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ReliefWeb - Updates

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    Source: International Institute of Tropical Agriculture
    Country: Nigeria

    Nigerian farmers have commended the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) for giving them improved cassava planting materials.

    The dissemination of the improved varieties is part of efforts by the Nigerian government under the Agricultural Transformation Agenda to boost cassava production and the incomes of farmers.

    In Benue State, home to cassava production, farmers say they anticipate good yield from cassava this year, thanks to the availability of improved planting materials.

    “With these improved varieties, we are hopeful of improved yield,” says Och’ Otukpo, His Royal Highness, Dr John Eimonye.

    “We commend IITA and the federal government for initiating this program,” he added.

    Another farmer, Mr. Boniface Eyimoga, who cultivated 15 hectares of cassava with improved varieties, noted that the program is already making positive impact.

    “As soon as we cultivated cassava, several people in the community joined. There is a kind of positive influence that the program is having on cassava growing areas. More people are seeing the potential in cassava and they want to be part of it,” he explained.

    He lauded the initiative, adding that it would create more opportunities for the youths and women in the communities.

    “When we talk of agricultural revolution, this is one of the ways to achieve it. It is a step in the right direction,” he emphasized.

    Like in Benue State, several parts of Nigeria last year received improved planting materials.

    In the last 45 years, IITA working with national partners have developed more than 40 improved cassava varieties with potential yield ranging from 20 to 40 tons per hectare as opposed to traditional varieties that give farmers less than 10 tons per hectare.

    Dr Richardson Okechukwu, scientist who coordinates cassava transformation activities at IITA, said the deployment of the varieties would help Nigeria to maintain its leadership position in Africa, and create wealth for farmers. It will also ensure that the demand for roots by industries does not affect food security of Nigeria.

    “We are glad that farmers are getting these varieties across the country,” he added.

    In the early 2000, IITA played a similar role under the Presidential Initiative on Cassava. At that time, the Institute backstopped the cassava value chain in the country, and provided farmers access to improved planting materials. These efforts pushed cassava production by 10 million tons in six years, making Nigeria the largest producer of cassava.

    Dr Kenton Dashiell, IITA Deputy Director General for Partnerships and Capacity Development, said that IITA would continue to deploy its technologies to help the country maintain its lead in cassava production.

    “What we are looking at in this project is to narrow the yield gap” Dr Dashiell said.

    He added that farmers were key stakeholders in the cassava transformation program of the government, and that IITA recognizes them in its research agenda. ###

    For information, please contact:

    Godwin Atser, g.atser@cgiar.org


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    Source: Oxfam
    Country: Mali
    • Latest estimates indicate that household food stocks in and around Gao will only last few weeks.
    • Most markets and shops are closed, food supplies severely disrupted and stocks low.
    • Food prices have risen by nearly 20 percent in just two weeks.

    Food is getting scarce in many of the markets in parts of the Gao region of northern Mali and stocks are likely to end in few weeks, according to Oxfam.

    Communities have been facing shortages since last year’s drought and conflict and will struggle to afford or even to find enough food to eat if the Algerian border and roads remain closed and the north remains inaccessible.

    “Communities are effectively cut off and if the situation continues then food stocks in the area will only last few weeks. Things are set to get worse for people who cannot or do not wish to leave and have been living in incredibly tough circumstances for almost a year” said Philippe Conraud, Oxfam Country Director in Mali.

    The situation is acute in rural markets, in areas where people depend upon their livestock, and where a large part of Northern Mali’s population live. These markets, only supplied once a week, are no longer operating as usual and people are finding it difficult to sell their animals to get the cash they need.

    Many traders have moved their remaining stocks from Gao to villages and communes outside of the town. Many have left Mali completely.

    As current fighting moves north there is a growing fear that Gao will be the next center of conflict – forcing more people to flee their homes into areas where there will be limited access to food, drinking water and medical care.

    A precarious future

    They face a precarious future with few options of escape as the main public transportation services to the South and neighboring Niger has been suspended since the past 10 days.

    “Most people left in the area are those who cannot afford to leave. If people are to receive urgently needed aid then humanitarian organisations need to be allowed into the conflict-affected zones. Borders with neighboring countries should be kept open and critical supply routes for food accessible. If help does not arrive soon then we may be seeing the start of a major humanitarian emergency,” added Mr. Conraud.

    Key findings of the Oxfam assessment:

    • The food crises in 2011-2012 meant that staple food trade flows from the south (Bamako, Burkina Faso and Niger) were severely disrupted as early as October - November 2011. Staple cereals, such as millet, have not been available on local markets for nearly a year, and had been replaced since early 2012 by rice, couscous and wheat flour, mainly from Algeria. Oil and sugar are also imported from Algeria. Following military intervention in early January 2013, these food supplies have once again been severely disrupted by the closure of the main road to the south and the Algerian border, and limited cross-border trade with Niger.
    • Many traders have moved and/or sold out their remaining stocks from Gao to villages and communes outside of the town. The majority has left Mali completely. For the first time since the conflict started, all the major traders of Gao are reported to have gone. They are directly - and possibly for the long run - affected by the current military operations.
    • The main markets in Gao town have been disrupted, and many others are closed. There were closed for four days following air strikes and are not well stocked. Gao three quarters of shops selling food are closed. These shops also supply rural markets in the area that are crucial for the survival of pastoralist communities – who are the vast majority of northern Mali’s population- outside of the main cities along the Niger river.
    • Food prices have risen by nearly 20 percent since military intervention in early January. Before the intervention a 50-kilogram bag of rice cost US$34. In just two weeks the price has risen to US$41 and rice becomes increasingly rare.
    • There is very limited cash circulating in the local economy. The banking system has been shut down since armed groups took control of northern Mali last year. Traditional methods of bringing cash into the north, including remittances from family members that many residents depend on, are not functioning. Those with money live in fear of being robbed. Lack of money also means that pastoralists, whose only source of income is to sell small ruminants, have nothing to rely on. Gao was already classified as one of the most food insecure areas of Mali before the current military intervention and is one of the areas with the highest malnutrition rates in Mali. Malnutrition among children under five already stands at 15.2 percent , which is the emergency threshold set by the World Health Organization.
    • Livestock herders are keeping their animals further away from the town to limit the risk of theft, but access to pasture areas and surface water is limited because of insecurity.
    • Families usually buy most of their food, but their sources of income and purchasing power have diminished over the last year– in relation to rising food prices. – The presence of armed groups has meant that many sources of income have been disrupted, and people are not able to earn as much money as before. In addition, most of the traditional coping strategies, such as selling assets or going into debt, have already been exhausted and households have nothing to rely on.

    Contact Information For more information or to arrange an interview contact: Habibatou Gologo - Bamako - hgologo@oxfam.org.uk +223 66 75 2553 Irina Fuhrmann - Ouagadougou - ifuhrmann@intermonoxfam.org + 226 75 42 0508 Valerie Batselaere - Niger - valerie.batselaere@oxfamnovib.ne +227 97 66 1481 Ian Bray - Oxford - ibray@oxfam.org.uk +44 7721 461 339


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    Source: ECOWAS
    Country: Mali

    The ECOWAS Committee of Chiefs of Defence Staff (CDDS) ended its one-day emergency meeting on 26th January 2013 in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire agreeing on the acceleration of the deployment of additional forces of the African-led Support Mission to Mali (AFISMA).

