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ReliefWeb - Updates on Sierra Leone

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    Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
    Country: Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo

    West Africa can be divided into three agro-ecological zones or three different trade basins (West Basin, Central Basin and East Basin). Both important for understanding market behavior and dynamics.

    The three major agro-ecological zones are the Sahelian, the Sudanese and the Coastal zones where production and consumption can be easily classified. (1) In the Sahelian zone, millet is the principal cereal cultivated and consumed particularly in rural areas and increasingly, when accessible, in urban areas. Exceptions include Cape Verde where maize and rice are most important, Mauritania where sorghum and maize are staples, and Senegal with rice. The principal substitutes in the Sahel are sorghum, rice, and cassava flour (Gari), the latter two in times of shortage. (2) In the Sudanese zone (southern Chad, central Nigeria, Benin, Ghana, Togo, Côte d'Ivoire, southern Burkina Faso, Mali, Senegal, Guinea Bissau, Serra Leone, Liberia) maize and sorghum constitute the principal cereals consumed by the majority of the population. They are followed by rice and tubers, particularly cassava and yam. (3) In the Coastal zone, with two rainy seasons, yam and maize constitute the most important food products. They are supplemented by cowpea, which is a significant source of protein.

    The three trade basins are known as the West, Central, and East basins. In addition to the north to south movement of particular commodities, certain cereals flow horizontally. (1) The West basin refers to Mauritania, Senegal, western Mali, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia, and The Gambia where rice is most heavily traded. (2) The Central basin consists of Côte d'Ivoire, central and eastern Mali, Burkina Faso, Ghana, and Togo where maize is commonly traded. (3) The East basin refers to Niger, Nigeria, Chad, and Benin where millet is traded most frequently. These three trade basins are shown on the map above.


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    Source: Save the Children
    Country: Afghanistan, Angola, Bangladesh, Benin, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Lesotho, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, World

    Executive summary

    THE WORLD’S BIGGEST INFECTIOUS KILLER

    Writing in 1901, William Osler, one of the founders of modern medicine, described pneumonia as “the captain of the men of death”. He was writing about the USA, where the disease was a major killer of children – and a source of fear for their parents. Pneumonia remains a “captain of the men of death”. No infectious disease claims the lives of more children. Today, almost all of the victims are in low- and middle-income countries. The vast majority are poor.

    The headline statistics on pneumonia point to a global epidemic. The disease claimed 920,000 young lives in 2015. That represents two fatalities every minute of every day – more than diarrhoea, malaria and measles combined.

    Most of the deaths happen in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Over 80% occur among children aged less than two years old, many of them in the first weeks of life.

    What the statistics cannot capture is the suffering and distress associated with pneumonia. This is a disease that leaves desperately vulnerable children fighting for breath, and their parents coping with anxiety and, all too often, the distress, grief and trauma that comes with loss.

    Pneumonia deaths are falling more slowly than other major causes of child mortality.
    New research presented in this report shows that, on the current trajectory of progress, there will still be 735,000 pneumonia deaths in 2030.
    This is the target date set for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which include a collective pledge ‘to end preventable child deaths’.

    Reducing pneumonia deaths to a level of less than 3/1,000 live births, as envisaged by UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO) in their Global Action Plan for Pneumonia and Diarrhoea (GAPPD), would put the world on track for the SDG target.

    However, analysis in this report shows only four out of 30 high burden countries are on course to reach this target by 2030. Another 17 – including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria and Pakistan, which have some of the highest numbers of pneumonia deaths – will not achieve the target until after 2050.

    These trends do not define destiny. Other futures are possible. Based on modelling carried out by Johns Hopkins University, we chart a plausible path towards a world where pneumonia deaths are reduced to levels compatible with the SDG commitment. The ‘2030 target scenario’ trajectory would save a cumulative total of 5.3 million lives from pneumonia over the next 15 years. Almost 1 million would be saved over the next five years. Many more lives would be saved as a result of benefits in treating diseases that typically accompany pneumonia, including malnutrition and diarrhoea. We estimate the average annual cost of the interventions required at $4.5bn.

    WHY ARE CHILDREN DYING?

    Every pneumonia death is one too many. The disease is eminently preventable and treatable.
    Effective vaccines are available for immunisation against the most common bacterial strains, including Streptococcus pneumoniae – the deadliest source of pneumonia. Diagnosed accurately and early, pneumonia can be treated with a 3–5 day course of antibiotics costing just $0.40. Severe and complex cases require referral to facilities equipped to deliver more intensive care. But even here the vast majority of lives can be saved, as they are in rich countries.

    Children die from pneumonia because they are denied the benefits of prevention, accurate diagnosis and treatment. Support from Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, has expanded coverage of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV), saving many lives. But 170 million children aged 0–2 years in low- and middle-income countries are not immunised against the world’s deadliest disease.

    When pneumonia strikes, far too many children are denied access to care. Around 40 million episodes of the disease go untreated each year, placing lives at risk. In sub-Saharan Africa, less than half of children with symptoms are taken to a health care provider.

    Reaching a health facility is no guarantee of effective treatment. Inaccurate diagnosis, shortages of frontline antibiotics, and weak referral systems combine to claim lives that could be saved. Surveys of essential medicine availability show that fewer than 60% of facilities in Tanzania, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mauritania have Amoxicillin DT available, the most effective frontline treatment, falling to less than one-quarter in Nepal and Uganda.

    One potentially fatal consequence of pneumonia is hypoxaemia, a condition that leaves children with insufficient oxygen in their blood. Some 2 million children are admitted to hospital each year with the condition. These children are left, quite literally, gasping for air. They need basic oxygen therapy that would be taken for granted in any rich country, yet the facilities they are taken to often lack the oxygen that could save their lives.

    A DISEASE OF POVERTY

    Equity is at the heart of the crisis. Pneumonia today is overwhelmingly a disease of poverty, as it has been throughout history. The risks of contracting the disease are heavily skewed towards the poorest children, while the prospects for receiving accurate diagnosis, effective treatment and appropriate care are skewed towards those who are better off.

    Pneumonia powerfully illustrates the lottery of birth that shapes life-chances – including prospects for survival. In rich countries, the disease is a major cause of hospitalisation among children, but fatalities are rare. Being born in a poor country multiplies the risk of pneumonia mortality in the early years. Within countries, social disparities linked to wealth, ethnicity, the rural–urban divide, and gender weigh heavily.

    Children who are poor are less likely to be vaccinated, less likely to be taken for treatment when they develop pneumonia symptoms, and more likely to die as a result. A child from a wealthy household in Nigeria is 15 times more likely to be fully immunised than a child from a poor household.
    Children from the wealthiest households in countries such as Burkina Faso and Chad are twice as likely to be taken by their parents to a health facility if they have pneumonia symptoms as children from the poorest households.

    Gender is another powerful marker for disadvantage. Globally, boys are more likely to contract pneumonia for physiological reasons – but in South Asia girls are far less likely to be treated.
    Fatality rates for girls affected by pneumonia in the region are 43% higher than for boys on one estimate.

    A COMPLEX CHALLENGE

    Failures of prevention, diagnosis and treatment underscore the critical importance of universal health coverage. Currently, some 400 million people lack access to health care, while 100 million are driven into poverty by unaffordable health costs.
    Winning the battle against pneumonia will require wider changes that make healthcare accessible and affordable for all.

    Pneumonia cannot be treated in isolation. Most fatalities occur because the parents of the children affected are excluded from health systems as a result of cost or distance, or because they see health providers as ineffective, unresponsive and unaccountable. Tackling pneumonia requires a properly financed health system that reaches the most disadvantaged children, delivering effective care through a trained and supported workforce.

    Pneumonia presents health planners with a complex challenge because it has such diverse causes – and because it overlaps with other diseases. Prevention is overwhelmingly better than cure, which is why all governments should include pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCVs) in their national immunisation schedules. This report highlights the critical importance of building efficient and equitable immunisation infrastructures.

    When pneumonia strikes, the first line of defence is the home and community. It is vital that families and carers are equipped with the information they need to recognise symptoms, and that mothers are empowered to make decisions and access care.
    Community health workers have a vital role to play in diagnosing pneumonia. Countries with a strong track record in cutting deaths – including Bangladesh and Ethiopia – have invested heavily in community-based care systems.

    Slow progress in cutting deaths reflects systemic policy failure. Around 17% of pneumonia deaths occur in the first month of life. Many of these deaths could be prevented through early recognition of the warning signs and antibiotic treatment. Yet many women receive no postnatal care, and the health workers caring for them often lack the diagnostic skills they need.

    Guidelines for integrated Community Case Management (iCCM) provided by WHO and UNICEF establish clear guidelines for community health workers on pneumonia diagnosis and treatment. However, misdiagnosis is common. Many children are placed at risk because pneumonia symptoms are routinely mistaken for malaria.

    Moreover, primary health care centres often lack frontline antibiotics, including child-friendly Amoxicillin dispersible tablets (DT). The international aid system may have played an unintended role in weakening iCCM systems by under-investing in anti-pneumonia strategies relative to other major killers. Compounding these diagnostic and treatment challenges, many countries make it illegal for community health workers to dispense life-saving antibiotics. Innovative diagnostic tools such as pulse oximeters, a non-invasive mechanism for measuring oxygen levels in blood, are often unavailable.

    PNEUMONIA ACTION PLANS – A HEALTH SYSTEM PRIORITY

    National governments have the primary responsibility for tackling pneumonia. Political leaders have neglected the disease for far too long. Ensuring that trained community health workers are available, that clinics are properly supplied, and that referral systems are equipped to ensure a swift transition for children with severe pneumonia should be national health priorities.

    Every high-burden country should be aiming to achieve universal PCV immunisation over the next five years. The record to date has been mixed. Some high-burden countries – including Indonesia, Chad and Somalia – are still not using the PCV vaccine in routine immunisation programmes. Nigeria has included PCV in its national schedule, but started only recently and coverage rates are just 13%.
    More widely, immunisation with PCV is marked by extreme disparities that follow the contours of inequity in health service provision.

    This report calls on governments in every highburden country to adopt integrated Pneumonia Action Plans geared towards the GAPPD target.

    These plans would cover costings and delivery strategies for achieving universal PCV vaccination, the provision of antibiotics, and supply of pulse oximeters and oxygen to referral facilities.

    The condition for successful implementation of such plans is the strengthening of health systems, with accelerated progress towards universal health coverage. The training of community health workers to correctly diagnose and treat pneumonia is critical. However, anti-pneumonia strategies will only succeed if health system coverage extends to the hardest-to-reach children. Governments should be spending around 5% of GDP on health, with a far greater emphasis on equity in the allocation of resources.


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    Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation
    Country: Sierra Leone

    Originally designed to house only around 300,000 people, Freetown is struggling to meet basic needs for housing, electricity, sewage and water

    By Eromo Egbejule

    FREETOWN, Nov 1 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Augustine Deen, a 31-year-old officer with the Sierra Leone Police Force, was on night duty at his post in Freetown, counting down the hours, when disaster struck.

    In the early morning of Aug. 14, a major mudslide hit Mount Sugarloaf, which overlooks the capital city, slicing it in two.

    The collapse killed 400 people, with hundreds more still missing, and left an estimated 3,000 homeless.

    Corpses floated in the flood waters, while some families were forced to dig for the bodies of their loved ones under the rubble. Deen's wife and six children back home in the Pentagon New Site slum on the mountain slopes survived, but his four brothers, sister-in-law and his nephew were killed.

    Home to a little over 1 million people according to a 2015 census, Freetown's population swelled at the turn of the century as citizens in rural areas fled a decade-long civil war that ended in 2002.

