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
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.
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.
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.
Welcome to the March issue of the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project’s (ACLED) Conflict Trends report. Each month, ACLED researchers gather, analyse and publish data on political violence in Africa in realtime. Weekly updates to realtime conflict event data are published on the ACLED website, and are also available through our research partners at Climate Change and African Political Stability (CCAPS).
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.
Snapshot 9 – 15 March
Yemen: Insecurity in Aden is increasing, with attacks carried out on civilian targets. At least 150 people have been reported killed in the past three months, including at least 50 in March. Humanitarian actors have increasing difficulty to carry out operations. In Taizz, the west of the city has been taken by pro-Hadi forces after heavy fighting: fighting for the east continues.
Global crop prospects benign, but hunger intensifies in areas suffering from conflict
Food security worsens further in Southern Africa due to drought
9 March 2016, Rome - Thirty-four countries, including 27 in Africa, are currently in need of external assistance for food due to drought, flooding and civil conflicts, according to a new edition of FAO's Crop Prospects and Food Situation report released today.
Snapshot 2–8 March 2016
Malawi and Mozambique: Flooding and drought have led to the most severe food crisis Malawi has faced in a decade: 2.8 million people face acute food insecurity, including 900,000 facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food security outcomes. In Mozambique, an estimated 600,000 people are in Crisis due to drought. In addition, 9,300 Mozambicans in Malawi who fled armed conflict need WASH, health and shelter assistance.
Snapshot 24 February – 1 March 2016
Swaziland: At least 300,000 people – one-third of the population – are in dire need of assistance, specifically of food and water. Poor and erratic rainfall as a result of El Niño dates back to 2014, and Swaziland has been experiencing significant reductions in crop production.
Snapshot 17–23 February 2016
DRC: More than 35,000 people have lost shelter in Zongo, Sud-Ubangi, due to forest fires that have been affecting the territory since mid-December. The fires have destroyed over 2,600 hectares of crops. Assistance delivery is hampered by bad road conditions between Gemena and Zongo.
Pakistan: Over 190 children have died and 22,000 have been hospitalised in Tharparkar district in 2016 because of drought-related waterborne and viral diseases. Tharparkar is facing severe drought for the fourth consecutive year, and access to health services is reported to be very difficult, with families travelling an average distance of 17km to reach the nearest health facility.
Syria: The military offensive in Aleppo governorate has displaced more than 40,000 people since late January, and the number of displaced is reported to be increasing. There is concern that a siege of opposition-held areas of Aleppo city is imminent. An estimated 20,000 newly displaced Syrians are stuck at the Bab al Salam crossing along the Syria–Turkey border, as Turkey has denied them entry into Turkish territory.
Snapshot 27 January – 2 February 2016
Boko Haram in Nigeria, Cameroon, and Chad: 86 people were killed and 62 injured, with 15 missing after Boko Haram set fire to Dalori, near Maiduguri in Borno state. The past week also saw attacks in Chibok that left 13 dead and 30 injured. 40 civilians were reported dead after Cameroonian troops announced they were carrying out a search for BH militants in the area. In Cameroon, 52 people were killed in BH attacks in January. In Chad, two suicide bombings in Lac region left three dead and 56 wounded.
Many countries across the African continent face recurrent complex emergencies, frequent food insecurity, cyclical drought, and sudden-onset disasters such as earthquakes, floods, and storms. In FY 2015, as in previous years, USAID/OFDA not only responded to urgent needs resulting from disasters, but also supported DRR programs that built resilience and improved emergency preparedness, mitigation, and response capacity at the local, national, and regional levels.
Published: 5 October 2015
Dakar/Gaborone/Geneva – 5 October 2015: An estimated 60 million people across sub-Saharan Africa, a population roughly equal to the size of the United Kingdom, do not have enough to eat this year and indications are strong that the food production situation is set to further deteriorate. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is warning that increased support is needed now to alleviate hunger, and to prepare for worsening conditions for farmers.
Dakar / Gaborone / Genève, 5 octobre 2015 – Près de 60 millions d’habitants de l’Afrique sub-saharienne, soit pratiquement l’équivalent de la population du Royaume-Uni, n’ont pas assez à manger cette année et tout indique que la production alimentaire va encore se dégrader. La Fédération internationale des Sociétés de la Croix-Rouge et du Croissant-Rouge (FICR) appelle au renforcement de l’assistance en vue d’atténuer les carences alimentaires et de se préparer à une probable aggravation de la situation pour les cultivateurs.
Tracking food security trends in vulnerable countries
The Global Food Security Update provides a quarterly overview of key food security trends in vulnerable countries. Information is provided by WFP VAM field teams and partners.
• Conflict in Yemen is causing increasing food insecurity.
As of June, at least 6 million people are facing Emergency (IPC Phase 4) food insecurity. Millions more could easily fall into the emergency conditions unless a political solution is found quickly.