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ReliefWeb - Updates on Sierra Leone

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    Source: European Commission's Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations
    Country: Algeria, Angola, Bangladesh, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Honduras, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Philippines, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Republic of Tanzania, Uzbekistan, World, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

    THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION,

    Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

    Having regard to Council Regulation (EC) No 1257/96 of 20 June 1996 concerning humanitarian aid1 , and in particular Article 2, Article 4 and Article 15(2) and (3) thereof,

    Having regard to Council Decision 2013/755/EU of 25 November 2013 on the association of the overseas countries and territories with the European Union ('Overseas Association Decision')2 , and in particular Article 79 thereof,

    Having regard to Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union3 , and in particular Article 84(2) thereof,

    Whereas:

    (1) Commission Decision C(2017) 88634 provides for the financing of humanitarian aid operational priorities from the 2018 general budget of the European Union for a total amount of EUR 842 200 000 from budget articles 23 02 01 and 23 02 02.

    (2) The Commission is committed to providing a humanitarian response in those areas where humanitarian needs are greatest. Accordingly, when required by changing circumstances in the field which might affect existing humanitarian needs or generate new needs, the humanitarian response may be subject to reorientation or scaling-up in the course of implementation of actions. Union financial assistance may also have to be awarded to new actions to satisfy exacerbated or increased humanitarian needs.

    (3) The global humanitarian context has been characterised by an increase in humanitarian needs in locations such as Burkina Faso and Mauritania, the two countries are facing a new food and nutrition crisis in 2018, linked to an early agro-pastoral lean season and affecting particularly the Southern regions, Haiti experiencing a severe food crisis,
    Libya where further increase of violence over the past months caused new forced displacement, Ukraine where fighting continues around the hotspots along the contact line, Yemen where the increasing scale of the needs, their wide geographical spread, the progressive collapse of basic services and institutions and the extreme access restrictions are exerting an enormous pressure on the already over-stretched and underfunded humanitarian community, Bangladesh where there is a need to scale up the urgent preparedness actions, Somalia where humanitarian needs remain significant due to the continued severe drought and armed conflict. Furthermore, following the two strong earthquakes which struck Mexico on 7 and 19 September 2017 needs in livelihood rehabilitation and community infrastructures, notably schools, remain outstanding.

    (4) Pursuant to the contribution agreement concluded with the Department for International Development (DFID) of the United Kingdom Government, as amended in accordance with Decision C(2017) 82925 , the latter provides a total contribution of approximately EUR 228 771 620 to the European Union over the years 2014 to 2019 in support of humanitarian aid actions in the Sahel, from which an amount of EUR 36 000 000 is to be used in 2018.

    (5) With the establishment of a Facility for Refugees in Turkey6 , the assistance aiming, inter alia, at addressing the humanitarian needs of refugees present in Turkey should be coordinated with the Member States which contributed EUR 634 038 000 to the Union's budget as external assigned revenue in 2017. Insofar as the financing coordinated through the Facility for Refugees in Turkey concerns humanitarian assistance, it is to be implemented in line with Council Regulation (EC) No 1257/96 and according to the principles laid down in the European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid7 .

    (6) According to the latest figures, over the last 6 years more than 3.5 million Syrians have been registered by the authorities in Turkey and granted Temporary Protection (TP). In addition, there are over 350 000 people registered under international, subsidiary protection or asylum seekers status. This makes Turkey the country hosting the highest number of refugees in the world. An initial allocation of EUR 23 000 000 from budget article 23 02 01 is therefore to be assigned to address the related humanitarian needs.

    (7) Budgetary allocations within the specific objectives should be revised in light of the evolving circumstances and the related humanitarian needs, without prejudice to the flexibility for non-substantial changes to be adopted by the authorising officer by delegation.

    (8) Non-substantial changes under this Decision are to be calculated by reference to the maximum contribution, excluding the contributions received from other donors pursuant to Article 21(2)(b) of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012.

    (9) To date, the Commission's authorising officer by delegation adopted non-substantial changes consisting of the reallocation of resources between specific objectives and made increases to this Decision for an amount equivalent to EUR 161 600 000.

    (10) This Decision complies with the conditions laid down in Article 94 of Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 1268/20128 .

    (11) The measures provided for in this Decision are in accordance with the opinion of the Humanitarian A


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


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    Source: World Food Programme
    Country: Sierra Leone

    In Numbers

    • 179.6 mt of food assistance distributed
    • US$ 0 cash based transfers made
    • US$ 7,914,883 six months (May-Oct 2018) net funding requirements, representing 64% of total
    • 17,176 people assisted in May 2018

    Operational Updates

    • To ensure that the basic food and nutrition needs of disaster-affected populations are met, WFP distributed food to a total of 1,500 individuals belonging to 258 households in five communities affected by fire in Pujehun and Moyamba districts, windstorm in Kenema district and post-election violence in Kailahun district.
    • Through Ecobank, WFP Sierra Leone provided food assistance for two months in the form of cash to 128 mudslide and flood-affected households in Freetown. Cash-based transfers allow the beneficiaries greater flexibility in buying the food of their choice.
    • WFP has completed the seasonal livelihood programming (SLP) report for Pujehun district and shared it with the district council. The SLP provides the foundations for planning to recover quickly from shocks, bringing together local needs and experiences so that multi-sectoral programmes and interventions can be coordinated, planned, and delivered.
    • Vulnerable smallholder farmers in Port Loko,
      Moyamba and Pujehun districts benefited from agricultural tools through an NGO, Building Resources Across Communities, to undertake the first multiplication of orange fleshed sweet potato, yellow cassava and short duration rice seed for onward distribution to targeted farmers for cultivation and consumption. This is part of efforts to train farmers in improved agronomic practices for nutrition-dense crops and nutrition awareness raising.

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    Source: World Health Organization
    Country: Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, South Sudan, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, World

    This Weekly Bulletin focuses on selected acute public health emergencies occurring in the WHO African Region. The WHO Health Emergencies Programme is currently monitoring 58 events in the region. This week’s edition covers key new and ongoing events, including:

    • Humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia

    • Humanitarian crisis in in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

    • Hepatitis E outbreak in Namibia

    • Cholera outbreak in Cameroon

    • Ebola virus disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

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

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

    **Major issues and challenges include: **

    The new wave of inter-communal violence within the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia is of serious concern in terms of the population’s health and wellbeing. IDP populations now exceed the size of host communities in some affected wordas with consequential poor conditions in overcrowded shelters, with limited access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities. Already inadequate health services are further overstretched and access to food is a major concern, with food security already an issue in the host communities, as well as an increase in disease outbreaks. The release of US$ 15 million from the UN Central Fund for Emergencies is a step in the right direction. However, substantially more funding will be required to meet the needs of the affected populations.

    The ongoing outbreak of hepatitis E since September 2017 in Namibia is of concern. The decline in cases observed in the first quarter of the year has now been reversed and a recent increase in cases is occurring. Of note is that the vast majority of cases are linked to two informal settlements in Windhoek, the capital city. This outbreak has the potential to spread to other informal settlements in the capital as well as other regions of the country through population movement and response actions urgently need to be scaled up.


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    Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
    Country: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo


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    Source: UN Security Council
    Country: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Gambia, Guinea, Liberia, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone

    SC/13426

    SECURITY COUNCIL
    8313TH MEETING (PM)

    Recent developments in West Africa and the Sahel have been characterized by both volatility and democratic gains, the top United Nations official in the region told the Security Council today, warning that the latter “are not immune from reversal” and could be negatively impacted by the former.

    Mohamed ibn Chambas, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), described positive trends towards democratization, outlined in the most recent report of the Secretary-General (document S/2018/649) covering the period 1 January to 30 June. Those include the successful holding of democratic local elections in Guinea, local and municipal elections in the Gambia, and presidential, legislative and local elections in Sierra Leone, he said, also welcoming the abolition of the death penalty in Benin and Burkina Faso.

    However, he warned, such positive developments continue to compete with the region’s volatile security situation. In the Sahel and the Lake Chad Basin, the spillover of the Malian crisis is increasingly affecting Burkina Faso and Niger, and terrorist groups continue to cause devastation throughout the region. Despite gains made by the Nigerian armed forces and a Multinational Joint Task Force — launched by the five countries of the Group of Five for the Sahel — Boko Haram and the West African province of Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh) remain active, often using women and children as suicide bombers.

    “The complexity of recent attacks is a worrying outcome of West African and Sahelian Islamist groups reinforcing their linkages,” he said. Local insurgencies are also spreading, exacerbating intercommunal conflicts and undermining State authority, while environmental degradation and socioeconomic marginalization impact some 45 million people across the region. Also voicing concern over escalating violence between nomadic herders and agrarian communities and unrest in Cameroon’s English-speaking areas, he urged Member States to provide holistic support to the region and facilitate an enabling environment for the exercise of freedoms of expression and assembly.

