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Updated: 5 hours 7 min ago

Yemen: Update on Yemen Peace Talks, 28 May 2016 [EN/AR]

7 hours 22 min ago
Source: UN Department of Public Information Country: Yemen

Arabic version

May 28, 2016 Kuwait – Today’s sessions of the Yemeni-Yemeni Peace Talks in Kuwait were limited to discussions with Ansar Allah and the General People's Congress (GPC) delegation. The UN Special Envoy convened two sessions with the delegation, during which the participants discussed the details of mechanisms related to withdrawals, handover of weapons, the resumption of the political dialogue, and the restoration of state institutions. In today’s meeting of the Prisoners Committee, the delegation of Ansar Allah and GPC submitted a list containing the names of prisoners and detainees to the Office of the Special Envoy. The Government of Yemen (GoY) delegation is scheduled to submit their list tomorrow. Upon careful consideration of the two lists, the UN Special Envoy will provide the parties with recommendations and proposals to advance the issue further.

The UN Special Envoy said: “We are moving closer to an agreement regarding the main principles which will pave the way for a comprehensive political settlement. We are achieving progress on the prisoners and detainees issue and I hope that the parties will fulfill their commitment of releasing a considerable number of individuals in the coming days.

The G7 issued a statement in which they reiterated their support for the role of the UN in Yemen. The UN Special Envoy expressed his gratitude for their support and said: “The Yemeni voices calling for peace and the support expressed by the international community and the G7 for our efforts in Yemen, increases my determination to overcome all obstacles in order to reach a peace agreement. The return of peace in Yemen is my priority and I hope it is also the priority of the participants in the talks”.

World: Le sort des enfants en temps de conflit armé - Rapport du Secrétaire général (A/70/836–S/2016/360)

7 hours 59 min ago
Source: UN Security Council, UN General Assembly Country: Afghanistan, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, India, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Myanmar, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Philippines, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, World, Yemen

I. Introduction

1. Le présent rapport, qui couvre la période allant de janvier à décembre 2015, est soumis en application de la résolution 2225 (2015) du Conseil de sécurité. Il renseigne sur l’impact des conflits armés sur les enfants à l’échelon mondial et donne des informations sur les violations graves commises contre des enfants en 2015. Les principales activités et initiatives menées en exécution des résolutions du Conseil de sécurité sur la question et les conclusions du Groupe de travail sur le sort des enfants en temps de conflit armé y sont également présentées. Conformément aux résolutions pertinentes du Conseil, on trouve dans les annexes au présent rapport la liste des parties qui recrutent et utilisent des enfants, commettent des agressions sexuelles sur la personne d’enfants, des meurtres ou des atteintes à leur intégrité physique, attaquent les écoles et les hôpitaux, ainsi que le personnel protégé, ou menacent de le faire, en violation du droit international.

2. L’Organisation des Nations Unies a vérifié l’exactitude de toutes les informations consignées dans le présent rapport et ses annexes. Elle a signalé les cas où des facteurs comme l’insécurité ou les restrictions d’accès l’ont empêchée de recueillir ou de vérifier des informations en toute indépendance. Le présent rapport et ses annexes sont le fruit de vastes consultations menées au sein du système des Nations Unies, au Siège et sur le terrain, et avec les États Membres concernés.

3. Conformément à la résolution 1612 (2005) du Conseil de sécurité et pour identifier les situations relevant de son mandat, ma Représentante spéciale pour le sort des enfants en temps de conflit armé a adopté une approche pragmatique de la question, en insistant sur les principes humanitaires qui visent à garantir une protection large et efficace des enfants. La mention dans le présent rapport de telle ou telle situation ne vaut pas qualification juridique de ladite situation et la mention de telle ou telle partie non étatique ne préjuge pas de son statut juridique.

