|Severe humanitarian crisis|
|Situation of concern|
- Severe humanitarian crisis
- Humanitarian crisis
- Situation of concern
- Watch list
Snapshot 16–22 July
oPt: 583 have been reported killed and over 100,000 displaced since Operation Protective Edge began on 8 July. There are urgent needs for essential drugs, shelter, water, and food assistance in the Gaza Strip, requiring greater humanitarian space.
Syria: The recent UN Security Council resolution authorising UN cross-border and cross-line humanitarian aid is expected to enable assistance to reach 2.9 million more people.
Iraq: Minority groups are being targeted, with Islamic State reportedly giving Christian residents of Mosul 24 hours to leave the city. Insecurity and population movements are leading to the breakdown of procurement and distribution systems, impacting on the provision of essential goods and services.
Philippines: Over 1.6 million people have been affected by Typhoon Rammasun, which hit the Philippines over 15-16 July, leaving 97 dead and 460 injured. Over 111,000 houses have been damaged and 518,700 people are staying in 1,264 evacuation centres.
Updated: 22/07/2014. Next update: 29/07/2014
Afghanistan Country Analysis
20 July: The audit of 8.1 million votes started on 16 July. Only 435 of 23,000 ballot boxes have been checked so far (AFP).
17 July: The Taliban carried out an overnight attack on Kabul airport, in which four assailants were killed (AFP).
- More Afghans have been killed through natural disasters since the beginning of May than in all of 2013 (UN Humanitarian Coordinator, 05/2014).
- 4,853 civilian casualties in the first half of 2014, 24% higher than the same period in 2013. Ground combat is now causing more deaths and injuries than improvised explosive devices (AFP, 12/07/2014).
- Pakistani refugees and Afghan refugees in Khost and Paktika province in Afghanistan are in immediate need of food, WASH, shelter, and non-food items (OCHA, 29/06/2014).
- 5 million Afghans in Pakistan and Iran; 659,960 IDPs; 113,000 displaced in 2013 (UNHCR, OCHA, 02/2014).
- 1.7 million people in need of protection; 2.5 million are classified as severely food insecure. The conflict has caused widespread disruption to health services (OCHA).
Both disasters and armed conflict have prompted humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. Assistance needs include food, healthcare, and protection.
The Afghan Government faces both internal and external challenges to its capacity and legitimacy, and the outcome of 2014’s presidential transition will have implications for internal cohesion. The security environment remains highly volatile, with further destabilisation expected. The continued presence of international military personnel is seen as vital for the stability of Afghanistan.
The waning NATO military presence in Afghanistan is shifting the role of the international community to a more political and developmental one.
Afghanistan has close cultural, religious, and economic ties to its neighbours, and its internal stability is therefore of significant regional interest.
Pakistan: Tensions with Pakistan, in particular its relationship with the Afghan Taliban, negatively affect Afghan security and development. Pakistan is concerned about a security vacuum developing along the Afghanistan–Pakistan border following US withdrawal.
India: In 2013, Afghan President Karzai requested greater defence and security cooperation with India, which is now the fifth largest development donor in Afghanistan. So far, however, deploying troops and supplying heavy equipment is too much of a threat to India’s strained relations with Pakistan.
National Political Context
Former World Bank economist Ashraf Ghani won Afghanistan's presidential election, according to preliminary results on 7 July. The figures showed Ghani won 56.4% of the run-off vote against ex-foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah's 43.5%.
On 16 July, the audit of 8.1 million votes started. However, disagreements and a shortage of observers have already slowed the process, with only 435 ballot boxes (out of 23,000 total) checked in four days (AFP, 20/07/2014).
Turnout was more than eight million out of an estimated electorate of 13.5 million, far higher than expected, and likely to fuel fierce arguments about fraud. Abdullah was set to reject the preliminary election result, heightening a political crisis that threatens to trigger further instability (AFP, 07/07/2014). Thousands of protesters marched on the presidential palace in support of candidate Abdullah Abdullah’s allegations of fraud at the end of June (Reuters, 27/06/2014).
Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai is of Pashtun descent and has chosen the Uzbek ex-warlord Abdul Rashid Dostum as running mate. Abdullah Abdullah, of Tajik descent, ran against Karzai in 2009, and was Karzai’s foreign minister until 2006.
Despite pre-election attacks by the Taliban as well as threats to voters, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) reported that around seven million people turned out to vote for the first round on 5 April, and polling day passed off without major attacks. Overall, the turnout of over 50% was larger than expected.
Peace Talks with the Taliban
Several attempts have been made by Kabul and the US to re-launch peace talks with the Afghan Taliban, which have been stalled since mid-2013. Pakistani Prime Minister Sharif promised, in November 2013, he would help arrange further meetings between Afghan officials and Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, a former Taliban second-in-command and reported friend of Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar.
Although various official and informal sources have evoked renewed preliminary contacts, no substantial talks have yet been launched.
Insurgents continue to control remote parts of southern and southeastern Afghanistan, near the border with Pakistan. Their numbers have increased by 15% since the beginning of 2013.
The east and the southeast are most affected by violence, although an increasing number of attacks are being carried out in the northwest and Kabul. Civilian casualties soared by 24% to 4,853 in the first half of 2014 compared to the same period in 2013. Ground combat is now causing more deaths and injuries than improvised explosive devices (AFP, 12/07/2014).
There is widespread concern regarding the capacity of the 352,000-strong Afghan security forces. Afghan troop casualties climbed by 79% during key fighting months in 2013, as the Taliban has intensified attacks during NATO’s withdrawal, according to a US report. Afghan security forces and civilian casualties are close to the record levels registered during the peak of the insurgency in 2011. Police deaths have nearly since: an estimated 1,792 Afghan policemen died, and over 2,700 were wounded, between April and September.
International Military Presence
On 18 June, NATO will officially hand over authority in the remaining 95 districts in the south and east of the country to the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF). In May, British troops pulled out of their last outpost in Helmand. The last remaining British troops are in Camp Bastion, and are expected to leave later this year.
Afghanistan–US Bilateral Security Agreement
The Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) will determine the scope and strength of the US military presence in Afghanistan. According to official sources, the US had planned to leave more than 10,000 troops in Afghanistan for counterterrorism and training. President Karzai has been reluctant to sign the agreement, but the two candidates in the second round of the presidential election have both affirmed their intention to sign the BSA.
The Taliban is intensifying activities in Afghanistan as the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) withdraws. Since May, insurgents have targeted foreign military, humanitarian personnel, and civilians seen to cooperate with the Government.
In the first three months of 2014, the UN recorded 187 civilian deaths and 357 injured from improvised explosive devices (IEDs), a casualty number up 13% compared to the same period in 2013. IEDs were the biggest killer of civilians in 2013, but rising numbers of Afghan civilians are being killed and injured
The Taliban carried out an overnight attack on Kabul airport, in which four assailants were killed by security forces or blew themselves up (AFP, 17/07/2014).
At least 89 people died when a suicide bomber attacked a busy market in Urgun district, Paktika province, near the border with Pakistan on 15 July (AFP, 15/07/2014). The Taliban denied involvement in the attack, having ordered militants not to target civilians (Reuters, 15/07/2014). The incident is the worst single attack so far this year.
A roadside bomb killed eight civilians in a vehicle in Panjwayi district, Kandahar. There was no claim of responsibility, however, roadside bombs are commonly used by the Taliban (AFP, 12/07/2014).
A Taliban suicide bomber killed 16 people, including ten civilians and four NATO soldiers, in an attack in Parwan province, east of Kabul. The attack also seriously injured six children (AFP, 08/07/2014; UNAMA, 08/07/2014).
In June, a coordinated assault by 800 Taliban fighters on police checkpoints and military posts began. Armed clashes between the Taliban and Afghan forces have been taking place in Sangin, Musa Qala, Naw Zad and Kajaki districts of Helmand province (UNAMA). Sangin, a strategically important district at the centre of Afghanistan’s opium trade, has frequently been the scene of fierce fighting between the Taliban and US-led NATO forces (AFP).
At least 150 attacks killed 46 people across the country during the presidential run-off poll on 14 June. Two employees of the Independent Election Commission were killed in Helmand. Presidential front-runner Abdullah escaped an assassination attempt in which six people were killed.
In May, two US citizens were injured in an attack by unidentified gunmen on a US consulate vehicle in Herat, western Afghanistan (AFP, 28/05/2014); the Indian consulate in Herat was attacked by four gunmen just days earlier, and two policemen were wounded (UNAMA, 23/05/2014; AFP, 23/05/2014). The Indian consulate in Jalalabad was bombed in August 2013. Attacks in Jalalabad and Kabul, as well as Kandahar, Herat, and Panjshir provinces killed at least 45 people. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack in Panjshir province.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
The fluctuating security situation continuously changes the operating environment and access (WFP, 22/05/2014). Active hostilities and threats of violence are most problematic in contested areas. Movement restrictions are increasingly being applied to aid workers.
Security and access constraints are challenging response and relief efforts in flood-affected areas.
Insecurity and Attacks against Aid Workers
Security incidents involving aid workers are increasing. There were 57 incidents of violence against humanitarian aid workers in the first quarter of 2014, with the number increasing month on month (OCHA, 17/04/2014). Some 266 incidents against humanitarian personnel, facilities, and assets were recorded in 2013, including 37 deaths, 28 arrests and detentions, 47 injuries, and the abduction of 80 personnel. Over 55% of incidents are attributed to insurgent elements, but incidents attributed to pro-government forces have risen significantly, especially in contested areas (OCHA, 10/2013). In 2012, 175 incidents, including 11 deaths, were recorded (OCHA, 30/11/2013).
As of 31 March, 659,960 people were displaced due to conflict. This figure represents an increase of 5,300 (UNHCR).
In 2013, conflict-induced displacement led to acute humanitarian needs, with a marked increase in previously stable provinces in the north, particularly Faryab and Badakhshan (OCHA).
Many Afghan refugees have returned to Afghanistan due to ongoing military operations in Pakistan’s North Waziristan. Their provinces of origin are mainly Paktika (35%), Khost (20%), Paktiya (11%) and Baghlan (7%) (IOM, 15/07/2014).
From January to March, 2,346 Afghan refugees voluntarily repatriated to Afghanistan. This figure represents a sharp decrease (56%) compared to the same period last year, primarily due to the extension of Proof of Registration cards in Pakistan until 31 December 2015, and the uncertain situation leading up to the elections in Afghanistan.
Refugees in Afghanistan
As of 9 July, over 112,000 people Pakistani refugees – or 14,616 families – were registered in Khost and Paktika provinces in Afghanistan, having fled military operations in North Waziristan (OCHA; UNHCR, 09/07/2014; WHO, 08/07/2014). As of 13 July, 48 families in Paktika require NFI, food, and WASH support, and 33 families need tents. In Khost, 221 families need NFIs, food, and WASH, and another 77 families need shelter (IOM, 14/07/2014).
Afghan Refugees in Other Countries
As of 31 December, an estimated 2.4 million Afghan refugees and illegal migrants are in Iran, including one million undocumented Afghans (UNHCR and IOM). Roughly 2.9 million Afghan refugees and illegal migrants, including one million undocumented Afghans, are in Pakistan. An estimated 200,000 Afghan refugees are registered in other countries.
The protracted Afghan refugee crisis is placing an increased humanitarian burden on neighbouring countries and triggering tensions as Iran and Pakistan push for their repatriation. Afghan refugees in Iran face persecution, arbitrary arrest, detention, beatings and harassment by authorities (Human Rights Watch, 11/2013). Some 60% of Afghan refugees in Pakistan are in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which is causing tensions. Kabul and Islamabad agreed at a UN-backed meeting to continue efforts to solve the protracted refugee situation.
More Afghans have been killed through natural disasters since May than in all of 2013 (UN Humanitarian Coordinator). As the flood season comes to an end, about 150,000 people have been affected (compared to 65,000 in the same period last year), 175 killed and over 16,000 homes destroyed in 2014. This figure excludes the 7,000 affected and 5,000 displaced by the landslide in Argo, Badakhshan province, where investigations are ongoing and the exact death toll has not been verified (OCHA, 12/06/2014; IOM, 22/05/2014).
An estimated 2.5 million people were classified as severely food insecure as of 31 March (OCHA). A further eight million are considered food insecure. IDPs, low-income and disaster-affected households across the country, and households in the extreme northeast, especially Badakhshan province, are especially vulnerable to food insecurity.
Some groups continue to face high level of food insecurity, particularly IDPs displaced by the conflict, returnees from Pakistan, and households affected by natural disaster. Resources of host communities are limited (FAO, 03/07/2014; UNHCR, 03/07/2014).
Food security outcomes are expected to be Stressed until September and needs will be highest for those displaced and those affected by the spring floods (FEWSNET, 29/05/2014).
Agriculture and Markets
Steady spring rainfall is likely to result in a larger grain harvest than in either of the previous two years. Some households are nonetheless currently acutely food insecure, including the newly displaced, flood-affected households, and households who lost orchard crops to frost (FEWSNET, 30-06-2014).
The average wheat price increased by 21.7% compared to the last year, and is 36.3% higher than the previous five-year average price, i.e. May 2009–2013 (FAO, 30/06/2014; WFP 13/06/2014). Compared to last year, bread and cereal prices have increased 7%l; vegetable prices increased most, by over 21% (FEWSNET, 03/06/2014).
An estimated 30,000 hectares of agriculture land (both irrigated and rain-fed) and perennial crops have been affected by flooding (OCHA, 15/05/2014).
Health and Nutrition
While most Afghans now have access to basic public healthcare, the quality is so low that many patients seek private services at a higher cost than they can afford (MSF quoted in IRIN, 02/07/2014). The number of people in need of access to health services has increased from 3.3 to 5.4 million (OCHA).
2013 saw a 60% increase in the number of people being treated for weapon wounds, stretching trauma care needs beyond the existing response capacity. The conflict is causing widespread disruption to health services. In Helmand province, there was an almost 80% increase in hospitalised injuries caused by conflict in 2013.
NGO-managed health clinics and hospitals suffered 13 incidents, the highest number so far this year (OCHA, 15/05/2014). The Health Cluster reported a 40% increase in security incidents in health facilities from January to April 2013 compared to 2012.
At end March, around 1.45 million children under five and pregnant and lactating women were in need of nutrition assistance. As of 31 March, there have been 53,000 avoidable deaths from causes attributable to acute malnutrition, and 45% of 420,000 deaths among under-fives were attributable to undernutrition (OCHA).
In 2014, seven polio cases have been reported, mostly in conflict-affected areas: five from the east and one from the south. Polio cases were detected in June in Uruzgan, Nangarhar, and Farah provinces (Global Polio Eradication Initiative, 02/07/2014).
Extensive cross-border movement is one of the major challenges and cause for the spread of the polio virus. Kunar, Nangarhar, Laghman, and Nuristan, eastern Afghanistan, remain the four high-risk provinces for polio, as four cases of the Pakistan poliovirus were reported 1 January–30 April 2014. Afghan and Pakistani authorities agreed in July to cooperate in an anti-polio campaign in the border areas of both countries (DAWN, UNICEF, 12/07/2014).
Afghanistan is on track to stop endemic transmission before the end of 2014 (Global Polio Eradication Initiative, 11/06/2014).
For the Pakistani refugees and Afghan returnees in Khost Province, numerous protection concerns are rising, including the presence of land mines. Hot weather is causing heat exhaustion and dehydration among women and children (UNHCR, 27/06/2014).
At end May, around 1.7 million people were in need of protection assistance, mainly IDPs and people otherwise affected by conflict. IDPs need durable solutions for their protracted displacement (OCHA).
The Afghan National and Local Police and three armed groups (Taliban, Haqqani Network, and Hezb-e-Islami) have been listed for recruitment and use of children.
The Taliban has been listed for attacks on schools and hospitals (Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict, 02/06/2014).
Central African Republic Country Analysis
21–23 July: A reconciliation forum is due to be held in Brazzaville, Congo, at the initiative of the International Contact Group on the Central African Republic (AFP, 19/07/2014)
- Communal violence has surged across the country in 2014, with attacks reported in nearly all prefectures.
- 2.7 million people require immediate humanitarian assistance (WFP, 06/2014). The entire CAR population of 4.6 million people, half of whom are children, are affected by the conflict (UNICEF, 04/2014).
- 1.7 million people are in Crisis and Emergency phases of food insecurity (FAO, 06/2014).
- 528,000 people are estimated internally displaced, 103,000 of whom are in the capital Bangui (UNHCR, 07/2014).
- 388,000 mostly long-term CAR refugees are registered in neighbouring countries (UNHCR, 05/2014).
Health, protection, food, and wash are the priority needs in CAR, as violence, looting, and displacement have all led to a massive deterioration in the humanitarian situation across the country, affecting the entire population. Even prior to the crisis, basic services covered only a limited part of the territory.
Fighting between predominantly Christian anti-balaka militias and majority Muslim Seleka fighters, and civilian mob violence, have caused mass displacement, targeted killings along communal lines, and human rights abuses since December 2013. The Government has virtually no control of the territory, and new warlords have established dominance over a number of territories.
On 12 May Chad announced that it was closing its border with CAR (international media, 12/05/2014). Chad has also reportedly deployed security forces to its southern regions, which border CAR (OCHA, 09/05/2014).
On 9 May, the UN Security Council voted to impose sanctions on an anti-balaka leader, a Seleka leader, and former CAR President Bozize.
A UN commission to investigate abuse of human rights and international humanitarian law in CAR is due to report to the Security Council by September. A senior UNHCR official stated on 28 February that “ethno-religious cleansing” was ongoing in CAR.
National Political Context
On 21–23 July, a reconciliation forum is due to be held in Brazzaville, Congo, at the initiative of the International Contact Group on the Central African Republic (AFP, 19/07/2014). Key political and religious groups had threatened to boycott the talks, saying their county’s future should be resolved at home (Reuters 11/07/2014).
On 14 March, the press reported that the CAR National Transitional Council had started working on a new constitution.
In mid-February, local sources reported that several ex-Seleka commanders had openly mooted the idea of dividing the country. Muslim residents of Bambari, Ouaka prefecture, also reportedly made frequent demands for partition in late April, according to international media (25/04/2014). The French Defence minister has announced that France would not recognise any partition of CAR.
Catherine Samba-Panza, previously mayor of Bangui, was elected interim President by members of the National Transitional Council on 20 January. On 25 January, Samba-Panza appointed Andre Nzapayeke, as Prime Minister. Nzapayeke’s Government reportedly includes both supporters of Christian militias and supporters of Seleka.
A UN death toll in early February indicated that at least 2,000 people have been killed in CAR since the start of the crisis, including 1,118 in Bangui since early December 2013.
The CAR government has repeatedly requested rearmament, but this is currently prohibited by the UN Security Council arms embargo (international media, 12/06/2014).
The majority Muslim Seleka seized power in Bangui on 24 March 2013. Violence intensified as, despite having been disbanded, Seleka began attacking the mostly non-Muslim civilian population, and ‘self-defence’ Christian and animist militias, known as anti-balaka, mobilised. International peacekeepers were deployed in December 2013.
Seleka, officially dissolved in September 2013 and numbering an estimated 25,000 fighters, are composed roughly of 5,000 core fighters from the largely Muslim northeast; 5,000 foreigners, mainly Sudanese and Chadian; and 15,000 people recruited during Seleka’s advance in 2013. Seleka reinstated Michael Djotodia as its leader following its general assembly in Birao on 8–10 July. Djotodia was forced to step down as president in January amid escalating violence.
International Military Presence
UN Peacekeeping Mission
On 10 April, the UN Security Council allowed the deployment of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) for one year. The transfer of authority from the AU-led International Support Mission to the Central African Republic (MISCA) is scheduled to take place on 15 September. The initial deployment will be of up to 10,000 military and 1,800 police.
AU Peacekeeping Mission
As of 5 March, an estimated 6,000 AU peacekeeping troops from Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, and Rwanda and 2,000 French troops were deployed in CAR.
Chadian troop withdrawal: The Chadian MISCA contingent withdrew in April, after one soldier was killed in a clash with anti-balaka, and non-MISCA Chadian soldiers fired on a civilian crowd having reportedly been attacked by a Christian militia (OHCHR).
French Peacekeeping Forces
The UN Security Council authorised the continued deployment of the 2,000 strong French peacekeeping mission Sangaris on 10 April. President Catherine Samba-Panza asked France to extend its military presence until the CAR presidential election, which should take place in February 2015 at the latest. On 9 March, a demonstration against the French peacekeeping operation, Sangaris, took place in Ndele, Bamingui-Bangoran.
In mid-February, half the French troops were deployed in Bangui, while the other half were in the regions.
EU Military Intervention
The EU Force in CAR (Eufor-RCA) was authorised by the UN Security Council on 28 January, and became operational on 30 April. The force has a six-month mandate and reached its maximum strength of 700 on 15 June, official sources reported. Eufor-RCA represents the biggest EU military operation in six years.
US Military Assistance
The US is providing logistical support and advisers to African troops operating against the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in eastern and southeastern CAR.
On 27 June, anti-balaka and Seleka members agreed to take part in peace talks brokered by a conflict resolution group, international media reported.
In mid-February, French military sources reported that anti-balaka had emerged as the main threat to peace in the country. By early March, anti-balaka armed groups, retaliating for widespread abuses committed mostly against Christians by Seleka fighters, were massively targeting Muslim populations and committing various abuses.
In late March, observers noted an increase in both Seleka and anti-balaka activism, and the increased targeting of international peacekeepers by armed groups. Seleka fighters were said to be attempting to take back areas of northern CAR. In mid-March, fighters belonging to Darfur militias, including Janjaweed, Misseriya and Rizeigat, were reportedly arriving in Vakaga prefecture to support Seleka. The town of Ndele was attacked in March.
In late April, several media reports confirmed that renewed Seleka offensives were affecting the north of the country, especially Ouham and Ouham-Pende. Seleka captured the town of Bouca, Ouham, on 22–23 April, according to international media. There was fighting between anti-balaka and Seleka in Dekoa, Kemo. Sangaris was reportedly deployed in Grimari, Ouaka. Further clashes occurred in Sagani, Nana-Mambere, and Bamatara and Botokon, Nana-Grebizi. Muslim convoys were attacked in Dissikou, Nana-Grebizi, and Boguila and Paoua, Ouham-Pende.
Convoys of Seleka fighters were reported to have arrived to Kabo, Ouham prefecture, following clashes between Sangaris and Seleka near Boguila, Ouham-Pende, on 5 May (OCHA, 07/05/2014).
On 10 May, international media reported that Seleka had established a new command. As of late May, the headquarters of this command were in Bambari, Ouaka.
The intensification of attacks by armed groups could be interpreted as a possible attempt to gain ground ahead of the main May–November rainy season (UNICEF, 28/04/2014), however attacks continued through May and June.
Ouaka: 70 unarmed Central African police personnel were deployed to Bambari, where Sangaris are guarding a strategic bridge (UNHCR, 04/07/2014). The town has reportedly seen intense fighting since May (UNHCR, 25/06/2014). Clashes erupted on 23 June following a suspected anti-balaka attack on a Peul Muslim community and subsequent retaliation. At least 60 people have been killed and 10,000 displaced (UNICEF 09/07/2014; OCHA, 24/06/2014). Violent clashes occurred between Sangaris and Seleka in Bambari over 22–23 May (OCHA and international organisations).
Mambere-Kadei: Clashes between MISCA and anti-balaka on 23 May reportedly left three civilians and one anti-balaka dead in Carnot (UNHCR, 29/05/2014).
Kemo and Nana-Grebizi: In May, clashes between militias in and around Kaga Bandoro, Nana-Grebizi., killed at least 55 people, many of whom were civilians.
Nana-Mambere: On 9 May, clashes in the area of Bouar left 12 Seleka and anti-balaka fighters dead (OCHA).
Ouham: Acording to OCHA on 1 July, insecurity was reported in Batafango, where a recent attack in a nearby village displaced over 11,000 people. The security situation reportedly deteriorated in Kouki. On 5 May, French peacekeepers were attacked by ex-Seleka on the way to Boguila. Between 1 and 5 May, international media reported that over 30 people had been killed in clashes between Seleka and anti-balaka in Mala. Between 30 April and 2 May, attacks by Seleka had reportedly left 20 people dead in Markounda. On 14 May, attacks by armed men reportedly left 22 people dead (OCHA, 22/05/3014). Boguila saw the killing of 22 people and an attack on a convoy of Muslims in late April.
Ouham-Pende: On 4 July, a grenade attack against a mosque in Paoua left 34 people dead (OCHA, 10/07/2014). On 15 May UNHCR reported that fighting had been ongoing for two weeks in Bemal. At least 55 people were reportedly killed in the area of Paoua between late April and early May.
Mbomou: On 2 July, an INGO reported that clashes between Ugandan troops and Seleka had left over a dozen of people dead.
Violence in Bangui
On 8 June, a voluntary disarmament day organised by the Government in Bangui reportedly led to 192 people handing in weapons.
The security situation in Bangui deteriorated in May. Dozens were killed in clashes, including an attack on a displacement site (UNHCR and international media, 28/05/2014; UNHCR, 29/05/2014)
Over a few days from 21 March, 69 people lost their lives, with reported hotspots including district PK5, PK12, Kango, and the third and eighth districts.
The LRA has been active in eastern CAR since before the latest crisis, but attacks increased in 2013, as the political crisis left a power vacuum, according to an NGO monitoring report of February 2014.
On 7 May, LRA attacks were reported near Obo (Haut Mbomou).
Disarmament operations have been handled by French and MISCA troops, as well as by national military forces. Disarmament has triggered widespread violence and looting, and has been heavily criticised for resulting in indiscriminate attacks against civilians, according to international observers.
In late February, disarmament operations by international peacekeeping forces focused on the anti-balaka in Bangui, especially in PK13 and Boy Rabe districts.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
As of June, 2.7 million people (half of whom are children), of an estimated population of 4.6 million, need immediate assistance (WFP, 25/06/2014); 2.6 million were reported in urgent need in the January Multi-sector Initial Rapid Assessment (MIRA). The MIRA reported that the whole population of the country was living in affected areas.
Outside the capital, health was reported to be the highest priority need, followed by protection, food, and WASH. Five of the six top health concerns were WASH-related (MIRA, 01/2014).
In Bangui and surrounding areas, the priorities were reported to be food, WASH, health, and protection (MIRA, 01/2014). Shelter was a problem for one-third of key informants within Bangui city.
Violence in CAR threatening humanitarian assistance and creating major difficulties for relief workers in the field (WFP 08/07/2014).
The surge in violence has had serious consequences for humanitarian assessment and response (OCHA). In the countryside, the security of humanitarian workers remains dependent on the willingness of local strongmen, while insecurity affects roads.
On 25 June, WFP reported that rains were hampering the delivery of supplies. The rainy season began in May.
On 7 June, an attack on truck drivers left three dead on the supply road from Cameroon, according to a donor report. Drivers have reportedly refused to resume transportation from Cameroon into CAR.
Bamingui-Bangoran: The delivery of aid has reportedly been impeded by local authorities in Ndele (OCHA, 16/07/2014).
Ouham: On 1 July, OCHA reported that insecurity was impeding humanitarian access to Batangafo, Markounda, and Kouki. At 17 June, Markounda was entirely inaccessible to humanitarian aid (OCHA).
Ouaka: As of 25 June, UNHCR reported that the renewed clashes in Bambari since May had hampered access to the area.
On 24 May, an INGO reported that access in the area of Kaga Bandoro, Nana-Grebizi, was hampered by fighting. Access was also restricted in Nana-Mambere and Ouham-Pende prefectures (UNHCR, 22/05/2014).
On 12 May, OCHA reported that the roads linking Bangui to Kabo via Boali, Bossembele, Bossangoa, Bouca and Batafango, were considered a high security risk. Roads linking Kaga Bandoro, Dekoa, Sibut, Kouango and Grimari were also considered insecure.
At 9 June, an estimated 21,000 people, mostly Muslim, were trapped in 12 locations, some of whom have been trapped for several months (Boda, Lobaya amd PK12 district of Bangui). The number is unchanged since 9 May. Very high risk locations comprised Boda (Lobaye prefecture), Yaloke (Ombella Mpoko), Berberati (Mambere-Kadei), Bozoum (Ouham-Pende), Boganangone (Lobaye), and the PK5 district of Bangui, while Bouar and Baoro were considered as ‘high risk’ (UNHCR). The Protection Cluster defines populations as ‘at risk’ when insecurity, restrictions on freedom of movement, and lack of access to humanitarian aid threaten their lives or physical integrity.
Security Incidents Affecting Aid Workers
On 9 July, a group of eight humanitarian aid workers was temporarily held by anti-balaka outside Boali (WFP, 17/07/2014). Between 1 and 4 June, three separate attacks against NGO offices and vehicles were reported in Mboki (Haut Mbomou), Ndele (Bamingui-Bangoran), and Sibut (Kemo).
On 1 May, a member of UNHCR staff was killed in Bangui, bringing the death toll of aid workers since September 2013 to 13. Staff abduction, vehicle theft, death threats and physical attacks have all been reported.
On 7 March, Human Rights Watch reported that the country had been virtually emptied of its Muslim communities. On 5 March OCHA estimated that 80–85% of Bangui’s minority population had fled, and that the entire Muslim population had fled or been evacuated from Yaloke (previously home to 10,000 Muslims), Baoro in Nana-Mambere (4,000 evacuees), and Mbaiki in Lobaye (OCHA). Most Muslim inhabitants of Boali, and of Bossemptele, Ouham-Pende, had also left.
528,000 IDPs in country, including 103,000 in Bangui (OCHA 16/07/2014). At 1 July, there were an estimated 535,000 IDPs (OCHA). Displacement surged from late March, having decreased between January and March (OCHA). In early February, OCHA reported that half of the displaced were children.
The dynamics of displacement within CAR vary considerably: rural inhabitants flee their villages and seek refuge in the surrounding countryside, while urban inhabitants seek safety in different districts. Armed elements are often present in IDP sites, according to the MIRA.
Nana-Grebizi: By early May, the number of displaced in the Kaga Bandoro area had doubled in a month, to 23,000 (UNHCR).
Ouaka: Violence in Bambari has brought the number of IDPs from 9,000 to 25,000 from 24 June to 1 July (UNHCR, 04/07/2014). IDPs are facing urgent needs in terms of shelter, latrines, and food, according to an assessment carried out 28–30 June by an NGO in the MISCA, Sangaris, and Saint-Joseph displacement sites in Bambari.
Bangui: 110,000 IDPs are in 40 sites (OCHA, 17/06/2014). The most frequently cited needs are housing, security, and non-food items. In June, 60% of IDPs indicated that they intended to return home in the next four weeks (OCHA, 17/06/2014).
Ouham: An estimated 8,000 IDPs are living in the bush in Kouki (OCHA, 01/07/2014).
Refugees in CAR
7,827 refugees and asylum seekers from other countries in CAR (UNHCR 11/07/2014), an estimated 1,700 South Sudanese refugees were in CAR as of 31 March (UNHCR).
Darfuri refugees in the Bembere camp in CAR facing a serious security situation. Aid organisations have withdrawn, leaving people without access to food aid (Local media 11/07/2014). As of 25 June, UNHCR reported that violence in Bambari had caused the interruption of a number of humanitarian programmes for the 1,900 Sudanese refugees residing in the Pladama Ouaka camp.
At 31 May, 12,000 IDPs had reportedly returned to the area of Bohon, Ouham-Pende (WASH Cluster); 2,500 people have since then reportedly returned in the areas of Ngaounday and Bang, Ouham-Pende (UNHCR, 5/06/2014).
CAR Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
394,000 CAR refugees are registered in neighbouring countries, 163,000 having arrived since December 2013 (OCHA 17/07/2014). 225,000 CAR refugees are in Cameroon, 92,000 in Chad (100,000 on 15 May), 61,000 in DRC (63,000 on 19 March), and 17,000 in Congo.
On 4 July, following reports that refugees had been denied entry into Chad at the border point of Sido, UNHCR said that Chad authorities had confirmed the border point would remain closed. Although only 15,000 CAR refugees are considered to have arrived in Chad since 1 December (UNHCR, 27/06/2014), OCHA reported on 17 June that 110,000 people had crossed from CAR to Chad since 2013.
Third-country Nationals Fleeing CAR
On 26 June, OCHA reported that 125,000 people had been evacuated from CAR, both Muslim CAR nationals and others. The Chadian Government announced the completion of its air evacuation programme on 20 February.
45% of the population, i.e. 1.7 million people, are at Crisis and Emergency levels of food insecurity: 26% are in IPC Phase 3 (Crisis), and 19% are in IPC Phase 4 (Emergency), according to an IPC classification on 27 May. Ouham and Ouham-Pende are most affected areas. All other prefectures are at Crisis level, except Mambere-Kadei (Stressed). Bamingui-Bangoran, Haute Kotto, Vakaga and Sangha Mbaere could not be classified due to insufficient data. Earlier assessments had found that most IDPs were facing at least IPC Phase 3 food insecurity.
In June, FEWSNET reported that Bangui and northwestern and central-western areas of CAR would remain in IDP Phase 3 (Crisis) through the next harvest, which is July for the south, and October for the north.
Reduced access to fields due to conflict will results in blow-average crop production during the 2014/2015 season (FEWSNET 06/20140.
Agriculture and Markets
The flight of Muslim traders and the refusal of transporters, most of whom are Muslim, to take to the road, has also hampered food availability and led to price hikes.
Maize prices in Bangui rose by 31% between January and November 2013, while millet prices increased by 70% between March and October in Ouham prefecture, an important sorghum and millet producing area (FAO, 12/2014). As reported by FAO in November 2013, the average inflation rate surged from 1.3% in 2011 to 5% in 2012 and an estimated 8% in 2013.
Health and Nutrition
The situation in CAR’s health sector was critical even before the current crisis, with MSF documenting mortality rates well above the emergency threshold in several regions. In June 2013, the INGO Merlin reported that 3.2 million people were living without access to basic healthcare.
At 10 June, 67% of the two million people targeted by health humanitarian response had no access to basic health services (OCHA).
Health structures are almost exclusively supported by international NGOs and religious organisations, and cover only 10–20% of the population. The incidence of malaria, the first cause of morbidity, is reportedly on the rise, a situation compounded by the systemic shortage of medicine. The epidemic risk (acute diarrhoea, measles, meningitis) is high.
60% of health facilities have been vandalised, looted or destroyed, and over 80% of local medical doctors have moved to Bangui (MIRA, 01/2014; OCHA 10/2013).
In mid-August 2013, according to a trusted source, 11,000 people living with HIV/AIDS had their antiretroviral treatment interrupted as a result of instability since December 2012.
In early January, it was estimated that malaria constituted the first cause of morbidity in CAR, with serious shortages of anti-malarial drugs in most of the still-functioning health structures. According to the Health Cluster in late January, malaria was the cause of 40% of medical consultations for children under five in Bangui.
Malaria has been on the rise since December 2012, and is likely to increase further with the start of the rainy season in May 2014. In the first six months of 2013, MSF recorded 36,910 cases of malaria in Boguila, 50km from the Chadian border, compared with 19,498 cases during the same period the previous year.
An estimated 28,000 children under five are expected to suffer from SAM in 2014, and 75,000 to be affected by MAM (WFP, 17/07/2014).
On 7 May, OCHA reported measles epidemics in Carnot and Berberati (Mambere-Kadei prefecture).
At 2 March, 42 cases of cerebrospinal meningitis had been reported in 2014 (WHO).
According to aid worker testimonies, 60% of parents whose children were admitted to Bangui’s paediatric hospital for SAM presented symptoms that suggested post-traumatic stress disorder (24/06/2014).
As of 24 June, 11,000 people from displaced, relocated, and host communities in Moyen Sido had immediate and medium-term WASH needs (OCHA). As of 10 June, 42% of the 900,000 people targeted by the WASH humanitarian response had no access to safe drinking water (OCHA).
According to the Ministry of Education, 45% of schools remained closed across the country at 17 June, down from 65% reported by the Education Cluster in February (OCHA, 17/06/2014). Only 6% of schools were reportedly open in Kemo and Nana-Grebizi (UNICEF, 17/06/2014). 65% of 165 schools visited by UNICEF in late 2013 had been looted, occupied, or damaged by bullets or shells. As of 25 June, 80% of children were reportedly out of school (WFP, 25/06/2014).
Over a third of school students registered in 2012/2013 had reportedly dropped out in 2013/2014, representing 278,000 children.
On 24 June, a human rights group reported that crimes against humanity and war crimes had been and continued to be committed in CAR since 2013. In late October 2013, attacks, executions and torture of civilians, indiscriminate shelling, sexual and gender-based violence, and forceful recruitment of children were all documented in a report by Amnesty International.
In February, UN officials and human rights groups warned that “ethnic cleansing” was ongoing against the Muslim population – although this has been disputed by some NGOs and within the international community.
On 24 June, OCHA reported that the number of child soldiers coerced into joining the ranks of various armed groups could approximate 10,000, an upward revision from 6,000 in February. On 10 June, OCHA reported that 42% of a targeted 2,000 children had been released from armed groups.
In November 2013, UNICEF reported that the increase in the number of children being recruited into armed groups was due to the rise of self-defence militias created to counter waves of attacks by former rebels. Armed groups have been re-recruiting children who had been recently demobilised.
Chad Country Analysis
11 July: An estimated 17,000 CAR refugees have arrived in Chad since December 2013, bringing the total to 93,175 (UNHCR).
- Chad remains at the junction of three major crises in the region: CAR, Nigeria, and Sudan.
- 110,700 CAR refugees, Chadian returnees, and third-country nationals have arrived in Chad since December 2013. The majority are women and children. Many children separated from their parents. Most are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance in camps and informal settlements (IOM, UNHCR, and UNICEF, 06/2014).
- There are 440,600 refugees in Chad (OCHA, 05/2014).
- 2.6 million people are food insecure (OCHA, 01/07/2014).
- High prevalence of malaria: deaths nearly doubled in 2013, with over 2,610 deaths registered and 991,840 cases diagnosed (OCHA, 11/2013).
Central African Republic Crisis
On 12 May, Chad’s President Idriss Déby announced that the southern border with CAR will be closed to all except Chadian citizens until the CAR crisis is resolved. The government has deployed additional security forces to the border, and expressed concern that armed fighters might be infiltrating refugee populations in the area. On 16 June, UNHCR announced that it will be investigating reports that people seeking refuge in Chad are being refused entry at the Sido border, in contravention of non-refoulement principles.
On 16 April, Chad completed its withdrawal from the African Union Peacekeeping Force in CAR. The government announced the withdrawal of its 850 soldiers after being accused of violence against civilians. On 29 March, at least 30 people were killed and another 300 injured by non-AU Chadian troops in the CAR capital Bangui. In January, a UN human rights team travelled to CAR to gather evidence and testimonies relating to allegations that Chadian citizens, including peacekeepers, carried out mass killings. Chad has always denied the charges.
President Deby called for the establishment of a UN peacekeeping mission to contain violence in CAR in February. It was the first time the region's military heavyweight had publicly called for UN intervention.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Added to the impact of three major humanitarian crises at its borders (Darfur, CAR, Nigeria, and), Chad also faces chronic food insecurity, repeated food crises, malnutrition, natural hazards, and outbreaks of disease.
Bad road conditions during the rainy season, which starts in June and usually lasts until October, is limiting access (ECHO, 02/2014).
Successive waves of instability and conflict in neighbouring countries have caused large-scale population movements into Chad, which now hosts the seventh highest number of refugees worldwide with over 440,600 refugees (OCHA, 05/2014).
An estimated 90,000 IDPs are living in protracted displacement in the east (OCHA, 19/11/2013). Most were displaced in 2007 by armed conflict between government forces and armed opposition groups, inter-communal violence, and attacks by criminal groups known as coupeurs de route. The preferred option of most IDPs is local integration in their place of refuge or resettlement. However, conditions have not yet allowed a durable solution. Limited information is available on the current situation.
Refugees, Returnees, and Third-Country Nationals from CAR
Over 110,700 people have arrived in Chad from CAR since December 2013, including 75,000 CAR refugees and 95,000 Chadian returnees and third-country nationals (UNHCR, 06/2014). The pace of new arrivals has decreased to fewer than 100 new registrations a day, compared to 3,000 a day at the height of the influx in early January (IOM, 19/05/2014). Most of the first arrivals were women and children, their numbers being later equalled by men (IOM). Over half (54%) of the people profiled were children and teenagers (IOM, 18/06/2014). In May, 106 unaccompanied or separated minors were in Doyaba camp (Ministry of Social Affairs, 05/2014). 92% of arrivals lack any form of identity documentation.
Some 61,000 people live in transit sites, spontaneous sites, and host communities in southern Chad and in Zafaye in the Gaoui neighbourhood of N’Djamena (IOM, 19/05/2014).
Nearly 50% of those who have arrived in the past month remain in transit camps (OCHA, 06/2014). The situation in southern transit sites remains critical. Serious gaps in assistance remain, notably in shelter and WASH (OCHA, 27/05/2014). Health professionals have reported a significant increase in cases of diarrhoea and malaria, coinciding with the start of the rainy season. Heavy rains have also destroyed tents and flooded transit sites and temporary camps in both N’Djamena and southern Chad.
Two new camps in the south are still under construction: Danamadja will have a capacity of 15,000, and Maingama 30,000. Danamadja has already taken some 11,200 people, but transfers have been temporarily halted. Transfers to Maingama began on 14 June (UNHCR, 20/06/2014). The sites will host people from the existing transit sites of Doyaba, Doba, Sido, Mbitoye and Mbaibokoum.
Evacuation operations stopped in mid-February, but people continue to arrive, and conditions for returnees are deteriorating. The government has increased the maximum stay in transit centres from ten days to one year to allow the restoration of family links and better prepare relocations.
The humanitarian community is preparing to assist some 5,000 Chadians who have requested evacuation from Cameroon, where they initially fled. Conditions are dire in the Cameroonian transit sites of Garoua Boulai and Kentzou, near the border with CAR (UNHCR, 20/06/2014). On 17 March, IOM repatriated 1,500 Chadians and third-country nationals, including Malians and Sudanese, from Cameroon. On 11 July, IOM reported to have registered 106,337 evacuees in Chad, including Chadian returnees, CAR claimed nationals and other third-country nationals (IOM 11/07/2014).
Legal status of CAR evacuees: Many returnees are entering Chad for the first time and hold CAR citizenship. Second and third-generation Chadians from CAR have been recognised as de facto nationals by the government, and UNHCR is working with authorities to formalise recognition and avoid statelessness. The government will provide birth certificates to every child born in a transit site. According to government figures, over 300,000 Chadian nationals lived in CAR prior to the current crisis.
From Libya: As of April 2014, 150,000 Chadians had returned from Libya since the Libya crisis began in 2011, according to OCHA. Sporadic arrivals continue in Faya-Largeau and areas of Tibesti region.
From Nigeria: 3,500 returnees and 553 Nigerian refugees have fled to western Chad (OCHA, 03/2014). Returnees from Nigeria hosted in Ngouboua are mostly unaccompanied children from fishing villages in Bagakawa. According to OCHA, returnees are dispersed across two other locations in Bol and Mao.
From Cameroon: A new temporary site is being set up in Djako (Moundou) to receive 5,000 Chadian migrants from Cameroon (IOM, 11/07/2014).
Refugees in Chad
Chad was host to nearly 441,000 refugees, mainly Sudan’s Darfur, CAR, Libya, and Nigeria, in February (UNHCR, 04/2014). These arrivals have placed additional burdens on host communities.
Humanitarian needs of incoming refugees are primarily access to clean drinking water, hygiene, shelter, and health and nutrition care for children and women.
In Tissi, which is mainly hosting Sudanese refugees, basic services are non-existent, having been destroyed or damaged during the 2004–2006 civil war and more recent ethnic tension in the Sila region (UNICEF, 04/2013).
CAR: Although the Chad-CAR border remains officially closed, refugees continue to arrive at a number of border points. An estimated 17,000 CAR refugees have arrived in Chad since December 2013, bringing the total to 93,175 (UNHCR, 11/07/2014).
Sudan: Late June, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) reported that many people had fled to Chad from their homes in the Um Dukhun area of Central Darfur (OCHA, 29/06/2014). Since the beginning of the year, some 30,000 Darfuri refugees have crossed into Chad, joining the 349,000 Sudanese refugees hosted in 13 refugee camps at the border (UNHCR, 06/2014 and OCHA, 05/2014).
Currently, 2.6 million people are food insecure in Chad, up from 2.1 million in 2013. An estimated 1.3 million people from the Sahel belt suffer from the impact of severe food insecurity. Four of the five administrative regions in the Sahel report levels of food insecurity between 30 and 37% of the population. In the fifth region, Wadi Fira on the border with Sudan, a staggering 61% of people are food insecure (OCHA, 01/07/2014).
In April, poor households in Wadi Fira and southern Bahr El-Ghazel areas were forecast to remain in Crisis food security conditions until the October harvests. Projected humanitarian assistance should prevent further deterioration for these households, who are facing food consumption deficits due to premature depletion of food stocks, unusually steep increases in food prices, and poor pastoral conditions (FEWSNET). During the peak of the lean season (August–September), they will face some of the most severe food security outcomes in West Africa’s Sahel this year. Production shortfalls have resulted in an early onset of the lean season for more than 900,000 people in the Sahel belt of the country (ECHO, 05/2014).
Pasture deficits have impacted on livestock conditions in the Sahel, reducing milk availability and livestock prices and eroding purchasing power. Affected households in the Batha, northern Bahr El-Ghazel, Kanem, Guera, Sila, and Hadjer Lamis areas will have difficulty maintaining their food access and will be in Stressed conditions between April and September.
The additional cost of refugees and returnees in Logone Oriental, Moyen Chari, Mandoul, and Salamat is putting pressure on household demand, consumption, and spending. As a result, these households will also find themselves in Stressed conditions.
Health and Nutrition
Chad is regularly afflicted by epidemics and disease outbreaks owing to a low vaccination coverage and weak water and sanitation infrastructures. There are fewer than 500 Chadian doctors for the entire population of 11.8 million people, meaning one for 23,600 people.
Chad has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world, with 1,100 mothers dying per 100,000 births (OCHA, 05/2014).
Health professionals on the refugee/returnee sites are indicating a significant increase in diarrhoea and malaria cases, which are coinciding with the start of the rainy season (OCHA cited by WFP, 05/2014).
Malaria is a major health problem with a prevalence rate of nearly 30% across all age groups and about 36% among children under five (UNICEF). At the end of March, the number of malaria cases reported in 2014 was 191,630, compared to 144,640 in March 2013. National authorities indicated an increase in malaria in six districts, mainly in N’Djamena.
In 2013, Chad was hit by a massive malaria outbreak, with 991,840 cases, and 2,610 deaths (compared to 616,720 cases and 1,160 deaths in 2012).
Malnutrition rates in the five regions of Chad's Sahel belt range from 9 to 12%, at or above the emergency threshold of 10%. In the first two months of this year, UNICEF registered 63,000 malnourished children in Chad, the majority of them in the Sahel belt. Last year, 45,000 children died due to malnutrition (OCHA, 05/2014).
In refugee/returnee sites and entry points, acute malnutrition rates are above the emergency threshold: with 24% in Bitoye and 20% in Doba. The nutritional situation could be exacerbated with the ongoing rains and the lack of services (FAO and WFP, 05/2014). MSF surveillance shows that under-five mortality rates far surpass the WHO emergency threshold of two children per 10,000 per day, with 5.4 recorded in Gbiti, and 3.1 in Gado Bedzere (WFP, 13/06/2014).
UNICEF estimated that 147,000 children currently suffer from SAM and over 406,000 from MAM (OCHA, 05/2014). Across the Sahel region, an estimated five million children under five are expected to suffer from malnutrition in 2014, and 1.5 million will face acute malnutrition.
As of 5 May 7,100 measles cases, including nine deaths, had been registered in 2014 (Ministry of Health). MSF said 70% of reported cases were of children under five. Most reported cases (3,750 in late April) have been in the four health districts covering N'Djamena and its outskirts. Some 33 of the 77 health districts have reported cases.
In 2013, 2,222 measles cases were recorded, including 33 deaths.
Democratic Republic of Congo Country Analysis
17 July: Just over 21,700 CAR refugees have been registered since December 2013, bringing the overall number to 61,000 (UNHCR).
Early July: 10,170 cholera cases, including 205 deaths, recorded so far in 2014. Over 5,350 cases including 177 deaths have been recorded in Katanga, a significant decrease compared to 2013 (OCHA).
Early July: 21,520 cases of measles and 252 deaths have been reported in ten provinces since the beginning of 2014 (WHO).
Late June: 85 incidents involving humanitarian workers have been recorded so far in 2014 (OCHA).
Late June: Between April and June, more than 43,000 IDPs were registered in Katanga, including 32,000 people following clashes between pygmies and Luba in the territories of Kalemie, Manono, and Nyunzu (DRC Commission on Population Movements).
25 June: IDPs in North Kivu have decreased 13% since May, mainly due to returns in Walikale, Beni, Lubero, Masisi, Rutshuru, and around Goma (DRC Commission on Population Movements and UNHCR).
- Internal conflict in the eastern provinces.
- 6.3 million people need humanitarian assistance (OCHA, 01/2014).
- 2.6 million people internally displaced (Commission on Population Movements, 04/2014). Katanga province is of particular concern, with 500,000 people displaced across the province. (OCHA, 04/2014).
- 117,900 refugees, mainly from CAR and Rwanda (UNHCR, 06/2014).
- At least 4.1 million people are facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or Emergency (IPC Phase 4) levels of food insecurity (IPC 30/07/2014).
Needs are highest in the conflict-affected regions of North Kivu, South Kivu, Katanga, and Orientale, where there is large-scale, repeated displacement. IDPs, host populations, and those unable to flee are all vulnerable as insecurity poses multiple protection risks and prevents access to basic services, although needs vary according to geographic area and conflict dynamics.
Political violence and inter-communal strife have persisted for decades, influenced by longstanding tensions with DRC’s eastern neighbours. Counterinsurgency operations and infighting between armed groups disrupt security and stability.
International Political Involvement
On 24 February 2013, 11 states signed a Peace, Security and Cooperation (PSC) Framework for the DRC and Region. In January 2014, the Framework members adopted a plan of action, and Kenya and Sudan also agreed to join the process. There are concerns about DRC’s commitment to the Framework, as implementation is not progressing.
National Political Context
A long-term cause of the conflicts in DRC and the degradation of human security can be found in the gradual erosion of state authority and capacity, and the subsequent weakness of the central government.
On 30 December 2013, armed youths believed to be loyal to religious leader Mukungubila, who challenged President Kabila in elections in 2006, stormed the state television station, the international airport, and the military headquarters. DRC security forces repelled attacks in Kinshasa, Lubumbashi, and Kindu: 103 people were killed, according to authorities. Late May 2014, the International Federation for Human Rights said that the Government’s response had resulted in some 250 civilians and six soldiers killed in Katanga province, and another 71 civilians killed in Kinshasa.
Numerous armed groups are active in the east of the country, causing general insecurity across the region. The UN Stabilization Mission in DRC (MONUSCO) has a mandate until 31 March 2015, as does its intervention brigade charged with “neutralising” foreign and domestic armed groups.
Regional Security Context
The UN has expressed concern about the potential destabilising effect of the neighbouring CAR conflict on DRC. The presence of armed ex-CAR armed forces in Equateur and ex-Seleka fighters in Orientale triggered significant displacement (MONUSCO).
On 2 July, several nations from the region, including Angola, Burundi, CAR, Republic of Congo, DRC, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Zambia, agreed to suspend military operations against Rwandan FDLR insurgents for six months in order to give them more time to lay down their arms.
DRC and Rwandan officials accused each other's army of mounting cross-border raids over 11–12 June. Heavy fire took place between the two forces in the town of Kanyesheza, north of Goma, North Kivu. Both countries sent extra troops to the border. The clashes ended six months of relative calm.
Counter-insurgency and Insecurity in the East
Government and UN troops defeated M23, once the strongest army in the Kivu regions, in November 2013. This was followed by several waves of surrender: the Hutu-dominated militia Nyatura, the Hunde-dominated Alliance for a Free and Sovereign Congo, and the Nduma Defence of Congo.
DRC armed forces (FARDC) and MONUSCO counterinsurgency operations have since continued. The UN deployed unarmed surveillance drones in early December to monitor activities on the Rwandan and Ugandan borders.
M23 was dissolved as an armed group as a peace deal was signed in December 2013. Parliament approved an amnesty law on 4 February 2014. Ex-fighters have six months to sign up. Some 1,300 ex-M23, who had fled to Uganda, have signed amnesty papers, according to the political head of the M23 (06/05/2014).
However, M23 is still receiving support from Rwanda, and sanctioned M23 leaders are moving freely in Uganda (UN Group of Experts on DRC, 23/01/2014). The head of MONUSCO has said there was evidence to suggest that M23 is recruiting and resuming activities within DRC, notably in Ituri district (13/01/2014). The UN Security Council renewed its arms embargo and targeted sanctions on 30 January.
The Mpofi-Bunyampuli area of North Kivu is considered to be free of insurgents (MONUSCO 11/07/2014).
ADF-NALU: The Islamic Alliance of Democratic Forces (ADF-NALU), a 1,400-strong alliance opposed to the Ugandan Government, has been targeted since January. It has been blamed for a spate of attacks and kidnappings around Beni territory in December 2013. By April, FARDC had recaptured the last ADF-NALU base in North Kivu.
APCLS: Clashes between the Alliance of Patriots for a Free and Sovereign Congo (APCLS) and government forces were reported in January. Human rights violations and summary executions were reported in Nyamaboko villages I and II, Masisi territory, in February and operations against APCLS triggered small-scale displacements. On 23 April, local sources reported that FARDC had taken APCLS bases in Matembe, Mirenge, and Maniema, Walikale territory. The insurgents reportedly retreated into Mutongo area. They attacked MONUSCO peacekeepers and three FARDC positions in Nyabiondo area and Goma a week later.
