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Yemen: Yemen Crisis Response: Evacuation and Cross-Border Movements (as of 25 June 2015)

6 hours 44 min ago
Source: International Organization for Migration Country: Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen

Kenya: Govt warns of severe drought in Mandera

30 June 2015 - 10:48pm
Source: Kenya Daily Nation Country: Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia

By MANASE OTSIALO

The government has warned of an impending drought in Mandera.

Poor long-term rains in April-May in Mandera is likely to cause a severe drought in the coming months, according to National Drought Management Authority (NDMA).

Speaking at NDMA offices in Mandera Town, the county drought information officer Hussein Ibrahim said only a few parts of the county received near-normal rainfall while others recorded no rainfall.

“We received near-normal rains in the western and southern parts of the county that supported pasture but for now and due to massive migration of livestock in search of pasture and water the areas have dried up,” said Mr Ibrahim.

He said pastoralists were now moving with their livestock to Ethiopia's interior along River Daua and to parts of Wajir County in search of pasture and water as the situation worsened in Mandera.

“Areas of Banisa, Kotulo in Elwak and Takaba had pasture regeneration when it rained in May, but for now it’s over and herders are migrating into Ethiopia and even Somalia from parts of Mandera East, Lafey and Rhamu which received no rains,” said Mr Ibrahim.

DRIED UP

He said water pumps in the county had dried up and that the only source of water were boreholes in areas with high concentration of livestock.

He added that the county government was undertaking water trucking in more than 50 centres.

"The current situation has affected milk production with the prices shooting up and has lowered market livestock prices,” said Mr Ibrahim.

He said a satellite report referred to as Vegetation Condition Index (VCI) that states the greenness of plants would be out by next week to define the action to be taken for food supply.

Already, the Mandera County government has started food distribution targeting vulnerable households, the poor and the elderly in areas most hit by the drought.

Livestock migration in search of pasture and water has for many years been blamed for causing clan clashes in Mandera.

The recent fallout between the Garre and Degodia clans that left more than 15 people dead this month (June) was attributed to the grazing fields.

Somalia: UN Special Representative congratulates Somalia on 55th Independence anniversary

30 June 2015 - 4:25pm
Source: United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia Country: Somalia

Mogadishu, 1 July 2015 – The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia (SRSG) Nicholas Kay congratulated the people and Government of Somalia on their 55th Independence Anniversary. He commended the efforts they are making to overcome over two decades of instability as well as the progress achieved in the ongoing peace building and state-building processes.

“We applaud the people of Somalia in their efforts to rebuild a more stable Somalia,” said SRSG Kay, on the strides taken in the state formation process, constitutional reforms and the establishment of the essential legislative framework with a view to achieving Somalia’s Vision 2016.

SRSG Kay welcomed the progress in the state formation process throughout the regions, including the establishment of the Interim Jubba Administration (IJA), the Interim South West Administration (ISWA) and the Galmudug Regional Administration, in addition to institution-building in Puntland.

While noting the progress made on enacting key legislation to advance Vision 2016, he urged urgency on completion of the remaining key laws and institutions to be formed, such as the National Independent Electoral Commission (NIEC) and Boundaries and Federation Commission (BFC).

SRSG Kay also praised the bravery and sacrifices of the Somali National Army (SNA), Somali Police Force (SPF) and the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) in combatting violent extremism to restore safety and security in the country.

“As Somalia enters the 56th year of its independence, we look forward to a smooth transition to a new political dispensation in 2016.” SRSG Kay said.

Yemen: Yemen: UNHCR Regional Update - Yemen Situation #11 (26 June 2015)

30 June 2015 - 12:27pm
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees Country: Djibouti, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Yemen

HIGHLIGHTS

  • In Yemen, findings from the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification identified that 10 of the 22 governorates in Yemen (Aden, Al Dhale’e, Lahj, Taiz, Abyan, Sa’ada, Hajjah, Hodeidah, Al Bayda and Shabwa) are facing food insecurity at phase four, the emergency phase before a humanitarian catastrophe/famine.

  • In Djibouti, 1,643 new arrivals from Yemen were reported this week. According to IOM and the Djibouti government, 19,572 persons of mixed nationalities have arrived in Djibouti as at 20 June since the beginning of the crisis.

