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Central African Republic: République centrafricaine : Ouaka Prefecture - Des milliers de personnes risquent d’être déplacés à nouveau - Point de situation No. 1, 23 février 2017

ReliefWeb - Situation Report - 5 hours 11 min ago
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Central African Republic

Ce rapport est produit par OCHA en collaboration avec les partenaires humanitaires. Il est diffusé par OCHA RCA et couvre la journée du 22 février 2017

I. POINTS SAILLANTS/PRORITES

  • 30 000 personnes pourraient être déplacées

  • 300 personnes vivent en enclave à Ippy

  • Le Chef de l’UPC, Ali Darrassa, quitte Bambari

II. Aperçu de la situation

  • Le Chef l’UPC, Ali Darrassa, a choisi de respecter la décision de la MINUSCA de faire de Bambari «une ville sans groupes armés ». Par un communiqué de presse, il a informé de son intention de quitter cette ville pour une destination encore inconnue où il réinstallerait son Etat-Major. Toutefois, il semblerait qu’il ait choisi la localité de Maloum, à 63 km au nord de Bambari pour sa première halte. Maloum accueille près de 4 000 nouveaux déplacés venus de localités de la Haute et Basse Kotto ainsi que de la Ouaka où des groupes armés rivaux se sont affrontés (Liwa, Ndjoubissi, Ndassima, Ippy, Bélengo, Mbroutchou et Atongo-Bakari). Quel que soit la destination finale retenue par Darrassa, la présence de son groupe constituera une menace pour les civils de cette localité.
  • Bambari pourrait aussi accueillir un grand afflux de déplacés, plus de 30 000, provenant des localités traversées par Darrassa et ses hommes. La ville abrite déjà 45 000 déplacés et a une population de 160 000 habitants. Après son départ, Bambari est restée calme malgré une tension encore fortement perceptible. La ville demeure un foyer de tension (hotspot).
  • De même, à Ippy, l’instabilité a contraint plus de 300 personnes d’une communauté à risque à vivre en enclave. Leurs conditions de vie appellent une réponse humanitaire urgente. Elles font déjà l’objet de menaces et d’attaques dont la dernière date du 21 février.

III. Besoins humanitaires et réponse

La communauté humanitaire a préparé un plan de contingence avec plusieurs scénarii. Il peut être activé à tout moment. Le besoin prioritaire reste la protection des civils. Le Plan couvre aussi les clusters suivants : Santé/ nutrition; protection; CCCM/NFI/Abris; eau, hygiène et assainissement; et la logistique.

IV. Coordination

OCHA a entrepris un plaidoyer fort auprès des parties au conflit, des autorités locales ainsi qu’auprès de la Force internationale (coordination civilo-militaire) pour préserver l’espace et l’accès humanitaire. Ce plaidoyer inclut aussi le respect des engagements pris dans le cadre du Droit international humanitaire, de la protection des civils et du respect des droits de l’Homme. OCHA et le Coordonnateur humanitaire ai. ont obtenu l’émetteur qui permettra de relancer la radio communautaire de Bambari. Cet outil est très important pour communiquer directement avec les communautés.

V. Financement

Le financement du Plan de réponse humanitaire (PRH) pour 2017 est de 399,5 millions de $ américains. OCHA encourage les partenaires et les bailleurs à rapporter leurs financements à travers le Financial Tracking Service (FTS- http://fts.unocha.org; fts@un.org). Cette action collective permet de suivre le taux de financement du Plan de réponse humanitaire, analyser les gaps et les besoins et prendre les décisions stratégiques appropriées pour l'allocation des fonds.

Central African Republic: République centrafricaine : Ouaka Prefecture - Des milliers de personnes risquent d’être déplacés à nouveau - Point de situation No. 1, 23 février 2017

CAR - ReliefWeb News - 5 hours 11 min ago
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Central African Republic

Ce rapport est produit par OCHA en collaboration avec les partenaires humanitaires. Il est diffusé par OCHA RCA et couvre la journée du 22 février 2017

