Sudan - ReliefWeb News

Syndicate content
ReliefWeb - Updates
Updated: 11 min 5 sec ago

Sudan: Air raids on Zaghawa tribal area in North Darfur

19 October 2014 - 11:53pm
Source: Radio Dabanga Country: Sudan

UM BARU(19 Oct.) -

A man was killed during heavy aerial bombardments by the Sudanese Air Force on the areas of Orschi and Ebeiha, Um Baru locality, a stronghold of the Zahgawa tribe in northwest North Darfur.

Mohamed Ahmed Minawi, Member of Parliament for Um Baru and Karnoi localities, reported to Radio Dabanga that the village of Orschi was hit by seven bombs, the neighbouring village of Ini by four bombs, Hamra village by two, and Dar Darkoi village by seven bombs. The water well of Ebeiha village was destroyed by a bomb.

“Haroun Abdallah was killed at his farmland near Orschi. Luckily, no other fatalities occurred. The basic school of Orschi was destroyed.

“The area is entirely devoid of rebels,” Minawi stressed. “Those isolated areas are thinly inhabited, mostly by Zaghawa. A number of former displaced recently returned to their villages in the area. They started to take up their normal lives again, and enrolled their children in schools.

The MP indicated that the Sudanese Air Force targeted the main water sources, which the people in the area rely on. He described the bombardment of the villages as “utterly irresponsible acts. It looks as if the army aims at returning the people to the camps for the displaced.”

He called upon the villagers in the area to be patient and stay in the area.

Sudan: Central Darfur displaced reject model villages

19 October 2014 - 1:58pm
Source: Radio Dabanga Country: Sudan

BINDISI CAMP(19 Oct.) - The displaced of Bindisi camp in Central Darfur reject any voluntary repatriation, to be implemented by the Darfur Regional Authority (DRA), headed by El Tijani Sese, if security and peace have not been restored in the region.

“DRA employees last week attempted to register the Bindisi camp residents, in preparation for their transport to newly erected model villages in the state,” a camp sheikh reported to Radio Dabanga.

He accused El Tijani Sese of implementing of the ruling National Congress Party’s agenda to dismantle the camp. He stressed the displaced “absolute rejection of any voluntary repatriation programme”. “We will only leave the camp when stability and security are restored in the region, and a comprehensive peace has been achieved.”

The State of Qatar, which initiated peace negotiations between the Sudanese government and the former rebel Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM), led by El Tijani Sese, resulting in the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur in 2011, also established the Qatari Initiative for Development in Darfur. This initiative plans the construction of a large number of model villages in the region.

The Darfuri displaced, however, pointed to the rampant insecurity in the region. “The displaced and the refugees will not be protected in the model villages, as long as the Janjaweed militias are not disarmed.”

“Security is by far the main priority to achieve stability, not the creation of model villages,” the coordinator of the North Darfur camps for the displaced told Radio Dabanga in March this year. “Although the Abuja and Doha peace agreements include the establishment of model villages, the idea is pursued for personal gains only.”

Sudan: International staff barred from Blue Nile aid assessment

19 October 2014 - 1:54pm
Source: Radio Dabanga Country: Sudan

KHARTOUM (19 Oct.) - The Sudanese Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) in Blue Nile state, in its monthly meeting with UN, national and international NGOs on 12 October, confirmed that an inter-agency multi-sector needs assessment will take place in Blue Nile state in November. HAC noted, however, that international staff members of UN agencies and international NGOs are not permitted to take part in the assessment.

HAC requested the international organisations to finance the exercise as the local authorities in the Blue Nile lack funding to support the assessment, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Sudan reported in its latest weekly bulletin.

If these assessments go ahead with the participation of UN agencies and international NGOs, they will be the first inter-agency needs assessments in Blue Nile since September 2011, when fighting erupted in the state between government forces and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N). The assessment will concentrate on areas of greatest vulnerability as well as areas affected by conflict, floods, and areas where outbreaks of diseases have been reported.

240,000 people in need

According to the Humanitarian Needs Overview of the Sudan Strategic Response Plan, about 240,000 people need humanitarian aid in Blue Nile, OCHA states in its bulletin.

This includes an estimated 110,000 displaced people in the government-controlled areas of Blue Nile state. Estimates from the humanitarian wing of SPLM-N and community-based organisations on the ground indicate that there are about 90,000 displaced living in SPLM-N controlled areas. UN agencies do not have access to SPLM-N areas and cannot verify the scope of civilian displacement and humanitarian needs in SPLM-N areas. In addition, there are approximately 3,660 refugees from South Sudan in Blue Nile.

