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- 06/23/16--21:35: _World: UN staff uni...
- 06/24/16--00:39: _Sierra Leone: Livel...
- 06/24/16--01:45: _World: Global Weath...
- 06/24/16--05:48: _Sierra Leone: Small...
- 06/24/16--06:44: _World: Communicable...
- 06/24/16--13:21: _Liberia: West Afric...
- 06/24/16--13:26: _Sierra Leone: Ongoi...
- 06/26/16--17:07: _Kenya: Kenya: Kakum...
- 06/27/16--23:12: _Sierra Leone: Chine...
- 06/28/16--21:00: _Sierra Leone: Ebola...
- 06/29/16--09:59: _Nigeria: Report of ...
- 06/29/16--10:07: _Nigeria: Rapport du...
- 06/29/16--12:07: _Mali: Communiqué de...
- 06/29/16--22:24: _Sierra Leone: World...
- 06/30/16--02:20: _Sierra Leone: Emerg...
- 06/30/16--21:30: _Sierra Leone: Commu...
- 07/01/16--01:33: _Sierra Leone: WFP S...
- 07/01/16--01:50: _World: Global Weath...
- 07/01/16--05:48: _World: The SDC cont...
- 07/02/16--01:19: _World: Price Watch:...
- 06/23/16--21:35: World: UN staff unions demand stronger action on sexual abuse
- stop all sexual exploitation and abuse, whether by staff, contractors or peacekeepers;
- provide a single and fair investigation process for both staff and military personnel;
- put in place better reporting mechanisms for victims and staff, and more effective protection for whistleblowers;
- implement zero tolerance not just for those who commit such acts but also for those in positions of responsibility who turn a blind eye or cover up;
- institute a culture change at headquarters so that military forces with records of abuse aren’t contracted to peacekeeping missions; and
- ensure accountability for all, including through national judicial systems.
- 06/24/16--01:45: World: Global Weather Hazards Summary, June 24 - 30, 2016
Low and infrequent rainfall since late March has resulted in drought across parts of southeastern Kenya and northeastern Tanzania. The potential for recovery remains unlikely.
Consistently below-normal rainfall over the past 4 weeks has resulted in abnormal dryness for portions of Uganda and western Kenya. This pattern has resulted in low soil moisture and poor vegetation health index values.
- 06/24/16--06:44: World: Communicable Disease Threats Report, 19-25 June 2016, Week 25
Governments of Guinea and Liberia report no new EVD cases since April 6; WHO declares end to March/April clusters
Guinea and Liberia discharge remaining EVD patients from treatment, complete 42 days of heightened surveillance
USAID/OFDA provides more than $8.5 million for recovery efforts in Guinea and Sierra Leone
As of June 24, the governments of Guinea and Liberia had not reported a confirmed Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) case since April 6. The countries’ March/April clusters—both linked to an EVD survivor in Guinea’s N’Zérékoré Prefecture—included seven confirmed and three probable cases in Guinea and three confirmed cases in Liberia.
The UN World Health Organization (WHO) declared an end to Guinea’s and Liberia’s recent EVD clusters on June 1 and 9, respectively, following 42-day periods of heightened surveillance in each country.
USAID/OFDA recently provided the International Medical Corps (IMC) and the International Rescue Committee (IRC) with nearly $6.9 million to bolster infection prevention control (IPC) and rapid response capacity in Sierra Leone. In addition, USAID/OFDA provided the French Red Cross (FRC) with more than $1.6 million to support treatment capacity for EVD and other infectious diseases in Guinea.
- 06/28/16--21:00: Sierra Leone: Ebola’s Second Punch: Hunger
- The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 77 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change to the 1.3 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 112 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $19 billion over the last three years, with about 50 percent going to Africa.
- 07/01/16--01:33: Sierra Leone: WFP Sierra Leone Country Brief, May 2016
WFP is providing technical assistance to the disaster management authorities to develop national capabilities for preparedness and response to future emergencies. This includes working in direct partnership with communities to enhance preparedness to flooding and other environmental shocks.
In coordination with the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology, WFP is preparing to restart food for education activities by providing a take home ration for children in food insecure areas.
Food and cash transfers to Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) orphans and survivors are ongoing nationwide, supporting 18,800 orphans and their caregivers, and 2,703 Ebola survivors.
- WFP conducted a four-day emergency logistics training for the Office of National Security with the participation of UNICEF at the main Logistics Base in Port Loko. The training’s objective was to augment the national disaster management authority’s readiness capability and logistics preparedness to respond to any EVD flareups.
The sixth round of cash-based transfers (CBT) to 1,607 Ebola survivors is ongoing across 11 districts, with each survivor receiving a CBT of USD 58.
A sensitization of stakeholders and communities was carried out in April in preparation for the take-home ration distribution to disseminate information on the process, ration sizes and the roles of different actors.
- 07/01/16--01:50: World: Global Weather Hazards Summary, July 1 - 7, 2016
- Erratic and often below-normal rainfall since mid-May has resulted in abnormal dryness for portions of Uganda and western Kenya. This pattern has resulted in low soil moisture and poor vegetation health index values. Recent rain has improved but not eliminated dry ground conditions.
- 07/02/16--01:19: World: Price Watch: May 2016 Prices June 30, 2016
In West Africa, market availability was good in May with supplies from above-average 2015/16 regional harvests, and international rice and wheat imports. Markets remained disrupted throughout the Lake Chad Basin and in parts of Central and Northern Mali. The recent depreciation of the Naira has led to price increases across Nigeria and reduced purchasing power for livestock purchases in the Sahel (Page 3).
In East Africa, maize prices followed seasonal trends in surplus-producing Uganda and Tanzania, supporting a steady flow of exports to regional markets. Harvests are estimated to be well below average in Ethiopia, but prices have remained stable with the availability of food through humanitarian assistance programs underway. The South Sudanese Pound was allowed to float in December, leading to a persistent depreciation of the local currency and reducing purchasing power.
Markets remain disrupted by insecurity in South Sudan and Yemen (Page 4).
