Category: Mali

World: Your trusted partner in humanitarian action in Africa: 2017 Annual Report

Source: International Federation of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies
Country: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda, World, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Message from our Regional Director

Despite numerous humanitarian challenges in 2017 in Africa, there were also a number of heart-warming accomplishments. A case in point, was when a local response of Red Crescent teams—and other partners—curbed Somalia’s cholera outbreak through the power of local volunteers and shared international expertise. In terms of support to our members, 36 National Societies were able to kick start initiatives that built their capacity through seed grants.

It is such highlights that I am pleased to present in this annual report for 2017, a year during which the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in Africa continued to pursue the direction and specific milestones defined in the “IFRC in Africa, Road Map 2017 – 2020.” The humanitarian context in 2017 remained challenging. A food crisis continued to worsen in Somalia, Ethiopia, South Sudan, north-east Nigeria and Central African Republic (CAR). The refugee crisis in Uganda was compounded by a new influx of thousands of people fleeing conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In Madagascar, an outbreak of pneumonic plague killed over 100 people. In the same year, Cyclone Enawo, the strongest storm to hit Madagascar in over a decade, left enormous humanitarian needs in its wake.

Perhaps one of the most dreadful humanitarian disasters of the year was when deadly mudslides killed over 1,000 people in a very short time on the outskirts Freetown, Sierra Leone, leaving about 8,000 families of survivors in need of humanitarian assistance.
Our gallant volunteers responded to all of these challenges with unerring courage and determination. Sadly, it was not without a price: several volunteers lost their lives in line of duty in 2017. Six Red Cross volunteers were killed in an attack on a health centre in southeast Central African Republic on 3 August.

That was the third attack on Red Cross workers in Central African Republic that year. In January 2017, in Nigeria, six Red Cross aid workers were killed in an airstrike on the town of Rann, near the border of Nigeria and Cameroon.

My experience as the IFRC Regional Director for Africa continues to be immeasurably rewarding. The commitment of the network of African Red Cross and Red Crescent staff, volunteers and partners in response to the needs of vulnerable communities has inspired me to be deeply committed to the Movement. It is humbling to see the greatest strength of African National Societies – the volunteers – at work. The 1.4 million volunteers in Africa who selflessly offer unparalleled presence at local level. They help us to respond fast, and to go the extra mile.

I would like to take this opportunity to express my deepest gratitude to Red Cross Red Crescent staff and volunteers and IFRC colleagues who made 2017 a successful, if challenging, year. Their dedication and hard work has ensured we’ve reached millions across the region. This report provides useful insights and inspiration for taking humanitarian work in Africa to the next level.

Dr Fatoumata Nafo-Traoré Regional Director, IFRC Africa

World: Humanitarian Funding Update October 2018 – United Nations Coordinated Appeals

Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Country: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Rwanda, Senegal, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Ukraine, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), World, Yemen

United Nations-coordinated Appeals

FUNDING REQUIRED $25.20B

FUNDING RECEIVED $11.97B

UNMET REQUIREMENTS $13.23B

COVERAGE 47.5%

PEOPLE IN NEED 135.3 M

PEOPLE TO RECEIVE AID 97.9 M

COUNTRIES AFFECTED 41

Global Humanitarian Funding

FUNDING RECEIVED $17.98B

UN-COORDINATED APPEALS $11.97B

OTHER FUNDING $6.01B

Global Appeal Status

  • At the end of October 2018, 21 Humanitarian Response Plans (HRP) and the Syria Regional Response Plan (3RP) require US$25.20 billion to assist 97.9 million people in urgent need of humanitarian support. The plans are funded at $11.97 billion; this amounts to 47.5 per cent of financial requirements for 2018. Requirements are lower than in September 2018 due to revision of the Ethiopia Humanitarian and Disaster Resilience Plan (HDRP). For the remainder of 2018, humanitarian organizations require another $13.23 billion to meet the needs outlined in these plans.

  • Global requirements are $1.10 billion higher than at this time last year. Overall coverage and the dollar amount were only marginally higher in late October than at the same time in 2017.

  • On 8 October the Government of Ethiopia and humanitarian partners issued a Mid-Year Review of the HDRP. The revised plan reflects changes in the humanitarian context, and requires $1.49 billion for 2018, as opposed to the March 2018 requirement of $1.6 billion to reach some 7.88 million people in need of food or cash relief assistance and 8.49 million people with non-food assistance in the course of the year. Despite the general good performance of this year’s belg (spring) rains, the number of people targeted for relief food and cash support remains largely unchanged due to the significant spike in internal displacement since April 2018.

Security Council Briefings and High Level Missions

  • At a briefing to the Security Council on 23 October, Under-Secretary-General/Emergency Relief Coordinator (USG/ERC) Mark Lowcock called on all stakeholders to do everything possible to avert catastrophe in Yemen. In a follow up note on the humanitarian situation in Yemen of 30 October, the USG/ERC thanked the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, United States, Kuwait, the United Kingdom and all donors for the record amount raised for the humanitarian appeal in 2018 which had meant nearly 8 million people had received assistance across the country; more than 7 million people had received food and more than 420,000 children been treated for malnutrition; clean water, sanitation and basic hygiene support is now available to 7.4 million people and about 8 million men, women, girls and boys had benefited from health services.

  • At a Security Council briefing on the humanitarian situation in Syria on 29 October, the USG/ERC urged the Security Council and key Member States to ensure that the ceasefire holds in Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib to prevent a military onslaught and overwhelming humanitarian suffering. He thanked donors for the $1.7 billion contributed so far towards the HRP for Syria, but pointed out that this HRP is currently funded at less than 50 per cent.

  • In her statement to the Security Council on 30 October, Assistant Under-Secretary-General/Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator (ASG/DERC)
    Ursulla Mueller spoke of the steady decline in humanitarian funding for the Ukraine over the years and mentioned that the HRP for 2018 is funded at only 32 per cent. This is simply not enough to cover food, health care, water, sanitation and other life-saving assistance. ASG/DERC Mueller appealed to donors to increase their support for consolidating gains in anticipation of the fast-approaching winter.

  • During a joint mission to Chad and Nigeria (5-7 October) with UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner, as part of a series of country visits the two will make to advance humanitarian-development collaboration, the USG/ERC called on donors to fulfil pledges and announcements of over $2 million made in Berlin last month at the High Level Conference on the Lake Chad Region (3-4 September). He noted the importance of maintaining humanitarian response in the region as needs were still very high.

  • Following her visit to the Republic of the Philippines from 9 to 11 October, ASG/DERC Mueller announced that OCHA would continue advocating for sustained funding to address humanitarian needs of people displaced by the Marawi conflict while ensuring that support for the transition to longerterm and sustainable recovery is forthcoming.

Upcoming Event

  • The Global Humanitarian Overview 2019 and World Humanitarian Data and Trends will be launched in the course of joint event to take place in the Palais des Nations, Geneva, from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on 4 December 2018.

Pooled Funds

  • Between January and the end of October 2018, country-based pooled funds (CBPFs) have received a total of $708 million in contributions from 32 donors (including contributions through the UN Foundation). During the same period, a total of $616 million from the 18 operational funds was allocated towards 1,071 projects with 575 implementing partners. Nearly 40 per cent ($246 million) of the funds were allocated to international NGOs and some 26 per cent (approximately $160 million) to national NGOs. UN agencies received 32 per cent ($202 million) of the allocated funds and Red Cross/Red Crescent organizations received over 1 per cent (some $8 million) of all allocated funds. The largest allocations per sector went to health; food security; water, sanitation and hygiene; nutrition; emergency shelter and NFIs.

  • Between 1 January and 31 October 2018, the Emergency Relief Coordinator approved $477 million in grants from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to support life-saving activities in 45 countries. This includes $297.7 million from the Rapid Response Window and $179.7 million from the Underfunded Emergencies (UFE) Window. A total of $31.6 million in Rapid Response grants was approved in October in response to cholera outbreaks in Zimbabwe, Niger and Nigeria; flooding in Laos; and the population influx from Venezuela to Brazil, Ecuador and Peru; as well as to support Government relief efforts following the earthquake and tsunami in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia. The UFE 2018 second round was completed this month, with $30.6 million approved in September and the remaining $49.4 million of the round’s $80 million released in October to assist people caught up in nine chronic emergencies in Angola, Bangladesh, Burundi, Central African Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Libya,
    Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Sudan.

