Complex Emergencies!©2000

International Disaster Events

Updated: 2003 

This page contains critical  information for the Global EM Community

Post Changes or Corrections for this Page

   See Current Information  Below   




Disaster Archives

Droughts Emergency Alerts


International Civil Defense Organisation


Information Resources

Actions by Churches Together (ACT)

Current Global Emergencies & Disasters

Center for International Disaster Information (CIDI)

European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO) of  Disaster Preparedness

United Nations (OCHA) Emergency Reports by Country

International Emergency Phone Numbers

USAID Programs (Regions & Countries)

Current Global Disaster Maps

World Map Library -University of Texas

UN Commission for Refugees (UNCHR)

US State Department Travel Warnings

World Watch (Air Security International - Airports)

World Meterological Organization (UN)

International Y2K Alert

World Bank Disaster Management Facility.

The mission of the World Bank is to reduce poverty and improve living standards through sustainable growth and investment in people, and the agency believes that to do this, disaster prevention and mitigation must become integral parts of development planning. Thus, on July 13, 1998, the World Bank created a Disaster Management Facility (DMF) to provide operation support, promote capacity building, and establish partnerships with both the international and scientific communities to work on disaster issues. Contact: Alcira Kreimer, Disaster Management Facility, World Bank, Room F4K-282, 1818 H Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20433; (202) 473-3205; Fax (202) 522-3224; Email: or Margaret Arnold; (202) 473-1378  Email:




Location Information Last Update
Horn of Africa 

(IRIN 15 May 03) In East Africa, heavy rains have caused severe flooding, currently affecting Kenya, southern Ethiopia, and eastern Somalia. After several months of drought, rains have caused rivers to overflow and led to landslides, extensive damage to property and displacement. Media reports over 160,000 affected people and more than 70 people killed by floods.

(IRIN/CIDI) The UN Force Commander in Eritrea and Ethiopia has said there is no reason
why demarcation of the border between the two countries should not begin in July as scheduled. Major General Robert Gordon told a video-linked news briefing in the two countries that the military situation was calm. The Ethiopian government has defended its agricultural-led development strategy, the cornerstone of its economic policy for combating poverty. In a statement, the information ministry stated that “rural-centred development" is the key to breaking the cycle of poverty that is gripping country. But it also acknowledged that eventually it would turn to the industrial sector to reinforce economic growth in the impoverished country. Fears are mounting that survivors of the severe flooding in southern
Ethiopia, which has claimed about 40 lives, may now fall victim to disease. Humanitarian organisations said on Tuesday that many of the victims of the flooding had been weakened due to the preceding severe drought in the region. Tens of thousands of people were forced from their homes after the main Wabe Shebelle river burst its banks on 22 April, flooding lowland areas of Somali Regional State. The Ethiopian government has announced it will boost aid rations to combat the worsening food crisis in the south of the country. It says it will increase cereal rations in the worst-affected areas to the internationally recommended allowance of 15 kg per person per month.
Background (OFDA): Eritrea's ruling party has warned that peace with Ethiopia is "unravelling" and accused Addis Ababa of "sabotaging" implementation of an independent border ruling.  Eritrea and Ethiopia have been urged to keep up the momentum of the peace process, two months before demarcation of their common border is due to take place, diplomatic sources told IRIN on Tuesday. Ethiopia has one of the lowest amounts of water availability in the world, according to a major UN study released on Wednesday. According to the World Water Development Report, the country also has one of the poorest quality water supplies, with only 11 countries worldwide in a worse state. The US has launched a campaign to combat HIV/AIDS and other diseases in the Ethiopian military, it was announced on Tuesday. It will donate some 2.8 million Ethiopian birr [about US $325,000] to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS in the armed forces. The five year prevention and control programme will be carried out by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), working alongside the National Defence Forces of Ethiopia (NDFE). An international aid organisation in Ethiopia has announced it is stepping up HIV/AIDS awareness, as the country is gripped by drought, to ensure the virus does not further hamper relief efforts. Sudanese oil shipments to Ethiopia are expected to restart in April after grinding to a halt barely two weeks after deliveries began, an official at the Ethiopian petroleum ministry told IRIN on Thursday. Thousand of tons of imported oil came to a standstill just weeks after the first ever deliveries from Sudan to Ethiopia began arriving in late January, the official confirmed. He blamed the current six-week shutdown, which started in mid February, on the refinery run by the Sudan Petroleum Corporation which, he said, needed an overhaul. The UN's Emergencies Unit for Ethiopia (EUE) has warned of a new food crisis "in the making" because of a lack of planting seeds for farmers. See Food Emergencies

  15 May 2003

(IRIN/CIDI) Eritrea has rejected any notion of a dialogue regarding the border issue
with Ethiopia, saying the matter is closed and "hermetically sealed". Acting Information Minister Ali Abdu Ahmed told IRIN on Monday his government wanted to put an end to rumours circulating that there could be a dialogue on the border issue. Ethiopia has been unhappy over an independent border ruling, which specifically puts the town of Badme -
flashpoint of the two-year border war between the countries, in Eritrea. Addis Ababa has been seeking a review of the ruling and Ethiopian officials have indicated they may not accept the decision, which both sides agreed in their December 2000 peace agreement would be final and binding. In a statement read out to IRIN, Ali Abdu said the border decision issued by the Boundary Commission on 13 April 2002 "made it crystal clear that the case was put to rest once and for all". Since that date, the Boundary Commission has issued a series of reports rejecting Ethiopia's request for "variations" to the border line. Eritrea has denied reports of a planned meeting in Libya between President Isayas Afewerki and his Sudanese counterpart Omar al-Bashir. The Sudanese president visited Tripoli last week and there were reports in the Sudanese and foreign press that Isayas would meet Bashir and the Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Qadhafi in a bid to mend strained relations between
Khartoum and Asmara.   Full story at:  
Background: (OFDA): In May 1998, Ethiopia and Eritrea began a border conflict that lasted until June 2000.  As part of the cease-fire agreement, the United Nations (U.N.) established the U.N. Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE), a peacekeeping operation between the two countries.  UNMEE consists of approximately 4,200 troops and military observers, and currently has a mandate to operate through March 2002. The 1998-2000 conflict effected the Eritrean population severely, displacing a large percentage of the population, especially in the 'breadbasket' zones of Gash Barka and Debub.  Displacement of agricultural groups resulted in a 74% crop in grain production during the conflict. Landmines and unexploded ordnance remain a problem in both zones. Drought conditions over the last three years, particularly in the Anseba, Debub, Northern Red Sea, and Southern Red Sea zones, contributed to Eritea's humanitarian crisis.  In FY 2000, failure of the winter harvest in the eastern regions of the country created additional dependency on external food assistance.  As in other parts of the Horn of Africa, pastoralists in Eritrea suffered extensive losses to their livestock herds and other personal assets. There were 1,048,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) living in organized camps and host communities in Eritrea in 2001, according to the U.N. 2001 Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeal for Eritrea. Many of these were resettled during the past year, and by October 3 approximately 44,000 IDPs remained in camps and approximately 23,000 were living with host families, according to the Eritrea Information Coordination Center (ICC).  There are also 84,000 Eritrean residents of Ethiopia forced to move to camps and communities in Eritrea. According to the U.N. Appeal for Eritrea, more than 738,000 people, primarily in the Anseba, Northern Red Sea, Southern Red Sea, and Debub zones, were affected by drought conditions.  The drought- affected populations in Eritrea, many of whom are agro-pastoralists, have suffered from three years of failed crops, dwindling water resources and declining herds.  Food Emergencies