II. Impact des conflits armés sur les enfants

A. Tendances et faits nouveaux

4. La protection des enfants touchés par les conflits armés est demeurée très problématique tout au long de l’année 2015. Les enfants font lourdement les frais de notre échec collectif à prévenir et régler les conflits, et les violations graves dont ils sont victimes ont gagné en intensité dans un certain nombre de situations de conflit armé, comme il est mis en évidence dans le présent rapport. Ces violations sont directement liées au peu d’importance accordée au respect des droits de l’homme et du droit international humanitaire par les parties au conflit.

5. Les conflits prolongés ont eu un impact important sur les enfants. En République arabe syrienne, le conflit qui dure depuis cinq ans a déjà fait plus de 250 000 morts, dont des milliers d’enfants. En Afghanistan, l’année 2015 a connu le plus grand nombre de victimes jamais enregistré parmi les enfants depuis que l’ONU a commencé à comptabiliser systématiquement les pertes civiles en 2009. En Somalie, la situation est restée périlleuse, avec une augmentation de 50 % du nombre recensé de violations commises à l’encontre d’enfants par rapport à 2014, soit plusieurs centaines de cas d’enfants recrutés, utilisés, tués ou mutilés. Au Soudan du Sud, il est éminemment préoccupant que des enfants aient subi l’ensemble des six violations graves, notamment lors d’offensives militaires brutales contre les forces d’opposition.

6. Au Yémen, le conflit a connu un embrasement particulièrement inquiétant. L’ONU a établi que le nombre d’enfants recrutés en 2015 avait quintuplé par rapport à l’année précédente. À cela s’ajoute une multiplication par six du nombre d’enfants tués ou mutilés au cours de la même période. Ces tendances alarmantes se sont poursuivies au début de 2016.

7. Les attaques contre des écoles et des hôpitaux ont été très fréquentes en 2015, notamment du fait de l’utilisation croissante de frappes aériennes et d’armes explosives dans des zones peuplées. Les groupes armés ont particulièrement cherché à restreindre l’accès des filles à l’éducation, et quant aux forces gouvernementales elles ont également attaqué des écoles et des hôpitaux. Les États Membres devraient envisager, selon qu’il convient, de modifier leurs politiques, procédures militaires et appareils législatifs afin de protéger de telles installations.

World: Children and armed conflict - Report of the Secretary-General (A/70/836–S/2016/360) [EN/AR]

8 hours 8 min ago
Source: UN Security Council, UN General Assembly Country: Afghanistan, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, India, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Myanmar, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Philippines, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, World, Yemen

I. Introduction

1. The present report, which covers the period from January to December 2015, is submitted pursuant to Security Council resolution 2225 (2015). It highlights recent global trends regarding the impact of armed conflict on children and provides information on grave violations committed against children in 2015. The main activities with regard to the implementation of relevant Council resolutions and the conclusions of the Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict are outlined. In line with the resolutions of the Council, the annexes to the report include a list of parties that engage in the recruitment and use of children, sexual violence against children, the killing and maiming of children, attacks on schools and/or hospitals and attacks or threats of attacks against protected personnel, and the abduction of children.

2. All the information provided in the present report and its annexes has been vetted for accuracy by the United Nations. In situations in which the ability to obtain or independently verify information is hampered by such factors as insecurity or access restrictions, it is qualified as such. The preparation of the report and its annexes involved broad consultations within the United Nations, at Headquarters and in the field, and with relevant Member States.

3. Pursuant to Security Council resolution 1612 (2005), and in identifying situations that fall within the scope of her mandate, my Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict has adopted a pragmatic approach on the issue, with an emphasis on humanitarian principles aimed at ensuring broad and effective protection for children. Reference to a situation is not a legal determination and reference to a non-State actor does not affect its legal status.

II. Addressing the impact of armed conflict on children

A. Trends and developments

4. Serious challenges for the protection of children affected by armed conflict continued throughout 2015. The impact on children of our collective failure to prevent and end conflict is severe, and the present report highlights the increased intensity of grave violations in a number of situations of armed conflict. Those violations are directly related to the denigration of the respect for international humanitarian and human rights law by parties to conflict.