Country Updates

  • Funding for humanitarian activities in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) is at an all-time low. Nearly all agencies requesting financial support through the HRP have received less funding in 2018 than in previous years. This leaves humanitarian partners ill-placed to meet emerging needs or respond to the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Gaza, where the rise in casualties during the recent demonstrations has stretched Gaza’s overburdened health system.
    Humanitarian agencies appealed in August for $43.8 million to respond to the Gaza crisis, particularly trauma management and emergency health care, in 2018. On 22 September, the Humanitarian Coordinator for the oPt launched an $8.3 million allocation from the oPt Humanitarian Fund to implement critical HRP projects, mainly in Gaza. Stocks of medical supplies are in extremely short supply and depleted to almost half of requirements. Since late October, the Gaza power plant has been providing up to eleven hours of electricity a day. However, around 250 health,
    WASH and essential solid waste facilities continue to rely on UN-procured emergency fuel for running back-up generators. This year’s intensive operations have depleted funds and stocks and the $1 million allocated by the oPt Humanitarian Fund for fuel supplies will only last until the end of November. Further and urgent financial support is therefore required.

  • Conditions in Yemen continued to deteriorate in October, pushing the country to the brink of famine. On 23 October, the USG/ERC warned the Security Council that without urgent action, up to 14 million people – half the population – could face pre-famine conditions in the coming months.
    Assessments are currently under way, with initial results expected in mid-November. The economic crisis is raising the risk of famine. The Yemeni rial has depreciated by nearly 50 per cent over the last year. Commodity prices have soared, as Yemen imports 90 per cent of staple food and nearly all fuel and medicine.

Urgent steps are required to avert immediate catastrophe. First, a cessation of hostilities is needed; this is especially critical in populated areas.
Second, imports of food, fuel and other essentials must be able to enter Yemen without impediment. Roads must remain open so these goods can reach communities across the country. Third, the Yemeni economy must be supported, including by injecting foreign exchange, expediting credit for imports and paying salaries and pensions. Fourth, international funding must increase now to allow humanitarians to meet growing needs for assistance. Finally, all parties must engage with the UN Special Envoy to end the conflict. Yemen remains the largest humanitarian operation in the world, with more than 200 partners working through the Yemen HRP.

World: The Market Monitor – Trends and impacts of staple food prices in vulnerable countries, Issue 39 – April 2018

Source: World Food Programme
Country: Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Benin, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic (the), Lebanon, Lesotho, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Senegal, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Republic of Tanzania, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), World, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Global Highlights

• In Q1-2018, the FAO cereal price index rose by 8.6 percent from Q1-2017, while the global food price index declined by 2 percent year-on-year.

• The real price for wheat was 22 percent above Q1-2017 levels: crops suffered dryness in the United States and cold weather in Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States, leaving production forecasts open to a downward revision.3 World ending stocks remain at record levels.

• The real price for maize was 6 percent higher than last quarter but stable compared to Q1-2017.
Overall favourable crop conditions offset mixed production outcomes in the southern African regions, leading to firm world supplies.

• The real price of rice increased by 14 percent from Q1-2017, with a slight contraction of stocks in exporting countries and increased buying interest from importing countries.

• In Q1, the real price of crude oil increased by 5 percent from the previous quarter following an agreement on extensive production cuts in major oil-producing countries.

• The cost of the basic food basket increased severely (>10%) in Q1-2018 in five countries: Bangladesh, Central African Republic, Rwanda, the Sudan and Yemen. High increases (5–10%) were seen in Indonesia, Iraq, Myanmar, South Sudan, Turkey and Viet Nam. In the other monitored countries, the change was moderate or low (<5%).

• Price spikes, as monitored by ALPS, were detected in 19 countries, particularly in Burkina Faso, Haiti, Mali, Sudan, Sri Lanka, South Sudan and the Sudan (see the map below).4 These spikes indicate crisis levels for the two most important staples in each country, which could be maize, milk, millet, oil, rice, sorghum, sweet potatoes or wheat.

World: Countering Trafficking in Persons in Conflict Situations

Source: UN Office on Drugs and Crime
Country: Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Central African Republic, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Mali, Nepal, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, World, Yemen

THEMATIC PAPER

Executive summary Background and purpose

Trafficking in persons is a serious crime that affects every country in the world. Conflicts that arise in countries or other geographical areas can exacerbate vulnerability to trafficking, as well as its prevalence and severity. As State and non-State structures weaken, and as people turn to negative coping strategies in order to survive, not only does the risk of falling victim to trafficking increase, but so too does the risk of perpetrating it against others. At the same time, conflict also increases the demand for goods and services provided by exploited persons and creates new demands for exploitative combat and support roles. For these reasons, United Nations entities and other international actors active in settings affected by conflict have a crucial role to play in preventing and countering trafficking in persons.

Definition and elements of trafficking in persons

Trafficking in persons is addressed in the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (Trafficking in Persons Protocol). The Protocol provides a comprehensive framework for cooperation between States parties and sets out minimum standards for victim protection to complement the wider framework of international law, including international human rights law. The Protocol requires States parties to criminalize the offence of trafficking as defined in its article 3 (a). That definition comprises three elements:

(a) An “act” (recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons);
(b) A “means” by which that action is achieved (threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or a position of vulnerability, or the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve consent of a person having control over another person);
(c) A “purpose” of exploitation, regardless of what type.

The “means” element is not a requisite for the definition of trafficking in persons when the victim is a child; any act committed for an exploitative purpose is sufficient to establish the trafficking of a child as an offence.

Even though the forms of exploitation that occur in settings affected by conflict may also occur in other contexts, conditions of conflict are often more likely to engender such exploitation or to exacerbate its prevalence and severity. Some forms of exploitation, identi- fied through research on exploitative practices in conflict settings, have emerged as specific to the context of conflict, including but not limited to the following:

• Sexual exploitation of women and girls by members of armed and terrorist groups
• Use of trafficked children as soldiers
• Removal of organs to treat wounded fighters or finance war
• Enslavement as a tactic of terrorism, including its use to suppress ethnic minorities

Consent of the victim to exploitation is irrelevant in cases where any of the means have been used in relation to an adult victim, and is always irrelevant where the victim is a child.

World: Countering Trafficking in Persons in Conflict Situations

Source: UN Office on Drugs and Crime
Country: Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Central African Republic, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Mali, Nepal, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, World, Yemen

THEMATIC PAPER

Executive summary Background and purpose

Trafficking in persons is a serious crime that affects every country in the world. Conflicts that arise in countries or other geographical areas can exacerbate vulnerability to trafficking, as well as its prevalence and severity. As State and non-State structures weaken, and as people turn to negative coping strategies in order to survive, not only does the risk of falling victim to trafficking increase, but so too does the risk of perpetrating it against others. At the same time, conflict also increases the demand for goods and services provided by exploited persons and creates new demands for exploitative combat and support roles. For these reasons, United Nations entities and other international actors active in settings affected by conflict have a crucial role to play in preventing and countering trafficking in persons.

Definition and elements of trafficking in persons

Trafficking in persons is addressed in the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (Trafficking in Persons Protocol). The Protocol provides a comprehensive framework for cooperation between States parties and sets out minimum standards for victim protection to complement the wider framework of international law, including international human rights law. The Protocol requires States parties to criminalize the offence of trafficking as defined in its article 3 (a). That definition comprises three elements:

(a) An “act” (recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons);
(b) A “means” by which that action is achieved (threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or a position of vulnerability, or the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve consent of a person having control over another person);
(c) A “purpose” of exploitation, regardless of what type.

The “means” element is not a requisite for the definition of trafficking in persons when the victim is a child; any act committed for an exploitative purpose is sufficient to establish the trafficking of a child as an offence.

