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ReliefWeb - Updates

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    Source: Lutheran World Relief
    Country: Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger

    Undertaking represents a comprehensive investment in fighting poverty in one of the world’s poorest regions by building agricultural productivity & resilience to climate-related disasters.

    BALTIMORE—Lutheran World Relief, in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies, is launching a $13 million initiative in southern Niger to reduce poverty by increasing farmer incomes. The initiative aims to benefit more than 100,000 people, at least half of them women and girls.

    This innovative project, known as the 12/12 Alliance for its goal of providing year-round food security, is one of several LWR initiatives in the Sahel region of West Africa with a total program value of $41 million over the next five years that will help move poor rural farm families from relief to resilience. In addition to USAID and its foundation partner, LWR is also working with private sector entities in the 12/12 Alliance, and in the wider Sahel region with donors that include the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the European Union.

    “We’re looking to make a significant impact in breaking the cycle of poverty for tens of thousands of poor farming families in the Sahel,” said Ambassador Daniel Speckhard (rt.), LWR’s president & CEO. “Through these projects, we are working with farmers and cooperatives to create sustainable solutions that will enable the farmers to provide year-round support to their families.”

    The 12/12 Alliance seeks to build 12-month food security in an underserved region of Niger. It will leverage private sector investments to apply complementary solutions to increase farmer incomes through improved agricultural production and marketing, with a focus on onions, small animals, cowpeas and wheat. The project will train trusted farmers in the Tahoua and Maradi regions to be local, village-based extension agents. Using innovative mobile technology to access critical market information and early warning of impending crises, and with support from farmer cooperatives, these agents will help their neighboring farmers to increase the quality and yield of their crops, improve their resilience to recurring drought, access sources of credit and sell their produce in bigger and more profitable markets. The project will also support and strengthen local farmer cooperatives so they will be able to offer better services to their members.

    The 12/12 Alliance is supported by a diverse group of public and private-sector partners, including the U.S. Agency for International Development, which administers the U.S. foreign assistance program providing economic and humanitarian assistance in more than 80 countries worldwide; the Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies; mobile telecommunications provider Bharti Airtel Limited; African financial services provider Ecobank; SH Biaugeaud, a fruit and vegetable processing firm; and four local farming cooperatives.

    LWR’s wider Sahel programming efforts include a $24 million project to market sesame in Burkina Faso; a $2 million program to support long-term recovery and resilience for drought-affected farming families in Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso through improved land management and crop and animal production; and a $1.8 million initiative to help farmers in Niger cope with climate change.

    The countries of the Sahel, which struggle with recurrent food and nutrition crises, are among the poorest and least developed in the world. LWR’s projects are located in Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, which are among the bottom 10 nations in the U.N. Human Development Index.

    LWR has been working in Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso since the 1970’s, supporting local farmers and farmers’ cooperatives in building more resilient agriculture production systems that can help them adapt to the challenges that threaten their livelihoods and well-being, and transition from survival to stability.

    About Lutheran World Relief

    With nearly 75 years of demonstrated expertise helping to transform some of the hardest-to-reach places in the developing world, Lutheran World Relief is an innovative, trusted international humanitarian organization committed to those otherwise cut off from basic human services and opportunities. LWR works in partnership with local communities to build their capabilities and collaborate on long-term solutions to reduce extreme poverty. In times of emergency, LWR is also a trusted partner to distribute aid and ensure people are prepared to withstand the next unexpected challenge. Powered by the compassion of U.S. Lutheran individuals and congregations, LWR reached more than 3.4 million people in 32 countries in fiscal year 2016. For more information, visit lwr.org.


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    Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees, CCCM Cluster, Shelter Cluster
    Country: Nigeria

    Emergency shelter kit contents were harmonized by the sector in June 2016.

    The kit is designed for distribution to relieve immediate, life-saving shelter need for new or secondary displacement, or people on the move– to tide people over until a better solution can be found.

    Light and mobile kit that can be easily transported and delivered quickly, at scale, as well as relatively easily carried by people to their next destinations if they are on the move.

    The kit includes 2 tarpaulins, 6 poles for basic framing and an assortment of fixings and tools

    The kit has an intended life-span of 3 – 6 months.

    The kit costs USD 65.


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    Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees, CCCM Cluster, Shelter Cluster
    Country: Nigeria

    The Bakasi shelter was agreed by the sector in late 2015. The design was originally conceived for a relocation project on a clean site (Bakasi Camp), and to inform a wider drive for raising and harmonizing shelter standards across Maiduguri’s camps.

    The reinforced shelter is designed for use in the urban areas of the Maiduguri Metropolitan Area, where there is easy and stable access, and where people are expected to remain for some time.
    The shelter has a robust frame with doors and windows, requisite fixings and tools, concrete foundations and CGI roofing and tarpaulin wall covering.

    Construction should be overseen throughout the project, ideally beneficiary or community driven construction, with adequate training and monitoring. However, if time and conditions do not allow for the requisite level of community engagement and mobilisation, the shelter construction can and has been contractor driven.

