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ReliefWeb - Updates on Sierra Leone

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    Source: UN Children's Fund
    Country: Sierra Leone

    By Aarunima Bhatnagar

    18 January 2018

    When travelling around Kabala city in Koinadugu district of Sierra Leone, there are times it feels like a corner of paradise on earth. The little guest house is surrounded by verdant mountains, capped by cotton-wool clouds above wooded slopes. There’s a slight nip in the air, which you don’t get back in the capital. Shortly after sunrise, there’s the smell of burning charcoal as the women start their day cooking. Others are hard at work pulling water out of the well, while the men sit around to smoke and talk politics.

    Today the plan is to visit the Yagala communities about an hour from Kabala. A flat tyre has given me time to write about my trip in the Northern Region.

    Driving past these communities, often far from a paved road, people are busy with their daily lives. It’s hard not to be constantly taking pictures, creating memories of beautiful Mama Salone (Sierra Leone). But one still sees the remnants of Ebola – posters, billboards, the skeletons of emergency care centres. It’s an issue that comes up repeatedly in community dialogues on how Ebola was pushed back by the communities themselves. I remember coming to the field when the Ebola epidemic was at its peak — the scenario of chaos, convoys of white vehicles, ambulances with blaring sirens, orange barriers around those in quarantine, and silent streets. Anywhere you turned was a flood of white cars, people from different agencies with their agency T-shirts, caps and jackets, on the ground supporting communities and families. It was busy! All you could hear on the radio were blaring Ebola jingles while public safety messages played on TV.

    Now, the same communities, streets and people, seem calm and relaxed. I guess that is the way of life: people adapt, survive and move on. As they say here, “Ebola don don!” (Ebola is finished).

    My mission was to monitor the Village Development Committees under the Girls’ Access to Education project, funded with UK aid from the British people through UNICEF. I sit with community members huddled together in a small courtyard. I am not a new face in the community. They know me, not by name, but as the “UNICEF lady.” A warm welcome awaits me like they know what I am here for. They jump straight into what impacts education for girls – from teenage pregnancies to school fees to caring for siblings, to the long distances to schools and broken bridges that make the journey even harder. What impresses me most is the knowledge within these communities: they are hard to reach, barely have food to eat but all — and I mean all — want their children, especially girls, to be educated. As one woman leader tells me, “Communities are engaging and are more aware – we feel empowered by being a part of Village Development Committees. These platforms have helped us give a voice.”

    Visiting rural areas of Sierra Leone never ceases to bring fresh surprises. There’s a natural beauty here that simply cannot be defined. In the last five days, I have travelled through Kambia, Port Loko, Bombali and Koinadugu districts. Due to the rainy season, farming communities are busy sowing paddy in the rice fields. With schools closed for the summer break, children join in the farming, and help their parents cook and clean. On our drive to Bombali and Koinadugu, the highway is smooth apart from the occasional hill and mountain with regular groups of homes on view alongside the road. Life here is far from electricity, television and the Internet. Looking out the car window, I see communities huddled around a small fire, cooking, talking and singing. Women are wrapped in a laapa (two yards of cloth just enough to cover them). Possessions are few, but there are smiles here.

    As my white UNICEF vehicle rumbles down the highway, children, women and sometimes men wave, calling out “Aputo, aputo!” (a white person). You stop at a checkpoint and a large crowd throngs at your side window to sell groundnut, cucumber and cassava root. This time around, as I’ve travelled without a stock of crisps and cashews from Freetown, I enjoy roasted corn, warm groundnut and cassava root from the roadside. Nothing beats the freshness of these roadside snacks. Mama Salone at its best.

    Aarunima Bhatnagar worked as a Communications for Development Specialist for UNICEF Sierra Leone during the Ebola response and recovery

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    Source: Aon Benfield UCL Hazard Research Centre
    Country: Australia, China, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, India, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Mexico, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, United States of America, Viet Nam, World, Zimbabwe

    This report evaluates the impact of the natural disasters and extreme weather events that occurred worldwide during 2017 and provides an overview of global economic losses.

    The report reveals that there were 330 natural catastrophe events in 2017 that generated economic losses of USD353 billion – of which 97 percent (USD344 billion) was due to weather-related events, including Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria in the US and Caribbean, plus Typhoon Hato in China and Cyclone Debbie in Australia. For historical context, 2017's natural catastrophe losses were 93 percent higher versus the 2000-2016 average.

    Insured losses to the private sector and government-sponsored programs were among the costliest ever incurred, reaching USD134 billion in 2017 – just behind the record USD137 billion in 2011.

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    Source: Concern Worldwide
    Country: Sierra Leone

    Written by Kieran McConville

    It really doesn’t look like much – two men and a woman on a crumbling concrete porch hammering and bending bits of old metal into seemingly random shapes. But this is what transformation looks like.

    An old oil drum, from the words embossed on its side probably originating in France, is changing form into something which will positively impact the lives of these three people, their families, their neighbors and – in its own small way – the planet on which they live those lives.


    “Every day I would spend hours in the forest, cutting wood, and making coal to sell in Masimbi. I don’t have to do that now,” says Marie Sesay, one of the people working on the oil drum. What they are doing is making “wonderstoves” – at least that’s what they seem to have been christened in these parts. We’re in Tonkolili, Sierra Leone.

    Technically they’re called eco-stoves and the concept, as explained by Concern’s Samuel Masimbi, is simple. “People here traditionally used three stones and firewood or charcoal (the “coal” Marie referred to) for cooking, which is really very wasteful of fuel. The eco-stove is much more energy efficient.”


    In a nutshell, an eco-stove allows a much greater degree of control over air intake and temperature by keeping the fire in an enclosed environment and using a damper system. Also, metal stoves are much better conductors of heat and help to reduce the risk of accidental burning from stray embers.

    They can be made from all sorts of scrap metal – old cars, bits of machinery, even roofing. “Concern helped us at the start with training and materials,” explains Essa Kamara. Now kids go around collecting metal and we buy it from them.”


