Sahel Crisis: 2011-2017
A combination of factors including, the 2011 drought, high food prices, low agricultural production, as well as the inability of affected households to recover from the 2010 food and nutrition crisis, exacerbated the sub-region’s vulnerability in 2012. Moreover, the 2010-2011 crises in Cote d’Ivoire and Libya also contributed to increasing the vulnerability of hundreds of thousands of households that were deprived of the remittances of migrant workers who had fled these conflicts. Their return has also placed additional strain on their communities of return, notably in Chad, Niger and Mali. In 2012, approximately 18.7 million people were estimated to be food insecure and over one million children were at risk of dying from severe acute malnutrition. (OCHA, 17 Dec 2012)
In 2012, and for the third time in ten years, the Sahel region was hit by a major drought which further weakened vulnerable communities. The scale of the resulting food and nutrition crisis required all actors to join forces to save the lives of the 24 million people affected. A three-year regional plan was developed in 2013 aiming to deliver coordinated and integrated life-saving assistance to people affected by emergencies while shaping the response to chronic needs in nine countries: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and The Gambia. (OCHA, 30 Aug 2017)
Lake Chad Basin: The scale of suffering remains huge and is expected to grow: around 11 million people will require assistance in 2017. Humanitarian partners have requested US$1.5 billion to provide aid to 8.2 million people. While the response strategy focuses us on providing emergency, life-saving assistance, humanitarian actors are also calling for a collaborative approach to help address the deeper causes of the Lake Chad Basin crisis that include abject poverty, the impact of climate change, rapid population growth and under-investment in social services. At the Oslo conference on 24 Feb 2017, 14 donors pledged $458 million for relief in 2017 and an additional $214 million was announced for 2018 and beyond. (OCHA, 24 Feb 2017)
Mali: Needs remain high with more than 3.5 million people being food insecure and some 852,000 people in need of nutrition assistance. More than 37,000 people remain internally displaced. The majority of those in need of assistance are in Mali’s northern region. In April 2017, the Humanitarian Response Plan for 2017 for $293 million was only 11.6% funded. OCHA warned of destabilizing consequences, as the humanitarian situation is quickly deteriorating as a direct result of the conflict. (OCHA, 28 Apr 2017)
Appeals & Response Plans
What is El Niño?
El Niño is the warming of sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific, which occurs roughly every two to seven years, lasting from six to 24 months.
60 MILLION people affected globally at present.
32 MILLION people food insecure in Southern Africa.
10.2 MILLION people in Ethiopia need emergency food assistance.
50 PERCENT crop losses in Haiti due to El Niño-influenced drought.
Snapshot 17–23 February 2016
DRC: More than 35,000 people have lost shelter in Zongo, Sud-Ubangi, due to forest fires that have been affecting the territory since mid-December. The fires have destroyed over 2,600 hectares of crops. Assistance delivery is hampered by bad road conditions between Gemena and Zongo.
Globally, millions of vulnerable households are at risk of increased hunger and poverty due to droughts and floods as a result of a climatic occurrence: El Niño. This phenomenon is not an individual weather event but a climate pattern which occurs every two to seven years and lasts 9-12 months. No two El Niño events are ever the same and it is thought that this particular occurrence could be the most powerful on record. The strongest El Niño in 1997/1998 killed some 21,000 people and caused damage to infrastructure worth US$ 36 billion.
The on-going El Niño event, officially declared in March, will remain active throughout 2015 and is very likely to extend into the first quarter of 2016.
The event is now strengthening towards its peak intensity which should be reached in late 2015. There is a significant chance that this event could be close or even exceed the strongest levels on record.
This report, The Year of Recurring Disasters: A Review of Natural Disasters in 2012, examines four topics: disasters in 2012, with a focus on recurring disasters (Chapter 1); the role of regional organizations in disaster risk management (Chapter 2); wildfires (Chapter 3); and the important role of women in disaster risk management (Chapter 4). Here are some of the highlights from this year’s review: