1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Southern Africa continues to recover from the 2015/2016 El Niño-induced drought, which by January 2017 had affected about 41 million people across the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC)1. The substantial government- and SADC-led response, supported by $900 million from the international humanitarian community2, empowered farmers to take advantage of a good 2016/2017 rainfall season, delivering an April 2017 cereal harvest 3 per cent above the 5-year average.
Aid organisation CARE International today issued a new report highlighting the top ten most underreported humanitarian crises of 2016.
The report, Suffering in Silence, features food crises in Eritrea, Madagascar, North Korea and Papua New Guinea; conflicts in Burundi, Lake Chad Basin, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Sudan and last year’s monsoon floods in Bangladesh.
Abnormal rainfall patterns during 2014/2015 have contributed to a spike in food insecurity, which is currently affecting at least 27.4 m people regionally (and this excludes Angola, which has yet to publish official figures; and Madagascar, which did not present to SADC, but where 1.9 m people are food insecure, of which 460,000 people are severely so). In Malawi and Zimbabwe, 2.8 m and 1.5 m people are food insecure respectively.
The IASC Alert, Early Warning and Readiness report is produced bi-annually as an inter-agency effort by the Task Team on Preparedness and Resilience (TTPR) for IASC member agencies. The report highlights serious risks that were either identified as being of particular strategic operational concern or as having a high probability and impact on humanitarian needs. In addition to collaboratively assembling the report, the report includes an analysis of the state of readiness, prepared by OCHA, which is compared against each risk.
Snapshot 16–23 April
Central African Republic: Renewed clashes between anti-balaka and Seleka fighters occurred in several locations in central, northern, and southwestern provinces. MISCA soldiers are being redeployed to cover areas previously secured by the Chadian contingent. A Christian religious leader was killed and four were abducted in two northern towns, while 30 Christian civilians were reportedly killed in a central town.
Syria: Violence is intensifying in Damascus, with increased attacks from both the Government and the opposition. In Aleppo, fighting between Syrian troops and opposition fighters is causing further casualties. In the east, infighting between rival opposition factions has led to a reinforcement of Iraqi troops’ positions on the Iraqi side of the border. To date, over nine million people are in need of assistance, and more than 2.6 million have fled the country. In early April, humanitarian assistance was allowed in besieged areas in Aleppo for the first time since June.
(Pretoria, 08 November 2013): A groundbreaking study into the threats likely to confront southern African communities over the next decade has been released. Titled Humanitarian Trends in Southern Africa: Challenges and Opportunities, the study identifies regional and global factors that may impact the lives and livelihoods of southern Africans and, as importantly, the available capacities to address these challenges.
The regional armyworm outbreak has been largely contained.
A plan has been drawn up to address the locust outbreak in Madagascar, but it requires funding.
Early warning systems save lives in Mozambique and Madagascar.