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Humanitarian Crises in Southern and Eastern Africa

At the beginning of 2017, warnings were issued of imminent famine in parts of South Sudan, while the Somali and Kenyan governments declared national disasters due to the ongoing drought. In the event, famine was staved off in the region thanks to timely and robust intervention; however, the 2017 seasonal rains have not been sufficient to reverse the effects of the drought on crop production and food security in Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya. Meanwhile, in South Sudan, the continuing conflict - it has now entered its fifth year - has meant the humanitarian crisis continues to intensify, with seven million people needing help this year (OCHA, 20 Feb 2018).

In Kenya, six counties (Isiolo, Kajiado, Tana River, Garissa, Kilifi , Wajir) are in alarm drought status and experiencing a worsening trend. The five counties in alert drought status are Mandera, Kitui, Marsabit, Taita Taveta and Tharaka Nithi. In addition, 13 of the 23 ASAL Counties (56%) are experiencing normal drought status. According to World Vision, 3.4 million people need assistance, but this figure is likely to fall over the course of the year (World Vision, 31 Jan 2018).

The situation in Ethiopia and Somalia is also not improving. According to FEWS NET, large areas of southeastern Ethiopia are in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) and Crisis (IPC Phase 3), with humanitarian assistance preventing worse outcomes in some areas. Sustained, large-scale assistance is needed through at least mid-2018 to mitigate the risk of increases in acute malnutrition and a further deterioration of outcomes, particularly in Dollo, Korahe, and Jarar zones. Large-scale displacement due to conflict in late 2017 in areas along the Oromia-Somali border remains a concern.

In Somalia, says FEWS NET, the Deyr harvest, some milk availability, and large-scale assistance are supporting Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes in many areas. Despite improvements, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes are likely in August, in the absence of assistance, as many households have depleted key livelihood assets and a fifth consecutive below-average season is forecast (FEWS NET, 16 Feb 2018).

Meanwhile, in southern Africa, the fall army worm infestation shows no sign of abating, with concomitant effects on food security. Says FAO: “The pest is now present across the Southern African Development Community (SADC) except Mauritius and Lesotho. Partial fall army worm monitoring has pointed to Malawi as the hotspot in the 2017/18 season, and the country has since declared a national disaster” (FAO, 9 Feb 2018).

Indeed, the situation is so severe that a Special Alert was issued on 8 February 2018: “In the absence of consistent rains in February, dry conditions experienced in December to January will diminish water supplies for domestic, agricultural and commercial use. In other areas, including southern and central Mozambique, parts of southern Malawi and southern Zimbabwe, mild rains only returned in late January, by which time many crops had permanently wilted. Southern and central Zambia, southern Malawi and southern Madagascar continue to experience extended periods of below average rainfall and subsequent crop moisture stress. Even if normal rains are received during the remainder of season, it is likely too late for most of the early-planted crops to recover (FSNWG, 8 Feb 2018).

All Updates on Humanitarian Crises in Southern and Eastern Africa

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09 Dec 2018 description

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  • Below average rains in October hindered planting operations of 2019 crop

  • Cereal production in 2018 estimated at above average level

  • Food prices higher, pressured by weaker national currency

  • Food security situation expected to have worsened slightly

Planting of 2019 cereal crops underway

09 Dec 2018 description

**FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT*:

  • Unfavourable prospects for 2018 “deyr” crops in key southern cropping areas due to poor seasonal rains

  • “Gu” 2018 main season cereal production estimated at 147 000 tonnes, about 60 percent above average, due to abundant seasonal rains

  • Above average “gu” rains supported substantial recovery of rangeland and livestock body conditions

  • Prices of coarse grains declined to low levels in recent months following local harvests and sustained food assistance operations

09 Dec 2018 description

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  • Early season dryness affected planting and establishment of second season crops in Eastern Region

  • First season cereal production in 2018 estimated at above-average levels

  • Delayed harvest and reduced cereal output in Karamoja Region due to floods and erratic rains

  • Prices of maize seasonally increasing in recent months but still at low levels

  • Pockets of severe food insecurity in Karamoja Region

09 Dec 2018 description

BEATRICE MATEGWA

At an undisclosed location in South Sudan’s Unity region, a rape survivor narrates her ordeal.

“We were coming back from the town, and on our way, we found people, and these people looted our items. After that, they tied us for eight hours in the bush, and then at 4:00am, they released us,” narrates the 18-year-old mother of two in Nuer language, to a patrol team of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

She, together with another woman, helplessly struggled in the hands of their molesters, she says.