    Further contributions from Member States that have been validated for AFISMA forces now stand at 5,700.

    The meeting, among others, also agreed on the establishment of an emergency budget for the AFISMA Headquarters and the acceleration of United Nations support for the forces.

    In addition, the Defence Chiefs validated the establishment of a seven-nation sub-committee to accelerate decision-making on “simple issues” and oversee the validation and arbitration processes of the force generation in connection with AFISMA Headquarters, as well as report on the build-up of AFISMA forces to ECOWAS political authorities.

    Cote d’Ivoire, as Chair of the CCDS, will head the sub-committee which other members include the Emergency Troop-contributing Countries (Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria and Togo), Senegal – as the country with “a strong contribution” and Mali, as the country serving as the theatre of operations.

    According to the report of the CDDS, the term of office of the sub-committee ends with the conclusion of AFISMA’s forces generation process.

    In attendance at the meeting were the Special Representative of the President of the ECOWAS Commission in Mali, the AFISMA Force Commander, the Chief of Staff and Police Commissioner of AFISMA.

    Others included the Chiefs of Police and Gendarmerie Services from Benin, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo who participated as representatives of police contributing countries.

    The Minister reporting to the President of the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire in charge of Defense, Mr. Paul Koffi Koffi, addressed the meeting, which was chaired by Cote d’Ivoire’s Chief of Defence Staff, General Soumaila Bakayoko.


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

    Relief Food Update

    As of 23 January, distribution of seventh round relief food, targeting 2.8 million people countrywide, reached 84 per cent. Dispatch of the “bridging” round, targeting 1.5 million people in Afar, Amhara, Oromia, Somali and Harari Regions, reached 33 per cent as of the same date, including 47 per cent to areas covered by the Disaster Risk Management and Food Security Sector (DRMFSS), 28 per cent to areas covered by the NGO consortium joint emergency operation (JEOP) and 17 per cent to WFP-covered areas. Beneficiaries in areas covered by WFP (Somali Region) and JEOP will receive a full basket and full ration, while those in areas covered by the DRMFSS will receive a half-ration of vegetable oil and full rations of all other commodities. For more information, contract wfp.addisababa@wfp.org

    WASH Update

    A multi-agency rapid assessment in Barey woreda (Afder zone, Somali Region), conducted from 13 to 17 January, has verified the reported drought conditions that have prompted serious water shortages and high levels of malnutrition in parts of the woreda. According to the assessment team, an immediate start to water trucking is required in two of the five kebeles identified by the local authorities as ‘priority 1 water hot-spots’, including Dudun and Harhodey. In total, 15 kebeles were identified as water hot-spots: five “priority 1” kebeles requiring water trucking in February; six “priority 2” kebeles likely to need water trucking from early March; and four ‘priority 3” kebeles where water supplies are expected to last through the end of March. The NGO ADRA will start operating two trucks in Garily and Guled-Dhere kebeles, while ADHORN will cover the other “priority 1” kebeles. The Somali Region Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Bureau (DPPB) also reported critical water shortages in several other parts of the Region. The preliminary report of the recently concluded joint assessment in Siti zone indicates water trucking need in Gurgur and Hariso kebeles of Hadagala woreda by the first week of February, and in Eleheley, Sinuchief, Biyogurgur and Biyodidley kebeles of Ayisha woreda; Bisle and Hadkale kabeles of Shinile woreda; and Biyo-Gara kebele of Hadagala woreda by the end of February. Similar joint assessments are/will be conducted in Nogob, Shabelle, Liben and Afder zones to identify water trucking needs.

    Meanwhile, 16 water trucks are operating in several chronically water-insecure parts of the country, including in Afar (four trucks in Elidar, two in Kori and one in Dubti woredas of zone1; two trucks in Bidu and one in Erebti woredas of zone 2; and one truck in Yalo woreda of zone 4), Oromia (one truck each in Kumbi woreda of East Harerge zone and Dawe Serer woreda of Bale zone) and Tigray (one truck each in Edaga Arbi woreda of Central, Erob woreda of Eastern and Raya Azebo woreda of Southern zones) Regions. The Gambella Town mechanical water system is rehabilitated and has started providing water to residents on 12 January. Gambella Town had been without water since the beginning of December, with the majority of residents relying on the Baro River for all personal and household water needs. To prevent the outbreak of water-related disease, IRC donated 96,000 sachets of water purification chemicals and 500 buckets for distribution by the Regional Water and Energy Bureau to the most vulnerable. For more information, contact awesterbeek@unicef.org

    Refugee Update

    The Dollo Ado area of Somali Region saw a sudden surge in refugee influx from Somalia starting from mid- November, with a total of 9,816 new arrivals registered in November and December, compared to 770 in October and 1,709 in September. The majority of the refugees are from Gedo, with some coming from Bakol Regions of Somalia. Insecurity and failed rains in November that disrupted their livelihoods, are reasons commonly cited for their flight. The new refugees came with few personal belongings and are generally in good health. Core relief items are pre-positioned for some 15,000 refugees, although there is a critical shortage of tents in stock. The new arrivals will be accommodated in metal frame dome shelters and tarpaulins. With a combined population of over 183,258 refugees, all the five camps are quickly reaching their expanded capacities making the establishment of the 6th camp an urgent priority. In Beneshangul Gumuz Region of western Ethiopia, some 150 new refugees from Sudan’s Blue Nile State were registered and transferred to existing camps in December. There was no significant influx in the area since July when some 1,546 refugees arrived. The refugees are entering Ethiopia through the Yabus corridor, some 75kms from Tongo Town. UNHCR and the Government refugee agency, ARRA, are currently focused on relocating over 2,000 Sudanese refugees living with the host communities around Monday Market, Gemed, Ashesheko and Taiba areas in Sherkole woreda, to existing camps. The refugees have reportedly resided in the areas since September 2011. Some 585 refugees were relocated to Sherkole and Bambasi camps in December. Meanwhile, UNHCR and ARRA are exploring options for a fourth camp in the area to host those relocating from border areas, as well as new arrivals. For more information, contact: gegziabk@unhcr.org or prokopch@unhcr.org


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    01/28/2013 18:09 GMT

    by Helen Vesperini

    ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, Jan 28, 2013 (AFP) - The African Union pledged funds and military backing for war-torn Mali Monday, as UN leader Ban Ki-moon warned on the eve of a major donor conference there was a "moral imperative" to provide support.

    Ban, speaking at the 54-member AU's summit meeting, which has been dominated by Mali's struggle against Islamist forces, said he was "determined to help the people of Mali at this critical hour."

    "This is a moral imperative for the entire international community," he told reporters.

    AU Peace and Security Commissioner Ramtane Lamamra said the African-led force for Mali (AFISMA) will cost $460 million, with the AU promising to contribute an "unprecedented" $50 million for the mission and Mali's army.

    "For the first time in the history of the African Union the budget will be used to support a peace operation," Lamamra added.

    A woeful lack of cash and logistical resources has hampered the AFISMA force, set up by the west African bloc ECOWAS to support Malian troops against Islamist forces who seized swathes of the arid north after a coup last year.

    So far, just 2,000 African troops have been sent to Mali or neighbouring Niger, with the bulk of the fighting borne by some 2,500 French troops, who launched a military intervention on January 11.

