Tuesday 30th March 2021
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Summary of key security events across Nigeria's six geo-political zones

North-Central and South-West

1. Plateau. March 25, 2021, at 2015 hours, gunmen invaded Airport Staff Quarters area at Heipang community in Barkin-Ladi Local Government Area (LGA), firing gunshots and reportedly kidnaped two persons.

2. Benue. March 24, 2021, at 1830 hours, gunmen shot sporadically in an attack at a market at Abaji community in Kastina-Ala LGA, killing one person and injuring nine others.
The attack was later repelled by security forces who exchanged gunfire with the suspects.

3. Benue. March 27, 2021, armed suspected rival criminal cultists clashed at Odoba community in Ogbadibo LGA, killing three persons.

4. Benue. March 28, 2021, unidentified armed men stabbed and killed a woman in her residence at Otukpo town in Otukpo LGA.

5. Niger. March 22, 2021, suspected armed criminals reportedly killed twenty vigilante members and one soldier in an ambush at Kotonkoro village in Mariga LGA.

6. Niger. March 25, 2021, at 1630 hours, gunmen attacked and robbed motorists along Kontagora-Minna road near Rijiyan Daji community in Kontagora LGA, killing two persons.

7. Niger. March 27, 2021, troops of the Nigerian Army exchanged gunfire with suspected armed criminals who were riding on ten motorcycles near Shikira community in Rafi LGA, killing unconfirmed number of suspects.

8. Abuja. March 24, 2021, at 0200 hours, gunmen attacked, firing gunshots at Kiyi community in Kuje LGA and reportedly kidnapped four persons.

9. Abuja. March 25, 2021, at 0010 hours, gunmen invaded a residence at Senior Staff Quarters area in Abaji town, Abaji LGA and reportedly kidnapped a woman.

10. Kwara. March 22, 2021, at 1210 hours, suspected armed criminals attacked a church and a school at Sabo Oke area, Ilorin East LGA, over the use of hijab controversy in some schools. Some properties were also reportedly vandalised.

11. Kwara. March 23, 2021, six armed kidnappers invaded two poultry farms around Eyenkonrin area at Pampo community in Asa LGA and reportedly kidnapped three veterinary doctors. The kidnapped victims were released by their abductors on March 25, 2021.

12. Osun. March 25, 2021, armed kidnappers intercepted a vehicle along Ilesha-Ife expressway near Osu community in Atakumosa West LGA and reportedly kidnapped three persons.

13. Osun. March 28, 2021, at 0830 hours, suspected rival criminal cultists believed to be Aiye and Eye confraternities clashed at Kolawole area in Osogbo city, killing three persons.

14. Lagos. March 23, 2021, armed robbers in the early hours attacked and robbed motorists of their belongings around China Town in Ojota area and Tipper Garage by Ketu area along Ikorodu road in Kosofe LGA.

15. Lagos. March 25, 2021, at 1930 hours, suspected criminals attacked and robbed motorists in traffic of their belongings at Marwa bus stop inward Ajah, along Lekki-Epe expressway in Eti-Osa LGA.

North-West and North-East

16. Kaduna. March 22, 2021, gunmen in the early hours attacked, firing gunshots at Ungwan Lalle village in Igabi LGA, killing three persons.

17. Kaduna. March 22, 2021, gunmen attacked a clinic at Golgofa village in Jema'a LGA, killing one person and injuring three others. The attackers reportedly stole drugs and other medical supplies.

18. Kaduna. March 24, 2021, suspected armed criminals barricaded Dogon Dawa-Kuyello road near Ungwan Gajere village in Birnin Gwari LGA, killing six persons.

19. Kaduna. March 24, 2021, troops of the Nigerian Army killed two suspected criminals in a clearance operation at Buruku community in Chikun LGA.

20. Kaduna. March 25, 2021, suspected armed criminals shot and killed two persons in an attack at Ungwan Maje village in Birnin Gwari LGA.

21. Kaduna. March 25, 2021, gunmen invaded a residence at Kwama village in Giwa LGA, killing a man, as the manresisted an attempt to kidnap him.Page 7 of 12

22. Kaduna. March 26, 2021, at 1800 hours, gunmen intercepted a bus conveying some church members along Kachia- Kaduna road in Kachia LGA and reportedly kidnapped eight persons.

