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ReliefWeb - Updates on Sierra Leone

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    Source: World Food Programme
    Country: Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Mauritania, Nepal, Niger, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, World, Yemen

    Between January and June 2015, UNHAS operated flights in 17 countries, serving more than 300 scheduled destinations.

    More than 3,400 mt of cargo airlifted — One third transported in response to the EVD outbreak


    To reach the most vulnerable in some of the world's most remote and challenging locations, airdrops for life-saving food deliveries are organized as a last resort. In May, the World Food Programme (WFP) carried out its first successful airdrop of vegetable oil in South Sudan.

    WFP Aviation arranges airlifts to ensure vital humanitarian cargo reaches populations in need promptly. In April, following escalation of violence in Yemen, essential medical items were airlifted from the United Arab Emirates to Sana’a (via Djibouti) on behalf of the humanitarian community.

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    Source: Action Contre la Faim
    Country: Sierra Leone

    Freetown, August 30th 2015

    More than one year since the Ebola outbreak started in Sierra Leone, the country is on its way to zero.

    Most of the emergency measures have been lifted although the state of emergency was extended by the President on his speech to the nation on August 6th.

    The lifting of the restriction is positive on the population’s life conditions; however some of the consequences of the Ebola outbreak, particularly those ones on food and nutrition security, are showing their deepest effects with the on-going lean season.

    The Emergency Food Security Assessment (EFSA) conducted in Sierra Leone reveals 43% of the population was already food insecure in March-April 2015, 7% of which severely. The chronic food insecurity in Sierra Leone originally results from the poverty rates in the country as well as the exposure to international price volatility. Yet, the situation has been further eroded by the impacts of the Ebola outbreak on the livelihood of the population.

    The EFSA discloses agriculture is by far the most affected sector by the Ebola outbreak. This is so because the Ebola epidemic started spreading when the crops were being planted, and expanded during the crop maintenance and harvest in a period of state of emergency when public gathering, among the other measures, were also ban. The District of Moyamba, where ACF works since 2009, recorded the highest loss in rice production, 40% less than the year before.

    In a country were the market was already the most important source of food before the Ebola outbreak; the restrictions, and the reduced production have contributed to increase the population’s dependency on markets (57% according to EFSA) which is expected to increase even further during the lean season.

    The data is significant when compared with the part of the population which had access to the own production, only 36%; and with the cost of a balanced food basket of local food items (13$ per person per month) which is not accessible by the most vulnerable.

    The data resulting from the EFSA conducted in March-April 2015, so normally before the lean season, are alarming if compared with the data of the last Comprehensive Food Security and Vulnerability Assessment (CFSVA) conducted in 20103 during the lean season. The CFSVA disclosed that 45% of the population was food insecure, 75% dependent from the market; and only 6% able to consume their only production. The food and nutrition insecurity of the population as shown in the EFSA is expected to deteriorate even further during the lean season and probably to overtake the results of the CFSVA.

    However, the direct relation between the Ebola outbreak and food insecurity remains yet to be explained. In fact, from the EFSA results it is difficult to identify a direct relation between the severity of the outbreak in a district and the level of food insecurity registered at the time of the assessment. Only 50% of the districts identified as food insecure are among those with the highest rate of positive EVD cases (Port Loko, Kailahun and Kenema). The relation seem to be clearer with the emergency measures adopted as consequence of the outbreak, i.e. when they were applied in the district and for how long; and with the market disruptions which has left the non-productive areas with no access to commodities and the productive-ones without the opportunity to sell the products.

    The EFSA report recommends supporting the most vulnerable food insecure household through unconditional cash transfer during the lean season where markets are fully functional. This is to limit the incidence of food insecurity, and the potential increase in the rates of malnutrition particularly in children under-five and women.

    ACF is currently working in the district of Moyamba supporting the food security of the most vulnerable households with a project funded by IrishAid. The project encompasses three (3) months cash transfer during the lean season, increasing their food accessibility; and specific activities designed to increase the households’ food and nutrition security avoiding dependence and stimulating beneficiaries restarting livelihood activities. In order to do so, following the first three months of cash transfer, the beneficiaries will be provided with seeds, tools and training on vegetable production aiming at improving the households’ food consumption, diversified diet; and income.

    Action contre la Faim (ACF) has worked in Sierra Leone since 1991. Currently ACF is working in FreetownWestern Area (urban and rural), Moyamba and Kambia Districts, implementing health and nutrition, food security and WaSH programmes. In strong collaboration with the local and national authorities, ACF has been focusing on prevention and treatment of acute malnutrition by addressing the direct and underlying causes of malnutrition (food insecurity, limited livelihood opportunities and poor access to water and sanitation). Since the beginning of the Ebola Outbreak in May 2014 ACF has been actively involved in the emergency response, as well as continuing the fight against under-nutrition. By mitigating the secondary impact of the Ebola Outbreak ACF will continue to support the most vulnerable populations in the country in line with the Government of Sierra Leone recovery plans.

