connect with loved ones,
- Have an opportunity to talk or journal their experience if and when they choose,
- Receive resources and information about how to seek counseling, particularly if their distress from the incident is interfering with their daily lives,
- Protect their privacy (e.g. avoid media over-exposure including watching and listening to news and participating in media interviews),
- Take time to adjust back into family and work,
- Family and friends can support survivors by listening, being patient and focusing on their freedom instead of engaging in negative talk about the captors.
- Psychiatric (symptom management; relaxation, meditation; support groups and in-home assistance)
- Health and Medical (maintaining consistency of care; family physician and mental health counseling)
- Housing (safe environments)
- Basic Living Skills (personal hygiene or personal care, preparing and sharing meals, home and travel safety and skills, goal and life planning)
- Social (relationships, recreational and hobby, family and friends, communications & community integration)
- Vocational and/or Educational programmes
- Financial support
- Community and Legal (resources; health insurance, community recreation, houses of worship, ethnic activities and clubs)
1994 United Nations Declaration on Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism: Annex to UN General Assembly resolution 49/60,"Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism", of December 9, 1994, UN Doc. A/Res/60/49. Available at: http://www.un.org/documents/ga/res/49/a49r060.htm. [Last accessed on 25th October, 2016.]
Kidnapping v. Abduction. Available from: http://kidnapping.uslegal.com/kidnapping-v-abduction/.
"Chibok girls: Freed students reunite with families in Nigeria". BBC. 2016-10-16. Retrieved 2016-10-16
Imasuen Emmanuelar. Insurgency and humanitarian crises in Northern Nigeria: The case of Boko Haram. Afr. J. Pol. Sci. Int. Relat .2015; 284-296.
Osita-Njoku A, Chikere P. Consequences Of Boko Haram Terrorism On Women In Northern Nigeria. Applied Research Journal 2015; 1(3):101-107.
David AA, Susan K. Kidnapping and hostage-taking: a review of effects, coping and resilience. J R Soc Med 2009: 102: 16–21
Drury J. No need to panic. The Psychologist 2004; 17:118–19.
Julich S. Stockholm Syndrome and Child Sexual Abuse. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse 2005;14(3): Available online at http://www.haworthpress.com/web/JCSA.
Symonds M. Victimization and rehabilitative treatment. In: B Eichelman, W Soskis, W Reid, (eds) Terrorism: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association; 1983. p. 69–81.
Seligman MEP. Helplessness: On Depression, Development, and Death. San Francisco, CA: Freeman; 1975. Rössler W. Psychiatric rehabilitation today: an overview. World Psychiatry. 2006; 5(3):151-157.
- 11/24/16--04:15: Nigeria: Northeast Nigeria: Situation Report - October/November 2016
5.1 million people face acute food insecurity in northeast Nigeria (according to the latest Cadre harmonisé analysis released on 28 October) – immediate intervention is required to assist these populations.
Inflationary pressures in the national economy have pushed the prices of staple food crops extremely high across the three northeastern states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe; and these are expected to rise further.
FAO is seeking USD 25 million to tackle food insecurity among returnee, internally displaced and host communities between September 2016 and May 2017. Funding is urgently needed to support irrigated vegetable production and micro-gardening in the dry season, as well as rebuild livestock systems. In addition, FAO is seeking funds now to provide critical agricultural inputs to farmers in time for the 2017 main rainy season. We must act now to rapidly restore food security and combat severe hunger and malnutrition.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) Displacement Tracking Matrix (October 2016) shows for the first time since August 2015, a total number of IDPs below 2 million – 97 percent of whom declared that their displacement was due to the Boko Haram insurgency. One-quarter of these were displaced in 2016, with the majority displaced in 2014. Almost half of those surveyed noted food as their biggest unmet need. Since August 2015, a total of 958 549 returnees from within and outside Nigeria have been recorded, with an increase of about 48 000 returnees since August 2016. This further emphasizes the need for increased attention towards sustainable agricultural livelihoods support to the returnee process.
The security situation remains volatile, particularly in Borno, as Boko Haram activities continue to impact the security situation in some areas. In Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States, there are currently nine local government areas (LGAs) categorized as ‘restricted’ and 27 LGAs categorized as having ‘limited’ access due to a high level of insurgent activity.
- 11/24/16--04:40: Nigeria: Nigeria: Facts and figures, January - October 2016
- 11/24/16--08:40: Nigeria: Working towards safer access to health care in Rivers state
Projet d’adduction d’eau de Mokolo.
Monitoring de la frontière.
Vérification et enregistrement des arrivées spontanées.
Réponse aux besoins des Personnes Déplacées Internes et des communautés hôtes.
En marge de la 71ème Assemblée Générale des Nations Unies tenu à New York, le Chef de l’Etat S.E. Paul Biya a activement pris part au sommet mondial des dirigeants sur les réfugiés et les migrants, compte tenu du nombre important de réfugiés que le Cameroun accueille sur son sol. L’un des temps forts de ce sommet a été la remarquable intervention du Chef de l’Etat camerounais qui, tout en réitérant l’engagement de son pays à poursuivre sa politique d’hospitalité et de solidarité légendaire envers les réfugiés, a lancé un appel à la communauté internationale pour un soutien plus accru aux efforts des pays qui accueillent les réfugiés et notamment le Cameroun.
Dans le cadre du lancement de la rentrée scolaire, le Ministre de l’Education de Base, Mme Youssouf Hadjidja Alim, a visité les écoles publiques du camp de Minawao, en marge d’une visite de travail qu’elle a effectué dans la Région de l’Extrême-Nord. A cette occasion, elle a inauguré les salles de classe construites par le HCR à l’école publique de Windé Zamai, un village situé à proximité du camp de Minawao.
In 2015, 7,100,000 babies were born in Nigeria, or around 19,500 every day.
Among young women (aged 20-24), 29 percent gave birth by age 18.
Approximately 660 babies will die each day before reaching their first month3; 838 stillbirths occur every day.
Neonatal mortality rate:
Nigeria’s neonatal mortality rate (NMR)^ is 34 deaths per 1,000 live births.
NMR≠ in rural areas is 44 deaths per 1,000 live births and 34 deaths per 1,000 live births in urban areas for an urban-to-rural ratio of 0.8.
NMR≠ among the poorest households is 45 neonatal deaths per 1,000 live births, compared to 30 deaths per 1,000 live births among the richest households.
YAOUNDE, Nov 22 (Reuters) - Suspected Boko Haram militants launched three attacks in northern Cameroon within 24 hours, including a thwarted suicide strike on a camp for people who have been displaced by the conflict, security sources said on Tuesday.
The Islamist militant group is based in northeastern Nigeria but regularly carries out raids in neighbouring Cameroon, Chad and Niger, prompting the four countries plus Benin to create a 10,000-strong joint task force.
The frequency of the attacks has dropped in recent months, although more than 1,500 people have been killed in Cameroon by such attacks, International Crisis Group said in a report this month. Attacks were happening on an almost daily basis, but have dropped to between six and eight a month, it said.
Read the full report on Thomson Reuters Foundation.
WFP supports the Government in implementing a multisectoral, integrated community-based approach to building household and community resilience, supporting the same vulnerable people through a flexible combination of unconditional and conditional food assistance over a 3-year period. The approach aims to reduce the impact of seasonal stresses and prevent a peak in acute malnutrition and mortality. The innovative integrated response includes food assistance for asset (through food and cash), nutrition prevention and treatment activities, school meals and related programmes (such as school vegetable gardens and local milling and processing initiatives), local purchases from smallholder farmers, as well as unconditional food assistance during the lean season. This integrated safety net package is geographically concentrated in the most vulnerable areas allowing it to strengthen the core capacities and skills of key institutions and communities.
Activities are implemented in the pre and post-harvest period to assist rural communities in revitalizing infrastructure, improving agricultural production and diversifying rural incomes. They are linked to the promotion of local production and purchases. The resilience programme relies on a participatory process and a three-pronged approach (national, subnational and community levels) relying on the seasonal livelihood programming and community-based participatory planning.
The regional emergency operation catering to the needs of the Malian refugees ended in December 2015. The entire caseload was integrated under the existing PRRO.
Unconditional food assistance along with nutritional supplementation for children 6-23 months is provided to Malian refugees in all camps and hosting sites.
The Food Security Cluster has been active since 2010.
WFP co-leads the Cluster with FAO and continues coordination activities with the Government and other humanitarian partners. A monthly bulletin on the incountry response is compiled by WFP for partners.
The Regional Emergency Operation provides flexible assistance through unconditional and conditional food distributions, and nutritional supplementation for children aged 6-23 months as well as emergency school meals.
The assistance is provided to an increasing number of refugees in and out of camps, returnees, internally displaced persons (IDPs) and host populations affected by the insecurity in northern Nigeria.
The United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) provides safe, efficient and effective air transport to UN agencies, NGOs and donors. This enables implementation and oversight of humanitarian activities in areas affected by insecurity and poor road infrastructure.
In 2016, the operational fleet consisted of two 19-seater (Beechcraft 1900) operating out of Niamey with the ability to respond to air travel needs to the field. UNHAS remained the only key player in enabling up to 110 organizations to reach at least six destinations in Niger.
EMOP 200859: WFP’s emergency operation (EMOP) aims to provide life-saving assistance to 3 million people displaced and affected by conflict through food distributions and blanket and targeted supplementary feeding.
PRRO 200572: WFP’s protracted relief and recovery operation (PRRO) aims to assist 1.1 million people through food distributions, blanket and targeted supplementary feeding, institutional feeding, food assistance for assets, food for education, CBTs and Purchase for Progress (P4P).
SO 200775: The Food Security and Livelihoods Cluster, which WFP co-leads with FAO, is dedicated to coordinating the food security sector nationally to ensure the most efficient response to food availability and access issues.
More information: http://fscluster.org/south-sudan-rep
SO 200778: Through the Logistics Cluster, WFP supports the humanitarian community by providing logistical expertise, coordination and transportation of humanitarian cargo. More information: http://www.logcluster.org/ops/ssd11a
SO 200931: The Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC) provides necessary telecommunication services where basic infrastructure is limited. More information: https://www.etcluster.org/emergencies/south-sudanconflict
SO 200786: WFP operates the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) on behalf of the humanitarian community, providing safe and reliable air transport to thousands of humanitarian personnel.
SO 200379: The feeder roads operation is dedicated to linking farmers and communities to markets and basic services as well as to reducing transportation costs and improving delivery efficiency.
IR-EMOP: The IR-EMOP aims to provide immediate food assistance to an estimated 45,000 people who were displaced by the recent outbreak of violence in Juba in July 2016
BAMAKO – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is happy to announce that the Belgian Government has contributed USD 2.2 million to help nearly 115,000 vulnerable persons in Mali.
“The Belgian Government has been working alongside the Malian Government for more than 20 years. It remains committed to Mali and its people and will continue supporting populations, especially vulnerable communities in northern Mali who bear the brunt of the crisis,” Myriam Bcquelaine, Chief of Belgium’s Diplomatic Corps in Mali in said.
This contribution also reinforces the Belgian Government and WFPs partnership in Mali.
“This funding came at just the right time. The 2016 National Humanitarian Response Plan was only funded at 30 percent even though humanitarian needs, especially food security and nutrition needs, remain high.” Silvia Caruso, WFP’s Representative in Mali said.
The past four years have been particularly difficult for the populations living in northern and central Mali; they have been battling both severe drought and continued conflict. Despite the challenges populations in Northern Mali face on a daily basis, financial constraints have forced WFP to drastically cut its operational support for refugees and internally displaced persons, completely suspend the school meals programme and reduce its support for children and pregnant and nursing women suffering from moderate acute malnutrition.
“The Belgian contribution will enable WFP to re-launch the school meals programme in approximately 500 schools and rapidly respond to emergency situations throughout the country. However, 69,000 children in close to 400 schools will not receive school meals because of a lack of funding; additional resources are necessary to ensure that all targeted children receive school meals,” Caruso added.
Malnutrition affects one in three children in Mali; latest figures show a Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) rate of 12.4 percent among children under five across the country. In the region of Timbuktu, this rate rises to 17.5 percent, exceeding the World Health Organization’s critical emergency threshold.
Malnutrition presents serious health risks for children, and can be fatal; it slows intellectual development, saps productivity and perpetuates poverty among affected communities.
Between now and the end of 2016, WFP has the capacity to provide cash based transfers to 27,000 IDPs and refugees in northern Mali, provide school meals to 77, 510 children in close to 500 schools and treat 9,060 children under 5 and 890 pregnant and nursing mothers suffering from moderate acute malnutrition.
Cette fiche présente un profil des communautés dans la sous-préfecture de Bagassola sur la base des informations collectées à travers un réseau de 101 informateurs clés interrogés sur leur village d’origine, et 24 déplacés interrogés sur leur localité de déplacement. Les enquêtes ont eu lieu entre le 19 août - 22 septembre 2016. 77 villages et 15 localités de déplacement ont été couverts par l’enquête.
BORNO, Nigeria– “It was during the quiet hours, about 8:30pm, that Boko Haram came,” 15-year-old Goggoji told UNFPA. “I could see fire as houses were burnt.”
She and her mother were captured by the militant group and loaded onto trucks filled with women and girls. “They shot any young man they saw,” she described.
It was the beginning of two years of torment. She was only 12 years old at the time, but that did not matter. “They came in large numbers to select wives among us,” Goggoji said.
