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ReliefWeb - Updates

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    Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
    Country: Nigeria
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    Civil insecurity and floods will cause food insecurity levels to increase

    KEY MESSAGES

    • Several months after widespread flooding caused substantial population displacement and significant crop damage, flood-affected households have yet to fully recover their livelihoods. Below-average household food stocks and income levels, coupled with high food prices, will cause food insecurity levels to increase in the coming months. Areas hardest hit by the flooding, such as the states along the Niger and Benue Rivers, will experience Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food insecurity from now through June.

    • Civil insecurity relating to the Boko Haram conflict is continuing, particularly in Borno, Kano and Yobe states, displacing households and limiting crop production, market, and trade activities in conflict-affected areas. In Borno and Yobe states - the epicenter of the civil insecurity - Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food insecurity conditions will be present from January to March before evolving into Crisis (IPC Phase 3) conditions between April to June.

    • The prices of major staple cereals, such as sorghum, maize, and millet, have remained above last year's prices and their respective five-year average levels. Given below-average household and market food supplies due to flooding and civil insecurity and increasing demand for staple crops, prices are expected to increase at a faster rate than normal during the next six months, particularly starting in March.


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    Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
    Country: Mauritania
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    Local rice and sorghum are the most consumed food products by poor households in Mauritania followed by imported wheat which is a substitute that these households turn to the most. Local rice is grown in the river valley (in the southern regions of Trarza, Brakna, Gorgol and Guidimakha). Sorghum is produced in all areas of production (rainfed) and in flood-recession areas. However, a significant portion is imported from Mali and Senegal. Mauritania depends greatly on food imports (70% in a good agricultural year and 85% in a bad year) than on internal production. Nouakchott is the principal collection market for imported products and also the distribution market where traders acquire supplies for the secondary markets referenced below. Cooking oil is consumed mainly in urban areas. The sale of animals is a lifestyle in all areas and an important source of income and food.


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    Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
    Country: Malawi
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    Maize, rice, and cassava are the most important food commodities. Markets selected represent the entire geographic length of the country: two markets in each of the north, center, and south. In the north, Karonga is one of the most active markets in maize and rice and is influenced by informal cross-border trade with Tanzania. Mzimba is a major maize producing area in the northern region. Salima, in the center along the lake, is an important market where some of the fishing populations are almost entirely dependent on the market for staple cereals. Mitundu is a very busy peri-urban market in Lilongwe. In the south, the Lunzu market is the main supplier of food commodities such as maize and rice for Blantyre. The Bangula market in Nsanje district was chosen to represent the Lower Shire area, covering Chikwawa and Nsanje districts.


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    Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
    Country: Nigeria
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    Sorghum, maize, millet, cowpea, gari (fermented cassava starch), and rice are all found in Nigerian markets. Sorghum, millet and maize are widely consumed by most households, but especially in the north, and are used by various industries. Maize is mainly used by the poultry industry as a raw material for feed while sorghum is used by breweries for producing beverages. Sorghum and millet are important for households in the north, particularly the border markets where millet is also heavily traded with Niger. Gari is widely consumed by households in the south and some in the north. Rice is produced and consumed throughout the country. The north is a major production and consumption area for cowpea which flows to the south for use by households and food processing industries. Ilela, Maidua, and Damasak are all critical cross-border markets with Niger. Saminaka, Giwa, Dandume, and Kaura are important grain markets in the north, which are interconnected with the Dawanu market in Kano, the largest wholesale market in West Africa, and some southern markets such as Bodija in Ibadan. Millet, sorghum, maize, and cowpea are among the most important cereals traded at Dawanu, while cassava and some cereals are traded with Bodija.


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    Source: European Commission Humanitarian Aid department
    Country: Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger
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    Key messages

    • Intense fighting followed by military intervention has resulted in a volatile humanitarian situation involving population displacements and restricted access for humanitarian organisations in certain areas.

    • The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and several NGOs have called on all parties to the conflict to respect the safety of civilians as prescribed by International Humanitarian Law and to allow humanitarian organisations unrestricted access to people in need.

    • In July 2012, humanitarian organisations working in Mali agreed on a Code of Conduct providing guidance on how to try to maintain secure access to beneficiaries and prevent the diversion of humanitarian aid.

    • The intensification of the conflict is aggravating the on-going food and nutritional crisis with millions of Malians at risk of food insecurity in 2013. Despite a good harvest, prices of staple foods remain high, making them inaccessible to the poorest. Severe malnutrition rates remain above emergency thresholds in certain areas in the south while surveys could not be carried out in the north.

    • The European Commission’s humanitarian aid of €78 million since last year has enabled UN agencies, the Red Cross/Red Crescent movement and international NGOs to react rapidly to the growing humanitarian needs. Despite a challenging security situation in the north and centre of Mali, emergency organisations have continued to provide health care, medical supplies, nutrition services, food assistance, water and sanitation support, prevention and treatment of epidemics in Kidal, Gao and Timbuktu regions.