    Mali has topped the agenda of the meeting of African leaders at their two-day AU summit, which closed late Monday, but several presidents were to stay on in the Ethiopian capital for the donor conference on Tuesday.

    However, there is no clear figure for how much the conference is aiming to raise, although diplomats had suggested some $700 million will be needed for AFISMA and the Malian army, in addition to heavy humanitarian costs.

    On Sunday, outgoing AU chairman Thomas Boni Yayi, the president of Benin, told fellow leaders their response to the conflict in Mali had been too slow, and thanked France, Mali's former colonial ruler, for its military intervention.

    France's action, launched after Islamists seized a central town and threatened to advance on the capital, was something "we should have done a long time ago to defend a member country", he said.

    An AU draft document called on member states to "make generous financial and logistical contributions... for AFISMA and the Malian armed forces in a spirit of pan-African solidarity and shared responsibility."

    The AU has said it wants to bolster the strength of the force, and on Friday gave member states one week to commit troops to the mission.

    EU Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs told AFP the EU would commit 50 million euros ($67 million) for Mali, speaking optimistically about Tuesday's conference.

    "I think there is a pretty good chance all the costs will be covered," he told AFP.

    Japan has promised at least $100 million, expected to be largely for humanitarian assistance and social development, according to a senior Japanese diplomat.

    Although Mali has dominated the AU's bi-annual talks, the failure to sign a proposed peace deal for the troubled eastern Democratic Republic of Congo also overshadowed the meeting.

    The agreement was aimed at ending recurrent unrest in eastern DR Congo, where M23 rebels, who briefly seized the key mining hub city of Goma last year, still control swathes of mineral-rich territory.

    A ceremony for eight regional leaders to sign the deal was cancelled Monday, although Ban insisted the nations have "no fundamental differences or objections to the content of the agreement".

    The presidents of Rwanda and Uganda -- which UN experts have accused of backing the M23, a charge both governments deny -- as well as DR Congo, Angola, Burundi, Republic of Congo, South Africa and Tanzania had been expected to sign the deal.

    A regional security source told AFP that the signing fell through because members of the southern African bloc SADC "felt they had not been sufficiently consulted" on the agreement.

    However, a senior UN official told AFP it was hoped the signing of the framework agreement would take place "in the next 10 days or so".

    Ethiopian leader and new AU chair Hailemariam Desalegn closed the summit late Monday, announcing that leaders would next meet on May 25 in Addis Ababa at a special summit to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the founding of the predecessor to the AU, the Organization of African Unity.

    jv-ayv-hv-pjm/rl

    © 1994-2013 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    01/28/2013 15:13 GMT

    ADDIS ABEBA, 28 jan 2013 (AFP) - Le budget du déploiement de la force africaine au Mali s'élève à 460 millions de dollars, selon un projet de déclaration des chefs d'Etat de l'Union africaine (UA) réunis en sommet à Addis Abeba, publié à la veille d'une conférence des donateurs pour le Mali.

    L'UA va financer pour la première fois une opération de maintien de la paix et débloquer, selon ce document, 45 millions de dollars pour financer le déploiement de cette force, appelée Mission internationale de soutien au Mali (Misma), et 5 millions de dollars pour la restructuration de l'armée malienne.

    "Pour la première fois dans l'histoire de l'Union africaine, son budget sera utilisé pour soutenir une opération de maintien de la paix", s'est réjoui le commissaire à la Paix et la Sécurité, Ramtane Lamamra, lors d'une conférence de presse.

    La moitié de cette somme est immédiatement disponible et les 25 millions restants seront apportés sous forme de contributions obligatoires des Etats-membres, sur la base du "barème de leurs contribution au budget ordinaire", a expliqué M. Lamamra à l'AFP.

    Par ailleurs, l'UA "demande instamment"à ses Etats-membres d'apporter leurs propres "contributions, financières, logistiques et tout autre soutien en nature à la Misma et aux Forces de défense et de sécurité maliennes".

    Les besoins financiers pour la restructuration des forces maliennes n'ont pas été rendu publics. Des diplomates estimaient ces derniers jours à 700 millions de dollars le besoin total en financement de la Misma et de l'armée malienne.

    Le manque de ressources financières et logistiques handicapent sérieusement le déploiement de la Misma, mise sur pied depuis plusieurs mois par la Communauté économique des Etats de l'Afrique de l'Ouest (Cédéao) pour venir en aide aux forces maliennes face aux groupes islamistes armés qui ont pris le contrôle de la moitié nord du pays mi-2012.

    Seuls 2.000 soldats africains au total ont pour l'heure été acheminés au Mali ou au Niger voisin. La France a envoyé en urgence depuis mi-janvier 2.500 soldats pour repousser une offensive des groupes islamistes en direction de Bamako.

    ayv-hv/bb/hm

    © 1994-2013 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: Assessment Capacities Project
    Country: Afghanistan, Angola, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Haiti, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Philippines, Samoa, Senegal, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, World, Yemen, Zimbabwe, South Sudan (Republic of)
    preview


    In Syria the conflict continues to affect large parts of the country with escalating tensions in Homs, Aleppo, Idlib and Damascus provinces. Increased fighting has led to record high levels of new arrivals of refugees in neighbouring countries such as Jordan, where more than 10,000 people arrived between 20 and 24 January alone.

    The French-led ground offensive against Islamist rebels in Mali continued on 28 January with armed forces driving Islamic insurgents out of the northern towns of Gao and Timbuktu.

    In Pakistan, the World Health Organization has reported 94 measles outbreaks throughout the country in the first three weeks of January alone, describing the situation in Pakistan as alarming due to a steady increase in measles cases and deaths.

    Rain and the tail-end of the cold front which affected Asia in the previous weeks have affected more than 507,000 people in Davao del Norte province, Philippines.

    Last Updated: 28/01/2013 Next Update: 04/02/2013

    Global Emergency Overview web interface


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    01/28/2013 18:10 GMT

    Par Serge DANIEL à Bamako et Marc BASTIAN à Tombouctou

    TOMBOUCTOU (Mali), 28 jan 2013 (AFP) - Soldats français et maliens sont entrés lundi dans la cité mythique de Tombouctou, dans le nord du Mali, sous les cris de joie des habitants, après des mois d'occupation par des islamistes armés, qui ont brûlé un bâtiment contenant de précieux manuscrits avant de prendre la fuite.

    "Nous sommes en train de gagner cette bataille", a déclaré à Paris le président François Hollande, précisant: "Quand je dis nous, c'est l'armée malienne, ce sont les Africains soutenus par les Français".

    A Tombouctou, aux cris de "Mali, Mali, Mali", la foule brandissait de petits drapeaux français et maliens au passage des militaires français et maliens, a constaté un journaliste de l'AFP.

    Parmi d'autres, Mahamane, âgé d'une vingtaine d'années, s'est dit soulagé de cette arrivée après des mois de "souffrance" et de "chicotte" (coups de fouet ou de bâton) infligés par les islamistes armés.

    Tomboctou, ville-phare de l'islam en Afrique subsaharienne, située à 900 km au nord-est de Bamako, est tombée après une manoeuvre conjointe, terrestre et aérienne, et le largage de parachutistes dans la périphérie, avant l'entrée lundi après-midi d'une colonne de soldats français et maliens en ville.

