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ReliefWeb - Updates

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    Source: UN Children's Fund
    Country: Nigeria

    Highlights

    • Emergency Primary Health Care (PHC) services reached 917,329 people in the three most affected states in Northeast Nigeria; and UNICEF and its partners supported the measles vaccination of 421,890 children during the reporting period.

    • In response to the confirmed case of Lassa fever, social mobilization was conducted in the 4 communities the index case visited during the course of her illness with over 1,000 people reached while the health workers in the hospital were trained/orientated on diagnosis, management of the disease and Universal precautions.

    • A total of 21,330 people gained access to safe water and 25,795 people gained access to improved sanitation. UNICEF in collaboration with Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA) dispatched a rapid response team to Dikwa with water trucking and water bladders to increase water availability to an additional 20,000 people.

    • A total of 8 new partnership agreements (PCAs) are under negotiation with different INGOs to extend nutrition services to an additional 101,000 people and WASH services for 472,000 people.

    • Thus far in 2017, psychosocial support was provided to 20,736 conflict affected children, while 1,252 unaccompanied and separated children received specialised support services.

    • In 2017, UNICEF is requesting US$ 146.9 million to reach four million people, including 2.1 million children. Funds available amount to US$ 46 million representing a 69 per cent funding gap.

    8.5 million
    Projected number of people in need of humanitarian assistance in the north east states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe for 2017 (Humanitarian Response Plan, 2017)

    1.76 million
    IDPs in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states, over 55 per cent are children (DTM Round XIV, February 2017)

    4.4 million
    Children in need of humanitarian assistance (HAC 2017)

    UNICEF Appeal 2017
    US$ 146.9 million
    *Humanitarian Action for Children (HAC), does not

    Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs

    As of end of January 2017, a total of 1.78 million people are still internally displaced across the 3 north east states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe, of which 83 per cent are in Borno state. Children represent 56 per cent of the total IDP population and 8.7 per cent are infants less than 1 year old. The large majority (69 per cent) of the IDPs continue to live in the host communities, with the remaining 31 per cent living in camps1.

    According to IOM’s Emergency Tracking Tool, a total of 3,852 new arrivals have been reported in Bama, Gwoza, Mobbar, Mubi South, Dikwa, Kala/Balge and Monguno from 10-14 March 2017 resulting from improved security in the LGA capitals which encourage IDPs to move back closer to their homes and military operations in inaccessible areas which enable IDPs to move to LGA capitals for protection. The Adamawa state government plans to close all camps by May 2017, however new IDPs are still being received. From Cameroon, a total of 64 new returnees of which 14 were children, arrived at the transit camp in Mubi North and are accessing health care services in the transit camp clinic supported by UNICEF.

    The Education sector was alerted that hunger and the absence of school feeding is negatively impacting student attendance in camps throughout Maiduguri Metropolitan Council (MMC) and Jere. Many schools have reduced teaching time from 5 hours to only 2 hours per day as children are hungry. Similarly in Adamawa camps, where pupils do not receive school feeding anymore, attendance and class time has also been negatively affected. The Federal Government plans to adopt the National School Feeding System (which has already started in nine other states) for Borno, although it is planned to only target children in Early Childhood Development and Grades 1 to 3 (i.e. from 3 to 8 years old). UNICEF has brought the issue to the attention of the Commissioner for Education and the Inter-Sectoral Working Group through an advisory committee within the Education Sector, and enlisting the support of other humanitarian partners including WFP and INGOs.

    In all IDP camps in MMC, Jere, Damaturu and Yola, maintenance of temporary and semi-permanent school facilities remains a huge challenge. In almost all sites where IDPs reside close to schools or Temporary Learning Spaces (TLS), structures built with local materials are being damaged by IDP communities pulling out wood to make fires for cooking. This issue was discussed with State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) on several occasions including the possible deployment of security guards to protect premises.


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    Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
    Country: Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Yemen

    The world faces the largest food crises in 70 years, with more than 10 million people in four countries — northeastern Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen — on the brink of famine, and a further 30 million severely food insecure.

    Famine has already been declared in parts of South Sudan, where 100 000 people are at risk, and more than 5.5 million people will not have any reliable source of food by July. The current levels of food insecurity in the four at-risk countries reflect continued under investment in agriculture and livelihoods within the wider humanitarian assistance. Conflict and drought are forcing people to abandon their homes and their lands. As agricultural seasons are repeatedly missed and livelihoods abandoned, the humanitarian caseload builds and the number of people on the brink of famine rises. With approximately 80 percent of the affected populations relying on agriculture for their livelihoods, we must invest now in pulling people back from the brink. Often famine starts in rural areas and must be prevented in rural areas – agriculture cannot be an afterthought.

    FAO is on the ground, working around the clock in these countries to deliver emergency livelihood assistance to kickstart food production. This assistance includes inputs like crop and vegetable seeds, fishing and dairy kits – which are crucial for providing highly nutritious food. In parts of remote South Sudan, the fishing kits are the only lifeline to food for many families, while in Yemen, dairy kits are helping to provide lifesaving milk for children.

    To avert a humanitarian catastrophe in the four countries over the coming months, we need to scale up livelihood support and income opportunities to affected families. Supporting agriculture now is not only investing in food production today, but food security tomorrow.


