Your search found 41 Results

  1. 1
    372967

    Nutrition security in Haiti: pre- and post earthquake conditions and the way forward.

    Bassett L

    [Washington, D.C.], World Bank, 2010 Jun. 4 p. (en breve No. 157)

    Children in Haiti are born into some of the harshest conditions on the planet, and are left at a disadvantage in terms of growth, development, and potential to thrive. Malnutrition rates in Haiti are among the worst in the LAC region. Nearly one-third of all children under-five suffer from stunted growth and three-quarters of children 6-24 months are anemic. Malnutrition takes a serious and irreversible toll, making children more susceptible to disease and death and compromising their cognitive and physical development, which results in low human capital and diminished lifetime earnings. Yet, scaling up ten key nutrition interventions in Haiti is estimated to cost only $46.5 million per year, which is less than 1% of Haiti’s total GDP. (excerpt)
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  2. 2
    349943
    Peer Reviewed

    Beyond despair--sexual and reproductive health care in Haiti after the earthquake.

    Claeys V

    European Journal of Contraception and Reproductive Health Care. 2010 Oct; 15(5):301-4.

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  3. 3
    323551

    The Cluster Approach in northern Uganda.

    Huber J; Birkeland NM

    Forced Migration Review. 2007 Dec; (29):72.

    The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) strongly believes that the Cluster Approach holds promise for improving the international response to internal displacement. The approach represents a serious attempt by the UN, NGOs, international organisations and governments to address critical gaps in the humanitarian system. We want this reform effort to succeed and to play an active role in northern Uganda to support the work of the clusters and improve their effectiveness. (excerpt)
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  4. 4
    323546

    Darfur debated.

    Cohen R

    Forced Migration Review. 2007 Dec; (29):55-57.

    Bruising debates within the human rights and humanitarian communities have centered on the numbers who have died in Darfur, the use of the term genocide, the efficacy of military versus political solutions and the extent to which human rights advocacy can undermine humanitarian programmes on the ground. Essential to effective planning in an emergency is knowing the scope of the disaster, the number of civilians who died, and from what cause. Yet in the Darfur emergency it has proved particularly difficult to affirm with any certainty the number of people who have perished and in what way. The principal obstacle has been the government of Sudan. Itself directly involved in ethnic cleansing, it has prevented compilation of credible mortality statistics. While the loss of life from the Israeli-Hizbollah conflict of 2006 was precisely determined, thus allowing families and communities to mourn, there has been a systematic effort by the regime of Omar Hassan al-Bashir to cover up the death toll in Darfur. The government of Sudan has claimed that only 9,000 have died. The UN, however, says that more than 200,000 have perished whereas Amnesty International estimates 300,000 (95,000 killed and more than 200,000 dead from conflict-related hunger or disease) and the Save Darfur Coalition, an umbrella group of NGOs, places the total at 400,000. (excerpt)
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  5. 5
    323543

    Gender and reform: Getting the right data right.

    Dakkak H; Eklund L; Tellier S

    Forced Migration Review. 2007 Dec; (29):42-44.

    The international community has been mandated to mainstream gender into humanitarian response ever since the landmark Beijing conference in 1995. The current humanitarian reform process provides unique opportunities to accelerate this integration. Taking gender issues into consideration in planning and implementing emergency responses is not only a question of protecting the human rights of the persons affected. It is also a means to make emergency aid more effective. It is thus natural that ensuring gender-sensitive responses should be at the heart of humanitarian reform. Gender has been identified as a crosscutting issue to be mainstreamed into the Cluster Approach. The IASC Task Force on Gender and Humanitarian Assistance has been transformed into an IASC Sub-Working Group (as of December 2006), expanding its mandate to become more operational. (excerpt)
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  6. 6
    323433

    Inter-agency agreement on mental health and psychosocial support in emergency settings [editorial]

    Inter-Agency Standing Committee Task Force on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings

    Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 2007 Nov; 85(11):822.