In Southern Africa, maize availability continued to improve from ongoing harvests but supplies were significantly lower than usual with below-average production in every country except Zambia. Maize prices began to increase several months early in many areas are well above-average levels across the region (Page 5).
In Central America, bean supplies continued to improve with supplies from the Apante harvests while imports sustained stable levels of maize supplies. Maize and bean prices were generally atypically stable or decreasing. Locally-produced bean and maize availability remained below-average in Haiti, while imported commodity prices and availability remained stable (Page 6).
In Central Asia, wheat availability remained adequate region-wide and trade continued between surplus and deficit countries.
Prices are below their respective 2015 levels in surplus-producing areas (Page 7).
International staple food markets remain well supplied.
Wheat prices remained stable while maize, rice, and soybean prices increased in May (Figures 2 and 3). Crude oil prices increased but remained well below-average (Page 2).
By Thalif Deen
NEW YORK, Jun 23 2016 (IPS) - The United Nations claims it is doing its best to curb widespread sexual abuses in its peacekeeping operations overseas – from Haiti all the way to the Central African Republic.
But the UN’s best is just not good enough, says Ian Richards, President, Coordinating Committee of International Staff Unions and Associations.
Richards, who represents over 60,000 staffers in the UN system worldwide, told IPS: “We cannot stand by while a few colleagues and military personnel commit acts of sexual exploitation and abuse against those seeking our help.”
Judging by what Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and member states have said, the intentions are there, but there’s a lot of work to do, and it’s not clear how far things are moving forward, said Richards, who is based in Geneva.
“That’s why we as staff unions have decided to take a moral stand,” he declared, pointing out that last year alone, 99 women, children and men were allegedly sexually exploited or abused by those working under the UN flag.
In a report released in March, Human Rights Watch said exploitation and abuse by UN peacekeepers and personnel have been reported since the 1990s relating to peacekeeping missions in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Timor-Leste, Haiti, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and South Sudan, among others.
Troops from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Uganda, Burundi, the Republic of Congo, and the Democratic Republic of Congo have been among those implicated in the abuse, although some of those cases concerned peacekeeping forces led by the African Union. The UN’s handling of sexual abuse claims by French Peacekeepers in the Central African Republic has also drawn widespread condemnation, although the French troops were not UN Peacekeepers.
Also in March, the UN began investigating 104 new cases of sexual abuses with the peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic.
Asked for a response, UN Deputy Spokesperson Farhan Haq told IPS the Secretary-General is trying to ensure that a system is in place to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse by UN personnel and to have accountability when such abuse occurs.
“He continues to follow up with Member States on this issue and appreciates the support of UN staff in that effort,” said Haq.
Richards complained that the investigation process is too slow and it doesn’t make sense to have one investigation process for staff and other for military personnel depending on their country of origin.
It is also unclear how staff and victims should report abuse and what exists to protect them.
For example, he pointed out, the whistleblower policy still doesn’t require the Ethics Office to be accountable for failure to protect whistleblowers.
“As recent events have shown, we desperately need such a policy.”
There also needs to be a culture change. It cannot be right that staff are discouraged from raising questions about the behaviour of certain troops. Accountability should apply to all who turn a blind eye, he noted.
Richards appreciated the work of Jane Holl Lute, “but she needs more support for her recommendations.”
Last February, the Secretary-General, alarmed by the rise in sexual abuse, appointed Lute as the Special Coordinator on Improving UN Response to Sexual Exploitation and Abuse.
In a statement released June 22, the Coordinating Committee called for joint action by colleagues, UN management and member states to:
The staff unions believe that each case of abuse and rape, whether committed by military personnel or our own colleagues, tars all staff with the same brush and damages the trust staff have worked so hard to build with the communities they serve.
Both the Secretary-General and member states have rightly condemned this trend, the statement added.
“But despite this, allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse continue to go un-investigated, high profile cases remain unprosecuted, member states continue to argue how best to prosecute guilty peacekeepers, and many staff feel scared to report abuse for fear of retaliation.”
The staff unions of the UN common system, grouped under the staff federations have decided to issue the statement “as a wake-up call to colleagues, our organisations and member states.”
The Secretary-General has said “the United Nations, and I personally, are profoundly committed to a zero- tolerance policy against sexual exploitation or abuse by our own personnel. This means zero complacency. When we receive credible allegations, we ensure that they are looked into fully. It means zero impunity.”
According to the UN’s Department of Peacekeeping Operations, UN rules forbid sexual relations with prostitutes and with any persons under 18, and strongly discourage relations with beneficiaries of assistance (those that are receiving assistance food, housing, aid, as a result of a conflict, natural disaster or other humanitarian crisis, or in a development setting).
Freetown, 21 June-The United Nations Development Programme and the Government of Sierra Leone through the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs have today jointly signed the Annual Work Plan (AWP) with budget of US$1,436,000 for the Social Rehabilitation and Payment to Ebola Survivors Project.
The overall objective of the project is conflict prevention and resilience building, through addressing vulnerabilities and social marginalization affecting EVD Survivors, with funding provided by the Ebola Response Multi-Partner Trust Fund (MPTF).
This UNDP and UN Women joint project, which targets 2,500 survivors (focused on women and children), will be implemented in the hardest-hit districts in Sierra Leone. The project board consists of representatives from UNDP, UNWOMEN, the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs (MSWGCA) and the Sierra Leone Association of Ebola Survivors (SLAES). The board provides strategic direction and project oversight.
The project will provide livelihood skills and monthly stipend to beneficiaries over a fixed time period, at the end of the skills trainings beneficiaries would be presented startup kits in their different pursued livelihood skills.
The Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs, Dr. Sylvia O. Blyden said her ministry will soon create an Ebola Survivors’ desk that will be working closely with the Sierra Leone Association of Ebola Survivors to ensure the President’s Recovery Priorities includes Ebola survivors:
“I believe that under the leadership of the UNDP and the Government of Sierra Leone, we’ll have so many success stories out of this project. I want to believe that more donors would be inspired to come and assist the Ebola Survivors of Sierra Leone”. Dr Blyden said.
The minister added that government and its partners have to look at how to improve survivors’ welfare and livelihood, and make sure they get out of their trauma.
