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Uganda: Finn Church Aid to organise education for refugees in Uganda for three years

1 July 2015 - 1:48am
Source: Finn Church Aid Country: Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, Uganda

Finn Church Aid (FCA) and the Ugandan government have finalised a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for three years. The MoU is recognition of FCA’s work as a strong humanitarian actor specifically in the field of education.

With the MoU, FCA is responsible for organising vocational training in the refugee settlement of Rwamwanja. FCA will also build learning spaces, support refugee children with disabilities and the livelihood of people in crises.

“In three years, Finn Church Aid will realise a vocational training programme in Rwamwanja, where Congolese refugees are housed. 900 refugee and local young people will benefit from the programme”, says Wycliffe Nsheka, Finn Church Aid Uganda Country Manager.

An education programme will also be organised for the South-Sudanese refugees in Adjumani, where one thousand refugee and local children with physical or learning disabilities will be given a change to receive education.

In the refugee settlements of Uganda, the need for education is urgent. The youth unemployment rate in the country, according to the African Development Bank, is 83 %, which is one of the highest in the world.

“There is a high demand for vocational training because in Uganda, refugees have a right to work”, explains Nsheka.

Finn Church Aid is a member of the UN Global Education Cluster and has worked determinately to develop the quality of education in the context of humanitarian aid. In Uganda, FCA has worked for the education of refugees since 2012.

“In vocational training, special emphasis is put on employment opportunities. The goal is for these young people to become active members of society”, says FCA Director of International Cooperation Tomi Järvinen.

“This is a wonderful recognition of FCA’s work. The MoU opens up new possibilities for cooperation for FCA in Uganda. For example, the United Nations Refugee Agency UNHCR and Unicef work closely only with NGOs that have this accreditation. It will now be easier for us to coordinate our work and benefit the communities housing refugees”, says Järvinen.

Further information:
Wycliffe Nsheka, Uganda Country Manager, p. +256 77 296 1551 (Uganda)
Tomi Järvinen, Director of International Cooperation, p. +358 40 641 8209

Democratic Republic of the Congo: Maniema : Caritas Congo Asbl appuie un atelier sur la base des données du Programme Village et Ecole assainis

1 July 2015 - 1:19am
Source: Caritas Country: Democratic Republic of the Congo

Lubutu, le 29 juin 2015(caritasdev.cd) : Les participants doivent maitriser le remplissage des outils de collecte des données du programme VEA (Village et Ecole Assaini), se conformer à la procédure d’analyser les enquêtes CAP + et rendre toutes les données collectées sur terrain disponibles dans la base des données en ligne constitue un des résultats attendus au terme de l’atelier de formation sur la base des données du Programme Village et Ecole assainis. Cet atelier a été organisé récemment à Lubutu, en province du Maniema, dans l’Est de la RD Congo, par la Caritas Congo Asbl, dans le cadre du projet ASSP (Accès aux soins de santé primaires) volet Wash financé par DFID via Ima, rapporte caritasdev.cd L’atelier a connu la participation des SEHA/AC (Superviseur en Eau, Hygiène et Assainissement et Animateur Communautaire) ainsi que Data managers des Zones de Santé de Lubutu et Ferekeni ainsi que d’autres partenaires étatiques du niveau provincial appuyant la mise en œuvre des activités du Programme Village et écoles Assainis.

L’objectif de cet atelier a été de renforcer les capacités des acteurs sur la base des données (niveau basique) du Programme Village et Ecole Assainis.

Une séance de l’atelier à Lubutu sur la base des données du Programme Village et Ecole assainisLa formation a été assurée par Pepe Ken Mvulu, formateur. Le formateur avait pour rôle d’accompagner les participants dans le processus d’apprentissage et de maîtrise de la manière à répondre à toutes les questions liées à l’exploitation des données du programme VEA. Il a également encadré les participants dans les travaux individuels et en carrefour.

Interviewé le mercredi 24 juin 2015 par caritasdev.cd, Mme Jeanne Mbelu, Point focal Wash au projet ASSP/ Caritas Congo Asbl, a indiqué que la formation s’est déroulée du 23 mai au 1er juin 2015 dans les Zones de Santé de Lubutu à la base Caritas.

Pour rappel, le Programme Village et Ecole Assainis de la 9ème Direction de l’hygiène du Ministère de la Santé à travers la Cellule Monitoring, Evaluation (M&E) et Chargée de la base des données, a mis en place une base des données accessibles sur internet depuis mai 2010 (www.ecole-village-assainis-bdd.cd ). Cette base des données est dynamique et elle est utilisée pour la gestion des informations du secteur EHA (Eau, Hygiène et Assainissement) en milieu rural en vue de contribuer à la composante SNIS (Système national d’information sanitaire) – Hygiène.

L’une des missions assignées à la cellule M&E est de veiller à ce que cette base de données soit utilisée comme outil principal pour gérer le Programme Village et Ecole Assainis dans le suivi et la planification de toutes les activités y afférentes (état d’avancement).

Burundi: Amid election-related tensions, thousands flee Burundi for neighbouring countries – UN

30 June 2015 - 8:59pm
Source: UN News Service Country: Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia

30 June 2015 – Some ten thousand refugees fled Burundi over the weekend before authorities managed to close the borders ahead of yesterday’s parliamentary elections, the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) reported today.

Briefing the press earlier this morning at UN headquarters in Geneva, UNHCR spokesperson Melissa Fleming explained that the Burundian border would now be closed for 48 hours as per usual practice during elections, forcing refugees to use informal border crossing through the forest instead.

So far, nearly 144,000 Burundians have registered as refugees in neighbouring countries since the country’s political turmoil started in early April. However, many more are believed to have fled the country, but not registered. Latest official figures show 66,000 in Tanzania, 56,000 in Rwanda, 9,038 in Uganda, 11,500 in Democratic Republic of the Congo, and even 400 in faraway Zambia.

In anticipation of more arrivals, relocation efforts have been sped up over the last days. In May, UNHCR and 17 partners launched the Regional Refugee Response Plan for $207 million to protect and assist up to 200,000 Burundian refugees. Despite the deteriorating situation in Burundi, the plan has realised only 13 per cent of its target, leaving crucial services, such as water, health and sanitation, seriously underfunded.

Among the refugees interviewed by UNHCR, noted Ms. Fleming, many said that roads were being blocked and people suspected of heading to the border were being forced off buses. Some, she added, had been arrested while others have had their belongings confiscated.

In addition, the number of men among the refugees was reportedly growing amid fears of intensifying violence across Burundi during the country’s electoral period.

Following the recent legislative vote, Burundians are expected to return to the polling station on 15 July as they vote in the country’s Presidential election. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has, nonetheless, encouraged authorities to postpone the election until “a conducive environment for inclusive, peaceful and transparent elections” has been created.

According to UNHCR, civil unrest erupted on 26 April in Bujumbura after the ruling CNDD-FDD party elected President Pierre Nkurunziza on 25 April as its candidate for then-scheduled 26 June presidential election. Mr. Nkurunziza has been in office for two terms since 2005, and a broad array of actors warned that an attempt to seek a third term was unconstitutional and contrary to the spirit of the 2000 Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement for Burundi that ended a decade of civil war in the country.

