Increasingly complex conflicts have devastating impact on children - UN
Source: UN Office of the SRSG for Children and Armed Conflict
The impact on children of the collective failure to prevent and end conflict is severe, with regions in turmoil and violations against children intensifying in several conflicts, a new report indicates.
23 Aug 2016
New York – In her annual report to the General Assembly, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Leila Zerrougui, highlighted the devastating impact on children of increasingly complex conflicts, despite concerted efforts and significant progress achieved over the past year.
“The impact on children of the collective failure to prevent and end conflict is severe, with regions in turmoil and violations against children intensifying in a number of conflicts,” Leila Zerrougui said in the report, which covers the period from August 2015 to July 2016. “The violations are directly related to the denigration of respect for international humanitarian and human rights law by parties to conflict.”
Emerging crises and protracted conflicts profoundly disrupted children’s lives during the reporting period. She noted that the proliferation of actors involved in armed conflict and cross-border aerial operations created highly complex environments for the protection of boys and girls. In 2015, and again in the first half of 2016, Afghanistan recorded the highest number of child deaths and injuries since the UN started systematically documenting civilian casualties in 2009. In Syria and Iraq, violence continued unabated. In South Sudan, following a year during which children were victims of brutal violations, hopes for improvement all but evaporated with the resumption of conflict last month. In Yemen, the escalation of conflict continued with alarming levels of child recruitment, killing and maiming and attacks on schools and hospitals.
Twentieth anniversary of the children and armed conflict mandate
The report also takes stock of the achievements accomplished in the twenty years since the publication of Graça Machel’s report, “Impact of armed conflict on children,” which led to the creation of the mandate of the Special Representative by the General Assembly. Since 2000, over 115,000 children have been released as a result of action plans and advocacy. Engagement with non-State armed groups is growing and recently contributed to a historic agreement between the Government of Colombia and the FARC-EP to release all children in the ranks of the FARC-EP.
The advocacy generated by this mandate, and reinforced by the campaign “Children, not Soldiers”, has led to a global consensus among Member States that children do not belong in security forces in conflict. This progress in addressing recruitment and use over the last 20 years has been built upon and utilized in work to reduce other grave violations, notably sexual violence and attacks on schools and hospitals.
In that regard, the new development agenda brings new opportunities to reinforce and create synergies with the child protection agenda. The Special Representative called on the General Assembly in her report to pay special attention to children affected by conflict to fulfil the promise of the Sustainable Development Goals. In particular, she called for adequate resources for education in emergencies and for support to children disabled during conflict.
Protection challenges posed by violent extremism
Other issues addressed in the report to the General Assembly include the impact of violent extremism on children. During the reporting period, children were severely affected, and often the direct targets of acts intended to cause maximum civilian casualties. Recruitment and use of children, abductions and other grave violations were prevalent concerns as armed groups controlled large swaths of territory. The Special Representative urged Member States to avoid responding to these threats with operations that can “create or add to real or perceived grievances in the affected population.”
The report also states that increasingly large numbers of children have been arrested, detained, used as spies and for intelligence gathering, or even sometimes sentenced to death for their alleged association with parties to conflict.
“Detention of children should always be the last resort for the shortest time possible and guided by the best interests of the child. If they are accused of a crime during their association with armed groups, children should be processed by the juvenile justice system rather than by military or special courts,” said Leila Zerrougui.
Attacks on health care and protected personnel
In the past months, attacks on medical facilities, including aerial bombardments, have increased concerns over the protection of health care in conflict. This has severely disrupted access to lifesaving assistance for children growing up in conflict zones, and can have long-lasting consequences as it often takes years to rebuild capacity. The Special Representative calls on all parties to conflict to take clear measures to protect hospitals as outlined in the report.
Armed conflict has resulted not only in human casualties, but also in an ever growing number of displaced children. According to the United Nations Refugee Agency, an unprecedented 65.3 million people around the world have been forced away from their homes among them are nearly 21.3 million refugees, over half of whom are children. In the Report, the Special Representative encourages Member States and other partners to support initiatives to help displaced children rebuild their lives, particularly through ensuring that education is prioritised in emergency settings.