    "Crime culturel"

    Mais les témoignages se multiplient sur la destruction de précieux manuscrits à Tombouctou, devenue la capitale intellectuelle et spirituelle de l'islam en Afrique aux XVe et XVIe siècles et une prospère cité caravanière.

    Une source malienne de sécurité a fait état d'un "bâtiment abritant les manuscrits, brûlé".

    Le maire de Tombouctou, Halley Ousmane, qui se trouvait à Bamako, a confirmé: "J'ai eu ce matin mon chargé de communication au téléphone. Le centre Ahmed Baba où se trouvent des manuscrits de valeur a été brûlé par les islamistes. C'est un véritable crime culturel".

    Certains des manuscrits de Tombouctou remontent à l'ère pré-islamique. L'Institut des hautes études et de recherches islamiques Ahmed Baba abrite entre 60.000 et 100.000 manuscrits, selon le ministère malien de la Culture.

    Le maire de Tombouctou a également fait état de la mort d'un habitant, "brûlé vif" par les islamistes, parce qu'il avait crié "Vive la France".

    Selon le porte-parole de l'état-major des armées, le colonel Thierry Burkhard, les militaires français et maliens ont seulement "entamé" la prise de contrôle de la ville.

    Mais d'après les témoignages des habitants, les islamistes ont pris la fuite, après les frappes aériennes françaises ces derniers jours.

    L'opération sur Tombouctou survient deux jours après la prise, lors d'une offensive éclair, de Gao, plus importante ville du nord du Mali et un des bastions des combattants islamistes, à 1.200 km au nord-est de Bamako.

    "La France n'a pas vocation à rester au Mali. En revanche, notre devoir c'est de faire en sorte que nous puissions permettre aux forces africaines de donner au Mali une stabilité durable", a assuré à Paris le président Hollande.

    Après Gao et Tombouctou, les regards se tournent désormais vers Kidal, dans l'extrême nord-est malien, non loin de la frontière algérienne, la troisième grande ville du Nord du Mali, à 1.500 km de Bamako.

    "Exactions de l'armée malienne"

    Là, des rebelles touareg et des dissidents d'un groupe islamiste ont affirmé avoir pris le contrôle de la ville.

    "Nous assurons ensemble la sécurité de la ville de Kidal", a déclaré à l'AFP Mohamed Ag Aharib, ancien porte-parole du groupe islamiste armé Ansar Dine (Défenseurs de l'islam), passé à un groupe dissident, le Mouvement islamique de l'Azawad (MIA).

    "Actuellement à Kidal, il y a des combattants du MIA et des combattants du MNLA, qui avaient intégré les rangs d'Ansar Dine et qui sont redevenus MNLA", a-t-il souligné.

    Pour sa part, le MNLA a affirmé dans un communiqué que la ville de Kidal était sous son contrôle.

    Les autonomistes touareg ont assuré ne pas rechercher la confrontation avec l'armée française ni avec la force africaine d'intervention, mais vouloir "protéger les populations contre les exactions de l'armée malienne".

    La reconquête du nord du Mali s'accompagne en effet de craintes d'actes de vengeance contre les islamistes, qui ont commis de nombreux crimes: amputations, lapidations, exécutions, et à Tombouctou, destruction de nombreux mausolées de saints musulmans.

    L'ONG Human Rights Watch (HRW) a demandé lundi aux autorités maliennes de prendre "des mesures immédiates" pour "protéger tous les Maliens de représailles", mettant en garde contre des "de tensions inter-ethniques" entre Arabes et Touareg, assimilés aux "terroristes", et les Noirs, majoritaires au Mali.

    Selon une source de sécurité malienne, les principaux responsables des groupes islamistes armés se sont réfugiés dans les montagnes de Kidal, où leurs positions ont été bombardées samedi par des avions français.

    A Addis Abeba, les chefs d'Etat de l'Union africaine (UA) ont estimé lundi à 460 millions de dollars le budget de déploiement de la force africaine, censée prendre à terme le relais des troupes françaises au Mali.

    Plus de 6.000 soldats ouest-africains et tchadiens doivent à terme être déployés au Mali. La reconquête de Gao a ainsi été suivie de l'arrivée, par voie aérienne, de troupes tchadiennes et nigériennes venues de Niamey pour sécuriser la ville, une opération que l'armée française semble réticente à mener dans les villes reprises aux groupes islamistes armés.

    bur-thm/stb/sba

    © 1994-2013 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
    Country: Djibouti
    preview


    *Widespread Stressed and Crisis levels of food insecurity(

    KEY MESSAGES

    • There are approximately 150,000 people affected by drought at present in Djibouti, including 70,000 food insecure people in rural areas.
    • The food security situation in most pastoral areas has not changed significantly since the previous month. However, the forecast for good Heys/Dadaa (October to March) rains has not materialized and rainfall levels to date are below normal.
    • In general, prices in October in all major areas of the country were comparable to last year’s prices, with prices for rice and sorghum slightly below last year’s figures.

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    Source: Government of Denmark
    Country: Mali

    The Government has decided to contribute an initial DKK 12 million to the coming African-led military peace support mission in Mali (AFISMA).The Government has decided to contribute an initial DKK 12 million to the coming African-led military peace support mission in Mali (AFISMA). The objective of AFISMA is to rebuild the Malian security forces and assist in regaining control of northern Mali. The Danish contribution is part of the Government’s overall effort to address the conflict in Mali, protect the civilian population and prevent terrorism. The contribution is made in line with the mandate from the UN Security Council and the desire to support Africa’s ability to manage its own conflicts.

    The Minister for Foreign Affairs states:

    ”We cannot sit by silently watching the conflict in Mali lead to further destabilisation of the region and the suffering of the civilian population. We will not accept Mali and its neighbours becoming a new breeding ground for terrorism. With our contribution to AFISMA we support African leadership of the conflict in Mali and thus the very positive development where the African countries themselves handle the conflicts in the continent. The Danish contribution to AFISMA represents further strengthening of Denmark’s already large, broad-based efforts for the stabilisation of Mali. There can be no development without security, and without development it will not be possible to create long-term, lasting peace in Mali. This is why it is so important that we make use of all our instruments – both hard and soft.”

    The Minister of Defence states:

    ”The contribution to AFISMA expresses Denmark’s broad-based approach to the stabilisation of Mali. We are not merely making a military contribution of a Danish military transport aircraft. With our financial contribution to AFISMA, we are also supporting Africans in their efforts to themselves take greater responsibility for the security challenges in the region. This is help for self-help. There is no doubt that swift deployment of AFISMA is of great importance to avert further destabilisation of Mali and the region".

    The Minister for Development Cooperation states:

    ”Mali is one the poorest countries in the world and is now also afflicted by conflict and chaos. In the northern part of Mali the absolutely fundamental rights of the population are being violated by terrorist groups and approximately 400,000 people are fleeing. I recently visited a refugee camp for Malian refugees in the neighbouring country of Burkina Faso, where I witnessed need and anxiety at close quarters. Our acute assistance to AFISMA fits very well with our multi-pronged efforts. We have been present in the Sahel region for many years with active development cooperation, and Danish efforts were most recently further developed with our new Sahel initiative, focusing among other things on initiatives in the areas of anti-radicalisation and reforms of the security sector.”