  • In Somalia, 916 new arrivals from Yemen were reported this week. The total number of arrivals since the beginning of the crisis is 18,272 persons.

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.

Somalia: UN Special Representative commends the completion of the establishment of the Galmudug regional assembly

28 June 2015 - 5:01am
Source: United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia Country: Somalia

Mogadishu, 28 June 2015 – The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia (SRSG) Nicholas Kay welcomed the election of the Speaker of the Galmudug regional assembly by members of the assembly in Adaado, on 27 June. The SRSG congratulated the newly elected speaker, Mr. Ali Ga'al Asir, and expressed satisfaction with the completion of this important stage of the Central Regions' state formation process.

“I commend Mr. Abdirahman Mohamed Husen, Minister of Interior and Federal Affairs, the Technical Committee, and the regional assembly members for conducting a successful, transparent process of electing the Speaker and Deputy Speakers. The regional assembly now has the critical task of electing the President of the Galmudug Regional Administration. I urge them to conduct this important process in a similarly transparent and credible manner, and bring the state formation process to a successful conclusion ,” SRSG Kay said.

The SRSG also congratulated Mr. Asir’s newly elected deputies, Mr. Hared Ali Hared and Mr. Mohamed Sheikh Ahmed Ma’alin.

The election of the Speaker and his deputies marks the completion of the establishment of the Galmudug regional assembly. UNSOM will continue to extend its full support to the state formation process which is entering its final stage and will conclude with the election of a President, scheduled on 4 July.

Somalia: Food Security & Nutrition Quarterly Brief - Focus on Gu 2015 Season Early Warning (Issued June 26, 2015)

27 June 2015 - 5:29am
Source: Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit Country: Somalia

KEY ISSUES

Based on ongoing monitoring activities in addition to the results of the Food Security Analysis Unit (FSNAU) rapid preliminary Gu season field assessment (June 2015), FSNAU projects a short-term deterioration of food security conditions in parts of agricultural livelihoods of Somalia in the post-Gu period (July-December 2015). The deterioration is likely due to below average harvest outlook, although the anticipated shortfall in domestic cereal production could be partially mitigated by planned humanitarian food and social safety net interventions in the South, based on the Somalia Food Security Cluster information. On the other hand, the food security situation is likely to improve in livestock-dependent livelihoods as a result of anticipated improvement in livestock herd size and favourable livestock prices as well as increased milk availability. However, there are some concern areas in parts of the country where erratic Gu rainfall may impact livestock conditions during the dry Hagaa season. Nevertheless, the situation is expected to improve with the start of Deyr rains in October, which are projected to be good based on very preliminary forecast. Food security crisis situation is likely to sustain in the towns of Bakool and Hiran regions, which have been experiencing trade blockade over the past one year. Critical levels of global acute malnutrition (GAM) [≥15 %] were observed in five out of 13 surveyed (May 2015) settlements of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

• Overall, cereal harvest in southern Somalia is expected to be below average. This shortfall is attributed to floods (April) in riverine areas of Middle Shabelle and moisture stress in most agropastoral areas, caused by early cessation of Gu rains. Off-season harvests expected in September in flood-affected Middle Shabelle and riverine areas of Juba and Gedo regions will partially offset the Gu cereal harvest losses. In the agropastoral livelihood of the Northwest, the Gu harvest (July 2015) is expected to be below average to poor. However, this livelihood normally receives its main Gu-Karan harvest in October-November. Considering that Karan rains (July-August) are projected to be near normal to below normal, an overall Gu-Karan harvest in the Northwest is likely to be below normal.

• Livestock conditions have improved in most pastoral and agropastoral areas of the country. However, there are some rain-deficit areas in parts of the regions of Bari, Sanag and Awdal in the North, Gedo (Garbaharey and Belethawa districts) in the South and Galgadud (Adado district) in Central that do not expect any rains until October. Therefore, these areas are likely to experience pasture and water shortages over the course of the Hagaa dry season (July-September 2015). In most pastoral/ agropastoral areas, livestock (camel, cattle and goats) holding of poor households is expected to reach near baseline to above baseline levels apart from a few areas in Central (Cowpea Belt and Coastal Deeh livelihoods) and North (Coastal Deeh livelihood), where it is likely to remain below baseline levels. Milk availability is expected to improve in most parts of the country over the next six months. This along with anticipated favourable livestock prices will have a positive impact on food access of pastoralists/ agropastoralists in most areas.

