|Severe humanitarian crisis|
|Situation of concern|
- Severe humanitarian crisis
- Humanitarian crisis
- Situation of concern
- Watch list
Snapshot 24–30 September
Iraq: Up to 13% of IDPs are located in areas that are currently not considered accessible by humanitarian actors. The overall number and geographical spread of IDPs pose a major challenge for provision of assistance. Approximately 1.5 million individuals are in need of emergency food assistance. An estimated 580,000 people are in urgent need of emergency shelter assistance.
Libya: New figures indicate 227,000 people are displaced within Libya, 166,000 of whom have become IDPs since May. Fighting continues; the new Government has asked for international assistance to fight Islamist militias.
Sudan: Fighting between the Maaliya and Rizeigat tribes has reportedly displaced 55,000 people (11,000 families) in Adila locality in East Darfur. Many people are taking shelter with host families in the area.
Updated: 30/09/2014. Next update: 07/10/2014
Afghanistan Country Analysis
29 September: A Taliban suicide bomber killed seven people at a security checkpoint near Kabul, just before Ashraf Ghani was sworn in as Afghanistan’s new president (Reuters).
20-26 September: A major Taliban offensive in Ajristan district of Ghazni province over killed up to 100 civilians and security personnel (AFP, 26/09/2014).
- Nearly 5,000 civilians killed or injured in the first six months of the year – 25% more than the year before (UNAMA, 04/07/2014). 5,456 security-related incidents recorded 1 June–15 August, a 10.7% increase on 2013 (UN, 09/09/2014).
- 2.4 million people need safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene services, as a result of the landslides and flash floods (UNICEF, 30/07/2014).
- Over 165,000 Pakistanis and Afghan returnees in Khost and Paktika provinces are in need of food, WASH, shelter, and non-food items. Humanitarian access is challenging (OCHA, 17/09/2014).
- 5.7 million returnees in Afghanistan and 630,000 IDPs (OCHA 01/09/2014); 113,000 were displaced in 2013 (UNHCR, OCHA, 02/2014).
- 2.5 million people are classified as severely food insecure (OCHA), while 5.4 million are in need of access to health services and 1.7 million in need of protection.
- 4% of children under five (almost 500,000 children) suffer from SAM and eight provinces show GAM rates above 15%, breaching the emergency threshold (OCHA, 31/07/2014).
Natural disasters and armed conflicts in Afghanistan prompted a humanitarian crisis. Assistance needs include food, healthcare, and protection.
The Afghan government faces both internal and external challenges to its capacity and legitimacy, and the outcome of the 2014 presidential election will have implications for the country’s internal cohesion. The security environment is highly volatile and expected to deteriorate as international troops gradually withdraw from the country.
On 29 September, Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah were sworn in as Afghanistan’s new President and Prime Minister, respectively (Reuters, 29/09/2014). Results of the UN-supervised electoral audit released on 26 September showed that Ghani won, with 55% of the votes (AFP, 26/09/2014).
Preliminary results on 7 July had indicated that former finance minister Ghani had won. However, the results were disputed. Turnout was more than eight million out of an estimated electorate of 13.5 million, far higher than expected (Reuters 27/06/2014).
Peace Talks with the Taliban
Although various official and informal sources have evoked renewed preliminary contacts between Kabul and the Taliban, no substantial talks have yet been launched. Peace talks with the Afghan Taliban have been stalled since mid-2013.
Between 1 June and 15 August, the UN recorded 5,456 security-related incidents across Afghanistan, representing a 10% increase compared to the same period in 2013. On 14 June, as Afghans went to the polls for the presidential run-off, there were 530 security incidents, 237 of which were directly related to the election (UN, 09/09/2014).
Nearly 5,000 civilians were killed or injured in the first six months of the year, 25% more than in the same period of 2013. Mortars and rockets caused almost 1,000 civilian casualties, a 160% increase on 2013 (UNAMA, 04/07/2014). 1,000 children were hospitalised due to conflict-related injuries, 100 more than in 2013 (OCHA, 31/08/2014). In the first three months of 2014, 187 civilians died and 357 were injured by improvised explosive devices (IEDs), 13% more than in the same period of 2013, according to the UN.
68 cases of violence against journalists were recorded between January and June, representing a 60% increase in violence against media workers. Five were killed, including two foreign nationals (UN 26/08/2014).
The east and southeast are most affected by violence, although an increasing number of attacks are being carried out in the northwest and Kabul.
International Military Presence
On 18 June, NATO officially handed over authority in the remaining 95 districts in the south and east of the country to the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF). There is widespread concern regarding the capacity of the 352,000 Afghan security forces to deal with intensified Taliban attacks as international forces slowly withdraw from the country.
The continuation of NATO support post-2014 will be determined by the US–Afghanistan Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) and the NATO–Afghanistan Status of Forces Agreement (NATO, 04/09/2014). Negotiations on the treaties started in November 2012 and late 2013, with the US planning to keep a force of 5,000–7,000 men in Afghanistan primarily for training and counter-terrorism purposes (The Diplomat, 05/09/2014). The new unity government between Ghani and Abdullah paves the way for the signing of the BSA in the coming weeks, as both candidates have affirmed their intention to sign the treaty (Reuters, 21/09/2014).
The Taliban has been intensifying activities as international forces withdraw from the country, targeting foreign military, humanitarian personnel, and civilians seen to cooperate with the Government. Remote parts of southern and south eastern Afghanistan, near the border with Pakistan, remain under insurgent control. Taliban numbers have increased by 15% since the beginning of 2013.
In August the Taliban intensified attacks on Kunduz (the Taliban's last stronghold before the US-backed Northern Alliance drove them out in 2001), engaging the army, police forces and local militias in combat (AFP 24/08/2014). In June, armed clashes involving 800 Taliban and Afghan forces took place in Sangin, Musa Qala, Naw Zad and Kajaki districts of Helmand province (UNAMA).
A major Taliban offensive in Ajristan district of Ghazni province over 20-26 September killed up to 100 civilians and security personnel, 12 of them beheaded. Ajristan is at risk of falling into Taliban control, with 60 to 70 homes burned down and scarce communication with security forces in the district (AFP, 26/09/2014). A Taliban attack on a government compound at the beginning of the month killed 33 and wounded at least 60 (AFP, 04/09/2014).
On 29 September, a Taliban suicide bomber targeting Afghan and international forces killed seven people at a security checkpoint near Kabul airport (Reuters, 29/09/2014). On 16 September, a Taliban suicide attack near the US embassy in Kabul killed three international troops and wounded 13 Afghan civilians (Reuters, 16/09/2014). On 10 August, a Taliban suicide attacker targeted a NATO convoy in Kabul, killing four civilians and wounding at least 35 others (AFP, 10/08/2014).
A NATO airstrike on 9 September in Narang Wa Badil district, Kunar province, killed 11 civilians and injured ten, mainly women and children. The airstrike took place after local police and soldiers had come under attack (Le Monde, 10/09/2014).
On 30 August, Taliban shot 16 labourers on their way to work in the Qala-e-Kah district of Farah province; 12 were killed and four injured (UNAMA).
In July, there was an attack on Shi’ite Muslims in Ghor province, and suicide bombings at markets in Khwaha Ghar district, Takhar province, and Urgun district, Paktika province (UNAMA 26/07/2014; WSJ 25/07/2014; AFP 24/07/2014; AFP 15/07/2014). The attack in Urgun was the worst so far this year, killing 89 people. Attacks in Kandahar and Parwan killed 22 people (AFP 12/07/2014; AFP 08/07/2014; UNAMA 08/07/2014).).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
The fluctuating security situation is continually changing the operating environment and access (WFP 22/05/2014). Movement restrictions are increasingly being applied to aid workers.
Security Incidents Involving Aid Workers
By 15 August, there had been 117 cases of violence against personnel, assets, and facilities in 2014, resulting in 37 deaths and 35 injuries among aid workers, 114 abductions and attempted abductions and the arrest and detention of five personnel (UN, 09/09/2014). In 2013, there were 167 cases of aid workers victims of violence; 44 staff members were killed, 43 wounded, and 80 kidnapped (Aid Worker Security database).
In August, 12 families were affected by flooding in Mihtarlam district, Laghman province. Another 1,762 individuals were affected by flooding in several villages in Matun district, Khost. In Gardez district, Paktia, 100 families were affected by flooding, with 30 houses severely damaged, 40 hectares of land affected, and water sources contaminated. In Wardak province, 100 families were affected by flooding in six villages of Nirkh district; 52 houses were severely damaged (IOM/USAID 11/08/2014).
Between January and July, 210,530 people, mainly in northern and central Afghanistan, were affected by natural disasters, primarily floods and heavy rainfall. 874 people were killed or injured and 26,642 houses damaged or destroyed (OCHA, 19/08/2014).
In July, around 2.4 million people were in need of safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene services as a result of the landslides and flashfloods of the first quarter of 2014 (UNICEF, 30/07/2014).
There are 5.7 million returnees and 630,000 IDPs in Afghanistan (OCHA 01/09/2014); 113,000 were displaced in 2013 (UNHCR, OCHA, 02/2014).
As of 28 August, there are 630,000 IDPs in Afghanistan (OCHA, 01/09/2014).
Clashes in Helmand province in June displaced significant populations from Musa Qala, Nawzad, and Sangin to Lashkargah and Nahari Sarraj districts. Most are with host families or in rented accommodation, while some are in emergency shelters. Displacement within Sangin is reported to be substantial (OCHA 14/08/2014).
Refugees in Afghanistan
Since military operations began in North Waziristan mid-June, approximately 165,000 Pakistani refugees and Afghan returnees have sought refuge in Khost and Paktika provinces of eastern Afghanistan (OCHA, 17/09/2014). They live mostly among scattered and overcrowded host communities. Some families are living in the open. Assessments indicate overcrowding, and inadequate WASH facilities. Food remains a concern. Access to the scattered villages is challenging (UNHCR 24/08/2014).
During the first seven months of 2014, 10,055 Afghan refugees (averaging 47 individuals per day) voluntarily repatriated to Afghanistan: 7,168 from Pakistan, 2,741 from Iran, and 146 from other countries. This figure is 65% lower than in the same period of 2013, partly due to uncertainty regarding the elections (UN, 09/09/2014), and the extension of Proof of Registration cards in Pakistan until 31 December 2015.
As of 19 August, returning Afghan refugees made up 2% of families displaced from Pakistan’s North Waziristan. The returnees’ provinces of origin are mainly Paktika (35%), Khost (20%), Paktia (11%) and Baghlan (7%) (IOM, 15/07/2014). The returnees are in need of income-generating activities, vocational training, and technical education, according to assessment reports. Many returnees believe they had better living conditions as refugees in Pakistan (International Medical Corps, 31/08/2014).
Afghan Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
As of 31 December, an estimated 2.4 million Afghan refugees and illegal migrants are in Iran, including one million undocumented Afghans (UNHCR and IOM). Afghan refugees in Iran face persecution, arbitrary arrest, detention, beatings and harassment by authorities (Human Rights Watch 11/2013).
Roughly 2.9 million Afghan refugees and illegal migrants, including one million undocumented Afghans, are in Pakistan. Some 60% of Afghan refugees in Pakistan are in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and the burden is causing tensions.
An estimated 200,000 Afghan refugees are registered in other countries.
People affected by flooding in northern provinces face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food security. It is likely that 140,000 people will move from Stressed to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food security in the coming months. They will need renewed assistance as the lean season of February–April 2015 approaches (FEWSNET 31/07/2014).
In addition to the flood-affected, IDPs displaced by conflict and returnees from Pakistan face food insecurity. Resources of host communities are limited (FAO 03/07/2014; UNHCR 03/07/2014).
An estimated 2.5 million people were classified as severely food insecure at 31 March (OCHA). A further eight million are food insecure (ECHO, 27/08/2014).
Agriculture and Markets
The average wheat price increased by 21.7% compared to last year, and is 36.3% higher than the previous five-year average price, i.e. May 2009–2013 (FAO, 30/06/2014; WFP 13/08/2014). Afghanistan remains dependent on wheat imports. Wheat is the staple food for most Afghans, and continuous currency depreciation is fuelling price rises (WFP, 31/07/2014). Compared to last year, bread and cereal prices have increased by 7%; vegetable prices have increased by over 21% (FEWSNET 03/06/2014).
An estimated 30,000 hectares of agriculture land (both irrigated and rain-fed) and perennial crops have been affected by flooding this year (OCHA 15/05/2014).
Health and Nutrition
The number of people in need of access to health services has increased from 3.3 to 5.4 million (OCHA). Conflict is causing widespread disruption to health services. At end July, nine health facilities in Helmand remain completely inaccessible due to hostilities (WHO 24/07/2014).
In early September, the first confirmed cholera outbreak of the year was reported in Kandahar province (WHO 01/09/2014).
The rise of diarrhoea cases registered by the health clinic in Gulan refugee camp, Khost province, shows difficulties in accessing safe water sources (UNHCR 21/07/2014).
Over 500,000 children under five years of age (4% of children under five) are severely malnourished. Provinces in need of urgent attention are Uruzgan, Nangarhar, Nuristan, Khost, Paktia, Wardak, Kunar, and Laghman, where GAM rates are breaching WHO’s 15% threshold for an emergency (National Nutrition Survey, OCHA 31/07/2014).
As of 31 March, 53,000 people had died from acute malnutrition, and 45% of 420,000 deaths among under-fives were attributable to under-nutrition (OCHA).
As of 24 September, ten polio cases have been reported, mostly in conflict-affected areas. The two latest cases were reported from previously uninfected Kandahar and Paktika provinces in 2014 and are linked to transmission across the Pakistan border (Global Polio Eradication Initiative, 24/09/2014).
Extensive cross-border movement is a major challenge. Afghan and Pakistani authorities agreed in July to cooperate in an anti-polio campaign in the border areas of their countries (DAWN, UNICEF 12/07/2014).
Around 1.7 million people are in need of protection assistance, mainly IDPs and people otherwise affected by conflict. IDPs need durable solutions for their protracted displacement (OCHA).
Protection concerns are growing for Pakistani refugees and Afghan returnees in Khost province. Access to women and girls in Gulan camp remains a challenge (UNHCR 23/07/2014). The presence of landmines is also of concern.
The Afghan National and Local Police and three armed groups (Taliban, Haqqani Network, and Hezb-e-Islami) have been listed for recruitment and use of children.
The Taliban has been listed for attacks on schools and hospitals (Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict 02/06/2014).
Central African Republic Country Analysis
26 September: In the past three months, a 38% increase in overall incidents related to access (security, administrative, and other blockages) has severely affected the supply of humanitarian goods (UN).
24 September: The Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court announced the opening of an investigation in CAR for crimes allegedly committed since August 2012 (OCHA).
23 September: Humanitarian actors have suspended activities in Bamingui-Bangoran, as the security situation has deteriorated, especially in Ndele. (PU-AMI, DRC).
- Communal violence has surged across the country in 2014, with attacks reported in nearly all prefectures. 5,186 people have died since December 2013 (Government, 16/09/2014).
- As of 20 August, 2.5 million people require immediate humanitarian assistance. The entire CAR population of 4.6 million people, half of whom are children, are affected by the conflict (UNICEF, 09/2014).
- 1.7 million people are in Crisis and Emergency phases of food insecurity (FAO, 17/09/2014).
- 174,000 IDPs, 62,636 of whom are in the capital Bangui (UNHCR, 19/09/2014).
- 487,636 mostly long-term CAR refugees are registered in neighbouring countries (UNHCR, 19/09/2014).
Health, protection, food, and WASH are the priority needs in CAR, as violence, looting, and displacement have all led to a massive deterioration in the humanitarian situation across the country, affecting the entire population. Even prior to the crisis, basic services covered only a limited part of the territory.
Fighting between predominantly Christian anti-balaka militias and majority Muslim ex-Seleka fighters, and civilian mob violence, have caused mass displacement, targeted killings along communal lines, and human rights abuses since December 2013. The Government has virtually no control of the territory, and new warlords have established dominance over a number of territories.
On 24 September, the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court announced the opening of an investigation in CAR for crimes allegedly committed since August 2012 (OCHA, 26/09/2014).
On 12 May, Chad announced that it was closing its border with CAR (international media, 12/05/2014). Chad has also reportedly deployed security forces to its southern regions, which border CAR (OCHA, 09/05/2014).
On 9 May, the UN Security Council voted to impose sanctions on an anti-balaka leader, an ex-Seleka leader, and former CAR President Bozize.
National Political Context
On 1 September, the head of the CAR National Elections Authority declared that the internationally imposed target of holding elections by February 2015 was unrealistic, and that elections could not be organised before autumn 2015 at the earliest (Missionary International Service News Agency, 01/09/2014).
In August, CAR president Catherine Samba-Panza named a Muslim as the new Prime Minister, and a new Government was formed, but it has been rejected by ex-Seleka. On 31 August, a senior ex-Seleka leader declared that three ex-Seleka who had been nominated to the new CAR cabinet had been excluded from the movement. The previous Prime Minister and Government had resigned in a declared attempt to enable the implementation of the 23 July Brazzaville peace agreement. This agreement was reportedly signed by ex-Seleka, anti-balaka, the National Transitional Council, and political, religious, and civil society groups (US State Department, 24/07/2014). On 14 March, the press reported that the CAR National Transitional Council had started working on a new constitution.
Local media reported that anti-balaka and ex-Seleka held talks in Bambari, Ouaka, over 11–13 August (UNHCR, 15/08/2014).
On 17 August, the ex-Seleka proclaimed a free, independent, and secular state in northeastern CAR (UNHCR, 22/08/2014). Ex-Seleka reportedly proposed the division of the country during the July Brazzaville peace talks. Muslim residents of Bambari, Ouaka prefecture, also made demands for partition in late April, according to international media (25/04/2014). The French Defence minister has stated that France would not recognise any partition of CAR.
Despite the ceasefire agreement of 23 July, disarmament operations are increasing tensions across the country, specifically in Bambari, which have impeded food distributions in this area.
As of 12 September, at least 5,186 people have died from the violence in CAR (Government, 16/09/2014).
The CAR Government has repeatedly requested rearmament, but this is currently prohibited by the UN Security Council arms embargo (international media, 12/06/2014).
Seleka was officially dissolved in September 2013. Numbering an estimated 25,000 fighters, is roughly composed of 5,000 core fighters from the largely Muslim northeast; 5,000 foreigners, mainly Sudanese and Chadian; and 15,000 people recruited during Seleka’s advance in 2013. Ex-Seleka reinstated Michael Djotodia as its leader following its general assembly in Birao on 8–10 July 2013. Having seized power in Bangui in March 2013, Djotodia was forced to step down as President in January 2014, amid escalating violence. Ex-Seleka had begun attacking the mostly non-Muslim civilian population, and ‘self-defence’ Christian and animist militias, known as anti-balaka, mobilised.
International Military Presence
UN Peacekeeping Mission (MINUSCA)
Authority was transferred from the AU-led International Support Mission to the Central African Republic (MISCA) to the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) on 14 September. MINUSCA numbers 6,500 troops and 1,000 police (UN, 14/09/2014). This represents an increase from the already existing 4,800-strong MISCA contingent. MINUSCA has a one-year mandate. MINUSCA is expected to expand to 12,000 by February 2015 (Government 16/09/2014).
French Peacekeeping Forces
The UN Security Council authorised the continued deployment of the 2,000-strong French peacekeeping mission Sangaris on 10 April. President Catherine Samba-Panza has asked France to extend its military presence until the CAR presidential election, which should take place in February 2015 at the latest.
In mid-February, half the French troops were deployed in Bangui, while the other half were in the regions.
EU Military Intervention
The EU Force in CAR (EUFOR-RCA) was authorised by the UN Security Council on 28 January, and became operational on 30 April. The force has a six-month mandate and reached its maximum strength of 700 on 15 June. EUFOR-RCA represents the biggest EU military operation in six years.
US Military Assistance
The US is providing logistical support and advisers to African troops operating against the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in eastern and southeastern CAR.
By early March, anti-balaka armed groups were massively targeting Muslim populations and committing various abuses. In late March, observers noted an increase in both ex-Seleka and anti-balaka activism, and the increased targeting of international peacekeepers. In mid-March, fighters belonging to Darfuri militias, including Janjaweed, Misseriya and Rizeigat, were reportedly arriving to support ex-Seleka.
The town of Ndele, Bamingui-Bangoran, was attacked in March. In late April, renewed ex-Seleka offensives were particularly affecting Ouham and Ouham-Pende. Ex-Seleka captured the town of Bouca, Ouham, on 22–23 April, according to international media. There was fighting between anti-balaka and ex-Seleka in Dekoa, Kemo. Sangaris was reportedly deployed in Grimari, Ouaka. Further clashes occurred in Sagani, Nana-Mambere, and Bamatara and Botokon, Nana-Grebizi. Muslim convoys were attacked in Dissikou, Nana-Grebizi, and Boguila and Paoua, Ouham-Pende.
In May, clashes broke out between militias in and around Kaga Bandoro, Nana-Grebizi; Bouar, Nana-Mambere; Paoua and Bemal, Ouham-Pende; and Mala, Ouham. French peacekeepers were attacked by ex-Seleka on the way to Boguila, Ouham, and ex-Seleka attacks reportedly left 20 people dead in Markounda, Ouham.
Ouaka has seen intense fighting since May. On 10 May, international media reported that ex-Seleka had established a new command with headquarters in Bambari, Ouaka. Sangaris troops and ex-Seleka were involved in intense fighting 22–23 May (UNHCR, 25/06/2014; OCHA and international organisations). Violence in Bambari surged in June and July, both between anti-balaka and ex-Seleka fighters, and against civilians, causing renewed displacement. The presence of Sangaris soldiers failed to put an end to the clashes. At least 60 people were killed following a suspected anti-balaka attack on a Peul Muslim community (UNICEF 09/07/2014). At least 146 people have been killed in Kémo, Nana-Grebizi, and Ouaka prefectures since June (government, 16/09/2014).
Violence continues in Ouham; in July, attacks and clashes between anti-balaka and ex-Seleka were reported in Kouki and Batafango, which led to displacement (OCHA, AFP, 01/08/2014). Elsewhere, violence has been less intense. A grenade attack was reported in Paoua, Ouham-Pende, in early July (OCHA, 10/07/2014), and ex-Seleka were involved in clashes with Ugandan troops in Mbomou, according to an INGO.
Bangui: Five people were killed and close to 40 people injured following clashes between armed men and French EUFOR peacekeepers in the PK5 district of Bangui on 29 August (AFP, 21/08/2014). An additional 31 people were treated for injuries by MSF (MSF 20/08/2014). The security situation had deteriorated in May, when dozens were killed in clashes, including an attack on a displacement site, but later stabilised (UNHCR and international media, 28/05/2014; UNHCR, 29/05/2014). At the end of March, 69 people lost their lives in violence, with reported hotspots including PK5, PK12, Kango, and the third and eighth districts.
Ouham: As of 15 August, the situation was reportedly volatile in several locations, including Kabo, Markounda, and along the Bossangoa–Soussouman axis, where clashes between ex-ex-Seleka and anti-balaka were reported (UNHCR, 15/08/2014). On 3 September, five people were killed in suspected ex-Seleka attack in Nana Bakassa (AFP, 03/09/2014). Many displaced have not yet returned (UNHCR, 19/09/2014).
Lobaye: Inter-communal clashes in Boda since 21 August have reportedly left several people dead (ICRC, 01/09/2014).
Nana-Grebizi: On 16 August, 34 villagers were killed in the region of M’Bres, in an attack by suspected ex-Seleka and Fulani (AFP, 16/08/2014).
The LRA has been active in eastern CAR since before the latest crisis, but attacks increased in 2013, as the political crisis left a power vacuum, according to an NGO monitoring report of February 2014.
As of 30 July, 14 LRA attacks, four deaths, and 86 abductions have been reported since the beginning of 2014. Mbomou and Haut-Mbomou were the most affected prefectures (OCHA).
Disarmament operations have been handled by French and MISCA troops, as well as by national military forces. Disarmament has triggered widespread violence and looting, and has been heavily criticised for resulting in indiscriminate attacks against civilians, according to international observers.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
As of August, 2.5 million people need immediate assistance (half of whom are children), of an estimated population of 4.6 million (OCHA, 06/08/2014).
Insecurity in some areas of the country has postponed or halted distributions by WFP and other organisations. In the past three months, a 38% increase in overall incidents related to access (security, administrative, and other blockages) has severely affected the supply of humanitarian goods (UN, 26/09/2014).The WFP-managed UN Humanitarian Air Service has also reported experiencing shortages of jet fuel.
Bamingui-Bangoran: Humanitarian access is impeded in most areas in Ndele (OCHA, 13/08/2014). The delivery of aid has reportedly been obstructed by local authorities (OCHA, 16/07/2014). Humanitarian actors have suspended activities due to security incidents in September (Premiere Urgence-Aide Medicale Internationale, Danish Refugee Council, 23/09/2014).
Haute-Kotto: A humanitarian mission to Bria in late July revealed that access to the town and its environs was very limited (UNHCR, 08/08/2014).
Ouaka: The FAO warehouse in Bambari was reportedly robbed (OCHA, 20/08/2014). Shooting near WFP distribution sites and intrusion by armed people have also been reported (UNHCR, 22/08/2014). As of 25 June, UNHCR reported that clashes in Bambari have hampered access to the area.
Ouham: As of 22 August, humanitarian operations have reportedly been suspended in Batafango for a week due to insecurity (UNHCR, 22/08/2014). In July, insecurity hampered humanitarian access on the road between Bangui and Bossangoa (OCHA, 21/07/2014) and to Batafango, Markounda, and Kouki (OCHA, 30/07/2014).
On 9 June, an estimated 21,000 people, mostly but not exclusively Muslim, were trapped in 12 locations. The number is unchanged since 9 May. Very high-risk locations include Boda (Lobaye prefecture), Yaloke (Ombella Mpoko), Berberati (Mambere-Kadei), Bozoum (Ouham-Pende), Boganangone (Lobaye), and the PK5 district of Bangui, while Bouar and Baoro were considered as ‘high risk’ (UNHCR). The Protection Cluster defines populations as ‘at risk’ when insecurity, restrictions on freedom of movement, and lack of access to humanitarian aid threaten their lives or physical integrity.
Security Incidents Affecting Aid Workers
As of 15 September, 987 security incidents involving aid workers have been recorded in 2014, mostly in Bangui and Bambari. Incidents have increased by 60% since May (OCHA, 17/09/2014). Staff abduction, vehicle theft, death threats and physical attacks have all been reported.
On 5 March, OCHA estimated that 80–85% of Bangui’s minority population had fled. Most of the Muslim population has fled or been evacuated from Yaloke (previously home to 10,000 Muslims), Baoro in Nana-Mambere (4,000 evacuees), Mbaiki in Lobaye, and Boali and Bossemptele, Ouham-Pende, (OCHA).
As of 23 September, there are 174,000 IDPs in displacement sites, including 62,580 in Bangui (OCHA 23/09/2014). The overall internal displacement figure has been revised from 487,580 (OCHA, 23/09/2014), following an update of displacement figures outside Bangui (OCHA, 11/09/2014).
The dynamics of displacement vary: rural inhabitants seek refuge in the surrounding countryside, while urban inhabitants seek safety in different districts. Armed elements are often present in IDP sites, according to the Multi-Sectoral Rapid Assessment (01/2014).
Bangui: 62,580 IDPs in 37 sites (OCHA, 23/09/2014). The most frequently cited needs are housing, security, and non-food items.
Nana-Grebizi: The number of displaced in the Kaga Bandoro area had doubled in a month, to reach 23,000 in early May (UNHCR). Violence in M’Bres in mid-August had reportedly forced 1,000 people to flee their homes as of 20 August (OCHA 20/08/2014).
Ouaka: As of 5 August, there were 27,000 IDPs in Bambari following violence that erupted at the end of June, and another 15,000 people displaced across the prefecture (OCHA, 05/08/2014). At the end of June, IDPs in Bambari urgently needed shelter, latrines, and food, according to an assessment by an NGO in the MISCA, Sangaris, and Saint-Joseph displacement sites.
Ombella Mpoko: An estimated 20,000 IDPs are in Bimbo (OCHA, 30/07/2014).
Ouham: An estimated 16,000 people are estimated to have been displaced in Batafango following renewed violence in late July. 29,000 people are estimated to be displaced in the region (OCHA, 13/08/2014). 2,000 people have been recently displaced in Kabo and Moyen-Sido as a result of clashes in Batafango (IOM, 25/08/2014).
91% of IDPs interviewed in Bangui said they intend to leave their site within the next month. 77% of them expressed their will to return to their place of origin, stressing the need for assistance with shelter reconstruction (OCHA, 23/09/2014; IOM, 26/09/2014).
Refugees in CAR
8,012 refugees and asylum seekers are living in CAR (UNHCR 19/09/2014); an estimated 1,700 South Sudanese refugees were in CAR as of 31 March (UNHCR).
Darfuri refugees in CAR’s Bembere camp (Ouham) face a serious security situation. Aid organisations have withdrawn, leaving people without access to food aid (local media 11/07/2014).
As of 25 June, UNHCR reported that violence in Bambari had interrupted a number of humanitarian programmes for the 1,900 Sudanese refugees residing in the Pladama Ouaka camp.
CAR Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
418,300 CAR refugees are registered in neighbouring countries, 180,000 having arrived since December 2013. 236,900 CAR refugees are registered in Cameroon, 95,000 in Chad (100,000 on 15 May), 66,900 in DRC, and 19,000 in Congo (UNHCR, 19/09/2014).
On 16 July, 58 Chadian returnees had been allowed into Chad by Chadian authorities, although the border remains officially closed (OCHA, 21/07/2014).
Third-country Nationals Fleeing CAR
By 31 August, 132,000 people had been evacuated from CAR (OCHA). Reports indicated that these include CAR nationals, third-country nationals and returning migrants.
As of 17 September, according to the April IPC classification, 45% of the population, i.e. 1.7 million people, remain at Crisis and Emergency levels of food insecurity: 26% are in IPC Phase 3 (Crisis), and 19% are in IPC Phase 4 (Emergency) (FAO, 17/09/2014).
Ouham and Ouham-Pende are most affected. All other prefectures are at Crisis level, except Mambere-Kadei (Stressed). Bamingui-Bangoran, Haute Kotto, Vakaga and Sangha Mbaere could not be classified due to insufficient data. Earlier assessments had found that most IDPs were facing at least Crisis food insecurity (FAO, 25/08/2014).
At 30 August, food insecurity was expected to remain at Crisis level until December in the most conflict-affected areas, due to below-average harvests, lack of income sources, and insecurity limiting access to markets and humanitarian assistance. In Basse-Kotto and Sangha Mbaere, food security is expected to improve to Stressed level by December (FEWSNET, 30/08/2014). In western CAR, the harvest takes place in July for the south, and is due in October for the north (FEWSNET, 06/2014).
Between May and June, a shift in coping mechanisms was observed among IDPs. Before, tools and belongings were sold to buy food, and now the majority of people are reducing the number of meals per day to feed their children. Adults have reported spending entire days without eating (IOM, 26/09/2014).
Agriculture and Markets
The April 2014 FAO/WFP Markets and Food Security Assessment indicated a 38% decline in agricultural production (FAO, 17/09/2014).
Insecurity and difficulties arising from poor road conditions have disrupted market linkages.
Health and Nutrition
The situation in CAR’s health sector was critical even before the current crisis, with MSF documenting mortality rates well above the emergency threshold in several regions. In June 2013, the INGO Merlin reported that 3.2 million people were living without access to basic healthcare, a figure that still stands today (OCHA, 23/09/2014). The epidemic risk (acute diarrhoea, measles, meningitis) is high.
Efforts to re-establish health services are not yet able to meet the needs of all affected people (UNICEF, 04/09/2014). 60% of health facilities have been vandalised, looted or destroyed, and over 80% of local medical doctors have moved to Bangui (MIRA, 01/2014; OCHA 10/2013). Health structures are almost exclusively supported by international NGOs and religious organisations.
In mid-August 2013, according to a trusted source, antiretroviral treatment had been interrupted for 11,000 people living with HIV/AIDS.
In early January, it was estimated that malaria constituted the first cause of morbidity in CAR, with serious shortages of anti-malarial drugs in most of the still-functioning health structures.
The nutritional situation in remote villages is of serious concern, 28,800 children are estimated to suffer from SAM (UNICEF, 04/09/2014). 75,000 are expected to be moderately malnourished in 2014 (WFP, 17/07/2014).
According to the preliminary results of the SMART survey in Bangui, there has been a reduction in GAM, from 8% in 2012 to around 5% currently, likely due to the concentration of humanitarian activities in Bangui (WFP, 23/09/2014).
According to aid workers’ testimonies, 60% of parents whose children were admitted to Bangui’s paediatric hospital for SAM presented symptoms that suggested post-traumatic stress disorder (24/06/2014). 550,000 children, about 45% of the children affected by the conflict, need psychosocial support (OCHA, 23/09/2014).
2.6 million people do not have access to improved safe water or improved sanitation (OCHA, 23/09/2014).
At 13 August, 35,000 IDPs and returnees in Bossangoa, Ouham, needed WASH assistance (OCHA). At 24 June, 11,000 people from displaced, relocated, and host communities in Moyen Sido (Ouham) had immediate and medium-term WASH needs (OCHA).
About 330,000 children in displacement sites do not have access to education (OCHA, 23/09/2014).
According to the Ministry of Education, 45% of schools remained closed across the country on 17 June, down from 65% reported by the Education Cluster in February (OCHA, 17/06/2014). Only 6% of schools were reported open in Kemo and Nana-Grebizi (UNICEF, 17/06/2014).
65% of 165 schools visited by UNICEF in late 2013 had been looted, occupied, or damaged by bullets or shells. As of 25 June, 80% of children were reportedly out of school (WFP, 25/06/2014). Over a third of school students registered in 2012/2013, 278,000 children, had reportedly dropped out in 2013/2014.
According to the Education Cluster, violence in Bambari since June has caused the suspension of all education activities (Education Cluster, 07/2014).
Several schools were either attacked or occupied by armed groups or by international forces in August (UNICEF, 04/09/2014).
On 24 June, a human rights group reported that crimes against humanity and war crimes had been, and continued to be, committed in CAR. In late October 2013, attacks, executions and torture of civilians, indiscriminate shelling, sexual and gender-based violence, and forceful recruitment of children were all documented in a report by Amnesty International.
In February, UN officials and human rights groups warned that “ethnic cleansing” was ongoing against the Muslim population – although this has been disputed by some NGOs and within the international community.
On 24 June, OCHA reported that the number of child soldiers coerced into joining the ranks of various armed groups could approximate 10,000, an upward revision from 6,000 in February. At 19 August, 100 children had been released from armed groups over the last week (UNICEF, 19/08/2014). On 10 June, OCHA reported that 42% of a targeted 2,000 children had been released from armed groups.
Sexual and Gender-Based Violence
In Bangui, women cannot leave their tents in IDP centres after dark, because of the risk of attack and rape (international media, 09/2014).
Shelter and NFIs
Shortages of mosquito nets and jerrycans are significantly hindering the humanitarian response (OCHA, 23/09/2014). The rainy season has worsened living conditions in camps (IOM, 26/09/2014).
Chad Country Analysis
26 September: The needs of returnees are significant in all sectors, mostly shelter during the ongoing rainy season (IOM).
- 93,305 CAR refugees, 19,741 of whom have arrived since December 2013 (UNHCR, 09/09/2014). 340,000 Chadians have returned to their country as of June 2014 (FAO, 07/08/2014).
- 461,000 refugees in Chad as of 14 September (UNHCR, 16/09/2014).
- 2.6 million Chadians are living in food insecurity. Nearly 449,000 people are at Crisis or Emergency levels (IPC Phases 3 and 4) and 2.2 million are at Stressed level (IPC Phase 2) of food insecurity (OCHA, 31/08/2014).
Added to the impact of three major humanitarian crises at its borders (Darfur, CAR, and Nigeria) and the presence of hundreds of thousands of refugees, Chad faces chronic food insecurity, repeated food crises, malnutrition, natural hazards, and outbreaks of disease.
Central African Republic Crisis
On 12 May, Chad’s President Idriss Déby announced 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, and expressed concern that armed fighters might be infiltrating refugee populations in the area. On 16 June, UNHCR announced that it would be investigating reports that people seeking refuge in Chad are being refused entry at the Sido border, in contravention of non-refoulement principles.
Chad withdrew its troops from the African Union Peacekeeping Force in CAR in April, after accusations of violence against civilians. Chad has always denied the charges.
As of 1 August, France had deployed a 3,000-strong counterterrorism operation across the Sahel region. Based in Chad, operation Barkhane is active in Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger (Local Media, 01/08/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
3.2 million people are estimated to be in need of humanitarian aid (OCHA, 31/08/2014).
Bad road conditions due to the rainy season, which starts in June and usually lasts until October, are limiting access (ECHO, 02/2014). Heavy rainfall in mid-August has impeded the movement of humanitarian personnel towards areas where assistance is required (UNHCR, 19/08/2014).
Heavy rains in Salamat region Mid-August resulted in floods that made 1,000 people homeless and displacing 7,000, according to local authorities (IOM, 25/08/2014).
An estimated 90,000 IDPs are living in protracted displacement in the east (OCHA, 19/11/2013). Most were displaced in 2007 by armed conflict between government forces and opposition groups, inter-communal violence, and attacks by criminal groups known as coupeurs de route. Most IDPs would prefer to integrate into their place of refuge or resettlement. However, conditions have not yet allowed a durable solution. Limited information is available on the current situation.
Refugees in Chad
As of 14 September 2014, Chad is host to 461,000 refugees, of whom 360,000 are from Sudan and 90,000 from CAR (UNHCR, 16/09/2014). These arrivals have placed additional burdens on host communities.
156,500 are in Wadi Fira (34%), 113,800 are in Ouaddai (25%), 84,178 are in Sila (18%), and 50,423 are in Logone Oriental (10%) (UNHCR, 16/09/2014).
CAR: As of 5 September, there are 93,305 CAR refugees in Chad, 19,471 of whom have arrived since December 2013 (UNHCR, 09/09/2014).
Although the Chad–CAR border remains officially closed, refugees continue to arrive at a number of border points and are in a very vulnerable condition: malnourished, dehydrated, and traumatised (UNHCR, 07/2014). Many people are arriving without being registered (OCHA, 16/07/2014). 92% of arrivals lack any form of identity documentation.
Transit sites: The situation in southern transit sites remains critical. Serious gaps in assistance were reported in May, notably in shelter and WASH (OCHA, 27/05/2014).
Over 12,700 people are still in the transit site in Doyaba as of 31 August, and Chadian authorities want to close down the site by the end of October. The Maingama temporary camp, to which people from Doyaba are being transferred, currently cannot absorb the entire population of the site in addition to the 17,316 people living in Sido transit site (OCHA, 18/09/2014).
The temporary site of Danamadja has reached its current maximum capacity with over 11,000 inhabitants, although only 40% of the camp is completed. Humanitarian actors are in discussion with authorities to prepare a new site, a few kilometres from Goré and Danamadja, as an extension (OCHA, 16/07/2014). 21,807 refugees are in Dosseye camp, and 28,474 in Belom.
Nigeria: 1,000 Nigerians fled Kolokolia due to attacks by Boko Haram on their villages in early August and arrived on the uninhabited island of Choua in Lake Chad. The large majority are children and women (UNHCR, 05/08/2014). As of mid-August, UNHCR has registered qbout 3,000 Nigerian refugees in Chad (OCHA, 31/10/2014).
Sudan: As of 31 August, 360,500 Sudanese refugees are registered in Chad (OCHA, 18/09/2014). In Tissi, which is mainly hosting Sudanese refugees, basic services are non-existent (UNICEF, 04/2013).
Chadian Returnees and Third-country Nationals
As of 22 September, the cumulative total of evacuees from CAR without refugee status, including returnees and third-country nationals, stands at 113,086. 60,220 are still residing in temporary and transit sites in Sido (17,300), Doyaba (12,750), Danamadja (11,300), Maigama (5,800), Gaoui (4,250), Mbitoye (4,000), Kobiteye (3,550) and Djako (1,400), as well as in host villages in the South (IOM, 22/09/2014; 19/09/2014).
While 30,000 returnees are hosted by friends and families in different parts of the country, at least 60,000 are still living in tents in transit and temporary sites. The needs of returnees are significant in all sectors, mostly shelter during the ongoing rainy season (IOM, 26/09/2014).
In Moyen-Chari region, an assessment of the humanitarian situation in Kouno and surrounding villages, where 1,091 returnees are living, identified urgent needs in terms of shelter, food and NFIs, medical care including vaccination, water and sanitation facilities, and establishing or reinforcing community coping mechanisms (IOM, 22/08/2014).
In Am Timan, Salamat region, shelter and NFIs such as tarpaulins, sleeping mats and mosquito nets are needed, as many individuals are currently living in makeshift shelters and are exposed to the rain. Food, water, sanitation and hygiene services, as well as health services are urgently needed (IOM, 22/09/2014).
The new Kobiteye site, Logone Oriental, which hosts around 3,550 returnees, CAR-claiming nationals and TCNs, needs to be brought to Sphere standards (OCHA, 18/09/2014; IOM, 22/09/2014).
The Government has increased the maximum stay in transit centres from ten days to one year to allow the restoration of family links and better prepare relocations.
Returnees from Cameroon: 3,000 Chadians who initially fled to Cameroon are expected to arrive in Logone Occidental, and a new site, Djako (Moundou), has been set up for them (OCHA, 31/08/2014). On 5 August, 556 Chadian migrants returned to Chad (IOM, 22/08/2014).
Chadians in Congo: An estimated 1,500 third-country nationals, the majority of Chadian nationality, fled CAR into northern Congo. They live in isolated and difficult conditions, and many have been in border towns for up to two months, receiving no assistance and relying on host communities (UNHCR, 07/2014).
2.6 million Chadians are food insecure, up 9% from 2.4 million at the beginning of this year. Nearly 449,000 people are at Crisis or Emergency levels (IPC Phases 3 and 4) and 2.2 million are at Stressed level (IPC Phase 2) of food insecurity (OCHA, 31/08/2014)
Funding difficulties and severe cuts to transport budgets have forced WFP and UNHCR to severely cut food rations for refugees since 1 July (international media, 12/09/2014; WFP, 14/08/2014). Some 300,000 refugees, primarily from Darfur and CAR, were reported to be among the worst affected. According to local media, food distributions in some places have been cut by up to 60%, leaving refugees with 850 kilocalories per day, while the normal ration is 2,100 kilocalories per refugee per day (24/07/2014).
The additional cost of refugees and returnees in Logone Oriental, Moyen Chari, Mandoul, and Salamat, in border areas with CAR, is putting pressure on household demand, consumption, and spending (WFP, 07/2014). Staple food prices increased throughout the country in July.
Regional Outlook: Sahel
In July, more than 20 million people in the Sahel (Burkina Faso, north Cameroon, Chad, the Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, north Nigeria, and Senegal) were suffering from food insecurity (Donor, 24/09/2014). Food insecurity in 2014 has risen dramatically compared to 2013, when food consumption was inadequate for 11.3 million people (OCHA, 03/02/2014).
Health and Nutrition
2.5 million people are need healthcare (OCHA, 31/08/2014). Access to quality healthcare for over 330,000 people living in Kanem region is a particular concern. 30 of the 102 health districts are considered non-functional by the Ministry of Health due to lack of resources (OCHA, 19/09/2014).
In the first week of September, 21 cholera cases were reported in Bipare and Guegou, in Mayo-Kebbi (UNICEF, 17/09/2014).
Malaria cases have increased in the south as rains have intensified (OCHA, 25/08/2014). In Moyen Chari, IRC has warned about risks of malaria drugs shortages (OCHA, 15/09/2014).
In 2014, the number of malaria cases in N'Djamena has increased compared to last year. This trend is confirmed elsewhere in the country, indicating a 28% increase at the national level (UNICEF, 14/08/2014).
150,000 children are severely malnourished, according to current estimates (OCHA, 31/08/2014).
Kanem, Bahr-El-Gazel, Gera, and Wadi Fira report GAM above the emergency threshold of 15% (OCHA, 19/09/2014).
1.3 million are in need of WASH assistance: only 50% of the population have access to safe water and 12% to adequate sanitation at the national level (OCHA, 31/08/2014).
In the CAR refugee camps, new arrivals are impacting on the quantity and quality of available water (UNHCR, 31/06/2014). Access to WASH facilities for host communities has also been affected by the presence of refugees (UNHCR, 31/07/2014).
UNICEF has reported over 600 unaccompanied minors and separated children and 44 children associated with armed groups since December 2013 (OCHA, 31/08/2014).
Over 105,000 people, the majority of whom were women and children from CAR with no ties with the country, have crossed into the country since December 2013 and are in need of protection (OCHA, 31/08/2014).
Many second and third-generation Chadian returnees are at risk of statelessness, without family links or identity documents, entering Chad for the first time and holding CAR citizenship (UNHCR, 07/2014). Second and third-generation Chadians from CAR have been recognised as de facto nationals by the Government, and UNHCR is working with authorities to formalise recognition and avoid statelessness. The Government will provide birth certificates to every child born in a transit site.
According to government figures, over 300,000 Chadian nationals lived in CAR prior to the current crisis.
Democratic Republic of Congo Country Analysis
27 September: Over 2,000 people took to the streets of Kinshasa to protest a bid by President Kabila to modify the constitution to be able to stay in power in 2016, beyond his two-term limit (AFP).