    The shelter has an intended life-span of 2 - 3 years (with maintenance and periodic replacement of walls, which are tarpaulin).

    The reinforced shelter has a cost band of USD 800 - 950.

    Key design considerations included suitability for urban environment; climate suitability for the heat and the rains; durability.


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    Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees, CCCM Cluster, Shelter Cluster
    Country: Nigeria

    The Bama shelter was agreed by the sector in mid-2016, when Bama was first accessed by the international response, to adequately cover shelter need at scale, and quickly.

    The emergency shelter is designed for peri-urban and rural areas outside of Maiduguri Metropolitan Area, with more difficult and unstable access, and associated higher logistics cost – but where people are expected to remain for some time.

    As it is relatively space efficient, it is appropriate for settlements with limited space and large flux in numbers.

    The emergency shelter consists of a robust but basic frame with requisite fixings and tools, covered by 3 tarpaulins.

    Construction should be overseen throughout the project, ideally beneficiary or community driven construction, with adequate training and monitoring. However, if time and conditions do not allow for the requisite level of community engagement and mobilisation, the shelter construction can and has been contractor driven.

    The emergency shelter has an intended life-span of 1 year (though plastic sheeting may need more frequent replacement depending on conditions).

    The emergency shelter has a cost band of USD 150 - 200.


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


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    Source: UN News Service
    Country: Nigeria

    6 March 2017 – The crisis in Africa’s Lake Chad Basin is of global concern and action is needed “right now,” the United Nations Security Council today said, wrapping up its four-country tour with the promise of long-term support for the Governments and the people in their fight against Boko Haram.

    “Neither the military fight against terrorism nor the immediate humanitarian response will solve these protracted crises,” Ambassador Matthew Rycroft of the United Kingdom, who is leading the Council visit as President of the 15-nation body for the month of March, told journalists in Abuja.

    He spoke alongside Edward Kallon, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, as well as Fodé Seck, Representative of Senegal to the United Nations, and Michele Sison, Deputy Representative of the United States to the United Nations.

    “What is needed in the end is long-term development,” Mr. Rycroft said, noting the need for jobs, education, human rights, services for displaced people and refugees, and solutions for coping with drought and other environmental challenges.

    “Those are multifaceted, complex set of problems and require a holistic set of solutions, and we are here to support the Government of Nigeria in finding those solutions,” he vowed.

    Yesterday, the Council members met with internally displaced persons (IDPs) at the Teacher Village in Maiduguri, in hard-hit Borno state in the north-eastern part of the country. About half of the displaced persons living in the camp are children, with 379 of them infants.

    The Council members joined a circle of survivors, many of whom were women whose husbands and children were killed by Boko Haram, and who are struggling to feed themselves and the remnants of families that they have left.

    “Their accounts of a life in crisis were beyond sobering,” Mr. Rycroft said.

    The displaced camp is in Maiduguri, which is known as the epicentre of the years long Boko Haram crisis, according to Governor Kashim Shettima, who spoke with the Council members.

    Some 14 million people are affected by Boko Haram, with 8.5 million people in urgent need of humanitarian aid.

    While in Nigeria, the Council also met with women’s groups from across the country who called for a greater role in finding solutions to the Lake Chad Basin crisis.

    “We can pass information faster than the men,” one woman told the Council.

    The Council members also spoke with members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), a regional group of 16 countries, with discussions focused on coordination of response and sharing of information.

    The Council also met with Nigeria’s acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, and other senior political leaders.

    After visiting Nigeria, and previously being in Cameroon, Chad and Niger, the Council emphasized that “barely enough is being done” to aid the crisis in the Lake Chad Basin.

    “The scale we have seen is of a growing crisis. Famine is being averted at the moment because of the generosity of donors and the effectiveness of the national responses – but only just,” Mr. Rycroft said, adding: “We urge the international community as a whole to continue to step up before it is too late. And that means right now.”


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    Source: Mercy Corps
    Country: Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, World, Yemen

    For around 20 million people from Africa to the Middle East, severe hunger is a daily reality.

    For some, the risk of starvation is even greater. Since late 2016, conditions in Nigeria indicate that famine has occurred and might be ongoing. In South Sudan, famine has been declared, and in Somalia and Yemen there is a high risk of famine in 2017. Without immediate support, 1.4 million of those at imminent risk of death are children.

    Unfortunately, this is not the first time that some of these areas have experienced famine. We’re acting fast to ensure that hungry families get the support they need.

    What does famine mean?
    For a hunger crisis to be considered serious enough to be defined as a famine, certain specific criteria need to be met. Famine is declared in an area when 1 in 5 households or more lack adequate food and other basic needs and acute malnutrition is greater than 30% — meaning people are underweight and unable to access and eat enough nutritious food.

    In these situations, starvation and death are evident. By the time a famine has been declared, people are already dying of hunger: There are two deaths per 10,000 people every day, or four child deaths per 10,000 children every day.

