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Yemen: Oxfam Yemen Situation Report #22, 15 Jun 2016

31 min 53 sec ago
Source: Oxfam Country: Yemen

HUMANITARIAN UPDATE

U.N. Chief Faced Funding Cut-off and Fatwa Risk—On Thursday, Mr. Ban told reporters that he had been threatened with the loss of financing for humanitarian operations in the Palestinian territories, South Sudan and Syria if he did not temporarily delete the Saudi-led coalition from the list. Mr. Ban offered his explanation Thursday, saying, “I also had to consider the very real prospect that millions of other children would suffer grievously if, as was suggested to me, countries would defund many U.N. programs.” Sources said that there was also a threat of "clerics in Riyadh meeting to issue a fatwa against the U.N., declaring it anti-Muslim, which would mean no contacts of OIC members, no relations, contributions, support, to any U.N. projects, programs." Responding to the allegations, Saudi U.N. Ambassador Abdallah AlMouallimi said "we don't use threats or intimidation," and Riyadh was "very committed to the United Nations." Mouallimi denied any threat of a possible fatwa. “That’s ridiculous, that’s outrageous,” he said, adding that the meeting of Saudi clerics was to approve and issue a statement condemning the blacklisting of the coalition. In a related note, the French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault called Friday for calm to resolve an angry row between Saudi Arabia and the United Nations over the blacklisting of the Saudi-led coalition bombing Yemen.

Yemen: Joint NGO Statement: Suspend Saudi Arabia from the UN Human Rights Council

2 hours 2 min ago
Source: Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch Country: Yemen

We call upon the United Nations General Assembly to immediately suspend the membership rights of Saudi Arabia in the UN Human Rights Council.

General Assembly Resolution 60/251, which created the Human Rights Council, provides that “the General Assembly, by a two-thirds majority of the members present and voting, may suspend the rights of membership in the Council of a member of the Council that commits gross and systematic violations of human rights.”

Saudi Arabia has committed gross and systematic violations of human rights during its time as a Council member, and it has used its position on the Council to shield itself from accountability for its violations in Yemen. Saudi Arabia leads the military coalition fighting in Yemen, with Riyadh hosting its command control structure. Since 26 March 2015, the coalition has carried out numerous attacks that have violated international humanitarian law, including indiscriminate and disproportionate airstrikes that have killed and injured many civilians. It has repeatedly used internationally banned cluster munitions, including in civilian populated areas.

Despite well-documented violations by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, there has been no accountability. Saudi Arabia has failed to conduct credible, impartial and transparent investigations into possible war crimes and has used its position on the Human Rights Council, aided by its allies, to effectively obstruct the creation of an independent international investigation, as urged by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. A national commission of inquiry set up by the internationally recognized Yemeni government, backed by Saudi Arabia, has to date failed to carry out credible investigations into violations in the conflict. Moreover, Saudi Arabia has used the threat of withdrawing funds from critical UN programs to compel the UN Secretary-General to remove the coalition from his “List of Shame” for killing and maiming children and attacking schools and hospitals in Yemen. We call on the General Assembly to suspend Saudi Arabia’s rights of membership in the Human Rights Council until it not only ends unlawful attacks in Yemen, but also conducts a credible and impartial investigation that meets international standards or agrees to – and cooperates with – an independent international inquiry into alleged violations in Yemen.

In the past year, UN institutions have denounced violations by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.

The UN Panel of Experts on Yemen, established by UN Security Council Resolution 2140 (2013), in a report made public on January 26, 2016, “documented 119 coalition sorties relating to violations” of the laws of war. The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights estimates that at least 3,539 civilians have been killed and 6,268 wounded since coalition military operations began. In March 2016, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said the coalition was responsible for twice as many civilian casualties as other forces combined, according to OHCHR figures. He noted, “It would appear to be the case that the distinction between legitimate military targets and civilian ones – which are protected under international law – is at best woefully inadequate… [a]nd at worst, we are possibly looking at the commission of international crimes by members of the Coalition.”

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have documented 69 unlawful airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition, some of which may amount to war crimes, which have killed at least 913 civilians and have hit residences, markets, hospitals, schools, civilian businesses, and mosques. Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have also documented 19 attacks involving internationally banned cluster munitions.

Concerns about Saudi Arabia’s human rights record at home also compromises its membership in the Human Rights Council. Since Saudi Arabia joined the Council in January 2014, its crackdown on all forms of dissent has continued unabated, including through the use of grossly unfair trials at a special counter-terror court and long prison terms for peaceful dissidents and human rights defenders. Executions in Saudi Arabia have surged, with more than 350 having been carried out since it was elected to the Council. A large number of these executions were not imposed for the most serious crimes but for offenses such as non-violent drug-related crimes. Among those facing execution are individuals who were under 18 at the time of their alleged offense, in violation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which Saudi Arabia is a party. Some of these death sentences appear to have been based solely on “confessions” that the defendants say were obtained through torture or other ill-treatment.

Saudi Arabia also continues to discriminate against women in law and practice, including through the imposition of the male guardianship system, which treats all adult women as legal minors. Discrimination against the Shi’a minority remains systematic and entrenched; a prominent Shi’a Muslim cleric was executed in January 2016, following a grossly unfair trial, and other Shi’a activists have been arrested, imprisoned and face the death penalty following their alleged participation in protests. The authorities have failed to take adequate measures to protect migrant workers from abuse.

When it ran for election to the Human Rights Council in 2013, Saudi Arabia pledged to “support the human rights bodies and mechanisms of the United Nations and cooperate constructively with them, particularly the Human Rights Council and its subsidiary mechanisms.”[1] However, Saudi Arabia’s engagement with the Human Rights Council and other UN human rights mechanisms has not been satisfactory: it currently has seven outstanding requests from the Council’s Special Procedures to visit the country, some of which are 10 years old. The government issued a travel ban against activist Samar Badawi in 2014 after she spoke at the Council on behalf of imprisoned Saudi activist Waleed Abu al-Khair. Several other Saudi human rights defenders who have cooperated with the Human Rights Council have been imprisoned. Ministry of Interior regulations stipulated in 2014 provisions that contacting “any groups… or individuals hostile to [Saudi Arabia]” is a “terrorist crime.”

As the Human Rights Council marks its tenth anniversary, its performance, effectiveness and adherence to membership criteria are under scrutiny. UN member states should ensure that the Human Rights Council does not face the same loss of credibility as its predecessor, the UN Commission on Human Rights. Failure to act on Saudi Arabia’s gross and systematic human rights violations committed in Yemen, and its use of its membership to obstruct independent scrutiny and accountability threatens the credibility of both the Council and the General Assembly.