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    Source: UN Radio
    Country: Mali

    Écouter

    Le Haut Commissariat de l'ONU aux droits de l'homme déploie ce dimanche une nouvelle équipe d'observateurs chargés de surveiller la situation des droits humains sur le terrain. Cette équipe de quatre experts va compléter celle déjà en place à Bamako et qui pilote l'unité des droits de l'homme au Bureau de l'ONU au Mali.

    Selon Cécile Pouilly, porte-parole du Haut Commissariat, « l'objectif est de documenter la situation des droits de l'homme sur place et bien sûr de mettre en lumière toutes les allégations d'exactions ou d'abus possibles ».

    A cet égard, la Chef des droits de l'homme de l'ONU, Navi Pillay, a une nouvelle fois demandé à toutes les parties au conflit « de respecter les droits de l’homme et les lois humanitaires internationales et d’empêcher les représailles ».

    Dés ce dimanche, cette mission composée de quatre experts qui sera déployée pour deux semaines, va mener des enquêtes sur les abus des droits de l'homme au Mali. Il s'agit d'enquêter sur toutes les allégations d'exécutions extrajudiciaires, mais aussi de viols ou d'éventuels cas de torture. Ces investigations interviennent après celles menées en novembre dernier par les services de Navi Pillay au Mali et dans les pays limitrophes de Bamako.

    Les conclusions de ces deux enquêtes sur le Mali seront présentées par la Chef des droits de l'homme de l'ONU lors de la 22e session du Conseil des droits l'homme prévue du 25 février au 25 mars prochain à Genève.

    Mardi dernier à New York, la Haut-commissaire de l’ONU aux droits de l’homme avait déjà lancé « un appel solennel à tous les protagonistes du conflit malien pour qu’ils empêchent les représailles ». « Les attaques et les ripostes risquent d’entraîner le Mali dans une spirale de violence catastrophique », avait averti Navi Pillay devant le Conseil de sécurité de l'ONU qui débattait de la protection des civils dans les conflits armés. « La protection des droits de l’homme est essentielle pour stabiliser la situation » au Mali, a conclu Navi Pillay.

    (Interview : Cécile Pouilly, porte-parole du Haut Commissariat de l'ONU aux droits de l'homme ; Propos recueillis par Alpha Diallo)


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    Source: World Health Organization
    Country: Niger

    12 février 2013 - Après la notification le 3 janvier 2013 d’un cas d’infection par un poliovirus sauvage de type 1 (PVS1) au Niger, la riposte se poursuit dans le pays. Ce cas a été détecté dans la région de Tahoua, avec apparition de la paralysie le 15 novembre 2012 (c’est le premier cas au Niger depuis décembre 2011). Le séquençage génétique a confirmé que le virus était nouvellement importé et que sa parenté était la plus étroite avec les virus en circulation dans l’État de Kano, au Nigéria.

    Le gouvernement du Niger continue de mettre en place une riposte globale conforme aux lignes directrices publiées en la matière par l’Assemblée mondiale de la Santé dans sa résolution WHA59.1. Après une activité initiale de vaccination supplémentaire (AVS) le 15 janvier 2013 pour administrer le vaccin antipoliomyélitique oral bivalent à environ deux millions d’enfants, des AVS ont eu lieu à l’échelle nationale du 2 au 5 février 2013, ciblant l’administration du VPO trivalent à plus de cinq millions d’enfants. Une nouvelle AVS nationale est prévue du 2 au 5 mars avec le VPO bivalent. Il y avait eu auparavant des AVS nationales le 23 novembre 2012 avec le VPO bivalent. Le Bureau régional de l’Organisation mondiale de la Santé (OMS) pour l’Afrique a déployé une équipe conjointe, nationale et internationale, d’épidémiologistes et d’experts de la santé publique, afin d’aider les autorités nigériennes à enquêter, à planifier les actions de riposte et à soutenir la recherche active d’autres cas de poliomyélite paralytique.

    Cet événement confirme le risque de persistance de la propagation internationale d’un agent pathogène (le PVS) sur le point d’être éradiqué. En mai 2012, l’Assemblée mondiale de la Santé a déclaré dans sa résolution WHA65.5 que l’achèvement de l’éradication de la poliomyélite était une urgence programmatique pour la santé publique mondiale. Compte tenu des antécédents de propagation internationale de la poliomyélite en Afrique de l’Ouest à partir du Nord du Nigéria, l’OMS évalue le risque d’une nouvelle propagation internationale comme élevé. Sur la base des précédentes importations au Niger et de la riposte actuelle, l’OMS évalue que le risque de propagation internationale à partir du Niger est modéré à élevé. Ce risque est actuellement amplifié par les mouvements importants de populations liés à l’insécurité au Mali. Pour réduire ce risque le plus possible, des AVS synchronisées sont prévues dans 13 pays d’Afrique de l’Ouest fin avril et fin mai pour administrer en association le VPO bivalent et trivalent.

    En raison de la persistance des lacunes locales de la surveillance dans certaines régions d’Afrique de l’Ouest, on ne peut exclure pour l’instant la poursuite d’une circulation non détectée. Des enquêtes sont en cours pour repérer plus clairement ces lacunes dans la Région, notamment au niveau des populations mobiles, migrantes et mal desservies. Des mesures sont prises pour renforcer la surveillance au niveau sous-national, afin de garantir qu’une surveillance de qualité couvre bien tous les groupes et toutes les régions, notamment les populations à haut risque.

