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Sudan: ACT/Caritas Appeal Darfur – 2017 Programme SDN171, EA 01/2017

Sudan - ReliefWeb News - 1 hour 11 min ago
Source: Norwegian Church Aid, Caritas, ACT Alliance Country: South Sudan, Sudan

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

THE CRISIS

The 2017 Darfur Programme (DP) Appeal marks the 14th anniversary of the joint Caritas Internationalis (CI) and ACT Alliance (ACT) collaboration which commenced in 2004. NCA provides the legal basis for the operation in Darfur as well as taking the lead responsibility for management, procurement and financial management on behalf of the two networks. The operational entity has to be referred to in its totality as the NCA DP.

As has been mentioned in previous Appeals, the DP has been able to engage with and respond to the protracted humanitarian crisis that has continued to engulf the country. It has been about 13 years since families have had to leave their homes, their livelihoods and their land. To date, the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has, in the 2016 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) estimated that the ongoing conflict has left around 2 million Darfuri IDPs in need of humanitarian assistance and support. This does not include the impacts stemming from the conflict which broke out in the Jebel Marra (JM) region, in January 2016 which has displaced an additional 82,000 people throughout Darfur (OCHA Humanitarian Snapshot, September 2016).

Recent years have taught aid agencies working in Darfur that the protracted/forgotten nature of this conflict has, in fact, led to a steep decrease in donor spending to the region. While it is understood that after a decade of efforts to alleviate the vulnerabilities in the region donors might feel disenchanted, it is crucial that the needs in Darfur are once again brought to the spotlight. Thus, the 2017 Appeal will continue its concerted efforts from 2016 and endeavor to support a budget in line with the revised 2016 Appeal budget. As is already known, the DP underwent some restructuring throughout 2015 and 2016 in order to stay in line with a decreased budget.

PRIORITY NEEDS

The Sudanization process continues to be underway throughout the country. While no sign has been made that this government level strategy will come into full force in the year ahead, the DP continues to forge ahead; engagement and support - at all stakeholder levels - will continue, status quo, into 2017 should Sudanization become a clear reality.

What has become clear; however, is that 2017 looks to be that of a ‘transitional year’ meaning that plans by the Government of Sudan (GoS) seem to be suggesting that Darfur’s newly declared peace means that IDPs no longer have a need for such a title: ‘IDP’. Thus, while it is still unclear what lies ahead, this shift in title and push in seeing to it that IDPs either return to their homes or converge with local communities will be a challenge which the NCA DP may have to face in the year ahead.
Thus, it goes without saying that there will be a distinctive set of needs should 2017 unfold in such a way. In line with NCAs revised country strategy and the context of Sudan (particularly Darfur), the DP will be making a solid effort to support its target communities through building ownership of NCA projects to ensure sustainability and long-term support. This will be done through an integrated and holistic approach; looking to all sectors of the DP to work and support one another instead of in sectoral silos. Examples of proven effectiveness can be seen through the efforts of the Ta’adoud project which NCA is an integral part of.

Ethiopia: New drought risks in Ethiopia put recovery at risk

Ethiopia - ReliefWeb News - 1 hour 21 min ago
Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Country: Ethiopia, South Sudan

FAO targets pastoralists in southern regions facing failed rains on heels of a calamitous El Niño

17 January 2016, Rome-New drought across swathes of southern Ethiopia may jeopardize the East African nation's restoration of food security after the worst agricultural seasons in decades unless urgent efforts are made to shore up vulnerable households in rural areas, FAO warned today.

While an impressive government-led humanitarian effort has sharply reduced the number of hungry during the worst drought in 50 years, the legacy of last year's El Niño along with low rainfall during a critical season pose renewed risks now, especially for pastoral communities facing forage shortfalls and water scarcity in southern regions.

Safeguarding recent gains requires responding to the livelihood-sustaining needs of fragile households that lost or sold livestock and other assets, often adding to family debt burdens to cope with the worst El Niño in modern history.

Effective and timely action has reduced the number of people who will need food aid in 2017 to 5.6 million, down from almost twice as much last August, according to the newly released Humanitarian Requirements Document (HRD). However, food security in 120 woredas (districts) has worsened since July, while 86 woredas are entering their third year (since December 2015) of top-priority emergency status.

The just-approved HRD, jointly developed by the Government of Ethiopia along with UN agencies, non-governmental organizations and other development partners, covers a range of subjects including education, access to water and nutrition. It advises that the bulk of the agriculture sector needs are related to assistance to pastoralists and agropastoralists livestock assistance - a total of $42 million is required by the sector to reach 1.9 million households, mainly in drought-affected southern and southeastern pastoral regions, this year.

Drought strikes again

While northern and western Ethiopia bore the brunt of El Niño, a new drought is emerging in southern and southeastern pastoral areas including Oromia, Somali and Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples' Region (SNNP) after poor, delayed and erratic rains curbed pasture and water availability. Some 80 percent of Ethiopians depend on agriculture and livestock for their livelihoods and an even higher share of the country's arable land relies on seasonal rainfall.

Below-average precipitation has also affected neighboring Somalia and Kenya. The impact is expected to be most dire in early 2017 among livestock, with unusually early migrations, excess mortality rates and extreme emaciation.

FAO calls for an immediate response to support the food security and nutrition of households reliant on animals. Along with the provision of supplementary animal feed, especially along migratory routes, targeted destocking interventions will be implemented to make protein-rich meat available for vulnerable pastoral communities and support livestock prices in local markets.

Poorly-fed animals reproduce less frequently, lengthening the prospective time required to rebuild herds. For Ethiopian households, restocking after the loss of half of one's cattle typically takes four years without adverse conditions.

Addressing fragility

Even though FAO's support will focus on communities depending on livestock, some areas along the Rift Valley, however, especially in the northern and eastern highlands, are facing below-average crop production and therefore receive prioritized agricultural support as recovery will take longer than anticipated.

South Sudan refugees and their hosting communities in Gambella Region, are facing significant food availability and access challenges, and enabling households to produce more of their own food is essential.

After having reached 1.3 million farmers and herders affected by the El Niño-induced drought in 2016, FAO is appealing for $20 million to reach one million farming, agro-pastoral and pastoral households in 2017, with the aim of protecting gains made last year and preventing vulnerable households from slipping further into food insecurity.

FAO's programme seeks in particular to support crop production, implement emergency response and resilience activities in the livestock sector, support livelihoods in refugee-hosting areas and strengthen coordination, information and analysis.

Central African Republic: Dominic Ongwen's Domino Effect

Uganda - ReliefWeb News - 1 hour 43 min ago
Source: Invisible Children, Resolve Country: Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda

Executive Summary

Since founding the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in northern Uganda in the late 1980s, Joseph Kony’s control over the group’s command structure has been remarkably durable. Despite having no formal military training, he has motivated and ruled LRA members with a mixture of harsh discipline, incentives, and clever manipulation. When necessary, he has demoted or executed dozens of commanders that he perceived as threats to his power.

Though Kony still commands the LRA, the weakening of his grip over the group’s command structure has been exposed by a dramatic series of events involving former LRA commander Dominic Ongwen. In late 2014, a group of Ugandan LRA officers, including Ongwen, began plotting to defect from the LRA. In November 2014, Achaye Doctor, a longtime LRA officer and one of Ongwen’s co-conspirators, orchestrated the escape of nine Ugandan fighters, while Ongwen remained in an LRA group under Kony’s command. Suspecting Ongwen had played a role in Achaye’s duplicity, Kony ordered Ongwen beaten and held in detention, only to see him escape weeks later with the help of LRA members sympathetic to his plight. Soon after defecting, Ongwen was transferred to the International Criminal Court (ICC), where he is currently on trial for 70 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

As Ongwen’s fate unfolded, Achaye Doctor’s group established a camp in a remote forested region of Bas Uele province in northern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Instead of surrendering, they began operating as a splinter LRA group, abducting Congolese boys to strengthen their fighting capacity and acquiring weaponry in an ambush of a Congolese military unit. In 2016, they shifted their operations into neighboring Central African Republic (CAR), where they abducted dozens of civilians, including 15 children. Though it is not uncommon for LRA groups to operate without direct contact from Kony’s chain of command for extended periods of time, Achaye’s group is the first to intentionally operate independently from Kony’s control and self-identify as a splinter group.

The Ongwen saga’s ripple effect highlighted and exacerbated fault lines in the LRA command structure that had been simmering for years. Kony’s harsh punishment of loyal LRA officers for infractions of the group’s code of conduct, which included his execution of at least five combatants in 2012 and 2013, had sparked disillusionment within the LRA ranks long before his punishment of Ongwen in 2014. Kony’s grip on the LRA had also been weakened by a series of military operations led by Ugandan and US troops that killed several high-profile LRA commanders in 2012 and 2013.

