Bolivia + 6 more

CERF April Newsletter 2007

Pledges & contributions

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is pleased to acknowledge the receipt of seven new contributions totalling $26,503,974, as of 2 April. The contributions were made by Ireland ($26,273,974), Israel ($15,000), Malaysia ($100,000), Philippines ($5,000), Saudi Arabia ($50,000) and Thailand ($10,000) for 2007, and again by Saudi Arabia ($50,000) for 2006. Furthermore, France pledged $1,263,800 for 2007. OCHA encourages all Member States to turn their pledges into contributions as soon as possible.

Country highlights

In March 2007, the Emergency Relief Coordinator (ERC) approved approximately $20.5 million in grants from the CERF. Details on each allocation can be found below, or on the CERF web site at http://cerf.un.org .

In Bolivia... Since November 2006, extreme climatic events resulting from the El Niño phenomenon have affected Bolivia. Floods and landslides (in the midlands and lowlands) as well as drought, hail and freezing temperatures (in the highlands) have led to displacement, injury and loss of life. By the end of February, more than 71,000 households (360,000 individuals) across all nine regions of Bolivia had been affected. To jump-start key life-saving operations, the ERC authorized the allocation of CERF grants totalling $ 2 million.

With an allocation of $100,000, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) is providing tarpaulins and other essential non- food items to improve shelter conditions for 865 displaced families. A grant of $960,000 was made available to the World Food Programme (WFP) to assist food-insecure families that have lost their capacities to obtain food and income.

The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) is using a grant of $70,000 to distribute nutritional cookies to toddlers aged six to 24 months. The UNICEF is also training young mothers in nutrition, child care, and health/hygiene questions. With a second grant of $175,000, UNICEF is ensuring safe supplies of clean water reach affected communities.

Meanwhile, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) will use a CERF grant of $300,000 to reduce mortality among small farmers' livestock in order to preserve food security, as well as employment.

The Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO)/World Health Organization (WHO) are using a CERF allocation of $100,000 to strengthen the health sector by distributing health kits. And $30,000 has been made available to the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) to support activities designed to reduce HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STI) among vulnerable population in the affected areas.

In Chad... Due to increased rebel activity, combined with a sharp rise in inter-ethnic violence and attacks by armed militias, over 140,000 internally displaced persons (IDP) are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. In March, the CERF added a further $1.3 million to its initial grant of $5.9 million to jump-start several life-saving activities.

UNICEF is using its allocation to ensure access to latrines for 45,000 people as well as water storage and hygiene facilities to 60,000 persons.

UNFPA is seeking to prevent maternal and neo-natal mortality and morbidity among IDPs, while WHO is responding to the wider emergency health needs of the

population in Eastern Chad. Meanwhile, UNDP is ensuring access to HIV and AIDS services for 115,000 IDPs.

In the Republic of Congo... The country's south-eastern Pool region is the area most affected by seasonal floods. Humanitarian response there is hampered by lack of security and access for humanitarian workers. Most roads and bridges are in bad condition as a result of poor maintenance and conflict. The health sector has also been severely handicapped, while malaria and tuberculosis are common diseases in the area.

In order to stem a cholera outbreak in the departments of Pointe-Noire, Kouilou, Brazzaville, and the Pool region, the CERF has disbursed $881,000 to UNICEF and WHO for health, water and sanitation interventions.

In Côte d'Ivoire... Using a CERF grant of $1.7 million, WHO will seek to help control an outbreak of meningitis in the northern part of the country, and prevent the disease's spread to other areas. In January 2007, district administrations in the affected regions reported 58 cases of meningitis, including 15 casualties.

Activities undertaken by WHO to date include the strengthening of epidemiological surveillance in the region, as well as the purchase and delivery of drugs, vaccines, syringes and other medical supplies as part of a mass immunization campaign.

In Guinea... A second grant of $4.5 million was allocated from the CERF for urgent humanitarian activities in the aftermath of the general strike. The main activities carried out by UN agencies include the provision of primary health care, such as urgent trauma and surgical care for those wounded during the protests, and the supply of drinking water.

In the occupied Palestinian territory... In 2006, 127 children were killed, and another 472 were injured, as a direct result of the ongoing conflict in Gaza. The psycho-social impact on the children and their future had to be acted upon immediately.

With a CERF grant of over $200,000, UNICEF is deploying a team of psycho-social specialists and counsellors for children as soon as a violent incident occurs. The project seeks to enable individuals to recover quickly.

And in Sri Lanka... An additional $7.7 million has been made available to address the rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation in the North and East of the country, particularly the sudden displacement of approximately 100,000 people in eastern Sri Lanka.

With the CERF grant, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) seeks to sustain life-saving protection activities for vulnerable, conflict-affected IDPs. These include the provision of emergency shelters and nonfood emergency relief items, as well as emergency food relief supplied by WFP. FAO is assisting recently displaced and conflict-affected IDPs with agricultural support, while UNICEF is providing increased and improved access to water, sanitation and hygiene facilities.

Contacts

For more information, please contact

Mr. Rudolph Muller (programme) (+1-917-367-4116 or mullerr@un.org) or Ms. Shoko Arakaki (contributions) (+1-917-367-3498 or arakaki@un.org).

Disclaimer

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.