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ReliefWeb - Updates

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    Source: ECOWAS, African Union, United Nations, European Union
    Country: Mali

    Addis Abéba, New York, Abuja et Bruxelles, le 7 mars 2017: L'Union africaine (UA), les Nations unies, la Communauté économique des États de l'Afrique de l'Ouest (CEDEAO) et l'Union européenne (UE), en leur qualité de membres de l'Équipe de médiation appuyant la mise en œuvre de l'Accord pour la paix et la réconciliation au Mali issu du Processus d'Alger, félicitent les parties signataires pour l’installation effective des autorités intérimaires à Kidal, le 28 février, et à Ménaka et Gao, le 2 mars. Elles les encouragent à poursuivre et à parachever ce processus. et les engagent à surmonter les difficulté qui entravent la mise en place des autorités intérimaires dans les régions de Taoudéni et Tombouctou, L'UA, l'ONU, la CEDEAO et l'UE saluent également la conduite, le 23 février, par les parties de leur première patrouille mixte à Gao dans le cadre du Mécanisme opérationnel de coordination (MOC) et les appellent à étendre sans tarder lesdites patrouilles à Kidal et à Tombouctou.

    L'opérationnalisation de ces arrangements constitue une avancée significative dans la mise en œuvre de l'Accord. Elle marque aussi une étape importante dans le renforcement de la paix et de la stabilité et le retour des services de l’État et la concrétisation des dividendes de paix.

    Au vu des étapes importantes qui restent à franchir dans la mise en œuvre de l’Accord, l'UA, l'ONU, la CEDEAO et l'UE invitent les parties à l’Accord à continuer à honorer les engagements pris, notamment lors de la réunion de haut niveau du Comité de suivi de l'Accord (CSA) tenue à Bamako le 10 février, sous la présidence du Ministre d’État, Ministre des Affaires étrangères et de la Coopération internationale de l’Algérie, Ramtane Lamamra, ainsi qu'à mettre en œuvre toutes les dispositions de l’Accord relatives à la période intérimaire, de sorte à soutenir de manière consensuelle la réforme en cours de l’Etat et la nouvelle architecture politique et sécuritaire. Elles appellent les parties à mettre en place sans tarder la Commission nationale de désarmement, démobilisation et réinsertion, la Commission d’intégration et le Conseil national pour la réforme du secteur de sécurité, qui sont essentiels pour faire avancer le processus de paix.

    L'UA, l'ONU, la CEDEAO et l'UE saluent l'établissement, sous les auspices du Haut Représentant du Président pour la mise en œuvre de l’Accord, d’un cadre de concertation impliquant toutes les parties signataires, ainsi que l'Équipe de la médiation internationale. Elles saluent également les progrès accomplis dans la préparation de la Conférence d'entente nationale et plaident en faveur d'un processus ouvert et inclusif, tel que recommandé par le CSA.

    L'UA, l'ONU, la CEDEAO et l'UE sont profondément préoccupées par la détérioration de la situation sécuritaire, ainsi que l'atteste le nombre croissant d'attaques et d'affrontements mortels dans les régions nord et centre.Elles condamnent fermement les attaques perpétrées le 5 mars contre des postes de contrôle des Forces armées maliennes à Boulkessi, coutant la vie à plusieurs militaires, et à Tombouctou, ainsi que les attaques terroristes qui ont récemment eu lieu dans des zones frontalières du Burkina Faso et du Niger. Elles appellent à une action rapide pour que les auteurs de ces odieuses attaques soient appréhendés et traduits en justice.

    Elles demandent aussi aux parties à l’Accord de travailler étroitement pour améliorer les relations intercommunautaires, d'échanger des informations sur les menaces sécuritaires et de prendre des mesures concrètes pour prévenir et combattre l'extrémisme violent et le terrorisme. À cet égard, elles se félicitent de l’initiative prise par les pays membres du G5 Sahel aux fins de renforcer l'efficacité de leur lutte contre le terrorisme et l’extrémisme violent, en appui aux efforts des parties maliennes.

    L'UA, l'ONU, la CEDEAO et l'UE réaffirment leur engagement ferme à soutenir la mise en œuvre de l'Accord, en coordination avec les autres membres du CSA et le chef de l'Équipe de la médiation internationale, y compris à travers les indicateurs de suivi de la mise en œuvre de l'Accord publiés par le Secrétaire général de l'ONU dans son rapport sur le Mali daté du 30 décembre 2016. Elles soulignent leur détermination à contrer les actions de ceux qui entravent ou menacent la mise en œuvre de l'Accord.


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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan

    Data analyzed from various partner reports show that drought and conflict in the region has had a negative impact on families, with women and girls bearing a heavier brunt because of prevailing gender roles and practices. Women in parts of Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya are struggling to keep their families alive amidst devastating drought caused by cyclical below-average rains. Conflict and displacement in the region has led to an increase of gender-based violence, especially among women and girls.


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    Source: Famine Early Warning System Network, CARE, World Food Programme, Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel, Government of Chad, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
    Country: Chad

    INTRODUCTION

    Une évaluation de la sécurité alimentaire et des marchés, organisée conjointement par le Gouvernement du Tchad (SISAAP, DPAS/SIM des produits agricoles et DESPA/SIM bétail) et ses partenaires impliqués dans l’analyse et le suivi de la sécurité alimentaire (CILSS/FAO/FEWS NET/PAM), s’est déroulée du 02 au 14 février 2017 sous la coordination du Système d’Information durable sur la Sécurité Alimentaire et d’Alerte Précoce (SISAAP).

    Cette évaluation a permis de collecter des données liées à la structure, au fonctionnement et à la dynamique des marchés. L’analyse des données a permis de faire ressortir l’incidence des marchés sur la sécurité alimentaire des ménages. Les conclusions qui en découlent permettront de prendre les dispositions nécessaires pour prévenir une quelconque perturbation de la situation alimentaire et nutritionnelle dans le pays en liaison avec le plan de réponse en soutien aux personnes vulnérables élaboré par le Gouvernement et ses partenaires.

    Les conclusions et recommandations tirées de cette évaluation seront partagées avec tous les acteurs nationaux et régionaux de la sécurité alimentaire et serviront à nourrir les prises de décision et surtout, à alimenter la réunion régionale du PREGEC prévue en mars 2017 et celle restreinte du Réseau de Prévention des Crises Alimentaires prévue en avril 2017.


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    Source: Government of Chad, UN High Commissioner for Refugees
    Country: Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, Sudan

    Changements clés

    La population totale de réfugiés et demandeurs d’asile est passée de 394,279 en Janvier à 395,880 personnes en Février 2017. Ceci représente une augmentation globale de 1,601 personnes composées majoritairement de nouveaux nés qui représentent une moyenne d'environ 1,071 par mois. Les cas de régularisation et de nouveaux arrivants sont négligeables par rapport a l'ensemble des augmentations.


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    Source: Fund for Peace
    Country: Nigeria

    Women and girls are often the targets — either directly or caught in the crossfire — of this inter-communal conflict. They also bear the brunt of economic pressures through displacement, livelihood and property destruction, or loss of household breadwinners as a result of the violence. In their daily lives women and girls also encounter frequent interpersonal abuse and sexual violence, which is prevalent in family, community and school settings – but remains under-reported. This brief will explore the key themes in Violence Affecting Women and Girls (VAWG) in Kaduna state, drawing from quantitative data from the Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Programme (NSRP) Observa-tory platform, as well as information gathered during a July 2016 workshop convened by NSRP, Education as a Vaccine (EVA) and the Kaduna Observatory Steering Committee (OBSTEC).