FDLR: MONUSCO announced the launch of a military operation against FDLR in December 2013. On 13 March, local media reported that the FARDC had regained the city of Kahumo without resistance, after two years of occupation by FDLR. On 31 May, more than 100 FDLR militants surrendered in Kateku, north of Goma.
Mayi-Mayi: On 14 January, Mayi Mayi Sheka, operating from bases in Walikale territory, attacked the village of Pinga, leading to a gunfight with FARDC. MONUSCO said four DRC soldiers were killed.
Humanitarian actors have raised concerns regarding a potential security vacuum following military redeployment from South Kivu to other provinces, which may lead armed groups to renew activities.
Since the beginning of the year, 38 security incidents against humanitarian workers have been recorded, including 15 in Bukavu territory (UNDSS, 05/2014).
Mayi-Mayi Yakutumba: On 1 July, 12 people were killed following clashes between Mayi Mayi and FARDC along Lake Tanganyika, in Fizi territory (Radio Okapi). On 8 April, 18,000 people were displaced along the Lulimba–Kalemie route in Uvira territory.
FDLR: On 9 June, more than 80 FDLR militants surrendered in Kigogo, south of Bukavu, following another FDLR surrender in North Kivu the previous week.
Inter-ethnic violence: 38 Bafuliru people were killed in Mutarule, south of Bukavu, over 6–7 June. Most were killed as they slept in a church.
Insecurity has spread since the end of December 2013 (OCHA). Dozens of new Mayi Mayi movements have been created in Manono, Mitwaba, and Pweto territories (the ‘Triangle of Death’) and insecurity spread to Malemba Nkulu and Moba territories. Mayi-Mayi originating mainly in northern Katanga have extended their activity south. Civilian communities have been victims of ‘punishment’ raids, and the surge in violence has led to the creation of several self-defence groups. Almost 70% of the region’s 500,000 IDPs are between Pweto, Manono and Mitwaba, and in Malemba Nkulu.
From January to March 2014, more than 35 Mayi-Mayi attacks were reported between Pweto, Manono, and Mitwaba territories, as well as in Kalemie, Kipushi, Malemba Nkulu and Moba territories (OCHA). Humanitarian actors are speaking of a scorched earth policy. Schools and health centres are also being targeted.
Only one FARDC battalion has been deployed to Katanga, and only 550 soldiers of the 22,000-strong UN mission are in the region.
Self-defence groups are also being created between Moba and Kalemie as conflict between pygmies and Bantus intensifies (ECHO, 25/03/2014). Ten people were killed in inter-ethnic clashes in Maloba area over 20–23 June.
More than 300,000 people, including 150,000 IDPs, are affected by military operations in South Irumu, Ituri district (OCHA, 05/2014).
The near absence of effective policing in Ituri is fuelling mob violence, according to local civil society groups. A three-month voluntary disarmament campaign for civilians, launched in Ituri district in early March, has been extended to Haut Uele, Bas Uele and Tshopo (local media, 17/03/2014).
FRPI: A joint FARDC–MONUSCO offensive launched on 3 April against the FRPI in Nyasumbe plains, Ituri, has caused preventive displacement.
ADF-NALU: Some ADF-NALU have retreated from FARDC offensive in North Kivu into Mambasa forest and Irumu territory (OCHA, 01/02/2014).
LRA: The Ugandan Lord’s Resistance Army is mainly active in Haut and Bas Uele. The first quarter of 2014 saw fewer incidents, with 41 attacks, two deaths and 48 abductions (10% of the abductees being children) representing a decline of 21%, 86%, and 58%, respectively, compared to the last quarter of 2013 (OCHA, 04/2014). 88% of attacks and 58% of abductions occurred in Haut Uele. LRA was responsible for 164 incidents in the province in 2013.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
The mountainous and volcanic terrain, and lack of tarred roads limit access across DRC, and access worsens during the rainy season. In the east, insecurity is a major constraint. 85 incidents involving humanitarian workers have been recorded so far in 2014 (OCHA, 06/2014). Over 250 incidents were registered in 2013.
Katanga: Insecurity and logistical constraints continue to challenge humanitarian access to civilians, especially in the region covering Pweto, Manono, and Mitwaba territories. Conflict has in the past few months extended to the neighbouring Malemba Nkulu and Moba territories (OCHA, 06/2014). Growing insecurity is hindering both the delivery of assistance to up to 500,000 displaced and access to healthcare (OCHA, 06/2014; Médecins Sans Frontières, 09/01/2014). Katanga has the smallest humanitarian community of the four eastern provinces. Agencies are targeted by Mayi Mayi militias seeking to pillage supplies.
North Kivu: Heavy rainfall has damaged some sections of the Sake–Masisi road (OCHA, 03/04/2014). Some secondary roads near Masisi are also inaccessible, isolating thousands of displaced people. In Walikale territory, illegal checkpoints have been set up on many roads (OCHA).
South Kivu: 60% of roads are almost impracticable due to recurrent floods (OCHA, 05/2014). River flooding in Shabunda territory is limiting humanitarian assistance to thousands of people in Fizi territory (OCHA, 07/05/2014).
Orientale: 13 INGOs have withdrawn from Haut Uele and Bas Uele since mid-2013 due to lack of funding, leaving thousands of people without assistance.
Insecurity is a major obstacle to access, as are logistical constraints, especially in eastern Tshopo.
In April, 30,000 people were reported affected by heavy rains and flooding in Katanga, particularly in Bukama and Kasenga territories, of whom more than half are returnees (OCHA). The flooding and lack of nutrition services make the current cholera outbreak in the territory of great concern.
At 22 April, more than 3,600 people had been affected by heavy rain in Tshikapa area, Kasai-Occidental, local media reported.
An estimated 2.6 million people are internally displaced in DRC, and more than 440,000 have fled to neighbouring countries. Population displacement is frequent and often repeated.
2.6 million people were estimated internally displaced at end March 2014, a decrease of 11% compared to the last quarter of 2013 (DRC Commission on Population Movements and UNHCR, 11/06/2014). Numbers have fallen in all provinces except Katanga. Armed conflict and insecurity represent 97% of the causes of displacement. Some 42% of IDPs live in sites, against 28% in December 2013.
North Kivu: At 908,600, North Kivu has the most IDPs in the country. This is a decrease of 13% since May, mainly due to returns in Walikale, Beni, Lubero, Masisi, Rutshuru, and around Goma. 33,650 people were newly displaced in Walikale, Beni, and Lubero. Masisi and Walikale territories host more than 476,300 people while an estimated 432,300 IDPs live in Beni, Rutshuru, Lubero, and Goma. 62% of IDPs live with host families and the rest are in public buildings and camps (DRC Commission on Population Movements and UNHCR, 25/06/2014).
Masisi territory hosts 321,400 IDPs. In late March, residents were gradually returning to locations taken by the FARDC on the Mbau–Kamango route, although the security situation remains fragile (OCHA).
In the first week of July, some 14,000 people moved from Walikale territory following FARDC operations against Nduma Defence of Congo (NDC) in Kibua area (OCHA, 16/07/2014).
Since May, almost 8,000 IDPs in Kaynama (Beni territory) have fled clashes between the FARDC and ADF in Kpele, Bango, Kpolou, Malundi, Vudaki, Misongo, Kamuvuyu and Mangusele. High incidences of malaria, diarrhoea, acute respiratory infections, and sexual violence are reported in this area (OCHA 09/07/2014). In Beni territory, mainly Kamango and Nobili in the northeast, suspected ADF-NALU activity displaced 80,000 people between July 2013 and February 2014 (OCHA).
In southern Lubero territory, an estimated 20,000 people have been displaced by the activities of several armed groups. Urgent needs include WASH, NFIs, and food (OCHA, 18/06/2014).
Around Pinga, clashes between APCLS, NDC, and FARDC since mid-January have displaced thousands towards Walikale and Masisi. Fighting between APCLS and FARDC in the neighbouring area of Kitchanga in January displaced 8,000 people.
South Kivu: 518,200 IDPs are in South Kivu, a decrease of 60,000 compared to December 2013. Kalehe (40%), Mwenga (19%), Shabunda (15%), and Fizi (11%), are the most affected territories.
As of May an estimated 49,000 new IDPs and 51,000 returnees needed assistance following Raiya Mutomboki violence in Shabunda, Kalehe and Kabare territories (OCHA, 05/2014).
In Uvira territory, inter-communal violence over 6-7 June in Mutarule displaced an estimated 8,000 people (OCHA, 17/06/2014).
Katanga: Katanga has had the highest relative increase in IDPs, from 50,000 in March 2011 to 543,000 in June 2014. Between April and June, more than 43,000 new IDPs were registered, including 32,000 fleeing clashes between pygmies and Luba.
Manono territory has registered the highest increase, with 25,200 newly displaced people by Mayi Mayi activities in Kahongo, Kishale, Mpiana, and Shamwana. Mitwaba came second with 11,500 new IDPs. Pweto territory still has the most IDPs in the province with 35% of the total (DRC Commission on Population Movements, 06/2014)
There are no IDP camps in Katanga: 85% of the displaced live with host families, while 15% live in informal settlements in Kalemie, Manono, Pweto, and Moba, or occupy public buildings.
Orientale: 366,800 IDPs were hosted in Orientale at 31 March, a decrease of 183,100 compared to December 2013 (DRC Commission on Population Movements).
An estimated 105,400 people were displaced in southern Irumu territory (Bwanasura, Gety, Kagaba, Komanda, Lagabo, Soke, and Tchekele) between March and May following clashes between FARDC and FRPI (Commission on Population Movements). Another 107,700 people returned home to Aveba, Kagaba, Nyakunde and Songolo (OCHA, 18/06/2014).
24,000 people are reported to have crossed into Ituri from North Kivu since FARDC operations against ADF-NALU began in January. Humanitarian capacities in Ituri are already overstretched.
Some 10,000 people were displaced in mid-May in Komanda town, south of Bunia, as a result of clashes between FARDC and armed groups in Mont Hoyo (WFP, 05/2014).
At 15 April, an estimated 20,000 IDPs had been living in the bush in Tshopo district for two months following the burning of their houses by militias in the area of Opienge in Bafwasende territory (OCHA).
Haut Uele and Bas Uele have seen a substantial decrease in IDPs, as more people returned home, yet LRA activity continues to cause new displacement. An estimated 113,000 people remain displaced in Bas Uele and Haut Uele.
Maniema: Maniema has an estimated 172,840 IDPs, a decrease of nearly 60% compared to the end of 2013 (OCHA, 31/03/2014). They are mostly located in Punia (64,800), Pangi (42,480), and Kasongo (38,360).
Over 37,000 people remain displaced following clashes between Mayi Mayi Yakutumba and FARDC in Fizi territory, South Kivu, over March–April. Urgent needs include WASH, shelter, and food (OCHA, 05/2014)
Refugees in DRC
DRC hosts an estimated 117,900 refugees, mainly from CAR and Rwanda (UNHCR, 06/2014).
From CAR: Just over 21,700 CAR refugees have been registered since December 2013, despite the closure of the border in December, bringing the overall number to 61,000 (UNHCR, 17/07/2014). By the end of June, 31,500 CAR refugees relocated to the four camps in Equateur and Orientale provinces (31,028 in Equateur and 478 in Orientale) (UNHCR, 30/06/2014). DRC provincial authorities insist that assistance should only be delivered within camps, making it difficult to support refugees in host communities.
From Rwanda: DRC is hosting 41,800 Rwandan refugees (UNHCR, 31/05/2014). 30% of the Rwandan refugees approached by authorities have indicated their intention to return, according to data collected by the National Commission for Refugees (UNHCR, 04/2014).
From Angola: 71,750 former Angolan refugees live in DRC: 23,940 have registered for voluntary repatriation and 47,815 have opted for local integration.
Between January 2012 and May 2014, an estimated 161,300 DRC refugees returned to their homes (UNHCR, 30/06/2014).
Returnees from Congo: A free movement of people agreement was signed by DRC and Congo on 3 June. The deal, which has yet to be ratified on each side, would allow nationals living along the 1,300km frontier to cross to the other side for a maximum of three days with a laissez-passer or national identity card. Those wishing to live and work in either country must have a passport and work permit.
Both countries agreed to set up a commission of inquiry on allegations of violence and violations of human rights in the recent deportation of DRC nationals from Congo Brazzaville. Since April, over 140,000 DRC nationals have been expelled. Many forced returnees reportedly have little attachment to DRC and lack access to basic services. An estimated 250,000 DRC nationals in Congo might be affected by these measures.
Returnees from South Sudan: Around 6,200 DRC returnees from South Sudan have been recorded since December 2013 in several localities of Haut Uele, Orientale province (UNHCR, 02/2014). Their most urgent needs include food, NFI, education, and health.
Returnees from Angola: An estimated 13,000 DRC nationals have been expelled so far (UNHCR, 06/2014).
DRC Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
An estimated 432,960 DRC refugees currently live in neighbouring countries, including 171,100 in Uganda, 72,000 in Rwanda, 64,000 in Tanzania, and 46,000 in Burundi (UNHCR, 31/06/2014).
Uganda: On 28 April, DRC, Uganda, and UNHCR agreed to conduct a return intention survey by the end of July 2014 among DRC refugees living in refugee settlements. It was also agreed to fast-track organised voluntary repatriation by September 2014.
4.1 million people in 22 territories are in food and livelihood crisis and are likely to remain food insecure until December 2014 (IPC, 07/2014). The most acutely affected areas (IPC Phase 4) are Punia (Maniema Babira and Bakwame sectors) in Maniema province, and Manono, Mitwaba, and Pweto in Katanga. Other areas facing Crisis conditions (IPC Phase 3) are in South Kivu, the Punia border areas in Maniema province, and Katanga (IPC 30/06/2014)
Health and Nutrition
The health system is weak due to structural problems and violence. Epidemics are rife and the burden of infectious and non-infectious disease is one of the highest in the region. Maternal and child morbidity and mortality rates remain high. Cholera, measles, and malaria take a heavy toll on the population.
High incidence of malaria, diarrhoea, acute respiratory infections and cases of sexual violence reported in IDPs areas in Kaynama, Beni territory (OCHA 09/07/2014).
As of July, 10,170 cholera cases including 205 deaths have been recorded (WHO). Local health authorities recorded 27,000 cases in 2013 – half of them in Katanga - including 491 deaths (case fatality rate 1.8%), a decrease from 30,753 cholera cases and 709 deaths in 2012. Limited access to safe drinking water, poor hygiene conditions, and poor sanitation all help the spread of the disease.
Cholera outbreaks persist in four provinces: North and South Kivu, Katanga, and Orientale (WHO). Over 5,350 cases including 177 deaths have been recorded in Katanga in 2014, a significant decrease compared to 13,726 cases and 348 deaths in 2013 (OCHA, 30/06/2014). The south of Bukavu, South Kivu, has recorded significant drop in cholera, from 80 cases in June to four in the first week of July (Local media 09/07/2014). As of 8 March, 1,525 cases of cholera including three deaths have been registered in South Kivu, with Uvira, Ruzizi and Nundu health zones at epidemic levels. North Kivu province has reported 705 cases and 12 deaths (UNICEF, 08/03/2014).
As of 8 March, Bukama territory, Katanga province, was showing signs of a serious nutritional crisis, with SAM rates of 4.8% and 90% Kwashiorkor (UNICEF). Over 7,000 children could be affected.
In July, 21,520 cases of measles including 252 deaths had been reported in 13% of all health districts, in ten provinces, since the beginning of 2014 (WHO, 07/2014). In 2013, DRC recorded 89,000 cases of measles, including 1,392 deaths.
Several health districts of Kasai Oriental and Occidental (Citenge, Kansele, Mikope, Lukunga, Demba) and Bandundu (Kimputu, Mushie) are affected by epidemics. A significant decrease in suspected measles cases was registered in Orientale, Equateur, and North Kivu during the first quarter of 2014 in comparison with 2013.
38 million people in DRC (53.5% of households) do not have access to safe drinking water (UNICEF, 27/03/2014).
Tap water has not been available in several districts of the city of Mbuji-Mayi, Kasai Oriental, for almost two weeks (local media 11/07/2014).
Military, militias, and other armed groups are all accused of repeated abuses against civilians, including arbitrary arrests, extortion, looting, child conscription, sexual violence, and executions.
The Government counted 26,340 incidents of rape and other gender-based violence in seven provinces during 2011 and 2012— and another 15,350 cases in 2013. The actual numbers may be higher (UNHCR cited by Pulitzer Centre on 10/07/2014)
Over 3,600 victims of sexual violence were reported between January 2010 and December 2013 (UN Joint Human Rights Office, 04/2014). Rape is used as a weapon of war to intimidate local communities, and to punish civilians. It is also an opportunistic crime. Since 2008, Médecins Sans Frontières has never treated fewer than 4,000 cases of sexual violence in DRC per year (03/03/2014).
Katanga: Nearly 3,000 protection incidents were reported in the territories of Kalemie, Manono, Mitwaba, and Pweto between January and May (UNHCR). At March, the territory of Mitwaba was the most affected, with about 680 incidents, followed by Pweto (500 incidents).
In 2013, over 5,100 incidents of gender-based violence were registered in Katanga, with Kalemie, Malemba Nkulu, Manono, Mitwaba, Moba, and Pweto most affected. This is almost triple the number of incidents reported in 2012 (1,650). More than 75% of incidents were rapes, with children under 18 making up half of the victims. 70%) of victims were IDPs, followed by host populations, and returnees (Katanga Protection Cluster, 05/2014). 95% of incidents were assigned to armed actors.
South Kivu: UNHCR reported a 37.5% increase in protection-related incidents recorded in 2013 (from 17,260 in 2012 to 23,450). Despite a Raiya Mutomboki disarmament process in Shabunda, civilian protection has not improved: in 2013, protection incidents increased by 51% on 2012, to 2,858.
Mali Country Analysis
15 July: Negotiations between the Malian Government and armed groups started 9 July in Algiers. (AFP 15/07/2014).
14 July: 151,100 IDPs in Mali in June (OCHA 14/07/2014).
14 July: 1.9 million people (11% of the population) need food assistance during the June–August lean period (OCHA 14/07/2014).
14 July: 4,893 people from Mali arrived in Niger (North Tahoua) in June, fleeing conflict and insecurity. 1,062 have already relocated to the refugee hosting area of Intikane. 3,831 are currently located at Agando (UNHCR 14/07/2014).
- Security, particularly in the north, remains volatile, and access is limited for aid workers. Security in and around the north eastern region of Kidal is of particular concern.
- 151,100 IDPs in Mali largely at risk of food insecurity (OCHA 14/07/2014)
- 1.9 million people (11% of the population) at risk of food insecurity from June to August due to lean season (OCHA 14/07/2014).
- Almost 500,000 under-fives acutely malnourished – 85% are in the south (OCHA, 19/06/2014).
Violence and conflict in the north have led to a deterioration in the humanitarian situation and large-scale displacement.
Civilian rule was re-established in mid-2013, but Mali continues to face security and political challenges. The truce in the north remains fragile, and key government institutions need strengthening. Limited access to basic social services and the poor capacity of public administration are key drivers of the crisis.
National Political Context
Malian authorities announced on 22 April that they had changed the indictment against 2012 military coup leader, General Amadou Sanogo, to a more serious charge of conspiracy to murder, which carries the death penalty. A new charge was made following the discovery of 30 bodies of soldiers in two mass graves near the headquarters of the former military junta in Kati, about 20km north of the capital.
On 5 April, Moussa Mara became Prime Minister after Mali's first post-war Prime Minister Oumar Tatam Ly resigned just six months into office. Mara said he would form a government that would prioritise security and reconciliation.
The Tuareg Rebellion and National Reconciliation
A ceasefire was signed with the Bamako Government on 23 May. On 15 June, three armed groups from northern Mali, the MNLA, the High Council for the Unity of Azawad (HCUA), and the Arab Movement of Azawad (MAA) signed the Algiers Declaration with the Government of Mali. The groups have agreed to engage with the Government on a path of dialogue and negotiation, in exchange for the release of prisoners and better conditions for the return of refugees.
Malian authorities launched a plan to revive stalled talks between the Government and separatist groups in April. Officials said that once the first steps in the process had been taken, the goal would be to hold talks in Bamako within 60 days. Negotiations between Mali’s Government and armed groups will start on 16 July in Algiers (AFP 15/07/2014).
A June 2013 ceasefire was broken by the MNLA in November. On 18 February 2013, in UN-led talks, opposition groups had agreed with the Government to a roadmap and timetable for confining members of their groups to barracks in northern Mali, including in Lere, Kidal, Gao, and Timbuktu.
The crisis began in January 2012, when several insurgent groups began fighting for independence and greater autonomy for the northern Azawad region. The conflict initially pitted Tuareg tribesmen, who have been fighting Bamako for decades, against the Government. But then Islamist rebel groups Ansar Dine and the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) began a separate insurgency, aiming to impose shariah in Azawad and push Tuareg rebels out of major cities. The conflict was further complicated by a military coup in March 2013 and, later, fighting between Tuareg and Islamist rebels. At the request of the Government, the French military launched Operation Serval in January 2013 in response to territorial gains and a push south by Islamist fighters.
The security situation in the north, where Al Qaeda-linked militants are known to operate, remains volatile. Unexploded ordnance and landmines remain a significant threat. A number of so-called self-defence militias, formed in 2012, are also active. Strained relations between Tuaregs and other communities in the north, such as the Fulani and Songhai, have deteriorated since 2012. Local sources and security forces report that Islamists have regained a foothold in several areas and pressured families hostile to their presence to leave their 8homes
Despite the 23 May ceasefire agreement, the situation in Kidal and Gao remains tense. At least 4,000 people were displaced to rural areas, the Gao region, and Algeria, when Tuareg and Arab insurgents took Kidal and the smaller settlement of Menaka on 21 May.
A year and a half after French and African military intervention recaptured northern Mali from Islamist and separatist armed groups, the stability of the Sahel region is still reliant on the presence of armed foreign troops. Malian and French armies, the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), and the EU military training mission (EUTM) are all present in the territory, mainly in Bamako (53%) and in northern cities such as Kidal, Gao, Timbuktu, and Menaka (28%) (OCHA, 31/05/2014).
On 25 June, the UN Security Council extended MINUSMA’s mandate for one year, until 30 June 2015.
French troops will be reduced from 4,000 to 2,000 by the end of July and 1,000 by the end of 2014 (international media 15/07/2014).
On 15 April, the European Union (EU) established a civilian mission, EUCAP Sahel Mali, to support internal security forces and complement EUTM.
On 30 June, an improvised explosive device near Timbuktu killed a UN peacekeeper and injured six others.
On 11 June, four Chadian MINUSMA peacekeepers were killed when a vehicle exploded at the entrance of their military camp in Aguelhoc, Kidal.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Insecurity impedes state authorities and humanitarian aid workers from working in northern regions. However, humanitarian access continues to improve and aid is increasingly accessible in central and southern regions. The destruction of infrastructure, and a lack of materials to support basic services, remain major challenges (OCHA, 05/2014).
On 29 May, two humanitarian workers were killed when their vehicle hit an improvised explosive device on the road between Timbuktu and Goundam. On 22 April, MUJAO said a French hostage who has been held captive since 2012 was dead. On 17 April, French troops freed five ICRC staff members kidnapped by insurgents in the north of the country in February.
The number of IDPs is estimated at 151,100 (OCHA 14/07/2014), a significant decrease on 200,000 in February, and 283,700 in October 2013, largely attributed to improved security (Commission on Population, IOM,and UNHCR, 06/2014). However, threats to peace and stability, particularly in rural areas, undermine sustainable returns and are causing new and secondary displacement, the scale of which remains unassessed (IDMC).
Recent clashes between armed groups and the Malian military in Kidal region forced more than 18,000 people to flee their homes (OCHA, 06/2014).
In the south, Bamako continues to host the highest number of IDPs (39,700), followed by Koulikoro (16,700), and Segou (10,300). Despite a decrease of almost 15,000 IDPs, Timbuktu continues to host the largest number of IDPs in the north (29,280), followed by Gao (16,400), and Kidal (11,240) (UNHCR, 06/2014).
The number of IDPs having returned to the north increased from 196,000 in February to nearly 284,000 in April. A national survey revealed that 75% of displaced households want to return to their places of origin, while 21% would like to stay in the place of displacement. Movement south has continuously decreased since January 2013 and is now significantly lower than movement north.
Refugees in Mali
Mali hosts over 14,500 refugees from countries including Mauritania (12,900) and Côte d’Ivoire (1,110) (UNHCR, 06/2014).
An estimated 28,200 Malian refugees have returned to the regions of Gao (16,100), Timbuktu (9,700), Mopti (1,700), Segou (560), and to Bamako district. This is an increase of 10,000 compared to January (Government, 06/2014).
Mali, Niger, and UNHCR signed a tripartite agreement on the voluntary repatriation of Malian refugees on 3 May. The situation in northern Mali is not yet favourable to the promotion of massive returns. In January, UNHCR stated that there is a risk of reprisal attacks on returning refugees and IDPs, and socio-economic conditions have not been restored to pre-conflict levels. However, UNHCR said it will work together with both Governments in seeking durable solutions for the refugees.
Malian Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
4,893 people from Mali arrived in Niger (North Tahoua) in June, fleeing conflict and insecurity. 1,062 have already relocated to the refugee hosting area of Intikane. 3,831 are located at Agando (UNHCR 14/07/2014).
As of late May, reported that an estimated 137,600 Malians have taken refuge in neighbouring countries, including 52,900 in Mauritania, 50,000 in Niger, and 32,660 in Burkina Faso (UNHCR, CMP, IOM, 06/2014). This is a decrease of 26,000 compared to August 2013.
The majority of Malian refugees say they are willing to return only when security improves considerably.
1.9 million (11% of the population) in need of food assistance during the June to August lean season (OCHA 14/07/2014).
In the absence of humanitarian assistance, the Stressed food insecurity currently observed in northern riverine areas and agropastoral areas of Gourma Rharous district and the Bandiagara Plateau (the millet and transhumant livestock rearing livelihood zone), and the Dogon Plateau will reach Crisis by June–July (FEWSNET, 05/2014). Poor crop production and a drop in income are prompting poor households in the north and on the Dogon Plateau to resort earlier than normal to coping strategies, and these households are currently facing Stressed acute food insecurity (FEWSNET, 05/2014).
The lingering effects of the 2012 food crisis combined with the disruptions caused by the recent civil strife have had adverse, longer-term impact on household assets, notably in northern Mali (FAO).
Agriculture and Markets
An official forecast of 2013 aggregate cereal production is some 5.7 million metric tons, close to the average of the previous five years. Production of millet, the most important staple, has declined by 35%. By contrast, 2013 rice production was 15% higher than the 2012 output (FAO, 02/06/2014).
Health and Nutrition
Almost half a million children under five are suffering from acute malnutrition – 85% of them are in the south (OCHA, 19/06/2014).
Grave violations against children including killings, sexual violence, and recruitment, were reported by the UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict in May. Violations were committed by armed groups active in the North, and to a lesser extent, by Malian armed forces and pro-Government militias. The report covers the period from January 2012 to December 2013
From January 2012 to December 2013, nearly 6,000 cases of violence affecting women and girls were identified: 532 cases of sexual violence, 521 cases of physical aggression, 827 cases of psycho-social violence, 1,201 cases of denial of resources, and 1,233 cases of violence related to traditional practices, such as forced marriage or FGM (Protection Gender Based Violence Subcluster, OCHA).
Somalia Country Analysis
July 19: Six people were killed and seven injured in Kismayo after a suicide bomber attacked a prominent militia leader opposed to Al Shabaab (AFP).
July 8: An Al Shabaab attack on the presidential palace left nine militants dead (AFP, VOA).
- Widespread violence and insecurity, particularly in south-central Somalia.
- Insecurity and bureaucratic impediments continue to hinder humanitarian access.
- 1.1 million IDPs, mainly in the south-central region, with high concentrations in Mogadishu (OCHA, 06/2014).
- More than one million Somali refugees in neighbouring countries, mostly Kenya, Ethiopia, and Yemen (UNHCR, 03/2014).
- 2.9 million are estimated to need humanitarian and livelihood assistance between March and September 2014 (OCHA, 04/2014).
- 857,000 people are at Crisis and Emergency levels of food insecurity; 74% are IDPs (OCHA, 06/2014). Two million people at Stressed levels of food insecurity.
- More than 203,000 acutely malnourished children under five, mainly in south-central Somalia (OCHA, 05/2014).
- 520,000 children under five urgently require measles vaccination in outbreak areas (UNICEF, 06/2014).
Protracted conflict, consecutive years of drought, natural hazards, and disruption of basic infrastructure have led to large-scale displacement in Somalia and across the region. Almost half the population of Somalia, around 3.2 million people, is vulnerable to external shocks and lacking access to basic goods and services, with an estimated three million people living in seven regions who are affected by the Somalia–African Union military offensive: Bakool, Gedo, Lower Shabelle, Hiraan, Bay, Banadir and Lower Juba (OCHA, 05/2014). The UN warns of a looming humanitarian emergency (UN, 15/06/2014).
Somalia suffers from a chronic fragility of state institutions as a result of two decades of civil war. Prime Minister Ahmed was appointed by President Mahamud on 12 December, ending a Government crisis that had raised significant concerns over security. Infighting between presidents and prime ministers is however a recurrent problem, and the political situation remains unstable.
Puntland: On 8 January, former Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali was elected President of the self-declared semi-autonomous region Puntland in a tightly contested poll. On 5 August, Puntland cut all ties with the central Government in a clear sign of distrust towards Mogadishu, on the grounds that central authorities refused to share power and foreign aid with the region.
There was a surge in conflict events in February, 40% reportedly due to attacks involving Al Shabaab and over half attributed to communal and militia violence (ACLED, 31/03/2014). Security is said to have deteriorated since March 2014, and the launch of the Somali National Armed Force (SNAF) and African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) military offensive against Al Shabaab-held areas.
Other armed groups are also active, mainly targeting soldiers and security forces. The number of attacks and fatalities had decreased between 2010 and 2013.
Semi-autonomous northeastern and northwestern territories Puntland and Somaliland are subject to inter-communal violence, especially during the June–November rainy season, when improved resource access and competition for cattle lead to increased raiding.
In mid-February, a leaked UN report accused the Federal Government of supplying weapons to militant group Al Shabaab. On 4 March, human rights groups called for the arms embargo against Somalia to be tightened, citing government failure to control the flow of arms into the country, and its participation in the diversion of weapons. The embargo, partially lifted in March 2013, will remain so until October 2014.
In November 2013, the AU's Peace and Security Council increased the strength of the AMISOM force to 22,000 from 17,600. After threatening to remove troops from Somalia in April 2013, Addis Ababa has since pledged that Ethiopian troops will remain in Somalia until durable peace and security is achieved. According to the AU on 9 May 2013, an estimated 3,000 AU peacekeepers had been killed in Somalia since 2007.
The SNAF-AMISOM offensive was launched in early March 2014 to recover Al Shabaab-controlled areas of southern and central Somalia. An estimated three million people live in these areas, which cover Bakool, Gedo, Lower Shabelle, Hiraan, Bay, Banadir, and Lower Juba regions (OCHA, 05/2014).
In June Kenyan fighter jets bombed Al Shabaab bases in Anole and Kuday villages, in Lower Juba. Scores of fighters were killed (AFP, 23/06/2014). 74 Al Shabaab fighters were killed during an attack by Somali and Ethiopian troops against Al Shabaab bases near the border with Ethiopia, local media reported.
On 22 March, according to the AU, the town of Qoryooley, Lower Shabelle, was recaptured. However, reports indicated that Al Shabaab militants remained on the outskirts of the town on 2 April.
On 7 March, Somali forces captured Hudur, capital of Bakool region, with the help of Ethiopian AMISOM troops. However, when Ethiopian troops withdrew, Al Shabaab reoccupied the town.
Al Shabaab, a militant islamist group linked to Al Qaeda and based in Somalia, took over most of southern Somalia in 2006, seeking to establish an Islamic state. Defeated by Ethiopian and Somali forces in 2007, Al Shabaab was forced out of Mogadishu in 2011 and Kismayo in 2012. The group remains a potent threat, with 7,000 to 9,000 militants, and its attacks typically target Somali government officials, AMISOM forces, and perceived government allies. Attacks in urban centres and along transport axes are common.
Al Shabaab is reportedly fleeing south and northeast as the SNAF-AMISOM offensive advances. The insurgents retain strongholds in parts of rural southern and central Somalia and in the mountains of the semi-autonomous Puntland region.
On 19 July, six people were killed, and seven more were injured in Kismayo after a suicide bomber targeted the house of prominent militia leader opposed to Al Shabaab, Iftin Hassan Basto (AFP, 19/07/2014).
On 26 June, an African Union military base in the central town of Bulo-Burde was attacked by Al Shabaab gunmen dressed in stolen government uniforms, killing at least two AU soldiers from Djibouti (AFP, 26/06/2014).
On 19 May, Al Shabaab announced that it had conducted an attack against a Kenyan military convoy on the Kenyan side of the border, although the Kenyan army denied this, according to international media. Local observers reported that the attack had claimed the lives of 30 soldiers (Media, 03/06/2014).
Mogadishu: On 8 July, Al Shabaab detonated suicide vests and tried to force their way inside the Somali presidential palace (VOA 09/07/2014). Nine militants’ deaths were reported (AFP 08/07/2014). On 5 July, a suicide car bomb exploded near the Federal Parliament, killing at least four people (AFP, BBC 05/07/2014). On 3 July, Somali PM Ahmed Mohamud Hayd was killed by gunmen. Al Shabaab claimed responsibility for both attacks (AFP, VOA, 03/07/2014). On 30 June a bomb exploded at the busy Karan market, killing two and injuring seven. No group has claimed responsibility (The Guardian, 01/07/2014). On 21 June, radio journalist Yusuf Keynan was killed in Hamarqeyne district. An explosive device had been attached to his vehicle (UN 21/06/2014). On 16 June, a car bomb within Mogadishu’s Keysaney hospital compound, a facility run by the Somali Red Crescent, killed one person and injured seven. No responsibility has been claimed (ICRC, 18/06/2014).
Several attacks took place in Mogadishu in May. Eight people were injured when the parliament was attacked, one bomb explosion killed seven, and another injured two, including a politician.
Puntland: On 7 April, two UN consultants were reported killed in a suspected targeted attack by two gunmen at Galkayo airport. Puntland is struggling to uproot Al Shabaab and has scaled up operations in the Bari area, from where insurgents launch their attacks.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Conflict has disrupted the movement of food and other basic commodities in most southern regions, particularly Bakool (FAO). The withdrawal of Al Shabaab from key towns in the south has enabled increased international presence in some areas: on 31 May, the UN announced that access had been possible to five out of ten areas recently captured by AMISOM forces from Al Shabaab. However, Al Shabaab control of some supply routes continues to hamper commercial activities and the delivery of humanitarian assistance. Roadblocks had been set up in various locations, including Hudur in Bakool region (OCHA, 21/03/2014). Humanitarian access in the south-central has also reportedly been hampered by bureaucratic impediments to the recruitment of staff and implementation of assistance operations.
On 10 June, international media reported access constraints in Lower Shabelle areas affected by inter-clan conflicts.
Attacks on Humanitarian Workers
On 18 May, a 400-strong UN military unit was deployed in Mogadishu with a mandate to protect aid workers (UN). Aid workers have reportedly been targeted by armed groups for arrest and detention in Bakool, Bay, Gedo, and Lower and Middle Juba.
On 5 June, an international NGO announced the release of three kidnapped staff after nearly two years of captivity.
An estimated 1.1 million Somalis were IDPs at 27 June, 893,000 in the south-central region; 129,000 in Puntland, and 84,000 in Somaliland (UNHCR). 369,000 IDPs live in makeshift camps in Mogadishu.
As of 16 May, 72,000 people had been displaced by the SNAF-AMISOM offensive, including 27,000 in Hiraan, 17,000 in Bay, 9,000 in Lower Shabelle, and 7,000 in Bakool (OCHA). 41,000 IDPs were reported on 15 April (OCHA).
As of 10 June, according to a government official, an estimated 10,000 people have been displaced by inter-clan fighting in Lower Shabelle (UN, 11/06/2014).
Rates of acute malnutrition and mortality levels have passed emergency thresholds among displaced populations in Mogadishu (FAO 07/07/2014). The UN estimates that several thousand IDPs were evicted from settlements in Mogadishu during August and September 2013 and 27,000 people evicted in November and December. Authorities plan to relocate IDPs to allow for urban development. The proposed solution is to move IDPs to Daynille district, west of the city centre. Daynille is considered particularly insecure, and it is not clear whether the land is public property and thus available for relocation purposes.
Somali Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
As of 9 April, 956,000 Somalis were refugees in neighbouring countries, around 439,000 in Kenya, 245,000 in Ethiopia, and 230,000 in Yemen (UNHCR).
Kenya: In March, the Kenyan Government ordered all city-based refugees to relocate to Dadaab and Kakuma camps, and asked Kenyans to report refugees not in camps to the police. Thousands of Somalis were rounded up, some were forcibly relocated, and hundreds were deported back to Somalia (Human Rights Watch, 11/04/2014). Over 200 children have been separated from their families (Amnesty International 11/07/2014). Kenyan officials plan to deport all undocumented Somali nationals (Human Rights Watch, 11/04/2014).
The Kenyan Government has pushed to expedite the return of Somali refugees since the attack on Nairobi’s Westgate Mall in September 2013, citing national security concerns. On 10 November, a tripartite agreement was signed by UNHCR and the Governments of Kenya and Somalia to establish the legal framework for the voluntary repatriation of Somali refugees. The international community has warned that a premature return could result in these refugees becoming IDPs in Somalia.
In parts of southern Somalia, rain since May has caused flash flooding, destroying crops and displacing households (OCHA, 13/06/2014). On 7 May, FAO reported that flash floods due to heavy rains in Bardheere district, Gedo region, had caused an unconfirmed number of deaths.
As of mid-January, over 80,000 people were affected by flooding in Middle Shabelle region, mainly in Jowhar district (OCHA). Water had contaminated wells, disrupted markets, destroyed crops, and delayed crucial planting for the next crop season.
As of 18 July, the Somali government has declared a drought in six regions
Several humanitarian actors have warned of the worsening of the food crisis, due to a combination of delayed gu rains, disrupted planting season, and rising food prices and persistent conflict. Poor households have reportedly exhausted their deyr harvest stocks and are relying on market supplies for cereals until the gu harvest (July–August), according to FEWSNET.
Restricted trade has led to rapidly rising food prices in several towns in southern Somalia. The restrictions stem from intensified and inter-clan conflicts. Humanitarian actors believe many towns will have very low food availability in coming months. Humanitarian access to these towns is nearly non-existent as few agencies are still operable (FEWSNET, 07/17/2014).
Of the total population of 7.5 million, 857,000 people face Crisis and Emergency (IPC Phase 3/4) food insecurity (74% are IDPs), and 2.48 million people face Stressed conditions (IPC Phase 2).
Somaliland: 7,000 people are in Phase 3/4; 472,000 people are in Phase 2; there are 84,000 IDPs (OCHA, 03/06/2014; 31/05/2014).
Puntland: 60,000 people are in Phase 3/4; 240,000 are in Phase 2; there are 129,000 IDPs (OCHA, 03/06/2014; 31/05/2014).
South-central: 155,000 people are in Phase 3/4; 1,336 are in Phase 2, and there are 952,000 IDPs (OCHA, 03/06/2014; 31/05/2014).
Regions with significant amounts of the population facing Phases 3 and 4 food insecurity are Galguduud, Hiraan, Middle Shabelle, Bari, Mudug, Nugaal, Middle Juba, Lower Juba, and Sanaag (OCHA, 21/05/2014).
Agriculture and Markets
Food security is expected to deteriorate considerably in the coming months, particularly among the agropastoral and the conflict-affected urban populations in Bakool; agropastoral populations in Gedo and Middle Juba regions; agropastoral, riverine, and conflict-affected urban populations in Hiraan and parts of lower Shabelle and the cowpea belt of central Somalia. Severe water scarcity is likely to hit the livestock sector (FAO 07/07/2014).
Local grain prices increased from April to May in all markets of the south; the highest monthly gain (28%) was recorded in Bakool region. Cereal prices have shown significant increases since the beginning of the year in Bakool, Hiraan, Juba, and Shabelle. Local cereal prices have increased by 136% compared to last year, and 50% compared to the five-year average in Bakool region. Commodities such as fuel have recorded price increases of between 60% and 300% in some areas in less than one month (OCHA, 07/07/2014).
Price rises recorded in Shabelle, Hiraan, central and northern regions are due to the effect of insecurity on trade flows, low stocks, and a less than optimistic outlook for the next gu season (FAO, 17/06/2014). Both livestock and milk prices are higher compared to the five-year average levels in most regions (FAO, FEWSNET, Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit, 17/06/2014).
Health and Nutrition
AWD and Cholera
Morbidity rates have reached 43.1% among Mogadishu IDP children, and are blamed on acute watery diarrhoea and other seasonal infections (FSNAU, 27/06/2014).
Flash flooding has led to increased cases of acute watery diarrhoea (AWD) and cholera in Gedo, Middle Shabelle, and Lower Juba (UNICEF, 31/05/2014). Three children have tested positive for cholera (OCHA, 07/07/2014).
203,000 children under five are acutely malnourished (UNICEF, 31/05/2014). As of March, an estimated 51,000 children suffered from severe acute malnutrition (FSNAU), an increase from 45,000 at the same time in 2013.
IDP populations: Over May–June, 6 out of 12 surveyed IDP populations across the country present a prevalence of acute malnutrition. Mogadishu IDP settlement shows extremely high levels of acute malnutrition and mortality rates (3.35/10,000/day), indicating a humanitarian emergency. Garowe IDP settlement in the northeast presents very critical levels of acute malnutrition, while Kismayo, Dholbey (in the south), Dhusamareb (central), and Galkayo (northeast) IDP settlements have critical acute malnutrition levels. (FSNAU, 27/06/2014).
3,286 suspected measles cases have been reported since January, and only one-third of children have been vaccinated: 520,000 children under five urgently require measles vaccination in outbreak areas (Bari, Nugaal, Mudig, Banadir and Lower Juba). In March and April, the number of cases quadrupled, with over 1,350 children affected compared to about 330 in 2013 (WHO, 07/2014).
The immunisation rate for measles is estimated at less than 30% (WHO, 07/2014). Only 15% of children in inaccessible areas of central and southern Somalia have been vaccinated (UNICEF, 31/05/2014).
Two cases have been reported in 2014, the most recent case in Jariban district, Mudug province; the other was in Puntland (Global Polio Eradication Initiative, 18/06/2014). The first confirmed case of wild poliovirus since 2007 was reported in Mogadishu on 9 May 2013. The total number of confirmed cases in 2013 stands at 195. Large, insecure areas of south-central Somalia have not conducted immunisation campaigns since 2009, leaving 600,000 children vulnerable, according to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.
2.75 million people are in need of safe water (OCHA, 03/06/2014).
According to an INGO report, Gedo region has been affected by a severe water crisis, with four out of five water sources reportedly dry.
South Sudan Country Analysis
20–21 July: Opposition forces reportedly launched an offensive against Government forces in Nasir, Upper Nile state (international media).
18 July: Local media reported that 18 had died in cattle raids in Pigi county, next to Malakal county in Upper Nile state.
17 July: Clashes in Guit and Nhialdu, near Bentiu, Unity state, have reportedly hampered the delivery of humanitarian aid to 37,000 people (OCHA, 17/07/2014).
- The onset of the peak rainy season has complicated the delivery of humanitarian aid to many areas in Jonglei and Unity states (IOM 16/07/2014)
- Ongoing conflict and clashes are taking place, particularly in Jonglei, Unity, and Upper Nile states.
- 4 million people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, 2.1 million of whom have not been reached (OCHA, 06/2014).
- 3.5 million people are facing Crisis and Emergency levels (IPC Phases 3 and 4) of food insecurity, 2 million of whom are in Upper Nile, Unity and Jonglei states (FAO, 06/2014).
- Three million of 4.2 million people in need of health assistance have not been reached (Health Cluster, 05/2014).
- 1.1 million IDPs and over 405,000 South Sudanese refugees moved across borders since December 2013. 97,100 civilians are sheltering in 10 PoC sites located on UNMISS bases by 17 July.
- The high number of refugees in South Sudan (mainly from Sudan, DRC, Ethiopia and CAR) is cause for concern in the current context.
- An estimated 1.48 million people reside in flood risk areas (OCHA, 01/2014).
Jonglei, Upper Nile, and Unity are priority states, and the priority sectors are food security and livelihoods, health, NFIs and shelter, nutrition, and WASH. Insecurity is hampering the delivery of assistance. The UN reports widespread violation of human rights and targeted violence against civilians.
Violence has spread across eastern South Sudan since December 2013. Fighting is most intense in the oil-rich northeastern states. Strife has progressively adopted the characteristics of an inter-communal conflict between the Dinka tribe allied to South Sudan President Kiir and government forces, and the Nuer loosely allied with former South Sudan Vice President Riek Machar.
Relations between Sudan and South Sudan have been poor since South Sudan gained independence in 2011. The violence in South Sudan since December has exacerbated tensions, with additional concerns in Khartoum regarding an influx of refugees and arms, as well as disruption of oil flow.
On 23 April, according to media reports, the Sudanese government accused Juba of using Sudanese militia groups. The SPLM-in-Opposition confirmed that Sudanese militia supporting Juba had been killed in Bentiu, Unity state, on 15 April. The week before, the South Sudanese army (SPLA) accused Sudan of supporting the SPLM-in-Opposition, according to local media. Both the opposition and the Sudanese Government denied this accusation.
There were tensions in the contested Abyei area during February and March. A UN report indicated the presence of 660 SPLA forces and police, in violation of the 2011 Agreement on Temporary Security and Administrative Arrangements for Abyei. Pro-government Sudanese militias and Sudanese Armed Forces have also been reported in the area.
In early January, Sudanese President Bashir expressed his willingness to support the Government of South Sudan, but said he had no intention of deploying troops in South Sudan.
The two states made progress in bilateral negotiations in March, agreeing to move forward with shared security measures.
President Kiir’s government forces, who are backed by Ugandan troops, are pitted against a loose alliance of military defectors loyal to former Vice President Riek Machar, along with ethnic Nuer militia forces. Large-scale killings in Bentiu and Bor in April have brought the ethnic dimension of the conflict under closer scrutiny. Both sides have been accused of trying to influence the conflict through manipulation of the media.
On 1 July, government officials announced that Juba was ready to conclude a peace agreement with the opposition within two weeks. Peace talks were adjourned on 23 June without progress, though a peace deal had been signed by the government and SPLM-in-Opposition on 10 June, international media reported. Talks, mediated by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), an East African regional bloc, have been repeatedly suspended and delayed.
On 9 May, a ceasefire was agreed between South Sudan’s president and the head of the SPLM-in-Opposition. On 11 May, the opposition accused Juba of violating the ceasefire in several locations in Unity and Upper Nile states.
On 26 February, both parties accepted, in principle, a proposal from IGAD for an interim government, pending presidential elections. The exiled South Sudan United Democratic Alliance (SSUDA) also backed the proposal and requested participation in the peace talks. On 15 March, the exiled National Revolutionary Democratic Party/Front, Revolutionary Alliance for South Sudan, and South Sudan Republican Party all agreed to take part in peace talks under SSUDA’s leadership.
On 9 May, the Jonglei-based South Sudan Democratic Movement/Army – Cobra Faction signed a peace agreement with the government; a ceasefire had been agreed in January. The movement, led by David Yau Yau, had waged a small-scale rebellion since 2010.
Fighting persists despite a reduction in violence since the 23 January cessation of hostilities agreement. Most violence is occurring in the oil-rich northeastern states of Unity, Upper Nile, and Jonglei.
The death toll was estimated at 10,000 in January since December 2013 (International Crisis Group), although access restrictions make numbers hard to verify. Over 5,900 people had sought treatment for gunshot wounds between mid-December 2013 and 12 March, according to humanitarian partners, although the number of gunshot patients has decreased significantly since early February.
International Military Presence
On 7 April, the city of Neem, in the northern part of Unity, was bombed by a suspected military aircraft (UNHCR). An aircraft was also spotted in the area of Yida two days later. Yida hosts 70,000 Sudanese refugees from South Kordofan, while Neem is located on a road used by incoming Sudanese refugees.
On 16 March, South Sudan approved the deployment of the Protection Deterrent Force (PDF), a regional force drawn from IGAD member states. While the size, mandate, command and deployment time frame of the contingent are still under discussion, it will be protecting the IGAD monitoring and verification teams, and the oil fields in Unity and Upper Nile states. Uganda announced in late February that it would withdraw its troops supporting the SPLA as soon as the PDF is ready to take over.
The UNMISS command told the UN Security Council in 19 March that it would suspend its current activities to focus on protection of civilians, prevention of inter-communal clashes, and support to IGAD as requested. The UN Security Council voted on 24 December to increase the number of peacekeepers in the country from 10,000 to 12,500.
Clashes between the Government and SPLM-in-Opposition
On 25 June, UNICEF reported firing near the Bor UN base. On 16 May, clashes were reported in Akobo county (OCHA).
On 17 April, 58 people were killed and over 100 wounded after an attack against the UN peacekeeping compound in state capital Bor, according to international media. The compound hosts 5,000 mostly Nuer civilians. The SPLA was deployed to protect the site the next day, according to official sources. Several clashes had occurred near Bor in February, according to military and local sources.
Heavy fighting between rebels and government forces on 15 July sparked widespread panic among civilians in South Sudan’s Unity state according to local media. As of 3 July, clashes were still being reported in and around Bentiu (OCHA). On 4 May, the South Sudanese army re-captured Bentiu, according to both the government and opposition. SPLM-in-Opposition forces had taken Bentiu on 14–15 April: 406 people were killed, according to international media, with non-Nuer communities and Darfuris targeted (UNMISS, 21/04/2014). Bentiu had been held by the opposition between December and January, before it was re-taken by government forces.
On 20–21 July, opposition fighters reportedly launched an offensive against government forces in Nasir, Upper Nile state (international media). As of 2 July, fighting continued in Nasir county (UNICEF, 02/07/2014). Both warring parties indicated that government forces had captured Nasir on 4 May, causing massive displacement.
On 22 May, an attack by opposition fighters left 10 dead in Barlied county, according to international media. Fighting in Renk displaced 30,000–40,000 people over the last week of April (UNICEF, 29/04/2014).
Western Bahr el Ghazal
At least 60 people were killed in clashes between between army defectors and government forces (local media 17/07/2014). Clashes had erupted in the state on 14 July between pro- and anti-government forces (local media, 16/07/2014).
As of 25 June, clashes were reported between SPLA and SPLA defectors near Bazier, on the Wau–Tambura road (UNICEF). On 12 June, alleged opposition fighters seized control of areas of Buseri, south of Wau, in an attack that left six dead on the government side, local media reported.
The ethnic dimension of the conflict has come under closer scrutiny since the killings in Bentiu and Bor in April, which targeted non-Nuer and Nuer, respectively. According to local media on 3 May, members of the Nuer IDP community in Juba have requested to be relocated to neighbouring countries. They reportedly fear being targeted by government forces. On 3 April, according to local media, representatives of the Nuer community stated that over 17,000 Nuers had been killed by pro-government forces since December.
Deaths from inter-communal fighting have increased, as have attacks, abductions, and significant population displacement, since widespread militarisation of the population and availability of small arms during the second Sudanese civil war. On 18 July, local media reported that 18 had died in cattle raids in Pigi county, next Malakal county in Upper Nile state. In 2013, the rise of ethnic violence in Jonglei forced 120,000 people to flee to the bush. Tension and violence often focus around the Nuer, based in northern Jonglei, and the Murle, a minority group based in the south of the state. Inter-clan animosity stems from competition over water resources and grazing land.
On 23 June, local media reported that thousands of herders had fled to the bush from Rumbek town. They threatened to attack government forces in order to prevent a rumoured disarmament campaign. On 18 June, clashes between Ayiel and Panyar sub-clans left 12 people dead in Cueibeit county. On 31 May, clashes during a peace conference between clan leaders of Rumbek East, Rumbek North, Cueibet, and Greater Yirol counties left one person dead. On 28 May, clashes between the Kok-Awac and Kok-Ker sub-clans in Rumbek East left three people dead, according to local sources.
On 23 May, fighting over cattle between pastoralist communities in Cueibet and Rumbek North counties had left 28 people dead, according to local sources.
On 19 April, local media reported that 100 people had been killed in a cattle raid. Twenty-one people were killed during cattle raids in Tonj East and Twic counties, humanitarian organisations reported on 10 April.
Armed cattle keeping communities displaced by violence are threatening the security and disrupting farming activities in Central, Eastern and Western Equatoria states according to local media reports in July.
On 29 June, local media reported that four people had been killed by South Sudanese cattle raiders in Turkana county, Kenya, near the border with South Sudan.
On 11 June, local media reported that clashes between the communities of Bari and Omorwo villages in Torit county had left 20 people dead. Seven people were reported dead in similar clashes on 4 May.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
As of 17 July, 2.1 of four million people in need of humanitarian assistance had not been reached (OCHA). The delivery of aid has been restricted due to heavy fighting, logistical constraints, and administrative impediments.
As of 4 June, WFP was resorting to air lifts, as the rainy season made roads impassable. As of 18 July, the state of the roads between Bentiu (Unity) and Rumbek (Lakes), between Maiwut (near Pagak) and Guel Guk, and linking Malakal (Upper Nile state), Bor (Jonglei state), Pibor (Jonglei), Akobo (Jonglei), and Kapoeta (Western Equatoria) made access impossible (WFP, 18/07/2014). On 6 June, a truck carrying humanitarian supplies hit a landmine on the road from Bentiu to Rubkona, Unity state.
Several humanitarian organisations had reported that bad road conditions threatened to complicate access to vulnerable populations in Upper Nile, Jonglei, and Unity through the humanitarian corridor established from Gambella, Ethiopia.
Insecurity has reportedly constrained road movement.
Clashes in Guit and Nhialdu, near Bentiu, Unity state, have reportedly hampered the delivery of humanitarian aid to 37,000 people (OCHA, 17/07/2014).