    For more information: Isotta Pivato, Advocacy Expert, ACF Sierra Leone

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    Source: Solidarités International
    Country: Sierra Leone

    Since February 2014, an EVD (Ebola Virus Disease) epidemic has been affecting West Africa. Since the beginning of the outbreak, and during the first phase of the response, the emphasis has been placed on the containment of the epidemic through the case management and isolation of patients. Following MSF and WHO guidelines for EVD response, SOLIDARITES INTERNATIONAL launched a WASH program in November 2014 to support the management on an Ebola Treatment Centre (ETC) in the district of Moyamba in Sierra Leone. This paper presents the specific roles and responsibilities that WASH actors can undertake in the management of an ETC during an EVD outbreak. The main objectives of WASH response are to ensure staff safety and to limit the risk of contamination inside and outside the ETC through water supply and chlorination, operation and maintenance of sanitation facilities, Infection Prevention Control (IPC) activities, dead body management and safe burial.

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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Sierra Leone

    Freetown, Sierra Leone | AFP | mardi 01/09/2015 - 14:05 GMT |

    Cinquante personnes ont été placées en quarantaine dans le nord de la Sierra Leone, dans une zone où une femme décédée a été testée positive à Ebola, ont annoncé mardi les autorités, qui cherchaient à déterminer l'origine de la contamination.

    Ces personnes ont été isolées à Sella Kafta, dans la région de Kambia (nord-ouest), parce qu'elles sont considérées comme "à haut risque", ayant eu des contacts avec le nouveau cas d'Ebola, une vendeuse décédée le 28 août dans ce village, a expliqué Ibrahim Sesay, chef de la cellule de crise du Centre national de contrôle d'Ebola (NERC).

    "Nous menons une enquête épidémiologique pour déterminer l'origine de la contamination. Ce que nous savons jusqu'à présent, c'est que la femme décédée a été malade entre cinq et dix jours sans que personne ne le signale" au service d'alerte anti-Ebola, a précisé M. Sesay à la radio privée locale Air.

    "Ebola se comporte comme l'acteur principal d'un film d'horreur: on le croit vaincu et il se relève à nouveau", a-t-il regretté.

    Selon des habitants joints par l'AFP depuis la capitale Freetown, la réapparition d'Ebola a plongé le village et ses localités riveraines dans la consternation.

    "Nous avons respecté toutes les restrictions imposées pour débarrasser notre communauté d'Ebola, mais nous avons échoué et sommes maintenant le lieu qui a arrêté le compte à rebours" pour la fin de l'épidémie, a déploré Sampha Mansaray, un agriculteur sexagénaire.

    D'après l'Organisation mondiale de la Santé (OMS), un pays est déclaré exempt d'Ebola 42 jours - deux fois la durée maximale d'incubation - après le dernier cas connu.

    La Sierra Leone espérait être sur la bonne voie après la sortie d'hôpital, le 24 août à Makeni (est), de la dernière malade d'Ebola traitée avec succès dans le pays, qui était alors demeuré plus de deux semaines sans nouvelle contamination signalée.

    Selon des habitants et des sources indépendantes, la vendeuse décédée ne s'était pas rendue récemment en Guinée ou au Liberia, pays voisins également affectés par l'épidémie.

    Cette épidémie qui a touché l'Afrique de l'Ouest est la plus grave depuis l'identification du virus en Afrique centrale en 1976. Depuis fin 2013, elle a fait environ 11.300 morts sur un peu plus de 28.000 cas - pour l'essentiel en Guinée, en Sierra Leone et au Liberia, d'après l'OMS.


    © 1994-2015 Agence France-Presse

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    Source: Assessment Capacities Project
    Country: Afghanistan, Angola, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guatemala, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, India, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Myanmar, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Uganda, Ukraine, World, Yemen

    Snapshot 25 August–1 September 2015

    Papua New Guinea: 1.8 million people have been affected by prolonged dry spell and frost in the Highlands region; 1.3 million are reported to be most at risk. Crops have been destroyed, and several chools and health facilities have been closed due to water shortages. The affected population is reported to be resorting to less reliable sources of drinking water.

    Guatemala: Ongoing drought caused by El Niño had led to a deterioration of food security. Nearly one million people are facing acute food insecurity, mainly due to decreased harvest. 900,000 people have no food stocks left.

    CAR: Clashes between anti-balaka and ex-Seleka in Bambari, Ouaka, have displaced at least 4,250 people. A spontaneous IDP site has been set up inside the MINUSCA compound, and conditions are dire, with no sanitation facilities and limited access to water and shelter.

    Updated: 01/09/2015. Next update 08/09/2015.

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    Source: World Health Organization, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone


    • For the week of 24 – 30 August, two cases have been reported, in Conakry in Guinea. One case was reported in Sierra Leone

    • Following the release of the last person undergoing treatment for Ebola in Sierra Leone on 24 August, a further case was identified on 30 August from a post-mortem swab. This highlights the need for ongoing vigilance.

