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World: UNHCR Mid-Year Trends 2016

27 February 2017 - 5:24pm
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees Country: Afghanistan, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Germany, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, World, Yemen

Poorer countries host most of the forcibly displaced – report

According to a new UNHCR study, most of the 3.2 million who were driven from their homes in the first half of 2016 found shelter in low or middle income countries.

GENEVA – Conflict, persecution and violence newly uprooted at least 3.2 million people in the first half of last year, and low- and middle-income countries played the greatest role in sheltering the world’s displaced, a new report by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, has found.

In the first half of last year, 1.7 million people were newly displaced within their own country, while 1.5 million had crossed an international border, UNHCR’s Mid-Year Trends 2016 report shows.

While the numbers of newly displaced were one third lower than during the same period in 2015, when 5 million people were newly displaced, the global total continued to rise. Prospects for displaced people to return to their homes remained slim while conflicts intensified.

More than half the new refugees in the first half of 2016 fled Syria’s conflict, with most staying in the immediate region – Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt. Other sizable groups fled Iraq, Burundi, Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan.

While smaller in scale than the Syrian crisis, South Sudan’s refugee situation continues to grow and affect some of the world’s least developed countries – including Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, DRC, CAR, and Ethiopia. At mid-2016, there were a total of 854,200 refugees from South Sudan, a more than eight-fold increase in three years. Numbers grew even further in the second half of 2016.

Of all countries, Turkey sheltered the greatest number of refugees, hosting 2.8 million by mid-2016. It was followed by Pakistan (1.6 million), Lebanon (1 million), Iran (978,000), Ethiopia (742,700), Jordan (691,800), Kenya (523,500), Uganda (512,600), Germany (478,600) and Chad (386,100).

“Today we face not so much a crisis of numbers but of cooperation and solidarity – especially given that most refugees stay in the countries neighbouring their war-torn homelands,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi.

By comparing the number of refugees to the size of a country’s population or its economy, UNHCR’s report brings the contribution made by host nations sharply into context. For example, relative to the sizes of their populations, Lebanon and Jordan host the largest number of refugees, while in terms of economic performance the biggest burdens are carried by South Sudan and Chad.

According to the latter economic measure, eight out of ten of the top countries hosting refugees are in Africa, with the remaining two in the Middle East. Lebanon and Jordan rank among the top ten hosting countries across all categories – absolute numbers, economic contribution and per capita.

At mid-2016, Syrians continued to be the largest group of refugees worldwide, making up 32 per cent (5.3 million out of 16.5 million) of the global total under UNHCR’s mandate.

Another key finding of UNHCR’s report was that submissions for resettlement increased, reflecting a rise in places allocated to the programme by a growing band of countries. More than 81,100 people were submitted to 34 states in the first half of 2016, with the final yearly figure having surpassed 160,000 – a 20-year high, and more than twice the number of submissions in 2012.

World: Desperate Journeys: Refugees and migrants entering and crossing Europe via the Mediterranean and Western Balkans routes

27 February 2017 - 4:11pm
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees Country: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canary Islands (Spain), Central African Republic, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Greece, Guinea, Hungary, Iraq, Libya, Montenegro, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Somalia, Syrian Arab Republic, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, World, Yemen

Refugees and migrants face heightened risks while trying to reach Europe – UNHCR report

In a new report, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, details the impact of the increased border restrictions introduced in 2016 on refugee and migrant movements towards and inside Europe. It shows that people continued to move but undertook more diversified and dangerous journeys, often relying on smugglers because of the lack of accessible legal ways to Europe.

After the “closure” of the Western Balkan route and the EU-Turkey Statement in March 2016, the number of people reaching Greece via the Eastern Mediterranean route drastically decreased. The Central Mediterranean route from North Africa to Italy has since become the primary entry point to Europe. However, arrival trends in Italy show that the primary nationalities who crossed to Greece had not switched in significant numbers to the Central Mediterranean route.

In total, some 181,436 people arrived in Italy in 2016 by sea, out of which 90 per cent travelled by boat from Libya. Those who came to Italy in 2016 include people in need of international protection, and also victims of trafficking and migrants seeking better lives. The top two nationalities of those arriving in Italy were Nigerians (21%) and Eritreans (11%). A striking feature is the increasing number of unaccompanied and separated children making the journey, over 25,000 in 2016. They represented 14% of all new arrivals in Italy and their number more than doubled compared to the previous year.

The journey to Italy is particularly dangerous, with more deaths at sea in the Mediterranean recorded in 2016 than ever before. Of the 5,096 refugees and migrants reported dead or missing at sea last year, 90% travelled along the sea route to Italy, amounting to one death for every 40 people crossing.

The report also shows that, in the last part of 2016, more people reached Europe through the Western Mediterranean route, either by crossing the sea to Spain from Morocco and Algeria, or by entering the Spanish enclaves of Melilla and Ceuta.

People have continued to leave Turkey along the Eastern Mediterranean route from April onwards, but in much smaller numbers. Most cross the sea to Greece, but some also cross land borders to Greece and Bulgaria, or cross the sea to Cyprus. The use of this route includes a large number of people in need of protection, in 2016 87% of those arriving by sea to Greece came from the top ten refugee producing countries.

This is also the case for those who have continued to move along the Western Balkans route. In Serbia, for example, 82% of those who have arrived are from Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria and almost half are children – 20% of those unaccompanied, though numbers have reduced since April 2016. As a result of stronger border restrictions many rely on smugglers, taking high risks which resulted in several deaths in 2016, says the report.

According to the UNHCR study, tens of thousands of people have been reportedly pushed back by border authorities in Europe, including in Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Serbia, Spain, and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, with many cases of alleged violence and abuses in an apparent attempt to deter further entry attempts.

In addition, UNHCR has received deeply worrying reports of refugees and migrants kidnapped, held against their will for several days, physically and sexually abused, tortured or extorted by smugglers and criminal gangs at several points along key routes.

“This report clearly shows that the lack of accessible and safe pathways leads refugees and migrants to take enormous risks while attempting to reach Europe, including those simply trying to join family members.” said Vincent Cochetel, Director of UNHCR’s Europe Bureau.

