ReliefWeb Latest Reports for Country Office

Ethiopia: Evaluation of the Pilot Project of Results-Based Aid in the Education Sector in Ethiopia

Ethiopia - ReliefWeb News - 10 hours 16 min ago
Source: Department for International Development Country: Ethiopia

Executive Summary

This report presents the results of an independent, three-year evaluation of a pilot project intended to improve access to and the quality of lower secondary education in Ethiopia through the use of resultsbased aid (RBA), an innovative approach to development. RBA is an aid partnership between a donor and a recipient government in which the disbursement of aid is tied to results achieved rather than activities completed or outputs produced. The amount of aid provided is directly related to the magnitude of the outcomes achieved.

Donors take a ‘hands-off’ approach and do not direct or specify how a project should be implemented or desired results achieved. Those decisions are left to the recipient. Consistent with the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, RBA seeks to enhance the ownership and responsibilities of partner governments, thus allowing them to decide how they will achieve national goals and objectives. By providing discretion on how outcomes are achieved, RBA seeks to encourage governments to innovate and develop cost-effective ways of achieving these outcomes.

The United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) initiated an RBA pilot in collaboration with Ethiopia’s Ministry of Education (MoE) in early 2012. The pilot sought to enhance access to and the quality of lower secondary education, which includes grades 9 and 10, among boys and girls and especially among students in Ethiopia’s four designated emerging regions, which are less developed than the country’s seven non-emerging regions. In particular, the RBA pilot was intended to increase the number of grade 10 students sitting for and passing the Ethiopian General Secondary Education Certificate Examination (EGSECE) - 10th Grade National Examination in 2012, 2013, and 2014.

To encourage these increases, DFID offered the Government of Ethiopia (GoE) up to £10 million per year for each of three years for increases in the number of students sitting for and passing the EGSECE. The amounts to be provided per additional sitter and passer are shown in Table E.1, with higher amounts for girls than for boys and for students in the emerging regions. Reward payments would be based on the numbers of additional sitters and passers within each region compared with the number of sitters and passers in each region the previous year, thus using an ‘adjusting’ or rolling baseline1 . The reward payments for additional sitters would be provided irrespective of their performance on the EGSECE.

If the full incentive of £10 million was earned each year, DFID’s modelling estimated that the following increases would occur – above and beyond what would have occurred in the absence of the pilot:

  • 129,000 more girls and 55,000 more boys would sit for the EGSECE in the non-emerging regions;
  • 100,000 more girls and 70,000 more boys would pass the examination in these regions;
  • 3,500 more girls and 3,200 more boys would sit for the examination in the emerging regions; and,
  • 2,600 more girls and 4,500 more boys would pass the examination in these regions.

Syrian Arab Republic: Syria crisis response summary, 8th December 2016

Iraq - ReliefWeb News - 10 hours 33 min ago
Source: Department for International Development Country: Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

As the brutal conflict continues in Syria, millions of people continue to be in need. Hundreds of thousands have been killed in the conflict between the Assad regime, extremist groups and moderate opposition groups. In response to the crisis, the UK has committed £2.3 billion since 2012. This includes allocations to over 30 implementing partners (including United Nations agencies, international non-governmental organisations and the Red Cross) and is helping to meet the immediate needs of vulnerable people in Syria and of refugees in the region. In addition, £46 million from the UK Conflict, Stability and Security Fund has been allocated by DFID to support local capacity and build stability. Our support is reaching millions of people and has saved lives in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt.

Indonesia: Form 2 - Situation Update No. 3: Aceh Pidie Jaya Earthquake, Saturday, 10 December 2016 12:30 hrs (UTC+7)

Indonesia - ReliefWeb News - 11 hours 1 min ago
Source: Association of Southeast Asian Nations Country: Indonesia

1. HIGHLIGHTS

  • The President of Indonesia, Mr. Joko Widodo arrived in Pidie Jaya on Friday, 9 December via helicopter. He visited the hospital, the mosque in the district and the refugee camps. He instructed the National Disaster Management Authority of Indonesia (BNPB), the related ministries and local government to provide technical assistance and support during the emergency response and recovery operations.

  • A Command post has been activated lead by the Vice Regent of Pidie Jaya. A media center has also been established at the command center.

  • As of 06:00 am today, the BNPB reported that the death toll is 101 people, mostly from Pidie Jaya District. A total of 139 individuals were severely injured and 718 sustained minor injuries. The earthquake’s impact on infrastructure resulted to 2,992 houses being heavily damaged, and 65 shop-houses, 64 mosques, 1 school and 1 hospital having damages of varying degrees.

  • The Indonesian Government has declared that the response operations to the disaster is within the nation’s capacity.

  • Urgent needs identified remain to be food and clothing, medical equipment, medicines and medical services (orthopaedic specialists, medical doctors, paramedics), medical tents, portable toilets, shelter, and heavy equipment.