  17 May 2003

(IRIN/CIDI)  The Somali peace talks, currently under way in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, have entered their final and critical stage, Kenyan Foreign Minister Kalonzo Musyoka told delegates on Wednesday when he opened a plenary session of the conference. The minister appealed to the Somali leaders "to put your differences aside" for the sake of the Somali people. The talks, which opened on 15 October 2002, have been held up by wrangling over the allocation of seats to drafting committees and to the plenary sessions. Musyoka, who symbolically tabled the committees' reports, accused some factions of "blatantly" violating the cessation of hostilities agreement signed by the Somali parties on 27 October last
year. Under the terms of the agreement, the Somali groups undertook to suspend all hostilities for the duration of the peace conference. Since then there have been multiple violations, with fighting breaking out in the capital, Mogadishu, the towns of Las Anod in the northeast and Baidoa in the southwest, and in the Bari, Bay, Bakol, Gedo and Lower Shabelle, Middle Shabelle and Middle Juba regions. Peace talks to end conflict in the self-declared autonomous region of Puntland have become bogged down over the issue of power-sharing, sources in Bosaso told IRIN on Thursday. Talks have been under way in Bosaso, the commercial capital, since 10 May, between the Puntland administration of Col Abdullahi Yusuf and "the armed opposition" led by Gen Ade Muse Hirsi. But they have stalled "over the issue of power-sharing and the formation of a new cabinet", the sources said. The European Commission has approved a major project to support the second
phase of a nationwide landmine impact survey for Somalia. In a statement on Wednesday, the EC said it had allocated €1.5 million (US $1.73 million) to the project. The constitutional court of the self-declared republic of Somaliland on Sunday confirmed the incumbent president, Dahir Riyale Kahin, as the winner of last month's presidential election, local sources told IRIN on Monday. On 19 April, the Somaliland Election Commission (SEC) declared Kahin of the Unity of Democrats Party (UDUB) the winner of Somaliland's first multiparty presidential election, which was held five days earlier. The first batch of 2,880 Somali refugees who have been accommodated at Dadaab and Kakuma camps in northern Kenya, this week began returning to Somalia, more than a decade after they fled their war-torn country.  Background (OFDA): A complex emergency continues in Somalia for the eleventh consecutive year.  Since the fall of Siad Barre's dictatorship in 1991, Somalia has lacked a functioning and internationally recognized national government and has suffered from inter-clan warfare.  Several regional administrations have been established and a transitional national
government was created in September 2000, but in each case the extent of authority has been limited or unstable.  Inter-clan conflict and the lack of a central authority has disrupted markets, damaged or destroyed infrastructure, and prevented the delivery of social services throughout much of Somalia.  Security issues have complicated response efforts in southern and central Somalia, with kidnappings, looting, and killings threatening both local and expatriate humanitarian workers.  In addition, three consecutive years of below-normal rainfall have produced drought conditions throughout most of the country, with the worst effects in the southern and northeastern areas. The UN Security Council has discussed better ways of implementing the UN arms embargo on Somalia, according to a press statement issued on Monday.  See Food Emergencies

  17 may 2003

(IRIN/CIDI) Talks aimed at ending Sudan's long-running civil war resumed in the Kenyan town of Machakos on Saturday, with the signing of a partnership agreement on administrative arrangements for a transitional period. The accord, signed by the Sudanese government and rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) outlined specific measures necessary for building up the humanitarian, security and development needs of southern Sudan during the first six months of the transitional period.The UN World Food Programme (WFP) this week said it had launched a new cost-effective way of providing humanitarian support to some 485,000 war affected people in southern Sudan, by using barges to transport emergency relief food along the Nile River. The launch of the cross-line barge operation will drastically reduce transport costs by as much as 60 percent, compared with airlifts, WFP said in a statement. Ten people have died in an outbreak of haemorrhagic fever in southern Sudan, the UN confirmed on Wednesday. According to Ben Parker, spokesman for the UN humanitarian coordinator in Sudan, there have been 178 confirmed cases of the disease which first broke out in the town of Ikotos, close to the Ugandan border. Scientists from the World Health Organisation (WHO) have been to Ikotos and nearby Imatong to gather samples in order to identify the disease.  Background (OFDA): For more than 19 years, the Sudanese population has been negatively impacted by war, famine, and disease, largely associated with the civil war between the Government of Sudan (GOS) and Southern Peoples Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A).  Since 1983, more than two million people have died from war-related events, and more than four million people have been displaced due to the continued fighting, raiding, and GOS aerial bombings. Sudan has experienced three periods of famine over the last 13 years; Bahr el Ghazal in 1988-1989 and 1998, and Upper Nile in 1992-1993.  Since 1999, GOS military operations aimed at securing oil drilling, exploration, and exploitation have further increased displacement in western Upper Nile. For more information see:  See Food Emergencies

 17 May 2003

Central/East Africa 

(2 June 2002) Africa has to act more decisively in stamping out the wars that blight the continent, the head of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) said on Tuesday. In a speech to mark the OAU's 39th anniversary, Secretary-General Amara Essy said it was imperative to find lasting solutions to conflicts across the continent. He said the new African Union - due to be launched in South Africa in July to replace the OAU - would give fresh impetus to promoting peace and security in Africa.

(IRINCEA) Intense fighting between the Palipehutu-FNL (Agathon Rwasa) and the Armed Forces of Burundi (FAB) erupted in the southern neighbourhoods (including Kanyosha, Kibenga, Kinanira and Musaga) of Bujumbura on Monday morning [4:00am]. Displaced populations of concern to the United Nations are have sought temporary refuge in the southern suburbs. IDPs are now congregating in significant numbers at the Petit Seminaire of Kanyosha, in Musaga, and the Pentecostal Church (Eglise pentecôtiste) in Kinindo. A large group of IDPs has also gathered to collect humanitarian aid at the
National Unity Monument in Vugizo (eastern suburb overlooking the capital). The government has [Friday 11 July] registered 15,000 displaced people from Kanyosha, Musaga and Kinindo (southern suburbs) temporarily relocated in the Burundi Life Museum grounds (Musée vivant). United Nations agencies in cooperation with International Non-Governmental Organizations (INGOs) have facilitated the delivery of BP5 (high protein biscuits) from the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), 7-day food rations from World Food Programme (WFP), non-food items from Catholic Relief Services (CRS), construction of (15) IDP shelters by the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ), water from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the International Rescue Committee (IRC), medical assistance by MSF-Belgium. Other assistance has been provided by Oxfam-Quebec and Arche de Noé.   Background: (OFDA) Conflict in Burundi has its roots in the division between the Hutu majority, representing 85% of Burundi's total 6.6 million people, and the Tutsi minority, who represent 14% of the population but have dominated the political, military, and economic arenas since national independence in 1962.  The current conflict in Burundi can be traced to October 1993, when members within the Tutsi- dominated army assassinated the first freely elected President, Melchoir Ndadaye (Hutu).  His death sparked widespread Hutu-Tutsi clashes where up to 50,000 were reported killed.  After Ndadaye's successor, Cyprien Ntariyama (Hutu), was killed in a plane crash on April 6, 1994 alongside Rwandan President Habyarimana, Sylvestre Ntibantunganya (Hutu) served as President until July 1996, when current President Pierre Buyoya (Tutsi) seized power in a coup.  Continuing conflict between Tutsi and Hutu forces has resulted in an estimated 200,000 deaths and more than 800,000 displaced at the height of the conflict.   
See Food Emergencies

  16 Jul 2003

(IRINCEA)  The Central African Republic (CAR) leader, Francois Bozize, announced on
25 April that he would step down as president after a transition period of between 18 and 30 months. "I gave myself the mission of saving the CAR people and presiding over the
transition and then I will step down," he said at a news conference in Libreville, the Gabonese capital. He was on an official visit to Gabon for talks with President Omar Bongo.
This was Bozize's first visit outside the CAR since he seized power on 15 March. Info at:  

