Posts Tagged ‘Zentralafrikanische Republik’

Zentralafrikanische Republik: Drohende Hungersnot

Dienstag, April 8th, 2014

“1.6 Million People Urgently Need Food In The Central African Republic

By Countercurrents
8 April, 2014
Countercurrents.org

Photo: ©AFP/Sia Kambou
Displacement of families is affecting nutrition and employment

In the Central African Republic (CAR), overall, 1.6 million people are in need of urgent food assistance. As of late March, some 625 000 individuals were displaced due to conflict in the country. Unprecedented crisis in the country is devastating the economy and people’s ability to secure basic necessities. An assessment report by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) paint a grim picture.
The number of people now in need of urgent food is more than double the level estimated just over a year ago, in February 2013, said the report.
However, as of March 2014, only about one-third of the required funding is secured, necessitating incomplete food baskets and half ration distributions.
The two UN agencies in their report released this week warned that the country needed a long and expensive humanitarian operation over at least the next 18 months to stem the growing toll, and pave the way to rebuild livelihoods.
The UN agencies issued the report as they took action to help displaced and other conflict-affected families gain immediate access to food and cash while also preparing for a crucial planting season, which will help families produce food and income for the long term.
The report said widespread conflict since December 2012 has caused the destruction of livelihoods, loss of food and cash crops, livestock and crucial productive assets across the country.
The report (“Special Report, FAO/WFP Markets and Food Security Assessment Mission to the Central African Republic ”, April 7, 2014) said:
1. The country’s vital agricultural sector contracted by nearly 37 percent in 2013 and business-persons once managing most of the trade and transport activities have left the country. Agriculture, the backbone of the economy providing some 57 percent of GDP, was the hardest-hit of all sectors. This, coupled with a shortage of adequate vehicles, is severely affecting internal commerce, the availability of food and the import-export market.
2. Prices of most agricultural commodities are currently lower than their pre-crisis levels due to a depressed local demand which more than compensated for the sharply reduced supply. By contrast, prices of meat and fish are well above their levels of early 2013.
3. In 2013 the GDP of the country was 28.3 percent less than in 2012.
4. Imports from neighboring countries declined by 25.7 percent in 2013 and the movement of locally produced food commodities from surplus producing areas to deficit areas was severely restricted.
5. Commerce and transport sectors are currently a fraction of their pre-crisis levels. The onset of the rainy season is expected to disrupt the already inadequate road transportation network, limiting the window of opportunity for humanitarian interventions. Pre-positioning of agricultural inputs and food stocks is also becoming a huge challenge.
6. Prospects for the 2014 cropping season, beginning from March/April, are grim given the level of insecurity and lack of agricultural inputs.
A humanitarian system-wide Level 3 emergency response, whose immediate objective is saving lives and protecting livelihoods, was declared on December 11, 2013 in CAR.
Since early 2013, the people of the country have been facing serious challenges in accessing food due to reduced supplies, trade disruption and loss of purchasing power. Unemployment is rampant in all sectors, both formal and informal, and civil servants have not been paid for several months. Unprecedented civil conflict and insecurity have severely affected economic activity and devastated livelihoods in the African country.
There has been a drastic loss of dietary diversity, and a sharply reduced intake of animal proteins, which raises serious concerns for family nutrition and health, especially among children.

"First and foremost, we need to see violence stop. At the same time, we need to help save lives and rebuild livelihoods," said Arif Husain, Chief Economist at WFP.
The rainy season from this month poses a severe challenge to the already inadequate road network, threatening to make many places inaccessible by road and hindering pre-positioning of food stocks and agricultural inputs.
FAO’s two-pronged approach to improve food security in the CAR includes providing essential agricultural inputs such as seeds and tools to about 75 000 households in time for the planting period starting in April, and a comprehensive plan to help over 400 farmer groups and women’s associations recover their livelihoods and build resilience.
WFP is assisting 1.25 million women, children and men in the country. The UN agency provides food assistance to internally displaced people, nutrition support to malnourished children, pregnant women, nursing mothers and individuals with HIV/AIDS and emergency school meals for children.
But due to fund shortage vulnerable and displaced people were receiving half-rations with fewer types of food.
So far, FAO has distributed 12.5 tonnes of seeds. The UN agency is planning to distribute about 1 800 tonnes of seeds in mid-April to nearly 76 000 households. WFP plans to distribute food rations to the same beneficiaries to reduce the risk that vulnerable families will consume seeds for food or feed instead of planting them.
The 2014 lean season started at least two months earlier, exacerbating the strain on coping mechanisms of vulnerable groups.”