  • Four AHA Centre Staff is in the area in coordination with BNPB. In addition, four ASEAN-ERAT members have been mobilised to participate in the response operations, integrating with the Government assessment teams.

  • In solidarity and spirit of One ASEAN One Response, the relief items from the Disaster Emergency Logistic System of ASEAN (DELSA) stockpile, in-line with the identified needs and accepted by the BNPB, is set to tentatively arrive today.

2. SUMMARY OF DISASTER EVENT

A 6.5 M Earthquake shook Sigli City, Aceh Province, Indonesia at 05:03 (UTC +7) with a shallow depth of 10 km. No Tsunami warning was issued. The earthquake was felt strongly in Pidie, Pidie Jaya and the surrounding districts. Based on the National Statistics Bureau (BP), the total population in Pidie District is around 425,974 while in Pidie Jaya District, it is 151,472. Based on the record of the ASEAN Disaster Information Network (ADINet), the area had been affected by earthquakes in the recent past. In October 2013, a 5.6 M earthquake shook Pidie District.

As of 06:00 am, the National Disaster Management Authority of Indonesia of BNPB reported that the death toll is 101, with most of the casualties coming from Pidie Jaya District. A total of 139 people were severely injured and 718 sustained minor injuries. The earthquake’s impact on infrastructure resulted to some 2,992 houses being heavily damaged, and 65 shop-house, 64 mosques, 1 school and 1 hospital incurring damages of varying degrees.

Somalia: Somali intelligence agency officials set up harmonized screening criteria for former al-Shabaab combatants

Somalia - ReliefWeb News - 11 hours 35 min ago
Source: United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia Country: Somalia

A two-day workshop on the harmonisation of screening processes for low- and high-risk ex-Al Shabaab combatants opened in the Somali capital today.

The workshop aims to harmonise screening criteria among agents of the National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) in the states of Puntland, Galmudug, HirShabelle, Jubbaland and South West as well as Banaadir region

“We as NISA are always improving the safety of the country. We might have hiccups like every other agency has, but at the end of the day, the main thing is the defector programme and how we can best utilise it,” said Amin Haji, the Deputy Director General of NISA, during the official opening of the workshop.

Participants will also share best practices to employ in the national disengagement programme for defectors and share experiences and opportunities in the screening of ex-combatants.

Mr. Haji said NISA is putting emphasis on the defector programme in order to support the reintegration of former Al-Shabaab fighters.

“How we screen and how we offer a different livelihood for those who have been misled is key,” Mr. Haji noted.

The workshop was organized by the Federal Ministry of Internal Security (MoIS) with support from the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) Section of the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) and the Bonn International Centre for Conversion, an international research institute specializing in the processing of ex-combatants from extremist groups. Also taking part in the event are the International Organisation for Migration, Adam Smith International and representatives of four regional administrations.

The workshop was also attended by the Head of the Defector Rehabilitation Program in the MoIS , Malik Abdallah, and Patrick Loots, the Chief of the DDR section of UNSOM.

Lebanon: Tripoli City Profile 2016

oPt - ReliefWeb News - 11 hours 54 min ago
Source: UN Human Settlements Program Country: Lebanon, occupied Palestinian territory, Syrian Arab Republic

Introduction

Purpose

UN-Habitat City Profiles are formulated to offer a cross-sectoral perspective on urban vulnerabilities that will inform interventions by local authorities, humanitarian agencies and others to alleviate poverty. They also aim at contributing to an analytical knowledge base that will facilitate nuanced medium to long term public sector planning and investment agendas.

Themes

Concerned with the status of urban infrastructure and services and how these interplay with the distribution and socio-economic characteristics of host and refugee populations across the city, UN-Habitat City Profiles are structured around the four themes of space, governance, population and services. National and city-specific data is presented against each theme followed by identification of gaps and challenges.

The last theme, services, is divided into economy, basic urban services and social services. For each of these sectors, relevant activities reported by partners to the Lebanese Crisis Response Plan in the online portal ActivityInfo is included, forming part of the evidence base against which gaps and challenges are suggested . The two full reporting years of 2014 and 2015 are currently included; 2016 will be added at the year end, with the run-up to that point typically showing a surge in reported activities.

Methodological outline

Data collection is primarily desk-based, with some supplementary primary data collection and surveying where necessary. In defining the study area, continuous built-up area is used as an imperfect morphological proxy for the functional urban area. This methodological choice is aimed at facilitating analysis of the city in terms of its active spatial interactions as opposed to in terms of its historic administrative boundaries. To illustrate, topics optimally addressed at this scale elsewhere typically include economic development, mobility including public transport infrastructure, spatial planning including housing, and implementation structures. Selecting the study unit in this transparent, replicable way allows for comparison between cities on a like-for-like basis.

