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ReliefWeb - Updates on Sierra Leone

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    Source: Salesian Missions
    Country: Colombia, India, Senegal, Sierra Leone

    (MissionNewswire) Salesian Missions joins the United Nations and other organizations around the globe in honoring Human Rights Day, celebrated each year on Dec. 10. Human Rights Day commemorates the day in 1948 when the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

    This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which has been translated into more than 500 languages. This milestone document proclaimed the inalienable rights that everyone is inherently entitled to as a human being—regardless of race, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

    According to the United Nations, the Declaration was written by representatives of diverse legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world. It sets out universal values and a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, as well as establishes the equal dignity and worth of every person.

    The theme of Human Rights Day 2018 is “Let’s stand up for equality, justice and human dignity,” which encourages all people to stand up for basic human rights for themselves and others. The campaign has been launched with the hashtag #StandUp4HumanRights.

    Through education and social development programming, Salesian missionaries in more than 130 countries around the globe work to ensure that all youth know their rights, are able to fully participate in their communities and have their voices heard.

    Whether it’s combating child labor, assisting homeless youth or building schools where children previously had no access to education, Salesian missionaries are on the front lines educating youth on their rights and ensuring access to programs and services they need. Working in more than 5,500 Salesian educational institutions and youth centers around the world, missionaries educate children in some of the poorest places on the planet.

    “Education is always our primary focus, but we know youth are dealing with much more than just needing access to education,” says Father Mark Hyde, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Salesian missionaries also provide education on human rights which provides vulnerable youth a sense of personal dignity and self-worth. At Salesian schools, young children gain an education, learn about their rights and freedoms and participate in sports and other activities—all in a safe environment that encourages learning and growth.”

    In honor of Human Rights Day, Salesian Missions highlights its unique educational programs that are helping poor youth receive an education, understand their rights and find a path out of poverty, bringing them hope for the future.

    COLOMBIA

    Don Bosco City’s protection program, Making Impressions, was established to help children understand their rights and to restore rights for those involved in child labor in the Amaga municipality in Colombia. This program was created in response to social issues that have arisen from the area’s coal-based economy. Many families in the region make their living in the coal mining industry and children are often sent to work in the industry rather than attend school.

    Not only are young men and boys being sent to work, many young girls are also faced with labor exploitation and other abuses. Forced to work, they miss out on important opportunities for education leading them to become dependent on others while lacking the ability to take care of themselves. This puts them more at risk of abuse.

    Salesian missionaries operating the Making Impressions program use an interdisciplinary approach when working with participating youth. They work as a team with volunteers who have knowledge of the local job market and are able to connect with youth in need. These early connections foster values such as understanding, sharing and mutual respect.

    Youth in the program are able to access child rights education and use the library which serves as a quiet space for learning and studying. Participants can also take advantage of recreational spaces which help to make free time more productive and aid in building better relationships with peers.

    INDIA

    Close to 100,000 children have been educated about their rights through 907 special clubs and courses offered in schools across India. This education is available thanks to Salesian child rights education programs offered through the CREAM project (Child Rights Education and Action Movement) which is sponsored by the Office of Development of the Salesian Province of Bangalore (BREADS–Bangalore Rural Education and Development Society).

    The project was initiated in December 2012 to reach the most disadvantaged children in 10 districts in the Indian state of Karnataka, especially in high-risk urban and rural areas. The goal being to work with youth to build a culture of protection of children’s rights with an emphasis on improving the potential of minors as well as ensuring the sustainability of activities and results. The project has entered a second phase working to reach 150,000 youth through child rights education.

    SENEGAL

    Salesian missionaries in Senegal operate an “Action to combat irregular migration through support of local development in the Tambacounda Region” project in Tambacounda, a town of 80,000 people. This is part of the broader “Stop Human Trafficking” campaign Salesian missionaries are operating in several African countries.

    In Tambacounda, there are few opportunities and prospects, especially for young people who represent the large majority of the Senegalese population and serve as a primary source of support for families. Many youth leave the area in search of opportunity but can fall victim to exploitation and trafficking.

    The project is part of an initiative by VIS and Don Bosco Missions in Turin, Italy to develop projects and launch awareness campaigns to both stop and educate about the dangers of migration related to human trafficking. With a focus on youth leaving countries in Africa in search of a better life in Europe, the campaign aims to prevent young migrants from becoming victims of crime and exploitation.

    SIERRA LEONE

    Salesian missionaries have been serving in Sierra Leone since 2001 when they began working to rehabilitate former child soldiers. In the years since, Don Bosco Fambul, located in the country’s capital city of Freetown, has become one of the country’s leading child welfare organizations—offering food, clothing, crisis intervention services, shelter, educational opportunities, long-term counseling and family reunification.

    Don Bosco Fambul reaches out to an estimated 2,500 street children in the region each year. Transformation for street youth starts with Salesian rehabilitation and reunification programs operated at Don Bosco Fambul. The success of the street children rehabilitation program is credited to the organization’s holistic approach focusing on meeting basic needs (food, clothing and a safe place to sleep) as well as personalized medical, psychological, pedagogical, social and spiritual care. The gradual rehabilitation process includes formal classes, daily games, sports, music, singing, drama, dancing, counseling and prayer. Parents and extended families are contacted several times by social workers before final reunification.


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

    Between 1 January and 31 October 2018, 3,346 unaccompanied and separated children arrived in Italy by sea, representing 15% of all sea arrivals in this period. Consistent with an overall decrease in sea arrivals this year so far, the number of UASC reaching Italian shores in the first ten months of 2018 is considerably lower than in the same period last year, when almost 14,600 landed in Italy. However, the proportion of UASC among sea arrivals in the January-October 2018 period (15 per cent) is slightly higher than in January-October 2017 (13 per cent).

    It is estimated that UASC arriving by sea in the first ten months of 2018 most commonly originate from Tunisia (814), Eritrea (602), Sudan (252), and Pakistan (208). During this period, significant numbers of UASC also originate from Côte d'Ivoire (189), Mali (163), Nigeria (157), Guinea (142), Somalia (137), and Algeria (137). According to UNHCR estimates, approximately half of UASC arrivals in the January-October 2018 period originate from Eritrea, Tunisia, and Sudan. Furthermore, UASC from the ten most common nationalities cumulatively represent 84 per cent of UASC arriving by sea. In the first ten months of 2018, 35 per cent of Sierra Leonean arrivals were UASC, followed by 32 per cent of Somali arrivals, 24 per cent of Gambians, 20 per cent of Eritreans, 19 per cent of Malians, and 18 per cent of Ivoirians.


