19 May 2007 04:13

SOMALIA WATCH

 
Country
  • Title: [SW Country] Somalia: UNCT Somalia Monitor 6-19 March, 3/25/99
  • From:["Dek Dirie" <dDirie@worldnet.att.net>]
  • Date :[18 March 2000]


  • Risk of Rift Valley Fever is virtually 'nil' in Horn of Africa, say
    WHO and FAO Rome/Alexandria (Egypt), 5 March 1999.

  • senior representatives of the Puntland State of Somalia and
    the Benadir Regional Council signed an agreement to cooperate for the
    development of a joint curriculum and materials for primary education



> Somalia: UNCT Somalia Monitor 6-19 March, 3/25/99
>
>
> The UNCT Somalia Monitor, 6-19 March 1999
>
> Humanitarian Update
>
> 1. Seed distribution for farmers in southern and central Somalis going on
> smoothly but the total seed aid is not adequate: 1,000 MT shortage
> remains. 2. Malnutrition
> rates very high among children in Qansadheere. 3. 115 Somali refugees
> fleeing fighting southern Somalia arrive at Mombasa, Kenya. 4. New steps
> in educational
> cooperation between Somalis. 5. A new primary education programme is
> launched in Nugal region. 6. Rift valley fever is virtually 'nil', a
> joint statement by WHO and
> FAO clarifies. 7. Cholera Update
>
> 1. Distribution of seeds continues smoothly as the primary 'gu' season
> rains start
>
> The UN agencies and NGOs continue to mitigate the emergency in central
> and southern Somalia. Substantial amounts of food aid and emergency
> medical supplies
> have already been distributed to the vulnerable groups in Bay, Bakool and
> Gedo regions. Currently, the humanitarian agencies are distributing some
> 1,000 metric
> tonnes (MT) of seeds to enable the vulnerable farms to plant for the main
> 'gu' season, as rains are already pounding in many parts of the country.
> An additional 1,000
> MT is needed but donor contributions were not received. Although the
> rains herald good news for the farmers and herders, they constitute a
> problem for the
> estimated 30,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) subsisting Gedo and
> Juba valley. They will need shelter materials for themselves.
>
> 2. Malnutrition levels among children in Qansadheere is deteriorating
>
> UNICEF in collaboration with the Food Security Assessment Unit (FSAU)
> conducted a quick nutritional survey in Qansadheere town in Bay region
> and its
> surrounding during the second week of February. It was determined that
> the level of malnutrition found in the areas was 32 percent, including 10
> percent acute
> malnutrition, using middle upper arm circumference (MUAC) and oedema as
> indicators amongst children less than 5 years of age. The situation is
> worse than
> expected. In addition, the malnutrition levels are likely to be even
> higher amongst the poorer groups, including the IDPs. Possible causes of
> the high malnutrition
> include low household stocks following the 1998 'gu' harvest, gradual
> erosion of normal coping mechanisms, and difficulties which the high-risk
> groups face in
> obtaining access to food aid.
>
> 3. 115 Somali refugees arrived at Mombasa; six perish in Yemen
>
> On 14 March, a group of 115 Somali refugees fleeing renewed factional
> violence in the southern port town of Kismayo arrived at Mombassa aboard
> a leaky dhow,
> Kenyan port officials reported. The asylum seekers were registered by
> officials from the Ministry of Home Affairs and the office of the UN High
> Commissioner for
> Refugees (UNHCR) for onward transportation to Dadaab refugee camps in
> northeastern Kenya. Officials from the government of Kenya and the
> humanitarian
> community expressed concern over the new arrivals of refugees. The
> renewed conflict in Kismayo and its surrounding also made an unknown
> number of civilians
> displaced within the Juba valley region. In February, as many as 50
> people died and nearly 100 were injured when fighting spilled over into
> Kismayo town. As the
> conflict continues, the area remained highly dangerous for humanitarian
> agencies to operate, and movement of civilians remained extremely
> restricted, causing the
> price of essential commodities to rise and the purchasing power of the
> people to erode.
>
> In another development, at least six Somali refugees, including three
> children, died when fire broke out and destroyed a section of Jahima
> refugee camp in Yemen on
> 13 March. The fire reportedly started from a hurricane lamp left
> unattended inside one of the camp shacks. The camp shelters refugees from
> Somalia and other war-torn countries in the Horn of Africa.
>
> 4. New steps in cooperation between Somalis
>
> On 10 March, senior representatives of the Puntland State of Somalia and
> the Benadir Regional Council signed an agreement to cooperate for the
> development of a
> joint curriculum and materials for primary education. This agreement,
> which was witnessed by UNICEF, EC Somalia and UNESCO, constitutes a major
> breakthrough for collaborative action for educational development and for
> providing textbooks to all the children of Somalia.
>
> 5. A new primary education programme is launched in Nugal region
>
> The United Nations Education and Science Organisation (UNESCO-PEER)
