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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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18 Aug 2018 description

Key Messages

Since mid-July, persistent and well above-average seasonal rains in Sudan caused significant levels of flooding. According to reports, over 45,000 people have been affected in West Kordofan, Kassala, El Gezira, Sennar, and Northern states. Meanwhile, large areas of western Ethiopia, southeastern South Sudan, and northern Uganda have experienced significant rainfall deficits for the past month, resulting in soil and crop moisture stress.

17 Aug 2018 description
  • 86,000+ refugees and IDPs received material support across South Sudan in July 2018.

  • 17,600+ Primary and Secondary School students attended second-term examination in Unity in July.

  • 2,000+ farmers received crop and vegetable seeds in Upper Nile and Unity regions in July.

Working with Partners in 2018

  • UNHCR works closely with the Government of South Sudan to deliver assistance and protection services to refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs).

17 Aug 2018 description

Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has started emergency nutritional and paediatric activities in Bama, Borno State, in response to a critical humanitarian situation among newly arrived internally displaced people (IDPs). Lack of adequate assistance, including access to shelter and healthcare, is having severe consequences for young children arriving in the town. MSF calls on authorities to urgently provide adequate assistance for the population, before the situation further deteriorates.

16 Aug 2018 description

Background

In mid-July, armed attacks in the Dungop in Abyei led to the displacement of 150 individuals (30 households) to Abyei’s Ameth Aguok region. In early August, humanitarian partners were alerted to the presence of the IDPs and organized an assessment mission to the displacement site, where IDPs are currently residing primarily with family members in the host community. Ongoing WFP food distribution in the area has mitigated the impact of displacement.

16 Aug 2018 description

Inside this issue:

Nutrition Cluster revision of the 2018 YHRP 1

Cluster Objective 1: Deliver quality lifesaving intervention for acutely malnourished girls, bays and pregnant and lactating women 2

Cluster Objective 2. Contribute to prevention of malnutriton by enhancing BSFP, microns:Went support, deworming and IYCF 4

Cluster Objective 3: Strengthen capacity of national authorities and local partners, to ensure effective, decentralised nutrition response 5

16 Aug 2018 description
report Concern Worldwide

Concern’s commitment to leaving no one behind has increasingly taken the organisation to fragile contexts, where the devastating consequences of conflict and resulting levels of human suffering have soared in recent years.

15 Aug 2018 description

A report recently published by HI and IOM[1] offers an assessment of the situation in the Bentiu Protection of Civilians (POC) Site in South Sudan, where people with disabilities live in difficult conditions and humanitarian services struggle to meet their needs. The report makes a number of recommendations.

14 Aug 2018 description

Abuja / Maiduguri, Nigeria. The World Food Programme (WFP), together with its partner INTERSOS, has distributed fuel-efficient stoves to 7,340 displaced families receiving WFP food assistance in the town of Banki, in Nigeria’s Borno state. The stoves distribution is an effort to improve people’s quality of life and reduce the protection risks faced by women and girls in particular, when they have to gather firewood from unsafe areas.

14 Aug 2018 description
report IRIN

Samuel Okiror

After months of negotiations aimed at ending a civil war that has killed tens of thousands of people and forced some 4.5 million from their homes since December 2013, South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar signed new power-sharing and ceasefire agreements on 5 August.

Read the full report on IRIN.

14 Aug 2018 description

ZENEBE TEKLEWOLD

“Sharing my skills of dressmaking with women in South Sudan is a rare opportunity for me which will make me very happy for all of my life,” says Mohir Hossad a Bangladeshi UN peacekeeper proactively redefining gender roles in Wau, a town in northwestern South Sudan.

Teaching women tailoring is one of a multitude of civil-military community support activities identified by creatively charitable Bangladeshi men - because they are all men - in green in Wau.

14 Aug 2018 description

As part of HelpAge International’s project on advancing the rights and protection of conflict-affected older South Sudanese migrants in Ethiopia, Uganda and South Sudan, HelpAge commissioned the Humanitarian Policy Group (HPG) to conduct a study on older South Sudanese displaced by conflict, both within South Sudan and across the border in Uganda and Ethiopia.

14 Aug 2018 description

Kharaz camp was opened in 2001 and remains the only refugee camp in Yemen. The vast majority of the population are Somali refugees.
The camp is located in Lahj Governorate, where average temperatures in summer exceed 40° Celsius. UNHCR maintains a Field Office in Kharaz.
Since August 2017, UNHCR has been supporting Yemeni authorities to conduct a verification exercise of refugees living in Kharaz camp.

13 Aug 2018 description

SITUATION

  • In Yemen, an estimated 22.2 million people require humanitarian assistance in order to meet their basic needs, including 17.8 million people who require emergency food assistance, according to the UN.

13 Aug 2018 description

The favourable weather conditions brought about by the Gu rains (April-June) have had a relatively positive impact on livestock conditions, water, pasture availability in Somalia. This, combined with a large-scale humanitarian assistance, have improved the food security situation in Somalia, breaking the downward trend which has emerged during the last two years. The gains are, however, still fragile.

13 Aug 2018 description

Highlights
- Currency Exchange Rate: Following years of continued depreciation until June 2018, the South Sudanese Pound (SSP) currency has appreciated significantly on the parallel market. In July, the average exchange rate in the Juba parallel market was SSP 230 for one US Dollar, compared to SSP 310 one month ago. However, the July exchange rate of the SSP per US Dollar was still 46 percent higher than that in the same month one year ago.

13 Aug 2018 description

HODEIDAH, 10th August, 2018 (WAM) - Four bakeries have been revamped and re-opened by the Emirates Red Crescent (ERC) in Khokha, Hodeidah, to provide 12,000 loaves of bread for free on a daily basis to displaced and eligible families in the liberated governorates of Yemen's Red Sea Coast.

The initiative comes as part of the consistent developmental and service projects being carried out by the UAE to alleviate the daily suffering of the Yemeni people.

13 Aug 2018 description

6,800+ Refugees and IDPs received nonfood items and seeds during the reporting period.

9,900+ Tree seedlings raised in Upper Nile during the reporting period

1,400+ Refugees and IDPs received livelihood support across South Sudan during the reporting period

KEY FIGURES

INSIDE SOUTH SUDAN

298,038 Refugees in South Sudan as of 31 July 2018.

1.88 million IDPs in South Sudan including 198,444 in UNMISS Protection of Civilians sites as of 26 July 2018.