    The city was originally designed to house only around 300,000 people, and is now struggling to meet basic needs for housing, electricity, sewage and water, said Jamie Hitchen, a policy researcher at the London-based Africa Research Institute.

    Homes are being built in areas identified as "at risk", and despite the creation of an EU-funded Freetown Development Plan in 2014, city planning has been given little priority, he added.

    "So far the government's response to annual floods has been superficial and short-term," Hitchen told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. "Urban management problems are one of the major causes, along with deforestation and climate change."

    Freetown, initially designed by colonial-era British administrators, has been plagued by heavy rains and flooding yearly since 2008.

    Its many slums and informal settlements are built high on mountain slopes, leaving tens of thousands of inhabitants vulnerable to death and displacement when the rains come.

    Builders have encroached into protected forest areas on the hills behind the city, causing soil erosion - a phenomenon that contributed to the August landslide.

    Officials at Freetown City Council said there are laws to prevent illegal construction, but these are often flouted or permits obtained through bribery.

    In 2014, the Sierra Leone Urban Research Centre carried out an environmental assessment to map areas at risk of flooding, but the government did not act on it.

    "Over the years, many people were displaced by crisis including the... civil war, so many people escaped to the city and built houses in areas where they shouldn't," said Cornelius Deveaux, deputy minister of information.

    CHEAP BUT RISKY

    High levels of poverty, however, are putting slum communities at risk of disasters.

    In a country where GDP per capita is $1,400 and 60 percent of people live on less than $1.25 a day, according to U.N. data, having a home is judged as more important than safety.

    Parts of the Regent area where the August disaster happened remain at risk of further landslides and flooding but many residents say they have nowhere else to go.

    "The closer to the mountain you go, the cheaper (it is) to rent houses for your family," said Salim Bangura, 38, who lives with his wife in Congo Town slum.

    "Some of us don't have electricity but we need a roof over our head as we struggle to make ends meet," said Bangura, who gets by peddling food and household goods.

    He and his neighbours know that in a pre-election year, politicians may make promises of mass housing to get them to move, but they have been offered nothing yet.

    "This is the only life we know," he said.

    CAMPS TO CLOSE

    All eight members of Deen's family are living in a small tent in Juba camp, alongside nearly 500 people who lost their homes in the mudslide.

    Food, clothing and medicine come mostly from relief agencies including the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), which has refurbished the only health centre near the disaster zone.

    Kim Eva Dickson, UNFPA head in Sierra Leone, said it was providing women and girls with antenatal care, ultrasound scans, mother and baby kits, and personal hygiene supplies.

    Among disaster-hit communities living in temporary shelters, "the risks of unwanted pregnancies ... sexually transmitted diseases and gender-based violence increases," she said.

    The government, meanwhile, has provided counselling for the bereaved still grieving over lost relatives and possessions.

    Public resources were stretched thin by the 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak that killed over 4,000 people in Sierra Leone. But the government is giving cash totalling about $171 to each family affected by the mudslide, with the last payment due in November.

    It plans to close the two formal camps in mid-November, leaving their more than 2,000 residents with a choice of taking a cash payment or moving to new homes being built for them.

    Households that opt for cash will each get about $284 to help them rebuild their lives - enough to rent a one-bedroom apartment in downtown Freetown for a year.

    The government has an agreement with local companies to construct 53 houses on the outskirts of the city for displaced families, and is in talks with other investors to build more homes for survivors.

    This is separate from a long-term plan to create affordable housing for about 35,000 citizens in all, said Deveaux.

    NEW HOMES SHUNNED

    Deen has heard the government is building free housing estates at 6 Mile on the outskirts of Freetown, but said there has been little information about the project.

    Previous government action has made local people wary.

    After floods in 2015, the government evicted some 100 families living in Crab Town slum, and moved them to a location about 20 km (12 miles) from Freetown.

    But they were back in the capital a couple of months later having rented out their new homes, said Hitchen.

    The new housing stock was better than in the slums, but the village lacked basic amenities, work opportunities were few and people were cut off from their community networks.

    "We don't want to go to somewhere without knowing what we are getting into," said Deen.

    (Reporting By Eromo Egbejule, Editing by Megan Rowling and Ros Russell; Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's rights, trafficking, property rights, climate change and resilience. Visit http://news.trust.org)


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    Source: International Organization for Migration
    Country: Côte d'Ivoire, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Italy, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, Togo, World

    Key Findings

    Most of the migrants are men (95%).

    7% of migrants recorded at flow monitoring points are minors.

    53,322 migrants (5,320 incoming and 48,002 outgoing) were counted at flow monitoring points, representing an average of 117 migrants per day.

    The majority of the migrants surveyed indicate their intention to travel to Algeria and Libya while 42% say they want to go to Europe, mainly Spain and Italy.

    Algeria, Mauritania, Burkina Faso and Niger are major transit points after Mali.

    Guineans, Gambians, Senegalese, and Ivorians rank first among non-Malian migrants transiting Mali to West African countries, North Africa and Europe.

    The vast majority of identified migrants arrived in Mali in transit buses. However, migrants departing from Gao are mainly using trucks while those identified at other flow monitoring points are mostly using buses.


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    Source: International Organization for Migration
    Country: Algeria, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, France, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Italy, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, World


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    Source: International Organization for Migration
    Country: Algeria, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, France, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Italy, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, World


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    Source: International Federation of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies
    Country: Guinea, Sierra Leone

    Geneva, 20 October 2017 – The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is outraged at evidence of fraud during its 2014-2016 Ebola operations in Guinea and Sierra Leone.

    IFRC has zero tolerance for fraud and is committed to full transparency and accountability to our partners and the communities we stand with. This fraud must not in any way diminish the tremendous courage and dedication of thousands of volunteers and staff during the Ebola response who worked tirelessly to save countless lives and support families.

    Red Cross volunteers played a critical role in ending the West Africa Ebola outbreak. Teams of volunteers provided treatment and care and took responsibility for burying the disease’s victims, preventing as many as 10,500 additional cases.

    The West African Ebola operations were among the most complex in recent humanitarian history. In response to the deadly outbreak, IFRC and other humanitarian organizations rapidly established and expanded offices, deployed staff, and procured significant stockpiles of medical and operational supplies.

    Transparency International has since requested that humanitarian organizations publish audit reports of Ebola operations following its warning that the influx of funds into the region would mean that response efforts were especially vulnerable to fraud and corruption. As part of IFRC’s commitment to transparency and accountability best practice, IFRC has complied with this request.

    IFRC investigations uncovered:

    Likely collusion between former IFRC staff and employees of a bank in Sierra Leone that led to a potential financial loss of 2.13 million Swiss francs. Over- and fake billing by a customs clearance service provider in Guinea which led to an estimated loss of 1.17 million Swiss francs. Two additional investigations into further fraud allegations are currently underway. These cases follow earlier reported investigations in Liberia that uncovered evidence of fraud related to inflated prices of relief items, payroll and payment of volunteer incentives, leading to an estimated 2.7 million Swiss francs loss, as well as a 2016 investigation into procurement non-compliance in Sierra Leone. IFRC is committed to holding all those involved in any form of fraud to account, and to reclaiming all misappropriated, diverted, or otherwise illegally taken funds.

    In Sierra Leone, IFRC is working with the Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate and legally pursue any persons involved in the likely collusion. In Guinea, IFRC is working with authorities in the country and elsewhere to pursue the most effective legal course of action. In Liberia, IFRC is working with the Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate and legally pursue any persons involved. In all cases, IFRC is prepared to waive all legal immunities and privileges to ensure any staff involved are held to account.

    With regards to the 2015 investigation of procurement non-compliance in Sierra Leone, IFRC immediately requested the termination of the contract in question and oversaw a new procurement process with additional compliance oversight.

    These cases were uncovered as a result of IFRC’s proactive approach to seeking out and ending any fraud, corruption or negligence within our humanitarian operations, no matter where they may occur. Since 2014, IFRC has introduced a raft of reforms to root out and end any instances of fraud and corruption and enhance a culture of transparency and risk management within IFRC operations.

    Following the above investigations, IFRC has also put in place a strengthened ‘triple defence’ prevention framework to protect against fraud and corruption in high-risk operations.

    This framework establishes new checking and enforcement measures at each line of fraud prevention defence. These new measures include cash spending limits in high-risk settings, early deployment of trained auditors as part of the first wave of emergency operations set up, mandatory fraud prevention training for staff being deployed, the creation of an Audit and Risk Commission of the IFRC Governing Board, and the establishment of a dedicated and independent internal investigation function.

    More information about IFRC’s ‘triple defence’ framework against fraud and corruption is available here.

    Despite the difficult circumstances that may be uncovered, IFRC will not waiver from pursuing and continuing to seek out and end fraud or corruption within Ebola operations and around the world, and will continue to support National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to respond in complex humanitarian settings.

    Media contact:
    Matthew Cochrane,
    Phone: +41 79 251 8039,
    Email: matthew.cochrane@ifrc.org


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    Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation
    Country: Sierra Leone

    By Nicky Milne | Thomson Reuters Foundation

    About 1,900 households with over 7,000 people have been registered as needing help

    FREETOWN, Nov 6 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - After losing her baby boy in the devastating mudslide near the Sierra Leone capital Freetown, Aminata Kamara now fears that she could also be forced out of her home city when camps for survivors of August's deadly landslide close next week.

    Kamara was asleep in the early hours of Aug. 14 when three days of incessant, heavy rains sparked a mudslide on Freetown's crowded Mount Sugar Loaf, killing an estimated 500 people.

    The community of Regent, on the slopes of Mount Sugar Loaf, was devastated, with locals believing the real death toll is closer to 1,000 people with hundreds still lying dead under the rubble and more than 3,000 left homeless.

    "We felt the ground move and heard the trees from the hill fall," Kamara, still visibly scarred on her head and feet, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

    "I felt the force of something push me down. I fell with my child and passed out instantly. I was covered entirely in dirt but luckily my hands were visible and that's how they found me."

    But her baby, Mohamed Sesay, was consumed by the force of the earth. His body has not been found.

    Kamara is one of thousands who lost everything in the mudslide and is now living in one of several camps set up by the government with the help of international aid agencies.

    About 1,900 households with over 7,000 people have been registered as needing help, according to O.B. Sisay, who is leading a disaster response taskforce set up by the president. He led the response team after a 2014 Ebola outbreak.

    Sisay said some people have wrongly claimed to be mudslide victims in the West African country that was already struggling to help all those impacted by the Ebola crisis in 2014 that killed about 3,000 and a civil war raging from 1991 until 2002.

    WORRIES FOR FUTURE

    With the camps due to close on Nov. 15, registered survivors are being given cash of $200 or more and food and non-food items to help them start to rebuild their lives or re-locate to the provinces.

    This is being supported by Britain's International Department of International Development (DFID) with more funds for food available from the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to people who voluntarily resettle.

    But many fear this is not enough to live in Freetown and they are worried about leaving behind jobs in a country where 70 percent of youth are unemployed or underemployed and 60 percent of people live on less than $1.25 a day.

    "The relief aid the government is giving is meagre. We have no idea what will happen next," said youth leader Hassan Turay who lived in Regent for 12 years and is waiting for his wife who was injured in the mudslide to be released from hospital.

    "In our home, our kids had their own room, my wife and I had a room and we had one living room. It wasn't a lot, but we were comfortable, I was content. But now it's all gone, my life has gone backwards."

    Freetown, initially designed by colonial-era British administrators and home to more than one million people, has been plagued by heavy rains and flooding yearly since 2008.

    Its many slums and informal settlements are built high on mountain slopes, leaving tens of thousands of inhabitants vulnerable to death and displacement when the rains come.