Falling in the category of ‘area-based’ approaches, characterisable not only as geographical and multi-sectoral but also participative, UNHabitat City Profiles are developed through a collaborative and consultative process that engages from the outset the local authorities (unions of municipalities and municipalities), NGOs and other UN agencies. ‘Round tables’ facilitated by UN-Habitat are convened by the local authorities at key profile development stages for consultation and validation purposes. Information and validation is gained from services providers as well as the humanitarian sector leads for the relevant territory.

In terms of human resources, a dedicated field-based area coordinator works in collaboration with a central office lead urban planner/ architect to compile and analyse data in conjunction with mapping stakeholders.

Structure

Following an outline of the city’s historic and developmental context, the four themes are addressed in turn. Each theme begins with key summary points, followed by discussion in terms of their national and metropolitan dimensions. Conclusions are then drawn, focussing first on resounding findings and second on policy and research implications. The latter incorporates a set of suggested projects of potential strategic impact which may respond to some of the challenges identified.

Lebanon: Al Aswak Sahat Al Daftar Neighbourhood Profile Haddadine, Tripoli

oPt - ReliefWeb News - 9 December 2016 - 11:58pm
Source: UN Human Settlements Program Country: Lebanon, occupied Palestinian territory, Syrian Arab Republic

What is a NEIGHBOURHOOD PROFILE?

Since the start of the Syrian refugee crisis in 2011, many of Lebanon’s poor urban neighbourhoods have experienced increased stress resulting from the surge in refugees locating in cities. This influx has added pressure on the already strained carrying capacity of urban environments, with living conditions as well as basic urban service quality being driven down. The most affected urban neighbourhoods were areas which already pre-2011 were marked by high levels of poverty, and with challenges related to social cohesion and tension. However, despite recorded concentration of vulnerabilities in the key cities, vulnerable host communities in poor neighbourhoods are amongst the most affected and the response has been minimal.

Neighbourhood Profiles are analytical tools developed by UN-Habitat in coordination with communities, concerned local authorities and other stakeholders to assess the vulnerabilities of targeted locations across sectors including housing, basic and social services and employment. Neighbourhood Profiles can be thought of as the foundation of a spatial planning process, potentially leading to the development of action-orientated neighbourhood strategies suggesting first actions in response to most urgent needs, and further strategic interventions to be embedded in longer term planning.

THEME 1 SPACE AL ASWAK SAHAT AL DAFTAR

Location

Tripoli is the most deprived city in Lebanon. With high poverty rates, a history of sectarian and social conflict, rapid population growth intensified by the influx of refugees and rural-tourban migration and inadequate basic urban services, the city urgently needs to formulate effective response mechanisms to reduce urban poverty. The concentration of socio-economically deprived host and refugee population groups in poor urban neighbourhoods is now one of the defining patterns of Tripoli metropolitan area’s urban structure.

The neighbourhood of Al Aswak Sahat Al Daftar covers an area of 0.05km2. It is located within Haddadine, the community definition of which approximates but is not identical to the official Haddadine cadaster. It is located within the old city of Tripoli’s metropolitan area. The neighbourhood of Al Aswak Sahat el Daftar, amongst the most deprived in Tripoli, is characterized by old deteriorated housing conditions, deficient infrastructure, environmental burdens, as well as complex socio-cultural environment.

The old city, of which Al Aswak is located, is famous for its historical value as it contains nearly 40 classified heritage buildings dating back to the Mamluk period (14th century). From the historic mosques and hammam to the continuously operating old souks and traditional craftsmanship, the neighbourhood of Al Aswak is characterized by a rich and unique heritage.

Central African Republic: 2016 Central African Republic Regional Refugee Response Plan - Funding snapshot as of 20 November 2016

DRC - ReliefWeb News - 9 December 2016 - 9:09pm
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees Country: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo

The requirements presented in this funding snapshot refer to the 2016 Regional Refugee Response Plan covering the period January to December 2016

Funding level

RRP requirements: $345,705,556

Funding received: $86,083,338

% funded: 25%

Central African Republic: 2016 Central African Republic Regional Refugee Response Plan - Funding snapshot as of 20 November 2016

Chad - ReliefWeb News - 9 December 2016 - 9:09pm
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees Country: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo

The requirements presented in this funding snapshot refer to the 2016 Regional Refugee Response Plan covering the period January to December 2016

Funding level

RRP requirements: $345,705,556

Funding received: $86,083,338

% funded: 25%

Central African Republic: 2016 Central African Republic Regional Refugee Response Plan - Funding snapshot as of 20 November 2016

CAR - ReliefWeb News - 9 December 2016 - 9:09pm
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees Country: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo

The requirements presented in this funding snapshot refer to the 2016 Regional Refugee Response Plan covering the period January to December 2016