The Report ends with recommendations to the General Assembly and Member States, which include:
To ensure that Member States engagement in hostilities, including in efforts to counter violent extremism, are conducted in full compliance with international humanitarian, human rights and refugee law
To highlight the rights of children displaced by conflict and the obligations of States of origin, transit and destination
To treat children allegedly associated with non-State armed groups as victims entitled to the full protection of their human rights
Encouraging Member States concerned by the “Children, not Soldiers” campaign to redouble their efforts to fully implement their Action Plan
To take appropriate measures to reintegrate children, giving special attention to the needs of girls
To ensure that special attention is paid to children affected by armed conflict in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.
UNICEF provided access to safe water to more than 32,000 people in July alone
Source: UN Children's Fund
Despite challenges in humanitarian access, particularly in Taiz governorate and border locations, UNICEF and partners continued providing supplies across the country.
Yemen’s situation is negatively impacted by halt in the peace negotiation, ongoing hostilities and worsening economic situation. The escalated conflict, higher prices of fuel and basic goods, and a considerable cash shortage are deeply affecting national systems – particularly the health system. Enormous humanitarian needs in Yemen are expected to increase in the coming months.
Despite challenges in humanitarian access, particularly in Taiz governorate and border locations, UNICEF and partners continued providing supplies across the country and mobile teams reached over 43,000 children, pregnant and lactating women with health and nutrition services.
During July, UNICEF’s water trucking capacity increased granting access to safe water to more than 32,000 people (16,000 children) in communities not connected to the public water network. In addition, over 30,000 people (50 per cent children) benefited from the rehabilitation of rural water projects.
Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs
After 17 months of ongoing conflict in Yemen, the humanitarian situation is appalling and continues to deteriorate. Kuwait-based peace negotiations resumed on 16 July after a two-week pause, but ended at the end of the month. Hostilities intensified during July in several locations, causing civilian victims and access constraints. Moreover, rising tensions were reported in Taiz governorate where the prolonged closure on Taiz city has been reinforced, depriving population from access to humanitarian assistance, according to a recent statement by the Humanitarian Coordinator.
Yemeni children are paying a great price of the current conflict, not only with over 2,700 children killed and injured but also because of the devastating consequences of the deteriorating economic situation and declining public services. National systems are on the verge of collapse, especially the health system. The prices of the basic food basket in June were the highest in the last six months, while the prices of cooking gas, diesel and petrol increased significantly by 119 per cent, 78 per cent and 123 per cent respectively, higher than pre-crisis prices.1 The current conflict is affecting the fragile economy, the central bank reserve is running low causing a severe shortage of cash. The situation worsened in July when some government staff salary were not paid. In the current scenario, needs are expected to increase, families will struggle to afford food, water, fuel and to provide basic health services and education for their children. Despite current challenges, UNICEF is taking preventive measures to mitigate any disruption in the humanitarian operation and will continue to work closely with counterparts and partners in order to provide assistance for the most affected and vulnerable children and families.
Powerful quake hits Myanmar, reverberates across region
Source: Agence France-Presse
Country: Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Thailand
A 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck central Myanmar on Wednesday, killing at least one person and damaging around 60 pagodas in the ancient city of Bagan, officials said.
Yangon, Myanmar | AFP | Wednesday 8/24/2016 - 17:08 GMT
by Hla-Hla HTAY
A powerful 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck central Myanmar Wednesday, killing at least three people and damaging nearly 200 pagodas in the famous ancient capital of Bagan, officials said.
The quake, which the US Geological Survey said hit at a depth of 84 kilometres (52 miles), was also felt across neighbouring Thailand, India and Bangladesh, sending panicked residents rushing onto the streets.
Two girls, aged 7 and 15, were killed in Magway region where the quake struck, according to Myanmar's Ministry of Information.
A collapsed building in a nearby town also killed a 22-year-old man and injured one woman, local police told AFP.
Heavy damage was also reported in Bagan -- Myanmar's most famous archaeological site and a major tourist destination 30 kilometres north of the quake's epicentre.
Some 171 of the city's more than 2,500 Buddhist monuments were damaged by the tremors, according to a statement posted by the Ministry of Religious and Cultural Affairs on Facebook.
"Some were seriously damaged," Aung Kyaw, the local director of Bagan's culture department, told AFP.
Photos showed clouds of dust billowing around some of the site's larger temples, with bricks crumbling down their tiered facades.
A police officer from Bagan said a Spanish holidaymaker was slightly hurt when the quake knocked her from the temple where she was watching the sunset.