ENDS

For more information please contact:

In Geneva, Cécile Pouilly, pouilly@unhcr.org,+41 79 108 26 25
In Croatia, Jan Kapic, kapic@unhcr.org, +385 911 150 115
In Greece, Roland Schoenbauer, schoenb@unhcr.org, +30 69 48 088 544
In Hungary, Erno Simon, simoner@unhcr.org, +36 30 657 03 23
In Italy, Carlotta Sami, sami@unhcr.org, +39 335 679 4746
In Serbia, Mirjana Ivanovic-Milenkovski, ivanovim@unhcr.org, + 381 63 275 154
In Spain, María Jesús Vega, vegam@unhcr.org, + 34 670661263
In the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Ljubinka Brashnarska, brashnar@unhcr.org, +389 722 693 46

Yemen: Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Stephen O’Brien Remarks to the Media Aden, Yemen, 27 February 2017

27 February 2017 - 4:08pm
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Yemen

As delivered

I have come to Aden with the first humanitarian UN flight to lend support to the humanitarians who have been working in this city and in Yemen since the conflict escalated in March 2015, and to express my solidarity with the Yemeni people. Also to meet with the Government of Yemen to discuss the humanitarian situation: how to prevent a possible famine and how to better protect the civilians that are caught in this conflict. This is the second time over the past 15 months that I have come to Yemen to show our solidarity with the people of Yemen and the brave and brilliant aid workers across the humanitarian family.

Since the war began almost two years ago, health facilities report more than 7,500 people killed and more than 40,000 people injured. We know this is an underreporting, however, given the dilapidated state of the health system and health facilities across the country and their inability to accurately report the real numbers. Today, almost 19 million people in Yemen need humanitarian assistance. Seven million people don’t know where their next meal is coming from and we now face a serious risk of famine. The international community needs to step up its funding and the parties to the conflict need to continue providing humanitarian access; this also means access to the ports so that the needed imports can enter Yemen.

In Aden and the surrounding governorates, 3.1 million people need humanitarian assistance, two thirds of whom are in desperate need of food.

Yesterday, I met again with President Hadi, the Prime Minister and other senior officials. We discussed the deteriorating humanitarian situation and the suffering of the Yemeni people. I stressed the need for all parties to the conflict to respect international humanitarian law, protect civilians and civilian infrastructure and to allow for unimpeded and immediate full access by humanitarian partners to all of Yemen. Given the urgency of the situation, we also discussed the need to facilitate commercial imports of food, fuel and medicine, through all ports of Yemen, and the resumption of commercial flights to all of Yemen.

Yesterday, I saw with my own eyes the destruction of the war and the impact on the people living in Aden. I saw what is left of the maternity hospital; the ruins left behind by fighting, but also saw that some rehabilitation to the facility has taken place. I was especially pleased to know that two babies – a boy and a girl - were born while I was there. They are Yemen’s hope and future.

I met with families in the Qateea’a neighborhood affected by the fighting in Aden. I also met with displaced people in the Abdoghanem school, where people who sought refuge from Abyan more than two years ago now live with people recently displaced from the conflict in Taizz Governorate, in squalid conditions. All of these vulnerable people – and all people in need across Yemen - deserve our help, support, and assistance.

In response to the immense humanitarian challenge, the United Nations and its partners are responding across all governorates in Yemen. We welcome the recent return of senior Government of Yemen officials to Aden and look forward to working closely with them on delivering a needs-based response in 2017. Humanitarian partners have been present in Aden and elsewhere with national and international staff throughout the conflict. With over 55 national and international humanitarian organizations working in a coordinated manner, Aden hub has one of the highest numbers of humanitarian organizations working in response to humanitarian needs.

Approximately two million persons across the Aden Hub – serving Aden, Abyan, Lahj, Dhalea,
Shabwa and Hadramout governorates - were provided with some form of humanitarian assistance in 2016. We are now also reinforcing the hub with more permanent UN staff.

I continue to be impressed by the resourcefulness of the Yemeni people. Even before the conflict escalated in March 2015 people in Yemen faced enormous levels of humanitarian needs stemming from years of poverty, under-development, environmental decline, intermittent conflict, unpunished corruption, weak rule of law, and rampant human rights violations. While their community-level social safety nets were well established and were strong, the past two years of increased conflict have reduced their capacity to withstand the economic collapse and security threats the conflict has brought to their lives.

We are here to help and provide neutral, impartial life-saving assistance to all people in need, regardless of where they are in Yemen. With the collaboration of authorities to provide access as well as the funding provided by the international community, the humanitarian community will continue to support the men, women, and children suffering from the conflict in Yemen.

Lastly, let me stress that there are no military solutions to this conflict. With fighting continuing and international humanitarian and human rights law not respected, it is the ordinary men, women, boys and girls who suffer. The parties to the conflict must come together and find a political solution. Only peace can provide a lasting solution to this unfolding humanitarian crisis.

Iraq: Recent contributions to WHO

27 February 2017 - 11:48am
Source: World Health Organization Country: Iraq, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen

Government of Japan

The Government of Japan has generously provided US$ 3 million to support the work of WHO in Iraq. This contribution directly supports life-saving primary and secondary health care services in Duhok and the plains of Ninewa, where more than 600 000 people live, as well as the prevention, early detection and containment of outbreaks in 11 governorates.

King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre

Funding from the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre has allowed WHO to deploy 14 mobile teams to 5 governorates, offering integrated care to populations with no access to health care. In addition, health-facility based teams, including 7 surgical teams, were deployed to provide trauma care in the governorates of Aden, Abyan, Hajjah, Sada’a and Amran, performing almost 8000 lifesaving operations.

Funds were also used to provide lifesaving medicines and medical supplies to hospitals across the country for a total of more than 2 million patients. This includes the provision of supplies to therapeutic feeding centres in 7 governorates, as well as fuel to run hospital generators and 7 ambulances. In addition, WHO treated almost 20 000 malnourished children in Lahj and Hodeida governorates.

World: The Peacebuilding Fund - Report of the Secretary-General (A/71/792)

27 February 2017 - 11:09am
Source: UN General Assembly Country: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burundi, Central African Republic, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Mali, Myanmar, Niger, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Sri Lanka, World, Yemen

Summary

The present report covers the period from 1 January to 31 December 2016, during which the Peacebuilding Fund allocated $70.9 million to 17 countries. The year was marked by an overall improvement in programmatic results, demonstrating that three years of dedicated Fund support to country partners during project design, monitoring and evaluation, including a near fivefold increase in evaluations and a sixfold increase in support missions, had been a sound investment. Among its achievements and historic firsts, the Fund exceeded the United Nations-wide commitment to allocate at least 15 per cent of resources to women’s empowerment, expanded its unique role in financing cross-border and regional peacebuilding initiatives, and launched the first United Nations dedicated funding stream in support of Security Council resolution 2250 (2015) on youth, peace and security. Against these achievements and despite expressions of support from a wide range of Member States, including $152.5 million raised during a September 2016 pledging conference, the Fund’s financial health remains in question at a time when the demand for its assistance has reached historic highs. Options for securing adequate, sustainable financing for peacebuilding will be outlined in my upcoming report on sustaining peace in 2017.

