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ReliefWeb - Updates on Sierra Leone

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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Central African Republic, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone

    REPUBLIQUE CENTRAFRICAINE

    ELECTIONS DECALEES AU 30 DECEMBRE
    Les élections présidentielle et législatives qui devaient se tenir le 27 décembre auront désormais lieu le 30 décembre. La nouvelle date a été annoncée le 24 décembre par les autorités électorales nationales, qui ont déclaré que plus de temps était nécessaire pour régler certains problèmes de logistique et compléter la formation des agents électoraux. Un éventuel second tour est prévu le 31 janvier 2016.

    HAUSSE DU NOMBRE DE PERSONNES DEPLACEES
    Selon la Commission Mouvement de Population (CMP), le nombre de personnes déplacées a augmenté de 4,65% entre octobre et novembre, passant de 447 487 à 469 307. L'augmentation est due à des incidents de sécurité à Bangui et à des mouvements récurrents de population dans les autres provinces suite à des violences intercommunautaires et des vagues d’attaques et de représailles commis par des groupes armés.

    MALI

    SIX TUES DANS DES ATTAQUES DANS LE NORD
    Six personnes ont été tuées dans la région de Kidal, au nord du Mali, dans l'attaque d'une base de l'ex-rébellion de la Coordination des mouvements de l'Azawad (CMA). Les véhicules appartenant à la CMA ont également été brûlés par les assaillants. Le groupe malien Ansar Dine a revendiqué l'attaque.

    NIGERIA

    30 TUES DANS DES ATTAQUES Selon l'Autorité nationale de gestion des urgences (NEMA), environ 20 personnes ont été tuées et 90 blessées dans une explosion causée par des membres supposés de Boko Haram dans une mosquée de Maiduguri au nord du pays, le 28 décembre. L'explosion a eu lieu un jour après que l'armée a combattu les militants de Boko Haram à l'ouest de Maiduguri, suite à l'attaque de Jiddari Polo, une ville clé en périphérie de Maiduguri. Dans la soirée du 25 décembre, Boko Haram a envahi le village de Kimba dans l'Etat de Borno, tuant au moins 14 personnes et incendiant leurs maisons.

    MALADIE À VIRUS EBOLA (MVE)

    LA GUINEE DECLAREE LIBRE DU VIRUS EBOLA
    Aucun nouveau cas n’a été signalé en Guinée, au Libéria et en Sierra Leone la semaine se terminant le 27 décembre. Le 29 décembre, la Guinée a été déclarée exempte de la transmission du virus Ebola, débutant une période de surveillance renforcée de 90 jours qui se terminera le 27 mars si aucun autre cas n’est identifié. La Sierra Leone observe actuellement une période de 90 jours de surveillance renforcée qui se terminera le 5 février 2016. Le 14 janvier 2016, la transmission liée aux récents cas au Liberia prendra fin, 42 jours après que les deux derniers cas ont été testé négativement deux fois consécutives, si aucun autre cas n’est signalé.


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    Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
    Country: Sierra Leone

    Residual impacts of Ebola maintain Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food insecurity in some areas

    Key Messages

    • The World Health Organization declared Sierra Leone free of Ebola on November 7th. This situation is providing favorable conditions for a slow economic recovery and improving household incomes compared to last year’s levels.
    • Production estimates from the joint CILSS/FEWS NET/FAO/WFP/Government pre-harvest assessment conducted in September 2015 indicate that 2015/2016 rice and cassava production increased by 28 percent and 23 percent, respectively, compared to the five-year average. Consequently, food supply levels will likely be sufficient to meet local consumption needs, maintain stable prices, and ensure adequate food access for households in most areas.
    • Food security has improved compared to previous months due to ongoing harvests and income-generating opportunities from off-season cropping (ex. labor work and crop sales). These factors, along with the gradual recovery of certain seasonal livelihood activities, will enable most households to meet their essential food and non-food needs. Consequently, most households are expected to remain in Minimal (IPC Phase 1) through at least March 2016.
    • However, more than 20 percent of households in Kenema, Kailahun, Kambia, Pujenhun, Port Loko, Tonkolili, and Kono will continue to face reduced purchasing power due to a slower recovery from Ebola-related shocks (ex. market disruptions and reduced incomes). This is preventing affected households from being able to meet their essential non-food expenditures and as a result, they will remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2) through March 2016. In these areas, poor households who lost a family member to Ebola will likely face the worst outcomes.

    Projected Outlook through March 2016

    According to FEWS NET’s SMS-based trader survey conducted in early November 2015, more than 70 percent of interviewed traders reported that rice harvesting activities were ongoing in their local communities. These harvests of rice, sweet potatoes, cassava, maize, groundnuts, legumes, and vegetables in major production areas are helping to improve household food availability, diversify diets, and maintain seasonally incomes from crop sales and labor work.

    The joint CILSS/FAO/FEWS NET/WFP/Government pre-harvest assessment conducted in October estimated that 2015/16 rice production would be 1,519,227 metric tons, representing a 10 percent increase compared to last year’s levels and a 35 percent increase compared to the five-year average. For cassava, production is about 4,455,521 metric tons, which is 10 percent more than last year’s levels and 25 percent above the 5-year average. According to the joint assessment, the same trends are also likely for sweet potato and groundnut production. These achievements can be explained by favorable rainfall conditions across the country and producer support by the Government and its partners in terms of agricultural inputs. Given current production levels, households stocks are expected, on average, to cover five to six months, similar to a typical year.

    Many other income-generating activities, such as petty trade and charcoal production/sales, are occurring at relatively normal levels and are providing households with average incomes to maintain their food access. However, hunting and bush meat sales are still restricted due to official laws, resulting in below-average incomes for households engaged in these activities.

    According to the joint CILSS/FEWS NET/WFP/FAO crop assessment mission, supplies of food products on local markets are generally sufficient to meet market demand. However, a ban on Sunday sales still limits trading activities especially at weekly markets, such as Bamoi international market whose official market day is Sunday. Cross-border flows also remain below average due to the residual Ebola-related fears as many foreign traders from Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, and Senegal are absent on reference markets unlike in normal years. This is causing below average income for households engage in those activities. According to WFP mVAM prices collected in October, food prices have generally remained stable compared to the past months, which is helping to facilitate household food access.

    Due to a slower recovery from Ebola-related shocks (market disruptions and below-average incomes) and the resulting reduced household purchasing power, the majority of households in Kenema, Kailahun, Kambia, Pujenhun, Port Loko, Tonkolili, and Kono are currently unable to meet essential non-food needs and will remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2) through at least March 2016. In these areas, poor households who lost a family member to Ebola will likely face some of the worst food security outcomes. Elsewhere, food security outcomes have improved compared to previous months as a result of increased food availability with the new harvests, relatively stable food prices, and normal incomes. More than 80 percent of households in such areas are able to satisfy their food and non-food expenditures and thus these areas will be in Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity through at least March 2016.


