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ReliefWeb - Updates

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    Source: ActionAid, Danish Refugee Council, Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development, War Child UK, Medair, International Relief and Development, INTERSOS, CARE, Handicap International, International Catholic Migration Commission, Médecins du Monde, Solidarités International, Oxfam, International Rescue Committee, Relief International, HelpAge International, World Vision, Secours Islamique France, Première Urgence - Aide Médicale Internationale
    Country: Jordan, Lebanon, Syrian Arab Republic

    Long-term vision and committed funding urgently needed from international community as flow of Syrian refugees continues

    The number of Syrian refugees will pass the two million mark within the next nine weeks*, a coalition of 19 aid agencies working in six countries directly affected by the Syrian crisis, warned today.

    Marking the UN’s World Refugee Day, the coalition said it was deeply concerned about the alarming escalation of refugee numbers, which is being fuelled by the relentless fighting in Syria.

    Hugh Fenton, Chair of the Syrian INGO Regional Forum, said: “The plight of Syrian refugees is on a staggering scale – and as the violence and bloodshed continue in Syria, the number of people fleeing the country rises uncontrollably.”

    “When they arrive in the host countries, refugees are bewildered and exhausted – not knowing what their future holds. A generation of Syrian children has witnessed brutal violence, women and girls have been victims of rape and abuses, and they will all continue to suffer while in exile.”

    “We must ensure that all those affected - registered or unregistered refugees, within and outside camps - receive the urgent assistance they need, and their basic needs for life are met.”

    The official number of Syrian refugees is rapidly growing above 1.6 million − with Lebanon and Jordan hosting the majority. But the official figures do not reflect the full picture and many thousands more are unregistered, lacking regular access to essential aid.

    Over 77% of the total refugee population are living in urban areas, outside official camps, with little or no opportunities to earn a living. While host country governments and communities and aid agencies are doing all they can to help, Syrian refugees need urgent access to basic services, including shelter, health, water and sanitation and education.

    The aid agencies warn that too many are trapped in a vicious cycle, finding it increasingly difficult to cope. High rental accommodation costs are driving many into debt or into inadequate shelter, exposing them and their families to health risks and further extreme stress.

    Healthcare facilities in overcrowded host communities are stretched to the limit. In Jordan, for example, the number of hospital visits by refugees grew from 300 per month in January 2012 to 10,000 visits this past March. In Lebanon, refugees are struggling to pay for their 25% share of hospitalisation.

    The aid agencies have called in vain for a sustained response to the refugee crisis – underlining the critical need for a long-term vision by the international community of how best to meet the needs of refugees and hosting communities.

    The current UN appeals (calling for over $4 billion) are less than a third funded and the aid agencies are urging donor countries to dig deep and find the money that is desperately needed to adequately fund the humanitarian response.

    Fenton said: “Of course a response on this scale is costly. But the lives of so many Syrians have been devastated. The international community cannot look the other way. Committed funds, not just pledges, are needed urgently.”

    “Refugees could be staying in host countries for months or years, it is critical that they are able to live with dignity and have livelihood options that help them to cover basic costs.”

    *Calculation is based on the average number of UNHCR’s registrations completed per week (https://data.unhcr.org/syrianrefugees/regional.php)

    Note to editors

    For more information, please contact:

    Adel Sarkozi, CARE: +962779967772, sarkozi@careinternational.org
    Ned Colt, IRC: +962775066652, Ned.Colt@rescue.org
    Iben de Neergaard, DRC: iben.de.neergaard@drc.dk
    Mike Bailey, World Vision International: +96273445410, mikerbailey@yahoo.com

    For interviews, please contact:

    Hugh Fenton, DRC, Chair of SIRF (English interviews): +962 796387798, +964 7819851830
    Thierry-Mehdi Benlahsen, Handicap International, board member of SIRF (French interviews): +961 70 84 02 43 or +962 7 871 955 96
    Magdi Ibrahim, Medecins du Monde (French interviews): +962 799276103
    Claire Seaward, Oxfam, board member of SIRF (English interviews): +962 776738595, +44 7827270724

    Syria INGO Regional Forum has members responding to the Syrian crisis in Syria and neighbouring countries. These include: ACTED, Action Aid, CARE, DRC, Handicap International, HelpAge International, ICMC, Intersos, IRC, IRD, Medair, Medecins du Monde, Oxfam, PU-AMI, Relief International, Secours Islamique France, Solidarités Internationale, War Child, World Vision International


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    Source: Concern Worldwide, COOPI - Cooperazione Internazionale, Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development, Medair, Islamic Relief, INTERSOS, CARE, Action Contre la Faim, Solidarités International, Oxfam, International Rescue Committee, International Medical Corps, Première Urgence, Merlin, World Vision, Secours Islamique France
    Country: Chad

    Child malnourishment, health risks and food insecurity: even in 2013, the need for humanitarian help remains high and requires long-term support, according to a group of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) consisting of Solidarités International, ACTED, Concern Worldwide, Merlin, Oxfam, International Rescue Committee, Première Urgence-Aide Medicale Internationale, French Red Cross, InterSOS, International Medical Corps, COOPI, Action Against Hunger, Medair, CARE International, World Vision, Diakonie, Secours Islamique France, Islamic Relief Worldwide, and ACRA.

    N’Djamena, June 20, 2013 - The above average 2012 grain harvest following a season of abundant rainfall may lead to believe that the needs of Chad’s most vulnerable population have lessened. Yet, NGOs working in the field are confronted daily with the fact that the level of need continues to remain high and that any decrease in help would have a dramatic impact on an already very fragile situation.

    Unacceptably high levels of child malnourishment

    Results of a 2013 malnutrition study show the ongoing gravity of the problem, with acute malnutrition levels rising above the critical threshold of 15% as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) in six areas of the Sahel zone. According to a UNICEF forecast, 150,000 children will be affected by acute severe malnutrition in 2013 - a number similar to the 2012 estimates. In addition, the mortality rate among children under the age of 5 will rise above the emergency level of 2/1000/day in several of the Southern regions.

    Access to water and sanitary conditions is still insufficient

    The dramatic food situation is compounded by limited access to water, and every effort has to be made to continue to improve that situation. Chad’s level of access to water is among the lowest in the region (only 44% of the population has access to water and 12% disposes of acceptable sanitary facilities.) This considerably raises sanitary risks, the spread of water-borne diseases, and epidemics like cholera.

    Continued food insecurity for many households

    Based on preliminary results of a March 2013 Evaluation of Food Security of Rural Households in Chad’s Sahel and Southern Zones, 2.1 million people are still in a state of food insecurity; of those, 13% are categorized as severely endangered. Pockets of food insecurity exist in seven Sahel zone regions as well as seven Eastern zones, mostly because of the 2011/2012 food crisis concerning in particular the poorest households.

    A Must : Develop self-reliance among the population

    For over 10 years, Chad has experienced recurring crises (drought, flooding, conflicts in the East) which have substantially destabilized household economy. Every crisis that befalls the country undermines the efforts undertaken to develop self-reliance, as the recent influx of refugees from Sudan into the Dar Sila region has made glaringly obvious again. Today, Chad is in a recovery phase the outcome of which will determine the population’s ability to deal with future catastrophes caused by a hostile environment and harsh climatic conditions that will strike again and again.

    Building community and institutional capacities

    In order to ensure better resistance to future crises it is important to reduce the effects of past crises. This can be accomplished by an extension of efforts at the decisive moment when it is necessary to • Strengthen human and healthcare resources (especially those of healthcare staff) • Tap into support from national prevention systems and food and nutrition crisis management • Guide healthcare facilities in tackling malnutrition issues • Improve and ensure water access through increasing the number of good quality water resources and networks • Build sanitation infrastructures to diminish the risk of spread of diseases • Improve hygienic practices • Help recapitalize vulnerable indebted households • Improve agricultural techniques

    In order to maximize the efficiency of any intervention, it is imperative to enable authorities, humanitarian help organizations, and investors and donors to synchronize their response to the challenges of the transition period and humanitarian emergencies. Delivering swift and efficient humanitarian help to prevent further destabilization of the affected regions remains a priority in a context where natural or humanitarian disasters recur frequently.

    We, the NGOs, are concerned to see Chad in a situation where the means for humanitarian help decrease while at the same time funds earmarked for the developmental transition phase take increasingly longer to be allocated. Chad continues to have low visibility in world news even though the nation’s needs are pressing and rightfully belong high up on the international help agenda.

    We therefore appeal to the key players and institutions of the international solidarity not to let Chad fall off the radar at this critical juncture where community progress is possible but is at risk of rapidly disintegrating if faced with yet another challenge, however small.

    For additional information, contact :

    John Scicchitano, National Director World Vision Chad salomon_djimte@wvi.org +235-6625-6011


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    Source: Concern Worldwide, Croix-Rouge Française, COOPI - Cooperazione Internazionale, Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development, Medair, Islamic Relief, INTERSOS, CARE, Action Contre la Faim, Solidarités International, Oxfam, International Rescue Committee, International Medical Corps, Merlin, World Vision, Diakonia Sweden, Secours Islamique France, Première Urgence - Aide Médicale Internationale
    Country: Chad

    Malnutrition infantile, risques sanitaires et insécurité alimentaire : en 2013, les besoins humanitaires demeurent très importants et demandent un soutien à long terme selon les ONG Solidarités International, ACTED, Concern Worldwide, Merlin, Oxfam, International Rescue Committee, Première Urgence-Aide Médicale Internationale, Croix-Rouge Française, InterSOS, International Medical Corps, COOPI, Action Contre la Faim, Medair, CARE International, World Vision, Diakonie, Le Secours Islamique France, Islamic Relief Worldwide, et ACRA.

    N’Djamena, le 20 juin 2013 - Avec une récolte de céréales dépassant la moyenne annuelle suite à la bonne saison des pluies de l’année 2012, il est tentant de penser que les besoins des populations vulnérables du Tchad ont diminué. Pourtant, les ONG qui travaillent sur le terrain constatent au quotidien que ceux-ci demeurent très importants et qu’une diminution du soutien aurait un impact dramatique sur une situation extrêmement fragile.