 

(Quelle: Countercurrents.org)

EU / AU: Waffenbrüderschaft

Dienstag, Oktober 1st, 2013

“EU will Militäreinsatz in Afrika unterstützen

Die Europäische Union ist bereit, die Afrikanische Union finanziell bei Militäreinsätzen in der Zentralafrikanischen Republik zu unterstützen.

Die EU macht die Finanzhilfe von den Details der Einsatzplanung abhängig.

Brüssel. Die Europäische Union ist grundsätzlich zu Finanzhilfen für einen von der Afrikanischen Union (AU) geplanten Militäreinsatz in der Zentralafrikanischen Republik bereit. Über die Höhe der Unterstützung sei noch nichts entschieden, sagte ein Sprecher der EU-Außenbeauftragten Catherine Ashton am Dienstag in Brüssel. Zudem sei die Finanzhilfe von den Details der Einsatzplanung abhängig. Die Afrikanische Union plant die Entsendung einer „Unterstützungsmission“ (AFISM-CAR) in die von blutigen Kämpfen erschütterte Republik.

Die EU sei „sehr besorgt“ über die Lage und „weit verbreitete Menschenrechtsverletzungen“ in der Zentralafrikanischen Republik: „Dies hat potenziell auch destabilisierende Wirkungen über den lokalen Rahmen hinaus.“ Die EU unterstütze daher (…).”

Weiterlesen…

 

(Quelle: Handelsblatt.)

Siehe auch:

Nicht im Blick der Öffentlichkeit: Zentralafrikanische Republik

Zentralafrikanische Republik: Wer schaut hin?

Montag, September 23rd, 2013

“Central African Republic: Population caught up in armed violence

19-09-2013 News Release 13/159

Geneva (ICRC) – The deteriorating situation in the Central African Republic and the humanitarian consequences for the population are deeply troubling. The current upsurge in fighting is the deadliest the country has experienced since March.

© ICRC/Boris Heger. Bangui. Some of the injured who were evacuated from the combat zone by the ICRC.

© ICRC/Boris Heger. Bangui. Some of the injured who were evacuated from the combat zone by the ICRC.

“Civilians are the primary victims of the violence,” said Stefan Bigler, who heads a team of staff members from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) that managed to reach the city of Bouca on 12 September. “The priority has to be to treat the injured and help families whose homes have been looted or burnt to the ground. In addition, dead bodies, which sometimes lie neglected on the ground, have to be buried.”

Entire neighbourhoods have been deserted in the city of more than 20,000 people. The inhabitants have fled into the bush, to relatives or behind the walls of places of worship, leaving everything behind. The ICRC has arranged for 13 seriously injured people to be transferred by air from Batangafo to the referral hospital in Bangui. Within one week, volunteers of the Central African Red Cross Society have collected the mortal remains of 30 people for identification and burial.

Most health-care centres are closed and people are almost entirely dependent on humanitarian aid. “In places far from the capital, access to care is extremely limited and needs are immense,” said Bonaventure Bazirutwabo, the ICRC’s health coordinator in the country.

In some areas the violence has made it difficult to reach the victims. Clashes on the road to Bossangoa delayed the arrival of ICRC staff for several days.

“All parties must refrain from committing any acts of violence against civilians or against medical personnel and facilities,” said Georgios Georgantas, head of the ICRC delegation in Bangui. “Humanitarian organizations must be able to work in safety so that they can reach and bring aid to all victims. People’s very survival is at stake.”

For further information, please contact:
Vincent Pouget, ICRC Bangui, tel: +236 75 64 30 07
Wolde-Gabriel Saugeron, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 31 49 or +41 79 244 64 05 “

 

(Quelle: ICRC.)

Global: Die wunderbare Welt des CO2 (Teil 1)

Dienstag, Dezember 4th, 2012

Klima_1.1

(Tabelle aus: United Nations Environment Programme: The Emissions Gap Report 2012, S. 16, 17
Download des o. g. Reports hier.)