Scaling Bagan's ancient structures to watch the sun set over the vast plain of pagodas is a daily ritual among tourists and local pilgrims.
The temples, built between the 10th and 14th centuries, are revered in the Buddhist-majority country and a top draw for its growing tourism industry.
Myanmar, which has opened its doors to a rising tide of visitors since emerging from junta rule in 2011, is eager to see the ancient capital designated a UNESCO world heritage site.
Soe Win, a local politician from Chauk -- the riverside town closest to the epicentre -- said the tremors were the worst he had experienced in years.
"More than eight pagodas in town collapsed," the 50-year-old told AFP, referring to Chauk. "Two buildings collapsed as well, while some others were cracked. People in town are still scared."
Damage was also reported in the capital Naypyidaw some 200 kilometres away, with MP Thiri Yadanar posting photos on Facebook of cracked glass windows inside a parliament building.
The earthquake caused high-rise buildings in Myanmar's largest city Yangon to sway, as well as those in the Thai capital Bangkok and the Indian city of Kolkata.
"Services of the underground railway have been suspended fearing aftershocks of the quake," Kolkata Metro Railway spokesman Indrani Banerjee told AFP.
The quake was also felt throughout south and southwestern Bangladesh close to the border with Myanmar, with residents running outside.
At least 20 people were injured as workers tried to flee a building in the Savar industrial district outside Dhaka, ATN Bangla television reported.
"All of us ran to the streets leaving the houses and shops unsecured as the quake seemed very dangerous," Nazmus Sakib, from the southern city of Chittagong near the Myanmar border, wrote on his Facebook wall.
Earthquakes are relatively common in Myanmar, although the country has not suffered a major one since 2012.
That powerful tremor -- also of 6.8 magnitude -- struck the centre of the country, killing 26 people and injuring hundreds.
© 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse
Household food access worsens as prices skyrocket
Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
Country: South Sudan
The price spikes of staple foods, caused by the disruption of trade, come at the peak of the lean season when most households are dependent on market purchases to access food.
Drastic food price increases further reduce household food access
Trade to and within South Sudan has been severely disrupted following renewed conflict in and around Juba, greatly reducing food supplies on most markets. As a result, staple food prices increased drastically between June and July, reaching more than 10 times the five-year average on a number of key markets (Figure 1). These price spikes come at the peak of the lean season when most households have depleted their food stocks and are dependent on market purchases to access food. Even before the July price spikes, much of South Sudan was facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Emergency (IPC Phase 4) acute food insecurity. Given these extremely high food prices, it is likely that food security is deteriorating even more than previously anticipated. Immediate humanitarian assistance and improved access for commercial trade are required to save lives.
The reemergence of conflict in July has led to insecurity along the Nimule-Juba road, a key trade route. This has further limited imports from Uganda to Juba that were already below average due to marcoeconomic issues that have reduced trader incentives. Similarly, insecurity along the Rumbek-Wau-Aweil road is significantly reducing trade flows further north (Figure 2). July 2016 WFP price monitoring observed massive price spikes in key staple foods in several major makets (Figure 1).
Current prices are the highest on record in many markets. In Juba, the nominal price of sorghum increased 144 percent from June and is now 1,257 percent above the five-year average. Similar price increases were seen in Wau of Western Bahr el Ghazal and Aweil of Northern Bahr el Ghazal, where sorghum prices are now 860 and 1,099 percent above their respective five-year averages. The consumer price index (CPI) rose 77.7 percent month-on-month over the same time period, surpassing the widely used hyperinflation threshold of 50 percent inflation over a month. Despite anecdotal reports that prices in Juba declined modestly in August, they still remain extremely high and far above June levels.
Available price data does not suggest that prices increased as sharply in Malakal, possibly due to continued imports from Sudan and the impact of food assistance. However, price data is not available for other areas of Greater Upper Nile and so the current status of staple food prices is unknown.
UNICEF and partners keep water flowing in Aleppo
Source: UN Children's Fund
Country: Syrian Arab Republic
Since the war began in Syria, water has been used many times as a weapon in Aleppo. Last year alone around five million people’s lives across Syria were put at risk.
By Maher Ghafari
Meet Maher. Maher is in Syria and for almost two years he has led UNICEF’s water, sanitation and hygiene work in Aleppo. The lives of millions of people in Aleppo and beyond depend on him and his team.