    While the technology may be pretty simple, the impact is really impressive. Scrap metal is recycled at very little cost and provides an income for those involved in manufacturing process. “The stoves we are building we sell in neighboring communities and in places like Kono,” explains Isse Conteh. “I was a farmer before I started this – and I still do some farming – but this is my main job now.”

    For those who use the stoves, life is changed too. Marie herself is one of them. “We have less work fetching wood, and now charcoal lasts for a month, so people spend less money.” And the money she makes on sales goes towards paying for her children’s school fees. “I am willing and ready to help other women,” she says. “I have benefited and I would like to pass on my knowledge to others.”


    Then there’s the spinoff for our precious and beautiful planet. Deforestation is a major problem in Sierra Leone and trees provide not only the effect of a green “lung” to ingest pollution, but also act as an anchor to the soil during the torrential downpours of the rainy season. The deadly dangers of landslides have become abundantly clear in recent times. Also, less wood burnt means less air pollution, both in the home and in the atmosphere (the impact on health of domestic cooking smoke in developing countries is actually a very serious problem.)

    So this is a win win win situation for everyone – and proof that transformation need not be spectacular or high tech. In this case the irony of a container for one destructive fossil fuel becoming the crucible for more sustainable energy production is pretty sweet.

    Stoves From Scrap

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    Source: World Food Programme
    Country: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo

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    Source: World Food Programme
    Country: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo

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    Source: HelpAge International
    Country: Sierra Leone, World

    HelpAge International and 55 of its global network members and partners across Africa are urging African leaders to speed up the ratification of a key protocol on older people's rights when they meet at the African Union in Addis Ababa this week.

    The organisations have urged heads of government to follow up the agreement of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights on the Rights of Older Persons with the development of plans and strategies to implement the protocol at all levels of African society.

    Adopted in January 2016, the Protocol on the Rights of Older Persons is the product of many years of consultations and brought to the fore commitments made by African States in the 2002 African Union Policy Framework and Plan of Action on Ageing.

    Dr Prafulla Mishra, Africa Regional Director, HelpAge International said: "As we mark the protocol’s second anniversary, only four member states have signed it and no single member has ratified it. This is a big setback for older people across the continent and goes against the spirit of the protocol’s adoption as older women and men in Africa continue to face discrimination, abuse, neglect and violence in social, cultural and political spheres.

    "The adoption of the protocol led to widespread celebrations by older people and wider society who viewed it as a commitment by African leaders to make ageing a positive experience. These people must not be let down."

    In Sierra Leone, older people recovering from the many years of civil wars and the ravages of Ebola looked to the protocol as a clear platform to engage their government, according to the Current Evangelism Ministries, an interfaith Christian consortium of 500 churches and related groups and HelpAge global network member.

    The consortium's chief executive Rev Dr Augustine Lansana said: "As things stand now, if governments support older people, it is out of kindness. Their actions are not based on older people's fundamental human rights.

    "The protocol, if ratified and implemented, has the potential to transform this and significantly improve the wellbeing and quality of life of millions of older women and men in Sierra Leone and across Africa. Older people hope its adoption would ensure they are treated with dignity and respect, and as equal members of society."

    The Tanzania Government has reiterated its positive position on developing and implementing age-friendly policies, plans and programmes, but older people say they are still waiting to see the promises turn into action.

    "By ratifying the protocol, governments would be practising what they preach by granting and safeguarding the rights of older people," said Elisha Mwamkinga, Executive Director at the Good Samaritan Social Services Trust, a HelpAge global network member in Tanzania.

    The adoption of the African Union Protocol on the Rights of Older Persons has come at a time of great optimism, coinciding with world leaders adopting the Sustainable Development Goals and African governments passing Agenda 2063.

    "While these two agreements commit to promoting human rights-based approaches to eliminating inequality, exclusion and discrimination, the Protocol on the Rights of Older Persons provides age-friendly guidelines to meet these aspirations," added Dr Prafulla.

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    Source: UN Children's Fund
    Country: Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, World

    Women and children in the West and Central Africa region remain vulnerable to a range of humanitarian crises, including lack of access to basic social services, forced displacement, drought, flooding, epidemics and acute malnutrition. Conflicts in the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Lake Chad Basin have led to mass displacement, both internally and across borders. More than 8 million people across the region—more than half of whom are children—are displaced.1 The nutrition crisis in the Sahel continues to place the most marginalized children at risk. More than 5.4 million children under 5 are suffering from severe acute malnutrition (SAM) across the region.2 In 2017, grave violations of children's rights were documented in the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali and the Lake Chad Basin. Conflicts across the region are further impacting education systems and depriving more than 8 million children of schooling.3 Cholera outbreaks continue to affect the Congo River, Lake Chad, Mano River and Niger River basins, with more than 48,700 cholera cases reported in 2017.4 In several countries, the elections planned for 2018 may lead to civil unrest.

    Regional humanitarian strategy

    In 2018, UNICEF's West and Central Africa Regional Office will continue to support humanitarian action for crisis-affected children and women. This includes supporting country-level preparedness actions by monitoring risks and providing technical support for the roll-out of the new Emergency Preparedness Platform, which will be linked to annual planning to strengthen the humanitarian-development nexus. The Regional Office will also work with country offices to strengthen early recovery in humanitarian response. Country offices will receive multi-sectoral technical support in the areas of nutrition, health, HIV and AIDS, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), Communication for Development, child protection, education and emergency coordination and operations. Support will also cover the responses to cholera, meningitis, measles and other epidemics. The Regional Office will continue to apply an integrated nutrition response, focusing on the crises in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Lake Chad Basin and the Sahel. The priority will be the integrated management of acute malnutrition, focusing on life-saving SAM treatment, as well as malnutrition prevention through support for infant and young child feeding and the promotion of essential family practices. SAM treatment and prevention will remain part of an integrated package of interventions that includes health, WASH, education, promotion of essential family practices and psychosocial support. The Regional Office will continue to support the Regional Cholera Platform and implement cholera prevention activities in high-risk areas. Key child protection activities will be strengthened, particularly in the context of cross-border and sub-regional emergency responses such as the Lake Chad Basin crisis. The Regional Office will prioritize reaching children associated with armed groups and forces, children in detention, and/or children who are unaccompanied and separated from their families, while providing mental health and psychosocial support. Monitoring of grave violations will also be prioritized for crisis-affected children. In addition, the Regional Office will support the implementation of the Safe Schools Strategy, provide technical guidance on protective learning environments and strengthen coordination and information management for country offices and clusters. Rapid response capacity will be maintained for mapping and rapid assessment, surge staff deployments and regional supply hub stock pre-positioning to enable timely and cost-effective response. Capacities for monitoring and evaluation, including third-party monitoring in hard-to-reach areas, will be strengthened. Public advocacy efforts will remain focused on countries in crisis to ensure that the rights and well-being of children in emergencies are at the centre of the global agenda and adequate resources are made available.