The president of SLAES, Yusuf Kabbah, said it is a special occasion for Ebola survivors and that they whole-heartedly support the project. He thanked UNDP for the support, as “a friend in need is a friend indeed. You supported us to ensure that we actually eradicated Ebola, and now we have another challenge: how to integrate Ebola survivors into communities. ”
UNDP Country Director Sudipto Mukerjee thanked both Dr. Blyden and Yusuf Kabbah for their reassuring statements and emphasized that at the end of the day the success of this project will depend on how engaged the community is.
“The larger substantive bit of the project is about building skills to actually make their livelihood much more sustainable. We want them to lead a life as normal as possible, to have the same chances as they did before Ebola. Survivors should be able to lead completely productive lives”, Mr. Mukerjee said.
The Ebola Virus Disease adversely affected Sierra Leone with 14124 reported cases, 3956 deaths, and more than 4000 survivors. Most of the survivors have not been able to return to their former means of livelihood as the aftereffects of the disease render them unfit. This project provides alternate livelihood means to survivors.
The Social Rehabilitation and Payment to Ebola Survivors Project is part of UNDP’s Ebola Recovery plan and the Presidential Recovery Priorities.
For more information or media interviews, please contact:
UNDP Communications Unit on +232 99 289 955, or email: email@example.com
Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender & Children's Affairs on +232-76-366701, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Substantial rain returned to Uganda and the Lake Victoria region this past week
Africa Weather Hazards
Moisture surged northward into parts of the West African Sahel this past week
During the past 7 days, a surge in moisture and influx of rain was observed in parts of the Sahel. Many areas of central Niger and Mali received at least 10mm, and locally more than 50mm, of rainfall (Figure 1). The heaviest rains (>100mm) in the region were found in southern Nigeria and neighboring Cameroon. Other areas, such as central Cote D’Ivoire and Ghana, as well as parts of Nigeria received lesser and below-normal amounts of rain. Rainfall was enough over the drier portions of the far western Gulf of Guinea region to further diminish moisture deficits there.
An analysis of cumulative rainfall anomalies during the last 30 days (Figure 2) still shows some localized dryness in Sierra Leone and Liberia. However, it has been sufficiently reduced in size and magnitude so as not be of concern any longer. Southern Cote D’Ivoire and neighboring areas of Ghana and Liberia possess the greatest moisture surpluses for the period, with 100-200mm being observed. Other areas are showing notable rainfall deficits on the order of around 50mm. These areas include many parts of Nigeria and central Ghana. Despite some areas of moisture deficits, vegetation indices indicate little colocation of poor vegetation health. Most of the region is on track for a near-normal rainfall/cropping season.
During the next week, model forecasts suggest that rainfall will be enhanced for a large portion of the region. Above-normal rainfall is expected for the western Gulf of guinea Region. It is also expected to stretch eastward across the southern Sahel, where the largest totals may exceed 100mm in local areas. Conversely, suppression is expected in southern Gulf of Guinea locales. These include southern Ghana, Togo, Benin, and Nigeria.
Since the start of Purchase for Progress (P4P) initiative in 2009, WFP and its partners have worked with 1,600 smallholder farmers to strengthen their production and create opportunities for them to sell their products.
P4P in Sierra Leone has transformed the lives of smallholder farmers as they required new skills in agribusiness and post-harvest management, value addition and marketing.
Being part of the programme also enable farmers to secure loans from financial institutions more easily. Income from bulk sales is not only enabling farmers to support their families but also to expand or diversify their production.
The Japanese Bilateral Project (JBP) – known as “Community-based sustainable food security of smallholder rice producer farmers in target countries of West Africa in recovery and development phase” – is an initiative implemented in Sierra Leone and Liberia.
In Sierra Leone, WFP has partnered with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security (MAFFS) and non-governmental organizations to implement the project. 450 farming households, about 2,250 people, in the Port Loko district are part of the project.
Through JBP, farmers received improved rice seeds, tools and technical support for better irrigation so that they can rehabilitate 100 hectares of swampland.
Since 2014, the rice yields of farmers participating in the project increased from 1 metric ton of rice per hectare to almost 3 metric tons per hectare.
WFP and its partners have recently brought representatives from thirty seven P4P supported farmer groups and eight farmers from JBP together to share experiences and best practices on identification of viable seeds, land selection and preparation, transplanting and use of fertilizers. The training sessions created a greater collaboration and increased dialogue between all involved.
“It opens up a whole new world of opportunities to learn what you have not been doing right and what can be done better,” said Isata Sesay, chairlady of Takeleneh Farmers’ Association.
The District Agriculture Officer for Tonkolili region, John Larkoh described P4P as “a dream come true” adding that P4P has not only inspired confidence in the farmers to produce more but also of better quality.
“Tonnage of rice sold to WFP through P4P has not only increased, but inputs from WFP in the form of milling machines, de-stoning machines, power tillers, stitching machines, bags, grants, and links with supply-side partners have helped to keep production costs down,” said Haja Sondu Marah from the Koinadugu Women’s Vegetable Farmers’ Cooperative.
The ECDC Communicable Disease Threats Report (CDTR) is a weekly bulletin for epidemiologists and health professionals on active public health threats. This issue covers the period 19-25 June 2016 and includes updates on poliomyelitis, public health risks associated with refugee movements, Zika virus, yellow fever and West Nile fever.
On 23 June 2016, the unveiling ceremony of the National Reference Laboratory for Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers and National Training Center for Viral Detection and Biosafety of Sierra Leone was held at the Sierra Leone-China Friendship Biosafety Laboratory in Freetown. H. E. Mr. Zhao Yanbo, Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Hon. Dr. Abubakarr Fofanah, Minister of Health and Sanitation of Sierra Leone, Dr. Gao Fu, Deputy Director-General of China Center for Disease Control and Prevention and other guests attended the event.
