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ReliefWeb - Updates

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    Source: UN Children's Fund
    Country: Nigeria


    • 139,026 children under 5 with severe acute malnutrition (SAM) have been admitted to therapeutic feeding programmes with a recovery rate of 86 per cent.
    • 2016, so far, 3.82 million people have been reached with primary health care services through UNICEF-supported, Government-run health centres and clinics in IDP camps and affected communities.
    • With UNICEF support 719,525 people have access to safe water, 1,003,804 have access to sanitation facilities as per agreed standards and 919,735 people benefitted through hygiene promotion and distribution of hygiene kits/NFI.
    • In 2016, psychosocial support through Child Friendly Spaces (CFSs) and child clubs, reached 179,100 children, this includes 75,486 children under the scale up plan.
    • With UNICEF’s support, 97,756 children are accessing education through Temporary Learning Spaces and schools, and 175,142 children have benefitted from the provision of learning materials.

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    Source: World Food Programme
    Country: Mali, Niger


    • The Humanitarian Needs Overview for 2017 estimates the number of people in need in at least one of the identified sectors (food security, population movement, nutrition, education, etc.) stands at 1.9 million, including 340,000 people in the Diffa region.

    • Asset creation activities for the most vulnerable populations restarted in November. A total of 241,353 people benefited from food and cash assistance for assets activities.

    • Over the next 6 months, with the beginning of the new resilience project, USD 55.3 million are needed to implement the activities.

    Operational Updates

    Integrated resilience programme:
    - In November, 241,300 people benefited from food and cash assistance for assets activities. Sites that have produced good results and revenues will now work 13 days a month whereas the sites where assets are yet to produce results will continue working 25 days a month.

    • A survey to establish the coverage of treatment for moderate and severe acute malnutrition took place in three communes in Maradi Region in November. Data analysis is underway.

    • During the reporting period, workshops took place in Diffa, Agadez, Tahoua and Maradi to identify strengths, weaknesses and priority activities in capacity building for health districts. Other workshops will continue in Niamey, Tillabery and Dosso in December, to continue strengthening health center’s capacities to implement the treatment activities for moderate acute malnutrition.

    • A Rome-based agencies (RBA) joint workshop on capitalization of experience and good practices took place in Niamey with the support of FAO and WFP headquarter offices from 22 to 24 November. Methodology was shared and development of RBA joint good practice fact sheets for publication is on-going.

    • A post distribution monitoring survey was conducted from 13 to 24 November in Diffa to monitor the food and nutrition situation of vulnerable refugees and IDPs. Around 1,000 households were monitored, mainly located in the 2 camps (Sayam Forage and Kablewa) and communes adjoining Lake Chad. Data analysis is ongoing.

    Humanitarian Assistance

    • WFP continues to assist 57,500 Malian refugees through unconditional assistance (food and vouchers) along with nutritional supplementation for children 6-23 months in Tabarebarey, Abala and Mangaize camps and Intikane and Tazalit hosting sites.

    • In Diffa region, food and cash for asset activities restarted in the commune of Diffa and Mainé Soroa, reaching 18,113 people.

    • As part of the 2017 planning, WFP and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) met on 29 November. ICRC has confirmed its intention to provide assistance in the Diffa region, to populations of the communes of Bosso, Toumour and to the Yebi displaced population of Garim Wamzam site (also originally from Bosso). The target number of assisted households is 17,000; they will be assisted with general food distributions in 2017.

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    Source: Fund for Peace
    Country: Niger, Nigeria

    Sustainable peace and security remains a key challenge in the Niger Delta region. Data shows a significantly higher number of conflict incidents and fatalities in 2016 than in 2015. However, shorter term trends do show a slight improvement from Q2 2016 to Q3 (see page 2).

    This quarterly tracker looks at the trends and patterns of conflict risk factors and incidents of violence, and their pressures on peace and stability in the Niger Delta. It is not designed as a conflict analysis, but rather it is intended to update stakeholders on patterns and trends in violence.
    Understanding the deeper conflict drivers, implications, and mitigating options requires a robust participatory, qualitative analysis of these trends by local stakeholders in affected communities, including women, traditional authorities, political leaders, youths, private sector actors, and others.

    Conflict issues in the Niger Delta include communal tensions, political competition, organized criminality, and resource-based conflicts. Incidents include militancy, piracy, cultism, election violence, communal violence, armed robbery, kidnapping, and land disputes varying at state and Local Government Area (LGA) levels. Data sources include ACLED (, Nigeria Watch (, NSRP Sources (focused on Violence Against Women and Girls), the IPDU SMS early warning system, and others.

    The Niger Delta comprises 185 out of the 774 local government areas and covers 9 out of the 36 states of Nigeria: Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Imo,
    Ondo and Rivers. With over 30 million people, according to a 2006 population census, and an estimated population density of 265 people per square kilometer, the region accounts for more than 23 percent of Nigeria’s population. The region is highly heterogeneous with over 40 ethnic groups who speak more than 100 languages and dialects.

    Fishing and farming are historically the main occupations in the region. The region contains vast reserves of oil and gas, which play an important role in the Nigerian economy. In spite of these abundant natural resources, the Niger Delta is marked by poverty, economic underdevelopment, inequality, and environmental degradation. Historical tensions and a proliferation of armed groups (militant, criminal, and ethnosectarian) contribute to many of the conflict dynamics described in the following pages.

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    Source: US Agency for International Development
    Country: Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Nigeria, United States of America

    Monday, December 12, 2016
    The United States announced today nearly $92 million in additional humanitarian assistance to people affected by the ongoing conflict and severe food insecurity in Nigeria and throughout the Lake Chad Basin region.

    With this announcement, the United States is providing more than $291 million in humanitarian assistance since the 2016 fiscal year to people affected by the Boko Haram-related conflict and the related humanitarian crisis. The United States continues to be the single largest humanitarian donor to the region.