According to a survey conducted by the Sudanese Ministry of Health, with support from Unicef, four out of the six Blue Nile localities have Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) rates above the emergency threshold level of 15 percent. This means that an estimated 36,000 infants will be suffering from acute malnutrition during the course of the year, the Nutrition Sector in Sudan reported.

Kenya: East Africa Assumptions for Quarterly Food Security Analysis - October 2014

19 October 2014 - 4:35am
Source: Famine Early Warning System Network Country: Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, South Sudan preview

Assumptions for Quarterly Food Security Analysis

FEWS NET’s Food Security Outlook reports for October 2014 to March 2015 are based on the following regional assumptions:

SEASONAL PERFORMANCE

From September to December, 30 to 70 percent of total annual rainfall falls in parts of Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and Tanzania (Figure 1).

  • El Niño is anticipated to result in average to above-average rainfall over the eastern Horn, extending beyond Lake Victoria, during the October to

December short rains (Figure 2). Subsequently, the October to December rains in the Eastern Horn of Africa are likely to be average to slightly above average in amount, including in southeastern Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia, eastern Kenya, and northern Tanzania. There is some risk for river flooding and flash floods in flood-prone areas of the eastern Horn. While rainfall in the eastern Horn is likely to be average to above-average, it may be poorly distributed over time and space.

 In parts of the Rift Valley, northwestern pastoral areas in Kenya, southern pastoral areas in Kenya, and northeastern lowlands in Tanzania, October to December rainfall is likely to be average to below average with erratic distribution.

  • The October to December rains in Rwanda, Burundi, and northwestern Tanzania are likely to be above average in terms of cumulative rainfall with mostly normal distribution patterns.

 The October to February Xays/Dadaa rains over coastal areas of Djibouti and northwestern Somalia are likely to be near average.

  • The December to January Sapie showers in central areas of Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR) in Ethiopia, primarily in Wolayita and Gamo Gofa Zones, are expected to occur. Temperatures are expected to be cool enough to allow condensation and dew to form in the mornings.

  • The February to May Belg rains in the northeastern highlands, central and eastern Oromia, and SNNPR in Ethiopia are expected to be near average in terms of cumulative rainfall and to have a normally timed start of the rains.

  • The March to May rains in Rwanda, Burundi, and northwestern Tanzania are likely to be near average in terms of cumulative rainfall and to have a normally timed start of the rains.

Kenya: East Africa Food Security Outlook - October 2014

19 October 2014 - 4:35am
Source: Famine Early Warning System Network Country: Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, South Sudan preview

Assumptions for Quarterly Food Security Analysis

FEWS NET’s Food Security Outlook reports for October 2014 to March 2015 are based on the following regional assumptions:

SEASONAL PERFORMANCE

From September to December, 30 to 70 percent of total annual rainfall falls in parts of Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and Tanzania (Figure 1).

  • El Niño is anticipated to result in average to above-average rainfall over the eastern Horn, extending beyond Lake Victoria, during the October to

December short rains (Figure 2). Subsequently, the October to December rains in the Eastern Horn of Africa are likely to be average to slightly above average in amount, including in southeastern Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia, eastern Kenya, and northern Tanzania. There is some risk for river flooding and flash floods in flood-prone areas of the eastern Horn. While rainfall in the eastern Horn is likely to be average to above-average, it may be poorly distributed over time and space.

 In parts of the Rift Valley, northwestern pastoral areas in Kenya, southern pastoral areas in Kenya, and northeastern lowlands in Tanzania, October to December rainfall is likely to be average to below average with erratic distribution.

  • The October to December rains in Rwanda, Burundi, and northwestern Tanzania are likely to be above average in terms of cumulative rainfall with mostly normal distribution patterns.

 The October to February Xays/Dadaa rains over coastal areas of Djibouti and northwestern Somalia are likely to be near average.

  • The December to January Sapie showers in central areas of Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR) in Ethiopia, primarily in Wolayita and Gamo Gofa Zones, are expected to occur. Temperatures are expected to be cool enough to allow condensation and dew to form in the mornings.

  • The February to May Belg rains in the northeastern highlands, central and eastern Oromia, and SNNPR in Ethiopia are expected to be near average in terms of cumulative rainfall and to have a normally timed start of the rains.

  • The March to May rains in Rwanda, Burundi, and northwestern Tanzania are likely to be near average in terms of cumulative rainfall and to have a normally timed start of the rains.