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    Source: Walk Free Foundation
    Country: Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, World, Zambia, Zimbabwe

    Spotlight on Progress

    Although African countries face challenges in effectively responding to all forms of modern slavery, many countries in the region are taking steps to strengthen their responses. Improvements in the legislative framework have occurred across the region with some notable examples. Côte d’Ivoire,Morocco, and Tunisia enacted comprehensive trafficking legislation in 2016 – a new development since the 2016 Global Slavery Index. As a result, in 2017, nearly 70 percent of African countries had criminalised human trafficking, an increase from the nearly 60 percent reported in the previous Global Slavery Index in 2016.

    Kenya has demonstrated increasing efforts to eliminate modern slavery. In 2016, the government assigned labour attachés to Kenyan missions in Qatar, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Saudi Arabia to protect vulnerable citizens employed in those countries. This is in response to the exploitation of large numbers of Kenyans migrating to the Middle East every year. These individuals are generally lured by promises of work, in the hope of sending remittances back to their families in Kenya. Instead they are exploited and abused by their employers. Overall, Kenya improved its government responses rating since the 2016 Global Slavery Index (from a CC rating to a CCC rating).

    When compared with countries that have stronger economies, Sierra Leone also stands out as taking relatively robust action. Most notably, Sierra Leone’s coordination body, the Inter-Agency Human Trafficking Task Force, resumed activities in 2015 and approved the 2015-2020 National Action Plan. There is also evidence that an informal National Referral Mechanism has been implemented in Sierra Leone and is being used by the government and NGOs to refer victims of modern slavery.Elsewhere in the region, some governments are to be commended for collaborative efforts to end modern slavery. The Nigerian government is collaborating with the UK’s National Crime Agency, Border Force, and the Crown Prosecution Service to build its capacity to respond to human trafficking, including joint operations at Gatwick and Heathrow airports on profiling and identifying victims of trafficking and suspected traffickers. The governments of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana have taken steps to work with business and civil society to end the worst forms of child labour in the production of cocoa under the Harkin-Engel Protocol and the associated International Cocoa Initiative.Although the effectiveness of the protocol in reducing the number of children in hazardous child labour has been questioned, it is an important example of cross-sectoral collaboration – a critical factor in eliminating modern slavery from the economy.


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    Source: African Union
    Country: Benin, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eswatini, Gabon, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo, World, Zimbabwe

    Le Conseil de paix et de sécurité (CPS) de l'Union africaine (UA), en sa 815ème réunion tenue le 4 décembre 2018, a adopté la décision qui suit sur le rapport de la Commission sur les élections en Afrique:

    Le Conseil,

    1. Prend note de la présentation par le Commissaire aux Affaires politiques de l'UA, S.E. Mme Minata Samate Cessouma, du rapport de la Commission sur les élections en Afrique sur les douze (12) élections nationales organisées de janvier à novembre 2018, à savoir : à Djibouti, en Sierra Léone, en Égypte, au Mali, au Zimbabwe, en Mauritanie, au Rwanda, à Eswatini, au Gabon, au Cameroun, à Sao Tomé-et-Principe et à Madagascar. Le Conseil prend également note des communications sur les prochaines élections de décembre 2018, notamment à Madagascar (second tour des élections présidentielles), au Togo et en RDC, ainsi que sur les trois élections prévues pour le premier trimestre de 2019 (Nigéria, Sénégal et Bénin). Le Conseil prend en outre note des déclarations de la Mauritanie, de Madagascar, de la République démocratique du Congo, du Nigéria, de l'Égypte et du Gabon;

    2. Réaffirme son engagement à apporter son soutien constant au processus de démocratisation sur le continent, conformément aux instruments pertinents de l'UA, en particulier l'Acte constitutif, le Protocole relatif à la création du Conseil de paix et de sécurité de l'Union africaine, ainsi que la Charte de la démocratie, des élections et de la gouvernance;

    3. Souligne une fois encore le caractère crucial de l’action proactive et de la diplomatie préventive visant à lutter contre toutes les formes de violence liée aux élections, dans l'alerte rapide et la prévention des conflits. À cet égard, le Conseil réitère le rôle central d'élections crédibles dans la consolidation de la paix et de la démocratie, ayant à l’esprit que les défaillances, les irrégularités et les mauvaises pratiques dans les processus électoraux sont des facteurs déterminants de la violence liée aux élections en Afrique;

    4. Félicite tous les États membres qui ont organisé avec succès des élections pacifiques et encourage ceux qui n’ont pas encore tenu leurs propres élections à s’inspirer des bonnes pratiques déjà observées dans d'autres États membres. Le Conseil encourage en outre tous les États membres à continuer de prendre les mesures appropriées pour assurer la crédibilité et la légitimité de leurs résultats, entre autres, à travers un processus d'inscription des électeurs efficace et transparent, une éducation civique fondée sur l'inclusion, la gestion de la diversité, la tolérance et la culture de la paix, et réitère l'importance que revêt l’utilisation des voies légales pour résoudre les cas de contestations liés aux élections;

    5. Souligne la nécessité de disposer de cadres constitutionnels, institutionnels et juridiques solides pour établir des bases solides pour la gouvernance et l'administration électorales. À cet égard, le Conseil réitère l'appel lancé par l'UA aux États membres pour qu'ils poursuivent leurs efforts en vue de renforcer les organismes nationaux de gestion des élections (OGE) en Afrique, ainsi que leurs capacités institutionnelles, en vue de les aider à s'acquitter de leur mandat et à renforcer leurs capacités à mieux gérer les tensions et les différends pré et post-électoraux;

    6. Réaffirme la nécessité de renforcer la participation des citoyens aux processus électoraux et démocratiques , à travers des mécanismes appropriés encourageant les citoyens à prendre part aux élections. Dans le même contexte, le Conseil reconnaît le rôle central des partis politiques dans les processus électoraux et démocratiques et appelle les États membres à renforcer leur cadre institutionnel, afin de permettre une participation politique plus large et plus inclusive aux processus électoraux et une reduction des risques de violences liées aux élections;

    7. Réitère son appel aux États Membres pour qu’ils prennent les mesures appropriées pour renforcer l’égalité genre et l’autonomisation des femmes à travers des processus électoraux et démocratiques ;

    8. Encourage la Commission, à travers des canaux appropriées, à partager avec les États membres concernés les résultats et les recommandations des missions d'observation des élections, en vue de contribuer à renforcer leurs capacités à conduire des processus électoraux;

    9. Appelle tous les États membres de l'UA, qui ne l'ont pas encore fait, à signer, ratifier, intégrer dans leur législation et à mettre en œuvre la Charte africaine de la démocratie, des élections et de la gouvernance ;

    10. Décide de rester activement saisi de la question.


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    Source: United Nations Population Fund
    Country: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo, World

    Foreword

    West and Central Africa’s (WCA) population is predominantly young. More than 64% are under the age of 24. Young people are a tremendous resource for the region – but their potential will only be realized when the right investments in their education, health, skills and empowerment are made.