I. POINTS SAILLANTS/PRORITES

  • 30 000 personnes pourraient être déplacées

  • 300 personnes vivent en enclave à Ippy

  • Le Chef de l’UPC, Ali Darrassa, quitte Bambari

II. Aperçu de la situation

  • Le Chef l’UPC, Ali Darrassa, a choisi de respecter la décision de la MINUSCA de faire de Bambari «une ville sans groupes armés ». Par un communiqué de presse, il a informé de son intention de quitter cette ville pour une destination encore inconnue où il réinstallerait son Etat-Major. Toutefois, il semblerait qu’il ait choisi la localité de Maloum, à 63 km au nord de Bambari pour sa première halte. Maloum accueille près de 4 000 nouveaux déplacés venus de localités de la Haute et Basse Kotto ainsi que de la Ouaka où des groupes armés rivaux se sont affrontés (Liwa, Ndjoubissi, Ndassima, Ippy, Bélengo, Mbroutchou et Atongo-Bakari). Quel que soit la destination finale retenue par Darrassa, la présence de son groupe constituera une menace pour les civils de cette localité.
  • Bambari pourrait aussi accueillir un grand afflux de déplacés, plus de 30 000, provenant des localités traversées par Darrassa et ses hommes. La ville abrite déjà 45 000 déplacés et a une population de 160 000 habitants. Après son départ, Bambari est restée calme malgré une tension encore fortement perceptible. La ville demeure un foyer de tension (hotspot).
  • De même, à Ippy, l’instabilité a contraint plus de 300 personnes d’une communauté à risque à vivre en enclave. Leurs conditions de vie appellent une réponse humanitaire urgente. Elles font déjà l’objet de menaces et d’attaques dont la dernière date du 21 février.

III. Besoins humanitaires et réponse

La communauté humanitaire a préparé un plan de contingence avec plusieurs scénarii. Il peut être activé à tout moment. Le besoin prioritaire reste la protection des civils. Le Plan couvre aussi les clusters suivants : Santé/ nutrition; protection; CCCM/NFI/Abris; eau, hygiène et assainissement; et la logistique.

IV. Coordination

OCHA a entrepris un plaidoyer fort auprès des parties au conflit, des autorités locales ainsi qu’auprès de la Force internationale (coordination civilo-militaire) pour préserver l’espace et l’accès humanitaire. Ce plaidoyer inclut aussi le respect des engagements pris dans le cadre du Droit international humanitaire, de la protection des civils et du respect des droits de l’Homme. OCHA et le Coordonnateur humanitaire ai. ont obtenu l’émetteur qui permettra de relancer la radio communautaire de Bambari. Cet outil est très important pour communiquer directement avec les communautés.

V. Financement

Le financement du Plan de réponse humanitaire (PRH) pour 2017 est de 399,5 millions de $ américains. OCHA encourage les partenaires et les bailleurs à rapporter leurs financements à travers le Financial Tracking Service (FTS- http://fts.unocha.org; fts@un.org). Cette action collective permet de suivre le taux de financement du Plan de réponse humanitaire, analyser les gaps et les besoins et prendre les décisions stratégiques appropriées pour l'allocation des fonds.

Syrian Arab Republic: The Syrian/Iraqi Crisis Situation Update February 2017

Iraq - ReliefWeb News - 5 hours 20 min ago
Source: Handicap International Country: Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syrian Arab Republic

Introduction

Ensuring the most vulnerable people are included in the humanitarian response Handicap International's emergency response mission in the Middle East is redoubling its efforts to help thousands of people affected by the fighting in Syria and in Iraq.

Our teams, which include physical therapists, social workers, and psychologists, are working with the most vulnerable people. These individuals have sought refuge in camps within their country of origin, or in neighboring countries, and include people with injuries, disabilities, as well as older and isolated people.

Democratic Republic of the Congo: UN envoy and Church leaders in DR Congo condemn attacks against Catholic facilities

DRC - ReliefWeb News - 5 hours 24 min ago
Source: UN News Service Country: Democratic Republic of the Congo

24 February 2017 – The United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the National Episcopal Conference of Congo, known as CENCO have called for an immediate end to the spate of violent attacks against Catholic facilities in several parts of the country.

The UN Organization Stabilization Mission (MONUSCO) and CENCO, along with the Apostolic Nunciature said they are “deeply concerned” about recent attacks on parishes and other Catholic facilities. According to the Mission, the attacks were particularly violent in the provinces of Kinshasa, Haut-Katanga, Kasaï-Central and Kasaï-Oriental.

MONUSCO chief Maman Sidikou, Monsignor Marcel Utembi, Archbishop of Kisangani and President of CENCO, and Monsignor Luis Mariano Montemayor, Apostolic Nuncio in the DRC, “strongly condemned” the violence, which they noted are punishable in Congolese criminal law.

They also reiterated that “places of worship belong to all, and as such, are supposed to be apolitical; Churches are also places of contemplation for the people and must be respected and protected. By attacking them, their perpetrators and/or sponsors are harming a common good of all Congolese.”

