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Archive for the category “Aid”

CAO Lorwor of Katakwi Letter to Action Aid: “Re: Request for Support for Independence Celebrations” (17.10.2017)

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USA: “Puerto Rico governor sends letter to Congress asking for additional financial assistance following “unprecedented catastrophe” (07.10.2017)

South Sudan: ICRC condems killing of staff member (09.09.2017)

South Sudan: “Why a technocratic transitional government in South Sudan” – Dr. Lam Akol

FAO calls for greater international support for Uganda’s growing number of refugees (31.08.2017)

FAO Director-General visits refugee settlements in Uganda’s North.

ROME, Italy, August 31, 2017 – The FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva called for greater funding for a sustainable response to the refugee crisis in Uganda, after concluding a visit today to refugee settlements in the country’s north.

The Director-General also reaffirmed FAO’s support to the Government of Uganda in its compassionate asylum policy under which land is allocated to refugees for shelter and cultivation.

“Uganda’s refugee model is an example to the world.  It is vital that funds be mobilized to support this effort so that refugees can provide food for themselves sooner rather than relying only on food aid, and so that refugees and their host communities can have a real opportunity to overcome hunger and poverty,” said Graziano da Silva.

“Uganda is giving not only food and land but hope,” he added.

Fastest-growing refugee crisis  
Uganda is host to the fastest-growing refugee crisis in the world. Since July last year, more than one million South Sudanese refugees have crossed into Uganda. The refugees are predominantly women and young people and come from farming or livestock herding communities.

Graziano da Silva visited two refugee settlements, Agojo and Mungula 1, in Adjumani district near Uganda’s border with South Sudan.

At Agojo, the Director-General helped distribute crop and vegetable seeds to more than 1,000 refugee and host community households. This support will enhance families’ nutrition, and generate income from the sale of any surplus.  At Mungula 1, he inaugurated a micro-irrigation project that will provide the refugee and host community households with a reliable source of water for their crops and animals.

High-level dialogue
Prior to visiting the settlements, Graziano da Silva met with Uganda’s Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda.

“People don’t chose voluntarily to become refugees. We have a responsibility to help our brothers by giving them hope because it’s them today, but the situation could change tomorrow,” said Dr. Rugunda.

Under a new response plan, FAO is intensifying its efforts in providing livelihood assistance to refugees and host communities. The plan focuses on food and livestock production, nutrition, protecting the environment and enhanced technical support to the Government.

The Director-General’s visit comes after the UN Secretary General called on the donor community in June to strengthen their support to the refugee response. Uganda requires around $2 billion annually for 2017-2020 to address refugee needs, and donors have so far only pledged around $358 million.

 

South Sudan refugees in Uganda pass 1 million mark, UNHCR renews call for help (18.08.2017)

Over the past 12 months, an average of 1,800 South Sudanese have been arriving in Uganda every day.

GENEVA, Switzerland, August 18, 2017 – UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is today reiterating its call to the international community for urgent additional support for the South Sudan refugee situation and Uganda in particular, where the number of refugees from South Sudan has now reached 1 million.

Over the past 12 months, an average of 1,800 South Sudanese have been arriving in Uganda every day. In addition to the million there, a million or even more South Sudanese refugees are being hosted by Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Central African Republic.

In Uganda, more than 85 per cent of the refugees who have arrived there are women and children (below 18 years in age). Recent arrivals continue to speak of barbaric violence, with armed groups reportedly burning down houses with civilians inside, people being killed in front of family members, sexual assaults of women and girls, and kidnapping of boys for forced conscription.

With refugees still arriving in their thousands, the amount of aid we are able to deliver is increasingly falling short. For Uganda, US$674 million is needed for South Sudanese refugees this year, but so far only a fifth of this amount (21 per cent) has been received. Elsewhere in the region, the picture is only marginally better – in all US$883.5 million is needed for the South Sudan situation, but only US$250 million has been received.

The funding shortfall in Uganda is now significantly impacting the abilities to deliver life-saving aid and key basic services. In June, the World Food Programme was forced to cut food rations for refugees. Across settlements in northern Uganda, health clinics are being forced to provide vital medical care with too few doctors, healthcare workers and medicines. Schooling, meanwhile is also being impacted. Class sizes often exceed 200 pupils, with some lessons held in the open air. Many refugee children are dropping out of education as the nearest schools are too far away for them to easily access.

Since December 2013, when South Sudan’s crisis erupted in Juba, more than two million South Sudanese have fled to neighbouring countries, while another two million people are estimated to be internally displaced.

WFP Begins Food Distributions for Thousands Displaced by Conflict in Kasai Region of DRC (16.08.2017)

ABUJA, Nigeria, August 16, 2017 – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and its partner World Vision have launched an emergency operation to provide food assistance to 42,000 food insecure people in the Kasai and Kasai Central provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Food assistance will be provided to people who have fled their villages due to conflict in the region.
Where safe access is possible, WFP plans to assist 25,000 displaced persons in Kasai Central and 17,000 people in the Kasai province in the coming days. However, WFP urgently requires US$17.3 million to support scale up of its operations to assist 250,000 vulnerable persons in Kasai and Kasai Central provinces from September to December 2017.