NGO Signatories

Human Rights Watch

Amnesty International

Yemen: UN-supported Yemeni peace talks entering new phase, says UN envoy

3 hours 40 min ago
Source: UN News Service Country: Yemen

29 June 2016 – With an agreement on the guiding principles for the Yemen peace talks, United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, today announced that the UN-supported talks will enter a new phase for the next two weeks.

“After extensive discussions with the participants, the main principles that will guide the next phase of Yemeni talks had been established,” UN Deputy Spokesperson, Farhan Haq, told reporters in New York, quoting Mr. Ould Cheikh Ahmed.

He added that the principles are based on working papers submitted by the two delegations and the recommendations of the specialized committees.

“The two delegations will use the coming two weeks to meet their respective leaderships and will then return to Kuwait on 15 July with practical recommendations on how to implement the necessary mechanisms that will enable them to sign a peace accord and end the conflict in Yemen,” Mr. Haq said.

During the next two weeks, the Special Envoy will also meet with key Yemeni and regional stakeholders and urge them for a comprehensive solution that will address the issues discussed in the talks, and ensure the security and stability of Yemen.

On 26 June, expressing concern on the situation in Yemen, Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon had urged the delegations to prevent a further deterioration of the situation, and act with responsibility and flexibility to arrive at a comprehensive agreement ending the conflict.

Yemen: Oxfam chief calls Yemen 'Syria without the cameras'

7 hours 47 min ago
Source: Oxfam Country: Yemen

Fact-finding mission reveals depths of suffering

The people of Yemen are facing one of the world's gravest humanitarian crises away from the gaze of TV cameras while Western backers fuel its destruction, Oxfam said today.

The fact that the almost three million people fleeing their homes are trapped within the country’s borders and the international media is unable to get access has meant that the suffering continues under the world’s radar.

Just back from a fact-finding mission to Yemen Mark Goldring, Oxfam GB Chief Executive said:

“The scale of suffering for millions in Yemen is staggering with half the country going to bed hungry every night because of astronomical food prices. Since the beginning of the conflict, regular bombing and shelling have forced 2.8 million people from their homes, while the economy is in tatters.

“I met people who had been bombed out of or fled their homes in fear, now dependent on agencies like Oxfam for food, water and shelter. They want to go home, but can't. I saw children with guns, bombed out schools, and communities with very little, sharing what they have.

“In Yemen, like in Syria, millions of civilians are suffering and many are too scared to travel for food for fear of attack – but what is effectively a media blackout allows western governments to quietly fuel the crisis with impunity. Yemen is much like Syria but without the cameras. We might act differently if the millions of displaced people were marching towards Europe.

“Yemen was already desperately poor before the war but since the UK, the US and others have supplied arms, directly or indirectly, to all parties to the conflict, the situation has got much, much worse. World powers need to put all their efforts in to pushing for and supporting peace, not lining their pockets with arms sales.”

Over the past 15 months, more than 6,400 people have been killed. Bombardments, landmines and shelling have destroyed schools, clinics, businesses, farms and markets with one in four companies having closed, and 70 percent of the workforce laid off.

The country’s economy is in crisis, with food prices up to 60 percent higher on average than before the conflict, pushing the basics beyond the reach of many. Three million women and children under five are suffering from malnutrition.

International banks are growing more and more reluctant to wire money in and out of Yemen, while the challenges of transporting hard currency is making it more difficult for traders to get critical food supplies in to the country.

The majority of schools have closed and the health system has collapsed. However the UN appeal for Yemen is only 25 percent funded meaning humanitarian agencies are stretched to breaking point, with not enough aid or emergency care to go around. Access for humanitarian agencies is also very challenging due to insecurity and the actions of warring parties, but some humanitarian agencies such as Oxfam are persevering to reach those most in need.

Goldring said:

“Oxfam has reached close to one million people with cash, clean water and sanitation services, but many more millions require some sort of help. It’s futile to imagine we can help people to survive without securing peace and immediately halting arms sales to all participants of the war. The UK and western powers need to put all efforts into the current peace talks.

“Governments must also ensure that Yemen remains plugged in to the global financial system. It’s only government intervention that will restore trade and prevent Yemen falling further into catastrophe.” Ends

For more interviews with Mark Goldring and video footage and audio from the trip, contact Ian Bray on 01865 472289 or 07721 461339

Download footage here http://wordsandpictures.oxfam.org.uk/?r=100183&k=33a8d2a92b

Yemen: Yemen - Taizz Governorate; Access Constraints as of 28 June 2016

10 hours 18 min ago
Source: World Food Programme, Logistics Cluster Country: Yemen

Yemen: Yemen Access Constraints as of 28 June 2016

11 hours 24 min ago
Source: World Food Programme, Logistics Cluster Country: Yemen

Somalia: East Africa Price Bulletin June 2016

13 hours 49 min ago
Source: Famine Early Warning System Network Country: Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Yemen

Staple Food Markets in East Africa: White maize is the main staple grain consumed in Tanzania, Kenya, and Ethiopia. In Uganda, white maize is grown mainly as a commercial crop for export in the region. Imported rice is a major staple for Djibouti and Somalia, which mainly consume belem—the imported red rice. Tanzania is also a major producer and source of rice in the region while Kenya and Uganda are minor producers. Both red and white sorghum are produced and consumed in the region. This is an important staple in Sudan, Djibouti and Somalia as well as in other marginal agricultural areas of the region. It is also a substitute cereal among the rural poor. Red sorghum is mainly grown in Ethiopia, Sudan, and Somalia, and is the preferred type for households in Djibouti. Beans are an important source of protein and a complementary food crop grown in the high potential agricultural areas of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and Ethiopia. It is consumed across household types. Maize and beans are the most heavily traded commodities in the region. The cooking banana–matoke is the primary staple in Uganda. Uganda is also a main source of cooking and other types of bananas traded in the region especially in Southern Sudan. However, bananas are not traded nearly as heavily as maize or beans.

World: International Media Support (IMS) Annual Report 2015-2016

16 hours 28 min ago
Source: International Media Support Country: Afghanistan, Colombia, Iraq, Nepal, Niger, Pakistan, Somalia, Syrian Arab Republic, Ukraine, World, Yemen

Sustaining Independent Media in Times of Conflict

In a year where the greatest influx of refugees seen by Europe since World War II dominated headlines and pressured government aid budgets, I have been asked on several occasions why support to media development in conflict zones, humanitarian disasters and countries in the midst of democratic transition should be a priority.

