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Humanitarian Crises in Southern and Eastern Africa

In early 2017, famine was declared in parts of South Sudan, with almost five million people classified as severely food insecure, while warnings of possible famine were issued for other countries in the Horn of Africa. By February the number of severely food-insecure people across the greater Horn of Africa region had increased to 22.9 million and this could rise even further. (OCHA, 24 Feb 2017)

WFP has classified the drought crisis in the Horn of Africa as a Level 2 Emergency. Some 2.9 million people in Somalia and 5.6 million people in Ethiopia are categorised as being in either crisis or emergency IPC levels 3 and 4, and require urgent humanitarian assistance. In Kenya, 2.6 million people also require emergency food assistance, of whom 2.2 million are in IPC Phase 3.

The Somali and Kenyan governments have declared the drought situation a “national disaster” and appealed to the international community to support the response efforts. In Somalia, WFP scaled up its emergency response in February, reaching nearly 1 million people through general distributions, nutrition interventions and school meals programme. (WFP, 15 Mar 2017)

At the other end of the continent, some countries in southern Africa were hit by floods and an infestation of army worm, further compounding the food insecurity experienced in the region as a consequence of the El-Niño phenomenon that struck in 2015-16.

According to WFP, the nutrition situation deteriorated in the seven most severely drought-affected countries - Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe - in the latter half of 2016, with several countries recording wasting levels above 5 percent. Pockets of very high acute malnutrition are still prevalent in Zimbabwe and Madagascar (WFP, 21 Feb 2017)

Madagascar was also hit by a tropical cyclone in March 2017, leaving more than 110,000 people displaced.

All Updates on Humanitarian Crises in Southern and Eastern Africa

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23 Apr 2017 description
report IRIN

HARARE, 21 April 2017

Ten years ago, former bricklayer Samuel Musengi was allocated a nine-hectare plot to cultivate in Zimbabwe as part of an accelerated phase of land reform that saw tens of thousands of black families resettled on what were once vast, mostly white-owned commercial farms.

It’s not going so well for him; nor for many others.

Increasingly unpredictable weather and a lack of government support has made it all but impossible for Zimbabwe’s resettled farmers to achieve anything like the full potential of their plots.

23 Apr 2017 description
report Sudan Tribune

April 22, 2017 (KHARTOUM) -A third food assistance batch including 807 metric tonnes has been dispatched from the capital of Sudan’s North Kordofan state, El Obeid to the needy population in South Sudan, said humanitarian aid official.

In February, three United Nations agencies declared an outbreak of localised famine in several areas in the young nation, saying an additional one million people were on the brink of starvation.

23 Apr 2017 description
report Uganda Red Cross

On behalf of the China Red Cross Society, the Chinese Embassy in Uganda has today handed over items worth 202,300USDs (Approx. UGX 1 billion to Uganda Red Cross Society. The items were donated by the China Red Cross Society and channeled to Uganda through the China Sinopharm International Corporation, a privately owned company that coordinated the transportation of the goods up to the final recipient (Uganda Red Cross Society). The donated items include:

23 Apr 2017 description

A lack of accountability for crimes perpetrated during the ongoing conflict in South Sudan remains one of the country’s “biggest challenges” the UNMISS Human Rights Director has said.

Eugene Nindorera was speaking at the end of five-day visit to Wau in the north-west of South Sudan, where violence earlier in April led to the death of 19 government SPLA soldiers and at least 28 civilians according to state officials.

The killing of civilians in Wau town followed the ambush and killing of the SPLA soldiers by suspected SPLA-In Opposition fighters.

23 Apr 2017 description

A severe food crisis is advancing across East Africa, Nigeria and Yemen. In this interview, Xavier Duvauchelle, Handicap International’s desk officer for the East African region, explains the scale of the disaster and how our teams on the ground are responding.

23 Apr 2017 description
report HALO Trust

Ahmed Nuur Aw Nuuh owns a small business in Ceel Bardaale, Somaliland, where he buys milk and vegetables from local farmers to sell at the market in the town of Gabiley. A town that should have only been 23 km away. But landmines were laid on the only road between the two towns during the country's civil war and subsequent conflicts, hindering safe access to food, and forcing authorities to keep the road blocked, prohibiting its use for years. The road was so heavily mined that some were clearly visible.