  5 May 2003

(IRIN) The government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) announced on 25 April that the Cour d'ordre militaire (COM - Military Order Court) had ceased to exist.
In a statement, Justice Minister Ngele Masudi said the mandate of the COM had expired at midnight on Thursday, 30 days following a decree signed by DRC President Joseph Kabila in mid-March 2003. According to the Kinshasa government, the COM is to be replaced by the Haute cour militaire, or Military High Court. Meanwhile, 70 prisoners were released on 25 April following an amnesty granted them by Joseph Kabila. However, DRC Chief Public Prosecutor Luhonge Kabinda Ngoy, who presided over the liberation of the prisoners, told IRIN that no one sentenced in connection with the trial for the assassination of Laurent-Desire Kabila, including 30 condemned to death, would benefit from this amnesty.Report:   
Background (OFDA): As mandated by the UN Security Council, troops from Angola, Namibia, and Zimbabwe have supported the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (GDRC) for the past two years. Uganda backs the opposition group Front for the Liberation of the Congo (FLC), headed by Jean-Pierre Bemba and based in Gbadolite, Equateur Province. Rwanda backs the RCD, headed by Adolphe Onusumba and based in Goma, North Kivu province.  Insecurity in rural and urban areas has restricted access to agricultural land, decreasing harvest yields and contributing to the food security crisis. Lack of access to traditional markets has discouraged farming. Poverty is widespread and the health care system has eroded due to a lack of resources and continuous looting by different parties in the conflict. People have low purchasing power due to the lack of markets and infrastructure. The World Bank estimated Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita at U.S. $78 in 1999. Widespread insecurity has resulted in limited private sector activities. President Joseph Kabila has attempted to address these economic concerns, however, the economy faces difficult circumstances. Women and young girls increasingly have turned to prostitution in the absence of other viable income alternatives, resulting in alarming social consequences, including an increased incidence of HIV/AIDS. All sides of the conflict continue to accuse each other of violating the Lusaka cease-fire agreement signed in July-August 1999, and the situation in the eastern provinces remains particularly precarious. See Food Emergencies

  5 May 2003

(IRINCEA) Heavy fighting between the Government Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) and the rebel movement Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) in the border town of Ganta at the Guinea, Liberia border, caused a massive influx of mainly Liberian refugees into Guinea around the Diecke, Ganta border point. Some 5,082 persons, including 4,963 Liberian and 40 Ivorian refugees were registered by authorities and assisted by the UN and partners in the Baala reception centre, located adjacent to the border crossing. As the UNHCR transferred all refugees to the Laine refugee-camp, the UN estimated that more refugees could continue to be hiding in the bushes around the border point, an area of which has been declared a "no-go zone" by the Guinean military following speculations that the AFL is planning to stage an attack into Guinean territory. All civilians have been requested to evacuate the subject area. Resumption of fighting between loyalist forces and rebels around Danane, Cote d'Ivoire on April 8-9 sparked a new wave of people entering Guinea at the N'Zoo/Guela border point in the Forest region in an attempt to escape the fighting. Between April 9 - 16, 2,160 arrivals were registered in the Guiela reception centre at the border, including 1,573 Guinean evacuees, 534 Ivorian refugees, 70 Liberian refugees and 27 Malians. Lower numbers continued to arrive later in the week. See Food Emergencies 

28 Apr 2003

(IRIN/CIDI) The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), has welcomed plans by the Kenyan government to allow refugees to live
outside camps. Home Affairs Minister Moody Awori said the government was considering the possibility of relocating some of the estimated 230,000 refugees from neighbouring countries to reside outside the camps, where they are currently living under difficult conditions. Awori said professionals such as teachers, engineers and accountants, would be given priority as they had capacity to be self-reliant, the East African Standard reported. He
said the measure was aimed at decongesting the camps and enhancing the human rights of refugees in the country.  See Food Emergencies

  5 May 2003

(IRINCEA) At least 2,300 rebel Ninja soldiers have surrendered with their weapons in
recent days in the Pool Region of the Republic of Congo (ROC), according to the communications department of the Congolese Armed Forces (Forces armees congolaises).
This followed a peace agreement reached on 17 March between the government in Brazzaville and the Ninja leader, the Rev Frederic Bitsangou, alias Pasteur Ntoumi, the military said. On Monday, 812 rebels handed their weapons over to military authorities in
Missafou, a small town on the Congo-ocean railway, some 110 km southwest of the capital, Brazzaville. Last week, between Wednesday and Friday, at least 1,500 rebels also surrendered in the town of Mindouli, some 200 km from Brazzaville.  See Food Emergencies 

  5 May 2003

(IRIN/CIDI)  The Rwandan parliament adopted a draft constitution on Wednesday expected to come into force in July, state-owned Radio Rwanda reported. All 68
Members of Parliament (MPs) present voted for the adoption. However, the draft proposition is subject to approval by a national referendum scheduled for 26 May. It provides for basic human rights and state organs such as the executive and legislative arms of government. The legislature would be made up of the National Assembly with 80 members and a 26-member Senate. In addition, MPs would serve five-year terms and the nation’s president would be eligible for election for two seven-year terms. The London-based human rights organisation Amnesty International (AI) criticised the Rwandan government on Tuesday for what it said appeared to be a "government-orchestrated crackdown on the political opposition", ahead of presidential and parliamentary elections due to be held later in
2003. The Rwandan government has rejected the allegation. Background (OCHA) Thousands of Rwandan refugees fled camps in eastern DRC to the ROC in 1996-97 following a rebel offensive led by Laurent-Desire Kabila to topple the then president, Mobutu Sese Seko. Among their numbers were former soldiers (ex-FAR) of the overthrown Rwandan government and the Interahamwe Hutu militias, believed to be largely responsible for carrying out the 1994 slaughter of an estimated 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and politically moderate Hutus. The Lusaka peace agreement of 1999 on the conflict in the DRC called for the handing over to the ICTR of combatants in that conflict who had participated in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. See Food Emergencies 

  28 Apr 2003

(OCHA/CIDI) In the past month, the LRA violence has been escalating in Northern
Uganda, worsening an already dire humanitarian situation and paralyzing further, the social and economic livelihood of the affected population. Since the cessation of the temporary ceasefire on 18th April 2003, the LRA attacks and violence seem to have been on an upward trend amid claims that they have been receiving fresh and continuous supplies of ammunitions, drugs and uniforms since late 2002. As a result, the people of the Acholi
sub-region have been plunged into a deep sense of helplessness.  Various initiatives by northern Uganda religious leaders, traditional leaders and peace building organizations have been undertaken for over a decade now, and yet the conflict continues to persist.  Many organizations are calling for some international intervention, with the hope that this may improve the situation in the Acholi sub-region.  See Food Emergencies

  10 July 2003

(OCHO/CIDI) The World Bank praised Tanzania on 4 April for making concerted efforts in poverty reduction, saying that its push to harmonise donor efforts in the country should be seen as a model for other developing nations. "What stands out is the strong government leadership in the whole effort," the World Bank country director for Tanzania and Uganda, Judy O'Connor, said. "The harmonisation between the World Bank and the United Nations system here in Tanzania should be seen as a model in terms of poverty reduction," she said.
Background (CWS): The Burundian refugee emergency in Kibondo began in early 1994 after an attempted coup in October 1993 that resulted into the death of the democratically elected president.  The ethnic violence that followed witnessed a massive movement of refugees into Tanzania. 

  15 Mar 2003

(IRIN) No Report

 15 Jul 2002 

(March 2002) Regional governments and partner organisations in West Africa agreed on 15
March to ratify a convention against child trafficking in 2004. The agreement was reached after a three-day meeting on cross-border trafficking in Gabon's capital, Libreville. 
BACKGROUND: Since 1990, sustained conflict in the Mano River basin has spread across borders and engulfed the region in a severe humanitarian crisis.  Civil wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone in the early 1990's led to the exodus of more than one million refugees to Cote d'Ivoire and Guinea over the course of the decade.  In addition to refugees, an estimated one to two million
people in the region were internally displaced at the height of the various conflicts. 