Internal threats to Kony’s rule continued after the defection of Ongwen and the departure of Achaye’s group. In May 2015, seven LRA bodyguards assigned to protect Kony and his inner circle defected, boldly but unsuccessfully trying to kill Kony as they did so. At least one of them had been involved in the Ongwen defection plot the previous year. In January 2016, Kony executed Jon Bosco Kibwola, an LRA commander who had killed a Sudanese trader, prompting another long-time bodyguard, Okot Odek, to defect.

Kony is a seasoned survivor, and his resilience should not be underestimated. Despite the recent threats to his authority, he has managed to prevent a majority of remaining LRA combatants from defecting. Loyal LRA commanders continue to carry out difficult missions on his command, including long treks to DRC’s Garamba National Park to poach elephants and collect ivory. Adding to violence perpetrated by Achaye’s group, Kony also ordered the forced recruitment of dozens of children during a surge of LRA attacks in eastern CAR in 2016, the group’s most violent since 2010.

The fracturing of the LRA’s command structure has important implications for the future of counter-LRA initiatives, emphasizing the need for improved civilian protection mechanisms and more effective defection messaging and reintegration programs. The decision of Achaye and his followers to remain active and continue targeting civilians despite being independent of Kony tests long-held assumptions that killing or capturing the LRA leader would lead to a swift dissolution of the rebel group. Unless defection messaging and reintegration programs targeting LRA combatants improve, Kony’s death or capture may instead lead to the creation of more LRA splinter groups that threaten civilians in eastern CAR and northern DRC.

Ugandan troops deployed in eastern CAR have led counter-LRA operations in recent years with substantial US support, including President Barack Obama’s deployment of dozens of US Special Forces advisers in 2011. Ugandan and US military offensives and defection messaging have helped reduce the number of LRA combatants from approximately 400 in 2010 to less than 150 today, but the effectiveness of military operations and the pace of LRA combatant defections has waned considerably since mid-2014.

The future of the US–Ugandan counter-LRA partnership is also in flux. The Ugandan military is the only force in the region currently capable of pursuing Kony and the LRA, but Ugandan officials have announced plans to withdraw their troops from eastern CAR in 2017. President Obama made his counter-LRA strategy a priority within his broader agenda in Africa, but it is unclear whether the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump will reauthorize the deployment of US military advisers or continue funding defection messaging initiatives. Should the Ugandan and US governments scale back their counter-LRA efforts, more pressure will be placed on national militaries and UN peacekeeping missions in CAR and DRC to protect civilians from the LRA, a responsibility they are currently ill-prepared to assume.

​The splintering of the LRA, while undermining its chances of long-term survival, makes the group a more dangerous menace to civilians in the short-term. Whether the LRA is soon disbanded or is able to sustain itself—or even rebuild into the future—will likely depend on whether the international community can exploit the fault lines within the LRA’s command structure so clearly exposed by Dominic Ongwen.

Central African Republic: Dominic Ongwen's Domino Effect

Sudan - ReliefWeb News - 1 hour 43 min ago
Source: Invisible Children, Resolve Country: Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda

Executive Summary

Since founding the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in northern Uganda in the late 1980s, Joseph Kony’s control over the group’s command structure has been remarkably durable. Despite having no formal military training, he has motivated and ruled LRA members with a mixture of harsh discipline, incentives, and clever manipulation. When necessary, he has demoted or executed dozens of commanders that he perceived as threats to his power.

Though Kony still commands the LRA, the weakening of his grip over the group’s command structure has been exposed by a dramatic series of events involving former LRA commander Dominic Ongwen. In late 2014, a group of Ugandan LRA officers, including Ongwen, began plotting to defect from the LRA. In November 2014, Achaye Doctor, a longtime LRA officer and one of Ongwen’s co-conspirators, orchestrated the escape of nine Ugandan fighters, while Ongwen remained in an LRA group under Kony’s command. Suspecting Ongwen had played a role in Achaye’s duplicity, Kony ordered Ongwen beaten and held in detention, only to see him escape weeks later with the help of LRA members sympathetic to his plight. Soon after defecting, Ongwen was transferred to the International Criminal Court (ICC), where he is currently on trial for 70 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

As Ongwen’s fate unfolded, Achaye Doctor’s group established a camp in a remote forested region of Bas Uele province in northern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Instead of surrendering, they began operating as a splinter LRA group, abducting Congolese boys to strengthen their fighting capacity and acquiring weaponry in an ambush of a Congolese military unit. In 2016, they shifted their operations into neighboring Central African Republic (CAR), where they abducted dozens of civilians, including 15 children. Though it is not uncommon for LRA groups to operate without direct contact from Kony’s chain of command for extended periods of time, Achaye’s group is the first to intentionally operate independently from Kony’s control and self-identify as a splinter group.

The Ongwen saga’s ripple effect highlighted and exacerbated fault lines in the LRA command structure that had been simmering for years. Kony’s harsh punishment of loyal LRA officers for infractions of the group’s code of conduct, which included his execution of at least five combatants in 2012 and 2013, had sparked disillusionment within the LRA ranks long before his punishment of Ongwen in 2014. Kony’s grip on the LRA had also been weakened by a series of military operations led by Ugandan and US troops that killed several high-profile LRA commanders in 2012 and 2013.

Internal threats to Kony’s rule continued after the defection of Ongwen and the departure of Achaye’s group. In May 2015, seven LRA bodyguards assigned to protect Kony and his inner circle defected, boldly but unsuccessfully trying to kill Kony as they did so. At least one of them had been involved in the Ongwen defection plot the previous year. In January 2016, Kony executed Jon Bosco Kibwola, an LRA commander who had killed a Sudanese trader, prompting another long-time bodyguard, Okot Odek, to defect.

Kony is a seasoned survivor, and his resilience should not be underestimated. Despite the recent threats to his authority, he has managed to prevent a majority of remaining LRA combatants from defecting. Loyal LRA commanders continue to carry out difficult missions on his command, including long treks to DRC’s Garamba National Park to poach elephants and collect ivory. Adding to violence perpetrated by Achaye’s group, Kony also ordered the forced recruitment of dozens of children during a surge of LRA attacks in eastern CAR in 2016, the group’s most violent since 2010.

The fracturing of the LRA’s command structure has important implications for the future of counter-LRA initiatives, emphasizing the need for improved civilian protection mechanisms and more effective defection messaging and reintegration programs. The decision of Achaye and his followers to remain active and continue targeting civilians despite being independent of Kony tests long-held assumptions that killing or capturing the LRA leader would lead to a swift dissolution of the rebel group. Unless defection messaging and reintegration programs targeting LRA combatants improve, Kony’s death or capture may instead lead to the creation of more LRA splinter groups that threaten civilians in eastern CAR and northern DRC.

Ugandan troops deployed in eastern CAR have led counter-LRA operations in recent years with substantial US support, including President Barack Obama’s deployment of dozens of US Special Forces advisers in 2011. Ugandan and US military offensives and defection messaging have helped reduce the number of LRA combatants from approximately 400 in 2010 to less than 150 today, but the effectiveness of military operations and the pace of LRA combatant defections has waned considerably since mid-2014.

The future of the US–Ugandan counter-LRA partnership is also in flux. The Ugandan military is the only force in the region currently capable of pursuing Kony and the LRA, but Ugandan officials have announced plans to withdraw their troops from eastern CAR in 2017. President Obama made his counter-LRA strategy a priority within his broader agenda in Africa, but it is unclear whether the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump will reauthorize the deployment of US military advisers or continue funding defection messaging initiatives. Should the Ugandan and US governments scale back their counter-LRA efforts, more pressure will be placed on national militaries and UN peacekeeping missions in CAR and DRC to protect civilians from the LRA, a responsibility they are currently ill-prepared to assume.

​The splintering of the LRA, while undermining its chances of long-term survival, makes the group a more dangerous menace to civilians in the short-term. Whether the LRA is soon disbanded or is able to sustain itself—or even rebuild into the future—will likely depend on whether the international community can exploit the fault lines within the LRA’s command structure so clearly exposed by Dominic Ongwen.

Central African Republic: Dominic Ongwen's Domino Effect

DRC - ReliefWeb News - 1 hour 43 min ago
Source: Invisible Children, Resolve Country: Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda

Executive Summary

Since founding the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in northern Uganda in the late 1980s, Joseph Kony’s control over the group’s command structure has been remarkably durable. Despite having no formal military training, he has motivated and ruled LRA members with a mixture of harsh discipline, incentives, and clever manipulation. When necessary, he has demoted or executed dozens of commanders that he perceived as threats to his power.