    Several Council members took the floor to welcome recent progress in the region and hail the good offices and other support activities of UNOWAS. Some also expressed alarm over persistent and complex regional challenges, with Côte d’Ivoire’s representative noting that, beyond terrorism and violent extremism, transnational organized crime, armed groups and the proliferation of conflicts pitting herders against farmers remain of serious concern. Insecurity spawned from terrorist groups such as Boko Haram, acts of piracy and armed robberies also continue unabated, he said.

    The representative of Equatorial Guinea warned that challenges facing West Africa and the Sahel should be viewed as threats to the entire continent. Boko Haram’s violence has led to an unprecedented humanitarian crisis and the forcible displacement of thousands of people, as well as escalating food insecurity. Voicing concern over violent clashes between herders and nomadic groups, she called upon regional partners to undertake mediation, conflict resolution and peacebuilding efforts to address those tensions in a long-term manner. She also joined other speakers in voicing support for efforts to recalibrate the United Nations integrated strategy for the Sahel and drive forward its implementation.

    Bolivia’s delegate, echoing expressions of concern over the region’s security situation, also drew attention to development and rule of law challenges. Emphasizing that many of its current crises are consequences of interventionism and regime change policies associated with the 2011 military intervention in Libya, he said that operation had the unfortunate effect of pushing armed groups and weapons into the Sahel. Adding to those challenges today are the activities of organized criminal networks, he said, also expressing alarm over the continued recruitment of children by Boko Haram.

    Also speaking were the representatives of Peru, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan and the Netherlands.

    The meeting began at 3:11 p.m. and ended at 4:04 p.m.

    Briefing

    MOHAMED IBN CHAMBAS, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), briefed the Council on the Office’s recent activities, as well as developments on the ground. Since he last addressed the Council, he said, positive movement on the democratization front has been competing with the region’s volatile security situation. In the Sahel and the Lake Chad Basin, the spillover of the Malian crisis is increasingly affecting Burkina Faso and Niger, and terrorist groups continue to cause devastation throughout the region. “The complexity of recent attacks is a worrying outcome of West African and Sahelian Islamist groups reinforcing their linkages,” he said, adding that local insurgencies are also spreading, exacerbating intercommunal conflicts and undermining State authority.

    Expressing concern over alleged human rights violations by security forces in the region, he called upon its Governments to prevent such violations and bring the perpetrators to justice. In the Lake Chad Basin — despite gains made by the Nigerian armed forces and the Multinational Joint Task Force, launched by the five countries that make up the Group of Five for the Sahel (G-5 Sahel) — Boko Haram and the West Africa province of Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh) remain active. On 1 July, an attack in Niger killed 10 of that country’s soldiers, and Boko Haram’s trend of using female and child suicide bombers continues. Calling for increased and holistic support to diplomatic, security and humanitarian responses to Boko Haram, he said UNOWAS is providing technical support for a joint summit of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) on the matter on 30 July.

    Describing environmental degradation and socioeconomic marginalization — impacting some 45 million people — resulting from Lake Chad’s severe depletion, he said an estimated 2.3 million remain displaced by the aggregate effects of insecurity, weak governance and climate change. Urging Member States to support the humanitarian response and revitalization of the region, he said violence between farmers and herders is increasingly a major security threat, and risks morphing into the terrorist attacks that have defined the security landscape. In that vein, he emphasized that any military response to those security challenges must be matched by the implementation of comprehensive strategies linking security and humanitarian interventions to development and human rights initiatives.

    In other recent developments, he said, piracy in the Gulf of Guinea increased over the reporting period with both drug smuggling and the trafficking of small arms and light weapons — including by terrorist groups — posing major threats. Welcoming regional efforts to combat those phenomena, he said the demarcation of the Cameroon-Nigeria border and the pillar construction continue to face challenges due to insecurity in areas affected by Boko Haram, as well as unrest in Cameroon’s English‑speaking regions. Spotlighting an upsurge in popular discontent in the region, manifested through often violent demonstrations calling for political and economic reforms, he said several countries of the region also continue to struggle with justice, national reconciliation and human rights challenges.

    In that regard, he urged Member States to provide an enabling environment for the exercise of freedoms of expression and assembly — which are critical to the consolidation of democracy and good governance — and noted that, in a positive development, Benin and Burkina Faso recently abolished the death penalty. Indeed, the region has continued on a positive trajectory since his last briefing, with democratic local elections in Guinea, local and municipal elections in the Gambia, and presidential, legislative and local elections in Sierra Leone. His office also continued to closely monitor the situation in countries with forthcoming elections, such as Mauritania, Nigeria and Senegal. Noting that the continuing political crisis in Togo has already caused the suspension of parliamentary elections, he outlined ECOWAS mediation efforts to overcome the political impasse, warning that “democratic gains in the region are not immune to reversal”.

    Statements

    THÉODORE DAH (Côte d’Ivoire) commended the recent progress made, but expressed alarm at the persistent, multifaceted challenges facing the West Africa region. Beyond terrorism and violent extremism, transnational organized crime, armed groups and the proliferation of armed conflicts pitting herders against farmers remain of serious concern. Insecurity spawned from terrorist groups such as Boko Haram, acts of piracy and armed robberies continue unabated, he said, although the Multinational Joint Task Force has resulted in a reduction in the operational capacities of Boko Haram in the Lake Chad region. All stakeholders must work hand in hand to create the conditions necessary for holding inclusive, peaceful and credible elections. Although the economic prospects in West Africa remained promising, more must be done to address weak purchasing power, which is often linked to inequality. He underscored the alarming figures related to the humanitarian situation on the ground and emphasized the need to address the needs of the 6.9 million people experiencing food insecurity and the 2.3 million displaced persons in the Lake Chad Basin. The role of women in the peace process remains relevant, he said, drawing attention to the Council’s recent debate on women, peace and security.

    PAUL DUCLOS (Peru) noted with great concern the situation of persistent violence and insecurity, the presence of terrorist groups, as well as the humanitarian situation in the Lake Chad Basin. UNOWAS must work to support free, fair and inclusive elections in Mali, Mauritania and Nigeria. Further, it should work with West African countries on other priorities, including security sector reform, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programmes, the empowerment of women and the impacts of climate change, as well as other objectives. He called upon UNOWAS to play a key role to ensure that various initiatives maintain operational and political coherence, while also reflecting the unique circumstances and needs of the people of the region.

    PEDRO LUIS INCHAUSTE JORDÁN (Bolivia) spotlighted the links between good offices, dialogue, preventive diplomacy, inclusivity and national ownership — which together are leading the way in West Africa — emphasizing that all members of the international community have a role to play there. However, he voiced concern that major challenges remain in the region’s security, development and rule of law. It cannot be ignored that many of those challenges are consequences of interventionism and regime change policies following the 2011 military intervention in Libya, which had the unfortunate effect of pushing armed groups and weapons from that country down to the Sahel region. Adding to those challenges are the activities of organized criminal networks, crises and conflicts that have a disproportionate impact on civilians, especially women and girls. Also expressing concern over the continued recruitment of children by Boko Haram, he called for the swift and full implementation of the United Nations integrated strategy for the Sahel.

    AMPARO MELE COLIFA (Equatorial Guinea) warned that such threats as attacks by Boko Haram should not be viewed as isolated, regional crises, but rather as threats to the entire African continent. Boko Haram’s violence has led to an unprecedented humanitarian crisis and the forcible displacement of thousands of people, as well as escalating food insecurity. Violent clashes between herders and nomadic groups in central Nigeria are also of major concern, she said, calling upon regional partners to immediately undertake mediation, conflict resolution and peacebuilding activities to address those tensions in a long-term manner. In that regard, she cautioned stakeholders to always prioritize peaceful solutions, guided by inclusive and objective dialogue processes between the parties. Reiterating her full support for the African Union Peace and Security Council’s June communiqué regarding the need to achieve lasting political solutions to the crises in Mali and Libya — which also underscored its support to regional actors — she also welcomed efforts to recalibrate the United Nations integrated strategy for the Sahel and drive forward its cross-cutting implementation.

    MAHLET HAILU GUADEY (Ethiopia) welcomed the positive developments taking place in the region, including constitutional and security sector reforms in several countries, as well as those efforts aimed at improving governance and consolidating democracy. The conduct of peaceful elections in Liberia and Sierra Leone is also encouraging. The role of UNOWAS in the upcoming elections in various countries will be vital for the holding of peaceful, inclusive and fair electoral processes. She commended States’ efforts to fight terrorism and transnational crime. Climate change, food insecurity, forced displacement, unemployment and the lack of opportunities continue to threaten the socioeconomic development of the region, she said, underlining the importance of stepping up efforts for the full implementation of the United Nations integrated strategy for the Sahel. It would have been useful if the Council could have received a briefing from the African Union, and in that context, she stressed the need for African ownership of initiatives in the region.