Burundi: Des milliers de réfugiés continuent de fuir le Burundi

30 June 2015 - 11:46am
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees Country: Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia

GENEVE, 30 juin (HCR) – Près de 10 000 réfugiés burundais ont fui le pays ce week-end avant que le Burundi ne ferme ses frontières dimanche soir avant les élections parlementaires le lendemain, a indiqué le HCR.

Le HCR a indiqué que selon les autorités burundaises, la frontière resterait fermée pendant 48 heures, « selon ce qui se fait habituellement » lors d'élections

« Les réfugiés rejoignent désormais d'autres pays via des points de passage frontière informels à travers la forêt », a indiqué Melissa Fleming, porte-parole du HCR lors d'un point de presse à Genève.

Les bureaux du HCR en Tanzanie, au Rwanda et en République démocratique du Congo signalent une forte augmentation des arrivées de réfugiés depuis mercredi dernier.

« Ce week-end, le rythme des arrivées s'est accéléré, avec plus de 6000 arrivées en Tanzanie et plus de 3000 au Rwanda », a ajouté Melissa Fleming. « Lundi, nous avons enregistré 777 arrivants burundais au Rwanda, alors que plus de 2000 réfugiés ont réussi à rejoindre la Tanzanie à travers la forêt »

Selon les chiffres du HCR, près de 144 000 réfugiés ont fui le Burundi depuis début avril. L'instabilité politique au Burundi a commencé début avril, lorsque le Président Pierre Nkurunziza avait annoncé qu'il allait se présenter pour un troisième mandat, une décision dénoncée par l'opposition comme étant inconstitutionnelle.

Les réfugiés arrivés au Rwanda, en Tanzanie et en République démocratique du Congo déclarent que les routes sont bloquées et que des personnes qui sont suspectées de se diriger vers la frontière sont forcées de monter dans des bus.

Certains auraient été arrêtés et d'autres ont vu leurs biens confisqués. Des arrivants en Tanzanie ce week-end ont déclaré avoir dû marcher pendant plusieurs heures, souvent à travers la brousse et sans bagages afin de ne pas attirer l'attention des milices et de la police.

Les fonctionnaires des Services de l'Immigration et des réfugiés dans les pays voisins continuent d'enregistrer les réfugiés burundais qui parviennent à passer la frontière, même via des points de passage frontière informels.

« Alors qu'initialement, la plupart des réfugiés étaient des femmes et des enfants, nous avons récemment observé un nombre croissant d'hommes parmi les arrivants », a indiqué Melissa Fleming.

Ils citent l'échec des mesures visant à résoudre la situation et le manque d'espoir comme motifs de leur départ, craignant que la violence ne s'intensifie durant la période des élections qui a commencé lundi avec les élections législatives et qui devrait prendre fin avec les élections présidentielles le 15 juillet.

En Zambie, 90 pour cent des Burundais enregistrés en tant que demandeurs d'asile sont des hommes jeunes.

Dans les pays voisins, le HCR fournit aux réfugiés une aide initiale, y compris des repas chauds et le transport vers des centres de transit. Puis ils sont transférés vers des camps de réfugiés, où ils sont enregistrés et bénéficient des services de santé et de protection, de la distribution d'eau potable et d'installations d'assainissement ainsi que d'autres types d'assistance.

Alors que le HCR et ses partenaires se préparent à un accroissement des arrivées, le Plan d'aide régional aux réfugiés burundais d'un montant de 207 millions de dollars pour protéger et assister jusqu'à 200 000 réfugiés burundais, demeure gravement sous-financé, seulement à hauteur de 13 pour cent.

Depuis que la violence pré-électorale a commencé au Burundi, près de 144 000 réfugiés ont fui le pays, principalement vers la Tanzanie voisine (66 612), le Rwanda (56 508), la République démocratique du Congo (11 500), l'Ouganda (9038) et la Zambie (400).

Burundi: WFP Burundi Crisis - Regional Impact Situation Report #06, 30 June 2015

30 June 2015 - 11:03am
Source: World Food Programme Country: Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, South Sudan, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania

Highlights

  • WFP urgently requires USD 63 million for the next six months to meet the needs of existing operations that are responding to the Burundi crisis.

  • In Burundi, a recent inter-agency assessment recommended immediate food assistance for 100,000 people in Kirundo, Makamba Provinces and Bujumbura.

  • There has been a dramatic increase in the number of Burundians crossing into Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda in recent days with indications that the cross-border population movement is likely to increase. More than 6,000 new arrivals have crossed into Tanzania in the last 3 days. In addition, more than 600 people are crossing each day into Rwanda and a further 150—200 into Uganda.

  • In view of the increase in the number of refugees,
    UNHCR has revised the projected number of new arrivals for Tanzania from 70,000 to 150,000 new arrivals.

Burundi: Burundi situation: Displacement of Burundians into neighbouring countries (as of 29 June 2015)

30 June 2015 - 10:47am
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees Country: Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania

UNHCR Regional Update 7 - Burundi Situation, 25 June 2015

Burundi: UNHCR Regional Update 7 - Burundi Situation, 25 June 2015

30 June 2015 - 10:43am
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees Country: Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Tension is on the rise in Bujumbura in view of the first round of presidential elections, as rumors of attacks to destabilize the process circulate. In light of this, the number of Burundians leaving the country has increased. The police and military are still present in some parts of the city centre and suburbs. Criminality is on the rise and grenade attacks are recorded almost daily.

  • On 19 June, UNHCR’s Regional Representative for the DRC undertook a two day mission to the South Kivu Province and Bujumbura. In the Burundian capital, the representative took stock of the prevailing political and security situation and consequently instructed UNHCR staff in Uvira (DRC) to reinforce the relocation procedure for Burundian refugees to the Lusenda site, in light of the deteriorating situation in the country of origin. Since then, measures have been taken to speed up the process for refugees in the Uvira and Fizi territories. The latest convoys were scheduled to depart from Kavimvira and Kamanyola on 22 and 24 June.

  • In Tanzania, Nyarugusu refugee camp is becoming dangerously overcrowded. Before the recent arrival of tens of thousands of Burundian refugees, the camp was already home to more than 60,000 Congolese refugees. Services and facilities are stretched as more than 120,000 persons live in close quarters. UNHCR and partners are working with the Government of Tanzania to urgently identify an alternative site to establish a new camp. Population

World: Global Emergency Overview Snapshot 24–30 June 2015

30 June 2015 - 9:15am
Source: Assessment Capacities Project Country: Afghanistan, Angola, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guinea, Haiti, India, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Philippines, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Uganda, Ukraine, United Republic of Tanzania, World, Yemen

Snapshot 24–30 June 2015

Burundi: Turnout at the parliamentary elections was low. Voting stations were targeted and there was a spate of grenade attacks in the capital: several people were injured. Around 1,000 Burundians are leaving the country every day: 62,000 refugees are now in Tanzania, 45,000 in Rwanda, and 10,600 in DRC.

South Sudan: Households in some areas of Unity and Upper Nile states are suspected to be facing Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5) food security outcomes. 5–8% of the country’s population are suffering severe acute malnutrition.

Nigeria: 3.5 million people are expected to be in need of food assistance in the northeast between July and September. Eastern Yobe, central and eastern Borno, northern Adamawa and IDP settlements are worst affected. More than 250 people have been killed in violence in the northeast since 29 May, with at least 77 killed between 22 and 29 June. Displacement continues.

