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ReliefWeb - Updates on Sierra Leone

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    Source: Christian Aid
    Country: Australia, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Canada, Dominica, Gambia, Ghana, India, Kenya, Kiribati, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Swaziland, Tuvalu, Uganda, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, Vanuatu, World, Zambia

    New study: The climate change inequality at the heart of the Commonwealth

    • Analysis shows UK, Canada & Australia not delivering their fair share of the global effort to tackle climate change
    • But poorer Commonwealth countries are overachieving on climate pledges
    • UK emits more C02 per person than 18 Commonwealth countries combined
    • UK and Canada alone could eradicate energy poverty in the Commonwealth with fair share investment in clean energy

    A new report by development charity Christian Aid has revealed that the Commonwealth's richer nations are shirking their responsibilities in the global effort to tackle climate change, while the bloc's poorer members are picking up the slack.

    The study, Climate inequality in the Commonwealth, assesses the pledges to the Paris Agreement of each Commonwealth country and measures them against national capacity and historic emissions, since 1990, to calculate their fair proportion of the effort to address climate change. The results show that the UK, Canada and Australia are in the red whilst poorer countries like Bangladesh, Kenya and Zambia are in credit. Small island states vulnerable to sea level rise like Kiribati, Vanuatu and Tuvalu are also more than doing their fair share.

    It's telling that this year's Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), starting today (16.4.18), was relocated to London from Vanuatu after the Pacific island's infrastructure was too badly damaged by Cyclone Pam in 2015.

    It's also striking that the top five most impacted countries in Germanwatch's latest Climate Risk Index 2017 are all Commonwealth nations: Mozambique, Dominica, Malawi, India and Vanuatu.

    Report author, Mohamed Adow, Christian Aid's International Climate Lead, said the study exposed the hypocrisy behind many of the warm words put out by the British Government. He said: "The UK claims to stand in solidarity with its Commonwealth allies, but when it comes to one of the gravest threats to member nations, it is shirking its responsibilities. The UK is proud of the shared values between the 'family of nations' but it is not pulling its weight and instead is leaving the heavy lifting to much poorer countries. For Britain, the host country, which claims to care for both the climate and the Commonwealth, it risks being embarrassing if it doesn't step up its game."

    On a per capita basis the UK burns more carbon dioxide than 18 Commonwealth countries combined.

    However the UK could turn this sorry state of affairs into an opportunity to do its fair share while eradicating energy poverty in the Commonwealth. Due to its relative wealth and the fact its emissions since 1990 are so high, the UK cannot do its fair share of the global effort to roll back emissions solely within its own borders; it also needs to help displace emissions elsewhere. Fortunately, by investing in renewables in energy poor Commonwealth countries, Britain can tackle climate change and boost the fortunes of the world's most needy at the same time.

    To meet its obligations the UK needs to mitigate 700 metric tonnes of C02 internationally by 2030, which equates to 1,730 terawatt hours of renewable electricity. This alone would almost eradicate energy poverty in the Commonwealth, which stands at a needed 2,050 terawatt hours.

    Mr Adow said: "Britain has a long history of industrial innovation and helping bring light and power to the remotest parts of the world would be an achievement worthy of a nation which claims to be a climate leader. Together, the UK and Canada, which founded the Powering Past Coal Alliance, could eradicate energy poverty across the Commonwealth."
    He added: "As the UK readies itself for departing the EU there has been much talk about the importance of trade and other collaboration within the Commonwealth. What better way of boosting the fortunes of its future trading partners by tackling climate change and bringing power to those that need it?"

    CHOGM comes at a perfect moment to kickstart an important year for the climate. In December the world meets in Poland as part of the Talanoa Dialogue, the vital review process where countries will begin to strengthen the initial pledges made under the Paris Agreement. Currently the accord will only keep global temperature rise to between 2.7 C and 3.5 C, much higher than the 1.5 C rise that the world has agreed to try and limit it to.
    Mr Adow said: "Climate change is the biggest issue facing the world today. If the Commonwealth wants to be a relevant and modern group of forward thinking countries it should grasp this opportunity to lead the world in this most important year."


    For more information or to arrange an interview with Mohamed, contact Joe Ware on or call him on +447870944485.

    The 18 Commonwealth countries that combined, burn less carbon dioxide per person, than the UK:

    Tuvalu 0.06
    Malawi 0.10
    Rwanda 0.12
    Uganda 0.12
    The Gambia 0.12
    Lesotho 0.14
    Sierra Leone 0.17
    Tanzania 0.18
    Mozambique 0.20
    Zambia 0.25
    Kenya 0.34
    Cameroon 0.40
    Nigeria 0.44
    Bangladesh 0.46
    Kiribati 0.46
    Swaziland 0.49
    Vanuatu 0.51
    Ghana 0.51

    18 = 5.07 tonnes of carbon dioxide per capita
    UK = 5.59 tonnes of carbon dioxide per capita

    Source: Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Research

    Notes to Editors:

    1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in around 40 countries at any one time. We act where there is great need, regardless of religion, helping people to live a full life, free from poverty. We provide urgent, practical and effective assistance in tackling the root causes of poverty as well as its effects.

    2. Christian Aid's core belief is that the world can and must be changed so that poverty is ended: this is what we stand for. Everything we do is about ending poverty and injustice: swiftly, effectively, sustainably. Our strategy document Partnership for Change explains how we set about this task.

    3. Christian Aid is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of more than 130 churches and church-related organisations that work together in humanitarian assistance, advocacy and development. Further details at

    4. Follow Christian Aid's newswire on Twitter:

    5. For more information about the work of Christian Aid visit

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    Source: European Commission's Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations
    Country: Anguilla, Bangladesh, British Virgin Islands, Chad, China - Macau (Special Administrative Region), Cuba, Dominica, Mauritania, Nepal, Niger, Peru, Saint Barthélemy (France), Saint Martin (France), Sierra Leone, Sint Maarten (The Netherlands), Sri Lanka, United States Virgin Islands, World

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    Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
    Country: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo

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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:

    The Emergency Appeal was launched on 15th August 2017 immediately aftermath the catastrophic mudslides which killed more than 300 people and left an estimated 2,000 people homeless. The operation kicked off with initial CHF 270,000 through DREF which was eventually turned into Emergency Appeal. A revision of Emergency Appeal was done in December 2017. The revision was necessitated after the government changed its rehabilitation strategy stating that proposed settlement sites were undersigned for affected people. Thus, the revision had to take place to adjust original operational plan to the changing context. The revision includes provision of unconditional cash grant to address shelter and other associated needs for target people to integrate in new setting. The overall appeal budget remains unchanged with reallocation and scale up in WASH and DRR and reconsidered early recovery cash transfer as alternative to the shelter interventions. The logical consequence of having DRR component added for sustainable impact against existing and potential disaster risk was the extension of the operation timeframe 10 months to 18 months.

    As of March 2018, the funding coverage of the Emergency Appeal is 82% which is likely to increase over the course of implementation. The overall implementation of the operation is on track and it reached 2% expenditure during the reporting period.

    0 0

    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone

    0 0

    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone

    0 0

    Source: International Organization for Migration
    Country: Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Egypt, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Libya, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone




    0 0

    Source: International Organization for Migration
    Country: Algeria, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Pakistan, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Togo




    0 0

    Source: World Food Programme
    Country: Sierra Leone

    In Numbers

    141.59 mt of food assistance distributed
    US$ 31,500 cash-based transfers made
    US$ 7,914,883 six months (April-Sept 2018) net funding requirements, representing 64% of total

    4,907 people assisted in March 2018

    Operational Updates

    • The livelihood unit signed implementation agreements with the Ministry of Agriculture,
    Forestry, and Food security in Bombali, Port Loko and Pujehun districts to rehabilitate or develop water control structures targeting 414 ha of Inland Valley Swamp ecologies for year-round production of rice. The partnership also targets cultivation of 41 ha for cultivation of nutritionally dense vegetables by women groups, as well as 330 homestead compost heaps.

    • WFP participated in a meeting to review and update the national food and nutrition security implementation plan for 2018–2022 organised by the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) secretariat. The meeting brought together amongst others, staff from the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, the Ministry of Agriculture, WHO, UNICEF, universities, parliamentarians and NGOs. The plan provides a roadmap for nutrition stakeholders in addressing malnutrition and achieving zero hunger.