    Les taux de malnutrition infantile sont inacceptables Les résultats des enquêtes sur la malnutrition en 2013 démontrent la persistance du problème, avec des taux de malnutrition aiguë globale dépassant le seuil d’urgence des 15% défini par l’OMS dans six des dix régions de la bande sahélienne. Selon les prévisions de l'UNICEF 150,000 enfants souffriront de malnutrition aiguë sévère en 2013 : chiffre semblable aux estimations de 2012. Par ailleurs, dans les régions du sud, le taux de mortalité des enfants en dessous de cinq ans dépasse le seuil de l’urgence qui est de 2/10000/jour dans plusieurs régions.

    L’accès à l’eau et les conditions sanitaires sont encore très insuffisants A cette situation dramatique viennent s’ajouter les mauvaises conditions d’accès à l’eau sur lesquelles l’effort ne doit pas être relâché. Le Tchad affiche les taux d’accès à l’eau et d’assainissement les plus bas de la sous-région (44% ont accès à l’eau et 12 % à des structures sanitaires acceptables). Cet état de fait augmente considérablement les risques sanitaires, la propagation des maladies hydriques et d’épidémies comme le choléra.

    L’insécurité alimentaire persiste pour de nombreux ménages Selon les résultats préliminaires de l’Evaluation de la Sécurité Alimentaire des Ménages Ruraux dans les Zones Sahélienne et Soudanienne du Tchad (mars 2013), 2,1 millions de personnes sont toujours en situation d’insécurité alimentaire, dont 13% en insécurité alimentaire sévère. Des poches d’insécurité alimentaire persistent dans7 régions de la bande sahélienne, et 7 autres régions de la zone soudanienne, notamment en raison des séquelles de la crise alimentaire de 2011/2012 sur les ménages les plus pauvres.

    Un impératif : développer la résilience des populations Depuis plus de 10 ans, le Tchad a souffert de crises récurrentes (sécheresses, inondations, crises sécuritaires à l’est) qui ont profondément fragilisé l’économie des ménages. Chaque crise qui affecte le pays vient saper les efforts entrepris en vue de renforcer la résistance des populations, comme nous le rappelle cruellement l’afflux récent de réfugiés soudanais dans la région du Dar Sila. Le Tchad se trouve aujourd’hui dans une phase de relèvement dont l’issue déterminera la capacité des populations à faire face aux chocs induits par un environnement difficile et par les événements climatiques qui frappent régulièrement le pays.

    Renforcer les capacités des communautés et des institutions Pour assurer une meilleure résistance des populations du Tchad aux chocs futurs, il est nécessaire de réduire l’impact des crises passées. Cela passe par la prolongation des efforts à un moment déterminant où il est nécessaire de :

    • Renforcer les capacités humaines et institutionnelles du système de santé (notamment en ce qui concerne le personnel de santé),
    • Développer l’appui au système national de prévention et de gestion des crises alimentaires et nutritionnelles,
    • Accompagner les structures de santé dans la prise en charge de la malnutrition,
    • Améliorer et pérenniser l’accès à l’eau par la multiplication des forages, des puits et des réseaux de bonne qualité,
    • Mettre en place des infrastructures d’assainissement adaptées pour diminuer les risques de diffusion des maladies,
    • Améliorer les pratiques d’hygiène,
    • Aider à la recapitalisation des ménages vulnérables généralement endettés,
    • Améliorer les techniques agricoles des ménages,

    Pour assurer une efficacité maximale de leurs interventions, les autorités, les organisations humanitaires et les bailleurs de fonds doivent être capables de répondre simultanément aux défis de la transition et aux urgences humanitaires. Apporter une réponse humanitaire rapide et efficace pour éviter la fragilisation des zones concernées demeure une priorité dans un contexte où ces crises naturelles ou humaines sont récurrentes.

    Nous, ONG, sommes inquiètes de voir le Tchad dans une situation où les moyens de l’aide humanitaire s’amenuisent alors que les fonds destinés à la phase de transition vers le développement tardent à être déployés. Le Tchad demeure peu visible dans l’actualité, alors que les besoins sont criants et doivent demeurer dans l’agenda de l’aide internationale.

    Nous souhaitons donc appeler les acteurs et institutions de la solidarité internationale à ne pas laisser le Tchad sortir des écrans radars à un moment critique où le renforcement des communautés est possible mais peut se dégrader rapidement face au moindre choc qui viendrait les frapper.

    Pour des informations complémentaires, contacter : Jacques Terrenoire, Action Contre la Faim Tchad, Email : cdm@td.missions-acf.org Tel : +235 66 73 40 79


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    Source: Danish Refugee Council, Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development, War Child International, Medair, Norwegian Refugee Council, INTERSOS, Handicap International, Solidarités International, International Rescue Committee, Relief International, Un Ponte per, Save the Children, World Vision, Première Urgence - Aide Médicale Internationale
    Country: Syrian Arab Republic

    As UN General Assembly begins, aid groups urge member states to prioritize humanitarian aid

    Millions of Syrians forced to flee their homes because of the violent conflict engulfing their country are without sufficient food, shelter and lifesaving medical care as international donors fail to meet UN funding appeals, 14 humanitarian organizations warned today.

    The agencies, all members of the Syria International NGO Forum (SIRF), urge heads of state meeting in New York this week for the United Nations General Assembly to urgently increase financial support to meet immediate and long-term needs of Syrians.

    “All humanitarian agencies on the ground can identify groups of war-affected Syrians in urgent need of assistance that are being left to fend for themselves,” says Hugh Fenton, Chair of the Syria International NGO Forum (SIRF) that represents 31 agencies in the region.

    Large numbers of refugees, including women and children, arrive in neighbouring countries injured, disabled, sick and traumatized by the loss of relatives, homes and the life they knew. An estimated 70% across the region are moving into villages, towns and cities, rather than formal camps, and are barely scraping by.

    In the border towns of north Jordan, refugees struggling to access health care are unable to seek treatment for chronic and acute conditions such as diabetes, cardiac disorders, respiratory infections, and diarrhea.

    In the Kurdish regions of northern Iraq, where more than 50,000 Syrians arrived during a single week last month, refugees fortunate enough to find work will find that 75 per cent of their earnings will go on sky-rocketing rents, leaving very little for food, medicine and other essentials.

    In Lebanon, one fifth of the population is now a refugee. Across the villages of the Bekaa valley, groups of refugees living in small communities of makeshift tents made from wood and advertising tarpaulin face eviction as they struggle to pay escalating rents. Already indebted to local grocers and unable to pay for medical care for their children, they are at a loss of how they will cope without more financial assistance. The most desperate sneak back into Syria to get medicine they could not otherwise afford or obtain.

    Humanitarian agencies in Lebanon are providing startup kits, comprising mattresses, blankets and kitchen sets and offering cash assistance to refugees struggling to cope. But with 75,000 Syrians arriving a month, the amount of available funding fails to keep up.

    “It is of the utmost urgency that every one of us, whether you are a donor, government or member of the public, recognises the significant impact of the crisis on both Syrians and host communities. We need increased funding to give humanitarian agencies the flexibility to help those most drastically in need of our support. This, and nothing less, is what we owe to Syrians in need,” says Sarah Case, a SIRF Board member.

    This press release is issued on behalf of the following agencies responding to the Syria Crisis: Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development (ACTED), Danish Refugee Council, Handicap International, International Rescue Committee, Intersos, Medair, Norwegian Refugee Council, Première Urgence - Aide Médicale Internationale (PU-AMI), Relief International, Save the Children, Solidarités International, Un ponte per…, War Child, World Vision.


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    Source: Concern Worldwide, GOAL, Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development, Medair, Norwegian Church Aid, Lutheran World Federation, CARE, United Methodist Committee on Relief, Mercy Corps, AmeriCares, Action Contre la Faim, Médecins du Monde, Mennonite Central Committee, Solidarités International, Oxfam, International Rescue Committee, International Medical Corps, HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation, Save the Children, Plan, SOS Children's Villages International, World Vision, Terre des hommes Italia, Secours Islamique France, Première Urgence - Aide Médicale Internationale
    Country: Haiti

    A ce jour, l’épidémie de choléra apparue en octobre 2010 en Haïti a déjà affecté 680 820 personnes, soit près de 7% de la population, et enregistré 8 307 décès. Depuis janvier 2013, la maladie a déjà atteint 41 701 personnes et tué 360 personnes. A ce jour, Haïti concentre plus de la moitié du nombre de cas de choléra dans le monde et représente plus de 50% de la mortalité mondiale.

    Depuis le mois de juin 2013, date du début de la saison cyclonique, on observe une augmentation croissante et constante du nombre de cas suspects de choléra ainsi qu’une augmentation inquiétante du taux de létalité globale et institutionnelle. Malgré une saison cyclonique, pour l’instant de faible intensité, 19 260 cas de choléra ont déjà été recensés entre le 01 juin et le 30 septembre représentant, en seulement 4 mois, 46% des cas observés depuis le début de l’année4. En aout 2013, la moyenne nationale du taux de létalité hospitalière a atteint 1,79%5 dépassant largement le seuil limite de 1% ; plus de 50% des décès se produisent dans les structures hospitalières6.

    Ces hausses anormalement élevées ne sont que les conséquences d’un ensemble de facteurs : accès encore très faible à l’eau potable et à l’assainissement, déperdition des connaissances et informations des communautés en termes de prévention de la maladie, mauvaise prise en charge des patients, abandon et fermeture d’un nombre très important de structures sanitaires depuis fin 2012. Ces constats démontrent cruellement l’insuffisance des capacités des structures existantes à faire face à la recrudescence des cas de choléra dans le pays et la persistance des problèmes d’accès à l’eau et l’assainissement. A ce jour, certaines communes ne bénéficient plus d’aucune structure de prise en charge de la maladie.

    Malgré les efforts du Ministère de la Santé Publique et de la Population (MSPP), l’intégration de la prise en charge du choléra dans le système de santé est encore faible et incomplète et plusieurs structures existantes connaissent d’importants manques de moyens : personnels sanitaires insuffisants pour assurer la permanence de soins, et dans certains cas, non-formés à la prise en charge des patients atteints de la maladie, discontinuité dans le paiement de leurs salaires, infrastructures en eau, hygiène et assainissement désuètes, intrants pas toujours disponibles etc…

    En 2013, les fonds pour la lutte contre le choléra ont drastiquement diminués démontrant une certaine minimisation de cette problématique humanitaire et engendrant le retrait brutal de nombreux acteurs. Il est urgent de remobiliser l’ensemble des acteurs nationaux et internationaux, afin que cette épidémie ne devienne pas une crise humanitaire oubliée et silencieuse.


