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African Union Open-Ended Committee of Ministers of Foreign Affairs on the International Criminal Court Convened its 6th Meeting on the Sidelines of the 32nd Ordinary Session of the Executive Council of the African Union (27.01.2018)

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IGAD: Nairobi Declaration on Durable Solutions for Somali Refugees and Reintegration of Returnees in Somalia (25.03.2017)

 

New Study Finds Worrying Climate Trend in Karamoja Over Last 35 Years (20.03.2017)

Released in Kampala today, the ‘Impacts of Climate Change on Food Security and Livelihoods in Karamoja’ found that temperatures have been rising in Karamoja over the last 35 years.

KAMPALA, Uganda, March 20, 2017 – A new study carried out by the Government of Uganda and its partners has found a new weather pattern that threatens to worsen food insecurity in the Karamoja region if no action is taken.

The study found that the average monthly rainfall in the region increased over the last 35 years and that the rainy season is now longer by two months. However, the rains – which now fall from around March to the end of the year – increasingly varied in volumes. This unpredictability was found to undermine agricultural production, thereby threatening to aggravate food insecurity in Karamoja.

Released in Kampala today, the ‘Impacts of Climate Change on Food Security and Livelihoods in Karamoja’ found that temperatures have been rising in Karamoja over the last 35 years.

The rising temperatures threaten to increase the frequency, intensity and duration of heat waves in the region, therefore reducing availability of water for crops and animals. This too undermines food security.

A large majority of people in Karamoja, particularly women, were not aware that changes to the climate had been taking place over decades, the study states. However, most of the people that had perceived changes to the climate had not taken any action to adapt, typically because they did not know how to do so. Where trees were planted as an adaptation measure, the sale of charcoal and firewood were also a common measure that people took in response to climate-related crop failure.

Sponsored by the Swedish Government, the study was carried out in 2016 by the Ministry of Water and Environment with support from the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the CGIAR Consortium’s Research Programme on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security.

The Uganda Minister for Water and Environment, Sam Cheptoris, said today, “These are significant findings that threaten any hope for Uganda achieving its Vision 2040 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), if no immediate action is taken.”

Cheptoris said that his Ministry was already calling for a national and regional response, advocating for climate change sensitive approaches across all Government sectors, educating the population about climate change, and undertaking emissions profiles.

“Karamoja’s population is heavily dependent on rain-fed agriculture, which is highly vulnerable to climate change,” said El Khidir Daloum, WFP Country Director for Uganda. “However, little has been known previously about the impacts of climate change on food security, and in particular, the ability of households in the region to adapt.”

WFP hopes that the findings and recommendations of the study will contribute to efforts toward appropriate adaptation measures while helping to identify policies that will safeguard the most vulnerable communities in Karamoja.

The study recommended that the Government and its partners increase investments in water harvesting and agroforestry schemes, education of the people, improved access to climate change information and the cultivation of drought-resistant crop varieties.

Within the Ministry of Water and Environment, the study was carried out by the Climate Change Department and the Uganda National Meteorological Authority.

1.6 million People affected in hunger crisis and other growing issues in the agricultural sector in Uganda!

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The Republic of Uganda has certain areas that have been affected with the drought and the lacking rain, which has affected the yields and output of food. The areas that has been in dire straits since El-Nino is in Teso, Karamoja and West Nile; these areas are in different stages, but all as worrying as the 1.6 million people are in a crisis situation, while 26% of all population or 9.3 million people are in a stressed situation. Let’s take a deep breath and look at the numbers coming from the offices of Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda. That has delivered this numbers and they are worrying.