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    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

    SUMMARY

    • No confirmed cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) were reported in the week to 27 December. On 29 December, WHO declared that human-to-human transmission of Ebola virus has ended in Guinea, after the completion of 42 days with zero cases since the last person confirmed to have EVD received a second consecutive negative blood test for Ebola virus RNA. Guinea has now entered a 90-day period of heightened surveillance.
    • Human-to-human transmission linked to the most recent cluster of cases in Liberia will be declared to have ended on 14 January 2016, 42 days after the 2 most-recent cases received a second consecutive negative test for Ebola virus, if no further cases are reported. In Sierra Leone, human-to-human transmission linked to the primary outbreak was declared to have ended on 7 November 2015. The country has now entered a 90-day period of enhanced surveillance scheduled to conclude on 5 February 2016.
    • The 8th meeting of the Emergency Committee convened by the WHO Director-General under the International Health Regulations (2005) regarding the EVD outbreak in West Africa took place by teleconference on 15 December 2015. Based on the advice of the Committee, the Director-General declared that the 2014–15 Ebola outbreak continues to constitute a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.
    • The most recent cluster of cases in Liberia was the result of the re-emergence of Ebola virus that had persisted in a previously infected individual. Although the probability of such re-emergence events is low, the risk of further transmission following a re-emergence underscores the importance of implementing a comprehensive package of services for survivors that includes the testing of appropriate bodily fluids for the presence of Ebola virus RNA. The governments of Liberia and Sierra Leone, with support from partners including WHO and US CDC, have implemented voluntary semen screening and counselling programmes for male survivors in order to help affected individuals understand their risk and take necessary precautions to protect close contacts. 405 male survivors had accessed semen screening services up to 27 December in Liberia and Sierra Leone. A network of clinical services for survivors is also being expanded in Liberia and Sierra Leone, with plans for comprehensive national policies for the care of EVD survivors due to be completed in January 2016.
    • In order to effectively manage and respond to the consequences of residual Ebola risks, Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone have each put surveillance systems in place to enable health workers and members of the public to report any case of illness or death that they suspect may be related to EVD to the relevant authorities. In the week to 27 December, 933 community death alerts were reported in Guinea from all of the country’s 34 prefectures. Over the same period 9 operational laboratories in Guinea tested a total of 541 new and repeat samples (6 samples from live patients and 535 from community deaths) from only 14 of the country’s 34 prefectures. In Liberia, 611 alerts were received from all 15 of the country’s counties. The country’s 5 operational laboratories tested 469 new and repeat samples (281 from live patients and 188 from community deaths) for Ebola virus over the same period. In Sierra Leone 1226 alerts were reported in the week to 20 December (the most recent week for which data are available). 734 new and repeat samples (10 from live patients and 724 from community deaths) were tested for Ebola virus by the country’s 8 operational laboratories in the week ending 27 December.
    • The deployment of rapid-response teams following the detection of a new confirmed case continues to be a cornerstone of the national response strategy in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. Each country has at least 1 national rapid-response team, with strengthening of national and subnational rapid-response capacity and validation of incident-response plans continuing through December and January.

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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Guinea, Haiti, Indonesia, Jordan, Lebanon, Liberia, Mali, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Vanuatu, World

    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

    As of July 2015, an estimated 114 million people in assessed countries were in need of humanitarian assistance, compared to 40 million just over ten years ago.1 Needs are not only growing, but their drivers and time horizons have also changed: most people in crisis live in contexts of fragility, where existing vulnerabilities due to causes like poverty, food insecurity and exclusion are compounded by conflict and violence, intensifying natural disasters, and unplanned urbanization. The international humanitarian system2 was set up to address exceptional circumstances, but for people in these environments, crises and insecurity are the norm. Cycles of conflict and disasters are displacing millions, leaving people vulnerable and in need of humanitarian action for decades, and in some cases, for generations.

    Alongside these challenges are positive trends: local, national, regional and international capacity to prepare for and manage crises continues to grow. Actors from all backgrounds are increasingly taking initiative, joining forces, and getting more organized to address growing needs, beginning with affected people themselves. The international humanitarian system also continues to play a fundamental role in providing assistance and protection in times of conflict, when local systems are depleted by crisis, and where resources or technical knowledge are insufficient.

    International actors have also made significant progress in strengthening humanitarian coordination, professionalizing and establishing standards for delivery, managing crisis risk, building resilience and promoting accountability to affected people.

    Despite these gains at all levels, the complexity and volume of crises means that many people still do not receive the assistance and protection they need, while others may be trapped in a humanitarian holding pattern that offers no clear path to better their circumstances. Conflict continues to drive the bulk of humanitarian action, but those responding to chronic vulnerability, climate-driven shocks, rapid urbanization, and a host of other hazards now coexist with conflict-driven crises in a complex and interconnected picture. Protracted crises are the norm, and humanitarian actors have taken on a wider range of roles: addressing prolonged displacement; filling gaps in social safety nets; promote preparedness; coping with the changing nature of violence and new hazards; and facing urbanization and climate-driven crises. In this environment, clarifying effectiveness requires an understanding of the expectations against which humanitarian assistance and protection are now measured.

    This study echoes the view that progress in addressing these challenges can be triggered, in part, by the adoption of a shared understanding of what humanitarian effectiveness means in today’s world, and through collective efforts to incentivize and measure progress toward achieving it.

    The World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) marks a rare opportunity to advance an agenda around this kind of shared understanding. The Sustainable Development Agenda, which has just been adopted, provides another opportunity: a global results framework that must benefit everyone, regardless of circumstance. In order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the most vulnerable people, including those in crisis, must be a particular priority. For humanitarians to contribute to that vision, meeting basic needs in crisis will remain critical, but it is no longer enough. The 2030 Agenda calls on humanitarians locally, nationally, and internationally to work differently with one another and with counterparts in development, peace operations, climate change, and gender equality to move people out of crisis: reducing vulnerability, doubling down on risk management, and tackling root causes of crises and conflict.

    The 2030 Agenda includes a vision for global solidarity with people in fragile environments, a renewed commitment to resolve or prevent conflict and the recognition of the important role of migrants, internally displaced people, and refugees in achieving development goals. By recognizing that many of the drivers of humanitarian crises “threaten to reverse much of the development progress made in recent decades,” the Agenda opens a formal bridge to greater cooperation that will “leave no one behind.”

    In light of these factors, this study highlights 12 of the elements that are critical to effective humanitarian assistance and protection, and describes five overarching shifts in mind-set and approach that can contribute to improvements in supporting people in crisis, as well as moving people out of crisis.

    The tools and approaches needed to deliver effective humanitarian action differ based on a number of factors, but the most prominent one is context. In the aftermath of rapid-onset, climate-related disaster, for example, the emphasis may be on providing rapid, quality aid where the crisis has overwhelmed existing capacity to cope. It could also mean supporting the response of actors such as national military or local businesses, in providing the immediate logistics support to enable others to save more lives. In a conflict environment, where some actors may be compromised by or implicated in fighting, international humanitarian engagement plays a unique role in delivery, protection, and advocacy. In still other contexts, such as situations of chronic vulnerability, effectiveness has a different dimension, requiring collaboration beyond the humanitarian community, away from cycles of short-term delivery and toward a sustainable framework of human rights and social protection.

    While every context is different, as we reflect on what it means to be effective, it can help to consider the profile of a person most commonly facing humanitarian needs. Based on today’s humanitarian landscape, we now know that this person is likely to be a woman. She and her children are likely to have fled their home, and to be living without the right to work or schooling, and without basic services like water and health care. She is likely to be fleeing from or living in conflict, where she faces an increased risk of violence in her home and in the community around her.