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    Source: World Health Organization
    Country: Sierra Leone

    Communiqué de presse

    FREETOWN ¦ SIERRA LEONE ¦ 31 AOÛT 2015 - La détection d’un nouveau cas de maladie à virus Ebola à Kambia en Sierra Leone, après 3 semaines écoulées environ avec zéro cas a déclenché la première utilisation du vaccin expérimental contre Ebola dans le cadre d’une «vaccination en anneau».

    Une équipe d’experts de ce procédé est partie de Conakry en Guinée pour se joindre à une grande équipe de l’OMS et du ministère de la Santé déjà en place dans le district où le nouveau cas a été signalé. L’enquête est en cours sur l’origine de la transmission du virus Ebola et toutes les personnes susceptibles d’avoir été en contact avec le sujet infecté sont recherchées.

    «Bien que personne n’ait souhaité voir de nouveaux cas de maladie à virus Ebola en Sierra Leone, nous avons gardé toutes nos équipes en état d’alerte et prêtes à agir pour interrompre toute nouvelle transmission», a déclaré le Dr Anders Nordström, Représentant de l’OMS en Sierra Leone.

    Recherche du virus Ebola sur toute personne décédée à domicile

    La surveillance renforcée de la maladie à virus Ebola en Sierra Leone implique le prélèvement d’écouvillons sur toute personne décédée à son domicile et la recherche du virus Ebola. Le samedi 29 août, un écouvillon prélevé sur une femme morte à l’âge de 60 ans environ dans le village de Sella, Tonko Limba (district de Kambia), a donné un résultat positif pour le virus Ebola.

    Les membres de l’équipe menant actuellement l’essai de vaccination en anneau en Guinée sont partis de Conakry pour se rendre dimanche à Kambia en Sierra Leone et commencer à travailler.

    L’équipe de Guinée a été rejointe à Kambia par une autre équipe de Freetown, formée et préparée la semaine dernière par l’OMS, afin d’être prête à intervenir en cas de survenue de toute nouvelle infection à virus Ebola en Sierra Leone.

    L’essai de vaccination en anneau en Guinée est un essai d’efficacité en phase III du vaccin VSV-EBOV (Merck, Sharp & Dohme), mené par l’OMS et ses partenaires.*

    Les résultats provisoires publiés en juillet montrent que ce vaccin est très efficace contre le virus Ebola.

    Vacciner tous les contacts

    La stratégie de «vaccination en anneau» consiste à vacciner tous les contacts, c’est-à-dire les personnes connues pour avoir été en contact avec un sujet ayant eu une infection confirmée par le virus Ebola (un «cas»), ainsi que tous les contacts des contacts.

    Après la publication de ces résultats, les autorités de Sierra Leone ont demandé à ce que cet essai soit étendu à leur pays. Le bureau de pays de l’OMS en Sierra Leone a immédiatement envoyé une équipe en Guinée pour organiser cette extension de l’essai, en veillant au respect des procédures et protocoles corrects. L’OMS et ses partenaires ont ensuite formé 18 agents de santé sierra-léonais à la mise en œuvre du protocole d’étude.

    «Cette formation a été faite pour s’assurer que les équipes soient prêtes à effectuer rapidement la vaccination en anneau en cas de survenue de nouveaux cas confirmés d’Ebola en Sierra Leone», a indiqué le Dr Margaret Lamunu, Coordonnateur technique de l’OMS pour la riposte à Ebola en Sierra Leone, qui gère l’extension de l’essai de vaccination en anneau dans ce pays.

    De nombreux partenaires associés

    L’essai du vaccin anti-Ebola en Guinée est un effort coordonné par plusieurs institutions internationales. L’OMS est le promoteur réglementaire de l’étude, mise en œuvre par le ministère de la Santé de Guinée, l’OMS, Médecins sans Frontières (MSF), EPICENTRE et l’Institut norvégien de santé publique. En Sierra Leone, l’essai est mis en œuvre par le Ministère de la santé et l’OMS, avec le concours de l’équipe de l’essai du vaccin anti-Ebola en Guinée.

    L’essai est financé par l’OMS, avec l’appui de Wellcome Trust, du Département du développement international du Royaume-Uni, du ministère norvégien des Affaires étrangères, de l’Institut norvégien de la santé publique par le biais du Conseil de la recherche norvégien, du gouvernement du Canada par le biais de l’Agence de la santé publique du Canada, des Instituts de recherche en santé du Canada, du Centre de recherches pour le développement international et du ministère des Affaires étrangères, du commerce et du développement, ainsi que de MSF.

    L’équipe de l’essai comprend notamment des experts de l’Université de Berne, de l’Université de Floride, de la London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, de Public Health England et des laboratoires mobiles européens.

    • Partenaire de l’essai du vaccin anti-Ebola en Guinée.

