|Severe humanitarian crisis|
|Situation of concern|
- Severe humanitarian crisis
- Humanitarian crisis
- Situation of concern
- Watch list
Snapshot 11 August – 25 August 2015
Haiti: Insecurity has increased since legislative elections. Violence and intimidation were reported at many polling stations and a second round of voting is planned, following low voter turnout. Food security has deteriorated as a result of prolonged drought conditions since the beginning of 2015: poor households in Sud, Sud-Est, Nord-Est and Artibonite will remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food security outcomes through December. Recent cholera rates are triple those of the comparable time period in 2014.
Chad: Between 21 July and 21 August, over 41,000 people were displaced in the Lake Region because of the escalating number of attacks related to the Boko Haram insurgency and rapid deterioration of the security situation. The conflict has displaced 75,000 people since January.
South Sudan: There are widespread reports of renewed clashes between government and rebels. Some humanitarian organisations have evacuated staff to safer areas. The conditions inside PoC camps continue to deteriorate following an influx of over 61,000 IDPs since 30 June. In Malakal PoC the number of diarrhoea cases arriving weekly has doubled and the number of malaria cases has tripled.
Updated: 25/08/2015. Next update 01/09/2015.
Afghanistan Country Analysis
- 947,870 IDPs in Afghanistan. Significant new displacements in Kunduz province since April (IDMC, 16/06/2015).
- It is expected that the number of displaced people in 2015 will exceed that of 2014, and that IDPs and returnees from Pakistan won't have access to enough humanitarian assistance (FEWSNET, 01/08/2015).
- As of 7 August, the number of reported civilian casualties from complex and suicide attacks launched by anti-government elements was 1,523, including 282 dead and 1,241 injured, almost double compared to the same period in 2014 (UNAMA, 11/08/2015).
- 6.9 million in need of humanitarian aid in 2015. Badghis, Helmand, Kunar, Nangarhar, and Wardak most need assistance (UNICEF, 21/01/2015; OCHA, 25/11/2014).- 500,000–990,000 people will be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or higher food security outcomes by November 2015 (FEWSNET, 22/07/2015).
Natural disasters and armed conflicts in Afghanistan have caused humanitarian crisis. Assistance needs include food, healthcare, and protection.
The Afghan Government faces internal and external challenges to its capacity, legitimacy, and stability. The security environment is highly volatile and expected to deteriorate as international troops gradually withdraw from the country.
Politics and Security
Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah were sworn in as Afghanistan’s President and Prime Minister, respectively, in September 2014 (Reuters, 29/09/2014). Rival presidential candidates in disputed elections, they have been struggling to maintain a unity government (Reuters, 08/07/2015; AFP, 26/09/2014). Leaders of ethnic groups have criticised Ghani for filling key government posts with Pashtun kin (Reuters, 08/07/2015; AFP, 26/09/2014). Parliamentary elections scheduled for April 2015 were postponed because of security concerns and disagreements over vote procedure. The current Parliament’s mandate has been extended until a vote can be held (Reuters, 19/06/2015; local media, 01/04/2015).
Afghan officials and Taliban met in Islamabad in Pakistan on 8 July and agreed to meet again on 31 July, but the confirmation of Taliban leader Mullah Omar’s death in 2013 brought the group to pull out of the talks. Informal talks in recent months have not brought any breakthrough (AFP, 24/07/2015; 08/07/2015; The Telegraph, 30/07/2015). On 30 July, the Taliban communicated that Mullah Akhtar Mansour had been appointed leader (BBC, 30/07/2015). Mansour is considered to be in favour of peace talks, but some factions are opposed (The Telegraph, 30/07/2015). On 13 August, Ayman al-Zawahiri, leader of Al Qaeda, reportedly delivered an audio message containing his pledge of allegiance to the Taliban’s newly elected leader (The Guardian, 13/08/2015).
At 8 August, 1,523 civilian casualties (282 dead, 1,241 injured) have been reported so far in 2015, specifically from complex and suicide attacks launched by anti-government elements — almost double compared to the same period in 2014 (UNAMA, 11/08/2015). The total reported number of conflict-related casualties so far in 2015 was 4,921 (1,592 dead, 3,329 injured), 90% of them civilians (UNAMA, 05/08/2015). 3,699 civilians were killed and 6,849 injured in all 2014 (UNAMA, 18/02/2015). Incidents in 2015 have been concentrated in Helmand and Kabul, with intense fighting between Afghan forces, the Taliban, and other anti-government groups also reported in northern provinces in recent months, including Kunduz, Badakhshan, Nangarhar, Faryab, Baghlan, and Nuristan (Cordaid, 07/07/2015; RSF, 07/07/2015; local media, 16/07/2015).
Helmand: A suicide attack on police headquarters in Lashkar Gah killed three and wounded more than 50 on 30 June (international media, 30/06/2015). An explosion in Marka district on 20 June killed 14 people and wounded five (AFP, 20/06/2015).
Kabul: On 22 August, a suicide attack on a NATO convoy killed at least 12 people, and injured at least 67 (New York Times, 22/08/2015). On 10 August, at least five people were killed and 16 injured by a suicide bomb at the first checkpoint on the road toward the airport (BBC, 10/08/2015). On 7 August, at least 44 people were killed and hundreds injured by three attacks in Kabul, following the change of leadership in the Taliban movement. A truck bomb killed 15 and wounded 240, then 20 Afghan police cadets were killed and hundreds were wounded by a bomb at the police academy in a separate attack. Later in the day a NATO military base near the airport was attacked and an international service member was killed, together with eight Afghan contractors. Ten local security guards were injured (ABC News, 07/08/2015). The number of civilian casualties caused by the attacks of 7 August is the highest ever reported since the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) began recording such data in 2009 (UNAMA, 08/08/2015).
Kunduz: On 8 August, a bomb attack killed at least 29 people in Khanabad district (BBC, 09/08/2015). Intense fighting has been reported between Afghan forces and the Taliban in the province in recent months. An explosion in Kunduz city killed two and wounded four on 12 July (AFP, 12/07/2015).
Faryab: A suicide attack killed 19 people and injured at least 28 in Almar district on 22 July (UNAMA, 22/07/2015). Since early July the Taliban has seized more than 100 villages in Qasyar, Almar, and Shirin Tagab districts (local media, 16/07/2015). 40 houses in Almar were set on fire (UNAMA, 15/07/2015).
Baghlan: At least 20 people were killed and eight wounded in a gunfight at a wedding ceremony in Deh Salah district on 27 July (International Media, 27/07/2015). At least 40 civilians were wounded by a bomb attack targeting a mosque in Baghlan province on 13 July (UNAMA, 14/07/2015).
Other incidents: On August 8, six people were killed and 24 were injured by a truck-bomb at a police compound in Pul-i-Alam, Logar province (Reuters, 06/08/2015). Hundreds of Taliban insurgents attacked and conquered the administrative headquarters in Kohistanat district in Sari Pul province, north Afghanistan (Vice News, 28/07/2015). A suicide attack near the military base of Camp Chapman in Khost province killed at least 33 people, mostly women and children, and wounded six on 12 July (AFP, 12/07/2015; BBC, 13/07/2015). An explosion in Tagab district, Kapisa, killed ten and wounded six on 12 July (AFP, 12/07/2015). An explosion in Kandahar on 11 July killed three (AFP, 11/07/2015).
Remote parts of southern and southeastern Afghanistan, near the border with Pakistan, remain under Taliban control. The group as intensified attacks since April, especially in the north, in particular in Badakhshan and Faryab (local media, 16/07/2015; Al Jazeera, 13/06/2015). The group is increasingly financed by criminal enterprises including heroin laboratories, illegal mining, and kidnapping (UNSC, 02/02/2015).
Islamic State (IS)
Militants fighting under the IS banner in Afghanistan, including an unknown number of Taliban defectors and foreign fighters, have reportedly seized territory from the Taliban in at least six of Nangarhar’s 21 districts. Uncertainty remains regarding their links with IS in the Middle East (Reuters, 29/06/2015).
International Military Presence
NATO formally ended its combat mission in Afghanistan on 31 December 2014, moving to the Resolute Support mission, comprising some 6,800 US troops and more than 6,300 soldiers from other member states as of June 2015. The focus of the mission is on supporting Afghan forces’ fight against the Taliban, along with US counter-terrorism operations (Reuters, 01/01/2015; NATO 06/2015).
Since 1 July, 33 disaster events triggered by natural hazards were reported in 18 provinces, with around 17,700 individuals affected (IOM & USAID, 01/08/2015). 107,451 people have been affected by floods, landslides and heavy snowfall in 2015, mostly in February; 513 people were killed, and 14,460 houses damaged or destroyed. Badghis, Faryab, and Nangarhar provinces were most affected (OCHA/IOM, 02/07/2015).
Floods in July affected several areas of Afghanistan. Many households in remote districts of Badakhshan province were impacted and river water-flows, due to river bank erosion, caused the displacement of around 3,830 people. Floods also damaged the roads, agricultural land and irrigation canals of 1,297 families (around 9,470 people). In the north of the country the Amu Darya river overflowed, causing severe flooding that damaged cultivable land, houses and irrigation canals. In the Nangarhar, Kunar, Laghman, and Nuristan provinces, in eastern Afghanistan, more than 200 hectares of agriculture land and 10 irrigation canals were washed out by floods. (Food Security Cluster, 06/08/2015).
Increasing insecurity has led to a rise in internal displacement. As of end June, 947,870 IDPs were recorded, compared to 805,409 in December 2014. 223,280 are in the south, 220,430 in the west, and 169,960 in the centre. It is expected that the number of people displaced in 2015 will exceed that of 2014, and IDPs and returnees from Pakistan will not have access to enough humanitarian assistance (FEWSNET, 01/08/2015). Priority needs are for water, food, housing, and employment (IDMC, 16/06/2015; UNHCR 31/12/2014). The security context challenges access and identification of IDPs (UNCHR, 24/05/2015).
Fighting in the north of Kunduz province since May has displaced more than 134,000 people, including 32,960 to Kunduz city, and significant numbers to Badakhshan, Badghis, Baghlan and Faryab provinces (OCHA, 25/06/2015; 28/05/2015). As of 25 July, over 8,900 people were displaced in Kunar, Nuristan, and Nangarhar, by ongoing clashes between Daesh fighters and Taliban (Food Security Cluster, 06/08/2015). At 8 August, 103,000 people have been displaced by the conflict so far in 2015, an increase of 43% compared to the same period in 2014 (OCHA, 18/08/2015).
Refugees and asylum seekers
Displacement from Pakistan to Afghanistan’s Khost and Paktika provinces has been ongoing since mid-June 2014. As of 8 June, these provinces were hosting around 205,440 refugees from Pakistan, the majority in Khost (including 10,210 families in Gulan camp) (UNHCR, 11/06/2015). There are concerns about the host communities’ ability to support the refugee population, in particular in terms of food, shelter, and education (UNHCR, 15/06/2015). Between June 2014 and 23 August 2015, over 200,000 people resettled themselves in Gurbuz district, in Khost Province (UN, 23/08/2015).
An additional 600,000 Baloch refugees who have fled insurgency activities in Pakistan since 1986 are living in precarious conditions, notably in Nimroz (AAN, 31/12/2014).
At 18 August there are 319,818 returnees from Iran and Pakistan.
43,695 refugee returnees from Pakistan were registered in the first half of 2015, compared to 9,323 during the same period of 2014. Around 73,000 undocumented Afghans returned from Pakistan in the first half of 2015 (OCHA, 18/08/2015). Returns have increased following security incidents in Pakistan, particularly the December 2014 Taliban attack in Peshawar. Returnees report an increasing number of protection issues as the main reasons for return: eviction notices by authorities, discrimination, movement restrictions, settlement closure, and harassment (UNHCR, 31/05/2015). The eastern region hosts almost 40% of undocumented returnees (Food Security Cluster, 31/07/2015).
30–40% of the returnees are vulnerable and in need of assistance; 80% of Afghanistan is reportedly not safe for people to be sent back to (BBC, 16/07/2015; OCHA, 15/07/2015). In 2014, only 17,000 people returned from Pakistan (UNHCR, 31/05/2015).
Refugees from Afghanistan in other countries
Some 2.6 million Afghan refugees remain in neighbouring countries, including 1.5 million in Pakistan (UN, 29/06/2015). In 2014, the number of Afghans seeking asylum in foreign countries grew 65% compared to the previous year (AFP, 17/08/2015). 32,414 Afghans have entered Greece as asylum seekers so far in 2015 (IOM, 20/08/2015).
Planning figures are for 6.9 million Afghans in need of humanitarian aid in 2015, including 2.8 million children, compared to 7.4 million in 2014 (UNICEF, 21/01/2015). Badghis, Helmand, Kunar, Nangarhar, and Wardak most need assistance (OCHA, 25/11/2014). Humanitarian access is a key operational concern: tens of thousands of civilians remain trapped in conflict zones as of end June (USAID, 02/07/2015).
Access of relief actors to affected populations
Since the beginning of the year, as of 17 August, 33 Aid Workers were reported to have been victims of attacks in the country (Aid Workers Security, 17/08/2015). Some were assaulted by Afghan forces in a health facility in Kunduz on 1 July (MSF, 03/07/2015). 14 aid workers were killed in 27 incidents against national and international organisations across the country in June, including nine national NGO workers in Balk province on 2 June, and five incidents involving health facilities and health staff (OCHA, 15/07/2015; Reuters, 02/06/2015). 11 aid workers were killed in 21 incidents involving violence against humanitarian staff or damage to NGO facilities in May (USAID; 02/07/2015).
In 2014, there were 293 incidents against aid workers, including 57 killed (UN, 11/04/2015; OCHA, 31/12/2014).
Access of affected populations to assistance
Commercial flights to Kunduz were suspended in May. Conflict in Chardara district in particular makes it increasingly difficult for civilians to reach Kunduz city to access basic services (MSF, 25/06/2015; AFP, 08/05/2015).
Security and physical constraints
Deteriorated security conditions in Helmand significantly hamper the delivery of assistance (OCHA, 15/07/2015). Journalists have had to withdraw from Badakhshan and Nangarhar due to insecurity (RSF, 07/07/2015).
Food Security and Livelihoods
Approximately eight million people are food insecure, including 2.1 million severely, according to a recent vulnerability assessment (USAID, 02/07/2015). Some households suffering major crop losses and most IDPs displaced by recent floods are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) (FEWSNET, 01/08/2015). In the northern Balkh, Faryab, Samangan and Saripul provinces, 80,654 people are in IPC Phases 3 and 4 (Crisis and Emergency) (Food Security Cluster, 06/08/2015). An estimated 500,000 to 990,000 people will be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food security or worse by November 2015 (FEWSNET, 22/07/2015).
Refugees in Khost and Paktika have exhausted short-term coping mechanisms and need livelihood opportunities to face long-term displacement (UNHCR, 26/05/2015). Below-average precipitation and high temperatures have made pasture conditions worse than normal, impacting pastoral livelihoods (FEWSNET, 01/08/2015).
Severe food gaps are reported in fourteen villages of Arghanjkhah district of Badakhshan, affecting 17,940 people (Food Security Cluster/USAID, 14/07/2015). The 2015 wheat harvest is expected to be better than the last two years, except in Ghazni, Bamyan, Daikundy, Kandahar, Hilamand, Zabul, Uruzgan, Paktya, Paktika and Khost (FAO, 03/07/2015; FEWSNET/WFP, 07/06/2015).
Healthcare availability and access
There is a shortage of trained surgeons, anaesthetists, and trauma capacity in conflict-affected areas (OCHA, 25/11/2014).
Nearly 80% of maternal and reproductive health needs are unmet (WHO, 10/12/2014).
Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever (CCHF)
Ten suspected CCHF outbreaks were reported from Herat province in May. The case fatality rate has reached an alarming 40% (WHO, 02/07/2015). As of 31 July, three patients with CCHF were receiving care at the Hayatabad Medical Complex; on 1 August one of them died (HealthMap, 01/08/2015).
Nine measles outbreaks were reported from Paktika, Ghor, and Uruzgan provinces in May (WHO, 02/07/2015). In the first quarter of 2015, 445 laboratory-confirmed cases of measles were reported, compared to 581 cases in all of 2014 (WHO, 26/04/2015). So far, 12 confirmed outbreaks have occurred in 2015, according to the Afghan Ministry of Public Health (SalamWatandar, 25/07/2015).
Seven cases of wild polio have been recorded so far in 2015, compared to eight over the same period in 2014 (GPEI, 19/08/2015). 28 cases were reported altogether in 2014, mostly in conflict-affected areas, compared to 14 in 2013 and 37 in 2012 (WHO, 26/04/2015; Global Polio Eradication Initiative, 25/02/2015).
Tuberculosis is a high burden for Afghanistan, but many new cases were missed in 2014 due to lack of close monitoring (Government, 24/03/2015).
Women have reduced access to education, health and livelihood activities and face significant unmet mental health needs (NRC, 23/03/2015).
Over 100,000 children under‑five die each year, 48,000 because of malnutrition, which also accounts for an estimated 45% of all child deaths in refugee and IDP camps (Government, 04/08/2015; UNICEF, 21/01/2015). Nearly 517,600 children suffer from SAM (UNICEF, 21/01/2015). The presence of common animal diseases in areas of Khost and Paktika has reduced the availability of meat and milk products to Pakistani refugees and host communities (FEWSNET, 11/02/2015).
1.9 million Afghans are in need of better access to safe WASH facilities (UNICEF, 21/01/2015).
Refugee influxes have stretched already limited water and hygiene resources and infrastructure in Khost and Paktika; lack of solid waste management and latrines are major challenges, while access to latrines and potable water remains a challenge in Urgun district, Paktika (UNHCR, 15/06/2015; 08/04/2015).
Shelter and NFIs
A growing number of IDPs live in informal settlements in major Afghan urban centres, in substandard and crowded accommodation, with insufficient WASH facilities, food, education, and employment opportunities. Women particularly have reduced access to education, health, and livelihood opportunities (NRC, 23/03/2015).
1,300 people in informal settlements in Kabul received eviction warnings for end June. 40,000 people remain in 50 informal settlements in Kabul (USAID, 02/07/2015).
Access and learning environment
In provinces most affected by fighting, schools have closed over the fear that students might get caught in crossfire. In northern Baghlan at least 18 schools were closed in May (Reuters, 31/05/2015). As of 24 July, over 100 education facilities were reported closed in Helmand due to security threats (Tolonews, 24/07/2015).
Teaching and learning
Educational facilities in Khost are overstretched, with 344 schools employing 6,000 teachers and teaching around 360,000 children. There are 50,000 school-aged refugee children in Khost (Institute for War and Peace Reporting, 05/11/2014). Refugees have language barriers (UNHCR, 31/05/2015).
Afghan local police have reportedly been involved in intimidation, physical abuse or violence, bribe-taking, salary fraud, and theft. Incidents of rape, drug trafficking, drug abuse and the selling or renting of local police weapons and vehicles have also been reported (ICG, 05/06/2015). In the first six months of 2015 UNAMA reported a 23% increase in the casualties among women and a 13% increase in the casualties among children, compared to the previous year (OCHA, 31/07/2015).
Mines and ERW
559km2 (4,321 hazardous areas) are contaminated by minefields and explosive remnants of war (ERW). In 2015, a monthly average of 103 total casualties from mines, IEDs, and ERW are reported (UNMAS/MAPA, 30/06/2015).
Sexual violence is underreported because of resulting social stigma as well as lack of access to Taliban-controlled areas. UNAMA registered 44 cases between January 2014 and January 2015 (UN Security Council, 15/04/2015).
40 reports of sexual violence against children, involving in all 27 boys and 24 girls, were registered by UNAMA between September 2010 and December 2014 (UNAMA, 24/08/2015).
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 (Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict 02/05/2015). Between September 2010 and December 2014, 2,302 children were killed and 5,047 wounded. In the same period, 560 children were recruited for support and combat roles (UNAMA, 24/08/2015). Children have also been used as suicide bombers by armed groups (UNSC, 15/05/2015). Between September 2010 and December 2014, 20 boys were killed carrying out suicide attacks (UNAMA, 24/08/2015).
Central African Republic Country Analysis
20 August: The National Transitional Council approved all refugees in neighbouring countries to vote in the October elections and thereafter (AFP).
20 August: Two humanitarian workers were injured in clashes between ex-Seleka and anti-balaka in Bambari. At least 10 died and part of the humanitarian assistance is on standby (AFP, 22/08/2015; ECHO, 24/08/2015).
20 August: 72 children, including 64 boys and 8 girls, who had been part of the anti-balaka armed group were set free and will be reintegrated into society (UN).
12 August: New allegations of sexual misconduct by MINUSCA were reported by three women, including one minor (UN, 19/08/2015).
- More than 6,000 people thought to have died in violence between December 2013 and March 2015 (The Guardian, 21/07/2015; Government, 16/09/2014; BBC, 07/01/2015).
- 2.7 million of 4.6 million people needed immediate assistance, half of them children (OCHA, 06/06/2015).
- 1.5 million people are in Crisis and Emergency phases of food insecurity (USAID, 13/03/2015).
- Only 55% of health facilities are functioning (WHO, 27/04/2015).
- 369,490 IDPs, including 30,150 in Bangui (UNHCR, 21/08/2015).
- There are 466,113 CAR refugees in neighbouring countries (UNHCR, 17/08/2015).
Health, protection, food, and WASH are priority needs, as continued violence, looting, and displacement cause further deterioration of an already dire humanitarian situation across the country. Conflict has resulted in displacement, targeted killings along communal lines, and human rights abuses.
In May, 585 participants in the Bangui Peace Forum agreed on a 'Republican Pact for Peace', which set a calendar for elections and revision of the constitution; a consensual disarmament model; the establishment of a criminal court; and an agenda of humanitarian and development priorities (BBC, 03/05/2015; Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, 12/05/2015). The transitional government was extended until 30 December 2015, rather than the original date of 17 August (AFP, 12/08/2015).
A constitutional referendum will be held on 4 October. The first round of presidential and legislative elections will take place on 18 October, and the second round on 22 November. (AFP, 19/06/2015). Voter registration took place 26 June–27 July: in Bangui, 314,740 people were registered compared to 300,000 registered in 2011, according to the Central African National Elections Authority (OCHA, 04/08/2015). In Lobaye, only 8,248 voters out of 15,000 expected registered (UNHCR, 14/08/2015). Thousands lost identity documents during the conflict, which complicates the process (AFP, 29/07/2015; UNHCR, 24/07/2015). International organisations condemned CAR’s transitional government for rejecting provisions in the draft electoral bill that would allow 190,000 eligible refugees from CAR to vote (UNHCR, 14/07/2015). CAR’s highest court overturned parliament’s decision and allowed refugees to vote (Reuters, 21/07/2015). On 20 August, The National Transitional Council approved all refugees to vote in the upcoming elections and thereafter (AFP, 20/08/2015). Many are concerned that CAR is not ready for elections, considering authorities haven’t created a representative voter roll.
Conflict began in late 2012, when Seleka fighters advanced from the north, taking control of territory on their way to the capital Bangui, where they held power until December 2013. Seleka committed numerous abuses during their advance and rule, and self-defence militias composed of mainly non-Muslims, ‘anti-balaka’, began revenge attacks in late 2013. Most ex-Seleka members withdrew to the north at the end of 2013, but fighting persisted between ex-Seleka and anti-balaka, Muslim and Christian communities, and pastoralists and farmers. Ceasefires have been agreed on by the warring parties, but never accepted by the transitional Government nor fully enacted (USAID, 10/04/2015).
African Union forces, MISCA, backed by France, were deployed in December 2013, authorised by the UN. The African Union had already deployed troops to CAR prior to Seleka’s assumption of power, but was overwhelmed by the severity and scope of the conflict. In mid-September 2014, the UN peacekeeping force took over operations under the name MINUSCA.
A transitional government was formed in August 2014. It was rejected by the ex-Seleka, which had proclaimed a de facto, independent, secular state in northeastern CAR in July (IRIN 23/09/2014; Government, 24/07/2014).
More than 2,054 security incidents have been recorded since January 2014 (OCHA, 10/08/2015), including 1,990 security incidents from January to 24 July 2015 (OCHA, 24/07/2015). The number of reported incidents has decreased from 198 in February 2015 to 73 in July 2015 (OCHA, 10/08/2015). More than 6,000 people were killed between December 2013 and March 2014 (The Guardian, 21/07/2015; BBC, 07/01/2015).
Attacks against civilians have been reported in Ouandago (Nana-Grebizi), Kabo (Ouham), Batangafo (Ouham) and the Bouca–Batangafo (Ouham) route (UNHCR, 25/06/2015).
In Nana-Mambere, on the border with Cameroon, an increase in violence has been associated with the Front Démocratique du Peuple Centrafricain (Democratic Front of the Central African People, or FDPC), a member of Seleka (Reuters, 21/07/2015). Another armed group, The Attack Group of Fatima’s Church, claimed the 20 July abduction of three government officials from Baboua, Nana-Mambere (Journal de Bangui, 24/07/2015).
Bangui: An international NGO reported that UN peacekeepers in Bangui’s PK-5 had been responsible for the death of a 16-year-old boy and his father, as well as the rape of a 12-year-old girl, on 2 and 3 August. Following these accusations, the head of MINUSCA resigned and was replaced on 14 August (UN, 14/08/2015; Reuters, 12/08/2015; Aljazeera, 11/08/2015). MINUSCA started a military operation in PK5 district of Bangui to arrest a former ex-Seleka leader. The violence caused an unknown number of casualties and displacement (ECHO, 03/08/2015).
A Rwandan peacekeeper shot four Rwandan troops and wounded eight on 8 August. He then killed himself (Reuters, 08/08/2015). A UN peacekeeper was killed north of Bangui during clashes with armed groups on 2 August (OCHA, 04/08/2015).
Basse-Kotto: From 2-4 August armed attacks in Malegbassa left as many as 12 dead and several wounded. The first attack was against Fulani herders with the aim of stealing cattle. The Fulani and ex-Seleka fighters retaliated (Reuters, 06/08/2015).
Ouaka: On 20 August clashes between anti-balaka and ex-Seleka left 10 dead and two humanitarian workers injured, among others. Tensions remain high as negotiations with the armed groups are underway and humanitarian assistance is on standby (AFP, 22/08/2015; ECHO, 24/08/2015).
Ouham: On 28 July, 26 people were killed as armed groups clashed over control of Markounda (03/08/2015).
Ex-Seleka: Seleka was an alliance of factions created in 2012 and dissolved by President Djotodia in late 2013. However, many fighters remained active, and were dubbed ‘ex-Seleka’. With the exception of 17,114 confined to three military camps in Bangui, most moved out of the capital and by January 2014 controlled much of central and northern CAR (IRIN, 17/09/2014). Bambari, Ouaka, reportedly became the ex-Seleka headquarters in May 2014. Between 10 and 15 commanders oversee 1,500–3,750 soldiers each, including Muslims from the northeast, and Sudanese and Chadians (IRIN, 12/01/2015; international media, 30/09/2014; Enough, 17/06/2015). FDPC was formed around a decade ago and became part of Seleka in 2012. However it has since come into conflict with other Seleka members.
Anti-balaka: Anti-balaka formed in order to counter the Seleka; there are around 75,000 militants, though the numbers are contested, and their main leaders and political programme remain unknown (IRIN, 12/01/2015). After the coup and Djotodia’s resignation, many members of the former government army, the FACA, joined the anti-balaka. It is suspected that up to ten anti-balaka factions function in the vicinity of Bangui (IRIN, 12/02/2014).
LRA: Mbomou and Haut-Mbomou prefectures remain most affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army, which increased attacks as the political crisis left a power vacuum (OCHA, 10/11/2014).
UN peacekeeping mission (MINUSCA): MINUSCA officially took over operations on 14 September 2014, under a one-year mandate. In March 2015, the number of peacekeepers was increased by 1,000, to better protect infrastructure and senior officials in Bangui, bringing the total to 13,000 uniformed personnel (Reuters, 26/03/2015). The UN Security Council has extended MINUSCA’s mandate by one year (UN, 28/04/2015).
French forces: On 19 May, the French peacekeeping operation was formally handed over to MINUSCA (French Ministry of Defence, 22/05/2015). As of 21 May, 1,700 of 2,000 French troops were left in CAR (UN, 21/05/2015).
EU advisory mission: The EU launched the EU Military Advisory mission (EUMAM RCA) on 19 January, with the objective of reforming the security sector (Government, 16/03/2015).
US military assistance: The US is providing logistical support, special forces, and advisers to African troops operating against the LRA in eastern and southeastern CAR.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
2.7 million out of 4.6 million people need immediate assistance, half of them children. Humanitarian needs in CAR continue to exceed available resources and delivery of aid is expected to decline because funding remains low (OCHA, 06/06/2015). However, on 13 May, CAR was deactivated as a Level 3 emergency response (UNHCR, 31/05/2015).
Crime hinders the supply of humanitarian assistance outside Bangui. The total number of access incidents reported decreased from 96 in May to 68 in June; they were mainly violence against personnel, assets and facilities (OCHA, 14/07/2015). Humanitarian assistance in Bambari, Ouaka prefecture, was temporarily placed on standby following anti-balaka and ex-Seleka clashes on 20 August (ECHO, 24/08/2015).
As of 15 May, more than 36,000 people are trapped and at risk of violence and abuse in seven enclaves countrywide: in Bangui’s PK5 (24,000), Boda (9,000), Bouar (1,600), Carnot (522), Berberati (456), Yaloke (316), and Dekoa (105). Most belong to religious and ethnic minorities and have limited access to basic services (OCHA, 28/05/2015; USAID, 12/06/2015).
The trapped Fulani population of Yaloke is being relocated to a new site. 109 have said they would relocate to Cameroon (UNICEF, 09/07/2015). Of these, 23 had to wait for weeks at the border before finally arriving in Cameroon (UNHCR, 29/07/2015).
Security Incidents Affecting Aid Workers
259 acts of violence have been recorded against humanitarian organisations since January 2015 (OCHA, 14/07/2015). They include thefts of humanitarian assets and facilities as well as threats to staff (USAID, 27/04/2015). UN, NGO, and private vehicles are becoming regular targets on main roads (IOM, 02/02/2015). 18 humanitarian workers were killed and six wounded in 142 incidents in 2014 (OCHA, 04/12/2014; USAID, 19/12/2014).
Truck drivers delivering food and supplies from Douala seaport in Cameroon to Bangui are protesting the killing of 18 of their colleagues and refusing to work. This is amidst increasing tensions by road bandits on the Cameroon-CAR border (VoA, 21/08/2015).
Ouaka: On 20 August, two humanitarian workers were injured in Bambari amidst ex-Seleka and anti-balaka clashes (AFP, 22/08/2015).
The number of displaced decreased from 399,270 in May to 369,490 in late August (UNHCR, 21/08/2015). 111,266 IDPs live in 72 sites outside Bangui, the rest living either in the capital or with host families (UNHCR, 29/07/2015). The decrease in IDPs is due to improved security and a consistent presence of MINUSCA.
In Ouham and Nana-Grebizi prefectures, herding and farming communities are clashing over natural resources, causing displacement (FEWSNET, 31/07/2015; OCHA, 21/06/2015). There are approximately 131,000 IDP returnees, mainly in Ouham-Pende, Ouham, Kemo and Nana-Grebizi (OCHA, 28/05/2015).
Bangui: Relative improvements in security in some neighbourhoods outside Bangui have reduced IDP numbers in Bangui to 30,150 in 32 sites from 33,070 in May (UNHCR, 21/08/2015). However, displacement has increased in the 2nd and 4th districts, with people arriving from Ouaka and Kemo (UNHCR, 29/07/2015).
As of 29 July, the voluntary return and reintegration of people from Mpoko site was ongoing (UNHCR, 29/07/2015; UNICEF, 09/07/2015). 93% of the households have been de-registered from the site and 90% were registered to return to neighbourhoods in Bangui (UNICEF, 11/08/2015). 6,658 IDPs have left so far and 13,515 remain at Mpoko (UNHCR, 29/07/2015). 1,173 households have been registered in the 5th district of Bangui (OCHA, 28/05/2015).
Nana-Grebizi: Increased displacement has been recorded throughout the prefecture, with informal IDP sites being set up (UNHCR, 26/06/2015).
Mambere-Kadei: IDPs are beginning to return to Berberati. 92 have returned and received one month’s assistance (OCHA, 15/07/2015).
Ouham: Increased displacement has been recorded throughout the prefecture with informal IDP sites being set up (UNHCR, 26/06/2015). On 16 July, 2,253 people arrived in Markounda and are in need of WASH facilities, NFIs, health and food assistance (UNICEF, 11/08/2015).
Refugees in CAR
8,260 refugees and asylum seekers from DRC, Chad, and Sudan are living in camps in Bangui, Bambari, and Zemio (UNHCR, 30/07/2015; OCHA; 29/04/2015).
Local sources report a return rate of 1,000 people per week from DRC to Kouango, Ouaka prefecture (OCHA, 08/07/2015).
CAR Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
As of end July, there are 466,113 CAR refugees in neighbouring countries (UNHCR, 17/08/2015). 251,232 have been registered in Cameroon, 92,830 in Chad, 91,195 in DRC, and 24,866 in Congo (UNHCR, 17/08/2015; 31/07/2015; 20/05/2015; 31/03/2015).
The lean season has begun and a food security crisis is expected to last until September 2015, in particular for IDPs and some host communities. 1,280,000 people will continue facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Emergency (IPC Phase 4) food security outcomes through December 2015 (FEWSNET, 31/07/2015; IPC, 15/07/2015; Food Security and Nutrition Working Group, 20/05/2015; FEWSNET, 30/05/2015). Mbres and Bambari prefectures are facing Emergency food security outcomes, while 11 other prefectures are facing Crisis (IPC, 15/07/2015). Food assistance needs remain the same as last year, and are higher than the five-year average (FEWSNET, 22/07/2015).
An assessment of Ndjoukou, Kemo prefecture, indicated that 97% of households have less than a week of food stocks (FEWSNET, 31/07/2015). About 19% of people in rural areas are in Crisis and 12% in Emergency (OCHA, 28/05/2015). The most insecure are households headed by women, displaced people or returnees, and those without financial resources (FEWSNET, 01/04/2015).
Agriculture and Markets
75% of Central Africans rely on agriculture for their food and income, and food access is restrained by reduced food production, lack of livelihoods, and high food prices (FAO, 29/07/2015; OCHA, 18/12/2014; FAO, 26/01/2015). Food crop production in 2014 was 58% below pre-crisis levels in 2012, as a result of insecurity, looting, and the killing of livestock, but 11% higher than 2013 (FAO, 29/07/2015; OCHA, 04/03/2015). Markets are expected to stay below-average for the remainder of 2015 (FEWSNET, 31/07/2015). Food stocks in rural areas are 40–50% below average due to recurring raids.
The supply on grain markets is in decline. Local rice is unavailable due to low production and imports from Cameroon are affected by insecurity (FEWSNET, 31/07/2015).