    Armed conflicts and natural disasters cause substantial psychological and social suffering to affected populations. Despite a long history of disagreements, international agencies have now agreed on how to provide such support. The Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC), established in response to United Nations General Assembly Resolution 46/182, is a committee of executive heads of United Nations agencies, intergovernmental organizations, Red Cross and Red Crescent agencies and consortia of nongovernmental organizations responsible for global humanitarian policy. In 2005, the IASC established a task force to develop guidelines on mental health and psychosocial support in emergencies. The guidelines use the term "mental health and psychosocial support" to describe any type of local or outside support that aims to protect or promote psychosocial well being or to prevent or treat mental disorders. Although "mental health" and "psychosocial support" are closely related and overlap, in the humanitarian world they reflect different approaches. Aid agencies working outside of the health sector have tended to speak of supporting psychosocial well being. Health sector agencies have used the term mental health, yet historically also use "psychosocial rehabilitation" and "psychosocial treatment" to describe nonbiological interventions for people with mental disorders. Exact definitions of these terms vary between and within aid organizations, disciplines and countries, and these variations fuel confusion. The guidelines' reference to mental health and psychosocial support serves to unite a broad group of actors and communicates the need for complementary supports. (excerpt)
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  7. 7
    322610
    Peer Reviewed

    Gender, vulnerability, and the experts: Responding to the Maldives tsunami.

    Fulu E

    Development and Change. 2007 Sep; 38(5):843-864.

    This article examines the initial response by national and international agencies to gender issues during the aftermath of the Maldives tsunami, arguing that it was, in general, inadequate. Some agencies took a gender blind approach, ignoring different impacts on men and women, as well as the effects of complex gender relations on relief and recovery efforts. Other agencies paid greater attention to gender relations in their response but tended to focus exclusively on the universal category of the 'vulnerable woman' requiring special assistance, whilst at the same time ignoring men's vulnerabilities. This article argues that such language entrenched women as victims, excluding them from leadership and decision-making roles and as such served to reinforce and re-inscribe women's trauma. It is suggested that it is partly because of the nature of international bureaucracies and the fact that this disaster drew foreign 'experts' from around the world that the response neglected or over-simplified gender issues. (author's)
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  8. 8
    313041
    Peer Reviewed

    Exploring disparities between global HIV / AIDS funding and recent tsunami relief efforts: an ethical analysis.

    Christie T; Asrat GA; Jiwani B; Maddix T; Montaner JS

    Developing World Bioethics. 2007; 7(1):1-7.

    The objective was to contrast relief efforts for the 26 December 2004 tsunami with current global HIV/AIDS relief efforts and analyse possible reasons for the disparity. Methods: Literature review and ethical analysis. Just over 273,000 people died in the tsunami, resulting in relief efforts of more than US$10 bn, which is sufficient to achieve the United Nation's long-term recovery plan for South East Asia. In contrast, 14 times more people died from HIV/AIDS in 2004, with UNAIDS predicting a US$8 bn funding gap for HIV/AIDS in developing nations between now and 2007. This disparity raises two important ethical questions. First, what is it that motivates a more empathic response to the victims of the tsunami than to those affected by HIV/AIDS? Second, is there a morally relevant difference between the two tragedies that justifies the difference in the international response? The principle of justice requires that two cases similarly situated be treated similarly. For the difference in the international response to the tsunami and HIV/AIDS to be justified, the tragedies have to be shown to be dissimilar in some relevant respect. Are the tragedies of the tsunami disaster and the HIV/AIDS pandemic sufficiently different, in relevant respects, to justify the difference in scope of the response by the international community? We detected no morally relevant distinction between the tsunami and the HIV/AIDS pandemic that justifies the disparity. Therefore, we must conclude that the international response to HIV/ AIDS violates the fundamental principles of justice and fairness. (author's)
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  9. 9
    293629

    Longstanding nutrition programs provide tsunami disaster relief.

    Dasgupta K

    Global HealthLink. 2005 Mar-Apr; (132):8-9.

    HELEN KELLER INTERNATIONAL (HKI), a 90-year old organization with established programs worldwide that combat the causes and consequences of blindness and malnutrition, is focusing its tsunami disaster relief efforts on assisting survivors in Indonesia through two assistance activities with both immediate and long-term implications. These disaster response efforts are based on strategies and techniques that the agency already implements, capitalizing on its skills, expertise and experience. The most immediate threat facing the survivors of the earthquake and tsunami is the spread of water-borne and infectious diseases. Many of the survivors are displaced and living in accommodations with poor sanitation and hygiene, making them even more vulnerable to disease. Children are particularly vulnerable to disease and death in the aftermath of disasters, and diarrhea, pneumonia and malaria can become life-threatening problems. Yet, vitamin A and zinc &given to children under five years of age reduce mortality from diarrhea, measles and other causes by 23 percent to 50 percent, and lessen the severity and likelihood of contracting diarrhea, pneumonia and malaria by 30 to 40 percent. (excerpt)
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  10. 10
    306040
    Peer Reviewed

    Oceans of need in the desert: ethical issues identified while researching humanitarian agency response in Afghanistan.