Today, she lives in a displacement camp in Maiduguri, where she and her 9-month-old daughter, Aisha, are receiving health care at a UNFPA-supported rehabilitation centre. Goggoji is also receiving psychosocial support, which includes counselling.
She is far from alone. Some 565 former abductees of Boko Haram, all of them women and children, are receiving care from the same rehabilitation centre. Like Goggoji, many of the young girls are already mothers.
A long way to go
“I made several attempts to run away,” Goggoji explained. “Each time I was caught, it meant being punished by 100 lashes. I would also be kept in the hot sun for hours.” She eventually managed to escape over the border to Cameroon, where she found help from a family friend.
But a Boko Haram fighter was sent to find her. He told her that her mother was being tortured, and that she would be killed if Goggoji did not return. “That was how they got me back again. After that day, I never saw my mother again,” she said, beginning to sob.
She eventually managed to escape for good, bringing her daughter into the forest where they wandered for three days before they came to a military camp.
But a river separated them from the camp. It took a team of soldiers, and a floatation device improvised out of two water containers, to rescue them. “Half way across the water, the current was so strong that it almost drowned us all,” she said.
Today, at the rehabilitation centre, she and her daughter are slowly recovering. But they have a long way to go. And the scars of Goggoji’s experience will always be with her.
“I can still hear my mother’s voice screaming,” she said.
Giving birth on the run
Hauwa was also abducted two years ago, at age 13.
“I could I see a group of men as they walked into our compound. They came right into the room to where my sick father lay.”
The fighters announced they would take Hauwa. When her father refused, the men laughed and pointed a gun at him. “At that point, my father had no option but to allow me to be taken away,” she recalled.
Hauwa was taken to a compound in the bush. “One evening, a large number of them came and informed us that they would be taking us in as wives.”
The man who abducted her forced her to be his so-called "wife."
“After the first six months, I became very sick. My ‘husband,’ as he was called, came in with one woman who confirmed I was pregnant. There are no doctors in the forest. No clinics.”
While she was pregnant, she discovered that the rest of her family had also been captured. She was allowed to visit her parents, who were starving. They ate only the fruits they could collect and whatever they could barter.
Together, they made plans to run for it.
“The escape was stressful to my condition, being pregnant,” Hauwa said. “It took us three days and three nights on foot to reach Gwoza,” their home town.
She gave birth while on the run.
They are now receiving counselling and medical care at the rehabilitation centre in Maiduguri.
Seven months have passed since their escape, but Hauwa is still struggling. The counsellors at the centre must encourage her to breastfeed her baby.
Deploying assistance Since the outbreak of the Boko Haram conflict, thousands of people have been abducted and over a million have been displaced by the violence. In Borno State alone, there are 1.3 million internally displaced people, according to recent UN reports.
UNFPA has deployed hundreds of counsellors and health-care professionals to areas affected by the crisis, assisting not only former captives but also displaced families and host communities.
Since 2014, UNFPA has supported more than 87,000 safe childbirths in the crisis-affected states, and has provided psychosocial support to more than 174,000 people. Over 54,000 dignity kits, which contain essential hygiene supplies such as sanitary napkins, soap and clothes, have also been distributed.
7818TH MEETING (AM)
Speakers Highlight Effective Initiatives in Some Regions, Low Capacity in Others
Management of the world’s precious water resources must be promoted as a means to foster cooperation rather than conflict, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the Security Council today, as he opened a day-long open debate on water, peace and security.
“Water challenges affect us all,” said Secretary-General Ban. “Let us commit to invest in water security as a means to ensure long-term international peace and security.” Access to water could exacerbate communal tensions, as in Afghanistan and Peru, and armed conflict resulted in destruction of water systems, as in Syria and Gaza, he said, pointing out that Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh) targeted control of dams as a strategic tactic.
On the other hand, shared water resources often generated cooperation, with more than 200 water treaties having been negotiated successfully in the latter twentieth century, he said, citing agreements signed between India and Pakistan, Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan, as well as Mali, Mauritania and Senegal as instruments promoting stability and peace. Describing United Nations efforts to promote “hydro-diplomacy”, he said that he and the President of the World Bank Group had convened the High-level Panel on Water and Peace to champion a comprehensive and collaborative way to develop and manage water resources. He called for implementation of the Panel’s recently adopted Action Plan.
Others briefing the Council were Danilo Turk, Chair of the Global High-level Panel on Water and Peace, Christine Beerli, Vice-President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and Sundeep Waslekar, President of the Strategic Foresight Group.
Mr. Turk described the transboundary management of the Senegal River Basin — involving Senegal, Guinea, Mali and Mauritania — as an inspiration for the founding of the High-level Panel. Unfortunately, such cooperation was relatively rare, he said, noting that of the 236 shared river basins, only 84 had joint water-management bodies. Good practices in the area of inter-sectoral cooperation on water resources, including voluntary codes of water management involving the full range of stakeholders, was particularly important, he emphasized. Noting growing efforts to address water issues through United Nations peacekeeping and peacebuilding initiatives, he called for contributions of specific expertise on the issue to both efforts.
Ms. Beerli, noting that the ICRC was one of the main providers of water to people affected by armed conflict, emphasized the interdependence of essential services, including water, health and electricity. Calling upon parties to conflict, Governments, donors and humanitarian organizations to work together to support the resilience of such services during periods of crisis, she emphasized the Council’s role in promoting dialogue and ensuring respect for international humanitarian law with respect to the management of water resources.
Mr. Waslekar proposed the creation of a “blue fund” for collaborative infrastructure projects, and suggested that the Council extend its pronouncements on the protection of medical personal and facilities to water resources. Ceasefires could be negotiated to facilitate repair of water systems, among other measures, he added.
Presiding over the meeting, which heard from more than 60 speakers, was Mankeur Ndiaye, Senegal’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Senegalese Abroad, whose country holds the Council Presidency for November. Speaking in his national capacity, he noted that while competition for water seemed inevitable, coordinated and peaceful management of the resource was possible. Citing his own country’s engagement in hydro-diplomacy through the creation of a joint mechanism for the management of the Senegal River Basin, he said most shared water sources lacked such mechanisms, which led to disputes over water distribution. Water supplies were often targets of war, he said, while warning that preventive diplomacy, while critical, must be done carefully lest the attention paid to the issue actually heightened tensions.
According to the concept note (document S/2016/969) prepared by the Senegalese Presidency, the purpose of today’s debate was to take a close look at the issue of water as a driver of conflict and an object of cooperation. Growing scarcity and unequal access to water had made the issue more urgent in the context of preventing conflict, for which the United Nations provided crucial platforms for cooperation and mediation, it stated.
Most speakers today affirmed the need to protect water supplies for conflict‑affected populations, with many describing the mechanisms successfully created in their respective regions. They agreed that joint water management could foster trust, stability and peace. Germany’s representative, noting that the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks report ranked water crises among the risks with the greatest impact and likelihood, also pointed out that the International Organization for Migration estimated that about 200 million people would be forcibly displaced by 2050 due to threats causing or increasing water scarcity. “Water wars” were not inevitable, however, he said, adding that transboundary water cooperation was the only effective and lasting regional solution to water disputes, as proven by such positive examples as the Danube.
Brazil’s representative stressed that cooperation, not coercion, should guide efforts to ensure the just and efficient use of limited water resources. Brazil had signed the Treaty of the River Plate Basin with three neighbouring countries in 1969, establishing a committee to promote joint projects in one of the world’s largest river basins. A decade later, the Tripartite Agreement linking Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay had ended a long-standing controversy regarding hydroelectric power plants, he said. Describing initiatives in Central America, Costa Rica’s representative called for the development of an inclusive binding international instrument for the protection of water resources.
Some African countries called for intensifying initiatives to manage the shrinking resources of the Lake Chad Basin, which they cited as a factor in the poverty and conflict afflicting that region. Angola’s representative said that amid the scarcity of safe drinking water, people in some countries took water for granted and turned it into a lucrative business. The Lake Chad Basin was a dramatic case in which the link between water and peace was at centre stage, he said, noting that the situation there had led to youth radicalization, terrorism and a huge humanitarian crisis.
Several speakers invoked ongoing conflict over water, with the Russian Federation’s representative saying that Ukraine was blocking the supply of water to Crimea. Ukraine’s representative countered by stating that the problem originated from the illegal Russian occupation of that peninsula. Syria’s representative said that terrorists were destroying water infrastructure and poisoning supplies, while sanctions prevented the maintenance of water systems.
While several speakers criticized Israel for the diversion of water from Palestinian communities and for damaging systems in the Gaza Strip, that country’s representative replied that Israel had applied innovative technologies to create a water surplus out of scarcity, and was sharing its resources and expertise in the region and around the world. It had authorized increased supply to Palestinian areas but the Palestinian Authority had refused to cooperate, he added.
Pakistan’s representative noted that the regions most likely to be affected by acute water scarcity were those facing political turmoil and conflict, emphasizing that Member States must be willing to share water resources peacefully. Malaysia’s representative declared: “Using water as an instrument of war is reprehensible”, stressing that there could be no defence for targeting water, health, food and other essential services.
Also speaking today were representatives of Uruguay, China, United States, United Kingdom, Japan, New Zealand, Egypt, France, Venezuela, Spain, Kazakhstan, Sweden, Iran, Colombia, Hungary, Italy, Guatemala, Slovenia, Mexico, South Africa, Poland, India, Belgium, Nigeria, Morocco, Bangladesh, Georgia, Cyprus, Palau, Portugal, Jordan, Djibouti, Australia, Finland, Romania, Argentina, Botswana, Netherlands, Slovakia, Côte d’Ivoire, Haiti, Sudan, Maldives, Canada, Viet Nam, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Indonesia, Ethiopia, Armenia and Switzerland. Others addressing the Council were an observer for the European Union delegation and the Permanent Observers for the Holy See.
The meeting began at 10:05 a.m. and ended at 5:46 p.m.
BAN KI-MOON, Secretary-General of the United Nations, said that by 2050 at least one in four human beings would be likely to live in a country affected by chronic or recurring shortages of fresh water, with climate change compounding the challenge. Management of the more than 260 international rivers and at least that many transboundary aquifers was especially important, he emphasized. Cautioning that the issue of access to water could exacerbate communal tensions, as in Afghanistan and Peru, he said, noting also that armed conflict resulted in destruction of water supply, as seen in Syria and Gaza. Control of dams was often a strategic goal, as shown by operations carried out by Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh).
On the other hand, shared water resources often generated cooperation, with river or lake basins shared among neighbours by some three quarters of Member States, he said, pointing out that more than 200 water treaties had been successfully negotiated in the second half of the twentieth century. They included agreements signed between India and Pakistan, Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan, as well as Mali, Mauritania and Senegal as instruments that promoted stability and peace. The United Nations had actively promoted the potential of water for cooperation, he said, citing the notable example of the “hydro-diplomacy” efforts carried out by the United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia.
He went on to note that the Department of Political Affairs and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) had published a guide containing strategies and best practices for promoting mediation and dialogue for resolving disputes over water. The participation of women was particularly important in ensuring that water issues were addressed in peace agreements, he stressed, recalling that, to rally concerted action around hydro-diplomacy, he and the President of the World Bank Group had convened the High-level Panel on Water to champion a comprehensive and collaborative way to develop and manage water resources. He commended Senegal’s role in that effort and encouraged greater participation in implementing the Panel’s recently adopted Action Plan. “Water challenges affect us all,” he pointed out. “Let us use this Security Council meeting to highlight the value of water as a reason for cooperation, not conflict.” He added: “And let us commit to invest in water security as a means to ensure long-term international peace and security.”
DANILO TÜRK, Chair, Global High-level Panel on Water and Peace, said that Senegal’s effective cooperation with Guinea, Mali and Mauritania on use of the Senegal River could be a global inspiration and had contributed to the establishment of the High-level Panel on Water and Peace, the goal of which was to propose specific recommendations to help in the search for solutions and to prevent armed conflicts. Transboundary water cooperation was a prime example of a potentially powerful tool for long-term conflict prevention, he said, noting that countries with developed mechanisms for water cooperation seldom resorted to war. However, transboundary water-cooperation mechanisms were relatively rare, and of the 236 shared river basins, involving 145 States, only 84 had joint water-management bodies. Greater political support for additional international cooperation was necessary and much of it could be generated by the United Nations, the Security Council and the General Assembly, in particular. An important political priority was to complement transboundary water cooperation with financial incentives, he emphasized.
In its preventive mode, the United Nations must be attentive to inter-sectoral cooperation on water intended to reduce tensions, in full accordance with the sovereign rights of States, he said. Good practices in that regard included voluntary codes of water management involving a variety of stakeholders. Noting that the United Nations system had been dealing with various water issues under “UN Water”, which brought together all relevant organs, funds and agencies, he said that activity had been mostly concentrated on technical, environmental and legal questions. It was now time to address the political and security aspects of water cooperation, in which the Council could play a critical role, he stressed. Water was usually transformed into a weapon during armed conflict, most often affecting civilian populations, he said. The question was how the protection of civilians in armed conflict could be increased, including in matters of water supply. Diplomatic and military means might be required to support efforts by local and international humanitarian organizations to ensure the functioning of water infrastructure during conflict, he said, while underlining that defence of water by civilian populations for their own use was a legitimate form of self-defence.
