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ReliefWeb - Updates on Sierra Leone

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    0 0

    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 (89%).
    • 7% of observed migrants at Flow Monitoring Points are minors
    • 125,642 migrants (36,981 incoming and 88,661 outgoing) were observed at Flow Monitoring Points, representing an average of 165 migrants per day.
    • The majority of surveyed migrants indicated their intention to travel to Algeria and Libya, while 36% 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 (47% of flows).
    • The vast majority of identified migrants arrived in Mali in transit buses. However, migrants departing from Gao mainly traveled in trucks, while those identified at other flow monitoring points primarily traveled by bus.

    0 0

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

    Poor rainfall conditions persist in northern Senegal and southwestern Mauritania.

    KEY MESSAGES

    • The ITF (Intertropical Front) underwent a slight retreat over its eastern portion during the second dekad of August in comparison with its first dekad position; however, it has remained north of its average position over the region with the exception of western Mauritania where it is slightly south of its average position.

    • Dryness persists in northwestern Senegal and southwestern Mauritania where main season cultivation has just concluded (Figure 1).

    • Dryer than average conditions (Figure 1) also prevail in the bi-modal zone; however, this is the normal minor dry season.

    • The risk of flooding is important over areas that received frequent and significant rainfall (Figure 2).

    • The southward retreat of the ITF will start soon and with it the improvement of the agrometeorological conditions in the bi-modal zone.

    UPDATE ON SEASONAL PROGRESS

    The ITF has practically reached its northernmost position and the end of the ITF’s northward migration is nearing. Though it was still north of its climatological position during the second dekad of August, it slightly retreated compared to its first dekad of August position.

    The seasonal rainfall analysis indicates continued adequate and favorable moisture conditions for planted crops over most of the region.

    • From the northern part of the Guinean zone to the pastoral areas in the northern part of the Sahelian zone rainfall continues to be adequate and well distributed, which has resulted in favorable agrometeorological conditions for good crop and pasture growth and development over most of the region. However, the northern Senegal-southwestern Mauritania area continue to suffer from dryness and/or poor rainfall distribution (Figure 1).

    • The persistence of poor agrometeorological conditions over this area during the main season cultivation period may have adverse effects on crops.

    • It is the minor dry season in the bi-modal zone and normal dryness (Figure 1) is expected. Improved rainfall activity is anticipated with the start of the ITF southward retreat and which will coincide with the start of the minor cropping season.

    According to the short and medium term forecasts from NOAA/CPC, is expected to reach its northernmost position soon and no significant dry spells are expected within the next two weeks.


    0 0

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


    0 0

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

    This Weekly Bulletin focuses on selected acute public health emergencies occurring in the WHO African Region. The WHO Health Emergencies Programme is currently monitoring 60 events in the region. This week’s edition covers key ongoing events, including:

    Ebola virus disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
    Measles in Mauritius
    Cholera in Niger
    Humanitarian crisis in Cameroon
    Humanitarian crisis in South Sudan.

    • 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 Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo reached its first month on 1 September 2018 since being confirmed and declared on 1 August 2018. While huge gains have been made to avoid escalation of the outbreak to other areas, significant threats for further spread of the disease remain. There are potential undocumented chains of transmission evidenced by new cases emerging outside known contact lists and the occurrence of community deaths. Reluctance by some communities to adopt Ebola prevention behaviours and weak infection prevention and control measures in healthcare facilities are some of the added risks. The coming few days will be critical in determining the trajectory of the outbreak. The priority remains the strengthening of all components of the response as well as enhancing preparedness in the non-affected provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and its neighbouring countries.

    • The cholera outbreak in Niger continues, with one additional district being affected. Some minimum reduction in the number of reported new cases has been observed in the last week. However, abundance of risk factors for disease transmission on the ground, coupled with the ongoing rains and floods, as well as shortfalls in the current outbreak control interventions, increase the potential for further propagation of the outbreak. There is a need to scale up implementation of all conventional cholera control measures, including deploying new tools such as oral cholera vaccine.


    0 0

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


    0 0

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

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

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

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

    Les trois bassins commerciaux sont simplement connus sous les noms de bassin Ouest, Centre, et Est. En plus du mouvement du sud vers le nord des produits, les flux de certaines céréales se font aussi horizontalement. (1) Le bassin Ouest comprend la Mauritanie, le Sénégal, l’ouest du Mali, la Sierra Leone, la Guinée, le Libéria, et la Gambie où le riz est le plus commercialisé.

    (2) Le bassin central se compose de la Côte d'Ivoire, le centre et l’est du Mali, le Burkina Faso, le Ghana, et le Togo où le maïs est généralement commercialisé. (3) Le bassin Est se rapporte au Niger, Nigéria, Tchad, et Bénin où le millet est le plus fréquemment commercialisé. Ces trois bassins commerciaux sont distingués sur la carte ci-dessus.


    0 0

    Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
    Country: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, 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.


    0 0

    Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
    Country: Afghanistan, Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Mali, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Sudan, Tajikistan, Togo, Uganda, World, Yemen

    Despite a recent improvement in rainfall, dryness remains over parts of East Africa

    Africa Weather Hazards

    1. Heavy rainfall caused flooding in western and southern Nigeria. The forecast rain during the next week increases the risks for flooding over the region.