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    Source: Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development
    Country: South Sudan

    With famine having been declared in Unity state of South Sudan in February, one would expect to hear of vulnerable individuals migrating to other parts of the country or neighboring countries in search of food. Despite high food insecurity in Jonglei state, which is bordered by Unity state to the North West, Ruth, residing in one of Jonglei states, Akobo East, is not one of them. As the world celebrates International Women’s Day, Ruth celebrates her bold moment- joining an Agro Pastoral Field School group.

    “Being a woman in South Sudan means being resilient”

    In South Sudan, ACTED works with 30 Agro Pastoral Field Schools (APFS) in Akobo East County under a project funded jointly by SDC and French Embassy. Each APFS has 30 members, making a total of 900 members. These group-based field schools combine agroecology and community development methodologies for more sustainable crop yields and community empowerment.

    Since 2015, Ruth has actively participated in APFS trainings on modern farming techniques, like the use of treadle pumps and irrigation kits during the wet and dry seasons. When asked what prompted her to join one of these schools, Ruth says she didn’t join by chance: “Being a woman in South Sudan means being resilient. Having been an active participant of APFS sessions, I have learned, observed, voiced my opinions, and made decisions that have reduced my vulnerability to food insecurity. ACTED has made seeds and farm inputs more accessible and available in my village, which has poor roads and is very far from the market,” she says with admirable determination.

    Decision making remains a task for the men, especially in rural areas of South Sudan. However, through the APFS groups, emphasis is placed on involvement of both women and men in decision-making. Through a participatory approach, women and men are provided with information which enables them to make smart decisions on how, when, where to farm.

    It is on this platform that Ruth has learned to make climate-smart decisions. Stemming from her bold moment above, she has gunned a couple of achievements. For instance, having participated in ACTED’s pilot project on dry season vegetable and crop irrigation last year November, Ruth has sold her vegetables and acquired enough money to buy more land in Akobo. She plans to cultivate more land for the next main planting season. Her strategy is simple and straight forward: “Once I plant on a larger piece of land, I will have more harvest, sell more, earn more, and provide for my family better,” she says. “I need to keep my girls and boys in school.”

    Choosing optimism for sustainable change

    What is fascinating about Ruth is her ability and willingness to take charge of her future, to choose optimism, and to work hard for better returns. In Akobo, as in other parts of South Sudan, in popular imagination women are associated with the kitchen and absence of control of their life: they own no property, and don’t participate in decision making forums. Ruth challenges such cultural views, shaking them to the very core, and making her emerge as a role model to other women in her village. APFS have provided her a long yearned opportunity to be heard, to make her own informed decisions, to learn, to participate at the community level, and to realise her potential.

    After observing Ruth’s remarkable progress and empowerment, other women of her village are keen to join APFS groups as well: “By participating in APFS sessions, one learns not what to think, but how to make informed decisions. I have learned quite a lot about different crops, and I have consequently made a bump harvest from my irrigation project. Having watched me progress from farming on one acre piece of land to two acres within a year, women from my village want nothing but to join our APFS group,” Ruth says.

    During this year’s International Women’s Day, ACTED celebrates women like Ruth, whose strength, achievements, and determination extend beyond self, to other members of the household, inspiring the whole community at large.


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    Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
    Country: Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Yemen

    HIGHLIGHTS

    801,079
    Number of refugees registered in the country

    8,085
    Number of refugees newly registered in January

    129,561
    Number of refugee youth in the country

    43,061
    Number of unaccompanied and separated children

    WORKING WITH PARTNERS

    • The Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs (ARRA) is UNHCR’s main government counterpart with which close cooperation is maintained to ensure the protection of refugees in Ethiopia.

    • UNHCR is fully engaged in coordination fora to mainstream the needs of refugees within humanitarian and national plans. These coordination mechanisms include the UN Country Team, the Humanitarian Country Team, the Refugee Task Force, and donor, NGO and inter-agency meetings at the national, field and camp levels. This has ensured an effective coordination environment in the context of the Level 3 Emergency for South Sudanese refugees as well as the development of a regional response plan for the same situation in 2017.

    • The number of new arrivals from Somalia has shown a marked increase at the beginning of 2017, with a total of 3,062 people crossing the border through Dollo Ado between 1 and 31 January 2017. UNHCR, ARRA and partners are responding to the needs of the new arrivals, 2,922 of whom have been registered as refugees and relocated to existing shelters in Bokolmanyo, Hilaweyn, Kobe and Melkadida camps. Some 140 individuals await registration at the reception Centre and subsequent relocation to the camps. The new arrivals, mostly originating from the Bay, Middle Juba and Gedo regions, report to have fled conflicts, exacerbated by food insecurity in Somalia. 72% of those already registered are children whilst 88% are women and children.


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    Source: UN Development Programme
    Country: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, World

    Statement by Mr. Abdoulaye Mar DIEYE

    United Nations Development Programme Regional Director for Africa

    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    Let me first thank the PBC Chair for convening this discussion on the heel of the Security Council discussion on 20 June 2017 on “Peace consolidation in West Africa“.

    It is my belief that the Sahel is a region, par excellence, where we can and must implement congruently the emerging doctrine of sustaining peace and the universal agenda on sustainable development.

    Let me preamble my statement by starting with my conclusion:

    1. The challenges in the Sahel region have been largely over studied and have led to multiple initiatives, external and internal to the region. A first challenge we have is how we deal with the syndrome of oversupply of studies and initiatives. Unless we deal with this syndrome of over determination of supply, we will not properly address the heavy transaction costs of handling multiple initiatives; and this may have perverse effects. In this perspective our first order of business is to drastically beef up the capacity of coordinating structures such as the Bamako Ministerial Platform, the G5 Sahel Permanent Secretariat and the Lake Chad Basin Commission.

    2. A lot of programmatic proposals to support the Sahel region are on the table; but funding, internal and external, is found wanting. Unless we scale up our financing of ongoing initiatives we will not reach the tipping point to deal with the challenge of the region.

    3. Although we have many regional and sub regional entities dealing with the Sahel challenges, cross border initiatives and investments are still of low intensity and frequency. Yet, by construct, the Sahel, the greater Sahel is a borderless zone, at the periphery of most of the capitals. The principle of communicating vessels is then in full operation. A cross border strategy is a must.

    I believe that the Peacebuilding Commission is a unique platform to sustain international and regional engagement on the Sahel, and help bring to focus and to effective operation, the three challenges I mentioned in my preamble.

    UNDP’s interventions are in that spirit. They are guided by the UN Integrated Strategy on the Sahel and informed by our recent studies on the “perceptions by population in the Sahel region on radicalization, violence and security drivers “, our ongoing study on the “mapping of radicalization journeys “and our regional programme on preventing violent extremism, from a development perspective.

    They focus on:

    1. Boosting progress in peacebuilding and good governance in the Sahel, including taking a broad approach to supporting community resilience by reducing conflict and improving livelihoods.

    2. Strengthening Human Security and Community Resilience in the Sahel by promoting social cohesion, community security and economic resilience. This also required strengthening the presence of the State while simultaneously building community trust and confidence in State authorities.

