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Somalia: UN Special Representative for Somalia on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr

27 July 2014 - 3:34pm
Source: United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia Country: Somalia

PRESS STATEMENT 34/2014

Mogadishu, 28 July 2014 – The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia (SRSG), Nicholas Kay, extended his heartfelt greetings to all Somali people as they celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr.

“As Somalia celebrates Eid-ul-Fitr I wish all Somalis and their families Eid Mubarak. Today is a time to celebrate the completion of the holy month of Ramadan and to remember those that are less fortunate than ourselves. I hope this spirit of reconciliation and harmony can contribute to peace across Somalia. Ciid Wanaagsan!" SRSG Kay said.

Ends.

Somalia: Humanitarian Bulletin Somalia June 2014 | Issued on 24 July 2014

25 July 2014 - 2:24pm
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Somalia preview

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The food security situation has worsened as early warnings highlight drought conditions in parts of Somalia.

  • Alarming malnutrition rates above threshold levels have been recorded among displaced communities in Mogadishu.

  • UN Central Emergency Response Fund allocates over US$20 million in emergency funding to Somalia.

FIGURES
- # of people in humanitarian emergency and crisis 857,000
- # of people in stress 2m
- # of acutely 203,000 malnourished children under age 5 Source: www.fsnau.org (January-June 2014 projection)
- # of internally displaced people 1.1m
- # of Somali refugees in the Horn of Africa and Yemen 1m Source: UNHCR Consolidated Appeal

FUNDING
933 million requested for 2014 (US$)
29% (268 million) (reported as of 22 July 2014)

Food crisis set to deteriorate warn analysts

Alert highlights looming drought in Somalia, worsening already acute crisis

The food security situation is expected to deteriorate in the months ahead due to reduced crop production resulting from poor seasonal Gu rains (April to June), a surge in prices of basic commod- ities and reduced livestock prod- uction, according to an alert releas- ed in early July by the Food Sec- urity and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU), managed by the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO). This projection comes on the back of multiple early warnings over the past months by the humanitarian community. On 21 July, the Federal Government of Somalia described the humanitar- ian situation “as a precursor to the situation in 2011 in its intensity” and established a Ministerial Emerg- ency Response Committee to lead the development of a drought and emergency response plan.

According to the Somalia Water and Land Information Management (SWALIM), the rains started a month late and ended early this year, by the last week in May. Rainfall was recorded at less than half of normal levels during the seasonal rains. As a result, drought conditions are being observed in southern, central and north-eastern parts of Somalia. The negative trend is not expected to reverse until the next rains, which are due in October. The worst affected areas where the food security situation is expected to deteriorate in the coming months include parts of Bakool, Gedo, Hiraan, Lower Shabelle and Middle Juba regions, according to FSNAU. Bari and Nugaal regions of north eastern Somalia are also facing drought due to poor Gu rains.

In addition to poor Gu rainfall, continued conflict, the restricted flow of commercial goods in areas affected by recent military operations and increasing malnutrition mainly among internally displaced people are all factors, which could tip the crisis in Somalia back into an emergency.
For more information see: http://bit.ly/1ujtQBj and http://bit.ly/1jXKmlW

Climate outlook for the next three months until September

Although the period between July and September is regarded as a dry season, significant rainfall usually occurs during this period along the southern coast and parts of the north western regions. However, the forecast is that most parts of Somalia will not receive these normal rains, a factor which will compound the worsening food security situation, according to FAO. However, the southern coastal regions are expected to continue to receive light rains, which are normal in these areas during this period. This may improve availability of water and curb the current water shortages in these regions.

Alarming malnutrition rates observed in capital

Acute malnutrition and mortality levels surpass emergency thresholds. Alarming rates of malnutrition have been observed among displaced communities in Mogadishu, according to FSNAU data. Nutrition assessments in May and June show above emergency levels of malnutrition seven urban towns (Dhobley, Doolow, Dhuusamarreeb, Garowe, Gaalkacyo and Kismayo) with the highest deterioration reported in Somalia’s capital city, Mogadishu.

Global acute malnutrition (GAM) levels among the displaced communities in Mogadishu were reported at an alarming 18.9 per cent (the emergency threshold is 15 per cent). Thesevere acute malnutrition (SAM) rates increased to 5.5 per cent (the emergency threshold is 4.5 per cent). Of the 14 sampled districts in Mogadishu, the highest number of malnutrition cases was recorded in displacement settlements in Wadajir, Hodan district. The nutrition situation is equally alarming in Doolow, where GAM rates are 18.9 per cent and SAM is 4.4 per cent.

Disease, conflict and resource gaps contribute to malnutrition

A number of factors have reportedly caused the deteriorating mal- nutrition situation in Mogadishu: acute watery diarrhoea and meas- les outbreaks in April and May; a high influx of displaced people due to recent conflicts in Lower Shab- elle and other parts of southern and central Somalia; poor water, sanitation and hygiene conditions in displacement settlements; and limited food and nutrition interventions in Banadir Region.

Aid organizations have been unable to meet the needs of over 350,000 estimated displaced people in Mogadishu due to funding shortages, and a volatile security situation, which has at times restricted aid delivery into the settlements. A rise in food prices and limited livelihood opportunities have also contributed to the worsening food security situation. Host communities in the capital have also been affected, with an increase in GAM from 8.1 per cent in May/June 2013 to 10.1 per cent in May/June this year. The humanitarian community is mobilizing resources to address the serious situation, but the significant shortfall in funding for humanitarian activities has undermined the capacity to respond.