Urging the immediate cessation of these “deplorable acts,” MONUSCO, CENCO and the Apostolic Nunciature called on Congolese political actors to condemn them “just as firmly,” in order to frustrate any attempt to manipulate the implementation of the comprehensive and inclusive political agreement of 31 December 2016, which set out, among others, a timeframe for elections.

Somalia: UNHCR Somalia Protection & Return Monitoring Network (PRMN): Notes on methodology

Somalia - ReliefWeb News - 6 hours 39 sec ago
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees Country: Somalia

About the Project

The PRMN (Protection & Return Monitoring Network) is a UNHCR-led project which acts as a platform for identifying and reporting on displacements (including returns) of populations in Somalia as well as protection incidents underlying such movements. This note covers issues relating to the methodology of recording displacements but does not cover all aspects of the PRMN platform.

Network coverage

On behalf of UNHCR, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) works through 39 local partners in the field in Somalia: four (4) local partners in Somaliland, nine (9) in Puntland and twenty-six (26) in South Central Somalia. Each partner organization has been assigned a geographic area within a given region. In South and Central Somalia, the project is implemented in Banadir, Bay, Bakool, Gedo, Lower Jubba, Hiraan, Lower Shabelle, Middle Shabelle, middle Juba and Galgaduud region; in Puntland, project operations focus in the regions of Galmadug, Mudug and Bari; and in Somaliland, geographic coverage includes Woqooyi Galbeed, Marodijeh, Sool and Awdal regions. Partners in these locations work through specifically trained monitors, and who are supported by NRC area focal points spread across its twelve area support offices and/or operational bases in the field. The level of geographic coverage for displacement tracking and protection monitoring within regions will depend on the local security situation and access, and the numbers of partners and of local field staff.

Monitoring methodology

Partners monitor population displacements and movements such as returns by targeting strategic points including transit sites, established IDP settlements, border crossings and other ad hoc locations. The data is captured by partner staff interviewing displaced persons (generating ‘household-level’ reports) primarily at points of arrival or by interviewing key informants (generating ‘group reports’) at IDP settlements, transit centers and other strategic locations. The interviews rely on the use of a standardized form that is designed to capture information on displacements and protection incidents and in the case of household-level reports, this includes disaggregated demographic data and family vulnerabilities. During the interview, both the point of departure and reason for departure are recorded; sensitive personal information is not stored. Reports are uploaded onto a web-based platform, through which they are quality-controlled by NRC. Reports are also verified prior to approval by NRC field staff, either in person or through third party verification. Referral services and basic emergency support assistance are available through the network to victims and survivors of serious protection incidents.

Central African Republic: Coordinator of Experts on Central African Republic Briefs Security Council Committee Members on Panel’s Progress Update

CAR - ReliefWeb News - 6 hours 2 min ago
Source: UN Security Council Country: Central African Republic

SC/12733

On 17 February 2017, the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 2127 (2013) concerning the Central African Republic held informal consultations to consider the progress update of the Panel of Experts, submitted in pursuance of paragraph 23(d) of resolution 2262 (2016).

In his briefing to members of the Committee, providing an overview of the progress update, the Coordinator of the Panel stressed that the security situation in the centre of the country had further deteriorated as ex-Séléka factions led by the Front populaire pour la renaissance de la Centrafrique had intensified fighting against the Union pour la Paix en Centrafrique over control of territory and natural resources.

The Panel reported that arms- and ammunition-trafficking from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Chad and potentially from South Sudan, had further fueled the violence. However, it acknowledged that Sudan’s efforts in countering arms-trafficking on the Central African Republic-Sudan border had yielded some tangible results. The Panel observed that yet another cause for the escalation of violence in the centre and north of the country was the recruitment of fighters from neighbouring States by armed groups in the Central African Republic. The Panel also provided information on reported travel-ban violations by sanctioned individual Nourredine Adam, as well as the lack of political will to implement the asset freeze by the Central African Republic authorities. The Panel underscored the importance of all mediation initiatives by regional States and subregional organizations being undertaken in compliance with travel-ban exemption procedures in pursuance of Security Council resolution 2339 (2017).

Members of the Committee welcomed the progress update and expressed support for the Panel’s recommendations as set out in the Coordinator’s statement. They encouraged the Panel to continue its investigations in line with its renewed mandate in pursuance of resolution 2339 (2017).

