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
Iraq: Islamic State have taken control of Ramadi. 500 died and 42,840 people fled fighting in the city over 16–17 May, adding to the 180,000 displaced in Anbar since early April. Access to new IDPs in Habbaniyah, Khadiyah district, is limited due to insecurity, and health concerns are growing.
Snapshot 6–12 May 2015
Iraq: Conflict has escalated in a number of locations. In Anbar, fighting has displaced more than 47,000 in Karmah district, and more than 133,000 around Ramadi. Clashes between Islamic State and government forces have intensified around Baiji oil refinery, in Salah al Din.
Snapshot 29 April–5 May 2015
Nepal: The death toll from the earthquake has reached 7,250, with more than 14,000 injured. Aftershocks are still occurring, and some villages have still not been reached. 300,000 homes are estimated to need rebuilding or repair.
Yemen: The estimated number of IDPs has doubled since 17 April to reach 300,000, as conflict continues. Food distribution, health, and WASH systems are on the verge of collapse, due in large part to severe fuel shortages.
An agreement on the framework for a Joint Plan of Action on Iran’s nuclear enrichment program in early April marked a major step forward. However, mid-month, Colombia’s peace process suffered a serious blow when Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) fighters killed government soldiers in an ambush; and fighting resumed in Ukraine between the military and separatist forces. The announced end of Saudi Arabia’s five-week airstrike campaign in Yemen on 21 April brought few tangible results: missile strikes continued as the humanitarian situation became increasingly dire.
Snapshot 22–28 April 2015
Nepal: The 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit the country on 25 April has affected 8 million people. As of 28 April, 5,057 people have been reported dead, and more than 8,500 injured. Hundreds of thousands of people are living in tents, while the villages closest to the quake’s epicentre remain inaccessible.
Snapshot 15–21 April 2015
Iraq Violence has displaced 14,000 families in and around Ramadi: 7,000 in Anbar; 5,000 in Baghdad, 2,000 on their way to Baghdad. Checkpoints and insecurity hamper IDP movement. UNICEF estimates 8.29 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, up from 5.2 million in February.
Snapshot 9–14 April 2015
Afghanistan: Security incidents have spiked in early April, after the announcement that more NATO troops would remain in the country than originally scheduled. NATO convoys were targeted in Nangarhar and Kabul on 10 April. On the same day, five NGO staff were found dead, having been abducted in Uruzgan province in early March.
March saw significant improvements in resolving longstanding conflicts, particularly in Myanmar and Colombia. However, Yemen’s political crisis tipped into all-out war, and fighting increased again in South Sudan following suspension of the peace talks. In Africa, election-related tensions worsened ahead of Burundi’s June presidential elections, while renewed international support to Guinea-Bissau gave a lift to political stability and reform.
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.
Snapshot 18-24 March 2015
Syria: The Government carried out over 10,000 airstrikes between October and March, dropping more than 5,300 barrel bombs and killing almost 2,200 civilians. A chlorine attack on 16 March in Idleb killed six people.
Snapshot 11–17 March 2015
Vanuatu: 24 people are confirmed dead so far after Tropical Cyclone Pam hit on 13 March. Shefa, Tafea, Malampa, and Penama are among the worst affected provinces. Access challenges are significant.
Cameroon: The number of people internally displaced in the north has almost doubled since 10 February, to 117,000. This brings the number of displaced in Cameroon to an estimated 412,700, including 66,000 fleeing Boko Haram violence in Nigeria and the rest from the Central African Republic.
Iraq: 26,000 people have fled fighting between Islamic State and Iraqi security forces in Tikrit for Samarra. Food, shelter, health and WASH needs are priorities. More than 100 families have arrived in Al Dour, located between Tikrit and Samarra, and thousands have fled to central and southern governorates.
South Sudan: Heavy fighting between government and opposition was reported in Upper Nile state, and government troops took control of Wadakona town. Many civilians are reported trapped. Peace talks have collapsed.
Afghanistan: Heavy snowfall has caused avalanches in northern, central and eastern Afghanistan; 280 people have died. Panshir province is most affected. Communication lines have been disrupted in places, power supplies to Kabul have been cut. Priority needs are for NFIs and emergency shelter; access to isolated areas is difficult.
Snapshot 18-24 February 2015
Myanmar: 90,000 people are now reported to have been displaced by continuing violence between government troops and multiple armed groups in Kokang, Shan state. Aid organisations have been subject to attack – seven people were wounded in two separate incidents.
Snapshot 11–17 February 2015
Myanmar: Fighting between the Myanmar army and the MNDAA, an insurgent group in the Kokang area of Shan state, displaced tens of thousands of people. Some fled into central Myanmar, while between 30,000 and 50,000 are thought to have crossed into Nansan, Yunnan province, China.
Snapshot 4–10 February 2015
Guinea: An increase in Ebola case numbers has been reported for the second consecutive week. Resistance to the response remains high in Forecariah, worst affected by the outbreak; though ten prefectures have reported at least one incident of resistance. Clashes between armed forces and the community were reported in Matoto, Conakry.
Snapshot 28 January – 3 February 2015
DRC: 30,000 refugees have fled CAR for Equateur province since December. In North Kivu, 18,000 new IDPs need humanitarian assistance; another 21,000 are in need in South Kivu. Nationwide, food security is worsening: over one-third of territories are in Crisis or Emergency phases.
The year opened with a worsening of the ongoing conflicts in Yemen, Nigeria and Ukraine, each with potentially major regional implications. Violence escalated in Sudan, as well as in Lebanon's Tripoli and along its southern border with Israel, and a deadly clash between police and militants in the southern Philippines threatened to derail the peace process there. In South Asia, both Bangladesh and Nepal saw political tensions intensify.
Snapshot 21-27 January
Nigeria: Boko Haram attacks continue, with Borno state capital Maiduguri and nearby military bases targeted on 25 January. Security forces pushed BH back from Maiduguri, but further attacks are expected. BH also raided villages in Michika local government area, Adamawa state. There are reports that BH has forbidden the use of vehicles in areas under its control.
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.