Funding level

RRP requirements: $345,705,556

Funding received: $86,083,338

% funded: 25%

Burundi: Burundi Situation 2016 Funding Update as of 29 November 2016

Uganda - ReliefWeb News - 9 December 2016 - 9:00pm
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees Country: Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia

180.6 M required for 2016
92.4 M contributions received, representing 51% of requirements
88.2 M funding gap for the Burundi Situation

All figures are displayed in USD

Burundi: Burundi Situation 2016 Funding Update as of 29 November 2016

DRC - ReliefWeb News - 9 December 2016 - 9:00pm
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees Country: Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia

180.6 M required for 2016
92.4 M contributions received, representing 51% of requirements
88.2 M funding gap for the Burundi Situation

All figures are displayed in USD

Burundi: UNHCR - 2016 Burundi Regional Refugee Response Plan Funding snapshot as of 20 November 2016

Uganda - ReliefWeb News - 9 December 2016 - 8:52pm
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees Country: Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania

The requirements presented in this funding snapshot refer to the 2016 Revised Regional Refugee Response Plan covering the period January to December 2016

Funding level

RRP requirements: $323,873,646

Funding received: $154,916,294

% funded: 48%

Burundi: UNHCR - 2016 Burundi Regional Refugee Response Plan Funding snapshot as of 20 November 2016

DRC - ReliefWeb News - 9 December 2016 - 8:52pm
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees Country: Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania

The requirements presented in this funding snapshot refer to the 2016 Revised Regional Refugee Response Plan covering the period January to December 2016

Funding level

RRP requirements: $323,873,646

Funding received: $154,916,294

% funded: 48%

Cameroon: GIEWS Country Brief: Cameroon 07-December-2016

CAR - ReliefWeb News - 9 December 2016 - 8:18pm
Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Country: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Nigeria

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  • Concerns over performance of 2016 cropping season in Far North Region due to civil insecurity

  • Prices of cereals around or slightly above yearearlier levels

  • Food security situation sharply deteriorated in 2015 and 2016 due to massive refugee influx and internal displacements

Concerns over 2016 cropping season in Far North Region

Harvesting of the main 2016 season maize crop was completed in October in the bi‑modal rainfall central and southern regions, while the harvest of the secondary season crops is about to start. According to remote sensing analysis, abundant and well-distributed rains from March to June were followed in parts by erratic precipitation from July to September, with negative impacts on long-cycle main season crops and early-planted second season crops. Above-average rainfall in October reduced moisture deficits and improved vegetation conditions in most affected areas.

In uni‑modal rainfall northern areas (North and Far North regions), where sorghum and millet crops are predominantly grown, harvesting has been recently concluded and prospects are uncertain despite favourable weather conditions. In the Far North Region, agricultural operations continue to be severely affected by the civil unrest which spread from neighbouring Nigeria in late 2014 and resulted in displacement of people, caused input shortages and depleted households’ productive assets that were already inadequate, due to recurrent climatic shocks which have eroded the resilience capacity of a large number of households. As a result, a reduced agricultural output for the second consecutive year is likely.

In the Far North Region, livestock rearing activities have also been affected by the crisis, with large numbers of cattle reported to be stolen. Cameroonian authorities have temporarily closed several cattle markets, in an effort to curb illicit livestock trade.

Prices of cereals around or slightly above year-earlier levels

Prices of locally-produced maize, the most consumed cereal, declined by 2-18 percent between June and September as the main season harvest increased supplies. Maize prices in September were 2-6 percent higher than their levels of a year earlier.

Prices of imported wheat, mainly consumed in urban areas, were stable around their year-earlier levels in recent months in the capital, Yaoundé, and in Douala, the largest urban centre and the main entry port for imports.

Prices of rice, mostly sourced from the international market, were also stable around their levels of 12 months earlier in recent months in Douala, while they declined in Yaoundé by 10 percent between June and September, when they were 9 percent lower than in the same month of the previous year.

Critical food security situation in northern and eastern regions, strong livelihood support required

Local resources in northern and eastern regions have been put under added strain by the arrival of large numbers of refugees from neighbouring Nigeria and the Central African Republic.

As of October, about 274 000 refugees from the Central African Republic were residing in North, East and Adamaoua regions, while refugees from Nigeria, who entered the Far North Region following the serious deterioration of the security situation in Borno State in June 2013, were estimated at about 86 000 in mid-November. In addition, civil unrest spread from Nigeria into the region and caused the displacement of almost 200 000 Cameroonians.

As a result of these multiple shocks and of natural hazards (in northern areas, food production in 2015 was also negatively affected by drought), the overall food security situation has sharply deteriorated in 2015 and 2016. The number of food insecure people was estimated in October 2016 at 2.6 million, more than twice the level of June 2015. The area most affected by food insecurity is the Far North Region, where the caseload is currently estimated at 1.5 million, 100 000 more than the previous estimate in September 2015.

A timely and effective support to the agricultural sector is required to mitigate the extent of the impact of the protracted and widespread insecurity on the agricultural sector.