Fish supply has fallen by 40% and cattle-breeding by 77% compared to pre-crisis levels, and insecurity and poor road conditions have disrupted market linkages and led to significant increases in food prices in 2014 (FAO, 26/01/2015; OCHA, 18/12/2014).
Health and Nutrition
As of December 2014, two million people need access to health services (OCHA, 19/11/2014; 22/12/2014). 55% of health facilities are functioning (WHO, 27/04/2015). Only 25% of those offering services have functioning sources of energy, and 21% have access to water (WHO, 31/12/2014).
There is a lack of access to health services in IDP sites and in the subprefectures of Mbres, Batangafo, and Kouango due to increased insecurity (OCHA, 29/04/2015). Deficiency in antiretroviral treatment is reported in Ouaka due to lack of access (OCHA, 28/05/2015).
Malaria remains the primary cause of mortality. 19,890 cases were reported between 4 May and 7 June (WHO, 30/04/2015; 30/06/2015). Funding shortages have brought an NGO to reduce activities by 60% in Paoua and Markounda subprefectures, Ouham, where almost 150,000 had received free malaria treatment (OCHA, 13/05/2015).
Based on a national survey, severe acute malnutrition (SAM) is at 6.5% (UNICEF, 08/01/2015). In 2015, 32,348 children will suffer from SAM and 78,355 from moderate acute malnutrition (OCHA, 28/05/2015).
In 2014, 28,000 children were severely malnourished and 75,500 moderately malnourished (OCHA, 04/12/2014; 18/12/2014).
2.3 million people do not have access to improved safe water or improved sanitation (OCHA, 23/09/2014; 22/12/2014). 1.4 million people are targeted for WASH assistance in 2015 but lack of funding is a constraint on WASH infrastructure support (OCHA, 29/04/2015; 28/05/2015).
IDP housing: Muslim IDPs face limited movement due to tensions with surrounding communities. IDPs with host families face lack of space and tensions. IDPs tend to move to rental housing after being in IDP sites or with host families but struggle to keep up with rent. Abandoned housing taken up by IDPs is mostly shelter left by Muslims, but only provides minimal protection after having been burned or pillaged. Finding shelter and temporary protection in the bush is another common option for IDPs (NRC 12/2014).
Some returning IDPs find their homes destroyed or occupied. Disputes and tensions when IDPs relocate are a concern (NRC 12/2014).
An assessment of schools noted that as of end April 2015, 78–88% are open (UNICEF, 30/04/2015). The situation varies across the country, with 25% functioning in Nana-Grebizi, 50% functioning in Ouaka, 63% in Sangha-Mbaere, 67% functioning in Vakaga, and 71% in Ouham. Classes, however, are not regular due to insecurity and absence of teachers.
Student enrolment has improved by 31% since 2013/2014 but is still 6% below pre-crisis levels (2011/2012) (UNICEF, 30/04/2015).
Over 1.4 million children are in need of education (OCHA, 22/12/2014), and two out of three children in the county have never attended primary school (IRC, 17/07/2015).
Crimes against humanity and war crimes have been reported. Ex-Seleka are listed for child recruitment, killing, rape and other forms of sexual violence, and attacks on schools and/or hospitals. Anti-balaka are listed for child recruitment, and killing and maiming (Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict, 04/11/2014). On 8 January, the UN Commission of Inquiry into human rights concluded that violence towards Muslims by anti-balaka in 2014 constitutes ethnic cleansing (Government, 20/01/2015).
Refugees are at risk of statelessness because access to birth certificates is limited (OCHA, 28/05/2015).
20 peacekeepers were sent home following an event 10 July involving excessive use of force on four people, killing two (Reuters, 09/07/2015).
The risks of sexual violence, early and forced marriage, and insufficient GBV response are highest in Bambari, Ouaka; Mbres and Kaga-Bandoro, Nana-Grebizi; Kabo and some villages in Nana-Mambere (OCHA, 28/05/2015). An increase in GBV has been reported in conflict-afflicted areas, with 45 cases of rape reported in Kaga Bandoro alone between 4 May and 7 June. Between January and June, 280 rape cases were recorded – an average of 46 per month (UNICEF, 09/07/2015).
On 3 August, a 12-year-old girl was raped by a UN peacekeeper in Bangui’s PK-5 district. There have been 11 cases of possible sexual assault by MINUSCA since the mission began in April 2014 (Reuters, 12/08/2015). New allegations of sexual misconduct by MINUSCA were reported on 12 August by three women, including one minor. The UN stated it is committed to the investigation of all the cases reported (UN, 19/08/2015).
The number of children recruited into armed groups has risen to 8,000–10,000, from 2,500 at the beginning of the crisis (The Guardian, 18/12/2014; OCHA, 02/04/2015). Eight major militia groups have agreed to free child soldiers and children used as cooks, messengers, or for sexual purposes (Reuters, 05/05/2015). As of 31 July, 1,598 children have been released from armed groups (UNICEF, 11/08/2015). On 20 August, 72 children, including 64 boys and 8 girls, were released by the anti-balaka and will undergo a reintegration process (UN, 20/08/2015).
UN peacekeepers from another country have been accused of sexually abusing street children in Bangui; an investigation is underway (Reuters, 23/06/2015).
There has been an increase in marriages with 12-year old girls (IRC, 17/07/2015).
Mines and ERW
Camp Beal, an ex-Seleka camp in Bangui, is in the process of being cleared of ammunition and explosives (UN, 06/07/2015).
Democratic Republic of Congo Country Analysis
21 August: More than 14,000 IDPs, primarily Pygmies, living in Beni, North Kivu are in need of humanitarian assistance. Medical assistance is limited (Radio Okapi).
19 August: Four days after returning home, 1,960 people were re-displaced from Mutarule, South Kivu, due to a Mayi-Mayi attack against shepherds and cattle (OCHA, 21/08/2015).
- Internal conflict in the eastern provinces of Orientale, North Kivu, South Kivu, and Katanga.
- 7 million people need humanitarian assistance (OCHA, 30/04/2015).
- 2.6 million IDPs (OCHA, 01/06/2015; 17/06/2015).
- Over 2 million children under five are suffering from acute malnutrition (Radio Okapi, 04/11/2014).
- 7.3 million school-aged children are not attending school (Radio Okapi, 10/03/2015).
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.
Political violence and inter-communal strife have persisted for decades, influenced by longstanding tensions with DRC’s eastern neighbours. Operations by DRC armed forces and UN peacekeepers and infighting between armed groups disrupt security and stability.
National Political Context
Attempts to prolong the President’s term beyond the two-term limit were met with violent protests in September and then January. Although Parliament voted against the legislation, there are doubts regarding the scheduling of elections (AFP, 27/09/2014; 25/01/2015). In March and April, activists promoting political participation were arrested (Reuters, 16/04/2015). Parliamentarians are convening in special session from 4 July until 2 August to allow elections to be held in October 2015 (AFP, 03/07/2015). On 11 August, the parliamentarians had a special session adopting a law on the distribution of seats in the local, municipal and urban election. The Independent National Electoral Commission will thus be responsible for organizing elections on 25 October 2015 (local media, 11/08/2015). The decentralisation law that will take the number of provinces from 11 to 26 – which are defined in the 2006 constitution – is expected to trigger ethnic and political tensions (UNICEF, 30/06/2015).
At least 40 armed groups are operating in the east of the country (ECHO, 13/08/2015). They range from local militias set up initially as self-defence groups (among them many Mayi-Mayi groups), to secessionist groups, and forces first set up by fighters from Uganda (LRA and ADF/NALU), Rwanda (FDLR) and Burundi (FNL). The UN has a peacekeeping mission (MONUSCO), and an EU mission providing assistance to security sector reform has been in the country since 2005 (EU, 25/09/2014). The UN and the Government are discussing withdrawal of the UN mission (Radio Okapi, 06/04/2015).
Recent efforts to demobilise armed groups are ongoing. In Goma, North Kivu, 75 militants arrived in a camp. On 20 July, 130 arrived in Munigi camp, including 26 child soldiers (UN, 18/07/2015).
Front of Patriotic Resistance in Ituri (FRPI) was set up in November 2002 from among the Ngiti ethnic group (TRAC). Attacks increased in Irumu territory, Orientale, in 2015, after a failed disarmament programme at the end of 2014 (OCHA, 19/04/2015). The FRPI was reportedly neutralised by the FARDC and MONUSCO in late June. 35 died, 52 were wounded and 36 captured alive in three weeks of operations (AFP, 24/06/2015).
Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) are mainly Hutu Rwandans who were allegedly linked to the genocide. An estimated 1,400 fighters are active, primarily in the Kivu region (Reuters, 22/03/2015).
Mayi-Mayi: At least 20 Mayi-Mayi groups, formed by local leaders along ethnic lines, are active in North Kivu, South Kivu, and Katanga. The number of fighters can range from 100 to 1,000 (AFP 2013).
Allied Democratic Forces/National Army for the Liberation of Uganda (ADF/NALU) is a Muslim militant group founded in the 1990s. MONUSCO and the FARDC launched an operation in North Kivu to neutralise the group in January 2015 (Radio Okapi, 07/01/2015). ADF activity decreased in January, but by early February attacks against villages in Beni territory had increased (AFP, 04/02/2015; 20/03/2015).
Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) was founded by Joseph Kony in Uganda in 1987 and spread to South Sudan, then to DRC and CAR (IRIN).
National Liberation Forces (FNL) are Burundian militants based in South Kivu (AFP 2013).
The armed forces of the DRC (FARDC) comprise 120,000–130,000 fighters (Defence Web, 2013). Seven army and police officers were banned from receiving MONUSCO support in March 2015 because they pose a risk of committing human rights violations (Reuters, 11/03/2015).
The UN Stabilization Mission in DRC (MONUSCO) is made up of almost 18,000 troops, as well as military observers and police units (OCHA, 19/04/2015). The initial mission, MONUC, was established after the 1999 peace agreement between DRC and five regional states. In March 2014 its mandate was expanded, with the creation of an Intervention Brigade, charged with neutralising armed groups (RFI, 20/10/2014). MONUSCO’s mandate was extended for another year in March 2015, although its force was cut by 2,000 troops (Reuters, 26/03/2015; AFP, 26/03/2015).
2.29 million people in North Kivu are affected by armed conflict (OCHA, 02/06/2015). FARDC began an offensive on the FDLR in February, and renewed its offensive on the ADF on 19 July (Radio Okapi, 20/07/2015; AFP, 26/02/2015). 2,960 incidents have been recorded in the first half of 2015, including 519 incidents in June, an increase of 497 in May (International NGO Safety Organization, 20/07/2015). Over 400 people have died through ADF attacks in the past nine months (AFP, 15/07/2015).
Beni territory: 300 people have been killed by ADF militants in Beni territory in the past five months (Radio Okapi, 16/07/2015. An ADF attack on the night of 23 July left several buildings burned and three women dead (AFP, 24/07/2015). Another ADF attack was recorded in Beni on FARDC positions. On 20 July, FARDC soldiers took control of the Mutara valley (ACLED, 27/07/2015). FARDC began an offensive against ADF on 19 July (Radio Okapi, 20/07/2015). ADF attacked Kaluka village on 15 July: seven people were killed (Radio Okapi, 16/07/2015).
Walikale: From 5-8 August, the Raiya Mutomboki attacked villages in Walikale territory trying to take back territory from the Kifuafua Delphin armed group. MONUSCO deployed a temporary base of peacekeepers on 8 August. (Radio Okapi, 10/08/2015).
In Lulingu, Shabunda territory, clashes have been ongoing since mid-May between FARDC and Mayi-Mayi Raiya Mutomboki. Economic activity has ceased, and schools and other basic infrastructure are not functioning. An unknown number of people have left the town, and flights to the region have been suspended (OCHA, 27/05/2015). As of 29 July, approximately 10,000 individuals from Shabunda territory were displaced to localities in Walunga territory due to ongoing clashes between armed groups and the FARDC (Radio Okapi, 29/07/2015). On 15 June, the Mayi-Mayi Mutomboki kidnapped 28 people, including 11 women (OCHA, 09/07/215).
On 16 July, FRPI attacked a spontaneous IDP camp in Katorogo, Bunia. This was the ninth attack on an IDP site in 2015 and the second in one week (OCHA, 22/07/2015). An INGO vehicle was attacked south of Bunia on 13 July. 35 people died, 52 were wounded and 36 captured alive in three weeks of FARDC–MONUSCO operations in June (AFP, 24/06/2015). On 8 June, 30 people were abducted in Dungu-centre, reportedly by LRA. 12 were released after FARDC intervention (local media, 12/06/2015).
112 violent disputes were recorded in Djugu, Mahagi and Irumu territories from January to May (OCHA, 22/07/2015).
Since early 2015, Katanga’s triangle of death (Pweto, Manono, and Moba territories) has experienced a decrease in Mayi-Mayi attacks (Radio Okapi, 17/03/2015), but Luba (Bantus) and pygmies (Batwa) have frequently clashed in Kalemie, Manono, and Nyunzu territories, Tanganyika district (OCHA, 08/04/2015). In Nyunzu territory, conflict between Luba and pygmies has killed 200 people since January 2015; 60 women have been raped. 113 villages have been burned (Radio Okapi, 03/06/2015).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
7 million people need humanitarian assistance (OCHA, 30/04/2015).
The mountainous and volcanic terrain, and lack of tarred roads, limit access across DRC, and access worsens during the rainy season. Insecurity is a major constraint in the east.
North Kivu: There were two attacks on humanitarian organisations in Rutshuru and Walikale territories between 18 and 21 June (OCHA, 23/06/2015). Some 275,000 IDPs are hard to access due to insecurity (OCHA, 30/04/2015). Commercial flights are not serving the area and roads are inaccessible (local media, 09/06/2015).
South Kivu: 40% of the roads in South Kivu are impassable (OCHA, 29/05/2015). Traffic has been suspended on the Bukavu–Goma road since 7 June, after a bridge collapsed (local media, 09/06/2015). An increasing number of security incidents have been reported on the route between Bitale and Hombo (Kalehe territory) (OCHA, 10/06/2015). Two NGOs have temporarily suspended activities (OCHA, 10/06/2015). In Lulingu, movement restrictions due to armed activity are preventing women from accessing their crops (OCHA, 09/07/2015). Insecurity has prevented humanitarian actors from accessing Lulingu (OCHA, 10/06/2015).
Orientale: Humanitarian organisations have slowed their activities in the south of Irumu territory (Bunia, Gety, Aveba and Bukiring) due to insecurity (OCHA, 03/06/2015). Since 16 May, five NGOs have suspended humanitarian activities (OCHA, 10/06/2015).
Orientale: 9,000 people were affected by flooding during 12 August. Four died and more than 1,200 homes were destroyed or damaged (OCHA, 20/08/2015).
At 30 June, there were 1.5 million IDPs in DRC, a decrease of one million due to data cleaning (OCHA, 20/07/2015).
From March to June, 220,000 people were displaced due to insecurity in Beni, Rutshuru and Walikale territories (North Kivu), southern Irumu (Orientale), Kalehe (South Kivu), and Kalemie, Manono, and Pweto (Katanga) (OCHA, 20/07/2015). 121,000 were displaced between January and March 2015 (OCHA, 30/04/2015). 80% of IDPs are hosted by families and communities who are already facing chronic food insecurity and limited access to services and livelihood opportunities (FAO, 20/11/2014). Displacement can be short-term, but repetitive, depending on the security threats in the regions.
North Kivu hosts 604,560 IDPs as of 25 June (UNHCR, 14/07/2015). 26,880 were newly displaced in June due to violence in Beni, Rutshuru, and Walikale territory (UNHCR, 14/07/2015). 67% live with host families (OCHA, 15/07/2015). 192,000 of the IDPs live in 57 sites (IOM, 14/07/2015). Near Goma, four sites host more than 16,000 IDPs (ECHO, 29/05/2015). Most people have relocated to Masisi, Nyirangongo, and Rutshuru territories (OCHA, 31/05/2015). 32,000 IDPs in Tongo (Rutshuru) and Bukombo (Masisi) are in need of WASH, health, NFI and shelter assistance. They were displaced due to clashes between the FARDC and the FDLR/Nyatura FPC coalition (OCHA, 21/07/2015). 275,360 IDPs returned home over the last 18 months (UNHCR, 14/07/2015).
Beni: There were 152,270 displaced people in Beni as of 25 June (OCHA, 15/07/2015). 14,000 IDPs, primarily Pygmies, are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance; medical assistance has been limited (Radio Okapi, 21/08/2015).
Lubero: 127,630 people were displaced in Lubero as of 24 June (UNHCR, 15/07/2015).
Rutshuru: On 13 July, the Bwalanda/Katwe IDP site was set on fire by an armed group, causing the 800 IDPs residing there to take refuge in nearby community buildings (OCHA, 21/07/2015).
Walikale: There are 76,030 IDPs in Walikale as of 25 June (UNCHR, 15/07/2015). Hundreds of households are seeking refuge in Walikale centre, Kibua, Mpofi, Pinga, and at the border with Lubero territory. They are staying with host families, and lack food, clothes, and access to healthcare (Radio Okapi, 10/08/2015; 06/06/2015). 1,800 people were displaced in Ntoto due to clashes between Raiya Mutomboki factions. An assessment shows families are hosting up to 15 people and most people left without any belongings (OCHA, 23/06/2015). 1,500 people returned to Ntoto after fleeing Mayi-Mayi clashes in December 2014 and are in need of assistance (Caritas, 21/08/2015). Misau and Muna localities in Ihana have been abandoned since 24 June due to clashes between factions of the Nduma Defense of Congo (NDC), also known as the Mayi Mayi Cheka. The population has fled to Kibua and Pinga (Radio Okapi, 27/06/2015).
At 30 June, 317,960 IDPs were in South Kivu, a 53% decrease since end March due to a purging of data that is awaiting verification (OCHA, 10/07/2015). 11,150 people were displaced between April and June, most by clashes between the FARDC and armed groups in Kalehe territory (OCHA, 10/07/2015). More than 64,000 IDPS and former IDPs need assistance in northern Shunda territory but insecurity limits humanitarian access (OCHA, 21/08/2015). After returning to their homes on 15 August, 1,960 inhabitants of Mutarule, north Uvira territory, were re-displaced on 19 August due to a Mayi-Mayi attack against shepherds and cattle. This follows a growing trend of inter‑communal tensions in the region. More than 8,000 citizens of Mutarule had been displaced since June 2014 due to inter‑communal violence (OCHA, 21/08/2015). More than 39,000 people were displaced towards Lulingu in May and June due to insecurity: 89% are with host families, 3% in sites, and 8% in shelters (OCHA, 09/07/2015; 10/07/2015). In western Walungu territory, approximately 8,500 people fleeing Raiya Mutomboki attacks were registered from 6-15 July (local media, 06/08/2015).
As of end June, there were 130,850 IDPs in Orientale province (OCHA, 20/07/2015).
Since 11 August, some 6,000 people were displaced from Djugu to Libi, north of Bunia (Ituri district) due to armed group violence (OCHA, 20/08/2015). 1,375 people returned to four villages in Walendu Bindi after fleeing FARDC and FRPI clashes in April 2014. They are in urgent need of shelter, education and NFI assistance (Caritas, 21/08/2015). An ADF attack on 14–15 July displaced 11,000 people from Kakuku, Beni territory, North Kivu, to Tchabi, Irumu territory (OCHA, 22/07/2015). During the week of 13 July, clashes over land displaced 3,000 people from the villages of Musekere and Linga in Djugu territory. They are in Mokambo, Ituri district (OCHA, 22/07/2015).
Katanga hosts 316,875 IDPs as of end June (OCHA, 20/07/2015). 45,130 IDPs were displaced between April and June 2015 due to clashes between Luba and Twa in Tanganyika district (OCHA, 29/07/2015). This is a decrease from the January–April figure of 79,770. Clashes between Luba and pygmies have displaced 212,000 in total (OCHA, 29/06/2015).73% of IDPs are living with host families and 27% in sites (OCHA, 21/04/2015).
8,000 people fled to Katanga and eastern Maniema following Mayi-Mayi attacks (OCHA, 10/06/2015). In Mufunga, Mitwaba territory, 1,500 IDPs need humanitarian assistance. Most live with host families who were also IDPs until recently and also lack resources (OCHA, 02/07/2015).
17,800 former IDPs returned to Nyunzu territory. 43 of 50 villages that were evaluated had been burned. The population does not have shelter (OCHA, 24/07/2015). More than 74,000 former IDPs are in need of reintegration assistance (OCHA, 02/07/2015).
Maniema hosts 121,525 IDPs as of 24 June (UNHCR, 20/07/2015). 24,950 of these are from South Kivu, and fled violence between April and June (OCHA, 20/07/2015). More than 6,000 IDPs, including 2,000 children under five, arrived in Pangui territory over January–July 2015 due to armed group clashes in Shabunda, South Kivu. They are not currently receiving humanitarian assistance and are being helped by the host community. Pangui territory also hosts approximately 25,000 former IDPs who were displaced from 2012-2013. These IDPs want to be integrated into society but need access to land and household items, as well as support to develop livelihoods (OCHA, 18/08/2015). 5,000 people have been displaced in Kasongo territory following intercommunal violence (OCHA, 22/07/2015). They are staying with host families in villages near Mungomba and need assistance (Caritas, 03/08/2015). More than 12,000 IDPs from Missi, fleeing Mayi-Mayi attacks, were in urgent need of humanitarian assistance in Babuyu in June. More than 20 attacks on IDPs have been recorded, raising concerns of ethnic tensions between the host and displaced populations (local media, 12/06/2015).
Refugees in DRC
DRC hosts more than 225,020 refugees (UNHCR, 28/02/2015; USAID, 15/04/2015; OCHA, 30/04/2015). DRC provincial authorities insist that assistance should only be delivered within camps, making it difficult to support refugees in host communities.
From CAR: As of beginning of August, there were 97,000 CAR refugees in DRC (WFP, 06/08/2015; UNHCR, 24/07/2015). Approximately 3,000 are in four camps in Equateur and Orientale provinces. The newest camp, Bili, in Bosobolo territory, hosts 7,000 refugees and expects to receive 10,000 refugees (WFP, 06/08/2015).
From Rwanda: 117,300 Rwandan refugees (UNHCR, 28/02/2015; UN 30/12/2014).
From Burundi: As of 14 August, 14,508 new Burundian refugees have arrived in DRC (UNHCR, 14/08/2015). The majority are in South Kivu, 507 are in Katanga and 248 are in Maniema (UNICEF, 03/08/2015; WFP, 15/07/2015). More than 50% are living with host families and 7,332 have been transferred to Lusenda site in Fizi territory (UNICEF, 03/08/2015; UNHCR, 22/07/2015; 08/07/2015; WFP, 19/06/2015). FDLR presence in hosting areas is a concern (UNHCR, 05/06/2015; OCHA, 27/05/2015). Prior to the recent influx, there were 9,000 Burundian refugees in DRC (OCHA, 27/05/2015). The Government will grant temporary status to the new Burundian refugees (OCHA, 15/06/2015).
From Angola: 560 Angolan refugees are registered in DRC. Another 28,000 are undergoing voluntary repatriation: as of 23 April, at least 15,520 Angolan refugees had returned from DRC (UNHCR, 28/02/2015; Government, 30/04/2015).
Angola: Between 1 January and May, 29,881 DRC citizens were deported from Angola (Soyo and Cabinda provinces) (OCHA, 04/06/2015). Over 16-30 May, about 14,000 DRC nationals were expelled from Angola (Radio Okapi, 17/06/2015).
Burundi: 325 DRC refugees previously in Burundi have returned to Uvira territory (OCHA, 23/04/2015).
Central African Republic: The repatriation of 600 returnees who were in CAR began on 3 August. They had fled LRA violence six years ago and are being taken to Ango, Bas-Uele district in Orientale province to first undergo a three week repatriation programme (OCHA, 20/08/2015; Reuters, 03/08/2015).
DRC Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
There are around 442,440 DRC refugees in neighbouring countries, mainly in Uganda (178,220), Rwanda (73,560), Burundi (53,860), Tanzania (55,870), Congo (23,450), Kenya (15,630), South Sudan (14,630), and CAR (5,340) (UNHCR, 31/03/2015; 17/02/2015; 01/01/2015; 31/12/2014). Since January, more than 4,500 people have fled to Uganda from eastern DRC (ACT Alliance, 05/06/2015).
6.6 million people are facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or Emergency (IPC Phase 4) food security outcomes as a result of armed group activity, inter-communal violence, and displacement (OCHA, 30/04/2015; Integrated Food Security Phase Classification, 28/01/2015; USAID, 15/04/2015). Ituri (Orientale), Boende (Equateur), Punia (Maniema), Shabunda (South Kivu), Manono, Mitwaba and Pweto (Katanga) are all in Emergency phase (Food Security and Nutrition Working Group, 22/05/2015).
It is estimated that food production is currently 20–40% below national consumption (USAID, 21/07/2015).
Health and Nutrition
North Kivu: 23,000 people in Masisi territory do not have access to health services (OCHA, 11/02/2015). More than 17,500 IDPs and their hosts in north Beni need health assistance (OCHA, 14/04/2015). A malaria outbreak in Lubero territory has been reported in areas without established humanitarian assistance (OCHA, 21/07/2015).
South Kivu: 60% of the population in Uvira, Fizi, and Walungu territories do not have healthcare (OCHA, 29/06/2015). In the five health zones (Lulingu, Tchonka, Milenda, Tchampundu, Lolo), there is a lack of medical stocks, especially rape kits (OCHA, 09/07/2015).
Katanga: There have been 1.2 million reported cases of malaria in 2015, including 1,500 deaths, twice more cases than in 2014 (OCHA, 24/07/2015).
Orientale: The health situation at Dungu, Haut-Uele, has worsened since MEDAIR and MSF left in 2014: WASH coverage has decreased from 85% in 2014 to 43.5% in 2015. Since May 2015, the frequency of routine vaccination is not met in ten health facilities in the area, due to a lack of fuel for the cold chain (OCHA, 22/07/2015). 29 cases of meningitis and one death were reported over 4–10 May (OCHA, 27/05/2015). The same period saw 26,332 cases of malaria and 55 deaths (OCHA, 03/06/2015). 140 health facilities in Bunia are functioning, but without trained health personnel and without adequate medicine (Radio Okapi, 30/06/2015).
Maniema: GAM is 10% and SAM 2%, with Kailo and Kabambare territories most affected (OCHA, 31/05/2015).
In Katanga, more than 20,000 measles cases were reported between 1 January and 14 August, 50% more than the same period in 2014; 320 people have died (OCHA, 13/08/2015; OCHA, 24/07/2015). Non-vaccinated children are one reason for the rise in measles cases (OCHA, 02/07/2015). 21 out of 68 health zones are affected (AFP, 13/08/2015). Malemba health zone, Malemba-Nkulu territory, has been the worst affected with 1,500 cases per week on average (OCHA, 24/07/2015; 31/05/2015).
Some 16,000 more measles cases have been reported in other parts of the country (OCHA, 31/05/2015). In Orientale, 2,115 cases of measles, including three deaths, were reported January—May (OCHA, 22/07/2015).
7,160 cases of cholera, including 69 deaths, were recorded from January to 19 July, compared to 10,217 for the same period in 2014 (UNICEF, 18/08/2015). Katanga and South Kivu are most affected: 35% of all cases (2,170) had been recorded in Katanga as of 17 May, including 38 deaths (OCHA, 25/05/2015). In North Kivu, an increase in cholera cases (more than 30) has been reported in Nkassa and Kailenge, Pinga region, Walikale territory (OCHA, 02/06/2015). In Orientale province, 126 cases of cholera, including eight deaths, were recorded in Gety health zone 23-31 May (OCHA, 24/06/2015).
In 2014, there were 22,200 cases of cholera and 372 deaths (WHO, 31/12/2014; UNICEF, 24/12/2014).
As of 16 August, in Bili camp, hosting CAR refugees, the SAM rate for children under five is 2.3% and the GAM rate is 6.8% (UNHCR, 14/08/2015).
Only 22% of Congolese have access to drinking water (Bond for International Development, 31/07/2015).
North Kivu: An estimated 4.3 million people require WASH assistance in North Kivu, including 5,000 IDPs in Bwalanda, Kashilira and Kikuiku sites in Rutshuru territory, where there is a lack of WASH actors (OCHA, 20/05/2015).
Equateur: Bili camp has a supply of 10 litres of water/person/day; Inke, 12.7 L/person/day; Boyabu, 19 L/person/day; Mole, 17.3 L/person/day. These are all below the 20 litres/person/day required (UNHCR, 14/08/2015).
Maniema: Only 40% of the population of Maniema has access to safe water (OCHA, 02/04/2015).
Orientale: 12,600 IDPs in Badengayido, Orientale, lack access to WASH because the Congolese Institute for Nature Conservation (ICCN) has opposed it (OCHA, 15/07/2015). CAR refugees in Mboti camp only have access to 17 litres of water/person/day (UNHCR, 14/08/2015).
A fire in Kalonda II IDP site, South Kivu, on 7 July, destroyed 300 homes. Witnesses report that pastoralists started the fire (OCHA, 08/07/2015).
7.3 million children aged 5–17 – 28% of the school-aged population – are not attending school (Radio Okapi, 10/03/2015).
One million children are in need of education in North Kivu (OCHA, 02/06/2015). In South Kivu, on average, 12,300 students cannot access schools every month, due to conflict and natural disasters (OCHA, 10/06/2015). In Katanga, more than 85% of the 2,000 school-aged children in Kasanga Nyemba, Kalemie territory, are not attending school (OCHA, 22/04/2015). A school for 4,600 students was burned in Garenganze (Manono territory) following clashes between Luba and pygmies (Radio Okapi, 17/05/2015). More than 30 schools in Kaumulu, Malemba-Nkulu territory, have been closed since March 2015 due to clashes between the Mayi-Mayi and the FARDC (Radio Okapi, 20/05/2015). In Orientale province, more than 2,000 children in six schools in Bili (Bondo territory) did not finish their school year due to LRA violence in December 2014 (OCHA, 20/08/2015).
Among refugees from CAR, about 75% of school-age children living in refugee camps (12,256) are not going to school due to lack of infrastructure and teachers (UNHCR, 31/05/2015).
Military, militias, and other armed groups are accused of abuse of civilians, including arbitrary arrest, extortion, looting, child conscription, sexual violence, and executions.
In Orientale, 12,300 protection incidents against civilians were reported in 2014, compared to 4,800 in 2013 (OCHA, 04/02/2015). In Haut-Uele district, 485 incidents were reported in the first three weeks of May 2015 (OCHA, 27/05/2015). In May, 935 protection incidents were registered in Ituri district, compared to 1,983 in April (OCHA, 03/06/2015). In Katanga, 1,620 protection incidents were recorded in June. These include cases of rape, aggression and arbitrary arrest (OCHA, 20/07/2015).
193 ex-FDLR militants and 601 of their families are accusing the Congolese government of starving them so that they return to Rwanda. They say they haven’t been provided food for a week in the state-administered camp where they are living (AFP, 20/08/2015).
567 children were freed from the FDLR between January and June 2015 (RFI, 06/08/2015).
207 children left armed groups in Orientale province January–June 2015 (OCHA, 22/07/2015; 20/08/2015). 26 child soldiers surrendered in North Kivu on 20 July (UN, 18/07/2015).
Sexual violence has been a common element of warfare by the armed groups and soldiers in eastern DRC since the early 1990s.
Orientale: 90% of the 2,900 SGBV cases reported in Orientale in 2014 occurred in Ituri territory, the others in Uele territory (OCHA, 08/04/2015; 19/04/2015). In Haut-Uele district, 110 SGBV incidents were reported in the first three weeks of May, and 138 in April (OCHA, 27/05/2015).
Katanga: There were more than 600 cases of SGBV reported From January–March in Katanga. 50% came from Nyunzu territory (OCHA, 22/04/2015).
1,680 SGBV cases were reported in 2014 in Katanga and 840 in Kasai-Occidental (OCHA, 05/02/2015; Radio Okapi, 11/02/2015). 2,012 were reported in Orientale province, and 1,123 in Bas-Congo (OCHA, 10/12/2014, 03/12/2014; Radio Okapi, 27/11/2014).
No new significant developments this week, 24/08/2015. Last updated: 10/06/2015.
- 1.2 million people, including 696,000 children under 18, are in need of humanitarian assistance (UNICEF, 15/01/2015).
- Over 60% of the Eritrean population was reported as undernourished between 2011 and 2013 (WFP).
- Torture, arbitrary detention, and indefinite national service are the grave human right concerns reported in Eritrea (UNHRC).
- Ongoing human rights abuses prompt thousands of Eritreans to flee the country every year. In March 2015, Ethiopia was hosting 133, 348 Eritrean refugees (OCHA, 20/04/2015).
- Operations and maintenance of established humanitarian systems remain a significant challenge (UNICEF, 15/01/2015).
Eritrea is a one-party state governed by President Isaias Afwerk and his party People’s Front for Democracy and Justice. No national elections have been held since Eritrea gained independence from Ethiopia in 1993.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
1.2 million people need humanitarian assistance, including 696,000 children under 18 (UNICEF, 15/01/2015). There is a lack of updated and reliable data on the humanitarian situation due to limited humanitarian access.
Providing direct humanitarian assistance remains a challenge due to limited access, and absence of assessments and humanitarian space (ECHO).
As of May 2015, there were 2,802 Somali refugees in Eritrea (UNHCR, 22/05/2015).
Eritrean Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
The entire Eritrean refugee population is estimated to constitute more than 321, 000 people (Guardian, 21/04/2015). UN estimates that some 4,000 Eritreans, among them hundreds of unaccompanied minors, are fleeing the country every month to escape government repression and lack of basic freedoms. Eritreans constitute the second biggest group of migrants arriving in Italy by boat, after Syrians (Reuters, 24/03/2015). In 2014, more than 37,000 Eritrean refugees sought refuge in Europe, the vast majority arriving by boat across the Mediterranean (UNHCR). The high proportion of unaccompanied minors who cross from Eritrea to Ethiopia is a priority concern (UNHCR).
Ethiopia: At the end of June, there were 139,039 Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia (UNHCR, 30/06/2015), mainly settled in four camps in the northern Tigray and Afar regions (UNICEF, 21/04/2015). Arrival rates spiked towards the end of 2014, with a total of 33,000 arriving by the end of the year (UNHCR, 09/02/2015). The influx has resulted in shortages of shelter in the camps (OCHA, 26/01/2015).
Sudan: Sudan reportedly hosts at least 114,500 Eritrean refugees (UNHCR).
Djibouti: As of 1 January, there were 1,240 Eritrean refugees in Djibouti (UNHCR, 30/01/2015).
Kenya: As of 30 June, there were 1,583 Eritrean refugees in Kenya; the majority located in Nairobi (UNHCR, 30/06/2015).
A delayed onset and lack of rainfall has resulted in abnormal dryness across western Eritrea (FEWSNET, 24/07/2015). Very poor rainfall since February, including extremely sporadic rain since mid-March, has led to drought conditions in eastern Eritrea (FEWSNET, 30/05/2015).