Updated: 30/06/2015. Next update 07/07/2015.

Global Emergency Overview Web Interface

World: Humanitarian Scenario for the Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes Region (June - October 2015)

30 June 2015 - 8:51am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, World, Yemen

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The objective of this overview is to support the development of national-level response and preparedness plans and facilitate joint priority actions in the areas of advocacy, resource mobilization, and coordinated engagement in cross border areas.

There has been a step change in the threat level in the region in 2015. There is an increasing concern about the confluence and compounding impacts of these threats, both at the national and the regional level. The outlook presented here will be updated on a bi-monthly basis.

While economic growth and progress in achieving Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) has been recorded in the Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes Region, the region is home to some of the most vulnerable populations who are exposed to recurrent cycles of conflict and climatic shocks. There are five dynamics that could increase humanitarian needs and undo development progress. Combined they could overwhelm the humanitarian system and potentially threaten the stability of the region.

1. Proliferation and intensification of violence and conflict triggering new waves of population displacement: In Burundi, political unrest and the failed coup have to date displaced more than 96,000 people to neighbouring states. The situation will most likely remain restive for the foreseeable future. If instability intensifies and disrupts the upcoming harvest, humanitarian needs will increase, as some 90 per cent of the population in Burundi relies exclusively on agriculture, and there could be more accelerated population displacements both inside and outside of the country. Following the failure of peace talks, the conflict in South Sudan has intensified, with heavy fighting in Unity and Upper Nile States. While the conflict in Yemen has not yet resulted in large outflows of people a shortage of fuel or food could trigger Yemenis seeking protection and the return of some of the estimated 883,000 vulnerable refugees and migrants in Yemen, including 258,0000 Somali refugees and some of the 80,000 Ethiopian migrants who have on average of entered Yemen annually, not all of whom have transited through to Saudi Arabia.

2. Threat to stability of buffer states: Al-Shabaab’s ability to operate in Somalia and to launch asymmetric attacks inside Kenya remains undiminished. Al-Shabaab has recently expressed its intent to carry out attacks in Uganda and Burundi. Kenya has also witnessed a sharp increase in inter-communal conflict in some counties of the North Rift. While individually these developments are of concern, combined they challenge the stability of the state, may facilitate the spread of extremist ideology; and increase the proliferation of small arms and light weapons (SALWs) in the region.

3. Economic shocks affect the most vulnerable and reduce their capacity to cope: South Sudan’s oil revenue has collapsed due to a fall in the global crude price, decline in oil production, and a fixed transportation fee structure. The resulting shortage of foreign currency has led to a sharp depreciation of the South Sudanese pound, inflation and shortages of fuel and flour are now being reported. The threat of capture and disorderly shutdown of the oil fields in Upper Nile State by rebel groups would deprive current and future governments of oil revenue and cause a severe economic and political crisis. Remittances are a lifeline for an estimated 40 per cent of the Somali population, but financial anti-terrorism regulation has led to the closure of bank accounts of an increasing number of money transfer organizations that had facilitated the transfer of an estimated $ 1.2 - $1.5 billion in remittances.

4. Increase in food insecurity and malnutrition outlook. Coming into the lean season and with humanitarian access limited, food insecurity and malnutrition could deteriorate, especially in parts of South Sudan (with GAM rates already at double the emergency threshold in the north of the country and some 7.9 million people will be food insecure), Burundi (which ranks top in the Global Hunger Index), eastern DRC and southern Somalia Currently 12.3 million people in Yemen are food insecure and some could seek refuge in the Horn.

5. Increase in communicable diseases. An increase in population movements into overcrowded settlements combined with poor sanitation, shortage of safe potable water could lead to the spread of diseases in the region. In South Sudan, outbreaks of cholera and Kalazar affected thousands of people in 2014 and the pattern is likely to continue in 2015. A gap in the supply of medicine in South Sudan in the last quarter of the year is of great concern. A cholera outbreak has been reported in the Burundi/Tanzania border among people fleeing the political tensions in Burundi. Cholera and Measles outbreaks have also increased in Somalia.

The ability of the humanitarian community to meet these growing needs is constraint by two factors:

• Potential reduction in humanitarian space due to restrictive legislation and violence. Following the Al Shabaab attack on Garissa, the Government of Kenya has threatened to close down the Dadaab refugee camp. Whilst there has since been a recommitment to the November 2013 Tripartite Agreement between the Governments of Kenya and Somalia and UNHCR, on voluntary returns, concerns about the rise of extremism are increasingly influencing policy, which can have serious humanitarian consequences. Humanitarian space is shrinking across the region, as part of longer-term trend Sudan, or newly adopted legislation in South Sudan. Concerns about the rise of violent extremism and the stability of states, combined with domestic elections have the potential to override international obligations and humanitarian principles. High levels of violence are also preventing aid workers from carrying out their work. For instance, since late April, some 151 staff members from 22 organizations have been relocated from southern Unity State in South Sudan due to the insecurity. The killing of 4 UN staff in an Al Shabaab attack in Garowe, Puntland, on 20 April was another devastating reminder of the dangerous operating environment in Somalia, and likely tocause long term implications for its management for operational agencies in Somalia.

• Underfunding: Global humanitarian requirements have also continued to rise. In 2015, a record $19.1 billion will be required to assist over 114 million people in 35 countries. Humanitarian requirements for the Great Lakes and Horn of Africa exceed $5 billion. However this requirement is increasingly unlikely to be funded at acceptable levels. Globally, $3.38 billion have been committed so far (18%), leaving a shortfall of $15.7 billion. In 2013 the Syria response plans received the largest amount of overall funding: 38 per cent of appeal funding ($3.1 billion). This amount was larger than the combined funding received by DRC, Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan.
Borderlands throughout the region are particularly at risk and the compound effects of these eight dynamics could in particular affect the following areas:

• Greater Upper Nile in South Sudan: Highest multi-dimensional poverty level, intensifying conflict, economic collapse and shrinking humanitarian space.

• South–Central Somalia: continuing insecurity and underfunding of the appeal, with potential closure of Dadaab and inflow from Yemen, and cutting off of remittances.

• Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) – High level of food insecurity, existing caseload of IDP’s, inflow from Burundi and upsurge in conflict.

• Northern Kenya: Conduit and corridor for proliferation for small arms, heavily marginalised areas in the North, at risk of terrorist attack.

• Djibouti: A dramatic increase in the mixed migrants coming across the Gulf of Aden into the most vulnerable regions like Obock. Humanitarian appeals traditionally underfunded due to middle-income status of the country.

• Western Tanzania will be a country of concern if Dadaab closes and outflows from Burundi continue.

• Ethiopia has witnessed failing rains, receiving insufficient levels of humanitarian funding and is hosting increasing numbers of refugees from neighbouring states.

Uganda: ACT Alliance Preliminary Appeal: Congolese Refugee Influx in Uganda – UGA152

30 June 2015 - 8:04am
Source: ACT Alliance Country: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda

Preliminary Appeal Target: US$ 470,046 Balance

Requested: US$ 470,046

Geneva, 30 June 2015

Dear Colleagues,

A new wave of attacks by the suspected Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) and Mai Mai hit the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo1 . It forced thousands of Congolese to reportedly flee from possible abduction, forced recruitment and rape. The capacity to ferry the refugees to various settlements in the country such as Kyakka, Nakivale, Oruchinga, Kyangwali and Rwamwanja had to be boosted. Over 56.3% of these new refugees are women and children under 18 years.