The answer is of course that without access to reliable, relevant information, people are not empowered to rebuild their broken societies or to influence future development efforts. We know from more than a decade of support to independent media in conflict that reliable and trustworthy information is the one thing that people caught in instability, armed conflict or humanitarian disasters need. Their survival and their future livelihoods depend on it. Media often becomes polarised during conflict and may disseminate information that exacerbates rather than reduces tension. This is why access to information and support to ethical and professional journalism is so essential.

A Troubled Year for Independent Media

The attack on the French satire magazine Charlie­ Hebdo in January 2015 was the beginning of a severely challenging year for independent media across the world and those working to safeguard it. Conflict and government crackdowns on media and press freedom advocates in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and the Caucasus illustrate only how clearly critical voices are targeted by those wishing to curtail them.

Particularly in the Middle East, the ongoing conflicts in Syria and Iraq and the massive displacement of people had a major impact on the media, shifting audiences and journalists to surrounding countries. Despite the harsh conditions, our partners per­severed. The award-winning Syrian Radio Rozana continued to broadcast to more than 200,000 online listeners inside and outside Syria with the help of 120 correspondents based inside Syria. In Iraqi Kurdistan, the first all-female staffed women’s magazine Zhin forged on, counterbalancing the ­region’s entrenched gender inequality through ­stories on female fighters battling Islamic State and stories on the lives of female refugees.

Encouraging Developments

IMS’ decade-long presence in the Middle East, Asia and Africa has proven that long-term support and building partnerships pays off. The fact that the IMS-founded Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ) and the investigative journalism network SCOOP ­Russia continue to carry out high-quality, high-impact, cross-border journalism­ in two of the world’s most difficult regions is a testament to this. As they ­battle the propaganda machines of some of world’s most repressive regimes, our support contributes to keeping alive these pockets of independent and critical journalism. Further down the line, these agents of change will be key to driving forward democratic reform processes when the tide turns in favour of press freedom.

We also saw encouraging developments throughout the past year. The promise of democratically elected governments in Sri Lanka and Myanmar represent two of the most hopeful examples from a media freedom perspective. Our long-term presence in both countries where we have built trusted partnerships with the media has enabled us to contribute substantially to the countries’ media law reform processes. In both cases we have provided the new governments and media stakeholders with concrete recommendations for next steps of their respective media development reform processes in cooperation with UNESCO.

Locally Anchored Safety Mechanisms

In Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh, working as a journalist became increasingly dangerous with targeted attacks by the Taliban and in the case of Bangladesh, a series of deeply worrying murders of bloggers and writers. Despite years of international attention to the grim situation of journalists, we, the international community, have still not adequately succeeded in developing the appropriate protection and safety mechanisms at a national level together with local stakeholders. 95 per cent of journalists killed are local journalists and for this we need sustainable local setups to ­address the ­issue of safety. Nurturing, building and sustaining locally anchored safety mechanisms for journalists – ­modelled in part by the IMS-founded, countrywide safety mechan­ism run by the ­Afghan Journalists’ Safety Committee – will therefore ­continue to be our way forward.

These safety mechanisms rely on the support and cooperation of as many relevant stakeholders as possible in a given country – including authorities and judicial institutions when possible, as our examples from Nepal and Afghanistan show. The UN Plan of Action for the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity also provides a platform on which actors in the field of media can improve information sharing and the coordination of efforts.

In two of Africa’s poorest countries, Somalia and Niger, we are working with local partners to enable the media to become drivers of peace, reconciliation, accountability and citizen participation in the nascent democratic processes taking place. In Somalia, IMS and our Swedish partner, Fojo Media Institute spearheaded a five-year media support strategy for the Somali media sector – the first for the country. In Niger, our programme works to counter the influence of jihadists active in neighbouring countries.

A full section of this year’s annual report which spans from January 2015 to June 2016 is dedicated to our partners’ efforts to counter gender inequality in the media. The conspicuous absence of female voices in media hampers women’s ability to actively influence developments in society and we seek to actively address this issue in all aspects of our work.

Like many other organisations reliant on the support of Nordic governments, IMS was also affected by the decision of Nordic governments to reallocate funds from development aid to cover domestic costs related to the influx of refugees. However, as the achievements in this report show, we are proud of the difference that our determined partners and we continue to make for press freedom and independent media under the most difficult conditions imaginable everywhere in the world.

World: Annual Report 2015-2016

16 hours 28 min ago
Source: International Media Support Country: Afghanistan, Colombia, Iraq, Nepal, Niger, Pakistan, Somalia, Syrian Arab Republic, Ukraine, World, Yemen

Sustaining Independent Media in Times of Conflict

In a year where the greatest influx of refugees seen by Europe since World War II dominated headlines and pressured government aid budgets, I have been asked on several occasions why support to media development in conflict zones, humanitarian disasters and countries in the midst of democratic transition should be a priority.

The answer is of course that without access to reliable, relevant information, people are not empowered to rebuild their broken societies or to influence future development efforts. We know from more than a decade of support to independent media in conflict that reliable and trustworthy information is the one thing that people caught in instability, armed conflict or humanitarian disasters need. Their survival and their future livelihoods depend on it. Media often becomes polarised during conflict and may disseminate information that exacerbates rather than reduces tension. This is why access to information and support to ethical and professional journalism is so essential.

A Troubled Year for Independent Media

The attack on the French satire magazine Charlie­ Hebdo in January 2015 was the beginning of a severely challenging year for independent media across the world and those working to safeguard it. Conflict and government crackdowns on media and press freedom advocates in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and the Caucasus illustrate only how clearly critical voices are targeted by those wishing to curtail them.

Particularly in the Middle East, the ongoing conflicts in Syria and Iraq and the massive displacement of people had a major impact on the media, shifting audiences and journalists to surrounding countries. Despite the harsh conditions, our partners per­severed. The award-winning Syrian Radio Rozana continued to broadcast to more than 200,000 online listeners inside and outside Syria with the help of 120 correspondents based inside Syria. In Iraqi Kurdistan, the first all-female staffed women’s magazine Zhin forged on, counterbalancing the ­region’s entrenched gender inequality through ­stories on female fighters battling Islamic State and stories on the lives of female refugees.