    “What gets complicated is that if you don’t have the data, famine can’t be classified,” says Kate McMahon, Mercy Corps food security advisor. “That means famine could be in many places right now, but without this data it can’t be declared.” Hear more from our food security expert ▸

    How is famine different than hunger?
    Famine is the most disastrous form of widespread hunger. While famine must meet the criteria listed above, hunger is considered by the UN to be undernourishment that lasts at least one year where people are unable to consume enough food to maintain a healthy weight and continue necessary physical activity. Get the quick facts about global hunger ▸

    When did this start?
    FEWS NET (Famine Early Warning Systems Network) announced that famine likely occurred in Nigeria, and might be continuing in inaccessible areas of Borno State, in mid-December of 2016. Starting in January 2017, famine was listed as a possibility in South Sudan, Somalia and Yemen.

    What causes famine?
    The countries currently experiencing famine are all dealing with a complexity of disruptive events such as drought, conflict or social unrest, and high food costs. Historically, all have been plagued by decades of poverty, poor health and lack of basic infrastructure, including health care and education.

    The debilitating conflicts in each country have forced many people to flee their homes. Farmers are unable to plant crops on their land and agricultural production has declined drastically. Further, families cannot always access the food they need without encountering people with weapons who stand between them and their basic necessities — and that’s if markets stay open. During conflict, many local markets shut down entirely, cutting people off from their primary sources of food.

    Climate patterns play into famine, as well. La Niña has brought extreme weather conditions to the same areas ravaged by El Niño last year, with the opposite effect in each place: areas that faced drought are now facing flooding, and vice versa. Both are detrimental to farmers and the many people who rely on them. It’s possible that these conditions will get worse as global warming intensifies, making famine even more likely.

    When was the last major famine?
    The last major famine occurred between 2011 and 2012 in the Horn of Africa and primarily affected the countries of Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya. At its peak, more than 13 million people were in need of emergency assistance. Low rainfall paired with rising inflation and armed conflict made food and water scarce across the region.

    In Somalia alone, almost 260,000 people died over the course of the famine. About half of them were children under the age of 5.

    How is the current famine different from 2011?
    It’s likely bigger. 13 million people were at risk last time — this time the number has increased to 20 million people.

    Who is the most vulnerable when famine strikes?
    People who already lack adequate food are at the greatest risk when famine occurs. Among them, children and pregnant and nursing women are the most vulnerable. While children need sustenance to grow their bodies and pregnant and nursing women need to sustain their children, sometimes families choose to first provide food to the primary wage earner.

    What is happening to people in famine-affected areas?
    In famine-affected areas, millions of people are malnourished and in desperate need of food and water. Millions are on the move in search of these resources, along with pastures where they can keep their livestock or fields where they can grow new crops.

    People are skipping meals in order to make their food last longer, particularly mothers who have hungry children to feed. Some might only eat every other day. The weakest and most malnourished among them are dying.

    How bad is this crisis?
    13 million people were at risk of famine during the 2011 - 2012 Horn of Africa crisis. 20 million people are at risk during this one. Since this famine is projected to get even worse in the coming months, we need to invest even more heavily in our emergency response.

    Read our CEO’s field report from South Sudan ▸

    Why can’t people get more food?
    There are a variety of reasons that people can’t get more food. There is either not enough food available to them due to high costs, or the people who produce food have been somehow prevented from growing their crops. Conflict has also forced people to leave their homes, which makes food security even more volatile.

    “One of the big challenges to responding to a famine is resource,” says McMahon. “There’s food out there in the world, but we must have the will and the money to get it to people.”

    What are the most urgent needs for people affected by famine?
    People need food and water most urgently. 

    What can people do to survive?
    People begin by skipping a meal or two a day — they may eventually eat food every other day in order to make it last longer. Mothers in particular might choose to feed their children instead of themselves.

    To find food, families might forage for wild plants, roots, leaves and even bark to eat boiled. Some might be able to hunt or fish if they have the necessary tools. They all live from day to day, hoping for more food tomorrow.

    What will happen if the famine continues?
    If the famine continues, more people will suffer from hunger and malnutrition — and the most vulnerable among them will die of starvation. Widespread death in these areas will occur. In places where famine is already taking place, there are two deaths per 10,000 people every day.

    “We are at a tipping point,” says McMahon. “The point we’re at now — where people are already experiencing emergency levels of food insecurity — means that their situation is already really bad. We have to act now."

    Are these countries getting enough assistance?
    No. Between the UN and partner organizations like us, $4.4 billion is needed by the end of March in order to avoid catastrophic hunger — so far only $90 million has been received. Without an increase in new resources, the results could be deadly for tens of thousands of families. Millions more will continue to be hungry or malnourished.

    Of the $1.5 billion needed for the Lake Chad region alone, UN member countries have pledged $672 million— a little more than a third of what is needed. With the United States in transition from a new administration, it has yet to pledge any funding. And, unfortunately, even pledged money isn’t always received.

    In the U.S., $60 billion for the International Affairs budget would fund lifesaving foreign aid that is critical in providing immediate resources to respond to people’s basic needs and helping mitigate these crises in the future.

    How cash aid helps Nigerian families survive ▸

    How is Mercy Corps helping?
    We’re already on the ground in all four countries providing urgently needed items like food, water and sanitation supplies. If possible, we deliver aid in the form of cash assistance so that families can buy the items they need most and improve the economy by introducing more cash into local markets and businesses.