    Pour plus d’informations, merci de prendre contact avec:

    Margaret Harris
    Chargée de communication, OMS
    Téléphone: +41 796 036 224
    Portable: +232 76533284

    En Sierra Leone
    Saffea Gborie
    Chargé de communication, OMS
    Téléphone : +232 78335660

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    Source: World Bank
    Country: Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone

    Although there has been substantial progress in slowing Ebola in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the epidemic is not over. The world must remain focused on getting to, and sustaining, zero cases. Until we reach zero cases in each affected country, the people and economies in the region and beyond will remain at risk.

    The World Bank Group’s response to the Ebola crisis is to help stop the spread of infections, improve public health systems throughout West Africa, and assist countries in coping with the economic impact—including by enabling trade, investment and employment in the countries.

    We continue to work closely with the affected countries, the United Nations, WHO, bilateral, civil society and private sector partners to support response and recovery. This includes restoring basic health services, helping countries get all children back in school, farmers back planting in their fields, businesses back up and running, and investors back into the countries. We are helping countries reignite their economies, strengthen their health systems, and build back better.

    The primary cost of this tragic outbreak is in human lives and suffering—but the crisis has also wiped out hard-earned development gains in the affected countries, and will worsen already entrenched poverty. On April 17, 2015, the World Bank Group issued an economic update showing the Ebola crisis continues to cripple the economies of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, even as transmission rates show significant signs of slowing. The Bank Group estimates that these three countries will lose at least US$2.2 billion in forgone economic growth in 2015 as a result of the epidemic.

    Other recent studies have found that the socioeconomic impacts of Ebola in Liberia and Sierra Leone have included job losses, smaller harvests and food insecurity, though the use of public services appears to be improving.

    To ensure that the world is better prepared and respond much more quickly to future disease outbreaks, the World Bank Group, the World Health Organization, and other partners, are developing a plan for a new Pandemic Emergency Facility that would enable resources to flow quickly when outbreaks occur.

    The World Bank Group also has established an Ebola Recovery and Reconstruction Trust Fund to address the urgent and growing economic and social impact of the crisis in the region.

    Where we stand now

    As of Sept. 1,2015, the World Bank Group has mobilized US$1.62 billion in financing for Ebola response and recovery efforts to support the countries hardest hit by Ebola. This includes US$260 million for Guinea; US$385 million for Liberia and US$318 million for Sierra Leone. The US$1.62 billion total also includes US$1.17 billion from IDA, the World Bank Group’s fund for the poorest countries and at least US$450 million from IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, to enable trade, investment and employment in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

    An initial $518 million commitment from IDA is helping Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone provide treatment and care, contain and prevent the spread of infections, help communities cope with the economic impact of the crisis, and improve public health systems. This includes:

    • Paying for essential supplies and drugs, personal protective equipment and infection prevention control materials, health worker training, hazard pay and death benefits to Ebola health workers and volunteers, contact tracing, vehicles, data management equipment, and door-to-door public health education outreach.

    • Supporting a surge of foreign health workers to the three countries. As of April 2015, more than 1,300 foreign medical personnel had been deployed to the countries, including 835 medical personnel under the African Union Support to the Ebola Outbreak in West Africa (ASEOWA) and a Cuban team of 230 medical personnel.

    • Providing budget support to help the governments of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone cope with economic impact of the outbreak, and financing the scale-up of social safety net programs for people in the three countries.

    Of the initial $518 million committed through IDA, $390 million is comprised of new money provided in grants from the World Bank Group’s IDA Crisis Response Window; $110 million is from national IDA and Crisis Response Window funds for development policy operations; and $18 million was reallocated from existing health projects in the three affected countries. Of the $518 million IDA commitment, as of Sept. 1 2015, $390 million, or 75%, had been disbursed to the three countries and implementing UN agency partners.

    In spring 2015, to revive agriculture and avert hunger in Ebola-affected countries, the World Bank Group helped to deliver fertilizer and a record 10,500 tons of maize, cowpea and rice seed for up to 200,000 farmers in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

    Of the at least $450 million from IFC in commercial financing that is enabling trade, investment and employment in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, $250 million is for a rapid response program, which is helping to ensure continued operations of business and supplies of essential goods and services. An additional $200 million is for an Ebola recovery program, which will finance medium- and long-term projects post-crisis. IFC is also providing advisory services to 800 small and medium enterprises on health, security and environment issues related to Ebola.

    Contact: Melanie Mayhew

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    Source: UN Children's Fund
    Country: Sierra Leone


    • The week to 23 August 2015 saw the second successive epidemiological week without a confirmed Ebola case.

    • On 24 August 2015, the country’s last current Ebola patient was released as a survivor from the International Medical Corps (IMC)
      Mateneh Ebola Treatment Centre. Back home in the formerly quarantined Massesebe village, Tonkolili district, she received a survivors’ re-integration kit from UNICEF to help with her return. The discharge starts the 42 day countdown for the country to being declared free from Ebola transmission.