Even though the forms of exploitation that occur in settings affected by conflict may also occur in other contexts, conditions of conflict are often more likely to engender such exploitation or to exacerbate its prevalence and severity. Some forms of exploitation, identi- fied through research on exploitative practices in conflict settings, have emerged as specific to the context of conflict, including but not limited to the following:

• Sexual exploitation of women and girls by members of armed and terrorist groups
• Use of trafficked children as soldiers
• Removal of organs to treat wounded fighters or finance war
• Enslavement as a tactic of terrorism, including its use to suppress ethnic minorities

Consent of the victim to exploitation is irrelevant in cases where any of the means have been used in relation to an adult victim, and is always irrelevant where the victim is a child.

Mali: MMC West Africa – 4Mi Snapshot -Aspirations of refugees and migrants from West Africa, October 2018

Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Mixed Migration Centre
Country: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Togo

This 4Mi snapshot is a continuation of the snapshot published in September 2018 on profiles and reasons for departure of refugees and migrants from West Africa. It is also based on data collected between 1 January and 31 July 2018.
During this period, 2,184 refugees and migrants were interviewed by 4Mi in West Africa, in Mali (Mopti, Gao and Timbuktu), Niger (Niamey and Agadez) and Burkina Faso (Dori and Bobo Dioulasso).

World: Humanitarian Coordinator Information Products, October 2018

Source: Inter-Agency Standing Committee
Country: Afghanistan, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Haiti, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Philippines, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Ukraine, World, Yemen

World: African Union – European Union relations: joint consultative meeting on peace and security

Source: European Union
Country: Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Mali, Niger, Somalia, South Sudan, World

11th Annual Joint Consultative Meeting of the Political and Security Committee of the European Union and of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union

Brussels, Belgium
23 October 2018

On 23 October 2018, the European Union (EU) Political and Security Committee (EU PSC) and the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (AU PSC) held their **11th Annual Joint Consultative Meeting **in Brussels, Belgium as part of their regular dialogue within the framework of the AU – EU partnership. The meeting was co-chaired by Ambassador Sofie From-Emmesberger, Permanent Chair of the EU PSC and H.E. Ambassador Lazare Makayat Safouesse (Republic of Congo), Chairperson of the AU PSC for the month of October 2018. The Joint Meeting brought together Ambassadors of EU Member States and AU PSC Member States, as well as Senior Officials from the EU External Action Service and Commission, and from the AU Commission.

The Joint Consultative Meeting was preceded by the 4th Joint Retreat of the EU PSC and the AU PSC, held on 22 October 2018, which provided the opportunity for an informal exchange of views on enhanced cooperation on aspects discussed in multilateral fora and sustainable financing of AU-led peace operations authorized by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and on cooperation on conflict prevention and mediation, on following up on the outcome of the 5th AU-EU-Summit in Abidjan in November 2017, the implementation of the AU-EU Memorandum of Understanding on Peace, Security and Governance signed in May 2018.

The EU PSC and the AU PSC underlined the importance of effective multilateralism and the rules-based international order with the United Nations at its core. They acknowledged the importance of strengthened AU-EU-UN cooperation and invited further reflection on how to follow-up on the high-level meeting of AU-EU-UN principals which took place in September, in the margins of the UN General Assembly.

The EU PSC and the AU PSC acknowledged the importance to translate their political cooperation in the area of conflict prevention into concrete initiatives such as joint field visits, joint sessions, developing shared understanding and analysis on crisis situations, as well as investigate avenues for joint early action. They underlined the important role of women and youth as active players in conflict prevention and mediation.

The discussion during the Joint Consultative Meeting focused on progress made on resolving conflict/crisis situations and threats to peace and stability in the Mali/Sahel, the Central African Republic (CAR), the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), South Sudan, Somalia and Burundi.

On the situation in Mali and the Sahel, the EU PSC and the AU PSC welcomed the peaceful holding of the presidential elections in Mali which took place on 29 July and 12 August 2018 and called upon all Malian stakeholders to work together to promote sustainable and inclusive peace and development in their country. The EU PSC and AU PSC noted the renewed commitment of the Malian signatory parties to accelerate the implementation of the Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in Mali signed in 2015 as demonstrated by the signature of a Pact for Peace between Mali and the United Nations on 15 October 2018. However, they expressed concern over the slow implementation of the Agreement, in particular provisions relating to institutional measures, security arrangement and the development for the northern part of the country. They recalled the importance of the Agreement to achieve lasting peace and reconciliation in Mali. In particular, they stressed the need for concrete and urgent progress in the areas of Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) of former combatants in order to restore security to the northern region, facilitate the work of the interim authorities and allow for local development, as well as for the return of refugees and displaced persons. They commended the key role of Algeria in supporting the peace process in Mali as Head of the Mediation efforts and as Chair of the Comité de Suivi (CSA), and called for more inclusivity of women and civil society organizations in its implementation. They urged the Malian authorities to work towards a large political and social consensus with a view to undertaking the necessary reforms to tackle Mali’s main institutional, security and development challenges, in order to improve the livelihoods of all its citizens, and re-affirmed their willingness to support the Malian Government in these efforts.

The EU PSC and the AU PSC expressed deep concern over the continued extension of terrorist attacks in the Sahel region, spilling over from northern Mali to the centre part of the country and into neighboring countries, and expressed particular concern over the deteriorating security situation in Burkina Faso. They strongly condemned the terrorist attacks against the civilian populations, the armed and security forces of Mali, the countries of the region, and the international forces of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Mission for Stabilization in Mali (MINUSMA) and Operation Barkhane. They reiterated their support to MINUSMA and called for further means and capabilities for the Mission so it can deliver its mandate in a safe manner. They also welcomed the role played by the troop contributing countries and paid tribute to those troops who have paid the ultimate sacrifice and those who sustained injuries in the promotion of peace, security, stability and reconciliation in Mali. They also recalled the framework allowing MINUSMA to provide logistic support to the G5 Joint Force and called for the swift disbursement of the funds dedicated to it under the African Peace Facility. They also noted the call by the UN Secretary General in April 2018 for the use of the UN assessed contributions and welcomed the progress made and the commitment to progress rapidly in the implementation of a human rights and international humanitarian law compliance framework for Africa peace support operations. They further welcomed the ongoing efforts by the AU to re-energize the Nouakchott Process in the context of the review process of the AU Strategy for the Sahel region.

The EU PSC and the AU PSC reaffirmed their partnership in support of regional security and development in the Sahel, as well as the cooperation on the ground between the EU Special Representative for the Sahel and the AU High Representative for Mali/Sahel. They saluted the contribution to the stability of the Sahel region made by the EU Training Mission (EUTM) Mali and EU Capacity Building Missions (EUCAP) Sahel Mali and Niger.

They commended efforts by the G5 Sahel and ECOWAS to reinforce regional cooperation to address the threats of terrorism and organized crime. They welcomed the progress made by the G5 Sahel countries towards the full operational capacity of a Joint Force to combat terrorism, transnational organized crime and all trafficking in the region under the mandate of the AU PSC and with strong EU support. They re-affirmed their commitment to support the G5 Sahel priorities, in particular to successfully implement the UN Security Council resolution 2391 that also needs to be sustained in the longer term. In this regard, they stressed the need to further mobilize political support from regional and international actors to follow up on the pledges made during the High Level Conference on the Sahel that was held in Brussels on the 23 February 2018. They further stressed the need for international support for the successful convening of the Conference on the G5 Programme d’Investissements Prioritaires in Nouakchott on 6 December 2018. In this regard, they underlined the need for the Conference to contribute for greater ownership by countries of the region. They stressed the importance of the full operationalization of the fiduciary fund set up by the G5 Sahel.

