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The President the Humanitarian Forum Dr Hany El Banna will be attending the High-Level Pledging Event for the Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen, taking place in Geneva on 25 April 2017.
Co-hosted by Switzerland and Sweden
With an alarming 18.8 million people in need of humanitarian or protection assistance, including 10.3 million who require immediate assistance to save or sustain their lives, Yemen is the largest humanitarian crisis in the world. More worrying, the conflict in Yemen and its economic consequences are driving the largest food security emergency in the world. Over 17 million people are currently food insecure, of whom 6.8 million are severely food insecure and require immediate food assistance.
Through the 2017 Humanitarian Response Plan, over 106 humanitarian partners have been providing coordinated assistance to millions of people across Yemen’s 22 governorates. We can avert a humanitarian catastrophe, but need US$2.1 billion in funding to deliver crucial food, nutrition, health and other lifesaving assistance.
The United Nations will hold a High-Level Pledging Event for the Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen. Co-hosted by the governments of Switzerland and Sweden, the conference will take place at the Palais des Nations in Geneva on 25 April 2017. The time is now to come together to prevent an impending humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen.
The General Secretariat of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and its humanitarian
partners continue their efforts to address current famine, whose impacts have begun to emerge
in Somalia and the Horn of Africa as a result of the severe drought caused by a few years of
rainfall threatening the lives of millions in the Horn of Africa. Somalia is on the brink of
imminent famine. More than six million people, Almost half the population of Somalia needs
urgent humanitarian assistance. The warning signs of this famine are very clear.
After three years of lack of rainfall, water and agricultural crops have been severely degraded
and drought has affected large areas of grazing land, causing tens of thousands of deaths of
livestock on which the population depends for their survival.
In the light of the need to intensify efforts and work jointly to maximize the contribution of
humanitarian efforts and to promote joint humanitarian action, the OIC, in partnership with the
Humanitarian Forum and the Islamic Charity Forum, and under the auspices of the Somali
federal government and with the support of United Nations bodies and with a large presence of
international agencies held an emergency humanitarian meeting on 11 April 2017 in Mogadishu
under the theme "Renewed commitment to prevent famine in Somalia" to assess the deteriorating
humanitarian situation in Somalia and to work to prevent the looming famine.
The meeting also aimed at strengthening partnerships between humanitarian actors at the
international, regional and local levels with the federal government of Somalia and donors to
mitigate the effects of drought, and improving the efficiency of the coordinated response and
assessing the magnitude of humanitarian needs and steps that could be taken to accelerate the
response immediately and in a coordinated manner.
The OIC chaired the meeting and the opening session was addressed by HE Mariam Kassem,
Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management of the Somali Federal Government,
Mr. Peter DeGlerk, Coordinator of the UN Office for Humanitarian Affairs in Somalia, and HE
Hisham Yousuf, Assistant Secretary General of the Islamic Organization for Humanitarian
Affairs. Representatives of the World Food Program, FAO, UNICEF and the Office for the
Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs of the United Nations in Somalia, as well as the Arab
league, States and the Informal Committee of Donors to Somalia had participated in the meeting.
Participants expressed their deep concern over the humanitarian disaster and the size of the
international response to the potential famine in Somalia, which brings to mind the famine
suffered by Somalia in 2011 which caused the death of about 260 thousand people, and warned
of the consequences of the slowdown in humanitarian intervention and the need for immediate
action before it is too late, especially if the current wave of drought is more widespread than that
which occurred in 2011, a large competition for human resources in light of the multiplicity and
depth of humanitarian crises especially in the region , and if there is a lesson learned from what
happened in 2011, it is the importance of time to take procedures before the situation deteriorates
to a famine.
He also called on the international community to redouble its efforts to alleviate the suffering of
those affected by drought and to raise the level of emergency relief so as not to exacerbate the
current humanitarian situation and to avoid famine. The priority should be given to the provision
of water, food and urgent health care.
The participants welcomed the announcement of the establishment of a Ministry of Humanitarian
Affairs and Disaster Management in the new federal government by His Excellency Mr.
Mohamed Abdulla Mohamed Faramajo.
The participants also emphasized the importance of working together to provide urgent
humanitarian assistance to the displaced and the entire affected population, especially those who
are still in rural areas, to stop the displacement movement and save thousands of lives.