 

(Quelle: United Nations Environment Programme: The Emissions Gap Report 2012)

Zentralafrikanische Republik: Vermutlich zu wenig Öl…

Donnerstag, Mai 5th, 2011

“NEW REPORT: LRA AND OTHER ARMED GROUPS COMMITTING GRAVE VIOLATIONS AGAINST CHILDREN IN CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict, IDMC Demand UN Security Council, Government of CAR, Donors Take Action

May 4, New York City – Children in the Central African Republic (CAR) are being abducted, recruited into armed groups and denied access to humanitarian assistance, according to a report released today by the Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict (Watchlist) and the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC). These violations, as well as attacks against schools and hospitals, have continued despite the fact that the UN Security Council identified them among the forbidden ‘six grave violations’ committed against children during times of conflict. These six grave violations are the basis of the Council’s protection of children during war.

The report, An Uncertain Future? Children and Armed Conflict in the Central African Republic, finds that the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) is still present and active in CAR, where it is abducting children. Abducted children are raped, used as sex slaves and forced to attack villages and kill others, including other children.

In the report, Watchlist and IDMC outline detailed policy recommendations and demand that the government of CAR, the UN Security Council and donors including the US and the EU, take specific actions to help children affected by armed conflict in CAR.

“Children are being abused and their rights are being ignored by the LRA, other rebel groups, and even by the government of CAR. The international humanitarian community at large is also failing them in their inability to monitor and address the situation properly,” says Eva Smets, Director of Watchlist. “We must protect and provide adequate support for these children.”

In January 2011, Watchlist and IDMC conducted a field mission during which a researcher held one-on-one interviews with former child soldiers, internally displaced children and their families, community leaders and teachers, security forces, and members of village self-defense militias.

“This report outlines the situation in CAR from the victims’ perspective,” says Laura Perez, Country Analyst for IDMC and researcher for the report. “We learned directly from the children and their families what is actually happening and how it’s affecting them.”

Specifically, Watchlist and IDMC found the following:
• Abduction: Not only is the LRA abducting children, using them as slaves and
soldiers, but those children who manage to escape from the LRA experience great difficulties returning to their families. They rarely receive much-needed assistance, such as psychosocial care, to heal from these traumatic events. These children also suffer an arduous journey home that often takes them as long as the time they actually spent in captivity.

• Recruitment: The absence of a functioning army has forced local communities to form self-defense militias to protect themselves from criminal gangs and foreign armed groups like the LRA. These self-defense militias admit to recruiting children as young as 12. The rebel group the Convention of Patriots for Justice and Peace (CPJP) is also recruiting children.

In addition, there are significant problems in the long-term reintegration of the children recently released by the Popular Army for the Restoration of Democracy (APRD). Without support programs allowing them to earn a living, these children are at risk of returning to armed groups.

• Denial of Humanitarian Access: Between restrictions placed on certain areas by the government of CAR, and the activities of the rebel group CPJP and the LRA, humanitarian assistance organizations and UN agencies are unable to access two conflict areas in the country. This means that no assessment of needs is being made and no assistance provided to the children living in these areas.

Smets says that it is a crucial time to work to remedy the situation. “The recent re- election of President Bozizé offers a unique opportunity for the children of CAR to reclaim their future,” says Smets. “If President Bozizé and his government are able to consolidate the peace process and mark a real end to the armed conflict in CAR, there is real potential for socio-economic development and stability. But, in order for this to happen, the international community must respond now and commit the necessary resources to help children affected by armed conflict in CAR.”

An Uncertain Future? lists specific policy recommendations for improving the protection of children in CAR and for strengthening the humanitarian response to their needs, including demanding that:

• The government of CAR:
o Instruct self-defense militias to leave their children at home;
o Train, equip and deploy troops to communities that have had to rely on self-defense militias to protect themselves;
o Negotiate a cease-fire agreement with the rebel group CPJP in order to restore humanitarian access to displaced communities living in zones controlled by the rebel group

• The UN Security Council:
o Encourage the government of CAR to do all of the above; and
o Request that the UN Country Team in CAR negotiate an action plan with CPJP to release all children from its ranks.

• The US government and the European Union:
o Urgently release funds to assist children formerly abducted by the LRA who are now in need of psychosocial assistance.

“What we want are more programs in CAR. We want people to respond,” says Perez. “The reason why CAR doesn’t have the same degree of humanitarian assistance as DRC is because CAR doesn’t get the same international attention. We want to raise the profile of the situation in CAR and the horrific conditions children face there.

For a full list of findings and recommendations, please request an embargoed version of the report.

# # #

Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict, established in 2001, is an international network of non-governmental organizations striving to end violations against children in armed conflicts and to guarantee their rights. As a global network, Watchlist builds partnerships among local, national and international NGOs, enhancing mutual capacities and strengths. Working together, we strategically collect and disseminate information on violations against children in conflicts to influence key decision-makers to create and implement programs and policies that effectively protect children.