The Council could convey a sense of legitimacy to military actions whose sole purpose was the protection of water sources and installations, he said, adding that such legitimate defence was closely related to the future of international humanitarian law. Water sources and water installations were among the major areas of concern for peace operations and peacebuilding, he continued. Defence of civilians had become part of the doctrine of United Nations peacekeeping, and the “adequate capabilities” that Member States must provide to peace missions should include water and electric power specialists, according to the report of the High-level Independent Panel on Peace Operations. It was encouraging that the current Global Field Support Strategy placed stronger emphasis on environmental management, including water, he said, noting that water infrastructure was also a vital part of any peacebuilding activity. Underscoring that cooperation on shared water basins was a historically proven factor of post-conflict stabilization and peacebuilding, he said the Peacebuilding Commission should therefore include water management and cooperation among its priorities.
CHRISTINE BEERLI, Vice President, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), emphasizing the many crucial uses of water, said “water is a symbol of life in the poetry of every nation”. Its vital importance often made it a highly contested resource in armed conflict and water systems were damaged or destroyed in many wars. Highlighting the dangers involved in collecting water, especially for women and girls who were tasked with that activity in many societies, she said water was also directly linked to public health and migration. “When water supply fails, a civilian population has no option but to move,” she added.
She said the ICRC worked in more than 80 countries, partnering with local authorities, commercial entities, communities and national Red Cross or Red Crescent societies to provide water every day to people affected by conflict and violence. The rise of protracted urban warfare in the Middle East as well as increasing concentrations of internally displaced persons in urban areas of Lake Chad Basin countries had caused an exponential increase in the scale and technical complexity of water operations. Attacks on electricity sub‑stations, water‑storage installations and piping could render them unusable, cutting off tens of thousands of people in a single strike, she noted.
Highlighting the various relevant protections provided by international humanitarian law, she called on parties to conflict, Government donors and humanitarian organizations to work together to support resilient urban services during armed conflict. The Council must take measures to ensure respect for international humanitarian law and take into account the interdependence of essential services, such as water, health and electricity. It was also important to help facilitate dialogue between warring parties on water needs and to prioritize effective partnerships between local authorities, service providers and humanitarian organizations so as to ensure resilient water services, she said, emphasizing that they must remain seized of that issue.
SUNDEEP WASLEKAR, President, Strategic Foresight Group, said water could be a source of crisis but also of cooperation. With about 2 billion people living in shared river basins, water was often seen as a local or regional issue, but it was increasingly also a global security matter, he emphasized, cautioning that, if mismanagement of water and climate change combined with mismanagement of politics, there could be consequences around the world. With resources depleting, supplies of fresh water could be down by 25 per cent in the next 20 years, he said, stressing that the impact would be felt by all.
Noting that the Strategic Foresight Group had found that any two countries engaged in active water cooperation did not go to war for any reason at all, he said there was thus a direct correlation between water cooperation and the risk of war. There was also a continuum in water management, since the resource was the key to peaceful and inclusive existence of peoples. The impact of water management was not confined to one region and there was a positive relationship between water cooperation and peace, he said, urging the Council to find ways to consider water as a strategic means for the maintenance of international peace and security.
Recalling that the Council had passed 2286 (2016) on protection of medical personnel and installations, he said it could consider a resolution in the same spirit to protect water resources, he said, urging its members, especially the permanent ones, to consider negotiating ceasefires to repair water systems, which would be a better investment than trying to find water on Mars or on the moon. The Council could also intensify water cooperation as a form of preventive diplomacy. The role of financial incentives in water management cooperation would be important in that regard, he said, proposing the creation of a “blue fund” to support collaborative infrastructure projects. One billion dollars annually from the Green Climate Fund could create $13 billion worth of infrastructure, he said, adding that the world had enough capacity to find solutions with the Council providing guidance and inspiration.
MANKEUR NDIAYE, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Senegalese Abroad of Senegal, which holds the Council Presidency for November, spoke in his national capacity, noting that water was indispensable for life and was increasingly scarce for a growing world population. The resulting forecasts of shortages were very worrying. Competition for water seemed inevitable. However, coordinated and peaceful management of resources was possible, bringing States closer together. He cited as an example his country’s engagement in hydro-diplomacy through the creation of a joint mechanism for management of the Senegal River Basin. Most shared water sources lacked such mechanisms and water distribution often flamed disputes and water supplies were often a target of war.
Preventive diplomacy was critical, he said, but it had to be done carefully lest tensions were actually heightened by the attention paid to the issue. The Group of Friends on the issue had been created in order to deal with the complexities. He called for participation in that group and urged the international community to intensify its work to ensure that “water flows only in the direction of development, peace and harmony among peoples”.
RAMLAN BIN IBRAHIM (Malaysia), affirming a legitimate linkage between water, peace and security, hoped that the discussion could strengthen the Security Council’s work on conflict prevention. Occupation could not be ignored in that context, and he called for the end of the diversion of Palestinian water supplies by Israel. On the other hand, he commended international efforts on integrated water resources management, particularly those pursued by the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Given continued tensions over water and the targeting of the resource in ongoing conflicts, it was vitally important to continue to address the issue of water, sanitation and related infrastructure in relevant areas. In that regard, technological transfer and other assistance was essential in the context of peace building.
ELBIO ROSSELLI (Uruguay), noting work on the issue of water in the General Assembly and affirming the importance of addressing the security implications of water in the Council, expressed repugnance over the use of water as a strategic weapon of war. Access to the resource was a basic human right. In that regard, he welcomed the related commitments in the Sustainable Development Goals. He also described cooperation in his region among States sharing the Guarani Aquifer and the Uruguay River. His country had also contributed to providing potable water for civilians in Haiti. Cooperative management was the only long-term way of meeting the challenge of sustainable water for everyone, he stressed.
VOLODYMYR YELCHENKO (Ukraine), associating himself with the European Union, noted that the scarcity of freshwater and its uneven distribution across the world caused competition for its use, which could lead to conflicts. Recent examples of such conflict demonstrated the need to consider protecting critical infrastructure through the promotion of international cooperation. For the Security Council, the water issue should form an essential element of its conflict prevention work, he stressed, pointing out that Europe was expanding inter-State cooperation on water. Together with 13 countries and the European Union, Ukraine was working on sustainable and equitable water management through the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River. Drawing attention to the resolution on the protection of the environment in areas affected by armed conflict, he noted that Ukraine had faced environmental issues as a result of foreign military aggression in Donbas. Those issues included damage to pipelines, pumping stations and other infrastructure critical for water supply. Greater awareness and practical implementation of the resolution’s provisions as well as relevant international law would foster environmental protection related to armed conflicts and reduce their environmental impact.
LIU JIEYI (China) said the problem of water scarcity was acute in many regions and had a bearing on international peace and security. The international community should strengthen water-resource management to remove the root causes of water scarcity and countries should improve scientific development for more efficient use of the resource. Emphasizing that sharing water resources could enhance international cooperation and prevent tension, he said the international community must provide more assistance to African countries by helping regional organizations involved in managing transboundary water resources and helping to enhance water infrastructure. Ensuring universal access to water was an important safeguard for peace and security, he said, stressing that regional and subregional organizations as well as United Nations entities should, upon request by concerned countries, play an active role in transboundary cooperation by facilitating dialogue. China had implemented projects to help enhance the capacity of African countries to improve water preservation and management, he noted.
ISOBEL COLEMAN (United States) said the over-use and poor management of the Lake Chad Basin had led to a 90 per cent reduction in the size of that body of water, which had led to territorial disputes, but the affected countries had established the Lake Chad Basin Commission to try to solve the disputes peacefully. The international community must bolster its support to help the Commission and local Governments build capacity in order to ensure lasting peace and security. Describing water scarcity in other places, such as Iraq, where ISIL/Da’esh had seized strategic dams, she urged the international community to support regional solutions to water disputes. Building institutions could help to lock in progress, and sound data were essential in providing support for sound decision-making in terms of giving early warning when water issues might lead to conflict, she said.
ISMAEL ABRAÃO GASPAR MARTINS (Angola) said increasing portions of the world were confronted with scarcity of safe drinking water, although people in some countries took water for granted and turned it into a lucrative business. Water problems were part of the problem of climate change and environmental degradation and also a source of social and political conflict. Praising the management of the Senegal River Basin as an outstanding example of regional cooperation, he noted that such good practice was not always the rule. The Lake Chad Basin was a dramatic case in which the link between water and peace was at centre stage, he said, noting that the situation there had led to youth radicalization, terrorism and a huge humanitarian crisis. The Lake Chad Basin Commission had developed a replenishing project which deserved priority support, since the Basin could become a hotbed of conflict, he emphasized. Urging regional cooperation on transboundary basins, he described actions taken by the countries around the Okavango River Basin, including Angola.
MATTHEW RYCROFT (United Kingdom) praised Senegal’s leadership in the Senegal River Basin as an example of managing transboundary water resources for development instead of conflict. In less than 10 years, 2.5 billion people could be affected by water scarcity and the global demand for water could outstrip supply by 40 per cent within 20 years, he said, adding that $500 billion had been lost to flood damage, drought and floods. To the people affected, however, it was a matter of life and death. Noting that conflict could lead to the targeting of water infrastructure, he welcomed the idea of establishing ceasefires for the purpose of undertaking repairs. He went on to describe a project that his country, together with other partners, was undertaking in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region to support water projects that could help 3 million of the poorest people in that subregion.
KORO BESSHO (Japan), underlining that the sound development and use of water resources were crucial to achieving peace and prosperity, also noted that its importance had led to disputes among States, including recent attacks on a water treatment plant in Aleppo and on waste‑water treatment plants in Gaza. His country had worked with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) to build roads to improve access to water to the people of Juba. Japan had also led discussions on the International Law Commission’s draft articles on the law of transboundary aquifers, which provided a valuable platform for countries to establish agreements for the proper management of their aquifer systems.
PETR V. ILIICHEV (Russian Federation) said only sustainable access to water could bring about sustainable development and fulfilment of the 2030 Agenda. Noting that his delegation supported a draft resolution initiated by Tajikistan in the Second Committee, on the second Decade for Water for Sustainable Development, he said natural resources could not be considered the underlying reason for conflict, but only an amplifier of already existing disputes. Expressing doubt over the utility of involving the Security Council in issues of sustainable development, he warned that the geopolitical aspects of water cooperation could only compound the quest to resolve difficult socioeconomic situations and hinder sustainable development as a whole. The key to resolving water issues lay in increasing national development, he said, emphasizing the importance of developing the regional and international legal bases for regulating water resources. It was necessary to find mutually accepted approaches on the basis of partnerships and national sovereignty, and the Russian Federation regretted that Ukraine had once again tried to use the Council as a forum for propaganda work and for providing political cover for Kyiv’s criminal activities rather than for the purpose of making constructive contributions.
GERARD VAN BOHEMEN (New Zealand) emphasized that the effective management of water resources was a conflict prevention tool. In many parts of the world, considerable progress had been made in the collaborative management of water resources, enhancing security and prosperity. For its part, the United Nations could play an important role, he said, welcoming the Department of Political Affairs’ fostering of dialogue and cooperation on the management of transboundary water resources in Central Asia. Furthermore, in conflict situations, competition for water resources would affect the conduct and continuation of hostilities. It was essential that disputes were fully integrated into conflict analyses, prevention and resolution strategies. Among other things, he also stressed that water security must not be considered solely as a transboundary issue. For many small island States in the Pacific, reliable access to fresh water was an existential issue. Given that almost half of them had no significant surface water resources, it had left many communities reliant on unpredictable rainfall patterns for fresh water. With a view to addressing such vulnerabilities, New Zealand had been working with its Pacific partners to strengthen national water management and delivery systems.
AMR ABDELLATIF ABOULATTA (Egypt) said that all studies on water resources had stressed that scarcity of water led to competition and could cause conflicts between States. Egypt suffered from a scarcity of water resources, as it relied on only one water source – the River Nile. That was compounded by a scarcity of rainfall and overpopulation, with its per capita share of water only 600 metres per year, which was below the water poverty line. Egypt’s share of the River Nile failed to respond to its basic needs, he pointed out, adding that it was difficult to rely on underground water, as it was a non-renewable source. All those factors were compounded by the fact that Egypt was a downstream nation. His country had contributed to establishing the Nile Basin Initiative and was cooperating with it so that relevant nations benefited from water resources. Stressing that countries must respect their commitments according to multilateral agreements on cross‑border resources, he said they must also stop financing construction that had a negative impact on downstream States.
FRANÇOIS DELATTRE (France), emphasizing that water should never be a source of division but should instead be a factor for cooperation amongst States, noted that natural resources were at stake in many conflicts. Climate change compounded the situation due to its impact on land degradation and desertification, but even in times of war, the sharing of water resources could facilitate dialogue between belligerents. A fair multilateral framework characterized by quality expertise was essential. Second, the Security Council had a key role to play, he said, stressing that it must ensure the protection and distribution of water resources during conflicts. It must also ensure that peacekeeping operations left a minimal environmental impact in their wake, and learn all the lessons of the operational recommendations that the High-level Panel on Water and Peace would formulate in the course of 2017. Third, it was high time to start thinking about global water architecture and governance, which was currently not commensurate with the goals of the 2030 Agenda, he said. Concerted management of water resources, particularly access to drinking water, was not merely a technical topic but a vital development, human rights and security issue, he stressed.
