West and Central Africa: Weekly Regional Humanitarian Snapshot (24 April - 1 May 2017)
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
CALL FOR URGENT FUNDING AS CRISIS WORSENS
Regional representatives of UN agencies and NGOs on 28 April appealed to the world to not neglect the Central African Republic where frequent upsurges of violence have uprooted 884,276 people, or around a fifth of the population. The conflict has aggravated hunger and malnutrition and prevented aid from reaching people in need. Almost half the population now depends on humanitarian assistance to survive, yet humanitarian funding has been declining over the last three years. The 2017 US$400 million budget to assist 1.6 million people is so far only 10 per cent funded. The 2016 budget received less than 40 per cent of the funds.
US$64.5 MILLION NEEDED, CONFLICT DISPLACES 1 MILLION
Humanitarian organisations launched a US$64.5 million appeal on 25 April to assist 731,000 people devastated by conflict in the Kasai region. More than 1 million people have been displaced by the violence that erupted in August 2016 when the army clashed with a local militia. Civilians have been killed and suffered violations, while schooling has been disrupted and some health centres destroyed.
Malnutrition could increase in a region known for high malnutrition rates and a weak health system. The violence has spread from Kasai Central into neighbouring Kasai, Kasai Oriental, Lomami and Sankuru provinces. In Kasai Central province alone, the current humanitarian needs are 400 per cent above what had been planned for earlier this year.
MYSTERIOUS DISEASE KILLS 12
Twelve people have died of an unknown disease since 23 April. Tests have turned out negative for Ebola and yellow fever.
Twenty people, including the dead, have been infected. Symptoms include headache, diarrhoea, fever, vomiting and confusion.
Nearly all the patients attended the funeral of a religious leader in the country’s southern Sinoe county. Further laboratory tests are being conducted and rapid response teams have been reactivated. WHO is deploying a pathologist to help with the investigations.
COMMUNITIES FACE FOOD, FODDER SHORTAGES
Niger has appealed for US$113 million to help communities, notably farmers and herders, who are likely to face deep food and pasture shortages in the ongoing lean season. The funds are needed to cover shortfalls of 43,000 tons of cereals, 68,700 tons of animal feeds and 13,000 tons of seeds.
MENINGITIS CASES BEGIN TO DECLINE
The number of new cases of suspected meningitis being reported has begun to decline as outbreak control measures take effect, a Government statement said on 26 April. Some 628 new cases were reported in the week of 17 April compared to 1,935 the previous week. Cumulatively, 9,646 suspected cases and 839 deaths have been recorded in 23 states.
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.