Encouraging Developments

IMS’ decade-long presence in the Middle East, Asia and Africa has proven that long-term support and building partnerships pays off. The fact that the IMS-founded Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ) and the investigative journalism network SCOOP ­Russia continue to carry out high-quality, high-impact, cross-border journalism­ in two of the world’s most difficult regions is a testament to this. As they ­battle the propaganda machines of some of world’s most repressive regimes, our support contributes to keeping alive these pockets of independent and critical journalism. Further down the line, these agents of change will be key to driving forward democratic reform processes when the tide turns in favour of press freedom.

We also saw encouraging developments throughout the past year. The promise of democratically elected governments in Sri Lanka and Myanmar represent two of the most hopeful examples from a media freedom perspective. Our long-term presence in both countries where we have built trusted partnerships with the media has enabled us to contribute substantially to the countries’ media law reform processes. In both cases we have provided the new governments and media stakeholders with concrete recommendations for next steps of their respective media development reform processes in cooperation with UNESCO.

Locally Anchored Safety Mechanisms

In Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh, working as a journalist became increasingly dangerous with targeted attacks by the Taliban and in the case of Bangladesh, a series of deeply worrying murders of bloggers and writers. Despite years of international attention to the grim situation of journalists, we, the international community, have still not adequately succeeded in developing the appropriate protection and safety mechanisms at a national level together with local stakeholders. 95 per cent of journalists killed are local journalists and for this we need sustainable local setups to ­address the ­issue of safety. Nurturing, building and sustaining locally anchored safety mechanisms for journalists – ­modelled in part by the IMS-founded, countrywide safety mechan­ism run by the ­Afghan Journalists’ Safety Committee – will therefore ­continue to be our way forward.

These safety mechanisms rely on the support and cooperation of as many relevant stakeholders as possible in a given country – including authorities and judicial institutions when possible, as our examples from Nepal and Afghanistan show. The UN Plan of Action for the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity also provides a platform on which actors in the field of media can improve information sharing and the coordination of efforts.

In two of Africa’s poorest countries, Somalia and Niger, we are working with local partners to enable the media to become drivers of peace, reconciliation, accountability and citizen participation in the nascent democratic processes taking place. In Somalia, IMS and our Swedish partner, Fojo Media Institute spearheaded a five-year media support strategy for the Somali media sector – the first for the country. In Niger, our programme works to counter the influence of jihadists active in neighbouring countries.

A full section of this year’s annual report which spans from January 2015 to June 2016 is dedicated to our partners’ efforts to counter gender inequality in the media. The conspicuous absence of female voices in media hampers women’s ability to actively influence developments in society and we seek to actively address this issue in all aspects of our work.

Like many other organisations reliant on the support of Nordic governments, IMS was also affected by the decision of Nordic governments to reallocate funds from development aid to cover domestic costs related to the influx of refugees. However, as the achievements in this report show, we are proud of the difference that our determined partners and we continue to make for press freedom and independent media under the most difficult conditions imaginable everywhere in the world.

World: Micro-finance in refugee contexts: current scholarship and research gaps

17 hours 17 min ago
Source: Refugee Studies Centre Country: Bosnia and Herzegovina, occupied Palestinian territory, World, Yemen

Evan Easton-Calabria, Naohiko Omata

Strengthening refugees’ livelihoods and supporting their economic self-reliance is one of the most pressing and daunting challenges in the forced migration arena. Most refugees are obliged to become ‘entrepreneurs’ due to the dearth of formal employment opportunities in their place of asylum, underscoring the importance of financial assets (Jacobsen 2005). UNHCR (2011a) recognises that access to financial capital is a vital element in the pursuit of self-reliance for refugees and highlights the crucial role of micro-finance in providing access to credit and loans for refugees, who are usually excluded from mainstream financial services. Compared to more conventional humanitarian hand-outs, the provision of financial services to refugees is viewed as a more dignified way of assisting displaced populations, and one that empowers people to engage in their own income-generation activities (Azorbo 2011). Thus, the UN refugee agency now situates micro-finance as part of its comprehensive livelihood support strategy for refugees (UNHCR 2011a). The field of micro-finance and poverty reduction has generated a substantial body of knowledge and best practices for the design, implementation and assessment of micro-credit and other loan programmes.

However, developing successful micro-finance interventions for refugees necessitates a reflection on the specific characteristics and situations of refugee populations (Nourse 2004). Although literature on micro-finance in international development has been well-developed, little is known of the success and failure of these financial programmes for refugee populations (Bagula 2011). Furthermore, despite the widespread use of financial terminology in the field of forced migration, the actual conditions that enable entrepreneurs – refugee and otherwise – to successfully form enterprises have been largely ignored in development literature, including in field manuals for practitioners.

Against this backdrop, this paper surveys the existing literature on the use of micro-finance with refugee populations in the Global South and identifies some gaps in current scholarship. Both authors have worked as researchers and practitioners in forced migration and possess extensive experience running and evaluating micro-finance programmes for refugee populations in the Global South. Thus, the paper also draws upon our personal observations and field experiences regarding micro-finance assistance.

Djibouti: WFP Djibouti Country Brief, May 2016

28 June 2016 - 2:44pm
Source: World Food Programme Country: Djibouti, Yemen

Highlights

  • WFP requires additional resources before the end of June to provide school meals for 18,000 school children attending schools in the rural areas and the suburban area of Djibouti-city at the beginning of the new school year, in September.
    Resource shortfalls at the start of the school year will most likely affect school attendance.

Yemen: Flare-up in Yemen violence kills 80

28 June 2016 - 8:37am
Source: Agence France-Presse Country: Yemen

Aden, Yemen | AFP | Tuesday 6/28/2016 - 15:59 GMT |

A flare-up in violence across Yemen on Tuesday killed 80 people, nearly half of them civilians, officials said, as lengthy peace talks in Kuwait made no headway.

The escalation came after a wave of suicide bombings targeting Yemeni troops killed at least 42 people on Monday in the southeastern city of Mukalla, in attacks claimed by the Islamic State group.

It also comes as UN-brokered talks between Iran-backed Huthi rebels and the government of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi stuttered despite a visit by UN chief Ban Ki-moon to push the negotiations.

In the deadliest violence, warplanes from the Saudi-led pro-government coalition killed 34 people, including 19 civilians when they targeted the Shiite rebels in the southwestern region of Taez, a Yemeni military official said.

The pre-dawn strike hit a lorry transporting weapons for the Huthis as it crossed a busy road, a provincial official said, adding four women were among the dead, as well as 15 rebels.

In the flashpoint city of Taez, 11 civilians and a soldier were killed when rebels bombed a residential area, a military official said.