Iraq: Iraqi forces punch into western Mosul, launch air strikes in Syria

Iraq - ReliefWeb News - 6 hours 4 min ago
Source: Reuters - Thomson Reuters Foundation Country: Iraq

The ICRC said the most dangerous phase of the battle was about to begin for the 750,000 civilians believed to be trapped inside Mosul

  • Troops clash with Islamic State in three western districts

  • Fighting about to enter heavily populated areas

  • Iraqi jets strike IS car bomb factory inside Syria (Adds advances, Syria strikes, detail, colour)

By Stephen Kalin and Isabel Coles

SOUTH OF MOSUL, Iraq, Feb 24 (Reuters) - U.S.-backed Iraqi forces pushed into western Mosul on Friday after retaking the city's airport from Islamic State, as aid agencies warned the most dangerous phase of the offensive was about to begin for hundreds of thousands of civilians.

Read more on the Thomson Reuters Foundation

Myanmar: Changing lives in partnership: DCA-NCA Joint Country Programme Myanmar 2017-2021

Myanmar - ReliefWeb News - 6 hours 15 min ago
Source: DanChurchAid Country: Myanmar

Our vision

All people in Myanmar enjoy a dignified life, and are able to know and exercise the full range of their human rights in a safe, just and peaceful way, based on a true appreciation for diversity of all kinds, and respect for democratic rules and principles.

About DCA-NCA Myanmar

DCA-NCA works in partnership with civil society organisations, includ­ ing faith-based networks and institutions, to strengthen their contribution to building a vibrant, safe and prosperous Myanmar, together with the public and private sectors.

From 2017 to 2021, we have agreed with our partners to focus on three thematic programmes in two geographical areas, East and Southeast and in the Dry Zone in the middle of Myanmar.

Thematic areas

1. Fighting Inequalities

Goal: Communities and individuals, especially women and men who are civil society leaders, human rights defenders, survivors of gender-based violence, gain more knowledge and skills to confidently participate in decision making, and advocate for justice and quality public services.

  • Active Citizenship
  • Natural Resource Governance
  • Eliminating Gender-Based Violence

2. Saving Lives and Building More Resilient Communities

Goal: The poorest and most vulnerable rights holders, especially small-scale farmers and communities that are affected and displaced by natural disasters and/or armed conflict are able to survive and develop stronger preparedness and resilience to tackle and recover from extreme situations. Communities practice climate resilient livelihoods, experience food security, and know how to protect themselves against risks of mines and unexploded ordinances.

Communities are well-organised and take active part in assessing and responding to humanitarian needs and providing humanitarian assistance.

  • Resilient livelihoods, Food security, Climate change adaptation
  • Community-led Disaster Risk Reduction
  • Safer Communities and Mine Risk Education
  • Protection, resettlement and livelihood support to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs)
  • Humanitarian Action, specialising in cash grants and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)

3. Capacity Development of Partners Organisations

Goal: DCA-NCA partner organisations receive guidance and assistance to assess their own capacity building and development priorities, and to create plans and generate resources to improve their performance and impact. Partner staff and DCA-NCA own staff have opportunities for personal and professional growth, and experience a professional and ethical work environment where learning and innovation is highly encouraged.

DCA and NCA Globally

DCA was founded in 1922 as part of rebuilding efforts in war-torn Europe in the aftermath of World War I. DCA today remains a humani­ tarian and development organisation dedicated to helping and advo­ cating for oppressed, neglected and marginalised groups. DCA works in 19 countries in Africa, South and South East Asia and the Middle East. www.dca.dk

NCA was founded in 1945, in response to suffering and displacement in Europe at the end of the World War II. NCA now works in more than 30 countries in Africa, South and South East Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America. www.nca.no

DCA and NCA work to protect and assist those most in need, regardless of their ethnicity, creed, political or religious affiliation.

As faith-based organisations, DCA and NCA value and support the role that religious communities and organisations can and do play in promoting human rights and contributing to development. We also support and encourage interfaith networks and initiatives aimed at improving education, tolerance, stability and peace, through develop­ ment and humanitarian action.

DCA-NCA Myanmar

DCA and NCA have supported partners and programmes in Myanmar since the early 1990s, and both our organisations established country offices here in 2008. From 2017, DCA and NCA started to operate as one joint NCA-DCA country programme, team and office. DCA-NCA works in close partnership with a few short-term partners and around 20 long-term core partner organisations in Myanmar.

ACT Alliance

NCA and DCA are members of the ACT Alliance (Action by Churches Together), a coalition of 143 humanitarian organisations and churches across more than 130 countries working together to eradicate poverty, assist disaster-affected communities, and safeguard human rights. In Myanmar, the ACT Alliance Forum comprises of 9 members with a pilot joint project in Kayin state focused on building community capacity and resilience to natural disasters and conflict.