Addressing the event, Ambassador Zhao spoke highly of the achievements made by the Sierra Leone-China Friendship Biosafety Laboratory in Ebola virus detecting, local laboratory personnel training and bilateral public health cooperation since last March. Ambassador Zhao expressed his gratitude for the valuable support from the Ministry of Health and Sanitation of Sierra Leone for the smooth operation of the lab. He opined that when Ebola epidemic broke out in Sierra Leone, China sent a mobile biosafety laboratory to the country by chartered airplanes and then helped to build a fixed biosafety laboratory, which is the Sierra Leone-China Friendship Biosafety Laboratory, for Sierra Leone without wasting any time to help this country improve its capacity of Ebola virus sample detection. Now the Sierra Leone-China Friendship Biosafety laboratory has become an important platform of bilateral public health cooperation and today’s unveiling ceremony also marks another milestone in the two countries’ health cooperation. Ambassador Zhao promised that China would build a West Africa Tropical Disease Prevention and Control Center for Sierra Leone on the basis of this lab to promote the public health system of this country and benefit more Sierra Leonean people.
In his response, Minister Fofanah highly appreciated the traditional friendship between Sierra Leone and China. He averred that the two countries enjoyed tight relations as one family since the establishment of diplomatic ties 45 years ago. The support from the Chinese government and people would never be forgotten by the Sierra Leonean government and people. In particular, when the Ebola epidemic broke out in Sierra Leone, China was the first country to answer the appeal of President Koroma and send in the urgently needed anti-Ebola materials. Now China-aided biosafety laboratory is the most advanced laboratory in the sub-region, making great contributions to the prevention and control of infectious disease in Sierra Leone. Minister Fofanah further underscored that Sierra Leone had already officially launched the second phase of Post Ebola Recovery program, the Sierra Leonean government expects China’s continuous support to help the country recovering from Ebola epidemic at an early date.
Afterwards, Ambassador Zhao and Minister Fofanah jointly unveiled the plaque and toured the laboratory.
Reporters coming from Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation and Awoko Newspaper covered the event.
Posted by Michael Stulman on Tuesday, June 28th 2016
Fudia Lansana once felt that nothing could be as terrifying as becoming one of more than 14,000 people infected with Ebola in Sierra Leone. But as her household of nine went from eating three meals a day to two, and then from two to one, Fudia realized she was facing something just as scary: hunger.
Under normal circumstances, Fudia would walk a few miles from her village to work on her farm with friends and family, but these were far from normal times. The government—in an effort to stop the spread of Ebola—restricted movement and prohibited public gatherings.
“Farming is our source of survival, but things were locked down during the Ebola era,” says Fudia. “We couldn’t reach the farm, so having enough food was very difficult.”
Fudia survived for months on savings and borrowed money. But even now that the Ebola outbreak is over, she and other farmers still feel its effects. Their farms are overwhelmed by weeds after months of neglect. It will be a while before they can prepare the land, plant new crops and collect the harvest to replenish their depleted food stocks.
Immediate relief has come in the form of cash transfers distributed by Catholic Relief Services with support from USAID’s Office of Food for Peace. The monthly $30 distributions target nearly 24,000 people in Kenema district, which has one of the highest rates of extreme poverty and chronic malnutrition in Sierra Leone.
The cash distributions are a bridge to get farmers over the next 10 months. They help farmers make ends meet until markets and food production recover and income-earning opportunities increase.
Life Before Ebola
Before the Ebola outbreak, Sierra Leone was still feeling the effects of a brutal decade-long civil war that ended in 2002. More than 60 percent of the population lived on less than $1.25 a day, according to the United Nations Development Program, and life expectancy was 48.
“Life was difficult then too,” says Battu Koroma, the breadwinner for her household of eight. “Since I lost my husband during the war, things were hard. But then during the outbreak, I could not farm or visit my family. I would take loans from people. I would give away my clothes just for a cup of rice.”
Ebola’s Economic Impact
“If you didn’t have money saved, you couldn’t afford to buy food,” explains Fudia. “During the Ebola outbreak, I was surviving on plain rice.”
She buys the rice, fish and fruit at markets in her village. Fudia and others who received cash distributions were encouraged to buy locally produced food, which ensures the money supports local merchants and stays in the community. This helps local markets to recover from the shock of Ebola and helps community-based food producers and buyers to get back on their feet.
“Everyone is benefitting from this, including local businesses,” Fudia says. “When the money isn’t there in the community, businesses can’t sell, so they don’t make money.”
Cash distributions also mean people have the flexibility to purchase what’s most important for their family. For example, they are able to buy a variety of nutritious foods at the market or seeds to restart their farm.
‘Getting More Life’
Fudia chose to invest her first $30 installment in her farm.
“I have been able to hire people to help prepare my land for planting seeds and to increase the size,” she says. “This will change our lives.”
Fudia also likes the educational components of the food assistance program. “I’ve learned about nutrition and health care,” she says. “I can take care of my family, improve my farm and eat well.”
Like Catholic Relief Services’s work in more than 100 countries around the world, supporting families like Fudia’s is helping improve and advance human life.
“Food brings life,” she says. “And with this money, I’m getting more life.”
USAID, through its Food for Peace program, partners with seven NGOs, including Catholic Relief Services, across Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone to address acute food insecurity. The program uses a cash-based approach that restores household purchasing power, promotes the recovery of market function and trade, and supports agricultural production.
Since the onset of the Ebola crisis in 2014, Food for Peace has reached more than 1.3 million people with emergency food assistance. The program continues to help thousands of families like Fudia’s to meet their food needs, while simultaneously helping local food producers, markets and countries recover from the food security impacts of Ebola.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Michael Stulman is the regional information officer for West and Central Africa at Catholic Relief Services (CRS). Follow him @MichaelStulman
1. In a letter dated 23 December 2013 (S/2013/759), the Security Council extended the mandate of the United Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWA) until 31 December 2016 and requested me to submit a report every six months on the implementation of its mandate. Following my letter to the Council dated 14 January 2016 (S/2016/88) on the strategic review of the Office of my Special Envoy for the Sahel, the Council requested me, on 28 January 2016, to proceed with the merger of the two offices into the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) and asked me to provide an update on the implementation of the mandate of UNOWAS in my next report (see S/2016/89). The present report covers the period from 1 January to 30 June 2016 and provides an overview of developments and trends in West Africa and the Sahel. It also outlines the activities of UNOWAS and the progress made in the implementation of the United Nations integrated strategy for the Sahel (S/2015/866).