South Sudan: South Sudan Crisis Situation Report No. 58 (as of 16 October 2014)

18 October 2014 - 8:56am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, Uganda, South Sudan preview

Highlights

● Living conditions in the Bentiu Protection of Civilians (PoC) site remained dire, though waterpumping and ground works have reduced the level of flooding.
● Nutrition partners launched a major campaign to screen 600,000 children in Juba, Northern Bahr el Ghazal and Warrap for malnutrition.
● Over 1,100 of the 2,700 people sheltering in the UN base in Bor have relocated to a new and improved PoC site.
● Planning for the 2015 aid operation has started, with four key drivers of needs identified: conflict-related displacement; injuries and disease; food insecurity and malnutrition.

3.8 million People to be assisted by the end of the year

3.1 million People reached with humanitarian assistance *

1.4 million People internally displaced by violence

467,000 People have fled to neighboring countries

Situation overview

The situation remained tense, with clashes in Dolieb Hills south of Malakal, Upper Nile State, during the week. The rainy season has constrained active hostilities. However, there were concerns that the dry season beginning in November may see violence flare up again.

Since the start of the crisis, close to 1.9 million people have fled their homes, including 1.4 million who remain displaced within South Sudan.

At the conclusion of her visit to South Sudan, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zainab Bangura highlighted that the sexual violence against women and girls perpetrated by all conflict parties was among the worst she had seen during 30 years of working with these issues. She signed a joint communique with the Government on steps to be taken to prevent and address sexual violence, including ensuring survivors have access to medical, psychosocial and legal assistance and addressing impunity for these crimes

Sudan: Sudan to build roads linking Abyei to major cities

18 October 2014 - 2:00am
Source: Sudan Tribune Country: Sudan

October 17, 2014 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese government agreed to build a network of paved roads to link the disputed area of Abyei to the rest of the country.

Following a meeting with the minister of roads and bridges Abdel-Wahid Youssef, the head of the Abyei Joint Oversight Committee (AJOC) from the Sudanese side, Hassan Ali Nimir, said they requested completion of a road linking Abyei to Al-Muglad, besides building a new 150-200 km road to link villages north of Abyei to major cities in Sudan.

Nimir underscored that Youssef pledged to accommodate the cost of the road in the 2015 budget.

Nimir was appointed last September as the Misseriya lobbied Khartoum to relieve the former Sudanese AJOC co chairman al-Khair al-Faheed who was criticised for his inaction.

Khartoum and Juba failed to agree on who can participate in a referendum to determine the future of the border area which is inhabited by the Ngok Dinka of South Sudan and Misseriya nomads of Sudan.

The Ngok Dina run in October 2013 a unilateral vote but the two countries, the African Union and the international community refused to recognise its result.

Meanwhile, Nimir met with the state minister of electricity, Mohamed al-Hassan al-Hadari to discuss water harvest projects in Abyei, pointing that work in water harvest will begin on the first of November and finishes by the end of May 2015.

Nimir told the government-sponsored Sudan Media Center (SMC) website on Friday that water harvest projects in Abyei area were approved under presidential directives.

The term of water harvesting refers to the storage of rainwater during the autumn season in order to use during the dry season. The government built dams and reservoirs in different areas in the greater Kordofan to cover the need of the population in the arid areas.

On Tuesday, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) extended the mandate of its peacekeeping force in Abyei (UNISFA) until February 2015, demanding the two Sudans to immediately resume the work of the AJOC.

It also urged the two countries to “urgently commence” the establishment of the Abyei Area Administration and Council in order to form an Abyei Police Service to be tasked with the mandate to take over policing functions in the area, including the protection of oil infrastructure.

(ST)

Sudan: Sudan calls for support combating human trafficking

18 October 2014 - 1:55am
Source: Radio Dabanga Country: Sudan

KHARTOUM (17 Oct.) - Sudan has acknowledged that human trafficking occurs on a great scale in the refugee camps on the eastern borders. During a regional conference on smuggling in the Horn of Africa this week, Sudanese Ministers demanded logistical support to chase human traffickers, and expressed readiness to cooperate with the international community.

This week, Khartoum hosted a conference on trafficking in persons in the Horn of Africa, organised by the African Union, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), and the Sudanese government. Fifteen countries and a delegation of the EU attended the meeting, during which a joint strategy and action plan combating human trafficking is due to be adopted.

Sudan’s Second Vice-President Hasabo Abdel Rahman reiterated his country’s commitment to combat trafficking together with neighbouring countries. Speaking in a press conference at the end of the meeting, he asserted that Sudan is a transit country for traffickers, and that they are active in refugee camps on the eastern Sudan’s border areas. Sudan’s Commissioner of Refugees, Hamad El Jazouli, revealed that Sudan recorded 102 cases of human trafficking during the year 2013.

The Interior Minister, Lt. Col. Ismat Abdel Rahman, stated on 29 September that particularly the Kassala, El Gedaref, and Red Sea states in eastern Sudan witnessed an increase in smuggling.

US commends Sudan’s efforts

The deputy head of US embassy in Sudan, Benjamin Moeling, in a speech delivered on Thursday, commended Sudan’s efforts. “In particular, we commended the government for passing anti-trafficking legislation and establishing a national coordinating body. Building off of those initial discussions, the United States looks forward to additional conversations with Sudan, and its partners, on how to further prevent, prosecute, and protect against trafficking in persons.”

Before the opening session on Monday, Sudan´s Minister of Justice said that "Sudan ratified all international conventions that fight the trafficking phenomena".

Eritrean refugees

Human Rights Watch accused Sudanese and Egyptian security officials of involvement in human trafficking and handing over Eritrean refugees to gangs in February this year. Political instability and wars in the Horn of Africa make the region volatile and insecure, driving large number of people to quit their countries and cross to Sudan seeking to join Europe, Canada and the US. This situation also created a market for smugglers and traffickers who request large amounts of money to facilitate their departure to their final destination.

(Sudan Tribune, Sudan Vision)

Democratic Republic of the Congo: Humanitarian Assistance in Review East and Central Africa | Fiscal Year (FY) 2004 – 2014

17 October 2014 - 5:20pm
Source: US Agency for International Development Country: Burundi, Central African Republic, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, United States of America, South Sudan preview

Conflict, cyclical drought, floods, disease outbreaks, environmental degradation, rapid population growth, and limited government capacity present significant challenges to vulnerable populations in the ECA region. Between FY 2005 and FY 2014, USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) and USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (USAID/FFP) provided humanitarian assistance in response to a diverse range of natural disasters and complex emergencies, including flooding across the region, drought and food insecurity in the Horn of Africa, Lord’s Resistance Army-related conflict and displacement in the Great Lakes, post-election violence in Kenya, and ongoing crises in CAR,
DRC, Somalia, South Sudan, and Sudan.

From FY 2005 to FY 2014, USAID provided nearly $12.5 billion in humanitarian assistance in the ECA region. USAID/FFP provided more than $9.7 billion for food assistance in the form of U.S. purchased food, locally and/or regionally purchased food, cash transfers for food, food vouchers, and related activities. USAID/OFDA provided more than $2.7 billion primarily for water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH); health; logistics support and relief commodities; agriculture and food security; nutrition; economic recovery and market systems (ERMS); humanitarian coordination and information management; protection; and shelter and settlements assistance.

In the past 10 years, USAID has deployed seven Disaster Assistance Response Teams (DARTs) in response to complex emergencies in DRC, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, and South Sudan, and to regional food security crises in the Horn of Africa. In addition, USAID has activated multiple Washington, D.C.-based Response Management Teams to support coordination and response efforts in South Sudan, Sudan, and the Horn of Africa

Ethiopia: Ethiopia Situation Report #22, 10 October 2014

17 October 2014 - 12:49pm
Source: World Food Programme Country: Ethiopia, Sudan preview

Highlights

-According to UNHCR as of 10 October about 189,775 refugees had arrived to Ethiopia from South Sudan since mid-December 2013. The main entry points continue to be Pagak, Burubiey and Akobo Tergole.

  • Road to Leitchour and Nip Nip camps still cut off due to the floods. Only way to transport food is through river.

  • WFP Ethiopia has so far moved over 27,530 mt of food commodities to South Sudan by air, road and river through the cross-border operation.

Situation Update

  • Sensitization campaign to encourage refugees to move to Okugu is ongoing by UNHCR and ARRA from the reception centers. As of end October the first twelve refugees from Pagak have consented to move to Okugu. These refugees were flown to Okugu by helicopter on 15 October.

  • Due to the exceptionally high rainfall the Baro river has covered and likely washed away over 20kms of road between Gambella and Leitchuor. The water levels in the river have increased further since it cut off the road and will most likely be closer to the end of November before the road is repaired for transport

  • The arrival rate to Ethiopia continues to be low at 95 persons per day in the first week of 6 October.

In numbers
- 189,775 South Sudanese refugees arrived since mid December 2013 (255,571 South Sudanese overall-UNHCR Population of Concern report 30 September 2014)
- 643,955 Total refugee in Ethiopia as at 30 September 2014. (UNHCR Population of Concern report 30 September 2014)
- 17,970 mt food dispatched to South Sudan refugees in Gambella in Ethiopia since December 2013
- 27,530 mt food dispatched (cross- border) to South Sudan

Chad: Refugee schools in Chad without books, students drop out

17 October 2014 - 9:44am
Source: Radio Dabanga Country: Chad, Sudan

EASTERN CHAD (17 Oct.) -Schools in Sudanese refugee camps in eastern Chard have witnessed a drop-out of students and a complete lack of textbooks since the implementation of a Chadian curriculum this month.

Adam Fadul, who is a teacher in Kounongou camp, told Radio Dabanga about the replacement of the Sudanese curriculum for the basic and secondary school stages in the camps. He stressed that the new, domestic textbooks have not yet arrived in the camps, although the school year in Chad began on 1 October.

“This leads to the delay and disruption of the refugee pupils’ and students’ school year. They are not able to complete the course according to the school calendar of Chad,” he said.

Fadul added that the schools are witnessing a drop-out, and that pupils are reluctant to study, because of the new Chadian curriculum. He called for the quick provision of textbooks.

The UNHCR, in collaboration with the Chadian Ministry of Education, replaced the Sudanese curriculum by the Chadian one in the refugee camp schools in eastern Chad per 1 October. Both Sudan and Chad agreed to the replacement. A teacher in Touloum refugee camp told Radio Dabanga last month that there is not much difference between the two curricula, and that only two subjects would be added.

World: Global Weather Hazards Summary October 17-23, 2014

17 October 2014 - 1:32am
Source: Famine Early Warning System Network Country: Burkina Faso, Costa Rica, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mali, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, World, South Sudan preview

Dryness remains in Haiti, while flooding risks continue in South Sudan, Central America

Africa Weather Hazards

  1. Despite a return of seasonally normal rainfall during August, moisture deficits persist in northwestern Senegal. The delayed onset of the season in July has resulted in poor growing conditions and crop development.

  2. Since the beginning of September, poor rains have inhibited crop development and compromised planting activities throughout Rwanda. Above-average rains forecast for the next week will provide relief to these conditions.

  3. Consistently heavy rain during the past several months, coupled with torrential rain during the last two weeks, has caused flooding in Jonglei and Eastern Equatoria States of South Sudan. The flooding has killed at least 10 people, displaced thousands more, and destroyed infrastructure. With additional heavy rain forecast, flooding is likely to continue during the next week.

Sudan: Sudan Children Join the World in Celebrating Global Handwashing Day

16 October 2014 - 11:49pm
Source: UN Children's Fund Country: Sudan

UNICEF says: Choose Handwashing, Choose Health

UNICEF, Khartoum, October 15

Thousands of Sudanese children will join their peers, across the world in celebrating Global Hand Washing Day, an event aimed at increasing awareness of the importance of washing hands with soap.

In cooperation with the Ministry of Education and under the theme “ Choose Handwashing, Choose Health” children from different states will perform drama, songs and traditional dances focusing on the importance of 'handwashing' with soap as an effective and affordable way to prevent diseases.

“Turning 'handwashing' with soap before eating and after using the toilet into an ingrained habit could save more lives than any single vaccine or medical intervention, cutting deaths from diarrhea by almost half and deaths from acute respiratory infections by one-quarter,” said Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF Representative in Sudan.

Insufficient access to safe drinking water and proper sanitation services coupled with low level of good (appropriate) hygiene practices lead to the spread of water related diseases and have a significant impact on children's health and nutrition.

In Sudan, according to Health Statistical Report (2013), preventable diseases such as acute watery diarrhea (12%), and pneumonia (18%) are the leading causes of deaths in hospitals for children under five.

UNICEF and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene sector partners cooperate in raising families awareness on better hygienic and environmentally-friendly practices, with special focus on hand-washing with soap, proper disposal of wastewater and human waste, food hygienic behavior. These interventions are carried out through community mobilization effort (e.g, community dialogue, festivals, women group meeting, School Hygiene Clubs, as well as home visits) all over Sudan.

On the occasion of Global 'handwashing' Day, UNICEF and Water and Sanitation Partners (WASH) are calling on all stakeholders, including policy makers, civil society and media, to invest more in promoting 'handwashing' and to advocate for the availability of soap in public places such as schools, workplaces and restaurants.

END

About UNICEF
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information, visit: www.unicef.org Follow us on Twitter and Facebook

For more information contact:
Eman Eltigani, UNICEF Khartoum, + 249 912 167 428, eeltigani@unicef.org

Mali: UN envoy calls for funding backed by government action, peace successes in troubled Sahel

16 October 2014 - 8:09pm
Source: UN News Service Country: Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Eritrea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sudan

16 October 2014 – The African Sahel region needs more resources, more joint action and faster ways to deal with the structural challenges, like climate change, and successes on peace processes in Darfur, northern Mali and Libya, a senior United Nations humanitarian today said.

Robert Piper, the UN Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Sahel, told journalists in New York that the world body remains “very, very concerned” about the region, which stretches from Mauritania to Eritrea, including Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Sudan.

“Food and security continue to major issues,” Mr. Piper said in a press conference.

About 25 million people in the Sahel are estimated to be food insecure, with a “real deterioration” from January to July of this year as people’s stocks dwindled ahead of the rainy season. During that time frame, 4 million people crossed the UN’s emergency threshold.

Children are particularly vulnerable, the senior UN official noted, with some 6.4 million severely or acutely malnourished.

In addition, the UN and its partners are monitoring the region for epidemic risks that range from yellow fever to cholera, and also now include the Ebola virus which is “in the neighbourhood.”

“This is what we call the chronic emergency caseload – the food insecure, the acutely malnourished, people at risk for epidemic,” said Mr. Piper, noting that the group includes up to 30 million people in the region.

In February, the UN and its global humanitarian partners today appealed for $2 billion for the region. As of today, a bit over half of that amount has been funded.

“Humanitarian aid can buy time… but the trend is very discouraging,” Mr. Piper said. “Ten years ago, we were managing a $200 million a year hum response, today we are seeking $2 billion.”

While the figures tell a “terrible story of suffering” the needs are “enormous, unsustainable” and driven by structural needs as a result of demographic growth, climate change, and access to basic services.

“Nothing can substitute for governments putting in place the right policies,” Mr. Piper said.

In addition, the region is fraught with violence and insecurity, which has created protracted internal displacement. Internally displaced persons, combined with refugees and returnees to the region, have pushed population growth in the region in this year alone from 1.6 million to 3.3 million.

“The big numbers are coming from Nigeria, but also from the Central African Republic (CAR),” Mr. Piper said, noting also the situation in the northern Mali where 31 UN peacekeepers and at least two non-governmental workers have been killed this year.

World: Emergencies and new conflicts leave the forcibly displaced hungry

16 October 2014 - 3:47pm
Source: Jesuit Refugee Service Country: Chad, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, World

Rome, 16 October 2014 – While forcibly displaced persons make up only a tiny portion of those suffering from chronic hunger and malnutrition, the rise in conflict-induced displacement is putting serious strains on the capacity of the international community to meet the basic food needs of those fleeing conflict. Nothing better illustrates the hardship faced by refugees and internally displaced persons than the on-going conflicts in Syria and South Sudan, and the protracted refugee crisis in Chad.

"Food saves lives. It helps us be productive citizens, and is essential to the development of our children," said Jesuit Refugee Service International Director Peter Balleis SJ. "That is why we urgently need more money from major donors and, where possible, to create more opportunities for the forcibly displaced to build sustainable livelihoods."

"We know that local NGOs and communities are often better placed to deliver aid to difficult-to-reach populations. Well then, let's work with them," he added.

More than two million people are facing severe food insecurity in South Sudan largely due to the outbreak of violence and ensuing displacement since in December 2013. In areas of high displacement, one in two children suffer from malnutrition. Conflict and instability is preventing people from planting seeds and harvesting crops. With a security budget of over 700 million US dollars, the government allocated 10 times more funds to security than to agriculture.

Community based initiatives and humanitarian efforts have so far proven effective in preventing several areas of the country from experiencing famine, but the prospects for 2015 are gloom unless desperately needed funds are provided immediately and coordination mechanisms between aid agencies are dramatically improved. Humanitarian agencies should progress food aid by coordinating actors in the supply chain, particularly for food and seeds, and consulting communities about what would best serve their needs.

"If we wait to act until famine is officially declared, it will be too late to save millions of lives," said Pau Vidal SJ, JRS Maban Director.

Food security is the one of the most urgent priorities for those forcibly displaced by the Syrian conflict. Despite significant increases in the numbers of Syrians receiving food aid, almost half of those in need still did not receive assistance. Moreover, international aid agencies are often unable to deliver food in a timely manner.

Due to on-going conflict, local supply lines and markets remain unstable within Syria. Many donors are pushing to move to a voucher system as opposed to providing food baskets. While this may be helpful for refugees in countries like Jordan and Iraq where food is available, the instability within Syria renders this system unreliable.

"Local grassroots groups can often get food to extremely vulnerable people more quickly and efficiently than UN agencies and large NGOs. Security and local knowledge are key. These agencies should rely more on these smaller local networks to reach otherwise inaccessible populations", said JRS Middle East and North Africa Director, Nawras Sammour SJ.

Recent global emergencies have diverted the attention and resources of the international community away from protracted refugee situations. Following budget cuts in early 2013 by the World Food Programme, some 360,000 Sudanese refugees in Chad saw their food rations cut by nearly 60 percent below the recommended calorie intake.

As part of a pilot programme in Goz Amer camp, rations in October were increased for the most vulnerable cases. Unfortunately, the criteria determining vulnerability looks at the family as a whole, rather than taking into account the patriarchal nature of some Sudanese families. Consequently, many families feel forced to marry off girls as young as 13, and both girls and women are forced to engage in 'survival sex.'

"Cultural factors need to be considered when determining the food needs of refugees. Special attention should be paid to female refugees," said Isidore Ngueuleu, JRS West Africa Advocacy Officer.

For further information
James Stapleton
International Communications Coordinator
Jesuit Refugee Service
Tel: +39 06 69868 468; +39 346 234 3841
twitter: @stapletonjm; @JesuitRefugee;
linkedin.com/in/stapletonjm
en.jrs.net
facebook.com/JesuitRefugeeService

Sudan: Three UNAMID peacekeepers killed in North Darfur

16 October 2014 - 1:19pm
Source: UN-AU Mission in Darfur Country: Sudan

El Fasher, 16 October 2014 — Two military personnel of the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur were killed and one seriously injured on 16 October in Korma, North Darfur, by a group of unidentified armed men. The injured soldier later succumbed to his wounds and died in Khartoum.

This happened when a patrol of Ethiopian peacekeepers guarding a water borehole came under sudden attack. The perpetrators seized a patrol vehicle and fled the scene.

Acting Joint Special Representative Abidoun Bashua is deeply saddened by this incident. “I strongly condemn this heinous crime against our peacekeepers,” he said. “This reminds us all of the great price everyone pays for the absence of peace. UNAMID personnel, as many others before them, lost their lives while attempting to bring peace to the people of Darfur".

The unfortunate incident was reported to the Sudanese Foreign Minister early this evening. The Acting JSR called on the Government of Sudan to act swiftly in bringing the perpetrators to justice. “An attack on peacekeepers constitutes a war crime is punishable under international criminal law,” he added.

Mr. Bashua extended the Mission’s and his own deepest condolences to the family and colleagues of the late peacekeepers, and to the government and people of the Federal Republic of Ethiopia.

This incident brings the number of peacekeepers who lost their lives in hostile action in Darfur to 61 since the inception of the Mission in December 2007.

Sudan: Two peacekeepers killed in Darfur attack: UN chief

16 October 2014 - 1:19pm
Source: Agence France-Presse Country: Sudan

10/16/2014 - 16:50 GMT

Two peacekeepers were killed Thursday in an attack in Sudan's troubled Darfur region, UN chief Ban Ki-moon said, the latest deaths in increasingly dangerous peace missions in Africa.

"This has been a bloody October for UN peacekeeping," Ban said.

"In Darfur, Mali and the Central African Republic, we have lost 14 peacekeepers in hostile acts -- nearly one per day."

The two peacekeepers were serving in the joint United Nations-African Union mission deployed in late 2007 to help end bloodshed between militias, rebel forces and gangs in Darfur.

A wave of attacks in northern Mali have left 31 peacekeepers dead since July last year, while a Pakistani blue helmet serving in the Central African Republic was killed last week in an ambush.

Ten UN peacekeepers have been injured in Bangui since Friday in attacks on their patrols.

"Blue helmets must be allowed to undertake their life-saving work without interference," Ban told reporters at UN headquarters in New York.

The UN's 130,000 troops, police and civilian staff serving in missions worldwide are being drawn into more complex conflicts while being tasked with enforcing fragile peace deals.

cml/jm

Ethiopia: In Western Ethiopia, A Cash-And-Food Initiative For Refugees Reaps Big Rewards

16 October 2014 - 1:08pm
Source: World Food Programme Country: Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan

WFP continues to expand cash programmes in refugee camps throughout Ethiopia thanks to the support from the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO). In Bambasi, refugees like Sadia explains what it means for them and their families.

BAMBASI REFUGEE CAMP, Ethiopia — Sadia Mohammed is no stranger to hardship. Two years ago, she fled Sudan's conflict-torn Blue Nile State with her husband and six children.

"Houses were burning and there was shooting," 33-year-old Sadia recalls of the fighting in her home town of Geissen. "We had to leave."

Today, Sadia has found peace in western Ethiopia, where she is among roughly 14,000 Sudanese living at Bambasi refugee camp. Although she’s glad to have safety, Sadia and her family also live in limbo — unable, for now, to go home and restart their lives.

Like many of the half-a-million refugees WFP supports in Ethiopia, Sadia's survival depends on monthly humanitarian assistance, along with the vegetables she grows in a small garden. Until recently, WFP's support in Ethiopia consisted entirely of food rations and nutritional supplements for the malnourished.