An estimated 1.6 million people (5% of the total population) are in Crisis situation. Those populations are found in Central 1 (0.58 million); Karamoja (0.12 million), Teso (0.2 million), East Central (0.38 million) and South Western (0.31 million) regions. This population has widening food consumption gaps with deteriorating dietary diversity and high malnutrition rates. They are found in Central 1 (0.58 million), Karamoja (0.12 million), Teso (0.2 million), East Central (0.38 million) and South Western (0.31 million) regions. The affected population includes the poorest households with poor food consumption score, low meal frequencies of up to 1 meal a day and low dietary diversity of less than 3 food groups. They have poor purchasing power as their incomes are low and no food stocks at household level. They are mainly coping through food assistance, remittances from relatives, begging, stealing food, wild food gathering and irreversible sale of productive assets to buy food. This population currently needs assistance to bridge the widening food consumption gaps and avert worsening malnutrition” (Office of the Prime Minister, 2017).

You can wonder what is the plan of the Republic when they know that the people have poor purchasing power, while the dwindling yields of the small-farming in these regions, doesn’t have the purchasing power of central regions. The trades and lacking production has equally hurt these citizens in Teso and Karamoja. Therefore the drought and lacking rain-fall has made the situation worse, as much as the rising refugee camps also getting aid and support from United Nation organization. While the republic have not galvanized agricultural structures and supported the citizens in dire need. This shows that the state has forgotten the reason for its existence. But there are more!

An estimated 9.3 million people (26% of the total population) are experiencing Stressed situation. Those populations are in East Central (1.88 million); South Western (1.24 million), Teso (1.1 million) and West Nile (1.04 million) regions. This population has minimum adequate food consumption, employing insurance strategies and are unable to afford some essential non-food expenditures. The prolonged dry spell due to La Nina phenomenon coupled with increasing incidences of crop and livestock pests and diseases such as Cassava Brown Streak, Cassava Mosaic, maize stalk borer, striga and Banana Bacterial Wilt grossly affected production reducing the availability and accessibility of food for this population. The low crop and livestock production negatively impacted household food stocks leading to increased reliance on markets for food. Increasing demand from external markets has induced food price increases, making it difficult for poor households to access food from the market. Deteriorating water and pasture conditions mainly in the cattle corridor have resulted in migrations of livestock keepers, reduction in livestock production and increased spread of livestock diseases. The over whelming influx of refugees from South Sudan has increased demand for food and services in West Nile region” (Office of the Prime Minister, 2017).

So it is bad that 1.6 million people are lacking resource, possibility to produce food, but also that the state doesn’t deliver help or aid to the people. The other numbers of affected people, shows even more the systematic defaults of the state to achieve good production of agricultural output, as the problems with crops, livestock and diseases that shown with Cassava Brown Strak, Cassava Mosaic, Maize Stalk Borer, Sriga and Banana Bacterial Wilt. All of these should be worked on and nourished by the state, through agricultural programs that stops the spread of diseases. This should be important at this stage by not only the Office of the Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda. Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries Hon. Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja should have used the institutions to find solutions to the added strains in the agricultural industries, together with one of his State Ministers.

That the Ministry of Agriculture and Hon. Ssempijja has been lacking guidance as well as funding, most been shown when the millions of affected citizens are the result of little or no plan on important industry as it is. Where so many work and could need state structures to help and guide. There are lacking instruments and use of government institutions to help out in the dire need. Even find out ways to stop the growing problems that makes such a big part of population affected. When a state has 26% of it affected by various issues and the State can find ways to sort it out, than that should be priority, not to buy airplanes and cut taxes for the MPs, but to fix the agricultural yields and water-irrigation that needs. Peace.

Reference:

A Publication of the Office of the Prime Minister – Department of Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Management – “The Official Government of Uganda Inter- Ministerial/Agencies Monthly National Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning Bulletin

15th FEBRUARY to 15th MARCH 2017” Volume 01. Series No. 01. Issues No. 04.

Amid dwindling donor support, one million displaced Somali refugees grow hopeless, UN agency warns (11.01.2017)

Dadaab Refugee Camp

The Somali refugee crisis is one of the longest-running in the world, with people who have been displaced for more than 20 years.