Though Kony still commands the LRA, the weakening of his grip over the group’s command structure has been exposed by a dramatic series of events involving former LRA commander Dominic Ongwen. In late 2014, a group of Ugandan LRA officers, including Ongwen, began plotting to defect from the LRA. In November 2014, Achaye Doctor, a longtime LRA officer and one of Ongwen’s co-conspirators, orchestrated the escape of nine Ugandan fighters, while Ongwen remained in an LRA group under Kony’s command. Suspecting Ongwen had played a role in Achaye’s duplicity, Kony ordered Ongwen beaten and held in detention, only to see him escape weeks later with the help of LRA members sympathetic to his plight. Soon after defecting, Ongwen was transferred to the International Criminal Court (ICC), where he is currently on trial for 70 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

As Ongwen’s fate unfolded, Achaye Doctor’s group established a camp in a remote forested region of Bas Uele province in northern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Instead of surrendering, they began operating as a splinter LRA group, abducting Congolese boys to strengthen their fighting capacity and acquiring weaponry in an ambush of a Congolese military unit. In 2016, they shifted their operations into neighboring Central African Republic (CAR), where they abducted dozens of civilians, including 15 children. Though it is not uncommon for LRA groups to operate without direct contact from Kony’s chain of command for extended periods of time, Achaye’s group is the first to intentionally operate independently from Kony’s control and self-identify as a splinter group.

The Ongwen saga’s ripple effect highlighted and exacerbated fault lines in the LRA command structure that had been simmering for years. Kony’s harsh punishment of loyal LRA officers for infractions of the group’s code of conduct, which included his execution of at least five combatants in 2012 and 2013, had sparked disillusionment within the LRA ranks long before his punishment of Ongwen in 2014. Kony’s grip on the LRA had also been weakened by a series of military operations led by Ugandan and US troops that killed several high-profile LRA commanders in 2012 and 2013.

Internal threats to Kony’s rule continued after the defection of Ongwen and the departure of Achaye’s group. In May 2015, seven LRA bodyguards assigned to protect Kony and his inner circle defected, boldly but unsuccessfully trying to kill Kony as they did so. At least one of them had been involved in the Ongwen defection plot the previous year. In January 2016, Kony executed Jon Bosco Kibwola, an LRA commander who had killed a Sudanese trader, prompting another long-time bodyguard, Okot Odek, to defect.

Kony is a seasoned survivor, and his resilience should not be underestimated. Despite the recent threats to his authority, he has managed to prevent a majority of remaining LRA combatants from defecting. Loyal LRA commanders continue to carry out difficult missions on his command, including long treks to DRC’s Garamba National Park to poach elephants and collect ivory. Adding to violence perpetrated by Achaye’s group, Kony also ordered the forced recruitment of dozens of children during a surge of LRA attacks in eastern CAR in 2016, the group’s most violent since 2010.

The fracturing of the LRA’s command structure has important implications for the future of counter-LRA initiatives, emphasizing the need for improved civilian protection mechanisms and more effective defection messaging and reintegration programs. The decision of Achaye and his followers to remain active and continue targeting civilians despite being independent of Kony tests long-held assumptions that killing or capturing the LRA leader would lead to a swift dissolution of the rebel group. Unless defection messaging and reintegration programs targeting LRA combatants improve, Kony’s death or capture may instead lead to the creation of more LRA splinter groups that threaten civilians in eastern CAR and northern DRC.

Ugandan troops deployed in eastern CAR have led counter-LRA operations in recent years with substantial US support, including President Barack Obama’s deployment of dozens of US Special Forces advisers in 2011. Ugandan and US military offensives and defection messaging have helped reduce the number of LRA combatants from approximately 400 in 2010 to less than 150 today, but the effectiveness of military operations and the pace of LRA combatant defections has waned considerably since mid-2014.

The future of the US–Ugandan counter-LRA partnership is also in flux. The Ugandan military is the only force in the region currently capable of pursuing Kony and the LRA, but Ugandan officials have announced plans to withdraw their troops from eastern CAR in 2017. President Obama made his counter-LRA strategy a priority within his broader agenda in Africa, but it is unclear whether the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump will reauthorize the deployment of US military advisers or continue funding defection messaging initiatives. Should the Ugandan and US governments scale back their counter-LRA efforts, more pressure will be placed on national militaries and UN peacekeeping missions in CAR and DRC to protect civilians from the LRA, a responsibility they are currently ill-prepared to assume.

​The splintering of the LRA, while undermining its chances of long-term survival, makes the group a more dangerous menace to civilians in the short-term. Whether the LRA is soon disbanded or is able to sustain itself—or even rebuild into the future—will likely depend on whether the international community can exploit the fault lines within the LRA’s command structure so clearly exposed by Dominic Ongwen.

Central African Republic: Dominic Ongwen's Domino Effect

CAR - ReliefWeb News - 1 hour 43 min ago
Source: Invisible Children, Resolve Country: Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda

Executive Summary

Since founding the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in northern Uganda in the late 1980s, Joseph Kony’s control over the group’s command structure has been remarkably durable. Despite having no formal military training, he has motivated and ruled LRA members with a mixture of harsh discipline, incentives, and clever manipulation. When necessary, he has demoted or executed dozens of commanders that he perceived as threats to his power.

Though Kony still commands the LRA, the weakening of his grip over the group’s command structure has been exposed by a dramatic series of events involving former LRA commander Dominic Ongwen. In late 2014, a group of Ugandan LRA officers, including Ongwen, began plotting to defect from the LRA. In November 2014, Achaye Doctor, a longtime LRA officer and one of Ongwen’s co-conspirators, orchestrated the escape of nine Ugandan fighters, while Ongwen remained in an LRA group under Kony’s command. Suspecting Ongwen had played a role in Achaye’s duplicity, Kony ordered Ongwen beaten and held in detention, only to see him escape weeks later with the help of LRA members sympathetic to his plight. Soon after defecting, Ongwen was transferred to the International Criminal Court (ICC), where he is currently on trial for 70 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

As Ongwen’s fate unfolded, Achaye Doctor’s group established a camp in a remote forested region of Bas Uele province in northern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Instead of surrendering, they began operating as a splinter LRA group, abducting Congolese boys to strengthen their fighting capacity and acquiring weaponry in an ambush of a Congolese military unit. In 2016, they shifted their operations into neighboring Central African Republic (CAR), where they abducted dozens of civilians, including 15 children. Though it is not uncommon for LRA groups to operate without direct contact from Kony’s chain of command for extended periods of time, Achaye’s group is the first to intentionally operate independently from Kony’s control and self-identify as a splinter group.

The Ongwen saga’s ripple effect highlighted and exacerbated fault lines in the LRA command structure that had been simmering for years. Kony’s harsh punishment of loyal LRA officers for infractions of the group’s code of conduct, which included his execution of at least five combatants in 2012 and 2013, had sparked disillusionment within the LRA ranks long before his punishment of Ongwen in 2014. Kony’s grip on the LRA had also been weakened by a series of military operations led by Ugandan and US troops that killed several high-profile LRA commanders in 2012 and 2013.

Internal threats to Kony’s rule continued after the defection of Ongwen and the departure of Achaye’s group. In May 2015, seven LRA bodyguards assigned to protect Kony and his inner circle defected, boldly but unsuccessfully trying to kill Kony as they did so. At least one of them had been involved in the Ongwen defection plot the previous year. In January 2016, Kony executed Jon Bosco Kibwola, an LRA commander who had killed a Sudanese trader, prompting another long-time bodyguard, Okot Odek, to defect.

Kony is a seasoned survivor, and his resilience should not be underestimated. Despite the recent threats to his authority, he has managed to prevent a majority of remaining LRA combatants from defecting. Loyal LRA commanders continue to carry out difficult missions on his command, including long treks to DRC’s Garamba National Park to poach elephants and collect ivory. Adding to violence perpetrated by Achaye’s group, Kony also ordered the forced recruitment of dozens of children during a surge of LRA attacks in eastern CAR in 2016, the group’s most violent since 2010.

The fracturing of the LRA’s command structure has important implications for the future of counter-LRA initiatives, emphasizing the need for improved civilian protection mechanisms and more effective defection messaging and reintegration programs. The decision of Achaye and his followers to remain active and continue targeting civilians despite being independent of Kony tests long-held assumptions that killing or capturing the LRA leader would lead to a swift dissolution of the rebel group. Unless defection messaging and reintegration programs targeting LRA combatants improve, Kony’s death or capture may instead lead to the creation of more LRA splinter groups that threaten civilians in eastern CAR and northern DRC.

Ugandan troops deployed in eastern CAR have led counter-LRA operations in recent years with substantial US support, including President Barack Obama’s deployment of dozens of US Special Forces advisers in 2011. Ugandan and US military offensives and defection messaging have helped reduce the number of LRA combatants from approximately 400 in 2010 to less than 150 today, but the effectiveness of military operations and the pace of LRA combatant defections has waned considerably since mid-2014.