5. Protracted conflicts had a substantial impact on children. In the Syrian Arab Republic, the five-year conflict has caused the deaths of more than 250,000 people, including thousands of children. In Afghanistan in 2015, the highest number of child casualties was recorded since the United Nations began systematically documenting civilian casualties in 2009. In Somalia, the situation continued to be perilous, with an increase of 50 per cent in the number of recorded violations against children compared with 2014, with many hundreds of children recruited, used, killed and maimed. In a most troubling example, in South Sudan, children were victims of all six grave violations, in particular during brutal military offensives against opposition forces.

6. In Yemen, a particularly worrisome escalation of conflict has been seen. The United Nations verified a fivefold increase in the number of children recruited in 2015 compared with the previous year. This compounded a sixfold increase in the number of children killed and maimed in the same period. These alarming trends continued into early 2016.

7. Attacks on schools and hospitals were prevalent in 2015, linked to the increasing use of air strikes and explosive weapons in populated areas. Armed groups particularly targeted girls’ access to education, although attacks on schools and hospitals were also carried out by government forces. Member States should consider, where necessary, changes in policies, military procedures and legislation to protect schools and hospitals.

Yemen: Yemen: Organizations 3W Operational Presence (as of 30 April 2016)

10 hours 29 min ago
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Yemen

Yemen: Oxfam Yemen Situation Report #20, 16 May 2016

10 hours 53 min ago
Source: Oxfam Country: Yemen

OXFAM RESPONSE

In response to the current crisis Oxfam has supported 861,700 individuals Hajjah and Al Hudaydah 4608 new HHs were selected in over 45 sub-villages in Hajjah Governorate for unconditional cash transfer (UCT) and cash for work (CfW). Oxfam’s support to sustainable water supply continued with diesel subsidy with 59, 678 litres in total to 23 water supply schemes (WSSs) in 3 districts of Hajjah and Hodeidah. As a part of flood emergency response, Oxfam is currently supporting the Hajjah Local Water Supply Corporation (LWSC) to re-start the pumping station swept away by the flash floods.

Amran

Preparations continue to launch the 3rd round of food vouchers distribution for 3,000 HHs. The verification process has been completed for 1000 HHs across 38 CfW working groups. In terms of rehabilitation of water network of Khamer (section 1) substantial progress has been made and 90% of implementation work is completed.

Taiz

Preparation for the third round of distribution of food vouchers for 4,000 HHs in 11 sub-districts has started. Safe emergency water supply for drinking continues to reach 34,445 affected people through 38 water points in 4 districts in and around the war-torn Taiz City. 166 new IDP HHs received hygiene kits upon their arrival in Bani Shibah , Bani Mohamed, Al-Dabighah and Al-Kawyrah. IDPs came from Al-Wazeyah. The staff has continued the preparations to launch the new phase of scale-up in the southern areas. They agreed on the project action plan and started recruitment process.

Yemen: Yemen - Conflict (ECHO, UN, Media) (ECHO Daily Flash of 31 May 2016)

12 hours 48 min ago
Source: European Commission Humanitarian Aid Office Country: Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen
  • In Kuwait, the parties to the UN-led peace talks are finalizing the list of prisoners to be exchanged before Ramadan. The ICRC will facilitate and coordinate the process. Sources from the Houthi delegation said 1 000 prisoners would be swapped, while a government source referred to the release of “all detainees,” which would bring the number to over 4 000.
  • Fighting and air-strikes are reported along the front lines, in particular between central Marib and Shabwa provinces.
  • According to the latest UNHCR report, there are 177 620 people displaced from Yemen as of 2 May. 86 740 people arrived from Yemen in the Horn of Africa (Djibouti, Somalia, Sudan and Ethiopia). So far, 6 039 Yemenis have been registered as refugees in Djibouti; 3 706 in Somalia; 1 326 in Ethiopia; and 1 144 in Sudan.
  • Movements from the Horn of Africa to Yemen continue as well. In April, 11 245 people arrived in Yemen, mostly Ethiopians, bringing the total of arrivals to 39 962 in 2016.

