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Yemen: UNHCR Regional Update - Yemen Situation #37 (March 2016)

4 hours 36 min ago
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees Country: Djibouti, Ethiopia, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen

KEY FIGURES

3,197,543
People affected by the conflict (in Yemen and adjacent countries), including refugees and internally displaced persons prior to and as a result of the current conflict.

2,755,916
Persons internally displaced prior to and as a result of the current conflict.

173,753
Arrivals to Djibouti, Ethiopia Oman, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, and Sudan mainly by sea or overland since late March 2015.

267,874
Refugees in Yemen assisted with protection assistance and life sustaining interventions and items.

407,576
Internally displaced Yemenis reached in Yemen with emergency relief items since the onset of the crisis by UNHCR and partners.

FUNDING

USD 172.2 Million
Requested by UNHCR for the situation

UNHCR’s Supplementary Appeal for the Yemen Situation Emergency Response, January – December 2016, is available here

HIGHLIGHTS

Yemen:
- On 30 March, the Humanitarian Country Team adopted its strategy for IDP response in Yemen aimed at providing a framework for a coordinated, multi-sector response.
- On 20 March, UNHCR sent thirteen trucks with emergency relief items to Taizz, accessing the governorate from Aden for the first time in nine months.
- Co-led by UNHCR and IOM, the Task Force on Population Movement published its 8th report validating a total figure of 2,755,916 IDPs in Yemen as of 31 March 2016.

Djibouti:
- Based on returned refugee cards and attestations, 555 Yemeni refugees have returned from Obock to Bab-al-Mandab, Yemen.

Ethiopia:
- After UNHCR advocacy, the government authorized preparations for a seventh relocation of 120 registered Somali refugees from Jijiga to Melkadida camps.

Somalia:
- The information campaign launched in September 2015 on the dangers of travelling to Yemen is ongoing.

Sudan:
- The majority of Yemeni children in Sudan do not attend school due in part to associated fees and transportation expenses.

Somalia: New trend for Somali youth

5 hours 30 min ago
Source: Norwegian Refugee Council Country: Somalia

By: Oda Lykke Mortensen (24.03.2016)

Children out of school in Somalia face challenges and risks that may threat their future. With the Go to School project, funded by UNICEF, 450,000 children have been given education.

Children of Somalia see their history painted with memories of conflict.

As many areas are not secure, 1,133,000 people have been forced to flee their homes to live in safer parts of Somalia. Additionally, 1,105,618 have fled the country.

For the children, the long lasting war and instability in the country is not only affecting their daily life, but also their future.

“Education is a right, it saves lives, education is the key to rebuilding a peaceful and prosperous Somalia,” says Abiti T. Gebretsadik, who is NRC’s Education CC Specialist Somalia.

Vulnerable and instability

By 2013, school enrolment rate in Somalia was one of the lowest in the world, according to UNICEF. Only four in ten children attended school, and one third of these were girls.

Without education children in Somalia stand vulnerable when facing risks and challenges in an unstable society.

“Like other fragile states, with limited access to formal education, children in Somalia face illiteracy,” Gebretsadik says, and continues: “Poverty, direct physical violence, gender based violence and lack of positive interactions with adults, can lead vulnerable children into conflict-related violence, like criminality. Without education, many stay unemployed, depending on other sources to survive. They lose their future perspective,” he says.

Creating new trends

For some children living in Baidoa town and a camp for internal displaced people (IDP) outside the town the situation is changing.

“I was traveling in the city of Baidoa and the IDP camp to document the shelter constructions when I got a chance to visit two schools, Dr. Ayub school in Baidoa and Salama Idale school in the IDP camp,” says Timothy T. Mutunga, Shelter Programme Manager for the Horn of Africa Region.

“For a number of years prior to 2012, school going girls in Baidoa and surrounding areas faced extreme obstacles to accessing education opportunities while women, despite skills, were restricted to working only at home. Today, there is a high level of girls attending the school in Baidoa where head teacher is also a woman,” Mutunga says.

The construction of both the IDP camp and the Salama Idale school was supported by the NRC. And the children were given blue and white uniforms.

The children attending both Dr. Ayub school in Baidoa and Salama Idale school, will change the future in Somalia for the better.

“Unemployment is one of the biggest threats to peace and stability in Somalia” says Gebretsadik

In 2013, UNICEF started a project called “Go-To-School” (G2S). Their goal was to provide education for 1 million children. Sharing goals with NRC, the organisations provided children in Somalia with education by programs like those at Dr. Ayub school in Baidoa and Salama Idale school in the IDP camp.

“One million children initiative is NRC’s ambitious goal to reach one million out of school children. This goal is meant to be achieved from 2015-2017,” says Gebretsadik.

The initiative has been highly positive for the area.

“With the G2S project so far 450,000 children and youth have been reached in South Central regions of Puntland and Somaliland, in Somalia,” says Gebretsadik.

Greece: Horrified shipwreck survivors watched as hundreds drowned

6 hours 43 min ago
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees Country: Egypt, Ethiopia, Greece, Italy, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, World, Yemen

ATHENS, Greece, May 2 (UNHCR) – All Yasin Osman Ibrahim and his three-year-old son Abdulrahman could do was watch in horror as more than 500 migrants and refugees drowned two weeks ago, in one of the Mediterranean's worst shipwrecks in modern history.