    • WFP in collaboration with UNAIDS through a financial service provider (Ecobank) conducted cash transfers to 105 households headed by people living with HIV and those taking care of other vulnerable children (OVCs) in the Western Area and Makeni.
    The cash is expected to facilitate school attendance of the OVCs and enable female heads of household to attain vocational training to enhance their livelihoods. SCOPE platform was used to facilitate the cash transfer process.

    0 0

    Source: UN General Assembly
    Country: Jordan, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Mali, Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Syrian Arab Republic, World, Yemen



    The General Assembly continued its high‑level debate on peacebuilding and sustaining peace today with speakers underscoring the value of the Peacebuilding Fund, a people‑centred approach to human security and the need to tackle poverty and other causes of violence by way of the Sustainable Development Goals.

    The meeting was convened by the Assembly President Miroslav Lajčák (Slovakia), in line with General Assembly resolution 70/262 and Security Council resolution 2282 (2016), renewing the United Nations commitment to conflict prevention, as embodied in its Charter. (For background, please see Press Release GA/12010.)

    Several delegates conveyed their support for a draft resolution that would have the Assembly, alongside the Security Council, invite relevant United Nations bodies to advance, explore and consider the implementation of recommendations and options set out in the latest report of the Secretary‑General on the topic (document A/72/707–S/2018/43).

    “We have come a long way [since the twin 2016 resolutions] in the pursuit of a more inclusive and integrated approach to sustaining peace and addressing the root causes of conflict, instead of just responding to crises,” said Mexico’s representative, on behalf of the Group of Friends of Sustaining Peace.

    In the same vein, Panama’s representative, on behalf of the Human Security Network, said a human security approach — with a strong focus on human rights — could help Governments and the United Nations come up with policies and strategies that addressed the causes of conflict, promoted social integration, fought poverty and built more secure and sustainable environments.

    The representative of Liberia, where a United Nations peacekeeping mission successfully completed its mandate in March, said the steep human and monetary cost of war should be enough of an incentive for countries to use their collective ingenuity and resources to invest in prevention, particularly at a time of reduced funding commitments. “Imagine, rather than investing in bullets and tanks, we could have [people] invest in roads and energy, hospitals and schools,” he said, seeing in conflict prevention and sustaining peace a pathway for bending the present trajectory of fear and war.

    Echoing that view, Sierra Leone’s delegate recalled a joint United Nations‑World Bank study which stated that additional investment in conflict prevention could save the international community $1.5 billion each year. He credited the Peacebuilding Commission and the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) for aiding in a peaceful change of Government.

    Lebanon’s delegate said the Organization must go “back to basics” and commit to its core principles. To drown out hatred, oppression and incitement, people must be bold and flood every space available — especially cyberspace — with a message of peace. She emphasized that peacekeeping was not an alternative to peace, and that root causes — notably occupation, inequality and exclusion — must be addressed.

    Sri Lanka’s delegate, noting that his country had embarked on a process of peacebuilding after many years of conflict, said international engagement had been essential, with the United Nations playing an important role. Funding from the Peacebuilding Commission had been invaluable, covering a range of programmes, he said, adding that Sri Lanka was an example of the need for sustained and predictable funding for the Peacebuilding Fund.

    Japan’s delegate was among several speakers who praised the Peacebuilding Fund, welcoming in particular the priority it attached to women and youth. Financing was a critical factor in implementing and enhancing such activities, he said, highlighting the importance of predictable, flexible and transparent budgets.

    The representative of the Dominican Republic said the traditional concept of peace and security was not in line with the multifaceted problems faced by small island developing States, for which climate change was a threat. He urged the international community to address the specific vulnerabilities of those States and come up with coordinated action.

    While several speakers from Africa reiterated the call for deeper cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union, Singapore’s delegate highlighted the critical role that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) could play in fostering peace among the region’s many ethnicities, cultures, religions, languages and histories.

    Also speaking today were senior officials and representatives of Denmark, Finland, Libya, Cuba, Jordan, China, Canada, Jamaica, Egypt, Thailand, Myanmar, Senegal, Uruguay, Japan, Yemen, Guatemala, Morocco, Chad, Honduras, Pakistan, Kuwait, Viet Nam, Republic of Korea, Chile, Timor‑Leste, South Africa, Liechtenstein, Burundi, El Salvador, New Zealand, United Republic of Tanzania, Saudi Arabia, Malta, Lithuania, Austria, Azerbaijan, Australia, Cyprus, Netherlands, Botswana, Slovakia, Nepal, Solomon Islands, Costa Rica, Kyrgyzstan, Italy, Cambodia, Mali, Malaysia, Gabon, Ecuador, Argentina, Oman, Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria and Zimbabwe.

    The General Assembly will reconvene at 10 a.m. on Thursday, 26 April to continue its high‑level meeting and take action on a related draft resolution.


    MELITÓN ARROCHA RUÍZ (Panama), speaking on behalf of the Human Security Network, said human security was at the core of sustaining peace and sustainable development. Noting that conflict‑related human suffering had reached unacceptable levels, he said a human security approach could help support Governments and the United Nations in designing and implementing policies and strategies that addressed root causes, promoted social integration and harmony, combated poverty and inequality, and built more secure and sustainable environments. Emphasis should be placed on inclusion, notably greater recognition and support for women’s participation and harnessing the ideas of youth. He added that a prevention‑oriented approach — including strong promotion and protection of human rights — was fundamental to address the causes of threats. Efforts must also be guided by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

    JONAS BERING LIISBERG, State Secretary for Foreign Policy of Denmark, called on all Member States to invest more in the multilateral framework for peace and security. Denmark had been a long‑standing supporter of United Nations efforts to prevent conflict and sustain peace. A central focus of Denmark’s development and humanitarian strategy was promoting stability and supporting the most vulnerable in fragile situations. Human rights must remain at the core of efforts towards preventing conflict and sustaining peace. He stressed that the international community could not succeed in sustaining peace without a strong focus on human rights and the core values on which the United Nations was built. “An essential cause of violence and extremism is a feeling of being left out and excluded,” he said. The United Nations must ensure that the protection of human rights remained at the heart of its prevention and peacebuilding efforts.

    ANNE SIPILÄINEN, Under‑Secretary of State of Finland, aligning herself with the European Union, said that sustaining peace was a core mandate of the United Nations, which must mobilize to accomplish that robust task. Indeed, it flowed through all three pillars of the United Nations and was reinforced by the Organization’s common determination to promote peaceful and inclusive societies. She commended the efforts of the Secretary‑General to ensure the United Nations responded in a more integrated manner to complex conflicts. Already, many parts of the system were trying to better address crises and integrate a more preventative approach. In that connection, she called for more joint efforts in the field. At the same time, the prospects for durable peace were better if it included all of society, including youth, women and civil society. She went on to highlight the role of conflict prevention and mediation in the peaceful settlement of disputes and as a cost‑effective and life‑saving tool of the United Nations.

    JUAN JOSÉ IGNACIO GÓMEZ CAMACHO (Mexico), speaking on behalf of the Group of Friends of Sustaining Peace, said the cross‑regional group of 40 Member States focused on deepening dialogue and the implementation of the sustaining peace agenda as both a goal and a process. Since the 2016 adoption by the Assembly and the Security Council of twin resolutions on that issue, “we have come a long way in the pursuit of a more inclusive and integrated approach to sustaining peace and addressing the root causes of conflict, instead of just responding to crises”. States would continue to pursue those efforts in line with national ownership, priorities and strategies, he said, also calling on the United Nations system to do the same across its three pillars. Welcoming the new procedural resolution on peacebuilding and sustaining peace as a reflection of Member States’ commitment, he concluded: “We look forward to keeping this momentum going.”

    LEWIS GARSEEDAH BROWN II (Liberia) said the steep human and monetary cost of war should be enough of an incentive for countries to use their collective ingenuity and resources to meaningfully invest in prevention and eliminate the main drivers of conflict, particularly at a time of declines in commitments to fund such activities. For its part, Liberia, after decades of war, was a post‑conflict society struggling to consolidate its cherished peace with development plans and inclusive policies to leave no one behind, efforts that must be constantly supported to ensure progress. Liberia, like many other countries, had seen the resilience of ordinary people stretched to breaking points, yet the people had endured. “Imagine if we brought such resilience to preventing conflicts,” he said. “Imagine, rather than investing in bullets and tanks, we could have them invest in roads and energy, hospitals and schools. Imagine how we can use science and technology — yes, to spy on each other — but, also to enrich lives. Pursuing the path of preventing conflict and sustaining peace gives us a real chance to lift our humanity and bend the present trajectory of fear and war.”

