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 6 May 2016, the Humanitarian Response Plan for the Sahel was 15% funded. (OCHA, 6 May 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
The government announced an offensive to take Falluja back from Islamic State. There are concerns that some 50,000 civilians inside the city lack safe corridors to escape fighting. In Baghdad, the political crisis shows no sign of resolution: up to four people were reportedly killed and dozens injured when security forces violently dispersed a Sadrist Trend protest in Baghdad’s Green Zone.
One in four of the world’s school-aged children – 462 million – now live in countries affected by crisis. Of these children, 75 million are in the most desperate need of support: they are either in danger of or already missing out on their right to education. During crises, children are particularly at risk of missing out on their education, yet schools provide a safe space and a vital routine for children during times of major upheaval. Education gives children the building blocks to rebuild their lives and, eventually, their country.
The new issue of FMR explores the ideas and practices that are being tried out in order to engage both development and humanitarian work in support of ‘transitions’ and ‘solutions’ for displaced people. What we need, says one author, is “full global recognition that the challenge of forced displacement is an integral part of the development agenda too”. FMR issue 52 includes 32 articles on ‘Thinking ahead: displacement, transition, solutions’, plus ten ‘general’ articles on other aspects of forced migration.
The Global Education Cluster 2015 Report seeks to illustrate how the work of the Global Education Cluster and its new strategic direction have been particularly significant in achieving results despite the challenging environment faced by humanitarian agencies in 2015. The report presents examples of our work that demonstrate how our aim to be as field focused (and field informed) as possible has successfully enabled education responses to be more effective, through better coordination. Continued partner support (highlighted in the report) has also been critical to this success.
As of 30 April, global funding requirements to meet the needs of 89 million people across 39 countries through humanitarian response plans and appeals for 2016 amount to over US$20.3 billion. About $3.8 billion in funding has been received so far, leaving a shortfall of $16.5 billion. With the emergence of new humanitarian crises, global financial requirements have increased by around 2 per cent in the first trimester of the year.
The month saw fighting escalate again in Syria and Afghanistan, and erupt in Nagorno-Karabakh between Armenian-backed separatists and Azerbaijani forces. In Bangladesh, election violence and killings by extremist groups showed how new heights of government-opposition rivalry and state repression have benefitted violent political party wings and extremist groups alike. Political tensions intensified in Iraq and Macedonia, and security forces severely supressed opposition protests in the Republic of Congo and Gambia.
Syria: In recent weeks, clashes between Islamic State and other non-government forces over the border area between Turkey and Syria have intensified. IDPs in camps located along the border are at risk: over 35,000 have fled the area since 14 April and are in need of protection. Additional displacement is likely.
Iraq: The humanitarian situation in besieged Fallujah continues to deteriorate. Supply lines have been cut off since December, when government forces surrounded the city. Islamic State is reportedly preventing people from leaving. Prices of basic food stuffs are 500% above December prices for the third consecutive month. Acute shortages of food, medicine and fuel, as well as cases of starvation and suicide, have been reported.
In 2016 over 125 million people living in crisis-affected countries are in need of humanitarian assistance. The humanitarian community is committed to providing aid to over 87 million of those in need. The risks to health posed by humanitarian emergencies are at an all-time high. Developments such as climate change, urbanization, population growth and worsening civil conflict are increasing the frequency and severity of many types of emergencies. Attacks on health workers and health facilities are also on the rise.
Snapshot 31 March–5 April 2016
Syria: The most serious violation of the cessation of hostilities occurred on 2 April around Aleppo, when fighting broke out between government forces and non-government forces. In addition, eight of 18 besieged areas were not reached by humanitarian assistance in February and March, including around 250,000 people in Darayya and Eastern Ghouta in Rural Damascus.
European Commission - Press release
Brussels, 5 April 2016
EU quadruples its humanitarian financing to education in emergencies worldwide.
The month saw violent extremist movements, including the Islamic State (IS) and al-Qaeda-linked groups, carry out major deadly attacks in Turkey, Pakistan, Côte d’Ivoire, Tunisia and Belgium. In Libya, the arrival of Prime Minister Serraj in Tripoli despite warnings from multiple factions could lead to further destabilisation. Meanwhile in Central Africa, political violence rose in Burundi and could break out in Chad around the 10 April presidential election.
Snapshot 23–30 March 2016
South Sudan: Between 20,000 and 50,000 people are now reported to have been displaced in Wau county, Western Bahr el Ghazal, since fighting escalated in February. Houses have been looted and burned and there are reports of killings and rape in the area around Wau town. At least 8,000 people are sheltering in public buildings or with host communities in Mboro town: food, water and shelter are priority needs.
Snapshot 16 – 22 March
Somalia: On 15 March Al Shabaab moved into Puntland and seized control of Garad, a port town. In the following days Al Shabaab captured another coastal town in Nugaal region and attacked a security checkpoint near Bosaso. Most of the residents are reported to have fled the area. Al Shabaab has previously been active in Puntland, but generally around its base of the Galgala Mountains, west of Bosaso, and it has not attempted to take territory.
Urgent action needed for 80m children whose education has been hit by emergencies
The number of children whose education has been disrupted by conflicts and natural disasters has increased to 80 million.
The shocking statistic for 2015 is revealed in an education in emergencies "scorecard" published today by A World at School, which calls for urgent action from world leaders.
There have been a record number of children affected by crises - including attacks on education, wars, natural disasters and health alerts such as Ebola.
This month's issue covers the situations in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Sudan, Burma/Myanmar, Lake Chad Basin, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi, Central African Republic, South Sudan and Libya.