    Conformément aux recommandations décrites par l’OMS dans Voyages internationaux et santé, les voyageurs à destination ou en provenance du Niger et des autres pays où sévit la poliomyélite, doivent être totalement protégés par la vaccination. Il est important que tous les pays, en particulier ceux dont les populations ont des contacts fréquents avec des pays où il y a la poliomyélite, renforcent la surveillance des cas de paralysie flasque aiguë (PFA), afin de détecter rapidement toute nouvelle importation de poliovirus et de faciliter une riposte rapide. Les pays devraient également analyser les données de la couverture vaccinale pour repérer les lacunes locales dans l’immunité des populations, afin d’orienter les actions de rattrapage et ainsi réduire le plus possible les conséquences d’une éventuelle introduction du virus. La priorité doit être donnée aux zones à haut risque d’importation et celles où la couverture du VPO3/DTC3 est inférieure à 80%.


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    Source: World Food Programme
    Country: Kenya
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    Highlight

    The December round is the third implemented in 2012 and coincide with the short rainy season. The short rains started late, with poor temporally distribution in many areas and with long dry spells within the season. The rainfall did however pick up in December and most parts of the South East- and coastal- marginal agricultural areas received near normal to above normal rainfall amounts. Most parts of the North Western pastoral livelihood zones received above average and well distributed rains while the performance has been mixed in the North and North Eastern pastoral zones with the Madera triangle having received only 50-75% of normal rainfall as of end December.

    The coast and the South East marginal agricultural zones are short rains dependent and due to the poor start of the season many farmers had to re-plant crops up to two times. Unskilled la- bour remained the most important income source for households in these two livelihood zones and increased in importance since September This indicates that the poor onset of the short rains did not negatively affect the availability of casual agricultural labour, which has mitigated the impact that the poor start otherwise might have had on the poorest households.

    The overall food security situation has remained relatively stable in December compared with September for both WFP beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries. Currently some 35 percent of sampled households are severely food insecure. The main driver behind food insecurity varies between late rains, high prices and insecurity depending on the livelihood zone.

    North Western pastoral livelihood zone has deteriorated significantly since September. Only 20 percent of the sampled population have an acceptable food consumption and some 10 percent are regarded as food secure. A main driver is the alarmingly high food prices that are much higher than anywhere else in the country.

    The MUAC Surveillance data from NDMA show that all but two of the 27 monitored districts (Samburu and Turkana) have an improving trend in the proportion of children at risk of malnutrition in December compared to the previous months.


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    Source: IRIN
    Country: Algeria, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria

    DAKAR, 18 February 2013 (IRIN) - Militant Islamists fleeing northern Mali under pressure from French forces could undermine security in neighbouring countries from where some of the fighters are believed to hail. They could also attract the support of sympathetic militias in the region, and even target countries with large expatriate communities, analysts say.

    Members of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM - an extremist Islamist group that emerged in the 1990s), its splinter faction the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), and Ansar Dine (a Tuareg group that sprung up in 2012), are believed to have retreated to Mali’s mountainous region near the Algerian border.

    However, their ability to carry out attacks outside Mali largely depends on the strength of their networks abroad and the extent to which military intervention (currently led by France and in which at least eight West African countries are to take part), galvanizes opponents.

    The extent of damage inflicted on these groups by French air power is unclear.

    Since April 2012 conflict in the north has forced some 227,206 Malians to become internally displaced and 167,245 to take refuge in neighbouring Burkina Faso, Niger and Mauritania. The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs estimates 4.3 million Malians will be in need of assistance this year, but as of 13 February just $10 million of the $377 million appeal for the country had been pledged.

    Where are the rebels?

    “It’s difficult to know where they are headed to, more so that they have not completely left Mali. They would have first fled to the mountains and then dispersed to other countries, but the fact that they are carrying out attacks such as in Gao seems to suggest they are maintaining a presence in Mali,” said Yvan Guichaoua, Sahel expert and lecturer in international development at the University of East Anglia.

    It is also not very clear how many fighters were and still remain in the ranks of the Islamist groups, although Mali-watchers estimate that the three groups had a force of around 3,000.

    “So of that 3,000 probably at least half disappeared and went back to their home as soon as the French began their assault. So maybe the number has rapidly dwindled to 1,000 or less of pretty hard-core Islamist fighters,” said Jeremy Keenan, a research associate at the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies.

    Nevertheless Mali’s neighbours are still at risk of a spill-over from the crisis, at least around the border areas, which remain porous, argued Gilles Yabi of International Crisis Group.

    “AQIM would withdraw towards the north using networks it has built in Libya when trafficking. It could go as far as south of Tunisia where there has recently been a huge weapons influx,” Guichaoua told IRIN.

    “MUJAO, which has a more cosmopolitan composition, with fighters from Niger, Nigeria, Moor people from Mauritania, [and] Saharawi people, would rather withdraw to Niger or Mauritania. Nevertheless MUJAO is less structured and could factionalize in accordance with the origins of its members.”