    This new funding to United Nations and NGO partners will help tens of thousands of people receive critically needed humanitarian assistance, including food, water, shelter, and services to address acute hygiene, protection, and nutritional needs.

    In Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Chad, the conflict has left more than 6.4 million people in need emergency food assistance and displaced 2.6 million people. The United Nations estimates an additional $1 billion is needed to meet the humanitarian needs of people in 2017. The United States calls on other donors to contribute additional humanitarian assistance for the millions of people in the region whose lives have been affected by Boko Haram violence.

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

    Filippo Grandi says Niger sets a strong example through its hospitality for people fleeing conflict in Mali and Nigeria.

    By: Louise Donovan | 13 December 2016

    DIFFA, Niger– Despite facing high levels of poverty and other development challenges of its own, Niger is playing a key role in sheltering refugees fleeing conflicts in the region, the UN refugee chief said during a visit this week.

    The West African country provides asylum and refuge to over 165,000 refugees fleeing conflict and persecution in neighbouring Mali and Nigeria.

    “It’s very rare to find a country and a people facing so many challenges – security, economic, climatic - surrounded by unstable neighbours, yet providing refuge and maintaining humanitarian values, despite it all,” UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said during his first visit.

    “I had no hope when I fled Nigeria, but now I feel at home.”

    The region of Diffa, in the south-east of Niger, is a perfect example of this solidarity, as expressed by Grandi on a visit to the region to highlight the Nigerian displacement crisis. Since February 2015, Diffa has been under constant threat from Boko Haram.

    The numbers of displaced people in the region has skyrocketed in the past year, reaching over 250,000 by last month. This total includes refugees, returning Niger citizens and people forcibly displaced within the country’s borders. What is exceptional about Diffa is the fact that amongst the displaced, just 7,500 are living in a refugee camp. The majority live side by side with the local population, who also face major challenges

    UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, provides assistance and protection to people in need, based on their vulnerability, and not just on their status as refugees. In such a dynamic and volatile context, UNHCR has been forced to rethink the way it operates, and to come up with innovative solutions for all.

    In its Urbanization Project, UNHCR works hand-in-hand with the local and community authorities, to provide legal access to land for displaced families, while contributing to improving the local economy. During a visit to the town of Maine Soroa, in the Diffa region, Grandi met with Amina, a 28-year-old Nigerian refugee who had received a parcel of land and a house under the project. “I had no hope when I fled Nigeria, but now I feel at home. I’ve put my daughter in school and I want my family to make our life here.”

    To date, over 2,000 families have benefitted from land parcels, whilst the construction of social and sustainable long-term housing began in 2016.

    Another such project, which helps not only refugees, but also the local population, is the Gas as Domestic Energy programme. Throughout 2016, over 200,000 of the most vulnerable people across the region of Diffa received gas bottles to use for domestic purposes. UNHCR struck a partnership with a private gas company in Niger to ensure the sustainability of the project.

    “If we don’t invest in the future of the children, of the young people, then the risk is that we slide back into insecurity. “

    Not only does the use of gas protect the environment, which is essential in the Lake Chad Basin, but it provides multiple other benefits. “The gas has changed a lot of things in our life,” Bintu, a local woman hosting refugees in her home, told Grandi.

    The cost of gas refills is far lower than the price of wood, which means people have more money to invest in other areas. Women and girls are also spared having to gather firewood far from home, where they are vulnerable to assault. It also enables girls to spend more time in school rather than on domestic chores.

    The High Commissioner, noting that Diffa had been one of the most prosperous regions in Niger, stressed that: “If we don’t invest in the future of the children, of the young people, then the risk is that we slide back into insecurity. We cannot afford that. The people cannot afford that. The authorities cannot afford that.”

    During a meeting on Sunday with Niger Prime Minister Brigi Rafini in Niamey, Grandi reiterated, that, “Niger is an example that I assure you I will use around the world.”

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    Source: Lutheran World Relief
    Country: Cameroon, Chad, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Iraq, Kenya, Niger, Nigeria, Philippines, Somalia, South Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Uganda, World


    As we at Lutheran World Relief anticipate the tremendous humanitarian challenges we might face in the coming year, a quote from Desmond Tutu comes to mind: “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all the darkness.”

    The world is trying to cope with what the U.N. is calling the highest levels of displacement on record, much of it fueled by conflict in Syria and Iraq. Off and on civil war threatens to intensify in South Sudan, which will impact and possibly draw in neighboring countries. Around the world we are seeing blatant disregard for international humanitarian law, with the indiscriminate bombing of hospitals, schools and other civilian targets, chemical warfare, and the use of food as a weapon. And we will continue to witness the effects of climate change, through unpredictable weather patterns, which wreak havoc with the harvests that are the lifeline of the rural poor.

    Overall, these climate and conflict-driven crises are triggering simultaneous emergencies that are taxing the efforts of humanitarian agencies. Indeed more than three-quarters of people living in extreme poverty are in countries that are environmentally or politically fragile, or both.

    LWR’s Early Warning Forecast singles out seven continuing or potential hot spots that may require humanitarian — and in some cases diplomatic — action in the next year.

    As an organization that draws inspiration from our faith, we always embrace and maintain hope. We can clearly see that significant progress is being made in reducing global suffering and poverty. As measured by the Millennium Development Goals, the number of people living in extreme poverty and under-age-5 mortality has fallen by more than half. Continuing that work, the world community has adopted a set of Sustainable Development Goals that are truly aspirational, including reaching a statistical “zero” on extreme poverty, preventable child deaths and other targets.

    That’s why we round out our list of humanitarian hot spots with signs of hope. For example, the power of information communications technology is feeding a rapid growth of the private sector and entrepreneurship in Africa, as well as in other parts of the developing world. This is helping us to reach a group — that has not reaped — many benefits from globalization, namely poor farmers, by helping them to be more productive, and gain access to more profitable local and export markets.