The EU PSC and the AU PSC noted the progress made in the Central African Republic (CAR) in the search of lasting solutions to the crisis in the country. They welcomed and reaffirmed their support to the AU sustained efforts through the African Initiative for Peace and Reconciliation in CAR, with the support of the countries of the region, through the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), Cameroon, Gabon, Republic of Congo, DRC, Sudan and Chad. They urged all stakeholders in the Initiative to participate actively in the implementation of the Roadmap adopted in Libreville, on 17 July 2017. In this regard, they took note with appreciation of the work done by the Facilitation Panel, which, on 31 August 2018, handed over to the President of the CAR, Faustin-Archange Touadera, the list of grievances and demands expressed by the 14 armed groups of the CAR following extensive consultations with these groups in recent months. They acknowledged the African Initiative as the only viable framework for the promotion of lasting peace, security and stability in the CAR. They called on all CAR stakeholders, the UN, notably through CAR country specific configuration of the Peacebuilding Commission (PCB), chaired by the Kingdom of Morocco, the EU and other partners to assist the country in full coordination. They reiterated the need for an inclusive engagement of all CAR institutions and civil society actors, including women’s groups, to allow for sustainable national healing and reconciliation in the country. ** They welcomed the inauguration of the Special Criminal Court (CPS) as an important step towards combating impunity and fostering peace, justice and reconciliation in CAR. **

They re-affirmed their support to President Touadera and his Government in their ongoing efforts towards a comprehensive political solution, including justice and reconciliation, essential to allow for stability, peace and development in the country. They called on the CAR leadership to prioritize joint work on the strengthening of democratic State institutions and of the Rule of law, on the reform of the security sector and on transitional justice, on good governance, as well as on the delivery of social services to the population, including security. They condemned the prevailing structural violence by armed groups against people from all walks of life, including women and children, humanitarian actors and security forces. In this regard, they urged the CAR Government to continue to provide protection, particularly to vulnerable groups and facilitate the work of humanitarian aid agencies.

They strongly condemned the destabilizing activities of the armed groups, as well as targeted attacks against civilians and the troops of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Mission for Stabilization in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) and reiterated their support to MINUSCA and to reinforcing the mission. They called upon all armed groups in the CAR to cease hostilities and to commit themselves resolutely to the DDR programmes and the pacification process of the country. They commended the EU and AU for their assistance to efforts being deployed by the CAR authorities to restore peace and rebuild their country, notably through the EU military training mission (EUTM RCA), and underlined that all actors engaged in this context need to closely coordinate their respective activities in full transparency. They acknowledged the support provided by the EU to the Government of the CAR in supporting the security sector reforms, including the provision of strategic advice to the Internal Security Forces through EUTM RCA following the request by CAR for additional assistance to the Internal Security Forces.

They expressed deep concern over the prevailing security and humanitarian situation in the CAR and called upon the international community to extend financial and other necessary forms of support to alleviate the humanitarian situation, as well as with and to fulfil the pledges made in May 2016 donors’ conference held in Brussels, Belgium. They stressed the need for close coordination of efforts by members of the international community.

On South Sudan, the EU PSC and the AU PSC commended the progress made in the search for a lasting solution to the conflict in the Republic South Sudan and welcomed the signing, on 12 September 2018, in Addis Ababa, of the “Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution to the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan” (R-ARCSS) as a step forward towards the pursuit of an effective peace process. They commended the efforts deployed by the South Sudanese parties and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and its member states to reach this result. They stressed that the successful implementation of the R-ARCSS would require the commitment of all parties and, in this regard, they urged them to do their part in building confidence with each other and with the international community. The EU PSC and the AU PSC called for an immediate cessation of hostilities and disengagement of forces throughout the country. They encouraged the IGAD to remain actively engaged and to work closely with the AU to ensure that the parties to the Revitalized Agreement honour their commitments and that spoilers are held accountable for their actions.

The EU PSC and the AU PSC expressed deep concern over the prevailing humanitarian crisis in the country and commended the countries of the region which continue to host large number of South Sudanese refugees, as well as the humanitarian actors who have continued to provide assistance in the most difficult conditions. In this respect, they called on the South Sudanese parties to ensure unimpeded humanitarian access throughout the country. Furthermore, they reiterated the need for the establishment of the Hybrid Court of South Sudan, the Commission for Truth, Reconciliation and Healing, and the Compensation and Reparations Authority, as provided for by the R-ARCSS. They called for the international community to stand ready to support the implementation of the Revitalized Agreement.

The AU PSC and EU PSC welcomed the commitment of the South Sudanese parties to give due consideration to national diversity, gender and regional representation in selecting their nominees to the various mechanisms outlined in the Revitalized Agreement. Therefore, they encouraged the Transitional Government of National Unity of South Sudan to ensure that the provisions of the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan and the R-ACRSS on the 35% participation of the women in the Executive are adhered to.

The EU PSC and AU PSC welcomed the rapprochement between Ethiopia and Eritrea, including the Joint Declaration of Peace and Friendship of 9 July 2018 and the commitment to comprehensive cooperation made between Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia and Djibouti. This provides new openings for regional cooperation on peace and security and economic integration.

On Somalia, in particular, the EU PSC and the AU PSC noted the recent positive regional developments in the Horn of Africa that will potentially have a positive impact on Somalia and the region as a whole. They welcomed the recent Somalia Partnership Forum, convened in Brussels on 16-17 July 2018 and, noting the progress, encouraged the country to positively move forward on political, security and economic reform efforts. They underlined the importance of the Federal Government of Somalia and the Federal Member States working closely together in order to make continued progress in the country’s peace- and state building process. They stressed that the domestic situation in Somalia still remains fragile as evidenced by the continued security threats being posed by Al Shaabab. In this regard, they stressed the importance of sustained international support to the Government of Somalia and the AMISOM. They commended the AMISOM and the troop and police contributing countries for their contribution towards peace and stability in Somalia, which is critical for the progress in Somali state formation. The EU PSC and the AU PSC congratulated the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) for the adoption of the Somali Transition Plan, which is internationally recognized and reiterated in UNSCR 2431 [2018]. They stressed the need to ensure that any security transition is in line with the Transition Plan, and emphasised the need for a reconfigured AMISOM to move towards the gradual handover of security responsibility to the country’s security institutions who progressively will need to take over responsibility for Somalia’s own security, bearing in mind the need to avoid any security vacuum that may undermine the gains made so far. The EU and AU PSC called on the FGS, together with the Federal Member States, to pursue the reform of the security sector, with particular emphasis on the integration of forces and to increase transparency through greater engagement with partners of security, notably through the establishment of an improved coordination mechanism (“Fusion Cell”). The EU PSC and the AU PSC further emphasized the need for timely, predictable and sustainable financial support to deliver a phased and conditions based transition, including from UN assessed contributions to AMISOM and support to Somali security institutions during the transition phase. The AU PSC commended the longstanding and continued support provided by the EU to AMISOM and emphasized the importance of international burden-sharing in a joint and transparent effort. They saluted the contribution to the stability in Somalia made by the AMISOM and the EU Training Mission (EUTM) Somalia, the EU Capacity Building Missions (EUCAP) Somalia, as well as through the EU Naval Force (EUNAVFOR) Somalia, Operation Atalanta. They also emphasized on the need for enhanced support to the Somali National Army, with a view to preparing the SNA to gradually take over the security responsibilities from AMISOM.

The EU PSC and AU PSC affirmed their commitment to continue to follow the evolution of the situation in Burundi. They welcomed the announcement by President Pierre Nkurunziza, in May 2018, that he will not stand as a presidential candidate in the upcoming elections. The AU PSC and EU PSC further looked forward to the resumption of the inter-Burundian Dialogue which is scheduled to take place soon in Arusha, and urged all stakeholders to extend their full cooperation to the Mediator and the Facilitation team. They stressed that the only viable way forward for Burundi is finding a political solution through an inclusive inter-Burundian dialogue. They encouraged all actors to engage in the process in good faith and to make progress, especially in view of the 2020 elections and of the socio-economic situation in the country. They underlined that the support of the region for the inter-Burundian dialogue remains crucial and they expressed appreciation for the mediation and facilitation undertaken by the East African Community. They urged Burundians to respect the letter and spirit of the 2000 Arusha Agreement which is credited for promoting peace in the country and the region. The EU PSC and AU PSC took note of the adoption, on 28 September 2018, of a resolution which extends the mandate of the UN Commission of Inquiry for another year. They encouraged Burundi to cooperate with international human rights mechanisms and especially to sign a memorandum of understanding in view of the mission of the African Union Human Rights Observers and Military experts Mission in Burundi. They urged Burundi to ensure that all stakeholders providing support for the Burundi population can continue their work.