Food distributions have started in the town of Tshilumba with further distributions scheduled this month. As part of this effort and where safe access is possible, WFP and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) continue to identify the most vulnerable displaced people in areas identified with high levels of food insecurity, as determined in a recent food security study.

The results of this recent food security assessment showed that in the last year, the number of people in need of urgent humanitarian food assistance in the DRC rose by 1.8 million, from 5.9 million to 7.7 million. In conflict-ridden areas, more than 1.5 million people are facing “emergency” levels of food insecurity, leaving many with no option but to sell everything they have while skipping or reducing their meals.

In addition to food distributions, WFP is leading the Logistics Cluster, which provides technical and logistical support to humanitarian organizations and has been operational in the Kasai region since June. Mobile warehouses have been built to store food and non-food items, while several trucks have been sent to Kasai and Kasai Central to transport food and supplies.

In order to meet the huge needs of the displaced people in hard-to-reach areas, the WFP-led United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) has expanded its support since June, positioning an aircraft in Kananga in Kasai Central on a permanent basis and starting three weekly flights to Tshikapa, Kasai. As a result, those most in need are more accessible to humanitarian organizations.

“We launched this emergency response as soon as funds became available,” said Claude Jibidar, WFP Representative and Country Director in DRC. “We targeted the most vulnerable among the vulnerable, and our access to these displaced people also depend on security conditions. However, with nearly one and a half million displaced people in the Kasai region, additional donor support is essential for WFP to scale up our operations and reach more vulnerable displaced people.”

Scores of people have fled their villages due to the conflict that broke out in the Kasai region in August 2016. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), there are some 1.4 million internally displaced people across the Kasai provinces. In addition, more than 31,000 people have fled the region into neighboring Angola. With up to 3.8 million people displaced in total, the DRC is home to the largest population of internally displaced people in Africa.

The sharp deterioration in people’s food security is mainly attributable to displacement caused by an upsurge in conflict and pest infestation in crops across the country. WFP continues to coordinate with FAO and other partners to serve the most vulnerable people in the Kasai region, as well as in other parts of the country.

Drought-stricken herders in Ethiopia need urgent support (11.08.2017)

Pastoralist communities are facing huge losses of livestock.

ROME, Italy, August 11, 2017 – Supporting herders to get back on their feet and preventing further livestock losses and suffering are crucial in drought-hit Ethiopia where hunger has been on the rise this year, warned today the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

Drought has devastated herders’ livelihoods as it exhausted pastures and water sources, leading to a significant number of animals dying or falling ill, particularly in the southern and southeastern regions of the country as other areas recover from previous seasons’ El Niño-induced drought.

Drought-hit pastoralists face reduced milk production, rising malnutrition, and have limited income-earning capacity and severely constrained access to food.

Some 8.5 million people – one in 12 people – are now suffering from hunger; of these, 3.3 million people live in Somali Region.

The current food and nutrition crisis is significantly aggravated by the severe blow to pastoral livelihoods. For livestock-dependent families, the animals can literally mean the difference between life and death, especially for children, pregnant and nursing women for whom milk is a crucial source of nutrition.

With up to 2 million animals lost so far, FAO is focusing on providing emergency livestock support to the most vulnerable pastoralist communities through animal vaccination and treatment, supplementary feed and water, rehabilitating water points, and supporting fodder and feed production.

“It is crucial to provide this support between now and October – when rains are due – to begin the recovery process and prevent further losses of animals. If we don’t act now, hunger and malnutrition will only get worse among pastoral communities,” said Abdoul Karim Bah, FAO Deputy Representative in Ethiopia.

By providing supplementary feed and water for livestock, while at the  same time supporting fodder production, FAO seeks to protect core breeding animals and enable drought-hit families to rebuild their livelihoods. Animal health campaigns will be reinforced to protect animals, particularly before the rains set in, when they are at their weakest and more susceptible to parasites or infectious diseases. FAO-supported destocking and cash-for-work programmes will also provide a crucial source of cash for families.

Funding appeal

FAO urgently requires US$ 20 million between August and December to come to the aid of Ethiopia’s farmers and herders.

FAO has already assisted almost 500,000 drought-hit people in 2017 through a mix of livestock feed provision, destocking and animal health interventions, thanks to the support of the Ethiopia Humanitarian Fund, Switzerland, Spain, Sweden through FAO’s Special Fund for Emergency and Rehabilitation Activities, the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund, as well as FAO’s own Early Warning Early Action fund and Technical Cooperation Programme.

FAO issues alert over third consecutive failed rainy season, worsening hunger in East Africa (14.07.2017)

Number of people needing humanitarian assistance on the rise.