    Builders have encroached into protected forest areas on the hills behind the city, causing soil erosion - a phenomenon that contributed to the August landslide.

    While there are promises of homes being built for victims of the August mudslide, so far only 57 homes have been constructed, all away from the city centre.

    "The government cannot afford to build homes for all those affected and all those in disaster prone areas," Sisay told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

    "Nowhere in the world is the government in the business of giving free homes. Whilst you would like to promise the affected people free, long-term houses, you would be lying."

    For Kamara and others the future looks uncertain.

    "We have nowhere to stay, our house was destroyed. Nothing was salvaged. If the government forsakes us, I don't have a Plan B," she said.

    (Reporting by Nicky Milne, Editing by Belinda Goldsmith @BeeGoldsmith; Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's rights, trafficking, property rights, climate change and resilience. Visit http://news.trust.org)


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    Source: World Meteorological Organization
    Country: Bangladesh, Botswana, Chile, China, Cuba, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, India, Kenya, Malaysia, Nepal, Peru, Sierra Leone, Somalia, World

    Executive Summary

    Whilst 2017 has been a cooler year than the record-setting 2016, it is very likely to be one of the three warmest years on record, and the warmest not influenced by an El Niño event. The five-year average 2013-2017 global average temperature is currently close to 1°C above the average for 1880-1900 and is likely to be the highest five-year average on record. The world also continues to see rising sea levels, with some level of acceleration and increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases. The cryosphere continued its contraction, in particular in the Arctic where sea ice extent continued shrinking, and Antarctic sea ice extent started shrinking since last year after a multi-year period of stable or even slight expansion The overall risk of heat-related illness or death has climbed steadily since 1980, with around 30% of the world’s population now living in climatic conditions with extreme hot temperatures persisting several days a year. Between 2000 and 2016, the number of vulnerable people exposed to heatwave events has increased by approximately 125 million.

    According to the international Monetary Fund (IMF), for the median low-income developing country, with annual average temperature conditions around 25°C, a 1°C increase in temperature could lower per capita economic output by about 1.2 percent.

    There were many significant weather and climate events in 2017, including a very active North Atlantic hurricane season, major monsoon floods in the Indian subcontinent, and continuing severe drought in parts of east Africa.

    In September 2017, the three major and devastating hurricanes that made landfall in the southern United States and in several Caribbean islands in rapid succession broke modern records for such weather extremes and for associated loss and damage.

    Massive internal displacement in context of drought and food insecurity continues across Somalia.
    From November 2016 to mid-June 2017, nearly 761 000 drought-related internal displacements were recorded by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

    Information used in this report is sourced from a large number of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) and associated institutions, as well as the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) and the Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW). Information has also been supplied by a number of other United Nations and other international agencies, including the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Food Program (WFP), the World Health Organization (WHO), UNHCR, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO).


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    Source: World Health Organization
    Country: Sierra Leone

    FREETOWN, 6 November 2017 --- Today a new national five-year strategy and a policy for Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCAH) was launched in Sierra Leone, which aims to help reduce maternal and child deaths in the country.

    Sierra Leone currently has among the highest rates of maternal and child mortality globally, as well as high incidence of teenage pregnancy. Current estimates suggest that up to 6 percent of women in Sierra Leone will die from maternal causes during their reproductive life. Based on the latest UN figures released, the country has an estimated under-5 mortality rate of 114/1000 live births which means that 1 in 9 children lose their life before their fifth birthday.

    “Each year too many of our women and children are dying from causes which are largely preventable and treatable, and the Government has committed to doing everything in its power to overturn this tragic situation,” said Dr Abu Bakarr Fofanah, Minister of Health and Sanitation, speaking at the launch event in Freetown. “Our new RMNCH strategy outlines practical interventions to save lives, improve the quality of care offered at our health facilities, address underlying causes of ill health and help ensure women, children and youth not only survive but also thrive and transform their communities.”

    :This ambitious agenda will not be realized without the active support and engagement of our community champions, health workers at all levels, District Health Management Teams, the media, other Ministries, NGOs, the private sector, and our development partners and communities themselves,” he added.

    Sierra Leone has registered good progress in some key areas of reproductive, maternal and child health. Lifesaving vaccines are reaching children and pregnant women across Sierra Leone, to prevent and tackle some of the leading infectious diseases. Attendance of at least four checkups during pregnancy increased from 56 to 76 percent over the previous strategy period; malaria treatment increased from 30 to 48 percent, and recent surveys show that levels of stunting among children under 5 years reduced from 37 to 29 percent.

    The new Strategy outlines a number of critical areas for further action including: strengthening the quality of care offered at all levels of the health system, and improving access to services such as family planning; emergency obstetric and neonatal care; management of newborn and childhood illnesses at hospital and primary care levels; nutrition; prevention of teenage pregnancy; and water, hygiene and sanitation (WASH).

    “WHO is proud to have supported the country in developing this strategy together with our partners, but we are also aware that this is just the beginning,” said Alexander Chimbaru, Officer-in-Charge of WHO Sierra Leone. “Everyone from communities to health workers, policy makers and the international community, has a role to play now in implementing the strategy, and ensuring women, children and youths are accessing quality health services that save lives.”

    The Strategy, which has been developed with technical and financial support of the H6 Global Health Partnership including WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA and the World Bank Group; UKAid, and other health partners, aims to reduce the rate of maternal and child deaths by 45 and 55 percent respectively by 2021. These ambitious targets are needed to bring the country in line towards meeting the targets of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

    For more information Contacts:

    At the Ministry of Health and Sanitation
    Kadri Koroma, +232 766 729 62, kadrikoroma@yahoo.com
    Solomon Rogers, +232 76 537835, solomonrogers@yahoo.comSolomon

    At WHO
    Saffea Gborie, +232 76 777 878, gboriesa@who.int
    Laura Keenan, keenanl@who.int


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    Source: World Meteorological Organization
    Country: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Bonaire, Saint Eustatius and Saba (The Netherlands), Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Canada, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Croatia, Cuba, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, France, Gabon, Guadeloupe (France), Guatemala, India, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Italy, Kenya, Malaysia, Mali, Martinique (France), Mauritania, Mongolia, Montserrat, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, Niger, Pakistan, Peru, Portugal, Puerto Rico (The United States of America), Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Saint Barthélemy (France), Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sierra Leone, Sint Maarten (The Netherlands), Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Thailand, Turks and Caicos Islands, United States of America, United States Virgin Islands, World

    Un rapport de l'OMM met en évidence les répercussions sur la santé humaine, la qualité de vie et l'environnement

    6 novembre 2017 (OMM) – Il est fort probable que l'année 2017, marquée par de nombreux phénomènes à fort impact parmi lesquels des ouragans et des inondations catastrophiques ainsi que des vagues de chaleur et des sécheresses particulièrement néfastes, se classera parmi les trois années les plus chaudes jamais constatées. L'accroissement des concentrations de dioxyde de carbone, la hausse du niveau de la mer et l'acidification des océans, entre autres indicateurs du changement climatique, se poursuivent sans relâche. L'étendue de la banquise de l'Arctique demeure inférieure à la normale tandis qu'en Antarctique, l'étendue de la banquise, qui était stable auparavant, affichait un minimum record ou quasi record.

    D'après la déclaration provisoire de l'Organisation météorologique mondiale (OMM) sur l'état du climat mondial, la température moyenne à la surface du globe pour les neuf premiers mois de l'année dépassait de quelque 1,1 °C celle de l'époque préindustrielle. Sous l'effet d'un puissant Niño, 2016 devrait conserver son statut d'année la plus chaude, 2015 et 2017 se disputant la deuxième et la troisième places. Enfin, les années 2013 à 2017 sont bien parties pour constituer la période de cinq ans la plus chaude jamais enregistrée.

    La déclaration provisoire de l'OMM sur le climat, qui couvre les mois de janvier à septembre, a été publiée le jour de l'ouverture, à Bonn, de la Conférence des Nations Unies sur les changements climatiques. Se fondant sur les renseignements communiqués par un large éventail d'organismes onusiens, elle fait état des conséquences du changement climatique pour la société, l'économie et l'environnement et s'inscrit dans le cadre d'un projet, conçu à l'échelle du système des Nations Unies, visant à fournir aux décideurs des informations plus complètes, de nature à orienter les politiques, sur les interactions entre les thématiques du temps, de l'eau et du climat et les objectifs mondiaux fixés dans le cadre des Nations Unies.

    «Les trois dernières années sont les plus chaudes qui aient jamais été enregistrées et s'inscrivent dans la tendance au réchauffement à long terme de la planète», a déclaré le Secrétaire général de l'OMM, Petteri Taalas. «Nous avons assisté à des conditions météorologiques exceptionnelles, par exemple des pics de température à plus de 50 °C en Asie, des ouragans d'une intensité record dans les Caraïbes et dans l'Atlantique qui ont atteint l'Irlande, des inondations dévastatrices causées par la mousson et frappant des millions de personnes, ou bien encore une terrible sécheresse en Afrique de l'Est.»

    «Nombre de ces phénomènes – des études scientifiques approfondies en révéleront le chiffre exact – portent indiscutablement la marque du changement climatique causé par l'augmentation des concentrations de gaz à effet de serre engendrés par les activités humaines», a-t-il ajouté.

    «Tout cela met en lumière les menaces croissantes qui pèsent sur les populations, l'économie des pays et même sur les mécanismes de la vie sur Terre, si notre action ne devait pas être à la hauteur des objectifs et des ambitions incarnés par l'Accord de Paris», a fait valoir Patricia Espinosa, Secrétaire exécutive de la Convention-Cadre des Nations Unies sur les changements climatiques (CCNUCC), qui accueille la conférence de Bonn.

    «Une dynamique sans précédent et très réjouissante s'est créée au sein des gouvernements mais aussi dans les villes, les États, les territoires, les régions, les entreprises et la société civile», a-t-elle poursuivi. «La conférence de Bonn devra servir de tremplin à tous les pays et à tous les secteurs de la société, qui seront appelés à revoir à la hausse leurs ambitions pour le climat, à déminer l'avenir de la planète et à saisir toutes les occasions offertes par une conception originale et visionnaire du développement durable.»

    Les phénomènes extrêmes ont une incidence sur la sécurité alimentaire de millions d'êtres humains, en particulier parmi les plus vulnérables. Une étude de la FAO (Organisation des Nations Unies pour l'alimentation et l'agriculture) a révélé que dans les pays en développement, 26 % des pertes et préjudices causés par les tempêtes, les inondations et les sécheresses d'échelle moyenne à grande concernaient l'agriculture, l'élevage, la pêche, l'aquaculture et la foresterie.

    D'après l'Organisation mondiale de la Santé (OMS), l'impact des vagues de chaleur sur la santé, à l'échelle du globe, dépend non seulement de la tendance générale au réchauffement mais aussi de leur distribution entre les zones habitées. Des études récentes démontrent que le risque global de maladie ou de décès lié à la chaleur s'est accru régulièrement depuis 1980, et qu'environ 30 % de la population mondiale vit désormais dans des régions climatiques sujettes à des vagues prolongées de chaleur extrême. Le nombre de personnes exposées aux vagues de chaleur a augmenté de quelque 125 millions entre 2000 et 2016.

    En 2016, 23,5 millions de personnes ont été déplacées du fait de catastrophes d'origine météorologique. Comme les années précédentes, ces déplacements de population internes étaient liés pour la plupart à des tempêtes ou à des inondations et concernaient la région Asie‑Pacifique. En Somalie, plus de 760 000 déplacés internes ont été recensés, comme l'a indiqué le Haut-Commissaire des Nations Unies pour les réfugiés.