    She and her family are more likely to live in these circumstances of displacement, insecurity and chronic vulnerability for more than a decade,4 meeting their needs through community networks, diaspora support, and, in some cases, through actors in the international humanitarian aid system. When aid is available, it may not offer what is most important to her and her family, such as education for her children, safe housing or a source of livelihood. As years pass with limited improvement in her prospects, the systems designed to protect her and her family, and to meet their needs, are unlikely to transform her circumstances. This study considers how humanitarian action can contribute to more effective results for this woman and others in crisis.

    The study is based on extensive consultation with a range of stakeholders to understand whether affected people feel their needs are being met, who is meeting them, and what more can be done to move people out of crisis (see page 12 for details on the research approach). The findings are based on a 1,600-person global survey, six country visits that included hundreds of interviews, and other consultations.

    The study begins with a description of the Humanitarian Landscape, which details the global trends that shape humanitarian needs, risks, and expectations for response. It then situates the study in context of concurrent global change agendas and recent trends in the dialogue on humanitarian effectiveness by exploring the question, “Why effectiveness, why now?” The Findings, which summarize what we heard in the course of the study, are organized around 12 elements of effectiveness, which have been grouped into three tiers, as follows:

    CRISIS-AFFECTED PEOPLE HAVE THE RIGHT TO ASSISTANCE AND PROTECTION THAT IS THOSE REACHING CRISIS-AFFECTED PEOPLE SHOULD BE

    • Relevant

    • Timely

    • Accountable

    RESULTS: these elements describe the desired results for crisis affected people

    THOSE REACHING CRISIS-AFFECTED PEOPLE SHOULD BE

    • Complementary

    • Connected

    • Coherent

    • Nimble

    PRACTICE: these elements describe the desired behaviour and approach for any actor involved in achieving results for crisis-affected people

    THE ENVIRONMENT FOR HUMANITARIAN ACTION MUST BE ENABLED BY

    • Respect for Principles

    • Leadership

    • Resources

    • Information and Evidence

    • Governance

    ENABLERs: These are some of the essential enablers that must be part of the operating environment in order to achieve results for crisis-affected people.

    As noted above, any model for effectiveness should be applied and evaluated in context: some elements of effectiveness will naturally be more important and feasible in some contexts, while others make take precedence or add more value in others. This is not a framework solely for the United Nations (UN) or international actors, but should contribute to the effort to advance effectiveness by all actors contributing to humanitarian action.

    The study summarizes the proposed changes in the “How do we get there” section, presenting five overarching shifts in mindset and practice that will contribute to greater humanitarian effectiveness. These shifts also contribute to advancing areas of shared interests with change agendas such as the Sustainable Development Agenda and those for peacebuilding, climate change, and gender equality. The proposed shifts have strong implications for international humanitarian actors and donors as well as governments, national civil society organizations, and others contributing to humanitarian action such as private sector actors, militaries, and diaspora communities. Achieving them will require a commitment, among humanitarian actors and other key stakeholders, to examine incentive structures and overcome persistent barriers to ensure their advancement.

    Those shifts are as follows:

    • Reinforce, don’t replace existing capacities and coping strategies
      International humanitarian actors must respond to needs quickly, with relevant responses, and at the necessary scale. But their aim should always be to enable and empower national actors and institutions, not to substitute for them. In order to reinforce the self-reliance of affected people and undertake targeted capacity development, humanitarian actors must have a strong understanding of the operating context, ideally before a crisis happens, and be informed by local actors and development partners with an established presence and network. These efforts should include supporting national and local actors and institutions through appropriate political engagement, partnerships, and financial investment to protect civilians, manage risk, guide response and reduce vulnerability. The primacy of national and local institutions cannot come at the expense of people themselves: where national and local actors undermine or compromise the rights and safety of crisis-affected people, international actors should also uphold and reinforce the rights of affected people, stressing the primary responsibilities of States and parties to conflict under relevant international law and other instruments.

    • Enter with an Exit: collaborate to reduce and end humanitarian need
      Acknowledging that humanitarian crises are neither short-lived nor isolated, humanitarian actors must work more closely with others to set context-specific targets for reducing need and improving the prospects of crisis-affected people to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. This must include concrete partnerships with governments, development and peacebuilding communities, and other relevant actors in order to: identify shared interests and clarify roles in reducing the risk of chronic shocks, strengthen social protection measures, prevent prolonged displacement, and promote sustainable solutions for internally displaced people and refugees. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development provides a number of useful commitments to support this aim, including support for displaced people to return to a path to dignity and safety. Planning should employ multi-year compacts that bring together relevant actors at the national and regional levels to clarify how they will contribute to specific, dynamic benchmarks and outcome targets against which to measure progress.

    • Leverage comparative advantage: strengthen connectivity and strategic leadership
      Coordination platforms, tools, and financing models should reflect the diversity of actors meeting humanitarian needs and the contexts in which crises happen. This requires: building stronger connections between national and international actors and between humanitarian and non-humanitarians. These coordination structures should be designed ahead of crises, particularly in areas at high risk, aiming to recognize the range of capacities needed. Strategic leadership should be strongly supported, both among governments and international actors: reinforcing obligations, calling for accountability, and emphasizing discipline. Leadership should identify and promote concrete outcomes and specific positive results for crisis-affected people, facilitating collaboration that cuts across traditional silos.

    • See the whole picture: 360-degrees of risks and needs
      To keep needs at the center of humanitarian action, all actors require consistent definition of humanitarian need and frequent analysis of its drivers, including disaggregation for the unique needs of people within the affected population. Open and safe data will be critical to advancing this, with the maximum level of sharing and access encouraged, balanced with the highest degree of protection for privacy and safety of affected people. In addition, responses to crises, whether driven by conflict or natural disasters, are consistently more effective when the groundwork is in place ahead of time to prevent crises or attenuate their impact and prepare for residual risks, based on an analysis of known risks and capacities, and with investments in preparedness where risk of disasters is greatest.

    • Measure shared results for collective accountability
      Collective accountability should be promoted by all actors leading and delivering on humanitarian action, including governments, international actors, donors, national actors and others. Shared benchmarks for success will mean bringing together a range of actors based on shared interests and comparative advantage in order to achieve real results for affected people. Common feedback mechanisms and aggregated data on needs and priorities of affected people will be critical enablers of this, linked to decision-making processes on financing, planning and operations.
      Building on tools like the IASC’s Commitments on Accountability to Affected People, and the Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability, benchmarks should be linked to regularly collected and analysed feedback from affected people, with adjustments made to both inputs and targets as a result of that feedback. This process will require each actor to deliver on commitments in a predictable manner, based on a clear contribution to broader outcomes, with flexible tools and structures to adapt to feedback.

    Given the urgency of undertaking these shifts deliberately, actors responsible for making them happen must be held accountable. The study proposes that a global accountability framework be formulated to track progress on improving specific aspects of humanitarian effectiveness, used to inform interagency and intergovernmental processes as well as operational and policy options in crises. As a contribution to this accountability framework, the study proposes a set of “guiding principles” that highlight the main changes in relation to the study’s 12 elements of effectiveness. These are meant as a starting point for discussion, not as a definitive list. Once adopted, such a framework would serve as the basis for periodic progress reviews to highlight successes and best practice, barriers to progress, and areas of new or on-going concern that require adaptation or change in course. It would aim to build on the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development - Development Assistance Committee (OECD-DAC) criteria and the Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability (CHS), and other relevant frameworks.