23. Kaduna. March 26, 2021, at 1200 hours, ten gunmen intercepted a vehicle at a roadblock along Kaduna-Birnin Gwari road near Buruku community in Birnin Gwari LGA and kidnapped five persons. Following the incident, policemen tailed and recued all the kidnapped victims after exchanging gunfire with the suspects.

24. Kaduna. March 26, 2021, suspected arms dealers driving in an SUV exchanged gunfire as they sighted security forces around Saminaka forest in Lere LGA, killing one suspect and one other was arrested with wound after the shootout. The security operatives recovered eight SMG rifles, one Beretta Pistol, eleven AK47 Magazines and Fifty rounds of 7.62x39mm live ammunitions from the suspects.

25. Kaduna. March 26, 2021, suspected cattle rustlers invaded Ladduga village in Kachia LGA and reportedly rustled thirty-two cows and ten sheep. Policemen later apprehended two suspects and recovered all the rustled cattle.

26. Katsina. March 26, 2021, at 1920 hours, suspected armed criminals attacked, firing gunshots at Kakumi village in Bakori LGA, stealing goods and other valuables.

27. Katsina. March 27, 2021, at 2100 hours, gunmen shot sporadically in an attack at Kwakware village in Faskari LGA, killing three persons and kidnapped five others. The attackers also stole foodstuffs and other valuables.

28. Katsina. March 28, 2021, at 1300 hours, gunmen attacked motorists between Ruwan Godiya and Sheme villages in Faskari LGA and reportedly kidnapped unconfirmed number of passengers.

29. Sokoto. March 24, 2021, at 1910 hours, gunmen attacked, firing gunshots at Tunga village in Illela LGA, killing three persons, including the village head. The attackers reportedly stole foodstuffs and other valuables.

30. Sokoto. March 24, 2021, at 2230 hours, suspected armed criminals attacked Nasarawa village in Sabon Birni LGA, and reportedly rustled cattle, and stole other valuables from residents. No casualty was reported.

31. Zamfara. March 23, 2021, at 1830 hours, suspected armed criminals shot sporadically in an attack at Farin Ruwa village in Maru LGA, stealing goods and other valuables.

32. Zamfara. March 24, 2021, gunmen in the early hours invaded Low-Cost area at Kaura Namoda town in Kaura Namoda LGA, shooting sporadically and killing two persons. One other person was also kidnapped.

33. Borno. March 26, 2021, troops of the Nigerian Army ambushed suspected Boko Haram militants near Askira town along Askira - Chibok road in Askira LGA, killing thirty-nine suspects. The troops recovered AK 47 rifles with four magazines and recued eight kidnapped victims from the militants. One of the rescued victims was reportedly injured.

34. Borno. March 26, 2021, troops of the Nigerian Army repelled suspected Boko Haram militants and exchanged gunfire with the militants at Damasak town in Mobbar LGA.

35. Borno. March 27, 2021, at 0555 hours, suspected Boko Haram militants reportedly detonated some Improvised Explosive Device (IEDs) at two transmission towers along Maiduguri- Damaturu road near Shuwarin village in Konduga LGA, vandalising the two transmission towers.

36. Borno. March 27, 2021, troops of the Nigerian Army exchanged gunfire with suspected Boko Haram militants along Chibok - Damboa road in Damboa LGA, killing nine suspects and rescued three kidnapped victims. The troops recovered arms and ammunition from the suspects.

37. Borno. March 28, 2021, at 1430 hours, suspected Boko Haram militants mounted an illegal vehicle checkpoint between Jigalti and Gajiram communities, along Maiduguri-Monguno road in Nganzai LGA. No further details were reported.

38. Yobe. March 22, 2021, suspected Boko Haram militants attacked Goniri community in Gujba LGA, two persons were killed, and several properties were burnt. The victims killed were reportedly accused of spying for the security forces. Page 8 of 12

South-South and South-East

39. Rivers. March 22, 2021, suspected armed criminals attacked some officials of the Rivers State Task Force on illegal street trading monitoring at Mile 3 area in Port Harcourt, injuring one person.

