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ReliefWeb - Updates

Lebanon: Liban : Enquêter de manière impartiale sur l'explosion à Beyrouth - Les autorités devraient aussi s’assurer que l’aide soit distribuée de manière équitable et parvienne aux personnes les plus vulnérables

Sat, 08 Aug 2020 04:28:08 +0000

Country: Lebanon
Source: Human Rights Watch

(Beyrouth, le 6 ao슩t 2020) - Les autorités libanaises devraient demander à des experts internationaux à participer à une enquête indépendante sur l'explosion au port maritime de Beyrouth le 4 ao슩t, qui a dévasté la ville, a déclaré Human Rights Watch aujourd'hui. Cette enquête devrait viser à déterminer les causes de l'explosion, à établir les responsabilités et à formuler des recommandations pour éviter de futurs incidents de ce type. Le gouvernement libanais devrait aussi veiller à ce que toutes les personnes affectées par l'explosion aient accès à un logement, à de la nourriture, à l'eau et aux soins de santé. La distribution d’aide devrait être effectuée de manière équitable et impartiale.

L'explosion était apparemment la plus puissante que Beyrouth ait jamais subie. Selon les premières explications relayées par le président Michel Aoun et par le Premier ministre Hassan Diab, il s’est agi de l'explosion de 2 750 tonnes de nitrate d'ammonium, un composé chimique utilisé comme engrais mais qui peut aussi intervenir dans la fabrication de bombes. Ce matériel avait été stocké dans un entrepôt du port de Beyrouth pendant plus de six ans, sans mesures de sécurité appropriées. Le président Aoun a affirmé qu’une enquête transparente serait menée sur les causes de l'explosion, et que les responsables feraient l'objet de « sanctions sévères ».

« Le niveau de dévastation à Beyrouth est effarant, et les autorités responsables devraient être tenues de rendre des comptes », a déclaré Aya Majzoub, chercheuse sur le Liban à Human Rights Watch. « En raison de l’absence d’enquêtes sur d’autres défaillances dans le passé et de la méfiance de nombreux citoyens à l’égard des institutions gouvernementales, une enquête indépendante avec la participation d’experts internationaux serait le meilleur moyen de garantir la justice pour les victimes de l’explosion. »

Le 5 ao슩t, le gouvernement a ordonné le placement en résidence surveillée de tous les responsables du port qui y supervisaient depuis 2014, les opérations de stockage et de gardiennage.

Human Rights Watch a exprimé de sérieuses inquiétudes quant à la possibilité que les autorités judiciaires libanaises mènent une enquête crédible et transparente, ayant précédemment documenté l’absence d'enquêtes indépendantes et approfondies sur des allégations de pratiques gouvernementales abusives.

Le 5 ao슩t, la Croix-Rouge libanaise a indiqué que plus de 135 personnes avaient été tuées et plus de 5 000 blessées dans l'explosion, et a averti que le nombre de morts pourrait encore augmenter en raison de l’absence d’informations sur des dizaines de personnes. Le gouverneur de Beyrouth, Marwan Abboud, a déclaré à l’Agence France-Presse que plus de la moitié de la ville avait été endommagée, et que 300 000 habitants de Beyrouth se retrouvaient sans abri. Il a estimé que le co슩t des dommages causés par l'explosion dépassait trois milliards de dollars.

L’explosion a aggravé les énormes pressions subies par les établissements de santé libanais, déjà confrontés au double défi de la crise financière et de la pandémie de Covid-19. Au moins deux hôpitaux ont été gravement endommagés par l'explosion.

La destruction du port de Beyrouth, qui gère 60 % des importations libanaises, suscite aussi des craintes quant à la sécurité alimentaire. Même avant l'explosion, la crise économique, aggravée par la pandémie de Covid-19, avait provoqué la chute de 80 % de la valeur de la livre libanaise. Plus de la moitié de la population libanaise s’est trouvée dans une situation de pauvreté, et en avril, le ministre des Affaires sociales a même prédit que 75 % de la population pourrait avoir besoin d'aide. Human Rights Watch avait estimé, également en avril, que plus de la moitié de la population risquait de souffrir de la faim à moins que le gouvernement ne mette en place d’urgence un plan coordonné d'assistance.

Le gouvernement libanais devrait veiller à ce que les personnes touchées par l'explosion aient accès à un logement convenable, à de la nourriture, à l'eau et aux soins de santé. Les pays donateurs devraient veiller à ce que toute aide au Liban soit distribuée de manière transparente et fondée sur les principes humanitaires de neutralité, d'impartialité et d'indépendance et avec des garanties solides pour éviter tout risque de corruption. Une attention particulière devrait être accordée aux besoins des personnes les plus vulnérables, notamment les enfants, les travailleurs migrants et les réfugiés.

Une enquête indépendante avec la participation d'experts internationaux – comme le Rapporteur spécial des Nations Unies sur la gestion et de l'élimination des produits et déchets dangereux - devrait être menée pour déterminer les causes de l’explosion dont les effets ont été mortels, et établir les responsabilités.