The organizations that participated in the meeting expressed their commitment to provide
humanitarian assistance to those affected by the drought and pledged to work together to
coordinate and activate the efforts and commitment to work to prevent famine in Somalia and
alleviate human suffering and save lives.
The participating organizations has also confirmed their commitment to follow programs
combining emergency relief to prevent famine, at the same time, more attention and effort should
be given to finding sustainable solutions that would allow Somalia to cope with the impacts of
climate change and flood and drought cycles and to strengthen their resilience.
The meeting was attended by 150 participants from 85 local, regional and international
humanitarian organizations as well as participants from the guests and the media.
In several ways the situation is worse than in 2010-11 because (i) this is the third consecutive year of drought in the region and multiple years of diminished food production has exhausted people’s capacity to cope with another shock; (ii) the greater region suffers from chronic and intensifying conflicts, continued access constraints in some areas, rising refugee numbers and communicable disease outbreaks; and (iii) the drought is expected to worsen in the coming months, with low rainfall forecast for March to May – which is the main rainy season for pastoralist and agro-pastoralist communities in the current drought belt.
The drought has had a major impact on water resources, including on river flow levels and the availability of water for human and livestock consumption. In Somalia, the southern part of the Shabelle River has run dry, the Dawa River is drying faster the normal and the Juba River have reached very low levels. Most water points in worst-affected areas of the three countries are in near-dry status. Water supply for irrigated crop production has also been impacted as the drought extends over key river basins.
Widespread crop failures have affected farming and agro-pastoral communities in most of Somalia, southwestern Ethiopia and northeastern Kenya, where poor moisture conditions prevented planting and stifled early crop growth. Areas dependent on the Deyr / Hagaya / short rains are facing significant food shortages and are likely to remain dependent on markets until the next harvest in February 2018.
Although global wheat and maize prices continued to fall during the last quarter of 2016, the FAO food price index for East Africa has more than doubled in 2016. This trend accelerated into 2017, including increases of 30 to 40 per cent for maize and sorghum in localized areas of Somalia and a 75 per cent spike in the price of maize in Uganda.
Livestock are becoming increasingly weak, contracting diseases and dying at alarming rates, with catastrophic consequences for pastoral communities. Significant livestock deaths are reported in drought-affected areas of Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya, mostly affecting sheep and cattle. Livestock losses have serious impact on livelihoods; even if half of a herd survives, it will take a minimum of two to four years for pastoralist and agro pastoralist households to recover.
Terms of trade are declining sharply for pastoralists, contributing to rising food insecurity and malnutrition. Livestock prices are collapsing due to poor body conditions and extremely limited demand. Sheep and goats are selling for about one-third the normal price, and cattle and camels are sold at half their usual value. In Marsabit, the price of a sheep has declined by 90 per cent. Herders are being forced to sell their remaining assets for very low prices to afford food for their families – the price of which is increasing.
Household production of milk and meat is low and the price of milk and other dairy products has skyrocketed. This means protein-rich food is increasingly out of reach for vulnerable pastoralists. Food consumption patterns are deteriorating, with many households in cross-border areas reporting that they are skipping meals and eating less when they do eat. In Turkana 42 per cent of households skipped the entire day without eating. Research shows the close link between forage condition and child malnutrition, and highlights the importance of early livelihood interventions, such as livestock offtake and animal feed provision, to reduce malnutrition.
12.8 million people in Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya and Somalia face are severely food insecure and are in need of humanitarian assistance. Following the short-rain assessment in January 2017, the number of food insecure people in Kenya has doubled to 2.7 million compared to 1.3 million in August 2016. Some 5.6 million people in Ethiopia require food assistance this year. Nearly 3 million Somalis are expected to face Crisis and Emergency levels by June 2017, more than double compared to the previous six months. Severe drought, rising prices, continued insecurity, humanitarian access limitations, and depressed rain forecasts suggest famine is possible in Somalia in 2017.
Approximately 600,000 children aged 6 to 59 months in Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia will be in need of treatment for severe acute malnutrition in 2017 and this number is expected to rise rapidly. In Somalia, 13 out of 27 rural and displaced groups have Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) rates above emergency (15 per cent) levels. In Kenya three sub-counties (Turkana North, North Hor and Mandera) have GAM rates above 30 per cent – double the emergency threshold. Another six sub-counties (Turkana Central, Turkana South, Turkana West, Laisamis,
East Pokot and Isiolo) have GAM rates between 15 and 29 per cent.