South Sudan: Warnings mount of East Africa famine – is anyone listening?

25 July 2014 - 6:34am
Source: Christian Science Monitor Country: Somalia, South Sudan

Millions in South Sudan and Somalia are at risk, according to sophisticated tracking models and data collected this year on crops, livestock, markets, and stockpiles. But early warning doesn't always mean action.

NAIROBI, KENYA — Nearly seven million people in South Sudan and Somalia are in urgent need of food handouts and several areas of both countries could slip into famine without increased and sustained international action, aid agencies are warning.

Read the full report

World: UNMAS Annual Report 2013

25 July 2014 - 2:38am
Source: UN Mine Action Service Country: Afghanistan, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Mali, occupied Palestinian territory, Somalia, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Western Sahara, World, South Sudan preview

In 2013 UNMAS made the world safer. Whether it was through spearheading humanitarian mine action in Afghanistan and Mali, assisting United Nations deployment in the Central African Republic, completing the landmine survey of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, attaining agreements to demine in the West Bank or building secure weapons storage facilities in Libya, the lead United Nations entity on explosives hazards saved lives. UNMAS carried out United Nations Security Council mandates, emergency humanitarian deployments and fulfilled many requests from UN entities and governments to provide mine action assistance.

Somalia: CERF underfunded emergencies: 2014 2nd round, as of 21 July 2014

24 July 2014 - 5:23pm
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Djibouti, Eritrea, Gambia, Kenya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Somalia, World preview

In June 2014, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator allocated US$75 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to support 11 countries in two regions where humanitarian needs are high but financial support is low: West Africa’s Sahel and the Horn of Africa. With this regional approach, CERF aims to help relief agencies address the complex and interlinked regional consequences of violent conflict, mass displacement of people and deepening food insecurity. This is the second of two annual Underfunded Emergencies (UFE) rounds.

Somalia: Risk of Relapse Call to Action : Somalia Crisis Update

24 July 2014 - 11:10am
Source: Danish Refugee Council, COOPI - Cooperazione Internazionale, Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development, Norwegian Church Aid, Norwegian Refugee Council, CARE, World Concern, Solidarités International, Oxfam, International Rescue Committee, Save the Children, World Vision, Finn Church Aid Country: Somalia preview

Somalia: eight warnings of catastrophe so far, and still no action

Early warnings need to result in early action in Somalia

Last week marked three years since the UN declared famine in Somalia. The catastrophe facing the Somali people three years ago ended in at least 260,000 people dying, half of them children.

In May this year, 26 organisations came together to call for the world to remember Somalia. The country faces a constant battle against apathy with the international community managing to forget about the fact that nearly 3 million people – a third of the population - are in severe crisis.

The UN also raised the alarm with Somalia’s UN’s Humanitarian Coordinator highlighting the huge funding gap we face. The Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Valerie Amos also addressed the UN Security Council to highlight how fragile and worrying the situation in Somalia is.

At that stage, the common appeal for humanitarian funds for Somalia was only 19% funded. In the past few weeks we have seen more money come through and the appeal now stands at 27%. Although this is a good step forward, there is still a huge funding gap and the UN has also raised concerns that life saving programs are at risk of closing. This will lead to an increase in preventable deaths, unless major donors step up and take responsibility to save lives in Somalia.

Action is possible and urgent

Now 28 NGOs have again come together to demonstrate what needs to happen in Somalia. The briefing “Risk of Relapse: Call to Action” highlights the sort of activities needed in the next three to six weeks and the next three to six months, in sectors such as healthcare, water, sanitation and hygiene, nutrition and other areas. They may seem like minor solutions like provision of diesel to river based communities to support crop production, or cash for training on nutrition, but together they add up to a package of that can prevent people from falling into extreme need.

This briefing along with the UN’s combined response plan, provide a plan for action and how much is needed to deliver for people. There are constant concerns about security and fear of aid diversion in Somalia, but these must not be used as excuses for inaction. The fact is these agencies working on the ground continue to reach people in need and aid gets to those who need it. We are able to tackle the crisis.

We have now had eight early warnings of a worsening emergency in Somalia. In the run up to the Somalia famine in 2011, we had 16 such warnings. We have shown today that action is possible and urgent. This all adds up to donors needing to put their hands in their pockets immediately to divert us from the path to catastrophe.

Somalia: Canada providing support to UNICEF in Somalia

23 July 2014 - 5:05pm
Source: Government of Canada Country: Canada, Somalia

Today’s announcement of $5 million to UNICEF is addressing the humanitarian needs of people, especially children, affected by the crisis in Somalia.

Canada is supporting UNICEF’s operations that are improving the health, well-being and protection of children, women and their families by providing:

  • treatment of malnutrition for 135,000 children under the age of five;
  • essential vaccinations for 2.2 million children;
  • improved access to water for 500,000 people;
  • community-based care and support for 9,000 child victims of gender-based violence or military recruitment;
  • access to quality education for 180,000 children; and,
  • necessary inputs for protection of livelihoods for 90,000 crisis-affected families.

Canada’s response to humanitarian crises

Canada helps save lives, alleviate suffering, and maintain the dignity of people in developing countries affected by conflict, natural disasters, and situations of food insecurity requiring a humanitarian response by providing funding to support the appropriate, timely, and effective response of multilateral, international and Canadian humanitarian agencies.