**Communiqué complet en anglais : en ligne ici.**

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Lebanon: Set Impartial, Expert Probe of Beirut Blast - Make Sure Aid Distribution is Fair, Impartial, Includes the Most Vulnerable

Sat, 08 Aug 2020 04:22:42 +0000

Country: Lebanon
Source: Human Rights Watch

(Beirut) – Lebanese authorities should invite international experts to conduct an independent investigation into the explosion at Beirut’s shipping port on August 4, 2020, that devastated the city, Human Rights Watch said today. The investigation should determine the causes and responsibility for the explosion and recommend measures to ensure it cannot happen again. The Lebanese government should ensure that those affected by the blast have access to adequate housing, food, water, and health care, with all aid distributed fairly and impartially.

The blast was apparently the most powerful Beirut has ever experienced. President Michel Aoun and Prime Minister Hassan Diab said the explosion was caused by 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate, which is used as a fertilizer and can be a bomb ingredient. They also said the material had been stored in a warehouse in the Beirut port for over six years without appropriate safety precautions. The circumstances that led to the detonation of the material are not yet clear. President Aoun has promised a transparent investigation into the causes of the explosion, pledging that those responsible would face “serious punishment.”

“The level of devastation in Beirut is incomprehensible, and the responsible authorities should be held accountable,” said Aya Majzoub, Lebanon researcher at Human Rights Watch. “Given the Lebanese authorities’ repeated failure to investigate serious government failings and the public’s distrust of government institutions, an independent investigation with international experts is the best guarantee that victims of the explosion will get the justice they deserve.”

Lebanon’s Cabinet decided on August 5 to place under house arrest all port officials who oversaw storage and guarding facilities since 2014, but it was not immediately clear what charges they faced or if due process would be accorded to those under investigation.

Human Rights Watch expressed serious concerns about the ability of the Lebanese judiciary to conduct a credible and transparent investigation on its own. Lebanese and international rights groups have for years documented political interference in the judiciary and criticized its lack of independence. Human Rights Watch has documented previous instances in which the judiciary failed to adhere to the rule of law or to conduct independent and thorough investigations into allegations of government abuses. Further, initial evidence suggests that some judges were aware that the ammonium nitrate was stored in Beirut’s port and allegedly failed to take action.

On August 5, the Lebanese Red Cross announced that more than 135 people had been killed and more than 5,000 injured in the explosion, and warned that the death toll could rise further as dozens remained missing. The Beirut governor, Marwan Abboud, told Agence France-Presse that over half the city had been damaged, leaving 300,000 of Beirut’s residents homeless. He estimated that the cost of the damage from the explosion exceeded $3 billion. Human Rights Watch researchers observed the devastation from the blast and saw entire neighborhoods reduced to rubble.

The explosion overwhelmed Lebanon’s healthcare facilities, which were struggling due to the country’s acute financial crisis exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic. At least two hospitals were badly damaged in the explosion. Human Rights Watch observed staff at the Saint George University Hospital evacuating patients from the damaged building and tending to patients in the parking lot, using their mobile phones for light. As hospitals in Beirut reached capacity, people injured in the blast were transported to hospitals as far away as Nabatieh and Tripoli – more than 70 kilometers from Beirut.

The Lebanese government still has not disseminated consistent or accurate information about the health impact of the toxic cloud of nitrous oxide hanging over the city, and has not provided guidance for Beirut residents on how to protect themselves from air pollution. Health experts and the US Embassy have advised residents to stay indoors and wear masks.

The destruction of the Beirut Port, which handles 60 percent of Lebanon’s imports, has raised fears over food security. Even before the blast, Lebanon’s unprecedented economic crisis, compounded by Covid-19, had wiped out more than 80 percent of the national currency’s value and plunged more than half the population into poverty. In April, the Social Affairs Minister predicted that more than 75 percent of the population would need aid. Human Rights Watch warned then that more than half the population was at risk of hunger unless the government put in place a coordinated plan to provide assistance. No such plan has been put forward.

Lebanon imports nearly all of its vital goods. Drone footage by the Associated Press showed that the silos where an estimated 85 percent of Lebanon’s wheat was stored have been completely wrecked. Economy Minister Raoul Nehme told Reuters there is “a bit less than a month” of grain reserves in Lebanon’s remaining storage silos but claimed that currently, “There is no bread or flour crisis” due to existing inventory and incoming shipments.

The Lebanese government should ensure that those affected by the blast have access to adequate housing, food, water, and health care. Donor countries should ensure that any aid to Lebanon is distributed transparently and based on humanitarian principles of neutrality, impartiality, and independence and with appropriate safeguards to avoid corruption. Special attention should be given to the needs of vulnerable groups, including children, migrant workers, and refugees. It is unlawful for the government to discriminate in access to such basic rights on the basis of gender, nationality, refugee status, or any other grounds.

Despite its resource limitations, the Lebanese government is obligated to ensure that everyone affected has access to adequate shelter immediately and adequate housing in the medium term. Lebanon is also obligated to provide all residents of the country access to information concerning the main health problems in the community, including methods of preventing and controlling them.

Many countries, including France, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Qatar, have already pledged assistance. They should ensure that any humanitarian assistance they provide goes directly to those affected or through organizations providing life-saving assistance on the ground. Donor countries should also consider providing assistance to investigate responsibility for the explosion.

Reuters quoted an unnamed official source saying that initial investigations “indicate years of inaction and negligence” over the storage of the highly explosive ammonium nitrate. The source added that “nothing was done” to order the material removed or disposed of, although the issue had been raised before several committees and judges. Reuters reviewed two documents showing that Lebanese Customs had asked the judiciary in 2016 and 2017 to re-export or approve the sale of the hazardous materials. One document cited similar requests in 2014 and 2015. Reuters reported that another source close to a port employee said a team that inspected the ammonium nitrate six months ago warned that it could “blow up all of Beirut” if not removed.