09 Dec 2018 description

Juba 8 December, 2018 – The Ministry of Health of the Republic of South Sudan with support from the World Health Organization (WHO), DFID, GAVI vaccine alliance and other partners, is set to vaccinate targeted healthcare and frontline workers operating in high risk states bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) against Ebola virus disease (EVD) as part of national preparedness efforts.

09 Dec 2018 description

INTRODUCTION

The Contingency Fund for Emergencies (CFE) has been a gamechanger for WHO. It allows WHO to respond rapidly to disease outbreaks and health emergencies - often in 24 hours or less. This saves lives and helps prevent unnecessary suffering. Furthermore, a quick response dramatically reduces the costs of controlling outbreaks and emergencies, as well as the wider social and economic impacts.

09 Dec 2018 description
report UN Children's Fund

Highlights

10 out of the 21 countries in Eastern and Southern Africa Region (ESAR) have reported more than 36,820 cholera / AWD cases and 433 deaths (Case Fatality Rate, 1.2%), since the beginning of 2018.

These countries include; Angola, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Somalia, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe accounts for 28.6 % (10,529) of the total case load reported this year, followed by Somalia at 17% (6,273).

09 Dec 2018 description

JAMES SOKIRI/JUMA OCHI

A large section of boda-boda motorcyclists and security officials in Yei River area have resolved to end hatred and mistrust between them to foster peaceful coexistence and build social cohesion.

The commitment was made at the conclusion of a one-day trust and confidence-building workshop organized by the Civil Affairs Division of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). The workshop brought together at least 50 participants.

09 Dec 2018 description

BEATRICE MATEGWA

Military personnel from the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces have completed a three-day training aimed at curbing conflict-related sexual violence in the northern town of Bentiu, where shocking incidents of rape and sexual assault have been reported in recent weeks.

Organized by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) Human Rights Division, the training – which was planned days before the allegations of brutal rapes of some 150 women and girls near the town came to the fore – attracted 40 government soldiers.

09 Dec 2018 description

7 December 2018 – The Ministry of Health of Somalia has announced 18 new suspected cases of cholera, with no deaths, for epidemiological week 47 (19 to 25 November) of 2018. Of these new cases, 61% (11) are females while 50% (9) are children below five years of age. The cumulative total of cases is 6605, including 45 associated deaths (case-fatality rate 0.7%), since the beginning of the current outbreak in December 2017.

09 Dec 2018 description
report Dubai Cares

• Dubai Cares delegation visits Kenya to monitor and evaluate its Information Communication Technology (ICT) program

• Program benefits over 106,000 children and 1,300 teachers

08 Dec 2018 description
report UN Security Council

UN HQ NEW YORK

The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the heinous incidents of sexual and gender-based violence against women near Bentiu in northern South Sudan in recent weeks.

The members of the Security Council expressed deep concern about the well-being of the victims, who, according to reports, included more than 150 women and girls who were attacked by armed men in military and civilian clothing, in Government-controlled areas throughout Rubkona County.

08 Dec 2018 description

Amman, 8 December 2018

Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides is on an official mission to Jordan to visit EU aid projects supporting refugees and meet with government officials and humanitarian partners on the ground.

08 Dec 2018 description

The country hosts the largest number of refugees in Africa – more than a million

By: Sulaiman Momodu

From Africa Renewal: December 2018 - March 2019

As thousands of desperate men, women and children flee conflicts and natural disasters in search of a place of refuge, some countries are debating whether to accept or reject asylum seekers. But Uganda has opened its doors to refugees in record numbers.

08 Dec 2018 description

Addis Ababa December 07/2018 Ethiopia and World Bank have signed 100-million USD loan agreement to finance the implementation of the Resilient Landscapes and Livelihoods Project today.

The loan will support the government’s effort in areas of climate resilience, land productivity and carbon storage as well as access to diversified livelihood activities in selected rural watersheds.

08 Dec 2018 description

Naivasha December 08/2018 Africa is still grappling with food insecurity despite its huge potential in agriculture which can enhance the economic growth and development, researchers noted.

Various factors are attributable to food insecurity in Africa, according to the researchers.

08 Dec 2018 description

Significant October to December rainfall deficits to result in below-average crop and livestock production

08 Dec 2018 description

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Relief actor records at least 150 GBV cases in Bentiu during a 12-day period

  • UN records two aid worker deaths, 60 humanitarian access incidents in October

  • USAID/FFP partner reaches 2.3 million people with assistance in October

KEY DEVELOPMENTS