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Eliminating hunger in the Sahel: Farmers idea-rich but equity-poor

Source:  Plan
Country:  Niger (the)

NAKIN FADA, Niger (Sep 2012) – The “lean season” is a normal part of the life of farming communities in Africa’s Sahel region.

Even in the best of years, there is still that period between the granaries reaching dangerously low levels and the next harvest when their income spikes, from the sale of the agricultural produce.

The last few years, however, have seen repeatedly poor harvests that have culminated this year in a food crisis across the Sahel, affecting millions of people - 6.4 million people in Niger alone. The good news is that the harvests is forecast to be good and should ease the current situation.

The farming community of Nakin Fada in Dosso Region, located about 200km south-west of the capital Niamey, accepted a proposal from Plan International four years ago to create a ‘cereal bank’ to help ease the impact of the lean season.

The ‘bank’ opened in 2008 with initial ‘capital’ of four tonnes of cereal which has tripled in four years. This year they purchased 12 tonnes of cereal. The maize was bought at 152.50 CFA (US 30 cents) per kg and sold to the villagers at 162.50 CFA (33 cents) per kg during the lean season. The market price was 270 CFA (54 cents) per kg – 63% higher!

Millet, bought at 202.50 CFA (41 cents) was retailed at 227.50 CFA (46 cents) when the market was selling it at 290CFA (58 cents) – 26% higher.

The profits are reinvested to enable them to buy even more stock next year.

Seydou Saibou, who runs the village bank, said it was under-capitalised. “To be able to adequately feed our community we need at least 100 tonnes of cereal but we cannot afford that much,” he said, “the cereal bank does work but it does not totally solve our problem.”

Asked how exactly the problem can be solved, Seydou paused, thought for a while and then huddled in a conference with the group of men who had all gathered at the warehouse constructed by Plan Niger for them to store the grain.

They debated in their Zarma language.

“We would like assistance to diversify and produce vegetables,” Seydou said, emerging as spokesman for the group. “We need tools and fences to keep the animals out”.

I’ve noticed that all the animals in the village – goats, cows, oxen – were all wearing straw muzzles to stop them eating the millet that was growing in the fields.

“We have not as yet approached anyone for assistance. The idea came to us this year because of the flooding that destroyed some of our farms. We think we can make additional money during the lean season from the sale of vegetables.”

During the food crisis, nearly 400,000 children in Niger are at risk of severe acute malnutrition because they have not had sufficient food to eat or a balanced diet. Without treatment they will die.

At the Tillaberi CRENI (hospital for children) built by Plan and managed by the government, I’ve met infants severely malnourished and tottering on the brink of death. They were admitted severely under-weight and suffering from diarrhoea, “flopped intestines”, vomiting, parasite infections from being fed dirty water and respiratory infections. The doctor tells me the prognosis is good and they are likely to survive.

Avoiding these side effects of the Sahel Food Crisis is something that Seydou and his villagers have been thinking about. They’ve also heard about improved millet and seeds being used in other villages with amazing results and it is something they want to try.

They’ve heard that these seeds produce harvests in 50 days – compared to the normal 90 days – and that there is a greater yield per hectare which means more money for the same effort. They currently generate their own seeds from each crop and cannot afford the improved seeds. At 30,000 CFA (US$60) per sack that is out of their reach.

These farmers are entrepreneurs. They want to try new ways to be self-sufficient during these times of increasing erratic rainfall but they haven’t the means to be able to do so. They can rely on food aid or they can be helped, to help themselves.

Plan Niger Country Director Rheal Drisdelle said that cereal banks act as a buffer to help those in the communities with the greatest need. “Cereal banks are not the answer but they are one of several means to boost food availability during that lean season,” he said, adding that there are other means, such as Niger’s own plan named 3N (Nigeriens Nourishing Niger), which includes most of the suggestions put forward by Seydou.

“The 3N program also includes improved access to markets, literacy, and miro-finance for women. To provide adequate food and more revenue for farmers especially in the lean years, it is important that the 3N plan be funded by donors.