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    Source: UN Children's Fund
    Country: Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Yemen

    Download photos and videos from: http://weshare.unicef.org/Package/2AMZIFDD22Q

    NEW YORK/DAKAR/NAIROBI/AMMAN, 28 March 2017 – More than a month after famine was declared in South Sudan, time is running out for more than a million children as drought and armed conflict devastate lives in northeast Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen, UNICEF said today.

    “Children can’t wait for yet another famine declaration before we take action,” said Manuel Fontaine, UNICEF Director of Emergency Programmes. “We learned from Somalia in 2011 that by the time famine was announced, untold numbers of children had already died. That can’t happen again.”

    Some 22 million children have been left hungry, sick, displaced and out of school in the four countries, UNICEF said. Nearly 1.4 million are at imminent risk of death this year from severe malnutrition.

    UNICEF will require close to $255 million to provide these children with food, water, health, education and protection services for just the next few months, according to a new funding update.

    Most of the funds – over $81 million – will go towards nutrition programmes to screen children for malnutrition and provide them with therapeutic food.

    An additional $53 million will be allocated to health services including vaccinations, while over $47 million will go to water, sanitation and hygiene programmes to prevent potentially deadly diahorreal diseases.

    The remaining funds will help protect children affected by conflict and displacement and provide them with education services. Cash assistance will also be offered to the most vulnerable families.

    The resources needed over the next few months are part of a broader appeal for all of 2017, totaling $712 million – a 50 per cent increase over funding requirements in the four countries at the same time last year.

    UNICEF has been working with partners in the four countries to respond to the famine threat and prevent it from spreading:

    • In northeast Nigeria, UNICEF will reach 3.9 million people with emergency primary healthcare services this year, treat 220,000 severely malnourished children under the age of five, and provide more than a million people with access to safe water.

    • In Somalia, UNICEF is supporting 1.7 million children under-five years of age, including the treatment of up to 277,500 severe acute malnutrition cases through facility-based and mobile health and nutrition services.

    • In South Sudan, UNICEF, together with partners, has delivered life-saving assistance to 128,000 people in areas affected or threatened by famine, including almost 30,000 children under the age of five.

    • In Yemen, UNICEF has scaled up activities to respond to malnutrition through health facilities, mobile teams, community health workers and volunteers reaching hard-to-access communities and displaced families. UNICEF is also supporting severely acutely malnourished children and their families with cash assistance and water and sanitation services, including the provision of safe water, supplies and hygiene promotion.

    Armed conflict is a major driver of this crisis, UNICEF said, calling for unconditional, unimpeded and sustainable access to the children in need and an end to the violations of children’s rights in the affected countries.

    UNICEF also sounded the alarm about a worsening nutrition situation in neighbouring countries.

    “As violence, hunger and thirst force people to move within and across borders, malnutrition rates will continue to soar not just in these four countries, but also in the Lake Chad basin and the Greater Horn of Africa,” Fontaine said. “If humanitarian agencies do net get the access and resources they need to reach the most vulnerable, lives will be lost.”

    ###

    About UNICEF

    UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

    For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.

    Follow UNICEF on Twitter and Facebook

    For more information, please contact:

    Najwa Mekki, UNICEF New York, +1917 209 1804, nmekki@unicef.org

    Patrick Rose, UNICEF Regional Office in Dakar, +221 786 380 250, prose@unicef.org

    James Elder, UNICEF Regional Office in Nairobi, +254 71558 1222, jelder@unicef.org

    Tamara Kummer, UNICEF Regional Office in Amman, +962 797 588 550, tkummer@unicef.org


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    Source: Belgian Technical Cooperation
    Country: Niger

    Le tourment de l'accès durable au foncier rural?

    Points clés:

    • Génération de revenus et diversification de l’alimentation des femmes vulnérables avec l’aménagement des sites de cultures maraîchères : les terres agricoles aménagées à travers les Fonds de développement communal (FDC) du Programme sont exploitées par les femmes sur la base de contrats de prêt, généralement en une seule campagne. Les investissements mis en place au niveau des sites aménagés améliorent les techniques d’irrigation et protègent les cultures maraichères contre les dégâts des animaux. Les cultures maraichères pratiquées sur ces sites aménagés bouclent leur cycle, ce qui permet aux femmes d’augmenter leurs productions.

    • Valorisation des compétences des acteurs locaux pour un accès durable des femmes aux terres agricoles : le dispositif institutionnel du Code rural a prévu la mise en place des commissions foncières qui regroupent plusieurs groupes d’acteurs, tels que les autorités administratives, les conseillers municipaux, les Services techniques déconcentrés de l’État et les opérateurs ruraux (agriculteurs, éleveurs, bûcherons, pêcheurs, femmes et jeunes). Ces acteurs disposent de connaissances et de capacités techniques qui, mises ensemble, donneraient plus de qualité et de lé-gitimité aux actions de gestion et de sécurisation des ressources naturelles.