(IRIN/CIDI) Arrival of Guinean Nationals from Cote d'Ivoire by bus to Kankan IOM
reports that a convoy carrying 217 Guinean nationals returning from Guiglio and Tabou in Cote d'Ivoire will arrive to Kouremale on the Guinean-Malian border on 17/18 July. The Guinean nationals are transported on Ivorian buses. IOM Guinea will receive the busses at the border and carry out escort to Kankan where the convoy will be handed over to the
Guinean authorities. Emergency repairs have been made to the Zabara bridge on the route from Guéckédou to Macenta that collapsed on June 27th, enabling trucks to pass. While the repairs reportedly not are likely to last, WFP materials continue to be well stocked, and food deliveries to Nzerekoré have resumed. UNHCR reports that a convoy with 250 refugees is scheduled to leave Nzerekoré for Albadaria camps in the Kissidougou area on 17 July in
as part of the Kouankan relocation operation. The refugees will cross the Zabara bridge by foot for safety reasons.  Background: The crisis in Cote d'Ivoire erupted on September 19, 2002 to the surprise of the international community, and has lasted longer than initially expected. The situation in the west remains the most alarming aspect of the humanitarian crisis in Cote d'Ivoire. Steady outbreaks of fighting and violence have prevented access to the vulnerable populations there since late November, when the MJP and MPIGO rebel groups emerged. Civilians have been wounded and killed in the crossfire, and targeted by armed elements. Tens of thousands of IDPs are also believed to be in need of emergency assistance there. A recently established UN inter-agency office in the town of Man has begun providing aid to certain accessible populations, and is working on strategies to reach the others in need, and ensure the safety of humanitarian workers.  See Food Emergencies

  17 Jul 2003

(OFDA) Collapse of Zabara Bridge on road between Kissidougou and Nzérérkoré interrupts humanitarian activities in Forest region On Saturday 28 June a wooden bridge collapsed in Zabara, 45 km south of Macenta on the route between Kissidougou and N'Zérékoré. The accident involved a private lorry rented by WFP and two casualties were reported. WFP activities in Forest Guinea and UNHCR relocalisation of Kouankan refugee camp are temporarily suspended. The bridge is part of a National Road and the UN System in Guinea is examining possibilities of supporting the Government in reparing the bridge. Local authorities estimate that it will take at least two weeks to repair the bridge, after funding is secured. The route serves as lifeline for to the Forest Region where most humanitarian interventions in Guinea take place. Background(OFDA): Since 1990, sustained conflict in the Mano River basin has spread across borders and engulfed the region in a severe humanitarian crisis. Civil wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone in the early 1990's led to the exodus of more than one million refugees to Cote d'Ivoire and Guinea over the course of the decade. In addition to refugees, an estimated one to two million people in the region were internally displaced at the height of the various conflicts. Although Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone formed the Mano River Union economic pact in 1973, the conflicts of the past decade severely strained political and economic relations between the three states. A struggle for control of diamond fields in Sierra Leone has been at the heart of the crisis in recent years. Several failed peace accords and peacekeeping efforts, collapsed economies, and some of the worst human rights atrocities in recent history made this one of the world's most severe humanitarian crises. Although 2001 brought improved security to Guinea and Sierra Leone, an upsurge in fighting in Liberia continues to threaten the stability of the region. In 2001, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) estimated that 1.1 million of the 15 million inhabitants of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone were either internally displaced persons (IDPs) or refugees.

 10 Jul 2003

(IRIN) Guinea-Bissau government this week suspended the news editor of the state-run RDN radio station, Ensa Seidi, in what Reporters sans Frontieres (RSF), said confirms a worrisome pattern for press freedom ahead of legislative elections in April. Seidi was suspended last week for airing the return from exile of one-time prime minister Francisco Fadul. In mid-February, the most influential private radio station, Radio Bombolom, which the government believed was sympathetic to the opposition, was also closed. Guinea-Bissau has faced a political and economic crisis for months now. President Kumba Iala has responded to growing criticism by arresting those who speak out against it. Elections were called for 20 April after Iala dissolved parliament in November, accusing its members of sabotage. Background: Guinea-Bissau has been wracked by crises over the past four years, including an 11-month mutiny that ended with the overthrow of then President Joao Bernardo Vieira in May 1999 by a military junta. Presidential elections held in December 1999 and January 2000 were won by Yala, who secured 72 percent of the votes in the second round.

 16 Mar 2003

(IRIN) Ex-combatants continue to press for their salary arrears before the departure of President Taylor. These are the ex-combatants who fought in the civil war in 1990-1997 and have since been marginalized by the government. Systematic looting of houses at Brewerville continues as evidenced by a flood of new merchandise on sale at Duala Market, which includes items like bath-tubs and toilets seats. The National Council of Churches is
concerned about the deteriorating situation and continued loss of lives and the humanitarian situation in the country. They are urging the US President to commit peacekeeping troops as part of stabilization force together with political leadership and financial resources to help resolve the Liberian conflict. WFP continues with its food distribution around Monrovia.  A 'Committee on Food Aid' among the UN Agencies and NGOs on the ground has now been revitalized and operationalised, to coordinate the 3 sectors - Food, Health and Watsan services. EU has also shown a keen interest to beef up
these services to ensure that priority is given to camps that do not have water at all with support from the governments of the UK, Sweden and Norway due to the current acute shortage of water. There are also reports indicating that WVI is screening children for malnutrition because of reports of food insecurity in camps particularly among vulnerable groups. See Food Emergencies

  16 Jul 2003

(OCHO/CIDI) The Republic of Niger this week celebrated eight years of peace which
began on 24 April 1995 with the signing of the first of a series of agreements that ended a rebellion by Tuareg nomads in the north of the Sahelian country. The accord was signed in Niamey following mediation by Algeria, Burkina Faso and France between the state and the rebels. It was followed by an additional protocol signed in Algiers on 28 November 1997 and the N'Djamena Accord, initialled on 21 August 1998. They paved the way for the restoration of definitive peace and stability in the country. See Food Emergencies

  28 Apr 2003

(IRIN) Incumbent president Olusegun Obasanjo was declared winner of the 19 April presidential election on Tuesday after he secured 62 percent of the vote. About 32.9 percent of valid votes went to his nearest rival, Muhamadu Buhari of the main opposition All Nigeria People's Party. Local and international observers said the ballot was flawed by malpractices in several states, but most did not say the entire result was compromised. However, opposition groups said the vote was massively rigged and called for its cancellation as well as the resignation of Obasanjo. Some parties threatened that if that did not happen, there could be unrest. Obasanjo has dismissed allegations of electoral fraud, insisting the vote was free, and transparent. His ruling People's Democratic Party threatened to crack down on any uprising.  Background: Significant amounts of weapons have been impounded in recent months by Nigerian security officials on the borders with Benin, Cameroon, Chad and Niger. Obasanjo said weapons were not only delivered to criminals, but also used to arm people involved in ethnic and religious violence. The All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), based mainly in the southeast of the country, announced on 27 December that it had chosen the former leader of the short-lived breakaway republic of Biafra, Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, as its presidential hopeful. In 1967, Ojukwu, had declared southeastern Nigeria an independent republic called Biafra after a year of political crisis during which thousands of people from the southeast were subjected to pogroms in the north of the country. The civil war that followed ended with Biafra's surrender in 1970.

  28 Apr 2003

(OFDA) According to UNAMSIL, the security situation across the country remained
calm and stable during the reporting period. However, due to the fluid Liberia security situation and the recent arrests by the special court, security has been tightened up both within and along the border areas. The Special Court indictment of President Charles Taylor of Liberia and the resumed hostilities in that country have been an issue of concern affecting the country particularly the eastern border area.  Background (IRIN) estimated that 1.1 million of the 15 million inhabitants of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone were either internally displaced persons (IDPs) or refugees. In Sierra Leone, the war has claimed at least 20,000 lives and, at its peak, forced almost half of Sierra Leone's 4.5 million inhabitants from their homes. In 1999, the anti- government RUF, notorious for their human rights abuses, and the Government of Sierra Leone (GOSL)  declared a cease-fire and signed the Lome Peace Accord, officially ending the war. In November 1999, in support of the peace process, the U.N. deployed a peacekeeping force charged with providing security in GOSL- controlled areas.  In the meantime, former refugees and Liberians continued to enter Sierra Leone on foot at a rate of about 1,000 per week. UNHCR said there were now about 28,500 Liberian refugees in camps in Sierra Leone, some 7,300 in towns and an estimated 13,700 who had settled spontaneously in border areas. Sierra Leone's TRC has called on Sierra Leoneans on whose land evidence of mass graves and killing sites had been found not to return to their properties yet because vital evidence could be lost if they were tampered with. See Food Emergencies

  17 July 2003

March 16, 2003 (OFDA) About 15 million people in six countries in the region face hunger due to a combination of drought, political and economic setbacks and the impact
of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. 