To help avert a full-scale nutrition and food security crisis in the coming months and to respond to the needs of the crisis-hit farmers in the Far North Region, FAO has provided crop production support to 33 500 individuals, with a special focus on women and youth, distributing seeds, tools and fertilizers.

World: Factbox-Hidden and often ignored: Five facts about 'urban refugees'

Pakistan - ReliefWeb News - 9 December 2016 - 7:22pm
Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation Country: Ethiopia, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Malaysia, Pakistan, Somalia, South Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, World

by Coco Liu | @cocojournalist | Thomson Reuters Foundation
Friday, 9 December 2016 14:43 GMT

Some urban refugees are away from camps because there are no such places in their hosting countries

By Coco Liu

HONG KONG, Dec 9 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - They are refugees, but do not live in the camps so often associated with those fleeing war or persecution. They account for around two-thirds of the global refugee population but receive little help from aid organisations. There are tens of thousands of them living in cities like Bangkok, Nairobi and Kuala Lumpur, but their lives are largely invisible.

Here are five facts about "urban refugees":

Who are they?

As their name suggests, urban refugees are refugees living in an urban setting as opposed to refugee camps. According to the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR, as many as 60 percent of the world's 19.5 million refugees are now living in cities and towns.

At least twice that number of internally displaced people -- forced to flee their home but remaining within their country's borders -- are believed to also live in cities and towns.

Why do they live outside refugee camps?

Some urban refugees are away from camps because there are no such places in their hosting countries. Others have chosen to leave camps or to bypass them entirely, seeking instead to settle in places where they have a better chance of finding jobs to support their families.

Where do they come from?

The answer varies from city to city. In Bangkok, for example, urban refugees primarily come from Pakistan, though refugees from some 40 other countries live there as well. In Mafraq city in northern Jordan, the majority of urban refugees are Syrians. And in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, the Somali population is the largest among urban refugees, followed by South Sudanese and Ethiopians, according to UNHCR.

What's their life like?

This depends on where they live. Registered refugees in Germany have rights to housing, can work legally and enjoy free language courses.

But urban refugees living in countries like Thailand which never signed the 1951 U.N. Refugee Convention protecting refugees' rights, and in countries where refugees are tolerated only if they stay in designated camps, they do not enjoy the same protection.

In these countries, urban refugees are often denied access to healthcare and education. Due to a lack of work permits, urban refugees are forced into crippling idleness or end up with taking poorly-paid informal work.

Living under the radar, they are often out of reach of the help of aid agencies.

To help their families survive, Syrian refugee children in Lebanon commonly work on the streets, either begging or shining shoes, and young girls often peel garlic at restaurants for $1 per day, a 2016 report by the Freedom Fund found.

What risks do they face?

In countries such as Thailand, urban refugees live in fear of being arrested and returned to their home country. Some refugee children don't go to school and spend entire days indoors.

Urban refugees are also at risk of human trafficking. In January, the EU's criminal intelligence agency Europol said at least 10,000 unaccompanied child refugees had vanished after arriving in Europe, at risk of falling prey to trafficking gangs, sex abuse and slavery.

Refugees in cities, especially in large numbers, can stir resentment among the host community. In Jordan, for example, demand for housing from Syrian refugees has driven up the cost of rent in cities of Mafraq and Ramtha, fuelling tensions over resources between the refugees and local communities, humanitarian research firm ACAPS said in a 2016 report.

(Editing by Ros Russell; Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's rights, trafficking, corruption and climate change. Visit news.trust.org)

World: Factbox-Hidden and often ignored: Five facts about 'urban refugees'

Somalia - ReliefWeb News - 9 December 2016 - 7:22pm
Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation Country: Ethiopia, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Malaysia, Pakistan, Somalia, South Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, World

by Coco Liu | @cocojournalist | Thomson Reuters Foundation
Friday, 9 December 2016 14:43 GMT

Some urban refugees are away from camps because there are no such places in their hosting countries

By Coco Liu

HONG KONG, Dec 9 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - They are refugees, but do not live in the camps so often associated with those fleeing war or persecution. They account for around two-thirds of the global refugee population but receive little help from aid organisations. There are tens of thousands of them living in cities like Bangkok, Nairobi and Kuala Lumpur, but their lives are largely invisible.

Here are five facts about "urban refugees":

Who are they?

As their name suggests, urban refugees are refugees living in an urban setting as opposed to refugee camps. According to the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR, as many as 60 percent of the world's 19.5 million refugees are now living in cities and towns.

At least twice that number of internally displaced people -- forced to flee their home but remaining within their country's borders -- are believed to also live in cities and towns.

Why do they live outside refugee camps?

Some urban refugees are away from camps because there are no such places in their hosting countries. Others have chosen to leave camps or to bypass them entirely, seeking instead to settle in places where they have a better chance of finding jobs to support their families.