    3. Tackling cross-border dynamics and development challenges; addressing development and livelihood challenges targeting communities living in cross border areas; to also further encourage regional integration, strengthen social cohesion and prevent conflicts related to natural resources in remote border lands.

    4. Promoting regional approaches in particular by developing sub regional scoping assessments (two have already been performed for Central and the Horn of Africa, a third one is planned for early 2017 for the Sahel region – these assessments incorporate the challenge of approaching entities with a flexible geographic scope).

    5. Enhancing the capacity of coordinating structures in the Sahel. WE will be signing soon a partnership agreement with the G5 Sahel Permanent Secretariat.

    Let me thank partners like the European Union, Japan, Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, and Luxemburg for their critical and instrumental support to our programs in the Sahel.

    Let me salute the leadership of the African Union High Representative for Mali and the Sahel, His Excellency Pierre Buyoya, Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel and Special Representative of the Secretary General Mohamed Ibn Chambas, Assistant Secretary General for Peacebuilding Support Oscar Fernandes Taranco.

    Let me also reaffirm to G5 Permanent Secretary Najim Elhadj Mohammed our continuous dedication to support his office.


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    Source: World Bank
    Country: Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Yemen

    WASHINGTON, March 8, 2017—World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim today issued the following statement on the devastating levels of food insecurity in sub-Saharan Africa and Yemen:

    “Famine is a stain on our collective conscience. Millions of lives are at risk and more will die if we do not act quickly and decisively.

    We at the World Bank Group stand in solidarity with the people now threatened by famine. We are mobilizing an immediate response for Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen. Our first priority is to work with partners to make sure that families have access to food and water. We are working toward a financial package of more than $1.6 billion to build social protection systems, strengthen community resilience, and maintain service delivery to the most vulnerable. This includes existing operations of over $870 million that will help communities threatened by famine. I am also working with our Board of Directors to secure the approval of new operations amounting to $770 million, funded substantially through IDA’s Crisis Response Window.

    The World Bank Group will help respond to the immediate needs of the current famine, but we must recognize that famine will have lasting impacts on people’s health, ability to learn, and earn a living. So we will also continue to work with communities to reclaim their livelihoods and build resilience to future shocks.

    We are coordinating closely with the UN and other partners in all areas of our response. We know that resolution to this acute crisis will not be possible without all humanitarian and development actors working together. We call on the international community to respond robustly and quickly to the UN global appeal for resources for the famine.

    To prevent crises in the future, we must invest in addressing the root causes and drivers of fragility today and help countries build institutional and societal resilience.”

    Background

    A famine means that a significant part of the population has no access to basic food, suffers from severe malnutrition, and death from hunger reaches unprecedented levels. Children under five are disproportionately affected. A famine can affect the well-being of a whole generation. Famine was officially declared on February 20 in South Sudan, impacting approximately 100,000 people, and there is a credible risk of other famines in Yemen, Northeast Nigeria, and other countries. Ongoing conflicts and civil insecurity are further intensifying the food insecurity of millions of people across the region, and there is already widespread displacement and other cross-border spillovers. For instance, food insecurity in Somalia and famine in South Sudan are accelerating the flow of refugees into Ethiopia and Uganda. The UN estimates that about 20 million people in Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia and Yemen are on the “tipping point” of famine. Drought conditions also extend to Uganda and parts of Tanzania. The last famine was declared in 2011 in Somalia during which 260,000 people died. 


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    Source: UN Secretary-General
    Country: Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan

    Ladies and gentlemen of the media, thank you very much for your presence.

    As you know, I went yesterday to Somalia and I came out of Somalia with a double feeling, a feeling of sorrow, but also a feeling of hope.

    First of all, of sorrow – we have witnessed the deadly combination of conflict, of hunger and of disease, caused by the continued struggle of Somalia to be able to defeat Al-Shabaab, to end terrorism and to create conditions for peace to be re-established, but with drought that has had a devastating impact in the economy and in the lives of the Somalis. And in these tragic circumstances, the rapid spread of diarrhoea and cholera killing people, making people suffer enormously, with a clear need of support from the international community.

    But also a feeling of hope – there is a new President and a new Prime Minister in Somalia, there is a very clear commitment of the new authorities to progressively build the State, to be able to introduce a tax system in the country, to be able to establish a security architecture in the country, to be able to progressively using also the federal structure, to make the State be present in the different areas of the country, to have a development plan and, simultaneously, to cooperate in a very engaged way with the international community to make Somalia a possible success story in the future.

    Now this sorrow and this hope require massive support from the international community. First of all, humanitarian support, we need for the next six months 825 million dollars to help 5.5 million people, to address the devastating impact of drought and disease.

    At the same time, in a country where the African Union has had a continued presence with AMISOM guaranteeing the security of the Somali government, and progressively creating the conditions for the country to be free of the activities of terrorist organisations, it is absolutely essential for the funding of AMISOM to be more predictable, for AMISOM to have the resources allowing it to be more effective, even more effective, in their mission, and at the same time it is necessary to support the government of Somalia to build their own national army, to build their own national police force, in order to guarantee that areas that are liberated are then effectively supported with the presence of the State, with the security of the citizens guaranteed and with the possibility of hope to be re-established in the different communities of the country.

    Somalia can be a success story if there is now massive support from the international community. They have the right leadership, they have the solidarity of the neighbours and the solidarity of the African Union, they need massive solidarity from the international community, and I hope that the alert that was launched yesterday in combination with what last week was stressed for the four more dramatic situations of famine or risk of famine we have now in the world – Somalia, Yemen, North-eastern part of Nigeria and South Sudan, hoping that this alert will lead to the kind of international solidarity that is absolutely essential.

    At the same time, today I had the opportunity to meet with President Uhuru Kenyatta. There is a very large [convergence] of points of view, both in relation to the strengthening of the UN presence in Kenya, in full support to the Kenyan Government, namely in the application or the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, but also in this very important compound of UN offices that represent the only one in the global South.

    And we had the opportunity to discuss and again to find identical points of view on how to create the conditions for South Sudan to have an inclusive dialogue leading to a true peaceful settlement of the problems that South Sudan faces and, at the same time, with humanitarian access to be granted to all parts of the territory and with UNMISS, where Kenya will again be an important component to be effective in South Sudan.

    We also shared the same concern in relation to the need for this opportunity to be seized in Somalia, for the international community to understand that this opportunity cannot be missed and for massive support to be given; we exchanged views also on other situations like the situation in Burundi, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, again, with identical points of view, and I took [the opportunity] to express our deep solidarity with the Kenyan people, in a moment in which drought is also impacting Kenya.

    Fortunately, of course in Kenya, the Government had the capacity to prepare things and the Country Team will be working in a very committed way with the Government to mitigate the impact of this continued drought but it is also important that the international solidarity supports Kenya, a country that has been so generous in supporting neighbours in distress in many moments of its history. We will be launching soon a Flash Appeal and I hope this Flash Appeal will also get the adequate answer from the international community.

    I wanted to be brief, I am at your disposal for the questions that you would like to ask.

    Q: On South Sudan, you said Kenya will once again be an effective component of UNMISS. Did you get an idea of when you will have Kenyan troops back in South Sudan? Secondly there have been reports that the US is pushing for funding cuts where UN missions are concerned, particularly the UN Mission in South Sudan and in Darfur – did that come up in your discussions with President Kenyatta?