    The Moor and Saharawi are inhabitants of Africa’s westernmost region around Morocco, western Algeria and Mauritania and have African and Arab ancestry.

    Independent armed groups could be galvanized into action by the foreign intervention in Mali. “This is what happened in Algeria. While the [January] attack on In Amenas [Algerian gas plant] had been organized a long time ago, the conflict in northern Mali was used as a trigger. This is also what happened when a branch of the Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram (called Jama'atu Ansarul Muslimina Fi Biladis Sudan) attacked Nigerian soldiers leaving for Mali in January,” Yabi explained.

    Are foreigners at greater risk?

    “In the short term, the military intervention increases the risks of terrorist attacks. Furthermore, the first suicide bombing in Gao means that asymmetric warfare that everybody dreaded has started. When you have people ready to blow themselves up in northern Mali, you can't exclude that they'll do it somewhere else,” added Yabi.

    Countries with a huge population of foreigners like Senegal are at risk of attack. Senegalese capital Dakar hosts dozens of international organizations and tens of thousands of expatriates. “A bombing is a stronger possibility now than before,” said Alex Thurston, a writer on Sahel issues. In early February, Senegal arrested several foreigners suspected to be militants.

    Expatriates in mining industries could also be targets. The January announcement by France to deploy troops to Arlit uranium mine in Niger illustrated the threat, observers say.

    “Kidnapping risk is also still extremely high and that may spread. We might see more of it - whether by opportunists or by some people who may have some links to AQIM,” Thurston said.

    “In the end a lot will depend on how the French, Malian and African troops will behave. If the intervention turns sour with many human rights violations, if northerners get excluded, it could generate huge anger.”

    Which countries are at higher risk and why?

    Niger

    Experts say Niger, Mali’s neighbour to the east, is the most vulnerable, citing previous kidnapping of foreigners there and trafficking routes. The capital Niamey is at risk because it is located on the “Gao-Tillabéri axis [cross-border route] which is a corridor for traffickers, jihadists and home to an Arab community which would be more likely to link with former MUJAO fighters,” said Guichaoua.

    The government of President Mahamadou Issoufou has, over the years, tried to deal with internal threats by reaching agreements with Arab leaders as well as addressing Tuareg grievances by giving them seats in the government and pledging development of the country’s north. The efforts have so far kept things stable, but the perception of corruption, some unfulfilled development promises, and if the regime is seen as being too open to Western military presence in the region, could unsettle the fragile stability.

    While Nigerien Tuareg youths are unhappy with the country’s leadership, their anger has not boiled over into an uprising. Niger has seen Tuareg demands for more autonomy over governance over recent years, but no separatist movement per se. The demands have been more about equity in terms of wealth distribution and jobs in the mining and public sectors, Guichaoua said.

    The Boko Haram insurgency across its southern border in Nigeria could also be a source of instability.

    Algeria

    “Algeria is a special case because AQIM is first an Algerian problem,” said Yabi. While Algeria has always taken a tough stance against the group, it has not managed to eradicate the threat. Some AQIM leaders have always remained in Algeria and the group’s links with cells inside the country still exist, analysts said.

    “There is also evidence, but not really very verifiable yet, that some of the leaders of the key Islamist groups have either been taken back to Algeria or are trying to get back to Algeria. My suspicion is that most of the AQIM leadership will be taken back in to Algeria because they have been supported by Algeria,” said Keenan.

    Libya

    “Libya is an important terrorist pool in the region. Considering the country’s instability, it is a breeding ground for fighters,” Yabi noted. Ties between AQIM in northern Mali and and Libya have been built up over years, mainly through trafficking. Dissident AQIM leader Mokhtar Belmokhtar is said to have been key in forging the Libyan ties. He claimed responsibility for the hostage-taking in Algeria’s In Amenas gas field days after the French launched its military drive in Mali.

    “Already there are reports of fighters from Mali dispersing throughout the Sahel including back into Libya where some of these fighter came from. Things could get pretty murky pretty quickly,” said Thurston.

    Nigeria

    Analysts IRIN spoke to said some Boko Haram elements were part of the insurgency in northern Mali, but they doubted that the Nigerian militants had structured links with the Islamist fighters in Mali. It is also unclear what the effect returning Boko Haram fighters would have on Nigeria.

    “Boko Haram still has no international strategy. While some individuals are moving and might eventually take action in Niger, the organization still is very much a Nigerian movement that doesn’t act like a globalized jihad group,” said Guichaoua.

    Mauritania

    Mauritania is one of the first countries in the region to face serious terrorism threats. The government has cracked down on extremist Islamist militants, adopting a counter-terrorism strategy which has received US military backing as well as enhancing regional security cooperation.

    “Mauritania has fought a good fight the last several years against AQIM and it was coping well,” said Peter Pham of the United States-based Atlantic Council think tank. There are fears that Mauritanian AQIM elements returning to the country could link up with local gunmen, Thurston said, adding that the Nouakchott authorities have arrested suspected AQIM sympathizers.

    Why are neighbouring countries wary of deals with Tuaregs?