I. Introduction

1. The present annual report, covering the period from 1 January to 31 December 2016, is the seventh report submitted to the General Assembly pursuant to Assembly resolution 63/282. It covers the third and final year of the Business Plan 2014-2016 of the Peacebuilding Fund. This report will be complemented by a financial report issued by the Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office no later than 1 May 2017. Additional information can be found at http://www.unpbf.org, and complete information on individual projects can be found on the Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office Gateway (http://mptf.undp.org).

II. Global performance and lessons learned

2. The year 2016 heralded the historic adoption by the General Assembly and the Security Council of concurrent resolutions on the review of the United Nations peacebuilding architecture (see A/69/968-S/2015/490), the most comprehensive and far-reaching resolutions on peacebuilding to date. The emphasis of Assembly resolution 70/262 and Council resolution 2282 (2016) on the centrality of sustaining peace, which encompasses the imperative of conflict prevention, the need to address all stages of the conflict cycle, the importance of breaking silos, both at Headquarters and in the field, and the need to ensure national ownership and inclusivity, has important implications for the strategic priorities of the Peacebuilding Fund. In those resolutions, the Assembly and the Council welcomed the valuable work undertaken by the Fund as a catalytic, rapid-response and flexible pooled fund and recognized the need for United Nations peacebuilding efforts to have adequate, predictable and sustained financing.

3. With a view to replenishing the Peacebuilding Fund, a ministerial-level pledging conference was organized on the margins of the seventy-first session of the General Assembly in September 2016. The conference, co-hosted by the Governments of Kenya, the Netherlands, Mexico, the Republic of Korea, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sweden and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, received strong political support from 32 ministers for foreign affairs who backed the Fund’s approach and its contribution to sustaining peace. Notwithstanding this significant endorsement, the resulting $152.5 million in pledges fell short of the $300 million goal, the minimum amount needed to sustain operations for three years. As highlighted by the Deputy Secretary-General at the closing, the conference signified not the end but the beginning of efforts to secure adequate, predictable resources for the Fund. Such efforts include options for funding United Nations peacebuilding which will be outlined in my forthcoming report, mandated by the aforementioned resolutions, on sustaining peace.

4. During 2016, the Peacebuilding Support Office continued to warn that without predictable financing, it would not be able to sustain current levels of support, let alone meet growing demands. The Peacebuilding Fund allocated $70,956,966 million to 17 countries in 2016 (see table 1 on the Fund’s active portfolio). By contrast, it received $57,760,692 million in contributions. The conference and multiple reviews and external evaluations of the Fund have recognized the singular role it plays in ensuring strategic coherence and funding politically risky yet necessary endeavours. Such recognition will soon need to translate into predictable and sustainable financing if the Fund is to remain a reliable partner of States and societies committed to sustaining peace.

Yemen: Mixed Migration in the Horn of Africa & Yemen Region, (January 2017)

27 February 2017 - 10:12am
Source: Danish Refugee Council, Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat Country: Burundi, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Germany, Italy, Kenya, Libya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tunisia, United Republic of Tanzania, World, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Regional mixed migration summary for January 2017 covering mixed migration events, trends and data for Djibouti, Eritrea, South Sudan, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Puntland, Somalia, Somaliland and Yemen.

Terminology: Throughout this report the term migrant/refugee is used to cover all those involved in the mixed migration flows (including asylum seekers, trafficked persons, smuggled economic migrants, refugees). If the caseload mentioned refers only to refugees or asylum seekers or trafficked persons it will be clearly stated.

Yemen: Mixed Migration in the Horn of Africa & Yemen Region, January 2017

27 February 2017 - 9:58am
Source: Danish Refugee Council, Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat Country: Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tunisia, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, World, Yemen

Nigeria: Government of Belgium supports UNHAS in Nigeria and other emergencies in 2016/2017

27 February 2017 - 9:23am
Source: World Food Programme Country: Belgium, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, Yemen

BRUSSELS - Contributing a total of €6 million, the Belgian Development Cooperation (DGDC) has helped the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) provide crucial air transport services for the humanitarian community across Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria and Yemen in 2016 and will continue to support services through 2017.

The desperately needed funds were received just in time for UNHAS operations in Nigeria in 2016, where the complex emergency had reached a critical level. Since early 2012, insurgent activities across the country have resulted in a volatile security environment and caused widespread displacement of the population, particularly in the north-eastern states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe. Increased insecurity has disrupted food supply, seriously hindered access to basic services, and has limited agricultural activities leaving the population in need of shelter, food and other basic social services.

“The funding received from Belgium has allowed UNHAS Nigeria to continue flying and providing humanitarian access and assistance to the people who need it most,” said Eric Perdison, Chief of WFP Aviation Service. “Without UNHAS, the delivery of aid would be significantly more challenging, if not impossible, for humanitarian organizations on the ground.”

Vast distances, the unpredictable security situation and the dearth of commercial air service providers that meet UN Aviation Standards make aid delivery in Nigeria particularly difficult. UNHAS has enabled humanitarian organizations to access beneficiaries, effectively monitor their projects and also scale up activities in order to reach affected populations.

“To bring humanitarian assistance to the world’s most remote and challenging locations, you need sound logistics. That is why Belgium is supporting UNHAS. Without the efforts of UNHAS, the most vulnerable people would not have access to life-saving humanitarian assistance,” said Alexander De Croo, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation

Since the establishment of the operation in August 2015, the service has transported over 12,200 passengers and over 50,250 kg of cargo for more than 60 humanitarian entities, including NGOs such as International Rescue Committee (IRC), Action Contre la Faim (ACF), and Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).

Belgium’s contribution, alongside those of other international donors, enabled the operation in Nigeria to expand its fleet in 2016 with the addition of two helicopters, with the potential of a third helicopter soon. The use of helicopters is vital to effectively reach areas which are inaccessible by fixed-wing aircraft thereby increasing humanitarian access to vulnerable populations.

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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.

