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El Niño 2015-16

The El Niño weather event has been in a neutral phase since May. Nevertheless, it continues to have a devastating impact on vulnerable people in parts of Eastern and Southern Africa, Asia and the Pacific, the Dry Corridor in Central America, and Haiti in the Caribbean. This event will also cause long term consequences for public health, nutrition, livelihoods, water and sanitation.

The weather phenomenon has resulted in poor or failed harvests in Africa, the Pacific and Central America in mid-2016, and has forced millions of poor households to resort to negative coping mechanisms, such as reducing meal sizes and non-food expenditures and selling productive assets. Poor or failed harvests lower the food supply and drive up food prices putting more burden on vulnerable households who have already seen their income reduced from poor crop production, loss of livestock and lack of employment. Water scarcity has also triggered human and livestock migration, particularly in pastoral communities. While some areas have experienced poor harvests due to drought, El Niño has led to heavy rainfalls and flooding in other parts of East Africa, Asia and Latin America, which has damaged crops and further reduced food security. The drought and floods also contribute to the spread of water- and mosquito-borne diseases.

Source: OCHA "El Niño: Overview of Impact, Projected Humanitarian Needs and Response, 21 September 2016"

All Updates on El Niño 2015-16

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18 Jan 2017 description

Press Release Number: 01/2017

The year 2016 has been confirmed as the hottest year on record, surpassing the exceptionally high temperatures of 2015, according to a consolidated analysis by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

The globally averaged temperature in 2016 was about 1.1°C higher than the pre-industrial period. It was approximately 0.83° Celsius above the long term average (14°C) of the WMO 1961-1990 reference period, and about 0.07°C warmer than the previous record set in 2015.

18 Jan 2017 description

Key Issues

  • New Commodity Management Unit to improve coordination between PSNP and relief food

  • Lowland areas of Afar, Oromia, Somali and SNNP regions facing serious shortage of water

  • Frost affecting harvest as Ethiopia is experiencing unprecedented cold season

18 Jan 2017 description

In Numbers

  • 1.4 million people food insecure

  • 629,612 people reached in December

  • 622,765 people reached under FFA/GFD

  • 6,847 received nutrition support

Highlights

  • Mozambique is now entering the peak of the lean season. The period leading up to the next harvest in March/April marks the height of the lean season.

18 Jan 2017 description

CERF funds help International Organization for Migration (IOM) to provide emergency primary healthcare in Puntland and Somaliland.

18 Jan 2017 description
report UN Children's Fund

Highlights

  • An estimated 1.42 million people (756,000 children) are affected by the drought, including 800,000 people food insecure in the provinces of Cunene, Namibe and Huila.

  • 17,762 children under five with severe acute malnutrition (SAM) have been treated through therapeutic treatment programmes assisted by UNICEF in 2016.

  • UNICEF has provided 52,500 people with access to safe water through the rehabilitation of 105 water pumps in 2016.

17 Jan 2017 description
report UN Children's Fund

Highlights

• UNICEF, the World Bank and the Ministry of Social Development disbursed the third tranche of the Cash Grant Top-up to 85,443 children (53% were girls) in 28,481 households, providing unconditional emergency support to families with children negatively affected by food insecurity and other drought related deprivations.

17 Jan 2017 description

Gregorio Chávez Matul, alcalde de San Francisco La Unión, comentó “con el apoyo que nos brinda SESAN vemos un futuro prometedor para nuestras comunidades, nos han motivado para trabajar el tema y esperamos en febrero activar la Oficina Municipal de Seguridad Alimentaria y Nutricional para que las acciones sean efectivas en favor de la niñez”.

17 Jan 2017 description
report UN Children's Fund

Highlights

• UNICEF and partners continue to meet on-going humanitarian needs, respond to small, localised emergencies and remain prepared to respond to requests for humanitarian assistance. UNICEF and partners reached more adults and children than planned, providing access to safe water, learning materials, safe spaces for learning, Vitamin A supplementation and deworming. Reports of Grave Child Rights Violations have been identified, verified and responded to.

17 Jan 2017 description

Highlights

  • WFP El Niño response scaled-up by 28 percent to reach 1 million people in December.