    We are making real progress in reducing global poverty and now is not the time to turn inward or retreat. The international community must continue to engage, to fund humanitarian response and development, and to support the local communities bearing the brunt of these crises. Our commitment to long-term sustainable development, and the tangible results we are seeing, will sustain our hope.

    Ambassador Daniel Speckhard President and CEO

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    Source: US Agency for International Development
    Country: Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Nigeria, United States of America


    • FEWS NET reports that Famine-level acute food insecurity likely occurred in northeastern Nigeria’s Bama LGA in 2016

    • 2017 HRP for Nigeria calls for more than $1 billion in humanitarian assistance

    • USG provides nearly $92 million in assistance to bolster the emergency response in the Lake Chad Basin


    • On December 13, the USAID-funded Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) reported that Famine—IPC 5—levels of acute food insecurity likely occurred in Nigeria’s Bama Local Government Area (LGA), Borno State during 2016.4 Populations in other areas of Borno could have also faced Famine-level food insecurity, though access constraints have prevented the data collection required to make this determination.

    • Armed individuals associated with Boko Haram continue to attack civilians throughout the Lake Chad Basin region, comprising Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria. On December 9, armed individuals detonated explosives in Nigeria’s Madagali town, Adamawa State, resulting in at least 57 deaths and injuring nearly 180 people.

    • In early December, the UN called for more than $1.05 billion in humanitarian funding to provide emergency assistance to an estimated 6.9 million people in northeastern Nigeria between January and December 2017. During the same period, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) launched the 2017 Nigeria Regional Refugee Response Plan (RRRP), outlining more than $241 million in humanitarian funding required to support nearly 443,000 Nigerian refugees and other conflict-affected populations in the region.

    • On December 12, the U.S. Government (USG) announced nearly $92 million in additional humanitarian funding for the Lake Chad Basin response, bringing total USG assistance from FY 2016–2017 to more than $291 million. The new USG funding, including nearly $77 million from USAID/FFP and more than $15 million from USAID/OFDA, is supporting critical food, nutrition, protection, and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) assistance for conflict-affected people in the region.

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    Source: US Agency for International Development
    Country: Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Nigeria

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    Source: Human Rights Watch
    Country: Nigeria

    (Abuja) – Nigerian authorities should end their violent repression of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), a minority Shia group, that began with a three-day lethal crackdown on December 12-14, 2015, and free its leader, Human Rights Watch said today.

    Sheik Ibraheem El Zakzaky, leader of the IMN, and his wife, Zeenatudeen, have been detained without trial for a year. On December 12, 2015, the Nigeria army used disproportionate force against the group’s street procession in Zaria, Kaduna State in northwestern Nigeria to clear a route for the army chief’s convoy. In an ensuing three-day violent crackdown, the army killed 347 members of the group and injured and arrested scores more. The violence against the group continued in a series of episodes in October and November 2016.

    “The involvement of soldiers in the Zaria incidents, and subsequent police actions against the Islamic Movement raises major questions about Nigeria’s commitment to military reform,” said Mausi Segun, senior Nigeria researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The Kaduna state government’s continued repression of the group without holding the attackers responsible turns justice on its head.”

    Nigerian authorities should hold accountable anyone who has committed crimes against Islamic Movement members, and take immediate steps to comply with a federal court order mandating the release of Sheik El Zakzaky and his wife, Human Rights Watch said.

    Human Rights Watch reported in December 2015 that the killings were unjustified and called for an independent and impartial investigation into the carnage.

    A judicial commission of inquiry, appointed to investigate the events, found that the army used “excessive force” against protesters and was responsible for the deaths and mass burial of the 347 members of the group. It recommended the prosecution of soldiers involved in the killings. The commission also recommended holding Islamic Movement members responsible for their “acts of habitual lawlessness,” and said that El Zakzaky bore responsibility for failing to call his followers to order when requested to do so.

    In a White Paper responding to the report released on December 5, 2016, the Kaduna State government unilaterally declared the Islamic Movement to be an insurgent group against which the army was justified in using lethal force. Contrary to the commission’s findings, the state government stated that soldiers who shot at protesters, laid siege to religious sites belonging to the group, killed 347 members and buried them in unmarked mass graves, acted according to the army’s rules of operation.

    The Kaduna State government is seeking the death penalty against 50 members of the group who are facing trial for the death of the only military casualty in the episode, Corporal Dan Kaduna Yakubu. But it has essentially exempted the army from any responsibility for the killings of the Islamic Movement members, and no-one has been held responsible for the deaths.

    On October 7, the state government banned the Islamic Movement, citing the commission of inquiry’s finding that the group was unregistered. The move appears to have triggered a wave of police and mob violence against the group’s members participating in its annual religious processions, and the destruction of their properties in Kaduna as well as neighboring Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Plateau, and Sokoto States, where the police followed the Kaduna example of banning activities of the group. Media reports allege that at least 12 people died in the violence in October, and more than 10 more were killed in subsequent clashes in November.

    A federal high court ruled on December 2 that the continued detention without trial of El Zakzaky and his wife by the State Security Services, “amounted to a gross violation of the constitution and the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights.” The court ordered the government to release the couple within 45 days, pay them approximately US$170 million in damages, and provide them with a secure residence in view of the December 2015 destruction of their home. The federal government, in whose custody El Zakzaky and his wife have been detained, has not indicated whether it will comply with the court’s decision.

    Hundreds of the group’s members have remained in prison since the Zaria incident and subsequent arrests during religious processions and protest marches to demand their leaders’ release, the group says. A few detainees, mostly women and children, were released but most others have been arraigned in courts in Kaduna, Kano, and Jos for offenses including disturbing public peace, incitement, unlawful assembly, and homicide.