    Background:
    The Danish contribution to AFISMA represents further strengthening of the Government’s comprehensive Sahel initiative of DKK 125 million for regional stabilising initiatives in 2013-17. Denmark supports local dialogue to promote a political resolution of the crisis in Mali and looks to long-term security sector reforms and anti-radicalisation across the Sahel. In addition to this are the Danish military contribution to the French-led military intervention in Mali and the vital acute emergency aid. All of this builds upon Denmark’s long-standing development assistance cooperation with Mali and the neighbouring countries.

    The Mali initiative is a concrete example of the Government’s New Security Policy, where all relevant civilian and military instruments are flexibly brought into play to stabilise and prevent armed conflicts, with an emphasis on local solutions.

    The African-led support mission in Mali, AFISMA, was authorised by UN Security Council Resolution 2085 of 20 December 2012. The African Union is mobilising peace-keeping troops from West Africa. The first African troops are on the ground, but immediate financing is necessary to make the mission ready to begin operations and take ownership of the rebuilding of peace and stability in Mali. The Danish contribution is given to an international fund earmarked for support for AFISMA, in line with Security Council Resolution 2085. An international donor conference is to be held in Addis Ababa on 29 January with a view to mobilising international assistance for AFISMA and capacity building of the Malian security forces.


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    Source: ACT Alliance
    Country: Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger

    The escalating conflict in Mali between French-backed government forces and Tuareg and Islamist rebels is creating a new wave of civilian displacement that is straining already scarce resources and deepening the humanitarian crisis in Mali and neighbouring countries, says ACT Alliance General Secretary John Nduna.

    “The vast and vulnerable western Sahel region has long suffered from entrenched poverty, chronic food insecurity and conflict. This renewed fighting in Mali comes on the heels of last year’s food crisis and has the potential to worsen an already fragile humanitarian situation in the region, as more civilians find themselves in need of live-saving essentials,” explains Nduna.

    Fighting between rebels and government forces broke out in January last year, after which rebels took control of the northern regions of Mali following a coup d’état in March. The conflict escalated on January 11 this year, when France answered the Malian government’s call for military assistance to push back the rebel’s southern advance after they captured the strategic central town of Konna.

    Drawing the entire region further into the crisis, the President of Cote d’Ivoire and head of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Alassane Ouattara, has pledged to send 6,000 troops from the region to assist the French-led offensive against the Islamists in the north.

    According to recent estimates by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and other relevant UN bodies, more than 150,000 people have fled the fighting to neighbouring Mauritania, Burkina Faso and Niger, while approximately 230,000 have been internally displaced.

    ACT steps up

    In response, ACT Mali is expanding its humanitarian activities with plans to provide support to 50,000 internally displaced people, primarily families, school children and malnourished children living with host families. Most of the internally displaced are living in extremely overcrowded, difficult conditions in urban centres or rented houses, relying primarily on relatives for support, explains Prosper Sapathy of ACT Mali from the capital, Bamako.

    ACT has also been supporting Malian refugees who fled to neighbouring Mauritania and Niger over the past year. The refugees in these countries are living among impoverished host communities that are still recovering from the region-wide food crisis last year that has affected more than 18 million people. These host populations are themselves struggling to get by in the face of poverty, limited food and access to basic social services. Now they find themselves having to share their already scarce food and water sources.

    Civilians who have been unable to leave northern Mali are subject to violence and human rights violations and are receiving little if any humanitarian assistance, since most aid organisations have had limited access to the northern areas since the rebel takeover last year.

    “We’re receiving fresh reports from civilians who have escaped the fighting in the north of food depots being destroyed by rebels as they flee. There is a huge unmet need for assistance in the north, and we’re working to secure expanded humanitarian access there,” says Sapathy, who also represents the West African regional office for ACT member, the Inter-Church Organisation for Development Cooperation (ICCO). Reprisal attacks by Malian forces against Tuareg civilians during their northern offensive have also been widely reported in recent days.

    In response to this news Nduna urges that “all parties take the necessary steps to prevent harm to civilians, especially women and children, and allow unrestricted access and safe passage to agencies who seek to provide humanitarian aid to those in need.”

    He concludes with an international call to action. “The current level of humanitarian assistance to countries in the Sahel is already strained. This intensified conflict is stretching resources even further. The international community must remain mindful of the challenges facing Mali and its neighbours, and increase humanitarian and development support accordingly,” concludes Nduna.

    The ACT response is being closely coordinated with the UN Organisation for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA), local authorities and other non-governmental organisations. ACT estimates that 1.2 million Euro will be needed to fund its immediate work to provide emergency food, water, shelter and medical care to 50,000 internally displaced Malians.

    In addition to ICCO, the following ACT members are working in Mali: Christian Aid, Norwegian Church Aid, Diakonia Sweden and Lutheran World Relief. ACT founding member, The Lutheran World Federation, has been providing assistance to Malian refugees in Mauritania.


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    Source: Overseas Development Institute
    Country: Kenya, Nepal, Niger, World

    The rising cost of humanitarian response, combined with repeated action and investment in a small number of targeted countries has led to renewed calls to change the way we address recurrent crises. In 2010, the amount of funding for emergency response was the highest on record, at $12.4 billion, and the joint agencies’ Consolidated Appeal Process stood at $11.2 billion (it’s highest figure ever, and double that of 2006) (Kellett and Sweeney, 2011: 63). Yet very little of this funding goes towards disaster prevention and preparedness that can build the resilience of communities to cope with emergencies: in 2009, for example, such aid accounted for just 1.8% of overall humanitarian expenditure to the top 40 recipient countries (Kellett and Sweeney, 2011: 13).

    Read the full report from the Overseas Development Institute.


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    Source: IRIN
    Country: Mali

    BAMAKO/DAKAR, 28 January 2013 (IRIN) - Residents of Gao and Timbuktu in northern Mali expressed relief after French and Malian forces re-took the towns from Islamist militia, but said they faced an enormous task in rebuilding the cities.

    The forces recaptured Timbuktu on 28 January, three days after they seized Gao to the east of Timbuktu.

    Malian forces say they faced no resistance from Islamist groups in Timbuktu, most of whom had fled the city before the forces arrived. Timbuktu had been under the control of Ansar Dine which destroyed ancient shrines and artefacts in the UNESCO-listed site.

    "We were like prisoners in our own town. Timbuktu has always been an Islamic city, no one can dictate to us religious precepts. I always wondered in the name of what religion these people were acting," said Timbuktu's mayor, Ousmane Hallé Maïga, thanking French and Malian forces for freeing his city.

    "To impose Sharia on peaceful citizens, believers, devout Muslims - how does this happen?" He continued.

    "We can heave a sigh of relief," said Aboubacar Maïga, president of Timbuktu's Youth Council of "We can smoke in the streets if we want to, women can wear what they want. We hope that our parents, who fled and are now refugees, will come back as soon as they can to pick up their lives and rebuild our beautiful city."

    The Islamist groups had imposed a strict brand of Sharia, or Islamic law, in the regions under their control and amputated or flogged those accused of flouting the rules.

    Rebuilding

    Over the last year many public buildings in the city have been destroyed, including schools, health clinics, ancient monuments, hotels and restaurants.

    "Rebuilding will take years," said Mouna Cissé, a trader at Timbuktu market. "Timbuktu had once been a modern city - one that was open to the world," he told IRIN. "Now we can go out into the streets without being picked up by Jihadists."