    SG: First of all, there was a mission coming from New York, of our Department of Peacekeeping Operations, that was in Kenya just a few days ago, and they are working now hard to create the conditions for that common agreement to be fully implemented.

    I want to pay tribute to Kenya’s role in peacekeeping and in peace enforcing, namely in the context of Somalia. So it will be an enormous interest from my side [to] see Kenyan troops again, in which I have full confidence assuming their role in South Sudan. It’s a technical matter now - the question of the timing - but it will be soon.

    And the second question you asked, I don’t like to anticipate problems before those problems exist. Because when we talk about problems before they exist, you are creating the conditions for the problems to materialise.

    The only thing I will say is that we will do everything possible to make sure that we have, in all our peacekeeping operations, the capacity to be effective and cost effective, to be able to deserve the confidence of all countries that have been supporting our peacekeeping operations through the mechanism of assessed contributions that was defined for the UN. And I am hoping, some of the operations will inevitably be reduced, two of them will end, Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire; MINUSTAH is now under a very careful programme of review, it’s likely that the operation in Darfur will also be meaningfully reduced because the conditions have changed.

    On the other hand, there are situations which require a continued presence – we will be working with a very clear commitment to the people we are supposed to protect but also a very clear commitment to be as effective and as cost effective as it is necessary for an organisation like ours.

    Q: Two questions. Number one, you talked about South Sudan and you said that you and Uhuru Kenyatta discussed the possibility of having conclusive talks leading to lasting solutions there but the UN also has issued a report saying that South Sudan is experiencing ethnic cleansing and edging closer to genocide so the question is, what solutions is the UN looking at to what you are now calling a potential genocide in South Sudan? And number two, talking about the Appeal that has been made for the four countries, South Sudan, Somalia, Northeast parts of Nigeria and Yemen, you appealed for 5.6 billion, 4.4 billion was needed by the end of this month. How much of that has been raised so far and if you don’t meet the deadline for this month, what solutions do you have in mind?

    SG: First of all, in relation to South Sudan, indeed we did report some time ago about the risk of genocide and I think that report was very timely, and it had a positive impact. We were able, during the African Union Summit, to come to a complete convergence of IGAD - the regional organisation, the African Union and the UN.

    Based on that convergence, we have now President [Alpha Oumar] Konaré as Representative of the African Union, President [Festus] Mogae as Representative of IGAD and Mr. [Nicholas] Haysom as our Representative, working seriously, shuttling not only between Juba and South Africa but also with the neighbouring countries. We have the complete agreement of the neighbouring countries - Sudan, Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia - on the need to have a common strategy to mitigate as much as possible the fighting and to move to a cessation of hostilities and to have, as you mentioned, an inclusive national dialogue, able to provide a solution to the political problems of the country.

    So, we are not yet there, we still have many incidents taking place, fighting taking place, many problems taking place, but the risks of genocide have considerably diminished, and I’m hopeful that with this unity of work, with African leadership, IGAD, African Union and the UN, we will be able to move in the right direction, being aware of the enormous challenges that exist.

    Funding is starting to come. We had a successful Conference in Oslo, for the North-eastern part of Nigeria, there are other conferences taking place. The information I got yesterday was that the pledges made for Somalia are now about half of the needs, the pledges, not yet materialised money.

    So I am confident that we will probably not reach the totality of what we need but that we will have enough funding to start the build-up of the operations that are necessary to respond and I am hoping that the international community will understand that to address this crisis in countries like Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and the Northeast of Nigeria, where Boko Haram operates, is not a question of solidarity, it is a question of enlightened self-interest because to fight against the drought, is to stabilise these areas and to stabilise these areas is to create the conditions to fight more effectively terrorism and to fight more effectively terrorism in these situations is also to contribute to global peace and security. As you know, unfortunately, all conflicts are becoming interconnected and connected to the problems of global terrorism.

    So I hope that the international community will understand that to support these populations in distress is also in the best interest even of the developed countries of the world.

    Q: Thank you, a couple of questions. On the situation in Somalia, the first Appeals went out about a month ago vis-à-vis the risk of famine. Is the situation worse now than it was or would you say that the chances of famine occurring are now reduced because the international community is starting to step up and so is the Government? Or, how would you characterise the situation in Somalia now? And secondly, on AMISOM and the Appeal, it sounded like your statement has very much targeted the EU; criticism has come vis-à-vis cutting funding for AMISOM, is that correct, you want the EU to put more money in? Where do you see this additional money for AMISOM coming from? How do you see it coming? And what would you say really needs to be done vis-à-vis putting a security architecture in Somalia? Thank you.

    SG: There are many questions at the same time. I think the risk of famine has not decreased; it has increased, because of the drought that goes on and on and on; and more and more problems in relation to the populations in distress - disease, namely cholera, is growing at an alarming rate. I had the opportunity to visit some of the camps of displaced in Somalia, in Baidoa, and then to visit the hospital where I have seen literally children dying of malnutrition and people dying of cholera and, I mean, it’s not something you will not easily forget.

    There is now in place a mechanism of coordination between the central and the regional Governments with the limited capacities they have but also with the international humanitarian system – both the UN agencies, NGOs and the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. My belief is that the system in place, if properly funded, will be able to respond, I wouldn’t say to solve all problems, but to respond quite substantially to the risks that exist.

    The funding that came until now is very limited, but there are pledges, as I said, around 400 million dollars and I hope that they will materialise, and if they will materialise quickly, I think that the system will be able to respond.

    Now, AMISOM. My belief is that AMISOM is under-equipped in relation to the needs. I visited Somalia several times in my past capacity, and I must say, I gained an enormous admiration for the solders of AMISOM, that were dying. With equipment that reminded me sometimes of the equipment that the Portuguese had decades ago when I was related to the Portuguese Army and the Portuguese Army is probably not one of the most modern in the world, as you can imagine. No night vision equipment - at the time I remember there were no helicopters available in Mogadishu, the capacity of mobility was very, very limited, so it’s clear AMISOM has been doing a remarkable work, in very precarious conditions.

    Now AMISOM is doing peace enforcing. The UN has not the ability to do peace enforcing. The UN has a peacekeeping capacity, but not a peace enforcing capacity.

    As you know, in other peace enforcing missions that took place in the world, peace enforcing was all outsourced - to NATO in the Balkans and to AMISOM in Somalia, but based on resolutions of the Security Council in the case of Somalia. And so it is my belief that there is a responsibility of the international community to fund AMISOM, and ideally it shouldn’t be with voluntary contributions.

    I am not here to criticise the European Union, I am here to appeal to the international community as a whole to assume that responsibility and in my opinion, I am giving you a personal opinion, this is something I will be ready to affirm to the Security Council, I believe operations like these should be at least partially funded with assessed contributions. Because what they are doing is not only a mission in Somalia, it is a mission that is protecting our global security at the global level, and I think that if AMISOM is properly equipped, if AMISOM has the resources that AMISOM has been requiring, that will contribute to substantially improve the situation in Somalia. With one condition, and you mentioned it, AMISOM will be able to do operations but the only way for a country to sustain peace is with country national institutions – with a Somalian national army, with a Somalian national police.

    And the good news here is that I have seen the present leadership totally committed not only to build up these institutions but also to build the national resource mobilisation capacity for that purpose, namely to be able to create taxes in the country.

