Yemen conflict drives up famine fears
The conflict in Yemen is likely to push it one stage closer to famine, according to FEWS NET, which predicts that the Arab state will soon become the most food insecure country in the world.
AMMAN / DUBAI, 22 May 2015 (IRIN) - The conflict in Yemen is likely to push it one stage closer to famine, according to a new report, which predicts that the Arab state will soon become the most food insecure country in the world.
The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) is forecasting that Yemen will be at “PHASE 4: Emergency” by November, meaning “at least one in five households face extreme food consumption gaps resulting in very high acute malnutrition or excess mortality.”
Under the authoritative IPC classification system used by FEWS NET, Yemen would be one step away from “famine” and one rung worse than anywhere else, including places like Somalia, the Sahel and South Sudan, all forecast to be at “PHASE 3: Crisis” by November.
Famine has a strict definition based on levels of mortality and malnutrition and it is not predicted that Yemen will meet those criteria, under which “starvation, death and destitution are evident.”
“The ongoing conflict and naval blockade are restricting imports of food and fuel, driving up prices,” noted the FEWS NET report, published on Wednesday.
“Concurrently, most key household income sources are believed to be affected, including formal salaries, agricultural wage labor, petty trade, and livestock sales, with some disruptions to remittance flows reported.”
Christopher Hillbruner, of FEWS NET, told IRIN there was an expectation that Yemen could reach PHASE 4 before November.
Even before this latest round of conflict, nearly half of Yemen’s population of 26 million was ranked food insecure. A small oil producer with weak infrastructure and limited water and electricity supplies, the country imports 90 percent of its food and the majority of its fuel.
See: SLIDESHOW: Forgotten hunger in Yemen
Conflict in 2010 drove up malnutrition in parts of Yemen to crisis levels, and rising poverty since the Arab Spring protests of 2011 means millions simply do not have enough money to feed themselves.
Airstrikes by a Saudi Arabian-led coalition on Houthi rebels – which it claims are proxies of regional foe Iran – have compounded the situation, as have the coalition warships preventing supply boats from docking at ports
According to a report published on Wednesday by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the conflict has killed 1,820 people and wounded 7,330, while more than half a million have been displaced.
The UN’s office for co-ordination, OCHA, reports widespread destruction to civilian infrastructure and according to the UN's Children's Fund, UNICEF, dozens of schools have been affected by the conflict, either hit by shells or taken over as emergency refuge by displaced families.
In the northern city of Sadah, preliminary satellite imagery analysis indicates more than 1,000 structures have been affected, damaged or destroyed by the recent conflict, and 35 large impact craters are visible, many close to the city’s airport runway.
As fuel imports and distribution have been curtailed, shortages have grown more acute and companies have struggled to transport the food already in the country to market places and communities. Agriculture has also been disrupted by the violence and displacement.
Last week, a five-day humanitarian pause allowed some food and fuel in. But this came mostly from aid agencies, whose goods only make up a tiny proportion of the normal supply chain.
During the truce, which ended on Sunday evening, the UN’s World Food Programme says it distributed food for more than 400,000 people in Aden, Lahj, Abyan, Al-Dhale'e, Shabwa, Hajja and northern parts of Sa’ada, although this fell short of the 738,000 people it had hoped to reach.
A number of other UN agencies and NGOs also carried out distributions of food, water, fuel, and supplies, but were unanimous in saying five days was not long enough to reach everyone in need.
Access to affected communities has been significantly curtailed since the start of the conflict, due to a number of targeted attacks on health workers. On Thursday an airstrike hit an office of an aid organisation in Sana'a, killing at least five people, including some Ethiopian refugees.
The reliance on imports makes the effects of the ongoing conflict especially crippling – commercial deliveries in addition to aid supplies have been blocked from entering port, and the lack of fuel for generators has meant some hospitals have had to close, despite a surge in people needing treatment after being hit by bombs or gunfire.
Many businesses in the capital Sana’a have shut down as residents flee both the Houthis and the airstrikes. Likewise, most foreign companies and embassies have shuttered their operations due to security fears, and those that have remained open are barely functioning due to fuel shortages.
“The government has run out of money, the Central Bank has few dollars to pay for imports and is not giving other banks dollars, people have no money to spend, and we don’t have the fuel to run our factories even if they did,” one Yemeni business owner told IRIN.