Yemen: Yemen: Humanitarian Dashboard (January - April 2016)

13 hours 22 min ago
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Yemen

Situation Overview

Continued conflict and import restrictions have all but destroyed the economy and social fabric in Yemen. As of the end of April 2016, over 6,400 people have been killed and 30,000 injured since the escalation of violence in March 2015. Almost 2.8 million people have moved from their homes in search of safety and security. Social services are waning as a result of violence, lack of personnel, lack of fuel, supplies, and equipment. The economy is collapsing due to a lack of exports and currency devaluation.

Despite the deepening needs, particularly in sectors of health and food security, and the many access challenges faced by the humanitarian community, over 3.6 million people were reached with some form of direct humanitarian assistance by close to 100 humanitarian organizations across Yemen by the end of April 2016.

The US$ 1.8 billion appeal has received a little over 16 per cent of funding

Yemen: Yemen Access Constraints as of 30 May 2016

30 May 2016 - 11:07pm
Source: World Food Programme, Logistics Cluster Country: Yemen

Kenya: Kenya: Kakuma Camp Population Statistics (as of 30 May 2016)

30 May 2016 - 4:44am
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

Kenya: Kenya: Kakuma New Arrival Registration Trends 2016 (as of 30 May 2016)

30 May 2016 - 4:38am
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees Country: 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

Yemen: Yemen: Snapshot on Shipping, Food and Fuel Imports, April 2016

30 May 2016 - 4:02am
Source: Logistics Cluster Country: Yemen

Monthly food imports and price fluctuation
In the last months of 2015, import supplies of food increased. However, from February 2016 a decrease in the importation of food supplies was reported.
General food imports in April decreased by 21% compared to March 2016, and by 47% compared to February 2016. On average, wheat flour prices in April were 154 YER/KG, which is 12% higher than pre-crisis level (137 YER/KG).

Monthly fuel imports
The need to import fuel increased in 2015 due to the temporary suspension of operations in the refinery ports of Aden and Al Hudaydah for several months due to the conflict. While fuel needs increased, fuel imports declined compared to previous years (April 2015, 4,983 mt of fuel imported), mainly as a result of import restrictions and limited foreign exchange necessary to import fuel.
Consequently, local markets witnessed fuel shortage.* April 2016 saw fuel importations reaching 67,217 mt. Despite the increase, fuel imports in April 2016 represent only 12% of the monthly fuel needs which are estimated at 544,000 mt.

Status of the vessels at ports per month
In April 2016, 57 vessels berthed at the Yemeni ports of Al Hudaydah, Saleef and Aden, resulting in a 16% increase from the 49 berths in March 2016. Additionally, 54 new vessels were granted access to Yemeni Port-anchorage areas, a significant increase on the 22 vessels of the preivious month.
Humanitarian berths accounted for 12% of all berths in the Yemeni ports, with 7 dhows and vessels carrying food and non food items.

Average delays in entering ports (March – April 2016)
Significant delays are still experienced in all major ports in Yemen. The main reasons for the delays are the reduced operational capacities of the seaports and the rapidly changing security situation.
The longest delay at anchorage in April was recorded for Al Hudaydah port with a vessels waiting for berth for 24 days. Delays at the port can be attributed to the lack of infrastructure caused by damaged cranes to discharge containers vessels.

Somalia: Somalia: Overview Situation Report (as of 30 April 2016)

29 May 2016 - 3:47pm
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees Country: Ethiopia, Somalia, Yemen

Key Figures
4.9M People in need *HNO

Yemen: UNHCR IDP Protection Report (January – April 2016)

29 May 2016 - 8:59am
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees Country: Yemen

Executive Summary

This report highlights UNHCR’s protection response to the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, which are conducted within the scope of the Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan (YHRP) under the umbrella of the Protection Cluster1. As part of its involvement in the IDP response, UNHCR is engaging in a number of protection activities in Yemen including displacement tracking at the community level, two-way communication with Persons of Concern through a humanitarian call centre, protection monitoring at the household level, targeted protection services such as legal assistance, psychosocial support and cash assistance and awareness raising and sensitization.