    Il ressort de la dernière édition des «Perspectives de l'économie mondiale» du Fonds monétaire international (FMI) que les conséquences néfastes du changement climatique sont observées principalement dans les pays à climat relativement chaud, où se concentre aujourd'hui près de 60 % de la population mondiale.

    Quelques faits marquants

    Températures

    La température moyenne à la surface du globe pour la période janvier-septembre 2017 était supérieure de 0,47 °C ± 0,08 °C à la normale des années 1981-2010 (estimée à 14,31 °C), soit un accroissement de quelque 1,1 °C depuis l'époque préindustrielle. Certaines régions – dont l'Italie – d'Europe méridionale, l'Afrique du Nord, une partie de l'Afrique orientale et australe ainsi que la Russie d'Asie ont connu une température moyenne record pour la période considérée, tandis qu'en Chine la température moyenne se classait là aussi au premier rang des plus élevées, mais à égalité avec une année antérieure. En revanche, le nord-ouest des États-Unis et l'ouest du Canada ont affiché une température moyenne inférieure à la normale de la période 1981-2010.

    Les températures en 2016 et, dans une moindre mesure, en 2015, avaient été poussées à la hausse par un phénomène El Niño exceptionnellement puissant. On relèvera que 2017 est en passe de décrocher le record de l'année sans Niño la plus chaude qui ait été enregistrée. La moyenne provisoire de la période 2013-2017 dépasse de 0,40 °C la normale de la période 1981-2010 et d'environ 1,03 °C les valeurs préindustrielles. Ce devrait être la période de cinq ans la plus chaude jamais constatée.

    La déclaration sur le climat est établie à partir de cinq jeux mondiaux de données de température tenus à jour indépendamment les uns des autres. L'OMM utilise désormais comme référence la période 1981-2010 – contre 1961-1990 précédemment –, qui est plus représentative des conditions climatiques actuelles et permet de tenir compte de façon plus systématique des données provenant de systèmes satellitaires et de réanalyse (dont certains ne peuvent remonter jusqu'à 1960), en plus de celles, plus traditionnelles, qui sont recueillies en surface. Le changement de la période de référence n'a pas d'incidence sur l'analyse des tendances.

    Précipitations

    Le sud de l'Amérique du Sud (notamment l'Argentine), l'ouest de la Chine et certaines régions de l'Asie du Sud-Est ont connu des précipitations supérieures à la normale. La période qui va de janvier à septembre a battu tous les records de précipitations dans la partie continentale des États-Unis, hormis l'Alaska. Généralement proche de la moyenne au Brésil, la hauteur de pluie a avoisiné ou dépassé la normale dans le nord-ouest de l'Amérique du Sud et en Amérique centrale, atténuant ainsi les effets de la sécheresse causé par l'épisode El Niño 2015/16. Un peu partout au Sahel, la saison des pluies de 2017 a été plus active que la normale, causant des inondations par endroits (en particulier au Niger).

    Sur l'ensemble de l'Inde, les pluies associées à la saison de la mousson (juin à septembre) ont accusé un déficit de 5 % par rapport à la normale. Dans le nord-est et les pays adjacents en revanche, des précipitations excédentaires ont entraîné des inondations de grande ampleur.

    Les Prairies canadiennes, la région méditerranéenne, la Somalie, la Mongolie, le Gabon et le sud-ouest de l'Afrique du Sud ont enregistré des précipitations inférieures à la normale. En Italie, la période janvier-septembre a été la plus sèche jamais constatée.

    Neige et glace

    L'étendue de la banquise arctique a été bien inférieure à la normale pendant toute la période considérée, affichant même, entre janvier et avril, des minima record pour cette période de l'année, d'après le Centre national américain de données sur la neige et la glace (NSIDC) et le service Copernicus de surveillance du changement climatique. Le maximum saisonnier de la banquise arctique, atteint début mars, fait partie des cinq plus faibles qui aient été observés par satellite depuis 1979, et constitue même le plus faible si l'on se réfère aux données du NSIDC. Les cinq maximums saisonniers les plus faibles sont tous postérieurs à 2005.

    Un puissant système de basses pressions bien campé sur l'Arctique central a contribué à limiter la perte de glace durant les mois d'été. Le minimum saisonnier de la banquise arctique, vers la mi-septembre, accusait un déficit de 25 à 31 % par rapport à la normale de la période 1981-2010, et faisait partie des huit minimums saisonniers les plus faibles jamais constatés. Les dix plus faibles sont tous postérieurs à 2006.

    L'étendue de la banquise antarctique était elle aussi bien inférieure à la normale. Le minimum saisonnier, au début du mois de mars, était le plus faible jamais constaté, et le maximum saisonnier, atteint à la mi-octobre, était lui aussi le plus faible ou proche des plus faibles jamais observés. L'état des glaces de mer dans l'Antarctique a beaucoup varié ces dernières années, l'étendue de la banquise ayant atteint un maximum record il y a à peine deux ans.

    L'étendue moyenne du manteau neigeux dans l'hémisphère Nord était de 10,54 millions de km2, ce qui est proche de la valeur médiane constatée pour la période d'observations satellitaires 1967-2017.

    L'inlandsis groenlandais a enregistré un gain de glace de plus de 40 milliards de tonnes dû à des chutes de neige supérieures à la normale et à une courte saison de fonte. Cette augmentation globale de la masse glaciaire ne représente toutefois qu'une petite exception dans la tendance générale à la baisse, l'inlandsis du Groenland ayant perdu environ 3 600 milliards de tonnes de glace depuis 2002.

    Niveau de la mer

    Le niveau moyen de la mer à l’échelle de la planète est l’un des meilleurs indicateurs du changement climatique. Jusqu’à présent, il a été relativement stable en 2017, s’établissant à des niveaux semblables à ceux atteints pour la première fois à la fin de l’année 2015, du fait, d’une part, que l’influence temporaire de l’épisode El Niño de 2015-16 continue de se faire sentir (épisode pendant lequel le niveau moyen de la mer a atteint, au début de 2016, une valeur maximale supérieure d’environ 10 millimètres à la moyenne des années 2004-2015) et, d’autre part, qu’il revient à des valeurs plus proches de la normale. Selon les premières données, ce niveau pourrait avoir recommencé à augmenter à partir des mois de juillet et août 2017.

    Contenu thermique de l’océan

    La température moyenne à la surface des océans est en voie de figurer parmi les trois valeurs les plus élevées jamais enregistrées. Jusqu’à présent, en 2017, le contenu thermique de l’océan à l’échelle du globe a atteint des valeurs record ou s’en est approché. Le réchauffement des mers tropicales en surface, qui contribue au blanchissement du corail, n’a pas été d’aussi grande ampleur que lors de l’épisode El Niño de 2015-16. Mais un blanchissement important n’en a pas moins été observé, notamment dans la région de la Grande barrière de corail, en Australie. En juin, l’UNESCO a signalé qu’à l’exception de trois d’entre eux, les 29 récifs coralliens classés au patrimoine de l’humanité avaient été confrontés à des températures susceptibles d’entraîner leur blanchissement à un moment ou un autre entre 2014 et 2017.

    Acidification de l’océan

    L'océan absorbe jusqu'à 30 % des émissions atmosphériques annuelles de CO2 d’origine anthropique, ce qui contribue à atténuer les effets du changement climatique sur la planète. Mais le prix payé par l’environnement est élevé, car le CO2 absorbé modifie le taux d'acidité de l'océan. Depuis que la station d'Aloha (au nord d'Hawaï) a commencé à effectuer des relevés, à la fin des années 1980, le pH de l'eau de mer a progressivement baissé, passant de valeurs supérieures à 8,10 au début des années 1980 à des valeurs comprises entre 8,04 et 8,09 ces cinq dernières années.

    L’acidification de l’océan a des conséquences directes sur la santé des récifs coralliens et sur la survie et la calcification de plusieurs organismes primordiaux, ce qui a des répercussions sur la chaîne alimentaire, ainsi que sur l’aquaculture et l’économie des zones côtières.

    Gaz à effet de serre

    Le taux d’accroissement du CO2 entre 2015 et 2016 était le plus élevé jamais enregistré (3,3 parties par million/an), ce qui a débouché sur une teneur moyenne en CO2 à l’échelle du globe de 403,3 parties par million. La moyenne mondiale pour 2017 ne sera disponible qu’à la fin de l’année 2018. Selon les données obtenues en temps réel pour un certain nombre de sites, la hausse des concentrations de CO2, de méthane et de protoxyde d’azote s’est poursuivie en 2017.

    Phénomènes extrêmes et impacts

    Cyclones tropicaux

    La saison cyclonique a été très active dans l’Atlantique Nord. L’énergie cyclonique cumulée (ACE), qui sert à exprimer l’intensité globale et la durée d’un cyclone, a atteint, en septembre, la valeur mensuelle la plus élevée jamais constatée.

    Trois grands ouragans à fort impact se sont suivis de près dans le bassin de l’Atlantique Nord, Harvey, qui a évolué en août, ayant cédé la place à Irma et Maria en septembre. Harvey a atterri au Texas alors qu’il était classé en catégorie 4 et est demeuré à proximité des côtes pendant plusieurs jours, provoquant des précipitations extrêmes et de graves inondations. Un pluviomètre installé près de Nederland, au Texas, a enregistré un cumul de pluie sur sept jours de 1539 mm (chiffre provisoire), soit la valeur la plus élevée jamais recensée pour un phénomène donné aux États-Unis (hors États insulaires).

    Irma et Maria ont tous deux atteint une intensité de catégorie 5 et fait des ravages sur plusieurs îles des Caraïbes et – pour ce qui est d’Irma – en Floride. Au milieu du mois d’octobre, Ophelia est passé au stade d’ouragan majeur (catégorie 3) alors qu’il était situé plus au nord–est, de plus d’un millier de kilomètres, que tous les ouragans jamais observés dans l’Atlantique Nord. Il a entraîné des dommages considérables en Irlande, tandis que les vents associés ont attisé de graves incendies au Portugal et dans le nord-ouest de l’Espagne.

    Selon l’équipe d’experts de l’OMM chargée des incidences du climat sur les cyclones tropicaux, même s’il n’existe pas de preuve manifeste que les changements climatiques ont une incidence sur la fréquence des ouragans qui se déplacent lentement et atteignent les zones habitées, tels que Harvey, tout semble indiquer que les changements climatiques dus aux activités humaines sont responsables d’une intensification des pluies et que l’élévation du niveau de la mer observée actuellement exacerbe les conséquences des ondes de tempête.

    Inondations

    Au mois d’août, des précipitations exceptionnellement fortes ont entraîné un glissement de terrain à Freetown, en Sierra Leone, faisant plus de 500 victimes. En deux semaines, la capitale a enregistré 1459,2 mm de pluie, soit environ le quadruple de la normale. En avril, à Mocoa, dans le sud de la Colombie, un glissement de terrain causé en partie par de fortes précipitations a fait au moins 273 victimes.

    De nombreuses régions du sous-continent indien ont été frappées par des inondations dues à la mousson, alors que globalement, la pluviosité saisonnière était proche de la normale. L’inondation la plus grave a touché, à la mi-août, l’est du Népal, le nord du Bangladesh, ainsi que la région limitrophe du nord de l’Inde. La ville indienne de Mawsynram a enregistré plus de 1 400 mm entre le 9 et le 12 août. À Rangpur (Bangladesh), les 11 et 12 août, il est tombé l’équivalent d’un mois de pluie (360 mm). Ces inondations ont fait plus de 1 200 victimes en Inde, au Bangladesh et au Népal, et plus de 40 millions de personnes déplacées ou sinistrées. Selon l’Organisation mondiale de la Santé, au Bangladesh, plus de 13 000 cas de maladies d’origine hydrique et d’infections respiratoires ont été signalés en l’espace de trois semaines au mois d’août, et au Népal, les établissements de santé publique ont subi des dégâts considérables.