    KAIRAT UMAROV (Kazakhstan) called on UNOWAS to continue its work in strengthening post-electoral stability and drew attention to several challenges, including the increasing threat of terrorism and violent extremism, particularly given their links to transnational crime. His delegation welcomed an increase in national and regional ownership to address threats and emphasized the need for strong counter-terrorism efforts that are fully compliant with international law. He expressed concern about the increasing threat of conflict between farmers and herders, aggravated by the impacts of climate change, population movements, rapid population growth and weak governance. While welcoming the recent efforts to reform the wider United Nations development system, he underscored the need for increased cooperation at the regional level.

    LISE GREGOIRE VAN HAAREN (Netherlands) said that regional and national efforts are essential for peace and security, yet they should not be limited to military activities. To sustain security, properly addressing governance deficits and justice is equally important, she said, stressing that accountability, participation and inclusive dialogue are also imperative for paving the way to sustainable peace. She commended efforts by UNOWAS to address conflicts between pastoralists and farmers, particularly as terrorist groups and criminal networks increase their cooperation in the region. Climate change also intensifies tensions between farmers and herders, she noted, emphasizing the importance of regional cooperation, the rule of law, early warning and early action.

    For information media. Not an official record.


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    Source: UN Security Council
    Country: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Gambia, Guinea, Liberia, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone

    En dépit de cycles électoraux couronnés de succès dans plusieurs pays de la région, l’Afrique de l’Ouest et le Sahel continuent de vivre sous la triple menace du terrorisme, des changements climatiques et d’une gouvernance défaillante, a déclaré, cet après-midi, devant le Conseil de sécurité, le Représentant spécial du Secrétaire général et Chef du Bureau des Nations Unies pour l’Afrique de l’Ouest (UNOWA), M. Mohamed Ibn Chambas.

    Dans le bassin du lac Tchad, en dépit des gains obtenus par les Forces armées nigérianes et la Force multinationale mixte, la faction « Province d’Afrique de l’Ouest de l’État islamique » de Boko Haram continue de nuire, en particulier dans le sud-est du Niger, a prévenu le haut fonctionnaire, venu présenter au Conseil le dernier rapport du Secrétaire général sur les activités du Bureau des Nations Unies pour l’Afrique de l’Ouest et le Sahel (UNOWAS).

    Les six membres du Conseil qui se sont exprimés aujourd’hui ont unanimement condamné ces agissements, M. Chambas rappelant que les attentats-suicides de Boko Haram commis par des femmes sont de plus en plus nombreux et que pratiquement un attentat sur cinq l’est désormais par des enfants.

    De plus, les conflits violents opposant éleveurs nomades et agriculteurs sédentaires ont gagné en fréquence, en intensité, en complexité et en étendue « dans l’ensemble du Sahel », analyse le rapport, qui fait en outre mention de « la menace croissante que font planer les groupes armés transfrontaliers et la criminalité transnationale organisée », du fait de la « défaillance » des institutions étatiques et de la fourniture erratique des services publics.

    Face aux chiffres alarmants de la situation humanitaire –45 millions de personnes en danger dans le bassin du lac Tchad, dont 2,3 millions de déplacés, et 6,9 millions en crise alimentaire au Sahel– le représentant de la Côte d’Ivoire a insisté sur la mutualisation des efforts afin de trouver des solutions. Aussi a-t-il plaidé pour que le recalibrage de la Stratégie intégrée des Nations Unies pour le Sahel soit couronné de succès, une demande également appuyée par son homologue de l’Éthiopie.

    C’est dans la perspective de ce recalibrage que l’UNOWAS a développé un « Plan des Nations Unies d’appui au Sahel » pour mobiliser des ressources en faveur des 10 pays récipiendaires de la Stratégie, a rappelé M. Chambas. D’après le Secrétaire général, ce Plan vise à les aider « à stimuler la croissance au moyen de l’investissement économique, à promouvoir le capital humain et la résilience, à améliorer les services de base et à consolider les efforts de paix et de gouvernance ».

    Au cours des six derniers mois, s’est cependant réjoui le Représentant spécial, la région est restée sur sa trajectoire positive d’élections démocratiques, comme en Guinée, en Gambie et en Sierra Leone, même si elles ont parfois été émaillées de tensions. Son Bureau, a-t-il indiqué, suit de très près les prochaines échéances électorales en Mauritanie, au Nigéria et au Sénégal.

    Se félicitant des efforts de la Communauté économique des États de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (CEDEAO) pour faciliter une transition pacifique au Togo, où la crise politique a provoqué la suspension des législatives prévues à la fin de cette année, M. Chambas a précisé qu’aux côtés de cette organisation sous-régionale, l’UNOWAS œuvre, comme au Nigéria, à la création d’une architecture de paix propre à offrir une approche systématique et inclusive de la prévention, de la gestion et du règlement des conflits.

    Si l’abolition récente de la peine capitale au Burkina Faso et au Bénin constitue un signe encourageant, plus que jamais la communauté internationale doit continuer à presser les États de créer un environnement favorable aux libertés d’expression et de réunion, a ajouté le Représentant spécial. Une demande d’autant plus justifiée que le mécontentement populaire s’aggrave dans la région, comme en témoignent les manifestations souvent violentes et réprimées de manière parfois musclée par les forces de sécurité.

    CONSOLIDATION DE LA PAIX EN AFRIQUE DE L’OUEST (S/2018/649)

    Déclarations

    M. MOHAMED IBN CHMABAS, Représentant spécial et Chef du Bureau des Nations Unies pour l’Afrique de l’Ouest (UNOWA), a présenté les principales conclusions du dernier rapport en date du Secrétaire général de l’ONU sur les activités de son Bureau. Depuis ma dernière intervention, s’est-il lancé, l’évolution positive, en particulier sur le front de la démocratisation, s’est heurtée à la situation volatile au Sahel et dans le bassin du lac Tchad. Les retombées de la crise malienne affectent de plus en plus le Burkina Faso et le Niger. Les groupes terroristes continuent de causer la destruction dans toute la région, en dépit des opérations antiterroristes en cours. La « complexité » des dernières attaques est le fruit « inquiétant » des alliances conclues entre les groupes islamistes de l’Afrique de l’Ouest et du Sahel. Les insurrections locales se répandent aussi, exacerbant les conflits intercommunautaires et compromettant l’autorité de l’État. Les violations des droits de l’homme que commettraient les Forces de sécurité sont particulièrement préoccupantes, « dans la mesure où elles fragilisent nos efforts collectifs », a mis en garde le haut fonctionnaire.

    Dans le bassin du lac Tchad, en dépit des gains obtenus par les Forces armées nigérianes et la Force multinationale mixte, la faction « Province d’Afrique de l’Ouest de l’État islamique » du groupe Boko Haram demeure actif. Les attaques dans le sud-est du Niger se sont intensifiées et la tendance de Boko Haram à recruter des femmes pour commettre des attentats-suicides se poursuit. Pour apporter des réponses sur les plans diplomatique, sécuritaire et humanitaire, l’UNOWA prête son soutien technique au sommet conjoint de la Communauté économique des États de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (CEDEAO) et de la Communauté économique des États de l’Afrique centrale (CEEAC), prévu le 30 juillet.

    Par ailleurs, a noté le Représentant spécial, l’assèchement du lac Tchad se poursuit, conduisant à la dégradation de l’environnement, à la marginalisation économique et à l’insécurité de 45 millions de personnes. Environ 2,3 millions d’entre elles ont fui sous les effets conjugués de l’insécurité, de la mauvaise gouvernance et des changements climatiques. En outre, les violences entre éleveurs et agriculteurs deviennent une menace sécuritaire pour l’ensemble de la région et risquent de dégénérer en attaques terroristes. Pour M. Chambas, toute réponse militaire aux défis sécuritaires doit aller de pair avec la mise en œuvre de stratégies globales intégrant les aspects humanitaires, des droits de l’homme et du développement. C’est dans cette perspective que l’UNOWAS a recalibré la Stratégie intégrée des Nations Unies pour le Sahel et développé un plan d’appui des Nations Unies pour mobiliser des ressources en faveur des 10 pays récipiendaires de la Stratégie, a annoncé le haut fonctionnaire.

    Le Représentant spécial a ensuite fait état d’une augmentation du nombre d’actes de piraterie dans le golfe de Guinée. Le trafic de stupéfiants et d’armes légères et de petit calibre, y compris par les groupes terroristes, pose des menaces sécuritaires considérables. Il a salué les efforts conjoints du centre de coordination régional pour l’Afrique de l’Ouest et les centres multinationaux zonaux pour la sécurité maritime. Il a aussi pris note des efforts de l’Office des Nations Unies contre le crime et la drogue (ONUDC) pour créer un cadre de coopération renforcée entre le Maghreb et les pays du Sahel.

