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 April 2016, the Humanitarian Response Plan for the Sahel was 12% funded. (OCHA, 22 Apr 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.
Strict vigilance is also required in northwest Africa
12 April 2016, Rome - The presence of recently discovered Desert Locust infestations in Yemen, where conflict is severely hampering control operations, poses a potential threat to crops in the region, FAO warned today. FAO urged neighbouring countries, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Iran, to mobilize survey and control teams and to take all necessary measures to prevent the destructive insects from reaching breeding areas situated in their respective territories.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Zimbabwe: A poor 2014/2015 harvest coupled with delayed onset of rains this cropping season have left 1.5 million people facing food insecurity from January through March 2016. Government maize stocks are dangerously low and humanitarian food assistance plans underfunded. Over 850,000 people urgently require assistance.
Snapshot 16–22 December 2015
Cameroon: 2.9 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance. 2.4 million are in need of protection assistance, predominantly in the Far North Region. The government has reportedly urged men to join self-defence groups in the northern areas affected by Boko Haram. The same reports suggest the government has made provisions in its 2016 budget to support the self-defence groups.
This week, on 17 December, the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) will mark its 10 year anniversary. Created in 2005, CERF marked an innovative breakthrough in humanitarian funding by Member States of the UN General Assembly as a “fund for all, by all”. It raises and pools funds before the need arises, and provides fast, predictable funding to partners on the frontlines at the onset of a crisis, as well as financing critically underfunded emergencies.
Snapshot 9–15 December 2015
Snapshot 2-8 December 2015
Jordan: 11,400 Syrian asylum seekers are currently stranded at the border with Jordan, after a recent surge in violence has driven new displacement, doubling the number at the border since October. They face urgent humanitarian and protection needs. The Jordanian Government has increasingly restricted movement across the border since 2013.
BALTIMORE, Dec. 1, 2015—Lutheran World Relief, an international NGO working in 35 countries to develop sustainable solutions to poverty and food insecurity, marked #GivingTuesday by releasing its 2016 Early Warning Forecast of regions it is monitoring for potential humanitarian crises over the coming year.
Snapshot 25 November–1 December 2015
Cameroon: New data indicate that 158,316 people are internally displaced – this is 65,000 more than the previous estimate. The vast majority have been displaced by Boko Haram-related violence, with fewer than 15% displaced by flooding and other natural disasters. Movement stays within Far North region, and Logone-et-Chari hosts around 60% of all IDPs.
Somalia: Flooding has affected 132,000 people and displaced an estimated 60,000 as low-lying areas of Mogadishu have now been inundated, as well as areas of Middle Shabelle and Lower Juba. Main supply roads are impassable and some airstrips unusable The middle and lower reaches of the Shabelle River remain at high risk of flooding.
Stricte vigilance requise en Afrique du nord-ouest, dans la Corne de l'Afrique et au Yémen
11 novembre 2015, Rome – Les pluies inhabituellement fortes et généralisées qui sont tombées récemment dans le nord-ouest de l’Afrique, la Corne de l'Afrique et au Yémen pourraient favoriser la reproduction des criquets pèlerins, avertit aujourd'hui la FAO, soulignant qu’une surveillance étroite est nécessaire au cours des six prochains mois pour empêcher les insectes de former des essaims destructeurs.
Strict vigilance required in northwest Africa, the Horn of Africa and Yemen
11 November 2015, Rome - Unusually heavy and widespread rains that fell recently in northwest Africa, the Horn of Africa and Yemen could favour Desert Locust breeding, FAO warned today, stressing that close monitoring is needed over the next six months to prevent the insects from forming destructive swarms.