The AU PSC reiterated its appeal to the EU to lift the suspension of aid through the government imposed on Burundi, although recognising the continued important direct EU support to the population, with a view to facilitating socio-economic recovery in the country.

On the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the EU PSC and the AU PSC reaffirmed their commitment to lasting peace, security and stability in the DRC and the Great Lakes region as a whole.

They welcomed the decision of President Kabila to comply with the Constitution of the country, by not standing as a presidential candidate in the upcoming elections, and paving the way for a democratic and peaceful transition in the DRC. In this context, they stressed the importance for the DRC authorities to ensure that the elections are held on 23 December 2018 consistent with the 31 December 2016 Political Agreement, in order to achieve inclusive, transparent, credible and peaceful elections. Furthermore, the EU PSC and the AU PSC welcomed the visit of the UN Security council in October 2018 and expressed support for the role of the United Nations in facilitating the successful organization of the electoral process, at the request of the Government of the DRC, in line with the relevant provisions of UNSC Resolution 2409.

Bearing in mind the renewed security threats that may exacerbate the risks of the Ebola outbreak in the Eastern provinces of the DRC, the EU PSC and the AU PSC appealed the World Health Organisation to further strengthen and intensify its efforts towards the prevention of further Ebola outbreak and its outspreading . They further appealed for necessary financial and logistical support from the lager international community to the efforts being deployed by the DRC authorities, including for much wider humanitarian needs which remain severely underfunded. They further called for close collaboration between United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) and the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC) in the fight against armed groups and negative forces, in particular the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), for which a strong regional response and coordination is necessary through renewed commitment to the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the DRC and the Region, signed on 24 February 2013, in Addis Ababa.

The meeting was also briefed by the EU side on cooperation with the Western Balkans.

The EU PSC and the AU PSC agreed to meet again in 2019 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and further agreed to explore the possibility of undertaking a new joint field visit.

Nigeria: Les conflits non résolus en Afrique, un facteur clé de l’insécurité alimentaire

Source: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
Country: Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Libya, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Zimbabwe

Par le Centre d’études stratégiques de l’Afrique

19 octobre 2018

Les conflits sont un facteur central de la géographie de l’insécurité alimentaire en Afrique. Plus un conflit se poursuit, plus l’acuité de cette insécurité s’aggrave.

Les conflits en Afrique continuent d’apporter une contribution majeure aux problèmes de sécurité alimentaire du continent. Les violences continues perturbent l’agriculture, les moyens de subsistance et le fonctionnement des marchés, affaiblissant la résilience des ménages face à la sécheresse et à d’autres pressions. Les conflits limitent également les mouvements, empêchant certaines communautés d’accéder à l’aide humanitaire. Une évaluation des zones d’insécurité alimentaire aiguë en Afrique révèle ces conclusions:

  • Les trois quarts des Africains sont en situation d’insécurité alimentaire aiguë, en état de crise ou d’urgence – plus de 107 millions sur un total de 143 millions – vivent dans des pays touchés par un conflit.

  • 11 des 12 pays africains en conflit sont en situation d’insécurité alimentaire aiguë.

  • Les niveaux d’urgence de l’insécurité alimentaire dans de grandes parties du Soudan du Sud et du nord-est du Nigéria sont presque entièrement dus aux perturbations causées par le conflit.

  • Plus de la moitié de la population de 4 pays africains (Soudan du Sud, Cameroun, Burundi et République centrafricaine) connaît une insécurité alimentaire aiguë. Tous sont en conflit. Au Soudan du Sud, près de 80% de la population est en situation d’insécurité alimentaire extrême.

  • Plus de 15 millions de citoyens de 3 pays africains (Nigeria, Soudan et Cameroun) sont confrontés à une insécurité alimentaire aiguë. Chacun de ces pays connaît des conflits.

  • Les conflits africains non résolus tendent à amplifier les crises de sécurité alimentaire au fil du temps. Les conflits dans les 4 pays connaissant des niveaux de sécurité alimentaire préoccupante se poursuivent depuis 5 ans et demi en moyenne. En revanche, les conflits dans les 7 pays confrontés à une crise ou à une situation d’urgence en matière de sécurité alimentaire persistent depuis 14,7 années en moyenne.

  • 31 travailleurs humanitaires ont été tués en Afrique, dont 11 dans le seul Soudan du Sud, entre janvier et juin 2018. 54 ont été enlevés et 40 ont été arrêtés.

World: Africa Regional Media Hub Press Briefing on World Food Day with USAID Bureau for Food Security Assistant Administrator Beth Dunford and USAID Food for Peace Director Matt Nims via Teleconference

Source: US Agency for International Development
Country: Ethiopia, Ghana, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, South Sudan, Uganda, World

Transcript

For Immediate Release
Tuesday, October 16, 2018
Office of Press Relations
Telephone: +1.202.712.4320 | Email: press@usaid.gov

Washington, D.C.
October 15, 2018

MODERATOR: Good afternoon to everyone from the U.S. Department of State’s Africa Regional Media Hub. I would like to thank our participants dialing in from across the continent and thank all of you for joining this discussion. Today we are very pleased to be joined by Beth Dunford, the U.S. Agency for International Development Bureau for Food Security Assistant Administrator, as well as the USAID Food for Peace Director Matt Nims. Assistant Administrator Dunford and Director Nims will discuss food security issues in Africa in advance of World Food Day, including USAID’s Feed the Future program.

We will begin today’s call with opening remarks from each of our speakers, and then we will turn to your questions. We will get to as many of your questions as possible in the time that we have. If you would like to ask a question during the Q&A portion of the call, you must press * and 1 in order to join the question queue. You can also join our conversation on Twitter; use the hashtag #AFHubPress, and you can also follow us on Twitter at @AfricaMediaHub. As a reminder, today’s call is on the record, and with that, I will turn it over first to Director Nims.

MR. NIMS: Good morning from Washington D.C. here, and I’d assume good afternoon in other places. My name is Matthew Nims; I am the Acting Director of the USAID’s Office of Food for Peace. Thank you all for joining on World Food Day, or upcoming to World Food Day tomorrow. Unfortunately, there still remains a very large number of people in need of food out there in the world. Today, there are more than 820 million chronically hungry people out there in the world. Of these, 78 million—or almost 80 million people—are in need of immediate emergency food assistance, just to meet their daily needs.

More than half of these people are hungry because of manmade, conflict-driven crises. In other words, this suffering is preventable. All these people that have been displaced or are on the move, it’s because of these ongoing crises that we see in the world.

The U.S. government is actively working to fix this problem, by both feeding people today and helping them feed themselves in the future. USAID leads U.S. government efforts to address global food insecurity and hunger, and to prevent famine. We also address the root causes of hunger and help people build resilience. My colleague Beth Dunford, who leads the whole U.S. government Feed the Future initiative, will say more about this following my remarks.

The United States is the world’s largest provider of food assistance. Helping people in times of crisis is core to our American values. The office that I am privileged to lead, the USAID’s Office for Food for Peace, delivered more than $3 billion U.S. dollars of food assistance to nearly 70 million people in more than 50 countries last year. This year, we’ve worked in 28 African countries facing natural or manmade emergencies. In South Sudan, we feed an average of 1.5 million people per month and help to roll back famine that was declared in parts of South Sudan in February 2017.

Our partners feed more than a million Nigerians every month whose lives have been disrupted by prolonged conflict perpetuated by Boko Haram and ISIS in northeast Nigeria. We help millions of refugees and communities that host them in countries like Uganda and Ethiopia, and we’ve helped roughly 27,000 people in Mauritania cope with drought conditions currently afflicting that country.

U.S. emergency food assistance saves lives, but it is not a long-term solution to ending hunger. Food for Peace invests roughly $430 to $440 million every year tackling hunger and poverty holistically, working with people who are at their most vulnerable in the community levels. At this point I’m going to hand off to my colleague Beth Dunford, who leads the development side of the U.S. government food security efforts. Thank you very much.