    Results from 2017

    As of 31 October 2017, UNICEF had US$32 million available against the US$39.5 million appeal (81 per cent funded).5 In 2017, The Regional Office provided multi-sectoral support to the responses in the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Lake Chad basin, as well as the Congo, Mali and Sierra Leone. Information management and preparedness were also supported across the region. With the support of the Regional Office, the Congo established an emergency team and responded to the displacement crisis in the Pool region. Technical nutrition support was provided for the crises in the Sahel and the Lake Chad basin. Cross-border coordination and information sharing were strengthened to harmonize programme interventions. The Regional Office also continued to support the Regional Cholera Platform, including prevention activities carried out through the Platform to prevent outbreaks in high-risk areas. These activities have contributed to reducing cholera incidence in the region over the past three years.6 Grave violations against children were monitored and reported in seven conflict-affected countries, which served as a critical entry point for child protection programming in the context of armed conflict. Advocacy initiatives rolled out in 2017 highlighted the plight of children in humanitarian crises.

    Funding requirements

    For 2018, UNICEF is requesting US$13,250,000 to provide technical support and coordination for emergency preparedness and response in the West and Central Africa region. Funds may be used to respond to emergencies in countries without a separate humanitarian appeal and that may not benefit from inter-agency flash appeals. Support is also needed to scale-up preparedness and response programming in volatile countries at risk of civil unrest. The funds received in 2017 were essential to UNICEF's response in the region, and continued support will be instrumental to the organization's ability to address the humanitarian needs of children and women in 2018.

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    Source: International Committee of the Red Cross, International Federation of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies
    Country: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guinea, Iraq, Liberia, Myanmar, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, World, Yemen

    In Brief...

    Thousands more flee violence in Myanmar

    Aid agencies now estimate that some 400,000 people fleeing violence in Myanmar have crossed the border into Bangladesh. “They arrive hungry and dehydrated,” says Mozharul Huq, secretary general of the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society. “We’re distributing emergency food supplies, but it isn’t enough.” The National Society was particularly concerned that children, pregnant women and older people would become malnourished and sick. The IFRC, ICRC and other National Societies also provided food and purified water. “Our teams of doctors, nurses and paramedics are treating hundreds of injured and sick people but the queues keep getting longer,” Huq says.

    Movement mourns more aid worker killings

    More Movement aid workers have tragically lost their lives after being deliberately targeted in violent attacks. In September, a physiotherapist in ICRC’s rehabilitation centre in Mazare-Sharif,
    Afghanistan, was shot, apparently by a patient, as she went about her daily work helping people relearn how to walk or complete other tasks after losing limbs or suffering from other disabilities. Lorena Enebral Perez, from Spain, was 38 years old. This senseless tragedy came three days after an ICRC truck driver, Lukudu Kennedy Laki Emmanuel, was shot and killed in South Sudan. Known as kind, fun-loving and generous, Emmanuel was delivering essential goods when the convoy of trucks he was part of came under fire. In June, a volunteer for the Central African Red Cross Society, Joachim Ali was killed by an unidentified armed group while on duty at a Red Cross compound in the town of Bangassou. “He was a young, brave man. He was committed and dedicated to his work,” said Antoine Mbao-Bogo, president of the Central African Red Cross Society.

    Red Cross played major role in fighting Ebola

    Red Cross volunteers potentially averted more than 10,000 cases of Ebola during the 2013–2016 West African outbreak, according to a recent study in the journal PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases. The study measured the impact of safe and dignified burial (SDB) teams and the role of community health workers during the Ebola outbreak, during which Red Cross teams in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone took on the dangerous and crucial task of safely burying people who had died of Ebola. One Sierra Leone Red Cross Society volunteer, Alpha Sesay, recalls how people called them ‘the Ebola boys’ and often treated them harshly. “Those Ebola boys are coming!” Sesay recalls them saying. “It was not really easy for us.” Meanwhile, the experience of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in responding to Ebola was one reason that an outbreak in May 2017,which took the lives of at least four people, was contained within only two months. “The Red Cross has responded to all past Ebola outbreaks in the country and has a strong network of experts,” said Grégoire Mateso, president of the Red Cross of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

    122 states adopt treaty on prohibition of nuclear weapons

    Seventy-two years after the ICRC and other International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement members first called for the elimination of nuclear weapons, 122 countries attending a United Nations conference adopted the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in July. Although a large number of states did not attend the conference and a few have already announced they will not become party to the treaty, a joint IFRC and ICRC statement said the treaty “confirms that a clear majority of states unequivocally rejects nuclear weapons on moral, humanitarian and now legal grounds”.

    Fighting in Mosul ends, leaving lifelong scars

    Although military operations in Mosul, Iraq, came to an end in July, massive humanitarian needs remain — for both those inside the city and the more than 800,000 people still displaced. For those trying to return home, the challenges are many. Neighbourhoods are scarred by heavy fighting with thousands of homes, hundreds of roads and bridges, and many water stations, electricity plants, hospitals and schools completely destroyed. The ICRC has rehabilitated key water pumping stations in the eastern part of Mosul and has engaged in numerous projects in west Mosul. By early July, an ICRC mobile surgical team operating in Mosul General Hospital had received more than 650 cases. The Iraqi Red Crescent Society, meanwhile, has delivered hot meals and food baskets, set up water points and provided psychosocial support to people in camps outside Mosul, as well as in and around the city.