On 20 June, armed men reportedly attempted to coerce the crew of a humanitarian flight into flying civilians from Bentiu to Juba (OCHA).
Two UN staff have allegedly been illegally detained by members of South Sudan’s security forces (UN, 21/05/2014).
On 4 June, the WFP reported the looting or destruction of 1,400 metric tons of food in Nasir, Ulang and Matiang.
OCHA reported on 30 November 2013 that 293 violent incidents had been recorded since January 2013.
On 2 July, international media reported that authorities prevented four UN staff from taking a plane, and confiscated their passports.
The first barge convoy from Juba to Melut and Malakal (Upper Nile) departed on 29 June (OCHA, 3/07/2014). Delivery of aid by barge has been long delayed due to administrative restrictions between Juba, Bor, and Malakal (OCHA, 02/05/2014).
The South Sudan government announced it would implement routine searches of UN and relief organisation convoys, claiming it had intercepted arms and ammunition in UNMISS-contracted vehicles in Rumbek, Lakes state (UNHCR, 21/03/2014).
Reports in January indicated that government authorities had hampered UN flights.
By 10 July, over 11 million South Sudanese had been displaced internally and over 412,060 South Sudanese refugees moved across borders since December 2013. Fluid displacement patterns and limited access to rural areas make numbers difficult to verify (UNHCR 11/07/2014). In mid-February, UNHCR released a non-return advisory for South Sudanese fleeing conflict.
As of 17 July, 1.1 million IDPs were in South Sudan: in Jonglei (435,000), Unity (265,000), Upper Nile (179,000), and Lakes (138,000), according to OCHA. An estimated 588,000 IDPs are under 18 (UNICEF, 15/07/2014).
97,000 civilians are sheltering in 10 Protection of Civilians (PoC) sites on UNMISS bases: 31,000 in Juba (Tomping and UN House), 18,000 in Malakal, 4,000 in Bor, 40,000 in Bentiu (UNMISS 17/07/2014). As of early July, 100–200 people were arriving at Bentiu every day (UNHCR, 04/07/2014).
In April, approximately 70% of IDPs were living in spontaneous settlement sites, 28% in Protection of Civilian (PoC) sites, and 2% in pre-existing buildings (also referred to as collective centres), according to a Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) report.
Relocation is ongoing in several sites as a result of flooding (OCHA, 20/06/2014). As of 14 July, 9,700 people had been relocated from the old Malakal PoC located within the UNMISS compound to the new site PoC. 4,454 individuals have voluntarily relocated from the UNMISS Tongping PoC to the UN House PoC 3 since December 2013 site (IOM 15/07/2014).
Refugees in South Sudan
Over 241,400 refugees in South Sudan. 219,890 from Sudan, 12,495 from RDC, 5,100 from Ethiopia and 1,873 from CAR. Over 128,000 of the refugees are based in Upper Nile and around 83,700 in Unity (UNHCR, data retrieved from website on 17/07/2014).
Most of the Sudanese refugees in Upper Nile state reside in four refugee camps in Maban county (OCHA, 03/04/2014). Tensions between Sudanese refugees and host communities were of concern in late March. Up to 2,000 refugees have reportedly returned from Maban county to Blue Nile state, Sudan, due to food shortages (OCHA, 31/05/2014).
An estimated 71,000 South Sudanese have returned from Sudan since January 2013, totalling 1.9 million returnees from Sudan since 2007.
South Sudan Refugees in other Countries
Over 405,000 South Sudanese have sought refuge in neighbouring countries since the onset of the conflict (OCHA, 17/07/2014).
Sudan: 86,000 South Sudanese nationals have arrived in Sudan since 15 December (UNHCR, 18/07/2014). An estimated 165,000 South Sudanese refugees are expected to arrive over the course of 2014 (WFP, 16/07/2014).
As of late March, the Sudanese government has refused to recognise South Sudanese nationals as refugees and instead considers them to be Sudanese citizens (UNHCR, 03/04/2014). The Sudanese government stated that all foreigners in Sudan had to register with the immigration administration by 1 April. UNHCR has declared that constitutes an obstacle to access to humanitarian assistance.
Ethiopia: 172,000 South Sudanese refugees (UNHCR, 18/07/2014). As of 27 June, the daily rate of arrival is estimated at 1,000 (UNHCR), down from 2,000 the previous month (local media, 22/06/2014). Some 300,000 South Sudanese refugees are expected in the Gambella region over the course of 2014 (WFP, 16/07/2014).
Uganda: 119,000 refugees (UNHCR, 18/07/2014). A total of 150,000 are expected to arrive over the course of 2014, a downward revision from 300,000 (WFP, 16/07/2014).
Kenya: 41,000 refugees and a daily arrival rate of 360 (UNHCR, 18/07/2014). 100,000 are expected over 2014 (WFP, 16/07/2014).
On 4 June, FAO reported that an estimated 3.5 million people continue to face Crisis and Emergency levels (IPC Phases 3 and 4) of food insecurity: two million are in Jonglei, Unity, and Upper Nile states. The number is expected to increase to 3.9 million by August (WFP, 14/05/2014), almost four times the pre-crisis estimate of one million.
Outlook for Food Security
While the current crisis has not affected the main harvest, forecast to be 38% above the recent four-year average, most conflict-affected states show high cereal production deficits against cereal demand.
Planting and cultivation activities have been affected by conflict (FAO, 04/06/2014). Conflict is also affecting major supply routes, displacing traders and leading to a rise in food and fuel prices.
Along with a de facto devaluation of the national currency between 2011 and 2013, the reduction in oil exports and the increase in imports are likely to reduce significantly households’ purchasing power. Agricultural and pastoral activities have low productivity and the country depends on food imports.
Health and Nutrition
Three million of 4.2 million people in need of health assistance have not been reached (Health Cluster, 31/05/2014).
4,400 cholera cases including 102 deaths (case fatality rate 2.3%) have been reported in South Sudan as of 18 July: 2,600 cases and 39 deaths in Juba, and 2,400 cases and 63 deaths were recorded outside Juba (WHO 18/07/2014).
Up to 116,000 people could be affected within the next six months (OCHA, 06/06/2014).
55 cases of hepatitis E reported in the Lakes estate in June, a sharp increase from the 2 cases in April (Local media citing MSF 15/06/2014). Four cases were fatal (WHO, 15/06/2014).
The rate of new HIV infections has risen in Northern Bahr El Ghazal state (UNMISS, 19/06/2014).
41,677 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition (SAM) and 78,565 from moderate acute malnutrition (MAM). Twice as many children will need treatment for SAM this year than in 2013 (UNICEF 15/07/2014). The screening of over 600,000 children in 2014 has found an SAM rate of 6.8% and an MAM rate of 12.8%.
According to MSF, malnutrition rates have skyrocketed in parts of Upper Nile, Unity and Jonglei states since conflict erupted in South Sudan in December. MSF has admitted more people for malnutrition in Leer in May and June (2,810 cases) than in all of 2013. In Lankien and Yuai (Jonglei state), there was a 60% increase in admissions in the first six months of the year compared to the same period last year. High death rates have been reported in areas north of Malakal (MSF 14/07/2014).
Under-five mortality rate in Bentiu has decreased to 1.47 (from 2.6 last week) and is now below emergency threshold (UNICEF 15/07/2014). 4.9% of children at Bentiu UN base are severely malnourished, and 15.9% moderately malnourished. An earlier report cited preventable diseases and malnutrition as the main causes of death.
An estimated 223,000 children are expected to suffer from SAM in 2014.
An estimated 200,000 pregnant women will need urgent care in 2014; 30,000 of them are estimated to be at risk of dying of complications (UNFPA, 15/05/2014).
As of 11 June, 1,227 cases of measles, 125 of which were fatal, have been reported countrywide since 15 December 2013 (UNICEF).
As of 25 June, access to safe water and sanitation remained a critical gap (UNICEF). There were 109 people per latrine in Bentiu UN base (OCHA, 04/07/2014). IDPs in the Bentiu PoC site had access to 10 litres of water per day per person (UNMISS, 3/07/2014).
The ratio of persons per latrines is 41 in Malakal PoC site and 32 in Melout PoC site (IOM 15/07/2014).
The average number of latrines per IDP in Lakes state is reportedly 1:350 (OCHA, 06/06/2014).
Water supplies were reportedly insufficient in a quarter of displacement sites. In 40% of sites, IDPs rely on unimproved or surface water sources. 9.2 litres of water are available per person per day in Bentiu (IOM 15/07/2014)
Children are not attending school in 70% of IDP sites (CCCM, 17/04/2014). The inability to pay teachers’ wages has led to school closures in displacement areas (OCHA, 02/05/2014). As of 26 June, 78 schools were occupied and thus obstructing education, mostly in the eastern half of the country (OCHA).
9,000 children have reportedly been recruited by armed groups in 2014 (OCHA, 11/07/2014).
21 July: Food security is deteriorating across the Darfur region due to insufficient rain, increased food prices, and persistent insecurity (WFP, 21/07/2014).
20 July: An attack by pro-government militia on a convoy of vehicles along the El Fashir–Kabkabiya road left 13 people dead, according to local media.
20 July: Four people died during a pro-government militia attack on a village near Malam, South Darfur, local media reported.
18 June: The last three aid workers among 25 abducted last month in the area of Kutum, North Darfur, were released (UNICEF, 19/07/2014).
- Protracted insurgencies by armed groups are occurring across Darfur, and South Kordofan and Blue Nile states. The conflict in South Sudan has also raised tensions.
- 6.9 million people (20% of the population) need humanitarian assistance (OCHA 15/07/2014): 3.5 million in Darfur and 1.2 million in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states (OCHA, 05/2014). 355,000 people have been affected by conflict in Darfur since January 2014 (OCHA, 05/2014).
- 5 million people face Stressed, Crisis, or Emergency levels of food insecurity, most of whom are in Darfur (GIEWS, 06/2014).
- Renewed fighting took place between armed opposition groups, militias, and the Sudanese army in Darfur since March.
- There are 2.4 million IDPs. Two million in Darfur prior to the latest clashes (OCHA, 03/2014), and 388,000 in 2014 (OCHA, 07/2014).
- Humanitarian access remains a significant problem due to insecurity, mines and explosive remnants of war (ERW), logistical constraints, and restrictions placed by the authorities.
Several regions of Sudan are facing large-scale internal displacement due to violence, widespread food insecurity, malnutrition, lack of access to basic services, and recurrent natural disasters. Humanitarian access to conflict zones is severely restricted.
Numerous, protracted insurgencies are being waged by several armed groups across Darfur, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile. Darfur has been the scene of inter-communal clashes and conflict between the government and armed opposition for over a decade, and fighting intensified in March 2014. Violence in Blue Nile and South Kordofan grew significantly after South Sudan won independent in 2011. Tensions also continue to run high between Sudan and South Sudan.
Profound divisions within the Sudanese society have persisted since independence in 1956, and the government exploitation of intercommunal differences has aggravated the situation.
On 17 May, the head of the opposition party Umma was arrested for treason after allegedly criticising the government’s abuse of civilians in Darfur.
On 11 March, according to Amnesty International, one person was killed and over 100 students were arrested following peace demonstrations in Khartoum.
Tensions between Khartoum and Juba, persistent since South Sudan’s independence in 2011, increased when violence erupted in South Sudan in December 2013. The disruption of oil flow is a key concern for both countries.
On 15 April, according to media reports, the Sudanese government accused Juba of using Sudanese militia groups. The week before, the South Sudanese army (SPLA) accused Khartoum of supporting the SPLM-in-Opposition, according to local media. Both the opposition and Khartoum denied this accusation.
On 7 April, the city of Neem, in the north of South Sudan’s Unity state, was bombed by a suspected military aircraft (UNHCR). An aircraft was spotted in the area of Yida two days later. Yida hosts 70,000 Sudanese refugees, while Neem is located on a road used by incoming Sudanese refugees.
The two states made progress in bilateral negotiations in March, agreeing to move forward with shared security measures.
Sudan Revolutionary Front
The Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF), formed in 2011, is seeking a comprehensive peace process covering the whole country. The SRF is made up of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), mainly active in Blue Nile and South Kordofan states, as well as Darfur’s three largest opposition groups: the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM); the Sudan Liberation Movement led by Abdel Wahid Al Nur (SLM-AW); and the Sudan Liberation Movement led by Minni Arkou Minnawi (SLM-MM).
On 13 May, local media reported that the SRF and the Unionist Movement had signed an agreement aimed at unifying government opposition.
SRF has said it is ready to join the national dialogue with Khartoum and enhance its cooperation with the UN–AU Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), provided the Government lift the state of emergency and allow unimpeded humanitarian access to war zones. On 25 April, the SRF published a roadmap for a peace settlement, according to local sources.
The government is only willing to discuss the conflict in Darfur, and the African Union Peace and Security Council has called for everyone to join the 2011 Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD).
The Darfur Peace Process
The Darfur peace process is stalled. The process does not include the SRF members, SLM-MM, SLM-AW, or JEM, who have consistently rejected the Doha process. However, UN officials have met with SLM-AW, SLM-MM, and JEM in recent months. In December 2013, the All Inclusive Peace and Security in Darfur Technical Workshop aimed to draw non-signatories to the DDPD to the negotiating table. JEM and SLM-MM restated their demand for a comprehensive, inclusive, just and sustainable, negotiated settlement of the Sudanese conflicts.
On 18 June, a group that seceded from the SLM-MM declared it would take part in the Darfur peace process and surrender its arms, local media reported.
On 26 May, the Darfur Internal Dialogue and Consultation Implementation Committee was launched during a peace conference convened by UNAMID in El Fashir.
Blue Nile and South Kordofan States
While the SPLM governs the independent South Sudan, the SPLM-North continues an insurgency in Sudan’s Blue Nile and South Kordofan states, which have routinely opposed government rule.
Negotiations between Khartoum and the SPLM-N collapsed in April, reportedly over the SPLM-N’s demand for a comprehensive peace process. Talks had been held unsuccessfully in February and March, and in April 2013.
Instability in the East
Despite being home to the largest gold mine in the country and Port Sudan, where all Sudan’s oil exports transit, east Sudan is one of the poorest regions. In 2006, the Eastern Sudan Peace Agreement (ESPA) was signed. But divisions within the Eastern Front (EF), the alliance that signed the agreement, are growing. Some factions of the EF claim they wish to join the SRF because of Khartoum’s alleged failure to implement the core elements of the ESPA. The government is reportedly allowing local militias to arm, and boosting support to Arab tribes.
In mid-November 2013, the Defence Ministry announced the beginning of extensive military operations aimed to end rebellion in Darfur, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile by mid-2014. On 11 April, local media reported that the Sudanese Defence Minister had stated that continued armed opposition would be crushed by a military offensive in 2014.
According to local media, on 2 July, 10 farmers were killed in an alleged cross-border raid by Ethiopian gunmen in Gedaref state.
Armed Conflict and Violence in Darfur
Security in Darfur has reportedly deteriorated significantly since late December, with almost daily air strikes from the Sudanese Air Force. IDPs in camps across the Darfur region have requested protection (local sources, 12/03/2014). Tribal conflicts have also contributed to insecurity.
East Jebel Marra
On 15–16 May, aerial bombing of a health centre and a market in East Jebel Marra reportedly killed three people. Intense SAF aerial bombings in East Jebel Marra over 16–20 March caused a number of deaths and the displacement of thousands of people, with the RSF attacking locations prior to the bombings, local sources reported.
On 8 June, six people were reportedly killed and 100 remained missing after pro-government militia attacks in the area of Kuru, local media said.
Kabkabiya: On 20 July, an attack by pro-government militia on a convoy of vehicles along the El Fasher-Kabkabiya road left 13 people dead, according to local media. On 3 July, local media reported that a pro-government militia killed four people between El Sareif Beni Hussein and Kabkabiya. On 18 June, four people were killed following clashes between armed militia and the police in Kabkabiya, local media said.
El Fashir: On 6 June, militia attacks in the El Fashir area left 11 people dead. On 20 May, clashes between militia and government forces left at least ten fighters dead, according to international media. On 30 April and 1 May, at least four people were killed in attacks by pro-government militias and people believed to belong to the Sudanese army, according to international observers. Local sources reported three people killed by Sudanese Air Force shelling of a village in El Fashir area on 28 April.
Kutum: Gunmen ambushed six commercial vehicles in Kutum locality on 11 July. The day before, gunmen robbed the passengers of a commercial vehicle north of Kutum town, and abducted two (local media 15/07/2014). On 29 May, militia attacks left two people dead, local sources said. On 6 April, local sources reported that the El Fashir–Kutum road had been closed for four weeks.
Inter-communal violence: As of 29 June, clashes between the Northern Rizeigat and Beni Hussein tribes had reportedly left 39 people dead in the El Sireaf area (OCHA). On 22–23 June, six people died in clashes near Um Katira, local media reported. On 24 May, clashes that erupted during mediation between rival tribes facilitated by UNAMID in Kabkabiya left one peacekeeper dead and three injured.
According to local media on 20 July, four people died during a pro-government militia attack against a village near Malam. On 11 July, one person was killed in Kass, and an IDP was injured and robbed, according to local media.
On 29 June, local media reported that a militia attack on a village had left one person dead and 49 missing in Gireida locality. On 22 June, clashes in Shattai locality left one person dead, and triggered the deployment of government forces (OCHA). On 11 June, one person was killed by armed men in Nyala, local sources said. On 20 May, in Nyala, one man was killed and several were injured by armed men, some wearing army uniform, according to local media.
On 22 April, according to local sources, UNAMID officials pledged the deployment of an additional 6,000 peacekeepers in Nyala.
On 28 May, two people were killed in an alleged attack by Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM), local sources said. On 16 April, three children were reportedly killed in a missile attack.
Attacks by pro-government forces on displacement sites were reported in April, May and June in Zalingei, Kailik, and Niertiti. Over ten people were killed, according to local media.
Inter-communal violence: Starting 19 June, clashes between the Misseriya and the Salamat tribes in the areas of Salayle, Mukjar and Um Dukhun, left at least 130 people dead, according to local media. The Sudanese army was reportedly deployed to Mukjar, Um Dukhun, and Bindisi localities on 23 June to put an end to the fighting.
Inter-communal violence: On 6 July, local media reported that clashes between Maaliya and Rizeigat tribesmen left 18 people dead near the state capital Ed Daein. Clashes reported on 19 June left seven people dead, according to local media. A reconciliation conference was adjourned on 20 June due to lack of progress. The presidency reportedly called for another reconciliation conference on 10 August (local media 16/07/2014).
On 1 July, local media reported that 25 people had died in clashes between Maaliya and Hamar tribes in Um Shaalouba area. Clashes near Adilla at the end of May had killed a number of people and reportedly caused displacement. West Kordofan and East Darfur authorities deployed military forces to secure borders between the rival tribes, local sources said.
On 29 June, local media reported that clashes between Misseriya clans over pasture in Babanusa locality had left 196 people dead. As of 22 June, clashes between farmers and nomads in Kereinik locality had reportedly left three people dead (OCHA, 22/06/2014).
Armed Violence and Conflict in Kordofan and Blue Nile
The Sudanese Government announced that it would expand its counter-insurgency operations in Blue Nile state on 23 May. According to an SPLM-N spokesperson on 21 April, the SAF had launched an offensive in North Kordofan.
On 28 June, heavy fighting between government forces and the SPLM-N was reported in the area of Kadugli, the state capital of South Kordofan. Suspected SPLM-N had reportedly launched a rocket attack against the town in February. On 18 June, SAF and police detained villagers of Lagori in the Nuba Mountains, local media reported. On 6 June, the SAF said it had captured the SPLM-N stronghold of Al Atmur in South Kordofan. Bombings had reportedly intensified in the region at the end of May, according to local sources, with heavy bombing of Kauda reported by OCHA. On 24 May, a Sudanese commander was killed in an SPLM-N offensive on Daldako, South Kordofan, which government forces had recently recaptured. Aerial bombings in the Nuba Mountains, South Kordofan have reportedly hit a hospital and killed more than 33 people since February.
Inter-communal violence: A reconciliation conference between the Hamar and Maaliya tribes is scheduled to take place on 23 July in Al Foula, West Kordofan (local media 16/07/2014).
Information on Blue Nile and South Kordofan states is difficult to obtain as government authorities severely restrict access to the fighting zone.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
6.9 million people (20% of the population) are in need of humanitarian assistance in Sudan and the first half of 2014 saw more displaced in Darfur than any single year since 2004 (OCHA 16/07/2014).
In March, 3.5 million people in Darfur, a third of the region’s population, needed humanitarian assistance (OCHA). This includes two million IDPs, 1.2 million non-displaced severely affected by violence, and 136,000 returnees or refugees from neighbouring countries.
In South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, 1.2 million need assistance in government-controlled areas (OCHA), and 800,000 are estimated displaced or severely affected by conflict in SPLM-N territory. Limited access to non-government areas makes verification impossible.
Humanitarian access for international relief organisations is a major problem. Humanitarian operations are heavily hampered by insecurity, the presence of mines and ERW, logistical constraints, and government restrictions.
On 18 June, 31,000 out of 85,000 people who had arrived from South Sudan to Sudan had not received humanitarian aid (UNHCR).
Khartoum has repeatedly accused international organisations of exaggerating the magnitude of internal conflict, disseminating false information, and spying. New rules in August 2013 ban foreign humanitarian groups and UN agencies from working for human rights, and the government has banned humanitarian access to areas controlled by opposition groups.
On 19 May, ICRC activities remained suspended by authorities.
Targeted Attacks on Peacekeepers and Humanitarian Staff
On 20 June, an international NGO reported the abduction of three staff in the area of Kutum, North Darfur. On 18 June, 25 aid workers were reportedly abducted in three separate incidents in the area of Kutum, North Darfur (UNICEF, 19/07/2014). All had been released by 18 July.
Sixteen peacekeepers were killed in hostile acts in Darfur in 2013, representing a 50% increase from 2012, and bringing the number of personnel killed to 57 since UNAMID was deployed in 2008 (UN).
Darfur: As of 15 July, humanitarian agencies had access to 253,000 IDPs of a total of 266,000 in Darfur, and a cumulative 363,000 people had been reached by humanitarian aid (OCHA, 15/07/2014).
ECHO reported on 4 July that officials denied access to medical teams attempting to provide assistance in El Sereif and Kalma camps, South Darfur.
Militia checkpoints on the Kutum–El Fashir and Anka–El Tina roads hamper humanitarian access (local media, 03/07/2014).
On 22 June, OCHA reported that government policy preventing the creation of new camps is an obstacle for the verification and registration of IDPs by IOM.
Areas near Kutum (North Darfur) and Adilla and Abu Karinka (East Darfur) were reportedly inaccessible on 26 May (OCHA). On 21 May, local media reported that UNAMID had allegedly been denied access to parts of Kutum area.
East Jebel Marra region has been virtually inaccessible since 2010: on 15 April, local sources reported that the roads from East Jebel Marra to El Fashir, Tawila, Shangil Tobaya, and Nyala were closed. In April, thousands of IDPs were reported to have no access to aid in El Salam and Saraf Omra localities, North Darfur, and in Kalma IDP camp, South Darfur. As of 31 March, there were major accessibility issues for El Tawisha, El Lait, and Kutum, North Darfur.
Central Darfur: insecurity is hindering the movement of humanitarian supplies by road, especially to the localities of Um Dukhun and Bindisi. In East Darfur, Abu Karinka and Adilla localities have been inaccessible since August 2013.
Blue Nile and South Kordofan: On 23 June, an INGO said that it was operating in parts of South Kordofan despite a government denial of access. On 16 June, a hospital run by an NGO in Farandalla, South Kordofan, was reportedly bombed (OCHA, 22/06/2014). There has been no humanitarian access from Sudan to opposition-held areas in South Kordofan since October 2013.
White Nile: Heavy rains are expected to hamper the delivery of service to Jouri, Al Kashafa, and El Redis refugee relocation sites (UNHCR, 04/07/2014).
424 villages were swept away by torrential rains and floods in Sinja, Sennar state (local media 10/07/2014).
There are 2.3 million IDPs in the five states of Darfur, residing in 46 camps and 68 settlements (82,530 orphans, 34,099 widows, and 52,352 sick and elderly), according to the results of the survey conducted by the Darfur Regional Authority from December 2013 to April 2014.
388,000 cumulative IDPs figures for Darfur in 2014 only. 256,000 remain displaced and 131,000 people are reported to have returned (OCHA 20/07/2014).
3,324 villages were destroyed December 2013–April 2014 (local media citing DRA official sources 15/07/2014).
As of 31 May, there were nearly two million IDPs in Darfur (OCHA). Clashes between armed opposition groups, militias, and the Sudanese Armed Forces in the Darfur region had caused the displacement of 385,000 people between February and end June (OCHA, 29/06/2014).
North Darfur: 615,660 IDPs and 729 villages were destroyed December 2013–April 2014 (DRA cited by local media 16/07/2014). IOM was able to verify 54,000 newly displaced since March in five sites (OCHA, 22/06/2014). On 18 June, 21,000 people who had taken refuge in the Korma UNAMID base required humanitarian assistance (OCHA); 9,000 IDPs have been relocated from Mellit to Abassi camps. On 20 April, 7,000 people were reported displaced following an attack by Abbala camel herders on villagers in the Tawila locality.
On 25 May, an estimated 52,000 of 81,000 IDPs in El Tawisha had returned, and tens of thousands of IDPs were thought to have returned in Saraf Omra, (OCHA, 25/05/2014).
Central Darfur: 464,459 IDPs and 778 destroyed villages; West Darfur: 373,225 IDPs and 750 destroyed villages destroyed; East Darfur: 188,241 IDPs with 331 villages destroyed (local media citing DRA official sources 15/07/2014).
South Darfur: 667,450 IDPs; 736 villages were destroyed December 2013–April 2014 (DRA cited by local media 16/07/2014). 61,000 have been displaced by violence in the Um Gunya area (OCHA, 24/03/2014).
Over 70 people have died in less than a month in the Kalma camp for the displaced in Nyala locality, South Darfur, as a result of the deteriorated humanitarian situation and insecurity in the camp (Local media 15/07/2014). On 24 June, local sources reported that an unidentified disease in Kalma IDP camp has caused 18 deaths over the last month. Close to 17,000 IDPs in Kalma camp are suffering an acute water shortage (OCHA, 29/06/2014).
Central Darfur: 464,459 IDPs; 778 villages were destroyed December 2013–April 2014 (DRA cited by local media 16/07/2014). Sudanese aid officials said 32,000 people had fled Saraf Omra in North Darfur to the Fassi area of Central Darfur in March (17/03/2014).
30,000 IDPs in Deleig camp are living in dire conditions. Food rations have been cut for many and food prices are soaring (Sudan inflation hit 45.3% in June) and there is no work available (Local media 10/07/2014).
East Darfur: 188,241 IDPs; 331 villages were destroyed December 2013–April 2014 (DRA cited by local media 16/07/2014).
An estimated 176,000 people have been displaced since April 2013 due to fighting between SAF and the SLM-MM and between Rizeigat and Maaliya tribes. Government restrictions have prevented humanitarian organisations from assessing the needs of these people or verifying their number.
West Darfur: There are 373,225 IDPs according to the survey conducted between December 2013 and April 2014 by the DRA during which time 750 villages were destroyed (DRA cited by local media 16/07/2014).
Blue Nile and South Kordofan: On 19 May, an estimated 800,000 people were either displaced or severely affected by violence in SPLM-N-controlled areas: 700,000 in South Kordofan and 90,000 in Blue Nile, according to local estimates (OCHA). According to the South Kordofan and Blue Nile Coordination Unit (SKBNCU), an estimated 170,000 people have been displaced in SPLMN-held areas of South Kordofan since April 2014 (local media, 18/07/2014). Government restrictions have prevented humanitarian organisations from assessing the needs of these people or verifying their number.
With no presence in SPLM-N controlled areas, the UN is unable to verify these figures. Up to 1.2 million are either displaced or severely affected by violence in government-controlled areas (OCHA, 19/05/2014).
45,000–70,000 people were displaced over the last week of April, according to observers on 30 April.
West Kordofan: As of 15 June, 67,000 IDPs in the areas of Meiram, El Salam, and Ghubaysh were in urgent need of humanitarian aid (OCHA).
Sudanese Refugees in Other Countries
As of 31 May, OCHA reported that there were 352,000 Sudanese refugees in Chad, 216,000 in South Sudan, 33,000 in Ethiopia, and 5,000 in Central African Republic.
1,600 Sudanese refugees have reportedly returned from Maban county, South Sudan, to Blue Nile state, Sudan, due to food shortages (OCHA, 08/06/2014). UNHCR reported a deteriorating food situation for the Sudanese refugees in Maban, on 2 June. In late March, humanitarian organisations expressed concern over tensions between Sudanese refugees and host communities in Maban, where 126,000 Sudanese refugees reside in four refugee camps (OCHA, 03/04/2014).
Refugees in Sudan
On 1 June, Sudan was hosting 157,000 refugees, mainly from Eritrea, with smaller numbers from Chad, Ethiopia, Somalia, and South Sudan, according to February UNHCR figures.
As of 18 July, 86,000 South Sudanese nationals had arrived in Sudan since 15 December (UNHCR). An estimated 38,000 are in White Nile, 13,000 in South Kordofan, 24,000 in Khartoum, and the rest in West Kordofan and Blue Nile. A total of 165,000 are expected to arrive in 2014 (WFP, 02/07/2014). On 30 April, 3,000 newly displaced South Sudanese had arrived in the disputed area of Abyei, bringing the total of South Sudanese displaced to the area to 6,000 (OCHA).
On 16 June, Khartoum state officials issued an order to evacuate informal camps hosting South Sudanese refugees, local media said.
An estimated 347,000 people of Southern Sudanese origin are currently hosted in Sudan (OCHA, 30/04/2014). As of late March, the Sudanese government refuses to recognise South Sudanese nationals as refugees and instead considers them to be Sudanese citizens (UNHCR, 03/04/2014). The Sudanese government stated that all foreigners in Sudan had to register with the immigration administration by 1 April. UNHCR has declared that constitutes an obstacle to access humanitarian assistance.
West Kordofan: As of 15 June, 33,000 South Sudanese refugees in Babanusa and Muglad localities were reportedly in urgent need of humanitarian aid (OCHA). UNHCR reported only 3,000 South Sudanese refugees in West Kordofan as of 25 June.
White Nile: On 25 June, WFP reported that the relocation of 30,000 refugees from Kilo 10 camp was completed. The government has reportedly identified additional sites in anticipation of new arrivals in the state: El Khaira Tawakalna and Zalataya (UNHCR, 20/06/2014).
As of 13 June, an estimated five million people faced Stressed, Crisis, and Emergency levels of food insecurity (GIEWS), up from 4.5 million on 30 April, due to the early onset of the lean season, rising food prices, and the impact of conflict and displacement. IDPs make up 80% of food insecure people (FAO, 10/04/2014).
On 21 July, WFP reported a deteriorating food security situation across the Darfur region due to insufficient rain, increased food prices, and persistent insecurity (WFP, 21/07/2014). 2.7 million food insecure people are in the five Darfur regions, where Crisis levels are expected to last until September (FEWSNET, 05/2014). In October, these numbers broke down to one million in North Darfur, 520,000 in South Darfur, 490,000 in Central Darfur, 460,000 in West Darfur, and 230,000 in East Darfur. On 25 May, OCHA reported that 90,000 were estimated to be in need of food aid in East Darfur.
On 29 June, FEWSNET reported that heavy fighting in the Buram, Um Dorein and Kadugli localities of South Kordofan was likely to cause newly displaced people to miss the harvest season.
On 24 June, a human rights group stated that the government’s refusal to allow humanitarian access in SPLM-N-controlled areas further aggravated the food security situation of the population.
Agriculture and Markets
Harvest prospects for the 2013/14 main agricultural season are expected to be 30–35% below the national average, mainly due to late and insufficient rains at critical times in the season. As of late February, retail sorghum harvest outputs were 50% below average in Darfur (FEWSNET).
Insecurity and conflict are expected to reduce harvest prospects, cause continued destruction of assets, and obstruct access to markets and food assistance.
Health and Nutrition
The UN estimated in mid-December 2013 that 165,000 children in SPLM-N-controlled parts of South Kordofan and Blue Nile do not have access to basic health services.
There are indications that the health situation in Darfur is deteriorating. The rate of schistosomiasis, also known as bilharzia, has increased by 70% in South Darfur (government sources quoted by local media, 07/05/2014). Local reports indicate that visceral leishmaniasis, scabies, and ringworm have increased since 2012, resulting in a surge of patients in hospitals and health centres.
About 90,000 people are living without access to any medical care in Mukjar locality (Central Darfur).
Acute Watery Diarrhoea
On 27 May, local sources reported that 157 cases of watery diarrhoea, suspected of being cholera, had been recorded in White Nile.
As of 17 June, 738 cases of dengue had been reported in Red Sea State, six of which were fatal (OCHA). Cases of haemorrhagic fever had been reported by local media on 13 June.
On 4 July, ECHO reported cases of hepatitis E in El Sereif and Kalma IDP camps, South Darfur. MSF reported an outbreak of Hepatitis E in El Sereif camp with more than 400 cases as of 21 June (OCHA 06/072014).
An increased number of suspected cases of acute jaundice syndrome (AJS) was reported in several IDP camps in South Darfur in July: 36 cases in Kalma, 19 in El Sharif, two in El Salam and one in Otash camps between mid-June and the first week of July. Insufficient access to clean water and sanitation facilities contribute to the spread (OCHA 06/07/2014).
Sudan has experienced a resurgence in measles since 2010, mainly due to population growth, with a major outbreak in Kassala in 2012.
17,000 new IDPs face acute water shortages in sectors 7 and 8 of Kalma camp, with just 2.5 litres per day per person (OCHA 06/07/2014).
The 30,000 IDPs in Zamzam camp receive only 6.6 litres of water per person per day (OCHA, 29/06/2014).
An estimated 10,000 new IDPs reportedly have no access to latrines in South Kordofan (OCHA, 18/05/2014).
ERW and UXO
On 6 June, local media reported that three children were killed in an ERW explosion in East Jebel Marra. A number of ERW explosions in East Jebel Marra in April and May killed six children.
250 locations covering an estimated 32km2 are contaminated by mines and ERW, with the greatest concentrations in Kassala, Gedaref, Red Sea, Blue Nile, South Kordofan, and Darfur (UNMAS). South Kordofan is the most heavily-mined area of Sudan, according to the Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor.
Sexual and Gender-Based Violence
Numerous rapes have been reported by local media in North, South and Central Darfur since March.
On 22 March, local Sudanese officials announced that they would implement measures in border areas to stop human trafficking, following a call from the UN Human Rights Council.
IDP camps in Saraf Omra locality, North Darfur, lack educational services. IDP children are unable to enroll in public or private schools in the area as they cannot afford the school fees.
Over 3,000 school teachers in Nyala, South Darfur, have requested to be transferred due to insecurity, according to local media in July.
Syria Country Analysis
18 July: Scores of civil society activists, human rights defenders, media and humanitarian workers remain in arbitrary detention more than a month after the Government declared a general amnesty on 9 June, according to 12 international NGOs.
17 July: Islamic State (IS) seized the Shaar gas field in Homs and killed 270 government fighters, civilian security guards and employees. A counterattack by government forces on 18 July left 40 IS fighters dead.
15 July: Israeli warplanes struck three administrative and military targets in Syria's Golan Heights, killing two security guards and two women. The air raids came after the Israeli army said a rocket fired from Syria hit the Israeli-occupied sector of the Golan Heights.
15 July: Two explosions in Dara’a Palestine refugee camp resulted in the deaths of nine Palestine refugees and three Syrians.
14 July: The UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution authorising UN cross-border and cross-line delivery of humanitarian aid to conflict-affected populations without the need for approval from the Syrian Government. According to OCHA, the resolution should enable up to 2.9 million more people to be reached.
- 162,400 people, including 54,000 civilians have been killed in Syria from March 2011 to end May 2014 (Syrian Observatory for Human Rights). At least 200–300 people are dying in Syria every day.
- 10.8 million Syrians are in urgent need of humanitarian aid.
- 11 million Syrians have been displaced, including 6.5 million IDPs; 688,000 displaced by violence between April and June (SNAP 03/07/2014).
- 6.5 million Syrian children (within and outside Syria) need immediate humanitarian assistance, over two million more than one year ago (UNICEF 05/07/2014).
- 2,923,234 Syrians registered or waiting to register as refugees outside Syria as of 21 July. Lebanon: 1,130,000; Turkey: 804,500; Jordan: 607,000; Iraq: 220,000; Egypt: 138,500. Children make up 51.3% of the refugee population.
- 4.7 million in difficult-to-reach areas. Approximately 241,000 living under siege. At least 325,000 children under five live in areas not accessible to humanitarian aid (UNICEF 05/2014).
- Expected wheat production for 2014 is 1.97 million metric tons, 52% below the average for 2001–2011. The total area planted with wheat in Syria is estimated to have declined by about 15% compared with recent years (FAO).
Conflict across the country has caused large-scale displacement and disintegration of infrastructure, leaving millions in need of food, health, shelter and WASH assistance amid a dynamic conflict in which aid provision is highly problematic.
The conflict in Syria has been ongoing since March 2011; violence began after demonstrations demanding the departure of President Bashar al Assad.
Bashar al Assad won Syria’s presidential election of 4 June with 88.7% of the vote. The election was held only in the roughly 40% of Syrian territory controlled by government forces, and among Syrians outside the country. An official stated the turnout was 73.4%, or 11.6 million people of the 15.8 million called on to vote.
Heavy fighting between government forces and opposition groups has continued across large swathes of the country, including Aleppo, Rural Damascus, Idleb and Hama. In Ar-Raqqa, Al Hasakeh and Deir-ez-Zor, fierce fighting rages between various opposition groups.
171,509 deaths have been documented by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights between 18 March 2011 and 8 July 2014. Among the dead were 56,495 civilians, including 9,092 children. Another 65,803 were government troops and pro-government armed fighters, while 46,301 were opposition fighters. The opposition fighters’ toll includes 15,422 non-Syrians who joined the conflict.
On 15 July, Israeli warplanes struck three administrative and military targets in Syria's Golan Heights, killing two security guards and two women. Rockets hit Syrian military airbase Base 90, and the government-held city of Baath. The air raids came after the Israeli army said a rocket fired from Syria hit the Israeli-occupied sector of the Golan Heights, falling on open ground and causing no casualties.
On 30 June, Islamic State (IS; formerly the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) declared an Islamic caliphate across a stretch of land straddling Iraq and Syria, defining the group's territory as running from northern Syria to the Iraqi province of Diyala, northeast of Baghdad. The group has transferred some of its pillaged weapons to Syria.
Main Conflict Incidents
On 17 July, IS seized the Shaar gas field in Homs and killed 270 government fighters, civilian security guards and employees. The fate of nearly 100 people who worked at the site is unknown. A counter-attack by government forces on 18 July left 40 IS fighters dead. On 3 July, IS seized the Deir-ez-Zor town of Shheil, a stronghold of rival opposition group Al Nusra Front.
Government warplanes have attacked IS-held locations in Deir-ez-Zor since the end of June. Warplanes also hit an IS target in the city of Ar-Raqqa. Since 29 June, government forces have continued barrel bomb aerial attacks on Dar’a and Rural Damascus, according to relief organisations.
Kurdish fighters from the PYD fought IS in rural Ar-Raqqa, and Syrian Kurdish fighters have been clashing with IS in the Zur Maghar region of Aleppo.
On 24 June, opposition mortar fire on a government-held district of Damascus killed five people, while in Homs, a car bomb killed one person and injured 14 in an Alawite area of the city.
IS reportedly abducted 153 children aged 13 and 14, from the mostly Kurdish town of Ain al Arab (Kobani in Kurdish) on 29 May (Human Rights Watch, 01/07/2014). Five boys escaped and IS released 15 others on 28 June, apparently in return for the release of three IS members by Kurdish forces.
On 23 June, the remaining 7.2% of chemical weapons material was removed from Syria. With the exception of 12 production facilities, all of the declared Syrian chemical weapons programme has been eliminated.
On 13 May, Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported strong evidence to suggest that Syrian government helicopters dropped chlorine gas on Kfar Zeita in Hama, and Al Temanaa and Telmans in Idleb over 11–21 April. On 11 April, both Syrian state television and opposition sources reported a suspected chlorine gas attack in Kfar Zeita. OPCW has found information that lends credence to the view that toxic chemicals – most likely pulmonary irritating agents, such as chlorine – have been used in Syria (OPCW, 17/06/2014). Both the Government and the opposition deny having used chemical weapons and have accused each other.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
The total number of people in need in Syria has increased to 10.8 million, up from a December 2013 estimate of 9.3 million (OCHA).
4.7 million Syrians are thought to be in areas that are difficult or impossible for humanitarian workers to reach (OCHA 06/2014). Approximately 241,000 people are besieged.
WFP dispatches delivered food for over 3.4 million people across Syria in June – fulfilling 81% of its plan. In May, 77% of the plan to feed 4.25 million people was achieved. However, insecurity continues to restrict access to many parts of Syria, particularly in Ar-Raqqa, Deir-ez-Zor, and Al Hasakeh, where deliveries were severely disrupted in June (WFP 14/07/2014).
According to the UN, since Assad’s re-election on 4 June, all aid must be centralised through Damascus. Beforehand, international aid organisations were able to negotiate access directly with provincial governors.
The Kurdish protection forces in Al Hasakeh governorate (PYD) closed the border crossing at Peshkapor into the Kurdish region of Iraq on 10 April.
Security for Humanitarian Staff
Attacks on aid convoys and warehouses have taken place in government-held areas, and NGOs have been expelled from areas held by armed groups. Twenty-five UNRWA staff have either been detained or are missing.
Aleppo: Some 40,000–45,000 people are reportedly under at least partial siege in Zahra and Nobol, northwest of Aleppo, by fighters belonging to Ahrar al Sham, Al Nusra Front, and other non-state armed groups.
Al Hasakeh: With the heavy fighting in neighbouring governorates and in Iraq, Al Hasakeh remains inaccessible and approval to reopen the Nusaybeen crossing-point from Turkey is still pending. None of WFP’s planned allocation reached the governorate in June, and the limited resources delivered in mid-May are running out quickly (WFP 14/07/2014).
Ar-Raqqa: Negotiations between partners, local authorities and armed groups controlling access routes resulted helped the delivery of food assistance to over 131,000 individuals in the hard-to-reach governorate. WFP fulfilled 46% of its monthly plan by 12 June, a result which had not been achieved since October 2013 (WFP 29/06/2014).
Dar’a: 635,000 of Dara’s population of 1.26 million (host and IDPs) are in need of humanitarian assistance, but violence has hampered access to some places since mid-May. On 20 July WHO was able to make its second delivery to Dar’a in 2014 (WHO 20/07/2014).
Daraya: 10km southwest of Damascus, Daraya has been under government siege since November 2012, and last received humanitarian assistance in October 2012 (UN Security Council 28/05/2014). Its population has reportedly shrunk from 250,000 to 7,000 or fewer, including around 1,500 opposition fighters. No food or medical aid is permitted to enter Daraya. Inhabitants seem to be surviving on supplies, and food grown within Daraya. (Amnesty International 06/2014).
Deir-ez-Zor: Deir ez-Zor city has been under siege since 15 June. The main access road to the city – Al Syasia bridge – has been cut off, and the water crossing between Deir-ez-Zor and the village of Hatlah has also been closed. More than 60,000 residents remain in eastern Deir-ez-Zor city, where the humanitarian situation is not known (REACH 18/07/2014). Heavy fighting prevented WFP from delivering critical food supplies to almost 300,000 planned beneficiaries in June. Deir-ez-Zor has not received adequate levels of assistance since late 2013 (WFP 14/07/2014).
Eastern Ghouta: An estimated 150,000 people, overwhelmingly civilians, are under government siege, most since November 2012. The entry of food supplies is blocked. There is a severe shortage of medicine and medical equipment (Amnesty International 06/2014).
Idleb: Active conflict continues to hinder humanitarian access to the 500,000 IDPs and 500,000 others in need. The only mechanism for aid delivery is unaccompanied cross-line missions (UNICEF 27/05/2014).
Moadamiya: An estimated 20,000 civilians live in Moadamiya, 16km southwest of Damascus. Government forces imposed the siege in April 2012. On 17 July, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent was able to deliver aid for the first time in almost a year.
Yarmouk: 271 individuals believed to be civilians died between July 2013 and June 2014 as a direct result of the siege on the Palestinian camp. (Amnesty International, 06/2014) On 7 July, UNRWA distributed food to Yarmouk for the first time in six weeks. After two days of disruption, daily distributions had recommenced as of 18 July (UNRWA 20/07/2014).
Between 6.5 million and 7.6 million people are estimated to be internally displaced, with the highest concentration in the governorates of Aleppo, Rural Damascus, Homs, Idleb, Tartous, Hama, and Deir-ez-Zor (OCHA 05/2014). Aleppo’s population has doubled to 2.5 million people (UNICEF 06/06/2014). Over half of the displaced are children and some 4.3 million are in desperate need of food, shelter, medicine, and psychosocial support (Save the Children 07/05/2014).
Between April and June, violence displaced approximately 688,000 people, primarily in Deir-ez-Zor and Idleb governorates, with smaller-scale displacements in Aleppo, Al Hasakeh, Dar’a, Lattakia, and Rural Damascus governorates (SNAP 03/07/2014).
As conflict has intensified in northern Syria over the past six months, the camp population has grown. Idleb, Lattakia and Aleppo governorates have gone from 68,994 IDPs in 49 camps organised around seven IDP camp groups in October 2013, to 128,593 IDPs in 77 camps organised around 10 IDP camp groups by April 2014. The reported provision of shelter in camps has increased greatly in recent months.
The number of informal settlements grew from 41 housing 38,320 IDPs in October 2013 to 62 housing 71,120 IDPs in February 2014. Informal settlements tend to be harder to reach and more dispersed than camps. As of February, populations in informal settlements have received very little assistance, primarily delivered by local actors. 45% of assessed IDP families were living in makeshift shelters. Most IDPs in informal settlements cannot afford fees required to access IDP camps or afford to travel long distances. Security is a critical cause of concern for a majority staying in camps, who reported the presence of armed individuals within the camps (REACH, 09/07/2014).
Food was identified as the foremost priority by IDPs in both camps and informal settlements, with shelter and water also priorities in informal settlements. There is a huge disparity in health service provision between camps and informal settlements (REACH 09/07/2014).
Aleppo: As of February, eight informal settlements in Aleppo governorate had no onsite water access (REACH 09/07/2014).
Al Hasakeh: Daily airstrikes and heavy shelling in rural areas between Quamishli and Al Hasakeh city are resulting in further displacements in the area. Increasing numbers of Iraqi refugees have been registered since IS military gains in Iraq in early June and, while registration is ongoing, at least 500 families are reportedly in dire need of assistance in different parts of the governorate (WFP 14/07/14).
As of February, no informal settlements in Al Hasakeh and Idleb governorates had access to the Sphere minimum standard of water. Over 60% of informal settlements (38) and 17% (13) camps had no access to permanent or semi-permanent latrines (REACH 09/07/2014).
Deir-ez-Zor: By early July, an estimated 250,000 people, almost three quarters of the population of Deir-ez-Zor, have been displaced; entire villages in the east are now empty. Over 150,000 have sought sanctuary in Al Mayadeen city and other southern towns, and another 100,000 have fled to neighbouring governorates (WFP 14/07/2014)
Hama: An estimated 20,000 people fled clashes in eastern rural areas between 27 May and 10 June, seeking safety in Hama city as well as Msiaf and Sqilbie villages (WFP 14/06/2014).
Homs: Some 2,750 people were forced to flee the villages of Jabborin and Om Sharshouh, following attacks by armed groups (WFP 29/06/2014).
Lattakia and Tartous: Over a million IDPs have arrived in Lattakia and Tartous since the beginning of the conflict, swelling the local population by 50%. Tens of thousands have arrived as the conflict in Aleppo has intensified since December 2013. Local resources are severely stretched and the authorities are struggling to cope with the most recent influx (ICRC 11/07/2014).
Rural Damascus: Over 15,000 people were displaced by fighting in the villages of Khan Danoun, Khiarah, Al Thawra, Ein Al Baid, Mqailiba, Al Tayba and Zakia in June. The majority of the newly displaced are staying in shelters or host communities in Kisweh. Public shelters are completely full and IDPs are resorting to overcrowded makeshift and unfinished structures. Fighting in Qalamoun has compelled civilians to flee towards Wadi Barda and Damascus city (WFP 29/06/2014).
Palestinians Refugees from Syria
Of around 540,000 Palestinians registered with UNRWA in Syria prior to the conflict, over 50% are estimated to have been displaced. 54,000 Palestine refugees from Syria (PRS) are recorded with UNRWA in Lebanon; 14,000 are registered in Jordan; and 840 in Gaza. These figures are expected to remain roughly the same for the remainder of 2014 in Syria and Lebanon, with a gradual rise in Jordan to an estimated 20,000 (UNRWA 07/07/2014).
According to a survey, 71% Palestinians in Damascus have been displaced at least once; 45% of refugees are living on day-to-day income and only 10.5% have sufficient financial reserves to last them for the next three months. Traditional coping mechanisms are reaching their limit. Inflation is limiting refugees’ ability to secure basic food items, and many refugees are seeking shelter with host families or in crowded collective shelters, compounding vulnerabilities (OCHA 16/07/2014).
Syrian Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
As of 21 July, the total number of Syrians registered or waiting to register as refugees outside Syria stands at 2,923,234. Nearly 1,130,000 are in Lebanon (government estimates 1.3 million Syrians in total), nearly 804,500 in Turkey, over 607,000 in Jordan, over 220,000 in Iraq, and nearly 138,500 in Egypt (government estimates up to 300,000). Children make up 51.3% of the refugee population.
The total number of refugees registered by UNHCR is expected to exceed four million by the end of 2014.
Health and Nutrition
Since the start of the conflict, some 200,000 Syrians have died from chronic illnesses due to lack of access to treatment and medicines. At the end of May, 502 medical personnel had been killed since the start of the conflict (PHR).
As of May, 20 of 97 public hospitals (21%) are inaccessible, 62% of ambulances have been damaged, and shortages of fuel have limited health facilities’ capacity. There are severe shortages of surgeons, anaesthesiologists, laboratory technicians and female reproductive health professionals. Syrian pharmaceutical production capacity has been reduced by 65–70% and the costs of medicines have increased dramatically (WHO 16/07/2014).
All injectable medicines, antiseptics, serums, psychotropic medicines, even bandages and gloves, are routinely denied inclusion in aid convoys. Insulin, oxygen, and anaesthetics are no longer available in many parts of Syria. Medicines are primarily imported from Lebanon. Lengthy administrative procedures surrounding the supply of clinics have caused delays in distributing medical equipment and medicines to some areas.
Aleppo city: Four primary healthcare centres and five trauma clinics are functioning; seven of 17 ambulances are operational. As of March 2014, in the opposition-controlled areas of Aleppo city, there were an estimated 10–12 general surgeons, three–five orthopaedic surgeons, and fewer than ten internal medicine specialists.
Ar-Raqqa governorate: The only dialysis service in the governorate was destroyed by bombing in March. It had served 200 patients (PHR 04/07/2014).
Damascus governorate: As of April 2014, only two of 18 medical facilities in Qaboon were functioning, and were only providing basic services, such as first aid. In Jobar, there are no functioning medical facilities. In Yarmouk Palestinian camp, the only pharmacy still operating has been attacked by shelling and rockets at least twice. There were once between 100 and 120 pharmacies.
Dar’a governorate: Dar’a has nine public hospitals; five are out of service and three are only partially functioning, with the one operational hospital serving a population of 256,750 (WHO 20/07/2014).
Rural Damascus: 24 out of 44 private hospitals, three out of six public hospitals, and 54 out of 176 health centres are out of service (PHR 04/07/2014).
Hama governorate: An average of 30 to 35 malnutrition cases are reported every day by Charity for Social Care, a local NGO running a clinic.
Maternal Health and Sexual and Gender-based Violence
An estimated 200,000 pregnant women are in need of care in Syria, and every day, some 1,480 women give birth in dire conditions (United Nations Population Fund). The proportion of deliveries by caesarean section increased from 19% in 2011 to 45% in 2013.
Aleppo University Hospital has reported a reduction in the number of births not requiring vacuum, forceps, or caesarean delivery: from 5,251 in 2011 to only 937 in 2013.
Healthcare providers in Aleppo have observed an increase in cases of gender-based violence, including sexual violence. An average of one to two SGBV cases per month were reported by different clinics in Aleppo (UNFPA). Damascus and Rural Damascus reported an increased attendance at SGBV services from 382 in January to 1,047 in February and 2,026 in March 2014. There is increased demand for pre-marital counselling, treatment of vaginal haemorrhage, and of sexually transmitted infections. UNFPA’s implementing partners reported that families are relying on females for money, with reports of sex being exchanged for commodities. Living conditions, in addition to a scarcity of female staff in IDP shelters, have contributed to the observed increase in SGBV cases.
Aleppo University Hospital has reported an increasing number of sexually transmitted infection cases and a shortage of family planning and maternal health medicines and supplies. An increase in cases of sexually transmitted infections has also been associated with an increase in the exchange of sex for money among internally displaced women, although UNFPA was unable to verify these findings due to limited access and lack of agreed protocols. UNFPA partners in the field have reported early pregnancy and domestic violence as being relatively common.
The Ministry of Health has confirmed a measles outbreak, with 160 confirmed cases in districts of Aleppo, Al Hasakeh, Ar-Raqqa, Deir-ez-Zor, Hama, Homs, Idleb and Lattakia (OCHA 16/07/2014).
36 polio cases have been reported in Syria since October 2013: 25 in Deir-ez-Zor, five in Aleppo, three in Idleb, two in Al Hasakeh, and one in Hama. The most recent case had onset of paralysis on 21 January (Global Polio Eradication Initiative 02/07/2014).