    And so again the international community needs to support Somalia to make sure that the State of Somalia progressively creates the institutions that are necessary for Somalia to be able to sustain the peace that AMISOM will progressively be able to secure in some areas but will not be able to, this is never done by foreigners anywhere in the world, will not be able to sustain permanently.

    So if you want, it’s a three-track approach for the international community – humanitarian response and resilience, building resilience of the communities. Second, support AMISOM to be able to do effectively the job. Third, support the new Somali leadership. I think there is an opportunity there to build up the institutions that are necessary for Somalia progressively to be able to stand by itself. Thank you.


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    Source: UN News Service
    Country: Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Myanmar, South Sudan, World

    8 mars 2017 – Le Haut-Commissaire des Nations Unies aux droits de l'homme, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, a estimé mercredi que 2017 serait une année importante et déterminante dans un contexte où le monde est confronté au terrorisme et à la montée du populisme.

    « Est-ce que les attaques violentes des groupes terroristes vont conduire les gouvernements à s'enfoncer dans le tout sécuritaire au détriment des droits de l'homme ? Est-ce que des leaders populistes vont continuer à engranger le salaire de la peur et de la désillusion ? Parviendront-ils, avec d'autres responsables à tendance autoritaire, à faire s'effondrer les institutions régionales et internationales? Allons-nous tous nous élever ensemble ou allons-nous tous tomber ensemble ?», s'est interrogé M. Zeid, lors de la présentation de son rapport annuel devant le Conseil des droits de l'homme réuni à Genève.

    Outre cette mise en garde, le Haut-Commissaire a fait le point sur l'évolution des droits de l'homme dans de nombreux pays à travers le monde.

    Il a ainsi évoqué le sort des populations Rohingyas du Myanmar. Selon lui, les abus auxquels ils sont soumis pourraient constituer des crimes contre l'humanité relevant de la Cour pénale internationale (CPI). M. Zeid a demandé au Conseil des droits de l'homme d'examiner la situation en créant au moins une commission d'enquête.

    Après avoir félicité le gouvernement de la République démocratique du Congo pour sa réaction rapide après les signalements de violations des droits de l'homme par des soldats dans deux provinces, M. Zeid a également exhorté le Conseil à mettre en place une commission d'enquête.

    S'agissant du Burundi, M. Zeid s'est dit très inquiet de voir que tout espace démocratique a virtuellement disparu. Des abus des forces de sécurité continuent d'être enregistrés, dont des disparitions, des cas de torture et des arrestations arbitraires. Le Burundi a suspendu sa coopération avec le bureau du Haut-Commissariat aux droits de l'homme (HCDH), a déploré le Haut-Commissaire.

    M. Zeid s'est dit également inquiet de la détérioration de la situation des droits de l'homme au nord et au centre du Mali, où des groupes extrémistes continuent leur brutale oppression, conduisant des milliers de personnes à fuir la région. Les attaques contre les convois humanitaires et les responsables des organisations internationales sont également préoccupantes.

    Le Haut-Commissaire a déploré les violences et destructions au Soudan du Sud, où la famine menace. Les groupes armés et l'armée se sont livrés à des atrocités, notamment des massacres, des viols et violences sexuelles. Le Haut-Commissaire est préoccupé par les arrestations arbitraires et par l'absence d'accès accordé à la Mission des Nations Unies au Soudan du Sud (MINUSS).

    Sur une note plus positive, M. Zeid s'est félicité du soutien apporté par la Communauté économique des États de l'Afrique de l'Ouest (CEDEAO) à la Gambie après le résultat de l'élection présidentielle de décembre 2016, alors que tant de responsables semblent déterminés à se maintenir au pouvoir à tout prix. Le nouveau Président Adama Barrow s'est engagé à respecter les droits de l'homme dans le cadre de mesures de grande ampleur et en mettant en place une commission de la vérité et de la réconciliation, a-t-il observé.

    Le Haut-Commissaire a aussi fait l'éloge de la Tunisie pour sa coopération exemplaire et notamment pour la préparation d'une nouvelle législation contre la discrimination raciale et en faveur des femmes. La volonté du pays d'intégrer les droits de l'homme dans la lutte contre le terrorisme témoigne aussi de cette bonne volonté, a-t-il estimé.


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    Source: World Food Programme, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Food Security Cluster
    Country: South Sudan

    This month saw the launch of the Humanitarian Response Plan: In 2017, the food security situation across South Sudan is predicted to deteriorate to the lowest levels since the 2013 crisis with famine declared in parts of Unity State due to a combination of (1) conflict; (2) a reduction of agricultural outputs (less due to environmental factors and more due to large scale displacement; (3) lower purchasing power in the current economic crisis; and (4) reduced trade flows or supply of goods and commodities from neighbouring countries and within the country.

    The HRP target set for the FSL cluster is 4.8 million people and the recent IPC analysis has further increased the prediction of people in need from 5.2 million (based on the HNO in November 2016) to 5.5 million (based on the January 2017 IPC forecast).

    The IPC report was launched by Government of South Sudan on 20 February 2017, when famine was declared in parts of Unity State affecting over 100,000, with some 5.5 million people expected to be severely food insecure at the height of the lean season (mid 2017). This is the most significant humanitarian situation since independence and almost entirely due to prolonged civil war and economic hardship. The last famine in South Sudan dates back to 1998. The IPC forecast for February to April 2017 is that 4.9 million people are severely food insecure (IPC phases 3, 4 and 5) and that by the height of the 2017 lean season this will reach 5.5 million people. From February to July: Leer and Mayendit Counties are classified in famine; while Koch is classified as famine likely to happen. With consistent, adequate, and timely humanitarian interventions, the famine classification could be reversed with many lives saved. The FSL cluster and partners already operating in the three famine affected counties (Norwegian Refugee Council, Samaritan’s Purse, Universal Intervention and Development Organization, CORDAID, Veterinaires Sans Frontieres, Interntional Commitiee of the Red Cross, World Food Programme and Food Agricultural Organization) are currently planning a scale up.

    Key Advocacy Message:

    • The humanitarian assistance in 2016 not only sustained but also improved food security in many areas and this needs to be scaled up in 2017;

    • Support for famine affected parts of former Unity State must not sacrifice much needed assistance to other severely food insecure areas of the country in: Greater BEG; Greater UN and even in the Equatorias; and

    • For an effective response unconditional humanitarian access needs to be granted from all parties involved in the on-going political conflict


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    Source: World Food Programme, Government of Cameroon
    Country: Cameroon

    Dans le cadre du suivi de la sécurité alimentaire dans la région de l’Extrême-Nord du Cameroun à travers le FSMS (Food Security Monitoring System), le 2ème tour de collecte a été réalisé du 08 au 18 décembre 2016 dans les 6 départements de cette région. Au total, 632 ménages ruraux ont été enquêtés dans les mêmes 40 sites sentinelles choisis au hasard lors du 1er tour – mai 2016. Dans chaque site sentinelle, une douzaine de ménages ont été tirés de manière aléatoire et interviewés. Par ailleurs, 28 transporteurs ont été interrogés et 32 discussions de groupes ont été conduites avec les commerçants des marchés proches de ces sites sentinelles. Les données secondaires ont également été prises en compte dans les analyses.