    AMAL MUDALLALI (Lebanon) said the United Nations must go “back to basics” and commit to the principles of the Organization, which defined its mission as saving succeeding generations from the scourge of war. To save humanity from hell, peacemakers were needed. “The disrupters were so many and so loud, while the peacemakers were few and timid,” she said. To drown out hatred, oppression and incitement, people needed to be bold and flood every space available — especially cyberspace — with a message of peace. She expressed support for conflict prevention and the role of peace operations and peacekeeping towards that end, such as the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). However, peacekeeping was not an alternative to peace, she continued, underscoring the need to address the causes of conflict, notably occupation, inequality and exclusion. Investing in education was also crucial, by raising generations better equipped to enter the job market, as was promoting a culture of peace and fostering constructive dialogue.

    ELMAHDI S. ELMAJERBI (Libya) said mediation was needed so as not to neglect certain issues nor leave anyone behind. He emphasized the importance of national ownership and the link between peace, security and development. At the same time, this was a different era in which the pace of change was swift, and the United Nations needed to keep up through innovative solutions to tackle today’s challenges. Highlighting the difficulty of accountability in conflict‑ridden countries, he said the Organization nevertheless had a wealth of skills at its disposal that must be used optimally. Expressing support for partnerships with regional and international organizations, he cited the African Union’s partnership with the United Nations as a success story that had yielded results in the areas of peace and security. He went on to reiterate support for the Secretary‑General’s reform efforts in building and sustaining peace and expressed hope that future reports would include the role of media and how they could help raise awareness and provide context to situations. That was particularly important when terrorist groups were exploiting social media with their hateful rhetoric, he said.

    ANAYANSI RODRÍGUEZ CAMEJO (Cuba), associating herself with the Non-Aligned Movement, said her country echoed calls made by African delegations for more funding to be directed to peacebuilding activities. Member States must decide to ensure adequate, predictable and continued financing. Emphasizing the need for a international climate based on multilateralism, and the principles of the United Nations Charter, she warned that efforts in that regard could be brought to an abrupt halt by the unilateral use of force against States, unilateral coercive measures, intimidation and trade inequalities. Sustaining peace would also require ending the causes of conflict. Priority must be given to the 2030 Agenda, including building the capacities of developing countries through, among other things, development assistance and technological transfers with no strings attached.

    SIMA SAMI I. BAHOUS (Jordan), underscoring the link between peacebuilding, sustaining peace and the 2030 Agenda, emphasized the importance of national ownership and sufficient financing, as well as strengthening the Peacebuilding Support Office. In the Middle East, peace and security required ending the Israeli occupation. Removing injustices against Palestinians was an international moral obligation, she said, calling for a two‑State solution and the establishment of a sovereign and viable Palestinian state with pre‑1967 borders and east Jerusalem as its capital. There must also be a political solution to the Syrian crisis. She recalled that Jordan — despite unprecedented economic challenges — hosted more refugees than any other country, and requested more international help in that regard. The international community had a responsibility to uphold international values for peace, justice, human rights and solidarity.

    BURHAN GAFOOR (Singapore) said his country was an example of how the United Nations could work with other countries towards building peaceful and inclusive societies. Underscoring the role of regional organizations in fostering peace and development, he emphasized that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) had played a critical role in fostering peace in South‑East Asia. He also noted the region’s immense diversity and its many ethnicities, cultures, religions, languages and histories. He expressed support for the Secretary‑General’s goal to build a better United Nations focused on making a real difference on the ground. Calling on Member States to live up to their United Nations Charter obligations, he said it was essential to examine how the peace continuum could be best supported by the current financial structures.

    ZHAOXU MA (China) said that sustainable development and sustaining peace were common global aspirations. Concerning the United Nations work on the latter, he said peacekeeping must respect the honour and will of the country concerned and suit its specific situation. Those activities must focus on building national capacity, while assisting in conflict prevention and reconstruction. United Nations peacekeeping must also place equal weight on development and security, he said, addressing both the symptoms and causes of conflict. He called for the strengthening of peacekeepers’ coordination as well as deepened partnerships with regional organizations, which in turn must play an active role in peacebuilding in their respective regions. He also expressed support for the international system and the norms guiding international relations.

    MICHAEL DOUGLAS GRANT (Canada), recalling that “conflicts that no longer make the news every day”, stressed that the Organization should be better structured, equipped and supported to prevent the outbreak, escalation and relapse of conflict. Stressing the central role of women in sustaining peace, he commended the Peacebuilding Fund for exceeding the Secretary‑General’s 15 per cent target for women’s empowerment projects. Long‑term peacebuilding required broad consultations with national stakeholders and access to resources, he said, also noting the key role of donors in addressing the fragmentation of financing.

    DIEDRE NICHOLE MILLS (Jamaica) said the focus on peacebuilding and sustaining peace must be couched in the long‑term focus on attaining the Sustainable Development Goals. The case for greater policy and operational coherence — within the framework of promoting complementarity among stakeholders — could not be overemphasized. She went on to underscore the value of partnership among different networks and stakeholders, with a simultaneous focus on identifying and addressing the root causes of conflict. Welcoming the emphasis given to youth and women in the context of conflict prevention and peacebuilding, she said her country had long regarded peacekeeping to be a key component of the work of the United Nations, having contributed police officers and civilians to various missions over the years.

    MOHAMED FATHI AHMED EDREES (Egypt) said the twin resolutions of the General Assembly and the Security Council on sustaining peace had begun a new era in the United Nations efforts to build and sustain peace. Concerning implementation of the sustaining peace principles, he stressed the need for a unified framework among all Member States. Such a concept must consider the specificities of each country, as there “was no single solution for all conflicts”. Root causes also must be addressed. At the same time, a vision for a single system of work was needed to support national recovery efforts to rebuild institutions. Indeed, efforts must stem from national ownership to carry out national priorities and economic social development. Noting that a regional approach to sustaining peace was important to ensuring a full recovery, he said partnerships with regional organizations were vital. Despite progress made in the development of international tools to support peacebuilding, the nature and scope of current challenges required renewed political and financial commitment to make them more robust. On that note, he expressed hope that Member States would come together on proposals for reform.

    NONTAWAT CHANDRTRI (Thailand), commending the Secretary‑General for taking serious steps towards restructuring the Secretariat and reforming the peace and security pillars, said that financing for peacebuilding remained an outstanding issue. While it was worth exploring innovative proposals, such as attracting funds from the private sector, the most sustainable and predictable source was through increased assessed contributions. Recalling that previous attempts to act in a timely manner to prevent conflicts or mass atrocities had often lost momentum because Member States had different interpretations of “responsibility to protect”, he called on delegates to seize the moment and “concretize a substantive framework to address any interpretative complications”.

    HMWAY HMWAY KHYNE (Myanmar) said that for her country, which had endured seven decades of internal armed conflict, reconciliation and peace were national priorities. Ten armed groups had now signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement and two Union Peace Conferences had taken place, with a third to follow next month. However, lasting peace must be accompanied by sustainable and equitable development, she said, inviting the international community to help Myanmar find lasting solutions to its long‑standing problems. “We don’t want Myanmar to be a nation divided by religious beliefs, ethnicity or political ideology,” she said, adding that everyone must work together because they belonged to one nation. All conflicts arose from hate or fear, and it was only by removing the sources of those feelings that it would be possible to remove conflict from Myanmar and the world.

    SALIOU NIANG DIENG (Senegal) called for strengthened partnerships with regional and subregional organizations, especially the African Union, given their effective contributions to conflict prevention. He drew attention to the successful engagement of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in Gambia’s post‑electoral crisis, which spoke volumes about the importance of a regional approach. Welcoming this week’s high‑level meeting on Gambia ahead of an international donor conference in Brussels on 22 May, he emphasized the need for adequate, sustained and predictable financing for countries in peacebuilding phases over the long term. Unfortunately, such funding was limited, irregular and unpredictable, he said, calling on donors and Gambia’s partners to make robust commitments at the Brussels conference.

    ELBIO OSCAR ROSSELLI FRIERI (Uruguay), aligning himself with the Human Rights Caucus, emphasized the importance of conflict prevention and addressing the causes of conflict. He welcomed that the United Nations was moving from conflict prevention to a model of sustaining peace in order to build a shared vision of society. Noting that the 2030 Agenda would be fundamental to implementing sustaining peace, he said achieving those goals, in turn, was a precondition for achieving sustainable peace worldwide. For its part, Uruguay was focused on strengthening institutions as well as human rights in the prevention of conflict. He went on to highlight States’ responsibility to lead the process towards sustaining peace, and providing their people with a life of freedom as laid out in the United Nations Charter.