    Islamist militants cut the water and electricity supply several days ago, and some burned ancient manuscripts in the towns library before they fled.

    "A lot of work to do"

    In Gao, which had been cut off from the world for a week as its phone network was destroyed, a large crowd greeted the Malian army when it arrived. Mayor of Gao, Sadou Diallo, returning from Bamako where he had taken refuge, told reporters: "I am a happy man. I am very happy to see the land of my ancestors. I call on people here to remain vigilant, to denounce any Islamists who are still hiding in our town."

    "We have a lot of work to do," said Oumar Touré, a respected elder in Gao. "The governorate was destroyed, the police and military police headquarters were bombed. We are going to have to rebuild the infrastructure from scratch for the economy to get going again," he said.

    "The priority is to repair destroyed school buildings so children can start learning, and to restore damaged health centres and the hospital," he told IRIN by telephone from Gao.

    Young men IRIN spoke to had different priorities: "We'll soon open up the bars where we can drink beer, dance," Modibo Ongoinba, a youth in Gao told IRIN.

    Fragile humanitarian situation

    Humanitarian conditions in the north are fragile, aid agencies have warned. Oxfam warned that people's access to food supplies had significantly deteriorated and with supply routes disabled, most markets closed, cash supply severely crippled, food prices rising and stocks dwindling, people are barely coping.

    The military offensive has further disrupted staple food supply to Gao, which had already been hit by shortages due to the 2011-12 food crisis. Major traders are reported to have fled the town and food prices are rising, aid group Oxfam said in a statement.

    "Food prices have risen by nearly 20 percent since military intervention in early January. Before the intervention a 50-kg bag of rice cost US$34. In just two weeks the price has risen to $41 and rice becomes increasingly rare," Oxfam said.

    Aid agency Action against Hunger is among several that had continued to work in the north but had restricted programmes to the main cities of Ansongo, Bourem, Gao and Menaka, according to a 25th January statement.

    Some 15 percent of children in Gao are acutely malnourished.

    Colonel Didier Dacko, chief of Malian military operations, said they were organizing an airlift to transport medicine for the hospital and fuel for generators in the city of Gao.

    Malian forces will continue to search for and rout out any militants who may have remained in the city, he said.

    sd/aj/ob

    [END]


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    Source: International Medical Corps
    Country: Mali

    Sonia Lowman
    Communications Officer
    slowman@InternationalMedicalCorps.org
    +1 310.826.7800

    Mopti, Mali, January 28, 2013 – International Medical Corps has conducted the first rapid, multi-sectoral humanitarian assessment in Konna, Mali – where a rebel takeover triggered French military airstrikes that have caused massive civilian displacement throughout the country. International Medical Corps’ Emergency Team was the first on the ground in Konna to assess health, nutrition, water supply, sanitation and hygiene services, along with other urgent needs.

    International Medical Corps’ team was allowed only four hours in Konna, which is currently under control of the Malian army. The team met with community leaders to assess the town’s current humanitarian situation and discuss its residents’ most urgent needs. All sectors of the community participated, including the mayor, women’s groups, local health associations and youth groups. International Medical Corps also visited homes in several parts of the town to see firsthand the household-level impact of the conflict.

    Although many families fled during the intense fighting, most have since returned. The market was closed for nearly a month because of insecurity in the area, causing price inflation and compromising access to food and income-generating activities, but is expected to reopen this week. Further, the city’s water systems and health center are functioning, and there are no reports of conflict casualties. International Medical Corps has concluded that there is not an urgent need for humanitarian assistance in Konna. However, the situation remains difficult for residents and International Medical Corps has identified food security issues and vulnerabilities in sanitation, indicating a clear need for development actors to resume their work in the town.

    International Medical Corps deployed an emergency team to Mali and Mauritania early last week to assess humanitarian needs resulting from the intensified conflict between armed rebels and the government in Mali. An estimated 4.2 million Malians are in need of humanitarian assistance, facing widespread displacement and hunger. In the coming days, International Medical Corps will continue to assess humanitarian needs on the ground in northern Mali as more areas become accessible, while coordinating with United Nation and NGO partners to respond to identified needs.


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    01/28/2013 20:44 GMT

    Par Marc BASTIAN

    TOMBOUCTOU (Mali), 28 jan 2013 (AFP) - "C'est la nouvelle indépendance! On a été 10 mois en otage, c'était comme 10 ans", hurle Hama Cissé, 53 ans, hilare dans une rue de Tombouctou, occupée pendant des mois par les islamistes et "libérée" lundi par les soldats francais et maliens.

    Dans les rues poussiéreuses de la cité couleur sable, tombée sans combats, les femmes circulent à nouveau librement. "Je ne pouvais pas parler. Je devais porter une burqa, des gants, tout couvrir", explique timidement une quinquagénaire cachée derrière ses lunettes, Lahlia Garba, qui avait "mal au coeur et à l'estomac tout le temps" dans sa prison de tissu.

    "Mali, France!", ou encore "Merci François Hollande!", le président français, scandent les Maliens dès qu'ils aperçoivent un Blanc, brandissant par centaines drapeaux français et maliens.

    Les soldats des deux pays sont entrés lundi vers 14H00 (locales et GMT) en convoi dans Tombouctou. Les militaires locaux étaient toujours occupés dans la soirée à patrouiller, les Français s'étant repliés dans les faubourgs, a constaté un journaliste de l'AFP.

    "On entre mais on ne reste pas, ce sont les Maliens qui vont au contact de la population", a expliqué un officier français.

    Dans Tombouctou même, "on procède à des fouilles (...). On est en train de récupérer certains matériels, certaines munitions", indique le sous-lieutenant malien Dramane Dambélé, dont les hommes, après avoir défoncé cadenas et serrures à coups de grosses pierres, mettent notamment la main sur des cartouches pour mitrailleuse lourde.

    "On cherche des gens qui étaient en connexion avec les islamistes, mais on n'en a pas trouvé pour l'instant", ajoute-t-il.

    D'après les habitants, les islamistes armés ont commencé à fuir Tombouctou vendredi vers le nord, les derniers étant partis dimanche matin, après des frappes aériennes françaises.

    "Chicotte" et mains coupées

    Et de vendredi à dimanche, "ils ont mitraillé dans tous les sens, mais c'était juste de l'intimidation. Ils ont aussi saccagé beaucoup de choses, la mairie, l'antenne Malitel (l'opérateur téléphonique local), certains bureaux. Et ils ont brûlé des manuscrits anciens", explique Mahalmoudou Tandina, 46 ans, qui "enseigne la religion aux enfants".

    "Le dernier islamiste que j'ai vu ici, c'était un Français, il s'appelle Abdel Jelil", s'amuse l'homme à longue barbe s'appuyant sur une canne, qui "intervenait pour les gens" pour régler leurs problèmes avec les islamistes. La foule assemblée autour de lui confirme.

    "Abdel Jelil", dont le vrai nom est Gilles Le Guen, est une figure connue du milieu jihadiste au Mali, âgé d'une cinquantaine d'années.

    Comme ailleurs dans le pays, les habitants assurent que les islamistes étaient de multiples nationalités: Maliens, mais aussi Algériens, Libyens, Mauritaniens, Tchadiens...