NEW YORK, United States of America, January 11, 2017 – More than one million Somali refugees who have been displaced from their homes for decades are becoming despondent as they continue to be unable to return home and donor support is growing fatigued, according to the United Nations refugee agency.

“There is a growing sense of helplessness in the camps because people are feeling forgotten,” said Mohamed Abdi Affey, the Special Envoy to the Somali refugee situation for the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

The Somali refugee crisis is one of the longest-running in the world, with people who have been displaced for more than 20 years. Some one million live in camps throughout the Horn of Africa, while an additional 1.1 million are displaced within Somalia.

“There has been some real progress in Somalia over the past few months, including the successful organization of elections inside the country,” acknowledged the Special Envoy. “What’s needed now is to build up infrastructures across the country so refugees do not suffer when they go back.”

UNHCR is backing a regional summit, led by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in Eastern Africa, which will take place in March to determine lasting solutions for Somali refugees. A proposed regional response would provide continued protection to 262,000 Somali refugees in a camp in Kenya that has been hosting people for more than 20 years. When a decision was made last year to close the camp, UNHCR lobbied the government with a new plan of action and successfully delayed its closure.

“Nobody wants to be a refugee forever. A regional solution is the most viable solution for the Somali situation,” said Mr. Affey.

Mr. Affey, who previously served as the Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister in Kenya, spoke in Geneva yesterday following a visit to Somalia and to refugee camps in Djibouti, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Uganda, where 905,060 Somalis live – some since the 1990s. He also visited Yemen last month, where refugees face increasingly desperate conditions in a country torn apart by war.

Because of emergencies elsewhere – particularly in Syria and South Sudan – donors have been unable to continue their support.

“Meanwhile, hunger is growing; meanwhile, frustration is growing; meanwhile, desperation is setting in and people are becoming angry,” reported the Special Envoy.

In addition to dwindling food rations, Mr. Affey said that the ongoing drought in East Africa has led to further complications, including limited access to education and skills training, especially for young people.

“Refugees should be skilled enough, trained to prepare them for an eventual return so that they can participate in the reconstruction of their country. So that they don’t go back after 30 years without skills – within the camps we must create these conditions and possibilities.”

UNHCR began supporting the voluntary return of Somali refugees from Kenya in 2014. Since then, a total of 39,316 have returned. However, Mr. Affey noted that security and socio-economic conditions in many parts of Somalia are not yet where they need to be in order to support large-scale returns. He appealed to the international community to strengthen efforts to build stability in a country that has suffered under more than two decades of armed conflict.

‘Dangerous funding gap’ may lead to more cuts in food rations for refugees in Kenya – UN (08.12.2016)

Dadaab Refugee Camp

Beginning this month, the UN agency was forced to reduce food ration by half for the refugees’ monthly entitlement, which will only last until the end of February if no further funding received.

NAIROBI, Kenya, December 8, 2016 -Forced to make a new round of cuts in food rations for refugees in Kenya, the World Food Programme (WFP) has appealed urgently for nearly $14 million to feed the 434,000 refugees living in Kenya’s Dadaab and Kakuma camps and in the new Kalobeyei settlement.

“We are appealing to donors to quickly come to the aid of the refugees, who rely on WFP food assistance for survival,” Annalisa Conte, WFP’s Representative and Country Director for Kenya, said in a news release.

WFP currently provides food relief to refugees in Kenya’s Dadaab and Kakuma camps, as well as the newly established Kalobeyei settlement. This assistance comes as cash transfers and food distributions. For those most vulnerable, the agency also offers specialized fortified foods to prevent malnutrition.

“WFP immediately requires $13.7 million to cover the food and cash needs for the refugees between December and April,” stressed Ms. Conte.

Beginning this month, the UN agency was forced to reduce food ration by half for the refugees’ monthly entitlement, which will only last until the end of February if no further funding received.

While cash transfers have not yet been cut, they are due to be exhausted by the end of January. If the agency is forced to discontinue the cash transfers, however, it will specifically affect 7,500 refugees in the recently launched Kalobeyei settlement, as the only form of food assistance they receive is cash.