  • WFP commences the Moderate Acute Malnutrition treatment programme in 6 of the most affected districts.

  • USD5.6 million received from Canada, China, Finland and Russia towards WFP’s El Niño response.

  • The ZimVAC rapid assessment is planned for January in order to updated the findings of the July 2016 Rural Livelihoods Assessment and identify recovery needs.

Situation Update

17 Jan 2017 description

FAO targets pastoralists in southern regions facing failed rains on heels of a calamitous El Niño

17 January 2016, Rome-New drought across swathes of southern Ethiopia may jeopardize the East African nation's restoration of food security after the worst agricultural seasons in decades unless urgent efforts are made to shore up vulnerable households in rural areas, FAO warned today.

16 Jan 2017 description
report UN Children's Fund

Highlights:

  • In December 2016, UNICEF has deployed 60 water trucks in Oromia Region to benefit an estimated 120,000 people with access to safe water.
    UNICEF has also dispatched US$650,000 worth of household and community-level water treatment chemicals to different regions; and supported the rehabilitation and maintenance of sustainable water supply systems, which together benefitted around 700,000 people.

16 Jan 2017 description

Key points

  • Higher use of negative livelihoods coping strategies among households headed by women

  • Twice as many rural households have poor food consumption than urban households

  • Food insecurity increasing among households who buy food

  • Maize meal prices continued to fall in November but remain higher than last year

  • Prices for wheat flour and pulses remain stable

Seasonal Outlook:

16 Jan 2017 description
report UN Children's Fund

Highlights:

  • UNICEF Pacific Representative, Mr. Sheldon Yett, presented his credentials to the Prime Minister of Vanuatu, Hon. Charlot Salwai Tabimasmas

  • To date 73 per cent of children under five have been registered, while 86 per cent of children under 18 years have their birth recorded in the national birth registration system

14 Jan 2017 description

Highlights

  • Rains improved in many areas that were affected by severe drought last season

  • Poor rains have been received in Tanzania and parts of Madagascar, with likely impacts on crop production in affected areas

  • An armyworm outbreak has affected the region, with reports of outbreaks in Zambia,
    Zimbabwe and Malawi. The outbreak in Zambia is particularly severe

Regional Summary

14 Jan 2017 description
report UN Children's Fund

Highlights

• UNICEF and partners carried out the seventh complete periodic malnutrition screening of 300,000 children under 5 years of age (6 to 59 months) in October 2016. The screening found 2,146 children affected by severe acute malnutrition (SAM) and 10,484 affected by moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) in the 8 most affected districts. In 2016, 14,500 children with SAM have been treated.

14 Jan 2017 description
report UN Children's Fund

Highlights

• The cumulative number of children aged 6-59 months who were treated for severe acute malnutrition (SAM) in the 20 priority districts with high global acute malnutrition (GAM) levels (5% and above) at the end of November 2016, was 6,189.

13 Jan 2017 description

Agricultural support critical now to protect livestock, equip families to plant in rainy season

Countries in the Horn of Africa are likely to see a rise in hunger and further decline of local livelihoods in the coming months, as farming families struggle with the knock-on effects of multiple droughts that hit the region this year, FAO warned today. Growing numbers of refugees in East Africa, meanwhile, are expected to place even more burden on already strained food and nutrition security.

13 Jan 2017 description

PANORAMA DE LA SITUATION DE L’INSÉCURITÉ ALIMENTAIRE AIGUË

  • Près de 60% des ménages vivant dans le Grand Sud sont directement affectés par les effets du phénomène El Niño en 2016. Sur trois années consécutives le Grand Sud a enregistré une insuffisance et une mauvaise répartition des précipitations dans le temps et dans l’espace ; une situation devenue plus précaire avec le phénomène El Niño.

13 Jan 2017 description
report World Bank

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Southern Africa has been hit by its worst drought in 35 years. An estimated 32 million people are food insecure.

  • Poverty is expected to rise, jeopardizing decades of hard-won developmental gains in the region.

  • Cash transfers have become the primary response to support the recovery of disaster-affected population.

By Andrea Vermehren, Lead Social Protection Specialist working in the Africa region