• The inflation rate measured through Consumer Prices Index (CPI) has decreased (5-9%) over the past one year in most parts of the country due to declines in prices of food commodities included in the basket. This trend contributed to increased/ stable urban household’s purchasing power in the same period in most regions. However, in urban areas of Bakool and Hiran regions that have been experiencing trade blockade for more than one year, the prices of food commodities remain high, particularly in Hiran region. In Bulo Burto (Hiran) town, cereal and other food commodity prices have increased further since January this year. The prevalence of global malnutrition in Bulo Burto is Very Critical (25%) and Critical (16%) in Hudur town of Bakool Region based on FSNAU nutrition assessment conducted in June, although it has slightly decreased since the previous assessment (April) owing to recent humanitarian interventions. On the other hand, in siege-affected towns of Hudur and Wajid (Bakool), prices of cereals have declined since the beginning of the year; compared to a year ago prices of all major food commodities are significantly reduced in Hudur as a result of humanitarian interventions carried out through air lifting in the past few months as well as alternative food supply routes available to this town.

• Recent FSNAU surveys show deterioration in nutrition situation from six months ago in the assessed IDP settlements in Kismayo and Dhobley, while improvement was noted among Bossaso IDPs in the North. Critical levels of GAM rate (≥15 %) were observed among IDPs in Dhobley, Baidoa and Dolow in South-Central regions and Garowe and Galkayo in the Northeast.

Somalia: The long journey home

27 June 2015 - 4:06am
Source: Mercy Corps Country: Kenya, Somalia

Kenya, Somalia, June 26, 2015

Filed by: Kelly Montgomery
Digital Content Producer

Civil war raged in Somalia for more than two decades, beginning with resistance in the late 1980s. After President Siad Barre was overthrown in 1991, years of widespread fighting forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes.

Things are starting to look up in Somalia — a new, more peaceful government was installed in 2012 — but for refugees of the longstanding civil war, new challenges await.

During the height of the fighting, many Somalis fled to the sprawling Dadaab camp in Kenya, which was originally established to house about 90,000 refugees. Now, it’s the largest refugee camp in the world — more than 330,000 refugees, mostly Somalis, live there, waiting for a chance to return home.

Some have waited for decades in the camp, including 43-year-old Mohamed Farah. His journey has taken him from Somalia, to Kenya and back again — but it hasn’t been easy.

Below, learn about his experience, and how Mercy Corps is helping refugees like him finally find their way back home.

Fleeing for safety

Mohamed was just 20 years old when he decided to flee his hometown of Kismayo with his wife and two children. His father owned a large farm on the outskirts of town, and Mohamed was a budding young entrepreneur, running a small shop in the city.

But it was 1993, and when the fighting reached Kismayo, the young family knew that in order to survive, they would have to make the long trek to neighboring Kenya to seek asylum. They walked for days through barren and often dangerous land — nearly 300 miles before reaching the camp.

“The journey to Kenya was exhausting,” says Mohamed. “When we arrived, we registered and received shelter, food and water. We were happy and grateful for a basic support.” They’d made it across the border successfully, and planned to stay in the camp for only a few weeks.

Life at Dadaab

For the next 20 years, the Dadaab refugee camp was home to Mohamed, his family and countless other Somalis who fled the civil war. The few weeks they had planned to spend there quickly turned to months, and months turned into years.

“Life in the refugee camp was not easy,” says Mohamed. “I struggled to make ends meet in order to provide for my family. We had limited access to food, water, and basic services like hospitals and education due to the overcrowding.‘’

Refugees are not allowed to travel outside the camp, so Mohamed had to find odd jobs in Dadaab to earn any income — he worked as a watchman or gathered firewood to sell when he could.

“One of my biggest challenges was that sometimes, when I could not find work for two or three days, and I returned home to my family barehanded, the life in the refugee camp became very hard,” says Mohamed.

A chance to return home

But finally, in 2012, a new national government was put in place, bringing some stability and peace to areas that were once marred by conflict — including Mohamed’s hometown of Kismayo.