II. Developments and trends in West Africa and the Sahel
2. Since my most recent report (S/2015/1012), several successful electoral processes and installations of new Governments have taken place in the subregion. At the same time, the continuing insecurity in the Lake Chad basin and northern Mali, coupled with the unprecedented terrorist attacks in Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire, raised alarms about the potential spread of terrorist activities to other countries of the subregion.
A. Political developments and trends
3. While elections in several countries were contested, they were generally assessed to be peaceful, credible and transparent. In Benin, the two-round presidential election of 6 and 20 March resulted in victory for Patrice Talon over the ruling coalition’s candidate and former Prime Minister, Lionel Zinsou. Following a smooth handover of power, the new President appointed a 21-member Government on 6 April, which includes former presidential contenders and members of the rupture coalition. He also announced that he would seek to implement several political and constitutional reforms, including an amendment to the Constitution to provide for a single presidential term of seven years.
4. In Cabo Verde, the legislative elections held on 20 March were appraised as peaceful and credible. The opposition Movement for Democracy won an absolute majority of 53 per cent of the votes against the African Party for the Independence of Cabo Verde, which had held power since 2001. A new Government of 11 ministers, headed by the Prime Minister, José Ulisses Correia e Silva, took office on 22 April.
5. In the Niger, presidential and legislative elections were held on 21 February and 20 March, respectively. The campaign period was marred by controversies over voter identification and the legal status of the main opposition candidate, Hama Amadou, of the Mouvement démocratique nigérien pour une fédération africaine. Mr. Amadou was detained in November 2015 on charges of child trafficking. On 16 March, four days before election day, he was medically evacuated to France, where he remains as of the date of publication of the present report. In the first round, the incumbent President, Mahamadou Issoufou, garnered 48 per cent of the votes, while Mr. Amadou won 17 per cent. Subsequently, the opposition withdrew from the process, calling for a boycott of the second round. On 20 March, the President was re-elected with 92 per cent of the vote and was sworn into office on 2 April. On 12 April, he appointed a new Government, led by the Prime Minister, Brigi Rafini, composed mainly of members from the ruling Parti nigérien pour la démocratie et le socialisme (PNDS). The Party and its allies hold the majority (118) of the 171 seats in the National Assembly.
6. In Burkina Faso, the new Government, which was inaugurated on 6 January, immediately focused on enhancing the country’s security, following a terrorist attack in Ouagadougou on 15 January. It also prioritized increasing its public revenues, addressing social unrest and restoring State authority in some parts of the country. On 16 March, a constitutional commission was established to review constitutional provisions on term limits and the powers of the executive and legislative bodies. Its findings will be submitted to a referendum later in 2016.
7. On 20 February, Côte d’Ivoire arrested and handed over three members of the former presidential guard to the authorities of Burkina Faso. On 28 April, the international arrest warrant issued in January by the Burkina Faso military justice tribunal against the Speaker of the National Assembly of Côte d’Ivoire, Guillaume Soro, in connection with his alleged involvement in the coup d’état of September 2015, was withdrawn on procedural grounds.
8. In Guinea, the appointment by the President, Alpha Condé, of a new Government on 4 January immediately drew criticism from the ruling Rassemblement du peuple de Guinée because only 4 of the 33 ministers were from the party. Preparations have begun for the holding of local and municipal elections. However, there are disagreements between the ruling party and the opposition over the scope and timetable of the elections, and the Independent National Electoral Commission has stated that the elections cannot technically be held before October. On 30 March, members of the follow-up committee on the political agreement of 20 August 2015 agreed to replace the committee with a broader-based framework for political dialogue. Meanwhile, there has been little progress in the drafting of bills for the reform of the electoral code and the Commission as agreed by the parties to the political agreement.
1. Dans une lettre datée du 23 décembre 2013 (S/2013/759), le Conseil de sécurité a prorogé le mandat du Bureau des Nations Unies pour l’Afrique de l’Ouest (UNOWA) jusqu’au 31 décembre 2016 et m’a prié de lui rendre compte, tous les six mois, de l’exécution du mandat du Bureau. En réponse à la lettre datée du 14 janvier que je lui ai adressée et qui portait sur l’examen stratégique du Bureau de l’Envoyé spécial du Secrétaire général pour le Sahel (S/2016/88), le Conseil m’a prié, le 28 janvier 2016, de procéder à la fusion des deux bureaux pour créer le Bureau des Nations Unies pour l’Afrique de l’Ouest et le Sahel (UNOWAS) et de lui rendre compte, dans mon prochain rapport, de l’exécution du mandat de l’UNOWAS (voir S/2016/89). Le présent rapport porte sur la période allant du 1er janvier au 30 juin 2016 et donne un aperçu de l’évolution de la situation et des tendances en Afrique de l’Ouest et au Sahel. Y sont également décrits les activités de l’UNOWAS et les progrès accomplis dans la mise en oeuvre de la Stratégie intégrée des Nations Unies pour le Sahel (S/2015/866).
II. Évolutions et tendances observées en Afrique de l’Ouest et au Sahel
2. Depuis mon dernier rapport (S/2015/1012), plusieurs opérations électorales se sont tenues avec succès et de nouveaux gouvernements ont été mis en place dans la sous-région. Dans le même temps, l’insécurité persistante qui a sévi dans le bassin du lac Tchad et dans le nord du Mali, ainsi que les attentats terroristes sans précédent qui ont frappé le Burkina Faso et la Côte d’Ivoire, ont fait craindre que les activités terroristes ne s’étendent à d’autres pays de la sous-région.