    Michael M; Zwi AB

    Developing World Bioethics. 2002 Dec; 2(2):109-130.

    This paper describes the interventions by the International Committee of the Red Cross to support a hospital in Afghanistan during the mid-1990s. We present elements of the interventions introduced in Ghazni, Afghanistan, and consider a number of ethical issues stimulated by this analysis. Ethical challenges arise wherever humanitarian interventions to deal with complex political emergencies are undertaken: among those related to the case study presented are questions concerning: a) whether humanitarian support runs the risk of propping up repressive and irresponsible governments; b) whether humanitarian relief activities can legitimately focus on a narrow range of interventions, or need to broaden to address the range of challenges facing the health system; and c) whether sustainability and quality of care should be routinely considered in such settings. The paper concludes by highlighting the value of case studies, suggesting mechanisms for extending transparency and accountability in humanitarian health interventions, and highlighting the need for contextualising humanitarian work if the interventions are to be successful. (author's)
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  11. 11
    299288

    WHO offers health tools for survival - action plan for Horn of Africa - Brief article.

    Rutsch H

    UN Chronicle. 2000 Summer; 37(2):[1] p..

    The World Health Organization (WHO) on 9 June launched an action plan to save 13.4 million people in the drought-ravaged Horn of Africa from plummeting into a major health crisis. WHO said that even if the severe drought lifted, the people in the region, already worn down by natural and man-made disasters, would not be able to save themselves unless health was targeted. According to the agency, an investment of just $25 million would substantially reduce death and illness from preventable diseases and save thousands of lives in the seven affected countries: Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, the Sudan and Uganda. WHO's action plan aims to reduce the countries' vulnerability, improving the population's basic level of health by helping health professionals throughout the region improve the quality of what little water there is, combat severe malnutrition, and crack open essential access to basic health services such as immunization. The new plan includes community-based epidemic surveillance projects, which enlist local networks in reporting on disease out breaks, resulting in rapid diagnosis and response. (excerpt)
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  12. 12
    297669
    Peer Reviewed

    Children's rights in emergencies and disasters.

    Penrose A; Takaki M

    Lancet. 2006 Feb 25; 367(9511):698-699.

    The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is intended to guarantee children their inalienable rights in all circumstances. As indicated in the preamble, during natural disasters, when children are at their most vulnerable, these rights need to be enforced by the State and other parties dealing with the emergency in question. According to the World Disasters Report of 2001, about 66.5 million children were affected by natural disasters in every year of the previous decade, considerably more than in the decade before; while 10 million children were affected by conflict. Exactly how many children were among the 300 000 victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami of December, 2004, is not known, but an estimate of 100 000 is cautious. This figure would have been greatly reduced had more information and skills related to disaster reduction and response been available. (excerpt)
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  13. 13
    296296

    Annual report 2004.

    UNICEF

    New York, New York, UNICEF, 2005 Jul. 52 p.

    It was a natural disaster of unprecedented scale that elicited a never-before-seen outpouring of support and concern worldwide. An estimated 300,000 people across Asia and eastern Africa were left dead or missing and hundreds of thousands more displaced after the devastating earthquake and tsunami in the Indian Ocean on 26 December 2004. Children accounted for more than one third of the casualties. UNICEF's swift and effective tsunami response was rooted in its long presence in or near all of the affected countries. Within weeks, some 350 staff members had been deployed to provide relief, 300 from within the affected countries themselves. UNICEF's priorities were keeping children alive, caring for those separated from their families, protecting children from exploitation and abuse, and getting children quickly back to school. (excerpt)
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  14. 14
    296295

    Emergency field handbook: a guide for UNICEF staff.

    UNICEF

    New York, New York, UNICEF, 2005 Jul. [420] p.