    • The micro-surge in Western Area was extended by another five days with a focus on intensive community engagement. As part of the surge, 30 community meetings were held engaging 297 community leaders and 28,822 individuals through community dialogues and conversations. Over 8,447 households were reached through houseto-house visits in those wards during the week.

    • In Port Loko district, UNICEF-led social mobilization teams from Restless Development, OXFAM and the Red Cross reached 37,437 people, 768 traditional healers and 2,968 community leaders in 2,350 communities.

    • In Kambia, the UNICEF child protection team participated in the monitoring of cross border activities. The assessment of official and non-official crossing points continues, especially around the Bramaia,
      Gbinle Dixing and Samu chiefdoms.

    • UNICEF, through the Sierra Leone Water Company (SALWACO) and PACT, continues to provide water to all the 508 formerly quarantined people in Massesebe village, as well as Masanga hospital in Tonkolili district. Around 11,000 litres of water are delivered every day and 1,730 litres of packaged drinking water has been provided to the households through UNICEF direct procurement.

    • UNICEF and its implementing partners, working with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST), continued to visit schools to monitor readiness in compliance with the Ebola safety protocols. As of 25 August 2015, 5,800 (63.7 per cent) schools had been visited. Schools reopen for the new semester on 31 August 2015.

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    Source: UN Security Council
    Country: Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Côte d'Ivoire, Cyprus, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Gambia, Guinea, Haiti, Iraq, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Mali, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Sierra Leone, Syrian Arab Republic, Togo, Ukraine, World, Yemen


    Under the presidency of Chile, in January 2015, the Security Council held 19 public meetings, 1 private meeting and 12 consultations of the whole. The Council adopted three resolutions, agreed on four presidential statements and issued 13 statements to the press. Among the public meetings there were three open debates. On 19 January, the Council held an open debate at ministerial level entitled “Inclusive development for the maintenance of international peace and security”, presided over by the President of Chile, Michelle Bachelet. On 30 January, the Council held an open debate on “Protection challenges and needs faced by women and girls in armed conflict and post-conflict settings”. On 15 January, the Council convened its quarterly open debate on the situation in the Middle East presided over by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Chile, Heraldo Muñoz.

    The members of the Council also conducted a mission to Haiti during the period from 23 to 25 January.

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    Source: Famine Early Warning System Network, Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel
    Country: Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Togo

    Approvisionnement globalement satisfaisant des marchés malgré l’installation tardive de la saison


    • Amélioration de la pluviométrie dans les zones soudaniennes et soudano-sahéliennes de l’Afrique de l’Ouest et du Tchad à partir de la mi-juillet, qui permet la généralisation et l’intensification des opérations de semis;

    • Situation pastorale toujours préoccupante dans les zones pastorales et agropastorales de la Mauritanie, au Nord du Sénégal, au nord du Mali, à l’est du Niger, au nord du Burkina Faso et dans la zone sahélienne du Tchad en raison de l’épuisement précoce des pâturages et de la faible émergence du tapis herbacé. Cette situation pourrait s’améliorer à partir d’août avec la bonne pluviométrie enregistrée au cours de la deuxième moitié de juillet et les bonnes perspectives pour le mois d’août;

    • Approvisionnement satisfaisant des marchés avec des prix relativement stables par rapport à la moyenne sauf dans les zones de conflits au Nord Mali et dans le bassin du Lac Tchad, et par endroits en Mauritanie du fait de la faiblesse des récoltes 2014/2015 ;

    • Situation alimentaire globalement satisfaisante dans la région sauf dans certaines zones pastorales et agropastorales déficitaires, les zones affectées par les conflits et celles durement affectées par l’épidémie d’Ebola et en cours de relèvement.

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    Source: Voice of America
    Country: Sierra Leone

    Nina de Vries

    FREETOWN, SIERRA LEONE—The last known Ebola patient in Sierra Leone was released from a hospital Monday. If the country goes 42 days without a new case, it will be declared Ebola-free. But the virus’ effects continue to haunt many residents, including those who buried the bodies of Ebola victims.

    When Ebola was at its peak a year ago, corpses sometimes would be left for days before being picked up by overwhelmed burial teams.

    The images of decomposed bodies began to haunt burial worker Abu Bakar Kalokah after he joined the Red Cross.

    "You become nervous. Sometimes you sit alone, thinking what is going to happen tomorrow because tomorrow is another day and the work is not easy," he said.

    All burials in Sierra Leone must be done by teams wearing protective gear to prevent the virus from spreading from the deceased to the living.

    Seeing people killed by Ebola day in and day out was daunting for the burial teams. Some even turned to drugs and alcohol to cope.

    Relief valve

    To ease their burden, the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) brought in brought in psychosocial experts to administer psychological first aid.

    One method they taught burial members to do, was to use comedic skits, song and dance to ease stress.

    Performing for each other helps everyone decompress, said another burial team member, Tamba Musa, adding, "When they come and see these funny dances, it makes them forget the day’s traumas, the trauma they’ve gone through."