Clutching Abdulrahman to his chest, Yasin stood on the deck of a wooden boat as the sea swallowed hundreds aboard a sinking, overcrowded larger boat to which people smugglers were trying to transfer them.

The screams were deafening. Almost no one could swim. Yasin, a 24-year-old Somali who had been living in a refugee camp in Yemen, searched desperately for his five relatives among the flailing people in the water.

"We thought we would die, too," he said. "We thought, 'We are next'."

Yasin lost four relatives that day: two female cousins, one male cousin, and a cousin's three-month-old daughter. Another cousin, 28-year-old Molid Osman Adam, managed to swim to Yasin's boat, where men pulled him aboard.

Only 41 people survived: 23 Somalis, 11 Ethiopians, six Egyptians and one Sudanese. Yasin's son, Abdulrahman, was the only surviving child, and his cousin, Sowes Mohammed Dereye Mire, was one of three surviving women.

For three days they drifted aimlessly with little food or water, praying for rescue. Finally, on April 16, a Philippine cargo ship rescued them off the Libyan coast and took them to the Greek port of Kalamata. They are now staying in an Athens hotel, where they receive legal aid and psychological support from UNHCR and its local partner, the Greek NGO Praksis.

Several of the survivors have recounted to UNHCR their fight for survival at sea.

Until last year, Yasin never gave much thought to life in Europe. He had already fled home once.

He was studying information technology at university in Mogadishu when armed men killed his uncle in 2009. Afraid he would be killed, too, Yasin fled in a smugglers' boat across the Gulf of Aden to Yemen. For the next few years he lived in a refugee camp in Kharaz.

Yemen itself descended into civil war, preventing aid groups from supplying the camp with food and services and Yasin could not bear to see his family starve. Two months ago, he said goodbye to his wife, Fatima, and three-year-old daughter, Maryam, and sailed with Abdulrahman and 38 other people back across the Gulf of Aden in a smugglers' boat. They crossed Sudan and Libya by car. Then they waited for three weeks in a house run by smugglers near Tobruk in eastern Libya until they were able to cross the Mediterranean Sea.

"I came here to save my boy and his future, and the future of my wife and daughter," Yasin said. "I don't want my boy to ask me in 20 years, 'Father, why did you allow me to grow up as a refugee? Why didn't you ever try to take me out of here?' I want him to be like other children, to grow up in peace. I'm trying my best to save his life."

Before dawn, Yasin and Abdulrahman crammed into a wooden boat with 200 other people. The smugglers charged each $1,800 in exchange for safe passage to Italy.

For a full day all they saw before them was a fuzzy blue line where the sky met the sea. As night fell, they stopped beside the bigger boat. It creaked under the weight of about 300 migrants and refugees. Smugglers tied the two vessels together and made everyone transfer to the bigger boat.

The passengers panicked and protested, but the smugglers insisted. One by one, they clung to the ropes, women and children first, each trying not to look down at the water.

Suddenly, the bigger vessel began to tilt.

"The captain in that boat, he shouted, 'Balance! Balance! The boat's going down! Balance! Balance!'" said. Muhidin Hussein Muhumed, a shipwreck survivor from Hargeisa, Somalia, who was traveling with his six brothers.

Within three seconds, he said, the boat had turned over, plunging its passengers into the sea. Muhidin was still in the smaller boat, waiting to transfer.

The captain screamed that the boat was going down and the people would be killed, Muhidin said. "And my brothers are saying, 'Help me!' But I can't do nothing for my brothers."

"Why did I survive?" he added. "Why do I have my life? What is this life?"

The captain started the engine and sped away while the 41 people aboard the smaller boat tried to save people in the water. Hours later, the captain called for help, but when another vessel arrived, he went aboard and left the 41 survivors to fend for themselves.

For the next three days at sea, Muhidin thought of his wife and five children back home, all under age 10, as well as his dozens of nieces and nephews who were now fatherless after the deaths of his brothers.

He said they had left Somalia together, because their children had never known a life without conflict. The hoped to build a new life in Europe, then bring their families to join them.

Muhidin said he and other survivors stood on the deck, taking turns waving their shirts above their heads to get the attention of other passing ships, but none stopped.

Another survivor, 25-year-old Muaz Mahmud from Ethiopia, recalled that the captain had thrown a satellite phone aboard before he abandoned them. On the screen was written a phone number of the Italian coast guard, he said.

They called the number, and the coast guard explained how to find the boat's GPS coordinates. Hours later, they were rescued.

Although relieved to be alive, the survivors were still reeling from the massive loss of life.

"My wife and my baby, they died," says Muaz, who is now alone in Greece. "I couldn't do nothing. I couldn't save them because it was the middle of the ocean."

Muaz said the family, members of Ethiopia's Oromo ethnic group, were seeking safety in Europe after Muaz himself was jailed and threatened by government officials.

"If I go back to my country, they will kill me," he said.