The ACT Alliance through LWF has already been operational in Rwamwanja Refugee site in Kamwenge district, to ensure that the basic needs of all refugees from DRC are covered. However, with this increased influx, the UNHCR and the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) have opened up a new site in Rwamwanja called Mahiga. As of June 2015, 4017 new refugees had been settled in the newly established refugee site of Mahiga and more are expected. In the first week of May, a joint Rapid assessment conducted on this new site identified gaps in all sectors. The new influx continues to over stretch the limited services in the settlement and the new arrivals are in immediate need of life saving assistance.

The ACT Uganda Forum will contribute to the immediate assistance and early recovery of the Congolese refugees, in order to reduce the impact of the crisis among the refugees and the host communities in Kamwenge District, through the following ACT members: the Lutheran World Federation (LWF), the Finn Church Aid (FCA) and the Uganda Joint Christian Council (UJCC).

Rwanda: IOM, Government of Rwanda Honour Gains Made by Rwandan Returnees

30 June 2015 - 7:45am
Source: International Organization for Migration Country: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda

Rwanda - A total of 782 Rwandan returnees, majority of whom came from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) are advancing today after successfully completing a five-month practical skills training programme carried out under the framework of the “One United Nations” Sustainable Return and Reintegration Programme.

The returnees are being honoured by IOM and Rwanda’s Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs (MIDIMAR) in Karongi District, 153 kilometres from Kigali.

Between January and June 2015, the returnees and other vulnerable groups received hands-on skills training through a reintegration programme carried out by IOM in collaboration with MIDIMAR and funded by the Government of Sweden through the “One United Nations” framework.

Beneficiaries have also received from IOM business start-up kits, after successfully completing the training programme that sought to enhance their skills on employability and entrepreneurship.

Participants who also include vulnerable members from host communities were drawn from ten MIDIMAR priority districts, namely Bugesera, Karongi, Musanze, Ngororero, Nyabihu, Nyamagabe, Nyamasheke, Rubavu, Rusizi and Rutsiro.

“After their graduation, they will enter the labor market. It is an exciting opportunity for the beneficiaries because it supports them to become economically independent,” said the IOM Chief of Mission for Rwanda, Catherine Northing.

Through this project, 388 beneficiaries received training in tailoring, 36 in mechanics, 117 in welding, 92 in carpentry, 35 in masonry, 75 in hairdressing, 18 in knitting, 10 in handicrafts, six in shoemaking and five in photography.

Over three million former Rwandan refugees have returned home since the tragic genocide against the Tutsi in 1994. An additional 15,000 have returned as result of ongoing instability in the DRC and in response to the Cessation Clause of the refugee status which came into force in June 2013. By the end of 2015, 8,000 more refugees are expected to return as a new sensitization campaign could increase the willingness for voluntary repatriation.

With limited resources and livelihood skills, most of these returnees are in great need of help. Building on its experience and lessons learned, IOM is seeking for funding to extend its assistance, particularly with regard to skills training, as part of the coordinated effort within the One United Nations.

For further information, please contact Eriko Nishimura, IOM Rwanda, Tel: +250 252 586710, Email: enishimura@iom.int

United Republic of Tanzania: Thousands of refugees continue to flee Burundi - UNHCR

30 June 2015 - 7:20am
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees Country: Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia

GENEVA, June 30 (UNHCR) – Nearly 10,000 Burundian refugees fled into neighbouring countries over the weekend before the Central African country closed its borders on Sunday ahead of parliamentary elections the following day, the UN refugee agency said.

UNHCR said that according to the Burundian authorities the border would remain closed for 48 hours, "as was usual practice" during elections.

"Refugees now have to use informal border crossings through the forest to leave the country," UNHCR spokesperson Melissa Fleming told a press briefing in Geneva.

UNHCR offices in Tanzania, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) started to report a sharp increase in new refugee arrivals from the middle of last week, but this rose rapidly over the weekend (June 27-28).

"Over the weekend, the pace of arrivals spiked, with more than 6,000 arrivals in Tanzania and over 3,000 in Rwanda," Fleming added. "On Monday, we only registered 777 Burundian arrivals in Rwanda, while more than 2,000 refugees managed to reach Tanzania through the forest."

UNHCR figures show a total of almost 144,000 refugees have now fled Burundi since the beginning of April when President Pierre Nkurunziza said he would stand for a third term, a decision which was denounced by the opposition and ushered in a period of violence and political unrest.

Large numbers of other people, who have not registered as refugees, are also believed to have fled the country.

Refugees arriving in Rwanda, Tanzania and DRC said that roads were being blocked and people suspected of heading to the border forced off buses.

Some have reportedly been arrested and others have had their belongings confiscated. Several of the men who arrived in Tanzania over the weekend said they had to walk for several hours, often through the bush and without luggage so as not to attract the attention of party militias and police.

Immigration and government refugee officials in the neighbouring countries continue to register Burundian refugees who manage to get through, even if they use unofficial border crossings.

"While initially most of the refugees were women and children, recently we have seen a growing number of men arriving. They cite the breakdown of efforts to resolve the situation and the lack of hope as the reasons for leaving," Fleming said.

People now fleeing the country say they fear violence will intensify during the electoral period, which started on Monday (June 29) with parliamentary elections and is scheduled to end with a controversial presidential poll on July 15.

In Zambia, 90 per cent of the Burundians registering as asylum seekers are young men.

In the neighbouring countries, UNHCR provides the arriving refugees with initial assistance, including hot meals and transports them to transit centres and eventually refugee sites, where more complete registration, health, water, sanitation and protection services as well as other assistance are available to them.

While UNHCR and its partners have geared up preparations for the arrival of larger numbers of refugees, a regional refugee response plan that seeks US$207 million to protect and assist up to 200,000 Burundian refugees, remains seriously underfunded with only 13 per cent of its requirements covered.

Since pre-election violence started in Burundi, nearly 144,000 refugees have fled the country, mostly to neighbouring Tanzania (66,612), Rwanda (56,508), DRC (11,500), Uganda (9,038) and Zambia (400).

Democratic Republic of the Congo: RDC-Centrafrique: solidarité transfrontalière entre réfugiés de guerre

30 June 2015 - 2:20am
Source: Agence France-Presse Country: Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo

LIBENGE, RD Congo | AFP | mardi 30/06/2015 - 05:31 GMT

par Habibou BANGRE

Gabriel, Marie et Laurène ont fui une guerre à Libenge, dans le nord-ouest de la République démocratique du Congo, en trouvant asile en Centrafrique. Reconnaissants, ils accueillent aujourd'hui des réfugiés de ce pays, qui peine à se relever d'un grave conflit intercommunautaire.

Libenge, dans le nord-ouest de la province de l'Équateur, est bordée par l'Oubangui, affluent du Congo qui sépare la RDC et la Centrafrique. Pendant la deuxième guerre du Congo (1998-2003), la rébellion de Jean-Pierre Bemba et l'armée du président Laurent-Désiré Kabila - à qui son fils Joseph Kabila succédera en 2001 - se sont affrontées dans la région.

