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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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20 Apr 2018 description

by Caroline Wambui | Thomson Reuters Foundation
Friday, 20 April 2018 02:25 GMT

The loss of fruit trees for firewood and charcoal is hurting food security, particularly as droughts lengthen

KAJUKI, Kenya, April 20 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - When Leah Mutembei was growing up in Kajuki, a village in central Kenya, most farms were dotted with avocado and mango trees.

"But now they have all gone," the 32-year-old maize farmer said from her homestead, gesturing to the barren land nearby.

20 Apr 2018 description

Refugees and IDPs received material support and training during March 2018.

Individuals received capacitybuilding training during March 2018.

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).

20 Apr 2018 description


Eritrea acceded to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on 14th January 1999 and deposited its instrument of accession on 15th March 1999. Although it is close to two decades late, Amnesty International welcomes Eritrea’s submission of its initial report covering the period 1999-2016 to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR). Amnesty International hopes that this submission by Eritrea is the first of many more to come, and encourages the authorities to continue engaging with the ACHPR.

19 Apr 2018 description
report UN Children's Fund

• With support from UNICEF, 7,065 unaccompanied and separated refugee children have been provided with psychosocial support, referrals and access to basic services based on the Best Interest Determination.

• UNICEF in collaboration with partners ensured provision of safe water and sanitation facilities for 93,926 refugees including children in schools, Child Friendly Spaces and in health facilities.

• UNICEF supported the treatment of 265 children under five with severe acute malnutrition, and the cure rate was 81 per cent

19 Apr 2018 description



  • Protection services are provided to refugees living in urban communities and include physical safety, special protection for children against exploitation and abuse, assistance for persons with specific needs, legal protection, psychosocial support, and SGBV prevention and response.

  • Strengthening of targeted services and assistance for persons with specific needs is a priority.


19 Apr 2018 description


There is a need for “all South Sudanese stakeholders to engage genuinely and constructively in finding a political solution” to the country’s current crisis, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Bintou Keita, told reporters in the war-ravaged country’s capital, Juba, at the conclusion of her four-day visit.

19 Apr 2018 description

13,515 Refugees in Lóvua

24,762 Refugees receiving assistance in Lunda Norte

3,364 Households Persons with disabilities

57% Children <18 years old Unaccompanied and Separated Children

50% Women

720 Households headed by women

6,287 Refugees under education age

41 Villages occupied vs 53 planned

19 Apr 2018 description

Delivering on the Paris Goals and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, countries across the globe are mainstreaming and accelerating actions toward a low-carbon climate-resilient future. In Bangladesh, a new project will provide assistance to 25,000 women and girls to adopt resilient livelihoods, while ensuring reliable, safe drinking water for 130,000 people.

19 Apr 2018 description
infographic REACH Initiative


Yambio town is located in Yambio County, Upper Nile State, near South Sudan’s border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Yambio town was the centre of significant armed clashes and widespread displacement in 2016, and hosts a large population of internally displaced persons (IDPs) many of whom have started to return home as of early 2018.

19 Apr 2018 description
infographic REACH Initiative


Kapoeta town is located in Kapoeta South County, Eastern Equatoria State, near Eastern Equatoria South Sudan’s border with Kenya. Since the beginning of the crisis in South Sudan in December 2013, Kapoeta town has been the gateway through which most internally displaced persons (IDPs) have passed on their way to refugee camps in Kenya.

19 Apr 2018 description


Nurses, doctors and other staff at Juba Teaching Hospital are no longer afraid when they scurry between different wards, departments and life-saving interventions at night. No longer do they stumble in the dark, fearing snakes, other crawling animals, human predators or thieves, making the most of their invisibility.

19 Apr 2018 description
report European Union

Almost one-third of the beneficiaries were Syrians

The 28 Member States of the European Union (EU) granted protection status to 538 000 asylum seekers in 2017, down by almost 25% from 2016. In addition to these, the EU Member States received nearly 24 000 resettled refugees.

19 Apr 2018 description

05 April 2018, Harare - The Government of Japan has contributed US$ 500,000 to fight the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) and fall armyworm (FAW) in the Republic of Zimbabwe. The project, being rolled out this month, will be implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and working closely with the Government of Zimbabwe.

19 Apr 2018 description
report Pew Research Center


More people sought asylum in Canada in 2017 than at any point in at least a quarter-century, due in part to a spike in applications from Haitians entering the country from the United States, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Canadian government data.

19 Apr 2018 description
report UN Children's Fund

We were inspired by the strength and love of a mother who pushed a heavy wheelchair more than a kilometer on a sandy path to take her child to school every day.

Ilídio was born in a country where opportunities for children with disabilities are very limited. For a long time, he stayed at home with his mom, or all by himself. But now he goes to school. He has friends to play with. He is learning how to write, and can even speak two languages. Ilídio dreams of driving a car one day!

19 Apr 2018 description
report UN Children's Fund

Koko, Macomia District, Cabo Delgado, March 13 2018 - Following the most severe drought in 30 years caused by the 2016/2017 El Niño phenomenon - which in Mozambique affected approximately 2.3 million people - in 2017 the DFID Fund for the Lean Season Nutrition Response and Resilience Building in Mozambique, in partnership with WPF and UNICEF, decided to support the Government in addressing the immediate needs of the affected population in four provinces (Cabo Delgado,Manica, Tete and Zambezia).