    En mars, de nombreuses régions du Pérou ont été touchées par des inondations qui ont fait 75 victimes et 70 000 sans-abris. Selon l’Organisation des Nations Unies pour l’alimentation et l’agriculture (FAO), les pertes de récoltes ont été massives, en particulier pour ce qui est du maïs. En général, le Pérou subit ce type d’inondations lors de la dernière phase d’un épisode El Niño. Aucun épisode El Niño n’a été observé dans le bassin du Pacifique en 2017, mais la température de surface de la mer à proximité des côtes péruviennes en mars était supérieure de 2 °C ou plus à la normale et donc semblable aux valeurs caractéristiques d’un épisode El Niño.

    Au milieu de l’année, certaines régions du sud de la Chine ont dû faire face à de graves inondations, en particulier dans le bassin du Yang-Tsé. Le cumul de précipitations entre le 29 juin et le 2 juillet a atteint 250 mm. Cinquante-six victimes ont été signalées et les pertes économiques se chiffrent à plus de 5 milliards de dollars.

    Aux mois de janvier et de février, de fortes précipitations sont tombées sur l’ouest des États‑Unis, entraînant de graves inondations, de nombreux glissements de terrain et l’évacuation de dizaines de milliers de personnes. Le Nevada a connu l’hiver le plus humide depuis le début des relevés, alors que pour la Californie, cet hiver se place au deuxième rang des plus humides.

    Sécheresse

    Certaines régions d’Afrique de l’Est continuent d’être confrontées à une grave sécheresse. Après des précipitations nettement inférieures à la normale en 2016, la grande saison des pluies (mars à mai) a également été déficitaire en 2017 dans de nombreuses régions de la Somalie, la moitié nord du Kenya et le sud-est de l’Éthiopie.

    Selon la FAO, en Somalie, en juin 2017, plus de la moitié des terres arables était touchée par la sécheresse, et le cheptel a diminué de 40 à 60 % depuis décembre 2016. Selon les estimations du Programme alimentaire mondial (PAM), le nombre de personnes menacées par la famine en Somalie a doublé depuis février 2017, s’établissant à 800 000, ce qui signifie que la moitié du pays a besoin d’une aide. Le PAM a confirmé que plus de 11 millions de personnes faisaient face à une grave insécurité alimentaire en Somalie, en Éthiopie et au Kenya.

    De novembre 2016 à la mi-juin 2017, plus de 760 000 déplacements internes dus à la sécheresse ont été enregistrés en Somalie par le Réseau pour la surveillance des retours et des dispositifs de protection (PRMN), qui relève du Haut-Commissariat des Nations Unies pour les réfugiés (HCR).

    La sécheresse de 2017 a été déclarée catastrophe nationale au Kenya. Nairobi a fait face à des pénuries d’eau qui ont forcé les autorités municipales à rationner l’eau, alors que le prix des céréales s’envolait et que le PIB en souffrait.

    En Afrique australe, un été plus humide que la normale a atténué les répercussions de la sécheresse, bien que celle-ci se soit intensifiée dans la province du Cap.

    Au début de l’année 2017, en Californie, de fortes pluies hivernales ont atténué les effets de la sécheresse persistante, mais ont entraîné des inondations et contribué à la croissance de la végétation, ce qui a pu aggraver les incendies de forêt qui se sont déclarés plus tard dans l’année.

    De nombreuses régions méditerranéennes ont fait face à un déficit hydrique. La sécheresse la plus grave a sévi en Italie, dont la production agricole a souffert et où la production d’huile d’olive a baissé de 62 % par rapport à 2016. Moyennées sur l’ensemble du territoire italien de janvier à août 2017, les précipitations ont été inférieures de 36 % à la normale. En outre, la période janvier-août est la plus chaude que le pays ait connue depuis le début des relevés, l’anomalie positive atteignant 1,31 °C par rapport à la moyenne de la période 1981-2010. De nombreuses régions d’Espagne et du Portugal ont également été touchées par la sécheresse.

    En République populaire démocratique de Corée, les précipitations étaient inférieures à la normale, ce qui a eu des répercussions sur les cultures de base telles que le riz paddy et le maïs. En République de Corée, de janvier à juin, les précipitations ont été inférieures de 51 % à la normale, soit les valeurs les plus faibles depuis le début des relevés nationaux, en 1973.

    Grandes vagues de chaleur

    En janvier, une intense canicule a sévi dans certaines régions d’Amérique du Sud. Au Chili, des records de chaleur ont été battus à maints endroits, notamment à Santiago (37,4 °C). Le 27 janvier, à Puerto Madryn (Argentine), on a relevé 43,5 °C, soit la température la plus élevée jamais enregistrée aussi au sud (43° S) de la planète.

    Une grande partie de l’est de l’Australie a connu une chaleur extrême pendant les deux premiers mois de l’année, avec un pic de 47 °C les 11 et 12 février.

    Une chaleur exceptionnelle a frappé certaines régions de l’Asie du Sud-Ouest fin mai. Le 28 mai, le mercure a atteint 54,0 °C à Turbat, dans l’extrême ouest du Pakistan, près de la frontière iranienne, et a dépassé 50 °C en Iran et à Oman. On a relevé 53,7 °C à Ahvaz (Iran), le 29 juin. À Bahreïn, le mois d’août a été le plus chaud jamais enregistré.

    Pendant l’été, la ville de Shanghai (Chine) et l’observatoire de Hong Kong ont signalé de nouveaux records de chaleur: 40,9 °C et 36,6 °C, respectivement.

    Dans le sud de l’Espagne, le thermomètre affichait 46,9 °C à Cordoue le 12 juillet et 45,7 °C à Grenade le lendemain. Une vague de chaleur de grande ampleur a fait tomber des records de température dans le nord et le centre de l’Italie, en Croatie et dans le sud de la France début août.

    La Californie a vécu l’été le plus chaud de son histoire. D’autres États de l’ouest des États-Unis ont également souffert d’une chaleur extrême, laquelle a atteint son paroxysme fin août-début septembre, avec notamment une température record de 41,1 °C à San Francisco.

    Feux incontrôlés

    La chaleur extrême et la sécheresse ont été responsables de nombreux incendies de forêt dévastateurs.

    La sécheresse exceptionnelle de 2016, suivie d’un épisode de chaleur extrême en décembre 2016‑janvier 2017, a occasionné au cours de l’été austral 2016‑2017 les feux de forêt les plus importants de l’histoire du Chili. Ces feux ont causé la mort de 11 personnes et détruit 614 000 hectares de forêt, soit de loin le total saisonnier le plus élevé, avec des chiffres huit fois supérieurs à la normale. Toujours pendant l’été austral, diverses régions de l’est de l’Australie ainsi que la région de Christchurch (Nouvelle‑Zélande) ont été la proie de vastes incendies. La ville de Knysna, au sud de l’Afrique du Sud, a été elle aussi durement touchée par des incendies en juin.

    Dans le bassin méditerranéen, la saison des feux de forêt a été très intense. L’incendie le plus grave a coûté la vie à 64 personnes dans le centre du Portugal, en juin. Mi-octobre, de nouveaux incendies de grande ampleur, attisés par les vents violents de l’ouragan Ophelia, se sont déclarés au Portugal et dans le nord-ouest de l’Espagne. D’autres pays ont connu des incendies importants, notamment la Croatie, l’Italie et la France.

    Entre le 1er janvier et le 19 octobre, la superficie brûlée dans la partie continentale des États‑Unis (hormis l’Alaska) était supérieure de 46 % à la moyenne de la période 2007-2016. Au Canada, elle était supérieure de 51 % à la moyenne saisonnière, ce qui a engendré une pollution considérable par la fumée. Dans le nord de la Californie, l’hiver humide, propice à une forte densification de la végétation au sol, puis l’été chaud et sec ont créé les conditions idéales pour le déclenchement d’incendies très intenses début octobre. Ces incendies ont causé la mort d’au moins 41 personnes et sont ainsi les plus meurtriers que les États-Unis aient connus depuis 1918.

    Autres faits saillants

    En juillet, une vague de froid intense accompagnée de fortes chutes de neige s’est abattue sur certaines régions de l’Argentine. À Bariloche, après les abondantes chutes de neige de la veille, le mercure a chuté à –25,4 °C le 16 juillet, soit 4,3 °C de moins que le précédent record de froid. Des records de froid ont également été enregistrés dans la région du Golfe, au Moyen‑Orient, début février, et dans le sud-est de l’Australie, à l’intérieur des terres, au début du mois de juillet. Les –8,7 °C relevés alors à Canberra détrônent le précédent record, qui date de 1971.

    Aux États-Unis, la saison des tornades est la plus active que le pays ait connue depuis 2011, avec un total préliminaire de 1 321 tornades pour la période de janvier-août. Le nombre de tornades enregistrées en janvier était le deuxième plus élevé jamais observé.

    L’Organisation météorologique mondiale (OMM) est l’organisme des Nations Unies qui fait autorité pour les questions relatives au temps, au climat et à l’eau.

    Pour de plus amples renseignements, veuillez prendre contact avec:

    Clare Nullis, Attachée de presse (présente à Bonn à partir du 6/11/17): Tél: +41 22 730 84 78; Tél port.: +41 79 709 13 97 courriel: cnullis@wmo.int
    Michael Williams, Chef du Bureau de la Communication et des relations publiques (à Genève): Tél: +41 22 730 83 15; Tél port.: +41 79 406 47 30, courriel: mwilliams@wmo.int

    Notes à l’intention des rédacteurs
    Pour les températures de surface, l’OMM utilise trois jeux de données traditionnels: NOAAGlobalTemp, de l’Administration américaine pour les océans et l'atmosphère (NOAA), HadCRUT.4.6.0.0, du Centre Hadley du Service météorologique britannique et de la Section de recherche sur le climat de l’Université d’East Anglia (Royaume-Uni), et GISTEMP, produit par le Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), qui relève de l’Administration américaine pour l’aéronautique et l’espace (NASA). Pour permettre l’estimation des températures mondiales, ces jeux de données se fondent sur des mesures de la température de l’air à la surface des terres et de la température de l’eau à la surface des océans.

    L’OMM utilise également deux réanalyses qui s’appuient sur une gamme de données bien plus large, y compris des mesures satellitaires. Ces données sont combinées à l’aide d’un système de prévision météorologique afin d’obtenir une estimation complète et physiquement cohérente des températures de surface de chaque journée à l’échelle planétaire. Ainsi, il est possible d’obtenir une meilleure couverture dans les régions pour lesquelles les données sont traditionnellement rares, comme les régions polaires. Ces deux réanalyses sont ERA-Interim, du Centre européen pour les prévisions météorologiques à moyen terme, et JRA-55, du Service météorologique japonais. Malgré la grande différence de méthode, les estimations de la température moyenne mondiale produites par ces réanalyses présentent une bonne concordance avec les jeux de données classiques.

    La déclaration sur le climat utilise désormais comme référence la période 1981‑2010, et non plus la période 1961-1990 comme précédemment. L’OMM recommande d’utiliser la période 1981-2010 pour calculer les normales climatologiques standard à des fins de surveillance du climat car elle est plus représentative des conditions climatiques actuelles. En effet, elle permet d’exploiter tant les données de systèmes satellitaires et de réanalyse, dont certains ne peuvent remonter jusqu’à 1960, que les jeux de données traditionnels, reposant sur les observations de surface, et d’obtenir des résultats uniformes. La température moyenne pour cette période est supérieure d’environ 0,31±0,02 °C à celle de 1961-1990. Le changement de période de référence n’a aucune incidence sur l’analyse des tendances.