The May polio immunisation round reached over 2.8 million children under five across all governorates, 97.4% of the target population. The lowest reported coverage was in Rural Damascus (86.4%) and Deir ez-Zor (75.4%), according to the UN Security Council (24/06/2014).
1,211 cases of suspected typhoid have been reported in Deir-ez-Zor, mostly in Abu Kamal and Al Mayadin, by the Early Warning and Response System (OCHA 16/07/2014).
Food Security and Livelihoods
More than half the population (54.3%) were living in extreme poverty at the end of 2013, unable to secure the most basic food and non-food items required for survival (Syrian Centre for Policy Research). Another 20% were living in abject poverty, unable to meet their basic food needs.
Intensifying conflict, shortage of food supplies and weak market controls have forced prices to spike. Prices of basic items, such as rice, cooking oil, wheat flour, and tea, increased by an average 10–20% between the last week of June and mid-July. In some areas of Rural Damascus, including Al Tall and the besieged towns of Yarmouk, Al Hajar, and Al Aswad, cases were reported of traders buying food in bulk on local markets and re-selling it at higher prices to gain extra profits. Dire humanitarian conditions persist in these areas as heavy shelling and daily airstrikes continue to restrict access for humanitarian deliveries (WFP 14/07/2014).
Bread prices in rural Aleppo and northern rural Ar-Raqqa, have registered steep rises; the provision of government subsidies is weak in these areas (WFP). The central and southern governorates recorded stable but highly inflated prices for all basic goods, with the most elevated prices observed in Dar’a (WFP 20/05/2014). Consumer prices have risen 178% since the start of the conflict: yoghurt, cheese, and eggs are up by 360%, general food items up by 275%, while heating and cooking costs were up by 300% (Syrian Centre for Policy Research 05/2014).
FAO has put wheat production at an expected 1.97 million metric tons for 2014, 52% below the 2001–2011 average. The total area planted with wheat in Syria is estimated to have declined by about 15%, and rainfall deficits of 55–85% in some areas from October 2013 to the end of April 2014 have weighed heavily on crop yield projections and conditions.
Agricultural production has suffered due to declining availability and higher prices of inputs, damage and destruction of irrigation infrastructure and other farm equipment, including storage facilities, the disruption of markets, the abandonment of agricultural lands, power shortages, and the lack of other services and resources.
Increasing interruptions of access to safe drinking water are compounding dire water, sanitation, and health conditions for hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people (UNICEF and WHO, 02/07/2014). Rising temperatures bring a heightened risk of outbreaks of water- and food-borne diseases.
The availability of safe water inside Syria is at one-third of pre-crisis levels. Homs, Idleb, and Hama have high water needs. Some areas only receive water once every three weeks. By May, most parts of the country have received only half the average rainfall for that time of the year, causing significant stress on the water table/aquifers. Pollution is also widespread, including of the Euphrates River, which is a primary source of drinking water for the northern and eastern governorates.
Water and sanitation systems have significantly deteriorated over the past year, due to frequent power cuts, fuel shortages, and limited maintenance work, especially in areas of severe conflict like Rural Damascus, Idleb, Deir-ez-Zor, Homs, Aleppo, and Ar-Raqqa (UNICEF 06/06/2014). According to OCHA, a third of the nation's water treatment plants are no longer functioning.
On 2 June, an explosion in Aleppo caused damage to water, sewage and electrical networks. An estimated two million people were left without a regular water supply as pumping capacity to Aleppo city was lost. Safe access to the pumping station has not been secured to date. Water supplies had been cut between 5 and 13 May. Residents are already resorting to using water from unregulated and unprotected groundwater sources.
Recent reports of military action in East Ghouta may further affect water supplies to the area (UNICEF and WHO, 02/07/2014).
More than half of all school-age children in Syria (51.8%) no longer attend school. This figure reaches above 90% in Ar-Raqqa and Aleppo and 68% in Rural Damascus. By the end of 2013, 4,000 schools were out of service because they were destroyed, damaged or housing IDPs.
Field monitoring shows an increase in IDP children dropping out of school in the Lattakia area, especially those residing in the IDP shelter as the nearest school to the shelter is overcrowded.
Across the refugee hosting countries, more than 60% of the 735,000 school-aged refugee children are not enrolled in school.
Scores of civil society activists, human rights defenders, media and humanitarian workers remain in arbitrary detention in Syria, more than a month after the government declared a general amnesty on 9 June, according to 12 international NGOs on 18 July. Of a group of 34 peaceful activists monitored by the organisations, only one was released under the amnesty. The monitoring group Violations Documentation Centre reports that 40,853 people detained since March 2011 remain in jail (Inter Press Service 19/07/2014).
Between 22 May and 2 June, 11 detainees died as a result of torture in several government-run detention facilities in Hama, including at the Air Force Intelligence Branch and Deir Shmayel Detention Centre, according to information received by OHCHR (UN Security Council, 24/06/2014).
20,000 people detained by the Government since the beginning of the conflict are completely unaccounted for, as are some 7,000 government troops held by opposition forces (Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, 08/07/2014). Another 1,500 Islamic State, opposition and Kurdish fighters have been kidnapped during battles in recent months (AFP 10/07/2014).
Non-state armed groups in Syria have used children as young as 15 to fight in battles, and as young as 14 in support roles (Human Rights Watch, 23/06/2014). Extremist groups have specifically recruited children through free schooling that include weapons training. As of June 2014, the Violations Documenting Center, a Syrian monitoring group, had documented 194 deaths of “non-civilian” male children in Syria since September 2011. The Kurdish PYD police force and the People’s Protection Units reportedly enlisted girls to guard checkpoints and conduct armed patrols.
Yemen Country Analysis
No new significant developments this week, 21/07/2014. Last update: 18/07/2014.
- Violence and insecurity: Yemen is the scene of regular attacks by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Houthi militants in the north, and secessionists in the south, including military crackdowns by US-backed government forces.
- Insecurity is hindering efforts to verify information, including on new IDPs and on humanitarian need.
- 500,000 estimated to be affected by conflict by the end of March 2014, some of whom have been displaced for six years (Protection Cluster, 04/2014).
- 800,000 refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants are in need of lifesaving services (OCHA, 04/2014).
- 15 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance (UN, 05/2014).
- Over 10 million food insecure, including 4.5 million severely food insecure (WFP, FAO, Food Security Cluster, 05/2014). Levels of food insecurity have doubled since 2009 (FAO, 06/2014).
- 8.6 million have no access to healthcare (OCHA, 04/2014).
- 13.1 million do not have access to safe water; 12.1 million are without access to improved sanitation; 4.4 million lack access to adequate sanitation (OCHA, 04/2014).
- One million children under five are acutely malnourished; 280,000 are severely malnourished (OCHA, UNICEF 06/2014).
- Open defecation remains the practice for more than 20% of the population (UNICEF 2014).
Nearly 15 million people, over half the population, are in need of some form of humanitarian assistance (UN, 15/05/2014). This figure includes nearly all two million people in Sa’ada and Al Jawf governorates in the north (HNO 2014, 2014 Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan). In the central governorates, an estimated six million people need assistance, including food aid, improved water, adequate sanitation, and primary healthcare. More than half the population in Al Hudaydah, Raymah, and Mahwit, 3.8 million people, need humanitarian assistance. A large number of returnees in the southern governorates have limited livelihood and income opportunities. Public services have collapsed.
Yemen is undergoing a political transition process aimed at opening the way for fully democratic elections in 2014. In addition to economic challenges, it continues to face three concurrent security challenges: the presence of Houthi insurgents in the north; southern secessionists; and the increasing presence of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) throughout the country. Urban centres in western and central governorates have also seen civil unrest.
Following a violent uprising in 2011, and the forced resignation of long-serving President Saleh, President Hadi is overseeing reforms in a US-supported political transition. Hadi’s interim period will expire in January 2015. Reforms include restructuring of the legislature to guarantee sufficient representation of both northern and southern insurgents. President Hadi’s cabinet reshuffle has not addressed core issues, however, as it has not brought new groups into the government (ICG, 07/2014).
Under the new system, the country will consist of six regions: four in the north and two in the formerly independent south. Houthi insurgents from the far north, who would be in a region with no significant natural resources or access to the sea, have rejected this division, claiming it is unequal in terms of wealth distribution. A large portion of southern leaders are still aiming for the full independence of a unified south, according to local sources.
The economic crisis is worsening. The government’s difficulties with paying salaries are prompting fears of unrest. Mass protests, calling for the overthrow of the government, were held after sabotage of the electrical grid in early June left Sana’a without fuel or electricity for days (ICG, 07/2014).
On 28 February, the UN Security Council adopted resolution 2140 banning travel and freezing assets of people who obstruct or undermine the country's political transition and those who commit human rights violations.
Yemeni security forces lost 374 personnel during the first half of 2014, fighting Al Qaeda, northern Houthi fighters, and southern separatists (AFP in Al Jazeera, 07/07/2014).
Islamist militants were largely driven out of their strongholds in a US-backed military offensive in 2012. Since then, they have regrouped and continue fighting. AQAP remains extremely active, retaining strongholds in the east and south. Security has been stepped up around government buildings and possible foreign targets.
In the north, intermittent fighting has been taking place between Zaidi Shi’ite Houthi insurgents and tribesmen from the Sunni Hashid confederation and their allies since October 2013. The Houthis, also referred to as Ansarullah, have been advancing from their mountain stronghold in Sa’ada governorate towards other majority Shi’ite areas near Sana’a. By December, fighting had spread to Al Jawf, Amran, and Hajjah governorates.
Violence has erupted in the south as leaders of the southern movement fear that the new regions will limit their authority by depriving them of control over important areas such as Hadramout, where oil reserves are found. A number of leaders and a large portion of the population continue to seek transition back to full independence.
Attacks on oil pipelines are used to put pressure on the government. Observers have warned that the economy will continue to decline if the government cannot protection pipelines: a report found that oil revenues declined almost 30% between January 2013 and January 2014 (Yemen Central Bank, 02/2014). The main oil pipeline in central Maarib province was bombed on 6 and 7 May, halting crude flows, according to international media. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
Conflict in Northern Yemen
Since the beginning of July, fighting has significantly escalated in Amran governorate. Some 85,000 people have been directly affected or displaced from Amran in recent weeks, with figures rising rapidly. At least 500,000 people could be affected in Amran governorate. Indiscriminate night air raids have killed more than 200 civilians, including women and children. Access was already hampered prior to recent violence, making the area completely inaccessible (IFRC, 09/07/2014; OCHA, 16/07/2014). On 12 July, following an appeal by the Security Council, Houthi fighters stated they will pull out from Amran, allowing army units to move in (Al Jazeera, 12/07/2014). Yemeni authorities have accused the Houthi of atrocities (AFP, 09/07/2014). Following the earlier take-over of Amran City by opposition fighters, the President fired two senior army commanders (Foreign Policy, 15/07/2014). Fighting has been stop-start since March, with multiple ceasefires broken.
Two days of clashes between Shi’ite Houthi rebels and Sunni Islamist tribesmen in Al Jawf province have killed at least 35 fighters on both sides (Middle East Eye, ABC News, 16/07/2014).
Fierce clashes between pro-government tribesmen and Shi’ite Houthi fighters in Darwan, Bani Maymun, Al Jaef, Al Maamar, and Hamdan villages, close to Sana’a International Airport, have caused many casualties (AFP, 28/06/2014; AFP, 25/06/2014).
International Military Involvement
Yemen is of strategic importance as it flanks top oil producer Saudi Arabia and major shipping lanes, and the government is receiving US support in its operations against AQAP. The US has intensified drone strikes against militants despite criticism of the many civilian casualties; 70 people have been killed by drone strikes since July 2013.
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
Since the start of the military campaign against them in 2012, AQAP has targeted army and security forces. AQAP has also abducted foreigners, and regularly attacked oil pipelines. In the beginning of 2014, Yemeni security officials linked an increase in AQAP attacks with dozens of Saudi Islamist militants who have come to Yemen from the battlefields in Iraq and Syria.
Suspected militants attacked a post office in Hura, Hadramout province, killing a policeman and taking two million riyals with them (Gulf News, 16/07/2014).
Gunmen killed the commander of a border patrol on the Saudi side of the Wadi border crossing. Three of the attackers were killed in an ensuing firefight. Separately, six people, including a suicide bomber and two security personnel, were killed during attacks from the Yemeni side of the crossing (Reuters, 04/07/2014).
Suspected Al Qaeda gunmen briefly seized Sayun airport in Hadramout governorate at the end of June. Three soldiers and six militants were killed. Another five soldiers and nine civilians died in a suicide bombing at a nearby military headquarters. In Rada’a district, Al Bayda governorate, four alleged militants and a civilian were killed in a clash between military forces and militants.
Al Qaeda carried out several retaliation attacks after a US-backed military crackdown and the government’s declaration of ‘open war’ in mid-May (ICG, 01/06/2014). The attacks took place in Sana’a, Hadramout and Maarib province, and at least 30 people were killed, including civilians.
Some 260 people were killed between 20 April and 6 May, during the US-backed government offensive in Abyan, Shabwah, and Maarib governorates. With the help of allied tribal militias, government forces captured Al Mahfad, Abyan governorate, which had been the main stronghold of Al Qaeda since 2012 (AFP, 06/05/2014). Chechen national and senior Al Qaeda operative Abu Islam al Shaishani died during fighting in Abyan.
Conflict in Southern Yemen
Clashes between the Al Butahif tribe, from Maarib, and the Belhareth, from Shabwah, over the ownership of an oil-rich desert area between both governorates, killed 15 (AFP, 02/07/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Several districts in the south are inaccessible to humanitarian workers due to insecurity (OCHA, 09/07/2014). Humanitarian assets and properties in Amran city have been seized and civilian infrastructure attacked (OCHA, 09/07/2014). The inability to provide adequate assistance to IDPs and their host communities, spread over several governorates, is of growing concern.
In June, WFP reported that the fuel crisis and insecurity are slowing down its operations (23/06/2014). Aid deliveries from Sana’a have been interrupted due to road closures (AFP, 05/06/2014). Affected people are most in need of food, water and healthcare. In Al Jawf, Al Dhale’e, Al Mahwit, Raymah, and Al Maharah governorates, Médecins Sans Frontières, ICRC, and OCHA have reported that parties to conflict continue to cut off humanitarian assistance to vulnerable IDPs.
Kidnappings and Attacks on Aid Workers
The general manager of the Mine Action Center in Mukkala City, Hadramout governorate, was shot dead by unknown gunmen (Yemen Times, 16/06/2014).
The last kidnapping cases reported took place in Sana’a in April.
Population movements affect over 1.5 million people, and include people displaced by conflict, people returning home after conflict, and hundreds of thousands of returning Yemeni migrant workers, as well as migrants and refugees (OCHA, 11/05/2014).
Several waves of conflict, insecurity and lack of access make it extremely difficult to estimate new displacements and needs (OCHA, 30/06/2014).
At the end of May, 321,315 IDPs were in Yemen (OCHA, 30/06/2014). As of February 2014, OCHA reported that 95% of IDPs are hosted in five governorates: Sa’ada (103,010 people); Hajjah (81,940 people); Amran (54,270 people); Sana’a (42,760 people); and Al Jawf (24,700).
Identification of new IDPs is hindered by tribal conflict, the fluidity of displacement, tribal traditions, and a lack of access to affected populations.
Amran and the North: as of 16 July, the Amran Emergency Cell is using 45,000 as a working estimate of people displaced since the end of April. Half of the displaced remained within Amran governorate. There is an urgent need for humanitarian assistance in Amran governorate following fighting between Houthi rebels and an alliance of tribesmen and military units. Response efforts are limited due to active conflict (OCHA 16/07/2014; Yemen Times, 15/07/2014). From 2010 to April 2014, 65,000 had already been displaced by conflict in Amran (UNHCR, 30/06/2014).
Al Dhale’e and the South: Military operations in May displaced 18,760 people in Shabwah and 3,500 people in Abyan. By the end of the month, however, an estimated 60% and 80%, respectively, had returned home (UNICEF, 31/05/2014). Most displaced people have returned in Al Dhale’e as conflict subsided (OCHA, 12/05/2014).
Around 800,000 refugees, asylum seekers and migrants need lifesaving assistance.
As of 30 April, 243,220 refugees from the Horn of Africa are in Yemen (OCHA). 16,504 new arrivals so far in 2014 indicate a significant decline from 103,154 arrivals in 2011, 107,532 in 2012 and 65,319 in 2013 (UNHCR; OCHA, 30/04/2014).
In May 2014, 8,706 refugees crossed into Yemen, from Djibouti via the Red Sea, and from Somalia via the Arabian Sea, a 4% increase from April and a 39% from May the previous year (Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat, 31/05/2014). There has been a significant rise in the Red Sea death toll, with 121 people dying while trying to reach Yemen since January 2014 (Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat, 31/05/2014).
Ethiopia and Saudi Arabia’s measures to control trafficking have contributed to the lower number of African migrants and refugees. However, unaccompanied minors are still being identified in immigration centres in Yemen (Protection Cluster, 28/04/2014).
As of May, there are 223,694 returnees, in Abyan (152,950), Sa’ada (64,800), Al Bayda and Dhamar (8,160) (OCHA, 30/06/2014). As of March, 550,000 Yemenis had returned from Saudi Arabia. Around 1,000 Yemenis pass through Al Tuwal crossing point every day (OCHA, 11/05/2014). Most have acute humanitarian needs. The returns place a burden on Yemen’s fragile political transition.
The number of returnees fluctuates monthly, but an estimated 400,000 Yemeni nationals may return in 2014. The Saudi government restricted the activities of foreign workers in March 2013.
More than 10 million Yemenis are severely food insecure (AFP citing WFP, 30/05/2014). Around 2.5 million inhabitants are in IPC Phase 2; and another 2.5 million are in IPC Phase 3 or higher (FEWSNET, 29/05/2014). The number of severely food insecure has doubled since 2009 (FAO, 03/06/2014). In Abyan, Lahj, Hajjah and Al Dhale’e, 50–75% of the population is food insecure. These governorates have a high number of recently returned in need of assistance.
Acute food insecurity in Yemen will continue to be at Crisis level (IPC Phase 3) through September, despite the prospect of an average July–August harvest. In some areas, staple food prices have increased 50–100%. Severe fuel shortages and conflict are also causes of high levels of food insecurity. Households in many rural areas have already begun adopting combination of irreversible negative coping strategies, such as selling their productive assets (FEWSNET, 30/06/2014).
Fuel shortages complicate relief efforts to obtain wheat flour for planned food distributions and delayed relief operations for the most vulnerable conflict-affected in Amran governorate (OCHA, 16/07/2014).
Yemen is particularly vulnerable to international hikes in food prices, since it imports up to 90% of its main staple foods, like wheat and sugar. Food availability and access have become a major concern since 96% of households are net food purchasers, and several markets, especially Sa’ada market, are located in conflict areas (FEWNSET, 18/04/2014). About 58% of households do not have enough food or money to buy food to sustain their minimum consumption requirements. Price volatility, conflict, the loss of remittances, and the proposed lifting of fuel subsidies will all cause shocks to household incomes.
Insecurity is hampering agricultural activity. Crop production levels will be lower due to drought and locust infestation in the northwest. However, 2013 national cereal production is estimated to have been slightly above the five-year average. Harvesting of the 2014 grain crop will start in July–August (FAO, 03/06/2014).
Health and Nutrition
An estimated 8.6 million people have limited access to health services (OCHA, 28/02/2014). Qualified medical staff are in short supply, as is medical equipment.
Following the Amran conflict, health facilities in Amran city particularly are overwhelmed in response capacity (OCHA, 16/07/2014).
An influx of cheap counterfeit pharmaceuticals and illicit drugs is driving substance abuse in Yemen, placing a growing strain on already stretched services (IRIN, 30/06/2014).
1,060,000 children (43%) under five are estimated to be suffering from acute malnutrition, of whom 279,150 (19%) have SAM (UNICEF 2014). An estimated 1.9 million people need nutrition assistance.
On 11 April, 12 of 21 governorates faced critical levels of acute malnutrition: Al Hudaydah and Raymah governorates have the worst levels of acute malnutrition among children under five (OCHA).
Fear over the polio virus has increased amid a regional breakout, with concerns that Syrian refugees fleeing to Yemen could reintroduce the virus (Yemen Times, 17/07/2014).
WHO reported on 21 March that outbreaks due to type 2 vaccine-derived polio (cVDPV2) in Yemen appeared to have been interrupted. However, new outbreaks of cVDPV3 were detected. Between April 2012 and July 2013 cVDPV3 was isolated in five patients and two contacts in governorates of Sa’ada, Hajjah, and Al Hudaydah. A cVDPV2 outbreak (11 reported cases, two independent contacts) took place April 2011 – February 2012.
As of 28 February, an estimated 13.1 million people do not have access to safe water, 12.1 million are without access to improved sanitation, and 4.4 million lack access to adequate sanitation (OCHA).
In Amran, 1,300 displaced families, including 5,000 children, lack access to safe water. On 6 March, OCHA reported that thousands of people in Al Jawf governorate are in urgent need of water, sanitation, and health services.
Open defecation remains standard practice for more than 20% of the population and appears to be higher for young children (UNICEF 2014).
Schools were closed and exams suspended in Amran governorate on 31 May, due to fighting between the army and the Houthi (Yemen Times, 29/05/2014).
Children in Al Dhale’e are missing out on school due to insecurity and schools damaged by shelling (Protection Cluster, 28/04/2014). Emergency schools cannot accommodate all students.
Nationwide, an estimated 2.5 million children are not in school (OCHA, 04/2014). The drop-out rate is more than 20% in the 37 most affected districts. Over 350 damaged schools require rehabilitation or reconstruction.
Registration of IDPs in large town settings and with host communities is progressing slowly and vulnerable IDPs such as women, children, and older people in Amran are in need of emergency shelter (OCHA).
Since January, 285 cases of gender-based violence have been reported in Aden; many more remain unreported (OCHA, 05/06/2014).
In a survey, around 72% of Yemenis returning from Saudi Arabia said their protection was violated by deprivation of food or water, detention, or physical and psychosocial abuse (OCHA, 12/05/2014).
The Protection Cluster noted that women and children in Al Dhale’e face harassment from soldiers (28/04/2014).
Landmines and explosive remnants of war are a major concern in the northern governorates.
The Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict has reported that Houthi, Ansar al Sharia, and state-armed forces are all recruiting children (02/06/2014).
Ethiopia Country Analysis
18 July: 173,752 South Sudanese refugees have arrived in the Gambella region since December 2013; 24% are below five years of age (UNHCR). New arrival rates in Burbiey have decreased to 250 people per day. Refugees have blamed the decrease on fighting around Nasir, which has made roads towards Burbiey unsafe (UNHCR).
18 July: 28% of South Sudanese refugee children under five are acutely malnourished; 7.8% are suffering from SAM; 47% of children aged 6–59 months are anaemic (UNHCR)
8 July: Insecurity levels have made some camps at Beninshangul-Gumuz inaccessible (IOM).
- Armed insurgencies continue to affect Ogaden region, with inter-communal tensions contributing to frequent violence.
- There are 590,000 refugees in Ethiopia, mainly from Kenya and South Sudan (UNHCR, 03/2014). Over 173,752 South Sudanese refugees are in the Gambella region; 95% are women and children (OCHA, 08/07/2014).
- 2.4 million people need food assistance. The most affected regions are Oromia, Somali, Amhara, Tigray, and Afar (FAO, 03/2014).
- Measles cases have surged since mid-January 2014, with over 5,000 suspected cases reported by March (OCHA, 03/2014).
- The refugee operation’s resource situation is critical. Current food stocks are adequate to cover the needs of the refugees until August. If new contributions are not received shortly, there is a risk of reduced rations and complete pipeline breaks from September (WFP, 06/2014).
Ethiopia is considered comparatively stable, but two decades of deadly conflict in the southeastern region of Ogaden have had a severe impact on the Ethiopian Somali population, especially after years of a relatively successful government counter-insurgency campaign.
Deep clan tensions and intra-communal violence persist. The government has yet to address the root causes of the violence. However, weak political opposition, the perspective of a new peace process between the government and separatist groups, and the government’s determination to accelerate economic growth all make continued stability likely.
Protests against projects to expand the boundaries of Addis Ababa into lands currently hosting the Oromo community, which has reportedly been marginalised by successive governments, began on 25 April. In May dozens of people were reported killed in violence across the region, according to local sources.
According to international observers, nine journalists and media workers were arrested on 25–26 April, on suspicion of being part of, or associated with a group known for being critical of government policy.
Participation in Regional Military Operations
Ethiopia has historically been a key player in peacekeeping and counter-terrorism operations in East Africa. Peace talks on the South Sudan conflict, under the mediation of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, are taking place in Addis Ababa. In 2014, Addis also hosted peace talks over conflict in Sudan.
In January 2014, according to official reports, the Government pledged that Ethiopian troops, currently part of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) will remain in Somalia until durable peace and security is achieved. The Somali militant group Al Shabaab has repeatedly threatened Ethiopia since Ethiopian troops arrived in Somalia. On 13 October 2013, a bomb blast killed two people in Addis Ababa. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
As of 31 March, Ethiopia has 328,079 IDPs (OCHA, 11/06/2014).
Refugees in Ethiopia
At the end of May, Ethiopia was host to 590,000 refugees from 13 countries: mostly Somali (242,765) South Sudanese (220,114), Eritreans (94,492), and Sudanese (34,331).
South Sudanese Refugees
As of 18 July, 173,752 South Sudanese have sought asylum in Gambella since 2013 (UNHCR, 18/07/2014), through Pagak (50%), Akobo (22%), Burbiey (23%), Matar, Raad, Pugnido and Wanke entry points (UNHCR, 15/07/2014). 46,362 South Sudanese refugees were in Ethiopia before 2013.
The number of South Sudanese refugees crossing the border into Ethiopia has seen a sharp decline, from an average of 2,000 per day in May to 400–600 per day on 30 June (OCHA, 30/06/2014). The rate of new arrivals in Burbiey has decreased to approximately 250 people per day since mid-July. Refugees have blamed this on fighting around Nasir, which has made roads to Burbiey unsafe (UNHCR, 18/07/2014).
As of 15 July, 153,378 have been relocated to camps, with 6,361 people awaiting relocation, mainly at the Burubiey at the Matar transit centre (UNHCR, 15/07/2014). Heavy rains have made the relocation of refugees from Burbiey challenging, with poor road conditions affecting general relocation exercises (IOM, 08/07/2014). 300,000 refugees are expected to arrive over 2014, an upward revision from 200,000 in early May (WFP, 11/06/2014).
Women and children make up 95% of refugees (OCHA, 05/05/2014), with a recent breakdown of this number indicating 25% women and 70% girls. 24% are children below the age of five (UNHCR, 18/07/2014). The majority of arrivals come from Upper Nile state and are predominantly from Gajaak, Gajiok, and Luo-Nuer tribes (UNHCR, 03/07/2014). By 30 June, 34,300 refugees were from Blue Nile (UNHCR, 30/06/2014). Most new arrivals cite food insecurity as their main reason for flight (UNHCR, 03/07/2014).
As of 16 July, refugee operations are facing critical resource shortfalls (WFP, 16/07/2014). Camp facilities have long been overwhelmed. On 30 June, Leitchuor camp hosted 47,485 people, and its capacity had already been increased to 40,000 (UNHCR, 30/06/2014). For this reason, transfers from border points to Leitchor have been interrupted (UNHCR, 09/05/2014). People are instead being directed to Kule 1 and 2 camps (UNHCR, 23/05/2014). As of 1 July, Kule camp hosts 51,476 refugees (UNHCR, 01/07/2014). Tierkidi (formerly Kule 2), is in a less flood-prone site, houses 37,287 refugees and has reached its full capacity (UNHCR, 28/06/2014). Relocation has been suspended until new facilities are ready (WFP 18/07/2014). Planning for a fourth camp has begun, with the Government identifying land 50km away from Tierkidi camp (WFP, 16/07/2014).
Between mid-November and late December, Ethiopia saw the return of nearly 150,000 migrants who were deported from Saudi Arabia. The migrants returned following the end of an amnesty period for illegal migrant workers in Saudi Arabia. OCHA has indicated that the number of arrivals is causing congestion in transit centres, due to poor sanitation in some of them. Urgent needs for the migrants include food, sanitation, and health services.
Ethiopian Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
As of 1 July, there are 30,343 Ethiopian refugees in Kenya (10/07/2014, UNHCR).
An estimated 6,820 Ethiopians made their way to Yemen in May, slightly fewer than the 6,865 who arrived in April 2014, and a 31% increase on the number who arrived in May 2013. New arrivals travelled predominantly from Oromia, Tigray, Amhara, Harar, and Ogaden regions. Reasons for flight are economic and persecution risk. New arrivals in Yemen have reported cases of arbitrary detention and torture as a result of perceived affiliation to the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), and repression premised on political affiliation in light of the general elections scheduled in 2015 (RMMS, 31/05/2014).
On 26 February, an estimated 2.7 million people were food insecure (FEWSNET). This is a 12% increase compared to the first half of 2013. Food insecurity is reportedly due to consecutive below-average 2013 belg and sugum rains (February–May and March–May), low crop production, deterioration of livestock, and asset depletion. The most affected regions are Oromia (897,000 people in need of humanitarian assistance), Somali (690,970), Amhara (548,000), Tigray (321,400), and Afar (152,600).
As of 1 May, most of the eastern half of Ethiopia was expected to remain at Stressed levels in the short term, especially Somali and the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ (SNNP) regions. Crisis levels were recorded in northern areas (in Afar, Tigray and Amhara regions), and also in the easternmost part of Oromia. Short-term projections in the western half of the country indicated Minimal food insecurity.
Food security was expected to remain unchanged in most areas from April to September, except in SNNP region, where improvement from Stressed to Minimal levels is expected. Some Crisis areas in Amhara are also expected to recover to Stressed levels (FEWSNET, 01/05/2014). There are acute water shortages in northern and northeastern Afar and in pastoralist areas of southern Ethiopia (OCHA, 23/06/2014).
Refugees: The South Sudanese refugee operation’s resource situation is critical. Current food stocks are adequate to cover the needs of the refugees until August. If new contributions are not received shortly, there is a risk of reduced rations and complete pipeline breaks from September (WFP, 18/06/2014).
Agriculture and Markets
In mid-June, moderate to heavy rains were recorded over western Ethiopia. Below-average rainfall was recorded during the past 30 days over some isolated areas of northwestern and south-central Ethiopia (FEWSNET, 20/06/2014). In southern and central Afar, the anticipated below-normal July to September rains are likely to lead to low livestock productivity and higher food prices (FEWSNET, 26/06/2014).
In May 2014, the year-to-year general inflation rate increased to 8.7%; food inflation to 6.3% and non-food to 11.43%. The meat price index rose 7.5%, and milk, cheese, and eggs 10.4%. The prices of maize, wheat, teff, and sorghum in the month stood over 50% higher than the long-term average in monitored markets. Market prices of shoat in monitored markets decreased, as low demand against normal supply further pressed the terms of trade in the Somali region, in the wake of soaring food prices. This has negative implications for the pastoralists who depend on the sale of their livestock to purchase staple food (WFP, 31/05/2014).
Health and Nutrition
28% of South Sudanese refugees under-five are acutely malnourished in Gambella; 20.2% are suffering from MAM, and 7.8% from SAM; 46.9% of children aged 6–59 months are anaemic (UNHCR, 18/07/2014).
On 8 July, screening of under-fives in Tierkidi camp showed 28% GAM and 7.8% SAM (UNHCR, 08/07/2014). GAM among South Sudanese refugees in Kule 1, Tierkidi and Leitchor camps remained above the 15% emergency threshold (OCHA 08/07/2016). On 16 May, SAM among South Sudanese refugees at the Burubiey entry point was 7%.
As of February 2014, according to OCHA’s nutrition hotspot mapping, priority districts in terms of nutrition were located along the Eritrea border in Afar region, in Oromia, and in Tigray. Hotspots were also recorded along the South Sudan border in Gambella.
Malaria remains the main public health concern in all the refugee camps. The death rate from malaria in Kule 1 camp is 5.9/1,000/week, in Leitchor 5.6/1,000/week and in Tierkidi 5/1,000/week (UNHCR 03/07/2014).
Close to 600 new measles cases were recorded between 28 April and 4 May in Amhara, Oromia, SNNP and Somali regions (OCHA, 12/05/2014). As of June 2014, 86,733 children have been vaccinated (UNICEF, 15/06/2014).
On 31 March, OCHA reported over 5,000 suspected cases of measles in Amhara, Gambella, Oromia, SNNP, and Tigray regions since mid-January 2014. In mid-February, over 90% of recorded cases were in SNNP region. A vaccination campaign targeting 6.8 million children under 15 was due to start on 11 January, but continues to be delayed due to a lack of resources. As of 31 March, fewer than two million children had reportedly been vaccinated in SNNP region and only 250,000 in Amhara.
According to OCHA, 35 suspected cases of meningitis were reported over 3–10 March in the Dilla area, about 250km south of the capital. Another 66 cases were reported across Oromia, SNNP, and Gambella regions, where the seasonal meningitis outbreak requires an estimated two million doses of vaccine.
On 17 March, according to OCHA, a new case of polio was confirmed in Somali region, bringing the caseload in Ethiopia to ten since the outbreak started in May 2013. All cases were reported in woredas (districts) that share borders with Somalia, where the regional polio outbreak started. An immunisation campaign targeting over three million children is ongoing. 67,804 children under 15 years have received the oral polio vaccine (UNICEF, 15/06/2014).
The closure of the border between South Sudan and Ethiopia is affecting movement of humanitarian aid to support children in Maiwut (OCHA 10/07/2014).
Insecurity levels have made some camps at Beninshangul-Gumuz not accessible (IOM, 08/07/2014).
The ratio of latrines to people in refugee camps varies greatly: 1:217 in Burbiey; 1:78 in Kule 1; and 1:55 in Kule 2; 1:47 in Leitchuor; and 1:26 in Pugnido (UNHCR, 03/07/2014).
The onset of the gu rains in late March has led to an improvement in water availability in drought-affected regions. However, as of 5 May, water trucking deliveries were falling short of the requested amount in Somali, Tigray, Oromia, and Afar according to OCHA. The shortfall of water trucking in Tigray has reportedly been due to the full utilisation of allocated funds. As of 17 March, water shortages across Oromia, Afar, Tigray, Amhara, and Somali regions affected an estimated 360,000 people.
As of 14 April, according to the Education Cluster, 30,000–40,000 children were in need of emergency education intervention in Gambella region.
In mid-February, human rights NGOs reported that a government-run land clearance plan had affected an estimated 7,000 indigenous people in the lower Omo Valley in the southwest. This raises concerns over indigenous people’s livelihoods. Forced resettlement of indigenous people in the area has also been reported.
A government land development plan to allow sugar-cane plantations, dam construction, and commercial agriculture is expected to relocate 150,000 indigenous people into permanent sedentary villages.
No new developments this week, 17/07/2014. Last update: 13/06/2014.
Politics and Security
The Gambia has been stable since independence in 1965. In 2013, President Jammeh, ruling since a 1994 coup, announced the country’s departure from the Commonwealth.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Heavy rainfall led to devastating floods in the Sahel region in August 2013. A lack of early warning led to over 3,300 people across the Gambia being affected. At least two people were killed, over 200 were displaced, and hundreds were made homeless or left without income or livelihoods. As of 30 January 2014, OCHA said the flood-affected population was still vulnerable and in need of assistance.
Refugees in The Gambia
OCHA reported as of late January that 8,300 refugees, mostly Senegalese from the Casamance region, live in The Gambia. Smaller numbers of refugees come from Liberia, Sierra Leone, Côte d’Ivoire, and Togo.
On 28 April, ECHO reported that an estimated 495,700 are food insecure, including 82,000 experiencing Crisis and Emergency levels of food insecurity.
In November, FAO reported that continued food assistance is needed, especially for vulnerable populations. Coping mechanisms have eroded due to the 2011 Sahel crisis and heavy flooding in July–October 2012 and August–September 2013. Access to food continues to be constrained by high food prices and the lingering effects of the Sahel food crisis. Two-thirds of households face food insecurity of which 5.5% suffer from moderate or severe food insecurity, according to WFP.
National food insecurity is further influenced by 20 million people being currently at risk of food insecurity in the Sahel region and 2.5 million needing urgent lifesaving food assistance, as reported by OCHA on 3 February. Across the region, an estimated five million children under five are expected to suffer from malnutrition in 2014, and 1.5 million will face acute malnutrition. Regional violence and insecurity has forced 1.2 million people to flee their homes, adding to pressure on resources.
Although agricultural production in 2012/2013 was higher than in the previous season, OCHA observed that it remained below the five-year seasonal average as of July 2013. Floods, epidemics, and the recurrence of bovine pleuro-pneumonia among cattle remain risks that could increase existing household vulnerabilities further.
Despite an improved domestic harvest, prices of imported cereals are likely to stay high, in view of the continuing depreciation of the Dalasi, the national currency. Access to food will remain difficult for the population with a significant portion continuing to be food insecure in 2014 as a result of high food prices and of the lingering effects of the 2013 food crisis, according to FAO.
Health and Nutrition
OCHA’s Strategic Plan for 2014–2016, published on 3 February, emphasised the risk of natural disasters and disease outbreaks in the Gambia. The report said that an estimated 65% of the country, mainly along the Senegalese border and on major border crossing routes, is highly prone to cholera outbreaks. The Gambia also lies in the meningitis belt, and sporadic outbreaks occur every year, especially in the eastern regions. As of 3 February, OCHA reported that poor health services, poor sanitation, and limited access to clean water are the leading causes of waterborne diseases such as diarrhoea (among children under five), cholera, and meningitis. WASH-related deaths account for 20% of deaths among under-fives. Access to basic public services, including hospitals, remains a challenge for many families. Although each of the seven regions across the Gambia has a hospital, staffing is poor and equipment limited.
As of 3 February, OCHA stated that the incidence of diarrhoea in children is 14% and leaves children vulnerable to malnutrition and other health problems.
As of 3 February, OCHA said that according to the National Malaria Sentinel Surveillance System, the Malaria Programmatic Review, and the Health Information Management Service Statistics for 2012, malaria remains endemic in all districts and is likely to affect the entire population. Malaria remains the leading cause of death among Gambian children under five, with a 23% annual fatality rate.
Since the beginning of 2014, 131 cases were reported, and 18 people have died. An alert threshold has been reached in two districts (WHO, 01/06/2014).
As of end January 2014, 48,800 children were reported to be malnourished, of whom 7,800 children suffer from sever acute malnutrition (SAM). This represents an increase of 19,300 acutely malnourished, and an increase of 3,800 SAM, compared to July 2013 (OCHA).
FAO reported in November 2013 that child malnutrition remains a cause of concern, with chronic malnutrition rates ranging from 13.9% to 30.7% in the North Bank, and Central River region surpassing the ‘critical’ threshold of 30%.
15 July: 923 suspected cases of cholera and 9 deaths were registered in June (which represents a 74% reduction in cases from the same period last year). In the first half of this year (from January to 28 June), there have been 6,406 cases and 45 deaths (OCHA 15/07/2014).
- Despite the decreasing trend in cholera cases since January 2014, the disease remains a concern, especially now that the hurricane season has started (WHO 27/06/2014)
- Haiti remains highly vulnerable to natural disasters and extreme weather events. The resilience of the population and its capacity to cope with new crises are generally weak.
- Four years after the 2010 earthquake, an estimated 103,565are still living in 172 camps scattered throughout metropolitan Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas (IOM, July 2014).
An estimated three million Haitians have both chronic and acute humanitarian needs, and are facing displacement, food insecurity, and malnutrition. Haiti’s political and economic situation is extremely fragile, and the country is vulnerable to natural disasters, including hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, landslides, and droughts. The resilience of the population is extremely low.
On 10 June, the Haitian government announced that legislative elections will be held in October, three years behind schedule. The delay has fuelled anti-government protests.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
An estimated 3,000 people (700 households) have been affected by heavy rains and flooding since the rainy season started in late May, mainly in Nord, Artibonite, and Ouest departments (OCHA).
In October 2012, torrential rains caused by Hurricane Sandy led to severe flooding that affected 1.5 million people. Ouest, Sud-Est, Nippes, Grand’Anse, and Sud departments were the most severely impacted. In early April 2013, 72,000 people affected by Hurricane Sandy still needed humanitarian assistance, according to OCHA.
An estimated 103,565 people (28,134 households) remain displaced in 172 IDP sites more than four years after the devastating January 2010 earthquake. The number of IDPs has decreased by 92% since the July 2010 peak of 1.5 million IDPs in 1,555 camps. Between March and June 2014, 71 IDP sites were closed. Rental subsidies accounted for the closure of 70 sites, one camp was closed as a result of eviction affecting 305 individuals and none was close due to spontaneous departures (IOM 07/07/2014).
In June 2014, the majority of IDPs (68%) were living in Delmas (43,000 IDPs), Port-au-Prince (23,000 IDPs) and Cite Soleil (8,900 IDPs). Port-au-Prince has the highest number of IDP sites (37% of open sites), followed by Delmas and Carrefour. Carrefour, Croix-des-Bouquets, Petionville, and Tabarre host IDP sites ranging between 150 and 2,300 households. Léogane hosts 5,039 IDPs, and Gressier has 612 (IOM 07/07/2014).
Most people who have been relocated from camps continue to live in temporary housing and dire conditions, and are at risk of diseases such as cholera.
Forced evictions are reportedly a reason for falling numbers in camps (Amnesty International). In February, about a third of all IDPs (58,000 people) were at risk of forcible eviction from 102 camps, including 25,600 people at high risk.
On 23 May, the Dominican Senate unanimously approved a bill, which will set up a system to grant citizenship to Dominican-born children of Haitian illegal immigrants. Critics say this new law discriminates against those who do not possess birth certificates. A UN survey of 2013 found 244,000 people in the Dominican Republic had parents who were undocumented foreigners, mainly Haitians.
Haiti’s huge structural challenges heighten exposure to recurrent food insecurity. Poverty, the high degradation of the environment, and the limited government capacity to monitor, prevent, and respond to crises all contribute to national vulnerability.
Northern Haiti: As of early April, drought was directly affecting 143,000 people in Nord-Ouest department, prompting a major emergency operation (National Coordination for Food Security). Government statistics showed that about 43% of households in Nord-Ouest were suffering from food insecurity, compared to a national average of about 30%.
Poor households in the mountains and plains of the dry areas in upper Artibonite, who are almost exclusively dependent on market purchase for food at a time when their purchasing power is diminishing, are considered to be in Stressed or Crisis conditions (FEWSNET, 05/2014).
Increasing numbers of poor families in drought-affected areas are using negative coping mechanisms, including the reduction of meals per day, selling immature livestock, and cutting down trees for the sale of charcoal, which affects Haiti’s fragile environment. Well below average rainfall from November to March has resulted in crop losses of mainly sorghum, beans, and maize in high-altitude areas, and prevented farmers from planting in low-lying parts, extending the lean season.
Poor and very poor households in the north will likely be at Crisis levels of food insecurity and require emergency assistance in November, due to the strong probability of below-average rainfall associated with El Niño and a late start to sowing activities negatively impacting crop production.
Assuming that normal weather conditions continue, preliminary FAO forecasts point to a 2014 aggregate cereal production of 556,000 metric tons, 3% up from last year and near the country’s five-year average.
Health and Nutrition
The government reported 39,340 Chikungunya cases between late May and mid-June in all 10 departments, with Ouest department reporting 67% of cases. Chikungunya cases were first confirmed in Haiti in April 2014, and the infection continues to spread rapidly. Many patients do not go to hospitals or public health centres, and it is estimated that at least 150,000 people may have been affected country-wide (IFRC 03/07/2014).
15 July: 923 suspected cases and 9 fatalities were registered in June ( which represents a 74% reduction in cases from the same period last year). In the first half of 2014 (from January to July) there have been 6,406 cases and 45 deaths (OCHA 15/07/2014).
The following numbers were recorded in previous years: 993 cases and eight deaths in 2013; 1,498 cases and 11 deaths in 2012; and 7,697 cases and 62 deaths in 2011. Nonetheless, eight out of ten departments continue to record new cases. The departments of Nippes and Nord-Est have not recorded new cases since May 2014 (WHO, 27/06/2014).
Since the beginning of the epidemic (October 2010) in Haiti until early June 2014, there have been 703,510 cholera cases, of which 393,912 have been hospitalised (56 %) and 8,562 people have died. The cumulative case fatality rate remains 1.2 %, with variations ranging from 4.4 % in the department of Sud-Est to 0.6 % in Port-au-Prince (WHO 02/06/2014)
Cholera is a waterborne disease, and 42% of the population does not have access to clean water.
Rural children are especially affected by malnutrition. In Haiti, nearly a quarter of children under five suffer from chronic malnutrition, according to UNICEF. According to OCHA in December 2013, the prevalence of global acute malnutrition (GAM) among children under five increased from 5.1% in 2012 to 6.5% in 2013.
Iraq Country Analysis
18 July: UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres warned that Iraq risks "full-fledged sectarian war and complete fragmentation" as Iraqis continue to flee their homes and minority groups are targeted.
18 July: Islamic State (IS) gave Christian residents of Mosul 24 hours to leave the city, saying they will be killed after that.
15–16 July: Security forces gained control of some important locations in Tikrit, but were forced to retreat the next day after heavy clashes amid sniper and booby-trap attacks (ISW).
4 July: Since the beginning of 2014, violence in Anbar governorate has claimed lives of an estimated 5,520 civilians and resulted in the displacement of 558,648 people throughout Iraq.
- 1.5 million people, including IDPs, host communities and communities under siege, are in need of humanitarian assistance. This is a 300% increase from February 2014 (OCHA, 06/2014).
- 1.2 million newly displaced in 2014; between 1.13 and 1.3 million IDPs displaced before 2014 (UN, IOM, 12/2013). IDPs have been dispersed to 17 of Iraq’s 18 governorates (07/2014).
- Harvesting of major cereal crops is in jeopardy. Loss of assets and income opportunities, and disruptions of marketing activities and transport networks have exposed large number of people to severe food insecurity (FAO/ FEWSNET, 25/06/2014).
- As of 15 July, Iraq hosts 217,192 Syrian refugees: 97,365 in Dohuk, 86,935 in Erbil, 22,875 in Sulaymaniyah, and 4,532 in Anbar governorate (UNHCR, 15/07/2014).
- Only one of three official border crossings with Syria is still in the hands of the central government. Another is controlled by Kurdish forces. IS took the third, Al Qa’im (AFP, 21/06/2014).
- High temperatures and insanitary conditions are increasing the risk of cholera, polio, and measles. A severe fuel shortage and recent cuts to electricity and water services are exacerbating the humanitarian crisis and the ability to deliver aid (Mercy Corps, 03/07/2014).
Priority humanitarian needs are food, water, and fuel. Protection and the risk of disease outbreak are also concerns, primarily for the hundreds of thousands displaced during IS’s June offensive. The conflict has led to massive internal displacement and Iraq now hosts one of the largest internally displaced populations in the world; over 1.2 million have been displaced since January this year and approximately 560,000 of these have been displaced from Anbar. Following the fall of Mosul, an additional 650,000 persons are estimated to have been displaced (OCHA 18/07/2014). Host communities are being increasingly stretched, as the conflict in neighbouring Syria has also led to a large influx of refugees, mostly into the Kurdistan region.
Since the fall of Mosul on 9 June, armed opposition groups, including Baathists, tribal militias and members of the former government and military, along with Islamic State (IS), have taken control of large swathes of Iraq’s provinces of Ninevah, Salah Al Din and Diyala. The cities of Mosul, Tikrit, Tal Afar, Beiji, Quayyara, Sinjar, Suleiman Bek, Rashad, Hawijah, Riyadh, Fallujah, and Saqlawiyah are under opposition control.
National Political Context
Despite international and national pressure to form a more inclusive national unity government, attempts to do so have failed. On 1 July, the parliament was due to elect a new president after confirming the speaker. However, no agreement was reached on the speaker. On 7 July, parliament postponed its next session for five weeks. On 25 June, Prime Minister Nuri al Maliki ruled out forming a national emergency government to address the crisis (Al Jazeera 29/06/2014; 01/07/2014)
Prime Minister Maliki's Shia-dominated State of Law alliance won the largest number of seats during April's parliamentary elections. Maliki’s margin of victory was greater than most analysts and politicians had forecast.
A member of Iraq’s election commission said that 30 complaints had been received from candidates and parties alleging irregularities at the polling stations, as well as problems with the transport of ballot boxes and vote counting.
The Iraqi electoral commission reported a turnout of 60% despite violence. Turnout was significantly lower in conflict-affected Anbar governorate. Sunni neighbourhoods in Baghdad reported obstacles to voting, including closed polling stations. This was the first vote in Iraq since the US army’s withdrawal in 2011.
Kurdistan Region of Iraq
The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) of regional President Barzani came first in September 2013’s elections in the autonomous Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KR-I), followed by Gorran, an offshoot of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK). KDP and PUK have ruled through a coalition Government since 2005. Barzani’s term has been extended to 2015, which the opposition has denounced as illegal.
KR-I’s relations with Baghdad are tense. Baghdad insists it has the sole right to export Iraqi resources, including those from KR-I.
Wider regional politics are also an issue: the KDP is keen to retain influence over the Syria’s Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), which also has links to the Iraqi PUK and the Turkish Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Nearly 2,000 people, including 1,393 civilians, were killed in Iraq in June, the highest figure since May 2007. A further 2,610 people were wounded, including 1,745 civilians (AFP, 30/06/2014).
IS, formerly the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and an outgrowth of Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), has taken over large swathes of territory in northern and eastern Syria.
IS in Iraq is mostly Iraqi in composition and numbered at least 10,000 in early June. Since taking Mosul, IS has been gathering strength by requisitioning US military equipment, recruiting prisoners, and looting Mosul’s Central Bank.
On 29 June, IS declared the establishment of a Sunni caliphate, straddling Syria and Iraq, spreading from Aleppo in northern Syria to Diyala in eastern Iraq. Its chief Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi was declared caliph and leader for Muslims everywhere (AFP, 29/06/2014, 30/06/2014; Washington Post, 11/06/2014; ISW, 11/06/2014).
Kurdish forces, the Peshmerga, are filling the security vacuum created by withdrawing federal forces, and taking control of territory long claimed by KR-I (AFP, 12/06/2014).
A Kurdish Peshmerga spokesman warned of retaliation if Baghdad attacked Kurdish territory, following an Iraqi airstrike on the Kurdish town of Tuz Khurmatu south of Kirkuk on 6 July, which killed one and wounded several others (Stratfor).
Iraqi Security Forces
Iraqi forces are fighting to retake militant-held Tikrit, clashing with Sunni fighters and carrying out air strikes in the biggest counter-offensive so far (AFP, 28/06/2014).
Prime Minister Maliki fired several top security commanders in a major shake-up as fighting approached Baghdad (AFP 17/06/2014).
10,000 ISF were deployed in and around Mosul before fleeing. The Prime Minister has announced the formation of reserves to fight IS, in line with Iraqi Grand Ayatollah Ali al Sistani’s general appeal for Shia to defend the country.
Jordan is mobilising its troops in the border regions, as IS has threatened to extend its operations to Jordan (AFP, 23/06/2014). King Abdullah II appealed for international support to deal with challenges in the region (AFP, 30/06/2014).
The US has deployed military advisors to Iraq and supported the recent military operation to retake Tikrit with drones. Drones were also used over Baghdad to safeguard Americans. They will not be used for offensive action (AFP, 28/06/2014). On 23 June, US Secretary of State John Kerry met with Prime Minister Maliki to urge acceleration of the formation of a unity government (AFP 23/06/2014). The US Government has deployed an aircraft carrier group to the Gulf, as well as 275 military personnel to provide security for the US embassy and other US personnel based in Baghdad (AFP, 15/06/2014; BBC 17/06/2014).
IS has been in open confrontation with government forces in Anbar governorate since December 2013. IS continues to target government security facilities, checkpoints, and public places such as cafés and markets.
On 6 June, UNHCR reported that violence in Anbar governorate has displaced 480,000 civilians so far this year. The Iraqi Government puts the number of displaced since January at 434,000. The exact scale of displacement is unknown, as the Iraqi authorities have had to suspend registration over the past month because of insecurity.
Six bombs targeted five neighbourhoods of Baghdad on 19 July, leaving between 70 and 90 killed or injured. The next day, attacks hit Yusifiyeh and Mahmoudiyeh, south of Baghdad, and Mada’in. On 17 July, an attack took place on a Shi’a religious centre in Shorja, Baghdad. Two explosions killed seven people in Sadr City.
On 18 July, IS attacked the predominantly Iraqi Turkmen area of Amerli, south of Tuz Khurmatu and on Dhuluiya in Salah al Din.
IS forces took control of large areas of Tajnid, southern Julula in Diyala resulting in the displacement of 200 families on 16 July. On the same day an explosion in Hit killed five.
Heavy clashes took place between Peshmerga forces and IS 20km southwest of Kirkuk city on 16 July; three bomb attacks took place in southern areas of the city a day earlier.
In southern Samarra, attacks targeted an army convoy on 15 July
Humanitarian Context and Needs
1.5 million people, including IDPs, host communities and communities under siege, are in need of humanitarian assistance. This is a 300% increase from February 2014. Around 17 million people reside in affected areas (OCHA, 29/06/2014).
Road security concerns, inaccessible conflict areas, and IDPs on the move all exacerbate the challenge of providing humanitarian assistance (OCHA 18/07/2014).
Since 10 June, the Peshkabour-Semalka borders remains open for returns to Syria only. Approximately 300 individuals are currently stranded on the Syrian side of the border, waiting to cross into KR-I. The Al Qa’im border is no longer secure after the withdrawal of Iraqi security forces, border guards, and border management. Movement between Iraq and Syria is reported to be free without checkpoints. As of 15 June, Peshmerga forces have been in control of the Rabia’a border, and have kept it closed in both directions, except to humanitarian aid convoys (UNHCR 01/07/2014).