It is estimated that Eritrea produces only 60% of the food it needs, and markets appear to be dysfunctional. These two factors suggest that a significant part of the population may be in need of food assistance. Due to extensive national service, farmers are routinely absent during harvest periods (Economist, 10/03/2014). In addition, local food and fuel prices are likely to be high, putting severe pressure on household coping mechanisms. The Government officially denies any food shortages within its borders and refuses food aid (ECHO).
Health and Nutrition
According to FAO in 2013, over 60% of the Eritrean population was reported to be undernourished between 2011 and 2013.
According to a June 2015 report by the UN Human Rights Council, grave human rights violations are widespread. Eritreans are deprived of fundamental freedoms by the authorities, and are routinely and arbitrarily arrested, detained, and tortured. Disappearances or extrajudicial executions were also reported (UNHRC, 04/06/2015). Eritreans are subject to systems of national service and forced labour in which individuals are effectively detained indefinitely (UNHRC, 04/06/2015).
Mines and ERW
UNICEF reported in January 2015 that landmines and ERWs continue to have a serious impact on the population, including causing deaths, injuries and disabilities. Humanitarian mine action programmes in the country have been scaled down because of limited access (UNICEF, 15/01/2015).
Iraq Country Analysis
20 August: Iraqi Kurdistan president Masoud Barzani’s extended term expired, leaving KR-I in a legal vacuum that political parties are still trying to resolve (AFP).
18 August: The situation is worrying for more than 80,000 people having limited access to services and commodities in Haditha in Anbar (OCHA).
17 August: Reports of possible use of chemical weapons by non-state actors in August are a serious concern (OPCW).
31 July: Syrian refugees’ access to safety and asylum remains a concern, with changes in exit and admission procedures into KR-I (UNHCR).
- 1,332 deaths recorded in July, including 844 civilians, an increase on June. More than 44,000 conflict-related civilian casualties recorded between January 2014 and April 2015 (UNAMI, 01/08/2015; OHCHR, 13/07/2015).
- 8.6 million people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, including more than 3.2 million IDPs. This compares to 5.2 million people in need of aid end February and 9.9 million projected by end 2015 (OCHA, 18/08/2015; OCHA/UNCT, 04/06/2015).
- Access continues to be severely constrained in large parts of Anbar, Salah al Din, Diyala, Kirkuk, and Ninewa (OCHA, 26/07/2015). Protection is a key concern.
- 250,408 registered Syrian refugees are in Iraq; 42% are children (UNHCR, 16/08/2015).
The IS insurgency has compounded an already fragile political and humanitarian situation, leading to a level 3 humanitarian crisis and international military intervention. Iraq now hosts one of the largest internally displaced populations in the world. Priority needs are food, water, shelter, fuel, and access to healthcare. Access constraints and human rights violations, particularly in IS-controlled areas, are of major concern.
Politics and Security
Political instability and insecurity with the rise of the Islamic State are the main drivers of the crisis in Iraq.
As of July, more than 13,860 conflict-related civilian casualties have been recorded in 2015; July was the most violent month, with 844 civilians killed and 1,616 injured (UNAMI, 01/08/2015). An increasing number of civilian casualties caused by IEDs were reported in the last weeks of July, while reports of possible use of chemical weapons by non-state actors in August are a serious concern (OPCW, 17/08/2015; OHCHR, 28/07/2015). Casualty numbers are hard to verify in conflict areas. More than 35,400 casualties, including 12,280 deaths, were recorded in 2014, in the worst violence since 2006–2007 (OHCHR, 13/07/2015; UNAMI, 01/01/2015).
The perceived marginalisation of Sunni groups by former President Maliki’s Government is considered one of the main drivers of the current conflict. A unity government, led by Prime Minister Abadi, was formed in September 2014, and a plan for national reconciliation is under consultation (UNAMI, 22/07/2015). While trying to balance sectarian tensions inside the country, Abadi has been seeking international support for the fight against Islamic State (IS), including from neighbouring Sunni Arab states (Foreign Affairs, 16/01/2015).
Widespread protests in July against electricity cuts, perceived corruption, and rising unemployment have led to a range of government reforms (UNHCR, 31/07/2015).
Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KR-I): Iraqi Kurdistan president Masoud Barzani’s extended term expired on 20 August, leaving KR-I in a legal vacuum that political parties are still trying to resolve. Opposition parties are reasserting objections to the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP)’s political dominance (ISW, 20/08/2015; AFP, 20/08/2015). A budget agreement between Baghdad and Erbil around oil revenues was incorporated into Iraq’s 2015 national budget law late January, but differences persist over the interpretation of the agreement (UN, 13/07/2015; local media, 26/04/2015).
Islamic State (IS): In June 2014, IS declared the establishment of a Sunni caliphate, covering the area between Aleppo in northern Syria and Diyala in eastern Iraq. Abu Bakr al Baghdadi was declared caliph and leader for Muslims worldwide. IS now controls nearly 300,000km2 of territory in Syria and Iraq (AFP, 01/06/2015). It has attracted more than 20,000 foreign fighters (ICSR, 21/01/2015; NBC, 02/2015).
Government forces: Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), numbering around 48,000 troops, are involved in offensives around Baghdad and in central governorates (Foreign Policy, 28/03/2015). Falling global oil prices have led to significant budget deficits, hampering the government’s capacity to undertake military operations and finance basic services for affected populations (Deutsche Welle, 11/06/2015).
Shi’a militias: Three militias have been supporting government forces on all major fronts against IS since the beginning of the insurgency, as part of the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF): Asa’ib, Kita’ib Hezbollah, and the Badr Brigades. PMF number around 100,000 fighters, including 30,000 reportedly backed by the Iranian Government (Al Jazeera, 23/01/2015).
KR-I Forces: The Kurdish Peshmerga, supported by Kurdish fighters from Syria and Turkey, are engaged in a counter‑offensive against IS. Kurdish fighters receive training and equipment from multiple countries, including the United States (AFP).
International Involvement: In August 2014, US forces started airstrikes on IS locations. On 15 September, 30 additional countries pledged to help Iraq fight IS. Iran has dispatched members of its elite Revolutionary Guard and reportedly carried out airstrikes against IS (The Economist, 03/01/2015; The Guardian, 05/01/2015, 04/12/2014).
IS has intensified its attacks against ISF and associated militias in northern and western Iraq since June, especially in Anbar, Kirkuk, Diyala and Salah al Din (ISW, 06/07/2015). ISF and Peshmerga forces regained territory in early 2015, recapturing populated areas of Diyala in January, and Al Baghdadi in Anbar early March (AFP, 26/01/2015; 08/03/2015). Peshmerga forces are fighting IS in Kirkuk.
Anbar: A second, large-scale military operation was launched by Iraqi forces and associated militias, supported by coalition airstrikes, on 12 July, to retake Anbar from IS. Fighting around Falluja, the first target, quickly reached a stalemate with IS planting booby traps around the city; another ground operation was launched in Ramadi on 27 July, and clashes were ongoing as of 20 August (ISW, 20/08/2015; ICG, 01/08/2015). Up to 40 civilians have reportedly been killed and 30 wounded in an airstrike on Rutba district on 31 July (UNAMI, 03/08/2015). IS captured Ramadi on 17 May, killing at least 500 people (ISW, 10/07/2015).
Baghdad has seen an increase in attacks since July. Two IS bombings in Sadr City on 13 and 15 August killed at least 65 and wounded 168 (AFP, 16/08/2015; 13/08/2015).
Two bombings in Bayaa and Al Shaab districts killed 21 and wounded 46 on 22 July (AFP, 22/07/2015). Two IS attacks targeting Shi’ite militia in al Jadida and Zafaraniya districts killed 23 and wounded 53 on 21 July (AFP, 22/07/2015). A series of bomb explosions killed at least 21 and wounded 62 in Shi’ite-dominated neighbourhoods of Baghdad on 12 July (AFP, 12/07/2015). Two bombings killed 11 people and wounded at least 27 on 4 July (Reuters, 04/07/2015).
Diyala: Two IS suicide attacks on Shia areas in and around Baquba killed at least 57 and wounded more than 80 on 11 August (Al Jazeera, 11/08/2015). An explosion on 27 July killed four and wounded ten in Abu Saida (AFP, 27/07/2015). A bombing in Mandali killed at least four on 21 July (AFP, 22/07/2015). At least 10 were killed and 16 wounded in attacks in Hudaid village on 20 July. 13 people have been reportedly kidnapped in the area a few days before, including a Sunni tribal leader (Reuters, 20/07/2015). An IS attack targeting Shi’ite militias in Khan Bani Saad killed at least 90 people and wounded 120 on 17 July, as people were celebrating the end of Ramadan (AFP, 18/07/2015).
Kirkuk: ISF asked residents to leave Al Riyadh subdistrict on 2 July, ahead of military operations (ECHO, 03/07/2015). Peshmerga and PMF began operations to dislodge IS from areas of southwestern Kirkuk in February (ISW, 18/03/2015). This cooperation is significant (ISW, 13/03/2015; Ekurd Daily, 17/02/2015; The Daily Beast, 17/02/2015).
KR-I: On 2 August, ten civilians were reportedly killed in Turkish airstrikes targeting militants of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in Zarkel village (AFP, 02/08/2015).
Ninewa: IS continues to carry out security operations south of Mosul, to control resistance and safeguard one of its most important areas of control (ISW, 06/07/2015).
Salah al Din: IS has maintained pressure on ISF and supporting militias in Baiji district since it launched a major assault on 14 August aiming to retake areas it lost around Baiji oil refinery in May and June (ISW, 20/08/2015; 08/05/2015). An attack in Touz district killed 12 and wounded 45, mostly Shi’ites, on 25 July (Reuters, 25/07/2015). Abductions of people on their way from Kirkuk to Tikrit have been reported (OCHA, 26/07/2015). IS maintains control over supply routes from unliberated areas to Mosul and other areas in northern Iraq (UN, 13/07/2015).
There are more than 3.1 million IDPs, 3.2 million people in host communities who are affected, and 251,690 Syrian refugees.
As of 30 July, there are 3,171,606 IDPs in 3,522 locations in Iraq, including 16% displaced after April. Anbar hosts 584,364 IDPs, Baghdad 538,632, and Kirkuk 399,660. 28% are in KR-I (875,569). 69% of IDPs are living in private settings, 20% in critical shelter arrangements, including 4% in informal settlements (mainly in Anbar and Salah al Din), and 8% in IDP camps, mainly in KR-I (IOM, 25/07/2015; UNHCR/CCCM, 11/08/2015). 35% of IDPs in critical shelter arrangements are under 15 years of age (IOM, 30/06/2015). The number and spread of IDPs pose a major challenge to needs assessment and assistance.
Anbar: More than 78,340 people have been displaced from Saqlawiyah in Falluja district over 8–21 July, mainly to Falluja city (IOM, 12/08/2015). More than 300,000 people are believed to have been displaced from and within Anbar since operations began on 8 April, including 154,180 from Ramadi district over 15 May–23 June (IOM, 15/07/2015). Of those displaced since April, 43% went to Baghdad, 14% to Erbil and 33% stayed in Anbar. A high concentration of IDPs are in Falluja district and Khaldiya subdistrict in Ramadi. Ramadi displaced are in need of health, shelter, food and NFI support (IOM, 15/07/2015; WHO, 07/06/2015). Many civilians have not been able to flee to safer areas due to ad hoc entry restrictions and insecurity (NRC, 21/05/2015).
Salah al Din: Nearly 26,910 people were displaced in Samarra, Tikrit, Balad, and Dujail districts due to conflict since 14 June (IOM, 12/08/2015). Populations have begun returning to Tikrit and Alam, where the cities’ local police force and militia are keeping order (local media, 23/06/2015). Around 98,000 returnees to Tikrit since April need NFIs and shelter repair support (OCHA, 04/07/2015; 23/06/2015). Dour and Albu Ajil, where many people supported IS, remain empty (local media, 23/06/2015).
IDP Returnees: Between 27 March and 30 July, 295,320 IDPs returned to their place of origin, including 44% to Salah al Din, 21% to Ninewa, 20% to Diyala, and 13% to Anbar. 14% are in critical shelter arrangements (IOM, 12/08/2015). A 37% increase in the number of returnees was reported between 4 June and 2 July, with Baghdad, Salah al Din and Kirkuk experiencing the highest increases (IOM, 15/07/2015). Heavily disrupted basic services and infrastructure, mines, insecurity, and lost documentation increase risks for returnees (UNHCR, 15/04/2015). 900,000 IDP returnees are in need of assistance throughout Iraq (OCHA/UNCT, 04/06/2015).
Refugees and asylum seekers
There are 250,408 Syrian refugees registered in Iraq and 41,700 non-Syrian refugees (UNHCR, 16/08/2015, 23/04/2015).
Syrian refugees: As of 15 August, 250,408 Syrian refugees were registered in Iraq, including 16,783 who arrived in 2015; 42% are children. KR-I hosts an estimated 97%, with 113,142 in Erbil, 98,791 in Dahuk and 30,131 in Sulaymaniyah; 4,512 were last known to be in Anbar and 1,576 in Ninewa (UNHCR, 16/08/2015). A reduced number of arrivals has been reported since 2 June due to changes in admission procedures into KR-I (UNHCR, 31/07/2015).
38% of refugees live in nine camps; over half these refugees are in Domiz camp in Dahuk (47,167), 10,138 in Kawergosk, and 10,351 in Darashakran in Erbil (UNHCR, 16/08/2015). 851 Syrian refugees were last reported in Al Obaidy camp, in IS-controlled Al Qa’im in Anbar, but access constraints limit information; information on the fate of some 2,800 urban refugees in Al Qa’im is also lacking (UNHCR, 31/07/2015; 15/03/2015).
As of end July, nearly 11,760 Syrian refugees have returned to Syria in 2015. Reasons for return include high living cost in the KR-I, lack of job opportunities and family reunification (UNHCR, 31/07/2015).
Iraqi refugees in neighbouring countries
Around 180,000 Iraqi refugees are thought to be residing in neighbouring countries, mostly in Turkey and Jordan (UNHCR, 04/06/2015).
Access of relief actors to affected populations
Access to the estimated five million people in areas under armed opposition groups’ control is limited (OCHA, 12/08/2015). Several INGOs have suspended activities in IS-controlled areas, or provide emergency assistance through local partners. Long delays in obtaining clearance from Iraqi authorities also hinder access (OCHA, 05/12/2014).
Anbar: remains largely inaccessible due to ongoing military operations. Only three UN agencies and eight organisations are operating in Anbar, along with government ministries (OCHA, 14/07/2015).
Ninewa: Access to Mosul is impossible for humanitarian actors and communications with areas outside the city are allegedly cut off. Conditions have dramatically deteriorated since IS took control (OCHA, 02/03/2015; WFP, 02/02/2015).
Salah al Din: Humanitarian presence remains limited. Roads are only usable from the south through Baghdad and Samarra (OCHA, 14/07/2015).
Access of affected populations to assistance
IDP movement restrictions: New IDPs from Anbar face serious restrictions accessing neighbouring provinces: Baghdad, Babylon, Kirkuk and Diyala have implemented strict security policies: access across Bzibz bridge to enter Baghdad, in particular, remains unpredictable and 1,500 are reportedly stranded in a camp at the bridge in urgent need of aid, particularly WASH and health; IDPs attempting to enter KR-I by land require a local guarantor (OCHA, 18/08/2015; 11/08/2015; 14/07/2015; UNHCR, 29/05/2015).
Border crossings: Syrian refugees’ access to safety and asylum remains a concern with changes in exit and admission procedures into KR-I (UNHCR, 31/07/2015). The Ibrahim Khalil border crossing has been closed to Syrians from Kobane since 2 March; most refugees have entered via the Peshkabour crossing (UNHCR, 15/03/2015; 08/2015). Insecurity prevents most civilian movement at the IS-controlled Al Qa’im and Al Waleed crossings, as well as at Rabia (Reuters, 23/11/2014; UNHCR, 28/02/2015; 15/01/2015).
Anbar: Tens of thousands of people are reportedly trapped in Falluja and Ramadi districts, as many routes are blocked or closed (OCHA, 11/08/2015). The situation is also worrying for more than 80,000 people having limited access to services and commodities in Haditha, including electricity due to low levels of water in the city’s dam (OCHA, 18/08/2015).
Security and physical constraints
High insecurity and UXO hinder access to affected populations (OCHA, 05/12/2014). IEDs are also a concern for returnees to recaptured areas (OCHA, 14/07/2015).
Food Security and Livelihoods
4.4 million people need food assistance (OCHA/UNCT, 04/06/2015). Food security is deteriorating, particularly for IDPs.
The October–November 2014 and April–May 2015 agricultural seasons were significantly affected by conflict, especially in major producing areas such as Salah al Din, Ninewa, and Anbar; government seed distributions were delayed end 2014, impacting planting (FAO, 27/05/2015). Below-average wheat production is expected in 2015 (OCHA, 14/07/2015). IS controls major wheat storage silos in Ninewa and Salah al Din (FAO, 10/02/2015).
In a June assessment, 21% of IDP households reported poor or borderline food consumption, a 5% increase on May, compared to 4% of non-displaced households (WFP, 29/07/2015). In Anbar, the percentage of households reporting poor and borderline food consumption rose from 6% to 18% between April and June; food supply in Haditha district in Anbar is extremely limited (WFP, 01/08/2015; 29/06/2015).
Food prices are high in Anbar, Ninewa, Kirkuk, Salah al Din, and Dahuk due to conflict and blocked supply lines. As of June, prices in Anbar were 58% higher than in Baghdad (WFP, 01/06/2015). Government support via the Public Distribution Centre is limited in conflict areas; 80% of households reported having received no rations in April (WFP, 01/06/2015; FAO, 27/05/2015).
Refugees: Vulnerability-based assistance to Syrian refugees will be introduced in August: 50,000 previously assisted refugees will no longer receive food vouchers; the monthly voucher value will reduce to USD 10 per person for over 47,000 moderately vulnerable refugees, while 1,000 considered the most vulnerable will continue to receive USD 19 (WFP, 06/08/2015).
3.4 million people are in need of emergency livelihood support, compared to 800,000 end February (OCHA/UNCT, 04/06/2015; UN, 18/02/2015). IDPs’ financial conditions are deteriorating, and labour opportunities and wage rates low in conflict and IS-held areas (UNHCR, 15/03/2015; OCHA, 02/03/2015; WFP, 11/03/2015).
More than 7.8 million people need health support, including 6.95 million in critical need (WHO, 10/08/2015). 84% of health programmes supported by humanitarian agencies have shut down due to funding shortfalls, affecting more than three million people (WHO, 04/08/2015).
Acute diarrhoea and scabies have been gradually increasing in IDP and refugee camps since end May due to high temperatures and reduced health and hygiene promotion activities. These, combined with steady rates of acute respiratory infections remain the leading causes of morbidity in camps (WHO, 11/08/2015).
Healthcare availability and access
At least 14 major hospitals and more than 170 other health facilities are non-functional or destroyed. Functioning facilities are overburdened and 45% of health staff have been displaced. Key concerns include: the lack of specialised services; recurrent shortages of essential medicines and other supplies, especially in Anbar, Salah al Din, and Ninewa; disruption of treatment for patients with chronic illnesses; mental health support, and the risk posed by communicable diseases (OCHA, 04/08/2015; WHO, 04/06/2015). Low vaccination coverage in Najaf is a concern (WHO, 28/06/2015).
Anbar: Health capacities are severely strained in Haditha city and al-Baghdadi sub-district, with at least six out of 14 primary health care centres not functioning due to damage in Haditha city, and two out of three in al-Baghdadi (WHO, 11/08/2015). Most health facilities in Khaljdiya are reported closed since the departure of health workers in June (WHO, 07/06/2015). Ramadi’s main hospital came under IS control on 16 May, and the city hospital in Hit district is no longer accessible for civilians (OCHA, 17/05/2015; 05/05/2015). Shortages of fuel have affected healthcare delivery, leading to critical shortages of medicine.
Ninewa: The majority of health facilities in Sinjar remained closed end June due to infrastructure damage, and lack of staff and medical equipment (WHO, 28/06/2015).
Refugees: 20% of the non-camp population has difficulty accessing health services, due to cost and perceived availability. Access to specialised primary services, including mental healthcare and control of communicable diseases, remain priorities, especially outside camps (WHO/UNHCR, 30/06/2015; 28/02/2015).
As of 1 August, 976 suspected measles cases have been recorded in 2015, including 543 from Baghdad and 115 from Babylon; 493 and 563 cases were suspected during the same periods in 2013 and 2014 (WHO, 01/08/2015; 15/07/2015).
7.1 million people need WASH support, including 4.1 million in critical need (OCHA, 14/07/2015). Extreme temperatures are aggravating the already critical water access problem in areas affected by conflict or controlled by armed groups (OCHA, 11/08/2015). At least 30% of WASH programmes supported by humanitarian agencies have shut down, leaving 1.8 million without access to WASH services (UN, 27/07/2015).
Urgent WASH support is required for at least 26,100 IDPs in Habbaniya and 6,000 in Rahaliya in Anbar, 39,000 returnees in Tikrit and Samarra in Salah al Din, and for 5,300 returnees to Muqdadiya district in Diyala; shortage of fuel and chlorine is reported in Falluja, undermining efficient water supplies to displaced populations (OCHA, 18/08/2015; 11/08/2015; 14/07/2015).
Refugees: The operation and maintenance of WASH facilities, and the delivery of WASH services in camps, remain challenges. Transition to safe water supply and sanitation in Qushtapa, Kawergosk, Darashakran, and Basirma camps is ongoing, but challenged by funding. In Akre, the latrine ratio is 10:1 (UNICEF/UNHCR, 31/07/2015; 30/06/2015).
The rate of water flow in the Euphrates River has more than halved since IS took control of the dams in Ramadi and Falluja in Anbar early June. This is threatening access to drinking water in Anbar and in Kerbala, Babylon, Najaf, and Qadisiyah (WHO, 28/06/2015). Defects in Khalidiya’s water network in Anbar have been reported (OCHA, 18/08/2015).
Shelter and NFIs
Around 2.9 million people require shelter and NFI support, mainly in non-camp settings in central and southern Iraq (OCHA/UNCT, 04/06/2015). IDPs in critical shelter arrangements are of highest concern and are particularly affected by high summer temperatures (UNHCR, 31/07/2015; IOM, 30/06/2015).
13 camps are under construction in twelve governorates for an additional capacity of 346,995 people (UNHCR/CCCM, 11/08/2015).
Arbat IDP camp in Sulaymaniyah hosts 13,000 people instead of the planned 4,800: access to basic services is of major concern. Close to 3,700 people have been relocated to the new Ashti IDP camp, and an additional 2,500 will be relocated in August (OCHA, 14/07/2015).
Refugees: Refugees are increasingly seeking to move to camps due to high living conditions in KR-I and lack of livelihood opportunities for low to medium-skilled workers (DRC/UNDP, 31/07/2015). 26% of shelters in refugee camps in KR-I are unimproved. 6/9 camps’ capacities are exhausted; 3,134 new improved shelter plots are required in Gawilan, Kawergosk, Basirma and Qushtapa camps (Government/UNHCR, 31/07/2015; 30/06/2015).
Access and learning environment
More than three million children did not attend the full 2014/2015 school year, including more than 650,000 who have received no schooling at all (UN, 30/06/2015). 55% of school-aged IDP children in camps are not enrolled in schools, compared to 70% of those out of camps (Education Cluster, 10/06/2015). Challenges include lack of teachers, and schools operating on several shifts to accommodate increasing demand (OCHA, 04/07/2015). Extreme summer temperatures are also constraining children’s attendance at child-friendly spaces (UNICEF, 31/07/2015).
Anbar: More than 1,500 schools have been damaged or destroyed by conflict in the province (AFP, 03/08/2015).
Refugees: 68% of school-aged refugee children are attending school, including 74% in camps and 62% outside camps. Attendance in primary school in camps varies from 67% in Arbat to 95% in Kawergosk. Challenges include overcrowded classrooms, shortages of Syrian teachers, increasing demand for schooling, and insecurity. At least 50% of Syrian teachers have been unpaid since at least April, due to KR-I’s limited budget (UNICEF/Save the Children, 31/07/2015).
7.9 million people are in need of protection support (OCHA, 12/08/2015).
IS has committed targeted attacks, killings, torture, rape, forced religious conversion, and child conscription. Sharia courts have been established in IS-controlled territories, carrying out extreme punishments against men, women, and children (UN, 19/03/2015; 20/01/2015). As many as 3,000–3,500 people, predominantly from the Yazidi community and other ethnic and religious groups, remain in IS captivity (UN, 13/07/2015). ISF and associated militias have allegedly carried out looting, killing, torture, and abduction during their counter-offensives against IS (Reuters, 04/04/2015; 21/03/2015; Amnesty, 02/04/2015).
Around 2.4 million children are living in the most affected governorates of Iraq. Grave violations against children, including sexual violence, maiming, and forced recruitment, are prominent (UNHCR/Protection Cluster, 20/06/2015). IS has reportedly sold children as sex slaves, is using minors as suicide bombers, and providing military training to schoolchildren in Syria and Iraq (AFP, 08/06/2015; OCHA, 06/02/2015). The group abducted 400 children in Anbar during the last week of May (OCHA, 31/05/2015).
Child marriage is increasingly used as a strategy by families to protect young girls from sexual violence and deprivation (OCHA, 12/08/2015).
Refugees: Child labour is affecting 16-30% of Syrian refugee children in Dahuk (UNHCR, 31/07/2015).
IDPs: Lack of documentation among IDPs is a key concern, especially as it is a prerequisite for residency permits and difficult to obtain outside a person’s area of origin: many children born in displacement lack birth registration, while up to 50% of IDP families are reportedly missing at least one important personal identity document (OCHA, 14/07/2015). Residency permits for IDPs in KR-I are only issued for 3-6 months, which has limited access to legal employment (DRC/UNDP, 31/07/2015). There are reports of IDPs from Diyala and Kirkuk having their documentation confiscated and being forced to return to their province of origin (OCHA, 04/07/2015). Reports also highlight arrests of IDPs without documentation in Kirkuk (UNHCR, 30/06/2015).
Refugees: Many of the 37,500 Syrian refugee children aged 0–4 lack birth registration documents because their parents do not have any (UNHCR, 25/05/2015). Refugees in Al Obaidi camp in Anbar continue to lack access to legal documentation and assistance due to inaccessibility of government services (UNHCR, 31/07/2015).
Accurate numbers of women and girls affected by abuse across Iraq are hard to obtain. Reports show an increase in sexual violence, abduction, trafficking, and forced recruitment of women. IS reportedly carried out systematic sexual violence against Yazidi women and girls in northern Iraq (HRW, 15/04/2015).
Mines and ERW
The Government estimates more than 1,730km² of land is contaminated by landmines and UXO. IS is reportedly planting more (MAG, 07/2015).
Niger Country Analysis
21 August: Increase in waterborne diseases such as malaria and diarrhoea among the displaced and refugee population during the rainy season (MSF).
18 August: 10,000 Nigerian refugees arrived in Diffa region from Damasak in Nigeria, following the withdrawal of Chadian and Nigerian forces from the formerly BH-controlled town in late July (UNICEF).
- 3.6 million people are food insecure, including 2.7 million severely, during the June–September lean season (WFP/FAO/Food cluster, 12/08/2015; OCHA, 31/05/2015).
- 373,293 children acutely malnourished, including 164,654 severely. The nutrition situation is deteriorating in Diffa region (OCHA, 14/08/2015; 12/08/2015).
- More than 105,000 Nigerian refugees in Diffa region (UNHCR, 18/08/2015).
- Cases of meningitis tripled over 24 April–15 May. Cases have been declining but risk remains and vaccines are in short supply (WHO, 28/06/2015; 12/06/2015).
Politics and security
Insecurity has been rising in Niger and across the region due to crises in Nigeria, Mali and Libya. Terrorist threats from Boko Haram (BH), Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, and the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) are all of concern.
Large populations were evacuated from the Lake Chad islands in May due to military operations against BH and remained displaced as of July (UNICEF, 16/07/2015). Sporadic BH attacks have been reported since in several villages in Diffa region, leading to further displacement and deteriorating humanitarian conditions in the region. The withdrawal of Chadian and Niger troops from northeastern Nigeria due to the rainy season has left Diffa further vulnerable to attacks (UNHCR, 17/08/2015).
A state of emergency was declared in Niger in February in response to BH attacks, and was extended until end August, with motorcycle traffic banned from 2000-0600 (UNHCR, 29/05/2015; AFP, 27/05/2015; 26/02/2015). Thousands of troops from Niger and Chad launched a major ground and air offensive against BH in southeastern Niger in March (AFP, 14/03/2015). Niger soldiers have also been deployed to support a regional offensive against the group (BBC, 10/02/2015).
16 people were killed and four injured in BH attacks near Bosso town in Diffa region on 15 July (AFP, 18/07/2015). Five civilians were killed in a BH attack in Dagaya village in Diffa region on 10 July (AFP, 10/07/2015).
Multiple BH attacks and raids on villages in Diffa in June affected at least 7,000 people, killed 53, and injured 16. The biggest attack was on Lamana, Boulamare and Ngoumao villages on 18 June: 38 people killed, three wounded, 6,000 inhabitants affected. 80% of houses were burnt in Lamana, the most populated village. (OCHA, 03/07/2015; 26/06/2015; 19/06/2015).
Floods in seven regions in central and southern Niger since end July affected nearly 20,090 people and killed at least four. Zinder region is most affected. Around 3,100 people have been relocated, while 2,170 homes and four tonnes of food supplies have been destroyed, and nearly 545 hectares of agricultural land flooded. Niamey is at particular risk of further flooding (OCHA, 14/08/2015).
Overall in Niger, there are 66,400 IDPs, 105,580 Nigerian refugees, and 52,445 refugees from Mali (OCHA, 12/08/2015).
Refugees and asylum seekers
Boko Haram Crisis
Overall, 105,580 Nigerians have fled the Boko Haram crisis and sought refuge in Diffa region since May 2013, including nearly 63,350 children (UNHCR, 18/08/2015). Up to 130,000 Nigerian refugees could be in Niger by the end of 2015 (UNHCR, 01/07/2015).
An estimated 10,000 Nigerians arrived in Gagamari and Chetamari areas of Diffa region from Damasak town in northern Nigeria, following the withdrawal of Chadian and Nigerian forces from the formerly BH-controlled town in late July (UNICEF, 18/08/2015). They are mostly staying in towns along the border (UNHCR, 19/08/2015). Gagamari and Chetamari were already hosting at least 1,000 refugees from Damask who had fled in anticipation of the troop withdrawal (OCHA, 22/07/2015; IRC, 21/07/2015). In recent weeks, Tchongourma town in Diffa is reported to have received an additional 3,990 new Nigerian refugees, but the area is currently inaccessible to UN agencies (UNHCR, 17/08/2015).
Boko Haram activities in Niger have also led to several waves of internal displacement. A 27 June BH attack on Assaga village in Nigeria caused an estimated 6,000 Nigerian refugees to flee to Assaga, Niger. In addition 3,771 Nigeriens fled from eight villages surrounding Assaga on the Niger side of the border, becoming displaced internally (UNICEF, 18/08/2015; OCHA, 14/07/2015). Priority needs for the displaced are for NFIs, WASH, shelter, and protection (OCHA, 14/07/2015). More than 50,000 people were also displaced from islands around Lake Chad between 30 April and 20 May. 75% are Nigerians and third-country nationals. 10,000 are in Kimegana site in Nguigmi, 13,000 in Yebbi camp in Bosso in Diffa region, and more than 16,000 have returned to Nigeria (UNICEF, 16/07/2015; 15/06/2015; MSF, 10/06/2015).
At least 30,000 people in Diffa are entirely reliant on humanitarian aid: priority needs are for food, WASH, nutrition, health and protection (ECHO, 08/06/2015).
As of 31 July, 52,445 Malian refugees are in Niger, having fled insurgency in their country, including 14,580 in Intikane camp, and 13,450 in Abala camp in Tillabery region. 62% are children (UNHCR, 31/07/2015).
Access of relief actors to affected populations
Movement within Diffa, and northern parts of Zinder, Tahoua, and Tillabery regions is possible only with military escorts (OCHA, 16/02/2015). Access to displaced populations in Bosso department is still restricted, with its southeastern part nearly inaccessible (UNHCR, 30/06/2015).
Security and physical constraints
The presence of landmines along the border between Niger and Nigeria, especially around Komadougou River, is preventing access to certain areas (UNHCR, 30/04/2015).
Food Security and livelihoods
Around 3.6 million people are food insecure during the May–September lean season, including 2.7 million severely. 460,000 severely food insecure in Diffa region are targeted for monthly assistance. Other areas of concern are Tillabery, Tahoua, Zinder, Maradi and Niamey regions (OCHA, 14/08/2015; 31/05/2015; WFP/FAO/Food Cluster, 12/08/2015).
Irregular rainfall in June and July in areas affected by drought conditions in 2014 has led to a delay of up to 30 days in the growing season (WFP, 01/07/2015).
Insecurity in Diffa region is significantly hampering land preparation activities. As of May, 68% of villages in Diffa had a cereal deficit (OCHA, 20/05/2015).
In agropastoral areas of south Diffa, insecurity is disrupting production but also trade and food supply on markets due to access constraints; poor households will face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food security outcomes until December in the presence of assistance (FEWSNET, 31/07/2015).
At least 200,000 people in Diffa region are likely to continue facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food security outcomes until December due to continued insecurity and degrading livelihood opportunities, including lower purchasing power as a result of limited trade opportunities (FEWSNET, 31/07/2015). 63% of displaced are estimated to have insufficient access to food, while the majority are deprived of livelihood means (FEWSNET, 28/05/2015; ACTED, 01/06/2015).
Cereal prices were stable in July, except in Agadez market, where sorghum and maize prices rose 10% and 9%, respectively (Afrique Verte, 18/07/2015).
In pastoral zones of Tahoua and Tillabery, poor households will move from Stressed (IPC Phase 2) to Minimal (Phase 1) food security outcomes from August to December as a result of improved pasture conditions for livestock following the rainy season (FEWSNET, 31/07/2015).
In Diffa region, insecurity and poor rains in 2014 have led to a decrease in economic activities. This has particularly affected livelihoods of households growing pepper and maize in the valleys of Lake Chad and Komadougou Yobe. Other activities in the south of Diffa, particularly fishing and the sale of fish around Lake Chad, have stopped entirely, resulting in a loss of income for households dependent on these activities (FEWSNET, 31/07/2015).
Sahel Food Crisis: Regional Overview
At least 7.5 million are facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food security outcomes across the Sahel and West Africa through August, and 26.6 million Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food security outcomes (Cadre Harmonisé, 06/2015). In 2014, food insecurity rose dramatically to 24.7 million food insecure people, compared to 2013, when 11.3 million people had inadequate food (OCHA, 03/02/2015).