By Tania Karas, Athens

Slovakia: Slovakia receives 37 Somalis from camps in Eritrea

11 hours 17 min ago
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees Country: Eritrea, Slovakia, Somalia

ASMARA, Eritrea, May 2 (UNHCR) – A group of 37 Somali refugees arrived in Slovakia from Eritrea on April 14 on their way for eventual resettlement in the United States, with the help of UNHCR, the Office of Refugee Affairs (ORA) and the International Organization of Migration (IOM).

The group takes the total of Somali refugees relocated this year to 281. They include 132 to Australia, 58 to Slovakia and 54 to Canada.

Among them were 52-year-old Shukri Abdi Quasim, his wife and four children, who fled to Eritrea 19 years ago from the town of Luuq, in the Somali province of Gedo, to escape ethnic and clan warfare. They had been living in refugee camps since their arrival.

Shukri and his family were among the first Somalis to arrive in Eritrea the 1990s, most of them from southern Somalia. The family belongs to the Marehan sub-clan of the Darod clan.

They spent the first three years in a refugee camp in the southern port of Assab and moved to Umkulu Refugee Camp on the outskirts of the coastal city of Massawa in 2000. They spent the next 16 years in Umkulu waiting for possible asylum.

"Life wasn't easy as a refugee," Shukri said. "We were receiving the rations and all services from UNHCR and ORA, but we still went through difficult times."

Despite this, Shukri said he became a camp leader in Umkulu and worked as a casual labourer in Massawa.

Finding permanent solutions for the Somalis in Eritrea has been a priority for UNHCR, as has been improving conditions and promoting self-reliance in Umkulu Camp. Small-scale livelihood schemes have been implemented over the years to help sustain the refugees.

Basic services provided are food, primary health care, education, water and sanitation. Livelihood projects have ranged from animal husbandry to small businesses, computer skills training and other small ventures.

Shukri was first interviewed as a potential resettlement candidate in 2008. At the time, more than 3,400 refugees were assessed. They had been in the camp for more than 20 years on average.Shukri and his family were among the lucky few chosen for inclusion in the latest group for resettlement.

All the families being resettled from Eritrea undergo cultural orientation classes in the camp before arriving in Asmara for departure. There they complete medical screening and emigration procedures.

After receiving international travel documents provided by the International Committee of the Red Cross, Shukri and his family entered Slovakia with six-month visas issued by the Slovak embassy in Nairobi. They are awaiting a final interview with a U.S. consular official and further medical checks, before their destination in the United States is determined.

Although their final destination was still uncertain, Shukri remained optimistic. "I am not afraid," he said. "I know that everything will be just fine."

By Monica Modici in Asmara, Eritrea

Somalia: Somalia Rainfall Forecast - Issued: 02/05/2016

14 hours 12 min ago
Source: Food and Agriculture Organization Country: Ethiopia, Somalia

Heavy rains within the Juba and Shabelle Basins have led to increased river levels along the two rivers. The forecast for the next three days calls for more rains in the basins. There is a high likelihood of flooding in Gedo, Middle and Lower Juba regions along the Juba River. There is also a high risk of flooding in Middle and Lower regions of the Shabelle River.

World: Pathways from Peace to Resilience: Evidence from the Greater Horn of Africa on the Links between Conflict Management and Resilience to Food Security Shocks

1 May 2016 - 10:54am
Source: Mercy Corps Country: Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Uganda, World

Chronic violence and instability in the Horn of Africa have spurred major investments in resilience in the hopes of preventing future humanitarian crises. Yet how best to build resilience in conflict contexts remains unclear. Mercy Corps began tackling these issues through previous research that demonstrated that peacebuilding interventions can have positive effects on pastoralists’ abilities to cope with and adapt to severe drought. Building on these insights, Mercy Corps conducted research in Uganda and the Mandera Triangle to examine how conflict management programs might strengthen resilience.

The central question this research sought to answer was: How do conflict management and peace-building programs affect households’ resilience to shocks and stresses in pastoral areas in the greater Horn of Africa? Specifically, Mercy Corps looked at the effect of social cohesion (opportunities for groups in conflict to interact and build trust) and an enabling institutional environment (helping informal and informal leaders work together to prevent conflict and resolve disputes). The study adopted a mixed methods approach, which included quantitative and qualitative data collected and analyzed first in early to mid-2013, and again in early to mid-2015.

Key lessons and recommendations

  • Building resilience through peacebuilding efforts can support food security goals. Household food security is gravely affected by economic and climate-related shocks. But these effects can be mitigated by strengthening community and institutional conflict management systems, strengthening the case for scaling up peacebuilding work.

  • Peace is stronger where conflict management skills and systems are institutionalized. Where government representatives and traditional leaders work together, more conflicts are resolved satisfactorily. This supports Mercy Corps’ efforts to bring together formal and informal leaders in conflict resolution initiatives.

  • Not all forms of social capital appear to be equal when it comes to building resilience.Greater links across ethnic boundaries did not appear to improve peace or food security; however stronger bonds within communities did. Such intra-ethnic social cohesion can manifest as a community-level social safety net, for example, where community members help each other out during times of stress. Development actors should support interventions that strengthen these types of networks that people rely on during times of stress.