“Even if we get a peace process and fighting stops, which looks unlikely, that is going to be a problem. The government will need many billions of dollars just to be able to pay for the cost of importing fuel and to pay for basic wages and get electricity and fuel up and running again. This crisis won’t be over even if people stop shooting.”
In a survey conducted in April by the Small and Micro Enterprise Promotion Service (SMEPS), 93 percent of respondents said the business environment had descended to unprecedented lows, with 70 percent of large- and medium-sized businesses saying they were pessimistic about seeing any improvement.
Hopes for peace?
The UN has announced plans to begin “inclusive consultations” next week aimed at restoring momentum in Yemen’s political transition. But there is little optimism that a longer-term ceasefire is imminent.
“This is still very much in the early stages. We’re not even talking about negotiations, rather a consultation about how to reach an agreement between the key parties about how to move forward,” explained Adam Baron, a visiting fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR).
Given the “intractable nature of the conflict,” Baron said a quick resolution was unlikely, but he agreed that “the fact that there is a tentative agreement for everyone to come to the table” was a “positive sign”.
“You are basically facing two choices in Yemen right now,” he added. “There can be a political solution, or we can look at an extended war of attrition that will end in the entire country being destroyed.”
Continued violence in Mali's Timbuktu region leads to further displacements
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
According to reports by local authorities and various partners on the ground, a total of 26,983 people have fled their villages over the last two weeks and are in urgent need of water, food, non-food items and shelter.
Population displacement in the Timbuktu region
Following the publication of Flash Update #1 (14 May) attacks by armed individuals continued to be reported in various parts of the Timbuktu region in the north of Mali – including the Cercle (district) of Goundam and the Cercle of Gourma Rharous along the Niger river. The attacks resulted in the wounding of civilians, looting of houses and pillages of shops and livestock. This continued violence has led to further population displacements within the region. According to reports by local authorities and various partners on the ground, a total of 26,983 people have fled their villages over the last two weeks (up from the total of 6,200 people reported in Flash Update #1).
Displaced persons sought refuge in larger population hubs or on the south bank of the Niger river.
In particular, in the Cercle of Gourma Rharous, some 15,239 persons have reportedly fled their villages in the communes of Rharous and Serere towards the localities of Rharous, Salakoira and Boranda. In the Cercle of Timbuktu, some 3,690 persons fled from various villages in the commune of Bourem Inaly. In the Cercle of Goundam, 8,054 persons fled from their villages towards the localities of Tonka and Goundam town.
The displaced people are currently staying in temporary shelters, camping, or with host families and are in urgent need of water, food, non-food items and shelter. Humanitarian actors in the region are positioning relevant stocks to deliver the required assistance. In particular, an evaluation of needs has started in Goundam (WFP/Handicap International/AFRICARE/Solidarités International) and the distribution of food aid has already begun. Humanitarian actors have undertaken first assessments (UNHCR/IEDA Relief) but have not been able to access affected areas in the district (Cercle) of Gourma Rharous due to the prevailing insecurity in that zone. OCHA is coordinating with national and local organizations to facilitate access and the delivery of aid through local actors.
Measles epidemic in the Kidal region
In a separate development, 16 cases of measles have been confirmed in the region of Kidal (Tessalit and Kidal health districts) in the northeast of Mali. A temporary WHO mission, who was already on the ground to support the delivery of health services, will organize a vaccination campaign to respond to the epidemic.
Faced with security and logistics constraints, no health humanitarian organization has a permanent presence in the Kidal region. The Kidal airfield has been closed since January due to security concerns and after it was damaged during a demonstration – seriously limiting the possibility for humanitarian aid to reach the region by air.
There are currently 4,000 measles vaccine vials available in Kidal, while a total of 20,000 would be necessary to cover the needs. OCHA is liaising with MINUSMA for logistical support to facilitate the transport of additional vials and equipment.
WHO has the capacity to support the vaccination campaign in the Cercles of Kidal, Aberra and Tessalit, while the support of other humanitarian partners is sought to cover the district of Tinasako (Kidal region) and extend the campaign to the regions of Gao, Timbuktu and Mopti.
UNICEF rushes supplies for Burundi refugees in Tanzania to halt cholera outbreak
Source: UN Children's Fund
Country: Burundi, United Republic of Tanzania
The outbreak has so far claimed 27 lives among the 50,000 refugees gathered on the shores of Lake Tanganyika. Without a treatment centre on site, mortality rates may become extremely high, UNICEF warns.