UNHCR is a co-lead of the Task Force on Population Movement (TFPM), which is a technical working group of the Protection Cluster and the authoritative source for displacement statistics in Yemen. Since its inception in April 2015,

UNHCR has contributed to 8 TFPM displacement reports and has produced 12 related information products. In April 2016, UNHCR commenced dedicated displacement tracking completing in excess of 7,000 mapping assessments through interviews with approximately 8,000 key informants. To foster two-way communication and promote accountability, UNHCR established the ‘Tawasul’ humanitarian call centre, the first of its kind in Yemen, which is available as a common-service to the Yemen Humanitarian Operation. Tawasul has generated 3 reports and 3 information products covering over 1,900 calls received in relation to 3,000 plus needs representing in excess of 35,000 individuals. Under its Protection & Basic Assistance Mechanism (PBAM), UNHCR has conducted protection monitoring for over 6,000 individuals with targeted assistance provided to 5,000 individuals and awareness raising, sensitization and training provided to close to 4,000 individuals including through 29 teams of Community-Based Protection Networks (CBPNs) composed of 215 members.

Through these activities, UNHCR has identified a number of protection trends and issues, which include the following:

• In the context of population movement there is tendency towards rapid large-scale displacement as well as return.

• Most IDPs are residing with host communities or are renting accommodation.

• There is a clear need amongst IDPs for basic necessities, however, there is also a need for targeted assistance for non-tangible assistance such as psychosocial counselling.

• There is a major need for health assistance and this has exposed the weakness of the current referral pathway in Yemen.

• There is scope for cash assistance for Extremely Vulnerable Individuals (EVIs) with the implication that such assistance needs to be scaled-up based on a clear objective of what is to be achieved through the approach.

• Cash needs may relate to other sectors such as shelter to the extent that cash assistance as a modality to meet cross-sectorial needs must be given additional focus.

• There is an emerging need for documentation both for the purpose of accessing assistance and services but also to facilitate movement. A linked concern is that the prevalence of documentation amongst females is low in comparison to males.

• The situation of muhamasheen IDPs warrants specific attention as they count amongst the more vulnerable persons of concern in Yemen.

• The ‘no-camp’ policy that has been adopted by the Yemen Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) impacts on the development of a strategic approach to shelter solutions for IDPs and access to services, especially those with infrastructural implications.

• This point links with the issue of competition over resources as the needs of non-displaced host communities also remain high.

• The lack of a legal framework to implement the National IDP Policy of 2013 presents a challenge to defending the rights of IDPs as has been exposed in relation to eviction of IDPs.

Yemen: Yemen: Collective Centers and Settlements hosting IDPs (as of 5 May 2016)

29 May 2016 - 7:30am
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees, CCCM Cluster, Shelter Cluster Country: Yemen

Yemen: Yemen: Shelter/CCCM/NFI Cluster 3Ws (Who Does What Where) for April 2016

29 May 2016 - 7:26am
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees, CCCM Cluster, Shelter Cluster Country: Yemen

Yemen: Republic of Yemen Fact Sheet April 2016

29 May 2016 - 7:20am
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees, CCCM Cluster, Shelter Cluster Country: Yemen

NEEDS ANALYSIS

Despite varying lengths of displacement, shelter and NFIs are a primary concern, being ranked highly and consistently by IDPs when stating their priority needs. A number of IDPs have suffered through multiple displacements since leaving their areas of origin and as they moved to areas further away from their homes and existing family links, they have sought out accommodation in various types of shelter arrangements. Despite the on-going efforts of cluster partners and government actors, a large number of the displaced are still living in the open, in unfinished buildings, substandard shelters, schools and religious buildings. Depleted savings and lack of access to financial resources and/or saturation of available housing capacity have further enhanced the need to identify and pursue all viable alternative shelter options for a large number of vulnerable families among the recently displaced persons. Families hosted by friends and relatives report that inter-family tension is on the rise and that lack of privacy and safe shelter is a major concern to both the displaced and host families.