    The pattern of violent repressive conduct against the group may violate Nigeria’s constitution, which guarantees the rights to life; personal liberty; freedom of thought, conscience, and religion; peaceful assembly and association; and freedom of movement. Nigeria may also be in breach of its obligations under African regional and international human rights law to protect these rights.

    “Nigeria’s federal and state authorities should reconsider the heavy-handed crackdown against IMN members, take urgent steps to protect them, and hold those responsible for the unlawful deaths of group members to account,” Segun said. “The government should carry out its law enforcement responsibilities without jeopardizing its own credibility by ignoring court decisions that rightly seek to check its agents’ excesses.”

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    Source: UN Children's Fund
    Country: Nigeria

    NEW YORK, 13 December 2016 – “The violent conflict in northeast Nigeria has left children severely malnourished and at risk of death.

    “In the three worst-affected states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, farming has been disrupted and crops destroyed, food reserves depleted and often pillaged, and livestock killed or abandoned.

    “In Borno, where the fighting has been most brutal, 75 per cent of the water and sanitation infrastructure and 30 per cent of all health facilities have been either destroyed, looted or damaged. 

    “The impact on children is devastating. 

    “We estimate that 400,000 children will suffer from severe acute malnutrition over the next year in the three affected states. If they do not receive the treatment they need, 1 in 5 of these children will die. Cases of diarrhoea, malaria and pneumonia are on the rise, further endangering children’s lives.

    “These figures represent only a fraction of the suffering. Large areas of Borno state are completely inaccessible to any kind of humanitarian assistance. We are extremely concerned about the children trapped in these areas.

    “We are making a difference in the areas we can reach. With the World Food Programme and other partners, we are treating acutely malnourished children. We are vaccinating children against measles and polio. We are providing safe water and sanitation services.

    “But this is nowhere close to enough.

    “Without adequate resources and without safe access, we and our partners will be unable to reach children whose lives are at imminent risk.

    “What is already a crisis can become a catastrophe.” 


    About UNICEF: UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit:
    Follow us on Twitter  and Facebook 

    For more information, or for interviews, please contact:

    Najwa Mekki, UNICEF New York, +1917 209 1804, 
    Doune Porter, UNICEF Nigeria, + 234 803 525 0273,

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

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

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    Source: International Organization for Migration
    Country: South Sudan


    For the third straight week, the number of new arrivals decreased, while the number of exits continued to hover around 30. In short, new arrivals have slowed while exits have remained steady.
    There were 51 new arrivals to the POC this week, compared to 66 last week. All 51 came due to the insecurity that is happening at night, and all said that they intended to stay in the site for six months or more. Except for 7 people who came from Brinji, all new entries came from neighborhoods inside Wau town, mostly Hai Aweil Jedid and Hai Kosti. None came from other IDP sites.
    A total of 32 people left the POC this week. They cited a wide variety of reasons for leaving, including insecurity, education, uncomfortable living conditions, and food. Most of those exiting the site were heading outside of Wau entirely (69%).


    This week the number of new arrivals climbed back above one hundred, with 138 entries. The primary reason for the increase this week is the ongoing nightly looting and gunshots in nearby neighborhoods – 79% of new entries cited insecurity as their reason for coming. Others came for health reasons, for education, or to rejoin family. Most (84%) came from neighborhoods inside Wau town.
    There were 22 exits from Cathedral site this week, compared to 37 the previous week. The reasons they gave for leaving included rejoining family and education. Nearly all were headed outside of the Wau area entirely or to Juba (95%).
    All 22 of those exiting the site, all indicated that they intended to return. This corroborates reports from the community leaders at Cathedral, who state that many people in the site move fluidly back and forth between their homes and the site, often spending 3-4 days at home or the site.


    The number of new arrivals to Nazareth dropped for the second straight week, with 43 entries compared to 66 the week before and 121 the week before that. The arrivals cited insecurity (49%), rejoining family (33%), and food (19%) as their reasons for coming. Nearly half of the new arrivals came from the neighborhood of Hai Baggari Jedid (47%), and all 43 new arrivals said they intended to stay at the site more than 6 months.
    For the third straight week, the number of exits from Nazareth remained steady at around 40. There were a total of 39 exits over the reporting period, compared to 40 and 38 the weeks before. The vast majority of people cited rejoining family inside the site as their reason for leaving (74%), with a few others citing uncomfortable living conditions, insecurity, and education. Most of those exiting were going to Hai Daraja (33%) – a neighborhood which has seem marked security improvements in the past 3 weeks – or to the adjacent neighborhood of Hai Nazareth (28%) or to the Cathedral site (23%).

    St. Joseph

    Movements in and out of St. Joseph site remain the lowest of any of the five IDP sites in Wau. Over the reporting period there were only 5 entries and 6 exits. The new entries cited insecurity and food as their reasons for coming, while the exits said they were leaving due to uncomfortable living conditions and lack of food. The entries came from Hai Kosti and Hai Daraja; those exiting were headed to Hai Kalvario and Hai Falata.


    There were 7 new entries and 8 exits from Lokoloko this week, a drop from the previous week. Those entering cited insecurity and food as their reasons for coming, while all of those exiting did so primarily because of health reasons. All of the movements in an out were between neighborhoods inside Wau town

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    Source: Famine Early Warning System Network, World Food Programme
    Country: Nigeria


    How many people are food-insecure?

    It is estimated that in the assessed LGAs of Gujba and Gulani 74 percent of the population is food insecure, 20 percent of which in a severe way. This prevalence translates into more than 245,0001 food insecure people, 67,000 of which severely food insecure.

    Who are the food insecure people?

    Food insecure households belong more frequently to the displaced community (78 percent compared to 70 percent respectively), have precarious livelihoods, they are women-headed, have limited or no access to land, and have seen their land size decreasing. These households are consuming small quantities and few varieties of food. They are eating little nutritious food. They are spending high proportion of their limited incomes on food. They are resorting to negative livelihood and food-related coping strategies.