BUJUMBURA, Burundi/NAIROBI, Kenya/DAR-ES-SALAAM, Tanzania, 21 May 2015 – UNICEF has rushed relief supplies to Tanzania’s north-western border with Burundi, in response to a devastating cholera outbreak which has so far claimed 27 lives among the 50,000 Burundian refugees gathered on the shores of Lake Tanganyika.
UNICEF has dispatched cholera treatment supplies, as well as water, sanitation, health and nutrition items, shuttled in from Burundi and Tanzania to the affected area. The children’s agency is now working with partners on both sides of the border to scale up the response.
Burundi’s current unrest has forced more than 112,000 people, approximately two thirds of whom are women and children, to flee to neighbouring countries. More than 76,000 Burundian refugees have arrived in Tanzania so far.
“Children constitute more than half of the population on the move and are particularly vulnerable to cholera,” said UNICEF Regional Director for Eastern & Southern Africa, Leila Gharagozloo-Pakkala. “Concerted action by the two counties has fast tracked the dispatch of lifesaving commodities to stem the spread of the outbreak.”
The village of Kagunga has seen the highest number of arrivals, with around 50,000 people camped on its shores, in a remote and hard-to-reach part of Tanzania.
Overcrowding and poor sanitation have resulted in a surge of confirmed or suspected cases of cholera and acute watery diarrhea among the refugees. UNICEF warns that without a cholera treatment centre on site in Kagunga, mortality rates may become extremely high.
In Burundi, 15 suspected cases of cholera have been brought to the district hospital of Nyanza Lac. The Burundian Ministry of Health and partners have now re-opened a cholera treatment centre in the area, with support from UNICEF.
Relief supplies delivered by UNICEF include: a cholera treatment kit for 100 cases, chlorine, soap, water purification tablets and plastic buckets. High-nutrition ready-to-eat food has also been provided by UNICEF to cover up to 1,000 vulnerable children for one week.
Amid ongoing confrontations in the capital Bujumbura, Burundians have fled to three neighbouring countries - Rwanda, DRC, and Tanzania - where UNICEF is on the ground working with partners to provide basic healthcare, nutrition, water, sanitation, child protection and education services.
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UN Secretary-General appoints High-Level Panel on Humanitarian Financing
Source: UN Secretary-General
The Panel will examine humanitarian financing challenges and will identify ways in which the gap between rising needs and the resources available to meet them can be closed.
One of the most important challenges facing the humanitarian system today is the growing gap between the increasing numbers of people in need of assistance and sufficient resources to provide relief.
Over the last decade, the demand for humanitarian aid has risen dramatically. The number of people in need has more than doubled since 2004 to over 100 million today, and current humanitarian funding requirements for 2015 stand at $19.1 billion, up from $3.4 billion in 2004.
This is the result of a number of factors including protracted conflicts which are forcing record numbers of people from their homes; water scarcity; food insecurity; demographic shifts; rapid urbanization; and climate change. All these and other dynamics are contributing to a situation in which current resources and funding flows are insufficient to meet the rising demand for aid. In addition, humanitarian actors are expected to stay longer and longer in countries and regions impacted by long-running crises and conflicts.
These are some of the most pressing reasons which led me to establish a High-Level Panel on Humanitarian Financing.
I have appointed Ms. Kristalina Georgieva and Sultan Nazrin Shah as co-chairs of the Panel. This initiative will bring together distinguished individuals with a wide range of experience and expertise including Ms. Hadeel Ibrahim, Mr. Badr Jafar, Mr. Trevor Manuel, Ms. Linah Mohohlo, Mr. Walt Macnee, Ms. Margot Wallström and Mr. Dhananjayan Sriskandarajah.
The Panel will examine humanitarian financing challenges and will identify ways in which the gap between rising needs and the resources available to meet them can be closed. It will also work on generating solutions around the issues of more timely and predictable funding, as well as ways in which resources can be used more effectively.
The Panel is expected to submit its recommendations to me in November 2015 and these recommendations will help frame the discussion at the World Humanitarian Summit in May 2016.