An independent investigation with the participation of international experts should determine the causes of the deaths and who was responsible. This would include why and how a huge quantity of highly combustible and potentially explosive material came to be stored in Beirut’s port for years, and what triggered the explosion. It should identify all officials who knew about the long-term storage of this material and those who failed to act. The Lebanese government should invite eminent international experts, including the UN special rapporteur on the implications for human rights of the environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and waste to participate in the inquiry.

The Lebanese authorities should ensure such an investigation can obtain all the evidence it needs, and comply with any recommendations concerning accountability for this explosion and to ensure such a disaster can never be repeated.

If officials did in fact have notification of a clear threat to life and failed to take reasonable steps to address that threat, then they are responsible for the unlawful deaths of at least 135 people, Human Rights Watch said. In 2001, an explosion involving a warehouse storing ammonium nitrate in Toulouse France resulted in compensation of over 2 billion euros for victims and their survivors. Lebanese authorities should take immediate action to identify any other hazardous operations or stockpiles in the country and mitigate any risks they cause to life and safety. Lebanese authorities should also undertake a comprehensive assessment of the full costs of the explosion to Lebanese residents as a first step toward developing a plan to compensate those affected.

“The devastating impacts of this blast will be borne by Lebanon’s residents for years to come,” Majzoub said. “The Lebanese government has a responsibility to ensure that the disaster response complies with human rights. International experts and international financial support will be essential for making sure the investigation is free from political interference and that victims receive the support they need.”

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Yemen Women Protection Sub Cluster Services, Jan to Jun 2020

Sat, 08 Aug 2020 02:28:05 +0000

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Country: Yemen
Sources: United Nations Population Fund, Protection Cluster

Please refer to the attached Infographic.

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Yemen Women Protection Sub Cluster Services, June 2020

Sat, 08 Aug 2020 02:25:45 +0000

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Country: Yemen
Sources: United Nations Population Fund, Protection Cluster

Please refer to the attached Infographic.

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Lebanon - Beirut: Situation as of August 05, 2020 - Damage Assessment Map

Sat, 08 Aug 2020 02:20:56 +0000

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Country: Lebanon
Source: German Aerospace Center

Please refer to the attached Map.

On August 4, 2020, a heavy explosion in Beirut, the capital city of Lebanon, killed over a hundred people and left many hundred thousand homeless. The explosion took place in the harbor area at 18:08 local time. It was probably caused by a large quantity of ammonium nitrate stored at a warehouse in the port.

The DLR/ZKI map shows the damage situation on August 5, 2020. After comparing a pre-event-scene with this post-event-image, both with a very high special resolution, it is possible to give an overview of the affected area and an estimation of the damage extent.

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Voluntary Repatriation of Burundian Refugees, Update as of 31 July 2020

Sat, 08 Aug 2020 01:24:39 +0000

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Countries: Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees

Please refer to the attached Infographic.

UNHCR and partners began to assist the voluntary repatriation of Burundian refugees in September 2017 as a durable solution for those refugees who their intention to return home. The vast majority of returns have been from Tanzania, with smaller numbers assisted to return from Kenya and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Almost all returns from Rwanda and Uganda have so far been self-organized.

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Burundi: Rapatriement Volontaire des Réfugiés Burundais, Mise à Jour au 31 juillet 2020

Sat, 08 Aug 2020 01:18:45 +0000

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Countries: Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees

Please refer to the attached Infographic.

Le HCR et ses partenaires ont commencé à organiser le rapatriement volontaire des réfugiés burundais au mois de Septembre 2017, à la suite des résolutions de la Commission tripartite entre le Burundi, la Tanzanie et le HCR. Ce rapatriement s’inscrit dans le cadre des solutions durables que propose le HCR pour les réfugiés qui ont manifesté l’intention de rentrer chez eux. La grande majorité des rapatriés proviennent de la Tanzanie, ainsi que du Kenya et de la République démocratique du Congo (RDC) en moindre nombre. Presque tous les retours du Rwanda et de l'Ouganda ont été jusqu'ici des retours spontanés.

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Northeast Nigeria - Camp Management Bi-weekly Tracker Report, Report: No. 18 | 16 - 31 July 2020

Sat, 08 Aug 2020 00:30:26 +0000

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Country: Nigeria
Sources: International Federation of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies, International Organization for Migration, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, CCCM Cluster, Shelter Cluster

Please refer to the attached file.

The Camp Management bi-weekly tracker report is a service monitoring and gap analysis tool produced by the CCCM/Shelter/NFI sector. The tracker supports humanitarian partners in identifying gaps in assistance and service delivery. It enables stakeholders to track activities, identify gaps and thereby improving the delivery of assistance.

As of July 2020, 159 camps were covered by partner agencies in the following Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Adamawa State: Fufore, Girei, Mubi South, Yola South and Yola North while in Borno State, the sites are located in Bama, Biu, Damboa, Dikwa, Gwoza, Jere, Kaga, Konduga, Mafa, Magumeri, Maiduguri, Monguno, Ngala and Nganzai LGA.