The future of the US–Ugandan counter-LRA partnership is also in flux. The Ugandan military is the only force in the region currently capable of pursuing Kony and the LRA, but Ugandan officials have announced plans to withdraw their troops from eastern CAR in 2017. President Obama made his counter-LRA strategy a priority within his broader agenda in Africa, but it is unclear whether the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump will reauthorize the deployment of US military advisers or continue funding defection messaging initiatives. Should the Ugandan and US governments scale back their counter-LRA efforts, more pressure will be placed on national militaries and UN peacekeeping missions in CAR and DRC to protect civilians from the LRA, a responsibility they are currently ill-prepared to assume.

​The splintering of the LRA, while undermining its chances of long-term survival, makes the group a more dangerous menace to civilians in the short-term. Whether the LRA is soon disbanded or is able to sustain itself—or even rebuild into the future—will likely depend on whether the international community can exploit the fault lines within the LRA’s command structure so clearly exposed by Dominic Ongwen.

Pakistan: Crisis Response Bulletin, January 16, 2017 - Volume: 3, Issue: 03

Pakistan - ReliefWeb News - 1 hour 52 min ago
Source: Alhasan Systems Country: Pakistan

Highlights:

Heavy snowfall halts life in Balochistan, Chitral, hilly areas

Experts call for effective land management

Met department forecasts rain, snow to continue till Wednesday

Climate change: Pakistan at seventh among top 10 most vulnerable countries

Calamitous: Many disaster bodies exist on paper only

Senate unanimously condemns Modi’s anti-Pakistan statement

Govt moves for speedy trial of terrorists

Army chief rubbishes Afghanistan’s claim linking Pakistan with terror attacks

China tightens security along Pakistan’s border

Terrorist attacks down 29 percent in 2016 to 11 years low: report

Pakistan rejects US claims of terrorists safe havens in FATA

Do we really need military courts?

Traffic rules to be made part of schools’ syllabus

Govt raises petrol, diesel prices

Afghanistan: Afghanistan: Sustaining the Working Poor in Kabul Informal Settlements: An Evaluation of Solidarités International’s Vocational Training Programme

Afghanistan - ReliefWeb News - 1 hour 57 min ago
Source: Solidarités International, Samuel Hall Country: Afghanistan

Executive Summary

Internal displacement and the development of informal settlements in Afghanistan are key humanitarian and development challenges for policy makers to address, and growing concerns in an uncertain context of transition. This third research study by Samuel Hall1 on the living conditions and protection concerns of internally displaced persons (IDPs) contributes to the knowledge base required to mainstream protection in humanitarian and development priorities and interventions.

There are over 50 informal settlements in Kabul (KIS) where mainly returnee and IDP households live in extreme poverty and vulnerability. The working population in KIS can be identified as low-skilled and economically disadvantaged workers. In such a context, skills upgrading can be an effective policy intervention to strengthen the local integration of the working poor and can lead to poverty reduction in KIS. Thus, vocational training may lead to increased productivity and higher income next to the working poor in KIS, if it is designed based on the realities of the labour market in Kabul.

In this study, a labour market survey was conducted in Kabul based on a sample of 300 enterprises – mostly informal MSEs (micro & small enterprises) – to assess the labour demand in Kabul. Another survey of 275 households in 10 KIS (Kabul informal settlements) studied the labour supply. The results of the two surveys lead to the following findings:

• Skills for carpet weaving, repairing of consumer electronics and electric equipment, metalworking, carpentry and auto-mechanics are the most demanded in Kabul.
However, these skills are not the most profitable in the market in terms of income generation. Workers at large-scale manufacturing such as those in factories, and construction workers such as in masonry, tiling and painting are the best paid.

• Start-up capital is one of the major entry barriers for those individuals who would like to establish an enterprise of their own and engage in self-employment.
Handicrafts manufacturing, small-scale manufacturing and repairing services activities require relatively lower amounts of start-up capital. Among these, handicrafts manufacturing is the most profitable business.

• The start-up capital for a new enterprise should not only cover the purchasing cost of machineries and equipment, but should also include the running costs of the business for at least 3 months of operation until the enterprise becomes profitable.

• Possessing relevant technical skills, access to land, and knowledge of the market are the other prerequisites for establishing an enterprise.

• Households in KIS are living in extreme poverty. The survey results show that, on average, each household lives with a monthly income of Af. 6,855. This means that each individual in KIS has a daily income of USD 0.65 which is below the national poverty line of USD 0.85 per person per day. Moreover, 36% of households in KIS are identified as “vulnerable”.

• The majority of the working poor in KIS lack the “basic skills” such as literacy and numeracy, and this limits their access to stable jobs. Nearly half of male workers were engaged in agricultural and livestock activities before their displacement, and do not possess other skills that could be employed in the labour market in Kabul.

Less than 10% of the working-age men in KIS possess skills in construction activities, such as masonry. Female workers, however, largely possess skills in handicrafts manufacturing (49%) and tailoring (25%). But the lack of personal motivation, lack of knowledge of the market, and cultural restrictions prevent them from engaging in income-generating domestic activities.

• Around 85% of men and 18% of women in KIS are engaged in income-generating activities. Among those, 65% of men work as daily labourers, and 20% are engaged in self-employment activities such as retail trade/sales (including street vending) and irregular services activities (such as car washing). Underemployment (32%) and excessive working (33%) also widely affect the economically disadvantaged workers in the KIS.

Concluding on the results of the two surveys on labour demand and labour supply in Kabul, the report provides a list of suggested trades for Solidarités International’s vocational training programme, based on the following 7 criteria:

  1. Responsiveness to labour market demand

  2. Higher income generation

  3. Requirement of minimum literacy and numeracy

  4. Relevance for investments with small start-up capital

  5. Relevance for investments with high profitability

  6. Technically non-sophisticate

  7. Transferability and portability of skills

Trades and activities in Kabul were assessed based on the above criteria and, as a result, 17 trades - which qualified for 4 or more of the criteria – are suggested for integration in SI’s vocational training. These proposed trades are gardening, poultry, tailoring, embroidery, beading, carpet weaving, leather products manufacturing, metalworking, aluminium products manufacturing, carpentry, auto-mechanics and motorbike mechanics, masonry, plumbing, tiling, ceiling and wall designing using lime, painting, and manufacture of artefacts using semi-precious stones.

Furthermore, Solidarités International’s vocational training programme has been evaluated based on the efficiency of apprenticeship, design and incentives, and its effectiveness in terms of impact. The study finds that the efficiency of training is very low in an apprenticeship scheme. Enterprises who were engaged/partnered with Solidarités International to train the apprentices did not differ in approach and behaviour compared to their usual practice of apprenticeship. Most beneficiaries reported that they were asked to perform lots of auxiliary and irrelevant activities at the workplace in the beginning of the training, and were not able to learn the skills to an extent that would allow them to work as a skilled worker.
Our assessment also finds that the “food-for-training” approach in Kabul informal settlements fails to exclude individuals who lack personal motivation to work. Most individuals who participated in the vocational training were interested in the “food content” of it rather than learning the skills per se. The study found that a significant number of beneficiaries in the training programme are still unemployed, and this is partly due to the programme design (incentives for training, selection of individuals), adequacy of the trainings (length of training, quality of skills taught to trainees) and lack of post-training assistance. However, all beneficiaries who were interviewed were overall very satisfied with the training.

The study proposes a number of recommendations for further improvement and enhancement of SI’s vocational training programme. The following recommendations are discussed in the report:

  1. Complement apprenticeship with centre-based vocational training: Given the shortcomings and limitations of informal apprenticeship, we suggest that Solidarités International combine the informal apprenticeship with centre-based vocational training. This can be done either through (i) training of individuals initially in a training centre to learn the theoretical and basic practical skills of the trade, and then placing them in enterprises to both improve their practical skills and to acquire knowledge of the market; or through (ii) delivering the vocational training simultaneously with the apprenticeship. Though the latter approach is less costly, there is a risk of discrepancy between theoretical and practical lessons. However, vocational training on “gardening” and “poultry” could be best delivered and could be more cost effective under an apprenticeship scheme or in a form of domestic training.

  2. Adopt strict monitoring procedures to control the quality of apprenticeship: If Solidarités International opts for the second approach discussed above - i.e. placing the trainees for apprenticeship at enterprises and simultaneously providing them with vocational training on theoretical aspects – strict monitoring and evaluation (M&E) procedures are needed to ensure a high quality of apprenticeship. The study suggests that only skilled people, who would be experts in relevant trades, be hired as part of the monitoring team. The team should monitor both the quality and timeframe (progress) of the training.

  3. Exclude the food content from the vocational training: Solidarités International should forego of the “food-for-training” approach because it attracts individuals who are more interested in the food package rather than in learning the skills per se. The effectiveness of the vocational training is seriously undermined when the trainees do not have personal motivation to work after their graduation. Given the objectives of the project funded by CIAA, Solidarités International can split its current vocational training project into two parts.

a) The first part of the project will be devoted to the distribution of food to vulnerable households in KIS during the winter season.

b) The second part of the project will be to deliver vocational training to interested individuals in KIS during other periods of the year.