THE PANEL MEMBERS
Kristalina Georgieva (Bulgaria) is Vice President of the European Commission responsible for Budget and Human Resources. Prior to her appointment in November 2014, she was the EU Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response (2010 – 2014). During her term in office she oversaw the delivery of life saving assistance to nearly 500 million children, women and men affected by conflicts and natural disasters around the world. From 1993 to 2010, she served in a number of positions in the World Bank Group - in her last position, as the World Bank's Vice President and Corporate Secretary, she played a key role in the Bank's governance reform and accompanying capital increase in the wake of the 2008 international financial crisis.
Sultan Nazrin Shah of Perak (Malaysia) is the eldest son of the late Sultan of Perak. He has assumed the role of Financial Ambassador of the Malaysian International Islamic Financial Centre, has been Pro-Chancellor of Universiti Malaya since 1989 and is the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Malay College Kuala Kangsar. He is also an Eminent Fellow at the Institute of Strategic and International Studies in Malaysia. The Sultan has written articles and spoken on a wide range of issues including constitutional monarchy in Malaysia, education, Islam, ethnic relations and economic development.
Hadeel Ibrahim (United Kingdom) is Executive Director of Mo Ibrahim Foundation. Established in 2006, the Foundation, which is a non-grant making organisation, focuses on defining, assessing and enhancing governance and leadership in Africa. She is also co-Chair of the Board of Directors of the Africa Center in New York, whose mission is to promote partnership, collaboration, dialogue and understanding between African artists, business leaders and civil society and their counterparts in the United States and beyond.
Badr Jafar (United Arab Emirates) is chief executive of the UAE’s Crescent Group, operating globally across six industry verticals including natural gas, ports and logistics, and healthcare. He is actively involved with and sits on the boards of various international non-profit organizations spearheading programs in support of social development, secondary education and the arts, and is a prominent advocate of social entrepreneurship. In 2010, he launched the Pearl Initiative in co-operation with United Nations agencies to promote a corporate culture of transparency and accountability within the Middle East.
Trevor Manuel (South Africa) is a Senior Advisor to the financial advisory firm Rothschild. He served in the Government of South Africa as Cabinet Minister for 20 years. He was Minister of Trade and Industry from 1994 to 1996 and Minister of Finance from 1996 to 2009. From 2009 to 2014, he served as Minister in the Presidency for the National Planning Commission. During his tenure, South Africa reported its budget surplus in 2007 - he increased spending for education, housing and sanitation. In 2008, he chaired Committee on IMF Governance Reform. He has received numerous international awards and recognition for his accomplishments.
Linah Mohohlo (Botswana) is the Governor of the Bank of Botswana. She has also worked for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and, in her capacity as Governor of the IMF for Botswana, she has been a member of the International Monetary and Financial Committee, representing the IMF Africa Group 1 Constituency. She served on the Commission for Africa and the Lancet Commission on Investing in Health; she is also a member of the Africa Progress Panel. In 2011, Ms Mohohlo co-chaired the World Economic Forum on Africa. She is a recipient of a number of professional awards, including Botswana’s highest public service award for efficient and devoted service (The Presidential Order of Honour).
Walt Macnee (Canada) is Vice Chairman of MasterCard Worldwide and is responsible for various senior client and government relationships. Previously, he was President of International Markets, Global Markets, as well as for Americas Region. From 2001 to 2004, he was President of MasterCard Canada. He briefly left MasterCard from 2004 to 2006 when he was Executive Vice President at Canadian Imperial bank of Commerce. Prior to joining MasterCard he spent 18 years with Toronto Dominion Bank where in his last position as Senior Vice President, he had full product management and client service responsibility for payment cards and personal lending.
Margot Wallström (Sweden) is the Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs. She has had a long career in politics in the Swedish parliament, the Swedish government, and the European Commission. She was Environment Commissioner from 1999–2004 and in the Swedish government she was Minister for Consumer Affairs, Women and Youth in 1988–1991, Minister for Culture in 1994–1996 and Minister for Social Affairs in 1996–1998. She was also the first of five vice-presidents of the 27-member European Commission from 2004 to 2010 and worked as Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) on Sexual Violence in Conflict from 2010 to 2012.
Dhananjayan Sriskandarajah (Sri Lanka) is the Secretary General of CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation. In 2009, he was appointed Director General of the Royal Commonwealth Society, a large NGO devoted to Commonwealth affairs based in London. He was the first non-British and youngest person to head this 140-year-old organization. Before being appointed to the RCS, he was Deputy Director of the Institute for Public Policy Research. He is a researcher, author and commentator on migration issues and economic development.