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    Source: Government of Belgium
    Country: Belgium, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Yemen

    Le vice-Premier ministre et ministre de la Coopération au Développement Alexander De Croo s’est réuni ce midi avec les ONG humanitaires. Outre les membres du consortium 12-12, des représentants de la Croix-Rouge ont également pris part à la concertation. Ensemble, ils ont évoqué la gestion de la crise humanitaire au Yémen, en Somalie, au Nigéria et au Soudan du Sud, quatre pays menacés par la famine. Le ministre a promis de mobiliser aussi vite que possible une première tranche d’aide humanitaire dans le cadre du doublement des fonds versés à Famine 12-12. Les organisations humanitaires ont aussi insisté auprès du ministre De Croo pour qu’il intervienne auprès du secrétaire général Guterres sur la sécurité des travailleurs humanitaires et l’accès humanitaire aux zones sinistrées.
     
    Lors de la rencontre avec les ONG humanitaires, le ministre De Croo s’est engagé à débloquer rapidement la première tranche d’aide humanitaire prévue par le gouvernement fédéral dans le cadre de l’action Famine 12-12. Ce week-end, le ministre De Croo a annoncé le doublement par le gouvernement fédéral des dons à Famine 12-12.“_Le pic de famine est attendu pour cet été. Il est important que nous puissions rapidement mobiliser des fonds supplémentaires sur le terrain. C’est la seule façon de sauver des vies. C’est pourquoi je vais débloquer une première tranche humanitaire pour Famine 12-12. J’espère que la décision du gouvernement fédéral de doubler les montants des dons à  Famine 12-12 encouragera les citoyens à faire un don_”, a déclaré Alexander De Croo.
     
    La Belgique a déjà engagé soixante millions d’euros d’aide d’urgence cette année pour des interventions spécifiques et des fonds d’urgence des Nations unies, de la Croix-Rouge internationale, du Programme alimentaire mondial, actifs au Soudan du Sud, au Yémen, au Nigéria et en Somalie. Par ailleurs, 20 millions d’aide urgente ont déjà été prévus pour la Syrie où les besoins humanitaires restent considérables.

     

    Huit travailleurs humanitaires tués

    Le ministre De Croo interviendra aussi auprès du secrétaire général de l’ONU António Guterres, qui sera à Bruxelles la semaine prochaine, au sujet de l’accès humanitaire et de la sécurité des collaborateurs humanitaires. Les organisations humanitaires sont particulièrement inquiètes en ce qui concerne l’accès humanitaire parfois très difficile aux zones sinistrées. Samedi, au Soudan du Sud, huit travailleurs humanitaires ont perdu la vue lors d’une embuscade, alors qu’ils quittaient la capitale du Sud-Soudan Djouba pour rejoindre Pibor, dans le nord-est du pays.
     
    La mort de ces huit personnes est le plus lourd tribut en personnel humanitaire depuis le début de la guerre civile fin 2013. Au total, 79 travailleurs humanitaires sont morts ces trois dernières années au Sud-Soudan. Le ministre De Croo s’engage à évoquer la semaine prochaine, lors de sa rencontre avec le secrétaire général Guterres, la sécurité des travailleurs humanitaires et l’accès aux personnes en détresse. Une mission de l’ONU se déroule actuellement au Soudan du Sud. Elle devrait pouvoir intervenir de façon plus énergique pour permettre l’assistance humanitaire, ce qui fait partie du mandat donné par le Conseil de Sécurité.
     
    “_Il est important que les biens humanitaires soient acheminés sur place rapidement et de manière sûre. S’il le faut, l’accès doit être imposé. Nous ne pouvons accepter que les parties au conflit bloquent l’aide humanitaire et bombardent sciemment les travailleurs humanitaires. Les Nations unies peuvent jouer un rôle à cet égard_”, a indiqué Alexander De Croo.

     

    Accélération

    La campagne Famine 12-12 s’est accélérée ce week-end. L’action est beaucoup apparue dans des spots radio et télévisés diffusés par les différents groupes de médias. La presse écrite s’est aussi emparée du sujet, notamment avec l’annonce que le gouvernement fédéral allait doubler les montants et les protestations au Yémen contre la guerre civile qui fait rage depuis deux ans maintenant. La présence de plusieurs journalistes belges dans la région très touchée permet aussi aux citoyens de mieux se rendre compte de la catastrophe et de faire un don.


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

    HIGHLIGHTS

    • Humanitarian Coordinator demands perpetrators of attacks against aid workers be held to account.

    • Aid organizations are working to scale up the famine response in central and southern Unity.

    • Fighting and insecurity across the Equatorias continue to uproot tens of thousands of civilians.

    • Thousands of people remain displaced following clashes in Jonglei, which resulted in killings, destruction, gender-based violence and recruitment of child soldiers.

    FIGURES

    No. of Internally Displaced People 1.9 million

    No. of refugees in neighboring countries 1.6 million

    No. of people food insecure (Feb-April 2017)

    4.9 million

    FUNDING

    $302.2 million funding received in 2017*

    18.5% of appeal funding received in 2017

    $1.6 billion requirements for South Sudan 2017 Humanitarian Response Plan

    Humanitarians attacked and killed

    Six staff members of a national non-governmental organization (NGO), Grassroots Empowerment and Development Organisation (GREDO), were killed in an ambush on 25 March, in Central Equatoria while travelling from Juba to Pibor. A seventh person travelling with the group was also killed.
    The Humanitarian Coordinator for South Sudan, Eugene Owusu, strongly condemned the attack and called for the perpetrators to be held to account. “At a time when humanitarian needs have reached unprecedented levels, it is entirely unacceptable that those who are trying to help are being attacked and killed [...] [A]ttacks against aid workers and aid assets are utterly reprehensible,” said Mr. Owusu. “They not only put the lives of aid workers at risk, they also threaten the lives of thousands of South Sudanese who rely on our assistance for their survival. [...] I implore all those in positions of power to step up to their responsibilities and stop this, as they are ultimately accountable for what happens under their watch. There is no safety when attacks are met with silence and inaction.” The ambush–which represents the highest number of aid workers killed in a single incident since the conflict began–comes after two other grave attacks on aid workers this month. At least 79 aid workers have been killed in South Sudan since the beginning of the December 2013 crisis, including 12 killed in 2017, and at least eight humanitarian convoys have been attacked already this year.