“This is not humanitarian aid but development support for poor farmers to ensure that they will not have to go through such a year as the one they have just been through.

“The big question, however, is: are donors willing to support this 25-year plan or will they prefer funnelling humanitarian dollars every other year with no sustainable improvement in people’s livelihoods and outlook?”

Ethiopia Weekly Humanitarian Bulletin, 10 September 2012

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

Relief Food Update As of 6 September, dispatch of the fifth round of relief food (targeting 3.3 million people nationwide) is near completion at 95 per cent, including 96 per cent dispatched to areas covered by the Disaster Risk Management and Food Security Sector (DRMFSS), 93 per cent to WFP-covered areas and 96 per cent to areas covered by the NGO consortium Joint Emergency Operation (JEOP). Allocations for the sixth round (targeting 3.8 million people) are expected to start from 10 September 2012. The next Food and Non-Food Management Task Force Meeting takes place on 14 September 2012. For more information, contact: wfp.addisababa@wfp.org

Health Update At the national level, a total of 53,550 cases of malaria were reported along with 10 confirmed deaths (Case Fatality Rate of 0.01 per cent) during the previous week. Some 95 per cent of the cases occurred in three regions: SNNPR (47 per cent), Amhara (26 per cent); and Oromia (22 per cent), although certain localized areas of the Oromia Region such as West Shoa, Arsi and Horoguduru zone continue to report increasing case loads compared to previous weeks.

The SNNP Regional Health Bureau/Public Health Emergency Management (RHB/PHEM), Sidama WHO conducted training (27-31 August 2012) on early warning, surveillance and management of communicable disease outbreak focusing on Acute Watery Diarrhoea (AWD) and malaria as part of preventive and control measures implemented in the region. The training targeted the Sidama Zone Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response (IDSR/PHEM) focal persons at Yirgalem Town collaboration with WHO. A total of 131 focal persons from all the woreda health offices and all health institutions (hospitals and health centers) in Sidama Zone took part in the training.

Since July 2012, the Somali Region has reported cases of diarrhoea with peaks recorded in the first week of August 2012. Numbers of new cases have declined in the last three weeks. The outbreak centered on Dollo Ado woreda, Liben Zone. The 292 cases reported since the onset of the outbreak; children under the age of five constitute the majority. According to UNHCR, during the first two weeks of August, there was an increase in diarrhoea related cases in Melkadida and Buramino camps. The combined WASH and health sector response by carried out by UNHCR, the Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs (ARRA) and partners centered on investigation, coordination, improved water provision, sanitation and hygiene promotion, as well as coordinated sharing of available supplies. No new health center admissions occurred and Melkadida Camp particularly has registered remarkable progress. Overall, diarrhea surveillance remains a priority in all camps.

The Oromia Regional Health Bureau, Zonal Health Department (ZHD) and WHO have conducted an assessment in Arero and Moyale woredas (Oromia Region) where Internally Displaced People (IDP) are located in the first week of September. The team used the findings to prepare a proposal for the rapid initiation of health service provision in three health posts in a location where functioning health posts do not exist but people continue to return.

Epidemic preparedness activities have begun with the establishment of a temporary clinic and a Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) center in Borena Zone, Oromia Region where thousands of people are expected to gather for a ceremony. Deployed health workers will work in the clinic; supervise hygiene conditions (bars and restaurants); provide information on TB, HIV/AIDS, malaria, diarrhoea and other communicable diseases and also distribute condoms. The clinic is equipped (drugs and medical supplies) and is giving routine services to the community. Assigned community health informants will detect and report outbreaks in advance. Surveillance is strengthened and the Oromia Health Bureau allocated budgets (transferred from WHO) in addition to distributing water purifying chemicals. For more information, contact: who-wro@et.efro.who.int or prokopch@unhcr.org