WFP resumes food assistance to families displaced by conflict in Libya
Source: World Food Programme
Distributions were suspended in March and April due to lack of funding. With its emergency operation only 33 percent funded, WFP needs to raise an additional $14 million to ensure uninterrupted assistance.
TUNIS – The United Nations World Food Progamme (WFP) has resumed food assistance to support displaced people whose lives have been impacted by the continuing armed conflict in Libya.
WFP is currently providing assistance for 51,000 of the most vulnerable Libyans who have been displaced in the west of the country. Through its partner, Shaikh Tahir Azzawi Charity Organization (STACO), WFP is providing pasta, couscous, rice, and other items to affected families in towns including Wadi ash-Shati, Misrata, Sebha and Traghen.
“The violence and insecurity in Libya is continuing unabated and has led to massive population displacements and an increase in humanitarian needs,” said Wagdi Othman, WFP Emergency Coordinator for Libya. “As thousands of vulnerable people are displaced now, WFP is doing its utmost to support those people who have been left without sufficient access to food supplies.”
WFP plans to support a total of 243,000 internally displaced people in Libya with life-saving food assistance over the next six months. So far, 10 trucks have crossed the Tunisian border carrying food to STACO’s warehouse in western Libya for onward distribution.
The food agency is establishing a partnership with another Libyan charity to conduct food distributions to families who have left their homes in eastern Libya, especially Benghazi, Libya’s second largest city, which has been hard hit by conflict for more than a year. WFP plans to begin food distributions in the east in the coming days.
Since the beginning of this year WFP has reached 75,000 people throughout Libya with food assistance, but distributions were suspended in March and April due to lack of funding. With WFP’s emergency operation in Libya only 33 percent funded, the organization needs to raise an additional US$14 million to ensure that its operation inside Libya continues uninterrupted.
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 75 countries.
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Measles cases in Sudan on the rise as CERF disburses funding
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Country: South Sudan, Sudan
The Central Emergency Relief Fund has disbursed $1.9 million to support the measles outbreak response campaign, as the number of confirmed cases has risen to 2,336.
• Humanitarian supplies and response teams are ready to move to Abu Karinka, East Darfur once government authorities grant access.
• CERF grants $1.9 million to measles response, as Phase 1 of the Government’s measles vaccination campaign concludes.
• Camps in White Nile State set to receive urgently needed water bladders and latrines.
• The Government of Germany contributes €1 million to World Vision’s project in South Darfur.
Displaced people in Sudan 3.1 million
IDPs in Darfur (to date) 2.5 million
GAM burden 2 million
Refugees in Sudan (excluding S.Sudanese) (UNHCR) 168,000
South Sudanese refugees in Sudan - since 15 Dec 2013 (UNHCR)
East Darfur aid response mobilizes, awaits access
No further clashes between the Ma’aliya and Southern Reizegat tribes have been reported since fighting broke out on 11 May in Abu Karinka locality. The security situation remained tense for the duration of the week, however, especially in Adila and Abu Karinka towns. According to the Government’s Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC), an estimated 24,000 people who were displaced following the fighting began returning to their homes in Abu Karinka towards the end of the week. Unconfirmed reports from the Darfur Regional Authority (DRA) and national partners indicate that around 665 houses in Abu Karinka were burnt down during the fighting. Reportedly, another group of about 293 households, consisting mainly of women and children, moved to Ailliet locality in North Darfur with their livestock before the conflict began and an unknown number of civilians fled to El Obeid, North Kordofan. No verification or humanitarian activities have taken place yet in Abu Karinka.
The African Union - United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) and humanitarian partners planned to conduct a rapid-assessment and verification mission to Abu Karinka on 18 May, but government authorities denied access due to security concerns. Further attempts by humanitarian agencies to gain access to Abu Karinka are currently underway and it is hoped that the mission to Abu Karinka town will occur on 26 May.
Preparedness measures in response to the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Abu Karinka began immediately after information of fighting between the Reizegat and Ma’aliya tribes was received. Humanitarian partners have confirmed the availability of adequate nutrition and food supplies in Adila and Ed Daein, respectively, with back-up stocks available in El Obeid. In Ed Daein, food stocks include 29.68 MT of cereals, 26.75 MT of pulses, 18.35 MT of super cereals, 1.08 MT of oil, and 2.05 MT of salt. In Adila, there are 1,200 cartons of plumpy nut, which is enough to cover 200 children per month for three months. Emergency shelters and household items will be supplied from Nyala, South Darfur or El Obeid in North Kordofan. The American Refugee Committee (ARC) has teams specializing in nutrition, non-food items, and water, sanitation and hygiene currently stationed in Adila ready to deploy to Abu Karinka once security clearances are granted. There is a shortage of health supplies in Abu Karinka, however, critical cases are being referred to Adila where supplies are adequate. The World Health Organization (WHO) has sent rapid response kits, trauma kits (containing surgical materials) and medical teams to the hospitals in Adila and Ed Daein, where casualties are being treated.