    What sets this study’s effectiveness elements apart from many others is the inclusion of the “enablers.” In many crisis environments, the weaknesses or gaps in enablers such as governance and respect for principles are the very reason for a humanitarian crisis. In some contexts, however, there is significant progress that can be made on addressing some of them, and analysing these factors often forms the basis of the humanitarian advocacy agenda to tackle persistent challenges. Some of them, such as leadership and resources, will be required in any environment and should be included in the full picture of effectiveness. The enablers also represent some of the connecting points with other agendas including human rights, peace and security, and development. The study does not suggest that these enablers must be perfectly intact to realize an effective result, but it does recognize that a forward-looking agenda must continue to tackle these systemic considerations.


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    Source: African Union
    Country: Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone

    The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 565th meeting held on 17 December 2015, received a briefing on the Ebola situation and post-Ebola socio-economic recovery efforts in the three most affected countries in West Africa, namely, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

    Council took note the briefing provided by the Commission on the progress made, to date, in the fight against the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in the three most affected countries in West Africa, as well as in the post-EVD socio-economic recovery efforts. Council also took note statements made by the representatives of Senegal, in its capacity as the Chair of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, as well as by the representatives of the People’s Republic of China, France and the United States of America and the European Union.

    Council recalled all its earlier pronouncements on the EVD, in particular, Press Statement PSC/PR/BR.1 (DLIII) adopted at its 553rd meeting held on 21 October 2015, following a briefing on the EVD situation.

    Council commended the authorities and people of the three most affected countries, in West Africa, for their resilience and tremendous efforts to completely eradicate the EVD. Council also commended them for their ongoing post-EVD socio-economic recovery efforts. In this regard, Council reiterated the need for these countries to adopt a very comprehensive approach that addresses the wider social, psycho-social, economic and political consequences of the EVD outbreak. Council also stressed the need to invest more in strengthening the healthcare services of the most affected countries, as well as the need to address the full range of second-order impacts of the EVD epidemic and the importance of community and survivor support initiatives, including the need to address stigma.

    Council stressed, once again, the imperative need for the three most affected countries and people to continue to remain extra-vigilant vis-à-vis the risk of new EVD outbreaks and cases of relapses, and to continue to ensure effective surveillance mechanisms for monitoring cross-border movements of people, until all of the three most affected countries are declared Ebola-free.

    Council also reiterated its emphasis on the need to ensure that the support being provided to the countries most affected is not only channeled towards the reconstruction and strengthening of national healthcare services, but also towards the maintenance and provision of other basic public services, including education and macro-economic stability. Council also laid emphasis on the need for enhancing other national capacities in order to not only to build dependable resilience, but also to reduce the vulnerability of these countries to other possible future epidemic outbreaks.

    Council commended the Commission for its lead role in the fight against the EVD as well as in the post-EVD socio-economic recovery efforts, through the African Union Support to the Ebola Outbreak in West Africa (ASEOWA) and, in particular, the health care volunteers who risked their precious lives in the service of Africa. In this context, Council requested the Commission to honor all those who participated in the fight against Ebola under ASEOWA including personnel from the Commission

    Council welcomed the ongoing efforts being deployed by the Commission towards the early establishment of the African Centre for Disease Control (ACDC). Council also welcomed the ongoing efforts to establish the African Volunteer Health Corps. In the same context, while welcoming the progress achieved to date, Council reiterated its call to the World Health Organization to urgently approve the Ebola vaccine with a view to making it available when it is needed.

    Council also reiterated its deep appreciation to all Member States and the African private sector for their generous pan-African assistance to the countries most affected by the EVD. Council further reiterated its deep appreciation to the AU partners and the wider international community for their continued support in the fight against the EVD and urged them to continue to extend their support towards the post-EVD socio-economic recovery efforts of the most affected countries.

    Council agreed to further review the Ebola situation and to take necessary decisions on the basis of a comprehensive ASEOWA evaluation report to be submitted to Council in January 2016.


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    Source: Salesian Missions
    Country: Sierra Leone

    By Issa Davies

    FREETOWN, Sierra Leone, 29 December 2015 – Marie Tarawally disembarks slowly from the motorbike taxi, holding baby Yusufu. The two have travelled seven miles along the dusty roads that connect their village, Robuya, to Pate Bana Marank community health centre, in Bombali district, northern Sierra Leone.

    Marie and Yusufu enter the centre. Inside, dozens of mothers and their young children are awaiting treatment for malaria, acute respiratory infection, diarrhoea, malnutrition and other childhood diseases. The neonatal clinics are free, and they are popular.

    Real threat to maternal and child health

    The World Health Organization declared Sierra Leone free from Ebola transmission on 7 November 2015, but the disease is still very much in people’s minds. Marie’s village was the last in the country to record a case. Pate Bana Marank was one of the worst affected communities in the country, with 119 Ebola deaths recorded.

    But even during the height of the Ebola crisis, Ebola was not the biggest killer. Sierra Leone has one of the highest rates of under-5 child mortality in the world, with 120 deaths per 1,000 live births, and the world’s highest maternal mortality ratio, with 1,360 per 100,000 live births.

    Partners for children and women

    The government and partners are looking to end preventable child and mother deaths. UNICEF has been working with such partners as the European Union, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland’s Department for International Development (DfID) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to support the government’s Free Health Care initiative, launched by H.E. President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma in 2010. Support includes supplies of lifesaving drugs for the treatment of common childhood illnesses, and to help pregnant mothers deliver safely. Antibiotics, deworming tablets and oral rehydration salts are part of package that is available free of charge at all peripheral health facilities, as well as in hospitals, for pregnant and lactating mothers and children up to 5 years of age.

    To date, the European Union alone has spent €7.6 million in support of the Free Health Care initiative in Sierra Leone.

    Updated health care facilities

    Through UNICEF, the European Union has supported the government to strengthen the fragile health system. In particular, the partners have upgraded the infrastructure of health facilities and boosted the number of skilled providers. Construction work on 16 new or rehabilitated health facilities has begun in several districts across the country.

    During the Ebola outbreak, the European Union worked with UNICEF to sponsor training on prevention and control of infection, and improved knowledge and information on managing preventable diseases, to promote practices that are still in use today. Health workers in Pate Bana Marank continue to follow measures strengthened during the Ebola outbreak.

    Vaccination campaigns – which had been suspended during the Ebola outbreak – were relaunched in April. Marie had polio as a child and makes sure Yusufu has his vaccinations at the clinic.

    Great value in free services

    The journey to Pate Bana Marank may have been arduous, but young mothers like Marie know the value of seeking out this treatment. At 20, she has four children, the youngest of whom is 1-month-old Yusufu, and the eldest of whom is 6 years old.

    “I dropped out of school and got married off at an early age when I lost my mother, who was paying my school charges at that time,” says Marie. The medical fees were high, for her first born. But, with health services available without charge, she was able to have the care she needed without sacrificing the family’s meagre finances. She now elects to use the clinic, rather than the herbalist, to give her growing family a fair chance at life.