    Our team members are working hard to ensure that we can help as many people as possible. From giving vouchers to families for buying the essentials to offering nutrition classes, we are focused on mitigating hunger and improving conditions for these suffering populations.

    We’re also helping to address the root causes of famine so that situations like these don’t happen again. Our work in resilience has shown promising evidence that a long-term approach to dealing with food insecurity strengthens communities and protects them from threats like famine.

    As the number of people in need increases, we need your help now more than ever to provide them with critical resources. Here’s how you can make a difference for people coping with the threat of famine:

    • Donate today. Every single contribution helps us provide even more food, water, shelter and support to Syrian families and families in crisis around the world.
    • Sign the petition. Tell Congress not to cut international aid. Around the world, people are in need of livesaving assistance — including those affected by famine. We must continue to support them.
    • Tell your friends. Share this story or go to our Facebook page or Twitter page to post the infographic and spread the word about the millions who need us.

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    Source: Concern Worldwide
    Country: South Sudan

    Written by Kristin Myers

    Today, across South Sudan, millions of mothers are facing the dilemma of how to nourish their children when there is simply not enough food to go around.

    Atuil Chok is one such mother. Atuil was already struggling to feed her family of six children, all under the age of 10, after her husband, Adim Garang, left to find work. But when her milk dried up and she was no longer able to breastfeed her newborn twins, her situation became much more desperate.

    Atuil is among the five million people in South Sudan who are currently in the grip of a disastrous food crisis. Famine has been declared in some areas. Ongoing civil war, compounded by cycles of flooding and drought, has devastated food production, and imported goods are completely out of reach for most people due to skyrocketing inflation and a collapsed currency.

    According to UNICEF, the malnutrition rate is as high as 33% in some areas, and it’s projected that more than one million children will be malnourished by July. In human terms, this means that with each passing day, mothers are being faced with choices no mother should have to make.

    A mother alone

    After her husband left, Atuil was suddenly alone, in the small village of Abang in northwestern South Sudan, where she struggled to care for their children. “I tried to grow crops for food,” she explains. “But they were a failure. We had almost nothing to eat.”

    Without nutritious food, Atuil was unable to produce enough breast milk, and her newborn twins, Anger and Chan, rapidly became severely malnourished. Though her other children were also suffering from hunger, children under five are the most vulnerable as they are at the most critical stage in their development.

    With her fields lying barren under worsening conditions, Atuil packed up her family and went to her parents’ home near Aweil. She had support, but there was still not enough to eat.

    Life-saving treatment, an impossible choice

    It was then that Atuil was discovered by one of Concern’s community nutrition volunteers, nearly 60 of whom had fanned out across the area, searching for malnourished children and referring them to a nearby nutrition clinic. Atuil was urged to bring the twins to what’s called the outpatient therapeutic program (OTP), which Concern runs at the health center in Maduany.

    At the clinic, Atuil was educated about child nutrition and hygiene and given a week’s supply of ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) — a nutrient packed peanut-based paste that’s specially formulated to treat severely malnourished children like Anger and Chan. She was told the twins had to return once a week so their recovery could be monitored. Most malnourished children are released from the program after four to six weeks.

    But when Atuil returned for her regular monitoring appointments, Anger and Chan were not getting better. It emerged that out of sheer desperation, she had been sharing the RUTF among all of her children.

    Instead of giving Anger and Chan each the full sachet that she knows they need, she was dividing the contents among all six kids. The 500-calorie meals that were intended to save the lives of her most vulnerable children were instead being used to quiet the whole family’s hunger pangs for one more day. It was a difficult decision, but — for any mother — an understandable one.

    “Some households have no other source of food for feeding children not in the OTP,” says Concern’s Denis Okoya, which can put mothers like Atuil in an agonizing predicament.

    Hope in the face of the unknown

    Thankfully, Atuil’s family is now among the tens of thousands that are benefitting from general food distributions (quarterly distributions of staple foods for vulnerable families) carried out by Concern and its partners. The twins are back in the OTP and they’re progressing well. Her husband, Adim, has returned, and is now looking for ways to support his family.

    Atuil hopes that she will no longer have to face such impossible choices. But broader famine looms, and without help, mothers just like her will continue to be confronted with decisions no mother should have to make, as they simply try to feed their families.


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    Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
    Country: Nigeria

    Although assistance provision is increasing, extreme levels of food insecurity persist in the northeast

    Key Messages

    • Although there has been an increase in humanitarian assistance provision in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States in recent months, a large portion of the population remains in need of food assistance and other basic services driven primarily by ongoing insecurity and displacement. Worst-affected accessible LGAs are facing Emergency (IPC Phase 4) acute food insecurity with an increased risk of high levels of acute malnutrition and excess mortality. Less accessible areas, likely experiencing similar or worse conditions to neighboring, accessible areas, face an increased risk of Famine (IPC Phase 5) in 2017.