    La période à l’examen a vu une aggravation du mécontentement populaire dans la région, qui s’est exprimé dans des manifestations souvent violentes réclamant des réformes politiques et économiques, a expliqué M. Chambas. La riposte parfois musclée des forces de sécurité a également alimenté les tensions, a-t-il remarqué, soulignant que plusieurs pays de la région se heurtent encore à des défis liés à la justice, à la réconciliation nationale et aux droits de l’homme. Nous devons, a souligné M. Chambas, continuer collectivement à presser les États de créer un environnement favorable aux libertés d’expression et de réunion. Il s’est félicité à cet égard que le Burkina Faso et le Bénin aient aboli la peine capitale, portant à neuf le nombre des pays de la région à avoir pris cette décision.

    Au cours des six derniers mois, s’est encore réjoui M. Chambas, la région est restée sur sa trajectoire positive s’agissant des élections démocratiques, comme en Guinée, en Gambie et en Sierra Leone, même si elles ont parfois été émaillées de tensions, a ajouté M. Chambas qui a indiqué que son Bureau suit de très près les prochaines élections en Mauritanie, au Nigéria et au Sénégal. Il s’est félicité des efforts de la CEDEAO pour faciliter une transition pacifique au Togo où la crise politique a provoqué la suspension des élections législatives prévues à la fin de cette année. Avec la CEDEAO, le Bureau des Nations Unies travaille d’ailleurs, comme au Nigéria, pour faciliter la création d’une architecture de paix propre à offrir une approche systématique et inclusive de la prévention, de la gestion et du règlement des conflits.

    M. THÉODORE DAH (Côte d’Ivoire) s’est dit, malgré les progrès, préoccupé par la persistance de défis multiformes et complexes dans la sous-région et Le Sahel, à commencer par le terrorisme et l’extrémisme violent ainsi que la criminalité transnationale organisée. Il a également relevé la faiblesse relative des institutions étatiques qui se répercute sur les services publics et exacerbe les conditions de vie déjà difficiles de millions de personnes. Pour endiguer ces conséquences dommageables, il a préconisé une démarche globale qui implique les populations locales et les provinces et États concernés, les organisations régionales et les Nations Unies.

    Il faut intensifier les efforts contre Boko Haram, les groupes islamistes et la piraterie, a dit le représentant qui a encouragé les États du G5 Sahel à continuer de prendre les mesures nécessaires pour que la Force conjointe atteigne sa pleine capacité opérationnelle. Sur le plan économique, il a appelé à des mesures visant à pallier la faiblesse du pouvoir d’achat des populations de l’Afrique de l’Ouest. Pour ce qui est du Sahel, il s’est aligné sur les recommandations de la Commission économique pour l’Afrique qui préconise de s’attaquer aux causes profondes de la crise, d’assurer l’exécution du Programme de développement durable à l’horizon 2030 et d’offrir des possibilités d’investissements.

    Face aux chiffres alarmants de la situation humanitaire, le représentant a insisté sur la mutualisation des efforts afin de trouver des solutions à la détresse des 6,9 millions de personnes en situation de crise alimentaire au Sahel et des 2,3 millions de déplacés dans le bassin du lac Tchad. Il a estimé que la Stratégie intégrée des Nations Unies pour le Sahel est un moyen d’appuyer le processus de développement, la promotion de la bonne gouvernance et l’amélioration de la sécurité, et a appelé de ses vœux un recalibrage effectif de cette Stratégie.

    Le représentant a également encouragé les pays de la région à mettre en œuvre la résolution 1325 (2000), à travers l’élaboration et l’application de leurs plans d’action nationaux, en vue d’une forte implication des femmes dans la prévention, le règlement des conflits ainsi que le maintien de la paix. Il a décrit l’UNOWAS comme « un outil pertinent de diplomatie préventive ».

    M. PAUL DUCLOS (Pérou) a souligné que la présence de groupes terroristes et d’organisations criminelles ainsi que la gravité de la situation humanitaire au Sahel et le bassin du lac Tchad s’expliquent par la pauvreté, le sous- développement, les conséquences des changements climatiques et les faibles capacités des États. Après s’être félicité du travail du Bureau des Nations Unies, le représentant a fermement appuyé la Stratégie intégrée des Nations Unies pour le Sahel. Pour que le Bureau puisse pleinement s’acquitter de son mandat, il faut l’appuyer politiquement et financièrement, a prévenu le représentant.

    M. PEDRO LUIS INCHAUSTE JORDÁN (Bolivie) a applaudi les processus électoraux en Gambie, qui constituent un exemple à suivre pour mettre fin à la mésentente et aux différends politiques, avant d’exprimer sa gratitude au Bureau des Nations Unies. Il est vital d’analyser les causes des conflits, a poursuivi le délégué. « Nous ne cesserons jamais de le répéter », mais les changements inconstitutionnels et les renversements des régimes sont, comme c’est le cas en Libye, responsables de l’effondrement de l’état de droit, dont les pays voisins payent aujourd’hui les conséquences. Ne parlons même pas de la circulation des armes qui se trouvaient sur le sol libyen et qui sont aujourd’hui aux mains des organisations terroristes dans le Sahel, a vitupéré le représentant. Il a en conclusion exhorté tous les États à se pencher sur les questions d’intérêt commun pour l’Afrique de l’Ouest et le Sahel et à leur fournir la coopération nécessaire pour pacifier la région.

    Mme AMPARO MELE COLIFA (Guinée équatoriale) a condamné les activités terroristes dans le bassin du lac Tchad et dans le golfe de Guinée, dont l’impact se réverbère partout dans la région. En effet, les menaces posées par ces organisations concernent tout le continent, rendant d’autant plus nécessaire la recherche de solutions collectives. Des millions de personnes ont dû fuir à travers toute l’Afrique et au-delà. Autre source de préoccupation, a relevé la déléguée, les heurts entre éleveurs nomades et agriculteurs sédentaires, en particulier au Ghana, au Mali, au Niger et au Nigéria, lesquels ont gagné en fréquence, en intensité et en complexité dans l’ensemble du Sahel. Mme Mele Colifa s’est dite partisane d’un dialogue constructif entre les parties au conflit, avec au besoin l’intervention des instances internationales. Elle a ajouté en conclusion que la recherche d’une solution politique à la crise en Libye constituerait une contribution majeure au règlement des crises sur l’ensemble du continent.

    Mme MAHLET HAILU GUADEY (Éthiopie) a félicité M. Chambas et son équipe pour ses activités de bons offices et de prévention des conflits en notant l’importance du rôle de l’UNOWAS pour garantir des élections crédibles, justes et pacifiques au Mali, en Mauritanie et au Nigéria dans les mois à venir. Il est essentiel, a-t-il dit, que le Conseil de sécurité continue d’appuyer les initiatives régionales pour combattre la criminalité transfrontalière organisée et le terrorisme. À cet égard, la représentante a salué les efforts de la Force multinationale mixte dans sa lutte contre Boko Haram et ceux de la Force conjointe du G5 Sahel. Elle a plaidé pour une meilleure mobilisation de la coopération internationale et régionale, notamment sur le dossier de la piraterie au large de la Somalie et dans le Golfe de Guinée. Elle a également mis en exergue l’importance qu’il y a à compléter la réponse sécuritaire par une approche de promotion du développement. Elle a salué le recalibrage de la Stratégie intégrée des Nations Unies pour le Sahel, même si elle a estimé qu’il aurait été utile d’entendre le point de vue de l’Union africaine.

    M. KAIRAT UMAROV (Kazakhstan) s’est félicité de la coopération étroite entre l’UNOWAS et les acteurs régionaux et les sous-régions qui ont contribué aux progrès politiques dans la région. Il a salué les initiatives de la région comme la Force conjointe du G5 Sahel et la Force multinationale mixte et a encouragé la communauté internationale à les soutenir. L’assistance humanitaire et l’action militaire doivent aller de pair, a-t-il souligné, en ajoutant qu’il faut s’attaquer aux causes profondes des crises, notamment au Sahel, en investissant dans le développement. Il a également encouragé la Communauté économique des États de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (CEDEAO) à tenir compte dans ses actions des Stratégies des Nations Unies pour le Sahel et le bassin du lac Tchad.

    Mme LISE GREGOIRE VAN HAAREN (Pays-Bas) s’est réjouie du rôle de prévention des conflits que joue le Bureau des Nations Unies, grâce à la promotion de la coopération régionale, à l’alerte et l’action rapides et aux bons offices du Représentant spécial du Secrétaire général. La représentante a souligné que l’approche régionale ne saurait se limiter aux opérations militaires. Pour maintenir la sécurité, il faut aussi combler les lacunes en matière de gouvernance et de justice. La responsabilité, la participation et le dialogue sont impératifs pour ouvrir la voie à une paix durable. L’efficacité et la légitimité de la Force conjointe du G5 Sahel dépendent non seulement de la capacité de cette dernière à réagir rapidement mais aussi de la mise en œuvre de son cadre de conformité, a insisté la représentante, en demandant le renforcement de l’appui au secteur national de la justice et à la coopération judiciaire au niveau régional. S’agissant de l’alerte et de la réaction rapides, elle a voulu que l’on tienne compte du fait que les changements climatiques sont une des causes sous-jacentes des conflits. Elle a encouragé l’ONU à développer son analyse des risques et ses capacités d’évaluation de ces risques, au Siège comme sur le terrain.


