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Yemen: Humanitarian coordinator in Yemen, Jamie McGoldrick, statement on the humanitarian situation in Yemen two years into the escalation of the conflict [EN/AR]

3 hours 39 min ago
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Yemen

Sana'a, 28 March 2017

Two years of relentless conflict in Yemen have devastated the lives of millions of people. An alarming 18.8 million of them- almost two thirds of the population- need some kind of humanitarian or protection support. This man-made disaster has been brutal on civilians. Some seven million women, children, and men could be put at risk by famine in 2017.

Ordinary Yemenis are bearing the brunt of a conflict which is not theirs; caused by warring parties who are conducting themselves in a manner that totally disregards their responsibilities to do their upmost to protect civilians while they wage a war that is pushing Yemen further into despair. Over 50,000 civilians have been killed, injured or maimed. Atrocities, including at least 1,540 children killed; 2,450 children injured; and over 1,550 children recruited to fight or to perform military related duties have been reported. Hundreds of people have been killed in mosques, markets, funeral wakes, schools and hospitals.

Deliberate military tactics to shred the economy have moved an already weak and impoverished country towards social, economic, and institutional collapse. Half of the population lack access to basic healthcare. Thousands have died from preventable diseases, which shockingly include one child every ten minutes. With malnutrition amongst children at an all-time high and at least two million children out of school, the conflict and its consequences is jeopardizing future generations in Yemen More than eleven per cent of Yemen’s entire population has been forced to move from their homes in search of safety and livelihoods. One million of these people have sought to return to their areas of origin only to find destruction and lack of opportunities to re-start their lives.

Prolonged displacement and the lack of sustainable return options are putting people in greater jeopardy, as humanitarians struggle to meet their daily needs and host families deplete their resources. In the past few weeks alone, intensified fighting in Yemen’s Western Coast has forced more than 48,000 people to move.

A continuation of this conflict only increases the suffering across Yemen and makes matters worse.
Despite the lack of money and adequate humanitarian access, humanitarian partners have provided coordinated aid to millions of people across Yemen’s 22 governorates during the past two years. Donors can now help us avert this humanitarian catastrophe, including famine, by funding the US$2.1 billion requirement to help deliver life-saving food, nutrition, water, shelter and protection support to over 12 million people that are in desperate need of help.

Granting humanitarians safe and unhindered access to those in need and safe movement to those seeking assistance is also something I call on all warring parties to ensure.

The people of Yemen have suffered long enough and no humanitarian response can meet the increasing needs that the war is causing. Only peace can end the suffering and I continue to call on all the parties to return to the negotiating table and to make effective their responsibilities to civilians across Yemen. The time has come for the warring parties to place the very people they claim to be fighting for at the center of their concerns and end the fighting.

For further information, please contact:
George Khoury, Head of OCHA Yemen, khouryg@un.org, Tel +967 712 222 207 Ahmed Ben Lassoued, Public Information Officer, benlassoued@un.org, Tel. +967 712 222 855 OCHA press releases are available at www.unocha.org or www.reliefweb.int.

Yemen: Displaced people in Ibb governorate afflicted by severe poverty and serious health risks

5 hours 17 min ago
Source: World Health Organization Country: Yemen

Zafaran, a displaced woman from Taiz City, has been forced to sell the only mat in her cramped room to pay to refill a small cooking gas cylinder. For her, sitting on the concrete floor is less painful than keeping her two children hungry.

“When the bombings intensified in our neighborhood, we fled barefoot and we couldn’t even bring any clothes with us. We took shelter in a school but a few days later we were asked to leave and we ended up in this crowded place in Ibb,” Zafaran recalled.

“We are not only deprived of food, decent accommodation and jobs, but we are also suffering from diseases that require expensive medicines and regular visits to hospitals.”

“I never imagined that one day I would have to beg in the streets to allow myself and my family to survive,” she said, bursting into tears. “All I want now is decent accommodation and food rations.”

Zafaran is one of more than 500,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) who fled from Taiz, representing one quarter of all IDPs in Yemen.

A two-year-old conflict in Yemen has impoverished millions of Yemenis, including more than 2 million internally displaced people who are still unable to return their homes. Poor sanitation and limited access to safe water have exacerbated their health situation, causing an increase in skin infections like scabies and growing numbers of cases of acute watery diarrhea. Upper respiratory tract infections and vector borne illnesses like dengue and malaria are more easily transmitted in the cramped, insanitary conditions the IDPs are living in.

The displacement of populations in Ibb and other governorates has also overloaded the public health facilities.

The demand for services from Dialysis Centre in Al-Thawra Hospital in Ibb governorate is now far beyond the centre’s capacity and it is overwhelmed with more than 200 new kidney failure patients who have been displaced from Taiz. Other departments, including pediatrics and emergency obstetrics are offering free-of-charge health services for IDPs, adding a greater financial burden to the already weakened public hospitals and health facilities.

“Many internally displaced people have fled the brutal conflict to find themselves living in abject poverty and harsh health conditions,” said Dr Nevio Zagaria, WHO Acting Representative for Yemen.

“The situation of these IDPs has been exacerbated by a disrupted health system and insecurity, as well as through inadequate access to safe water. We are working with health partners to provide basic health services and essential medicines to health facilities to help them cope with the pressing health needs of IDPs and other patients.”

New IDPs from Al-Mokha

Over the past two months, thousands of IDPs have fled the intense fighting which erupted in Al-Mokha City.

“We’ve lived in starvation, fear and poverty. While fleeing, we witnessed bodies on the ground and watched apache helicopters flying above us,” said Aisha Ali, who fled to Ibb and is now living with 8 individuals in a tent cluttered by unclean kitchen utensils, worn clothes and empty tins.

“We used to live at subsistence level, but now we have no home, no food and even no clean water. For the first time, we had to drink seawater and now we are eating the remnants of food from restaurants,” said Aisha.

“Everyone in this tent is plagued with several diseases. Our children are suffering from diarrhea, vomiting, scabies and fever. Diseases are rapidly spreading among us.”

In another tent, Waseem Kulaib, a fisherman from Al-Mokha, has also fled the war with the 4 members of his family and cannot afford to buy medicines to alleviate his colon and stomach pains.

“It kills me to see my children hungry and sick while I’m unable to help them. The war has totally humiliated and paralyzed us,” he said.

While hospitals and health facilities are providing free health consultations to IDPs there are costs related to travelling to and from the facilities and to buying the medicines prescribed by health specialists. These associated costs are often too much to be covered by the little money available to a family and discourage many from seeking health care.

WHO has scaled up its presence in Ibb governorate, host to over 134,00 IDPs, to help it meet the needs of health facilities there that are struggling to offer services.

“Despite the huge support provided by WHO for the health system, much more support is urgently needed to respond to the dire health needs of millions of people in Yemen, including vulnerable IDPs,” said Dr Zagaria.