    2. Torrential rain has increased the level of the Atbara and Dindir Rivers. Additional rainfall over the region is likely to further raise water levels, including the Nile River and its tributaries.

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

    4. Despite an overall improvement in rainfall over the past four weeks, deficits remain over portions of southwestern Ethiopia and eastern South Sudan.

    5. Several weeks delay to the start of rains in western Senegal has led to deteriorating ground conditions and abnormal dryness.


    0 0

    Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
    Country: Algeria, Côte d'Ivoire, Eritrea, Gambia, Guinea, Italy, Libya, Mali, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Tunisia, World

    Between 1 January and 31 August 2018, 3,092 unaccompanied and separated children arrived in Italy by sea, representing 15 per cent of all sea arrivals in this period. Consistent with an overall decrease in sea arrivals this year so far, the numbers of UASC reaching Italian shores in the first eight months of 2018 are considerably lower than in the same period last year, when over 13,200 landed in Italy. However, the proportion of UASC among sea arrivals in the January-August 2018 period (15 per cent) is only slightly higher than in January-August 2017 (13 per cent).


    0 0

    Source: UN Secretary-General
    Country: Central African Republic, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Sierra Leone, World

    THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

    REMARKS TO THE PEACEBUILDING COMMISSION

    AMBASSADORIAL-LEVEL MEETING ON “LEADERSHIP, ACCOUNTABILITY AND CAPACITIES”

    New York, 7 September 2018

    [as delivered]

    Thank you for your focus today on enhancing leadership, capacities and accountability to sustain peace.

    Effective, responsible and accountable leadership – supported by the right capacities and resources – lies at the heart of my vision for sustaining peace.

    It is also crucial for fostering coherent and effective action in support of national governments and their people.

    UN leaders and their teams, particularly in conflict-affected settings, must navigate a complex, politically sensitive environment while often operating with limited staff and limited financial resources.

    We need to work together to enhance their authority and their capacities.

    We also need to invest more – and much earlier – in prevention and peacebuilding.

    I have outlined a number of options in my report on peacebuilding and sustaining peace. I urge you to consider them seriously.

    I also repeat my conviction in the Peacebuilding Fund as a key instrument to drive coherence across our peacebuilding activities.

    I renew my appeal to significantly scale up your contributions to this vital Fund which often plays a catalytic role in assisting countries seeking to build and sustain peace.

    In Guinea-Bissau, for example, the Peacebuilding Fund provided critical support for the inclusion ofwomen and youth in the political process, that we hope will lead to a successful outcome in the near future.

    In Colombia, the Peacebuilding Fund became the first contributor to the United Nations Post-Conflict Multi-Partner Trust Fund, helping mobilize more than $90 million from bilateral donors for implementation of the peace agreement.

    In the Central African Republic, Peacebuilding Fund support helped strengthen a UN system-wide approach to responding to peacebuilding priorities.

    Beyond financing, senior United Nations leaders in the field must receive dedicated and sufficient assistance from Headquarters, including surge capacities, guidance and training.

    They must have delegated authority to take calculated risks in support of national priorities – and benefit from adequate, predictable and sustained financing for peacebuilding.

    In return, senior leaders across the UN system must be held accountable for bringing the UN system and its partners together around a common strategy for sustaining peace in support of Member States.

    We have progress to build upon.

    In Sierra Leone, my Special Representative for West Africa and the Sahel, together with the Resident Coordinator’s office, worked closely with national and regional partners to defuse tensions and encourage political dialogue during and after the presidential elections in March 2018.

    In Liberia, former President Obasanjo of Nigeria was deployed as member of my High-Level Advisory Board on Mediation, complementing the sustained efforts of my Special Representative to diffuse tensions surrounding the second round of the presidential elections in November 2017.

    In these and other cases, effective leaders tapped into available capacities, such as regional political offices, Peace and Development Advisers, Human Rights Advisers, electoral experts and others. The Peacebuilding Fund has also provided valuable support to make it possible.

    Of course, good leadership relies on solid strategic vision.

    With its bridging and convening role, the Peacebuilding Commission can support the development of such vision in national and regional contexts and marshal resources for peacebuilding priorities.

    Such was the case with the development of a peacebuilding plan in Liberia and enhancing the strategic coherence of international efforts in the Sahel.

    We must do more to ensure effective strategic leadership during transitions from one form of UN engagement to another and especially when Missions end and Country Teams need to assume a number of additional responsibilities.

    Recent experiences in Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia were important test cases in ensuring the continuity of senior leadership and personnel through different phases of UN engagement, coupled with strengthened capacity of the respective UN Country Teams.

    The Peacebuilding Commission has here a very important role to play. During the transition of UNMIL, for instance, a mapping of capacity of the Country Team against peacebuilding priorities was discussed with Member States through the Commission.

    Allow me to also highly commend the PBC for promoting the crucial role of women in peacebuilding and adopting a gender strategy, the first of its kind for a UN intergovernmental body.

    My reform agenda features several proposals that are relevant to enhancing our leadership, accountability and capacities in support of countries’ efforts to build and sustain peace.

    I am grateful to Member States for your support.

    Management reform will improve accountability and effectiveness of programme delivery.

    It will empower field leadership, simplify administrative policies, decentralize decision-making closer to the point of delivery and better align the responsibility for mandate implementation with the authority to manage resources.