This week, we sat down with Maher and asked him what it’s like to work in Aleppo and to provide water and sanitation in a city under fire.
What is it like working in Aleppo?
The word I would use to describe Aleppo is “alive”. Throughout history, it has always been crowded and full of life. For many in this city, the different sieges, battles or dangers of war have not kept them locked up at home. Even when there is no water or no electricity.
But over the last week, things have changed. You can tell that people have become even more frightened.
Even today, on my way to the office, I noticed how few cars were on the road. There is supposed to be a 48-hour ceasefire, it has been called for, but people are too scared to go out. There are no guarantees.
It is heart-wrenching for me to see the streets of our beloved city so empty, and to see images of our city in news headlines around the world. We all see the images of children who have been killed or wounded, of buildings left in ruins, and the places we know so well in our own city – destroyed. We hear it too. We hear the sounds of shells and we cannot forget the horrors that we have seen.
I am scared sometimes too. I am so tired of the situation we find ourselves in. I am worried about my family – about their safety and our future.
But then I think of the children in the streets who stand in line with their jerry cans to collect water. I remember the position that I am in, and the purpose of my role here. I will do whatever I can to support the children of Aleppo. Without water, they cannot survive. My job is clear.
What are some of the challenges you face in providing water and sanitation?
Most of the water in Aleppo comes from the Euphrates River and is pumped in through four pipelines from a plant that is now controlled by one of the armed groups. In Aleppo city, the water is re-pumped through three pumping stations. One is controlled by the Government, two by different armed groups. So already, different parts of the city’s water system are controlled by different parties.
Since the war began in Syria, water has been used many times as a weapon in Aleppo. Sometimes the water is shut off at the source directly, sometimes attacks affect the infrastructure, and sometimes our staff and partners are prevented from staying and maintaining the water services. Last year alone around five million people’s lives across Syria were put at risk.
When water is cut to the city, two million people are at risk of outbreaks of waterborne diseases. These diseases can be deadly, especially for children.
Our team works in a number of ways to manage water needs in Aleppo. We respond to emergencies like we have today by developing a full water system – we truck water into makeshift camps and vulnerable neighborhoods, and we have installed water tanks in more organized shelters for families displaced by the fighting. We have developed 70 wells so far, and plan for 30 more, and we installed 28 water treatment plants on the Queiq River to ensure alternative water sources when crisis hits. And we deliver fuel for generators to keep water pumping stations operating when the electricity system is down.
In the eastern part of the city, before access was cut in July, we were trucking emergency water daily for 20,000 people. With our partner the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, we also started a project to develop 25 new wells to build alternative water sources. We are ready to start emergency trucking again as soon as we can get access, and re-start the wells project so that people can have safe access to clean water. We also need to resume rehabilitation of the water infrastructure.
We urge all parties in the conflict to neutralize water – everybody needs safe drinking water to live.
I am Syrian, and for me, there are certain risks involved in providing these services. But we just want to keep the water flowing. There are real threats, and they are daily. But our UNICEF security team is excellent, which makes us feel safer – and we know the work we are doing is right.
Supporting people in need is the most important job – it is a mission I accepted when I took this job. I will continue to use all my efforts to make sure we can get the technicians, water trucks, and all the other humanitarian assistance we can to ensure the children and families of Aleppo can have access to clean water.
What has made you happy in your job?
In June 2015 when I was overseeing water trucking in a shelter for displaced families in the al-Hamdanya neighbourhood, I noticed a little boy around nine or ten years old watching me. I was talking to other people in the shelter at the time to figure best way to help them, as it was my role to monitor the water trucking. I could tell the boy wanted to talk to me, but he was very shy. I finally caught his eye and I waved him over to me.
He looked so happy to be noticed and told me his name was Amer. When I asked him why he was watching me, he said, “I know your name.” I was surprised, and then I was touched by what he said:
“I know you installed those tanks and that you are providing water for us. I see your vehicles every time you visit our shelter. Before you came here we had no water and I had to stand in line for hours and walk such a long distance under the sun to fetch water to my family. Now I have more time to play with my friends. I want to bring water to people when I get older.”
Maher continues to work with the team in Aleppo, providing water every day to those who need it. Two weeks ago, water from the city’s network was cut for two million people when fighting damaged the electrical system that powers water pumping stations.
