Grave concerns persist for some 20 million people in the Sahel. Recurrent conflict, erratic weather patterns, epidemics and other shocks continue to weaken the resilience of households across a region still suffering chronic levels of food insecurity and malnutrition.
An estimated 20.4 million people remain food insecure at the start of 2015. At least 2.6 million people have already crossed the crisis threshold, 70 percent of whom are in Niger, Nigeria, Mali and Chad where insecurity and poverty compound food insecurity.
Epidemics continue to demand urgent attention in 2015. Besides cholera, meningitis, Lassa and yellow fever, more recently, Ebola has been posing a serious threat to the Sahel region and has already impacted Mali, Nigeria, and Mali directly.
Beyond the chronic threats of food insecurity, malnutrition and epidemics, violent conflict in and around the Sahel region has led to a surge in population displacement. The region begins 2015 with some 2.8 million people displaced; over a million more than in early 2014. With escalating conflict in northeast Nigeria, an estimated one million people have been internally displaced. Some 150,000 Nigerian refugees have fled to neighbouring Niger, Chad and Cameroon. The volatile security situation in northern Mali continues to have a devastating impact on civilians, hampering the return of refugees, affecting markets and preventing the full restoration of basic services. Some 133,000 Malian refugees remain in Mauritania, Niger and Burkina Faso and more than 80,000 Malians remain internally displaced. As in Nigeria, high levels of insecurity in northern Mali also greatly impact the ability of humanitarians to access those in need. (Sahel: A call for humanitarian aid, 12 Feb 2015)
Due to the ongoing crisis in the Lake Chad Basin, Chad is now the seventh largest refugee-hosting country in the world with over 750,000 displaced persons, the majority of whom are refugees or Chadian returnees who fled from the Central African Republic, Libya, Nigeria, and Sudan. At the end of August, the Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Sahel called on the international community to ramp up its support in response to the multi-faceted humanitarian challenges affecting the country. (OCHA, 27 Aug 2015)
On 9 December 2015, United Nations agencies and partners launched the Sahel humanitarian appeal for 2016. The regional plan calls for US$1.98 billion to provide vital assistance to millions of people affected by crises in nine countries across Africa’s Sahel region. (OCHA, 9 Dec 2015)
As of 5 Jan 2016, the Strategic Response Plan for the Sahel was 44% funded. (OCHA, 15 Jan 2016)
Appeals & Funding
- Sahel Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) 2016 EN/FR
- Humanitarian Needs Overview EN/FR
- 2014-2016 Strategic Response Plans: Sahel Region EN/FR; Burkina Faso; Cameroon; Chad; Gambia; Mali; Mauritania; Niger; Nigeria; Senegal