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ReliefWeb - Updates

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    Source:  World Food Programme, Food and Agriculture Organization
    Country:  Niger (the), Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria, Senegal

    L'Essentiel
    - A l’exception de quelques zones localisées, confirmation des bonnes perspectives agricoles au Sahel et en Afrique de l’Ouest
    - Situation pastorale hétérogène
    - Situation acridienne: ALERTE : formation d’essaims de criquets pèlerins au Sahel
    - Inondations: Niger, Tchad, Sénégal et Nigéria comptent 90 % des 1,5 million de victimes dans la région
    - Prix des céréales toujours anormalement élevés au Sahel malgré les baisses saisonnières et des prix stables à l’international


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    Between 1st Aug and 12th Oct 2012, displacements were mainly recorded in South Central with approximately 34,000 out of a total 36,000 displacements recorded in all three zones. 22,100 displaced people reported insecurity as the major cause of displacement in South Central (mainly in Juba Hoose asa result of the AMISOM/SNAF offensive) followed by, Cross-border movement (4,600), Lack of livelihood (2,800), IDP temporary return (1,900). The movements originated mainly from Juba Hoose (17,000), Shabelle Hoose (3,900), Gedo (2,000) and Banadir (1,500) regions. Thetop three regions people moved to were, Juba Hoose (9,200), Gedo (8,000), Banadir (7,500) among other regions.

    Country:  Somalia
    Source:  UN High Commissioner for Refugees

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    Country:  Somalia, Democratic Republic of the Congo (the), Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Oman, Saudi Arabia, South Sudan (Republic of), Sudan (the), Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania (the), Yemen
    Source:  Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat

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    Source:  Agence France-Presse
    Country:  Mali

    10/18/2012 14:56 GMT

    PARIS, 18 oct 2012 (AFP) - Le président du Collectif des élus du Nord-Mali Elhadj Baba Haïdara a appelé jeudi à une intervention militaire internationale "urgente" contre les groupes islamistes armés qui occupent la région, avant qu'il ne soit "trop tard".

    "Nous crions: ça s'enlise, faites vite! Ils ont tous les moyens pour endoctriner la population: par peur, par conviction, par la force ou par l'argent", a déclaré le député de Tombouctou, en mission à Paris à la veille de la tenue à Bamako d'une réunion internationale pour préparer la reconquête du nord du Mali.

    "Il faut une intervention urgente des forces occidentales. Nous l'espérons, nous le souhaitons, nous le désirons", a insisté M. Haïdara au cours d'un entretien à Paris avec quelques journalistes dont l'AFP.

    "La communauté internationale a la responsabilité de faire très vite car les gens se rallient aux terroristes", a renchéri Haïssata Cissé-Haïdara, députée de Bourem (à 45 km de Gao), également membre de la délégation parlementaire malienne.

    "A Gao, les islamistes se sont rapprochés de la population. Ils ont distribué de l'argent pendant le carême pour payer le sucre, ils ont donné de l'argent pour que l'électricité soit distribuée gratuitement", a-t-elle souligné.

    Les deux députés maliens ont également rendu un hommage appuyé au président français François Hollande, dont ils ont salué la "décision très courageuse" de soutenir une intervention militaire ouest-africaine dans le nord du Mali.

    "Nous savons que le président Hollande a pris la lourde responsabilité de décider d'accompagner l'Etat malien, la Cédéao (Communauté des Etats de l'Afrique de l'Ouest) pour libérer le Nord du Mali. C'est une décision difficile alors qu'il y a six ressortissants français détenus dans le nord du pays", a reconnu Elhadj Baba Haïdara.

    Mais, a-t-il affirmé, "si on n'arrête pas le financement des preneurs d'otages, la prime aux otages pour les libérer, le problème du Mali ne sera jamais réglé". "Les terroristes se servent de cet argent pour financer leur armement, leur recrutement mais aussi le soutien aux populations", a-t-il dit.

    "M. Hollande est plus populaire au Mali qu'en France", a assuré le député de Tombouctou, disant vouloir "aider pour que sa décision soit comprise".

    Lors de leur séjour en France, les deux représentants du Collectif des élus du Nord-Mali, qui regroupe 2.716 élus (députés, maires, etc.), ont notamment rencontré le président de l'Assemblée nationale Claude Bartolone et la présidente de la Commission des Affaires étrangères de l'Assemblée Elisabeth Guigou.