MS. DUNFORD: Thanks, Matt, for talking about the important work USAID is doing to deliver emergency food assistance and saving lives. As Matt mentioned, emergency food assistance is not the long-term solution to ending hunger, but global hunger is solvable. We believe this because of our partners from across the sector we work with. Their unique skills and insights are coming together to help countries that are ripe for transformation create the sustainable, long-term change needed to end chronic hunger and poverty.

We know that investing in long-term food security is the right thing to do. Studies that have been done in East Africa found that over the long term, every $1 invested in resilience and food security resulted in $2.9 in reduced humanitarian assistance, avoided losses, and improved wellbeing. This ounce of prevention is well worth a pound of cure. So a comparison of two communities in Malawi during the 2016 El Niño drought further illustrates this point. In one community, responding to urgent life-saving needs cost an average of $390 per household.

This community will also likely require similar assistance during future droughts. By contrast, a neighboring community in which we invested an estimated $376 per household over five years through a USAID Food for Peace development program that Matt was just talking about—this is between 2009 and 2014—this household did not require food assistance in 2016. Doing this work is in our shared economic interest. It means helping people become more self-sufficient, able to feed themselves and better withstand future crises.

USAID makes ending hunger a priority, and we work together to achieve something great, and that is to find solutions to food security challenges and deliver on agriculture’s promise to provide a path from poverty to prosperity, hunger to hope, and despair to opportunity. But this isn’t just USAID’s vision. The United States Congress and the President signed legislation to reauthorize the Global Food Security Act for another five years, sending a strong signal to the world that the United States continues to prioritize efforts that are helping end hunger around the world.

But we know that tackling hunger requires an all-hands-on-deck approach. Feed the Future represents a broad partnership that draws on the expertise, resources, talents, and dedication of not only the U.S. government but also organizations, the private sector, universities, and governments, research institutions, and individuals to help identify and develop long-term solutions to food security, while encouraging our partner countries to fully engage in and own their continued development progress.

In Africa, Feed the Future works in eight target countries, and they are Uganda, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, and Senegal. We also work in another dozen countries on the continent where we align our efforts to boost their food security. In places where we work, we partner with private companies and others to strengthen agricultural markets and then entire food systems. This is because all too often, it’s not just about the food. We need to make sure that communities’ most vulnerable families are earning enough income to buy food, that the food that they then buy is adequately nutritious for growing kids, the farmers have enough land and the right agricultural techniques to not only be able to feed their families but also to sell food in local markets to sustain a livelihood. We try to address all of these different aspects of food security so that we’re not looking only at one part of the problem and addressing only one part of the solution.

But the best development solutions are the ones that continuously empower others to get in the game and carry the work forward. Feed the Future helps partner country governments create better policy and organization for food security and nutrition, to ultimately help them move on from vulnerability to self-reliance. So country ownership proves as a litmus test for where we decide to work, and as we find committed leaders ready to revitalize their food systems and address longstanding poverty and malnutrition in their country, we work hand-in-hand with them to bring about change.

Since 2009, Feed the Future target countries in sub-Saharan Africa have out-paced their neighbors’ domestic investment in agriculture, increasing their investment by an average of 25%, which is an additional $718 million per year. Our focus is to address the root causes of poverty and hunger by equipping people with the tools to feed themselves. This important work is easing human suffering and putting communities and countries on a path to self-reliance, while reducing reliance on humanitarian aid.

Today, an estimated 23.4 million more people are living above the poverty line, 3.4 million more children are living free from stunting, and 5.2 million more families are not hungry in the targeted areas where Feed the Future has worked over seven years. We have reduced poverty by an average of 23% and child stunting by an average of 32% across the places where we’ve worked over seven years. However, despite the progress that has been made in many parts of the world, there is still work to be done to guarantee lasting food security for future generations and reduce the need for costly humanitarian aid in the future.

Feed the Future will continue to help vulnerable communities and regions build resilience to complex risks, including addressing the root causes of recurrent food crises such as floods and droughts, and empower more countries to move towards a food-secure and more stable future so that the gains that we have made are not lost when they are challenged. Thank you.

MODERATOR: Thank you, Assistant Administrator Dunford and Director Nims. We will now turn to the question and answer portion of today’s call. As we call on you, please state your name and affiliation, the country where you’re calling from, and again, the topic of focus is food security issues in Africa in advance of World Food Day. If you’re on the call in English, press *1 on your phone to join the question queue. For those of you listening in French and Portuguese, we can continue to receive questions from you by email, if you can send those in English to afmediahub@state.gov.

We did get a couple of questions in advance from Madagascar. I’ll ask one of those as you all join the question queue. This is from Luz Razafimbelo of Midi Madagascar, and the question is, “If you could elaborate on the underlying reasons of food insecurity in Africa in general and if possible, Madagascar specifically.” And in addition, a related question that relates to “What are the challenges to improving agriculture in Madagascar, with a particular emphasis—or especially with regard to—climate change?” Thank you.

MS. DUNFORD: Thank you so much. I’m going to ask my colleague Matt Nims to answer that question, as they are definitely working in Madagascar.

MR. NIMS: Thanks, Beth. In general, there are many, many causes of food insecurity throughout Africa, and as I said in my statement, conflict remains one of the big drivers of immediate causes of food insecurity into these situations where people are on the move or where you’ve got warring factions.

However, if we talk about Madagascar itself, here’s a country that actually is not prone to large-scale conflict, necessarily, but has been racked over the last five years with a prolonged drought or definitely serious dry spells. What we’ve got now is almost a million people who are in very serious need of food assistance, or at least some sort of food security assistance, to ensure they meet their daily intake.

In addition, Madagascar is very much a disaster-prone country, what we would call, to cyclones and to severe weather events from the ocean that come rolling in. The south especially is a place that these recurrent droughts have had really—since the El Niño in 2016, really—have very much had a detrimental effect on the farm economy, both subsistence as well as the ability to produce on a large scale.

USAID’s efforts there are both on the emergency and the development side. We currently have two very large-scale development programs that are looking at the root causes of food insecurity in some of the more rural areas, at the community level. These international NGO partners have been working in conjunction with the government there to bring about a change by encouraging some sort of local agricultural inputs as well as really addressing some of the maternal child health impacts that are causing some of the low birth weights and some of the impacts on children and their nutritional status.

On the emergency side, we partner with the UN World Food Programme as well as other smaller partners to really look at treatment of acute malnutrition. We also partner with UNICEF, looking at these children who are most vulnerable, who have very low malnutrition scores. So these are some of the global causes of food insecurity; I think these also affect other parts of Africa, but definitely Madagascar.

The last point I would say that is also in all of Africa is the fall armyworm. This is an insect that is sweeping across Africa right now, and definitely this pest is having impact on crop viability, on crop yields as well, and in parts of Madagascar it’s having a pretty detrimental effect as well.

MODERATOR: Thank you very much. Turning to our question queue, I’d like to open the line to Embassy Juba in South Sudan. If you could state your name and your outlet before asking your question. Go ahead, Juba.

QUESTION: Yes, thank you for [inaudible]. My question – yeah, my question is, as you mentioned South Sudan has 5.3 million estimated need some assistance. What can you do in order to make sure this population [inaudible] reaching assistance from the United States? That’s my question. And the other second question: [inaudible] In South Sudan, what will you do with the government—yes, with the government—in order to improve the [inaudible] to improve the [inaudible]? Thank you.

MS. DUNFORD: Thanks. Matt, do you want to start to talk about the humanitarian response?

MR. NIMS: Sure thing, Beth. South Sudan is an incredibly large focus for both this office as well as the U.S. government. As the question stated, there are a very, very large—over five million people in the country in need of assistance. There are over four million people—at least at the last count; probably more by now—that are internally and externally displaced. What we have in South Sudan is one of the largest crises affecting the world at this time.