40. Cross River. March 25, 2021, armed kidnappers attacked and reportedly kidnapped a farmer on his farmland at Ifiang community in Bakassi LGA.

41. Delta. March 23, 2021, suspected rival criminal cultists clashed at Owhase and Ovwian communities in Udu LGA, killing three persons.

42. Delta. March 23, 2021, unidentified gunmen attacked a police patrol team at Ashaka community in Ndokwa East LGA, reportedly killing a policeman.

43. Delta. March 23, 2021, at 0400 hours, suspected rival criminal cultists clashed, firing gunshots at Ekakpamre community in Ughelli South LGA, killing one person and injuring one other.

44. Delta. March 25, 2021, at 0800 hours, residents of Obiaruku town in Ukwauni LGA mounted a roadblock along Abraka-Agbor road in Obiaruku to protest against the incessant attack on farmers by herdsmen in the area.

45. Delta. March 28, 2021, six armed robbers attacked and robbed some residences at Okuokoko community in Okpe LGA. The attackers also shot and killed a security guard.

46. Abia. March 22, 2021, gunmen attacked a police checkpoint at Abiriba town in Ohafia LGA, killing three policemen and reportedly stealing their riffles.

47. Abia. March 23, 2021, at 2200 hours, soldiers of the Nigerian Army in conjunction with policemen exchanged gunfire with suspected armed criminals around Ariaria Market area in Aba city, killing sixteen suspects in the shootout.

48. Anambra. March 23, 2021, at 1500 hours, four armed robbers ridding on a tricycle attacked and robbed passengers in another tricycle of their belongings along Onitsha-Owerri road near Electrical market area in Obosi town, Idemili North LGA.

49. Anambra. March 24, 2021, four persons were reportedly killed, and one other was injured in a clash between rival criminal cultists at Okija community in Ihiala LGA.

50. Anambra. March 28, 2021, at 0830 hours, gunmen suspected to be cultists shot and killed two persons around Eke Awka roundabout in Awka city.

51. Ebonyi. March 25, 2021, factions of the National Union of Road Transport Workers clashed at Nwekendiagu village in Ohaukwu LGA, killing five persons and vandalising properties.

*Big Picture series: Security situation in north to remain volatile*

In this note, we consider the outlook for the security situation across the north, where communal violence, banditry and Islamist militancy continue despite military campaigns

Military response

Poor economic prospects, climate change and desertification, and a weak state presence in the north have damaged livelihoods, led to food insecurity, and contributed to rising insecurity throughout the region. The security environment in the north-east has deteriorated significantly since 2010 as a result of a campaign by Islamist militant group Boko Haram. The north-west and north-central regions have seen spiralling levels of communal violence and banditry, and the emergence of local vigilante and self-defence groups. In addition, concerns are growing over reports of increasing links between bandit groups and Islamist militant groups.

Resource constraints have undermined government efforts to tackle the root causes of the violence, resulting in a primarily military response to insecurity in the region. In response, both Islamist militants and bandit groups have adapted and employed guerrilla-style tactics, implanting themselves in local communities, and establishing strongholds
in the region. Meanwhile, allegations of human rights abuses by security forces have undermined local support for the government and its counter-insurgency strategy.

Islamist militancy

Boko Haram in 2016 split into two factions, ISWAP and Jama'atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda'awati wal-Jihad (JAS), due to ideological differences. ISWAP went on to become a dominant threat in the north-east, attacking soldiers and military bases.

Meanwhile, JAS continues to demonstrate its resilience despite a large-scale Chadian operation against the faction in March 2020.

Although it has come under heavy military pressure in recent months, ISWAP maintains significant capabilities. The growing influence of hardliners has also seen changes in ISWAP's ideology and targeting patterns, fuelling a rise in attacks on NGOs and humanitarian organisations. ISWAP militants have reportedly specifically searched for NGO workers at illegal checkpoints and directly targeted aid-distribution operations in the past year.

ISWAP in recent weeks notably attacked and briefly occupied camps in Dikwa and New Marte, well-defended garrison towns in Borno state. Dikwa is home to more than 130,000 people, including 75,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs).