> formally launched the second phase of their Primary Education Programme,
> a two-year programme funded by the European Commission (EC), for the Nugal region.
> The project will provide for the physical rehabilitation of primary
> schools and the setting-up of sustainable education systems. The project follows the
> successful implementation of phase I, a one-year programme also funded by
> the EC to rehabilitate 14 primary schools and to establish an Education Development
> Centre in Garowe to coordinate these educational activities.
>
> 6. Risk of Rift Valley Fever is virtually 'nil' in Horn of Africa, say
> WHO and FAO Rome/Alexandria (Egypt), 5 March 1999.
>
> The risk of infection with the Rift Valley Fever (RVF) virus, for both
> humans and animals, has been reduced to minimal or negligible proportions
> in the countries of
> the Horn of Africa, after an epidemic lasting from October 1997 to March
> 1998 in Tanzania, Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia, a joint statement by the
> World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations Food and Agriculture
> Organisation (FAO) said.
>
> The four countries are now in a better than normal situation with regard
> to RVF and other diseases transmitted through insects to humans and
> animal, including
> malaria in humans; a remarkable improvement due to both favorable
> climatic conditions and immunity developed by a large proportion of
> livestock infected with the
> disease in 1997-98, the joint WHO/FAO statement underlined.
>
> "Remote sensing satellites data of climatic conditions fully support
> ground observations that conditions in the Horn of Africa countries are
> highly unfavourable for
> multiplication of mosquito vectors of the RVF virus. Therefore, the risk
> of a RVF epidemic occurring soon is virtually nil," the two UN agencies
> said. "Climatic
> conditions in the four countries since mid-1998 returned to normal or
> below normal rainfall amounts and crop-growing conditions. Flooding which
> would allow
> multiplication of mosquitoes has not occurred. Thus the risk of humans or
> livestock being infected with RVF has returned to historically low
> levels." Regarding the
> export of livestock by the countries of the horn of Africa, the joint
> WHO/FAO statement said: "The present extremely low risk of RVF infection
> in livestock is
> comparable to the risk in former years that permitted the safe export of
> livestock." "The chance of exported livestock being infected with RVF
> virus and transmitting
> the disease to humans is at or below the historically extreme low levels
> that allowed safe export of livestock in the past," the joint statement
> emphasized.
>
> "The risk may actually be lower than in the past years," not only because
> the above mentioned climatic factors are highly unfavourable for mosquito
> multiplication
> (therefore virus transmission is negligible), but also because "a large
> proportion of the livestock are immune after being infected in 1997-98
> and there is no risk of
> such livestock transmitting the disease to humans or other animals," the
> two agencies underlined. WHO recommended special precautions against
> mosquito bites in
> humans working or travelling in RVF-infected areas starting in late 1997.
> "These special precautions can now be relaxed to normal malaria-specific
> precautionary
> levels in view of the very much diminished risk of RVF," the joint
> WHO/FAO statement said.
>
> Finally, WHO and FAO underlined that although there have been no reports
> of RVF for over a year from the epidemic areas in Tanzania, Kenya,
> Somalia and
> Ethiopia, both organisations will continue to monitor climatic conditions
> and animal and human health, with a focus on RVF. " Subsequent reports by
> the two
> organisations will be issued as and when conditions change," the joint
> statement indicated.
>
> In a related development, Saudi Arabia has lifted the ban on livestock
> exports from Eritrea. There is no indication as to whether the lifting of
> the ban will be extended
> to the rest of the Horn. However, press reports said some 1,200 sheep
> were exported from Somalia to Qatar yesterday.
>
> 7. Cholera update Since December 1998, cholera has been reported from the
> following regions: Benadir (Mogadishu), Bay, Lower Shabelle, Lower Juba
and
> Gedo. As at 19 March, WHO reports that there are 5,569 cholera cases,
> with 209 deaths and a case fatality ration of 3.7 per cent. Cholera has
> been reported to
> spread from the main urban centers to villages where access to health
> services is difficult. In the urban centers the situation is under
> control; so far there has been no
> lack of cholera supplies. However, the situation will change if the
> epidemic continues in the coming months as the rainy season commences.
>
> Points of Information from the UNCT meeting of 9 March 1999: Inter-Agency
> Affairs
>
> Mr. Giorgio Cancelliere, Chairperson of the International NGO Consortium,
> presented "International NGOs Working in Somalia Handbook 1998" which
details
> activities for 57 NGOs working in Somalia. The booklet is available from
> The SACB Secretariat (UNDOS).
>
> 1999 Consolidated Appeal: First Quarterly Report: The draft document was