    La réunion internationale prévue vendredi à Bamako est destinée à peaufiner une stratégie de reconquête militaire du nord du Mali, occupé depuis plus de six mois par des islamistes armés liés à Al-Qaïda.

    Elle intervient une semaine après l'adoption d'une résolution du conseil de sécurité de l'Onu ouvrant la voie au déploiement d'une force militaire étrangère de quelque 3.000 hommes au Mali et donnant 45 jours aux pays ouest-africains, qui en constitueront le noyau, pour préciser leurs plans.

    alc/kat/jpc

    © 1994-2012 Agence France-Presse


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

    Au sommaire

    *Fin de l’étape nigérienne de la visite de l’OIC au Sahel

    *Plus de 350.000 cas de malnutrition modérée à la fin du mois de septembre

    *Près de 4900 cas de choléra à la mi-octobre


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    Source:  Agence France-Presse
    Country:  Mali

    10/18/2012 15:27 GMT

    PARIS, Oct 18, 2012 (AFP) - The head of a group representing elected officials in Mali's desert north called Thursday for urgent Western military intervention to remove Islamists who have seized control of the area.

    "There must be an urgent intervention of Western forces," Elhadj Baba Haidara, the head of the North Mali Collective of Elected Officials, told journalists in Paris, warning that delays were giving the Islamists time to consolidate their hold on the region.

    "They have ways of indoctrinating the population, with fear, with conviction, with force or with money," said Haidara, the elected deputy for the city of Timbuktu.

    International talks are to begin in Mali's capital Bamako on Friday on a possible foreign intervention to seize back the swathes of the desert north now under Islamist control.

    Once considered one of Africa's most stable countries, Mali was plunged into chaos by a March coup that overthrew the government of president Amadou Toumani Toure.

    A series of Islamist groups including Al-Qaeda's north African branch capitalised on the power vacuum to seize the country's desert north, an area larger than France.

    The Islamists have been imposing their strict version of sharia law on areas under their control, arresting unveiled women, stoning an unmarried couple to death, publicly flogging smokers and amputating suspected thieves' limbs, according to residents and rights groups.

    On Thursday, the Islamists were also destroying more Muslim saints' tombs in the ancient city of Timbuktu, witnesses said, in the latest attack on the world heritage sites considered blasphemous by the jihadists.

    But they have also been making inroads with the local population and Haissata Cisse-Haidara, the deputy for Bourem near the northern city of Gao, said an intervention was needed rapidly.

    "The international community has the responsibility to act very quickly because people are starting to rally to the terrorists," she said, adding that in Gao the Islamists were winning support by providing money for food and electricity.

    New African Union chief Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Mali's interim president Dioncounda Traore and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's special envoy for the region, Romano Prodi, are all expected at Friday's talks.

    On October 12, the UN Security Council passed a resolution asking West African nations to speed up preparations for an international intervention and giving them 45 days to lay out detailed plans.

    West African group ECOWAS has said it has 3,000 troops on standby for a mission to reclaim the north.

    alc/mm/am/txw

    © 1994-2012 Agence France-Presse


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    Source:  UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country:  Mali, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Mauritania, Niger (the), Nigeria

    HIGHTLIGHTS

    • A 5 to 17 per cent increase in cereal production foreseen; to be confirmed in November

    • Poor nutritional indicators for children in Mauritania, Niger and Chad revealed through latest surveys

    • UNHCR and IOM confirm reduced number of displaced Malians

    • Regional Humanitarian Planning for the Sahel in 2013 ongoing


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    Source:  UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country:  Mali, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Gambia (the), Mauritania, Niger (the), Nigeria, Senegal

    WFP Sahel response

    WFP’s food and nutrition activities are implemented in a phased approach through a multi-sectoral response so as to better meet people’s needs during the different seasons of the year. Lean season activities, which include unconditional targeted food and cash & voucher distributions as well as blanket and supplementary feeding programmes, are coming to an end.

    In August, WFP supported nearly 5.5 million people through food and nutrition assistance. 4.3 million people across all affected countries were provided with targeted distributions, including 248,000 Malian refugees and internally displaced people in Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania and Niger. 1.6 million people in Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Niger and Senegal received cash or vouchers to purchase their food locally. 53,000 people were reached in Mali through food-for-work activities, which will be scaled up again after the harvest.