With that new stability came hope for the hundreds of thousands of Somali refugees, like Mohamed, that they might be able to finally return home.

In 2013, those dreams started to become a reality. An agreement between the Somali and Kenyan governments, along with the UNHCR, was signed that paved the way for the voluntary return of Somali refugees living in Kenya. Mohamed volunteered immediately to go with his family back to their hometown of Kismayo.

“The life in the refugee camp became intolerable for our minds, souls and hearts,” says Mohamed of wanting to return home. “I was waiting for sufficient peace and stability to go back to Somalia.” Taking the first step

Mohamed and his family waited patiently for a year before the day finally came to begin their journey back home. In January of this year, they packed up their belongings and their ten children and retraced their steps from Dadaab back to the Somali border.

“The journey took us three days. Buses were arranged for us up to the border of Somalia. Then we stopped over for a night at the border, where we received some money to continue our trip,” says Mohamed.

Their next stop would be the Kismayo way-station, started by Mercy Corps in collaboration with the UNHCR. The way-station offers returnees like Mohamed and his family the information and support they need to successfully transition into a new life in Somalia.

At the Kismayo way-station

To help them recover after their long journey, returnees like Mohamed are hosted at the Kismayo way-station for one night. Once they arrive, they receive a good meal, water and any emergency medical assistance they need.

But returning to life in a country that’s been ravaged by civil war comes with challenges. The passage of time and the effects of conflict have changed Somalia. At the way-station, returnees receive important information about the communities they’re going back to.

Mercy Corps staff map out where returnees like Mohamed can now find hospitals, schools, markets and other vital services in their hometowns. We refer them to partners that can help with housing and land issues, and encourage them to enroll their children in Mercy Corps’ rehabilitated schools in the area.

Before the returnees leave the way-station, they are given an important package to help them transition back to life in Somalia. The package includes basic household items, food rations to feed the family for three months, and a cash start-up grant (up to $600 USD) to help them establish a business or get by until they can find work.

Home in Kismayo

Once Mohamed and his family received their supplies, they made their way to their new home in Kismayo. After being forced out of their country more than 20 years ago, Mohamed and his family are finally resettled in their hometown of Kismayo, Somalia.

Because of the war, the landscape of the town has changed drastically. “We knew we would not find our old house in Kismayo,” says Mohamed. “But thanks to the items received at the way-station, we were not worried about shelter and food for the first few months of our stay.”

Mohamed used the money from his start-up grant to invest in a small kiosk in the center of a village in Kismayo. He sells small items there and is able to take home a profit of $8-12 USD every day.

The Farah family now has a stable life in their home country — Mohamed’s once far-fetched dream is now a happy reality. They are grateful for the help the way-station provided on their arduous journey.

Mohamed’s ten children attend school nearby while their father tends his shop. They will grow up in their own community, not as refugees, but as true citizens of Somalia. And that’s all Mohamed ever wanted.

Burundi: East Africa: Ebola Preparedness Emergency Plan of Action Operations Update n° 2 (MDR64007)

26 June 2015 - 3:25pm
Source: International Federation of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies Country: Burundi, Comoros, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan

A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

An Ebola epidemic that started in March 2014 in Guinea has relentlessly continued to claim lives and to spread to other countries in West Africa. The current Ebola outbreak is the largest in history and the first to affect multiple countries simultaneously. There have been over 24 000 reported confirmed, probable, and suspected cases of EVD in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone (table 1), with almost 10,000 reported deaths (outcomes for many cases are unknown). A total of 58 new confirmed cases were reported in Guinea, 0 in Liberia, and 58 in Sierra Leone in the 7 days to 8 March (4 days to 5 March for Liberia). Many experts believe that the official numbers substantially understate the size of the outbreak because of families' widespread reluctance to report cases. Because of the fluidity of movement of people between West Africa and several countries in the East African countries, especially Kenya and Ethiopia (who in turn have extensive interaction with other countries in the region in terms of human movement), the risk of an outbreak of Ebola in East Africa is as eminent as in any of the countries bordering the affected countries. The IFRC regional office intends to support National Societies to raise their Ebola preparedness and response capacity through training, technical support in planning and implementation of Ebola related activities, and coordination both within and outside the movement.