Since 16 June, Al Qa’im district, including Al Obaidy camp, is reported to be under the control of IS and other armed groups. UNHCR staff can no longer reach the camp due to security limitations (UNHCR 01/07/2014).
Anbar Governorate: Fighting makes main roads impassable, and several bridges, including one linking Fallujah with Baghdad, have been destroyed. Insecurity is preventing access to health services, and some facilities have been damaged. Communications coverage has been disrupted. Several humanitarian partners have reported that administrative constraints are also hindering access. Access to Al Qa’im refugee camp is reportedly difficult, though activities can be carried out by helicopter.
Thousands of people are reportedly trapped in what are described as siege-like conditions in Fallujah and Ramadi. In Ramadi, armed groups have reportedly placed booby traps in homes and along roads. In January, the UN system declared Anbar to pose extreme security risks, meaning that UN staff are not permitted to travel to or within the governorate.
More than 1.2 million people have been displaced since January 2014. At least 1,200 locations are hosting people displaced since January 2014 (OCHA, 04/07/2014). A large number of women and children are among the displaced.
Some 12,000 people from Telafar, Ninevah governorate, arrived in Karbala governorate and 8,000 in Najaf governorate in the past weeks, with smaller numbers reaching Baghdad, Babil, Wasit, Basra and other southern areas (Ministry of Displacement and Migration). 5,000 IDPs from Telafar transited through KR-I en route to Najaf, Karbala and other southern areas. Additional displacements along this route are expected (OCHA 18/07/2014).
Ninevah and Salah al Din were the two largest governorates of origin for identified IDP families in June: an estimated 200,628 individuals (33,438 families) were displaced from Ninevah, and an estimated 149,280 individuals (24,880 families) were displaced from Salah al Din (OCHA, 04/07/2014). The most pressing needs are food, water, shelter, and NFIs.
The influx of IDPs imposes a significant burden on host communities in several areas – 80% of the recently displaced are housed among host communities in KR-I – and IDPs face discrimination from local communities (IFRC, 13/06/2014; WHO 18/06/2014).
Mosul City: An estimated 500,000 Iraqis fled their homes in Mosul: most took flight on 10 June. A number of stateless Palestinian families have been subjected to secondary displacement from Mosul (PI 12/06/2014). Three main patterns of displacement have been observed: from the west bank to the east bank of the city; to other parts of Ninevah governorate; and to KR-I. Almost 25,000 are seeking shelter in schools and mosques, many with no access to drinking water, as the main water station was destroyed by bombing. Food shortages are being reported (WHO, 15/06/2014). Some (Sunni) IDPs have reportedly returned to Mosul, while fuel shortages are having a dramatic impact on the provision of electricity and safe drinking water. All checkpoints and barriers within the city – maintained by ISF – have been removed (WFP, 14/06/2014; DailyBeast 16/06/2014; European Commission Humanitarian Aid, 07/07/2014).
KR-I: As of 30 June, the number of Iraqis displaced into the KR-I exceeded 400,000, according to the Iraq Red Crescent Society (IFRC, 30/06/2014). The Kurdish region is already overstretched by the presence of more than 200,000 Syrian refugees (WHO, 13/06/2014).
Five camps are currently being established, with a maximum capacity of 7,000 families per camp (35,000 persons in total). Considerable numbers of IDPs are being accommodated in schools, mosques and camps, adding to the pressure on the already-stretched communities and infrastructure’s capacity. Many families and individuals are beginning to struggle to secure the financial resources they need to support themselves. A breakdown in infrastructure and basic services has been observed in some areas (IFRC, 30/06/2014).
Two camps are being established in Khazr and Garmawa in disputed territories near Kurdish checkpoints, raising serious protection concerns (European Commission Humanitarian Aid, 07/07/2014)
Anbar crisis: In Anbar governorate, approximately 560,000 people remain displaced by fighting centred on the cities of Fallujah and Ramadi (OCHA, 18/07/2014). Thousands more have moved to Salah al Din, Kerbala, Baghdad, and Najaf governorates.
Syrian Refugees in Iraq
As of 15 July, Iraq hosts 217,192 Syrian refugees: 97,365 in Dohuk, 86,935 in Erbil, 22,875 in Sulaymaniyah, and 4,532 in Anbar governorate (UNHCR, 15/07/2014).
KR-I currently hosts an estimated 97% of the registered Syrian refugees in Iraq (UNHCR, 15/05/2014). The remaining 3% reside in a camp near Al Qa’im, Anbar, and in non-camp settings elsewhere across the country. Around 7,600 are awaiting registration.
43.2% of registered refugees are in camps, and the remaining 56.8% are predominantly scattered in and around urban centres, though information on their humanitarian situation is limited (UNHCR, 15/07/2014).
The three governorates of the Iraqi Kurdistan (Dohuk, Erbil, and Sulaymaniyah) have different policies towards Syrian refugees, leading to challenges in coordinating the humanitarian response. Erbil authorities do not allow the provision of NFI or shelter assistance in non-camp areas.
A livelihood assessment across all refugee camps in KR-I found that 47% of respondents had no source of income in the 30 days preceding the assessment, and only 20% reported that they were fully able to meet their household basic needs. Some 81% of households found food by far the most significant share of expenditure, and 58% had contracted debts since arriving (UNHCR and REACH, 06/2014).
Dohuk: Domiz camp is overcrowded. However, up to one-third of refugees receiving assistance in the camp reported that they are living outside the camp.
Sulaymaniyah: the Directorate of Residency has suspended issuing residency permits to the Syrian refugees due to a server breakdown; a significant number of residency permits remain pending (UNHCR, 31/05/2014).
Anbar: As of 30 June, 1,536 Syrian refugees are in Al Obaidy camp near Al Qa’im; the remainder of the refugees in Anbar are settled in Al Qa’im itself (UNHCR, 04/07/2014).
During the first quarter of 2014, the number of registered protracted (non-Syrian) refugees and asylum seekers was 39,480.
As of 31 March, 45,840 Iraqi refugees from Syria have registered with the MoDM since July 2012.
Iraqi Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
During the first two weeks of June 2014, hundreds of Iraqis sought refuge on the Syrian side of the border, as IS took Mosul and Tikrit. According to preliminary information, at least 100 people have settled in Syria’s Hakamieh camp, which is close to the Peshkapor border crossing, and managed by the Kurdish High Relief Committee. Over 400 Iraqis have been identified close to Yaroubiyeh and in Twaimeen, in southern Al Hasakeh (WFP 24/06/2014)
Some Iraqis from Anbar have attempted to escape to Jordan but have reportedly been blocked from entering by Jordanian authorities. Others have been able to enter by flying into Amman airport.
Returnees to Syria
As of the beginning of June, over 28,000 Syrians registered as refugees in Iraq have voluntarily returned to Syria since 2011. Some 6,770 Syrians have returned to Syria from Al Qa’im because of improved security and basic services, family reunification, the lack of freedom of movement in Iraq, or insufficient assistance, lack of income, and lack of healthcare.
Since the Semalka border crossing on the Syrian side was opened for returnees on 10 June, a total of 3,347 individuals returned to Syria (2,625 registered and 722 non-registered). From Anbar, around 764 people opted spontaneously to return to Syria due to the security situation in Al Qa’im district in particular and in Iraq in general (UNHCR 01/07/2014).
Loss of assets and income opportunities, and disruption of marketing activities and transport networks have exposed large number of people to severe food insecurity (FAO/FEWSNET, 25/06/2014).
OCHA reports tremendous stress on host communities in Sulaymaniyah and Najaf. The conflict has resulted in the disruption of the public distribution system upon which large numbers of people are dependant. Disruptions to procurement and distribution systems have resulted in fuel shortages, interruption of harvest subsidies and payments, and food supply chains. This is further impacting agriculture and food insecurity. The crisis has impacted the May/June cereal harvest and post-harvest activities in key production areas such as Ninevah and Salah Al Din governorates, which account for nearly a third of Iraq's wheat production and about 38% of its barley (OCHA 18/07/2014).
The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) involvement in the food response has been scaled back, including the cessation of daily bread distribution in camps in Erbil. Food assistance to non-camp refugees, which is currently prohibited, is still under discussion with the Government (UNHCR 09/07/2014). IDPs in Erbil reported eating only once a day or once every other day due to lack of funds. Others have indicated their preference to return to Mosul should they run out of means (PI 16/06/2014).
Animal diseases are already a threat to the livestock population in Iraq, and with potential transmission to humans, a risk to public health, especially of refugees and IDPs (FAO, 25/06/2014).
Host families are running low on food supplies (IOM 11/06/2014). Longstanding instability has resulted in the deterioration of the accessibility and quality of essential services (WFP, 2014). The influx of Syrian refugees into KR-I is already straining resources, and the current wave of IDPs will add an extra burden.
Health and Nutrition
Health facilities in Anbar and Ninevah governorates have been damaged by violence. Two hospitals in and around Mosul have been damaged by shelling (WHO 21/06/2014). The MSF clinic in Tikrit has been severely damaged (WHO 21/06/2014). All hospitals and health centres are dependent on generators as a result of power cuts, and fuel supply is a major problem.
Availability of safe water remains a key challenge to be resolved to avoid outbreaks of water-borne diseases.
The embargo on cargo flights has stopped the medical supply chain at a time when additional provisions are urgently needed (OCHA 18/07/2014).
Many Syrian refugees have missed vital routine vaccinations, having had no or limited access to healthcare in Syria for months before arriving in Iraq (WHO 17/07/2014).
KR-I: An estimated 20% of the non-camp refugee population encounters difficulties in accessing health services. Key obstacles include costs for health services and medicines as well as perceived availability of relevant services (UNHCR 09/07/2014). The KR-I Ministry of Health has reported critical shortages in medicines and medical supplies: the Department of Health in Dohuk, has reported shortages in trauma kits, dialysis supplies, desferal infusion pumps, IV fluids, and diarrhoea treatment kits; the Department of Health in Erbil reported overcrowding at the dialysis centre and at chemotherapy centres, and a lack of chemotherapy drugs. Both governorates reported overcrowded emergency/trauma rooms as well as a spike in burns patients (PI 17/06/2014).
There is an increasing risk of a cholera outbreak among the displaced. Cholera is endemic in northern Iraq, with large-scale outbreaks reported in the Kurdistan region in 2007, 2008, and 2012 (WHO, 27/06/2014).
The number of diarrhoea cases is increasing in all camps in KR-I.
WHO warns of immediate and critical health risks in Ninevah, Salah al Din and Diyala, including an outbreak of measles, which is endemic in Mosul and could spread in overcrowded areas (WHO, 16/06/2014).
Following the notification of a second confirmed polio case from Al Hamza district, Diwaniya governorate – with the child originally from Mada’in district, Baghdad-Resafa Governorate – a mop-up polio vaccination will be conducted by WHO and the Iraqi Ministry of Health (WHO, 12/06/2014). Surveys of Mada’in and Al Hamza districts show that inaccessibility due to insecurity, as well as lack of access to formal healthcare, are problematic in assuring full immunisation coverage.
Spread of polio is a high risk as people are displaced by the recent insecurity. New cases were reported in Iraq earlier this year (WHO, 15/06/2014). One wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) case was reported end May from Mada'in district in Baghdad-Resafa. The first case was confirmed on 24 March in Baghdad. Polio is believed to have spread due to the conflict and displacement in Anbar governorate, which borders Syria’s Deir-ez-Zor governorate, where polio was first found in October 2013. Iraq had been declared polio-free in 2000.
Monitoring showed the May immunisation campaign reached 95% of the targeted population, although immunisation coverage was under 80% in six governorates.
Airstrikes on 17 July targeted the water treatment plant in eastern Mosul, cutting water from parts of the city. On 16 July, IS cut the water supply to Makhmur, south of Mosul and controlled by the KRG, understood as a response to local authorities in Makhmur cutting water supplies from Arab villages (ISW 17/07/2014). Neighbourhoods in western Mosul lack drinking water as the main water station serving the area has been destroyed by bombing (IOM 11/06/2014; UNAMI 15/06/2014).
Armed groups have interrupted water provision in Telkaif and Hamdaniyah districts of Ninevah governorate and more recently in Makhour district, Erbil governorate. Some 100,000 people, including IDPs and residents, have been affected.
In Zumar, Ninevah governorate, the unreliable electricity supply is severely affecting water provision. In Sinjar, Ninevah governorate, there are critical water needs following a large influx of IDPs.
Sanitation conditions are poor in the three IDP collective centres of Khanaqin (Diyala governorate) and at the Barharka IDP transit site (Erbil governorate), affecting some 10,000 IDPs (OCHA 18/07/2014).
A shortage of chlorine remains a challenge for water projects in Anbar (UNICEF 19/06/2014).
As temperatures have risen, water consumption has increased, and refugees in camps are reporting shortages and unequitable access (UNHCR, 04/2014).
Evictions of Syrian families in non-camp areas in KR-I is on the rise (UNHCR 01/07/2014).
A shortage of shelter is a key challenge for the 500,000 who fled to KR-I in June. Many are residing in hastily set-up transit camps (UNHCR, 13/06/2014).
99% of people surveyed in Erbil city reported not having the resources to support themselves in their current accommodation arrangements for more than a week. Others are unable to move out of hotels for lack of KR-I residency permits. People with short-term permits do not know how to renew them. Without any alternative, people who have exhausted their resources are liable to return to Mosul or other cities of origin (UNAMI 15/06/2014; UNHCR, PI 16/06/2014).
Within Mosul, some 25,000 people are seeking shelter in schools and mosques (WHO 16/06/2014).
On 18 July, IS gave Christian residents of Mosul 24 hours to leave the city, saying they would be killed after that. (ISW 18/07/2014)
In Al Qa’im, refugees face arrest and detention, and are at risk of deportation if they are found without permission outside the camp, as their stay in Iraq is deemed illegal (UNHCR 09/07/2014).
Of the 500,000 people fleeing their homes since the onset of violence on 5 June in Mosul, half are children (UNICEF, 11/06/2014).
Since the fall of Mosul, executions, human rights violations, sectarian abuses and civilian casualties have been reported, but the full extent remains unknown (OHCHR, 13/06/2014; HRW, 12/06/2014). IS has a local history of civilian abuse, including forced taxation, attacks on journalists, abductions, executions, and, throughout Iraq, suicide bomb attacks (HRW, 12/06/2014). According to the UN human rights chief, reports suggest that the number of summary executions by IS in the second week of June may have been in the hundreds (OHCHR, 13/06/14).
The ISF is reported to have indiscriminately accused some IDPs arriving in Baghdad of affiliation with IS (PI, 12/06/2014).
Concerns have been raised about violence directed at minors, including the potential recruitment of children, sexual violence, abductions and extrajudicial killings. At present it remains unclear to what extent these concerns have materialised (Save the Children International, 15/06/2014).
Some children and women, especially those living in parks or unfinished buildings, have resorted to begging (PI, 12/06/2014).
As of mid-July, over 250 schools in Kirkuk, Dohuk, Ninevah, and Anbar governorates are hosting IDPs. Alternative spaces are needed to ensure children are able to return to school in September (OCHA 18/07/2014).
65% of the 57,000 school-aged refugee children in Iraq are out of school. The current rate of enrolment in the camps is 55% for primary education and less than 1% for secondary. Outside the camps the enrolment rate is lower, at 22% of the school-age population. The main barriers are: very limited capacity in schools with the Arabic curriculum; high levels of dropout in schools with the Kurdish curriculum due to lack of extra support for second language speakers; lack of textbooks and other education materials; and lack of teachers. (UNHCR 09/07/2014).
19–20 July: An attack on a bus near Witu killed seven people; two were killed by gunmen in Soweto, Mombasa, as they distributed leaflets ordering minorities to leave (BBC). The death toll of coastal attacks since 15 June has reached 102.
15 July: Three South Sudanese refugees were killed travelling to Kenya. Refugees are now taking longer routes to Kenya (IOM).
- Violence is ongoing in the capital Nairobi, as well as the northeastern and coastal areas; two-thirds of those violent attacks have been attributed to the Somali Islamist Al Shabaab movement.
- Inter-communal tensions are running high: 491 people were killed and 47,000 displaced by tribal conflict in 2013. Tana River, Mandera, Marsabit, and Moyale counties are the most affected.
- There are over 487,000 refugees in Kenya, including at least 427,000 Somalis and 76,310 South Sudanese (UNHCR, 01/2014; OCHA, 02/2014; UNHCR, 06/2014). 100,000 South Sudanese refugees are expected by the end of 2014 (WFP, 28/05/2014).
- 1.3 million people are acutely food insecure (FEWSNET, 04/2014).
Kenya is considered relatively stable in the Horn of Africa and held peaceful presidential elections in March 2013. However, the country remains ethnically polarised and affected by two decades of conflict in neighbouring Somalia.
The implementation of a devolution process, land reform, and national reconciliation all challenge stability, in a country where institutions are perceived to be weak. Minority groups are said to use politically motivated violence to influence the devolution process.
Kenyan troops began operating against Al Qaeda in Somalia in 2011. On 23 June, Kenyan fighter jets attacked Al Shabaab groups in Somalia, killing at least 80 (23/06/2014, BBC, AFP).
The frequency and scale of militant attacks in Kenya have increased dramatically since Kenyan troops began operating in Somalia, as has the nature of the violence, with 40% of events targeting civilians. Al Shabaab has built a cross-border presence and clandestine support network among the Muslim population in the northeast, in Nairobi, and on the coast.
Deadly inter-communal violence remains common in a number of areas.
Tensions with Somali Communities
Since Al Shabaab’s attack on Nairobi’s Westgate shopping mall in September 2013, tensions with the Somali community have risen even further. Muslims make up 11% of Kenya’s 40 million population, and the increasing radicalisation of the ethnic Somali Muslim population is allegedly fuelled by systematic ethnic profiling and discrimination.
In March, the more than 50,000 refugees living in urban areas were ordered to relocate to two camps: Dadaab and Kakuma. At the end of the month, seemingly coordinated bomb blasts killed six people, according to international media. In April, mass arrests targeting refugees took place in Nairobi, Trans Nzoia county, and Mombasa: 82 allegedly illegal immigrants were reportedly deported to Mogadishu. Over 17–19 April, 281 refugees were reportedly transported from Nairobi’s Kasarani stadium, where media reported hundreds of refugees to be detained, to Kakuma and Dadaab camps. On 23 April, according to international media, four people died in a bomb blast near a police station not far from Eastleigh, Nairobi.
In February, protests took place in Mombasa after three people were killed. More than 100 people were arrested during a police raid on a mosque. Three people were stabbed in the ensuing riots. According to local security forces, mosques have been at the heart of Al Shabaab’s attempts to radicalise Kenyan Muslims, and authorities have been dismantling recruitment networks among Muslim communities.
Seven attacks in Kenya’s coastal region since mid-June have left 102 dead. On 15 June, attacks in Mpeketoni and Poromoko killed at least 49 and 15 people, respectively. On 23 June, an attack in the village of Witu, near Mpeketoni, killed at least five (AFP, BBC, 06/24/2014). On 5 July, an attack on Gamba police station killed nine, and another in Kibiboni village killed 13 (Kenya Red Cross, 06/06/2014). About 500 families are reported to have fled the area to nearby camps (Reuters, 06/07/2014). On 10 July, gunmen raided Panganguo, torching houses and classrooms. On 19 July, a bus was attacked by gunmen near the village of Witu, killing seven. The gunmen then targeted a police vehicle that arrived at the scene. A day later, two gunmen on a motorcycle killed four and injured several others in the area of Soweto, Mombasa. Leaflets were distributed demanding minorities leave Mombasa (AFP, BBC, 19-21/07/2014). Fearing more attacks, hundreds of families from Maleli, Bora Moyo, Kakathe and Miasha Masha have fled their homes (AFP, Kenya Daily Nation, 12/07/2014). Experts fear a ‘coastal insurgency’ (Reuters, 11/07/2014).
Although most evidence points towards Al Shabaab involvement in these attacks, the Kenyan government insists local political networks are to blame, flaring political and ethnic tensions in the coastal area (IRIN 23/07/2014). A high profile politician, Governor Issa Timamy, has been held on terrorism and murder charges (BBC, 20/07/2014).
In 2013, 491 people were killed and another 1,235 injured in inter-communal violence. Population displacements due to inter-communal conflicts were significantly lower year-on-year, from 116,000 in 2012 to 47,000 in 2013. The areas most affected by inter-communal violence were the southeastern county of Tana River, the northeastern county of Mandera, and the Moyale area in Marsabit county, which recorded 40,000 displaced in 2013 (OCHA, 12/2013).
A growth in the population of both people and livestock has led to more frequent cattle raiding and violence, fed by the availability of small arms. The Ethiopian Oromo Liberation Front rebel group is also said to have made several deadly incursions into Kenya.
On 6 June, attacks by cattle raiders in Baringo county left two people dead in Sirata and caused 8,000 people to flee the area of Mukutani.
Conflict in Moyale
On 21–22 February in Nairobi, the government-organised Marsabit Peace Initiative brought together leaders from the Borena, Gabra, Burji, Sakura Garre and ‘Corner communities’, who live in Moyale district and in Marsabit county. The Boma Peace Agreement was unveiled: all leaders pledged to form a multi-ethnic committee to steer joint peace rallies and dialogue, facilitate reconstruction of houses and the return of the displaced, ensure their security, strengthen cross-border dialogue with Ethiopia on the issue, and ensure that all public resources, under the charge of the national and county governments, be allocated fairly to all communities.
As of February, clashes between the Borena community and a joint force of Burji and Gabra tribes had displaced an estimated 72,000 people both internally and into Ethiopia.
Conflict in Turkana
On 28 June, four herdsmen were killed and one boy was injured in an attack in Turkana led by Toposa raiders from South Sudan (Kenya Daily Nation, 29/06/2014). On 18 June, a cattle raid left at least one dead and three injured in Turkana county (19/06/2014, Kenya Red Cross). On 27 May, a cattle raid in Turkana, presumed to have been conducted from West Pokot county, left six people dead.
The conflict stems from longstanding disputes over land, water, and grazing rights.
Conflict in Mandera and Wajir
Since May 2014, clashes between Garre and Degodia communities along the border between Wajir and Mandera counties have caused at least 60 deaths and displaced 75,000 (OCHA, 23/06/2014). Fighting that broke out on 22 June killed at least 20 people (AFP, 22/06/2014). The Garre and Degodia Somali clans have been feuding over natural resources since March 2012.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
On 31 March, the total number of IDPs in Kenya was 309,200 (OCHA, 16/06/2014).
As of 11 June, the Kenya Red Cross reported that inter-communal clashes between the Degodia and the Garre clans along the Mandera–Wajir border since May had displaced 12,000 households (approximately 61,000 people).
As of 6 June, 8,000 people were reportedly displaced by cattle raids in Mukutani, Baringo county.
As of 1 July, Kenya is hosting more than 569,453 refugees and asylum-seekers. 228,881 are located in Dadaab, 162,482 are located in Kakuma, 127,998 in Alinjugur and 50,092 in Nairobi. Somalis represent 75% of the refugees, with South Sudan following with 13% (UNHCR, 01/07/2014).
From Somalia: As of July, 427,000 Somali refugees were in Kenya, a decrease of 50,000 from previous estimates (UNHCR, OCHA). Most are in the northeastern Dadaab and Alinjugur refugee camp complex, which in July hosted 340,000 Somali refugees. Other Somali refugee settlements include the camp of Kakuma in Turkana (55,468) and Nairobi (32,014) (UNHCR, 01/07/2014).
From South Sudan: As of 10 July, more than 41,000 South Sudanese refugees have crossed into Kenya since mid-December (OCHA), bringing the total to 76,310 (UNHCR, 01/07/2014). On 6 June, UNHCR indicated that a restriction on refugee arrivals had been issued by the government in early June, but was subsequently nullified. 75,038 South Sudanese refugees are in Kakuma camp, Turkana county (UNHCR, 07/07/2014). A May report indicated a daily arrival rate of 90 (UNHCR, 23/05/2014). Humanitarian agencies are reportedly expecting 100,000 South Sudanese refugees by the end of 2014 (WFP, 28/05/2014). Since December 2013, 5,648 new South Sudanese separated children have arrived in Kakuma camp, bringing the total of separated children to 11,855 (UNHCR, 11/07/2014). Latest reports indicate that the most pressing needs include protection for separated children, registration, and health services.
Kakuma is currently hosting 167,608 refugees, surpassing its capacity of 150,000. On 13 May, local officials said the camp needed to be expanded. Government officials have authorised the construction of a new camp nearby. As of 11 July, no land has been granted to settle new arrivals (UNHCR, 11/07/2014).
As of 29 April, 1.3 million people are estimated to be acutely food insecure, with most of the country remaining at Stressed levels of food insecurity (FEWSNET). Crisis levels of food insecurity were reportedly concentrated in pastoral areas in Turkana and Marsabit counties. Poor households had entered Crisis levels in February, due to below average rains, and reduced access to livestock sales and markets as a result of inter-clan conflict.
Most of Kenya was expected to remain at Stressed levels of food insecurity until September, with food availability declining and price inflation rising between June and September. In Isolo county, water shortages are severe, with drought conditions having worsened compared to previous months. Well below average March–May rains in southeastern and coastal areas are likely to lead to a below-average maize harvest (FEWSNET, 29/06/2014).
Health and Nutrition
Increasing numbers of hepatitis B cases, with a prevalence of 10% among pregnant women and 30% among liver disease patients, are concerning the Kenya Medical Research Institute. No scientific study has been carried out as to the cause of this increase (The East African, 28/06/2014).
On13 June, 586 cases of malaria had been reported among South Sudanese refugees over the course of a week (UNHCR).
One case of wild poliovirus was reported in January 2014 in Somali region. This is the first in Kenya since 2011, and the only case in 2014 in the Horn of Africa, according to an international organisation.
GAM and SAM rates among South Sudanese refugees arriving in Kakuma between 18 and 23 May were above emergency thresholds, at 16.3%, and 10.4%, respectively (UNHCR, 23/05/2014). Statistics show that the malnutrition rates among South Sudanese refugees increase with the ascending periods of arrivals (the later the arrival rate, the higher malnutrition rate) (UNHCR, 11/07/2014).
On 5 May, in Mandera county, GAM rates were above the 15% emergency threshold. UNICEF had highlighted critical nutrition status of the county in 2013.
South Sudanese refugees travelling to Kenya face high levels of insecurity. Three refugees were killed travelling to the Kenyan border in mid-July. As a result, refugees are now taking a longer route to Kenya or are requesting for police escorts in the area (IOM, 20/07/2014).
On 29 June, Kenyan security forces at the Nadapal Reception Centre engaged in a gunfight with the Sudanese armed forces. Refugees were caught between the gunfire, and one was injured. Security at the border has since improved and normal operations resumed (IOM, 06/07/2014).
No new developments this week, 21/07/2014. Last update 30/06/2014.
- As the lean season peaks in Southern Africa, 1.8 million people are assessed as food insecure in Malawi (WFP, 05/2014)
- Around 180 new HIV infections are occurring every day. HIV prevalence is 10% among people aged 15-49. More than 40% of new infections are among 10–19 year olds (UNAIDS, 03/2014).
- Up to 43% of people have experienced some form of gender-based violence; women represent more than 50% of victims.
Since 2007, Malawi’s economy has grown significantly, and healthcare, education, and environmental conditions have improved. However, turbulent politics have hampered governance, and more than half the population lives below the poverty line.
Peter Mutharika – brother of the former president Bingu wa Mutharika – was sworn in as the new president of Malawi at the end of May after much political tension and legal wrangling, during which outgoing President Joyce Banda had alleged ballot fraud. She admitted defeat after the High Court rejected a request for a recount (UN, 31/05/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
The total number of refugees in Malawi is 5,757, with 11,620 asylum seekers (UNHCR, 01/03/2014). Refugees mostly reside in the only refugee camp in Malawi, located in Dzaleka, Dowa district, or with host communities. The camp is managed by the Government of Malawi with support from UNHCR.
On 4 March, the UN reported that since mid-January an estimated 2,000 people had arrived in Malawi from Mozambique, fleeing clashes between the government and former insurgents. At the time of their arrival, the government and UNHCR were in disagreement about their status and assistance was delayed.
Heavy Rainfall and Floods
In Karonga district, Northern region, 2,187 households were affected by flooding due to heavy rains in April, and 602 houses were destroyed. In Nkhatabay district, 991 households were affected.
This brings the total number of households affected by floods in the current rainy season to 7,190 (35,395 people). An additional 8,160 households (40,780 people) have experienced damage to their crops and houses by heavy rain and wind storms bringing the total number of people affected to 76,180 (UNICEF, 30/04/2014).
The number of food insecure people remained at 1.8 million, or 12% of the population, in June (WFP, 12/06/2014). 12 out of 28 districts are potentially food insecure due to prolonged dry spells and early cessation of rains (UNICEF, 30/06/2014). Acute food security currently stands at Minimal (IPC Phase 1). Maize prices dropped 13% between March and April.
In Central Karonga and Middle Shire livelihood zones, Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes were expected in June. Food security conditions are then likely to deteriorate, resulting in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes between July and September (FEWSNET, 06/2014), particularly in localised areas that experienced production shortfalls due to prolonged dryness and early cessation of rains (UNICEF, 30/06/2014). By November, Malawi will face Phase 3: Crisis, as the lean season takes place from November to February (FEWSNET, 29/05/2014).
In May, a large number of Red Nomadic locust populations were reported in Lake Chilwa Plains. Left untreated, these swarms will migrate further and threaten crops (OFDA-AELGA, 06/2014).
Health and Nutrition
On 8 March, UNAIDS reported that the Government is revitalising its national HIV prevention strategy. Despite progress, around 180 new HIV infections are still occurring every day. 12% of the adult population live with the disease.
Up to 55% of girls and more than 70% of boys are experiencing some form of violence while growing up. Two in five girls and two out of three boys are experiencing physical violence, one in five girls and one in three boys experience emotional and sexual violence. Out of these, one in four girls and one in three boys experience multiple forms of violence (UNICEF, 30/06/2014).
As of June, 21,423 children aged 6–59 months are suffering from severe acute malnutrition (UNICEF, 30/06/2014).
Myanmar Country Analysis
22 July: Authorities in Mandalay have relaxed the eight-hour curfew imposed in Mandaay townships to three weeks after communal violence in Chan Aye Tharzan township (local media).
22 July: The Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team is meeting to discuss terms and conditions for a ceasefire (local media 22/07/2014).
22 July: A landslide caused by recent heavy rains killed five civilians in Kachin camp (local media 22/07/2014).
22 July: Fighting continues between ethnic Shan and Government forces in eastern Shan state; hundreds of people have fled. Fighting has prevented access to the displaced.
21 July: Two civilians were killed and at least ten children were wounded over the weekend after renewed clashes in northern Shan state (local media 21/07/2014).
- Repeated bloodshed has been occurring between Buddhists and Muslims in Rakhine state since 2012, with human rights abuses against the Muslim minority being reported (UN).
- There are 640,000 IDPs as a result of years of internal ethnic conflict, including 137,000 IDPs, mainly Rohingya Muslims, in Rakhine state (OCHA, 06/2014).
The military-led authoritarian regime in Myanmar (Burma) has made moves to improve its record on human rights over recent years, with the release of the opposition activist Aung San Suu Kyi in November 2010 being a turning point. Since 2013, several amnesties have been granted to political prisoners. In early January, another presidential amnesty was granted to political prisoners. The pardon reportedly extends to over 200 political prisoners and other categories of detainees.
In July 2013, President Thein Sein promised to free all prisoners of conscience by end 2013, a promise that may be kept in 2014. In September 2013, several amnesties led to the release of members of ethnic minority armed groups with whom the government is seeking peace deals.
While recent efforts by the authorities to improve the country’s human rights record have been welcomed, local activists report that the prosecution of dissidents is continuing.
Since independence in 1948, internal conflicts have been endemic in Myanmar. Minority groups make up some 30% of the estimated 55–60 million population, and ethnic and political groups have conducted protracted insurgencies mainly in remote and economically marginalised areas such as Kachin, Kayin (Karen ethnic group), Kayah (Karenni), Rakhine, and Shan states. In 2013, authorities signed several separate peace deals with the various insurgent movements, with the exception of the Kachin Independence Army (the armed wing of the Kachin Independence Organisation, or KIO), and the ethnic Ta’aung army. The government says it hopes to consolidate these agreements into a nationwide ceasefire deal. However, local sources reported that the Myanmar military were weakly involved in the current peace process.
Local media reports indicate that the Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team, is meeting on 24–26 July, to discuss terms and conditions for a ceasefire that could end decades of war with Myanmar government forces. Representing the Mon, the Karen, the Karenni, the Shan, the Kachin, the Chin and the Arakanese Buddhists, the NCCT is the most comprehensive alliance of ethnic actors to assemble in recent history. The most notable exclusions are the Shan State Army-South and the United Wa State Party. In March the group warned that the recent increase in violence between the military and ethnic armed groups, mainly in Kachin state, could derail the ongoing negotiation process.
By mid-July some government sources are warning that if negotiations fail to progress in the coming weeks, a nationwide ceasefire before the 2015 elections could become impossible and opposition fighters might have to deal with a new, tougher, commander-in-chief as reported by local media.
On 13 May, the Government and KIO leaders met for bilateral talks following April clashes. The representatives of other ethnic groups, the UN, and China attended as observers. An agreement was reached on establishing a joint conflict resolution committee.
In early April, senior government officials, military commanders and ethnic leaders held the first discussions on jointly drafting a nationwide ceasefire text, which would draw on both a ceasefire proposal by ethnic groups and a government proposal. However, Army demands for the incorporation of its own six-point statement are reportedly complicating the merger of the two proposals. The statement says that all ethnic groups should come under the central command of the military, and that all parties should respect the 2008 Constitution, which was drafted by the military and put the ethnic regions under the centralised authority of the government.
Despite peace negotiations between the authorities and various insurgent groups, the security situation remains tense in parts of Myanmar, especially in the north. Massive human rights infringements against the Rohingya Muslim minority in Rakhine state, in the west, continue to be reported.
Reports indicate that though the army is still deployed in Karen state, almost no fighting has occurred in the area since a ceasefire was signed in January 2012.
Mid-June, Myanmar and Bangladeshi authorities vowed to strengthen border security and combat "illegal armed groups and criminals" following clashes on their shared border.
Insecurity in Rakhine State
According to local sources and several human rights organisations, at least 40 people, including women and children, were killed in government attacks on Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine state on 13–14 January. Médecins Sans Frontières reported that it treated 22 people who had apparently been wounded around the same time as the reported massacre of Muslims, an incident the government denies, though it acknowledges that clashes took place. The UN is calling for an investigation into the incident. Tensions remain high, with authorities imposing restrictions on the displaced Muslim minority.
Conflict between the Myanmar Army and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) erupted on 10 April in the vicinity of Man Win Gyi Township, southern Kachin state, affecting several villages and IDP camps on the borders between Kachin state, northern Shan state and China. The fighting continued for approximately one week. Over 2,700 people were displaced and are being hosted in four camps around Man Win Gyi and Nam Kham. A ceasefire had been agreed in October 2013.
Two civilians were killed and at least ten children wounded after fighting broke out between government troops and opposition fighters in northern Shan state on the 19 and 20 of July. Fighting continues in eastern Shan State, and hundreds of people have fled since June.
On 4 March, local sources citing Shan ethnic rebels reported that Myanmar military forces captured two strategic outposts of the Shan State Army-North (SSA-N), at the junction connecting northern and southern Shan state. Insurgents were reportedly forced to withdraw from two of their camps. Fighting between the regular army and the SSA-N has continued despite agreeing a ceasefire in January 2012.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Access is difficult in areas outside of government control. Concern is growing over the impact of upcoming rains on access to 5,000 IDPs in southern Kachin state, over 50% of whom are in areas beyond government control (IRIN 05/2014).
By mid-June, over 60% of humanitarian personnel had returned to Rakhine and operations were being scaled back up. Assistance had been disrupted in March, following attacks against humanitarian workers over perceived bias towards Rohingyas. Overall, 33 premises belonging to UN agencies and seven international NGOs were ransacked. Over 300 aid workers had to be temporarily relocated, and more than 1,000 humanitarian staff were forced to stop work.
Agencies have identified limited availability of space as one of the main constraints to operating at full capacity (USAID 02/07/2014).
As of mid-July, a vulnerability mapping exercise showed that 36,000 Rohingya Muslims in 113 isolated villages in Rakhine state have no or limited access to basic services, including markets, education, and healthcare (OCHA). Access to services is impeded by tension and restrictions on freedom of movement. Humanitarian activities have been heavily constrained in a region where many displaced people, mostly Rohingya Muslims, are completely reliant on humanitarian assistance. In early February, ECHO reported that some demonstrators were demanding the departure of the UN and INGOs from Buthedaung, northern Rakhine state.
Buddhist Rakhine activists and politicians have campaigned to restrict healthcare and other aid for many of the estimated one million Rohingya living in the state.
As reported by UNHCR in late March, over 640,000 people are internally displaced because of violence. 99,300 IDPs are in Kachin and Shan States (north), 400,000 in the South East, 5,200 in Mandalay and 137,000 in Rakhine state (OCHA 01/06/2014).
Up to 400,000 people across 36 townships in the southeast continue to be displaced following years of conflict (OCHA 03/2014).
Rakhine: 137,000 people, mainly Rohingya Muslims, continue to be displaced as of May 2014, since inter-communal violence erupted between Rakhine Buddhists and the Muslim minority in June and October 2012. An estimated 100,000 people live in Sittwe township and 70,000 are said to be food insecure. Rohingya Muslims continue to face abuse and movement restrictions, according to reports from human rights groups; most are considered crisis-affected and need humanitarian assistance.
Kachin: 99,300 people have been displaced by armed conflict since June 2011 and over 50% of them are in KIA-controlled areas, making humanitarian access a challenge. An estimated 20,000 live with host communities. Many have been displaced for up to two years, triggering renewed and additional needs for provision of basic services, livelihoods, and protection.
In April, fresh fighting displaced another 3,000 people, some for the second or third time, from more than 14 villages and four camps in opposition-controlled areas. On 10 April, fighting in southern Kachin state displaced over 2,700 people who are being hosted in four camps around Man Win Gyi and Nam Kham (OCHA). An unconfirmed number of people have fled across the border to China. In February, OCHA reported that, in addition to shelter renovation and WASH assistance, the most urgent needs in displaced communities are education, healthcare, and non-food items.
Shan: Fighting in northern and eastern Shan during June and July has displaced hundreds of people and is causing disruptions in humanitarian access to some areas (local media 21/07/2014). Clashes in the area of Muse township, in northern Shan state, caused the displacement of more than 700 people in May. Many of the IDPs had already been displaced by fighting in Kachin state in November 2013. According to local sources, these IDPs are now facing severe shortage of basic aid and clean water. Local aid workers reported that IDPs are also in urgent need of shelter assistance ahead of this year’s mid-May to mid-September monsoon (IRIN 14/05/2014).
Refugees from Myanmar
According to UNHCR as of late March, over 415,000 refugees originate from Myanmar.
In early November, UNHCR reported that an increasing number of people, mainly Muslims from Rakhine state, are setting out to sea on smuggling boats from the Bay of Bengal. Although numbers are difficult to obtain, such forced departures often result in disaster as boats capsize.
Bangladesh: To date, most Rohingya are denied refugee status by the Bangladeshi authorities. An estimated 30,000 Rohingya Muslims live in official camps, where they are assisted by aid agencies, and another 200,000 refugees reside in unofficial camps or Bangladeshi villages where they get little or no humanitarian assistance and almost no protection from human rights abuse.
Thailand: Since July 2014, 120,000 refugees living in refugee camps in Thailand face movement restrictions imposed by the Thai junta, who is also pushing for Myanmar refugee’s repatriation especially that of the several thousand Rohingya Muslims refugees hosted in Thailand. In May 2014, there are almost 120,000 refugees from Myanmar (registered and unregistered) living in Thailand-Myanmar border IDP camps, according to The Border Consortium; UNHCR figures are 76,000 refugees. Rohingya Muslims are reportedly subject to human trafficking in Thailand (international human rights organisations, 12/2013).
Malaysia: In June, 28,000 Rakhine Muslims were registered as refugees in Malaysia (UNHCR). However, according to groups representing them, the real number of Myanmar Muslim immigrants is much higher and surged in 2013 because of the violence.
Households affected by flooding in 2013, particularly in Kayin state and Bago region, have raised levels of food insecurity. Nearly half a million IDPs are at risk of food insecurity in Rakhine, Kachin, and Shan states, and southeast Myanmar. Generally, however, the food situation is improving (FAO, 14/05/2014).
A February 2014 joint survey by humanitarian partners and local authorities indicated that 18.5% of households in Myanmar’s central “dry zone” are facing food insecurity. The central regions of Mandalay, Magway and Lower Sagaing, which cover 13% of the country and account for a quarter of the population, have experienced very low rainfalls. Latest reports indicate that one-third of households in this area experience at least a month – usually June and/or July – when they do not meet their food needs.
Health and Nutrition
Recent heavy rain, coupled with the after-effects of a recent aid worker pull-out, is prompting health concerns for the more than 140,000 Rohingya IDPs in Rakhine state (IRIN 07/07/2014).
Médecins Sans Frontières, previously the largest international NGO provider of healthcare to IDPs in Rakhine, has not been authorised to resume activities following the February expiration of its MOU. This has resulted in significant gaps in health services, particularly in Maungdaw and Buthidaung townships, northern Rakhine, where MSF had served a population of approximately 500,000 vulnerable people with primary and secondary healthcare (USAID 02/07/2014).
Many isolated and vulnerable communities remained without access to medical care as of late May, according to the UN (USAID 02/07/2014).
A February 2014 joint survey by humanitarian partners and local authorities indicated that 12.3% of children under five in Myanmar’s central “dry zone” are acutely malnourished.
In Rakhine state, a general deterioration in the WASH situation in camps is aggravating health problems and increasing the risk of waterborne disease. There were concerns for more than 23,000 people who do not have access to safe water and who are dependent on daily humanitarian intervention, which was suspended due to March’s attacks. This led to low levels of supervision and maintenance of water and sanitation facilities. However, activities are now getting back on track and the situation should be monitored over the coming weeks (WASH Cluster 05/2014).
According to local sources in late March, an estimated 200 villages in central Myanmar are suffering from acute water shortages, due to an ongoing long dry season. Latest reports indicated that the problem is mainly affecting the supply of safe drinking water.
Adolescent girls in camps in Kachin and Rakhine states face increasing violence and abuse, including SGBV (OCHA, 02/2014).
Eight women’s rights activists questioned in July by two Chin State courts for staging unauthorised public protests against sexual violence by the Myanmar military (Local media 21/07/2014).
Legal Status of Rohingya Muslims
Over 800,000 people, mostly Muslims, are estimated to be without citizenship in the northern part of Rakhine state (UNHCR.) On 21 November 2013, authorities rejected a UN resolution urging them to grant citizenship to the Rohingya Muslims. Myanmar continues officially to state that the Rohingya Muslims are migrants from neighbouring Bangladesh, thus excluding them from citizenship under the 1982 Citizenship Law.
Nigeria Country Analysis
17-20 July: Boko Haram (BH) gunmen carried out a series of attacks in the town of Damboa, Borno state, throwing explosives into people’s homes. The exact number of deaths remains unknown. An estimated 15,200 people were displaced (AFP).
20 July: A cholera outbreak in Kano state killed has six people out of 46 cases recorded, according to the state health commissioner, although a local charity said that at least 16 people had died (AFP).
16 July: The cholera outbreak that began in January in Bauchi state is now over. More than 15,500 cases were reported (MSF, 16/07/2014).
15 July: The BH insurgency has killed at least 2,053 civilians in an estimated 95 attacks during the first half of 2014 (HRW).
14 July: Dille village, Borno state, was attacked and 45 people killed. Several houses and shops were torched and over 500 people fled (OCHA).
Late June: About 4.2 million Nigerians are food insecure and Crisis levels of food insecurity are expected in the SoE states (UNICEF, 06/2014).
Late June: A February-May SMART survey revealed poorer nutritional status among the population of the SoE states (UNICEF).
Late June: 211 schools in 19 of 27 local government areas (LGAs) in Borno state, and 21 schools in four LGAs in Yobe state have been attacked and property and buildings destroyed (UNICEF).
- 15.5 million people directly affected by violence in the northeast (OCHA, 06/2014).
- 4.2 million food insecure and Crisis levels of food insecurity expected in the SoE states (UNICEF, 06/2014).
- 705,000 IDPs country-wide due to the insurgency in the three state of emergency (SoE) states (OCHA, 06/2014).
- 1.74 million acutely malnourished (UNICEF and OCHA, 03/2014).
- Nearly half the population does not have access to safe water (UNICEF).
- 23,320 cholera cases reported so far in 2014: lack of WASH and the consequences of violence in the northeast are increasing concern about the outbreak (WHO, 06/2014).
Displaced and people otherwise affected by violence in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe, and neighbouring Bauchi, Taraba, and Gombe states are in urgent need of health services, protection, food, and water. The violence has displaced a large number of people, restricted movement, disrupted food supply, seriously hindered access to basic services, and limited agricultural activities.
A state of emergency was declared in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe states in May 2013 and the International Criminal Court qualified the conflict between Boko Haram and the Government as a civil war in November 2013. Economic decline, growing inequality, and failure to contain Boko Haram have all contributed to growing public distrust in the Government.
According to his opposition, President Jonathan’s re-election would violate the unwritten rule that governance should rotate between the Muslim north and the Christian south every two terms. Tensions persist despite a series of resignations and dismissals from the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP). On 3 February, Nigeria’s former Vice President Abubakar left the PDP to join the All Progressives Congress (APC) opposition party, stating he believed in a two-party political system for Nigeria.
On 17 February, the Governance, Transparency, and Integrity Working Group of the United States–Nigeria Binational Commission met to support the establishment of benchmarks for transparent and inclusive elections.
Due to the significant increase in violent attacks, the International Criminal Court declared the conflict between government forces and Boko Haram as a civil war in November 2013. By March, some 2,000 people had already been killed in 2014 (Amnesty International, 03/2014). Half of the victims were civilians. The insurgency is being fuelled by the high proliferation of small arms, and support from international terror groups (OCHA, 05/2014).
In May, the UN identified 15 states as potential hot spots for political-related violence for 2015 elections, with likely humanitarian implications (OCHA, 05/2014).
International and Regional Involvement
On 22 May, the UN Security Council’s Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee approved the addition of BH to its list of individuals and entities subject to targeted financial sanctions and an arms embargo.
On 17 May, President Jonathan and his counterparts from Benin, Cameroon, Chad, and Niger approved an action plan to counter Boko Haram.
According to UNHCR, the influx of Nigerian refugees and the spillover of violence is creating cross-border tensions with Niger. In November 2013, Niger and Nigeria established a Joint Border Patrol Command.
So far, Boko Haram has dismissed the possibility of participating in a peace resolution committee to frame potential peace talks. Founded in Maiduguri, Borno state, BH has been leading an insurgency to create an Islamic state in the predominantly Muslim regions of northern Nigeria. The Nigerian authorities have been fighting BH since 2009, and in May 2013 BH took control of part of Borno state.
Counter-insurgency Campaign against Boko Haram
Since April 2013, attempts by military forces to engage with BH militants have resulted in excessive use of force and large-scale destruction in civilian areas. The state of emergency (SoE) declared in mid-May 2013 in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe was extended for an additional six months on 20 May 2014 to facilitate counter-insurgency activities. However, the state of emergency is feared to have strengthened the recruitment base of Boko Haram. Concern persists about the military’s failure to end the insurgency. In January 2013, President Jonathan fired all his military chiefs and appointed an air force officer from the troubled northeast as the top military commander, Air Marshal Alex Badeh.
Civilians have formed vigilante groups or self-defence militias, reportedly with the tacit backing of the Nigerian Government. As a result, BH has expanded its initial military and security targets to include Christians, Muslims, students, politicians, and others opposing BH’s ambition to impose Islamic law.
On 19 March, the National Security Adviser unveiled measures in what is to be a new and broader approach of ‘soft power’: de-radicalisation programmes for suspected and convicted BH fighters, and closer cooperation with communities affected by violence.
On 23 February, it was confirmed that Nigeria had closed its northern border with Cameroon – from northern Borno state, by Lake Chad, to the southern end of Adamawa state – to block the movement of BH.
Boko Haram Incidents
The Boko Haram insurgency has killed at least 2,053 civilians in an estimated 95 attacks during the first half of 2014 (HRW, 15/07/2014). At least 6,000 people were killed in insurgent attacks between 2013 and June 2014 (ACLED and OCHA, 01/07/2014).
Borno state: Heavy fighting is ongoing with insurgents reportedly making advances across the state (OCHA, 16/07/2014).
Over 17–20 July, BH gunmen carried out a series of attacks in the town of Damboa, throwing explosives into residential homes. The exact number of casualties remains unknown. An estimated 15,200 people were displaced. Local residents claimed that the security forces had pulled out of the area following a militant attack two weeks before (AFP, 18/07/2014).
On 14 July, insurgents attacked Dille village, killing 45 people. Several houses and shops were torched and over 500 people forced to flee into nearby hills (OCHA, 16/07/2014).
Suspected BH gunmen killed seven people in an attack on a police station and military camp in Krenuwa village, Marte district in early July (AFP, 07/07/2014).
On 1 July, at least 18 people were killed in an explosion at a market in Maiduguri. No group claimed responsibility but Maiduguri is at the centre of BH’s violent campaign (Al Jazeera).
In June, 55 people were killed when suspected BH stormed church services and raided villages near Chibok (Al Jazeera). At least 15 people were killed when suspected BH gunmen stormed a market in Daku on 15 June. Suspected BH abducted up to 30 women from nomadic settlements near Chibok,. BH insurgents dressed as soldiers killed at least 200 civilians in Goshe, Attagara, Agapalwa, and Aganjara villages, Gwoza district.
In May, attacks on military and police, and clashes between soldiers and BH, led to over 80 deaths. At least 374 people were killed in attacks on several villages and the town of Gamboru Ngala. Eight girls aged between 12 and 15 were kidnapped from Warabe village.
In April, suspected BH attacks on villages, a teacher training college, and a state oil company facility killed some 210 people. In March, around 80 people were killed in attacks in Maga, Maiduguri, and Nguro-Soye.
Yobe state: On 18 June, at least 21 people were killed in an explosion that targeted a sports-screening venue in Damaturu. On 6 April, BH militants reportedly killed 17 people in an attack on a village. Militants attacked a college at Buni Yadi, in February, leaving some 45 children aged 13–17 dead.
Adamawa state: On 1 June, at least 40 people were killed in a bomb blast targeting a football match in the town of Mubi. On 25 May, suspected BH gunmen killed 20 people when storming Waga, a Christian village.
Bauchi state: An explosion in Bauchi on 28 June killed 10 people and injured 14 others (AFP).
Gombe state: On 9 June, a suicide bomber killed at least one soldier outside an army barracks. On 5 June, four people were killed when a car exploded near the residence of Gombe state governor. No one has claimed responsibility for either incident.
Kano state: On 6 July, suspected BH insurgents disguised in army uniforms burned down a police station and a military camp in Krenuwa village, Marte district, killing seven people (AFP, 07/07/2014).
A bomb blast at a public health college in the country’s second largest city of Kano killed at least eight people on 23 June. On 18 May, a car bomb exploded in the Christian neighbourhood of Kano, killing at least four and wounding five others. This was the first attack in Kano for several months.
Plateau state: On 11 June, at least eight people, including three security officers, were killed when gunmen raided three villages. On 26 May, gunmen killed four Nigerian soldiers in an ambush on a military patrol. It was not confirmed that this was BH, but BH had been more active in the state, setting off twin car bombs at a crowded bus terminal and market in Jos a week earlier, killing 118 people.
Abuja: On 26 June, an explosion hit a crowded shopping centre, killing 24 people and wounding dozens more. On 1 May, a car bomb attack killed at least 19 people and injured 30 at the Nyanya bus station on the outskirts of Abuja. On 14 April, a morning rush-hour bomb in the same place killed at least 75 people and injured 141. It was the first attack in two years and the deadliest ever on Nigeria's capital. BH’s leader claimed responsibility.
Lagos: On 25 June, two explosions at a fuel depot in Lagos killed two people. These were the first recorded Boko Haram attacks in the city (Reuters, 13/07/2014).
On 15 April, Human Rights Watch said inter-communal violence has escalated across five states in central Nigeria (Benue, Kaduna, Plateau, Nasarawa, and Taraba) since December 2013, killing more than 1,000 people. The Middle Belt area is home to a number of minority groups, divided between the Islamic north and the more secular Christian/animist south. Thousands have been killed since the early 1990s in competition mainly for land and water.
In the Niger Delta region, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta has threatened to sabotage and end Nigerian oil production by 2015. It is the largest militant organisation within the Niger Delta region, made up of several armed groups.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
An estimated 15.5 million people living in the six northeastern states of Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Taraba, Gombe, and Bauchi are directly affected by violence (OCHA, 02/06/2014).
Attacks on health facilities, water points, and farms have severely affected local communities, particularly in Borno and Yobe (UNICEF, 18/06/2014). Populations are in urgent need of protection, food, and basic medical and WASH services in a context of limited humanitarian presence (OCHA, 01/07/2014).
Humanitarian access in the northeast is impeded by three main factors: insecurity, poor infrastructure, and limited openings for dialogue with both security forces and non-state actors (OCHA, 05/2014).
Most international actors have withdrawn from the SoE states. Only a dozen humanitarian agencies are present in the northeast, leaving many of the thousands displaced by Boko Haram violence with little access to assistance (OCHA, 25/02/2014).
Over 28–29 June, heavy rains in Oyo state killed at least 15 people (ECHO).
As of 11 July, 650,000 people were reported displaced from Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe states (UNHCR). Refugees have fled within Nigeria or sought refuge in neighbouring Niger, Cameroon or Chad.
Over 17–20 July, 15,200 people were displaced by a BH assault in Damboa, Borno state. 10,200 fled to Biu, 3,000 to Maiduguri, and 2,000 to Goniri (NEMA cited by AFP, 21/07/2014).