A. Tendances et faits nouveaux sur le plan politique
3. Si, dans plusieurs pays, les élections ont été marquées par des controverses, elles ont dans l’ensemble été jugées pacifiques, crédibles et transparentes. Au Bénin, Patrice Talon est sorti vainqueur des deux tours de l’élection présidentielle du 6 et du 20 mars, l’emportant sur le candidat de la coalition au pouvoir et Premier Ministre sortant, Lionel Zinsou. Après un transfert de pouvoir sans heurt, le nouveau Président a nommé le 6 avril un gouvernement composé de 21 membres, dans lequel on retrouve d’anciens candidats à la présidence et des membres de la Coalition de la rupture. En outre, il a annoncé qu’il chercherait à entreprendre plusieurs réformes politiques et constitutionnelles, notamment pour modifier la Constitution en vue de limiter le mandat présidentiel, non renouvelable, à une durée de sept ans.
4. À Cabo Verde, les élections législatives tenues le 20 mars ont été considérées comme pacifiques et crédibles. Le parti de l’opposition, Mouvement pour la démocratie, a remporté la majorité absolue avec 53 % des voix, face au Parti africain pour l’indépendance de Cabo Verde, qui était au pouvoir depuis 2001. Un nouveau gouvernement, composé de 11 ministres et dirigé par le Premier Ministre,
José Ulisses Correia e Silva, est entré en fonctions le 22 avril.
5. Au Niger, les élections présidentielle et législatives se sont tenues respectivement le 21 février et le 20 mars. La campagne électorale a été entachée de polémiques concernant l’identification des électeurs et le statut juridique du principal candidat de l’opposition issu du Mouvement démocratique nigérien pour une fédération africaine, Hama Amadou, arrêté en novembre 2015 pour des faits de traite d’enfants. Le 16 mars, quatre jours avant le scrutin, M. Amadou a été évacué en France pour raisons médicales et il y est toujours au moment de la publication du présent rapport. Au premier tour, le Président sortant, Mahamadou Issoufou, a rassemblé 48 % des voix, contre 17 % pour M. Amadou, à la suite de quoi l’opposition a retiré sa candidature et a appelé au boycott du second tour. Le 20 mars, le Président a été réélu avec 92 % des voix et il a prêté serment le 2 avril.
Le 12 avril, il a nommé un nouveau gouvernement dirigé par le Premier Ministre Brigi Rafini et composé principalement de membres du parti au pouvoir, le Parti nigérien pour la démocratie et le socialisme (PNDS). Ce dernier détient, avec ses alliés, la majorité des sièges à l’Assemblée nationale (118 sur 171).
6. Au Burkina Faso, le nouveau gouvernement, entré en fonctions le 6 janvier, s’est immédiatement attaché à renforcer la sécurité du pays suite à un attentat terroriste qui a ensanglanté Ouagadougou le 15 janvier. Il s’est également fixé pour priorités d’augmenter les recettes publiques, de rétablir la paix sociale et de restaurer l’autorité de l’État dans certaines parties du pays. Le 16 mars, une commission constitutionnelle a été créée pour revoir les dispositions de la Constitution relatives à la limitation du nombre des mandats successifs et aux pouvoirs des organes exécutifs et législatifs. Ses conclusions seront soumises à un référendum dans le courant de 2016.
7. Le 20 février, la Côte d’Ivoire a arrêté et remis aux autorités du Burkina Faso trois membres de l’ancienne garde présidentielle. Le 28 avril, le mandat d’arrêt international que le tribunal de justice militaire burkinabè avait émis en janvier à l’encontre de Guillaume Soro, Président de l’Assemblée nationale de Côte d’Ivoire, pour son implication présumée dans le coup d’État de septembre 2015, a été annulé pour vices de procédure.
8. En Guinée, le 4 janvier, le Président Alpha Condé s’est immédiatement attiré les foudres du parti au pouvoir, Rassemblement du peuple de Guinée, après ne lui avoir confié que quatre ministères sur les 33 que compte le nouveau gouvernement.
Les préparatifs pour la tenue d’élections locales et municipales sont en cours.
Toutefois, le parti au pouvoir et l’opposition ne parviennent pas à s’entendre sur la portée et sur le calendrier des élections, la Commission électorale nationale indépendante ayant annoncé que les élections ne pourraient techniquement pas se tenir avant octobre. Le 30 mars, les membres du comité de suivi de l’accord politique du 20 août 2015 sont convenus de remplacer celui-ci par un cadre plus large en faveur du dialogue politique. Entre-temps, il n’y a guère eu de progrès dans la rédaction des projets de loi visant à réformer le code électoral et la Commission, comme s’y étaient pourtant engagés les partis dans l’accord politique.
Dakar, 28 juin 2016 - Le Bureau des Nations Unies pour l’Afrique de l’Ouest et le Sahel (UNOWAS), l'Institut International de la Paix (IPI) et le Département fédéral des affaires étrangères de la Confédération suisse (DFAE), ont organisé une rencontre de haut niveau sur le thème : « Investir dans la Paix et la Prévention de la Violence en Afrique de l’Ouest et au Sahel ».
Cette rencontre, première en son genre, a réuni pendant deux jours à Dakar, les 27 et 28 juin 2016, une cinquantaine d’experts et de praticiens, de représentants des organisations régionales et internationales, de membres du corps diplomatique, de gouvernements, de la société civile, ainsi que des médias, en provenance notamment d’Afrique de l’Ouest, du Sahel et d’Afrique du Nord.
Au-delà du traitement sécuritaire, nécessaire pour contrecarrer l’extrémisme violent, la rencontre de Dakar a mis l’accent sur l’urgence d’apporter une réponse cohérente et efficace qui privilégie l’investissement dans la paix et la prévention de la violence comme fonctions de la gouvernance inclusive et le développement équitable.
A cet égard, les participants ont utilisé le Plan d’Action du Secrétaire général des Nations Unies pour la prévention de l'extrémisme violent (A/70/674) de décembre 2015 comme une référence dans leurs échanges afin d’identifier des mesures efficaces et des politiques durables pour prévenir l'extrémisme violent.
Les discussions ont pris pour point de départ les réalités de terrain et les perceptions locales, nationales et régionales de l’extrémisme violent dans l’espace sahélo-saharien. Les participants ont mis en évidence de multiples expériences de prévention et ont souligné l’effectivité des approches fondées sur l’inclusivité politique, sociale et économique comme mécanisme favorisant l’émergence d’alternatives à la violence et à l’extrémisme violent.