For more information on Canada’s response to humanitarian crises around the world, please visit our web site.

Saving Every Woman, Every Child: Within Arm’s Reach Prime Minister Stephen Harper hosted the highly successful Saving Every Woman, Every Child: Within Arm’s Reach Summit, which provided renewed momentum to advance maternal, newborn and child health as a global priority beyond 2015. The Summit took place from May 28 to 30, 2014, in Toronto, Ontario.

Over the course of the Summit, leaders and experts worked together to advance three priority themes:

Getting Results for Women and Children: Summit participants highlighted the benefits of coordinated action and the successes achieved since 2010. Leaders and experts also pointed to the importance of providing increased support for nutrition through key partners such as the Micronutrient Initiative, the World Food Programme, the World Health Organization and UNICEF. In addition, Summit participants welcomed the announcement that Germany would host the GAVI replenishment meeting in 2015 and called on all partners to increase their support to the GAVI Alliance.

Doing More Together Globally: Summit participants also called for increased efforts to work together. They also called for more timely, reliable, accurate and accessible health information as a critical catalyst for greater accountability within national health systems. In addition, they agreed that a wider spectrum of expertise and resources is needed, including from the private sector, foundations, science and tech communities, non-governmental organizations and civil society, in addition to traditional partners, local governments, and citizens.

Taking Real Action on Women’s and Children’s Health: Summit participants called on all partners to maintain progress and increase momentum on efforts to achieve United Nations Millennium Development Goals 4 (to reduce child mortality) and 5 (to improve maternal health) by the end of 2015. Summit discussions also made clear that ending preventable deaths of women and children within a generation will mean carrying forward the lessons learned, including the need for political leadership, sustained financial commitments, robust accountability measures, and a renewed focus on the approaches that are proven to save the lives of women and children.

Participants welcomed Canada’s renewed commitment of $3.5 billion towards MNCH through 2015–2020 and called on other global donors to meet their commitments to women and children, leading up to and beyond 2015. Summit discussions also emphasized the need for common goals and for governments, international organizations, civil society, businesses and health leaders to ensure that ending preventable maternal, newborn and under-five child mortality by 2030 is a central priority within the post-2015 development agenda.

World: FGM Women Prevalence-18July

23 July 2014 - 12:38pm
Source: UN Children's Fund Country: Egypt, Guinea, Mali, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, World preview

Somalia: UN Special Representative for Somalia condemns assassination of female parliamentarian

23 July 2014 - 11:40am
Source: United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia Country: Somalia

Mogadishu, 23 July 2014 – The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia (SRSG), Nicholas Kay, condemned the assassination of Saado Ali Warsame, a female Member of the Somali Federal Parliament, and expressed his deep concern about the continued attacks targeting parliamentarians in the capital.

Ms Warsame and her driver were shot and killed as they travelled in a vehicle in Mogadishu today. In addition to being a parliamentarian, Ms Warsame was a well known singer whose loss will be felt across Somalia.

“I condemn the assassination of Saado Ali Warsame in the strongest terms possible. The role of Somali women in public life must be protected and respected by all,” SRSG Kay said.

“I call on the authorities to make every effort to bring the perpetrators to justice swiftly. We remain resolute in our support for the Somali people and their representatives as they work to realise their hope for a peaceful and stable future,” he added.

SRSG Kay offers his sincere condolences to the family and friends of Ms Warsame and her driver, as well as to the Federal Parliament of Somalia.

World: New funding to protect millions of girls from child marriage

23 July 2014 - 2:15am
Source: Department for International Development Country: Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, World

The UK is driving a major new global push to end child and forced marriage across the world, International Development Secretary Justine Greening announced today at the UK’s first Girl Summit. placeholder With the goal of ending child marriage in 12 of the most highly affected countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, Britain is working with the UN to deliver a scheme to help 6 million girls worldwide escape child marriage.

The £25 million announcement comes as UN agencies, survivors, charities, community groups, faith leaders and front-line professionals gather at the Girl Summit in London, hosted by the Prime Minister David Cameron, to end child and forced marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM) in a generation. Momentum is gathering pace, with well -known figures – from Desmond Tutu and Malala to Stephen Fry – already pledging their support.

Justine Greening said:

“Education, ambition and freedom of choice should be available to every single girl and no one deserves to suffer such serious harm by those closest to them, whether as a result of FGM or by being coerced into an unwanted marriage.

“We cannot dismiss these practices as something happening in far off places, or someone else’s problem. Right now, in towns and cities up and down the UK, there are girls at risk without the same rights as their friends. That has to change.

“We should never turn a blind eye to these issues. At the Girl Summit we are coming together to say enough is enough: we must end these practices once and for all. The time has come to not only break the silence on these issues, but to take a stand.”

The Department for International Development’s new child marriage programme will:

  • increase access to vital services to prevent and respond to child marriage – such as more child protection, education and health services;

  • establish local community-based programmes to stop girls marrying young. This will include setting up community engagement projects to change their expectations;

  • work with governments and communities to strengthen laws, policies and resources to prevent child marriage in the first place; and

  • collect detailed and robust evidence about how to stop child marriage, such as support for civil registration systems to better monitor the age at which girls get married.

