Côte d'Ivoire + 3 more

West Africa: Humanitarian situation report - October 2008

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Situation Report
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Posted
Originally published

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SIGNIFICANT DEVELOPMENTS:

- Guinea-Bissau: Cholera on the decline

- West Africa: West Africa holds first major conference on drug trafficking

- Côte d'Ivoire/Niger: Medecins Sans Frontères stops its activities

- Liberia: Monrovia school canteens reopen

1- HUMANITARIAN SITUATION

1.1 Food Security and Nutrition

Regional overview

According to a CRS, CILSS, FAO, FEWS-NET and WFP joint report, a decline in the price of millet and maize began in September 2008, however there is no indication how far prices will drop, or for how long the trend will last. Satisfactory rains that continued until the end of September in the Sahel have resulted in good crop and grazing conditions. New crops of millet, maize, groundnut and cowpea are being brought to rural and urban markets. The CILSS/FAO/FEWS-NET crop assessment missions that started in October will ascertain expected production, and will help determine how long these trends could hold favorably for the average consumer in the region. The international context is one of falling prices for food - specifically maize and wheat - and fuel. Rice remains above long term averages. A sharp decline in the price of commodities produced in West Africa on international markets is noted. In order to mitigate the impact of price increase, the organisations made nine recommendations, among other things: to carry out a joint mission in the Western basin to ascertain how food markets are reacting to the significantly higher price of rice; to assess the impact of a weaker CFA franc on regional food markets, to initiate the restocking of now-depleted cereal banks, to continue advocating against obstacles to commerce, among other things.

(Source: West Africa: Markets, Hazards and food security, Issue 3- October 2008)

Liberia: Reopening of canteens in Monrovia

The Government of Liberia and WFP launched in September a programme of school canteens in Monrovia for 150,000 school children whose families were affected the impact of the price increase. More than 400,000 school children will continue to profit from school canteens in rural areas for 2008/2009 in more than 2,600 primary schools. Liberia is particularly sensitive to food price variations on the international market as it is very dependent to imports. The World Bank disbursed 4 million dollars to support school canteens in Liberia for two years. (Source: PAM-Info, Octobre-Decembre 2008)

Côte d'Ivoire : Worrisome malnutrition rates

A collaborative study (UNICEF, WFP and the Government of Côte d'Ivoire) conducted between 16 and 28 July 2008 in the districts of Abobo, Koumassi and Yopougon (Abidjan) and in the departments of Denguélé, Bafing, Savanes, Worodougou and Zanazan (northern Côte d'Ivoire) has revealed a prevalence of 4.7% global acute malnutrition in Abidjan and 17.5% in the north. The study shows a worrisome nutritional situation for which it recommends, among other things: the strengthening of maternal and child health programmes ; the increase of care and support to moderate acute malnutrition through supplementary nutritional centres in the north ; a deeper scrutiny of the causes of anaemia as well as the formulation of a package of appropriate activities, etc.

1.2 Protection and population movements

After a 4-month break, the repatriation of Mauritanian refugees living in Senegal resumed with the return of 19 families (105 persons). The UNHCR ensured their transport to the border town of Rosso.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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