Yemen: Yemen Crisis: IOM Regional Response - Situation Report, 25 June 2015

26 June 2015 - 1:09pm
Source: International Organization for Migration Country: Djibouti, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen

Highlights

  • Between 18 and 24 June, IOM teams responded to urgent WASH and NFI needs of IDPs in Aden, and continued with its WASH support in Abyan; in addition to the provision of hygiene kits to IDPs in schools in Sana'a governorate.

  • Over 19,700 Djiboutians, Yemenis and Third Country Nationals have arrived in Djibouti from Yemen since 26 March.

  • To date, 675 migrants have been evacuated from Yemen by sea, and IOM is arranging to evacuate another 150 stranded and vulnerable migrants from Al Hudaydah in the coming days.

Somalia: UN Special Representative for Somalia condemns attack on AMISOM base

26 June 2015 - 12:33pm
Source: United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia Country: Somalia

Mogadishu, 26 June 2015 – The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia (SRSG), Nicholas Kay, strongly condemns today’s attack by Al Shabaab militants on an AMISOM base in Leego, manned by troops from the Burundian contingent.

“I send my heartfelt condolences to the families who have lost loved ones in today’s attack as well as to the people and the government of the Republic of Burundi,” said SRSG Kay. “These brave peacekeepers sacrificed their lives in the ongoing efforts to bring lasting peace and stability to Somalia.”

“Our support for the people of Somalia, and our solidarity with the African Union Mission in Somalia, and Somali security forces in their efforts to defeat al-Shabaab and build peace and stability will not waver.”

END

World: European Council conclusions, 25-26 June 2015

26 June 2015 - 10:50am
Source: European Union Country: Eritrea, Greece, Hungary, Iraq, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Serbia, Somalia, Syrian Arab Republic, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, World

I. MIGRATION

1. Europe needs a balanced and geographically comprehensive approach to migration, based on solidarity and responsibility. Following the decisions taken by the European Council last April, concrete measures have been taken to prevent further loss of life at sea, to find new ways of confronting smugglers and to intensify cooperation with countries of origin and transit, while respecting the right to seek asylum. The launch of the EUNAVFOR MED mission, decided on 22 June by the Council, is an important contribution in this respect. Operational action to tackle the traffickers and smugglers in accordance with international law is an essential part of our comprehensive approach.

2. Further to the Commission's European Agenda on Migration, work should be taken forward on all dimensions of a comprehensive and systemic approach.

3. Wider efforts, including the reinforcement of the management of the Union’s external borders, are required to better contain the growing flows of illegal migration. Today, the European Council focused on three key dimensions which must be advanced in parallel: relocation/resettlement, return/readmission/reintegration and cooperation with countries of origin and transit. The Council will regularly assess progress in all three strands and report back later in the year.

Somalia: Somalia: Humanitarian Dashboard - May 2015 (issued on 25 June 2015)

26 June 2015 - 9:02am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Somalia

SITUATION OVERVIEW

Humanitarian assistance continues across Somalia and as of 30 May, partners have treated about 107,000 children under five for acute malnutrition and reached 335,000 people with food assistance focusing on those in emergency and crisis.

Education partners reached 44,000 children with teaching activities and school feeding programmes while 421,000 people have been provided with temporary and sustainable access to safe water. 732,000 Somalis have received basic health services throughout the country while the protection cluster has reached 47,000 people with protection activities. A further 408,000 people have been reached with activities aimed at building livelihoods and 211,000 people have received livelihood seasonal inputs including seeds, tools, fishing equipment, irrigation vouchers and livestock distribution and vaccination.
In addition, response was scaled up in Dhobley, Lower Juba region where the number of acute water diarrhea (AWD) and suspected cholera cases have rapidly increased since April. Close to 1,000 cases have been reported including four deaths while 336 were admitted for treatment and the rest undergoing out patient care. As of 31 May, 816 households have received hygiene kits while 940 households have been reached with hygiene promotion campaigns

World: Addressing Human Trafficking and Exploitation in times of Crisis - Evidence and recommendations for further action to protect vulnerable and mobile populations

26 June 2015 - 7:47am
Source: International Organization for Migration Country: Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Haiti, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, World

IOM Launches Research on Human Trafficking and Exploitation of Mobile Populations in Crises

Switzerland --New research just launched by IOM confirms that trafficking in persons and other forms of exploitation occur in times of crisis yet remain largely overlooked in the context of humanitarian response.