“A generous and critically important $22 million shipment of food from the United States is en route to Dadaab and Kakuma and should be available for distribution by May,” Ms. Conte said, while warning: “But we have a dangerous gap in funding until then.”

She further reiterated that without an urgent response from other donors, WFP will completely run out of food for more than 400,000 people in Dadaab and Kakuma at the end of February.

Our brave New World Order… Is too leave the ICC

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“Why is UN not paying much attention to member states that are clearly sliding into turmoil and crisis and instead is majorly involved in the after effects of Humanitarian assistance. It doesn’t make sense. We can’t wait until it’s too.”Francis Mwijukye [35th Inter Parliamentary Union- Geneva: High level United Nations Management committee Meeting on Development assistance, Humanitarian assistance, peace keeping operations and Mormative treaty related knowledge, 26.10.2016]

We are living in a brave new world where the world order is switching… its twists and turns, the morning dew disappears and the sun kisses the earth yet again. The last few days the world has changed. Because Nations and States have made decisions that matters; they are not only talking, but now they are acting on it.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) of The Hague is under fire. After Burundi, South Africa and Gambia are thinking of pulling out of the International Court that access the genocides and crimes against humanity.

With the escalated conflicts, the stories of lives doing whatever they can flee nations, this is happening from the internal conflict inside Burundi, Burundians refugees are now in Tanzania, Rwanda and in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This because the President Pierre Nkurunziza decided to stay in power for a third term; when the Constitution of Burundi said the Executive only could have two!

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The same with the internal fighting between SPLM/A VS. SPLM/A-IO in South Sudan; where there is battle of power between President Salva Kiir and former FVP Dr. Riek Machar. Because of the conflict in South Sudan the civilian refugees have fled to Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and Ethiopia. Now MONUSCO got SPLM/A-IO and Dr. Machar from the DRC to Khartoum earlier this year.

In Kenya this is happening: while the Somali Refugees are now being sent home from Kenya under the command of the government there. This happening while opposition in all of the countries mentioned has optionally torturing, arresting, detaining and even harassing them if needed be. The Kenyan Government using the fear of Al-Shabaab to send the refugees away and also hustle more donor-funding from the United States. That happens because the Jubilee apparently didn’t’ earn enough coins on NYS, Eurobonds or whatever scheme they had in play at the time.

In this New World order that is arranged while the Government are using their Security Organizations to silence opposition. While the Nation with the African Union (AU) Headquarters and are the leader of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the Ethiopian Government even uses helicopters, artillery and soldiers to kill civilians in the regions of Amhara and Oromo people. This is a Nation who has soldiers in Peacekeeping mission all around the Continent, but using all kind of force to oppress their own.

UN Burundi

So in this place and time with more totalitarian regimes, with more leaders not leaving offices and with less political freedom; the International Justice is winding down. The rule of law internationally right now is losing its power, while the United Nation’s negations and diplomatic missions like the Inter-Burundian Dialogue under former Tanzanian President Benjamin Mpaka hasn’t gone anywhere. While the dialogue between UN’s own Edem Kodjo hasn’t created anything resembling a General Election run by the CENI in the DRC. That is because President Joseph Kabila has no plan of leaving office without using force on his own. This is happening while the bloodshed continues in the Kivu’s, while the MONUSCO and FARDC watching it in silence. ADF-NALU and the Mayi-Mayi continues as well together with the Ex-FARDC Gen. Muhindo  Akili Mundos has also blood on his hands. This is happening while the Rwandan State still can export high-grade minerals that they cannot even produce or has mines to extract on their soil. This has been happening since the first war in the late 1990s.

So the New World Order is more of the same… the same kind of violence, the other change is the new brave leaders who defy the International Order. They don’t want to follow it when they feel it is unfair. United Nations (UN) might be next or the World Trade Organization (WTO) or the World Health Organization (WHO). As they might respect the International Monetary Fund (IMF) or the World Bank (World Bank) because they need their financial stability or the financial stimulus that backs the budgets and aspects the government needs to pay their elites, businesses and whatever it takes to keep the regimes a-float.