Maher with the UNICEF team and partners scaled up their emergency water trucking in parts of Aleppo and began delivering emergency drinking water to around 325,000 people every day. UNICEF is delivering fuel to over 70 UNICEF-equipped wells, providing clean water for 450,000 people. And we are delivering day-to-day emergency fuel supplies to power generators for city pumping stations, so water can reach 1.2 million people across the city through the main networks. But these are day-to-day emergency solutions. And they are not nearly enough. Getting the city’s main water network up and running is the only way to provide sustained, safe drinking water to 2 million people across the city.
While urgent negotiations continue trying to secure safe access for electrical technicians to repair the damaged transmission station, Maher and the UNICEF team are working with partners to keep emergency water flowing for the children and families of Aleppo. In total, UNICEF and partners provide safe drinking water for 13 million Syrians, across the country.
Read more about UNICEF’s WASH programme in Syria
Maher Ghafari joined UNICEF in 2013 as a water, sanitation and hygiene facilitator in Aleppo, his home city. When Syria’s crisis began in 2011, Maher worked as a water and sanitation officer with an NGO in the city. He met his future wife in this job. Before the crisis, Maher worked for a decade in construction, on high rise building projects in countries in the Gulf region. Maher graduated in civil engineering from Aleppo University.
Fighting in South Sudan forces tens of thousands to refugee camps
Source: Danish Refugee Council
Country: Kenya, South Sudan
New, violent fighting in South Sudan has caused around 90,000 people to flee to the neighbouring countries. Most have arrived in Uganda, but also in Kakuma Camp in Northern Kenya.
New, violent fighting in South Sudan has caused around 90,000 people to flee to the neighbouring countries. Most have arrived in Uganda, but also Kakuma Camp in Northern Kenya is receiving hundreds of people every week. Therefore people are moving in to the newest part of Kakuma, the settlement Kalobeyei before construction has even finished.
Kakuma refugee camp in Northern Kenya was built for 90,000 people. But right now it houses around up to 185,000 according to NGO's working in the camp, such as the Danish Refugee Council (DRC). Wars and conflicts in Kenya's neighboring countries, in particular South Sudan, has caused Kakuma to grow and grow since it was established in 1991. After new fighting broke out in South Sudan early in July, refugees are once more arriving by the hundreds every week in Kakuma in search of security and a life without a constant fear of loosing it.
The newest part of Kakuma is called Kalobeyei settlement, which is a 15 minutes drive from the other four parts of the camp. On desert plains, houses build by wooden poles, tin roofs and plastic sheeting stands side by side in long rows. As soon as a house is constructed, a new family moves in. On this particular day in late August, around 2,000 people are waiting for a house to move into.
One of those, who have recently been awarded a house, is 32 year old Grace Jokundo. She is relieved to have arrived in Kenya:
"Every day in South Sudan was filled with war. Here there is peace. I would very much like to stay here," she says.
Grace Jokundo came to Kakuma with her two children, but is now also taking care of three other children aged 10 to 11, whom she found at the reception center. They came to Kenya by themselves after their parents were killed in the fighting in South Sudan.
Almost all refugees here are vulnerable
83 percent of those, who arrive in Kakuma are women and children, who are especially vulnerable in refugee camps, since many of these are either unacompanied children or single mothers. In Kalobeyei settlement, DRC partners with UNHCR and will provide protection for vulnerable refugees and women and children who has suffered from sexually gender based violence (SGBV).
"This is a very sensitive subject in all cultures and off course also for the South Sudanese and there is a need for a safe space where the victims of sexual violence can receive assistance," says Georgia McPeak, who is the Area Manager for Danish Refugee Council in Kakuma.
Danish Refugee Council is right now establishing an office in Kalobeyei. Here refugees will be able to receive private assistance and counseling. The counselors will help the victims and direct them to the hospital if needed, help them connect to the police, if attacks have taken place in the settlement, or help them relocate, if they need to get away from the settlement.
"Victims of sexual abuse risk stigmatization from other refugees and our counsellors can help them relocate to a safe house, if they risk further abuse," Georgia McPeak says.
Another important focus areas is livelihood assistance, so refugees can become self reliant and become independent from the vouchers with a small amount of funds given to refugees each month. The livelihood assistance is happening through a wide variety of activities including scholarships, Savings and Loan Groups, training courses in numeracy and literacy, business management training and accounting.