Undertaken in a time of unprecedented, diverse and simultaneously ongoing crises, with more and more people on the move or displaced, the research confirms that crisis situations can exacerbate existing vulnerabilities to and manifestations of trafficking in persons. In certain contexts, crisis-induced forms of trafficking emerge.

Based on fieldwork to assess ongoing crises in Iraq and Libya as well as case studies of man-made and environmental crises in Indonesia, the Philippines, the Mediterranean and more, the research draws on over 120 expert interviews and provides a 20-year reflective analysis of various crises dating back to the 1990s. The global assessment further reaffirms that regardless of the type of crisis – armed conflict, natural disasters, complex crises – vulnerabilities to human trafficking can be found.

Careful not to overstate the problem and consequences of human trafficking in crisis situations, the report provides contemporary, evidence-based findings to reveal that trafficking in persons is not a side effect of crises but is often directly interrelated.

The research offers a number of recommendations to ensure that counter-trafficking and protection of vulnerable migrants no longer remain at the margins of humanitarian response efforts.

“IOM’s response to crises aims to be integrated and holistic; prevention and response to trafficking in persons, especially when vulnerable mobile groups are concerned, should be gradually integrated into the global humanitarian response,” said Mohammed Abdiker, Head of the Department of Operations and Emergencies.

The research concludes that the response to human trafficking and related abuses against vulnerable populations should be considered as a life-saving protection activity. And with this, fully operationalized and integrated before, during and after a crisis.

“This research represents a very important step for our organization. IOM has been working on countering trafficking in human beings since 1994 and has thus acquired strong capacity to respond to the needs of vulnerable migrants, especially victims of trafficking. This research’s findings will now help us and other partners extend our support to mobile populations caught in crisis, be they natural disasters, armed conflict or other. We are currently testing a strategy to ensure that this becomes a reality and that we start responding from the very beginning,” said Bernd Hemingway, Head of the Department of Migration Management.

The findings were also discussed during an interactive webinar "Trafficking in persons in times of crisis" hosted by PHAP and in collaboration with IOM and Caritas Internationalis in support of the World Humanitarian Summit. The full discussion can be found at: https://phap.org/WHS-18jun2015

To read the full briefing document, please click here

For further information please contact Michela Macchiavello, IOM Geneva, Tel: +41 22 717 94 25, Email: mmacchiavello@iom.int

Greece: IOM Responds as Greece Rivals Italy as Point of Entry to EU for Sea-borne Migrants

26 June 2015 - 7:29am
Source: International Organization for Migration Country: Eritrea, Gambia, Greece, Italy, Nigeria, Somalia, Syrian Arab Republic, World

Greece - The Greek islands near Turkey's coast now rival Italy as the top destination for irregular migrants seeking entry into the EU by sea this year, signaling the shift from the central Mediterranean route to the Eastern route.

Some 61,000 migrants have arrived by sea to Greece this year, nearly doubling 2014’s full-year total of 34,442. During the current month of June, between 650 and 1,000 migrants are reaching the islands daily.

So far, around 65,000 migrants have arrived via the sea route to Italy, according to IOM estimates, which has proven to be a much deadlier passage with at least 1,820 fatalities this year, including the death this week of a Gambian youth, reportedly shot by assailants from a nearby boat while in Libyan waters.

Through all of June last year a total of 763 migrants died in waters between North Africa and Italy, fewer than a quarter of the year’s ultimate death toll, estimated at some 3,200 fatalities.

At least 37 migrants have died or gone missing near Greece this year. On Tuesday, six migrants from Syria died off the coast of Turkey as they were reportedly trying to reach the island of Kos, while 64 migrants were rescued. An estimated 80,524 migrants have arrived to Greece by both land and sea routes this year.

Syrians continue to be one of the largest migrant groups entering Europe via either Italy or Greece. Syrian entries to Italy through the end of May 2015 are 3,185 – slightly more than the 2,941 arriving from The Gambia. The top three nationalities recorded entering Italy in 2015 are Eritrean (10,985), Somali (4,958) and Nigerian (4,630), all out-pacing Syrian arrivals this year.