Read the Pathways from Peace to Resilience research brief

Read the Pathways from Peace to Resilience full report

Contact

Jon Kurtz, jkurtz@dc.mercycorps.org
Kate McMahon, kmcmahon@mercycorps.org

Somalia: Somalia Food Security Outlook Update, April 2016

1 May 2016 - 4:12am
Source: Famine Early Warning System Network Country: Somalia

Cropping activities delayed in South/Central after poor start to Gu rains

KEY MESSAGES

  • In most of Northern Inland Pastoral livelihood zone, there has been little to no Gu rainfall received. This aggravates the already poor conditions that resulted from below-average 2015 Deyr rains, influenced by El Niño. Livestock conditions are not expected to improve, limiting saleable animals and milk availability. The number of households in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Emergency (IPC Phase 4) will likely increase through September.

  • Gu rainfall was delayed and had poor spatial and temporal distribution in most central and southern regions. However, the forecast for these areas is near-average Gu rains through the remainder of the season, which will improve pasture conditions and livestock productivity. Crop production is expected to be slightly below average, although food security in most areas will remain stable. Households are expected to be Stressed (IPC Phase 2) or in None (IPC Phase 1).

World: IGAD Member States and Development Partners renew Commitment to Ending Drought Emergencies in the Region

30 April 2016 - 10:14pm
Source: Intergovernmental Authority on Development Country: Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda, World

29-04-2016, Nairobi: The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) this morning held the 4th Drought Disaster Resilience and Sustainability Initiative (IDDRSI) General Assembly in Nairobi. The official opening ceremony was presided over by Hon. Mwangi Kiunjiru, Cabinet Secretary-Ministry of Devolution and Planning of Kenya, in the presence of Hon. Egziabher Yohannes, State Minister of Livestock and Fisheries of Ethiopia, and HE Amb. (Eng.) Mahboub Maalim, Executive Secretary of IGAD.

This 4th general Assembly was preceded by the 6th IDDRSI Steering Committee Meeting as regular preparation phase to the GA.

In his opening remarks, Hon. Mwangi highlighted that Kenya has made good progress in mitigating drought emergencies during the last couple of years even if challenges remained. He then gave a comprehensive overview of the various steps his Ministry and the government of Kenya took towards ending drought emergencies in the near future before declaring the GA open.

Hon. Egziabher reminded the audience of the pledge against drought emergencies taken by IGAD member states heads of state and government in 2011 in Nairobi. He then continued with highlights of steps taken by Ethiopia government in its fight against drought emergencies wwithin and outside the IDDRSI framework.

Amb. Maalim related the ddays preceding the GA where the 6th IDDRSI Steering Committee prepared the ground durg two days for the GA, and the IDDRSI Mid Term Review exercised on the 26th of April on the same venue. He assured the audience of the advanced status of the operationlization of the Initiative his organization has been in charge of.

Representatives of development partner organisations supporting IDDRSI, such as the United Nations Agencies, the World Bank Group, the African Development Bank, the United States Agency for International Development, and the European Union, also took the floor during the opening ceremony to reaffirm commitment and support to the Initiative.

Keynote address was delivered by the Governor of Mandera County, Kenya, in which he appraised the cross border approach to ending drought emergencies in particular and in addressing regional issues at large.

The below Communique' was adopted at the end of the 4th IDDRSI General Assembly.

Somalia: Somalia Rainfall Forecast - Issued: 30/04/2016

30 April 2016 - 2:32pm
Source: Food and Agriculture Organization Country: Ethiopia, Somalia

The last 24 hours have seen heavy rains within the Juba and Shabelle basins both in Ethiopia and Somalia. This has led to a drastic increase of river levels along the two rivers. Today the river level at Luuq along Juba is 6.10m which above the high risk of flooding. River flooding have reported in Luuq area and the surrounding.

The three days rainfall forecast is calling for more rains in the basins. Given the rainfall forecast and the rising levels there is a high risk of flooding along the Juba River as well as the Middle and Lower reaches of Shabelle River in the coming days.

World: Global Weather Hazards Summary, April 29 - May 5, 2016

30 April 2016 - 7:10am
Source: Famine Early Warning System Network Country: Afghanistan, Côte d'Ivoire, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Nicaragua, Somalia, South Sudan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, United Republic of Tanzania, Uzbekistan, World

Dry conditions developing in the Gulf of Guinea region and northern Hispaniola

Africa Weather Hazards

  1. Poorly-distributed rainfall since O ctober 2015 has resulted in large moisture deficits, leading to wilted crops, livestock deaths, and reduced water availability over many areas of Southern Africa. With the season coming to an end, recovery is unlikely.

  2. Irregular and poor rainfall over the past four weeks has led to increasing rainfall deficits over Liberia, portions of eastern Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire, and western Ghana. Limited rain is forecast during the next week, likely maintaining moisture deficits.

  3. Insufficient rainfall since late March has led to moderate to large moisture deficits across central Kenya and parts of southern and central Somalia. Moderate to heavy rain is expected across the Greater Horn of Africa during the next week, which should help alleviate dryness over some areas.