    POINTS SAILLANTS

     La prévalence de l’insécurité alimentaire est de 18% (779 856 personnes), dont 2% sous la forme sévère (86 651 personnes).
    Elle est quasi similaire à celle du 1er tour - mai 2016 (16%) - réalisée également après les récoltes;

     Un ménage sur quatre (25%) a une consommation alimentaire pauvre ou limite ;

     Les productions céréalières du cycle pluvial à la baisse, de l’ordre de 25% par rapport à la campagne antérieure ;

     Le pouvoir d’achat des éleveurs s’est détérioré à suite de la chute des prix du gros bétail suite à une offre abondante;

     29% des ménages de l’Extrême-Nord sont économiquement vulnérables car ils ont affecté plus de 65% (voire 75% pour 17% d’entre eux) de leurs dépenses aux aliments;

     Pour manger, la moitié des ménages a entre autres stratégies, consommé des aliments moins préférés ou moins chers (51%) ; Une frange importante de ménages a même procédé à la vente des animaux femelles restants (9,7%) ou à la réduction des dépenses de santé et d’éducation (8%) ;

     Les ménages dirigés par des femmes (33%) ont tendance à être en insécurité alimentaire que ceux dirigés par les hommes (15%) ;

     L’insécurité alimentaire touche majoritairement les ménages qui tirent principalement leurs revenus des dons (83%) ou ceux dont les revenus sont très instables;

     La zone du Logone et Chari est dans une situation d’alerte proche de l’urgence, à la faveur d’un taux de la malnutrition aigüe sévère (MAS) de 2% (SMART 2016).


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    Source: Institute for Security Studies
    Country: Nigeria

    Peacebuilders’ views of why people join Boko Haram point to the politicisation of religion in Nigeria.

    The atrocities unleashed by Boko Haram since 2009 have affected millions of people in Nigeria and the region as a whole. This policy brief presents the results of a field-based study on peacebuilders’ perspectives of the drivers of violent extremism; and the underlying socio-economic and political factors that influence individuals to join Boko Haram. The study reveals that peacebuilders consider religious dynamics as the most influential factor in individuals’ decision to join the terrorist group. As such, the study reveals that peacebuilders’ views regarding the drivers of violent extremism are often markedly different to those expressed by former Boko Haram members themselves.


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    Source: The Conversation
    Country: Nigeria

    The Conversation

    Tarila Marclint Ebiede, PhD researcher, University of Leuven

    Arnim Langer, Professor, University of Leuven

    The introduction of disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration programmes have become common practice in countries emerging from violent conflict. Arguably, the most difficult aspect is the successful and long-term reintegration of former combatants into civilian life.

    In Nigeria this was certainly the case. The country’s disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration programme is known locally as the amnesty program. It was introduced by the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua in 2009 and was aimed at members of armed militant groups that were present in the Niger Delta. This includes; the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Force, and Niger Delta Vigilante.

    These militant groups emerged around 2006 and were known for their violent attacks on the region’s oil infrastructure and kidnapping oil companies’ employees for ransom. As a result of the violence and instability, the production and export of oil from the Niger Delta region decreased sharply after 2006.

    The amnesty programme was set up to put an end to this. Its main objective was to disarm, demobilise and reintegrate armed militants back into communities. The programme involved offering benefits – such as opportunities in education as well as money – to militants who gave up their weapons.

    Our ongoing research project at the University of Leuven identified why the initiative failed and highlights why programmes of this nature can fall apart. A major finding was that it wasn’t accompanied by meaningful and durable reintegration and that deep-seated socio-economic problems weren’t tackled at the same time.

    Terms of the amnesty

    Under its terms militants who freely handed over their weapons and demobilised wouldn’t be prosecuted and would even receive benefits. These benefits included; a formal education in Nigeria or abroad, small loans to start businesses as well as a monthly allowance of about US$400. The allowance was significantly higher than Nigeria’s minimum wage of about US$60 per month.

    Leaders of militant groups were also offered large and highly profitable contracts in the oil industry and other sectors of the economy. In the wake of the amnesty programme, ex-militant leaders gained political power and influence in the cities to which they returned.

    The programme initially resulted in a sharp reduction of violent attacks against the oil industry, leading to an increase in production. But cracks in the deal started to emerge.

    Due to a sharp fall in oil prices, the programme became increasingly difficult for the Nigerian government to fund. In May 2015, for instance, the allowance payments to the enrolled ex-militants had to be suspended. This made matters worse and reignited tensions as a large number of ex-militants are unemployed and highly dependent on the monthly allowances.

    Failures

    One major problem is that the Nigerian government failed to tackle wider socio-economic grievances. These include the lack of social development in local oil communities, environmental pollution and the exclusion of local communities from the governance of oil production in the Niger Delta region.

    New militant groups emerged in the last 18 months. They claim to represent the grievances of local oil communities. These groups include the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), Red Scorpions and the Niger Delta Greenland Justice Movement (NDGJM). They have again started to attack the region’s oil infrastructure, resulting in a reduction of Nigeria’s oil production from 2.2 million to about 1.1 million barrels per day in 2016.

    Our research also showed that Nigeria’s financial incentives actually worked as a disincentive for sustainable reintegration.

    Firstly, ex-militants preferred to remain enrolled in the amnesty programme, instead of switching to lower-paying jobs in their communities.

    Secondly, they started attracting new youth into militancy. The amnesty programme was initially designed for youths who were active members of armed militant groups. Evidence shows that youths, who weren’t part of any armed militant group, started to mobilise into new groups or join existing ones in order to benefit from the amnesty programme. In some instances, they quickly purchased weapons from the black market to enable them to participate in the programme.

    Recognising this, the Nigerian government in September 2011 stopped the inclusion of new militant groups into the amnesty programme. But discontent over who’s and who’s not allowed to enrol have remained. This is partly behind the emergence of the Niger Delta Greenland Justice Movement (NDGJM) in Delta State.

    The renewed instability and violent attacks in the region have again resulted in a serious reduction of the country’s oil production. This has complicated the Nigerian government’s already formidable financial and economic concerns and challenges. And attempts by the Nigerian government to use force against the (new) militant groups have proved unsuccessful as the militants continue to evade direct confrontation with the military.

    What now?

    It appears, despite all its failures, that the only short-term option to get the county’s oil production and exports back on track quickly is the continuation and possible expansion of the current amnesty programme to address the new groups that have emerged.

    This would help increase oil exports and revenues and buy the government time to develop more effective reintegration strategies. However, any new amnesty strategy will need to de-emphasise financial payments to ex-militants for it to succeed. Instead, it will need to focus on underlying issues such as the development deficits and environmental pollution affecting communities. In the long term, the government should design transparent mechanisms which include local communities in the governance of oil production. This will reduce the tensions that provide justification for militancy in the region.


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    Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
    Country: Central African Republic, Chad

    Par Aristophane Ngargoune
    P.I. Associate, UNHCR Goré

    Goré, 8 mars 2017 (UNHCR) - La 40ème édition de la Journée Internationale de la Femme (JIF) a été célébrée ce 8 mars 2017 avec faste dans les 7 camps de réfugiés que compte le bureau de la Sous-Délégation du HCR de Goré. Du camp de Moyo (région du Salamat), à Dosseye (Logone Oriental) en passant par Bélom (Moyen Chari), l'ambiance festive était partout la même. Bref, une ambiance bon-enfant dans tous les camps de réfugiés cette matinée commémorative de la JIF 2017.