    KORO BESSHO (Japan) said promoting human security was essential to building and sustaining peace. The human security approach that was people‑centred, comprehensive and focused on prevention aimed to protect and empower vulnerable individuals. Institution‑building and human resources development were also needed to prevent a relapse into conflict, while respecting national ownership. Furthermore, financing was a critical factor in implementing and enhancing peacebuilding activities and sustaining peace, he said, highlighting the importance of predictable, flexible and transparent budgets. More broadly, sustainable peace could not be achieved without enhancing the role of women and youth, he said, while welcoming the Peacebuilding Fund’s priority on such issues.

    FRANCISCO ANTONIO CORTORREAL (Dominican Republic) said it was impossible to seriously discuss the promotion of peace without addressing poverty, inequality and social exclusion. Promoting economic development meant promoting resilience in fragile States. Elaborating, he said the traditional concept of peace and security was not in line with the multifaceted problems faced by small island developing States, for which climate change was a threat. He urged the international community to address the specific vulnerabilities of those States and come up with coordinated action. He added that this week’s Assembly debate marked a significant step towards a change of vision and new peacebuilding structures.

    KHALED HUSSEIN MOHAMED ALYEMANY (Yemen), associating himself with Non‑Aligned Movement, said that since his country’s student‑led revolution in 2011, the United Nations had played a critical role in facilitating political transition. Three Special Envoys of the Secretary‑General had been appointed to help conduct peace negotiations between the Government and rebels. However, those negotiations had collapsed due to the intransigent position of the Houthi militia supported by Iran. Still, Yemen would continue to extend a hand for peace, he said, adding that Iranian intervention in Yemen and the region must end. He went on to voice support for the Secretary‑General’s reforms, adding that Yemen hoped to contribute once again to United Nations peacekeeping operations.

    JORGE SKINNER-KLEÉ ARENALES (Guatemala) said sustaining peace was integral to the process of prevention, with a focus on societal well‑being. It was a tangible option to ensure that development led to a stable and peaceful coexistence. Guatemala had been affected by the polarization of a political doctrine that had weakened its institutions and prevented the Government from providing services. The United Nations had helped Guatemala strengthen its capacities, particularly in the areas of justice and public services. Guatemala had taken ownership and was now bolstering those institutions. In the 15 April referendum regarding Guatemala’s dispute with Belize, people had opted for a peaceful resolution to that territorial dispute, a sign of their commitment to sustaining peace. He stressed the importance of breaking down silos to more efficiently implement United Nations mandates in the field, underscoring the need to move away from the fragmentation that had prevailed among its three pillars.

    AMRITH ROHAN PERERA (Sri Lanka) said the importance of peacebuilding had never before been felt so intensely. Sri Lanka had emerged from a long conflict and embarked on a process of peacebuilding. By addressing the hearts and minds of the Sri Lankan people, the Government had endeavoured towards a peaceful and prosperous country. In its efforts to achieve long‑lasting peace, the engagement of the international community had been essential. In particular, the United Nations had played an important role in his country’s journey. Funding from the Peacebuilding Commission had been invaluable, covering a range of programmes. It was most critical to receive the correct assistance at the correct time. Indeed, Sri Lanka was an example of the need for sustained and predictable funding for the Peacebuilding Fund and a strengthened Peacebuilding Support Office.

    OMAR HILALE (Morocco), noting that the conditions which led to the founding of the United Nations had changed over the years, said a coherent and coordinated approach must be forged for countries in transition facing a myriad of challenges. Peace was a cross‑cutting issue that was both a process and an objective, as well as the primary responsibility of all States. He reviewed Morocco’s contributions to peace since independence, including the deployment of more than 60,000 personnel to United Nations peacekeeping operations. Describing the Peacebuilding Commission as a credible and adaptable body, he called for predictable funding through voluntary and assessed contributions. Peace was a right, not a privilege. The Secretary‑General’s reform proposals were promising and it was incumbent on Member States and the international community to strike the right balance and show political will to make peace a reality.

    ALI ALIFEI MOUSTAPHA (Chad), recalling how his country had been desecrated by unspeakable violence, said Chad was not only striving to rebuild peace, but also to share peace in those places where it was lacking. The Government had undertaken various initiatives to fight cross‑border crime, drug trafficking and trafficking in persons. Domestically, peacebuilding mechanisms had been set up to keep alive the spirit of dialogue and consultation. Chad also appreciated the Peacebuilding Support Fund for helping to meet urgent financing needs in local communities. Noting that Chad had made strengthening national unity a linch‑pin of its 2030 development vision, he welcomed the Secretary‑General’s proposals for repositioning the United Nations development system.

    YOLANNIE CERRATO (Honduras) said that, given her country’s commitment to peaceful conflict resolution, it supported the concept of sustaining peace. There was a need to reform the United Nations’ peace and security pillar to adapt to new realities. For its part, Honduras endorsed a holistic approach to reform that considered the aspirations of women and young people. To achieve a lasting peace, sources of instability must also be addressed. In addition, cooperation must be strengthened between various stakeholders and synergies between various local, regional, and international actors must be identified. She went on to note the importance of dialogue before thanking the Secretary‑General for his approval of a tri‑national project for resilience and cohesion in Northern Central America. Peace and development were interlinked and the 2030 Agenda could not be achieved in situations of conflict, war or instability, she said, calling on Member States to peacefully resolve conflicts.

    MALEEHA LODHI (Pakistan) said that, while Member States agreed on the importance of achieving and sustaining peace, they had not translated that broad agreement into real progress on the ground. Sustained political processes must be at the core of all peace endeavours, covering all phases of conflict, she said. The path towards durable peace began with a clear understanding of the causes and nature of conflict, and could not be achieved until they were addressed. Outlining factors that were vital to the success of sustaining peace efforts, she said greater coherence and synergy across the United Nations system was needed, as were regional strategies that included the full participation of national actors. She also highlighted the importance of supporting the role of women and youth, as well as restructuring and prioritizing funds for peacebuilding activities.

    MANSOUR AYYAD SH. A. ALOTAIBI (Kuwait) recalled the concept of re‑establishing peace, published in a 1992 report by the then‑Secretary‑General which envisioned an integrated and global approach to international security. Welcoming the current Secretary-General’s report, he urged the Assembly to adopt the proposed draft resolution on peace and security. Stating that the Peacebuilding Commission had filled a gap in the United Nations between emergency aid and development, he said Kuwait’s own approach was based on preventative diplomacy, reconciliation and mediation which, if used appropriately, could prevent conflicts from erupting. He also emphasized the need to look at the causes of conflict.

    NGUYEN PHUONG NGA (Viet Nam), calling for a holistic and people‑centred approach to sustaining peace, said that it was critical to carry out comprehensive policies with concrete measures to help conflict‑affected States, especially those vulnerable to crises. Allocation of adequate resources was crucial, and financing should be sustained, predictable and well managed. Welcoming the Secretary‑General’s reports on the comprehensive reforms of the United Nations and his concrete proposals to enhance the coherence and efficiency of peace operations, she also added that Viet Nam had consistently followed a policy of peacefully settling all disputes, including that concerning the East Sea, also known as South China Sea.

    CHO TAE-YUL (Republic of Korea), associating himself with the Group of Friends of Sustaining Peace and the “MIKTA” Group (also including Mexico, Indonesia, Turkey and Australia), said that while the United Nations had made progress in building partnerships with international financial institutions and regional organizations, greater efforts were needed in partnering with the private sector and civil society. “The UN, which has a brand like no other, is best poised to convene these different actors,” he said. While most large‑scale armed conflicts had ended in Asia, subnational and low‑intensity conflicts persisted, fuelled by growing economic inequalities, exclusion and aggressive nationalism. He also stressed that peacebuilding strategies must understand the historical and cultural sensitivities of the country they sought to support.

    MARÍA DEL CARMEN DOMÍNGUEZ ÁLVAREZ (Chile) said peace was a prerequisite for promoting and protecting fundamental rights. Meanwhile, social inclusion and social development were preconditions for peace. She called for coherent responses to global problems, noting that sustaining peace was almost as difficult as achieving it. Indeed, traditional threats had been replaced by new ones, such as terrorism, trafficking and environmental deterioration. Moving forward, the international community must examine the causes underlying those threats and invest much more in prevention. As the Secretary‑General said, “the price of failing to do so was too high”. She expressed hope that other United Nations reforms under way would contribute to forging an integrated and coherent response to conflict.