This announcement comes alongside a wider package of action and funding to protect millions of girls at in the UK and overseas from female genital mutilation and forced marriage. These include a £1.4 million FGM Prevention Programme, launched in partnership with NHS England to help care for survivors and safeguard those at risk, and new legislation that will mean parents can be prosecuted if they fail to prevent their daughter being cut. Child and forced marriage affects 14 million girls a year, some are as young as eight years old. Meanwhile 125 million women worldwide are estimated to be living with the consequences of FGM and 30 million girls are at risk in Africa alone over the next decade. Notes to editors

  1. The Girl Summit is hosted by the UK Government and UNICEF and brings together UN agencies, survivors, charities, community groups, faith leaders and front line professionals with the aim of mobilising domestic and international efforts to end female genital mutilation (FGM) and child, early and forced marriage (CEFM) within a generation. It is taking place at the Walworth Academy in South London.

  2. Sign the pledge to end FGM and CEFM at www.GirlSummitPledge.com and for more details about the summit visit https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/girl-summit-2014

  3. The following people have already got behind the campaign: Malala, Jemima Khan, Jackie Chan, Philip Pullman, Alison Moyet, Freida Pinto, Christy Turlington, Stephen Fry, Dawn O’Porter, Jennifer Hudson, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Desmond Tutu, Cat Deeley, Melinda Gates, Mia Farrow, Lorraine Kelly, Lorraine Kelly, Martina Navratilova and Sir Roger Moore.

  4. FGM is a deep rooted social practice where women and girls, including newborns in some cases, have partial or total removal of the external genitalia for non-medical reasons. 125 million women worldwide are estimated to be living with the consequences of FGM and 30 million girls are at risk in Africa alone over the next decade. The vast majority of practising communities are in 29 African countries, with 74% of women aged 15-49 in Ethiopia having been cut, 88% in Sierra Leone, and 98% in Somalia.

  5. The UK is the biggest international donor to efforts to tackling FGM investing up to £35 million over 5 years https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-to-help-end-female-genital-mutilation

  6. Forced marriage is where one or both of the spouses has not consented to the union, but is being coerced or pressurised into it. It is different to arranged marriage. 14.2 million girls under the age of 18 marry each year - 39,000 each day.

World: Global terrorism fatalities up 30%, risk of attacks increase most in China, Egypt, Kenya, and Libya

22 July 2014 - 9:54pm
Source: Maplecroft Country: Afghanistan, China, Colombia, Egypt, Iraq, Kenya, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Somalia, Syrian Arab Republic, World, Yemen

Over the last 12 months, global fatalities from acts of terrorism have risen 30% compared to the previous five year average, according to a new security monitoring service from global risk analytics company Maplecroft, which also identifies China, Egypt, Kenya and Libya as seeing the most significant increases in the risk of terrorist attacks.

The Maplecroft Terrorism and Security Dashboard (MTSD) is a new interactive mapping platform, which logs, analyses and plots all reported incidents of terrorism, piracy, political violence and human rights abuses by security forces down to 100m² worldwide. It also draws on Maplecroft’s seven years of global data to reveal terrorism and security trends across 197 countries.

Globally, the MTSD recorded 18,668 fatalities in the 12 months prior to July 1st, up 29.3% from an annual average of 14,433 for the previous five years. Over the same period the MTSD recorded 9,471 attacks at an average of 26 a day, down from a five year average of 10,468, revealing that terrorist methods have become increasingly deadly over the last year.

The MTSD classifies 12 countries as ‘extreme risk,’ many of which are blighted by high levels of instability and weak governance. These include: Iraq (most at risk), Afghanistan (2nd), Pakistan (3rd), Somalia (4th), Yemen (6th), Syria (7th), Lebanon (9th) and Libya (10th). However, of particular concern for investors, the important growth economies of Nigeria (5th), the Philippines (8th), Colombia (11th) and Kenya (12th) also feature in the category.

Rising risks and economic costs in China, Egypt, Kenya and Libya

“Libya, Kenya and Egypt are among a handful of countries to witness a significant increase in risk in the MTSD and investor confidence in key sectors, including tourism and oil and gas, has been hurt,” states Jordan Perry, a Principal Political Risk Analyst at Maplecroft. “When faced with rising security costs and decreasing safety for their personnel, companies can, and do, reconsider their country-level commitments.”

With terrorism incidents in Libya (10th) doubling in the last year, militia violence is having a toxic impact on the country’s economy, especially its crucial oil sector which has all but ground to a halt following blockades of the country’s main oil ports by rebel militias and divestment by multinational hydrocarbon companies. The flow of militants and weapons from Libya has also increased the risk of terrorism in Egypt (17th and ‘high risk’). Attacks in the Sinai Peninsula and Cairo reduced tourist numbers by 20% in May compared to the same month last year, while frequent bombings of the gas pipeline in North Sinai have impacted exports and government revenues.

Tourism in Kenya (12th), which accounts for roughly 12.5% of GDP, has also been hard hit, due to the increasing frequency and intensity of terrorism attacks by Somali based Islamic militant group al Shabaab. June 2014 represented the bloodiest month since the Westgate shopping mall attack on 21 September 2013, with 69 fatalities and at least 7 wounded. A single al Shabaab attack on Mpeketoni village, in Lamu County on 15 June was responsible for 48 of these deaths. Despite the deteriorating security situation, Kenya’s strong showing at its US$2 billion debut Eurobond in June 2014 highlights continued investor interest in the country.