    Dans sa déclaration sur le climat, l’OMM utilise la période 1880-1900 comme référence pour les conditions prévalant à l’époque préindustrielle, ce qui permet de tirer parti des premières observations instrumentales pour estimer la température à cette époque-là.

    Les informations figurant dans le présent rapport proviennent d’un grand nombre de Services météorologiques et hydrologiques nationaux (SMHN) et d’organismes apparentés, ainsi que du Programme mondial de recherche sur le climat (PMRC) et de la Veille de l'atmosphère globale (VAG). Des renseignements ont également été fournis par plusieurs autres organismes des Nations Unies, dont l’Organisation des Nations Unies pour l'alimentation et l'agriculture (FAO), le Programme alimentaire mondial (PAM), l’Organisation mondiale de la Santé (OMS), le Haut‑Commissaire des Nations Unies pour les réfugiés (UNHCR), l’Organisation internationale pour les migrations (OIM), le Fonds monétaire international (FMI), la Stratégie internationale des Nations Unies pour la prévention des catastrophes (SIPC) et la Commission océanographique intergouvernementale (COI) de l’UNESCO.


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    Source: World Health Organization
    Country: Angola, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia

    Overview

    This Weekly Bulletin focuses on selected acute public health emergencies occurring in the WHO African Region. The WHO Health Emergencies Programme is currently monitoring 44 events in the region. This week’s edition covers key new and ongoing events, including:

    Dengue fever in Senegal

    Dengue fever in Burkina Faso

    Plague in Madagascar

    Marburg virus disease in Uganda

    Yellow fever in Nigeria

    Humanitarian Crisis in Central African Republic

    Humanitarian Crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

    For each of these events, a brief description followed by public health measures implemented and an interpretation of the situation is provided.

    A table is provided at the end of the bulletin with information on all new and ongoing public health events currently being monitored in the region, as well as events that have recently been closed.

    Major challenges include:

    The outbreak of dengue fever in Burkina Faso is rapidly increasing. While the overall case fatality rate is low, the manifestation of haemorrhagic syndrome among the deaths is concerning.

    The humanitarian situation in the Central African Republic is increasingly deteriorating, with shrinking humanitarian space.


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    Source: UN Development Programme
    Country: Sierra Leone

    STRENGTHENING SECURITY, JUSTICE AND SOCIAL COHESION IN BORDER COMMUNITIES

    Over 1 year, the project will enhance the safety and security of the men, women and children who were most affected by the Ebola crisis in 3750 remote border communities.

    Border communities in 7 border districts will improve community security, early warning systems and communications to prevent infectious disease outbreaks and other health and security threats.

    Expected results:

    Better security, cohesion and access to justice in remote border communities. Better, community-led early warning systems will prevent Ebola and other disease outbreaks and boost community cohesion. Awareness raising activities will be delivered on access to formal justice and improving its coordination with informal justice.

    Improved cross border coordination between neighbouring communities. Community policing will increase information sharing and build relationships between security agencies and community members.

    Improved livelihoods and social protection. 250 people that were hit uniquely hard by the Ebola crisis will get social protection. Conditional cash transfers, will help 500 young people get back on track, and generate 10,000 days worth of employment. 350 people will benefit from capacity building support.

    The project will be led by UNDP in cooperation with the Mano River Union, the Office of National Security, the Sierra Leone Police and health, justice and immigration partners – supporting both the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


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    Source: Cash Learning Partnership
    Country: Liberia, Sierra Leone

    In the wake of the 2014-2016 Ebola crisis, USAID/Food for Peace (USAID/FFP) decided to address the resulting food insecurity in Liberia and Sierra Leone via cash-transfer programming (CTP) rather than in-kind food aid. Information available at the time showed that markets were recovering as quarantines and other movement restrictions were lifted, making cash a viable option.

    Through nine implementing partners across the two countries, USAID/FFP helped over 500,000 people get the food that they needed during 2015 and 2016. Recipients of the cash grants reported an overall improvement of 27 percent against the household hunger scale and major improvements in dietary diversity.

    Once the decision to use CTP was made, partners needed to decide how to deliver the cash transfers. Early in the crisis, e-transfers were explored as a fast and secure tool to deliver assistance in such an unforeseen epidemic, and were quickly used to pay health workers. This experience served as the basis of analysis for USAID/FFP partners in planning their CTP response. Even though digital technology for CTP in Liberia and Sierra Leone was almost unheard of before 2014, nearly all partners initially planned to use e-transfers to deliver the cash.

    However, in both countries, the reality of mobile network coverage and local e-transfer capacity was much different in rural areas and urban centers. With inadequate facilities and a limited number of service providers, the potential for e-transfers was in fact very limited and not a viable mechanism for reaching most beneficiaries. Consequently, direct cash was used as the delivery mechanism for 93 percent of the unconditional cash transfers (UCT) across Liberia and Sierra Leone.

    This experience is not unique to the Ebola response, but this case shows the importance of localized context analysis and feasibility assessments. Evidence is not just important for measuring impact; it is also crucial for appropriate project design. Realities on the ground need to be considered from the outset. To do this, it is critical to build on the capacity and knowledge of local partners and NGOs implementing activities in crisis-affected areas.

    The case for CTP has broadly been made, but the devil is in the contextual details. As highlighted by speakers at CaLP’s Global Cash Forum (report available here), cash and voucher programs need to be carefully designed for each operating context. E-transfers provide an opportunity to deliver cash efficiently at scale, but the contexts in which e-transfer mechanisms are robust enough to meet all needs, let alone where a single provider can cover all needs, are currently limited. To design appropriate programs, we need to build an evidence base that looks systematically at the intersection between context, CTP design, and quality.

    For more information on CaLP’s work to address this evidence gap, see the Discussion note on Building evidence and developing guidance on operational models for CTP.

    For more on USAID/Food for Peace (USAID/FFP) Ebola Crisis response read our latest publication _" Cash Tranfers for Food Security in Epidemics. A Review of the USAID Food for Peace Response to the Ebola Crisis in Liberia and Sierra Leone" here.


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    Source: UN Children's Fund
    Country: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone

    Nigeria – Cholera outbreak in Borno state: Focus on the transmission context (September-October 2017)

    In collaboration with WASH, communication and health stakeholders, a field mission was organized to investigate cholera transmission contexts in the affected areas. It targeted the locations of Muna cholera treatment centre (CTC), Muna garage, Zanari and Shuwari 2, investigating 40 cholera cases and caretakers including 23 children. The objective was not to conduct a statistical study; nonetheless this field mission led the teams to observe and understand some of the risk factors and hence adapt their response and messages accordingly. For instance, children of 0-9 age group are representing 53.7% of the cholera suspected cases. Field observation highlighted how children are indeed at greater risk than parents as they are the ones taking care of their young brothers/sisters, handling faeces, while the mothers are out, working for the family. In addition, they saw how children continue having normal and frequent direct contacts with cholera patients inside the household or compound without appropriate hygiene practices; hygiene promotion campaigns usually target adults. These fields observations are extremely relevant to better apprehend the local transmission context and hence prioritize efficient interventions rather than a more general approach to cholera control.

    Nigeria – Flambées épidémiques de choléra dans l’état de Borno : Zoom sur le contexte de transmission (sept.-oct. 2017).

    Les partenaires des domaines de la santé, de l’Eau, Hygiène et Assainissement (EHA) et de la communica-tion ont organisé une mission terrain conjointe pour enquêter sur les contextes de transmission de choléra dans les zones affectées. Ils ont ciblé les zones du Centre de traitement de choléra de Muna, Muna garage, Zanari et Shuwari 2, interrogeant près de 40 personnes affectées par le choléra et leurs garde-malades dont 23 enfants. L’objectif n’était pas de mener une étude statistique mais bien de conduire les équipes de réponse par des observations concrètes de terrain à mieux comprendre les attitudes et pratiques locales à risque et ainsi, adapter et définir une réponse et des messages en cohérence. Par exemple, les enfants âgés de 0 à 9 ans forment le groupe le plus affecté avec 53,7% des cas rapportés en l’occurrence. Les ob-servations ont permis de mettre en évidence que ces enfants étaient en effet plus exposés car ils étaient en charge de leurs petits frères et soeurs le temps où leurs mères ou parents plus âgés sont contraints de s’absenter pour travailler à l’extérieur. Par ailleurs, ces enfants continuent des contacts réguliers et sans précaution particulière avec les personnes souffrant de choléra au sein du foyer par méconnaissance ; les messages d’hygiène étant principalement diffusés auprès d’adultes. Ces observation terrain sont extrême-ment importantes pour mieux appréhender le contexte local de transmission et ainsi prioriser des inter-ventions efficaces plutôt qu’une réponse parfois trop générique d’urgence choléra.


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    Source: World Meteorological Organization
    Country: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Bonaire, Saint Eustatius and Saba (The Netherlands), Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Canada, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Croatia, Cuba, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, France, Gabon, Guadeloupe (France), Guatemala, India, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Italy, Kenya, Malaysia, Mali, Martinique (France), Mauritania, Mongolia, Montserrat, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, Niger, Pakistan, Peru, Portugal, Puerto Rico (The United States of America), Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Saint Barthélemy (France), Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sierra Leone, Sint Maarten (The Netherlands), Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Thailand, Turks and Caicos Islands, United States of America, United States Virgin Islands, World

    WMO report highlights impacts on human safety, well-being and environment

    6 November 2017 (WMO) - It is very likely that 2017 will be one of the three hottest years on record, with many high-impact events including catastrophic hurricanes and floods, debilitating heatwaves and drought. Long-term indicators of climate change such as increasing carbon dioxide concentrations, sea level rise and ocean acidification continue unabated. Arctic sea ice coverage remains below average and previously stable Antarctic sea ice extent was at or near a record low.

    The World Meteorological Organization’s provisional Statement on the State of the Climate says the average global temperature from January to September 2017 was approximately 1.1°C above the pre-industrial era. As a result of a powerful El Niño, 2016 is likely to remain the warmest year on record, with 2017 and 2015 being second and/or third. 2013-2017 is set to be the warmest five-year period on record.

    The WMO statement – which covers January to September - was released on the opening day of the United Nations climate change conference in Bonn. It includes information submitted by a wide range of UN agencies on human, socio-economic and environmental impacts as part of a drive to provide a more comprehensive, UN-wide policy brief for decision makers on the interplay between weather, climate and water and the UN global goals.

    “The past three years have all been in the top three years in terms of temperature records. This is part of a long term warming trend,” said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas. “We have witnessed extraordinary weather, including temperatures topping 50 degrees Celsius in Asia, record-breaking hurricanes in rapid succession in the Caribbean and Atlantic reaching as far as Ireland, devastating monsoon flooding affecting many millions of people and a relentless drought in East Africa.

    “Many of these events – and detailed scientific studies will determine exactly how many – bear the tell-tale sign of climate change caused by increased greenhouse gas concentrations from human activities,” he said.

    Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of UN Climate Change which is hosting the Bonn conference, said: “These findings underline the rising risks to people, economies and the very fabric of life on Earth if we fail to get on track with the aims and ambitions of the Paris Agreement”.

    “There is unprecedented and very welcome momentum among governments, but also cities, states, territories, regions, business and civil society. Bonn 2017 needs to be the launch pad towards the next, higher level of ambition by all nations and all sectors of society as we look to de-risk the future and maximize the opportunities from a fresh, forward-looking and sustainable development path, “she added.