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    Source: ECOWAS
    Country: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo

    Abuja, 17th July 2018. The Migration Dialogue for West Africa (MIDWA) which was inaugurated by the Commission of the Economic community of West African States (ECOWAS) has commenced its second annual meeting of thematic working groups in order to deliberate on border management, immigration data and the return and reintegration of migrants in the region.

    The Commissioner for Trade, Customs and Free Movement of the ECOWAS Commission, Tèi Konzi in his remarks during the opening of the workshop on 17th July 2018 in Abuja, Nigeria stated that there cannot be regional integration without Free Movement of Community citizens which has a direct link and impact on migration.

    ‘Therefore, the constant assessment of the implementation status on migration will motivate Member States and ensure compliance to the tenets of ECOWAS Migration tests’ he said.

    “In view of the projected positive impact of the MIDWA process on the integration of our region, the European Union(EU) within the framework of the ECOWAS – EU Support on Free Movement and Migration in West Africa implemented by a Consortium of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) , the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) and International Labour Organization (ILO) are supporting the initiative by strengthening the capacities of stakeholders in the region to better manage migration in West Africa” , he added.

    The Project Officer, Migration and Drugs of the EU delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Eleni Zerzelidou, reiterated the EU’s commitment to assist ECOWAS Member States in addressing the migration challenges they are encountering.

    The MIDWA will see delegates and experts from Member States harmonize migration data, review regional statistics and develop policies which will reinforce regional collaboration on border management in the region.

    On his part, Frantz Celestine, representing the IOM expressed his belief that effective migration policies which include the monitoring and evaluation of progress within the MIDWA system will enable ECOWAS integrate and the Commission achieve its vision 2020, moving from a community of states to a community of people.

    MIDWA was initiated in December 2000 and has eight thematic working groups, three of which held their first annual meeting in 2017.


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    Source: Croix-Rouge luxembourgeoise
    Country: Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Kenya, Lao People's Democratic Republic (the), Myanmar, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Saint Martin (France), Senegal, Sierra Leone, Ukraine, World

    Mënschen hëllefen : agir au profit des plus vulnérables

    18.07.2018

    La Croix-Rouge luxembourgeoise a dévoilé son rapport d’activité 2017. Au-delà du bilan de l’année passée, cette présentation a été l’occasion de revenir sur des événements marquants et de tracer des perspectives sur les actions en cours.

    L’année 2017 a été riche en chantiers et réalisations stratégiques pour la Croix-Rouge luxembourgeoise. Son directeur général, Michel Simonis, souligne l’importance de son action : «_Lorsque nous disons « Menschen hëllefen », nous signifions que nous agissons au Luxembourg et à l’étranger, pour les jeunes ou les seniors, les malades ou les personnes fragiles, contre la précarité sociale et sanitaire. En 2017, nous avons travaillé à répondre aux urgences, mais également à préparer 2018. Et certains résultats sont en train de se concrétiser. _»

    Dans le domaine de l’aide internationale, Marc Crochet, directeur général adjoint, a détaillé les actions les plus emblématiques de ces derniers mois : « _Nous avons mobilisé un million d’euros de notre fonds d’urgence pour les populations menacées de famine en Afrique de l’Est. À partir du mois d’octobre 2017, l’Emergency Response Unit Benelux a été déployée au Bangladesh, avec des volontaires luxembourgeois, pour assurer la distribution de biens de première nécessité à plus de 200.000 réfugiés Rohingya ayant fui le Myanmar._ » Actuellement, en plus de l’action de sensibilisation et de collecte de fonds au profit du CICR, la Croix-Rouge luxembourgeoise redouble ses efforts pour venir en aide aux nombreuses situations de crise en Afrique et tout particulièrement aux populations contraintes de fuir les violences armées dans la région du Lac Tchad (Niger, Cameroun, Tchad).

    Dans le domaine de la Santé, l’accent a été mis sur l’ouverture récente du Centre de Réhabilitation Château de Colpach. Il héberge le Service National de Réhabilitation Post-Oncologique et le Service National de Réhabilitation Physique. Ils proposent au total 60 lits pour les patients qui nécessitent des soins permettant une récupération optimale des performances fonctionnelles et une amélioration de leur autonomie et de leur qualité de vie. Pour Michel Simonis, le Centre « _accompagne les patients en leur apportant non seulement les soins dont ils ont besoin, mais également des conseils et un accompagnement sur comment reconquérir leur autonomie, une fois revenus chez eux. Les différents spécialistes coordonnent leurs efforts, et dialoguent avec les autres acteurs du système de santé du pays, pour que le parcours de soin devienne un parcours de santé._ »

    Le dernier point mis en exergue a été l’annonce de la nouvelle adresse de Hariko. Créé en 2016, ce projet contribue à l’épanouissement des jeunes de 12 à 26 ans, à travers l’art et la créativité. Vingt-deux artistes en résidence et neuf danseurs et musiciens offrent des workshops gratuits aux jeunes. La démolition prévue du bâtiment Sogel où il est hébergé impose un nouveau site. Ce dernier a été trouvé : une convention a été signée récemment avec la Ville d’Esch-sur-Alzette. Pour Gilles Dhamen (directeur des activités Solidarité), « _Hariko est un vrai succès. C’est notamment dû au lieu où nous nous trouvons. Je remercie sincèrement les anciens et actuels propriétaires pour nous avoir accueillis depuis le début. C’est aussi un succès grâce aux artistes qui ont envie de s’épanouir et de transmettre, avec des jeunes qui s’y impliquent et qui s’y développent. Le déménagement vers Esch se fera en deux étapes. Nous aurons dès le mois de septembre une première adresse, rue de l’Eglise, avant de rejoindre nos locaux définitifs au centre-ville, une fois les travaux d’aménagement effectués. Nous sommes très heureux de ce dénouement, qui permet d’apporter une perspective et une pérennité à la structure. Nous sommes également en discussion pour l’ouverture d’un Hariko à Ettelbruck au printemps 2019._ »

    Ces résultats sont possibles grâce à l’implication de nombreuses parties prenantes : Etat, communes, entreprises privées, bénévoles et collaborateurs de la Croix-Rouge. Michel Simonis a ainsi conclu en soulignant combien cette coopération est nécessaire pour « _prévenir et alléger les souffrances humaines, protéger la vie, la santé et la dignité des personnes._ »

    Vous pouvez télécharger notre rapport en suivant ce lien.


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    Source: Canadian Foodgrains Bank
    Country: Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Haiti, India, Iraq, Kenya, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Uganda, World

    Over 89,000 people in ten countries will benefit from eleven projects totaling $4.2 million committed by Canadian Foodgrains Bank in June.

    The projects are being implemented by Foodgrains Bank members Emergency Relief and Development Overseas, Mennonite Central Committee Canada, Tearfund Canada and World Renew, in collaboration with their local partners.

    One project, in northern Nigeria, is responding to the devastation caused by the Boko Haram fundamentalist group.

    The group is attempting to overthrow the government and replace it with an Islamic state. Mass abductions, bombings and assassinations have caused almost two million people to flee their homes in search of safety, most of them women and children. Another seven million people are in need of humanitarian assistance.

    The Foodgrains Bank, through its member World Renew, is responding by providing emergency cash to 1,600 displaced families and the vulnerable families who are hosting them. A total of 8,000 people are being helped through the project, worth $974,000 and implemented locally by ZOA. Families use the cash to purchase food at local markets they otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford.

    An additional 12,000 people are also receiving nutrition education.

    Another project, through Foodgrains Bank member Tearfund Canada, is responding to the needs of hungry people in South Sudan.

    The ongoing conflict has affected agricultural production and the ability to import food from neighbouring countries. Households are struggling to access enough food. Women are particularly affected as they forage for wild foods, leaving them vulnerable to attack and sexual violence.

    With financial assistance from The United Church of Canada and Nazarene Compassionate Ministries Canada, about 13,000 people are receiving vouchers they can exchange for emergency rations of sorghum, beans, vegetable oil and salt. The project, which is implemented locally by Tearfund South Sudan, is worth $891,000.

