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 22 July 2016, the Humanitarian Response Plan for the Sahel was 25% funded. (OCHA, 22 July 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
PROJECTED FOOD ASSISTANCE NEEDS FOR JANUARY 2017
Slight relief to dryness possible over some parts of Guatemala and Honduras
Africa Weather Hazards
Above-average rain fell over the far western West Africa and many parts of the Sahel.
Abundant rain expected in western Ethiopia during the next week.
In West Africa, market availability was good in May with supplies from above-average 2015/16 regional harvests, and international rice and wheat imports. Markets remained disrupted throughout the Lake Chad Basin and in parts of Central and Northern Mali. The recent depreciation of the Naira has led to price increases across Nigeria and reduced purchasing power for livestock purchases in the Sahel (Page 3).
Global Overview – Trends and Outlook
Substantial rain returned to Uganda and the Lake Victoria region this past week
Africa Weather Hazards
Low and infrequent rainfall since late March has resulted in drought across parts of southeastern Kenya and northeastern Tanzania. The potential for recovery remains unlikely.
Consistently below-normal rainfall over the past 4 weeks has resulted in abnormal dryness for portions of Uganda and western Kenya. This pattern has resulted in low soil moisture and poor vegetation health index values.
PROJECTED FOOD ASSISTANCE NEEDS FOR DECEMBER 2016
Increased rainfall to alleviate dryness in areas of West Africa and Central America
Africa Weather Hazards
Despite increased rainfall over some areas of the Gulf of Guinea over the past fews weeks, low and erratic rainfall in April and May has led to growing moisture deficits over Liberia and parts of Sierra Leone.
In West Africa, market availability was good in April with supplies from above-average 2015/16 regional harvests, and international rice and wheat imports. Markets remained disrupted throughout the Lake Chad Basin and in parts of Central and Northern Mali. The recent depreciation of the Naira has led to price increases across Nigeria.
The month saw Venezuela’s political, economic and humanitarian crisis worsen amid heightened tensions between the government and opposition, a situation which could lead to state collapse and regional destabilisation. Another major setback in electing a new president in Haiti prompted fears of further civil unrest. In West Africa, deadly violence in central Mali and south-east Nigeria spiked, while a power struggle in Guinea-Bissau led to a dangerous standoff.
Reduced rainfall expected to alleviate flooding concerns in the Shabelle River basin
Africa Weather Hazards
Despite more favorable rainfall along the coast during the last week, low and poorly-distributed rainfall during April and May has led to moderate moisture deficits over Liberia, portions of eastern Guinea Conakry, Cote d’Ivoire, and western Ghana.
PROJECTED FOOD ASSISTANCE NEEDS FOR NOVEMBER 2016
Increased rainfall providing some relief to early season dryness in Guatemala and the Greater Horn
Poorly-distributed rainfall since October 2015 has resulted in large moisture deficits, leading to wilted crops, livestock deaths, and reduced water availability over many areas of Southern Africa. With the season coming to an end, recovery is unlikely.
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.
Projected Food Assistance Needs for October 2016
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.
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.
PROJECTED FOOD ASSISTANCE NEEDS FOR AUGUST 2016
The month saw conflict continue to rage in Turkey’s south east between Ankara and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), looking likely to further escalate in March. Afghanistan and Somalia both saw armed insurgencies capture new territories. In Africa, political tensions rose in Chad, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, while in Venezuela, deadlock between the opposition-held parliament and government has brought the country closer to political and economic implosion.
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.
The month saw an intensification of Yemen’s war, amid heightened regional rivalries between Saudi Arabia and Iran complicating prospects for peace. Political tensions increased in Haiti, Guinea-Bissau and Moldova, where protests over endemic corruption and a lack of confidence in the government could escalate. In Africa, Boko Haram’s deadly attacks increased in northern Cameroon, and Burkina Faso was hit by an unprecedented terror attack.