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    Source: Catholic Agency for Overseas Development, ActionAid, Danish Refugee Council, DanChurchAid, Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development, War Child International, Medair, Islamic Relief, Norwegian Refugee Council, Lutheran World Federation, INTERSOS, CARE, Terre des hommes, Mercy Corps, Handicap International, Action Contre la Faim, International Catholic Migration Commission, Médecins du Monde, Mennonite Central Committee, International Council of Voluntary Agencies, Solidarités International, Oxfam, Life for Relief and Development, International Rescue Committee, International Medical Corps, Relief International, Un Ponte per, HelpAge International, Save the Children, World Vision, Première Urgence - Aide Médicale Internationale, Assessment Capacities Project
    Country: Syrian Arab Republic, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey

    Coalition of 36 international aid agencies calls on global donors to respond

    International aid agencies working in six countries to help people affected by the Syrian crisis today calls on the international community to dig deep and be generous in responding to the UN’s new Syria and refugee appeals.

    The Regional Response Plan (RRP6) and Syria Humanitarian Assistance Response Plan (SHARP) announced today in Geneva put under the spotlight the enormous need for immediate and substantive aid funding, members of the Syria INGO Regional Forum (SIRF) said today.

    The new UN appeal underlines how the humanitarian crisis has deteriorated in recent months, as the total amount sought far exceeds the previous $4.3 billion appeal launched last June. So far, donor response has not matched the scale of the humanitarian crisis. 62 per cent of the previous UN-led appeal has been funded, and while better than the typical response, it is not enough.

    SIRF’s Chairperson, Rob Drouen, said: “The last appeal broke the record of being the biggest appeal ever launched in UN history but that is left in the shade by today’s announcement.”

    “This money is urgently needed. The UN does not ask for this lightly. Now is the time for donors to step up and make sure that this appeal translates into actual commitments. We are at breaking point, and governments must act now,” added Drouen.

    The new appeal acknowledges the needs of urban refugees (those not in tented camps), who currently comprise close to 80 per cent of the entire refugee population, and have little or no access to income. “There are staggering emergency needs, but we must find solutions to meet the requirements of refugee children and families, as well as overburdened host communities. An urgent political solution to the crisis is needed,” said SIRF board member, Dina Morad.

    SIRF stresses that the international community has to support development initiatives in the areas of health and education, as well as water and energy supplies – both for refugees and host communities. SIRF welcomes the fact that the new appeal includes the support of host communities. Neighbouring countries have been extremely generous hosts, but their capacities and resources have been severely strained. “The generosity of host countries in the region must be recognized and commended,” says Morad. “Without their hospitality, the humanitarian impact of the crisis would be even more devastating.” Syrians now comprise the world’s second largest refugee population. There are more than 2.3 million people struggling to survive in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq, Egypt and beyond with that figure expected to rise substantially by the end of 2014. Most have exhausted all their resources. Increasing rental and food costs and medical expenses are driving families into debt, exposing them to health risks and emotional trauma. 

    Even more bleak and expansive is the humanitarian crisis inside Syria, where millions in need of aid are receiving limited or no assistance, and are forced to move multiple times in search of safety. Aid access to much of Syria is limited due to many reasons including constantly shifting lines of control.

    SIRF calls on all donors to commit funds to address the growing needs of crisis-affected Syrians wherever they may be. The Forum also urges the international community to ensure that humanitarian access is granted, and that aid is strictly impartial, delivered on the basis of humanitarian principles, and is inclusive of the needs of all groups. These groups include many others affected by the crisis, such as Palestinian and Iraqi populations.

    The appeal underscores the urgent need for an end to the crisis. Already, more than 100,000 have lost their lives; at least 7,000 of those killed are children. SIRF calls on all parties to work to find a political solution to the conflict.

    For more information, please contact:

    Ned Colt, The International Rescue Committee, Amman: Ned.Colt@rescue.org +962 775 066652 Johanna Mitscherlich, CARE International, Amman: Johanna.Mitscherlich@jo.care.org +962 775 442241 Logan Sullivan, Handicap International, Beirut: off.region@hi-emergency.org +961 793 13907

    For interviews, please contact:

    Rob Drouen, SIRF Chair and ACF Regional Representative Middle East, Mobile: +962 (0) 775 180672 Dina Morad, SIRF Board Member and Policy Advisor for Mercy Corps: +962 77 606 0085 Sarah Case, SIRF Board Member and IRC Regional Advocacy Officer: +962 775 090799 Gaia van der Esch, SIRF Board Member and ACTED Regional Project Development Manager: +962 796017682 Gareth Richards, Regional Director CARE Middle East and North Africa, Mobile: +20 1223 987 329


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    Source: Catholic Agency for Overseas Development, Catholic Relief Services, ActionAid, Danish Refugee Council, Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development, War Child UK, Medair, Islamic Relief, International Relief and Development, Norwegian Refugee Council, Lutheran World Federation, INTERSOS, CARE, Terre des hommes, Mercy Corps, Handicap International, Action Contre la Faim, International Catholic Migration Commission, Médecins du Monde, Mennonite Central Committee, Solidarités International, Oxfam, Life for Relief and Development, International Rescue Committee, International Medical Corps, Première Urgence, Relief International, HelpAge International, Save the Children, World Vision, Secours Islamique France
    Country: Syrian Arab Republic

    35 member aid group calls for a peaceful solution to the Syria conflict

    Amman, 20 January 2014. Two days ahead of the scheduled Geneva II peace talks, the Syria INGO Regional Forum (SIRF), a coalition of leading global aid agencies responding to the Syria crisis calls on all parties to the conflict to double their efforts to reach a negotiated settlement. “The crisis in Syria will soon be entering its fourth year, and the plight of millions of Syrians must be seen as a catalyst to secure peace. Every day that passes, without a resolution to the conflict, more vulnerable people are pushed deeper into hunger and poverty. We must ensure that these talks result in action to bring an end to the suffering of millions of ordinary Syrians who have lived in misery far too long,” says Rob Drouen, chair of the SIRF board. While peace in Syria is the goal, SIRF calls on all parties to the conflict to halt violence against civilians and enable communities caught up in the fighting to access the humanitarian assistance they so desperately need.

    “The war in Syria is impacting in horrific and irreversible ways on health, education and livelihoods of whole generations, not only in Syria but across the region. Conflict is also spilling into neighbouring countries and the ramifications of this are unconscionable,” adds Drouen.

    Within Syria, a third of the entire population – around six million people, almost half of them children – have been displaced from their homes. Schools and hospitals have been damaged or destroyed, and the health system has collapsed across much of the country. The risk of what are normally easily preventable or treated diseases is rapidly increasing and outbreaks of polio, typhoid and measles are increasing threats. “Accessing those in need is increasingly difficult. The international community must do everything in its power to halt armed conflict and enable unhindered humanitarian access to those in need across Syria,” says Dina Morad, SIRF board member.

    In addition to those in crisis within Syria, more than 2.3 million refugees have officially registered with the UN, but unofficial estimates of unregistered civilians indicate that the number in surrounding countries might already total around 4.5 million.

    According to latest UN estimates, the number of people in need of humanitarian aid both within Syria and the region exceeds a staggering ten million. In recent weeks, Syrian refugees across the region have been hit hard by winter storms and plunging temperatures, heaping another layer of misery to their struggle to survive. “More and more families have no access to health care, have lost any source of income, and can no longer afford food, clothing, or adequate housing. A mother told me that she wakes up at night and checks on her children, afraid they might have frozen to death,” says Morad.

    “Every day brings more death and, more communities are torn apart as hopes for reconciliation and recovery fade. Millions affected by this worst humanitarian crisis in decades will continue paying a heavy price if the peace talks fail,” adds Thierry Benlahsen, member of the SIRF board.

    For more information and interview requests, please contact:

    The Syria INGO Regional Forum’s members responding to the Syrian crisis inside Syria and in neighbouring countries include:

    ACTED, Action Aid, Action Against Hunger, CAFOD, CARE, Danish Church Aid, Danish Refugee Council, Handicap International, HelpAge International, Intersos, International Medical Corps, International Catholic Migration Commission, Catholic Relief Services, International Rescue Committee, IRD, Islamic Relief, LIFE for Relief and Development, Lutheran World Federation, Medair, Medecins du Monde, Mennonite Central Committee, Mercy Corps, NRC, Oxfam, Première Urgence - Aide Médicale Internationale, Relief International, Save the Children, Secours Islamique Français, SNAP, Solidarités International, Terre des Hommes, Un Ponte Per, War Child UK, War Child Holland, World Vision.


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    Source: Association for Aid and Relief Japan, Concern Worldwide, Catholic Agency for Overseas Development, HELP - Hilfe zur Selbsthilfe e.V., Food for the Hungry, Deutsche Welthungerhilfe e. V., Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development, Interchurch Organisation for Development Co-operation, War Child International, Medair, Mission Aviation Fellowship, Norwegian Refugee Council, INTERSOS, Tearfund, CARE, MENTOR Initiative, Terre des hommes, Caritas, International Aid Services, Johanniter-Unfall-Hilfe, Christian Aid, Mercy Corps, Cordaid, Handicap International, Action Contre la Faim, World Relief, People in Need, Solidarités International, Oxfam, International Rescue Committee, International Medical Corps, Relief International, African Medical and Research Foundation, Save the Children, Plan, World Vision, World Renew
    Country: South Sudan

    Juba, South Sudan, 25th January 2014 - Fifty-five major humanitarian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in South Sudan have expressed their deep concern about the current humanitarian situation in the country and reaffirmed their commitment to help all civilian populations in need of assistance.

    The fifty-five NGOs have been deeply alarmed at the scale of human suffering seen in the country in the past six weeks, and so welcome the recent signing in Addis Ababa of a cessation of hostilities agreement between the Government of South Sudan and the opposition forces, and trust that it will lead to a swift reduction in the suffering of civilians. In this regards, the agencies continue to call upon all parties to the conflict to protect civilians, to refrain from targeting attacks on civilian areas, and to distinguish between civilians and combatants.