    In West and Central Africa, the large youth cohort represents a historic opportunity to introduce progress and adopt innovative solutions to ignite change. The SDGs present a blueprint for the ways we can collectively take action to improve the lives of millions of people all around the world. Putting youth at the centre of our engagements and our development priorities is critical.
    We must put young people first if we are to harness the demographic dividend, build resilience and transform the continent to achieve the SDGs and the Africa We Want.

    To achieve these goals, a fundamental shift is needed. To empower young people means giving them the tools to become even more influential, productive actors in their societies. In order to achieve this, countries need to end all forms of discrimination and violence faced by young people, particularly adolescent girls, such as child marriage and sexual violence, which can result in unintended pregnancies, unsafe abortions and HIV infections, and risk derailing their future.

    Central to these efforts must be the promotion of access to education, health services, including sexual and reproductive health services, and employment. These combined interventions are critical in order to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty, strengthen the resilience of young people, and harness the demographic dividend.

    This Adolescents and Youth Report provides a comprehensive overview of the situation of young people in West and Central Africa today. It gives a detailed data and narrative analysis of the sexual and reproductive health, education, employment, social protection, gender issues, and emergency challenges that young people face in this region. The Report is meant to guide policy makers, programme implementers, young people and other key stakeholders to develop multisectoral policies and programmes that respond to the needs of young people.

    UNFPA urges government partners, UN agencies, youth groups, and CSOs to use the Report’s findings and recommendations to take actions to promote young people’s development and human rights, and to measure progress across the Sustainable Development Goals that relate to adolescents and youth. UNFPA is committed to ensuring that the full potential of young people can be realized.

    Mabingue Ngom
    Regional Director
    UNFPA Regional Office for West
    and Central Africa


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

    The Minister of Internal Affairs delivers statement at the 69th UNHCR ExCom

    • With support from UNHCR, the Liberian Delegation attended the 69th UNHCR Executive Committee in Geneva (Switzerland) from 1-5 October 2018. The delegation was led by the Minister of Internal Affairs (MIA), Hon. Varney A. Sirleaf, along with LRRRC ED, Hon. Rev.
      Festus Logan.

    • The Minister, who chairs LRRRC Board, delivered a statement on issues related to the situation of refugees in the country and stated that the Pro Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development of the Government of Liberia is fully aligned with the refugee programme.

    • Hon. Sirleaf highlighted that, from January-September 2018, the government granted refugee status to 5 of the 33 asylum applicants. The MIA also stressed the full support towards the local integration of refugees in Liberia, including their integration into the national framework in Health, Education and Social Protection services in the same conditions as Liberians. In his statement, Sirleaf emphasised the issuance of Certificates of Naturalization to 375 former Sierra Leonean refugees, which were handed on 23 July 2018 by the President of Liberia, George M. Weah.

    • Hon. Sirleaf underscored the commitment from the government to improve the existing domestic legal norms, such as the ongoing revision of the 1973 Alien and Nationality Laws, which restricts Liberian women passing their nationality to their children who then are at risk of becoming stateless.

    Zwedru (Grand Gedeh): Challenging road conditions continue to affect the operation

    Heavy rains continue to deteriorate the roads, forcing in-country missions between Zwedru and Monrovia to transit through Cote d’Ivoire and resulting in an increase of travel time.

    • The high cost and lack of fuel affects the availability of vehicles used to support refugees. As a result, movements of partners and monitoring activities are reduced. The major hospital, Martha Tubman Memorial Hospital, reported problems in the delivery of services due to lack of fuel to operate the generators.

    • The prices of goods and commodities have risen considerably, having an impact in what refugees can afford. Refugees face challenges when affording food, as items that costed 100 (0.64USD) Liberian Dollars have risen up to 300 Liberian Dollars (1.90USD).


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

    Operational Highlights

    High-level mission to Harper (Maryland)

    The closure of the Little Wlebo Camp (LWC) in Harper and the relocation of refugees to surrounding communities as part of the joint UNHCR-LRRRC local integration (LI) strategy, led to some misunderstandings by the local authorities on the process overall. UNHCR and the Government of Liberia (GoL), through LRRRC has had several discussions with the local authorities to clarify the process and next steps, including a high-level mission.

    • On 8 November 2018, the Minister of Internal Affairs (MIA) led a delegation to Harper, after which issues were clarified following meetings with the County Superintendent, host communities and the refugee population.

    • The delegation was comprised of the Minister of Internal Affairs (MIA), Hon. Varney Sirleaf; Deputy MIA for Research and Planning, Hon. Olayee Collins; LRRRC Executive Director (ED), Rev. Festus R.B. Logan; LRRRC Deputy Director Alphonso Wallace; and UNHCR Officer in Charge, Terna Abbo; UNHCR Head of Sub-Office Zwedru, Fortunata Ngonyani; as well as UNHCR staff from Zwedru and Harper.

    • As a result of the successful mission, Maryland County authorities agreed to work together with UNHCR and LRRRC; and members of the host community stated having a clear understanding of the process. Some requests made by local authorities and members of the host communities will be taken into consideration when implementing the local integration strategy.

    • It can be recalled that after LWC closes, UNHCR will continue to support Ivorian refugees who wish to voluntarily repatriate to Cote d’Ivoire, as well as those who will be integrating in nine selected host communities in Maryland County or relocating to PTP Camp (Grand Gedeh County).