Where do they come from?

The answer varies from city to city. In Bangkok, for example, urban refugees primarily come from Pakistan, though refugees from some 40 other countries live there as well. In Mafraq city in northern Jordan, the majority of urban refugees are Syrians. And in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, the Somali population is the largest among urban refugees, followed by South Sudanese and Ethiopians, according to UNHCR.

What's their life like?

This depends on where they live. Registered refugees in Germany have rights to housing, can work legally and enjoy free language courses.

But urban refugees living in countries like Thailand which never signed the 1951 U.N. Refugee Convention protecting refugees' rights, and in countries where refugees are tolerated only if they stay in designated camps, they do not enjoy the same protection.

In these countries, urban refugees are often denied access to healthcare and education. Due to a lack of work permits, urban refugees are forced into crippling idleness or end up with taking poorly-paid informal work.

Living under the radar, they are often out of reach of the help of aid agencies.

To help their families survive, Syrian refugee children in Lebanon commonly work on the streets, either begging or shining shoes, and young girls often peel garlic at restaurants for $1 per day, a 2016 report by the Freedom Fund found.

What risks do they face?

In countries such as Thailand, urban refugees live in fear of being arrested and returned to their home country. Some refugee children don't go to school and spend entire days indoors.

Urban refugees are also at risk of human trafficking. In January, the EU's criminal intelligence agency Europol said at least 10,000 unaccompanied child refugees had vanished after arriving in Europe, at risk of falling prey to trafficking gangs, sex abuse and slavery.

Refugees in cities, especially in large numbers, can stir resentment among the host community. In Jordan, for example, demand for housing from Syrian refugees has driven up the cost of rent in cities of Mafraq and Ramtha, fuelling tensions over resources between the refugees and local communities, humanitarian research firm ACAPS said in a 2016 report.

(Editing by Ros Russell; Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's rights, trafficking, corruption and climate change. Visit news.trust.org)

World: Factbox-Hidden and often ignored: Five facts about 'urban refugees'

Kenya - ReliefWeb News - 9 December 2016 - 7:22pm
Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation Country: Ethiopia, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Malaysia, Pakistan, Somalia, South Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, World

by Coco Liu | @cocojournalist | Thomson Reuters Foundation
Friday, 9 December 2016 14:43 GMT

Some urban refugees are away from camps because there are no such places in their hosting countries

By Coco Liu

HONG KONG, Dec 9 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - They are refugees, but do not live in the camps so often associated with those fleeing war or persecution. They account for around two-thirds of the global refugee population but receive little help from aid organisations. There are tens of thousands of them living in cities like Bangkok, Nairobi and Kuala Lumpur, but their lives are largely invisible.

Here are five facts about "urban refugees":

Who are they?

As their name suggests, urban refugees are refugees living in an urban setting as opposed to refugee camps. According to the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR, as many as 60 percent of the world's 19.5 million refugees are now living in cities and towns.

At least twice that number of internally displaced people -- forced to flee their home but remaining within their country's borders -- are believed to also live in cities and towns.

Why do they live outside refugee camps?

Some urban refugees are away from camps because there are no such places in their hosting countries. Others have chosen to leave camps or to bypass them entirely, seeking instead to settle in places where they have a better chance of finding jobs to support their families.

Where do they come from?

The answer varies from city to city. In Bangkok, for example, urban refugees primarily come from Pakistan, though refugees from some 40 other countries live there as well. In Mafraq city in northern Jordan, the majority of urban refugees are Syrians. And in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, the Somali population is the largest among urban refugees, followed by South Sudanese and Ethiopians, according to UNHCR.

What's their life like?

This depends on where they live. Registered refugees in Germany have rights to housing, can work legally and enjoy free language courses.

But urban refugees living in countries like Thailand which never signed the 1951 U.N. Refugee Convention protecting refugees' rights, and in countries where refugees are tolerated only if they stay in designated camps, they do not enjoy the same protection.

In these countries, urban refugees are often denied access to healthcare and education. Due to a lack of work permits, urban refugees are forced into crippling idleness or end up with taking poorly-paid informal work.

Living under the radar, they are often out of reach of the help of aid agencies.

To help their families survive, Syrian refugee children in Lebanon commonly work on the streets, either begging or shining shoes, and young girls often peel garlic at restaurants for $1 per day, a 2016 report by the Freedom Fund found.

What risks do they face?

In countries such as Thailand, urban refugees live in fear of being arrested and returned to their home country. Some refugee children don't go to school and spend entire days indoors.

Urban refugees are also at risk of human trafficking. In January, the EU's criminal intelligence agency Europol said at least 10,000 unaccompanied child refugees had vanished after arriving in Europe, at risk of falling prey to trafficking gangs, sex abuse and slavery.