Yemen: Oxfam Yemen Situation Report #37, 15 February 2017

8 hours 22 min ago
Source: Oxfam Country: Yemen

Humanitarian Context

  • The current level of hunger in Yemen is unprecedented with the number of food insecure people rising by three million in seven months. Nationwide, 65% of Yemeni households now estimated to be food insecure (of which nearly 30% severely), compared to 41% during pre‐ crisis period (2014). About 7.3 million people are anticipated to require emergency food assistance. Total food insecure population estimated to be over 17 million.

  • As of 31 January 2017, a cumulative number of 18,848 AWD/Cholera cases and 99 deaths (CFR 0.5%) were re‐ported in 165 districts. Of these 9192 (49%) are women, while 6,335 (34%) are children below 5 years. Oxfam continues to deliver hygiene kits in key areas including Aden and Taiz and has a number of related projects including clearance of solid waste as well as Aden Local Water and Sanitation Corporation (LWSC) in the rehabilitation of sewerage system.

  • The impact of the ongoing conflict‐induced crisis has been devastating for the country, aggravating an already deteriorating pre‐conflict economic performance with serious impacts on food imports, transportation network and market supply, and hence on prices of both imported staples and locally produced commodities. This pushes up prices and is having a critical effect on the ability to access basic needs, especially when coupled with failure to pay the salaries of civil servants and the challenges of Yemen’s Central Bank following the move to Aden.

Nigeria: Norway increases famine response to NOK 673 million

8 hours 40 min ago
Source: Government of Norway Country: Nigeria, Norway, Somalia, South Sudan, Yemen

More than 20 million people in four countries are on the brink of famine. 'We are facing the worst humanitarian catastrophe in the history of the UN. Nearly 1.4 million children are at risk of starving to death. Norway is therefore increasing its support for life-saving emergency aid and food security to a total of NOK 673 million,' said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.

The UN has launched an appeal for USD 4.4 billion to fight famine in Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and north-eastern Nigeria. Norway has already provided NOK 324 million this year, and is now stepping up its response by providing an additional NOK 349 million. These funds will be channelled through the UN, the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement, and Norwegian humanitarian organisations.

'We must act now to save lives. The security situation makes it difficult to get help quickly and efficiently to those in need. We call on the authorities and all parties in the areas affected by hunger and famine to grant civilians immediate access to humanitarian relief,' Mr Brende said.

Norway is closely following the situation in Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and Nigeria and will consider the need for further support on an ongoing basis.

'We must do all we can to prevent this type of catastrophe developing in future. What these four countries have in common is ongoing armed conflicts and frequent attacks on civilians. Underlying causes include widespread poverty, poor governance and climate change that affects food production. The international community must do more to strengthen the national authorities' ability to prevent new crises. These countries need to create stability and security for their citizens, find political solutions to their problems, and provide conditions that make it possible for people to work and to get enough food,' said Mr Brende.

In February, Norway hosted an international conference for Nigeria and the Lake Chad region to increase awareness of the crisis. Norway will provide NOK 1.6 billion in aid to this region over a period of three years. Norway is one of the largest contributors to the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (Cerf), which is an important channel for ensuring a rapid response to humanitarian crises. Norway also provides humanitarian support and long-term aid through the UN and the World Bank to the countries in the Nigeria and the Lake Chad region. Norway will participate at the donor conference for Yemen on 25 April.

Yemen: March 28 – Health situation in Yemen

9 hours 43 min ago
Source: World Health Organization Country: Yemen

March 28 – Health situation in Yemen

  • Almost 18.8 million people are in need of humanitarian aid and 14.8 million people have no access to health care services. This includes more than 2 million people who have been internally displaced.
  • Fighting continues in parts of Taiz, Marib, Al-Jawf Hajjah and Sana'a governorates, impeding delivery of health services and transportation of life-saving medicines and medical supplies.
  • Almost 14.5 million people lack access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene services, increasing the risk of infectious diseases such as acute watery diarrhoea, malaria and scabies.
  • Sana'a International Airport is still closed, depriving thousands of Yemenis from departing from or arriving in Sana'a. This includes some patients with cancer and other chronic diseases.
  • From 19 March 2015 to 28 February 2017, a total of 7719 conflict-related deaths and 42 922 injuries were reported from health facilities in conflict-affected governorates. The number of deaths is believed to be higher given that this figure only captures data reported by health facilities.

Health concerns

  • Despite huge support from WHO and health partners, there are still serious shortages of medicines and medical supplies, especially in the most affected governorates. Providing surgical care to the injured is challenging due to critical shortages of specialized health staff amid a financial crisis and lack of operational budget in the Ministry of Health.
  • Medicines for diabetes, hypertension, cancer and other chronic diseases are in short supply and there are acute shortages in critical medical supplies – trauma kits, medicines, blood bags and other necessities.
  • Surges in cases of malaria and suspected dengue fever have been reported. In 2016, more than 28 000 suspected cases of dengue fever and over 218 000 suspected malaria cases were reported in Yemen.
  • Malnutrition rates are increasing, with almost 462 000 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition and at risk of life-threatening complications.
  • Currently, more than half of all health facilities in Yemen are closed or partially functioning. At least 274 health facilities have been damaged or destroyed as a result of the conflict, 13 health workers have been killed and 31 injured.
  • There have been growing concerns over the possible closure of the National Oncology Centre in Hudayda due to lack of resources and medical supplies, jeopardizing the lives of thousands of cancer patients in Hudaydah and neighbouring governorates.
  • As summer season is approaching, public hospitals and health facilities in coastal areas such as Hudaydah governorate are warning about the impact of the disruption of electricity, especially in crucial areas such as  intensive care unit  (ICUs) and operating rooms.
  • For more than 6 months, Health facilities in Yemen have received no financial support to cover operational costs and staff salaries.
  • Between October 2016 and 12 March 2017, a cumulative of 23 506 suspected cholera cases with 108 deaths were reported by the Ministry of Health. The cumulative suspected cases of Acute Watery Diarrhea (AWD/cholera) have decreased in 148 districts out of 165.

Health priorities

  • To prevent and control communicable diseases (including immunization, disease surveillance and outbreak response) and to ensure access to priority health services.
  • To enhance the referral system for surgical and medical emergencies, with priority for trauma patients and obstetric emergencies and to sustain essential supply pipelines.