26 September: Renewed fighting between the Union of Congolese Patriots for Peace (UPCP), the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo (FDLR), and Nduma Defence of Congo (NDC) have hampered humanitarian access in Bunyatenge and Kasugho areas of North Kivu, and forced several organisations temporarily to withdraw their staff (OCHA).
25 September: Almost 260 human rights violations, including 50 cases of sexual violence, were recorded in August, in comparison with 170 in July, according to the UN Office for Human Rights (Radio Okapi).
Late August: 2.6 million people were estimated internally displaced, an increase of 100,000 since June. DRC also hosts an estimated 121,520 refugees, mainly from CAR and Rwanda. 159,000 DRC refugees returned to their homes (UNHCR).
- Internal conflict in the eastern provinces.
- 6.3 million people need humanitarian assistance (OCHA, 01/2014).
- 2.6 million IDPs (UNHCR, 08/2014). Katanga is of particular concern, with 607,000 people displaced across the province. (DRC Commission on Population Movements, 08/2014 and OCHA, 07/2014).
- 121,529 refugees, mainly from CAR and Rwanda (UNHCR, 08/2014).
- At least 4.1 million people are facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or Emergency (IPC Phase 4) levels of food insecurity (IPC 30/06/2014).
Needs are highest in the conflict-affected regions of North Kivu, South Kivu, Katanga, and Orientale, where there is large-scale, repeated displacement. IDPs, host populations, and those unable to flee are all vulnerable as insecurity poses multiple protection risks and prevents access to basic services, although needs vary according to geographic area and conflict dynamics.
Political violence and inter-communal strife have persisted for decades, influenced by longstanding tensions with DRC’s eastern neighbours. Counterinsurgency operations and infighting between armed groups disrupt security and stability.
International Political Involvement
On 24 February 2013, 11 states signed a Peace, Security and Cooperation (PSC) Framework agreement for DRC and the region. In January 2014, the Framework members adopted a plan of action, and Kenya and Sudan also agreed to join the process. There are however concerns about DRC’s commitment to the Framework, as implementation is not progressing.
National Political Context
A long-term cause of the conflicts in DRC and the degradation of human security can be found in the gradual erosion of state authority and capacity, and the subsequent weakness of the central Government.
On 27 September, over 2,000 people took to the streets of Kinshasa to protest a bid by President Kabila to modify the constitution to be able to stay in power in 2016, beyond his two-term limit (AFP, 27/09/2014).
On 30 December 2013, DRC security forces repelled attacks on state facilities in Kinshasa, Lubumbashi, and Kindu. Late May 2014, the International Federation for Human Rights said that the Government’s response had resulted in some 250 civilians and six soldiers killed in Katanga province, and another 71 civilians killed in Kinshasa.
Numerous armed groups are active in the east of the country, causing general insecurity across the region. The UN Stabilization Mission in DRC (MONUSCO) has a mandate until 31 March 2015, as does its intervention brigade charged with “neutralising” foreign and domestic armed groups.
Regional Security Context
Numerous armed groups are active in the east of the country, causing general insecurity across the region. The UN Stabilization Mission in DRC (MONUSCO) has a mandate until 31 March 2015, as does its intervention brigade charged with “neutralising” foreign and domestic armed groups.
On 25 September, the mandate of the EU mission providing assistance to Security Sector reform (EUSEC) was extended until 30 June 2015 (European Union, 25/09/2014).
Regional Security Context
The UN has expressed concern about the potential destabilising effect of the neighbouring CAR conflict on DRC. The presence of armed ex-CAR soldiers in Equateur and ex-Seleka fighters in Orientale province has triggered significant displacement (MONUSCO).
On 2 July, Angola, Burundi, CAR, Congo, DRC, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Zambia, agreed to suspend military operations against Rwandan FDLR insurgents for six months in order to give them more time to lay down their arms.
DRC and Rwandan officials accused each other's army of mounting cross-border raids over 11–12 June. Heavy fire took place between the two forces north of Goma, North Kivu. Both countries sent extra troops to the border. The clashes ended six months of relative calm.
Counter-insurgency and Insecurity in the East
Government and UN troops defeated M23, once the strongest army in the Kivu regions, in November 2013. This was followed by several waves of surrender: the Hutu-dominated militia Nyatura, the Hunde-dominated Alliance for a Free and Sovereign Congo, and the Nduma Defence of Congo.
DRC armed forces (FARDC) and MONUSCO counterinsurgency operations have since continued. The UN deployed unarmed surveillance drones in early December to monitor activities on the Rwandan and Ugandan borders.
Despite regional powers giving FDLR until the end of the year to disarm, demobilisation has been on hold since June, and only 200 of 1,500–2,000 militants have voluntarily surrendered (AFP, 10/09/2014).
M23, dissolved as an armed group after a peace deal in December 2013, was still receiving support from Rwanda in January, and sanctioned M23 leaders were moving freely in Uganda. The head of MONUSCO said there was evidence to suggest that M23 was recruiting and resuming activities within DRC, notably in Ituri district ((UN Group of Experts on DRC, 23/01/2014; 13/01/2014). The UN Security Council renewed its arms embargo and targeted sanctions on 30 January.
Several FARDC-MONUSCO military offensives made significant gains against FDLR, the Islamic Alliance of Democratic Forces (ADF-NALU), and Mayi-Mayi Sheka insurgents in Beni, Walikale, and Lubero territories (AFP, 30/07/2014). The Mpofi-Bunyampuli area is considered to be free of insurgents (MONUSCO, 11/07/2014).
APCLS: In April, FARDC took bases of the Alliance of Patriots for a Free and Sovereign Congo (APCLS) in Walikale territory. The insurgents reportedly retreated into Mutongo area.
Humanitarian actors have raised concerns regarding a potential security vacuum following military redeployment from South Kivu to other provinces, which may lead armed groups to renew activities.
Raiya Mutomboki: Since mid-August, clashes are ongoing between FARDC and Raiya Mutomboki in Shabunda (OCHA, 03/09/2014). Clashes between FARDC and Raiya Mutomboki in Mulungu and Kolula areas have displaced 31,550 people to Shabunda territory since March (OCHA and Commission on Population Movements, 06/2014).
Mayi-Mayi Yakutumba: Since 19 August, Mayi-Mayi attacks have been reported against the villages of Penekusu and Nyalukungu, causing inhabitants to flee to Kama, Pangi territory, in Maniema (Radio Okapi, 21/08/2014).
Inter-ethnic violence: 38 Bafuliru people were killed in Mutarule, south of Bukavu, over 6–7 June. Most were killed as they slept in a church.
Insecurity has spread since the end of December 2013 (OCHA). Dozens of new Mayi-Mayi movements have been created in Manono, Mitwaba, and Pweto territories (the ‘Triangle of Death’) and insecurity spread to Malemba Nkulu and Moba territories. Mayi-Mayi originating mainly from northern Katanga have extended their activity south. Civilian communities have been victims of ‘punishment’ raids, and the surge in violence has led to the creation of several self-defence groups. Almost 70% of the region’s 500,000 IDPs are between Pweto, Manono, and Mitwaba, and in Malemba Nkulu.
Mayi-Mayi: Over 15–30 July, 18 of 25 villages located between Kabimba and Kabanga, northeastern Kalemie, were repeatedly attacked by Mayi-Mayi Yakutumba from South Kivu (OCHA, 30/07/2014).
Humanitarian actors are speaking of a scorched earth policy. Schools and health centres are also being targeted. From January to March 2014, more than 35 Mayi-Mayi attacks were reported between Pweto, Manono, and Mitwaba territories, as well as in Kalemie, Kipushi, Malemba Nkulu and Moba territories (OCHA).
Only one FARDC battalion has been deployed to Katanga, and only 550 soldiers of the 22,000-strong UN mission are in the region.
Inter-ethnic violence: Self-defence groups are being created between Moba and Kalemie as conflict between pygmies and Luba intensifies (ECHO, 25/03/2014). From 10 to 12 August, a pygmy militia set fire to several villages in Kabalo and Manono areas, allegedly in retaliation for an attack by predominantly Luba Bakata Katanga militia on the village of Kasinge on 7 August (AFP, 20/08/2014).
More than 300,000 people, including 150,000 IDPs, are affected by military operations in South Irumu, Ituri district (OCHA, 05/2014).
The near absence of effective policing in Ituri is fuelling mob violence, according to local civil society groups.
LRA: The Ugandan Lord’s Resistance Army is mainly active in Haut and Bas Uele. On 13 August, suspected LRA fighters killed four people after attacking several villages near Bili, Kisangani area (Radio Okapi, 14/08/2014). During the second quarter of 2014, 40 attacks, one death, and 128 abductions were reported, with Haut Uele district registering almost 80% of attacks. The number of abduction incidents was two-thirds higher than in the previous quarter. Since January, 81 LRA attacks, three deaths and 176 abductions have been reported. 92% of the 113,000 IDPs in Bas Uele and Haut Uele are displaced due to LRA activities (OCHA, 30/07/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
The mountainous and volcanic terrain, and lack of tarred roads limit access across DRC, and access worsens during the rainy season. In the east, insecurity is a major constraint. 85 incidents involving humanitarian workers had been recorded January–June 2014 (OCHA, 06/2014). Over 250 incidents were registered in 2013.
Katanga: Insecurity and logistical constraints continue to challenge humanitarian access to civilians, especially in the region covering Pweto, Manono, and Mitwaba territories. Conflict has in the past few months extended to the neighbouring Malemba Nkulu and Moba territories (OCHA, 06/2014). Growing insecurity is hindering both the delivery of assistance to up to 500,000 displaced and access to healthcare (OCHA, 06/2014; Médecins Sans Frontières, 09/01/2014). Katanga has the smallest humanitarian community of the four eastern provinces. Agencies are targeted by Mayi-Mayi militias seeking to pillage supplies.
South Kivu: Since June, access to some 42,000 people in Fizi territory has been hampered by insecurity. A humanitarian NGO was forced to withdraw from the area. Since the beginning of the year, a dozen security incidents against humanitarian workers has been reported in Fizi territory, which accounts for about 20% of incidents in the province (OCHA, 11/09/2014).
FARDC–Raiya Mutomboki clashes have been hindering access to 120,000 people in Penekusu area, south Shabunda, since mid-August (OCHA, 03/09/2014). A clash between FARDC troops and an armed group on 3 August in the town of Cifunzi forced Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) to interrupt a measles vaccination campaign in Kalonge area. MSF staff said they received violent threats from militants (MSF, 12/08/2014).
North Kivu: Renewed fighting between the Union of Congolese Patriots for Peace (UPCP), FDLR, and Nduma Defence of Congo have hampered humanitarian access in Bunyatenge and Kasugho areas and forced several organisations to withdraw their staff temporarily (OCHA, 26/09/2014).
Orientale: 13 INGOs have withdrawn from Haut Uele and Bas Uele since mid-2013 due to lack of funding, leaving thousands of people without assistance. Insecurity is a major obstacle to access, as are logistical constraints, especially in eastern Tshopo.
An estimated 2.5 million people are internally displaced in DRC, and more than 440,000 have fled to neighbouring countries. Population displacement is frequent and often repeated.
2.6 million people were estimated internally displaced at end August, an increase of 100,000 since June (UNHCR, 31/08/2014).
North Kivu: At 900,210, North Kivu has the highest number of IDPs in the country. However, this is a decrease of 13,400 since July. New displacements mainly occurred in Masisi (30%), Walikale (19%), and Lubero (15%). 69% of IDPs live with host families and the rest are in public buildings and camps (DRC Commission on Population Movements and UNHCR, 25/08/2014).
In July, Masisi territory hosted 280,900 IDPs.
Almost 124,200 IDPs are in Beni territory. High incidences of malaria, diarrhoea, acute respiratory infections, and sexual violence have been reported among IDPs (OCHA 09/07/2014). An estimated 22,600 people (3,780 households) fled Mayi-Mayi Morgan activity in Orientale province to Beni territory between June and July (OCHA, 30/07/2014).
In Walikale territory, some 18,000 people reportedly fled their homes between June and August following clashes between FARDC and Raiya Mutomboki. Another 23,000, who had fled Nduma Defence of Congo activity in July, returned (OCHA, 16/09/2014).
South Kivu: Almost 555,000 IDPs are in South Kivu, an increase of 36,800 since March. (OCHA and Commission on Population Movements, 06/2014).
An estimated 8,400 IDPs remain displaced and in dire need of assistance following clashes between FARDC and Raiya Mutomboki on 12 September in Shabunda territory (OCHA, 25/09/2014).
As of 20 August, 12,400 people had been displaced from Kambali and Kambegete to Bulambila, Kando, Maibano, and Makuta following clashes between FARDC and the Raiya Mutomboki. Tentative returns have been reported (OCHA, 20/08/2014).
As of May, an estimated 49,000 new IDPs and 51,000 returnees needed assistance following Raiya Mutomboki violence in Shabunda, Kalehe, and Kabare territories (OCHA, 05/2014).
Katanga: Katanga has had the highest relative increase in IDPs, from 50,000 in March 2011 to 607,220 in August 2014. 64% fled armed conflict, 24% undertook preventive displacement, and 12% displaced by ethnic clashes between Luba and pygmies.
297,300 people returned home over July and August as FARDC regained parts of the territory (DRC Commission on Population Movements, 08/2014). In Mutabi, 15,000 IDPs remain of the 46,000 who initially fled their homes due to Mayi-Mayi Kata Katanga activism since January (OCHA, 25/09/2014).
48,000 people who fled clashes between Luba and pygmies into Tanganyika district between July and August remain in dire need of assistance (OCHA, 26/09/2014)
Pweto territory still has the most IDPs in the province with 200,780 people, followed by Manono with 111,920, and Mitwaba with 64,560 (DRC Commission on Population Movements, 08/2014).
An estimated 36,000 people were displaced in Malemba Nkulu territory following clashes between FARDC and Mayi-Mayi Nakata Katanga in Malemba Nkulu, Mitwaba, and Manono. Shelter is their most pressing need (Radio Okapi, 08/08/2014).
There are no IDP camps in Katanga: 81% of the displaced live with host families, while 19% live in informal settlements or occupy public buildings in Kalemie, Manono, Pweto, and Moba.
Orientale: As of 19 August, over 400,000 IDPs were hosted in Orientale and living in poor conditions, a 20% increase since April (OCHA quoted by local media, 19/08/2014). Clashes between FARDC and FRPI in Irumu territory, Ituri, displaced 274,200 people in the second quarter compared to 173,800 in the first quarter. Another 145,900 people returned home (DRC Commission on Population Movements, 06/2014).
Humanitarian capacities in Ituri are already overstretched. A joint FARDC–MONUSCO offensive launched on 3 April against the FRPI in Nyasumbe plains, Ituri, has caused preventive displacement. Some 10,000 people were displaced in mid-May in Komanda town, south of Bunia, as a result of clashes between FARDC and armed groups in Mont Hoyo (WFP, 05/2014).
On 15 April, an estimated 20,000 IDPs had been living in the bush in Tshopo district for two months following the burning of their houses by militias in the area of Opienge in Bafwasende territory (OCHA).
Haut Uele and Bas Uele have seen a substantial decrease in IDPs, as more people returned home, yet LRA activity continues to cause new displacement. An estimated 113,000 people remain displaced in Bas Uele and Haut Uele.
Maniema: Between January and June 2014, an estimated 85,000 people returned to their homes after FARDC took control of Kabambare and Punia territories (Commission on Population Movements, 06/2014).
Over 37,000 people remain displaced in Maniema following clashes between Mayi-Mayi Yakutumba and FARDC in Fizi territory, South Kivu, over March–April (OCHA, 05/2014)
Refugees in DRC
DRC hosts an estimated 121,520 refugees, mainly from CAR and Rwanda (UNHCR, 08/2014).
From CAR: As of 26 September, 22,210 CAR refugees have been registered since December 2013, despite the closure of the border in December, bringing the overall number to 66,900 (UNHCR).
DRC provincial authorities insist that assistance should only be delivered within camps, making it difficult to support refugees in host communities. By the end of June, 31,500 CAR refugees had relocated to the four camps in Equateur and Orientale provinces (31,028 in Equateur and 478 in Orientale) (UNHCR, 30/06/2014).
From Rwanda: DRC is hosting 40,700 Rwandan refugees (UNHCR, 31/08/2014). As of April, 30% of the Rwandan refugees approached by authorities indicated their intention to return, according to data collected by the National Commission for Refugees (UNHCR, 04/2014).
From Angola: 71,750 former Angolan refugees live in DRC: 30,000 people have registered for voluntary assisted repatriation, while some 18,000 have opted for local integration. As of 31 August, 638 Angolan people have returned (UNHCR, 31/08/2014).
As of late August, 159,000 DRC refugees returned to their homes (UNHCR, 31/08//2014).
Returnees from Congo: A free movement of people agreement was signed by DRC and Congo on 3 June. The deal, which has yet to be ratified on each side, would allow nationals living along the 1,300km frontier to cross to the other side for a maximum of three days with a laissez-passer or national identity card. Those wishing to live and work in either country must have a passport and work permit.
Both countries agreed to set up a commission of inquiry on allegations of violence and violations of human rights in the recent deportation of DRC nationals from Congo Brazzaville. Since May 2012, an estimated 119,000 DRC nationals have been repatriated and about 23,000 chose to stay in the Republic of Congo (UNHCR, 05/08/2014). Many forced returnees reportedly have little attachment to DRC and lack access to basic services.
Returnees from Uganda: In Nobili-Kamango area, Beni territory, the repatriation of some 51,000 nationals (8,500 households) has led to increased education needs in the region (OCHA, 30/07/2014).
Returnees from South Sudan: Around 6,200 DRC returnees from South Sudan have been recorded since December 2013 in several localities of Haut Uele, Orientale province (UNHCR, 02/2014). Their most urgent needs include food, NFI, education, and health.
Returnees from Angola: An estimated 13,000 DRC nationals have been expelled so far (UNHCR, 06/2014).
DRC Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
An estimated 432,960 DRC refugees currently live in neighbouring countries, including 171,100 in Uganda, 72,000 in Rwanda, 64,000 in Tanzania, and 46,000 in Burundi (UNHCR, 31/06/2014).
Uganda: On 28 April, DRC, Uganda, and UNHCR agreed to conduct a return intention survey by the end of July 2014 among DRC refugees living in refugee settlements. It was also agreed to fast-track organised voluntary repatriation by September 2014.
4.1 million people in 22 of 67 territories are in food and livelihood crisis and are likely to remain food insecure until December 2014 (IPC, 07/2014). The most acutely affected areas (IPC Phase 4) are Punia (Maniema Babira and Bakwame sectors) in Maniema province, and Manono, Mitwaba, and Pweto in Katanga. Other areas facing Crisis conditions (IPC Phase 3) are in South Kivu, the Punia border areas in Maniema province, and Katanga (IPC 30/06/2014). Conflict and displacement along the border with CAR, and armed groups in the Kivu regions, continue to be a cause of food insecurity (FEWSNET, 07/2014).
Health and Nutrition
The health system is weak due to structural problems and violence. Epidemics are rife and the burden of infectious and non-infectious disease is one of the highest in the region. Maternal and child morbidity and mortality rates remain high. Cholera, measles, and malaria take a heavy toll on the population.
Health authorities reported a sudden increase of cholera cases in Fizi territory, South Kivu, with 151 cases recorded over 8–14 September (OCHA, 25/09/2014).
On 18 August, national authorities declared cholera in Uvira health zone, South Kivu, had reached epidemic levels, with 216 cases and one death reported in August, following the interruption of the water supply by the water distribution company due to power cuts (OCHA, 08/2014).
As of July, 10,170 cholera cases, including 205 deaths, have been recorded (WHO). Local health authorities recorded 27,000 cases in 2013 – half of them in Katanga – including 491 deaths (case fatality rate 1.8%), a decrease from 30,753 cholera cases and 709 deaths in 2012. Limited access to safe drinking water, poor hygiene conditions, and poor sanitation all help the spread of the disease.
Cholera outbreaks persist in four provinces: North and South Kivu, Katanga, and Orientale (WHO). Over 5,350 cases including 177 deaths have been recorded in Katanga in 2014, a significant decrease compared to 13,726 cases and 348 deaths in 2013 (OCHA, 30/06/2014).
As of 18 September, 68 Ebola cases have been reported, 41 of which have been fatal. Nine health workers have been diagnosed with Ebola; eight have died (WHO, 21/09/2014).
According to the National Coordination Committee, the overall analysis of the epidemiological situation suggests that the outbreak declared on 24 August in the area of Djera, Equateur, is under control (WHO, 21/09/2014).
The DRC has given itself 45 days to break the chain of transmission of the virus, ending mid-October (AFP, 06/09/2014). The epidemic started in the health district of Djera, in Boende, Equateur province, and the zone has been placed under quarantine (local media, 24/08/2014). While the outbreak is located far from urban centres, reducing the risk of contagion, the remoteness of the affected population has challenged aid delivery (AFP, 06/09/2014). The epidemic is not related to the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
Febrile Bloody Diarrhoea
As of 21 August, an outbreak of febrile haemorrhagic diarrhoea was reported in the health district of Boende Moke, Equateur province, and had spread to the neighbouring health districts of Lokolia, Watsikengo, Mondombe Ngele, Bokoto, and Ikonge. 577 cases have been reported, of which 65 were fatal (case fatality rate 11.3%) (WHO, 21/08/2014).
In July, 21,520 cases of measles including 252 deaths had been reported in 13% of all health districts, in ten provinces, since the beginning of 2014 (WHO, 07/2014). As of 10 August, over 9,000 measles cases had been reported in Katanga province in 2014. Since June, indicators have reportedly exceeded emergency thresholds in Kilwa health district, Pweto territory, the epicentre of the outbreak (OCHA, 20/08/2014).
A significant decrease in suspected measles cases was registered in Orientale, Equateur, and North Kivu during the first quarter of 2014 in comparison with 2013. In 2013, DRC recorded 89,000 cases of measles, including 1,392 deaths.
38 million people in DRC (53.5% of households) do not have access to safe drinking water (UNICEF, 27/03/2014).
Access to water is below the emergency standard of 15L/person/day for most CAR refugees in Equateur and Orientale provinces. It currently stands at 13L/person/day in Boyabu camp, 12L/person/day in Mole camp, 12L/person/day in Inke camp, and far below these numbers in the host communities (UNHCR, 07/2014).
In South Kivu, insecurity in Shabunda and Fizi territories prevents children from attending school (Radio Okapi, 25/09/2014).
In northern Beni territory, North Kivu, 48 schools have been damaged, occupied, or destroyed during FARDC operations against ADF-NALU militants in Kamango, Ruwenzori, and Mbau (OCHA, 11/09/2014).
As of 20 August, 70% of the 34,000 school-age IDP children in Pweto territory (Katanga province) do not attend school (OCHA, 20/08/2014).
Military, militias, and other armed groups are all accused of repeated abuses against civilians, including arbitrary arrests, extortion, looting, child conscription, sexual violence, and executions.
The Government counted 26,340 incidents of rape and other gender-based violence in seven provinces during 2011 and 2012— and another 15,350 cases in 2013. The actual numbers may be higher (UNHCR cited by Pulitzer Centre on 10/07/2014). According to the UN Office for Human Rights, almost 260 human rights violations, including 50 cases of sexual violence, were recorded in August, in comparison with 170 in July (Radio Okapi, 25/09/2014).
Rape is used as a weapon of war to intimidate local communities, and to punish civilians. It is also an opportunistic crime. Since 2008, Médecins Sans Frontières has never treated fewer than 4,000 cases of sexual violence in DRC per year (03/03/2014).
Katanga: Nearly 3,000 protection incidents were reported in the territories of Kalemie, Manono, Mitwaba, and Pweto between January and May (UNHCR). In March, the territory of Mitwaba was the most affected, with about 680 incidents, followed by Pweto (500 incidents).
In 2013, over 5,100 incidents of gender-based violence were registered in Katanga. This is almost triple the number of incidents reported in 2012 (1,650). More than 75% of incidents were rapes, with children under 18 making up half of the victims. 70% of victims were IDPs, followed by host populations, and returnees (Katanga Protection Cluster, 05/2014). 95% of incidents were assigned to armed actors.
No significant developments this week, 29/09/2014. Last update: 27/08/2014.
- The estimated number of people in need of humanitarian assistance in the country is around 125,000 people including more than 22,000 refugees (ECHO, 01/08/2014).
The political and security situation in Djibouti is considered stable. The country has grown as a regional hub for international forces combating terrorism and piracy, as well as a transit country for mixed migratory movements to other countries in the region.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
On 12 June, the UN and partners launched a two-year humanitarian Strategic Response Plan targeting 250,000 people. Of the targeted population, 162,500 are Djibouti nationals, 27,500 are refugees, and 60,000 are migrants, mainly from Somalia and Ethiopia.
Shortages in rural areas have led to increased competition for natural resources, particularly along the migration corridor that runs across the country. Stress on rural livelihoods has triggered movements from rural areas towards peri-urban areas of the capital, putting additional pressure on the delivery of basic services (UN, 12/06/2014).
Lack of water is likely to affect refugees and migrants in the coming months. Migrants/refugees continue to report lack of access to food and water during their transit through Obock, while they wait to cross to Yemen. During transit, migrants/refugees are also exposed to theft by criminal gangs, and detention by authorities (Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat, 31/05/2014).
Refugees in Djibouti
22,234 refugees, the majority of Somali origin (20,190), are currently registered in Djibouti (ECHO, 01/08/2014). There are also 4,220 asylum-seekers, mostly from Ethiopia (3,230). They reside in two camps: Holl Holl and Ali Addeh (UNHCR).
90,000 people are in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food security conditions in rural areas. Resources are running out, with most pastoral households experiencing Crisis levels (IPC Phase 3) of food security. Pastoral areas in the Central zone are experiencing Stressed levels (IPC Phase 2) (FEWSNET 13/08/2014). Three consecutive poor seasons in the Obock region, as well as reduced access to humanitarian aid and loss of livelihood in the northwest and southeast, has meant that food security levels have not improved. August to October outlooks point towards further deterioration (FEWSNET, 25/08/2014). In addition, the population is suffering from malnutrition, acute diarrhoea and other diseases.
Lack of rain and high temperatures during July have weakened water resources and pasture in rural areas, causing increased loss of livestock and livelihood for pastoralists. Some communities have moved closer to water sources with better availability, instigating depletion of reservoirs and overgrazing (FEWSNET 13/08/2014).
No significant developments this week, 24/09/2014. Last update: 25/07/2014.
- Almost 290,000 people are in need of healthcare (OCHA, 31/08/2014).
- 202,500 people are food insecure and in need of food assistance. 49,000 children are acutely malnourished (OCHA, 31/08/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
289,200 people are in need of immediate humanitarian assistance, following increasing commodity prices, resurgence of epidemics, and limited access to basic social services (OCHA, 31/08/2014).
Refugees in the Gambia
As of September 2014, around 9,500 refugees, mostly Senegalese from the Casamance region, live in the Gambia (OCHA, 31/08/2014). Smaller numbers of refugees come from Liberia, Sierra Leone, Côte d’Ivoire, and Togo.
202,500 people are food insecure (OCHA, 31/08/2014).
Agencies are warning about the increase in food and fuel prices, which may constitute a high food security risk to rural and urban households (OCHA, 31/08/2014).
Sahel Food Crisis: Regional Overview
In March 2014, more than 25 million people in the Sahel (Burkina Faso, north Cameroon, Chad, the Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, north Nigeria, and Senegal), suffered from food insecurity (FAO, 03/04/2014). Food insecurity in 2014 has risen dramatically compared to 2013, when 11.3 million people had inadequate food (OCHA, 03 /02/2014).
Health and Nutrition
Around 290,000 people are in need of healthcare, over 15% of the population. Low supply of essentials drugs and low-capacity laboratories at health facilities, consequences of persistent funding gaps in health, has impacted the provision of adequate health services. Staff and equipment are not sufficiently available to meet the most urgent needs (OCHA, 31/08/2014).
Cholera and meningitis continue to pose major public health concerns. There have been sporadic outbreaks of meningitis in all regions, especially in the east of the country; in the Upper, Lower, and Central River Regions (OCHA, 31/08/2014).
Around 49,000 children are reported to be acutely malnourished, of whom 7,800 children suffer SAM (OCHA 31/08/2014). This represents 3,000 more SAM cases than in July 2013 (OCHA 25/07/2014). The nutrition situation is particularly dire in Central and Upper River Regions, with GAM rates above the 10% serious threshold (OCHA, 31/0809/2014).
287,000 people are in need of WASH assistance. Inadequate access to safe drinking water, basic sanitation, and poor hygiene practices continue to be an issue. 20% of deaths among under-fives are WASH-related (OCHA, 31/08/2014).
26 September: As of 23 September, 1,074 Ebola cases, including 648 deaths, have been reported (WHO).
23 September: Six Red Cross volunteers were attacked in Forecariah, southwest Guinea, while trying to collect the body of a person suspected to have died from Ebola (AFP).
- 3.86 million people in need of assistance (OCHA, 16/09/2014).
- Between March and 23 September, 6,553 cases of Ebola and 3,083 deaths have been reported in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone (WHO, 26/09/2014). The numbers of registered cases and deaths in all three majorly affected countries seem to underestimate the real magnitude of the outbreak (WHO, 16/08/2014).
- The epidemic has since outstripped the health system’s capacity for response and control (OCHA, 16/09/2014), leading to an increase in non-Ebola related child morbidity and mortality (UNICEF, 26/08/2014).
On 18 September, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution establishing a special mission to lead the global response to contain Ebola. It called on countries to lift border restrictions on the affected countries and on all actors to scale up their efforts (UN, 18/09/2014). Approximately USD 194 million are needed for the response in Guinea (USAID, 17/09/2014).
On 16 September, Barack Obama announced the deployment of 3,000 personnel to West Africa to support the response (international media, 16/09/2014). Cuba is also sending 165 health workers (BBC, 12/09/2014).
The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has been declared a Grade 3 Emergency under WHO’s Emergency Response Framework (ECHO, 29/07/2014). WHO declared the epidemic a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
3.86 million people need assistance due to the consequences of the Ebola outbreak (OCHA, 16/09/2014).
Poor road infrastructure means many communities outside the capital are inaccessible (OCHA, 16/09/2014).
WFP has begun food distributions as Ebola containment measures are hindering food access, and has reached around 40,000 people in Biffa, Fria, Telemele, Nzerekore, Macenta, and Gueckedou. 464,000 people have been targeted (WFP, 03/09/2014).
In February, FAO reported that over 220,000 of 6.7 million people were severely food insecure in Boke, Kindia, Conakry, and Nzerekore. An additional 1.8 million were estimated moderately food insecure (FAO, 02/2014).
Since the outbreak, food prices have risen in Guinea and Senegal border areas: palm oil prices have increased 40% and coffee prices have increased 50% in less than four weeks. Traders also indicate a 50% drop in market activities (WFP, 15/09/2014).
Health and Nutrition
As of 23 September, 1,074 Ebola cases, including 648 deaths, have been reported in Guinea (WHO, 26/09/2014). As of 7 September, women made up 54% of Ebola cases (Government, 15/09/2014). However, the utility of case numbers has been questioned; statistics are reported to be highly unreliable due to a lack of a comprehensive contact tracing, timely case investigation, and rapid Ebola testing (UNICEF, 06/09/2014).
Most new cases have been reported in Macenta. Transmission persists in Gueckedou and in areas in and around the capital Conakry (WHO, 12/09/2014). The epidemiological pattern in Guinea is unusual; the outbreak looks like it is coming under control, but then sudden and unexpected flare-ups occur (WHO, 24/09/2014).
The epidemic has outstripped the health system’s capacity, leading to an increase in non-Ebola related child morbidity and mortality (OCHA, 16/09/2014; UNICEF, 26/08/2014).
Containment measures: On 13 August, Guinea declared the Ebola outbreak a "health emergency". President Alpha Conde announced a series of measures including strict controls at border points, travel restrictions, and a ban on moving bodies from one town to another until the end of the epidemic. In addition all suspected victims will automatically be hospitalised until they are cleared of infection (AFP, 14/08/2014).
Public awareness of Ebola is higher in Guinea than in other affected countries and respected community leaders have been used to secure the cooperation of 26 villages that were highly resistant to outside help. The opening of these villages has resulted in a surge of reported cases (WHO, 19/08/2014).
At 23 September, the total cumulative number of reported cases across the region had reached 6,553, including 3,083 deaths. Another 20 cases and eight deaths were reported on Nigeria as of 23 September (WHO, 26/09/2014). One case was confirmed in Senegal on 29 August (WHO, 30/08/2014). On 1 August, West African Ebola-hit nations agreed at an emergency summit to impose a cross-border isolation zone at the epicentre of the outbreak (AFP).
Expected evolution: According to a WHO projection, the aggregate caseload could exceed 20,000 by early November (WHO, 28/08/2014). According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), if the virus continues to spread at the current rate, Liberia and Sierra Leone will have reported about 550,000 Ebola cases by late January. The CDC estimates that officially reported cases are about 40% of the real burden in Liberia and Sierra Leone, indicating a possible total of 1.4 million cases in Sierra Leone and Liberia by late January (CDC, 23/09/2014).
On 23 September, six Red Cross volunteers were attacked in Forecariah, southwest Guinea, while trying to collect the body of a person suspected to have died from Ebola (AFP, 25/09/2014).
On 18 September, eight people were found dead in Wome, Nzerekore. They were part of a delegation sent to raise awareness about Ebola, and had been killed by villagers. At least 21 people were wounded (AFP, 18/09/2014). Officials reported that many villagers were suspicious of official attempts to combat the disease (BBC, 19/09/2014).
On 29 August, riots broke out in Guinea's second-largest city Nzerekore over the disinfection of a market by health workers. Authorities imposed a curfew, after which more than two dozen people were wounded (international media, 30/08/2014).
No significant developments this week, 25/09/2014. Last update: 27/08/2014.
- Despite the decreasing trend in cholera cases since January 2014, the disease remains a concern, especially since the hurricane season started (WHO 27/06/2014).
- According to national authorities, 500,000 people could be affected this year, not only by floods during the hurricane season, but also by the effect of El Niño (OCHA, 20/08/2014).
- The resilience of the population and its capacity to cope with new crises are generally weak.
- Almost five years after the 2010 earthquake, an estimated 104,000 people are still living in 172 camps in the metropolitan area of Port-au-Prince (OCHA, 20/08/2014).
An estimated three million Haitians have both chronic and acute humanitarian needs, and are facing displacement, food insecurity, and malnutrition. Haiti’s political and economic situation is extremely fragile, and the country is vulnerable to natural disasters, including hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, landslides, and droughts. The resilience of the population is extremely low.
Supporters of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide clashed with UN peacekeepers on 14 August. Barricades were erected and stones thrown to prevent any attempt to arrest the former leader for not providing court-ordered testimony in a criminal investigation (ABC News, 14/08/2014). On 10 September, Aristide was placed under house arrest (AFP, 10/09/2014).
On 10 June, the Haitian Government announced that legislative elections will be held in October, three years behind schedule. On 23 September, Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe said that elections will be held no later than early 2015 (ABC News, 23/09/2014).
The indefinite postponement of parliamentary and local elections since 2011 has contributed to a polarised political climate. While the UN stabilisation mission, MINUSTAH, maintains police in regions, the Haitian National Police are not yet fully capable of dealing with civil unrest (OCHA, 31/07/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
103,565 IDPs remain in 172 camps in Port-au-Prince as a result of the 2010 earthquake. 53% of these IDPs are women. The average age in camps is 23.5 years (compared to national average of 38), according to a 2012 profiling exercise. 57% of IDPs are unemployed and more than 57% of families in camps are single-headed.
Population numbers in camps have grown over the first six months of 2014, as other camps have closed, and insecurity elsewhere has grown (OHCHR, MINUSTAH & Protection Cluster, 30/06/2014). In June, the majority of IDPs (68%) were living in Delmas (43,000), Port-au-Prince (23,000) and Cite Soleil (8,900). Port-au-Prince has the highest number of IDP sites (37% of open sites), followed by Delmas and Carrefour. Carrefour, Croix-des-Bouquets, Petionville, and Tabarre host IDP sites with populations ranging between 150 and 2,300 households. Léogane hosts 5,039 IDPs, and Gressier has 612 (IOM 07/07/2014).
Due to inadequate funding, an estimated 69,399 IDPs are not currently targeted by any return or relocation programmes. As of June, 8,542 displaced families in 46 camps are considered at risk of forced eviction. 56,506 people in 53 camps considered to be at particularly high risk of flooding (OCHA, 20/08/2014).
Basic services in camps have declined faster than the pace of return or relocation. The camps often now resemble slums, and it is difficult to distinguish IDPs having arrived in 2010 from prior residents, in a study of 20 camps March-April 2014 by Action against Hunger and IOM. Access to healthcare was reported to be problematic due to lacks of infrastructure and funding. The camp populations studied registered 12.5% GAM. Two-thirds of the surveyed population did not have access to latrines and less than 3% had access to improved drinking water and hygiene (OHCHR, MINUSTAH & Protection Cluster, 30/06/2014). Only one-third of IDP camps have access to water (OCHA, 31/07/2014).
On 23 May, the Dominican Senate unanimously approved a bill, which set up a system to grant citizenship to Dominican-born children of Haitian illegal immigrants. Critics say this new law discriminates against those who do not possess birth certificates. A UN survey of 2013 found 244,000 people in the Dominican Republic had parents who were undocumented foreigners, mainly Haitians.
2.6 million Haitians continue to be affected by food insecurity; 200,000 people in Nord, Nord-Ouest, Artibonite, Sud-Ouest and Nippes departments face severe food insecurity. A further 29 agro-ecological areas in ten departments are in Phase 2 (Stressed) conditions (OCHA, 20/08/2014).
Stressed food security outcomes will continue until the end of the year in parts of Artibonite, Nord-Ouest, Nord-Est, Sud-Est, and Nippes departments. From October to December, Crisis food security outcomes are expected in parts of the Nord-Est and Centre departments, and Gonave Island (FEWSNET, 16/09/2014).
Haiti’s huge structural challenges heighten exposure to recurrent food insecurity. Poverty, the high degradation of the environment, and the limited government capacity to monitor, prevent, and respond to crises all contribute to national vulnerability.
The increase in rainfall during August throughout Haiti has greatly helped to offset short-term moisture deficits due to poor seasonal rainfall this summer. However, below-average moisture conditions persist in the south (FEWSNET, 01/09/2014).
The early end of the rainy season and El Niño could further deteriorate food security conditions, particularly in the north (OCHA, 20/08/2014).
Health and Nutrition
By 12 July, 64,695 suspected and 14 confirmed cases of chikungunya had been reported since the outbreak started in the Caribbean region in December 2013. The incidence rate is 627.2 per 100,000 (PAHO 29/08/2014). In June, Ouest department had reported 67% of cases. Many people affected do not go to hospitals or public health centres, and it is estimated that at least 150,000 may have been affected countrywide (IFRC 03/07/2014).
6,406 suspected cases of cholera, including 45 fatalities, have been registered until end of June. This is a 74% reduction in cases compared to the same period of 2013 (16/07/2014). An estimated 15,000 people could be affected by cholera during 2014, based on the weekly incidence rate registered in the first six months of 2014, which are below 300 cases per week. For the month of June, 923 suspected cases and nine fatalities were registered. Populations of Ouest, Artibonite, Centre, and Nord departments are considered to be at greatest risk of cholera transmission (OCHA, 20/08/2014).
Cholera incidence in camps has been higher in 2014 than 2013. 1,332 suspected cases of cholera have been registered in 102 camps since the beginning of 2014 compared to 1,054 cases reported in 73 camps during the whole of 2013 (OCHA, 20/08/2014).
From October 2010 to date, around 703,000 suspected cholera cases and estimated 8,500 deaths have been reported by the Ministry of Health. 393,912 cholera cases have been hospitalised (56%) and 8,562 people have died from October 2010) until early June. The cumulative case fatality rate remains 1.2%, with variations ranging from 4.4% in the department of Sud-Est to 0.6% in Port-au-Prince (WHO 02/06/2014).
100,000 children under five are acutely malnourished, among whom 20,000 are severely malnourished. Ten communes have above 10% GAM (OCHA, 20/08/2014).
Malnutrition rates in IDP camps are of great concern. In the sample 20 camps surveyed in May, GAM stood at 12.5% (OCHA, 20/08/2014).
64% of the population (77% in urban areas, 48% in rural areas) have access to safe drinking water; only 26% have access to improved sanitation (34% in urban areas, and 17% in rural areas). 40% of Haitians practice open-air defecation (OCHA, 20/08/2014).
As of June, 47–49% of camps have adequate sanitation facilities; only one-third have a water point.
Former IDPs living in informal settlements are at high risk of eviction (OCHA, 20/08/2014). Most people who have been relocated from camps continue to live in temporary housing and dire conditions.
17% of IDPs in camps recently surveyed have not received any education (OHCHR, MINUSTAH and Protection Cluster, 30/06/2014).
The number of rapes reported in the first half of 2014 is double that of the same period in 2013. More than two-thirds of the rapes reported involved minors (OHCHR and Protection Cluster, 30/06/2014).
Gender-based violence continues to be of great concern in IDP camps, where most cases of sexual aggression are reported among women (OHCHR, MINUSTAH and Protection Cluster, 30/06/2014).
Iraq Country Analysis
29 September: Iraqi ground forces, backed by air strikes, appear to have halted Islamic State (IS) in Amariya al Falluja, 40km west of Baghdad. There is a standoff along the main road to Falluja to the north, which is controlled by IS (BBC).
27 September: According to a Kurdish official, Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) repelled an attack on the Rabia’a-Yaroubieh crossing between Iraq and Syria (ISW).
- At least 1,420 people were killed in August. Violence killed 1,737 people in July, and 2,400 in June (Reuters 01/09/2014).
- According to revised planning figures by OCHA, the number of IDPs across Iraq has reached a total of 1.8 million (UNICEF 01/09/2014). There were 1.13 to 1.3 million displaced before 2014 (UN, IOM, 12/2013). IDPs are dispersed across 17 of Iraq’s 18 governorates (07/2014).
- Large numbers of severely food insecure due to loss of assets and income opportunities, and disruptions of supply routes (FAO/FEWSNET, 25/06/2014).
- 17 of 31.7 million Iraqis (53.7% of the total population) are affected by the current crisis. The UN estimates that approximately 1.5 million individuals are in need of humanitarian aid (UNICEF 26/08/2014)
- 214,372 Syrian refugees (UNHCR 18/09/2014).
- Only one of three official border crossings with Syria is still in the hands of the central Government. Another is controlled by Kurdish forces. IS controls the third (AFP, 21/06/2014).
- High temperatures and insanitary conditions are increasing the risk of disease (UN, 18/08/2014).
- A severe fuel shortage and recent cuts to electricity and water services are exacerbating the humanitarian crisis (Mercy Corps, 03/07/2014).
Priority humanitarian needs are food, water, and fuel. Protection and the risk of disease outbreak are also concerns. The conflict has led to massive internal displacement, consisting of three large waves of displacement: Anbar in January, Mosul in June and Sinjar in August (OCHA 25/09/2014). Iraq now hosts one of the largest internally displaced populations in the world. Host communities are being increasingly stretched.
National Political Context
On 11 August, Haider al Abadi – former Deputy Speaker of the Iraqi parliament – was appointed the new Prime Minister by President Fuad Masum. Abadi was nominated by the Shia National Alliance parliamentary bloc. The parliament has accepted a new government. Abadi named three deputies: Hoshyar Zebari, the Kurdish outgoing foreign minister, Saleh al Mutlak, a secular Sunni, and Baha Arraji, a Shi’a Islamist (ISW, BBC 09/09/2014).
Kurdistan Region of Iraq
Masoud Barzani’s Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) came first in September 2013’s elections in the autonomous Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KR-I). KDP and PUK have ruled through a coalition government since 2005. Barzani’s term has been extended to 2015, which the opposition has denounced as illegal.
KR-I’s relations with Baghdad are tense. Baghdad insists it has the sole right to export Iraqi resources, including those from KR-I.
Wider regional politics are also an issue: the KDP is keen to retain influence over the Syria’s Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), which has also links to the Iraqi PUK and the Turkish Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
The Security Council adopted Resolution 2170 condemning gross, widespread abuse of human rights by extremist groups in Iraq. The resolution calls for member states to suppress the flow of foreign fighters, financing, and other support to Islamist extremist groups in Iraq and Syria (UN, 15/08/2014).
At least 1,420 people were killed in August. A further 1,370 Iraqis were wounded and 600,000 people forced to flee, according to UN figures. The UN said the casualty figures could be far higher but it could not get independent verification of reports of hundreds of incidents in areas under IS control. Violence killed 1,737 people, mostly civilians, in Iraq in July, and 2,400 in June (Reuters 01/09/2014).
The UN Human Rights Council will send investigators to Iraq to examine crimes being committed by Islamic State (IS) fighters, to report back by March 2015 (Reuters).
On 29 September, Iraqi ground forces, backed by air strikes, appeared to have halted Islamic State (IS) militants in Amariya al Falluja, 40km west of Baghdad. Meanwhile there is a standoff along the main road to Falluja to the north, which is controlled by IS (BBC). On 21 September IS overran a base at Saqlawiya, near Falluja (Independent 30/09/2014). IS bomb attacks continued in several areas of the capital.
US air strikes took place on IS positions west of Baghdad and around Kirkuk 22–26 September. On 26 September US airstrikes attacked IS near Al Qa’im, Anbar (ISW). As of 29 September, there have been 226 confirmed airstrikes in Iraq since 8 August (BBC).