    ADALJIZA ALBERTINA XAVIER REIS MAGNO, Vice‑Minister for Foreign Affairs of Timor-Leste, sharing lessons from her country’s experience in emerging from violent conflict, said reconciliation had called for healing wounds and promoting peace with the country’s immediate neighbour. By looking within and using traditional methods of reconciliation, Timor‑Leste had taken important steps towards sustaining peace. Outlining various new measures, she said the Government was restoring trust in society while paying particular attention to victims, veterans, widows and orphans. To achieve peace and development in conflict‑affected countries, it was essential to build solid national structures. Peace processes did not end when a peace agreement had been signed, she stressed, adding that international cooperation and multilateral partnerships should adjust to challenges so that resources could be maximized.

    AZIZ PAHAD (South Africa), associating himself with the Non‑Aligned Movement, stressed the importance of security sector reform. Peacebuilding was a post‑conflict necessity; it marked the difference between squandering gains made through arduous mediation and peacekeeping, and consolidating those gains. Further, countries locked in conflict missed an opportunity to advance in the fields of climate change mitigation, ecosystem and environmental preservation, and reversing food insecurity. Recalling the great contributions of Winnie Madikizela‑Mandela, he said South Africa had long recognized the important leadership of women in its liberation. Gender mainstreaming helped build inclusive societies that drew on the strengths of all its members, and South Africa had drawn on that principle to overcome a system of institutionalized oppression.

    CHRISTIAN WENAWESER (Liechtenstein) said the twin resolutions provided an important conceptual shift in the discussion by offering a more comprehensive approach to building and sustaining peace. Criminal justice was a central element of the discussion — ensuring justice worked to consolidate peace but also to prevent cycles of conflict and to support reconciliation. The International Criminal Court was essential to providing criminal accountability where national judiciaries failed to do so. However, the Court’s founders did not seek to have as many criminal proceedings before it as possible. Rather, the Rome Statute was based on the principle of complementarity, and therefore, it offered a powerful incentive both for States to strengthen their national capacities and for the international community to achieve that goal.

    ALBERT SHINGIRO (Burundi) stressed the importance of coherence, financing, prevention and the role of women and young people in the processes of peacebuilding and sustaining peace. Experience had shown that to prevent conflict, international actors must strengthen their coherence of action for peacebuilding. “There is no doubt that the most decisive support is generally the one provided from Member States in the region,” he said, underscoring the advantage of understanding cultural and historic context. Building lasting peace was not the job of outside actors; external intervention must be based on local knowledge, particularly in identifying priorities. Addressing the causes of conflict required fighting poverty and social exclusion, he said, adding that with “2030 not that far off” the world would soon judge the progress made. Burundi sought to empower women and young people. “Peace must be woven throughout the fabric of a society,” he said.

    ADIKALIE FODAY SUMAH (Sierra Leone), associating himself with the Non‑Aligned Movement and the Human Rights and Conflict Prevention Caucus, recalled a joint United Nations‑World Bank study according to which additional investment in conflict prevention could save the international community $1.5 billion each year. Sierra Leone had achieved a milestone in its peaceful transition from one Government to another. “This did not happen overnight,” he stressed, noting successive Government efforts, the support of donors, the Peacebuilding Commission and the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), as well as the contributions of interreligious organizations and civil society. Meaningful partnerships were crucial for sustaining peace, he emphasized.

    RUBÉN ARMANDO ESCALANTE HASBÚN (El Salvador) said peacebuilding was not just a transitional task but a permanent responsibility that extended to building public institutions and educating citizens. Just as a State must involve all its elements in peacebuilding, the United Nations must incorporate the peace component into all its actions. As a constant member of the Peacebuilding Commission, El Salvador welcomed the effort to bring prevention back into the heart of the Organization’s discussions. Highlighting the role of the Commission and the Fund, he called on other parts of the Secretariat and the United Nations system to complement those bodies. El Salvador was not only an active participant in peacekeeping operations; it had experienced armed conflict first‑hand 16 years ago. True, sustained peace could not be achieved without the engagement of women and young people, he added.

    CRAIG JOHN HAWKE (New Zealand) expressed support for the Secretary‑General’s focus on conflict prevention, scaling up of United Nations mediation capabilities and gender parity efforts. He called on the United Nations to address the problem of fragmentation, adding that the Organization must undergo cultural changes. Member States had an obligation to support peacebuilding, rather than wait for a crisis to erupt. Meanwhile, the Security Council could take small steps, for example, to think more broadly about whom the body engaged with and how consultations could be more effective. He also expressed support for wider United Nations reforms proposed by the Secretary‑General, emphasizing that an integrated approach to peacebuilding and sustaining peace was a task that extended well beyond the mandate of any one body.

    MODEST JONATHAN MERO (United Republic of Tanzania) highlighted the need to reduce the likelihood of conflicts and the relapse of violence in post‑conflict countries. In that regard, addressing issues of inequality, unemployment, poverty, human rights, climate change, governance, law enforcement and transnational crime was essential. While the United Nations had the capabilities and commitment, it was separated by its silos, he said, calling on the Organization to align its work around what was most important for ending and preventing conflicts. Moreover, the lack of inclusion of women and youths in peace processes meant that peace agreements did not recognize the needs of the population as a whole. He urged the international community to explore ways to include women and young people in formal peace processes.

    ABDALLAH Y. AL-MOUALLIMI (Saudi Arabia) said that without justice there could be no peace, adding that Palestine was a clear example of that. On Yemen, he said Saudi Arabia had led peace operations which had allowed for a peaceful transition of power. In Syria, Saudi Arabia had sought to unite the opposition, as well as implement the Geneva communiqué and relevant Security Council resolutions. In Libya, Iraq, and the wider region, Saudi Arabia had worked to promote a culture of dialogue and tolerance through various centres focused on combating extremism and terrorism. The United Nations could play a greater role in peacebuilding and sustaining peace by working with regional organizations, he said, emphasizing: “We seek to be proactive while respecting the sovereignty of States.”

    CARMELO INGUANEZ (Malta), aligning himself with the European Union, expressed deep concern about ongoing violence in the immediate neighborhood of his country, noting that those events could have implications on regional and international peace. It was crucial to identify challenges before they turned into conflicts, he said, stressing that Governments should work towards increasing and creating new employment opportunities, and offering their citizens the conditions for success. Also emphasizing rule of law and access to justice, he urged the United Nations to evolve and adapt in order to retain its role as the most important player in the international arena.

    AUDRA PLEPYTÈ (Lithuania), aligning herself with the European Union, said that peaceful and sustainable coexistence between countries required collective effort, as well as national commitment. “Peace is not only the absence of violence; there are institutions, structures, communities and attitudes that underpin it,” she said. Touching upon issues of particular importance, she highlighted the need for inclusivity and resourcing for sustaining peace activities. When credible mechanisms for broad public participation existed in peacebuilding efforts, that generated legitimacy and trust in the State and its institutions. While there was growing evidence that women’s participation led to peace and stability, investment in women, peace and security remained woefully low. Indeed, the effectiveness of United Nations efforts towards sustaining peace hinged on appropriate resourcing, she said.

    JAN KICKERT (Austria), noting the paradigm shift in how the United Nations addressed conflict, said that had become necessary because traditional approaches had failed. The Organization’s deepened engagement in conflict prevention was an opportunity for Member States to avail themselves of international support, not only before potential outbreaks of conflict but also in phases of transition afterwards. “We cannot look the other way anymore in the case of mass atrocities,” he stressed, also welcoming the Secretary‑General’s system‑wide strategy on gender parity. Highlighting Austria’s support for various peacebuilding initiatives, he added that early warning and response systems were crucial in countering transnational security threats.

    YASHAR T. ALIYEV (Azerbaijan), associating himself with the Non‑Aligned Movement, expressed support for the Secretary‑General’s determination to help prevent war and efforts to reform the process with a view to responding early and effectively. The concept of conflict prevention, in its inter‑State dimension, was linked to the principle of peaceful dispute settlement, as enshrined in Article 2 of the United Nations Charter. However, that principle, and the concept of prevention as its non‑legal equivalent, could not be misused to cover up aggression and must not be interpreted as implying continuation of situations created through violations of the Charter. Azerbaijan’s position on that stemmed from its experience of facing armed aggression, foreign military occupation and ethnic cleansing, he stressed.

