Increasing vulnerabilities and worsening humanitarian needs due to lockdowns that have devastated livelihoods. UN OCHA’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. According to a recent World Vision study, as many as one 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 (Internally Displaced Persons and refugees) and migrant workers across East, West and Southern Africa Regions. In East Africa for example, the World Food Programme has reduced food rations for refugees.
It is reported that gender-based violence and mental health challenges are also increasing due to lockdowns and lost livelihoods. With the COVID-19 pandemic, desert locust infestation, and flooding across different parts, countries in Africa are facing a triple threat of issues from health, climate change, and a loss of livelihoods. Desert locusts have devastated vegetation in East Africa, while floods in West and parts of East Africa have resulted in loss of life and displacement, damaged infrastructure, and affected access to basic services and disrupted crop planting.