ROME, Italy, July 14, 2017 – Poor rains across East Africa have worsened hunger and left crops scorched, pastures dry and thousands of livestock dead – according to an alert released today by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
The most affected areas, which received less than half of their normal seasonal rainfall, are central and southern Somalia, southeastern Ethiopia, northern and eastern Kenya, northern Tanzania and northeastern and southwestern Uganda.

The alert issued by FAO’s Global Information and Early Warning System (GIEWS) warns that the third consecutive failed rainy season has seriously eroded families’ resilience, and urgent and effective livelihood support is required.

“This is the third season in a row that families have had to endure failed rains – they are simply running out of ways to cope,” said FAO’s Director of Emergencies Dominique Burgeon. “Support is needed now before the situation rapidly deteriorates further.”

Increasing humanitarian need

The number of people in need of humanitarian assistance in the five aforementioned countries, currently estimated at about 16 million, has increased by about 30 percent since late 2016. In Somalia, almost half of the total population is food insecure. Timely humanitarian assistance has averted famine so far but must be sustained. Conditions across the region are expected to further deteriorate in the coming months with the onset of the dry season and an anticipated early start of the lean season.

The food security situation for pastoralists is of particular concern, in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia, where animal mortality rates are high and milk production from the surviving animals has declined sharply with negative consequences on food security and nutrition.

“When we know how critical milk is for the healthy development of children aged under five, and the irreversible damage its lack can create, it is evident that supporting pastoralists going through this drought is essential,” said Burgeon.

Livestock prices have plummeted because of poor animal body conditions and this, coupled with soaring cereal prices, has severely constrained pastoralists’ access to food.  Rangeland and livestock conditions are expected to further deteriorate at least until the next rainy season starts in October.

Poor crop prospects

In several cropping areas across the region, poor rains have caused sharp reductions in planting, and wilting of crops currently being harvested. Despite some late rainfall in May, damage to crops is irreversible.

In addition, fall armyworm, which has caused extensive damage to maize crops in southern Africa, has spread to the east and has worsened the situation. In Kenya, the pest has so far affected about 200 000 hectares of crops, and in Uganda more than half the country’s 111 districts are affected.

In Somalia there are unfavourable prospects for this year’s main gu crops, after the gu rains were late with poor rainfall and erratic distribution over most areas of the country. In the Lower Shabelle region, the main maize producing area, seasonal rainfall was about 50 percent below- average and drought conditions are currently affecting up to 85 percent of the cropland.

In Ethiopia, unfavourable belg rains in southern cropping areas are likely to result in localized cereal production shortfalls. Drought is also affecting yields in Kenya’s central, southeastern and coastal areas. In Tanzania, unfavourable rains are likely to result in localized cereal production shortfalls in northern and central areas, while in Uganda there are unfavourable production prospects are unfavourable for first season crops in the southwestern and northern districts.

Cereal prices are surging, driven by reduced supplies and concerns over the performance of current-season crops. Prices in May were at record to near-record levels in most markets and up to double their year-earlier levels.

UNHCR welcomes the support of the European Union for South Sudanese new arrivals in Sudan (10.07.2017)

GENEVA, Switzerland, July 10, 2017 – UNHCR’s Representative in Sudan, Noriko Yoshida, welcomed the contribution of EUR 3.1 million in humanitarian funds from the European Union (EU) for South Sudanese new arrivals in Sudan.

“We are seeing a great increase in the number of refugees coming across the border into Sudan, indicating that things are not getting better in South Sudan despite all our hopes for peace and security there. Support from the EU and others is heartily welcomed”, Yoshida said.

Nearly 160,000 South Sudanese refugees have newly arrived in Sudan in the first half of 2017. Yoshida expressed her gratitude to Sudan for its continued generosity hosting over 400,000 South Sudanese refugees since December 2013, and an estimated 350,000 South Sudanese remaining in Sudan following South Sudan’s secession.

Impressed by the generosity of ordinary Sudanese people who share very limited resources with South Sudanese refugees in dire need, Yoshida said UNHCR and its partners are seeking to scale up their assistance to host communities receiving refugees.

“More funding is needed so that we can meet the existing and growing needs of refugees and host communities. Support from EU and other donors will ensure we have the resources to meet immediate needs and put in place adequate services to improve the quality of the current response”.

EU humanitarian funding covers three states (White Nile, East and South Darfur states) out of five states which have been considerably affected by the influx of South Sudanese refugees. The funding is earmarked to registration activities, reception support and shelter and provision of basic household items.

EU humanitarian aid has previously supported UNHCR in the response and provided EUR 4.4 million in 2016 towards UNHCR’s efforts to respond to critical life-saving needs.

UNHCR and its partners have appealed through a Refugee Response Plan for USD 221 million in 2017 to assist refugees and host communities in Sudan. As of June 2017 less than 20% of the funds have been received.

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