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ReliefWeb - Updates

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    Source: International Organization for Migration
    Country: Cameroon


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    Source: International Organization for Migration
    Country: Cameroon


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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Nigeria

    Contexte

    Environ 17 millions de personnes vivent dans les régions touchées à travers les quatre pays du bassin du Lac Tchad. Le nombre de personnes déplacées a triplé au cours des deux dernières années. La plupart des familles déplacées ont été accueillies par des communautés qui comptent parmi les plus pauvres et les plus vulnérables du monde. L’insécurité alimentaire et la malnutrition ont atteint des niveaux critiques.

    Développements récents

    L'insécurité alimentaire dans la région devrait se détériorer au cours des prochains mois alors que les communautés luttant déjà contre l’adversité et de graves pénuries alimentaires traversent la saison de soudure. Les dernières évaluations de sécurité alimentaire montrent que plus de 50 000 personnes risquent la famine de juin à août dans les états de l’Adamawa, de Borno et de Yobe du nord-est du Nigeria. Quelque 5,2 millions de personnes devraient souffrir d'une grave pénurie alimentaire, un tiers d'entre eux à des niveaux d'urgence. À travers le bassin du lac Tchad, près de sept millions de personnes souffrent d’insécurité alimentaire. Un financement opportun sera nécessaire pour fournir des intrants agricoles aux communautés lors de la prochaine saison de soudure et pour réduire l'insécurité alimentaire. À la fin du mois de mars, seulement 11,2 pour cent des 1,5 milliard de dollars US requis pour couvrir les besoins les plus urgents ont été financés.

    En mars, le HCR a signalé que depuis janvier plus de 2 600 réfugiés nigérians ont été rapatriés de force du Cameroun. Les partenaires humanitaires ont exhorté les voisins du Nigeria à continuer à garder leurs frontières ouvertes pour accorder accès et asile aux personnes fuyant le conflit. Le 2 mars, le Cameroun et le Nigeria ainsi que le HCR ont signé un accord tripartite sur les rapatriements volontaires des réfugiés nigérians au Cameroun.


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    Source: Oxfam
    Country: South Sudan

    In South Sudan, the violent and brutal war has put millions at risk. Women, men and children that fled their homes in search of safety are now finding a new threat - hunger. With harvests still months away, the famine already declared in parts of the country will spread across the rest of the country, unless we act now.

    When the rains begin in April or May, conditions will become even more difficult for the people in need and for the humanitarian groups trying to reach them. Flooding makes roads and airstrips impassable and can cause a rise in cholera and other water-borne diseases.

    Nearly 5 million people - 40 percent of the population - are facing extreme hunger. "We are seeing communities now at the breaking point. In the swamps between the famine-affected areas and where Oxfam is working, we know that there are thousands of people going desperately hungry,” says Dorothy Sang, Oxfam's Humanitarian Campaign Manager in South Sudan.

    Panjiyar County, in southern Unity State, sits next to the frontline of some of the heaviest fighting we are seeing in South Sudan today. It is no coincidence that this frontline is also home to the 100,000 people who have been hit by deadly famine. Many have traveled for days on foot to reach generous host communities, who themselves are now sharing what little food they have with their neighbors waiting for that next food assistance in order to survive.

    So far, Oxfam and other humanitarian organizations have been able to help to keep famine from spreading with food distributions, clean water and other vital aid. So far, we have been distributing food to more than 415,000 people as well as providing more than 140,000 people clean water and sanitation services.

    In Nyal, Panyijar County, some of the most vulnerable people from surrounding islands arrive exhausted after hours on Oxfam canoes. They are here to register for a World Food Programme food distribution. We are using these canoes and paying canoe operators to make sure that those who are unable to pay are not left out.

    Besides providing clean water and toilets on some of the islands closest to Nyal, we are also helping both its island and mainland communities to set up vegetable gardens both to boost their own diets and to build up their livelihoods. “What concerns us most are the people we have yet to reach. The fighting means no one is able to work on the remote islands, and we are only able to send canoes up the river to help the people when we can ensure the safety of our staff,” says Sang.

    You can help

    The people of South Sudan are doing all they can to help themselves. Where the newly displaced have arrived, families are generously offering what little they have. But this is not enough. We need to get more food, clean water and other vital support to the most vulnerable people.

    We are calling for more funding to help reach people before it’s too late. You can help. Donate now.