HENRY ALFREDO SUÁREZ MORENO (Venezuela) noted that more than 1.2 billion people worldwide lived in areas with a shortage of water and that one billion relieved themselves in the open air. Farming accounted for 70 per cent of the world’s extraction of water, with that figure rising to 90 per cent in least developed countries. If the world continued with its current consumption of water, it would see a significant decrease in availability by 2030. A scarcity of water would exacerbate any attempts to resolve conflicts or to take a holistic approach to them. The 2030 Agenda recognized that socio‑economic development depended on the sustainable management of resources, including water. Efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals should be analysed annually in a high‑level political forum, which would consider their interrelated nature. He stressed that the international community must seek a balanced approach to achieving those goals.
JUAN MANUEL GONZÁLEZ DE LINARES PALOU (Spain) said water management had today become risk management, explaining that it was a risk relating to insecurity and exacerbated by climate change. Emphasizing the growing importance of “water diplomacy”, he said some countries continued to lack appropriate institutions for managing the resource, noting that it was in places where Governments demonstrated incapacity to supply water that conflicts could be found. Spain had thousands of years of experience in water management, including during chronic shortages, and shared its experience both bilaterally and regionally, he said. Armed conflict could lead to abuses of international humanitarian law and violations of human rights, especially in relation to access to water, and the civilian population was the real victim of the use of water as a weapon of war or as a political or military weapon.
Mr. YELCHENKO (Ukraine), taking the floor a second time, suggested that the representative of the Russian Federation check the language of his previous statement, which had not mentioned that country. However, the territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea remained under occupation by the Russian Federation, and the occupying Power bore responsibility for its illegal actions, he said. The statement by the representative of the Russian Federation showed the inability of the occupying authorities to provide for the needs of the local population. Instead of owning up to its actions, the Russian Federation opted to use the issue of water supply to Crimea as a propaganda tool, he said, adding that it should take steps to end the occupation of Crimea to resolve the issue.
Mr. ILIICHEV (Russian Federation), also took the floor a second time, describing the water blockade as an intentional act by Kyiv aimed at exacerbating the humanitarian situation in hopes that it would result in disaster. The water blockade had been followed by an energy and food blockade, he added. On the situation in Donbas, he said the most recent report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights stated clearly that as a result of military activities, infrastructure was suffering and there was restricted access to water. The report appealed to all sides, including the armed forces of Ukraine, to ensure respect for international humanitarian law, he pointed out.
AKYLBEK KAMALDINOV (Kazakhstan) said the risk of water-related conflicts had grown over the past decade due to increased competition, inadequate management and the impacts of climate change. Water shortages threatening food production and energy supply placed additional stress on countries struggling with poverty, diverting them away from global cooperation. As shortages became more acute in the next 10 years, tensions would arise over control and distribution of such resources. Already, water was a major source of conflict impacting economic and social development. In that context, the urgency of the situation demanded information sharing, early‑warning signals, and the prompt use of existing mechanisms. Emphasizing that water security was increasingly becoming one of the defining factors for human progress, he added that Kazakhstan was committed to championing water security for the benefit of all.
MAURO VIEIRA (Brazil) said cooperation, not coercion, should guide efforts to ensure the just and efficient use of limited water resources. Agencies and initiatives such as UN-Water, the Food and Agriculture Organization’s Land and Water Division, the World Water Assessment Programme and the International Hydrological Programme of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) provided technical expertise to prevent and solve issues concerning water resources management. In 1969, Brazil had signed the Treaty of the River Plate Basin with three of its neighbouring countries establishing a committee to promote joint projects in one of the world’s largest river basins. A decade later, the Tripartite Agreement between Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay ended a long-standing controversy regarding hydroelectric power plants. That agreement also paved the way for deeper integration and cooperation in the region. The Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization had also made great strides in promoting cooperation and sustainable development in the Amazon Basin. Those regional initiatives were evidence to the potential of coordinated water management as an instrument to prevent and resolve disputes.
OLOF SKOOG (Sweden), noting that water scarcity disproportionately affected the most vulnerable and poor, pointed to the Sahel region and Lake Chad area where drought, land degradation and desertification had led to resource scarcity and food insecurity. Highlighting his country’s efforts in “water diplomacy”, he added that while the threat of violence over water was real, it also offered opportunities for cooperation. Water had even become a driver for conflict resolution, as evidenced in transboundary water management, where States tended to collaborate rather than enter into violent disputes over shared waters. Calling for smarter and more integrated water management techniques, he said that stronger partnerships were necessary to turn water into an opportunity for cooperation.
MALEEHA LODHI (Pakistan) said that Asian and African States, in particular sub‑Saharan States, were all witnessing a growth in population, vulnerability to climate change and an ever-increasing hunger for development. The countries of those regions were likely to be the first to face the challenge of sharing transboundary waters. Therefore, the ability of such countries to cooperate and peacefully share water resources would be critical to their peace and security. She also underscored that regions most likely to be affected by acute water scarcity were those facing political turmoil and conflict. Member States must be willing to share water resources peacefully. The international community should promote bilateral and regional agreements on waterways and ensure that, once those agreements were developed, they not be undermined through unilateral or coercive measures.
GHOLAMHOSSEIN DEHGHANI (Iran) said that, with 260 rivers shared in one way or the other between 180 countries, water-related issues could affect regional peace significantly. Unprecedented population growth and climate change were putting increasing pressures on freshwater resources. Calling for an enhanced coordinated response from the international community, he added that the fierce competition for fresh water could well become a source of conflict and war in the future in the same way that land or energy had led to conflicts in the past. Water diplomacy must promote a new approach to managing complex water issues and networks, and innovative water management approaches should replace outdated zero‑sum battles over the resource.
CARLOS ARTURO MORALES LÓPEZ (Colombia), observing that less than 3 per cent of the world’s water supply consisted of freshwater, said that his country was committed to Sustainable Development Goal 6 and had made many efforts to ensure integrated water management. Colombia’s national water plans and policies aimed at conserving ecosystems and hydrological cycles, optimizing use of water, reducing levels of contamination, and supporting institutional conditions for holistic management of water resources. Highlighting the importance of water-related conflict management, he also said that “water must be at the front and centre” of international dialogue. He called for integrated and pragmatic solutions spearheaded by the United Nations, and emphasized that the General Assembly was the appropriate forum for discussing the use of water resources, as it was a universal body and would ensure a wide debate within the international community.
KATALIN ANNAMÁRIA BOGYAY (Hungary) said the challenges of sustainable management of freshwater resources and the looming global water crisis were, to a large extent, man-made. Mutual dependencies would only increase over time as regions and sectors exposed to water shortages relied more on waters controlled by others. That was due to the dramatically changing climatic conditions and excessive growth in global population. Significant changes were needed in water management to prevent it becoming one of the main causes of future conflicts or a tool for certain methods of war. Water was the most critical natural resource of the twenty-first century and must be treated as a high priority. Cooperation across geographical and political boundaries would be important for stability and survivability for the more than 40 per cent of humans who lived on shared waters. To avoid mismanagement, distrust and eventually conflict, the establishment of coordination mechanisms at the level of transboundary river basins or aquifers was an absolute must.
SEBASTIANO CARDI (Italy), associating himself with the European Union, underscored that international cooperation was an essential tool for the prevention of conflicts related to resource scarcity. In that regard, the International Freshwater Treaties Database contained a list of examples of agreements that were alternatives to conflict. Italy was a party to the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes, also known as the Water Convention, which proved instrumental after the conflict in the former Yugoslavia and provided an institutional framework of cooperation based on sustainability and peace. In addition, education, research and cooperation, as well as the transfer of knowledge, on sustainable water management were key. Advanced water management could contribute to the advancement of societies, he said, adding that the root causes of conflict should be recognized, as well as the challenges that climate change, urbanization, population growth and migration posed to the stability of the world.
JORGE SKINNER-KLÉE (Guatemala) said that unequal distribution of water resources called for careful and sensible water conservation, especially given the expected increase in population. Citing former Secretary-General Kofi Annan, he said that while competition for fresh water could be a source of conflict, it could also be a catalyst for cooperation. He called for a strategic response to the problems underlying water shortages, adding that he was especially concerned about man‑made factors, such as climate change, rapid demographic growth, pollution, and appropriation of water resources. In addition, the relationship between water and peace needed more analysis. It was necessary to develop the global architecture related to water management by enhancing relevant local, regional and national policies. By addressing that issue in the Council, the international community was underscoring that water was a strategic resource which had an impact on security and development.
ANDREJ LOGAR (Slovenia) said water’s value and strategic place in international politics had long been underestimated, as had the dangers of water scarcity for peace and security. Considering the effects of climate change, including droughts, floods and rising sea levels, the international community must adopt a different attitude and more coherent approach to water management and its protection. Stressing that mobilizing political will was crucial in protecting water resources, he said the Security Council had an important role to play in raising awareness of the importance of water for peace and security and in preventing possible water-related conflicts. Regional organizations also had a great role to play in contributing to peaceful and sustainable water management across national borders, as did inclusive water partnerships. Those partnerships should involve a range of actors – governments, civil society and the private sector – and should be fairly and appropriately financed.
JUAN SANDOVAL MENDIOLEA (Mexico), speaking on behalf of the Global High-level Panel on Water, said that sustainable and inclusive management of water should be for the benefit of all. Referring to Sustainable Development Goal 6, he also underscored that water should be at the heart of future discussions, whether they concerned social and economic development, peace and security or climate change. As well, the Panel had launched a plan of action highlighting the human right to drinking water and sanitation services. Current recommendations and research on water and peace were being consolidated to put forward a new initiative in 2017. In his national capacity, he reiterated that the protection and management of water resources was of importance in regions where water was a frequent source of conflict.
WOUTER HOFMEYR ZAAYMAN (South Africa) said that it was evident how water impacted conflicts, particularly in Africa and those countries along the Nile, as well as in the water‑scarce parts of the Middle East. Referring to the recent World Bank report “High and Dry: Climate Change, Water and Economy”, he said that in the next thirty‑five years, water insecurity, combined with climate change, could force migration, spark conflict and be a significant financial drag on regional governments. Stressing that water security remained a high priority in Africa, he added that challenges surrounding water could also be a path for dialogue, mediation and confidence‑building between States. South Africa shared transboundary river basins with three other African countries and achieving transboundary water security had assisted his country and its neighbours in stimulating regional cooperation. Furthermore, because women played an important part in the provision, management and safeguarding of water, accelerating their empowerment in regional water management was critical.
HEIKO THOMS (Germany) noted that the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks report ranked water crises among the risks with the greatest impact and likelihood. Furthermore, the International Organization for Migration estimated that by 2050, about 200 million would be forcibly displaced because of threats that caused or increased water scarcity. Despite those bleak forecasts, however, “water wars” were not inevitable, he stressed. Transboundary water cooperation was the only way to achieve effective and lasting regional solutions for water disputes. Positive examples, such as the Danube, served as proof. Such cooperation required stable legal frameworks, he pointed out, encouraging all countries to join the United Nations water conventions of 1992 and 1997. Also, in order to prevent the use of water as a method of warfare, strengthening the implementation of the legal provisions of international humanitarian law was urgent. The recent example of ISIL/Da’esh and the Mosul dam demonstrated the tangibility of such threats.
TOMASZ GRYSA, Permanent Observer for the Holy See, said water’s implications for national, regional and international peace and security could hardly be overstated. Water experts and advocates have ominously predicted the third world war would be about water. One particularly serious problem was the quality of water available to the poor. In addition, a growing tendency to privatize water and turn it into a commodity dictated by market laws could seriously compromise the poor’s access to safe water. Citing Pope Francis, he said it was conceivable “that the control of water by large multinational businesses may become a major source of conflict in this century.” New technology continued to emerge that could help avoid a sustainability crisis through better methods of food production that required less water and the use of industrial manufacturing and minimized pollution of the planet’s aquifer and water systems. At the same time, local and traditional solutions could not be abandoned. He called on public and private sectors to support community-driven initiatives for water conservation and water allocation. Education on the fundamental importance of water was crucial, such as water conservation, wise consumption and equitable use.
BOGUSŁAW WINID (Poland), associating himself with the European Union, stressed that the peaceful resolution of conflicts arising over States’ competition for transboundary water was of utmost importance. Poland was a member of the Council of the Baltic Sea States, comprised of 11 countries and the European Union. That council served as an important platform for building trust, safety and security in the region and for dialogue on such issues as energy efficiency, migration, border control and human trafficking. In addition, Poland was a party to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and a member of the United Nations Group of Friends of Oceans and Seas. His country was also serving as Steering Committee Vice-Chair of the 10x20 Initiative on Marine Protected Areas.
SYED AKBARUDDIN (India) said that there were several key policy issues in water management, ranging from private versus community ownership, agricultural versus industrial use, water as a commodity versus water as a right, and developing mandatory standards for efficient water use. While international cooperation was essential in cases of transboundary water bodies, countries had also found ways to cooperate in specific contexts. India was both an upper riparian and lower riparian State for a number of different rivers, including partitioned rivers stemming from the partition of India in 1947. His country had engaged with neighbours in managing those shared waters. Given the current understanding about the interconnectivity and mutuality of environmental challenges, the international community should make water a driver of cooperation rather securitizing water issues.
JOANNE ADAMSON, Deputy Head of the European Union delegation, said that preventing water‑related tensions and conflict involved managing the effects of climate change, population growth and economic development. Goal 6 of the 2030 Agenda was a decisive step in that direction, while the Paris Agreement on Climate Change could have a major positive impact on security vis-à-vis water supply and usage. Since 2007, the European Union had allocated more than €2.2 million to water‑related projects in more than 62 countries, in addition to aid provided by its member States on a bilateral basis. She also described how the European Union supports efforts to achieve sustainable water management, including through transboundary cooperation.