    Les groupes islamistes armés liés à Al-Qaïda contrôlaient Tombouctou depuis avril 2012. "Ils étaient tous là, Ansar Dine, Aqmi (Al Qaïda au Maghreb islamique)", dit Mahamane Neyga, la vingtaine, soulagé après des mois de "souffrance" et de "chicotte" (coups de fouet ou de bâton) infligés par les rebelles.

    Ces derniers ont commis des exactions au nom de leur interprétation rigoriste de la charia (loi islamique), et détruit des mausolées de saints musulmans et des manuscrits précieux datant de plusieurs siècles, qu'ils considéraient comme des signes "d'idolâtrie".

    Selon plusieurs habitants, si la chicotte était fréquente, il y a eu peu de meurtres. "Ils ont tué une personne en entrant dans la ville et une pendant qu'ils étaient là, parce qu'ils lui avaient coupé les deux mains. Et hier, ils ont tué un jeune", affirme Mahalmoudou Tandina.

    Un peu partout à Tombouctou, des panneaux de propagande islamiste sont visibles. L'un d'eux proclame: "La ville de Tombouctou est fondée sur l'islam et elle ne sera jugée que par la charia".

    Des militaires français ont indiqué craindre que les rebelles n'aient posé des mines dans la ville, qui restait à "sécuriser" lundi soir.

    mba/thm/stb/hm

    © 1994-2013 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: International Monetary Fund
    Country: Mali

    Press Release No. 13/24 January 28, 2013

    The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) today approved a disbursement of an amount equivalent to SDR 12 million (about US$18.4 million) for Mali under the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) to support the authorities with policy advice and financial support to maintain macroeconomic stability and growth during the next twelve months, as part of a broad-based support by Mali's development partners. The RCF provides rapid concessional financial assistance with limited conditionality to low-income countries facing an urgent balance of payments need.

    The Executive Board also noted the authorities’ cancellation of the previous arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF), which was approved in 2011 for the equivalent of SDR 30 million (then about US$46.3 million; see Press Release No. 11/487), which had been designed to cover 2012-14, but was derailed by the March 2012 coup d’état and its aftermath.

    In November 2012, an IMF mission reached understandings ad referendum on the components of an economic program that could be supported by the Rapid Credit Facility (See Press Release No.12/437). The RCF will also pave the way for renewed donor support following the events of early 2012.

    Following the Executive Board’s discussion, Mr. Min Zhu, Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair, made the following statement:

    “Mali’s economy is traversing a particularly difficult period as a result of the 2011 drought, insurgent attacks in the north of the country and political instability in the wake of the military coup in March 2012. Economic activity contracted by 1.5 percent in 2012, inflation was pushed up by escalating food prices, and a balance of payments deficit has emerged. Fiscal stress intensified as a result of weakening tax revenues, the suspension of donor budget support, and upward pressure on social and military spending. The government responded with fiscal austerity. The tight liquidity situation has led to the accumulation of arrears to external creditors in the amount of 0.5 percent of GDP.

    “The authorities’ 2013 program appropriately reflects near-term priorities. It aims to maintain macroeconomic and financial stability by keeping spending in line with available revenues and avoiding the emergence of new arrears.

    “Steadfast implementation of tax policy, tax administration, cash flow management, and energy policy reforms will be essential to maintain macroeconomic stability. The ambitious tax revenue targets in 2013 will need to come from an increase in taxes on oil products and progress in tax administration through systematic cross-checking of information by the tax, customs, and procurement administrations. Prudent expenditure execution and tight cash management will be needed to meet the deficit target and avoid the accumulation of arrears. While electricity tariff adjustments are needed to bring the sector back to a sustainable path, a clear reform, a public communication strategy, and targeted measures to protect the poor will be essential to gain the population’s acceptance.

    “The disbursement under the Rapid Credit Facility is designed to help Mali deal with urgent balance of payments need and catalyze financial support from Mali’s international partners, which is critical to Mali’s economic recovery.”


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    Source: International Criminal Court
    Country: Mali

    My Office is aware of reports that Malian forces may have committed abuses in recent days, in central Mali. I urge the Malian authorities to put an immediate stop to the alleged abuses and on the basis of the principle of complementarity, to investigate and prosecute those responsible for the alleged crimes. I remind all parties to the on-going conflict in Mali that my Office has jurisdiction over all serious crimes committed within the territory of Mali, from January 2012 onwards. All those alleged to be responsible for serious crimes in Mali must be held accountable.


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    Source: CARE
    Country: Mali

    Plus de 5000 personnes se sont déplacées depuis l’escalade du conflit au nord Mali, il y a 2 semaines. Ils viennent s’ajouter au demi-million de personnes qui ont fui leur maison depuis le début des violences en 2012. Voici deux témoignages recueillis par les équipes de CARE.

    Ibrahim, 57ans : "Je n’arrive pas à assurer les 3 repas quotidiens pour ma famille."

    « Il y a 8 mois, j’ai quitté mon village du nom de Temera dans le cercle de Goundam (région de Tombouctou) pour fuir les violences. Depuis, je vis à Sévaré (région de Mopti) avec ma famille et celle de mon frère.

    Nous rencontrons d’énormes difficultés. Je ne travaille pas. Aucun membre de ma famille ne travaille. Les enfants ne vont plus à l’école. Ce qui m’inquiète le plus c’est de savoir où trouver de la nourriture. Je n’arrive pas à assurer les 3 repas quotidiens pour ma famille. Nous arrivons à manger une ou deux fois par jour grâce à l’aide de nos parents et aux dons des ONG humanitaires telles que CARE.

    Je loue une maison en banco dans laquelle nous n’avons qu’une seule toilette pour vingt personnes. La Croix-Rouge nous a donné deux tentes pour que nous puissions héberger tout le monde.

    Nous avons besoin d’aide, surtout en eau potable. Aujourd’hui, nous utilisons l’eau du puits qui n’est pas désinfectée. »

    Rokia, 40 ans : "C’est compliqué pour moi d’élever mes 4 enfants toute seule."

    « Depuis 9 mois, je vis avec mes 4 enfants chez le chef de village de Massaya Daga à Mopti dans une petite maison en banco. J’ai quitté la ville de Niafounké (région de Tombouctou), suite à la fuite de mon mari vers Niono. Il venait d’être agressé par des bandits armés. Je suis très inquiète pour mon mari qui donne rarement de ses nouvelles. Je ne travaille pas, c’est donc compliqué pour moi d’élever les enfants toute seule.

    Mais heureusement, mes enfants et moi mangeons trois fois par jour grâce aux vivres distribués par CARE et le Programme Alimentaire Mondial. Quant à l’eau, nous utilisons l’eau du fleuve que nous désinfectons avec de l’eau de javel. »

    CARE distribue des colis alimentaires dans la région de Mopti.

    L’ONG CARE distribue des colis alimentaires en partenariat avec le Programme Alimentaire Mondial dans la région centre du pays. Des familles dans le besoin ont ainsi reçu du riz, des légumes secs, de l’huile végétale et des céréales enrichies. A terme, ce sont 21 000 personnes qui devraient bénéficier de cette aide dans la région de Mopti, l’une des zones les plus affectées par le conflit.

    Face à l'augmentation du nombre de réfugiés, CARE doit intensifier son aide. Pour ce faire, nous avons besoin de ressources supplémentaires.