    The repositioning of the development system will ensure that a new generation of Resident Coordinators and UN Country Teams benefit from better cross-pillar support, risk-informed joint analysis and planning, policy advice, monitoring and reporting.

    Empowered and impartial Resident Coordinators will have experience across the UN system and multiple skills including in integrated planning, risk management, gender issues and human rights. This will ensure more coherence across the humanitarian-development-peacebuilding continuum.

    The restructuring of the peace and security pillar will bring greater effectiveness and alignment.

    The Peacebuilding Support Office will have the capacity to act as a “hinge”, facilitating greater coherence across the UN and its different pillars.

    Of course, success of these efforts will also depend on ensuring that the leadership culture is principled, inclusive, pragmatic, and action-oriented.

    As part of this effort, gender parity within the UN system is an absolute priority.

    Empowering women and attaining long-overdue gender parity throughout the ranks of the Organization – as we have achieved already in the Senior Management Group – is of course the right thing to do.

    It will also position the UN system to better support Member States in achieving inclusive and sustainable peace.

    None of this happens on its own. We need to back our resolve with resources.

    I committed to allocate at least 15 per cent of United Nations peacebuilding funds to gender equality and women’s empowerment.

    I am proud to report that the Peacebuilding Fund more than doubled this target, devoting 36 per cent of funds for projects supporting women’s peacebuilding work last year.

    We must also re-focus United Nations leadership to fully engage with young women and men in building and sustaining peace – and underscore it in the independent Progress Study on Youth, Peace and Security.

    Once again, thank you for your focus on effective and accountable leadership.

    Let us continue to build up on our progress to sustaining peace and to peacebuilding.

    Thank you.


    0 0

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

    This Weekly Bulletin focuses on selected acute public health emergencies occurring in the WHO African Region. The WHO Health Emergencies Programme is currently monitoring 55 events in the region. This week’s edition covers key ongoing events, including:

    Declaration of the end of the listeriosis outbreak in South Africa
    Ebola virus disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
    Cholera in Niger
    Cholera in Cameroon
    Hepatitis E in Namibia
    Humanitarian crisis in Central African Republic.

    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 Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo continues to evolve, with a good outlook overall. Two new health zones have reported one confirmed EVD case each. While these cases were detected quickly and response measures applied immediately, the event highlights the complexities around the response to the current outbreak. The presence of potential undocumented chains of transmission, reluctance by some communities to adopt Ebola prevention behaviours, delays by patients to seek care upon developing symptoms, inadequate infection prevention and control measures in healthcare facilities, and the potential of the virus to spread into insecure areas with limited access are some of the major issues of concern. These issues need to be addressed collectively by the national and local authorities, partners and the communities. Additionally, there is a need to continue sustained implementation of all components of the response, including preparedness in the non-affected provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and its neighbouring countries.

    • The cholera outbreak in Niger is escalating, with several new cases and deaths occurring, and two additional districts being affected. The risk factors for propagation of the outbreak in the communities are prevalent, being compounded by the heavy rainfall and occasional floods. The current ongoing control interventions are not adequate to halt further transmission of infections. There is an urgent need to scale up implementation of all conventional cholera control measures, including deploying new tools such as oral cholera vaccine.


    0 0

    Source: UN Secretary-General
    Country: Central African Republic, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Sierra Leone, World

    G/SM/19199-PBC/127

    Following are UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ remarks to the Peacebuilding Commission’s ambassadorial-level meeting on “Leadership, accountability and capacities”, in New York today:

    Thank you for your focus today on enhancing leadership, capacities and accountability to sustain peace.

    Effective, responsible and accountable leadership — supported by the right capacities and resources — lies at the heart of my vision for sustaining peace. It is also crucial for fostering coherent and effective action in support of national Governments and their people.

    United Nations leaders and their teams, particularly in conflict-affected settings, must navigate a complex, politically sensitive environment while often operating with limited staff and limited financial resources. We need to work together to enhance their authority and their capacities. We also need to invest more — and much earlier — in prevention and peacebuilding.

    I have outlined a number of options in my report on peacebuilding and sustaining peace. I urge you to consider them seriously. I also repeat my conviction in the Peacebuilding Fund as a key instrument to drive coherence across our peacebuilding activities. I renew my appeal to significantly scale up your contributions to this vital Fund, which often plays a catalytic role in assisting countries seeking to build and sustain peace.

    In Guinea-Bissau, for example, the Peacebuilding Fund provided critical support for the inclusion of women and youth in the political process that we hope will lead to a successful outcome in the near future. In Colombia, the Peacebuilding Fund became the first contributor to the United Nations Post‑Conflict Multi-Partner Trust Fund, helping mobilize more than $90 million from bilateral donors for implementation of the peace agreement. In the Central African Republic, Peacebuilding Fund support helped strengthen a United Nations system-wide approach to responding to peacebuilding priorities.

    Beyond financing, senior United Nations leaders in the field must receive dedicated and sufficient assistance from Headquarters, including surge capacities, guidance and training. They must have delegated authority to take calculated risks in support of national priorities — and benefit from adequate, predictable and sustained financing for peacebuilding. In return, senior leaders across the United Nations system must be held accountable for bringing the United Nations system and its partners together around a common strategy for sustaining peace in support of Member States.