    Under the nutrition response, WFP assisted around 1.4 million children and women in August for the prevention and treatment of moderate acute malnutrition. This includes 928,000 aged 6-23 months and pregnant and nursing mothers through blanket supplementary feeding activities in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Mali, Niger and The Gambia. Under targeted supplementary programmes, 497,000 children aged 6-59 months and pregnant and nursing mothers were treated in Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Senegal.

    Achievements were made despite localized flooding, which rendered roads impassable and access to distribution sites difficult. Where possible, WFP and partners mitigated the impact of the flooding through prepositioning food at alternative warehouses, setting up mobile storage units and establishing alternate access routes.
    In close collaboration with governments and partners, assessments to determine levels of food insecurity are being conducted in all Sahel countries in order to shape the upcoming phase of the response after the harvest. Many of these assessments will examine the impact of the drought, prospects for the harvests, the functioning of markets and the impact of the Mali crisis. Post-distribution monitoring assessments (PDMs) are also being conducted to evaluate various activities that have been implemented so far. In Niger, PDMs on blanket feeding and cash and food-for-work activities are being finalized..


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    Source:  Famine Early Warning System Network
    Country:  Niger (the)

    Millet, maize, cowpea, and imported rice are the most important food commodities. Millet is consumed by both rural and poor urban households throughout the country. Maize and imported rice are most important for urban households, while cowpea is mainly consumed by poor households in rural and urban areas as a protein source. Niamey is the most important national market and an international trade center, and also supplies urban households.
    Tillaberi is also an urban center that supplies the surrounding area.
    Gaya market represents a main urban market for maize with crossborder connections. Maradi, Tounfafi, and Diffa are regional assembly and cross-border markets for Niger and other countries in the region. These are markets where households and herders coming from the northern cereal deficit areas regularly buy their food. Agadez and Zinder are also important national and regional markets. Nguigmi and Abalak are located in pastoral areas, where people are heavily dependent on cereal markets for their food supply. They are particularly important during the rainy season, when herders are confined to the pastoral zone.


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    Source:  Famine Early Warning System Network
    Country:  Djibouti

    Sorghum, wheat flour and Belem rice are the most important food commodities. Sorghum flour and Belem rice are most commonly consumed commodities in urban areas. Wheat flour mixed with sorghum flour is also purchased for the production of local pancakes, an important staple food for poor and middle-income households. Over 65 percent of the total population for Djibouti lives in and around Djibouti City, the capital, making this market the most important for understanding food security conditions. Dikhil is the second largest city and it supplies the rural communities in and around the city. Tadjourah supplies the central region, mainly urban areas. The pastoral areas in the northwest receive most of their staple food from neighboring Ethiopian markets of Elidar and Manda. Alisabieh supplies the pastoral border areas in the southeast. Arta is located in isolated area and supplies only the city.
    Obock is the main market for inhabitants of the central lowlands.


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    Source:  Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development
    Country:  Chad

    ACTED's intervention in the Sahel Belt, has responded to the basic needs of more than 8,000 vulnerable households, having organised food fairs for those living in areas without access to local markets.

    Hawa is a 25 year old woman living in Oum-Hadjer, in the central region of Batha. She is one of a family of 15 people and has 3 children of her own to take care of. Hawa left school at a very early age. Since then, she works in the fields with the most basic of farming tools. Like 90% of households living in this department, agriculture is the main source of income for her family as economic activities are not diversified in this area. In order to make ends meet and buy more food for the family, Hawa and her mother do gardening for people.

    When we asked Hawa about her food habits, she explained that people in Chad often only eat a traditional meal named “la boule”. Chadians eat “la boule” every morning, noon and night. This porridge made of millet or sorghum comes with a vegetable sauce, usually made of gombo. Very rarely, the meal can be served with dried fish or meat, however Hawa told us that she and her family eat meat just once in the week. Considering the very limited incomes of Hawa’s family, food rations are limited. For her three children, Hawa cooks sweet porridge and gives them powered milk once every two days.

    Food production/harvest shortfalls due to low rainfall in 2011, had a serious impact on the livelihoods of people in Chad. This situation also provoked a severe food shortage in the Sahel Belt, especially in the Batha Region, where Hawa and her family live. Hawa’s family has been affected by this food crisis and this year, her family was not able to cover their food needs during the lean season.

    Hawa’s family has been identified by her community as a very poor and vulnerable household and as such has been included in the USAID/FFP food fairs program. She will receive food support equivalent to USD 215 for 5 months to cover the food needs of her and her family during the lean season. As a member of a severely food insecure household, Hawa has so far been to three food fairs. When she attended these fairs, she received food vouchers allowing her to buy food for her family, including cereals, beans, vegetables, oil, and meat.