Core Humanitarian Standard

In January 2017, DCA in Myanmar was certified on the Core Humanitar­ ian Standard on Quality and Accountability {CHS).

DCA-NCA is fully committed to accountability and quality management in our policies and throughout our work, and we systematically com­ municate and seek to demonstrate these in the projects we support, and to all staff and partners. https://corehumanitarianstandard.org/

Donors

Current donors include: European Commission, Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA, German Federal Foreign Office (GFFO), Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD), Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), START Network, and UNICEF.

Partners - for a comprehensive list of partners and a look at the whole programme, read the brochure here (5.70 MB)

Kenya: How Kenya's future leaders found their voice

Kenya - ReliefWeb News - 6 hours 35 min ago
Source: Mercy Corps Country: Kenya

Colorful clothes in modern styles hang by the entrance to Zipporah’s store. Little more than a stall in a shopping center in Nyeri, Kenya, it holds a surprisingly wide selection of women’s clothing. When a customer arrives, Zipporah and her assistant pull out dress after dress until they strike on something impossible to resist.

At just 23, Zipporah is part of a generation of young Kenyans Mercy Corps is helping to develop economic and leadership potential. In the years since Zipporah has joined Mercy Corps’ youth program, she has become a serial entrepreneur, opening two clothing shops and a cybercafé, and farming on her family land.

It’s something she never thought she would have the opportunity to do before she connected with Mercy Corps. “I felt isolated,” Zipporah explained. “Bearing in mind that I didn’t come from a wealthy family and only the wealthy get wealthier in Kenya.”

Disaffected young people and instability

This sense of fatalism and lack of social mobility, paired with ethnic rivalries, were huge factors in the deadly civil unrest that broke out after the 2007 elections in Kenya. In the months following the disputed election, a wave of violent protests killed more than 1,400 people and displaced 600,000. When the dust settled, it was clear that — incited by corrupt politicians and local leaders — disaffected young people had perpetrated much of the violence.

Kenyans under 30 make up 75 percent of the country’s population. But that demographic weight didn’t translate to political clout. There was a deep sense that young people’s voices and concerns were not represented in the political life of the nation.

Additionally, unemployment was, and still is, high for young people, so just when they are on the verge of adulthood, a huge portion of Kenya’s population feels pessimistic about creating a productive future.

With this mix of demographic despair as a backdrop, Mercy Corps set out to engage Kenya’s young people in their communities and empower them to create opportunities for themselves. With young people and local mentors, Mercy Corps developed a system of youth bunges, the Swahili word for parliament.

Through the bunge system, groups of 10-15 young people gathered to identify the biggest challenges in their villages and towns. “The input of the young people was to identify what they really wanted, what challenges they had or have, and look for solutions,” says Zipporah.

The bunges sought to address issues like gender-based violence, drug abuse, environmental degradation and unemployment. Mercy Corps connected them with mentors and training to help them reach their goals. Soon the groups started small collective businesses and advocated for change in their communities.

Mirroring a government structure, the local groups sent delegates to county-wide bunges, and from there to the national bunge parliament, amplifying the voices and concerns of young people along the way.

“Politicians initially saw … the empowerment of young people as a threat,” says Kibaki Wilson, a colleague of Zipporah’s on their county bunge council. “The county is accountable to the young people now because we have this platform.”

From local bunge to national government

For Charles, now 31, the bunges provided an opportunity to recreate some of the future the post-election violence stole. He had plans to go to college in 2008, but his family lost everything when the violence broke out.

“I never even thought of my future because I was thinking of what to eat, where to sleep, and who to be with at that time,” Charles says.

When Mercy Corps started working in his hometown of Naivasha, Charles immediately joined. “They said they would offer trainings, leadership trainings, economic trainings,” Charles recalled. “It was something unbelievable to us.”

Charles became the president of a youth bunge in Naivasha, and began to work with local county officials to advocate for young people. Today he is an advisor to Kenya’s president, Uhuru Kenyatta, on youth issues.

Developing economic power

Black mesh fabric shields row after row of bamboo shoots from the hot Kenyan sun in a long greenhouse. A handful of young men and women water the baby plants and pull small weeds. They belong to a bunge in Naivasha, a group of 15 people who pooled their resources to start this plant nursery business.

Patrick, 24, manages the project. He says the group’s vision is to introduce five different types of bamboo to the local market. Homeowners can plant them as decorative landscaping. The bamboo can also be used to help restore the lake and riverbanks in the nearby Lake Naivasha basin.