The drought and the associated reduced access to water and sanitation has the potential to further exacerbate ongoing disease outbreaks and create new ones. About 15 million people will not have access to safe drinking water in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia in 2017. In Somalia’s southern regions and Puntland 3,113 cases of cholera have been reported in January 2017, which is significantly higher than the number of cases recorded over the same period in 2016. Although the cholera outbreak affecting 30 out of 47 counties in Kenya since December 2014 has been contained – except in Tana River -, there is a risk of new cases appearing in border areas due to scarcity of water and the movement of people.
Drought, economic shocks and conflict in the region have disrupted the education of approximately 6 million children in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia. An increase in school drop-outs and child labour has been observed across the region. In Somalia, more than 110,000 school-aged children enrolled in schools in drought-affected areas are at risk of being forced out of education. In Ethiopia, 578 schools have temporarily closed due to the effects of the drought, affecting nearly 228,000 students. In Kenya, 175,000 pre-primary and primary school children in ten counties are out of school due to drought.
The drought has triggered movements of families in search of grazing land, water and work, increasing the risk of family separation and tensions among communities over scarce resources. In the first three weeks of 2017 alone, more than 33,000 people were displaced due to drought in southern and central Somalia alone, including 3,000 who crossed the border into Ethiopia. In Borama, Somaliland, approximately 8,000 households (40,000 individuals) were newly displaced in January 2017. Children constitute the majority of the displaced population. The high number of people concentrating around water points increases the risk of sexual violence and exploitation. During the previous drought in 2010-11 the number of underage girls sold into child marriage in exchange for livestock increased as families struggled to survive.
Repeated cycles of climatic shocks, coupled with insufficient recovery periods, have limited household and community coping mechanisms. As a result, drought-impacted households have a higher propensity to deploy harmful coping strategies which may deplete their household assets, both material and human, further limiting their ability to mitigate future shocks and make productive investments which can break the cycle of poverty and humanitarian risk.
The Humanitarian Forum in cooperation with the Union of the Syrian Civil Society Organisations, Islamic Relief and the General Syrian Union held a workshop for exchanging experiences about the humanitarian and development work on the 17/18/19 of March– in Antakya.
The Humanitarian Forum holds these workshops as a completion to all activities and efforts of the Society Organisations, seeking concur efforts, exchange of thoughts, discussion of the latest innovative methods to advance the humanitarian and relief works, leading to coming out with the best results that will help all organisations in their future.
An elite in the fields of humanitarian, relief and society development, “Dr Hany El Banna, Dr Mohamed ElSousy, Dr Tarek Afifi and Dr Zeid ElRowny”, presented these workshops
The participants in the workshops were 75 organization and 80 participant from the Syrian Civil Society Organizations working in Turkey, inside Syria and Countries nearby Syria.
The workshops started with a welcome speech from the Union’s executive manager Dr Mohamed Saeed, followed by Dr Said Zenary briefly introducing the trainers, and then Dr Hany ElBanna talked about how the workshops will be divided. The workshops were divided into three different halls, but in the end, these workshops will meet again to discuss the outputs of each workshop.
The first workshop discussed projects management– by Dr Mohamed ElSousy:
The number of participants were 27 trainee, and it focused on three main points:
• Projects duration
• Framework and planning mechanisms
• Achieving sustainability and following it up
The second workshop was titled “From Relief to Development”– by Dr Tarek Afifi:
The number of participants were 28 trainee, and it focused on a number of points:
• Humanitarian work sector, and its importance
• The Development and analysing the development work in institutions.
• Philosophy of the development project
• Outputs, Standards while choosing the project, real needs, execution, follow–up and evaluation.
The third workshop discussed Funding Sustainability– by Dr Zeid ElRowny:
The number of participants were 25 trainee, and it discussed four main points:
• Governance for funding.
• Development of the mental picture in the institution
• Markets and the charity parties and their role in the funding sustainability
On the third day, was the general workshop “Ethics, Values and culture in the humanitarian and development work” presented by Dr Hany ElBanna to all trainees from the three workshops.