    • The inflation rate continued to increase to 18.72 percent (year to year) in January 2017, following the persistent depreciation of the naira since mid-2016. Prices of local and imported staples, including rice, millet, maize, and sorghum, will remain significantly above-average, limiting purchasing power through the lean season. Vulnerable households in the Lake Chad region will be worst affected, with poor, market-dependent households across the country also facing food access constraints.

    • Most agricultural households outside the northeast brought in above-average 2016 harvests, are consuming their own food stocks, and have normal access to income opportunities and markets. Some market dependent, poor households will face difficulty meeting needs in the lean season as their food stocks diminish due to high food prices. Most areas of the country will continue to face Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity, although some northern and central areas will be Stressed (IPC Phase 2) during the lean season, from June to September.


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    Source: Handicap International
    Country: South Sudan

    On Feb. 20, the United Nations declared that several regions of South Sudan are suffering from famine. As a result, 100,000 people are on the verge of starvation. Half of the country, some 4.5 million people, are surviving on what minimal resources they can find, or are facing starvation. Nearly 5 million people urgently need food, agriculture, and nutrition assistance.

    The famine caused by drought in Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Uganda, South Sudan, and Tanzania has put 20 million people in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, with the greatest need in South Sudan.

    “It’s a disaster," says Xavier Duvauchelle, Handicap International’s head of the eastern and southern regions of Africa explains the situation in South Sudan."Tens of thousands of people risk dying of hunger over the coming weeks. Four years of civil war have taken their toll and the country is highly disorganized. Clashes between armed groups have made it difficult for humanitarian aid to reach some of the regions.

    “The number of people displaced by food shortages increases daily and more than three million people in South Sudan have already fled the fighting, many to neighboring countries. Our team in South Sudan is considering what action to take, in coordination with other humanitarian organizations on the ground.

    “We’re particularly worried about people with disabilities. Our aim is to make sure their needs are taken into account by humanitarian groups, including access to food aid. The environment is very chaotic, so communities and families frequently leave people with disabilities behind. People with disabilities often live in remote areas and find it harder than the rest of the population to access humanitarian aid.”

    Handicap International in South Sudan

    Handicap International first deployed an emergency response team to South Sudan in 2006. Since then, Handicap International has continued to adapt its activities to respond to the immediate needs of the internally displaced population, and promote the equal rights and equal access to services for people with disabilities or injuries. Learn more about our work in South Sudan.


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    Source: Guardian
    Country: Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Yemen

    By Kevin Watkins

    South Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria and Yemen are on the brink of catastrophe, thanks to conflict, drought, and a shocking failure in our international response

    This year could be the most deadly from famine in three decades. The lives of more than 20 million people are at risk in four countries. Large areas of South Sudan have already been declared a famine zone. Five years after a famine that claimed a quarter-of-a-million lives, Somalia is back on the brink of catastrophe: 6 million people are in need of assistance. Both north-east Nigeria and Yemen face real and present risks of famine.

    Read the full article


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    Source: UN News Service
    Country: Mali

    6 mars 2017 – La Mission multidimensionnelle intégrée des Nations Unies pour la stabilisation du Mali (MINUSMA) a condamné lundi des violations du cessez-le-feu observées la veille à Tombouctou, dans le nord du pays.

    « Hier après-midi, deux points de contrôle occupés par les FAMas (Forces armées maliennes), situés au nord de la ville de Tombouctou ont été la cible d'attaques d'éléments de groupes armés », a indiqué la MINUSMA dans un communiqué de presse.

    Selon la Mission onusienne, ces groupes armés s'opposent à l'installation des autorités intérimaires de Taoudenit, qui était initialement prévue lundi 6 mars, et qui représente une étape cruciale dans la mise en œuvre de l'Accord pour la paix et la réconciliation au Mali.

    « La MINUSMA condamne vigoureusement ces actions qui représentent des violations du cessez-le-feu et exposent leurs auteurs à des sanctions », a déclaré la Mission, qui a immédiatement engagé des pourparlers pour apaiser les tensions.

    La MINUSMA a demandé aux groupes concernés « un retrait immédiat et inconditionnel des positions occupées ». Elle a également pris ses dispositions et s'est déployée pour assurer la protection de la population civile en cas de besoin.


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    Source: Finn Church Aid
    Country: South Sudan

    People are dying from hunger in South Sudan as more than half of its population suffers from an urgent lack of food. The conflict has forced farmers to abandon their fields, and the cost of basic food commodities increase daily.

    Africa’s worst war is entering its fourth year, but the situation only seems to get more dreadful.

    A famine threatening a hundred thousand people’s lives was declared in parts of South Sudan in February, and a million more are considered to be at the brink of famine. The situation is described as man-made.

    Because of the constant conflict, insecurity and displacement, people are unable to cultivate and produce food for themselves or for sale, FCA’s humanitarian program adviser Moses Habib explains.

    For instance the Equatoria region has traditionally been the breadbasket of the country, producing a majority of consumable foods. Now it’s also been plunged into violence and can’t produce food items as before.

    “Farmers have had to abandon their fields and stop planting and harvesting. There are agricultural villages that are now completely empty. No people are left, only wild dogs”, Habib says.