According to a Kurdish official, Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), repelled an IS attack on the Rabia’a-Yaroubieh crossing between Iraq and Syria on 27 September (ISW).
On 23 September, IS launched another attack on the Baiji oil refinery, north of Tikrit, though were reportedly repelled (ISW).
Over 15–18 September, Peshmerga forces cleared IS fighters from 15 villages in Diyala governorate (ISW 19/09/2014).
On 15 September, IS shelled the northern areas of Dhuluiya, north of Baghdad, with chlorine shells, killing 18 (ISW 16/09/2014).
Cooperation between the Iraqi army, Iraqi special forces, Peshmerga and anti-IS militias continues. The success of this fragile alliance is largely dependent on the new Government’s approach towards including and engaging all concerned parties in the political process (UNICEF 10/09/2014).
Since the fall of Mosul on 10 June, armed opposition groups, including Baathists, tribal militias, members of the former Government and military, along with IS, have taken control of large swathes of Iraq’s provinces of Ninewa, Salah Al Din and Diyala. IS has been in open confrontation with government forces in Anbar. On 18 August, Kurdish forces took control of the Mosul dam, with the support of US military air strikes (FT, 18/08/2014).
IS, formerly the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and an outgrowth of Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), has taken over large swathes of territory in northern and eastern Syria. The CIA estimates that Islamic State has between 20,000 and 31,000 fighters in Iraq and Syria (BBC 15/09/2014).
On 29 June, IS declared the establishment of a Sunni caliphate, straddling Syria and Iraq, spreading from Aleppo in northern Syria to Diyala in eastern Iraq. Its chief Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi was declared caliph and leader for Muslims everywhere (AFP, 29/06/2014, 30/06/2014; Washington Post, 11/06/2014; ISW, 11/06/2014).
Kurdistan President Barzani has announced substantive military reform and the distribution of weapons from the US and Europe (Government of Iraq, 18/08/2014). The Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga have been trying to fill the security vacuum created by withdrawing federal forces, and take control of territory long claimed by KR-I (AFP, 12/06/2014).
In early August, Kurdish forces from Iraq, Syria, and Turkey joined forces in north Iraq to launch an offensive against the Islamic State (IS) in order to reclaim areas lost to the armed group. A senior official from Iraq's PUK party said Kurdish fighting units from the Peshmerga, the Syrian-based PYD and the Turkish PKK had agreed to share responsibility for the counter-offensive (AFP).
Thirty countries pledged on 15 September to help Iraq fight Islamic State (IS) militants by all means necessary (BBC 15/09/2014). US warplanes began air strikes against IS in August, but carried out.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
A Level 3 emergency was declared by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee on 12 August. The move is expected to support a more effective response to the humanitarian needs of the affected population (UNAMI, 13/08//2014).
The overall number and geographical spread of the displaced population pose a major challenge for the coordination and provision of assistance and essential social services to reach all in need. Up to 13% of IDPs are located in areas that are currently not considered accessible by humanitarian actors (OCHA 25/09/2014).
Blocked roads connecting cities in Anbar, Salah Al Din, Ninewa and Diyala governorates are hindering humanitarian efforts. Shortages of electricity, fuel, and chlorine are worsening conditions.
Several international NGOs have suspended activities in besieged areas, particularly those controlled by IS. However, many relief organizations continue to provide emergency assistance to affected populations via local implementing partners (USAID 26/09/2013).
Some airlines have cancelled flights to Iraq, and delays in deliveries will have negative consequences on health services for IDPs, refugees, and host populations (WHO 09/09/2014).
Peshkapour-Semalka border: Semalka has been closed since 10 April for Syrian arrivals. However, since 10 June, it remains open for the return of Syrians to Syria. UNHCR successfully advocated for admission into KR-I of child refugees under the family re-unification criterion (UNHCR 01/09/2014).
Al Qa’im border: This border remains under the control of armed groups. The border situation remains fluid, now Syrians and Iraqis are moving back and forth between the two sides of the borders freely. Aerial bombardments and clashes continued in Al Qa’im (border and city), resulting in casualties among civilians. The clashes are a deterrent to the movement of vehicles and people (UNHCR 09/08/2014).
Rabia’a border crossing: As of 15 June, Peshmerga forces were in control of the Rabia’a border crossing, and kept it closed in both directions, except to humanitarian aid convoys (UNHCR).
Anbar governorate: Thousands of people are reportedly trapped in what are described as siege-like conditions in Falluja and Ramadi. Fighting makes main roads impassable, and several bridges, including one linking Falluja with Baghdad, have been destroyed. Insecurity is preventing access to health services, and some facilities have been damaged. Administrative constraints are also hindering access. Access to Al Qa’im refugee camp is reportedly difficult, though activities can be carried out by helicopter.
Diyala: 75% of key informants assessed in Diyala stated that nobody in their community had received any kind of assistance since being displaced (REACH 18/08/2014, CSM 28/08/2014).
Salah al Din: On 1 September, the siege of Amerli was broken. 35 villages had been under control of IS for more than 80 days, and an estimated 10,000–14,000 people were in need of immediate assistance, particularly food, water, and medical care (UNICEF 01/09/2015).
According to revised planning figures by OCHA, the number of IDPs across Iraq has reached 1.8 million since January. This number is in addition to people already displaced. The scale of displacement caused by IS’s advance in the north now exceeds that of the Anbar crisis, with more than 620,000 people displaced in August alone (SNAP 04/09/2014). The absence of country-wide IDP registration hinders the response.
While population movements within and towards KR-I stabilised after 25 August, renewed fighting across Iraq’s central governorates resulted in the displacement of over 10,000 families to Khanaqin, in Diyala governorate. This is in addition to displacement within Salah al Din due to airstrikes in Tikrit and the continued movement of IDPs to the south of Iraq (UNICEF 01/09/2015).
Effective humanitarian response is hampered by the IDPs being scattered across more than 1,200 locations across which IDPs (OCHA, 04/07/2014; UNICEF 01/09/2015). A few IDPs are reportedly returning to their places of origin, many in search of family members. In contrast, IDPs continue to arrive in central and southern Iraq (Najaf, Kerbala, Baghdad, Basra, and Al Qaddisiya) from Ninewa and Anbar governorates (UNICEF 27/08/2014).
Approximately 35% of IDP families are hosted by relatives; and over 36% are living in rented accommodation or hotels with little to no access to employment (IOM 07/08/2014).
Local authorities are overstretched and under-resourced, unable to deal effectively with the crisis. Northern governorates are now encouraging IDPs to travel south (IOM, 17/08/2014). There is increasing concern that central governorates are reaching saturation point (OCHA 23/08/2014). Kerbala authorities have indicated that the governorate is no longer able to support IDPs, and IDPs without sponsors are being diverted to other governorates.
Secondary displacement: On 7 August, secondary displacement took place throughout Ninewa following reports of fighting near IDP locations. Garmawa camp (Ninewa) was reported to be empty as of 8 August. In Kirkuk, violent attacks have caused new waves of displacement, estimated by local authorities to reach 40,000 people (OCHA 08/08/2014). Clashes between Peshmerga and IS forces, have prompted secondary displacement from KR-I to the southern governorates of Najaf, Kerbala, Basra, Wassit and Missan.
A significant number of IDPs are unable to transit certain parts of the country to safer areas. Also, entry policies into some governorates, such as Erbil, are not clearly defined. Those awaiting entry have limited access to services and are in immediate need of support.
As a result of the deteriorating security situation, Gawilan camp in Dohuk was evacuated on 7 August. The residents are currently dispersed between the reception area of Domiz camp, Bardarash, Akre, Darashakran camp, Kawergosk camp and other non-camp locations in Duhok governorate; several families moved to Akre and the rest went to Erbil or other locations in KR-I (UNHCR 24/08/2014).
Kurdistan Region of Iraq: An estimated 850,000 IDPs are in KR-I. Dohuk governorate hosts more than 480,000 IDPs (SNAP 04/09/2014). Of the 55,000 IDPs that crossed into Syria from Sinjar in Ninewa governorate, most have made their way into Dohuk governorate through the Peshkapour checkpoint.
Between 16 August and 15 September, a second major wave of displacement from northwestern Iraq into KR-I increased demand on assistance and service provision (UNICEF 23/09/2014).
80% of the recently displaced are housed among host communities in KR-I, and IDPs face discrimination from local communities (IFRC, 13/06/2014; WHO 18/06/2014). Zakho town (population of 350,000) is hosting 100,000 IDPs. Khaniq in Dohuk, with an estimated population of 60,000, has received some 90,000 IDPs (15,000 families) from Sinjar and nearby villages (ICRC, 16/08/2014).
Khazir transit centre in Erbil is reported empty, after Peshmerga forces indicated that they will not be able to protect IDPs. In addition, thousands are displaced in Disputed Internal Boundary Areas (OCHA, 15/08/2014).
Non-Kurdish Iraqis entering KR-I have to pass through immigration controls and receive only short-stay visas, ranging from one to three weeks; sometimes a Kurdish sponsor is required to gain entry (Middle East Research and Information Project 24/07/2014).
Mosul City: An estimated 500,000 Iraqis fled their homes in Mosul in June (European Commission Humanitarian Aid, 07/07/2014).
Anbar: Anbar continues to host 340,000 IDPs, who were displaced at the beginning of the year.
Refugees in Iraq
As of 18 September, Iraq hosts 214,372 Syrian refugees (UNHCR 18/09/2014). Around 94,500 refugees reside in Dohuk, 88,500 in Erbil, and 22,500 in Sulaymaniyah (UNHCR 01/09/2014).
Monitoring in Erbil and Dohuk governorates indicate a new wave of urban Syrian refugees arriving in camps in the first two weeks of September (UNHCR 23/09/2014).
KR-I currently hosts an estimated 97% of the registered Syrian refugees in Iraq (UNHCR, 15/05/2014). The remaining 3% reside in a camp near Al Qa’im, Anbar, and in non-camp settings elsewhere across the country. Around 7,600 are awaiting registration. All three KR-I governorates (Dohuk, Erbil, and Sulaymaniyah) have different policies towards Syrian refugees, leading to challenges in coordinating the humanitarian response.
Around 42% of registered refugees are in camps, and the remaining 58% are predominantly scattered in and around urban centres. Information on their humanitarian situation is limited (UNHCR, 24/08/2014). 41% of refugees in KR-I are under the age of 18. It is unclear to what extent the influx of IDPs has affected refugee needs and response.
Domiz camp is overcrowded. However, up to one-third of refugees receiving assistance in the camp reported that they are living outside the camp. A livelihood assessment across all refugee camps in KR-I found that 47% of respondents had no source of income in the 30 days preceding the assessment, and only 20% were fully able to meet their household basic needs. Some 81% of households found food by far the most significant share of expenditure, and 58% had contracted debts since arriving (UNHCR and REACH, 06/2014).
Returnees to Syria: 1–15 September, 2,368 Syrians returned to Syria from KR-I via the Peshkapour crossing point, bringing the total number since the beginning of January to 25,501 (UNHCR 23/09/2014).
Anbar: 247 Syrian refugees are in Al Obaidy camp. UNHCR has no direct access to Al Obaidy (UNHCR 23/09/2014).
During the first quarter of 2014, the number of registered protracted (non-Syrian) refugees and asylum seekers was 39,480.
Iraqi Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
Jordan: Between 1 January and 23 September, UNHCR registered more than 10,600 Iraqi refugees in Jordan. UNHCR has reported an 85% increase in arrivals during August and September, compared to June and July, with an average of 120 Iraqis registering daily (USAID 26/09/2014).
Lebanon: Lebanon hosts nearly 7,500 registered Iraqi refugees and a further 1,200 are awaiting registration (USAID 19/09/2014).
Syria: An estimated 15,000 Yazidis are seeking refuge in Al Hasakeh. Most are in the Newroz camp near Qamishli, run by local NGOs.
Turkey: As of 23 September, UNHCR and local partners in Turkey had registered or pre-registered more than 103,000 Iraqi refugees during 2014, including an estimated 64,000 who have fled northern Iraq since early June. Estimates of actual numbers, including unregistered refugees, reach more than 200,000 (USAID 26/09/2014).
Approximately 1.5 million individuals, who are in the lowest 20% income group have already become highly food insecure and are now in need of emergency food assistance (OCHA 25/09/2014).
Based on assessment data from September, 73% of IDPs surveyed have stated that food is their primary concern. According to WFP, food is expected to be a priority for more than 1.8 million people. This includes IDPs, host communities, and vulnerable groups.
WFP announced that funding shortfalls are forcing cuts in food support for Syrian refugees. The voucher value for the 70,000 refugees at Domiz camp will be cut from USD 31 to USD 25 in October. School feeding for some 12,000 children has already been halted (UNHCR 23/09/2014). Food assistance to non-camp refugees is currently prohibited (UNHCR 09/07/2014).
12% of households settled outside camps across KR-I reported lack of food. 13% of households were found to have borderline food consumption in Sulaymaniyah, compared to 4% in Erbil 1% in Duhok (UNHCR/REACH 14/09/2014). Host communities in Sulaymaniyah and Najaf are under tremendous strain, according to OCHA.
More than four million individuals, who are not displaced, but who relied on the now-collapsed central procurement and public distribution system for more than 50% of their energy intake, have had their household food security compromised (OCHA 25/09/2014).
Furthermore the crisis has impacted the June cereal harvest and post-harvest activities in key production areas such as Ninewa and Salah Al Din governorates, which contribute nearly a third of Iraq's wheat, thus reducing overall food availability (OCHA 25/09/2014).
Data collected in May found that 12% of Syrian households in KR-I refugee camps reported having no source of income in the 30 days preceding the assessment, with the number reaching 21% in Gawilan. 5% of refugee households across KR-I were unable to meet their basic needs. 52% of households reported having borrowed money since their arrival. Household items and shelter improvement were most commonly reported as priority needs (UNHCR/REACH 17/09/2014).
The crisis has impacted the May/June cereal harvest and post-harvest activities in key production areas such as Ninewa and Salah Al Din governorates, which account for nearly a third of Iraq's wheat production and about 38% of its barley (OCHA 18/07/2014). Animal diseases are already a threat to the livestock population in Iraq (FAO, 25/06/2014).
Health and Nutrition
The IDP crisis has affected access to healthcare for all population groups. Shortages of essential medicines occur frequently in public health facilities. While humanitarian actors are able to mobilise resources to cover gaps in medicines in refugee camps, people in urban settings increasingly have to purchase medication in public or private pharmacies (UNHCR 23/09/2014).
In Ninewa governorate there are concerns over possible outbreaks of communicable diseases due to interruptions to services (WHO 09/09/2014). In Sinjar district, the General Hospital and 16 of 19 primary health centres are non-functional.
In Salah al Din, only three out of nine public health facilities are functioning, according to WHO. Patients from from Tikrit, Baiji, and Sharqat are referred to already overwhelmed hospitals in Mosul and Kirkuk, although violence, fuel shortages and road access difficulties are affecting ambulance services.
All hospitals and health centres are dependent on generators, and fuel supply is a major problem. Critical shortages of essential medicines, vaccines and supplies are reported in Mosul, areas of Salah al Din, and Anbar. The embargo on cargo flights has stopped the medical supply chain at a time when additional provisions are urgently needed (OCHA 18/07/2014). Health facilities in conflict-affected areas also report a shortage of medical staff (OCHA 01/08/2014).
KR-I: The KR-I Ministry of Health has reported critical shortages in medicines and medical supplies and overcrowded health facilities (PI 17/06/2014). Since mid-June, frequent power cuts are endangering health service provision in refugee camp health centres (UNHCR 22/07/2014).
Data collected in May found that 24% of camp-based Syrian refugee households across KR-I had one or more sick members of the household in the two weeks preceding the assessment, with the highest incidence of illness reported in Domiz II (36%) and Domiz (26%). The most common ailments were respiratory tract infection and diarrhoea. Of the households who reported having required health assistance since arriving in the KR-I, 24% reported difficulties accessing care, notably due to lack of availability of treatment at the public health clinic, followed by insufficient funds to purchase medicine at the pharmacy (UNHCR/REACH 17/09/2014).
44% of refugee households in KR-I host communities have had at least one member requiring medical assistance. Of those, 36% considered they received no or incomplete care. Nearly half of households reported they had to pay all related costs. Main access problems were fairly consistent across KR-I, with cost being the single most important factor (UNHCR/REACH 14/09/2014).
An estimated 20% of the non-camp refugee population encounters difficulties in accessing health services. Key obstacles include financial costs as well as perceived availability of services (UNHCR 09/07/2014). Health services have restarted in Gawilan and Bardarash refugee camps, which had closed in June/July for security reasons (WHO 09/09/2014).
Access to comprehensive primary health services for refugees, including maternal and child health, has improved. Mental health services, chronic diseases management and secondary/tertiary healthcare are more difficult to access. Control of communicable diseases needs to be strengthened (UNHCR 22/07/2014).
The number of diarrhoea cases is increasing in all camps in KR-I (UNHCR 31/07/2014).
WHO reports an increase in measles cases, with over 800 cases documented since January in the areas covered by the EWARS (Early Warning and Reporting System), and primarily in KR-I (WHO 06/07/2014). Measles is endemic in Mosul and could spread in overcrowded areas (WHO, 16/06/2014).
The national polio immunisation campaign conducted 4–14 August was interrupted in Sinjar district due to insecurity, lack of qualified personnel, and electricity shortages (WHO 09/09/2014).
Access to clean water is a critical, life-threatening problem in conflict-affected areas and among populations under the control of armed groups. Power cuts, fuel shortages, disruption to supply routes, and the seizure of municipal water facilities has left communities without clean water (OCHA, 15/08/2014). There is concern of the risk of waterborne diseases due to poor sanity conditions, especially in the extreme heat (UN, 18/08/2014).
The lack of water treatment technology, specifically water treatment plants, on the local market in KR-I is a challenge for WASH operations in the Syrian refugee camps (UNHCR 23/09/2014).
In KR-I, 6% of refugee households settled in host communities reported not having sufficient water to meet household needs; with the highest proportion found in Duhok (14%). 36% of households in KR-I reported that their drinking water was unsafe. Of these, 59% stated that they did not treat it in any way (UNHCR/REACH 14/09/2014).
Late August, IS closed all of Falluja dam’s ten gates, prompting the Iraqi air force to target three of them to avert flooding and water supply interruption downstream (Shafaq News 26/08/14 ISW 26/08/14). IS is likewise reported to have disrupted water supply to the Balad Ruz area (Diyala governorate) by manipulating the Sudur mini-dam (ISW 02/09/14). IS had closed the Falluja dam in April.
Water projects in Anbar governorate lack sufficient chemicals and fuel to function normally. Additionally, direct attacks have led to the breakdown of some water projects, and local authorities do not to have the capacity to afford repair and reactivation (UNICEF 10/09/2014).
On 14 August, the water plant in eastern Mosul was partially destroyed by an airstrike, leaving large parts of the city without access to water. Intervention remains limited and insufficient (OCHA, 15/08/014).
An estimated 580,000 people are in urgent need of emergency shelter assistance. The latest wave of displaced could only bring few belongings. It is estimated that at least 800,000 persons are lacking basic NFIs.
Shelter is a major challenge, particularly in KR-I. More than one-third of IDPs in KR-I and in Kurdish-controlled areas of Diyala and Ninewa governorates urgently need shelter assistance (USAID 19/09/2014).
26 sites for camps have been identified in Erbil, Sulaymaniyah and Dohuk governorates, which will have the capacity to host an estimated 240,000 IDPs. According to OCHA, resources are insufficient to construct all camps with adequate, winter-proof shelters, let alone to cover longer-term maintenance (UNICEF 01/09/2014).
3% of refugee households settled outside camps within KR-I reported living in precarious types of housing. 33% of households in Duhok perceived their accommodation to be inadequate, as did 19% in Erbil and Sulaymaniyah (UNHCR/REACH 14/09/2014).
The influx of IDPs into KR-I has had a major effect on the start of the school year, scheduled to begin on 10 September. In Dohuk, the start of the school year has been postponed in non-camp areas due to the presence of IDPs in school buildings (UNHCR 23/09/2014).
Half of the 5,746 schools in KR-I are estimated to be occupied. Over half of the country’s 95,666 teachers are also affected by the displacement (UNHCR 24/08/2014). Over 500,000 IDPs are estimated to be of school age (UNICEF 02/09/2014).
In Dohuk governorate alone, around 650 schools are still being used to host families displaced over the summer break (Save The Children 09/09/2014).
The Directorates of Education in the governorates affected by the crisis are continuing to postpone final exams for students from the 6th, 9th, and 12th grade. Reportedly these examinations were disrupted by IS demanding an IS-approved curriculum in Anbar and Ninewa (UNICEF 10/09/2014).
Refugees: 65% of the 57,000 school-aged refugee children in Iraq are out of school. The current rate of enrolment in camps is 55% for primary education and less than 1% for secondary. Outside the camps the enrolment rate is lower, at 22% of the school-age population. The main barriers are: very limited capacity in schools with the Arabic curriculum; high levels of dropout in schools with the Kurdish curriculum due to lack of support for second-language speakers; lack of textbooks and other education materials; and lack of teachers (UNHCR 09/07/2014). Only 39% of school-aged children of non-camp-based Syrian refugee households attend school across the region. Erbil had significantly higher rates of households reporting having no child attending school (76%) than Duhok (45%) and Sulaymaniyah (39%). The main reason was lack of funds (UNHCR/REACH 14/09/2014).
Protection concerns significantly increased in August, primarily as a result of IS’s advance into Sinjar and neighbouring areas. Minority groups fled the area in large numbers.
Since the fall of Mosul, executions, human rights violations, sectarian abuse, and civilian casualties have been reported (OHCHR, 13/06/2014; HRW, 12/06/2014). The UN announced it has evidence that IS killed as many as 670 prisoners in Mosul when it took control of the city. The inmates of Badoush prison were reportedly spilt into groups depending on their sectarian background and the Shia were executed (Guardian, 24/08/2014). IS has a local history of civilian abuse, including forced taxation, attacks on journalists, abductions, executions, and, throughout Iraq, suicide bomb attacks (HRW, 12/06/2014).
19% of refugee households across KR-I did not know where to obtain either birth, marriage and death certificates or residency cards. The proportion was far higher in Erbil, at 49% (UNHCR/REACH 14/09/2014).
Many IDPs have fled without proper identification, and the numerous Peshmerga checkpoints at KR-I borders and in disputed neighbouring areas significantly limit freedom of movement (PI, SNAP 04/09/2014).
Many IDPs have fled without proper identification, and the numerous Peshmerga checkpoints at KR-I borders and in the disputed areas of neighbouring governorates significantly limit their freedom of movement (SNAP 04/09/2014).
Single male Syrian refugees in all the camps in Erbil continue to experience delays in obtaining residency permits due to the elaborate clearance process and apparent priority given to families.
The Residency Department in Sulaymaniyah has stopped issuing residence permits to Syrian asylum seekers who have been registered in Erbil (UNHCR 25/08/2014).
IDP children suffer from psychosocial distress, limited access to basic resources and a lack of a safe environment; are at risk of violent attacks. They are at increased risk of exploitation including child labour. There are no special services available for children with disabilities or special needs (ACTED, 17/08/2014).
Concerns have been raised about violence directed at minors, including the potential recruitment of children, sexual violence, abductions and extrajudicial killings. At present it remains unclear to what extent these concerns have materialised (Save the Children International, 15/06/2014).
There are continued reports of acts of violence, including sexual violence, against women and teenage girls and boys belonging to Iraqi minorities. Some 1,500 Yazidi and Christians may have been forced into sexual slavery (UN 12/08/2014).
There are increasing reports of abduction of women, particularly those belonging to minority groups, by armed groups, and of human trafficking within and outside the country (OCHA 22/08/2014).
At least 27 Yazidi women kidnapped by IS have been taken to Syria, forced to convert, and sold into marriage to militants, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The group said it was aware that some 300 Yazidi women had been kidnapped and transported to Syria, but was unclear what had happened to many of them. It added that some Syrian Arabs and Kurds had tried to buy some of the women in a bid to set them free, but they were only being sold to IS (AFP 30/08/2014).
Iraqi forces have allegedly used barrel bombs on multiple occasions. According to HRW, Iraq’s security forces have killed at least 75 civilians in indiscriminate air strikes on four cities since 6 June (HRW 23/07/14).
26 September: As of 23 September, 3,458 Ebola cases, including 1,830 deaths, have been reported. Six confirmed cases and four deaths have been reported in the district of Grand Kru, near the border with Côte d'Ivoire. This is the first time Ebola has been reported in this area (WHO).
- 3.37 million people are in need of assistance (OCHA, 16/09/2014). The Ebola outbreak have completely outstripped the Government’s and international actors’ capacity to respond and control the epidemic (WHO, 08/09/2014).
- Between March and 23 September, 6,553 cases of Ebola and 3,083 deaths have been reported in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone (WHO, 26/09/2014). The numbers of registered cases and deaths in all three majorly affected countries seem to underestimate the real magnitude of the outbreak (WHO, 16/08/2014).
- Non-Ebola medical needs cannot be met (OCHA, 16/09/2014), leading to an increase in non-Ebola related child morbidity and mortality (UNICEF, 26/08/2014).
The Information Minister warned that the lack of urgency in the international response could trigger a breakdown of societies in the region (AFP, 23/09/2014).
UN and national officials are warning of the serious threat Ebola is posing to the safety of the country (international media, 11/09/2014).
In a statement to the UN Security Council on 9 September, the national Defence Minister warned Liberia's national existence was "seriously threatened" by the Ebola virus (international media, 09/09/2014).
On 18 September, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution establishing a special mission to lead the global response to Ebola. It called on countries to lift border restrictions on the affected countries and on all actors to scale up their efforts (UN, 18/09/2014). Approximately USD 473 million are needed to respond to the outbreak in Liberia (USAID, 17/09/2014).
On 16 September, Barack Obama announced the deployment of 3,000 personnel to West Africa to contribute to the Ebola response (international media, 16/09/2014). Cuba is also sending 165 health workers (BBC, 12/09/2014).
The outbreak in West Africa has been declared a Grade 3 Emergency under WHO’s Emergency Response Framework (ECHO, 29/07/2014). WHO declared the epidemic a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
The Ebola crisis is having dramatic indirect consequences: 3.37 million people are in need of assistance, almost the entire population of Liberia (OCHA, 16/09/2014).
Poor road conditions are posing challenges for the transfer of cases in Tapitta, Nimba county, as well as the delivery of food assistance in Grand Kru county (Government, 26/09/2014).
WFP has delivered food for about 96,000 people affected by food shortages and quarantined in Bomi, Bong, Grand Cape Mount, Grand Bassa, Lofa, Margibi, Montserrado, Nimba, and Rivercess counties (WFP, 01/09/2014). 449,000 people are targeted for food assistance over the next three months (WFP, 11/09/2014).
Quarantine and movement restrictions have meant that traders have been unable to travel to buy food and farmers cannot harvest their crops (international media, 10/08/2014; 27/08/2014). A recent market assessment indicates that prices of some food items have increased rapidly. Cassava prices in Monrovia increased by up to 150% in the first two weeks of August. Increasing transportation costs have added further upward price pressure (FAO, 02/09/2014). Between July and August, imported rice prices increased on average by 12% (WFP, 29/08/2014).
Health and Nutrition
Non-Ebola-related child morbidity and mortality has increased, as the national health system is unable to meet either Ebola or non-Ebola medical needs (OCHA, 16/09/2014; UNICEF, 26/08/2014).
Liberia continues to be the country most affected by Ebola. As of 23 September, 3,458 cases and 1,830 deaths had been reported (WHO, 26/09/2014). As of 15 September, 75% of those infected or who have died from Ebola have been women (Government, 15/09/2014). There continues to be a high number of new cases in Lofa county. Ebola has been reported for the first in Grand Kru county, in the south: six confirmed cases and four deaths have been reported (WHO, 26/09/2014).
However, the utility of case numbers has been questioned; statistics are reported to be highly unreliable due to a lack of a comprehensive contact tracing, timely case investigation, and rapid Ebola testing (UNICEF, 06/09/2014). The scale of the hidden caseload has never been seen in any previous Ebola outbreak.
Responders indicate a deterioration of the situation, in Monrovia in particular. As soon as a new treatment facility is opened, it immediately fills with patients, many of whom were not previously identified (WHO, 24/09/2014).
Healthcare provision: The Ebola outbreak has completely outstripped the Government’s and international actors’ capacity for response and control (WHO, 08/09/2014). In Bong county, the two largest hospitals have been closed, leaving over 330,000 people without health care (international media, 12/09/2014).
There are more new cases than Ebola treatment centres have capacity to manage (WHO, 08/09/2014). WHO assessed that, in Montserrado county, 1,000 beds are needed to treat people with Ebola while only 240 are currently available (WHO, 12/09/2014).
Case investigation and contact tracing teams cannot not meet needs (UNICEF, 06/09/2014). Laboratory capacity needs strengthening. Logistical capacity, such as transport for health staff, equipment, and medicines, is extremely limited, especially in Nimba county (WHO, 05/08/2014; Ministry of Health, 28/07/2014). Personal protective equipment is almost out of stock (Government, 10/09/2014). In Lofa county, bodies cannot be buried due to the lack of body bags (Government, 19/08/2014). The only crematorium in the country is overwhelmed (international media, 22/08/2014).
On 2 September, nurses at Monrovia’s largest hospital went on strike, demanding better pay and equipment to protect them against Ebola (international media, 02/09/2014). In Lofa county, health workers have threatened to stop working if risk premiums were not distributed (Ministry of Health, 28/07/2014).
Containment measures: On 19 August President Ellen Johnson quarantined two affected neighbourhoods, including Monrovia's West Point slum. The quarantine on West Point was lifted on 30 August (international media, 30/08/2014). A night curfew imposed from 20 August means all entertainment centres and all video centres are to be closed at 18:00 (AFP, 20/08/2014).
On 11 August, Lofa county was put in quarantine, becoming the fourth county in quarantine after Bomi, Grand Cape Mount, and Gbarpolu (international media, 11/08/2014).
The President declared a state of emergency for a period of 90 days on 6 August (Government, 06/08/2014). All markets in border areas are closed until further notice (AFP, 30/07/2014). Liberia closed its borders on 29 July, with the exception of major entry points and the airport. One commercial airline has suspended all fights from Sierra Leone and Liberia to Nigeria (OCHA, 29/07/2014). The crossings that are still open, together with the international airport, will intensify screening of travellers (ECHO, 29/07/2014).
Regional Ebola Outbreak: At 23 September, the total cumulative number of reported cases across the region had reached 6,553, including 3,083 deaths. Another 20 cases and eight deaths were reported in Nigeria as of 23 September (WHO, 26/09/2014). On 1 August, West African Ebola-hit nations agreed at an emergency summit to impose a cross-border isolation zone at the epicentre of the outbreak (AFP).
Expected evolution: According to a WHO projection, the aggregate caseload could exceed 20,000 by early November (WHO, 28/08/2014). According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), if the virus continues to spread at the current rate, Liberia and Sierra Leone will have reported about 550,000 Ebola cases by late January. The CDC estimates that officially reported cases are about 40% of the real burden in Liberia and Sierra Leone, indicating a possible total of 1.4 million cases in Sierra Leone and Liberia by late January (CDC, 23/09/2014).
40 children in Margibi county, whose parents have died from Ebola, are considered vulnerable. Affected children, rejected by the community in Dolo Town, are living in a school building (Government, 10/09/2014).
According to local media, armed forces have been shooting to people trying to cross the border illegally from neighbouring Sierra Leone (INGO, 18/09/2014).
On 20 August, violence erupted in West Point slum. Soldiers opened fire and used tear gas on crowds protesting at the quarantine. Four residents were injured in the clashes (AFP, 21/08/2014).
On 17 August, a quarantine centre was attacked and looted, mostly by young men armed with clubs. Seventeen Ebola patients fled. They were found two days later (AFP, 19/08/2014). Health officials expressed concern that the stolen supplies, likely infected with the virus, could result in the further spread of the disease (donor, 20/08/2014).
Community resistance against health workers and treatment remains high (WHO, 06/08/2014). People are frustrated because of the delays in provision of lab results and removal of sick patients and dead bodies (Government, 08/08/2014). In Monrovia, many have complained that overstretched health workers have been leaving bodies on the streets and in homes for days (AFP, 04/08/2014). In Nimba county, people are moving out of Ganta from fear of Ebola (Government, 21/08/2014).
Libya Country Analysis
28 September: The new Government was sworn in (Al Bawaba, 28/09/2014).
28 September: Clashes in Sabha, southern Libya, between Awlad Suleiman tribe and the Gaddadfa tribe killed at least two people, according to Libya’s Council of Dignitaries (AFP).
28 September: Almost 500 Turkish workers had been trapped for five days at Ghat airport, in Fezzan region, southwest Libya, reportedly facing food and water shortages (Daily Sabah).
27 September: The elected Government pleaded for international help to fight Islamist militias (WSJ, 27/09/2014).
24 September: An air strike on a port in Benghazi was claimed by forces loyal to Haftar. Haftar’s forces claim Islamists were using the port to bring in supplies and weapons (Reuters).
24 September: In Benghazi and nearby Derna, there have been at least 250 politically motivated killings in 2014 (HRW, 24/09/2014).
23 September: There are at least 227,000 IDPs in Libya as of September 2014 (IDMC).
- The conflict has affected more than 2 million people (UN, 03/09/2014), with 1,000 people killed, 4,000 injured, and 107,028 displaced. In addition, more than 150,000 people have sought refuge abroad (OCHA, 03/09/2014).
- Indiscriminate shelling and targeting of civilian areas (UNSMIL, 04/09/2014).
- Access is a major concern (OCHA, 03/09/2014).
The rapidly deteriorating security situation in Libya continues to cause new waves of displacement, particularly in the western outskirts of Tripoli and in the eastern city of Benghazi. The renewed fighting is deepening the humanitarian needs of internally displaced and communities affected by the fighting. The price of food and basic items such as cooking fuel and wheat flour, have doubled.
Most displaced people are living in schools and host communities under growing strain from the influx. Access is difficult, with blocked roads preventing the delivery of food and medical supplies to areas most affected by conflict.
On 23 September, Prime Minister Al Thani won the blessing of parliament for his proposed cabinet of 13 ministers, an earlier proposal having been rejected (AFP, 23/09/2014). The Government was sworn in on 28 September.
The previous Government had resigned on 1 September, admitting it had lost control over Tripoli to Islamist armed militias.
The House of Representatives, elected in June, moved from the capital to Tobruk in early August, amid worsening security. On 25 August, the Islamist-dominated General National Congress, which had preceded the House of Representatives and never stood down, reconvened. It voted to replace the House, electing Omar al Hassi as Prime Minister.
The political crisis has led to worsening armed conflict over the course of the year. In August, the House of Representatives’ call for a ceasefire under UN supervision was rejected by the Islamist Justice and Construction Party. Without a minimum of consensus, Libya is likely to have two ineffectual governments with militias exerting real control on the ground (International Crisis Group, 01/09/2014).
Despite hostilities, a referendum on a new constitution has been scheduled for December (Reuters, 11/09/2014).
The surge in violence since mid-July has affected more than two million people (UN, 03/09/2014). Current estimates from Libya’s Emergency Crisis Committee and local partners suggest that 1,000 people had been killed and 4,000 injured, and 107,028 displaced by 3 September.
On 28 September, the new Government was sworn in, one day after pleading for international help to fight against Islamist militias (WSJ, 27/09/2014; Al Bawaba, 28/09/2014).
On 17 September, heavy fighting broke out on the coast road towards Zawia from Tripoli, with heavy artillery shelling (IOM, 17/09/2014).
The Libya Shield brigades, tied to the city of Misrata, are allied to Islamist political forces, as are the Shura Council of Benghazi Revolutionaries (SCBR), a Benghazi-based alliance including Ansar al Sharia, Libya Shield units and other armed group. The Al Qa’qa’ and Al Sawai’q brigades, allied with the city of Zintan, back the House of Representatives, as does former General Khalifa Haftar, supported by units of Libya's regular armed forces.
An abundance of weapons from the NATO-backed uprising against Gaddafi are sustaining warring factions (AFP, 14/07/2014). Frequent air strikes have taken place on populated areas in Benghazi since May, while in Tripoli there have been two air strikes (UNSMIL, 04/09/2014). The United Nations Stabilization Mission for Libya left the country in mid-July.
By 21 September, soldiers and police had clashed for several days near Libya's biggest oil field, El Sharara, in the south. At least 12 people died (Reuters, 21/09/2014).
Tripoli has witnessed continuous violence since 13 July, when Tripoli-based armed groups allied with others, primarily from the city of Misrata but also from other towns including al Zawiya and Gheryan, launched Operation Dawn against the Zintan-affiliated Al Qa’qa’ and Al Sawai’q armed groups allied with fighters from the Warshefana region west of Tripoli.
On 16 September, it was reported that fighter jets from an unknown country have carried out at least four attacks near Tripoli, targeting ammunition warehouses and weapons depots under the control of Operation Dawn. Egypt and the United Arab Emirates were believed to have carried out air strikes against armed groups in Libya last month, but neither state has admitted responsibility for the attacks (Al Jazeera, 16/09/2014).
On 24 August, Operation Dawn fighters seized control of the airport and other areas of Tripoli, and Zintan-affiliated armed groups withdrew. Fighting was still ongoing in the Warshefana region (UNSMIL, 04/09/2014).
On 24 September, an air strike on a port in Benghazi was claimed by forces loyal to Haftar. Haftar’s forces claim Islamists were using the port to bring in supplies and weapons; the port is the main gateway for wheat and fuel imports into eastern Libya (Reuters, 24/09/2014).
On 17 September, SCBR launched another offensive on Benghazi airport, the last base of former General Haftar. SCBR has been trying to capture the airport since early September, which houses both civilian and military airfields. Nine soldiers from a special forces unit loyal to Haftar have been killed and another 30 wounded in fighting (AFP, 17/09/2014). On 18 September, unidentified gunmen killed former air force chief Mesmari (AFP, 18/09/2014).
Former General Khalifa Haftar announced Operation Dignity against SCBR in mid-May, but Benghazi appears to be mostly under SCBR control since mid-July (UNSMIL, 04/09/2014). Several residential areas have been subjected to regular shelling. Some areas were also subject to air attacks. Residents have sought refuge in the centre of the city, with host families, or left for other cities. Several families sought refuge in schools (UNSMIL, 04/09/2014).
By 28 September, clashes in Sabha, southern Libya, between Awlad Suleiman tribe and the Gaddadfa tribe had killed at least two people, according to Libya’s Council of Dignitaries, which mediates in disputes (AFP, 28/09/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Indiscriminate fighting has led to restrictions of movement for people trying to flee conflict areas. Violence and checkpoints along the route to Zawia from Tripoli are preventing people from reaching the Tunisian border.
Most humanitarian agencies have left, owing to the deterioration of the security context. The national capacity to adequately address the humanitarian situation is very limited. The agency tasked with leading the humanitarian response reports that it has not received funds in over a year, and evaluates its own response capacity as almost non-existent (IRIN 07/08/2014).
Security Incidents Involving Aid Workers
On 4 June, an ICRC staff member was assassinated in Sirte, prompting the ICRC to suspend its work in the country (UN Security Council, 05/09/2014).
The battle for Tripoli airport resulted in the damage or destruction of numerous civilian aircraft and the ignition of a large fuel storage facility on airport road that burned for days. Bridge 27, linking Tripoli and western Libyan cities, has also been damaged (UNSMIL, 04/09/2014). Significant damage and destruction has been reported to public installations in Tripoli’s southern and western suburbs (UN Security Council, 05/09/2014).
227,000 IDPs are estimated to be in Libya as of September: at least 165,968 IDPs since mid-May in eastern and western Libya; approximately 4,800 IDPs because of clashes in southern Libya in January; and at to at least 56,544 IDPs still displaced since the 2011 armed conflict (IDMC, 23/09/2014). UN estimates place the number of IDPs at more than 140,000 (UNHCR, 22/09/2014).
The west of the country has been most affected, such as the districts of Az Zawiyah and Yafran. Displaced families are currently being hosted by relatives and local communities or living in public buildings or shelters (OCHA, 03/09/2014).
In Tripoli, many internally displaced Tawerghans reportedly left their camps at the beginning of the fighting because of the shelling and fear of abduction. Following the victory of Operation Dawn, al Fallah camp, in an area under the control of Operation Dawn, was raided on 30 August. One person was reportedly killed and three injured. Many Tawerghans also left the camp at the Janzour Marine Academy for fear of abduction, moving to a number of locations including Bani Walid and Tarhouna to the east of Tripoli, and al Zawiya, Surman, and Ajaylat to the west (UNSMIL, 04/09/2014).
Many of those displaced in Benghazi have found shelter in schools (UNSMIL, 04/09/2014).
Migrants, Refugees and Asylum-seekers in Libya
Prior to the crisis, in addition to IDPs from the 2011 conflict, Libya was supporting an increasing population of refugees and asylum seekers using the country as an exit point to Europe. Some of these have been further displaced by the current unrest (UNHCR, 12/07/2014).
There are approximately 200,000 migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers in Tripoli, Misrata and Benghazi. Among them, 7,000 are deemed particularly vulnerable and need immediate evacuation assistance (IOM, 05/09/2014). Detention of migrants, asylum-seekers and refugees in Libya is widespread and prolonged; conditions, which were poor prior to the current fighting, have worsened (UNSMIL, 04/09/2014).
As of 28 September, almost 500 Turkish workers had been trapped for five days at the airport of Ghat, in Fezzan region, southwest Libya, reportedly facing food and water shortages (Daily Sabah, 28/09/2014).
Third-country nationals face extreme difficulties in leaving the country as passage through Libya’s borders with Egypt and Tunisia is restricted (IOM, 14/09/2014). While some migrants were displaced towards the south of the country, others opted to attempt leaving Libya by sea (IOM, 05/09/2014). Main departure points to Europe have shifted from Tripoli towards Benghazi, from where the journey is longer and more dangerous (IRIN, 06/08/2014). Over 13–14 September, three shipwrecks occurred of the Libyan coast, with 340 people dead or missing (UNHCR, 16/09/2014).
Refugees and Third-country Nationals in Neighbouring Countries
More than 150,000 people, including third-country nationals (estimated at 15,000) have sought refuge abroad (OCHA, 03/09/2014). Since mid-July, a steady flow of Libyans and migrants have crossed to Tunisia through the two main land crossing points. After Eid al Fitr (28 July) the normal flows of migrants increased from 4,000 to about 16,000 per day for several days (UNSMIL, 04/09/2014). In August, 6,000 people were crossing from Libya into Tunisia every day; most were Third Country Nationals (TCNs) (ICRC, 22/09/2014).
Since 2011, approximately 1.8 million people have fled to Tunisia (NYT, 09/09/2014).
Shortages of basic food supplies have been reported in all areas of Tripoli and food prices have risen drastically (IOM, 12/08/2014). Warehouses (both public and private) are situated in conflict areas, and fuel shortages are aggravating the situation.
Farms have been shelled and livestock killed in Qasr Ben Ghashir, according to local authorities (Amnesty International, 08/08/2014).
Libya largely depends on imports (up to 90%) for its cereal consumption requirements and the country’s increasing isolation could impede food imports (FAO, 28/01/2014).
People in Benghazi and Tripoli specifically, and in other cities in general, have been facing regular electricity cuts, plus interruptions to the internet and wider communications. In Tripoli, fuel shortages and water cuts have affected livelihoods (IFRC, 12/08/2014).
Health and Nutrition
Large numbers of expatriate medical personnel have left Libya, and such staff make up 80% of all medical personnel, according to the Ministry of Health. According to the Libyan Ministry of Health, the health system could collapse if the trend continues.
The hospitals that remain operating in Tripoli and Benghazi have been overstretched dealing with casualties. Many national medical personnel could not report to work due to insecurity. Al Afya hospital near the airport in Tripoli had to close on 17 July, after it was hit by several shells. The Tripoli Medical Centre was also hit by shells on 13 August. Hospitals in the Al Hawari area of Tripoli have had to suspend operations due to shelling. In Benghazi, Al Jala hospital was occupied for several weeks by Ansar al Shari’a. On 28 August five newly equipped ambulances were stolen (IRIN, 02/09/2014).
Hospital staff in Tripoli and Al Zawiya reported that medical supplies could not be retrieved from storage facilities, which were inaccessible or had been destroyed (UNSMIL, 04/09/2014). Vaccines have been stolen from warehouses (IOM, 12/08/2014). The Libyan Red Crescent Society branches in Zawia, Khoms, Eljmail, and Zwara have reported difficulties in accessing and transporting medicines and medical supplies for people with chronic diseases and nursing mothers (IFRC, 12/08/2014). In Warshefana, fighting has disrupted health services and Zahra hospital reported severe shortages of medicines and medical supplies (ICRC, 17/09/2014).
Increased shelling on residential areas has been observed mainly in Tripoli and Benghazi (IFRC, 28/07/2014). Alongside civilian properties, factories, mosques, and shops have also been destroyed in the residential areas of Qasr Ben Ghashir, Al Akwakh, Kremiya, and along the main airport road in Tripoli (Amnesty International, 08/08/2014).
In Benghazi and nearby Derna, there have been at least 250 politically motivated killings in 2014 (HRW, 24/09/2014). Peace activists as well as senior army officers were killed in a string of coordinated assassinations on 19 September, (The Guardian, 20/09/2014).
Abductions, looting, burning of homes and other acts of revenge have all been frequently reported in relation to ongoing hostilities (UN Security Council, 05/09/2014).
With some exceptions, civilians have not been given the chance to evacuate before hostilities commenced and severe fighting has taken place in and around houses and other places of refuge (UNSMIL, 04/09/2014).