USAID has spent over $350 million just last year in the situation of trying to have an impact on—you know, the very, very scary malnutrition rates and food insecurity that is really gripping the whole country. It’s important to note that—I think those people who watch and follow South Sudan—this is entirely because of the warring parties that are there, because of a government that is not really working to totally address the situation, I think, and because of the large, large numbers of different factions that are having conflict perpetuating in the country.

As I said in my opening statement, in 2017, with the efforts of our partners, we worked very, very hard to ensure that famine—which was declared in several districts—did not get out of control in that country, and that was with a lot of work from the UN World Food Programme, as well as incredible local actors, local small NGOs, who really worked heroically to ensure that that did not happen. The U.S. remains committed to South Sudan and is very much encouraging all parties to come together to seek a conflict 1 and to continue and really improve the access to all these people in need for the humanitarian actors, and that has been a recurring theme and issue for quite some time.

MS. DUNFORD: This is Beth Dunford, just adding on to what Matt said. On the development side, we recognize that in areas where we are able to work, that we are working to provide farmers with improved technologies and improved seeds and improved fertilizer and techniques, to be able to produce their own food in a time of such significant deficit. But of course, again, where we can work depends on where there is access to go in and have those longer-term programs. But again, we remain committed, where possible, to help provide long-term solutions as well.

MODERATOR: Thank you both. We have U.S. Embassy Addis Ababa in Ethiopia on the line. We’ll turn to you next. If you could introduce yourself and your outlet and ask your question. Go ahead.

QUESTION: Hello, my name is [inaudible] and I’m from Ethiopia. My question is if the USAID is working both on the emergency and the development side, and it’s been over seven years, how come a sustainable solution for this hunger is not found yet? And if it’s found, would you mind mentioning how it’s working out?

MS. DUNFORD: Great. So again, this is Beth and I’ll start with that question. You know, I started off my career working as a Food for Peace officer in Ethiopia, back in 2002-2003, when there was a big humanitarian crisis, and I think that that year, we spent over $500 million on emergency food assistance, but only $5 million on really investing in long-term solutions to these problems. Now, with the Global Food Security Act, with Feed the Future, are investing in long-term solutions for food security and resilience, and have been for several years in Ethiopia.

Just one example of how we’re starting to see the impact of that: communities in southern Ethiopia, where we have been investing in long-term resilience and food security programs. During the El Niño drought of 2016, these communities and families were able to maintain their food security status, pretty much at the same level as before the shock, whereas communities and families who had not received this assistance saw precipitous—very quick—30% decline in the food security status. So we’re showing that actually we can help the families and communities withstand moderate shocks as we go forward, 1 To seek a resolution to the conflict and we’re continuing that investment, working together with private sector partners, with the government, to get the right policies in place, the right investment in place, the right technologies in place, to help farmers, communities, and families be able to better manage the shocks that we know recur in Ethiopia.

Matt, do you have anything to add to that?

MR. NIMS: Just a little bit. It is a shock-prone country as well, as far as dry spells and droughts, but I think it’s also important to note that currently, Ethiopia is hosting over two million refugees from South Sudan and other neighboring countries—Somalia and other places. So there’s a large burden on South Sudan2 for those refugees that are there, as well as some internal conflict and things that are going on inside of Ethiopia, which has got over two million people internally displaced as well. So these are all drivers of food insecurity at that local, community, and household level as well.

With a large country like Ethiopia, there is always excellent effort, as Beth highlighted, on how we’re working towards longer term food security, but these countries are also going to be impacted by shock, and as Beth said, how we work together to build that resilience is something, you know, that we continue to work at as well.

MODERATOR: Thank you again. For our listeners, to join the question queue, you can press *1 on your phone. We can take your questions to email afmediahub@state.gov, and to follow the conversation on Twitter you can use the hashtag #AFHubPress and you can follow us @AfricaMediaHub.

Next we have Kevin Kelley. If you could introduce yourself and your outlet and ask the next question. Go ahead.

QUESTION: Yeah, hi, thanks for doing this. I’m Kevin Kelley, I write for the Nation Media Group, Daily Nation in Kenya. I’m based in New York, which is where I’m joining the conversation from. So Mr. Nims, you made mention briefly just now about fall armyworm, specifically regarding Madagascar. I was going to ask you for an update on what you know, what the agency knows, about the severity of this infestation, this blight. There originally were very dire predictions for what it might mean for the maize crops in a lot of countries, including Kenya. I haven’t seen a whole lot of scientific analysis since then. I’m wondering if you have updates as to the devastation that has occurred, and how much graver the damage might be, and also the success, the efficacy of efforts to counteract the armyworm. Okay, thank you.

MR. NIMS: Thanks for that question. I actually think that Beth’s team—Beth’s office—is leading efforts on fall armyworm, so I think you might be better placed to address the overall encompassing impact and efforts, Beth, if that’s okay.

MS. DUNFORD: Yes. So I think, you know, fall armyworm has spread to over 45 countries across Africa, and has also now been confirmed in India, and I believe it’s spreading on the south Asian continent as well. So I think that the capacity of this pest to really have significant impact and reach is huge. I don’t have data right now on what it’s doing to yields, and so I’ll have to get back to you on that one, but we know that where the fall armyworm is, the yields are down by at least a third, and it’s very, very devastating where it is.

So I think that solutions—what we’ve really been able to do is work with our UN organizations, African governments, to really get news out about what the pest is, how to control it, what types of technologies are out there. So I think awareness is growing about what to do about this pest and how to engage with it. It’s a very, very complicated pest to really counter, requiring very specific technologies, requiring engagement at very specific points along the growth cycle of a plant, of the crop. And so it’s not something that we’re going to be able to solve in one year; it’s going to be a long-term effort, and we’re really heartened by seeing really creative solutions coming in from the private sector and from government. But again, this is going to be a long haul that we need to invest in over time.

MODERATOR: Thank you again. We did have another question we received from Madagascar I’ll ask on behalf of our journalist Mathieu Ramasiarisolo. He writes for Taratra and he’s asking about how USAID supports agricultural development in Madagascar, and I think it would be appropriate to speak more broadly in Africa, if you like. Thank you.

MS. DUNFORD: Matt, over to you on this one.

MR. NIMS: Okay, thanks, Beth. So again, in Madagascar right now, actually at the conclusion of last year, USAID spent about $20 million on emergency food security, as well as some development programs as well. What the development programs are focusing on—and these are five- to six-year programs—is really trying to build, at the community level, a degree of food security so that they can withstand any shocks from the outside, like the cyclones we talked about earlier, as well as to get maybe better yields from their crops, as well as to address some of the child rearing and health practices that maybe are being utilized and to improve those so that we don’t have children that are slipping into malnutrition. So these are longer-term programs that are working on development at the local levels.

The USAID efforts overall in Madagascar are to improve agricultural sectors at a bit higher levels, as well as other barriers to development that have been going on for quite some time there. So this is what’s going on. At the same time, our emergency assistance is when the crises—or when the shocks—come, whether that be prolonged dry spells or these droughts that have been impacting the country for a number of years, since El Niño [inaudible] and continuing on, as well as because of its geolocation, as storms continue to grow in the Indian Ocean and other places, Madagascar is a big hit for these cyclones, and these storms really do stress the capacity of the country to be able to deal with this. So we’re there to also assist, again, at that community level, in conjunction with local actors, the ability to withstand these crises.

MODERATOR: Thank you.

MR. NIMS: The same would be true for other—these are just examples in the Madagascar context that would also be relevant to many places in Africa, to over 25 countries that Food for Peace is working in, in Africa. And these were definitely local, context-specific types of interventions.

MODERATOR: Thank you. I know that we have several journalists at our embassy in Addis Ababa, and they are back in the question queue, so we’ll turn back to Addis Ababa. If you could introduce yourself with your name and your outlet, please. Go ahead.

QUESTION: Yes, my name is [inaudible] and I’m a journalist for [inaudible] Newspaper in Addis Ababa.

My question is, what government assistance food programs and legislation can be implemented in the future to fight hunger in Ethiopia in association with the U.S. government, using welfare programs in the U.S. as an example, like homeless shelters, halfway houses, rehabilitation centers, and soup kitchens?