"A l'époque, il y avait un excès de bombes" et les soldats de l'armée régulière se livraient à des "pillages du bétail" et à des "mariages forcés", affirme Gabriel, 55 ans. "C'est suite à l'intensité des combats entre Bemba et Kabila que j'ai décidé de fuir."

Marie, 75 ans, se souvient qu'il y a eu de nombreux "pillages" et, surtout, que "les gens mouraient beaucoup". "J'ai perdu ma fille et trois petits-fils dans la guerre", dit-elle, sans émotion apparente.

Gabriel et Marie ont traversé l'Oubangui pour se rendre côté centrafricain. Destination : Zinga. Lui a vécu plusieurs mois chez un chef local, et elle environ un an dans un hangar avec d'autres réfugiés congolais. La paix revenue, ils sont rentrés au pays.

Mais fin 2009, ils ont dû fuir l'expansion d'un conflit, plus au sud, entre les communautés enyele et munzaya, qui se disputaient des étangs poissonneux. Le conflit a fait au moins 270 morts et poussé 200.000 personnes à s'exiler, dont plus de la moitié au Congo, 20.000 en Centrafrique et les autres dans l'Équateur.

De retour en Centrafrique, Gabriel rencontre des habitants qui lui offrent "du manioc et d'autres choses à manger", ainsi qu'une "portion de terre à cultiver". Marie aussi a eu droit à un lopin de terre, qu'elle a partagé avec des habitants du coin en mal d'emploi.

  • 'Une même famille' -

En mars 2013, le président centrafricain François Bozizé, au pouvoir depuis 2003, est chassé par la Séléka.

Les exactions de cette rébellion à dominante musulmane poussent à la création des milices anti-balaka, majoritairement formées de chrétiens: le pays bascule dans des violences interreligieuses qui font des milliers de victimes et provoquent un nouvel afflux de déplacés et réfugiés.

Gabriel et Marie retournent alors en RDC, où se réfugient certains de leurs amis centrafricains.

Lorsque Gabriel apprend que la mère de ses bienfaiteurs, Delphine, 77 ans, a échoué au camp de Boyabu, à une vingtaine de kilomètres de Libenge, il part la chercher. "Vu le service que m'avaient rendu ses enfants, j'avais le devoir moral de l'accueillir", explique-t-il.

Marie a pour sa part accueilli six réfugiés de la famille qui l'avait aidée en Centrafrique. Ils s'ajoutent aux 19 membres de son foyer. "C'est très difficile de se nourrir car on n'a pas d'assistance", mais "il y a l'amour et la solidarité car nous formons une même famille", dit-elle.

Laurène, 50 ans, a fui les mêmes guerres que Gabriel et Marie et a dû revenir en 2014 à cause des événements en Centrafrique. Avec son mari, pasteur, elle héberge aujourd'hui cinq réfugiés, dont sa belle-fille. "Comme eux aussi ont fui un conflit, il fallait pouvoir les accueillir", malgré les faibles ressources.

Pascaline, vendeuse de légumes, ne peut pas en faire autant, et le déplore amèrement. "Des réfugiés m'ont demandé de les héberger, mais j'ai dû refuser, faute de moyens. Je le regrette: ces gens m'ont bien accueillie, je devais les accueillir moi aussi!"

Delphine, veuve depuis des années, vit depuis neuf mois avec la famille de Gabriel. La vieille dame, accompagnée de son petit-fils, espère le retour de la paix dans son pays. "Tant que la situation demeure instable en Centrafrique, dit-elle, je préfère mourir et être enterrée ici."

hab/mj/etb/tmo/sba

Malawi: Southern Africa: SADC 10 Year Overview - Disaster Events and Funding (2005 - 2015)

29 June 2015 - 9:02pm
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Overview

Over the past 10 years the SADC region has experienced 545 disaster events which affected approximately 39 million people and resulted in 5,300 deaths (EMDAT). The highest number of disaster events occurred in 2006/2007 and 2011, with fewer disaster events during the last 3 years. Droughts and floods affected the highest number of people. The largest number of people were affected in Malawi, Zimbabwe and Tanzania respectively, with the most people affected during 2005 and 2007.

Funding committed, contributed or pledged for humanitarian events and disasters over the 10 year period amounted to USD 10.2 billion, with food aid receiving 41% (4.16 billion) of that allocation. (OCHA FTS).

Burundi: Les civils fuient le Burundi avant les élections de la semaine prochaine

29 June 2015 - 4:20pm
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees Country: Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia

GENÈVE, 26 juin (HCR) – Un nombre croissant de personnes fuient le Burundi avant les élections législatives prévues lundi prochain et qui avaient déjà provoqué des semaines de violence. Par ailleurs, des milliers de personnes ont cherché refuge au-delà des frontières de cet Etat d'Afrique centrale, a déclaré le HCR vendredi.

Les représentations du HCR dans les pays voisins ont noté une augmentation constante du nombre d'arrivées de réfugiés burundais ces derniers jours. Tout porte à croire que l'exode est susceptible de s'accroître. Plus de 600 personnes traversent chaque jour vers le Rwanda, entre 200 et 300 vers la Tanzanie, et entre 150 à 200 personnes vers l'Ouganda.

« Les civils expliquent avoir fui l'instabilité politique générale et la violence liée aux élections, y compris des attaques à l'arme légère et à la grenade, ainsi que des arrestations arbitraires », a déclaré le porte-parole du HCR Adrian Edwards lors d'un point de presse à Genève.

L'instabilité politique au Burundi a commencé début avril, lorsque le Président Pierre Nkurunziza avait annoncé qu'il allait se présenter pour un troisième mandat, une décision dénoncée par l'opposition comme étant inconstitutionnelle.

Près de 127 000 Burundais se sont déjà enregistrés en tant que réfugiés. Cependant, beaucoup d'autres auraient également quitté le pays, mais ils ne se sont pas enregistrés. Selon les dernières statistiques officielles, quelque 62 000 Burundais se trouveraient en Tanzanie voisine, 45 000 au Rwanda, 8855 en Ouganda, 10 590 en République démocratique du Congo, et enfin 400 auraient rejoint la lointaine Zambie.

Au Rwanda, le nombre d'arrivants a fortement augmenté ces derniers jours, avec plus de 600 réfugiés traversant quotidiennement la frontière. L'enregistrement des réfugiés dans la capitale Kigali se poursuit également, avec déjà quelque 10 000 Burundais enregistrés.

« Nous prévoyons que ce nombre continue de croître alors que l'enregistrement augmente dans la deuxième plus grande ville du Rwanda, Butare. Plus de 30 000 réfugiés ont été transférés vers le camp de réfugiés de Mahama, dont la capacité initiale d'accueil est de 50 000 réfugiés », a noté Adrian Edwards, ajoutant: « En Tanzanie, les réfugiés continuent d'arriver au rythme de près de 200 à 300 personnes par jour. »

En Tanzanie, les nouveaux arrivants sont transférés vers le camp de réfugiés de Nyarugusu. Avant l'arrivée récente de milliers de réfugiés burundais, le camp abritait déjà plus de 60 000 réfugiés congolais.

« La Tanzanie accueille désormais près de 120 000 réfugiés, avec des conditions de surpeuplement. Les installations sont mises à rude épreuve », a déclaré Adrian Edwards.

Le HCR travaille avec ses partenaires et le Gouvernement de Tanzanie pour identifier un autre site et y établir un nouveau camp.

