In the Sahel, extreme poverty, climate change, armed conflict and insecurity continue to threaten the lives of millions already living on the brink. These interdependent drivers are behind the staggering levels of structural, chronic and acute vulnerability present in the region. Where the chronic seasonal cycle is broken, progress and success can be seen. Where conflict hits, hard-won gains are quickly lost and new challenges appear.
Communities across the region remain highly vulnerable. In 2017, around 30 million people are expected to face food insecurity, and almost 12 million of them at crisis and emergency levels. Pockets of pasture deficits have been observed in certain areas of Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger, and risks of locusts have been identified in Mauritania and neighboring areas. The situation of people living in the conflict-affected regions of Mali and the Lake Chad Basin, is particularity critical.
In 2017, in the more stable regions of the Sahel such as Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Senegal, where needs are driven by chronic vulnerability, humanitarian action has been fully aligned with resilience and development frameworks.
Lake Chad Basin: The scale of suffering remains huge and is expected to grow: around 11 million people will require assistance in 2017. Humanitarian partners have requested US$1.5 billion to provide aid to 8.2 million people. While the response strategy focuses us on providing emergency, life-saving assistance, humanitarian actors are also calling for a collaborative approach to help address the deeper causes of the Lake Chad Basin crisis that include abject poverty, the impact of climate change, rapid population growth and under-investment in social services. At the Oslo conference on 24 Feb 2017, 14 donors pledged $458 million for relief in 2017 and an additional $214 million was announced for 2018 and beyond. (OCHA, 24 Feb 2017)
Mali: Needs remain high with more than 3.5 million people being food insecure and some 852,000 people in need of nutrition assistance. More than 37,000 people remain internally displaced. The majority of those in need of assistance are in Mali’s northern region. In April 2017, the Humanitarian Response Plan for 2017 for $293 million was only 11.6% funded. OCHA warned of destabilizing consequences, as the humanitarian situation is quickly deteriorating as a direct result of the conflict. (OCHA, 28 Apr 2017)
For 2017, the humanitarian community will require US$ 2.66 billion to help 15 million people, across 8 countries. (OCHA, 7 Dec 2016)
As of 2 June 2017, the humanitarian response plan for West and Central Africa was 25% funded. (OCHA, 2 June 2017)
Appeals & Funding
- Sahel 2017 | Overview of humanitarian needs and requirements EN/FR
- Sahel 2016 | Rapport de suivi périodique (Octobre-Decembre)
Northern Nigeria is the frontline in two wars: the disease and the brutal rebels who reject the west’s influence
By Tracy McVeigh
The man sporting a giant purple bottom adorned with a swinging horse tail is chanting to the beat of the drummers, his blue-painted face sweating copiously. Children delightedly race around the colourful clown. All except Ismail, 13, who watches from the ground, twisting his head to follow the dance.
Head of government services for west and central Africa at African Risk Capacity
Disaster insurance offers a new model for economic self-sufficiency. In African countries, every $1 invested saves $4.40 in the aftermath of an emergency
Drought is a slow and predictable natural disaster. We know it will happen again, and we know much of its effects are preventable if money is invested at the right time. So why do we wait for people to die from hunger induced by droughts before we start calling for emergency relief money?
Here we are again. Famine is back. Drought in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya, and the Disasters Emergency Committee has launched an appeal for east Africa. We are being reminded there is one last chance to stop utter devastation in South Sudan. More and more horror reveals itself as areas are taken back from Boko Haram by the Nigerian army.
Outside Africa, across the Gulf of Aden, we are seeing the little bodies of children wasting away in Yemen.
By Kevin Watkins
South Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria and Yemen are on the brink of catastrophe, thanks to conflict, drought, and a shocking failure in our international response
Campaigners say tens of millions in urgent need in Yemen, South Sudan, Nigeria and Somalia are in hands of an overwhelmed, outdated humanitarian network
Karen McVeigh and Ben Quinn
Famine is looming in four different countries, threatening unprecedented levels of hunger and a global crisis that is already stretching the aid and humanitarian system like never before, experts and insiders warn.
