RISING CASES, GLOBAL RESPONSE PLAN TO BE LAUNCHED
As of 23 March, there are more than 1,400 confirmed cases of coronavirus across the African continent, with 43 countries affected. West and Central Africa accounts for 385 of the overall caseload, with Guinea-Bissau,
Mali, Sao-tome and Principe and Sierra Leone, the only countries in the region exempt from the disease. Burkina Faso and Senegal are the worst affected with 99 and 79 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of 23 March. Many countries are imposing a range of prevention and containment measures against the spread of the pandemic. The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will launch on 25 March a COVID-19 Global Humanitarian Response Plan. It aims at addressing the additional needs arising from the pandemic while sustaining the ongoing humanitarian operations and lifesaving programmes. This is essential to avoid further loss of lives and suffering, and the aggravation of affected people’s vulnerabilities.
REPEATED ATTACKS DISPLACE NEARLY 700 PEOPLE IN THE FAR NORTH
Between 9 and 13 March, repeated attacks by non-state armed groups led to displacements from Bia in Kolofata district, to Gancé (Kolofata) and Kourgui (Mora district). The majority of the 540 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Gancé settled in spontaneous sites, while all 134 IDPs in Kourgui found refuge with host families. The IDPs intend to return to their area of origin once the situation returns to normal. Their priority needs include shelter, food and nonfood items.
Torrential rains between 14 and 18 March have caused flooding in Bukama Territory, in southern Haut-Lomami province, affecting some 73,000 people and destroying health centres and farmland. Among those affected, nearly 30,000 have lost their homes. This is the second episode of flooding in the area since the beginning of the year, bringing the number of people affected to 175,000. The toll from the latest floods remains provisional as some areas are still inaccessible
BORNO STATE RESTRICTS ENTRY TO IDP CAMPS DUE TO COVID-19
The Borno State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) on 23 March announced the restriction of entry to camps hosting internally displaced persons across the state as part of COVID-19 preventive measures.
The decision follows the increasing spread of the disease across other Nigerian states and neighbouring countries. Although no COVID-19 case has been recorded in the state or north-east region, the restriction became necessary due to the proximity of some camps (in Ngala, Bama, Banki, Damasak and Monguno) to neighbouring countries such as Chad, Cameroon and Niger where confirmed cases have been reported.
SEMA noted the influx of new arrivals, including refugees, have continued despite the closure of land borders some months back, increasing the risk of the virus being imported to camps. Aid workers will not be affected by the restrictions.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.