    GILLIAN BIRD (Australia) said Member States expected the entire United Nations system, not just traditional peacebuilding areas, to advance the sustaining peace agenda. Priority must be given to organizational change, with reforms making a difference in the field. Financing, including from the private sector and innovative sources, would be essential. Noting the General Assembly’s new resolution on sustaining peace, she said time must be used well, moving beyond slogans to build an effective United Nations.

    KORNELIOS KORNELIOU (Cyprus), associating himself with the European Union, said the concept of “sustaining peace” represented a shift in practice, as it espoused a system‑wide approach that included peacekeeping, sustainable development, human rights and humanitarian activities. The Cyprus question remained an issue of international peace and security. As it had been sheltered by and relied on United Nations peacekeepers, Cyprus could attest to the valuable role of those missions and the need to ensure that their mandates remained indispensable. The United Nations was the only forum through which a comprehensive settlement in Cyprus could be achieved.

    KAREL JAN GUSTAAF VAN OOSTEROM (Netherlands) said that the preamble to the Organization’s Charter was a clear definition of peacebuilding. Noting that sustaining peace was at the core of his country’s foreign policy, he stressed the importance of national ownership in preventing conflict. Also highlighting the need for inclusive approaches, he said political and social exclusion and the lack of accountable justice systems were key causes of conflict around the world. Marginalized groups, from religious minorities to women, must participate in peacebuilding. Enhanced partnerships were vital to the success of peacekeeping operations, he said, highlighting the success of the global focal point arrangement for police, justice and corrections areas in the rule of law in post-conflict and other crisis situations.

    CHARLES T NTWAAGAE (Botswana), associating himself with the African Group and the Non‑Aligned Movement, said prevention and sustaining peace were in everyone’s interest and should not be seen as a threat to sovereignty. “The signs are always there,” he said, as conflict stemmed from exclusion, discrimination, and political and economic inequalities. Prevention required addressing the causes of conflict and instability. He noted that Botswana’s “Vision 2036” was closely aligned to the 2030 Agenda, underscoring the importance of investing in people. “Everyone in society must have a strong feeling of belonging to a community in order for peace to prevail,” he added. Civil society had a critical role to play in ringing the alarm when regimes cracked down on fundamental freedoms.

    MICHAL MLYNÁR (Slovakia), associating himself with the European Union, said that that too often public grievances and violence against States were driven by politics of exclusion. A round table on security sector reform, which Slovakia had co‑hosted on 23 April, had helped enhance knowledge and understanding of how to sustain peace. Participants discussed the importance of national policy and governance frameworks, as well as the inclusion of women and civil society. The benefits of sustaining peace were clear and convincing. Moving the United Nations system around the goal of preventing conflicts would be daunting but eventually rewarding. It was the only way to build open and inclusive societies.

    SURENDRA THAPA (Nepal) said his country’s experience confirmed that conflict prevention and sustaining peace would only succeed when the causes of conflict were addressed. While Governments had primary responsibility for sustaining peace, the international community should support those efforts. Equally important was engaging all stakeholders in charting a path for development, in line with the 2030 Agenda. Highlighting the revitalization of the United Nations Development Assistance Framework, he said Governments should be fully consulted with while analysing conflict risk so as to ensure understanding of local context and culture. Emerging from armed conflict, mega‑earthquakes and other crises, Nepal was determined to implement its human rights‑based Constitution, the culmination of a successful peace process. Local, provincial and federal elections in 2017 were also landmark achievements. Having entered a new era of political stability, Nepal was determined not to let go of an historic opportunity.

    ROBERT SISILO (Solomon Islands), recalling the armed conflict in his country in late 1998, said that with assistance from the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands, fondly known as “RAMSI”, the country had restored peace in July 2003. The mission was remembered as a positive example of friends coming together in support of a neighbour in crisis, and seeing them through a period of tension towards renewed confidence in national law enforcement institutions. However, like other countries in post‑conflict situations, the Solomon Islands faced challenges, he said, expressing appreciation for the support of the Peacebuilding Commission. Noting that climate change could trigger conflicts, he said Pacific island countries were in immediate danger. An unstable climate and subsequent displacement of people could exacerbate the core drivers of conflict, such as migratory pressure and competition for resources, he cautioned.

    ROLANDO CASTRO CÓRDOBA (Costa Rica), aligning himself with the Human Security Network, said respect for human rights was directly linked to respect for law and peaceful governance. There could be no sustainable development without peace and vice versa, which made it essential that the international community support United Nations development activities. Such integral strategies must take into account the empowerment of women and education. Sharing Costa Rica’s experience, he said the abolition of the army in 1948 had enabled the country to divert resources earmarked for military towards education and social welfare. “We must make multilateralism into a shared tool,” he stressed.

    MIRGUL MOLDOISAEVA (Kyrgyzstan) said sustaining peace was a common task and responsibility for all Government and national stakeholders. She urged all parties to overcome the United Nations present disunity and increase its capacity to support Government efforts to preserve peace, and respond promptly to conflicts and crises. Also critical were efforts to revitalize the Peacebuilding Support Office and strengthen the United Nations partnerships with Governments; international, regional and subregional organizations; international financial institutions; civil society groups; youth and the private sector. All that work should consider national priorities and policies, she said, underscoring the need to address the issue of financing for United Nations peacebuilding.

    SEBASTIANO CARDI (Italy), aligning himself with the European Union, said that giving the sustaining peace agenda substance meant looking at the future of the United Nations. Italy would put the Secretary‑General’s recommendations into practice, and for that reason, would increase its contributions to the Peacebuilding Fund and the conflict prevention activities of the Department of Political Affairs. Indeed, a common effort to move “from vision to action” was needed more than ever, he said, noting that challenges facing the Mediterranean, Sahel and Horn of Africa required comprehensive and prompt action from all. At the same time, the capacity of the United Nations must be fully exploited by improving synergy, cooperation and coordination among all actors, both at Headquarters and on the ground. He reiterated full support for the Secretary‑General’s reform proposals.

    RY TUY (Cambodia) said the Sustainable Development Goals must serve as building blocks in the attainment of peace. Sustainable peace and development were reinforcing in nature. Investing in education fostered peace globally, increased employment and decreased extremism. Sustaining global peace required focus and coordination. Over the years, Cambodia had contributed thousands of peacekeepers worldwide, he said, underscoring the principles of sovereignty, independence and non‑interference in domestic affairs. Sustainable financing must be available, he said, welcoming “serious discussions” with the private sector.

    KANISSON COULIBALY (Mali) said sustaining peace required increased partnerships and stakeholder engagement. Mali was committed to emerging from crisis, he stressed, recalling the Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation in Mali (the “Bamako Agreement”) emanating from the “Algiers process”. That accord was instrumental to guaranteeing peace throughout the Sahel region. Acknowledging the support of bilateral and multilateral partners, including the Peacebuilding Fund, he said the Secretary‑General’s proposals were relevant to the challenges facing the international community.

    KENNEDY MAYONG ONON (Malaysia), associating himself with the Non‑Aligned Movement, said that sustaining peace initiatives must more coordinated, integrated and inclusive, especially of women and young people. He emphasized the importance of national ownership and the role of regional and subregional organizations as well as civil society, the media and private sector. Poverty eradication, economic revitalization and stabilization must be among the core objectives of peacebuilding and sustaining peace initiatives, which also required predictable, sustained and adequate financing, and political will.

    MICHEL XAVIER BIANG (Gabon) said that a transformation of the United Nations system was necessary given the evolving nature of crises and conflict. Despite greater efforts by the Organization, threats to international peace and security had grown in number and become better planned. While prevention efforts remained an essential tool in achieving comprehensive peace, they had been inadequately financed, which often fostered the resurgence of crisis in transition situations. Welcoming the Secretary‑General’s proposal to support the prevention and peacebuilding mechanisms, he said the participation of women and youth at all levels was fundamental.

    DIEGO FERNANDO MOREJÓN PAZMIÑO (Ecuador) said that peace was linked to all of the Sustainable Development Goals and urged political commitment from Member States to guarantee financing and technical cooperation. Ecuador also backed “complete and total” disarmament. On the peace process in Colombia, he underscored Ecuador’s relations with its neighbour, emphasizing that it hosted tens of thousands of refugees from Colombia. Currently, at least 200,000 Colombians were requesting to move to Ecuador. More must be done to protect journalists and civilians, particularly on the border with Colombia, where three Ecuadorian journalists had been killed earlier this month. Indeed, Ecuador was focused on contributing to peace in the region, including in Colombia and Peru.