    The majority of the people who attended the food fairs were women all draped in lightweight and colourful saris. Chadian women are actively involved in housework and child rearing and as such are responsible for purchasing food; therefore it is important to note that they play a crucial role in introducing any behavior change.

    With this in mind the food fairs were particularly well suited for engaging in large-scale awareness raising. During the fairs, Hawa attended small workshops delivering key messages on good nutritional and hygiene practices, and raising awreness as to the importance of exclusive breast-feeding for babies under six months old. Sahelian women are often unable to access education and therefore lack basic knowledge in terms of hygiene and nutrition. Hawa told us that these awareness raising sessions have allowed her to improve the quality of her child care and her awareness of the importance of hygiene practices.

    ACTED’s multifaceted response to this serious situation has meant that not only has food security for the most vulnerable households been improved, but also that women in this region are now better equipped with the necessary tools to live healthier lives.


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    Source:  NATO Civil-Military Fusion Centre
    Country:  Syrian Arab Republic (the), Iraq, Jordan, Mali

    INSIDE THIS ISSUE

    Iraq 1

    Mali 2

    Syria 3

    IED & Demining 4


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    Deyr rains began early (September) in most parts of Somalia. Some areas like Jowhar and Beletweyn experienced floods. In Beletweyn, two-days of precipitation (188mm) led to heavy floods that inundated significant parts of the town and its environs causing distraction of houses, irrigation infrastructure and crop loss.
    In South-Central, the highest levels of rainfall according to the data from raingauge stations include: Galkayo (26mm) in Mudug region;
    Beletweyn (206mm) and Jowhar (34mm). Light showers of below 30mm were recorded in Baidoa, Dinsor, Buloburti, and Jamame stations.
    In the North, the highest amount of rainfall was recorded in Qulenjeed (33mm) in Awdal; Borama (131mm) in W. Galbeed; Togwajaale (120mm) in Togdheer; Xudun (16mm) in Sool; Elafweyn (71mm) in Sanaag; Bilidin (107mm) in Bari and Burtinle (27mm) in Nugal (Map1 and Table 1).
    Satellite derived rainfall estimates (RFE) shows a build-up of rainfall activity from Northwest towards Northeast and South confirming the gradual cessation of Karan rains and the start of Deyr rains (Map 2-5). According to the RFE (Map 9), significantly above average rainfall was received in northern parts of Bakool and Hiran regions, including the surrounding areas in Ethiopia; considerable parts of Bari, Nugal, Mudug and Galgadud regions.
    Vegetation conditions are normal in most of northern and central Somalia, as indicated by Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) for September 2012 (Maps 6-8,10), which is close to the long-term average (LTA). Greener than normal (small increase) vegetation is visible in small pockets of most regions in the country. The exceptions are the regions of Central and Awdal in Northwest where vegetation is generally close to average. However, deterioration of pasture is still evident in some areas in the South with the worst vegetation being depicted in most of Lower Shabelle and Lower Juba regions. Small decrease in vegetation remains evident in small to large areas in Bay, Shabelles, Jubas and the Golis of Sanaag and Awdal. Large decrease in vegetation vigor is evident in L & M Agropastoral irrigated livelihood zone in Lower Shabelle.
    Based on the recent FSNAU assessment in October 2012, the actual off-season maize production in the South (Jubas, Shabelle, Gedo) is estimated at 2,500Mt, which is 97% of the projections made during Gu ‘12 assessment (2,591Mt). Wet and dry Deyr planting took place in some areas of Juba.
    Field reports indicate that riverine and agropastoral famers in Beletweyn increased areas under crop production. Abnormal livestock migration has been reported in Alula, while opportunistic normal migration is widespread across the country to the areas that received good rainfall. Harsh climatic condition in Guban livelihood zone has led to poor livestock condition and subsequent death of small ruminants. Water availability started to improve in September; further improvements are expected with the progression of the Deyr season.

    Note: Map in 4 pages

    Country:  Somalia
    Source:  Famine Early Warning System Network, Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit, European Commission - Joint Research Centre

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    Source:  UN Radio
    Country:  Chad

    Ecouter

    Cette année, une sévère crise alimentaire et nutritionnelle sévit dans la région du Sahel, affectant fortement les conditions de vie des populations rurales. Avec l'aide de la FAO et d'autres partenaires internationaux, le Gouvernement du Tchad tente de relancer l'activité agricole et de réduire l'impact de la crise alimentaire dans le pays.

