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Fighting Famine in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen

More than 30 million people in northeastern Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia and Yemen are experiencing severe food insecurity, of whom 20 million are at immediate risk. Continued violence in all four countries is compounding decades of under-investment in agriculture, leading to a potential catastrophe if humanitarian corridors are not opened up quickly, and aid is not increased rapidly, to prevent millions from dying of hunger. The UN has issued an urgent appeal for US$4.9 billion by July for life-saving assistance in the key areas of food security, health, nutrition, and water, sanitation and hygiene, but so far, only $1.9 billion has been received. (OCHA, 9 June 2017)

NIGERIA - EMERGENCY

According to OCHA (15 May 2017), 4.7 million people are estimated to be food insecure in the country’s most crisis-affected states (Borno, Adamawa and Yobe). This number is expected to rise to 5.2 million between June and August if adequate measures are not put in place. In addition, says NRC (5 May 2017), some families are so desperate for food that they have eaten their seed stocks, leaving them nothing to plant for the next growing season. Communities began to flee violence in northeast Nigeria in 2009, following relentless violence by the armed group Boko Haram. Some 1.8 million people have been displaced inside Nigeria since, and over 200,000 have fled to Cameroon, Chad and Niger. Now these countries are forcing them to return, adding to the burden of care on already very stretched resources.

SOMALIA - EMERGENCY

According to the latest reports, there is an increased risk of famine this year in some parts of Somalia. To respond to the growing needs, partners have revised the Humanitarian Response Plan for 2017; it now seeks US$1.5 billion to reach 5.5 million people with life-saving assistance in 2017. As of 11 May, donors had provided $634 million in 2017.

The number of people needing humanitarian assistance has increased to 6.7 million, up from 6.2 million, according to the latest projections by the FAO-managed Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit. A total of 3.2 million people are expected to face Crisis and Emergency (IPC Phase 3 and 4) levels of food insecurity through June (OCHA, 16 May 2017).

The warnings are clear: in a worst-case scenario where, first, the 2017 Gu (April-June) season performs very poorly, second, purchasing power declines to levels seen in 2010/2011, and third, humanitarian assistance is unable to reach populations in need, famine (IPC Phase 5) is expected (FAO, 5 May 2017).

In addition, Somalia is experiencing the worst outbreak of cholera in five years, with nearly 38,000 cases and almost 683 deaths so far in 2017. With the beginning of the rainy season and projected flooding, these numbers are expected to increase to 50,000 cases by end-June. Cases of measles are also on the rise, with more than 7,000 this year, 65 per cent affecting children under-five (OCHA, 16 May 2017).

SOUTH SUDAN - EMERGENCY

Famine is no longer occurring in Leer and Mayendit counties, and further deterioration was prevented in Koch and Panyijiar counties of former Southern Unity State as a result of immediate and sustained multi-sector humanitarian assistance delivered to the affected population since March 2017. The early detection of the deterioration of the food security situation into famine followed by the subsequent large-scale immediate response averted further loss of life, thus underscoring the importance of evidence based analysis and response. However, in June-July 2017, approximately 45,000 people will still be facing Humanitarian Catastrophe in Leer, Koch, Mayendit in former Unity State and Ayod County in former Jonglei state based on most likely assumptions of continued armed conflict, food shortages associated with seasonality, and humanitarian assistance delivery constraints ... In June-July 2017, in addition to approximately 45,000 people estimated to be facing Humanitarian Catastrophe, an estimated 1.7 million people are likely to be facing food security emergency (IPC Phase 4) - one-step below Famine on the IPC scale. (IPC, 21 Jun 2017).

South Sudan has now become the world’s fastest-growing refugee crisis, with more than 1.8 million people – including one million children – having sought safety in Uganda, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Central African Republic (WFP, UNHCR, 15 May 2017). Agencies are now seeking $1.4 billion to help South Sudanese refugees in the six neighbouring countries until the end of 2017.

YEMEN - EMERGENCY

The recent closure of all Yemeni seaports is highly concerning. Even before the current blockade, Yemen already faced the largest food security emergency in the world, with more than 15 million people facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse food insecurity and in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. Yemen is reliant on maritime imports for more than 80 percent of its annual staple food supply. Therefore, a prolonged closure of key ports risks an unprecedented deterioration in food security to Famine (IPC Phase 5) across large areas of the country.