The Government’s Department for Water and Sanitation (WES) has seven generators and submersible pumps in Ed Daein ready to for shipment to Abu Karinka and Adila, pending security clearances. WES has contacted the state water corporation in Adila to conduct a quick assessment of water, sanitation and hygiene needs in the area.
Over 80 per cent of Syrian refugees using crisis or emergency coping strategies
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Country: Jordan, Syrian Arab Republic
The UNHCR VAF Welfare Model shows that 86 per cent of Syrian refugees are living below the Jordanian poverty line and are therefore rated as being highly or severely vulnerable.
Objectives of the VAF Baseline Report
To present the results of the Vulnerability Assessment Model from a randomised statistically representative survey across the Kingdom of Jordan.
To present an introduction to both the Welfare Model and the Sector Vulnerability rating models and to provide context and background to their design.
To identify the limitations of VAF data and models thereby providing guidance on their application.
UN delivers improved health services to more than 5 million Palestinians
Source: UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East
Country: Jordan, Lebanon, occupied Palestinian territory, Syrian Arab Republic
A UNRWA report states that indicators such as vaccination coverage and the percentage of pregnant women attending at least four antenatal case visits remain at a high level.
UN delivering improved health services for over five million Palestinians according to new report
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency, UNRWA, is delivering improved health services to millions of Palestine refugees across the Middle East because of root and branch reforms. These are the findings of a new report from UNRWA’s Health Department published today in Geneva. Indicators include a decrease in the average number of daily medical consultations per doctor, an increase in consultation times and decrease in antibiotics prescription rates.
The Director of UNRWA’s Health Department, Dr Akihiro Seita, says these improvements are the direct result of Agency-wide reforms and sheer hard work from UNRWA staff. “The indicators are impressive and show that the “Family Health Team” model which our reforms have brought in to 99 or our 115 health centres (86%) are having a real impact on the health of our beneficiaries. I’d like to pay tribute to the extraordinary effort s of the UNRWA health teams, working in some of the most challenging environments today; amid civil war in Syria, under bombardment and blockade in Gaza and amid the Israeli occupation in the West Bank.”
Other indicators included in the report show that maternal and child health indictors such as vaccination coverage, early registration to preventive care and percentage of pregnant women attending at least four antenatal case visits remain at a high level. Moreover, screening activities for Non-Communicable Diseases were strengthened and referrals to psychosocial counselors have increased.
According to Dr Seita, “the total number of maternal deaths among the Palestine refugee population was reduced, and immunization coverage rates for different target populations continued to be around 99%, leading to zero percent outbreaks of immunization-preventable communicable diseases.”
The Family Health Team (FHT) model offers a primary care package focused on providing comprehensive and holistic primary health care for the entire family. This person-centred approach has been successfully adopted in many developed and developing countries. The FHT was designed to improve quality, efficiency and effectiveness of health services, particularly targeting Non Communicable Diseases. The FHT approach is supported by the concurrent introduction of electronic medical records (e-Health) and health centre upgrades to better accommodate the infrastructure needs of the new approach.
A full version of the UNRWA Health Programme’s Annual Report 2014 can be downloaded via the following here.
UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and is mandated to provide assistance and protection to a population of some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip to achieve their full potential in human development, pending a just solution to their plight. UNRWA’s services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, and microfinance.
Financial support to UNRWA has not kept pace with an increased demand for services caused by growing numbers of registered refugees, expanding need, and deepening poverty. As a result, the Agency's General Fund (GF), supporting UNRWA’s core activities and 97 per cent reliant on voluntary contributions, has begun each year with a large projected deficit. Currently the deficit stands at more than US$ 106 million.
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Guinea and Sierra Leone report substantial increase in new Ebola cases
Source: World Health Organization
Country: Guinea, Italy, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America
The geographical area of transmission has also expanded compared with recent weeks, with a total of six districts reporting cases, compared with three the previous week.