    Dans une interview au Siège de la FAO à Rome, où il participe au Comité de la sécurité alimentaire, Djimé Adoum, Ministre tchadien de l’agriculture et de l’irrigation, parle des mesures d'intervention en vue d'améliorer la sécurité alimentaire au Tchad.

    L'insécurité alimentaire et la malnutrition sont récurrentes dans la région du Sahel, avec plus de 16 millions de personnes directement menacées cette année. La sécheresse a réduit la production céréalière du Sahel de 26 % par rapport à l'année dernière et le Tchad a connu une baisse de production de 50%.

    (Extrait sonore : Djimé Adoum, Ministre tchadien de l’agriculture et de l’irrigation ; propos recueillis par Liliane Kambirigi de la FAO)


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    Source:  Agence France-Presse
    Country:  Mali

    10/19/2012 10:28 GMT

    BRUSSELS, Oct 19, 2012 (AFP) - European Union leaders on Friday vowed to help Mali reconquer its vast desert north from armed rebels and Islamists by backing up an international military force and training Malian defence forces.

    As African and European leaders gathered in Bamako to agree a plan to retake the north, a draft EU summit statement obtained by AFP said the situation "poses an immediate threat to the Sahel region as well as to West and North Africa and to Europe."

    "The EU will support Mali in its efforts to restore the rule of law and re-etablish a fully sovereign democratic government with authority throughout Malian territory," the statement said.

    Friday's talks in the Malian capital come a week after the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution giving West African nations 45 days to lay out details for a military intervention.

    The EU statement said the bloc "will examine support for the envisaged military force" and "speed up planning of a possible Common Security and Defence Policy military operation to help reorganise and train the Malian defence forces."

    The EU would also resume development cooperation as soon as Mali's coup leaders provided evidence of moves to restore constitutional order.

    "In the meantime the EU will step up its humanitarian response," the statement added.

    Military putschists seized power in the capital Bamako in March, ousting President Amadou Toumani Toure, only to see the north and east fall to Tuareg rebels and militias linked to Al-Qaeda.

    In Bamako last week, thousands took to the streets demanding armed intervention by a West African force to oust Islamists forcing women to wear veils and destroying ancient tombs as they impose Sharia law.

    ccr/ric/yad

    © 1994-2012 Agence France-Presse


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    Source:  UN High Commissioner for Refugees
    Country:  Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya, Somalia, Uganda, United States of America (the), Yemen

    GENEVA, 19 October 2012

    BRIEFER: Andrej Mahecic, UNHCR Spokesman

    This is a summary of what was said by the UNHCR spokesperson at today’s Palais des Nations press briefing in Geneva.

    In Ethiopia, the population of the Dollo Ado refugee complex in the country’s southeast passed the 170,000-mark last week. Dollo Ado shelters Somali refugees and is the world’s biggest refugee complex after Dadaab in Kenya. Although the rate of arrivals at Dollo Ado has slowed this year, people are continuing to flee conflict and insecurity in southern and central parts of Somalia. Many cite fear of harassment and forced recruitment by armed groups who control large rural areas of the country.

    Between January and the end of September this year 62,000 Somalis became refugees in the region surrounding their country. More than 25,000 of these fled to Ethiopia – making it the largest recipient of Somali refugees in the region so far this year. By comparison Yemen registered 15,000 Somali refugees, Kenya 13,000, Uganda 6,800 and Djibouti 2,300 over the same period.

    Overall the number of Somali refugees in the region numbers more than a million. Half of these are in Kenya, while Ethiopia now hosts 214,000 – in camps at Dollo Ado and several hundred kilometres to the north at Jijiga. As well as Somalis, who constitute the largest refugee group, Ethiopia also hosts more than 91,000 Sudanese refugees, almost 61,000 Eritreans, and 4,000 refugees from other countries. Every month, Ethiopia generously takes thousands of new arrivals from neighbouring countries.

    There are currently five camps in Dollo Ado. The newest is Buramino camp, which opened in November last year, and is now full to capacity with a population of more than 32,000 refugees. New arrivals are also being transferred to the Kobe and Hillaweyn camps. We have increased the accommodation capacity of these two sites to 30,000 people each. The two oldest camps - Bokolmanyo and Melkadida – each host more than 40,000 people.