    Since its inception, UNICEF has provided life-saving assistance and assured protection for children in emergencies - both natural and man-made. Guiding UNICEF's response in humanitarian situations is the principle that children in the midst of natural disasters and armed conflict have the same needs and rights as children in stable situations. Emergencies have grown increasingly complex and their impact is especially devastating on the most vulnerable. In health and nutrition, water and sanitation, protection, education and HIV/AIDS, UNICEF's Core Commitments for Children in Emergencies are not merely a mission statement - they are a humanitarian imperative. UNICEF will keep these commitments and ensure a reliable, timely response in emergencies. The Core Commitments also provide a framework within which we work with our key national, United Nations and non-governmental partners to provide humanitarian assistance. This handbook has been developed as a practical tool for UNICEF field staff to meet the needs of children and women affected by disasters. It is the result of extensive consultation. We urge you to use it as an essential reference tool and to share it with our key partners. (excerpt)
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  15. 15
    296555

    The strategy of humanitarian assistance.

    Kunugi T

    UN Chronicle. 1987 May; 24:[4] p..

    Recent studies on emergency and disaster relief have pointed to the need to further strengthen and improve the emergency-related capacities of the United Nations system and for arrangements for more effective use of those capacities. Nearly 40 per cent of the total United Nations resources during 1984 and 1985 were allocated to humanitarian activities, surpassing the percentage resources--some 34 per cent--for operational activities and other programmes in the economic and social sectors. Furthermore, in the past few years there has been a marked increase in resource allocation for humanitarian assistance around the world. In his book, The Quality of Mercy, William Shawcross says: "Humanitarian aid is often required because of abject political failure. It is neither intended, nor is it able, to resolve political crises that Governments have created or at least failed to address.' Referring to the Kampuchean operation, he states that one effect of such aid has been "to reinforce the political stalemate". Thus humanitarian aid does have political implications, with both pitfalls and constructive potential for facilitating a solution to an impasse. Because of ever-increasing humanitarian problems and such political implications, there is definite need for a new policy science of humanitarian assistance in the world today. (excerpt)
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  16. 16
    296559

    Wide spectrum of health issues addressed by WHO at fortieth session.

    UN Chronicle. 1987 Aug; 24:[3] p..

    Severe shortages of doctors and other health workers in some countries and an oversupply of health professionals in others were among the problems addressed at the fortieth World Health Assembly. Other topics of concern included: the global battle against acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), maternal and infant health care, diarrhoeal disease control, health education against leprosy, standards for food safety, and help for victims of drought and refugees. The 166-member Assembly, which has endorsed the World Health Organization (WHO) global strategy of Health for All by the Year 2000, also concluded that health was a shared responsibility which rested upon the individual, the community and the government and that the collective commitment of all concerned was required in order to secure adequate economic support for health-for-all strategies. (excerpt)
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  17. 17
    296264

    Voices of hope: adolescents and the tsunami.

    UNICEF

    New York, New York, UNICEF, 2005 Sep. 36 p.

    Defined as the second decade of life, adolescence is filled with great possibilities even in times of crisis, both for the individual child and for the community as a whole. Investing in adolescents is an urgent priority not only because it is their inalienable right to develop to their full potential but also because interventions during this period can lead to lasting social and economic benefits to the larger community. Time and again, adolescents and young people around the world have proved that they can provide innovative solutions in the midst of complex humanitarian crises. When given the opportunity to influence the plans and decisions that affect their lives, adolescents in emergency situations have spoken out against abuse or neglect, have joined hands with planners and managers in designing appropriate community programmes, and have initiated actions to support their peers. In each of these situations, they have brought their vision, idealism and sense of justice to the social agenda and have contributed to cohesion, peace-building and community reconstruction. At the same time, as experience from many countries shows, this participation has raised their confidence and self-esteem, given them citizenship and livelihood skills, and empowered them to protect their own rights. (excerpt)
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  18. 18
    296074

    A pivotal decade: 1995-2005.

    UNICEF

    New York, New York, UNICEF, 2005 Apr. [35] p.