Healthcare availability and access
Health services are overcrowded in Diffa region with the arrival of new IDPs, and lack medicines and qualified personnel (OCHA, 20/05/2015). Predominant illnesses include parasitic diseases, eye infections, and respiratory infections (UNHCR, 29/05/2015). Waterborne diseases such as malaria and diarrhoea are increasing among the displaced and refugee population during the rainy season (MSF, 21/08/2015).
Fire damage to UN warehouses in Niamey on 2 June destroyed most stocks intended for immediate use. Vaccines to counter the meningitis epidemic, as well as supplementary feeding programmes for at least 10,000 children in urgent need of support during the lean season, will be severely affected (ECHO, 05/06/2015).
As of 12 August, 5,539 measles cases, including at least 14 deaths, have been recorded in 2015 in all eight regions of Niger. 60% of cases were in Zinder region (OCHA, 12/08/2015; UNICEF, 31/05/2015). 12/44 health districts have epidemic outbreaks (OCHA, 23/04/2015).
As of 12 August, 8,520 suspected cases of meningitis, including more than 573 deaths, have been recorded in 2015; 2,182 new cases were recorded over 4–10 May, but incidence has since decreased. 13 districts crossed the epidemic threshold, including all five districts in Niamey (OCHA, 12/08/2015; WHO, 08/07/2015). At least 281,000 people are at risk of infection over the next October–April dry season. Low vaccine supply on the continent is a concern (WHO, 28/06/2015; MSF, 10/06/2015; IFRC, 02/06/2015).
373,293 children are acutely malnourished in Niger, including 164,654 severely malnourished (OCHA, 12/08/2015).
The nutrition situation is deteriorating in Diffa region: 24,438 children under five are expected to suffer from SAM in 2015, compared to 9,629 expected as of January, due to displacement, food insecurity and disease prevalence (UNICEF, 18/08/2015). GAM is at 28% among Nigerian refugee children and pregnant and breastfeeding refugee women, exceeding the 15% crisis threshold; GAM within host populations is also critical, at 19.5% (UNHCR, 22/07/2015). Admissions of children suffering from SAM to therapeutic feeding programmes rose by 22% in Dosso and 129% in Diffa between 2014 and 2015 (OCHA, 31/05/2015).
35% of households in Diffa live in shelters that do not meet minimum standards. Each host family hosts around 17 people. 60% of IDPs in sites are homeless (OCHA, 20/05/2015). Shelter issues are of increasing concern, as the rainy season began in June (UNHCR, 31/05/2015).
Displaced populations have limited access to safe water, and sanitation (MSF, 21/08/2015). 43% of recently displaced populations from Lake Chad are estimated to have insufficient access to water sources (ACTED, 01/06/2015).
82% of 13,000 Nigerian refugees surveyed in Diffa did not have identity documents in a February assessment, which could impact their ability to access assistance (IOM, 23/02/2015).
Nigeria Country Analysis
17 August: Military offensives in the northeast have led to new displacement. Access to new IDPs is limited (OCHA).
13 August: Up to 160 people died in a Boko Haram raid on a village in Yobe state. Many people drowned, trying to escape the insurgents through a river (ECHO, 20/08/2015; OCHA, 17/08/2015).
- Around 6,740 deaths from Boko Haram-related violence in 2015 as of mid-July. 7,711 deaths from Boko Haram-related violence were reported in 2014 (ACLED, 11/07/2015; 11/01/2015).
- 4.6 million people in need of humanitarian aid, including 1.4 million IDPs (OCHA, 05/06/2015; IOM, 30/06/2015).
- 3.5 million people are expected to be in need of emergency food assistance between July and September (FEWSNET, 25/06/2015).
- 1.5 million are in need of nutrition assistance, including 461,000 children under five suffering from SAM (OCHA, 05/06/2015).
- 2.2 million people are in need of WASH assistance; 1 million in need of shelter and NFIs; 2.2 million in need of protection; and 3.5 million people in need of healthcare (OCHA, 06/2015).
Violence has displaced close to 1.6 million people, restricted movement, disrupted food supply, seriously hindered access to basic services, and limited agricultural activities. People affected by violence in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe, and neighbouring Bauchi, Taraba, and Gombe states are in urgent need of protection, shelter, food, and access to health services and education.
Muhammadu Buhari was sworn in as President on 29 May, succeeding Goodluck Jonathan, whose party had led the country since 1999. Buhari is a former president and military ruler from northern Nigeria (local media, 29/05/2015; AFP, 02/04/2015).
Between January and mid-July 2015, around 6,740 fatalities were reported in more than 320 violent events with confirmed or suspected BH involvement in northeastern states. The same period in 2014 saw around 220 incidents, with almost 4,000 fatalities. As of 11 July, 69 suicide attacks have been recorded in 2015, compared to 38 in all of 2014 (ACLED, 11/07/2015). Boko Haram’s (BH) insurgency in the northeast began to gain momentum in 2014, when 7,711 deaths were reported (ACLED, 11/01/2015).
Since the end of 2014, the conflict with Boko Haram has taken on a more regional dimension, with attacks in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger, and a strengthened multinational force. With the engagement of regional forces, the Nigerian Government regained territory in early 2015, but insurgent attacks have since increased in the northeast (UNHCR, 22/05/2015).
In the Middle Belt area (Benue, Kaduna, Plateau, Nassarawa, and Taraba states), inter-communal clashes flare regularly, fuelled by ethnic and religious tensions, as well as competition between farmers and pastoralists (IDMC, 12/2014).
Boko Haram (BH)
Boko Haram (“Western education is forbidden”) has been leading an insurgency to create an Islamic state in the predominantly Muslim regions of northeastern Nigeria. The Nigerian authorities have been fighting BH since 2009. Precise BH troop numbers are not known, but estimated at around 15,000 (Amnesty, 13/04/2015). In March, BH pledged allegiance to Islamic State (AFP, 07/03/2015). The group is thought to hide in the Lake Chad region and the Sambisa forest (AFP, 31/07/2015).
Reports of low morale and defections persist among Nigerian forces. Failures to act on intelligence and abuse during the campaign against BH are also a problem, impacting relations with the civilian population (ACLED, 31/03/2015). In the past, Nigerian soldiers at times reportedly refused to deploy, or fled from operations (AFP, 22/08/2014).
The Multinational Joint Task Force (MJTF) has reached 8,700 military and civilian personnel, including contingents from Chad, Cameroon, Niger, and Nigeria (BBC, 03/03/2015). The troops are expected to be deployed in August (AFP, 31/07/2015; 13/08/2015). The scope and remit of the regional force is unclear. Failure to maintain control over liberated towns, such as Gamboru and Marte in Borno state in March and April, have suggested coordination problems. The force is headed by a Nigerian commander (AFP, 11/06/2015; 25/04/2015; 20/03/2015).
Recent military operations are pushing insurgents further east and south in Borno state, and towards neighbouring states Gombe, Yobe and Adamawa. They are looting villages and killing people as they move, provoking mass displacement (UNHCR, 17/08/2015). BH has been using guerrilla tactics including village raids, abductions, bombings and suicide attacks, increasingly targeting civilians (AFP, 23/03/2015; US Institute of Peace, 09/01/2015). The number and range of attacks has increased since March–April, including in areas not previously targeted (INGO Forum, 17/07/2015).
Between December 2014 and June 2015, OCHA reported 162 BH-related incidents and 3,750 fatalities, February being the deadliest month with 987 deaths in 47 incidents (OCHA, 18/06/2015; 30/06/2015). Others reported more than 320 incidents and 6,740 deaths between January and mid-July 2015 (ACLED, 11/07/2015). July was the deadliest month since March, with 980 fatalities due to violence. 67% of fatalities were related to BH; the highest proportion since January, and a significant increase from the 40% reported in June and 30% in May (ACLED, 07/08/2015).
Since 29 May, when President Buhari assumed office, more than 700 people have been killed in the northeast, including more than 500 in July alone (AFP, 17/07/2015). Most attacks and fatalities continue to occur in Borno state. Other states reporting BH attacks in July include Yobe, Gombe, Plateau, and Kaduna. Adamawa, one of the three most affected states, has not reported any BH attacks since early June. The national army claims to have killed more than 600 insurgents (AFP, 05/07/2015).
BH raids tend to follow a similar pattern, with houses set on fire, food and cattle seized, and a number of villagers killed. The attacks often lead to the displacement of residents (AFP, 20/07/2015).
Borno state: On 15 August, a suicide bombing near a market in Ramirgo village killed at least three people (The News Nigeria, 16/08/2015). On 12 August, 50 people were killed and 51 injured in a blast on the market of Sabon Gari village (AFP, 12/08/2015). On 11 August, six people were killed in Bale Mamman, outside of Maiduguri, during a BH raid for livestock (Reuters, 12/08/2015). On 9 August, suspected BH killed four people and injured two in an attack on their car on the road from Damboa to Biu (Reuters, 09/08/2015). On 5 August, nine fishermen were killed by BH on their way from Monguno to Baga. Following the attack, soldiers fought with the insurgents (AFP, 05/08/2015). On 2 August, BH killed at least 13 people in Malari village, close to Maiduguri. 27 people were injured and houses were set on fire. On 1 August, BH attacked Gamboru town, close to the border with Cameroon, causing residents to flee the town (AFP, 02/08/2015).
Yobe state: On 25 August, a suicide bomber killed six people at a bus station in Damaturu. A second suicide bomb on the outskirts of the city injured one person (AFP, 25/08/2015). Up to 160 people died in a Boko Haram raid on a remote village on 13 August, including 60 children (OCHA, 17/08/2015; ECHO, 20/08/2015). Nine people were killed in Tadagara and Dunbulwa villages on 6 August. Hundreds of villagers fled to Potiskum. Shops and houses were looted, then set on fire (AFP, 06/08/2015). In July, more than 50 people were killed in village raids and suicide attacks. Several attacks were carried out in Damaturu (AFP, 31/07/2015; 20/07/2015; 17/07/2015; 05/07/2015; Reuters, 27/07/2015).
Reports of inter-communal violence in the Middle Belt have decreased in recent months. On 18 June, eight farmers were killed in Wukari district of Taraba state (AFP, 18/06/2015). In May and April, at least 46 people were killed in inter-communal violence; 118 people were killed in March. Involved communities mainly include Fulani, Ologba, and Egba (AFP, 26/05/2015; 19/04/2015; 17/03/2015; ECHO, 17/03/2015). In 2014, around 1,700 people died in inter-communal violence (ACLED, 2014; ICG, 01/10/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Some 9.7 million people, including IDPs, are staying in 34 areas worst affected by the insurgency. The entire population of northeast Nigeria – 24.5 million people – is indirectly affected; 4.6 million are in need of humanitarian aid (OCHA, 30/04/2015; 09/07/2015). The situation is compounded by limited international presence in the area. An estimated 2.3 million people do not have access to humanitarian aid and are in critical need of assistance (INGO Forum, 17/07/2015).
Heavy rains during the past weeks have caused flooding in Benue, Cross River, Yobe, Katsina, and Sokoto states. Over 15-16 August, more than 260 houses were destroyed and livestock drowned in Sokoto. In Yobe, at least 200 houses were completely destroyed, and 100 more were flooded in Benue (ECHO, 19/08/2015).
The security situation in the northeast continues to impair access to affected populations. Almost daily attacks on communities since the beginning of the year have resulted in an absence of humanitarian actors in the region. Those who are present have difficulty accessing populations and assessing the extent of needs in remote areas (ACF, 30/06/2015). Humanitarian assistance is very limited in remote areas that are or were formerly under BH control (UNHCR, 30/06/2015). Host communities receive very little assistance, as access remain difficult and needs are hard to assess (OCHA, 31/07/2015).
In Borno state, many domestic flights have been cancelled and fuel stations are running out of petrol (BBC, 25/05/2015).
Media access has also often been prohibited, with BH having destroyed communication and media infrastructure (Reporters without Borders, 05/02/2015). Infrastructure damage reaches 80% in some areas controlled by BH (IRIN, 05/06/2015).
Around 1.6 million Nigerians have been displaced by conflict, including nearly 1.4 million internally and more than 170,000 abroad. 57% of IDPs are children.
As of June, nearly 1.4 million IDPs have been identified in Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe states, compared to 1.5 million in April. More than 200,000 people have returned in Adamawa state, but further displacement continues (IOM, 30/06/2015).
Military offensives have led to new displacement. Access to new IDPs is limited. Conditions in IDP sites are deteriorating, and needs are unmet in WASH, education, health, and shelter (UNHCR, 17/08/2015).
Most basic needs are not covered. The priority is food security, followed by protection and livelihood support (INGO Forum, 19/06/2015; ECHO, 25/06/2015). 27% of registered IDPs are not receiving any assistance. This proportion is higher among IDPs living with host families (40%) than those in IDP sites (11%).
More than 1.2 million are staying with host families, the remaining are staying in 42 camps and camp-like sites (IOM, 30/06/2015).
95% of IDPs were displaced by the insurgency, and 5% by communal clashes. About 75% were displaced in 2014, and 23% in 2015. 56% of IDPs are children; half are under five. More than one million are in Borno, which is also the state of origin for 80% of IDPs. 125,484 are in Yobe (9%) and 113,437 in Adamawa (8%). People displaced by inter-communal violence are mostly in Taraba and Bauchi states (IOM, 30/06/2015).
There are 223,141 returning IDPs in northern Adamawa state (OCHA, 09/07/2015). They are in urgent need of assistance. Homes, vehicles, public buildings and farmland have been destroyed, and food stores and health clinics looted. Many water sources are contaminated. Insecurity remains a concern, as sporadic attacks are still carried out in return areas (OCHA, 31/07/2015).
As of May, there were 2,190 refugees and asylum seekers in Nigeria (UNHCR, 27/05/2015).
Some undocumented 15,000 Nigerian refugees have forcibly returned from Cameroon, due to increased measures following recent BH attacks in the country. Most of them originate from Borno state, having fled BH-related violence. They are arriving through Sahuda, Mubi South, in Adamawa (Government, 05/08/2015; IRIN, 21/08/2015). So far, 5,762 returnees have been transferred to IDP camps in Yola, Adamawa (Government, 10/08/2015). Others are staying in makeshift camps on the outskirts of Mubi (OCHA, 31/07/2015). More than 300 returnees are expected to arrive following recent suicide attacks in Chad (OCHA, 28/07/2015).
Nigerian Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
There are more than 170,000 Nigerian refugees in neighbouring countries. 57,300 registered refugees are in Cameroon, 105,600 in Niger, and 14,600 in Chad (UNHCR, 17/08/2015; 04/08/2015; OCHA, 12/08/2015).
4.6 million people are estimated food insecure. 3.5 million people are thought to be in need of food assistance in the northeast between July and September. Borno state and much of Adamawa and Yobe are facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food security outcomes, and worst affected areas, including Maiduguri IDP settlements, are experiencing Emergency (Phase 4) outcomes, an estimated two million people. Availability of and access to food remain severely limited due to the conflict (OCHA, 08/06/2015; FEWSNET, 25/06/2015; 07/08/2015).
Lack of access to IDPs for food distribution, mostly in urban areas, is a concern (FEWSNET, 20/05/2015). Lack of access to food has been reported in 11 out of 42 displacement sites. Borno state is most affected, with 10 sites lacking access to food (IOM, 30/06/2015).
The October harvest will somewhat improve food security outcomes, but much of Borno and parts of Yobe and Adamawa will continue to face Crisis outcomes between October and December (FEWSNET, 07/08/2015).
Across much of the country, food access and availability are seasonally low, particularly among poor households. Still, most of the country will be facing Minimal (Phase 1) food security outcomes through December (FEWSNET, 07/08/2015).
Agriculture and Livelihoods
Communities in northeastern rural areas largely depend on farming for their livelihoods. But families returning from displacement will not be able to support themselves, as staple crops have not been planted (INGO Forum, 17/07/2015). Insecurity prevents those who remain in the northeast from carrying out typical farming activities. Forecasts for the 2015 rainy season (May–September) are poor and the main harvest in October is expected to be well below average for a third consecutive year, limiting market supply and availability of household production stocks (FEWSNET, 25/06/2015; 07/08/2015).
Boko Haram enforces rigid movement restrictions and some limitations on trade, negatively impacting people’s ability to obtain food and gain a livelihood, and limiting food availability on markets (Amnesty, 13/04/2015; FEWSNET, 25/06/2015). Major urban markets, such as Maiduguri, Potiskum, Yola and Mubi, continue to operate, but are functioning at reduced levels due to limited demand and production, and disrupted trade routes. Some markets in areas not directly affected by the conflict are also negatively affected (FEWSNET, 07/08/2015).
Inter-communal conflict and conflict between farmers and pastoralists continues to disrupt agricultural activities in areas of Bauchi, Kaduna, Benue, Nasarawa, Plateau, Taraba, Katsina, FCT and Zamfara states. In some areas, markets are also negatively affected (FEWSNET, 07/08/2015).
Health and Nutrition
3.5 million people need health support (OCHA, 09/07/2015). Mortality rates are increasing and vaccination programmes severely hit, with polio vaccination campaigns limited to Maiduguri.
75 health facilities had been destroyed in Borno state as of May. Half of the local government areas have access to health care facilities (USAID, 17/06/2015).
Most IDPs in host communities have limited access to health services (OCHA, 02/10/2014). 3,000 health facilities in the northeast are closed or have been partially destroyed (OCHA, 08/10/2014).
Malaria is the most prevalent health problem among IDPs in camps (IOM, 30/06/2015).
By late July, 2,939 cholera cases had been reported in 2015 in 13 of 16 states, with 147 deaths. Anambra, Kano, Rivers, and Ebonyi states are worst affected. Although the number of cases is significantly lower than the 24,195 over the same period in 2014, the case fatality rate has risen to 5.2%. Case numbers had been fluctuating between 0 and 60 per week since the peak of the outbreak in mid-March, but increased to 100 new cases in the last week of June. In the week to 19 July, 185 new cases were reported (IFRC, 09/06/2015; 22/07/2015; UNICEF, 27/07/2015; 19/07/2015).
1.5 million children and pregnant and lactating women are expected to suffer from acute malnutrition in 2015. 32% are estimated to be children suffering from SAM (OCHA, 09/07/2015). Around 100,000 children in camps are thought to be suffering from SAM (OCHA, 30/04/2015).
In May, GAM in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe IDP camps was around 12% among children under five. Malnutrition is thought to be worse among IDPs in host communities, as they lack access to nutrition services. In April, a nutrition assessment found 29% GAM among IDPs under five in Borno state (USAID, 23/07/2015).
2.2 million people are in need of WASH assistance (OCHA, 09/07/2015).
WASH conditions in IDP host communities are critical, with reports of inadequate latrines and lack of access to safe water (IDMC, 16/04/2015). In the northeast, only 46% of the population have access to improved sources of drinking water and 21% to latrines (UNICEF, 13/01/2015).
More than 75% of IDP camps lack handwashing and drainage facilities. The number of people sharing a toilet far exceeds the Sphere standard (USAID, 23/07/2015).
Shelter and NFIs
One million people are in need of shelter and NFIs (OCHA, 09/07/2015). IDP sites are often overcrowded (IRIN, 05/06/2015). The number of IDPs in formal camps has been growing since April, and shelter and other basic needs have risen (OCHA, 08/06/2015). There is a reported need for shelter repair materials in half of IDP sites. 4% of IDPs in camps (some 4,450 individuals) are living in self-made tents, while others are staying in public buildings, such as schools and community centres, and government buildings (IOM, 30/06/2015).
10.5 million children are out of school in Nigeria, including 60% in the northeast of the country (UNICEF, 04/2015). 300,000 children in Borno state have been unable to attend school for more than a year (USAID, 17/06/2015).
Low numbers of qualified teachers, scarcity of teaching materials, and fear of sending children to school are main concerns for IDP children’s access to education (UNICEF, 01/06/2015).
2.2 million people are in need of protection (OCHA, 09/07/2015). Top reasons cited for not feeling safe include the killing of civilians, armed encounters and destruction of property. The affected population in the northeast and north-central states indicates main protection concerns are destruction of housing, property and crops, land-related conflicts and forced evictions (UNHCR, 06/07/2015).
Women are at particular risk of sexual violence and trafficking in displacement sites. Unaccompanied minors make up 1.7% of IDPs (23,550 individuals) and physical and emotional abuse of children is reported in many IDP sites. The majority of unaccompanied and separated children are in Borno state, followed by Yobe and Adamawa (IDMC, 16/04/2015; UNICEF, 13/04/2015; OCHA, 07/07/2015; Protection Sector Working Group, 17/07/2015).
IDP camps are facing a significant threat from militant infiltration; some cases of BH militants disguised as IDPs have been reported from Maiduguri (UNHCR, 29/05/2015).
Since January, hundreds of people held by BH have been rescued, including 178 in early August in an offensive on BH in Sambisa Forest (AFP, 03/08/2015).
Abduction, Torture, and Forced Recruitment
Women and girls have been trafficked, raped, abducted and forcibly married in areas controlled by BH (OCHA, 30/04/2015). Young men are being forcibly recruited and executed (Amnesty, 13/04/2015). The increasing use of children and women for suicide bombings is of great concern (UNHCR, 29/05/2015). So far in 2015, women carried out most of the largest suicide attacks. There are reports that BH is also using mentally handicapped women to bomb civilian areas (Action on Armed Violence, 10/08/2015).
Cases of extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrests, detention, and torture have been documented among Nigerian forces in the course of security operations against BH (Amnesty International, 03/06/2015). Amnesty has raised concerns about the tactics used by security forces in the offensive against BH. More than 8,000 people are said to have died in detention in June (Reuters, 23/06/2015).
Somalia Country Analysis
22 August: At least 18 people were killed in suspected Al Shabaab attacks in Mogadishu and Kismayo, and 30 others were injured (AFP).
21 August: IDPs returning to Bardhere, Gedo region, and Dinsoor, Bay region, are in urgent need of support (OCHA).
- 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 (UNHCR, 11/08/2014).
- 2.75 million people need safe water (OCHA, 02/06/2015).
- 3 million are estimated to need emergency health services (OCHA, 02/06/2015).
- Nearly one million people are facing Crisis and Emergency (IPC Phase 3 and 4) food insecurity outcomes (UNICEF, 30/04/2015).
- Some 216,000 children under five are estimated to be acutely malnourished, mainly in south-central Somalia, including 89,000 severely (OCHA, 30/07/2015).
- 1.7 million children are out of school (OCHA, 30/07/2015).
- Nearly one million Somali refugees live in neighbouring countries, mostly Kenya, Ethiopia, and Yemen (UNHCR, 11/08/2015).
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 1.5 million people living in seven regions affected by the Somalia–African Union military offensive: Bakool, Gedo, Lower Shabelle, Hiraan, Bay, Banadir, and Lower Juba
Somalia suffers from a chronic fragility of state institutions as a result of two decades of civil war. Infighting between presidents and prime ministers is a recurrent problem. Vision 2016, the Federal Government’s policy covering constitutional revision, the establishment of regional administrations, and transition to multiparty democracy, is opposed by key figures in the state (UNSC, 25/09/2014; ICG, 01/11/2014). Government and parliament have agreed that for planned elections in 2016 it will not be possible to collect votes from all individuals, given current political and security conditions (AFP, 28/07/2015; UNSOM, 03/08/2015).
Security incidents such as suicide attacks, mine explosions, and armed confrontations continue in southern regions. Most incidents between January and May 2015 were reported in Mogadishu, Baidoa, Belet Weyne and Kismayo (FSNAU, 26/06/2015). Armed actors conducted more than 340 violent incidents targeting civilians and humanitarian personnel between 1 March and 20 April (USAID, 19/05/2015). Over 2,200 conflict incidents with humanitarian impact were reported in the first nine months of 2014, including military operations, active hostilities, and other forms of violence against civilians (OCHA, 17/10/2014).
Al Shabaab is a militant Islamist group and off-shoot of the Islamic Courts Union. It took over most of southern Somalia in 2006, seeking to establish an Islamic state. Numbering 7,000–9,000 militants, Al Shabaab typically targets Somali government officials, AMISOM forces, and perceived government allies. Attacks in urban centres and along transport axes are common. Al Shabaab has also carried out a number of attacks in Kenya. Al Shabaab was forced out of Mogadishu in 2011 and Kismayo in 2012, and lost Barawe, Lower Shabelle, in October 2014.
In November 2013, the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) force was increased to 22,000 from 17,600. Its mandate has been extended until 30 November 2015 (UNSC, 25/09/2014). The Somali National Armed Forces (SNAF) and AMISOM launched a military offensive against Al Shabaab-held areas in March 2014 (OCHA, 05/2014). The second phase of the offensive began in late August. Bakool, Gedo, Lower Shabelle, Hiraan, Bay, Banadir, and Lower Juba regions are all affected (FSNAU, 03/2015). New offensives started in July in Bay and Gedo regions (AMISOM, 19/07/2015). Galgaduud, Lower and Middle Juba, Middle Shabelle, and Mudug are also expected to be affected (OCHA, 20/07/2015).
Al Shabaab continues attacks on civilians, humanitarian personnel, and government officials. In June, at least 93 Al Shabaab attacks were reported, with 197 fatalities, compared to 92 attacks and 157 fatalities in May. However, for many incidents no number of casualties is confirmed. The number of deaths from Al Shabaab-related violence is thus expected to be much higher (ACLED, 11/07/2015).
Late July, military forces took control of Bardhere and Dinsoor towns. Though local media reported heavy fighting, military sources claim they took the towns without a fight (Horseed media, 20/07/2015; BBC, 24/07/2015; 22/07/2015). Al Shabaab claims the withdrawal was a strategic act, and that it will return (Reuters, 23/07/2015). Other Al Shabaab strongholds, such as Jilib in Middle Juba and Hudur in Bakool, are expected to be targets of the offensive (local media, 19/07/2015).
Local media report that Al Shabaab has advanced in Lower Shabelle region, and in June was in control of at least three districts: Awdheegle, Tora-toro and Mubarak (Horseed media, 05/07/2015). AMISOM is reportedly withdrawing from some of its smaller outposts in Somalia (BBC, 29/06/2015).
In retaliation for recent Al Shabaab attacks in Kenya, airstrikes were carried out in Gedo region. More than ten civilians were reportedly killed, and many others injured. Residents have fled the area (Horseed media, 12/07/2015; 13/07/2015).
On 22 August, a suicide bomber attacked a military base in Kismayo, killing at least 14 soldiers and wounding 20 others (AFP, 22/08/2015). On 21 July, at least 24 civilians were reportedly killed and 22 injured in Marka town, when AMISOM soldiers opened fire. AMISOM claims the victims were Al Shabaab fighters. Many residents fled the area (Al Jazeera, 21/07/2015). On 15 July, clashes occurred between Ethiopian AMISOM forces and Al Shabaab near Wajid district, Bakool (Horseed media, 15/07/2015). The same day, militants were killed in Gedo region in clashes with Kenyan defence forces (AllAfrica, 15/07/2015).
Mogadishu: Al Shabaab attacks in Mogadishu mainly target political figures. On 22 August, four civilians were killed when a car bomb detonated near a police station. At least ten others were injured (AFP, 22/08/2015). On 26 July, at least 13 people were killed and more than 40 injured in a car bomb attack on a hotel that hosts several diplomatic missions. The attack was said to be in retaliation for the dozens of civilians killed by military forces in the south several days earlier (AFP, 27/07/2015; BBC, 26/07/2015).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Restricted humanitarian access continues to affect aid delivery to affected populations in south-central Somalia (OCHA, 10/08/2015). Inaccessibility of major supply routes is disrupting markets and livelihoods. Insecurity on the main roads makes needs assessment, delivery of humanitarian supplies, and response difficult (OCHA, 10/08/2015; 21/11/2014). Even in areas where there is no active conflict, illegal checkpoints, banditry, and demands for bribes are common (OCHA, 17/10/2014). The new SNAF-AMISOM offensive may further restrict population movement, trade, and humanitarian access (USAID, 17/08/2015).
Al Shabaab has cut off road access to towns controlled by AMISOM, including Rabhure and Wajid in Bakool (FEWSNET, 16/04/2015). However, some goods are coming into these towns through community networks (OCHA, 20/07/2015). Hudur district in Bakool is largely inaccessible due to roadblocks and illegal checkpoints, and residents are lacking access to basic services such as food and medicine (Horseed Media, 15/07/2015; OCHA, 20/07/2015). Bulo Burde in Hiraan is only accessible by helicopter. Belet Weyne–Mogadishu and Mogadishu–Baidoa–Dolow are badly affected (OCHA, 24/04/2015; Logistics Cluster, 29/04/2015; OCHA, 12/05/2015). Access to some areas in Bay region is extremely limited (OCHA, 20/07/2015).
The Puntland–Somaliland border is closed (OCHA, 24/04/2015; Logistics Cluster, 29/04/2015; OCHA, 12/05/2015). The indefinite closure of Bosaso Airport, Puntland, for renovation, has severely constrained humanitarian operations (PI, 08/01/2015).
Security Incidents Involving Aid Workers
Over 20 incidents of violence against aid workers were reported in May and June. In the first six months of 2015, there were more than 60 security incidents involving aid workers. Eight people were killed, 14 injured, five abducted, and 30 arrested or detained (OCHA, 16/07/2015; 20/07/2015). A 400-strong UN military unit was deployed in Mogadishu with a mandate to protect aid workers in May 2014 (UN).
An estimated 1.1 million Somalis were IDPs by June 2015, 893,000 in the south-central region, 129,000 in Puntland, and 84,000 in Somaliland. 369,000 IDPs live in makeshift camps in Mogadishu (UNHCR, 11/08/2015). The same figures have been reported since December 2014 (OCHA, 04/12/2014).
Conflict continues to cause displacement. An estimated 18,000 people have been displaced since mid-July due to the new military offensive in South-Central Somalia, particularly in Lower Shabelle and Bay regions (OCHA, 10/08/2015; 16/07/2015; ECHO, 21/07/2015). Between 12 July and 16 August, more than 2,000 new IDPs were registered in Dinsoor district, Bay region, and Bardhere, Gedo region (Society Development Initiative Organization, 20/07/2015; 27/07/2015; 02/08/2015; 09/08/2015; 16/08/2015).
Around 9,000 people are displaced in Deefow and surrounding villages, Hiraan region, due to inter-clan fighting. Over 90% fled to Belet Weyne, where they are staying with friends and relatives. Major needs include shelter, water, food, and livelihood support (OCHA, 25/06/2015).
Many IDPs returning to Bardhere and Dinsoor, in Gedo and Bay region, respectively, are in urgent need of support. Due to prolonged inaccessibility, these areas have received little assistance. Looting and burning of public facilities during recent military operations further increased the need for support. Priorities are food, safe water, and basic services (OCHA, 21/08/2015).
Between 8 December and 16 August, 3,345 Somalis returned from Kenya: 2,302 to Kismayo, 788 to Baidoa, 163 to Banadir, and 87 to Luuq (UNHCR, 16/08/2015). Afgoye, Balcad, Belet Weyne, Jowhar, Mogadishu and Wanla Weyne have been identified as new areas for return (OCHA, 20/07/2015). The original target for voluntary return of Somali refugees from Kenya was 10,000 in 2015 (UNHCR, 08/12/2014).
Refugees and Returnees from Yemen
The number of new arrivals from Yemen has increased significantly since April. As of 20 August, 28,703 have been registered: 19,290 in Bosaso, Puntland, and 9,046 in Berbera, Somaliland. July has seen the highest number of new arrivals, with 9,864. So far in August, around 340 people arrived. Following reported relative stability in Aden Port, Yemen, many Somalis who had previously set out to return, are now arriving in Aden (IOM, 20/08/2015; 13/08/2015; UNHCR, 11/08/2015).
Immediate needs of new arrivals include emergency health relief, food, protection, and WASH (Red Cross Movement, 02/07/2015). A second reception centre is being set up in Bosaso. However, this is a school and will not be available from September (UNHCR, 04/08/2015). Arrivals are expected to reach 48,000 by September (Red Cross Movement, 02/07/2015). 90% of arrivals are Somali returnees, 9% Yemeni refugees, and 1% third-country nationals (IOM, 13/08/2015). 75% of arrivals are women and children (OCHA, 10/08/2015). More than half of returnees intend to continue to Mogadishu (UNHCR, 11/08/2015). Some already have returned, and they are staying in IDP settlements (UNHCR, 14/07/2015).
Somali Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
There are 967,676 Somali refugees in neighbouring countries, of whom 5,010 were registered in 2015; at least 421,789 in Kenya, 247,934 in Ethiopia, and 246,648 in Yemen, with the remainder in Uganda, Djibouti, Eritrea, and Tanzania (UNHCR, 11/08/2015).
The number of people facing Crisis and Emergency (IPC Phase 3 and 4) food security outcomes has increased since May, up from earlier projections of 730,000 people, and is likely to increase further until December (FAO, 27/07/2015; FEWSNET, 01/08/2015). An additional 2.3 million people are facing Stressed (Phase 2) outcomes and are highly vulnerable to shocks (OCHA, 02/06/2015). IDPs make up some 75% of food-insecure people (OCHA, 20/07/2015).
Food security deteriorated in agropastoral areas in Awdal, Hiraan, Middle Juba, and Woqooi Galbeed regions, following poor gu rains. In most parts of Coastal Deeh pastoral livelihood zone in the central regions, pasture conditions deteriorated and water sources were only partially replenished. In most pastoral areas, depletion of water sources and deterioration of rangeland conditions have been faster than normal (FEWSNET, 01/08/2015). Pasture shortages are reported in parts of Bari, Sanag, Awdal, and Wooqoi Galbeed regions in the north, and in parts of Galgaduud, Middle and Upper Juba, and Lower and Upper Shabelle regions in south-central Somalia (FAO, 27/07/2015).
Households in northwest agropastoral zones will have to reduce food consumption between July and the next karan harvest in October due to poor crop yields. (FEWSNET, 16/06/2015; FAO, 27/07/2015).
People in IDP sites are facing Crisis and Emergency food security outcomes. In parts of Hiraan and Bakool that are affected by roadblocks and conflict, most households will face Emergency food insecurity through September 2015, and the situation is likely to persist in the following months (FEWSNET, 01/08/2015; FSNAU, 26/06/2015; OCHA, 16/07/2015).
From July–December, a deterioration in food security is projected in agricultural livelihood areas of Bay, Bakool, Hiraan, Middle Juba and Middle Shabelle, where reduced crop yields are expected. In livestock-dependent livelihood areas, improvement in food security is likely due to favourable livestock prices, increased milk availability, and increased livestock herd size. However, in the areas with pasture shortages, deteriorating livestock conditions are expected during the dry hagaa season until October (FSNAU, 26/06/2015; FAO, 27/07/2015).
Agriculture and Markets
Harvesting of the gu crops is forecast to be below-average in south-central agropastoral areas, as well as in northwestern cropping areas. Off-season harvest in riverine areas of Lower and Middle Juba, Middle Shabelle and Gedo regions will be negatively impacted by below-average hagaa showers from July–September (FAO, 27/07/2015).