(IRIN) Despite steady improvements in the humanitarian situation since the beginning of the year, pockets of emergency continue to exist, particularly in areas inaccessible to humanitarian organisations and where large numbers of IDPs are returning without adequate assistance or access to basic services. By mid-June, the number of persons in critical need in inaccessible areas and in areas cut off from humanitarian assistance due to poor roads and bridges and mine infestation had declined from a high of approximately 500,000 persons at the end of January to less than 100,000 persons. Partners continue to conduct assessments and expand access to these populations. Conditions also remain serious for approximately 36,000 demobilised soldiers and family members who are gathered in transit areas in 12 provinces awaiting onward transport to their areas of origin. The
rapid pace of return continues and according to Government authorities, more than 2.34 million have returned to their areas of origin since the cessation of hostilities in April 2002. This number increased rapidly following the end of seasonal rains in April and May and populations are expected to continuing returning in coming months. More details:  Background (OFDA):
Since January 2001, violence has escalated, resulting in new waves of internally displaced persons (IDPs). Lack of access to arable land and health care, shortages of food and potable water, and continued insecurity contribute to worsening conditions for those affected by the violence. The GRA estimates that more than 4.0 million people have been displaced since 1998.  On April 4, 2002, representatives of the Government of the Republic of Angola (GRA) and the National Union for the Independence of Angola (UNITA) signed a memorandum of understanding that ended the 27-year civil war and reinstated the1994 Lusaka Protocol. The agreement resulted in a new set of opportunities and challenges for the humanitarian community. Increased access to populations in need of humanitarian assistance and the availability of more cost-effective road transport of humanitarian supplies have been accompanied by continued influxes of internally displaced persons (IDPs) as people from previously isolated areas move in search of assistance, increased threats of landmines, and a rise in the need for humanitarian resources in the short term.  On February 22, 2002, Jonas Savimbi, who led UNITA for over three decades, was killed in battle with the GRA's Angolan Armed Forces (FAA). Savimbi's death marked a turning point in the armed conflict between rival liberation movements that began following independence in 1975. See Food Emergencies

 16 Jul 2003

(IRIN)  The Djibouti government's human rights record last year was poor and "serious problems remained", according to the US State Department's annual report. The report, covering 2002, said the ruling People's Rally for Progress had continued to dominate the political system and suppress organised opposition. Other human rights violations included the arbitrary or unlawful deprivation of life by the government or its agents. The report pointed out that country's judiciary was not independent and did not provide citizens with due process. The government had infringed on privacy rights, limited freedom of assembly and restricted freedom of association, it added. The government had also remained "antagonistic" to the formation of human rights groups. Violence against women had
persisted, "and, although the government prohibited such practices, the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) continued to be widespread".  See Food Emergencies

 14 Apr 2003

(IRIN) A recent report by the the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and
the Southern African Regional Poverty Network (SARPN) has warned that the explosive combination of food insecurity and HIV/AIDS could undermine agricultural development and stunt economic growth. The report found that young people were dying in "large numbers", leaving agricultural activities in the hands of the elderly. "This was a very big problem. Traditionally in Lesotho, when parents become elderly, they hand over their pieces of land to their children. But now their children cannot support them or work in the fields because they are sick and dying," Matseliso Mphale, the study's principal investigator, told IRIN.  Background: This is the third consecutive year of reduced harvests. WFP and FAO estimated that a total of 444,800 people throughout Lesotho would require emergency food assistance. See Food Emergencies

 28 Apr 2003

(IRIN) At least 20 people died and thousands have been affected by tropical
cyclone Manou which battered Madagascar's east coast last week. A humanitarian convoy carrying 4,500 kg of relief items reached the flood-affected Madagascan city of Vatomandry by boat, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said on Wednesday. The Malagasy Red Cross sent two water purification units, one capable of producing enough potable water to meet the daily needs of 10,000 people, essential drugs, hygiene articles, high protein biscuits, clothes, tents
and tarpaulin for temporary shelter. The aid convoy arrived in the city on Tuesday night. The World Bank has approved a US $32 million International Development Association credit to help Madagascar manage its mineral resource more effectively, so as to accelerate development and generate funds for poverty reduction, IRIN reported on Thursday. Background: The Indian Ocean island of Madagascar sank into political crisis in 2002 after a disputed presidential election in December 2001. While official no candidate won an absolute majority, opposition candidate and businessman Marc Ravalomanana claimed the poll was rigged and refused to take part in a run-off against long-serving President Didier Ratsiraka. Over the course of the year, Madagascar struggled with the fallout of the dispute, but emerged at the end of 2002 with a new government and pledges of financial support from donors to rebuild the country.

17 May  2003

(IRIN) Namibia's president Sam Nujoma has again said he won't be standing in the
2004 elections for a fourth term, The Namibian newspaper reported on Friday.
See Food Emergencies

  17 May 2003

(IRINSA) As South Africa prepares to commit three battalions of peacekeeping troops to Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo, a new report has called for greater transparency in the decision-making process guiding deployment. Black households are getting poorer in post-apartheid South Africa, says a recent study by the University of the Western Cape. According to the study, entitled "Staying Poor in South Africa", more than a quarter of all households remain trapped in long-term poverty, IRIN reported on Wednesday.

 17 May 2003

(IRIN) HIV/AIDS, more than drought conditions, has the potential for worsening Swaziland's continuing food crisis, a joint Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission by the Food and Agriculture Organisation and the World Food Programme has warned.
Background (OFDA):  The major causes of the current food security crisis in Swaziland include a poor 2001/2002 cereal harvest resulting from a mid-season dry spell at the critical maturing stage, two previous years of reduced harvests, low levels of grain reserves, and inadequate imports. On July 5, WFP announced a $2.1 million aid program to Swaziland would begin in the next two weeks.  Although the exact tonnage was not announced, the commodities will be shipped overland from the port in Maputo. See Food Emergencies

  15 May 2003

(IRIN) The Zambian cabinet has decided to sell a 51 percent stake in the country's state-owned Konkola Copper Mines to Sterlite Industries, an Indian company based in London. Information Minister Newstead Zimba said Sterlite would take over the running of the mine, abandoned by mining giant Anglo American last year, as soon as the details over payment are agreed in the coming weeks. "Sterlite has made a commitment to funding a substantial capital expenditure programme, thereby securing a long-term future for KCM and its workforce," Zimba said. Background (ACT): About 2.3 million Zambians are in need of food aid.  The security situation in Angola worsened during 2001 contrary to the International community expectations of an improved security and humanitarian situation. UNITA attacks on civilian communities increased from May, 01 when they attacked the town of Caxito resulting in over 60,000 people being displaced. Subsequent attacks followed and in June they attacked Kwanza Norte province forcing over 25,000 people to flee their homes. In Uige UNITA killed over 100 people and a further attack on a passenger train in August left over 200 dead. Zambia is hosting the majority of refugees from Angola, currently over 82,100 people. These refugees are settled in three camps, Maheba in the North Western Province of the country (55,534), Mayukwayukwa in the Western Province (24,270) and Ukwimi in the eastern part of the country (2,337). As a result of the continuous influx of new arrivals since September of 2000, the government of Zambia provided more land to the UNHCR for settling the increased number of refugees. Across Zambia, a decade of free market reforms designed to pull the economy into shape after 20 years of a welfare state, has seen the rollback of social services and deepening poverty. IRIN reported on how the lack of formal sector employment has led to a flourishing informal sector in the southern town of Livingstone. Human Rights Watch has criticised the lack of action by the UN Commission on Human Rights regarding alleged abuses in Zimbabwe. The rights group issued a statement at the end of the commission's meeting in Geneva last week.  See Food Emergencies