The MTSD also reveals that attacks are on the rise in China (32nd and ‘medium risk’), many of which have targeted transportation hubs. Fatalities in 2014 have reached 76, compared to 16 over the first six months of 2013. The economic impacts of terrorism are so far negligible, but as China pushes for unconventional hydrocarbon development, foreign companies are likely to be involved in shale gas/oil exploration in the restive hydrocarbon rich western Xinjiang province, the frontline of Han-Uyghur tension. Increased repression in the region means the security situation is likely to worsen.

Terrorism in Nigeria is world’s deadliest, Iraq endures most attacks

Iraq, rated as the highest risk country in the MTSD, recorded more than 3 times as many acts of terrorism as Pakistan (which had the second highest number of incidents) - with 3,158 acts of terrorism, resulting in 5,929 fatalities, an increase of 2,188 deaths on the previous year. The deteriorating security situation in Iraq underscores the government’s inability to combat the militant group Islamic State – formerly known as ISIS, which now controls vital oil and gas infrastructure, while threatening other key assets across northern Iraq.

An intensifying campaign of violence by Islamic militant group Boko Haram has seen Nigeria (5th) record by far the highest number of fatalities per attack, reflecting the intensity of the violence there. The country has been host to 146 reported attacks in the period 01 July 2013 to 30 June 2014, resulting in 3,477 killed – an average of 24 people killed per attack, compared to 2 deaths per attack in Iraq. The increased capacity of Boko Haram – as illustrated by attacks on the key centres of Abuja and Lagos in June 2014 – is likely to lead to a further loss of investor confidence in Nigeria’s ability to respond to security risks in the country.

“The dynamic nature of terrorism means individual events are impossible to predict” states Maplecroft CEO Alyson Warhurst. “However, up-to-date global intelligence on the intensity, frequency, precise location and type of attacks can help organisations to make informed decisions relating to market entry, security measures for in-country operations, duty of care obligations, supply chain continuity and risk pricing.”

Somalia: Polio transmission still not yet over in Somalia

22 July 2014 - 8:40pm
Source: World Health Organization, UN Children's Fund Country: Somalia

Galkayo, Somalia, 22 July 2014 – Despite an ongoing intensive vaccination campaign, four new cases of polio have been confirmed in Somalia this year bringing the total number of those affected since the outbreak began in May 2013 to 198 – most of them children. UNICEF and WHO have warned that unless all children are vaccinated, the number of those affected will continue to rise.

The warning came at the start of the latest vaccination campaign in Puntland, north east Somalia, where all of this year’s cases were discovered in the remote Jariban district in Mudug region. Three of them are children under 10 years old and an adult aged 29 who subsequently died. None of them had been vaccinated against polio before. This current round of vaccinations will run until 25 July and will target close to half a million children under the age of 10 years in the outbreak area and eight surrounding districts.

“Responding to the polio outbreak is one of the top priorities of the UN and the humanitarian community at large,” said the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, Philippe Lazzarini. “We need to continue supporting the Somali health authorities to achieve a polio-free Somalia.”

In May 2013, the first case of polio in six years was discovered in the country’s capital Mogadishu. At the time it was estimated that over half a million children under five living in the inaccessible areas had not been vaccinated.

“Somalia has made a lot of progress towards stopping polio transmission, with the support of UNICEF and WHO, but it needs the final push to be polio-free once again,” said Dr. Ghulam Popal, WHO Somalia Representative who is in Galkayo to oversee the latest campaign implementation.

Since the beginning of the outbreak, more than 1.5 million children under five have been vaccinated along with 5.5 million over five years, including adults in the accessible areas.

“It is a tragedy that so many Somali children have been paralysed by this virus and their lives ruined – when the vaccination is freely available,” said Sikander Khan, UNICEF Somalia Representative. “Polio is highly infectious and every child who has not been properly vaccinated against polio is at risk from paralysis or even death.”

The polio virus can be quickly transmitted through water or food contaminated with human waste from an infected person. Proper sanitation is one way to prevent it spreading. There is no cure for polio and the vaccine – which is just two drops in the mouth - is safe, effective and prevents paralysis. Children should be vaccinated several times to ensure they are protected for life and adults too can carry the virus.

For more information, please contact:
UNICEF: Swangin Bismarck
+254 722 206 883 bswangin@unicef.org

WHO: Dr Abraham Mulugeta
+ 254 733 770192 debesaym@nbo.emro.who.int

World: UN Emergency Fund gives $75 million to boost aid operations in the Sahel and Horn of Africa

22 July 2014 - 8:00pm
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Kenya, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Somalia, World preview

(New York, 23 July 2014) – United Nations humanitarian chief, Valerie Amos, has allocated US$75 million from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to boost life-saving relief work in two of the world’s most neglected regions: the West African Sahel and the Horn of Africa.

Eleven countries were selected based on a global review of critical aid operations that are facing funding deficits. “With so many crises competing for attention many people in need are forgotten. This allocation will help critical emergency operations in the Sahel and in the Horn of Africa, regions with high levels of malnutrition and food insecurity. People are hungry. Their plight was front-page news just two years ago. These countries could fall back into crisis if we don’t help now,” said the Emergency Relief Coordinator.

This is the second of two annual rounds of allocations from the CERF Underfunded Emergencies window, designed to ensure life-saving relief work continues in countries where needs are high but financial support is low. The funding will help relief agencies provide urgent aid to millions of people in these regions affected by violent conflict, mass displacement and deepening food insecurity.