As expected, prices of staple crops increased seasonally in June in the south, including Mogadishu. Prices remain high due to consecutive below-average harvests and conflict-related trade disruptions (FAO, 27/07/2015; FEWSNET, 01/08/2015). In urban areas of Bakool and Hiraan regions, prices of food commodities remain high due to trade blockades throughout the past year (FSNAU, 26/06/2015). In Hudur, Bakool, price increases up to 28% were observed in June, compared to May. In Bulo Burde, Hiraan, prices remained relatively stable in June, but continue to be high due to insecurity (FSNAU, 27/07/2015).
Health and Nutrition
Around 3 million people are in need of emergency health services, particularly in Bay, Bakool, Galgaduud, Middle Juba and parts of Gedo (OCHA, 02/06/2015). Priority health concerns continue to be measles and acute watery diarrhoea (OCHA, 20/07/2015).
1.5 million people are without access to primary health services, including 300,000 children under five, due to funding shortfalls (OCHA, 16/07/2015). Ten hospitals have closed or majorly scaled down services in the past three months. Basic health posts and clinics are struggling to meet primary health needs. Many aid agencies have withdrawn health workers due to lack of funds (WHO, 23/07/2015). Hospitals in Dhobley, Galkayo, Jowhar, and Kismayo risk having to suspend services. In 2014, 20 health facilities closed due to limited funding (OCHA, 16/07/2015).
All IDP sites in south-central Somalia had a serious under-five mortality rate May–June (1–1.9/10,000/day) (FSNAU, 06/2015). The situation in Dhobley, Lower Juba, is considered a humanitarian crisis, with critical death rates (1.47/10,000/day), mainly due to acute malnutrition (FSNAU, 06/2015).
From January to June, 4,568 cases of measles were reported. More than half come from the south-central region and Banadir, Middle Shabelle, and Lower Shabelle reported the highest number of cases. This reflects high measles transmission due to low vaccination coverage. Measles vaccination coverage in south-central Somalia is reportedly below 50% (UNICEF, 30/06/2015).
An estimated 216,000 children are acutely malnourished, including 86,000 severely (OCHA, 01/08/2015).
In accessible areas of Hudur town, 33% GAM and 19% SAM were observed in a MUAC assessment in July, representing a very critical situation (over 17% GAM). Boys are more affected than girls. Rates were at 16% GAM and 6% SAM in June (FSNAU, 27/07/2015). High malnutrition rates persist in Bulo Burde, with 24% GAM and 7% SAM in July, though SAM has improved from the 19% recorded in June (FSNAU, 27/07/2015).
IDPs: A May–June nutrition assessment found a significant deterioration among IDPs in Kismayo and Dhobley in south-central Somalia. Five sites have over 15% GAM: Baidoa, Dhobley, Garowe, Galkayo and Dolow. In the last three sites, acute malnutrition has been above the critical threshold over the past two years. Among Dhobley IDPs, GAM has nearly doubled since the last assessment (October–December 2014), from 11% to 20.7%. SAM levels are above 4% in Baidoa, Galkayo, and Dolow.
Serious malnutrition levels (10%–15% GAM) were reported among IDPs in Mogadishu, Qardho, Bossaso, Kismayo, Dhusamreeb and Hargeisa. Alert levels (5%–10% GAM) were only seen in the northwest, in Berbera and Burao (FSNAU, 06/2015).
Returnees from Yemen in south-central Somalia are in need of support for the rehabilitation of their shelters. Yemeni refugees arriving in Hargeisa are struggling to find and pay for accommodation (UNHCR, 11/08/2015).
IDPs in Mogadishu are living in makeshift shelters. The most pressing needs are in Aladala, Aslubta, Beelo and Maslac in Dayniile district, and Ikashi in Hodan (OCHA, 03/06/2015).
There is a need for maintenance of WASH infrastructure, particularly in displacement settlements and areas affected by drought. Newly displaced people are in need of access to water and sanitation services (OCHA, 30/07/2015). In Bosaso reception centre, Puntland, latrines are very few, but there is no room to build additional latrines. Water storage capacity needs to be increased (UNHCR, 14/07/2015).
1.7 million children are out of school. 78% are in south-central Somalia (OCHA, 30/07/2015). Children of displaced families remain the most vulnerable and neglected in access to education (OCHA, 02/06/2015). There is a lack of teachers and learning materials, and learning facilities are inadequate (OCHA, 20/07/2015).
At least 2,000 children in Tarebunka IDP settlements in Banadir region have no access to education. The few schools that are functional do not have the capacity to meet the needs. Other schools are used as accommodation for IDPs (UNICEF, 30/06/2015).
1.11 million people are considered in need of protection, mainly due to physical insecurity during the SNAF-AMISOM offensive and inter-clan fighting; SGBV, including cases of sexual violence during inter-clan conflict; child protection violations; killing of civilians (including children); separation of children; and forced/secondary eviction. The areas most affected are Middle and Lower Shabelle and Lower Juba (UNHCR Protection Cluster, 10/2014; OCHA, 02/06/2015).
AMISOM forces have been accused of killing civilians in their homes on several occasions. Human Rights Watch has called for an official investigation (HRW, 13/08/2015).
Forced evictions of IDPs surged in 2015. In the first five months, 96,000 people were forcibly evicted, compared to 32,500 in the whole of 2014 (OCHA, 20/07/2015). Thousands more are at risk of eviction, mainly in Kismayo and Mogadishu (OCAH, 30/07/2015). The majority of those evicted from Mogadishu fled to settlements in the outskirts of the city. They are in need of shelter, safe water and latrines, access to food, and health services (Food Security Cluster, 23/03/2015). Human Rights Watch reported that authorities beat some of those evicted, destroyed their shelter, and left them without food, water, or assistance (HRW, 20/04/2015). Forced evictions have also been reported in Kismayo, Bosaso, Baidoa, and Luuq (UNHCR, 28/02/2015; ECHO, 25/03/2015; NRC, 18/05/2015; OCHA, 20/07/2015).
The lack of privacy for women and girls at the reception centre in Bosaso is a serious protection concern and poses an SGBV risk (UNHCR, 07/07/2015).
167 grave child rights violations were recorded in June, compared to 125 in May. The majority of cases were related to abduction (UNICEF, 31/05/2015; 30/06/2015). More than 1,000 grave violations were recorded January–April 2015. Grave violations include recruitment or use of children, killing, maiming, rape or other sexual violence (UNICEF). Boys are more affected than girls. 291 cases of child recruitment into armed groups and the national army were reported in the first four months of 2015 and 75 cases of sexual violence against children, compared to 370 and 30, respectively, during the same period in 2014 (OCHA, 03/06/2015).
South Sudan Country Analysis
24 August: Some humanitarian organisations have evacuated staff to Yei, following reports of attacks in Lainya as well as clashes between government and opposition forces along the Yei-Juba road (PI, 24/08/2015).
23 August: SPLM-IO accused the SPLM of breaking the ceasefire and attacking SPLM-IO positions in Unity, Central Equatoria and Eastern Equatoria (Sudan Tribune, 23/08/2015).
21 August: Health services at Malakal PoC are overwhelmed due to a population surge and high caseloads. The number of diarrhoea cases arriving weekly at facilities has doubled since June. The number of respiratory tract infections increased 80% from June to July. The number of malaria cases recorded per week has almost tripled compared to June (MSF, 21/08/2015).
19 August: Nearly 100,000 more people are seeking shelter in PoCs in 2015 than in 2014. There has been an influx of over 61,000 IDPs into PoCs since 30 June (UNMISS, 19/08/2015).
- 6.4 million people in need of humanitarian assistance in 2015; 4.6 million people to be assisted by the end of 2015 (OCHA, 08/01/2015; UN, 12/06/2015).
- An estimated 3.6 million are predicted to be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and a further 1 million in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) food insecurity by the end of July (IPC, 27/05/2015).
- An estimated 250,000 children are severely malnourished (OCHA, 13/06/2015).
- 1.6 million IDPs since December 2013. 201,911 IDPs are sheltering in six sites on UNMISS bases (UNHCR, 24/07/2015; UNMISS, 19/08/2015).
- 265,296 refugees in South Sudan (mainly from Sudan, DRC, Ethiopia, and CAR (UNHCR, 15/08/2015).
- 620,762 South Sudanese refugees since December 2013 (UNHCR, 21/08/2015).
Violence began to spread across eastern and northern South Sudan in December 2013. Fighting was focused in the oil-rich northeastern states during the first six months of 2015. 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.
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.
Relations between Sudan and South Sudan have been poor since South Sudan gained independence in 2011. The violence in South Sudan since December 2013 has exacerbated tensions, with additional concerns in Khartoum regarding an influx of refugees and arms, as well as disruption of oil flow. Sudan has accused South Sudan of using Sudanese militia groups to fight insurgents. South Sudan has made similar accusations.
On 2 July the UN Human Rights Council sent monitors to South Sudan, following an UNMISS report on atrocities in Unity state (AFP, 02/07/2015).
Since violence broke out in December 2013, President Kiir’s government forces (SPLA), who are predominantly Dinka and backed by Ugandan troops, are pitted against a loose alliance of military defectors loyal to former Vice President Riek Machar called the SPLA-in-Opposition, or SPLM-in-Opposition (SPLM-IO) along with ethnic Nuer militia forces. Since the beginning of the conflict, several splinter groups have left the SPLM-IO. Despite a significant reduction in intensity from January 2014, violence persists. At least seven ceasefires have been signed and broken since the civil war started in December 2013 (The Daily Star, 29/06/2015).
The UN Security Council adopted a resolution setting out criteria for targeted sanctions on individuals or entities threatening security and stability in South Sudan in early March (UN, 03/03/2015). Internationally backed peace negotiations are underway in Addis Ababa. (Sudan Tribune 19/07/2015, VOA, 17/07/2015). On 17 August, Machar signed the proposed peace deal, but several prominent generals from within the SPLM-IO leadership have voiced dissent and in some cases split from Machar’s opposition leading up to the signing. This split could derail the process (Sudan Tribune, 05/08/2015). Kiir’s government has requested 15 days to review the proposal (Al Jazeera, 18/08/2015).
The governors of Warrap and Central Equatoria have been removed by Kiir. South Sudanese police have been deployed in anticipation of unrest following the removal of these figures (Sudan Tribune, 17/08/2015).
On 24 March, the South Sudanese Parliament voted to extend President Kiir’s term by three years, cancelling elections scheduled for June 2015 (AFP, 24/03/2015). On 29 May, the Government expelled the UN resident coordinator; no reason was given (The Guardian, 01/06/2015).
Oil production is at one-third of its level in 2011. The central bank of South Sudan is allegedly printing money to meet a budget shortfall (Al Jazeera, 27/06/2015). The South Sudanese pound depreciated by approximately 26% from December 2014 to March 2015. Fuel and food prices continue to increase dramatically (FEWSNET 24/06/2015).
Most violence is occurring in the oil-rich northeastern states of Unity, Upper Nile, and Jonglei. Clashes have intensified since January, with another significant escalation since March. In late June–July, as the rainy season reaches its peak, the number of violent clashes between the SPLM and SPLM-IO decreased.
Between 25 May and 12 June, at least 466 civilians were killed and 1,294 injured (WHO, 12/06/2015). At least 50,000 may have died since December 2013, although access restrictions make numbers hard to verify (International Crisis Group, 15/11/2014).
International Military Presence
The UN Security Council voted in December 2013 to increase the number of peacekeepers in the country from 10,000 to 12,500. As of 28 February 2015, there were 11,669 uniformed personnel. The mandate of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) expires on 30 November 2015.
Sudan: Sudanese forces moved towards the border with South Sudan’s Unity and Upper Nile states in July, reportedly in an attempt to protect Sudan’s interest in the oil-rich territory that straddles the border (World Bulletin, 13/07/2015). Reports of cross-border raids are not uncommon.
Uganda: The Ugandan army has allegedly occupied contested land near the South Sudan-Uganda border, displacing 300 farmers from Eastern Equatoria State (UNHCR, 15/08/2015).
The capital of Unity state was transferred from Bentiu to Mankien, Mayom county on 15 April (UNMISS, 15/04/2015).
In May and June, the SPLM launched major offensives against SPLA-IO positions, taking key locations, particularly in Leer and Malakal. The SPLA-IO has retaken the positions since the rainy season began (Small Arms Survey, 01/07/2015).
Burning, looting, and rape were reported throughout the campaign and hundreds of thousands of people were displaced. An UNMISS report released on 30 June accused SPLM troops of targeting civilians. At least 67 civilians were reported killed and over 250 girls subject to sexual violence (Al Jazeera, 30/06/2015; Radio Tamazuj 30/06/2015; Radio Dabanga, 30/06/2015).
Clashes between the Government and SPLM-in-Opposition
Since the start of the rainy season, the number of clashes has declined. This is partly due to the difficulties involved in moving troops during the rains, and partly due to the ongoing peace process in Addis Ababa.
On 23 August, SPLM-IO accused the SPLM of breaking the ceasefire and attacking their positions in Unity, Central Equatoria and Eastern Equatoria (Sudan Tribune, 23/08/2015).
Central Equatoria: On 23 August, there were reports of government and opposition forces along the Juba-Yei road near Lainya (Sudan Tribune, 23/08/2015).
Unity: There are reports of government and opposition forces clashing in Nihaldiu (Sudan Tribune, 23/08/2015). Forces allied to Riek Machar claimed they had regained control of Leer and Koch counties on 29 June and 5 July, respectively (Sudan Tribune, 29/06/2015; 05/07/2015).
Upper Nile: Six civilians were wounded after an attack by an armed group while travelling in a truck near Malakal (Reuters, 23/07/2015). On 1 July, a shooting incident directed at the Malakal PoC site killed one and injured eight IDPs (MSF, 03/07/2015). On 7 July, SPLM forces retook Malakal from the SPLA-IO. Malakal has been captured and recaptured by both sides repeatedly over the last three months (Sudan Tribune, 07/07/2015).
East Equatoria state: On 22 August, there were reports of the SPLM and SPLM-IO along the River Acca (Sudan Tribune, 23/08/2015). The SPLM advanced along the Uganda–South Sudan border near the town of Nimule on 8 July, before retreating. An unknown number of civilians were displaced (Sudan Tribune, 09/07/2015).
Jonglei: On 23 August two groups of armed men exchanged fire in Pibor. Two people were injured during the clashes (Radio Tamazuj, 24/08/2015).
Unity: The use of firearms in violent crimes continues to be reported in Bentiu PoC camp (UNHCR, 05/08/2015).
Central Equatoria: On 24 August, unidentified armed men attacked a police station and seized weapons in Lainya (Radio Tamazuj, 24/08/2015). On 18 July gunmen attacked vehicles on the Juba–Kajokeji road, killing five and wounding seven. The motivation behind the attack is unknown (Sudan Tribune, 18/07/2015).
Lakes: Inter-communal violence has been reported in counties across Lakes state since September 2014. Attacks on traders and travellers are frequent (local media, 15/06/2015). Between 2 and 5 July, up to 16 people were killed, including one aid worker, and over 20 wounded in inter-clan clashes in Cueibet county (Radio Tamazuj, 04/07/2015; Sudan Tribune, 04/07/2015).
Warrap: More than 19 people were killed in clashes between rival Dinka communities in July (Sudan Tribune, 28/07/2015).
Western Equatoria: Sporadic but continuous clashes between tribal and clan groups continue, particularly around Maridi. At least 14 deaths and 16 injuries were recorded in June in clashes related to cattle theft (OCHA, 15/07/2015; Sudan Tribune, 18/06/2015). 196 house were burnt in Maridi and the hospital was looted. Approximately 30,000 people are believed to have been displaced (OCHA, 15/07/2015).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
6.4 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in 2015 (OCHA, 08/01/2015). The delivery of aid is restricted by heavy fighting, logistical constraints, and administrative impediments. The arrival of the rainy season and insecurity have led the ICRC to deliver aid via air drops for the first time in 20 years (ICRC, 30/06/2015).
Malakal’s airstrip is back in use as of 7 August after weeks of intermittent use due to ongoing conflict (WFP, 08/08/2015).
On 13 May, Parliament passed an ‘NGO Bill’, which requires that organisations sign a 'country agreement'. Similar agreements have been used before to control organisations in Sudan. The bill would also ban the formation of forums for international NGOs, which could hinder coordination, and allow the Government to impose unspecified fees (IRIN, 13/05/2015).
On 29 May, the Government expelled the UN resident coordinator: no reason was given (The Guardian, 01/06/2015).
The security situation in Unity, Jonglei and Upper Nile remains volatile and continues to restrict humanitarian access following heavy fighting April–June. In May 2015, OCHA recorded 134 incidents restricting humanitarian access, compared to 72 in April. Over half of the incidents involved violence. 38 were cases of looting or destruction of humanitarian assets and there were 42 cases of humanitarian actors withdrawing (OCHA, 31/05/2015).
Some organisations are returning (ICRC, 27/05/2015; MSF, 29/06/2015; UNHCR, 15/07/2015). On 25 July, WFP was able to resume activities briefly in Dablual, Unity state before skirmishes in the area forced them to withdraw (WFP, 31/07/2015).
Armed attacks on vehicles on the Juba-Yei road are hampering humanitarian access, particularly to Lasu refugee camp. Reports of attacks in Lainya, as well as clashes between government forces and armed opposition groups along the road, led some humanitarian organisations to evacuate their staff to Yei (PI, 24/08/2015).
Security Incidents Involving Aid Workers: According to a statement by the UN, 27 aid workers have been killed since December 2013 (Sudan Tribune, 25/07/2015). Assault, burglary, harassment, arrest, and detention have all been reported in 2015. Most cases were reported in Juba (Central Equatoria), Bentiu (Unity), and Upper Nile (OCHA, 01/07/2015).
As of June 2015, around 2.5 million people have been displaced, both internally and to neighbouring countries (UNHCR, 11/06/2015). Fluid displacement patterns and limited access to rural areas make numbers difficult to verify (UNHCR 11/07/2014).
There are approximately 1,606,400 million IDPs in South Sudan: 451,900 in Jonglei, 554,700 in Unity, 50,500 in Central Equatoria, 292,500 in Upper Nile, 113,900 in Lakes, Western, 4,700 in Eastern Equatoria, 24,100 in Western Bahr el Ghazal, 1,700 in Warrap, and 8,310 in Abyei (OCHA, 16/08/2015).
In July and August there have been 18,000 new arrivals at Malakal PoC, mainly from within Upper Nile State. Most are women and children. None of these new arrivals has shelter (UNMISS, 19/08/2015, UNHCR, 15/08/2015).
There are nearly 100,000 more people seeking shelter in PoCs in 2015 than in 2014. As of 19 August, 201,911 civilians are in six PoC sites on UNMISS bases, including 121,194 in Bentiu (over 43,000 new arrivals since 30 June), 28,663 in Juba UN House, 48,840 in Malakal (over 18,000 new arrivals since June) 2,289 in Bor, 723 in Melut, and 202 in Wau (UNMISS, 19/08/2015). The influx into Bentiu PoC can be attributed to the frontline of the conflict moving northward from Leer, through Koch and towards Bentiu during July. The shifting frontlines and clashes in Upper Nile state, particularly near Malakal PoC, can be seen as largely responsible for the influx in Malakal PoC.
Refugees in South Sudan
265,296 refugees are in South Sudan: around 235,000 are from Sudan, 15,500 from DRC, 4,900 from Ethiopia, and 2,040 from CAR. 134,435 refugees are based in Upper Nile and around 100,707 in Unity, 19,894 in Central Equatoria, 2,339 in Jonglei and 8,921 in Western Equatoria (UNHCR, 15/08/2015). More than 10,000 refugees arrived in 2015 (ECHO, 01/07/2015).
Most Sudanese refugees in Upper Nile state reside in four refugee camps in Maban county (OCHA, 03/04/2014). On 10 August, 1,547 Sudanese refugees arrived in northern Unity state (UNHCR, 15/08/2015). Around 14,000 new refugees entered over 12–14 June due to fighting in Upper Nile (UNHCR, 18/06/2015).
Since 23 December 2014, 13,479 new refugees have arrived in Yida, Unity state, bringing the total to 70,007 (UNCHR, 30/06/2015). Arrival rates have increased sharply in 2015. Refugees cited aerial bombardments, ground attacks and lack of livelihood and education opportunities as reasons for leaving (OCHA, 21/02/2015; UNHCR, 30/01/2015).
The number of people in Yida is fluid as Sudanese refugees move across the border, returning to the camp when they need resources or safety (PI, 03/07/2015). The South Sudan Government wants to close Yida camp and relocate refugees further from the border. The Government and UNHCR have agreed to expand Ajuong Thok camp to accommodate up to 40,000 people. Since December 2014 14,761 have been transferred from Yida (UNCHR, 30/06/2015). Tensions between refugees and the host community rose in June and local authorities subsequently banned refugees from leaving camps to fish and farm (UNHCR, 14/07/2015).
South Sudan Refugees in Other Countries
620,762 South Sudanese have sought refuge in neighbouring countries since December 2013, including 65,000 who have fled the country since the beginning of 2015. 31,000 have sought refuge in Sudan, predominantly in White Nile state. 68% of South Sudanese refugees are under 17 (UNHCR, 07/08/2015; 21/08/2015).
Sudan: As of 10 July, 191,625 South Sudanese nationals have arrived in Sudan since December 2013 (UNHCR, 22/07/2015). The Sudanese Government refuses to recognise South Sudanese nationals as refugees and instead considers them to be Sudanese citizens (UNHCR, 03/04/2014). UNHCR declared this constitutes an obstacle to accessing humanitarian assistance.
Ethiopia: 221,376 South Sudanese refugees (UNHCR, 21/08/2015).
Uganda: 161,196 South Sudanese refugees (UNHCR, 21/08/2015).
Kenya: 46,566 South Sudanese refugees (UNHCR, 21/08/2015).
Acute food insecurity in South Sudan peaked in June and July (FEWSNET, 11/08/2015). 3.6 million and 1 million people were projected to face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Emergency (IPC Phase 4) food security outcomes, respectively, by end July (FEWSNET, 11/08/2015). The situation may be worse, as the conflict cut off humanitarian access to communities in Upper Nile and Unity, and macro-economic conditions have deteriorated (FEWNET, 24/06/2015). Fangak, Canal/Pigi, Ulang, Luakpiny/Nasir, and Longochuk counties were in Emergency as of April (FEWSNET, 20/04/2015; WFP, 15/04/2015; IPC, 27/05/2015).
At least six people are reported to have starved to death in a remote part of South Sudan’s Eastern Equatoria state due to drought-like conditions that began in July. Budi county is the worst affected. Local youths have attacked figures believed to be 'rainmakers’ and therefore responsible for the drought. At least two people were reported killed (Sudan Tribune, 12/08/2015). Though no assessment has produced figures, Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5) food security outcomes are likely in Ayod and Mayendit, where 10% of the population has been observed as severely food insecure (FEWNET, 24/06/2015). In late July, local officials in Eastern Equatoria state warned of famine conditions due to drought and requested aid (Sudan Tribune, 28/07/2015).
Food distribution in Lasu refugee camp did not take place in July, as insecurity on the Juba-Yei road led to a shortage of food stocks (UNCHR, 15/08/2015). After over a week’s suspension, the halt to food barge deliveries was lifted 3 August. This had previously prevented WFP from delivering food to areas of the Upper Nile including Malakal. Deliveries are now planned to resume. Malakal’s airstrip is also back in use as of 7 August after weeks of intermittent use due to ongoing conflict (WFP, 08/08/2015).
Food stocks are depleting rapidly in Bentiu PoC camp, owing to a rapid population increase from around 45,000 to more than 125,000. Significant interruptions to the delivery of food assistance are expected after September (WFP, 08/08/2015). 26,000 IDPs in Melut PoC are in dire need of food assistance. On 5 August, UNHCR implemented a 30% reduction in food rations, starting in in Doro and Gendrassa refugee camps (UNHCR, 15/08/2015).
The affected population, particularly in Unity, Jonglei, and Upper Nile state, have reportedly prepositioned supplies in case of displacement. However, increased use of coping strategies during 2014 due to fighting and difficult lean season has diminished their effectiveness and long-term food security (PI, 01/07/2015).
An estimated 610,000 people, more than half concentrated in Juba and Wau, have severely undermined livelihoods (FAO, 02/07/2015). Intensive and abnormal migrations due to insecurity has depleted the health and number of South Sudan’s cattle. The condition of these cattle has a profound effect on the 65% of Southern Sudanese who are pastoralists (FAO, 17/08/2015).
The effects of the lean season, high level of trader uncertainty, fuel shortages and economic crisis continue to increase inflation. Food prices are expected to continue increasing faster than normal (FEWSNET, 11/08/2015). In Juba, prices of both locally produced and imported cereals, vegetable oil, and sugar increased by 24–69% in the first quarter of 2015, making them 90–100% higher than the normal seasonal levels. For most households, 80-85% of income is spent on food (FAO, 02/07/2015; IPC, 27/05/2015). Compared to last year, sorghum prices increased by 66% and 82% in Juba and Torit, respectively, and more than doubled in Wau and Aweil (FEWSNET, 11/08/2015).
A recent survey indicates early signs of a drought in parts of Unity state, based on the FAO Agricultural Stress Index (FAO, 02/07/2015). Planting in Unity, Upper Nile, and Jonglei remains severely limited for the second consecutive year due to conflict. Below-average harvests are expected, and poor and IDP households are expected to exhaust food stocks by December (FEWSNET, 19/08/2015).
Health and Nutrition
4.6 million people need health assistance (UN, 12/06/2015). Responders are unable to conduct the measures necessary to tackle preventable diseases. The response is further hampered as conflict hinders access to health facilities and hospitals are frequently damaged in attacks (international organisation, 24/07/2015).
Malaria, acute respiratory infections, acute watery diarrhoea, and acute bloody diarrhoea are the main causes of illness among IDPs (WHO, 15/02/2015). The start of the rainy season in June has increased the risk of infection from waterborne diseases, particularly in IDP and refugee camps (UNHCR, 12/06/2015). In mid-July the case fatality rate (CFR) for malaria is higher than the same week in 2014, at 28.9% in contrast to 18.3% (WHO, 19/07/2015). Do There is concern that South Sudan may experience an unusually severe malaria season (MSF, 14/08/2015).
Conditions in Bentiu PoC are deteriorating due to overcrowding. 344 measles cases, including five deaths, have been registered since the beginning of 2015 (WHO, 19/07/2015). MSF has warned about the risk of a hepatitis E outbreak (MSF, 03/08/2015).
The rapid influx of over 18,000 IDPs into Malakal PoC in July and August has overwhelmed health services and health indicators are deteriorating. The number of diarrhoea cases arriving weekly at facilities has doubled since June. There has been an 80% increase in respiratory tract infections from June to July. The number of malaria cases recorded per week has almost tripled compared to June (MSF, 21/08/2015).
5–8% of citizens have severe acute malnutrition (SAM) (FEWSNET, 24/06/2015). An estimated 250,000 children are severely malnourished, according to an OCHA representative (OCHA, 13/06/2015). Malnutrition remains particularly high among pregnant and lactating women, with an average rate of 26.6% recorded in IDP camps (UNHCR, 26/06/2015).
In Bentiu PoC site, screening of 9,288 children under five revealed a SAM rate of 1.8%. In Jonglei, 10,865 children under-five were screened, and 4.8% were severely malnourished. In Upper Nile, screening of 4,899 children found 0.6% SAM (UNICEF, 21/05/2015).
Malnutrition screening of 22,917 children in January and February in the three conflict-affected states found GAM levels above the emergency threshold of 15% in Upper Nile (17.2%), Unity (18.9%) and Jonglei (26%) (UNICEF, 26/03/2015). Among pregnant and lactating women, SAM rates are at 6% and 4% in Kaya and Batil refugee camps (UNHCR, 15/08/2015).
In the four Maban refugee camps, a lack of regular nutrition treatment is having a negative impact on children as well as pregnant and lactating women. The rainy season has made aid deliveries even less regular and the nutrition situation is expected to deteriorate (UNHCR, 29/07/2015).
1,316 cases of visceral leishmaniasis, including 39 deaths (case fatality rate 3.18%), were reported in Lankien, Ulang, Walgak, and Chuil (Jonglei) in the first quarter of 2015. Of these, 837 were new cases, 188 were relapses, and 18 did not complete treatment (WHO, 15/02/2015; 29/03/2015).
The current cholera outbreak began on 18 May in Juba PoC. 1,639 suspected cases and 46 deaths were recorded as of 8 August in Bor (Jonglei state) and 1,509 cases and 45 deaths in Juba county (Central Equatoria) (WHO, 21/08/2015). This is 48 more cases than the previous week across the country (WHO, 15/08/2015). The case fatality rate is almost double the global average, at 2.8% (WHO, 21/08/2015).
6.4 million people are in need of WASH assistance (UN, 12/06/2015). Nationwide, 55% of people have access to safe drinking water (OCHA, 15/07/2015). 80% of people in Juba report a lack of access to clean water (OCHA, 01/07/2015). Due to the increasing cost of fuel, the price of water has dramatically increased, causing more people to resort to drinking water from unsafe sources (OXFAM, 31/07/2015).
Only Dabat Bosin refugee site has a water supply reaching SPHERE emergency standards of 15L per person per day (UNHCR, 29/05/2015). Water coverage slightly deteriorated in the PoCs in July. In Melut PoC, Bentiu PoC, and Malakal PoC 11, 9.4, and 12 L/person/day were available respectively (IOM, 22/07/2015; 25/06/2015). In Yida refugee camp, crude water coverage was 14 L/person/day (UNHCR, 22/06/2015).
38,500 displaced people are reported to be in urgent need of clean water and sanitation in Wau Shilluk (OCHA, 01/07/2015).
Over 80% of the reported latrines in Ajuong Thok camp (Unity state) lack roofs or doors, and are not gender-separated (UNHCR, 29/05/2015). Sanitation provision has remained stable, with some slight improvement in Malakal PoC in July. Malakal PoC, Bentiu PoC, and Melut have 44, 21, and 55 people per latrine, respectively (IOM, 22/07/2015; 25/06/2015)
An estimated 2 million people are in need of education assistance (UN, 12/06/2015). Only 6% of 13-year-old girls have completed primary school (Plan, 10/06/2015).
83 schools are occupied by armed groups or IDPs (OCHA, 27/03/2014). Many schools remain closed in Jonglei, Unity, and Upper Nile (local media, 20/03/2015).
In Ajuong Thok, Napere and Makpandu refugee camps, the pupil: teacher ratio is 72:1, 52:1 and 43:1. All fall short of the UNHCR standard of 40:1 (UNHCR, 24/07/2015; 14/07/2015). The inability to pay teachers’ wages has limited education activities in displacement areas and as of 15 August, teachers in Gendrassa and Batil refugee camp are on strike over pay (UNHCR, 15/08/2015; 26/10/2014).
In South Sudan, reports of torture, rape, censorship and targeting of civilians are widespread. On 20 August a journalist was killed soon after President Kiir threatened journalists who reported ‘against the country’. Journalists and newspapers have been targeted by both the SPLM and SPLA-IO. Seven journalists have been killed in 2015 in alleged targeted attacks (Reuters, 20/08/2015; AFP, 05/08/2015)
A UN Security Council report stated that all parties to the conflict since December 2013 were responsible for grave violations against children, including killing and maiming, recruitment and use, abduction, and rape and other forms of sexual violence (UN, 30/12/2014). In the second quarter of 2015, there were at least 166 incidents of child rights violations, affecting 4,184 children (OCHA, 01/07/2015).
25,000 children have been separated from their families (UN, 16/06/2015). 13,000 children have reportedly been recruited by armed groups since the beginning of 2014 (OCHA Monitor, 16/06/2015).
Rape has been used as a weapon of war between government and opposition forces (HRW, 21/07/2015). An UNMISS report released on 30 June accused SPLM troops of abducting at least 172 women and girls and raping an additional 79 during their April–May campaign in Unity state. Some were burnt alive inside their homes after being raped (Al Jazeera, 30/06/2015; Radio Tamazuj 30/06/2015; Dabanga, 30/06/2015). Human Rights Watch has published evidence of rape and violence in Unity state by government and government-aligned forces (HRW, 21/07/2015). The abduction of IDP women from outside PoCs continues to be reported (UNHCR, 12/06/2015).
Early and forced marriage, rape, and domestic violence have been reported in Maban refugee camps (OCHA, 16/10/2014). In Melut (Upper Nile), firewood collection remains a major safety concern for women and girls, with reports of GBV (OCHA, 26/10/2014).
It is difficult to obtain SGBV figures as people collecting information on SGBV face intimidation and threats. This was most recently reported in Central Equatoria (UNHCR, 14/07/2015).
19 August: 150 homes in Kalma IDP camp in South Darfur were severely damaged by heavy rains (ECHO, 22/08/2015).
18 August: 23,000 IDPs remain displaced from clashes between the Berti and Zayadia ethnic groups near Mellit (OCHA, 18/08/2015).
June–14 August: 2,600 people were affected or displaced in Tadamon locality, Blue Nile when heavy rains damaged their shelters. An additional 13,300 people have been affected by heavy rains throughout Blue Nile state since June (OCHA, 18/08/2015).
- 6.6 million people (20% of the population) need humanitarian assistance (OCHA 17/11/2014): 4.4 million in Darfur and 980,000 in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states (OCHA, 11/2014).
- 1,289,000 million people face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Emergency (IPC Phase 4) food security outcomes. Darfur, South Kordofan, Blue Nile, and West Kordofan are worst affected (IPC, 01/07/2015; FSNWG, 26/05/2015).
- 1 million children under five acutely malnourished, an estimated 550,000 are severely acutely malnourished (OCHA, 09/08/2015).
- 3.1 million IDPs. Two million in Darfur prior to 2014, 401,000 displaced in 2015 (OCHA, 31/07/2015).
- Humanitarian access remains a significant problem due to insecurity, mines and explosive remnants of war (ERW), logistical constraints, and restrictions placed by the authorities.
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. Violence in Blue Nile and South Kordofan grew significantly after South Sudan won independence in 2011. Tensions also continue to run high between Sudan and South Sudan.
Profound divisions within Sudanese society have persisted since independence in 1956, and the Government’s exploitation of intercommunal differences has aggravated the situation.
Parliamentary and presidential elections were held 13–15 April, and according to unofficial estimates President Omar al Bashir achieved a landslide victory. Voter turnout was reportedly extremely low (AP, 13/04/2015; international media, 19/04/2015). The Sudan Revolutionary Front, the National Umma Party, and other opposition groups boycotted the elections (Al Jazeera, 27/04/2015).
Sudanese forces moved towards the border with South Sudan’s Unity and Upper Nile states in July, reportedly in an attempt to protect Sudan’s interest in the oil-rich territory that straddles the border (World Bulletin, 13/07/2015).
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.
The Sudanese Government has accused Juba of using Sudanese militia groups, and the South Sudanese army (SPLA) has accused Khartoum of supporting the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement -in-Opposition (SPLM-IO). Both the opposition and Khartoum have denied the accusations. In 2014, South Sudanese officials accused the Sudanese Government of bombing Raga county, Western Bahr el Ghazal state, and Maban county, Upper Nile state, where more than 220,000 Sudanese refugees are living (AFP, 14/11/2014).