Moyale Update According to the DRMFSS, the security situation in Moyale town and its surroundings is still improving as conflict between the Borena (Oromo) and Geere (Somali) ended. The relief assistance provided by the Government’s Disaster Risk Management and Food Security Sector (DRMFSS) and WFP reached 42,400 people (33,000 Oromia and 12,400 Somali). Continuity of extending this relief initially set for 15 days will depend on findings of the ongoing rapid assessment. The DRMFSS approved the start of the rapid assessment that will take place between 7 and 12 September 2012 (Including travel). DRMFSS will communicate with the local governments of Somali and Oromia regions to facilitate the assessment 8-10 September 2012. For more information, contact: infodrmfss@dppc.gov.et or ocha-eth@un.org

Ongoing FY 2012 and FY 2011 USG Assistance to the Horn of Africa (as of 11 Sep 2012)

Food Assistance Outlook Brief September 2012

Source:  Famine Early Warning System Network
Country:  World, Burkina Faso, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo (the), Djibouti, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Haiti, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger (the), Nigeria, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan (Republic of), Sudan (the), Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe


This section summarizes FEWS NET’s most forward-looking analysis of projected external emergency food assistance needs, six months from now, in countries where FEWS NET has a staff presence. Overall needs at a national level are compared to typical needs at this time of year during the last five years and categorized as Above-average, Average, or Below-average/No need. A star (*) indicates new information this month. Projected lean season months that are highlighted in red indicate either an early start or an extension to the typical lean season. For more detail on these projections, please visit www.fews.net.

Somalia: Distributions of UNHCR Emergency Assistance Packages (EAPs): January - August 2012

Country:  Somalia
Source:  UN High Commissioner for Refugees

Somalia: UNHCR Number of Households with Improved Shelters: January - August 2012

Country:  Somalia
Source:  UN High Commissioner for Refugees

Somalia: Distributions of Shelter / NFI Cluster Standardised Kits: January - August 2012

Country:  Somalia
Source:  UN High Commissioner for Refugees

Somalia: Shelter / NFI Cluster Number of Households with Improved Shelters: January - August 2012

Country:  Somalia
Source:  UN High Commissioner for Refugees

SAACID Monthly Nutrition Bulletin - Mogadishu August 2012 (28/7-30/8)

Source:  SAACID
Country:  Somalia

Community-Based Therapeutic Care (CTC) Mogadishu, Somalia

SAACID, in partnership with Oxfam, and with support by UNICEF and WFP, operates nutrition sites across Mogadishu City; treating acutely malnourished children under 5 years of age, providing nutrition counselling and supplementation to pregnant and lactating women, and immunization services. This programme bulletin provides highlights from this month’s activities.

OTP Figures – August 2012

  • OTP in-charge at end of month 5,110

  • OTP admissions this month 2,777

  • Relative¹ percentage +/- from last month -25.4%

  • District² with highest OTP admissions DHK

  • OTP cured rate this month 93.4%

  • OTP default rate this month 6.1%

  • Avg. weight gain this month (g/kg/day) 5.94

  • Average length of stay 57 days

  • Cumulative SAM cases - 12 months 40,067

SFP Figures – August 2012

  • SFP in-charge at end of month 22,021

  • SFP new admissions this month 8,261

  • Relative¹ percentage +/- from last month -17%

  • OTP follow up admissions into SFP 4,407

  • District² with highest SFP admissions DHK

  • SFP cured rate this month 94.7%

  • SFP default rate this month 4.8%

  • Avg. weight gain this month (g/kg/day) 3.04

  • Average length of stay 57 days

  • Cumulative MAM Cases – 12 months 116,274

  • Cumulative OTP follow up – 12 months 37,885


Drought: Emergency Appeal n° MDRSO001 - Operations Update n°5

Source:  IFRC
Country:  Somalia

Period covered by this Operations Update: 23 September 2011- 31 July, 2012.

Appeal target (current): CHF 4,158,792

Appeal coverage: 100% (93% up to end July);

Appeal history:

• This Emergency Appeal was initially launched on 23 September, 2011 for CHF 4,158,792 for 12 months to assist 150,000 beneficiaries.

• Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF): DREF was not requested as the Emergency Appeal was a bridge of an ongoing drought operation started in January, 2011 under the country plan.

• Operation updates were issued on 20 October, 2011, 31 October, 2011 and 30 January, 2012. A 6-month Summary was issued on 31 March, 2012.