In addition to the detention of fighters or suspected fighters, dozens of civilians have been abducted and remain missing solely for their actual or suspected tribal, family, or religious affiliation (UNSMIL, 04/09/2014). Fighters from Operation Dawn have reportedly continued to search for and abduct people following their takeover of Tripoli (UNSMIL, 04/09/2014). In eastern Libya, soon after mid-May, Operation Dignity detained dozens of men in areas under their control based on their political or religious affiliation or nationality, in addition to fighters of the SCBR (UNSMIL, 04/09/2014).
Mines and ERW
Land mines reportedly used in the airport area in Tripoli and are now a major hazard. In many cases, incorrectly armed fuses or faulty ammunition have resulted in large quantities of unexploded ordnance in conflict areas (UNSMIL, 04/09/2014).
Mali Country Analysis
- Security, particularly in the north, remains volatile, and access is limited for aid workers. Security in and around the northeastern region of Kidal is of particular concern.
- 4.7 million people need food assistance in September 2014. The situation is extremely worrying in northern Mali, following violence in Kidal and Gao region in May (OCHA, 10/09/2014). 496,000 children under five suffered from SAM as of 31 July (OCHA, 12/08/2014)
- 2.5 million people are in need of healthcare and one million people are in need of WASH (OCHA, 10/09/2014).
- The increase in the arrival of returnees to the north has increased needs among host communities (IOM, 24/07/2014).
Violence and conflict in the north have led to a deterioration in the humanitarian situation and large-scale displacement.
Civilian rule was re-established in mid-2013, but Mali continues to face security and political challenges. The truce in the north remains fragile, and key government institutions need strengthening. Limited access to basic social services and the poor capacity of public administration are key drivers of the crisis.
On 5 April, Moussa Mara became Prime Minister after Mali's first post-war Prime Minister Oumar Tatam Ly resigned just six months into office.
The Tuareg Rebellion and National Reconciliation
A ceasefire was signed with the Bamako Government on 23 May. On 15 June, three armed groups from northern Mali, the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), the High Council for the Unity of Azawad (HCUA), and the Arab Movement of Azawad (MAA) signed the Algiers Declaration with the Government of Mali. The groups have agreed to engage with the Government on a path of dialogue and negotiation, in exchange for the release of prisoners and better conditions for the return of refugees. The second round of negotiations began on 1 September (AFP, 01/09/2014). On 14 September, the MNLA and the MAA signed a Memorandum of Understanding (AFP, 14/09/2014).
Continued violence in northern Mali has put the peace talks on shaky ground (UN, 07/08/2014). There have been signs of distrust from the main Tuareg separatist group, which has accused the Malian army of backing local militias east of Timbuktu (Reuters, 24/07/2014).
The crisis began in January 2012, when several insurgent groups began fighting for independence and greater autonomy for the northern Azawad region. The conflict initially pitted Tuareg tribesmen against the Government. But then Islamist rebel groups Ansar Dine and the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) began a separate insurgency, aiming to impose shariah in Azawad and push Tuareg insurgents out of major cities. The conflict was further complicated by a military coup in March 2012 . At the request of the Government, the French military launched Operation Serval in January 2013 in response to territorial gains and a push south by Islamist fighters.
Al Qaeda-linked militants are known to operate in Mali; a number of so-called self-defence militias, formed in 2012, are active; and strained relations between Tuareg and other communities in the north, such as the Fulani and Songhai, have deteriorated since 2012. Unexploded ordnance and landmines are an additional threat.
In the north, there has been a series of attacks on MINUSMA vehicles, camps, and peacekeepers, and involving civilians since mid-August; about 16 people have been killed and 36 wounded (AFP, 21/09/2014). Tuareg and Arab insurgents took Kidal and the smaller settlement of Menaka in May, and the situation in Kidal and Gao remains tense. Local sources and security forces report that Islamists have regained a foothold in several areas and pressured families hostile to their presence to leave their homes.
The stability of the Sahel region relies on the presence of foreign troops. Malian and French forces, the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), and the EU military training mission (EUTM) are all present, mainly in Bamako (53% of forces) and in northern cities such as Kidal, Gao, Timbuktu, and Menaka (28%) (OCHA, 31/05/2014). MINUSMA’s mandate expires on 30 June 2015.
On 1 August, France deployed a 3,000-strong counterterrorism operation across the Sahel region. Based in Chad, operation Barkhane is active in Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger (Local Media, 01/08/2014).
The body of a Tuareg man abducted by suspected Islamist militants was found north of Timbuktu at the end of September. Four others abducted at the same time were released (BBC, 24/09/2014). On 21 September, at least two civilians were killed by a landmine near the town of Aguelhok, in
Kidal region (AFP, 21/09/2014). On 18 September, five UN Chadian peacekeepers were killed when their truck drove over a mine in northeastern Mali (AFP, 18/09/2014). On 16 September, an IED attack in north Mali killed two civilians and wounded four (AFP, 16/09/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
The limited deployment of security forces and poor road conditions during the rainy season is restricting access to populations in need. There are major challenges to expanding the humanitarian response (EU, 12/09/2014).
As of 31 August, around 101,300 people are internally displaced as a consequence of the 2012 conflict, of whom more than 35,200 are in Bamako and 15,000 in Koulikoro. The overall number of IDPs is 340,000 (EU, 12/09/2014).
Around 9,700 IDPs are considered vulnerable (IOM, 10/09/2014). 55% of IDPs in the south are children (IOM, 08/2014).
77% of IDP households surveyed want to go back to their place of origin (IOM, 10/09/2014).
Refugees in Mali
As of 31 July, Mali hosts over 14,525 refugees from countries including Mauritania (12,900) and Côte d’Ivoire (1,110) (OCHA, 16/09/2014).
35,800 IDPs went back to their place of origin between June and September (IOM, 10/09/2014). The arrival of returnees in the north has exacerbated existing needs in host communities (OCHA, 10/09/2014).
361,000 IDP returnees have been identified in Gao, Timbuktu, Kidal, and Mopti (IOM, 10/09/2014).
The number of returning refugees has been decreasing over the past months: 603 returned in August (UNHCR, 19/09/2014). So far in 2014, more than 31,000 Malians have returned: more than 10,000 from Burkina Faso; about 12,000 from Niger; around 7,300 from Mauritania; and 2,200 from Algeria (UNHCR, 14/08/2014).
Mali, Niger, and UNHCR signed a tripartite agreement on the voluntary repatriation of Malian refugees on 3 May. The situation in northern Mali is, however, not yet favourable to the promotion of massive returns. In January, UNHCR stated that there is a risk of reprisal attacks on returning refugees and IDPs, and socio-economic conditions have not been restored to pre-conflict levels. However, UNHCR said it will work together with both governments in seeking durable solutions for the refugees.
Malian Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
As of 9 September, an estimated 140,000 Malians have taken refuge in neighbouring countries, including 54,000 in Mauritania, 50,000 in Niger, 33,000 in Burkina Faso, and 1,500 in Algeria (OCHA, 10/09/2014).
4.75 million people are in need of food assistance: 2.8 million people are moderately food insecure and 1.9 million people are severely food insecure (OCHA, 10/09/2014).
Poor households in northern Bandiagara are currently facing Stressed acute food insecurity (ICP Phase 2) but should experience low food insecurity from October. In the Sahel belt, poor households have resorted to negative coping mechanisms, experiencing Stressed conditions (IPC Phase 2) (FEWSNET, 30/09/2014).
Livestock are in poor physical condition due to the lack of pasture, resulting in a drastic drop in market prices for small animals. Consequently, movements of livestock from northern Mali to grazing areas in the centre and south of the country have been observed (OCHA, 07/2014).
Sahel Food Crisis: Regional Overview
In July, more than 20 million people in the Sahel (Burkina Faso, north Cameroon, Chad, the Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, north Nigeria, and Senegal) were suffering from food insecurity (Donor, 24/09/2014). Food insecurity in 2014 has risen dramatically compared to 2013, when food consumption was inadequate for 11.3 million people (OCHA, 03/02/2014).
Health and Nutrition
Almost 2.5 million people are in need of healthcare (OCHA, 10/09/2014).
496,000 children under five suffered from severe malnutrition as of 31 July. 361,000 children under five suffer from MAM (OCHA, 12/08/2014).
One million people do not have access to drinking water in their community in Timbuktu, Gao, Kidal and Mopti as a consequence of the conflict (OCHA, 10/09/2014).
Shelter and NFIs
567,000 people are in need of NFIs in the conflict-affected areas of Timbuktu, Kidal, Gao, Mopti, and Segu (OCHA, 10/09/2014).
Explosive remnants of war have caused 101 casualties from 2012 to June 2014 (OCHA, 30/06/2014).
Grave violations against children from January 2012 to December 2013 were reported by the UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict in May, including killings, sexual violence, and recruitment. Violations were committed by armed groups active in the north, and to a lesser extent, by Malian armed forces and pro-government militias.
Niger Country Analysis
No new developments this week. Last update: 18/09/2014.
- Acute food insecurity in large parts of the country: certain poor households will reach Crisis (IPC Phase 3), particularly in Ouallam, between July and September (FEWSNET, 07/2014). An estimated 4.3 million people are chronically food insecure, compared to 2.9 million in 2013.
- 1.6 million acutely malnourished children, 356,320 of whom are severely malnourished. 13.3% GAM among children 6–59 months (OCHA, 31/07/2014).
- 128,750 people have fled to Niger: 51,250 from Mali (UNHCR, 31/08/2014) and 77,500 from Nigeria (OCHA, 08/09/2014).
- Niger is affected by a cholera epidemic, reportedly linked to the one in neighbouring Nigeria. Since January, 355 cases and 11 deaths have been recorded (UNICEF, 31/08/2014).
Niger is affected by instability in neighbouring Mali and Nigeria. Spillover from Nigeria's Islamist uprising is threatening Niger’s security: a growing number of incidents has been recorded, including the seizure of arms and arrest of militants.
France announced mid-July that some 3,000 French troops will operate counterterrorist operations in the Sahel region in Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad across the Sahel region (Reuters, 18/07/2014). Based in Chad, the new counterterrorism operation, Barkhane, will replace the current Serval operation (RFI, 18/07/2014).
National Political Context
On 8 February, 36 parties mobilised 18,000 people to rally in the capital Niamey in support of President Issoufou. Thousands of protestors from the opposition coalition Alliance for the Republic, Democracy, and Reconciliation had taken to the streets on 28 December 2013 over the failure of the Government to improve living standards. The protest took place after a ban on opposition demonstrations was lifted in November.
In August 2013, President Issoufou appointed a national unity government in an attempt to reinforce political stability, address regional security threats, and deal with corruption, impunity, and demographic and economic challenges.
Insecurity has been rising in Niger and across the region due to a series of crises in Libya, Mali, and Nigeria. Terrorist threats from Boko Haram, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, and the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa are all of concern.
A number of incidents, including an attempted kidnapping of officials, and the seizure of arms and arrests of militants, suggest that Boko Haram may be using southeast Niger both as a base and a potential target, according to Reuters.
Niger is also facing increasing communal tensions connected to the Tuareg insurgency. Divided along lines of class, clan, and generation, some Tuareg are integrated into the administration. However, others have been waging a low-level war in an attempt to achieve greater autonomy for the north.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Over 59,000 people have been affected and 38 killed by flooding caused by heavy seasonal rainfall. 22,200 are affected in Tillabery, 11,500 in Tahoua, and 11,200 in Maradi, the most affected regions. More than 4,500 houses and 250 hectares of crops have been destroyed so far (Niger’s Civil Protection and OCHA, 05/09/2014).
As of mid-July, an estimated 120,000 people have sought refuge in Niger following crises in Mali and Nigeria (OCHA, 17/07/2014).
3,400 Malian people sought refuge in Niger between May and July (INGO, 13/08/2014). 51,250 Malian refugees are now in Niger (UNHCR, 31/08/2014). As of March, 80% were women and children. Most live in three camps established in Tillabery region in 2012: Abala, Mangaize, and Tabareybarey. In 2013, in an attempt to adapt to the specific needs of nomadic refugees, two refugee hosting areas were established in Intikane and Tazalit, Tahoua.
On 3 May, Mali, Niger, and UNHCR signed a tripartite agreement on the voluntary repatriation of Malian refugees, although the situation in northern Mali is not yet favourable for the promotion of massive returns. As of 31 August, over 12,000 Malians have returned to their homes (UNHCR, 31/08/2014).
Returnees from Mali constitute 14% (around 5,700 people) of the 40,800 returnees in Niger (OCHA, 31/07/2014).
An estimated 13,130 people crossed from northeastern Nigeria into Niger between 8 August and 4 September, bringing their overall number to 77,500 since May 2013 (OCHA, 08/09/2014). In July, 78% were returnees and 22% refugees (OCHA, 21/07/2014). The rate of arrivals has increased: an estimated 22,400 people crossed into Diffa region between January and late May (UNHCR and IRC). Approximately 70% are Niger returnees and 30% are Nigerian refugees (UNHCR, 09/2014).
The displaced are in a critical situation, and have shelter, food, water, and health needs. The situation is compounded by logistic and security challenges. The Government has decided not to open camps in Diffa region. The majority of refugees are women and children, and host families themselves have limited food and water resources. Diffa has long been facing serious gaps in the provision of food staples, healthcare and potable water for more than half a million inhabitants, and the estimated refugees and returnees population represents more than 10% of the total population of Diffa region. Internal displacement within the region is increasing, driven by the search for means of subsistence and pasture (UNHCR, 09/2014; IFRC, 08/08/2014; OCHA, 26/07/2014).
The Government has reportedly been slow in giving the newly arrived Nigerians refugee status, despite a December decree granting refugee status to people fleeing the states under a state of emergency in Nigeria. As of September, only 18% of newly arrived people had identity documents (UNHCR, 09/2014).
CAR Crisis: Returnees
Since December 2013, 1,160 Niger nationals have been repatriated from CAR by IOM in coordination with the Government of Niger.
Almost 161,200 people are suffering from food insecurity in Diffa region (OCHA, 10/08/2014). Acute food insecurity will remain at Crisis level (IPC Phase 3) for households in north Nguigmi department, Diffa region, until October (FEWSNET, 28/08/2014). Diffa is vulnerable to flooding and drought.
In agricultural and pastoral areas, households are experiencing Stressed Food Security (IPC Phase 2) between August and September and will experience Minimal food insecurity level (IPC Phase 1) until December. The situation could change depending on the harvest in October–December (FEWSNET, 28/08/2014).
4.3 million people are estimated to be chronically food insecure, compared to 2.9 million in 2013 (OCHA, 31/07/2014).
Sahel Food Crisis: Regional Overview
In March 2014, more than 25 million people in the Sahel (Burkina Faso, north Cameroon, Chad, the Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, north Nigeria, and Senegal), suffered from food insecurity (FAO, 03/04/2014). Food insecurity in 2014 has risen dramatically compared to 2013, when 11.3 million people had inadequate food (OCHA, 03/02/2014).
Agriculture and Markets
Disruptions in rainfall have destroyed seedlings in some areas, and farmers face serious challenges accessing seed. In Nguigmi department, Diffa region, not a single village was able to sow seeds. Only 41% of villages in Diffa (250 of 606) had sown seeds by the end of July (OCHA, 26/07/2014).
In the north, livestock are in a poor physical condition due to the lack of pasture, resulting in a drastic drop in market prices for small animals (OCHA, 31/07/2014).
Boko Haram-related market disruptions have restrained trade flows towards Diffa and increased marketing costs. Trade flows from Nigeria towards Maradi and Konni are at normal levels (FEWSNET, 31/07/2014)
Health and Nutrition
As of late August, 355 cholera cases have been registered in 2014, including 11 deaths (representing a fatality rate of 3.1%) significantly lower than during the same period of 2013, when 592 cases were reported (UNICEF 31/08/2014 and 31/07/2014).
Around 1.6 million children are acutely malnourished in Niger; 356,320 of them are severely malnourished. GAM among children 6–59 months is at 13.3% nationwide, and exceeds the 15% emergency threshold in Maradi region (OCHA, 31/07/2014).
In mid-July, malnutrition had increased in Maine and Nguigmi in Diffa region (OCHA, 21/07/2014). In April, GAM was at critical levels in the regions of Agadez (14.0%), Tahoua (13.1%), Tillabery (13.3%), and Diffa (12.3%), according to OCHA.
48% of the population do not have access to safe drinking water (OCHA, 17/07/2014).
Nigeria Country Analysis
20 September: WHO indicated that the outbreak was almost contained, with the most recent case of Ebola reported on 8 September. As of 18 September, 21 cases of Ebola have been reported in Nigeria, including eight fatalities.
19–20 September: Boko Haram (BH) insurgents stormed the town of Mainok, Borno state, sparking a gun battle that killed at least 36 people (Reuters).
18 September: Amnesty International reported that Nigeria’s police and military routinely torture women, men, and children (BBC).
18 September: BH insurgents control 25 towns and villages in northeast Nigeria: ten in Yobe state, ten in Borno, and five in Adamawa, according to the region's Roman Catholic bishop (AFP).
Early September: Crisis levels of food insecurity will persist until at least December in southern Borno and Yobe, northern Adamawa state, and the Lake Chad region, despite the main harvest beginning in October (FEWSNET).
- 15.5 million people are directly affected by violence in the northeast (OCHA, 06/2014).
- 4.2 million are food insecure and Crisis levels of food insecurity are expected in the state of emergency (SoE) states (UNICEF, 06/2014).
- There are 675,000 IDPs in the northeast due to the insurgency in the three SoE states (NEMA, 08/2014).
- The Boko Haram insurgency killed at least 2,053 civilians in an estimated 95 attacks during the first half of 2014 (HRW, 15/07/2014).
- 1.74 million children are acutely malnourished (UNICEF and OCHA, 03/2014).
- Nearly half the population does not have access to safe water (UNICEF).
- 23,765 cholera cases have been reported so far in 2014: lack of WASH and the consequences of violence in the northeast are increasing concern about the outbreak (WHO, 06/2014).
- As of 18 September, 21 cases of Ebola were reported in Nigeria, including eight fatalities (WHO).
Up to 9.5 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance across the country. Displaced and people otherwise affected by violence in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe, and neighbouring Bauchi, Taraba, and Gombe states are in urgent need of health services, protection, food, and water. The violence has displaced a large number of people, restricted movement, disrupted food supply, seriously hindered access to basic services, and limited agricultural activities.
A state of emergency was declared in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe states in May 2013 and the International Criminal Court qualified the conflict between Boko Haram and the Government as a civil war in November 2013. Economic decline, growing inequality, and failure to contain Boko Haram have all contributed to growing public distrust in the Government.
The 2015 election is expected to exacerbate all violence in Nigeria (OCHA, 08/2014).
According to his opposition, President Jonathan’s re-election would violate the unwritten rule that governance should rotate between the Muslim north and the Christian south every two terms. On 3 February, Nigeria’s former Vice President Abubakar left the ruling People’s Democratic Party to join the All Progressives Congress (APC) opposition party, stating he believed in a two-party political system for Nigeria.
On 17 February, the Governance, Transparency, and Integrity Working Group of the United States–Nigeria Binational Commission met to support the establishment of benchmarks for transparent and inclusive elections.
The Boko Haram insurgency killed at least 2,053 civilians in an estimated 95 attacks during the first half of 2014 (HRW, 15/07/2014). At least 6,000 people were killed in insurgent attacks between 2013 and June 2014 (ACLED and OCHA, 01/07/2014).
The frequency and fatality of attacks are at their highest levels since the state of emergency (SoE) was imposed. Common targets remain the vast rural communities, schools, and highways that connect the northeastern towns to each other.
Due to the significant increase in violent attacks, the International Criminal Court declared the conflict between government forces and Boko Haram (BH) a civil war in November 2013. The insurgency is being fuelled by the high proliferation of small arms, and support from international terror groups (OCHA, 05/2014).
In May, the UN identified 15 states as potential hot spots for political-related violence for 2015 elections, with likely humanitarian implications (OCHA, 05/2014).
International and Regional Involvement
On 22 May, the UN Security Council’s Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee approved the addition of BH to its list of individuals and entities subject to targeted financial sanctions and an arms embargo.
According to UNHCR, the influx of Nigerian refugees and the spillover of violence is creating cross-border tensions with Niger. In November 2013, Niger and Nigeria established a Joint Border Patrol Command.
Founded in Maiduguri, Borno state, BH has been leading an insurgency to create an Islamic state in the predominantly Muslim regions of northern Nigeria. The Nigerian authorities have been fighting BH since 2009. Despite military interventions by the Government, the security crisis has continued to worsen, with growing numbers of victims of killings and abductions, and the destruction of social and economic infrastructures, including the disruption of education services in the affected areas.
On 24 August, Boko Haram declared an Islamic caliphate in the town of Gwoza, the biggest town under BH’s control (Al Jazeera, 25/08/2014). By the beginning of September, experts were warning that Borno state is on the brink of a takeover. Insurgents reportedly control 25 towns and villages in northeast Nigeria: ten in Yobe state, ten in Borno state, and five in Adamawa state, according to the region's Roman Catholic bishop (AFP, 18/09/2014). Attacks continue in other states, although less frequently, including in the capital.
Military failures are largely to blame for the worsening crisis, according to multiple sources. In August, Nigerian soldiers refused to deploy to Gwoza without better weapons (AFP, 22/08/2014). Elsewhere, the military has used excessive force, resulting in large-scale destruction in civilian areas. Amnesty International has reported mass extrajudicial executions (Washington Post, 05/08/2014). The state of emergency, declared in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe in mid-May 2013, and extended to 20 November 2014, is feared to have strengthened the recruitment base of Boko Haram. Boko Haram has grown stronger, secured powerful new weapons, and refreshed its ranks with new conscripts.
Civilians have formed vigilante groups or self-defence militias, reportedly with the tacit backing of the Nigerian Government. As a result, BH has expanded its initial military and security targets to include Christians, Muslims, students, politicians, and others opposing BH’s ambition to impose Islamic law.
On 23 February, it was confirmed that Nigeria had closed its northern border with Cameroon – from northern Borno state, by Lake Chad, to the southern end of Adamawa state – to block the movement of BH.
Borno state: Over 19–20 September, BH insurgents stormed the town of Mainok, sparking a gun battle that killed at least 36 people (Reuters).
On 13 September, BH insurgents attacked a market outside Maiduguri, (AFP, 13/09/2014). A day before, Nigeria's military had claimed to have routed BH militants near Maiduguri, whereas a community group maintained that the town was still under BH control and many residents were still trapped (AFP, 12/09/2014).
On 28 August, BH took control of Gamboru Ngala (AFP), and in early August, BH took the town of Gwoza (Al Jazeera, 25/08/2014). At least 20 police officers deployed to a training academy outside of Gwoza are still missing (AFP, 09//09/2014).
On 7 August, the Nigerian military recaptured the town of Damboa from BH, who had taken it on 21 July, and some 15,000 people were displaced (Sahara Reporters, 07/08/2014).
Yobe state: BH fighters have reportedly taken control of the towns of Buni Yadi, Buni Gari and Goniri, all in Gujba local government area (Sahara Reporters, 10/08/2014).
Adamawa state: Thousands of people fled their homes in Madagali, Gulak, Michika, Bazza, and Mubi towns following a BH advance. This failed military offensive on Madagali has prompted fears that the government could soon lose control of the northeast. (AFP, 08/09/2014).
Kano state: Attacks on Kano began again in May, after a lull of several months, and have become more frequent. On 17 September, BH insurgents were blamed after at least 15 people were killed during a shoot-out between police and suspected suicide bombers at a teacher training college (Al Jazeera, 18/09/2014).
On 4 August, state authorities reported that inter-communal violence in Taraba state left 40 people dead and over 3,500 displaced (OCHA, 05/08/2014).
On 15 April, Human Rights Watch said inter-communal violence had escalated across five states in central Nigeria (Benue, Kaduna, Plateau, Nasarawa, and Taraba) since December 2013, killing more than 1,000 people. The Middle Belt area is home to a number of minority groups, divided between the Islamic north and the more secular Christian/animist south. Thousands have been killed since the early 1990s in competition mainly for land and water.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
An estimated 15.5 million people living in the six northeastern states of Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Taraba, Gombe, and Bauchi are directly affected by violence (OCHA, 02/06/2014).
Attacks on health facilities, water points, and farms have severely affected local communities, particularly in Borno and Yobe (UNICEF, 18/06/2014). Populations are in urgent need of protection, food, and basic medical and WASH services in a context of limited humanitarian presence (OCHA, 01/07/2014).
An estimated 15.5 million people living in the six northeastern states of Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Taraba, Gombe, and Bauchi are directly affected by violence (OCHA, 08/2014).
Attacks on health facilities, water points, and farms have severely affected local communities, particularly in Borno and Yobe (UNICEF, 18/06/2014). Populations are in urgent need of protection, food, and basic medical and WASH services in a context of limited humanitarian presence (OCHA, 01/07/2014).
Very few international actors are operating in the northeast. Basic services, notably schools and health facilities, are being systematically destroyed by insurgents (OCHA, 31/08/2014).
Humanitarian access in the northeast is impeded by insecurity, poor infrastructure, and limited openings for dialogue with both security forces and non-state actors (OCHA, 05/2014).
BH insurgents are suspected of blowing up a major bridge in Gamboru Ngala district, Borno state, disrupting transport links with Cameroon (BBC, 27/07/2014).
All roads leading to and from state capital Maiduguri are subject to attack. All commercial flights to Maiduguri remain suspended. There are no government restrictions on travel to Borno state, however, there are protocols to ensure safety (OCHA, 07/2014).
Nigeria’s National Emergency Management Agency registered 26,400 new IDPs in Maiduguri, Borno state, earlier in September, in addition to the 650,000 IDPs in 69 Local Government Areas of the Northeast estimated in June. Given that access is restricted to many of the cities attacked or claimed by insurgents, the number is likely to be far higher (OCHA, 17/09/2014). Thousands of people are fleeing northern parts of Adamawa state: Mubi, which is the largest commercial centre in the state, has been deserted (BBC, 09/09/2014 and AFP, 08/09/2014). NEMA reported 11,440 IDPs from Gwoza state at two facilities for displaced people in Adamawa state at 21 August (AFP, 21/08/2014). And the initial BH assault on Damboa displaced 15,200 people over 17–20 July. 10,200 fled to Biu, 3,000 to Maiduguri, and 2,000 to Goniri (NEMA cited by AFP, 21/07/2014).
Early July, the most affected state was Borno, with some 257,700 IDPs, 100,000 of whom were displaced in the capital, Maiduguri. Adamawa and Yobe states respectively hosted 102,560 and 76,360 IDPs (UNHCR and OCHA, 01/07/2014). 268,200 were displaced in surrounding states including Taraba (108,500), Bauchi (88,570), Benue (37,000), Kaduna (15,000), Gombe (13,000), and Nasarawa (6,340).
There are about 200 host communities in the country (UNHCR and OCHA, 01/07/2014). Most IDPs reside with families in poor host communities, overstretching already scarce resources and aggravating poverty levels, including food and nutrition insecurity (OCHA, 06/2014). 18 camps host more than 60,000 IDPs in Borno, Taraba, Gombe, and Lagos states.
Most IDP households are headed by women who have been widowed during attacks.
Nigerian Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
As of 16 September, UNHCR reported that 75,000 refugees have fled to Cameroon, Nigeria, or Chad, and 95,000 are expected by the end of the year (OCHA, 17/09/2014). Temporary refugee status has been granted to those Nigerians fleeing the three states under a SoE. UNHCR has advised against forced returns to northern areas.
Niger: Some 77,500 Nigerian refugees and returning migrants are in Niger (OCHA, 08/2014). 10,000 people entered the country in August (OCHA, 02/09/2014). Concentrated in the Diffa region, most refugees are staying with local communities, and food and water resources are limited (UNHCR, 15/06/2014).
Cameroon: 43,000 Nigerians have fled to northern Cameroon so far in 2014, including 26,750 refugees registered by UNHCR (IRIN, 17/09/2014). Dozens are arriving every day. Many refugees prefer to stay near the border in order to better monitor the situation in Nigeria (UNICEF, 30/06/2014). Aid and infrastructure projects in the Far North region have been suspended due to high levels of insecurity (AlertNet, 08/07/2014).
Chad: Another 1,000 Nigerians arrived on the uninhabited Choua Island in Chad on 31 July, reportedly having fled BH violence in Borno state (UNHCR, 06/08/2014). Since 2009, 4,000 Nigerian refugees have arrived in Chad (OCHA, 05/08/2014).
About 4.2 million Nigerians are food insecure and Crisis levels of food insecurity are expected in the SoE states (UNICEF, 06/2014).
In southern Borno and Yobe, northern Adamawa, and the Lake Chad region, Crisis levels of food insecurity will persist until at least December, despite the main harvest beginning in October (FEWSNET, 09/2014). About one million people are expected to remain in crisis in the areas worst affected by the conflict, while two million in other parts of the SoE will experience Stressed levels of food insecurity (FEWSNET, 08/2014).
Poor households in north-central Borno and Yobe and southern Adamawa states are less impacted by the conflict. The harvest in October is expected to improve household food access, but poor households in this area are still expected to face Stressed levels of food insecurity until December (FEWSNET, 09/2014).
Access to households whose livelihoods and markets are significantly impacted by the conflict remains limited for the Government and humanitarian organisations (FEWSNET, 09/2014). Food access and cross-border markets in border communities have been further impacted by insecurity, particularly the destruction of bridges to neighbouring Cameroon (OCHA, 06/2014). The 2013/14 agricultural season has been severely impeded, and conflict is limiting off-season livelihood activities and household incomes from seasonal labour.
Across the rest of the country, households are expected to benefit from early green harvests, ongoing since May, and main harvest beginning in September. This, combined with declining food prices, and typical seasonal incomes will allow households to continue to experience Minimal food insecurity until at least December (FEWSNET, 09/2014).
Health and Nutrition
Healthcare services have collapsed in the northern part of Nigeria’s Borno state as doctors, nurses and pharmacists have fled the violence (OCHA, 19/08/2014).
As of March, a multi-sector assessment covering the three SoE states – Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe – indicated that only 37% of health facilities are functioning, leaving residents to seek medical attention across the border. Mortality rates are increasing and vaccination programmes are severely hit. Polio vaccination campaigns are now limited to the Maiduguri metropolis.
As of 5 August, an outbreak of cholera in two IDP sites hosting 10,000 IDPs in Biu, Borno, has infected 1,343 people and killed 27 (OCHA, 05/08/2014). The lack of WASH infrastructure, the impact of conflict, and the lack of reliable epidemiological data from the
SoE states, all give rise to serious concerns about the evolution of the outbreak.
The outbreak that began in January in Bauchi state is now over; more than 15,500 cases were reported (MSF, 16/07/2014).
Since the beginning of the year, 29,847 cholera cases and 529 deaths (1.8% case fatality rate) have been reported (UNICEF, 08/2014). As of late June, Bauchi, Kaduna, Kano, and Zamfara states accounted for about 92% of reported cases. Only 11 cases and one death were reported within the same period in 2013 (WHO).
WHO indicated that the Ebola outbreak was almost contained, with the most recent case reported on 8 September. As of 18 September, 21 cases had been reported in Nigeria, including eight fatalities, since the first was recorded on 25 July in Lagos. health workers have been diagnosed with Ebola; five have died (WHO, 20/09/2014). On 28 August, a doctor died from Ebola in the southeastern oil city of Port Harcourt in the first case of the virus outside Lagos (AFP, 28/08/2014).
Nigerians students prepared to return to school on 22 September, but lingering fears over the virus prompted the Lagos state government to announce that primary and secondary schools in the state would now not reopen until 8 October (AFP, 21/09/2014). On 16 September, the head of Nigeria's main teachers’ union had called for a boycott of the re-opening of schools, saying there had not been enough training to protect against the Ebola virus (AFP, 16/09/2014).
On 24 August, public sector doctors in Nigeria said they would suspend a nearly two-month strike to help combat the Ebola outbreak (AFP, 24/08/2014). Authorities in Lagos had said they needed volunteers because of a shortage of medical staff (AFP, 09/08/2014).
On 18 August, a Cameroonian government spokesman reportedly announced that all borders between Cameroon and Nigeria had been closed in order to prevent the spread of Ebola (Sahara Reporters, 18/08/2014).
As of 15 June, 763 suspected Lassa fever cases, including 24 deaths, have been reported in 11 states in 2014 (WHO, 15/06/2014). Lassa fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic fever, endemic in West African countries, with 300,000–500,000 cases and 5,000 deaths reported annually.
A February–May SMART survey has revealed poorer nutritional status among the population of the SoE states (UNICEF, 06/2014). This is the second year of food consumption gaps, and the closure of several health facilities has limited access to essential health and nutrition services, so it is possible that the prevalence of acute malnutrition could increase over the coming months (FEWSNET, 08/08/2014).
539,150 children under five suffer from severe acute malnutrition (OCHA, 19/08/2014). As of 30 January, 1.74 million were acutely malnourished in Nigeria (OCHA, 03/2014). Severe acute malnutrition is responsible for more than a third of all child deaths in Nigeria, which amount to 350,000 deaths from malnutrition every year (ECHO, 08/2014).
As of 1 June, WHO reported 1,042 cases of meningitis, with 79 deaths, reaching a threshold for alert.
In 2014, more cases due to vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) have been reported (18 cases) than those due to wild poliovirus (WPV) type 1 (six cases). The most recent WPV case was reported on 24 July in Sumaila local government area, southern Kano. Kano is the only state to have reported cases of WPV since April (Global Polio Eradication Initiative, 27/08/2014).
In 2013, 53 cases were reported, and in 2012, 102 (GPEI, UNICEF). 72% of cases in 2013 were recorded in Borno, Yobe, and Kano states, where insecurity is slowing polio immunisation.
According to reports from UNICEF, nearly half the Nigerian population does not have access to safe water, and a third does not have access to sanitation services.
Education has been severely affected by the BH insurgency. One in every three primary school children and one in every four secondary school children are out of school in the northeast. 10.5 million children are out of school in Nigeria, 60% in the northern part of the country (UNICEF cited by OCHA, 07/2014).
The Government has noted that the abduction of the girls from Chibok, Borno state has impacted negatively on its efforts and strategies to promote education of girls. According to the Borno state Ministry of Education, over 250,000 school-aged children are out of school due to the insurgency. The majority are girls from poor households (UNICEF cited by OCHA, 07/2014).
Borno state authorities announced that 900 schools have been destroyed and 176 teachers killed by Boko Haram in Borno state since 2011 (UNICEF cited by OCHA, 07/2014).
Kidnappings of groups of women and girls by BH continue, and more than 200 schoolgirls are still being held captive (OCHA, 01/07/2014).
There is a high prevalence of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) across the northeast, even though occurrences are not regularly reported. There is an urgent need for emergency protection, including psychosocial support for unaccompanied and separated children (OCHA, 06/2014).
Human rights groups have criticised both BH and Nigeria's military for failing to protect civilians. In a new report published on 18 September, Amnesty International said Nigeria’s police and military routinely torture women, men, and children, using a wide range of methods including beatings, shootings and rape (BBC, 18/09/2014).
Maintaining the civilian nature of places of asylum or displacement is of concern. The Government lacks the capacity to ensure the protection of basic human rights for refugees and IDPs.
Occupied Palestinian Territories Country Analysis
No significant developments this week, 30/09/2014. Last update 26/09/2014.
- 1.81 million people need humanitarian assistance, over 50% are children (OCHA, 09/2014).
- 1.6 million people, or 61% of the population, estimated food insecure (OCHA, 30/04/2014).
- 1.5 million people in the Gaza Strip have no or extremely restricted access to water (OCHA, 03/08/2014).
- Continuity of medical care is threatened by the financial crisis and electricity shortages in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip (OCHA).
- The ongoing blockade of the Gaza Strip limits access and movement of both people and goods.
Protection of the civilian population, improvement of food insecurity, provision of access to basic services, and prevention of forced displacement are the highest priorities among Palestinians in need. Longstanding protection threats include severe movement and access restrictions. The number of attacks on Palestinians by Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank has increased every year for the past eight years, and attacks by Israeli security forces have also increased.
On 25 September, Hamas and Fatah announced they had reached an agreement for the return of their unity government, ahead of an international donor conference on Gaza and talks with Israeli negotiators (AFP, 23/09/2014; 25/09/2014). On 2 June, a new Palestinian unity government had been sworn in before President Abbas, ending seven years of division (AFP; UN, 02/06/2014).
At the end of August, members of the Palestinian parliament from the West Bank and East Jerusalem accused Israel of an anti-democratic crackdown, with dozens of elected officials detained, placed under investigation, or restricted in their movements. As of 22 August, of the 84 MPs, 36 are in Israeli jails, two-thirds of them under administrative detention (Reuters, 22/08/2014).
Israeli–Palestinian Peace Talks
On 17 September, Hamas announced that indirect negotiations, following Operation Protective Edge, would resume before 24 September (Haaretz, 18/09/2014).
Israel withdrew from the US-sponsored peace talks on 25 April, after the deal between Hamas and Fatah. Talks had begun in July 2013 after three years of deadlock.
Since then, Israel has announced the appropriation of some 400 hectares in the occupied West Bank, which an anti-settlement group termed the biggest in 30 years (Reuters, 31/08/2014). Israel published tenders for 283 new homes in Elkana settlement in the West Bank; that expansion had been approved in January (AFP, 05/09/2014).
Gaza: Operation Protective Edge
On 26 August, a permanent ceasefire was agreed between Hamas and the Israeli Government, after almost two months of intense violence (AFP).
Israel launched Operation Protective Edge on 8 July, striking Gaza with intensive aerial bombing, aimed at ending cross-border rocket fire. As of 4 September, 2,131 people have been reported killed since the operation began, including 1,473 civilians, of whom 501 were children (OCHA, 04/09/2014). 11,231 people have been injured, including 3,436 children (OCHA, 29/08/2014). On the Israeli side, 66 soldiers, and five civilians, including one child, were killed (OCHA, 29/08/2014). Over 485,000 people were displaced, almost a third of the population of the Gaza Strip.
Twelve Palestinian journalists and one media worker were killed 8 July–5 August, seven of them in connection with their work (RsF, 05/08/2014).
Earlier Conflict Incidents
Prior to the current crisis, the number of violent incidents in and around Gaza had already been rising. Israeli raids, Palestinian rocket attacks, and border incidents have all built up tensions.
West Bank and East Jerusalem
19 people, including two children, have been killed in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge. As of 18 August, 38 people have been killed and 3,995 injured by Israeli forces in 2014.
Clashes and casualties have been increasing since the end of April. In May, 110 Palestinian communities, with a combined population of over 315,000 people, were estimated to be vulnerable to violence from conflict; almost 60 of these communities, over 130,000 people, are at high risk (OCHA, 05/2014).
On 23 September, Israeli troops killed two Palestinians in the West Bank suspected of the murder of three Jewish teenagers in June (AFP, 23/09/2014). Over 9–15 September, Israeli forces killed one Palestinian and injured at least another 36, including 12 children, during clashes that erupted during protests and search and arrest operations. On 10 September, a Palestinian was shot dead in clashes that broke out when Israeli troops entered a West Bank refugee camp near Ramallah (AFP, 10/09/2014). An IED exploded south of Nablus and other attacks were reported in Beit Ummar, Qalqiliya Gush Etzion, and Dura (UNICEF, 08/09/2014). On 7 September, a 16-year-old Palestinian died after being shot by Israeli border police. His death sparked clashes in Wadi Joz, where the teenager was from, and elsewhere in East Jerusalem (AFP, 07/09/2014).
The scope of settler violence has been in decline in recent months (OCHA, 15/09/2014). In 2014, there have been 237 incidents of settler-related violence resulting in Palestinian casualties or property damage in the West Bank, and 71 incidents which resulted in Israeli casualties or property damage. The demolition of 332 structures has displaced 584 people this year (OCHA, 23/08/2014). The number of attacks on Palestinians by Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank has increased every year for the past eight years, from 115 in 2006 to 399 in 2013 (OCHA).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Since the UN reconstruction mechanism agreement with Israel and Palestinian Authorities on 16 September, there has been an increase in cement and aggregate material bought in for the recovery and rehabilitation effort in the Gaza Strip. More than 250 trucks of reconstruction material have been transported into the Gaza Strip by humanitarian organisations (Logistics Cluster, 26/09/2014).
Security Incidents Involving Aid Workers
Nine UNRWA staff members have been killed since 20 July (UNRWA, 03/08/2014).
Critical infrastructure was targeted directly during the military offensive. As of 17 September, 31% of electricity demand is met in Gaza (OCHA, 17/09/2014). At least 14 electricity, water, and wastewater technicians employed by local utilities have been killed by Israeli attacks and at least ten others injured.
At 8 September, 106,000 people were still displaced, seeking shelter in UNRWA schools or with host families (UNICEF, 08/09/2014). Government facilities used to shelter IDPs are closed (UNRWA, 04/09/2014). Of the 90 UNRWA schools which were being used as shelters for displaced persons, 64 have been evacuated (WHO, 05/09/2014). At mid-September, almost 60,000 IDPs continue to seek shelter in 20 UNRWA schools and another 50,000 IDPs live with host families (UNICEF, 15/09/2014). On 28 August, there were 475,000 IDPs (OCHA, 28/08/2014).
No organisation or mechanism systematically monitors the number of IDPs in oPt (IDMC, 23/09/2014).
72% of the population of Gaza are food insecure (OCHA, 12/09/2104). 1.15 million people are reached by regular food assistance (Food Security Cluster, 15/08/2014). 570,000 of 730,000 people not usually reached by UNRWA/WFP food distribution have received food parcels (Food Security Cluster, 28/08/2014).
Electricity shortages have impacted bread production and refrigeration. Delays at crossings are complicating food delivery and have resulted in waste.
Vegetable prices have risen on average 45% compared to prices prior to the start of the violence (WFP, 12/08/2014). Prices of fresh fruit, vegetables, and eggs have all gone up, among other reasons due to the damage sustained by farms and agricultural lands (OCHA, 11/08/2014). Seasonally adjusted prices of imported rice and oil are higher by 17% and 25%, respectively. Gaza and West Bank markets are in crisis phase for rice. Food shortages are reported at some markets (Food Security Cluster, 02/08/2014). Nonetheless, oPt has negative headline inflation and food inflation rates (WFP, 31/07/2014).
Prior to the current crisis, food insecurity in Gaza stood at 57%, unchanged from 2012, while in the West Bank food insecurity remained at 19%. 1.6 million – a third of all households – were food insecure (UNRWA, FAO, WFP, Government, 12/08/2014).
Losses to the farming sector are estimated at USD 450 million (Ministry of Agriculture cited by OCHA, 18/08/2014).
Up to 720 fishers have lost their livelihoods (Food Security Cluster, 28/08/2014). There have been reports of shooting at, and detaining, fishermen since the ceasefire, reportedly for exceeding the agreed limit (OCHA, 04/09/2014).
The livelihoods of 28,600 households, including farmers, breeders, herders and fishers have been severely affected or totally lost through damaged lands and infrastructure (Food Security Cluster, 28/08/2014).
The majority of the Gaza population has lost its productive assets. According to the Palestinian Federation of Industries, 419 businesses and workshops were damaged, including 128 completely destroyed (OCHA, 04/09/2014).
It is expected that labour market conditions in Gaza will further deteriorate, exacerbating the impact of the blockade and the longstanding movement restrictions (OCHA, 04/09/2014). A quarter of the Palestinian workforce remains unemployed – 16% in the West Bank and 45% in Gaza (World Bank, 10/09/2014).
In the West Bank, Israeli forces delivered requisition orders for around 12 dunum (1.2 hectares) of land planted with olive trees, for reasons of security (OCHA, 15/08/2014).
Health and Nutrition
Several health facilities that had been closed throughout the hostilities have re-opened, however, longstanding problems of electricity, equipment and drug supplies persist. As of 3 September, three out of 32 hospitals remain closed, and another three have limited operational capacity. 24 out of 97 primary health centres remain closed, overburdening neighbouring facilities (OCHA, 04/09/2014).
Fifty primary health centres and 17 hospitals reported damage to their infrastructure; one hospital and seven clinics were totally destroyed (OCHA, 04/09/2014WHO, 05/09/2014).
In the West Bank, stocks of 150 (of 525) essential medicines were at zero in May; the main government pharmacy in the Gaza Strip reported stocks of 118 (of 481) essential medicines were at zero (OCHA, 31/05/2014).
373,000 children in the Gaza Strip are in need of direct and specialised psychosocial support (OCHA, 03/08/2014). The number of social workers and counsellors is insufficient to meet needs (OCHA, 15/08/2014).
450,000 people are unable to access municipal water due to infrastructure damage and/or low pressure (OCHA, 12/09/2014). 12% of wells have been destroyed or damaged, particularly in Gaza City, Beit Hanoun, and Deir al Balah municipalities. Agricultural and standby wells, typically with lower water quality and no chlorination, have been used by many municipalities to supplement water supplies. According to Gaza officials, 95% of Gaza’s water is contaminated (AFP, 05/09/2014).
63 water facilities have been damaged; of which 23 were completely destroyed (Gisha, 20/08/2014). 33,000 metres of water and wastewater networks have been damaged, but the figure does not include northern Gaza, which was either inaccessible or covered with rubble at the time of the report. Only 50% of wastewater in Gaza is treated, and treatment is currently of low quality, leaving about 100,000 million cubic metres of raw sewage to be discharged directly to the sea (World Bank, 10/09/2014). It is estimated that repairs to water and sewage infrastructure in Gaza will cost more than USD 33 million.