    Extreme events affect the food security of millions of people, especially the most vulnerable. A review of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) found that, in developing countries, agriculture (crops, livestock, fisheries, aquaculture and forestry) accounted for 26% of all the damage and loss associated with medium to large-scale storms, floods and drought.

    According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the global health impacts of heatwaves depend not only on the overall warming trend, but on how heatwaves are distributed across where people live. Recent research shows that the overall risk of heat-related illness or death has climbed steadily since 1980, with around 30% of the world’s population now living in climatic conditions that deliver prolonged extreme heatwaves. Between 2000 and 2016, the number of vulnerable people exposed to heatwave events has increased by approximately 125 million.

    In 2016, 23.5 million people were displaced during weather-related disasters. Consistent with previous years, the majority of these internal displacements were associated with floods or storms and occurred in the Asia-Pacific region. In Somalia, more than 760 000 internal displacements have been reported, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and International Organisation for Migration (IOM).

    The latest International Monetary Fund (IMF) World Economic Outlook indicates that adverse consequences are concentrated in countries with relatively hot climates and which are home to close to 60% of current global population.

    Selected Highlights

    Global temperatures in 2017

    Global mean temperature for the period January to September 2017 was 0.47°±0.08°C warmer than the 1981-2010 average (estimated at 14.31°C). This represents an approximately 1.1°C increase in temperature since the pre-industrial period. Parts of southern Europe, including Italy, North Africa, parts of east and southern Africa and the Asian part of the Russian Federation were record warm and China was the equal warmest. The northwestern USA and western Canada were cooler than the 1981-2010 average.

    Temperatures in 2016 and, to an extent, 2015, were boosted by an exceptionally strong El Niño. 2017 is set to be the warmest year on record without an El Niño influence. The five-year average 2013-2017 is provisionally 0.40°C warmer than the 1981-2010 average and approximately 1.03°C above the pre-industrial period and is likely to be the hottest on record.

    The WMO statement is based on five independently maintained global temperature data sets. WMO now uses 1981-2010 instead of the previous 1961-1990 baseline as it is more representative of current climatic conditions and allows for more consistent reporting of information from satellite and reanalysis systems (some of which do not extend back to 1960) alongside more traditional data sets based on surface-observations. The change in the baselines has no influence on trend analysis.

    Precipitation:

    Southern South America (particularly in Argentina), western China, and parts of southeast Asia were wetter than average. January to September was the wettest on record for the contiguous United States. Rainfall was generally close to average in Brazil, and near to above average in northwest South America and Central America, easing droughts associated with the 2015-16 El Niño. The 2017 rainy season saw above-average rainfall over many parts of the Sahel, with flooding in some regions (especially in Niger).

    All-India rainfall for the 2017 monsoon season (June to September) was 5% below average. However, above-average rainfall in the northeast, and adjacent countries led to significant flooding.

    The Canadian Prairies, the Mediterranean region, Somalia, Mongolia, Gabon and southwestern South Africa all received lower rainfall than average. Italy had its driest January to September on record.

    Ice and snow:

    Arctic sea-ice extent was well below average throughout 2017 and was at record-low levels for the first four months of the year, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center and the Copernicus Climate Change Service. The Arctic annual maximum extent in early March was among the five lowest in the 1979-2017 satellite record, and according to the NSIDC’s data was record low. The five lowest maximum extents have occurred since 2006.

    A strong and persistent low pressure system over the central Arctic helped to inhibit ice loss during the summer months. The Arctic sea ice extent minimum in mid-September was 25- 31% below the 1981-2010 average, and among the eight smallest minimum extents on record. The ten smallest minimum extents have all occurred since 2007.

    Antarctic sea ice extent was also well below average. The annual minimum extent in early March was record low, and the annual maximum extent in mid-October was at or near record low levels. Sea ice conditions in the Antarctic have been highly variable over the past several years with the record large sea ice extents occurring as recently as 2015.

    Northern Hemisphere snow cover extent was 10.54 million square km, near the median value in the 1967-2017 satellite record.

    The Greenland ice sheet saw an increase of more than 40 billion tons of ice due to above-average snowfall and a short melt season. Despite the gain in overall ice mass this year, it is only a small departure from the declining trend, with the Greenland ice sheet having lost approximately 3,600 billion tons of ice mass since 2002.

    Sea level:

    The global mean sea level (GMSL) is one of the best climate change indicators. Global mean sea level has been relatively stable in 2017 to date, similar to levels first reached in late 2015. This is because the temporary influence of the 2015-16 El Niño (during which GMSL peaked in early 2016 at around 10 millimeters above the 2004-2015 trend) continues to unwind and GMSL is reverting to values closer to the long-term trend. Preliminary data indicate that a rise in GMSL may have started to resume from July-August 2017 onwards.

    Ocean Heat:

    Global sea surface temperatures are on track to be among the three highest on record. Global ocean heat content in 2017 to date has been at or near record high levels. Elevated tropical sea surface temperatures which contribute to coral bleaching were not as widespread as during the 2015-16 El Niño. But some significant coral bleaching did still occur, including the Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. UNESCO reported in June that all but three of the 29 coral reefs with World Heritage listing had experienced temperatures consistent with bleaching at some point in the 2014-2017 period.

    Ocean Acidification:

    According to the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO the ocean absorbs up to 30% of the annual emissions of anthropogenic CO2 in the atmosphere, helping to alleviate the impacts of climate change on the planet. However, this comes at a steep ecological cost, as the absorbed CO2 changes acidity levels in the ocean. Since records at Aloha station (north of Hawaii) began in the late 1980s, seawater pH has progressively fallen, from values above 8.10 in the early 1980s to between 8.04 and 8.09 in the last five years.

    Ocean acidification is directly influencing the health of coral reefs and the survival and calcification of several key organisms. These have cascading effects within the food web and impact aquaculture and coastal economies.

    Greenhouse gases:

    The rate of increase in CO2 from 2015 to 2016 was the highest on record, 3.3 parts per million/year, reaching 403.3 parts per million. Global average figures for 2017 will not be available until late 2018. Real-time data from a number of specific locations indicate that levels of CO2, methane and nitrous oxide continued to increase in 2017.

    Extreme Events and Impacts

    Tropical cyclones

    The North Atlantic had a very active season. The Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) index, a measure of the aggregate intensity and duration of cyclones, had its highest monthly value on record in September.

    Three major and high-impact hurricanes occurred in the North Atlantic in rapid succession, with Harvey in August followed by Irma and Maria in September. Harvey made landfall in Texas as a category 4 system and remained near the coast for several days, producing extreme rainfall and flooding. Provisional seven-day rainfall totals reached as high as 1539 mm at a gauge near Nederland, Texas, the largest ever recorded for a single event in the mainland United States.

    It was the first time two Category 4 hurricanes (Harvey and Irma) made landfall in the same year in the USA. Irma had winds of 300 km/h for 37 hours – the longest on the satellite record at that intensity and spent three consecutive days as a Category 5 hurricane, also the longest on record. Like Irma, Maria also reached category 5 intensity and caused major destruction on a number of Caribbean islands. In mid-October, Ophelia reached major hurricane (category 3) status more than 1 000 kilometers further northeast than any previous North Atlantic hurricane. It caused substantial damage in Ireland, whilst winds associated with its circulation contributed to severe wildfires in Portugal and northwest Spain.

    The WMO Expert Team on Climate Impacts on Tropical Cyclones found that, whilst there is no clear evidence that climate change is making the occurrence of slow-moving, land-falling hurricanes such as Harvey more or less frequent, it is likely that human-induced climate change makes rainfall rates more intense, and that ongoing sea-level rise exacerbates storm surge impacts.

    Flooding

    Exceptionally heavy rain triggered a landslide in Freetown, Sierra Leone in August, killing more than 500 people. Freetown received 1459.2 mm of rain in two weeks, about four times higher than average. Heavy rainfall contributed to a landslide in Mocoa, southern Colombia, in April, with at least 273 deaths reported.

    Many parts of the Indian subcontinent were affected by monsoonal flooding, despite overall seasonal rainfall being near average. The most serious flooding occurred in mid-August in eastern Nepal, northern Bangladesh and nearby northern India. Mawsynram (India) received more than 1 400 mm from 9 to 12 August. Rangpur (Bangladesh) received a month’s worth of rain (360 mm) on 11-12 August. More than 1 200 deaths were reported in India, Bangladesh and Nepal, whilst more than 40 million people were displaced or otherwise affected. The World Health Organization indicated that in Bangladesh alone, more than 13 000 cases of waterborne diseases and respiratory infections were reported during three weeks in August, whilst extensive damage was reported to public health facilities in Nepal.

    Flooding affected many parts of Peru in March, killing 75 people and making 70,000 homeless. The Food and Agriculture Organization reported that there were significant crop production losses, particularly maize. Flooding of this type typically affects Peru during the late phase of El Niño events. Whilst there was no Pacific-wide El Niño during 2017, sea surface temperatures near the Peruvian coast in March were 2°C or more above average and similar to El Niño values.

    Major flooding occurred mid-year in parts of southern China, especially within the Yangtze River basin. Peak totals from 29 June to 2 July topped 250 mm. Fifty-six deaths were reported and economic losses were estimated at more than US$ 5 billion.

    Heavy rain affected the western United States in January and February caused substantial flooding, numerous landslides and the evacuation of tens of thousands of people. It was the wettest winter on record for Nevada, and the second-wettest for California.

    Drought

    Parts of east Africa continued to be seriously affected by drought. Following well-below-average rainfall in 2016, the 2017 “long rains” season (March to May) was also dry in many parts of Somalia, the northern half of Kenya, and southeastern Ethiopia.

    FAO reported that in Somalia, as of June 2017, more than half of the cropland was affected by drought, with herds reduced by 40-60% since December 2016. WFP estimates that the number of people on the brink of famine in Somalia has doubled to 800 000 since February 2017, with half the country needing assistance. WFP has confirmed that more than 11 million people are experiencing severe food insecurity in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya.

    From November 2016 to mid-June 2017, more than 760 000 drought-related internal displacements in Somalia were recorded by the Protection and Return Monitoring Network (PRMN), a United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) led project.

    Kenya declared the 2017 drought a national disaster. Nairobi faced water shortages that compelled city authorities to ration water, whilst cereal prices rose and GDP figures were hit.

    An above-average wet summer season eased drought conditions in southern Africa. But localized drought intensified in the Cape Province.

    Heavy winter rains in early 2017 eased long-term drought conditions in California, but resulted in some flooding, and contributed to vegetation growth which may have influenced the severity of wildfires later in the year.

    Many parts of the Mediterranean experienced dry conditions. The most severe drought was in Italy, hitting agricultural production and causing a 62% drop in olive oil production compared to 2016. Rainfall averaged over Italy for January-August 2017 was 36% below average. It was also Italy’s hottest January-August on record, with temperatures 1.31°C above the 1981-2010 average. Other dry areas included many parts of Spain and Portugal.

    The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was affected by below‑average rains, impacting key staple crops such as paddy and maize. In the Republic of Korea, rainfall from January to June was 51% below average, the lowest since national records began in 1973.

    Major heatwaves

    An extreme heatwave affected parts of South America in January. In Chile, numerous locations had their highest temperature on record, including Santiago (37.4°C). In Argentina, the temperature reached 43.5°C on 27 January at Puerto Madryn, the highest ever recorded so far south (43°S) anywhere in the world.

    Much of eastern Australia experienced extreme heat in January and February, peaking on 11-12 February when temperatures reached 47°C.