Follow us on Twitter @WFPLogistics

For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org):
Jane Howard, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39 06 65132321, Mob. +39 346 7600521
Gregory Barrow, WFP/London, Tel. +44 20 72409001, Mob. +44 7968 008474
Bettina Luescher, WFP/Geneva, Tel. +41 22 917 8564, Mob. + 41-79-842-8057

Yemen: ERC delivers medical supplies to Mocha Hospital in Yemen

27 February 2017 - 7:03am
Source: Emirates News Agency Country: Yemen

MOKHA: The Emirates Red Crescent, ERC, has delivered medical supplies including medicines and equipment to Mocha hospital in Yemen.

The assistance is part of a number of urgent humanitarian works carried out by the authority in war-affected areas of the Arab Republic in various service and development domains.

The aid also included medicines for children and newborn, other food assistance, special equipment for clinical examination of pregnant women and ambulatory medical care.

The ERC volunteers say that the aid is the second for Mocha Hospital, in line with authority's efforts to support the population after the end of war in the city. They hailed ERC's efforts to continue its generous support for various areas in Yemen, especially in the coastline stretching from Aden to Mocha. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -

Somalia: Over 100 Somali refugees fleeing conflict in Yemen arrive in Mogadishu

27 February 2017 - 6:33am
Source: United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia Country: Somalia, Yemen

Mogadishu, 23 February 2017 - One hundred and six Somali refugees returned to Somalia today after fleeing the ongoing conflict in Yemen.

The returnees, who consisted of the elderly, women and children, arrived at Mogadishu’s Aden Abdulle International Airport on Thursday morning on a commercial flight from Berbera, Somaliland, thus ending a difficult journey that began by boat in the Yemeni port of Aden.

Their return was facilitated by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), with the support of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The refugees’ arrival occurred three months after another group of 127 Somali evacuees was repatriated from Yemen last year.

The 106 returnees were received at the Airport by senior IOM and Federal Government of Somalia officials. They included the IOM Somalia Head of Operations and Emergencies Sam Grundy, the IOM Programme Manager Heidrun Salzer and the Commissioner of the Somalia National Commission for Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons, Ahmed Nur. More returnees are expected to arrive in Mogadishu in the coming days.

Some of the returning Somalis wept openly and thanked God for bringing them back home safely. They recounted the harrowing experiences they endured in Yemen, where many had originally sought refuge from Somalia’s civil war in the 1990s.

“We hated life in Yemen. It was bad, and we longed to return to our country to live with our people,” said Layla Mohamed Salah, 38, who spent 15 years in Yemen.

Aydurus Sharif Mohamed spent more than 20 years in Yemen, and he explained how hardship compounded by the deteriorating security situation in Yemen forced him to flee the capital Sana’a and move to other cities before returning to Somalia.

“There were a lot of clashes in Sana’a and intense aerial bombardments, which forced us to flee to Aden where we experienced a lot of difficulties,” said the 71-year-old returnee.

Mr. Grundy noted that security conditions in Aden had hampered efforts to evacuate more Somalis from the war-torn country.

“Given the deteriorating situation in Aden, (this has been) made possible by a very close partnership with the Government of Somalia and also UNHCR to make this happen. We have just heard from talking to the returnees that a much larger number are still there. The situation is getting worse, and they really do want to come back home,” the IOM official explained.

Mr. Nur hailed the safe arrival of the returnees, adding that their compatriots have welcomed them with open arms.

“They are saying that Yemen is worse in terms of security and livelihood, it’s much, much more risky than here. So with the assistance of the IOM as well as we hope UNHCR, they are better off, no doubt about this. As far as the government of Somalia, we always coordinate with international organizations, and we are prepared to assist more and more to return to their homeland,” he said.

The evacuees were taken to an IOM reception centre where they will receive more support to help them start a new life in Somalia.

IOM, the UN Migration Agency, is an intergovernmental organization that provides services and advice concerning migration to governments and migrants, including internally displaced persons, refugees, and migrant workers.

Yemen: Oxfam Yemen Situation Report #36, 31 January 2017

27 February 2017 - 5:42am
Source: Oxfam Country: Yemen

Humanitarian Context

Oxfam GB organized a Humanitarian Conference “Yemen Civil Society Event“ in London on 26 January, which focused on increasing the engagement of the international community and brought parties together to discuss issues effecting the humanitarian crisis and response in Yemen. Around 32 NGOs were able to take a part in the event by a video link in OCHA offices in Sana’a and Aden.

United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen, Jamie McGoldrick, stated that the Yemen aid appeal for 2017 will be launched in Geneva on 8 February and then a pledging conference will be organized on 20 March to collect about $2 billion to help the Yemeni people in need. He also stated that the civilian death toll in the nearly two‐year conflict has reached 7,400, with 40,000 others wounded.

According to WHO a cumulative number of 18,194 AWD/Cholera cases and 99 deaths were reported in 165 districts. Of these 8,869 are women, while 6,144 are children below 5 years.

Kenya: Kenya: Kakuma New Arrival Registration Trends 2017 (as of 26 Feb 2017)

26 February 2017 - 9:35pm
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees Country: Angola, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Yemen, Zimbabwe

An analysis based on actual persons registered in the UNHCR refugee database (proGres)

Kenya: Kenya: Kakuma Camp Population Statistics (as of 26 February 2017)

26 February 2017 - 9:32pm
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees Country: Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea, Kenya, Niger, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Yemen, Zimbabwe

Yemen: The IKEA Foundation calls on funders to step up and save lives in Yemen

26 February 2017 - 1:50pm
Source: Save the Children, Médecins Sans Frontières Country: Yemen

To enable Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and Save the Children to continue to save lives and protect children and families in Yemen, the IKEA Foundation has stepped forward to give a €2 million grant to Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and €500,000 to Save the Children.

Yemen is on the verge of social, economic and institutional collapse as a merciless war continues to rage. People are struggling to survive. Since the escalation of the conflict in March 2015, over two million people have fled their homes, putting host communities under pressure and leading to insufficient food and inadequate access to basic medical care for many.

“The IKEA Foundation is proud to support MSF and Save the Children’s work in Yemen, and it’s why we’re encouraging other funders to do the same. The international community has not done enough to prevent children and families in Yemen from suffering. If we don’t act now, the consequences are unthinkable”, says Per Heggenes, CEO of the IKEA Foundation.

For nearly two years, civilians and hospitals have been indiscriminately attacked. Hundreds of health facilities have stopped functioning due to airstrikes and shelling, or because of lack of funding, supplies and staff. MSF is working in Ibb governorate – one just 20km from the frontline – where, in addition to treating trauma patients, teams are also performing surgery, providing maternal and paediatric care, and are responding to outbreaks of disease.

