South Sudan + 2 more

CrisisInSight Weekly Picks, 26 March 2020

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Despite international calls for ceasefire due to the COVID-19 outbreak, clashes and shelling in and around Tripoli continue. Southern neighbourhoods of the capital have been hit, including a prison, causing at least three civilian deaths and more injuries across 22-24 March. Libya has reported its first confirmed case of COVID-19. The health system has deteriorated after nine years of instability, with hospitals targeted by attacks, and understaffed. People living in overcrowded spaces and those with pre-existing needs and potentially more difficult access to health services are of particular concern during the outbreak. Libya has an estimated 356,000 IDPs, 654,000 migrants, 48,600 registered refugees and asylum seekers, as well as detainees. Both the Tripoli and Tobruk governments have enforced a curfew and closed gathering spaces, such as mosques and cafes. These containment efforts are insufficient, as clashes impede a full-scale humanitarian response to the emerging outbreak.

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An increase in IDPs and civilian casualties is reported in Paletwa township, Chin state, as clashes between the Arakan Army and Myanmar Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) continue to intensify. Between 14-16 March, more than 40 civilians were killed or injured, including 21 civilians killed when military fighter jets opened fire on four villages. At least 2,000 people from 10 villages fled to Samee, a nearby town. Since January 2020, the estimated number of displaced people in Chin State has risen from 1,800 to 4,000. Paletwa township faces extreme restrictions on access, and has been completely blocked from trade and humanitarian assistance in recent months due to increased fighting in the area. Food shortages, lack of access to healthcare, displacement, and protection concerns are extremely high. Conflict in Rakhine and Chin has left more than 65,000 people living in displacement, a 25% increase since January 2020.

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South Sudan

An estimated 6 million people are likely to experience Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or Emergency (IPC Phase 4) food security outcomes through September 2020. This is an increase from December 2019 projections, which anticipated 5.5 million in IPC Phases 3 and 4. More areas across the country are likely to move into Emergency as the lean season progresses, exhausting household stocks and pushing up food prices. Over May-July 2020, 33 counties will likely be in Emergency, an increase from 22 in the previous reporting period (February-April). Communities with high numbers of returnees and IDPs are particularly vulnerable, given that food sources and market supplies are already scarce. Additionally, 20,000 people in Akobo and Duk counties, Jonglei state, are at risk of Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5). These areas were affected by flooding in 2019, resulting in extreme crop and livestock loss and destruction of assets.

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