The UN compound and NGO workers were specifically targeted in the attack. The official death toll has not been confirmed, though at least six people were killed and five injured.

The ISWAP threat will increasingly hamper humanitarian workers' ability to operate in rural areas, while further attacks on garrison towns are likely in the coming year. ISWAP is unlikely to seek to hold the towns it captures, instead looking to acquire resources and weaponry. Nonetheless, these attacks will pose severe security threats to NGO personnel.

As risks associated with road movements grow, more and more missions will likely need to be transported by helicopter, reducing deployment options and straining resources.

Meanwhile, the extent of JAS's capabilities remains unclear. The faction has carried out large-scale, complex attacks, including on 23 February in Borno state capital Maiduguri. Nonetheless, JAS is likely to continue to prioritise attacks on "soft" targets, such as local communities and IDP camps. Although it has not singled out business personnel in its
rhetoric, individuals seen as collaborating with security forces will face threats of being directly targeted, and personnel in transit will be vulnerable to the growing frequency of roadside attacks.

Communal violence

Communal violence in the north-west and north-central regions in recent years has primarily been driven by clashes between largely ethnic-Fulani Muslim nomadic herders and usually Christian sedentary farmers. The conflict is at heart an economic one, fuelled by competition over land and water resources. However, it has increasingly taken on ethnic
and religious overtones, and led to escalating retaliatory violence along identity lines in the region. This rising violence has led to the emergence of local vigilante and self-defence groups. However, several of these groups have carried out attacks along identity lines, and some have engaged in other forms of criminal activity. Initial efforts to tackle rising violence have instead fuelled further insecurity, with the continued emergence of new armed
actors likely to further destabilise the security environment.

Bandit groups

Growing economic challenges, the ready availability of weapons, and the deteriorating security environment have seen a significant spike in banditry in the north-west and north-central regions in recent years. Although authorities periodically refer to both ethnic militias and financially motivated criminal gangs as bandits, they are distinct actors. The former are primarily motivated by fighting on behalf of their community, while the latter have no distinct ideological or political project and are motivated purely by financial gain. However, as vigilante groups in the region increasingly turn to criminality, the lines between these groups are becoming blurred.

Bandit groups in the north-west have attracted significant domestic and international scrutiny following a series of large scale kidnaps from schools since December 2020. Most recently, suspected bandits on 15 March kidnapped three teachers from a school in Rema (Kaduna state). They have also carried out opportunistic attacks targeting personnel
in transit on major roads in the region, such as the Abuja-Kaduna highway. They have at times targeted vehicles accompanied by security force escorts.

Several state governments in the north-west and north-central regions have previously tried to tackle banditry with amnesty deals. However, these have largely proved unsuccessful amid a lack of buy-in from bandit groups and key federal government stakeholders. In any case, this strategy appears to be losing popularity, with both the Kaduna state government and President Muhammadu Buhari having ruled out supporting further amnesty agreements in recent weeks.

The proliferation of decentralised armed groups will sustain a challenging security environment in the coming months. Many armed groups in the north-west and north-central regions operate independently, without any overall leaders and sometimes in rivalry with one another. As a result, militarily defeating or negotiating with such groups will be extremely difficult.

Alleged ties
Although details of ties between bandit groups and Islamist militant groups remain unclear, the potential for growing collaboration means that the evolution of these links will need to be monitored. JAS in July 2020 released a video alleging a link with an armed group in Niger state. The group also released unverified claims of involvement in the
abduction of students from a school in Kankara (Katsina state) in December 2020, which the authorities denied. These incidents highlight JAS's public style of expansion, which has involved multiple claims of allegiance from groups in the north-west and the Lake Chad region.

Ansaru - an Islamist militant group historically active in the north-west - and ISWAP have adopted a more low-profile approach to forging ties, focused on deeper integration with local communities. Ansaru has also reportedly offered weapons to bandit groups or sold them at below-market prices. This more discreet approach could be an attempt to
avoid attracting attention from the Nigerian military and foreign intelligence agencies.


First there was Pfizer, then AstraZeneca, now Moderna and Novavax. How do they differ? And which might you get?

1. Pfizer/BioNTech
Approved in UK, EU and US

Type Synthetic mRNA vaccine made from enzymes; sends "messenger" RNA into body with instructions on how to produce antigens.