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    Source: UN Development Programme
    Country: Central African Republic, Guinea, Liberia, Nepal, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, World, Yemen

    2015 was a testament to the resilience and strength of the human spirit. At the heart of our development work are stories of people who are responding to the challenges of climate change, war, disaster, and inequality to maintain and improve their communities.

    RESPONDING TO EBOLA

    In 2015, countries affected by Ebola reached the end of human transmission of the virus. With our support, affected governments paid nearly 20,000 Ebola Response Workers on time, enabling workers to effectively combat the virus in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. We continue Ebola recovery work in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and border countries to restore the regional socio-economic fabric.

    A HISTORIC PARIS AGREEMENT

    In December, world leaders at The UN Climate Summit in Paris reached the historic Paris Agreement. While it’s up to every one of us to translate the commitments into local climate action in 2016, UNDP has been working with countries to identify their national goals and how best to achieve them. We have a climate change portfolio in over 140 countries, and here are some of our success stories worldwide.

    PROTECTING LIVES, PREVENTING CRISIS & HELPING RECOVERY

    According to UNHCR, the number of refugees, asylum seekers, and internally displaced people worldwide has now exceeded 60 million people. UNDP has long worked on migration and displacement issues, forging partnerships between humanitarian and development organizations to find durable solutions at the local and national level. This includes preventing and mitigating conflicts, improving governance and access to justice, fighting poverty, providing jobs and opportunities, and implementing well-managed migration policies, all in line with the new Sustainable Development Goals.

    PROVIDING WORK IN SYRIA

    The war in Syria has driven over 4.3 million Syrians from their country. At the end of 2015, as world leaders continue to negotiate peace talks, refugees continue the perilous journey to safety in neighboring countries and Europe. Since the onset of the war, UNDP has been working in Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and Turkey to support both refugees and displaced Syrians and their host communities.

    7.6 million Syrians are internally displaced and struggling to stay alive. Emergency employment is the heart of our commitment to the Syrian people and their host communities both in Syria and and in neighboring countries. We’ve created emergency jobs to generate work and income, allowing people to provide for their families and afford essential human necessities—food, clean water, shelter, warmth, and access to healthcare and education.

    CREATING HOPE IN YEMEN

    In March, war erupted in Yemen. According to UNOCHA, over 84% (21.1 million) out of Yemen’s total population of 25 million are in need of humanitarian assistance and are struggling to access the basic necessities such as food, water, healthcare, and shelter and to protect their fundamental human rights. Yemen‘s public services have collapsed, and the price of food, fuel, and cooking gas have soared.

    Through our Yemen Resilience Programme, we aim to restore livelihoods, social cohesion and security, and pave the way for stabilization and recovery to rebuild human development in Yemen. Our current Cash for Work programs focus on areas such as food security, clean water, rebuilding shelters and infrastructure, and restoring essential public servants’ capacities. For example, in the midst of active fighting, our midwifery project protected the health of pregnant women by training and deploying midwives, ensuring safe births and maternal health during conflict.

    VISION OF PEACE: SOUTH SUDAN

    “The consequences of war are severe. Disease, death and poverty are everywhere and are a clear result of war. The fighting has to stop.” - Mary, a community leader, former volunteer teacher for Mercy Corps, and a farmer who now lives in Magateen camp for Internally Displaced Persons in Juba, South Sudan.

    Mary and her husband fled their home in Bentiu with their 71-year-old mother and eight children, escaping with just the clothes on their backs. She was feeding her newborn baby when she heard gun shots and screams outside. For safety, they hid for days in the denseness of the bush and eventually found their way to Magateen camp.

    Since the onset of the civil war in December 2013, UNDP has been prioritizing peacebuilding and social cohesion, restoring rule of law and security, livelihoods, and rebuilding civil servants’ capacities to effectively provide government services to its people.

    CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

    The sectarian violence that erupted three years ago in the Central African Republic has uprooted nearly one million people. More than half of the country‘s population, the equivalent of about 2.5 million people, are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, while more than 60 percent of the population continues to live in extreme poverty.

    On 30 December, 1.8 million registered voters took to the polls to vote for a new President and Parliament. This follows the Constitutional Referendum on 13 and 14 December where voters overwhelmingly approved a new Constitution, signaling hope for lasting peace. Through our project, “Support the Electoral Cycle in the Central African Republic” (2014-2016), UNDP has supported the National Authority for Elections in establishing electoral lists, training and management polling station staff, and procuring and transporting election equipment.

    REBUILDING AFTER CYCLONE PAM

    On 13 March 2015, the category 5 Cyclone Pam made landfall on Vanuatu and Tuvalu. Over 95% of Vanuatu’s agricultural sector was destroyed, paralyzing livelihoods and food security.

    Within a week of the cyclone, an emergency response team of UNDP experts was rapidly deployed to help with the recovery. In collaboration with local authorities, we launched our Cash-for-Work programme in Port Vila, the capital of Vanuatu. Affected populations received wages for clearing storm debris and recovering and recycling waste.

    This work prevented sanitation and water-borne related diseases and helped communities make room to build back better. Together with partners, we’ve supported farming communities to rebuild, replant their gardens and orchards, and replace their lost seed stocks and tools.

    RISING FROM RUBBLE IN NEPAL

    On 25 April, a 7.9 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal and northern India. Over 15 powerful aftershocks rocked Nepal within 24-hours after the initial impact. The earthquake is the worst disaster to hit Nepal since the 1934 earthquake.

    With staff already in Nepal when the earthquake struck, we were able to start a very rapid early recovery program of action. By August, communities were starting to rebuild lives. Gajaraj, a blacksmith and participant of our Micro-Enterprise Development Programme, shared his journey of recovery.

    CLIMATE ACTION AROUND THE WORLD

    2015 was not just about disasters—it was a year of community climate action worldwide.

    In the foothills of Mount Elgon in Uganda, Catherine an elementary school teacher and Chairperson of the Sangaasana Women’s Collective is leading community action against deforestation. With support from UNDP, the women rolled out an environmentally-friendly brick production method, which uses compression rather than heat to form the bricks, avoiding the need for firewood.

    In Turkmenistan, where only 20% of the land is arable, farming communities fight the encroaching sands to survive.

    Pacific Islands are on the front line of climate action, being the first to feel the devastating impact of climate change. The Maldives are one-meter above sea level at its lowest point and the water is rising, forcing a community to act for their very existence.

    In the mountain community of Miraflores, Peru; farming communities adapt to changing climate to preserve traditions such as herding. Changing climate has not only affected water and land resources. Livestock, which are the lifeline of indigenous and pastoral Andean communities are becoming sick more frequently.

    High in the peaks of the Himalayas, the health of the people of Bhutan is at risk as melting Himalayas, more frequent flash floods, and longer standing pools of water create conditions for the spread of mosquitos and sandflies which carry Malaria, Dengue Fever, and Visceral Leishmaniasis. Until 2004, Dengue Fever has never been detected in Bhutan. Now it is endemic during monsoon season.

    EQUALITY AND PROTECTION FOR ALL

    1 in 3 women globally will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. Rape is increasingly used as a weapon of war as armed violence, conflict and extremism rises. We work with communities to widen women’s access to rights and tackle gender-based violence. In this blog, women worldwide shared their voices in our 16 Days of Action against Gender Violence.