In July, 705,000 people were reported internally displaced, including 436,600 in the three SoE states. The most affected state is Borno, with some 257,700 IDPs, 100,000 of whom are displaced in the capital, Maiduguri. Adamawa and Yobe states respectively host 102,560 and 76,360 IDPs (UNHCR and OCHA, 01/07/2014).
268,200 are displaced in surrounded states including Taraba (108,500), Bauchi (88,570), Benue (37,000), Kaduna (15,000), Gombe (13,000), and Nasarawa (6,340). There are about 200 host communities in the country (UNHCR and OCHA, 01/07/2014).
Most IDP households are headed by women who have been widowed during attacks. Most IDPs reside with families in poor host communities, overstretching already scarce resources and aggravating poverty levels, including food and nutrition insecurity (OCHA, 06/2014).
Middle Belt: The National Emergency Management Agency said it has established 11 camps for approximately 100,000 IDPs affected by inter-communal conflict between herdsmen and farmers. The camps are reportedly getting overcrowded.
According to UNHCR, over 57,000 people have sought refuge in neighbouring Cameroon, Niger, and Chad since the declaration of the state of emergency in May 2013. Temporary refugee status has been granted to those Nigerians fleeing the three states under an SoE. UNHCR has advised against forced returns to northern areas.
Niger: Some 54,000 Nigerian refugees and returning migrants are in Niger. There are approximately 1,000 new arrivals every week. 4,400 people entered the country in the first three weeks of May. Concentrated in the Diffa region, most refugees are staying with local communities, and food and water resources are limited (UNHCR, 15/06/2014).
Cameroon: Around 24,200 Nigerian refugees are in northern Cameroon, with about 3,000 Nigerian refugees in Minawao refugee camp, 130km east of the border. Many Nigerian refugees refuse prefer to stay near the border in order to better monitor the situation in Nigeria (UNICEF, 30/06/2014). Aid and infrastructure projects in the Far North region have been suspended due to high levels of insecurity (AlertNet, 08/07/2014).
Chad: 1,500 have fled into Chad (OCHA, 05/2014).
About 4.2 million Nigerians are food insecure and Crisis levels of food insecurity are expected in the SoE states (UNICEF, 06/2014).
Niger state, in the northwest, faces Stressed food insecurity through September. It was severely impacted by dry spells during the previous cultivation season, and households are affected by a second year of below-average production. Their relatively high dependency on market purchase is tempered by atypically stable prices compared to previous months, and early green harvests. However, this will not completely off-set increased needs for purchase (FEWSNET, 06/2014).
Monthly coarse grain prices remained stable or declined slightly in wholesale markets due to good production and supply. In May, there was a slowdown in maize exports to markets in Niger.
The growing season is evolving normally in many areas across the country, though rain deficits have been observed in parts of central Nigeria. The situation is likely to change during the rainy season, which lasts until the end of July (FAO, 06/07/2014). Localised crop replanting has occurred in some areas. In many areas, particularly in the south, an early start to the growing season has resulted in good early green harvests, increased wild food and market stock availability, and lower prices for most staple foods (FEWSNET, 06/2014).
State of Emergency States
Households in Borno and Yobe states will face Crisis food insecurity until September as they experience food consumption gaps, while households in Adamawa state face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) conditions (FEWSNET, 06/2014).
Over 90% of residents in the northeast are engaged in agricultural activities, and host communities report that they have exhausted food stocks and resorted to eating their seeds. Food access and cross-border markets in border communities have been further impacted by insecurity, particularly the destruction of bridges to neighbouring Cameroon (OCHA, 06/2014). The 2013/14 agricultural season has been severely impeded, and conflict is limiting off-season livelihood activities and household incomes from seasonal labour. This situation is expected to continue until August.
Markets supply is low because of below-average local production and disruption in trade flows. Staple food prices are at least 10% higher than last year and more than 30% above their five-year average. For households with below-average seasonal incomes and increasing market dependence (as they exhaust their own stocks), atypically high prices sharply hinder food access.
Health and Nutrition
As of March, a multi-sector assessment covering the three SoE states – Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe,– indicated that only 37% of health facilities are functioning, leaving residents to seek medical attention across the border. Mortality rates are increasing and vaccination programmes are severely hit. Polio vaccination campaigns are now limited to the Maiduguri metropolis.
Since the beginning of the year, 23,765 cholera cases and 288 deaths (1.3% case fatality rate) have been reported from 113 local government areas (LGAs) in 36 states (WHO, 22/06/2014). Bauchi, Kaduna, Kano, and Zamfara states account for about 92% of reported cases. Only 11 cases and one death were reported within the same period in 2013.
Cholera in Kano state has killed six people out of 46 cases recorded, according to the state health commissioner, although a local charity said that at least 16 people had died (AFP, 20/07/2014).
According to Médecins Sans Frontières, the outbreak that began in January in Bauchi state is now over. More than 15,500 cases were reported (MSF, 16/07/2014).
Borno state has registered 49 cases and two deaths. This has caused alarm due to the already fragile humanitarian situation. The lack of WASH infrastructure, the impact of conflict, and the lack of reliable epidemiological data from the SoE states, all give rise to serious concerns about the evolution of the outbreak.
Rapid action is needed in order to contain the epidemic and to prevent its spread to Niger's Diffa region, to Chad and Cameroon (ECHO, 25/06/2014). WASH experts underline that there is a high risk of a large cross-border cholera outbreak in the states bordering Lake Chad (Chad, northern Cameroon, northeast Nigeria, and southeast Niger) given the occurrence of previous outbreaks in this area, the caseload during an inter-epidemic period, and the precarious security situation.
As of 15 June, 763 suspected Lassa fever cases, including 24 deaths, have been reported in 11 states in 2014 (WHO, 15/06/2014). Lassa fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic fever, endemic in West African countries, with 300,000–500,000 cases and 5,000 deaths reported annually.
A February–May SMART survey has revealed poorer nutritional status among the population of the SoE states.
As of March, UNICEF and humanitarian partners estimated that some 510,000 children under five will suffer from SAM in 2014. An estimated 80,000 of them reside in the SoE states. As of 30 January, 1.74 million were acutely malnourished in Nigeria (OCHA).
The proportion of children under six months who are predominantly breastfed is 85% in the northeast, compared with 70% nationally (UNICEF, 06/2014).
As of 1 June, WHO reported 1,042 cases of meningitis, with 79 deaths, reaching a threshold for alert.
Four cases of wild poliovirus have been reported in 2014, two in Kano and two in Yobe, compared to 27 cases in nine states for the same period in 2013 (UNICEF, 06/2014). In 2013, 53 cases were reported, and in 2012, 102 (GPEI, UNICEF). 72% of cases in 2013 were recorded in Borno, Yobe, and Kano states, where insecurity is slowing the polio immunisation campaign.
The large indigenous type 2 vaccine-derived polio (cVDPV2) outbreak in northern Nigeria, first detected in 2005, has infected seven people in 2014 (Global Polio Eradication Initiative, 18/06/2014).
According to reports from UNICEF, nearly half the Nigerian population does not have access to safe water, and a third does not have access to sanitation services.
More than 60 women and girls abducted last month have escaped their captors (AFP, 07/07/2014). Nonetheless, kidnappings of groups of women and girls by BH continue, and more than 200 schoolgirls are still being held captive. The kidnappings underline the need for protection, notably for women and children (OCHA, 01/07/2014).
There is a high prevalence of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) across the northeast, even though occurrences are not regularly reported. There is an urgent need for emergency protection, including psychosocial support for unaccompanied and separated children (OCHA, 06/2014).
Human rights groups have criticised both BH and Nigeria's military for failing to protect civilians.
Maintaining the civilian nature of places of asylum or displacement is of concern. The Government lacks the capacity to ensure the protection of basic human rights for refugees and IDPs.
Education has been severely affected by the BH insurgency. 211 schools in 19 of 27 LGAs in Borno state, and 21 schools in four LGAs in Yobe state have been attacked and property and buildings destroyed (UNICEF, 06/2014).
Occupied Palestinian Territories Country Analysis
21–22 July: 583 people have been killed, and 3,640 have been wounded since the onset of Operation Protective Edge on 8 July in the Gaza Strip. Over 100,000 people are displaced, and 2,200 housing units have been destroyed or severely damaged. (OCHA; AFP).
21 July: 25% of all WASH facilities have no electricity due to damaged lines and transformers. 1.2 million people in the Gaza Strip have very limited access to water or sanitation services. More than 110,000 people are in urgent need of water for drinking and domestic use. Water delivery to IDPs in shelters is required (OCHA). 135,500 people in the Gaza Strip are in need of shelter assistance (OCHA).
21 July: There is an urgent need for 71 essential drug items and 20 disposables at Gaza hospitals (OCHA).
20 July: Humanitarian space to allow for food and other emergency assistance to the civilian population is urgently needed (FAO/WFP).
20 July: The UN Security Council called for an immediate ceasefire and respect of international humanitarian law, including the protection of civilians (UN).
20 July: Israel and Hamas agreed to an immediate two-hour humanitarian ceasefire in Shejaiya neighbourhood, brokered by the ICRC, halting a bombing campaign in the area. The population was urged to evacuate within this timeframe (AFP).
18 July: Israel launched a ground assault in an attempt to halt rocket fire and destroy tunnels (AFP).
17 July: A five-hour humanitarian ceasefire was agreed, during which a humanitarian window was opened to allow relief to enter affected areas (AFP).
14 July: 20 Palestinians have been killed and 2,069 people injured by Israeli forces in the West Bank in 2014. There have been 195 incidents of settler-related violence, of which 51 resulted in Israeli casualties or property damage. The demolition of 315 structures, including 39 in East Jerusalem, has displaced 570 people this year, including 101 in East Jerusalem. Around 317 search and arrest operations had been carried out in the previous week (OCHA).
- 1.81 million people need humanitarian assistance (OCHA).
- 1.6 million people, or 61% of the population, are estimated to be food insecure (OCHA, 30/04/2014).
- An estimated 315,000 Palestinians are vulnerable to violence, including 130,000 people considered at high risk (OCHA).
- Continuity of medical care is threatened by the financial crisis and electricity shortages in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip (OCHA, 31/05/2014). In the West Bank, stocks of 150 (of 525) essential medicines were at zero in May 2014.
- The Gaza Strip is experiencing a healthcare crisis; the main government pharmacy reported zero stocks of 118 (of 481) essential medicines prior to current humanitarian emergency (OCHA, 05/2014; Humanitarian Partners, 07/2014).
- The ongoing blockade of the Gaza Strip limits access and movement of both people and goods.
- Fuel shortages are worsening, with most of Gaza’s fuel stations now closed, affecting critical hospital functions.
Protection of the civilian population, improvement of food insecurity, provision of access to basic services, and prevention of forced displacement are the highest priorities among Palestinians in need. Longstanding protection threats include severe movement and access restrictions. The number of attacks on Palestinians by Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank has increased every year for the past eight years, and attacks by Israeli security forces have also increased.
Israel launched Operation Protective Edge on 8 July, striking Gaza with intensive aerial bombing, aimed at ending cross-border rocket fire. The UN Security Council called for a ceasefire and protection of civilians on 12 July. On 15 July, Israel accepted an Egyptian proposal for a US-backed truce. Hamas rejected the proposal (AFP, 15/07/2014). Rockets from Syria and Lebanon have been hitting the Israeli north, raising fears of the conflict spreading.
The new Palestinian Unity Government was sworn in before President Abbas on 2 June, ending seven years of division between Fatah and Hamas (AFP, UN, 02/06/2014). In response, Israel unveiled plans for 3,200 settler homes (AFP, 05/06/2014).
Israeli–Palestinian Peace Talks
On 25 April, after the deal between Hamas and Fatah, Israel withdrew from the US-sponsored peace talks, stating that Abbas has to choose between peace with Israel and a pact with Hamas. President Obama acknowledged the need for a pause in the talks, while vowing not to give up.
Talks had begun in July after three years of deadlock. The US is trying to broker a framework of guidelines addressing core issues such as borders, security, the future of Palestinian refugees, and the status of Jerusalem. Palestinians want to create a state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with East Jerusalem as its capital, and are seeking a written framework agreement. Israel is reportedly looking for a less rigid deal, expressing concerns that any formal agreement could stoke opposition from hardline members of the Israeli Government. Far-right members of Israel’s governing coalition have repeatedly threatened to topple the Government if Prime Minister Netanyahu accepts Palestinian territorial demands.
Israeli military operations in OPT and settler-related violence in the West Bank continue to undermine the physical security and livelihoods of Palestinians. OCHA estimated that 110 Palestinian communities, with a combined population of over 315,000 people, are vulnerable to violence from conflict; almost 60 of these communities, over 130,000 people, are at high risk (05/2014).
Operation Protective Edge, Gaza
As of 22 July, 583 people have been reported killed according to the Gaza Ministry of Health, and 3,640 have been wounded since the start of Operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip. Over 100,000 have been displaced: 2,200 housing units have been destroyed or severely damaged, and 2,720 housing units sustained damage while remaining inhabitable. 18 facilities have been damaged (OCHA, 21/07/2014; AFP, 21/07/2014).
On 20 July, the Security Council called for an immediate ceasefire and respect of international humanitarian law, including the protection of civilians (UN, 20/07/2014).
On 20 July, Israel and Hamas agreed to an immediate two-hour humanitarian ceasefire in Shejaiya neighbourhood, halting a bombing campaign in the area. The population was urged to evacuate in this timeframe (AFP, 20/07/2014). On 17 July, a five-hour humanitarian ceasefire was agreed, during which relief was allowed to enter the affected areas (17/07/2014).
On 18 July, a ground assault was launched by Israel in an operation to halt rocket fire and destroy tunnels (AFP, 18/07/2014).
On 13 July, Israel launched a ground operation overnight, targeting a rocket launcher. Four Israeli soldiers were wounded when gunfire was exchanged with Palestinian fighters (AFP, 13/07/2014).
Earlier Conflict Incidents
In June, an Israeli airstrike killed two Palestinians, hours after a bomb exploded near troops manning Israel’s security fence. Israel’s tank fire injured five Palestinians (AFP). Israel staged 12 airstrikes on Gaza after rockets were fired at southern Israel. A Palestinian child was killed and three people were wounded when a rocket fired at Israel fell short (AFP). The airstrikes hit training grounds used by Palestinian militants, leaving two people injured. On 12 June, an Israeli airstrike killed a Palestinian man, and two others were wounded in an evening raid (AFP).
After a year of relative calm, the number of violent incidents in and around Gaza has grown. An estimated 33 rockets have been fired from Gaza towards southern Israel since early January. In early February, Hamas reportedly deployed a 600-strong special security force tasked with preventing cross-border fire by Palestinian factions. An increase in Israeli raids, Palestinian rocket attacks, and border incidents built up tensions between Israel and Hamas, leading to a significant escalation of violent incidents in the Gaza Strip between 11 and 14 March.
As of 14 July, 20 people have been killed and 2,069 injured by Israeli forces in the West Bank in 2014. There have been 195 incidents of settler-related violence, of which 51 resulted in Israeli casualties or property damage. The demolition of 315 structures, including 39 in East Jerusalem, has displaced 570 people this year, including 101 in East Jerusalem. Around 317 search and arrest operations had been carried out in the previous week (OCHA, 14/07/2014).
On 3 July, Israeli authorities demolished seven Palestinian structures built without Israeli-issued building permits in the West Bank. There has been an increase in demolitions and displacement across Hebron governorate (OCHA, 23/06/2014).
On 30 June, the bodies of the three abducted Israeli boys were found close to Hebron. The Israeli cabinet vowed to retaliate against Hamas. Hamas has denied any involvement. Four Palestinians have been killed, over 70 injured and over 400 arrested during Israeli security operations (OCHA, 16/06/2014). The Israeli army raided a number of Islamic associations, allegedly linked to Hamas, confiscating equipment or shutting them down by military order. These measures are expected to disrupt the delivery of services and assistance to thousands of beneficiaries (OCHA, 23/06/2014). In eight incidents perpetrated by Israeli settlers, six Palestinians were injured (OCHA, 23/06/2014).
The number of attacks on Palestinians by Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank has increased every year for the past eight years, from 115 in 2006 to 399 in 2013 (OCHA). In 2013, over 7,000 Palestinians, 342 settlers, and 37 soldiers were injured, and 10 Palestinians and 29 settlers were killed. About 2,100 attacks have been launched by Israelis between 2006 and end 2013.
Palestinian Bedouin families are at risk of forcible transfer, as Israeli authorities continue to make eviction and demolition orders. The families reportedly reside in an area designated as a ‘closed military zone’. Israeli authorities intend to relocate most Bedouin communities across Area C of the West Bank to a limited number of sites, affecting around 2,800 people divided over 18 communities.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
UNRWA has declared an emergency in all five areas of the Gaza Strip (UNRWA, 09/07/2014). Insecurity is impeding distribution of humanitarian aid, particularly for families who are not in UNRWA shelters (OCHA, 14/07/2014). Humanitarian space to allow for food and other emergency assistance to the civilian population is urgently needed (FAO/WFP, 20/07/2014).
An aid convoy was blocked by Egyptian soldiers at the Rafah crossing on 19 July (AFP, 19/07/2014). Heavy Egyptian military deployment along the border, combined with severe access restrictions on people and vehicles into the border area, has reportedly resulted in a dramatic decline in the transfer of goods and fuel through the tunnels between Egypt and Gaza. Egypt intends to destroy the network of smuggling tunnels on the grounds that Palestinians have been using the passages to help Sinai militants.
The UN estimated that in November, fewer than 20,000 litres of fuel per week entered Gaza via the tunnels, compared to nearly one million litres per day until June 2013. The Gaza Power Plant continues to operate at half-capacity due to lack of funding and lack of fuel, causing longer power cuts throughout Gaza (OCHA, 06/06/2014).
As of 9 July, Rafah crossing was closed (UNRWA, 09/07/2014).
Egyptian authorities re-opened Rafah crossing between 1–3 June, after closing it for two weeks. Over 2,500 pilgrims were allowed to cross in both directions. Another 10,000 people are registered and waiting to cross into Egypt, including medical patients (OCHA, 06/06/2014).
On 5 May, OCHA reported that the Rafah Crossing reopened for two days for people entering or exiting on humanitarian grounds. In the beginning of April, a total of around 4,500 pilgrims crossed in both directions – compared to 56,000 in June 2013.
The Rafah Crossing is the primary exit and entry point to the Gaza Strip for Palestinians, and restrictions were increased in July 2013. Movement across the other crossing points, Erez and Kerem Shalom in northern Gaza Strip, has been restricted since September 2000.
Kerem Shalom Crossing
As of 9 July, Kerem Shalom was open for only fuel and humanitarian supplies (UNRWA, 09/07/2014).
After partial closure for two days, Kerem Shalom crossing was re-opened on 17 June for imports only. Since the beginning of 2014, only 84 truckloads of select agricultural produce have been allowed to exit Gaza, compared to a weekly average of 240 truckloads during the first half of 2008 (OCHA, 23/06/2014). The Gaza population has been more dependent on this crossing since July 2013 and the end of tunnel smuggling.
As of 9 July, Erez crossing was open for foreigners and humanitarian cases (UNRWA, 09/07/2014).
Since 22 July, over 100,000 have been displaced, including 84,000 people who have sought shelter in 69 UNRWA schools in Gaza City and North Area (OCHA, 21/07/2014). The number of displaced has exceeded the peak of 84,000 in the 2008–9 conflict (UNRWA, 21/07/2014).
Over 100 people were displaced 19-26 May following demolitions or military training in the Jordan Valley (OCHA, 26/052014).
Several communities were temporarily displaced in the northern Jordan Valley, where over 18,000 people live, due to Israeli military training from 2012 to 2014. Since February 2012, OCHA documented a total of 75 incidents affecting 13 Bedouin and herding residential areas (OCHA, 27/06/2014).
In April, 179 Palestinian civilians were displaced in the West Bank (OCHA, 23/05/2014).
In January 2014, aid agencies in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem reported an increase in Israeli demolition of Palestinian property, using information made available by OCHA’s Protection of Civilian Database. Between July and December 2013, the number of demolitions increased by 43%, and the number of displaced Palestinians increased by nearly 75% compared to the same period in 2012.
Next to the standard food assistance to 1.15 million people, almost 100,000 displaced since the start of Operation Protective Edge are in urgent need of food and other assistance.
Farmers’, breeders’ and fishermen’s livelihoods are heavily compromised (FAO/WFP, 20/07/2014). 36 fishing boats have been damaged or destroyed; 3,600 fishermen do not have access to the sea; 123 hectares (1,230 dunum) of agricultural land has been damaged; 5.8 hectares (58 dunums) of greenhouses have been destroyed; 17 livestock farms have been damaged (FAO/WFP, 19/07/2014).
Food insecurity in Gaza stands at 57%, unchanged from 2012, while in the West Bank food insecurity remains at 19%. 1.6 million – or a third of households – are food insecure. Food insecurity is driven by high rates of poverty resulting from unemployment, partly due to ongoing Israeli access and movement restrictions, as well as high food prices and economic shocks (UNRWA, FAO, WFP, Government, 03/06/2014).
Food insecurity in Gaza surged from 44% in 2011 to 57% in 2012. The halt in the smuggling of food via the tunnel has increased food prices.
Fishing catch during the sardine season in the Gaza Strip increased by 27% compared to 2013 and 120% compared to 2012 (OCHA, 31/05/2014).
Gaza’s economic situation continues to deteriorate, with livelihoods eroded and prices increasing. In November 2013, the EU reported that over 250,000 workers had lost their jobs, with construction and tunnel-trade employment stagnating. Unemployment hit a three-year high of 41.5% in the last quarter of 2013 (OCHA, 03/2014). Shortages of electricity and building materials are undermining livelihoods. Shortages of fuel, attributed to the closures of the Kerem Shalom crossing and coordination issues between Palestinian authorities in Gaza and Ramallah, have gradually worsened, with most of Gaza’s 180 fuel stations forced to close or severely limit operations (OCHA, 12/05/2014).
Health and Nutrition
26 health workers have been injured during Operation Protective Edge (OCHA, 21/07/2014).
Health NGOs have warned that the ongoing military operations are compounding a healthcare crisis in the Gaza Strip (Humanitarian Partners, 15/07/2014).
There is an urgent need for 71 essential drug items and 20 disposables at Gaza hospitals (OCHA, 21/07/2014). WHO has called for urgent funds to prevent the collapse of health services in the Gaza Strip. The Palestinian Ministry of Health reported it is unable to maintain adequate medicine stocks due to chronic outstanding debts (WHO, 10/07/2014).
Health services have been particularly affected by power cuts, severe shortages of drugs and medical equipment (Physicians for Human Rights, 27/06/2014) (OCHA, 30/06/2014). Five health facilities have suffered damage from air strikes (OCHA, 10/07/2014).
Continuity of medical care is threatened by the financial crisis and electricity shortages in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip (OCHA, 31/05/2014). Stocks of 150 (of 525) essential medicines were at zero in May 2014; in the Gaza Strip the main government pharmacy reported stocks of 118 (of 481) essential medicines were at zero (OCHA, 31/05/2014).
WHO has reported an increased need for access through Erez crossing (30/04/2014). The number of patients’ applications submitted in the first quarter of 2014 was 87% higher than in the same period last year, and the highest since WHO began monitoring access in 2005. This reflects the continuing problems of access through Rafah crossing to Egypt and the lack of drugs, especially chemotherapy and lack of medical disposables. Only 40 patients were able to travel through Rafah crossing in March; three referral patients died when waiting for approval. More than 4,000 took the crossing in March 2013.
Shortages of affordable fuel to operate generators have severely disrupted critical hospital functions, such as emergency rooms, operating theatres, and neonatal care, OCHA reports. All health facilities, including 30 hospitals and over 135 clinics, are affected.
1.2 million people in the Gaza Strip have very limited access to water or sanitation services. More than 110,000 are in urgent need of water for drinking and domestic use. Water delivery is required for IDPs in shelters (OCHA, 21/07/2014). 25% of all WASH facilities have no electricity due to damage to electricity lines and transformers.
The latest Israeli airstrikes and shelling have destroyed or damaged 19 WASH facilities, disrupting provision of water and sanitation in Beit Hanoun, Gaza City and Khan Younis (OCHA, 14/07/2014; 10/07/2014). While still functioning after it was hit, there is a serious concern of contamination in the Al Montar water reservoir.
An estimated 600,000 people in the Gaza Strip may not have access to adequate and safe water and sanitation services as a result of power outages and lack of fuel. Insecurity of staff is causing suspension of emergency operations and repairs (OCHA, 14/07/2014).
As of late March, Palestinians in East Jerusalem have reportedly petitioned the Israeli Supreme Court over alleged negligence, which has cut water supplies to tens of thousands of people. There was a water shortage in Palestinian areas throughout March, and people in Shuafat refugee camp either had no water at all, or the water pressure was so weak that it stopped periodically. The water infrastructure in those Palestinian areas can support 15,000 people, but the population is estimated at between 60,000 and 80,000.
There is an acute shortage of fuel to power standby generators at 291 facilities across Gaza, including water wells, ground tank pumps, booster stations, desalination plants, sewage pump stations, and wastewater treatment plants. OCHA stated that this has resulted in reduced water supply to households, with only 15% of the population supplied every day, 25% once every four days, 40% once every three days, and 20% every two days, with supply cycles lasting 5–6 hours (05/2014).
Many families are forced to purchase unsafe water from unregulated water vendors and distributors. Initial reports indicate that people, mostly children, are filling jerry cans from desalination units during night hours (when the electricity is on), raising protection concerns.
In the Gaza Strip, 107,000 children are in need of direct and specialised psychosocial support.
There is a major concern regarding the risk of Unexploded Ordnance (UXO), especially to children (OCHA, 21/07/2014).
Human rights organisations estimated that since the start of Operation Protective Edge over 180 homes were targeted and destroyed. Targeting of civilian homes is a violation of international humanitarian law; and in case of doubt, homes are not presumed to be legitimate military targets (OCHA, 14/07/2014). The OHCHR has voiced concern regarding the worsening health of the Palestinian hunger strikers protesting administrative detention (UN, 20/06/2014).
In the Gaza Strip, 135,500 people are in need of shelter assistance (OCHA, 21/07/2014).
In the Gaza Strip, 85 schools have been damaged by shelling (OCHA, 21/07/2014).
Pakistan Country Analysis
17–18 July: As of 17 July, the Government reports that 940,978 IDPs have been registered from North Waziristan; OCHA reported 992,990 displaced on 18 July. 74% are women and children. The numbers are awaiting verification.
18 July: WHO reported that 4% of the displaced are pregnant and those in Bannu need immediate medical attention (DAWN).
15 July: The authorities announced that military operations will continue until all militants are eliminated.
15 July: Over 2,300 cases of acute diarrhoea were reported 22 June–14 July among IDPs from North Waziristan (WHO).
14 July: The Director of the FATA Disaster Management Agency was suspended over inadequate provision to the 900,000 registered IDPs (DAWN).
- Nearly 6,000 people were killed and 5,500 injured in militant, sectarian, terrorist, and politically motivated attacks in 2013, making it one of the deadliest years in the last decade (Center for Research and Security Studies).
- Almost 900,000 IDPs following military operations in North Waziristan. Priority needs include protection, food, shelter, health, and WASH.
- 930,000 IDPs in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA as of mid-December 2013; 2.9 million documented and undocumented Afghan refugees (UNHCR). Numbers are difficult to confirm.
- 1.21 million people are in need of health and food assistance; 1.59 million need nutrition assistance (OCHA, 02/2014).
- The agricultural sector, which makes up 21% of GDP, is facing serious threats from escalating water shortages (World Bank, 18/04/2014). Half of Punjab’s share of water for agriculture is getting lost in canals and watercourses.
Priority humanitarian needs are for health, nutrition, and food assistance. An estimated 4.2 million people were in need of humanitarian support in November 2013 (OCHA).
The security situation remains volatile due to militant attacks in urban centres and military operations against the Taliban in the tribal areas. Peace talks with an increasingly fragmented Taliban are stop-start. Pakistan’s relations with neighbouring countries, and with the US, remain tense.
Afghanistan: Most of the Aghan Taliban leadership live in Pakistan, and Pakistan’s relationship with the Afghan Taliban has strained bilateral relations, although Islamabad is likely to play a crucial role in any renewed peace initiative in Afghanistan. Prime Minister Sharif has promised to help arrange further meetings between Afghan officials and Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, former Afghan Taliban second-in-command. Pakistan’s release of Afghan Taliban prisoners since September 2013 is also seen by the Afghan authorities as instrumental in bringing the Taliban to the negotiating table.
Despite complex US–Pakistan relations, a complete US withdrawal from Afghanistan by the end of 2014 is not in Pakistan’s interest due to the risk of a security vacuum along Pakistan’s border.
India: Talks between Islamabad and Delhi in October 2013 aimed to calm bilateral relations and move towards reconciliation. But India’s military continues to accuse Pakistan of helping insurgents push into Indian-administered Kashmir as foreign forces withdraw from Afghanistan, which Pakistan denies.
Several sources from the Pakistan-based Islamist organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba said in mid-August 2013 that the group is preparing to reignite the fight over Kashmir as soon as NATO troops withdraw in 2014. The Indian consulate in the Afghan city of Jalalabad was bombed in August 2013, and the Indian consulate in Herat was attacked by gunmen in May 2014.
The Pakistan Taliban, or TTP, is an umbrella group of several factions set up in 2007. Its actions, and the military response, have the biggest impact on security in Pakistan.
The Mehsud faction split from the TTP at the end of May, after months of infighting, claiming ideological differences regarding ‘un-Islamic’ tactics (CNN, 02/06/2014). The breakaway faction is reportedly made up around 2,600 men and controls a large arsenal of modern weapons. It will be led by South Waziristan-based commander Khalid Mehsud, also known as Khan Syed Sajna. The split will likely lead to further fragmentation within the TTP.
Meanwhile, no tangible progress in peace talks between the TTP and Government can be reported. On 23 April, a ceasefire expired, and in May, attacks from both sides continued. Militants and security sources indicated that Taliban motivation for the ceasefire was to preserve militant bases used to stage cross-border attacks, as the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan have secretly agreed to focus on operations in Afghanistan.
The negotiating committee had agreed to the release of non-combatant Taliban prisoners, and both sides discussed a prisoner swap in the beginning of April. 650 prisoners have been marked for release.
Local media report that the jirga supports the peace talks, but has complained of being left out of the process.
Military Operations: Operation Zarb-e-Azb
Since late February 2014, the Pakistan armed forces have intensified their military offensive against armed groups with strongholds in the North Waziristan region of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).
On 15 July, the authorities announced military operations will continue until all militants are eliminated (DAWN, 15/07/2014). The Pakistani Government launched operation Zarb-e-Azb on 15 June, with the aim of removing the TTP and foreign and local militants from North Waziristan. Involving over 30,000 soldiers, the army began ground assaults on 26 June. Around 399 militants and 20 soldiers have been reported killed. The area is currently off-limits to journalists, making it impossible to verify military claims about the number and identity of those killed (AFP, 09/07/2014). Resistance from insurgents has been relatively light, leading to fears that many of them have escaped into Afghanistan.
On 29 June, the authorities relaxed its curfew to allow people to leave North Waziristan before a ground operations began again on 30 June (OCHA, 30/06/2014).
Retaliatory Pakistani air force strikes on Taliban hideouts in North Waziristan in May killed at least 60 people, including insurgent commanders (AFP, 21/05/2014). Air strikes in Shawal Valley and Dattakhel areas of North Waziristan between 20 February and early March left over 100 militant fighters dead. Another major military operation in North Waziristan took place in January.
Attacks by TTP and Splinter Factions
Over 1,400 people were killed in more than 850 incidents of violence perpetrated by the TTP and its factions between June 2013 and January 2014, according to the Pakistan-based Center for Research and Security Studies.
Forty attacks with improvised explosive devices were recorded in the first three months of 2014, mostly in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA, and at least 700 people were killed or injured in these incidents (Action on Armed Violence).
An explosion in Metroville area of Karachi wounded three people in early July. No responsibility has been claimed (DAWN, 12/07/2014). A blast near Makki Masjid mosque in Karachi killed two people, including the attacker (DAWN, 04/07/2014). In June, 14 people were killed in separate incidents in and around the city.
Taliban attacked Jinnah International Airport, Karachi, on 8 June. On 10 June, gunmen attacked the Airport Security Force (ASF) camp (AFP, 10/06/2014). In response, the Government launched airstrikes against militants in the tribal areas. A Taliban spokesperson confirmed the Taliban vowed to start all-out war from 10 June (CNN, 10/06/2014).
On 18 July, at least five people, including three policemen, were killed and two others wounded in Peshawar when gunmen opened fire at a restaurant (AFP, 18/07/2014).
In June, gunmen opened fire on a passenger plane as it landed in Peshawar. A passenger was killed and two crew were wounded. Elsewhere, attacks in Islamabad, Punjab, Bolachistan, and Fata killed over 80 people. Eight people were killed in Lahore when riot police clashed with followers of Tahir ul Qadri, a prominent preacher and anti-government critic.
In May, a targeted attack killed a member of the Ahmadi minority. Attacks in Islamabad, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, and FATA killed over 87 people, and destroyed three primary schools and a health unit.
In April, over 63 people were killed, including at least 16 militants, and 174 were injured in attacks, which mostly took place in the cities of Karachi and Islamabad, and in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
Separatist Insurgency in Balochistan
A low-level separatist insurgency has been running against the alleged annexation of Balochistan since 1948. 2004 saw a sharp rise in acts of violence. Militant sources claim human rights abuses, stating many people with suspected links to separatist groups have disappeared at the hands of intelligence agencies.
In May, over 25 people were killed following a blast at a checkpoint and a targeted attack against a teacher and his family (AFP, 21/05/2014).
In April, four people were killed in separate incidents in Quetta, and 13 people died and 40 were injured when a bomb exploded on a train. The United Baloch Army (UBA) claimed responsibility for the bombing.
The month of June saw continued ceasefire violations along the Line of Control (LoC). On 16 June, Indian Defence Minister Arun Jaitley called upon Pakistan to end these violations (ICG, 01/07/2014).
US Drone Strikes
International observers state that drone strikes seem to be winding down as a result of stricter rules, diplomatic sensitivities, and the changing nature of the Al Qaeda threat. US officials declined to comment (Tribune, 30/05/2014).
Officials stated in February that US drone strikes had reduced sharply following peace talks with the Taliban. Around 340 drone attacks have taken place since 2004, killing an estimated 2,200 people in FATA (Reuters citing Pakistani government, 10/2013).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Administrative obstacles are hobbling efforts to provide the displaced from North Waziristan with necessary assistance (HRW, 11/07/2014). Trucks carrying supplies for the newly displaced in North Waziristan face delays due to stringent security checks. There is a general need to improve access to IDPs in affected districts of North Waziristan (OCHA, 30/06/2014).
Between January and June 2014, 60 polio vaccination workers were attacked, 31 of whom were killed, ten injured, and 19 kidnapped (OCHA, 30/06/2014).
In 2013, 91 attacks against aid workers were recorded, with 29 killed, 41 injured, and 21 kidnapped. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was the most affected, recording 37 attacks; followed by FATA with 21 attacks; and Sindh with 20 attacks (OCHA, 28/04/2014).
All of Sindh province except Karachi is facing an acute food and livelihood crisis, due to prolonged water scarcity and drought. Umerkot and Tharparkar in the south, and Qambar Shahdadkot, Jacobabad, and Kashmere in the north are facing a humanitarian emergency. Over 306,000 families were affected between 1 December 2013 and 18 April 2014, and 248 people have died due to drought-related causes and a lack of access to health services (Government of Pakistan; Humanitarian partners, 22/04/2014). Drought has been an annual phenomenon for the past three years.
Since 2008, almost five million people have been displaced by conflict, mostly in FATA and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province (OCHA, 03/06/2014). This number does not include the almost one million who were recently displaced in NWA.
As of 17 July, the Government reports that 940,978 IDPs – or 83,590 families – have been registered from North Waziristan; OCHA reported 992,990 displaced on 18 July. 74% are women and children. The numbers are awaiting verification by national registration authorities.
Most IDPs have taken refuge into schools, health facilities, or with host communities (UNDP, 14/07/2014). Around 400 people have opted to stay in displacement camps in Baka Khel, Bannu. Another 930,000 people already displaced in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA prior to the military operation are in need of humanitarian assistance.
Most are residing in Bannu district, with others moving to Hangu, Lakki Marwat, Karak, Dera Ismail Khan, Charsadda, Tank, and Kohat districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (OCHA, 30/06/2014). The Government said it has made arrangements to provide food and shelter to over half a million people.
96% of the people already displaced reside outside camps in Peshawar, Dera Ismail Khan, and Kohat, while 4% reside in IDP camps in Tough Sorai, Jalozai, and New Durrani (UNHCR, 09/06/2014).
The Sindh government decided mid-June it will not allow IDPs to enter the province for budget reasons (DAWN, 17/06/2014). The Balochistan Government has deployed troops to the border with South Waziristan to check the influx of displaced (DAWN, 19/06/2014).
In addition, military operations against the Taliban and clashes between militant groups in the Tirah Valley of Khyber Agency since mid-March have led to large-scale population movement, mainly to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (OCHA, 22/04/2014).
Around 50,500 people have returned to FATA in 2014, and a total of 270,000 people are expected to return to FATA over the year, despite recent violence provoking new displacement (OCHA, 18/06/2014). Some 4,690 families returned to Tirah Valley in May and 407 families returned to Upper Kurram in June 2014 (UNHCR, 30/06/2014). Most are returning to damaged houses and disrupted livelihoods. Restoration of basic social services and livelihood support are vital to ensure sustainable returns (OCHA, 20/05/2014).
Refugees in Pakistan
There are an estimated 2.9 million Afghan refugees and undocumented migrants in Pakistan, although the exact number is difficult to ascertain (OCHA, 22/04/2014). Most are in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, and most require humanitarian assistance (UNHCR/IOM, 31/12/2013). At least 1.6 million Afghan refugees are in need. National media report that the presence of Afghan refugees is triggering tensions with host communities.
Pakistani Refugees in Afghanistan
As of 3 July, there are over 112,000 Pakistani refugees in Afghanistan (OCHA, 03/07/2014). 6,131 families are in the districts of Khost province, including 138 Afghan families; almost half have received assistance. In Paktika, 3,000 families are reported displaced in Barmal district (revised up from 1,450) and 600 families in Urgun district, and have not yet received assistance (UNHCR, 15/07/2014). Food is an urgent and immediate need in both Khost and Paktika provinces; and there are protection concerns for women in Gulan camp in Khost (UNHCR, 03/07/2014).
An estimated 1.21 million people, almost exclusively IDPs and returnees, were in critical need of food assistance in February (OCHA, 20/02/2014). An estimated 58% of Pakistan’s population was considered food insecure in November 2013 (National Nutrition Survey). Seven districts face IPC Phases 3 (Crisis) and 4 (Emergency).
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province
Food shortages and distribution delays have caused anger among new IDPs in Bannu, Kyber Pakhtunkhwa. Their protest was broken up by the police firing warning shots (AFP, 24/06/2014).
Most IDPs in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA rely on negative coping strategies or income support (Detailed Food Security Assessment, Food Security Cluster). Increasing demand for food and NFIs has also resulted in massive inflation, which further aggravates the food security situation. As of April, food prices had gone up 8.8% (FAO, 30/04/2014).
Tharparkar district, in southeast Sindh province, is facing extreme food insecurity and malnutrition. Drought has affected the livelihood of agriculture- and livestock-dependent households. A sheep pox epidemic is also killing flocks (Humanitarian partners, 16/04/2014).
Agriculture and Markets
Despite a decrease in the average retail price of wheat and wheat flour by 8.3% and 5.4%, respectively, in June, prices are still higher (by 10.7% and 10.3%) compared to a year ago (FAO, 30/06/2014).
Vegetable prices increased as a result of high spoilage in the local markets due to extreme heat.
Dry conditions prevail along the Indo-Pakistan border due to a delay in the arrival of the southwest monsoon (FAO, 03/07/2014). Most areas of Balochistan, Sindh, and southern Punjab are relying on the monsoon (from end June) to alleviate a drought-like situation and prevent worsening food insecurity and malnutrition (OCHA, 20/05/2014). The preliminary outlook for the 2014 monsoon season (July–September) indicates that most parts of the country will receive normal or below-normal rainfall (OCHA, 20/05/2014).
The Government has directed potato traders to release their stock onto the market and/or cut prices by half, in order to contain an unexpected spike in potato prices. The Government is also considering removing the 56% duty on potato imports (FAO, 31/05/2014).
More than 90% of ponds and underground storage tanks in Cholistan, Punjab province, have gone dry, causing displacement for over 170,000 and affecting almost 190,000 people (FAO, 30/04/2014).
Health and Nutrition
An estimated 1.21 million people are in need of health assistance: basic health services and quality maternal and child health services.
In Bannu district, neighbouring North Waziristan, insufficient reproductive health services, and a lack of health staff and essential medicines are reported. Current stocks will cover less than 5% of the estimated displaced population. In addition, overcrowding and high temperatures have heightened the risk of diarrhoea and skin infections (WHO, 08/07/2014). Water and sanitation facilities need immediate attention. Another concern is low routine vaccination coverage (WHO, 30/06/2014). WHO reported that 4% of the displaced are pregnant and those in Bannu need immediate medical attention (DAWN, 18/07/2014).
Overcrowding combined with the presence of livestock are adding to concerns about the spread of both human and animal diseases (DAWN, 12/07/2014).
Over 2,300 cases of acute diarrhoea were reported 22 June–14 July among IDPs from North Waziristan (WHO, 15/07/2014).
Between 1 January and 10 May, 186 lab-confirmed cases of dengue fever were reported, of which 179 cases were in Sindh province, and seven in Punjab province (WHO, 14/05/2014). The number of cases in the first quarter of 2014 was nearly three times the same period in 2013, and more than four times 2012. Authorities have warned that the predicted May–July rainy spell could be conducive for dengue mosquito breeding (OCHA, 22/04/2014).
Dengue has begun affecting areas that do not usually fall into the traditional endemic belt: in 2013, a huge outbreak in Swat district recorded 9,000 confirmed cases and 35 deaths.
An estimated 17,000 children have SAM and 55,000 MAM (04/2014). Over 46,000 pregnant and lactating women are priorities for malnutrition assistance. Many are in Tharparkar district, Sindh province, which is experiencing a malnutrition crisis. More than 200 people have died from malnutrition-related causes so far in 2014 (OCHA, 09/05/2014). In the remote Neelum Valley, an estimated 21% of children are acutely malnourished, well above the national average of 15%, which is already at the emergency threshold (WFP, 12/2013).
As of 2 July, 786 cases of measles have been reported in 2014(Government, WHO).
More than 25,000 cases of measles were reported in 2013, with 321 deaths. In 2012, 15,000 cases were reported and in 2011 4,380. WHO stated this steady increase in fatalities is alarming (IRIN, 15/04/2014). OCHA reported in May 2013 that 54% of 8,844 children in Punjab and Sindh provinces were not vaccinated against the disease.
There is a high risk of measles outbreak among the recently displaced population, who had bot been vaccinated due to the security situation (WHO, 08/07/2014).
The authorities have confirmed two more deaths (in Karachi and Hyderabad) caused by the Naegleria fowleri, or brain-eating amoeba, transmitted by contaminated water. Chlorination is considered the only way to stop the disease spreading. The disease has claimed five lives so far (DAWN, 12/07/2014).
So far in 2014, 70 cases were reported from FATA province, 16 from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, and eight from Sindh province (humanitarian partners, 17/07/2014). The Prime Minister’s Polio Cell added that five new cases have been reported throughout these provinces, bringing the total number of cases to 99, topping the total number reported for the whole of 2013 which stood at 94 (DAWN, 20/07/2014).
The huge number of people displaced by the Zarb-e-Azb offensive continues to trigger fears of polio spreading (AFP, 26/06/2014).
The total number of circulating vaccine-developed (cVDPV2) cases in 2013 was 45; there have been ten so far in 2014 (WHO, 14/05/2014).
The Punjab provincial government has started registration of displaced families for the purposes of vaccination (DAWN, 19/06/2014). After five years, polio vaccinators have returned to Bara sub-division of Khyber Agency, FATA, to conduct a comprehensive campaign (Global Polio Eradication Initiative, 13/06/2014). However, lack of sufficient staff and coordination is hampering vaccination. Delayed security measures also affect polio drives in Karachi city (DAWN, 23/06/2014). On 17 April, for the first time, Prime Minister Sharif asked the military to help protect polio vaccination workers in Waziristan and adjoining tribal areas.
In Peshawar, Karachi, and Quetta, there is a significant risk of the outbreaks becoming prolonged. Environmental surveillance has picked up the virus elsewhere, including in Rawalpindi and Lahore. The polio virus has also been detected in a sewage line by Western Bypass, Quetta. Samples are being tested (DAWN, 16/06/2014). As of early April, the health authorities declared eight districts of Punjab highly sensitive to polio: Lahore, Rawalpindi, Khanewal, Sahiwal, Mianwali, Multan, Jhang and Toba Tek Singh.
The densely populated Peshawar Valley is considered to be the main 'engine' of polio transmission, due to large-scale population movements through Peshawar.
An estimated 1.08 million people are in need of protection. This group largely consists of IDPs and returnees in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA. Women, children, the disabled and the elderly need referral assistance and specialised protection in displacement and returnee areas (OCHA, 20/02/2014).
In areas where the Taliban is active, over 500 girls’ schools have been bombed. In the south and southwest of the country, ethnic violence continues to curtail women’s freedom of movement.
Hygiene conditions among the newly displaced are very poor, and the probability of WASH-related disease outbreaks is rising (OCHA, 30/06/2014).
An estimated 690,000 people – largely IDPs and returnees in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and FATA – needed assistance in accessing safe drinking water. There is a need to improve knowledge of household water treatment among non-camp IDPs and returnees (OCHA, 20/02/2014).
Water supplies in eight localities in Punjab are contaminated (DAWN, 05/07/2014).
At least 86,000 students in North Waziristan are affected by the current military operations. These are students in government schools; the amount of students enrolled in private schools is unknown. In addition, many educational institutions are occupied by military or security forces (DAWN, 15/07/2014).
No new developments this week, 21/07/2014. Last update 11/07/2014.
Although Senegal enjoys a reputation for stability in a largely volatile region, the country has been unable to resolve the 30-year conflict in the coastal Casamance area, where separatist movements continue to oppose authorities. Attempts to restart talks in March 2013 failed.
On 25 February 2014, the Community of Sant'Egidio, which is mediating the conflict, announced that progress had been made in discussions between the Senegalese authorities and the Movement of Democratic Forces of Casamance (MFDC), with confidence-building measures agreed. Senegalese authorities agreed to withdraw an international arrest warrant against the leader of the separatist movement, Salif Sadio. MFDC has not, however, agreed on any demining.
On 30 April, Salif Sadio declared a unilateral ceasefire as proof of engagement in the peace process.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
As of 30 January, OCHA reported that 14,200 refugees are in Senegal, most from Mauritania and Rwanda.
At end April, 3.6 million people were food insecure, including 2.23 million in need of food assistance, including 618,000 experiencing Crisis and Emergency levels of food insecurity (ECHO) (FAO, 03/07/2014).
2013/14 cereal production fell by 16% compared to last year (WFP, 26/06/2014). The largest production shortfalls observed have been in the groundnut basin (Kaolack, Fatick, Diourbel, Kaffrine, and Bakel departments), and in Louga, Saint-Louis, Matam, Casamance, and Kédougou (FEWSNET, 04/2014). Food security outcomes in affected areas will be Stressed between April and September.
Although only slight rises in food prices and an improved weather situation were reported at a regional level, food security remains a serious issue in Senegal (FAO, 11/07/2014). Market failure of groundnut has brought lower average incomes for poor households (FEWSNET, 05/2014), as it has caused producers to resort to selling atypically large quantities of cereal crops, such as sorghum, maize, and rice. Food stocks are depleting in April this year, compared to May–June in a normal year. Cash crop sales, food stock levels, livestock conditions, and food access in the north, the groundnut basin, and Casamance will be worse than usual until August.
In Casamance, which has an estimated population of 1.8 million, an estimated 37% of households face food shortages. In February, 10% of households were reportedly experiencing severe food insecurity (WFP).
Recurrent shocks from drought and flooding, poor infrastructure, and inadequate social safety nets continue to increase the chronic overall vulnerability of the population, while households and community resilience continues to erode due to poor coping strategies. The Food Security and Nutrition Survey (ENSAN) reported in June 2013 that rural food security levels have generally deteriorated since 2010, with rural households being more at risk.
Sahel Food Crisis: Regional Overview
In March 2014, more than 25 million people in the Sahel (Burkina Faso, north Cameroon, Chad, the Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, north Nigeria, and Senegal) suffered from food insecurity (FAO, 03/04/2014). Food insecurity in 2014 has risen dramatically compared to 2013, when 11.3 million people had inadequate food consumption (OCHA, 03/02/2014).
Health and Nutrition
More than two million people, or 15% of the population, including 350,000 chronic carriers, have hepatitis B, due to untimely vaccination, prohibitive treatment costs, and lack of universal screening to curb transmissions (IRIN, 08/05/2014).
340,000 children are estimated to suffer from acute malnutrition, including 79,000 from severe acute malnutrition (SAM). These figures are an increase on 2013, when 63,323 SAM and 255,675 MAM cases were reported (2014 Humanitarian Needs Overview).
No new developments this week, 15/07/2014. Last update: 23/06/2014.
- Angola suffered from outbreaks of cholera, dengue fever, measles, and malaria in 2013. Its population remains highly vulnerable to outbreaks of disease, especially following natural disasters.
President dos Santos has been in power for over 30 years. Fierce rivalry between the governing Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) dates from before independence in 1975.
Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda (FLEC)
Much of the country’s oil wealth lies in Cabinda province, which is cut off from the rest of Angola by DRC. For decades, a low-intensity separatist conflict simmered between the Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda (FLEC) and the Government. FLEC signed a ceasefire in 2006, which was rejected by the Paris-based president of FLEC’s armed wing.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Refugees in Angola
According to government figures, over 20,300 asylum-seekers and 23,783 refugees reside in Angola. This includes nearly 12,000 refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) who have been in Angola since the late 1970s, as well as others from some 20 African countries. The protection space for refugees and asylum-seekers has been reduced as a result of stringent immigration policies (UNHCR 30/01/2014).
Angolan Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
Some 71,750 former Angolan refugees live in DRC, including 23,940 people registered for voluntary repatriation and 47,810 people who have opted for local integration (UNHCR, 28/02/2014).
Some four hundred thousand people, who were in condition of refugees in neighboring countries, returned to Angola in 2002/2007 period under the voluntary and organised repatriation programme implemented by the Angolan government and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
Projections for July to September 2014 indicate that coastal fish, horticulture, and non-farm income zones of Cuanza Sul and Benguela and most areas of Namibe province will face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity due to below-average production and insufficient food assistance (FESWNET, 18/06/2014).
Conditions in the more populous areas of Cunene are expected to improve in the coming months and Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity is projected through September (FESWNET, 18/06/2014).
As of June, some areas of Cunene have not received food assistance due to poor roads, and lack of resources to pay for shipping means food support has not reached Namibe province (FEWSNET 18/06/2014).
From July to September, cattle production and sales in the southern region are expected to drop, since herding of cattle in new places has exposed them to new diseases.
Production prospects in Cuanza Sul and Benguela provinces are below average due to lack of rain (FEWSNET 18/06/2014).
Crop losses are anticipated in coastal areas, particularly in Namibe, due to dry spells and water deficits (FAO, 06/06/2014).
However, nationwide water availability for human and livestock consumption has improved significantly as a result of the rains from late February to the end of May (FEWSNET, 18/06/2014).
No new developments this week. Last update: 03/07/2014.
- 325,000 affected by heavy rainfall and flooding across most of Bolivia (Government, WFP, and OCHA, 06/2014).
- Bolivia is prone to natural disasters including earthquakes, floods, and droughts. The 2013 drought and severe frost affected over 340,000 people and damaged 87,000 hectares of crops (Government).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Late May, heavy rains continue to fall in the department of Beni, making it difficult to use the main roads (WFP, 23/05/2014).
A series of natural disasters have affected Bolivia since the beginning of the rainy season in October and have had a severe impact on livelihoods and food security.
Heavy Rainfall and Floods
As of 2 June, an estimated 325,000 people were affected by flooding in Bolivia’s Amazon valleys, lowlands, and plains during the rainy season, which started last October (OCHA). Over 145 municipalities have been affected across all nine departments. At least 64 people have died. Bolivian authorities reported that floods have caused the collapse of around 1,600 homes, the destruction of 63,000 hectares of arable land, and the death of 110,000 livestock. Officials estimate that agriculture is the primary income-generating activity of 40% of affected families.
Approximately 1,000 schools have been damaged, affecting an estimated 250,000 students. As many as 450 schools are being used as temporary shelters. In Beni, 230 schools, 60,000 students, and over 800 teachers have been affected (Ministry of Education, OCHA, 05/06/2014).
The Government declared a state of emergency on 28 January. The situation worsened, and on 10 February the departments of Cochabamba, Santa Cruz, Beni, La Paz, Potosí, and Pando were placed on red alert. The most affected regions during the rainy season are typically north of La Paz and in the south Andean plateau of Lake Titicaca.
Bolivian President Evo Morales said an in-depth investigation is needed to assess whether the Brazilian hydropower plants have played a role in the floods.
A cold wave that hit the country in late May caused the death of seven people. In Potosí, over 5,000 people reported the destruction of their houses as a result of strong winds. In Beni, at least 60,000 head of livestock have died.
According to FAO on 27 February, a detailed assessment of the agriculture losses from heavy rain and flooding is still not available, but livestock is expected to be the most affected sector. Estimates indicate that close to 63,000 hectares of crops, including rice, maize, and cassava, have been negatively impacted. At the time of the flooding, the 2014 main de verano season maize crop was in an advanced state and rice harvesting had just begun. Despite losses in the department of Beni, prospects for 2014’s de verano season are favourable, since the main cereal-producing departments, namely Santa Cruz, La Paz, and Cochabamba, were less severely affected and the abundant rains may have benefited the developing crops in some places.