KEY HIGHLIGHTS

The reporting period witnessed an increase in the downpour and inundation across Borno, Adamawa and Yobe (BAY) states thereby flooding camps and damaging shelters. At least 20,700 shelters are affected and fully or partially damaged. 11% of the IDP population need emergency shelters solution while 40% of the IDP population need Non-Food Items (NFIs)

The CCCM Shelter and NFI sectors contingency plan as incorporated in the 2020 HRP, enabled partners to manage the flood situation by creating water pathways, providing sand and sand-bags, deployment of water pumps for the purpose of expelling water from the flooded area with active participation of the IDPs in the process. Furthermore, recorded damages and needs have been shared with other sectors for immediate interventions. The sector as well is utilizing its prepositioned Emergency Shelter and NFI stocks for rapid response to the rainy season damages.

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Patient guides build bridge between Syrian refugees and doctors in Turkey

Sat, 08 Aug 2020 00:12:26 +0000

Countries: Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey
Source: World Health Organization

Muhammad Weso, Muhamad Zehra and Melek Nuur Fatistooglu play a crucial role in providing health services to Syrian refugees across Turkey.

They are Syrian bilingual patient guides who provide translation services to refugee patients and their doctors in Turkish state hospitals and migrant health centres.

In situations where even the slightest misunderstanding could make the difference between health or illness, the patient guides serve not only as interpreters, but as bridge builders between caregivers and patients.

Training for expertise and common ground

In the last 2 years, more than 600 bilingual patient guides have been trained within the scope of the “Improved access to health services for Syrian refugees in Turkey” project. The European Union-funded project is being implemented by the Turkish Ministry of Health and the WHO Country Office in Turkey.

The patient guides help doctors and patients find common ground and mutual understanding, contributing to accurate treatment. The EU-funded trainings help build their expertise in the crucial role they play.

As one of the trainers explained: “The patient guide serves as a link between a patient needing medical attention, and a doctor who can assist that patient. Whether that link is in place can make all the difference as to whether the doctor is able to diagnose a patient correctly, and whether the patient understands the doctor’s guidance. The line between mutual understanding or misunderstanding in health care for Syrian patients in Turkey can be very thin, and this is where the patient guides come in. Even body language has a substantial impact on what is communicated and how it is communicated”.

The patient guide perspective

Weso, Zehra and Fatistooglu feel they have benefited greatly from the training they received for their patient guide role.

“Without mutual understanding, some patients could face dire consequences. For example, a misunderstanding regarding simple dietary restrictions for a patient before an operation might lead to serious problems if the doctor’s advice is not followed correctly,” explains Weso. “After successful completion of their treatment, patients often shower us with compliments and hugs. Although this is a very demanding job, when I see that I am part of a healing process, I feel very happy.”

Zehra agrees. He works at a state hospital in Kilis, in the south-eastern part of Turkey, close to the Syrian border, where over 115 000 Syrians under temporary protection reside.

“Miscommunication can mean serious problems. These trainings have increased my experience, and I am now better equipped to detect problems and convey both the needs of patients and the health service providers,” says Zehra. “Misunderstandings need to be resolved before they become an issue obstructing treatment.”

Fatistooglu works in Sanliurfa, home to more than 425 000 registered Syrian refugees. She says she found the medical terminology classes to be particularly helpful. “As a patient guide, you don’t want to miss anything, or make errors because of technical terminology. I remember a former patient of mine, who had sought treatment for close to a year but had not been diagnosed correctly,” says Fatistooglu.

With her help, the patient could be diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and receive appropriate treatment. “When I met with the patient, I immediately noticed that she had been misdiagnosed due to a gap in communication. These trainings will help us become even better at our jobs.”

“Improved access to health services for Syrian refugees in Turkey” project

Syrian crisis: WHO’s response in and from Turkey

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oPt: Palestinian child detainee tests positive for COVID-19 in Israeli prison

Sat, 08 Aug 2020 00:02:03 +0000

Country: occupied Palestinian territory
Source: Defense for Children International/Palestine Section

Ramallah, August 6, 2020—A Palestinian child prisoner detained by Israeli forces in late July has tested positive for COVID-19, the first known case involving a Palestinian child detainee confirmed by Defense for Children International - Palestine.

Israeli forces detained the 15-year-old Palestinian boy* around 4 am on July 23 from his home in Al Jalazoun refugee camp located north of the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah. He was transferred to Israel’s Shikma prison, located inside Israel in Ashkelon, for interrogation, according to Iyad Misk, a DCIP lawyer. Israeli authorities postponed his interrogation after he tested positive for COVID-19.

Despite being infected with COVID-19, Israeli authorities extended the boy's detention for another eight days since he has yet to be interrogated, according to information collected by DCIP. He is currently being held at an Israeli police station in Akka and is expected to be transferred soon to another location to be placed in quarantine.

“There is no way Israeli forces can justify the detention of a child currently infected with COVID-19,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, Accountability Program director at DCIP. “By extending this boy’s custodial detention, Israeli authorities are recklessly endangering his health and well-being along with the health of other detainees. Israeli authorities must release all Palestinian child detainees immediately.”

