Burkina Faso + 6 more

West Africa: Humanitarian situation report 09 Jul 2008

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Situation Report
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SIGNIFICANT DEVELOPMENTS

- Senegal: 2.1 million people vulnerable to food insecurity

- Mali: the Government hardens the line on rebellion in the north

- Guinea: Over 10 deaths in clashes between police and military

- Burkina Faso: Some 1,000 Tuareg refugees from northern Mali

- Meningitis: End of epidemic declared in Burkina Faso

- West Africa: CILSS fears floods

- 2008 CAP funded at 43%

1- HUMANITARIAN SITUATION

1.1 Food security and nutrition

USD 1.4 billion allocated to save the Niger River

On 24 June in Niamey (Niger's capital), donors pledged over US$1.4 billion to fund an ambitious programme aimed at rehabilitating the Niger River in jeopardy. Following a meeting between donors and representatives of the Niger Basin Authority (ABN) States - Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Nigeria, Chad and Niger- the World Bank pledged US$500 million, France US$389 million and the Islamic Bank for Development (IBD) US$99 million. The West African Bank for Development (WABD), the European Union (EU), UNESCO, Germany, Canada and the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) also announced important contributions.

The contributions will fund a 5-year programme (2008-2012) for a total of over US$2.1 billion to build dams over the river and protect resources and the ecosystem. The programme is one of the four 5-year plans adopted at the end of April at an ABN summit for a global total of US$8.660 billion. It aims at undertaking large scale actions over the next 20 years to save the Niger River also threatened by a decrease of rainfalls, sandbanks and floating plants.

Africa's third river, the Niger is 4,200-kilometre long and covers a basin of 2.1 million sq kilometres. It is a lifeline for over 110 million people. The population of the basin will double by 2025 due to the high population growth of 3% per year, according to ABN.

Senegal: 2.1 million people vulnerable to food insecurity according to Government sources

The final report of the food security assessment in Senegal was released on 25 June during a meeting held at the National Council for Food Security (CNSA). Generally speaking, shocks that seem to be closely linked to food security are drought and parasitism. The survey was conducted throughout March on 4,850 households. It showed that 52.1% of these households are in severe food insecurity situation whereas 41.3% are moderately food insecure. The less affected households represent 7.5% of the population interviewed. The vulnerable population is estimated at 2.1 million inhabitants.

A majority of village chiefs and local authorities interviewed (63.1%) said they were confronted to a calamity inside their village that affected farming and cattle-breeding. The first calamity listed is drought which affected the whole country and which is listed as the main cause by more than half of the chiefs interviewed, notably in the regions of Ziguinchor (Bignona and Oussouye), Kolda and Fatick. The most affected regions are Saint Louis (68%), Thiès (56,3%) and Louga (41.9%). Finally, floods were listed as a problem for 48% of the interviewed households in Matam, 23.3% in Kolda and 20% in Dakar, as well as in Louga, Thies and Tambacounda, in a smaller proportion.

Normally, the percentage of households in extreme vulnerability to food insecurity is higher among people who get their main income from pasture forage, firewood and charcoal sales, or from aid, donations, charity, Zakat and money transfer from migrants. Moreover, it is higher among households who sell cattle or cattle-breeding products (65.4%) against 49.1% for those who indulge in sales of agricultural products. Even compared to the current situation, it has not significantly changed with 53.4% for households drawing their main income from cattle-breeding against 45.3% for those who sell farming products. Food security mainly affects rural areas of Sédhiou, Bignona, Oussouye in the south (where nine households out of 10 are in severe food insecurity situation), Tivaouane in the west (eight out of 10), Rufisque 32 kilometres from Dakar, Tambacounda in the east and Linguère at the centre (seven households out of 10).

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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