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    Source: International Committee of the Red Cross, International Federation of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies
    Country: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guinea, Iraq, Liberia, Myanmar, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, World, Yemen

    En Bref...

    Exode causé par la violence au Myanmar

    Les organisations humanitaires estiment que près de 400 000 personnes fuyant la violence au Myanmar ont déjà gagné le Bangladesh. «Les gens arrivent affamés et déshydratés», explique Mozharul Huq, secrétaire général du Croissant-Rouge du Bangladesh. «Nous distribuons des secours alimentaires d’urgence, mais cela ne suffit pas.» La Société nationale redoute particulièrement que les enfants, les femmes enceintes et les personnes âgées soient sousalimentées et tombent malades. la FICR, le CICR et d’autres Sociétés nationales ont aussi fourni des vivres et de l’eau purifiée. «Nos équipes de médecins, d’infirmières et d’agents de santé soignent des centaines de blessés et de malades, mais les files d’attente sont toujours plus longues.»

    Le Mouvement pleure de nouvelles pertes

    De nouveaux collaborateurs du Mouvement ont perdu la vie après avoir été délibérément pris pour cibles dans des attaques violentes. En septembre, une kinésithérapeute du centre de rééducation du CICR à Mazar-i-Sharif (Afghanistan) a été abattue, apparemment par un patient, alors qu’elle accomplissait son travail quotidien en aidant des patients à réapprendre à marcher ou à accomplir d’autres tâches après avoir perdu un membre ou en raison d’autres handicaps. De nationalité espagnole, Lorena Enebral Perez était âgée de 38 ans. Trois jours avant cette tragédie absurde, un chauffeur de camion du CICR, Lukudu Kennedy Laki Emmanuel, était abattu au Soudan du Sud. Cet homme affable, généreux, qui aimait rire, était en train d’acheminer des produits essentiels quand son convoi a été pris sous les tirs. Au mois de juin, un volontaire de la Société de la CroixRouge centrafricaine, Joachim Ali, a été tué par un groupe armé non identifié alors qu’il était en poste dans des locaux de la Croix-Rouge dans la ville de Bangassou. «C’était un jeune homme courageux, engagé et dévoué dans son travail», a déclaré Antoine Mbao-Bogo, le président de la Société nationale.

    La Croix-Rouge, essentielle pour vaincre Ebola

    Selon une étude parue récemment dans la revue PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, les volontaires Croix-Rouge auraient évité plus de 10 000 cas de maladie à virus Ebola pendant l’épidémie de 2013-2016 en Afrique de l’Ouest. L’étude a quantifié les effets de l’action des équipes d’inhumations sans risque et dans la dignité et du rôle joué par les agents de santé communautaires durant l’épidémie, au cours de laquelle les équipes Croix-Rouge ont assumé la tâche périlleuse et essentielle d’enterrer de manière sûre les victimes en Guinée, au Libéria et en Sierra Leone. Un volontaire de la Croix-Rouge de Sierra Leone, Alpha Sesay, se souvient que la population les appelait «les Ebola» et leur réservait souvent un bien mauvais accueil. «Ce n’était vraiment pas facile pour nous.» L’expérience acquise dans la lutte contre Ebola en République démocratique du Congo est l’un des facteurs qui ont permis de juguler en deux mois à peine une nouvelle flambée qui a fait au moins quatre victimes en mai 2017. «La CroixRouge a réagi à toutes les flambées précédentes d’Ebola dans le pays et dispose d’un solide réseau d’experts», a déclaré Grégoire Mateso, président de la Croix-Rouge de la République démocratique du Congo.

    122 États adoptent un traité sur l’interdiction des armes nucléaires

    Soixante-douze ans après le premier appel lancé par le CICR et d’autres membres du Mouvement international de la Croix-Rouge et du Croissant-Rouge pour l’élimination des armes nucléaires, 122 pays participant à une conférence des Nations Unies ont adopté en juillet un traité sur l’interdiction des armes nucléaires. Bien qu’un nombre important d’États n’aient pas participé à la conférence et qu’un petit nombre aient déjà annoncé qu’ils n’adhéreraient pas au traité, la FICR et le CICR ont affirmé dans une déclaration conjointe que le traité confirmait «qu’une nette majorité d’États rejette catégoriquement les armes nucléaires pour des raisons d’ordre moral, humanitaire et, désormais, juridique.»

    Une ville des Philippines prise dans les combats

    Les combats entre forces gouvernementales et un groupe armé dans la ville de Marawi (Philippines) ont provoqué le déplacement d’un grand nombre de personnes qui ont besoin d’assistance. Au cours de la première semaine de combats au mois de mai, le CICR et la Croix-Rouge philippine ont distribué des rations alimentaires, pris des mesures d’approvisionnement en eau et d’assainissement et fourni des articles de ménage et d’hygiène aux personnes déplacées. Au début du mois de juillet, le CICR avait déjà évacué plus de 700 personnes. Le CICR a aussi livré de grandes quantités de secours médicaux aux dispensaires ruraux et aux hôpitaux, submergés par l’afflux de personnes déplacées. «Je suis reconnaissant parce que ma famille est enfin réunie et nous sommes en sécurité, déclare Casamudin Riga, un négociant de 51 ans. Nous espérons pouvoir bientôt rentrer chez nous et reprendre une vie normale.»