Dangerous journeys - International migration increasingly unsafe in 2016
Source: International Organization for Migration
Country: Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Egypt, El Salvador, Gambia, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Iraq, Italy, Libya, Mali, Mexico, Morocco, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, Panama, Senegal, Spain, Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey, United States of America, World
As the number of migrant deaths worldwide continues to rise, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has recorded 23 per cent more migrant deaths during the first half of 2016 compared with the same period in 2015.
Germany - As the number of migrant deaths worldwide continues to rise significantly, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has recorded 23 per cent more migrant deaths during the first half of 2016 compared with the same period in 2015.
The latest IOM GMDAC Data Briefing, “Dangerous Journeys,” released on Tuesday 23 August, was prepared by the International Organization for Migration’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC) in Berlin. It takes an in-depth look at the available global figures for migrant deaths and disappearances during the first half of 2016.
The data collected by Missing Migrants Project indicate that the number of people who go missing or die in the process of migration has increased significantly since 2014, especially in the Mediterranean region. The increase can partly be attributed to improving data collection. However, it also speaks to the level of risk associated with attempting to migrate by irregular means across international borders in 2016, as well as the desperation that motivates people to take these migration journeys.
“In the first six months of 2016, worldwide more than 3,700 people went missing or lost their lives,” said GMDAC Director Frank Laczko. “This is a 23 percent increase compared to the same time period in 2015, and a 52 percent increase for the same time period in 2014.”
Dr. Laczko explained this dramatic change can be attributed to a higher number of recorded migrant fatalities in the Mediterranean Sea, North Africa, the Middle East and the Horn of Africa. “Worldwide, the Mediterranean Sea continues to greatly outweigh other regions in terms of the number of people who are recorded missing and/or dead during the process of migration,” he said. “Of the recorded deaths from January to June 2016, 78 percent (2,901) were in the Mediterranean. This compares with 60 percent during the same period in 2015.”
As in 2015, the majority of people who died or went missing in the Mediterranean Sea in the first six months of 2016 were lost in the Central Mediterranean. In the first half of 2016, 1 in 24 migrants died attempting the Central Mediterranean crossing, compared with 1 in 400 on the eastern route.
The high rate of death in the Central Mediterranean compared to other routes is due to two main factors: the significantly longer overseas journey; and more dangerous smuggling strategies. Crossing from North Africa to Italy via the Central Mediterranean is a journey of several hundred kilometres, compared to the dozen or so required to travel the eastern or western routes. Additionally, boats used in the Central Mediterranean are significantly larger than those used on the eastern route.
Migration through Central America, which extends from Panama through Mexico, has led to 43 recorded deaths by various means in the first six months of 2016, and it is likely that more go uncounted. Once migrants reach the border with the United States, they must cross dangerous natural terrain, which has led to at least 161 deaths in the first half of 2016.
Poverty and the fear of detection at official border crossings have long motivated migrants to illegally hop onto freight trains, collectively referred to as “La Bestia” (the beast), as they make their way through Mexico towards the United States. Journeys are notoriously dangerous, with frequent reports of assault, maiming and death from falling off the trains.
However, since the implementation of the Mexican Programa Frontera Sur in July 2014, Missing Migrants Project data indicate that train-related deaths in this region have declined. So far in 2016, 37 per cent of the migrant deaths recorded in Central America were caused by migrants being hit by or having fallen off a train, as opposed to the same period in 2015, when 60 per cent of the recorded deaths were train-related.
Nevertheless, because of the shift to more clandestine means of travel through Central America, such as by foot or hidden in vehicles, when death does occur during migration, there is a higher chance that migrants will not be found immediately, if at all.
The challenges involved in the collection of data and the identification of those who die during migration are also examined in the data briefing. There are significant gaps in knowledge on the location and context of migrant deaths globally, and the numbers recorded by Missing Migrants Project are considered to be vastly underestimated. Nevertheless, even if the numbers are an informed estimate, what before was vague and ill-defined is now a quantified tragedy that must be addressed.
For further information, please contact Frank Laczko at IOM GMDAC in Berlin. Tel. +49 30 278 778 11, Email: email@example.com
Food aid needs in North East nearly double since March
Source: World Food Programme
Country: Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Nigeria
The number of people in need of food assistance in north-eastern Nigeria has risen to 4.5 million, according to a mid-August analysis. A worsening economy could cause the figure to rise by a further million as early as next month.