    MARTÍN GARCÍA MORITÁN (Argentina) said overcoming fragmentation in the United Nations work would enable a holistic focus on conflict prevention and peacebuilding. Peace missions could help host States in their implementation of the 2030 Agenda, as they were in an excellent position to address the causes of conflict and find solutions based on national responsibility. The Peacebuilding Support Office must be strengthened, while adequate, predictable funding must be provided for peacebuilding activities. Expressing support for the draft resolution, he called on delegates to support the Secretary‑General in advancing his proposed reforms.

    KHALIFA ALI ISSA AL HARTHY (Oman) said diplomacy could have prevented many conflicts, thereby sparing money and energy for implementing sustainable development objectives. Since the Sultan had assumed power, Oman had worked hard to prevent conflict, in partnership with the United Nations and peace‑loving nations. Sustaining peace could not be achieved without national consensus, he stressed, cautioning against double standards. The United Nations was not trusted in many parts of the world and it must change that impression. He voiced hope that the current meeting would spark a move in that direction.

    AMPARO MELE COLIFA (Equatorial Guinea) pressed the international community to explore ways to restructure the United Nations architecture, welcoming the Organization’s increased effectiveness in peacebuilding and integration of a gender and youth perspective in sustaining peace strategies. Investing in development was the best tool to prevent conflict. Peacebuilding was the responsibility of all Member States, she said, commending the Peacebuilding Commission in that context. More clarity was needed on the repercussions of restructuring the United Nations three pillars. She requested practical examples and tables to help understand those reforms at national and regional levels, particularly in areas that risked becoming “blind spots” for the world’s vision.

    SAMSON SUNDAY ITEGBOJE (Nigeria), associating himself with the Non‑Aligned Movement, said his country had seen its fair share of crises. Sustaining peace should not be a guise for infringing upon State sovereignty. He stressed the importance of ensuring adequate, predictable and sustained financing for peacebuilding, exploring innovative financing solutions, as well as options for assessed and voluntary funding. Citing Nigeria’s participation in United Nations peacekeeping missions, he underscored the importance of protecting human rights. National security reform must be linked to good governance and the promotion of law, he said, also describing Nigeria’s focus on empowering women and youth in peacebuilding.

    KUMBIRAYI TAREMBA (Zimbabwe), associating herself with the Non‑Aligned Movement, said more investment was needed in conflict prevention. The twin 2016 resolutions acknowledged that Member States had the primary responsibility in building and sustaining peace. National ownership was the cornerstone for peacebuilding, she said, and the United Nations must provide coherent, comprehensive and coordinated support to Member States. According to a recent United Nations‑World Bank report, more resources were spent on addressing the aftermath of conflicts than preventing them from flaring and escalating. Calling for predictable and sustainable funding, she said Zimbabwe was enjoying “tremendous peace after a peaceful transition ushered in a new political dispensation in November 2017”.

    PEACEBUILDING For information media. Not an official record.

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    Source: US Agency for International Development, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    Country: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Lao People's Democratic Republic (the), Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Thailand, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, United States of America, Viet Nam, World, Zambia, Zimbabwe


    Despite remarkable progress in recent years, malaria remains a leading cause of sickness and death across much of sub-Saharan Africa. Malaria disproportionately impacts the rural poor, typically people who must walk for miles to seek treatment. It is also a leading cause of absenteeism among employees, increased health care spending, decreased productivity, and approximately 50 percent of all preventable school absences in Africa. Malaria helps to trap families in a vicious cycle of disease and poverty.

    Between 2000 and 2015, a concerted global effort has helped reduce malaria deaths by more than 60 percent, saved almost 7 million lives, and prevented more than 1 billion malaria cases. The U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative, led by USAID, and implemented together with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), has been a key partner in this effort. Together with partner countries, PMI is working to optimize the use and scale-up of effective tools for the prevention and control of malaria. Simultaneously, and of equal importance, PMI is building the skills of multiple teams of health workers to deliver malaria services effectively, while empowering ministry of health leaders to manage malaria control activities with increasing self-reliance. With the support of PMI and other partners, national malaria control programs in Africa are leading their own response to achieve results in a sustainable and accountable manner.

    The global malaria community has embraced a longterm vision of a world without malaria which PMI’s Strategy for 2015–2020 supports (see Box). Since the launch of PMI by President George W. Bush in 2006, the U.S. Government has shown unwavering commitment to ending malaria. Increases in appropriations from Congress enabled PMI to add new countries beyond the original 15 envisioned at the time of PMI’s launch (see Figure 1). In FY 2017, thanks to increased funding for PMI from the U.S. Congress, PMI announced plans for a five-country expansion adding programs in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Niger, and Sierra Leone, which grew PMI’s reach to 24 malaria-endemic countries in sub-Saharan Africa, including those with the highest burden, and three programs in the Greater Mekong Subregion of Southeast Asia.

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    Source: US Agency for International Development, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    Country: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Lao People's Democratic Republic (the), Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Thailand, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, United States of America, Viet Nam, World, Zambia, Zimbabwe

    Les 27 pays cibles en Afrique subsaharienne et la sous-région du Grand Mékong on bénéficié de plus de $5,4+ milliards de ressources pour la prévention, le traitement et la lutte contre le paludisme.

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

    Key Findings

    A large majority of migrants are men (90%).

    8% of observed migrants at Flow Monitoring Points are minors.

    93,973 migrants (20,877 incoming and 73,096 outgoing) were observed at Flow Monitoring Points, representing an average of 147 migrants per day

    The majority of surveyed migrants indicated their intention to travel to Algeria and Libya, while 39% intended to travel to Europe, in particular Italy and Spain.

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

    Nationals from Guinea, Gambia, Senegal, and Côte d'Ivoire rank first among non-Malian migrants transiting through Mali.

    The vast majority of identified migrants arrived in Mali in transit buses. However, migrants departing from Gao mainly travel in trucks, while those identified at other flow monitoring points primarily travel by bus.

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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: 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

    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: World Health Organization
    Country: Sierra Leone

    FREETOWN, April 29, 2018 --- This year’s African Vaccination Week, on the theme ‘Vaccines Work! Do Your Part!’ has been celebrated across Sierra Leone, including a major event to engage community and religious leaders, mothers and civil society organizations at the Satellite Hospital in Freetown. The event was coordinated by the Pikin to Pikin Movement and the Children’s Advocacy Forum with support from the NGO Focus 1000 and Niyel.

    Around 40 women who were either pregnant or who had recently given birth attended the forum. They were sensitized on the need for them and their babies to be fully immunized according to the national schedule, which includes vaccination for all infants five times in the first year and importantly, also at 15 months, when they receive the second dose of the measles vaccine.

    “Vaccines save lives and protect communities,” said Mr. Terry Balogan, Programme Manager for Immunization at the World Health Organization in Sierra Leone. “We must continue to promote routine vaccinations for all children, which are always available at the health facilities to protect children against many different diseases,” he added.

    He impressed upon the benefits of vaccines for everyone, everywhere, and called on the districts with the greatest gaps in performance to do everything in their power to improve and expand vaccination coverage to reach every last child. He also reiterated the United Nations family’s continued support to the immunization programme in Sierra Leone.

    Nurses and religious leaders and civil society representatives who were seated at the high table shared their views and recommendations on the best ways to keep child, adults and communities healthy, and improve vaccination performance. Further to this, Cheick Ibrahim Cesay, Leader of the Islamic Action Group appealed on behalf of religious leaders for fathers and men in the community to take a more active role in promoting and supporting children to get all their vaccines on time. "Immunization is everyone's business,” he said. “It is not only a woman’s responsibility but fathers have also a vital part to play".

    During the week of the commemoration (23-29 April, 2018), a range of media and community engagement activities were conducted to promote the importance of routine vaccinations, including efforts to reach the most marginalized and vulnerable communities, and to mobilize greater domestic resources to support these efforts.