    Read more: Press release -- http://bit.ly/2mEj3UT


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    Source: World Food Programme, Logistics Cluster
    Country: Bangladesh, Haiti, Indonesia, Madagascar, Myanmar, Nigeria, Vanuatu, World

    Preparedness saves lives and money during disasters and crises. Adequate preparedness by national actors can also significantly improve first response at the local and national level, and reduce the need for international mobilization. This goal focuses on supporting the national logistics capacity of identified disaster prone countries.

    Goal 1: PREPARE

    Strengthen the immediate response capacity of national actors in disaster-prone countries and identify the best capacities for response.

    Objective 1: Strengthen logistics capacities on national and cross-border levels

    Objective 2: Encourage active collaboration and ownership of tasks by LC community involving various actors such as civil protection, public and private sectors and other clusters.

    Six Priority Countries: Bangladesh, Haiti, Indonesia, Madagascar, Myanmar, Nigeria


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    Source: Government of Norway
    Country: Nigeria, Norway, Somalia, South Sudan, Yemen

    More than 20 million people in four countries are on the brink of famine. 'We are facing the worst humanitarian catastrophe in the history of the UN. Nearly 1.4 million children are at risk of starving to death. Norway is therefore increasing its support for life-saving emergency aid and food security to a total of NOK 673 million,' said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.

    The UN has launched an appeal for USD 4.4 billion to fight famine in Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and north-eastern Nigeria. Norway has already provided NOK 324 million this year, and is now stepping up its response by providing an additional NOK 349 million. These funds will be channelled through the UN, the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement, and Norwegian humanitarian organisations.

    'We must act now to save lives. The security situation makes it difficult to get help quickly and efficiently to those in need. We call on the authorities and all parties in the areas affected by hunger and famine to grant civilians immediate access to humanitarian relief,' Mr Brende said.

    Norway is closely following the situation in Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and Nigeria and will consider the need for further support on an ongoing basis.

    'We must do all we can to prevent this type of catastrophe developing in future. What these four countries have in common is ongoing armed conflicts and frequent attacks on civilians. Underlying causes include widespread poverty, poor governance and climate change that affects food production. The international community must do more to strengthen the national authorities' ability to prevent new crises. These countries need to create stability and security for their citizens, find political solutions to their problems, and provide conditions that make it possible for people to work and to get enough food,' said Mr Brende.

    In February, Norway hosted an international conference for Nigeria and the Lake Chad region to increase awareness of the crisis. Norway will provide NOK 1.6 billion in aid to this region over a period of three years. Norway is one of the largest contributors to the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (Cerf), which is an important channel for ensuring a rapid response to humanitarian crises. Norway also provides humanitarian support and long-term aid through the UN and the World Bank to the countries in the Nigeria and the Lake Chad region. Norway will participate at the donor conference for Yemen on 25 April.


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    Source: World Food Programme
    Country: Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda


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    Source: World Food Programme
    Country: Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Nigeria


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    Source: UN Secretary-General
    Country: Jordan, South Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic

    Secretary-General: [inaudible] …I have been to Zaatari about ten times. Remembering six years ago when I was seeing the first Syrian refugees coming over the border, how sad it is, how terrible it is, that today we still have Zaatari camp full with Syrian refugees, and that the tragedy of Syria is going on and on and on.

    Now that the Geneva peace talks have started again, I want to make a very strong appeal to the parties to the conflict and, especially on the countries that have an influence on the parties to the conflict, to understand that we must make peace; to understand that this became a tragedy not only for the Syrian people but it became a threat to the stability of the region and a global security threat to the world as terrorism is benefiting from the crisis in Syria, and several other crises around the world. This is the moment for all countries that are involved, directly or indirectly in the conflict, to put aside their differences and understand that now there is a common interest and the common interest from the fact that they are all threatened by the new risk of global terrorism.

    I hope that that if all countries that have an influence on the Syrian situation are able to come together these refugees, that are living here artificially, now for more than four years in this camp will be able to restart their lives again, to find jobs, to work, to have a normal life.

    At the same time, I think it’s important to say that they would not be here without the generosity of the Jordanian people and the Jordanian government. But Jordan was left largely without enough international solidarity, receiving such a large number of Syrian refugees, after refugees from Iraq, after the Palestinian refugees. Jordan was always very generous in receiving and hosting millions of refugees but there has not been enough humanitarian aid for the refugees themselves and, especially, not enough aid for the communities that are hosting them, to increase their resilience, their capacity to face this challenge, and not enough support for Jordan itself a country with a vulnerable economy, a pillar of stability in this region that would need much more international solidarity to be able to cope with this enormous challenge.