The week to 17 May saw the highest weekly total of confirmed cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) for over a month, with 35 cases reported from Guinea and Sierra Leone. This is a substantial increase compared with 9 cases reported the previous week. The geographical area of transmission has also expanded compared with recent weeks, with a total of 6 districts reporting cases (3 in Guinea, 3 in Sierra Leone), compared with 3 the previous week (2 in Guinea, 1 in Sierra Leone). Capacity for improved community engagement, case investigation, and targeted, active surveillance continues to be strengthened in areas of continuing transmission to ensure that remaining chains of transmission are detected, contained, and brought to an end.
Guinea reported a total of 27 cases, compared with 7 cases the previous week. The majority of cases were reported from the western prefectures of Dubreka (11 cases) and Forecariah (11 cases), with the remaining 5 cases reported from the north western prefecture of Boke, which borders Guinea-Bissau. The cases in Boke were tightly clustered in the coastal sub-prefecture of Kamsar, and initial investigations suggest they may have originated from a chain of transmission in Conakry. All 11 cases reported from Dubreka came from the sub-prefecture of Tanene. Although the exact origin of the cluster is unknown, retrospective investigation has linked most of the confirmed cases to 4 probable cases who attended a funeral of another probable case in Dubreka in mid-April, which may have been the source of the outbreak. Difficulty engaging local communities has made case investigation and contact tracing in the area challenging. In Forecariah, 11 cases were distributed across 6 of the prefecture’s 10 sub-prefectures. A total of 9 of the 27 cases reported from Guinea originated from an unknown source, indicating that chains of transmission continue to evade detection in several areas.
Because of the proximity to Guinea-Bissau of the recent cluster of cases in the Guinean prefecture of Boke, a response team from Guinea-Bissau has been deployed to the border to assess points of entry. An epidemiological investigation team has also mobilized to ensure any contacts who cross the border are traced.
In Sierra Leone, 8 confirmed cases were reported from Freetown (4 cases), Kambia (1 case), and Port Loko (3 cases). In Freetown, cases were clustered in 3 neighbourhoods in the north of the city near to the Moa Wharf area, which was the only part of Sierra Leone to report cases in the previous week. The single case in Kambia was reported from the Chiefdom of Magbema, which had been the main focus of transmission in the district in recent weeks. The 3 cases in the Port Loko Chiefdom of Kaffu Bullom are linked to a chain of transmission in Kambia. A total of 4 of the 8 cases reported from Sierra Leone were registered contacts of a previous case. An additional 3 cases were not registered contacts, but were found on further investigation to have had contact with a previous case. The remaining case, reported from Freetown, was identified after post-mortem testing of a community death. The source of infection is unknown, but the case was found in the Moa Wharf area.
The last health worker infection in Guinea was reported on 6 April. However, a new health worker infection in Sierra Leone was laboratory confirmed on 14 May. The case is a Sierra Leone national who was working at an Ebola treatment centre near Freetown at the time of symptom onset. This is the same facility at which the recent Italian health worker case was stationed prior to their return to Italy. Investigations are ongoing into how both health workers came to be exposed to EVD. A total of 13 contacts are currently being monitored in Italy, none of whom are considered to have had a high-risk exposure. There have been a total of 869 confirmed health worker infections reported from Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone since the start of the outbreak, with 507 reported deaths.
107,000 still displaced after January floods in Malawi
Source: International Organization for Migration, Government of Malawi
Most of the IDP sites in Nsanje and Chikwawa districts remain open. IDPs there do not want to return to their places of origin and claim they do not have land to resettle.
131 sites remain open, corresponding to approximately 26,100 households and an estimated 107,000 individuals.
A decrease of 12,466 IDP households was recorded between the second and third round of the DTM reports; corresponding to a 32% decrease in the number of displaced households.
56% of the IDP population are female; 44% of IDPs are male.
Between April and May, 61 displacement sites closed in Phalombe, Zomba, Mulanje and Blantryre districts as IDPs started to return to their place of origin and others have resettled.
No displacement site closed in Nsanje (31 sites) and Chikwawa (19 sites) districts between round II and round III.
Land for resettlement has been identified for five (5) displacement sites in Nsanje: Mota Engil, Mpatsa, Kachere, Nyachilenda, and Mguda.
95 % of all sites have an established Site Management Committee.