“The war in Yemen has created a countrywide humanitarian crisis”, says Bruno Jochum, General Director of MSF. “Yet this emergency remains largely forgotten. Through this grant, the IKEA Foundation is giving financial support to our emergency action on the ground, and its backing of our life-saving medical action is recognition that more needs to be done urgently.”

With the IKEA Foundation’s funding, Save the Children will focus on helping the most vulnerable children in Sana’a and Amran governorates. They will provide food baskets and help caregivers understand how best to nourish children under two. Mobile child-protection teams will be created, and support will be given to children who have become separated from their families. Save the Children will also provide psychosocial support to children and caregivers who have directly experienced violence.

Grant Pritchard, Save the Children’s Deputy Country Director in Yemen, said: “Bombs are landing on homes, they are landing on schools, and they are landing on hospitals, resulting in the displacement of nearly 1 million children and the needless loss of nearly 1,500 innocent children’s lives while thousands more have been maimed since the conflict escalated. We are grateful for the support from the IKEA Foundation, which will do much to improve the lives of thousands of hungry, malnourished and vulnerable children. And I hope that other donors will follow the IKEA Foundation’s example, given the catastrophic humanitarian crisis we are witnessing on the ground.”

Yemen’s children are at the heart of one of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Save the Children estimates that ten million children urgently need help. According to the organisation, one Yemeni child dies every ten minutes from preventable killers like diarrhoea, malnutrition and respiratory tract infection. Over two million children are malnourished—and the number is rising.

The IKEA Foundation hopes that other funders will follow their example, to ensure that the people of Yemen get the help they need.

Notes to editors

About the IKEA Foundation

The IKEA Foundation (Stichting IKEA Foundation) is the philanthropic arm of INGKA Foundation, the owner of the IKEA Group of companies. We aim to improve opportunities for children and youth in some of the world’s poorest communities by funding holistic, long-term programmes that can create substantial, lasting change. The IKEA Foundation works with strong strategic partners applying innovative approaches to achieve large-scale results in four fundamental areas of a child’s life: a place to call home; a healthy start in life; a quality education; and a sustainable family income, while helping these communities fight and cope with climate change. Learn more at www.ikeafoundation.org and www.facebook.com/IKEAfoundation.

About MSF

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international, independent, medical humanitarian organisation that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural disasters and exclusion from healthcare. MSF offers assistance to people based on need, irrespective of race, religion, gender or political affiliation. Learn more at www.msf.org/en/about-msf

About Save the Children

Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. Around the world, we work every day to give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. When crisis strikes, and children are most vulnerable, we are always among the first to respond and the last to leave. We ensure children’s unique needs are met and their voices are heard. We deliver lasting results for millions of children, including those hardest to reach. We do whatever it takes for children – every day and in times of crisis – transforming their lives and the future we share. Learn more by visiting: www.savethechildren.net

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For further information, please contact:

Radu Dumitrascu, IKEA Foundation: Tel +31 65 569 8570
Emma Amadò, Médecins Sans Frontières: Tel +41 79 240 0871
Suzanne Standfast, Save the Children + 46 70 780 16 06

Yemen: Yemen Situation - 2017 Funding Update as of 21 February 2017

25 February 2017 - 9:09pm
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees Country: Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen

123.8 M required for 2017

4.3 M contributions received, representing 3% of requirements

119.5 M funding gap for the Yemen Situation

All figures are displayed in USD

Yemen: Escalating Conflict on Yemen’s Western Coast - Flash Update # 2 | 25 February 2017 [EN/AR]

25 February 2017 - 5:51am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Yemen

Key messages

  • Escalation of conflict on Yemen’s Western Coast has resulted in significant civilian casualties and large scale displacement, further aggravating the humanitarian situation.

  • Over 44,000 people have recently fled the conflict throughout Taizz Governorate, including at least 25,000 from Al Mukha and Dhubab districts.

  • Protection concerns persist for those still residing in areas of active conflict, including Al Mukha City and neighbouring villages.

  • Humanitarians have scaled-up their response efforts to meet the needs of the displaced and those hosting them.

Situation overview

The military operation on the Western Coast continues to intensify, with frontlines shifting north of Al Mukha City. The conflict has resulted in at least 25,000 people fleeing the districts of Al Mukha and Dhubab in search of safety. During the same period, over 44,000 people have been displaced throughout Taizz Governorate.

The displaced are mainly fleeing within Taizz Governorate or to the governorates of Al Hudaydah,
Lahj, Ibb, Aden and Al Dhale’e. Most of Al Mukha’s population has now fled the town, with reports indicating that there are only between 80 and 300 families remaining. The remaining are unable to flee due to the costs of transportation, with displaced families indicating that they had to pay as much as US$200 for transportation to other villages within the district.
Significant protection concerns remain in Al Mukha City as clashes persist and basic services are disrupted.

The main hospital is functioning at minimum capacity and there are reports of scores of dead bodies in the street. As fighting reaches Yakhtul, a village further north of Al Mukha City, reports of civilian casualties and displacement increase.

Some displaced families are renting accommodation, although most are staying with friends and relatives, residing in public buildings, including schools, or staying out in the open. They fled with minimal items or supplies and are in urgent need of food and non-food items (NFIs), shelter, safe water and health care.
Some displaced families have also highlighted the trauma they face as a result of the conflict, including the loss of loved ones and the destruction of their homes.

Humanitarian Response

In response, humanitarian clusters have scaled up their operations across six governorates.

Shelter/NFI/Camp Coordination Camp Management (CCCM) Cluster: IOM, UNHCR and ACTED have distributed NFIs and emergency shelter assistance to 1,544 displaced households (HHs) in Al Dhale'e (Al Azariq and Al Hussein districts), Lahj (Al Madaribah Wa Al Arah district) and Al Hudaydah (Al Garrahi and Al Khawkhah districts) governorates. Additionally, cluster partners are assessing the situation in the 28 districts hosting displaced families in Taizz, Al Hudaydah and Aden governorates, with the aim of assisting close to 6,000 households.

Water and Sanitation Cluster: WASH partners, including UNICEF, NRC, NM, SCI, IR, TYF, Oxfam, ACF and SCI, have provided assistance to some 1,179 HHs in Al Hudaydah, Taizz and Lahj governorates. The interventions include distribution of hygiene kits, water filters, water purification tablets, water storage tanks and NFIs. Additionally, UNICEF has provided fuel to local water authorities for water pumping to Al Mukha City, and carried out rehabilitation work in Al Khawkhah district of Al Hudayadah Governorate in collaboration with the General Authority for Rural Water Supply and Sanitation. Cluster partners are planning to reach an additional 10,477 households with emergency WASH interventions in the districts hosting displaced families.