WHO response

  • Since March 2015, WHO has reached millions of people with more than 1200 tonnes of life-saving medicines and supplies that have been distributed in all affected governorates.
  • To ensure the functionality of emergency departments in public hospitals and health facilities, WHO has provided more than 3.7 million litres of fuel since the beginning of the conflict. More than 40 million litres of safe water have been provided to health facilities and camps hosting internally displaced persons to reduce the risk of water-borne diseases.
  • The national integrated surveillance system and disease early warning system has been set up to ensure the speed and efficiency of data collection, analysis and public health response to outbreaks. The number of sentinel sites witnessed an increase from 400 reporting sites in 2015 to 1982 sites by the end of December 2016.
  • Since the beginning of the conflict, more than 4.7 million children under the age of five have been vaccinated against polio in four national polio campaigns conducted by WHO, health authorities, and partners. In addition, almost four million children aged from 9 months to 15 have been vaccinated against measles in two mop-up campaign in 126 districts. More than 815 000 children under the age of 1 have received 3 doses of pentavalent vaccine (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenzae type B), and almost 400 000 women of childbearing age have been vaccinated against neonatal tetanus.
  • WHO has distributed essential medicines needed for chronic diseases, including insulin and metformin for patients with diabetes. WHO also distributed medicines used for kidney transplantation, cardiac diseases and hypertension.
  • WHO is working to strengthen and build the number of trained health workers  in the field of mental health, as well as ensuring the integration of mental health into the health care system. Currently, Yemen has only 40 psychiatry specialists, the majority of whom are based in Sana’a, the capital.
  • WHO has deployed 14 mobile primary health care teams in Al-Hudaydah, Sa’ada, Hajjah and Amran, 16 facility-based primary health care teams in Abyan, Aden, Socotra, Hajjah, Sa’ada and Sana’a governorates, as well as 12 surgical teams in Abyan, Shabwah, Hajjah, Al-Mahweet, Sa’ada, Marib, Amran and Sana’a governorates.
  • As the number of malnourished children increases across the country, WHO has established 15 therapeutic feeding centres in seven governorates, working together with the MOPHP and health partners.
  • WHO has supported the rehabilitation and maintenance of 26 Diarrhoea Treatment Centres in Sana’a city, Aden, Abyan, Rayma, Taiz, Al-Hudaydah, Ibb, Hajjah, Albaydhah Dhamar, and Sana’a governorates.

Funding

  • For this year the Health Cluster in Yemen is appealing for US$ 322 million, of which WHO is requesting US$ 126 million in order to scale-up the response to the increasing needs.

Belgium: Des ONG humanitaires demandent au ministre De Croo d’intervenir auprès du secrétaire général des Nations unies

10 hours 48 min ago
Source: Government of Belgium Country: Belgium, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Yemen

Le vice-Premier ministre et ministre de la Coopération au Développement Alexander De Croo s’est réuni ce midi avec les ONG humanitaires. Outre les membres du consortium 12-12, des représentants de la Croix-Rouge ont également pris part à la concertation. Ensemble, ils ont évoqué la gestion de la crise humanitaire au Yémen, en Somalie, au Nigéria et au Soudan du Sud, quatre pays menacés par la famine. Le ministre a promis de mobiliser aussi vite que possible une première tranche d’aide humanitaire dans le cadre du doublement des fonds versés à Famine 12-12. Les organisations humanitaires ont aussi insisté auprès du ministre De Croo pour qu’il intervienne auprès du secrétaire général Guterres sur la sécurité des travailleurs humanitaires et l’accès humanitaire aux zones sinistrées.
 
Lors de la rencontre avec les ONG humanitaires, le ministre De Croo s’est engagé à débloquer rapidement la première tranche d’aide humanitaire prévue par le gouvernement fédéral dans le cadre de l’action Famine 12-12. Ce week-end, le ministre De Croo a annoncé le doublement par le gouvernement fédéral des dons à Famine 12-12.“_Le pic de famine est attendu pour cet été. Il est important que nous puissions rapidement mobiliser des fonds supplémentaires sur le terrain. C’est la seule façon de sauver des vies. C’est pourquoi je vais débloquer une première tranche humanitaire pour Famine 12-12. J’espère que la décision du gouvernement fédéral de doubler les montants des dons à  Famine 12-12 encouragera les citoyens à faire un don_”, a déclaré Alexander De Croo.
 
La Belgique a déjà engagé soixante millions d’euros d’aide d’urgence cette année pour des interventions spécifiques et des fonds d’urgence des Nations unies, de la Croix-Rouge internationale, du Programme alimentaire mondial, actifs au Soudan du Sud, au Yémen, au Nigéria et en Somalie. Par ailleurs, 20 millions d’aide urgente ont déjà été prévus pour la Syrie où les besoins humanitaires restent considérables.

 

Huit travailleurs humanitaires tués

Le ministre De Croo interviendra aussi auprès du secrétaire général de l’ONU António Guterres, qui sera à Bruxelles la semaine prochaine, au sujet de l’accès humanitaire et de la sécurité des collaborateurs humanitaires. Les organisations humanitaires sont particulièrement inquiètes en ce qui concerne l’accès humanitaire parfois très difficile aux zones sinistrées. Samedi, au Soudan du Sud, huit travailleurs humanitaires ont perdu la vue lors d’une embuscade, alors qu’ils quittaient la capitale du Sud-Soudan Djouba pour rejoindre Pibor, dans le nord-est du pays.
 
La mort de ces huit personnes est le plus lourd tribut en personnel humanitaire depuis le début de la guerre civile fin 2013. Au total, 79 travailleurs humanitaires sont morts ces trois dernières années au Sud-Soudan. Le ministre De Croo s’engage à évoquer la semaine prochaine, lors de sa rencontre avec le secrétaire général Guterres, la sécurité des travailleurs humanitaires et l’accès aux personnes en détresse. Une mission de l’ONU se déroule actuellement au Soudan du Sud. Elle devrait pouvoir intervenir de façon plus énergique pour permettre l’assistance humanitaire, ce qui fait partie du mandat donné par le Conseil de Sécurité.
 
“_Il est important que les biens humanitaires soient acheminés sur place rapidement et de manière sûre. S’il le faut, l’accès doit être imposé. Nous ne pouvons accepter que les parties au conflit bloquent l’aide humanitaire et bombardent sciemment les travailleurs humanitaires. Les Nations unies peuvent jouer un rôle à cet égard_”, a indiqué Alexander De Croo.

 

Accélération

La campagne Famine 12-12 s’est accélérée ce week-end. L’action est beaucoup apparue dans des spots radio et télévisés diffusés par les différents groupes de médias. La presse écrite s’est aussi emparée du sujet, notamment avec l’annonce que le gouvernement fédéral allait doubler les montants et les protestations au Yémen contre la guerre civile qui fait rage depuis deux ans maintenant. La présence de plusieurs journalistes belges dans la région très touchée permet aussi aux citoyens de mieux se rendre compte de la catastrophe et de faire un don.

World: Strengthening the Rule of Law in Crisis-affected and Fragile Situations - United Nations Development Programme 2015 Country Profile Pamphlet

14 hours 37 min ago
Source: UN Development Programme Country: Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Honduras, Iraq, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Mali, Myanmar, Nepal, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Timor-Leste, Tunisia, World, Yemen

UNDP provides support to nearly 170 countries, about 40 of which are affected by crisis and have received rule of law support through the Global Programme for Strengthening the Rule of Law in Crisis-Affected and Fragile Situations.

UNDP’s rule of law assistance is carried out with the generous support of Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Qatar, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America. Please reference the “Financial Information” included in the 2015 Global Programme Annual Report, Eight Years On, for a complete picture of the contributions received over the last eight years. UNDP also recognizes that our work would be meaningless without the dedication and commitment of our national partners.

We look forward to continuing this joint endeavor in the years to come.