23 Apr 2017 description

LT COL KABERA SIMON

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was organized on Thursday by the Bentiu-based Mongolian battalion (MONBATT) to mark the opening of the newly renovated Pariang Primary School in Unity state. Local dignitaries and UNMISS representatives were there to celebrate the occasion, addressing students and teachers of the school.

23 Apr 2017 description
report UN Population Fund

During conflict and other emergencies, women and girls, many of them pregnant or lactating mothers remain among the most severely affected groups. But for a visually-impaired mother with a new baby running to uncertainty, hope can only be restored when she realizes she is not alone after all.

LAMWO, Uganda: Forty-two year old Annet Night is visually impaired. She was due; expecting her fourth child when conflict broke out in her home village in Pajok, a community in Eastern Equatoria state of South Sudan.

23 Apr 2017 description
report UN Population Fund

LAMWO, Northern Uganda: At a refugee reception centre in northern Uganda, nine refugee mothers stood in a single-file line cuddling their newborn babies all wrapped up in heavy wool blankets. Visibly exhausted and filled with anxiety, each had a story to tell; how they had, pregnant and near their expected dates of delivery, fled the armed conflict raging in the Pajok town in South Sudan.

22 Apr 2017 description

Zimbabwe has been hit hard with a string of hardships. After months of drought last year, the rainy season residents prayed for ended up causing serious flooding that affected over 300 people. To offer assistance, Taiwan Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation in Zimbabwe from Harare headed to Zaka to help. They offered hot meals as well as rice and water purifying tablets for the residents.

22 Apr 2017 description
report Islamic Relief

More than 5.6 million people in Ethiopia are in desperate need of food and water. The current drought hit the country before the population could recover from the devastating El Niño-induced drought in 2015 and 2016, which affected more than 10 million people.

The Government has since implemented an effective response plan, but millions of vulnerable Ethiopians are still facing severe drought conditions. The Somali and Afder regions in Ethiopia have been the worse affected. The lack of water, loss of harvests and livestock has resulted in mass displacement.

22 Apr 2017 description
report Mercy Corps

Children hunting rodents for food. Mothers boiling coconut skins to eat. Life in famine is a life of desperation.

More than 20 million people face starvation across the Horn of Africa, Nigeria and Yemen. But nowhere is the situation more dire than South Sudan, where the world’s only official famine has taken root.

This emergency is a grave humanitarian crisis — but it also threatens to get worse. Without humanitarian access, an additional 1 million people will be on the brink of starvation in the next three months.

21 Apr 2017 description

KEY FIGURES

81,720
South Sudanese arrivals since 3 September 2016, based on reports from Gambella (as of 12 April 2017)

370,000
Total South Sudanese refugees and asylum-seekers in Ethiopia (both in Gambella and Assosa as of 12 April 2017)

FUNDING (as of 29 March 2017)

USD 160.8 M
Requested by UNHCR for the South Sudan Situation in Ethiopia

HIGHLIGHTS

21 Apr 2017 description

THE CRISIS Northern Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen are facing conflict and drought and are now approaching famine, with 20 million people near starvation in the worst preventable humanitarian crisis since World War II. UN Secretary-General António Guterres has called for US$4.4 billion by July to avert “catastrophe” in parts of Somalia, South Sudan, Nigeria, and Yemen.

21 Apr 2017 description

HIGHLIGHTS

829,925 refugees registered in the country
38,434 refugees newly registered so far in 2017
20,515 refugees newly registered in March
44,453 unaccompanied and separated children

WORKING WITH PARTNERS

  • The Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs (ARRA) is UNHCR’s main government counterpart with which close cooperation is maintained to ensure the protection of refugees in Ethiopia.

21 Apr 2017 description

The ECDC Communicable Disease Threats Report (CDTR) is a weekly bulletin for epidemiologists and health professionals on active public health threats. This issue covers the period 16-22 April 2017 and includes updates on influenza, cholera, poliomyelitis, measles, legionnaires' disease and yellow fever.

21 Apr 2017 description
report UN News Service

21 avril 2017 – Le Haut-Commissariat des Nations Unies pour les réfugiés (HCR) a annoncé vendredi que plus de 11.000 Congolais se sont réfugiés en Angola suite au pic de violence qui a frappé le Kasai en République démocratique du Congo (RDC).

21 Apr 2017 description
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Screenshot of the interactive content as of 21 Apr 2017.
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More than 20 million people in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen are experiencing famine or the risk of famine over the coming six months. UN agencies and their humanitarian partners are ready to scale up the response to avert a catastrophe, but the necessary funds and access to do so are required immediately.