    We have progress to build upon. In Sierra Leone, my Special Representative for West Africa and the Sahel, together with the Resident Coordinator’s office, worked closely with national and regional partners to defuse tensions and encourage political dialogue during and after the presidential elections in March. In Liberia, former President [Olusegun] Obasanjo of Nigeria was deployed as member of my High-Level Advisory Board on Mediation, complementing the sustained efforts of my Special Representative to diffuse tensions surrounding the second round of the presidential elections in November 2017. In these and other cases, effective leaders tapped into available capacities, such as regional political offices, peace and development advisers, human rights advisers, electoral experts and others. The Peacebuilding Fund has also provided valuable support to make it possible.

    Of course, good leadership relies on solid strategic vision. With its bridging and convening role, the Peacebuilding Commission can support the development of such a vision in national and regional contexts and marshal resources for peacebuilding priorities. Such was the case with the development of a peacebuilding plan in Liberia and enhancing the strategic coherence of international efforts in the Sahel.

    We must do more to ensure effective strategic leadership during transitions from one form of United Nations engagement to another, and especially when missions end and country teams need to assume a number of additional responsibilities. Recent experiences in Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia were important test cases in ensuring the continuity of senior leadership and personnel through different phases of United Nations engagement, coupled with strengthened capacity of the respective United Nations country teams.

    The Peacebuilding Commission has here a very important role to play. During the transition of UNMIL [United Nations Mission in Liberia], for instance, a mapping of capacity of the country team against peacebuilding priorities was discussed with Member States through the Commission. Allow me to also highly commend the Peacebuilding Commission for promoting the crucial role of women in peacebuilding and adopting a gender strategy, the first of its kind for a United Nations intergovernmental body.

    My reform agenda features several proposals that are relevant to enhancing our leadership, accountability and capacities in support of countries’ efforts to build and sustain peace. I am grateful to Member States for your support. Management reform will improve accountability and effectiveness of programme delivery. It will empower field leadership, simplify administrative policies, decentralize decision-making closer to the point of delivery and better align the responsibility for mandate implementation with the authority to manage resources.

    The repositioning of the development system will ensure that a new generation of Resident Coordinators and United Nations country teams benefit from better cross-pillar support, risk-informed joint analysis and planning, policy advice, monitoring and reporting. Empowered and impartial Resident Coordinators will have experience across the United Nations system and multiple skills, including in integrated planning, risk management, gender issues and human rights. This will ensure more coherence across the humanitarian-development-peacebuilding continuum.

    The restructuring of the peace and security pillar will bring greater effectiveness and alignment. The Peacebuilding Support Office will have the capacity to act as a “hinge”, facilitating greater coherence across the United Nations and its different pillars. Of course, the success of these efforts will also depend on ensuring that the leadership culture is principled, inclusive, pragmatic and action-oriented.

    As part of this effort, gender parity within the United Nations system is an absolute priority. Empowering women and attaining long-overdue gender parity throughout the ranks of the Organization — as we have achieved already in the Senior Management Group — is of course the right thing to do. It will also position the United Nations system to better support Member States in achieving inclusive and sustainable peace.

    None of this happens on its own. We need to back our resolve with resources. I committed to allocate at least 15 per cent of United Nations peacebuilding funds to gender equality and women’s empowerment. I am proud to report that the Peacebuilding Fund more than doubled this target, devoting 36 per cent of funds for projects supporting women’s peacebuilding work last year. We must also refocus United Nations leadership to fully engage with young women and men in building and sustaining peace — and underscore it in the independent Progress Study on Youth, Peace and Security.

    Once again, thank you for your focus on effective and accountable leadership. Let us continue to build up on our progress to sustaining peace and to peacebuilding. Thank you.

    For information media. Not an official record.


    0 0

    Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
    Country: Afghanistan, Benin, Burkina Faso, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Honduras, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Panama, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tajikistan, Togo, Uganda, World, Yemen

    Flood risk remains high over parts of Nigeria, as heavy rainfall is expected to continue

    Africa Weather Hazards

    1. Heavy rainfall caused flooding in western and southern Nigeria. The forecast rain during the next week increases the risks for flooding over the region.

    2. Torrential rain has increased the level of the Atbara and Dindir Rivers. Additional rainfall over the region is likely to further raise water levels, including the Nile River and its tributaries.

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

    4. Despite an overall improvement in rainfall over the past four weeks, deficits remain over portions of southwestern Ethiopia and eastern South Sudan.


    0 0

    Source: World Health Organization
    Country: Angola, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, South Sudan, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, World

    Executive Summary

    The second 2017 meeting of the Regional Immunization Technical Advisory Group (RITAG), the principal advisory group to the WHO Regional Offce for Africa took place at the Protea Balalaika Hotel Sandton, in Johannesburg, South Africa, on 5–7 December 2017. The meeting focused on progress towards regional immunization goals, maternal & neonatal tetanus elimination, polio eradication & end-game strategy, challenges facing middle-income countries, cholera control and immunization research in the African Region.

    The annual progress report on immunization in the African Region highlighted some progress in 2017 but concluded that much remains to be done if regional 2020 immunization targets are to be met. The ten countries that collectively account for 80% of under-immunized children present a particular challenge. Furthermore, national data can mask signicant variation in vaccination coverage within countries, highlighting the need to map and respond to variation in service provision at a more granular subnational level.