    Local Integration Retreat

    • On 20-22 November 2018, the Government of Liberia, through LRRRC and with the support of UNHCR, held a retreat on local integration of Ivorian refugees in Liberia. The objective was to prepare a joint national strategy of the local integration of Ivorian refugees in the country.

    • Group discussions took place throughout the retreat taking into consideration the three dimensions of the local integration process: economic, social and legal aspect.

    • Participants included Ivorian refugees; host communities; the African Union Special Representative to Liberia; the Liberian Immigration Service (LIS); UNICEF; FAO; WFP;
      UNDP; IOM; partners; as well as technical focal points of the ministries of Internal Affairs,
      Finance, Justice, Gender, Education and Health.

    • On 22 November 2018, the morning session was attended by the Minister of Internal Affairs (MIA) Hon. Varney Sirleaf; Resident Representative of the ECOWAS Commission President in Liberia, Amb. Tunde Ajisomo; the Deputy Minister of Justice, Cllr. Nyenanti Tuan; Former Minister of Foreign Affairs and former UNHCR Africa Bureau Director, Marjon Kamara;
      Acting Commissioner of the Liberia Immigration Service, Commissioner Moses Yebleh; and the Second Counsellor of the Ivorian Embassy in Liberia, Mr Bruce-Jacob Gbadji.


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    Source: International Peace Institute
    Country: Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, World

    by Annie Rubin

    Humanitarian aid organizations, while providing lifesaving assistance, must also navigate the web of ethical and logistical challenges inherent to conflict-affected environments. It is often required, for example, that humanitarian actors be escorted within a country by parties to a conflict. Talking with armed groups—especially terrorist groups—even in the context of helping civilians, can be perceived as legitimizing them. Furthermore, it is not always clear whether resources that organizations provide are reaching those they are intended for.

    Few understand these dilemmas better than Fiona Terry, independent researcher at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on healthcare in danger, whose 2002 book Condemned to Repeat? The Paradox of Humanitarian Action won the 2006 Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order. As a former researcher with Doctors Without Borders (MSF), Dr. Terry analyzed attacks against healthcare in Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Afghanistan and the impact of MSF’s withdrawal from Somalia in 2013. Her latest report, “The Roots of Restraint in War,” focuses on armed actors, providing possible solutions to some of the challenges aid organizations face.

    Ahead of a recent event at the International Peace Institute (IPI), Dr. Terry sat down with IPI’s Annie Rubin to discuss the complexities of humanitarian relief and key findings from her latest report. Her research on when, why, and how individuals and groups choose not to use violence offers valuable insight into how humanitarian organizations can navigate impartiality and contribute to sustainable peace.

    This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

    What is the paradox of humanitarian action?

    It’s that we are trying to alleviate suffering through our humanitarian action, but there are unintended negative consequences that can go with it and in fact we can end up prolonging the suffering that we intend to alleviate. Humanitarian actors need to have more independence in order to be able to steer their work. But I think most humanitarian organizations lack that independence, which is necessary to avoid the politicization or manipulation of their work.

    Can you explain the difference between impartiality and neutrality in humanitarian efforts?

    Impartiality means giving aid without any discrimination based on religion or ethnicity, but based on who needs the humanitarian action in priority. Neutrality is more that you don’t get embroiled in the politics of the conflict, and you stay out of the “rights and wrongs” in order to be able to reach as many people as possible.

    When I was with MSF we debated, back in 2000, whether we should remove neutrality from our charter because at the time people—including me—were saying that neutrality is terrible. It puts the executioners and their victims on the same footing. When I worked in Rwanda during the genocide, I thought, how can you be neutral when faced with génociders killing so many people? Now I see I was mistaken because neutrality is not a moral position at all, it is simply a tool, a posture that you adopt with regards to the different parties in a conflict.

    A prime example is during the Rwandan genocide when the head of delegation from ICRC, Philippe Gaillard, would take the ambulance out every day to try to rescue Tutsis by the side of the road. He would fill up an ambulance with people and then he would come back through the checkpoints manned by the armed Interahamwe, and he would get out, sit down, and have a beer with them. He would talk to them, and he would try—he hated what they were doing so vehemently, but his mission was to try—to get these people through to a hospital. And if that meant sitting down and having a beer with them and shaking their hand, then so be it, that was the lesser of evils.** **

    How does International Humanitarian Law (IHL) factor into navigating neutrality and impartiality?

    I’m not a specialist on International Humanitarian Law. It talks about “impartial” aid organizations, while it doesn’t mention neutrality. But I do think that it provides an excellent framework through which we can try to minimize the suffering of civilians, and try to influence the bearers of arms to restrain their violence and limit the destruction and civilian casualties. You have to be pragmatic and realistic and realize that people fight, and they will fight. We’re not a pacifist organization, but we try to limit the damage of fighting.

    IPI recently published a report on the tension between counterterrorism measures and upholding obligations under IHL. What are some examples of this tension?

    We saw the impact of this tension very much in the response to the Somali famine in 2012. There was a lot of starvation, and the response to that starvation—because it was in al-Shabaab-held territory and because there was the risk that there would be diversion of food aid to al-Shabaab—was that a lot of aid organizations stayed away. That was really to the detriment of people who were in desperate need of humanitarian assistance. That was the first obvious impact of this legislation that criminalizes material support to so-called “terrorist groups.”

    We also saw that in Sierra Leone back in the late 2000s where the peacekeeping forces said to aid organizations, “you cannot deliver food into areas held by the Revolutionary United Front,” and at the time, I was with MSF, and we said, “you cannot punish all these innocent people because they find themselves in RUF-held territory. You cannot deprive them of aid for that reason.”

    So the constraints have real consequences on how possible it is to provide aid in these contexts.

    Yes, and this is where my book comes in. There are unintended negative consequences in these environments, but sometimes we have to live with them.

    Working in Somalia during the famine in the early 1990s, we contributed enormous amounts of money and food to an aid effort where a lot of that was diverted—a lot of it went into the pockets of the warlords. Now, to have done nothing would have meant hundreds of thousands more people would have died. It’s a hard balance sometimes. I think that the starvation was so great that we had to do it, but we had to try to curb the diversion of funds to warlords as much as we could.

    You also have to be creative in trying to ensure that your aid is benefitting those that need it most and not going to the people causing the problem in the first place. For example we used to cut the blankets given out to people in two to ruin their commercial value on the market. But even then it didn’t work. I was doing a distribution of blankets in a camp for internally displaced persons and still the armed guys came in and ripped the blankets literally out of the hands of the women and children, even though they had been cut in half.