The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) (www.internal-displacement.org) was established by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) in 1998, upon the request of the United Nations. It is a leading source of information and analysis on internal displacement caused by conflict and violence worldwide.”

 

(Quelle: The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre.)

Sudan: Schuldenerlass als ein Schlüssel für den Frieden

Dienstag, Oktober 26th, 2010

“Sudan’s debt may cost its peace

By Leslie Pitterson

With the knowledge that Sudan continues to face great obstacles to stability, Vice-President Ali Osman Taha used his appearance at the 65th General Assembly to encourage member states to help relieve his country’s $37.8 million debt.

Taha’s emphasis on the issue was not misguided; debt relief has played an integral part of peace-building in several African post-conflict states.

One such country is the Central African Republic (CAR), which was plagued by political upheavals throughout the 1990s and early 2000s. The World Bank announced last week that CAR had completed the debt relief process for the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Debt Initiative (HIPC) in just two years, a considerable achievement.

Mary Barton-Dock, the World Bank’s Country Director for CAR, said the Bank had “worked with Central African authorities on a number of reforms that allowed the process to move along at a steady pace.”

Barton-Dock stressed that HIPC has helped provide many poor countries with the ability to gain financial stability; the program is part of the World Bank’s wider emphasis on economic governance. She noted that Liberia, another post-conflict country, had its $4.6 million dollar debt relieved after completing HIPC this past June.

Nevertheless, getting through HIPC is no small feat. The program created by the World Bank for countries in overwhelming debt has often proven to be a challenge in and of itself. Twenty of the twenty-eight countries who are currently in HIPC have been in the process for the past ten years.

Groups including Jubilee USA, an American organization that advocates for debt cancellation in impoverished countries, have criticized the program. Jubilee’s Deputy Director, Melinda St. Louis, said HIPC stops short of offering developing nations the complete relief they need.

“While the debt relief received through the HIPC initiative is a very positive step forward for countries like CAR, the HIPC program has been problematic,” said St. Louis. “The economic and political conditions that the IMF and World Bank required of countries in order to reach the ‘completion point’ delayed debt relief for far too long and sometimes were harmful to the poor.”

Established in 1996, HIPC was an effort by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) to offer economic relief to countries the Bank has deemed have “unsustainable debt,” a debt that is one and a half times their annual export revenues.

At last week’s press conference, Barton-Dock said debt relief has proven to be a vital part of progress for CAR’s economy and governance. She emphasized that the World Bank saw their completion of HIPC as “an opportunity to underscore the importance of consolidating progress in order to avoid an unraveling of the situation.”

Even critics of HIPC agree that debt relief is key for post-conflict states to recover. Eric LaCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee told MediaGlobal, “Debt relief is an important part of development…[it] is more that aid, achieving debt cancellation is critical to achieving economic justice.”

In the buildup to last week’s Millennium Development Goals Summit, advocacy groups called on policymakers within the UN and the World Bank for an UN mechanism for debt arbitration.

When asked about the World Bank’s response to criticism of HIPC and calls for reform, Barton-Dock told MediaGlobal, “Frankly, I don’t think that is a subject we are going to be addressing this week.”

HIPC was last reformed in 1999 at the G8, when the World Bank agreed to lower the threshold for qualification, opening the program to a larger number of countries. However, the Bank still requires that countries work with them for three consecutive years before qualifying for the program. Sudan has not yet established this rapport and is therefore not part of HIPC, one reason why Vice-President Taha’s speech appealed directly to member states.

Barry Herman, Visiting Senior Fellow at the Graduate Program in International Affairs of The New School told MediaGlobal he is not surprised by the lack of discussion around foreign debt.

When asked what he expected to see from the UN on the subject, the professor said, “Not much beyond the standard annual debates in the General Assembly and in the Financing for Development process, which is to say talk without concrete action.”

But in the case of Sudan, time for discussion is running out. With the five-year peace agreement coming to an end and the January 2011 referendum on southern Sudan’s succession looming, many fear that unrest in the country could lead to another outbreak of war.

In his speech before diplomats and the international community at large, Vice-President Taha said debt relief would “eliminate many doubts” surrounding the country’s upcoming elections. If Sudan is to face a peaceful future, policymakers and critics alike may have to hope his assessment is right.”

 

(Quelle: MediaGlobal.)