    Joshua Abioseh Duncan is a coordinator for the Mental Health Coalition of Sierra Leone. The coalition, created in 2011, strives to make sure that mental health professionals are available in every district of the country.

    Psychosocial support

    This includes teaching people how to provide psychosocial support for each other.

    For the Ebola response the coalition also worked with government and international partners on mental health issues. This included teaching people how to provide psychosocial support for each other in communities.

    Counseling will need to continue after the country is Ebola-free, Duncan said. But, he worries there may not be enough trained people to help.

    "I only know of one Sierra Leone psychologist, and for me that is a challenge," Duncan said. "Professional counselors – we need more of them. We need more individuals to provide service with regards to issues of this kind."

    He added that there’s only one psychiatrist for the country’s 6 million people. With so many affected by Ebola, he said, it’s simply not enough.

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    Source: Government of Sierra Leone
    Country: Sierra Leone

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    Source: Government of Sierra Leone
    Country: Sierra Leone


    • Total Survived and Discharged Cases = 4,047


    • New Confirmed cases = 0 as follows:
      Kailahun = 0, Kenema = 0, Kono = 0 Bombali = 0, Kambia = 0, Koinadugu = 0, Port Loko =0, Tonkolili = 0 Bo = 0, Bonthe = 0, Moyamba = 0 Pujehun = 0 Western Area Urban = 0, Western Area Rural = 0, Missing = 0

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    Source: UN Department of Public Information
    Country: Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone

    Ebola’s most affected countries lobby for funding for hospital infrastructure

    By: Kingsley Ighobor

    On 10 May 2015, a day after the World Health Organization declared Liberia Ebola-free, stern-faced health officials were holding marathon meetings in different rooms at the country’s health ministry. Their business-like mood contrasted with the celebratory atmosphere on the streets of the capital, Monrovia.

    Newly appointed health minister, Bernice Dahn, Liberia’s former Chief Medical Officer, told Africa Renewal in an interview that Liberia’s healthcare system continued to face dangerous headwinds and her staff was frantically finalizing a blueprint to avert another catastrophe.

    To address Liberia’s problematic healthcare system, Dr. Dahn had a long wish list of solutions. They included the building of new health facilities, enhancement of diagnostic services, an emergency preparedness and response structure, the hiring of qualified personnel to work in health facilities and a commitment of more money to the sector. “Our healthcare infrastructure was not built to respond to infectious diseases,” explained the minister. Before Ebola, for example, Liberia had a significant shortfall of medical personnel – only about 50 doctors, which was approximately one doctor per 100,000 persons.

    “Before Ebola, we needed about $20 million annually for drugs but we were getting only $2 million,” said Dr. Dahn. Liberia currently needs more than $30 million annually to revamp its health system and the minister is hoping that with Ebola lessons fully learned, future healthcare budgets might not suffer the “under-budgeting” as in earlier times.

    Another Marshall Plan

    Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea—countries most affected by Ebola—share borders but, in large measure, share the same dysfunctional healthcare infrastructure situations. With Liberia now free of the virus and Sierra Leone and Guinea poised to defeat it, presidents Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone and Alpha Condé of Guinea are jointly canvassing for global financial assistance to revamp healthcare infrastructure and restore social services in their countries. Their core message is that quality healthcare enables socioeconomic development.

    The three presidents team up at different forums to argue for serious healthcare financing. In March, they attended a summit in Brussels with the European Union and participated in the April meetings in Washington with President Barack Obama and with the World Bank Group that was attended by top UN and International Monetary Fund officials. The UN is also organizing a donor conference in July in New York.

    President Johnson Sirleaf told a gathering in Washington that included UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim and IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, as well as representatives of donor countries and international development organizations, that an $8 billion “Marshall Plan” was needed, referring to the huge international effort to rebuild Europe after the Second World War.

    It could have been an eyebrow-raising moment in Washington but the Liberian president quickly defended the $8 billion figure saying: “Is this asking for too much? We say no…Our health systems collapsed, investors left our countries, revenues declined and spending increased.”

    Why a Marshall Plan? President Condé clarified: “The Marshall Plan was the consequence of a war. Ebola was like a war for our countries.” Their goal is to set up healthcare delivery systems that are strong enough to absorb the shocks of any future epidemic.

    The trio’s Marshall Plan earmarks $4 billion of the $8 billion for building a sub-regional recovery programme. Additional funds will be channeled to strengthen the health systems and frontline care, and to sectors such as agriculture, education, energy, roads, water and sanitation. The plan also includes the creation of a West African disease surveillance system.

    Basketful of goodies

    Speaking at the Washington meeting, the UN secretary-general backed the plan but warned: “The full recovery of Ebola-affected countries is only possible when the outbreak has ended and safeguards have been put in place to prevent re-introduction of the disease.”

    The three leaders have already received a running start. In April, the World Bank announced a $650 million support programme. Before then, the bank had committed nearly $1 billion for response and recovery efforts and had also announced a $2.17 billion in debt relief, which will save the three countries about $75 million annually. The European Union estimates its financial contribution so far at about $1.37 billion. Other countries and organizations are pledging various amounts.