    Where do the food-insecure people live?

    The severely food insecure households are evenly distributed in Gulani and Gujba (50 percent in each LGA), however, marginally food secure households are more frequent in Gulani LGA (56 percent), than in Gujba (44 percent). Similarly, the food secure households are more numerous in Gulani LGA (63 percent) than in Gujba LGA (37 percent). Food insecure is estimated to affect 140.000 people in Gujba and 106.000 in Gulani.

    Why are they food insecure?

    These high levels of food insecurity, hitting IDPs the hardest, are due to the prolonged conflict and displacement that have destroyed livelihoods (in particular the rural ones), to the increased food prices (between 36 and 91 percent) and to the devaluation of the Naira against the dollar.

    How can we support the households?

    At this stage of the food security crisis it is important to assist most vulnerable IDPs and host population in the assessed LGAs through:

    1) free in-kind food distributions where markets are disrupted and food not available or

    2) CBT, being aware of the security risks and of the inflationary effects on the CBT assistance modality.

    3) distribution of seeds to assist farmers in rebuilding their livelihood in collaboration with FAO.

    It is important that the assistance delivery points be in secure conditions, in order to allow beneficiaries to obtain the assistance.

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    Source: World Health Organization
    Country: Nigeria

    14 DECEMBER 2016 | GENEVA - One third of more than 700 health facilities in Borno State, north-eastern Nigeria, have been completely destroyed, according to a report released today by WHO. Of those facilities remaining, one third are not functioning at all.

    "High insecurity, difficult terrain and lack of health workers, medicines, equipment and basic amenities such as safe water are making access to essential, lifesaving health care extremely difficult for people in this conflict-affected area," says Dr Wondi Alemu, WHO Representative in Nigeria.

    "WHO’s top priority is to help save lives and prevent sickness among the estimated 6 million people who need health assistance in this crisis."

    WHO has been working with the Borno State Ministry of Health to set up a Health Resources Availability Monitoring System (known as HeRAMS) to collect information on the availability of health resources and services in this humanitarian crisis.

    The first report from this new system has identified 743 health facilities in Borno State, of which 35% are completely destroyed, another 29% partially damaged and only 34% intact. About 100 temporary health facilities have been set up to support the response, of which 49 are emergency clinics for displaced people living in camps.

    Of the 481 health facilities that have not been destroyed, 31% of them are not functioning, mostly as a result of lack of access due to insecurity. Almost 60% of health facilities have no access to safe water (32% have no access to any water at all) and 3 out of 4 (73%) facilities do not have enough chlorine stocks to decontaminate the water used in the facility.

    "The information from this system is critical to inform the management of Borno State Ministry of Health and its partners on gaps that need to be addressed urgently," says Mr Kadai Baba Gana, deputy director for Planning, Research and Statistics in the Borno State Ministry of Health and the HeRAMS task team chairman. "This will help us to better coordinate and monitor the response and guide the allocation of scarce resources."

    HeRAMS is a rapid online system used to monitor which health facilities, services and resources are available and accessible in emergency settings. Health workers are trained by WHO to enter key information into the system about the clinic or hospital where they work. This information includes the kind of services the facility can provide, whether the infrastructure has essential resources like electricity and water, the skills of health workers, and the type of services, equipment and medicines available as well as support received from external partners. Information is updated regularly to help monitor improvements or new gaps in services.

    Around 60% of the health facilities in north-eastern Nigeria are currently being supported by one or more of the 18 health partners responding to the crisis.

    WHO is working closely with these partners to support the government to deliver essential lifesaving health services, gather and analyse key health information and prepare for and respond to disease outbreaks.

    WHO has a strong presence in the community in these areas thanks to a well-established polio programme which includes teams of health workers trained to work in areas of high insecurity and reach communities that no other partner can reach.

    However, more resources are needed. The United Nations and partners need US$ 94 million to provide health services to 6 million people, more than half of them children, in this crisis. Of this share, WHO needs US$ 31 million to deliver on its response plans in 2017.

    Please also see the infographic on health system in north-eastern Nigeria:

    For general information on Nigeria crisis:

    Media contact

    Christian Lindmeier WHO Geneva Office: +41 22 791 1948 Mobile: +41 79 500 6552 Email:

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    Source: World Health Organization
    Country: Nigeria

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    Source: UN Human Rights Council
    Country: South Sudan

    Mr. President, Excellencies, Distinguished delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen, I am delivering this statement on behalf of the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan.

    Imagine if 70% of female staff working in the United Nations had been sexually violated in the past three years. It’s beyond anyone’s capacity to conceive.

    In the Protection of Civilian Camps in the South Sudanese capital Juba, there are equivalent numbers of people. A UN survey found 70% of women in the camps had been raped since the conflict erupted – the vast majority of them by police or soldiers - and a staggering 78% had been forced to watch someone else being sexually violated.

    Remember that there are thousands more cases throughout South Sudan - and in refugee camps in neighbouring countries – and there is also the age-old problem of underreporting due to stigma. With these sort of figures, it is conceivable that the scale of sexual violence in the world’s youngest country already matches that of the Bosnian war - and yet we rarely hear about it.

    A quarter of the population of South Sudan is already internally displaced or abroad as refugees. But South Sudan has fallen off the international radar and that’s why I, and my colleagues, urge you to make today’s special session a turning point for the country.

    Already on our first mission to South Sudan in September, the ethnic polarization concerned us. However a clearer picture emerged from our latest mission in November and December to South Sudan, Kenya and Ethiopia. All of the early warning signals for mass atrocities in South Sudan are there, as the UN Special Representative for the Prevention of Genocide also stated.