After initially containing the virus in May, cases began to rise in June in Israel and across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. To date, Israel recorded at least 78,512 cases with a total of 24,583 active cases, and 569 deaths, according to Haaretz. In the West Bank and Gaza Strip, there have been at least 17,434 total cases, including over 450 new cases recorded on August 6, and 94 deaths, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

At the end of June, 151 Palestinian children were detained in Israeli prisons and detention centers, an increase of six percent from May, according to data released by the Israel Prison Service (IPS). 48 percent of Palestinian child detainees were held in pretrial detention, according to IPS data. Israeli authorities held 79 percent of Palestinian child detainees at prisons and detention centers inside Israel, which amounts to unlawful transfer in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Palestinian children imprisoned by Israeli authorities live in close proximity to each other, often in compromised sanitary conditions, with limited access to resources to maintain minimum hygiene routines, according to documentation collected by DCIP. COVID-19’s impact is exacerbated by these living conditions making Palestinian children in Israeli prisons and detention centers increasingly vulnerable.

On March 19, DCIP called on Israeli authorities to immediately release all Palestinian child detainees in Israeli prisons due to the rapid global spread of COVID-19.

In May, three United Nations officials also called on Israeli authorities to release all child detainees and to end arrests during the pandemic, declaring in a joint press statement, “[t]he best way to uphold the rights of detained children amidst a dangerous pandemic, in any country, is to release them from detention and to put a moratorium on new admissions into detention facilities. We call on the Israeli and Palestinian authorities to do so immediately.”

Globally, the World Health Organization, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and U.N. human rights experts have all issued guidelines and statements highlighting the need to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in detention settings.

Israel ratified the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1991, obligating itself to implement the full range of rights and protections included in the treaty, including that the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration in all decisions affecting children, and detention must only be used as a measure of last resort for the shortest period necessary.

Israel has the dubious distinction of being the only country in the world that automatically and systematically detains and prosecutes children in military courts that lack fundamental fair trial rights and protections. Israel detains and prosecutes between 500 and 700 Palestinian children in military courts each year. Nearly three out of four Palestinian children detained by Israeli forces experiences some form of physical violence, according to documentation collected by DCIP.

*The boy's name is known to DCIP but is not disclosed here due to privacy concerns.

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Note on Trends of Human Rights Violations and Abuses in Mali - 1 April – 30 June 2020

Fri, 07 Aug 2020 23:54:31 +0000

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Country: Mali
Source: UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali

Please refer to the attached file.

Introduction

  1. This note follows the previous one on trends of human rights violations and abuses between 1 January and 31 March 2020 and is issued in the context of Security Council Resolution 2480 requesting the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) to monitor human rights violations and abuses throughout the country, assist in investigations and report publicly on the results of its investigations.

  2. It provides a contextual analysis of the human rights situation between 1 April and 30 June 2020 and a general overview of trends of human rights violations and abuses documented by the MINUSMA Human Rights and Protection Division (hereinafter the Division or HRPD) during the period under review. The information contained in this note has been collected in accordance with the methodology of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and in pursuance of the monitoring and investigation strategy put in place by the Division in the current context of the Covid-19 pandemic. They are based on documented and verified facts as well as on regular observation, fact-finding and in-depth investigation missions conducted by teams from human rights offices in Gao, Kidal, Ménaka, Mopti, Timbuktu, and Bamako, which covers the District of Bamako and the regions of Kayes, Koulikoro, Ségou, and Sikasso, as well as the thematic units of the Division based in Bamako. Despite the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, and with the support of the MINUSMA Force and UNPOL, the Division conducted three (3) special investigation and fact-finding missions in Djongue Ouro (Fakala Commune, Djenne cercle, region of Mopti) on 8 May 2020; in Sikasso (Sikasso commune, cercle, and region) from 18 to 20 May 2020; and in Binedama (Diankabou commune, Koro cercle, region of Mopti) on 17 June 2020).

  3. The facts and information contained in this note have been formally shared with the civil, military and judicial authorities, both regional and national. Official communications were addressed respectively to the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Justice and Human Rights, Defence and Veterans Affairs as well as to the General Staff of the Armed Forces to support the efforts of the Malian State to conduct investigations and bring to justice the alleged perpetrators of violations and abuses contained herein. Finally, MINUSMA sent a communication to the Government of Burkina Faso concerning the allegations of summary executions involving Burkinabe troops on Malian territory as part of military and counterterrorism operations.

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United States Provides Humanitarian Assistance in Response to Explosions in Lebanon

Fri, 07 Aug 2020 23:47:42 +0000

Countries: Lebanon, United States of America
Source: US Agency for International Development

Office of Press Relations
Telephone: +1.202.712.4320 | Email: press@usaid.gov

The United States, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is providing more than $15 million in humanitarian assistance to aid the people of Lebanon following catastrophic explosions at the Port of Beirut. These funds bring the humanitarian aid provided by the American people in Lebanon since September 2019 to a total of $403 million.

With the funds announced today, the United States is financing life-saving medical responses and providing humanitarian assistance to meet the immediate needs of families affected by this tragic disaster, including food aid for 50,000 people for three months.

USAID has also requested the unique capabilities of the U.S. Department of Defense to transport emergency supplies to Lebanon, including enough medical supplies and pharmaceuticals to support up to 60,000 people for three months.

This assistance is in addition to the $41.6 million the United States has already contributed to bolster Lebanon's efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding helps private health facilities to triage, manage, and refer patients properly; ensures the continuity of essential health care; sponsors risk-communications and community-outreach activities; increases access to water, sanitation, and hygiene, and provides emergency food assistance to refugees and members of vulnerable Lebanese host communities who have lost their livelihoods or are unable to leave their homes.