    Further, “funding is already in the hands of implementing partners,” said Liberia’s health minister, adding that the challenge could be “getting them to coordinate it better, to declare what they have used, what is left and what it can be used for.”

    Tense relationship

    Sierra Leone’s health minister, Dr. Abubakarr Fofanah, called on international partners to be more transparent in their dealings. “I have a letter which was written to the World Bank by Audit Service Sierra Leone,” said Dr. Fofanah, which claims that 30% of internal Ebola funds were not properly accounted for. Both presidents Condé and Koroma had urged accountability for Ebola funds received by international non-government organizations. “As we have done our own part [audit], we are also expecting international accountability. This is accountability through and through,” said President Koroma.

    Statements like these from top government officials underscore uneasiness in the relationship between governments and their international partners. Dr. Dahn alluded to the different perspectives that her government and donors have regarding how to use the remainder of Ebola’s resources in Liberia. “We need to align resources that came for Ebola with our health system plan…A lot of resources, financial and material, have come in. Material resources are easier to align; financial resources are tied to emergency response and donor policies may be against moving money into other projects.”

    Dr. Dahn implored donors to consider the Ebola response within a broader context. “Immediate restoration of healthcare is also an emergency: Children were not vaccinated during Ebola. Women didn’t have access to basic maternal services – these are like emergencies.” Some healthcare experts are insisting that with the epidemic ended in Liberia and a glut in treatment in Sierra Leone and Guinea, the potential exists to repurpose unused Ebola resources and facilities.

    Examples of donor-built physical infrastructure that can support healthcare systems in these countries include 11 treatment units built by the US government in Liberia, the 50-bed treatment centre built by the British in Sierra Leone, the three clinics established by the French government in Guinea as well as health facilities set up by the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Chinese government, the African Union and other humanitarian organizations in the three countries.

    Some of these facilities arrived late in the game and were unhelpful. For example, only 28 patients were treated in the centres built by the US government; in fact nine of the 11 centres did not receive a single patient, according to a recent story in the New York Times.

    Although the presidents of the three most affected countries are united in their appeals, the World Bank notes that differences exist in their individual countries’ economic situations. The Bank reported earlier in the year that Sierra Leone’s economy will contract at an unprecedented -23.5% in 2015 compared to a pre-Ebola growth of 15.2%, which is effectively a recession; Liberia’s economy will grow at 3% compared to 6.8% pre-Ebola; and Guinea’s will decline by -0.2% compared to a 4.3% before Ebola.

    Losses suffered

    Also, all three countries have suffered major GDP declines. The total GDP losses for the three countries were estimated by the World Bank at $2.2 billion: $1.4 billion for Sierra Leone, $535 million for Guinea and $240 million for Liberia.

    Because Sierra Leone’s mining sector has collapsed as global prices of iron ore, one of its mainstay minerals, have crashed, the country faces acute infrastructure financing needs. What this means is that all three countries will recover at different speeds.

    Amidst Ebola’s doom and gloom, there is hope that long-needed improvements will finally take place. “I tell you, it is this [Ebola] outbreak that will transform Sierra Leone’s health system to a robust and functional one,” said Dr. Dong Xiaoping, director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control in Sierra Leone. Antonio Vigilante, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the UN Mission in Liberia says, “There is a golden opportunity to have a different start... It’s a very delicate stage, full of opportunities, which should not be missed.”

    Clearly the international community is looking seriously at these health infrastructure financial needs. The Ebola outbreak injected urgency into the need for quality healthcare systems; and the new proposed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will replace the Millennium Development Goals by year end, also add momentum with SDGs goal number three being to “Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.”

    “Many of us have acknowledged that the international community was slow to react to Ebola,” remarked the World Bank president. “Let’s show that we have learned this lesson.” 

    0 0

    Source: World Food Programme
    Country: Sierra Leone

    Summary of WFP assistance

    WFP’s Emergency Operation is focused on supporting the health response to stop the spread of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) by meeting the basic food and nutrition needs of affected families and communities in Sierra Leone. WFP provides food assistance to care for patients and their caretakers in treatment centres and to survivors upon discharge, to contain the spread of the virus in hotspot communities and to quarantined households and to protect households and communities in areas most affected by the virus.

    Alongside food assistance, WFP’s Special Operation supports the global response of the humanitarian community by facilitating logistics support, infrastructure development, emergency telecommunications, and humanitarian air services across the Ebola affected countries. Storage and transport services are facilitated at Port Loko, Lungi airport, and Freetown with Forward Logistics Bases in Makeni, Kenema and Kailahun on standby, and, if needed, can be operationalised within 48 hours.