    Mossoul : les armes se taisent, mais les séquelles seront durables

    Les opérations militaires à Mossoul (Irak) se sont achevées en juillet, mais les besoins humanitaires demeurent immenses, tant pour les habitants restés dans la ville que pour les personnes déplacées, qui sont encore plus de 800 000. Ceux qui veulent revenir se heurtent à bien des obstacles. Les quartiers sont marqués par la violence des combats : des centaines de routes et de ponts, ainsi que bien des stations d’approvisionnement en eau, centrales électriques, hôpitaux et écoles sont entièrement détruits. Le CICR a remis en état des stations de pompage essentielles dans le secteur est de la ville et lancé de nombreux projets dans les quartiers occidentaux. Au début du mois de juillet, une équipe chirurgicale mobile qui apporte son soutien à l’hôpital général de Mossoul avait pris en charge plus de 650 patients.

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    Source: World Health Organization
    Country: Sierra Leone

    In December 2017 with support from WHO, Helen Keller International and partners, the Ministry of Health and Sanitation held a two-day meeting in Freetown to assess progress towards the elimination and control of onchocerciasis. During the meeting the country also launched its revised five-year National Action Plan (2016-2020) for Neglected Tropical disease (NTD) elimination.

    Onchocerciasis, or 'river blindness', is a vector-borne disease spread through the repeated bites of infected blackflies. Symptoms include severe itching, disfiguring skin conditions, and visual impairment, including permanent blindness.

    Targeted for elimination by the year 2020, the disease is present in 12 of Sierra Leone’s 14 districts, with approximately six million people at risk.

    Building on progress made

    Despite its geographical spread, significant progress has been made in reducing the number of onchocerciasis infections among the general population. For control of the disease, WHO recommends treatment with ivermectin at least once yearly for between 10 to 15 years.

    In endemic communities, Sierra Leone has conducted a total of twelve rounds of integrated Mass Drug Administration campaigns against the disease from 2005 to 2017, through a network of trained Community Health Worker volunteers.

    As per the World Health Organization recommendation for NTD elimination, a country Technical Advisory Committee nominated by the Chief Medical Officer of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation was formed and officially inaugurated at the meeting to advise the NTDs Programme.

    WHO response

    WHO provides technical guidance and advocate to government and partners for the control of NTDs.

    The WHO Regional Office for Africa currently supervises ESPEN which coordinates NTD control and elimination activities in the region.

    For Additional Information or to Request Interviews, Please contact:
    KEENAN, Laura

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

    Le Réseau de systèmes d’alerte précoce contre la famine (FEWS NET) surveille les tendances des prix des aliments de base dans les pays vulnérables à l'insécurité alimentaire. Pour chaque pays et chaque région couvert par FEWS NET, le Bulletin des prix fournit un ensemble de graphiques indiquant les prix mensuels de l’année commerciale en cours pour certains centres urbains, et permettant à l’utilisateur de comparer les tendances actuelles à la fois aux moyennes quinquennales, qui indiquent les tendances saisonnières, et aux prix de l'année précédente.

    L'Afrique de l’Ouest peut être divisée en trois zones agro-écologiques ou en trois bassins commerciaux (bassins de l’ouest, bassin du centre, bassin de l’est). Les deux sont importants pour l'interprétation du comportement et de la dynamique du marché.

    Les trois principales zones agro-écologiques incluent la zone Sahélienne, la zone Soudanaise et la zone Côtière où la production et la consommation peuvent être facilement classifiées. (1) Dans la zone Sahélienne, le mil constitue le principal produit alimentaire cultivé et consommé en particulier dans les zones rurales et de plus en plus par certaines populations qui y ont accès en milieux urbains. Des exceptions sont faites pour le Cap Vert où le maïs et le riz sont les produits les plus importants, la Mauritanie où le blé et le sorgho et le Sénégal où le riz constituent des aliments de base. Les principaux produits de substitution dans le Sahel sont le sorgho, le riz, et la farine de manioc (Gari), avec les deux derniers en période de crise. (2) Dans la zone Soudanienne (le sud du Tchad, le centre du Nigéria, du Bénin, du Ghana, du Togo, de la Côte d'Ivoire, le sud du Burkina Faso, du Mali, du Sénégal, la Guinée Bissau, la Serra Leone, le Libéria) le maïs et le sorgho constituent les principales céréales consommées par la majorité de la population. Suivent après le riz et les tubercules particulièrement le manioc et l’igname. (3) Dans la zone côtière, avec deux saisons de pluie, l’igname et le maïs constituent les principaux produits alimentaires. Ils sont complétés par le niébé, qui est une source très significative de protéines.

    Les trois bassins commerciaux sont simplement connus sous les noms de bassin Ouest, Centre, et Est. En plus du mouvement du sud vers le nord des produits, les flux de certaines céréales se font aussi horizontalement. (1) Le bassin Ouest comprend la Mauritanie, le Sénégal, l’ouest du Mali, la Sierra Leone, la Guinée, le Libéria, et la Gambie où le riz est le plus commercialisé. (2) Le bassin central se compose de la Côte d'Ivoire, le centre et l’est du Mali, le Burkina Faso, le Ghana, et le Togo où le maïs est généralement commercialisé. (3) Le bassin Est se rapporte au Niger, Nigéria, Tchad, et Bénin où le millet est le plus fréquemment commercialisé. Ces trois bassins commerciaux sont distingués sur la carte ci-dessus.

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    Source: US Agency for International Development
    Country: Sierra Leone, United States of America


    • In addition to causing severe health impacts throughout the country, the 2014-2016 Ebola epidemic undermined food security in Sierra Leone. Many households experienced new or increased food insecurity as the outbreak disrupted income-generating opportunities, decreased purchasing power and restricted movements and market activities.

    • Chronic poverty also contributes to hunger in Sierra Leone. The UN World Food Program and the World Bank report that over half of the population lives under the national poverty line. According to the 2017 Global Hunger Index,
      Sierra Leone faces an alarming level of hunger, with approximately 38 percent of children younger than 5 years of age suffering from stunting, a manifestation of chronic malnutrition.