    The NGOs themselves operate in accordance with the four key humanitarian principles of:

    • The Humanitarian Imperative: NGOs seek to alleviate human suffering, wherever it is found.

    • Impartiality: aid is given regardless of the race, creed or nationality of the recipients and without adverse distinction of any kind. Aid priorities are calculated on the basis of need alone.

    • Neutrality: aid is not used to further a particular political or religious standpoint, and NGOs do not take sides in a conflict.

    • Independence: NGOs formulate their own policies and implementation strategies and do not seek to implement the foreign policy of any government.

    “The humanitarian imperative means that we seek to provide assistance to any civilians who may need it”, explained Wendy Taeuber, Country Director of the International Rescue Committee. “Collectively, we want to be able to help all people in need, wherever they may be located in South Sudan and regardless of who is controlling that area”.

    However, the NGOs emphasized that in order to be able to provide assistance to those who need it, it is essential that all actors recognize the independence of NGOs, and ensure respect and protection for their staff, assets, facilities and humanitarian activities. “We call upon all parties to the conflict to allow unimpeded humanitarian access, and to ensure the safety and freedom of movement of our staff” said Caroline Boyd, Medair’s Country Director.

    “Violence against aid-workers is always unacceptable” added Alan Paul, Country Director of Save the Children, “and any restrictions on the movements or activities of NGOs simply hinder us from providing vital assistance to those South Sudanese who need it most”. Sadly, at least 3 aid-workers, all South Sudanese nationals, have been killed since 15th December.

    “Access is urgently needed”, noted Mercy Corps’ Country Director Mathieu Rouquette, “as the rainy season will be starting in just a few months, which will make it difficult to transport supplies and leave some locations entirely cutoff”.

    The NGOs reiterated that their neutrality means they are separate from any military actor or party to the conflict, and they maintain impartiality by providing assistance on the basis of need alone. “Although some NGOs are currently providing assistance to displaced people seeking shelter within UNMISS bases, we are maintaining our independence and respecting humanitarian principles as separate entities from UNMISS” explained Emilie Poisson, Country Director of ACTED.

    Background

    South Sudan

    South Sudan gained independence on 9th July 2011, and is the world’s newest country. Out of a population of about 12 million, it is estimated that more than half a million people have been displaced since fighting broke out just over one month ago.

    Humanitarian Principles

    Further details on humanitarian principles are given in the Code of Conduct for The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and NGOs in Disaster Relief, available at www.ifrc.org/en/publications-and-reports/code-ofconduct/

    The Fifty-Five NGOs

    The majority of the fifty-five NGOs have been working in South Sudan for at least ten years, and several have been present for more than 30 years. In 2013, the agencies collectively spent over one-quarter of a billion US dollars on humanitarian and development programmes to assist the people of South Sudan.

    Each NGO is registered in South Sudan with the Ministry of Justice and the Relief and Rehabilitation Commission (RRC), and every NGO is obliged to respect the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan, and abide by the country’s laws.


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    Source: Danish Refugee Council, Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development, CARE, Handicap International, Action Contre la Faim, Solidarités International, Oxfam, International Rescue Committee, Plan, World Vision
    Country: Mali

    Bamako, Mali: Ahead of the Sahel Appeal to be launched by the United Nations on the 3rd February 2014 in Rome, 11 humanitarian agencies warn that northern Mali is set to face another serious food crisis unless funds are rapidly mobilised.

    More than 800,000 people need immediate food assistance, and across the country three million people are at risk of not finding enough to eat, according to the result of the December 2013 Harmonized Framework which convenes non-governmental organizations (NGOs), governments, and United Nations agencies working on food security in the Sahel . More than half of these people are living in northern Mali.

    The combined effects of armed conflict and the lasting impacts of the 2012 food crisis in the north of Mali, combined with poor recent harvests, have had a severe effect on populations, limiting access to food and livelihoods for the most vulnerable, said ACF, ACTED, AVSF, CARE International, DRC, Handicap International, IRC, Plan International, Oxfam, Solidarités International and World Vision.

    Franck Vannetelle, Director of Action Against Hunger in Mali, said: “The number of vulnerable people facing a new food crisis is likely to double if the needs identified are not met quickly”. In July 2013, a World Food Programme (WFP) report highlighted that 75.2 per cent of households were food insecure in the regions of Gao, Timbuktu, Kidal and Mopti. This number has continued to rise in recent months.

    The „lean‟ season – when food stocks run low before the next harvest – will start early this year. The late arrival of rains, the low availability of cereal stocks in households, poor harvests in some parts of the country and the failure of markets to function properly mean that people have not been able to recover since last year‟s lean season. Herders have not been able to use traditional pastures and water points critical for the survival of their animals because of insecurity.

    Hélène Quéau, Head of Mission for Solidarités International in Mali, said : “The volatile security situation increases pressure on infrastructure and basic services in more secure areas, and disrupts the economic activities essential for people to recover, making them vulnerable to the slightest shock”. The difficult situation is likely to see more people migrating and getting in to debt in order to cope.

    Humanitarian organisations are calling for a rapid response. The UN‟s emergency appeal for Mali in 2013 was only 55 per cent funded. The outlook for 2014 is already proving bleak with a drastic cut in contributions from certain emergency and development donors. Greater technical and financial resources are needed to respond to the onset of this food crisis.

    Osseni Amadou, Emergency Coordinator at CARE International Mali, said: “Food and nutrition support in the north of Mali should be stepped up in anticipation of the early hunger gap in 2014”. It should be done in parallel with interventions to support capacities of population to be resilient and also anticipate and prepare to recurrent crisis.

    Mohamed Coulibaly, Oxfam Director in Mali said: “The response to immediate humanitarian needs must be combined with a vision and commitment to implementing sustainable solutions. We have to invest in agricultural and pastoral policies that place family farming at their heart, as well as introduce social protection policies and food reserves that make people less vulnerable to shocks.”


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    Source: Catholic Agency for Overseas Development, HealthNet TPO, Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development, Interchurch Organisation for Development Co-operation, Malteser, ZOA, Norwegian Refugee Council, Tearfund, CARE, Caritas, Johanniter-Unfall-Hilfe, Pact, People in Need, Mines Advisory Group, Oxfam, International Rescue Committee, Adeso, World Vision, ACT Alliance
    Country: South Sudan

    New Report Warns of Worsening Humanitarian Disaster in South Sudan

    CARE urges global community to act now to help nearly 7 million at risk

    Juba, South Sudan — A new report on the humanitarian situation in South Sudan warns that the safety and food security of nearly 7 million people will deteriorate rapidly without a swift, international response. CARE urges the global community to do more to provide urgently needed food and health aid as well as help stop the violent conflict that has precipitated this humanitarian crisis.

    Today CARE and 21 other aid and humanitarian agencies published Loaded Guns and Empty Stomachs, a new report on the humanitarian situation in South Sudan. The report details how the current violent conflict has sparked a rapidly worsening food crisis in an already vulnerable country. Its authors, including CARE, urge the international community to work toward a negotiated political settlement to the current conflict while scaling up aid for vital food and health services.

    "CARE just finished a rapid response mission in Pagak in Upper Nile state where we saw women and children bearing the weight of this conflict and the beginning of what may be a serious food crisis,” says Aimee Ansari, CARE country director for South Sudan. “The international community has to invest more in health, nutrition, water and sanitation now. Once the rainy season begins, many of the most vulnerable people will be unreachable.”

    More than one million people have been forced from their homes and livelihoods by violent conflict that began in South Sudan in December 2013. With farmers forced from their land and unable to plant or harvest, the 3.7 million people already in need of immediate food assistance will grow rapidly. Additionally, markets and vital health facilities across the country have been destroyed.

    Loaded Guns and Empty Stomachs notes that, before violence broke out in December, South Sudan’s food security was the best it had been in five years. The current conflict threatens to quickly erase South Sudan’s significant progress. Already, feeding centers in Jonglei and Upper Nile have reported seeing twice as many malnourished children in January 2014 as they did the prior January.

    Media Contact

    Dan Alder, (Juba): dalder@ss.care.org, Nairobi mobile +254-0-706 223 998; Juba mobile: +211-0-959 100 145

    Nicole Harris (Atlanta): nharris@care.org, +1 404-979-9503, +1 404-735-0871


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    Source: Concern Worldwide, HealthNet TPO, Food for the Hungry, CESVI - Cooperazione e Sviluppo Onlus, DanChurchAid, Agency for Co-operation and Research in Development, Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development, Malteser, Norwegian Refugee Council, Lutheran World Federation, INTERSOS, Tearfund, CARE, Terre des hommes, Caritas, Internews Network, Nonviolent Peaceforce, Pact, Christian Aid, RedR, Mercy Corps, Cordaid, Polish Humanitarian Action - Polska Akcja Humanitarna, World Relief, People in Need, Mines Advisory Group, Oxfam, International Rescue Committee, International Medical Corps, Relief International, Adeso, Plan, World Vision, Amref Health Africa
    Country: South Sudan

    Juba, 26th April 2014

    The undersigned non-governmental organisations (NG0s) express deep concern at the serious escalation in violence in South Sudan, which has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of civilians and is exacerbating an already profound humanitarian crisis. We strongly condemn all attacks that have taken place against civilians during this conflict, most recently at the UN peacekeeping base in Bor on 17th April and in the town of Bentiu on 15th-18th April. Civilians have been targeted on the basis of their ethnicity, others indiscriminately killed, and many subjected to unspeakable grave human rights abuses including rape.

    Widespread violence against civilians has reportedly been committed since December 2013, but recent events display a serious deepening of the conflict and callous disregard for civilian life and international humanitarian law. So far an estimated 1 million people have been forced from their homes; of these over 90,000 people are sheltering in the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) bases across the country. Thousands of people have fled to the UN peacekeeping base in Bentiu for fear of reprisal attacks in the past week. Many areas outside the main towns remain inaccessible due to security conditions, and it is feared that the number of people affected by the violence and in need of humanitarian assistance could be significantly higher. It is estimated that 3.2 million are at risk of extreme food insecurity, a number that will only rise in coming months. NGOs call on all armed actors to uphold their responsibilities under international humanitarian and human rights law, refrain from targeting civilians, respect the sanctity of civilian spaces, and permit immediate and unconditional humanitarian access to civilians in areas they control.