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    Source: Handicap International
    Country: South Sudan

    In 2013, following intense fighting and fearing for his life, Uguok Ajang Goldit an 80-year-old single man living with scoliosis–a congenital deformity of the spinal column–fled his home in Malakal, South Sudan. Along with thousands of others, he sought refuge at the nearest United Nations base, which has since become a Protection of Civilians site, a place of refuge for civilians under threat of physical violence.

    At the site, humanitarian organizations provide for people’s most basic needs such as food and clean water, but as conditions are cramped–rudimentary and physically challenging–people with disabilities are at risk of being overlooked.

    Having left everything behind, Uguock found that all of his everyday tasks were challenging and time consuming. In particular, he found it difficult to walk the long distances to collect his food ration. Handicap International intervened and provided him with a tricycle that allows him to access food and healthcare more easily.

    Last week, while our “flying team” was in Malakal conducting home visits, they stopped by to visit Uguock. He showed our teams a pile of dish-hangers that he’s been making from old sacks, which he now sells to generate income.

    Handicap International also met Mary, a woman who is partially paralyzed in her lower body. When she arrived at the camp in 2013, she moved around on her hands and knees, which meant she was reliant on others to buy food and had difficulties using the toilets.

    Mary says that her life drastically changed after Handicap International provided her with a tricycle. “I can now go to church, the market, and even attend our monthly disability meetings without crawling,” she says.

    South Sudan is currently experiencing severe food shortages. In February, famine was declared in two regions in the north of the country, meaning that people are already dying from hunger and disease.

    The crisis is being described as man-made because conflict is at the root of the problem. Violence has forced people to leave their homes, their land and their livestock, leading to reduced food production and soaring prices. Many families are now completely dependent on food assistance to survive.

    As the food crisis worsens throughout the region, more people are going to find themselves in extremely challenging situations. Now more than ever, Xavier Duvauchelle, head of Handicap International’s East and Southern Africa programs says, “we must work with emergency response organizations to support them in providing essential care to people who are at risk of being excluded, including people with disabilities and older people.”

    In South Sudan, Handicap International ensures the needs of people with disabilities, older people, pregnant women, children, and others are taken into account in humanitarian programs implemented by international aid organizations.

    We plan to distribute food and water, supply rehabilitation care and provide psychological support sessions if needs are not adequately covered by humanitarian organizations already working in the field.

    HANDICAP INTERNATIONAL IN SOUTH SUDAN

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

    PRESS CONTACTS

    Mica Bevington
    +1 (240) 450-3531
    +1 (202) 290-9264
    mbevington@handicap-international.us

    Michele Lunsford
    +1 (240) 450-3538
    +1 (814) 386-3853
    mlunsford@handicap-international.us

    DONOR SERVICES
    +1 (301) 891-2138
    donorservices@handicap-international.us


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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Haiti, Iraq, Kenya, Libya, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Senegal, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, World, Yemen

    United Nations Coordinated Appeals

    • As of 31 March, United Nations Coordinated Appeals and Refugee Response Plans within the Global Humanitarian Overview (GHO) require US$23.8 billion to meet the humanitarian needs of 98.2 million crisis-affected people in 36 countries. Needs and financial requirements have increased due to the release of Flash Appeals for Kenya requesting $165.9 million, Madagascar requiring $20.1 million and Mozambique seeking $10.2 million. The appeals are funded at $3.5 billion, leaving a shortfall of $20.3 billion. Also, this period saw the release and final figures of response plans for Syria ($3.41 billion), Iraq ($984.7 million) and Ethiopia ($948.6 million).

    • In Central African Republic (CAR) humanitarian partners are withdrawing because of funding shortages, which have led to the partial suspension of food distributions since February. In Mali, 3.7 million people need life-saving humanitarian assistance this year, including 142,000 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition, and 495,000 people who will be severely food insecure during the lean season in June-August. Please see icon overleaf for information on urgent funding needs in Haiti, Libya, Myanmar, Ukraine, and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

    • One month after the Secretary-General’s call for urgent funding of $4.4 billion for priority interventions to strengthen the response and prevention of famine in north-east Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia and Yemen, donors have reported more than $800 million which is 20% of the requirements of the priorities in the Response Plans. As the situation continues to deteriorate more funding is needed: there is still time to avert catastrophe for immediate, timely and flexible funding to the humanitarian response plans.

