Increasing vulnerabilities and worsening humanitarian needs due to lockdowns have devastated livelihoods. UNOCHA’s humanitarian response plans are showing a higher number of people in need (10% higher than this time last year, which equates to 48.9 million in East Africa, 45 million in Southern Africa, and 44.7 million in West Africa).
Prolonged school closures have negatively affected children’s learning and led to higher teenage pregnancy rates. According to a recent World Vision study, as many as 1 million girls may be blocked from returning to school across sub-Saharan Africa.
Reduced funding commitments and COVID-19 lockdowns have increased vulnerabilities amongst forced migration populations (i.e. internally displaced persons and refugees) and migrant workers across east, west, and southern regions. In East Africa, for example, the World Food Programme has reduced food rations for refugees.
Reports indicate that gender-based violence and mental health challenges are also increasing due to lockdowns and lost livelihoods.
Countries across sub-Saharan Africa are facing a triple threat of issues from health, climate change, and loss of livelihoods with the COVID-19 pandemic; desert locust infestations in East Africa devestating vegetation; and flooding in parts of West and East Africa resulting in loss of life, displacement, infrastructure damage, inaccessibility to basic services, and crop disruptions.