This operations update is to inform partners and donors on the progress achieved ten months after the launch of the Emergency Appeal. A revised appeal is currently under preparation that will extend the Appeal timeframe to allow for the completion of the water sector development activities and address new vulnerabilities arising from the continuation of the drought cycle following below average Gu rainfall April-June 2012 and the predicted failure of the coming rainy season October-December 2012. The Appeal is currently attracting more contributions due to the deteriorating food security situation. The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) Somalia Food Security Alert analysis suggests that a Crisis (IPC phase 3) is ongoing and is likely to persist through December, 2012.

Nutrition clinics offer hope in the midst of a drought

Source:  IFRC
Country:  Niger (the)

Mariama Amadou’s five-year-old son died of starvation in March. Now her ten-month-old daughter Salamou is suffering from severe malnutrition. More than one million children in West Africa are in danger of urgent malnutrition.

Salamou is laying quietly in her mother’s arms. Her movements are listless and her eyes apathetic. The black eyes seem way too big for her little face.

Salamou’s weight is three kilos, but should according to her age be at least 10 kilos. She is severely malnourished. Mariama has walked five kilometers to take her daughter to a healthcare clinic for malnourished children in the poor Dosso-region in Niger.

“I have come here today because I have heard there will be food for the children. It is hard for me to see my children like this, it makes me very sad,” Mariana says. “The drought is worse this year, both me and my children are losing weight. My stomach hurts and I feel very bloated.”

Mariama lost her son, but hopes the clinic can save her little daughter. At the clinic the children are weighed by volunteers from the national Red Cross society to establish just how malnourished they are. They also help to pass out food and medicine for the children in the need of help.

Today Mariama also brings her son. He is malnourished, but not yet in an urgent state like his little sister.

“I see it is helping his condition to come here. He started gaining weight and his energy level is rising,” Mariama says. Without it she would lose all hope.

Normally Mariama and her children can eat when they are hungry, but the drought has forced them to reduce their daily meals. Now they eat only eat twice a day.

“This year the drought is worse than last year due to the more severe lack of food,” she says. “We only have corn, so that’s what we eat day and night. I have no job, neither has my husband, we only have some goats to sell.”

“My life is not good right now, because when we don’t eat, we cannot be happy. My biggest hope is to keep my children and I healthy and nourished.”

By Julie Lorenzen in Niger

Somalia's new president survives Shebab assassination bid

Source:  Agence France-Presse
Country:  Somalia

09/12/2012 13:32 GMT

MOGADISHU, Sept 12, 2012 (AFP) - Somalia's president survived an assassination bid Wednesday, just two days into his new job, when bomb blasts claimed by Islamist rebels rocked the Mogadishu hotel where he was meeting Kenya's foreign minister.

Hassan Sheikh Mohamud was unharmed after two blasts went off outside the hotel where he had been staying in central Mogadishu, but three soldiers were killed in what appeared to be an attack by multiple suicide bombers.

"There has been a blast around the hotel where the president was. The president is safe. All the people who were inside the hotel are safe," Ali Houmed, spokesman for the African Union mission in Somalia (AMISOM) told AFP.

A police officer said a Ugandan soldier from the regional force and two Somali troops were killed in the attack, adding that initial reports suggested it was carried out by three suicide bombers.

An AFP reporter at the scene saw bits of flesh scattered in front of the hotel gates.

Hassan, whose election on Monday was widely welcomed as a boost to the Horn of Africa country's peace prospects, was meeting Kenyan Foreign Minister Sam Ongeri at the time of the explosions, a ministry source in Nairobi said.

The Shebab, an Al-Qaeda-linked group which has been waging a bloody insurgency against Somalia's Western-backed government for five years, was quick to claim responsibility for the attack.

"We are responsible for the attack against the so-called president and the delegation," Shebab spokesman Ali Mohamud Rage told AFP.

The Shebab spokesman had warned on Tuesday that his group considered as illegtimate the UN-backed process which saw newly-designated lawmakers elect Hassan.

"Nothing personal, but the whole process is like an enemy project," the Shebab spokesman had said.

The newly-elected 56-year-old academic's predecessors have all survived numerous assassination attempts in the war-ravaged Somali capital.

AMISOM troops have wrested control of most of Mogadishu back from the Shebab in recent months but the insurgent group has continued to attack foreign and government targets, mostly with suicide bombers.

Rage vowed that such attacks would continue "until the liberation of Somalia", where Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Burundi and Djibouti have sent troops to support the government and battle the Islamist insurgency.

Hassan unexpectedly defeated incumbent president Sharif Sheikh Ahmed in Monday's vote in what was interpreted as a sign that Somali leaders wanted to break with the corruption-tainted outgoing administration.

The US State Department welcomed the peace activist's election as heralding "new era of Somali governance" while other Western powers also hailed the vote as a major milestone in efforts to restore peace.

Somalia has not had a credible central authority since the 1991 ouster of former president Siad Barre but Hassan's election came as a semblance of normality returned to Mogadishu and hopes of a recovery grew.

In his acceptance speech, Hassan promised to bring Somalia back into the international fold, but he inherits an ongoing war, a humanitarian crisis, feeble institutions and deeply entrenched warlordism.

Wednesday's attack dampened hopes that Shebab would be more inclined to sit down at the negotiating table with the new president than his predecessor.

As a former top leader in the Islamic Courts Union that overran the country in 2006 and gave birth to the Shebab group, Sharif was always considered a traitor by Islamist hardliners after taking the top job in 2009.


© 1994-2012 Agence France-Presse

Tackling hunger in Kenya – in pictures

Source:  Guardian
Country:  Kenya

High levels of child malnutrition exist in many rural and urban communities in Kenya, reaching alarming rates in the slums of Nairobi. Multi-award-winning photographer Gideon Mendel, for Concern Worldwide, captures the stories of some of the families whose children have been affected, ranging from nomadic pastoralists to urban slum-dwellers. His pictures show how small-scale projects are improving health and income.

View the full slideshow on the Guardian.

In pictures: Hunger stalks Niger

Source:  Al Jazeera
Country:  Niger (the)

About six million people at risk as food crisis worsens in the Sahel region hit by poor harvests.

Read the story and view the photo slideshow on Al Jazeera.

Niger : Bulletin humanitaire, numéro 36 - 11 septembre 2012

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

Inondations: Le bilan s'alourdit

Choléra: 3854 cas et 81 décès à date

Les prix des céréales toujours à la hausse à Diffa

El hambre importa: las crisis recurrentes

Source:  Acción contra el Hambre
Country:  World, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Chad, Guatemala, Guinea, Mali, Niger (the), Pakistan, Peru, Somalia, South Sudan (Republic of), Uganda


Es para mí un gran placer escribir el prólogo de la presente publicación anual de Acción contra el Hambre, publicación importante y enormemente necesaria de una organización que contribuye a luchar contra el hambre en el mundo de una manera extraordinaria.

Desde hace más de treinta años, Acción contra el Hambre lleva a cabo una labor constante e irreemplazable en la puesta en práctica de programas para combatir el hambre y la desnutrición en muchas partes del mundo afectadas por conflictos y desastres naturales. Por todos es conocido el trabajo de la organización en cuanto a la prestación de ayuda para atender las necesidades inmediatas de las poblaciones afectadas por los desastres y el impulso de iniciativas destinadas a procurar su autosuficiencia. Asimismo, Acción contra el Hambre realiza una gran labor para dar a conocer el impacto y la dimensión devastadora de la desnutrición, especialmente entre los niños menores de cinco años.
Lamentablemente, y con demasiada frecuencia, el diagnóstico y el consecuente tratamiento de la desnutrición infantil solo tienen lugar una vez que las sucesivas crisis recurrentes han mermado la capacidad de las familias de los niños para proporcionarles un entorno saludable y protector.