Additionally, households which do not have electricity and/or supplementary pumps cannot fill rooftop storage tanks when water is available (OCHA, 04/09/2014).
Gaza’s only water reserve is the coastal aquifer, which it shares with Israel and Egypt, and which is 55 million cubic metres; Gaza needs 190 million cubic metres every year, according to senior officials. The aquifer could be unusable by 2016 and the damage it has suffered may be irreversible by 2020 (AFP, 05/09/2014).
Although solid waste is being collected in most areas, it is being left in temporary sites rather than dumped in designated landfills.
5% of housing stock has become uninhabitable; an estimated 18,000 housing units have been either destroyed or severely damaged, leaving 108,000 people homeless. Approximately 13% of housing stock in Gaza Strip has been affected. This is in addition to the pre-crisis housing deficit of 71,000 units (OCHA, 29/08/2014).
The Shelter Cluster estimates that under current conditions it will take approximately 20 years to import the materials required to complete the housing reconstruction. This timeframe is based on the current operational capacity of Kerem Shalom border crossing for materials (100 truckloads daily), and the estimated 97,334 housing units required in the Gaza Strip. This calculation does not include public infrastructure (e.g. schools, utilities, etc.) (Shelter Cluster, 29/08/2014).
22 schools were completely destroyed and 118 schools damaged by conflict. UNRWA has reported at least 75 damaged school buildings. Many higher education facilities, including the Islamic University in Gaza, have also been (OCHA, 04/09/2014).
The school year delayed by three weeks, started 14 September (UNRWA, 01/09/2014; UNICEF 14/09/2014). As schools open, children face even more acute overcrowding and under-resourcing. The education sector was already overstretched prior to the crisis, suffering from a shortage of almost 200 schools (OCHA, 04/09/2014).
Palestinian Bedouin families are at risk of forcible transfer, as Israeli authorities continue to make eviction and demolition orders from an area designated as a ‘closed military zone’.
Bedouin communities east of Jerusalem and in the central West Bank are at risk of forcible transfer due to a relocation plan by the Israeli authorities. Around 7,000 Palestinian Bedouins and herders, some 60% of them children, reside in 46 residential areas. Most of the families have demolition orders pending against their homes and over 85% lack connection to the electricity and water networks. Two-thirds of the communities reported facing settler violence during the past three years, as authorities failed to protect communities from intimidation and attacks (OCHA, 23/09/2014).
501 have been killed and at least 3,436 injured, and 54,000 are homeless (OCHA, 04/09/2014; UNICEF 16/08/2014).
Up to 1,500 orphaned children will need sustained support from the child protection and welfare sectors (OCHA, 04/09/2014).
Mines and ERW
It is estimated that more than 1,900 ERW have yet to be secured, including tank shells, missiles, aircraft bombs and shrapnel (UNRWA, 23/09/2014). These are a major threat, especially to children and people working on repair and reconstruction (UNICEF, 28/08/2014; OCHA 04/09/2014).
26 September: As of 23 September, 2,021 Ebola cases, including 605 deaths, have been reported (WHO).
24 September: Sierra Leone's President has widened the quarantine to include the northern districts of Port Loko and Bombali, and Moyamba in the south. More than one-third of Sierra Leone's 6.1 million population are now unable to move freely (BBC).
- The whole population is in need of assistance due to the consequences of the Ebola outbreak (OCHA, 16/09/2014).
- Between March and 23 September, 6,553 cases of Ebola and 3,083 deaths have been reported in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone (WHO, 26/09/2014). The numbers of registered cases and deaths are largely inaccurate, underestimating the gravity of the situation on the ground according to the Government.
- The outbreak erupted at a crucial period in the agricultural season for rice and other important food crops. Many farmers were not able to complete key, time-critical agricultural activities. There is a serious risk of acute malnutrition (OCHA, 16/09/2014).
- Women and children are not accessing basic health services, leading to an increase in non-Ebola related child morbidity and mortality (UNICEF, 26/08/2014).
On 18 September, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution establishing a special mission to lead the global response to Ebola. It called on countries to lift border restrictions on the affected countries and on all actors to scale up their efforts (UN, 18/09/2014). Approximately USD 220 million are needed to respond to Ebola in Sierra Leone (USAID, 17/09/2014).
On 16 September, Barack Obama announced the deployment of 3,000 personnel to West Africa to support the Ebola response (international media, 16/09/2014). Cuba is also sending 165 health workers (BBC, 12/09/2014).
The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has been declared a Grade 3 Emergency under WHO’s Emergency Response Framework (ECHO, 29/07/2014). WHO declared the epidemic a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
The whole population is in need of assistance due to the consequences of the Ebola outbreak (OCHA, 16/09/2014).
The outbreak erupted at a crucial period in the agricultural season for rice and other important food crops. There is a serious risk of acute malnutrition for children under five. WFP plans to distribute hot meals and food rations to 601,000 people (OCHA, 16/09/2014).
The closure of markets, roads, and banks has further reduced food availability and increased prices (OCHA, 16/09/2014).
Health and Nutrition
Women and children are reportedly not accessing basic health services due to the Ebola outbreak, leading to an increase in non-Ebola-related child morbidity and mortality (UNICEF, 26/08/2014).
As of 23 September, 2,021 Ebola cases, including 605 deaths, have been reported in Sierra Leone (WHO, 26/09/2014). The utility of case numbers has been questioned; statistics are reported to be highly unreliable due to a lack of a comprehensive contact tracing, timely case investigation, and rapid Ebola testing (UNICEF, 06/09/2014).
Transmission remains high in the capital, Kailahun, and Kenema (WHO, 24/09/2014). In Kailahun, a large number of people with Ebola are coming from Makeni by foot due to a shortage of ambulances. Some have been dead on arrival (MSF, 25/09/2014).
Healthcare provision: Authorities and humanitarian actors have warned about the alarming level of reluctance towards health workers and organizations involved in response activities against Ebola in Macenta (UNICEF, 05/09/2014).
There are continued cases of affected people leaving treatment centres. Some infected people, including medical personnel, are disappearing with their families, leading to fear and tension among communities and great uncertainty in the control of the disease. Health workers are refusing to work in isolation wards and Ebola treatment hospital (UNICEF, 26/08/2014). On 31 August, health workers went on strike at a major state-run Ebola treatment centre, protesting over pay and working conditions (international media, 30/08/2014).
Containment measures: On 24 September, Sierra Leone's President has widened the quarantine to include the northern districts of Port Loko and Bombali, and Moyamba in the south. More than a third of Sierra Leone's 6.1 million population are now unable to move freely (BBC, 25/09/2014).
On 6 September, Sierra Leone’s President ordered a three-day nationwide quarantine plan starting from 19 September. A 7,000-strong patrol force in Freetown used this three-day window to find patients who have not come forward for treatment (AFP, 06/09/2014). 130 new Ebola cases were found and around 100 corpses had been discovered (BBC, 22/09/2014).
On 22 August, the parliament passed a law that imposes a jail term of up to two years for anyone concealing an Ebola-infected patient (AFP, 22/08/2014). A week later, legislation was passed imposing a jail term up to six months for anyone entering or leaving Ebola-affected areas without medical authorisation. Any sport involving physical contact has also been prohibited (international media, 30/08/2014).
In June, Sierra Leone closed its borders with Guinea and Liberia, and closed schools, cinemas, and nightclubs in border areas. Some commercial airlines also suspended flights from Sierra Leone and Liberia to Nigeria (OCHA, 07/2014).
At 23 September, the total cumulative number of reported cases across the region had reached 6,553, including 3,083 deaths. Another 20 cases and eight deaths were reported in Nigeria as of 23 September (WHO, 26/09/2014). A first case was confirmed in Senegal on 29 August (WHO, 30/08/2014). On 1 August, West African Ebola-hit nations agreed at an emergency summit to impose a cross-border isolation zone at the epicentre of the outbreak (AFP).
Expected evolution: According to a WHO projection, the aggregate caseload could exceed 20,000 by early November (WHO, 28/08/2014). According to the Center for Disease Control, if the virus continues to spread at the current rate, Liberia and Sierra Leone will have reported about 550,000 Ebola cases by late January. The CDC estimates that officially reported cases are about 40% of the real burden in Liberia and Sierra Leone, indicating a possible total of 1.4 million cases in Sierra Leone and Liberia by late January (CDC, 23/09/2014).
Somalia Country Analysis
25 September: A USD 933 million humanitarian appeal for the country remains “severely underfunded” with only 32% having been received (UN).
- Widespread violence and insecurity, particularly in south-central Somalia.
- Insecurity and bureaucratic impediments continue to hinder humanitarian access.
- 1.1 million IDPs, mainly in the south-central region, with high concentrations in Mogadishu (OCHA, 06/2014).
- More than one million Somali refugees live in neighbouring countries, mostly Kenya, Ethiopia, and Yemen (UNHCR, 03/2014).
- 3.2 million are estimated to need lifesaving or livelihood assistance (OCHA, 19/09/2014).
- 1,025,000 people are at Crisis and Emergency levels of food insecurity (FEWSNET, 09/2014). Two million people experience Stressed levels of food insecurity.
- More than 203,000 acutely malnourished children under five have been reported, mainly in south-central Somalia (OCHA, 05/2014).
- 520,000 children under five urgently require measles vaccination in outbreak areas (UNICEF, 06/2014).
Protracted conflict, consecutive years of drought, natural hazards, and disruption of basic infrastructure have led to large-scale displacement in Somalia and across the region. Almost half the population of Somalia, around 3.2 million people, is vulnerable to external shocks and lacking access to basic goods and services, with an estimated three million people living in seven regions who are affected by the Somalia–African Union military offensive: Bakool, Gedo, Lower Shabelle, Hiraan, Bay, Banadir and Lower Juba (OCHA, 05/2014). The UN warns of a looming humanitarian emergency (UN, 15/06/2014).
Somalia suffers from a chronic fragility of state institutions as a result of two decades of civil war. Prime Minister Ahmed was appointed by President Mahamud on 12 December, ending a government crisis that had raised significant concerns over security. Infighting between presidents and prime ministers is however a recurrent problem and the political situation remains unstable.
Since July, Somali military courts have tried and executed at least nine individuals, most of whom were civilians accused of being Al Shabaab militants, which is in violation of international law (AFP, 24/08/2014).
Puntland: On 8 January, former Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali Gaas was elected President of the self-declared semi-autonomous region Puntland. On 12 August, the region cut ties with the federal Government after it learned of the formation of a new federal state in central Somalia, incorporating Mudug and Galgaduud regions, allegedly therefore including part of the Puntland region (VOA, 14/08/2014). On 17 August, the UN pledged its support for Puntland (UNSOM, 17/08/2014). On 24 August, reports emerged of the President of Puntland meeting the Ethiopian Prime Minister to discuss suspended cooperation and oil and gas exploration activities (Garowe, 24/08/2014)
Over 1,500 conflict incidents with humanitarian impact were reported in the first six months of the year, including military operations, active hostilities, and other forms of violence against civilians (OCHA, 30/06/2014). Security is said to have deteriorated since March, and the launch of the Somali National Armed Forces (SNAF) and African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) military offensive against Al Shabaab-held areas. The number of attacks and fatalities had decreased between 2010 and 2013.
Semi-autonomous Puntland and Somaliland are subject to inter-communal violence, especially during the June–November rainy season, when improved resource access and competition for cattle lead to increased raiding.
On 28 August, at least nine deaths were reported in Somaliland, when Somaliland forces allegedly launched an offensive against groups seeking autonomy in Sool region. Some people have been displaced to Ethiopia (Reuters, 28/08/2014, UN, 29/08/2014).
In mid-February, a leaked UN report accused the Federal Government of supplying weapons to militant group Al Shabaab. On 4 March, human rights groups called for the arms embargo against Somalia to be tightened, citing government failure to control the flow of arms into the country, and its participation in the diversion of weapons. The embargo was partially lifted in March 2013 until October 2014.
In November 2013, the AMISOM force was increased to 22,000 from 17,600. The SNAF-AMISOM offensive was launched in early March 2014 to recover Al Shabaab-controlled areas of southern and central Somalia: Bakool, Gedo, Lower Shabelle, Hiraan, Bay, Banadir, and Lower Juba regions (OCHA, 05/2014).
The second phase of the offensive began in late August. About 1.5 million people live in areas that could be directly affected by the offensive. UNHCR has estimated that 6,400 people had been uprooted over the first weeks of this second phase (OCHA, 19/09/2014). On 25 August, reports suggested AU and Somali government troops had seized Tiyeeglow in Bakool region (AOV, 25/08/2014). This means the Somali Government now has full control of all major towns in Bakool.
Al Shabaab has named a new leader, Ahmad Umar (also known as Abu Ubaidah), following the death of Ahmed Abdi Godane in a US drone attack in September (AFP, 06/09/2014). Al Shabaab, a militant islamist group linked to Al Qaeda, took over most of southern Somalia in 2006, seeking to establish an Islamic state. Defeated by Ethiopian and Somali forces in 2007, Al Shabaab was forced out of Mogadishu in 2011 and Kismayo in 2012.
The group remains a potent threat, with 7,000 to 9,000 militants, and its attacks typically target Somali government officials, AMISOM forces, and perceived government allies. Attacks in urban centres, particularly Mogadishu and along transport axes are common. Five members of parliament have been killed this year
Al Shabaab is reportedly fleeing south and northeast as the SNAF-AMISOM offensive advances. The insurgents retain strongholds in parts of rural southern and central Somalia and in the mountains of the semi-autonomous Puntland region.
Mogadishu: A suicide car bomb targeting AU troops killed 12 civilians and wounded 27 (BBC, 08/09/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
As of September, a USD 933 million humanitarian appeal for the country remains “severely underfunded” with only 32% having been received (UN, 26/09/2014).
Road blockages by non-state armed groups, illegal checkpoints, and active hostilities have led to the use of regular air cargo flights in southern and central Somalia. However, flights have proved insufficient and are not a sustainable solution. 28 districts have no road access, and up to 11 illegal checkpoints or clashes at legal checkpoints were reported in August, mainly in Banadir, Galgaduud, Lower Juba (Afgooye), and Mudug (Galkayo) (OCHA, 19/09/2014).
The withdrawal of Al Shabaab from key towns in the south has enabled increased international presence in some areas (OCHA, 21/03/2014).
Security Incidents Involving Aid Workers
Aid workers have reportedly been targeted by armed groups for arrest and detention in Bakool, Bay, Gedo, and Lower and Middle Juba. On 18 May, a 400-strong UN military unit was deployed in Mogadishu with a mandate to protect aid workers (UN).
An estimated 1.1 million Somalis were IDPs at 27 June, 893,000 in the south-central region; 129,000 in Puntland, and 84,000 in Somaliland (UNHCR). 369,000 IDPs live in makeshift camps in Mogadishu.
As of August, a significant and increasing number of rural families were moving to Mogadishu. They are escaping insecurity and worsening clan-based competition in Lower Shabelle, Bay, and Hiraan; worsening food security in Middle Shabelle, Hiraan, and Galgaduud; and inadequate health and nutritional services, as well as no viable alternative livelihoods for pastoralists and farmers in other rural areas (UNICEF, 20/08/2014). However, more than 10,800 IDPs were evicted in Mogadishu in late August and early September, mainly from Daynile and Hodan, according to UNHCR. The evicted have moved to the outskirts of Mogadishu and remote areas, where they lack physical security and access to basic services (OCHA, 19/09/2014).
Somali Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
As of 9 April, 956,000 Somalis were refugees in neighbouring countries, around 439,000 in Kenya, 245,000 in Ethiopia, and 230,000 in Yemen (UNHCR).
Kenya: In March, the Kenyan Government ordered all city-based refugees to relocate to Dadaab and Kakuma camps, and asked Kenyans to report refugees not in camps to the police. Thousands of Somalis were rounded up, some were forcibly relocated, and hundreds were deported to Somalia (Human Rights Watch, 11/04/2014).
The Tripartite Agreement between the Kenyan and Somali Governments and UNHCR, signed in November 2013, establishes a legal framework for those Somali refugees wishing to return home. The inaugural meeting of the Tripartite Commission has been postponed several times (UNHCR 15/08/2014).
Three areas have been designated to receive the returnees: Luuq, Baidowa, and Kismayo. The first phase of voluntary repatriation started this month, but only 3,000 refugees registered, compared to the original target of 10,000. Refugees cite insecurity and lack of earning opportunities as their main uncertainties regarding a return to Somalia (UNHCR, East African, 02/08/2014; UNHCR, 11/08/2014). As of 7 September, 2,500 returnees are set to be relocated to Somalia by the end of October (Kenya Daily Nation, 07/09/2014).
Of the total population of 7.5 million, 1,025,000 people face Crisis and Emergency (IPC Phase 3/4) food insecurity, an increase of 20% since January, and an additional 2.1 million people face Stressed conditions (IPC Phase 2) (OCHA, 19/09/2014). About 62% of those who face acute food insecurity are IDPs (OCHA, 19/09/2014).
Somaliland: 7,000 people are in Phase 3/4; 472,000 people are in Phase 2; there are 84,000 IDPs (OCHA, 03/06/2014; 31/05/2014).
Puntland: 60,000 people are in Phase 3/4; 240,000 are in Phase 2; there are 129,000 IDPs (OCHA, 03/06/2014; 31/05/2014). Recent violence in Puntland has reportedly scared traders away, leading to fluctuations in food prices and increasing food insecurity in Somaliland and Puntland (ICRC, 31/07/2014).
South-central: 155,000 people are in Phase 3/4; 1,336 are in Phase 2, and there are 952,000 IDPs (OCHA, 03/06/2014; 31/05/2014).
Regions with significant amounts of the population facing Phases 3 and 4 food insecurity are Galgaduud, Hiraan, Middle Shabelle, Bari, Mudug, Nugaal, Middle Juba, Lower Juba, and Sanaag (OCHA, 21/05/2014).
Agriculture and Markets
The cereal harvest is estimated to be 37% below the long-term average and 28% below the five-year average, due to delayed and erratic rainfall (OCHA, 19/09/2014).
In July, food prices in Hudur, Wajid, Burdhubo, Garbaharey, Bulo Burde, Qoryole, and Albuur were 30–150% higher than usual (ICRC, 31/07/2014). Local grain prices increased from April to May in all markets of the south; the highest monthly gain (28%) was recorded in Bakool region. Cereal prices have increased since the beginning of the year in Bakool, Hiraan, Juba, and Shabelle.
Health and Nutrition
Humanitarian actors on the ground have reported that airlifting lifesaving supplies is the only effective method of reaching populations that have been isolated and cut off from outside help due to the security situation in the country (UNICEF, 15/09/2014).
A recent survey indicates 218,000 children under five are acutely malnourished. Of these, 43,800 are severely malnourished (FEWSNET, 02/09/2014).
IDP populations: In July, Garrowe IDPs showed very critical levels of acute malnutrition (over 20% GAM), and IDPs in Mogadishu, Dhobley, and Kismayo (south Somalia) and Dhusamareb and Galkayo (central Somalia) were at critical levels (over 15% GAM). IDPs in Beletweyne were in a similar or worse condition (ICRC 31/07/2014). GAM among displaced communities in Mogadishu was at 18.9% and SAM at 5.5% (OCHA 24/07/2014).
Over May–June, Mogadishu IDP settlements showed extremely high levels of acute malnutrition and mortality rates (3.35/10,000/day), indicating a humanitarian emergency. Garowe IDP settlement in the northeast presented very critical levels of acute malnutrition, while Kismayo, Dholbey (in the south), Dhusamareb (central), and Galkayo (northeast) IDP settlements have critical acute malnutrition levels. (FSNAU, 27/06/2014).
Host communities in Mogadishu have been affected by malnutrition, with an increase in GAM to 10.1% (OCHA, 24/07/2014).
7,000 measles cases have been recorded in 2014 (OCHA, 19/09/2014). Only one-third of children have been vaccinated: 520,000 children under five urgently require measles vaccination in outbreak areas. An emergency vaccination campaign in September is targeting the most affected regions: Banadir, Bari, Lower Juba, Mudug and Nugaal (OCHA, 19/09/2014).
The total number of confirmed polio cases in 2014 stands at 198 (WHO, UNICEF 22/07/2014). The first confirmed case of wild poliovirus since 2007 was reported in Mogadishu on 9 May 2013. Large, insecure areas of south-central Somalia have not conducted immunisation campaigns since 2009, leaving 600,000 children vulnerable, according to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.
2.75 million people are in need of safe water (OCHA, 03/06/2014). IDPs living in overcrowded camps have inadequate access to safe water, hygiene, and sanitation facilities (UNICEF, 31/08/2014).
The population of south-central Somalia has little to no access to clean drinking water. There is a severe water shortage for livestock in the northeast, parts of the northwest, central and north Gedo regions (FEWSNET, 02/09/2014).
On 8 September, a Human Rights Watch report stated that AU forces have been raping and sexually exploiting women and girls in their bases in Mogadishu, sometimes using humanitarian assistance to coerce them into sexual activities (HRW, 08/09/2014). The prevalence of gender based violence in Somalia, including rape, is reported to be one of the highest in the world, with IDPs and migrants being the most vulnerable (IOM, 08/08/2014).
South Sudan Country Analysis
25 September: Communal violence that began on 15 September between communities along the South Sudan-Uganda border, including in Kajo-Keji county and Moyo district in Uganda, forced 12,000 South Sudanese refugees to return to South Sudan (UNMISS).
24 September: The number of people facing Crisis and Emergency phases (Phase 3 and 4) of food insecurity has dropped to 1.5 million from 3.9 million (WFP), following normal rainfall, good conditions for crops, and humanitarian response. However, the situation is still much worse compared to a typical year at harvest time (IPC).
24 September: 500 more people are reported to have arrived at the Bentiu PoC site in the preceding week (OCHA).
- The onset of the peak rainy season has complicated the delivery of humanitarian aid to many areas in Jonglei and Unity states (IOM 16/07/2014).
- 3.8 million people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, 3.1 million of whom have been reached (OCHA, 18/09/2014).
- 1.5 million people are facing Crisis and Emergency levels (IPC Phases 3 and 4) of food insecurity for October and December 2014 (IPC, 09/2014). From January to March 2015, 2.5 million people are projected to be in Crisis or Emergency Phase, including nearly half of the population of Greater Upper Nile (IPC, 09/2014).
- 4 out of 5.8 million people in need of health assistance have not been reached (WHO, 07/2014).
- 1.4 million IDPs since December 2013 (OCHA, 09/2014). Almost 96,000 civilians sheltering in UNMISS bases (UNMISS, 09/2014). 68% of IDPs are estimated to live in flood-prone areas (OCHA, 08/2014).
- Over 453,000 South Sudanese refugees moved across borders since December 2013 (UNHCR 09/2014)
- The high number of refugees in South Sudan (mainly from Sudan, DRC, Ethiopia and CAR) is cause for concern in the current context.
Jonglei, Upper Nile, and Unity are priority states, and the priority sectors are food security and livelihoods, health, NFIs and shelter, nutrition, and WASH. Insecurity is hampering the delivery of assistance. The UN reports widespread violation of human rights and targeted violence against civilians.
Violence has spread across eastern South Sudan since December 2013. Fighting is most intense in the oil-rich northeastern states. Strife has progressively adopted the characteristics of an inter-communal conflict between the Dinka tribe allied to South Sudan President Kiir and government forces, and the Nuer loosely allied with former South Sudan Vice President Riek Machar.
Relations between Sudan and South Sudan have been poor since South Sudan gained independence in 2011. The violence in South Sudan since December has exacerbated tensions, with additional concerns in Khartoum regarding an influx of refugees and arms, as well as disruption of oil flow. In early January, Sudanese President Bashir expressed his willingness to support the Government of South Sudan, but said he had no intention of deploying troops in South Sudan.
In April, Sudan accused that South Sudan of using Sudanese militia groups to fight insurgents. South Sudan made similar accusations in return.
The two states made progress in bilateral negotiations in March, agreeing to move forward with shared security measures.
A UN report indicated the presence of 660 SPLA forces and police in Abyei in February and March, in violation of the 2011 Agreement on Temporary Security and Administrative Arrangements for Abyei. Pro-government Sudanese militias and Sudanese Armed Forces have also been reported in the area.
President Kiir’s government forces, who are backed by Ugandan troops, are pitted against a loose alliance of military defectors loyal to former Vice President Riek Machar, along with ethnic Nuer militia forces. Large-scale killings in Bentiu and Bor in April have brought the ethnic dimension of the conflict under closer scrutiny. Both sides have been accused of trying to influence the conflict through manipulation of the media.
On 27 September, President Salva Kiir agreed to install a federal system of governance, following calls for a federalist structure from SPLM-in-Opposition (local media).
On 25 August, the Implementation Matrix for the Cessation of Hostilities was signed by the South Sudanese Government and the SPLM/A-in-Opposition, and requires the immediate freezing of forces’ positions (IGAD, 27/08/2014). Talks, mediated by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), an East African regional bloc, had been repeatedly suspended and delayed. On 24 August, an IGAD ceasefire monitor was reportedly killed by forces allied to the SPLM-in-Opposition while on a routine inspection mission to Bentiu, Unity state.
On 26 February, both parties accepted, in principle, a proposal from IGAD for an interim government, pending presidential elections. The exiled South Sudan United Democratic Alliance (SSUDA) also backed the proposal and requested participation in the peace talks. On 15 March, the exiled National Revolutionary Democratic Party/Front, Revolutionary Alliance for South Sudan, and South Sudan Republican Party all agreed to take part in peace talks under SSUDA’s leadership. An initial cessation of hostilities had been signed on 23 Jaunuary.
On 9 May, the Jonglei-based South Sudan Democratic Movement/Army – Cobra Faction signed a peace agreement with the government; a ceasefire had been agreed in January. The movement, led by David Yau Yau, had waged a small-scale rebellion since 2010.
Fighting persists despite a reduction in violence since the 23 January cessation of hostilities agreement. Most violence is occurring in the oil-rich northeastern states of Unity, Upper Nile, and Jonglei.
The death toll was estimated at 10,000 in January since December 2013 (International Crisis Group), although access restrictions make numbers hard to verify. Over 5,900 people had sought treatment for gunshot wounds between mid-December 2013 and 12 March, according to humanitarian partners, although the number of gunshot patients has significantly decreased since early February.
International Military Presence
On 7 April, the city of Neem, in the northern part of Unity, was bombed by a suspected military aircraft (UNHCR). An aircraft was also spotted in the area of Yida two days later. Yida hosts 70,000 Sudanese refugees from South Kordofan, while Neem is located on a road used by incoming Sudanese refugees.
On 16 March, South Sudan approved the deployment of the Protection Deterrent Force (PDF), a regional force drawn from IGAD member states. While the size, mandate, command and deployment time frame of the contingent are still under discussion, it will be protecting the IGAD monitoring and verification teams, and the oil fields in Unity and Upper Nile states. Uganda announced in late February that it would withdraw its troops supporting the SPLA as soon as the PDF is ready to take over.
The UNMISS command told the UN Security Council in 19 March that it would suspend its current activities to focus on protection of civilians, prevention of inter-communal clashes, and support to IGAD as requested. The UN Security Council voted on 24 December to increase the number of peacekeepers in the country from 10,000 to 12,500.
Clashes between the Government and SPLM-in-Opposition
New clashes were reported in Ayod county in August, whereas the situation remained calm in the rest of the state (UNICEF, 26/08/2014). On 25 June, UNICEF reported firing near the Bor UN base.
The situation in Bentiu reportedly improved at the end of August, as the frontline moved west, after violence flared in mid-July (OCHA, 28/08/2014). The South Sudanese army had re-captured Bentiu on 4 May; 406 people had been killed when SPLM-in-Opposition forces took Bentiu on 14–15 April, with non-Nuer communities and Darfuris targeted (UNMISS, 21/04/2014).
As of 19 August, violent clashes continued to be reported around Nasir (UNICEF, 21/08/2014). Shelling was reported in Malakal (UNICEF, 26/08/2014), where troop movements had caused concern over possible clashes (OCHA, 21/08/2014). Opposition fighters reportedly launched an offensive against government forces in Nasir on 20–21 July (international media). Government forces reportedly captured Nasir on 4 May.
Clashes reported in Canal and Dolieb. Heavy shelling was reported in Renk. Civilians were reportedly fleeing towards Wanthou at the Sudan border (OCHA, 18/09/2014).
The ethnic dimension of the conflict has come under closer scrutiny since the killings in Bentiu and Bor in April, which targeted non-Nuer and Nuer, respectively. According to local media on 3 May, members of the Nuer IDP community in Juba have requested to be relocated to neighbouring countries. They reportedly fear being targeted by government forces. On 3 April, according to local media, representatives of the Nuer community stated that over 17,000 Nuer had been killed by pro-government forces since December.
On 18 July, local media reported that 18 had died in cattle raids in Pigi county, next to Malakal county in Upper Nile state. In 2013, the rise of ethnic violence in Jonglei forced 120,000 people to flee to the bush. Tension and violence often focus around the Nuer, based in northern Jonglei, and the Murle, a minority group based in the south of the state. Inter-clan animosity stems from competition over water resources and grazing land. Deaths from inter-communal fighting have increased since the second Sudanese civil war, as have attacks, abductions, and significant population displacement.
On 23 June, local media reported that thousands of herders had fled to the bush from Rumbek town. They threatened to attack government forces in order to prevent a rumoured disarmament campaign.
On 16 September, inter-communal clashes reportedly killed at least 14 people in Rumbek and Cueibet (OCHA 18/09/2014, Local media, 16/09/2014).
Communal violence that began on 15 September between communities along the South Sudan-Uganda border, including in Kajo-Keji county and Moyo district in Uganda, forced 12,000 South Sudanese refugees to return to South Sudan (UNMISS, 25/09/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
As of 18 September, of 3.8 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance; 3.1 million had been reached (OCHA, 18/09/2014). The delivery of aid is restricted by heavy fighting, logistical constraints, and administrative impediments.
On 2 July, international media reported that authorities prevented four UN staff from taking a plane, and confiscated their passports.
In March, the South Sudan Government announced it would implement routine searches of UN and relief organisation convoys, claiming it had intercepted arms and ammunition in UNMISS-contracted vehicles in Rumbek, Lakes state (UNHCR, 21/03/2014).
The establishment of a humanitarian corridor between South Sudan and Sudan was approved by both Governments and will enable the delivery of food assistance by WFP (UN, 26/08/2014).
As of 4 June, WFP was resorting to airlifts, as the rainy season made roads impassable.
At 21 August, OCHA reported that road conditions were bad, with only 45% accessible by truck across the country. As of 26 September, WFP reported that road access was impossible between Juba (Central Equatoria), Bentiu (Unity), and Rumbek (Lakes); Wunrok, Turalei, and Abiemnhom (Warrap), and Mayom and Bentiu (Unity); Aweil and Gok Machar (Northern Bahr el Ghazal); Maiwut (near Pagak) and Guel Guk; Wau, Raja (Western Bahr el Ghazal), and Tambura (Western Equatoria), and Malakal (Upper Nile state); Guel Guk, Mathiang, Maiwut and Pagak (Upper Nile); Yirol, Nyang, and Shambe (Jonglei); Bor and Mabior, Ayod and Malakal (Jonglei); Bor, Gadiang and Akobo (Jonglei); Bor, Pibor (Jonglei), and Kapoeta (Western Equatoria).
Several humanitarian organisations had reported that bad road conditions threatened to complicate access to vulnerable populations in Upper Nile, Jonglei, and Unity through the humanitarian corridor established from Gambella, Ethiopia.
Following the suspected downing of a UN helicopter, humanitarian flights to Bentiu were suspended (OCHA, 28/08/2014). At least six aid workers were killed in and around Bunj, Maban county, Upper Nile state, on 4–5 August. The attacks were blamed on a local militia, the Mabanese Defence Force, who reportedly targeted the workers based on their ethnicity (UN, 06/08/2014).
As of 11 September, some humanitarian flights to Rubkona airstrip (Unity state) were suspended due to security concerns in the Bentiu area, hampering the delivery of humanitarian supplies (OCHA, 11/09/2014).
Insecurity has constrained road movement. Clashes in Guit and Nhialdu, near Bentiu, Unity state, have reportedly hampered the delivery of humanitarian aid to 37,000 people (OCHA, 17/07/2014).
On 20 June, armed men reportedly attempted to coerce the crew of a humanitarian flight into flying civilians from Bentiu to Juba (OCHA).
On 4 June, the WFP reported the looting or destruction of 1,400 metric tons of food in Nasir, Ulang, and Matiang.
OCHA reported on 30 November 2013 that 293 violent incidents had been recorded since January 2013.
As of 11 September, over 1.4 million South Sudanese had been displaced internally and over 452,000 South Sudanese refugees moved across borders since December 2013 (OCHA, 18/09/2014). Fluid displacement patterns and limited access to rural areas make numbers difficult to verify (UNHCR 11/07/2014).
As of 18 September, 1.4 million people were displaced in South Sudan: 582,900 in Jonglei, 289,300 in Unity, 232,600 in Upper Nile, and 133,800 in Lakes (OCHA, 18/09/2014). An estimated 748,000 IDPs are under 18 (UNICEF, 23/09/2014). Displacement patterns remain fluid, driven by violence, floods, and the search for emergency assistance (IOM, 03/09/2014).
875,000 IDPs live in flood-prone areas (OCHA, 15/08/2014). Flooding has been recorded in the displacement sites in Bentiu, Unity state; Juba, Central Equatoria state; and Malakal, Upper Nile state (OCHA, 31/08/2014).
96,700 IDPs are sheltering in ten Protection of Civilians (PoC) sites on UNMISS bases: 47,000 in Bentiu, 28,000 in Juba (Tomping and UN House), 17,000 in Malakal, and 2,700 in Bor (UNMISS 23/09/2014). On 24 September, 500 people were reported to have arrived at Bentiu PoC site in the preceding week (OCHA). 300 new arrivals were reported in Malakal PoC site following fears of imminent clashes (OCHA, 18/09/2014).
An influx of displaced people into Akobo area in Jonglei, coming from Nasir, Upper Nile has been reported (OCHA, 18/09/2014).
The humanitarian situation in Bentiu PoC site was reportedly extremely worrying at end August; most of the site has been flooded following heavy rains since the beginning of August, the sewage drain has overflowed, and latrines have collapsed (OCHA, 28/08/2014; 29/08/2014).
Refugees in South Sudan
243,300 refugees are in South Sudan: 221,580 from Sudan, 15,000 from DRC, 4,900 from Ethiopia and 1,900 from CAR. Over 128,000 refugees are based in Upper Nile and around 85,000 in Unity (UNHCR, 01/09/2014).
Most of the Sudanese refugees in Upper Nile state reside in four refugee camps in Maban county (OCHA, 03/04/2014). Tensions between Sudanese refugees and host communities were of concern in late March.
As of 28 August, 186,000 people have returned since the beginning of the crisis: 70,000 in Jonglei, 109,000 in Unity, and 5,000 in Northern Bahr el Ghazal (OCHA, 28/08/2014). This is a downward revision from 227,000 returnees in July (OCHA, 29/07/2014).
Earlier reports indicated a total of 1.9 million returnees from Sudan since 2007.
South Sudan Refugees in Other Countries
Over 453,000 South Sudanese have sought refuge in neighbouring countries since the onset of the conflict (UNHCR, 19/09/2014).
Sudan: 90,000 South Sudanese nationals have arrived in Sudan since 15 December (OCHA, 12/09/2014). An estimated 165,000 are expected to arrive over the course of 2014 (WFP, 16/07/2014).
As of late March, the Sudanese Government has refused to recognise South Sudanese nationals as refugees and instead considers them to be Sudanese citizens (UNHCR, 03/04/2014). The Sudanese Government stated that all foreigners in Sudan had to register with immigration administration by 1 April. UNHCR has declared that constitutes an obstacle to access to humanitarian assistance.
Ethiopia: 191,000 South Sudanese refugees (UNHCR, 19/09/2014). As of 27 June, the daily rate of arrival is estimated at 1,000 (UNHCR), down from 2,000 the previous month (local media, 22/06/2014). Some 300,000 South Sudanese refugees are expected in the Gambella region over the course of 2014 (WFP, 16/07/2014).
Uganda: 125,000 refugees (UNHCR, 19/09/2014). A total of 150,000 are expected to arrive over the course of 2014, a downward revision from 300,000 (WFP, 16/07/2014).
Kenya: 43,200 refugees (UNHCR, 19/09/2014). 100,000 are expected over 2014 (WFP, 16/07/2014).
Food security improved in August and September, and the number of people in Crisis and Emergency phases (Phase 3 and 4) has dropped to 1.5 million from 3.9 million, following normal rainfall, good conditions for crops and humanitarian response (WFP, 24/09/2014). Conditions are expected to continue on a positive trend through December, especially in areas not affected by conflict (FEWSNET, 09/2014). However, the situation is still much worse compared to a typical year at harvest time (IPC, 09/2014).
245,000 million are in Phase 4 and 1.2 million in Phase 3 (IPC, 09/2014). 460,000 people are at Phase 3 or 4 in Jonglei; 365,000 in Unity; 175,000 in Upper Nile; 510,000 in Northern Bahr el Ghazal; 340,000 in Lakes; 45,000 in Warrap; 35,000 in Eastern Equatoria; 20,000 in Western Bahr el Ghazal, 90,000 in Central Equatoria (IPC, 09/2014).
From January to March 2015, 2.5 million people are projected to be in Crisis or Emergency Phase, including nearly half of the population of the Greater Upper Nile region (IPC, 09/2014).
1.3 million people have been reached with food assistance since the beginning of the crisis (OCHA, 24/07/2014). Humanitarian organisations have noted that food assistance and malnutrition treatment programmes had improved the food security situation in Unity state counties including Leer, Panyijiar and Rubkona, as well as in parts of Mayendit, changing their classification from Emergency to Crisis levels.
Green harvests of mid-August, as well as the main harvest in October, are projected to improve short-term food security.
Outlook for Food Security
In 2015, conflict areas will likely experience more severe food shortages due to reduced harvests (OCHA, 31/08/2014). A comparison of 2012 and 2014 imagery indicated that the planted area has declined by roughly 30% throughout the country. (FEWSNET, 29/08/2014).
Recent heavy rains and flooding have impacted food security. In Payijiar county, Unity, increased rainfall since mid-July has caused flooding in six out of ten districts, which could affect crop performance. In Malakal county, Upper Nile, flooding has hampered access to some farms. However, heavy rains in Kapoeta county, Eastern Equatoria, have improved pasture and crop performance (FEWSNET, 03/09/2014).
Most conflict-affected states show high cereal production deficits against demand, although the main harvest is forecast to be 38% above the recent four-year average.
Conflict is also affecting major supply routes, displacing traders, and leading to a rise in food and fuel prices (FAO, 04/06/2014). Agricultural and pastoral activities have low productivity and the country depends on food imports, and a de facto devaluation of the national currency between 2011 and 2013, the reduction in oil exports, and the increase in imports are all likely to reduce significantly households’ purchasing power.
Health and Nutrition
5.8 million people need health assistance, 1.8 million of whom have been reached since January. Waterborne diseases, including cholera and hepatitis E, are the most pressing health concerns (WHO, 25/07/2014).
6,065 cholera cases, including 139 deaths (case fatality rate 2.3%), were reported as of 14 September (WHO, 25/04/2014). Incidence is reported to be decreasing (WHO, 09/2014). Previous reports indicated 2,395 cases and 57 deaths in Eastern Equatoria; 894 cases and 17 deaths in Upper Nile state, and 2,378 cases and 49 deaths in Juba (UNICEF, 12/08/2014).
Five new hepatitis E cases were reported in Mingkaman (Lakes state) between 18 and 24 August, bringing the cumulative total to 95 (OCHA, 28/08/2014) since the outbreak was detected in early March (Health Cluster, 05/07/2014). 55 cases had been reported in June and two in April (local media citing MSF, 15/06/2014).
Many living with HIV in South Sudan have been displaced and are unable to keep up with treatment because they have lost access to follow-up care (OCHA, 31/08/2014).
On 7 September, Jonglei health ministry reported an outbreak of kala azar (visceral leishmaniasis) in Akobo and Nyirol counties, which are controlled by opposition forces. To date, 4,099 cases and 125 deaths have been recorded for 2014, a significant rise compared to 2,660 for all 2013 (OCHA, 18/09/2014). Kala azar is a chronic and potentially fatal parasitic disease of the internal organs transmitted by the bite of infected sandflies (Sudan Tribune, 07/09/2014).
In August, malaria was the leading cause of hospital consultations and deaths in displacement sites and health centres (OCHA, 31/08/2014). Malaria accounted for over a quarter of all deaths recorded in displacement sites and health centres over 21–28 August (OCHA, 28/08/2014). In Warrap state, the rise has caused a shortage of medicine (Radio Tamzuj, 25/08/2014). Significant increases in cases of malaria are reported in Malakal PoC and Mingkaman (OCHA, 18/09/2014).
The screening of over 600,000 children across the country in 2014 has found an SAM rate of 6.7% and an MAM rate of 12.6% (UNICEF, 19/08/2014). 675,000 children are estimated to be moderately malnourished and 235,000 severely malnourished (OCHA, 29/07/2014). Twice as many will need treatment for SAM this year than in 2013 (UNICEF 15/07/2014).
According to MSF, malnutrition rates have skyrocketed in parts of Upper Nile, Unity and Jonglei states since conflict erupted in December. MSF has admitted more people for malnutrition in Leer in May and June (2,810 cases) than in all of 2013. In Lankien and Yuai (Jonglei state), there was a 60% increase in admissions in the first six months of the year compared to the same period last year. High death rates have been reported in areas north of Malakal (MSF 14/07/2014).
As of 15 July, under-five mortality in Bentiu has decreased to 1.47/10,000/day (from 2.6 the previous week), below emergency threshold (UNICEF 15/07/2014). 4.9% of children at Bentiu UN base are severely malnourished and 15.9% moderately malnourished. An earlier report cited preventable diseases and malnutrition as the main causes of death.
An estimated 200,000 pregnant women will need urgent care in 2014; 30,000 of them are estimated to be at risk of dying of complications (UNFPA, 15/05/2014).
As of 11 June, 1,227 cases of measles, 125 of which were fatal, have been reported countrywide since 15 December 2013 (UNICEF).
As of 25 June, access to safe water and sanitation remained a critical gap (UNICEF).
In Bentiu PoC sites, there were 116 people per latrine in Bentiu UN base; reconstruction efforts have been hampered by continued flooding, and 175 latrines collapsed due to flooding in late August (UNICEF, 09/09/2014; OCHA, 28/08/2014). Access to safe water sources has reportedly been maintained despite flooding (UNICEF, 26/08/2014); IDPs in the Bentiu PoC site had access to 19 litres of water per day per person in early August (UNICEF, 05/08/2014).
The ratio of people per latrine is 41 in Malakal PoC site and 32 in Melut PoC site (IOM 15/07/2014). The average number of people per latrine among IDPs in Lakes state is reportedly 1:350 (OCHA, 06/06/2014).
Water supplies were reportedly insufficient in a quarter of displacement sites. In 40% of sites, IDPs rely on unimproved or surface water sources (IOM 15/07/2014)
Children are not attending school in 70% of IDP sites (CCCM, 17/04/2014). The inability to pay teachers’ wages has led to school closures in displacement areas (OCHA, 02/05/2014). As of 26 June, 78 schools were occupied and thus obstructing education, mostly in the eastern half of the country (OCHA).
UNICEF has identified over 5,830 unaccompanied and separated children since the conflict began in December 2013 (UNICEF, 02/09/2014).
9,000 children have reportedly been recruited by armed groups in 2014 (OCHA, 11/07/2014).
28 September: In late September, security forces carried out a detention campaign to prevent activists holding commemoration services for victims of September 2013 protests (local media, 28/09/2014).
28 September: Air raids 3km east of Mashrou Abu Zeid, EastJebel Marra, scorched vast areas of farmland, according to local media, and destroyed crops that were about to be harvested (local media, 29/09/2014).
27 September: A reconciliation agreement between Hamar and Maaliya tribes has been signed on 27 September in West Kordofan state capital of al-Foula (local media).
16 September: Community leaders reported that fighting between the Maaliya and Rizeigat tribes has led to the displacement of some 55,000 people (11,000 families) in five locations in Adila locality (OCHA, 21/09/2014).
- Protracted insurgencies by armed groups are occurring across Darfur, and South Kordofan, and Blue Nile states. The conflict in South Sudan has also raised tensions.
- 6.9 million people (20% of the population) need humanitarian assistance (OCHA 31/08/2014): 3.5 million in Darfur and 1.2 million in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states (OCHA, 05/2014).
- 5 million people face Stressed, Crisis, or Emergency levels of food insecurity, most of whom are in Darfur (GIEWS, 06/2014).
-2 million children under five acutely malnourished (OCHA, 08/2014).
- Renewed fighting took place between armed opposition groups, militias, and the Sudanese army in Darfur since March.
- 2.4 million IDPs. Two million in Darfur prior to the latest clashes (OCHA, 03/2014), and 399,000 displaced in 2014 (OCHA, 08/2014).
- Humanitarian access remains a significant problem due to insecurity, mines and explosive remnants of war (ERW), logistical constraints, and restrictions placed by the authorities.
Several regions of Sudan are facing large-scale internal displacement due to violence, widespread food insecurity, malnutrition, lack of access to basic services, and recurrent natural disasters. Humanitarian access to conflict zones is severely restricted.