But today, Sadia is part of a groundbreaking shift in WFP's refugee operations here, as the agency moves from traditional food distributions to a mix of food and cash where appropriate. Now, WFP is expanding this initiative, thanks to a EUR 2.5 million (US$3.4 million) grant from the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO).

“Ethiopia was the first place in the world where WFP started distributing cash alongside food to refugees in camps,” says WFP’s Country Director Abdou Dieng. “And we are seeing that even these modest sums of money are improving people's diets and self-esteem. With strong support from donors like ECHO, we plan to expand the effort so all refugees in Ethiopia can benefit from both cash and food.”

Support from ECHO and Finland

With support from ECHO and Finland, the first cash-and-food pilots began in 2013 for Somali refugees at the Sheder and Aw Barre camps, in Ethiopia's eastern Somalia region, in close collaboration with the government’s Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs (ARRA) and the United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR.

This May, the programme was launched for Sudanese refugees at Bambasi camp, in the western Benishangul-Gumuz region and also rolled out in Aysaita refugee camp hosting around 9,100 Eritrean refugees in the region of Afar.

“We have seen the first results, which have proven to be most effective,” says ECHO Technical Advisor Jacob Asens. “Refugees are very happy with this new initiative and their diet is more diversified – which is one of the programme’s objectives. ECHO hopes the positive initial results will be confirmed this year so that cash transfers can become a reality in refugee camps in Ethiopia in the very near future.”

At Bambasi, Sadia and participating refugees continue receiving the same amount of WFP-provided pulses, vegetable oil, fortified blended food, sugar and salt as they did before. But under the new initiative, WFP replaces roughly half the cereal ration with 100 Ethiopian Birr (about $5) per person, per month.

"The cash allows me to buy extra food like cereals, vegetables and coffee," says Sadia. “Perhaps later on, I will buy milk and maybe meat.”

Positive results

Sadia isn't the only refugee praising the cash-and-food initiative. Many were pleased at the dietary diversity and greater food choices that cash provides. And women, especially, said the money enhanced their dignity and negotiating power with local traders.

At Bambasi camp, Situ Nasir and her husband Indris Abdela are pleased to be able to shop at the local market—just as they did back home. "We like to be able to select our own food and take just what they need," said Situ, who says she is the main decision-maker on how the cash is spent.

For 36-year-old mother of five Teyib Gotsi, the cash means she can buy meat and fresh vegetables, and pay for basic expenses. That's a big change from just two years ago, when the family scrounged for food, water and shelter after fleeing their home in Blue Nile State. The cash even allows Teyib to plan ahead; she will save part of it as a cushion against future hardships.

And refugees aren’t the only ones benefitting. The money they spend is helping to boost the local economy and putting smiles on shopkeepers’ faces as well.

This story was written thanks to inputs from Aschalew Abate from WFP Ethiopia

World: Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Sector Update - October 2014

16 October 2014 - 11:54am
Source: US Agency for International Development Country: Iraq, Philippines, Sudan, United States of America, World preview

SECTOR OVERVIEW

Water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) programs represent vital components of USAID Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) responses to rapid-onset disasters and complex emergencies, as disaster-affected populations are more susceptible to illness and death from waterborne and communicable diseases. WASH interventions in emergencies often include promotion of good hygienic practices, construction or repair of latrines, removal of solid waste, and provision of safe, treated water. Activities such as building latrines and establishing waste removal systems can prove even more challenging in areas with high water tables, hard rock sites, and dense populations.

In FY 2014, USAID/OFDA provided more than $137 million for WASH programs in 27 countries. USAID/OFDA also links emergency WASH activities with transition and development programs funded by other USAID offices and incorporates institutional partners—such as local governments—in program planning and implementation to promote the sustainability of water and hygiene-focused projects.

Sudan: Farmer slain in East Jebel Marra, displaced shot in West Darfur

15 October 2014 - 4:28pm
Source: Radio Dabanga Country: Sudan

EAST JEBEL MARRA / WEST DARFUR (15 Oct.) - Militiamen shot dead a farmer in the area of Dabanga in East Jebel Marra on Wednesday. On the same day, two residents of Riyadh camp for the displaced in West Darfur were seriously injured.

Speaking to Radio Dabanga, a relative of the victim said that “seven government-backed militiamen shot at Juma Adam Abdelrahman, while he was working on his farm on Wednesday afternoon”. “He died on the spot. The killers then took his money and belongings, and left.”

Drunken soldier

In El Riyadh camp, El Geneina locality, West Darfur, a man and a woman were seriously injured, when a drunken army soldier fired at the camp, a camp elder told Radio Dabanga. They had to be transferred to El Geneina Hospital for urgent treatment.