    In India, 65-year-old Basi behen went to court and won back her land. 15-years ago, after her husband died, her brother-in-law accused her of being a witch and took land that she should have inherited. With our support, she was able to navigate the legal system and exercise her rights.

    In Afghanistan, only 16% of women work. But in 2015, Afghanistan’s first female park rangers headed out on their patrol in Band-e-Amir National Park, the country’s first national park. The park rangers and the return of tourism signal hope for a region long riddled with poverty and insecurity, and for women working outside the home.

    Monica, an activist for Lesbians, Gays, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex (LGBTI) people, became the first transgender woman to hold a third gender passport in Nepal.

    For the first time in history, 2,000 athletes from 40 indigenous groups worldwide traveled to Brazil and participated in the World’s First Indigenous Games to recognize indigenous heritage and traditions.

    A HISTORIC YEAR, A NEW SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AGENDA

    This year saw the conclusion of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), eight anti-poverty targets that the world committed to achieving by 2015. In September, the world adopted the Sustainable Development Goals, otherwise known as the Global Goals.

    The new SDGs, and the broader sustainability agenda, go much further than the MDGs, addressing the root causes of poverty and the universal need for development that works for all people. Humanity’s survival depends on changes in the way we treat fellow humans and our planet. 2016 will be about local action as communities embark to meet the new Sustainable Development Goals.


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    Source: Voice of America
    Country: Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone

    Nina DeVries

    FREETOWN, SIERRA LEONE—As 2016 begins, Daddy Hasan Kamara, one of more than 4,000 Ebola survivors in Sierra Leone, is grateful to have his children with him. They mean the world to him.

    Nine of his family members were not so lucky and died from the disease, including one son.

    “I’m really suffering, I’m really seeing things very hard,” Kamara said.

    Since his recovery, he has not been able to find work. He has eight children and two sisters to care for.

    He contracted Ebola from his mother in November 2014, a time when the virus was surging across Sierra Leone.

    “When I was in the treatment center I was totally mad over the whole thing," he said. "Even when the doctors called me to give me medicine, I always ignore [them], and then there were times the doctors feared me.”

    The Ebola virus, which is transmitted through direct contact with bodily fluids, also ravaged Guinea and Liberia. The initial outbreak started in December 2013. Over 11,000 people died during the crisis.

    Now Sierra Leone and Guinea have been officially declared Ebola-free by the World Health Organization. Liberia should be completely free of Ebola transmission by this month.

    Worries over Ebola return

    It is clear the emotions and memories are still raw for those who fought the virus as well.

    Salieu Jalloh is a social mobilization officer with the U.N. children's fund, UNICEF, in Sierra Leone. He went door to door informing people on how to protect themselves from the disease.

    Jalloh is happy 2016 was rung in Ebola-free but worries about a recurrence.

    One of the biggest warnings about Ebola transmission is to avoid body contact. This is a difficult task for Sierra Leoneans, because the society is very affectionate.

    “We don’t want them to abandon" such behaviors as hugging and shaking hands, he said, "but there’s little you can do. You see people back-slapping each other, handshaking, dancing together. It’s frightening.”

    As for Kamara, he worries about his future.

    He does not know how he will pay his rent or continue to provide for his family. He has been getting help from friends but knows that will not last forever. Still, he is trying to keep his spirits up and hopes that 2016 will bring him better luck.


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    Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
    Country: Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Yemen, Zimbabwe


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    Source: World Health Organization
    Country: Sierra Leone

    Sierra Leone has reached the tail end of the Ebola outbreak. The rate has fallen from 500 cases per week in October 2014 when transmission was occurring in all 13 of the country’s districts. From the beginning of this outbreak WHO has worked hand in hand with the government to maximize results in identifying, treating, and preventing new cases.

    Reducing case numbers has been supported by a robust WHO field response, with, for example, over 40 epidemiologists and surveillance officers working closely with the Sierra Leone Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MoHS), District Health Management Teams (DHMTs), surveillance teams and by placing great emphasis on identifying and tracing all people infected with the Ebola virus.

    Given the centrality of behavioural challenges, social engagement officers and anthropologists work alongside surveillance colleagues facilitating chiefdombased community engagement intended to address perceptions and “harmful” traditional practices.

    Recent Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices (KAP) survey results indicate that this has led to a substantial reduction in misconceptions and an increase in Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) knowledge.

    In an effort to provide a comprehensive response, a multidisciplinary approach was adopted to ensure that Sierra Leone not only achieves “ZERO” Ebola cases but that it sustains a resilient “ZERO”. To this end, operational excellence is achieved through effective human resource management, integrated strategic planning and management (at national and district level), protection of Health Care Workers (HCWs) and patients through proper Infection Prevention Control (IPC), all while revitalizing the Integrated Disease Surveillance Response (IDSR) in the country to ensure preparedness for future disease events.

    While Sierra Leone is on the road to achieving “0 cases + 42 days”, the lack of essential services remains a major challenge. The Ebola outbreak has led to a 21 percent decrease in the number of children being vaccinated, a 23 percent decrease in institutional deliveries, and as much as a 90 percent drop in family planning visits. Given that over 290 HCWs died of EVD, proper IPC trainings and monitoring must continue in all health facilities beyond the end of the outbreak.
    The recent KAP studies confirm that core confidence in health systems exists but that there is a strong need for strengthening health care facilities and access to services, particularly in the EVD silent districts.

    WHO Sierra Leone, working closely with the Sierra Leone government, will sustain the response activities to get to “ZERO” Ebola cases and will continue to support the transition towards recovery and the building of a resilient health system with a focus on reducing child and maternal mortality.
    The EVD outbreak in Sierra Leone tested the current health system and provided lessons learned, best practices, health system infrastructure and innovative technology. While the Ebola response activities continue to seek, identify, treat and stop new infections in transmission areas, heightened vigilance, including a robust field presence with a rapid response capacity, remains in place.

    The course of the EVD outbreak has not only tested existing infrastructure and service delivery, but also overshadowed ongoing work to strengthen health systems in the country.

    WHO Sierra Leone is responding to the Government of Sierra Leone 24-month health recovery plan that was launched by the President on 24 July, 2015, with the overall objectives of achieving;

    • a resilient ‘ZERO’ and a sustainable health system

    • a reduction in maternal and child mortality and morbidity

    WHO will provide technical and operational support in order to achieve these two overall objectives of the government’s health recovery plan in the following six areas of work:

    • (1) IDSR Roll Out
    • (2) IPC Strengthening
    • (3) Reducing Child & Maternal Mortality
    • (4) Enhancing Human Resources for Health
    • (5) Community Engagement
    • (6) Improving Management for health & a resilient health system

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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Sierra Leone

    Context: Koinadugu district is in the Northern Province, and borders Bombali district to the west, Tonkolili district to the south-west, Kono district to the south and the Republic of Guinea to the North East. This is the largest district in terms of geographical area, with the least population density in the country. The district capital is Kabala, which is among one of the major cities in Northern Sierra Leone. The other major towns are Sinkunia, Falaba, Fadugu and Kurubonla. The district is divided into eleven chiefdoms, namely Nieni, Neya, Diang, Kasunko, Mongo, Wara Wara Bafodia, Wara Wara Yagala, Senqbe, Sulima, Folosaba Dembelia and Dembelia Sinkunia. The population is ethnically diverse and the major ethnic groups are the Fula (mainly in the district capital Kabala), Kuranko, Mandingo, Limba and Yalunka. May to October marks the rainy season with an average of 147 rainy days where an average of 208 cm of rainfall is recorded.