  4. Consistent downpours over eastern Ethiopia over the past few weeks have caused the Shabelle River to exceed its level over downstream localities of Somalia. The risks for flooding are high over the River Basin as heavy and above-average rain is forecast over the Greater Horn during the next week.

  5. Torrential rainfall is expected off-shore of Tanzania during the upcoming week, which could trigger flooding along the coastal areas of the country and neighboring southeastern Kenya.

Djibouti: Djibouti Remote Monitoring Report, April 2016

30 April 2016 - 5:31am
Source: Famine Early Warning System Network Country: Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia, Yemen

Crisis food insecurity in pastoral areas to persist through 2016 despite good rains

KEY MESSAGES

  • The March to May Diraac/Sugum rains started late, which initially impacted the prolonged dry conditions associated with El Niño. However, since the end of March, there has been some restoration of rangeland conditions with above average rainfall over most of Djibouti for the past month, which is forecast to continue through May, despite earlier predictions of below-average rainfall.

  • Despite the ongoing Diraac/Sugum rains, large parts of Southeast Pastoral-Border, Northwest Pastoral in Dikhil and Ali Sabieh Regions, and Obock Pastoral still face limited livestock production and reduced purchasing power for households due to several consecutive seasons of below-average rains. Households will remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) through at least September.

  • According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), from March 1-April 25, 770 refugees fleeing the conflict in Yemen arrived, putting the total number of Yemeni nationals at 19,636. In addition, 1,900 droughtaffected households from Somalia and Ethiopia have resettled in Djibouti. The influx of refugees is putting additional pressure on limited food sources and income among poor households in host communities. Many refugee households are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).

Somalia: Somalia Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Post Deyr 2015/16 | Technical Series Report No VII. 65 April 29, 2016

30 April 2016 - 1:31am
Source: Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit Country: Somalia

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Between September through December 2015, FSNAU conducted 40 standard nutrition assessments across most regions and livelihood zones of Somalia, covering displaced, urban and rural populations. The assessment covered 27 455 Children (6-59 months) from 16 538 households. Both Weight-for-Height and MUAC measurements were taken for the 34 surveys while, only Mid-Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) measurement was taken in the remaining 6 surveys due to security constraints.

The national median GAM and SAM during this reporting period are 12.2 percent and 2.2 percent respectively. According to livelihood disaggregation, 11 out of 34 livelihoods surveyed using Weight-for-Height Z-Score, the prevalence of acute malnutrition is considered Critical and exceeds the UN trigger for emergency action (Global Acute Malnutrition-GAM ≥ 15%) while Serious levels of GAM (≥10 to <15%) were observed in 16 out of 34 population groups surveyed. Alert level of GAM (≥5 to <10%) were reported in the remaining seven.

Highest prevalence of acute malnutrition (based on Weight for Height Z-Scores) was recorded among Dolow IDPs (25.0% GAM) and Guban Pastoral Livelihood Zone (22.3% GAM). Critical to Very Critical levels of acute malnutrition were also recorded among rural livelihoods of South Gedo Pastoral (Gedo Region) and Coastal Deeh (Central Regions) based on MUAC measurements (i.e. 10.7% or more of children having a Mid-Upper Arm Circumference-MUAC below the 12.5 centimetres threshold).

Over the past seven consecutive seasons, Critical levels of GAM were sustained among the following population groups: Garowe IDPs (Nugaal Region), Galkayo IDPs (Mudug Region), Mataban and Beletweye Districts (pastoral parts of Hiran Region), North Gedo Pastoral (Gedo Region), North Gedo Riverine (Gedo Region) and Dolow IDPs (Gedo Region). Sustained Critical level of GAM in the above mentioned areas is symptomatic of the protracted nature of the nutrition crisis among these population groups and calls for multifaceted interventions that address contributing factors and underlying causes of acute malnutrition in these areas. Relative nutritional improvements in population groups such as IDPs located in Mogadishu were observed in recent seasons, primarily due to sustained humanitarian interventions which could be reversed if humanitarian assistance is scaled down as witnessed during the Gu 2014.

The overall stunting prevalence in the 2015 Deyr assessment in Somalia is 8.9 percent and is considered Low (<20%). However, there are major differences between different parts and population groups of the country: 12.6 percent in South and Central Somalia; 7.7 percent in the Northeast; 2.7 percent in the Northwest; and 14.9 percent among IDPs across the country. Stunting in this particular season is not therefore, a public health problem in Somalia as most population groups reported Low (<20%) to Medium (20-30%) stunting prevalence with the exception of Kismayo IDPs that reported Very High (>40%) prevalence. The overall Underweight prevalence in Somalia is 11.1 percent and is considered to be Medium (10-19.9%), with substantial variation across the three zones: 13.5 percent in South and Central Somalia; 10.2 percent in the Northeast and 5.8 percent in the Northwest. However, Kismayo IDP reported 30.1 percent underweight prevalence which is considered Very High (>30%); High underweight prevalence (20-20.9%) was also observed in Bay agro-pastoral livelihood (20.4%), Baidoa IDPs (23.6%), Dolow IDPs (29.7), Garowe IDPs (24.0%) and Galkacyo IDPs (21.4%).