    In your latest report, you talk about the roots of restraint in war. What does restraining from violence look like?

    For this project we were influenced by the work of Scott Straus, who is an expert on Rwanda and looks into why Rwanda descended into genocide and Côte d’Ivoire did not. Elisabeth Wood’s work was also very influential for us because she has looked at sexual violence and rape in armed conflict and why, for example, the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka did not engage in a lot of rape whereas other armed groups did.

    I find this work very useful because, as horrific as it is, the reasons why people commit atrocities have received a lot of attention. What has received much less attention is when it doesn’t happen and why it doesn’t happen.

    The Kodok Hospital in South Sudan is a great example. Our [ICRC] office there received notification from three different armed parties to the conflict that were about to have a big clash in town. We were warned to evacuate the hospital, and they did so. As patients and staff left, they put padlocks on the doors, not believing that it would withstand the attack that was about to happen. They were extremely surprised, when they came back, to find that the outer ICRC compound was looted completely, but the hospital was not. That enabled the office to take a step back and ask, in whose interest was it to keep this hospital going? We could then start to piece together the roots of why armed parties showed restraint.

    But I think the biggest thing we learned is that the discourse around South Sudan and other places is that these are uncontrollable fighters, that they are acting with wanton violence, and it all just spirals out of control. This experience showed us that, no, actually, there is a lot more control that leaders can wield if they choose to.

    What are the main roots of restraint and how did you determine them?

    To determine this we looked at organizational structure of state- and non-state armed groups. In the US or Australia or the Philippines, state armed forces are very hierarchical, where the law is set in place and then the whole structure of orders goes down. We try to make sure that law is incorporated into training and doctrine and compliance mechanisms. The training is one root of restraint.

    But we know there are limits to even having rules in place, because we see the persistence of sexual violence in state armed forces and the persistence of hazing techniques even when the military has tried to stamp them out. There are a lot of informal norms and informal socialization mechanisms at play that are beyond the control of law.

    So we also looked at community-embedded groups, like the cattle-guarding groups in South Sudan: the Dinka and the Nuer. It was very interesting to see the mixture of competing interest over their behavior. There were the politicians that wanted to perhaps mobilize them for some reason, there were the business people who did as well, the prophets had quite a lot of influence, waning over time, because the availability of guns has shifted the power balance away from traditional leaders and more into the hands of the gun-toting fighters. We tried to piece together this patchwork, which, in the end, shows a level of complexity that scares people to a certain extent, but it’s better to at least know that there is no one size fits all, there is no one approach, we really have to try to unpack context-by-context what works and who has influence over behavior.

    That sounds like a novel approach. How do you think, through better understanding the roots of restraint, humanitarian actors can contribute to peace?

    I think certainly humanitarian action can set the scenes, it can establish trust. Humanitarian actors don’t really get into the machinations of mediation and peacebuilding because it’s a very political process and there are always winners and losers. We try to stay out of that to a certain extent. But I think humanitarian action contributes to peace just by virtue of the respect that we give people: through talking to them, through providing humanitarian assistance to their families, to keeping links together between people who are in prison and their families on the outside through Red Cross Messages, through looking at the treatment, etc.

    I think that humanitarian actors garner a lot of respect that can definitely help to produce an environment that is more conducive to peace. I think that the human dignity we try to uphold is very, very important.

    In October 2018, Dr. Terry started an operational research center within the ICRC, called the CORE: the Center for Operational Research and Experience, where she will continue to run research projects. One projects tries to measure the quality of dialogue with non-state armed groups and the objective impact of asking these questions.

    Originally Published in the Global Observatory


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    Source: European Commission's Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations
    Country: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Myanmar, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda, Ukraine, World, Yemen

    What is it?

    Humanitarian air services provide a lifeline for millions of people caught up in emergencies. When a crisis hits, fast and safe access to affected areas is vital to save lives. When there are no reliable roads, ports or commercial air strips, planes and helicopters are often the only way to access the field. In addition to transporting supplies and staff, humanitarian air services also carry out medical and security evacuations. The European Union operates its own ECHO Flight service and also funds other humanitarian air services that enable organisations to reach and help people in need.

    Why is this important?

    Humanitarian air services enable aid workers to access remote locations, bringing with them life-saving supplies for cut-off populations. They constitute a lifeline for millions of vulnerable people around the world. Natural disasters and man-made crises have left an unprecedented number of people in need of humanitarian assistance. Yet humanitarian operations are often hindered by logistical challenges and poor infrastructure.

    Humanitarian agencies tend to rely on regular or charter flights, but local airlines are not always reliable and safe, nor do they necessarily fly to locations where humanitarian assistance is needed. Rough weather conditions can also make access to those in need challenging. During rainy seasons, cyclones or other natural disasters, already poor transport infrastructure becomes unusable. Bridges are swept away or destroyed and roads become impassable.

    In many humanitarian crises, security and conflict pose another threat to poor transportation infrastructure. In such circumstances, transport over land is often too dangerous. Efficiently managed, reliable and safe air services become the best and sometimes only way to reach people in need. Humanitarian flights also evacuate aid workers for medical reasons or following security threats in times of disasters, epidemics or conflict.

    How are we helping?

    In 2017, the European Union’s contributions to humanitarian air services worldwide amounted to almost €36 million. In 2018, funding is around €33 million. The Commission runs its own air service, organises ad-hoc airlifts during major emergencies and co-finances the transport of relief material via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.

    In sub-Saharan Africa, the European Union operates a humanitarian air service known as ECHO Flight, with hubs in Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) - which also flies to Uganda - and Mali. The service is free of charge for its humanitarian partners and aid organisations. With an estimated operating cost of over €16 million in 2017, ECHO Flight transported 26 100 passengers and 195 tons of cargo. After the mass influx of South Sudanese refugees into northern Uganda in 2016, ECHO Flight started offering ad-hoc flights to its partners working in the refugee camps in the West Nile area.

    Following DRC’s 9 and 10 outbreak of Ebola virus disease, declared in May and August 2018 respectively, ECHO flight transported personnel and equipment to various Ebola hot spots. On 1 August, the day the latest outbreak was declared in North Kivu province, the first of more than 38 flights took off to help a host of organisations access the affected areas in this conflict-torn part of DRC. A United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) helicopter was also funded to help the access to particularly insecure and hard-to-reach locations.