    All projects committed in June:

    • An agriculture and livelihoods project in Burkina Faso through Mennonite Central Committee Canada, totaling $146,000 and benefitting 7,000 people.
    • An agriculture and livelihoods project in Cambodia through Mennonite Central Committee Canada, totaling $181,000 and benefitting 12,00 people.
    • An agriculture and livelihoods project in Haiti through Mennonite Central Committee Canada, totaling $217,000 and benefitting 24,000 people.
    • An agriculture and livelihoods project in India through Tearfund Canada, totaling $103,000 and benefitting 2,400 people.
    • A food assistance and agriculture and livelihoods project in Iraq through Mennonite Central Committee Canada, totaling $448,000 and benefitting 3,600 people.
    • A food assistance project in Kenya through World Renew, totaling $398,000 and benefitting 7,700 people.
    • An agriculture and livelihoods project in Sierra Leone through Tearfund Canada, totaling $204,000 and benefiting 2,100 people.
    • A food assistance project in South Sudan through Mennonite Central Committee Canada, totaling $344,000 and benefitting 6,800 people.
    • A food assistance project in South Sudan through Tearfund Canada, totaling $891,000 and benefitting 13,000 people.
    • A food assistance project in Uganda through Emergency Relief and Development Overseas totaling $320,000 and benefitting 2,500 people.

    Canadian Foodgrains Bank programs are undertaken with support from the Government of Canada.

    --Amanda Thorsteinsson, Communications Coordinator

    Canadian Foodgrains Bank is a partnership of 15 churches and church agencies working together to end hunger. In the 2017-18 budget year, the Foodgrains Bank provided over $37 million of assistance for over 800,000 people in 34 countries. Canadian Foodgrains Bank programs are undertaken with support from the Government of Canada provided through Global Affairs Canada. Assistance from the Foodgrains Bank is provided through its member agencies, which work with local partners in the developing world.


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    Source: United Nations Population Fund, World Bank, World Health Organization, UNAIDS, UN Children's Fund, UN Women
    Country: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Sierra Leone, World, Zambia, Zimbabwe

    The H6 Partnership builds on the progress made towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and contributes to the collaboration required to support countries as they move forward to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It focuses on 75 high burden countries where more than 85 per cent of all maternal and child deaths occur, including the 49 lowest income countries.

    This joint partnership of six United Nations agencies, functional since 2008, started supporting the UN Secretary-General’s Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health from 2010, and subsequently the updated Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health (2016–2030), also known as Every Woman Every Child (EWEC).

    The H6 Joint Programme, the operational programme implemented by the H6 Partnership, has received support from Canada and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) for a total of $99.76 million.

    The aim is to provide catalytic and strategic support to national health systems to address the root causes of poor maternal and child health outcomes in 10 countries: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Zambia and Zimbabwe, along with global-level activities. Collaboration with Canada started in 2012 and ended in 2016, whereas collaboration with Sida covers 2013 to 2018.

    This report reviews 2017 progress made possible with Sida support.


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    Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
    Country: Côte d'Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone


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    Source: ECOWAS
    Country: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo

    Abuja, 20th July 2018 . The Migration Dialogue for West Africa (MIDWA) in a three-day annual meeting of thematic working groups which ended on 19th July 2018 in Abuja, Nigeria, has recommended improved collaboration and synergy between Member States and migration institutions in the areas of border management, immigration data, mixed migration and the return and reintegration of migrants in the region.

    The thematic working groups which comprise of migration experts from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and Mauritania highlighted this as a key factor which will mitigate the effects of illegal migration in region.

    The ECOWAS Commissions’ Director for Free movement and Tourism, Mr. Albert Siaw Boateng described the workshop as a step in the right direction towards the actualization of a regional migration policy.

    ‘This will enhance the regional integration and development process in West Africa as well as the achievement of the ECOWAS Vision 2020, moving from a community of states to a community of people’, he said.

    The experts called for the ECOWAS Commission to provide technical assistance to Member States to facilitate the issuance of the biometric identity cards and data exchange platforms in order to share and analyze migratory flows in the region.

    They also recommended increased border surveillance through joint border posts and the upgrade and standardization of border posts in the region. This they noted can be achieved by constituting a common fund within ECOWAS to address persisting challenges on border management.

    The experts further recommended that Member States should raise awareness among local authorities, civil society actors, the private sector, the media and any relevant organizations in order to increase their participation in managing the return and reintegration of Community citizens.


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    Source: Forced Migration Review, University of Oxford
    Country: Afghanistan, Chad, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Ecuador, Eritrea, Germany, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Myanmar, Pakistan, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey, Uganda, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, World, Zambia

    From the editors

    When people are forced by conflict or other circumstances to leave their homes, they usually also leave behind their means of economic activity and subsistence. In their new location, they may not be able, or permitted, to work to support themselves. This has wide-ranging implications not only for people’s immediate earning capacity and well-being but also for community relations, economic development and the capacity of future generations to lead fulfilling lives. In our main feature on Economies, authors explore the complex interactions of the constraints and opportunities involved, drawing on case-studies from around the world and highlighting the roles of new actors, new technologies and new – or renewed – approaches.

    We are also pleased to include two ‘mini-features’ in this FMR, one on Refugeeled social protection and one on Humans and animals in refugee camps. (See the back cover if you are interested in collaborating with FMR on a mini-feature – or a full feature.)

    We would like to thank Karen Jacobsen (Tufts University) and Khalid Koser (Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund) for their assistance as advisors to the Economies feature theme. We are also grateful to the following donors for their support of this issue: ESRC-AHRC (Economic and Social Research Council and Arts and Humanities Research Council) Global Challenges Research Fund, the Global Program on Forced Displacement of the World Bank Group, Mercy Corps, UNHCR Division of Resilience and Solutions (Livelihoods Unit) and the Wellcome Trust.

    See www.fmreview.org/economies to access the magazine, its accompanying ‘digest’ and all individual articles. A podcast of each article is also available. FMR 58 will be available in English, Arabic, Spanish and French. For printed copies, please email us at fmr@qeh.ox.ac.uk.

    Forthcoming issues (see www.fmreview.org/forthcoming)

    • FMR 59: Twentieth anniversary of the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement (October 2018)

    • FMR 60: Education (February 2019)

    Follow us on Facebook or Twitter or sign up for email alerts at www.fmreview.org/request/alerts.

    Marion Couldrey and Jenny Peebles
    Editors, Forced Migration Review


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    Source: World Health Organization
    Country: Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, South Sudan, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, World

    OVERVIEW

    This Weekly Bulletin focuses on selected acute public health emergencies occurring in the WHO African Region. The WHO Health Emergencies Programme is currently monitoring 54 events in the region. This week’s edition covers key new and ongoing events, including:

    • Humanitarian crisis in Mali
    • Ebola virus disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
    • Cholera outbreak in Niger
    • Measles outbreak in Mauritius
    • cVDPV in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

    For each of these events, a brief description, followed by public health measures implemented and an interpretation of the situation is provided.
    A table is provided at the end of the bulletin with information on all new and ongoing public health events currently being monitored in the region, as well as events that have recently been closed.

    Major issues and challenges include:

    • The humanitarian crisis in Mali is under reported, but is having a significant impact on the population with more than 4 million people affected including over 60 000 internally displaced and a further 140 000 as refugees in neighbouring countries. Nearly 2 million people are in need of health assistance and there is an increase in the number affected by epidemic-prone diseases outbreaks. A higher degree of support is needed from the international public health community to enable the local population to have access to basic social and healthcare services.

    • The current outbreak of measles in Mauritius demonstrates the importance of maintaining high levels of vaccination coverage against this leading public health threat. Prior to this current outbreak the last detected case of measles in Mauritius was in 2009 and the country consistently had one of the highest vaccination rates in the WHO African region. However, in the last two years the vaccination coverage has fallen, the result of which is the current outbreak. Supplementary immunisation activities are urgently being concluded to rapidly halt the spread of this outbreak.


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    Source: American Friends Service Committee
    Country: Kenya, Malawi, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, World

    Quaker group releases study on election violence

    Groundbreaking study and event connect international practitioners

    Nairobi, Kenya: Today the American Friends Service Committee released a study on the causes of electoral violence around the world and best practices for prevention. Prevention of election violence is a major focus of AFSC’s work in the African continent, but increasingly a concern in the United States and other democratic countries across the globe.

    “Violence around elections increasingly captures the attention of donors and practitioners, who invest growing resources into enhancing the safety and security of democratic practice around the world,” said AFSC Shared Security Fellow, Charlie Taylor. “There is a gap in scholarship on what makes for good violence prevention strategies around elections. While qualitative research based on interview data is available, we wanted to provide more hard data for interviews and case studies.”

    The research shows that electoral violence is more likely when political systems are based on patronage, electoral management bodies are weak, and ongoing conflicts go unresolved. Additionally, international election observation missions may decrease the likelihood of pre-election violence, but can increase the likelihood of post-election violence if they expose attempts at fraud or are seen as partisan.

    The study includes best practices for making elections safe, and key findings for donors on where to place additional resources.

    “International aid agencies normally fund peace building efforts starting just six months before an election,” says Pauline Kamau, AFSC’s Quaker International Affairs Representative for Africa based in Nairobi, Kenya. “But we need to look at elections as a process and make funding available throughout the whole cycle. It cannot be touch and go. This doesn’t help, because even if people quiet down after an election, the same issues will come back four or five years down the line.”

    The study was released at a global Dialogue and Exchange Program hosted in Nairobi July 24-26. Global south leaders—from the grassroots, civil society, and government—come together to learn, exchange ideas, and collectively solve problems through AFSC’s Dialogue and Exchange Program. The organization’s approach to international dialogue and exchange is rooted in the belief that solutions can be found within a group’s history, knowledge, culture, and resources.

    “Efforts to prevent violence are more effective when practitioners have spaces to share their experiences, but spaces for practitioners from different countries and regions to come together have not existed,” said Jason Tower, AFSC Global Quaker International Affairs Representative. “We are holding this global Dialogue and Exchange Program to launch our research findings and to build a platform for practitioners to talk about best practices for making our world more secure.”

    The American Friends Service Committee is a Quaker organization that includes people of various faiths who are committed to social justice, peace and humanitarian service. Its work is based on the belief in the worth of every person and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice.


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    Source: Médecins Sans Frontières
    Country: Afghanistan, Angola, Armenia, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Mauritania, Mexico, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nauru, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Russian Federation, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Republic of Tanzania, Uzbekistan, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), World, Yemen, Zimbabwe

    FOREWORD

    In a complex and fast-changing world, we remain focused and resolute in pursuit of our goal – to provide the most appropriate, effective medicine in the harshest of environments. As well as responding to vital needs, our aid is born of a desire to show solidarity with people who are suffering, whether as a result of conflict, neglect or disease.

    As a medical humanitarian association, our strength lies in our employees and volunteers, be they frontline workers or back-office staff, and all the other people who support our work, whether financially, technically, politically or otherwise. This shared commitment to those stripped of their basic rights is what binds us together.

    Our strength is also grounded in mutual respect and transparency. We welcome the recent focus on abuse of power within society at large and the aid sector specifically. With tens of thousands of staff working in extreme conditions around the world, the need for each and every one of our patients and staff to feel safe to report and fight any form of abuse is something we take very seriously.

    Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) employs people of around 150 different nationalities and this diversity is a source of strength. Combining an external eye with local knowledge improves the quality of our operations. It helps us get closer to the realities and needs of our patients and develop the best possible medical response. It also helps us to successfully negotiate access to the most vulnerable populations in some of the most difficult places. We must continually challenge ourselves and each other to ensure that the decisions we take are based on, and benefit from, the widest range of perspectives possible.

    MSF teams around the world are constantly adjusting to the specific challenges of very different situations. As you will see from this report on our activities in 2017, we continue to tailor the care we provide to the diverse realities we work in: the realities of displacement, from the borders of Syria or Somalia to the deadly so-called migration routes of North Africa, the Mediterranean and Europe; the evolution of disease realities such as multidrug-resistant tuberculosis or epidemic outbreaks such as cholera and meningitis; and the conflict realities of the Middle East and Africa.

    Despite the significant direct assistance our teams have been able to deliver, too many patients and communities – from Syria to Iraq, South Sudan and Nigeria, to name but a few – remain stuck in the epicentres of spiralling conflicts. The lack of any form of protection in such contexts all too often leaves us as powerless witnesses.

    In such extreme realities, we continue to deploy what means we can. But we cannot do it alone. We rely on those who support our action. This generosity and compassion is what allows us to continue our lifesaving work.

    Dr Joanne Liu
    INTERNATIONAL PRESIDENT

    Jérôme Oberreit
    SECRETARY GENERAL


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    Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
    Country: Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guinea, Haiti, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Sudan, Tajikistan, Uganda, Uzbekistan, World

    Heavy rainfall triggers flooding in the Sahel

    1. Since mid-July, torrential rains received in western Nigeria have triggered floods, damages to infrastructure and fatalities in the Ogun and Katsina states of the country.

    2. Locally torrential rainfall forecast over parts of western Sudan and eastern Chad may trigger flooding next week.

    3. Irregular rainfall since June has resulted in significant moisture deficits and deteriorated ground conditions across parts of western Uganda, northeastern DRC, and southern South Sudan.

    Africa Overview

    Rainfall recorded over Senegal, Guinea, and Sierra Leone

    Last week, heavy rainfall was recorded over several Gulf of Guinea countries. The highest weekly accumulations (>100 mm) were registered over the parts of southern Senegal, Guinea, southern Mali and Sierra Leone (Figure 1), with flooding reported in Liberia. Heavy rainfall was also received in parts of Nigeria following flood events that affected the Ogun and Katsina states of the country. Light rainfall also received across much of the Sahel.

    Although locally heavy rains across the Gulf of Guinea countries have triggered flooding, overall it is expected to benefit cropping and pastoral areas of West Africa. In Senegal and Sierra Leone, the return of heavy rains has helped to mitigate moisture deficits. However, at least two consecutive weeks of below-average rainfall has led to marginally below average conditions over northeastern Nigeria (Figure 2).

    Next week, average to above-average rainfall is expected throughout much of West Africa. The highest weekly totals (>75 mm) are forecast for parts of Guinea, western Mali, eastern Burkina Faso and in parts of Nigeria. There is some potential for decreased rainfall amounts over parts of southern Mauritania and northern Senegal.

    Dryness continues in Ethiopia, South Sudan, Uganda, and DRC

    Another week of heavy rainfall (>100 mm) was received across the North Kurdufan, White Nile and Kassala provinces, and in parts of western Ethiopia (Figure 1). The continuation of moderate to locally heavy rainfall over saturated areas may trigger flooding.

    As portions of eastern Sudan and western Ethiopia have continued to experience above-average rainfall, there are several areas in Ethiopia that remain dry. In the northern portion of the SNNP region, central Oromia, and eastern Amhara and Tigray region, moisture deficits have strengthened over the past couple of weeks. In the SNNP, much of the dryness has been associated with a prolonged dry spell and a decreased frequency of seasonal rains during July, resulting in less than 25% of their normal rainfall accumulation since late June (Figure 2). Further south, moisture deficits of similar magnitude have also developed across parts of western Uganda, northeastern DRC, and southern South Sudan.

    Next week, average to above-average rainfall is expected over western Ethiopia.


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    Source: International Organization for Migration
    Country: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Cyprus, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Greece, Guinea, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Italy, Libya, Mali, Malta, Mexico, Montenegro, Morocco, Pakistan, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Spain, Syrian Arab Republic, United States of America, World

    Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 55,001 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea through 25 July 2018. That total compares to 111,753 at this time last year, and over 250,000 at this time in 2016.

    Arrivals to Spain this month have overtaken those to Italy. To date just over 38 per cent of all Mediterranean irregular migrants have come via the Western Mediterranean route, whose irregular migration volume has more than tripled those registered at this time last year.

    Arrivals to Italy trail Spain by almost 3,000; a week ago the gap was less than 200. Greece counts about 28 per cent of all arrivals. Significantly, Greece’s arrivals thus far in 2018 are running more than 5,000 ahead of last year’s totals on this date, an increase of better than 50 per cent.

    Arrivals to Italy, on the other hand, are down over 80 per cent compared to 2017.

    IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has documented the deaths of 1,504 men, women and children seeking to cross the Mediterranean in 2018 – more than half of those deaths since 1 June.

    Most recently IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has documented the deaths of 10 people who went missing in the Western Mediterranean. On 24 July, 32 survivors were rescued from a sinking boat by the Moroccan Navy after more than two days at sea. According to their testimonies collected by Spanish NGO Caminando Fronteras, 10 people drowned before they were rescued.

    Deaths in the Western Mediterranean in recent months have reached devastating levels, with 304 fatalities recorded by the Missing Migrants Project between January and 25 July 2018, far outpacing the 124 recorded in the equivalent period of 2017 – and the 224 recorded as drowned or missing during all of last year.

    IOM notes the passing of the 1500th Mediterranean fatality in 2018 – which occurred this past week – marks the fifth consecutive year that sad benchmark has been reached. Despite the steep drop in the volume of all arrivals across the region, 2018 remains one of the deadliest on record – on a per capita basis – simply because so many fewer crossers are being recorded.

    The mark of 1,500 deaths was reached in 2014 on 28 July, the latest date IOM’s Missing Migrant Project has for that milestone, and just a few days later than this year’s date. In 2015, 1,500 deaths were recorded by 18 April, while in both 2016 and 2017 those dates were 25 May and 19 May, respectively.