Concurrent to the nutrition assessments, 36 out of the 40 study population groups were targeted for mortality assessments. The results from these surveys indicated that 34 of the surveys showed Acceptable levels of Under-Five Death Rate (U5DR). However, Mogadishu IDPs and Guban Pastoral had Under-Five Death Rate (U5DR) exceeding 1/10 000/day which is considered as an Alert situation.

Somalia: Hyenas attack hungry women as Somaliland's drought deepens - charity

29 April 2016 - 11:20pm
Source: AlertNet Country: Somalia

By Emma Batha

LONDON, April 29 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Somaliland risks descending into famine amid a severe drought that has killed thousands of livestock, an international aid agency warned on Friday, adding there were reports of some women being set upon by hyenas after collapsing from hunger.

Read the full article on the Thomson Reuters Foundation

World: EU has today announced new actions to tackle irregular migration and forced displacement in the Horn of Africa

29 April 2016 - 10:32pm
Source: European Commission Country: Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, World

Brussels, 28 April 2016

The European Commission has today announced the approval of 10 new actions worth €117 million to improve stability and address the root causes of irregular migration and forced displacement in the Horn of Africa region.

The European Commission has today announced the approval of 10 new actions for an amount of €117 million in the Horn of Africa region under the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa.

EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, said: "In addition to the first set of actions worth €253 million decided in December, we now have a second set of actions worth €117 million, enabling the EU to provide substantial additional support to the many refugees, displaced persons and host communities in the Horn of Africa. We are working hard to move ahead with these new actions as fast and effectively as we did with those from December."

The package of actions consists of:

  • sustainable development and protection programmes for refugees and host communities in Ethiopia, Sudan and Kenya (€60 million);

  • employment opportunities and technical skills for young people in peripheral areas of Coastal and North East Kenya (€12 million);

  • the promotion of a culture of tolerance and dialogue in Somalia (€5 million);

  • support to the people in Sudan, with two projects to strengthen the resilience of refugees, IDPs and returnees (€19 million) and a third project to improve food security policy and decision-making through data collection and analysis (€6 million);

  • a regional project to create a more conducive environment for legal migration and mobility within the countries of the Horn of Africa (€10 million), and - a regional project to provide capacity building support to promote greater resilience in the region (€5 million).

These actions will build on a previous package of actions worth €253 million for the Horn of Africa region adopted in December 2015. This was part of an ongoing response to the commitments made by the EU and African partners at the Valletta migration summit last November.

They also follow last week's announcement of 20 new measures worth €280 million for the Sahel region and Lake Chad Basin region decided last week. A first set of actions for this region worth €101 million had been approved in January 2016.

The actions announced today will also contribute to deepening progress on high level dialogues on migration with African partners, at both national and regional level.

Background

The European Commission launched an “Emergency Trust Fund for stability and addressing root causes of irregular migration and displaced persons in Africa” at the Valletta migration summit last November. The Fund is made up of €1.8 billion from the EU budget and European Develop­ment Fund, combined with contributions from EU Member States and other donors.

For more information:

FACTSHEET: Second package of measures approved to tackle the root causes of irregular migration and forced displacement in the Horn of Africa

Somalia: Somalia: Rising malnutrition is overwhelming nutrition centres

29 April 2016 - 11:32am
Source: International Committee of the Red Cross Country: Somalia

Four-year-old Osman came to the Kismayo Stabilization Centre earlier this year. Suffering from Kwashiorkor, a nutritional disorder caused by lack of protein, he developed a flaky rash all over his body giving his skin a rusty look.

Osman's family lives in a flood-prone area along Juba River that is known to suffer from a disruption in food security. But with help from the stabilization centre, he has responded positively to treatment and is expected to make a full recovery.

Osman is just one of 300,000 children in Somalia who are suffering from malnutrition, with close to 60,000 under the age of five years in critical condition and in need of urgent therapeutic feeding. The southern Somalia port city of Kismayo is home to the only feeding centre in the region, and is currently overwhelmed by the sheer number of children in need of its nutritional therapeutic feeding program.

The Kismayo Stabilization Centre has seen an influx in cases of malnutrition, sometimes treating up to 150 children in its 90-bed capacity facility. In January and February alone, 386 children were admitted to the centre, forcing Bashir Mohamed, the centre's general supervisor, to convert some of the offices into wards.

"We began by converting the isolation ward to a normal ward and now we had to make room in some offices to deal with the high admissions," said Mohamed. "Also, children are accompanied by the parents or caregivers who will stay with them for the duration of the treatment."

The ICRC begun supporting the Kismayo Stabilization Centre in 2014, and another in Baidoa, Bay region, which opened in May 2015. However three similar centers in the region closed down in recent years causing the increase in patients in the remaining centres.

Like Osman, Abdi Ibrahim was diagnosed with Kwashiorkor at the stabilization centre. But the two-year old is also suffering from anemia and a lack of appetite. He must be fed through a nasal tube.

What makes Abdi's case worse is the fact that he is actually overweight due to oedema, a condition characterized by swelling of the body due to fluid retention. He arrived at the stabilization centre weighing 7 kilograms, which is one kilogram overweight, but the nurses expect his weight to come down soon.