  17 2003

(IRIN) Zimbabwe's minister of trade, Samuel Mumbengegwi, has visited Brussels to attend a meeting of the African, Caribbean and Pacific group of countries, despite a European Union travel ban on Zimbabwe's government ministers, the BBC reported on Friday. The European Commission has provided a €13 million (US $14.9 million) humanitarian aid package to support vulnerable people affected by drought and food shortages in Zimbabwe, IRIN reported on Thursday.  Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has established a Land Review Committee to verify information contained in a land reform audit submitted to
cabinet recently, a government spokesman told IRIN on Thursday. The audit, conducted by the minister of state for land reform, Flora Buka, was intended to establish who owned Zimbabwe's farms at the completion of the government's fast-track land reform programme. The controversial programme was initiated to redistribute land, mainly from white commercial farmers to "indigenous" Zimbabweans. Malaria is worse than usual in Zimbabwe this year with many illegal gold panners among the new cases reported since the beginning of the year, IRIN reported on Wednesday. Zimbabwe's electricity crisis is set to worsen as the country does not have enough foreign currency to pay for power supplied by neighbouring countries, IRIN reported on Monday. State radio quoted Power and Energy Development Minister Amos Midzi as saying that negotiations were underway to avoid disconnection by suppliers who are owed about US $45 million.   See Food Emergencies

  17 May 2003


The ongoing tension between India and Pakistan in Kashmir has led to the withdrawal of families of U.N. and NGO staff from Pakistan.  Some NGOs report that they are seeking alternatives to suppliers, transport, and staff travel through Pakistan as a precaution. (6-10-02)

(OFDA)  Afghan and international human rights activists have welcomed the formation of a special commission by Afghan President Hamid Karzai to investigate the killing of the Afghan resistance leader, Ahmad Shah Mas'ud, in September 2001. However, they also called for broader investigations into past human rights abuses. "I think the new decree by
the government on investigating of the assassination of the late Mas'ud is a good beginning, which means that the government has this willingness to deal with past crimes," Ahmad Nader Nadery, an official of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), told IRIN in the capital, Kabul, on Tuesday. Following US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's statement in the Afghan capital, Kabul, on Thursday that the bulk of the country was now secure, and formal combat operations would cease, the aid community countered that Afghanistan was still dangerously insecure, and called on Washington to
improve security as part of its contribution towards reconstruction. The United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) announced on Sunday that serious human rights violations had taken place in Bala Morghab District in the northwestern province of Badghis, resulting from clashes a month ago between a coalition of factions and those of a local commander, Juman Khan. "According to reports, during the recent conflict in Akazayi
village, 38 civilians died, while 761 homes and 21 shops were looted," See Food Emergencies

  6 May  2003

(ACT) The current security situation is fairly stable due to the presence of the UN Peace Keeping Force (PKF), and no significant violence has occurred. Certain areas, especially the border region with Indonesia are, however, a constant test to security. The UN Security Council has reduced the number of troops in the eastern region of East Timor and raised the number of PKF troops in the bordering regions. 700 Japanese troops are currently
arriving as a large part of the UN Peace Keeping Force in East Timor. Since December 2001, large numbers of refugees are returning to the Republic of East Timor from refugee camps in West Timor, where they have been since their forced displacement in September 1999, (2 ½ years ago). They are facing a similar situation most Internally Displaced Persons faced when returning from the mountains and forests in October 1999 - total destruction.  (CWS) Since December 2001, large numbers of refugees are returning to the Republic of East Timor from refugee camps in West Timor, where they have been since their forced displacement in September 1999. Upon their return they often find what remains of their homes are occupied, their fields are have been left unattended; there is no seed for planting; they face severe food shortages and also have to struggle for social re-integration into their communities. Emergency relief aid is also no longer available, as most international and UN agencies have phased out of the emergency period into long-term rehabilitation.  Background: After 24 years of Indonesian occupation, the East Timorese people were given the opportunity to determine their own future by means of a referendum, which was held by the United Nations on 30 August 1999. After the announcement of the results the Indonesian military which backed and armed groups of militias, who were especially formed and prepared for this reason, started to burn, destroy, rape and kill across the land. Theresult of these actions was the destruction of 75% of the infrastructure in East Timor and the deportation of around 200,000 people to West Timor.


 8 May 2002

(OCHA) A severe cyclonic storm with a wind speed of more than 100 km/h occurred at 6.30 p.m. on 22 April 2003 in Assam's Dhubri district bordering Bangladesh. The storm lasted approximately 30 minutes. Eight villages in the Manchachar Haalsinghmari Sub-division in Dhubri district have been affected by the storm, namely Chirakhawa, Chirakhawa Topopara, Peepulbari part 1 and 2, Bhurakata, Baliabeel, Bengerbhita, and Baushkata.  According to the UNDP Office in New Delhi, 28 persons have been killed,
150 people seriously injured and 1,500 have minor injuries. Numerous people are still missing. 

 25 Apr 2003

(OCHA)   Deutsche Presse Agenteur reported on Tuesday (13 May) that a strong earthquake measuring 5.8 on the Richter Scale occurred on Monday (12 May) in North Maluku and North Sulawesi provinces at about 10:50 p.m. local time. The epicentre of the quake was 64km northwest of Ternate and nearly 300km southeast of Bitung, North Sulawesi, in the Maluku Sea. There were no reports of injury or damage. National Meteorology and Geophysics Agency (BMG) reported of an earthquake occurring in the seabed of North Sumatra measuring 5.0 on the Richter Scale, 54km from the town of Sibolga, on Monday (12 May) at 10.02am local time. BMG also reported a 5.5 Richter Scale earthquake in Sukabumi, West Java, which was felt in Jakarta at 14.40 local time, Bengkulu and Bandung. The Modified Mercalli Intensity (MMI) in Jakarta was II-III. There were no reported damage or casualty.  ACEH (Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam): According to local media reports, 9 GAM members and 5 civilians were killed during the week. Serambi reported on Tuesday (13 May) that some 300 people from 5 villages
in Samadua and Sawang sub-districts fled from their homes due to intense fighting between GAM and Indonesian security forces. More waves of displacements are expected to come about as confrontation between the conflicting parties escalates. (Background-OFDA):For many decades, Indonesia has experienced political conflict and ethnic violence in several regions of the country.  Since 1999, serious conflict and population displacement have occurred in the Moluccas, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Aceh, Timor, and Irian Jaya, exacerbated by Indonesia's political and economic crises.  Conflict in each of these regions has been fueled by resentments stemming from Indonesia's now-abandoned policy of transmigration, through which residents of Java and other heavily crowdedislands were re-located to less populated areas.  Other contributing factors to the conflict include a lack of resource distribution and real or perceived social inequities in past government policies.

 17 May 2003

(OFDA) During the reporting week, ICMC facilitated 6 meetings with representatives (42 people) of some 100 displaced families from Bulla sub-district on Seram Island, who are living in Ambon. These meetings are in preparation for subsequent meetings with the District Administrator (Bupati) and Social Department (Dinas Sosial) in Masohi town on Seram Island to seek ways for possible return and integration with the resident community. 