With the adoption of the European Union Global Strategy, the European Union had committed itself to redoubling its efforts on preventing and monitoring root causes of conflicts, she continued. Sustainable access to and use of water was essential to stability and security around the world. The European Union would also keep working to address the international security aspects of climate change, she said, adding that she looked forward to the Security Council continuing its work on the matter. The law on transboundary aquifers could ensure better protection of water during armed conflict, as well, contributing to stronger protection of water resources in times when they were most at risk.
MARC PECSTEEN DE BUYTSWERVE (Belgium) noted that the Peacebuilding Commission was an essential partner in post-conflict situations and in ensuring that natural resources like water were put to the service of sustainable development. The Peacebuilding Fund was also useful, he said, voicing his support for its projects related to the sharing and access of water. In regards to the Sahel, he recalled the open debate that underscored the link between climate change, demographic growth and the availability of water in the region. Also encouraging were examples of cooperation between States in the region, including initiatives in the basins of rivers in Gambia and Senegal. Noting the particular situation of small island developing States, he said that global warming had aggravated their situation due to the infiltration of salt water into their ground water, threatening their survival.
ANTHONY BOSAH (Nigeria) said the growing scarcity of water was a potential source of conflict, not only within countries but across international boundaries. Averting potential conflicts stemming from water insecurity should be the thrust of collaborative efforts. His country had joined other West African nations to establish the Niger Basin Authority, which was created to promote cooperation and foster integrated development of resources in the Niger River Basin. That organization had worked to create an “Integrated Development Plan of the Basin” focusing on cross-boundary projects. Nigeria had also established the Lake Chad Basin Commission with Cameroon, Chad and Niger. The Commission’s mandate was to sustainably manage the shared water resources of the Lake Chad Basin and promote regional integration, peace and security across the region.
ABDERRAZZAK LAASSEL (Morocco), recalling the latest climate change conference in Marrakesh, highlighted the “Water for Africa” initiative which aimed at mobilizing international cooperation for the growing water challenges on the continent. Given the increased dangers, there was a shared responsibility to address water-related tensions and the use of water as a tool of war. Fair and sustainable management went hand-in-hand with proper governance of water, nationally and trans-border. Unfortunately, protocols on the issue had not been ratified universally and there was limited recourse to adjudication for water issues. Therefore, regional dialogue was critical. In that context, during the climate conference, Morocco had brought together African leaders to push States to jointly address the consequences of climate change, including increased competition for water.
Ms. KHALED (Bangladesh) cautioned that water-related issues among countries could often act as a potential trigger for inter-State or regional conflicts. The Water Cooperation Quotient, developed by the Strategic Foresight Group, had highlighted the lack of institutional cooperation in shared river basins as an underlying cause for conflict in various parts of the world. Bangladesh, as a low-lying delta vulnerable to climate change, constantly grappled with challenges that related to the availability of fresh water. Growing saline intrusion in coastal areas, depletion of groundwater reserves in large urban areas and the challenge of arsenic contamination of groundwater in certain parts of the country added to the systemic constraints in water use and management. However, against the backdrop of those challenges, more than 98 per cent of the population had access to safe drinking water and over 65 per cent had access to safe sanitation.
KAHA IMNADZE (Georgia) said his country was a party to several agreements with neighbouring States on regulating the management of water resources. It had also participated in numerous regional projects aimed at elaborating ecologically sound and rational water management. Because the sustainable use of water resources was a priority, national legislation had been adapted from internationally recognized principles of water resource management. However, following the 2008 Russian Federation military intervention, many villages across the occupation line in Georgia had suffered from water shortages. The villagers were unable to carry out agricultural works, which was the main source of income in those areas. Highlighting a project improving reservoir security, he said that the initiative allowed Georgian authorities to ensure a safe and sufficient water supply for the villages situated in the occupied Tskhinvali region. With the financial support of international partners, Georgia had also carried out rehabilitation projects to ensure drinking water supply and irrigation systems in conflict areas.
NICHOLAS EMILIOU (Cyprus), associating himself with the European Union, said that as a country surrounded by water, Cyprus had experienced drought and water scarcity many times, resulting in a well-informed and experienced view on water management for sustainable development and peace. His country had used innovation and technology to address water shortages which also included a state‑of‑the‑art desalination system. In order to address water-related issues and their links to conflict, the dimension of water-related issues had to be incorporated in conflict prevention. It was also important to further study the interlinkages between conflict, access to water and sanitation, and violations of international humanitarian law. Transboundary agreements on water management and the promotion of water-related confidence-building measures should be built on provisions that benefited all countries.
CALEB OTTO (Palau), calling for more information about the impact that a lack of water would have on peace and security, urged Member States to agree to ask the Secretary-General for updates. Access to water was a human right and water should never be allowed to become a business. The role of the United Nations was to ensure, with national governments and civil society, that access to safe drinkable water was secured for all. He also stressed that local populations should not have to compete with deployed United Nations personnel for local resources. Action on water by the Security Council and the General Assembly should be aligned, he stated, highlighting parallel resolutions in both organs addressing the impact water and climate change had on security and peace.
CRISTINA MARIA CERQUEIRA PUCARINHO (Portugal), aligning himself with the European Union, said the uneven distribution of fresh water, alongside other factors such as population growth, was generating tensions internally and between countries. Goal 6 called on countries to implement the human right to water and sanitation. The action plan of the High-level Panel on Water contained key requirements and principles as well as priority actions for improving water security. Only a cross-cutting and interdependent process based on a transboundary approach could provide the necessary legal and political framework which would ensure access to water for countries and populations where water was scarce or where accessing it involved risks.
SIMA SAMI BAHOUS (Jordan) said that her country was the third‑poorest in freshwater resources. Population growth, along with shouldering a great share of responsibility for the welfare of Syrian refugees had worsened the situation. She thanked the ICRC for its assistance in that context and welcomed initiatives to ameliorate the situation. It was unacceptable to use water access as a tool of war, intimidation or terrorism, she stressed. Conversely, she urged intensified work promoting international water cooperation, which, in turn, would provide a social and economic environment benefiting all people.
MOHAMED SIAD DOUALEH (Djibouti) said that growing populations, more water-intensive patterns of growth, increase in rainfall variability, and pollution were combining to make water one of the greatest obstacles to poverty eradication and sustainable development. Calling for increased political commitment, he noted that 90 per cent of the African continent was covered by 64 transboundary river basins, some of which still were not regulated by any agreement. Transboundary groundwater must be better factored into transboundary cooperative arrangements for water. Highlighting efforts by the member States of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to promote cooperation in the use, protection, and conservation and management of water resources, he said the regional bloc was working with the United Nations to share experiences and good practices, and most importantly, to promote a conflict-sensitive approach to manage all natural resources, including fresh water and rivers.
CAITLIN WILSON (Australia) said that failure to provide functional water supply and sanitation systems often led to community tension, instability and could easily result in conflict. In that context, good water governance was a key component in adapting to climate change and essential to achieving many of the sustainable development goals. For Australia – a dry continent prone to highly variable rainfall – effective water management was critical to the economy. Her Government made the most efficient use of scarce water resources and had enabled investment to meet the growing needs of agriculture, industry and urban communities. Through the High-level Panel on Water, Australia had also committed to a number of initiatives aimed at strengthening the capacity of countries to meet water crisis and had established the Australian Water Partnership to assist countries in improving their water governance. The collaboration was a practical way to improve water resource management in partnership with other countries and the United Nations system.
KAI SAUER (Finland), associating himself with the European Union, said that competition over natural resources was likely to increase in the future. The Security Council needed to play a leading role in preventing and responding to conflicts that might result. Mediation was one of the most effective prevention tools, and water could serve as a basis for collaboration instead of conflict. It was of the utmost importance that the 2030 Agenda included a target to promote cooperation on transboundary waters at all levels. Arrangements such as river commissions and international water conventions, together with concrete measures such as regulation of water flows, fish stocks, measures to reduce pollution and monitoring of water quality, could be agreed upon in a manner that benefited all parties.
DANNY DANON (Israel) said that faced with water scarcity, Israel, by making every drop count and developing revolutionary technology such as drip irrigation, had in less than seven decades created its first water surplus. The country was committed to sharing its solutions with countries in need through its development‑cooperation agency, the experts of which were assisting countries from South Africa to Peru. He described in particular a trilateral partnership between Israel, Italy and Senegal, and closer to home, an agreement to supply additional fresh water to Jordan. Describing authorization of increased water supplies for the West Bank and Gaza along with approvals of new infrastructure including a large desalinization plant and sewage projects for Gaza, he said that, unfortunately, the Palestinian leadership refused to engage on the issue. If that situation continued, a water crisis could occur in several months.
ION JINGA (Romania) noted that 3.5 billion people currently suffered from water insecurity. Better access to funding for adaptation projects was needed for both small island developing States and less developed countries, which faced the greatest water vulnerability. Furthermore, some parts of the world had experienced a long history of mistrust related to joint water resources access. He cited the Nile and Jordan rivers as examples, encouraging the promotion of international agreements on water cooperation. The Geneva Convention regarded water resources and installations as key civilian infrastructure, immune from attacks. However, in Syria, water had become a weapon; limiting civilian water access was a grave breach of international humanitarian law and human rights. “Water security is essential in order to ensure political security, but water ignores political boundaries,” he said. Good communication and strengthened relations between upstream and downstream States were essential for successful water negotiations. International mediation, facilitation, dialogue, water diplomacy and education were all important methods of preventing, managing and resolving water disputes.
MARTÍN GARCÍA MORITÁN (Argentina) said there was no proof that water had always been a source of tension, as had been stated. On the contrary, it was an instrument of peace. Nations had sovereignty over their natural resources and the right to water was a human right that they should guarantee to their citizens. The issue of water resources should be approached from the perspective of development and eradicating poverty, he said, adding that Argentina supported integrated water‑resource management at the local, regional and international levels. Emphasizing that the Security Council’s role should not be distorted, he said it should not examine topics outside its mandate or link environmental issues to questions of security. It was up to other United Nations bodies to examine the issue of water.
EDGAR SISA (Botswana) said it was essential that neighbouring countries signed bilateral and multilateral agreements in order to promote cooperation in the management and sharing of water. For their parts, Southern African Development Community member States had signed the Revised Protocol on Shared Watercourses, which supported equitable and reasonable utilization of watercourses in the region. The Protocol also promoted information and data exchange on hydrological, hydrogeological, meteorological, and environmental condition of watercourses. Sharing national experiences, he also stressed that transboundary water resources played an instrumental role in Botswana’s water security. In that connection, his country had signed and ratified various agreements to promote closer cooperation.
ROLANDO CASTRO CORDOBA (Costa Rica) said that the protection of water must become an international priority. He called for the development of an exclusive binding international instrument for that purpose, which would ensure the survival of the human species. He also called for the priority implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals on water. From a national perspective, cross‑border cooperation was a driver of stability and positively affected the situation of vulnerable people, he said, offering to share lessons learned. On an international platform, legal and policy structures must be consolidated so that the benefits of water cooperation could be experienced on a broad basis.
KAREL JAN GUSTAAF VAN OOSTEROM (Netherlands), associating himself with the European Union and Italy, with which the Netherlands would split its 2017-2018 term on the Council, said climate and water were at the heart of peace and security. It was critical to address the root causes of conflict related to water at an early stage. To that end, his country’s Prime Minister was among those serving on the United Nations and World Bank High-level Panel on Water. Noting that food insecurity could be connected to social instability and violent conflict, he added that drought and food shortages in Syria had likely contributed to the unrest that had triggered the country’s civil war. While climate-related factors had been acknowledged at the recent United Nations Summit for Refugees and Migrants, policies and funding must follow that trend. For its part, the Netherlands had organized a seminar on water issues last March in Khartoum and would host the next Planetary Security Initiative conference in The Hague next month.
LOUAY FALOUH (Syria) said one of the priorities of his Government was to ensure the supply of water. Prior to the crisis, it had made great achievements in that regard. During the crisis, water installations and wells were demolished by armed terrorist groups. Using water resources as a weapon was a gross violation of international humanitarian law. Unilateral measures by the European Union and the United States imposed on Syria had prevented spare parts for installations and fuel for pumps to be imported. Syria was developing a strategy for rehabilitating the irrigation network, but that required an end to the unilateral measures. Water should not be politicized and international law should be respected. There was a need for international efforts to support the right of people living under occupation including the right to water. In the occupied Golan, water was only provided for Israeli settlers, while inhabitants’ shares of that resource were limited.
FRANTIŠEK RUŽIČKA (Slovakia), while noting that water resources had rarely been the sole source of armed conflict or war, said there was a long history of water‑related tensions and violence and water resources had been used as a political, economic and military tool, including by non-State actors. The United Nations should continue to reinforce its institutional capacity to help Governments mediate between and build the capacity of different stakeholders while also supporting civil society’s participation in natural‑resource management. In that regard, the work of the Global High-level Panel on Water and Peace, launched in November 2015, would make a crucial contribution. Pointing out that one‑third of the world’s population depended entirely on groundwater, he said transboundary aquifers were a critical and inseparable component of the global water resource system and another source of water‑related tensions. In October, Slovakia had organized a seminar on that topic, in cooperation with UNESCO and within the framework of Sustainable Development Goal 6, he recalled.