    We are seeing in this world more and more doors closed for refugees. It’s difficult for Syrians now to flee the country and it’s difficult for those who are in this camp to see any horizon, or to have any countries to receive them. The opportunities are less and less meaningful. People are being more and more left alone. This is the moment to say that if the world fails to support refugees, the world is only helping those like Daesh and al Qaida that use these arguments in order to be able to recruit more people to put at risk our global security. Solidarity with Syrian refugees is also a way to be able to express our capacity to guarantee global security. It’s not only an act of generosity. It’s also an act of enlightened self-interest.

    My appeal to the international community: increase humanitarian aid to the refugees, increase solidarity to countries like Jordan and Lebanon, and others receiving Syrian refugees, and make sure that more opportunities are given to these refugees, and make sure that all those that have an influence on the parties to the conflict come together to put an end to this tragedy.

    Question on funding cuts from the US and the famine in South Sudan:

    Secretary-General: I sincerely hope that when the process is clarified, when the process will move, that the traditional expression of solidarity of the American people will not stop. At the same time, we will be mobilizing all other actors in Europe, in the Gulf, in many other parts of the world, to increase solidarity to the Syrian refugees and all others that are living in different circumstances that are needing solidarity and humanitarian assistance. This is not the moment to reduce solidarity. This is the moment to increase solidarity.

    South Sudan is an enormous tragedy. We are working together with IGAD and the African Union to see if it is possible put an end to the conflict, to make sure that there is a cessation of hostilities, that there is an inclusive national dialogue in South Sudan and that humanitarian aid is able to reach, without impediments, those in need. There is still a long way to go and, unfortunately, we are witnessing in South Sudan a tragedy that breaks our hearts and makes us feel sometimes powerless when you look at the dramatic suffering of these people. Just a few years ago they came to a moment of independence full of hope that a new future was coming and, unfortunately, they are facing now a terrible tragedy.

    Question on Staffan de Mistura and the ‘safe zones’ in Syria:

    Secretary-General: Staffan de Mistura is doing an amazing job with my full confidence. He managed to bring together all parties to the conflict in Geneva. Talks are going on and I wish him the best success together with all those that are meeting with him. I strongly hope that this will be an important first step on the way to a comprehensive political solution.

    Let’s be clear, it’s very important to fight terrorism but the fight against terrorism in Syria will not be successful if a political solution will not be found as well.

    If some areas can be made safe and people can live there well, this is a positive thing. The only thing I always mention is that safe zones should not undermine the right to seek and enjoy asylum. They should not be prisons. At the same time, it’s also important to say that we have an experience in the past of safe zones that have failed. If any safe zone is to be built there needs to be absolute guarantees that the safety zone is fully put in place.

    Question on Secretary-General’s expectations of the Arab Summit:

    Secretary-General: In all aspects, Arab solidarity is very important. My appeal is for Arab countries to come together, in unity. It’s a fact that many times, when Arab countries are divided, it has allowed others to intervene and to manipulate situations, creating instability, breeding conflict and facilitating the lives of terrorist organizations.

    I think that Arab unity is a very important element in order to allow this region to be stabilized and for these people, the Syrian refugees, to find again a future that corresponds to their aspirations.


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


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    Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
    Country: Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Uganda

    Drought in the Horn of Africa

    Drought situation and impact

    The ongoing drought is widespread, and the situation is deteriorating faster than even expected. Conditions are extremely worrying across southern and southeastern Ethiopia, northern and coastal Kenya, almost all of Somalia, southeastern South Sudan and northeastern Uganda.

    In 2016, as little as one-quarter of expected rainfall was received during the October–December rainfall season across most of the region. The long rains in March–May were already erratic and below average; the recently failed short rains extended the already long dry season, having severe implications for food security, nutrition, livelihoods and peace.

    Droughts in the Horn of Africa have been increasing in severity and frequency, and aggravated by desertification, land degradation and climate change. With multiple consecutive years of poor rains, dry spells and drought, including the El Niño-induced drought in 2015/16, there has been little to no recovery among affected households – particularly those dependent on livestock for their food and income. In the Horn’s arid and semi-arid lands, the dominant livelihood systems are agropastoralism and pastoralism, for which pasture and water scarcity is a constant challenge. Pastoralists and agropastoralists are among the most affected by what has become chronic vulnerability to food insecurity, economic and environmental shocks and resource-based conflicts.

    In affected areas of the Horn of Africa, water is increasingly scarce and rangelands bare. Rivers and water points are drying faster than normal, and reaching alarmingly low levels. Across the region, livestock are starving and rapidly losing condition. Immune systems are weakened, increasing risk and incidences of opportunistic and endemic livestock disease outbreaks, and increasing the debilitating effects of internal and external parasites. Tens of thousands of animals have already died of disease or starvation, especially affecting cattle and sheep. In many areas, livestock reproduction has halted.

    In search of feed and water for their livestock, migration is increasing both within and across national borders. Experts have noted that this year, pastoral migration is random and opportunistic – herders are moving to pocket areas speculated to have grazing availability. Some pastoralists are migrating to protected conservation areas, having negative consequences for environmental gains and increasing risk of disease transmission between wild animals and livestock. Tensions and conflict are increasing due to competition over limited natural resources, overgrazing, damage to the land of settled farmers, livestock theft and disease outbreaks as increasingly weak livestock crowd around fewer water points.