    Mali’s neighbours with Tuareg populations are wary of a political settlement that could make concessions to the autonomy-seeking Tuaregs, analysts said. Guichaoua explained that Algeria, for its part, has firm control over its Tuareg population and has kept them happy enough not to be swayed by events across the border.

    In a recent interview with Andy Morgan, journalist and writer on West African and the Sahel, the leader of the newly-formed Islamic Movement of Azawad, Alghabass Ag Intalla, said: “We need to have a broad autonomy for Azawad, a large autonomy, like that of the Kurds in Iraq or another model.”

    Mali’s Tuareg National Movement for Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) and the Islamic Movement of Azawad (MIA), which recently split from Ansar Dine, have expressed willingness to negotiate with the Bamako government.

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    Source: ICRC
    Country: Mali

    18-02-2013 Operational Update

    The humanitarian situation in northern Mali is still a source of concern. Displaced persons in the north-east corner of the country lack food and water. The ICRC and the Mali Red Cross are working to help people who have been affected by the conflict.

    "The country is facing a difficult humanitarian situation," said Jean Nicholas Marti, the head of the ICRC regional delegation for Mali and Niger. "In the northern region, access to drinking water is still a big worry for recently displaced people in Tinzawatene, close to the Algerian border and in some other towns such as Ménaka, Timbuktu or Gao."

    Teams of relief workers from the ICRC and the Mali Red Cross have handed out jerrycans and water purification tablets to almost 5,400 displaced persons in Tinzawatene. They are also repairing wells in the Akharabane and Achibriche areas, which are also near to the Algerian border, where there has been an influx of displaced persons. The situation is particularly worrying because residents are having to share their meagre resources with the newcomers.

    In order to keep pumping stations going, 20,000 litres of fuel were recently trucked to Gao and 3,000 litres to Ménaka, a town with a resident population of approximately 23,000.

    Timbutktu received a delivery of 33,000 litres of fuel. Thanks to this support, the town now has a sufficient reserve of drinking water to supply its resident population of approximately 40,000 for the next three to four weeks.

    The ICRC has thus ensuring water supplies in Gao, Timbuktu and Kidal, the main towns in northern Mali, since the beginning of 2012.

    Support for displaced families in Tinzawatene

    The ICRC and the Mali Red Cross have supplied about 4,000 displaced persons in Tinzawatene with essential items (tarpaulins, hygiene kits, kitchen utensils, clothing, mosquito nets, etc.). About 165 tonnes of food should also be distributed to 9,000 people over the next few days.

    Gao hospital: caring for the injured

    The ICRC-supported hospital treated 13 people injured in the recent fighting in Gao. Last week, there were 341 consultations, 46 admissions and 12 births in this regional medical centre.

    Visits to detainees in Mopti, Sévaré and Bamako

    It is reported that many people have been arrested since hostilities resumed in Mali. The ICRC is pursuing its dialogue with the parties to the conflict with a view to gaining access to everyone who has been arrested or detained anywhere in Mali in relation to the fighting.

    ICRC delegates have been able to visit persons detained by the Malian authorities in Mopti, Sévaré and Bamako, in order to assess their conditions of detention and their treatment. The ICRC discusses any possible observations and recommendations with the detaining authorities in a confidential, bilateral dialogue.

    For further information, please contact:
    Valery Mbaoh Nana, ICRC Niamey, tel: +227 97 45 43 82 or +223 76 99 63 75 Wolde-Gabriel Saugeron, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 31 49 or +41 79 244 64 05


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    Source: European Union
    Country: Mali

    Le Conseil a lancé ce jour la mission de l'UE visant à apporter un soutien à la formation et à la réorganisation des forces armées maliennes. Un élément précurseur est arrivé à Bamako le 8 février et commencera à s'acquitter des tâches d'expertise et de conseil dans les jours qui viennent. Les instructeurs militaires devraient être déployés avant la fin du mois de mars.

    Cette opération, lancée dans le cadre de la résolution 2085 (2012) du Conseil de sécurité des Nations unies, fait partie intégrante de l'approche globale de l'UE à l'égard de la situation au Mali et dans la région du Sahel. Elle vise à contribuer à améliorer la capacité militaire des forces armées maliennes, dans le but de leur permettre, sous le contrôle des autorités civiles, de rétablir l'intégrité territoriale du pays.

    Catherine Ashton, Haute Représentante de l'Union, a déclaré: "Je remercie les États membres et les pays partenaires qui apportent leur contribution; leur action énergique a permis que la mission soit déployée. EUTM Mali oeuvrera en faveur de la stabilité au Mali et dans la région du Sahel, aujourd'hui et pour l'avenir. Le respect des droits de l'homme et la protection des civils constitueront un volet important du programme de formation."

    EUTM Mali dispensera des conseils et une formation militaire aux forces armées maliennes, y compris en matière de commandement et de contrôle, de logistique et de ressources humaines, ainsi que dans le domaine du droit humanitaire international, de la protection des civils et des droits de l'homme. La mission ne participera pas à des opérations de combat.


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    Source: European Union
    Country: Mali

    3222nd FOREIGN AFFAIRS Council meeting
    Brussels, 18 february 2013

    "1 . The EU supports the efforts of the international community to achieve stability and security in Mali, most notably Operation Serval and the African-led International Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA), and reaffirms its commitment to the fight against the threat of terrorism.