Abdi is one of eight children who travelled 90 kilometers with his mother from Kanjaron district to receive treatment at the centre. The family leads a nomadic life and depends on livestock for sustenance. However, a recurring drought in Somalia's Lower Juba region has forced the family to resort to a diet of maize and water to survive.

Two-year-old Timiro was severely malnourished and suffering from tuberculosis when she arrived at the Kismayo Stabilization Centre. She is at the centre with her 13-year-old sister because her mother is taking care of her seven siblings at one of the 42 displacement camps around Kismayo city.

Timiro is slowly recovering and gaining weight under the therapeutic feeding program and is expected to be discharged soon.

According to a 2016 humanitarian needs overview report, acute malnutrition rates in internally displaced settlements like Timiro's are frequently above the emergency threshold of 15 percent.

This is why these stabilization centres are needed. When patients are discharged, their care givers are provided with nutritional advice and supplementary foods such as a peanut-based paste called Plumpy'nut to help their children stay healthy.

Families are provided with seeds and training on how to grow tomatoes, beans and carrots to sustain a healthy diet. The ICRC also provides 300 USD cash assistance to allow mothers to make up for the lost income for the treatment period. The transport cost to the centre is reimbursed and fare to return home is also provided.

Last year, these two centres treated over 3,000 cases of severely malnourished children. In a time of rising malnutrition, the centres remain critical to the care of the children.

Somalia: Government of Japan grants UNFPA 1.8 million US Dollars towards the reduction of maternal and neonatal mortality to Somali women and newborns

29 April 2016 - 11:21am
Source: UN Population Fund Country: Japan, Somalia

Hargeisa, 14 March 2016 - The Government of Japan announced today that it has granted 1.8 million US dollars to UNFPA to support programmes aimed at reducing maternal and neonatal mortality and related morbidity among Somali women and newborns. His Excellency Tatsushi Terada, Ambassador of Japan, made the announcement after a ceremony where UNFPA handed over an ambulance donated by the People of Japan to the Ministry of Health in Somaliland.

The Japanese Ambassador said his Government has identified three priority areas of assistance to the Horn of Africa, namely reinstating delivery of basic social services, strengthening capacity in public security and vitalising economy. He said UNFPA’s programme that aims to improve reproductive and maternal health fits Japanese assistance policy well because it is one of the basic social services. His Excellency Tatsushi Terada commended the Ministry of Health in Somaliland for its commitment in improving maternal health and maintaining a good working relationship with UNFPA. He emphasised that political will is key for implementing organisations to deliver desirable outcomes.

The UNFPA Representative, Mr. Nikolai Botev, thanked the Japanese Government for being a reliable partner in the quest to ensure that no woman or child dies during birth. He requested the Government of Somaliland to continue advocating for more resources towards saving the lives of Somali mothers and newborn children stating that combined efforts should end up in the Somali people having more midwives getting trained and deployed to health facilities, supporting birth spacing, ensuring an end to gender-based violence (GBV) including FGM, early and forced marriage and denial of resources, opportunities and services to women, especially reproductive health services.

Mr. Botev reiterated UNFPA’s commitment to support the investments in a safer and brighter future for the Somali mothers and children and pledged to continue supporting programmes, which can yield enormous dividends for sustainable development, such as promoting skilled attendance at birth and adoption of basic and comprehensive emergency obstetric care as part and parcel of the health system strengthening.

Vice Minister in the Ministry of Health His Excellency Hassan Dahir Dimbil expressed Somaliland’s gratitude to the People of Japan and UNFPA for the assistance and partnership. He called upon the Government of Japan to expand its assistance to more reproductive health programmes.

UNFPA inquiries: please contact UNFPA Communications Specialist, Pilirani Semu- Banda; semubanda@unfpa.org

Embassy of Japan in Kenya/Somalia: Please contact Economic Cooperation Advisor, Yuki Yoshida; yuki.yoshida-2@mofa.go.jp

Ethiopia: Humanitarian Bulletin Eastern and Southern Africa region, Issue 02 | April 2016

29 April 2016 - 8:40am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Angola, Burundi, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Yemen, Zimbabwe

In this issue

  • Implementing the Agenda for Humanity P.1

  • IGAD-SADC and conflict prevention P.2

  • The Great Lakes Pact and Rule of Law P.3

  • Domesticating the Kampala Convention P.4

  • Burundi Humanitarian Hotline installed P.6

  • Launch of Humanitarian-Private Sector Platforms P.6

  • HoA Initiative: Financing Humanity P 7

KEY FIGURES

# of IDPs 11 m

# of refugees 3.4 m

# Severe food Insecure & malnourished in eastern Africa 20 m

# Food Insecure in southern Africa 32 m

Implementing the Agenda for Humanity in Southern and Eastern Africa

This month's regional bulletin highlights a few examples from the many progressive initiatives in the region, which if given the requisite political leadership and investment, will contribute to more effective, accountable humanitarian action, in line with the spirit of the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS).
The Summit scheduled for 23-24 May in Turkey, will for the first time, offer an opportunity for leaders from Governments, aid organizations, crisis-affected communities, private sector and academia to take stock of their strengths and challenges in humanitarian and development actions, and reaffirm their commitment to take action to prevent and end suffering, reduce the impact of future crises and transform financing to save lives.