If all ports remain closed, or re-open but are unable to support large-scale imports of essential goods, Famine is likely in many areas of the country within three to four months. In less accessible areas with the most severe current food insecurity, Famine could emerge even more quickly. In this scenario, food availability would be severely constrained, as the potential for overland trade to offset the decline in maritime imports is extremely low. In addition, concurrent limitations on fuel imports would accelerate sharp increases in fuel and staple food prices, while the lack of imported medical supplies would jeopardize treatment options for life-threatening illness. (FEWS NET, 20 Nov 2017).

All Updates on Fighting Famine in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen

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21 Nov 2017 description
report UN Children's Fund
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Somali version

Mogadishu, Somalia, 21 November 2017 – As the devastating drought in Somalia shows no sign of ending, UNICEF’s lifesaving work for women and children has received a boost from the Government of the People’s Republic of China. A contribution of US$2 million will help UNICEF reach 15,000 young children who are suffering from severe acute malnutrition, in the southern and central regions.

21 Nov 2017 description

Famine (IPC Phase 5) likely in Yemen if key ports remain closed

20 Nov 2017 description

Minister Burt addresses parliament about Yemen.

With permission, Mr Speaker I would like to make a statement to the House on the humanitarian and political situation in Yemen and the implications of the conflict for regional security.

Her Majesty’s Government remains deeply concerned by the humanitarian situation in Yemen and the impact recent restrictions are having on what was already the worst humanitarian crisis in the world and largest ever cholera outbreak.

20 Nov 2017 description

REGIONAL HIGHLIGHTS

  • Food security improves in parts of north-east Nigeria thanks to relief assistance

  • Forty per cent of children under five in Cameroon’s Far North region are struck by chronic malnutrition

  • Malnutrition worsens in Chad. Twelve regions declared to be in nutritional crisis

  • Attacks displace 1,700 in Cameroon’s Far North region

  • Concern over civilian protection after withdrawal of Chadian troops from Niger

20 Nov 2017 description

Background

Around 17 million people live in the affected areas across the four Lake Chad basin countries. More than 2.3 million people remain displaced. Most of the displaced families are sheltered by communities that count among the world’s poorest and most vulnerable. Food insecurity and malnutrition have reached critical levels.

Recent developments

20 Nov 2017 description

Highlights

• The health cluster mobilized partners in response to the large scale attack in Mogadishu in which 358 people (including missing ) died while 525 people were injured. The cluster coordinated the delivery of about 20 tonnes of urgently needed medical supplies to trauma facilities throughout the capital

• The health cluster through its partners has provided more than 2.6 million health consultations from the beginning of the year. It has provided more than 274 thousand consultations in October alone which is 77% of its monthly target.

19 Nov 2017 description

A feasibility study of low-literate community health workers treating severe acute malnutrition using simplified tools and protocol in Northern Bahr el Ghazal State, South Sudan

Malnutrition underlies nearly half of all deaths among children under the age of five. Despite this burden, 90% of malnourished children still cannot reach the life-saving treatment they need. We believe that the treatment can be brought directly to them.

Objective

19 Nov 2017 description

12 days since land, air and seaports in Yemen were closed, Oxfam and 13 other aid agencies are appalled by the complacency and indifference of the international community regarding the historic humanitarian disaster now unfolding.

19 Nov 2017 description
report UN Children's Fund

What: Handover ceremony of US$2 million humanitarian aid from the Government of the People’s Republic of China to UNICEF

When & Where: 9 : 30 – 10:30, Tuesday, 21 November S KA Room, MIA, Mogadishu

Who: His Excellency, Qin Jian, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Somalia Steven Lauwerier, UNICEF Representative to Somalia Government officials of the Federal Republic of Somalia

18 Nov 2017 description

“The river dried, there was not a drop of water anywhere,” Asha Hussein recalls.

When the drought ravaged her village in Lower Shabelle region in southern Somalia, she left her farmland, her home, behind. Now, Hussein lives in Daladda-Garsaaley settlement for internally displaced people on the outskirts of the capital Mogadishu.