Meanwhile, 12 rebels and three loyalist soldiers were killed in clashes in Nahm, northeast of Sanaa, while six other rebels and two soldiers died in fighting in Marib, east of the capital, the official said.

In the same province, a coalition warplane hit a vehicle carrying pro-government forces "by mistake", killing four soldiers and wounding four others, another military official said.

The Huthis overran the capital in late 2014 before moving into other parts of Yemen, prompting the Saudi-led coalition to intervene in March last year.

The United Nations says more than 6,400 people have been killed in Yemen since then, mostly civilians.

The fighting has also driven 2.8 million people from their homes and left more than 80 percent of the population in need of humanitarian aid.

  • Talks fail to advance -

Clashes have continued despite a UN-brokered ceasefire that entered into effect on April 11 and paved the way for the peace talks in Kuwait.

In the Gulf emirate, Ban appealed on Sunday to warring parties to accept a roadmap for peace and quickly reach a comprehensive settlement to the 15-month-old conflict.

The peace roadmap proposed by UN special envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed calls for the formation of a unity government and the withdrawal and disarmament of the rebels.

Meanwhile, at least seven civilians including two children were killed in air strikes "probably by drones" on jihadists which mistakenly hit a nearby house in Mahfed, between the provinces of Abyan and Shabwa in Yemen's south, an official told AFP.

US strikes have taken out a number of senior Al-Qaeda commanders in Yemen over the past year.

Washington considers the Yemen-based Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula as the network's deadliest franchise and has vowed no let-up in its war against the jihadists.

The US military said this month that it had killed six Al-Qaeda fighters in three separate strikes in central Yemen.

Mukalla was under AQAP's control for one year until pro-Hadi troops, backed by the Saudi-led coalition, drove the jihadists out in April.

Both AQAP and IS have exploited the power vacuum created by the conflict in the impoverished country to expand their presence in the south and southeast.

bur-faw-tm/ak/dv

© 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse

Yemen: Yemen clashes, air strikes kill 80 including 37 civilians

28 June 2016 - 8:37am
Source: Agence France-Presse Country: Yemen

Aden, Yemen | AFP | Tuesday 6/28/2016 - 14:03 GMT |

Intensified fighting and air strikes over the past 24 hours in Yemen have left 80 people dead, including 37 civilians, as lengthy peace talks in Kuwait made no headway, officials said.

In the largest toll, warplanes from the pro-government Saudi-led coalition killed 34 people, including 19 civilians when they targeted Shiite rebels in the southwestern region of Taez, a Yemeni military official said.

The pre-dawn air strike hit a lorry transporting weapons for the Huthi rebels as it crossed a busy road, a provincial official said, adding that four women were among the dead, as well as 15 rebels.

In the flashpoint city of Taez, 11 civilians and a soldier were killed when rebels bombed a residential area, a military official said.

Meanwhile, 12 rebels and three loyalist soldiers were killed in clashes in Nahm, northeast of Sanaa, while six other rebels were killed in fighting in Marib, east of the capital, the official said.

In the same province, a coalition warplane hit a vehicle carrying pro-government forces "by mistake", killing four soldiers and wounding four others, another military official said.

In the south, at least seven civilians including two children were killed in air strikes "probably by drones" on jihadists which mistakenly hit a nearby house in Mahfed, between the provinces of Abyan and Shabwa in Yemen's south, a local official told AFP.

The Huthis overran the capital in late 2014 before moving into other parts of Yemen, prompting a Saudi-led coalition to intervene in March last year.

The United Nations says more than 6,400 people have been killed in Yemen since then, mostly civilians.

The fighting has also driven 2.8 million people from their homes and left more than 80 percent of the population in need of humanitarian aid.

bur-faw-tm/ak/pg

© 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse

World: Fragile States Index 2016

28 June 2016 - 8:04am
Source: Fund for Peace Country: Cameroon, Chad, Hungary, Libya, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Syrian Arab Republic, Ukraine, World, Yemen

The Fragile States Index, produced by The Fund for Peace, is a critical tool in highlighting not only the normal pressures that all states experience, but also in identifying when those pressures are pushing a state towards the brink of failure. By highlighting pertinent issues in weak and failing states, The Fragile States Index—and the social science framework and software application upon which it is built—makes political risk assessment and early warning of conflict accessible to policy-makers and the public at large.

The Fragile States Index is an annual ranking of 178 nations based on their levels of stability and the pressures they face. The Index is based on The Fund for Peace’s proprietary Conflict Assessment System Tool (CAST) analytical platform. Based on comprehensive social science methodology, data from three primary sources is triangulated and subjected to critical review to obtain final scores for the Fragile States Index.

Millions of documents are analyzed every year, and by applying highly specialized search parameters, scores are apportioned for every country based on twelve key political, social and economic indicators and over 100 sub-indicators that are the result of years of painstaking expert social science research.

The 2016 Fragile States Index, the eleventh edition of the annual Index, comprises data collected between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2015.

Yemen: Germany Supports WFP In Tackling Undernutrition In Yemen

28 June 2016 - 7:18am
Source: World Food Programme Country: Germany, Yemen

SANA’A – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today welcomed a contribution of €15 million (approximately US$16.9 million) from the Federal Republic of Germany to help WFP treat and prevent moderate malnutrition among more than 660,000 children under five, and pregnant and nursing mothers.

Thanks to the German contribution, treatment will be provided to nearly 292,000 moderately malnourished children under five years old and 204,000 malnourished pregnant and nursing mothers. Some 170,000 children under two years old, who are at risk of malnutrition, will receive preventive assistance.

A report published this month, shows that the Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) is at an alarming stage in most Yemeni governorates. The report – Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) – classified nine out of Yemen’s 22 governorates as facing food insecurity at ‘Emergency’ level. This is a level of need that is one step away from famine and requires urgent food assistance.

“WFP is grateful for Germany’s significant donation, which is critical to ensuring that WFP continues to support women and children at risk of malnutrition,” said WFP Country Director in Yemen Purnima Kashyap. “Child malnutrition rates in Yemen have already been among the highest in the world even before the conflict. Around half of all children under five are stunted – too short for their age – as a result of malnutrition; the consequences of which are irreversible. Providing treatment and preventing malnutrition saves an entire generation and improves the country’s future prospects.”

Working in cooperation with 14 partners, WFP prioritizes 14 governorates across Yemen for nutrition interventions including all those at the “Emergency” level of hunger.

Germany has been consistently among top donors to WFP Yemen. The recent contribution is essential to provide continuous and substantial assistance, to fight food insecurity and malnutrition, and to reduce families’ vulnerability to future shocks.