    Potential spillover into FCA project locations

    Late last year the UN warned that the violence in South Sudan might escalate into genocide. Armed groups kill people with machetes, burn down villages and gang rape women. Hate speech fuels the conflict, and there’s a fear that words lead to action.

    On top of all this comes a famine, which by next summer might engulf 5,5 million people if nothing’s done.

    Almost the same amount of people – more than 40 per cent of South Sudan’s population – are already in urgent need of food, agriculture and nutrition assistance. The drought that plagues Eastern Africa is also to blame for the severity of the crisis. FCA supports relief efforts in the region with a total of 150 000 euros, of which a third goes to food aid in South Sudan.

    Famine has been declared in Unity state, which borders Jonglei state where FCA works. FCA’s field office in Fangak County is separated from Unity state only by the Nile River.

    The beneficiaries of the ECHO financed project in Fangak have fled from Unity state during previous waves of conflict and insecurity.

    “There is a likelihood of the famine spilling over to our project locations. We’re expecting that the numbers of internally displaced persons will keep rising”, says Habib.

    “When people are hungry and do not see any assistance coming, they will start packing their belongings and walking in search of a place where they and their children can survive.”

    Prices of goods are skyrocketing

    According to Habib there are also visible signs of a looming famine among urban communities, including the capital Juba, where FCA’s country office is. The goods that are available in the markets in Juba are very few, and the prices have hiked up so much that most people don’t have enough money to purchase food.

    The cost of living has risen exponentially across the country. Cereal prices have increased by more than 500 per cent in only a year. A staple food such as 3,5 kilo of maize grain now costs 1,200 South Sudanese Pounds (60 euros). Before the crisis erupted last summer it cost 110 SSP (5,50 euro).

    Products such as bread, meat, tea and sugar have become luxury items that the average citizen cannot afford to buy. Four pieces of bread used to cost one pound (5 cents), but now one piece costs eight pounds (40 cents).

    “As the cost of basic food commodities keeps increasing on a daily basis, most families are surviving on one meal a day or nothing”, Habib says.

    “Quick action needs to be taken by the government and the international community to ensure that humanitarians are able to deliver lifesaving assistance without unnecessary impediments.”


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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Niger, Nigeria, Sao Tome and Principe

    CAMEROON

    AGREEMENT ON VOLUNTARY REFUGEE RETURN SIGNED

    The Governments of Cameroon and Nigeria together with UNHCR on 2 March signed a tripartite agreement on the voluntary repatriation of Nigerian refugees in Cameroon. The parties agreed to provide people wishing to return with clear information on the situation prevailing in their areas of return, particularly in Nigerian north-eastern states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe to allow them make well-informed and voluntary decisions. This includes, among others, information on the security and economic situation as well as access to basic services.
    More than 85,000 Nigerians have sought refuge in Cameroon’s Far North Region.

    DR CONGO

    OVER 280 MEASLES CASES RECORDED IN TANGANYIKA

    Between 20 and 26 February, 288 cases of measles were recorded in the south-eastern Tanganyika province. They include 84 cases and 40 deaths among internally displaced people from the Twa community in Kansimba health district. An international NGO is running mobile clinics to attend to cases and offer primary healthcare. A vaccination campaign is being planned for the entire province.

    PESTS DESTROY OVER 50,000 HECTARES OF CROP

    Insects commonly known as whiteflies have ravaged more than 50,000 hectares of crop in Kailo, Kasongo, Kibombo and Pangi areas in the eastern Maniema province. Around 60 per cent of farmers have been affected by the destruction. Food scarcity could worsen in Kailo and Kibombo areas where residents are facing “emergency” levels of food insecurity.
    Moderate acute malnutrition in Kailo is already over 17 per cent.

    NIGER

    STATE OF EMERGENCY DECLARED IN BORDER REGIONS

    The Government on 3 March declared a state of emergency in seven departments in the western Tillabery and Tahoua regions bordering Mali in the wake of attacks in recent months by armed assailants suspected to be from northern Mali. In February, 16 Nigerien soldiers were killed and 18 others wounded in an attack in Tillabery. In October 2016, a site hosting Malian refugees in Tahoua was ambushed and 22 soldiers killed. More than 547,000 people, or about 29 per cent of people in need of humanitarian assistance in the country, require humanitarian aid in Tillabery and Tahoua.

    NIGERIA

    SPATE OF ATTACKS TRIGGER DISPLACEMENTS

    Boko Haram gunmen on 1 March waylaid vehicles heading to a local market in Askira district of Chibok locality in the north-eastern Borno state. They stole one vehicle and injured one person. The incident is the latest in a string of attacks targeting civilians in newly accessible areas of Borno. Some 4,500 people have fled their communities since 25 February in Chibok, according to IOM. Similar attacks have occurred in other newly accessible areas including Ngala,
    Dikwa, and Damboa.

    SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE

    EMERGENCY RESPONSE FOR NECROTIZING CELLULITIS

    WHO has activated Grade 2 emergency response to an outbreak of necrotizing cellulitis - an acute skin infection - that has affected 1,331 people since September 2016. Grade 2 emergency entails moderate operational response primarily in the form of technical assistance and deployment of a multidisciplinary team. No deaths directly attributable to the outbreak have been reported so far. Its cause and mode of transmission remain unknown.


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    Source: Government of Japan, UN Country Team in Cameroon
    Country: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Japan, Nigeria

    Le Gouvernement du Japon a renouvelé son soutien aux populations camerounaises et réfugiées centrafricains et nigérians, affectées par la double crise sécuritaire et humanitaire, en accordant un nouveau financement de 6,21 millions de dollars US aux programmes des agences des Nations Unies et ce pour l’année 2017.

    Ce financement est octroyé au Haut-Commissariat des Nations Unies pour les Réfugiés (HCR), avec un montant total de 1,938 millions de dollars US pour le projet «Protection pour les réfugiés centrafricains et nigérians et personnes déplacées interne au Cameroun» ; à l’Entité des Nations Unies pour l’Egalité des sexes et l’Autonomisation des femmes (ONUFEMMES), pour un montant de 1,17 million de dollars US pour le projet « La lutte contre l'extrémisme violent à travers une prise en charge adéquate des femmes et des filles ex-otages de Boko Haram et de leurs communautés hôtes dans la région de l’Extrême Nord du Cameroun » ; au Programme Alimentaire Mondial (PAM) pour un montant de 1,466 millions de dollars US pour le projet « Assistance alimentaire d’urgence en faveur des ménages affectés par le conflit de Boko Haram dans la région de l’Extrême Nord » ; au Programme des Nations Unies pour le Développement (PNUD) pour un montant de 1 million de dollars US pour le projet «Autonomisation des Communautés et Consolidation de Paix dans la région de l’Extrême Nord du Cameroun » et au Fonds des Nations Unies pour l'Enfance (UNICEF) pour un montant de 636 000 dollars US pour le projet « Soutien aux interventions permettant de sauver des vies dans les communautés-hôtes et sites de réfugiés, ciblant les réfugiés du Nigéria et de la République Centrafricaine, ainsi que les personnes déplacées internes ».

    L’objectif stratégique de ces interventions intégrées et coordonnées vise à soutenir le Gouvernement du Cameroun pour l’amélioration de la sécurité alimentaire, de la résilience des populations affectées et de la prévention des conflits dans la région de l’Extrême Nord.

    Selon l’Ambassadeur du Japon, S.E. Kunio OKAMURA, «Cette contribution réitère le soutien et la solidarité du peuple japonais envers le Cameroun et témoigne un grand respect du travail acharné des Organisations des Nations Unies pour apporter des solutions durables aux besoins croissants et urgents des populations affectées par les crises. Suite aux différentes attaques terroriste qui ont sévit dans la sous-région, le Cameroun a accueilli chaleureusement des réfugiés et déplacés internes. C’est pour cette raison que le Japon à travers cette contribution soutient les Organisations des Nations Unies qui travaillent avec le Gouvernement camerounais dans l’assistance humanitaire afin de réduire la vulnérabilité des populations affectées, surtout les femmes, les enfants et les communautés hôtes, et de renforcer leur capacités et autonomies».

    Pour la Coordinatrice Résidente et Humanitaire, Représentante du PNUD, Mme Najat Rochdi, « 3 ans après le début des crises multiples qui ont impacté le Cameroun, il est primordial d’investir dans la résilience des populations affectées afin de sortir progressivement de l’assistance d’urgence et de s’engager dans des programmes de relèvement communautaire et ainsi, de préparer les bases d’un développement durable. Ce nouveau financement du Japon est l’expression de la solidarité du Peuple du Japon vis-à-vis la population camerounaise qui a toujours fait preuve de générosité ».

    Contact information

    Sawako Yoshino, Attachée, Ambassade du Japon/ Yaoundé : +237 22220 6202; info@yd.mofa.go.jp

    Bibiane Mouangue, Communication Analyst, Bureau du Coordonnateur Résident des Nations Unies/ Yaoundé: +237 690 206 942; bibiane.mouangue@one.un.org


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    Source: Government of Japan, UN Country Team in Cameroon
    Country: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Japan, Nigeria

    Yaoundé, 06 March 2017 – The Government of Japan renews its support for Cameroonian and refugees from Central Africa and Nigeria, affected by the security and humanitarian crisis, by granting new funding of 6.21 million US dollars to programmes of United Nations agencies in 2017.

    This funding is allocated to different projects and as part of the Humanitarian Response Plan where Humanitarian Development nexus is a key objective in the activities. Hence, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) got 1 million USD for "Community Empowerment and Peace building in the Far North Region of Cameroon", the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) got 1.938 million USD for "Protection and Solutions for the CAR and Nigerian refugees and IDPs in Cameroon", the United Nations Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) got 636,000 USD for "Supporting lifesaving interventions in host communities and refugee camps for IDPs and refugees affected by conflict in Nigeria and Central Africa Republic (CAR)", the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) got 1.17 million USD for "The Fight Against Extremism through Adequate Support to Women and Girls Former Hostages of Boko Haram and Their Host Communities in the Far North Region of Cameroon" and the World Food Programme (WFP) got 1.466 million USD for "Life-Saving Support to Households in Northern Cameroon Affected by Boko Haram Conflict".