    The most basic needs of civilians in this conflict are growing by the hour. Already strained living conditions for those displaced inside UNMISS bases and outside in remote locations will deteriorate further if more civilians are subjected to violence and forced to flee. UNMISS peacekeepers play a critical role in saving lives. They must be reinforced with immediate and adequate peacekeeping capacities, and existing funding shortfalls need to be addressed. They must be also allowed to take robust action to provide protection to civilians in need. The humanitarian community needs all the support it can get to reduce needless suffering. The international community must rise to the challenge by increasing funding for the humanitarian response and urging all parties to the conflict to immediately stop violence against civilians and allow the safe and unimpeded delivery of humanitarian assistance to those in dire need.

    But this conflict will not end through these efforts alone. All parties to the conflict must immediately commit to respecting the cessation of hostilities agreement without exception, resume genuine talks in Addis Ababa and work towards a negotiated, inclusive political settlement.

    The NGO community in South Sudan remains steadfast in its commitment to providing humanitarian assistance, wherever needed, in an impartial, neutral and independent manner. The people of South Sudan more than ever deserve our concerted attention and efforts; inaction is not an option.

    International NGOs and South Sudanese civil society signatories:

    Acted
    ACORD
    Adeso
    Africa Educational Trust
    Amref Health Africa
    Baptist Relief Agency (BARA)
    Better World Campaign
    Care International
    Caritas Switzerland and Luxembourg
    CESVI
    Christian Aid
    COFAS
    Concern Worldwide
    Cordaid
    COSV
    Danish Church Aid
    Food for the Hungry
    Finn Church Aid
    Health Net TPO
    InterNews
    International Medical Corps
    International Rescue Committee
    INTERSOS
    Johanniter International
    Kissito Healthcare International
    Lutheran World Federation
    Malteser International
    Mercy Corps
    Mentor initiative
    Mine Action Group (MAG)
    National Relief and Development Corps (NRDC)
    Non Violent Peace Force
    Norwegian Refugee Council
    Oxfam
    Pact
    PAH
    Plan International
    People in Need
    Relief International
    Red R
    Rural Action Against Hunger
    Sign of Hope
    SNV
    Sudan Evangelical Mission
    Tearfund
    Terres Des Hommes
    Theso
    Troicaire
    World Relief
    World Vision
    Windle Trust International


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    Source: Danish Refugee Council, CESVI - Cooperazione e Sviluppo Onlus, COOPI - Cooperazione Internazionale, Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development, Norwegian Church Aid, Norwegian Refugee Council, CARE, International Aid Services, World Concern, Solidarités International, Oxfam, International Rescue Committee, Adeso, Save the Children, World Vision, ACT Alliance
    Country: Somalia

    Published May 7, 2014 – by Anne-Marie Schryer-Roy

    • 2.9 million Somalis are in humanitarian crisis

    • 50,000 children are severely malnourished and at death’s door

    • Women in Somalia face the second highest risk of maternal death in the world and babies are at the highest risk of dying on the day of their birth

    • 1.1 million people are displaced within their own country

    • Polio has returned, with 193 cases recorded in the last year

    • Just 30% of the population has access to clean drinking water

    • Fewer 1 in 4 people have access to adequate sanitation facilities

    • 1 in 7 children are acutely malnourished

    The sad truth is that these statistics from Somalia are better than previous years, so this is celebrated as a success. But “better” is not the same as “success” in a context where most aspects of everyday life fall far below acceptable living standards.

    We should measure progress against minimum standards, not gains made against an already terrible situation. With a third of the population in need of aid, Somalia is clearly in severe crisis. Neither should we compare degrees of desperation across countries. It is not right, for example, to pit Syria against Somalia and claim one deserves more attention. We should be working to reach and maintain minimum standards globally giving adequate attention to all crises at all times.

    Somalia presents a unique and challenging context where destabilizing factors like conflict and cyclical drought are a regular feature. While gains have been made, communities still remain only one shock away from disaster. As we learned in 2011, not heeding the warning signs of crisis in already fragile communities can lead to tragedy.

    Our organisations are working on the ground and know the reality. And it’s not good. Only 12% of Somalia’s humanitarian funding needs have been met so far this year – an additional USD $822 million is still needed. Funding needs to be able to respond to uncertainty and be invested in good time. There is a very real risk that people still in need will not be reached and those already helped will fall back into crisis.

    We are in a position now, to make a difference – as long as funds are available and flexible. Without action to address Somalia’s humanitarian and development needs, we are at risk of failing Somalis once more. Just because the figures may look “better”, now is not the time to be complacent.


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    Source: Association for Aid and Relief Japan, Concern Worldwide, Catholic Agency for Overseas Development, HELP - Hilfe zur Selbsthilfe e.V., Catholic Relief Services, Danish Refugee Council, Food for the Hungry, Adventist Development and Relief Agency International, Deutsche Welthungerhilfe e. V., DanChurchAid, Agency for Co-operation and Research in Development, Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development, Interchurch Organisation for Development Co-operation, War Child International, Islamic Relief, Mission Aviation Fellowship, Norwegian Church Aid, Peace Winds Japan, Norwegian Refugee Council, Lutheran World Federation, INTERSOS, Tearfund, CARE, MENTOR Initiative, Terre des hommes, Caritas, International Aid Services, Pact, Women for Women International, Christian Aid, RedR, Mercy Corps, Cordaid, Handicap International, World Relief, People in Need, Oxfam, International Rescue Committee, International Medical Corps, Relief International, Save the Children, Plan, World Vision, BRAC
    Country: South Sudan

    Juba, 12 May 2014 – On 20 May 2014, the international community will convene in Oslo, Norway, to discuss how to address the humanitarian crisis in South Sudan. In just under five months since fighting erupted, the situation in South Sudan has deteriorated severely, causing 1.3 million people to flee from their homes, including an estimated 300,000 to neighboring countries. Over 4 million people, including over 2.5 million children, are extremely vulnerable to food insecurity, as people have been displaced from their sources of survival. This crisis is worsening on a daily basis. Humanitarian actors have warned that by the end of this year half of all South Sudanese citizens could experience forced displacement (within the country or as a refugee), severe food insecurity, and/or threats to their protection. The undersigned non-governmental organizations (NGOs) call on the UN member states and others to urgently focus on clear and immediate actions to provide assistance to the people of South Sudan and to rally national, regional and international support to this end. Furthermore, an inclusive and viable political framework for ending conflict is critical. As such, we call for the following seven steps in order to provide coherent assistance to the people of South Sudan.

    1) Timely funding of the humanitarian response is critical to saving countless lives, preventing further suffering in the coming months, and supporting resilience to further shocks. Despite some generous contributions, the overall donor response to the humanitarian crisis has been disappointing. The UN humanitarian appeal for South Sudan for January-June 2014 remains sixty-one per cent unfunded. Based on Gross National Income, traditional donors have yet to contribute close to a quarter of their fair share to the emergency response in South Sudan. Aid transparency is an important part of a well coordinated and cost effective response. All donors, traditional and non-traditional, are encouraged to give aid that is proportional to the size of their economy and to fully disclose such donations.

    Enabling the delivery of large-scale humanitarian assistance will have a clear and tangible benefit in the immediate term, allowing supplies to be pre-positioned and delivered to affected populations. It will ensure that an already beleaguered population has access to life-saving water, sanitation, healthcare, shelter services and essential items, and to reinforce protection of the most vulnerable, particularly women and children. The Oslo conference presents an opportunity for donors to demonstrate their resolute commitment to addressing the humanitarian needs of the South Sudanese people, by generously contributing and rapidly disbursing funds to the humanitarian appeal and ensuring that all sectors are adequately funded.

    2) Protection of and respect for humanitarian staff, installations and operations is vital to allow the delivery of this assistance. Aid workers have been killed and thousands of national staff are unable to work in many areas due to fear of being targeted, and this is significantly undermining the humanitarian response. Aid workers must be free to deliver assistance wherever it is needed, without fear of attack or restrictions placed upon them by parties to the conflict.

    In addition to these difficulties, access to people in need and the ability to scale up the humanitarian response are further constrained by the imposition of targeted bureaucratic impediments, including difficulties in obtaining flight clearances and tax exemptions, and the stop-and-search of humanitarian convoys. For example, customs clearances are taking an average of five weeks to obtain.

    Donor governments must continue to urge all parties to the conflict to ensure the protection of humanitarian personnel and installations, enable the safe and unfettered movement of such personnel, equipment and supplies, and ease bureaucratic procedures to allow rapid delivery of assistance.

    3) In South Sudan political and financial support to the Government of South Sudan has, until now, been generally quite high, but support to the humanitarian needs of the people has sometimes wavered. Whilst recognizing the importance of building national institutions, the recent crisis has highlighted that a focus on ‘state building’ can come at the expense of supporting sustainable peace and development that all South Sudanese can benefit from. At this time, given the humanitarian impacts of the recent crisis, there is an imperative to protect the lives and security of all communities in South Sudan without delay.

    In the midst of the conflict, humanitarian partners on the ground have seen many positive examples of community commitments to non-violence and mutual support. In states currently less affected by the conflict, local authorities and leaders are working to protect their communities from slipping into crisis. In those states most affected by violence, NGOs and civil society organizations work tirelessly to provide health, education and other community services to the most vulnerable. While there are, and should be, serious questions about providing support to the parties to the conflict, help for the people of South Sudan should never be something that is up for debate. Because of the recent crisis, some donors have already reoriented their approach to direct funding for state building for certain purposes in South Sudan, and suspended some institutional support packages. We therefore recommend that suspended assistance to the Government of South Sudan for building state institutions should be re-programmed to national community services providers who offer the clearest way to support the people of South Sudan.