15 Apr 2003

(OCHO) HDC reported to OCHA on Thursday (24 Apr.) that the Joint Council (JC)
meeting scheduled to be held over the weekend between GoRI and GAM in Geneva, Switzerland, has been cancelled. Meanwhile, as quoted by The Jakarta Post on Friday (25 Apr.), Coordinating Minister for Political and Security Affairs Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said during a press conference on Thursday (24 Apr.), "The Government strongly condemns the irresponsible attitude of the GAM leaders, which will only ruin the peace process in Aceh". He added that the Government had instructed the armed forces to maintain security across Aceh to prevent the situation from worsening, giving a priority to the protection of civilians from renewed violence by GAM. Susilo, however, gave assurances that the decision did not mean the Government side was pulling out of CoHA. Meanwhile, referring to its press release on Friday (25 Apr.), HDC expressed its regrets on the cancellation of the meeting and would immediately propose a new JC meeting schedule and a venue to GoRI and GAM. The Jakarta Post reported on Wednesday (23 Apr.) that through a press release on Tuesday (22 Apr.), 40 social groups and NGOs have submitted
recommendations to the JC to save CoHA.  for Indonesia Landslides - Situation Report no 3 for the initial report on the floods in Sikka and East Flores district. Meanwhile, situation in Ende district after the landslides and floods of 31 March - 2 April has resumed to normal activities, except in the sub-district of Ndona where search and rescue teams are still looking for 17 missing persons. The total death in Ende has reached 13 people (12 in Ndona sub-district and one in Ende Island sub-district). The total number of displaced families is 223, 32 homes are destroyed, 56 homes severely damaged, and 135 others are slightly damaged. Many livestock were killed including cattle, horses, pigs and goats totalling the numbers to 492 animals. 15 schools in Nangapanda sub-district were reportedly damaged.

27 Apr 2003

(IRINCA)  With war in Iraq now underway, international aid agencies in Iran were working hard on Thursday to boost preparedness levels in the event of a refugee influx. About 1.3 million Iraqi refugees crossed the border into Iran during the 1991 Gulf War. "It is difficult to predict the number of Iraqis coming over into Iran, but we are preparing to provide humanitarian assistance," See Food Emergencies

 26 Mar  2002

(OCHA) Planning for the eventual re-entry to Iraq of humanitarian organizations is underway and an inter-agency meeting took place today at the Regional Humanitarian Coordination Office to work out the details. After a security assessment is conducted and security clearance given, inter-sectoral teams will undertake rapid humanitarian assessments on the humanitarian needs and, as soon as possible, establish bases in Iraq from where to start relief operations. The first locations to be assessed will depend on logistics, access and estimated needs of the population.

23 Mar  2003

(IRIN) The International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights (IHF) believes that
Ramazan Dyryldaev, the chairman of the Kyrgyz Committee for Human Rights (KCHR), is being sought by representatives of the Kyrgyz interior minister in the context of a campaign to discredit the KCHR. The case is significant in that it reveals that despite what the government tells the international community, it does not tolerate criticism. "Dyryldaev has
been harassed by Kyrgyz authorities for a number of years, because he documents violations of human rights standards and official corruption," Aaron Rhodes, the IHF executive director, told IRIN from Vienna. "There has been a long-term effort to intimidate and silence him and to thwart the work of the Kyrgyz Committee for Human Rights."
On 20 April, a landslide triggered by heavy rains and melting snow hit Kara-Taryk, a village of 215 people in the Uzgen District of Kyrgyzstan . The total volume of the landslide was estimated at 1,500,000 cubic meters. As a result of the landslide 38 people, including 22 children were killed, 53 people lost their houses, 16 houses were completely destroyed, while 48 households remain threatened by further landslides. The affected people have been temporarily accommodated with relatives and friends residing in neighboring villages.  UN Resident Coordinator's Office in Bishkek (tel.: 996 312 61 12 13).  Telephone: +41-22-917 12 34 Fax: +41-22-917 00 23 E-mail:  See Food Emergencies

27 Apr  2003

(OCHA) The DPRK Red Cross has revised its 5-year strategic work plan on the basis
of the comments made by the British Red Cross. The British Red Cross, who
are funded by DFID, are the main supporter of the program. Local Food Production, total output for May was about 5,700 mt, 20% higher than the monthly targeted production. The increase was due to the receipt of the Australian and ECHO wheat shipments, and the Caritas sugar contributions. Output on the west coast is still below target due to production problems. (ACT) Being named in 2002 as one of the countries in the so-called axis of evil by the US president, George W Bush, brought about an immediate political and diplomatic shift in DPRK's relationship with the US and its neighbors. Yet, behind the political posturing and brinkmanship being played out on the world's stage, lies the harsh reality of a country still reliant on food aid from the UN's World Food Program and other international humanitarian agencies. After years of crop failures, disastrous weather and an economy that is at best described as fragile and embattled, millions of North Koreans today rely on this food to stay alive.
Threats of nuclear re-armament by the DPRK government has only increased the isolation of this country, which is known as the most secretive in the world. However, stopping humanitarian aid will not break the political stalemate, rather, it will leave millions of people in a situation where they could easily slip back into a state of crisis. 

 18 Jun 2003

(IRIN) Thousands of victims from last November's earthquakes which rocked parts of Pakistan's Northern Areas are to be returned to where they lived and will receive compensation from the government. "The government will provide the complete infrastructure of roads and power, and help rebuild their homes," the public relations officer for the Ministry of Northern Affairs, Abdul Akbar, told IRIN in the capital, Islamabad, on Wednesday. UNOCHA:  See Food Emergencies

  6 May 2003

No Report

15 July 2002

(ACT) The second round of peace talks between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Tamil Tigers (LTTE) is presently taking place in Thailand. The first round of peace talks has given some assurance that normalcy will be restored and the people of Sri Lanka, in particular the Tamil community in the north and east, see a glimmer of hope. This is already leading to a cautious return by displaced persons to their places of origin. The ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka has blown out of all proportion since 1983 - years in which the entire Tamil community in the north and east of the country were severely affected.  Several military operations and intense fighting displaced many people and, while the more affluent were able to migrate to other countries, the financially and socially deprived had no option but to become internally displaced and live under very difficult conditions. Since the escalation of the civil war in 1995, people living in the so-called "unliberated areas" have had to live under an embargo enforced by the Government. Medicine, food, clothing and other essential items have been denied to these people.  The estimated number of displaced people in the southern part of the northern province of Sri Lanka alone is 354,000. This figure does not include the refugees living in camps in Tamil Nadu, India, neither those living in many other countries all over the world. Since the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding by the Sri Lankan Government and the LTTE in February 2002, the situation in Sri Lanka has been rapidly improving. Those people returning to their old homes find that their houses, school buildings, churches and temples, hospitals and shops etc. have been reduced to rubble.  An estimated 31,400 homes have been completely destroyed in the southern part of the northern province of Sri Lanka.

 4 Nov 2002

(IRIN)   Both sides of the civil war in Tajikistan used antipersonnel mines and these and UXOs remain a hazard in areas of the former conflict - located mainly in the central Tavildara region.  Only 7% of Tajik territory is suitable for agriculture, and there are a number of sites in the central area, which prior to the civil war were agriculturally productive but are no longer in use because of mine and UXO pollution. Stormy winds and torrential rains affected a number of districts of Sughd Oblast, 200Kms North of the Tajik capital Dushanbe on Friday, 6 June 2003. The First Deputy Minister of Emergencies notified OCHA early on the 7th of June, which activated REACT (Rapid Emergency Assessment and Coordination Team) mechanisms for assessment and response. The final figures for Penjikent and surrounding area show that there were 3 fatalities and 357 families (total population 2,047) experienced partial or total damage to
their homes. 156 houses were completely destroyed and 195 received serious damage, various sections of road, canal and electricity lines were damaged. 

  10 Jul   2003

(IRIN) In a further blow to Turkmenistan's human rights record, a coalition of international rights groups condemned the three-year sentence handed down to Turkmen environmental activist Farid Tukhbatullin on Wednesday. "We are united in our opposition to this verdict," Judit Arenas, a spokeswoman for the international watchdog group, Amnesty International (AI), told IRIN from London. "This is one case in which the five organisations are fully united in condemning the fact that an innocent man could be sentenced solely for expressing his beliefs."