    As you know, mass atrocities are usually committed against a backdrop of economic instability, an already existing war and a climate in which the “other” is demonized. In this regard, South Sudan already has the world’s highest inflation rate - 837% as of October. A third of the teachers of South Sudan have fled, and most national UN Staff have already sent their families abroad. The government has abdicated its responsibility for providing basic services to most of its people.

    A third of the people of South Sudan are estimated by the FAO to be severely food insecure this month – that is an unprecedented 3.7 million people. All over South Sudan the spectre of starvation looms – according to the UNHCR on average three thousand South Sudanese refugees fled across national borders on a daily basis in November. Refugees in Ethiopia at the newly established camp we visited in Gambella told us that they left their country because of shortages of food after their homes, livestock and crops in Nasir and Mathiang were torched. Throughout the country the harvest and planting of crops have been impeded, supporting projections that hunger will intensify even more next year.

    An existing conflict is escalating and spreading geographically across the country even to states that were peaceful before. In fact the level of violence and ethnic tension we saw all over the country was unprecedented. Worryingly the Equatorias, which were relatively unaffected, have now become the epicentre of the conflict. We heard numerous accounts there of corpses being found along main roads, attacks by unknown armed groups and counter-attacks by Government forces, intimidation of communities and impending starvation forcing them to flee as refugees.

    Many people the Commission spoke to described relatives who had been killed or disappeared but further investigation is required to establish the scale of the killing.Women in Wau described how their husbands and children were stopped by SPLA soldiers, robbed and murdered. The violence has also affected members of the Dinka tribe and the government has blamed these attacks on the SPLA/IO, which in turn has denied involvement. In the aftermath of the violence in Juba in July, there were several violent attacks on main roads linking the capital to Central Equatoria, resulting in the targeted killings of Dinka women and children.

    There is an increase in polarised ethnic identities, a culture of denial, and in some areas, systematic violations that have been planned. The Commission’s recent visit to South Sudan suggests that a steady process of ethnic cleansing is already underway in some parts of the country. We don’t use that expression lightly. Targeted displacement along ethnic lines is taking place through killing, abductions, rape, looting and burning of homes. The redrawing of state boundaries to create 28 states has exacerbated this displacement.

    In Bentiu, security experts said that they had not previously seen the present scale of torching of homes, which forces people to flee. In Malakal we were given official decrees from the local government which terminate the employment of non-Dinka civil servants, including doctors and teachers, who were expelled from their homes and jobs in Malakal town. We heard again and again about land grabbing, in a situation where very few members of the Dinka tribe are being displaced. Some of the non-Dinka neighborhoods of Wau have become virtual ghost towns in recent months after outbreaks of violence. When we visited Eastern Equatoria, we heard from people displaced by killings in Magwi County and Pageri that these places are now emptied of their populations.

    Wherever the Commission went, people who’d been displaced told us they were willing to die to regain their land. Across the Upper Nile states, Unity and the Equatorias, people are preparing for war. Forced recruitment of youth and children, as well as forced conscription of adult males is taking place. In a country awash with arms, there is a heightened expectation that the fighting will begin in earnest now that the dry season has arrived.

    The environment for abuses has been further enabled by the spewing of hate speech and the dehumanization of ethnic groups by key government officials, including the President. Coupled with the muzzling of the media and curtailing of civil society groups, this has sown fear in the population. The Commission met journalists who had been detained, tortured and in some cases subjected to sexual violence. It’s important to pay tribute to the bravery of those activists and journalists who continue to struggle for a better country. Humanitarian workers also face threats and intimidation. Again, many do an exceptional job in extremely difficult circumstances; they must be granted unimpeded access to do their work by government and opposition forces.

    The level of ongoing sexual violence is not given due recognition in South Sudan. It is worth remembering that rape is a violent invasive attack which pervades not only the integrity of one’s body but also has a lifelong impact; it is an act intent on destroying the individual’s sense of self, their ability to trust and be part of society. Our Commission met women rejected by their husbands because they’d been gang raped by soldiers, women shunned by their communities because they bore children conceived in rape, mothers who on a daily basis make the choice of risking brutal sexual assault or watching their children starve. Several women in UN camps in Juba had still not received emergency medical attention for injuries arising from gang rape by government soldiers this year. Yet all around them are the manifestations of a massive international aid presence. Of course they question what this presence means. Some were raped in July within sight of UN peacekeepers. They accuse the UN of being part of the problem and complicit in their violations by failing to protect many of them.

    Shockingly in the Gambella refugee camp in Ethiopia, the Commission heard about four cases of the rape of children two years old or less. Aid workers here also reported cases of sexual slavery. I can’t forget one woman describing how she was reminded of the face of her rapist every time she looked at her baby conceived as a result of the rape - and was unable to love the child as a result.

    I would like to share with the Council the sense of frustration we heard again and again on the ground from men and women. In the words of one person in Malakal -

    “We have given up on all international bodies – you just take reports and do nothing”.

    Surprisingly, this was not from a displaced person but from a dedicated international humanitarian worker. He said he simply couldn’t understand why the international community was still at the stage of talking about an arms embargo or about whether genocide was happening, when he witnesses atrocities on a daily basis. In a meeting with displaced women in Malakal I was challenged on why we had wasted money on plane tickets to come to the camp when nothing changed after visits by “human rights people” - and I have to say the crowd applauded the question.

    Attitudes towards sexual violence in South Sudan illustrate the wider problem of impunity, perpetuated by a culture of denial among government officials. Officials we spoke to deny the reports of systematic patterns of sexual violence by their troops against women of different tribes, citing arguments such as, “our tribe doesn’t rape – it’s not in our culture”. Tell that to the thousands of women who have been raped.