Food Security and Agriculture Cluster (FSAC): A total of 3,540 displaced households were covered through general food distribution in Taizz (Al Mukha and As Silw districts) and in Al Hudaydah (Al Garrahi, Al Khawkhah, At Tuhayat, Hays, Jabal Ras, Zabid, Bayt Alfaqiah and Almaraweah districts) governorates.

Health Cluster: WHO is supporting health facilities in Taizz Governorate (Al Mukha and Maqbanah districts) and in Al Hudaydah Governorate (Al Garrahi, Hays, and Bayt Alfaqiah districts), which includes the provision of trauma bags, emergency health kits and the distribution of anti-malarial drugs and rapid test kits.
Additionally, IOM deployed mobile health teams in Al Madaribah Wa Al Arah district in Lahj Governorate and WHO/YFCA are supplying medicines for YFCA mobile teams in Al Mukha City. ACF is planning to deploy mobile health teams in Al Garrahi and Jabal Ras districts of Al Hudaydah governorates, and SCI is extending operations at the Diarrhea Treatment Centre in Bayt Alfaqiah district to support IDPs and the host community. Health partners are also focusing on trauma care in conflict affected areas and general health interventions to IDPs (e.g. Acute Watery Diarrhea, Malaria and respiratory infections). Response efforts, including the provision of medical supplies and the deployment of mobile teams, are being scaled up in the southern districts of Al Hudaydah including Hays, Jabal Ras and Al Khawkha.

Protection Cluster: Cluster partners provided assistance to 415 households in Aden and Lahj Governorates including legal and psychosocial support and cash assistance.
In addition to clusters partners, humanitarian organizations from Gulf countries have responded in Al Mukha and Dhubab districts with food and NFI distributions, fuel provision for water schemes and medicines for health facilities.

For further information, please contact:
George Khoury, Head of Office, khoury@un.org
Andrew J. Alspach, Deputy Head of Office, Amman Hub, alspach@un.org
Bruce Koepe, OCHA New York, Coordination and Response Division, koepke@un.org, Tel: +1 917 367 6288
OCHA humanitarian bulletins are available at www.unocha.org/yemen | www.unocha.org | www.reliefweb.int

Yemen: Escalating Conflict on Yemen’s Western Coast - Flash Update # 2 | 25 February 2017

25 February 2017 - 5:51am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Yemen

Key messages

  • Escalation of conflict on Yemen’s Western Coast has resulted in significant civilian casualties and large scale displacement, further aggravating the humanitarian situation.

  • Over 44,000 people have recently fled the conflict throughout Taizz Governorate, including at least 25,000 from Al Mukha and Dhubab districts.

  • Protection concerns persist for those still residing in areas of active conflict, including Al Mukha City and neighbouring villages.

  • Humanitarians have scaled-up their response efforts to meet the needs of the displaced and those hosting them.

Situation overview

The military operation on the Western Coast continues to intensify, with frontlines shifting north of Al Mukha City. The conflict has resulted in at least 25,000 people fleeing the districts of Al Mukha and Dhubab in search of safety. During the same period, over 44,000 people have been displaced throughout Taizz Governorate.

The displaced are mainly fleeing within Taizz Governorate or to the governorates of Al Hudaydah,
Lahj, Ibb, Aden and Al Dhale’e. Most of Al Mukha’s population has now fled the town, with reports indicating that there are only between 80 and 300 families remaining. The remaining are unable to flee due to the costs of transportation, with displaced families indicating that they had to pay as much as US$200 for transportation to other villages within the district.
Significant protection concerns remain in Al Mukha City as clashes persist and basic services are disrupted.

The main hospital is functioning at minimum capacity and there are reports of scores of dead bodies in the street. As fighting reaches Yakhtul, a village further north of Al Mukha City, reports of civilian casualties and displacement increase.

Some displaced families are renting accommodation, although most are staying with friends and relatives, residing in public buildings, including schools, or staying out in the open. They fled with minimal items or supplies and are in urgent need of food and non-food items (NFIs), shelter, safe water and health care.
Some displaced families have also highlighted the trauma they face as a result of the conflict, including the loss of loved ones and the destruction of their homes.

Humanitarian Response

In response, humanitarian clusters have scaled up their operations across six governorates.

Shelter/NFI/Camp Coordination Camp Management (CCCM) Cluster: IOM, UNHCR and ACTED have distributed NFIs and emergency shelter assistance to 1,544 displaced households (HHs) in Al Dhale'e (Al Azariq and Al Hussein districts), Lahj (Al Madaribah Wa Al Arah district) and Al Hudaydah (Al Garrahi and Al Khawkhah districts) governorates. Additionally, cluster partners are assessing the situation in the 28 districts hosting displaced families in Taizz, Al Hudaydah and Aden governorates, with the aim of assisting close to 6,000 households.

Water and Sanitation Cluster: WASH partners, including UNICEF, NRC, NM, SCI, IR, TYF, Oxfam, ACF and SCI, have provided assistance to some 1,179 HHs in Al Hudaydah, Taizz and Lahj governorates. The interventions include distribution of hygiene kits, water filters, water purification tablets, water storage tanks and NFIs. Additionally, UNICEF has provided fuel to local water authorities for water pumping to Al Mukha City, and carried out rehabilitation work in Al Khawkhah district of Al Hudayadah Governorate in collaboration with the General Authority for Rural Water Supply and Sanitation. Cluster partners are planning to reach an additional 10,477 households with emergency WASH interventions in the districts hosting displaced families.

Food Security and Agriculture Cluster (FSAC): A total of 3,540 displaced households were covered through general food distribution in Taizz (Al Mukha and As Silw districts) and in Al Hudaydah (Al Garrahi, Al Khawkhah, At Tuhayat, Hays, Jabal Ras, Zabid, Bayt Alfaqiah and Almaraweah districts) governorates.

Health Cluster: WHO is supporting health facilities in Taizz Governorate (Al Mukha and Maqbanah districts) and in Al Hudaydah Governorate (Al Garrahi, Hays, and Bayt Alfaqiah districts), which includes the provision of trauma bags, emergency health kits and the distribution of anti-malarial drugs and rapid test kits.
Additionally, IOM deployed mobile health teams in Al Madaribah Wa Al Arah district in Lahj Governorate and WHO/YFCA are supplying medicines for YFCA mobile teams in Al Mukha City. ACF is planning to deploy mobile health teams in Al Garrahi and Jabal Ras districts of Al Hudaydah governorates, and SCI is extending operations at the Diarrhea Treatment Centre in Bayt Alfaqiah district to support IDPs and the host community. Health partners are also focusing on trauma care in conflict affected areas and general health interventions to IDPs (e.g. Acute Watery Diarrhea, Malaria and respiratory infections). Response efforts, including the provision of medical supplies and the deployment of mobile teams, are being scaled up in the southern districts of Al Hudaydah including Hays, Jabal Ras and Al Khawkha.