Sudan Revolutionary Front
The Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF), formed in 2011, is seeking a comprehensive peace process covering the whole country. The Government is only willing to discuss the conflict in Darfur.
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).
In March 2015, the Sudanese Government and a number of Darfur opposition-group commanders led by Mohamedain Ismail Basher, formerly the SLM-MM operations commander, signed a peace agreement in N’Djamena, Chad.
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. Talks between Khartoum and the SPLM-N have repeatedly failed, and negotiations last collapsed in April 2014.
UN Peacekeeping Mission
Relations between the Government of Sudan and the UN peacekeeping mission deteriorated following the Government’s refusal to allow a African Union/United Nations Hybrid operation in Darfur (UNAMID) investigate mass rape in North Darfur at the end of 2014 (AFP, 30/11/2014). Despite protests from the Sudanese government, the Security Council extended UNAMID’s mandate until June 2016 (Firstpost, 29/06/2015).
Extensive military operations aimed to end armed opposition in Darfur, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile began at the end of 2013. Large-scale violence by pro-government militia against the IDP population in Darfur continues in 2015, and airstrikes by the Sudanese Air Force (SAF) remain frequent. Information on Blue Nile and South Kordofan states is difficult to obtain, as government authorities severely restrict access to the fighting zone. According to Human Rights Watch and local media, the Government of Sudan continues to target civilian areas of South Kordofan’s Nuba Mountains. The most recent bombing campaign allegedly began in February 2015 (Nuba Reports, 05/2015; Human Rights Watch, 16/04/2015).
Tribal fighting also intensified in Darfur and Kordofan regions in 2013 and 2014, leading to thousands of deaths and injuries and forcing over 300,000 people to flee their homes.
Fighting between SPLM-N and government troops intensified in March in Blue Nile and South Kordofan (SKBNCU, 03/2015). With the start of the rainy season, attacks by the Sudanese government have fallen by more than 50% in South Kordofan, though homes and clinics continue to be targeted in bombing raids. At least six deaths and 22 injuries were recorded in June, similar to the figure recorded in the same period in 2014 (The Sudan Consortium, 06/2015).
On 13 August, clashes broke out between the Fellata and Salamat tribes in Buram locality, South Darfur. At least seven have reportedly been killed (Sudan Tribune, 13/08/2015; Radio Dabanga, 14/08/2015). Only 15 July, gunmen opened fire on a UNAMID patrol between Bowa and Turmes villages in North Darfur. No casualties were reported (UNAMID, 17/07/2015). The security in South Darfur is deteriorating. The frequency of robberies taking place near the IDP camps has been increasing (Radio Dabanga, 04/08/2015).
Inter-communal violence: Since 4 July clashes between Rizeigat and Habaniya tribesmen in Sunta locality in South Darfur have killed over 180 people, according to local sources (All Africa, 05/07/2015; Radio Dabanga, 14/07/2015).
Kordofan and Blue Nile
On 25 June, SPLM-N forces attacked the South Kordofan town of Talodi. Dozens of people were killed and around 100 injured (Sudan Tribune, 05/07/2015). On 12 June, the Sudanese Government bombed Wed Abuk in Blue Nile state (local media, 14/06/2015).
Inter-communal violence: On 28 July, four people were killed in clashes between al Hawaweer and al Gamo’iya groups near Omdurman. There were weeks of tensions in July, in which one person was killed and several others injured (Sudan Tribune, 28/07/2015).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
6.6 million people (20% of the population) are in need of humanitarian assistance; more than half are in Darfur and South Kordofan and Blue Nile states (OCHA 17/11/2014).
4.4 million people in Darfur, more than half of the region’s population, needed humanitarian assistance. This includes 2.5 million IDPs and 150,000 returnees (OCHA, 30/06/2015).
In South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, 749,000 need assistance in government-controlled areas and 378,000 are estimated displaced 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 hampered by insecurity, the presence of mines and ERW, logistical constraints, and government restrictions. The rainy season continues to hinder access, particularly South, West and Central Darfur (OCHA, 09/08/2015).
Administrative and Logistical Constraints
Access to areas of active conflict in Darfur remains largely denied (OCHA, 03/06/2015). The government has also banned humanitarian access to areas controlled by opposition groups. Authorities denied UNAMID and humanitarian agencies access to Abu Karinka after conflict there in May (IRIN, 02/06/2015).
East Jebel Marra has been virtually inaccessible since 2010. There has been no humanitarian access from Sudan to opposition-held areas in South Kordofan since October 2013.
August 2013 regulations ban foreign humanitarian groups and UN agencies from working for human rights.
Security Incidents Involving Aid Workers
An increase in carjacking incidents targeting aid organisations has been reported in 2015, with at least three recorded in mid-May (OCHA, 24/05/2015). In July, healthcare facilities in Central Darfur were shut down after government forces allegedly beat and detained several workers (Sudan Tribune, 07/08/2015). On 21 July, a Sudanese UNAMID worker was captured by unidentified gunmen in Darfur, and released five days later (Sudan Tribune, 26/07/2015). Three national aid workers were killed in Blue Nile state and two attacks on aid organisations were reported between January and February 2015 (ECHO, 10/02/2015; MSF, 22/01/2015). 25 aid workers were abducted in Darfur in 2014, the highest number of abduction cases recorded since 2004 (OCHA, 22/01/2015).
As of 15 August, a heatwave has killed at least 15 people in Wadi Halfa, in Northern State. Temperatures have risen to above 47 degrees Celsius (East African, 15/08/2015).
Heavy rains and storms starting in June have destroyed or damaged over a thousand shelters. In August, more than 20 people died in heavy rains in Sudan; mainly in house collapses and five when a ferry sank in adverse conditions linked to heavy rains (Radio Dabanga, 11/08/2015). On 14 August 2,600 people were affected or displaced in Tadamon locality, Blue Nile when heavy rains damaged their shelters. An additional 13,300 people have been affected by heavy rains throughout Ed Damazine and El Roseires localities in Blue Nile state since June (OCHA, 16/08/2015).
On 19 August, heavy rains severely damaged 150 homes in Kalma IDP camp in South Darfur (ECHO, 22/08/2015). The camp is home to 163,000 IDPs. The rainy season has exacerbated already low levels of sanitation and food shortages. WFP has not been able to deliver aid in two months (Radio Dabanga, 30/07/2015). Some 100 houses were destroyed by heavy rains in Nyala IDP camp in South Darfur on 2 August (Radio Dabanga, 04/08/2015).
Since January 2015, up to 401,000 have been displaced including 211,000 from Darfur and 36,000 in South Kordofan, 13,000 of whom have returned home. A total of 56,000 people remain displaced in Blue Nile, including new IDPs as well as relocated and recent returnees. Up to 99,000 people are believed to have been displaced in Jebel Marra in Darfur, but this has not been verified (OCHA, 31/07/2015). There are a total of 3.1 million IDPs in Sudan: 2.55 million are in Darfur (OCHA, 31/07/2015).
Up to 210,000 people have been displaced in Darfur since the start of 2015. This is an increase of 67,000 since May (UNICEF, 30/06/2015). Around 27,000 have returned home (OCHA, 30/06/2015). These are similar to figures for the previous year, which saw the biggest displacement for a decade (OCHA, 31/12/2014).
2.4 million IDPs reside in 46 camps and 68 settlements in Darfur (including 82,530 orphans and 52,352 sick and elderly), according to a survey conducted by the Darfur Regional Authority (DRA) from December 2013 to April 2014. OCHA reported in June that government policy to prevent the creation of new camps is an obstacle to the verification and registration of IDPs (IRIN, 02/06/2015). The displaced in Darfur report insecurity as a major concern. Other concerns include lack of access to basic services such as water, food, shelter, and medicines (IRIN, 02/06/2015).
Jebel Marra: Up to 38,000 people were displaced between February and May by fighting between the government and armed groups. They have not been provided with any assistance since they were displaced (OCHA, 02/08/2015).
North Darfur: As of late August, 23,000 IDPs remain displaced from clashes between the Berti and Zayadia ethnic groups near Mellit (OHCA, 18/08/2015). Reports suggest the fighting has now ended. The displaced are in need of NFIs, shelter, health services, and psychological support (OCHA, 26/07/2015). IDPs’ conditions in North Darfur remain poor due to lack of basic services (Radio Dabanga, 27/07/2015).
Central Darfur: Local media report that displaced people in Central Darfur state have rejected voluntary return due to insecurity in their area of origin (Sudan Tribune, 31/07/2015). Between May and June, over 320 people came to Zalingei camp, Central Darfur, after their homes were burned down by militia groups (OCHA, 21/06/2015). An estimated 15,000 people have returned to their homes in Um Dukhun locality, according to a recent needs assessment (OCHA, 28/06/2015). There were 74,000 verified IDPs at the beginning of January 2015 (OCHA 31/12/2014).
East Darfur: 35,000 IDPs as of end November 2014 (OCHA, 31/12/2014).
West Darfur: 6,000 IDPs arrived from East Darfur fleeing fighting between the Southern Reizeigat and Maaliya tribes in May (OCHA, 24/05/2015).
Kalma IDP camp, South Darfur, houses 163,000 people. The rainy season has exacerbated already low levels of sanitation and food shortages. WFP has not been able to deliver aid in two months (Radio Dabanga, 30/07/2015).
Blue Nile and South Kordofan: Over 378,000 people are estimated displaced in SPLM-N territory (OCHA, 03/02/2015). With no presence in SPLM-N territory, the UN is unable to verify these figures (OCHA, 19/05/2014). 40,000 people have been displaced in Blue Nile since the start of 2015 (OCHA, 15/06/2015). Another 16,300 arrived in Blue Nile on 10 June (OCHA, 28/06/2015).
West Kordofan: More than 52,000 people were reported displaced in 2014 (OCHA, 21/09/2014).
Refugees in Sudan
There are over 310,000 refugees in Sudan, (UNHCR, 30/04/2015). More than 191,000 are South Sudanese refugees, most arriving since December 2013. At least 112,000 are from Eritrea and nearly 10,000 are from Chad (UNHCR, 19/08/2015; OCHA, 16/08/2015).
As of 19 August, 191,624 South Sudanese nationals have arrived in Sudan since 15 December 2013: 119,000 are children (UNHCR, 19/08/2015; UNICEF, 30/06/2015). As of 19 August, 110,211 South Sudanese refugees live in White Nile (approximate 9,952 in the host community), 34,059 in Khartoum, 22,221 in West Kordofan, 374 in North Kordofan, 20,982 in South Kordofan, 3,661 in Blue Nile, and 164 in East Darfur (UNHCR, 19/08/2015). 91% of households are female-headed (UNHCR, 29/01/2015).
The number of arrivals increased dramatically in June and early July following intense conflict in South Sudan’s Upper Nile and Unity states. Over 19–26 July, 4,814 refugees crossed into Sudan, more than double the 2,157 arrivals the previous week (OCHA, 26/07/2015; 19/07/2015). 5,000 South Sudanese refugees who passed through the transit point at Diffra in Abyei on their way to Sudan require shelter assistance (OHCA, 12/07/2015). Camps in White Nile are unable to meet the needs of the refugees who arrived in the second quarter of 2015 (OCHA, 19/07/2015).
2,496 displaced South Sudanese are living in the disputed area of Abyei (UNHCR, 05/08/2015).
Sudanese Refugees in Other Countries
As of January 2015, OCHA reported 367,000 Sudanese refugees in Chad, 233,000 in South Sudan, 35,000 in Ethiopia, and 1,880 in Central African Republic (UNHCR, 23/02/2015; OCHA, 03/02/2015).
13,479 refugees from South Kordofan have fled to South Sudan (Yida, in Unity state) since December 2014 (UNHCR, 30/06/2015).
Food security has not deteriorated as much as previously predicted during the lean season, which began in June. 1,289,000 people are reportedly facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Emergency (IPC Phase 4) food security outcomes. This is due to improved pasture conditions and abundant production of cereals (IPC, 01/07/2015). Rainfall has been 25–50% of normal levels across some areas during May–July (FEWSNET, 13/08/2015). Poor rainfall at start of 2015 cropping season is delaying planting and affecting crop quality (FAO, 06/08/2015). As a result, the amount of land cultivated has decreased from 714,000 hectares in 2014 to 504,000 hectares in 2015 (OCHA, 16/08/2015).
Those areas that remain the worst affected by food insecurity are also affected by conflict, which prevents food distribution. Nearly 80% of households in South Kordofan experienced severe food insecurity during the first quarter of 2015 (FEWSNET, 19/07/2015). Newly displaced households and IDPs without access to humanitarian assistance are facing Crisis food security outcomes (IPC, 01/07/2015).
A spike in food prices in White Nile during July was partially caused by the presence of refugees from South Sudan increasing local demand. Sorghum rose by 11% and millet by 12%. This can have a potent impact on poor households, whose food stocks are already depleted, and exacerbate the effects of the lean season (WFP, 30/07/2015). Local media reports suggest that displaced people in Zamzam camp, North Darfur, have not been provided with food for eight months (Radio Dabanga, 05/08/2015).
The ability of communities to cope has been depleted in South Kordofan, but those who are frequently affected by conflict and displacement in South Kordofan are reportedly pre-positioning supplies in case of displacement or damage by aerial attack. Cross-frontline trading is also believed to be continuing (PI, 03/07/2015).
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.
Mortality from acute respiratory infections, malnutrition, and diarrhoea-related causes has increased in El Salam locality, White Nile state. 12 such deaths were reported between 10 and 24 July (UNHCR, 24/07/2015).
There are indications that the health situation in Darfur is deteriorating; many have no access to healthcare and there are reports that the number of mosquitoes is increasing the risk of malaria infections (Radio Dabanga, 28/07/2015).
A measles outbreak began in late 2014. As of 26 July, 2,896 confirmed cases and 43 deaths have been reported in 2015, in 17 of Sudan’s 18 states (OCHA, 09/08/2015). Seven people have died from measles in the densely populated Zamzam IDP camp in North Darfur (Radio Dabanga, 02/07/2015). West Darfur is worst affected (665 confirmed cases, nine deaths as of 12 July). Kassala has had 497 confirmed cases and five deaths, while in Red Sea state, there have been 386 cases and six deaths (WHO, 12/06/2015). According to a 2014 survey, 39% of children have not been vaccinated against measles (UNICEF, 30/06/2015).
There is national GAM rate of 16.3%, with 550,000 children believed to suffer from severe acute malnutrition (SAM), mainly in North Darfur, El Gezira, South Darfur, Khartoum and Gedaref. 51% of all SAM cases come from these states. SAM rates above 20% are recorded in three localities in South Darfur and Red Sea (OCHA, 09/08/2015). 500,000 children are severely malnourished in Darfur, Blue Nile, and South Kordofan (ECHO, 01/07/2015). Among localities with IDPs, where 20% of the population face severe consumptions gaps, 2.2–7% of population are severely malnourished (IPC, 01/07/2015).
Across Sudan, approximately one person in nine does not have access to a clean water supply (Kimse Yok Mu, 24/06/2015).
All refugee camps, except Dabat Bosin, are below the standard of 20L of water per person per day. There is a similarly low level of sanitation. The worst conditions are in El Redis II refugee camp, were the ratio is 186 people per latrine (OCHA, 16/08/2015). The situation deteriorated with the recent new influx of refugees from South Sudan (OCHA, 31/05/2015). In Al Alagaya and El Redis II, the population has very limited access to water (UNHCR, 05/06/2015).
20 water pumps have stopped working in El Salam camp, South Darfur, in the past five months, affecting 80,000 people (Radio Dabanga, 04/05/2015). Displaced people have also complained about a lack of available water in Gereida, South Darfur (local media, 22/06/2015). Kassab IDP camp in Kutum has been suffering from a severe shortage of drinking water since the beginning of May. Reports suggest that 11 of the 20 water pumps at the camp are non-operational (local media, 25/05/2015).
Reports suggest there has been no regular maintenance of hand pumps in South Kordofan for up to four years (PI, 03/07/2015).
Parts of the capital Khartoum are not receiving water due to poor infrastructure. This has caused protests (local media, 22/06/2015; All Africa, 02/07/2015).
3 million children aged 5–13 are out of school in Sudan. 1.9 million are of primary-school age (UNICEF, 14/04/2015). The majority of the affected children are in Darfur, with high numbers also in Blue Nile and South Kordofan (Radio Dabanga, 14/07/2015). Schools are frequently used as shelter for IDPs (UNICEF, 30/06/2015).
Human rights violations including torture, targeting of civilians, rape, censorship and arbitrary arrest are widespread in Sudan. One human rights organisation reports that in July, in Darfur, Blue Nile, and South Kordofan, 56 specific incidents of human rights abuses were committed, mainly by largely pro-Government militias. 221 people were killed during these incidents. There were also 19 victims of abduction and cases of arrest and torture reported in the same month (SUDO, 31/07/2015).
200 Darfuri students have been injured in attacks at Sudanese universities in 2015. Mainly in Khartoum, the attacks involved students members of the ruling National Congress Party. The believed motivation is perceived Darfuri support for the SLM-MM. The increase in violence correlates with the re-election of President al Bashir in April (ACLED, 10/07/2015).
On 4 June, 14 Eritrean asylum seekers were kidnapped as they were transported to Shegarab refugee camp in eastern Sudan (AFP, 04/06/2015).
Mines and ERW
On 2 August, one boy was killed and another injured when an ERW exploded in Tabit, North Darfur (Radio Dabanga, 04/08/2015). 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.
Four female IDPs were raped in two separate incidents by new settlers in abandoned villages in East Jebel Marra (Radio Dabanga, 10/08/2015). SUDO reports 35 incidents of rape in July (SUDO, 31/07/2015). Rape of IDPs by pro-government militia was frequently reported by the local media in North, South, and Central Darfur and Jebel Marra in 2014.
As of March 2014, the Sudanese Government refuses to recognise South Sudanese nationals as refugees and instead considers them to be Sudanese citizens (UNHCR, 03/04/2014). All foreigners in Sudan had to register with the immigration administration by 1 April. UNHCR has declared this constitutes an obstacle to humanitarian assistance.
Syria Country Analysis
21 August: Water shortages are affecting the population in and around Damascus (ECHO).
19 August: Six cases of typhoid confirmed in Yarmouk refugee camp, Damascus (AFP).
- Over 240,000 deaths documented March 2011–August 2015, including over 70,000 civilians, 12,000 of them children (SOHR, 06/08/2015). In the first six months of 2015, 11,000 people were killed (SNHR, 01/07/2015).
- 12.2 million people in need of humanitarian assistance inside Syria, including 5.6 million children (OCHA/UNICEF, 12/2014).
- 7.6 million IDPs (OCHA, 28/12/2014).
- 4.8 million people live in hard-to-reach areas (OCHA, 12/2014).
- 4 million Syrians refugees in neighbouring countries (UNHCR, 15/07/2015).
The conflict has killed over 240,000 people and caused large-scale displacement. Protection concerns are widespread. WASH and access to food are high priorities, as well as access to health services. Humanitarian needs in areas under prolonged and ongoing siege are particularly high because access is obstructed.
The conflict in Syria has been ongoing since 2011, when fighting broke out between pro-government and opposition forces. The conflict later developed as more armed groups became involved, in particular Jabhat al Nusra (JAN), Islamic State (IS), and Kurdish armed groups such as People’s Protection Units (YPG).
Widespread conflict and high levels of violence continue, including indiscriminate aerial bombing by government forces and indiscriminate shelling by armed opposition (UNSC, 23/06/2015). Civilians have been subject to direct and indiscriminate attacks, including the widespread use of barrel bombs and other explosives in populated areas (UNSC 18/06/2015).
During July, 1,674 people were killed – not including IS or security forces casualties. 51% of those killed by government forces were civilians (Syrian Network for Human Rights, 01/08/2015).
Over the first six months of 2015, 11,090 people were killed, according to the Syrian Network for Human Rights. Government forces are believed to be responsible for 77% of the deaths, including 6,928 civilians (Syrian Network for Human Rights, 01/07/2015).
In 2014, 76,000 people were killed in conflict, the highest toll since the war began. 18,000 civilians, including at least 3,500 children, were among the victims (SOHR, 02/01/2014). More than 240,000 people have been killed since fighting began in March 2011 and more than one million people have been wounded or suffered permanent disability (SOHR, 06/08/2015; UNICEF, 03/2015).
On 17 August, a statement on a Syrian peace initiative set to begin in September was adopted unanimously by the UN Security Council. It is the first time in two years that the Security Council has agreed on a statement on Syria (AFP, 17/08/2015).
Government forces have control of several areas near Aleppo city, in and around Homs city, and several areas in the Qalamoun region in Rural Damascus. Government forces also control Tartous governorate, parts of As-Sweida, Dar’a, Hama, Lattakia and Quneitra governorates, and some areas in Al Hasakeh, Deir-ez Zor, and Idleb governorates (ISW, 19/06/2015).
Islamic State (IS, formerly the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant): Ar-Raqqa governorate is IS’s stronghold in Syria, and under IS control since October 2014. IS holds significant swathes of territory in Aleppo, Al Hasakeh, and Deir-ez-Zor, and is also fighting in Rural Damascus, Damascus, and Homs (ISW, 19/06/2015).
Democratic Union Party (PYD) and People’s Protection Units (YPG): Syrian Kurds have been in de facto control of Kurdish zones in the north since government forces withdrew mid-2012. This includes large areas of the northern parts of Al Hasakeh, Ar Raqqa, and Aleppo governorates (ISW, 19/06/2015).
Opposition alliances: The Al Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al Nusra (JAN) controls areas in Idleb governorate (ISW, 19/06/2015). In March, JAN joined forces with several other Islamist groups to create the Jaysh al Fatah Operations Room, mainly active in Idleb governorate (ISW). In April, Ahrar al Sham, Jaysh al Islam, and five other Aleppo-based opposition groups announced the formation of the Aleppo Conquest Operations Room in Aleppo city, which later expanded to Hama and Idleb governorates (ISW, 20/05/2015; 28/04/2015). In early July, JAN and 13 other Islamist groups formed the Ansar al Sharia Operations Room in Aleppo governorate (BBC, 03/07/2015).
International intervention: As part of a multinational campaign against Islamist militant groups, a US-led coalition began airstrikes on IS and JAN military installations in September 2014. More than 2,500 people have been killed by coalition airstrikes so far, the vast majority of them IS fighters, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR, 23/05/2015). Turkey began airstrikes in Syria on 24 July (BBC, 24/07/2015).
In June 2015, opposition alliances launched offensives against both Dar’a and Aleppo cities. According to analysts, if opposition groups seize control over either city, the stalemate that has long characterised the conflict could be overturned (ISW, 09/07/2015). Government forces are struggling to secure and hold terrain (ISW, 24/06/2015).
The YPG, supported by other armed groups and coalition airstrikes, are challenging IS in the north (ISW, 25/06/2015). According to analysts, with the exception of the take-over of Palmyra in May, IS has been losing ground since February (AFP, 29/07/2015). IS lost Tal Abyad in Ar-Raqqa governorate to YPG in mid-June, considered a significant defeat (AFP, 15/06/2015).
Aleppo: Fighting continues in Aleppo on a daily basis (UNSC, 20/08/2015). In early August, IS forces seized the village of Umm Housh in northern Aleppo, which lies along a key supply line from Turkey. Clashes continue in the area (AFP, 09/08/2015). On 27 July YPG forces seized control of Sarrin town, after weeks of fighting with IS forces. The capture cuts off IS’s main access route to other parts of Aleppo governorate (AFP, 30/07/2015).
Al Hasakeh: On 28 July, YPG and pro-government forces pushed IS forces out of Al Hasakeh city, after a month-long IS offensive (AFP, 29/07/2015).
Ar-Raqqa: In July, YPG recaptured at least ten villages that were seized by IS forces earlier the same month (ICG, 01/08/2015).
Dar’a: On 24 July, the opposition alliance Southern Front launched a new offensive on Dar’a city (AFP, 24/07/2015). Government airstrikes in Dar’a governorate have intensified over July (ECHO, 24/07/2015; AFP, 24/07/2015; 02/07/2015).
Hama: Intense fighting continues in the Sahl al-Ghab region, with forces from the Jaysh al Fatah Operations Room taking control over several villages and moving closer to the Government’s regional military headquarters in Jureen (AFP, 09/08/2015; Reuters, 09/08/2015). In late July, the Jaysh al Fatah Operations Room launched a major offensive in government-held areas (AFP, 01/08/2015).
Homs: On 6 August, IS forces seized the town of Al-Qaryatain in IS’ first major offensive since May (BBC, 06/08/2015). The take-over means IS forces are moving closer to the M5 highway, a crucial supply route for government forces (IRIN, 13/08/2015).
Idleb: In late July, government forces carried out intense airstrikes (ECHO, 31/07/2015). As of June, government forces have lost control over most of Idleb, while the Jaysh al Fatah Operations Room has expanded its presence (AFP, 04/07/2015; ISW, 19/06/2015).
Lattakia: On 19 July, government forces launched a new offensive to retake villages and cut off opposition supply lines from Turkey (Reuters, 19/07/2015).
Rural Damascus: On 16 August, an airstrike killed 96 people in Douma, one of the deadliest airstrikes since the conflict began (SOHR, 16/08/2015). On 5 July, government forces, supported by Lebanese Hezbollah, entered Zabadani town, considered the final JAN stronghold in Qalamoun region (Al Jazeera, 05/07/2015).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Some 12.2 million people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance inside Syria, including 5.6 million children. The humanitarian situation appears most critical in the governorates of Aleppo, Ar-Raqqa, Rural Damascus, and Deir-ez-Zor (SNAP, 28/01/2015).
4.8 million people are living in 137 hard-to-reach areas, including up to two million children (UNICEF, 12/2014; UNFPA, 31/05/2015).
There is a trend of tit-for-tat blocking of access between IS and its opponents, making IS-controlled areas hard to reach, particularly from northern Al Hasakeh, underlining the importance of cross-border access (OCHA, 16/01/2015). Siege tactics are used by all actors in the conflict. Parties to the conflict continue to target public infrastructure and facilities, including water supply (UNICEF, 15/02/2015).
In northern Syria, fuel shortages are severely limiting transportation (MSF, 22/06/2015).
The UN’s response efforts are chronically underfunded: As of 1 July, 24% of the Strategic Response Plan for 2015 has been funded (Financial Tracking Service, 01/06/2015).
Security Incidents Involving Aid Workers
Ten aid workers have been killed and three injured since the beginning of 2015 (OCHA, 30/04/2015; Aid Worker Security Database, 20/04/2015). 77 humanitarian workers have been killed in the conflict since March 2011 (OCHA, 30/04/2015). 27 UN staff (including 24 UNRWA staff) have been detained or are missing (UNSC 21/11/2014).
Trapped and Hard-to-Reach Communities
4.8 million people live in hard-to-reach communities; an estimated 2.7 million of these live in IS controlled areas where humanitarian access continues to deteriorate (OCHA, 30/04/2015). 422,000 civilians are living in besieged areas (OCHA, 22/06/2015).
Armed clashes and restrictions imposed by armed groups are hampering assistance, particularly in Al Hasakeh, Ar-Raqqa, Deir-ez-Zor, and rural Hama (UNICEF, 30/04/2015). Al Hasakeh remains inaccessible by road (ICRC, 18/06/2015).
Aleppo: Humanitarian organisations have reduced operations in Kobane to only lifesaving activities after recent attacks in the area and in the Turkish border city of Suruc. The border crossing point between Kobane and Suruc has been closed (ECHO, 31/07/2015).
Ar-Raqqa: IS has closed the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and several small local charities, and appropriated warehouses and equipment (OCHA, 30/01/2015). Ar-Raqqa could not be reached by WFP in the first quarter of 2015 (WFP, 31/03/2015).
Damascus: As of April, a significant percentage of the 18,000 civilians in Yarmouk camp were in the area controlled by armed groups, according to UNRWA. There are no operational hospitals or medical facilities for the civilian population trapped inside the camp (Save the Children, 07/04/2015; WHO, 10/04/2015). The UN has removed Yarmouk from its list of besieged areas, despite UNRWA not having been able to deliver aid for four months (IRIN, 24/07/2015).
Deir-ez-Zor: IS has cut off access to government-controlled areas of Deir-ez-Zor, leaving an estimated 228,000 civilians under siege since February: minimal relief supplies have been airlifted into the city (UNICEF, 30/04/2015). Deir-ez-Zor could not be reached by WFP in the first quarter of 2015 (WFP, 31/03/2015).
Homs: As of April, three inter-agency convoys had reached Homs governorate (Talbiseh, Al Wa’er and Ar-Rastan). Prior to this, Ar-Rastan was last reached in March 2014 (OCHA, 21/04/2015). Under partial siege since October 2013, over half of Al Waer’s 350,000 residents are IDPs; most live in substandard accommodation (WFP, 22/10/2014).
Idleb: Lack of access due to insecurity continues to significantly hamper tracking of population movement, safe registration of IDPs, identification of lifesaving needs and provision of humanitarian assistance (OCHA, 14/04/2015). 20,000 predominantly Shia in al-Foua and Kefraya towns in Idleb are cut off (OCHA, 08/04/2015).
Rural Damascus: Zabadani town has not been accessed by humanitarian actors since 2012, and lack of food and medical supplies is reported, with fighting worsening the situation (OCHA, 07/07/2015). 40,000 people are in urgent need of basic services in Moadamiyah town, which has been cut off for several months. Little to no food or water is available; access to healthcare is lacking; and there is no electricity (ICRC, 18/06/2015).
There are 7.6 million IDPs within Syria; 50% are children (OCHA, 25/11/2014). There are 147 IDP camps in northern Syria hosting 175,520 IDPs (OCHA, 30/01/2015).
705,068 people were displaced in the first five months of 2015: 208,647 fled to Turkey, 36,922 to Lebanon, 15,641 to Iraq, and 5,295 to Jordan (OCHA, 02/06/2015). The remaining 438,563 are internally displaced (OCHA, 02/06/2015).
In June, 120,000 people were newly displaced in Al Hasakeh governorate, 28,000 in Aleppo governorate, 30,000 people in Dar’a, and 50,000 people in Ar-Raqqa (WFP, 17/07/2015; UNICEF, 30/06/2015).
In late July, an estimated 30,000 people were displaced in Idleb governorate following a government campaign of intense airstrikes (ECHO, 31/07/2015). At least 150,000 people have reportedly been displaced in the governorate since late March (WFP, 17/07/2015).
The numbers of IDPs include people who have been displaced several times since the conflict broke out (UNICEF, 30/04/2015).
Palestinian refugees in Syria (PRS): There are 560,000 Palestine refugees (OCHA, 21/04/2015). 470,000 Palestine refugees registered with UNRWA are in need of assistance (UNRWA, 21/04/2015). Over 50% have been displaced within Syria (UNRWA 28/10/2014).
Iraqi refugees: There are an estimated 29,000 Iraqi refugees in Syria (UNHCR 25/11/2014).
Syrian Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
4,015,256 Syrians are registered as refugees in neighbouring countries as of 31 July; a million more than in September 2014 (UNHCR, 31/07/2015).
Turkey: 1,805,255 registered refugees (UNHCR, 09/07/2015). 23,135 refugees were registered in Turkey mid-June, having fled fighting in Tal Abyad, Ar-Raqqa, and Deir-ez-Zor (ECHO, 17/06/2015).
Lebanon: 1,172,753 refugees (UNHCR, 06/07/2015). Lebanon’s borders have been closed to Syrian refugees since October 2014. Since January 2015, Syrians wanting to enter Lebanon must apply for a visa (BBC, 05/01/2015).
Jordan: 629,128 refugees (UNHCR, 17/06/2015).
Egypt: 132,375 refugees (UNHCR, 05/07/2015).
Iraq: 251,690 refugees (UNHCR, 31/07/2015).
PRS: 42,000 have been recorded with UNRWA in Lebanon, 14,348 in Jordan (UNRWA, 02/03/2015) and 860 in Gaza. Around 4,000 are reportedly in Egypt (UNRWA 28/10/2014).
Almost 30,000 IDPs returned to their areas of origin (mostly in Dar’a) in March (OCHA, 21/04/2015). Reportedly, around 70,000 people have returned to Kobane (IRIN, 07/05/2015).
9.8 million people require food, agriculture, and livelihoods-related assistance, according to the Food Security and Livelihoods sector. Of these, around 6.8 million people live in high-priority districts and need critical food assistance (WFP, 26/03/2015).
Agriculture and Markets
While weather conditions have been generally favourable, the conflict continues to impact the agricultural output (FAO, 30/07/2015).
Wheat production in 2015 is estimated to be 40% lower than pre-conflict levels, although higher than in 2014. It is the smallest estimated harvested wheat area since the 1960s (FAO/WFP, 23/07/2015).
Crop production has been adversely affected by high prices or lack of agricultural inputs (such as seeds, fertiliser, and fuel); damage to agricultural machinery, irrigation systems, and storage facilities; disruptions in electricity supply; and destruction of standing crops (FAO/WFP, 23/07/2015; FAO, 17/06/2015).
Food prices increased sharply in early 2015 (FAO/WFP, 23/07/2015). Since 2011, the average monthly prices of wheat flour and rice have increased 301% and 629%, respectively. In besieged areas, wheat flour and rice prices have risen by 669% and 560%, respectively. Subsidised bread prices have risen by 180%, and commercial prices by 220% (WFP, 05/2015).
Unemployment stood at 57% the last quarter of 2014; an 8% increase since early 2014 (FAO/WFP, 23/07/2015). Gross domestic product has contracted by more than 40%, and exports have fallen by 90%. Oil production has dropped by 96% (World Bank/IMF/AFP, 02/12/2014). Insecurity is hampering transportation, preventing farmers from selling their products (FAO/WFP, 23/07/2015).
Health and Nutrition
Over 2.4 million people are in need of health assistance (MSNA, 30/10/2014).
25% of hospitals are not functioning, and 32% of hospitals are only partially functioning, due to shortage of staff, equipment, supplies, or damaged infrastructure (UNICEF, 31/07/2015). Health services in Aleppo, Dar’a, Homs, Hama, Idleb and Al Hasakeh governorates have been the most affected by conflict (UNICEF, 31/07/2015).
The number of available health professionals has fallen to approximately 45% of 2011 levels (WHO, 27/03/2015). Local production of medicines has fallen by 70% and many lifesaving treatments are not available (WHO, 27/03/2015).
Attacks on Health Workers and Facilities
Between 7 and 10 August, nine hospitals in Idleb governorate were hit by airstrikes, killing three health professionals and injuring seven. One patient and seven civilians were also killed in the airstrikes. Five ambulances were also damaged or destroyed in the airstrikes (MSF, 14/08/2015).
May has been the worst month for attacks on health facilities since the conflict started, with 15 attacks and 10 medical personnel killed. According to Physicians for Human Rights, government forces were responsible for all the attacks (PHR, 18/06/2015). Missile attacks on ambulances in Aleppo have also been reported (MSF, 18/06/2015).