    Impunity breeds contempt. That is why the only action that will curb these violations is bringing the perpetrators to justice both at a command and an individual level. Based on the interviews we have conducted, South Sudan’s legal system is currently in shambles. Given the displacement of communities and the breakdown of social systems, the only form of redress for victims is the traditional system - and in some places even that doesn’t exist. The Commission heard of rape cases being mediated by traditional tribal chiefs who awarded a goat as redress to the victim’s family – in some cases lower compensation than for theft of cattle. It is outrageous that the price of rape in South Sudan is a goat. And that there are no functioning courts or sitting judges in many states to try serious crimes like murder.

    I described the levels of gang rape in this conflict as epic – to be frank we are running out of adjectives to describe the horror. Perhaps the worst thing is that many now treat sexual violence as a “normal” facet of life for women. Conflict related sexual and gender based violence by all armed groups has reached crisis proportions in South Sudan and that’s why we called for an international investigation that maps the hot spots for rape and takes detailed testimony from survivors so that patterns of violations can be matched with the military units deployed in the area. There is also a need for a broader investigation into all violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in order to gather and preserve evidence for future accountability.

    South Sudan stands on the brink of an all-out ethnic civil war, which could destabilize the entire region. Wherever we visited people told us the country would dissolve into another Rwanda-like situation. While several of the early warning signs of mass atrocities are present that does NOT mean it is inevitable. The international community must act now. This includes countries in the region, which guaranteed the peace process but are not sufficiently implementing the necessary steps toward justice and accountability.

    These are some of the steps we believe the international community can take now:

    1. We urge the immediate deployment of the 4,000-strong regional protection force for South Sudan. While the protection force has been assigned to Juba, people all across the country asked that it not be restricted to the capital if it is to protect civilians across South Sudan.

    2. The International Community should ensure that measures are promptly put in place to ensure accountability through the full implementation of Chapter Five of the Peace Agreement without further delay. This requires that the African Union and the Government of South Sudan immediately establish the hybrid court for South Sudan, given that it has been more than 17 months since the Peace Agreement was signed. The delay in establishing this mechanism is no longer acceptable.

    3. It is imperative to begin coordinated and systematic investigations with a view to gathering and preserving evidence. Evidence is being lost on a daily basis: witnesses relocate and memories fade, documents are concealed or destroyed, physical evidence degrades. There is clear precedent for a robust investigative element to precede the establishment of a full-blown court, as has been done elsewhere.

    We have clearly stated that the international community has an obligation to act to protect civilians. While the primary responsibility for the protection of civilians lies with the Government, when it is unable and/or unwilling to do so, and when it makes war on its own people, then the international community must step in.

    People are tiring of the UN holding inquiries and mandating reports after the event, ascertaining blame for its failures in the past once it’s already too late. With South Sudan we have a rare chance to avert further catastrophe. Our Commission has issued the warning and we are definitely not alone in this. As the Secretary General said earlier this year, human rights abuses are the most effective early warning signs of atrocity crimes. Stressing the need for early warning and early action, he emphasized that, “The primary responsibility for preventing conflict and protecting human rights lies with Member States”.

    I leave you with the words of a victim in Wau, who told me, “We don’t need another report. We need the international community to do something’.

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    Source: ECOWAS
    Country: Nigeria

    The ECOWAS Commission President, Marcel A. de SOUZA, accompanied by a large delegation, presented on Sunday, 11 December 2016 in Maiduguri, north-east Nigeria, a cheque of one million US dollars and food worth 400,000 US dollars to Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima.

    Mr. de Souza said that the food and financial assistance is the contribution of his institution to persons displaced as a result of the insurgency by the Islamic group Boko Haram in that region of Nigeria.

    He said that the gesture underscores the importance the regional organization attaches to the tragic events in the northern part of Nigeria.

    At the end of his visit to Maiduguri, the president of the Commission was impressed by the continuation of development programmes by Governor Kashim Shettima, despite enormous security challenges facing Borno state.

    “This is the first time I am visiting Maiduguri as ECOWAS head and I realize that despite the current security situation, much constructive progress has been made, which is highly laudable”, Marcel A. de Souza said.

    “We heard reports on how markets, schools and public infrastructure were burnt and looted and we are here to see how you were able to meet the challenges in stages, which is quite laudable and we commend you for the exemplary measures”, added Mr. De Souza.

    The ECOWAS Commission President indicated that he had already met with United Nations officials as well as officials from national emergency management organisations who presented to him some insights and data on humanitarian situation in Borno state.

    “Being very much affected by and highly sensitive to the situation, we felt it was necessary to come and extend our solidarity to you and assure you of our full support in all your programmes in the future. We will not be able to reach all the 4 million people in the state but we will support you in a meaningful way so that you can touch people’s lives in a positive way’’, said Marcel A. de Souza.

    Furthermore, the ECOWAS Commission President expressed his willingness to work with the governor of Borno state to assist those suffering from malnutrition. “We are deeply concerned about the plight of children and women victims of this conflict”, he said.

    In support of the remarks made by the ECOWAS Commission President, the managing director of NEMA, who was part of the delegation, announced the donation of building materials, in addition to food products, for the reconstruction of Bama, Ngala and Hawul local government areas of the state.

    As for Governor Shettima, he expressed his personal appreciation and that of the state government to ECOWAS for the financial and humanitarian support his state received. “Thank you very much for your gesture towards our communities in distress”, the governor said.

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

    (Juba, 14 December 2016): The Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) in South Sudan is gravely concerned regarding the deteriorating operating environment, including the recent expulsion of the Country Director of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) and the order for a second senior NRC staff member to leave South Sudan.

    The HCT condemns the deportation of the head of one of the largest operational organizations in South Sudan, and stands in full solidarity with NRC’s call for the Government of the Republic of South Sudan to reverse these decisions and to cooperate fully with all international organizations working to bring aid to the South Sudanese people. Humanitarians in South Sudan are striving day and night to assist civilians who have suffered far too much, for far too long. Unacceptable actions such as this significantly undermine the ability of humanitarian organizations to operate at a time when the crisis is deepening and aid is needed most.