Dans la province du Sud-Kivu en RDC, les réfugiés étaient initialement hébergés par des réfugiés burundais qui avaient quitté le pays il y a des années. De nombreux hôtes vivent eux-mêmes dans des conditions difficiles. Afin de pouvoir offrir une meilleure prestation en matière de protection et d'assistance, les réfugiés qui arrivent sont désormais transférés vers le site de réfugiés de Lusenda.

En prévision de nouvelles arrivées, les transferts ont été accélérés ces derniers jours. Deux centres de transit à la frontière sont maintenant vides et prêts à accueillir d'autres arrivants avant l'ouverture du scrutin lundi.

En mai, le HCR et ses 17 partenaires avaient lancé le Plan d'aide régional aux réfugiés burundais pour un montant de 207 millions de dollars afin de protéger et d'aider jusqu'à 200 000 réfugiés burundais. Malgré la détérioration de la situation au Burundi, le Plan a été financé seulement à hauteur de 13 pour cent. De ce fait, des services essentiels, comme l'eau, la santé et l'assainissement, sont sérieusement sous-financés.

Democratic Republic of the Congo: DRC to Offer Training for Former Child Soldiers, Sex Abuse Victims

29 June 2015 - 4:13pm
Source: Voice of America Country: Democratic Republic of the Congo

Nick Long

GOMA, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO— The Democratic Republic of Congo’s government has launched a training program for former child combatants and victims of sexual violence.

Nearly 80 people crammed into a small village hall Friday in Nyiragongo territory in eastern Congo to witness the signing of an agreement to help young victims, and perpetrators, of recent violence rebuild their lives.

The two most important signatures on the document were those of the DRC president’s personal representative in charge of the fight against sexual violence and the recruitment of children, Jeanine Mabunda, and that of the administrator of Congo’s National Institute for Professional Training, Maurice Tshikuyi.

Speaking through a translator, Tshikuyi said he and his Institute for Professional Training colleagues came to the meeting from Kinshasa because they wanted the agreement to be witnessed by local people.

“Do you want me to sign this document?” he asked, to a chorus of approval.

Making payments

Under the agreement, the government will pay the Institute for Professional Training $25,000 to give two months of skills training to 75 people, mostly young former combatants or victims of sexual violence.

Officially, Mabunda’s office has a mandate to work for the reintegration of former child soldiers into civilian life. In a sense that mission is largely accomplished, as the Congolese army demobilized its own under-age fighters years ago.

Mabunda told reporters that her office and the U.N. Children's Fund found there was not a single child soldier at any DRC army camp that they visited.

There are still many under age combatants and former combatants from eastern Congo’s armed groups, however, and sexual violence is still a major problem, although its scale should not be exaggerated, said Mabunda. She cited statistics indicating sexual violence cases reported in eastern DRC fell by 33 percent between 2013 and last year, from about 15,000 to about 10,000.

The U.N. reports the Congolese security forces’ involvement in sexual violence has fallen sharply.

The 75 youngsters to be enrolled for training are likely just a first wave, said Mabunda.

This training for Nyiragongo is a pilot program, she said, and it should be repeated in other territories of North Kivu and in other provinces.

Thomas Ngumijimana, one of the ex-combatants who wants to enroll on an INPP course, said most of them want training in agriculture, livestock rearing or carpentry, because that is what most people do around here.

Ngumijimana said that after some training he could make $150 with agriculture over three months.

Learning skills

The young women said they hoped to enroll on courses in dressmaking, pastry making and soap making.

The Institute for Professional Training already has partnerships with the French Development Agency and other donors and is a trusted provider of training.

The government’s pledge to spend $25,000 on these training courses comes two days after the head of the United Nations Mission in Congo, Martin Kobler, raised questions about the government’s commitment to reintegrating former combatants.

Kobler said the official program for reintegrating former combatants has not yet started, although MONUSCO has allocated $6 million to a World Bank trust fund for the process. Donors have been reluctant to contribute to the fund because the government’s contribution is not clear, he said.

But he added the new DRC defense minister is very active in trying to launch the program.

Burundi: OCHA Eastern Africa/Flash Update 13: 29 June 2015 - Elections Crisis in Burundi and Regional Impact

29 June 2015 - 10:55am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mozambique, Rwanda, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania

General developments

Local and parliamentary elections proceeded today as scheduled, despite calls from the political opposition, civil society and the international community to postpone, and despite the political opposition’s decision to boycott the polls.

Sounds of gunfire and blasts have been heard in the capital, Bujumbura, in recent nights, but it is not clear who is involved in these exchanges. A spate of grenade attacks in the city has also occurred, resulting in numerous deaths and injuries. Perpetrators have not been identified.

On Friday, the United States Government said that “[i]n light of Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza’s continued efforts to violate the Arusha Agreement, seek a third term and press ahead with electoral dates absent the conditions necessary for credible elections” it would be withholding technical assistance to Burundi's Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI), as well as voter education activities that were to be implemented in cooperation with CENI. The US said it would consider reinstating these measures “if President Nkurunziza’s government takes concrete steps to improve the electoral environment and process.” However, the US warned that it was “prepared to take additional measures against those individuals responsible for - or complicit in- undermining democracy and the rule of law and promoting instability in Burundi, including through politically-motivated violence and other human rights abuses.”

On Saturday, the European Union announced it would be definitively ending its electoral observer mission, which it had earlier suspended, stating that conditions were not conducive to free and fair elections, and reiterating its call for dialogue.

On Sunday, National Assembly President Pie Ntavyohanyuma announced from Brussels in a live broadcast on France 24 news that he had left Burundi and urged President Nkurunziza not to seek a third term. This followed a similar announcement and call against a third-term bid on Thursday from Belgium via France 24 by Second Vice-President Gervais Rufyikiri.

Also on Sunday, the African Union announced it would not be observing today’s elections, noting that “the necessary conditions are not met for the organization of free, fair, transparent and credible elections, in compliance with the relevant provisions of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance.” AU Chairperson Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma stated that “the stalemate in the political process and the increase in acts of violence may undermine the important gains made following the conclusion of the 2000 Arusha Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation and the 2003 Comprehensive Ceasefire Agreement, with serious implications for peace and security in Burundi and for the stability of the entire region.” She reiterated previous appeals to the Government and to all other parties “to take a full measure of the dangers threatening their country, respond positively to the urgent calls for dialogue and restraint made by the region, and to uphold the supreme interests of Burundi at this crucial phase of its history, including by agreeing to postponing the elections to the date proposed by the International Facilitation.”

The UN Electoral Observation Mission in Burundi, MENUB, thus remained the only international observation entity preset in the country. However, in a statement issued on Sunday, MENUB noted that “this should not be interpreted as being in support of any parties, nor as a validation of the process.”

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed concern on Sunday “about the Government of Burundi's insistence on going ahead with elections on 29 June despite the prevailing political and security environment.” He reiterated his appeal to all Burundian political leaders “to consider the wider interest of the people of their country and to resolve political issues through dialogue in order to preserve peace and strengthen national reconciliation.” Condemning recent attacks reported in the country, he appealed to all Burundians to refrain from violent acts, in line with the Charter of Non-Violence agreed by all parties.

