For yet another year, humanitarian indicators in the Sahel remain alarmingly high. The heavy burden of chronic food insecurity, malnutrition and epidemic risk, compounded by conflict and insecurity, remain the key drivers of humanitarian needs in the region. Heightened levels of vulnerability caused by repeated shocks, associated especially with erratic weather patterns, have left coping capacities heavily compromised. In 2015, humanitarian action in the Sahel will continue to be guided by the 2014-2016 Regional Strategic Response Plan. The three-year strategy aims to deliver coordinated and integrated life-saving assistance to people affected by emergencies, while providing a tailored response to the chronic nature of much of the needs across the region and promoting systems and behavioural changes that will help the Sahel’s most vulnerable better cope with shocks. (2015 Humanitarian Needs Overview)
Appeals & Funding
- 2014-2016 Strategic Response Plans: Sahel Region EN/FR; Burkina Faso; Cameroon; Chad; Gambia; Mali; Mauritania; Niger; Nigeria; Senegal
- Humanitarian Needs Overview EN/FR
December saw a significant deterioration of the security situation – compared to the previous month – in nine countries or conflict situations in the world, including in South Asia (Pakistan and India), and East Africa (South Sudan and Kenya). There is a risk of increased violence in the coming month in Sudan, where major offensives are anticipated on the heels of a failure in the peace talks; in Sri Lanka, in the context of the 8 January elections; and in Haiti, where the current president could rule by decree unless parliament's mandate, due to expire on 12 January, is extended.
Snapshot 3–9 December
Philippines: Category 5 Typhoon Hagupit, locally known as Ruby, made landfall on 6 December over the town of Dolores in Eastern Samar province (Eastern Philippines). At least 49 of 81 provinces are potentially at high risk. The typhoon is moving very slowly, potentially subjecting each community in the path of the typhoon to high winds and torrential rainfall for much longer. 1.1 million people are affected.
Niger: 10,000 refugees arrived in Diffa region from Damasack, Nigeria. Most were fleeing forced recruitment by Boko Haram, and some unaccompanied children were reported. More than 105,000 people have arrived from Nigeria since May 2013, and the rate is increasing. The newly displaced are in a critical situation, and Diffa faces serious gaps in service provision.
Pakistan: Drought conditions in Sindh have affected nearly 1.7 million people; nearly 500 have died in Tharparkar, including 296 children. In FATA, the number of people displaced by the military’s operation Khyber One in the Tirah Valley has grown to 440,000 people, adding to 993,000 displaced by operations in North Waziristan.
Liberia: Two million children are thought to be affected by the consequences of the Ebola epidemic. High levels of unemployment are affecting income: 70% of households in a recent survey said they do not have enough money to afford food.
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.
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.
• In conflict-affected south sudan, the food security situation is much worse than at harvest time in a typical year. Around 1.5 million people are expected to remain in Phase 3 (Crisis) and Phase 4 (Emergency) through December 2014.
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.
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.
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 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.
Syria: Syrian refugee numbers have grown by a million in a year, and now exceed three million, while the journey out of Syria is getting tougher. 42 children were reported killed by government strikes over 29-31 August, while in IS-held areas there are reports of routine executions and amputations.
Syria: Only 41% of Syria’s public hospitals are fully operational. The latest in a number of local truces around Damascus has been agreed between state forces and opposition in Qadam. 191,369 people were reported killed March 2011–April 2014, mainly in Rural Damascus, Aleppo, Homs, Idleb, Dar’a and Hama, according to new UN figures.
Snapshot 13-19 August
Yemen: The 9 August Al Jawf ceasefire has been broken. Access to people affected by the conflict in Al Jawf is extremely limited due to persistent insecurity, and it is very difficult to obtain information. Almost 3,000 people have died in violence since the National Dialogue Conference took place on 25 January.
Snapshot 6 - 12 August
Central African Republic: The CAR President Catherine Samba-Panza named a Muslim as the new Prime Minister. Renewed clashes have displaced 20,000 people in Batafango (Ouham) since July and 17,000 people in Bambari (Ouaka) since June. A total of 890 security incidents were recorded in 2014, hampering humanitarian access.