Countries in the Horn will receive US$44.5 million. The largest single allocation, $20 million, will go to Somalia, where 2.9 million people are struggling to feed themselves. Humanitarian agencies in Ethiopia, Kenya and Eritrea will receive $12 million, $10 million and $2.5 million, respectively.

Another $30.5 million will allow aid agencies to boost emergency operations in seven countries in the Sahel: Niger ($8 million), Cameroon ($4.5 million) Senegal ($4.5 million), Burkina Faso ($4 million) Mauritania ($3.5 million), Nigeria ($3.5 million) and Gambia ($2.5 million).

With global humanitarian needs growing, this is the second consecutive year CERF is allocating $175 million for underfunded allocations, up from $150 million per year in 2012. When CERF was established in 2005, humanitarian appeals sought $6 billion in funding worldwide and by mid-2014, that amount has nearly tripled to $17 billion. Since its inception, CERF has allocated more than $3.4 billion for humanitarian agencies operating in 88 countries and territories.

“We thank our many donors for the $438 million pledged to CERF for 2014. This has helped us focus on the most critical funding gaps." said Ms. Amos.

For further information, please contact: Tomas de Mul, CERF Secretariat, +1 917 367 6013, +1 917 250 8400, demul@un.org Amanda Pitt, OCHA New York, +1 212 963 4129, +1 917 442 1810, pitta@un.org OCHA press releases are available at www.unocha.org or www.reliefweb.int

Kenya: Reversal of last year’s court ruling on urban refugees is quite stunning: What changed?

22 July 2014 - 5:09pm
Source: Kenya Daily Nation Country: Kenya, Somalia

The judge who told the Kenya Government a year ago that it couldn’t force urban refugees into remote and over-crowded refugee camps now says it’s fine to do just that. How could that be?

In July 2013, the High Court ruled unconstitutional a government directive ordering all refugees in Nairobi and other cities to move into the Dadaab and Kakuma camps near the country’s northern borders with Somalia and Sudan.

High Court judge David S. Majanja described the government’s order as a violation of the refugees’ freedom of movement and right to dignity.

But in March, the government dusted off and basically re-issued the same directive. And on June 30, Justice Majanja approved the new directive, expressing no concern that it could violate these same fundamental rights and freedoms.

It is difficult to see how the pertinent facts or the questions of law were any different the second time round.

In both cases, the judge was asked whether the government’s directive forcing refugees to move from cities to camps violated their rights as refugees and as human beings.

One difference, however, is who brought the case. The July 2013 case, Kituo Cha Sheria v Attorney-General, was brought by a non-governmental partner of the UN High Commisioner for Refugees, which also submitted an amicus brief in support of the refugees.

A group of Somali refugee businessmen in Nairobi brought this year’s case, Samow Mumim Mohamed & 9 Others v Cabinet Secretary. Justice Majanja said they “did not demonstrate” with “precision” how the directive violated their fundamental rights and freedoms as individuals.

In the July 2013 case, Justice Majanja carefully considered whether implementation of the encampment directive might lead to a situation that would force refugees back to the countries from which they fled – refoulement.

He concluded that the implementation of the policy would, indeed, violate the principle of non-refoulement, which he called “a peremptory norm of international law” that the Kenya Government is obligated to respect.

"DEFERRED TO THE GOVERNMENT"

In June, he did not even consider the threat to the principle of non-refoulement. Last year, he discussed in detail the right of freedom of movement in international and domestic law.

For the government to restrict a refugee’s freedom of movement on national security grounds, he said, it would have to show that “a specific person’s presence or activity in the urban area is causing danger to the country and that his or her encampment would alleviate the menace.”

He concluded that “there is nothing to justify the use of security operation to violate the rights of urban-based refugees”, and ruled that the government’s encampment directive “violates the freedom of movement of refugees.”

In the new case, Mr Majanja reduced freedom of movement to a question of a regulatory technicality: whether the government had properly designated certain areas as refugee camps. And on that point, he simply deferred to the government.

During the 2013 ruling, Justice Majanja held that the inherent dignity of all people was “a core value” of the Constitution, and ruled that “the right to dignity of refugees is violated” by the directive.

During this year’s decision, he made no reference to dignity as a right nor considered whether refugees’ rights were being violated.

There is no reason to believe that refugees would be any less threatened by being ordered into the camps today than they were in June 2014.

There has been no improvement in conditions in the Kakuma and Dadaab camps, and the refugees’ human rights, refugee rights, and constitutional rights have not changed an iota in one year.

What changed was this: instead of actively seeking to uphold refugee rights through its legal partners, UNHCR chose not to bring a case. The inaction of the UN agency mandated to defend refugees and the failure of the High Court to uphold the same rights it had extolled a year previously, are incomprehensible.

The potential real life consequences for tens of thousands of refugees are nothing short of tragic.

Mr Frelick is the director of Human Rights Watch’s Refugee Rights Programme

Kenya: UNHCR Dadaab Update 11/14 Refugee Camps in Garissa County, Kenya | 01 - 15 July 2014

22 July 2014 - 12:41pm
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees Country: Kenya, Somalia preview

NEW DEVELOPMENTS

Ministerial Delegation from Juba Land visit to Dadaab

On 4th July, UNHCR Dadaab received a ministerial delegation from Somalia’s Juba Land.
The delegation visited camps and met with various leaders and refugees who have expressed interest to voluntarily return to Somalia. They expressed confidence that the three return pilot areas (Luuq, Baidowa and Kismayu) as outlined in the tripartite agreement have been pacified by African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) troops and are safe for return. They however pointed out that while it was imperative that return to Somalia is an individual’s decision, potential returnees should thoroughly be informed about the situation in Somalia particularly in the three pilot areas.