    • The highest increase in reported funding this month is for Niger (35% increase), followed by Somalia (30% increase), South Sudan (17% increase) and Burundi (13% increase). The new Flash Appeals for Kenya, Madagascar and Mozambique all received low reported funding in their first weeks of release - less than 2% of requirements - and Senegal is yet to have funding reported against its response plan. The Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has approved $140 million for 16 countries, including $36.5 million for drought response in the Horn of Africa and $22 million to respond to Boko-Haram-related violence Nigeria. CERF also approved a $22 million loan to FAO to scale up action for famine prevention in Somalia. In March, $10 million was approved for the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and $2 million for critical priorities following Cyclone Dineo in Mozambique. For 2017, 19 countries have contributed $161 million to CERF, and $176.1 million remain as pledges. Additional commitments expected based on past contributions and current exchange rates indicate a projected funding shortfall of approximately $45 million on the $450 million annual target for 2017.

    • As of end March, country-based pooled funds (CBPFs) have received a total of $145 million (including $61 million in pledges), from 12 donors. Some $37 million have already been allocated to humanitarian partners, including $16 million in Ethiopia and $15 million in Somalia as part of the famine response. Of that amount, 60% went to international NGOs, 21% to UN organizations, and 19% directly to local and national NGOs. Another $88 million worth of project proposals are currently being reviewed across the funds. Real-time information on CBPF contributions and allocations is available on http//gms.unocha.org


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    Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation
    Country: Nigeria

    by Astrid Zweynert | azweynert | Thomson Reuters Foundation
    Friday, 7 April 2017 12:04 GMT

    "The problem for small farmers in Nigeria, and all over Africa, is economies of scale, no matter how hard they work"

    By Astrid Zweynert

    OXFORD, England, April 7 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Making farming in Nigeria profitable and an attractive livelihood can break the cycles of poverty and unemployment that leave young people vulnerable to extremism, according to the head of a social enterprise working with small farmers.

    Low yields and lack of market access trap many smallholder farmers in poverty and drive young people into cities in the hope of finding jobs, putting them at risk of being lured by extremists, said Kola Masha, managing director of Babban Gona.

    Nigeria's north-east, which is dominated by farming, has been poor for decades and an Islamist insurgency by Boko Haram has exacerbated problems with the region facing a severe lack of food as many farmers have been unable to plant crops.

    To break that cycle Babban Gona - which means "great farm" - aims to turn thousands of subsistence farmers in northern Nigeria into commercial growers by giving them with everything they need from training and credit to seeds and marketing.

    "The problem for small farmers in Nigeria, and all over Africa, is economies of scale, no matter how hard they work," Masha told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

    Smallholders produce more than 70 percent of the world's food but their work needs to be commercially viable to make sure they can feed the growing global population, experts say.

    "We're trying to solve this challenge by helping to build thousands of grassroots level farmer cooperatives and supporting each member with services they need to be highly productive commercial farmers," Masha said.

    More than 13,000 Babban Gona smallholders have doubled their yields thanks to the project and increased their net income by 3.5 times that of the average farmer.

    While Africa's recent commodity boom has seen the continent's economies grow fast, few jobs have been created and youth unemployment is estimated to be up to 50 percent in Nigeria, Africa's most populous country.

    Finding jobs is pressing as the continent's youth population is forecast to almost double by 2050 and one in two Africans will be under the age of 25, according to the United Nations.

    Masha said if small-scale farming can be made profitable, millions of young people could be attracted to the sector.

    "Farming is a job creation engine that has the potential to draw millions of young people into the sector as entrepreneurs," said Masha, who was awarded the $1.25 million Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship 2017 this week that recognises business leaders whose organisations are having social impact.

    "That will also make it harder for extremists to recruit them," said Masha, who also heads Doreo Partners, an agriculture focused, African impact investing firm.

    "The next big step is to replicate Babban Gona across West Africa, and then maybe even Southeast Asia," he said.

    (Reporting by Astrid Zweynert @azweynert , Editing by Belinda Goldsmith; 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: International Organization for Migration
    Country: Nigeria

    Executive Summary

    The Round XV of the Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) Assessment Report by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is aimed at creating a better understanding of the scope of displacement and assess the needs of aected populations in conict-aected states of northeast Nigeria. The report covers the period of 15 February to 31 March 2017 and includes six most-aected states of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe.

    The data collected in this report is coming from dierent DTM tools used by enumerators in various administrative levels, i.e. Local Government Area (LGA), ward and displacement sites.
    Data was collected via interviews with key informants such as representatives of the administration, community leaders, religious leaders and humanitarian aid workers. To ensure data accuracy, assessments were conducted and cross checked with various key informants.

