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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)


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.


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).


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.


With an estimated 17 million people in ‘emergency’ or ‘crisis’ levels of food insecurity, Yemen is one of the worst hunger crises in the world. After two years of deadly civil war, more than two-thirds of the population are struggling to feed themselves and urgently require life and livelihood-saving assistance. Taiz and Al Hudaydah, traditionally food-producing governorates, have been the focus of intense violence since the crisis escalated. Without additional humanitarian and livelihoods support, these two regions, accounting for almost a quarter of Yemen’s population, risk slipping into famine (FAO, 5 May 2017). In addition, the cholera outbreak has surged in recent months, with 23,425 new suspected cases and 242 related deaths (case-fatality rate 1.1%) reported in May, mainly from Amran, Hajjah and Sana’a governorates and Sana’a city (WHO, 20 May 2017).

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

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25 Sep 2017 description

Juba Gumbo Park

  • Significant decrease (23%) in people transiting through Juba Gumbo Park respect to the previous week (1083 individuals compared to 1401). The overwhelming majority of people moving are youths between 5 and 17 years old (509 ind. - 47%).

  • Majority of people are moving from Juba (701 individuals - 65% of the total) and they are manly going to Uganda (547 ind. to Refugee Camps and 107 to Kampala). Mainly reasons for Movements are “Shortage of Food” (354 ind. – 50%) and “Insecurity” (142 ind. – 20%).

25 Sep 2017 description
report UN Security Council
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The members of the Panel of Experts on South Sudan, whose mandate was extended pursuant to Security Council resolution 2353 (2017), have the honour to transmit herewith the Panel’s 120-day report, which was submitted in accordance with paragraph 2 of resolution 2353 (2017), by which the provisions of paragraph 12 (e) of resolution 2290 (2016) were renewed.

The report was provided to the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 2206 (2015) concerning South Sudan on 6 September 2017.

25 Sep 2017 description

Refugees received vegetable seeds in Upper Nile during the reporting period.

Refugees and IDPs received aid items from UNHCR across South Sudan during the reporting period.

Refugees and IDPs received capacity building training during the reporting period.


Refugees in South Sudan as of 31 August 2017.

25 Sep 2017 description


  • WFP assisted 2.9 million people in August with about 27,000 MT of food.

  • Rapid response mission conducting screening and distributions in Baggari, Southwest of Wau.

  • Quarterly multi-hazard early warning bulletin released

Situation Update

25 Sep 2017 description
report IRIN

Samuel Oakford

Intense frustration is building across the aid community that despite its best efforts it has been unable to dent the catastrophic levels of suffering in South Sudan, worsened by war and a political class that doesn’t seem to care.

"Every year we gather and we hold this meeting on South Sudan,” International Organization for Migration chief William Swing said at UN headquarters last week. “The conclusion is always the same: It cannot get any worse. And each year we come back – in fact it has gotten worse.”

25 Sep 2017 description
report European Union

During September EU NAVFOR’s Serbian Marines have been embarked on the World Food Programme (WFP) MV Esbjerg, to protect it from pirate attack as it sails along the Somali coast.

This highly capable team is known as an Autonomous Vessel Protection Detachment (AVPD) by EU NAVFOR. They are on a current deployment to Operation Atalanta protecting vital food aid between the ports of Djibouti, Mogadishu, and Mombasa. During their deployment, the Serbian marines are helping to deliver over 10,000 tonnes of food relief to the people of Somalia aboard WFP MV Esbjerg.

25 Sep 2017 description

Palm dates, goat meat, milk powder, biscuits, sugar and tea have been distributed to 5,600 detainees in 26 places of detention in Somalia to help them observe the month of Ramadan.

The holy month of Ramadan is observed by Muslims worldwide, who typically fast during the day. It’s a month to remember the less privileged in the society and extend acts of kindness to them. For the ICRC the gesture is symbolic and is meant to ensure detainees are not forgotten during this important period in the Islamic calendar.

25 Sep 2017 description

A deadly epidemic disease that slows livestock weight gain, reduces milk and meat production, and causes infertility and abortion has infested South central Somalia.

The tsetse fly lives along the rivers Shabelle and Juba where it thrives in the region’s trees, bushes and high humidity. The fly is a carrier of trypanosomiasis disease, which has a devastating impact on the region’s livestock and economy.

25 Sep 2017 description
report Monaco Red Cross

The Monaco Red Cross is launching an appeal for solidarity to help curb one of the widest food crises which is currently rife in Africa

25 Sep 2017 description

Nobody talks about Yemen. Since March 2015, violence in Yemen has claimed more than 10,000 lives, resulted in 2.2 million internally displaced people and 20 million people living in extreme poverty.

The scope and complexity of the crisis are resulting in a rise of malnutrition rates, driven by growing food insecurity, water shortages, displacement and poor sanitation.

25 Sep 2017 description
report War Child UK

We've just had some really exciting news from Yemen.

This week we were finally able to run our first food distribution. And it couldn't have gone better.

We were able to get urgent food packages to 317 families around Sana'a.

Each family now has enough food for the next month.

As the first international NGO registered in Yemen since the conflict started, it's great to see our emergency response in full swing with the next distribution taking place this Saturday.

About the food crisis in Yemen

25 Sep 2017 description

IOM Somalia DTM rolled-out its Emergency Tracking Tool (ETT) during the 5th round of data collection in May 2017. The ETT covered 1,548 IDP sites/IDP populated places in 26 districts of Somalia. The tool aims to increase understanding of displacement situations and produce a geo-referenced “Master-List” of IDP sites. Further, the dataset collected through this tool provides analyses on the number of displaced persons (individuals, households), available services and priority needs at the regional, district and site level.

25 Sep 2017 description




25 Sep 2017 description
report Save the Children

Beneficiary reach counting methodology

Save the Children’s methodology and process for beneficiary counting of children and adults reached is in line with Save the Children international definition of people reached directly (i.e. those individuals that receive inputs, participate in activities or access services provided by Save the Children, its partners or individuals/institutions to whom Save the Children or its partners have provided sustained support)

24 Sep 2017 description


  • Famine phased out, but food security situation still dire across the country

  • Food insecure caseload estimated at record high 6 million in June 2017

  • Unfavourable prospects for 2017 crops due to widespread insecurity, large scale displacements and Fall Armyworm infestations

  • Food prices at exceptionally high levels

Famine phased out, but food security situation still dire

24 Sep 2017 description


• In Q2 2017, an average of 4.9 million beneficiaries per month received general food distribution (GFD) and Commodity Voucher through Traders’ Network (CV-TN) assistance; there was an increase in the monthly average of beneficiaries reached since Q1 when an average of 4.3 million beneficiaries per month received assistance. A total of 153,736 MT of food was distributed in Q2, which had increased by 152 percent since Q1 when a total of 60,916 MT of food was distributed.

24 Sep 2017 description

Availability of essential food commodities improved in many governorates in August. However, the contraction of the overall economy and price increases of basic commodities have resulted in a reduction of the purchasing power of Yemeni households. Fuel imports are still below half the level of the country’s needs. As access to clean water in Yemen mostly depends on fuel-powered pumps, fuel shortages are a contributing factor to the humanitarian crisis.