    In addition to running its own fleet to and from insecure and remote zones, the EU funds UNHAS in Cameroon, the Central African Republic (CAR), Chad, Ethiopia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria Sudan, South Sudan and Yemen, and €730 000 to the Afghanistan operations of Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF).

    The European Union also finances ad-hoc flights to support humanitarian operations during large-scale emergencies. In the past it contracted cargo aircraft to deliver life-saving aid to conflict-torn CAR, Ukraine; and to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone during the Ebola outbreak from 2014 to 2016. Medical and security evacuations have been carried out from CAR and South Sudan at the height of the violence and from Ebola-affected countries.

    Through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, the EU co-finances the transport of EU Member States’ contributions to areas hit by crises or natural disasters. In recent years, relief items and medical supplies have been delivered via this mechanism to people in need in, among others, Chile, Dominica, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar, and Uganda.

    Last updated:14/12/2018


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    Source: International Organization for Migration
    Country: Algeria, Bangladesh, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, India, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Philippines, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, World, Yemen, Zambia

    Overview

    MIGRANT BASELINE

    The 22th round of data collection took place in September and October 2018.
    Between 26 August and 24 September 2018, southern Tripoli witnessed clashes between armed groups, triggering population movements of both local populations and migrants to safer locations, often in near-by municipalities. Following the end of hostilities, these movements were reversed as the situation gradually stabilized and livelihood opportunities, such as daily labor, became available again for migrants.

    DTM identified there to be at least 670,920 migrants currently in Libya. Migrants were identified in all 100 municipalities*, within 558 communities and originated from more than 39 countries.
    As displayed in the maps on page 5-6, out of the total number of migrants identified, 633,655 individuals (94%) originate from 29 different African countries with 37,197 individuals (6%) from 9 Asian and Middle Eastern countries. The remaining 68 individuals were recorded with unknown/other country of origin.

    The top five nationalities identified were Nigerien, Egyptian, Chadian,
    Sudanese and Nigerian, together these nationalities account for up to 69% of Libya’s migrant population. Out of the 633,655 individuals from Africa, 444,712 (70%) originate from Sub-Saharan countries and 188,943 individuals (30%) from North African countries.


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    Source: Department for International Development
    Country: Bangladesh, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Indonesia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Zimbabwe

    Abstract

    This report examines the evidence on the current use and role of community health workers in DRC and the wider international systematic evidence on what works.

    K4D helpdesk reports provide summaries of current research, evidence and lessons learned. This report was commissioned by the UK Department for International Development.


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    Source: International Organization for Migration
    Country: Cameroon, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Guinea, Indonesia, Libya, Mali, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo


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    Source: International Organization for Migration
    Country: Sierra Leone

    Freetown – On Wednesday (19/12), 100 health care professionals graduated from Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) training courses at a ceremony in Bo, Sierra Leone – held in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Njala University.

    During the unprecedented Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone in 2014, more than 400 health care workers perished from the disease while providing life-saving assistance to infected patients.

    Communities throughout Sierra Leone continue to struggle with significant health challenges and diseases, including malaria, cholera, typhoid, STIs/HIV/AIDS, respiratory tract infections, Lassa fever, maternal and child mortality, and tuberculosis.

    Graduates leave the training programme with sound knowledge of IPC practices that will protect themselves, their patients and their communities during future outbreaks as well as prevent the spread of infectious diseases.

    “After years of implementation in Sierra Leone, coordinating with the health system to strengthen our interventions, this project is proof of a dynamic collaboration between partners to achieve standard IPC short courses at Njala University; this is a great achievement,” said Jasmine Riley, USAID Project Coordinator.

    Since January 2018, 11 certified professors delivered 10-day clinical and five-day non-clinical courses at Njala University’s three campuses—Mokonde, Kowama and Towama. Mobile teams of instructors travelled to 15 schools, reaching additional students in Bo, Bonth, Kailahun, Kenema, Makeni and Tonkolili. In total, more than 3,000 successful students will receive a certificate of merit from Njala University by the end of 2019.

    In October 2016, USAID granted the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MoHS) USD 3 million for the Establishment of Infection Prevention and Control Short Courses and Mobile Training project to strengthen the health care system in the country. The project aimed to deliver static and mobile training to 3,240 students; and establish IPC simulation skills and Information and Communications Technology (ICT) laboratories.

    Wednesday’s event celebrated the collaborative success of USAID, IOM, Njala University and MoHS in the joint achievement of all the project’s objectives, as well as the progress made by the Government of Sierra Leone in strengthening the capacity of health care workers.

    For more information, please contact at IOM Freetown, Sanusi Savage: +232 99606000, Email: ssavage@iom.int and Dr James Bagonza, +232 99606005, Email: jbagonza@iom.int


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    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


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    Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
    Country: Algeria, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Canary Islands (Spain), Comoros, Côte d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, occupied Palestinian territory, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, World, Yemen


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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 le 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. Cette infographie est un résumé des données collectées sur l’ensemble des points de suivi au cours du mois de septembre 2018.

    Au cours de ce mois, Bamako, Dakar, Conakry, Labé et Manda ont été non seulement les principales villes de départ mais aussi les principales destinations ayant enregistré plus de 1 000 voyageurs.

    Les flux observés au cours de ce mois ont montré des pics hebdomadaires qui correspondent aux jours de marché. Deux principaux moyens de transport ont été identifiés: les voitures (89% des flux) et les bus (10% des flux). La principale nationalité observée au cours de ce mois sont les Guinéens (81%). En octobre, les principaux mouvements migratoires observés étaient la migration économique de long-terme (46% des individus observés), la migration de court-terme (42%) et la migration saisonnière (7%). Parmi ceux-ci, La proportion des mineurs non accompagnés observés sur l’ensemble des points de suivi des flux est moins de 1%.

    MÉTHODOLOGIE Le suivi des flux de population (FMP) est un travail qui vise à identifier les zones de forte mobilité interne et transfrontalier et à mieux comprendre les caractéristiques des flux migratoires. Les zones de forte mobilité sont identifiées à l’échelle du pays. Les équipes DTM conduisent ensuite un travail au niveau local pour identifier des points de transit stratégiques. Les enquêteurs collectent les données auprès des informateurs clés présents sur le point de suivi des flux: il peut s’agir du personnel des gares routières, de fonctionnaires de police ou de douane, des chauffeurs de bus ou des migrants eux-mêmes. Un questionnaire de base mêlé à des observations directes permet de collecter des données désagrégées par sexe et nationalité. Dans les 3 zones, les points de suivi des flux ont été choisis après consultation avec les acteurs nationaux et locaux impliqués dans la gestion des migrations en Guinée, en fonction de sa localisation et des caractéristiques propres aux flux transitant dans ces espaces. La collecte de données se fait de manière quotidienne de 8h à 18h.