This Country Profile Pamphlet accompanies the 2015 Global Programme Annual Report, Eight Years On, presenting detailed country-by-country assistance provided, programmes implemented, and results achieved in 2015 in the following countries: Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, El Salvador,
Guatemala, Guinea (Conakry), Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Honduras, Iraq, Jordan, Kosovo(UN Administered Territory), Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Mali, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, State of Palestine, Sudan, Timor-Leste,
Tunisia, Yemen. Additionally, Financial Snapshots depicting the 2015 budget for each country programme are provided in the back of this pamphlet.

Nigeria: Time is running out for children as famine, drought and war threaten millions

27 March 2017 - 11:17pm
Source: UN Children's Fund Country: Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Yemen

Download photos and videos from: http://weshare.unicef.org/Package/2AMZIFDD22Q

NEW YORK/DAKAR/NAIROBI/AMMAN, 28 March 2017 – More than a month after famine was declared in South Sudan, time is running out for more than a million children as drought and armed conflict devastate lives in northeast Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen, UNICEF said today.

“Children can’t wait for yet another famine declaration before we take action,” said Manuel Fontaine, UNICEF Director of Emergency Programmes. “We learned from Somalia in 2011 that by the time famine was announced, untold numbers of children had already died. That can’t happen again.”

Some 22 million children have been left hungry, sick, displaced and out of school in the four countries, UNICEF said. Nearly 1.4 million are at imminent risk of death this year from severe malnutrition.

UNICEF will require close to $255 million to provide these children with food, water, health, education and protection services for just the next few months, according to a new funding update.

Most of the funds – over $81 million – will go towards nutrition programmes to screen children for malnutrition and provide them with therapeutic food.

An additional $53 million will be allocated to health services including vaccinations, while over $47 million will go to water, sanitation and hygiene programmes to prevent potentially deadly diahorreal diseases.

The remaining funds will help protect children affected by conflict and displacement and provide them with education services. Cash assistance will also be offered to the most vulnerable families.

The resources needed over the next few months are part of a broader appeal for all of 2017, totaling $712 million – a 50 per cent increase over funding requirements in the four countries at the same time last year.

UNICEF has been working with partners in the four countries to respond to the famine threat and prevent it from spreading:

  • In northeast Nigeria, UNICEF will reach 3.9 million people with emergency primary healthcare services this year, treat 220,000 severely malnourished children under the age of five, and provide more than a million people with access to safe water.

  • In Somalia, UNICEF is supporting 1.7 million children under-five years of age, including the treatment of up to 277,500 severe acute malnutrition cases through facility-based and mobile health and nutrition services.

  • In South Sudan, UNICEF, together with partners, has delivered life-saving assistance to 128,000 people in areas affected or threatened by famine, including almost 30,000 children under the age of five.

  • In Yemen, UNICEF has scaled up activities to respond to malnutrition through health facilities, mobile teams, community health workers and volunteers reaching hard-to-access communities and displaced families. UNICEF is also supporting severely acutely malnourished children and their families with cash assistance and water and sanitation services, including the provision of safe water, supplies and hygiene promotion.

Armed conflict is a major driver of this crisis, UNICEF said, calling for unconditional, unimpeded and sustainable access to the children in need and an end to the violations of children’s rights in the affected countries.

UNICEF also sounded the alarm about a worsening nutrition situation in neighbouring countries.

“As violence, hunger and thirst force people to move within and across borders, malnutrition rates will continue to soar not just in these four countries, but also in the Lake Chad basin and the Greater Horn of Africa,” Fontaine said. “If humanitarian agencies do net get the access and resources they need to reach the most vulnerable, lives will be lost.”

###

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For more information, please contact:

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Tamara Kummer, UNICEF Regional Office in Amman, +962 797 588 550, tkummer@unicef.org

South Sudan: Famine response and prevention in Northeastern Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen

27 March 2017 - 10:56pm
Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Country: Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Yemen

The world faces the largest food crises in 70 years, with more than 10 million people in four countries — northeastern Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen — on the brink of famine, and a further 30 million severely food insecure.

Famine has already been declared in parts of South Sudan, where 100 000 people are at risk, and more than 5.5 million people will not have any reliable source of food by July. The current levels of food insecurity in the four at-risk countries reflect continued under investment in agriculture and livelihoods within the wider humanitarian assistance. Conflict and drought are forcing people to abandon their homes and their lands. As agricultural seasons are repeatedly missed and livelihoods abandoned, the humanitarian caseload builds and the number of people on the brink of famine rises. With approximately 80 percent of the affected populations relying on agriculture for their livelihoods, we must invest now in pulling people back from the brink. Often famine starts in rural areas and must be prevented in rural areas – agriculture cannot be an afterthought.

FAO is on the ground, working around the clock in these countries to deliver emergency livelihood assistance to kickstart food production. This assistance includes inputs like crop and vegetable seeds, fishing and dairy kits – which are crucial for providing highly nutritious food. In parts of remote South Sudan, the fishing kits are the only lifeline to food for many families, while in Yemen, dairy kits are helping to provide lifesaving milk for children.

To avert a humanitarian catastrophe in the four countries over the coming months, we need to scale up livelihood support and income opportunities to affected families. Supporting agriculture now is not only investing in food production today, but food security tomorrow.

Yemen: Famine response and prevention in Northeastern Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen

27 March 2017 - 10:56pm
Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Country: Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Yemen

The world faces the largest food crises in 70 years, with more than 10 million people in four countries — northeastern Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen — on the brink of famine, and a further 30 million severely food insecure.

Famine has already been declared in parts of South Sudan, where 100 000 people are at risk, and more than 5.5 million people will not have any reliable source of food by July. The current levels of food insecurity in the four at-risk countries reflect continued under investment in agriculture and livelihoods within the wider humanitarian assistance. Conflict and drought are forcing people to abandon their homes and their lands. As agricultural seasons are repeatedly missed and livelihoods abandoned, the humanitarian caseload builds and the number of people on the brink of famine rises. With approximately 80 percent of the affected populations relying on agriculture for their livelihoods, we must invest now in pulling people back from the brink. Often famine starts in rural areas and must be prevented in rural areas – agriculture cannot be an afterthought.

FAO is on the ground, working around the clock in these countries to deliver emergency livelihood assistance to kickstart food production. This assistance includes inputs like crop and vegetable seeds, fishing and dairy kits – which are crucial for providing highly nutritious food. In parts of remote South Sudan, the fishing kits are the only lifeline to food for many families, while in Yemen, dairy kits are helping to provide lifesaving milk for children.

To avert a humanitarian catastrophe in the four countries over the coming months, we need to scale up livelihood support and income opportunities to affected families. Supporting agriculture now is not only investing in food production today, but food security tomorrow.

Yemen: Yemen Factsheet Summary 2016 [EN/AR]

27 March 2017 - 3:09pm
Source: Save the Children Country: Yemen

Since March 2015, conflict has spread to 21 of Yemen’s 22 governorates, prompting a large scale protection crisis and aggravating an already severe humanitarian situation brought on by years of poverty, poor governance and instability. Today, 18.8 million people, or 70 per cent of the population, are in need of some form of humanitarian and protection assistance. This includes 10.3 million children.