Numerous, protracted insurgencies are being waged by several armed groups across Darfur, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile. Darfur has been the scene of inter-communal clashes and conflict between the government and armed opposition for over a decade, and fighting intensified in March 2014. Violence in Blue Nile and South Kordofan grew significantly after South Sudan won 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.
On 17 May, the head of the opposition party Umma was arrested for treason after allegedly criticising the Government’s abuse of civilians in Darfur.
Eight East Darfur state government officials and 12 members of the state legislative assembly resigned in protest at continued attacks by Rizeigat gunmen without prompt action from the state and national governments to stop it (local media, 20/09/2014).
In late September, security forces carried out a detention campaign to prevent activists holding commemoration services for victims of September 2013 protests (local media, 28/09/2014). On 26 September, 12 political activists were detained on their way to a memorial service in Shambat neighbourhood in Khartoum North (local media, 28/09/2014).
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 two states made progress in bilateral negotiations in March, agreeing to move forward with shared security measures.
In April, according to media reports, the Sudanese Government accused Juba of using Sudanese militia groups. The week before, the South Sudanese army (SPLA) accused Khartoum of supporting the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM)-in-Opposition, according to local media. Both the opposition and Khartoum denied this accusation.
In April, the city of Neem, in the north of South Sudan’s Unity state, was bombed by a suspected military aircraft (UNHCR). An aircraft was then spotted in the area of Yida. Yida hosts 70,000 Sudanese refugees, while Neem is located on a road used by incoming Sudanese refugees.
Sudan Revolutionary Front
The Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF), formed in 2011, is seeking a comprehensive peace process covering the whole country. The SRF is made up of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), mainly active in Blue Nile and South Kordofan states, as well as Darfur’s three largest opposition groups: the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM); the Sudan Liberation Movement led by Abdel Wahid Al Nur (SLM-AW); and the Sudan Liberation Movement led by Minni Arkou Minnawi (SLM-MM).
On 8 August, Sudan’s main opposition parties, the SRF and the National Umma Party, announced they had agreed to unite to bring about a transitional government. They announced they would not participate in the upcoming elections, which the Government has announced are scheduled for April 2015. On 4September, an agreement between the Sudan Revolutionary Front and the National Umma Party was welcomed by the Government as a step towards a comprehensive Sudanese dialogue process (local media).
On 13 May, local media reported that the SRF and the Unionist Movement had signed an agreement aimed at unifying government opposition.
SRF has said it is ready to join the national dialogue with Khartoum and enhance its cooperation with the UN–AU Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), provided the Government lifts the state of emergency and allows unimpeded humanitarian access to war zones. On 25 April, the SRF published a roadmap for a peace settlement, according to local sources.
The Government is only willing to discuss the conflict in Darfur, and the African Union Peace and Security Council has called for everyone to join the 2011 Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD).
The Darfur Peace Process
The Darfur peace process is stalled. The process does not include the SRF members, SLM-MM, SLM-AW, or JEM, who have consistently rejected the Doha process. However, UN officials have met with SLM-AW, SLM-MM, and JEM in recent months. In December 2013, the All Inclusive Peace and Security in Darfur Technical Workshop aimed to draw non-signatories to the DDPD to the negotiating table. JEM and SLM-MM restated their demand for a comprehensive, inclusive, just and sustainable, negotiated settlement of the Sudanese conflicts.
On 18 June, a group that seceded from the SLM-MM declared it would take part in the Darfur peace process and surrender its arms, local media reported.
On 26 May, the Darfur Internal Dialogue and Consultation Implementation Committee was launched during a peace conference convened by UNAMID in El Fashir.
Blue Nile and South Kordofan States
While the SPLM governs the independent South Sudan, the SPLM-North continues an insurgency in Sudan’s Blue Nile and South Kordofan states, which have routinely opposed government rule.
Negotiations between Khartoum and the SPLM-N collapsed in April, reportedly over the SPLM-N’s demand for a comprehensive peace process. Talks had been held unsuccessfully in February and March, and in April 2013.
Instability in the East
Despite being home to the largest gold mine in the country and Port Sudan, where all Sudan’s oil exports transit, east Sudan is one of the poorest regions. In 2006, the Eastern Sudan Peace Agreement (ESPA) was signed. But divisions within the Eastern Front (EF), the alliance that signed the agreement, are growing. Some factions of the EF claim they wish to join the SRF because of Khartoum’s alleged failure to implement the core elements of the ESPA. The government is reportedly allowing local militias to arm, and boosting support to Arab tribes.
Extensive military operations aimed to end rebellion in Darfur, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile began at the end of 2013. On 11 April, local media reported that the Sudanese Defence Minister had stated that continued armed opposition would be crushed by a military offensive in 2014.
Armed Conflict and Violence in Darfur
Security in Darfur has reportedly deteriorated significantly since late December, with almost daily air strikes from the Sudanese Air Force (SAF). IDPs in camps across the Darfur region have requested protection (local sources, 12/03/2014). Tribal conflicts have also contributed to insecurity.
A reconciliation agreement between Hamar and Maaliya tribes was signed on 27 September in West Kordofan’s state capital Al Foula. Intermittent clashes over land have occurred between the Hamar, from West Kordofan, and the Maaliya, from East Darfur (local media, 27/09/2014).
Tribal fighting has intensified during the last two years in Darfur and Kordofan regions, leading to thousands of deaths and injuries and forcing over 300,000 people to flee their homes.
On 28 September, air raids east of Mashrou Abu Zeid scorched vast areas of farmland and destroyed crops that were about to be harvested (local media, 29/09/2014). Air force raids on East Jebel Marra were reported on 22 September (local media, 23/09/2014). On 4 September, a woman was killed in an airstrike on a nomadic camp southwest of Kaja (local media, 04/09/2014). On 13 September, four children were killed in a militia attack on a village (local media, 14/09/2014).On 24 August, local media reported that an air raid killed a woman in Goz Dor village, East Jebel Marra. On 1 August, local media reported that aerial bombing by the SAF left two children dead in Dolma, East Jebel Marra. Aerial bombing was also reported in March and May.
On 26 September, militia killed a displaced man and wounded another in the Jely area in Tawila locality (local media, 26/09/2014). On 29 September, one person was killed and two young women raped in Tawila locality (local media, 29/09/2014).
Militia attacks near El Fashir in August killed two, and several women were raped (local media, 11/08/2014, 01/08/2014). Local media reported a number of attacks by pro-Government militia in Kabkabiya in July. In Kutum on 1 August, a militia attack on Kassab IDP camped injured three; one girl was raped.
On 5 September, four IDPs, including two children, were killed and 39 people wounded by government troops during a demonstration in Kalma camp. Demonstrators were protesting repeated raids by government forces over preceding weeks (local media, 05/09/2014).
Attacks by pro-government forces on displacement sites were reported in April, May and June in Zalingei, Kailik, and Niertiti. Over ten people were killed, according to local media. On 31 August, an IDP was killed by militia in Zalingei locality (local media, 02/09/2014).
Inter-communal violence: On 6 August, one person was killed in a presumed tribal-based attack in Um Dukhun (local media, 06/08/2014). The Sudanese army was reportedly deployed to Mukjar, Um Dukhun, and Bindisi, after clashes between the Misseriya and the Salamat tribes in June left at least 130 people dead, according to local media.
Inter-communal violence: By 20 August, at least 300 had been killed in clashes between Maaliya and Reizeigat by 20 August (local media, 20/08/2014). Since then, a militia attack against IDPs left one dead and three injured in Yassin locality (local media, 31/08/2014). On 21 August, police were sent to put an end to fighting in Abu Karinka locality (local media, 21/08/2014).
On 1 July, local media reported that 25 people had died in clashes between Maaliya and Hamar tribes in Um Shaalouba area. Clashes near Adilla at the end of May had killed a number of people and reportedly caused displacement (local media 16/07/2014).
On 29 June, local media reported that clashes between Misseriya clans over pasture in Babanusa locality had left 196 people dead (OCHA, 22/06/2014). On 13 September, militia attacks in Sirba locality left one IDP dead (local media, 14/09/2014).
Armed Violence and Conflict in Kordofan and Blue Nile
Information on Blue Nile and South Kordofan states is difficult to obtain as government authorities severely restrict access to the fighting zone. The Sudanese Government announced that it would expand its counter-insurgency operations in Blue Nile state on 23 May. According to an SPLM-N spokesperson on 21 April, the SAF had launched an offensive in North Kordofan. Bombings had reportedly intensified in the region at the end of May, with heavy bombing of Kauda reported by OCHA.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
6.9 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 14/08/2014).
In March, 3.5 million people in Darfur, a third of the region’s population, needed humanitarian assistance (OCHA). This includes two million IDPs, 1.2 million non-displaced severely affected by violence, and 136,000 returnees or refugees from neighbouring countries.
In South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, 1.2 million need assistance in government-controlled areas (OCHA), and 800,000 are estimated displaced or severely affected by conflict in SPLM-N territory. Limited access to non-government areas makes verification impossible.
Humanitarian access for international relief organisations is a major problem. Humanitarian operations are heavily hampered by insecurity, the presence of mines and ERW, logistical constraints, and government restrictions.
August 2013 regulations ban foreign humanitarian groups and UN agencies from working for human rights, and the Government has banned humanitarian access to areas controlled by opposition groups.
Security Incidents Involving Aid Workers
Several abductions of aid workers were reported in June and July in North and South Darfur (IOM, 25/07/2014; UNICEF, 19/07/2014).
Darfur: As of 15 July, humanitarian agencies had access to 253,000 IDPs of a total of 266,000 in Darfur, and a cumulative 363,000 people had been reached by humanitarian aid (OCHA, 15/07/2014). ECHO reported on 4 July that officials had denied access to medical teams attempting to provide assistance in El Sereif and Kalma camps, South Darfur.
Militia checkpoints on the Kutum–El Fashir and Anka–El Tina roads hamper humanitarian access (local media, 03/07/2014). Areas near Kutum (North Darfur) and Adilla and Abu Karinka (East Darfur) were reportedly inaccessible on 26 May (OCHA). On 21 May, local media reported that UNAMID had allegedly been denied access to parts of Kutum area. Insecurity is hindering the movement of humanitarian supplies by road, especially to the localities of Um Dukhun and Bindisi in Central Darfur.
East Jebel Marra region has been virtually inaccessible since 2010. In April, thousands of IDPs were reported to have no access to aid in El Salam and Saraf Omra localities, North Darfur, and in Kalma IDP camp, South Darfur.
Blue Nile and South Kordofan: On 23 June, an INGO said that it was operating in parts of South Kordofan despite government denial of access. On 16 June, a hospital run by an NGO in Farandalla, South Kordofan, was reportedly bombed (OCHA, 22/06/2014). There has been no humanitarian access from Sudan to opposition-held areas in South Kordofan since October 2013.
White Nile: Heavy rains hamper the delivery of service to Jouri, Al Kashafa, and El Redis refugee relocation sites.
As of 11 September, 277,000 people have been affected by heavy rains and flooding (OCHA, 14/09/2014).
New rains and flooding have affected 20,000 people mainly in Sennar, and South and Central Darfur states (local media, 19/09/2014). On 11 September, an inter-agency mission reported that 368 homes had been destroyed in Hassahissa IDP camp, Central Darfur, affecting an estimated 1,800 people (OCHA, 14/09/2014).
In White Nile state, there are extensive sanitation needs in Al Kashafa, Al Redis, and Al Alagaya relocation sites. Flooding and subsequent poor road conditions have delayed the distribution of emergency household supplies to new arrivals (OCHA, 14/09/2014). Assessments carried out in Kassala (South Kordofan) and White Nile state in August revealed acute needs for emergency food, NFI, and health and WASH services (OCHA, 03/08/2014).
At 4 September, heavy rains had resulted in seven deaths, 17 injured, and four missing in Deleig, Central Darfur. 570 homes in the two Deleig IDP camps were destroyed. In Wadi Salih locality, 356 homes collapsed in the Jeddah and Jebelein camps. Torrential rain in Kass locality, South Darfur, has led to the death of 12 IDPs (local media, 04/09/2014).
70,000 are affected in Blue Nile state, 32,000 in Khartoum, 22,000 in North Darfur, 19,000 in South Kordofan, 19,000 in River Nile, 18,000 in North Kordofan, 18,000 in White Nile, 14,000 in Kassala, 13,000 in Sennar, 11,000 in Al Gezira, 8,000 in Northern, and 6,000 in West Darfur (OCHA, 24/08/2014).
The first half of 2014 saw more displaced in Darfur than in any year since 2004 (OCHA 20/07/2014). 398,000 people have been displaced in Darfur so far in 2014: 266,000 remain displaced and 131,000 people are reported to have returned (OCHA 07/09/2014). On 22 June, OCHA reported that government policy preventing the creation of new camps is an obstacle for IOM’s verification and registration of IDPs.
Overall, 2.4 million IDPs in the five states of Darfur reside in 46 camps and 68 settlements (82,530 orphans, 34,099 widows, and 52,352 sick and elderly), according to a survey conducted by the Darfur Regional Authority from December 2013 to April 2014. 3,324 villages were destroyed December 2013–April 2014 (local media citing DRA official sources 15/07/2014).
North Darfur: 121,000 IDPs; 130,000 returnees in 2014 (OCHA 07/09/2014). 729 villages were destroyed December 2013–April 2014 (DRA cited by local media 16/07/2014). IOM was able to verify 54,000 newly displaced since March in five sites (OCHA, 22/06/2014). 9,000 IDPs have been relocated from Mellit camp to Abassi. On 21 September, it was reported that militia in Kutum locality are imposing protection fees on displaced farmers (local media, 21/09/2014).
South Darfur: 99,000 IDPs (OCHA 07/09/2014); 736 villages were destroyed December 2013–April 2014 (DRA cited by local media 16/07/2014). Accumulated rain water has deteriorated WASH and health conditions in El Batari camp, Kass locality. According to residents, waterborne diseases have broken out, and food prices have risen (local media, 19/09/2014).
On 15 July, over 70 people were reported to have died in less than a month in Kalma IDP camp in Nyala locality, as a result of the deteriorated humanitarian situation and insecurity (local media 15/07/2014).
Central Darfur: 35,000 IDPs; 5,000 returnees in 2014 (OCHA 07/09/2014); 778 villages were destroyed December 2013–April 2014 (DRA cited by local media 16/07/2014). In July, conditions were reported to be dire, with nearly all IDPs in need of humanitarian assistance (OCHA, 20/07/2014; local media 10/07/2014).
East Darfur: 8,000 IDPs as of early September (OCHA, 07/09/2014); 331 villages destroyed December 2013–April 2014 (DRA cited by local media 16/07/2014).
By 16 September, community leaders reported that fighting between the Maaliya and Rizeigat tribes has led to the displacement of some 55,000 people (11,000 families) in five locations in Adila locality. Many people are taking shelter with host families in the area. Many women widowed by the conflict have reportedly become vulnerable to exploitation (OCHA, 21/09/2014).
West Darfur: 1,300 IDPs were reported by OCHA in September, in stark contrast with earlier local government figure of 373,000 (OCHA, 07/09/2014; DRA cited by local media 16/07/2014).
Jebel Marra: An estimated 100,000 people displaced or severely affected by conflict (OCHA, 14/08/2014).
Blue Nile and South Kordofan: As of 14 August, an estimated 800,000 people were either displaced or severely affected by violence in SPLM-N-controlled areas (OCHA 14/08/2014). This figures includes 700,000 in South Kordofan and 90,000 in Blue Nile, according to local estimates unchanged since 31 March (OCHA 19/05/2014). As at 18 July, an estimated 170,000 people had been displaced in SPLM-N areas of South Kordofan since April, according to the South Kordofan and Blue Nile Coordination Unit. With no presence in SPLM-N controlled areas, the UN is unable to verify these figures. Up to 1.2 million are either displaced or severely affected by violence in government-controlled areas (OCHA, 19/05/2014).
West Kordofan: An estimated 53,500 people in West Kordofan are in need of humanitarian assistance. Violence has displaced 12,720 people to Babanusa town and El Udaiyat village; 21,000 people to Debab village and Muglad town; and 11,500 people to El Salam locality. There are also 7,400 people in Ghubaysh locality who fled conflict in North Darfur, as well as 873 South Sudanese refugees in the Kharasana area (OCHA, 21/09/2014).
Refugees in Sudan
As of 29 August, 93,000 South Sudanese nationals had arrived in Sudan since 15 December (UNHCR). An estimated 42,000 are in White Nile, 13,000 in South Kordofan, 29,000 in Khartoum (ECHO 23/09/2014), and the rest in West Kordofan and Blue Nile (UNHCR, 16/07/2014). In White Nile, arrival rates have increased from 500–600 people per week to around 1,000 people (ECHO, 23/09/2014). A total of 165,000 are expected to arrive in 2014 (WFP, 02/07/2014). 6,000 displaced South Sudanese are living in the disputed area of Abyei (OCHA). An estimated 347,000 people of Southern Sudanese origin are currently hosted in Sudan (OCHA, 30/04/2014).
On 18 June, 31,000 out of 85,000 people who had arrived from South Sudan had not received humanitarian aid (UNHCR). On 16 June, Khartoum state officials issued an order to evacuate informal camps hosting South Sudanese refugees, local media said.
On 1 June, Sudan was hosting 157,000 refugees, mainly from Eritrea, with smaller numbers from Chad, Ethiopia, Somalia, and South Sudan, according to February UNHCR figures.
White Nile: The Government has reportedly identified additional sites in anticipation of new refugees: El Khaira Tawakalna and Zalataya (UNHCR, 20/06/2014). All sites in White Nile State are currently beyond capacity. Access for aid workers remains a concern (ECHO, 23/09/2014).
Sudanese Refugees in Other Countries
As of 31 May, OCHA reported that there were 352,000 Sudanese refugees in Chad, 216,000 in South Sudan, 33,000 in Ethiopia, and 5,000 in Central African Republic.
As of 29 September, significant improvements in food security are expected in most parts of Sudan starting in late September, as green and early-maturing crops become available for consumption (FEWSNET, 29/09/2014).
On 21 July, WFP reported a deteriorating food security situation across the Darfur region due to insufficient rain, increased food prices, and persistent insecurity (WFP, 21/07/2014). As of 13 June, an estimated five million people faced Stressed, Crisis, and Emergency levels of food insecurity (GIEWS), up from 4.5 million on 30 April, due to the early onset of the lean season, rising food prices, and the impact of conflict and displacement. IDPs make up 80% of food insecure people (FAO, 10/04/2014).
On 16 September, FEWSNET forecast that due to continued displacement and insecurity in Darfur and South Kordofan, the country would remain at Crisis level of food insecurity through March 2015.
In South Kordofan, the Nuba face critical food security conditions, according to the Nuba Relief and Reconstruction Organisation (local media, 21/09/2014).
Agriculture and Markets
Harvest prospects for the 2013/14 main agricultural season are expected to be 30–35% below the national average, mainly due to late and insufficient rains at critical times in the season. As of late February, retail sorghum harvest outputs were 50% below average in Darfur (FEWSNET).
Insecurity and conflict are expected to reduce harvest prospects, cause continued destruction of assets, and obstruct access to markets and food assistance.
On 7 September, a Red Sea state government official reported that food prices in the state had gone up 100% (local media, 07/09/2014).
Health and Nutrition
The UN estimated in mid-December 2013 that 165,000 children in SPLM-N-controlled parts of South Kordofan and Blue Nile do not have access to basic health services.
There are indications that the health situation in Darfur is deteriorating. The rate of schistosomiasis, also known as bilharzia, has increased by 70% in South Darfur (government sources quoted by local media, 07/05/2014). Local reports indicate that visceral leishmaniasis, scabies, and ringworm have increased since 2012. About 90,000 people are living without access to any medical care in Mukjar locality (Central Darfur). 50,000 people from host communities are in need of access to health services in Bielel locality, South Darfur (WHO cited by OCHA, 03/08/2014).
283 cases of diarrhoea were reported in North Darfur between 10 and 24 August (OCHA, 24/08/2014). In the Kabkabiya camps, 14 infants died of diarrhoea between 21 August and 4 September (local media, 04/09/2014).
As of 21 September, 700 cases of hepatitis E have been confirmed in Blue Nile and South Darfur states, with almost half of reported cases (365) identified in South Darfur’s Kalma IDP camp. In Blue Nile state, over 80 cases have been reported. The number of cases in Kalma and El Salam IDP camps are gradually declining, due to response from humanitarian actors, but cases were increasing in El Serif IDP camp in September (OCHA, 21/09/2014). MSF reported an outbreak of hepatitis E in El Sereif camp with more than 400 cases at 21 June (OCHA 06/07/2014).
Two million children under five are acutely malnourished, an upward revision from 1.4 million at the beginning of August. Half a million are expected to suffer from SAM in 2014 (OCHA, 24/08/2014). GAM among South Sudanese refugees had reportedly decreased from 20% in March/April to 13.6% as of 16 July (OCHA, 20/07/2014).
43,000 houses are reported to have been destroyed by floods since July (OCHA, 24/08/2014).
At 7 September, severe water shortages were reported in Nierteti camps, West Darfur, following the breakdown of all water pumps (local media, 07/09/2014). In July, 17,000 new IDPs faced acute water shortages in sectors 7 and 8 of Kalma camp, South Darfur, with just 2.5 litres per person per day (OCHA 06/07/2014). In June, the 30,000 IDPs in Zamzam camp, North Darfur, were receiving only 6.6 litres of water per person per day (OCHA, 29/06/2014).
IDP camps in Saraf Omra locality, North Darfur, lack educational services. IDP children are unable to enroll in public or private schools in the area as they cannot afford the fees.
Over 3,000 school teachers in Nyala, South Darfur, have requested to be transferred due to insecurity, according to local media in July.
As of late March, the Sudanese Government refuses to recognise South Sudanese nationals as refugees and instead considers them to be Sudanese citizens (UNHCR, 03/04/2014). All foreigners in Sudan had to register with the immigration administration by 1 April. UNHCR has declared it constitutes an obstacle to access humanitarian assistance.
Mines and ERW
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. On 26 August, 4 children died in 2 separate explosions in Sirba and Jebel Moon localities, West Darfur (local media, 29/08/2014).
Sexual and Gender-Based Violence
Numerous rapes have been reported by local media in North, South and Central Darfur since March. Between 1 July and mid-August, 45 people, women and girls, were raped in East Jebel Marra (local media, 18/09/2014). On 22 September, militia raped three women of the village of Kuku in East Jebel Marra. Between mid-July and 25 September, at least 30 cases of rape have been reported across Darfur (local media)
Syria Country Analysis
28 September: The US-led coalition in Syria struck the entrance to the country's main gas plant, Coneco in Deir-ez-Zor, which is under Islamic State’s (IS) control (AFP).
28 September: US missile strikes reportedly killed at least seven civilians in Kafr Deryan in Idleb on 25 September. Human Rights Watch is calling for a probe into possible violations of the laws of war (AFP/HRW).
27 September: IS rocket fire hit the besieged Syrian Kurdish town of Kobane for the first time. Hundreds of people living on the east side of Kobane fled into Turkey (AFP). Since 15 September, IS has reportedly captured at least 105 Kurdish villages in Kobane region, with reports of severe water shortages and human rights violations (UN High Commissioner for Human Rights).
26 September: 153,000 Syrians have sought refuge in Turkey since 19 September, according to the Turkish authorities. As of 26 September, only Yumartalik border crossing was open, although the gate east of Musitpinar remained under guard, with personnel referring new arrivals to Yumartalik. Current estimations indicate that approximately 60% of Syrians crossing into Turkey are children and 85% are women and children (UNICEF).
25 September: Syrian government troops recaptured the key town of Adra, northeast of the capital Damascus. Adra's Old City remains under opposition control (AFP).
22 September: Turkey began to close some of its border crossings with Syria after refugees poured into the country fleeing the advance of IS (Amnesty International).
- 191,369 deaths documented between March 2011 and the end of April 2014 (Human Rights Council 22/08/2014). At least 200–300 people are dying in Syria every day. There are an average of 25,000 new injuries each month (WHO 25/09/2014).
- 10.8 million Syrians are in urgent need of humanitarian aid.
- 11 million Syrians have been displaced, including 6.5 million IDPs; 688,000 have been displaced by violence between April and June (SNAP 03/07/2014).
- 6.5 million Syrian children (within and outside Syria) need immediate humanitarian assistance, over two million more than one year ago (UNICEF 05/07/2014).
- 3,036,011 Syrians are registered or waiting to register as refugees outside Syria as of 21 September. Lebanon: 1,192,000; Turkey: 847,500; Jordan: 619,000; Iraq: 214,500; Egypt: 140,000. Children make up 51.3% of the refugee population.
- 4.7 million people live in difficult-to-reach areas. Approximately 241,000 are living under siege. At least 325,000 children under five live in areas not accessible to humanitarian aid (UNICEF 05/2014).
- Expected wheat production for 2014 is 1.97 million metric tons, 52% below the average for 2001–2011. The total area planted with wheat in Syria is estimated to have declined by about 15% compared with recent years (FAO).
Conflict across the country has caused large-scale displacement and disintegration of infrastructure, leaving millions in need of food, health, shelter, and WASH assistance amid a dynamic conflict in which aid provision is highly problematic.
The conflict in Syria has been ongoing since March 2011; violence began after demonstrations demanding the departure of President Bashar al Assad.
Bashar al Assad won Syria’s presidential election of 4 June with 88.7% of the vote. The election was held only in the roughly 40% of Syrian territory controlled by government forces, and among Syrians outside the country. An official stated the turnout was 73.4%, or 11.6 million of the 15.8 million people called on to vote.
The Syrian Government announced on 25 August that it will work with the international community, including the United States, to fight terrorism and implement UN Security Council resolution 2170, targeting IS and Al Nusra Front (AFP 25/08/2014).
On 28 September, the US-led coalition struck the entrance to the country's main gas plant, Coneco in Deir-ez-Zor, which is under Islamic State’s (IS) control (AFP 28/09/2014). Earlier air strikes were also reported in Ar-Raqqa and Idleb (Guardian/Al Jazeera 23/09/2014).
On 25 September, Syrian government troops recaptured the key town of Adra, northeast of the capital Damascus, after nine months after fighting. Adra's small Old City remains under opposition control (AFP 26/09/2014).
IS rocket fire hit the besieged Syrian Kurdish town of Kobane for the first time. Hundreds of people fled into Turkey (AFP 27/09/2014). Since 15 September, IS has reportedly captured at least 105 Kurdish villages in Kobane. Reports have emerged of deliberate killing of civilians, including women and children, the abduction of hundreds of Kurds by IS, and widespread looting and destruction of infrastructure and private property. There is also a severe water shortage (UN High Commissioner for Human Rights 23/09/2014)
On 13 September, Al Qaeda affiliate Al Nusra Front and its allies seized most of the Syrian side of the armistice line with Israel on the Golan Heights.
On 30 June, Islamic State (formerly the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) declared an Islamic caliphate across a stretch of land straddling Iraq and Syria, defining the group's territory as running from northern Syria to the Iraqi province of Diyala, northeast of Baghdad.
The group has transferred some of the weapons pillaged in Iraq to Syria. On 24 August IS seized Tabqa military airport, the last remaining Syrian army base in Ar-Raqqa. IS fighters appear to be moving to areas under tighter IS control, including Deir-ez-Zor, and have pulled out of parts of central Homs. Al Nusra Front took several areas in Homs in the wake of IS’s withdrawal (AFP 24/08/2014).
On 28 August, opposition forces, including Al Qaeda affiliate Al Nusra Front, seized the Syrian side of the sole crossing to the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. In response to mortar rounds hitting the occupied part of the Golan, Israel targeted two Syrian army positions (AFP 28/08/2014). Israeli airstrikes took place on 15 July in retaliation for a reported rocket attack.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
The UN estimates that the number of people in need of assistance has grown to 10.8 million, including 6.4 million IDPs, of which 50% are children. 1.65 million people in Rural Damascus are affected by the crisis. Approximately 1,117,000 people need humanitarian assistance in Idleb. In Al Hasakeh, approximately 582,000 people are estimated to be in dire need of emergency humanitarian support; 711,000 are in need in Deir-ez-Zor. Approximately 800,000 are affected by the crisis in Damascus, another 800,000 in Dar’a, and 748,000 in Homs. About 500,000 people are affected by the crisis in Ar-Raqqa – more than half the governorate’s population. 533,000 people are in need in Hama, mainly in rural areas, with lower numbers in the other governorates (OCHA 28/08/2014)
4.7 million people in need are estimated to be in areas that are hard to reach. This includes at least 241,000 people in locations that are besieged by either government or opposition forces, according to UN figures (UN Security Council 31/07/2014).
WFP has stated that it is running out of funds: from October, the food parcel will be smaller, providing less than 60% of the nutritional value recommended in emergencies, with further cuts in November. For December, WFP has no funding available for programmes in Syria (WFP 18/09/2014).
As of 16 September, WFP had fulfilled 55% of its dispatch plan, with food rations sufficient for over 2.3 million people in 11 of 14 governorates – a 10% increase compared to the same time in August. However, import blockages have led to critical shortages of fuel and a sharp rise in transportation prices. On 15 September, the daily dispatch rate had dropped by almost 30% compared to the previous week. In August, WFP food was dispatched for 4.16 million people – 98% of the monthly target – the highest level since the beginning of the crisis.
Thousands of newly displaced families are seeking refuge in areas outside WFP’s current reach. The presence of armed groups blocking main access routes is preventing assistance from reaching northeastern regions (WFP 24/09/2014).
The dispatch of non-food items (NFIs) has fallen significantly since April. August was the second-worst month after May, when escorts were first required for dispatches. The introduction of the new procedures created tremendous challenges in dispatching NFIs from warehouses to partners for distribution as well as importing NFIs (UNHCR 16/09/2014).
Security Incidents Involving Aid Workers
In August, the deaths of 21 medical personnel were documented, of which 16 were targeted killings. Twenty were killed by government forces, and one was killed by IS (Physicians for Human Rights, or PHR, 25/09/2014). In total, PHR has documented the deaths of 561 medical personnel since the start of the conflict, of which 252 were targeted killings. 553 deaths were caused by government forces and eight by non-state armed groups. Rural Damascus continues to have the highest number of medical personnel killed, with 103 (PHR 25/09/2014).
A thirteenth UNRWA staff member died in Syria on 21 August (UNRWA 26/08/2014). As of the end of July, 59 humanitarian workers had been killed since March 2011 (UN Security Council 31/07/2014, SARC 20/08/2014). 27 UNRWA staff are detained or presumed missing and one UNDP staff is in detention.
On 27 August, a Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) humanitarian aid convoy, loaded with 3,000 food parcels and 3,000 hygiene kits, was exposed to mortar shells in Dar’a governorate (SARC 4/09/2014).
Trapped and Hard-to-Reach Communities
Aleppo: In a significant improvement during August, cross-line operations delivered food for over 83,000 people in opposition-controlled areas (WFP 09/09/2014). Up to 200,000 people are believed to be trapped inside Kobani, which has been besieged by IS since July 2013 (Amnesty 19/08/2014). According to an activist, IS deliberately cut off electricity and water supplies some six months ago. Food is scarce and very expensive when it is available as it has to be smuggled in either through Turkey or IS-controlled areas (Amnesty 19/08/2014). Some 40,000–45,000 people are also reportedly under at least partial siege in Zahra and Nobol, northwest of Aleppo, by fighters belonging to Ahrar al Sham, Al Nusra Front, and other non-state armed groups.
Al Hasakeh: As of 16 September, the Nusaybin crossing point with Turkey was the only viable route to transport humanitarian supplies via land to Al Hasakeh governorate. WFP has only been able to provide food supplies through an emergency air-bridge from Damascus since May. With the airlifts a financially unsustainable option that do not allow adequate levels of assistance to be provided, WFP continues to advocate with Turkish authorities to reopen the crossing (WFP 24/09/2014).
Ar-Raqqa: Ar-Raqqa governorate received no supplies in August or September, and only 24% of the planned allocation in July and (WFP 24/09/2014).
Damascus: UNRWA was not authorised to distribute humanitarian assistance in Yarmouk 14–17 September, and had no access to Yarmouk between 3 and 6 September (UNRWA 18/09/2014). More IDPs arrived in Yarmouk during the last two weeks of August, as people fled escalating fighting between government and opposition forces in Al Hajar al Aswad, Rural Damascus.
Deir-ez-Zor: Violence and armed groups blocking main access routes prevented any rations from reaching Deir-ez-Zor; no food assistance has reached the governorate since May (WFP 24/09/2014).
Idleb: During August, food for over 250,000 people was distributed in areas not controlled by the Government, including in IDP camps in the north of the governorate (WFP 09/09/2014).
Rural Damascus: Thousands of people are in need in several besieged areas. Tadamoun, Yalda, and Babilla, already home to thousands of IDP families, witnessed further arrivals during the last two weeks of August as people fled escalating fighting between government and opposition forces in Al Hajar al Aswad. WFP is still unable to reach several villages in western Kisweh, where at least 25,000 people are believed to be in need of assistance, and new arrivals were reported. Part of Mliha’s population fled after its recapture by the Government, relocating to towns in eastern Ghouta that have been cut off from humanitarian assistance for up to two years (WFP 09/09/2014).
Aleppo: The most populous governorate in Syria, Aleppo has 1,787,000 IDPs. The largest number of people in need (1,222,000) and IDPs (625,000) are mainly concentrated on the western side of Aleppo city (OCHA 28/08/2014).
Al Hasakeh: During the second half of August, 24,000 new IDPs were registered for assistance in Qamishli, Qahtaniyeh, Jawadiyeh, Mabada and Al Hasakeh city after fleeing clashes in several parts of the governorate (WFP 09/09/2014).
Ar-Raqqa: Reports indicate that large numbers of people fled Ar-Raqqa city in fear of US airstrikes. Families are reported to have tried to escape to Turkey through Tel Abiyad, to eastern and western rural areas of the governorate, and to Damascus (WFP 24/09/2014).
As Sweida: 69,000 IDPs; most are sheltering in host communities, tents, and collective shelters across the governorate (OCHA 28/08/2014).
Damascus: 410,000 IDPs. Most are hosted by the local community and 24 official collective shelters host about 50,000 IDPs (OCHA 28/08/2014).
Dar’a: Dar’a has seen very high levels of displacement, with a large number of people having left the governorate and the return of refugees from Jordan and displaced from other areas. As of April, 33% of the estimated 2011 population of Dar’a (around 330,000) were registered as refugees in Jordan, and around 266,000 people were displaced within Dar’a (OCHA 28/08/2014).
Deir-ez-Zor: Heavy fighting between IS and opposition factions displaced approximately 76,000 people in August (WHO 09/09/2014).
Hama: Over 3–16 September, thousands of people reportedly fled heavy fighting in northwestern rural areas, seeking refuge in the government-controlled town of As-Suqaylabiya. This new wave of displacement follows reports of large-scale displacement from northeastern areas towards Hama city and As-Salamiyeh in July and August, which increased the governorate’s caseload of people in need of humanitarian assistance by approximately 190,000 (WFP 24/09/2014).
Homs: Around 560,000 IDPs (OCHA 28/08/2014).
Idleb: 708,000 IDPs from neighbouring governorates or within Idleb are in need of assistance (OCHA 28/08/2014).
Lattakia: 300,000 IDPs; the majority reside in Lattakia city. Of the six shelters, the Sport City hosts around 1,400 families from rural Idleb and rural Aleppo (OCHA 28/08/2014).
Quneitra: Escalating fighting pushed people to flee towards opposition-controlled areas in southwest Dar’a and southeast Quneitra, where access constraints prevent any food distribution from taking place (WFP 24/09/2014).
Rural Damascus: Heavy military operations in Jobar have pushed almost the entire civilian population towards Douma and nearby villages in Eastern Ghouta, areas which have already been cut off from humanitarian assistance for up to two years. The same areas recently received IDPs from Mliha after its recapture by the Government mid-August. Elsewhere in Rural Damascus, an escalation of fighting in Al Dukhania forced an undetermined number of families to flee towards nearby Jaramana, where about 40% of the 500,000 residents are IDPs, mainly the same governorate (WFP 24/09/2014).
Tartous: About 200,000 of some 452,000 IDPs are in need of humanitarian assistance, mainly in Tartous city, Mashta Hellou and Banyas. Around 1,600 families reside in 21 collective shelters; 14 are in Tartous city.
Refugees in Syria
An influx of Iraqi refugees started on 4 August, but most crossed back into Iraq. An estimated 6,000 families are in Newroz camp in Malkia area, while others moved to villages in Malkia, Qamishli, Amuda and Derbasia. Newroz camp is overcrowded and sanitation is very poor. Many of the residents are temporary, staying for short periods and leaving at mornings, when the Peshakapour-Semalka border is opened, while others arrive (UNHCR 07/09/2014).
Estimates indicate that hundreds of Syrians are returning to Syria on a daily basis; an estimated 1,000 Syrians previously seeking refuge in Iraq have crossed back into Syria. (UN Security Council 31/07/2014).
Syrian Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
3,036,011 Syrians are registered or waiting to register as refugees outside Syria as of 21 September. Lebanon: 1,192,000; Turkey: 847,500; Jordan: 619,000; Iraq: 214,500; Egypt: 140,000.
153,000 Syrians have sought refuge in Turkey since 19 September, according to the Turkish authorities. As of 26 September, Yumartalik was the only open border crossing, however the gate east of Musitpinar remained under guard, with personnel referring new arrivals to Yumartalik. Current estimations indicate that approximately 60% of Syrians crossing into Turkey are children and 85% are women and children (UNICEF 26/09/2014).
In Lebanon, 53,070 Palestinian refugees from Syria (PRS) have been recorded with UNRWA. In Jordan and Gaza, 14,290 and 860 PRS respectively have approached UNRWA for assistance. UNRWA has received reports of around 6,000 Palestine refugees in Egypt and smaller numbers in Libya, Turkey, and East Asia. (UNRWA 06/08/2014)
An estimated 6.3 million people are in need of food and agriculture assistance (OCHA 09/08/2014).
More than half the population (54.3%) were living in extreme poverty at the end of 2013, unable to secure the most basic food and non-food items required for survival (Syrian Centre for Policy Research). Another 20% were living in abject poverty, unable to meet their basic food needs.
Moadamiya: Between 14 and 22 July, the UN entered Moadamiya and reported a dire shortage of most basic foodstuffs, including meat, dairy products, and wheat flour. No bakeries were functioning. The prices of available food were highly inflated and beyond the reach of residents with little or no income. Despite a ceasefire in May, commercial supplies to the town continue to be tightly regulated, with only two truckloads of vegetables and bread allowed each day. Moadamiya was being rationed at three pieces of bread per family per day, regardless of family size (WFP 28/07/2014).
Agriculture and Markets
Harvesting of 2014 winter grains is complete. Estimates put the planting at about 21% lower than the amount planned at the start of the season. FAO estimates puts the cereal harvest at about 2.4 million metric tons: about 2 million of wheat and 400,000 of barley and other cereals (Famine Early Warning System Network 07/09/2014).
Health and Nutrition
In August, it was reported that government soldiers at checkpoints have prevented injured civilians from reaching hospitals. Hospitals in insecure areas continue to be targeted and Government forces refused to allow deliveries of essential medicines and surgical supplies. (Human Rights Council 27/08/2014). All injectable medicines, antiseptics, serums, psychotropic medicines, even bandages and gloves, are routinely denied inclusion in aid convoys.
Since the start of the conflict, some 200,000 Syrians have died from chronic illnesses due to lack of access to treatment and medicines.
Lengthy administrative procedures surrounding the supply of clinics have caused delays in distributing medical equipment and medicines to some areas. Insulin, oxygen, and anaesthetics are no longer available in many parts of Syria. Insufficient access to safe blood is increasingly exposing the population to the risk of blood-borne diseases.
Even functioning hospitals are unable to cope with the demand for surgery, due to the increase in the number of injured – averaging 25,000 each month – combined with severe shortages in supplies and frequent power cuts. An increasing number of complications such as septicaemia, gangrene, organ failure are being reported (WHO 25/07/2014).
Syrian pharmaceutical production capacity has been reduced by 65–70%. The devaluation of the Syrian pound by more than 50% and the increase in the cost of medications has affected patients’ purchasing power (WHO 25/07/2014; 16/07/2014).
Attacks on health staff and facilities: In August, PHR documented nine new attacks on medical facilities, all of which were committed by government forces. Three were in Aleppo governorate, two in Dar’a, two in Idleb, one in Raqqa, and one in Rural Damascus. In total, PHR has documented 195 attacks on 155 separate medical facilities since the start of the conflict. Of these, 176 were committed by government forces, 13 by non-state armed groups, and six by unknown forces (PHR 25/09/2014).
35% of Syria’s 97 public hospitals are partially functioning and 24% are completely out of service; 22% of public health centres are partially functioning and 17% are completely out of service (Health Resources Availability Mapping System cited by WHO 22/08/2014).
Aleppo city: Four primary healthcare centres and five trauma clinics are functioning; seven of 17 ambulances are operational. As of March, in the opposition-controlled areas of Aleppo city, there were an estimated 10–12 general surgeons, three–five orthopaedic surgeons, and fewer than ten internal medicine specialists.
Ar-Raqqa: The only dialysis service in the governorate was destroyed by bombing in March. It had served 200 patients (PHR 04/07/2014).
Damascus: As of April, only two of 18 medical facilities in Qaboon were functioning, and were only providing very basic services. In Jobar, there are no functioning medical facilities. In Yarmouk Palestinian camp, the only pharmacy still operating has been attacked by shelling and rockets at least twice. There were once between 100 and 120 pharmacies in the camp.
Dar’a: Five of Dar’a’s nine public hospitals are out of service and three are only partially functioning, with the one operational hospital serving a population of 256,750 (WHO 20/07/2014).
Deir-ez-Zor: None of the seven public hospitals are fully functioning, with two completely out of service (UNFPA 04/08/2014).
Rural Damascus: 24 of 44 private hospitals, three of six public hospitals, and 54 of 176 health centres are out of service (PHR 04/07/2014).
Diarrhoeal diseases are one of the main causes of death in children under 12 months old (IFRC 24/07/2014). The number of acute diarrhoea cases continues to increase, with 22,169 cases reported across the country in July. The highest number of cases was in Deir-ez-Zor. 533 cases of bloody diarrhoea were reported in July (WHO 22/08/2014).
2,173 cases of hepatitis A were reported in July (WHO 22/08/2014). 82 cases were reported between 1 and 14 June, 85% of which were in Deir-ez-Zor, where access to safe drinking water is particularly reduced (EWARS).
Leishmaniasis is particularly common among people living in communal shelters and is spreading to more areas; the worst cases are being reported from Aleppo, Deir-ez-Zor, and Ar-Raqqa governorates (IFRC 24/07/2014).
Worsening food security, limited access to water, poor hygiene, sanitation and health services combined have contributed to declined nutritional status among children under five (WHO 25/07/2014).
An estimated 200,000 pregnant women are in need of care in Syria, and every day, some 1,480 women give birth in dire conditions (United Nations Population Fund). The proportion of deliveries by caesarean section increased from 19% in 2011 to 45% in 2013.
The ability to provide basic reproductive health services and safe delivery in contested or besieged areas is further constrained by the low number of accredited heath partners. The same is true for treating victims of gender-based violence (UNFPA 02/09/2014).
Over 50% of the population is estimated to be in need of psychosocial support (WHO 25/07/2014).
36 polio cases have been reported in Syria since October 2013: 25 in Deir-ez-Zor, five in Aleppo, three in Idleb, two in Al Hasakeh, and one in Hama. The most recent case had onset of paralysis on 21 January (Global Polio Eradication Initiative 02/07/2014).
According to a July WHO/UNICEF report, polio vaccination coverage has dramatically declined from an average of 99% to 52%. The first case of polio since 1999 was reported in October 2013 (WHO).
876 typhoid cases were reported in July (WHO 22/08/2014). 1,056 cases of typhoid had been reported between 1 and 14 June (EWARS).
All parties to the conflict are increasingly targeting vital services, resulting in interruptions to supplies. This is aggravating the already dire water, sanitation, and health conditions in conflict areas and increasing the risk of outbreaks of waterborne diseases.
Syrian families consume 40% less water than they did pre-crisis. A third of Syria’s water treatment plants no longer function, and treatment of the country’s sewage has halved (WHO/UNICEF 22/07/2014)
Polluted water supplies, hot weather, and serious water shortages are heightening the risk of disease. Health staff are already seeing an increase in hepatitis A, typhoid and diarrhoea, and skin complaints, especially among IDPs living in communal shelters.
Aleppo: Potable water supplies have been cut off. According to a source at the Aleppo Water Department, more than two million people have been affected since three of the city’s four pumping stations have been shut down. Water has stopped flowing not only into Government-held areas, but all over the city. The price of 20 cubic meters of water has risen to USD 130 (SOS Children’s Villages 14/09/2014).
4,000 Syrian schools have been destroyed, damaged, or used to house IDPs, leaving the educational system on the verge of collapse. Nationwide, 51.8% of school age children were not going to school, but that figure reaches 90% in Aleppo and Ar-Raqqa governorates, and 68% in Rural Damascus (Syrian Centre for Policy Research 05/2014, AFP 12/09/2014).
In areas under IS control, particularly in the north and northeast, Fridays are regularly marked by executions, amputations, and lashings in public squares, according to a UN report in August. Civilians, including children, are encouraged to watch. Women have been lashed for not abiding by IS’s dress code. Journalists and other media workers are systematically targeted.
Other non-state armed groups continue to commit violations, including summary executions and shelling deliberately targeting civilians.
US missile strikes reportedly killed at least seven civilians in Kafr Deryan in Idleb on 25 September. Human Rights Watch is calling for a probe into possible violations of the laws of war (AFP/HRW 28/09/2014).