UN assistant secretary general Toby Lanzer says urgent aid to help stabilise communities in the Lake Chad region is also in Europe’s broader interests.
The humanitarian crisis in northern Nigeria has implications that Europe can ill afford to ignore, according to a top UN official. Nigeria was the third largest source of migrants crossing the Mediterranean in 2016.
Read more on The Guardian
Aid workers in Borno state say displaced people living in camps have no plans to go back home despite government claims that insurgents have been defeated
By Ben Quinn
The homecoming of tens of thousand of Nigerians displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency has been prevented by enduring fear of the Islamists and reluctance to return to areas of the country’s north-east devastated by the campaign against the militants, according to aid workers.
As the power of the insurgency slowly fades in north-east Nigeria, many people are going back to their ruined villages, intent on rebuilding
Emmanuel Akinwotu in Dabna
They shot at everything,” says Isaak Amos*, pointing to the walls of his home in Dabna, a small village in north-east Nigeria. “We had a sense that Boko Haram was going to do something, but there was nothing we could do to prepare for it.”
Hunger follows displaced people around north-east Nigeria, as Boko Haram and climate change drive millions from their homes
As Ali Kawu eases his handcart to a halt on a recent morning in north-east Nigeria, it is the first time he has dared to stop walking in more than 24 hours.
Islamists have launched about 60 strikes on military targets since August, despite president’s claim that they have been ‘technically defeated’
Boko Haram has launched a series of attacks that have inflicted substantial casualties on Nigerian government forces and contradict claims by senior officials that the extremist Islamist group is on the brink of defeat.
Boko Haram insurgency has disrupted farming and trade in north-east, leaving 14 million people in need of humanitarian aid
In Nigeria, 75,000 children risk dying in “a few months” as hunger grips the country’s ravaged north-east in the wake of the Boko Haram insurgency, the United Nations warned on Tuesday.
Read the full article here
A prisoner of climate change, Nouakchott faces challenges of flooding and erosion that have been exacerbated by preparations for the Arab League summit
By Alex Duval Smith
The two events are not unrelated. As heads of state fly into Nouakchott’s new airport for the Arab League summit on Monday, Vieux Fall will be raising the roof – and the floor – of his family’s small compound.
The male recovery ward in the hospital is all in blue: blue sheets, pillows, curtains. Outside, the temperature hovers around 40 degrees: inside, large fans keep the air moving. All the beds are occupied by adults – except one. Eight-year-old Abba is the exception.
How the tattered remnants of an Islamist sect transformed into a relentless terrorist army that Nigeria cannot defeat
More than 80 killed after fighters from the Islamist group razed the village of Dalori in northern Nigeria, shooting people and setting fire to homes
Scores of people, including children, have been killed in a Nigerian town by Boko Haram fighters who shot at villagers and set fire to their homes in the latest deadly attack by the Islamist militant group.
World Food Programme and Unicef warn that inability to access areas of north amid continued violence has left schools and health centres bereft of assistance
Alex Duval Smith in Bamako
Aid agencies have warned that security issues are harming the health, education and nutrition of children in Mali, where the unchecked spread of Islamic extremist violence has left many schools and health centres beyond the reach of humanitarian programmes.
Conflict can be both a cause of disability and a devastating complication for those already living with disabilities. Although all disabled people are affected, women face intersecting discrimination because of their gender and disability.
Read the story on Guardian
Failure to find political solutions in areas of violent crisis is forcing ICRC to extend its core humanitarian remit, says organisation’s president Peter Maurer
Wednesday 8 July 2015 09.54 EDT
The world’s inability to deal with the proliferation of conflict driven-crises is forcing the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to shoulder an ever-larger burden and reassess the way it works, the organisation’s president has warned.
Global weather system that plays havoc with weather across the world could exacerbate region’s dry spell and devastate Sahel as it did in 1972
A global weather phenomenon could cause a famine in the Sahel this year by combining with already dry conditions to create a “double whammy” for the region, scientists and aid groups have warned.
Read the full article
Lucy Lamble presents this edition of the Global development podcast, looking at how the lack of water and sanitation is affecting health centres in Mali. Just 20% of the country's health facilities provide clean water.