Meanwhile, Burundi’s largest private radio and/or television stations – Radio Publique Africaine (RPA),
Isanganiro, Bonesha and Renaissance – remained closed by Government order.

Humanitarian developments

Following recommendations from an inter-agency rapid assessment mission conducted from 28-30 May in Kirundo Province, northern Burundi, which found food insecurity to be a major concern, a province-wide nutritional screening was conducted from 15-19 June. A total of 97,447 children aged 6-59 months (82 per cent coverage) were screened for acute malnutrition. Results showed 6 per cent global acute malnutrition (GAM) and 1.5 per cent severe acute malnutrition (SAM). While these results were encouraging, with GAM and SAM below emergency levels, partners are concerned that the ongoing harvest period may have buffered the prevalence of malnutrition in the region. A follow-up screening is therefore foreseen in six months.

Results from a similar follow-up inter-agency rapid assessment mission to Kabonga Zone, Nyanza Lac Commune of Makamba Province, southern Burundi, are expected later this week.

Meanwhile, the cholera outbreak persists in Nyanza Lac Commune of Makamba Province, with a cumulative total of 162 cases reported as of 27 June since mid-May in two treatment centers.
To respond to human rights concerns, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has established phone numbers for the public. Queries in Kirundi and Swahili can be addressed to: 22 20 58 16 or 76 12 58 16, while queries in French and English can be addressed to 22 20 58 17 or 76 12 58 17. It should be noted that the calls are not free of charge.

Regional impact

On Friday, the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, reported a steady increase in arrivals of Burundian refugees in neighbouring countries. UNHCR reported that new arrivals said they were fleeing general political instability and elections-related violence, including small arms and grenade attacks, and arbitrary arrests. Since turmoil began in early April, nearly 127,000 Burundians have registered as refugees in Tanzania (62,000), Rwanda (45,000), Uganda (8,855), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (10,590), and even Zambia (400), according to UNHCR. Many more Burundians are thought to have left the country, UNHCR noted, but have not registered as refugees, and their number is unknown.

A month ago, UNHCR and 17 partners launched the Regional Refugee Response Plan, seeking US$207 million to protect and assist up to 200,000 Burundian refugees. Although the situation in Burundi is deteriorating further and refugee numbers are increasing rapidly, the response plan is only funded at 13 per cent, according to UNHCR, leaving crucial activities such as shelter, water, health, sanitation and education seriously underfunded.

Background

Civil unrest erupted on 26 April in Bujumbura after the ruling CNDD-FDD party elected President Pierre Nkurunziza on 25 April as its candidate for the 26 June presidential election. Nkurunziza has been in office for two terms since 2005, and a broad array of actors warned that an attempt to seek a third term was unconstitutional and contrary to the spirit of the 2000 Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement for Burundi that ended a decade of civil war in the country. Despite an appeal by the Senate, Burundi’s Constitutional Court determined that President Nkurunziza was eligible for re-election – although the Court’s deputy president fled to Rwanda prior to this decision. A coup d’état was subsequently launched on 13 May in Bujumbura while President Nkurunziza was at an East African Community Summit in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, intended to try to resolve the current crisis in Burundi. The coup was rapidly thwarted, and President Nkurunziza returned to the country.

The next Flash Update will be issued according to developments in the situation. In the meantime, for further information, contact Matthew Conway, Public Information Officer, OCHA Eastern Africa, at conwaym@un.org. To receive this and other OCHA Eastern Africa reports, please subscribe at http://bit.ly/1lunDLk

Democratic Republic of the Congo: Worried mother brings her malnourished daughter to hospital

29 June 2015 - 2:36am
Source: UN Children's Fund Country: Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo

posted on JUNE 25, 2015 by NDIAGA SECK

Luvungi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 5 June 2015 – “My daughter Myriam has been very ill lately. She had fever and her legs were swollen. Her hair changed. That’s why I brought her to hospital this morning,” says worried 25 year-old Navran Tulinabo from Luvungi, South Kivu eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). With her 2 year-old baby girl on her lap, the mother of six is waiting to see a doctor.

Since violence flared in Burundi, some 10,000 men, women and children fled the country to settle in Uvira and Fizi Territories of DRC’s South Kivu Province. As UNICEF reinforces the health system to better serve refugees and host families, its partner International Rescue Committee (IRC) in the Rapid Response to Population Movements (RRMP) mechanism opened outpatient therapeutic units in Lemera and Ruzizi health zones to treat severe, acute and chronic malnutrition.

“When I arrived this morning, the nurse conducted some tests on my daughter. He weighed her, checked her arms and legs and gave me some medicine,” Tulinabo explains.

UNICEF has positioned 225 boxes of ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) like Plumpy Nuts, and 30 boxes of therapeutic milk have been made available to government partner PRONANUT to care for over 1,000 malnourished children.

Like a great number of children in the Luvungi area, Myriam suffers from severe acute malnutrition. “Severe acute malnutrition rates are at six percent in Luvungi and lately thousands of refugees settled here,” says IRC nutritionist Pascal Bahati.

“Frequent pregnancies are listed among causes of malnutrition in the area as women give birth while their children are still too young. So, mothers wean children too early.” In addition, recurrent armed conflicts in the area have also eroded the socio-economic structures that supported the most vulnerable families.

In the Luvungi outpatient centre, several mothers and fathers wait for their children to be consulted. “When children arrive in the centre, we weigh them, measure their height and their mid-upper arm circumference. The doctor explains to parents what the problem is and gives them medicine,” says Bahati.

“In addition to Plumpy nuts, we give children Vitamin A, deworming tablets of Mebendazole, antibiotics like Amoxicillin. Some children are also vaccinated against preventable diseases.”

Bahati puts high-energy peanut paste in a plastic bag and hands it over to Tulinabo. “This medicine is only for Myriam, not for other children at home,” reassures Tulinabo. “The doctor said the treatment lasts 7 days. I must give it to my daughter morning, noon and evening.” Tulinabo tears open a RUTF package and gives the beige soft product to Myriam, and the girl swallows some of it and licks her lips. She seems to like it.

According to Bahati, parents are key to outpatient treatment, and they must follow the national nutritional protocol. “After a week, the mother will come take another lot of RUFT. In three to four weeks, Myriam will be cured if she doesn’t share her medicine with her siblings” Bahati underlines.

Early June, UNICEF and partner IRC completed a 5-day vaccination campaign aiming at immunizing 66,823 refugee and host family children aged between zero and 59 months against the crippling disease of polio and 59,752 among them aged between six and 59 months against measles. UNICEF gives free medical assistance to refugees and vulnerable host families in Luvungi, Mulongwe and Bwegera. Along with IRC, it will expand the RRMP response to other health structures if needs are identified.

Democratic Republic of the Congo: Des mères inquiètes amènent leurs filles mal nourries à l’hôpital

29 June 2015 - 2:32am
Source: UN Children's Fund Country: Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo

posted on JUNE 25, 2015 by NDIAGA SECK

Le 5 juin 2015, Luvungi, République démocratique du Congo. Navran Tulinabo, originaire de cette région du Sud Kivu (Est de la RDC), est inquiète : « Ma fille Myriam a été très malade ces derniers temps. Elle a eu de la fièvre et ses jambes ont gonflé. Ses cheveux ont changé. C’est pourquoi je l’ai amenée à l’hôpital ce matin ». Avec sa fille de 2 ans sur ses genoux, cette mère de 6 enfants attend qu’un docteur arrive.