Between the 22 February UN resolution ordering all parties to the conflict in Syria to end the indiscriminate use of barrel bombs and other weapons in populated areas and 14 July, Human Rights Watch identified over 650 new major impact strikes on Aleppo neighbourhoods held by armed groups opposed to the Government, an average of almost five a day. The Center for Documentation of Violations reported that aerial attacks killed 1,655 civilians in Aleppo governorate between 22 February and 22 July.
The Organisation for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) mission examining alleged use of chlorine gas in Syria has found information constituting “compelling confirmation” that a toxic chemical was used “systematically and repeatedly” in villages of Talmanes, Al Tamanah and Kafr Zeta, all located in northern Syria, earlier this year.
There was a marked reduction in reported chlorine attacks in May, June, and July. But there was a spate of new allegations in August. The most recent reported attack was on the town of Kafr Zeta on 28 August (OPCW 10/09/2014).
ERW and Mines
In a July remote assessment of child protection trends and patterns inside Syria conducted by the Global Child Protection Working Group, 42% of respondents identified explosive remnants of war as the main violent threat in Syria to children’s safety in the areas in which they were living (UNHCR 16/09/2014).
On 14 August, Human Rights Watch released a report corroborating allegations of mass deaths in government custody. Accounts from four former detainees closely match the allegations of a defector, who had taken photographs of an estimated 11,000 bodies in military hospitals and other locations in Damascus. The bodies showed signs of starvation, brutal beatings, strangulation, and other forms of torture and killing (HRW 14/08/2014).
20,000 people detained by the Government since the beginning of the conflict are completely unaccounted for, as are some 7,000 government troops held by opposition forces (Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, 08/07/2014). Another 1,500 IS, other opposition, and Kurdish fighters have been kidnapped during battles in recent months (AFP 10/07/2014).
Human Rights Watch released a report on 6 August calling for the release of at least 54 women and children that non-state armed groups have held hostage since launching an offensive in rural Lattakia on 4 August 2013. 40 hostages were freed in May. 17 women and girls who were taken are believed to have been killed (HRW 06/08/2014).
Children are increasingly recruited by non-state armed groups and by the Government’s Popular Committees to participate in and support hostilities. In Ar-Raqqa, children as young as ten are being recruited and trained at IS camps (Human Rights Council 27/08/2014). Over 120 cases of the recruitment and use of children have been documented between 1 January and 19 August, including girls, and some as young as eight. More than half the cases have been attributed to the Free Syrian Army (UN Security Council 28/08/2014).
Yemen Country Analysis
28 September: Hundreds of demonstrators demanded the withdrawal of all militias from Sanaa and the return of security forces, in the first protest against the Shi’ite insurgents since they overran the capital (AFP, 28/09/2014).
27 September: Houthi rebels clashed with presidential guards as they ignored a demand to leave the city. Two fighters were killed and 15 wounded (AFP, 27/09/2014).
27 September: Al Qaeda claimed to have fired a rocket that struck near the US embassy, although the mission said it was unlikely the target (AFP, 27/09/2014). At least two Yemeni guards were wounded (Reuters, 27/09/2014).
- Insecurity is hindering efforts to verify information, including on new IDPs and on humanitarian needs.
- 500,000 estimated to be affected by conflict at the end of March 2014 (Protection Cluster, 04/2014).
- 800,000 refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants are in need of lifesaving services (OCHA, 04/2014).
- 14.7 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance (OCHA, 28/08/2014).
- Over 10 million are food insecure, including 5 million severely food insecure (Comprehensive Food Security Survey 2014). Levels of food insecurity have doubled since 2009 (FAO, 06/2014).
- 8.6 million have no access to healthcare (OCHA, 04/2014).
- One million children under five are acutely malnourished; 280,000 are severely malnourished (OCHA, UNICEF 06/2014).
- 13.1 million do not have access to safe water; 12.1 million are without access to improved sanitation; 4.4 million lack access to adequate sanitation (OCHA, 04/2014). Open defecation remains the practice for more than 20% of the population (UNICEF 2014).
Nearly 15 million people, over half the population, are in need of some form of humanitarian assistance (UN, 15/05/2014). This figure includes nearly all two million people in Sa’ada and Al Jawf governorates in the north (HNO 2014, 2014 Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan). In the central governorates, an estimated six million people need assistance, including food aid, improved water, adequate sanitation, and primary healthcare. More than half the population in Al Hudaydah, Raymah, and Mahwit (3.8 million people) need humanitarian assistance. A large number of returnees in the southern governorates have limited livelihood and income opportunities.
Yemen is undergoing a political transition process aimed at opening the way for fully democratic elections in 2015. In addition to economic challenges, it continues to face three concurrent security challenges: Houthi insurgents in the north; southern secessionists; and Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) throughout the country.
Despite interim President Hadi overseeing a US-supported political transition, instability and violence continue across Yemen. On 28 February, a UN Security Council resolution banned travel and froze assets of people who obstruct or undermine the country's political transition and who commit human rights violations.
Shia Houthi insurgents from the far north, who already have de facto control over Sa’ada and neighbouring Amran, and parts of Al Jawf, and Hajjah governorates, have rejected the proposed new division of the country, claiming it is unequal in terms of wealth distribution. In the south, a large portion of leaders are still aiming for a fully independent, unified south, according to local sources.
Yemen’s economic difficulties are adding to the political crisis. Oil revenues declined almost 30% between January 2013 and January 2014 (Yemen Central Bank, 02/2014). In July, the Government increased the price of petrol by 60% and diesel by 95%. Transport and bread prices have risen at least 20% since mid-August (IRIN, 25/08/2014). Following a series of mass protests in the capital, Shia Houthi leader Abdul Malek al Houthi urged a campaign of civil disobedience (Al Jazeera, 31/08/2014). In September, Houthi militants gained control over much of the capital after fighting with soldiers loyal to the Sunni Islah Party.
The Houthis were reported to have signed the Peace and National Partnership Agreement on 21 September. The agreement, representing a broad political consensus, stipulates the formation of a new Government within one month, during which the current Government acts as caretaker (Yemen Times, 22/09/2014). On 21 September, Prime Minister Mohamed Basindawa stepped aside, but President Hadi has not named a new premier, as stipulated by the peace agreement (AFP, 28/09/2014).
State news agency Saba said that military police had begun taking back government buildings seized by the Houthis (Reuters, 21/09/2014). On 27 September, Houthi rebels clashed with presidential guards as they ignored a demand to leave the city. Two fighters were killed and 15 wounded (AFP, 27/09/2014). On 28 September, hundreds of demonstrators demanded the withdrawal of all militias from Sanaa and the return of security forces, in the first protest against the Shi’ite insurgents since they overran the capital (AFP, 28/09/2014).
Since the end of January, around 2,980 people have been killed in violence, including military and security personnel, Houthi insurgents, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants, armed Sunni tribesmen, and civilians (Yemen Times, 12/08/2014).
Various forces use the country’s oil resources to pressure the Government, and observers have warned that the economy will continue to decline if the Government cannot protect pipelines. On 30 July, armed men blew up an oil pipeline in the Wady Obaida area of Marib governorate, halting the flow of crude to the Ras Isa oil terminal on the Red Sea. The pipeline had been repaired several days earlier, having been bombed on 12 July. Similar incidents were reported in May (Al Jazeera). In July, tribes from Marib and Shabwah clashed over the ownership of an oil-rich desert.
Conflict in Northern Yemen
Houthis, also referred to as Ansarullah, have been advancing from their stronghold in Sa’ada governorate towards other majority Shi’ite areas near Sanaa, and fighting has spread to Al Jawf, Amran, and Hajjah governorates.
Since the beginning of the clashes in Sanaa on 16 September, around 200 people have been killed (Reuters, 22/09/2014).
The peace deal agreed after fighting in Sanaa does not address clashes between the Houthis and rival militias in the northern provinces of Marib and Al Jawf (IRIN, 23/09/2014).
In Al Jawf, despite a ceasefire, clashes between Houthis and Sunni tribesmen continue in Al Ghail district, through which the main road to Sanaa and Marib passes. 90% of the population is thought to have fled (Islamic Help, 25/08/2014). Over 15–16 September, fighting in Al Jawf killed 22 people (Reuters, 16/09/2014).
Over 5-6 September, at least 12 people were killed in clashes between army-backed Yemeni tribes and Shi’ite Houthis in the Ghail and Majzar regions straddling Jawf and Marib (AFP, 06/09/2014).
On 30 August, Houthi fighters attempted to seize a road that links the capital Sanaa with the oil-rich provinces of Marib, Shabwah, and Hadramaut, according to local government officials. At least ten men from local militias and the Yemeni army were killed (Reuters, 31/08/2014).
As of 30 August, the situation in Amran has calmed and the governorate is under de facto Houthi control (Middle East Monitor, 30/08/2014). Fighting in Amran escalated in June, with fierce clashes between pro-government tribesmen and Houthi fighters in villages close to Sanaa international airport. An agreement between the Houthis and government forces was reported on 9 July, although it is apparently subject to interpretation.
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
AQAP, based in the south and east, has regrouped since a 2012 military offensive, with US support, largely drove the fighters from their strongholds. AQAP regularly targets army and security forces, oil pipelines, and foreigners for abduction. Being an affiliate of Al Qaeda Central, AQAP also cooperates with other Al Qaeda branches without involving the central command (Critical Threats, 18/09/2013).
On 30 August, President Hadi announced that his Government was ready to negotiate with AQAP, provided that foreign nationals fighting within its ranks leave Yemen (Yemen Online, 31/08/2014).
In May, the Government declared open war on AQAP (ICG, 01/06/2014). In April and May, government forces and tribal militias captured Al Mahfad, in Abyan governorate, which had been the main stronghold of Al Qaeda since 2012 (AFP). But the Government’s offensive has not been able to weaken the group significantly. (23/09/2014). At least 20 people were killed in AQAP attacks on military outposts in August, and AQAP has expanded its presence in Hadramaut (IRIN, 23/09/2014). According to Yemeni officials, Al Qaeda has taken advantage of the political unrest in Sanaa and at least 60 fighters have joined sleeper cells over the past few weeks (Wall Street Journal, 14/09/2014).
In mid-September, a regional leader of Ansar al Sharia, an AQAP offshoot, announced that the group was increasing its presence in Sanaa in preparation for a fight with the Houthis (23/09/2014).
Sanaa: On 27 September, Al Qaeda claimed to have fired a rocket that struck near the US embassy, wounding at least two Yemeni guards (AFP, 27/09/2014; Reuters, 27/09/2014).
Marib: On 28 September, a suicide bomber linked to Al Qaeda drove a car laden with explosives into Al Jafra hospital in the town of Majzar, used as a base by the Houthi movement, killing at least 15 people and wounding over 50 (Reuters, 28/09/2014).
Shabwah: AQAP carried out two suicide car bombings on military locations at the end of August (Reuters, 31/08/2014). Three soldiers were attacked on 2 August (Reuters, 04/08/2014).Two separate drone strikes killed seven suspected AQAP militants in August (AP, 16/08/2014).
Lahj: On 16 August, suspected AQAP gunmen killed two Yemeni men in separate attacks (AFP, 18/08/2014). Three days earlier, a roadside bomb killed ten civilians and three army technicians, and wounded another 13 in Saber (Reuters, AFP, 13/08/2014).
Hadramaut: At least 43 people were killed in August, either in clashes between AQAP fighters and security forces, or attacks on checkpoints and army facilities. The bodies of another 14 Yemeni soldiers were found near Seiyoun city (Al Jazeera, 09/08/2014). A drone attack killed three suspected AQAP militants (Al Jazeera, 16/08/2014). At the end of June, suspected AQAP briefly seized Sayun airport (Gulf News). The Wadi border crossing to Saudi Arabia was attacked (Reuters).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
The ongoing fuel crisis and insecurity are slowing humanitarian operations and access. Road closures further hamper aid deliveries.
Conditions in Amran governorate and neighbouring are improving. With calm restored, humanitarian partners are re-establishing operations, despite losses from looted facilities (OCHA, 04/08/2014).
Security Incidents Involving Aid Workers
The last kidnapping cases reported took place in Sanaa in April.
Population movements affect over 1.5 million people, and include people displaced by conflict, people returning home after conflict, and hundreds of thousands of returning Yemeni migrant workers, as well as migrants and refugees (OCHA, 11/05/2014).
Several waves of conflict, lack of access, and the fluidity of displacement all make it extremely difficult to estimate new displacements and needs.
At the end of August, there were 335,000 IDPs in Yemen (OCHA, 28/08/2014). As of August, OCHA reported that the vast majority were hosted in five governorates: Sa’ada (103,014 people); Hajjah (89,136 people); Amran (79,136 people); Sanaa (46,228 people); and Al Jawf (24,700), with 8,000 newly displaced from Al Ghail (OCHA, 31/08/2014).
Amran and the North: Persistent insecurity makes humanitarian presence and access to Al Jawf governorate extremely limited (OCHA, 14/08/2014). On 25 August, 90% of residents from Al Ghail (around 8,000 people) were reported displaced, many to Al Hazm district (Islamic Help, 25/08/2014; Yemen Times, 23/07/2014). IDPs are with host communities or relatives.
Western governorates: Armed men disrupted food distribution and damaged the water supply system in Al Mazraq IDP camps (Hajjah) during July and August (OCHA, 31/08/2014).
Around 800,000 refugees, asylum seekers and migrants require humanitarian assistance. More than 243,000 Somali refugees are living in precarious conditions either in the only refugee camp, Kharaz, or in urban areas. One million undocumented Ethiopian migrants also live in Yemen (ECHO, 27/08/2014).
January-July 2014, 37,971 refugees and migrants arrived in Yemen (OCHA 31/08/2014). Arrivals peaked at around 8,500 per month between April and June. Ethiopia and Saudi Arabia’s measures to control trafficking have contributed to the lower number of African migrants and refugees. However, unaccompanied minors are still being identified in immigration centres (Protection Cluster, 28/04/2014).
A group of around 200 Eritreans have been detained for several months upon crossing into Yemen and were confronted with homelessness after being released in January 2014. Most refugees spent between three and 20 months in a prison in Hudaydah governorate (Yemen Times, 19/08/2014).
At the end of August, there were 227,000 returnees how had been internally displaced (OCHA, 28/08/2014). In August, returnees were located in Abyan (150,671), Sa’ada (76,132) and Al Bayda (8,155) (OCHA, 31/08/2014).
Between January 2013 and July 2014, 685,000 Yemenis returned from Saudi Arabia, as the Saudi Government restricted the activities of foreign workers (OCHA, 31/08/2014). Most returnees have acute humanitarian needs, and the returns place a burden on Yemen’s fragile political transition. An estimated 400,000 Yemeni nationals may return from Saudi Arabia in 2014.
Amran: As of 10 August, most of the at least 35,000 IDPs who had fled Amran governorate since the end of April had reportedly returned (IRIN, 31/08/2014); opponents of Houthis and those whose properties were damaged or destroyed may face difficulties (OCHA, 04/08/2014). Access to lifesaving primary healthcare is a priority (OCHA, 31/07/2014).
South: 155,000 people have returned to the south. Living conditions are difficult: reconstruction has not yet started, basic services are hardly available, and landmines are still a threat (ECHO, 27/08/2014).
Around 10.6 million people are food insecure, five million of whom are severely food insecure (Comprehensive Food Security Survey 2014 quoted by OCHA, 10/08/2014; WFP, FAO, Food Security Cluster, 05/2014). Levels of food insecurity have doubled since 2009 (FAO, 06/2014). 50–75% of the population in Lahj, Hajjah, Raymah, and Al Jawf governorates are food insecure. Over 80% of households in these governorates are estimated to be in debt to meet food needs (Comprehensive Food Security Survey cited by OCHA, 10/08/2014).
The combination of poor purchasing power and continued conflict is likely to limit food access for displaced households, resulting in a continuation of Crisis conditions (IPC Phase 3) through December 2014 for households in conflict-affected areas (FEWSNET, 27/08/2014). Food availability and access have become a major concern since 96% of households are net food purchasers, and several markets, especially Sa’ada market, are located in conflict areas (FEWSNET 07/2014).
About 58% of households do not have enough food or money to buy food to sustain their minimum consumption requirements (FEWSNET 07/2014). About 75% of food insecure people give economic concerns as the primary causes of food distress. Household debt levels increased from 2011 to 2014 (Comprehensive Food Security Survey cited by OCHA, 10/08/2014). The increase in the cost of fuel since July exacerbates the crisis (ECHO, 27/08/2014; FEWSNET, 27/08/2014).
Hajjah is the third most food insecure governorate in Yemen, according to the 2014 Comprehensive Food Security Survey. More than 32% of the population are severely food insecure compared to 31% in 2011 (OCHA, 31/08/2014).
Agriculture and Markets
Yemen is particularly vulnerable to international hikes in food prices, since it imports up to 90% of its main staple foods, like wheat and sugar.
Despite declining international wheat prices and stable international rice prices (FEWSNET, 01/08/2014), Yemen’s continued instability, currency depreciation, and low foreign reserve levels contributed to costlier food imports and higher local commodity prices. Increased commodity prices raised the cost of the food basket by 7% compared to the last quarter (WFP, 31/07/2014).
Insecurity is hampering agricultural activity. Farmers affected by the Amran conflict are in need of support to avoid losing the next harvest (OCHA, 31/07/2014).
Crop production levels will be lower due to drought and locust infestation in the northwest. (FAO, 03/06/2014).
The loss of remittances due to the expulsion of Yemeni migrant workers from Saudi Arabia is likely to have a severe impact on the lives of thousands of families (ECHO, 27/08/2014).
Health and Nutrition
An estimated 8.6 million people have limited access to health services (OCHA, 09/09/2014). Qualified medical staff are in short supply, as is medical equipment.
An estimated 1.06 million children under five are acutely malnourished in 2014, approximately 280,000 of whom are severely malnourished (ECHO, 27/08/2014).
Preliminary results of the CFSS show that GAM has improved considerably in Al Hudaydah, Aden, Lahj, Marib, Al Dhale’e, Hadramaut and Al Bayda; but severely deteriorated in Taizz, Ibb, Dhamar and Al Maharah. The net result is that national GAM has slightly improved: 12.7% of under 5 children are malnourished compared to 13 per cent in 2011 (OCHA, 31/08/2014).
An estimated 13.1 million people do not have access to safe water (OCHA, 09/09/2014), 12.1 million are without access to improved sanitation, and 4.4 million lack access to adequate sanitation (OCHA, 28/02/2014). Open defecation remains standard practice for more than 20% of the population and appears to be higher for young children (UNICEF 2014).
Displaced families in Amran district transit camp require WASH assistance (OCHA, 31/07/2014).
IDPs in Al Ghail district have to walk up to 17km to fetch water (Islamic Help, 25/08/2014).
750 houses have been damaged due to fighting in Sanaa (Yemeni Red Crescent cited by IRIN, 29/09/2014).
Unverified reports estimate that between 200 and 500 houses were damaged in the Amran conflict (OCHA, 04/08/2014).
Nationwide, an estimated 2.5 million children are not in school (OCHA, 04/2014). The drop-out rate is more than 20% in the 37 most affected districts. Over 350 damaged schools require rehabilitation or reconstruction, affecting some 72,000 children.
In a survey, around 72% of Yemenis returning from Saudi Arabia said they suffered deprivation of food or water, detention, or physical and psychosocial abuse (OCHA, 12/05/2014).
Violations of child rights were reported in Amran, Al Dhale’e, and Sa’ada during the Amran conflict in July (UNICEF, 31/07/2014).
The Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict has reported that Houthis, Ansar al Sharia, and state-armed forces are all recruiting children (02/06/2014). Child recruitment by armed forces and armed groups was also reported during the Amran conflict (UNICEF, 31/07/2014).
In the first half of 2014, 285 cases of gender-based violence have been reported in Aden; many more remain unreported (OCHA, 05/06/2014). Women and children in Al Dhale’e face harassment from soldiers (Protection Cluster, 28/04/2014).
Mines and ERW
Landmines and explosive remnants of war are a major concern in the northern governorates.
No significant developments this week, 23/09/2014. Last update: 03/09/2014.
- As of June, 78,958 people are food insecure (OCHA, 05/08/2014).
Burundi is struggling to emerge from a 12-year civil war: between 1993 and 2005, fighting between Tutsis and Hutus claimed around 300,000 lives in inter-ethnic killings. The 2000 Arusha Peace Accord provided mechanisms to ensure a delicate balance of ethnic power through a system of quotas, with 60% Hutu and 40% Tutsi representation in parliament and other public institutions. The quotas serve to protect the Tutsi minority from domination by the Hutus, who make up some 85% of the population.
Since the President’s re-election in 2010, scores of political killings, intimidation of the opposition, and a crackdown on media freedom have all been reported, which has cast a shadow over the post-civil war reconciliation process. Most recently, observers stated concerns on restrictions on civil and political rights, following a series of violent acts by the ruling party’s increasingly militant youth wing, Imbonerakure.
2015 General Elections: Proposed Constitutional Amendments
Presidential elections are scheduled for 26 June 2015, with a second round on 27 July if necessary (AFP, 18/07/2014). On 9 June, the Government, the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI), and all political parties and actors signed the General Principles for the conduct of the 2015 elections (UN, 10/06/2014).
Deteriorating relations between the parties within the ruling coalition stem mainly from the desire of President Nkurunziza, elected in 2005 and again in 2010, to run for a third term in the 2015 elections.
In February, the UN Secretary General was tasked with establishing an electoral observer mission to monitor the situation ahead of, during, and after the 2015 presidential election. On 4 June, Burundi expelled a second UN official, stating he was carrying ammunition when boarding a plane (AFP, 04/06/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Land scarcity and high population density have resulted in pervasive tensions over land ownership. This is aggravated as a high number of IDPs and refugees are returning to their places of origin and claiming land where other families, often of a different ethnic background, have since settled.
Burundian Refugees in Neighbouring countries
As of 30 June, 9,764 Burundian refugees were residing in DRC (UNHCR, 30/06/2014).
As of 31 July, 6,101 Burundian refugees were residing in Kenya (UNHCR, 31/07/2014), most of the located in Kakuma Camp.
43,000 Burundians living in Tanzania have been forcibly repatriated. Limited information makes it difficult to quantify the exact number of people expelled since the end of July 2013. Many returnees, 65% of whom are women and children, have chosen to return to their province of origin without being registered due to a lack of reception facilities at entry points (IOM, 01/2014).
As of July, Burundi has 78,948 IDPs (UNHCR, 07/2014). They are mostly ethnic Tutsis, located in and around 120 sites across northern and central Burundi. No new displacement has been recorded since 2008 (Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre).
As of July, Burundi is host to 56,856 refugees (UNHCR, 07/2014).
Refugees are mainly located in the border regions of Ngozi (north, alongside Rwanda), Ruyigi, Muyinga, and Cankuzo (east, alongside Tanzania) and Bubanza (west, alongside DRC). In November 2013, Burundi’s three refugee camps (Bwagiriza, Musasa, and Gasorwe) reached their maximum capacity with a total population of 26,000 refugees. UNHCR opened a refugee camp in Kavumu, Cankuzo province, in May (UNHCR, 11/2013).
As of August, 78,958 people are currently food insecure (OCHA, 05/08/2014).
Poor households in northeastern livelihood zones are expected to face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food insecurity until December, when food availability and access to harvests will improve (FEWSNET, 20/09/2014). Production deficits in Kirundo have led to atypical migration (FEWSNET, 30/06/2014).
Agriculture and Markets
Dry spells since mid-April – only 50–80% of average seasonal rainfall –led to a rapid deterioration in ground conditions across Burundi. Production in the northeast was estimated to be 40–60% below average. In September, early seasonal rainfall enabled land preparation and planting for Season A in August and September. Above average rainfall is expected from October to December (FEWSNET, 20/09/2014).
Due to production deficits in Season B, prices remained higher than the five-year average, but stabilised from June to July (FEWSNET, 31/08/2014), and staple food prices stabilised from July to August (FEWSNET, 20/09/2014). Variability in some areas has caused poor households to reduce non-food expenditures in order to cover food requirements. The most affected households are in the northeast (FEWSNET, 31/07/2014).
Budget cuts and administrative issues have caused blood shortages in Burundi (IRIN, 27/08/2014).
18 September: Six people, including four civilians, were killed in Assighassia and Ganse villages, in the Far North region of Cameroon, following incursions by Boko Haram militants (AFP).
17 September: Congestion at the port in Douala has resulted in extended delays in the arrival of food in Cameroon. This has impacted the effective delivery of food to WFP operations for CAR refugees (WFP).
- 130,440 refugees have arrived from CAR since December 2013, bringing the total to 236,900 (UNHCR, 09/2014).
- Cameroon hosts approximately 43,000 Nigerian refugees (IRIN, 17/09/2014).
- The 2011–2012 drought impact continues, with 615,000 people in the north at risk of food insecurity and malnutrition (WFP).
- 30% of Cameroon’s 20 million inhabitants have access to piped drinking water. In Yaoundé, needs surpass the current capacity by three times (Government).
The spillover from fighting between the Nigerian army and Boko Haram militants impacts on Cameroon and threatens regional security. On 22 May, WFP, IOM, and UNHCR declared the situation in northern Cameroon a Level 3 emergency, the highest level of humanitarian crisis. Cameroon is suffering a double refugee crisis: the influx of refugees from CAR and Nigeria is putting pressure on very limited resources.
On 18 September, six people, including four civilians, were killed in Assighassia and Ganse villages, in the Far North region, following incursions by Boko Haram (BH) militants (AFP, 19/09/2014).
Over 28–30 August, Boko Haram intensified raids in northern Cameroon. Clashes between BH and the Cameroonian army were reported in the village of Fotokol, resulting in the death of 27 BH members and one Cameroonian soldier (ECHO, 28/08/2014). On 26 August, BH attacked the village of Kolofata, which was ultimately won back by the Cameroonian soldiers (ECHO, 28/08/2014).
Authorities in the Far North region have imposed a curfew and banned vehicle and motorcycle movement at night to try to curb the raids (IRIN, 15/08/2014). On 17 May, President Biya agreed to step up regional security cooperation and declared war against Boko Haram, and in July troop levels along the Nigeria border were increased to 4,000 (ICG, 01/08/2014). On 23 February, it was confirmed that Nigeria had closed its northern border with Cameroon to block the movement of BH. Biya has also met with Chadian President Deby to discuss concerted action.
Boko Haram has been active in the Far North region of Cameroon since the beginning of 2014, abducting a number of people, including politicians and religious leaders. Since June, BH has been raiding towns and villages near the border. Amchide town has become a significant BH base. BH has developed alliances with businesses and is reportedly forcing others to finance their activities (AFP, 24/06/2014).
The security situation remains unstable in East region, where the majority of CAR refugees are located. Infiltrations of anti-balaka from CAR into Cameroon have been reported, and local authorities have asked UNHCR to expedite the transfer of refugees from the border entry points of Kentzou and Gbiti in order to allow them to undertake search operations in the area (UNHCR, 22/05/2014). The Gbiti site has been closed. UNHCR and Cameroonian security forces are seeking possible locations for security posts at the refugee sites of Lolo, Mbilé, and Timangolo in East region (UNHCR, 04/07/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Congestion at the port in Douala has resulted in extended delays for the arrival of food. This has impacted the effective delivery of food to WFP operations for CAR refugees (WFP, 17/09/2014).
The escalation of attacks by Boko Haram since late July is restricting aid operations in the Far North region, where thousands of Nigerian refugees have sought safety (IRIN, 15/08/2014). UN agencies have only been undertaking priority activities such as assisting refugees and some host communities, according to WFP (IRIN, 15/08/2014).
Since 21 August, Bibemi in the North region, Benoue department, has experienced heavy rainfall that has caused severe flooding. Nearly 3,500 people have been affected and over 1,380 people have been displaced. The floods destroyed 223 houses, washed away farms and crops, and killed livestock and poultry (OCHA, 09/09/2014).
Refugees from the Central African Republic
Refugees continue to arrive from CAR. As of 19 September, 236,900 CAR refugees are in Cameroon: 130,440 have arrived since December 2013 through 31 border points (UNHCR, 19/09/2014). They are spread across the East (95,075), Adamawa (23,060), Douala (3,820), Yaounde (3,540), and the North (3,540) (UNHCR, 31/08/2014). At least another 17,670 third-country nationals and returnees have arrived since December 2013 (UNHCR, 07/2014 and IOM, 25/07/2014). The number of new CAR refugees is expected to reach 180,000 by the end of 2014 and 30,000 third-country nationals are expected to need assistance (UNHCR, 17/07/2014).
The number of arrivals has dropped in recent weeks, from 10,000 per week to about 8,000 in mid-August (UNHCR). Access is reportedly hindered by militia requesting an ‘exit fee’ to leave CAR. MSF said most of the new arrivals are in critical need of medical attention (Voice of America, 13/08/2014). ECHO found that acute needs at the border are shelter, food, health, water, and protection (ECHO, 05/2014). Security is also a concern. Local authorities have reported the presence of armed anti-balaka in the village of Diel, and have doubled the number of soldiers guarding the border and patrolling the village (UNHCR, 22/08/2014).
Close to 60% of newly arrived refugees are children, of whom 20% are under five years of age. 96% of refugees are Muslim.
59,160 refugees have been transferred to sites: 44,600 in the East region, including 10,750 in Lolo, 17,540 in Gado, 9,700 in Mbilé, 5,900 in Timangolo, and 760 in Ngari-Singo; and 14,500 in the Adamawa region including 11,380 in Borgop and 3,120 in Ngam. An additional 62,930 refugees are living in host villages (UNHCR, 19/09/2014).
In most locations, the number of refugees and third-country nationals exceeds the local population, and living conditions have become very difficult for host communities. In some sites, the rains have created conditions for disease outbreaks. Access to water and sanitation remains below standard. In Gado, Mbilé, and Borgop, the quantity of water provided per day to refugees remains below 15 litres (UNHCR, 07/2014).
Bad road conditions delay the provision of assistance. Moreover, the border is open and extensive, and there are refugees who cross without being registered.
Refugees from Nigeria
43,000 Nigerians are estimated to have fled to northern Cameroon over the past year, including 26,700 refugees registered by UNHCR (IRIN, 17/09/2014). As of September, 18,475 Nigerian refugees have been registered in the Far North region, primarily in the districts of Mayo Tsanaga (7,685), May Sava (1,966), and Logone-et-Chari (8,824). Another 1,530 refugees are in the Southwest region (UNHCR, 09/2014).
Due to cross-border movements by BH, Nigerians refugees are being encouraged by the Cameroonian Government to settle in Minawao camp (UNHCR, 09/2014). But so far only 6,000 have been relocated from the border to the camp, which has a capacity for 10,000 and may be expanded to 15,000. Many have opted to stay in border villages, hoping to return home quickly if the violence subsides. Those living outside the camp do not receive humanitarian assistance and lack of identification is a concern. The needs among the refugees are largely WASH, health, and nutrition-related.
Cameroon's Far North and North regions have the highest rates of food insecurity in the country, with 54% of households facing shortages. It is feared more will not have enough food over the current lean season, before harvesting starts in October–November (WFP cited by IRIN, 15/08/2014).
The arrival of refugees has increased pressure on resources. Food stocks at Minawao camp, in Far North region, will last for two months, with breaks in the supply line by November if there is no additional funding, according to WFP.
Growing food shortages are compounded by prolonged water scarcity. The impact of the 2011–2012 drought is also still being felt, although 2013 aggregate cereal production was tentatively put at about 3.1 million metric tons, 5% up on the previous year’s output, and 10% above the average of the past five years.
National food insecurity is further influenced by 20 million people at risk of food insecurity across the Sahel region and 2.5 million in need of urgent lifesaving food assistance, as reported by OCHA on 3 February. Across the region, roughly 1.5 million children under five face acute malnutrition in 2014.
Health and Nutrition
Malnutrition, malaria, and respiratory infections are the most common health problems among refugees from CAR, according to an ECHO needs assessment. A number of measles cases were also reported among recently arrived child refugees.
Cameroon's Far North, North, Adamawa, and East regions suffer chronic shortages of health workers. In the Far North region, the ratio is 0.47 doctors for 1,000 people (IRIN, 06/08/2014). The concentration of health staff in wealthier areas leaves around 40% of Cameroonians without access to healthcare. 45.7% of health centres do not have access to electricity and 70% of them do not have piped water (Inter Press Service, 19/08/2014).
Quoting WHO, US media outlet NPR reported that the public healthcare system was unable to address increasing infant mortality rates, along with high rates of HIV, malaria, and tuberculosis. Families often use unauthorised clinics. The Ministry of Public Health has started a campaign to ensure the creation of legally registered clinics that meet national standards with regard to staff, equipment, and hygiene. The Ministry said it would close down unregistered clinics.
Rains and insecurity caused by Nigerian Islamist militants are aggravating a cholera outbreak in northern Cameroon. As of late August, 2,235 cases and 103 deaths (case fatality rate: 4.6%) have been recorded since the beginning of the year (UNICEF, 08/2014).
The first cholera case was in a Nigerian refugee family in April. Water scarcity, poor public health services and risky hygiene practices have rekindled the disease, which hit Cameroon badly between 2009 and 2011 (IRIN, 06/08/2014).
A Cameroonian government spokesperson announced that all borders between Cameroon and Nigeria had been closed in order to prevent the spread of Ebola (AFP, 19/08/2014). So far, 12 cases have been reported in Nigeria, with four fatalities (WHO, 15/08/2014).
The death toll from malaria jumped from less than 2,000 in 2011 and 2012 to over 3,200 in 2013, according to INGO Malaria No More. Authorities blamed the surge on low bed net use, heavy rains, weak medical services, and widespread poverty.
In North and Far North regions, an estimated 55,200 children under five will have SAM and 132,430 MAM in 2014 (UNICEF, 06/2014). A nutrition assessment conducted by WFP and UNHCR in June found high rates of malnutrition among refugee children. In one village, GAM was 25% (the emergency threshold is 15%). Up to 30% of refugees from CAR under the age of five suffer from acute malnutrition, according to an early June assessment at three border entry points and five refugee sites (UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP): 7–8% of cases were infants under six months and 18% children over five years. One in five pregnant and lactating refugee mothers arrived in Cameroon malnourished, and malnutrition among the elderly is also of concern (UNICEF and WFP, 03/07/2014).
Between March and early July 2014, more than 1,600 children with severe acute malnutrition were admitted in the therapeutic feeding centres at arrival points and refugee sites and hospitals. Another 9,000 children and 2,000 mothers received supplementary feeding (UNICEF and WFP, 03/07/2014).
Approximately 15% of all children with SAM require hospitalisation. It is estimated that inpatient facilities will need to triple their capacity. Mortality rates have been over 20% at some locations in June, due to dehydration, hypothermia and severe anaemia (OCHA, 06/2014).
According to ECHO, an estimated 186,000 children, including refugee children, are expected to require lifesaving care in 2014.
An epidemic of wild poliovirus centred in Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea is spreading in the region. Since the onset of the outbreak in October 2013, nine cases have been confirmed in Cameroon (UNICEF, 11/09/2014).
On 17 March, WHO elevated the risk assessment of international spread of polio from central Africa, particularly Cameroon, to very high. Wild polio had not been reported since 2009.
Several cases of yellow fever were reported in an area previously considered at low risk, and therefore not covered by the preventive campaign of 2009 (WHO, 04/07/2014).
Government statistics reveal that only about 30% of Cameroon’s inhabitants have access to piped drinking water. According to the state water company, current needs surpass Yaoundé’s available capacity by three times.
Thousands of students and teachers have deserted schools in towns along the border with Nigeria's Borno state as the new academic year begins. With some schools either destroyed or occupied by BH, the Government said it will relocate populations to more secure areas (Voice of America, 08/09/2014).
Over 36,000 child refugees have arrived from CAR since January: approximately 50% have not attended school for extended periods of time. Only a small number of CAR refugee children reportedly attend public schools in host communities (UNHCR, 07/2014).
On 3 April, Cameroonian police reported that an estimated 200 young people (aged 15–19) from Kolofata area in the Far North region have been recruited by Boko Haram since February and reportedly transferred to training camps in the Nigerian bush. Early August, police sources confirmed that hundreds of children continued to be forcibly recruited (AFP, 06/08/2014).
19 September: 65% of the country’s agricultural land has been affected by drought (FAO)
15 September: The Ministry of Health stated that the country remains on national alert due to chikungunya and dengue epidemics (The Tico Times)
- An estimate 400,000 individuals have been affected by drought and 25,000 face critical conditions of food insecurity (ACT Alliance)
Humanitarian Context and Needs
El Salvador has declared a national state of emergency due to drought. An estimated 400,000 people have been affected and 25,000 face critical food insecurity conditions (ACT Alliance, 29/08/2014). Small-scale coffee and bean farmers will be under Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food security conditions from August to December (FEWSNET, 31/08/2014). The drought has affected 65% of agricultural land, and 105 municipalities in 12 departments; 100,000 farmers have lost their harvests (FAO; 19/09/2014)La Prensa Grafica, 12/09/2014). The worst damage has been recorded in the eastern region, namely Usulutan, San Miguel, Morazan, and La Union, which cultivate 30% of the country’s maize production (FAO, 19/09/2014). Up to 30% of the annual maize harvest and 90% of the total bean crop have been lost. The increase in temperatures in coastal areas has affected the fishing industry (EU, 20/08/2014).
Rains have improved since mid-August, but dryness from poor primera season rains lingers (FEWSNET, 12/09/2014).
Prices for basic grains have spiked, and unemployment has further hampered the food security situation (FEWSNET, 31/08/20147). Farmers have estimated that around USD 100 million will be needed to recover from the losses and restore the land damaged by drought (OCHA, 01/09/2014).
Health and Nutrition
The Ministry of Health stated that the country remains on national alert due to chikungunya and dengue epidemics. The alert was first declared on 25 June (The Tico Times, 15/09/2014).
As of 12 September, 16,389 suspected cases of chikunguya have been recorded since the end of May; 54 cases have been confirmed (PAHO, 12/09/2014).
As of 12 September, 34,593 suspected dengue cases have been reported, including 11,219 confirmed cases and two fatalities (PAHO, 12/09/2014).
Ethiopia Country Analysis
25 September: Arrivals from South Sudan have seen a sharp decline, from 2,000 per day in May to 98 in September (OCHA).
25 September: Several of the main roads in Gambella remain inaccessible after flooding, and helicopter drops are difficult due to poor weather conditions (UNHCR).
23 September: 62,809 refugees are currently awaiting relocation (IOM, UNHCR).
- Armed insurgencies continue to affect Ogaden region, with inter-communal tensions contributing to frequent violence.
- There are 635,956 refugees, mainly from Kenya and South Sudan (UNCHR). Over 250,000 South Sudanese refugees are in Gambella region; 90% are women and children, 68% children under 18 (OCHA).
- 2.4 million people need food assistance. The most affected regions are Oromia, Somali, Amhara, Tigray and Afar (FAO).
- A majority of the refugee camps have reached, or are reaching, full capacity. Main concerns include the building of a new refugee camp, malnutrition among refugees, as well as critical shortfalls in humanitarian aid.ian aid.
Ethiopia is considered comparatively stable, but deep clan tensions and intra-communal violence persist. Two decades of deadly conflict in the southeastern region of Ogaden have had a severe impact on the Ethiopian Somali population, especially after years of a relatively successful government counter-insurgency campaign. The Government has yet to address the root causes of the violence.
However, weak political opposition, the perspective of a new peace process between the Government and separatist groups, and the Government’s determination to accelerate economic growth all make continued stability likely.
Protests against projects to expand the boundaries of Addis Ababa into lands currently hosting the Oromo community, which has reportedly been marginalised by successive Governments, began on 25 April. In May, dozens of people were reported killed in violence across the region, according to local sources.
In September, Amnesty International reported violations of civil and political rights. Elections are schedule for May 2015 (Amnesty International, 22/09/2014). Four opposition party members were arrested in July for alleged connections with terrorist organisations (Crisis Watch, 01/08/2014).
Participation in Regional Military Operations
Ethiopia has historically been a key player in peacekeeping and counter-terrorism operations in East Africa. Peace talks on the South Sudan conflict, under the mediation of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, are taking place in Addis Ababa. In 2014, Addis also hosted peace talks over conflict in Sudan.
In January 2014, according to official reports, the Government pledged that Ethiopian troops, currently part of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) would remain in Somalia until durable peace and security is achieved. The Somali militant group Al Shabaab has repeatedly threatened Ethiopia since Ethiopian troops arrived in Somalia. On 13 October 2013, a bomb blast killed two people in Addis Ababa. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
The start of the rainy season is posing access problems as many areas are flooded, including refugee camps and Burubiey entry point, which is now closed (UNICEF 15/07/2014). Several of the main roads in Gambella remain inaccessible, and helicopter drops have proved difficult due to poor weather conditions. Floods have also submerged the entire area designated for helicopter landing in Nip Nip (UNHCR, 25/09/2014).
Security conditions have made some camps in Benishangul‐Gumuz inaccessible (IOM, 09/09/2014).
Heavy rains have flooded 95% of Leitchuor and most of Nip Nip
IDP camps (UNICEF, 15/08/2014). Flooding has affected the border crossings at Matar and Pagak. 171,733 refugees have been evacuated from Gambella and 2,439 from Benishangul-Gumuz (IOM, 21/09/2014).
Food and water have been assessed as the most pressing needs (INGO, 12/09/2014). Up to 10,000 flood-displaced refugees will be relocated to Pugnido camp (OCHA, 01/09/2014), while others have found shelter in nearby villages (MSF, 04/09/2014).
The rain has destroyed homes, temporary structures, as well as latrines and sanitation facilities (UNHCR, 03/09/2014). The flood alert was revised on 9 September, urging the Government and humanitarian actors on the ground to implement flood prevention and preparedness measures (OCHA, 15/09/2014; 18/08/2014). The overflow of the Awash River has caused floods in the Afar woredas of Amibara, Awash Fentale, Buremudaitu and Gewane.
As of 31 March, Ethiopia had 328,079 IDPs (OCHA, 11/06/2014).
Refugees in Ethiopia
As of 23 September, Ethiopia hosts up to 635,956 refugees from 13 countries, but mainly Somalis, South Sudanese, Eritreans, and Sudanese (IOM, 23/09/2014). Ethiopia is now the largest refugee-hosting country in Africa (UNHCR, 19/08/2014).
Northern Ethiopia continues to receive Eritrean refugees, including unaccompanied minors. The first week of September saw an increase in arrivals with 429 people registered, compared to 293 the week before (OCHA, 15/09/2014).
South Sudanese Refugees
As of 25 September, 191,400 South Sudanese have sought asylum in Ethiopia since December 2013 (OCHA, 25/09/2014). The majority of arrivals come from Upper Nile state and are predominantly from Gajaak, Gajiok, and Luo-Nuer tribes (UNHCR, 03/07/2014). They are arriving through Pagak (50%), Akobo (21%), Burubiey (24%), Matar, Raad, Pugnido and Wanke entry points (UNHCR, 25/07/2014). 46,362 South Sudanese refugees were in Ethiopia before 2013. 90% are women and children, and almost 68% are under 18 years old, and arrive in critical nutritional conditions (WFP, UNICEF, 15/08/2014). Most new arrivals cite insecurity and poor food security as their main reason for flight (UNICEF, 15/08/2014).
The number of South Sudanese refugees crossing the border into Ethiopia has seen a sharp decline, from an average of 2,000 per day in May to 98 in September (OCHA 30/06/2014; 25/09/2014).
62,809 refugees are currently awaiting relocation, including 47,122 at Leitchuor (due to the floods), 7,581 at Matar and 2,854 at NipNip, 2,452 at Pamdong and 2,800 in Pagak (IOM, 23/09/2014, UNHCR, 25/09/2014). 12,000 refugees who have livestock have opted to stay in border areas, rather than relocate to camps (WFP, 08/08/2014). As of 23 September, all new arrivals from the three entry points (Burubiey, Akobo and Pagak) need to be relocated.
In mid-August, Leitchuor and Nip Nip camps were flooded, displacing 47,000 refugees to higher ground within the camps and surrounding villages (UNHCR, 25/09/2014). The heightened risk of water-borne diseases has prompting a mass cholera vaccination campaign (OCHA, 25/08/2014). Leitchuor, NipNip, and Matar way station were dismantled due to the continued risk of flooding.
The refugees will be relocated to Okugo district in October, at the end of the rainy season, according to the government refugee agency (OCHA, 15/09/2014). However, Okugo is can only absorb 29,000 refugees in addition to the current population of 6,000 (IOM, 23/09/2014).
Ethiopian Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
As of 1 July, there are 30,343 Ethiopian refugees in Kenya (10/07/2014, UNHCR).
An estimated 6,820 Ethiopians made their way to Yemen in May, slightly fewer than the 6,865 who arrived in April, and a 31% increase on the number who arrived in May 2013. New arrivals came predominantly from Oromia, Tigray, Amhara, Harar, and Ogaden regions, for economic reasons and risk of persecution. New arrivals in Yemen have reported cases of arbitrary detention and torture as a result of perceived affiliation to the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), and repression premised on political affiliation in light of the general elections scheduled for 2015 (RMMS, 31/05/2014).
The food security situation is deteriorating as of September, and part of the northeast, pockets of central Ethiopia, and the southern and southeastern pastoralist areas are the most affected (OCHA, 22/09/2014). Poor households in the highlands of the Arsi zone in central Oromia have moved into Crisis conditions (IPC Phase 3). Southern and southeastern pastoral areas and poor households in most areas are Stressed (IPC Phase 2), but only thanks to humanitarian assistance (FEWSNET 12/08/2014). Critical water shortages are persisting despite ongoing karan rains in parts of the Somali region. In more drought-prone areas, like Afar and Oromia, critical water shortage also exists.