By comparison, 28,581 Syrians have already reached Greece by both land and sea this year (as of 31 May), compared to 32,520 in all of 2014.

IOM Deputy Director General Laura Thompson, in Athens yesterday, thanked the Government of Greece and the Hellenic Coastguard for its success in saving thousands of lives and its efforts to improve the management of a serious migration situation in the midst of the economic crisis gripping the country.

“In the first five months of 2015, over 60,000 migrants risked their lives to cross the Mediterranean and enter Greece. Thanks to the tireless efforts of the Hellenic Coastguard, comparatively few lives have been lost," she said.

The key points of entry are the Greek islands of Lesvos, Samos, Kos and Chios, with Lesvos alone receiving over half of all arrivals. The smaller islands of Pserimos, Farmakonisi, Agathonisi, Oinousses, Megisti and Gavdos also are receiving migrants, overstretching modest local means to respond.

IOM's Chief of Mission in Greece, Daniel Esdras, warns that the islands are facing shortages in capacity and resources needed to adequately handle the arrivals. “This is only the beginning. The facts and figures cannot describe the reality of the situation on Greek shores," he said.

Anticipating a shift in flows to eastern Greek isles – due partly to the erection of a 12.5km barrier at Evros in 2011, which diverted migrants from land routes to sea routes – IOM Greece has been steadily posting staff at the main ports of entry, where they contribute to relief efforts and border management at ports.

On its own initiative and through the collection of donations, IOM Greece provides newly rescued migrants with immediate humanitarian assistance including the distribution of blankets, clothes, shoes and pharmaceutical supplies.

IOM was ready with 200 thermal blankets for migrants who were rescued at sea and brought to the island of Lesvos on April 23, 2015.

“The pictures of migrants packed in dinghies or lying on the ports of the islands during the tourist season may have attracted the attention of global public opinion and media, but IOM staff have been immersed in these intense moments every day and night from the beginning of the year," said Esdras. "For us, this is more than just numbers. Local authorities have asked our staff in Lesvos to contribute to the rescue of children in the middle of the night and to help with pregnant women in labour who arrived at the port," he added.

IOM Greece has posted specialized information officers on the islands of Lesvos, Crete and Samos over the last two years, and a specialized officer was appointed as Focal Point on Aegean Rescues.

IOM information officers are also dispatched immediately to the islands of Samos, Kos, Gavdos, Chios and Agathonisi upon learning of the arrival of new migrants.

By working directly with rescued migrants, IOM Greece information officers collect data and information on migrants' profiles, the routes they travelled, what they paid, their final destination and other factors which drove them to migrate.

In Athens, Ambassador Thompson also welcomed the continuous support from the governments of Norway, the United Kingdom and Switzerland for IOM's work assisting migrants in Greece, especially the most vulnerable among them.

"IOM Greece’s efforts are possible because of this support, and I want to thank them on behalf of IOM, and more importantly, on behalf of all the migrants who have been assisted," she said.

IOM Greece also works closely with Frontex, the Hellenic Coastguard and the First Reception Service to identify vulnerable migrants including unaccompanied minors, elderly migrants and those with medical needs, and families with children. Vulnerable migrants are then referred to authorities for appropriate care.

"Reality has overrun our predictions, needs are exceeding the available capacity, the desperation of these people leads them to take fatal risks, and the organized crime of smugglers is expanding every day. We need to take the management of migration out of the hands of smugglers. Migrants trust the smugglers more than the authorities. There is no time left,” Esdras urged.

“You are in Greece, not Italy.”

On Tuesday June 10th, just after midnight, the phone rang twice and stopped. Chryssa, the IOM staffer posted in Western Crete, called back but no one replied. At dawn she tried again. This time there was a police officer on the other end who reported the rescue at sea of more than one hundred migrants that had been transferred to Paleochora.

Chryssa arrived at the stadium where more than 250 Somalis, Sudanese, Egyptians and Syrian migrants were sheltered and first aid was being provided to the new arrivals. They were mostly men, a few women, and more than 45 unaccompanied children.

They asked Chryssa where they were. “You are in Greece, not Italy,” she replied.