    Despite commitments made in the Addis Declaration on Immunization, and although some countries have invested significantly in new vaccine introductions, the proportion of countries supporting financially their immunization programmes wholly or mostly through domestic resources remains virtually unchanged since the previous year. With external funding declining as the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) winds down and countries transition out of Gavi support, it is increasingly important that countries honour their investment commitments, and explore the use of innovative approaches to boost domestic funding.

    The mid-term review of the Regional Strategic Plan for Immunization, carried out by an independent expert panel, was presented to the RITAG meeting. The Regional Strategic Plan seeks to energize efforts to bring the benets of immunization to all target groups of the African region, particularly those in underserved and hard-to-reach populations. The mid-term review highlighted areas of progress but concluded that the region was not on track to achieve most of its 2020 targets. The review was well received by RITAG and, once feedback from RITAG members has been incorporated, it will be adopted by RITAG and its recommendations endorsed.

    Middle-income countries (MICs) are home to two-thirds of the world's poorest people and two-thirds of vaccine-preventable deaths occur in these countries. Gavi-ineligible MICs and Gavi-graduating countries, including those in the African Region, face particular challenges. These were addressed in a Middle-Income Country Strategy developed by WHO and partners which was endorsed by the WHO's Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) but has not been adequately funded or implemented.

    Pooled procurement mechanisms may be one approach for facilitating vaccine access in such countries. There is also a need to address regulatory issues that may affect timely access to vaccines for routine and emergency use and evaluation in clinical trials.

    The implications of Gavi transitions are of concern, including the risk that countries enter transitions ill-prepared to absorb increasing co-financing commitments and eventually to assume full responsibility for immunization systems. This could potentially lead to reversals of new vaccine introductions.
    There is real hope that polio can soon be eradicated in the region. No new cases of wild poliovirus have been detected in the African Region since August 2016. RITAG applauds the emergency response launched in Nigeria and the countries surrounding Lake Chad. Technologies and approaches applied here may have application in control of other infectious diseases. Nevertheless, concerns remain about the possible continued transmission of wild polioviruses and the emergence of vaccine-derived polioviruses in areas where insecurity constrains high-quality surveillance and high vaccination coverage.

    As GPEI funding declines, it is vital that polio transition plans safeguard essential surveillance functions for polio and other vaccine-preventable diseases and routine immunization activities, to protect national populations and regional health security. Declining levels of human and nancial resources for surveillance in the region may potentially compromise the quality and completeness of data and jeopardize the regional certification of polio eradication, as well as complicate efforts to achieve measles and rubella elimination.

    Affordable oral cholera vaccines (OCVs) combined with water, sanitation and hygiene (WaSH) and other control strategies represent a valuable new tool for cholera control, and it is essential that they are used effectively in the region. It is important that procedures for accessing the OCV global stockpile facilitate rapid access in emergency situations, and in particular do not impose impractical data collection requirements on countries. Countries also need to ensure that their vaccine regulatory policy frameworks enable the rapid importation of OCV when required, to establish effective surveillance systems to underpin timely disease control, and to collect and analyse the data required to develop evidence-driven policies and programmes, including the use of OCVs, to mitigate the risk of cholera outbreaks.

    Great progress has been made towards achieving and maintaining maternal and neonatal tetanus elimination (MNTE). Nevertheless, the region is off-track to reach its elimination target in 2020. The seven countries yet to achieve MNTE face significant challenges, including civil conflicts and infectious disease outbreaks, and require support during a final push towards elimination. Although it has been suggested that MNTE could be accelerated through greater use of compact pre-filled auto-disable devices, which can be used by individuals with minimal training and enhance access to hard-to-reach populations, question marks remain about the true demand and appropriateness of this technology and the likelihood of reliable supply.

    A further important theme was research – particularly the need for research driven by local priorities and involving or led by African researchers. These are core principles of the draft Strategic Framework for Research on Immunization in the African Region. Once finalized, the Strategic Framework will provide a key resource to support the generation and use of evidence required to prioritize and support new vaccine development, in order to strengthen national immunization programmes and bring its benets to larger numbers of people, including those currently being missed


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    Source: Overseas Development Institute, Christian Aid
    Country: Angola, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, occupied Palestinian territory, Sierra Leone, World, Zimbabwe

    Executive summary

    Tackling the problems of poverty, vulnerability and exclusion that persist in parts of the world that continue to be affected by violence or political insecurity is difficult for several reasons. For one, because of the complexity of the prevailing social, economic and political systems, solutions to chronic problems are far from obvious.
    One response to this aspect of the challenge is adaptive programme design and management.

    This paper is the product of a multi-year collaboration between ODI and the core team of Christian Aid Ireland to assess the relevance of adaptive or trial-and-error approaches to the field of governance, peace building and human rights. It explains the basis on which Christian Aid Ireland’s current five-year programme funded by Irish Aid has become committed to an adaptive approach. It then describes and seeks to draw lessons from the programme’s first year of experience, considering the possible implications for implementation over the coming years.
    Interest in adaptive programme management is growing fast, reflecting increasing global awareness of the limitations of ‘blueprint’ plans for addressing complex problems. However, a large literature shows that moving to a more learning-based approach is challenging. It is particularly hard for organisations that either believe they know the solutions to typical problems or are otherwise limited in their ability to recognise mistakes and change course between scheduled mid-term reviews and final evaluations. Christian Aid Ireland’s experience reviewed here is therefore of interest to a wider community of practice concerned with how to redesign a programme to make it more adaptive and what issues can arise in the process. At this stage, it is of course not possible to assess the impact of the new approach.