The United States has long supported the Lebanese people's pursuit of economic prosperity and accountable governance, free of corruption and foreign pressure. For years, USAID has funded university hospitals in Lebanon, including Rizk Hospital at the Lebanese American University and the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC), which is serving as one of the main triage centers for victims of the explosion. These hospitals have already allocated space and resources for the response to the pandemic of COVID-19, especially for Lebanon's most-vulnerable communities.

The United States continues to support efforts to promote transparent, accountable, citizen-responsive, and democratic governance in Lebanon through programs that strengthen civil-society organizations, increase public participation in local government, and facilitate strategic reforms.

The U.S. Government and the American people extend our deepest condolences to all those affected by this horrific event. We stand with the people of Lebanon as they seek relief and accountability in this difficult time.

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Kenya Receives $150 Million to Improve Living Conditions for 1.7 Million Residents in Urban Informal Settlements

Fri, 07 Aug 2020 23:40:49 +0000

Country: Kenya
Source: World Bank

WASHINGTON, August 7, 2020 – The World Bank Group Board of Directors approved today a $150 million International Development Association credit to improve tenure security and access to basic services for 1.7 million residents living in selected Kenya’s urban informal settlements.

The second phase of the Kenya Informal Settlements Improvement Project (KISIP2) will improve the living conditions of informal settlements and its residents through (i) titling to enhance tenure security; (ii) infrastructure upgrading for basic services (roads, drainage, water, sanitation, street lighting, community facilities); and (iii) livelihoods support and community engagement to assess and address risks, including the impacts of COVID-19 .

“Rapid urbanization and an increasing share of the poor living in urban areas has outpaced services and infrastructure provision, and this project will contribute to reducing this infrastructure and services gap,” said Camille Lampart Nuamah, World Bank Operations Manager and Acting Country Director for Kenya. “The project will also cushion urban informal settlement residents who depend on daily earnings against the negative socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Upgraded infrastructure under the KISIP2 will improve access to basic services, such as clean and safe water; mobility within the informal settlements; access for emergency vehicles; and the resilience of communities in instances of disasters. In addition, it will increase the connectivity of residents to socio-economic opportunities while the high-mast lights will enhance economic activities by reducing crime.

Regularization of tenure will enhance the tenure security of residents in informal settlements, with great benefits such as increased property values, access to credit for the titleholders, increased tax revenues for the local administration, and access to urban infrastructure services. These activities will build confidence among residents of these settlements to build better-serviced, less-crowded, and more permanent housing stock, which will contribute significantly to the Government of Kenya’s affordable housing agenda.

The project’s special focus on socio-economic inclusion will help counter the immediate economic impact of COVID-19 by urgently linking vulnerable people of informal settlements to government programs aimed at reducing poverty and vulnerability. It will also link at-risk youth to programs focused on building skills and creating opportunities for employment and self-employment.

“In the short run, the works related to upgrading roads will provide an important source of employment opportunities for unskilled, informal and vulnerable workers disproportionately affected by the economic impact of COVID-19,” said Sheila Kamunyori, World Bank Senior Urban Specialist and Task Team Leader. “The World Bank is keen to continue supporting the government’s effort to the ongoing Kazi Mtaani program in the subsequent phases to reach up to 200,000 youth across all 47 counties.”

The project will strengthen national and county institutions to scale up slum upgrading, involve communities in implementation, including efforts to close the gender gap across interventions.

The project will be implemented through institutional arrangements at the national level and county level. Criteria to determine eligible settlements have been developed to ensure that the project has maximum impact for the targeted beneficiaries. Counties with eligible settlements will be expected to demonstrate readiness to implement the project.

PRESS RELEASE NO: 2021/027/AFR

Contacts
Nairobi
Keziah Muthembwa
(254) 020 2936484
kmuthembwa@worldbank.org

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Lebanon: Beirut Port Explosions Situation Report No. 2 (As of 7 August 2020)

Fri, 07 Aug 2020 23:17:27 +0000

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Country: Lebanon
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

Please refer to the attached file.

This report is produced by OCHA Lebanon in collaboration with humanitarian partners. It covers the period from 5 to 7 August 2020.

HIGHLIGHTS

• More than 157 people were killed, and an estimated 5,000 people were injured in the Beirut Port explosions. More than 150 people remain missing.

• At least three hospitals and 12 primary health care centres have been severely damaged, rendered partially or fully inoperable.

• Emergency Medical Teams (EMT) are deployed to Beirut to support the ongoing medical response.

• A United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) team is deployed to support response operations.

• Emergency shelter assessments are ongoing, and assessment of food supply status and market functionality/accessibility is planned.

• The United Nations and its partners are looking to adjust logistic networks to ensure sustained operations.

• The United Nations has released $15 million to support emergency response operations. Donors have also provided numerous financial and in-kind donations.

157+ Reported deaths

5,000+ People reported injured

150+ People reported missing

SITUATION OVERVIEW

On 4 August, at approximately 18h00 (local time), a warehouse at the Beirut Port containing large quantities of ammonium nitrate exploded. After an initial explosion, a subsequent blast caused widespread damage, with reports of damage more than 20 kilometres from the port area. The explosions and ensuing fires reportedly released toxic materials in the environment.

On 5 August, the Government of Lebanon declared a two-week state of emergency in Beirut. Some of the most affected neighbourhoods include Ashrafiyeh, Central district, Gemmayzeh, Marfa and Mar Mikhail.