    0 0

    Source: World Health Organization
    Country: Guinea, Italy, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America


    • There were 3 confirmed cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) reported in the week to 30 August: 2 in Guinea and 1 in Sierra Leone. The case in Sierra Leone is the first in the country for over 2 weeks. Overall case incidence has remained stable at 3 confirmed cases per week for 5 consecutive weeks. In addition, the number of contacts under observation continues to fall, from approximately 600 on 23 August to approximately 450 on 30 August. Of those, over 400 are located in Guinea. All 48 contacts under follow-up in Sierra Leone are associated with the most recently reported case from the western district of Kambia, which borders Guinea. A rapid-response team has been deployed to the area due to the likelihood of further localised transmission associated with the case. Both cases reported from Guinea this week had symptom onset in or near the capital, Conakry. One of the cases was symptomatic for an extended period in the community. There remains a risk of short-term increases in case incidence as a result of isolated, high-risk cases, and rapid-response teams are on alert to deal with any such cases.

    • The 2 confirmed cases reported from Guinea in the week to 30 August were identified in or near the Ratoma area of the capital, Conakry. The first case, a 9-month-old girl, was not a registered contact and had onset of symptoms on the outskirts of Conakry in Dubreka, before being taken to the Ratoma area of the capital by her family, where she died before she could be admitted to an Ebola treatment centre. The second case is a 56-year-old male and registered contact of a case reported from Ratoma on 18 August. Of 410 contacts who were under follow-up on 30 August in Guinea, 289 were located in Conakry, with 26 in Dubreka and 95 in Forecariah. The previous week 600 contacts were located in 4 western prefectures (Conakry, Coyah, Dubreka, and Forecariah).

    • No new cases were reported from Liberia in the week to 30 August. All contacts in Liberia have now completed their 21-day follow-up period. The last 2 patients with EVD in Liberia were discharged after completing treatment and testing negative for EVD for a second time on 23 July. Surveillance continues to be strengthened, with approximately 800 samples tested for EVD in the week to 30 August.

    • One new confirmed case was reported from Sierra Leone in the week to 30 August: the first case reported from the country for over 2 weeks. The case was a woman approximately 60 years of age who was identified as EVD-positive after post-mortem testing. She had symptom onset in the village of Sella Kafta, Tonko Limba chiefdom in Kambia, and was treated in the community before her death. Kambia, which borders the Guinean prefecture of Forecariah, had not reported a confirmed case for 48 days. A rapid-response team was immediately deployed to the area. As at 30 August a total of 48 contacts had been identified, although this figure is expected to rise in due course. The origin of infection remains under investigation. The Phase 3 efficacy trial of the VSV-EBOV vaccine has now been extended from Guinea to Sierra Leone. Contacts and contacts of contacts associated with the confirmed case in Kambia will therefore be offered the vaccine. Contacts associated with all other chains of transmission in Sierra Leone have now completed follow-up.

    • No new health worker infections were reported in the week to 30 August. There have been a total of 881 confirmed health worker infections reported from Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone since the start of the outbreak, with 513 reported deaths.

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    Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
    Country: Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda

    - Above-average seasonal rainfall continues over several regions of West Africa.
    - Poorly distributed rains strengthen seasonal deficits over parts of central Ethiopia.

    1) While a recent increase in August precipitation is expected to lead to more favorable ground moisture, a delayed onset and uneven rainfall distribution observed during the June-September season may negatively impact cropping and pastoral conditions in the region.

    2) Despite recent increase in rainfall, the much delayed start to the rainfall season has resulted in drought, which has severely impacted ground conditions and already led to livestock death across parts of north-central and eastern Ethiopia.

    3) Widespread and persistent above-average seasonal rainfall accumulations over the past several weeks has led to a saturation of ground conditions and localized flooding in several regions of West Africa. The continuation of heavy rainfall remains forecast for the upcoming outlook period, sustaining the risk for flooding throughout several provinces in Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso, western Niger, eastern Guinea and Sierra Leone.

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    Source: UN Development Programme
    Country: Colombia, Georgia, Niger, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, World

    Youth are especially vulnerable to multiple and often interlinked forms of violence: in areas of conflict they face specific challenges such as having to take on adult responsibilities while at the same time missing years of education. They are also particularly affected by consequences of conflict such as unemployment, social rupture, trauma and – especially for those involved as combatants – loss of status and resources. Besides economic and social marginalization, they often face political exclusion and, as a result, their transition to adulthood can be prolonged or blocked.

    As outlined in its Youth Strategy, UNDP engages young people as a positive force for transformational change through strategic entry points which focus on empowering and mobilizing youth as peacebuilders within their communities.

    0 0

    Source: Government of Sierra Leone
    Country: Sierra Leone


    • Total Survived and Discharged Cases = 4,047


    • New Confirmed cases = 0 as follows:
      Kailahun = 0, Kenema = 0, Kono = 0
      Bombali = 0, Kambia = 0, Koinadugu = 0, Port Loko =0, Tonkolili = 0
      Bo = 0, Bonthe = 0, Moyamba = 0 Pujehun = 0
      Western Area Urban = 0, Western Area Rural = 0, Missing = 0

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