    Population distribution: The projected 2014 population for the district indicated that 16% of children are below the age of 5 years old, 30% are between the age of 5-14 years old while 49% of the residents are among the active workforce aged between 15-64 years of age. 91% of the district population reside in rural areas, the second highest percentage followed by Moyamba (92%). The average family size for the district is 6.

    Livelihood and Economy: Agriculture is the main livelihood of more than 84% of the district population. A high proportion7 of households in the district are involved in cash crop production such as coco and coffee. Growing rice and vegetables are among the agricultural activities8 , while a handful of families are engaged in cattle rearing. During the 2014 harvest season, hiring and exchange of labour, an important source of household income was reduced by 28% compared to 2013 season8 . The Wealth Index (WI)8 indicates that 49% of the population falls in the poorest (25%) and medium poor (24%) categories.
    According to the Poverty Profile of Sierra Leone5 , the World Bank study findings, the district has a medium level of income inequality (0.28 Gini coefficient).


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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Sierra Leone

    Context:

    Kono district is in the Eastern Province, and borders with Kenema district to the southwest, the Republic of Guinea to the east, Koinadugu district to the northeast and Kailahun district to the southeast. Its capital and the largest city is Koidu town. The other major towns in the district are Motema, Yengema, Tombodu, Jaiama Nimikoro and Sewafe. This district is divided into fourteen chiefdoms namely Fiama, Gbane, Gbane Kandor, Gbense, Gorama Kono, Kamara, Lei, Mafindor, Nimikoro, Nimiyama, Sandor, Soa, Tankoro, and Toli. The population is religiously mixed between Muslim and Christians and home to many ethnic groups. During the decade long civil war (1991-2002), heavy fighting caused many people to flee their homes and there was widespread looting. The rich reserves of diamonds in the area were one of the main reasons for the fighting.

    Population distribution: As indicated in the projected population for 2014, some 53% of the residents are among the active workforce between the age group 15-64 years, while 26% fall between 5-14 years of age group and 17% are under the age of 5 years (see table aside). Nearly 67% of the district population resides in rural areas. The average family size is 5.6.

    Livelihood and Economy: Kono district is the largest diamond producer in Sierra Leone, gold and alluvial diamond mining are important economic activities of the residents. Although agriculture has not been the main source of livelihood of the majority (less than 30% rely on farming), in some areas rice, cassava, corn, and beans are grown and small groups of residents grow coffee, cacao and palm oil. The diamond mining industry has attracted many people from other parts of the country to settle down in Kono, making the district a cosmopolitan one. Diamonds were first discovered in the area during the 1930s, local residents work as employees for the large foreign owned mining companies. 12% of the population8 are in poorest category and 30% fall into the medium poor category. Gini coefficient is 0.27 which is on the lower side (scale from 0-1).


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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Sierra Leone

    Context: Pujehun district is in the Southern Province and third largest district in the country. It borders the Atlantic Ocean in the southwest, the Republic of Liberia to the southeast, Kenema district to the northeast, Bo district to the north and Bonthe district to the west. The town of Pujehun is the capital of the district. The other major towns are Gandorhun, Zimmi, Gendema, Masam, Bomi and Potoru. Twelve chiefdoms of the district are Mano Sakrim, Soro Gbema, Kpaka, Makpele, Yakemu Kpukumu Krim, Gallines Perri, Malen, Barri, Sowa, Pejeh and Kpanga Kagonde. The population is predominantly Muslim mainly belonging to the Mende ethnic group. Pujehun was destroyed during the country’s civil war, and thirteen years after the end of the war, it still visibly carries the marks of war.

    Population distribution : The district population is composed of 19% children under 5 years of age, 28% of children aged between 5 and 14 years and 49% are in the age group of 15-64 years which is the active workforce. It appears that the number of females is higher compared to the male population across all age groups. The district has one of the lowest population densities in the country. The majority of the population (87%) is living in the rural areas. The average family size is 6.2 persons.

    Livelihood and Economy: Diamond mining is a major economic activity ; a number of internationally owned mining corporations are operating in the district. These companies are the major employers in the district for both skilled and unskilled labor in the mining industry. Mining activities were severely hampered during and even after the district’s EVD outbreak, adversely affecting the livelihoods of those engaged in the mining operations. In recent years, the government has been leasing14 large land areas to foreign investors for the development of commercial plantations of palm oil. The agricultural production of root crops is cassava and sweet potato, with cash crops being coffee and cacao. Pujehun is one the country’s poorest and least developed districts.


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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Sierra Leone

    Context: Moyamba district is in the Southern Province and borders the Atlantic Ocean in the west, Port Loko district and Tonkolili district to the north, Bo district to the east and Bonthe district to the south. Its capital and largest city is Moyamba. The other major towns include Njala, Rotifunk and Shenge. The district is the largest in the Southern Province by geographical area, and comprises of fourteen chiefdoms namely Lower Banta, Upper Banta, Timdale,
    Bagruwa, Kagboro, Dasse, Kowa, Kaiyamba, Kongbora, Kori, Kamajei, Fakunya, Ribbi and Bumpe. The ethnicity of the district is largely homogeneous with the Mende forming 60% of the population, the other ethnic groups comprise Sherbro, Temne and Loko.

    Population distribution: The majority (over 92%) of the district population resides in rural areas. The average family size1 is 5.7. The 2014 projected population for the district indicated that 45% (under 5 age group 18% and 27% below the age of 15 years) of the residents are under the age of 14 years old and 50% falls among the active workforce between the age of 15 and 64 years old (see table).

    Livelihood and economy: Agriculture remains the mainstay of the District residents and the largest sector of economy in the district, providing livelihoods for over 71% of the population. Crops grown in the district include oil palm, cereals (maize, rice, sorghum and millet) and starch food crops (yam, cassava and cocoa). In addition, cashew, black pepper, ginger, pineapple and sugarcane are popular farm products in the district. Despite the abundance of land and water resources, the majority of the farmers have smallholdings of 0.5 to 2 cropped hectares, operating as basic subsistence food production units.
    Livestock remains relatively small and underdeveloped such as household level owning poultry, goats and cattle. In the coastal chiefdoms, salt production has also traditionally been an important economic activity. The port of Nitti in Banta chiefdom provides the only deep water port in the south for direct mechanical loading and off-loading. The major weekly trade activities are in Gbangbatok of Banta chiefdom, and goods are traded directly here with suppliers coming by boat from Freetown and Guinea. Sea fishing is a common livelihood in the coastal population, the main fish trading center is Shenge in Kagboro Chiefdom, which is also one of the main traditional boat building locations in the country. The Wealth Index (WI) indicates that 43% of the district households are in the two poorest quintiles. The Gini coefficient for the district is 0.25 (scale between 0 and 1).


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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Sierra Leone

    Context: Bonthe district is in the Southern Province, and borders the Atlantic Ocean to the west, Moyamba district to the northwest, Bo district to the southeast and Pujehun district to the south. The district comprises of several islands and with mainland being next to the Atlantic Ocean. The capital is Mattru Jong town. The largest city Bonthe is on Sherbro Island. The district is divided into eleven chiefdoms Bendu-Cha, Bum, Dema, Imperri, Jong, Kpanda Kemo, Kwamebai Krim, Nongoba Bullom, Sittia, Sogbeni, Yawbeko. Bonthe district is the least populous in Sierra Leone where the inhabitants mainly belong to the Mende ethnic group and the Sherbro people (native residents of the district). During the rainy season (May-November) an average 168 days have rain with annual rainfall of 366cm.