    LIMITES Les données utilisées dans le cadre de cette analyse sont des estimations et ne représentent qu’une partie des flux observés. La couverture spatiale et temporelle de ces enquêtes est partielle et, bien que la collecte des données se fasse de manière quotidienne et sur des périodes où les flux sont importants, elle reste partielle à l’échelle de la journée. A l’échelle, aucune information n’est collectée sur les flux existant en dehors des plages horaires couvertes. Les données sur les vulnérabilités sont basées sur des observations directes des enquêteurs et ne doivent être comprises qu’à titre indicatif


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

    Between 1 January and 30 November 2018, 3,485 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 number of UASC reaching Italian shores in the first eleven months of 2018 is considerably lower than in the same period last year, when 15,540 landed in Italy. However, the proportion of UASC among sea arrivals in the January-November 2018 period (15 per cent) is slightly higher than in January-November 2017 (13 per cent).


    0 0

    Source: EastAfrican
    Country: Sierra Leone

    By KEMO CHAM

    Scientists in Sierra Leone have found fruit-eating bats infected with the deadly Marburg virus, the health ministry said Thursday.

    This is the first instance that the haemorrhagic fever similar to Ebola has been detected in West Africa.

    According to the statement by the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, the bats caught in three districts -- Moyamba in the South, Koinadu in the North, and Kono in the East -- tested positive for the Marburg virus.

    The tests were carried out by two teams of researchers. One group was based at the Njala University sponsored by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the other a joint study by University of Makeni and University of California, Davis under the Predict Research.

    The scientists say the Egyptian rousette fruit bat is the same type of bat linked to Marburg outbreaks in East and southern Africa.

    “We have known for a long time that rousette bats, which carry Marburg virus in other parts of Africa, also live in West Africa. So it’s not surprising,” CDC ecologist Jonathan Towner said in a statement.

    In the continent, Angola suffered the worst Marburg epidemic in 2005 after 90 percent of the 252 infected people died. Other Marburg outbreaks have also been reported in Uganda, Kenya, Democratic Republic of Congo, and South Africa.

    The Sierra Leone Health ministry stressed Thursday that there has been no case of infection of humans reported.

    The latest discovery comes just five months after Predict Research scientists found a new strain of the Ebola virus in bats in the northern Bombali region.

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

    The region is still recovering from the world's deadliest Ebola outbreak between 2014 and 2016 that killed more than 11,300 people in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.

    “The finding of the Marburg virus before it has made people sick shows the hard work Sierra Leone is doing to learn about sicknesses in animals before they spread to people and how best to live with the animals safely,” the Health ministry said.

    Marburg virus transmission occurs through contact with infected body fluids and tissue that the bats shed when eating fruits. Human-to-human infections also occur in the same way.

    Signs and symptoms include headache, muscle pains, vomiting blood and bleeding through various orifices.


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    Source: United Nations Population Fund
    Country: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo, World

    Avant-propos

    La population de l’Afrique de l’Ouest et du Centre (AOC) est majoritairement jeune. Plus de 64 % de la population a moins de 24 ans. Les jeunes représentent une ressource incommensurable pour la région, mais leur potentiel ne sera réalisé qu’une fois que les bons investissements auront été faits dans leur éducation, leur santé, leurs compétences et leur autonomisation.

    En Afrique de l’Ouest et du Centre, l’importante cohorte de jeunes représente une occasion historique d’amener le progrès et d’adopter des solutions innovantes afin d’amorcer un changement. Les ODD constituent un modèle nous permettant d’agir collectivement pour améliorer la vie de millions de personnes dans le monde entier. Il est crucial de placer les jeunes au centre de nos engagements et de nos priorités de développement. Nous devons faire passer les jeunes en premier si nous voulons tirer pleinement profit du dividende démographique, renforcer la résilience et transformer le continent pour réaliser les ODD et l’Afrique que nous voulons.

    Pour atteindre ces objectifs, un changement fondamental est nécessaire. Permettre aux jeunes d’être autonomes signifie leur donner les outils pour devenir des acteurs productifs, encore plus influents, au sein de leur société. Dans ce but, les pays doivent mettre fin à toutes les formes de discrimination et de violence dont les jeunes font l’objet, en particulier les adolescentes, tels que le mariage d’enfants et la violence sexuelle, qui peuvent entraîner grossesses non désirées, avortements dangereux et infections par le VIH, et risquent d’entraver leur futur.

    Ces efforts doivent être axés sur la promotion de l’accès à l’éducation, aux services de santé, dont les services de santé sexuelle et reproductive, et à l’emploi. Ces interventions combinées sont cruciales afin de briser le cycle intergénérationnel de pauvreté, de renforcer la résilience des jeunes et de tirer pleinement profit du dividende démographique.

    Le présent rapport sur les adolescents et les jeunes offre une vue d’ensemble complète de la situation actuelle des jeunes en Afrique de l’Ouest et du Centre. Il fournit une analyse narrative et des données détaillées relatives à la santé sexuelle et reproductive, à l’éducation, à l’emploi, à la protection sociale et aux défis auxquels sont confrontés les jeunes de cette région. Ce rapport est destiné à guider les dirigeants en charge de l’élaboration des politiques et de la mise en œuvre des programmes, les jeunes et d’autres acteurs clés dans le développement des politiques et programmes multisectoriels correspondant aux besoins des jeunes.

    L’UNFPA exhorte les partenaires gouvernementaux, les agences onusiennes, les groupes de jeunes et les OSC à utiliser les conclusions et recommandations du présent rapport pour encourager le développement et les droits fondamentaux des jeunes, et mesurer les progrès effectués pour atteindre les Objectifs de développement durable concernant les adolescents et les jeunes. L’UNFPA s’engage à garantir la pleine réalisation du potentiel des jeunes.