Refugees in cities, especially in large numbers, can stir resentment among the host community. In Jordan, for example, demand for housing from Syrian refugees has driven up the cost of rent in cities of Mafraq and Ramtha, fuelling tensions over resources between the refugees and local communities, humanitarian research firm ACAPS said in a 2016 report.

(Editing by Ros Russell; Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's rights, trafficking, corruption and climate change. Visit news.trust.org)

World: Factbox-Hidden and often ignored: Five facts about 'urban refugees'

Ethiopia - ReliefWeb News - 9 December 2016 - 7:22pm
Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation Country: Ethiopia, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Malaysia, Pakistan, Somalia, South Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, World

by Coco Liu | @cocojournalist | Thomson Reuters Foundation
Friday, 9 December 2016 14:43 GMT

Some urban refugees are away from camps because there are no such places in their hosting countries

By Coco Liu

HONG KONG, Dec 9 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - They are refugees, but do not live in the camps so often associated with those fleeing war or persecution. They account for around two-thirds of the global refugee population but receive little help from aid organisations. There are tens of thousands of them living in cities like Bangkok, Nairobi and Kuala Lumpur, but their lives are largely invisible.

Here are five facts about "urban refugees":

Who are they?

As their name suggests, urban refugees are refugees living in an urban setting as opposed to refugee camps. According to the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR, as many as 60 percent of the world's 19.5 million refugees are now living in cities and towns.

At least twice that number of internally displaced people -- forced to flee their home but remaining within their country's borders -- are believed to also live in cities and towns.

Why do they live outside refugee camps?

Some urban refugees are away from camps because there are no such places in their hosting countries. Others have chosen to leave camps or to bypass them entirely, seeking instead to settle in places where they have a better chance of finding jobs to support their families.

Where do they come from?

The answer varies from city to city. In Bangkok, for example, urban refugees primarily come from Pakistan, though refugees from some 40 other countries live there as well. In Mafraq city in northern Jordan, the majority of urban refugees are Syrians. And in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, the Somali population is the largest among urban refugees, followed by South Sudanese and Ethiopians, according to UNHCR.

What's their life like?

This depends on where they live. Registered refugees in Germany have rights to housing, can work legally and enjoy free language courses.

But urban refugees living in countries like Thailand which never signed the 1951 U.N. Refugee Convention protecting refugees' rights, and in countries where refugees are tolerated only if they stay in designated camps, they do not enjoy the same protection.

In these countries, urban refugees are often denied access to healthcare and education. Due to a lack of work permits, urban refugees are forced into crippling idleness or end up with taking poorly-paid informal work.

Living under the radar, they are often out of reach of the help of aid agencies.

To help their families survive, Syrian refugee children in Lebanon commonly work on the streets, either begging or shining shoes, and young girls often peel garlic at restaurants for $1 per day, a 2016 report by the Freedom Fund found.

What risks do they face?

In countries such as Thailand, urban refugees live in fear of being arrested and returned to their home country. Some refugee children don't go to school and spend entire days indoors.

Urban refugees are also at risk of human trafficking. In January, the EU's criminal intelligence agency Europol said at least 10,000 unaccompanied child refugees had vanished after arriving in Europe, at risk of falling prey to trafficking gangs, sex abuse and slavery.

Refugees in cities, especially in large numbers, can stir resentment among the host community. In Jordan, for example, demand for housing from Syrian refugees has driven up the cost of rent in cities of Mafraq and Ramtha, fuelling tensions over resources between the refugees and local communities, humanitarian research firm ACAPS said in a 2016 report.

(Editing by Ros Russell; Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's rights, trafficking, corruption and climate change. Visit news.trust.org)

Philippines: Tacloban after Haiyan: Working together towards recovery

Philippines - ReliefWeb News - 9 December 2016 - 5:45pm
Source: International Institute for Environment and Development Country: Philippines

On 8 November 2013, Tacloban city was devastated by typhoon Haiyan, the strongest typhoon on record to make landfall. Despite crippling damage, the local government strove to coordinate recovery efforts towards a better, more resilient city. This paper describes the experience, challenges, successes and lessons of the Tacloban city government as the city transitioned from the humanitarian response to the recovery and development phases following the disaster.
It elaborates on the institutional mechanisms that the city government set up (and related national government and humanitarian mechanisms) to coordinate the humanitarian response, and how these transitioned into mechanisms to coordinate early recovery and longerterm development.

Pakistan: How Pakistan Could Eliminate Polio in 2017

Pakistan - ReliefWeb News - 9 December 2016 - 5:33pm
Source: International Peace Institute Country: Pakistan

Pakistan, along with Afghanistan and Nigeria, remains one of the world’s three polio-endemic countries. While the circumstances vary from one to another, the primary reason why these three have been unable to eliminate the virus is their shared lack of blanket vaccination coverage. According to Elias Durry, the World Health Organization’s chief expert on tackling polio, there is little to no hope of eradication without progress in this area.