Las crisis recurrentes, aunque en muchos casos son previsibles y se pueden evitar, empujan a las comunidades más vulnerables al borde del abismo. Sin embargo, los medios, los donantes y los políticos no suelen prestarles atención. Las crisis recurrentes pueden ser provocadas por la escasez estacional o endémica de alimentos, fenómenos climatológicos extremos y devastadores como los ciclones y las sequías, enfermedades causadas por unas condiciones sanitarias deficientes y la ausencia de agua potable, así como conflictos violentos provocados por unos pocos pero que afectan a gran cantidad de personas.

Las familias vulnerables carecen de los recursos necesarios para construir su capacidad de recuperación y hacer frente a estas crisis. En consecuencia, incluso los acontecimientos de menor importancia les obligan a recortar sus recursos, con lo que su situación para superar las crisis siguientes es aún más precaria.

Con esta publicación se quiere arrojar luz sobre el problema de las crisis recurrentes, asunto pendiente desde hace mucho tiempo. Asimismo, se presentan algunas de las soluciones innovadoras puestas en práctica por Acción contra el Hambre para aumentar la capacidad de recuperación de las comunidades vulnerables y prepararlas para hacer frente a la llegada de nuevas crisis.

En esta publicación se demuestra que el hambre no es algo inevitable, sino que se puede combatir con resultados satisfactorios y se puede erradicar de la faz de la tierra. El hambre es una injusticia intolerable, especialmente porque sus causas son bien conocidas y porque existen los medios para luchar contra ella. Sin embargo y por encima de todo, es necesario que exista la voluntad política de garantizar la implantación de programas que eviten los graves efectos de las crisis antes de que se produzcan.

António Mascarenhas Monteiro

Expresidente de Cabo Verde y Defensor de la Nutrición en África Occidenta

Chad Food Security Outlook Update August 2012

Source:  Famine Early Warning System Network
Country:  Chad

Food security conditions starting to improve in certain areas

Key messages

  • The above-average rainfall levels across most of the country have improved water and pasture availability and benefited crops, and a good harvest is expected at this point in the season. However, areas at high risk of flooding and locust infestation require continued monitoring.

  • The stabilization and downward trend in grain prices, as well as government and humanitarian assistance programs, have improved household food access in the Sahelian zone compared to the first half of the year.

  • Poor households in the Sahelian zone are expected to face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) levels through September (Figure I). Food security levels among households in the Sudanian zone have improved from Stressed levels during the first half of the year to None/Minimal levels (IPC Phase 1) due to early harvests and availability of wild vegetables.

Somalia’s New President Faces Humanitarian Challenges

Source:  Voice of America
Country:  Somalia, Kenya

Somalia’s new President Hassan Sheikh Mahamud takes office during an easing of the humanitarian crisis in his country. But a top humanitarian official warns there are many problems yet to be resolved and many people still displaced.

Listen to De Capua report on Somalia issues

It wasn’t very long ago that Somalia was called the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Conflict, prolonged drought and famine were to blame. Things are somewhat better now.

U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia Mark Bowden said the number of people considered “in crisis” has dropped by 16 percent from a high of more than two and a half million.

“I think there have been improvements over the last six months or so. But we still have about 2.1 million people in Somalia who are in critical need of assistance. And many of these are in areas that are still under al Shabab control. Their situation has been made worse to some extent by fears of insecurity. So we’ve also seen recently people moving towards Ethiopia to avoid conflict,” he said.

The al Shabab militant group has been hard-pressed by military offensives launched by U.N. and government forces, as well as by Kenya. The group had once controlled nearly all of the capital Mogadishu. That caused hundreds of thousands of people to resettle in the Afgooye corridor outside of the city. But many have now returned.

Bowden said, “In Mogadishu, there’s a very large-scale problem of people who had been displaced, who were displaced by the famine last year and also people who’ve returned to Mogadishu. So there are 340,000 people just in Mogadishu living in very, very poor conditions, which we also need to address. So there are still many sizable humanitarian challenges in Somalia at the moment.”

The coastal parts of Somalia were badly affected by the drought and the World Food Program is providing assistance there. Also, while the famine is now a very bad memory, Bowden warned it could happen again.