This is the grand issues… the human rights violations, killings and detentions… so the Presidents and their Administrations are now afraid of the ICC. They are worried that their actions be served by the Court and they have to answer for their crimes. Doesn’t matter if this court exists or not; the UN should put up Tribunals after the Internal Conflicts like they done in the past. Than it is not direct prosecutions or charges that the ICC has put on Executives or any in the inner-circle of ruling regimes as they know their using illegal forces to silence their people and citizens. Though the feelings from African Nations that they are feeling threaten by the ICC and their actions as they are not going-in on Europeans or Americans in general, while African Generals and Politicians are hand-picked.

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I’m just waiting for the honourable nations of Morocco, Mauritania, Egypt, Sudan, Somalia, Republic of Congo, Mozambique, Angola, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Swaziland, Togo, Guinea, and Equatorial Guinea, and so on… There are more that will make decisions to leave, as even Cote d’Ivoire might revoke their place.

There are fears on the horizon, the ICC is losing its standing, the international community better listen as the men who are greedy on power and resources take it in these days by any means and hope to get away with it, while their people suffer. The only differences at our time are that information is not forgotten or not told. It’s there for those who listen; time to consider and rethink the World Order and where we want to be. Peace.

Dadaab, Kenya: Return of Refugees to Somalia in Current Conditions ‘Inhumane and Irresponsible’ (13.10.2016)

Dadaab Refugee Camp

NAIROBI, Kenya, October 13, 2016 – As the announced closure of the world’s largest refugee camp draws closer, and thousands begin the return to war-ravaged Somalia,[1] Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is calling for other alternatives to be urgently considered by the Government of Kenya and the UNHCR, supported by donor countries.

In a report released today by MSF, ‘Dadaab to Somalia: Pushed Back Into Peril,’ more than eight out of ten refugees surveyed say they do not want to return, with the main concerns cited including fear of forced recruitment into armed groups, sexual violence and the non-availability of healthcare. [2]

In the report, MSF also highlights the severe medical consequences of such a massive return.

It is clear that refugee camps are not the best way to manage a protracted 25-year crisis but closing them now without offering other durable solutions pushes them back to a conflict zone, where medical care is dangerously absent,” says Bruno Jochum, MSF General Director. “This decision is yet another blight on refugee protection globally, where again we see total failure in providing safe haven for people in danger. The UN itself has recently declared that five million are at risk of hunger inside Somalia. Sending back even more people to suffer is both inhumane and irresponsible.”

Somalia: an acute lack of medical care
In Dagahaley, one of the five camps which make up Dadaab, MSF medical teams have seen children arriving from Somalia having not been vaccinated against a range of preventable diseases, a telling indication of a health system torn apart by more than two decades of war where even basic care is barely existent. Pregnant women will have minimal care, putting their own lives and their unborn babies under threat. People with chronic medical conditions are also at risk – whether they are diabetics who need life-saving insulin, or people with hypertension who need ongoing treatment.

Additionally, mental health patients are in danger. In Dagahaley, 70% of MSF’s mental health patients are on medication. “If a patient with psychosis is forced to come off their medication, their cognitive function and behaviour development goes into reverse. Stuck in a country where mental health services are basically non-existent would put their lives in severe jeopardy,” says Liesbeth Aelbrecht, Head of Mission for MSF in Kenya.

A call to Kenya, the UNHCR and donor countries: other solutions urgently required
Eighty-six percent of surveyed refugees in Dagahaley do not want to go back to Somalia. Fears around insecurity were acute with nearly all – males and females – stating that the risk of sexual violence is high. MSF is therefore questioning the ‘voluntary’ nature of the returns that the UNHCR is helping facilitate.