Les organisateurs ont sollicité les vues des participants sur la nécessité et la meilleure façon de poursuivre une telle discussion à travers des actions / projets / initiatives concrètes présentés au cours de la rencontre, au niveau sous régional et au-delà.
Faisant écho à l’initiative du Secrétaire général des Nations Unies, les organisateurs ont également tenu à rappeler à la clôture des travaux, la nécessité pour la communauté internationale d’agir en synergie pour une approche coordonnée et inclusive pour faire face à la propagation de l’intolérance et de la haine dans le monde. Ils se sont aussi engagés à poursuivre leur engagement commun à travers l’appui à des initiatives locales, nationales et régionales visant à mettre en oeuvre des initiatives et projets permettant d’accentuer la prévention de la violence et de promouvoir la paix.
Un rapport contenant les questions débattues durant cette rencontre et les diverses approches discutées, ainsi que les recommandations proposées par les participants sera publié prochainement et fera l’objet d’une communication de la part des organisateurs.
UNOWAS, IPI et le DFAE organiseront au courant du mois de juillet prochain au siège d’IPI à New York, une séance de restitution des conclusions de la rencontre.
UNOWAS : Kouider Zerrouk, Chef de Communication et Information Publique – email@example.com
IPI : Arthur Boutellis, Directeur du Centre pour les Operations de Paix, International Peace Institute (IPI) – firstname.lastname@example.org
DFAE suisse : Carol Mottet, Conseillère principale, Division Sécurité humaine, Département fédéral des affaires étrangères, Suisse – email@example.com
WASHINGTON, June 29, 2016—In Guinea, Sierra Leone and Senegal, more than 33.3 million people will benefit from stronger health systems and more effective disease surveillance systems through US$110 million in International Development Association (IDA) financing, approved yesterday by the World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors. This is the first in a series of investments planned under the Regional Disease Surveillance Systems Enhancement Program (REDISSE), which aims to address systemic weaknesses within the human and animal health sectors that hinder effective disease surveillance and response. The REDISSE program was developed with financial support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and technical support from the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The recent Ebola Virus Disease epidemic in West Africa illustrated the critical importance of strengthening national disease surveillance systems and inter-country collaboration to detect and respond to outbreaks of communicable diseases before they become deadly epidemics that cross borders to kill thousands of people and cripple economies.
Guinea and Sierra Leone, two of the countries most affected by the 2014-2015 Ebola outbreak, will each receive US$30 million in financing. Senegal, which has shown regional leadership in developing effective disease detection and response capacity, will receive US$30 million. In addition, the West African Health Organization (WAHO) will receive US$20 million from IDA and US$4 million in trust fund co-financing from the government of Canada to help improve disease surveillance infrastructure, information sharing and collaboration across the 15 countries that comprise the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and across the health, agriculture and environmental sectors.
“REDISSE will help to secure and sustain core country and regional capacities for disease surveillance in West Africa and help to prevent and detect outbreak diseases like Ebola before they exact an unaffordable toll on people's lives and economies,” said Tim Evans, Senior Director of Health, Nutrition and Population at the World Bank Group.
The REDISSE Program will be implemented as an interdependent series of projects that will eventually engage and support all 15 countries in the ECOWAS region. The first in the series of projects, REDISSE I, approved yesterday for Guinea, Sierra Leone and Senegal, aims to strengthen national and regional cross-sectoral capacity for collaborative disease surveillance and epidemic preparedness. It also includes a contingent emergency response component to improve a government’s response capacity in the event of an emergency. The next in the series of projects is under preparation and is expected to be submitted to the Board of Executive Directors in 2016.
“West Africa is particularly vulnerable to infectious disease outbreaks in humans and animals and these diseases can easily cross borders through the movements of people, animals and goods. Identifying and preventing the spread of these diseases is critical to protecting the region’s gains in human development and economic growth, and to avoiding future epidemics,” said Rachid Benmessaoud, the World Bank Country Director for Nigeria and Coordinating Director for the West Africa Regional Integration Program.
To complement the REDISSE Program’s contribution to enhanced disease surveillance strengthening, the World Bank Group also recently launched the Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility, an innovative, fast-disbursing global financing mechanism designed to protect the world against deadly pandemics, which will create the first-ever insurance market for pandemic risk.
The REDISSE Program is part of the $1.62 billion in financing that the World Bank Group has mobilized to address the 2014-2015 Ebola epidemic. Previous financing has focused on response and recovery efforts in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the countries hardest hit by Ebola. This support includes $1.17 billion from IDA, the World Bank Group’s fund for the poorest countries, to 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. It also includes at least $450 million from IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, to enable trade, investment and employment in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
The REDISSE Program is part of the longer term response to the epidemic and moves beyond both Ebola Virus Disease and the borders of the three most affected countries to help build a resilient, broad-based regional disease surveillance and response system, based on intercountry collaboration and collective action. Communicable and non-communicable diseases are a major constraint on the health, education and potential earnings of people living in the ECOWAS region and have the greatest impact on the most vulnerable people.
Current epidemiological situation, country-specific information + Post Ebola systems strengthening
The Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) related to Ebola in West Africa was lifted on 29 March 2016. A total of 28 616 confirmed, probable and suspected cases have been reported in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, with 11 310 deaths. In the latest cluster, seven confirmed and three probable cases of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) were reported between 17 March and 6 April from the prefectures of N’Zerekore (nine cases) and Macenta (one case) in south-eastern Guinea.
In Guinea, the last case tested negative for Ebola virus for the second time on 19 April. Guinea declared an end to Ebola virus transmission on 1 June.
On 9 June the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the end of the most recent outbreak of EVD in Liberia. This follows 42 days since the last case tested negative for the second time on 28 April.
Having contained the last Ebola virus outbreak in March 2016, Sierra Leone has maintained heightened surveillance with testing of all reported deaths and prompt investigation and testing of all suspected cases.