    2 . The EU reiterates its full support for the implementation of the roadmap for transition in Mali.
    To that end it urges the Malian authorities, in consultation with ECOWAS, to take steps to maintain the arrangements necessary to sustain the transition until free and transparent elections are held this year, and to ensure that the civilian government has definitive control over the armed forces. It reiterates its willingness to support the electoral process. The EU also calls on the Malian authorities to follow up their pledge, as laid down in the roadmap, to set up a National Dialogue and Reconciliation Commission. This will enable Mali's key players to take ownership of the results of the process of negotiation, including with all non-terrorist and non-criminal armed movements which agree unconditionally to respect the unity, territorial integrity and sovereignty of Mali.

    3 . The EU welcomes the meeting of the Support and Follow-Up Group in Brussels on 5 February 2013 on the situation in Mali. It is important for the international community to support the transition in Mali, particularly through regular meetings of the Group and through the resumption of the political dialogue between Mali and the EU under Article 8 of the Cotonou Agreement.


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    Source: Assessment Capacities Project
    Country: Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Haiti, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Myanmar, Niger, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Samoa, Senegal, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Turkey, World, Yemen, Zimbabwe, South Sudan (Republic of)
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    In Syria, insurgents heightened their offensive to capture airports and air bases in Aleppo, leading to intense fighting across the province. In eastern Syria, rebels captured the town al-Shaddadeh after three days of fighting that left 130 people dead and forced some 40,000 people to flee the town. The number of Syrian refugees continued to rise, amounting to a total of 830,675, an increase of around 38,500 newly registered refugees or individuals awaiting registration in a week.

    French and Malian troops continued efforts to secure Gao and its surroundings in northern Mali. Although humanitarian access in central regions and parts of the north continues to improve and aid is increasing in the accessible parts, security remains a serious threat in parts of the north due to the on-going military operations, threat of mines by armed groups, recent intra-military clashes and suicide bombings.
    Torrential rains in Peru have caused floods and landslides in the Arequipa province in southern Peru, affecting some 48,000 people. Nationwide, some 91,128 people have been affected by floods and landslides since the start of the rainy season in October 2012.

    Global Emergency Overview web interface


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    Source: Food and Agriculture Organization
    Country: Mali
    preview


    FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

    • Military interventions led to increased food insecurity in the northern part of the country
    • Last year’s good cereal harvests pushed prices down in the South

    Increased food insecurity in the northern part of the country

    The current military operations have aggravated the disruptions to food commodity flows to northern regions leading to increasingly tight market supplies, diminishing food stocks, and dwindling cash resources. For example, supplies coming from Algeria to Kidal and Gao have fallen by 50 percent following the closure of the border with Algeria, according to a recent assessment conducted by WFP. Most salesmen have reportedly left the Kidal area increasing the risk of serious food shortages in that region, according to another rapid evaluation.

    The conflict also dramatically altered the overall security situation, resulting in large population displacements. As of late January 2013, 15 208 new Malian refugees had arrived in Burkina Faso (5 002), Mauritania (8 468) and Niger (1 738). Over 200 000 Malian refugees were already residing in these countries as of late December 2012. There was also massive displacement of herders and livestock to neighboring countries.

    A good cereal harvest gathered last year following improved weather

    Last year, adequate rainfall during the main cropping season has resulted in a favourable cereal harvest. Government services estimated the 2012 aggregate cereals production at over 6.2 million tonnes (including off-season crop harvest forecasts), about 9 percent higher than the 2011 drought-affected output and 16 percent above the average of the past five years.

    Reflecting the good 2012 cereal crops markets are generally well supplied in the southern parts of the country and cereal prices have declined significantly. For example, millet prices in markets in Bamako continued their downward movement through January 2013 and they were 17 and 32 percent, respectively, lower than in January 2013.


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    Source: Afrique Verte
    Country: Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger
    preview


    Début février, la tendance générale des prix des céréales sèches est à la hausse dans les 3 pays...


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    Source: CARE
    Country: Mali

    The food security situation is expected to deteriorate further in northern Mali and parts of Mopti region as of the end of February

    BAMAKO, Mali (February 18, 2013): Although humanitarian access remains limited in northern Mali, CARE International and its local partners are on the ground, distributing much needed food to both returnees and people who have remained in the conflict-ridden Timbuktu region. Over the past few days, CARE and its local partners have distributed 450 metric tonnes of food to 25,881 people in the Timbuktu region, and aim to reach over 47,000 people with essential food items by the end of the month.

    “Despite the challenges and the risks, it is important that we come to the aid of the people of Timbuktu as this region remains highly vulnerable. It is also the region that suffers the most from acute food insecurity in Mali,” said Claudine Mensah Awute, Country Director with CARE International in Mali. More than half a million people are already food insecure in northern Mali, with an additional 1.2 million at risk, according to the World Food Programme. Further, there are fears that the food security situation will deteriorate even more in northern Mali and parts of Mopti region as of the end of February. The current conflict in Mali has started in the midst of a Sahel-wide food and nutrition crisis that eroded the resilience of the population. Millions continue to suffer and the recent fighting has created additional humanitarian needs.