Yemen: QRCS provides medical supplies, dispatches mobile clinics in Yemen

28 June 2016 - 7:03am
Source: Qatar Red Crescent Society Country: Qatar, Yemen

June 28th, 2016 ― Doha: Qatar Red Crescent Society's (QRCS) mission in Yemen has continued its efforts to support the medical sector in the war-torn country, by initiating the 2nd phase of supplying hospitals with medications and medical consumables as well as dispatching mobile clinics over three days in four Yemeni governorates, at a cost of $272,777 (QR 992,355).

In partnership with Ithar for Development and Charity Activities, the first project was aimed at helping poor patients cover the costs of treatment, especially chronic disease like heart disorders, diabetes, hypertension, and Sickle-cell disease. The six-month project will cost $177,777.

Four hospitals received medical supplies and medicines for the treatment of injuries. These supplies were procured from Aden and transported to Taiz through rough mountain routes.

These deliveries are estimated to help 7,214 patients with medications, first-aid materials, chronic disease medications, oxygen tanks, and dialysis supplements.

In parallel, QRCS dispatched mobile emergency clinics across Aden over three days to help the communities affected by the armed conflict and prevalent insecurity.

General Aidarous Al-Zubaidi, Governorate of Aden, thanked QRCS for this generous contribution, which "is usual from the State of Qatar towards the people of Aden".

These medical convoys were coordinated with the local authorities and Ithar and hired proficient and experienced personnel. Eight medical specialties were covered, including ophthalmology, internal medicine, and pediatrics.

All examinations and medications are offered for free. The convoys targeted remote areas to meet the dire needs of populations there.

The everyday casualties due to the conflict are causing pressure on health care facilities, with risks and high prices for bringing supplies into Taiz.

Yemen: What do Yemenis expect from us? Core responsibilities of the Agenda for Humanity

28 June 2016 - 5:52am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Yemen

In light of the World Humanitarian Summit and the commitments made to affected people across the world, we share with you the responsibilities that the humanitarian community commit to uphold in Yemen.

World: CERF Annual Report 2015

28 June 2016 - 12:47am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Central African Republic, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Haiti, Honduras, Iraq, Malawi, Nepal, Somalia, South Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Vanuatu, World, Yemen, Zimbabwe

CERF RELEASES ITS 2015 ANNUAL REPORT

In 2015, CERF allocated nearly US$470 million in humanitarian assistance for helping front line partners on the ground kick-start or reinforces emergency activities in 45 countries. CERF raised $409 million with the support from 59 member states.

The need for CERF reached a historical high in 2015, with unprecedented levels of humanitarian suffering and the highest level of global displacement since the Second World War, with Level 3 emergencies in the Central African Republic, Iraq, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen, as well as major natural disasters in Nepal and Vanuatu.

CERF’s 2015 achievements were extraordinary. The fund was at the forefront of response when the world needed it.

• Within 48 hours of the Nepal earthquake, I made available US$15 million from CERF for partners to jump-start and accelerate life-saving response to hundreds of thousands of people.

• In Yemen, where a staggering 82 per cent of the population required humanitarian assistance, CERF provided $44 million to ensure critical services reached people most in need.

• As millions of people struggled with the devastating impact of droughts and floods driven by a strong El Niño weather cycle, CERF was at the forefront, providing quick and early funding to the tune of $59 million to countries in Eastern and Southern Africa, Central America and the Caribbean in 2015.

“2015 was a challenging year for the entire humanitarian community and the sheer scale of humanitarian suffering over-stretched CERF as well as responders,” explains Lisa Doughten, Chief of the CERF secretariat.

While high-profile emergencies may occupy much of the global focus, in the report you can find also information about how CERF is making a big difference in crises outside the media spotlight, supporting critical efforts thought its partners to bring people life-saving aid and protection in places such as the Syria Region, Africa’s Great Lakes Region, Colombia, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Djibouti.

The report also outlines results from the 2014 Resident Coordinator/Humanitarian Coordinator reports.

World: Rapport du Secrétaire général sur les violences sexuelles liées aux conflits (S/2016/361/Rev.1)

27 June 2016 - 6:14pm
Source: UN Security Council Country: Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burundi, Central African Republic, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Libya, Mali, Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, World, Yemen

I. Introduction

  1. Le présent rapport, qui couvre la période allant de janvier à décembre 2015, est soumis en application du paragraphe 22 de la résolution 2106 (2013), dans laquelle le Conseil de sécurité m’a prié de lui faire rapport chaque année sur la mise en oeuvre de ses résolutions 1820 (2008), 1888 (2009) et 1960 (2010) et de lui recommander des mesures stratégiques. Les faits nouveaux survenus pendant la période considérée renforcent les craintes au sujet de l’utilisation de la violence sexuelle par les groupes terroristes et extrémistes violents, notamment dans le cadre du système de punition et de récompense instauré pour consolider leur pouvoir. Dans sa résolution 2242 (2015), le Conseil a constaté l’évolution du contexte mondial en matière de paix et de sécurité, en particulier les dimensions sexuelles de l’extrémisme violent et du déplacement massif de population. En qualifiant la violence sexuelle à la fois de tactique de guerre et de tactique de terrorisme [résolution 2242 (2015)], il a reconnu que les stratégies de règlement des conflits et de lutte contre le terrorisme ne pouvaient plus être dissociées des efforts entrepris pour protéger et autonomiser les femmes et les filles et lutter contre les violences sexuelles liées aux conflits.

  2. L’expression « violences sexuelles liées aux conflits » recouvre des actes tels que le viol, l’esclavage sexuel, la prostitution, la grossesse, l’avortement, la stérilisation et le mariage forcés et toute autre forme de violence sexuelle de gravité comparable, perpétrés contre des femmes, des hommes, des filles ou des garçons, et ayant un lien direct ou indirect (temporel, géographique ou causal) avec un conflit. Ce lien peut se manifester dans le profil de l’auteur (qui est souvent rattaché à un groupe armé, étatique ou non), le profil de la victime (qui appartient souvent à une minorité politique, ethnique ou religieuse persécutée), le climat d’impunité (qui est généralement associé à l’effondrement de l’État), les répercussions transfrontières (comme les déplacements de population et la traite des personnes) ou les violations d’accords de cessez-le-feu.