    In most-affected areas, there is effectively no demand for livestock, which are rapidly losing value. Prices have plummeted – in cross-border areas, sheep and goats now sell for about one-third the normal price, and cattle and camels fetch only half their normal market value. For example, in Somalia's Buale market, a goat could be traded for about 114 kg of maize in January 2016, but at today's prices can be traded for only 30 kg of grain. Sales of live animals make up the bulk of pastoralists’ earnings; in drought-affected areas, incomes are declining and households are left with extremely limited alternatives.

    At the same time, local prices for staple foods have skyrocketed, and are increasing as local availability diminishes. Regional harvests were below-average at the end of 2016, following poor main harvests earlier in the year. For example, grain prices in January doubled compared with last year in central and southern Somalia. In Uganda, maize prices are reaching near-record levels.

    Conditions are becoming alarming in drought-affected areas, with more and more families reporting that they are eating less, less often and what they do eat is less nutritionally diverse. Dependence on food aid is increasing. In the Horn of Africa, severe food insecurity has dramatically increased in recent months – doubling in Kenya and Somalia, quadrupling in Uganda and in Ethiopia, the number of food insecure districts has increased by one quarter. In mid-February, the drought was declared a national emergency in Kenya. Famine was declared in South Sudan, and has been alerted as real risk in Somalia if the next rains are below average.

    Protein-rich foods are increasingly out of reach for vulnerable pastoralists. Household production of milk and meat is very low, and the local prices of milk and other dairy products is increasing – for example, the price of milk has increased by 40 percent in Somalia's Gedo region. Malnutrition rates among children are high, and are increasing as the lean season continues. Milk is the main source of protein for pastoralists; when it is not available, households typically increase their cereal intake – but with very high staple food prices, households are increasingly forced to sell their productive assets or borrow food and money to survive.

    The situation will continue to deteriorate not only until the next rains, but until pastures regenerate if sufficient rainfall is received. Forecasts for the next season from the Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum indicate that the next rains may be below-normal in most drought-hit areas – the expected onset of the rains is early to mid-April, and the duration just four to six weeks. If realized, this would mean a third poor season of rainfall for most affected communities, if not more. This would be particularly disastrous in Somalia, where the aversion of famine hinges on good performance of the coming season.


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    Source: World Health Organization
    Country: South Sudan

    Juba, 27 March 2017— The third National Health Summit for South Sudan opened today with some 500 participants coming together to consider the challenges and opportunities of delivering health in South Sudan, and to establish a clear vision for health in the years ahead.

    Organized by the Republic of South Sudan’s Ministry of Health, the World Health Organization (WHO) is a key organizing partner. The five day event’s theme is “Harnessing Strong Partnerships for a Resilient Health System towards attainment of Universal Health Coverage.”

    Dr Riek Gai Kok, Minister of Health, convened the National Health Summit to foster common understanding on South Sudan’s new National Health Policy (2016-2026), new strategies, new financing mechanisms and new political developments to strengthen the national health system given available resources.

    State of health in South Sudan

    Ongoing conflict in South Sudan aggravates an already fragile socio-economic situation, affecting the overall health and livelihood situation further increasing the risk for communicable disease outbreaks and malnutrition. Humanitarian needs increased significantly over 2016. This was compounded in 2017 by the declaration of famine in Unity State, where 100 000 people face starvation and another 1 million are on the brink of famine.

    “We are facing an immediate crisis from famine that requires immediate action by South Sudan’s health sector,” Dr Abdulmumini Usman, the WHO Representative to South Sudan. “However, the National Health Summit also must give voice to all of the 12 million people in South Sudan because this is a country facing a myriad of health crises from conflict to disasters to disease outbreaks impacting everyone,” Dr Usman said.

    For the response to the famine, Dr Usman noted that WHO recently scaled up its response plans and is in the midst deploying additional personnel to South Sudan to help coordinate the response with the Government and partners. On the side lines of the Summit, a Famine Response Strategy is expected to be agreed to by partners.

    In South Sudan, some 5.4 million people are in need of health services, including 1.9 million internally displaced persons (IDPs), 1.4 million refugees, and 648 000 children at risk of measles, among others. Communicable diseases are a leading cause of death and disease across the country. WHO estimates that 12.3 million people in South Sudan are at risk due to disease outbreaks.

    “Cholera, measles, malaria and other communicable diseases remain the key public health threats of concern in many locations,” said Dr Usman. “People are also dying from non-communicable diseases and from lack of care and medication. Plus we must better address helping the nearly 1.5 million people needing mental health services.”

    Despite many challenges, the health sector has seen some recent successes. For example, in 2017, WHO supported the nationwide vaccination campaign against polio for 3 million children under age 5, including in famine-affected areas. WHO also recently supported a cholera vaccination campaign, including in famine-affected areas, and provided 68 967 doses of oral cholera vaccine to Unity State.

    WHO continues to work with the Ministry of Health and partners to develop local skills and knowledge, including training more than 1 300 health workers in such areas as disease detection, outbreak investigation and response. In 2016, WHO helped to identify, investigate and respond to 51 disease outbreaks out of 223 alerts, including outbreaks of cholera, measles, viral haemorrhagic fever, malaria and hepatitis E virus from multiple locations.