“The fears that the refugees tell us about are real,” says Aelbrecht. “It is crucial that any return is voluntary, and refugees must have all necessary information about the services and conditions which will meet them in Somalia.”

MSF reiterates that setting up Dadaab style camps across the border is shifting responsibility and abandoning the protection of refugees. Other more durable solutions, such as smaller camps in Kenya, increased resettlement to third countries, or integration of refugees into Kenyan communities, should be urgently considered. Additionally, MSF appeals to the international community to share the responsibility with the Government of Kenya.

“It is unacceptable that – without any other solution being offered – thousands are essentially being pushed back into conflict and acute crisis: the very conditions they fled,” concludes Aelbrecht.”Kenya should not shoulder this burden alone. Funding from donor countries needs to be directed to providing sustained assistance in the country of refuge, not to supporting what will essentially be a forced return to a warzone.”

MSF does not accept any government funding for its project in Dadaab – all funding is provided by private donors.

MSF first started working in Dadaab in 1992 and is currently the only provider of medical care in Dagahaley camp. Staff are working in the 100-bed hospital in Dagahaley camp and at two health posts, providing outpatient and mental health consultations, surgery, and antenatal, HIV and TB care. Overall in 2015, teams carried out 182,351 outpatient consultations and admitted 11,560 patients to the hospital.

[1] Some 30,000 refugees have returned to Somalia since a tripartite agreement on voluntary repatriation between the Governments of Kenya and Somalia and the UNHCR was signed in November 2013. The majority of these – 24,000 – have left during the course of 2016.

[2] To understand the refugees’ concerns and needs, in July and August 2016 MSF conducted a series of discussions and interviews, and a household survey, with refugees in Dagahaley camp about their current situation and the prospect of a return to Somalia. Focus group discussions involved 75 people (42 male and 33 female) in Dagahaley camp. Interviews were carried out with 31 people including patients, MSF incentive workers and community members. The survey polled 838 heads of households (53% male and 47% female) in Dagahaley camp, with households totalling 5,470 individuals.

Press Release: African Commission Calls on Uganda to Ensure The Right to Legal Abortion and Access to Reproductive Health Services (07.03.2016)

Kabare Hospital 11.12.15

The government of Uganda should stop impeding access to medical abortion and reproductive health services, according to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights—a regional body charged with ensuring African states comply with their human rights obligations under regional and international human rights treaties.

The African Commission’s recommendations call for Uganda to implement the Maputo Protocol—the only treaty, at both the international and regional levels, that explicitly guarantees the right to legal abortion in cases of sexual assault, rape, incest, and where the continued pregnancy endangers the mental and physical health or life of the woman or in cases of fatal fetal impairments.

Abortion in Uganda is legal in limited circumstances, yet approximately 85,000 women each year receive treatment for complications from unsafe abortion and an additional 65,000 women experience complications but do not seek medical treatment.

“Too many women and girls in Uganda put their health and lives at risk because the government has failed to ensure they have access to safe abortion services when they need it,” said Evelyne Opondo, regional director for Africa at the Center for Reproductive Rights. “We commend the African Commission for putting the reproductive rights of these women and girls first, and urge Uganda to expedite implementation of the Maputo Protocol and expand access safe and legal abortion.”

Abim Hospital 2014 P2

The Center for Reproductive Rights and Center for Health, Human Rights and Development (CEHURD) submitted a letter to the African Commission in October 2014 that highlighted a range of reproductive health and human rights issues including the lack of access to comprehensive contraceptive services and information, lack of access to safe abortion services and post-abortion care, high incidence of maternal deaths and injuries, discrimination against women living with HIV and AIDS, and expulsion of pregnant girls from school.

In its recommendations, the Africa Commission urges Uganda to expedite all draft bills in Parliament which have bearing on protection of women’s rights, including the Marriage and Divorce Bill which has been pending for more than 15 years. The commission also calls for the strengthening of protections for Ugandans livings with HIV and AIDS, including making amendments to the “HIV Prevention and AIDS Control Bill.” The law, which was passed in August 2014, criminalizes the transmission of HIV, a measure that allows doctors to violate patients’ confidentiality and disclose their HIV status without consent, and calls for mandatory testing for pregnant women and their partners in violation of their human rights.