CLAUDE STANISLAS BOUAH-KAMON (Cote d’Ivoire), affirming the importance of access to water for human survival and conflict prevention, said that mediation and cooperation in bilateral and multilateral contexts was indeed critical. The United Nations and the Security Council should encourage such activities. In that context, his country participated in the Mano River Union. As a nation dependant on precipitation for most of its water, Cote d’Ivoire also required technical assistance to ensure an adequate supply of the resource despite the ravages of climate change. United Nations development agencies should play a major role in that regard.
DENIS RÉGIS (Haiti) said that his country was already experiencing water stress due to climate change and other reasons, raising the possibility of all the related security and socioeconomic consequences. Access to water was a fundamental right of every human being, and lack of access and lack of sanitation was a deprivation of the enjoyment of that right. His country had suffered in that regard in the form of the cholera epidemic, for which the United Nations had recently assumed belated responsibility. The affected communities hoped that international solidarity would redress that situation through current and planned projects to end the epidemic and ensure a clean water supply. In addition, it was critical to ensure protection of water in the context of peacekeeping missions, in the face of both natural and man‑made threats.
OMER DAHAB FADL MOHAMED (Sudan) underlined the role his country had played in water diplomacy in the agreement reached by three countries of the eastern Nile basin. However, he stressed that while Sudan was determined to strengthen its role in water diplomacy, it needed sanctions to be lifted in order to implement its strategy on the matter. The United Nations could play a pivotal role to ensure the focus was on cooperation and not an issue of tension. Conflicts over water could be avoided by increasing awareness within the United Nations and highlighting the level of financial resources spent on research. Furthermore, support was needed for regional projects that contributed to the fight against desertification. He noted that it was inappropriate to involve the International Criminal Court in the issues being discussed, as the Court was not a United Nations body. He also expressed the hope that the international community could act in the framework of preventive diplomacy before it was too late.
AHMED SAREER (Maldives) said drought had wreaked havoc on agricultural lands and livelihoods in much of the Pacific, impacting water and food security. Typically most affected were countries least able to cope with the impact and which were therefore most in need of support. Such constraints had led the Maldives to explore proactive measures to address interruptions and draw lessons from its own experiences. They included the creation of a robust national mechanism to meet water needs during spikes in demand or shortages in supply, as well as sharing best practices in meeting national water needs. At the same time, if the international community was to meet the objectives of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, it was crucial to effectively stem the pace of climate change and related water depletion, he emphasized. The result would be water and sanitation education having a larger‑than‑expected effect on water supply, he added. Altogether, such measures could help bring nations closer to meeting the Sustainable Development Goal targets on water and help to build more resilient, secure and peaceful societies.
SIMON MARC-EMMANUEL COLLARD-WEXLER (Canada) said that water-related disputes between States had historically been resolved through diplomatic channels. However, the past would not necessarily be a good predictor of the future as climate change would amplify existing water challenges on all levels. Greater diplomatic engagement on water, peace and security was important and diplomats should continue to advance transboundary water agreements for a world facing future climate‑change impacts and population growth. Diplomats should also be equipped with the means to monitor and expose the use of water as a tool of war. Member States should work hand in hand with organizations such as the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to address the humanitarian implications of water in active conflict settings.
NGUYEN PHUONG NGA (Viet Nam), expressing concern about the impacts of water scarcity and unequal water distribution on economic development and social cohesion, said it might lead to conflicts within and among States. Describing transboundary water cooperation as a good way of addressing related challenges, she emphasized that it would ensure economic prosperity, foster resilience and enhance security. The United Nations could provide assistance to countries facing water management challenges and deploy preventive efforts aimed at promoting regional cooperation, she said, while stressing the need for developed countries to assist others in technology transfer, capacity-building and responding to climate change impacts. She went on to share national experiences, noting that Viet Nam had suffered from both floods and severe drought, and largely depended on transboundary water resources. Having actively participated in water management frameworks in the region, Viet Nam welcomed the strengthening of the Mekong cooperation with diverse mechanisms.
YASHAR T. ALIYEV (Azerbaijan) said that in conflict situations it was critical to ensure the human right to water, as well as protection of all natural resources, were in line with legal responsibilities. However, the continuing aggression by Armenia in his country had had a devastating impact on the environment, including pollution of water sources. A major reservoir had been under Armenian military occupation since 1993, with the deteriorated condition of its dam threatening those downstream. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe had recognized such problems. There was also evidence of transboundary pollution of rivers. He called for intensified efforts from the international community to bring an end to impunity enjoyed by the aggressors and ensure the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh region and other territories of Azerbaijan occupied by Armenia.
LADISLAVA BEGEC (Turkey) said that water was an important means of cooperation and bridge-building. Still, each transboundary water situation had its own specific characteristics and peculiarities and reflected particular regional, economic, social and historical aspects. Therefore, bilateral and “riparian-only” approaches were the most appropriate methods to address the relevant resources. In addition, given that life-sustaining water resources and infrastructure must be protected during armed conflict, dialogue over them as a confidence-building measure did not always result in progress and might even further complicate peace negotiations.
DIAN TRIANSYAH DJANI (Indonesia) said that while water – a fundamental element of human survival – could arouse strong passions, it need not be a source of conflict if governed prudently. Successful implementation of the 2030 Agenda, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and the Paris Climate Agreement could help mitigate conditions that could lead to conflict over water, he said, expressing support for agreements requiring States to ensure the availability of clear methodologies and mechanisms for resolving disputes over watercourses. There should also be greater support for developing countries lacking capacity to build water conservation and agriculture production capabilities. “Using water as an instrument of war is reprehensible”, he added, stressing that there could be no defence for targeting water, health, food and other essential services for civilians.
LEULSEGED TADESSE (Ethiopia) affirmed that water cooperation was critical for peace and sustainable development and stressed that such cooperation had been historically successful. It was in that context that his country had been participating in the Nile River Basin Initiative and related agreements. Welcoming the Sustainable Development Goals on access to water, he stressed that political commitment, long-term vision and partnership between all Governments and stakeholders were needed to implement them. Frank and constructive discussions among States and regional organizations were also needed, while inflammatory rhetoric on the issue must be avoided.
ZOHRAB MNATSAKANYAN (Armenia) said transboundary water bodies created hydrological, social and economic interdependencies between societies and nations. Recognition of mutual interests and dependency should serve as a basis for cooperation and promotion of regional peace and security. States’ strong political will and genuine commitment were critical prerequisites for successful transboundary water management. Such cooperation was a basis not only for addressing and advancing mutual interests between neighbouring nations, but also represented important confidence-building measures in situations of unresolved conflict.
Addressing the accusations made by the representative of Azerbaijan against his country, he said those accusations were shaped in the context of water sharing. The Sarsang water reservoir had been formed by a dam built in 1976. That reservoir was of key importance for the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and was under that Republic’s control. All maintenance was carried out in a timely fashion and there had not been any emergencies. A mechanism of water‑sharing with Azerbaijan had been established. Instead of presenting misinformation, Azerbaijan should invest its diplomatic efforts to finding solutions to the conflict.
OLIVIER MARC ZEHNDER (Switzerland) said that competition for access to water could fuel violent conflict at local and regional levels, with water-related problems often affecting countries that were already fragile. Such problems were compounded by climate change. On the other hand, there was great potential to transform water from a source of crisis into a source of peace, for example the cross‑border cooperation of the Rhine Basin and with the Senegal River Basin Development Authority. Collaborative water schemes could be an effective measure to prevent conflict, with water serving as a starting point when other elements made dialogue between parties difficult.
For information media. Not an official record.
Dr. Akin Moses, National President, Society of Family Physicians of Nigeria.
Decades before now, words like terrorism, abduction, and kidnapping were alien to the average Nigerian’s vocabulary. Unfortunately, today’s harsh reality is that acts like these have become commonplace and many lives are destroyed and lost due to these nefarious acts.
According to the United Nations General Assembly, Terrorism refers to "Criminal acts intended or calculated to provoke a state of terror in the general public, a group of persons or particular persons, for political purposes are in any circumstance unjustifiable, whatever the considerations of a political, philosophical, ideological, racial, ethnic, religious or any other nature that may be invoked to justify them."1 The terms ‘abduction’ and ‘kidnapping’ have been used interchangeably. Kidnapping is the taking away of a person by force, threat, or deceit, with intent to cause him or her to be detained against his or her will. Kidnapping may be done for ransom or for political or other purposes. Abduction is the criminal taking away of a person by persuasion, by fraud, or by open force or violence.2 The abduction of 276 female students from the Government Secondary School in Chibok town, Borno State, Nigeria on the night of 14th April, 2014, by the Boko Haram (BH) Group is perhaps one of the most devastating examples of terrorist acts in Nigeria and this has generated sustained media attention, both locally and globally, as well as numerous campaign actions. It was previously reported that only 57 of the Chibok girls escaped shortly after their capture,3 but as days painfully rolled into months and years, the hope of the return of the remaining girls became bleaker. However, the release of 21 of the Chibok girls following negotiations between the BH group and the Nigerian Government brokered by International Committee of the Red Cross and the Swiss Government4 has brought great joy to all and rekindled the hope of many.
Beyond the fact that insurgency is a major threat to local and global peace and security, it constitutes the highest contributor to humanitarian crises in the form of rise in human casualties, internally displaced persons, refugee debacles, food insecurity and the spread of various diseases.5 According to a survey conducted by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in collaboration with International Organisation for Migration (IOM) identified, 1,822,541 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba, Yobe, Nasarawa states and Abuja through Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) as of October 2016. About 97% fled on account of BH violence since 2014 and 53% are mostly female while others have sought shelter in neighbouring Cameroon, Chad and Niger. They reported that although Nigerian Military operations earlier in 2016 in the country’s North-East had pushed BH out of some major towns in Borno, such as Monguno, freeing tens of thousands of people from insurgents’ rule, living conditions have remained difficult for them amidst lack of basic amenities/supplies.6 Boko Haram (BH) terrorism originated from the north-eastern part of Nigeria. It was started as a muslim youth organisation by Mallam Lawal in 1995 but later metamorphosed into a violent terrorist group under the leadership of Yusuf and Sheakau.7 In the context of BH insurgency, Osita-Njoku A et al defined terrorism as “the unlawful use of force or violence by a person (at the behest of a group) or organised group (with misguided religions and political ideologies) against the government and its citizens to achieve its desired objectives”.7 Identified causes of BH terrorism in Nigeria are: poverty, unemployment, absence of good governance and increasing radicalisation of jihadist group in the world. BH activities have led to harrowing consequences like abduction of women and girls; arbitrary arrest of women by government security agents e.g alleged suspects, sometimes wrongful arrests; use of women as pawns in their activities; inflicting collective terror on women; use of women as wartime labour force, etc. Women and girls in captivity are used for cooking, cleaning and other duties that may be assigned to them by their captors. Many may also be forced to bear children that will grow to further the course of the insurgency.7 Regardless of the motive(s) behind kidnapping / abduction and other terrorist activities, these crimes have devastating, far-reaching effects on the victims, their families and the society at large. Therefore, beyond the euphoria of the return of the Chibok girls, lies the glaring challenge of their rehabilitation, not just on the short-term, but particularly on the long-term. Victims are exposed to a myriad of conditions and hazards that necessitate rehabilitation.
Effects on Victims Psychological Effects: this was succinctly documented in a paper by Alexander et al.8
a. a hostile or mistrustful attitude; social withdrawal and estrangement;
b. feelings of emptiness or hopelessness;
c. a chronic feeling of being ‘on edge’ as if constantly threatened.
For the diagnosis to be made, the symptoms must have endured for at least two years.
Denial, ‘frozen fright’, ‘psychological infantilism’ and ‘learned helplessness’ are not age-specific. Children may also display: ‘school refusal, loss of interest in studies, dependent and regressed behaviour, pre-occupation with the event, playing at being the ‘rescuer’, stubborn and oppositional behaviour, and risk-taking. The impact can be particularly serious if the children have been detained over an extended period and if the incident entailed a breach of trust’.8 Physical Effects on Victims For the victim, the experience is tormenting. Often cramped in appalling conditions, the captive may be open to the elements of health hazards, or subject to threats or beatings that can lead to injury and even death. Under harsh living conditions, victims become malnourished and impaired immunity renders them susceptible to various diseases like malaria, typhoid fever, diarrhoea, insect/rodent-borne diseases. Sexual abuse puts them at risk of sexually transmitted infections like HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B & C, Syphilis, Gonorrhoea, etc.
Effects on the Victims’ Families and Friends Kidnappings have similar effects on the victim and his or her family and friends. Psychological distress, family crises / destabilisation, anxiety disorders, depression and even guilt feelings are some of the effects on family members.
This requires a multi-disciplinary approach. Services and support must be collaborative, person-directed and individualised.
Recommended Screening and Diagnostic Tests include:
A. SCREENING FOR DRUGS AND MENTAL HEALTH DISORDERS such as post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, substance use etc.
B. SCREENING FOR SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES such as Hepatitis B (if negative , give 3doses ; stat, one and six months after the first dose ), if positive, further evaluation should be done at a recommended health care facility), syphilis, gonorrhoea, chlamydial infection, trichomoniasis, HIV infection(should be done six weeks, three months and six months after the first screening).
C. SCREENING FOR COMMUNICABLE DISEASES such as tuberculosis.
D. OTHER ROUTINE TESTS such as full blood count; urine/stool tests and pregnancy test( done at the time of arrival and two weeks after)
Psychosocial rehabilitation is essential for the restoration of personal recovery, community functioning / integration, and satisfactory quality of life for the victims.