    The programme works in seven countries affected by conflict, violence or political instability – Angola,
    Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe. It is based on partnerships with local organisations, especially non-governmental and civil society organisations working with marginalised women and men, and other gender identities. It aims to make a difference to people’s lives by helping them realise their human rights, improve their security and address gender inequalities.

    Joint activities and management tools are now being used to structure the programme’s relationships with partners. These include ‘strategy testing’, explicit theories of change and ‘outcome harvesting’. Annual strategy testing events, based on a procedure developed by The Asia Foundation, are designed to stimulate regular reflection around the theories of change underpinning partner activities. Participatory outcome harvesting is used to inform the testing of strategies and to support revision of theories of change where necessary. Both the strategy testing and the outcome harvesting serve to populate the results frameworks required for reporting to Irish Aid, in which pre-set targets – a legacy of the previous approach to management for results – are still a feature.

    A review of the experience so far suggests that the instruments and processes being introduced are strongly welcomed by partners and show promise as a means of increasing their effectiveness in contributing to ambitious objectives. Partners are generally embracing the changed relationship with Christian Aid Ireland with enthusiasm, although the required self-awareness, analytical capacity and willingness to adapt come more easily to some than to others. Flexible adjustments to changed circumstances are currently more common than genuine adaptation. To get full benefits from the move to adaptive management, the new ways of working and their underlying principles will need to become more embedded in the organisations’ practices and cultures.

    Based on their review, the authors believe Christian Aid Ireland will need to be proactive in supporting this change, between as well as during the formally scheduled strategy testing cycles. It should lay increasing emphasis on the difference between desirable flexibility and adaptive working in the full sense. And it should report to Irish Aid in a way that gives maximum prominence to the expected benefits of ‘learning to make a difference’. Irish Aid, for its part, should consider the potential benefits of the new approach for achieving results over traditional reporting against pre-set targets.
    Other international development organisations might take inspiration from what this programme is doing, especially if they are working on similar issues with a comparable partnership approach.


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

    Overview

    The WHO Health Emergencies Programme is currently monitoring 52 events in the region. This week’s edition covers key ongoing events, including:

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

    • Cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe

    • Cholera outbreak in Algeria

    • Yellow fever outbreak in Republic of Congo

    • Humanitarian crisis in Mali.


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    Source: Medair
    Country: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone

    Written by Dr Trina Helderman, Senior Health & Nutrition Advisor for Medair’s Global Emergency Response Team

    Leave and launch

    In mid-2014, following a three-and-a-half-year stint working with Medair in South Sudan, I was at home for a few months to rest. The Ebola outbreak in West Africa was escalating and I remember thinking ‘I really need to get some sleep and recover quickly because I should be responding to this outbreak.’

    I am an ER (emergency room) doctor by training and, strangely, really enjoy responding to disease outbreaks. The Ebola outbreak was something a bit different, but I felt compelled to go. I was so glad to be working with Medair, an organisation with which I could respond … if I could prove that we could feasibly do it.

    Following my leave, I started with the Global Emergency Response Team based out of Switzerland, and on my very first day of work, we sat down and had a meeting to discuss whether or not Medair would respond to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

    Sierra Leone: responsible for all aspects

    Sierra Leone was chosen as a priority country, and my first task was to put measures in place to ensure that we would be able to operate safely. Once I’d reached the end of that laundry list, the pressing questions were: ‘What are the gaps?’ and ‘How should Medair respond?’

    As we were new to Sierra Leone, I deployed as team leader and was responsible for overseeing our response. From a staff health perspective, I had to ensure that whatever protocols I set up would keep the team safe. I was also medical-in-charge and responsible for setting up the Ebola Treatment Centre, training the staff, and running it effectively—not only to treat patients, but also to ensure that suspected patients weren’t getting sick by being in there. Looking back, it was a really huge role and I was fortunate to have a great team. I was so incredibly thankful for the training we had all received beforehand from MSF and IFRC. It literally was life-saving!

    I learned a great deal about myself and more specifically what type of manager I am and how I lead teams. We were a really small team and everyone had a ton of work to do to set up the treatment centre. In situations like that, it’s easy to forget to do simple things like say ‘thank you’ or appreciate someone. I had someone specifically call me out on that, so it’s something I try to recognise and improve on now in my work. Yes, we’re all working hard, but it’s important to recognise that everyone is doing their part and still needs to be appreciated every now and again. Especially when you’re running around trying to get things going.

    DR Congo: another response, a different role

    When the 10th recorded outbreak of Ebola in DR Congo was declared on 1 August 2018, I had already had the first phone call with our team there. The first confirmed cases emerged close to Beni town, where Medair has a base to support health and water, sanitation, and hygiene projects.

    As Medair teams were already on ground, my role was not to lead a start-up, but rather to provide technical support to the team in Beni. At the start, I was really worried. The team knew hardly anything about Ebola, or how to respond. Added to that, the visa process for DR Congo takes time: it prevented me from deploying immediately.

