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)
Appeals & Funding
- Sahel Strategic Response Plan (SRP) 2015 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
Snapshot 25–31 March 2015
Ukraine: Fears are growing of a new offensive in Mariupol, as non-government troops appear to be gathering nearby. A recent assessment has found that more than 1.6 million people need humanitarian assistance, nearly 1.1 million of whom are in non-government-controlled areas. 20–30% of IDPs are at risk of losing their status and benefits, due to a new mechanism to verify the addresses of IDPs.
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.
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.
Nowhere is answering the question of how to increase resilience more critical than across the Sahel, a region plagued by chronic poverty, food insecurity, drought, ecosystem degradation, and conflict. Mercy Corps conducted field research in Mali, Niger, and Northern Nigeria to examine the differing vulnerabilities and capacities of men, women, boys, and girls to understand what helps build the resilience of individuals, households, and communities. We found numerous structural barriers and unequal power dynamics that need to be addressed to ensure a truly resilient Sahel.
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.
26 June 2014
In a letter dated 23 December 2013 (S/2013/759), the President of the Security Council agreed to extend the mandate of the United Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWA) until 31 December 2016 and requested that I report to the Council every six months on the implementation of the mandate.
Pakistan: Water, sanitation, and health services are urgent needs among the 780,000 registered displaced from North Waziristan (government figures). The data is being cleaned to check for duplication.
Iraq: Access to areas within the governorates of Anbar, Babylon, Diyala, Salah al Din, Kirkuk, and Ninevah remains difficult due to ongoing violence clashes, disruption of communication and transportation routes, and a widespread shortage of fuel.
Gender equality is a matter of social justice. It is of particular importance when it comes to rural development due to the repercussions on food security. In its seminal report of 2011 the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)1 estimated that if women had the same access to resources as men their total production would increase by 20% to 30%. This would mean a reduction of 12% to 17% in the number of persons suffering from hunger worldwide.
Iraq: The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and its allies have overrun non-Kurdish controlled areas Ninevah and significant areas of neighbouring Salah al Din and Kirkuk governorates, as well as part of northern Diyala. Access is severely limited, and hundreds of thousands of displaced persons are in need of humanitarian assistance.
Syria: Fierce fighting between opposition groups has led to further displacement in Deir-ez-Zor while a truce between the Government and the opposition is expected to see the Old City of Homs handed over to the Government after its recent campaign to retake it.
The present report, which covers the period from January to December 2013, is submitted pursuant to paragraph 22 of Security Council resolution 2106 (2013) , in which the Council requested me to submit annual reports on the implementation of resolutions 1820 (2008) , 1888 (2009) , 1960 (2010) and 2106 (2013) with regard to conflict - related sexual violence. The report presents information on parties to conflict credibly suspected of committing or being responsible for acts of rape and other forms of sexual violence.
Snapshot 16–23 April
Central African Republic: Renewed clashes between anti-balaka and Seleka fighters occurred in several locations in central, northern, and southwestern provinces. MISCA soldiers are being redeployed to cover areas previously secured by the Chadian contingent. A Christian religious leader was killed and four were abducted in two northern towns, while 30 Christian civilians were reportedly killed in a central town.