    • As of January, recent harvests and normal labor activities are enabling poor households across the country to meet their food needs and face Minimal (IPC 1) levels of food insecurity, according to the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET).*


    • During the Ebola response, USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (FFP) partnered with non-governmental organizations ACDI/VOCA, CARE, Catholic Relief Services, Save the Children and World Vision to provide much needed food assistance to households impacted by the Ebola epidemic. This support, provided through a mix of targeted cash transfers, agricultural input vouchers and other complementary activities, boosted food access and household purchasing power while simultaneously strengthening local markets. In addition, FFP supported FEWS NET to increase food security monitoring and reporting in countries affected by the outbreak, enabling decision-makers to better address Ebola-related food insecurity. As recovery from Ebola progresses, FFP is gradually phasing out its emergency programming in Sierra Leone while continuing to monitor the country’s food security situation. FFP is also supporting program evaluation initiatives through the Cash Learning Partnership (CaLP) to share best practices and lessons learned from the Ebola response to inform future emergency cash-transfer programming in West Africa and beyond.

    • In response to Freetown’s August 2017 flooding and mudslide disaster, which killed approximately 500 people and displaced more than 1,000 households, FFP coordinated with CARE to address immediate emergency needs. With FFP support, CARE rapidly distributed food and relief items, including hygiene kits and kitchen equipment, to flood-affected families.

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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

    The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) monitors trends in staple food prices in countries vulnerable to food insecurity. For each FEWS NET country and region, the Price Bulletin provides a set of charts showing monthly prices in the current marketing year in selected urban centers and allowing users to compare current trends with both five-year average prices, indicative of seasonal trends, and prices in the previous year

    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: US Agency for International Development
    Country: Guinea, Liberia, Nepal, Sierra Leone, World

    Sector Overview

    USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) integrates monitoring, evaluation, and learning (ME&L) activities into emergency response and disaster risk reduction (DRR) programs worldwide to improve the quality of programming, enhance accountability, and ensure that USAID/OFDA-supported assistance is appropriate and effective.

    As a critical component of program management, ME&L helps USAID/OFDA and its partners understand the progress and results of recent and ongoing humanitarian responses so that future programs can better save lives, alleviate human suffering, and reduce the social and economic impacts of humanitarian emergencies.

    In Fiscal Year (FY) 2017, USAID/OFDA provided approximately $9.5 million to directly support ME&L activities, including third-party monitoring programs in difficult-toaccess areas and external performance evaluations across various contexts. USAID/OFDA’s ME&L support complements and builds upon ME&L work conducted by the partners implementing USAID/OFDA-funded humanitarian programs.

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    Source: UN Country Team in Sierra Leone
    Country: Sierra Leone

    By Harriet Mason, Communications Officer with UNICEF Sierra Leone

    WATERLOO, Sierra Leone– As I stepped into the house in a suburb of Waterloo Town, western Sierra Leone, something immediately caught my eye – the broad smile on the face of a 13-year-old boy sitting in a wheelchair and beckoning me to sit beside him.

    Ibrahim Tarawallie was born with some disabilities and has been dependent on his family to move around the house and look after him. “Carrying him has become tough because he is now older and heavier,” said his mother Elizabeth.

    But she is not letting that stop her from caring for him. “He is my child and I can’t abandon him. I will keep looking after him as best as I can.”

    Globally, more than one billion people live with some form of disability, something that frequently leads to them being among the most marginalised. They experience wide violations of their rights and discrimination in many aspects of their lives, mostly because of other people’s lack of understanding of the causes and effects of their disabilities, fear of contagion, and religious or cultural beliefs.

    Sierra Leone, like many other countries affected by past conflict, has a high prevalence of people living with disabilities. The country’s brutal civil war (1991-2002) left about 1,600 people living with forced amputations. Many others are suffering the after-effects of preventable diseases like polio and measles.

    Access to education is a key challenge for children with disabilities, resulting in a majority having little or no schooling. This leads to further marginalisation, making gainful employment difficult, and often leaving them with no option but to depend on family assistance or street begging. This is despite the provisions of the Sierra Leone Disability Act (2011) that underlines the rights of people with disabilities, including children, to social services such as education, health and early detection of a disability (section 18 of the Act).

    According to Sheka Tarawallie, Ibrahim’s father, the family has been finding it difficult to provide basic care for him: “We struggle to even keep him clean at all times because nappies are very expensive and we can’t afford it,” he said. “His mother has to launder his bed sheet every day, each time we run out of them. That is exhausting and not good for her health.”

    But thanks to support from UK aid from the British people, which has made critical programme supplies and assets from the Ebola response available to the broader benefit of vulnerable populations in Sierra Leone, UNICEF has been able to help children like Ibrahim and their families, through its implementing partner ‘Enable the Children’ (supported through World Hope International). Over the past year, families have been provided with wheelchairs, as well as boxes of nappies, laundry buckets and bowls, kitchen utensils, towels and physiotherapy kits. “The support has brought positive changes in the lives of the children and their families,” said Abubakarr Koroma, Rehabilitation Therapist at World Hope International. “The children have a range of challenges including physical and psychological, which most families find difficult to handle,” he added.

    “We really appreciate the support we have been receiving,” said mother Elizabeth. “The physiotherapy items have been very useful because we use them to help him exercise.” In this way, ‘Enable the Children’ have been able to assist approximately 400 children and their families in and around Freetown, through the support from UNICEF and UK funding.

    In a country where children account for about 25 per cent of people living with disabilities, much more needs to be done to help them survive and have a fair chance to thrive and reach their full potential, supported by their families and accepted in their communities.

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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Dominica, Madagascar, Mexico, Peru, Sierra Leone, World

    Geneva, Switzerland, 6 February 2018

    As delivered

    Distinguished guests, colleagues, ladies and gentlemen.

    It is my pleasure to welcome you to the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) Advisory Board Annual Meeting. Today, we will celebrate the achievements of UNDAC as it marks its 25th Anniversary this year. We will discuss how we can further strengthen UNDAC to ensure that it continues to be a nimble, effective international emergency response mechanism in a fast-evolving operational environment.

    We are honoured to have with us here today representatives and focal points of UNDAC member countries and organizations including the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent movements, the European Union, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the United Nations.