  3. Même si de nombreuses régions sont exposées à la menace de violences sexuelles liées aux conflits, en sont le théâtre ou en subissent les retombées, le présent rapport se limite toutefois aux 19 pays pour lesquels on dispose d’informations fiables. Pour la première fois, les entités des Nations Unies sur le terrain ont été priées de présenter des rapports sur l’utilisation de la violence sexuelle comme tactique de terrorisme (voir sect. III). Il convient de lire le présent rapport en tenant compte de mes sept rapports précédents sur les violences sexuelles liées aux conflits, l’ensemble des informations qu’ils contiennent indiquant les raisons qui ont présidé à l’inscription de 48 parties sur la liste (voir annexe). Comme en 2014, la majorité de ces parties sont des acteurs non étatiques. Intervenir auprès de ces acteurs pour les amener à respecter les résolutions du Conseil de sécurité soulève des difficultés politiques et opérationnelles sans précédent. Tous les États qui ont été inscrits à maintes reprises sur la liste en raison de graves violations contre des enfants et de violences sexuelles liées aux conflits ne seront plus autorisés à participer aux opérations de paix des Nations Unies. Les fournisseurs de contingents et de personnel de police qui sont actuellement visés dans cette liste pour de telles raisons sont priés de prendre contact avec mes représentants spéciaux pour s’en faire retirer et pour mettre en oeuvre des engagements assortis d’échéances précises ainsi que des plans d’action concrets afin de faire cesser les violations qui ont motivé leur inscription [voir résolution 2242 (2015) et S/2015/682].

  4. Le présent rapport a été établi sur la base d’informations réunies par les Nations Unies. Grâce à la présence accrue sur le terrain de conseillers pour la protection des femmes, qui sont chargés de convoquer les réunions dans le cadre des arrangements de suivi, d’analyse et de communication de l’information relatifs aux violences sexuelles liées aux conflits et de faciliter le dialogue entre les parties au conflit en vue d’obtenir des engagements en matière de protection, la qualité des données et des analyses guidant les interventions s’est améliorée. À ce jour, 34 conseillers sont déployés dans sept missions. Les six missions de maintien de la paix investies d’un mandat de protection des civils ont toutes mis en place les arrangements de suivi, d’analyse et de communication de l’information et intégré dans leurs dispositifs de protection au sens large le tableau d’indicateurs d’alerte rapide relatifs aux violences sexuelles liées aux conflits. L’action concertée menée pour renforcer les mesures de prévention, d’alerte et d’intervention rapides face aux violences sexuelles liées aux conflits continuera de nécessiter des ressources humaines et financières adaptées à l’ampleur de la tâche.

  5. Renforcer les capacités des institutions nationales est nécessaire pour assurer la répression des violences sexuelles liées aux conflits. Conformément au mandat que le Conseil de sécurité lui a confié dans sa résolution 1888 (2009), l’Équipe d’experts de l’état de droit et des questions touchant les violences sexuelles commises en période de conflit apporte une assistance aux gouvernements dans plusieurs domaines : enquêtes et poursuites pénales, justice militaire, réforme législative, protection des victimes et des témoins, réparations envers les victimes. L’Équipe, qui relève directement de ma Représentante spéciale chargée de la question des violences sexuelles commises en période de conflit, est composée d’experts du Département des opérations de maintien de la paix, du Haut-Commissariat des Nations Unies aux droits de l’homme (HCDH) et du Programme des Nations Unies pour le développement (PNUD) ainsi que d’un spécialiste détaché par l’initiative Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict du Royaume-Uni de Grande-Bretagne et d’Irlande du Nord. Elle tient à jour une liste d’experts spécialisés dans divers domaines. Depuis sa création, elle joue un rôle moteur dans la mise en place des cadres de coopération convenus entre ma Représentante spéciale et les autorités nationales et les acteurs régionaux, contribuant ainsi aux travaux menés par les entités des Nations Unies sur le terrain. Grâce à la fourniture d’une assistance spécialisée, les gouvernements peuvent juger efficacement les affaires de violences sexuelles liées aux conflits, comme en Guinée, où l’appui technique apporté par l’Équipe a permis l’inculpation de 16 dirigeants militaires et politiques pour des actes de violence sexuelle et d’autres crimes commis en septembre 2009. De par sa structure et sa composition, l’Équipe contribue également à améliorer la cohérence entre les entités qui la composent dans le domaine des violences sexuelles liées aux conflits. À ce jour, elle est intervenue en Colombie, en Côte d’Ivoire, en Guinée, au Libéria, au Mali, en République centrafricaine, en République démocratique du Congo, en Somalie et au Soudan du Sud.

  6. La Campagne des Nations Unies contre la violence sexuelle en temps de conflit, à laquelle 13 entités des Nations Unies participent sous la présidence de ma Représentante spéciale, appuie l’élaboration de formations, d’orientations et de ressources de sensibilisation destinées à renforcer les moyens techniques dont disposent les entités des Nations Unies sur le terrain pour faire face aux violences sexuelles liées aux conflits de manière globale et coordonnée. En 2015, la Campagne a alloué des financements incitatifs au déploiement de conseilleurs pour la protection de la femme en Côte d’Ivoire et en République démocratique du Congo, aidé à cartographier les interventions en vue de l’application de la stratégie nationale de lutte contre les violences sexuelles liées aux conflits en Côte d’Ivoire et financé un projet conjoint en matière de justice transitionnelle en Bosnie-Herzégovine. Pour améliorer les pratiques sur le terrain, plusieurs outils et produits axés sur le savoir ont été mis au point, notamment : des orientations pour le renforcement de l’intervention médico-légale en cas de violences sexuelles en temps de conflit, élaborées par l’Office des Nations Unies contre la drogue et le crime (ONUDC) et l’Organisation mondiale de la Santé (OMS); une note d’orientation sur les points de rencontre entre le Système de gestion de l’information sur la violence sexiste et les arrangements de suivi, d’analyse et de communication de l’information, établie par le Fonds des Nations Unies pour l’enfance (UNICEF), le Fonds des Nations Unies pour la population (FNUAP) et le Haut-Commissariat des Nations Unies pour les réfugiés (HCR); une série de modalités d’appui au niveau des pays. Des missions conjointes d’appui technique ont été effectuées au Mali en janvier et au Soudan du Sud en avril. En 2015, quelque 30 experts ont été sélectionnés à partir du fichier d’enquêteurs internationaux spécialisés dans les crimes sexuels et sexistes, établi conjointement par l’Entité des Nations Unies pour l’égalité des sexes et l’autonomisation des femmes et l’Initiative d’intervention rapide au service de la justice, et affectés à divers mécanismes de détermination des responsabilités, notamment la Commission d’enquête internationale indépendante sur la République arabe syrienne, la Commission d’enquête sur les droits de l’homme en Érythrée, les missions d’établissement des faits en Iraq et en Libye et les instances nationales chargées de juger les crimes de guerre. En collaboration avec plusieurs partenaires, le Département des opérations de maintien de la paix et le Département de l’appui aux missions ont mis au point un nouveau module de formation sur les violences sexuelles liées aux conflits destiné à être intégré à la formation préalable au déploiement (fondamentale et approfondie), en plus d’un programme de formation avancée sur les missions intégrées à l’intention du personnel militaire, civil et de police.