Manufacture Cultured cell materials made by BioNTech in Germany, then sent to Pfizer in Puurs, Belgium to be formulated and bottled. Similar process in US; and rival French firm Sanofi also making doses.

Distribution From Belgium it goes to central NHS depots, then batches of 1,000 doses sent to hospitals and GP hubs where they are thawed from -70C.

Supply Some part of England including London have received less than others. Pfizer has cut supply while it upgrades Belgian factory. Enzyme manufacturing process can be less efficient at large volumes.

Delivery UK ordered 40m doses, but will not say how many delivered. Pfizer to make 2bn this year, with 200m for EU, 170m for US. Covax, a WHO initiative, bought 40m for low-income countries.

2. Oxford/AstraZeneca
Approved in UK and EU

Type A "viral vector" vaccine using common cold virus modified with "spike" protein to make it similar to Covid-19.

Manufacture Grown from cells infected with virus in "bioreactors"; then filtered and purified. UK plants in Wrexham, Oxford and Keele. Also in Netherlands, Belgium and Germany.

Distribution Can be kept six months in standard refrigeration. Is going to 206 hospitals, 50 regional hubs and 1,200 GP surgery hubs.

Supply Plants in Belgium and Germany have had production problems - biological processes are not always predictable. The UK Vaccine Taskforce noted "fill-finish" facilities in Wales where doses are filled in vials as signficant possible bottleneck, according to Dr Zoltán Kis, a research associate at Future Vaccine.

Delivery UK has ordered 100m doses, EU has ordered 300m, but firm will only be able to deliver 25m by end of March.

3. Moderna
Approved in UK, EU and US

Type MRNA vaccine made using similar process asPfizer/BioNTech.

Manufacture American firm has two main plants in US, and set up operations in Switerland, with Lonza, and in Sweden with Recipharm.

Distribution Must be stored at -20C, so specialist vaccination centres.

Supply Moderna had production delays with shortage of glass vials and rubber stoppers.

Delivery UK has ordered 17m doses with first 5m arriving from March. US has ordered 200m, and EU 160m. Covax is in talks.

4. Novavax
Phase 3 trial ended - not yet approved

Type A protein subunit vaccine, NVX-CoV2373, designed using part of Covid-19, and contains spike proteins produced by moth cells infected with genetically modified version of coronavirus. Also contains an "adjuvant", which enhances immune response.

Manufacture Has signed deals with manufacturers in Germany, Czech Republic, and Fujifilm Diosynth factory in Teesside. Some ingredients will be made in India, and adjuvants made in US, Sweden and Denmark.

Distribution Can be stored at refrigeration temperatures. Yet to be approved in UK.

Supply First doses not expected until March or April. US firm is smaller than other vaccine makers and has not delivered on this scale before.

Delivery UK has ordered 60m doses.

5. Johnson and Johnson
Phase 3 trial ended - not yet approved

Type Viral vector vaccine, similar to the AstraZeneca, using modified cold virus as a base.

Manufacture Firm has seven factories in US and Europe that will make 1bn doses this year.

Distribution Vaccine can be refrigerated, but not yet been approved in the UK.

Supply J&J is behind its original plan to deliver 12m doses in US by March.

Delivery UK bought 30m doses. J&J is due to deliver 100m doses to the US, 200m to EU and 500m to Covax.

Other vaccines UK has pre-ordered 60m doses each from GSK/Sanofi Pasteur and Valneva, which are in phase 2 trials.

• This article was amended on 12 February 2021 to remove a reference to a Janssen vaccine. As a subsidiary company, Janssen is developing the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.


Nigeria received nearly 4 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, shipped via the COVAX Facility, a partnership between CEPI, Gavi, UNICEF and WHO.

The arrival marked a historic step towards the goal to ensure equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines globally, in what will be the largest vaccine procurement and supply operation in history. The delivery is part of a first wave of arrivals in Nigeria that will continue in the coming days and weeks.

COVAX shipped 3.94 million doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII), from Mumbai to Abuja.