> distributed for rapid review (By Tuesday 23rd), particularly to ensure
> that their current
> top priorities for additional funding are correctly included. (Details of
> projects can also be given to UNCU for possible distribution in Geneva.)
> It will then be
> finalised and reproduced for distribution at the meeting with donors on
> 26th March in Geneva. Several UNCT members will go to Geneva to meet
> donors at the
> meeting, being organised by OCHA. A press conference will be convened on
> the same date.
>
> UNCT Retreat: Date set for 21 - 23 April. Details to be forwarded to
> individual agencies by Friday 26 March. Main Agenda items are the
> formulation of a 1999
> UNCT Work plan and discussions on UN reform and other key issues.
> Participants are invited to contribute suggestions for the agenda.
>
> Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) mission: UNCT members were
> requested to consider for future discussion, the possibility of arranging
> an IASC mission
> this year. The last mission was held in March 1996 and was considered
> quite useful.
>
> Dr. Basil King of AMREF will lead the special presentation about IDPs at
> next Thursday's SACB Consultative Committee Meeting. As the rains begin,
> additional
> shelter materials are critically needed. There are adequate Tarpaulins
> for immediate distribution, but UNICEF Nairobi's warehouse is nearly
> empty. Funding is
> urgently required.
>
> Water: Work on rehabilitation of boreholes is proceeding smoothly in the
> south.
>
> Food aid: Stocks are adequate and deliveries are proceeding smoothly.
>
> Reintegration: An agreement has been reached whereby UNHCR will continue
> with the repatriation of 60,000 persons holding refugee cards to the
> Northwest in
> 1999. The UNCT agreed that a dialogue is needed between all concerned
> agencies to discuss reintegration issues, including the seminar planned
> for Hargeisa in
> June.
>
> The Resident Coordinator's Appraisal form was distributed at the meeting.
> Agencies are requested to complete the form and forward directly to
> Headquarters
> (UNDP Administrator and UNDGO)
>
> The Chair also bade farewell to Ms. Kristi Ragan, UNDP Senior Deputy
> Resident Representative, and expressed regret at her departure. He paid
> tribute to her
> consistent attention to including the Somali voice in deliberations at UN
> meetings in Nairobi and wished her well in her next assignment.


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