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    Source: International Crisis Group
    Country: Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, China, China - Taiwan Province, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Cyprus, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Japan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mexico, Moldova, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uzbekistan, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Western Sahara, World, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

    Global Overview APRIL 2018

    April saw the conflict in Yemen intensify, with both the Saudi-led coalition and Huthi forces increasing attacks – fuelling risks of further escalation in May. At the Gaza-Israel border, Israeli forces continued to push back Palestinian protesters with deadly force; with larger protests expected in May, casualties could rise. Eastern Libya's strongman fell ill, prompting fears of further political and military splits. In Afghanistan, the Taliban stepped up attacks, while Kashmir saw deadly clashes and protests. Dozens were killed amid anti-government protests in Nicaragua. In Nigeria, rising violence – especially between herders and farmers – left nearly 500 dead. Burundi could see more political violence around its 17 May constitutional referendum, and a flare-up in attacks by armed groups in the Central African Republic could provoke worse bloodshed in coming weeks. The United Arab Emirates’ withdrawal from Somalia led to clashes between army factions there. On a positive note, Ethiopia’s new prime minister took steps to mitigate ethnic tensions. In North East Asia, tensions escalated across the Taiwan Strait, while China-Japan relations continued to improve, and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon pledged to seek “complete denuclearisation” of the peninsula.

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    Source: International Organization for Migration
    Country: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, Egypt, Eritrea, Gabon, Gambia, Greece, Guinea, Haiti, Hungary, India, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Montenegro, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Romania, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Slovenia, Somalia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Western Sahara, World, Yemen, Zimbabwe


    DTM flow monitoring data compiled from national authorities and IOM offices show that the number of arrivals through Mediterranean routes between January and March 2018 is half the number of arrivals in the same period in 2017. In the first quarter of 2018 a total of 1,956 migrants and asylum seekers arrived in Europe using different land and sea routes, in comparison to 34,531 registered in the first quarter of 2017. As previously reported, the decrease is mainly due to the drop in arrivals in Italy.

    This year, authorities in Italy registered 6,29 6 new arrivals, almost four times less than the 24,292 registered in the same period in 2017. Similarly, the decrease is also noted in registered arrivals in Bulgaria (714 in 2017 and 286 in 2018), Spain (5,204 versus 4,984) and Cyprus (250 versus 47). In contrast to that, there was an increase of 67 per cent in registered sea and land arrivals to Greece from 4,407 in the first quarter of 2017 to 7,343 registered in the first quarter of 2018. The increase in the number of land arrivals is especially significant as it reached a total of 2,145 at the end of March 2018, which is the highest figure reported in the past four years. The majority (62%) of migrants who were registered crossing to Greece by land from Turkey were registered during this reporting period - a total of 1,327, which is three times greater than the 425 land arrivals reported in February and the 393 registered in January 2018.

    Available data on the nationalities of the migrants and refugees who arrived in Italy and Greece, two main entry points in the Mediterranean, indicate a change in the nationality structure of the registered population between the first quarters of 2017 and 2018. Looking at the top five registered nationality groups in Greece reveals that an estimated third of the migrants and refugees were Syrian nationals in both 2017 (36%) and 2018 (37%).

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    Source: Department for International Development
    Country: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Iraq, Kenya, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tajikistan, World, Zimbabwe

    Latest Evidence

    Here is a selection of the latest evidence on violence against women and girls (VAWG):


    The impact of engaging fathers on Intimate Partner Violence:

    Findings from a randomised controlled trial (RCT) in Rwanda (April 2018) This RCT assessed the impact of the Bandebereho (‘role model’) gender-transformative couples’ intervention. At the 21 month follow-up, more than half of women in the control group (57%) reported experiencing physical violence from the partner in the previous 12 months, compared to one-third (33%) of women in the intervention group. Similarly, rates of sexual violence from a partner were 60% among women in the control group compared to 35% in the intervention group.

    Fathers engaged in the two year MenCare couples intervention also spent one hour or more per day doing unpaid care work and household chores.

    The findings provide much needed rigorous evidence of the effectiveness of male engagement approaches to tackling intimate partner violence (IPV), and highlight fatherhood as an effective entry point for gender transformative interventions.


    Cash transfers and IPV in low and middle income countries (February, 2018) In response to increasing evidence of the impact of cash transfer (CT) programmes on IPV, this mixed method review of 23 studies in low and middle income countries explores pathways for how cash transfers may impact on IPV.

    The report proposes three pathways through which CT could impact IPV: 1) Economic security and emotional wellbeing;

    2) intra-household conflict; and 3) women’s empowerment. The first pathway is the only one that exclusively reduces IPV; the other two pathways may increase or decrease IPV, depending on whether additional cash aggravates or reduces relationship conflict and/or how men respond to women’s increased empowerment.

    The report finds that complementary activities such as trainings and group meetings are likely to be key factors in the effectiveness of CT programmes to reduce IPV.

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    Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation
    Country: Sierra Leone

    "Who would live in an area that is disaster prone if they knew and valued their life? We had no idea, we have no choice"

    By Nicky Milne

    FREETOWN, May 10 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Kadiatu Koroma only narrowly escaped the mudslide that engulfed her home in Sierra Leone's ramshackle capital last August, killing an estimated 1,000 people in one of the worst flooding-related disasters to hit Africa in living memory.

    Koroma had already left for work when tons of mud and rocks crashed down onto her poor community in the shadow of Freetown's Mount Sugar Loaf, killing her sister and her newborn baby.

    Like many in the poor West African nation, she had no choice but to live in a place where experts had long warned that deforestation and rampant construction could bring disaster - and where many fear it could happen again as heavy rains become more severe due to climate change.

    "Who would live in an area that is disaster prone if they knew and valued their life?" she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in a camp for homeless victims of the disaster.

    "We had no idea, we have no choice."

    Originally built for 400,000 residents, Freetown has mushroomed since Sierra Leone won independence from Britain in 1961, and is now home to an estimated 2 million people.

    People flocked to the city during the decade-long civil war that ended in 2002 and the rampant, unplanned construction that followed led to destruction of the forests that offered vital protection against mudslides.

    Many experts believe the mudslide was a manmade disaster and warn of worse to come if urgent action is not taken.

    "I think what we saw is just the beginning," said Bala Amarasekaren, a conservationist who founded Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary in the hills above Freetown in 1995.

    "I am very, very scared. I know this area well and there are many areas that are even more vulnerable than the place that collapsed."

    Amarasekaren said the forested slopes that surround Freetown once provided natural protection for the city, but have now been denuded for largely illegal construction.

    "The forest plays a huge role in terms of protecting our water ways, protecting the slopes, and if you start destroying that eco-system you're basically inviting problems such as those that led to the landslide," he said.


    Emergency workers in Freetown pulled the bodies of about 500 victims from the mud but hundreds more are still missing. The final death toll, estimated at 1,000, may never be known.

    Another 3,000 people were made homeless in the city, which is buckling under the weight of a growing population.

    A fifth of the population now lives in slum conditions with no sewerage or basic services, according to the United Nations, while 60 percent live on less than $1.25 a day.

    Alaphajoh Cham, deputy director of policy and planning at the land ministry, said unplanned construction was a legacy of the war-era influx of people to the capital.

    "Urbanisation is good if you are able to manage it very well," he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

    "The stark reality is that we stopped planning for decades; planning has never been a priority.

    "Unfortunately, the government is not in a position to effectively manage development control."

    Abdul Karim Marah, Freetown City Council's development and planning officer, said structural plans for the city had been drawn up but never implemented.

    "We have so many documents which could inform whomever is interested in bringing about decency and change in regards to the problems of environmental challenges in Freetown," he said.

    "It's a question of putting them into practice."

    New Mayor Yvonne Aki Sawyerr said Freetown's location, sandwiched between the sea and the mountains, compounded the difficulty of accomodating an expanding population.

    "Freetown is a city of just over a million people living on 357 square kms of land," she said in an email interview. "A lack of urban planning, inadequate housing and poor sanitation is negatively impacting the living conditions, health outcomes and employment prospects of many of Freetown's residents."


    Freetown has been plagued by heavy rains and flooding yearly since 2008, and was still reeling from an Ebola epidemic that killed 4,000 people when the mudslide struck.

    Conservationist Amarasekaren believes climate change is also taking its toll on a city that suffers heavy rains every year.

    "Climate change is global," he said. "What you're doing in the United States or England is coming to affect us. Maybe in August we used to get 30 inches (76 cm) of rain; because of climate change, now we're getting maybe 300 inches."

    In the city's low-lying Congo Town slum, where small shacks are crammed haphazardly together and a lack of proper sewerage systems means a strong stench fills the air, community leader Idrissa Kargbo said floods were a regular hazard.

    Nowadays, the rainy season tends to be briefer but more intense, bringing greater risk of flooding, he said as he pointed to the damp stains at head height on the wall.

    "My worries are that it happened in 2015, and 2016, and again in 2017," he said. "Maybe 2018 will be the worst."

    (Reporting by Nicky Milne, Editing by Claire Cozens. 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

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