    4) Providing financial assistance cannot be an excuse for inaction or inertia at the political level. The people of South Sudan require a viable, inclusive and transparent mediation and political process.The 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), despite its successes, failed to address some of the fundamental drivers of conflict and societal divisions that are being manipulated by political and military leaders. The CPA also sacrificed inclusivity in order to ensure agreement on key political and security goals. A much-needed reconciliation process was also insufficiently supported. We welcome the signing of an initial peace agreement on 9th May, that includes commitments to an immediate truce, cooperation with the IGAD Monitoring and Verification teams, and commitment to an inclusive dialogue. However, we are deeply concerned about the reports of violations of the ceasefire within hours of the signing of the agreement. The peace effort must offer tangible and immediate outcomes to enable affected populations to seek safety, access assistance and recover livelihoods. Even if peace is achieved, the crisis has created severe humanitarian needs that will require addressing well into next year.

    5) In addition to an inclusive mediation and political process to address this crisis, other measures need to be taken to immediately protect the people of South Sudan. The upcoming renewal of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) mandate - which current circumstances dictate be brought forward without delay - provides an opportunity to increase emphasis on the protection of civilians, and to provide greater clarity and resourcing for the UNMISS. A significant re-orientation of the UNMISS mandate and implementation framework is needed to enhance the credibility and acceptance of the mission amongst the population and to ensure UNMISS has the requisite tools to take preemptive action against threats to civilians, including those residing outside UNMISS bases. It further provides a platform from which to promote renewed respect of the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) by all parties.

    6) UNMISS alone cannot protect the people of South Sudan in the face of the extraordinary violence being levied against them by the multiple armed groups in South Sudan. Engaging with clear and direct drivers of the conflict is imperative. There are reportedly one million small arms in South Sudan and they are widely available to all. Tougher domestic and international measures must be explored to curb the sale, transit and flow of arms to South Sudan.

    7) Finally, but importantly, accountability for the violence should be a critical component in any eventual political settlement and peace effort. Building towards justice and reconciliation in South Sudan should be the genuine aim of the international community, requiring sustained diplomatic efforts and political will.

    Signed by the following Non Governmental Organisations (NGO):

    1. ACTED
    2. ACORD
    3. Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA)
    4. African Educational Trust (AET)
    5. Association for Aid and Relief (AAR-Japan)
    6. BRAC
    7. CAFOD
    8. Catholic Relief Services (CRS)
    9. Care
    10. Caritas Switzerland/Luxembourg
    11. Christian Aid
    12. Concern Worldwide
    13. Cordaid
    14. Coordinamento delle Organizzazioni per il Servizio Volontario (COSV)
    15. Danish Church Aid (DCA)
    16. Danish Refugee Council (DRC)
    17. Farm Africa
    18. Finn Church Aid
    19. Food for the Hungry
    20. Handicap International
    21. Health NET TPO
    22. HELP (Hilfe zue Selbsthifle e.v)
    23. IBIS, Education for Development
    24. ICCO
    25. International Aid Services (IAS)
    26. International Medical Corps (IMC)
    27. International Rescue Committee (IRC)
    28. Islamic Relief
    29. INTERSOS
    30. Islamic Relief
    31. Joint Aid Management (JAM)
    32. Light for the World
    33. Lutheran World Federation (LWF)
    34. Mercy Corps
    35. Mentor Initiative
    36. Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF)
    37. Non Violent Peace Force
    38. Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC)
    39. Norwegian Church Aid (NCA)
    40. Oxfam
    41. Pact
    42. PAX Netherlands
    43. Peace Winds Japan
    44. People in Need (PIN)
    45. Plan International
    46. Population Services International (PSI)
    47. RedR
    48. Relief International
    49. Save the Children
    50. Sign of Hope (Hoffnungszeichen)
    51. SNV Netherlands Development Organisation
    52. Tearfund
    53. Terre des Hommes
    54. War Child Holland
    55. War Child Canada
    56. Welthungerhilfe (German Agro Action)
    57. Windle Trust
    58. Women for Women International
    59. World Relief
    60. World Vision

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    Source: Catholic Relief Services, Danish Refugee Council, COOPI - Cooperazione Internazionale, Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development, Triangle Génération Humanitaire, Norwegian Refugee Council, Lutheran World Federation, INTERSOS, Tearfund, MENTOR Initiative, Mercy Corps, Cordaid, Action Contre la Faim, Médecins du Monde, Solidarités International, Oxfam, International Rescue Committee, International Medical Corps, Save the Children, World Vision, ACT Alliance, ALIMA, Première Urgence - Aide Médicale Internationale
    Country: Central African Republic

    International NGOs reaffirm their commitment to the people of the Central African Republic and call on all armed actors to respect humanitarian access

    26 international NGOs express their deep concern over violence in the Central African Republic (CAR), condemn recent attacks against humanitarians and reaffirm their commitment to helping civilians in need.

    Despite an environment that is becoming increasingly dangerous for aid workers, NGOs are resolute in providing live-saving support and call upon all armed actors in CAR to respect the safety of humanitarian staff, material and activities; and to ensure all communities have unhindered access to assistance.

    National and international NGO staff are working to reduce the scale of suffering in CAR by providing assistance to nearly 2.5 million people, more than 50% of the population, which live in dire circumstance throughout the country. Aid workers conduct essential activities, including: provide medical services, distribute emergency shelter, improve access to water and sanitation facilities, treat malnutrition, support livelihood activities, give food assistance, equip schools for children and help victims of violence. NGOs collaborate closely with local communities to make sure assistance addresses concerns and is equitable.

    NGOs operating in CAR are guided by fundamental principles to ensure that everyone in need can reach humanitarian assistance:

    • Humanity: NGOs aim to prevent or alleviate human suffering.

    • Neutrality: NGOs do not side with any of the parties to conflict in CAR, nor advance political or religious objectives.

    • Impartiality: NGOs provide assistance on the basis of need alone and without any discrimination.

    • Independence: NGOs are autonomous and operate independently from political or military actors.

    But violence and threats against humanitarians jeopardize assistance and risks reducing access to vulnerable populations, who depend on NGOs for their basic needs. Within the past month alone, humanitarians have experienced serious incidents, for example: an attack on an NGO-supported hospital and killing of 16 civilians, including three aid workers; an attack on a humanitarian convoy, the looting of material and killing of three aid workers; an attack against a convoy transporting IDPs and humanitarians, killing two IDPs and wounding six; and the abduction and killing of two aid workers.

    "Humanitarians have experienced deadly incidents and attacks", said a NGO representative in the CCO. "Our fundamental priority is to make sure that everyone in need can access humanitarian aid and protection. But first, we must ensure that all armed actors respect our independence, neutrality and safety in order to maintain our activities and help population who are suffering the most".

    NGOs aim to continue providing living-saving assistance, increase the aid given to the people of CAR, and help prepare a foundation for the country’s full recovery. However, the safety of humanitarian staff must be ensured and all communities in need must have unhindered access to aid.

    For further information, please contact CCO : coordinateurhumanitairecco.rca@gmail.com


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    Source: Catholic Relief Services, Danish Refugee Council, COOPI - Cooperazione Internazionale, Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development, Triangle Génération Humanitaire, Lutheran World Federation, INTERSOS, Tearfund, MENTOR Initiative, Mercy Corps, Cordaid, Action Contre la Faim, Médecins du Monde, Solidarités International, Oxfam, International Rescue Committee, International Medical Corps, Save the Children, World Vision, ACT Alliance, ALIMA, Première Urgence - Aide Médicale Internationale
    Country: Central African Republic

    Les ONG internationales réaffirment leur engagement envers les populations de la République centrafricaine et appellent les acteurs armés à garantir l'accès humanitaire

    26 ONG internationales expriment leur profonde préoccupation face à la violence en République centrafricaine (RCA). Elles condamnent les récentes attaques contre les humanitaires et réaffirment leur engagement à venir en aide aux populations affectées.

    Malgré un environnement qui devient de plus en plus dangereux pour les travailleurs humanitaires, les ONG sont résolues à fournir une assistance vitale et à appeler les acteurs armés en RCA à respecter et à garantir la sécurité du personnel humanitaire, du matériel et des activités ; afin d’assurer ainsi que toutes les communautés puissent librement accéder à une assistance humanitaire.

    Le personnel national et international des ONG travaille à réduire les souffrances en RCA en fournissant une assistance à près de 2,5 millions de personnes (soit plus de 50 % de la population) qui vivent dans des conditions désastreuses à travers le pays. Les travailleurs humanitaires mènent des activités essentielles, y compris : dispenser des services médicaux, distribuer des abris d'urgence, améliorer l'accès à l’eau et à l'assainissement, soigner la malnutrition, soutenir des activités de subsistance, apporter de l'aide alimentaire, équiper les écoles pour les enfants et aider les victimes de violences. Les ONG collaborent étroitement avec les communautés locales pour s'assurer que la réponse aux besoins soit équitable.

    Les ONG opérant en RCA sont guidées par des principes fondamentaux qui permettent d’assurer que l'aide est apportée à l’ensemble des populations qui en ont besoin :

    • Humanité : les ONG ont pour objectif de prévenir ou de soulager la souffrance humaine.

    • Neutralité : les ONG ne sont pas parties prenantes au conflit, et ne sont affiliées à aucun parti politique ou religieux.

    • Impartialité : les ONG fournissent une aide sur la base des besoins et sans aucune discrimination.

    • Indépendance : les ONG sont autonomes et fonctionnent indépendamment des acteurs politiques ou militaires.

    Mais la violence et les menaces envers les acteurs humanitaires compromettent l’aide et réduisent les chances pour les populations vulnérables – qui dépendent de l’aide des ONG pour subvenir à leurs besoins vitaux – de bénéficier de cette assistance. Le mois dernier seulement, les acteurs humanitaires ont été victimes de plusieurs incidents graves, comme récemment : une attaque à l’intérieur d’un hôpital soutenu par les ONG et la mort de 16 civils, dont trois travailleurs humanitaires ; l’attaque d’un convoi humanitaire ou du matériel a été pillé et où trois travailleurs humanitaires ont trouvé la mort ; une attaque contre un convoi transportant des personnes déplacées et des acteurs humanitaires, entraînant la mort de deux déplacés et de six blessés ; et l’enlèvement et l’assassinat de deux autres travailleurs humanitaires.

    Pour plus d’informations : coordinateurhumanitairecco.rca@gmail.com Le Comité de Coordination des ONGI (CCO) est une plate-forme de coordination indépendante qui sert et facilite le travail de ses membres pour répondre aux besoins humanitaires en RCA.