Since 2011, Physicians for Human Rights has recorded the killing of 633 medical personnel and 271 attacks on 202 medical facilities. Government forces were found to be responsible for 90% of attacks on medical facilities – including 51 attacks with barrel bombs – and 97% of medical personnel deaths – including 142 deaths by torture or execution (PHR, 18/06/2015).
The number of diarrhoea cases increased by more than 40% over May-July (UNICEF, 31/07/2015).
As of July 2015, 105,866 cases of acute diarrhoea have been reported since the beginning of the year. Children are particularly at risk. The incidence of waterborne diseases will likely increase over the summer months (UNICEF 10/07/2015). In the first weeks of July, at least 3,000 cases of diarrhoea were reported among children in Aleppo city (UNICEF, 22/07/2015).
In the first five months of 2015, 1,000 hepatitis A cases were recorded per month (UNHCR, 10/05/2015). Significant increases in hepatitis A and typhoid cases were reported over May-July in Hama, Deir-ez-Zor, Idleb and Rural Damascus (UNICEF, 31/07/2015).
In late August, six cases of typhoid were reported in Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus (AFP, 19/08/2015).
4.6 million people are in need of WASH assistance. Six out of ten governorates report major problems in the WASH sector (MSNA, 30/10/2014).
The availability of safe water is at a third of pre-crisis levels (WHO, 27/03/2015). The reliability of urban piped water is severely reduced and the quality of drinking water cannot be guaranteed due to a lack of testing facilities. Fuel shortages also affect water supply (UNICEF, 10/07/2015).
One-third of water treatment plants no longer function, and sewage treatment has halved (PHR, 10/2014; WHO/UNICEF, 22/07/2014). New waves of displacement have put further strain on water and sanitation networks (UNICEF, 10/07/2015).
500,000 people in Aleppo are struggling to access water (UNICEF, 22/07/2015). Water pumping stations in Idleb governorate are operating only two hours a day (UNICEF 10/07/2015).
Water cuts in the last weeks of August have affected at least five million people in and around Damascus. Water supplies have been restored, but not to adequate levels (ECHO, 21/08/2015).
In late 2014, 1.6 million people were estimated to be in need of shelter assistance (2015 Syria SRP, 17/12/2014). Limited information is available on shelter needs of the 7.6 million IDPs (Shelter Cluster, 29/07/2015). At least 1.2 million houses have been damaged, 400,000 of which have been totally destroyed (UNHCR, 30/10/2014).
IDPs from Dar’a report shelter as their priority need. Thousands of IDPs living in fields outside Dar’a city have no protection against the weather or other natural threats (OCHA, 27/06/2015).
Between 2.1 and 2.4 million school-aged children are currently out of school (OCHA, 22/06/2015).
In areas of prolonged active conflict, education enrolment is estimated to be around 6% (Save the Children, 03/2015). The primary reason for student drop-out is the need to work to support the family. Around 90% of schools in Idleb city have stopped functioning due to violent conflict (OCHA, 14/04/2015).
Between 5,000 and 14,000 schools have been damaged, destroyed or occupied since March 2011 (Save the Children, 03/2015).
Non-state armed groups and pro-government forces continue to commit human rights violations. Ethnic and religious communities in IS-occupied areas have been targeted directly (UN Human Rights Council 11/2014). Human and organ trafficking are reported (UNHCR 20/11/2014). Chemical weapons attacks have been reported (Reuters, 18/07/2105; HRW, 03/06/2015).
Various opposition groups, including JAN, Kurdish groups, and IS have been found to recruit children (NOREF, 16/02/2015). In 2015, IS has trained over 400 children as fighters (AFP, 24/03/2015). 52 children recruited by IS have been killed so far in 2015 (31 in July alone), including 16 who were used in suicide bombings (SOHR, 15/07/2015). The YPG has recruited 59 children since June 2014 (HRW, 15/07/2015).
Abduction and Detention
Over June, 59 people were reported to have died from torture in official and unofficial detention centres, with government forces responsible for 57 cases (Syrian Network for Human Rights, 03/07/2015). Since the start of the conflict, 11,500 people have died from torture while in detention; government forces were responsible for 99% of cases (Syrian Network for Human Rights, 26/06/2015).
Mines and ERW
Large quantities of unexploded ordnance and many booby-trapped houses in the eastern sector of Kobane city and the surrounding countryside are preventing return (OCHA, 17/02/2015). Since late January, there have been 45 explosions and 66 people killed, the vast majority of them civilians, according to a demining NGO (IRIN, 07/05/2015).
Journalists and other media workers are systematically targeted. Since the conflict began in 2011, 84 journalists have been killed, more than 90 abducted, and 25 remain missing (Institute for War and Peace Reporting, 12/08/2015).
Yemen Country Analysis
22 August: Al Qaeda militants took control of a western district in Aden (Reuters, 23/08/2015).
22 August: Hodeidah port, the main entry point for aid into Yemen, was hit by airstrikes, damaging cranes and warehouses (Reuters).
19 August: Water prices have tripled in Sanaa since conflict escalated (WFP).
18 August: More than 400 schools have been damaged since conflict escalated in March; more than 3,500 schools shut down (UNICEF).
- 21.1 million people in need of humanitarian assistance (OCHA, 10/06/2015).
- 12.2 million people are directly affected by the conflict (OCHA, 10/06/2015).
- 12.9 million people are food insecure (IPC Indicative Analysis, 18/06/2015). Six million people are estimated to be severely food insecure (OCHA, 05/06/2015).
- More than 15 million people lack access to healthcare (OCHA, 03/06/2015).
- 1.6 million children under five are estimated to suffer from acute malnutrition, including 400,000 potential SAM cases (OCHA, 13/07/2015; 12/06/2015).
- At least 20 million people lack access to clean water. Since the escalation of the crisis, 9.4 million people have lost access to safe water (OCHA, 05/06/2015).
- 1.4 million IDPs in Yemen (Protection Cluster, 05/08/2015).
80% of the population is in need of humanitarian assistance. The highest priority humanitarian needs include WASH, food, and access to health services. The Inter-Agency Standing Committee has declared Yemen a Level 3 emergency based on the severe humanitarian situation.
Yemen’s political transition has turned into armed conflict between Houthis from the north and the Government. Southern secessionists, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), and Islamic State activity throughout the country compound the security and political challenges.
Instability and violence continue across the country. In February 2015, the Houthis dissolved Parliament and replaced the Government with a presidential council. The move was condemned as a coup by other parties and Yemen’s neighbours. President Hadi fled to Aden, and later to Saudi Arabia (BBC, 27/03/2015; AFP, 21/02/2015). Members of the cabinet were released in March, after almost two months of house arrest (NYT, 16/03/2015).
Several peace talks have been conducted with no agreement. The last round of UN-led talks including government and Houthi representatives concluded in Geneva on 19 June, with no agreement (AFP, 19/06/2015).
Conflict escalated significantly from 23 March, affecting 20 of Yemen’s 22 governorates (IOM, 22/05/2015). Several ceasefires have failed to hold since March (AFP, 27/07/2015; 13/07/2015).
As of 30 July, 4,255 conflict-related deaths and 21,288 injuries have been registered since March (WHO, 30/07/2015). Civilians account for 1,895 of those killed and 4,182 of the injured (UN News Service, 28/07/2015). These numbers are expected to be much higher due to underreporting (OCHA, 25/05/2015).
The pro-government forces, supported by Saudi-led coalition airstrikes, are aiming at regaining control over Houthi- and AQAP-controlled areas. President Hadi is in charge of government forces from his exile in Saudi Arabia, however several ministers have returned to Aden as of late July (Al Jazeera, 23/07/2015). The Yemeni army is deeply divided, with units loyal to President Hadi fighting pro-Houthi units (ABC 15/04/2015).
The Houthis, also referred to as Ansar Allah, are based in Sa’ada governorate. The Houthis seized the capital in September 2014. They have taken up arms before, citing political, economic, and religious marginalisation (Al Jazeera, 16/11/2009). Certain factions in the Yemeni army have allied themselves with the Houthis against President Hadi, including members of the former central security force, a unit seen as loyal to former President Saleh (Reuters, 12/03/2015; ABC, 23/03/2015). Estimates put the number of Houthi militants at around 20,000–30,000 (Al Jazeera, 04/03/2015).
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and Ansar al Sharia
AQAP is based in the south and east of the country. Ansar al Sharia has gained a foothold in the south and is believed to be a local branch of AQAP (ICG, 27/02/2015). According to the national security service, there are around 1,000 Al Qaeda militants in Yemen from 11 Arab and non-Arab countries (AFP, 17/01/2015). On 16 June, it was confirmed that a US drone strike killed Nasir al Wuhayshi, AQAP’s leader (USA Today, 16/06/2015).
A Saudi-led coalition began airstrikes in support of pro-Hadi forces on 26 March. UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Jordan, Morocco, Sudan, and Egypt are also participating in the coalition (CNN, 29/03/2015). Saudi Arabia claims that Iran backs Houthi militants financially and materially, a claim the Iranian Government denies (Amnesty 26/03/2015).
Security Incidents and Conflict Developments
Aden was taken by pro-government troops on 17 July. Over July and the first weeks of August, pro-government forces have made signification gains in southern Yemen. As of 17 August, Houthi forces have reportedly lost all previously held territory in southern governorates, but maintain their stronghold in the north (ECHO, 17/08/2015; ICG, 12/08/2015).
Aden: On 22 August, Al Qaeda militants took control of a western district in Aden (Reuters, 23/08/2015). In late July, pro-government forces took control over more territory around Aden city (Reuters, 31/07/2015), having taken control of Aden city itself in mid-July (BBC, 17/07/2015).
Abyan: In early August, intense fighting was reported in the capital, Zinjibar – Abyan governorate had been relatively quiet up until the capture of Aden (ECHO, 04/08/2015).
Al Dhalee: Fighting continues between pro-government and Houthi forces (ECHO, 04/08/2015).
Ibb: Pro-government forces entered Ibb governorate on 11 August (ECHO, 13/08/2015).
Lahj: On 3 August, pro-government forces retook the Al Anad airbase from Houthi forces – a significant strategic loss for the Houthis (AFP, 04/08/2015; BBC, 04/08/2015). Houthi forces have reportedly lost most of their presence in Lahj governorate, as of early August (Reuters, 05/08/2015).
Marib: Fighting in Marib continues, with neither side gaining significant ground (ECHO 17/08/2015).
Sanaa: Fighting is moving closer to the capital, and analysts expect pro-government forces to launch an offensive in Sanaa city in the coming weeks (ECHO, 13/08/2015; ICG, 12/08/2015). Over June and July, IS claimed responsibility for several bombs targeting Shi’ite mosques (AFP; 29/07/2015; France24, 21/07/2015; AFP, 07/07/2015; ABC, 20/06/2015).
Taizz: Fighting in Taizz city intensified in the last weeks of July, and has continued into late August (ECHO, 24/08/2015).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
An estimated 21.1 million people, 80% of the population, are in need of humanitarian aid (OCHA, 10/06/2015). 50% are under 18 years old (OCHA, 05/03/2015). 12.2 million people are estimated to be directly affected by the conflict (OCHA, 10/06/2015).
Access to safe drinking water, healthcare, and other basic services continues to decline.
Checkpoints, insecurity, and the reluctance of transporters to access volatile areas are hampering the delivery of assistance via both road and sea (WFP, 29/07/2015). Fuel shortages are further hampering humanitarian operations (OCHA, 30/06/2015).
Humanitarian access constraints are particularly severe in Sa’ada, followed by Lahj, Aden, Al Dhalee, Taizz, Abyan, Shabwah, Marib, and Al Jawf (OCHA, 19/06/2015). An estimated 490,000 people in Sa’ada cannot be reached by humanitarian assistance, most of whom have limited or no access to medical services, clean water, food, and communication (OCHA, 22/05/2015). Other northern governorates such as Hajjah and Amran also have limited access (OCHA, 29/05/2015). Roads in and around Aden are either inaccessible or difficult to access due to insecurity (Logistics Cluster, 06/07/2015).
Many aid agencies have suspended activities and evacuated their staff (IRIN, 27/03/2015). The arms embargo on the Houthis has also impacted the supply of humanitarian relief (AFP, 02/05/2015).
In late July, a Yemen Red Crescent ambulance was attacked; two people were killed (ICRC, 29/07/2015). Four Yemen Red Crescent volunteers have been killed since March (ICRC, 29/07/2015).
Delivering supplies by road is becoming increasingly difficult due to numerous checkpoints and roadblocks (OCHA, 19/06/2015). Roads connecting Sanaa to Aden, Taizz, Al Dhalee, and Lahj have become gradually inaccessible (WFP, 27/04/2015).
The closure of airspace over Yemen is severely restricting air operations, as are limitations in neighbouring airspace zones (Logistics Cluster, 06/07/2015). Sanaa and Seiyun are the only open airports (Logistics Cluster, 05/08/2015). Aden airport reopened on 22 July, but requires repair and is inaccessible to humanitarian flights (Logistics Cluster, 31/07/2015; AFP, 22/07/2015).
The Yemeni government-in-exile has formally banned ships from entering the country’s waters without prior inspection (IRIN, 17/04/2015). Aden, Al-Salif, Hodeidah, Mokha and Al Mukalla ports are operational (Logistics Cluster, 05/08/2015). On 18 August, coalition airstrikes hit Hodeidah port, the main entry point for aid coming into Yemen. Cranes and warehouses were reportedly damaged (Reuters, 18/08/2015).
The amount of fuel currently in Yemen is estimated to be 20% of what is needed (Oxfam, 14/07/2015). Diesel prices are 1,056% higher than before the conflict escalated (OCHA, 13/07/2015). The fuel shortage is creating severe challenges for the transportation of food, water, and medical supplies, and the operation of water pumps and generators (ECHO, 14/05/2015). On average, Yemenis have less than one hour of electricity per day, due to fuel shortages (OCHA, 05/06/2015).
Several waves of conflict, lack of access, and the fluidity of displacement make it extremely difficult to estimate displacement figures and needs.
As of early August, 1,439,118 people have been internally displaced since the escalation of conflict, a 12% increase since early July (Protection Cluster, 05/08/2015). This includes 298,788 in Hajjah, 235,656 in Al Dhalee, and 195,325 in Aden governorate. IDPs originate mainly in Aden, Al Dhalee, and Lahj governorates (Protection Cluster, 05/08/2015).
Most IDPs are staying with friends and family and host community members are in need of assistance themselves (OCHA, 19/06/2015;OCHA, 10/06/2015). IDPs and host community members are in urgent need of food, shelter, health services, and fuel in several governorates, including Hadramaut, Al Mahwit, and Taizz (IOM, 23/07/2015).
Refugees and Migrants
Estimates indicate that over 883,000 returnees, refugees, and migrants in Yemen currently require assistance, including Yemeni migrants deported from Saudi Arabia (OCHA, 12/06/2015). There are 257,645 registered refugees in Yemen: most are Somali (236,803); 5,934 are Ethiopian (Mixed Migration Secretariat, 28/02/2015). At least 2,000 Syrian refugees have been registered in Yemen since August 2014: more than 10,000 Syrians are thought to be in the country (OCHA, 05/11/2014).
10,500 people have arrived in Yemen since March, mostly from Somalia and Ethiopia (UNHCR, 14/07/2015). Many new arrivals reported they were unaware of the security situation in Yemen before arriving. Others reported they were aware of the situation, and still preferred it to the situation in their country of origin (UNHCR, 03/07/2015).
Conflict in areas close to refugee-hosting sites have resulted in further displacement of refugees and asylum seekers, loss of livelihoods, and a breakdown in basic services (OCHA, 19/06/2015). In Kharaz refugee camp in Lahj governorate, food rations have run out, the school is closed, health facilities are shutting down, and a general lack of basic services is reported (UNHCR, 19/06/2015).
Arrivals from Yemen to Other Countries
Since March 2015, almost 100,000 people, consisting of Yemenis, returnees, and third-country nationals (TCNs) have left Yemen (UNHCR, 07/08/2015). As of 20 August, 23,360 have arrived in Djibouti and 28,703 in Somalia (IOM, 20/08/2015). 3,000 Yemenis and Somalis have arrived in Ethiopia; 5,000 arrivals of mixed nationalities have been recorded in Oman. 30,000 Yemenis and 10,000 TCNs have arrived in Saudi Arabia; all but 5,000 have since left Saudi Arabia for other countries.
12.9 million people are food insecure, 2.3 million more than before the escalation of the crisis in March (Indicative IPC Analysis, 18/06/2015). 6.07 million people (22.7% of the population) face Emergency (IPC Phase 4) food security outcomes, mainly in Saa’da, Aden, Abyan, Shabwah, Hajjah, Al Hudaydah, Taizz, Lahj, Al Dhalee, and Al Bayda, while 6.8 million people (25.7%) are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3), according to the June 2015 IPC Analysis. This is a 21% increase in food insecurity since last year (Indicative IPC Analysis, 18/06/2015). The situation is expected to further deteriorate as long as insecurity continues to severely constrain access and household purchasing power falls (Indicative IPC Analysis, 18/06/2015; FEWSNET, 30/06/2015).
While Yemen ordinarily imports 90% of its food, imports of staple foods, such as cereals, have almost completely ceased since the escalation of conflict (OCHA, 29/05/2015). Cooking gas is unavailable in Aden and Taizz and only sparsely available in 13 other governorates (OCHA, 13/07/2015). The price of cooking gas has increased by more than 300% since March (OCHA, 17/06/2015).
Agriculture and Markets
In the worst conflict-affected areas, including Sa’ada, Lahj, Taizz, Al Dhalee, and Abyan, crops, storage, and irrigation facilities have been significantly damaged (FAO, 23/06/2015). Lack of fuel and insecurity are preventing the delivery of goods from ports to markets (FEWSNET, 18/06/2015).
Food prices have increased by 40–100% since the start of the crisis, with the highest prices in southwestern governorates (FAO, 08/07/2015). Acute fuel shortages have affected food prices (WFP, 10/04/2015).
Wheat and meat products are unavailable in Aden and only sparsely available in 14 other governorates (FEWSNET, 18/08/2015; MSF, 29/07/2015; OCHA, 13/07/2015). Grain milling has ceased for lack of fuel (OCHA, 19/06/2015). It is increasingly difficult to store and transport fruit and vegetables due to fuel shortages. Fuel shortages have also affected transportation of livestock (FAO, 23/06/2015).
95% of local supermarkets are reportedly closed, affecting in particular people in urban settings (OCHA, 22/05/2015). Most bakeries in Aden have shut down due to wheat and fuel shortages (OCHA, 30/06/2015).
Incomes in IDP and host communities are dwindling, affected people are resorting to negative coping mechanisms, such as selling their belongings, to meet everyday needs (OCHA, 10/06/2015). Many families have lost their sources of income, and can no longer afford sufficient or nutritious food (OCHA, 19/06/2015). Farmers are struggling to sustain their income due to high input costs and low output prices (FAO, 23/06/2015). More than 500,000 people have been affected by disruption of fishing, caused by insecurity, lack of fuel causing spoilage, and market disruption (OCHA, 06/07/2015; FAO, 08/07/2015).
Electricity shortages have affected all economic sectors, and have been a factor in reduced employment opportunities. Only three percent of businesses were reportedly functioning normally by May 2015 (FEWSNET, 18/08/2015).
In areas affected by ground conflict, many people have not received public salaries since March, due to insecurity and disruptions to transfer systems (FEWSNET, 18/08/2015).
Health and Nutrition
About 15.2 million people lack access to basic healthcare, 40% more than in March (OCHA, 03/06/2015; 14/06/2015). Out of 5,642 health facilities in Yemen, 754 (13%) are non-functional and 559 (10%) partially functional as a result of the conflict (WHO, 30/07/2015).
Health staff are increasingly unable to report to work. Non-Yemenis make up at least 25% of health workers and their evacuation has added to shortages (WHO, 27/04/2015). Prior to the escalation of the crisis, qualified medical staff were already in short supply.
Since the escalation of the conflict, there have been nine incidents of violence against staff and in health facilities and care workers and 65 incidents against health facilities (OCHA, 14/06/2015). There are also reports of ambulances being commandeered by militias (OCHA, 29/05/2015). 53 health facilities have been damaged since March, including 17 hospitals (WHO, 19/06/2015).
Ambulance services are non-functional in most areas heavily affected by conflict due to fuel shortages and security threats (OCHA, 14/06/2015). Medicines for diabetes, hypertension and cancer are no longer available and there are acute shortages in critical medical supplies – trauma kits, medicines, blood bags and other necessities (OCHA, 12/06/2015). The only operational hospital in Amran governorate has reported that it is on the verge of running out of medical supplies (OCHA, 06/07/2015). Prior to the conflict, Yemen imported 80% of its medical supplies (OCHA, 30/06/2015). The only oxygen generating plant in Yemen has ceased to function due to lack of fuel (OCHA, 19/04/2015).
Out of 20 major hospitals in Taizz governorate, 15 are closed and the remaining hospitals are overstretched (MSF, 07/08/2015).
Outbreak response, including surveillance and early response, is no longer functioning (OCHA, 13/07/2015; 14/06/2015). 25% of Yemen’s health facilities are no longer conducting routine vaccination (UNICEF, 07/07/2015). 87 out of 333 districts lack a functioning cold room to store vaccines (UNICEF, 07/07/2015).
Dengue and Malaria
At least 8,000 cases of dengue fever have been reported in Aden since March (Thomson Reuters Foundation, 12/08/2015). The number of new cases declined significantly from mid-June to end-July (WHO, 30/07/2015).
Some cases of malaria have been reported (Thomson Reuters Foundation, 12/08/2015). Insecurity is preventing vector control (OCHA, 30/06/2015). Due to lack of electricity and medical supplies, laboratory testing for dengue and malaria is challenging (OCHA, 30/06/2015).
Measles and Rubella
Over 365 cases of measles and over 90 cases of rubella have been diagnosed in Yemen over the past year (OCHA, 14/06/2015). 12 cases of measles were reported between 3 and 9 July (OCHA, 13/07/2015).
Around 1.8 million children are likely to suffer from malnutrition in Yemen in 2015 – one million more than in 2014. Of these, a projected 537,000 will be at risk of severe acute malnutrition (UNICEF, 19/08/2015).
Since March, there has been a 150% increase in hospital admissions for malnutrition (WHO, 19/06/2015). 1.6 million children and pregnant or lactating women are in need of services to treat or prevent acute malnutrition (UNICEF, 07/07/2015). In 2014, 840,000 children under five were acutely malnourished, according to the Nutrition Cluster; 170,000 were severely malnourished (Comprehensive Food Security Survey, 11/2014).
At least 20 million people lack access to clean water (WHO, 19/06/2015). Since the escalation of the crisis, 9.4 million people have lost access to safe water due to fuel shortages (OCHA, 05/06/2015). Diesel needed to deliver public water and sanitation is either not available or only sporadically in 20 of 22 governorates (OCHA, 13/07/2015). Millions of people are receiving less than an hour of uninterrupted water supply per day.
Public water networks in eight major cities are at imminent risk of collapse (OCHA, 19/06/2015). In the south, the lack of power combined with damaged water pumps has forced people to resort to water collection from unprotected and abandoned wells. Water trucks do not have fuel to make deliveries (OCHA, 22/05/2015). The price of water has doubled since July, with some families spending one‑third of their income on water (Thomson Reuters Foundation, 12/08/2015). In Sanaa, the price of water has tripled since the escalation of conflict (WFP, 19/08/2015).
Solid waste collection has been suspended and sewage treatment plants have reduced operations in several major cities (OCHA, 19/06/2015). Garbage has been accumulating on the streets (UNICEF, 07/07/2015).
Lack of drinking water and adequate sanitation facilities have been reported in sites hosting IDPs in Al Jawf and Marib governorates (OCHA, 23/05/2015).
1.2 million people are in need of emergency shelter or essential household items (OCHA, 12/06/2015).
The majority of IDPs are hosted by relatives. Some families are reportedly hosting up to six or seven displaced (IOM, 22/05/2015). IDPs in Sanaa staying with host families are reporting overcrowding and lack of adequate WASH facilities (OCHA, 22/05/2015).
In southern Yemen, IDPs are staying in public buildings, such as schools or health facilities, open spaces or makeshift shelters (IOM, 22/05/2015). In Amran, many IDPs are reported to be living in the open; fear of airstrikes is preventing them from taking shelter in public buildings (OCHA, 10/05/2015). Members of the marginalised Muhamasheen community and other vulnerable IDPs have settled in old houses and other inadequate structures (OCHA, 10/06/2015).
In Al Jawf and Marib governorates, IDPs are primarily staying with host families or in abandoned facilities, including schools. Overcrowding and lack of food and adequate WASH facilities have been reported (OCHA, 23/05/2015). In Hajjah, Al Hudaydah and Abyan governorates, IDPs are living in open spaces or in tents and other improvised shelters. Many IDPs in Lahj live in schools or health facilities (OCHA, 19/04/2015).
Refugees who were previously self-reliant are now dependent on humanitarian assistance and unable to afford adequate shelters in urban areas, leading to overcrowding (OCHA, 19/06/2015).
Over 1.8 million children have lost access to school since the escalation of conflict in March (UNICEF, 11/08/2015). 3,584 schools have closed since March (UNICEF, 18/08/2015).
More than 400 schools have been damaged: 315 schools have been partially damaged and 114 schools have been destroyed (UNICEF, 18/08/2015). Some 68 schools are occupied by armed groups, and 360 schools are hosting IDPs (UNICEF, 18/08/2015; 21/07/2015). The Saudi-led coalition has stated that schools are legitimate targets if used for military purposes, and have targeted school buildings claimed to be hosting military equipment (Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack, 11/06/2015).
In schools hosting IDPs, classroom equipment, such as desks and benches, is being used for firewood (UNICEF, 23/06/2015).
Prior to the conflict, an estimated 2.5 million children were not in school (OCHA, 04/2014).
11.4 million people are in need of protection assistance, including about 7.3 million children (OCHA, 12/06/2015).
Use of explosive weapons in populated areas, attacks on civilian infrastructure, increased recruitment of children, and attacks against humanitarian workers have been reported since the conflict escalated in March (OCHA, 19/06/2015). Protesters against the Houthi takeover have been illegally detained and tortured, according to several reports (AFP, 14/02/2015; Amnesty, 16/02/2015).
Due to their marginalisation, the Muhamasheen minority have greater humanitarian needs than the average population (UNICEF, 20/02/2015).
As of 28 July, 398 children have been reported killed and 605 injured (UNICEF, 28/07/2015).
Up to 30% of fighters in armed groups are children (OCHA, 22/12/2014). 377 children have been recruited by armed groups since the escalation of the conflict (UNICEF, 28/07/2015). Houthis, Ansar al Sharia, AQAP and state forces are all recruiting children (Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict, 01/10/2014).
Mines and ERW
Landmines and explosive remnants of war are a major concern in northern governorates. Since March, incidents of civilians wounded in cluster munition attacks in Sada’a governorate have been reported (Human Rights Watch, 31/05/2015). In Lahj, local partners report that AQAP has placed landmines in Al Hamra area of Al Hawta district in order to guard against any Houthi advance (OCHA, 31/03/2015). The Yemen Executive Mine Action Center (YEMAC) has confirmed the presence of cluster munition remnants in four districts on the border between Sada’a governorate and Saudi Arabia (Cluster Monitor, 04/12/2014).
21 August: In response to the number of suicide attacks in the past weeks, Cameroonian authorities forcibly repatriated around 15,000 Nigerians (IRIN).21 August: Cameroon's Minister of Transport reported that militants from neighbouring Central African Republic have recently killed several Cameroonian truck drivers (VOA).
- As of 20 August, there are 81,700 IDPs in Cameroon (OCHA, 20/08/2015).
- There are 314,300 refugees in Cameroon as of 31 July, mostly from Nigeria and CAR (OCHA, 17/08/2015).
Conflict in both Nigeria and CAR continues to displace vulnerable refugees to Cameroon, and spillover from the Boko Haram conflict in Nigeria threatens security in Cameroon. Some 2.1 million people, 10% of the population, are in need of humanitarian assistance, primarily in the Far North, North, Adamawa, and East regions.
Politics and Security
The armed Islamist group Boko Haram (BH), based in Nigeria, has intensified attacks in Cameroonsince December 2014 (ECHO, 06/01/2015). They cross into the Far North region from Lake Chad to attack towns, villages, and military vehicles, steal livestock and food, and kidnap individuals. Attacks are concentrated in the Far North region, but have spread southward (AFP, 06/04/2015). BH launched at least 37 BH attacks in northern Cameroon between January and end July (ACLED, 27/07/215).
2,000 extra troops have been deployed to the Far North, raising the total to 8,500 (AFP, 28/07/2015). A military force from Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroon, and Benin is planned to be set up end of August, a month late, in response to the increase in cross-border attacks. The force will be based in Chad (international media, 30/07/2015). Operations against BH so far have included air and ground offensives (Daily Mail, 14/01/2015; New York Times, 05/02/2015). The United States is supplying equipment and logistics training to the Cameroonian military, aiding its efforts to counter BH (VoA, 12/12/2014; Reuters, 17/02/2015).
On 21 August, Cameroon's Minister of Transport reported that militants from neighbouring Central African Republic have recently killed several Cameroonian truck drivers (VOA, 21/08/2015).
On 11 August, Boko Haram insurgents killed two soldiers and eight civilians, and then burnt several houses in Blame, town close to Lake Chad (AFP/Yahoo News, 13/08/2015). In the night between 3 and 4 August, Boko Haram insurgents attacked the village of Kangaleri, close to the Nigerian border. Twenty people were killed and several children were abducted (OCHA, 13/08/2015).
During July, members of the insurgent group undertook suicide attacks killing more than 40 people. They also raided villages, leaving eight dead and kidnapping 135 people (AFP, 08/08/2015). Authorities believe the militant group is opting for isolated but targeted attacks on villages or highways (OCHA, 15/06/2015).
Some 40,000 people were affected by floods in the cities of Douala and Yaoundé in June and July. In Douala, heavy rains caused the flooding of 60,000 hectares of land, displacing 2,000 and directly affecting 30,000 (UNISDR, 08/08/2015; IRIN, 03/07/2015; Reuters 26/06/2015).
The needs among refugees are largely WASH, shelter, health and education (UNHCR, 23/05/2015; UNHCR, 15/04/2015). There are approximately 81,700 IDPs in Far North region, due to BH attacks (OCHA, 16/06/2015).
As of 20 August, there are 81,700 IDPs in Cameroon (OCHA, 20/08/2015). 33,900 are in Mayo-Tsanaga department, 32,680 in Logone-et-Chari, 12,480 in Mayo-Sava, and 2,630 in Diamare.36% live with host families, 28% live in shared housing and the rest in improvised, damaged, or public buildings. Food security, WASH, and health are the priority needs. Nearly half of IDPs are displaced within the same department. 35,960 people have returned to their place of origin (IOM/UNHCR, 29/06/2015; OCHA, 16/06/2015).
Refugees and asylum seekers
There are 314,300 refugees in Cameroon as of 31 July (OCHA, 17/08/2015).
Central African Republic: At 21 August, there are 251,232 refugees from CAR (UNHCR, 21/08/2015), 131,237 of these having arrived since December 2013 (UNHCR, 12/08/2015). 55% live in camps, 45% are with host communities (UNHCR, 05/06/2015). More than 8,000 have settled in Timangolo, which used to have a population of 13,000; the influx is causing severe strain on food stocks. (IRIN, 11/08/2015).
The Cameroonian government is reportedly arresting refugees from CAR, putting them in camps, and instructing families not to host CAR refugees, due to increased reports of refugees stealing cattle, and even kidnapping ranchers and businessmen for ransom (VOA, 13/08/2015).
Many refugees have crossed without being registered.
Nigeria: At 19 August, there are 56,400 Nigerian refugees registered in Cameroon (OCHA, 19/08/2015). More than 53,000 entered the country since July 2014. The rate of daily arrivals has fluctuated: from 400 per day in April–May, 60–70 daily in June, and 150-300 in August (FAO, 30/06/2015; IRIN, 12/08/2015). Around 1,500 people sought registration in July, due to the recent decision by the Government of Cameroon to increase deportations of undocumented migrants (USAID, 21/08/2015).
The majority of refugees are staying in Minawao camp, which hosts 43,883 people. (UNHCR, 31/07/2015). Another 33,000 Nigerians are believed to have found refuge outside the Minawao camp (IRIN, 12/08/2015).
Due to the heightened security situation in the Far North, the government has begun registering Nigerian refugees in the immediate border area, where there are an estimated 12,000–17,000 unregistered refugees (UN, 31/07/2015). In response to the number of suicide attacks in the past weeks, Cameroonian authorities forcibly repatriated around 15,000 Nigerians (IRIN, 21/08/2015
20% of individuals arriving from Nigeria are estimated to be returnees (UN, 21/07/2015).
In most locations, the number of refugees and third-country nationals exceeds the local population. Host communities and refugees are competing over already inadequate resources and living conditions have become very difficult for host communities (FAO, 11/12/2014).
The limited number of humanitarian actors involved in the response in the Far North has made comprehensive humanitarian intervention almost impossible.
Access of relief actors to affected populations
Heavy rains have prevented WFP trucks carrying food supplies from travelling between Zamai and Minawao (USAID, 21/08/2015).
Security and Physical Constraints
The deterioration of the security situation has made access to the Far North extremely difficult. Although the Cameroonian army have taken back border towns, the area remains insecure (OCHA, 10/04/2015). UN agencies have only been undertaking priority activities such as assisting refugees and some host communities, according to WFP (IRIN, 15/08/2014). Bad road conditions delay the provision of assistance.
Food Security and Livelihoods
Some 1.08 million people are food insecure, mostly in the Far North, North, Adamawa, and East regions, with 244,000 in severe food insecurity (OCHA, 16/06/2015; Reuters; 29/05/2015). 195,600 people are severely food insecure (OCHA, 16/06/2015).
In the Sahel and West Africa about 7.5 million people, including 4.5 million in the Sahel, will be in food and nutrition crisis between June and August (Cadre Harmonisé, 06/2015). In 2014, food insecurity rose dramatically to 24.7 million food insecure people, compared to 2013, when 11.3 million people had inadequate food (OCHA, 03/02/2015).
54% of households in the Far North and North regions face shortages. 70% of farmers in the Far North have deserted their farms and missed out on planting (AFP, 28/01/2015). Dryness in the Sahel belt and the strain of hosting so many refugees are also affecting food security (ECHO, 06/01/2015).
As of September 2014, 6.8 million people are in need of health services (IOM, 09/2014).
Healthcare availability and access
Cameroon's Far North, North, Adamawa, and East regions suffer chronic shortages of health workers. 46% of health centres do not have access to electricity and 70% do not have piped water (Inter Press Service, 19/08/2014).
CAR refugees mostly suffer from malnutrition, malaria, and respiratory infections, according to an ECHO needs assessment. A number of measles cases have been reported among child refugees. Acute respiratory infections and malaria are the leading causes of death in refugee camps (UNHCR, 01/03/2015).