World: Report of the Secretary-General on conflict-related sexual violence (S/2016/361/Rev.1) [EN/AR]

27 June 2016 - 6:09pm
Source: UN Security Council Country: Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burundi, Central African Republic, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Libya, Mali, Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, World, Yemen

Introduction

  1. The present report, which covers the period from January to December 2015, is submitted pursuant to paragraph 22 of Security Council resolution 2106 (2013), in which the Council requested me to report annually on the implementation of resolutions 1820 (2008), 1888 (2009) and 1960 (2010), and to recommend strategic actions. Developments during the reporting period have deepened concerns about the use of sexual violence by terrorist and violent extremist groups, including as part of the systems of punishment and reward through which they consolidate their power. In resolution 2242 (2015), the Council recognized the changing global context of peace and security, in particular the gender dimensions of violent extremism and mass displacement. The Council’s recognition of sexual violence as both a tactic of war and a tactic of terrorism (resolution 2242 (2015)) affirms that conflict-resolution and counter-terrorism strategies can no longer be decoupled from efforts to protect and empower women and girls and to combat conflict-related sexual violence.

  2. The term “conflict-related sexual violence” refers to rape, sexual slavery, forced prostitution, forced pregnancy, forced abortion, enforced sterilization, forced marriage and any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity perpetrated against women, men, girls or boys that is directly or indirectly linked (temporally, geographically or causally) to a conflict. This link with conflict may be evident in the profile of the perpetrator (often affiliated with a State or non-State armed group), the profile of the victim (who is frequently a member of a persecuted political, ethnic or religious minority), the climate of impunity (which is generally associated with State collapse), cross-border consequences (such as displacement or trafficking in persons) and/or violations of the terms of a ceasefire agreement.

  3. While many settings are affected by the threat, occurrence or legacy of conflict-related sexual violence, the present report is focused on 19 country situations for which credible information is available. For the first time, United Nations country presences were requested to report on the use of sexual violence as a tactic of terrorism (see sect. III). The report should be read in conjunction with my seven previous reports on conflict-related sexual violence, which provide a cumulative basis for the listing of 48 parties (see annex). As in 2014, the majority of listed parties are non-State actors. Engaging with such groups to foster compliance with Security Council resolutions raises unprecedented political and operational challenges. All States repeatedly listed for grave violations against children and/or conflict-related sexual violence will be prohibited from participating in United Nations peace operations. Troop and police contributors that are currently listed for such violations are required to engage with my special representatives in order to be delisted and to implement specific time-bound commitments and action plans to address violations for which they are listed (see resolution 2242 (2015) and S/2015/682.

  4. The report is based on cases documented by the United Nations. The increased presence in the field of women’s protection advisers, who are responsible for convening the monitoring, analysis and reporting arrangements on conflict-related sexual violence and facilitating dialogue in order to obtain protection commitments from parties to conflict, has deepened the quality of the data and analysis aimed at informing interventions. To date, 34 women’s protection advisers have been deployed to seven mission settings. All six peacekeeping missions with a mandate that includes the protection of civilians have established the monitoring, analysis and reporting arrangements and incorporated the matrix of early-warning indicators of conflict-related sexual violence into their broader protection arrangements. A concerted effort to enhance prevention, early warning and timely responses to conflict-related sexual violence will continue to require dedicated human and financial resources commensurate with the scale of this challenge.

  5. Strengthening the capacity of national institutions is critical to ensuring accountability for conflict-related sexual violence. The Team of Experts on the Rule of Law and Sexual Violence in Conflict, in accordance with its mandate under Security Council resolution 1888 (2009), has provided assistance to Governments, including in the areas of criminal investigation and prosecution, military justice, legislative reform, protection of victims and witnesses and reparations for survivors. Reporting directly to my Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, the Team of Experts is composed of experts from the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and a specialist seconded by the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The Team also maintains a roster of experts with a range of specializations. Since its establishment, the Team has played a catalytic role in implementing the frameworks of cooperation agreed upon between my Special Representative and national authorities and regional actors, complementing the work of the United Nations country presence. With dedicated assistance, Governments can effectively adjudicate such crimes, as in the case of Guinea, where the technical assistance of the Team has resulted in 16 indictments of military and political leaders for sexual violence and other crimes committed in September 2009. The Team, by virtue of its structure and composition, has contributed to enhanced coherence on the issue of conflict-related sexual violence among the entities constituting it. To date, the Team has been engaged in the Central African Republic, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Somalia and South Sudan.

  6. The United Nations Action against Sexual Violence in Conflict initiative, which consists of 13 United Nations entities and is chaired by my Special Representative, supports the development of training, guidance and advocacy resources aimed at building the technical capacity of United Nations country presences to deliver a coordinated and holistic response to conflict-related sexual violence. In 2015, it provided catalytic funding for the deployment of women’s protection advisers to Côte d’Ivoire and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, supported a mapping of interventions to implement the national strategy to combat gender-based violence in Côte d’Ivoire and funded a joint project in Bosnia and Herzegovina supporting transitional justice. A number of tools and knowledge products were produced to improve practice in the field, including guidance on strengthening the medico-legal response to sexual violence in conflict, developed by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the World Health Organization (WHO); a guidance note on the intersections between the Gender-based Violence Information Management System and the monitoring, analysis and reporting arrangements, prepared by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR); and a menu of country-level support options. Joint technical support missions were conducted to Mali in January and South Sudan in April. In 2015, through the joint roster of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women and Justice Rapid Response of international investigators of crimes involving sexual and gender-based violence, some 30 experts were deployed to accountability mechanisms, including the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic, the commission of inquiry on human rights in Eritrea, the fact-finding missions to Iraq and Libya, and the national war crimes processes. The Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Department of Field Support, in collaboration with a range of partners, developed a new conflict-related sexual violence training module for core and advanced-level predeployment training, in addition to advanced-level integrated mission training for military, police and civilian components.