Mercy Corps connected the group to mentors and business training, as well as a grant that supplemented the group’s investment for startup costs. Right now they have 4,500 seedlings growing, but they have plans to scale the business up to grow 50,000-100,000 seedlings, creating income for all the members of the bunge.

Art and community change

In a culture as rich in music and dance as Kenya’s, it isn’t surprising that many bunges use art to achieve their goals. In Kapenguria in the Rift Valley, a group of adolescents create and perform song, dance and theater to get local people to think about social problems and change behavior.

“There is a lot of energy,” says Annette, 20, of her performing group. “Like in this county, it’s usually known for FGM [female genital mutilation]. In our group we have had skits, we have acted on FGM, peace, malaria, anti-social things like drugs. It’s all from the youth. We are trying to change society, through acting and dance.”

One of the group’s leaders, Richard, says the voices of the young people are having an impact on local traditions. He points to his own village as a success story: known for practicing FGM, he says no girls in his nearby village have been circumcised since 2013.

Stronger together

Tens of thousands of young people in central and western Kenya have participated in the bunges facilitated by Mercy Corps. The national elections of 2013 were widely viewed as a test of whether young people would again react violently to the election results. They passed without incident, a result attributed in part to work integrating a vast generation of young people into the life of the country.

Though there are still many challenges for young Kenyans, the bunges give them support and a platform in which they can work together to build the future they want.

“When the youths are empowered it’s like the whole nation has been empowered, because we are the future of this country,” says Annette.

Though her businesses are thriving, Zipporah, the entrepreneur from Nyeri, has been elected to treasurer of the national bunge parliament.

It’s an honor that still surprises her. “I never knew I would be in a position to lead,” she says. “And every day I get challenged with whatever is going on in the society, and I feel if I am not the change, who will be the change?”

Now she’s become more interested in leadership. Her goal is to run for countywide office in her local government in elections this year.

“I think our generation is going to change Kenya,” she says with a smile.

How you can help

Donate today. Every single contribution helps us provide more support to youth and families who need us around the world.

Tell your friends. Share this story and spread the word about the millions of young people facing adversity across the globe.

Start a campaign. You can turn knowledge into action by setting up a personal fundraising page and asking your friends and family to contribute to our efforts to empower youth.

Iraq: Clearing land in Iraq

Iraq - ReliefWeb News - 6 hours 39 min ago
Source: Handicap International Country: Iraq

After decades of conflict, Iraq is now one of the most contaminated countries in the world. Since early January, Handicap International's weapons clearance teams have identified, collected, and destroyed more than 1,000 explosives in the governorates of Kirkuk and Diyala, areas severely affected by the war.

“We have trained several specialized teams–each containing about thirty people–to destroy explosive remnants of war in two areas of Iraq,” explains Alberto Casero Gómez-Pastrana, Handicap International’s chief of operations for mine action in Iraq.

Our teams conduct several types of operations and determine the safest way to destroy explosive devices. “For example, we do grouped disposals when destroying dozens of explosive devices in areas identified and secured in advance,” Alberto explains.

“But some explosive devices can’t be moved and have to be destroyed where they were originally placed. These situations end up being a long process because we have to destroy the devices one-by-one.”

Despite the outstanding progress our teams have made since starting operations, the village of Basheer–in the governorate of Kirkuk–is still highly contaminated. In 2015, the Islamic State captured Basheer, and six hundred families fled.

In May 2016, the army retook the village and since then, some 60 families have returned to their homes. Our teams are committed to giving the land back to the people of Iraq, and in the meantime, keep them safe in their local communities by educating both children and adults on the dangers of explosive weapons through risk education.

Learn more about Handicap International's work in Iraq and read the latest Syrian/Iraqi Crisis Situation Report (Feb. 2017).

Iraq: IRAQ - Baghdad Governorate - Al Nabi Younis Camp General Infrastructure - Updated 5 January 2017

Iraq - ReliefWeb News - 6 hours 51 min ago
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees, CCCM Cluster, REACH Initiative Country: Iraq

Iraq: IRAQ - Baghdad Governorate - Al Nabi Younis Camp General Infrastructure - Updated 5 January 2017

Iraq - Maps - 6 hours 51 min ago
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees, CCCM Cluster, REACH Initiative Country: Iraq

Iraq: Iraq - Duhok Governorate - Darkar Camp General Infrastructure - Updated 3 January 2017

Iraq - ReliefWeb News - 6 hours 54 min ago
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees, CCCM Cluster, REACH Initiative Country: Iraq