Avec la violence qui a embrasé le Burundi à cause de la volonté du président Nkurunziza de se briguer un troisième mandat, quelques 10 000 hommes, femmes et enfants ont fui le pays pour Uvira et Fizi, territoires de RDC situés dans la province du Sud Kivu.

Alors que l’UNICEF renforce actuellement son système de santé pour mieux répondre aux besoins des réfugiés et des familles qui les accueillent, son partenaire International Rescue Committee (IRC, comité de secours international) ainsi que le mécanisme Rapid Response to Population Movements (RRMP, Réponse rapide aux mouvements de populations) ont ouvert des unités de soins thérapeutiques dans les zones dites de santé, à Lemera et Ruzizi, et ce afin de traiter la malnutrition aiguë sévère et chronique.

Tulinabo explique que quand elle est arrivée ce matin: « l’infirmier a fait des tests sur ma fille. Il l’a pesée, a vérifié ses bras et ses jambes et lui a donné quelques médicaments ».

L’UNICEF a mis à disposition 225 cartons de nourriture thérapeutique prête à l’usage telle que des Plumpy Nuts, ainsi que 30 cartons de lait thérapeutique qui ont été mis à la disposition du partenaire gouvernemental PRONANUT dans le but de venir en aide à un millier d’enfants mal nourris.

Comme un grand nombre d’enfants de la région de Luvungi, Myriam souffre de malnutrition aiguë sévère. Selon le nutritionniste Pascal Bahati, « le taux de malnutrition aiguë sévère dans la région est de 6% et récemment, des milliers de réfugiés se sont installés ici.

Les grossesses trop fréquentes sont suspectées d’être une des causes de cette malnutrition car les femmes accouchent alors que leurs autres enfants sont encore trop jeunes. Par conséquent, les mères arrêtent trop tôt l’allaitement de leurs bébés ».

Dans le centre de soin de Luvungi, plusieurs mères et pères attendant que leurs enfants puissent être pris en charge. Bahati explique : « Quand un enfant arrive au centre, on le pèse, on le mesure et on prend la circonférence de son bras. Le docteur explique aux parents quel est le problème et il leur donne des médicaments. En plus de Plumpy Nuts, on leur donne des vitamines A, des traitements vermifuges au Mebendazole et des antibiotiques, comme de l’Amoxicillin. Certains enfants sont en plus vaccinés contre certaines maladies.»

Bahati met de la pâte de cacahuète à haute intensité énergétique dans un sac en plastique et le tend à Tulinabo. Cette dernière rassure l’infirmier : « Ce n’est que pour Myriam, pas pour mes autres enfants. Le docteur a dit que le traitement devait durer 7 jours. Je dois le donner à ma fille matin, midi et soir. ». Tulinabo ouvre le sac et donne un produit léger de couleur beige à Myriam.

La petite fille en avale un peu et se lèche les babines. Elle semble aimer. Selon Bahati, les parents sont la clé dans la bonne administration des traitements et ils doivent se plier au protocole nutritionnel national: « Après une semaine, la mère revient chercher un autre sac de médicaments. Dans trois à quatre semaines, Myriam sera guérie si elle ne partage pas ses médicaments avec ses frères et sœurs ».

Début Juin, l’UNICEF et son partenaire IRC ont terminé une campagne de vaccination de 5 jours qui avait pour but d’immuniser contre la polio 66 823 réfugiés et enfants de familles d’accueil âgés de zéro à 59 mois, ainsi que 59 757 d’entre eux contre la rougeole.

L’UNICEF offre une assistance médicale gratuite aux réfugiés ainsi qu’aux familles d’accueil vulnérables de Luvungi, Mulongwe et Bwegera. Avec IRC, elle étendra sa réponse rapide aux mouvements de population à d’autres structures de soin si les besoins s’en font sentir.

Democratic Republic of the Congo: UNICEF stands by its commitment to putting an end to serious violations of children’s rights during armed conflicts in DRC

29 June 2015 - 2:25am
Source: UN Children's Fund Country: Democratic Republic of the Congo

posted on JUNE 26, 2015 by SYLVIE SONA

In light of the commemoration of the 10th anniversary of Resolution 1612, UNICEF and the Joint Technical Working Group (JTWG) is launching an awareness-raising campaign all over the Democratic Republic of Congo from 26 June to 26 July, to celebrate 10 years of fighting against serious violations of children’s rights during armed conflicts.

Adopted by the United Nations Security Council on 26th July 2005, Resolution 1612 created a monitoring and reporting mechanism (MRM) on six serious violations that are committed against children during armed conflict: the recruitment and use of children, killing and mutilation of children, sexual violence committed against children, attacks against schools or hospitals, child abduction and refusal for humanitarian organisations to gain access to children.

The Joint Technical Working Group, made up of the DRC Government, MONUSCO, UNICEF and other partners, aims to ensure the establishment of an Action Plan to put an end to serious violations of children’s rights in armed conflict.

Over one month, several activities will be put in place throughout the whole country. These include broadcasting adverts, programs, theatre pieces and organising press meetings.

During this awareness-raising campaign, children from West, East and Southern DRC will, over the course of a workshop, discuss the monitoring and reporting mechanism on serious violations of children’s rights during armed conflict in DRC. The workshop is organised by UNICEF with a view to allow children to express their opinions and to contribute efficiently to the promotion of their rights, in general, and during armed conflict in particular.

The establishment of this mechanism in DRC in August 2006 has resulted in significant progress, including the signature, in 2012, of the Action Plan for the fight against the recruitment and use of child soldiers but also other serious violations of children’s rights by armed force and DRC security services.

But this is not enough. In 2014, 855 children were identified as direct victims of armed conflicts. To this number must be added at least 31 000 children whose education has been affected by these conflicts, 19 attacked hospitals and 7 cases of rejection of humanitarian aid.

Considerable progress in 2014 can be seen in that only a single case of child recruitment in DRC’s armed forces was documented. UNICEF brings its support to programs that assist children, including the victims of armed conflict, in areas such as health, nutrition, water hygiene and sanitisation, education, and protection.

About Mechanism 1612

Security Council Resolution 1612, adopted in 2005, established a monitoring and reporting mechanism (MRM) for six serious children’s rights violations, namely the recruitment or use of child by parties to the conflict, the killing or mutilation of children, the rape of children or other serious acts of sexual violence, abduction, attacks against schools and hospitals, and restrictions to humanitarian access. Once a party yo a conflict has been included in the “black list” of the Secretary-General’s report on children and armed conflict, the only way for it to be taken off the list is to sign and put in place an Action Plan.

About UNICEF

At UNICEF, we promote the rights and well-being of every child, in everything that we do. We work in 190 countries and territories in the whole sold with our partners to make this commitment a reality, investing special efforts to reach the most vulnerable and marginalized children, in the interest of all children, wherever they may be. For more information on UNICEF and its work: www.unicef.org

For more information, please contact

Yves Willemot, Head of Communications, UNICEF DRC, + 243 (0) 81 88 46 746, ywillemot@unicef.org
Sylvie Sona, Communications Officer, UNICEF RDC, + 243 (0) 817096215, ” nssona@unicef.org.

For more information on the situation children in DRC and on UNICEF’s action: www.ponabana.com