(New York, 23 July 2014) – United Nations humanitarian chief Valerie Amos has allocated US$75 million from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to boost life-saving relief work in two of the world’s most neglected regions: the West African Sahel and the Horn of Africa.
UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:
The Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Initiative (RWSSI) was launched in 2003 with the strategic goal of achieving full access to safe, adequate and affordable water supply and sanitation for rural areas in Africa by 2025. The RWSSI targets for 2015 are aligned with the MDG targets of 70% and 62% access to water supply and sanitation, respectively. This report updates stake holders on the progress made in 2013.
In West Africa, 2013/14 grain harvests were near-average in the Sahel and trade flows and market supplies were average in May. Below-average production in Mauritania, eastern Niger, and northern Chad resulted in atypical price increases. Rice imports from international markets contributed food availability in coastal countries.
Dryness may persist in East Africa as seasonal rains end, flooding possible in the Sudans, West Africa, and Guatemala
Africa Weather Hazards
Poor rainfall distribution during the March-May rainfall season has hurt agricultural and pastoral activities throughout western Kenya, parts of northeastern Uganda, southeastern South Sudan, and northwestern Tanzania. Southern Ethiopia and northwestern Kenya are forecast to receive limited rains during the next week, which could sustain poor agricultural and pastoral conditions.
The Technical Advisory Groups (TAGs) on Polio Eradication in Afghanistan and Pakistan met in Islamabad, Pakistan, last week. The TAG recognized the important progress in Afghanistan and concluded that the country is in a strong position to interrupt endemic transmission of the virus in 2014, provided the country addresses the remaining challenges and risks.
During May, several Desert Locust (SGR1) swarms from northwestern Somalia invaded eastern Ethiopia. On May 14th, an immature swarm dominated the sky over the city of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (see picture below). This is an extremely rare phenomenon that has not been in more than half a century. The swarm is believed to have escaped from eastern Ethiopia passing through the Rift Valley and crossing Awash where it destroyed a sugarcane plantation. No damage was reported in Addis and the swarm was later seen heading northwest and reached Gojjam.
In West Africa, 2013/14 grain harvests were near-average in the Sahel and trade flows and market supplies were average in March. Below-average production in Mauritania, eastern Niger, and northern Chad resulted in atypical price increases. Rice imports from international markets contributed food availability in coastal countries (Pages 3-5).
A case of polio due to wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) was reported in the past week from Iraq, the second child to be paralyzed by polio in the country since the beginning of the Middle East outbreak last year. Countries are currently implementing the second phase of the regional outbreak response. A targeted mop-up campaign is currently ongoing in the area where the two cases in Iraq were found.