However, the two projects should be run entirely separately; selecting the same beneficiaries for the two projects should not be a fundamental criterion.

  1. Select individuals based on established indicators: With the implementation of the two earlier propositions, the selection of individuals becomes less complicated. In fact, exclusion of the food content will primarily attract those individuals who possess personal motivation to work. Once individuals at each KIS voluntarily enlist themselves for the vocational training, trainees can be selected based on their degree of household vulnerability. A number of 12 indicators have been proposed in this report to help SI’s team in the selection of individuals.

  2. Include training on basic skills and business development: Vocational training on technical skills almost always requires the trainees to possess basic skills, i.e. literacy and numeracy, communications & negotiation skills, etc. Therefore, it is imperative that trainees who are illiterate get literacy and numeracy courses, and develop their communications skills. In addition, training on integration into the labour market and on business establishment, planning and development should also be delivered in order to increase their employability in the post-training phase.

  3. Include men in the early and final stages of training for women: Some trades for women require active support of men at the household and community level. Poultry, tailoring, carpet weaving and leather product manufacturing require men to purchase material for women, to market their products or find clients, and to sell their products in the bazaar. Therefore, men – either one male member per household or a number of men at the community level – should be trained in relevant support activities.

  4. Market women’s products and provide marketing support: The study found that it is more likely that if more information sharing and awareness raising are done at the community level, women could receive men’s support. Therefore, Solidarités International can showcase the achievements of female trainees at the end of the training period, and should promote the products of female beneficiaries in the community or in the area to help them find potential customers. SI should consider linking female beneficiaries to local bazaar, and marketing their products next to potential informal or formal clients in the market.

  5. Launch community awareness raising and advocacy campaigns: Community awareness raising should be an integral part of the vocational training programme. It could strongly enhance the effectiveness of the programme. The objectives of the aware raising should be:

• To inform households on the extent to which skills acquisition and skills upgrading can have impact on their level of income and their lives;

• To inform households how skills acquisition can reduce their vulnerability and favour their re-integration into the society;

• To encourage working age men and women to participate in the vocational training for the sake of learning skills;

• To inform heads of households (men) on how vocational training for women can secure a stable source of income for the family;

• To inform heads of households that women can work domestically, without going out of the house, and earn money;

• To train men in how to support women in their domestic activities: buying materials, finding clients, and selling women’s products;

• To gain the overall support of community leaders and men for the engagement of women in stable, income-generating, domestic activities;

  1. Provide post-training support to beneficiaries, particularly provision of grant and business counselling: The effectiveness of the vocational training programme can be maximised if post-training support is offered to trainees. Though SI offered “toolkits” at the end of the training to trainees, other financial and non-financial support needs to be offered to trainees who would like to establish a business of their own. Financial support may be provided in the form of a “grant” that could finance the start-up capital and the running cost of the enterprise for 3 months. Non-financial support should include “business counselling” and logistics support. An important criterion is that SI’s team should be directly involved in the business planning, cost estimation, business development and logistics process of any business project proposed by an individual or a group of beneficiaries.

  2. Secure funding for informal micro-enterprises: In order to secure the budget for posttraining support activities, Solidarités International can look for other sources of financing next to donors and private sector actors. SI may facilitate a funding programme for informal micro-enterprises and coordinate the allocation of grants with involved donors in this regard. Another option is to seek “credit with favourable terms” next to microfinance institutions (MFIs) and commercial banks in Afghanistan. A partnership between involved NGOs and a group of MFIs to provide micro-credit at favourable terms can be most likely feasible. Solidarités International may coordinate such a project between other NGOs (such as DRC and Mercy Corps) and microfinance institutions.

Vocational training programmes could only be effective and translated into increased productivity and increased income if an enabling socio-economic environment is developed in the country, and if individual training programmes are coordinated under a national skills development strategy. Moreover, the Government of Afghanistan should gradually proceed with formalizing the economy, and skills upgrading can be one of the policy interventions. An adequate strategic coordination of skills upgrading programmes in the country may hopefully lead to better results and higher impact. It is also important that the objectives of skills upgrading programmes are integrated with the poverty reduction strategy adopted in Afghanistan.

Finally, finding durable solutions to displacement issues in the country has to be a nationally-owned process, led by the Government of Afghanistan. Recent efforts by the GoA for the development of a National IDP Policy are much welcomed in this process. This research calls for the mainstreaming of livelihood activities and vocational training into such a policy. The livelihoods initiatives of Solidarités International, supported by international donors, as well as efforts led by DRC, CEDO, Zardozi and other NGOs, will have to be accounted for in the development of this policy to adopt a specific understanding of the possibilities of urban-based and rural livelihoods programming for displaced communities seeking opportunities for skills development and employment and, ultimately, for local integration.

Afghanistan: Afghanistan: Sustaining the Working Poor in Kabul Informal Settlements: An Evaluation of Solidarités International’s Vocational Training Programme

Afghanistan - ReliefWeb News - 1 hour 57 min ago
Source: Solidarités International, Samuel Hall Country: Afghanistan

Executive Summary

Internal displacement and the development of informal settlements in Afghanistan are key humanitarian and development challenges for policy makers to address, and growing concerns in an uncertain context of transition. This third research study by Samuel Hall1 on the living conditions and protection concerns of internally displaced persons (IDPs) contributes to the knowledge base required to mainstream protection in humanitarian and development priorities and interventions.

There are over 50 informal settlements in Kabul (KIS) where mainly returnee and IDP households live in extreme poverty and vulnerability. The working population in KIS can be identified as low-skilled and economically disadvantaged workers. In such a context, skills upgrading can be an effective policy intervention to strengthen the local integration of the working poor and can lead to poverty reduction in KIS. Thus, vocational training may lead to increased productivity and higher income next to the working poor in KIS, if it is designed based on the realities of the labour market in Kabul.

In this study, a labour market survey was conducted in Kabul based on a sample of 300 enterprises – mostly informal MSEs (micro & small enterprises) – to assess the labour demand in Kabul. Another survey of 275 households in 10 KIS (Kabul informal settlements) studied the labour supply. The results of the two surveys lead to the following findings:

• Skills for carpet weaving, repairing of consumer electronics and electric equipment, metalworking, carpentry and auto-mechanics are the most demanded in Kabul.
However, these skills are not the most profitable in the market in terms of income generation. Workers at large-scale manufacturing such as those in factories, and construction workers such as in masonry, tiling and painting are the best paid.

• Start-up capital is one of the major entry barriers for those individuals who would like to establish an enterprise of their own and engage in self-employment.
Handicrafts manufacturing, small-scale manufacturing and repairing services activities require relatively lower amounts of start-up capital. Among these, handicrafts manufacturing is the most profitable business.

• The start-up capital for a new enterprise should not only cover the purchasing cost of machineries and equipment, but should also include the running costs of the business for at least 3 months of operation until the enterprise becomes profitable.

• Possessing relevant technical skills, access to land, and knowledge of the market are the other prerequisites for establishing an enterprise.

• Households in KIS are living in extreme poverty. The survey results show that, on average, each household lives with a monthly income of Af. 6,855. This means that each individual in KIS has a daily income of USD 0.65 which is below the national poverty line of USD 0.85 per person per day. Moreover, 36% of households in KIS are identified as “vulnerable”.

• The majority of the working poor in KIS lack the “basic skills” such as literacy and numeracy, and this limits their access to stable jobs. Nearly half of male workers were engaged in agricultural and livestock activities before their displacement, and do not possess other skills that could be employed in the labour market in Kabul.

Less than 10% of the working-age men in KIS possess skills in construction activities, such as masonry. Female workers, however, largely possess skills in handicrafts manufacturing (49%) and tailoring (25%). But the lack of personal motivation, lack of knowledge of the market, and cultural restrictions prevent them from engaging in income-generating domestic activities.

• Around 85% of men and 18% of women in KIS are engaged in income-generating activities. Among those, 65% of men work as daily labourers, and 20% are engaged in self-employment activities such as retail trade/sales (including street vending) and irregular services activities (such as car washing). Underemployment (32%) and excessive working (33%) also widely affect the economically disadvantaged workers in the KIS.

Concluding on the results of the two surveys on labour demand and labour supply in Kabul, the report provides a list of suggested trades for Solidarités International’s vocational training programme, based on the following 7 criteria:

  1. Responsiveness to labour market demand

  2. Higher income generation

  3. Requirement of minimum literacy and numeracy

  4. Relevance for investments with small start-up capital

  5. Relevance for investments with high profitability

  6. Technically non-sophisticate

  7. Transferability and portability of skills

Trades and activities in Kabul were assessed based on the above criteria and, as a result, 17 trades - which qualified for 4 or more of the criteria – are suggested for integration in SI’s vocational training. These proposed trades are gardening, poultry, tailoring, embroidery, beading, carpet weaving, leather products manufacturing, metalworking, aluminium products manufacturing, carpentry, auto-mechanics and motorbike mechanics, masonry, plumbing, tiling, ceiling and wall designing using lime, painting, and manufacture of artefacts using semi-precious stones.