RESPONSE

In response to recent flooding and the ongoing conflict in the country, the Shelter/CCCM/NFI Cluster distributed Non-Food Items to 9,031 HHs, Emergency Shelter Kits to 3,073 HHs, Emergency Shelter Materials (Plastic Sheets/Ropes) to 1,704 HHs, Family tents to 449 HHs and cash for rental subsidies to 10 HHs during the month of April 2016.

GAPS / CHALLENGES

The Cluster envisages the following challenges that impede the implementation of the cluster humanitarian response plan:

  • Limited funding has curtailed partners’ capacities to meet the identified urgent needs.

  • Limited access to people of concern in some conflict areas, which hinders service delivery in some locations in a timely manner.

  • Interference of parties to the conflict in the humanitarian work.

  • Capacity of partners to rapidly scale-up to new areas.

  • Lack of harmonious relationship between IDPs and host communities in some affected areas, due to limited resources and limited absorption capacity.

  • Lack of information about IDPs living with host families.

World: The Humanitarian Clock Is Ticking, The Powerful Feign Deafness

27 May 2016 - 4:17am
Source: Inter Press Service Country: Afghanistan, Iraq, Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey, World, Yemen

By Baher Kamal

ROME, May 26 2016 (IPS) - The humanitarian clock is now ticking away faster than ever, with over 130 million of the world’s most vulnerable people in dire need of assistance. But the most powerful, richest countries—those who have largely contributed to manufacturing it and can therefore stop it, continue to pretend not hearing nor seeing the signals.

The World Humanitarian Summit (Istanbul, May 23-24) represented an unprecedented effort by all United Nations bodies who, along with member countries, hundreds of non-governmental aid organisations, and the most concerned stakeholders, conducted a three-year long consultation process involving over 23,000 stakeholders, that converged in Istanbul to portray the real current human drama.

Led by the UN, they put on the table a “Grand Bargain” that aims to get more resources into the hands of people who most need them, those who are victims of crises that they have not caused. The WHS also managed to gather unanimous support to Five Core Responsibilities that will help alleviate human suffering and contribute to preventing and even ending it.

Around 9,000 participants from 173 countries, including 55 heads of state or government, and hundreds of key stakeholders attending the Summit, have unanimously cautioned against the current growing human-made crises, while launching strong appeals for action to prevent such a “humanitarian bomb” from detonating anytime soon.

In spite of all that, the top leaders of the Group of the seven most industrialised countries (G 7), and of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, have all stayed away from this first-ever Humanitarian Summit, limiting their presence to delegations with lower ranking officials.

Although several UN officials reiterated that it was not about a pledging conference but the fact is that massive funds are badly needed to start alleviating the present human suffering which, if allowed to grow exponentially as feared, would cause a human drama of incalculable consequences. The notable absence of the top decision-makers of the most powerful and richest countries sent a strong negative signal with a frustrating impact on the humongous efforts the UN has displayed to prepare for the Istanbul Summit and mobilise the world’s human conscious– let alone the millions of the most vulnerable who are prey to human dramas they are not responsible for creating.

In fact, most of world’s refugee flows are direct results of wars not only in Afghanistan and Iraq—both subject to vast military operations by coalitions led by the biggest Western powers (G 7), but also a result of on-going armed conflicts in Yemen (also with the support of the US and Europe), and Syria where the Security Council permanent member states, except China, have been proving weapons to the parties involved in this long six-year war.

Other victims of the current humanitarian drama are “climate refugees”, those who flee death caused by unprecedented droughts, floods and other disasters resulting from climate change, which is largely caused by the most industrialised countries.

The sole exception was German chancellor Angela Merkel who addressed the Summit, though she reportedly went to Istanbul to meet Turkish president Recep Tayyib Erdogan to try to alleviate the growing tensions between Ankara and the European Union, who accuse each other of not fulfilling the refugee deportation deal they sealed in March.