Every day, the death and injury toll rises, the number of internally displaced people increases, communicable diseases such as cholera spreads and over half the population has no access to basic healthcare, water and sanitation services and enough food to eat. As a consequence, a child is dying every ten minutes from preventable causes such as malnutrition, diarrhoea and respiratory tract infections.

Yemen: ACAPS Briefing Note – Yemen: Food security and Nutrition, 27 March 2017

27 March 2017 - 1:12pm
Source: Assessment Capacities Project Country: Yemen

Crisis overview

The UN has warned that Yemen is at risk of falling into famine if the international community does not take immediate steps to address the severe food and nutrition crisis. 6.8 million people (25% of the population) are facing Emergency (IPC Phase 4) levels of food insecurity, only one phase before the declaration of famine. A further 10.2 million (38% of the population) are facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3). The population in Crisis and Emergency has increased by 20% compared to June 2016.

Key findings

Anticipated scope and scale

Without a significant upturn in the food security situation, 6.8 million people are in danger of falling into famine, and 10.2 million people are at risk of falling in to IPC Phase 4.

Priorities for humanitarian intervention

  • Food security is rapidly deteriorating and the situation is now close to famine, with 17.1 million people in need of urgent lifesaving assistance.

  • Nutrition levels are critically low, particularly in the west and south of the country. 4.5 million people need assistance to treat or prevent malnutrition, including 2.2 million children suffering from acute malnutrition, 462,000 of whom are suffering from severe acute malnutrition (SAM).

  • Health services severely weakened by conflict are struggling to provide treatment for malnutrition, feeding centres are under-resourced. Cholera, diarrhoea, measles, malaria and other diseases are present, and treatment is often unavailable and hard to access due to widespread damage to infrastructure and insufficient medical supplies coming into the country.

Humanitarian constraints

  • Damage to infrastructure is severe and widespread, and therefore many areas are difficult to access, particularly in the south and west where humanitarian needs are the most severe. Humanitarian workers face insecurity and movement restrictions.

  • Getting a sufficient amount of aid into the country is very challenging due to the blockade on imports and conflict in port areas, as is the distribution of aid once it has entered the country.

South Sudan: Focus on famine in Africa and Syrian crisis - Finland channels over EUR 61 million in humanitarian aid

27 March 2017 - 8:38am
Source: Government of Finland Country: Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Finland, Iraq, Myanmar, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Uganda, Ukraine, Yemen

Press release 56/2017 27 March 2017

By decision of Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Kai Mykkänen, Finland’s humanitarian aid will amount to EUR 61.4 million, of which approximately EUR 20 million will be channelled to the famine-hit countries in the Horn of Africa and to Nigeria and Yemen.

“The Horn of Africa is facing the worst food crisis in recent history. Approximately 20 million people suffer from shortage of food and water. The spread of such contagious diseases as cholera and malaria is aggravating the situation. The number of refugees has tripled since the humanitarian crisis of 2010–2011. Finland must be among those that are providing assistance,” Minister Mykkänen says.

Famine has been declared in two States in South Sudan. The conflict has led to a wide-scale flow of refugees especially to Uganda, where approximately 2,000 refugees arrive every day at present. At the same time Uganda is affected by drought.

Finland will channel a total of EUR 7.6 million to relieve the refugee situation in South Sudan and the Horn of Africa and EUR 2.2 million to Uganda.

In Somalia’s southern and central areas, food security has rapidly deteriorated and the country is on the brink of slipping into widespread famine. Finland will support humanitarian work in Somalia by EUR 5.5 million.

In Ethiopia, more than five million people will be in need of emergency assistance this year. Finland will channel EUR 755,000 to Ethiopia.

North-eastern parts of Nigeria are also at risk of famine; the UN estimates that 8.5 million people there are in need of humanitarian aid. Finland will channel EUR 2 million to Nigeria.

It is estimated that two thirds of the population of Yemen, that is, 18.8 million people are affected by the conflict and in need of humanitarian aid and protection. Nearly 3.3 million people suffer from starvation, 2.1 million of whom are children. Finland will channel EUR 1.5 million to Yemen.

At the same time, the humanitarian situation remains serious in the Middle East. Finland’s current assistance focuses on Syria and its neighbouring countries, which will be supported by a total of EUR 11.5 million. In Iraq, fight against ISIL, for instance, has increased the number of people in need of humanitarian aid to 11 million. Additionally, if the battle to reclaim Mosul continues, the number of internally displaced persons is expected to grow. Finland will channel a total of EUR 3.7 million to Iraq.

Other recipients of humanitarian aid from Finland are Afghanistan (EUR 1 million), Myanmar (EUR 500,000), North Korea (EUR 300,000), Central African Republic (EUR 575,000) and Democratic Republic of the Congo (EUR 300,000) and Ukraine (EUR 900,000).

EUR 38.4 million of the funding will be directed to civil society organisations’ country- and region-specific operations. The funding will be channelled through the United Nations Refugee Agency UNHCR and the World Food Programme WFP and via the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. The following Finnish civil society organisations will also receive funding: Finnish Red Cross, Finn Church Aid, Fida International, World Vision Finland, Plan International Finland and Save the Children Finland.

Finland will grant EUR 23 million of the assistance in the form of core funding to UN agencies capable of flexible and rapid decisions on the allocation funding. Core funding will be channelled to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Secretariat of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR), United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF).

Inquiries: Claus Lindroos, Director, Unit for Humanitarian Assistance and Policy, tel. +358 295 351 234.

The Foreign Ministry's email addresses are in the format firstname.lastname@formin.fi.

Yemen: Crisis escalation marks second Yemen conflict anniversary

27 March 2017 - 8:05am
Source: Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development Country: Yemen

The crisis in Yemen, the largest in the world, is a perfect storm of humanitarian, protection and economic crises with each fuelling the other. For two years, Yemen has been devastated by a bloody war, killing at least 7,600 people and injuring close to 42,000*. The UN estimates that nearly 19 million people - 70 per cent of the population - need some sort of humanitarian or protection assistance, including more than 10 million people who are in acute need of live-saving assistance. More than three million people have been displaced and two-thirds of the population is food insecure, which means they don’t have regular access to nutritious food**.

This is the result of two years of conflict escalation:

Food security and Nutrition:

Even before the escalation of conflict, Yemen had 10.6 million people going hungry***, and one of the highest malnutrition rates in the world.

Following 24 months of airstrikes and fighting, the number of food-insecure people has increased by 60 percent and jumped by three million over the past nine months according to the latest IPC analysis on Yemen. Now an estimated 17 million people are food insecure, this includes 6.8 million people who are severely food insecure (or who do not know where their next meal will come from). They are one step away from famine.

In the same context, the number of acutely malnourished children and pregnant or lactating women (PLW) has tripled to reach 3.3 million, including 462 000 severely acute malnourished children, an increase of 136% since 2015.

Displacement:

The war has forced over 3 million people out of their homes. Because of airstrikes or fighting, thousands of families had no option but to flee and leave everything they owned behind them.

Crowded in camps or hosted by local communities, IDPs are among the most vulnerable people in Yemen. The majority have no source of income and they are highly food insecure.