DAKAR/ABUJA – The number of people in need of food assistance in north-eastern Nigeria has risen to 4.5 million, nearly twice as many as in March, according to a mid-August analysis (Cadre Harmonisé) by various agencies including the UN World Food Programme (WFP).
A worsening economy could see this figure rise by a further million as early as next month. A separate food assessment by WFP has warned of soaring prices in areas affected by the Boko Haram insurgency.
“The news comes as in the past days alone, tens of people have been killed or injured in Nigeria and in neighbouring Chad, Cameroon and Niger – an indication that Boko Haram violence is set to keep pushing more people into hunger and suffering,” said Abdou Dieng, WFP’s Regional Director for West Africa.
According to the Cadre Harmonisé, the number of people struggling with severe food insecurity has risen fourfold since March to over one million (distributed across Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States). This level of food insecurity is classified as ‘emergency phase’: people generally require food assistance to survive. More than 65,000 people – located in newly liberated but still inaccessible areas in Borno and Yobe – are estimated to be facing famine-like conditions.
“All indications point to an extremely grave situation. As the rains set in and the lean season deepens, and more areas are opened up to access humanitarian aid, the full scale of hunger and devastation is likely to come to light,” Dieng added.
The situation remains fluid, with more people uprooted in areas where fighting goes on. Some formerly displaced people are meanwhile returning to find their rural homes uninhabitable: forced to stay in urban areas, they are entirely reliant on external assistance. Further burdened with spiralling inflation, families are having to beg, run up debts or skip meals to survive. Many are reduced to consuming low-nutrient foods – and then, only once a day.
WFP is scaling up its response, aiming to reach over 700,000 people with food and cash assistance in the coming months. This will include specialized nutritious food for 150,000 children under age five. Much of it, as well as medicines, vaccines and medical equipment, is being delivered through the WFP-managed United Nations Humanitarian Air Service, frequently used by the wider humanitarian community.
WFP requires US$52 million to continue providing life-saving assistance until the end of the year in north-eastern Nigeria.
WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food in emergencies and working with communities to build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.
Follow us on Twitter: @WFP_WAfrica, @WFP_Media
For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@example.org):
Adel Sarkozi, WFP/Dakar, Mob. +221 776375964
Jane Howard, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39 06 65132321, Mob. +39 346 7600521
Bettina Luescher, WFP/Geneva, Tel. +41 22 917 8564, Mob. + 41-79-842-8057
Gregory Barrow, WFP/London, Tel. +44 20 72409001, Mob. +44 7968 008474
Gerald Bourke, WFP/New York, Tel. +1-646-5566909, Mob. +1-646 525 9982
UNHCR warns worse is yet to come in Iraq as it prepares for more IDPs
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
"Even with the best-laid plans, there will be insufficient camps for all families needing shelter and we need to prepare other options," said the Agency's representative in Iraq.
With the number of Iraqis displaced due to conflict continuing to rise, the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, is warning that even worse is yet to come. Since March, more than 200,000 Iraqis have fled from their homes due to ongoing military operations. The anticipated offensive for Iraq’s second-biggest city, Mosul, could result, if prolonged, in the displacement of more than a million additional Iraqis.
“Worse is yet to come”, warned UNHCR’s Representative in Iraq, Bruno Geddo. “We predict that it could result in massive displacement on a scale not seen globally in many years.”
“We are building new camps and pre-positioning emergency relief kits to ensure people fleeing get rapid assistance. But even with the best-laid plans, there will be insufficient camps for all families needing shelter and we need to prepare other options”, he said.
Altogether in Iraq, 3.38 million people have been displaced since January 2014, with many uprooted several times. An additional one million Iraqis were displaced as a result of earlier sectarian conflicts in the mid 2000s.
Since March, some 48,000 individuals have fled their homes in Mosul and surrounding areas; with 87,000 fleeing from Falluja and nearby areas since May, and 78,000 from Shirqat, Qayyara and surrounding areas since June.
Wars and conflict in Iraq over the past three decades have left the country deeply traumatized.
UNHCR has been providing humanitarian support, including shelter, emergency relief kits and protection services to displaced families. It has developed contingency plans that could provide shelter assistance for up to 120,000 people fleeing conflict in Mosul and surrounding areas.
Two new IDP camps in Debaga, Erbil Governorate, were completed in July and August. UNHCR is looking to build an additional site, awaiting available land, as Debaga has swollen nearly ten-fold in size since March - from one camp housing 3,500 displaced Iraqis to now several sites, housing more than 34,000.