"The UN Country Team in Nigeria reiterates its commitment to support the vaccination campaign in Nigeria and help contain the spread of the virus," said Edward Kallon, UN Resident Coordinator in Nigeria. "The arrival of these vaccines in Abuja today marks a milestone for the COVAX Facility in its unprecedented effort to deliver at least 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines globally by the end of 2021."

The arrival of the CIVID-19 vaccine will enable the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) to commence the vaccination of Nigerians in priority groups, starting with frontline healthcare workers.

"This is a landmark moment for the country and the COVAX Facility's mission to help end the acute phase of the pandemic by enabling equitable access to these vaccines across the world. We are glad to see Nigeria is amongst the first receiving the doses from COVAX, thanks to the excellent level of preparedness put in place by the Government of Nigeria," said Thabani Maphosa, Managing Director for Country Programmes at Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. "Gavi looks forward to these vaccines being made available to the people most at risk, as soon as possible, and to ensuring that routine immunization services for other life-threatening infections are also delivered to avoid other disease outbreaks."

Dr Walter Kazadi Mulombo, WHO Representative in Nigeria, said: "It is heart-warming to witness this epoch-making event and WHO wishes to congratulate the government of Nigeria for its participation in the global vaccine collaboration (COVAX) efforts and its commitment to protecting Nigerians against this pandemic.

According to him, "Vaccines are a critical new tool in the battle against COVID-19; therefore, this is a step in the right direction. These vaccines have undergone rigorous regulatory processes at global and country level and have been deemed safe and effective."

The COVAX Facility is expected to deliver around 90 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to the African Region in the first quarter of 2021 and has committed to providing up to 600 million doses to the region by end-2021 to cover 20 per cent of the population.

"After a year of disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, today we celebrate the efforts being made in getting the vaccine to Nigeria. With more than 150,000 Nigerians infected with the virus and over 1,800 lives lost, the path to recovery for the people of Nigeria can finally begin," said Peter Hawkins, UNICEF Nigeria Country Representative.

"This is a very significant occasion - the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccines into Nigeria is critical in curbing the pandemic. The only way out of this crisis is to ensure that vaccinations are available to all."

The COVAX Facility thanks the governments, foundation and other donors who contributed to making this milestone happen - including the generous support of the European Commission, countries of the European Union, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. For a full list of donors, please see here.

For several months, COVAX partners have been supporting governments and partners in readiness efforts, in preparation for this moment. They have been especially active in working with some of the world's poorest countries: those that will benefit from the Advance Market Commitment (AMC), an innovative financial mechanism to help secure global and equitable access for COVID-19 vaccines. This includes assisting with the development of national vaccination plans, support for cold chain infrastructure, as well as stockpiling of half a billion syringes and safety boxes for their disposal, masks, gloves and other equipment to ensure that there is enough equipment for health workers to start vaccinating priority groups as soon as possible.

In order for doses to be delivered to COVAX Facility participants via this first allocation round, several critical pieces must be in place, including confirmation of national regulatory authorisation criteria related to the vaccines delivered, indemnification agreements, national vaccination plans from AMC participants, as well as other logistical factors such as export and import licenses.

As participants fulfil the above criteria and finalise readiness preparations, COVAX issues purchase orders to the manufacturer and ships and delivers doses via an iterative process. This means deliveries for the first round of allocation are taking place on a rolling basis and in tranches.

COVAX is co-led by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), working in partnership with UNICEF, the World Bank, civil society organisations, manufacturers, and others. COVAX is part of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, a ground-breaking global collaboration to accelerate development, production, and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines.

COVAX has built a diverse portfolio of vaccines suitable for a range of settings and populations, and is on track to meet its goal of delivering at least 2 billion doses of vaccine to participating countries around the globe in 2021, including at least 1.3 billion donor-funded doses to the 92 lower-income COVAX Facility participants supported by the Gavi COVAX AMC.

WHO Director-General's opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19 - 8 March, 2021

COVID-19 vaccines shipped by COVAX arrive in Nigeria

Covid-19 Transport Briefs

Facts about COVID-19 vaccines

COVID Recovery

Use of Medication-Assisted Treatment in Emergency Departments

Human Development Report 2006. Beyond scarcity: Power, Poverty and the global water crisis