Donation of Non Food Items to Dadaab Refugee Host Community

On 15th July, UNHCR donated sets of Non Food Items (NFI’s) including sleeping mats, blankets, mosquito nets and cooking items to the Dadaab refugee host community.

While handing over the items to members of Dadaab Sub-County at Dadaab constituency offices, UNHCR Head of Operations - Ahmed Warsame thanked all community members present and the entire community in general through radio for having hosted refugees for close to 24 years now.

He urged them to sustain their good will even as UNHCR continues to protect and seek lasting solutions for all refugees and asylum seekers.

Another bunch of similar NFI’s had earlier been donated to host communities in Wajir South and Fafi Sub-Counties. These two counties are also part of the larger Dadaab refugee host community.

The items will benefit community members living with disability as well as elderly members. UNHCR often supports the host community in its development agenda especially through funding of education projects, security and infrastructure as a way of encouraging coexistence between refugees and their Kenyan host community.

World: Global Emergency Overview Snapshot 16-22 July

22 July 2014 - 10:45am
Source: Assessment Capacities Project Country: Afghanistan, Angola, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guatemala, Guinea, Haiti, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Myanmar, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Uganda, World, Yemen, South Sudan preview

Snapshot 16–22 July

oPT: 583 have been reported killed and over 100,000 displaced since Operation Protective Edge began on 8 July. There are urgent needs for essential drugs, shelter, water, and food assistance in the Gaza Strip, requiring greater humanitarian space.

Syria: The recent UN Security Council resolution authorising UN cross-border and cross-line humanitarian aid is expected to enable assistance to reach 2.9 million more people. Currently, Al Hasakeh governorate remains inaccessible as internal displacement is ongoing and Iraqi refugees continue to arrive.

Iraq: Minority groups are being targeted, with Islamic State reportedly giving Christian residents of Mosul 24 hours to leave the city. Insecurity and population movements are leading to the breakdown of procurement and distribution systems, impacting on the provision of essential goods and services.
Philippines: Over 1.6 million people have been affected by Typhoon Rammasun, which hit the Philippines over 15-16 July, leaving 97 dead and 460 injured. Over 111,000 houses have been damaged and 518,700 people are staying in 1,264 evacuation centres.

World: Strategy for intensifying international efforts for the elimination of female genital mutilation for the period 2014–2017

21 July 2014 - 10:02pm
Source: Government of Norway Country: Ethiopia, Norway, Somalia, World preview

‘Worldwide, around 125 million girls and women have been subjected to genital mutilation. The fight to eliminate female genital mutilation in Norway and internationally is a high priority for the Government. Norway has set the new and ambitious goal of eliminating this harmful practice in the course of one generation,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.

Every year, around three million girls are at risk of female genital mutilation (FGM), which is the cutting or removal of the external genitalia. The negative health effects of the practice are many, including problems related to intercourse, pregnancy and childbirth. At worst, the effects can be fatal. Norway has been actively engaged in the fight to eliminate FGM for many years, and is one of the most important contributors to this work. Norway is now intensifying its international efforts to combat FGM with the launch of a new strategy for the period 2014–17.

‘We have achieved good results from projects in local communities that focus on bringing about change from within, especially when the central and local authorities in the country concerned have also exerted pressure for change. Norway will now double its support for civil society and international organisations working in this area, from NOK 25 million to NOK 50 million during a three-year period. In addition to focusing on prevention, we will seek to ensure that those who have already been subjected to FGM are given the health care they need,’ Mr Brende commented.

Ensuring that girls have access to education is a crucial factor in the work to eliminate FGM.

‘Girls who stay at school have a significantly reduced risk of being subjected to FGM, child marriage and too-early pregnancy, when compared to girls who do not. Education helps to give girls higher social status and greater opportunity to make their own decisions. Educated girls are also more likely to participate in the fight to eliminate FGM, which is often performed by women,’ said Mr Brende.

Norway’s efforts to fight FGM are coordinated with its efforts in other development policy priority areas, such as education, human rights, global health, sexual and reproductive health and rights, and women’s rights and gender equality.

Italy: Five bodies found as Italian navy rescues hundreds of migrants

21 July 2014 - 7:24am
Source: Agence France-Presse Country: Eritrea, Italy, Libya, Malta, Somalia, Syrian Arab Republic

07/21/2014 11:07 GMT

ROME, July 21, 2014 (AFP) - More than 800 migrants were rescued overnight while attempting to cross the Mediterranean, the Italian navy said on Monday, while five bodies were recovered in the operation.

The latest rescue comes amid a surge in the number of migrants attempting to reach Europe from Africa, as traffickers take advantage of calm summer seas to make the dangerous crossing.

The navy said four of its boats were involved in the operation, which lasted through Sunday night and continued into Monday, together with a merchant ship that happened to be in the area.

Some 824 migrants were rescued from an assortment of dinghies, rafts and other boats -- among them at least 91 women and 14 children.

In the biggest operation, a navy frigate rescued 294 migrants, including 28 women and nine children, from three dinghies.