Iraq: Iraq - Duhok Governorate - Darkar Camp General Infrastructure - Updated 3 January 2017

Iraq - Maps - 6 hours 54 min ago
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees, CCCM Cluster, REACH Initiative Country: Iraq

Iraq: Iraq - Duhok Governorate - Shariya Camp General Infrastructure - Updated 22 January 2017

Iraq - ReliefWeb News - 6 hours 57 min ago
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees, CCCM Cluster, REACH Initiative Country: Iraq

Iraq: Iraq - Duhok Governorate - Shariya Camp General Infrastructure - Updated 22 January 2017

Iraq - Maps - 6 hours 57 min ago
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees, CCCM Cluster, REACH Initiative Country: Iraq

Nigeria: UNHCR outlines way forward on Nigeria displacement

Niger - ReliefWeb News - 7 hours 59 sec ago
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees Country: Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Nigeria

At a conference in Oslo, the UN Refugee Agency presents steps to ensure protection, access and lasting solutions for displaced Nigerians returning home.

By: UNHCR staff

OSLO, Norway – As growing numbers of displaced Nigerians start to return home, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi on Friday co-presented a way forward for ensuring protection, access and lasting solutions for them.

“The two strategies of protection and solutions should go hand in hand. To do this we need access … this is the very big challenge,” stressed Grandi, who is in Oslo for a major international conference on Nigeria and the Lake Chad Region.

He earlier said that at this important juncture in the displacement crisis, with an estimated 8.5 million Nigerians requiring humanitarian aid in 2017, it was important to ensure a principled and sustainable approach in the search for solutions.

To that end, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and the Nigerian Government presented a vision in Oslo for moving forward, entitled “Directions on Protection, Access and Solutions for IDPs and Returnees in North-East Nigeria.”

Discussed as part of a special thematic session at the conference, the document focuses on opportunities for solutions; critical protection needs; and empowerment and social cohesion.

With return movements of internally displaced people - some 950,000 since August 2015 - and refugee returnees from neighbouring countries under way in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states, the document says “it is critical that these returns remain voluntary, occur in safety and in dignity, and that additional opportunities for solutions are identified and seized upon.”

It says the “effective protection of civilians leads to opportunities for durable solutions to displacement.” This includes protection from refoulement (forced return) and the fundamental requirements for informed and voluntary returns in safety and dignity. “Where these conditions are not met, returns will not be sustainable, and may result in further exposure of displaced persons to violence and new displacement.”

Under the directions paper, opportunities for solutions focusing on voluntary returns would be prioritized. In some of the return areas, people receive limited assistance but a sustainable return needs a significant increase in support from the government and donor community.

The paper notes that many protection issues in areas of displacement and potential return can contribute to violence and present obstacles to stability. It puts a priority on measures to ensure physical security, freedom of movement and humanitarian access and proposes stepped up response to sexual and gender-based violence as well as protection of children from violence exploitation and abuse.

Other calls include ensuring access to psychosocial support and resolution of land and property issues by creating effective and accessible arbitration mechanisms and providing support to local authorities and civil society to ensure legal services and assistance to displaced people in conflict-affected areas.

The document notes that the conflict in the north-east had dramatically worsened an already dire socio-economic situation and increased social exclusion, inequality, marginalization of some groups, tension and violence within and between groups.

“Systematically addressing these factors is a complex undertaking, but one which is fundamental to attaining and sustaining solutions.” It proposes promoting gender equality and inclusion; community reconciliation; peace-building; social cohesion; inclusion; empowerment, de-radicalization; recovery, reconstruction and development.

The document addresses several specific issues in more detail, including humanitarian access and participation in decision-making. “Specific measures must systematically be taken to ensure the full and equal participation, including in leadership structures of women, youth, older persons, persons with disabilities and other groups at risk of marginalization.”

Donor nations attending had earlier in the day announced substantial donations towards operations to help people in north-east Nigeria and the Lake Chad region. The Oslo conference was organized by the governments of Norway, Nigeria and Germany with support from OCHA, with the aim to raise awareness about a largely overlooked crisis and to seek funding as well as greater political commitment to solutions.

High Commissioner Grandi, who visited Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon last December to highlight the crisis, also took part in a panel discussion at a civil society conference on Thursday.

Approximately 26 million people in the Lake Chad region have been affected by the conflict, according to government figures, and more than 2.6 million displaced. The crisis has been exacerbated by conflict-induced hunger and malnutrition which have risen to critical levels. Some 14 million Nigerian in the six most affected states are in need of humanitarian assistance this year. About 200,000 refugees have fled to neighbouring countries.