    With people still arriving at Dollo Ado, the Ethiopian government has authorized the opening of a sixth site and land for this has been designated between the town of Kole and Kobe camp, some 54 km north of Dollo Ado town.

    The cost of opening the new camp, setting up basic services and infrastructure including medical, education and warehousing facilities is more than US$ 5 million. We are seeking support from donors and partners, including resources for NGO partners who would be working in the camp. For the initial phase, we urgently need US$1.5 million for site preparation, land demarcation and setting up basic infrastructure including drilling of bore holes, setting up water points, emergency clinic, latrines, etc. The terrain in the Dollo Ado area is rocky and hard, posing additional challenges. In 2012 we have received US$44 million against the needs assessed at more than US$ 112 million.

    Refugees typically arrive with a few belongings only. Their most urgent needs are emergency shelters, food and essential aid items. To address these needs, we dispatched a convoy of nine trucks from Kenya last week, carrying 10,000 plastic sheets, 500 plastic rolls, 20,000 blankets, 15,000 sleeping mats, 15,000 mosquito nets, and 10,000 collapsible jerry cans. The trucks arrived at Dollo Ado through the southern border crossing of Moyale on 10 October and the aid is being distributed to new arrivals in the camps.

    Meanwhile, a long awaited 1,600 meter all-weather airstrip opened in Dollo Ado on 3 October, significantly upgrading access for humanitarian staff and transportation of car go. Funded by the US government, the airstrip was constructed by a WFP field-engineering team who worked closely with the Ethiopian civil aviation and road authorities. This is an important and major improvement for humanitarian organizations working in Dollo Ado as adverse weather conditions often rendered the old airstrip unusable. The only other access involved a three day trip on poor roads, severely delaying emergency interventions and urgent medical evacuations.

    Somalia remains one of the world's longest and worst refugee crises. In the past decade only the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq forced more than a million people to flee their homes. A third of Somalia's estimated 7.5 million population lives in forced displacement – either as refugees or internally displaced people.

    For further information on this topic, please contact:

    In Ethiopia:
    Kisut Gebre Egziabher on mobile +25 19 1120 8901 Natalia Prokopchuk on mobile: +25 19 1121 0271
    In Geneva:
    Andrej Mahecic on mobile +41 79 200 7617


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    Source:  Agence France-Presse
    Country:  Mali

    10/19/2012 10:54 GMT

    Par Stéphane BARBIER

    BAMAKO, 19 oct 2012 (AFP) - La reconquête militaire du nord du Mali occupé depuis plus de six mois par des groupes islamistes armés liés à Al-Qaïda est au coeur vendredi d'une réunion internationale à Bamako, dont l'objectif est d'en accélérer le déclenchement.

    La réunion, qui devait initialement débuter à 09H00 (locales et GMT) a été repoussée à 11H00 et sera ouverte par une allocution de président malien par intérim, Dioncounda Traoré, prononcée devant de hauts représentants de l'ONU, de l'Union africaine (UA), de la Communauté économique des Etats d'Afrique de l'Ouest (Cédéao) et de l'Union européenne (UE).

    Réunis à Bruxelles le même jour que cette rencontre de Bamako, les chefs d'Etat et de gouvernement de l'UE devaient approuver dans la journée une déclaration par laquelle ils se disent "prêts à aider le Mali dans ses efforts pour rétablir l'Etat de droit et rétablir un gouvernement pleinement démocratique exerçant son autorité sur l'ensemble du territoire malien".

    Le projet de déclaration souligne que l'UE est disposée pour cela à "accélérer la planification d'une possible mission dans le cadre de la Politique de défense et de sécurité commune afin d'aider à la réorganisation et l'entraînement des forces de défense maliennes".

    L'armée malienne a subi une lourde défaite face à l'offensive lancée en janvier par les rebelles touareg du Mouvement national de libération de l'Azawad (MNLA) alliés à des groupes islamistes emmenés par Al-Qaïda au Maghreb islamique (Aqmi) qui ont depuis pris le contrôle total du nord du Mali, trois régions administratives représentant les deux tiers du territoire malien.

    Démoralisée et sous-équipée, cette armée n'est absolument pas en mesure de reprendre le Nord, où les islamistes imposent avec brutalité la charia (loi islamique), y commettant de nombreuse exactions: meurtres, lapidation, amputations, coups de fouets, destruction de monuments sacrés.