    A Summit for the future of South Sudan’s health

    Participation from the highest levels of the Government of the Republic of South Sudan is expected throughout. Several Ministers of Health from neighbouring countries are attending. Representatives from key donors, UN agencies, international and national non-governmental organizations, the private sector, academia, civil society and others also joined the Summit’s opening. Dr Helen Rees, WHO Chairperson for WHO’s Africa Regional Immunisation Technical Advisory Group, will act as Chair of the Summit.

    At the Summit, South Sudan’s recently approved National Health Policy (2016-2026) will be formally launched. Recognizing the weak health system and drivers of poor health, the Policy will guide efforts to improve people’s health status. The Summit serves as the place to establish a roadmap to finalize the Health Sector Strategic Plan, which will operationalize the National Health Policy.

    South Sudan’s health sector operations are extremely complex and challenging. To ensure greater coordination, identify gaps and needs, avoid unnecessary overlaps and be more cost-effective, the health sector’s coordination will be considered. Considering coordination efforts allows health sector partners to engage one another on their activities, plans and concerns. The aim is to ensure more efficient and effective approaches in more widely delivering health services across South Sudan in line with the new National Health Policy (2016-2026).

    At the Summit, partners are expected to announce a variety of pledges, announcements and commitments to support South Sudan’s health sector and the people of South Sudan.

    For more information, please contact:

    Ms. Jemila Ebrahim, WHO South Sudan, ebrahimj@who.int, +211 95 045 0007
    Mr. Wynne Boelt, WHO, boeltf@who.int, +41 79 475 55592


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    Source: World Food Programme
    Country: Mali

    Highlights

    • WFP continued to provide seasonal assistance and emergency support to 100,000 food-insecure people including displaced households and host communities affected by conflict.

    • WFP has a critical funding constraint for nutrition and school meals activities. A total of USD 40 million is urgently required to meet project needs in the next six months. Resource gaps may force WFP to cut rations and/or reduce the number of people assisted.

    Operational Updates

    • To complement the September 2016 food and nutrition security assessment, the Cadre Harmonisé was validated at the regional and national level in November 2016. It confirmed that 177,000 people are in critical need of food assistance following the harvest period. This number will increase to 495,000 people during the upcoming pastoral and agro-pastoral lean season (June-September). Nearly 3 million people will be under stress for food insecurity during this time.

    • The September 2016 Standardized Monitoring and Assessment of Relief and Transitions (SMART) survey estimated that 10.6 percent of children suffer from acute malnutrition—which is above the World Health Organization’s global acute malnutrition threshold of 10 percent. Rates in Gao and Timbuktu region are at 14.8 and 14.3 percent, respectively.

    • In total, WFP assisted 138,100 people in January 2017 through in-kind and voucher distributions, malnutrition prevention and treatment and activities, resilience-building interventions, social protection and safety net activities and support for small-scale holder farmers. The decrease in the number of assisted people is the result of the scale down of seasonal activities and of funding shortfalls.

    • While seasonal assistance ended, WFP still targeted 100,000 people affected by conflict, flooding and facing high food insecurity. In addition, 34,000 children between 6-59 months and 8,200 pregnant and nursing women received treatment for acute malnutrition.

    Challenges

    • The security situation in Kidal region and Menaka where WFP had to temporarily suspend its seasonal food assistance remains strained. While access restraints still exist, WFP managed to provide seasonal and emergency food assistance and school meals in these two regions.

    • According to flooding projections, river levels and flooding in the inland delta, which extends from Segou region to the outskirts of Timbuktu, is expected to be the highest since 1964. In addition to creating displacement, this could have an impact on both the rain-fed and recessional harvest in this very important agricultural region home to about 1.2 million people.

    Impact of Limited Funding

    • For 2017 activities, WFP has so far received USD 17.1 million (16 percent) out of the USD 106 million required. Most of these contributions are ear-marked for resilience and seasonal assistance. Life-saving activities, notably nutrition, are seriously underfunded. WFP also has critical funding constraints in the school meals programme. A total of USD 40 million is urgently required to meet PRRO needs for the next six months. Resource gaps may force WFP to cut rations and/or reduce the number of people assisted.

    • WFP Mali continues to assist 595 schools out of 965 schools previously assisted in 2015/2016 academic year. This represents a drop in the number of schoolchildren assisted, from 177,000 to 109,000. Introducing the cash transfers modality in school canteens has led to some efficiency gains. WFP Mali still needs USD 5 million to reach all schools for the 2016-2017 academic year.


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

    169.9 M required for 2017

    6.0 M contributions received, representing 4% of requirements

    163.9 M funding gap for the Nigeria Situation

    All figures are displayed in USD


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

    94.2 M required for 2017 including special situations

    5.2 M contributions received, representing 5% of requirements

    89.1 M overall funding gap for Cameroon

    All figures are displayed in USD


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

    SOUTH SUDAN

    Targeted violence against aid workers has escalated in the past two weeks. On 25 March, seven aid workers from South Sudan and Kenya were killed in a road ambush while travelling from Juba, the capital, to Pibor in Jonglei.

    This comes after two IOM staff were killed and three injured in a road ambush in Yirol county in Lakes on 14 March, which led to three humanitarian organisations engaged in cholera response in the area suspending their activities on 23 March.