“Somalia has always been a trading economy and the famine last year was caused by a combination of drought and very high levels of inflation. And if you get that combination again there would still be very significant problems. But one of the things that all agencies are looking at now is how we can better strengthen the resilience of the population. Make them better able to withstand shocks. Reestablish their access to livelihoods and also help them to reestablish their own family security in terms of stores of food and restocking their animals,” he said.

Humanitarian agencies are gearing up for an emergency response that may be needed once an assault is launched on the al-Shabab stronghold of Kismayo. The port city provides the group with much revenue.

“We certainly have contingency plans to address needs in Kismayo. Unfortunately at the moment there are very few humanitarian organizations still able to work in Kismayo and under difficult conditions. So we are ready to provide support as soon as we have improved access or, if people leave, to provide them where they need it,” Bowden said.

The U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia added he expects President Hassan Sheikh Mahamud to make humanitarian issues a priority.

“I actually do know the president already,” he said, “I’ve worked with him in the past and I know that he is someone who will respect humanitarian principles and has a great commitment to developing his country as a nation and supporting his people.

One million Somalis are still living as refugees in the region with more than half in Kenya. U.N. agencies have asked for over one billion dollars this year to meet Somalia’s humanitarian needs. So far, only about half has been donated.

Climate Prediction Center’s Africa Hazards Outlook For USAID / FEWS-NET Climate Prediction Center’s Africa Hazards Outlook For USAID / FEWS-NET September 6 – September 12, 2012


1) Heavy rains have resulted in fatalities and massive destruction in South Darfur, the northern Bahr el Ghazal, Warrap, and Jonglei states of South Sudan. Flooding potential remains as above-average rains are forecast during the next week.

2) Since July, heavy rains causing flooding and inundation along the Niger and Benue Rivers have led to the displacement of thousands of people and many fatalities in eastern Nigeria. Enhanced rainfall forecast could exacerbate the ground conditions.

3) Heavy rains over the Ethiopia highlands have caused the Atbra River to outburst, resulting in flooding that has affected thousands in the Nile River. The continued, heavy rains have also already impacted the Kassala and Gadaref states of Sudan. Ground conditions may worsen as heavy rains are expected to continue over western Ethiopia during the next week.

4) Both anomalous seasonal rainfall and northward position of the Inter-Tropical front has favored breeding conditions for desert locusts over the southern Mauritania-western Mali border, central Niger-eastern Mali, Chad, and east-central Sudan. The continuation of above-average rainfall during September could lead to locust outbreak across many regions.

Country:  South Sudan (Republic of), Burkina Faso, Chad, Ethiopia, Gambia (the), Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Lesotho, Mali, Mauritania, Niger (the), Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan (the), Swaziland
Source:  Famine Early Warning System Network, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, US Agency for International Development

Peace and security threats in the Sahel-Sahara region: assessing the response, devising the way forward

Source:  International Peace Institute
Country:  Mali, Niger (the)

The crisis in the Sahel will not end unless new responses depart from the traditional “business‐as‐usual” approach. This was the key insight offered in a high‐level roundtable on the Sahel held at the International Peace Institute on September 7, 2012, co‐organized with the African Union (AU) and the Permanent Mission of Luxembourg to the United Nations. This timely meeting came ahead of the presentation of the UN integrated strategy for the Sahel to the Security Council on September 17, and a high‐level meeting on the Sahel organized by Secretary‐General Ban Ki‐moon in the margins of the general debate of the 67th session of the General Assembly, which also takes place in September.

The half‐day roundtable at IPI aimed to (1) help develop a shared understanding of the problems confronting the Sahel region; (2) take stock of the national, regional, and global responses underway, or being contemplated, to address these problems; and (3) explore additional or alternative response strategies. The meeting was attended by over fifty‐five participants, including officials of the United Nations, permanent representatives to the United Nations—including the ambassadors from Mali,
Niger, Chad, Benin, Morocco, and Turkey—civil society organizations, academics, and experts from think tanks and research institutions, including the Mauritania‐based Centre for Strategies and Security for the Sahel‐Sahara Region.

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