    Le principe de l'envoi d'une force armée de quelque 3.000 hommes venus des pays de la Cédéao, soutenue par l'ONU et recevant l'appui logistique des pays occidentaux, est acquis, mais les pays ouest-africains doivent préciser sa composition, ses besoins et ses missions pour en accélérer le déploiement.

    Dans le Nord, le temps presse

    C'est le but de la réunion de Bamako: les pays de la Cédéao doivent commencer à fournir "leurs grandes lignes stratégiques" en vue de l'intervention et dire quelles sont leurs demandes en termes militaires, "avancer sur la définition des besoins" et moyens qui seront fournis par la communauté internationale, indique-t-on de source occidentale.

    Le président nigérian Goodluck Jonathan, dirigeant du pays le plus peuplé d'Afrique qui devrait fournir un important contingent à la force, est arrivé vendredi matin à Bamako où il devait rencontrer les leaders des partis politiques maliens.

    Parallèlement à la préparation d'une intervention militaire, les participants aborderont aussi la question des négociations avec certains des groupes armés qui occupent le Nord au côté d'Aqmi et qui se dissocieraient "du terrorisme" et de la partition du Mali.

    Ces négociations se tiennent avec Ansar Dine (Défenseurs de l'islam), un groupe actuellement allié à Aqmi dirigé par un ex-rebelle touareg devenu jihadiste, Iyad Ag Ghaly, avec pour objectif de regrouper dans un mouvement unifié tous les rebelles touareg qui devraient renoncer à la partition de leur pays et à l'alliance avec Al-Qaïda.

    Dans le Nord, le temps presse: des témoins ont affirmé mercredi que les islamistes armés devenaient "de plus en plus barbares".

    Le ministre français de la Défense, Jean-Yves Le Drian, a évoqué une question "de semaines" et non de "mois" pour le déploiement de la force, ce qui apparaît presque irréalisable pour nombre des participants à la réunion de Bamako.

    Parmi ces participants, figurent la nouvelle présidente de la commission de l'UA, la Sud-Africaine Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, et l'Italien Romano Prodi, nouvel envoyé spécial dans le Sahel du secrétaire général de l'ONU Ban Ki-moon.

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    Source:  Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit
    Country:  Somalia

    1 . EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

    1.1 KEY FINDINGS

    The findings of the FSNAU, FEWS NET and partner post-Gu 2012 seasonal assessment results indicate continued improvements in food security and nutrition situation in Somalia. During a famine year of 2011, over 4 million people, or more than half of the population of Somalia were facing an acute food security crisis. In the post_Gu 2012, an estimated 2.12 million people, or 28 percent of the country’s population, remain in acute food security crisis (IPC Phases 3 and 4) for the August to December 2012 period. This indicates a 16 percent reduction from the beginning of the year. 53.7 percent of the food insecure are classified in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) in urban and rural areas, 7.9 percent are classified in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) in urban and rural areas, and 38.4 percent are IDPs in a food security crisis. In addition, an estimated 1.7 million people in rural and urban areas are classified in Stressed phase (IPC Phase 2). The improved situation is attributed to sustained humanitarian interventions over the last twelve months, improved food stocks at the household and market levels following an exceptional January 2012 Deyr harvest, improved milk availability and higher livestock prices in most pastoral areas of Somalia. Despite the decrease of the population in need, the total remains among the world’s largest. Lifesaving humanitarian assistance remains necessary between now and December to help food insecure populations meet immediate food needs, protect livelihoods, and build resilience.

    According to the assessment findings, the August/ September Gu harvest is significantly below average due to a late start of rains, poor rainfall totals, and pest outbreaks, among other factors. However, food stocks from last season’s exceptional Deyr harvest helped to mitigate this shortfall and overall production for the 2012 calendar year is slightly above the annual average for the years of 1995-2011. Low cereal prices, high casual labor wage rates, and high livestock prices over the past six months have also contributed to reduced food insecurity by significantly strengthening the purchasing power of poor agropastoral households. In pastoral areas, households have also benefited from record livestock sales prices, robust livestock exports, and increasing livestock holdings, which have resulted in improved milk availability. This improved access to milk, among a variety of other factors, has driven a 27 percent reduction since January in the number of children requiring nutrition treatment. Currently 236,000 children are acutely malnourished, of which 70 percent are in the South.