In mid-December, FAO reported that the aggregate maize production (main and secondary seasons) for 2013 was estimated at 875,000 metric tons, 13% below 2012’s figure. As of 15 October 2013, an estimated 87,000 hectares of crops had sustained damage during the drought of the first quarter of the year. Tarija department is worst hit, with 44,000 hectares of crops estimated to have been lost. Santa Cruz recorded the highest number of affected cattle, with approximately 29,400 dead.
Over 1,800 confirmed cases of dengue were reported as of 15 April in the departments of Santa Cruz (60% of cases), Beni, and northern La Paz, as a result of the rainy season (Heath Ministry). National authorities issued an alert for dengue and malaria in flood-affected regions at the beginning of 2014.
The Ministry of Health has declared preventive alert as Chikungunya cases were confirmed in Brazil and Chile (OCHA, 30/06/2014).
No new developments this week, 23/07/2014. Last update: 30/06/2014.
- Long-term displacement of 32,700 Malian refugees continues to put pressure on the resources of host communities (UNHCR, 04/2014).
- An estimated 1.3 million people are at risk of food insecurity (OCHA, 05/2014).
- 514,000 children suffer from acute malnutrition, of whom 144,000 are severely malnourished (OCHA, 05/2014).
Burkina Faso has been generally politically stable for over two decades, but of late has suffered fallout from the political and military crisis in neighbouring Mali. Instability and unrest in Niger and Côte d’Ivoire further impact the country.
Political divisions have arisen over concerns that President Compaoré wishes to revise Article 37 of the Constitution so that he can run for a third five-year term in 2015. On 31 May, tens of thousands of people gathered in Ouagadougou to voice their opposition to a referendum on amending the constitution, proposed by the ruling party and supported by the Republican Front, an alliance of over 50 political parties aligned with the ruling party.
A new political party, the Mouvement du Peuple pour le Progrès (People’s Movement for Progress, or MPP), was created by over 80 members who had resigned from the ruling party on 25 January. The President of the MPP is the former head of the National Assembly. The new party held its first congress 5–6 April.
Burkina Faso remains at risk of social unrest stemming from disputes over land, traditional leadership, and increasing inequalities. In 2011, a number of violent protests erupted in various cities due to public distrust in the ruling authorities.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
As of mid-May, 34,085 refugees reside in Burkina Faso (UNHCR). Of these, 32,660 are Malian refugees. Half of them are children, including some 1,380 separated children (30/05/2014, UNHCR).
Most refugees reside in the four official refugee camps: 11,600 in Mentao, 9,560 in Goudoubou, 1,970 in Sag-Nioniogo and 1,190 in Bobo-Dioulasso. The remaining 25% live in villages in Oudalan and Soum provinces and in Ouagadougou.
UNHCR’s projections suggest there will be around 14,300 Malian refugees by the end of 2015. However, renewed insecurity in northern Mali may prevent refugees from returning home.
Late May, FEWSNET reported that poor agropastoral households in northern Burkina Faso will experience Stressed food insecurity through September. A decline in purchasing power due to high staple food prices when seasonal incomes are limited makes it difficult for poor households to meet their needs. Limited grazing and water resources for livestock have made the lean season more difficult than usual.
In the rest of the country, well supplied markets, stable cereal prices, access to wild foods and average to above-average labour revenues should mean poor households will experience a typical lean season between June and September.
Chronic structural vulnerabilities, compounded by recurrent shocks such as drought, flood, epidemics, and locusts have eroded household and community resilience, and caused families across the country to rely on negative coping strategies.
Western Burkina Faso received heavy rains in June. Some areas received over 200% of the monthly average, increasing 30-day rainfall surpluses, and reducing 30-day rainfall deficits in localised areas (FEWSNET, 26/06/2014).
Health and Nutrition
No measles, meningitis, or cholera cases have been reported in refugee camps so far this year.
From the beginning of 2014 until mid-June, 2,619 cases of meningitis and 283 deaths were reported in all 63 districts of Burkina Faso (WHO, 08/06/2014). This is higher than the same period in 2013, when 2,072 were registered. An alert threshold has been reached in the areas around Bobo-Dioulasso (West) and Bousse (Centre), yet a meningitis outbreak has not been declared so far.
Between January and April, a total of 1,724 cases of measles and seven deaths were reported in Burkina Faso: 5% of cases were reported in the Sahel (UNICEF).
As of mid-May, 514,000 children suffer from acute malnutrition, including 144,000 with SAM (OCHA). The latest SAM caseload represents a significant increase compared to October 2013, when UNICEF reported 96,000 cases.
The number of children in therapeutic care was slightly higher February–March 2014 (28,662) than during the same period in 2013 (27,193), according to a nutrition survey by UNICEF (26/05/2014, UNICEF). Low prevalence of acute malnutrition was indicated in Mentao (5.5%) and Sag-Nioniogo (3.4%) refugee camps, compared to Goudebou (10.6%). The reduction of acute malnutrition is very significant in Goudebou: from 24.5% in early 2013.The situation in Mentao and Sag-Nioniogo camps has been relatively stable since 2013.
18 July: Presidential elections are scheduled for 26 June 2015, with a possible second round on 27 July (AFP).
- Poor households in northeastern livelihood zones are expected to face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity from July to November. In Kirundo, the production deficits were among the worst in the country, leading to atypical migration notably (FEWSNET, 30/06/2014).
Burundi is struggling to emerge from a 12-year civil war: between 1993 and 2005, fighting between Tutsis and Hutus claimed around 300,000 lives in inter-ethnic killings. The 2000 Arusha Peace Accord provided mechanisms to ensure a delicate balance of ethnic power through a system of quotas, with 60% Hutu and 40% Tutsi representation in parliament and other public institutions. The quotas serve to protect the Tutsi minority from domination by the Hutus, who make up some 85% of the population.
Since the President’s re-election in 2010, scores of political killings, intimidation of the opposition, and a crackdown on media freedom have all been reported, which has cast a shadow over the post-civil war reconciliation process. Most recently, observers stated concerns on restrictions on civil and political rights, following a series of violent acts by the ruling party’s increasingly militant youth wing, Imbonerakure.
2015 General Elections: Proposed Constitutional Amendments
Presidential elections are scheduled for 26 June, with a second round on 27 July if necessary (AFP, 18/07/2014). On 9 June, the Government, the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI), and all political parties and actors signed the General Principles for the conduct of the 2015 elections (UN, 10/06/2014).
Deteriorating relations between the parties within the ruling coalition stem mainly from the desire of President Nkurunziza, elected in 2005 and again in 2010, to run for a third term in the 2015 elections.
In February, the UN Secretary General was tasked with establishing an electoral observer mission to monitor the situation ahead of, during, and after the 2015 presidential election. On 4 June, Burundi expelled a second UN official, stating he was carrying ammunition when boarding a plane (AFP, 04/06/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Land scarcity and high population density has resulted in pervasive tensions over land ownership. This is aggravated as a high number of IDPs and refugees are returning to their places of origin and claiming land where other families, often of a different ethnic background, have since settled.
As of 30 June, 9,764 Burundian refugees were residing in DRC (UNHCR, 30/06/2014).
As of 1 July, 5,900 Burundian refugees were residing in Kenya (UNHCR, 1/07/2014).
43,000 Burundians living in Tanzania have been forcibly repatriated. Limited information makes it difficult to quantify the exact number of people expelled since the end of July 2013. Many returnees, 65% of whom are women and children, have chosen to return to their province of origin without being registered due to a lack of reception facilities at entry points (IOM, 01/2014).
As of 31 March, Burundi has 78,948 IDPs (OCHA, 11/06/2014). They are mostly ethnic Tutsis, located in and around 120 sites across northern and central Burundi. No new displacement has been recorded since 2008 (Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre).
As of 31 March, Burundi is host to 46,626 refugees, almost all are from DRC (OCHA, 11/06/2014).
Refugees are mainly located in the border regions of Ngozi (north, alongside Rwanda), Ruyigi, Muyinga, and Cankuzo (east, alongside Tanzania) and Bubanza (west, alongside DRC). In November 2013, Burundi’s three refugee camps (Bwagiriza, Musasa and Gasorwe) reached their maximum capacity with a total population of 26,000 refugees. UNHCR opened a refugee camp in Kavumu, Cankuzo province, in May (UNHCR, 11/2013).
Poor households in northeastern livelihood zones are expected to face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity from July to November (FEWSNET, 30/06/2014). The production deficits in Kirundo were among the worst in the country, leading to atypical migration (FEWSNET, 30/06/2014).
Agriculture and Markets
Dry spells since mid-April – only 50–80% of the average seasonal rainfall – have led to a rapid deterioration of ground conditions across Burundi. Maize deficits could be up to 80% in some areas and beans and sorghum deficits are estimated to be between 30% and 50%. As seasonal rainfall is expected to decrease over the next few months, adverse impacts may persist (US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 18/06/2014; FEWSNET, 01/07/2014; FEWSNET, 06/06/2014).
Prices of the main staple commodities stabilised in April compared to March. However, prices remain higher than the five-year average. Bean prices, for example, are 13–38% above the five-year average (FEWSNET, 31/05/2014).
8 July: Relief assistance projects in Far North region have been suspended due to high levels of insecurity due to BH activities (Reuters).
4 July: 107,870 CAR refugees have arrived since December 2013, bringing the overall number to 215,060. So far, 43,500 refugees have been relocated to six established refugee sites (UNHCR).
4 July: Cameroon reported several cases of yellow fever in an area previously considered at low risk, and therefore not covered by the preventive mass campaign implemented in 2009 (WHO).
2 July: Food prices have risen significant due to border closures with Nigeria, just as Muslims in Cameroon are observing Ramadan, when food expenditure is normally higher. Nigeria supplies up to 80% of food in northern Cameroon (Voice of America).
- 107,100 refugees from CAR since December 2013, bringing the total to over 214,300 (UNHCR, 06/2014).
- Militants from Boko Haram and armed fighters from CAR could increase insecurity.
- The 2011–2012 drought impact continues, 615,000 people in the north are at risk of food insecurity and malnutrition (WFP).
- 30% of Cameroon’s 20 million inhabitants have access to piped drinking water. In Yaoundé, needs surpass the current capacity by three times (Government).
The spillover from fighting between the Nigerian army and Boko Haram militants impacts on Cameroon and threatens regional security. On 22 May, WFP, IOM, and UNHCR declared the situation in northern Cameroon was a Level 3 emergency, the highest level of humanitarian crisis. Cameroon is suffering a double refugee crisis: the influx of refugees from CAR and Nigeria is putting pressure on very limited resources.
On 17 May, President Biya agreed to step up regional security cooperation and declared war against Boko Haram (BH). Biya met with Chadian President Deby to discuss concerted action. Late May, 1,000 troops had been deployed to Far North region.
Boko Haram insurgents, normally concentrating attacks in northeastern Nigeria, have been active in Cameroon since the beginning of 2014. On 23 February it was confirmed that Nigeria had closed its northern border with Cameroon to block the movement of BH. Amchide town has become a significant BH base. It is estimated that BH account for 90% of the population. BH has developed alliances with businesses and is reportedly forcing others to finance their activities (AFP, 24/06/2014).
On 10 June, 300 suspected Boko Haram members committed the fifth cross-border attack from Nigeria into Cameroon this year, on the town of Gorsi Tourou (OCHA, 16/06/2014). On 7 June, suspected BH gunmen attacked a town in Mayo Tsanaga department, Far North region. Local security forces fought them off. In May, a Cameroonian soldier and a policemen were killed, and ten Chinese nationals were feared kidnapped in the Far North. In April, two priests and a Canadian nun were abducted. In February a Cameroonian chief was kidnapped.
The security situation remains unstable in East region, where the majority of refugees are located. Infiltrations of anti-balaka from CAR into Cameroon have been reported, and local authorities have asked UNHCR to expedite the transfer of refugees from the border entry points of Kentzou and Gbiti in order to allow them undertake search operations in the area (UNHCR, 22/05/2014). UNHCR and Cameroonian security forces are seeking possible locations for security posts at the refugee sites of Lolo, Mbilé, and Timangolo in East region (UNHCR, 04/07/2014).
The transport union in Cameroon called a strike after an attack on drivers in CAR, and blocked the movement of all commercial and humanitarian goods from Garoua Boulai into CAR (WFP, 13/06/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Assistance projects in Far North region have been suspended due to high levels of insecurity linked to BH (Reuters, 08/07/2014).
Refugees from the Central African Republic
Refugees continue to arrive from CAR, with more than 3,000 arriving between 24 June and 1 July. As of early June, more than 2,000 refugees were crossing into Cameroon weekly.
As of 4 July, 215,060 CAR refugees are in Cameroon: 107,870, mostly women and children, have arrived since December 2013 through some 30 border points in Cameroon’s East and Adamawa regions (UNHCR). 90% are Muslims fleeing attacks by anti-balaka groups. At least another 17,600 third-country nationals and returnees have also crossed into Cameroon.
New arrivals are suffering from exhaustion, dehydration and malnutrition (FAO, WFP, 31/05/2014). ECHO found that acute needs at the border are shelter, food, health, water and protection. According to IOM, malnutrition is widespread. In late April, about 53% of refugees were female, and the majority of the newly arrived refugees (57%) were children, of whom about 20% were under five years old (UNICEF).
43,500 refugees have been relocated from border points to six established refugee sites: Gado, Lolo, Mbilé, Timangolo, Yokadouma in East region, and Borgop in Adamawa region. However, there are still some 58,000 refugees remaining in transit sites and in host families at the border. Some are reluctant to be transferred to the sites (UNHCR, 04/07/2014). As the Gado site has now reached full capacity, local authorities in Garoua Boulai have authorised another site, Gado II (UNHCR, 27/06/2014).
The flow of arrivals has decreased since the peak of more than 10,000 in the last week of March. In early April anti-balaka blocked the main roads leading to Cameroon. Newly arriving refugees reported that family members are trapped across the border and that children have been held for ransom.
Efforts to relocate refugees are also aimed at helping improve assistance. In most locations, the number of refugees and third-country nationals exceeds the local population, and living conditions have become very difficult for host communities as well. In some sites, the rains have created conditions for disease outbreaks.
Refugees from Nigeria
Cameroon hosts approximately 15,000 Nigerians seeking refuge in the country's Far North region (ECHO, 05/2014). Only about half have agreed to Cameroon’s request to settle in a camp. Of that number, 2,500 have been relocated to Minawao camp. Those living outside the camp do not receive humanitarian assistance and their lack of identification poses concerns. The needs among the refugees are largely WASH, health, and nutrition-related.
Since June 2013, Mayo Sava, Logone-et-Chari, and Mayo Sanaga departments have accommodated most of the Nigerian refugees.
Food prices have risen significant due to border closures with Nigeria, just as Ramadan begins (early July), a period when food expenditure among Muslims is normally higher. Nigeria supplies up to 80% of food in northern Cameroon (Voice of America, 02/07/2014).
On 14 February, local media reported that food prices in Cameroon have climbed by over 20% since December. The growing food shortages are compounded by prolonged water scarcity following limited rainfall.
Cereal production improved in 2013 (GIEWS and FAO, 16/01/2014). 2013 aggregate cereal production is tentatively put at about 3.1 million metric tons, 5% up on last year’s output, and 10% above the average of the previous five years.
The impact of the 2011–2012 drought is still being felt, however, and the arrival of refugees has increased pressure on resources. National food insecurity is further influenced by 20 million people at risk of food insecurity across the Sahel region and 2.5 million in need of urgent lifesaving food assistance, as reported by OCHA on 3 February. Across the region, roughly 1.5 million children under five face acute malnutrition in 2014.
Health and Nutrition
Malnutrition, malaria and respiratory infections are the most common health problems among refugees from CAR, according to an ECHO needs assessment carried out on the border. A number of measles cases were also reported among recently arrived child refugees.
Quoting WHO, US media outlet NPR reported that the public healthcare system was unable to address increasing infant mortality rates, along with high rates of HIV, malaria, and tuberculosis. Families often use unauthorised clinics. The Ministry of Public Health has started a campaign to ensure the creation of legally registered clinics that meet national standards with regard to staff, equipment, and hygiene. The Ministry said it would close down unregistered clinics.
The death toll from malaria jumped from less than 2,000 in 2011 and 2012 to over 3,200 in 2013, according to INGO Malaria No More. Authorities blamed the surge on low bed net use, heavy rains, weak medical services, and widespread poverty.
Up to 30% of refugees from CAR under the age of five suffer from acute malnutrition, according to an early June assessment at three border entry points and five refugee sites (UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP): 7–8% of cases were infants under six months and 18% people over five years. One in five pregnant and lactating refugee mothers arrived in Cameroon malnourished, and malnutrition among the elderly is also of concern (UNICEF and WFP, 03/07/2014).
Approximately 15% of all children with SAM require hospitalisation. The assessment team also reported overloaded nutrition services in host communities and estimated that inpatient facilities will need to triple their capacity. Mortality rates have been over 20% at some locations in the last month, due to dehydration, hypothermia and severe anaemia (OCHA, 06/2014).
Between March and early July 2014, more than 1,600 children with severe acute malnutrition were admitted in the therapeutic feeding centres at arrival points and refugee sites and hospitals. Another 9,000 children and 2,000 mothers received supplementary feeding (UNICEF and WFP, 03/07/2014).
According to ECHO, an estimated 186,000 children, including refugee children, are expected to require life-saving care in 2014.
On 17 March, WHO elevated the risk assessment of international spread of polio from central Africa, particularly Cameroon, to very high. As of 17 March, three wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) cases have been reported from three regions (North West, Adamawa, and Centre) since January 2014, confirming continued WPV1 transmission and geographic expansion of infected areas following detection of four cases in October 2013 (WHO). In total, seven WPV1 cases have been reported from West, North West, Centre and Adamawa Regions. Wild polio had not been reported since 2009.
Several cases of yellow fever were reported in an area previously considered at low risk, and therefore not covered by the preventive campaign of 2009. (WHO, 04/07/2014).
Government statistics reveal that only about 30% of Cameroon’s inhabitants have access to piped drinking water. According to the state water company, current needs surpass Yaoundé’s available capacity by three times.
On 3 April, Cameroonian police reported that an estimated 200 young people (aged 15–19) from Kolofata area in the Far North region have been recruited by Boko Haram since February and reportedly transferred to training camps in Nigerian bush.
No significant developments this week, 23/07/2014. Last updated: 01/07/2014
- 250,000 people in Djibouti are in need (UN, 12/06/2014) There is a general lack of water, and the affected population is suffering from malnutrition, food insecurity, acute diarrhoea, and other diseases. Shortages are causing increased competition over natural resources, as well as movement from rural areas towards peri-urban areas (UN).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
On 12 June, the UN and partners launched a two-year humanitarian Strategic Response Plan targeted at 250,000 people. Of the targeted population, 162,500 are Djibouti nationals, 27,500 are refugees, and 60,000 are migrants, mainly from Somalia and Ethiopia.
Persistent and recurring droughts have resulted in a general lack of water for the affected people. In addition, the population is suffering from malnutrition, acute diarrhoea and other diseases.
Shortages in rural areas has led to increased competition for natural resources, particularly along the migration corridor that runs across the country. Stress on rural livelihoods has triggered movements from rural areas towards peri-urban area of the capital, putting additional pressure on the delivery of basic services (UN, 12/06/2014).
In May, an estimated 4,847 people left Djibouti for Yemen.
Lack of water is likely to affect refugees and migrants in the coming months. The migrants/refugees continue to report lack of access to food and water during their transit through Obock, while they wait to cross to Yemen. During transit, migrants/refugees are also exposed to theft by criminal gangs, and detention by authorities (Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat, 31/05/2014).
As of 23 June, 120,000 people are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Emergency (IPC Phase 4) levels of food insecurity (OCHA, 23/06/2014).
Poor pastoralists in the south (Southeast Pastoral Borderside livelihood zone), in northern Obock region, and in the northwest (Northwest Pastoral livelihood zone) are likely to remain in Crisis food insecurity (IPC Phase 3) through August (FEWSNET, 31/05/2014).
A further reduction in humanitarian assistance during May, below-average March to May diraac/sugum rains, constrained labour opportunities, reduced livestock productivity, and an extended lean season have all accelerated the decline in household food security (FEWSNET, 30/06/2014). Pasture and water availability has been affected in Obock, central and southeastern pastoral areas due to poor rains (GIEWS, 01/07/2014).
It is not anticipated that acute food insecurity levels for poor households in these areas will move to the Emergency level (IPC Phase 4). Enhanced food transfers and remittances during Ramadan in July and August are likely to mitigate further deterioration.
14 July: 57,905 people have been affected by the eathquake that struck on 7 July. 5,821 homes have been damaged or destroyed (IFRC).
13 July: 222 people have been affected by floods in San Vicente I and II (Prensa Libre).
9 July: There are 800,000 food insecure people in Guatemala. 49.8% of children under five in Guatemala are chronically malnourished (OCHA).
- An estimated 615,000 people in eastern and western municipalities will experience Crisis levels of food insecurity between July and November (FEWSNET, 02/06/2014).
- Some 1,883 people suffer from acute malnutrition, of whom 42% are children under one year of age (Government, 03/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
On 7 July, an earthquake of 6.9 magnitude struck off the coast of the Mexican state of Chiapas, 50km from the border with Guatemala (ECHO, 08/07/2014). Several houses and dozens of schools were damaged and roads were blocked in the Guatemalan departments of Quetzaltenango and San Marcos. Guatemala’s national disaster relief agency, CONRED, declared an institutional orange alert (OCHA, CONRED, UN, 07/07/2014).
As of 14 July, 57,905 people have been affected, 5,821 homes damaged or destroyed and one person has died. Seven departments were hit: Huehuetenago, Totonicapan, Solola, Quetzaltenango, Retalhuleo, Suchitepequez, and the most damaged: San Marcos (IFRC 14/07/2014).
On 13 July, 222 people were affected and 37 houses were damaged by floods in San Vicente I and II, in Estor Municipality (Government of Guatemala, 15/07/2014).
As of 9 June, rains from Tropical Storm Boris, the second storm of the Pacific hurricane season, had affected 145,000 people in 14 of the country’s 22 departments. At least 500 people had been evacuated. A landslide killed five and injured three in the mountainous farming region of San Pedro Necta, Huehuetenango on 30 May. The rains also damaged infrastructure (OCHA and Government).
On 6 June, CONRED declared an alert. Rainfall during Guatemala's May–November rainy season can reach up to 400mm, often causing severe flooding and deadly mudslides.
As of 9 July, 800,000 people are at risk of food insecurity (OCHA, 09/07/2014). From July to September, municipalities dependent on coffee cultivation in eastern and highland areas will experience Crisis levels of food insecurity and will rely on negative coping mechanisms that will likely result in the accelerated depletion of their livelihoods assets (FEWSNET, 06/2014).
A state of emergency was declared in February 2013 for food insecurity caused by coffee rust and drought. The coffee leaf rust epidemic is affecting the entire Central America region, and is one of the worst ever (International Coffee Organization). Some 70% of the total Guatemalan plantation has been affected, corresponding to a loss of USD 101 million and 75,000 jobs during the 2012/2013 harvest cycle. Erratic rainfall and a prolonged dry spell over previous years have made the food security situation even more worrying.
According to the Emergency Food Security Assessment (EFSA) in September 2013, the most affected departments were Chiquimula, San Marcos, Alta Verapaz, Jalapa, Jutiapa, El Quiché, Huehuetenango, Zacapa, Baja Verapaz, and Sololá. The national Secretariat for Food and Nutritional Security (SESAN) recorded 800,000 people (160,000 households) impacted by coffee leaf rust, with effects including unemployment and harvest losses of staple grains.
The chance of El Niño affecting the country this year is 80% (Prensa Libre, 15/07/2014). El Niño conditions are expected to cause moderate losses of Primera crops, harvested in August/September, and Postrera crops, harvested in November/December. This means that these harvests will not cover the food consumption deficits of households suffering crop failures for the last two years and reduced incomes due to coffee rust (FEWSNET, 05/2014).
Health and Nutrition
As of 9 July, 49.8% of children under the age of 5 are chronically malnourished (OCHA 09/07/2014).
On 1 March, Guatemalan health authorities reported 1,883 cases of acute malnutrition, of which 42% were children under one year of age. The five most affected departments are Escuintla, Guatemala, Petén, Quiché, and Huehuetenango, reporting 887 cases.
16 July: 606,700 Syrian refugees are registered with UNHCR in Jordan.
14 July: Jordanian authorities notified UNHCR that it is not permitted to register refugees in urban areas if they have left the camps unofficially, outside of the ‘bailout’ process. Without registration outside of the camps, refugees would be unable to access public services or receive WFP food vouchers.
28 June: Jordanian authorities again began to evict Syrian refugees residing in informal tented settlements. About 1,270 people were evicted from private land in southeast Amman. Some of the residents may have been subject to refoulement.
- Jordan remains affected by the crisis in neighbouring Syria, with the regular flow of Syrian refugees swelling Jordan’s population by almost 10%: 606,700 Syrian refugees are registered with UNHCR in Jordan.
- Operational and protection concerns are growing as the Government of Jordan is increasingly restricting the approval process for humanitarian projects, and infringing the basic protection of refugees, including their right to seek asylum and freedom of movement.
- The influx of refugees has placed enormous pressure on scarce water resources and public services, which has increased tensions between host communities and refugees.
- Humanitarian operations and resources are disproportionately focused on the Syrian refugee camps, which house about 15% of Syrian refugees in Jordan. Refugees arriving to the newest refugee camp, Azraq, have demonstrated a strong desire to leave. It is estimated that up to half of Syrians registered in Azraq camp have left since its opening in late April.
Politics and Security
Jordan has remained politically stable, and the economy appears to be recovering from the negative consequences resulting from the Arab Spring. However, this balance remains fragile as the influx of Syrian refugees has overwhelmed public services, particularly health and education, and placed major stress on scarce water supplies. Tension between refugees and host communities have manifested in localised protests, particularly in the northern Mafraq governorate, and negative media portrayals of Syrians, as well as regular reports of discrimination and harassment of refugees.
The Jordanian military has tightly controlled cross-border movements of refugees, commodities, fighters, and weapons to limit spillover of the conflict. However, hundreds of Jordanians are reportedly fighting for opposition groups with links to Al Qaeda, particularly Jabhat al Nusra.
On its social media accounts, the Islamic State (formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL) has threatened to take its jihad to Jordan. Islamists demonstrated in Ma’an, southern Jordan, praising IS victories in Iraq. The jihadist movement in Jordan is generally dominated by anti-IS groups that support Al Qaeda and its Syrian ally Al Nusra Front, which is an IS rival (AFP, 23/06/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Since mid-2013, the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation has required aid agencies to include Jordanians as 30% of the beneficiary list of all aid programmes targeting Syrian refugees. In recent months, aid agency projects have faced an increased rate of rejection and pressure to increase the proportion of Jordanians targeted for assistance to 50%. The requirement is viewed as an attempt to pressure international donors to channel more resources through government systems and institutions.
Due to its relative stability and central location in a turbulent region, Jordan has historically been a reluctant host to the largest number of refugees in the world, both in terms of absolute numbers and the proportion of refugees to its resident population. Throughout most of its history, Jordan has been inundated by refugees, beginning with the 1948 influx of Palestinian refugees and again in 1967. In 2008, Jordan hosted up to 500,000 Iraqis fleeing sectarian violence and most recently has provided refuge to over 600,000 Syrian refugees.
Jordan hosts the third largest number of Syrian refugees, after Lebanon and Turkey. As of 8 June 2014, about 606,700 Syrian refugees were registered with UNHCR in Jordan. Over 80% of Syrian refugees live in local communities, with the remainder in camps. The influx of refugees peaked in early 2013, with an average of 1,700 daily arrivals between January and April, but has since drastically reduced to fewer than 200 daily arrivals in June 2014. While the government has stated that the decrease in arrivals is due to obstacles for those trying to reach the border, human rights groups have documented incidents where Syrians were denied entry by Jordanian authorities.
Refugees in Host Communities
Over 80% of Syrian refugees living outside of the camps are located in Amman, Irbid, Mafraq and Zarqa. Assessments by aid agencies consistently find that the priority need among refugees in host communities is for cash to pay rent. Work permits are cost-prohibitive for refugees, although many Syrians, including children, work in agriculture and construction, despite the protection risks, including arrest and detention. In the northern governorates, about 20% of Syrians live in substandard accommodation, including garages, basements, chicken houses, and tents. Housing has become increasingly overcrowded as resources are depleted. Rental costs have quadrupled in Mafraq, one of the poorest governorates, where refugees now outnumber local residents.
Originally slated to open in mid-2013, Azraq camp in Zarqa governorate opened on 30 April for new arrivals from Syria. As of 1 July, 11,600 refugees were registered by UNHCR in Azraq camp. However, it is believed that only about half of the population remains in Azraq due to the isolation, poor living conditions and services available in the camp.
At full capacity, Azraq camp will be able to accommodate 130,000 refugees. However, many aid workers are concerned about the harsh, hot, and windy climate, the large distances to reach services and the camp’s isolation from livelihood opportunities.
Za’atari is the second largest refugee camp in the world, and the equivalent of a new city in Jordan. The lack of security in certain parts of Za’atari camp impedes access to services, particularly for women and girls. Security incidents and protests are frequent. Thousands of refugees have left for other urban centres through both official and unofficial channels. However, authorities have cracked down on unofficial departures in 2014.
About 4,000 Syrians live in the Emirates Jordan Camp (EJC). Known as the “five-star” camp due to its high living standards and extensive support, primarily from the UAE Red Crescent. The camp provides three hot meals each day and caravans for all residents. Despite the improved living standards, a significant number of refugees have also left EJC camp for urban areas or to return to Syria.
Palestinian Refugees from Syria (PRS)
About 14,200 Palestinian refugees from Syria (PRS) have been recorded by UNRWA, which provides cash assistance for vulnerable PRS, who make up the vast majority of the PRS population. About 190 PRS are in the Cyber City facility and are subject to heavy restrictions on movement. Since late 2012, the government has explicitly stated that it would not allow PRS to enter Jordan. Those who do enter are subject to a number of protection issues, including refoulement, the confiscation of documents and, for those with Jordanian citizenship, de-nationalisation.
Due to the conflict in Anbar province in Iraq, the number of Iraqis seeking asylum through UNHCR increased fivefold from early 2013 to 1,300 in December 2013, with demand persisting into 2014. The number of Sudanese asylum seekers increased throughout 2013. Over 2,000 refugees and asylum seekers from Sudan, Somalia and other countries currently live in Jordan.
The 2013/14 rains were only 77% of the long-term annual average, leading to a reduction in underground water reserves and a marked increase in underground water salinity in some well fields. This situation is unfortunately expected to result in increased stress on the existing water resources (UNICEF/ REACH, 31/04/2014).
The re-verification process, which aims to ensure that complete biometric data is recorded for all registered refugees, has led to cases of refoulement of refugees by the Jordanian authorities. The joint Government–UNHCR re-verification process began in Za’atari in late 2013 and was completed in June 2014. Re-verification of non-camp refugees will then be rolled out to police stations, with Jordanian authorities leading the process and very limited UNHCR presence. There are strong indications that a re-verification in urban areas will result in a significant increase in refoulements.
According to recent assessments, at least 7,000 refugees were residing in informal tented settlements (ITS) in five governorates in June. The vast majority originate from outside Dar’a governorate and left Za’atari camp due to conflicts with powerholders from Dar’a. In December 2013, authorities in Mafraq evicted without notice several hundred households living on public land and told the refugees that they had to enter Za’atari camp immediately. This policy seems to have again been implemented, with even broader interpretation. According to sources, about 1,270 residents of two settlements located on private land in southeast Amman were evicted in the early hours of 28 June and forced to move to Azraq camp. Evictees reported that up to six people had been forcibly returned to Syria. Unlike previous evictions, the residents were not allowed to identify other options, such as finding non-camp housing to rent.
An estimated 3,800 defectors from the Syrian armed forces are being held at military premises in Mafraq with no freedom of movement. The government has not permitted UNHCR to conduct status determination for these people, although the ICRC has had access to this group.
12 July: Clashes broke out between Hezbollah forces and Syrian opposition fighters in an un-demarcated area of the border between Qalamoun in Syria and Lebanon's Aarsal.
11 July: Unidentified armed fighters began launching rockets from southern Lebanese territory towards Israel, prompting Israeli retaliatory shelling of Lebanese villages on 14 July. The rocket attacks have been linked to Israel’s ongoing military offensive against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
1 July: 1.5 million refugees are predicted to be in Lebanon by 31 December, as well 55,000 Palestine refugees from Syria (PRS), and 50,000 Lebanese returning from Syria (UNHCR 01/07/2014).
- As of 16 July, 1,089,500 Syrians are registered as refugees with UNHCR in Lebanon and over 39,000 are awaiting registration. More than 78% are women and children (53% children) (UNHCR 01/07/2014). The number of Syrians in Lebanon who are not registered with UNHCR is unknown. Over 53,000 Palestinian refugees from Syria (PRS) have been recorded by UNRWA.
- 77% of refugee children are under the age of 11 and 25% are at risk. (UNHCR 06/2014)
- Lebanon will need USD 1.6 billion to cope with the humanitarian situation this year; as of 1 June only 23% has been raised. (UNHCR 03/07/2014)
- Shelter is a critical problem for refugees: As of 10 July, over 173,000 refugees are living in 1,259 informal tented settlements (UNHCR).
- Tensions between host and refugee population have been reported, as pressure on health and education systems, housing, employment, and food prices increases.
- Vulnerability has increased since late 2013: UN mapping indicates 242 most vulnerable localities, where 68% of Lebanese reside on less than USD 4 per day with 86% of registered Syrian refugees.
- The crisis in Syria and the national security situation have caused a decline in trade, tourism, and investment, and an increase in public expenditure. The World Bank estimates that the Syria crisis cost Lebanon USD 2.5 billion in lost economic activity during 2013 and threatens to push 170,000 Lebanese into poverty by the end of 2014.
National Political Context
On 2 July, lawmakers failed for the eighth time to convene and elect a new president for lack of quorum. Former president Michel Sleiman’s term expired on 25 May, leaving Lebanon without a head of state. March 8 bloc lawmakers, which include Hezbollah, have boycotted the last eight rounds of voting, arguing that the sessions are futile until rival groups agree on a consensus candidate.
A new Government was formed on 15 February after ten months of political stalemate amid exacerbated sectarian tensions. The new Government brings together the Hezbollah movement and its allies and the Future Movement bloc, who back opposing sides in the Syria war. The agreed compromise ensures neither side has veto power over the other.
Cross-border Security Incidents
Clashes broke out between Hezbollah forces and Syrian opposition fighters on 12 July in an un-demarcated area of the border between Qalamoun in Syria and Lebanon's Aarsal. 16 fighters lost their lives.
On 11 July, unidentified armed fighters began launching rockets from southern Lebanese territory towards Israel, prompting Israeli retaliatory shelling of Lebanese villages on 14 July. The rocket attacks have been linked to Israel’s military offensive against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
On 9 February, the Hezbollah leadership publicly renewed its vow to continue fighting alongside President Assad’s forces in Syria. Hezbollah’s involvement in the offensive against the opposition-held stronghold Qusayr had prompted the Free Syrian Army and Al Nusra Front to warn that their members could start fighting Hezbollah inside Lebanon.
The first major clashes between Lebanese Hezbollah fighters and Syrian opposition fighters inside Lebanese territory were reported in June 2013. Shelling from Syria on the border regions frequently results in casualties. Between 16 April and 31 May, over 45 rockets and shells, most allegedly fired from Syrian territory, landed in Bekaa and some in Akkar. One injury and some material damage were reported. Clashes in Aarsal were also reported between the Lebanese Armed Forces and alleged Syrian armed men.
Incidents within Lebanon
Two suicide bombings on 20 and 23 June marked a return of insecurity to Lebanon after months of relative calm. Fears of a spillover of violence from Syria and Iraq were heightened when the Al Qaeda-affiliated Abdullah Azzam Brigades announced that the attacks will continue until Hezbollah withdraws from the conflict in Syria.
There were nine bombings in southern Beirut between July 2013 and mid-June 2014, killing more than 70 people, almost all civilians, according to the Ministry of Health. On 25 January, a statement by an unknown Lebanon-based jihadist figure announced the creation of a Lebanese branch of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (now Islamic State).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Tensions are rising between host communities and refugees over strained resources, particularly with regard to overwhelmed health facilities and employment. Health and education systems, housing, employment opportunities, and food prices are all affected. According to a 2013 World Bank study, an estimated USD 1.6 billion will be needed to restore quality and access to health, education, and social safety nets to pre-crisis levels.
The IMF has recently forecast an improvement in the economic situation: 2% growth in 2014 and 4% over the medium term. Lebanon's economic growth dropped to about 1.5% in 2013 from an annual average of 8% from 2007 to 2010.
Insecurity in some areas is hindering assistance. In April and May military operations in border areas at times prevented humanitarian partners from travelling to areas such as Aarsal and Tfail. Access to parts of Akkar and Palestinian refugee camps has at times been limited.
As of 16 July, nearly 1,089,500 Syrians are registered as refugees with UNHCR in Lebanon and over 39,000 are awaiting registration. 78% of refugees are women and children. The number of Syrians in Lebanon who are not registered with UNHCR is unknown. Refugees reside in over 1,700 locations, of which some 1,000 are informal settlements.
Lebanon has the highest per capita concentration of refugees worldwide. The UN estimates that Lebanon will need USD 1.6 billion in funding to cope with the humanitarian situation this year; as of 1 June only 23% has been raised. (UNHCR 03/07/2014)
Only Syrians with valid and undamaged identification cards or passports can enter Lebanon. While most Syrians are granted access, there is a reported increase in arrests and detentions of Syrians for illegal entry and stay (UNHCR). On 31 May, Lebanon’s Interior Minister announced that displaced Syrians registered with UNHCR must refrain from entering Syria from 1 June 2014, or they will lose their status as refugees in Lebanon.
The percentage of refugees internally displaced in Syria before arriving in Lebanon increased from 45% in January to 52% in April. The percentage of refugees internally displaced many times in Syria before arriving in Lebanon went up sharply from 11% in January to 54% in April. (UNHCR 06/2014)
Palestinian Refugees from Syria: Over 53,000 Palestinian refugees from Syria (PRS) have been recorded by UNRWA. There has been a decrease in registered arrivals due to entry restrictions.
Since 8 May, Palestinian refugees from Syria wishing to enter Lebanon must possess either an entry permit approved by the General Directorate of General Security, a residency permit of one to three years, or an exit and return permit. The entry permit must be obtained through the Lebanese embassy in Damascus. HRW has stated that the process to apply for the permits is unclear and makes it almost impossible for Palestinian refugees to enter Lebanon.
Over 70% of Syrian refugee households need food assistance (Vulnerability Assessment for Syrian Refugees, 05/2013). The number of people requiring food assistance continues to increase, straining existing resources.
Food is the largest expense for Syrian refugees and Palestinian refugees from Syria (PRS). For Syrian refugees, it ranges from USD 151 to USD 275 per household per month. Monitoring reports found that the value of the commodity basket differed between regions, with higher prices in Beirut, Mount Lebanon and South Lebanon. Diet diversity improves according to how long refugees have been registered: 86% of households registered for longer than six months consumed more than six food groups, compared to 74% of those awaiting registration. Tripoli had the highest proportion of Syrian refugees who eat just one or two meals per day, when compared to Akkar and the Bekaa (Inter-agency multi-sector needs assessment (MSNA) 05/2014).
Only 22% of households reported having any income in a UNHCR survey of refugee households. Among those completely reliant on others for support, over 90% cited lack of work as the main problem. Medical conditions or permanent disability were also reasons for some refugee household members not working (MSNA 05/2014).
An ILO assessment found that most working Syrians endure harsh conditions, and the average monthly income for a Syrian refugee in Lebanon is almost 40% less than the national minimum wage. UNHCR reports that newcomers arriving in 2014 are in general more vulnerable than those who arrived in the past, because they spent their savings and assets while in Syria and find it more difficult to find employment or accommodation upon arrival. Between 70% and 91% of Syrian refugee households are in debt; with amounts owed ranging from USD 201 to USD 600. Debt is generally higher among those in larger households or who have been in Lebanon longer. Loan sources are usually friends or relatives (MSNA 05/2014).
Palestinian Refugees from Syria (PRS): More than 37% of PRS reported cash and food aid as their main source of income (UNRWA, 03/2014). Although more than a third of PRS have found temporary employment, the majority is employed in elementary occupations on a temporary basis, and cannot rely on wages to ensure a decent standard of living. Only a few PRS households were able to rely on previous saving and remittances (11%), which leaves most vulnerable to income and price shocks. On average, surveyed households reported a monthly expenditure of USD 647. Average expenditures on food was USD299 (46% of income) and shelter USD 177 (27% of income).
Lebanese population: Social Affairs Minister Rashid Derbas stated on 3 July that border communities hosting Syrian refugees were under particular pressure because of the increase in people willing to work for low wages. Unemployment in these areas, especially among unspecialised or unskilled labour, has doubled since the refugee influx (Reuters 03/07/2014)
As of May, unemployment rates among Lebanese ranged from 58% in Wadi Khaled, to 44% in Sahel Akkar, and 23% in Bekaa (Save the Children 27/05/2014).
According to a September 2013 World Bank study, the continuing refugee inflow will increase national vulnerability. Should the current rate continue, more than 170,000 additional Lebanese could fall into poverty by 2014.
Health and Nutrition
Health working group members have identified a shortage of medicine, equipment and health worker capacity as a growing concern (UNHCR 01/07/2014). The current supply of medicines for acute and chronic diseases is insufficient to cover rising demand.
Four key issues that may affect the future development and operation of the health sector have been highlighted: budget constraints could prompt a shift towards more targeted assistance; a sudden refugee influx could exceed response capacity; the onset of summer will increase the potential for disease outbreaks; and medical needs may grow among refugees in informal settlements where WASH and nutrition conditions are deteriorating.
Referral for secondary or tertiary healthcare is extremely expensive in Lebanon and the health budget required for 1.5 million refugees remains extremely underfunded (UNHCR 20/06/2014). Low utilisation of antenatal and post-natal services is leading to high rates of emergency obstetrics (34% of all deliveries are caesarean sections and 53% of all admissions to secondary healthcare have been for pregnancy and childbirth as of March). Geography and cost present barriers to accessing antenatal care (UNHCR 01/07/2014). Other main reasons for referral are respiratory infections, and trauma and other injuries (UNHCR, Government of Lebanon 2014/06/16).
Physical access to health centres is a challenge for some refugees who live in remote locations. Access is further limited by short working hours and the lack of trained health personnel. Despite contributions by UNHCR and humanitarian health partners, many refugees still find it difficult to cover the costs of medical treatment. Among the refugee population to have sought medical attention, over 70% of patients are women and nearly a quarter are children under five (UNHCR 03/2014).
Palestinian Refugees from Syria (PRS): Around 60% of PRS households in Lebanon are affected by chronic illness (UNRWA, 03/2014). On average, 42% of surveyed households had at least one member who required hospitalisation. More than a quarter (27%) households reporting at least one pregnant or breastfeeding woman within the household. Households living outside the refugee camps have been less frequently accessing UNRWA’s health services than households in the camps.
2,000 children under the age of five are at risk of dying from malnutrition due to food shortages, with over half of these children suffering from severe acute malnutrition: between 5% and 10% of children under five in Bekaa and north Lebanon suffer from acute malnutrition (Amnesty, 20/05/2014).
Only 6% of 618 Syrian refugee children aged between six and 23 months were found to consume the minimum acceptable diet, according to WHO infant and young child feeding indicators. Almost 75% of the children surveyed did not meet the minimum acceptable meal frequency set by WHO guidelines. Another assessment found that more than 85% of Syrian refugees children aged 0–23 months were breastfed, including more than 25% exclusively breastfed. More than 60% of mothers initiated breastfeeding within 23 hours of birth (MSNA 05/2014).
Palestinian Refugees from Syria (PRS): Almost 75% of PRS children aged between six months and five years were sick in the two weeks prior to the UNRWA survey in March. The assessment also revealed poor food consumption patterns. Almost all PRS children (91%) did not meet the minimum acceptable meal frequency levels and the majority of children (86 %) did not have acceptable dietary diversity.
Lebanon is now considered one of the top 13 countries with high polio vulnerability (Global Polio Eradication Initiative). Lebanon launched a fourth round of polio immunisation on 11 April, targeting around 600,000 Syrian, Lebanese, and Palestinian children aged up to five: 94% were reached. Lebanon has been polio-free for 12 years.
The WASH sector estimates that 28% of Syrian refugees do not have enough access to safe water. It is estimated that the demand for water has increased by 7% due to the refugee influx, equating to a cumulative cost of approximately USD 18 million (UNHCR 01/07/2014).
WASH conditions are worse for the estimated 14% of Syrian refugees living in 1,069 informal settlements, and for the Syrian refugees in the Bekaa valley and the North of Lebanon who live in difficult-to-access locations. 26,000 Palestinian refugees from Syria (PRS) are also considered to be among those most in need of WASH services. The PRS have added to the Palestinian populations who were already living on minimal service provision before the current crisis (UNHCR 01/07/2014).
2014 is likely to be the driest year in 100 years. Precipitation and surface flow is around 50% of an average year while available groundwater resources are around 80%. Consequently, water costs will increase and higher salinity levels on groundwater near coastal areas can be expected. The water shortages are expected to impact agricultural production and related livelihoods.
Waste management: 29% of Syrian refugees are in need of access to improved sanitation, of which 7% are using primitive toilet facilities. The lack of adequate sanitation is a particular concern in buildings and settlements that were not originally intended as living spaces. In informal settlements, wastewater is not properly evacuated (UNHCR 01/07/2014).
On 27 June, Lebanon’s Foreign Minister met with ambassadors from the countries of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council to discuss setting up camps for the Syrian refugees along the border with Syria. The Syrian ambassador to Lebanon stated that the Syrian Government opposes the suggestion.
Shelter remains a priority need for refugees. The high cost of living and housing in Lebanon has forced many households to adopt negative coping strategies or to move into substandard accommodation. As of March, most refugees (81%) were renting accommodation: 57% of the 81% were in apartments that are often shared with other displaced families, and 40% in insecure dwellings such as unfinished buildings, garages, warehouses, animal sheds, and informal settlements. 3% of refugees are accommodated in collective shelters, which are often rehabilitated spaces. Refugees living in substandard shelters are subject to limited access to water and hygiene facilities, and often face overcrowding and harsh weather conditions. More than 80% of registered refugees pay on average USD 200 per month for accommodation, including substandard shelters.
Shelter is the primary reason for widespread secondary displacement among Syrian refugees; between September 2013 and January 2014, WFP found that 55% of households had moved at least once: 36% indicated that they had moved to better shelter and 29% to cheaper shelter, while 9% had been evicted.
Security of tenure is an additional concern: only 10% of registered Syrian refugees possess a written rent agreement. An increase in evictions has been reported, especially in the Bekaa and in the North. Evictions are often caused by the inability of destitute families to pay the rent. They are sometimes carried out without proper notification and often without a required court order. In addition, eviction threats are increasingly triggered by a growing impatience felt within hosting communities with the ongoing and increasing refugee presence. Between the beginning of 2014 and 31 May, protection and shelter actors recorded some 50 refugee families evicted and another 220 under threat of eviction in the Tripoli area. For the same period, there are records of 133 families evicted and another 470 under threat of eviction in the Bekaa.
Refugee families living in unfinished buildings, garages and on worksites are often in more deplorable living conditions, their situation is less visible and their access to services can be more challenging. Finding suitable sites for formal settlements and collective shelters remains a key issue.
Some 50,000 Lebanese nationals are expected to have returned from Syria by the end of 2014, with the majority of them not owning land or housing but obliged to rent or live with host families. At least 51% are shelter insecure and require assistance to cover rental costs or shelter repair (UNHCR 01/07/2014).
The Beirut and Mount Lebanon refugee population (close to 148,000 as of the end of March) is the fastest growing in Lebanon, with 5,000 new registrations each week, and is the second largest in the country after the Bekaa valley. This large influx of refugees is having a significant impact, particularly in impoverished pockets of greater Beirut.
The cost of living is significantly higher in Beirut and Mount Lebanon than in the rest of the country, and unemployment, which was already higher than average, has resulted in heavy reliance on assistance or negative coping mechanisms such as debt to meet basic needs: 80% of assessed households are in debt. Findings illustrate a clear correlation between debt, and increased protection, health and hygiene risks. Over one-third of households require shelter upgrading or rehabilitation, and 36% of assessed households were found to have less than 3.5m2 of shelter space per person. The average number of individuals per shelter was 7.4 (ACTED 14/05/2014).
Palestinian Refugees from Syria (PRS): PRS households are residing in alarmingly crowded dwellings, with an average of 4.6 persons per bedroom. Households are also extremely constrained in their access to bathroom facilities, with 8.4 people on average sharing one bathroom. Most households (71%) reported paying rent for shelter. Slightly over a quarter of households (27%) were hosted for free.
A total of 462,300 school-age children are in need of education assistance, with the enrolment rate of Syrian refugee children being approximately 20%. There are 394,000 Syrian refugees and 21,000 Palestine refugees from Syria (PRS) of school age (3–18 years) in Lebanon. According to IOM data, 40,000 vulnerable Lebanese children are out of school. The Lebanese education system is predominantly private, with 70% of Lebanese children attending private schools and the remaining 30% attending public schools. The Syrian influx has increased the demand on the limited public school places by almost 134% (UNHCR 01/07/2014)
Language barriers and safety concerns of Syrian parents contribute to a high drop-out rate. Transportation is another need, as are educational activities beyond formal schooling, including preparation for enrolment in the Lebanese system and for return to Syria. Access to education differs between geographical areas, primarily depending on proximity to schools.
Palestinian Refugees from Syria (PRS): UNRWA schools, where the majority of PRS children are enrolled, are predominantly located within refugee camps and surroundings, making access more difficult for those outside camps and resulting in lower enrolment rates. School enrolment rates doubled since last academic year to reach 64% this year. Enrolment rates decrease as a child’s age increases (even within the same household): children aged 13 years and older are facing the most difficulties adjusting to UNRWA’s Lebanese curricula, taught in English or French. The main reasons for children not enrolling in schools appear to be related to the differences between school curricula, as well as transportation costs for the majority of PRS children.
Syrian and PRS refugee parents continue to experience barriers to registering the births of refugee children born in Lebanon, mainly due to the lack of legal residency permits and, in the case of PRS, the inability to renew visas. It is estimated that 35,000 Syrian refugee children will be born in Lebanon at the end of 2014. There is a risk of statelessness for those remaining unregistered (UNHCR 01/07/2014).
On 30 June Amnesty International published a briefing reporting that Palestinian refugees from Syria - including pregnant women, children and women with infants – have been denied entry into Lebanon due to tightened border restrictions. Amnesty International’s research also found evidence of a policy to deny Palestinian refugees from Syria entry into Lebanon altogether – regardless of whether they meet the new conditions of entry.
On 31 May, Lebanon’s Interior Minister announced that anyone returning to Syria after 1 June would be stripped of his or her refugee status on return to Lebanon. This was approved by committee on 9 June. On 4 June the Social Affairs Minister suggested that only Syrians fleeing from areas close to the border with Lebanon would be allowed to enter.
Since 3 May entry for Palestinian refugees from Syria seeking safety and protection in Lebanon has all but ceased. On 8 May, severe restrictions were placed on PRS wanting to enter Lebanon and for PRS in Lebanon renewing their visas. Palestinians fleeing Syria will not be provided visas at the border, and the 53,000 Palestinians from Syria already in Lebanon will not have their visas renewed: within three months they will not have the necessary documentation to reside in Lebanon. A circular issued by the General Security Office on 22 May requires PRS to regularise their legal status within a month.
Some refugees arrive in Lebanon with unconfirmed nationality, or without documents proving their nationality, including Syrian Kurds, who were denaturalised in Syria in 1962. Some 15,000 Syrian refugees have been born in Lebanon, but birth registration levels are extremely low. According to a UNHCR survey earlier this year, 75% of 1,882 refugee newborns did not possess official birth certificates.
The renewal of legal stay documentation for refugees remains unaffordable for many families, while the lack of clarity over their status is raising fear and inhibiting refugees’ ability to access services. Many living unofficially in Lebanon are already unable to move freely, too afraid to access legal protection or aid, and at risk of exploitation.
Protection issues also include unemployment and wage discrimination in Mount Lebanon, eviction threats used to extort extra rental payments or assistance in the North and continued arrival of injured individuals into Chebaa in the South.
Mines and ERW
Experts report the presence of nearly 1,400 confirmed minefields and 520 cluster munitions strike areas, including in areas hosting refugees. There is limited data on incidents though there are reports of an increase between 2012 and 2013. The assumed reasons for this are linked to lack of awareness and proper demarcation of contaminated areas.
In March, refugees were living within 10–20m of known minefields in West Bekka and Rashaya (Mine Action Group).
Sexual and Gender-based Violence
A weak legal framework, limited resources and social barriers prevent refugees at risk of SGBV, or victims of violence and abuse from seeking and receiving adequate protection. Other challenges include lack of documentation, overcrowding, and growing tension between refugees and host communities. Scarce economic opportunities coupled with high costs of living lead some families to negative coping mechanisms including early marriage, child labour, survival sex.
Many refugee children are in need of psychosocial support. Needs include prevention of and response to physical violence, verbal harassment, and pressure to return to Syria to fight, particularly among adolescent boys. Refugee children subject to sexual violence, child labour, and early marriage also require correct identification and referral for appropriate assistance. Separated or unaccompanied children need safe living arrangements and assistance to help locate and reunite them with their families, whenever possible.
Growing incidents of child labour and violence against children are being reported by child protection actors. Children are reported to be working long hours in high-risk jobs. Child protection actors are also noticing an increase in child marriages, including ‘temporary’ marriages.