The humanitarian situation in the eastern and southern Africa region has in the last six months significantly deteriorated as a result of continuing climatic and economic shocks and an increasing level of conflict. The global El Niño event has had a significant impact in southern Africa, parts of Sudan, Djibouti, north Somalia and northeastern parts of Ethiopia.

According to the Food and Nutrition Security Working Group, the number of people suffering from severe (crisis and emergency – IPC Phases 3 & 4) food insecurity and malnutrition in eastern Africa has increased from 18.2 million to 19.49 million; while in southern Africa an estimated 31.6m people remain food insecure.

An upsurge in violence continues to be reported in parts of Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia and Burundi. Economic shocks, including the decline of global oil prices and increasing food prices, has exacerbated existing chronic vulnerabilities. Protection of civilians is a serious issue in eastern Africa; host to an estimated 3.4 million refugees and 11 million IDPs. Compounding the dire humanitarian situation is the increasing funding shortfall.

A recurring theme during the regional WHS consultations is the need for humanitarian and development actors at all levels - local, national, regional and international - to recommit to deliver effectively and innovatively on the existing agendas for reform and transformation.

The region is fraught with structures and frameworks suitable for prevention of crises, which if politically and adequately enabled will engender peace, security and development, and empower affected people and governments to take up their rightful position as responders and duty bearers.
The WHS regional consultations are premised upon the Agenda for Humanity; a global framework for action, change and accountability, published by the Secretary - General Ban Ki-moon in February 2016. It has five core responsibilities for which we must take collective action for a shared and truly global humanitarianism.

Somalia: Somalia - Forced IDP evictions (ECHO, UN, NGOs) (ECHO Daily Flash of 29 April 2016)

29 April 2016 - 8:25am
Source: European Commission Humanitarian Aid Office Country: Somalia
  • Forced evictions of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and urban poor continue to be a major problem in Somalia's urban areas. The problem is the biggest in the capital Mogadishu, where nearly 31 000 people were forcibly evicted in the first quarter of 2016. In 2015, almost 130 000 people were forcibly evicted in Somalia. The UN calls these forced evictions "relentless", as they are often carried out without notice or at an extremely short-notice and evictees are in most cases without any viable alternatives to move.

  • Forced evictions often destroy humanitarian gains, such as shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene installations and interrupt livelihoods and access to humanitarian services. Often, people end up in more insecure and isolated locations.

  • The European Commission and DG ECHO advocate for intensified joint efforts between local as well as federal authorities and the humanitarian community to stop forced and disorderly evictions of IDPs. Settlements in Mogadishu, Gaalkacyo, Bossaso and Hargeisa are particularly at risk.

  • 1.1 million people remain internally displaced in Somalia.

Greece: Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals in 2016: 183,017; Deaths 1,244

29 April 2016 - 7:45am
Source: International Organization for Migration Country: Afghanistan, Côte d'Ivoire, Cyprus, Gambia, Greece, Guinea, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Italy, Mali, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal, Somalia, Spain, Syrian Arab Republic, World

Greece - IOM reports an estimated 183,017 migrants and refugees have entered Europe by sea in 2016, arriving in Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Spain, through April 27. Latest fatalities stand at 1,244.

IOM Rome spokesperson Flavio Di Giacomo said Thursday that 1,400 migrants rescued through last weekend have been brought to shore in recent days. Additionally, 237 migrants were brought to Italy’s Lampedusa island on Thursday night.

IOM Greece reported that 108 arrivals were registered on 27 April in Greece. For 2016, IOM Athens reports arrivals of 154,661 migrants and refugees. The total for the period from 1 January 2015 through 27 April 2016 now stands at 1,008,311.

For the latest Mediterranean Update infographic please go to: http://reliefweb.int/node/1505401

For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, please visit: http://migration.iom.int/europe Learn more about Missing Migrants Project at: http://missingmigrants.iom.int

For further information please contact IOM Greece. Daniel Esdras, Tel: +30 210 9912174, Email: iomathens@iom.int or Kelly Namia, Tel: +302109919040, +302109912174, Email: knamia@iom.int
Or Abby Dwommoh at IOM Turkey, Tel: +903124551202, Email: adwommoh@iom.int.
Or Flavio Di Giacomo at IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int
Or IOM Geneva, Leonard Doyle, Tel: +41-792857123, Email: ldoyle@iom.int or Joel Millman, Tel: + 41 79 103 87 20, Email: jmillman@iom.int

World: Mediterranean Update, Migration Flows Europe: Arrivals and Fatalities: 29 April 2016

29 April 2016 - 7:41am
Source: International Organization for Migration Country: Afghanistan, Bulgaria, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Gambia, Greece, Guinea, Hungary, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Italy, Mali, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal, Serbia, Slovenia, Somalia, Spain, Syrian Arab Republic, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, World

183,017 arrivals by sea in 2016

1,244 dead/missing

published 10:00 CET 29 April

1,011,712 arrivals in 2015