    « Les acteurs humanitaires ont subi de nombreux incidents et attaques meurtrières », déclare un représentant d’une ONG du Comité de Coordination des ONG (CCO). « Notre priorité est d’assurer que toute personne dans le besoin puisse bénéficier d’un accès à l’aide humanitaire et d’une protection optimale. Mais avant tout, nous devons garantir que les acteurs armés respectent notre indépendance, notre neutralité et notre sécurité afin de maintenir nos activités et d’aider les personnes qui souffrent le plus ».

    Les ONG souhaitent poursuivre leurs efforts et continuer à fournir une assistance de première nécessité à la population centrafricaine, augmenter cette aide et participer à la reconstruction du pays. Cependant, la sécurité du personnel des ONG doit être garantie pour assurer un accès à l’aide humanitaire libre et sans entrave aux communautés affectées.


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    Source: Danish Refugee Council, COOPI - Cooperazione Internazionale, Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development, Norwegian Church Aid, Norwegian Refugee Council, CARE, World Concern, Solidarités International, Oxfam, International Rescue Committee, Save the Children, World Vision, Finn Church Aid
    Country: Somalia

    Somalia: eight warnings of catastrophe so far, and still no action

    Early warnings need to result in early action in Somalia

    Last week marked three years since the UN declared famine in Somalia. The catastrophe facing the Somali people three years ago ended in at least 260,000 people dying, half of them children.

    In May this year, 26 organisations came together to call for the world to remember Somalia. The country faces a constant battle against apathy with the international community managing to forget about the fact that nearly 3 million people – a third of the population - are in severe crisis.

    The UN also raised the alarm with Somalia’s UN’s Humanitarian Coordinator highlighting the huge funding gap we face. The Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Valerie Amos also addressed the UN Security Council to highlight how fragile and worrying the situation in Somalia is.

    At that stage, the common appeal for humanitarian funds for Somalia was only 19% funded. In the past few weeks we have seen more money come through and the appeal now stands at 27%. Although this is a good step forward, there is still a huge funding gap and the UN has also raised concerns that life saving programs are at risk of closing. This will lead to an increase in preventable deaths, unless major donors step up and take responsibility to save lives in Somalia.

    Action is possible and urgent

    Now 28 NGOs have again come together to demonstrate what needs to happen in Somalia. The briefing “Risk of Relapse: Call to Action” highlights the sort of activities needed in the next three to six weeks and the next three to six months, in sectors such as healthcare, water, sanitation and hygiene, nutrition and other areas. They may seem like minor solutions like provision of diesel to river based communities to support crop production, or cash for training on nutrition, but together they add up to a package of that can prevent people from falling into extreme need.

    This briefing along with the UN’s combined response plan, provide a plan for action and how much is needed to deliver for people. There are constant concerns about security and fear of aid diversion in Somalia, but these must not be used as excuses for inaction. The fact is these agencies working on the ground continue to reach people in need and aid gets to those who need it. We are able to tackle the crisis.

    We have now had eight early warnings of a worsening emergency in Somalia. In the run up to the Somalia famine in 2011, we had 16 such warnings. We have shown today that action is possible and urgent. This all adds up to donors needing to put their hands in their pockets immediately to divert us from the path to catastrophe.


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    Source: ActionAid, Danish Refugee Council, Amnesty International, Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development, Medair, Islamic Relief, Norwegian Refugee Council, CARE, Caritas, Handicap International, Action Contre la Faim, European Council on Refugees and Exiles, Médecins du Monde, Oxfam, International Rescue Committee, Un Ponte per, Qatar Red Crescent Society, Muslim Aid, Save the Children, Première Urgence - Aide Médicale Internationale, Support to Life
    Country: Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, occupied Palestinian territory, Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey

    Humanitarian and human rights agencies urge governments to resettle 5% refugees from Syria by end 2015

    Over 30 international organisations are calling on governments meeting in Geneva tomorrow to commit to offering sanctuary to at least 5 per cent of the most vulnerable refugees from Syria currently in neighbouring countries - 180,000 people - by the end of 2015.

    The governments convened by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) will be making pledges to resettle or provide other forms of humanitarian admission to Syrian refugees. Up to 3.59 million people are projected to have fled the conflict into countries neighbouring Syria by the end of this year. To date the international community has pledged to resettle less than 2 per cent of this number over an unclear timeframe.

    Syria’s neighbouring countries have shown incredible generosity over the last three and a half years, but the strain of the crisis is weighing heavily on infrastructure and public services. Turkey and Lebanon each host more than 1 million registered refugees. One in every four residents in Lebanon is a refugee from Syria. Jordan hosts more than 618,000 and Iraq hosts 225,000 (on top of millions of internally displaced Iraqis). With diminishing resources, refugees and host communities are paying the price, as well as those still trying to flee the conflict in Syria as neighbouring countries restrict and effectively close their borders.

    “The situation for the most vulnerable refugees from Syria is becoming increasingly desperate. Some – including sick children, who without treatment, could die - are simply unable to survive in the region. Providing humanitarian aid alone is no longer an option: it’s time for wealthy governments to step up and extend a lifeline to 5 per cent of the refugee population by the end of 2015,” said Justin Forsyth, CEO of Save the Children.

    “This is one of the worst refugee crises since World War II, displacing millions of civilians, mostly women and children,” said Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam International. “We’re counting on governments in Geneva to move quickly to demonstrate the kind of international solidarity that is desperately needed to transform the lives of the most vulnerable refugees.”

    While 5 per cent is only a small fraction of the total number of refugees, it would mean the hope of a better future and safety for at least 180,000 people by the end of next year, including survivors of torture, those with significant medical needs, children and women at risk – as identified by the UN refugee agency. Accepting the most vulnerable cases for resettlement or humanitarian admission also relieves Syria’s neighbouring countries from the short term costs of treating, supporting or protecting them.

    Resettlement pledge

    “With the collapse in the international solidarity, Syria’s neighbours are now increasing their border restrictions. Desperate Syrian civilians are unable to escape the war. Wealthy countries need to scale up their resettlement pledges and at the same time increase the support to the region so that borders are kept open,” said Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council Jan Egeland.

    “Just because we happen to share no border with Syria, this does not free any of us from responsibility”.

    The coalition of NGOs are also calling on states that have not traditionally participated in refugee resettlement, such as countries in the Gulf and Latin America, to join other states by pledging resettlement and humanitarian admission places. Beyond this, governments can also do much more through innovative ways to help refugees from Syria in 2015, such as through making available work permits and university places, while offering them full protections in line with the 1951 Refugee Convention.

    Notes to editors

    The full brief adopted by the organisations listed below is available: Resettlement of Refugees from Syria: Increased commitments needed from international community in Geneva

    ABAAD (Liban)

    ACTED

    ACTIONAID

    ACTION CONTRE LA FAIM

    AMEL (Liban)

    AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

    ASSOCIATION EUROPÉENNE POUR LA DÉFENSE DES DROITS DE L’HOMME

    CONSEIL BRITANNIQUE POUR LES RÉFUGIÉS

    CARE INTERNATIONAL

    CARITAS

    CENTRE FOR REFUGEE SOLIDARITY

    CHILDRENPLUS

    CIVIL SOCIETY IN PENETENTIARY SYSTEMS (Turquie)

    CONSEIL DANOIS POUR LES RÉFUGIÉS

    RÉSEAU EURO-MÉDITERRANÉEN DES DROITS DE L’HOMME

    CONSEIL EUROPÉEN SUR LES RÉFUGIÉS ET LES EXILÉS

    FRONTIERS RUWAD (Liban)

    HANDICAP INTERNATIONAL

    HUMAN RIGHTS ASSOCIATION (Turquie)

    THE INTERNATIONAL RESCUE COMMITTEE

    ISLAMIC RELIEF

    JREDS (Jordanie)

    CENTRE LIBANAIS DES DROITS HUMAINS

    LIGUE DES DROITS DE L'HOMME

    MÉDECINS DU MONDE

    MEDAIR

    MUSLIM AID

    CONSEIL NORVÉGIEN POUR LES RÉFUGIÉS

    OXFAM

    PREMIERE URGENCE- AIDE MÉDICALE INTERNATIONALE

    QATAR RED CRESCENT

    SAVE THE CHILDREN

    SAWA FOR DEVELOPMENT AND AID (Liban)

    SUPPORT TO LIFE (Turquie)

    SYRIA INGO REGIONAL FORUM

    UN PONTE PER

    Contact information

    Lebanon: Joelle Bassoul, Syria Response Media Advisor, Oxfam, jbassoul@oxfam.org.uk, +961-71525218

    Jordan: Karl Schembri, Regional Media Manager, Save the Children, karl.schembri@savethechildren.org, +962 (0) 7902 20159

    US: Oliver Money, Media Relations, International Rescue Committee, oliver.money@rescue.org, +1-646 318 7307

    UK: Sara Hashash, MENA Press Officer, Amnesty International, Sara.hashash@amnesty.org, + 44 (0) 20 7413 5511


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    Source: American Friends Service Committee, Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development, Norwegian Church Aid, Norwegian Refugee Council, Pax Christi, Handicap International, Médecins du Monde, Oxfam, International Rescue Committee, Un Ponte per, Save the Children, World Vision, Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
    Country: Syrian Arab Republic

    Aid Agencies Give UN Security Council a "Fail" Grade on Syria

    21 Humanitarian and Human Rights Organizations Say Warring Parties and Powerful States Have Failed to Implement UNSC Resolutions Leading to "Worst Year" of Crisis for Civilians in Syria.

    Media Contact
    Francine Uenuma 202.450.9153 (M)

    Washington, D.C. (March 12, 2015) — The agencies today released a scathing critique of the UN Security Council powers detailing how they have failed to alleviate the suffering of civilians in Syria amid intensifying conflict four years after the start of the crisis.

    Despite three Security Council resolutions adopted in 2014 that demanded action to secure protection and assistance for civilians, humanitarian access to large parts of Syria has diminished and more people are being killed, displaced and are in need of help than ever before, according to the report "Failing Syria."