“The provisions in the HIV Prevention and AIDS Control Bill are discriminatory and only deter people from accessing health services, including HIV testing,” said Moses Mulumba, Executive Director of CEHURD. “We call on the state to reconsider these provisions and promote the realization of the right to health in Uganda.” 

The Center has worked extensively in Uganda on the human rights implications of lack of access to legal abortion and modern contraceptives. In November 2013, the Center, the International Women’s Human Rights Clinic and the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown Law released a joint report entitled The Stakes Are High: The Tragic Impact of Unsafe Abortion and Inadequate Access to Contraception in Uganda. The report documents personal stories of women impacted by the widespread and false impression that abortion is illegal in all circumstances in Uganda— when in fact it is permitted for women with life-threatening conditions and victims of sexual assault.

In 2012, the Center launched its first research report on Uganda’s laws and policies on termination of pregnancy. The report found that the laws and policies are more expansive than most believe, and Uganda has ample opportunity to increase access to safe abortion services.

UN To Build The Resilience Of Communities In Karamoja (05.02.2016)

FAO Uganda Information Bulletin January 2014

FAO, UNICEF and WFP launch joint resilience strategy to improve well-being of Karimojong

KAMPALA Three United Nations agencies in Uganda are implementing a new multi-year resilience strategy to help transform the lives of vulnerable people in the Karamoja region of North Eastern Uganda.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) are combining their efforts to empower households and communities and to strengthen government capacities. Together, they will work to enable the people of Karamoja to recover, reorganize themselves and move forward after experiencing external stresses and disturbances, including droughts or floods.

The Joint Resilience Strategy for Karamoja Region will focus on four areas: diversifying livelihood strategies and intensifying production in order to increase household income and improve food security; improving basic social services to strengthen vulnerable households’ human capital; establishing predictable safety nets; and strengthening disaster risk management support.

The FAO Country Representative, Mr. Alhaji Jallow, said, “This is an extremely significant development. It is a commitment to collaboration, efficiency and demonstration of results in Karamoja.”  Working collectively, he said, the agencies will multiply the impact of their work, reduce transaction costs for communities and the government, and allow individual organizations to more powerfully use their experience in strengthening service delivery systems.

Karamoja is vulnerable to multiple stresses and shocks, including climatic, economic, conflict and health-related challenges. According to the regional Resilience Analysis Unit, the main shocks and stresses for Karamoja include erratic and uneven rainfall, livestock disease outbreaks, crop pests, high food prices, food insecurity, livestock losses, inadequate access to education and health services, and inadequate access to water and sanitation.

The Country Representative of UNICEF, Ms. Aida Girma, said, “This collaboration will strengthen basic services for children and women that will increase their resilience to shocks and help to keep them alive, healthy, in school and protected.” She also said that building household resilience cannot be sustained unless the overall system to deliver the services is strengthened.

The acting WFP Country Director, Mr Michael Dunford, said, “While Karamoja continues to face significant socio-economic challenges, partly due to climate change, opportunities for development have never been more ripe. With increased security, reduced poverty levels and a renewed commitment by the government, partners can achieve more through enhanced collaboration.”

Each of the three agencies has more than 20 years’ experience working with communities in Karamoja. Together, they represent 90 percent of the United Nations’ activities in the region.

About FAO

FAO leads international efforts to defeat hunger. It helps countries to modernize and improve agriculture, forestry and fisheries practices and ensure good nutrition for all. FAO focuses special attention on developing rural areas, home to 70 percent of the world’s poor and hungry people. For more information visit: www.fao.orgor follow FAO on Twitter @FAOnews

About UNICEF

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org or follow UNICEF on Facebook and Twitter.

About WFP

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

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