    In this round of assessment, 80,494 people were interviewed to arrive at the demographic prole, reasons for displacement, changes in percentages of IDPs over time, origin, dwelling types and unfullled needs of the displaced people. This sample represents 5% of the identied internally displaced persons (IDP).

    To better understand the needs of the aected population, this report includes site assessments carried out in 207 displacement sites (camps, collective and transit centers) covering 592,453 displaced individuals or 111,551 households.

    The assessment was also conducted in 1,845 sites where IDPs were staying with host communities, covering 1,240,290 individuals or 214,459 households.

    Site assessment details the locations and numbers of IDPs. The report also presents an analysis of sectors like shelter and non-food Items, water and sanitation situations, availability of personal hygiene facilities, waste disposal, food and nutrition, health and education facilities, livelihood, protection and communication means. Lastly, the report includes assessment of returnees and their shelter conditions.

    Background

    The escalation of Boko Haram violence in 2014 resulted in mass displacement around northeastern Nigeria. To better understand the scope of displacement and assess the needs of affected populations in northeast Nigeria, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) started implementing its Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) program in September 2014 in collaboration with the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the State Emergency Management Agencies (SEMAs). IOM’s DTM is used in countries around the world to track displacement caused by natural disasters and conflict.

    The main objective of the DTM in northeastern Nigeria is to support the Nigerian government and humanitarian partners in establishing a comprehensive system to collect, analyze and disseminate data on (IDPs) in order to provide assistance to the population affected by the insurgency. Staff from IOM, NEMA, SEMAs and the Nigerian Red Cross Society (NRCS) collect data in the eld, including baseline information at LGA-level and ward-level and conduct detailed assessments in displacement sites, like camps and collective centers, and in host communities where IDPs were living. IOM’s DTM program is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Office (ECHO) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA). NEMA also provides financial support.


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    Source: Air Serv International
    Country: Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Yemen

    Air Serv has joined a coalition of 43 InterAction member organizations asking the support of the United States Congress in responding to unprecedented famine conditions currently facing four countries. A letter signed by these organizations requesting that $1 billion in emergency funding be provided in 2017 for response and relief efforts was sent to Representatives Graham, Rogers, Leahy, Lowey, Cochran, McConnell, Ryan, Frelinghuysen, Schumer, and Pelosi on April 5, 2017.

    Simultaneous famines in Somalia, South Sudan, Yemen, and North East Nigeria are projected to affect more than 20 million people. In addition to starvation and high death tolls, these countries also face the threat of destabilization and economic failure, resulting mass displacement and refugee status for millions. Emergency funding would allow relief organizations to address the current threat, reducing the number of lives lost as well as long-term impact.

    Committed to mobilizing its members to work collectively for change, InterAction is an alliance network made up of more than 180 nongovernmental organizations headquartered in Washington D.C.

    With a fleet of seven Cessna Caravans, Air Serv specializes in “last mile”air transportation in support of humanitarian programs. Air Serv also provides commercial air charter, facilities, aircraft maintenance, and consultation services. For more information about Air Serv, see www.airserv.org and follow Air Serv on FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/airservintl/.


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

    169.9 M required for 2017

    22.9 M contributions received, representing 13% of requirements

    147.0 M funding gap for the Nigeria Situation

    All figures are displayed in USD


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    Source: Sudan Tribune
    Country: South Sudan

    April 8, 2017 (BOR) - To improve livelihoods of the people, alienate poverty and prevent looming famine, the governor of South Sudan’s Jonglei state on Friday declared mass farming for all the people.

    The farming season in the region commences next month.

    The state governor, Philip Aguer was addressing parliament during the reopening of the state assembly after months on recess.

    Thousands of people in Bor now rely on World Food Program for unconditional food normally distributed in Mingkaman of Awerial county. Many still suffer from hunger and poverty in villages.

    To combat hunger and poverty, the government urged the state population to embark on farming so as to reduce the hunger gap.

    “For us to increase our production, to combat hunger and poverty, I am again declaring that every family from governor to a worker here in Jonglei must have a farm this year and I am instructing all the commissioners from Bor, Twic and Duk counties to provide agriculture land for government officials for farming,” Aguer said.

    Jonglei state government farm of more 1,000 hectares did not produce enough last year, due to irregularities in the rain patterns.

    However, the state governor remains optimistic that agriculture production will help reduce the poverty catastrophe in the region.

    “In the area of agriculture, the challenges of heavy rains and birds had watered down the efforts of our hard-working farmers from Kolnyang to Duk in the last seasons”, he said.