Furthermore, Solidarités International’s vocational training programme has been evaluated based on the efficiency of apprenticeship, design and incentives, and its effectiveness in terms of impact. The study finds that the efficiency of training is very low in an apprenticeship scheme. Enterprises who were engaged/partnered with Solidarités International to train the apprentices did not differ in approach and behaviour compared to their usual practice of apprenticeship. Most beneficiaries reported that they were asked to perform lots of auxiliary and irrelevant activities at the workplace in the beginning of the training, and were not able to learn the skills to an extent that would allow them to work as a skilled worker.
Our assessment also finds that the “food-for-training” approach in Kabul informal settlements fails to exclude individuals who lack personal motivation to work. Most individuals who participated in the vocational training were interested in the “food content” of it rather than learning the skills per se. The study found that a significant number of beneficiaries in the training programme are still unemployed, and this is partly due to the programme design (incentives for training, selection of individuals), adequacy of the trainings (length of training, quality of skills taught to trainees) and lack of post-training assistance. However, all beneficiaries who were interviewed were overall very satisfied with the training.

The study proposes a number of recommendations for further improvement and enhancement of SI’s vocational training programme. The following recommendations are discussed in the report:

  1. Complement apprenticeship with centre-based vocational training: Given the shortcomings and limitations of informal apprenticeship, we suggest that Solidarités International combine the informal apprenticeship with centre-based vocational training. This can be done either through (i) training of individuals initially in a training centre to learn the theoretical and basic practical skills of the trade, and then placing them in enterprises to both improve their practical skills and to acquire knowledge of the market; or through (ii) delivering the vocational training simultaneously with the apprenticeship. Though the latter approach is less costly, there is a risk of discrepancy between theoretical and practical lessons. However, vocational training on “gardening” and “poultry” could be best delivered and could be more cost effective under an apprenticeship scheme or in a form of domestic training.

  2. Adopt strict monitoring procedures to control the quality of apprenticeship: If Solidarités International opts for the second approach discussed above - i.e. placing the trainees for apprenticeship at enterprises and simultaneously providing them with vocational training on theoretical aspects – strict monitoring and evaluation (M&E) procedures are needed to ensure a high quality of apprenticeship. The study suggests that only skilled people, who would be experts in relevant trades, be hired as part of the monitoring team. The team should monitor both the quality and timeframe (progress) of the training.

  3. Exclude the food content from the vocational training: Solidarités International should forego of the “food-for-training” approach because it attracts individuals who are more interested in the food package rather than in learning the skills per se. The effectiveness of the vocational training is seriously undermined when the trainees do not have personal motivation to work after their graduation. Given the objectives of the project funded by CIAA, Solidarités International can split its current vocational training project into two parts.

a) The first part of the project will be devoted to the distribution of food to vulnerable households in KIS during the winter season.

b) The second part of the project will be to deliver vocational training to interested individuals in KIS during other periods of the year.

However, the two projects should be run entirely separately; selecting the same beneficiaries for the two projects should not be a fundamental criterion.

  1. Select individuals based on established indicators: With the implementation of the two earlier propositions, the selection of individuals becomes less complicated. In fact, exclusion of the food content will primarily attract those individuals who possess personal motivation to work. Once individuals at each KIS voluntarily enlist themselves for the vocational training, trainees can be selected based on their degree of household vulnerability. A number of 12 indicators have been proposed in this report to help SI’s team in the selection of individuals.

  2. Include training on basic skills and business development: Vocational training on technical skills almost always requires the trainees to possess basic skills, i.e. literacy and numeracy, communications & negotiation skills, etc. Therefore, it is imperative that trainees who are illiterate get literacy and numeracy courses, and develop their communications skills. In addition, training on integration into the labour market and on business establishment, planning and development should also be delivered in order to increase their employability in the post-training phase.

  3. Include men in the early and final stages of training for women: Some trades for women require active support of men at the household and community level. Poultry, tailoring, carpet weaving and leather product manufacturing require men to purchase material for women, to market their products or find clients, and to sell their products in the bazaar. Therefore, men – either one male member per household or a number of men at the community level – should be trained in relevant support activities.

  4. Market women’s products and provide marketing support: The study found that it is more likely that if more information sharing and awareness raising are done at the community level, women could receive men’s support. Therefore, Solidarités International can showcase the achievements of female trainees at the end of the training period, and should promote the products of female beneficiaries in the community or in the area to help them find potential customers. SI should consider linking female beneficiaries to local bazaar, and marketing their products next to potential informal or formal clients in the market.

  5. Launch community awareness raising and advocacy campaigns: Community awareness raising should be an integral part of the vocational training programme. It could strongly enhance the effectiveness of the programme. The objectives of the aware raising should be:

• To inform households on the extent to which skills acquisition and skills upgrading can have impact on their level of income and their lives;

• To inform households how skills acquisition can reduce their vulnerability and favour their re-integration into the society;

• To encourage working age men and women to participate in the vocational training for the sake of learning skills;

• To inform heads of households (men) on how vocational training for women can secure a stable source of income for the family;

• To inform heads of households that women can work domestically, without going out of the house, and earn money;

• To train men in how to support women in their domestic activities: buying materials, finding clients, and selling women’s products;

• To gain the overall support of community leaders and men for the engagement of women in stable, income-generating, domestic activities;

  1. Provide post-training support to beneficiaries, particularly provision of grant and business counselling: The effectiveness of the vocational training programme can be maximised if post-training support is offered to trainees. Though SI offered “toolkits” at the end of the training to trainees, other financial and non-financial support needs to be offered to trainees who would like to establish a business of their own. Financial support may be provided in the form of a “grant” that could finance the start-up capital and the running cost of the enterprise for 3 months. Non-financial support should include “business counselling” and logistics support. An important criterion is that SI’s team should be directly involved in the business planning, cost estimation, business development and logistics process of any business project proposed by an individual or a group of beneficiaries.

  2. Secure funding for informal micro-enterprises: In order to secure the budget for posttraining support activities, Solidarités International can look for other sources of financing next to donors and private sector actors. SI may facilitate a funding programme for informal micro-enterprises and coordinate the allocation of grants with involved donors in this regard. Another option is to seek “credit with favourable terms” next to microfinance institutions (MFIs) and commercial banks in Afghanistan. A partnership between involved NGOs and a group of MFIs to provide micro-credit at favourable terms can be most likely feasible. Solidarités International may coordinate such a project between other NGOs (such as DRC and Mercy Corps) and microfinance institutions.

Vocational training programmes could only be effective and translated into increased productivity and increased income if an enabling socio-economic environment is developed in the country, and if individual training programmes are coordinated under a national skills development strategy. Moreover, the Government of Afghanistan should gradually proceed with formalizing the economy, and skills upgrading can be one of the policy interventions. An adequate strategic coordination of skills upgrading programmes in the country may hopefully lead to better results and higher impact. It is also important that the objectives of skills upgrading programmes are integrated with the poverty reduction strategy adopted in Afghanistan.

Finally, finding durable solutions to displacement issues in the country has to be a nationally-owned process, led by the Government of Afghanistan. Recent efforts by the GoA for the development of a National IDP Policy are much welcomed in this process. This research calls for the mainstreaming of livelihood activities and vocational training into such a policy. The livelihoods initiatives of Solidarités International, supported by international donors, as well as efforts led by DRC, CEDO, Zardozi and other NGOs, will have to be accounted for in the development of this policy to adopt a specific understanding of the possibilities of urban-based and rural livelihoods programming for displaced communities seeking opportunities for skills development and employment and, ultimately, for local integration.

World: L'ONU alerte sur la fragilisation des droits de l'enfant dans un contexte de turbulences

Iraq - ReliefWeb News - 2 hours 20 min ago
Source: UN News Service Country: Afghanistan, Barbados, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Estonia, Georgia, Iraq, Malawi, Serbia, World

16 janvier 2017 – A l'ouverture des travaux de la 74e session du Comité des droits de l'enfant lundi à Genève, la Haute-Commissaire adjointe des Nations Unies aux droits de l'homme, Kate Gilmore, a attiré l'attention sur l'impact dévastateur de l'aggravation des migrations internationales et de la crise des réfugiés sur les droits de millions d'enfants à travers le monde.

« Un migrant sur huit est un enfant », a rappelé Mme Gilmore, avant d'ajouter que 26 millions d'enfants sont déplacés à cause des conflits.

L'intégration d'une approche des droits de l'enfant dans la planification et la mise en œuvre des politiques de santé pour les enfants et des lois intéressant la justice juvénile est par ailleurs jugée insuffisante par la Haut-Commissaire adjointe. « Tout ceci empêche les enfants et les adolescents d'accéder à une vie meilleure », a souligné Mme Gilmore.