    The orders for two senior NRC staff to leave the country are the latest in a series of deeply concerning incidents which characterize the increasingly challenging operating environment in South Sudan. In addition to the NRC cases, two staff of international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) were deported in November and the Jubabased office of one of the largest South Sudanese national NGOs was shut-down by national authorities. There were 100 humanitarian access incidents reported in November, 66 of which involved violence against humanitarian personnel or assets.

    Three years of conflict and economic decline have taken a devastating toll on the population of the world’s youngest nation. Horrendous violations against civilians continue to be reported on a regular basis. Food insecurity and acute malnutrition are at unprecedented levels and diseases have spread to new locations. More than three million people have now been displaced, including nearly 1.9 million who are internally displaced and more than 1.3 million refugees in neighbouring countries.

    Now, more than ever – as humanitarian needs continue to grow exponentially - it is imperative that humanitarians are able to reach all people in need across the country to deliver life-saving assistance and protection. The HCT remains firmly committed to assisting the most vulnerable in South Sudan. However, there are minimum conditions that must be met to be able to fund and implement humanitarian operations. If these conditions continue to not be met, it will ultimately undermine the ability of humanitarian organizations to save lives.

    Background: The HCT is the strategic decision-making body for humanitarian action in South Sudan and is comprised of UN agencies, NGOs and donors.

    For further information, please contact:

    Frank Nyakairu, 922 4060 12
    Guiomar Pau Sole, / +211 920100411
    OCHA press releases are available at or

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

    During a visit to Lake Chad, Filippo Grandi highlights livelihood programmes to help refugees and others displaced by insurgency to support themselves.

    By: UNHCR staff | 14 December 2016

    BAGA SOLA, Chad– Despite Chadian government successes against the Boko Haram insurgency in the Lake Chad region over the past two years and the launch of self-sufficiency programmes for the displaced, tens of thousands of people are still dependent on aid in the once thriving area.

    They include Nigerian refugees, members of local communities and former nomads used to roaming across a once peaceful land. Small steps are being taken by organizations like UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, to help people get by and stimulate renewed economic activity. But much more needs to be done in an area where trade has been devastated and large areas remain off limits to locals as well as the displaced because of continuing military operations.

    “The people of this region have suffered enough; they need more attention from all of us,” stressed UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi.

    “The people of this region have suffered enough; they need more attention from all of us.”

    Grandi is visiting the Lake Chad Basin countries on a trip aimed at focusing attention on the Nigeria displacement crisis, one of Africa’s gravest and which has uprooted more than 2.4 million people from their homes in Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger and Chad since 2014.

    In Chad, there are 8,598 Nigerian refugees, including 5,882 in the Dar es Salam camp near Baga Sola town. Grandi flew in by helicopter today to hear about their challenges, needs and hopes. Local communities and camps here for internally displaced Chadians, many of whom were evacuated from islands in Lake Chad, provide shelter to another 95,000 people.

    The military strategy of 2015 to cut off the Boko Haram insurgents on the islands after moving people to inland areas has provided relative stability, but attacks do still take place and the displaced are not likely to be able to return home any time soon. In response, organizations such as UNHCR have been focusing on livelihood programmes for people who relied on fishing, farming, livestock herding or trade.

    The High Commissioner highlighted a UNHCR fishing programme, while acknowledging its limited reach. “This is a small project but it raises morale, and brings so much hope and pride as well as food for the family and fish to sell to others. It can serve as a model for donors looking at how they can help,” said Grandi, who met some of the 150 families given canoes, hooks and nets for fishing in Lake Chad. Together, the group represent eight per cent of refugees in the area. He also went for a brief trip on Lake Chad in a canoe.

    The vast majority of people, the internally displaced and impoverished locals, remain dependent on aid, and more livelihood projects like the fisheries venture visited by Grandi in Tagal are needed. “If we had more people in this programme, bigger nets and better equipment, we would quickly grow independent of aid, and lift the entire town – refugees and locals – from economic depression,” said Nigerian refugee Hawali Oumar.

    But parts of the shrinking lake remain off limits for security reasons and environmental damage is compounding the problems there. It is the same for programmes aimed at helping farmers, herders and traders resume business and contribute to economic revival. Fields lie untended in insecure areas, cattle are vulnerable to theft by Boko Haram and cannot roam freely, traditional trade routes have been broken and borders remain closed.

    “If we had more people in this programme, bigger nets and better equipment, we would quickly grow independent of aid.”

    The troubles of the region have forced one group, Arab Chadian herders, to completely change their nomadic way of life, move into a camp for internally displaced people on the outskirts of Baga Sola, and accept the charity of strangers. With the traditional seasonal movement of livestock, known as _transhumance,_ disrupted, livestock prices at one tenth of their value two years ago, and many of their cattle stolen by Nigerian insurgents, they have been forced to adopt a sedentary lifestyle and are effectively displaced.

    Since their traditional ways have been disrupted, the young are not learning the skills of the pastoralist and the herders are finding it hard to adjust to arable agriculture with the challenges of water availability, absence of wells, irregular rainfall, desertification of the lake and soil salinity. They fear for their future and their people.

    Their greatest needs are health care and education, but this is an extra burden for local authorities in Baga Sola amid the economic crisis. With increased international support, more people, refugees and the internally displaced alike, will be able to start rebuilding their lives while waiting for lasting peace to return.

    On Friday in Cameroon, Grandi is to launch a 2017 inter-agency appeal for funds to help almost half-a-million people affected by the Boko Haram insurgency in the Lake Chad Basin. He expressed his hope that donors would respond generously.

    “The fact that progress has been made in fighting Boko Haram and re-establishing security should not make us feel that humanitarian assistance is not necessary. It is still very urgent,” he said.

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