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West and Central Africa: Weekly Regional Humanitarian Snapshot (16 – 22 March 2021)

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DR CONGO

CHOLERA OUTBREAK IN HAUT-KATANGA

At least 56 suspected cholera cases, including 6 deaths, were reported in the Kambove health zone, in the southern Haut-Katanga province, between 22 February and 10 March. There are no health care providers trained in cholera management in this health zone. Due to a water supply disruption in the area for several weeks, most households obtain water from unprotected wells and other water sources that are likely to be contaminated. Aid organizations are mobilizing to bring the infections under control, and to include the health zone into the country's vaccination campaign.

NIGERIA

OVER 150 NIGERIAN REFUGEES CROSS BACK FROM NIGER

Following the escalation of insecurity in the Lake Chad marked by deadly attacks by nonstate armed groups and clashes with security forces in recent weeks, humanitarian partners in Damasak town, Borno state, have reported over 150 Nigerian refugees recently crossed back from the Nigerien side. The refugees were among thousands who, in 2014, fled to Niger from Abadam LGA, which is still inaccessible to international aid workers. Deadly clashes between 14 and 18 March in Damasak forced many aid workers to take shelter, while NGO assets and vehicles were looted. More than 76,000 people live in Damasak, including IDPs and refugee returnees who mostly rely on assistance provided by aid agencies. There are growing concerns that worsening violence may force a scale down of humanitarian presence as witnessed in Dikwa LGA where over 110,000 people have been left without critical assistance and services since mid-March. Food security partners have provided initial food rations for two weeks to the new arrivals pending a more holistic response from other sectors.

NIGER

AT LEAST 137 KILLED IN ATTACK NEAR MALIAN BORDER

According to the authorities, 137 civilians were killed by unidentified assailants on 21 March in an attack on several localities, including Intazayene, Bakorate and Wistane villages, in the Tillia department, western Tahoua region. Many of the victims were already displaced after having fled earlier violence. On 22 March, the Humanitarian Coordinator in Niger expressed condolences to the bereaved families and called on the Government to hold the perpetrators accountable for their actions. She recalled that violence against civilians constitutes a violation of international humanitarian law. This is the deadliest attack since the 2 January attack on Tchamo Bangou and Zaroumadareye villages, in the nearby Tillabéri region, that claimed hundreds of lives and the 15 March attack in Banibangou village, also in Tillabéri region, with over 60 people killed. This new incident could provoke further population displacements, increasing humanitarian needs. Since 2020, Tahoua region hosts 55,625 IDPs, including 6,466 IDPs in the Tillia department. About 817,000 people need multisectoral humanitarian assistance in Tahoua region. The humanitarian community is preparing to provide immediate assistance to the affected households.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.