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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.
In the wake of El Niño
We are living in the most unusually warm period in history and this is taking a huge toll on the world’s most vulnerable. 2015 was the hottest year on record and 2016 looks set to be even hotter.
As this year’s El Niño in the Pacific lurches towards becoming a La Nina1 , the run of record temperatures looks set to be broken again. But in some ways, this year is not unique. It has become widely acknowledged among the development community that weather-related disasters are the ‘new normal’.
The humanitarian impact of the 2015-2016 El Niño remains deeply alarming, now affecting over 60 million people. Central America, East Africa (particularly Ethiopia), the Pacific and Southern Africa remain the most affected regions. The El Niño phenomenon is now in decline, but projections indicate the situation will worsen throughout at least the end of the year, with food insecurity caused primarily by drought not likely to peak before December. Therefore, the humanitarian impacts will last well into 2017 .
60 MILLION people affected globally at present.
32 MILLION people food insecure in Southern Africa.
10.2 MILLION people in Ethiopia need emergency food assistance.
50 PERCENT crop losses in Haiti due to El Niño-influenced drought.
FOREWORD BY THE EMERGENCY RELIEF COORDINATOR
The 2015-2016 El Niño has passed its peak but it remains strong and will continue to influence the global climate. It is expected to weaken in the coming months and fade away during the second quarter of 2016. The World Meteorological Organization states that models indicate a return to an El Niño neutral state during the second quarter of 2016. Meanwhile, strong El Niño conditions are quite likely through March-April. It is too early to predict if there will then be a swing to La Niña (the opposite of El Niño).
El Niño threatens at least 60 million people in high-risk developing countries, WHO says
Geneva, 22 January 2016—The World Health Organization (WHO) and its partners predict a major global increase in health consequences of emergencies this year due to El Niño.
An El Niño event has been occurring since March 2015 and is steadily strengthening as it approaches its maximum intensity in late 2015. This El Niño is forecasted to peak in December, before gradually ending in early 2016. There are indications that it could become one of the most intense El Niños of the past 30 years.
Syria: The security situation had deteriorated with escalating violence in the West of the country resulting in population displacement and hampering the delivery of humanitarian assistance. Large numbers of newly displaced are heading to the calmer regions of Idleb governorate, which hosts over 500,000 IDPs. In the East, Iraqi helicopters hit an opposition convoy in the first strike claimed by Iraq inside Syria since the conflict began.
Syria: Violence is intensifying in Damascus, with increased attacks from both the Government and the opposition. In Aleppo, fighting between Syrian troops and opposition fighters is causing further casualties. In the east, infighting between rival opposition factions has led to a reinforcement of Iraqi troops’ positions on the Iraqi side of the border. To date, over nine million people are in need of assistance, and more than 2.6 million have fled the country. In early April, humanitarian assistance was allowed in besieged areas in Aleppo for the first time since June.
Syria: Violence continues with government forces shelling areas recently gained by opposition fighters in Lattakia province, along the western Turkish border. In the northeast, aid convoys have crossed from Turkey, enabling relief agencies to deliver assistance to communities in need at the border area. In a further political development, the Turkish government stated its readiness to launch cross-border military operations in Syria if its national security was threatened.
Syria: Tensions continue to run high across the country, with Government forces retaking control of a key rebel supply route in the southwest, and insurgents from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) moving eastward after months of infighting between rival opposition groups in the northwest. Over nine million people have been uprooted from their home since the start of the crisis three years ago, and the international community continues to push for humanitarian access in conflict-affected areas, notably in the northeast of the country.
Syria: Violence continues, with opposition infighting in the northwest and heavy clashes across large parts of the country, including Rural Damascus. While several military ceasefires have allowed some access to besieged areas, insecurity continues to interrupt aid distribution, and access to Ar-Raqqa, Deir-ez-Zor and areas around the capital remains highly constrained. To date, over nine million people are estimated to have been displaced by the crisis, at least 2.5 million of whom have crossed into neighbouring countries.
Syria: Violence is ongoing across the country, with rebel infighting in the northwest and renewed clashes in parts of Damascus. While several military ceasefires have allowed some access in besieged areas, insecurity continues to interrupt aid distribution, and access remains highly constrained from Damascus to Rural Aleppo, where 1.25 million people are estimated to be in need of food assistance. To date, over 9 million people have been displaced by the crisis, 2.5 million of whom have crossed into neighbouring countries.