 9 Mar  2003

(IRIN) Rights groups have strongly criticised a decision by the European Bank for
Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to proceed with its annual meeting and business forum in the Uzbek capital, Tashkent, on Sunday. The government of Uzbek President Islam Karimov has a poor human rights record, and activists maintain that the two-day meeting will send out the wrong message both domestically and abroad.

6 May  2003


(OCHA) State Council and a new government begin working in Chechnya. The State Council of Chechnya comprised of 21 members, including mayors of Grozny, Argun, and Gudermes cities, as well as heads of administrations of raions, held its first meeting on 21 June. The structure will function as an interim parliament, performing some legislative functions until a legislature is elected. The Council appointed Khussein Isayev, former head
of the territorial directorate of the Ministry of Property Relations of the Russian Federation, its chairman, and announced the composition of a new government of Chechnya. At the second meeting on 28 June, the State Council elected its governing bodies - the presidium and eight standing committees.

10 Jul  2003

(OCHA) Kosovo's post-conflict transition continued during 2002 with political
advances, improvements in security conditions and some progress on minority returns. But the impact of these improvements has been unevenly distributed and high levels of insecurity and pockets of extreme vulnerability remain, especially for minority groups. Strategic, coordinated and consistent support of the international community is therefore as vital as ever to assist all communities in Kosovo move past lingering hostilities and intolerance, while supporting the Kosovar leadership to advance human, social and economic rights, including strengthening the rule of law and creating conditions conducive for minority returns. Given general improvements in the humanitarian situation following the rapid return of the majority of refugees from the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the Mid Year Review of the 2002 CAP excluded the majority of projects originally planned for Macedonian refugees. As a result, the humanitarian objectives for the second half of 2002 were re-defined to include:  1) prevention of further displacement of minority groups by addressing basic assistance needs for the most vulnerable; 2) promoting the basic rights of security, dignity and access to livelihoods for remaining minorities and minority returnees and 3) maintaining contingency plans in case of further displacement into Kosovo, especially given the ongoing volatility in the neighboring former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

10 Apr  2003

(WFP) The US Administration stated that US aid to FR Yugoslavia (FRY) could be jeopardized if Belgrade authorities failed to enhance their co-operation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY). It is estimated that in the year 2002, around USD 40 million were provided by the US to FRY. Prior to granting any further
financial aid, the US Administration is evaluating the progress FRY authorities have made in their co-operation with ICTY in 2002.  Background (CWS): In 2001, fighting between ethnic Albanian rebels and Macedonian security forces displaced more than 140,000 persons internally and throughout the region.  Some 81,000 fled to Kosovo, approximately 12,000 fled to the south in Serbia, and more than 50,000 were internally displaced, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reports. (ACT)  Inter-ethnic relations between Macedonians and the ethnic Albanians is one of the most complex issues in the political life of Macedonia.  It is a long-standing issue very often influenced by the situation in the wider region. During the last ten years, relations between the ethnic Macedonians and ethnic Albanians have been characterized as a 'relative alienation with elements of mutual respect'. According to the last census (1994), ethnic composition of Macedonia is as follows: Macedonians (67%), Albanians (23%), Turks (4%), Roma (2%), Serbs (2%), Others (2%). 

  27 Jan 2003

Middle East

 Background: 24 May 2000 was the last day for the withdrawal of the Israeli Army from the South and the Western Beqaa of Lebanon after an occupation that lasted 22 years. Since 1978, Israel had occupied 15% of Lebanon's total area (10,452km2) inhabited by half a million people. What was called the "Occupied Zone" is mostly an agricultural fertile land. However, during long years of devastating and destructive occupation, most agriculture fields were dried out or burnt. As resources declined dramatically, there was no way to initiate new resourceful projects due to the war. This compelled the majority (about 300,000) of the inhabitants to leave the region. Among those who stayed, some allied with the Israelis and either took up occupations in Israel or joined the Israeli supported South Lebanon Army (SLA). This region has thus survived all through the 22 years on those two major sources of income.
CHURCH WORLD SERVICE, Attn. Southern Lebanon Emergency Assistance, #6804, P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN 46515. Phone pledges or credit card donations: 1-800-297-1516, ext. 222. On-line contributions to: 
15 July 2002

(WFP) The Gaza Strip was brought under a strict closure policy by the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) during the second half of April. As a result, those Palestinians able to work in Israel have lost their livelihoods since they are unable to reach their work place. Humanitarian agencies were denied access to provide assistance except in the Northern part of the Strip. The closure is effective for commercial and humanitarian goods
entering Gaza including WFP commodities. There was an increase of military operations, incursions, curfews and restrictions during April, particularly in the West Bank cities of Jenin, Tulkarm and Nablus. Jenin residents were unable to reach their work for a period of two weeks during the month. Families particularly affected are farmers whose livelihoods depend on employment in the Jordan Valley area. The working environment for WFP staff became more unpredictable and stressful as the level of military operations increased. The lack of accountability displayed by the IDF for actions often involving international staff and infrastructures is of great concern and the recent escalation has prevented WFP staff from moving freely and entering areas, which are considered high risk. Other info: 

  17 May 2003


(OCHA/CIDI)  No Report Background: Since the second half of 1998 there has been an alarming increase in tensions in Solomon Islands between Malaitan and Guadalcanal people which has escalated into armed conflict and civil war. The roots of the crisis are complex and involve multi-layered geographical, historical and demographic forces. Land and land ownership are the fundamentals underlying the crisis which have been expressed as issues of ethnic identity and enmity. These issues have been compounded by a rapidly expanding population which has increased the pressures on land and social structures. Unequal development between provinces, difficulties in managing the national economy, and large scale exploitation of natural resources by powerful external entities without sufficient commensurate return in investment in local infrastructure, have also helped to create the crisis and fuelled profound dissatisfaction by indigenous landowners in many parts of the country.

15 Jul 2002

South and Central America

(OCHA) The landslide occurred on 31 March, in Chima, a gold mining settlement in the municipality of Tipuani, located 250 km from La Paz. The Government of Bolivia has made an international appeal for assistance and has requested UNDP to coordinate the assistance granted by donors for this disaster. )  WFP continues to provide food and non-food items to families affected by the 31 March landslide in the town of Chima, with overall assistance coordinated by the Departmental Government. A total of USD 218,937 has thus far been provided through the government, WFP, other UN agencies and donors. WFP is participating with USAID, UNDMT and others in the follow-up to a geomorphologic study, which concludes that Chima should be relocated immediately.

4 May 2003

(WFP) Heavy rains and river flooding in the city of Cali caused several deaths, affected more than 600 persons and destroyed 90 houses in the municipality of Venadillo in Tolima. Victims are being assisted by the Directorate for the Prevention and Response to Natural Disasters. Deliveries to 174,588 beneficiaries in the Tibú area were delayed as a result of the theft of 2,500 cases of vegetable oil by armed groups, which prevented the timely packaging of rations for distribution last week. The area remains prone to attacks. Trucks carrying government food for preschool activities were burned and two ICRC trucks with food and
non-food items were stolen. As a result of a massive displacement at the beginning of the month, 288 persons were settled in schools and the coliseum in the town of Tibú.
See Food Emergencies

  4 May 2003

(WFP) Rains continue in Haiti affecting thousands of people. On 31 May, the
Government declared the cities of Sud and Grand Anse emergency areas. According to the Direction of Civil protection, as of 3 June, 15 persons had been reported dead and 4,400 families affected. On 7 June, a meeting between all UN agencies will take place. Based on the information provided during the meeting, WFP will decide what actions to follow.

9 Jun 2002

(OCHA) According to the Instituto Nacional de Defensa Civil (INDECI), the
extremely cold weather has affected some 70,800 people in the departments
of Puno, Cusco, Moquegua, Huancavelica, Arequipa, Apurimac, Tacna and
Ayacucho. In view of the magnitude of the disaster situation, the Government of Peru has declared a State of Emergency for 30 days, and requested assistance from the international community. Emergency requirements are: medicines, medical supplies, basic relief supplies and food rations for the affected population and food, medicine, vitamins for livestock 
22  Jul 2002