The role of faith in the humanitarian sector is not easy to measure. Faiths generally advocate welcoming the stranger and there are many organisations and individuals inspired by their faith or religion to provide protection and assistance. Yet it is easier to measure the activities inspired by faith than to measure the difference that having that faith makes, and secularly inspired standards for such activities can appear to be in tension with the faith inspiration. FMR 48 includes 36 articles on ‘Faith’ plus seven ‘general’ articles.
Snapshot 12–18 November
Ethiopia: Waters have begun to recede from Leitchuor refugee camp in Gambella, but few refugees have returned to the camps so far, where alarming rates of severe malnutrition persist: 5.7% in Leitchuor, 7.8% in Kule, and 10% in Tierkidi. In SNNPR, flooding was reported, while in Oromia, water trucking has begun for populations affected by drought.
Snapshot 5–11 November
Central African Republic: About 20,000 displaced people are seeking refuge in isolated rural areas in Ouham province following the arrival of armed groups in Boguila, Kouki and Nana Bakassa on 25 October. Nearly 1,000 people have been displaced since July in Bambari following violence in Batobadja and Matchika, and 4,000 have been displaced since January to Berberati town in Mambere province.
Snapshot 29 October – 4 November
Yemen: As a government was agreed by Houthi and other opposition parties, the Southern Movement announced a merger to represent all southerners in the campaign for independence. Houthi insurgents attacked the Sunni opposition Al Islah party headquarters in Ibb, while Al Qaeda killed 18 Yemeni troops during an attack in Hudaydah.
After a rainy season lull, South Sudan’s warring parties are preparing for major offensives with the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-In Opposition (SPLA-IO) this week launching attacks on Bentiu, capital of oil-producing Unity state (see our recent Conflict Alert). Hardliners in the government and the SPLA-IO appear determined to settle the conflict through war.
Central African Republic: In Ouaka prefecture, fighting among rival militias persists. Attacks on a number locations, including Bambari, have left dozens of people dead, and civilians have been executed. 3,000 people remain displaced from Bangui after violence began in the middle of the month.
DRC: A resurgence of ADF-NALU attacks in North Kivu are thought to have displaced 100,000 people, and killed at least 80. In South Kivu, there has been a significant increase in IDPs, mainly due to insecurity in Shabunda and Fizi territories. 7.3 million people across the country are estimated to be food insecure.
Central African Republic: 5,600 people have fled Bangui after a new wave of violence killed at least eight and injured 56. WASH and health are priority needs among the IDPs. A UN peacekeeper was ambushed and killed on the outskirts of the capital. In Kemo, IDPs have been slow to return as tensions have increased: ex-Seleka attacked Dekoa market on 11 October.
Biannual FAO Food Outlook report and new Food Price Index released
9 October 2014, Rome - Food markets are more stable and prices for most agricultural commodities are sharply lower than they have been in recent years, according to the latest edition of FAO's biannual Food Outlook report and a new update to the Organization's monthly Food Price Index, both out today.
Ebola in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone: At 1 October, the total cumulative number of reported Ebola cases across the three countries had reached 7,470, including 3,431 deaths. However, the Centers for Disease Control estimates that only 40% of cases are being reported in Liberia and Sierra Leone. Social tensions and insecurity are growing. Many of the 3,700 children who have lost parents to Ebola are being rejected out of fear of infection.
Q3 2014 SUMMARY
During the third quarter of 2014, the humanitarian community relied on rapid and strategic CERF funding to kick-start emergency operations and to keep life-saving programmes running. The Emergency Relief Coordinator (ERC) allocated US$70 million from CERF to help humanitarian partners in 20 countries respond to some of the most urgent crises worldwide.
Sebastian AJ Taylor
University of East Anglia, United Kingdom
The U.S. expanded its aerial campaign against Islamic State (IS) militants in late September with strikes in Syria’s north and east. The operation, which targets both IS and fighters linked to al-Qaeda’s central leadership and the affiliated group Jabhat al-Nusra, risks alienating other rebel groups in Syria and strengthening support for IS.
Iraq:Up to 13% of IDPs are located in areas that are currently not considered accessible by humanitarian actors. The overall number and geographical spread of IDPs pose a major challenge for provision of assistance. Approximately 1.5 million individuals are in need of emergency food assistance. An estimated 580,000 people are in urgent need of emergency shelter assistance.
Ebola in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea: As a three-day countrywide shutdown came to an end in Sierra Leone, the UN Security Council set up a special mission to lead the global response to the Ebola outbreak. More than 5,800 cases have been reported since the beginning of the outbreak, including 2,800 deaths, and more than 13.5 million people are now considered in need of assistance as the impact of the epidemic spreads.
Ebola in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea: Transmission remains high, and case numbers doubled between the last week of August and the first of September in Liberia; in Sierra Leone 150 cases were reported for each of the last two weeks. Fewer cases have been reported in Guinea – 49 between 5 and 7 September – but the case fatality rate has been extremely high, at 65%.
The Tsunami Warning System established under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO in the Indian Ocean following the December 2004 disaster is functioning effectively. This was demonstrated in a simulation exercise conducted on 9 and 10 September 2014, with the participation of 24 countries of the Indian Ocean Rim*.
According to the preliminary results of the simulated alert, all of the participating countries received timely tsunami advisory messages, and no delays were reported.
Libya: Concern is growing for the increasing number of people affected by crisis since mid-July, as violence persists, rival governments are failing to assure basic services, and most humanitarian organisations have withdrawn.
Ten years after the strongest tsunami in living memory in 2004, 24 countries of the Indian Ocean Rim* will participate in a large scale simulation exercise organized under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO on 9 and 10 September to test the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System. The goal is to measure the capacity and response times of the various stakeholders involved to address such rare but potentially destructive events.
The fight for control of Libya between the Misrata-led Islamist-leaning coalition and the Zintan-led forces is escalating by the day. Hundreds have been killed and thousands displaced in over six weeks of clashes and heavy artillery fire. The Misrata side emerged victorious in the battle over Tripoli’s international airport, taking control of the capital, and made advances around Benghazi, but the larger political divide remains unresolved.