EBOLA VIRUS DISEASE
THREE CASES OF EBOLA VIRUS CONFIRMED IN GUINEA AND FOUR IN DRC
On 14 February, health authorities in Guinea declared an Ebola virus outbreak in the rural community of Gouéké in Nzérékoré Prefecture, marking the first time the disease has been reported in the country since a previous outbreak ended in 2016. To date, three confirmed cases and four probable cases have been registered in Guinea. At least one person has died from Ebola according to the authorities. Moreover, as of 14 February 2021, four cases of Ebola virus, including two deaths, have been reported in the North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where a previous outbreak was declared over in June 2020. Two health zones are currently affected: Biena and Katwa.
On 16 February, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mark Lowcock, announced a US $15 million allocation from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to help Guinea and DRC respond to the outbreaks and support neighboring countries to prepare.
Partners conducted an initial needs assessment and delivered health equipment to the affected area in Guinea. Neighboring countries, including Liberia and Sierra Leone, are on high alert, with the activation of Emergency Operation Centers and the deployment of Rapid Response Teams to border districts.
DESTROYED CROPS INCREASE FOOD INSECURITY RISKS IN LOGONE-ETCHARI DIVISION
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, granivorous birds destroyed 2,500 hectares of sorghum crops in all six districts of the Logone-et-Chari division of the Far north region. This situation combined with the disruption of supply chains due to COVID-19 and the annual floods risk exacerbating the food insecurity in the region, as well as possibly causing an early lean season. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) calls to support affected populations with agricultural inputs and to develop income-generating activities ahead of the lean season. Logone-et-Chari division hosts over 133,000 IDPs.
ARMED MEN KIDNAP SCHOOL STUDENTS, TEACHERS, AND FAMILIES IN NIGER STATE
On 17 February, armed men attacked the Government Science College in the town of Kagara, in Niger State, abducting students, teachers and their families. Speaking to the press, Niger State Governor Abubakar Sani-Bello has confirmed that 27 students, three staff and 12 family members were abducted. Assailants appeared in large numbers at the school, reportedly wearing military uniforms. Niger State Government has closed all boarding schools in other local government areas until further notice.
The incident comes hours after bandits released a video of more than 20 people abducted from a commercial bus in another town in Niger State. The attack against the school comes barely two months after 344 teenage boys were abducted from another boarding school in Katsina State. The students were released a week later after negotiations with authorities.
PEACE AGREEMENTS POTENTIALLY HALTING INTER-COMMUNITY VIOLENCE IN MOPTI
On 7 February, the Dogon, Peulh, and Dafing local communities, from seven communes in Bankass town in the Mopti region, signed an agreement to halt intercommunity violence. Agreements were also signed in Koro town in the Mopti Region in January 2021 between the Fulani and Dogon communities. Consequently, attacks reportedly decreased, and the Koro-Bih axis reopened in Thiou commune in Burkina Faso, on the border with Mali. The agreements may facilitate humanitarian access and the gradual return of basic social services.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.