    While conditions have improved considerably since last year, the food security crisis has not ended. In the southern and central agropastoral areas, the below average Gu harvest, the continued need for cash to pay down debts, and low livestock holdings are keeping most southern and central agropastoral areas in IPC Phase 3 (Crisis). Other areas of concern include coastal areas and the coastal plains along the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean in the northern and central regions.

    According to the consensus-based climate outlook concluded on the 32nd Forum of Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook on 29-31 August 20121 a mild El Niño is forecasted during October - December period. Overall, an El Niño is expected to have positive impact on Somalia as this phenomenon is associated with average to above average October to December Deyr rains. However, these rains are not always well distributed and therefore, cropping conditions could vary greatly over the rainfed, agropastoral areas. In addition, riverine areas are likely to experience flooding as a result of heavy rainfall and increased river levels. During the moderate 2006-07 El Niño, Deyr rains caused flooding, which disrupted production and markets, especially in the Juba Valley.

    International food prices have risen and will likely have an impact on prices in Somalia between now and December, especially for wheat and sugar. Over the past three years, wheat and wheat product imports have averaged 63 percent of Somalia’s food imports in grain equivalent terms. Prices for local maize and sorghum, the staple foods consumed by the poor, are likely to rise seasonably over the coming six months, but will be substantially lower than 2011.

    The epicentre of Somalia’s humanitarian crisis remains in the South, largely due to the long-term effects of drought and famine, and the short-term effects of this year’s poor Gu rainy season. Efforts to meet immediate needs are essential to prevent further deterioration of food security. Assistance to help food insecure populations meet immediate food needs, protect their livelihoods, build their resilience, and improve food access remain necessary in Somalia between now and the Deyr harvest in January.


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    Source:  Agence France-Presse
    Country:  Mali

    10/19/2012 13:51 GMT

    BAMAKO, 19 oct 2012 (AFP) - L'ONU et l'Union africaine (UA) vont ouvrir des bureaux permanents à Bamako afin de coordonner leurs actions respectives face à la crise dans le nord du Mali occupé par des islamistes armés, ont annoncé vendredi dans la capitale malienne deux hauts responsables de ces organisations.

    Ces annonces ont été faites séparément par le secrétaire général adjoint de l'ONU, Jan Eliasson, et par la présidente de la Commission de l'UA, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, dans des discours prononcés à l'ouverture d'une réunion internationale à Bamako consacrée à la crise malienne.

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    © 1994-2012 Agence France-Presse


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    Source:  Agence France-Presse
    Country:  Mali

    10/19/2012 13:33 GMT

    BAMAKO, 19 oct 2012 (AFP) - Le président malien par intérim Dioncounda Traoré a appelé vendredi à Bamako à une action urgente pour la reconquête militaire du nord du Mali, occupé depuis plus de six mois par des groupes islamistes armés, en estimant qu'il ne fallait "plus perdre la moindre seconde".

    "Nous ne devons plus perdre la moindre seconde. Il y a un caractère d'urgence, nous sommes engagés dans une course contre la montre", a déclaré M. Traoré devant plusieurs responsables de la communauté internationale réunis dans la capitale malienne pour peaufiner une stratégie de reconquête militaire du nord du Mali.

    Il a remercié la communauté internationale pour son soutien au Mali depuis le début de la crise, et a rendu notamment hommage à la nouvelle présidente de la commission de l'Union africaine (UA), la Sud-Africaine Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, au secrétaire général de l'ONU Ban Ki-moon et au président français François Hollande.

    "Grâce à votre soutien et à votre solidarité agissante, notre pays, le Mali, ne s'est jamais senti seul", a affirmé Dioncounda Traoré, assurant que les partenaires du Mali pouvaient compter sur la collaboration des autorités maliennes.

    "La totale collaboration du gouvernement ne vous fera pas défaut. (...) Le Mali jouera pleinement sa partition" dans la mise en place d'une intervention militaire, a-t-il ajouté.

    Le principe de l'envoi d'une force armée de quelque 3.000 hommes venus des pays de la Communauté économique des Etats de l'Afrique de l'Ouest (Cédéao), soutenue par l'ONU et recevant l'appui logistique des pays occidentaux, est acquis. Mais les pays ouest-africains doivent préciser la composition, les besoins et les missions de cette force pour en accélérer le déploiement.

    La réunion s'est ouverte en présence de Mme Dlamini-Zuma, et de l'Italien Romano Prodi, nouvel envoyé spécial du secrétaire général de l'ONU dans le Sahel.

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