Protection Cluster: Cluster partners provided assistance to 415 households in Aden and Lahj Governorates including legal and psychosocial support and cash assistance.
In addition to clusters partners, humanitarian organizations from Gulf countries have responded in Al Mukha and Dhubab districts with food and NFI distributions, fuel provision for water schemes and medicines for health facilities.

For further information, please contact:
George Khoury, Head of Office, khoury@un.org
Andrew J. Alspach, Deputy Head of Office, Amman Hub, alspach@un.org
Bruce Koepe, OCHA New York, Coordination and Response Division, koepke@un.org, Tel: +1 917 367 6288
OCHA humanitarian bulletins are available at www.unocha.org/yemen | www.unocha.org | www.reliefweb.int

South Sudan: Famine in Africa: Switzerland pledges CHF 15 million to support emergency relief

24 February 2017 - 1:01pm
Source: Government of Switzerland Country: Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Switzerland, Yemen

Switzerland has pledged to take direct action to help populations facing starvation, especially in South Sudan. The decision follows a call issued by the United Nations Secretary-General on 22 February 2017. Swiss Humanitarian Aid, a department of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), is to release CHF 15 million from its fund for humanitarian emergencies for countries hit by famine in the beginning of this year.

“Switzerland is calling for the rapid mobilisation of aid. Some 100,000 people are already facing starvation in South Sudan, and famine looms in other countries in the region,” declared Didier Burkhalter, head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. The funds released by Switzerland are earmarked for humanitarian efforts in South Sudan, where the situation is most critical, and in Somalia, Nigeria and Yemen, which are also on the brink of famine. The funds will be divided among a range of programmes and humanitarian organisations working on the ground in these regions, where the lack of food security could affect more than 20 million people by summer 2017 if nothing is done.

South Sudan not only suffered a drought in 2016 but it also has also been in the grip of civil war for the last three years, which has driven 3.5 million people from their homes. The country is now facing a food crisis on an unprecedented scale. Switzerland has been working in this region for several years. “The threat of famine has been looming over this country for quite some time now. Swiss Humanitarian Aid has regularly stepped up its efforts in response to growing needs on the ground,” explains André Huber, head of the Africa Division of Swiss Humanitarian Aid. Work on the ground, which is coordinated by the Swiss Humanitarian Aid office in the capital Juba, aims to offer long-term support and assistance to communities affected by conflict and adverse climate conditions.

The CHF 15 million released from the emergency aid fund is on top of the CHF 50 million in humanitarian aid which the SDC already provides in these four countries. The 2017 budget for South Sudan, which totals CHF 20 million, will fund efforts in the water and civilian protection sectors, as well as projects to improve food security and livelihoods. A share will also be allocated to the ICRC and to UN agencies, such as the World Food Programme and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, to support their operations on the ground. Swiss Humanitarian Aid itself runs a programme in Aweil, a city in the north of the country, which aims to provide the local population with access to drinking water and sanitation. Switzerland’s contribution will also support NGOs distributing food and providing medical care.

The Secretary-General warned that urgent action is needed to prevent more people dying of hunger, adding that the timely delivery of sustained and adequate assistance could improve the situation within a few months and mitigate further suffering.

Address for enquiries:

Information FDFA Bundeshaus West CH-3003 Bern Tel.: +41 58 462 31 53 Fax: +41 58 464 90 47 E-Mail: info@eda.admin.ch

World: Watch List 2017, Special Report N°3 | 24 February 2017

24 February 2017 - 11:38am
Source: International Crisis Group Country: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Chad, Libya, Mali, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, Somalia, Syrian Arab Republic, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), World, Yemen

Global Overview

Whether unprecedented or not, the challenges currently facing our global security are immense and cause for considerable alarm. It is difficult to think of a time in recent history when there has been such a confluence of destabilising factors – local, regional and global – hindering collective capacity to better manage violence. These overlapping risks, unchecked, could coalesce into a major crisis – indeed we are currently experiencing a spike in global conflict violence – without the safety net of solid structures to deal with it.

When Crisis Group was founded, its premise was that bringing field-based expert analysis to the attention of (principally) Western policymakers could effect positive change in both preventing and ending situations of deadly conflict. Much of that premise still holds, but for us, as for others, it is no longer sufficient: the West can no longer be viewed either as homogenous or an oasis of tranquility. Increasingly, too, its self-projected image as an unalloyed force for good is becoming exposed. Greater efforts are needed, and urgently, both to understand better the growing dangers of conflict seeping from one arena to another; and to engage a broader array of actors with the capacity to effect positive change.

This document seeks to do two things. First, it aims to highlight those conflicts which Crisis Group believes threaten to worsen significantly unless remedial action is taken. Inevitably perhaps, the countries selected represent a partial snapshot. For that reason we place them explicitly in their regional contexts. But even so, strong arguments can be made for the inclusion of others: examples include Afghanistan, Ukraine, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the South China Sea and Democratic Republic of Congo. A case could be made, too, for the Western Balkans, perhaps, or Central Asian states. That we could provide a rival, equally valid list is itself cause for concern. For each conflict, we seek to indicate the contours of possible policy responses based on ground-up analysis. In putting forward tentative prescriptions, our principal target is the European Union (EU), its institutions and member states, whether working directly or in conjunction with others. An underlying premise of this report is our belief that the EU has the potential – indeed faces an imperative – to bring to bear all the tools at its disposal fully to do its bit, in concert with others, to preserve the threatened field of conflict prevention.

Second, the list can be read as one document. Percolating through it are the range of interlinked dangers and stresses that makes this era so perilous. Essentially, these can be distilled down to three. First, an increasing fusion of the domestic with the international. Second, a sense of crisis overload. And third, growing uncertainty about hitherto assumed structures and institutions to collectively manage danger.