    In total, 24 humanitarian workers were killed in South Sudan in 2016, up from 15 in 2015.

    Read more about South Sudan

    CHAD

    In Lac region, Fouli, high malnutrition rates have been reported in some displacement sites along Liwa-Daboua road. Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) is at 19,6%, including 4.4% Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM), underlining a deterioration since December 2016. In areas south of Bol, 40,000 people, including returnees, face a severe lack of assistance.

    The remoteness of the areas, which include islands, challenges humanitarian access and the provision of protection, WASH, shelter, health and education assistance. Resumption of military operations in Lac region since February has raised concerns about more limited humanitarian access across Lac region.

    Read more about Chad

    IRAQ

    A severe spike in civilian casualties has occurred in west Mosul. There are disputed accounts of high-casualty blasts, with fatality numbers between 160-240. It is unclear whether the cause of the blasts was IS-made booby traps, a US-led airstrike, or a combination of the two.

    The spike comes among reports of deteriorating humanitarian conditions in west Mosul, including lack of access to food, water, and medicines. Some 600,000 people are thought to be living in west Mosul, including 400,000 in the densely populated old city.

    Read more about Iraq

    Updated: 28/03/2017.
    Next GEO updated on Tuesday 04 April 2017.


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

    162.8 M required for 2017 including special situations

    4.1 M contributions received, representing 3% of requirements

    158.7 M overall funding gap for Chad

    All figures are displayed in USD


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

    The Nigeria Humanitarian Fund (NHF) is a timely and effective tool to support humanitarian action in Nigeria. It allows public and private donors to pool their contributions to enable the delivery of humanitarian life-saving assistance to the most vulnerable people.

    A NEW FUND FOR URGENT RELIEF
    The eight-year conflict in North-East Nigeria has created a deepening humanitarian crisis. Boko Haram violence and military operations continue to affect millions of people, and some 8.5 million people need urgent assistance in the worst-affected Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states. Almost 1.9 million people, of which more than half are children, have been forced to flee their homes.

    In 2017, over 70 humanitarian organizations plan to assist 6.9 million people with nutrition, food, shelter, health, education, protection and water and sanitation support. Assistance will include early recovery and livelihood interventions to help people out of crisis and back on the path to development. Public partners, relief organizations and other key stakeholders involved in the humanitarian response in Nigeria, collectively expressed support for the establishment of the NHF as a strategic and vital tool to deliver the most urgent humanitarian relief.

    In February 2017, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator launched the NHF – a Country-Based Pooled Fund (CBPF) managed by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian (OCHA) – in support of life-saving humanitarian and recovery operations.

    AN INVESTMENT IN HUMANITY

    The NHF provides an opportunity for donors to pool their contributions to deliver a stronger collective response. It will help in-country relief organizations to reach the most vulnerable people and ensure maximum impact of limited resources:

    • NHF is inclusive and promotes partnerships: Funds are directly available to a wide range of relief partners. This includes national and local non-governmental organizations (NGOs), UN Agencies and Red Cross/Red Crescent Organizations.
    • NHF is timely and flexible: It supports the delivery of an agile response in a fluid emergency.
    • NHF is efficient and accountable: It minimizes transaction costs and provides transparency and accountability. Recipient organizations are thoroughly evaluated and relief projects are monitored with regular reporting on achievements.

    COORDINATED, TIMELY ALLOCATIONS

    Under the leadership of the Humanitarian Coordinator (HC) in Nigeria, the NHF will boost the response with direct allocations to frontline responders for activities prioritized within the programmatic framework of the Nigeria Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP). This ensures that funding is available and prioritized at the local level by those closest to people in need.

    The HC is supported by the Humanitarian Country Team and the NHF Advisory Board. The advisory board includes representatives of donors, national and international NGOs and UN agencies to ensure decisions reflect the views across the humanitarian community.

    Operational support is provided by OCHA’s Humanitarian Financing Unit based in Maiduguri in Nigeria’s northeast. This set-up ensures that the NHF is managed from the epicentre of the crisis with allocation processes and monitoring close to operational partners and their projects, while maintaining a close link to strategic decision-making in the capital, Abuja. OCHA’s wider coordination activities on the ground (including needs assessments and common humanitarian planning) also help to ensure effective use of NHF funds.

    Like all CBPFs, the NHF is designed to complement other humanitarian funding sources, such as bilateral funding and the Central Emergency Response Fund.

    ABOUT CBPFs

    There are currently 18 active CBPFs globally. In 2016, they allocated more than $720 million to enable humanitarian partners to deliver lifesaving assistance to millions of people affected by natural disasters and armed conflicts. Following the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit, the UN Secretary-General stressed the critical role of CBPFs, and called on donors to increase the proportion of HRP funding channelled through CBPFs to 15 per cent by 2018. This would translate to close to $2 billion annually.

    HOW CAN YOU HELP?

    The Nigeria HRP seeks US$1.05 billion to provide life-saving assistance for 6.9 million people. In its first year of operations, the NHF aims to attract between $50-$80 million in support of the HRP. Donors are urged to contribute to the NHF and are invited to contact :

    Mr. Noel Tsekouras +234 903 781 0140 | tsekouras@un.org | nhf@unorg


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