    In the hard-hitting report agencies present a score card that compares the demands made in the Security Council resolutions last year, with the reality on the ground. The grim statistics reveal how the resolutions have been ignored or undermined by the parties to the conflict, members of the Security Council and other UN member states, leading to the worst year of the crisis for civilians:

    • People are not protected: 2014 has seen reports of 76,000 people killed in the conflict out of a total of at least 220,000 deaths over four years.

    • Aid access has not improved: 4.8 million people reside in areas defined by the UN as "hard to reach," 2.3 million more than in 2013.

    • Humanitarian needs have increased: 5.6 million children are in need of aid, a 31 percent increase since 2013.

    • Humanitarian funding has decreased compared to needs: In 2013, 71% of the funds needed to support civilians inside Syria and refugees in neighbouring countries were provided. In 2014, this had declined to 57%.

    "The bitter reality is that the Security Council has failed to implement its resolutions. Last year was the darkest year yet in this horrific war. Parties to the conflict have acted with impunity and ignored the Security Council's demands, civilians are not protected and their access to relief has not improved," said Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council Jan Egeland.

    Fewer people were reached via inter-agency convoys from Damascus in 2014 compared to 2013 (1.1 million compared to 2.9 million), and less than half of the requests were accepted by the government of Syria. Some assistance has been entering across the borders from neighboring countries, but out of Syria's 34 border crossings, only five are currently open for humanitarian convoys, nine are restricted and the remainder are closed.

    "Across Syria, children are missing out on their education because we cannot reach them, many schools have been destroyed and parents are afraid to send their children for fear their schools will be attacked," said Save the Children's Regional Director Roger Hearn. "While heroic humanitarian workers risk their lives to give essential aid and services, millions of Syrians remain out of reach, not only because of fighting and a worsening situation but also because of lack of funding and bureaucratic hurdles."

    The humanitarian organizations are calling on UN member states, including the permanent members of the Security Council, to go beyond words and ensure the resolutions are fully implemented.

    "The Security Council's words now ring hollow. The last year has seen little concrete action from parties to the conflict and governments with influence to tackle the spiralling humanitarian crisis in Syria. What good is a resolution to a mother whose house has been bombed and children are hungry if it is ignored and undermined? It is time for powerful governments to stop fuelling the conflict, significantly scale up humanitarian assistance to meet people's immediate needs and push the warring parties towards a political solution. Russia, the US and other states have the political and diplomatic influence to make the changes set out in the resolution real; there is no more time to lose", said Andy Baker, who heads Oxfam's response to the Syria crisis.


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    Source: Danish Refugee Council, COOPI - Cooperazione Internazionale, DanChurchAid, Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development, Jesuit Refugee Service, Triangle Génération Humanitaire, Norwegian Refugee Council, Lutheran World Federation, INTERSOS, Mercy Corps, Action Contre la Faim, Solidarités International, Oxfam, International Rescue Committee, Save the Children, ACT Alliance, ALIMA, Finn Church Aid, Première Urgence - Aide Médicale Internationale
    Country: Central African Republic

    On the morning of September 26, violence suddenly returned to the PK5 neighborhood after the murder of a young Muslim motorcycle taxi driver. Despite regular tensions in this neighborhood, the MINUSCA Peacekeeping Mission intervened very late, and with resentments still present in the population, the situation took an extremely violent turn. The peacekeeping force’s lack of anticipation and quick reaction contributed to the deterioration of the security situation, with outbursts of punitive and opportunistic violence. Since then, daily fighting and community resentment have evolved into political demands with speeches that accuse the entire international community of being responsible for the current crisis.

    1. Deliberate attacks against humanitarian organizations and state structures with a consequent disruption of access to basic services, especially health centers.

    Alongside the recurring violence in Bangui, a dozen humanitarian organizations, both national and international, were victims of looting, in offices and homes, sometimes with brutality towards employees who were attacked.

     Beyond looting as an “economic” opportunity, looting was also observed that demonstrated a will to destroy NGO’s intervention and response capacity.

     Due to the lack of access for ambulances, there was a failure to recover bodies and transfer the wounded, many of whom had to reach health centers on their own, braving insecurity and barricades.

     Due to insecurity, those who were already hospitalized sometimes preferred to leave the health centers despite the risks, as was the case for ¾ of the patients at the Pediatric Center of Bangui.

     At the start of the school year, schools could not open their doors. Some have become sites for Internally Displaced Persons (IDP), such as Benzvi school, and they may not be able to open for several months.


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    Source: Danish Refugee Council, COOPI - Cooperazione Internazionale, DanChurchAid, Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development, Jesuit Refugee Service, Triangle Génération Humanitaire, Norwegian Refugee Council, Lutheran World Federation, INTERSOS, Mercy Corps, Action Contre la Faim, Solidarités International, Oxfam, International Rescue Committee, Save the Children, ACT Alliance, ALIMA, Finn Church Aid, Première Urgence - Aide Médicale Internationale
    Country: Central African Republic

    Au matin du 26 septembre dernier, le quartier de PK5 s’est embrasé après le meurtre d’un jeune taxi moto musulman, donnant lieu à des tensions régulières. Depuis, les combats sont journaliers et les ressentiments communautaires laissent place à des revendications politiques, avec des discours qui accusent l’ensemble de la communauté internationale.

    1 Attaques délibérées contre les organisations humanitaires et les structures étatiques avec pour conséquence une rupture de l’accès aux services de base, notamment de santé.

    Alors que Bangui s’enlise dans des violences récurrentes, une dizaine d’organisations humanitaires, nationales et internationales, ont été victimes de pillages, dans les bureaux et les résidences, parfois avec brutalité envers les salariés présents qui sont pris à partie.

    Au-delà du pillage « économique » d’opportunité, ce sont des épisodes de véritables saccages qui ont été observés avec une volonté de détruire les moyens d’intervention et la capacité de réponse. Le manque d’accès des ambulances n’a pas permis de récupérer les corps et transférer les blessés, qui ont dû tenter de rejoindre des centres de santé par leurs propres moyens en bravant l’insécurité et les barricades. Ceux qui étaient déjà hospitalisés ont parfois préféré quitter les centres de santé à cause de l’insécurité, malgré les risques, comme cela a été le cas pour 3/4 des patients du Centre Pédiatrique de Bangui. A l’heure de la rentrée, les écoles n’ont pas pu ouvrir leurs portes, certaines sont devenues des sites de déplacés à l’image de l’école de Benzvi et risquent de ne pas être en mesure d’assurer la rentée avant plusieurs mois.

    2 Aggravation de la situation humanitaire, alors que les ONG sont privées d’accès.

    Les conséquences humanitaires notamment au regard des nouvelles dynamiques de déplacements sont dramatiques, alors que la majorité des organisations ont dû suspendre leurs activités ou les limiter au minimum et évacuer une partie de leur personnel.

    A Bangui, le nombre de déplacés a presque triplé en seulement 4 jours de violences. Selon les estimations, ils seraient plus de 69890 dont 61% nouvellement déplacés. Ce chiffre est encore plus important qu’en janvier dernier (50398) alors qu’ils étaient plus de 23000 à avoir pu retourner chez eux grâce au travail d’accompagnement au retour mené par les acteurs humanitaires.
    Ils se sont installés sur des sites connus, comme à MPoko qui est à nouveau rempli à pleine capacité avec plus de 19000 personnes nouvellement déplacés, mais aussi sur 7 nouveaux sites créés ad hoc où les infrastructures en eau, hygiène et assainissement sont insuffisantes ou inexistantes.
    A ce jour il est impossible de se déplacer pour évaluer au mieux les besoins de l’ensemble des sites et préparer une assistance car les axes ne sont toujours pas sécurisés. Dans cette configuration, la population se retrouve en otage : sans protection et sans assistance humanitaire.

    3 Une dégradation de la situation touchant également les provinces.

    Si Bangui est en premier lieu touchée par les violences, cet état de paralysie a des conséquences très rapides dans les provinces qui sont fortement dépendantes de la capitale

    Dans les provinces, des éruptions de violences et des tensions croissantes ont été relevées à Kaga Bandoro, Bambari ou Bouar, entrainant de nombreux déplacements et fuites en brousse.
    Les activités sont majoritairement suspendues à cause du degré d’insécurité.
    A ce jour, les bases des organisations humanitaires situées en province se retrouvent dans un état préoccupant vis-à-vis des réserves disponibles en cash et en fuel. Elles sont asphyxiées par l’impossibilité d’un approvisionnement depuis Bangui, car les axes essentiels ne sont pas sécurisés par les forces de la MINUSCA et tous les vols intérieurs sont suspendus.
    La résurgence des violences a pour effet un véritable retour de plusieurs mois en arrière, en termes de besoins humanitaire, de cohésion sociale, de retours des déplacés chez eux mais aussi de capacité de réponse des acteurs. Les organisations humanitaires tirent une nouvelle fois la sonnette d’alarme : l’oubli de la crise centrafricaine sur la scène internationale, couplé à une gestion dramatique des nouvelles flambées de violences, laisse présager un futur très sombre pour une population déjà malmenée et extrêmement vulnérable.

    Nous appelons :

    La communauté internationale dans son ensemble à condamner fermement et publiquement les attaques et violences à l’encontre des organisations humanitaires.
    Toutes les parties au conflit à respecter la neutralité et l’impartialité des travailleurs humanitaires, et à faciliter en tout temps l’exercice de leur mission. Les structures de santé, de même que toutes les structures nécessaires à la survie de la population (infrastructures en eau, etc.) doivent être préservées et respectées de tous, en accord avec le Droit International Humanitaire.
    La MINUSCA à assurer son rôle de sécurisation et de protection des populations en faisant preuve de réactivité et d’anticipation.
    La communauté internationale – venant de se rassembler aux Nations Unies à New York – à se saisir de la crise centrafricaine en cours et à immédiatement augmenter son aide à la Centrafrique afin que les stocks et les moyens d’intervention qui constituent la capacité de réponse puissent être au plus vite reconstitués, une aide d’urgence aux personnes déplacées mise en place et un véritable plan de contingence défini avec un engagement financier sur le long terme.
    L’ensemble des acteurs à défendre, promouvoir et respecter une distinction renforcée entre l’action politique et l’intervention humanitaire. Ceci afin de stopper la confusion dont sont victimes les ONG au vu du fort ressentiment à l’encontre de la communauté internationale.


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