Nigeria: UNHCR outlines way forward on Nigeria displacement

Chad - ReliefWeb News - 7 hours 59 sec ago
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees Country: Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Nigeria

At a conference in Oslo, the UN Refugee Agency presents steps to ensure protection, access and lasting solutions for displaced Nigerians returning home.

By: UNHCR staff

OSLO, Norway – As growing numbers of displaced Nigerians start to return home, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi on Friday co-presented a way forward for ensuring protection, access and lasting solutions for them.

“The two strategies of protection and solutions should go hand in hand. To do this we need access … this is the very big challenge,” stressed Grandi, who is in Oslo for a major international conference on Nigeria and the Lake Chad Region.

He earlier said that at this important juncture in the displacement crisis, with an estimated 8.5 million Nigerians requiring humanitarian aid in 2017, it was important to ensure a principled and sustainable approach in the search for solutions.

To that end, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and the Nigerian Government presented a vision in Oslo for moving forward, entitled “Directions on Protection, Access and Solutions for IDPs and Returnees in North-East Nigeria.”

Discussed as part of a special thematic session at the conference, the document focuses on opportunities for solutions; critical protection needs; and empowerment and social cohesion.

With return movements of internally displaced people - some 950,000 since August 2015 - and refugee returnees from neighbouring countries under way in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states, the document says “it is critical that these returns remain voluntary, occur in safety and in dignity, and that additional opportunities for solutions are identified and seized upon.”

It says the “effective protection of civilians leads to opportunities for durable solutions to displacement.” This includes protection from refoulement (forced return) and the fundamental requirements for informed and voluntary returns in safety and dignity. “Where these conditions are not met, returns will not be sustainable, and may result in further exposure of displaced persons to violence and new displacement.”

Under the directions paper, opportunities for solutions focusing on voluntary returns would be prioritized. In some of the return areas, people receive limited assistance but a sustainable return needs a significant increase in support from the government and donor community.

The paper notes that many protection issues in areas of displacement and potential return can contribute to violence and present obstacles to stability. It puts a priority on measures to ensure physical security, freedom of movement and humanitarian access and proposes stepped up response to sexual and gender-based violence as well as protection of children from violence exploitation and abuse.

Other calls include ensuring access to psychosocial support and resolution of land and property issues by creating effective and accessible arbitration mechanisms and providing support to local authorities and civil society to ensure legal services and assistance to displaced people in conflict-affected areas.

The document notes that the conflict in the north-east had dramatically worsened an already dire socio-economic situation and increased social exclusion, inequality, marginalization of some groups, tension and violence within and between groups.

“Systematically addressing these factors is a complex undertaking, but one which is fundamental to attaining and sustaining solutions.” It proposes promoting gender equality and inclusion; community reconciliation; peace-building; social cohesion; inclusion; empowerment, de-radicalization; recovery, reconstruction and development.

The document addresses several specific issues in more detail, including humanitarian access and participation in decision-making. “Specific measures must systematically be taken to ensure the full and equal participation, including in leadership structures of women, youth, older persons, persons with disabilities and other groups at risk of marginalization.”

Donor nations attending had earlier in the day announced substantial donations towards operations to help people in north-east Nigeria and the Lake Chad region. The Oslo conference was organized by the governments of Norway, Nigeria and Germany with support from OCHA, with the aim to raise awareness about a largely overlooked crisis and to seek funding as well as greater political commitment to solutions.

High Commissioner Grandi, who visited Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon last December to highlight the crisis, also took part in a panel discussion at a civil society conference on Thursday.

Approximately 26 million people in the Lake Chad region have been affected by the conflict, according to government figures, and more than 2.6 million displaced. The crisis has been exacerbated by conflict-induced hunger and malnutrition which have risen to critical levels. Some 14 million Nigerian in the six most affected states are in need of humanitarian assistance this year. About 200,000 refugees have fled to neighbouring countries.

World: USAID/OFDA Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Programs in Latin America and the Caribbean - 09/30/16

Haiti - ReliefWeb News - 7 hours 10 min ago
Source: US Agency for International Development Country: Barbados, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, United States of America, World

Latin America and the Caribbean – Disaster Risk Reduction, Fiscal Year (FY) 2016

World: USAID/OFDA Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Programs in Latin America and the Caribbean - 09/30/16

Colombia - Chad - 7 hours 10 min ago
Source: US Agency for International Development Country: Barbados, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, United States of America, World

Latin America and the Caribbean – Disaster Risk Reduction, Fiscal Year (FY) 2016

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