All ten conflicts possess international dimensions, in many instances overwhelmingly so. In such crowded landscapes – with a multitude of actors and equally broad range of motivations – navigating a route to peace becomes immeasurably more difficult. The growing prevalence of non-state armed groups and in some instances their propensity to fracture, together with the blending of licit and illicit economies, churns yet more this complex terrain. This increasing fusion of local and global is reflected further in heightened nationalism and ideological dogmatism, with – as things stand – the triumph of policies designed to cater to short-term tactical imperatives as much if not more than preserving or ensuring long-term stability. This can be seen in burgeoning intolerance to the mass movement of people, as actions are taken to stem or push back the flow without trying adequately to address the reasons why such movement is underway on such an unprecedented scale.

It can be witnessed in the resort to muscular security responses that can neither fully contain the threat nor address its underlying causes. And it is manifested in some actors resorting too readily to the rallying cry of counter- terrorism, with its playbook of repressive measures and eschewing the very inclusivity invariably essential to sustained peace. In the balance between soft and hard power, the latter currently is dominant.

All this, of course, is playing out against – and in part driven by – a growing diffusion of power globally. This in and of itself is not a bad thing, but the uncertainties such a shift throws up are cause for concern. Further, the stresses to which Europe is currently exposed; the revival of geopolitics; and uncertainty about the future direction of the trans-Atlantic alliance and the underlying commitment to the UN of its traditional power-brokers, represent significant challenges to hitherto durable assumptions about the role of international institutions and law, and the web of alliances built up in the past 70 years. So far so gloomy (and without touching on climate change or demographic trends). But this report also, we believe, contains within it ideas which might contribute to a needed course correction. In essence, it constitutes a call to learn old lessons amid these new dynamics.

What, in particular, might this mean for the EU? We posit two broad observations, outlined in more detail in the following pages. They sit on top of an underlying imperative to ensure that through their actions the EU and its member states do not contribute to generating further harm. In many instances where room for positive change is currently heavily circumscribed, avoiding worse constitutes progress.

First, we seek to identify what Europe’s leverage is with regards to specific conflicts and regions. Often it is indirect, but no less important for that. Frequently, too, we suggest it will involve maximising opportunities presented of shared interests and a division of responsibilities in their pursuit. In this regard, as in all others, speaking with as unified a voice as possible is imperative: dissonance can be exploited. Providing maximum support to the new UN Secretary-General in his efforts to revive that organisation’s work in conflict prevention must also be a priority.

Second, in virtually every crisis we cite, a better balance is required between the desire for quick impact and the need to put in place sustainable solutions. The two need not be at odds with each other – we should reject the notion that it is a binary choice. But it will require Europe to speak out more clearly in defence of core values – in deed, not simply rhetoric; to make clear that its humanitarian and development assistance is for those most in need, not solely for the pursuit of political ends; to nudge conflict parties toward pursuing peace through inclusive dialogue, not simply force; and to prioritise the pursuit of better models of governance, the absence of which is at the root of so many of today’s conflicts.

To some these may appear as thin reeds on which to float notions of charting a more positive course. But in the current atmosphere of uncertainty, through articulating clear, principled and strategic goals and how, tactically, it will seek to work toward them in conjunction with others, Europe has the opportunity to make a significant contribution toward a more stable and peaceful future. by dialogues with other regional organisations to develop an understanding

World: WHO’s work in emergencies - 2016: the year in review, December 2016

24 February 2017 - 10:59am
Source: World Health Organization Country: Afghanistan, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, World, Yemen

Overview

76 million
people in need of aid as a result of emergencies – almost 60% of all people-in-need globally

30 million
people displaced (internally and in neighboring countries) as a result of conflict and natural disasters

7 graded emergencies
directly and indirectly affecting a total of 14 countries

Protracted emergencies
in Somalia and Sudan

H5N1, MERS CoV, Polio
health security threats currently in the Region

The Eastern Mediterranean Region experienced continued deterioration of the humanitarian and health situation in 2016. As conflict raged in a number of countries, tens of thousands of men, women and children were killed and injured, hundreds of thousands were besieged and deprived of basic aid, and millions more were forced to flee their homes.

From children injured by explosive weapons, to pregnant women unable to give birth in a safe setting, to cancer patients deprived of essential treatment, more than 66 million people in the Region are affected by some of the world’s most violent and longstanding humanitarian crises.

In countries facing conflict and ongoing violence, the operating environment for humanitarian actors remained volatile, with fragile security, limited access, threats to and attacks on health care workers, and increased social and economic challenges increasing humanitarian needs.

1. Strengthening partnerships to reach all people in need

Limited access as a result of ongoing conflict and insecurity in a number of countries in the Region has resulted in WHO exploring more innovative ways to reach populations in need. This included expanding and strengthening collaboration and coordination with local health partners who have greater access to vulnerable affected populations in areas that international agencies find hard to reach.

The year 2016 marked the first time in several years that WHO was able to reach all 18 besieged areas in Syria. This was made possible only through OCHA-supported inter-agency convoys and WHO’s strong partnerships with more than 140 international partners and local nongovernmental organizations. Through its hubs in Syria (Damascus), Turkey (Gaziantep) and Jordan (Amman) WHO and partners engaged in essential cross-line and cross-border humanitarian responses that covered all parts of the country, taking the most direct route to people in need, regardless of geographical location or political affiliation.

During the military operations in Eastern Aleppo, WHO played a key role in negotiations with all parties to the conflict and developed a comprehensive medical evacuation plan designed to save the lives of hundreds of wounded and critically ill patients trapped inside the city. Finally, after months of negotiations for safe access and several failed cease-fires, on 15 December, the long-awaited evacuations began. As WHO and other UN staff monitored the operation, 811 wounded and critically ill patients were successfully transported to hospitals in Western Aleppo, Idleb and cross-border to Turkey. WHO delivered health supplies to hospitals treating the wounded and deployed ambulances for referrals. WHO-supported mobile clinics located along the evacuation route and in collective shelters for displaced persons provided essential primary health care services, mental health screening, nutrition screening to tens of thousands people.

As military operations intensified in Iraq, partnerships with local heath actors were enhanced. This allowed WHO to reach populations in some inaccessible areas as well as in newly accessible areas in and around Anbar and Mosul. WHO-supported mobile medical clinics and mobile medical teams were sometimes the first to reach newly accessible areas to deliver health care services to thousands of people who had been cut off from aid since June 2014.

Despite several failed cease-fires in Yemen, in early 2016 WHO was able to deliver much-needed medicines and medical supplies to Taiz city, where more than 250,000 people had been living for months in a state of virtual siege. WHO provided trauma kits, interagency emergency health kits, diarrhoeal disease kits, intravenous fluids, as well as oxygen cylinders to five main hospitals that were struggling to function amid dwindling supplies.