    Aguer also instructed the minister of agriculture to make sure that each person secures a farm and supervises farming activities. Last year, many people cultivated crops, but their outcomes were destroyed by different, pests, birds and floods.

    Insecurity caused by raiders and child abductors from Murle remains a challenge to the low crop production, which the two state governments want to address through peaceful dialogue.

    (ST)


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    Source: World Health Organization, Government of Nigeria, Health Cluster
    Country: Nigeria

    HIGHLIGHTS

    • Despite security challenges in Borno state, more than 14,000 volunteers were deployed to vaccinate 1.9 million children under 5-years old against wild poliovirus. The exercise, which is the first nationwide campaign against polio this year, took place from 25 to 29 March 2017. WHO and partners have trained 1,817 house-to-house, 410 fixed posts and 362 transit teams in addition to 150 health camps across 206 wards in all local government areas (LGAs) except Abadam and Marte due to insecurity.

    • Risk of disease outbreaks looms as temperatures continue to rise over the coming weeks and months. For instance, the rainy season in April will further heighten the risk of cholera and meningitis epidemics and cases of malaria.

    • More than 84 Mobile Health Teams are operational across accessible areas in Borno state providing health services to the affected population.

    • According to the Cadre Harmonisé report released in March, more than 50,000 people could experience famine-like conditions across the North-East from June to August. Food insecurity in the region is projected to rise to 5.2 million people in the three most affected states in the coming months

    Situation update:

    Boko Haram insurgency continues in the form of suicide bombings (PIED) and armed attacks resulting in casualties especially in the surrounding villages, military locations and IDPs camps in Maiduguri. As of 22 March 2017, it was reported that PBIED attack occurred at Gulumba IDP Camp in Muna Dalti. In Gulumba IDPs Camp, security sources reported that an attack likely involved PBIEDs, which detonated, causing injuries and death.

    There were reportedly 20 casualties, 4 dead including the PBIEDs and 14 injured.

    Humanitarian access remains a great challenge, and humanitarian partners are also gearing up for the upcoming rainy season to mitigate risks for response delivery. While humanitarian partners have scaled up emergency response in all sectors, gaps remain and new needs continue to emerge in outlying areas due to population movements and returns from inside the Borno sate and neighboring countries Niger, Chad and Cameroon.

    According to the Cadre Harmonisé report released in March, more than 50,000 people could experience famine-like conditions across the North-East from June to August. Food insecurity in the region is projected to rise to 5.2 million people in the three most affected states in the coming months. Borno state will be worst affected, with 43,066 persons expected to be in Phase 5, followed by the states of Adamawa (3,690) and Yobe (3,295). Ongoing conflict and attacks have prevented farmers from growing crops for over three consecutive years triggering severe food crisis in the largely agrarian region. The Cadre Harmonisé (CH) is the current regional framework for consensual analysis of food insecurity situations. It aims to prevent food insecurity in West and Central Africa and includes the participation of Governments, UN Agencies, NGOs and donors. Food availability is expected to decline normally towards The recommendations of the framework analysis highlight the need to scale up the emergency humanitarian assistance to improve food and nutrition security situation, save lives and protect livelihood conditions. The framework also suggests to strengthen the ongoing responses to malnutrition in the sixteen states, particularly in the three north east States before the next lean season. Improvement of food access for the poorest people especially those living in the remote areas is also a priority for the humanitarian actors.

    Responding to the health needs in remote areas, 84 mobile teams are operational with the support of Federal Ministry of Health, WHO and Health Sector Partners in Borno state. The teams are regularly working in communities and health facilities delivering essential health care including treatment of minor ailments, safe deliveries, nutrition screening, and health promotion across 23 accessible LGAs.
    Some of the health partners have started their interventions in the rehabilitation or renovation of health facilities where the health facilities are non-functional due to damages to the infrastructure and assets.
    Population displacement and return are ongoing as for the last few weeks there is a continuous daily influx of IDPs in Dikwa LGA due to which the total population caseload has reached to 150,000 people in both camps and host community. The influx is from Bama, Ngala and surrounding villages of Dikwa LGA. Like other services health services are also overstretched. People are living in congested environment in camps and some host communities which create public health risk in terms of disease outbreak. Disease surveillance and monitoring of health situation is an urgent priority. WHO surveillance team is in touch with the state MoH to improve disease surveillance and reporting from Dikwa. Shelter and CCCM sectors are struggling to provide additional shelter support to the new arrivals and improve the living condition of people specially in the camps. ICRC, UNICEF, WHO, FHI-360 and Federal government mobile medical teams are providing health services in Dikwa. UNICEF is supporting three PHC centers including one MCH center in host community and two health clinics in IDP camps.