Humanitarian actors in all regions are reporting increasing incidents of violence, physical abuse and discrimination directed towards refugee children in schools. This is reportedly resulting in parents stopping their children from attending classes or in children dropping out from school.
Refugee women, children, and youth continue to report instances of physical violence, aggression and harassment by local community members, especially in Mount Lebanon and the north. The Lebanese population and refugees perceive each other as an economic threat, and a threat to their security, according to a social cohesion study by Save the Children and the American University of Beirut that focused on Akkar and the Bekaa (UNHCR 20/06/2014).
Wages and work opportunities have been reduced for many Lebanese as Syrians are often willing to work for lower wages. Many social services cannot cope with the increasing demand. A perception that Syrian refugees get preferential treatment, perhaps due to humanitarian assistance directly targeting them, is adding to the friction. Host communities also fear infectious disease outbreaks as the number of insanitary informal refugee settlements grows.
Syrian refugees are mainly residing among the poorest communities of Lebanon, sharing scarce resources. Water shortages, the upcoming elections, a change in the situation in Syria and mobilisation along sectarian lines, and large-scale cash programming could all worsen the situation.
Vulnerability has increased since late 2013, as UN mapping in May indicates 242 most vulnerable localities, where 68% of Lebanese in these localities reside on less than USD4 per day with 86% of registered Syrian refugees.
Mauritania Country Analysis
Late June: The food security situation in northern Guidimakha, Gorgol, and Brakna, is particularly difficult: poor households have begun facing food consumption gaps and are already experiencing Crisis levels of food insecurity (FEWSNET).
- 800,000 people are estimated to be food insecure, of whom 190,000 are severely food insecure (OCHA, 02/2014).
- Mauritania’s acute malnutrition level has already surpassed the estimated 2014 caseload (SMART survey), with a reported 31,000 SAM and 95,000 MAM children (UNICEF, 03/2014).
- Security challenges continue to be a problem in Mbera refugee camp on the border with Mali. The camp currently hosts most of the 57,400 Malian refugees in Mauritania. Mauritania is the largest recipient of refugees fleeing the conflict in Mali (UNHCR and OCHA, 04/2014).
Politics and Security
National Political Context
On 21 June, President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz was elected for another five-year term, winning 82% of the vote, according to the election commission. Anti-slavery campaigner Biram Ould Dah Ould Abeid, who came second, filed a complaint to the Constitutional Council, arguing that fraud and irregularities marred the voting. Most opposition parties boycotted the poll, citing a lack of electoral reform.
The National Forum for Democracy and Unity (FNDU) demonstrated against the election process in Nouakchott on 4 June. The coalition combines the Islamist National Rally for Reform and Development (Tawassoul) and the parties of the Co-ordination of Democratic Opposition, which plan to boycott the election, as they did last year’s legislative election.
The 2013 elections were the first parliamentary polls since 2006, and the country’s ruling Union for the Republic and its allies won 76 of 147 seats. The National Electoral Commission announced a record turnout of 75% of 1.2 million registered voters. However, the vote was boycotted by most parties in the 11-member Coordination of Democratic Opposition. The credibility of the Government continues to be questioned by much of the northern population, who claim they are being marginalised concerning the provision of basic services.
Regional Political Context
In a bid to strengthen bilateral relations, Malian President Keita visited Nouakchott in January, discussing security issues and the voluntary return of the refugees who have fled to Mauritania since the violence erupted in Mali almost two years ago. Also on the agenda was military cooperation regarding the increased threat of militant terror groups in the Sahel region.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
An estimated 531,000 people will require assistance in 2014, including 315,200 children (2014–2016 Humanitarian Needs Overview). Mauritania continues to suffer from a multidimensional crisis related to food insecurity, high prevalence of malnutrition, the presence of Malian refugees, and significant flooding that hit the country in 2013.
At the end of March, 140,000 people affected by floods in 2013 need humanitarian assistance in 2014 (UNICEF).
With 52,850 Malian refugees, Mauritania is the largest recipient of refugees fleeing conflict in Mali (UNHCR, 06/2014). Almost all refugees live in Mbera camp, a remote desert location on the border with Mali that has significant security challenges. According to UNICEF, 60% of camp residents are women and children, and many have been in the camp for almost two years, resulting in overlapping emergency and medium-term needs. Mbera camp is located in a poor region, where food insecurity and malnutrition are high and government services are few. Security problems and the inaccessibility of areas of northern Mali make it difficult to obtain return figures. At the moment, a tripartite agreement is being prepared between UNHCR, Mali, and Mauritania to facilitate the safe return of refugees.
The food security situation is particularly difficult in northern Guidimakha, Gorgol, and Brakna, where poor households have begun facing food consumption gaps and are already experiencing Crisis levels of food insecurity (FEWSNET, 06/2014).
Pastoral conditions continue to deteriorate throughout the country, causing atypical migrations to seasonal grazing areas inside and outside the country. For several months, pastoralists in western agropastoral zone and northern Guidimakha are experiencing Stressed food security outcomes. They have resorted to purchasing animal feed, the price of which has risen steeply, and risk livelihood protection deficits and (FEWSNET, 06/2014).
In other rural areas, with the exception of the western Senegal River Valley, where the successful growing season for hot off-season crops is prolonging the beneficial effects of the cold off-season, the lean season is similar to that of an average year (FEWSNET, 06/2014).
As of February, nearly 800,000 people, a fifth of the total population, were food insecure, including 190,000 severely food insecure (OCHA, 02/2014). The number has increased dramatically since the last estimate of 470,000 in January. Half of the country records malnutrition rates above the emergency threshold, and humanitarian partners indicate that a third of the country’s population requires humanitarian assistance. Chronic poverty and limited access to basic services have created high levels of vulnerability.
Food Security in the Sahel Region
FEWSNET reported that erratic rainfall resulted in crop losses of up to 50% and below-average pasture growth in areas of the southern Sahel during the 2013/14 season. These poor harvests have led to below-average food stock levels. Transhumant pastoralists in parts of the region have started their southern migration several months earlier than normal.
National food insecurity is further influenced by twenty million people currently at risk of food insecurity in the Sahel region and 2.5 million of them need urgent lifesaving food assistance, as reported by OCHA on 3 February. Across the region, an estimated five million children under five are expected to suffer from malnutrition in 2014, and some 1.5 million of them will face acute malnutrition.
Health and Nutrition
Late March, UNICEF reported that 125,300 children will be affected by acute malnutrition in 2014, including 30,740 children with severe acute malnutrition; an increase of almost 30% compared to the 2013 caseload. An estimated 90% of expected SAM cases live in the seven most vulnerable regions.
According to the post-harvest Nutrition Survey of December 2013, 6% of under-fives are affected by acute malnutrition, and 0.7% by SAM. However, these malnutrition rates are likely to rise with the approach of the summer lean season. According to ECHO, over 114,000 Mauritanian children needed therapeutic feeding in 2013.
No new developments this week 15/07/2014. Last update: 01/07/2014.
- Namibia is in the grip of a serious food security crisis due to recurrent drought. Approximately 780,000 people are food insecure as a result of the 2013 drought, and 463,581 need food assistance (FAO, 19/05/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Heavy and above-average rains resulted in flooding across the Omusati region along the Angola-Namibian border in March and April. The inundation led to the closure of several schools in the area (OCHA, 07/04/2014). Local villages in the Caprivi Strip also reported flooding.
Conversely, since the beginning of the year, the northwest has received less than 80% of average rainfall.
The inflow is insignificant despite the rain, underground water levels have not improved, and water levels in the three major dams supplying Windhoek and the central areas are deteriorating. The total water storage in the three dams has plummeted to around 36%, compared to 91% in February 2012 and 63% in February 2013. The Windhoek municipality has urged residents to be conservative in their water use, as well as to adhere to water restrictions imposed in 2013. Fears are that, without further rain, Windhoek could run dry by August 2014.
Over 3,000 Angolan refugees in Namibia have been repatriated from Namibia, after their refugee status 30 June 2012, as Angola has now enjoyed several years of peace and stability. Namibia had about 5,000 refugees: 2,000 will receive Namibian citizenship or permanent residency permits (Angolan Embassy in Namibia 26/06/2014).
Namibia is in the grip of a serious food security crisis. Approximately 780,000 people are estimated to be food insecure following the 2013 drought, of whom 463,580 need assistance (FAO, 19/05/2014). The northern regions have been worst affected, and assessments found the largest number of food insecure in Kavango and Ohangwena. Households have employed negative coping strategies, including reducing the numbers of meals and increasing consumption of wild foods.
National cereal production is provisionally forecast at 122,390 metric tons, reflecting an increase of 50% from last season's harvest but still 2% below average (OCHA, 19/05/2014). Maize production is expected to increase by nearly 70%. The millet harvest is expected to increase by 48%. Pasture and livestock conditions have also improved in most parts of the country this year. However, water deficits have continued to negatively impact pasture development in the northwestern region of Kuene (FAO, 19/05/2014).OCHA has indicated that water levels have been decreasing, and 40–50% of water points no longer function. Many farmers have been forced to sell cattle due to lack of pasture. Cattle from drought-affected Angola are reportedly crossing the border in search of food, fuelling tribal tensions.
Health and Nutrition
No new cholera cases have been reported since 23 April 2014: the number of cholera cases reported in Khomas region (which covers Windhoek) remains at 70, with two deaths, since November 2013. The last cholera patient was discharged on 26 April (OCHA, 30/04/2014).
The HIV/AIDS epidemic is estimated to affect around 550,000 Namibians, or 25% of the population. The President has made the fight against the disease a national priority in the National Strategic Framework for 2010-2016.
Niger Country Analysis
14 July: 4,893 people arrived in North Tahoua in June, fleeing armed groups and insecurity in Malai. 1,062 have already relocated to the Intikane area and 3,831 are currently in Agando, 15km from the border (UNHCR 14/07/2014).
- 5.3 million Nigeriens are food insecure, with 1.3 million facing Crisis levels of food insecurity (ECHO, 04/2014).
- 356,000 children suffer from SAM, and 650,000 MAM (OCHA, 01/2014).
- 100,000 people have escaped to Niger from Mali (50,000) and Nigeria (60,000) (UNHCR, 19/06/2014)
- Niger is affected by a cholera epidemic, reportedly linked to the one in neighbouring Nigeria. Since January 2014, 166 cases and three deaths have been recorded (UNICEF, 05/2014).
Niger is affected by instability in neighbouring Mali and Nigeria. Spillover from Nigeria's Islamist uprising is threatening Niger’s security: a growing number of incidents has been recorded, including the seizure of arms and arrest of militants.
On 16 February, the presidents of Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger created the G5-Sahel, an initiative to coordinate development and security policies. The G5-Sahel grew from a pledge from the international community for USD 8 billion to these countries to fight terrorism and support development regionally. The next meeting of the G5 will take place in Chad within six months.
National Political Context
On 8 February, 36 parties mobilised 18,000 people to rally in the capital Niamey in support of President Issoufou in response to large-scale opposition protests in December 2013. Thousands of protestors from the opposition coalition Alliance for the Republic, Democracy, and Reconciliation took to the streets on 28 December over the failure of the Government to improve living standards. It was the largest public protest for three years, and took place after a ban on opposition demonstrations was lifted in November.
In August 2013, President Issoufou appointed a national unity Government in an attempt to reinforce political stability, address regional security threats, and deal with corruption, impunity, and demographic and economic challenges.
Insecurity has been rising in Niger and across the region due to a series of crises in Libya, Mali, and Nigeria. Terrorist threats from the Nigerian Boko Haram group, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, and the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa are all of concern.
A number of incidents, including an attempted kidnapping of officials, and the seizure of arms and arrests of militants, suggest that Boko Haram may be using southeast Niger both as a base and a potential target, according to Reuters.
Niger is also facing increasing communal tensions connected to the Tuareg insurgency. Divided along lines of class, clan, and generation, some Tuareg are integrated into the administration. However, others have been waging a low-level war in an attempt to achieve greater autonomy for the north.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
An estimated 100,000 people have sought refuge in Niger following crises in Mali and Nigeria.
4,893 people arrived in North Tahoua in June, fleeing armed groups and insecurity in Mali. 1,062 have already relocated to the Intikane area and 3,831 are currently in Agando, 15km from the border (UNHCR 14/07/2014).
50,000 Malian refugees are in Niger (UNHCR, 19/06/2014). 80% were women and children according to March 2014 figures. Most live in three camps established in Tillabery region in 2012: Abala, Mangaize, and Tabareybarey. In 2013, in an attempt to adapt to the specific needs of nomadic refugees, two refugee hosting areas were established in Intikane and Tazalit, Tahoua region.
On 3 May, Mali, Niger, and UNHCR signed a tripartite agreement on the voluntary repatriation of Malian refugees, although the situation in northern Mali is not yet favourable to the promotion of massive returns. UNHCR said it will work with both Governments in seeking durable solutions for the refugees.
60,000 refugees and returnees have fled violence in Nigeria’s Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe states.
Between 700 and 1,000 people are arriving in Diffa region from northeastern Nigeria every week (UNHCR, 05/2014). An estimated 22,400 people crossed into Diffa region between January and late May (UNHCR and International Rescue Committee). At current levels, 100,000 new arrivals are expected by the end of the year. The numbers have grown significantly from 37,000 in September 2013, and 6,400 in July 2013.
Priority needs are food, shelter, NFIs, WASH, and health. There are no refugee camps in Diffa, and poor security and infrastructure make the provision of assistance particularly difficult. The majority of refugees are women and children living with host families who have limited food and water resources in Bosso, Abadam, Main Soroa, Diffa, Kablewa, Tchoukoudjani, Garin Amadou, and Baroua.
The Government has reportedly been slow in giving the newly arrived Nigerians refugee status, despite a December decree granting refugee status to people fleeing the states under a state of emergency in Nigeria.
CAR Crisis: Returnees
Since December 2013, 1,160 Niger nationals were repatriated from CAR by IOM in coordination with the Government of Niger.
5.3 million Nigerians remain food insecure, with 1.3 million facing Crisis levels of food insecurity (OCHA). In February, 80% of food insecure people were in rural areas (OCHA). In late March, 30,000 Malian refugee children needed food assistance.
Poor households in pastoral areas of Diffa, Tahoua, Zinder, and Tillabery will be in Stressed food security conditions (some even at Crisis) from June to August, due to persistently high grain prices.
Promising rain forecasts could see an improvement from July, with enhanced grain supply and improved grazing conditions, although prices will likely remain higher than usual (FEWSNET 01/07/2014). Disruptions in trade flows from Nigeria are keeping keep prices above average despite regular market supplies and normal seasonal price trends. ICRC has reported that poor security conditions have almost halted trade with Nigeria.
On 7 February, ECHO reported that the violence in Nigeria and the displacement of 40,000 people into Niger has affected large areas of farmland.
Health and Nutrition
Niger has made remarkable progress in cutting under-five mortality over the past decade (UN, 02/2014). However, high maternal mortality, skyrocketing population growth, and low government capacity are still impeding progress. Just 18% of births are accompanied by a skilled attendant, and 590 women per 100,000 live births die of pregnancy-related causes.
As of early June, 166 cholera cases have been registered in 2014, including three deaths, representing a fatality rate of 1.8% (UNICEF 05/2014). More than 8,200 cases of cholera were recorded between 2011 and 2013; 7,000 in Tillabery region, in the departments of Ayorou, Tera, Tillabery, Kollo, and Gotheye (WASH Cluster, 05/2013).
As of late April, GAM is at critical levels in the regions of Agadez (14.0%), Tahoua (13.1%), Tillabery (13.3%), and Diffa (12.3%), according to OCHA.
273,035 cases of malnourished children were recorded between January and 10 June, a 14% decrease from the same period in 2013 (FEWSNET 01/07/2014).
15 July: 245,945 people (including 50,000 children) have been affected by recent floods (OCHA, ABC Digital).
- Over 245,945 people have been affected by heavy rainfall and flooding across Paraguay (OCHA, 07/2014).
- Paraguay is prone to a variety of natural disasters, particularly seasonal floods and droughts.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
River levels remain high as a new cold front has arrived, with storms and strong winds. As of 4 July, an estimated 245,945, 50,000 of them children (ABC Digital 13/07/2014), were affected by rivers overflowing and serious flooding. This included 125,000 in need of food assistance (OCHA, 11/07/2014; WFP, 04/07/2014). About 76,725 people were displaced and are expected to remain in temporary shelters for the next few months (OCHA, 04/07/2014). The displaced have complained of respiratory and gastrointestinal infections (La Nación, 15/07/2014).
Rainfall over Paraguay has been heavy since May, and heavy rain in southeastern Brazil since the beginning of June has also had an impact.
In the Chaco region, many communities remain isolated given the impossibility of accessing them by land. Humanitarian aid to those communities is being airlifted (OCHA, 11/07/2014). As of 15 July, residents of Ñeembucú are returning to their homes (La Nación, 15/07/2014).
As of 29 June, Ñeembucú, Presidente Hayes, Alto Paraguay, Misiones, San Pedro, Central, Alto Paraná, and Cordillera departments, and Asunción and Concepción districts were affected (SEN, 29/06/2014). Highways were damaged and many communities could only be reached by air or water, especially in Alto Paraguay and Presidente Hayes (OCHA, 06/2014).
Outlook: The level of the Paraguay River by 14 July was 8.60 m (1.5m being the average level) (La Nación, 15/07/2014). The level of the Parana River is slowly decreasing.
Low temperatures, wind and rain are expected to continue in southern and southeastern areas (ECHO, National Secretary for Emergency, WFP). Flood waters may not recede until September (IFRC, 26/06/2014).
22 July: Over 1.6 million people were affected by typhoon Rammasun, which hit the Philippines over 15–16 July and left 97 dead and 460 injured. 518,700 people are staying in 1,264 evacuation centres. A state of calamity has been declared in regions II, IV-A, V and VIII. Power supply has been restored in some areas (NDRRMC 22/07/2014).
22 July: 18 people were killed in one day due to fighting between the Philippine army and BIFF in Maguindanao. Over 300 families have fled the violence (IRIN 22/07/2014).
18 July: The rehabilitation of some people displaced by Typhoon Haiyan is being delayed due to slow multi-hazard mapping and mixed messages about no-build zones on the coas (IRIN 18/07/2014).
- A shortage of viable evacuation centres in areas hit by Typhoon Haiyan will leave the survivors without alternative accommodation in case of a new typhoon hits this new typhoon season (IRIN 23/06/2014)
- The Philippines is one of the most hazard-prone countries in the world, experiencing several large-scale natural hazards a year.
- In November 2013, Typhoon Haiyan affected over 14.1 million people (OCHA).
- ACAPS released a Secondary Data Review: Philippines Typhoon Yolanda in January 2014.
A series of natural disasters, most significantly Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013, has caused widespread damage across the Philippines, affected millions. The overall political situation is relatively stable, and the Philippine authorities are finalising a peace deal with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the biggest Muslim insurgent movement in Mindanao. However, various breakaway armed groups continue the insurgency.
Since October 2012, the government has been engaged in finalising a lengthy peace process with the MILF, which has been jeopardised by a continuing insurgency waged by breakaway armed groups.
Peace Talks in Mindanao
On 27 March, the Government of the Philippines and MILF, the country’s largest Muslim separatist group, signed an historic peace deal to end four decades of fighting that has claimed over 150,000 lives. The Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) provides for the creation of a new autonomous region to replace the current Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARRM). Under this deal, MILF will cease as an armed opposition force and reform into a political group that will rule the newly established region by 2016.
The peace deal excludes important stakeholders: the hardline Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) that split from MILF in 2009; the Al Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf and Khalifa Islmiyah Mindanao are also opposed to the deal.
Splinter groups on Mindanao and smaller neighbouring islands continue their violent opposition to the government. In May, the government and MILF announced the creation of regulatory bodies to oversee the peace process.
Insurgents and Counterinsurgency Operations
On 10 February, government forces reportedly killed six Abu Sayyaf fighters near Talipao town on Jolo Island, adjacent to Mindanao. According to local reports, Abu Sayyaf is holding a dozen hostages, including two Europeans, in Sulu province. According to authorities, there are still an estimated 300 Abu Sayyaf fighters.
18 people were killed in one day due to fighting between the Philippine army and BIFF in Maguindanao. Over 300 families fled the violence (IRIN 22/07/2014).
Over 28–29 January, at least 53 people were killed after a military offensive was launched against BIFF in Maguindanao. Some 11,000 people were displaced in five days of fighting (OCHA).
The BIFF split from the main Muslim rebel group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), in 2008.
In September and October 2013, a Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) faction led by Nur Misuari assaulted the southern city of Zamboanga in western Mindanao Island, igniting three weeks of fighting. Zamboanga has a mixed Christian and Muslim population and the attacks were largely seen as an attempt to sabotage the peace talks between authorities and MILF. Officials estimated that 202 were killed in the fighting, including over 160 militants, and 324 injured. 140,000 were displaced (UNHCR).
New People’s Army
Sixteen people were killed in southern Mindanao on 15 July as result of clashes between the New People’s Army, the armed wing of the Communist Party, and armed tribesmen (AFP 15/07/2014).
In May, 39 miners were taken hostage by the New People’s Army, during confrontation with government forces in Compostela Valley.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Access is restricted in some areas affected by Typhoon Rammasun (locally known as Typhoon Glenda) due to damage to 11 roads and two bridges (NDRRCM 22/07/2014).
Insecurity in parts of Mindanao and nearby areas is limiting humanitarian access. Concurrent natural disasters have hampered aid delivery to affected populations.
Prolonged dry spells and stronger storms are expected to impact the country in 2014, as it braces for what could be its worst El Niño in 17 years. The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration has also warned of stronger tropical cyclones when the rainy season begins in June, with the peak of El Niño’s impact expected in the last quarter of 2014 or early 2015 (OCHA, 31/05/2014).
Over 1.6 million people were affected by Typhoon Rammasun, which hit the Philippines over 15–16 July and left 97 dead and 460 injured. 518,700 people remain in 1,264 evacuation centres. Over 111,000 houses were damaged (28,795 fully destroyed and 89,486 partially damaged). 115 schools have been affected. Crops, fisheries and agricultural facilities also suffered damage. Power supply has been restored in some areas. A state of calamity was declared in regions II, IV-A, V and VIII. (NDRRMC 22/07/2014)
Floods in Mindanao
160,000 people have been affected by floods in Maguindanao province that started in early June, caused by heavy rains. Authorities have declared a state of emergency in Maguindanao and in some areas of North Cotabato province. 45% of planted areas has been destroyed, affecting 5,000 farmers (OCHA, 14/07/2014).
Tropical Storm Kajiki
Tropical storm Kajiki, locally known as Basyang, struck the Philippines on 31 January. As of 14 February, it had affected at least 47,000 people, including over 5,600 displaced, across Eastern Visayas, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, and Caraga. WASH and shelter needs were reported within the affected population.
Tropical Depression Lingling
In mid-January, tropical depression Lingling, locally known as Agaton, caused floods and landslides across the south of the archipelago, affecting 16 provinces in Northern Mindanao, Davao, Soccsksargen, and Caraga regions, and ARMM. At least 70 people were killed, and 86 injured. Authorities reported that 1.14 million people had been affected, including over 49,000 IDPs. Over 3,400 houses were damaged.
Category 5 Typhoon Haiyan, locally known as Yolanda, made landfall on the east of the Philippines on 8 November. Haiyan was reportedly one of the strongest storms in recorded history. As of February, it was reported that 6,201 people were killed and over 28,600 injured. 14.1 million people, including five million children, were affected (OCHA).
5.9 million people were affected in Central Visayas, 3.9 million in Eastern Visayas region, 466,000 affected in Mimaropa, and 70,000 affected in Caraga. Authorities reported that over 1.14 million houses were damaged by the typhoon, including 550,000 houses that were completely destroyed. According to initial government estimates, the cost of rebuilding houses, schools, roads and bridges could reach USD 5.8 billion.
Rehabilitation of people affected by Typhoon Haiyan is being delayed due to mixed messages about “no-build zones” in coastal areas and the time taken to develop multi-hazard mapping for areas devastated by the typhoon (IRIN 18/07/2014).
On 15 October 2013, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake near the town of Carmen in Bohol province killed 223 people and injured 975. 1.25 million people were affected across six provinces of Central and Western Visayas regions. The earthquake destroyed or damaged 76,000 houses, 41 bridges, and 18 roads.
As of late February, an estimated 364,000 people remained displaced, mostly in makeshift tents or with host communities, with only 1,900 people in official evacuation centres scheduled to close by the end of March. Typhoon Haiyan did not cause significant damage in Bohol, but directly impacted the response capacity of partners.
On 11 July, over 40,000 people remain displaced, ten months after fighting between the army and Muslim guerrillas caused 100,000 to flee Zamboanga (Trust 11/07/2014).
The two largest camps in Zamboanga city will be closed by July and December, the government announced on 7 July. 15,800 IDPs will be transferred to temporary sites while waiting for permanent accommodation (OCHA 07/07/2014). The two largest evacuation centres host some 20,000 people. Prolonged displacement in overcrowded conditions poses health and protection risks, Water and electricity have been rationed in the evacuation centres, as dry weather has resulted in falling water levels in the city reservoir. There are tensions over food, water, and electricity in communities that host IDPs (Protection Cluster).
There is concern for the 26,500 people still living in temporary shelters (evacuation centres, tent cities, spontaneous settlements and bunkhouses) as the June–November tropical storm season approaches (OCHA, 19/06/2014). As people are exposed to the elements, the risk of the situation translating into deteriorating public health or a new humanitarian crisis is heightened.
In the ten worst affected municipalities of Eastern Samar and Samar, only 8% of pre-Haiyan evacuation centres would be usable if a typhoon hit today. Two-thirds are unusable due to substantial damage, and the others were destroyed (IOM, 04/2014).
In late May, more than two million people were still without adequate shelter or durable housing. Many face prolonged uncertainty about whether they will be allowed to settle back in their former homes, most of which are located in designated “no-safe” zones.
Flooding has affected 45% of the planted area in Maguindanao, affecting over 5,000 farmers (OCHA 07/07/2014).
Losses to stored crops caused by the disasters are likely to be high. FAO reported that heavy losses of the staple food crop rice, other high value crops such as sugarcane, coconut, fruits and vegetables.
Agriculture, fisheries and agricultural infrastructures affected by typhoon Ramassun, damage assessments ongoing (NDRRMC 22/07/2014)
Of the 14 million affected by Haiyan, 5.9 million workers lost their sources of income and livelihoods. More than 2.6 million of those affected were already living below the poverty line or were in vulnerable forms of employment before the typhoon, including the agriculture, fishing and forestry sectors, or a combination of all three (Early Recovery and Livelihoods Cluster, 14/05/2014).
BIFF continues to actively recruit and train child soldiers, according to the UN and Philippine authorities.
As reported by Human Rights Watch, Philippines’ security forces and Muslim rebels have committed serious human rights abuses during fighting in Zamboanga.
14 July: Over 870 houses have been damaged in Nuwara Eliya, Badulla, Ratnapura, Monaragala and Matale districts due to strong winds (Government 14/07/2014).
2 July: At least 142 Pakistanis were arrested in June 2014 and at risk of deportation. Most are members of the Ahmadiyya minority, others are Christians and Shia Muslims (HRW 02/07/2014).
- Inter-communal tensions between the Buddhist majority and the Muslim minority are rising again.
- An estimated 770,000 people are food insecure due to consecutive droughts and floods.
Tensions are rising again between the majority Buddhist population and the Muslim minority, who make up 10% of the population. In May, Muslim legislators asked President Rajapakse to protect their minority community from what they described as Buddhist extremist elements.
On 15 June, at least three Muslims were killed and 80 people seriously injured in clashes in Aluthgama and Beruwela, two Muslim-majority towns on the Sinhalese-dominated southern coast, during a protest march led by the hardline Buddhist group Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), or Buddhist Power Force. The Sri Lankan government has imposed an indefinite curfew in the popular tourist region. This outbreak of sectarian violence is Sri Lanka's worst in years.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Over 870 houses have been damaged in Nuwara Eliya, Badulla, Ratnapura, Monaragala and Matale districts due to strong winds (Government 14/07/2014).
Following flash floods and landslides caused by above average monsoon rains in the southwest at the beginning of June, the National Disaster Management Centre reported that about 104,000 people had been affected in eleven districts. Another 27 people died and nine were injured.
Urgent priorities include WASH and health in order to prevent waterborne diseases (OCHA and Government, 16/06/2014).
An estimated 770,000 people are in need of food and water due to drought, according to a multi-sector rapid assessment conducted by the UN, INGOs, and government. It is not expected that the recent heavy rains will ease the drought (OCHA and WFP, 05/2014).
The northeast monsoon, which supplies water for agriculture across the key rice-producing areas of the country, received below average rainfall every month between September 2013 and March 2014, leading to prolonged drought across most of the country.
Sri Lanka has two monsoons a year – the “northeast monsoon”, or Maha, from December to February and the “southwest monsoon”, or Yala, from mid-May to September – and relies heavily on the rainfall for agriculture and hydropower.
The number of food insecure people has escalated dramatically to an estimated 768,000. The rural population’s resistance has eroded due to consecutive droughts and floods. Prolonged dry weather has particularly affected the northern and eastern producing areas in 2014.
The proportion of households with an inadequate diet is estimated to have tripled: in normal conditions, the proportion of households with poor or borderline food consumption in the northern provinces is estimated to be around 6%; by comparison, 18% of the population in the affected areas now have limited meal diversity and/or quantities.
The most affected areas are the rain fed paddy-growing areas of Ampara and Moneragala in the east. The mixed paddy and Palmyra region in the north of the country (Vavuniya, Jaffna, Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi) were also largely affected, with at least 20% of households exhibiting inadequate food consumption (WFP, 04/2014 and FAO, 05/2014).
Harvesting of the 2014 main season Maha rice and maize crops was completed by mid-April. The 2014 Maha rice output, accounting for over 60% of all rice production over the year, is officially estimated at 2.4 million metric tons, 17% below last year’s record level. Early prospects for the 2014 Yala rice crop, currently being planted, are also unfavourable.
The 2014 aggregate rice production (including the 2014 Maha and the ongoing 2014 Yala seasons) is forecast at 3.9 million metric tons, 16% lower than the 2013 record output and 4% below the average level of the previous five years (FAO).
20 July: Over South Sudanese 1,236 refugees arrived in Uganda this week, twice last week’s number. 65% of the new arrivals are children (IOM).
- 119,707 South Sudanese refugees arrived since December 2013.
- Cholera is endemic in the region, with an ongoing outbreak in Arua district.- The Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), an Islamist group fighting the Ugandan Government and based in the DRC–Uganda border region, has been accused of recruiting child soldiers, sexual abusing women and children, and carrying out attacks on peacekeepers
On 6 July, Ugandan troops killed 41 people in a clash with tribal gunmen on the border with DRC (AFP, 06/07/2014). On 8 July, another 13 attacks, presumed to be the result of inter-ethnic clashes between two tribes, occurred across three districts in the same area leaving 90 people dead (UNHCR, 08/07/2014). Fearing for their safety, 2,000 Ugandans sought refuge during the violence in Bundibugyo district’s Bubukwanga transit centre (TC), though most have already returned home (UNHCR, 08/07/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
As of 31 March, Uganda hosts 30,136 IDPs (OCHA, 11/06/2014).
Refugees in Uganda
As of 30 June, Uganda hosts 388,950 refugees and asylum seekers (UNHCR, 08/07/2014), 87% of whom are women and children (OCHA, 11/06/2014).
As of 20 July, 119,707 South Sudanese refugees are in Uganda. The number new arrivals 13–20 July was 1,236, compared to 531 the week before. 65% of the new arrivals are children. The refugees enter the country mainly through the Nimule and Koboko borders (IOM, 20/07/2014).
170,000 refugees are from DRC (IRIN, 10/07/2014). Transportation from Kyangwali to the DRC border has been set up for 3,500 refugees in Uganda who have expressed their will to return (IRIN, 10/07/2014).
The rest of the refugee population is believed to be from Somalia.
Ugandan Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
As of 1 July, there are 1,230 Ugandan refugees in Kenya (UNHCR, 01/07/2014). As of 30 June, there are 1,211 Ugandan refugees in DRC (UNHCR, 30/06/2014).
560,000 people are in Crisis and Emergency food security conditions (IPC Phase 3 and 4) (FEWSNET, 01/07/2014), the majority of which is in the northeast. Households receiving humanitarian assistance are in Stressed acute food insecurity conditions (IPC Phase 2) and likely to remain that way until October. Most areas will remain in Minimal (IPC Phase 1) conditions until at least September (FEWSNET, 31/05/2014).
Karamoja: As of May, food insecurity in Karamoja, in the northeast, was worse than last year, while not in an emergency situation. Approximately 252,000 people out of 1.37 million are in IPC Phase 3 (Crisis). A further 58% are in Phase 2 (Stressed). Assessments found that household food stocks were exhausted by March. The most affected districts are Napak, Kaabong, Moroto, and Kotido. These conditions are expected to persist until September (FEWSNET, 06/2014). For households with livestock to sell, livestock to sorghum terms of trade remain favourable. Other income-earning opportunities, such as casual agricultural labour, are not as widely available as usual.
Atypically heavy rain in May and June brought seasonal totals to slightly above average in the northern districts (FEWSNET, 01/07/2014).
While national production is likely to be close to average, in portions of southern Uganda dry spells have led to rapid deterioration of ground conditions, and seasonal rainfall is expected to decrease further over the next few months (FEWSNET, 31/05/2014; 20/06/2014). In the southwest and some central regions, a below-average harvest is likely in June–July.
Karamoja: Low rainfall in April/May has delayed crop development in Karamoja, and the lean season may be prolonged. If normal to below normal rainfalls continue, a delayed and well below average harvest is expected in October (FEWSNET, 01/07/2014).
Health and Nutrition
A cholera outbreak in Mulwanda, a fishing village on the shore of Lake Victoria in the Namayingo district of Uganda, has killed two people and at least 110 have been reported sick (Water Missions International, 18/06/2014). According to information from the Health Ministry, there is a cholera outbreak in Arua district (UNHCR, 18/07/2014).
A rising trend in malaria has been reported (UNHCR cites Medical Team International, 18/07/2014).
In Arua camp, the ratio for latrines is 1 per 15 persons (the Sphere standard is 20) (UNHCR, 11/07/2014).
Democratic People's Republic of Korea Country Analysis
No new significant developments this week, 21/07/2014. Last update: 14/07/2014.
No current data on child mortality, food security, food price levels, or the general magnitude of humanitarian needs is available. Therefore, DPRK is not included in the Global Overview prioritisation.
- Massive human rights infringements, including against prisoners in prison camps who face starvation and torture, continue to be reported. Humanitarian access remains extremely limited (UN).
- Information on the food security situation remains limited. As of August, an estimated 16 million people (almost 65% of DPRK’s population) are chronically food insecure and an estimated 2.4 million people need food assistance (OCHA).
- As of August, malnutrition rates, particularly in the northwest, were extremely high with global chronic malnutrition (stunting) at almost 28% and global acute malnutrition (wasting) at 4% among children under five (OCHA).
- DPRK is disaster prone, regularly experiencing seasonal flooding that, for instance, affected over 800,000 people in summer 2013 (OCHA).
On 26 March, the UN Human Rights Council passed a resolution condemning DPRK for what it considered as longstanding and ongoing systematic, widespread, and gross human rights violations. On 17 March, China dismissed the UN report on the ground that it made unfounded accusations, raising concerns among human rights activists that it will shield Pyongyang from international prosecution. On 18 February, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights urged world powers to refer DPRK to the International Criminal Court after a UN report documented evidence of widespread and systematic human rights violations and crimes against humanity. The team conducting the report recommended targeted UN sanctions against civil officials and military commanders suspected of the worst crimes.
In September 2013, UN human rights investigators released a first report that documented human rights abuses of inmates in DPRK's prison camps suffering from starvation, torture, and other human rights violations. The inquiry, based on testimonies from DPRK exiles, came after pressure from Japan, South Korea, and Western powers to investigate and begin building a case for possible criminal prosecution. The report was rejected by Pyongyang and may strain relations between DPRK and the international community that have only lately begun to improve.
National Political Context
On 10 March, DPRK’s leader Kim Jong-un reportedly won every ballot cast by voters in his district, where he ran uncontested during the first elections to the Supreme People’s Assembly legislature under his rule. This vote grants Kim the title of Member of Parliament, on top of being Supreme Commander of the armed forces and chairman of the powerful National Defence Commission.
On 29 April, Pyongyang conducted a scheduled military exercise near its sea border with South Korea, international observers reported. On 25 April, South Korean officials said that DPRK had completed all steps required prior to a potential nuclear test. Pyongyang has conducted three nuclear tests in the past.
On 12 February, Seoul and Pyongyang held talks at their fortified border in the Panmunjom truce village. The first high-level talks in seven years, the two sides explored ways to mend ties. According to reports, although no pre-arranged agenda was set, the parties discussed a range of issues including reunions of families separated during the 1950–1953 Korean War.
On 5 September 2013, DPRK agreed to restore a cross-border military hotline with South Korea, a sign of easing tensions. The line had been shut down six months earlier. Also in September, DPRK and South Korea reopened the joint industrial park in Kaesong. Pyongyang pulled its 53,000 workers out of the park in April, at the height of tensions with Seoul and Washington over its nuclear military programme.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Humanitarian access is extremely limited. In June 2013, WFP approved a new two-year operation starting on 1 July and targeting 2.4 million people, mainly children and pregnant and nursing women, with 207,000 metric tons of food assistance.
On 1 May, the UN Human Rights Council’s recommendations to the Government as part of the Universal Periodic Review included unrestricted access to prisons and prison camps for humanitarian organisations, and close collaboration with humanitarian organisations to ensure the transparent distribution of aid.
On 2 May, the state news agency reported that severe drought across the country had caused damage to crops during the February–April growing season. On 23 June, drought persisted, according to international media. The drought is reportedly most severe in North and South Hwanghae provinces.
OCHA reported on 23 August 2013 that floods had affected 800,000 people, and left almost 49,000 homeless. At least 10,000 hectares of farmland were affected and 1,000 hectares of crops destroyed. An estimated 678,000 people needed basic healthcare, essential drugs, and hospital supplies for lifesaving interventions. Flooding and a typhoon in July and August 2012 affected 700,000 people, damaging health facilities and reducing access to primary and secondary healthcare.
Information on food security remains limited. An estimated 16 million people, of a total population of 24.6 million, are chronically food insecure and an estimated 2.4 million people need food assistance (OCHA, 08/2014). OCHA reports that although the humanitarian situation has improved slightly since 2013, the structural causes of vulnerability persist and external assistance is needed, notably in the northeastern provinces.
Despite a small increase in the aggregate food production for a third consecutive year in 2013/14, the food security situation remains unsatisfactory; 84% of households have borderline or poor food consumption. The food system in the DPRK remains highly vulnerable to shocks and serious shortages exist, particularly in the production of protein-rich crops. The lean period, which lasts between May and August, is expected to further aggravate the food security situation of much of the population (FAO, 03/07/2014).
WFP said that food assistance delivered in May was the highest monthly amount on record in 2014, but still only represented a quarter of the amount planned due to insufficient funding (international media, 03/06/2014).
In late February, authorities reported an outbreak of foot-and-mouth, a highly contagious livestock disease. The disease was first reported from a pig farm in a suburb of Pyongyang and has reportedly spread to other areas in the capital and to an adjacent county, leading to the culling of thousands of pigs. The outbreak may further heighten food insecurity. In 2011, the entire Korean peninsula was hit by an outbreak foot-and-mouth that led to the culling of more than three million livestock in the Republic of Korea alone.
FAO reported in March that DPRK could, in the right conditions, become self-sufficient in cereals by end 2014. However, in November 2013, the results from a FAO/WFP Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission indicated that, despite a slight increase in cereal production, most households have borderline or poor food consumption, limited in terms of quantity and quality. Specifically, WFP reports that 25% of households have acceptable food consumption, while 45% and 30% have borderline and poor food consumption respectively.
Health and Nutrition
Acute malnutrition rates have improved in recent years. However, the rate of chronic malnutrition among children under five was almost 28%, alarming by international standards, according to WFP/FAO in late November 2013. The prevalence of wasting (4%) is now within the normal range, according to international thresholds.
An outbreak of measles reported by local media in Yongchon, in North Pyongan province in mid-June has reached Sinuiji, on the border with China. Despite travel restrictions between Yongchon and Sinuiju, the disease has spread quickly since the beginning of July. So far, a senior citizen and two children have died (Chosun Ilbo, 10/07/2014).
No new developments this week, 23/07/2014. Last update: 01/07/2014
No accurate or verified data relating to the food security situation or food price levels in Eritrea is available, therefore Eritrea is not included in the Global Overview prioritisation.
- Torture, arbitrary detention, and severe restrictions on freedom of expression, association, and religion are common in Eritrea (UN, HRW).
- Ongoing human rights abuses prompt thousands of Eritreans to flee the country every year. In December 2013, Ethiopia was hosting an estimated 84,200 Eritrean refugees (UNHCR).
- Over 60% of the Eritrean population was reported as being undernourished between 2011 and 2013 (WFP).
Human rights abuses, including torture, arbitrary detention, and severe restrictions on freedom of expression, association, and religion are common in Eritrea, according to Human Rights Watch. Conscription to national service can last for an indefinite period of time, and is reportedly poorly paid. Interviews with Eritrean asylum seekers revealed that the main reason for fleeing the country was to avoid conscription. Harassment of citizens by authorities, on the grounds of their plotting to leave Eritrea, is reportedly widespread (UN Human Rights Council, 31/03/2014).
Human rights abuses remain widespread in Eritrea. Between 5,000 and 10,000 political prisoners are being held in a country of just over six million people. The UN human rights chief has accused the government of torture and summary executions (UN Human Rights Council, 05/02/2014).
Eritrea and Djibouti engaged in border wars in 1996 and 2008. During the latter, according to Ethiopian officials in 2014, a number of Eritreans soldiers deserted and became refugees in Djibouti.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
There is a lack of updated and reliable data on the humanitarian situation due to limited humanitarian access.
In 2011, the Government of Eritrea issued a directive to all non-state development partners operating in Eritrea to cease operating by the end of 2012. In November-December 2013, several projects began in partnership with the UN commenced (IFRC, 30/05/2104).
As reported in ECHO’s Humanitarian Implementation Plan (HIP) released in October 2013, providing direct humanitarian assistance remains a challenge due to limited access, absence of assessments and humanitarian space.
On 24 April, according to media sources, the UAE Red Cross had access to a million children across six provinces to distribute clothing.
As of 30 April, 64 stateless persons and IDPs reside in Eritrea (UNHCR).
As of 31 May, 3,136 refugees reside in Eritrea, including 3,056 Somalian refugees (UNHCR).
Eritrean Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
According to 2012 UNHCR figures, there are 300,000 Eritrean refugees in neighbouring countries as well as in Europe and Israel.
Ethiopia: The number of refugees crossing into Ethiopia is on the rise compared to 2012. In December 2013, OCHA said that Ethiopia had registered the arrival of 3,043 new refugees from Eritrea. As of 31 December, Ethiopia was hosting an estimated 84,200 Eritrean refugees, who are mainly settled in four camps in the northern Tigray region and two others in Afar region (OCHA). As indicated in ECHO’s HIP, the high proportion of unaccompanied minors who cross from Eritrea to Ethiopia is a priority problem (UNHCR).
Sudan: Eastern Sudan received an average 500 Eritrean refugees per month in 2013, down from 2,000 a month in 2012. Sudan reportedly hosts at least 114,500 Eritrean refugees. Djibouti also receives an estimated 110 Eritreans each month (UNHCR). On 30 June, 74 Eritrean refugees and asylum seekers were sent back from Sudan, after being convicted of illegally entering Sudan (UNHCR, 04/07/2014)
Yemen: Hundreds of Eritrean refugees are currently in Yemen. Several NGOs have called upon the Yemeni authorities to stop deportation of Eritrean political refugees (UNHCR).
Kenya: As of 1 July, there are 1,631 Eritrean refugees in Kenya, most of them located in Nairobi (UNHCR 01/07/2014).
On 3 March, FAO reported that desert locust development was ongoing south of Massawa, along the central portion of the Eritrean coast. The northern coast was also affected.
As reported by FAO on 11 February, erratic rainfall affected the 2013 cropping season. Although available information remains limited, erratic rainfall is likely to have resulted in fewer fields being cultivated in 2013 as well as having negatively impacted the crucial grain-filling phase of crop development. FAO indicated that livestock with poor pasture conditions had also probably been affected.
As indicated in ECHO’s October HIP, as a result of access restrictions imposed by the authorities, no data on food security in Eritrea is available. However, it is estimated that Eritrea produces only 60% of the food it needs, and markets do not seem to be functioning properly. These two factors suggest that a significant part of the population may be in need of food assistance. In addition, local food and fuel prices are likely to remain high, putting severe pressure on household coping mechanisms. The government officially denies any food shortages within its borders and refuses food aid.
Health and Nutrition
Malnutrition remains a widespread problem. As reported by UNDP, quoting the Food Security Strategy (2004) report, 38% of Eritrean children experience stunting; 44% are underweight, and 50% suffer from anaemia. About 59% of the Eritrean population consumes less than the daily calorie requirement.
According to FAO in 2013, over 60% of the Eritrean population was reported to be undernourished during 2011–2013.
On 13 May, the Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea was released. It focuses on the indefinite national service and arbitrary arrest and detention, including incommunicado detention and inhumane prison conditions. Rampant human rights violations cause hundreds of thousands to leave the country (UN Human Rights Council).
15 July: Between 8-12 July, six new cases of Ebola and three deaths were reported (WHO). 406 cases and 304 deaths have been reported in Guinea since the outbreak began.
11 July: Torrential rains (over 50mm) have been observe; seasonal rains have been 120-200% above average, resulting in flooding and damage to infrastructure in the past two months (FEWSNET).
- A fast-spreading outbreak of Ebola virus disease in the capital Conakry and in the prefectures of Gueckedou, Macenta, Kissidougou, Dabola, Dinguiraye, Telimele, Boffa, Boke, and Dubreka (WHO and Government, 07/2014).
- 220,000 of 6.7 million people are severely food insecure in Boke, Kindia, Conakry (west), and N’Zerekore (south); 1.8 million people are estimated moderately food insecure (FAO, 02/2014).
- 139,200 children were suffering from acute malnutrition (WFP, 12/2013).
- A measles outbreak has killed five children and led to at least 1,300 suspected cases since January in the Conakry municipalities of Matam, Matoto, and Ratoma (UNICEF, 02/2014).
The population lacks even the most basic social services and infrastructure is in urgent need of improvement. President Condé is under intense pressure to deliver concrete social and economic change ahead of the next presidential vote in 2015.
Legislative elections in late 2013 led to transition back to civilian rule after a 2008 military coup. With the exception of Hope for National Development, all opposition parties now have a seat in the National Assembly. The elections were criticised by the opposition, and the international community noted irregularities in eight of 38 constituencies. On 25 November, at least one person was killed and several wounded during a protest over the results.
On 12 December 2013, the European Union announced full resumption of development cooperation with Guinea.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Over 6,500 Ivorian refugees live in Guinea (OCHA, 30/04/2014).
In July 2013, ethnic violence between Guerze Konianke in the town of Koule spread to the provincial capital N'Zerekore and to the town of Beyla: 30,000 people were reported displaced (international organisations, 23/07/2013). UNHCR reported that several hundred IDPs had sought refuge in military camps in N’Zerekore and Beyla.
Cereal availability will be sufficient to guarantee normal and regular market supplies, and to ensure normal, seasonal price fluctuations. Minimal food insecurity will be maintained through September 2014 (FEWSNET, 27/06/2014).
However, food security remains fragile. In February, FAO reported that over 220,000 of 6.7 million people were severely food insecure in Boke, Kindia, Conakry (west), and N’Zerekore (south). An additional 1.8 million were estimated moderately food insecure (FAO, 02/2014).
Torrential rains (over 50mm) have been observed; seasonal rains have been 120-200% above average, resulting in flooding and damage to infrastructure in the past two months (FEWSNET, 11/07/2014).
Heavy and above-average rains since the beginning of June have oversaturated ground conditions in northeastern Guinea. The return of heavy downpours is forecast for the next week, increasing risks for new flooding across the region (FEWSNET, 26/06/2014).
Agricultural activities for the 2014/15 season are providing normal labour opportunities for poor households. The pastoral situation is progressively improving as seasonal progress is favourable for the restoration of pasture and water sources, maintaining stable food security for poor pastoral households (FEWSNET, 27/06/2014).
Health and Nutrition
Between 8 and 12 July, six new cases of Ebola and three deaths were reported; as of 15 July, 406 cases and 304 deaths were reported in Guinea since the outbreak began (WHO, 15/07/2014). As of 6 July, the total cumulative number of cases across the region was 844, including 518 deaths (WHO, 07/07/2014).
The Ministers of Health of 11 countries and partners involved in the outbreak response met 2–3 July and agreed on an inter-country accelerated response to contain the epidemic. This will include enhanced cross-border cooperation and a regional coordination centre based in Conakry in Guinea (WHO, 07/07/2014).
Ebola patients have been identified in more than 60 locations across Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, complicating efforts to treat patients and curb the outbreak. MSF is warning that it has reached the limits of what its teams can do on the ground.
All age groups have been affected, but most cases are adults aged 15–59. Twenty-six health workers have been affected, 19 of whom have died (UNICEF).
There are difficulties, notably in forest areas, in identifying cases, tracing contacts, and raising public awareness about the disease and how to reduce the risk of transmission (WHO/UN Department of Public Information, 27/06/2014).
To date, no treatment or vaccine is available for Ebola, which kills between 25% and 90% of victims, depending on the strain of the virus. The disease is transmitted by direct contact with blood, faeces, sweat; sexual contact; or the unprotected handling of contaminated corpses.
In December 2013, WFP highlighted that child malnutrition remains a serious problem in Guinea. At least 139,200 children suffer from acute malnutrition.
Between January and June, meningitis is believed to have affected 539 people, mostly in three districts of Upper Guinea: Siguiri, Mandiana and Kouroussa. Fifty-two people have died (IRIN, 12/06/2014).
In 2013, there were at least 400 suspected cases and more than 40 deaths. Most of the cases were children under the age of 10, according to the Ministry of Health. Guinea is part of Africa’s meningitis belt.
As of 15 July, 172 Ebola cases, including 105 deaths, had been reported in Lofa, Margibi, and Montserrado counties of Liberia. Between 8 and 12 July, Liberia reported 30 new cases with 13 deaths, indicating that active viral transmission continues in the community (WHO).
15 July: At least five major hospitals and health centres in Monrovia reported a decline in manpower. The Health Minister of Preventive Services is working to return to full service (UN).
- Since March 2014, more than 844 cases of Ebola and over 518 deaths have been reported in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone (WHO, 07/07/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Health and Nutrition
As of 15 July, 172 Ebola cases, including 105 deaths, had been reported in Lofa, Margibi, and Montserrado counties of Liberia (WHO, UNICEF and Ministry of Health, 15/07/2014). Between 8 and 12 July, Liberia reported 30 new cases with 13 deaths, indicating that active viral transmission continues in the community (WHO, 15/07/2014).
At least five major hospitals and health centres in Monrovia reported a decline in manpower. In addition, health workers have been faced with a lack of training and lack of knowledge. The Health Minister of Preventive Services is working to return to full service (UN, 15/07/2014).
As of 6 July, the total cumulative number of cases reported in the three countries was 844, including 518 deaths (WHO, 07/07/2014). Ebola patients have been identified in more than 60 separate locations across the three countries, complicating efforts to treat patients and curb the outbreak (MSF, 25/06/2014).
The Ministers of Health of 11 countries and partners involved in the outbreak response agreed on 3 July on an inter-country accelerated response to contain the epidemic. This will include enhanced cross-border cooperation and a regional coordination centre based in Conakry, Guinea (WHO, 07/07/2014).
There are difficulties, notably in the forest areas, identifying cases, tracing contacts, and raising public awareness about the infection and how to reduce the risk of transmission (WHO/UN Department of Public Information, 27/06/2014).
On 11 June, Sierra Leone closed its borders with Guinea and Liberia, and closed schools, cinemas, and nightclubs in border areas.
As of 15 July, 386 cases, including 194 deaths, had been reported in Sierra Leone, mostly in Kailahun, Kambia, Port Loko, Kenema, and Western urban and rural districts. Between 8 and 12 July, Sierra Leone reported 49 new cases and 52 deaths, indicating that active viral transmission continues in the community (WHO).
- Since March 2014, more than 840 cases of Ebola and over 510 deaths have been reported in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone (WHO, 07/07/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Health and Nutrition
An Ebola virus disease outbreak, which started in Guinea in early 2014, has now spread to Sierra Leone and Liberia.
As of 15 July, 386 cases, including 194 deaths, had been reported in Sierra Leone, mostly in Kailahun, Kambia, Port Loko, Kenema, and Western urban and rural districts. Between 8 and 12 July, Sierra Leone reported 49 new cases and 52 deaths, indicating that active viral transmission continues in the community (WHO, 15/07/2014).
As of 6 July, the total cumulative number of cases reported in the three countries was 844, of which 518 had died (WHO, 07/07/2014). Ebola patients have been identified in more than 60 separate locations across the three countries, complicating efforts to treat patients and curb the outbreak (MSF, 25/06/2014).
An outbreak was declared in Sierra Leone in late May. On 11 June, Sierra Leone closed its borders with Guinea and Liberia, closed schools, cinemas, and nightclubs in border areas; and the next day declared a state of emergency in Kailahun.
The Health Ministers of 11 countries and partners involved in the outbreak response agreed over 2–3 July on an inter-country accelerated response to contain the epidemic. This will include enhanced cross-border cooperation and a regional coordination centre based in Conakry, Guinea (WHO, 07/07/2014).
There are difficulties, notably in the forest areas of the countries affected, in identifying cases, tracing contacts and raising public awareness about the infection and how to reduce the risk of transmission (WHO/UN Department of Public Information, 27/06/2014).