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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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23 Apr 2018 description

Juba (ICRC) – A distribution of seeds and farming tools for approximately 24,600 people was interrupted after armed men attacked the International Committee of the Red Cross' compound in Leer, South Sudan, forcing staff to evacuate and program activities to be suspended.

"We are shocked and disappointed by this attack, which is not only an attack on the ICRC, but also on the people we are here to assist", says Francois Stamm, ICRC's Head of Delegation in South Sudan.

23 Apr 2018 description

Operational Context

Nigeria is a federal constitutional republic. Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and the seventh most populous country in the world. Nigeria has over 500 ethnic groups.

The crisis induced by the Boko Haram insurgency remains the principal driving factor of instability in Northeast Nigeria. Since 2010, the Non-State Armed Group has increasingly expanded its operational capabilities, and in May 2013 a state of emergency was declared by the Government in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states.

23 Apr 2018 description

Key points

  • Poor food consumption persists in Torit and Juba WFP/Madonna Kanisio

  • Overall, there is high market dependence, particularly in Kapoeta South where all households reported depending on markets for their food needs

  • Informal and unreliable sources constitute the main sources of income for most households, 55% reported deacrease in income compared to the same time last year.

Situation update

23 Apr 2018 description

Highlights

  • The Yemeni Riyals continued to suffer from rapid depreciation, and lost about 225% of its pre-crisis value.

  • Despite some improvements in imports of commodities, scarcity of essential imported food and fuel commodities continued March 2018. Most of the governorates are affected by the continued shortage of essential goods in markets.

23 Apr 2018 description

KEY HIGHLIGHTS & RECOMMENDATIONS

Although the community was massively displaced to Aburoc and Sudan in April 2017, following the intensified fighting in March to April1 leaving the Kodok town empty, return movements have now been observed.

The overall food security, nutrition, WASH, health and education situation is reported to be moderately poor and has deteriorated due to conflict and displacement.

22 Apr 2018 description

Situation overview

The Gu rains started the first week of March across the country, with consistent, heavy rains continuing in flood prone areas of southern and central regions throughout April.

22 Apr 2018 description

The swift response of Danish Demining Group’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team enabled access to food-drop zone for over 23,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) and local residents in South Sudan.

21 Apr 2018 description

Aden, Apr.21 (BNA): King Salman Relief and Humanitarian Aid Center (KSRelief) distributed 2,000 bags of wheat to displaced people from the western coast of Hodeida Governorate to Aden.

“The drive is part of the humanitarian operations plan”, said Yemeni Minister of Local Administration, who is also the Chairman of the Higher Relief Committee Abdulraqeeb Fat'h.

He stressed the crucial role of the King Salman Relief Center for for relief works, not only for Yemen but also in all countries.

20 Apr 2018 description

SITUATION OVERVIEW

The ongoing conflict in north-east Nigeria has affected most people who live in the region, with Adamawa, Borno and Yobe being the three most affected states.

20 Apr 2018 description

Mohamed Haji Mathey, 14, wonders why so many children in his country and around the world have to suffer and face so many challenges, as life rips their childhood away. At his Al-Bushra school in the Burhakaba district of south-west Somalia’s Bay region, Mohamed caught everybody’s attention as he stood up in class to share his dream: "One day I want to be the United Nations Secretary-General and make sure no child suffers ever again!"

20 Apr 2018 description

145,000+
Refugees and IDPs received material support and training during March 2018.

1,600+
Individuals received capacitybuilding training during March 2018.

32,000+
Children, pregnant and nursing mothers screened for nutritional status during the reporting period.

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).

19 Apr 2018 description

HIGHLIGHTS

• Yobe State health authorities declare cholera outbreak in Bade LGA

• Relief actors reach 2.4 million people with emergency food assistance in northeastern Nigeria during February

• Approximately 27 percent of the population in Lac, Chad, may experience Crisis or worse levels of acute food insecurity from June–August

KEY DEVELOPMENTS

19 Apr 2018 description

Outcomes in areas of northeast remain heavily dependent on humanitarian assistance

KEY MESSAGES

19 Apr 2018 description
report CHS Alliance

In June last year Medair, one of our member organisations, averted a deadly cholera outbreak in South Sudan by timely response that addressed the needs of communities.  

Medair in South Sudan

Medair has been present in Renk since 2011, providing integrated health, nutrition, and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services. Although Medair works in several communities around Renk through Integrated Community Case Management and Care Groups, the projects are focused on three IDP/returnee settlements; Abayok, Payuer, and Wonthow.

18 Apr 2018 description

18 April 2018 – Wanisa is sitting beside her 7-month-old child, Soraya, anxious that she will meet the same fate as her older sister who died of severe malnutrition just a few days ago.

Wanisa brought her weak child to the WHO-supported stabilization centre in Kamaran Hospital in Al-Marawia district, Al-Hudaydah governorate, seeking proper treatment. The newly established centre provides treatment to children in need, as many families used to travel a great distance to Hudaydah City to have their children treated.

18 Apr 2018 description
report Oxfam

Humanitarian Context

  • On 31 March, Fire was erupted in one of WFP’s warehouses in Hudaydah port and destroyed over 3,420 MT of relief food items. WFP announced that investigations are underway to establish the cause of fire.

  • On 28 March, the UN Security Council issued a presidential statement on the situation in Yemen calling on all belligerents to respect their commitments to the IHL and to grant better and unhindered humanitarian access and set back to the negotiation table to reach a peace settlement.

18 Apr 2018 description

SHABWA, Yemen, 18th April, 2018 (WAM) -- The Emirates Red Crescent, ERC, distributed on Tuesday urgent food and relief aid to families fleeing conflict zones in the Yemeni Governorate of Hodeidah.

The war launched by the Iranian-backed Houthi militates has brought destruction to many houses and public service facilities in the governorate, forcing many families to seek refuge in the district of Rudum in the Shabwa Governorate.

The ERC's relief efforts came in response to calls for help by the displaced, and are part of UAE efforts to relieve the suffering of Yemenis.