    WHO has deployed a Hard to Reach team providing health services in the surrounding host communities. The referral services are not enough to cater the needs of additional caseload of IDPs.


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    Source: World Health Organization, Government of Nigeria
    Country: Nigeria


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    Source: European Commission's Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations
    Country: Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Mali

    AMOUNT: EUR 13 000 000

    The present Humanitarian Implementation Plan (HIP) was prepared on the basis of financing decision ECHO/WWD/BUD/2017/01000 (Worldwide Decision)1 and the related General Guidelines for Operational Priorities on Humanitarian Aid (Operational Priorities). The purpose of the HIP and its annex is to serve as a communication tool for ECHO's partners and to assist in the preparation of their proposals. The provisions of the Worldwide Decision and the General Conditions of the Agreement with the European Commission shall take precedence over the provisions in this document.

    1. CONTEXT

    ECHO Flight is a vital service for most humanitarian partner organizations operating in some regions of Africa, as it would simply not be possible to implement many humanitarian projects without this service. ECHO Flight aims to open up humanitarian access by providing a dedicated, efficient, safe and costeffective humanitarian air transport services to remote locations that would otherwise be cut off from the rest of the world.

    The ECHO Flight action is implemented on the basis of a service contract. A framework contract ("contrat en cascade") was signed in 2014 with the two winners of the tender. Individual requests for service (or "bons de commande") are made to the first-ranked winner, namely DAC Aviation International Ltd, Kenya based operator. This company is currently providing and operating the planes required for the ECHO Flight operations.

    In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) there are no regular, safe and reliable links, neither by air nor overland, between major population centres such as Goma, Bunia, Kalémie, Lubumbashiand Kinshasa or between the many remote destinations, particularly in North and South Kivu, Province Orientale, Maniema, Equateur, Katanga and Kasai.

    In Northern/Eastern Kenya and Mali, ECHO Flight serves remote field destinations that are not easily accessible and are not yet covered by reliable commercial air operators or where road access is deemed unsafe.

    ECHO Flight also contributes to humanitarian projects along the Ethiopian and Somali borders via destinations operated within Kenya and is available for ad hoc mission in neighboring countries as in Uganda, South Sudan, Somalia and Central African Republic. Due to the humanitarian situation in Northern Uganda regular flights to Arua could be implemented in 2017.


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    Source: World Health Organization, UN Children's Fund, Government of Nigeria
    Country: Nigeria

    Highlights

    • Reactive vaccination campaign started on the 5th of April 2017 in Zamfara State with massive turnout in all the targeted communities

    • A joint team of NCDC, NPHCDA and partners is supporting the reactive vaccination campaign and outbreak response in Zamfara State

    • Meningitis outbreaks are currently reported in 19 States with five States mostly affected (Zamfara, Katsina, Kebbi and Sokoto in the North-West zone and Niger in the North-Central zone of Nigeria)

    • The most common serotype is Neisseria meningitidis serotype C (Nm C)

    • As at 5th April 2017, a total of 3,959 cases with 438 deaths have been reported, with 181 laboratory confirmed cases. The apparent increase in number of cases is as a result of intensified case-finding going on in the affected States.

    • Meningitis EOC has deployed personnel to support response activities in the five most affected States


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    Source: Guardian
    Country: Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan

    Here we are again. Famine is back. Drought in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya, and the Disasters Emergency Committee has launched an appeal for east Africa. We are being reminded there is one last chance to stop utter devastation in South Sudan. More and more horror reveals itself as areas are taken back from Boko Haram by the Nigerian army.

    Outside Africa, across the Gulf of Aden, we are seeing the little bodies of children wasting away in Yemen.

    Aid professionals like me have done a bad job of explaining the reasons behind fragility and crisis.

    Read the full article on the Guardian


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    Source: Norwegian Refugee Council
    Country: South Sudan

    Children and others in a community visited by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) in South Sudan are resorting to extreme coping techniques of eating leaves from trees as food runs out, even in crisis areas where famine has not been declared.

    “Eating barely edible wild foods is a coping strategy for communities trying to survive a food crisis,” said NRC’s Country Director in South Sudan, Rehana Zawar. “The bitter leaves eaten by families we spoke to are from the Lalop tree, and have limited nutritional value. When families eat these leaves and little else, malnutrition quickly follows.”