Children:

Yemen’s children bear the brunt of the war and their prospects of survival are being diminished day by day. Over 10 million children are in need of humanitarian assistance, including 6.2 million children in need of protection. Approximately 1.4 million children have been displaced. Every day children are going hungry and thirsty; being displaced from their homes; being forced out of school; or face the risk of abuse, exploitation, injury and death.

At least 1,564 children have been killed and 2,450 wounded since the start of the conflict according to UNICEF. There were also at least 1,572 verified cases of child recruitment, resulting in children forced into more active roles in combat and manning checkpoints, including on front lines. These verified cases are considered to be just the tip of the iceberg.

Children’s futures are also in jeopardy with approximately 2 million currently unable to access education. Displaced children are particularly vulnerable and today over half a million internally displaced children are out of school due to a lack of school certificates and/or their family’s inability to pay indirect education costs such as transportation, uniforms, books and other school materials. Attacks on schools and education facilities are also a factor hindering children in Yemen from accessing education. Between March 2015 and January 2017, there have been over 200 verified attacks on schools and about 2,200, or 14 percent of schools in Yemen, have been affected since the conflict escalated: damaged by bombs and ground fighting, used as shelters for internally displaced people or occupied by armed groups.

Child mortality has risen by nearly 20 % since the conflict escalated. At least one child dies every ten minutes from preventable causes such as diarrhea, malnutrition and respiratory tract infections.

Even those who escape injury or illness are deeply affected. Thousands of children are dealing with traumatic experiences which will undoubtedly have a detrimental effect on their mental health in the short and long-term. Hundreds have seen friends and families injured or killed.

Health:

Harsh living conditions and a crippled health system has had catastrophic implications for Yemen’s sick. The impact of the war has had particularly acute consequences for vulnerable groups such as pregnant women, newborn babies and young children. Today in Yemen easily treatable diseases can become a death sentence.

An estimated 14.8 million people now lack access to basic healthcare, including 8.8 million living in severely under-served areas. As of October 2016, at least 274 health facilities had been damaged or destroyed in the conflict, 13 health workers had been killed and 31 injured. Medical materials are in chronically short supply, and only 45 per cent of health facilities are functional. Most are doing so at a reduced capacity.

Employees of the Yemeni Ministry of Public Health, along with most government staff, have not been paid in 6 months, and most of the 1,200 foreign health practitioners present in Yemen before March 2015 have left the country due to insecurity. This, together with the blatant disregard for International Humanitarian Law by all parties to the conflict are two major impediments to the delivery of health care and overall significant elements of the crisis.

Children’s lives are on the line before they are even born. Women face huge difficulties in accessing antenatal, delivery and postnatal care, including a lack of ambulances, few female hospital staff, and frequent checkpoints and roadblocks encountered on way to hospitals.

Deadly diseases like cholera, measles and dengue fever are on the rise and children, many of whom are increasingly vulnerable due to a lack of food, are paying the highest price.

Access:

While needs grow, securing humanitarian access in Yemen continues to prove extremely challenging owing to a dynamic security situation and constantly changing bureaucratic demands from the authorities.

Fragmentation of authorities and unclear chains of command mean that NGOs often have to negotiate access at national level and then repeat the process at local level, delaying the delivery of vital assistance to people in need. Restrictions and delays in granting permissions for INGO visas, travel, training workshops and other standard activities are common. In some areas, air strikes and ground fighting are regular obstacles to aid delivery.

Of growing concern is the air and sea blockade imposed on Yemen; the country imports 90% of its food and imports are not coming in at the rate needed due to persistent delays and restrictions. The resulting scarcity of imports is pushing up prices, so ordinary Yemenis cannot afford to buy the food that is available. Humanitarian organisations can only cover a fraction of the needs.

There is now a strong likelihood that ongoing ground fighting on the west coast will reach the country’s main port, Al Hodaydah, potentially cutting the port off from the rest of the country. With the country on the brink of famine, this will have devastating consequences.

The continued closure of Sanaa Airport to commercial flights means much-needed medicines are not being imported in the quantities needed, and that Yemenis in the north of the country cannot leave to seek medical treatment abroad.

Humanitarian Response

Only 60 per cent of the $1.6 billion requirement, amounting to $977 million was received for the 2016 Humanitarian Response Plan.

The 2017 Plan for the Humanitarian Response was launched in Geneva on 8 February 2017 and the appeal requires $2.1 billion to target 12 million people. As of 15 March it is 7.4 per cent funded at 154 million USD. A Donor Pledging Conference is organised for April 25 in Geneva.

While the humanitarian response must be scaled up and protection of civilians prioritized, these will not address the underlying drivers of the conflict.

Peace

The only lasting solution for this situation is to put an end to the conflict. Warring parties must go back to the negotiating table. An immediate and effective ceasefire and durable political solution is needed to stop the violence against children, women and their families and to let aid agencies do their jobs in safety.

It is necessary that any peace agreement provides a meaningful political solution, which involves all sections of society, including women, youth and marginalised communities.

WHO (23 February 2017) http://reliefweb.int/report/yemen/yemeni-health-system-crumbles-millions-risk-malnutrition-and-diseases
“Food insecure” refers to people who lack reliable access to sufficient quantities of nutritious food. - Yemen 2017 Humanitarian Needs Overview (November 2016) http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/YEMEN%202017%20HNO_Final.pdf
Yemen 2015 Humanitarian Needs Overview https://www.humanitarianresponse.info/system/files/documents/files/2015_HNO_Yemen_Final_0.pdf

Sudan: Sudan: 2017 Humanitarian Needs Overview, Dec 2016

27 March 2017 - 5:29am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Central African Republic, Chad, Eritrea, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Yemen

Humanitarian Needs & Key Figures

This document identifies the needs of people based on their vulnerabilities. Rather than assuming that all Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are in need because they are displaced, only vulnerable IDPs have been considered. The main humanitarian needs in Sudan result from several factors. New and protracted displacement due to conflict affects access to basic services and disrupts the livelihoods and food security of many people. Acute malnutrition in children under the age of 5 is above emergency thresholds in different areas across the country. Refugees and asylum seekers continue to arrive in Sudan seeking protection and humanitarian assistance. Returnees (both refugee and IDP returnees) are also vulnerable. Natural hazards in Sudan (in particular floods and droughts) impact food security and livelihoods of vulnerable people. The total number of people estimated to be in need of humanitarian assistance in 2017 is 4.8 million, a reduction of 1 million compared to 2016. This is attributed to food security being severely affected by El Niño and other factors in 2015, but in 2016 agricultural performance was better due to improved rainfall, reducing the number of people in need of food and livelihoods assistance to 3.6 million.

Humanitarian Impact

Sudan faces two major overlapping humanitarian challenges: one triggered by conflict leading to wide-scale population displacement and another due to climatic and socio-cultural conditions leading to crisis levels of food insecurity and malnutrition. The scale and long-term nature of displacement, especially in Darfur, which has not been matched by economic opportunities, has exposed displaced people to hardship and uncertainty about their future. This is putting an additional strain on the 3.6 million people currently suffering from food insecurity, and the 2.2 million children suffering from acute malnutrition. Refugees and asylum seekers living in both emergency and protracted situations remain largely dependent on humanitarian assistance, with very limited access to livelihood opportunities.