All imports and exports have been redirected to the Tripoli Port, which is about 85 kilometres north of Beirut. The Beirut Port is expected to be inoperable for at least one month, pending repairs, debris removal and safety clearances.

Initial assessments indicate that at least 12 primary health care centres have been severely damaged. At least three hospitals have been rendered partially or fully inoperable. An additional 120 schools, used by 55,000 Lebanese and nonLebanese children, sustained various levels of damage. Humanitarian partners are conducting further damage assessments, in close coordination with relevant government authorities.

On 6 August, a total of 255 new COVID-19 cases were record, a new record for Lebanon. The emergency in Beirut has caused many COVID-19 precautionary measures to be relaxed, raising the prospects of even higher transmission rates and a large caseload in the coming weeks.

The blasts destroyed an estimated 120,000 metric tonnes of food stocks, including wheat, soy and other staples. Grain silos at the port were also heavily damaged in the explosions. Approximately 85 per cent of the cereals in Lebanon were previously stored at the port. Current estimates suggest that, at regular consumption rates, the remaining grain supply incountry is sufficient for 4-6 weeks.

The explosions come as Lebanon faces a multi-faceted crisis. In recent months, economic contraction, increasing poverty and rising prices have compounded needs among Lebanese and non-Lebanese communities, including the large refugee population in Lebanon. Increasing COVID-19 transmission is straining the country’s health systems. Social tensions continue to grow in many parts of the country.

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Somalia: USG Response to the Complex Emergency (Last Updated 08.07.20)

Fri, 07 Aug 2020 23:10:54 +0000

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Country: Somalia
Source: US Agency for International Development

Please refer to the attached Map.

Somalia - Complex Emergency Fact Sheet #2, Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 (April 29, 2020)

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Somalia - Complex Emergency Fact Sheet #3, Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 (August 7, 2020)

Fri, 07 Aug 2020 23:04:05 +0000

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Countries: Somalia, United States of America
Source: US Agency for International Development

Please refer to the attached file.

SITUATION AT A GLANCE

5.2 MILLION
Estimated Population in Need of Humanitarian Assistance
UN – July 2020  

3.5 MILLIO
Estimated Population in Need of Emergency Food Assistance, July–September 2020FEWS NET – June 2020

2.6 MILLION
Official Number of IDPs in Somalia
FGoS – 2018

761.7 THOUSAND
Estimated Number of Refugees from Somalia
UN – June 2020

  • Without sustained assistance, up to 3.5 million people in Somalia could face severe food insecurity through September.

  • COVID-19 control measures and the associated worsening of socioeconomic conditions are further eroding the protection environment in Somalia.

  • The UN released a revised 2020 HRP for Somalia on July 26, accounting for changes in humanitarian needs and the operational environment due to the COVID-19 pandemic, seasonal floods, and the regional desert locust upsurge.

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Lebanon: Beirut Explosions Situation Report #1 - 7 August 2020

Fri, 07 Aug 2020 22:50:02 +0000

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Country: Lebanon
Source: Project HOPE

Please refer to the attached file.

Key Highlights

  • On 4 August, a massive explosion originating in the Beirut port resulted in 157 casualties to date, over 5,000 injured and widespread structural damages leaving an estimated 300,000 homeless.

  • Project HOPE is in Beirut coordinating deliveries of medicines, medical supplies and additional assistance, in coordination with local NGO, the Rene Moawad Foundation.

  • Pressing health concerns are burns and traumatic injuries, respiratory health due to release of toxic air pollutants, and ongoing needs of patients with COVID-19 combined with increased transmission risks.

  • Affected hospitals and responding organizations are reporting a dire need for medicines, medical supplies, trauma kits, surgical supplies, and personal protective equipment (PPE).

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Uganda: COVID-19 Emergency Response, May - July 2020

Fri, 07 Aug 2020 22:39:49 +0000

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Country: Uganda
Source: World Vision

Please refer to the attached Infographic.

COVID-19: 100 days and counting...

When 2020 began, communities in Uganda had no idea that within days the world would be confronting a virus that would kill hundreds of thousands of people, and put tens of millions of children at risk from the aftershocks of the crisis. As you read this report, more than 15 million people have contracted COVID-19, over 600,000 have died, and lockdown and containment measures have created an economic meltdown that has devastated the incomes of millions of families.

World Vision is deeply concerned about the plight of children. Beyond the tragic loss of family members from the virus, many are facing increased stress, violence, and harm at home and in their communities. In Uganda, school closures has affected more than 15 million girls and boys; impacting the development of their young minds. The most vulnerable children already living in difficult and dangerous places are now enduring especially challenging times.

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World Vision Lebanon: Humanitarian Capacity Statement (7 Aug 2020)

Fri, 07 Aug 2020 22:34:09 +0000

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Country: Lebanon
Source: World Vision

Please refer to the attached file.

This document outlines World Vision's 45-year history of work in Lebanon and our initial plan to respond to the needs resulting from the catastrphic explosion that rocked Beirut on Aug. 4, 2020, leaving more than 130 dead and some 300,000 in need of shelter.

Learn more about how World Vision is supporting survivors in Beirut

Lebanon was already going through a triple disaster before the Beirut Port Explosion: millions of refugees, a very severe economic crisis as well as COVID-19. The explosion killed over 130 people and has displaced 300,000. World Vision teams are on the ground assessing the needs of the most vulnerable girls and boys and their families.