This workshop consisted of four session with short breaks, it discussed:
• Humanitarian character, principles and culture
• Partnership (commitments and principles)
• International Strategic thinking
• What ad where after this
And at the end of this workshop, the Union of the Syrian Civil Society Organizations signed a partnership contract with the General Syrian Union, which included several items:
1. Asserting their partnership, and the independency of each Union.
2. Reinforcing and executing partnerships in the media.
3. The partnerships must be to train and develop the abilities of both sides in Syria and Turkey.
4. Administration and organizational development between both sides.
5. Physical periodic meetings every 3 months.
6. Virtual meetings every month.
7. Each side must coordinate with the other side and represent the other in the regional and international forums, in case of absence.
8. Mutual invitations to attend the meetings, conferences and sessions.
The trainees did several projects that can be executed, and this was the output of this workshop and the previous workshops
Antakya’s leader and the Turkish centre for the Syrian and Turkish relationships gave a visit to the workshops, where they extended their thanks and appreciation for the exerted efforts done by organizers of these workshops. They listened to all questions and complaints of the participants, and promised to overcome these difficulties and support these efforts done by the Union of the Syrian Civil Society Organizations and its partners.
And at the end, Dr Khedr ElSotery, the General Secretariat of the Union of the Syrian Civil Society Organizations, honoured all experts, administrators and the contributors in making this workshop successful.
1. A support campaign to support and help the displaced Syrians in Al Waer.
2. Sign a strategic partnership between the Union of the Syrian Civil Society Organizations and the General Syrian Union.
3. The Union of the Syrian Civil Society Organizations had an agreement with Antakya’s leader, to organise the fieldwork concerning the Syrians living in Turkey.
4. The Union pledged to execute and fund the doable agriculture project (Mushroom Farm in Ghouta).
5. The Syrian Woman council, which will include all groups and organizations in the woman sector.
6. Psychological Support program for the Syrian woman.
7. A Database for the Syrians, that can give the organizations and the associations the information needed.
8. Teamwork and cooperating with seven international experts and an elite from activists and leaders in the civil work, about 80 activist and worker in the humanitarian field.
Attendees and participants expressed their satisfaction with the training program, hoping that it can be repeated periodically. Also, many of them said that this training program is the most important and effective program in 6 years.
The new United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres addressed the participants in the High-level Forum on Combating Anti-Muslim Discrimination and Hatred which was held on the 17th January 2017, at the ECOSOC Chamber of the UN Conference Building, in New York. In this message, the UN Secretary-General warned against the rise in anti-Muslim hate crimes and called for standing up against racial discrimination.
He highlighted the importance for drawing strength from the principles of unity, tolerance and understanding the value of cultural diversity.
“Discrimination diminishes us all. It prevents people – and societies – from achieving their full potential,” said Mr. Guterres in his video message.
“In times of insecurity, vulnerable communities that look different become convenient scapegoats,” he added, calling all of us to resist cynical efforts that try to divide communities and “portray neighbours as ‘the other’.”
We call on all our friends to join ” The Together Campaign ” and demonstrate our strength and unity in diversity.
23rd January 2017
The Humanitarian Forum (THF) welcomes all peace processes that endeavour to bring an end to, arguably, the most devastating crisis since the Second World War. We hope that these talks develop further previous peace talks initiated by the United Nations. THF, along with its partners, organised one of the first humanitarian conferences for Syria on 17 December 2011 in Cairo, with cooperation from UNOCHA Middle East and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Humanitarian Affairs Department and, a follow-up conference on 4 March 2012 at the League of Arab States in cooperation with OIC and League of Arab States’ Health and Emergency Department. Here the partners called for a coordinated humanitarian response from all stakeholders and emphasised the importance of involving the Syrian community at all levels. We expect efforts to fully implement a ceasefire across Syria and appeal for an immediate, unconditional and safe access for humanitarian agencies to reach the children and families who are still cut off from humanitarian aid across the country. According to the UNHCR, there are 15 besieged areas in Syria where up to 700,000 people, including an estimated 300,000 children, still remain trapped. Nearly 5 million people, including more than 2 million children, live in areas that are extremely difficult to reach with humanitarian assistance due to fighting, insecurity and restricted access. President of the Humanitarian Forum, Dr Hany El-Banna OBE stressed, “All means should be exhorted to bring an end to this devastating conflict. The peace talks in Astana need to be constructive and restore hope for the Syrian people along with a strategic plan for the future of their country. The Syrian people need to be involved in re-shaping their future and the return of refugees and internally displaced persons to their homes is paramount to a meaningful peace process. The last few years have been very saddening and I hope, starting with the Astana Talks, 2017 will become the year of peace”.