La numéro deux du Haut-Commissariat des Nations Unies aux droits de l'homme (HCDH) a souligné que le monde comptait la plus importante génération d'adolescents jamais connue. « Cette génération d'aujourd'hui est celle du développement durable », a-t-elle rappelé. « Elle constitue le plan de succession de ce monde alors que beaucoup d'enfants se retrouvent privés de leurs droits et font face à de nombreuses discriminations ».

220 millions d'enfants vivent dans des zones de conflits

Le Comité s'est joint à d'autres experts pour demander aux gouvernements d'assurer la mise en œuvre de la Convention la plus ratifiée dans le monde, s'agissant plus particulièrement des enfants les plus vulnérables: les filles, les enfants ayant un handicap, les enfants vivant dans la pauvreté, les enfants des minorités et les enfants victimes de violence.

Le Président du Comité des droits de l'enfant, Benyam Dawit Mezmur, a également rappelé qu'environ 220 millions d'enfants vivent dans des zones de conflits, notamment en Afghanistan, en République centrafricaine, en République démocratique du Congo et en Iraq. Dans ces zones de conflits, un enfant sur deux souffre de problèmes de croissance. Le terrorisme et les politiques de lutte contre le terrorisme ont des impacts négatifs sur les droits de l'enfant, a en outre rappelé le Président. Il a ajouté que la crise des migrations et des réfugiés a déraciné, à travers le monde, près de 50 millions d'enfants qui sont aujourd'hui vulnérables à la violence et à l'exploitation.

M. Mezmur a d'autre part souligné que le grand nombre d'incidents intervenus depuis la dernière session concernant les droits de l'enfant rappelle que la Convention joue un rôle plus important aujourd'hui encore que par le passé.

Lors de cette 74e session qui durera jusqu'au 3 février 2017, le Comité examinera successivement les rapports présentés par les États suivants au titre de la Convention: la Barbade, l'Estonie, la République démocratique du Congo, la République centrafricaine, la Serbie, la Géorgie et le Malawi. Il examinera également les rapports soumis par la République démocratique du Congo et le Malawi au titre du Protocole facultatif sur la vente d'enfants, la prostitution des enfants et la pornographie mettant en scène des enfants, ainsi que les rapports de l'Estonie et du Malawi au titre du Protocole facultatif concernant l'implication des enfants dans les conflits armés.

World: L'ONU alerte sur la fragilisation des droits de l'enfant dans un contexte de turbulences

DRC - ReliefWeb News - 2 hours 20 min ago
Source: UN News Service Country: Afghanistan, Barbados, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Estonia, Georgia, Iraq, Malawi, Serbia, World

16 janvier 2017 – A l'ouverture des travaux de la 74e session du Comité des droits de l'enfant lundi à Genève, la Haute-Commissaire adjointe des Nations Unies aux droits de l'homme, Kate Gilmore, a attiré l'attention sur l'impact dévastateur de l'aggravation des migrations internationales et de la crise des réfugiés sur les droits de millions d'enfants à travers le monde.

« Un migrant sur huit est un enfant », a rappelé Mme Gilmore, avant d'ajouter que 26 millions d'enfants sont déplacés à cause des conflits.

L'intégration d'une approche des droits de l'enfant dans la planification et la mise en œuvre des politiques de santé pour les enfants et des lois intéressant la justice juvénile est par ailleurs jugée insuffisante par la Haut-Commissaire adjointe. « Tout ceci empêche les enfants et les adolescents d'accéder à une vie meilleure », a souligné Mme Gilmore.

La numéro deux du Haut-Commissariat des Nations Unies aux droits de l'homme (HCDH) a souligné que le monde comptait la plus importante génération d'adolescents jamais connue. « Cette génération d'aujourd'hui est celle du développement durable », a-t-elle rappelé. « Elle constitue le plan de succession de ce monde alors que beaucoup d'enfants se retrouvent privés de leurs droits et font face à de nombreuses discriminations ».

220 millions d'enfants vivent dans des zones de conflits

Le Comité s'est joint à d'autres experts pour demander aux gouvernements d'assurer la mise en œuvre de la Convention la plus ratifiée dans le monde, s'agissant plus particulièrement des enfants les plus vulnérables: les filles, les enfants ayant un handicap, les enfants vivant dans la pauvreté, les enfants des minorités et les enfants victimes de violence.

Le Président du Comité des droits de l'enfant, Benyam Dawit Mezmur, a également rappelé qu'environ 220 millions d'enfants vivent dans des zones de conflits, notamment en Afghanistan, en République centrafricaine, en République démocratique du Congo et en Iraq. Dans ces zones de conflits, un enfant sur deux souffre de problèmes de croissance. Le terrorisme et les politiques de lutte contre le terrorisme ont des impacts négatifs sur les droits de l'enfant, a en outre rappelé le Président. Il a ajouté que la crise des migrations et des réfugiés a déraciné, à travers le monde, près de 50 millions d'enfants qui sont aujourd'hui vulnérables à la violence et à l'exploitation.

M. Mezmur a d'autre part souligné que le grand nombre d'incidents intervenus depuis la dernière session concernant les droits de l'enfant rappelle que la Convention joue un rôle plus important aujourd'hui encore que par le passé.

Lors de cette 74e session qui durera jusqu'au 3 février 2017, le Comité examinera successivement les rapports présentés par les États suivants au titre de la Convention: la Barbade, l'Estonie, la République démocratique du Congo, la République centrafricaine, la Serbie, la Géorgie et le Malawi. Il examinera également les rapports soumis par la République démocratique du Congo et le Malawi au titre du Protocole facultatif sur la vente d'enfants, la prostitution des enfants et la pornographie mettant en scène des enfants, ainsi que les rapports de l'Estonie et du Malawi au titre du Protocole facultatif concernant l'implication des enfants dans les conflits armés.

World: L'ONU alerte sur la fragilisation des droits de l'enfant dans un contexte de turbulences

CAR - ReliefWeb News - 2 hours 20 min ago
Source: UN News Service Country: Afghanistan, Barbados, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Estonia, Georgia, Iraq, Malawi, Serbia, World

16 janvier 2017 – A l'ouverture des travaux de la 74e session du Comité des droits de l'enfant lundi à Genève, la Haute-Commissaire adjointe des Nations Unies aux droits de l'homme, Kate Gilmore, a attiré l'attention sur l'impact dévastateur de l'aggravation des migrations internationales et de la crise des réfugiés sur les droits de millions d'enfants à travers le monde.

« Un migrant sur huit est un enfant », a rappelé Mme Gilmore, avant d'ajouter que 26 millions d'enfants sont déplacés à cause des conflits.

L'intégration d'une approche des droits de l'enfant dans la planification et la mise en œuvre des politiques de santé pour les enfants et des lois intéressant la justice juvénile est par ailleurs jugée insuffisante par la Haut-Commissaire adjointe. « Tout ceci empêche les enfants et les adolescents d'accéder à une vie meilleure », a souligné Mme Gilmore.

La numéro deux du Haut-Commissariat des Nations Unies aux droits de l'homme (HCDH) a souligné que le monde comptait la plus importante génération d'adolescents jamais connue. « Cette génération d'aujourd'hui est celle du développement durable », a-t-elle rappelé. « Elle constitue le plan de succession de ce monde alors que beaucoup d'enfants se retrouvent privés de leurs droits et font face à de nombreuses discriminations ».

220 millions d'enfants vivent dans des zones de conflits

Le Comité s'est joint à d'autres experts pour demander aux gouvernements d'assurer la mise en œuvre de la Convention la plus ratifiée dans le monde, s'agissant plus particulièrement des enfants les plus vulnérables: les filles, les enfants ayant un handicap, les enfants vivant dans la pauvreté, les enfants des minorités et les enfants victimes de violence.

Le Président du Comité des droits de l'enfant, Benyam Dawit Mezmur, a également rappelé qu'environ 220 millions d'enfants vivent dans des zones de conflits, notamment en Afghanistan, en République centrafricaine, en République démocratique du Congo et en Iraq. Dans ces zones de conflits, un enfant sur deux souffre de problèmes de croissance. Le terrorisme et les politiques de lutte contre le terrorisme ont des impacts négatifs sur les droits de l'enfant, a en outre rappelé le Président. Il a ajouté que la crise des migrations et des réfugiés a déraciné, à travers le monde, près de 50 millions d'enfants qui sont aujourd'hui vulnérables à la violence et à l'exploitation.

M. Mezmur a d'autre part souligné que le grand nombre d'incidents intervenus depuis la dernière session concernant les droits de l'enfant rappelle que la Convention joue un rôle plus important aujourd'hui encore que par le passé.