The same frigate was involved in the rescue of another boat that was "on the verge of sinking", the navy said in a statement, adding that five bodies were recovered.

Two of those rescued were transported by helicopter to a hospital in Catania, Sicily.

The navy said a total of 1,771 migrants have been rescued in Italian territorial waters in recent days, adding that the search for more people continued on Monday.

On Saturday, Maltese authorities made the grim discovery of 30 bodies in the hold of a vessel that was carrying migrants across the Mediterranean.

Malta said the migrants -- almost all Syrian -- may have died in a stampede as the boat was being rescued, while Italian officials said they may have been overcome with toxic fumes from the engine.

There has been a sharp rise in migrant landings in recent weeks because of the calm summer weather and growing lawlessness in Libya, with hundreds of migrants now being intercepted by Italian authorities every day.

Around 80,000 migrants are now believed to have landed in Italy so far this year -- higher than the previous record of some 60,000 set in 2011 at the height of the turmoil triggered by the Arab Spring revolutions.

Most of the migrants making the risky and often deadly journeys come from Eritrea, Somalia and Syria but there are also many arriving from across Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

lrb/rh/txw

© 1994-2014 Agence France-Presse

Italy: Five bodies found as Italian navy rescues hundreds of migrants

21 July 2014 - 7:24am
Source: Agence France-Presse Country: Eritrea, Italy, Libya, Somalia, Syrian Arab Republic

07/21/2014 11:07 GMT

ROME, July 21, 2014 (AFP) - More than 800 migrants were rescued overnight while attempting to cross the Mediterranean, the Italian navy said on Monday, while five bodies were recovered in the operation.

The latest rescue comes amid a surge in the number of migrants attempting to reach Europe from Africa, as traffickers take advantage of calm summer seas to make the dangerous crossing.

The navy said four of its boats were involved in the operation, which lasted through Sunday night and continued into Monday, together with a merchant ship that happened to be in the area.

Some 824 migrants were rescued from an assortment of dinghies, rafts and other boats -- among them at least 91 women and 14 children.

In the biggest operation, a navy frigate rescued 294 migrants, including 28 women and nine children, from three dinghies.

The same frigate was involved in the rescue of another boat that was "on the verge of sinking", the navy said in a statement, adding that five bodies were recovered.

Two of those rescued were transported by helicopter to a hospital in Catania, Sicily.

The navy said a total of 1,771 migrants have been rescued in Italian territorial waters in recent days, adding that the search for more people continued on Monday.

On Saturday, Maltese authorities made the grim discovery of 30 bodies in the hold of a vessel that was carrying migrants across the Mediterranean.

Malta said the migrants -- almost all Syrian -- may have died in a stampede as the boat was being rescued, while Italian officials said they may have been overcome with toxic fumes from the engine.

There has been a sharp rise in migrant landings in recent weeks because of the calm summer weather and growing lawlessness in Libya, with hundreds of migrants now being intercepted by Italian authorities every day.

Around 80,000 migrants are now believed to have landed in Italy so far this year -- higher than the previous record of some 60,000 set in 2011 at the height of the turmoil triggered by the Arab Spring revolutions.

Most of the migrants making the risky and often deadly journeys come from Eritrea, Somalia and Syria but there are also many arriving from across Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

lrb/rh/txw

© 1994-2014 Agence France-Presse

Somalia: UN supports Somali stakeholder discussion on Beijing Platform for Action

20 July 2014 - 5:16am
Source: United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia Country: Somalia

Mogadishu, 19 July 2014 - The Somali Ministry of Women and Human Rights with the support from the UN has today convened a review meeting to collectively discuss the progress made and challenges encountered in the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action (BPfA) in Somalia.

The Declaration was adopted by the Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995. The declaration reaffirmed the fundamental principal that the rights of women and girls are an integral part of universal human rights and calls upon governments to take action to address several critical areas of concern.

This is the first time that Somalia will report on the implementation of the BPfA and the critical areas of concerns to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment among The Minister of Women and Human Rights Development H.E. Khadija Mohammed Diriye emphasized the commitment of the government to take the lead in addressing issues affecting the Somali women adding that this is an opportunity for the stakeholders representing women organizations to deliberate and discuss the challenges faced during the years of civil war and how best this could be addressed.

“Through this consultation we can come up with the achievements and gaps, challenges and gaps that we could address during the forthcoming meeting of BPfA and how this would uplift the rights of Somali women,” Said the Minister.

Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia, Fatiha Serour said that the meeting today is an opportunity for Somalia to present the achievement they have made in relation to the Beijing Platform for Action.

The review will give Somali women visibility in order to making sure the next 10-20 years allows them to achieve equality in terms of participation in the political field, contributing to peace, better education and economic empowerment.

Leila Musa, a member of the Somali Women Journalists noted that such dialogue would contribute significantly towards solving the problems the women of Somalia are faced with. “If we talk about every sector of empowering women and what the problems women have, we can bring solutions and we can get more development and we can feel the difference,” she said.

The consultation agreed upon the account of achievements and gaps, challenges and opportunities per critical area of concern. The outcomes of the consultation will inform the review report which in turn will influence the Somalia’s reconstruction and peace consolidation agenda.

The meeting was attended by over 60 stakeholders from across the Government, Non-Governmental Organizations, women’s groups, Human Rights Organizations and representatives of youth and elders.