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    Source: UN Population Fund
    Country: South Sudan

    JUBA, South Sudan– The famine in South Sudan, borne out of years of war, political instability and drought, now affects more than 100,000 people. UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, is increasingly concerned about the health and well-being of people affected by this crisis, and especially pregnant women as their food supplies are cut short.

    According to United Nations estimates, in addition to the 100,000 people who already face famine in South Sudan, 1 million more people are on the brink of extreme hunger, including some 33,000 pregnant women. Up to 253,000 women of childbearing age could be harmed by the crisis this year.

    “In a country that struggles with one of the world’s highest material mortality rates, severe hunger due to famine could increase risks during pregnancy and childbirth,” says UNFPA Country Representative Esperance Fundira. “With increases in premature or low-birth-weight babies and severe postpartum bleeding, the process of giving life becomes even more likely to result in death.”

    UNFPA also expressed concern that the famine could worsen already existing conflict-related sexual and gender-based violence.

    “In the South Sudanese conflict, women and girls are raped, forced into marriage and prostitution to survive. Single women, female-headed households, adolescent girls, elderly women, women with disabilities and children are at particular risk,” Ms. Fundira explains.

    To help avert the terrible consequences of the conflict and famine, UNFPA supports health facilities and maternal health clinics with trained personnel to provide prenatal and postnatal care, as well as equipment and essential drugs. UNFPA also leads coordination with other UN agencies and partners for gender based violence prevention and management.

    UNFPA calls for stepped up efforts to safeguard the health and protection of women and girls and ensure they have access to life-saving food, health facilities, violence prevention and response services.

    UNFPA aims to raise $2 million for the health and protection needs of women and girls. The Fund also requires some $19 million to support reproductive health and gender based violence interventions under the 2017 South Sudan Humanitarian Response Plan.


    UNFPA works to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.

    For more information or interview requests, please contact:
    In Juba: Arlene Alano Tel: +211 954 003 844; alano@unfpa.org
    In Johannesburg: Adebayo Fayoyin Tel: +27 79 517 0320; fayoyin@unfpa.org


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    Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation
    Country: Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Nigeria

    "Day-to-day survival remains an existential struggle"

    By Kieran Guilbert

    DAKAR, March 9 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Boko Haram's insurgency in northeastern Nigeria and around Lake Chad has uprooted more than 2.4 million people and left some 10.7 million in need of aid in a humanitarian catastrophe considered to be one of the world's most neglected crises.

    International donors at a conference in Norway last month pledged $672 million in new money for the Lake Chad region for the next three years.

    The United Nations says it needs $1.5 billion this year alone in humanitarian aid for the region - which includes Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria - where seven million people risk starvation.

    The U.N. Security Council this week visited the region and said "barely enough is being done" to aid the situation.

    Here are the views of some leading aid agencies on how to tackle the crisis.

    MOHAMED FALL - Nigeria Representative for the U.N. children's agency (UNICEF)

    "We need to be able to access those people living in areas that still cannot be reached with any kind of humanitarian assistance. There are pockets of famine-like conditions in Borno state and millions of people are in need of urgent support. We need coordination on funding to avoid duplication of efforts by different organisations and partners in the same area. We must make sure that children do not miss out on education; we must make sure to keep a focus on peacebuilding and life skills so that we can break the cycle of violence and help to rebuild the social fabric of the area."

    CASIE TESFAI - Senior Technical Advisor for Nutrition at the International Rescue Committee (IRC)

    "The ongoing war against Boko Haram has transformed a fragile situation where livelihoods have been destroyed and millions have fled into an emergency where 540,000 children are expected to suffer from severe acute malnutrition this year. The IRC recognises that addressing this crisis requires a coordinated attack on all fronts driving malnutrition — health, water and sanitation, food security and nutrition. We don't just need a scale-up of aid, we need better aid and an investment in new solutions to address this problem."

    PATRICK YOUSSEF - Deputy Regional Director for Africa at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)

    "The conflict has separated families, destroyed access to food, water, education, shelter, and health care. Since the end of 2016, the overall humanitarian response has increased in the region, yet these efforts must be expanded further if we truly want to scale back the suffering and avert a worsening of an already dire situation. The ICRC has started to move from emergency food relief to greater support to livelihood initiatives, identifying with affected communities ways to provide more durable and sustained solutions centred around resilience and self-reliance."

    PAULINE BALLAMAN - Lake Chad Basin Response Lead for Oxfam

    "After eight years of conflict the people of northeast Nigeria are on the brink. They desperately need food, clean water, shelter and safety. Oxfam is helping in the areas that we can reach, but there are many more people still trapped in areas that humanitarian organisations can't get to. We urgently need to find ways to ensure people can safely move to assistance or that organisations can get to them to provide much needed support."

    BRIGITTE MUKANGA ENO - Acting Representative to Nigeria for the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR)

    "The psychosocial needs of the displaced population are vast and largely unmet. For many of these people, day-to-day survival remains an existential struggle. The experience of violence, persistent fear, uncertainty and loss among the displaced is exacerbated by a sense of a loss of dignity, as many feel ashamed of their often dire living conditions and inability to change their circumstances."

    (Reporting By Kieran Guilbert, Editing by Astrid Zweynert. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's rights, trafficking, property rights, climate change and resilience. Visit http://news.trust.org)


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    Source: Catholic Relief Services
    Country: South Sudan

    CONTACTS:
    Tom Price (Baltimore) (443) 951-7245
    tom.price@crs.org
    Nancy McNally (Nairobi)
    (254) 739354230
    nancy.mcnally@crs.org

    New Report Finds People Surviving On Wild Food; Acute Malnutrition in Children

    Baltimore, MD/ Nairobi, Kenya, March 9, 2017 – Severe hunger is spreading across South Sudan, according to a joint Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and World Food Programme (WFP) rapid needs assessment in Jonglei State. Jonglei has not yet reached the famine level declared in other parts of this conflict-riven nation, but this normally more peaceful area has emergency levels of hunger and security is deteriorating. So hunger will only get worse.

    The assessment found high-levels of food insecurity amongst 85,000 people in the areas surveyed, where families are surviving by gathering wild fruit, such as lily seeds, palm seeds and roots. For most people, this was their one meal per day.

    Marketplaces have vanished forcing people to walk for two or three days to buy scarce food. Lack of water, disease and diminishing pastureland has killed off half the livestock over the past three months. Children with severe malnutrition now account for 26 percent of all children, almost double the 15 percent emergency threshold. The lack of clean water, especially in makeshift settlements and internally displaced camps, has also led to outbreaks of cholera.

    The full report can be viewed here.

    Jerry Farrell, CRS’ Country Representative for South Sudan, said ongoing conflict is a major problem in Jonglei State, where CRS continues to provide emergency food assistance to hundreds of thousands of people. In partnership with the World Food Programme, CRS distributes food supplies airdropped by WFP into areas that are difficult to reach because of insecurity or a lack of infrastructure. CRS staff hike ahead for days to reach those locations, and coordinate receiving food on the ground and the distribution of the food.

    “The Nile offers abundant fishing in this region, but because of conflict and violence, many people are too scared to go out even if they have a net or line for fishing,” he said. Fear of violence is also keeping people from planting and harvesting fields. The result, says Farrell, is “people are forced to forage for their one meal of the day.”