For over 45 years, we have had continuous operational presence in the country implementing humanitarian and development projects.

We currently have 311 staff working in 5 out of 8 regions in Lebanon including 11 Disaster Management experts.

World Vision has already mobilised 70 staff to work towards delivering assistance to thousands of the most vulnerable people in Beirut.

The World Vision office in Beirut is located on a hill some distance from the centre was slightly damaged as a result of the blast but remains fully functional.

World Vision has 15 local partners in Beirut and Mount Lebanon

World Vision Lebanon is planning to launch a response to assist the victims of the blast:

For the initial phase of the response World Vision aims to reach 120,000 people.
The initial assistance will include:

  • Basic needs (eg. food, household items, and hygiene supplies) for families who are now homeless and/or hosted in schools, and centers that have been set up by the local authorities.

  • Temporary shelter provision and short term shelter repairs for families that have had their homes damaged.

  • Psychological First Aid to help children and families affected by the explosion.

In 2019, World Vision's humanitarian program in Lebanon assisted 516, 557 people (including 296,382 children) through WASH, livelihoods, education, child protection sectors.
Over 446,388 people were reached through cash modality.

World Vision Lebanon is also implementing a COVID-19 response which is assisting 196,427 people (including 50,717 girls and 47,699 boys).

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U.S. Government Assistance to Peru: COVID-19 Response

Fri, 07 Aug 2020 22:27:47 +0000

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Countries: Peru, United States of America, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)
Source: US Agency for International Development

Please refer to the attached file.

To date, the U.S. Government has allocated more than $20 million in new resources to assist Peru in its emergency response to COVID-19. The aid continues a strong history of investing in Peru’s health care systems and long-term development, mainly through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Ongoing U.S. Government-funded programs and partners are also adapting activities to respond to this unprecedented crisis. Over the last 20 years, U.S. assistance to Peru totals more than $3.5 billion, including $265 million in the health sector. Emergency assistance comes from USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance, the Department of Defense Humanitarian Assistance Program, and the Department of State’s Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance.

NEW ACTIVITIES AND TECHNICAL SUPPORT

INTERNATIONAL DISASTER ASSISTANCE - COVID 19 SUPPLEMENTAL SUPPORT

Partners: Americares, World Food Programme, Save the Children, Socios en Salud, ADRA (Adventist Development and Relief Agency), and RET International

Total USAID/Washington (BHA) Investment: $7 million - Duration: July 2020 – January 2021

Six new grants through the USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance will provide humanitarian assistance aimed at alleviating the impacts of COVID-19 in those communities most affected by the pandemic. This assistance helps alleviate strain on Peru's overburdened health system through disease surveillance and clinical case management, as well as access for primary care and mental health services for vulnerable populations through community based support, mobile medical clinics and medical teleconsultations. Activities also afford protective services to children and victims of gender-based violence. Finally, interventions will help reduce COVID-19 infection through the provision of basic hygiene supplies and clean water, and support for public health, hygiene and risk reduction communications campaigns. Target communities are those in seven regions where insecurity, limited health services and poverty combine to accelerate risk for COVID-19 transmission.

ALLIANCE WITH PARTNERS IN HEALTH

Partner: Socios En Salud, local affiliate of Partners In Health

Total USAID Investment: $2.9 million - Duration: April 2020 – April 2021

This Alliance supports aggressive contact tracing, community mobilization, and systematic screening and isolation to prevent community spread of COVID-19. The Alliance administers COVID-19 tests (with private funds) for the most vulnerable patients, provide medical teleconsultations, and activate a community health worker network to safely reach families in need of clinical and social support. The Alliance is also improving oxygen generation capabilities, severe case management capacity, and infection prevention and control in health facilities prioritized by Peru’s Ministry of Health. The investment mobilizes private contributions, including over $1 million from Boston-based Partners In Health.

ALLIANCE FOR SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC RECOVERY IN THE PERUVIAN AMAZON

Partners: CEDRO (Peruvian NGO) and Rainforest Foundation (U.S.-based NGO and sub-partner)

Total USAID Investment: $3 million - Duration: May 2020 – May 2022

This Alliance helps mitigate the adverse impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on vulnerable populations, particularly in indigenous communities and other vulnerable areas in the Amazon. Leveraging local private partners, the activity mobilizes community health promoters, deploys a risk communication and community engagement strategy, and expands community-based psychosocial services. The Alliance also addresses economic recovery by providing business development assistance to micro-, small- and medium-sized entrepreneurs and expanding access to credit for business expansion.

COVID-19 SUPPLEMENTAL FUNDING

Partners: International Organization for Migration (IOM) and UN Fund for Children (UNICEF)

Total State/Population, Refugees and Migration Bureau Investment: $415,000 IOM / $130,000 UNICEF

These funds support COVID-19 related needs for refugees, migrant, and host communities, expanding the ongoing work of international organizations with a longtime partnership in Peru.

ECONOMIC SUPPORT FOR VULNERABLE VENEZUELANS

Partner: Acción Contra el Hambre

Total USAID Investment: $250,000 - Duration: May - June 2020

This short-term project helped mitigate the economic impacts of the COVID-19 quarantine on Venezuelan migrants and refugees in Lima. The grant boosted household budgets through access to basic household items, and provided health information. Through an extensive volunteer network, the project assisted 4,200 Venezuelan families and nearly 16,800 people in one month.

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