    The past decade has seen UNICEF take the very best practices from its long and productive history and apply them in the service of today's children who live in a world previously unimagined. A complex world marked by intractable poverty, pervasive political instability, serial conflicts, HIV and AIDS. A world where there are few, if any, single causes, easy solutions or quick fixes. At $1.7 billion in 2004, UNICEF's income almost doubled in 10 years. The money, all voluntary contributions, was invested in programmes that prioritized early childhood, immunization, girls' education, improved protection and HIV and AIDS. Global progress on many fronts has been phenomenal: Mortality rates for children under five have dropped by around 15 per cent since 1990; Deaths from diarrhoea, one of the major killers of children under five, have been cut in half since 1990; Polio, once a deadly killer, is nearly eradicated; Measles deaths dropped by nearly 40 per cent; More children are in school than ever before; National laws and policies to better protect children have been enacted in dozens of countries. And, perhaps most profoundly of all, nearly every country in the world has ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child. (excerpt)
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  19. 19
    293047

    Niger: a famine foretold. Early UN appeals met only a belated reaction from donors. [Le Niger : la prédiction d'une famine. Face à l'appel lancé par les Nations Unies, la réaction de la part des donateurs a été fort tardive]

    Fleshman M

    Africa Renewal. 2005 Oct; 19(3):3.

    The seasonal rains returned to southern Niger in June, coaxing the green millet stalks from the dry earth and signalling an end, hopefully, to a food shortage that has left some 2.4 million Nigeriens — including 800,000 children — vulnerable to malnutrition. International relief workers have also started to arrive to distribute the emergency rations needed until the harvest is in. But neither the millet nor the aid came soon enough for Fassoma Abdoulsalam. The one-year-old died on 10 August, one of some two dozen children to succumb to malnutrition in the village of Birgi Dangotcho in the hard-hit Zinder region. It was not an uncommon tragedy in a country where malnutrition, child mortality and poverty rates are high even in good times. What distinguished her death was that the world knew it was coming almost from the moment of her birth, yet failed to prevent it. (excerpt)
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  20. 20
    281920

    South-Asian tsunami [letter]

    Zamperetti N; Bellomo R

    Lancet. 2005 Mar 12; 365:935.

    Just a few days before the tsunami disaster of Dec 26, 2004, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) published a document on the state of food insecurity in the world. In this document, FAO’s Director-General, Jacques Diouf, stated that 5 million children die every year because of lack of food. This means more than 400 000 deaths every month. In other words, since the tsunami tragedy, the world has silently witnessed a number of deaths which is nearly three times that seen on Dec 26, and which continues to increase at a rate of more than 13 000 each day. Now the risk is that the absolutely necessary and indispensable financial assistance for the victims of the tsunami tragedy will come at the expense of other funds set aside for assistance to countries affected by famine. (excerpt)
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  21. 21
    280139

    One world, one response-needed, but not yet forthcoming [editorial]

    Lancet. 2005 Jan 8; 365:95-96.

    Introducing a series on complex emergencies in The Lancet less than two months ago, we noted that Jan Egeland, the UN’s emergency relief coordinator on disaster reduction, was frustrated by the lack of attention being given to natural disasters by the international community. Now no longer, one presumes. The devastation wreaked by the south- Asian tsunami that struck on Dec 26, 2004, has kick-started an unprecedented global response. Unqualified human empathy has been translated into unrestrained public acts of giving and helping that have caught more cautious politicians unprepared. There are huge lessons here for all heads of state to learn, not least the need for a massive overhaul in the way nations respond to episodes of humanitarian crisis. In addition to those who have died, the numbers of people at risk of disease defy comprehension. WHO estimates that 5 million people are presently without access to basic services. Over 2 million people have been displaced from their homes. And 15 million children are either orphaned or separated from their families. (excerpt)
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  22. 22
    280047

    Global programmes.

    United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees [UNHCR]

    In: Global appeal, 2003. Strategies and programmes, [compiled by] United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees [UNHCR]. Geneva, Switzerland, UNHCR, 2003. 36-51.

    Ensuring equal rights and access by refugee women to all aspects of protection and assistance provided by UNHCR, is central to the Office’s refugee protection mandate. This policy commitment is grounded in international agreements and standards, such as the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, and the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). UNHCR employs various strategies to make good this commitment, including: elaborating policy guidelines and training materials; providing technical advice and support to operational units; pursuing consultations and partnerships with refugees, particularly women; piloting innovative approaches to empower refugee women; and monitoring and evaluating field-related activities. During the global consultations with refugee women in 2001, the High Commissioner made five commitments: the promotion of women’s equal participation in leadership and decision-making; equal participation in the distribution of food and non-food items; individual registration and documentation of refugee women; support for integrated sexual and gender-based violence programmes at national levels; and the inclusion of sanitary materials within standard assistance packages provided to refugees. These commitments continue to be implemented in practical and measurable ways. (excerpt)
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  23. 23
    280022

    Global programmes.