In Pakistan, a number of interconnected factors have impeded increased vaccination rates. Many can be linked to the security threat of the Taliban, and ramifications of the campaign against it. In June 2012, the group established certain no-go areas and banned the vaccination drive in North Waziristan Agency in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, a semi-autonomous region bordering Afghanistan. The Taliban reasoned that these campaigns were a Western conspiracy designed to render Pakistani children infertile. It did not help matters that Dr. Shakeel Afridi, who was the chief asset for the Central Intelligence Agency in locating Osama bin Laden for the United States, had done so by embedding himself in a vaccination team that visited bin Laden’s house.

The Taliban’s direct targeting and murder of dozens of polio team staff members, including female health workers and police constables across Pakistan, has also contributed to the challenges. Nearly 80 polio workers have lost their lives in such incidents since December 2012, which inevitably creates operational and logistical problems.

The military campaign against the Taliban and the group’s subsequent retaliatory attacks have complicated matters further. The government’s Operation Zarb-e-Azb and the National Action Plan on counterterrorism were both launched in 2014 in response to Taliban attacks such as the one on Karachi Airport that saw 36 deaths (including 10 attackers) and the killing of 132 schoolchildren at the Army Public School in Peshawar. While these campaigns and counter-campaigns were ongoing, polio teams simply had no access to affected areas.

A final key factor in the lack of blanket vaccination is the refusal of parents across Pakistan to allow their children to participate. This is a complex and multi-faceted problem that seems to have permeated every part of the country, particularly in the low income and less educated social strata. Since the campaign against polio vaccination is embedded in the socio-religious underpinnings of the country, including perceived Western opposition to Islam, and the message is spread primarily through clerics, countering the narrative is challenging and painstaking.

While these issues certainly persist today, there has been considerable room for optimism heading into 2017. The number of polio cases in Pakistan dropped from 306 in 2014 to 54 in 2015, and to date there have been just 18 reported incidents in 2016. A key factor in this has been the dramatic reduction in attacks on polio health workers. There have been only two in 2016, with one in April claiming the lives of seven police officers, and another in September taking one life in Peshawar. Several reports from independent think tanks corroborate the improving situation.

The adviser to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on polio eradication, Senator Ayesha Raza Farooq, told me that attacks on polio workers were down by nearly 80% this year. “This is due to a strengthened political commitment under direct oversight of the prime minister,” she said. “This attitude then trickles down at the provincial level to the chief ministers and chief secretaries.”

Senator Farooq said there was now no area in Pakistan out of reach of polio workers. “In 2016, we have managed to reach the farthest, remotest nook and cranny in Pakistan,” she said. The only exceptions to this are small pockets where the military is still clearing out security threats, and there have reportedly been no cases of polio from high-risk reservoir areas since February this year.

A foolproof long-term solution to the health worker problem still seems impossible given that every national vaccination campaign involves over 200,000 people simultaneously taking to the streets; there are simply not enough law enforcement officials to throw at the problem. Yet long-term investment in, and restructuring of, police and security agencies and the criminal justice system could help.

Another, more short-term, solution is offered by Superintendent Police for Security Sahibzada Sajjad Ahmed of the Peshawar police force. “We have daily security briefings on polio vaccinations. We have dramatically expanded our cordon protocols during vaccinations, and we have learned tremendously from our past,” he told me. He said this was one of the reasons for the dramatic decrease in the targeting of polio workers.

The successful conclusion of Operation Zarb-e-Azb in many conflict-prone areas has also increased access to polio-affected populations, though there are still regular skirmishes and air raids against militants. The complete military control of these areas also creates its own problems in terms of limiting transparency, however. The return of displaced people has been less problematic but is occurring at a slow pace.

Targeting the cultural and religious factors that contribute to Pakistan’s poor vaccination rates is a far more complicated process than improving the security environment. Yet three potential solutions do exist. The first is to educate the public, which is, however, cost-intensive and time-consuming and carries no guarantee that the message will reach every person equally. The second is legislation that criminalizes the refusal to vaccinate children. This is far more cost-effective, easily deployable if there is political will, and capable of providing immediate results. The third option is one that Senator Farooq claims has achieved remarkable success, and involves overhauling the process of vaccinating to emphasize strategic science- and evidence-based interventions. This, for example, includes employing vaccinators who are based in their communities, especially in high-refusal areas. This allows them to have better access to local homes and vaccinate the children therein.

While Pakistan’s government once touted 2016 as the year the country would eliminate the polio virus, a range of hurdles prevented reaching this goal. But there is hope that with increasing state cognition of the depth and breadth of the country’s extremist problem and cultural barriers, there are finally mechanisms and methodologies in place that can help achieve this goal in 2017.

Zeeshan Salahuddin is a Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Research and Security Studies, Islamabad, and a freelance journalist. Follow @zeesalahuddin

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