West and Central Africa: Weekly Regional Humanitarian Snapshot (1 - 7 March 2016)
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
LRA ABDUCTIONS ON THE RISE
Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) gunmen have abducted 217 people, including 54 children in eastern CAR since the start of the year, according to the Washington-based advocacy group Invisible Children. Forty-one of the children remain in captivity or unaccounted for, the group said in a statement on 3 March, noting that the abductions highlight gaps in civilian protection. So far this year, the LRA has abducted nearly twice as many people as in the whole of 2015.
FOOD INSECURITY REMAINS HIGH
The 2015 crop production remained at 54 per cent below the pre-crisis levels despite a 10 per cent increase over the 2014 season, according to WFP and FAO Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission assessment released on 1 March. Cereal harvests continued to decline last year, with production 70 per cent lower than the pre-crisis average.
Overall crop production in 2015 amounted to 838,671 metric tons, around one million metric tons less than the average before the crisis. Around 2.5 million people, or half the entire population are facing hunger.
As of 29 February, 21,998 Nigerians, including many who fled due to Boko Haram violence had returned from Cameroon. Some 54 per cent of the returnees are children, 46 per cent are women and nearly all of them are from the north-eastern Borno State. UNHCR and partners are supporting the monitoring of return movement and profiling of returnees, providing targeted assistance, developing the capacity of key stakeholders to the response and advocating for conditions of return to comply with international legal norms.
Guinean-Bissau and Senegalese authorities as well as international humanitarian partners on 3 - 5 March held a workshop in the southern Ziguinchor town to develop a cross-border contingency plan on Ebola and natural disasters. The two countries agreed on a common approach to respond to crossborder emergencies. A similar workshop was also conducted previously with authorities from neighbouring Guinea, where Senegal’s first and only Ebola case came from.
EBOLA VIRUS DISEASE
No new cases were reported in the week ending on 6 March. On 1 - 2 March, representatives from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone reviewed Ebola response plans with other international partners during the Country Phase 3 Response meeting in Conakry. In Guinea, a patient suspected to have been infected with Ebola was taken ill at a treatment centre on 29 February. Tests however turned out negative for Ebola.