    I tried to provide recommendations and to train them from a distance, which is quite complicated. The stakes are so high, so it was scary to not physically be in Beni to see ‘are they implementing it in the way I’m picturing it in my mind? Am I communicating it effectively? What are the best ways to share these things?’ I’m very thankful for technology, and the fact that we had good internet on key days to be able to provide some training from a distance.

    I was so really happy to finally arrive two weeks after the outbreak had started and to see that the Beni team were busy doing great work. It was clear that the team had been able to apply the things they had learned through the trainings and to implement then very quickly. I was really impressed and excited to see how people had really stepped up to respond.

    When the outbreak is over, we’ll reflect and ask ‘was that done as well as it could have been? How could it have been done differently?’ Though the Beni team have done a fantastic job so far, it’s vital that we keep looking for ways to improve.

    Return: rest or response?

    Medair’s team in Beni is responding with the training and equipment they need to make a difference in this outbreak. New and experienced staff have come in to join the team on ground and so I felt confident to return to Switzerland to fulfil some pre-existing commitments there. I hoped to have the chance to rest, but emergency response work is unpredictable. Super-typhoon Mankhut hit the Philippines last Friday, causing widespread damage. Three of my Emergency Response Team colleagues have already flown out to assess how best to respond, and I’ll support the response through coordination from Switzerland to ensure that we have adequate funding and personnel. This highlights the need to flexible, continuing to play different roles in responding to needs across the world, however and whenever they present themselves.


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

    L’OIM travaille avec les autorités nationales, locales et des partenaires locaux, afin de mieux comprendre et connaître les mouvements migratoires à travers l’Afrique de l’Ouest et du Centre. Le suivi des flux de population (FMP) est une activité qui permet de quantifier et de qualifier les flux, les profils des migrants, les tendances et les routes migratoires sur un point d’entrée, de transit ou de sortie donné. En Guinée, 5 points de suivi ont été installés depuis avril 2017 dans les localités frontalières avec Mali et le Sénégal dont 3 sont actifs à ce jour. Il s’agit des localités de Kouremalé, Nafadji et Boundoufourdou où l’on observe les mouvements des voyageurs. La proportion des mineurs non accompagnés observés sur l’ensemble des points de suivi des flux est moins de 1%. Cette infographie est un résumé des données collectées sur ce point de suivi pour les mois de juin et juillet 2018.


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    Source: Mixed Migration Centre
    Country: Afghanistan, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Libya, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Togo, World

    Executive Summary

    This research report mainly builds on data collected between June and October 2017 through the Mixed Migration Monitoring Mechanism Initiative (4Mi) including 1,062 surveys collected by 4Mi field monitors.

    The 4Mi data includes interviews with women from Afghanistan, Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Libya, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo and Somalia. It is the first piece of research drawn from 4Mi that compares women’s migration experiences across different regions as it compares Afghan women on the move with women from East and West Africa. The 4Mi data is complemented with 29 in-depth qualitative interviews conducted in December 2017 with Afghan women and secondary research on West and East African women.

    This report examines women’s migration experiences in origin, transit and destination countries. The focus is on Afghan women who are in the process of migrating from Afghanistan, in transit in Serbia or who have settled in Germany as their destination, and who have travelled along the East Mediterranean route.

    The research also examines, through primary data from 4Mi, the experiences of Afghan women, in India and Indonesia; and East and West African women who migrated along the Central Mediterranean route through Libya. It draws on secondary literature to contextualise women’s migration experiences.

    The aim of this research is to act as a pilot for gaining a better understanding of women’s migration experiences compared across regions, their protection needs along the way and how their journeys may or may not differ. This report contributes to filling gaps in knowledge about women’s migration journeys, suggesting further areas where research is needed, and offers analysis that may inform current and future programmes to assist and protect those on the move.

    The research questions that this report adresses can be summarised as follow:

    Drivers of migration: what are the main reasons for migration among females from Asia, East Africa and West Africa? How do women’s reasons for migrating differ between the regions?

    Expectations: what are women’s expectations of the journey and of the destination country?

    Information: how do women refugees and migrants access information on options for migrating and on possible support and services along the way?

    Smuggler and trafficking networks: How do different female refugees and migrants from Asia, East Africa and West Africa? enter irregular migration?

    Transport modalities: What are the different modalities of travel? How are they similar and/or different when compared across geographical locations and migration routes?

    Protection: What are the main protection issues female refugees and migrants from the regions face along migration routes? Who are the perpetrators of abuse? And what are the differences and similarities in protection concerns along the migration routes?

    The report illustrates: challenges that women refugees and migrants face during their journeys; and migration drivers including insecurity and violence, particularly in Afghanistan and East Africa, and the search for better economic opportunities, which predominantly drives West African refugees and migrants. Other factors influencing women’s migration decisions include social norms, domestic violence and – particularly for Afghan women – discrimination along ethnic lines. For respondents in East Africa, the predominant factor is to join family abroad.

    Access to information is key in migration decisions and the report provides mixed patterns of evidence.
    Social media and the internet are important sources of information, but women with access to these may not always be fully aware of the modes of travel, length of journey, and inherent risks and dangers.
    Diasporas and networks of family and friends are important sources of information across regions, although women’s ability to contact them diminishes as the journey progresses and depends on the smugglers they are with. Within Afghanistan, for example, women report being able to access social media and to contact relatives. However, women who have already left their country of origin across the regions have lower levels of access to means of communication.

    While most women are aware of the role of smugglers and for the most part use them at some point in their journey, the extent to which women are aware of the dangers of using smugglers, and how the women view them – whether as a travel agents, smugglers or traffickers – also varies. The 4Mi data suggests that most smugglers are not honest and do not always deliver on what they have promised for the price they have stated across the regions. Respondents in East Africa, in particular, were more likely to view their smugglers as criminals. This finding is supported by qualitative interviews conducted with Afghan women for this research and the broader literature, with women having little recourse if smugglers do not deliver on their promises.

    The report sheds light on the range of abuses women refugees and migrants face; and the limited knowledge of and access to assistance and protection they have. It is common for women to face abuses across regions. In Libya, in particular on the desert stage of the journey, levels of human rights abuses are acute. The risk of abuse is closely linked to mode of travel, with women refugees and migrants who travelled by plane reporting lower levels of abuse and exploitation. This is illustrated by the relatively low frequency and types of abuses that Afghan respondents interviewed in India and Indonesia reported.

    The protection concerns the report raises highlight the need for concerted efforts to ensure women are aware of their options for accessing assistance; and to work towards being able to provide this assistance and to pair these efforts with advocacy and programming changes.


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    Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
    Country: Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Guinea, Haiti, Iraq, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Uganda, World, Yemen, Zimbabwe

    Conflicts and climatic shocks aggravate current food insecurity in many countries

    Some 39 countries in need of food assistance - FAO expects slightly lower global cereal production

    20 September 2018, Rome - Persistent conflicts and climate-related shocks are currently driving high levels of severe food insecurity, particularly in Southern African and Near East countries, which continue to require humanitarian assistance, according to a new report published by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) today.

    Some 39 countries, 31 of which are in Africa, seven in Asia and one in the Caribbean (Haiti), are in need of external food assistance - unchanged from three months ago, according to the Crop Prospects and Food Situation report. FAO stresses that protracted conflicts, extreme weather events and displacement continue hampering food access for millions of vulnerable people.

    Civil conflicts and population displacement remain the key drivers of food insecurity in East Africa and the Near East, whereas dry-weather conditions reduced cereal outputs in Southern Africa, according to the report.

    Lower global cereal production forecast

    FAO's latest forecast for global cereal production in 2018 is pegged at 2 587 million tonnes, a three-year low and 2.4 percent below last year's record high level.

    Cereal production in the 52 Low-Income Food-Deficit Countries (LIFDCs) is projected this year at around 490 million tonnes, about 19 million above the past five-year average. The unchanged aggregate output reflects weather-reduced outputs in Southern Africa, Central Asia and the Near East that are foreseen to be offset by production gains in Far East Asia and East Africa.

    Conflicts and displacement take toll on food security

    Civil conflicts, often coupled with climate-related extreme events, have taken their toll on food security of vulnerable populations in Central African Republic, Nigeria, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen among others.

    In Yemen, due to ongoing conflict, an estimated 17,8 million people are food insecure and require urgent humanitarian assistance, a five percent increase from 2017.

    In the Central African Republic, about 2 million people, or 43 percent of the total population, are estimated to be in need of urgent assistance for food due to the civil conflicts, several consecutive years of reduced agricultural production and poorly functioning markets, especially for displaced populations, host families and returnees, fueled by violent clashes and inter-communal tensions.

    Dry weather hits cereal production in Southern Africa, Near East and South America

    Poor rains in Southern Africa at key cropping stages curbed this year's cereal production, with the largest reductions reported in Malawi and Zimbabwe.

    In Malawi, with this year's cereal output estimated to be below average, the number of food insecure people in 2018 could more than double from last year to reach 3.3 million people.

    In Zimbabwe, 2.4 million people are estimated to be food insecure in 2018 as a result of a reduced cereal output and food access constraints stemming from low incomes and liquidity problems of vulnerable households.

    The Near East region has also suffered from insufficient rains that have reduced cereal output particularly in Afghanistan and Syria. In Syria, around 6.5 million people are estimated to be food insecure and another 4 million people are at risk of food insecurity, according to the report.

    Dry weather conditions in South America have lowered cereal output in 2018 from last year's record, particularly for maize. In Central America and the Caribbean, unfavourable rains also curtailed this year's maize production, except in Mexico.

    Cereal harvests rebound in Far East Asia and East Africa

    In Far East Asia, cereal production in 2018 is forecast to rise, primarily reflecting gains in Bangladesh and India, with the latter seeing a record wheat output this year due to favourable weather conditions. Similarly, in Bangladesh, beneficial weather supported by prospects of remunerative prices triggered an expansion in paddy plantings that drove up cereal production in 2018, following reduced outputs last year.

    Likewise, as a result of beneficial weather, cereal harvests in East Africa are also forecast to rebound from the reduced levels of 2017; however, torrential rains earlier this year and more recently in August resulted in floods causing localized crop losses.

    The 39 countries currently in need of external food assistance are: Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Eswatini (former Swaziland), Ethiopia, Guinea, Haiti, Iraq, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Uganda, Yemen and Zimbabwe.


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