The rescued migrants had met their smugglers in Alexandria, Egypt. The deal was to take them to Italy for 2,500 euros per person. Before disembarking, they were divided into groups and put into small boats; while at sea, they were transferred to a bigger boat. Four smugglers were among them, but after seven days on board, when the engine broke down and ran out of fuel, they left on another boat promising they would return with gasoline. They never did.

“We were left with no food or water. Someone called a man he knew in Italy, an activist, and he contacted the Italian authorities,” a Syrian migrant told IOM staff.

Communications ensued between the Greek and Italian authorities and it was decided that the closest port was in Greek territory.

Chryssa and other IOM staff stayed all night and day at the stadium in Paleochora, spending most of their time with the minors to reassure them about the next steps. Staff also contacted the First Reception Service and the National Referral Service to locate accommodation centres for the children.

The children, all from Egypt, asked Chryssa to call their mothers from her mobile phone. No one replied.

Crete was among the Greek islands that received more than 1,200 migrants.

For further information please contact IOM Greece: Irini Gerogli, Tel: +30 210 991 9040, ext.121 Email: igerogli@iom.int or Mantalena Kaili, Tel: +30 693 718 3477 Email: mkaili@iom.int

World: Global Weather Hazards Summary June 26 - July 2, 2015

26 June 2015 - 4:50am
Source: Famine Early Warning System Network, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Country: Afghanistan, Benin, Burkina Faso, Costa Rica, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Mali, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Togo, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Uzbekistan, World

Increased rainfall unlikely to relieve dryness in Central America and Haiti

Africa Weather Hazards

A delayed onset of the rainy season, followed by poorly-distributed rainfall, has led to abnormal dryness across Burkina Faso, the northern parts of Ghana, Togo, and Benin, western and southern Niger, and northern Nigeria. The lack of rainfall over the past several weeks has delayed planting and negatively affected cropping activities over parts of this region.

Somalia: Security Council Press Statement on Al-Shabaab Attack in Mogadishu

25 June 2015 - 9:05pm
Source: UN Security Council Country: Somalia

SC/11945-AFR/3162

SECURITY COUNCIL
PRESS RELEASE

The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Ramlan Bin Ibrahim (Malaysia):

The members of the Security Council condemn the attack on 24 June on a humanitarian convoy carrying diplomats from the United Arab Emirates in Mogadishu, perpetrated by Al-Shabaab, resulting in a number of casualties. The members of the Security Council expressed their deep sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims, as well as to the people and Governments of Somalia and the United Arab Emirates. The members of the Security Council wished a speedy recovery to those injured.

The members of the Security Council condemned acts of violence against diplomatic and consular representatives, which endanger or take innocent lives and seriously impede the normal work of such representatives and officials. The members of the Security Council reiterated their support to all actors working towards peace and stability in Somalia, including both the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

The members of the Security Council reaffirmed that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security, and that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable regardless of their motivation, wherever and whenever and by whomsoever committed.

The members of the Security Council reiterated their determination to combat all forms of terrorism, in accordance with their responsibilities under the Charter of the United Nations.

The members of the Security Council underlined the need to bring perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of these reprehensible acts of terrorism to justice and urged all States, in accordance with their obligations under international law, and relevant Security Council resolutions, to cooperate actively with the Somali authorities in this regard.

The members of the Security Council reminded States that they must ensure that measures taken to combat terrorism comply with all their obligations under international law, in particular international human rights law, international humanitarian law and refugee law.

The members of the Security Council underlined that neither this, nor any other act of terrorism, would weaken their commitment to supporting the peace and reconciliation process in Somalia.

For information media. Not an official record.

Ethiopia: WFP Ethiopia May Monthly Situation Report #1

25 June 2015 - 11:38am
Source: World Food Programme Country: Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan

Highlights

  • The Humanitarian Requirements Document for 2015 has been endorsed and released. About 2.9 million people need emergency support until June 2015. From the total about 38 and 31 percent are from Oromia and Somali region which constitute 70 per-cent of the caseload..

  • For the 2014/2015 marketing season, WFP has signed contracts with 30 Purchase for Progress cooperative unions of Amhara, Oromiya and SNNPR regions for the delivery of 30,000mt of local maize.

  • At the end of May, WFP Ethiopia through its cross-border operation for IDPs in South Sudan, had dispatched 18,328mt of food commodities by air, road and river. Eighty-three percent of the food was moved through the air operation.