    NRC has emergency teams on the ground, and since the declaration of famine in parts of the country the organisation has helped support more than 100,000 people affected by the food crisis.

    “Children are eating leaves off the trees,” said Bhakita Abuk Deng (47) in Amothic village. “Children are suffering because there is not enough food to eat. Some of the children have diarrhoea from eating the leaves,” she said, concerned for the health of her seven children.

    “About 40 per cent of the people in Amothic are eating tree leaves. About half of the village are eating their seed stocks too,” said Deng Yel Piol (48) the village chief of Amothic. This is alarming, as Amothic is largely a farming community, and there will be few seeds to plant next growing season.

    In this remote region of South Sudan, the food crisis has hit Amothic in Aweil Centre County hard. While famine has already been declared in Leer and Mayendit counties to the south, villages outside Aweil are also running out of food.

    Formerly known as the state of Northern Bahr el Ghazal, the counties which make up this region are currently in the ‘crisis’ phase or ‘emergency’ phase of food security; the latter is one level short of famine. This region previously was the site of a famine in 1998.

    In areas where famine has already hit, some families have been eating wild water lilies, or seeds to survive. The consumption of seeds is especially alarming. Without seeds for cultivation, families will have nothing to plant for the next growing season. This could worsen the food crisis, and threaten to spread the famine to adjacent areas.

    Across much of the country, household access to food and cash income has declined as conflict has disrupted planting, harvesting and other livelihood activities, according to food security experts, FEWSNET.

    Families are fleeing the region in search of food, with many crossing into Sudan. Over 35,000 people have already fled South Sudan and crossed the border to Sudan this year, according to UNHCR.

    “The problem here is hunger, and the lack of food,” said Deng Luol Mou (72) a market vendor. “This has caused many problems. It causes sickness. Some people become ill because there is no nutritious food to eat. If it continues like this, people will go to Sudan. But others that cannot go, the old and vulnerable, something worse can happen to them. They could die, because they have no food.”

    “International donors need to provide more funding for emergency aid for South Sudan to stop the famine and food crisis escalating,” said Rehana Zawar. “We have a catastrophe occurring right before our eyes, and the time to act and stop this crisis from spreading is now.”

    The aid appeal for South Sudan requires $1.6 billion to support people in need. So far only 18 per cent of the appeal has been funded.

    Notes to editors:

    • South Sudan ranks among the countries with the highest levels of conflict-induced population displacement globally.
    • Over 1.6 million people are displaced inside the country, and more than 900,000 have fled to neighbouring countries since December 2013.
    • 6 million people - more than half South Sudan´s population - need humanitarian assistance.
    • Over 4.8 million people in South Sudan will face severe food shortages over the coming months, and the risk of a hunger catastrophe continues to threaten parts of the country.
    • For an explanation on the technical definition of famine see: http://bit.ly/2lRUNuO
    • For an explanation on food insecurity Integrated Phase Classification (IPC) levels see: http://www.fews.net/IPC
    • NRC previously supported a food-for-assets programme in Amothic, which resulted building a new village access road, and improved food availability for community members. NRC is seeking additional funding to support the region.

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    Source: UN Mission in South Sudan
    Country: South Sudan

    UNMISS “Protection of Civilians” (PoC) Sites

    • As of 31 March 2017, a total of number of civilians seeking safety in six Protection of Civilians (PoC) sites located on UNMISS bases is 218,653 including 121,225 in Bentiu, 30,559 in Malakal, 38,833 in Juba UN House, 1,956 in Bor, 651 in Melut and 179 in Wau, in Western Bahr El Ghazal adjusted area 25,250.

    0 0

    Source: World Food Programme
    Country: Nigeria


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    Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
    Country: South Sudan

    Two years of fighting kept farmers from their fields. Now chronic hunger is forcing increasing numbers of people to make risky journeys in search of help.

    Sitting on the swept dirt floor, 31 people who fled home after years of war left them with nothing to eat take turns chewing at the dry flesh of a palm nut.

    They are mostly mothers with young children, and one older man at the back anxiously cradling his sick son. Everyone looks gaunt and bewildered, and this might be their only meal today, but at least here they are safe. “There is still little food, and the children are still sick, but there is no gunfire,” says Nyepach Benyluok, who guessed her age at 25.

    They walked for a week to escape a place in the grip of one of the world’s worst hunger crises, where three-quarters of a million people today survive mostly on wild plants, water lilies, and swampfish: South Sudan’s Unity State.

