News and Press Release

Maps and updates related to this term.

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25 Aug 2016 description
report Deutsche Welle

Refugees are finding new routes into the European Union. Swiss authorities have noticed a rise in border crossings from Italy.

Ueli Maurer represents the right-wing SVP party on the Swiss Federal Council and, as finance minister, is in charge of the Border Guard Corps. He is most concerned about migration routes between Switzerland's borders with Italy and those with Austria and Germany. He told Swiss media that several people had crossed without authorization recently.

23 Aug 2016 description

Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Cécile Pouilly
Location: Geneva
Date: 23 August 2016
Subject: (1) Iraq, (2) Israel-OPT, (3) Gambia & (4) Mauritania

(1) Iraq

The High Commissioner is deeply dismayed at the execution on Sunday of 36 people in Iraq in relation to the 2014 Camp Speicher massacre, during which some 1,700 cadets were killed by ISIL fighters, particularly given the serious due process concerns and fair trial shortcomings in these cases.

19 Aug 2016 description

Italy - IOM reports that 266,026 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2016 through 17 August, arriving mostly in Greece and Italy, where 101,507 migrants or refugees have arrived during 2016.

This total is slightly lower than the pace recorded through 2015’s first eight months, when a total of 354,618 arrivals were recorded crossing the Mediterranean, the majority from Turkey to Greece.

IOM Rome reported on Thursday that some 730 migrants had been rescued in the Channel of Sicily since August 10, or about 100 per day.

18 Aug 2016 description


  • Early crop prospects favourable
  • Humanitarian assistance continues to be needed

Growing conditions remain mostly favourable

Prospects for the 2016 cereal crops, to be harvested from September, are favourable in most regions following regular and widespread precipitation since the beginning of the season in July/August. Millet, sorghum and upland rice crops are developing satisfactorily, while transplanting of swamp rice is underway.

18 Aug 2016 description

African states commit to eradicate cluster munitions and end the suffering they cause by stepping up efforts to universalize the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions and to strengthen the norm against cluster munitions use by condemning all such use.

17 Aug 2016 description
report Deutsche Welle

More than 100,000 migrants pass through Agadez in Niger every year as they struggle to reach Europe. Some pass through it a second time - on the return journey back to their homeland.

A year ago, 20-year-old John Silva decided to leave his homeland of Gambia. As a young fisherman, he saw no chance to get ahead in life and make something of himself. So he headed for Europe.

10 Aug 2016 description

«Ensemble, nous construirons un avenir meilleur»

L’Afrique de l’Ouest et le Sahel sont deux espaces géographiques importants dans le continent africain qui possèdent un potentiel humain et économique en mesure de jouer un rôle prépondérant dans le développement de tout le continent. Force est de constater, cependant, que les deux régions restent engluées dans des problèmes récurrents qui freinent, voire handicapent leur développement.

10 Aug 2016 description


«Together, we can build a better future» West Africa and the Sahel are two important geographical areas in Africa that have the human and economic potential to play a leading role in the development of the continent. However, the two regions remain mired in recurrent problems that hinder their development.

09 Aug 2016 description

Italy - IOM reports that 263,636 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2016 through 7 August, arriving mostly in Greece and Italy. Italy saw 24,000 migrants and refugee arrivals during the month of July.

IOM Rome reported Monday that 1,241 migrants have been rescued in the Channel of Sicily since Friday 5 August. According to the Italian Ministry of Interior, some 100,244 migrants have arrived by sea in Italy so far this year. This is virtually the same as in 2015, when arrivals at this point totalled 100,179.

09 Aug 2016 description

Libya - IOM has assisted representatives from seven West African embassies in Libya to visit an immigration detention centre in Tripoli where their nationals are being held as irregular migrants.

On Monday (8 August) IOM worked with Libyan authorities to facilitate the visit by diplomats from Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea Conakry, Ghana, Nigeria, The Gambia and Chad to Salah Al Dein detention centre. The centre is run by the Libyan Directorate for Combating Illegal Migration (DCIM) and is currently holding 350 West African nationals.