    Overall, 4.3 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in Mali.

    Since mid January, CARE has distributed 668 metric tonnes of food to 46,888 people–both internally displaced people and host communities–in the regions of Mopti and Ségou, along with more than 2,320 family kits full of emergency supplies such as mats, blankets, soap, mosquito nets and kitchen utensils.

    Food and access to water, sanitation and hygiene remain the highest priorities according to CARE’s recent assessments conducted to ascertain the needs of newly arrived displaced people as well as the local population in Mopti and Ségou. CARE will continue its food distributions, aiming to reach 200,000 people in the regions of Timbuktu, Mopti and Ségou over the next six months. CARE is also constructing and rehabilitating water points and latrines, and is distributing hygiene kits to local and displaced communities in the regions of Mopti and Ségou.

    For further information please contact the Press Officers:

    Kathryn Richards - Senior Press Officer
    Email: richards@careinternational.org
    Tel: +44 (0)207 091 6047

    Deborah Underdown - Press Officer
    Email: underdown@careinternational.org
    Tel: +44 (0)207 091 6063

    Josephine Broughton - PR and Communications Executive
    Email: broughton@careinternational.org
    Tel: +44 (0)207 091 6014

    Out of hours number: 07824 563 810


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    Source: Voice of America
    Country: Mali, Mauritania

    Nancy Palus February 18, 2013

    As soldiers in Mali continue working to root out armed militants, aid organizations are navigating rivers and mined roads to bring relief to communities affected by the fighting. Some 36,000 people have fled their homes since fighting began in January, but families who stayed also need help.

    Aid agencies say families in northern Mali are running dangerously low on food.

    During a small window of calm last week, local transporters working with the U.N. World Food Program were able to get a truckload of food to Gao in northern Mali. But after renewed suicide bombings and street clashes between the military and Islamic militants in Gao, aid agencies are again on stand-by before moving more trucks northward.

    Daouda Guirou is with the World Food Program (WFP) in Mali.

    He says after the latest incidents in Gao, use of a road is suspended. We are all watching to see how things evolve. He says depending on the security situation, WFP hopes to be able to move supplies by road soon.

    Aid agencies are also working to access northern Mali via Niger, but recent unrest also disrupted that plan. Another worry on the roads is mines. There have already been explosions, with a number of deaths and injuries.

    Communities in northern Mali are heavily dependent on regional markets for staple foods. USAID’s Famine Early Warning Systems Network says that the continued disruption of trade could lead to serious food shortages.

    For the Timbuktu region of northern Mali, the World Food Program is moving food to communities along the Niger River by boat. But this option is for a limited time, as the waters will soon recede.

    Of the about 36,000 people who have fled their homes in northern Mali, some have headed for other parts of the country, others over the borders to Burkina Faso, Mauritania, or Niger.

    Their number adds to the some 400,000 Malians displaced over the past year.

    Karl Nawezi is project manager for Doctors Without Borders in Mauritania, where some 68,000 Malians have sought refuge - about 14,000 of them since January. Just back from a refugee camp near Mauritania’s border with Mali, he said thousands of newly arrived refugees remain without tents and other basic supplies.

    Health experts are worried about diarrheal infection and cases of severe malnutrition in the camp.

    He says the Malians in Mauritania, Niger and Burkina Faso are totally dependent on outside assistance, and the international community must not forget the people in these camps.

    The U.N. has launched an appeal for $373 million to assist the men, women and children affected by the conflict in Mali; so far it is funded at just over 3 percent.


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

    (Niamey, 18 février 2013) - Les organisations humanitaires et le gouvernement du Niger ont lancé aujourd’hui un appel de fonds de plus 354 millions de dollars US pour apporter en 2013 une aide d’urgence à près de 3 millions de personnes à travers le pays.

    Le Niger se remet d’une crise alimentaire qui a affecté plus de 5,4 millions de personnes en 2012. Le pays a aussi fait face à des inondations ayant touché plus d’un demi-million de personnes, et détruit des champs et des habitations. Le Niger a, en outre, accueilli plus de 50.000 réfugiés ayant fuit la guerre au Nord Mali.

    « Le financement que nous demandons vise à assurer l’aide humanitaire et à renforcer la résilience de millions d’hommes, de femmes et d’enfants vulnérables à travers le pays.» a déclaré Fodé Ndiaye, le Coordonnateur humanitaire et Coordonnateur résident du système des Nations Unies au Niger. « Il vise également à soutenir le relèvement précoce et à renforcer la passerelle entre le monde de l’humanitaire et celui du développement.»

    Les récoltes ont été bonnes à l’issue de la campagne de la saison agricole dernière mais l’excédent céréalier ne pourrait à lui seul aider à régler les problèmes d’insécurité alimentaire chronique qui affecte certaines populations du pays, a rappelé le Premier Ministre du Niger, Brigi Rafini.