The ultimate goal of post-EVD recovery plans is to reestablish the conditions for a quick return to a healthy society, with viable livelihoods, psychosocial well-being, economic growth, and overall human development. At the same time, the immediate priority is to end the epidemic, and address the adverse conditions that enabled a localized epidemic to escalate into a national crisis with regional and global ramifications.
After the launch of the second phase of the Ebola Recovery Programme, the President’s Recovery Priorities Team on June 29, 2016 commenced a regional community engagement tour in Bo district, southern region.
The engagement meeting is divided into interactive sessions on the way forward on the delivery of the President's recovery priorities.
The design of the delivery of the recovery programme is geared towards enhancing collaboration and partnership and the involvement of district councils, paramount chiefs, religious leaders, traditional and community stakeholders and civil society organizations.
It is worthy to note that the second phase of the recovery has added energy, water and governance to the initial priorities of education, health, social protection and private sector development.
Making a statement, the Chief of Staff, Mr Saidu Conton Sesay said reducing corruption will give government more money for the improvement and delivery of services and encourage participants to support the process of combating graft in rolling out these projects. He pointed out that the targeted priorities are for government to deliver and achieve the desired results as well as having a marked difference of performance between the first and the second phase of the recovery programme. Mr Sesay also accentuated the involvement and ownership of paramount chiefs in monitoring these programmes in their different localities and ensure the interest of the people is secured. "We must all ensure the services reach or impact the various communities," he stressed.
The Chief of Staff also noted the significance of transparency and accountability in the entire process.
Delivering his address, the commissioner of the Anti-Corruption Commission, Mr Ady Macauley stated the commission's commitment in the fight against corruption particularly in the president's recovery priorities and disclosed that the commission is now taking a preventive approach in the fight against graft in health, education, energy, water, the port among others. He said corruption has been a deterrent to public service delivery adding that the Pay No Bribe campaign will help to diagnose and prevent acts of corruption.
"We must encourage and embrace the fight against corruption. It is time to talk the talk and work the work, it is no longer business as usual," the ACC boss vowed. The Pay No Bribe campaign, he said, gives the platform to the ordinary man to report corruption anonymously, and encouraged traditional leaders to trickle down these messages to their subjects.
The Minister of Water Resources Mr Momodu Maligi said the ministry is embarking on the rehabilitation of the entire Guma water distribution and transmission lines to address the water supply system in Freetown. He disclosed that government has applied for funding for the use of the Rokel River and had also done feasibility studies to take water from the river.
Provision of water to 400 rural communities, access to unserved areas, ensure water security and resource management, provide and restore access to water and sanitation are some of the steps taken to increase access to water.
Similar engagement will be held in Makeni involving MDAs and other stakeholders in the Northern District.
The training combined classroom lessons and hands-on exercises and covered modules on supply chain, logistics planning and assessment, sea and port operations, engineering services, emergency ICT and telecommunications provision, and humanitarian air services. This was followed by practical simulations for capacity development in emergency response by establishing an Emergency Operational Center.
WFP and Ministry of Education colleagues also worked together to ensure effective monitoring of distributions using the UNICEF/Ministry of Education EduTrac Community monitors.
Little relief to dryness expected over Guatemala and Honduras
Africa Weather Hazards
During the past 7 days, a surge in moisture and influx of rain was observed through parts of the Sahel and into the Sahara. Many areas of western Niger and Mali received at least 10 or 25mm of rain (Figure 1). The heaviest rains (>200mm) in the region were found in the western Gulf of Guinea countries. Moderate rains stretched eastward across Mali and Burkina Faso. Moderate rains were also observed over much of Nigeria and central equatorial Africa. Conversely, some local areas, such as central Liberia, central Cote D’Ivoire, and southern Ghana, largely missed out on rain. This week marked the 3rd consecutive week of above-normal rainfall for western Gulf of Guinea countries. Belownormal rainfall has been similarly consistent for parts of Ghana and Nigeria.
An analysis of cumulative rainfall anomalies during the last 30 days (Figure 2) reveals moisture surpluses that are growing quite large in some areas. Local portions of Guinea, Sierra Leone, and southern Cote D’Ivoire show positive rainfall anomalies greater than 300mm. Central Africa registers widespread rainfall surpluses as well. Between the two areas of enhanced rainfall is an area where rainfall deficits on the order of 50-100mm are prevalent.
This includes parts of Nigeria and Ghana. Ground moisture and vegetation health products do not converge on any areas for cropping concern.
Most of the region is on track for a near-normal rainfall/cropping season.
For next week, model forecasts suggest that rainfall will be enhanced again for the far western and eastern parts of the sub region. Suppression of rainfall is likely across southern Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, and Benin. Locally heavy rain (>100mm) is possible over parts of the western Gulf of Guinea region where soils are already saturated from repeated weeks of above-average rainfall, raising slightly the risk of flooding.
HUMANITARIAN AID AND THE SWISS HUMANITARIAN AID UNIT
Emergency aid and reconstruction measures supported by Switzerland directly benefit around three and a half million people a year.
Given their scale and tragic consequences, Swiss Humanitarian Aid has focused its attention on the conflicts in Syria and Iraq, South Sudan and the Central African Republic, and the Ebola epidemic in West Africa. (p. 8)
TECHNICAL COOPERATION AND FINANCIAL AID FOR DEVELOPING COUNTRIES
Improved management of service delivery systems has enabled almost eight million people from poor and disadvantaged population groups to better exercise their economic and social rights by increasing their access to basic resources and public services. Through its global programmes, Switzerland also contributed considerably to anchoring a concrete, measurable goal on universal access to water and sanitation in the outcome document on the SDGs. (p. 12)
TRANSITION ASSISTANCE IN THE COUNTRIES OF EASTERN EUROPE AND THE CIS
By supporting the transition of the Western Balkans and the countries of the former Soviet Union towards democratic systems and market economy, Switzerland helps to restore political stability and improve conditions for the people living there. (p.30)
GOOD GOVERNANCE AND GENDER EQUALITY
An independent evaluation has confirmed the good results achieved by the SDC in strengthening governance systems and increasing citizen participation in several priority countries. The OECD has confirmed the progress made towards mainstreaming the goal of gender equality into SDC programming. (p. 34)