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Great Lakes Region: Humanitarian Snapshot (February 2020)

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Climatic shocks, conflict, insecurity and persistent disease outbreaks continue to drive humanitarian needs in the Great Lakes region. Clashes in the north-east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), especially in North Kivu, South Kivu and Ituri provinces, displaced about 220,000 people between October 2019 and January 2020, bringing the number of internally displaced people (IDPs) in the country to over 5 million. Despite a decline in arrivals, Uganda received nearly 19,000 new refugees in the last quarter of 2019, mainly from the DRC, South Sudan and Uganda. The country now hosts 1.38 million refugees. At the end of 2019, about 375,550 Burundian refugees were residing in the United Republic of Tanzania, Rwanda, the DRC and Uganda. Human rights organizations have reported that there is rising pressure for Burundian refugees to involuntarily leave Tanzania.

Heavy rainfall, flooding and landslides since November 2019 have affected nearly 958,000 people across the region in: Burundi (22,684); the DRC (over 600,000), Rwanda (5,360); Tanzania (18,000) and Uganda (311,666). Almost 55,000 people have been temporarily displaced due to floods, mainly in Uganda, where more than 42,500 people lost their homes. The heavy rainfall damaged crops, especially in Uganda, and could impact food security in some of the affected areas. Uganda and Tanzania have both received swarms of desert locusts. Across the region, 16.7 million people are severely food insecure, despite a slight improvement in the DRC, where 13.6 million people are estimated to be facing hunger (2 million less than in December 2019). The reduction in food insecurity was mainly in areas not affected by conflict.

The region is tackling multiple disease outbreaks, including malaria in Burundi, where nearly 9 million cases, including 3,294 deaths, were registered in 2019. The Ebola outbreak in the DRC has diminished, but remains active, with over 3,430 cases and 2,250 deaths reported since August 2018. Across the region, nearly 320,000 cases of measles have been reported since January 2019, most of them in the DRC. Uganda has also reported cases of yellow fever, Rift Valley fever and Crimean Congo haemorrhagic fever, while the DRC has active cases of plague and poliomyelitis.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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