The goal of psychosocial rehabilitation is to help disabled individuals to develop the emotional, social and intellectual skills needed to live, learn and work in the community with the least amount of professional support. The overall philosophy of psychiatric rehabilitation comprises two intervention strategies. The first strategy is individual-centred and aims at developing the patient's skills in interacting with a stressful environment. The second strategy is ecological and directed towards developing environmental resources to reduce potential stressors. Most disabled persons need a combination of both approaches.13 When hostages are released, it is essential for them to:
It is important to realise that families and friends of abducted children are confronted with numerous issues in coping with fears and uncertainties as well and may also need support in dealing with their own emotional reactions.
Effective psychiatric evaluation involves providing hope and respect for the client, empowering the client, teaching them wellness planning and emphasising the importance for the client to develop social support networks. Services delivered may include:3
It is very clear therefore, that a proper understanding and detailed evaluation of the hazardous conditions during captivity and the psychological states of the victims and their families, are necessary for the planning and implementation of an efficient and effective rehabilitative, restorative and integrative programme. It is very important for the agencies saddled with these responsibilities to continue to engage the services and support of relevant professional bodies and organizations to guarantee rewarding outcomes.
Faits saillants :
La complétude des données s’est améliorée sur les 2 dernières semaines et elle confirme la tendance à une légère diminution de l’incidence depuis fin aout-septembre, avec notamment la fin de la saison des pluies sur l’Afrique de l’Ouest. Toutefois, plusieurs foyers de transmission active ont repris sur le sud de la République Démocratique du Congo. Cela fait craindre la reprise d’une transmission accrue en fin d’année avec le démarrage de la saison des pluies ainsi qu’au vu du contexte socio-politique actuel. En Afrique de l’Ouest, on trouve les foyers avec transmission active mais si plus faiblement soutenue le long du Golfe de Guinée : Ghana dans la conurbation de Cape Coast, et en voie de diminution forte les états de Lagos et d’Oyo (Nigeria) et le sud Benin. Il est rappelé à l’ensemble des pays le long du golfe de Guinée (Togo, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinée, et Guinée Bissau) d’accroitre leur vigilance et renforcer leur surveillance notamment auprès des points d’entrée, centres névralgiques d’échanges et commerces importants entre les pays actuellement en flambées.
The completeness of data has improved over the past 2 weeks and confirmed the trend of a slight decrease in incidence since late August-September, notably with the end of the rainy season in West Africa. However, several outbreaks of active transmission have resumed in the south of the Democratic Republic of Congo. This raises concerns about the risk of increased transmissions at the end of the year, with the beginning of the rainy season and the current socio-political context. In West Africa, there is an outbreak with active transmission even if less sustained, along the Gulf of Guinea: Cape Coast in Ghana, and a visible reduction in Lagos and Oyo states (Nigeria) and the south of Benin. All countries along the Gulf of Guinea (Togo, Côte d'Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Guinea Bissau) are reminded to increase their vigilance and strengthen their surveillance, particularly at entry points, and other areas with high people mobility and trade with countries currently affected.
Nigeria: Responding to the needs of civilians affected by armed conflict
The ICRC has significantly scaled up its humanitarian response to civilians affected by the armed violence in North East Nigeria.
In 2016 we continue to provide food, shelter and essential household items to displaced persons. We have also facilitated access to clean water and medical care, as well as restored family links.
Highlights of our work in Nigeria between January and October 2016
966,000 returnees and residents of Nigeria received food rations for up to 3 months 282,000 returnees received agricultural inputs to start farming again 422,000 IDPs received essential household items 40,000 cattle and 10,500 sheep and goats belonging to 5,570 people were vaccinated to protect livelihoods 396,000 patients treated at 16 ICRC-supported health care centres and 8 mobile clinics 253,000 IDPs, returnees and residents gained access to water to improve their sanitation and hygiene conditions Visited 21,952 detainees to help improve their living conditions
(Ouagadougou, 24 novembre 2016) - Le Sous-secrétaire général des Nations Unies et Coordonnateur humanitaire régional pour le Sahel, Toby Lanzer, termine aujourd’hui une visite de quatre jours au Burkina Faso et réaffirme son soutien à l’approche coordonnée entre le gouvernement et les acteurs humanitaires et de développement.
« Je souhaite souligner les avancées enregistrées par rapport aux indicateurs humanitaires au Burkina Faso et le travail considérable effectué par les autorités burkinabè, les agences des Nations Unies et la société civile, » a déclaré Toby Lanzer. « Mais ces efforts doivent être renforcés dans les semaines et mois à venir. Il reste encore aujourd’hui des régions où les populations sont dans un état de vulnérabilité extrême et nous nous devons de continuer à les soutenir. »
Le Burkina Faso continue à faire face à des défis complexes liés à plusieurs facteurs concomitants : la fragile stabilité politique dans la région, l’insécurité, les changements climatiques, et la pauvreté extrême. Aujourd’hui encore, plus d’un million de Burkinabè font face à l’insécurité alimentaire (phase 2 et 3), dont plus de cent cinquante mille en état de crise. Six cent vingt-cinq mille enfants souffrent de malnutrition aiguë dont un tiers sont en état de malnutrition aiguë sévère. Les secteurs identifiés comme étant prioritaires pour aider le Burkina Faso à ne plus dépendre de l’aide humanitaire sont l’éducation, y compris pour les filles, la sécurité alimentaire et nutritionnelle, et la santé maternelle, y inclus le planning familial.
« Je suis également préoccupé, comme nous tous, par la récente flambée de cas de dengue à laquelle le Burkina Faso est maintenant confronté, après avoir répondu rapidement aux problèmes d’inondations causés par des pluies abondantes ces derniers mois, » a souligné le Sous-secrétaire général des Nations Unies et Coordonnateur humanitaire régional pour le Sahel. « Les acteurs nationaux ont montré une remarquable capacité de réaction et j’encourage la communauté internationale à rapidement apporter son appui afin d’éviter l’épidémie et une crise plus difficile à gérer. »
Durant sa visite, Toby Lanzer s’est rendu à Dori, dans la région du Sahel, pour rencontrer les réfugiés ayant fui les violences au Mali et se rendre compte de la situation humanitaire sur le terrain.
« J’invite les bailleurs de fond et les acteurs humanitaires et de développement à envisager des soutiens sur le moyen et long terme pour les réfugiés maliens et les communautés hôtes. J’ai été impressionné par la force des hommes et des femmes que j’ai rencontrés dans le camp de réfugiés de Dori et par leur volonté de résister à cette crise. Mais la situation sécuritaire au Mali, ne permet pas d’envisager, même à moyen terme, un rapatriement organisé en toute dignité et sécurité, » a insisté Toby Lanzer.
Suite au conflit entre l’armée malienne et les différents groupes armés au Nord du Mali en 2012, plusieurs milliers de maliens ont traversé les frontières pour trouver refuge dans les pays limitrophes, dont plus de 32 000 au Burkina Faso.
Le Sous-secrétaire général s’est également entretenu avec le ministre de l’Economie, des Finances et du Développement, Alizatou Rosine Coulibaly, le Secrétaire d’Etat chargé des Affaires Sociales, Yvette Dembélé et le ministère de l’Administration Territoriale, de la Décentralisation et de la Sécurité Intérieure. Toby Lanzer a remercié les autorités burkinabè de continuer à faciliter le travail des acteurs humanitaires à travers le pays et s’est réjoui de l’excellente collaboration entre les instances officielles, les agences des Nations Unies et les organisations non gouvernementales qui a caractérisé les réponses aux dernières urgences humanitaires auxquelles le Burkina a été confronté.
Pour plus d’information et éventuels entretiens, veuillez contacter:
Daouda Djouma, OCHA Burkina Faso, + 226 6512 3535, firstname.lastname@example.org (Ouagadougou)
Eve Sabbagh, Bureau du Coordonnateur humanitaire régional, +221 77 569 96 54, email@example.com (Dakar)
Les communiqués de presse d’OCHA sont disponibles sur www.unocha.org/rowca et www.reliefweb.int
Access to health care is not always safe in the Niger Delta region and elsewhere in Nigeria. The rate of attacks on health-care providers, facilities and associated vehicles across the country is high according to data gathered by the ICRC. What's more, these data show a concerning pattern of discrimination against certain categories of wounded and sick people. Below, Dr. Theophilus Odagme, Honorable Commissioner for Health in Rivers state, in the southern part of Nigeria, and a health professional himself, reflects on these challenges and describes how he is working with a group of people committed to bringing about change in the Niger Delta region.
The rate of attacks on health-care facilities is high in the Niger Delta region. As the data collected by the ICRC since early 2015 show, the majority of cases involve the kidnapping of health-care professionals and other types of violence against health-care personnel working in hospitals, primary health centers and clinics. In addition, a number of gunshot victims have been denied care while at a health facility for treatment, and many choose not to seek health care for fear of being arrested. Action needs to be taken by relevant stakeholders in the state, as these tensions between medical professionals, armed groups, security forces and communities mean that health care is being provided on an increasingly discriminatory basis.
"a number of gunshot victims have been denied care while at a health facility for treatment, and many choose not to seek health care for fear of being arrested"
In order to address the issue, the Rivers state Ministry of Health expressed willingness to start collaborating on this initiative with the ICRC. The partnership has already achieved a number of encouraging results. A working group was created with the health-care community in the city of Port Harcourt. Participants include medical professionals from both the public and private sectors, the Nigerian Medical Association, nurses and academics, to name but a few. The first meeting was held in May 2016, and the working group now meets regularly. It is a very important platform, as it gives the health-care community an opportunity to come together, share their experiences and discuss the health-care situation in the state. During one of these meetings, for instance, a doctor recounted how his life had been put in danger as he conducted operations under fire, how he and his colleagues had extremely low morale and how his work situation was 'frightening' and 'very traumatic.' Above all, these meetings are a step forward, as the discussion concretely focuses on how the violence against health-care providers, facilities and vehicles can be curbed and access improved. The working group is now developing a protocol and advocacy tool that sets out the rights and responsibilities of health-care professionals when treating patients during emergencies. It has also decided to engage with the Nigerian police force at the federal level in order to develop a written memorandum concerning the Inspector General of Police's directive on the treatment of those with gunshot wounds. Furthermore, it has called on the ICRC to enter into a dialogue with armed groups to address the issue of violence against health care in Rivers state.
The working group is also engaged in a number of activities aimed at distributing important information to the public, security forces and armed groups and raising awareness of the obligation to safeguard health-care services. It has, for example, created a poster that explains: the laws regulating and safeguarding access to health care, particularly in relation to each patient's right to non-discrimination; those protecting medical ethics and confidentiality, the wounded and the sick, medical personnel, medical units and transport; and those regulating the use of the red-cross emblem, the distinctive emblem used by health-care professionals in Rivers state. The poster will be displayed in hospitals and clinics across the state.
The working group is also developing a data collection tool in consultation with the Ministry of Health. The aim is to create a mechanism that ensures regular, pertinent and accurate data collection on incidents affecting the delivery of health care in the state. The tool should be used to better analyse trends and threats involving health-care personnel and patients.
"our efforts mark the beginning of a positive change in our region"
We are convinced that our efforts mark the beginning of a positive change in our region, and we hope that the work we are doing to improve health-care delivery will serve as an example and inspiration to other states in Nigeria and around the world.
Dr. Theophilus Odagme, FWACS; MNIM
Hon. Commissioner for Health
NOUAKCHOTT - The Ambassador of Japan to Mauritania, H.E. Hisatsugu Shimizu, visited Mbera camp from 21 to 23 November to have a first-hand account of Japan-funded interventions carried out by the United Nations’ High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the World Food Programme (WFP) to assist Malian refugees in Mauritania. The Ambassador also attended the inauguration of a Mali-Mauritania border post – a Japanese-funded project, built by the International Organisation for Migration and aimed at strengthening security in the area.
Since 2012, UNHCR, WFP and IOM have been working closely with Japan, the Government of Mauritania and several non-governmental organizations to assist over 42,000 Malian refugees who fled conflict in northern Mali. External support remains vital for the refugees, as well as for 20,000 vulnerable Mauritanians who live in the camp surroundings and have generously shared their resources with the refugees.
“During this visit, I realized how refugees and Hodh ech Chargui’s residents rely on vital support,” said the Ambassador. “Children facilities, such as nursing stations, supplementary feeding centers and schools left an indelible impression. I was also very impressed by the camp coordination and the good cooperation between the UN agencies, the Government of Mauritania and NGOs in such a harsh environment. ”
Since 2013, Japanese contributions have allowed UNHCR to provide refugees in Mbera camp with essential services, such as protection, water and sanitation, health and education.
“In the past years, the Government of Japan generously funded the provision and the distribution of shelter kits and other essential items, with a particular attention to people with specific needs, such as unaccompanied children and people living with disabilities in Mbera camp. This support played a crucial role in improving life conditions for refugees in the camp.” Said Mohamed Alwash, UNHCR Representative in Mauritania. “While UNHCR and its partners continue to strengthen refugees’ self-reliance and shift gradually from general assistance to more targeted support, Japanese funding is crucial to maintain access to such vital services” concluded Alwash.
“Support from the Government of Japan has played a crucial role in improving food and nutritional security for refugees,” said Jean-Noel Gentile, WFP Country Director in Mauritania. “It has allowed us to reduce the number of food insecure refugees residing in the camp. Nevertheless, more needs to be done to enhance self-reliance and ensure that no Malian or Mauritanian goes to bed hungry. We must keep working together to achieve Zero Hunger.”
With security in northern Mali still precarious, and far more refugees reaching Mauritania than voluntarily returning to Mali, there are fears of growing strains on the limited resources of the Hodh ech Chargui. The semi-arid region has been the main target of three technical Japanese-funded projects implemented by IOM – among them, the construction and equipment of a border post at Fassala (Néré), in the strategic location of Doueinkara Village.
Speaking at the inauguration of the border post – also attended by the local authorities, villagers and civil society representatives – Anke Strauss, IOM Chief of Mission in Mauritania, noted that the Mauritanian vulnerable population hosting the refugees had also benefitted from two community stabilization projects funded by Japan. “These projects,” she said, “are aimed at improving resilience and providing households with more sustainable and diversified livelihoods.”
The three UN agencies look forward to further collaborating with the Government of Japan and other donors to provide life-saving assistance and self-reliance programmes to refugees and their host communities in Mauritania.
UNHCR coordinates the humanitarian response to the refugee situation to ensure protection, access to primary education, health, shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene as well as the provision of life-saving items in Mbera camp. The organisation works to promotes self-reliance and pacific coexistence in the camp and surroundings.
WFP provides monthly general food distributions and works to treat and prevent moderate and acute malnutrition providing fortified nutritional supplements for children under five, pregnant and nursing women, and a daily hot meal to children at school in Mbera refugee camp. In addition, WFP assists vulnerable Mauritanian population with food and nutritional assistance through safety nets and resilience building programmes in the most food insecure areas of the country.
IOM collaborates with the Government of Mauritania and other partners in an effort to strengthen national migration management capacity and enhance support of migrants in the country. Moreover, since the outbreak of the conflict in Northern Mali in 2012, IOM has supported host communities surrounding the Mbera refugee camp, as well as the Malian refugees fleeing armed conflict in their country.
For more information please contact:
Helena B. Pes, Associate Public Information Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: +222 22 887 904
UNHCR West Africa:
Hélène Caux, Senior Regional Public Information Officer, email@example.com, Tel: + 221 77 333 1291
Vanessa Rizzi, Reporting and Donor Relations Officer, WFP/Mauritania, firstname.lastname@example.org, +222 44 40 00 05
Adel Sarkozi, Regional Communications Officer, WFP/Dakar, email@example.com, + 221 77 637 59 64
Momme Ducros, Media Focal Point, firstname.lastname@example.org, tel +222 45 24 40 81
On November 1, 2016, ALIMA and its Malian partner AMCP (Medical Alliance Against Malaria) met with health authorities and humanitarian partners in Bamako, the capital of Mali. Their aim was to promote the integration of the “MUAC for Mothers” strategy in the fight against malnutrition in Mali. Here we speak with Dr. Fadiala Kalilou Keita, an advocacy officer for ALIMA-AMCP, about this innovative strategy and the challenges of implementing it.
Can you briefly explain what the “MUAC for Mothers” strategy is?
The “MUAC for Mothers” strategy trains mothers and other caregivers, such as grandparents, uncles or aunts to use a simple and effective tool called the mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) bracelet to detect early signs of malnutrition in their children under five.
A pilot study, conducted in 2012 by ALIMA which followed some 12,000 mothers in the district of Mirriah in Niger, showed that more than 77% of mothers trained in the “MUAC for Mothers” technique correctly identified the nutritional status of their children. This is comparable to the performance of community health workers, who are normally tasked with using the MUAC to screen for malnutrition in children.
As more mothers now screen their own children in their homes and communities, it means that many more children are being checked for malnutrition and more cases are being detected early. This reduces the risk of mortality linked to malnutrition in a way that periodic visits from community health workers are unable to do. Put simply, mothers and other family carergivers are the best people to detect early signs of malnutrition.
What are the challenges of integrating the “MUAC for Mothers” strategy into programs against malnutrition in Mali?
Mali, like many countries in the Sahel region, has high rates of malnutrition. In 2015, the overall malnutrition rate in the country was 12.4%. The rate of moderate acute malnutrition was 9.6%, and the rate of severe acute malnutrition was 2.8%. Reducing the level of morbidity and malnutrition-related mortality is therefore a major public health issue.
The community health worker program in Mali is designed to identify needs in remote communities, but it often faces structural problems that make malnutrition screening work difficult. In contexts where community health workers are not consistently present in a community, the “MUAC for Mothers” strategy could make real progress in the fight against malnutrition.
There is currently no standard approach to training mothers in how to use the MUAC tape to screen their children for malnutrition. To address this, we must work with our health and humanitarian partners to develop strategies for different locations. For example, we must define whether the “MUAC for Mothers” strategy is an independent project or whether it should be paired with other programs (e.g. vaccination campaigns, supplementary feeding programs, Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention etc.). Individual and group training sessions also need to be defined.
A meeting in Bamako on November 1 with Malian health authorities and humanitarian partners helped to answer some of these questions and generated useful exchanges based on ALIMA-AMCP’s experience. As a result, we have established a set of recommendations that represent a significant step in adopting the “MUAC for Mothers” strategy at a national level by health authorities.
How is ALIMA-AMCP implementing the “MUAC for Mothers” strategy in its projects in Mali?
Since 2011, ALIMA has worked alongside AMCP, a Malian medical organization dedicated to making healthcare more accessible and reducing malaria-related mortality. In 2015, ALIMA-AMCP began to train mothers in the intensive nutritional rehabilitation units of eight referral health centers. Six referral centers are in the region of Koulikoro and two in the Timbuktu region. This year we have extended our activity by training mothers at the community level via the Ambulatory Nutrition Units we support in Koulikoro. Since 2015, ALIMA-AMCP has trained more than 10,000 mothers to detect early signs of malnutrition. This is contributing to the reduction of mortality among children under five who are suffering from malnutrition in Mali.
The “MUAC for Mothers” strategy is a project funded by the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO).
Since 2011, ALIMA has worked with the Medical Alliance Against Malaria (AMCP), a Malian medical non-profit organization dedicated to making healthcare more accessible and reducing malaria-related mortality. ALIMA and AMCP support 33 community health centers and two referral health centers – including an operating room – in the Diré and Goudam districts in the Timbuktu region, providing free access to care. In the Goudam district, medical teams in mobile clinics provide medical care and clean water to displaced people. In 2015, nearly 170,000 consultations, 5,000 hospitalizations, 3,600 births, and 522 surgical procedures were recorded in the Timbuktu region.
In the Koulikoro region, ALIMA and its local partners are working hard to reduce deaths from the leading causes of infant mortality, including malaria, acute respiratory infections, diarrhea and malnutrition. The teams also support 111 community health centers and six referral health centers. Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention (SMC) campaigns were organized during the rainy season to help prevent malaria.
In Dioïla, in southern Mali, ALIMA also opened an intensive nutritional rehabilitation unit to train Malian healthcare workers. They learn to screen for severe acute malnutrition with complications and how to manage it in a hospital setting. To date, this project has provided training to 276 nurses and doctors.
Le 1er novembre 2016, ALIMA et son partenaire malien, l’Alliance Médicale Contre le Paludisme (AMCP), ont organisé à Bamako une rencontre avec les autorités sanitaires et les partenaires humanitaires du pays afin de promouvoir l’intégration de la stratégie PB mères dans les programmes de lutte contre la malnutrition au Mali. L’occasion de revenir avec le Dr. Fadiala Kalilou Keita, responsable plaidoyer ALIMA-AMCP, sur cette stratégie innovante et les enjeux de sa mise en place au Mali.
Peux-tu nous expliquer rapidement qu’est que le PB mères ?
Le PB mères consiste en une mesure du Périmètre Brachial (PB) des enfants de moins de 5 ans par leurs mères ou proches parents afin de dépister le plus tôt possible les premiers signes de malnutrition et commencer ainsi le traitement plus précocement. Une étude pilote menée en 2012 par ALIMA dans le district sanitaire de Mirriah au Niger a montré que sur 12 000 mères, plus de 77% identifiaient correctement le statut nutritionnel de leurs enfants. Un chiffre égal à celui des Relais Communautaires (ReCo) qui pratiquent habituellement ce travail de détection. Il s’agit d’une méthode simple et efficace à mettre en œuvre à travers la formation des mères et des personnes qui s’occupent habituellement des enfants telles que les grands parents, les oncles ou les tantes, ainsi que les jeunes mères et les femmes enceintes. Ces personnes sont en effet les plus à même de détecter les premiers signes de malnutrition. Ce dépistage effectué au sein même de la communauté permet donc une meilleure couverture et une détection plus précoce des cas diminuant ainsi le risque de mortalité lié à la malnutrition dans des contextes où les mères sont impliquées et les ReCo sont souvent dysfonctionnels.
Quels sont les enjeux de l’intégration de la stratégie PB mères dans les programmes de lutte contre la malnutrition au Mali ?
Le Mali, comme beaucoup d’autres pays du Sahel, connait une forte prévalence de la malnutrition. En 2015, on enregistrait un taux de malnutrition globale de 12,4%, dont 9,6% de malnutrition aigüe modérée et 2,8% de malnutrition aigüe sévère. La diminution de la morbidité et de la mortalité liées à la malnutrition est donc un enjeu de santé publique majeur dans le pays. Ici, les ReCo font souvent face à des problèmes structurels rendant difficile le travail de détection de la malnutrition. A ce titre, la diffusion de la stratégie PB mères pourrait générer de réels progrès dans le dépistage précoce de la malnutrition au Mali. Mais il n’existe pas d’approche standard pour apprendre aux mères la mesure du PB. Il faut donc identifier avec nos partenaires sanitaires et humanitaires une stratégie adaptée à chaque zone et en lien avec les objectifs d’intervention de chacun. Par exemple, il convient de déterminer en premier lieu si la stratégie PB mères est un projet indépendant ou bien s’il est couplé à un autre programme (campagne de vaccination, programme d’alimentation complémentaire, Chimioprévention du Paludisme Saisonnier, etc.) et si les formations seront individuelles ou en groupes. La rencontre organisée à Bamako le 1er novembre avec les autorités sanitaires et les partenaires humanitaires est allée dans ce sens et a permis un échange sur la base de l’expérience ALIMA-AMCP. Nous avons ainsi établi un ensemble de recommandations qui sont un pas significatif vers l’adoption de la stratégie PB mères dans les protocoles nationaux de prise en charge de la malnutrition au Mali.
Comment ALIMA-AMCP a mis en œuvre la stratégie PB mères dans ses projets au Mali ?
Depuis 2011, ALIMA travaille aux côtés d’AMCP, une ONG malienne dont le but est d’améliorer l’accessibilité aux soins de santé et de réduire la mortalité liée au paludisme. En 2015, ALIMA-AMCP a commencé à former les mères dans 8 Unités de Réhabilitation et d’Education Nutritionnelle Intensive (URENI) et pédiatries de 8 Centres de Santé de Référence (CSRef). 6 CSRef se situent dans la région de Koulikoro et 2 dans la région de Tombouctou. Cette année, nous avons encore davantage développé cette activité en commençant la formation des mères à l’échelle communautaire à travers les Unités de Récupération et d’Education Nutritionnelle en Ambulatoire Sévère (URENAS) que nous appuyons dans la région de Koulikoro. Depuis 2015, ALIMA-AMCP a ainsi pu former plus de 10 000 mères au dépistage précoce de la malnutrition et participer ainsi à la réduction de la mortalité des enfants de moins de 5 ans souffrant de malnutrition au Mali.
Depuis 2011, ALIMA et son partenaire malien AMCP mettent tout en œuvre pour réduire la mortalité infantile liée aux pathologies les plus meurtrières telles que le paludisme, les infections respiratoires aiguës, la diarrhée et la malnutrition. Dans la région de Koulikoro, les équipes soutiennent 111 centres de santé communautaires et 6 centres de santé de référence. Des campagnes de Chimioprévention du Paludisme Saisonnier (CPS) ont également été organisées durant la saison des pluies afin de prévenir l’apparition de cas de paludisme. Au sud du Mali, à Dioila, ALIMA a également ouvert une URENI école (Unité de Réhabilitation Nutritionnelle Intensive) afin de former le personnel de santé malien. Ils apprennent à dépister et à prendre en charge la malnutrition aiguë sévère avec complications. Ce projet a permis de former 276 infirmiers et médecins.
Au nord, dans les districts sanitaires de Diré et Goundam, à proximité de Tombouctou, ALIMA et AMCP appuient 33 centres de santé communautaires et 2 centres de santé de référence, y compris un bloc opératoire, afin d’assurer un accès gratuit aux soins. Dans le district de Goundam, les équipes médicales se déplacent en clinique mobile afin de dispenser des soins et distribuer de l’eau potable aux populations déplacées. En 2015, près de 170 000 consultations, 5 000 hospitalisations, 3 600 accouchements et 522 interventions chirurgicales ont été effectués dans la région de Tombouctou.
192,912 Personnes Déplacées Internes.
32,023 ** Retournés.
73,392 Réfugiés vérifiés et préenregistrés par le HCR depuis Mai 2013.
58,521 Réfugiés vivant au camp de Minawao.
6,759 Nouveaux arrivés enregistrés par le HCR depuis Janvier 2016.
* Ce chiffre comprend 14,871 réfugiés identifiés hors camp à l’issue de l’exercice de profilage.
USD 56, 361,252
Requis par les agences et les partenaires pour couvrir l’ensemble des besoins dans le cadre du « 2015 Refugee Response Plan