Large scale and protracted internal displacement

In 2016, considerable new displacement occurred and a large number of those who have fled their homes since 2004 remain displaced.

In Darfur some 1.6 million displaced people are registered as living in camps. For unregistered IDPs i.e. displaced people living in rural settlements and urban areas, estimates vary considerably, especially as there is no systematic registration of displacement outside camps. The official government estimate is that an additional 0.5 million internally displaced persons live outside camps in Darfur and a further 0.2 million internally displaced people live in South Kordofan and Blue Nile. According to the government, the overall total number of IDPs across Sudan is 2.3 million in government-controlled conflict-affected areas.

The UN and partners estimate that a further half a million displaced people live in host communities and settlements in Darfur.

In many parts of Darfur, inter-communal conflict is another main cause of insecurity and recurrently causes substantial civilian displacement. Such localised armed violence takes place most frequently between sedentary-farming and nomadic-pastoral communities, as well as between nomadic communities, clashing over access to, use of and management of resources, especially land.

Armed movements in South Kordofan and Blue Nile estimate that an additional 545,000 people are displaced in areas under their control.

Nearly every community in conflict-affected areas, whether sedentary rural farmers, nomadic pastoralists, public sector workers or urban dwellers, has been impacted, further undermining their capacity to host displaced people.

Protracted displacement has disrupted traditional livelihood activities and eroded community resilience to withstand shocks. Displaced people are more vulnerable due to their reduced access to natural resources such as land and water, and a chronic shortage of basic services. Conflict impacts pastoralists’ traditional migration routes and farmers’ capacity to transport their crops. Newly displaced people lose their livelihood opportunities. As a result they seek safety, food, water, shelter, healthcare, education for their children and new livelihoods.

World: Alarming levels of attacks on schools must end, Save the Children says ahead of key global safe schools conference

27 March 2017 - 2:15am
Source: Save the Children Country: occupied Palestinian territory, Syrian Arab Republic, World, Yemen

World leaders must take decisive action to immediately stop the targeting of schools and students in dozens of conflict-affected countries worldwide and hold perpetrators accountable, Save the Children is warning.

The call comes ahead of the Second International Conference on Safe Schools taking place on 28 and 29 March in Buenos Aires, which will bring together representatives from more than 60 countries and aims to secure firm commitments to protect students, teachers and schools from attacks. This global moment will also be an opportunity for states to endorse the Safe Schools Declaration that vows greater protections for students and teachers during war.

Regular attacks on schools, students, or teachers, or the military use of schools, have happened in 21 countries which all saw at least 10 incidents in the last four years, ongoing research has shown. A dozen countries saw more than 100 attacks or incidents of military use since 2013, research by the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA), a coalition of United Nations and non-governmental organisations, has shown.

While bombing and shelling of schools is common, students are also vulnerable when they make their way to class; soldiers have been known to snatch children off the streets and forcibly recruit or rape them. In the majority of countries affected by conflict over the past decade, armed factions have also used schools and turned them into barracks, arms depots and detention facilities, in effect converting educational facilities into military targets and exposing children to increased risk of bombing or recruitment.

The situation in the Middle East has become particularly bleak, with attacks on education in Syria, the occupied Palestinian territories and Yemen on the rise.

In Syria, more than 4,000 schools have been destroyed, damaged or taken over by armed groups since the war began six years ago. Last week, a school near Raqqa was reportedly bombed and at least 30 people were killed, while three students from a Save the Children partner-supported school were killed in a separate attack in Idlib. Yemen has also been devastated by conflict and it is estimated that more than 1,600 schools can no longer function.  

Amal* a 13-year-old girl from Yemen, barely survived when a bomb ripped through her school late last year, killing her friends and teacher, and injuring her brother. Now their father says his children cannot sleep at night because they cannot forget the image of blood and shrapnel-torn skin. "I screamed, I couldn't get out. I was so frightened. No one was able to come in and help me," Amal recently told Save the Children.

By joining the Declaration, countries pledge to restore access to education when schools are attacked, investigate and prosecute war crimes involving schools and minimize the use of schools for military purposes. So far at least 60 states -- including a majority of both EU and NATO members - have endorsed the Safe Schools Declaration and officially committed to amending their military doctrine, training, and legislation to ensure better protection for children in war, while also guaranteeing better reporting of abuses.[1] "Every day, our staff are seeing children bear the brunt of war and violence across the world. Far too many children are being prevented from accessing education or are being killed, brutalized or maimed while they study or try and go to school," said Patricia Erb, President and CEO of Save the Children in Canada.

"These senseless attacks on students and their schools must end immediately. While we have seen some steps in the right direction, much more must be done. This is why Save the Children is calling on all states to join and implement the Safe Schools Declaration"

"We are on the ground in many countries, directly supporting access to safe learning, and training teachers and communities to increase their capacity to protect education, but global leaders need to take action and ensure children's voices are not ignored."

Spokespeople are available. Please contact media@savethechildren.org.uk or our 24-hour media line to arrange an interview +447831650 409.

[1] On Wednesday 22 March, Save the Children welcomed Armenia's announcement that it had endorsed the Safe Schools Declaration, becoming the 60th country to do so.

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITOS

  • The countries most heavily affected by attacks and saw more than 100 incidents are: Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

  • The research is being conducted for the GCPEA's next edition of its Education under Attack report, scheduled for release in 2018

  • According to the UN, 2.1 children are out-of-school children inside Syria along with 700,000 Syrian children in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt.

  • The Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack is researching abuses in 90 countries worldwide and will issue a full report next year

Belgium: Alexander De Croo has decided to double the donations to “Famine 12-12”

26 March 2017 - 11:22pm
Source: Government of Belgium Country: Belgium, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Yemen

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo, in charge for humanitarian emergency aid, announced that the federal government will double the population's donations to the campaign “Famine 12-12”. Minister De Croo has also planned international demarches. He will look, together with the United Nations, into a way to better tackle the structural causes. “We cannot look away when children are dying of hunger”.

During his last briefing in the Security Council, UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien rang the alarm bell. In the coming months, hunger is threatening 20 million lives in South Sudan, Nigeria, Yemen and Somalia. In total, 5.6 billion dollars are necessary to provide immediate humanitarian aid, but 4.4 billion dollars are still missing.

More than a million children are in acute need

Alexander De Croo: “In those four countries, two deadly powers reinforce one another: war and drought. Today, more than a million children are already severely malnourished and in immediate need. This money must come quickly. The international community cannot look away”.

During the past weeks and months, our country has already released 60 million euros in humanitarian aid for specific interventions and humanitarian funds from amongst others the United Nations and the International Red Cross which operate actively in the four countries. Furthermore, 20 million were already released to help Syria, where humanitarian needs remain high.