In fact, the EU-Ankara deal is about deporting to Turkey all asylum seekers and also migrants arriving in Europe mainly through Turkish borders, once the European Union announced last year its readiness to host them but decided later½ to flinch. In simple words, the deal simply transforms Turkey into a huge “deposit” of millions fleeing wars and other human-made disasters.

In exchange, Ankara should receive from the EU 3 billion euro a year to help shelter and feed the 3 million refugees who are already there. The EU also promised to authorise the entry of Turkish citizens to its member countries without visa.

At a press briefing at the end of the Summit, Erdogan launched veiled warnings to the EU that if this bloc does not implement its part of the refugees deal, the Turkish Parliament may not ratify it.

In other words, Turkey would not only stop admitting “returnees”, i.e. refugees repatriated by Europe, but would even open its borders for them—and other millions to come and go to EU countries. The “human bomb” is therefore ticking at the very doors of Europe.

That said, the Istanbul Summit has set us on a new course. “It is not an end point, but a turning point,” said the UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon at the closing session.

Governments, people affected by crisis, non-governmental organisations, the private sector, UN agencies and other partners came together and expressed their support for the Agenda for Humanity, and its five Core Responsibilities, Ban added.

“Implementing this agenda is a necessity, if we are to enable people to live in dignity and prosperity, and fulfil the promise of last year’s landmark agreements on the Sustainable Development Agenda and Climate Change.”

Ban stressed that humanitarian and development partners agreed on a new way of working aimed at reducing the need for humanitarian action by investing in resilient communities and stable societies.

Aid agencies and donor governments committed to a ‘Grand Bargain’ that will get more resources into the hands of people who need them, at the local and national level, said Ban.

“And Governments committed to do more to prevent conflict and build peace, to uphold international humanitarian law, and live up to the promise of the Charter of the UN, he added. “I hope all member states will work at the highest level to find the political solutions that are so vital to reduce humanitarian needs around the world.”

According to Ban, ”Together, we launched a ground-breaking charter that places people with disabilities at the heart of humanitarian decision-making; a platform on young people in crises; and commitments to uphold the rights of women and girls in emergencies and protect them from gender-based violence.”

Ban also announced that in September this year he will report to the UN General Assembly on the Summit’s achievements, and will propose “ways to take our commitments forward through intergovernmental processes, inter-agency forums and other mechanisms.”

The WHS Chair’s Summary: Standing up for Humanity: Committing to Action issued at the end of the Summit states that “civil strife and conflicts are driving suffering and humanitarian need to unprecedented levels and serious violations of international humanitarian law and abuses of international human rights law continue on an alarming scale with entire populations left without essential supplies they desperately need.”

It adds that natural disasters, exacerbated by the effects of climate change, are affecting greater numbers of women, men and children than ever before, eroding development gains and jeopardising the stability of entire countries.

“At the same time we have been unable to generate the resources to cope with these alarming trends, and there is a need for more direct predictable humanitarian financing,” the statement warns.

“The Summit has brought to the forefront of global attention the scale of the changes required if we are to address the magnitude of challenges before us. The participants have made it emphatically clear that humanitarian assistance alone can neither adequately address nor sustainably reduce the needs of over 130 million of the world’s most vulnerable people.”

A new and coherent approach is required based on addressing root causes, increasing political diplomacy for prevention and conflict resolution, and bringing humanitarian, development and peace-building efforts together, it adds.

“Global leaders recognized the centrality of political will to effectively prevent and end conflicts, to address root causes and to reduce fragility and strengthen good governance. Preventing and resolving conflicts would be the biggest difference leaders could make to reduce overwhelming humanitarian needs. Humanitarian action cannot be a substitute for political action.”

Yemen: Yemen Access Constraints as of 26 May 2016

27 May 2016 - 12:00am
Source: World Food Programme, Logistics Cluster Country: Yemen

Yemen: Yemen: ‘hope’ emanating from UN-sponsored talks, as details of peace agreement discussed

26 May 2016 - 4:57pm
Source: UN News Service Country: Yemen

26 May 2016 – The United Nations envoy for Yemen said today that hope is emanating from the ongoing peace talks for the country as the warring parties started discussing details of elements that would be included in a comprehensive agreement.