    United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees [UNHCR]

    In: Global appeal, 2004, [compiled by] United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees [UNHCR]. Geneva, Switzerland, UNHCR, 2004. 28-43.

    Promoting equality between refugee women and men and ensuring that refugee women’s rights are recognised and implemented as an integral part of human rights is at the heart of UNHCR’s policy to provide better protection and assistance to refugee women. This policy is also rooted in international agreements and standards, such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the Beijing Platform for Action, ExCom conclusions, ECOSOC resolutions and Security Council Resolution 1325. UNHCR’s approach to empowering refugee women is based on mainstreaming gender equality by placing it at the centre of policy decisions. Empowering refugee women through multi-sectoral activities will enhance the protection of their rights, their capacity to participate in decision-making processes and their contribution to the well-being of their families and communities. It will also help to ensure that they participate actively in the design of durable solutions for their communities, including peace-building through reconciliation and peace negotiation processes. To this end, UNHCR will provide support to country operations to build teams and networks that will ensure adequate protection and assistance to women and girls. UNHCR will build on lessons learned to give visibility to refugee women’s capacities and needs, integrating these elements into all stages of the programming cycle. In 2004, UNHCR will promote a broadening of responsibility and accountability for the protection and empowerment of refugee women. Leadership by senior mangement in headquarters and the field offices will also be emphasised. (excerpt)
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  24. 24
    280021

    West Africa.

    United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees [UNHCR]

    In: Global appeal, 2004, [compiled by] United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees [UNHCR]. Geneva, Switzerland, UNHCR, 2004. 116-120.

    In August 2003, 14 years after starting a rebellion against President Samuel Doe, and six years after his election as Head of State, President Charles Taylor of Liberia stepped down and left the country (heading for Nigeria, where he has been granted asylum). From its beginnings in 1989, the Liberian war was a poisonous source of regional destabilisation, spreading into Sierra Leone, Guinea and Côte d’Ivoire. Soon there was a flood of small arms into the region, feeding criminal organisations and rebel movements alike. Now there are high hopes that the situation in Liberia, and the rest of West Africa, can at last improve in the wake of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, the deployment of the West African peace-keeping force (ECOMIL), the cessation of fighting in and around Monrovia, the installation of a National Transitional Government of Liberia, and the deployment of a 15,000-strong United Nations peace-keeping force (scheduled for October 2003). There are high hopes in particular for the return, over the next few years, of the 320,000 Liberian refugees currently in exile. There are concerns however that in the absence of effective regional Disarmament, Demobilisation, Reinsertion and Rehabilitation (DDRR) programmes, fighters will simply drift into neighbouring countries in search of employment. (excerpt)
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  25. 25
    279900

    Southern Africa.

    United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees [UNHCR]

    In: Global appeal, 2004, [compiled by] United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees [UNHCR]. Geneva, Switzerland, UNHCR, 2004. 138-142.

    Southern Africa has witnessed a number of positive developments conducive to durable solutions for refugees in the region. However, the irregular movement of refugees and asylum-seekers from the Great Lakes region represents a series of serious political and humanitarian challenges for UNHCR. In Angola, the 2002 Peace Accord between the Government of Angola and UNITA (the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola) has held firm. The Government of Angola has committed itself to placing the situation of refugees amongst its national priorities. Returnees have been incorporated in the national reintegration plans alongside internally displaced persons (IDPs) and demobilised soldiers. This has created an environment conducive to mass repatriation, with 3.7 million IDPs and refugees returning home. Clearly, this massive population shift is predicated on a significantly improved humanitarian situation in the country as a whole. However, formidable constraints still prevail, including: the presence of land mines; the scarcity of potable water; lack of or poor access to roads/bridges and other infrastructure; weak local administration in remote areas; an acute shortage of social, health and education facilities; and a weak economic infrastructure with few business or employment opportunities. (excerpt)
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