North of Mosul, one camp is being built at at Zelekan in Sheikhan district, and Amalla, in Telafar district, which will house more than 4,000 families.
In Kirkuk, UNHCR is constructing a new camp in Daquq district, with capacity for 1,000 tents, and expanding additional camp capacity at Nazrawa and Laylan.
Work is also underway in Salah al-Din for a 1,000 tent camp site at Tal al- Seebat.
UNHCR, with other UN agencies and NGO partners, is assessing and identifying other sites in northern Iraq in close consultation with authorities. However, progress depends on both availability of land and of funding. UNHCR’s overall appeal of $584 m for IDPs and Iraqi refugees in the region is only 38% funded as of 2 August.
Finding available land for the new camps has become a critical issue. Many private landowners are unwilling to lease land; other land may be unsuitable due to the topography, its proximity to the frontline or military operations and the risk of contamination of UXOs or landmines, or because sites are located in areas which could inflame ethnic, sectarian, religious or tribal tensions.
The majority of people displaced from Mosul may require out of camp solutions. UNHCR and shelter partners are already procuring emergency shelter kits and relief items, with a target of distributing at least 50,000 of each kit when needs arise.
The emergency shelter kits are designed to help displaced families to prepare rudimentary shelter. They can also be adapted to be used in unfinished buildings or collective centres.
In addition, UNHCR and protection partners will strongly advocate for private and institutional sponsorship arrangements to try to find alternative accommodation solutions. This could be via family and friends, or charitable foundations, endowments and religious or other institutions.
Appeal for urgent response to Uganda refugee crisis
Source: Norwegian Refugee Council
Country: Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, Uganda
The Government and UNHCR are establishing eight new camps. However, this is insufficient to cope with the pace of new arrivals: about 1,700 South Sudanese are arriving in Uganda each day.
Overwhelmed aid agencies in Uganda are armed with insufficient resources to respond to South Sudanese refugees spilling across the border, after renewed violence pushed over 85,000 people into Uganda’s West Nile region since July.
“We are ringing the alarm bell now. Cholera is just one result of us not having resources to decongest reception centres at a quick enough pace,” warned Hosana Adisu, the Norwegian Refugee Council’s Country Representative in Uganda. “Other diseases like diarrhoea, malaria and respiratory track infections are likely to break out if we cannot step up the support we are giving to new arrivals.”
Several refugee transit centres have massively surpassed their holding capacity. For example, the Nyumanzi reception centre in Adjumani was set up to accommodate 3,500 people, but now hosts over 8,000 individuals.
The Government of Uganda and UNHCR are establishing eight new refugee settlements. However, the relocation of refugees to these sites is not matching the pace of new arrivals. About 1,700 South Sudanese are arriving into Uganda each day.
“We fear the recent cholera outbreak in Adjumani may spread to other areas including Yumbe, unless urgent measures are taken to contain the outbreak,” continued Adisu. “Fifty-five people have been treated for suspected cholera so far.”
The new arrivals need urgent assistance including shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene support. Reports of sexual violence against people fleeing South Sudan continue, with a large number of children and youth reportedly suffering from psychosocial trauma as a result of sexual abuse and violence.
While aid agencies are working around the clock to respond to cholera and other rising needs, they cannot respond adequately to the unfolding humanitarian crisis without increased funding. The South Sudanese Refugee Response Plan is only 36 per cent funded, of the US$212 million required to meet needs.
Over 85,000 South Sudanese have fled to Uganda since July 2016, according to UNHCR.
Over 85 per cent of the new arrivals are women and children.
As of the end of July, Uganda hosted over 550,000 refugees. This included 315,000 refugees and asylum seekers from South Sudan, and over 200,000 refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
South Sudan ranks among the countries with the highest levels of conflict-induced population displacement globally. Over 1.6 million people are displaced inside the country, and more than 900,000 have fled to neighbouring countries since December 2013.
6 million people - more than half South Sudan´s population - need humanitarian assistance.
Over 4.8 million people in South Sudan will face severe food shortages over the coming months, and the risk of a hunger catastrophe continues to threaten parts of the country.
The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) is a humanitarian organization working in more than 25 countries globally. For more information the organization’s work in Uganda and South Sudan, go to www.nrc.no.