    To compound the already severe situation, the areas surveyed are also hosting large numbers of displaced people, who have fled conflict in other areas of South Sudan. Over 50 percent of households are headed by women, many of whom are widows. Large numbers of men were reportedly killed during fighting in December 2013 and July 2016.

    “Beyond emergency food aid the people of Jonglei need livelihoods,” said Farrell. “Access permitting, we aim to help them return to their farms and their fisheries. This is how communities really get back on their feet and gain strength to withstand any future crises.”

    In common with much of South Sudan, the assessment noted that there are no health facilities, professionals or medicine to treat the symptoms associated with severe malnutrition or other common diseases such as malaria. There are also extreme problems with access to drinking water, hygiene and sanitation facilities.

    “Ending conflict is clearly the key to real progress in these areas,” Farrell said.

    ###

    Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. The agency alleviates suffering and provides assistance to people in need in more than 100 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality. CRS’ relief and development work is accomplished through programs of emergency response, HIV, health, agriculture, education, microfinance and peacebuilding. For more information, visit www.crs.org or www.crsespanol.org and follow Catholic Relief Services on social media: Facebook, Twitter at @CatholicRelief, @CRSnews and @CRSnoticias, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube.


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    Source: UN Children's Fund
    Country: Central African Republic, Chad, Nigeria

    Highlights

    • No new major population movements have been reported. As of January 2017, there are 124,683 displaced persons, including IDPs, Chadian returnees from Nigeria and Niger, refugees and third-country nationals.

    • A suspected Hepatitis E epidemic continues to affect the Salamat Region, With 265 new cases reported in January 2017, out of which 18 cases have been confirmed. In total, since September 2016, 817 cases have been registered and 67 confirmed, with a death toll of 11 people.

    • 34,000 conflict-affected people have access to potable water through the construction of 68 new boreholes in the Lac Region.

    • The construction of 14 classrooms, 13 latrines, 6 temporary learning spaces (TLS), 2 non-formal education centers, 1 office for local educational authorities and 3 multi-purpose playgrounds using solar panels was completed in the Lac region.

    • Results of an assessment by WFP in 8 villages in the islands on the South of Bol, Lac region, show that the number of people on the islands is substantial. An inter-cluster assessment mission is needed to collect more information on the situation.

    • UNICEF’s HAC funding requirement is $ 57.27 million. $ 8.47 million were carried forward from 2016 funding, thus the funding gap is currently 85% although no new funds were received.

    Situation in Numbers

    2,700,000
    Children affected (UNICEF HAC 2017)

    228,240
    Children under 5 with Severe Acute Malnutrition in 2017 (Nutrition Cluster 2017)

    124,683
    People displaced (IDPs, returnees, TCN, refugees) in the Lac Region (IOM, DTM 18 January 2017 and UNHCR 31 December 2016)

    UNICEF Humanitarian funding needs in 2017
    US$ 57.3 million
    Carry forward from 2017
    US$ 8.5 million

    Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs

    In the 2017 Humanitarian Needs Overview elaborated by the humanitarian community in late 2016, three major crises are identified in Chad: 1) food insecurity and malnutrition, 2) population displacements, and 3) epidemics. Natural disasters such as flooding and drought are recurrent in Chad, but were considered to have an impact on the other three crises, and were therefore mainstreamed as an aggravating factor. As per the 2017 Humanitarian Action for Children (HAC), UNICEF will continue to provide life-saving assistance to and protect children affected by these three crises.

    Population Displacement

    124,683 displaced persons are reported in the Lac Region, including 106,045 registered persons, 12,759 estimated displaced persons and 5,879 Nigerian refugees1. Among those registered displaced persons, there are 90,911 IDPs, 14,810 Chadians returnees and 324 third-country nationals. Humanitarian access remains a challenge, making the delivery of humanitarian aid difficult in many areas, especially in the islands where physical access is also constrained. During the first two weeks of January, security incidents were reported in the Kaiga-Kindjiria sub prefecture near the Lake Chad border with Niger: according to security sources, Boko Haram allegedly attacked Boma Island near the town of Tchoukoutalia.

    A civil servants strike, which began in October over non-payment of salaries and the Government’s austerity measures, was suspended by unions for a month beginning on 12 January, in order to give time to the Government to meet their demands. Education and healthcare services slowly and partially reopened. However, access to basic services is hampered by limited human and material resources: the Lac region only has 10 doctors (on average 1 doctor per 54,000 people, while the WHO norm is one per 10,000 people), and 1 teacher for 151 pupils.

    16 more people from Boko Haram-held territory have allegedly surrendered to the Chadian military since the beginning of January, totaling 1,130 people, of which 548 are children. Among them, UNICEF and partners identified 1 new unaccompanied children, totaling 95 unaccompanied children since October 2016. The women and children – about 800 in total – have been progressively relocated to their villages of origin in the Lac region, many of which are in the island areas which had been evacuated by the military in 2015. A mission by UNICEF partners and by WFP on 12-13 January found thousands of people on the islands. Thus an Inter Cluster Coordination assessment mission was requested by Humanitarian Country Team to estimate the needs of these villages of return, and is scheduled for early February.

    At the beginning of January there were still 327 men held under surveillance of the MNJTF at the Bagasola high school. Following advocacy by UNICEF and the humanitarian community to preserve the civil character of the building, the men have been transferred to another site the first week of January and the high school was freed. The status of these “surrendered” people has not been clarified by the government of Chad. The men are allowed to leave in search of food and other basic items since the government is unable to provide for them. At the reporting date, around 300 people were reported to be back to the high school after the most recent mass departure.

    In southern Chad, 70,414 Central African refugees and 68,638 Chadian returnees still live in camps, and 33,356 returnees live in host villages. Concern is growing over the increased evidence of protection issues linked to the limited livelihood opportunities, following the reduction in food rations. UNICEF partners have reported increased negative coping mechanisms like survival sex or prostitution, child marriage and child labor.

    Food insecurity and malnutrition

    According to the last Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) in November 2016, almost 4 million people will be food insecure in Chad during 2017. Even if the agricultural year 2016-2017 was overall better than the previous season (crop production rose by 14%), some 1,050,000 people are expected to be severely food insecure (phase 3and 4) during the lean season (June-August), mainly in the Sahel belt region of Ennedi West, Borkou, Ouaddaï, Batha, Bahr El Ghazal and Salamat.

    According to the Humanitarian Needs Overview for 2017, 1,511,583 people will be in need of nutritional assistance in 2017. Among them, some 401,551 children aged 6-59 months will suffer from acute malnutrition (compared to 410,314 cases in 2016), of which 201,257 children with moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) and 200,294 with severe acute malnutrition (SAM).

    Epidemic Outbreaks

    AHepatitis E outbreak has continued in the Salamat Region since July 2016 and has not yet been contained, although a formal declaration of the epidemic has not yet taken place. 265 new cases were reported in January 2017, out of which 18 were confirmed. In total, since September 2016, 817 cases have been analyzed for suspected Hepatitis E and 67 confirmed, with a death toll of 11. The weakness of health services and poor hygiene beliefs and practices in the area may explain this situation. Poor access to water and sanitation services contributes to the spread of the virus. In the region, less than a third of the population has access to drinking water (29.5% according to the national NGO ATPCS – Association pour l’Assainissement Total Piloté par la Communauté au Salamat), and most water sources are not treated.


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