West and Central Africa: Weekly Regional Humanitarian Snapshot (26 November - 3 December 2018)
Central African Republic
Violence worsens plight of children
Some 1.5 million children require humanitarian assistance, up from 1.2 million in 2016 owing to worsening violence, UNICEF reported on 30 November. One in four children is either displaced or a refugee and thousands are trapped in the ranks of armed groups. Many suffer sexual violence, while severe acute malnutrition could kill more than 43,000 children. Armed attacks and insecurity persist in many parts of the country, deepening the plight of civilians and hampering the delivery of aid.
Kidnapped aid workers freed
UN peacekeepers on 3 December secured the release of two aid workers kidnapped by armed men a week earlier. The aid workers had been collecting data ahead of a vaccination drive in a village in the eastern Haute-Kotto prefecture. The assailants accused the two of spying and assaulted them.
Refugees accept new food aid system
Seven out of 13 refugee camps in eastern Chad have accepted a new food distribution system based on vulnerability. Clashes erupted in November over the new methodology, forcing food distribution to be suspended. The new system, which has so far been implemented in four camps, means that refugees will receive rations tailored to their needs.
Armed raid uproots 5,000 in village
Around 5,000 people were forced to flee their homes on 26 November after gunmen raided a village in Beni, a town in the eastern Nord Kivu province. Eleven people were killed and four others wounded in the attack. The assailants also torched several houses. The violence disrupted humanitarian missions in the area. Armed attacks in Beni continue to affect operations to curb the Ebola outbreak in the country’s eastern region.
Sharp drop in HIV infections
HIV infections have dropped by more than two thirds between 2012 and 2016, the Health Ministry said on 1 December. Infections declined from 6,000 to 1,761, a 70-per cent drop in the four years to 2016. Around 17,000 patients were on retroviral treatment in 2017, up from some 11,000 in 2013. The country now has 73 screening centres from just one in 2003.
State of emergency widened in Tillaberi
The Government on 30 November declared a state of emergency in three more departments in the western Tillaberi region, where the measure has been in force in five departments since March. The three departments border Burkina Faso. Tillaberi has suffered recurrent armed attacks, the latest of which was in mid-November on a police station. The military has deployed to the region to counter the raids. No population displacement has been registered after the latest incidents and the military operations.
Over 2,000 newly displaced in Borno
More than 2,000 people were freshly displaced in the week ending on 25 November in Borno, according to IOM. Over half of the displaced were forced to flee due to armed attacks. Others were forced to leave their communities because of poor living conditions, lack of access to humanitarian assistance, military operations and fear of attacks. Since the launch of a new military operation in October 2017, more than 150,000 new displacements have been recorded, with almost daily influx to camps and host communities where resources are already overstretched.