    Mabingue Ngom
    Regional Director
    UNFPA Regional Office for West
    and Central Africa


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    Source: European Commission's Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations
    Country: Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Bangladesh, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Honduras, India, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, 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) 2018/1046 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 July 2018 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union, amending Regulations (EU) No 1296/2013, (EU) No 1301/2013, (EU) No 1303/2013, (EU)
    No 1304/2013, (EU) No 1309/2013, (EU) No 1316/2013, (EU) No 223/2014, (EU) No 283/2014, and Decision No 541/2014/EU and repealing Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/20123 , and in particular Article 110 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. In light of the evolution of the humanitarian needs during the year, this amount was raised to EUR 1 037 600 000 by Decision C(2018) 35745 of 07 June 2018 and subsequently to EUR 1 212 600 000 by Decision C(2018) 65326 of 9 October 2018 amending decision C(2017) 8863.

    (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 Central African Republic facing an internal conflict, Chad where the food security situation has drastically deteriorated, Cameroon facing an increasing influx of refugees, Niger facing a cholera outbreak, the Sahel (Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Nigeria) with increased needs of vulnerable populations affected by accute food or nutrition insecurity or conflict, Burundi with a regional refugee crisis, Madagascar and Haiti with a deteriorating food and nutrition security situation, Columbia facing a resurgence of violence, Palestine where the deterioration of the humanitarian situation has a high impact on the health and food security sectors, Yemen where the crisis is deteriorating, in Ukraine where the situation remains critical. In Myanmar where the Rohingya are in very serious food insecuriy situation and the humanitarian needs in most of the sectors remain uncovered. In addition the country is facing a conflict-related internal displacement crisis because of the escalation of the confilct in Kachin and Chan. In the Philippines where the humanitarian needs are mainly caused by displacement and lack of services, and destroyed or looted assets in areas of return.

    (4) 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)(a)(ii) and Article 21(2)(e) of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 2018/1046.

    (5) It is therefore appropriate to amend Decision C(2017) 8863, as amended, to reflect the increase by EUR 176 174 635.17 already made on the basis of the fexibility clause in order to adapt the humanitarian response to the evolving humanitarian aid operational priorities and to distribute this additional funding to the specific objectives fixed in this Decision.

    (6) This Decision complies with the conditions laid down in Article 110 of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 2018/1046.

    (7) The measures provided for in this Decision are in accordance with the opinion of the Humanitarian Aid Committee established by Article 17(1) of Council Regulation (EC)
    No 1257/96,

    HAS DECIDED AS FOLLOWS:

    Sole Article

    Decision C(2017) 8863 is amended as follows:

    (1) Article 1 is amended as follows:

    (a) Paragraphs (1) and (2) are replaced by the following: '1. A maximum contribution from the Union budget to the financing of humanitarian aid operational priorities is set at EUR 1 388 774 635.17, of which EUR 1 338 774 635.17 shall be financed from budget article 23 02 01 and EUR 50 000 000 shall be financed from budget article 23 02 02, of the 2018 general budget of the European Union, is approved.

    The amount from budget article 23 02 01 referred to above includes a contribution amounting to EUR 36 174 635.17, received by the Union from the Department for International Development (DFID) of the United Kingdom Government, to be used in support humanitarian aid operations in the Sahel.

    1. The humanitarian actions shall be implemented in order to:

    (a) Provide humanitarian and food assistance, relief and protection to vulnerable people affected by man-made crises, possibly aggravated by natural disasters, including new crises and existing crises where the scale and complexity of the humanitarian crisis is such that it seems likely to continue.
    A total of EUR 1 185 300 000 from budget article 23 02 01 is allocated to this specific objective.

    (b) Provide humanitarian and food assistance, relief and protection to vulnerable people affected by natural disasters that have entailed major loss of life, physical and psychological or social suffering or material damage.
    A total of EUR 111 474 635.17 from budget article 23 02 01 is allocated to this specific objective.

    (c) Provide humanitarian assistance for response and disaster preparedness to populations affected by disasters where a small scale response is adequate and to populations affected by epidemic outbreaks.
    A total of EUR 21 000 000 from budget article 23 02 01 is allocated to this specific objective.

    (d) Support strategies and complement existing strategies that enable local communities and institutions to better prepare for, mitigate and respond adequately to natural disasters by enhancing their capacities to cope and respond, thereby increasing resilience and reducing vulnerability.
    A total of EUR 50 000 000 from budget article 23 02 02 is allocated to this specific objective.

    (e) Improve the delivery of aid through complementary and thematic activities aiming at increasing the effectiveness, efficiency, quality, timeliness and visibility of humanitarian actions and transport.
    A total of EUR 21 000 000 from budget article 23 02 01 is allocated to this specific objective.
    This specific objective shall be met through achieving the following subspecific objectives:

    (i) Strengthen the global humanitarian preparedness and response capacity of humanitarian partners by increasing the effectiveness and reinforcing the capacity of international humanitarian organisations and non-governmental organisations to assess, analyse, prepare and respond to humanitarian crises.
    A total of EUR 3 500 000 from budget article 23 02 01 is allocated to this subspecific objective.

    (ii) Improve the conditions for delivering humanitarian aid by supporting transport services to ensure that aid is accessible to beneficiaries, including by means of medical evacuation of humanitarian staff where the unavailability of such transport services could adversely affect the timely and effective provision of assistance to beneficiaries. A total of EUR 14 800 000 from budget article 23 02 01 is allocated to this sub-specific objective.

    (iii) Increase awareness, understanding of and support for humanitarian issues, especially in the Union and in third countries where the Union is funding major humanitarian operations through public awareness and information campaigns. Communication actions in 2018 will also contribute, where appropriate, to the corporate communication of the Commission, in particular regarding the EU's role in the world (A stronger global actor) as well as to the corporate communication cluster "An EU that protects".

    A total of EUR 2 000 000 from budget article 23 02 01 is allocated to this subspecific objective.

    (iv) Provide high quality European education and professional qualifications on humanitarian action that impact on humanitarian aid policy and practice.

    A total of EUR 700 000 from budget article 23 02 01 is allocated to this subspecific objective.
    Annex 1 to this Decision reflects the above-mentioned allocations by specific objectives.
    Annex 2 to this Decision gives an indication of the contemplated allocation by countries/regions.'

    (2) Annex 1 is replaced by Annex 1 to this Decision.

    (3) Annex 2 is replaced by Annex 2 to this Decision.

    Done at Brussels, 13.12.2018


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