    They are among 2.4 million people across the country officially classified as facing a ‘crisis’ or ‘emergency’ of food insecurity, according to Fewsnet, the global body mandated to monitor such situations. Of those, 1.6 million are displaced from their homes either because of the war, or the hunger that followed, or both.

    Conflict and persecution pushed record numbers of people around the world to flee by the end of 2014: 59.5 million, according to the UN’s Refugee Agency. While the root causes of displacement vary, there is little sign that the trend slowed in 2015.

    South Sudan, the world’s youngest country, was thrown back into war on 15 December 2013, when months of political tensions erupted into a gun fight between rival factions of the presidential guard. Spreading violence first led people to abandon their homes and villages, but sustained hunger with little hope of harvests to ease their suffering sent them on the long, risky walks to safety far away.

    “The hunger and the fighting became so bad, there was nothing left to eat at all.”

    In October, a report from 12 humanitarian agencies operating in South Sudan, including the UN’s World Food Programme and the Food and Agriculture Organization, said 80 per cent more people here were “severely food and nutrition insecure” than the year before.

    In the worst-affected areas, including the parts of Unity State that Benyluok and her group fled, “humanitarian action [was] urgently needed to prevent escalating malnutrition and death”, warned the report, from the South Sudan Technical Working Group for food security analysis.

    Yet since then, aid agencies have not been able to work freely where they are most needed. Fresh fighting erupted in Leer, Unity’s capital soon after the report was published. Skirmishes continued elsewhere. Monitors report repeated violations of a peace deal agreed in August.

    By now, the situation has likely become worse. “Food insecurity is likely to deteriorate significantly from January through March,” in Unity and two other states, Upper Nile and Jonglei, Fewsnet warned.

    That is why it was time to leave, according to Benyluok. “The hunger and the fighting became so bad, there was nothing left to eat at all,” she says. “There was no choice but to come here, even though we are still hungry, and the children are sick, and we have nothing, not even a mat to sleep on at night.”

    Nyawich Bangot sits nearby and nods in agreement, her baby daughter listless in her lap. “There were so many random killings: men were killed randomly, even children were killed randomly,” she says. “Our houses with our food stored inside were all destroyed, food we grew with our own hands to keep us going during the hard times.

    “The children are sick and we have nothing.”

    “Without that, there was no way to survive. We realised we had to go. Even on the way, people collapsed because they were weak from a lack of food, but you cannot stop to help them, they were too many. Many people were left in the bush.”

    This group of 31 people are among a trickle of about 350 individuals who recently reached the relative safety of Rumbek, the capital of Lakes State, a week’s walk south of Unity’s worst-affected regions.

    More are likely on their way. The fighting, between forces loyal to South Sudan’s president and those allied to his former vice-president, mean farmers have repeatedly failed to plant crops. Harvests were now one-tenth of normal yields in some parts of Unity, Fewsnet found.

    Its South Sudan Food Security Outlook for October 2015 to March 2016 reported market prices had sky-rocketed over the previous 12 months. Sorghum, a staple here, more than doubled in price in Rumbek, and was 140 per cent more expensive in the national capital, Juba.

    A fall in the value of the South Sudan Pound against the US dollar, coupled with a scarcity of fuel, has made hauling in goods prohibitively expensive. Few people have money to spend anyway, and most markets in Unity, Jonglei and Upper Nile are closed.

    Studies found acute malnutrition rates in conflict-affected areas were already “extremely high” at between 20 and 34 per cent, more than twice the World Health Organization’s “emergency” threshold of 15 per cent. “Mortality rates are likely to rise,” up to March, Fewsnet stated.

    “On the way, people collapsed because they were weak from a lack of food.”

    “People arrive here hungry, thirsty and exhausted, and some are ill,” says Kannavee Suebsang, who heads UNHCR’s field office in Rumbek. The agency provides people displaced inside South Sudan with what they need to set up a temporary home: pots, pans, and plates, plastic sheeting for shelter, blankets, sleeping mats, water cans and mosquito nets.

    Sustained funding to UN appeals was crucial to help people like Benyluok, and Bangot, and their families and friends who made it to Rumbek, Suebsang said. Three days after the group arrived, they were registered by government officials, the first stage in providing the emergency help they walked all this way to find.

    “UNHCR and its partners cannot yet access these places where these people are coming from to help,” Suebsang says. “We’re expecting a lot more people to make the journey here in the coming weeks.”


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