    In the spirit of UNDAC, which is a true example of UN collaboration and multilateralism, I would also like to welcome UNDAC’s operational support partners, including the International Humanitarian Partnership, Map Action, Telecoms sans Frontières, Atlas Logistique, ACAPS and DHL, to name but a few.

    Today, humanitarians are grappling with complex, protracted crises and with natural disasters that are set to increase with climate change and increasing pressure on scarce natural resources. Growing needs consistently outstrip funding levels, despite generous donor support.

    UNDAC is needed more than ever before to mitigate the impacts of sudden-onset emergencies. In 2017, UNDAC undertook 13 missions, including responses to Hurricanes Irma and Maria, the Peru floods, the Mexico earthquake, the cyclone in Madagascar and devastating mudslides in Sierra Leone.

    Thanks to the generous collaboration and support – both financial and in-kind – of member countries, organizations and partners, UNDAC has, since its inception in 1993, deployed emergency response personnel and resources to 281 missions in 111 countries, thus helping to save lives.

    In UNDAC’s 25th year, it is with great pleasure that I am speaking with you today about how our work as the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) relates to UNDAC, in terms of our commitment, priorities and support to the humanitarian system.

    Last year, when the Caribbean islands were hard-hit by super-strength hurricanes Irma and Maria, affecting millions of people and wreaking devastation across the region, I was impressed to see how effective regional partnerships promoted the timely deployment of emergency experts. This included the deployment of several UNDAC teams, which worked closely with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency and Management Agency (CDEMA) and national authorities in civil-military coordination and information management.

    UNDAC quickly brought on board analytical and technical experts, as well as logistical support. In collaboration with regional and international partners, CDEMA deployed over 90 response personnel to conduct search and rescue, assess damage, identify needs and get relief operations going.

    The joined-up response to the hurricanes in the Caribbean had a tremendous impact, and we can draw some important lessons from it. It was a clear example of the value that strong partnerships – built on mutual respect, trust and confidence – have on delivering an effective response. We need to invest in this.

    The strength of the UNDAC system and its approach is built on the partnerships it forges between national disaster management authorities and international humanitarian assistance in the very first phase of a crisis response.

    The draft 2018-2021 UNDAC Strategy emphasizes how to forge stronger linkages between national and regional counterparts. This approach resonates strongly with OCHA’s focus as a facilitator of humanitarian assistance that is driven by trust, strength in diversity, and always supportive of local and national ownership.

    We all recognize the impact of effective humanitarian response, which protects the lives and well-being of tens of millions of people around the world every year. But we also recognize the need to more closely adapt humanitarian response to the specific context, and to find better ways to engage the capacity of local, national and regional actors on the ground.

    This means OCHA and UNDAC must continue to strengthen inter-sectoral and inter-agency coordination as well as comprehensive needs assessments and analyses to boost joint humanitarian programming. And it means UNDAC’s diverse network can work with local responders, drawing on the individual strengths of each, to get on top of the situation as fast as possible.

    We have seen some positive developments over recent years.

    Local, national, regional and international capacity to prepare for and manage crises continues to grow. Humanitarian partners are more diverse, bringing new perspectives, experiences, and capacities to the international humanitarian system. The Connecting Business Initiative in Madagascar, for example, was highly effective in linking private sector resources and initiatives with the national and international response during the response to Tropical Cyclone Enawo.

    Developments in technology and communications are empowering crisis-affected people as well as transforming humanitarian response, and boosting accountability.

    Local, national and regional authorities are increasingly taking control in international humanitarian response, and they are voicing their high expectations of the quality of the international help they receive.

    National authorities are investing more in disaster risk management, enabling stronger emergency preparedness and prevention. The Madagascar Bureau for Disaster Management, for example, is pro-actively seeking guidance and technical assistance from the United Nations, including from UNDAC and bilateral partners, to strengthen its disaster management capacity. This is also happening in Haiti through the Civil Protection authorities. Madagascar and Haiti are both represented here today.

    Continued progress is critical. But let us just, for a moment, take a step back to celebrate UNDAC’s achievements.

    This year, OCHA is marking the 25th anniversary by launching a 12-month campaign to mark UNDAC’s achievements in 12 emergencies, month by month. It kicks off in commemoration of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.

    We will celebrate the contribution of UNDAC members from all regions, particularly national disaster management experts, who are active participants in UNDAC’s roster. And we will call on pioneer UNDAC members to share their experiences on how the network’s role in a changing world has evolved over the past 25 years.

    I thank each of you here today for your continued support to UNDAC and for your engagement in this annual meeting. The future success of UNDAC relies on the continued support of each and every one of you.

    Tonight, immediately after the meeting, there will be a small celebration to mark UNDAC’s 25th anniversary, in this same room. You are all welcome to attend.

    Thank you.

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    Source: International Organization for Migration
    Country: Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Togo

    Les chiffres et infographies donnent un aperçu global sur le flux et le profil des individus observés au mois de décembre 2017 dans les différents points de suivi des mouvements de population.

    En Guinée, cinq points de suivi ont été installés en fin mars 2017 dans les localités frontalières avec Mali dont trois sont actifs depuis septembre 2017. Il s’agit des localités de Kouremalé (moyenne de 100 individus par jour, a décembre), Boundoufourdou (moyenne de 408 individus par jour) et Nafadji (18 individus/jour) où l’on observe les mouvements des voyageurs en transit.

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    Source: Harvard University
    Country: Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, World

    Executive Summary

    Few natural hazards threaten more loss of life, economic disruption, and social disorder than large-scale infectious disease outbreaks. An influenza pandemic or similarly transmissible disease1 could infect billions, kill millions, and reduce trillions of dollars from global economic output. Even a more localized epidemic could lead to a catastrophic loss of life, GDP, and cost millions to contain (Commission on a Global Health Risk Framework for the Future 2016). The economic effects occur by closing businesses, schools, public offices, and often, the healthcare system itself. Further, effects of disease outbreaks include interruptions in transportation (of goods), trade, and travel. While most disease outbreaks are localized to a region, they can quickly become global, as we have seen with Ebola, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), and Zika. With other related challenges, such as the rise in antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and deliberate human-engineered threats, we must ensure that a preparedness program is in place to combat these risks.