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    01/28/2013 21:22 GMT

    WASHINGTON, 28 jan 2013 (AFP) - Le Fonds monétaire international a versé lundi 18,4 millions de dollars au Mali pour l'aider à faire face à "l'instabilité" dans le pays et convaincre les donateurs internationaux de reprendre leur aide, gelée depuis le coup d'Etat de mars 2012.

    "Les donateurs traditionnels (Union européenne, Banque mondiale, etc., ndlr) considèrent souvent un accord avec le FMI comme une pré-condition avant de verser leur aide", a estimé Christian Josz, chef de la mission du FMI au Mali, où la France dirige une intervention armée contre les insurgés islamistes.

    Dans un communiqué, le Fonds a indiqué avoir accédé à la demande d'aide financière formulée en novembre par les autorités maliennes au moment où l'insurrection islamiste, partie du nord du pays, gagnait du terrain.

    Cette aide de 18,4 millions de dollars, versée sans que des réformes soient exigées en contrepartie, doit permettre d'aider le pays à se relever de la récession qui l'a frappé en 2012 et à rétablir la "stabilité macro-économique", a détaillé le FMI, à la veille d'une conférence des pays donateurs à Addis Abeba.

    Selon M. Josz, "l'incertitude" au Mali a diminué depuis le début de l'intervention armée le 11 janvier. "Il est assez clair que les zones sous contrôle du gouvernement s'étendent vers le nord du pays", a-t-il déclaré lors d'une conférence téléphonique.

    Soldats français et maliens sont entrés lundi dans la cité mythique de Tombouctou, dans le nord du Mali, après des mois d'occupation par des islamistes armés.

    jt/ved/sam

    © 1994-2013 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: Oxfam
    Country: Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger

    Depuis décembre 2011, Oxfam met en oeuvre à Gao un programme d’urgence pour réduire la vulnérabilité vis-à-vis de la sécurité alimentaire

    Les conséquences de la détérioration de la situation sécuritaire au Mali en 2012 et de l’éclatement d’un conflit armé en 2013 ont aggravé les conditions de vie de la population malienne déjà affectée par la crise alimentaire de 2011-2012. Une situation qui a davantage fragilisé l’équilibre dans lequel se trouvait la région de Gao, située au nord du pays, à la frontière avec le Niger et le Burkina Faso, cycliquement déficitaire en termes de production agricole, dégradant de fait la situation humanitaire.

    Agrandir la carte de GaoPar exemple, en ce début d’année 2013, le prix du petit mil a augmenté de 13% à Gao et, selon les estimations provisoires du ministère malien de l’Agriculture, la production céréalière a baissé de 40%. En plus, la faiblesse de la pluviométrie suivie d’une forte crue du fleuve Niger a entraîné dans la région de mauvaises récoltes de riz et de « bourgou » (complément fourrager en période de soudure).

    Cette situation rendue complexe par le conflit armé a eu un fort impact sur la disponibilité et la diversité alimentaire des ménages qui, en raison de l’insécurité, ne pouvaient plus effectuer leurs déplacements habituels pour s’approvisionner ou pour la transhumance du bétail.

    Le démarrage, en janvier 2013, des opérations militaires a réduit ou freiné la présence et l’intervention des organisations humanitaires au moment où l’on constate un accroissement des besoins et une paralysie au niveau des services sociaux de base et des circuits économiques. Des centaines de milliers de personnes ont fui le nord du Mali, dont Gao, pour trouver refuge dans les pays frontaliers, au nord et aussi au sud du Mali. Les derniers chiffres des Nations Unies font état de 147 000 réfugiés maliens dans les pays voisins et de quelque 200 000 déplacés internes.

    Un travail de long terme contre la malnutrition

    Oxfam opère au Mali depuis plus de 25 ans, avec des projets de développements ruraux et humanitaires et met en oeuvre des programmes dans la région de Gao depuis plus de deux décennies. Afin de porter assistance aux plus vulnérables, l’organisation internationale a ainsi démarré, en janvier 2012, un projet intitulé « Atténuer la vulnérabilité des ménages et des communautés à l’insécurité alimentaire et la malnutrition dans la perspective d’une crise alimentaire en 2012 », en partenariat avec l’Organisation non gouvernementale (ONG) locale Tassaght et les services techniques de l’Etat. Il vise à atteindre 59 250 bénéficiaires d’ici mars 2013.

    Mis en oeuvre pour prévenir la malnutrition et protéger les moyens de subsistance des ménages vulnérables, il se base essentiellement sur les transferts d’argent sous forme de argent-contre-travail (ou « Cash for Work »), de transferts monétaires inconditionnels et de distributions d’alimentation pour le bétail.

    Aussi, dans les communes de Taboye, Bourem et Temera (cercle de Bourem) quelque 13 000 personnes ont bénéficié d’un transfert d’argent et 14 006 autres éleveurs ont, eux, reçu 270 tonnes d’aliments pour le bétail afin qu’ils ne bradent leurs animaux pendant la période de soudure.

    Une stratégie repensée en raison du conflit

    L’arrivée à Gao des groupes armés rendant impossible toute intervention après le mois d’avril 2012, Oxfam a repensé sa stratégie communautaire. C’est pour la tester qu’en juin 2012, un projet-pilote ciblant 4 152 personnes a été entrepris dans les cercles de Bourem, de Gao et de Ménaka. Cette phase, qui a surtout ciblé les femmes, a permis à chaque bénéficiaire de recevoir 13,5 kilogrammes de riz, représentant la consommation d’un mois.

    En septembre 2012, grâce aux conclusions de la phase-pilote, le programme humanitaire a de nouveau étendu sa couverture pour atteindre, actuellement, 81 villages situés dans quatre communes du cercle de Bourem (Taboye, Bourem, Temera et Bamba). Cela, en vue de sécuriser l’accès aux besoins essentiels et d’améliorer l'accès à l'eau potable et aux conditions d'hygiène dans ce cercle par des distributions gratuites de vivres, distributions de biens non-alimentaires, mesures de repeuplement de cheptels et maraîchage. A ce jour, le programme a atteint 45 396 personnes, dont 4 745 enfants de zéro à cinq ans et 2 161 femmes enceintes ou allaitantes.

    Originaire du village de Dengha, dans la commune rurale de Taboye, Hamzata Ahmidi est un quinquagénaire chef d’un ménage de dix personnes. Il fait partie des bénéficiaires des distributions alimentaires d’Oxfam et de ses partenaires. « Pour subvenir aux besoins de ma famille, je cultive mon champ à l’aide d’une houe parce que je ne possède ni charrue ni charrette ni boeuf de labour. En 2012, je n’ai récolté que 200 kg de riz paddy. Ce qui couvre à peine un peu plus d’un mois de nourriture pour ma famille », explique-t-il. Il a reçu du riz, du niébé, de l’huile et du sel au cours d’une distribution lui permettant de nourrir les siens pendant un mois.

    Gao est la septième région administrative du Mali, située au nord, à la frontière avec le Niger et le Burkina Faso. Elle compte quelque 600 000 d’habitants, essentiellement des Sonrhaïs, des Peulhs, des Bozos, des Touaregs et des Arabes qui tirent leurs revenus de l’agriculture, de l’élevage, de la pêche et du commerce.


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