Minister De Croo has now decided to double people’s donations to “Famine 12-12”. The Consortium 12-12, a cooperation of important Belgian NGOs (Caritas International, Handicap International, Doctors of the World, Oxfam-Solidarity, Plan Belgium and UNICEF Belgium), launched a common call last week for the victims of famine.

Alexander De Croo: “We are going to double each euro that people donate to “Famine 12-12”. I call each and every one to make a donation. NGOs save lives and deserve our full support.”

On Monday, Minister De Croo will examine with the Consortium 12-12 and the Red Cross how to improve cooperation in order to mobilize more means and save lives.

More international action

Minister De Croo has also planned demarches at the international level. In the beginning of April, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien will come to Brussels. Minister De Croo will discuss a better approach to humanitarian aid and to the structural causes of this humanitarian crisis.

Alexander De Croo: “The international community musts take robust actions towards these crises. Our first concern shall be to save lives but we must also do more to tackle the structural causes: war and drought due to global warming. This is only possible with more European and International action.”

People who wish to donate to “Famine 12-12” can do so via the bank account BE19 0000 0000 1212 or the website 1212.be.

Somalia: IGAD Summit: UNHCR appeals for continued and strong support to Somalia and countries hosting Somali refugees

26 March 2017 - 11:11pm
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees Country: Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Uganda, Yemen

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is appealing for support for efforts aimed at bringing stability inside Somalia and to the countries hosting Somali refugees.

Speaking at the IGAD (Intergovernmental Authority on Development) Special Summit of Regional Heads of State on durable solutions for the protracted Somali refugee situation in Nairobi, UNHCR’s Assistant High Commissioner for Operations, George Okoth-Obbo, commended Somalia’s neighbours for their generosity in providing international protection to refugees in spite of their own socio-economic, national security and environmental challenges.

“UNHCR is delighted by this unprecedented regional effort that commits to providing collective protection and assistance to Somali refugees. said George Okoth-Obbo, welcoming the outcomes of the Summit. 

UNHCR called for global responsibility sharing with the region, where communities have been hosting and sharing limited resources with Somali refugees for years.

The UN Refugee Agency also appealed for the need to preserve asylum space for Somali refugees, unable to return home.

“Countries hosting Somali refugees have to find alternative solutions for them locally, focusing on the socio-economic inclusion of refugees side by side with resilience support for host communities. We invite the countries to also consider local integration, especially for refugees who have integrated, for example, those married to nationals.”

Though voluntary returns continue, security, access and absorption limitations restrict the scale of returns to Somalia, at the present moment. Thus, UNHCR highlighted the importance of creating predictable peace, security, social and community conditions, for Somalis in the country and refugees whose decision to return, can thus be more sustainable.

At the same time the summit highlighted that voluntary return is not the exclusive option and has urged heightened international solidarity and responsibility sharing through continued resettlement of Somali refugees and provision of complementary pathways for third country admissions - such as medical evacuation and humanitarian admission programmes, family reunification and opportunities for skilled migration, labour mobility and education. 

More than two million Somalis have been displaced in one of the world’s most protracted displacement crises. There are an estimated 1 million internally displaced persons within Somalia and 900,000 Somali refugees - many now third generation -in Kenya (324,000), Ethiopia (241,000), Yemen (255,000), Uganda (39,500) and Djibouti (13,000).

George Okoth-Obbo said at the same time, the drought is a serious issue and finding solutions must be accelerated.

“We need to recognise that the region faces new challenges, such as the current drought and food insecurity, gripping the region, threatening starvation and death.”

Some 6.2 million people, half of Somalia’s population, are in need of humanitarian aid and levels of malnourishment among children are high, with 944’000 children in acute or even severe malnourishment. 

Severe drought conditions across the region have led to food crises in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, and Yemen. Countries are facing the worst drought in 60 years.

UNHCR is urging the need for an immediate scale up of the response to the drought to mitigate and avert famine to reduce its adverse humanitarian impact, including with regard to displacement. 

“Time is of the essence and resolute action by humanitarian actors, strongly supported by the international community, is required,” UNHCR’s Okoth-Obbo emphasized.

END

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Yemen: KRCS launches donation campaign for Yemen

26 March 2017 - 8:25pm
Source: Kuwait News Agency Country: Yemen

By Arwa Al-Wagayan

KUWAIT, March 26 (KUNA) -- Kuwait Red Crescent Society (KRCS) launched Sunday a campaign to collect donations for people affected by the ongoing war in Yemen, said KRCS' Chairman of Board of Directors Dr. Hilal Al-Sayer.

This campaign aims to ease living conditions for Yemenis, as there are over 18 million Yemenis were affected by the war and more than two million children suffering from lack of food and medical items, Al-Sayer told KUNA.

Yemen is facing one of the worst famines in the world, he said, calling on philanthropists and organizations to contribute to the donation campaign held at KRCS' headquarters.

Al-Sayer also called to support KRCS' projects aiming to develop services for Yemenis in need. These projects include education, health, water resources and food.

The society will receive cash and Knet donations from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm and from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm, as well as online donations through KRCS' website, he noted. (end) akw.ss

Yemen: Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Stephen O'Brien - Statement on Yemen

26 March 2017 - 8:16pm
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Yemen

This week sadly marks two years since the terrible escalation of the conflict in Yemen.

Despite international efforts to bring about a comprehensive negotiated political settlement, the sounds of airstrikes, bombs, bullets and artillery are now familiar sounds of daily life. They are too often the sound of another death.

Many thousands of civilians have been killed, including well over 1,400 girls and boys – more than a few of these children left their homes to attend school one morning and never returned. Tens of thousands of Yemeni civilians have been injured.

But, casualty figures belie the magnitude of the tragedy unfolding in Yemen.

Conflict, insecurity, and the cynical tactics of the warring parties have wrecked Yemen’s economy, made food increasingly scarce, displaced 3 million people from their homes, and impeded the work of humanitarians – whose only aim is to alleviate suffering and save lives.

Man-made conflict has brought Yemen to the brink of famine. Today nearly 19 million Yemenis – over two-thirds of the population – need humanitarian assistance. Seven million Yemenis are facing starvation.

During my third visit to Yemen only weeks ago, I saw the terrible and terrifying evidence of looming famine. In the hospital ward, the complete stillness of the tiny malnourished child whose eyes focus on nothing. The grim realization that these patients were the fortunate ones who could access a hospital and might survive.

What about all the others – out of sight? Out of mind? That is precisely what we cannot allow to happen. There is still time to avert catastrophe in Yemen.

The UN and partners are already providing life-saving assistance in all of Yemen’s 22 governorates. We reach almost 6 million people every month. We can and must do more, but urgent funding is needed in coming weeks – or it will be too late.

The parties to the conflict must also facilitate immediate, timely, and unimpeded humanitarian access. They must also facilitate commercial access, which will be critical to reversing the massive food insecurity and ensuring that people’s basic needs can be met.

Most of all, the Yemeni people need the parties to commit to political dialogue, or this man-made crisis will never end. In the meantime, together we can – we must – avert this famine, this human catastrophe.

New York, 26 March 2016