    Compared to the resources devoted to mitigating other global risks such as terrorism, climate change, or war, the world invests strikingly little in infectious disease outbreak preparedness. The problem is not a lack of knowledge, as the public health community knows what steps are needed to mitigate risk. However, preventive measures are rarely prioritized. In fact, the typical pattern of infectious disease preparedness today can be characterized as a cycle of panic and neglect: a flood of resources during outbreaks followed by lack of interest and diminished investments. The resulting dependence on crisis-response is both costly and ineffective (in preventing the next outbreak).

    The most recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa is a good example. Governments and response agencies poured more than $3.6 billion into containment, 11,000 lives were lost, 28,000 were infected, and the regional economy lost $2.2 billion in GDP in one year (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2016). Three years post-Ebola, funds to reduce future outbreaks have dwindled, and Ebola has all but disappeared from the news. Since 1976, dozens of Ebola outbreaks have struck Africa, and the next one is merely a question of time.

    In addition to Ebola, we have a long and costly history with other infectious disease outbreaks. Just over the past 15 years, Zika, MERS-CoV, SARS, cholera, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, and various strains of the influenza virus have affected hundreds of millions of people around the world. One could argue that we have been lucky in avoiding a major pandemic, such as that of the 1918 influenza, which resulted in an estimated 50-100 million lives lost or 3-5% of the global population at that time, which today would be the equivalent of more than 200 million people.

    Why do we fail to adequately invest in the prevention of disease outbreaks? We know that major disease outbreaks have an expected economic cost of tens of billions of dollars annually; yet, little preventive action is taken (Commission on a Global Health Risk Framework for the Future 2016). Indeed, following the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, more than 40 expert reports were written, each of which outlined, in strikingly similar ways, significant failures in the response of the international community and what needs to change to avoid the same mistakes. The Commission on the Global Health Risk Framework estimated that the costs of implementing robust measures would cost the world less than $5 billion annually, which is far less than the cost of a major disease outbreak or pandemic (Commission on a Global Health Risk Framework for the Future 2016). A new course of action is needed. We must act to ensure the world is better prepared.

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

    Faits saillants :

    Nigéria : Des nouveaux cas ont été reportés à Kano. Il est annoncé une intensification des activités de surveillance, des interventions WASH, et du rapportage précoce des cas.

    R. D. Congo : 6 Provinces (Kinshasa, Nord et Sud Kivu, Grand Kasaï, Tanganyika, Kongo Central) regroupent la majorité des cas reportés. La riposte contre les derniers foyers à Kinshasa se poursuit ainsi que la préparation à un éventuel « rebond » épidémique.

    Libéria : Sept cas suspects ont été notifiés entre S1 et S4, dont deux négatifs.

    Sierra Léone : 18 cas suspects ont été reportés depuis le début de l’année. Des prélèvement ont été réalisés pour confirmation.


    Nigeria: New cases have been reported in Kano. It has been announced an intensification of surveillance, WASH activities, and early reporting.

    D. R. Congo: 6 Provinces (Kinshasa, Nord et Sud Kivu, Grand Kasai, Tanganyika, Kongo Central) gather the majority of the reported cases. The response to the last outbreaks in Kinshasa continues, as well as the preparation for a possible epidemic "rebound".

    Liberia: Seven suspected cases have been reported between W1 and W4, including two negative cases.

    Sierra Leone: 18 suspected cases have been reported since the beginning of the year. Samples were taken for lab confirmation.

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    Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
    Country: Sierra Leone


    • Above‑average cereal crop harvested in 2017

    • Prices have generally been stable or declining since August 2017

    • Pockets of food insecurity remain with about 12 000 people in need of assistance

    Above-average harvest gathered in 2017

    Harvesting of the 2017 rice crop, virtually the only cereal grown in the country, was completed in December 2017. Yields benefited from abundant rainfall. Despite the presence of Fall Armyworm across the country, cereal production is estimated at well above average 1.5 million tonnes, including 1.4 million tonnes (over 90 percent) of rice.

    Abundant rainfall contributed to the recovery of pasture conditions. However, with 60 percent of the cattle and small ruminant population being concentrated in limited area, high stock density with limited possibility to supplement grazing with other sources of feed presents a challenge for pastoralists. Some 8 000 square km of land (about 10 percent of the total area) are reported to be overgrazed.

    Below-average import requirement

    Although the country’s dependency on imported rice has been decreasing in recent years, it remains a net importer, with a cereal import dependency ratio of about 20 percent. Following an above-average harvest, the cereal import requirement is estimated at a slightly below average level.

    Food situation continues to improve

    The economy grew at an estimated 5 percent in 2017 as iron ore prices recovered, up from a 20 percent contraction recorded in 2015. However, most economic activities continue to be negatively affected by the lingering effects of the Ebola virus outbreak of 2014 and the collapse of iron ore prices in 2016. More than 60 percent of the population lives on less than USD 1.25 per day. Subsistence agriculture accounts for about half the GDP and employs 60 percent of the total workforce.

    Following the above-average harvest, cereal prices have been generally stable or declining since August 2017, but remain above their levels of one year ago, supported by the currency devaluation. The local currency depreciated from SLL 4 500 per USD in 2014 to SLL 7 400 per USD in 2017. In 2017, the annual food price inflation ranged from 18 to 22 percent, affecting the purchasing power of the most vulnerable households.

    Despite the above-average harvest, pockets of food insecurity remain in some parts of the country. According to the latest “Cadre Harmonisé” (Harmonized Framework) analysis, between October and December 2017, almost 12 000 people (out of 7.4 million inhabitants) are estimated to be in Phase 3: “Crisis” and above, showing a substantial improvement from about 159 000 people a year earlier.

    Disclaimer: The designations employed and the presentation of material in this information product do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of FAO concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.

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