At end July, 17 cases of cholera have been recorded so far in 2015, including one death. This compares to 1,655 cases during the same period in 2014.
Most cases were in the health districts of Bourha, Hina, Mogode and Mora. In Mogode, four new cases were reported between 11 and 14 August (UNICEF, 24/08/2015).
Malaria is the main health issue among the approximately 30,000 refugees and 40,000 IDPs scattered around Kousseri, the capital of Logone-et-Chari department, Far North region (MSF, 29/05/2015).
In the Northwest region of Cameroon, a measles epidemic has affected more than 300 children and caused several deaths in the first week of July, a result of not vaccinating children (VoA, 11/07/2015).
Nationally, there are 70,000 cases of severe acute malnutrition (SAM) and 190,000 cases of moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) among children under five (OCHA, 11/06/2015). 39,000 children under five in the Far North are severely malnourished (UNICEF, 23/04/2015). There have been 6,320 cases of SAM in districts hosting IDPs since January (UNICEF, 15/05/2015). The prevalence of SAM in the Far North is 2.0%, while global acute malnutrition (GAM) is at 9% (UNHCR, 29/03/2015). There were 40% more cases of severe malnutrition in January 2015 compared to the start of 2014 (OCHA, 30/01/2015).
IDPs face a high risk of water-related disease due to lack of adequate water and sanitation facilities in affected areas (UNHCR, 30/06/2015). In Minawao the number of borehole hand-pumps is less than 30 and the number of latrines is only 280. Together with overcrowding, the lack of water and sanitation increases the risk of diseases. Cholera represents a significant risk; more than 100 people died in a cholera outbreak in April (IRIN, 10/08/2015).
Only 50% of the primary school-aged children are enrolled in school.
Almost 30,000 children internally displaced by BH are deprived of education (AFP, 12/05/2015). Primary school attendance in camps has increased from 44% to 63%. Secondary school attendance has dropped from 67% to 55%, despite advocacy with parents (UNHCR, 09/06/2015).
Access and learning environment
519 schools are open in the Far North, down from 737 before the conflict (IOM/UNHCR, 29/06/2015). In Minawao camp, there are only three primary schools – 21 classrooms – to accommodate more than 6,600 primary school-aged children (IRIN, 12/05/2015).
Teaching and learning
There are not enough classrooms nor teachers (UNHCR, 30/06/2015). The majority of people residing in Minawao camp have no formal education or profession (UNHCR, 21/03/2015).
The main protection issues among assessed IDPs are family separation, lack or loss of personal identity documentation, early marriage, and harassment or discrimination (IOM/UNHCR, 29/06/2015).
According to some reports, the Police of Cameroon freed 70 people, mostly children, that had been held captive for years in a religious school in Ngaoundere, capital of Adamawa region in northern Cameroon (BBC, 10/08/2015). Other reports indicate that the military was involved in the operation (Daily Mail, 11/08/2015). Approximately 1,500 children have been abducted by Boko Haram in Cameroon since late 2014 (AFP, 04/06/2015). 84 children were illegally detained for six months in the Far North region, after authorities raided Koranic schools under allegations that they were training to join Boko Haram. They were released on 2 July (Amnesty International, 21/06/2015; 01/07/2015).
Chad Country Analysis
LATEST DEVELOPMENTS21 August: Approximately 41,000 people were displaced in Lac region between 21 July and 21 August (OCHA).
- An estimated 210,000 people are living with HIV in Chad, with the prevalence remaining stable at 2.5% since 2013. In 2014 the number of deaths due to AIDS was 12,000, while the number of new HIV infections was 14,000 (UNAIDS, 07/08/2015).
- 3 million affected by humanitarian crisis (OCHA, 16/06/2015). In the middle of rainy season, most IDPs are reported to be living in the open, with no latrines and no food, and limited access to water. The risk for diseases is very high (OCHA, 13/08/2015).
- At least 525,000 refugees in Chad, including 92,534 from CAR and 14,162 from Nigeria (OCHA, 26/06/2015; UNHCR, 04/08/2015).
- 2.4 million Chadians are food insecure. 428,000 are severely food insecure (OCHA, 16/06/2015).- 154,400 children suffer from severe acute malnutrition (UNICEF)
Politics and Security
Nigeria and Central African Republic’s conflicts have affected stability in Chad: hundreds of thousandsof refugees have entered the country, and Chad’s military is involved.
Chad also hosts 3,000 French troops engaged to control the increasing insecurity in the Sahel Region (Reuters, 11/07/2015). Ndjamena serves as headquarters for a regional anti-Boko Haram force (Reuters, 11/07/2015).
Boko Haram: Boko Haram launched its first cross-border attack in Chad in February and has since carried out 14 attacks on civilians and soldiers in the Lake Chad region (ACLED, 07/2015).
The Chadian Government began military action against Boko Haram in the Lake Chad area in May. The Chadian army pushed Boko Haram back from the country’s islands in Lake Chad in July, after a surge in attacks (Vice News, 28/07/2015). The military bombed BH positions in Nigeria in June, following suicide attacks on the Chadian capital, Ndjamena (AFP, 18/06/2015).
Chadian forces aided Nigerian security forces to reclaim several towns from Boko Haram in Borno state at the beginning of 2015 (AP, 03/02/2015; VoA, 01/02/2015). In March, Chad and Niger launched a joint army operation against Boko Haram in Nigeria (Reuters, 08/03/2015). Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon, Chad and Benin have agreed to send a joint force of 8,700 troops to fight Boko Haram (10/02/2015).The military force is planned to be set up end of August and will be based in Chad (International media, 30/07/2015).
In August 2014, France deployed 1,200 troops to Chad to take part in a counter-terrorism operation across the Sahel region (international media). On 12 August, the President of Chad reported that Boko Haram’s leader Abubakar Shekau had been ousted and replaced by Mahamat Daoud, one of Shekau’s deputies, who may be more open to peace talks (The Telegraph, 12/08/2015).
On 11 July, a suicide bomber detonated in Ndjamena, killing 16 (including the bomber) and injuring 80 (Reuters, 11/07/2015). On 13 July, BH attacked Tetewa Island on Lake Chad (ACLED, 13/07/2015).
On 15 June, 23 civilians were killed and 101 were injured during two suicide bomb attacks on police stations in Ndjamena (AFP, 15/06/2015). The border with Cameroon was immediately closed. On 28 June, 60 suspects were arrested and a cell was dismantled in Ndjamena. At least 11 people were killed on 29 June in a raid targeting BH militants in Ndjamena (ICG, 01/07/2015). Security measures have been reinforced: 395 people of 14 nationalities have been arrested (UNHCR, 14/07/2015). 300 Cameroonians were expelled 26–27 June.
Displacement is fuelled by the Boko Haram conflict in the western part of the country and the CAR conflict in the eastern part of the country. Heightened security in both areas also causes local populations to be internally displaced. There are 850,500 people displaced in Chad, including Chadian returnees (OCHA, 13/08/2015), 75,000 of these since January 2015 (OCHA, 21/08/2015). In the middle of rainy season, most IDPs are reported to be living in the open, with no latrines and no food, and limited access to water. The risk for diseases is very high (OCHA, 13/08/2015).
As of August, the total number of displaced people in Chad because of conflict is 111,500 (IDMC, 13/08/2015).
Approximately 41,000 people were displaced in Lac region between 21 July and 21 August (OCHA, 21/08/2015). On 5 August, the Government announced the evacuation of 65 villages in the region. This is expected to bring the number displaced by conflict between the national army and Boko Haram to 50,000 (ECHO, 05/08/2015).
Nearly 85,500 IDPs are living in protracted displacement in the east, facing difficulties accessing shelter, land, and income-generating activities (IDMC, 02/2015; OCHA, 19/11/2013).
Refugees and asylum seekers
Central African Republic (CAR): As of 28 July 2015, there are 92,534 refugees from CAR (UNHCR, 28/07/2015). 84,030 live in sites in Amboko, Belom, Dosseye, Doholo, Gondje and Moyo (UNHCR, 01/05/2015; 15/05/2015). 6,690 live in host communities (UNHCR, 03/04/2015).
Nigeria: As of 4 August, 14,162 Nigerian refugees are in Chad (UNHCR, 04/08/2015). At 14 July, 7,140 Niger and Nigerian refugees were registered in Dar es Salam site: relocating refugees from Lake Chad islands to the site remains a priority (UNHCR, 14/7/2015; UNICEF, 08/04/2015; UNHCR, 30/04/2015). Estimates indicate that by December 2015 the number of Nigerian refugees could increase to 30,000 (UNHCR, 22/07/2015). Resources are limited for both refugees and host communities, especially food, shelter, and essential household items (OCHA, 12/01/2015).
Sudan: As of the end of July 2015, 315,200 refugees from Sudan were reported in Chad (USAID, 18/08/2015).
There are 230,000 Chadian returnees (OCHA, 26/06/2015). Additionally, there are between 5,000 and 15,000 unregistered returnees (ECHO 27/07/2015).
130,000 returnees have come from CAR (UNHCR, 21/03/2015; UNICEF, 30/06/2015). As of 11 May, some 70,000 were living in five sites in the southwest, as well as in villages in Logone Oriental and Mandoul (IOM, 11/05/2015; OCHA, 28/03/2015). Since then, Sido returnee site has been emptied and most of the 16,000 residents transferred to Maingama site, although 1,330 people chose to settle in an area to the west of the original site and lack adequate shelter and sanitation facilities (UNICEF, 30/06/2015). 1,210 returnees identified in Larmanaye are awaiting transfer to Kobiteye (UNICEF, 30/06/2015).
8,500 returnees from Nigeria are in Lac region; 2,010 have been registered (IOM, 21/04/2015; OCHA, 21/02/2015).
Security and physical constraints
Chad’s President Idriss Déby announced in May 2014 that the southern border with CAR would be closed to all except Chadian citizens until the CAR crisis is resolved. The Government deployed additional security forces to the border, after expressing concern that armed fighters might be infiltrating refugee populations in the area.
Along the border with Nigeria, Chadian security forces are screening road users and their property. Navigation on the Chari River and its tributary, the Logone, which flow along the border of Chad and Cameroon, has been halted (AFP, 30/04/2015). Severe issues reaching people in need of food assistance, including in the Chad Islands, were reported end July–beginning August (WFP, 04/08/2015).
Food Security and Livelihoods
2.4 million people in Chad are food insecure (OCHA, 16/06/2015). Around 660,000 of these are in need of food assistance (ECHO, 19/08/2015).
As of 19 August, the food security situation in the country is reported to be worsening and external support is expected to be needed up to February 2016 (FEWSNET, 19/08/2015). Food assistance needs through January 2016 will be higher than last year and the five-year average (FEWSNET, 22/07/2015).
In the Sahel and West Africa about 7.5 million people, including 4.5 million in the Sahel, will be in food and nutrition crisis between June and August (Cadre Harmonisé, 06/2015). In 2014, food insecurity rose dramatically, affecting 24.7 million people, compared to 11.3 million people in 2013 (OCHA, 03/02/2015).
The phenomenon of El Niño is expected to last until the end of 2015, reducing the amount of anticipated precipitation (FAO, 30/06/2015).
As of 6 August, refugees and local populations are reported to be receiving 40% less food rations, due to reduced funding (WFP, 06/08/2015).
Sudanese refugees in eastern Chad report that food prices have risen and food rations decreased. INGOs and the UN have adopted a policy to make these refugees less dependent on food aid (local media, 10/06/2015).
Price spikes have been registered all over the country, although a particularly high seasonal increase of the sorghum price has occurred in Hadjer (25%) and in Logone Oriental (30%), partly due to increased cross-border insecurity and the increase in refugees (WFP, 30/07/2015). The closure of the Nigerian border has led to a decrease in cattle prices (UNICEF, 30/06/2015).
Rains are 2–3 weeks late in the south. Due to a depletion of household stocks, low revenues from agriculture and sale of livestock, and increase in grain prices, poor households in South Guera, Lac, Kanem, Bahr El Ghazal , Hadjer Lamis, and some of Wadi Fira are in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food security outcomes with humanitarian assistance (FEWSNET, 29/06/2015).
Livelihoods have been further affected by decreased inflows of remittances from family members in Libya due to conflict (IFRC, 30/05/2015).
2.5 million people are in need of healthcare (OCHA, 31/08/2014). Due to the influx of refugees, there is a need to strengthen healthcare activities in host communities and to recruit more qualified medical personnel (UNHCR, 06/03/2015).
Only 34% of children under one have been vaccinated in returnee sites in eastern Chad (UNICEF, 10/11/2014).
An estimated 210,000 people are living with HIV in Chad, with the prevalence remaining stable at 2.5% since 2013. However only 30% of people with HIV in the country has access to antiretroviral treatment. In 2014 the number of deaths due to AIDS was 12,000, while the number of new HIV infections was 14,000 (UNAIDS, 07/08/2015). As of April, the HIV/AIDS prevalence in Lac region was 10.1%, more than 4 times the national average (UNHCR, 14/04/2015).
Between 1 and 15 July, 122 new cases of measles, including two deaths, were registered in Abeche, eastern Chad, compared to the 189 cases and three deaths reported in June (OCHA, 28/07/2015). The outbreak is related to the return of miners from Sudan, where there is a measles epidemic (OCHA, 08/07/2015).
154,400 children suffer from SAM while 257,000 suffer from MAM, a slight fall from the numbers reported in October 2014 (UNICEF, 30/06/2015; 30/05/2015; OCHA, 10/02/2015).
1.3 million people are in need of WASH assistance: 55% of the population has access to safe water, compared to 46% in 2012 (UNHCR, 03/03/2015; OCHA, 31/12/2014).
Only 4% of households and 50% of health centres have access to standard sanitation facilities (OCHA, 31/12/2014). There has been only a 9% increase in access to sanitation since 1990, with little or no improvement in the last year (UNICEF, 2015).
An assessment of child refugees from Nigeria showed that 72% of the 296 school-aged children identified had never been to school (OCHA, 21/02/2015; 20/03/2015).
Access and learning environment
The number of students in Dar es Salam camp, hosting Nigerian refuges, has decreased from 848 to 269, due to insufficient food rations, heat, and distance (UNHCR, 14/04/2015).
One in five women is a victim of physical violence. 35% of girls in Chad are married before the age of 15 and 44% undergo female genital mutilation (OCHA, 26/06/2015). ]
On 30 June, the National Assembly of Chad ratified the law prohibiting child-marriages (marrying before the age of 18) (UNHCR, 14/07/2015).
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 (UNHCR, 07/2014).
25 August: 1,000 Colombians were repatriated from Venezuela following an attack on Venezuelan border guards. The border has been closed since 21 August. There are 2,000 additional recent returnees and government shelters are reportedly overwhelmed by the influx. People are in immediate need of food, water, and NFIs in the border city of Cúcuta (OCHA).
24 August: FARC-EP admitted they killed a community leader in Nariño in early August (Colombia Reports).
20 August: FARC-EP announced extension of unilateral ceasefire, which was previously set to last until end-November (AFP).
- 4.8 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance (OCHA, 10/05/2015).
- 6.3 million IDPs, including 224,300 newly displaced in 2014 (UNHCR, 30/06/2015).
- In the first half of 2015, around 2 million people suffered limitations in humanitarian access or mobility, due to conflicts, disasters due to natural hazards, or mass protests (OCHA, 03/08/2015).
- Approximately 1.3 million people are affected by natural disasters (floods, heat wave, droughts) every year (OCHA, 24/02/2015).
4.8 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in Colombia, including 1.3 million affected by natural disasters, 1.3 million people in areas with access constraints, 900,000 IDPs, and 1.1 million people in host communities (OCHA, 01/05/2015).
Five decades of armed violence coupled with the country’s frequent natural disasters have had serious humanitarian consequences. Forced displacement and landmine contamination are among the major concerns. For rural communities, movement restrictions by armed groups limit access to basic health services, crops and labour markets, especially in the country’s Pacific region.
Politics and Security
Colombia’s armed conflict has spanned five decades, pitting the central government against armed groups such as the Armed Revolutionary Forces of Colombia – People’s Army (FARC-EP) and the National Liberation Army (ELN).
Attempts at peace negotiations in the 1980s and 1998–2000 failed. The latest FARC-EP–Government peace negotiations began in November 2012 in Havana, Cuba. The newest round of these peace talks began in Havana 20 August (Reuters, 18/08/2015).
The intensity of the armed conflict has decreased substantially since peace negotiations began in 2012. Nonetheless, violence and insecurity persist, including kidnappings and extortion by various armed groups.
Since the start of the FARC-EP’s unilateral ceasefire on 20 July and the government suspension of air raids thereafter, military activity between the two parties has almost completely ceased, and is at its lowest since the 1970s (Colombia Reports, 21/08/2015). The ceasefire was set to last four months (Colombia Reports, 20/07/2015; 13/07/2015). On 20 August, FARC-EP announced the ceasefire would be extended; the length of the extension is not known (AFP, 20/08/2015).
The ELN has been involved in informal peace talks with the Government since June 2014, and in late August 2015 the parties are reportedly close to reaching an agreement on beginning formal talks (Colombia Reports, 25/08/2015).
On 21 August, Venezuela closed its border to Colombia indefinitely after an attack at the border injured four Venezuelan border guards (AFP, 22/08/2015).
FARC-EP: The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army (FARC-EP) is the oldest left-wing militant group in Colombia. It was formed in 1964 by the Colombian Communist Party, as fighting between the liberal and conservative parties led to rural unrest. Approximately 7,000 fighters make up the FARC-EP today, which allegedly makes USD 500–600 million profit from the illicit drug trade (UNRIC 2013; BBC 29/08/2013). FARC-EP has been active throughout the country, but especially in Arauca, Meta, Norte de Santander, Cauca, and Antioquia.
ELN: The National Liberation Army is a left-wing militant group formed in 1965 and composed of an estimated 2,000 fighters. On 7 January, it stated that it intended to join the peace talks and would consider disarmament (AFP, 07/01/2015; BBC, 07/01/2015). The ELN has been active in Arauca, Norte de Santander, Nariño and Cauca Departments (Kienyke, 2013).
Government forces: The Government of Colombia’s strategies to combat non-state armed groups have been closely linked to eliminating the cultivation of illicit crops in the country, which finance the armed groups.
BACRIM and post-demobilised armed groups: Criminal gangs (bandas criminales) under the names Black Eagles, and Erpac, among others, are generally made up of former paramilitary fighters and another former armed group, the United Armed Forces of Colombia (AUC). They are involved in drug trafficking and extortion throughout the country and in Venezuela and Panama. These groups are particularly active in Antioquia department, as well as the Pacific and Caribbean regions (BBC 29/08/2013).
FARC-EP has allegedly violated the ceasefire on three occasions since 20 July, and the group has admitted to the killing of a community leader in Nariño in early August (Colombia Reports, 24/08/2015). FARC-EP has claimed that the military has carried out airstrikes, however this has not been verified by observers (Colombia Reports, 17/08/2015).
The military has since the FARC-EP ceasefire began reportedly mainly focused on other armed groups, including EPL in the northeast, and the Urabeños (Colombia Reports, 21/08/2015).
In the first six months of 2015, more than 319,000 people were affected by disasters caused by natural hazards (OCHA, 03/08/2015).
The El Niño phenomenon is considered the strongest in 18 years and due to last through December, resulting in an increase in rainfall and flooding throughout Colombia (ECHO, 08/08/2015). In early August, heavy rainfall damaged over 1,000 houses, public offices, and some schools in Puerto Boyacá, Department of Antioquia, and affected around 6,000 people (OCHA, 03/08/2015; RedHum, 01/08/2015).
224,300 IDPs were displaced in 2014; 79,989 were under 18 years of age. 39% of the IDP caseload between 2012 and June 2014 was concentrated in the Pacific region (OCHA, 01/05/2015; OCHA, 20/01/2015). Estimates indicate that around 190,000 people will be displaced in 2015 (OCHA, 03/08/2015).
Antioquia: Between 5 and 13 August, 460 people of the Embera Eyabida indigenous groups were displaced in Chigorodó, due to fear of clashes between security forces and the armed group Urabeños (OCHA, 13/08/2015). 380 people belonging to the Embera Eyabida indigenous groups were previously displaced in Urrao due to fear of FARC-EP and military clashes (OCHA, 10/07/2015).
Cauca: Five attacks since 12 July have displaced 66 people and restricted the movement of 160 in Argelia (OCHA, 14/07/2015). 521 Afro-Colombian families in Guapi have restricted movements and daily activities due to fear of military operations against FARC-EP (OCHA, 05/06/2015).
Nariño: 233 people in La Esperanza, a rural zone in Cumbitara, were displaced due to armed attacks by FARC-EP on 18 June. The population intends to return if explosives are cleared from the territory (OCHA, 23/06/2015).
Norte de Santander: At least 300 people have been displaced in Catatumbo in late August, following military operations against the leader of a drug trafficking group (Colombia Reports, 21/08/2015). During the first six months of 2015, 2,186 people in Catatumbo region became displaced due to insecurity (OCHA, 16/08/2015).
Valle del Cauca: Over 10–17 June, 142 Wounaan were displaced from Papayo-Litoral de San Juan to Buenaventura. 515 of the indigenous group have been displaced in Buenaventura since 2014. They live in inadequate housing, lack NFIs, and have limited access to food (OCHA, 21/07/2015).
As of 25 August, more than 1,000 Colombians, including 241 children, have been repatriated from Venezuela following closure of the Venezuelan border on 21 August (OCHA, 25/08/2015; BBC, 25/08/2015). An additional 2,000 Colombians are also believed to have returned to Colombia during the same period (OCHA, 25/08/2015). A government shelter in the Colombian border city of Cúcuta is reportedly overwhelmed by the influx of new arrivals (AP, 26/08/2015). Food, water and NFIs, including hygiene kits, clothes, tents, and blankets, are reported as immediate needs (OCHA, 23/08/2015).
Colombian Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
360,000 Colombians have sought refuge in neighbouring countries (Colombia Reports, 22/06/2015). Costa Rica: 16,620 refugees and 210 asylum seekers; Panama: 15,550 refuges and 800 asylum seekers; Venezuela: 5,000 refugees, 168,500 unregistered refugees and 250 asylum seekers; and Ecuador 121,320 refugees and 11,580 asylum seekers. 800–900 Colombians arrive in Ecuador each month (UNHCR, 30/06/2015).
Most refugees come from Norte de Santander, Chocó, Valle del Cauca, Cauca, and Nariño (UNHCR, 30/06/2015).
Between January and June 2015, conflicts, natural disasters, and mass protests restricted humanitarian access for around 2 million people (OCHA, 03/08/2015).
On 21 August, Venezuela closed its border to Colombia indefinitely after an attack at the border injured four Venezuelan guards (AFP, 22/08/2015).
Food Security and Livelihoods
1.2 million people are food insecure, due to in part to low food production, poverty, and internal displacement (OCHA, 20/01/2015). 557,000 require food assistance. Indigenous communities in Nariño are among the most affected (OCHA, 20/01/2015).
Only 30% of the population living in areas affected by armed conflict have access to healthcare (OCHA, 20/01/2015).
1.1 million people are in need of WASH (OCHA, 20/01/2015).
Only 35.5% of the population consumes safe drinking water, with only 15% of rural areas consuming treated water (OCHA, 20/01/2015).
Attacks on the oil industry in Putumayo department in 2014 are still affecting nearby communities, who have little access to water. Some oil companies are providing families with 20–40L of water per week, which is below standards (OCHA, 23/04/2015).
Shelter and NFIs
916,000 people need shelter (OCHA, 20/01/2015). Many of those displaced by armed conflict come from rural areas and have difficulty re-obtaining rights to their homes when they return. A legal process is in place in the departments of Atlantico and Magdalena in northern Colombia, though some claimants have received threats from paramilitary groups (Amnesty, 23/01/2015).
370 students have not been able to attend school due to mobility restrictions in Teorama, Norte de Santander (OCHA, 18/07/2015).
Torture and ill-treatment in various forms are reportedly common in Colombia, and measures for protection and compensation are either very limited or ineffective. As of June 2015, 72,544 people have been reported missing (Red Cross, 04/06/2015).
Mines and ERW
Over November 2012–March 2015, there were 789 victims of anti-personnel mines and unexploded ordnance, an average of 27 people per month (OCHA, 17/05/2015). In March, the Colombian Government and FARC-EP agreed to remove landmines and explosives, aiming to complete demining by 2025 (Reuters, 09/03/2015).
There have been frequent reports of landmine explosions involving both civilians and security personnel in Cauca and Caqueta (BBC, 17/06/2015; Government, 03/06/2015).
52% of displaced women have suffered some type of sexual violence after displacement, according to a study by OHCHR. Women in the Pacific region are particularly affected (NRC, 09/2014).
There are approximately 2,000 underage fighters in FARC (Reuters, 15/04/2015). By 2014, reports showed that 76% of children fighting with FARC-EP and 18% with ELN had been reintegrated into society (UNICEF, 2014).
Afro-Colombians and indigenous peoples are highly vulnerable groups, as they are minorities and generally live in areas more likely to be cut off by conflict (NRC, 09/2014).
In 2014, there were 626 registered attacks against human rights defenders, a 147% increase compared to 2013. 73% of attacks were carried out by post-demobilised armed groups (OCHA, 28/02/2015).
Democratic People's Republic of Korea Country Analysis
24 August: DPRK and South Korea agreed on deal to reduce tensions after shelling from both sides last week (BBC, 25/08/2015
- Information on the food security situation remains limited. An estimated 18 million people (70% of the population) are dependent on government rations. 1.8 million people are in particular need of food assistance (UN, 01/04/2015).
- DPRK is disaster-prone, regularly experiencing intense rain, floods and droughts.
- Humanitarian access remains extremely limited (UN, 01/04/2015).
Politics and Security
Tensions between DPRK and South Korea increased after a landmine at the border injured two South Korean soldiers in early August (Guardian, 04/08/2015). On 20 August, the tension resulted in a brief exchange of fire at the border – no casualties were reported. On 24 August, DPRK and South Korea agreed on a deal to reduce tensions; the deal stipulating that South Korea would stop broadcasting over loudspeakers at the border and that DPRK would withdraw additional troops recently deployed to the border (BBC, 25/08/2015).
Humanitarian access remains extremely limited. Humanitarian agencies do not have the ability to freely access communities, conduct assessments, or run monitoring and evaluating processes. International sanctions are further complicating assistance, in particular due to the suspension of banking channels for fund transfers (UN, 01/04/2015).
Heavy rain from 1-5 August caused flooding in South Hwanghae, South Hamgyong, and North Hamgyong provinces. As of 10 August, 21 people have been reported dead, and nine are missing. 3,400 people have been affected by the floods, with more than 900 houses destroyed, and more than 4000 hectares of crops damaged (IFRC, 12/08/2015; ECHO, 12/08/2015).
A prolonged dry spell during the planting season, which lasted from April to early June, has adversely affected crops and the yield potential of 2015 food crops (FAO, 17/06/2015). So far in 2015, all provinces have experienced less rainfall than the yearly average (OCHA, 01/07/2015). The provinces of North and South Hwanghae, which contribute to the largest share of the national cereal output, have been most affected (FAO, 17/06/2015). According to South Korean officials, June rainfall has alleviated the drought in other areas (AFP, 10/07/2015).
Food Security and Livelihoods
1.8 million children, older people, and pregnant and lactating women are in particular need of food assistance (UN, 01/04/2015). An estimated 18 million people, of a total population of 24.6 million, are dependent on government rations and highly vulnerable to shortages in food production (UN, 01/04/2015). These food rations were reportedly reduced from 410g per person per day in June to 310g in early July. In mid-July the rations were reportedly further reduced to 250g. Though reductions are normal, this year’s reductions have come a month earlier than in previous years (OCHA, 20/07/2015).
Most households are estimated to have borderline and poor food consumption rates (FAO, 01/06/2015). Decreased production of vegetables and soybeans, a major source of protein, contributes to a lack of food diversity for the general population (UN, 01/04/2015).
The food system in DPRK remains highly vulnerable to shocks and serious shortages exist, particularly in the production of protein-rich crops. Lack of agricultural inputs, such as seeds, fertiliser and plastic sheets, is a fundamental challenge for food production (UN, 01/04/2015).
Potato, wheat, and barley crops could be reduced by up to 40–50% in drought-affected areas, compared with normal levels. Rice planting was significantly affected by reduced rainfall in 2014, and output is forecast to be 12% lower than last year. Maize output is expected to be 15% lower than last year. In 2015, 31% of rice crops suffered from serious water shortages during planting and 6% of rice crops were not planted (OCHA, 11/08/2015). Soybean production is also expected to be affected (FAO, 13/07/2015).
9% of agricultural land has become unarable due to the 2014 drought; in North and South Hwanghae 33% of land is considered unusable for agricultural purposes (OCHA, 01/07/2015).
An estimated six million people need access to essential health services, including vaccines. Other medical products and lifesaving equipment, such as ambulances, remain limited. Health facilities often lack functioning water systems, increasing the risks of hospital infections and the spread of disease (UN, 01/04/2015).
Indicators suggest that health facilities are stretched by an increase of diarrhoea cases, as access to safe water is diminishing during the drought (OCHA, 01/07/2015). A joint field observation mission in June found a general increase in waterborne diseases (OCHA, 22/06/2015).
According to FAO, 10.5 million people were undernourished in 2014 (FAO, 27/05/2015).
Food shortages peak during the lean season, between July and September, and households resort to coping mechanisms such as receiving support from families on cooperative farms; reducing meal sizes; gathering wild foods; and diluting meals with water (OCHA, 01/07/2015).
Chronic and acute malnutrition remains one of the major contributors to maternal and child mortality (UNICEF, 26/01/2015). According to the 2012 National Nutrition Survey, acute malnutrition is at 4% among under-fives (National Nutrition Survey, 03/2013). Micronutrient deficiencies are of particular concern (OCHA, 01/07/2015).
An estimated seven million people need access to clean water and sanitation. There is a notable lack of adequate sanitation in rural areas and in social care institutions and education facilities (UN, 01/04/2015).
The quality and availability of water in domestic water wells, which many communities rely on, has been impacted by the drought. According to reports, wells are dry and water levels in reservoirs are 20–30% of 2013 levels (NRP, 18/07/2015). Irrigation activities have been disrupted by the April–June dry spell (FAO, 17/06/2015). Rainfall in 2014 was also 40–60% below 2013 levels (Reuters, 30/05/2015).
Lack of teaching/learning materials in addition to the lack of adequate sanitation facilities in school buildings remain a challenge (UNICEF, 26/01/2015).
Forced labour is a major concern. According to Human Rights Watch, DPRK authorities arbitrarily arrest and unfairly prosecute citizens (Human Rights Watch, 08/06/2015).
No new significant developments this week, 25/08/2015. Last update: 07/07/2015.
- An estimated 300,000 people need humanitarian assistance, including more than 12,000 refugees (ECHO, 01/08/2014; UNICEF, 13/08/2015).
-Humanitarian organisations fear the influx of people from Yemen may worsen an already difficult humanitarian situation in Obock (ECHO, 20/04/2015).
Conflict in Yemen has led to an influx of new arrivals from Yemen to Djibouti, in particular to Obock. As of late August, more than 23,000 people have arrived from Yemen since conflict escalated in March – 2,551 of them have been registered as refugees. Djibouti also hosts more than 12,000 refugees from Somalia, Ethiopia, and Eritrea.
Refugees and asylum seekers
12,763 refugees and 2,614 asylum seekers from Somalia, Ethiopia, and Eritrea live in Djibouti, mainly in Ali-Addeh and Holl Holl refugee camps (UNICEF, 13/08/2015). Out of the new arrivals from Yemen, 2,551 have been registered as refugees; 2,410 of these are Yemeni nationals. 1,887 of the registered refugees that have arrived from Yemen are staying in Markazi camp in Obock (UNHCR, 15/08/2015). The UN expects to receive more than 15,000 refugees from Yemen in the next six months (AFP, 14/05/2015).
Of the new arrivals from Yemen, 1,840 are Djiboutian returnees (IOM, 20/08/2015).
As of 20 August, 23,360 new arrivals from Yemen have been reported since late March. 10,673 are Yemeni nationals and 10,847 are third-country nationals (IOM, 20/08/2015).
Many of the new arrivals from Yemen that have not been registered as refugees, are staying in Obock or Djibouti cities, often hosted by Djiboutian relatives. Humanitarian actors in the country are concerned that if conflict in Yemen persists, this population may run out of resources and strain the resources of the host communities (UNICEF, 13/08/2015).
Since 26 March, an average of 1,680 people have arrived from Yemen every week (IOM, 04/06/2015).
IOM estimates that over 100,000 migrants, the majority from Ethiopia and Somalia, transit the country every year. Children account for 32% of the migrant population (UNICEF, 15/01/2015). Migrants arrive in dire conditions and vulnerable to a number of protection issues. Migrants report lack of access to food and water during their transit through Obock (UNHCR, 12/2014).
Food Security and Livelihoods
An estimated 162,000 people are expected to face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food security outcomes through December, primarily in Southeastern and Obock regions; typical of the dry and lean season (FEWSNET, 31/07/215; FEWSNET, 30/06/2015). One in 10 people in Djibouti are severely food insecure; 60% of whom live in rural areas (FAO, 22/06/2015). In Obock, almost 60% of the households are food insecure (FAO, 22/06/2015).
Poor cumulative rains are expected to result in reduced livestock productivity and limited milk output (FEWSNET, 06/08/2015). The poor October–February harvest has worsened the food security situation (FEWSNET, 30/06/2015).
Poor rainfall is expected to result in a decrease in labour opportunities (FEWSNET, 06/08/2015).
In 2014, OCHA reported that 300,000 people were in need of health services. Rates of communicable diseases are high, including diarrhoeal disease. A lack of medicine has been reported at health facilities (WHO, 27/04/2015).
In Markazi camp, cases of diarrhoea have increased. Women have also reported not receiving milk or diapers for their children (UNHCR, 10/07/2015).
According to OCHA, 277,700 people were in need of nutritional aid in 2014, compared to 195,400 in 2013. The SAM rate is 6.1% (Food Security and Nutrition Working Group, 20/05/2015). In Obock region, GAM has been estimated at 29.9% and severe acute malnutrition at 12.1% (UNICEF, 17/04/2015).
In Obock region, only 40% of the population have access to safe water and only 25% have access to adequate sanitation facilities (UNICEF, 17/04/2015). In Obock, emptying pit latrines is a challenge, as there is no functioning waste management system (UNHCR, 04/07/2015).
Shelter and NFIs
The Migration Transit Centre, hosting Yemeni nationals and third country nationals, has closed. Some transferred to Obock while others remained in the city (UNCHRA, 10/07/2015).
Sandstorms in Obock have damaged parts of infrastructure in the region and in Markazi refugee camp (UNHCR, 21/06/2015).
As of January 2015, 41.6% of girls and 33.3% of boys aged 6–10 are out of school (UNICEF, 15/01/2015).