    Population distribution: The 2014 projected population shows (see graph aside) that 20% are among children under the age of 5 years, 25% are between the age group 5-14 years and 49% are among the active workforce (15-64 Years). Bonthe was among the initial districts of the Southern Province to begin resettlement of war affected internally displaced persons (IDPs) in an effort to consolidate peace in the area. The World Bank survey 2013, indicated that almost 79% of residents resides in rural areas of the district and the average family size is 5.5.

    Livelihood and Economy: Fishing and farming are the two main livelihood activities of the large majority of the district population. Palm oil plantations have been on the rise and more people are engaged in this livelihood in recent years. Bonthe district has one of the world’s largest deposits of titanium ore (rutile) in the world. Sierra Rutile Limited, owned by a consortium of foreign investors, began commercial mining operations in early 1980’s. The district suffered the mass exodus of IDPs when Sierra Rutile, the largest employer of mine workers terminated its operations during the civil war in the 2000’s. The Wealth Index (WI) indicates that 36% of district households are in the poorest quintile and 20% are among the medium poor. The overall poverty level is 50% with the Gini coefficient 0.3**(scale between 0 and 1).


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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Sierra Leone

    Context: Kambia District is in the Northern Province, and borders with the Republic of Guinea to the North, Port Loko district to the South and Bombali district to the East. Kambia town is the largest town, and the district capital. The district population is ethnically diverse; the largest and most prominent ethnic groups are Temne, Susu, Limba, Fula, and Mandingo. The district provides a vital trade route between Sierra Leone and the neighboring Republic of Guinea. The average household size1 is 7 people per family. There is a wide variation in different indicators between urban and rural populations, such as the number of livelihood activities, access to education and health facilities, mortality and morbidity rates, etc.

    Population distribution : The projected population data 20141 breakdown by age group indicates that 46% of the district population contributes to the workforce and 49% of the population is below the age of 15 years old. 34% of children between the ages of 5-11 years are engaged in some form of labor/economic activities. Since the end of civil war in 2002, the district experienced large population movementsacross the border mainly due to the return of previously displaced populations. Some 78%3 of the district population reside in rural areas.

    Livelihood and Economy: The livelihood activities of the district residents are mainly farming (rice and roots crops - cassava and yam), followed by cross-border trade with neighboring Guinea. A revival of the cross-border trade in the traditional markets known as ‘Loumah’ increased, from 5 in the pre-war period to 15 currently, in the towns and villages on both sides of the border. These markets attract thousands of traders and other visitors from far-off areas, including from Freetown and Conakry. People also engage in fishing and very small scale animal rearing2 . Men engage in fishing activities, while fish trading in the market is carried out by women. Exchange and hiring of labor7 is a common practice in the district particularly during the planting and harvest seasons. However, in 2014 this activity drastically dropped compared to pre-Ebola in 2013 and had a significant impact on the seasonal household income. The Wealth Index (WI)3 indicates that 43% of the district households are in the two poorest quintiles.


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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Sierra Leone

    Context
    Port Loko district is in the Northern Province, and is the fourth most populous district in the country. Port Loko borders the Western Area to the west, Kambia district to the North, Bombali district to the East and Tonkolili district to the South. The 11 chiefdoms of the district are Bureh Kasseh Makonteh (BKM), Buya Romende, Dibia, Kaffu Bullom, Koya, Lokomasama, Maforki, Marampa, Masimera, Sanda Magbolontor, and Tinkatupa Makonteh Safroko (TMS). Lunsar is the district’s largest Town, and other major towns are Masiaka, Rokupr, Lungi, Gbinti and Port Loko town. The population is predominantly Muslim (80%) and the largest ethnic group is Temne. According to the projected population 2014, the average household size is 7 people per family.

    Population distribution: The population distribution by age group and gender (see table) indicates that 49% of the district population are of working age. 29% of the population is children in the 5-11 years age group, according to Population and Household Census 2004, and many of them, particularly in rural areas, are engaged in domestic or other forms of labor/economic activities. According to the projected population statistics , some 18% of the district population is below 5 years old. Almost 89%4 live in the district’s rural areas.

    Livelihood and Economy: Production of food crops, such as rice, cassava and sweet potato, are the main livelihood sources for over 80% of the population. Small scale mining also takes place. The city of Port Loko is a major trade center in the Northern Province. The areas around Port Loko are known for bauxite mining. The London Mining Company, which operates iron-ore mining in Lunsar and Marampa, is a major employer in the area. The global demand for bauxite and iron-ore slowed down recently, and this coupled with falling prices in the international market, has negatively impacted the employment sector in the mining industry. To a lesser extent, some people are engaged in cash crop production, such as coffee and cocoa. During 2013-14, the London Mining Company, jointly with the Cotton Tree Foundation, Sierra Leone, implemented a USD 115,000 agricultural project supporting the youth groups of Marampa and Mafroki chiefdoms. Hiring labor and exchange workers are seasonal activities during the plantation and harvesting season from which the farming communities generate income. Due to EVD outbreak, in 2014 that income was lost as the number of hired labor and exchange workers during the season was reduced by 29% compared to 2013. The Wealth Index (WI)4 indicates that 26% of the district population falls into the poorest quintile, while 33% fall under a medium poor rating. Port Loko has the second highest portion of households (59%) in the two poorest quintiles.

    Education: According to the Ministry of Education Science and Technology’s (MEST) school census in 2013, there are 687 schools in the district, of which 39 are pre-primary, 512 are primary, 111 are junior secondary, and 25 are senior secondary schools. Port Loko has the second highest number of schools in the country after Freetown City. The MEST recorded an increase of 30 schools (17 pre-primary, 6 junior and 7 senior high schools) in 2012-13 session compared to that of 2011-12. The majority (63%) of the schools are missionary, community or private schools, with the remaining 27% government schools.
    The net primary enrollment rate is 57.5%. Educational attainment is higher among boys compared to girls in all three school levels (see graph aside). The average teacher-student ratio for the district is 1:47. The overall literacy rate is 32%. The Port Loko Teacher's College is one of the oldest and best known colleges in Sierra Leone.


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    Source: World Food Programme
    Country: Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone

    • UNHRD continues to dispatch operational equipment for its Partners, most recently supporting WHO and WFP by sending plastic pallets and vehicles to Guinea and Liberia.

    • UNHRD facilities in Accra and Las Palmas have served as regional staging areas and the Accra depot hosted UNMEER headquarters.

    • On behalf of WFP, UNHRD procured and dispatched construction material and equipment for remote logistics hubs, Ebola Treatment Units and Community Care Centres. Most recently, in collaboration with WHO, UNHRD began procuring and dispatching equipment to establish camps for teams tracing EVD. Members of the Rapid Response Team (RRT) are building the camps.


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    Source: UN Children's Fund, Save the Children
    Country: Sierra Leone


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    Source: UN Children's Fund, Save the Children
    Country: Sierra Leone


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