08 Aug 2016 description

BANJUL – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today welcomed US$1.2 million from the Government of Japan to provide school meals in North Bank and Central River regions over the next two years.

The funds will enable WFP to resume the provision of a daily hot meal to 50,000 children in 186 public primary schools and traditional religious schools in vulnerable districts of the two regions in the new school year, which starts in September after a lack of funding had forced WFP to halt its school meals programme temporarily.

29 Jul 2016 description
report UN Security Council


7749th Meeting (AM)

The Security Council today welcomed the merging of the Office of the Special Envoy for the Sahel with the United Nations Office for West Africa, encouraging the Secretary-General’s Special Representative in the region to ensure a unified management structure for the new United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS).

15 Jul 2016 description

Key messages

  • The European Union is one of the largest contributors of humanitarian aid to the Sahel. As such, its assistance to this region has been reaffirmed and has reached over EUR 203 million so far in 2016. The funding will support the 1.2 million Sahelian people affected by food insecurity as well as the treatment of 550 000 children affected by severe acute malnutrition. This represents a quarter of all food security needs and 43% of child malnutrition care needs in the Sahel.

12 Jul 2016 description

As a renewal of violence in South Sudan threatens to plunge the country back into full-scale civil war, Amnesty International has published a list of seven recommendations for the African Union, ahead of the 27th AU Summit in Kigali, Rwanda.

"From rhetoric to action" lays out concrete steps leaders should take to guide the continent towards a culture that respects human rights, including in countries in the region that continue to be rocked by armed conflict.

11 Jul 2016 description
report UN Security Council


7735th Meeting (AM)
Security Council
Meetings Coverage

The Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) told the Security Council this morning that he was setting up a regional task force on the prevention of violent extremism in the region, as he appealed for greater efforts to counter the spread of terrorism and associated lawlessness.

06 Jul 2016 description
report IRIN

“The most difficult part was crossing the desert. Three days and three nights, you walk and walk and you look around and it is only desert,” recalls Musa, 18, from Gambia. He survived the Sahara crossing only to endure forced labour and violence in Libya.

Read the full article on IRIN.

05 Jul 2016 description

Italy - IOM reports an estimated 227,316 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2016 through 3 July, arriving in Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Spain.

So far this year 2,920 deaths have been recorded, compared with 1,838 through the first six months of 2015. Migrant fatalities in the Mediterranean in 2016 are now 1,082 more than last year’s mid-year total. The 383 deaths in June – slightly fewer than 13 per day – were the highest monthly total for June in three years.

02 Jul 2016 description

The unprecedented project will generate cash returns of at least $77.5 million

Nairobi, 1 July 2016 - A UNEP-backed project that will help The Gambia adapt to the devastating impacts of climate change is expected to raise the average annual income of thousands of households by as much as $770.

The Green Climate Fund, which invests in low-emission and climate resilient development around the world, has agreed to inject $20.5 million into the project, which will see Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) rolled out across rural parts of one of the world's poorest countries.

02 Jul 2016 description

Rome, Italy | AFP | Saturday 7/2/2016 - 14:28 GMT

The number of migrants arriving in Italy in the first half of this year was roughly the same as the previous two years, the interior ministry said on Saturday.

A total of 70,930 people landed in Italy between January and June -- almost exactly the same number as the same period in 2015 and only slightly higher than in 2014.

The full-year total of migrant arrivals for 2015 was 153,000.

29 Jun 2016 description

Dakar, 28 juin 2016 - Le Bureau des Nations Unies pour l’Afrique de l’Ouest et le Sahel (UNOWAS), l'Institut International de la Paix (IPI) et le Département fédéral des affaires étrangères de la Confédération suisse (DFAE), ont organisé une rencontre de haut niveau sur le thème : « Investir dans la Paix et la Prévention de la Violence en Afrique de l’Ouest et au Sahel ».