MS. DUNFORD: Thanks for the question. I’ll start. This is, again, Beth Dunford. The president signed into law the reauthorization of the Global Food Security Act on Friday. This is the U.S. government’s global hunger and food security initiative, and working to help get the agriculture sector right, so farmers can increase their income, get nutrition right, and we do this work across many countries—Ethiopia is one of our target countries where we invest—to help farmers, communities, mothers of children, be able to invest in their own futures in order to get themselves on a more food secure path.

So I think that that legislation is the most important effort that we have. This is also combined with the Safety Net program. I think, Matt, you might want to talk a little bit more about that, that we’ve been investing in for several years. So with that, I think I’ll turn it over to Matt.

MR. NIMS: Thanks, Beth. USAID has been working with other donor countries, but really primarily with the Ethiopian government, on the Productive Safety Net Programme, the PSNP, and this has been over numerous years, numerous five-year cycles, in conjunction with the government and other donors. The development of a tool, an Ethiopian-run system, that is able to target the most vulnerable and most needy, and be able to provide them sustained assistance when they need it, but also when shocks and other things or other conflicts or other types of shocks to their food security do present.

This system is very much based on, I think, many social safety net systems that exist around the world, and in fact a lot of research has been done on this system that other countries use because of its size, scope, and scale, and as well as the strong Ethiopian government presence in this. The World Bank, as well as other donors, are very much a part of this system, and it has become, I think, a great example of how, over time, as Beth detailed in earlier responses, you can build a cadre of government support that can deal with certain shocks and also just really lays the foundation of a system that is able to assist its people when needed.

MODERATOR: Thank you. We have a question—we’re having a little technical challenge, but—from Carol Ginsburg with Voice of America, the African Division editor. A question related to investments in agricultural development and food security, specifically as it relates to climate change. The responses that USAID is supporting in Africa, perhaps related to crop selection and types of crop that may be more resilient, or seeds, or other interventions specifically related to climate change. Thank you.

MS. DUNFORD: So I think we have a lot of investments on improved seeds and improved varieties that work in a variety of conditions. One is a water-efficient maize for Africa, and this is a project to really develop a type of maize that works in moisture-stressed environments. I think that this is an investment that we’ve been involved in with several other partners, including the private sector, over many years, and have really came up with a variety that works to continue producing at strong yields, even during a climate shock. And I think that in addition to our investments, we invest in research in a variety of different types of crops; water-efficient maize is only one of many, many, many that we invest in, with the support of U.S. universities, their science and ingenuity and expertise really lent to these problems globally.

But again, the research of finding the right varieties that can deal with climate stress in different areas across Africa and globally as well; that’s one part of the solution. Again, that takes a lot of expertise, a lot of time, a lot of testing, to get the right variety. We also invest in really what you need to be able to get these types of seeds out to farmers so they are available. In some places, governments work to get these seeds out; in others, really a very sustainable option is to get the private sector—small and medium enterprises—that are agricultural input dealers, building the capacity of these small and medium enterprises to reach more farmers out in rural areas, to be able to deliver these inputs in a timely manner at costs that are affordable.

One story that I like to tell is that in 2016, during the El Niño drought in southern Africa, this water- efficient maize—not only was a variety developed and able to be released across several countries in southern Africa, but there were a network of over 100 small and medium enterprise seed input dealers that were able to get the seed out to millions of farmers. Again, these small and medium enterprises, these seed input dealers that are able to really reach way out into the rural areas, didn’t exist before. So again, the research to invest in the technology is one piece, but really making sure that it’s able to get into the broader system, the broader value chain, to get out to farmers, is a large part of our work.

MODERATOR: Thank you. I see that we have just a little bit more time. Embassy Juba is back on the question queue. Let’s take one more question from our embassy in South Sudan, and then I think Addis has joined the queue and we could try to get one last question. But please open the line for Juba first. If you could state your name and let us know your outlet before asking your question.

QUESTION: Thank you. My name is [inaudible], I work for [inaudible] Newspaper. I just have one question. In South Sudan there is [inaudible] people who are [inaudible] and that is very clearly due to [inaudible] the country. If I can ask, what other specific recommendations can you make to the people or the leaders of the government of South Sudan to make sure that we try to reduce that number from 5.3 million, maybe to one or to zero? That’s my question. Thank you.

MS. DUNFORD: Thanks. I think, Matt, you addressed part of this question before. Do you have anything more to elaborate on that?

MR. NIMS: I think it’s just, you know, one of our major points that the humanitarian actors have been putting forward is, I think, two things: immediate cessation, ending, of the ongoing conflict, the many multitudes and dimensions of that conflict, as soon as possible. And the second part of that would be, you know, unfettered, and actually, even, assisted ability for the humanitarian partners—both the UN as well as the many, many local and international non-government organizations—unfettered access for them to reach those people most in need, both in some of those points of protection sites that exist, as well as those that are in the bush in certain areas, as well as those that are in some of the marginal communities throughout the country.

So I think a simple message is: end the conflict, and let the humanitarians do their jobs.

MODERATOR: We have, I think, time just for one last question. Again, I know we have a large group at embassy Addis Ababa; go ahead and state your name and outlet and ask your question. Go ahead.

QUESTION: This is [inaudible] from Ethiopia. I would like to know any kind of [inaudible] that you have put in place to just work on not only humanitarian and [inaudible] conflict; this all happens because of conflict. Is there any way of pushing the political groups to address the conflicts in their committees and their respective governments in South Sudan, Ethiopia, and Somalia?

MS. DUNFORD: Thanks. I think you’re asking broader political questions that we definitely want to refer to the Department of State press office; I would say that USAID remains committed to investing with partner governments in places like Ethiopia to work on the root causes, the humanitarian situation, and how we can help people, through development, really work themselves to a place of more sustainability. And we’ve seen in Ethiopia that investment in the humanitarian space, also in the longer- term development space, has been able to help families, communities, regions really work towards more sustainability.

So I think that really making sure that government is continuing to invest in these efforts to help farmers have access to the types of technologies they need, for businesses to flourish, to get the broader agri- food system working, I think is really important. We’re seeing that access to markets is critical to enable people to withstand shocks, so making sure that people have not only the technologies to sort of raise their crops and their livestock, to be able to improve their yields, improve the health of their animals, but really have access to broader markets, is really critical in times of shock. And so I think that that’s what we’re really pushing on to get the right policies in place to really let this broader system flourish and that we’re investing in heavily over many, many years.

And then with that, Matt, I’ll just turn it over to you. Do you have anything to add?

MR. NIMS: Beth, I think that was a great conclusion. I have nothing to add at this point.

MODERATOR: This is Brian Neubert, again, at the Africa Regional Media Hub. I would just add to what Assistant Administrator Dunford just said: Tibor Nagy, the Assistant Secretary for African Affairs, has upcoming travel to the region, to West Africa and also to East Africa, and you can follow us on Twitter and through other channels to see information about that. And certainly, one of the things he’ll be addressing, in addition to the topics of our call today, are the topics of that question, in terms of root causes and political solutions.

We’re at the end of our time today. Beth or Matthew, do you have any final words before we conclude?

MS. DUNFORD: Not on my end. This was an interesting conversation, so thank you for the questions.

MR. NIMS: We’re good here; just to reiterate that Africa as a continent is an important place for the U.S. government, and I think that USAID and the State Department try to show that every day with the efforts that we are putting out there. And I think that the U.S. government remains committed to what’s happening in Africa. I think with the trip of the First Lady just last week, and all of this is just—you know, the World Food Day is a great time to be able to show and demonstrate all the things that the U.S. government is working on in conjunction with Africa, to work on global food security.

Thank you for your time and attention.

MODERATOR: That concludes today’s call. I want to again thank Beth Dunford, USAID Food Security Assistant Administrator, and Matthew Nims, USAID Food for Peace Director. They joined us from Washington. I want to thank all of our callers for participating. If you have any questions about today’s call or follow-up, you can contact the Africa Regional Media Hub by email at afmediahub@state.gov. Thank you.