    The strategic objective of the integrated and coordinated interventions aims to support the Government of Cameroon for reinforcing food security, resilience of affected people and conflict prevention in the Far North region.

    According to the Ambassador of Japan, H.E Kunio OKAMURA, "This contribution reiterates the support and solidarity of the Japanese people towards Cameroon and shows great respect for the hard work accomplished by United Nations organizations to provide sustainable solutions to the growing and urgent needs of populations affected by crises.

    Following the various terrorist attacks in the sub region, Cameroon has warmly welcomed refugees and internally displaced persons. This is the reason why Japan through this contribution supports United Nations organizations working with the Government of Cameroon in humanitarian assistance so as to reduce the vulnerability of affected populations, especially women, children and host communities, and strengthen their capacities and empowerment".

    "Three years after the beginning of the multiple crises impacting Cameroon, it is crucial to invest into the resilience of affected population in order to progressively end needs and engage into community recovery and prepare the ground of sustainable development. The new contribution of Japan is the expression of solidarity of Japanese people and a recognition of the generosity of Cameroonian people in hosting hundreds of thousands of refugees and Internal Displaced People (IDPs), said the Humanitarian Coordinator, Najat Rochdi.

    For more information, please contact:
    Sawako Yoshino, Attachée, Embassy of Japan/ Yaoundé: +237 222 206 202; info@yd.mofa.go.jp Bibiane Mouangue, Communication Analyst, Office of the United Nations Resident Coordinator/ Yaoundé: +237 690 206 942; bibiane.mouangue@one.un.org


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    Source: World Food Programme
    Country: Nigeria

    In Numbers

    1.9 m people displaced, of which 1.5 million in Borno and 0.11 million in Yobe States (IOM Displacement Tracking Matrix, January 2017)

    4.7 m people food insecure in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States and projected to increase to 5.1 m between June and August 2017 (Phases 3, 4 & 5 Cadre Harmonisé, October 2016)

    Highlights

    • In February, WFP, both directly and through partnerships has reached a total of 1.07 million beneficiaries through cash-based transfers (CBT), inkind food distributions and provision of nutritious food to children 6 to 59 months and pregnant and nursing women.

    • Germany, Nigeria, Norway and the United Nations hosted on 24 February the “Oslo Humanitarian Conference on Nigeria and the Lake Chad Region”, which brought together 24 countries. In total, pledges for financial support surpassed USD 672 million.

    Situation Update

    • The prolonged humanitarian crisis in the wake of the Boko Haram insurgency has had a devastating impact on food and nutrition security in the region leading to famine-like conditions in some areas. According to a report released by FEWS NET on 25 January, given the reduced capacity to cope and the possibility that additional shocks will occur, Nigeria and three other countries face a credible risk of famine (Phase 5).

    • The security situation remains fragile and unpredictable and is likely the most significant impediment to humanitarian access, often requiring military escorts on roads where threats of attack remain high.

    • The most affected three states (Borno, Yobe and Adamawa) are predominantly sustained by subsistence farming and small scale seasonal-dependent agriculture. For a third consecutive year, these livelihoods have been disrupted and vulnerable communities in these areas will continue to rely on food assistance


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    Source: Institute for Peace and Security Studies
    Country: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda, World

    Editors: Sunday Okello and Mesfin Gebremichael

    Preface

    This publication is a product of the African-Centred Solutions in peace and security (AfSol) workshop held 6 – 7 March 2015, and the preceding ones in 2013 and 2011. This is the first effort on the continent to establish the scholarship around how Africa can develop systemic and synthesized models for addressing peace and security issues and challenges. This book sets a theoretical foundation for exploring and investigating the AfSol concept. It also offers examples and applications of AfSol practices aimed at addressing peace and security challenges using peaceful, coordinated and integrated processes of peace operations and peacebuilding.

    The workshops and the initial stage of the publication of this book were funded by GIZ. The preparation of the 2015 workshop, the rigorous review process, selection and printing were made possible by the efforts and robust commitment of the leadership of the Institute for Peace and Security Studies (IPSS) and its Research and Policy dialogue team. The support of other departments in the Institute, especially, the IPSS management, communications and finance and operations, was crucial to the success of this publication process.

    We at IPSS hope that this book will set a foundation for developing a significant body of scholarship and knowledge on the topic. This book already set the stage for establishing two sister mechanisms for a continuous investigation and synthesis of AfSol as a scholarly and practical process of peacebuilding in Africa: The AfSol Journal and the AfSol Network. Together, we hope that these mechanisms will entice scholars and practitioners of peace and security in Africa to pursue the notion of AfSol with the deserved rigour and vigour.

    Amr Abdalla
    Senior Advisor on Policy Analysis and Research
    Institute for Peace and Security Studies


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    Source: US Department of State - Humanitarian Information Unit
    Country: South Sudan


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


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