Speaking to reporters in Kuwait, where the UN-mediated Yemeni talks are taking place, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen, stressed that Yemen is at a critical stage, with the economy in tatters, its infrastructure ruined, and the country’s social fabric disintegrating.

“The situation on the ground is dire but there is hope emanating from Kuwait,” he said, adding that only the participants in the talks can change the situation.

In brief, he said that the talks are ongoing, the international support is stronger than ever and the UN is determined to achieve a lasting peace and to solidify any agreement reached.

On Monday, a joint plenary session was held in which the leaders of both delegations renewed their commitment to dialogue to reach a political agreement, that is acceptable by all.

The Special Envoy convened a number of bilateral meetings with the delegations over the past few days, and discussed specifically the details and mechanisms of withdrawal, handover of weapons, resumption of political dialogue, restoration of state institutions and other matters that will be included in a comprehensive agreement.

The discussions also covered the importance of guarantees and reassurances to ensure the implementation of an agreement, he said. The parties have started to address specific and sensitive matters in detail based on the agreed reference points.

On the issue of prisoners, it was agreed that the relevant Committee will continue to work separately. Yesterday, representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) came to Kuwait to brief the delegations on the roles and guidelines for prisoners release and exchange processes in war zones as well as the mechanisms of ICRC’s work in this area.

Also yesterday, the Special Envoy briefed the Security Council in a closed-session through video conference, giving an overview of the talks, the preliminary understandings reached and explained the compromises and solutions that are currently being considered. He also gave a summary of the support needed by his Office in order to facilitate the implementation of a peace agreement, including support for interim security arrangements.

The ongoing conflict has destroyed the country’s economic infrastructure and severely disrupted the functioning of state institutions. Last week saw a sharp devaluation of the Yemeni Riyal and an alarming decline of the resources and liquidity held by the country’s treasury.

In this regard, the Special Envoy proposed to the parties the creation of an “Economic Task Force” in the near future. This body would enlist the support of economic experts in order to manage the situation and take the necessary measures to save the economy.

The cessation of hostilities has led to a direct reduction in violence and allowed humanitarian agencies to deliver aid to most areas in Yemen. The delivery of aid, basic medical services, pharmaceutical supplies and drinking water has increased over the last few weeks. UN agencies, in coordination with their partners, are working on providing literacy and math classes for children.

“I am increasingly asked how long the talks will last. There is no time limit and we will stay as long as it takes,” he said, adding that a sustainable and inclusive agreement cannot be rushed.

Djibouti: Djibouti: Inter-agency update for the response to the Yemeni situation #41 (25 April - 09 May 2016)

26 May 2016 - 4:07pm
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees Country: Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iraq, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Yemen

HIGHLIGHTS

  • According to the latest available statistics from IOM and the Djibouti government, 35,562 persons of mixed nationalities have arrived in Djibouti as of 31 March 2016 (since 26 March 2015). Of those, 19,636 persons (56 per cent) are Yemeni nationals, 13,962 (38 per cent) are transiting migrants and 1,964 persons (6 per cent) are Djiboutian returnees.
  • As of 09 May 2016, UNHCR and ONARS registered 6,260 refugees of whom 6,008 are Yemeni nationals. Most refugees are sheltered in Markazi refugee camp; the remaining refugees live in Obock and Djibouti city.
  • As at 09 May, a total of 873 refugees returned spontaneously home from Obock (Markazi camp and Obock town).

KEY FIGURES

  • 6,260 Refugees registered since the outbreak of the crisis
  • 2,551 Registered females.
  • 2,327 Registered children and adolescents.

PRIORITIES

  • Ensure protection of refugees and asylum seekers and provide assistance.
  • Provide documents to refugees.
  • Work with the government to ensure access to territory and feedom of movement.
  • Continue to develop the infrastructure at Markazi camp.
  • Continue border monitoring activities.