    Exceptional heat affected parts of southwest Asia in late May. On 28 May, temperatures reached 54.0°C in Turbat, in the far west of Pakistan near the Iranian border, and also exceeded 50°C in Iran and Oman. A temperature of 53.7°C was recorded at Ahwaz, Iran on 29 June, and Bahrain experienced its hottest August on record.

    The Chinese city of Shanghai and the Hong Kong Observatory reported new records of 40.9°C and 36.6 °C during summer.

    In the Mediterranean, Cordoba in southern Spain experienced 46.9°C on 12 July and Granada 45.7°C on 13 July. An extensive heatwave in early August led to temperature records in northern and central Italy, Croatia and southern France.

    California had its hottest summer on record and extreme heat affected other western states. This culminated in a major heatwave at the end of August and early September, which included a record high temperature (41.1°C) at San Francisco.

    Wildfires

    Extreme heat and drought contributed to many destructive wildfires.

    Chile had the most significant forest fires in its history during the 2016-2017 summer, after exceptionally dry conditions during 2016 followed by extreme heat in December and January. 11 deaths were reported, and a total of 614 000 hectares of forest were burnt, easily the highest seasonal total on record and eight times the long-term average. There were also significant fires during the 2016-2017 Southern Hemisphere summer in various parts of eastern Australia and in the Christchurch region of New Zealand, whilst the southern South African town of Knysna was badly affected by fire in June.

    It was a very active fire season in the Mediterranean. The worst single incident occurred in central Portugal in June, with 64 deaths. There were further major fire outbreaks in Portugal and northwestern Spain in mid-October, exacerbated by strong winds associated with Hurricane Ophelia.. Other significant fires affected countries including Croatia, Italy and France.

    The area burned in the contiguous United States from January to 19 October was 46% above the 2007-2016 average. The area burned in Canada was about 51% above the seasonal average and contributed to heavy smoke pollution. A wet winter, which allowed the heavy growth of ground vegetation, followed by a dry and hot summer, provided ideal conditions for high-intensity fires in northern California in early October. At least 41 deaths were reported, the worst loss of life in a wildfire in the United States since 1918.

    Other noteworthy events

    Severe cold and snow affected parts of Argentina in July. After heavy snow had fallen the previous day, the temperature reached −25.4°C in Bariloche on 16 July, 4.3°C below the previous lowest temperature on record there. Other regions where record low temperatures occurred in 2017 included some locations in inland southeastern Australia in early July, where Canberra had its lowest temperature (−8.7°C) since 1971, and the Gulf region in the Middle East in early February.

    The United States had its most active tornado season since 2011, with a preliminary total of 1 321 tornadoes in the January to August period, including the second-most active January on record.

    The World Meteorological Organization is the United Nations System’s authoritative voice on Weather, Climate and Water

    Media contacts:

    • Media Officer, Clare Nullis (from 6 November in Bonn): Tel: +41 22 730 84 78; Mobile: +41 79 709 13 97 email: cnullis@wmo.int
    • Chief of Communications and Public Affairs, Michael Williams (in Geneva): Tel: +41 22 730 83 15; Mobile: +41 79 406 47 30, email: mwilliams@wmo.int

    Notes for Editors:

    WMO uses three conventional surface temperature data sets – NOAA’s NOAAGlobalTemp data set, Met Office Hadley Centre and Climatic Research Unit HadCRUT.4.6.0.0 data set and NASA GISS’s GISTEMP data set. They use measurements of air temperature over land and sea-water temperature measurements over oceans to estimate temperatures around the globe.

    WMO also uses two reanalyses with a much wider range of input data, including measurements from satellites. The input data are combined using a weather forecasting system, which provides a globally complete, physically consistent estimate of surface temperatures for each day. They provide better coverage of regions, such as polar regions, where observations are historically sparse. The two reanalyses used in the statement are the ERA-Interim of the European Centre for Medium Weather Forecast and the JRA-55 of the Japan Meteorological Agency. Despite the very different approach, the estimates of global average temperature produced by these reanalyses are in good agreement with the conventional surface temperature datasets

    The provisional statement now uses 1981-2010 as a baseline. This takes the place of the 1961-1990 baseline used in previous reports. The 1981-2010 period is recommended by WMO to compute the climatological standard normal for climate monitoring purposes as it is more representative of current climatic conditions. It allows a consistent reporting of information from satellite and reanalysis systems, some of which do not extend back to 1960, alongside with traditional data sets based on surface-observations. For global average temperatures, the 1981-2010 period is approximately 0.31±0.02°C warmer than that of 1961-1990. The change in the baselines has no influence on trend analysis.

    In this WMO statement, the period 1880-1900 has been used as a reference period for pre-industrial conditions allowing early instrumental observations to be used for estimating pre-industrial temperature conditions.

    Information used in this report is sourced from a large number of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) and associated institutions, as well as the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) and the Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW). Information has also been supplied by a number of other UN agencies, including the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Food Program (WFP), the World Health Organization (WHO), the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO).


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    Source: CARE
    Country: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo, World

    GENDER INEQUALITY AND FINANCIAL EXCLUSION

    Women and girls in West Africa face some of the highest rates of gender inequality and financial exclusion in the world.1 Caused by entrenched structural social belief systems, values and cultural norms and practices, as well as a gap between the political will and the reality of the lives of women and girls in the region—these injustices are undeniably connected, resulting in a cycle of poverty that can affect entire families for generations.

    When women and girls are excluded financially, it means that men and boys also suffer economically. When women are unable to take positions of power and influence, the whole community suffers as a result.


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    Source: International Federation of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies
    Country: Sierra Leone

    Summary of major revisions made to emergency plan of action:

    Since launch of emergency appeal operation, most of planned activities under outcomes of disaster risk reduction, livelihood, health, WATSAN and strengthen National Society have been implemented.
    The operational update seeks to extend the emergency appeal to 30 June 2018, to enable IFRC to support SLRCS in meeting the immediate recovery needs of communities and individuals most affected by Ebola and to support their transition to resilient communities. The extension until June 2018 is sought to ensure successful completion of some remaining activities. The key focus of capacity building during the extension period will be finance and logistics management strengthening, that will enable SLRCS to be in a better position to efficiently and effectively deliver programmes. Finance management strengthening activities will be based on the finance capacity assessment conducted in February 2017. Finance management strengthening is also supported by the British Red Cross, as they have a well-established in country delegation and commitment to longer-term presence in Sierra Leone. The extension period will also provide the opportunity to SLRCS/IFRC successfully complete the construction of the two warehouses in Bo and Freetown, that will enhance SLRCS’ logistics capacity.

    The expenditure rate today of the operation has reached up to CHF 55,749,870 which represent 86.58% of the total budget and 93% of the total funding.

    Description of the disaster

    March - April 2014: Ebola outbreak first detected in Guinea; National Ebola Task Force established in Sierra Leone.

    May 2014: First Ebola case reported in Sierra Leone near the border with Guinea.

    June 2014: Emergency Appeal launched for 880,000 Swiss francs.

    July 2014: IFRC Appeal revision no. 1 issued for 1.36m Swiss francs.

    September and October 2014: Appeal revision no. 2 for 12.85m Swiss francs, followed by revision no. 3 for 41.1m Swiss francs.

    March and June 2015: Appeal revision no. 4 for 56.8m Swiss francs, followed by Appeal revision no. 5 for 95.0m Swiss francs to extend from emergency to recovery phase.

    April 2016: Appeal revision no. 6 for 90.5m Swiss francs for recovery activities.
    July 2017:

    November 2017: The revised Emergency Appeal no. 7 is launched on 4 July 2017 seeking a total of 64.3 million Swiss francs for 6.3m people.

    An Operation Update is issued, and the Emergency Appeal is extended to 30 of June 2018 The IFRC has been supporting the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society (SLRCS) to deliver recovery assistance and support to Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)-affected populations (including EVD survivors, orphans and vulnerable children; affected households; and Red Cross and community volunteers). Changing needs within communities affected by Ebola and ongoing consultation with vulnerable populations have revealed a need to refocus recovery efforts. The revised appeal of July 2017, focused on health and care, including community-based health (CBH), psychosocial support (PSS), disaster risk reduction, food security and livelihoods, and National Society development. The goal of post-EVD recovery was to re-establish the conditions for a quick return to a healthy society, with viable livelihoods, psychosocial well-being, economic growth and overall human development that can foster inclusive and resilient communities.

    Since the Ebola disease outbreak in 2014, the situation has evolved with a shift of focus from emergency response to preparedness and recovery. The planned activities within the period under review was to support a transition to routine, pre-Ebola services and increase efforts to restore livelihoods of Ebolaaffected communities, improve access to health services, and enhance the capacity of the NS, enabling it to respond to disasters in an effective and efficient manner.

    The interventions implemented in 2017 within food security and livelihoods included reskilling and reintegration of 1,300 SLRCS volunteers that were involved in EVD operations and supporting vulnerable EVD affected communities in 8 districts, in crop and livestock production activities, to enhance community resilience. The reskilling and reintegration project supported the volunteers through provision of alternative livelihoods opportunities, enabling them to acquire new skills.

    The summary includes key success features of the progress against outcomes to date.


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    Source: CARE
    Country: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo, World

    INTRODUCTION

    Women are on the Move in West Africa, organizing to fight poverty and social injustice in their communities. Increasing numbers of women and girls are mobilizing in savings groups in order to provide for their families. As a result of their financial empowerment, they are rising up to make their voices heard in decisionmaking processes, and fighting to achieve gender equality and influence policy makers. Across West Africa, the same phenomenon is taking place: women and girls are on the move to make a better future— savings groups are at the heart of this movement.

    CARE’s first savings group model was launched in 1991 in Niger by CARE Norway, known as Matu Masa Dubara (MMD), which can be translated as “Women on the Move”. The savings groups, based on the traditional “tontine” approach of collective savings, became known as Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs). VSLAs are made up of 15-30 members, predominantly poor, rural women who come together every week to save money, access loans and contribute to a collective insurance fund. Learn more about CARE’s VSLAs: https://youtu.be/CbEeC8xXdZ8. The groups have been a major driver of women’s economic empowerment and serve as a platform for financial inclusion and improving health, nutrition, and agricultural productivity. The MMD movement has also enabled women to use their voices, defend their rights, and participate in decisionmaking processes at local, national and regional levels.

    In the 25 years since CARE introduced savings groups in Niger, more than 3 million women and girls have become economically empowered and have seen their lives transformed as a result of their group membership. Over the next four years, CARE and our Women on the Move partners aim to expand savings group membership to 8 million women in West Africa, or 18 percent of the total women in the region (without Nigeria) whose circumstances mean they would benefit from joining a savings group.

    Take the example of Oumou, a 32-year-old mother of six from Niger. Married at the age of 14, she received little schooling and doesn’t know how to read or write. She doesn’t often participate in household decisions, and when her husband married off their oldest daughter at 12 years old, she didn’t dare to voice her objections. After her trading activities failed, she was no longer able to pay for her children’s schooling fees, and four of her children dropped out of school. In July 2017, Oumou joined the newly formed savings group in her village. She was inspired by the successful women she knew who were members of savings groups. Oumou says, “I hope to see my life changing for the better. And to see all these challenges I am facing become part of my past.” Oumou is at the beginning of her journey as a member of a savings group, but there are many more stories of women just like her who are part of a movement to empower women and girls in West Africa. Watch Fatchima’s story in a virtual reality film entitled Women on the Move that premiered at the SXSW Film Festival and was screened at the Sundance Film Festival in 2017: https://www.jauntvr.com/title/ecb0103a4f.


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    Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
    Country: Angola, 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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