    IOM Libya’s Christine Petré reported that on Wednesday (25 July) the remains of two migrants were retrieved (two men of African descent) in Tajoura. She noted that same day 31 migrants (all men, including one boy) received medical and protection assistance as they were disembarked by the Libyan Coast Guard. The migrants had been lost at sea for over more 12 hours without water and food after embarking on a small rubber boat in Sabratha. Two migrants originated from Ghana and the rest are from Bangladesh. Following humanitarian assistance, all were transferred to Trig al Seka detention centre.

    So far this year, 12,162 migrants have been returned to Libyan shore, Petré said.

    IOM Libya’s Petré reported on two sets of Voluntary Humanitarian Return charters completed from Libya in the past 10 days. On 17 July, IOM assisted 136 stranded migrants to return home on one chartered flight (127 migrants) to Mali and nine migrants returning on three commercial flights to Sierra Leone (1), Ghana (4) and Burkina Faso (4).

    On 24 July, IOM assisted 166 stranded migrants to return home on one chartered flight (159 migrants) to Mali and seven migrants on two commercial flights to Algeria (5) and Ethiopia (2) including four medical cases and two unaccompanied migrant children.

    IOM Libya has assisted 16,591 since the scale-up phase started 28 November 2017 and a total of 29,721 migrants have returned home from Libya with IOM’s assistance since 1 January 2017.

    IOM Madrid’s Oussama El Baroudi reported Thursday that total arrivals at sea in 2018 have reached 20,992 men, women and children, irregular migrants who have been rescued in Western Mediterranean waters through 25 July—or over 1,400 arriving since IOM’s last report on Monday, 23 July. With this month’s figures Spain is the Mediterranean’s most-sought destination for irregular migrants traveling by sea, surpassing Italy and Greece.

    El Baroudi also shared preliminary overview from Spanish authorities on the top five groups entering Spain by sea from 1 January through 25 June. “Sub-Saharan Africans,” as one category, comprise the largest slice entering irregularly via Spanish waters in 2018. That category was followed, separately, by Guinea (Conakry), Morocco, Mali and Ivory Coast.

    Additionally, 3,125 migrants have attempted to enter Spain irregularly via the country’s African enclaves of Melilla and Ceuta, according to Spanish authorities.

    As remarkable as Spain’s rise in irregular migration activity has been through 2018, even more important is its recent surge. Over the year’s first five months, a total of 8,150 men, women and children were rescued in Spanish waters after leaving Africa – and average of 54 per day. In the 55 days since May 31, a total of 12,842 have arrived – or just over 230 migrants per day.

    At this present rate, IOM believes irregular migrant arrivals by sea to Spain could well pass the total for all of last year – 22,108 – before this month’s end on Tuesday.

    IOM Athens’ Christine Nikolaidou said Thursday that IOM has learned from the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) of at least at least three incidents from 23-25 July requiring search and rescue operations off the islands of Lesvos, Kos and Chios. The HCG rescued a total of 90 migrants and transferred them to those islands. Another 87 landed without intervention on Rhodes and Oinouses – bringing to 177 the total arrivals during those three days.

    Through 25 July, the total number of sea arrivals to Greek territory since 1 January is 15,528.

    April remains the busiest month for irregular migration by land and sea to Greece, with a total of 7,009 men, women and children arriving. February was the lowest with 1,610.

    IOM's Balkans team reported Thursday an estimated 1,468 new irregular migrants have been apprehended by authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Albania during July thus fasr in 2018—more than ten times the 134 registered in all of July 2017. In total, since the beginning of the year, there have been 12,735 apprehensions in the respective countries.

    The majority of irregular migrants were registered in Bosnia and Herzegovina, a total of 9,056. According to the information received from IOM field teams, migrants are predominantly crossing to Bosnia and Herzegovina from neighbouring Serbia and to a lesser extent, from Montenegro. Their aim is to continue their journey towards EU countries. Therefore, migrants mainly are located in the North-Western part of the country in the areas around Bihać and Velika Kladuša. It is estimated that approximately 3,500 migrants currently are in the country.

    Irregular migrants are also continuing to transit through Albania and Montenegro, where authorities registered a total of 3,679 individuals. Based on DTM flow monitoring data, there were 2,356 arrivals to Montenegro, over ten times the 226 reported between June and July 2017. In Albania, DTM field data collectors tracked 1,323 migrants—seven times the 178 registered at the end of the second quarter of 2017. In addition, authorities in Albania reported that 682 migrants were apprehended while trying to exit the country towards Montenegro.

    Pakistan, Syrian Arab Republic, Iran, Afghanistan, Algeria and Iraq are the most common countries of origin declared by the migrants intercepted in all three countries between January and July 2018. Worldwide, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has documented the deaths of 2,291 people during migration to international destinations in 2018.

    On the US-Mexico border, three people died in recent days while trying to cross into the United States. On 24 July, US Border Patrol officers responded to a distress call regarding two Mexican nationals, a father and son, who were lost in a ranch near Sullivan City, Texas. When they found them, they were taken to the local hospital, where the father died of cardiac arrest. On the same day, Mexican civil protection authorities recovered the body of a young man from the Río Bravo/Grande, near the first international bridge in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas.

    On 22 July, the remains of a Mexican woman were recovered from a ranch near Laredo, Texas. She died of dehydration shortly after crossing the border. Additionally, the Missing Migrants Project team received information from the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office regarding remains recovered in Hidalgo County, Texas, in the first half of 2018. The remains of 17 migrants have been retrieved by Sheriff’s deputies along highways, on ranches or in the river between 1 January and 30 June 2018. In North Africa, an Egyptian man was shot at the Al-Baydan security checkpoint south of Ajdabiya, Libya on 24 July.

    Missing Migrants Project data are compiled by IOM staff but come from a variety of sources, some of which are unofficial. To learn more about how data on migrants’ deaths and disappearances are collected, click here.

    For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, please visit: http://migration.iom.int/europe

    Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project at: http://missingmigrants.iom.int

    For more information, please contact:

    Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: jmillman@iom.int

    Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean, Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int

    Hicham Hasnaoui, IOM Morocco, Tel: + 212 5 37 65 28 81, Email: hhasnaoui@iom.int

    Atigoni Avgeropoulou, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 99 19 040 ext. 166; M. +30 69 48 92 98 09, Email: aavgeropoulou@iom.int

    Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email: knamia@iom.int

    Ivona Zakoska, IOM Regional DTM, Austria, Tel: + +43 1 5812222, Email: izakoska@iom.int

    Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Germany, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int

    Christine Petré, IOM Libya, Tel. +216 29 240 448, Email: chpetre@iom.int

    Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email: adodevska@iom.int

    Myriam Chabbi, IOM Tunisia, Mobile: +216 28 78 78 05, Tel: +216 71 860 312 (Ext. 109), Email: mchabbi@iom.int


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    Source: EastAfrican
    Country: Sierra Leone

    By KEMO CHAM

    Researchers in Sierra Leone have found a new strain of the Ebola virus, the government said on Thursday.

    The virus was discovered in bats in northern Bombali region by scientists in a joint US-West African study funded by USAid.

    The finding comes two years after end of the worst-ever Ebola outbreak that killed more than 11,000 people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

    But researchers say the new Bombali virus is distinct from other Ebola virus strains and it is not yet known whether it could develop into the deadly disease.

    “At this time it is not known if Bombali virus has been transmitted to people or if it causes disease in people. However, results show it has the potential to infect human cells,” the scientists said in a report.

    “Further investigation is needed to understand more about the specific risks it poses,” they added.

    The study is part of the Predict Ebola Host Research Project in West Africa that brings together scientists from the University of California Davis and Colombia University in the US and their counterparts in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia to improve understanding and preparedness for future disease outbreaks in the region.

    The three West African neighbour countries were hard hit by the Ebola outbreak which began in Guinea in December 2013 before spreading to Liberia and Sierra Leone. The epidemic was declared over by the World Health Organisation in 2016 after claiming over 11,300 lives out of nearly 30,000 registered cases.

    The Predict Research is designed to monitor wildlife specimens for known pathogens in the wake of the West African outbreak.

    In Sierra Leone, of the 241 bat specimens sampled, five tested positive of the Bomali virus.

    The government said it will engage the local communities in the area to create awareness of the new strain and health safety measures.

    The 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak in West Africa was caused by the Zaire virus, which was discovered in Democratic Republic of Congo, formerly Zaire, in 1976. It is the most deadly strain known.

    The Zaire virus has struck DRC nine times with the latest outbreak having been declared over on Tuesday this week by the WHO after a 10-week re-emergence that claimed 33 lives.

    The Sierra Leone discovery brings to six the number of known Ebola virus strains. Others are Sudan, Tai Forest, Bundibugyo and Reston.

    The Ebola virus disease is a highly fatal haemorrhagic fever that is spread through contact with bodily fluids from infected persons and animals which include non-human primates, bats and forest antelope.

    The Sierra Leone government has urged for calm amid concerns that the discovery might cause panic.


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