Lors de cette 74e session qui durera jusqu'au 3 février 2017, le Comité examinera successivement les rapports présentés par les États suivants au titre de la Convention: la Barbade, l'Estonie, la République démocratique du Congo, la République centrafricaine, la Serbie, la Géorgie et le Malawi. Il examinera également les rapports soumis par la République démocratique du Congo et le Malawi au titre du Protocole facultatif sur la vente d'enfants, la prostitution des enfants et la pornographie mettant en scène des enfants, ainsi que les rapports de l'Estonie et du Malawi au titre du Protocole facultatif concernant l'implication des enfants dans les conflits armés.

World: L'ONU alerte sur la fragilisation des droits de l'enfant dans un contexte de turbulences

Afghanistan - ReliefWeb News - 2 hours 20 min ago
Source: UN News Service Country: Afghanistan, Barbados, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Estonia, Georgia, Iraq, Malawi, Serbia, World

16 janvier 2017 – A l'ouverture des travaux de la 74e session du Comité des droits de l'enfant lundi à Genève, la Haute-Commissaire adjointe des Nations Unies aux droits de l'homme, Kate Gilmore, a attiré l'attention sur l'impact dévastateur de l'aggravation des migrations internationales et de la crise des réfugiés sur les droits de millions d'enfants à travers le monde.

« Un migrant sur huit est un enfant », a rappelé Mme Gilmore, avant d'ajouter que 26 millions d'enfants sont déplacés à cause des conflits.

L'intégration d'une approche des droits de l'enfant dans la planification et la mise en œuvre des politiques de santé pour les enfants et des lois intéressant la justice juvénile est par ailleurs jugée insuffisante par la Haut-Commissaire adjointe. « Tout ceci empêche les enfants et les adolescents d'accéder à une vie meilleure », a souligné Mme Gilmore.

La numéro deux du Haut-Commissariat des Nations Unies aux droits de l'homme (HCDH) a souligné que le monde comptait la plus importante génération d'adolescents jamais connue. « Cette génération d'aujourd'hui est celle du développement durable », a-t-elle rappelé. « Elle constitue le plan de succession de ce monde alors que beaucoup d'enfants se retrouvent privés de leurs droits et font face à de nombreuses discriminations ».

220 millions d'enfants vivent dans des zones de conflits

Le Comité s'est joint à d'autres experts pour demander aux gouvernements d'assurer la mise en œuvre de la Convention la plus ratifiée dans le monde, s'agissant plus particulièrement des enfants les plus vulnérables: les filles, les enfants ayant un handicap, les enfants vivant dans la pauvreté, les enfants des minorités et les enfants victimes de violence.

Le Président du Comité des droits de l'enfant, Benyam Dawit Mezmur, a également rappelé qu'environ 220 millions d'enfants vivent dans des zones de conflits, notamment en Afghanistan, en République centrafricaine, en République démocratique du Congo et en Iraq. Dans ces zones de conflits, un enfant sur deux souffre de problèmes de croissance. Le terrorisme et les politiques de lutte contre le terrorisme ont des impacts négatifs sur les droits de l'enfant, a en outre rappelé le Président. Il a ajouté que la crise des migrations et des réfugiés a déraciné, à travers le monde, près de 50 millions d'enfants qui sont aujourd'hui vulnérables à la violence et à l'exploitation.

M. Mezmur a d'autre part souligné que le grand nombre d'incidents intervenus depuis la dernière session concernant les droits de l'enfant rappelle que la Convention joue un rôle plus important aujourd'hui encore que par le passé.

Lors de cette 74e session qui durera jusqu'au 3 février 2017, le Comité examinera successivement les rapports présentés par les États suivants au titre de la Convention: la Barbade, l'Estonie, la République démocratique du Congo, la République centrafricaine, la Serbie, la Géorgie et le Malawi. Il examinera également les rapports soumis par la République démocratique du Congo et le Malawi au titre du Protocole facultatif sur la vente d'enfants, la prostitution des enfants et la pornographie mettant en scène des enfants, ainsi que les rapports de l'Estonie et du Malawi au titre du Protocole facultatif concernant l'implication des enfants dans les conflits armés.

Democratic Republic of the Congo: RDC : l'ONU s'engage à aider à trouver des solutions durables pour les éléments sud-soudanais désarmés

DRC - ReliefWeb News - 2 hours 33 min ago
Source: UN News Service Country: Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan

16 janvier 2017 – L'Envoyé spécial des Nations Unies pour la région des Grands Lacs, Said Djinnit, et le Représentant spécial du Secrétaire général pour la République démocratique du Congo (RDC), Maman Sidikou, ont entamé le 12 janvier une série de consultations conjointes à Goma et à Kinshasa pour examiner la question de la présence d'éléments sud-soudanais de l'Armée populaire de libération du Soudan dans l'opposition (APLS – O) dans l'est de la RDC.

A Goma, en plus de recevoir des exposés d'experts humanitaires et juridiques, les responsables de l'ONU ont rencontré le gouverneur du Nord-Kivu, Julien Paluku, des anciens combattants de l'APLS-O hébergés dans le camp de Munigi, a précisé la Mission des Nations Unies en RDC (MONUSCO) dans un communiqué de presse publié lundi.

M. Paluku a exprimé de graves préoccupations quant au risque de déstabilisation accrue de la situation au Nord-Kivu si les éléments de l'APLS-O ne sont pas réinstallés ailleurs le plus tôt possible. Il a demandé le soutien des Nations Unies pour faciliter le transfert de ces éléments sans plus tarder.

Les éléments de l'APLS-O ont exprimé leur profonde gratitude à la MONUSCO pour ses efforts et son soutien. En renonçant à toute intention de reprendre les combats, ils ont demandé le soutien de l'ONU pour retrouver leurs familles dans la région.

MM. Djinnit et Sidikou ont réitéré l'engagement des Nations Unies à aider à trouver des solutions concernant la présence de ces éléments, en coopération et en consultation avec les autorités de la RDC et des autres pays de la région, l'Autorité intergouvernementale pour le développement (IGAD) et l'Union africaine.

« L'ONU est déterminée à travailler avec le gouvernement de la RDC, les pays concernés de la région, l'IGAD et l'UA pour trouver des solutions durables pour ces éléments et soutenir la mise en œuvre de l'accord de paix au Soudan du Sud », a déclaré M. Djinnit. « Nous devons faire tout ce qui est possible pour éviter la propagation en RDC de la crise au Soudan du Sud, ce qui aurait un impact grave sur les populations qui vivent dans une région sur laquelle pèsent déjà les activités de nombreux groupes armés illégaux ».

A Kinshasa, les responsables de l'ONU ont rencontré plusieurs responsables gouvernementaux, avec lesquels ils ont convenu de créer un comité technique conjoint chargé d'élaborer des solutions pour la réinstallation des ex-combattants de l'APLS-O. Le comité devrait tenir sa première réunion le 18 janvier 2017.

« Je me réjouis de la décision du gouvernement de créer un comité technique, conjointement avec la MONUSCO, pour résoudre la question des éléments de l'APLS-O se trouvant sur des sites de la MONUSCO. Je suis persuadé que cela permettra d'approfondir la coopération de la Mission avec le gouvernement », a souligné M. Sidikou.

Pakistan: Accumulated Rainfall Map - Pakistan (January 16, 2017)

Pakistan - ReliefWeb News - 2 hours 35 min ago
Source: Alhasan Systems Country: Pakistan

QUETTA: Emergency has been declared on Sunday, January 15, 2017 in Balochistan as heavy snowfall continues for second day in different parts.
The ground contact of Quetta has been cut-off with Ziarat, Qilla Saifullah, Zhob, Loralai, Chaman, Bolan and Kalat. Two feet of snow, which is falling in patches, has been recorded so far in some areas of Quetta and three feet on the mountains of Ziarat and Kalat. Moreover, traffic on roads was blocked and Sibi-Guddu transmission line has also tripped due to which Quetta, Chaman, Mastung, Nushki, Dalbandin and other areas have been deprived of electricity. Business is completely shut down due to intense weather conditions and people are also facing transportation problems.

Pakistan: Accumulated Rainfall Map - Pakistan (January 16, 2017)

Pakistan - Maps - 2 hours 35 min ago
Source: Alhasan Systems Country: Pakistan

QUETTA: Emergency has been declared on Sunday, January 15, 2017 in Balochistan as heavy snowfall continues for second day in different parts.
The ground contact of Quetta has been cut-off with Ziarat, Qilla Saifullah, Zhob, Loralai, Chaman, Bolan and Kalat. Two feet of snow, which is falling in patches, has been recorded so far in some areas of Quetta and three feet on the mountains of Ziarat and Kalat. Moreover, traffic on roads was blocked and Sibi-Guddu transmission line has also tripped due to which Quetta, Chaman, Mastung, Nushki, Dalbandin and other areas have been deprived of electricity. Business is completely shut down due to intense weather conditions and people are also facing transportation problems.

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