    « En assistant une famille victime de l’insécurité alimentaire ou d’inondation, ou en traitant un enfant souffrant de malnutrition ou de paludisme, les problèmes de ces familles ou personnes ne prennent pas fin avec cet épisode », a expliqué Brigi Rafini. « Aussi longtemps que leurs conditions de vie, leurs moyens de subsistances n’auront pas évolués, leurs problèmes ne seront pas durablement résolus» a t-il précisé.

    Près de 3 millions de personnes ont encore besoin d’assistance humanitaire, et prés de 770.000 cas de malnutritions sont attendus en 2013.

    Bien qu'inférieurs aux 490 millions sollicités l’année dernière et dont 64% ont été reçus, ces fonds sont nécessaires pour continuer à répondre aux besoins des groupes les plus vulnérables, les réfugiés et les autres victimes des catastrophes naturelles.

    La réponse humanitaire en 2013 concernera toutes les régions du pays avec une attention particulière pour les régions de Tillabéry et de Tahoua, en raison de la persistance de poches d’insécurité alimentaire, de la forte prévalence de la malnutrition et de la présence de nombreux réfugiés en provenance du Mali dans ces deux régions.

    L’Appel Global 2013 pour le Niger est le fruit de la collaboration de plus d’une centaine d’organisations non gouvernementales, des agences des Nations Unies et du gouvernement du Niger. Le document comprend un plan d’action humanitaire commun qui présente les grandes lignes de l’action humanitaire en 2013. Il inclut 82 projets destinés à répondre aux besoins de plus de 3 millions de personnes pour un coût de 354 414 493 dollars US.


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    02/18/2013 17:47 GMT

    BRUSSELS, Feb 18, 2013 (AFP) - European Union foreign ministers on Monday formally approved the launch of a 500-strong EU military mission to train the Malian army as Brussels also announced the holding of a major international conference on the country's future.

    A first group of 70 EU military personnel arrived in the west African nation 10 days ago and Monday's ministerial greenlight was the final phase in setting up the European Union Training Mission (EUTM), which has a 15-month mandate to shape up the ramshackle Malian army.

    EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said the mission "is going to be of enormous importance in support of the Malian army," a poorly equipped and trained force without the capacity to maintain the country's territorial integrity.

    The 27 EU nations first approved the notion of a training mission in December to boost the army's ability to fight Islamist rebels who last year seized control of the country's vast arid north.

    But its launch was accelerated after the surprise intervention of France in its former colony on January 11 to stop the insurgents marching south on the capital.

    Some 16 countries from the EU as well as Norway have agreed to take part in the EUTM, which will have a 12.3-million-euro budget, with each contributor nation financing its own troops.

    Around half of the troops will be trainers, the remainder providing protection and administrative and medical backup.

    European Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso later Monday met Mali Premier Diango Sissoko and announced the EU would host a donors conference in mid-May in Brussels which would reinforce efforts to help stabilise the country, both politically and economically.

    Barroso stressed that EU aid will "support Mali's transition process" and highlighted the importance of planned elections in July as "a real opportunity to set the country on the right path."

    Sissoko said the conference would bring together "emergency aid and development aid."

    bur/ccr/bmm/lc

    © 1994-2013 Agence France-Presse


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

    The international response to last year's drought in the Sahel region of West Africa averted a humanitarian catastrophe. While the outlook for the Sahel remains severe, programmes helping communities to better cope with droughts in the future are beginning to bear fruit, a crucial step on the way towards long-term food security.

    1.ROME -- One year ago, levels of malnutrition and hunger were rising in the Sahel region of West Africa, due to a devastating drought. Video: 4 Questions About Last Year's Hunger Crisis In The Sahel

    It was the third drought in less than a decade, so families and communities were already weak. They had few resources to draw on to face the coming hunger crisis.

    To anyone watching, it was clear that a catastrophe was in the making and a concerted effort was needed to protect the lives of poor people living in a vast region stretching from Mauritania on the Atlantic to the eastern border of Chad.

    Emergency meeting

    An emergency meeting was called at WFP in Rome. It was attended by leaders of UN agencies, governments from affected countries and major donors.

    They came up with an action plan aimed at doing two things: 1) ensuring the most vulnerable people had food and nutrition to get through the crisis; 2) helping drought-prone communities become more resilient to similar shocks in the future.

    Following the meeting, a large-scale response was launched, providing US$ 1.2 billion worth of assistance to 8 million people in the Sahel throughout 2012. A humanitarian catastrophe was averted and, one year on, the big picture is better. The harvest season has just begun and crop prospects are mostly favourable.

    But the situation in the Sahel remains serious. In 2013, WFP emergency operations aim to support 5.5 million people who are still feeling the effects of the drought in some way. Altogether, including other activities aimed at making poor families more food secure, a total of 9 million people in the Sahel will be receiving WFP food assistance.

    Building resilience

    Work has also begun to build resilience in areas where drought is recurrent (see box on Two-pronged response). But more needs to be done because the risk of future shocks is still high. This is due to a combination of poverty and undernourishment, extreme weather, environmental degradation, low investment in agriculture, and vulnerability to market volatility.

    On Feb 20, the same leaders who met a year ago in Rome will be back at WFP to gauge the situation one year on. They will look at what was achieved and discuss how to continue strengthening resilience to break the cycle of crises.


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