With a much below-average meher harvest in the Rift Valley in central Oromia, Waghimra Zone in Amhara and Tigray, households will quickly deplete their food stocks, likely becoming more food insecure after December (FEWSNET, 26/09/2014). Similarly, the expected deyr rains will improve water and pasture availability for pastoralist communities (OCHA, 22/09/2014). Despite karan rains, pasture has not fully recovered in most northern pastoral areas (FEWSNET, 26/09/2014).
On 26 February, an estimated 2.7 million people were food insecure (FEWSNET). This is a 12% increase compared to the first half of 2013. The most affected regions are Oromia (897,000 people in need of humanitarian assistance), Somali (690,970), Amhara (548,000), Tigray (321,400), and Afar (152,600).
Agriculture and Markets
An early stop of Mar-May seasonal rainfall and a particularly dry July has led to further deterioration of crops and degraded pasture conditions across central and northern areas (FEWSNET 03/09/2014).
In July, the year-to-year general inflation rate increased to 6.9%; food inflation to 5.8% and non-food to 8.2%. The terms of trade between shoat and staple cereals has deteriorated for producers and consumers in most areas of the Somali region and Diredawa markets (WFP, 31/07/2014).
Health and Nutrition
Malaria remains the main public health concern in all the refugee camps, followed by respiratory tract infections and diarrhoeal diseases (OCHA 01/09/2014). A survey carried out among South Sudanese refugees residing in Ethiopia indicate a serious public health emergency (OCHA 15/08/2014). Monitoring in Gambella region has shown “critical gaps” in medical personnel and supplies, as well as funds for public health clusters (OCHA, 11/08/2014).
46 new cases of dengue fever were reported in refugee camps between 7 July and 10 August, the first cases reported since April (OCHA, 01/09/2014).
Between late May and late August 354 cases of hepatitis E and jaundice were detected among the refugee population (MSF, 04/09/2014).
Cases of malaria have significantly increased in refugee camps in the past weeks due to flooding and poor use of treated bed nets (OCHA, 01/09/2014). The death rate from malaria in Kule 1 camp is 5.9/1,000/week, in Leitchuor 5.6/1,000/week and in Tierkidi 5/1,000/week (UNHCR 03/07/2014).
Results of a SMART survey in Leitchuor, Kule, and Tierkidi show GAM rates of 25.8%, 30.3%, and 28%, and SAM rates of 5.7%, 10%, and 7.8% respectively. Crude mortality rates in Kule 1 were 1.47/10,000/day and Leitchuor 1.03/10,000/day. Under-five mortality rates at Kule 1 were 5/10,000/day and Leitchuor 2.73/10,000/day (WFP, 15/08/2014; UNICEF, 15/07/2014).
As of February 2014, according to OCHA’s nutrition hotspot mapping, priority districts in terms of nutrition were located along the Eritrea border in Afar region, in Oromia, and in Tigray. Hotspots were also recorded along the South Sudan border in Gambella.
During the first week of August, 160 suspected cases of measles were reported, half of them in Amhara and Oromia.
The Government and humanitarian actors on the ground have responded to more than 200 measles outbreaks this year (OCHA, 11/08/2014). Close to 2,600 measles cases were recorded between until mid-January and May in Gambella, Amhara, Oromia, SNNP and Somali regions (OCHA, 12/05/2014).
In the first week of August, 26 cases of meningitis were reported in Amhara and SNNP (OCHA, 11/08/2014). According to OCHA, 35 suspected cases of meningitis were reported over 3–10 March in the Dilla area, about 250km south of the capital.
On 17 March, according to OCHA, a new case of polio was confirmed in Somali region, bringing the caseload in Ethiopia to ten since the outbreak started in May 2013. All cases were reported in woredas that share borders with Somalia, where the regional polio outbreak started.
Critical water shortages exist in Afdera, Berhale, Bidu, Dubti, Elidar, Erebti and Kori woredas (OCHA, 01/09/2014).
The ratio of latrines to people in refugee camps varies greatly: 1:217 in Burubiey; 1:78 in Kule 1; and 1:55 in Kule 2; 1:47 in Leitchuor; and 1:26 in Pugnido (UNHCR, 03/07/2014).
Inaccessible inter-camp roads in Kule and Nip Nip have delayed water trucking (UNHCR, 25/09/2014).
As of 14 April, according to the Education Cluster, 30,000–40,000 children were in need of emergency education intervention in Gambella region.
In mid-February, human rights NGOs reported that a government-run land clearance plan had affected an estimated 7,000 indigenous people in the lower Omo Valley in the southwest. This raises concerns over indigenous people’s livelihoods. Forced resettlement of indigenous people in the area has also been reported.
A government land development plan to allow sugar-cane plantations, dam construction, and commercial agriculture is expected to relocate 150,000 indigenous people into permanent sedentary villages.
19 September: Recent estimates indicate a 25% drop in maize production during primera season from last year, and losses of over 8,000 metric tons of beans (FAO)
12 September: 18,000 suspected cases of dengue have been recorded so far this year, of which 1,365 severe dengue haemorrhagic dengue. 497 cases were confirmed (PAHO).
- 480,000 people are affected by food insecurity; Choluteca, Valle, El Paraíso, Francisco Morazán, Intibuca and Lempira are the most affected (OCHA, 01/09/2014) (EU, 20/08/2014)
Humanitarian Context and Needs
The food security situation in Honduras has worsened due to drought, yet strong winds and rains have hit San Manuel Úlua, and the destruction of crops has affected 14,000 people (3,500 families) (REDLAC, 18/08/2014).
480,000 people (120, 000 families) are affected by food insecurity, and food aid has been delivered to them (OCHA, WFP, 01/09/2014). Families with small farms have been of direct concern, namely 308,800 people who suffered partial or total loss of their livelihoods (FAO, 19/09/2014). The most affected departments are Choluteca, Valle, El Paraíso, Francisco Morazán, Intibuca and Lempira, in central-west Honduras (EU, 20/08/2014). 70% of maize crops and 45% of bean crops have been lost (La Prensa, 10/08/2014). On 5 August, the Government declared a state of emergency in the Dry Corridor of Honduras due to the drought (Government, 05/08/2014). Rains have improved since mid-August, but dryness from poor primera season rains lingers (FEWSNET, 12/09/2014).
Fish farms have also been affected by the depletion of fish stocks due to the recent drought (EU, 20/08/2014).The coffee leaf rust epidemic, affecting the entire Central American region, is aggravating the situation (Government of Honduras, 29/07/2014).
Recent estimates point to a 25% drop in maize production during the primera season compared to last year, and losses of over 8,000 metric tons of beans (FAO, 19/09/2014). Well below-average 2014 primera harvests, reduced income from coffee sector employment and sales, and above-average red bean prices mean that the people affected by food insecurity in the Dry Corridor will experience Stressed (IPC Phase 2) levels of food insecurity August–December (FEWSNET, 16/09/2014). Extremely poor households will experience a rapid deterioration in their food security in early 2015, and more humanitarian assistance is expected to be needed than usual (FEWSNET 18/08/2014).
Prices for red beans have increased by 132% since June 2013 and by 68% over the last five years. Seeds losses are likely to extend to other geographical areas and high prices for basic grains are also likely (FEWSNET, 30/07/2014).
Health and Nutrition
18,000 suspected cases of dengue have been recorded so far this year, of which 1,365 severe haemorrhagic dengue. 497 cases were confirmed (PAHO, 12/09/2014).
The recent drought has affected access to safe drinking water in the most affected areas (La Prensa, 10/08/2014).
24 September: SAM rates among South Sudanese refugees arriving in Kakuma are at 16%, with GAM at 28% (UNHCR).
24 September: Inter-communal tensions in Baringo and Turkana counties have risen due to recent attacks by raiders, causing some displacement (Kenya Daily Nation).
- Violence is ongoing in the capital Nairobi, as well as the northeastern and coastal areas; two-thirds of those violent attacks have been attributed to the Somali Islamist Al Shabaab movement.
- Inter-communal tensions are running high: 491 people were killed and 47,000 displaced by tribal conflict in 2013. Tana River, Mandera, Marsabit, and Moyale counties are the most affected.
- There are over 575,334 refugees in Kenya, including at least 426,500 Somalis and 87,129 South Sudanese (UNHCR 31/07/2104, 07/08/2014).
- 1.5 million people are acutely food insecure (FEWSNET).
Kenya is considered relatively stable in the Horn of Africa and held peaceful presidential elections in March 2013. However, the country remains ethnically polarised and affected by two decades of conflict in neighbouring Somalia. The implementation of a devolution process, land reform, and national reconciliation all challenge stability in a country where institutions are perceived to be weak.
The frequency and scale of militant attacks in Kenya have increased dramatically since Kenyan troops began operating in Somalia, as has the nature of the violence, with 40% of events targeting civilians. Al Shabaab has built a cross-border presence and clandestine support network among the Muslim population in the northeast, in Nairobi, and on the coast. Kenyan troops began operating against Al Qaeda in Somalia in 2011. On 23 June, Kenyan fighter jets attacked Al Shabaab groups in Somalia, killing at least 80 (23/06/2014, BBC, AFP).
Deadly inter-communal violence remains common in a number of areas.
Tensions with Somali Communities
Since Al Shabaab’s attack on Nairobi’s Westgate shopping mall in September 2013, tensions with the Somali community have risen further. Muslims make up 11% of Kenya’s 40 million population, and the increasing radicalisation of the ethnic Somali Muslim population is allegedly fuelled by systematic ethnic profiling and discrimination.
In March, the more than 50,000 refugees living in urban areas were ordered to relocate to two camps: Dadaab and Kakuma. Three bomb blasts in the following weeks killed ten people, according to international media. Throughout April, mass arrests targeting refugees took place in Nairobi and Mombasa: 82 allegedly illegal immigrants were reportedly deported to Mogadishu. 281 refugees were reportedly transported from Nairobi’s Kasarani stadium, where hundreds of refugees had been detained, to Kakuma and Dadaab camps.
Seven attacks in Kenya’s coastal region between mid-June and July left 102 dead. Soweto in Mombasa, Mpeketoni, Poromoko, Panganguo the villages of Witu and Kibiboni, and Gamba police station were all targeted. About 500 families reportedly fled the area to nearby camps (Reuters, 06/07/2014). Leaflets were distributed demanding minorities leave Mombasa (AFP, BBC, 19-21/07/2014).
Although evidence points towards Al Shabaab involvement in these attacks, the Kenyan Government insists local political networks are to blame, flaring political and ethnic tensions in the coastal area (IRIN 23/07/2014). Lamu county governor Issa Timamy, is under investigation for terrorism and murder (BBC, 20/07/2014).
A growth in the population of both people and livestock has led to more frequent cattle raiding and violence, fed by the availability of small arms. The Ethiopian Oromo Liberation Front insurgent group is also said to have made several deadly incursions into Kenya. In 2013, 491 people were killed and 1,235 were injured in inter-communal violence. The areas most affected by inter-communal violence were the southeastern county of Tana River, the northeastern county of Mandera, and the Moyale area in Marsabit county.
In Baringo county, drought has pushed pastoralists to take their livestock to new locations, and violence has been reported (ACTED, 08/08/2014). Throughout September, tensions in the area have risen, after raiders shot dead four herders and stole their animals, causing some villagers to flee, limiting their access to water and basic services (Kenya Daily Nation, 24/09/2014).
Conflict in Moyale
On 22 February The Boma Peace Agreement was unveiled: communal leaders pledged to form a multi-ethnic committee to steer joint peace rallies and dialogue, facilitate reconstruction of houses and the return of the displaced, ensure their security, strengthen cross-border dialogue with Ethiopia on the issue, and ensure that all public resources, under the charge of the national and county governments, be allocated fairly to all communities.
Conflict in Mandera and Wajir
On 22 August, fighting resumed in Mandera county. Fatalities have risen to 42, with 68 wounded and 19,032 displaced (Kenya Red Cross, 05/09/2014). Around 200 heavily armed men, reportedly Garre from Ethiopia, attacked Rhamu, Dimty, and Olla villages in Mandera north, burning houses down (Kenya Daily Nation, 28/08/2014). On 8 September, more houses were burned as Rhamu was again raided (Kenya Daily Nation 08/09/2014). Schools and dispensaries have been vandalised. Livestock have reportedly been driven to Ethiopia. A Red Cross ambulance was attacked and security personnel were unable to access some towns near the border (Kenya Red Cross, 26/08/2014; Kenya Daily Nation 24/08/2014).
The food security situation in Mandera and Wajir is deteriorating, with the recent drought further weakening the situation. The biggest challenge is water scarcity (Kenya Red Cross, 05/09/2014).
Between May and June, clashes between Garre and Degodia communities along the border between Wajir and Mandera counties caused at least 60 deaths and displaced 75,000 (OCHA, 23/06/2014). The Garre and Degodia Somali clans have been feuding over natural resources since March 2012.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
According to national authorities, 300,000 famine-stricken people (60,000 families) in drought-hit Wajir South constituency need humanitarian assistance. The National Drought Management Authority said most of the water points in the northeasterm constituency had dried up due to the prolonged drought. Some parents had failed to raise money for school fees because livestock prices had dropped (Kenya Daily Nation, 08/09/2014).
On 31 March, the total number of IDPs in Kenya was 309,200 (OCHA, 16/06/2014).
Mandera: 18,000 were displaced in Mandera over the last week of August. At the end of July 5,574 people were displaced; 3,000 are seeking shelter in Hindi prison, 1,554 in the Kipini areas, and 1,020 in Kitale Mavuno (ACT Alliance, 30/07/2014). At 11 June, 61,000 IDPs had been reported following Degodia–Garre conflict on the Mandera–Wajir border (Kenyan Red Cross).
Lamu: Local media report that about 1,000 people displaced by the June–July Lamu attacks near the coast are in dire need of food, and are consuming untreated waters from two bore holes. Their livelihoods are also affected, since they will have no harvest this year (Kenya Daily Nation, 24/08/2014).
As of 30 July, Kenya is hosting more than 575,334 refugees and asylum-seekers (UNHCR, 31/07/2014). 169,743 are located in Kakuma, 355,406 between Dabaab and Alinjugur and 50,185 in Nairobi. Somalis represent 75% of the refugees, with South Sudan following with 13% (UNHCR, 30/07/2014). As of 21 September, humanitarian actors have registered a decline in the number of refugees entering the country (IOM, 21/09/2014).
From Somalia: As of July, 427,000 Somali refugees were in Kenya, a decrease of 50,000 from previous estimates (UNHCR, OCHA). Most are in the northeastern Dadaab and Alinjugur refugee camp complex, which in July hosted 340,000 Somali refugees. 55,468 Somali refugees are in Kakuma camp, Turkana, and 32,014 are in Nairobi (UNHCR, 01/07/2014).
The Tripartite Agreement between the Kenyan and Somali Governments and UNHCR, signed in November 2013, establishes the legal framework for those Somali refugees wishing to return home. About 2,500 refugees living in Dadaab camp are set to be relocated to Somalia by the end of October. This first batch of refugees will be used to test the viability of returning the 337,500 Somali refugees still registered at the camp (Kenya Daily Nation, 07/09/2014). Refugees cite insecurity and lack of opportunities to earn a living as their main uncertainties to return to Somalia. UNHCR has promised material and financial support for those deciding to return (UNHCR, East African, 02/08/2014).
From South Sudan: As of 24 September, more than 43,000 South Sudanese refugees have crossed into Kenya since mid-December (WFP), bringing the total to 87,019 (UNHCR, 07/08/2014, 24/09/2014). A May report indicated a daily arrival rate of 90 (UNHCR, 23/05/2014). Humanitarian agencies are reportedly expecting 100,000 South Sudanese refugees by the end of 2014 (WFP, 28/05/2014). 75,038 South Sudanese refugees are in Kakuma camp, Turkana county (UNHCR, 07/07/2014). Since December 2013, 5,648 new unaccompanied children have arrived in Kakuma camp, bringing the total to 11,855 (UNHCR, 11/07/2014).
Kakuma camp is hosting 178,210 refugees, surpassing its capacity of 150,000 (UNHCR, 17/09/2014). Flooding from heavy rains on 25 August and 3 September has created further displacement, and hampered access by humanitarian actors (OCHA, 27/08/2014; UNHCR, 17/09/2014). The need for land is critical. Regular relocations from the reception centre have stalled as a result of the rains, and the need for dry, safe areas is urgent (UNHCR, 17/09/2014). Government officials have authorised the construction of a new camp nearby, although as of 11 July, no land had been granted to settle new arrivals (UNHCR, 11/07/2014).
As of 19 August, 1.5 million are in need of food aid, in a survey carried out by national and county governments (FEWSNET, 27/08/2014). These households are concentrated in pastoral areas of Turkana, Marsabit, Mandera, Samburu, Isiolo, and Baringo (FEWSNET, 26/08/2014). August reports indicated that some areas of East Pokot subcounty are facing a severe drought, and food is either unavailable or inaccessible (ACTED, 08/08/2014).
Many households in parts of Turkana, Marsabit, Mandera, Samburu, Wajir, Baringo and West Pokot are entering Crisis (IPC Phase 3) levels. Some populations in Kitui North, east of Nairobi, where there were almost no short rain crops in March, are likely to move into Crisis food insecurity (IPC Phase 3) by September (FEWSNET, 27/08/2014). Most of Kenya is expected to remain at Stressed (IPC Phase 2) levels of food insecurity until September, with food availability declining and inflation rising between June and September.
Markets and Agriculture
Poor rains have affected pasture and water availability in most pastoral and agro-pastoral areas (GIEWS, 19/09/2014). On 30 July, the Council of Governors in Kenya warned 24 counties were in danger of famine (Kenya Daily Nation, 30/07/2014) due to prolonged dry spells in the north (The Guardian, 30/07/2014). Affected communities have resorted to negative coping mechanisms (Kenya Red Cross 16/08/2014).
Maize production has dropped considerably: maize lethal necrosis disease has damaged more than 260,000 hectares of crops in the Rift Valley and 10,000 hectares in Nakuru (Kenya Daily Nation, 06/09/2014, 21/09/2014).
On 13 August, due to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the Ministry of Health and WHO have reported that Kenya is a Category 2 country, at high risk of transmission because of movement of people between affected countries or because they are near the affected countries. Kenya has blocked all flights coming from Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria (WHO 13/08/2014).
Increasing numbers of hepatitis B cases, with a prevalence of 10% among pregnant women and 30% among liver disease patients, are concerning the Kenya Medical Research Institute. No scientific study has been carried out as to the cause of this increase (The East African, 28/06/2014).
On 13 June, 586 cases of malaria had been reported among South Sudanese refugees over the course of a week (UNHCR).
GAM of up to 28.7% was reported in Turkana Central, 27.3% in Mandera North, and 29.2% Marsabit North/Loinyangalani (Kenya Red Cross 16/08.2014). GAM rates in East Pokot subcounty (Baringo) have reached 21.1% due to severe drought and inconsistent rains (ACTED, 08/08/2014).
SAM rates among South Sudanese refugees arriving in Kakuma between 13 and 20 September were at 16%, up from 10% in May. GAM was at 28%, up from 16.3% in May (UNHCR, 23/05/2014, 24/09/2014). Statistics show that malnutrition rates among South Sudanese refugees increase the more recent they arrive (UNHCR, 11/07/2014).
There is a critical need for clean water. Households are currently having to walk long distances to access water, much of which does not meet health standards. Since water sources are being shared with animals, the risk of waterborne diseases is much higher (ACTED, 08/08/2014).
Heavy rains on 25 August and 3 September caused pit latrines to collapse in Kakuma camp, overflowing and affecting about 400 latrines (UNHCR, 17/09/2014).
South Sudanese refugees travelling to Kenya face high levels of insecurity. Three refugees were killed travelling to the Kenyan border in mid-July. As a result, refugees are now taking a longer route to Kenya or are requesting police escorts in the area (IOM, 20/07/2014).
On 29 June, Kenyan security forces at the Nadapal Reception Centre engaged in a gunfight with the Sudanese armed forces. Refugees were caught between the gunfire, and one was injured. Security at the border has since improved and normal operations resumed (IOM, 06/07/2014).
Lesotho Country Analysis
No significant developments this week, 30/09/2014. Last update: 16/09/2014.
- The number of food insecure people, estimated at 30%, has doubled since February 2014. Around 450,000 people in all districts will require humanitarian assistance for a period of 4–5 months from October–November 2014 (FAO, 03/07/2014).
- As of July, acute malnutrition rates among children under five stand at 8%. 16% of the population is underweight (OCHA, 25/07/2014).
- More than 25,000 new HIV infections occur every year in Lesotho.
Prime Minister Thabane has returned to Lesotho following an alleged coup but negotiations have failed. Lesotho leaders have agreed to early elections in an attempt to resolve the political crisis. Parliament remains closed (AFP, 16/09/2014). As of late September, South Africa continues to mediate on behalf of the Southern African Development Community in an attempt to resolve the political stalemate (VOA, 28/09/2014).
In June, the leading party, the All Basotho Convention (ABC), suspended Parliament for nine months, following the opposition’s attempt to pass a motion of no confidence on the governing coalition. Tensions escalated between the Lesotho Defence Force and the Lesotho police, which side with different political parties (Institute for Security Studies, 29/07/2014; 03/07/2014). At the end of August, Prime Minister Thomas Thabane fled the country, alleging a military coup (UN, African Union, 31/08/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
The number of food insecure doubled to 447,760 people, or 30% of the population, between February and July. These people will require humanitarian assistance for a period of 4–5 months from October/November 2014 to February/March 2015 (OCHA, 31/07/2014). Staple food prices have started to increase in line with seasonal trends. Combined with poor production and reduced income opportunities, this will result in poor households facing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity outcomes between October and December (FEWSNET, 27/08/2014).
The highest concentration of food insecure people is located in the western districts of Maseru, Mafeteng, and Mohale's Hoek (FAO, 01/08/2014).
Agriculture and Markets
In southern Lesotho livelihood zones – namely in the lowlands, the Senqu river valley and the foothills between the lowlands and the highlands – the areas most affected by reduced production, prices for maize, a staple, are 220–290% above prices at the same time in 2010, the reference year (FEWSNET, 31/07/2014).
. Despite a significant 26% increase in the area planted with maize this year, heavy rain and frost damage contributed to a reduction in yields (FAO, 01/08/2014). The 2014 cereal crop, which was harvested in May–June, is estimated at a comparable level to the previous year’s near-average output. Maize accounts for almost all of the cereal harvest (83%). The winter wheat crop, to be harvested in November, makes up most of the rest. Sorghum production is estimated to be 29–75% lower than in 2013 (FEWSNET, 14/08/2014; FAO, 01/08/2014).
Health and Nutrition
On 7 March, international media reported that contribution shortfalls from donor countries – cutbacks of around 30% in 2014 and another 20% in 2015 – threaten adequate treatment of HIV/AIDS patients in what is an already underfinanced healthcare system. HIV prevalence is 23.5% among adults, and more than 25,000 new HIV infections occur every year. Lesotho also has particularly high HIV–tuberculosis co-infection rates (ICAP, 01/07/2014).
As of July, acute malnutrition rates among children under five stand at 8%. 16% of the population is estimated to be underweight (OCHA, 25/07/2014).
Mauritania Country Analysis
No significant developments this week, 24/09/2014. Last update: 21/08/2014.
- 800,000 people are estimated to be food insecure, of whom 190,000 are severely food insecure (OCHA, 02/2014).
- Mauritania’s acute malnutrition level has already surpassed the estimated 2014 caseload (SMART survey), with a reported 31,000 SAM and 95,000 MAM children (UNICEF, 03/2014).
- Security challenges continue to be a problem in Mbera refugee camp on the border with Mali. The camp currently hosts most of the 52, 850 Malian refugees in Mauritania. Mauritania is the largest recipient of refugees fleeing the conflict in Mali (UNHCR, 06/2014 and OCHA, 04/2014).
National Political Context
On 21 June, President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz was elected for another five-year term, winning 82% of the vote, according to the Election Commission. Most opposition parties boycotted the poll, citing a lack of electoral reform.
In 2013, the first legislative elections were held since 2006, and the country’s ruling Union for the Republic and its allies won 76 of 147 seats. The National Electoral Commission announced a record turnout of 75% of 1.2 million registered voters. However, the vote was boycotted by most parties in the 11-member Coordination of Democratic Opposition. The credibility of the government continues to be questioned by much of the northern population, who claim they are being marginalised concerning the provision of basic services.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Rains in Selibaby, in Guidimaka region, have caused floods that destroyed some 125 houses and severely damaged 278 others; about 1,400 individuals are affected. The National Food Security Commission has distributed food and tents to the affected (OCHA, 13/08/2014).
40,000 people are yet to recover from the torrential rains of July 2013 (OCHA, 22/08/2014).
Mauritania hosts almost 55,000 Malian refugees as of 1 September (OCHA, 08/09/2014). Almost all refugees live in Mbera camp, a remote desert location on the border with Mali that has significant security challenges. According to UNICEF, 60% of camp residents are women and children, and many have been in the camp for two years, resulting in overlapping emergency and medium-term needs. Mbera camp is located in a poor region, where food insecurity and malnutrition are high and government services are few. Security problems and the inaccessibility of areas of northern Mali make it difficult to obtain return figures. At the moment, a tripartite agreement is being prepared between UNHCR, Mali, and Mauritania to facilitate the safe return of refugees.
The improvement in rainfall conditions in the first three weeks of August were insufficient to cover deficits experienced earlier in the season. Poor households in northwestern areas of the agropastoral zone will continue to have difficulty maintaining regular food access and will remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2) through December (FEWSNET, 09/2014).
As of February, nearly 800,000 people, a fifth of the total population, were food insecure, including 190,000 severely food insecure (OCHA, 02/2014). Half of the country records malnutrition rates above the emergency threshold, and humanitarian partners indicate that a third of the country’s population requires humanitarian assistance. Chronic poverty and limited access to basic services have created high levels of vulnerability.
Food Security in the Sahel Region
In March 2014, more than 25 million people in the Sahel (Burkina Faso, north Cameroon, Chad, the Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, north Nigeria, and Senegal) suffered from food insecurity (FAO, 03/04/2014). Food insecurity in 2014 has risen dramatically compared to 2013, when 11.3 million people had inadequate food (OCHA, 03/02/2014).
Health and Nutrition
Late March, UNICEF reported that 125,300 children will be affected by acute malnutrition in 2014, including 30,740 children with severe acute malnutrition; an increase of almost 30% compared to the 2013 caseload. According to ECHO, over 114,000 Mauritanian children needed therapeutic feeding in 2013.
Myanmar Country Analysis
17 September: Five residential areas of Tachilek, at the border between shan State and northern Thailand, were flooded on 17 September. No deaths have been reported, but many people were stranded and in need of rescue (local media).
- Repeated bloodshed between Buddhists and Muslims in Rakhine state since 2012, with human rights abuses against the Muslim minority reported (UN).
- 640,000 IDPs, resulting from years of internal conflict, including 137,400 IDPs, mainly Rohingya Muslims, in Rakhine state (OCHA, 08/2014).
The military-led authoritarian regime in Myanmar (Burma) has made moves to improve its record on human rights over recent years, with the release of the opposition activist Aung San Suu Kyi in November 2010 being a turning point. Since 2013, several amnesties have been granted to political prisoners. In early January, another presidential amnesty was granted to political prisoners. The pardon reportedly extends to over 200 political prisoners and other categories of detainees.
While recent efforts by the authorities to improve the country’s human rights record have been welcomed, local activists report that the prosecution of dissidents is continuing.
New rules approved by the Yangon divisional parliament on 29 August mean that only 1.5% of the voting-age population will be allowed to vote in the city’s next elections (local media 01/09/2014).
Internal conflict has been endemic in Myanmar since independence in 1948. Minority groups make up some 30% of the 51.4 million population (Government, 28/08/2014), and ethnic and political groups have conducted protracted insurgencies mainly in remote and economically marginalised areas such as Kachin, Kayin (Karen ethnic group), Kayah (Karenni), Rakhine, and Shan states.
In 2013, authorities signed several separate peace deals with the various insurgent movements, with the exception of the Kachin Independence Army (the armed wing of the Kachin Independence Organisation, or KIO), and the ethnic Ta’aung army (TNLA).
In July, the Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT), an umbrella body representing 17 ethnic armed organisations, established a 10-point set of guidelines for pursuing peace talks with the Myanmar Government, and has appointed five committees (local media 31/07/2014). The NCCT is the most comprehensive alliance of ethnic actors to assemble in recent history. The most notable exclusions are the Shan State Army-South and the United Wa State Party.
Despite peace negotiations between the authorities and various insurgent groups, the security situation remains tense in parts of Myanmar, especially in the north. In the west, massive human rights infringements against the Rohingya Muslim minority in Rakhine state, continue to be reported.
Although the army is still deployed in Karen state, almost no fighting has been reported in the area since a ceasefire was signed in January 2012.
Mid-June, Myanmar and Bangladeshi authorities vowed to strengthen border security and combat "illegal armed groups and criminals", following clashes on their shared border.
Insecurity in Rakhine State
According to local sources and several human rights organisations, at least 40 people, including women and children, were killed in government attacks on Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine state in January. The Government denies the incident, a though it acknowledges that clashes took place. The UN is calling for an investigation. Tensions remain high, with authorities imposing restrictions on the displaced Muslim minority.
A week of conflict between the Myanmar army and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in April affected several villages and IDP camps on the borders between Kachin state, northern Shan state, and China. Over 2,700 people were displaced and are being hosted in four camps around Man Win Gyi and Nam Kham. A ceasefire had been agreed in October 2013.
Fighting continues in eastern Shan state, and hundreds of people have fled since June.
Two civilians were killed and at least ten children wounded after fighting broke out between government troops and opposition fighters in northern Shan state over 19–20 of July. Fighting between the regular army and the Shan State Army-North (SSA-N) has continued despite agreeing a ceasefire in January 2012, with Myanmar military reportedly capturing two strategic SSA-N outposts connecting northern and southern Shan state in March.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Five residential areas of Tachilek, a trade hub at the border between Shan state and northern Thailand, were flooded on 17 September, following heavy rains. No deaths have been reported, but many people were stranded and in need of rescue. Schools in the region are closed until further notice. Many market stalls were reported to be severely damaged (local media, 18/09/2014).
Over 50% of 5,000 IDPs in southern Kachin are in areas beyond government control, which are difficult to access (IRIN 05/2014).
On 11 September, the Government lifted a curfew in the city of Sittwe, which had been imposed more than two years ago (INGO, 12/09/2014).
As of mid-July, a vulnerability mapping exercise showed that 36,000 Rohingya Muslims in 113 isolated villages in Rakhine state have no or limited access to basic services, including markets, education, and healthcare (OCHA). Access to services is impeded by tension and restrictions on freedom of movement. Many Rohingyas cannot travel, get married or even seek medical treatment without official permission, which is costly and difficult to obtain.
On 23 July, the Rakhine state Government issued a statement inviting UN agencies and INGOs to work in Rakhine, which should facilitate humanitarian access, although international media reports from the end of July indicate that access to northern Rakhine state along the Myanmar–Bangladesh border is tightly restricted. In June, operations were being scaled back up after attacks against humanitarian workers in March disrupted assistance. NGOs and UN agencies have identified the limited availability of space allocated to them in Sittwe’s Southern Quarter as a key constraint to operating at full capacity (USAID 02/07/2014).
Buddhist Rakhine activists and politicians have campaigned to restrict healthcare and other aid for many of the estimated one million Rohingya living in the state.
As of 1 August, there are 639,502 IDPS in Myanmar, 400,000 of whom are in the southeast (OCHA, 08/2014).
Rakhine: 137,400 people, mainly Rohingya Muslims, continue to be displaced as of end of July, since inter-communal violence erupted between Rakhine Buddhists and the Muslim minority in June and October 2012 (OCHA, 08/2014). An estimated 50,000 people live in host communities and 50,000 in isolated villages. 70,000 are said to be food insecure (OCHA 31/07/2014). Rohingya Muslims continue to face abuse and movement restrictions, according to reports from human rights groups; most are considered crisis-affected and need humanitarian assistance
Kachin: 98,900 displaced (OCHA, 08/2014). Flooding in July and August caused significant displacement in Hpakan (northern Kachin state) according to local reports (local media 25/07/2014), but many are expected to have returned.
Thousands of people have been displaced by armed conflict since June 2011 and half of them are in KIA-controlled areas, making humanitarian access a challenge. An estimated 20,000 live with host communities. Many have been displaced for up to two years, triggering renewed and additional needs for provision of basic services, livelihoods, and protection.
Shan: Tensions remain high in Man Pu village despite the return of most of the 800 people displaced by fighting between government forces and TNLA (Ta’ang Liberation Army) over 19–21 July (local media, 19/08/2014). 400 people abandoned another village in fear of Myanmar army reprisals after the death of two army officials (local media 01/08/2014). Thousands of people have been displaced from Palaung (Ta’ang) villages (local media 25/07/2014).
The fighting is disrupting humanitarian access, and people are in urgent need of livelihood support (local media 21/07/2014; OCHA 08/2014).
Refugees from Myanmar
According to UNHCR as of late March, over 415,000 refugees originate from Myanmar.
In early November, UNHCR reported that an increasing number of people, mainly Muslims from Rakhine state, are setting out to sea on smuggling boats from the Bay of Bengal. Although numbers are difficult to obtain, such forced departures often result in disaster as boats capsize.
Bangladesh: To date, most Rohingya are denied refugee status by the Bangladeshi authorities. An estimated 30,000 Rohingya Muslims live in official camps, where they are assisted by aid agencies, and another 200,000 refugees reside in unofficial camps or Bangladeshi villages where they get little or no humanitarian assistance and almost no protection from human rights abuse.
Malaysia: In June, 28,000 Rakhine Muslims were registered as refugees in Malaysia (UNHCR). However, according to groups representing them, the real number of Myanmar Muslim immigrants is much higher.
Thailand: In July, the Thai junta pledged to send back to Myanmar about 100,000 of the 120,000 refugees living in the border camps (UNHCR has registered 76,000 refugees). Since June, movement restrictions have been more strictly enforced; Myanmar refugees are banned from leaving the camps, confined to their homes from 1800-0600, and threatened with deportation if they don’t comply (Refugees International 29/08/2014). Rohingya Muslims are reportedly subject to human trafficking in Thailand (international human rights organisations, 12/2013).
Overall, the food security situation has improved. However, recurrent inter-communal tensions since June 2012 have negatively impacted the food security situation of the vulnerable population, mainly IDPs (FAO, 24/09/2014).
Health and Nutrition
Health services in Rakhine remain inadequate, especially in the north. Health organisations have reported an increased risk of waterborne diseases such as malaria and dengue fever. (OCHA 19/08/2014).
Recent heavy rain in Rakhine, coupled with the after-effects of a recent aid worker pull-out, is prompting health concerns for the 137,000 IDPs (IRIN 07/07/2014).
In June, 2.1% SAM and 6.8% MAM was found among 32,000 children under five screened in Rakhine. This indicates a deterioration in the nutritional status of children in parts of Rakhine state since March. Severely malnourished children are being referred to Sittwe hospital; fewer referral services, high transportation costs, and fear of traveling to Sittwe are preventing many children from receiving medical care (OCHA 30/06/2014).
A joint survey by humanitarian partners and local authorities in February indicated that 12.3% of children under five in Myanmar’s central “dry zone” are acutely malnourished.
In Rakhine state, a general deterioration in the WASH situation in camps is aggravating health problems and increasing the risk of waterborne disease. The ongoing monsoon season compounds the problem. The monsoon ends in September (OCHA, 11/09/2014).
In Rakhine state, 28,000 vulnerable children require education support. 60,000 adolescents in isolated communities are without any education opportunities (OCHA, 08/2014).
Legal Status of Rohingya Muslims
Buddhist Arakanese leaders are considering a proposal that would see undocumented Rohingya Muslims detained in camps, while many displaced people are unlikely to have their documents, since they fled their homes to escape the threat of attack by Buddhists (local media 25/08/2014).
Over 800,000 people, mostly Muslims, are estimated to be without citizenship in the northern part of Rakhine state (UNHCR.) On 21 November 2013, authorities rejected a UN resolution urging them to grant citizenship to the Rohingya Muslims. Myanmar continues officially to state that the Rohingya Muslims are migrants from neighbouring Bangladesh, thus excluding them from citizenship under the 1982 Citizenship Law.
New census figures indicated 1.1 million people in Rakhine state, most of them Rohingya Muslims. This is the first time Rohingyas have been included in the census. In the past the Government refused to acknowledge their existence and excluded them from any official publication (UNFPA, 30/08/2014).
91 children and young people were released from the armed forces as part of the Government and armed forces’ commitment to end the recruitment and use of children (UN 01/08/2014).
Adolescent girls in camps in Kachin and Rakhine states face increasing violence and abuse, including SGBV (OCHA, 02/2014).
In 2014, the Women’s League of Burma released a report that documented more than 100 victims of sexual violence at the hands of the Myanmar Army since Thein Sein’s government took power (local media 24/07/2014).
Mines and ERW
Mine clearance has not begun in Kayah state, despite a ceasefire since 2012.Around 15-20 people are injured annually by landmines in Kayah but the number of fatalities is unknown. More than 34,000 IDPs in Kayah are at greatest risk due to their movement in unfamiliar areas, Around five million people in Myanmar live in mine-contaminated areas, according to a 2011 report by Geneva Call (IRIN 25/07/2014).
No significant developments this week, 30/09/2014. Last update 25/09/2014.
- The current drought is the most severe in Nicaragua in more than 30 years. Nearly 75% of maize crops have been lost (OCHA).
- Vulnerable communities will face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) Food Insecurity from October to December (FEWSNET, 01/09/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
It is estimated that 112 of the country’s 156 municipalities have reported damage or loss of crops due to the drought. Latest official assessments have revised estimated losses upward, to 77,000 metric tons of maize and 45,000 metric tons of rice. The worst-hit areas are the northern departments of Nueva Segovia, Madriz, and Estelí, bordering Honduras.
Nearly 75% of the primera maize crop has been lost (OCHA, 09/08/2014). Early prospects for the postrera season, which accounts for 40% of maize production, are uncertain. Severe losses of beans and groundnuts, as well as livestock, are reported. The dry spell also affected parts of the major growing areas of Matagalpa and Jinotega (FAO, 19/09/2014). The increase in temperatures in coastal areas has affected the fishing sector (EU, 20/08/2014).
The drought, which began in late July, has been the worst in more than 30 years. Nicaragua has requested aid from humanitarian and development actors in the country (OCHA, 29/08/2014).
700 people in Managua have been affected by floods after more than 100 houses were destroyed on 25 August (Government, 26/08/2014).
Currently small-scale farmers and migrant workers in the ‘Dry Corridor’ are facing Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity until September. The loss of primera crops and spikes in the price of beans means that poor households and migrants in the Dry Corridor will face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food insecurity from October to December (FEWSNET, 16/09/2014).
Pakistan Country Analysis
29 September: The number of people affected by the September Monsoon rains and floods in Punjab has risen from nearly 1.7 to 2.475 million between 23-29 September, bringing the total population affected in Pakistan to more than 2.5 million by 29 September. Evacuees have grown from 618,000 to 684,000, while the number of persons in relief camps has been reduced by half, to 15,000 (NDMA).
28 September: A bombing at an IDP camp in Hangu killed seven civilians and injured ten (AFP).
- September floods have so far affected more than 2.5 million people, caused 360 deaths and injured 646 people in Azad Kashmir, Punjab and Gilgit Baltistan. More than 56,000 houses were damaged and 2.4 million acres of cropped areas affected. Priority needs are health, food, shelter and access to safe drinking water (NDMA, 29/09/2014).
- Nearly 6,000 people were killed and 5,500 injured in militant, sectarian, terrorist, and politically motivated attacks in 2013, making it one of the deadliest years in the last decade (Center for Research and Security Studies).
- Over one million displaced by military operations in North Waziristan in need of proper WASH facilities, emergency food relief and temporary shelter assistance in overcrowded areas. There were already 930,000 IDPs in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA as of mid-December 2013.
- 2.9 million documented and undocumented Afghan refugees (UNHCR). Numbers are difficult to confirm.
- The agricultural sector, which makes up 21% of GDP, is facing serious threats from escalating water shortages (World Bank, 18/04/2014). Half of Punjab’s share of water for agriculture is getting lost in canals and watercourses.
Priority humanitarian needs are for health, nutrition, and food assistance. An estimated 4.2 million people were in need of humanitarian support in November 2013 (OCHA).
The security situation remains volatile due to militant attacks in urban centres and military operations against the Taliban in the tribal areas. Peace talks with an increasingly fragmented Taliban are stop-start. Pakistan’s relations with neighbouring countries, and with the US, remain tense.
A year after Nawaz Sharif became Prime Minister, Pakistan is in a political crisis. Observers state the chaos can be blamed on the military undermining Sharif’s authority.
On 1 September, renewed clashes broke out between protesters and police in Islamabad when followers of opposition party leader Imran Khan and of cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri tried to storm Sharif's official residence (AFP, 01/09/2014). Pakistan's army chief General Raheel Sharif was named mediator in the political crisis on 28 August, fuelling speculation that the military could use the protests to re-assert its dominance over the civilian government (AFP, 28/08/2014). Tens of thousands of security personnel have been deployed to maintain order, and the contingent of soldiers guarding sensitive buildings has been doubled (AFP, 19/08/2014).
Since late February, the Pakistan armed forces have intensified their military offensive against armed groups with strongholds in the North Waziristan region of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). The government launched operation Zarb-e-Azb on 15 June, after the Taliban declared all-out war and attacked Karachi airport, and the army began ground assaults and air strikes against suspected Taliban hideouts.
Involving over 30,000 soldiers, the army began ground assaults on 26 June, while continuing air strikes. Air strikes targeting suspected Taliban hideouts continued. So far, around 399 militants and 20 soldiers have been reported killed. Authorities in mid-July announced they would continue until all militants are eliminated. The area is off-limits to journalists, making assessments difficult. There are fears that many insurgents have escaped into Afghanistan.
Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Splinter Factions
40 Taliban attacks with IEDs were recorded in the first three months of 2014, mostly in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and FATA, leaving at least 700 people killed or injured (Action on Armed Violence). Over 1,400 people were killed in more than 850 incidents of violence between June 2013 and January 2014.
On 10 June, the Taliban vowed to start all-out war. A ceasefire had expired on 23 April, and both militant and security sources have stated that the ceasefire was used by the Taliban to preserve militant bases.
At the end of May, after months of infighting, the Mehsud faction split from the TTP, claiming ideological differences regarding ‘un-Islamic’ tactics. The breakaway faction is reportedly made up around 2,600 men and controls a large arsenal of modern weapons.
Al Qaeda in South Asia
Early September, Ayman al Zawahiri, the Al Qaeda leader, announced a new branch, called Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent, covering Myanmar and Bangladesh, the Indian states of Assam and Gujarat, and in the disputed territory of Kashmir (Financial Times, 03/09/2014).
On 11 September, Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for a raid on a Karachi naval yard the previous weekend that left a sailor and three attackers dead, saying former military officers had helped in the attack. The Taliban, also claimed to be behind the attack and said they received inside help (AFP, 11/09/2014).
Bombing at an IDP camp in the northwestern town of Hangu killed seven civilians and injured ten on 28 September. Nobody claimed responsibility (AFP, 28/09/2014).
A car bomb suicide attack targeting a senior military officer killed at least four people and wounded 24 in Peshawar on 23 September (AFP, 23/09/2014).
A leader from the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ), a Sunni religious group in Pakistan, was killed in a suspected sectarian attack on 21 September (AFP, 21/09/2014).
On 15 September, militants killed three people in attacks targeting police in Pakistan's northwest; in Tahl, about 100km southwest of Peshawar, and in Dera Ismail Khan (AFP, 15/09/2014).
Unidentified militants attacked a NATO supply convoy on the Pak-Afghan Highway in Jamrud tehsil of Khyber tribal region in August, killing two (DAWN, 21/08/2014). Six civilians were killed when a roadside bomb was detonated in Salarzai area, Bajaur, on the Afghan border (AFP, 19/08/2014).
In July, deadly attacks took place in Peshawar and Karachi. Attacks in Balochistan, FATA, Islamabad, Karachi, and Punjab killed over 94 people in June. In May, attacks in Islamabad, FATA, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Punjab killed more than 87 people, and destroyed three primary schools and a health unit. In April, over 63 people were killed and 174 injured in attacks, which mostly took place in Islamabad and Karachi, and in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
During 2014, four journalists and five support staff have been killed. More than 38 journalists have been attacked and injured by the police and anti-government political activists (Asian Human Rights Commission, 12/09/2014).
A low-level separatist insurgency has been running against the alleged annexation of Balochistan since 1948. 2014 saw a sharp rise in acts of violence. Attacks by Islamist armed groups are also a problem.
On 13 September, a car bomb explosion on a road in Quetta city killed three people, including a paramilitary soldier, and wounded at least 16. The bomb apparently targeted a paramilitary vehicle (AFP, 13/09/2014).
On 28 August, gunmen opened fire on a domestic private news agency in Quetta and killed three people, including two journalists (AFP, 28/08/2014). A woman was wounded when suspected militants blew up a Sufi shrine in Mastung district (DAWN, 26/08/2014).
Militant sources claim that many people with suspected links to separatist groups have disappeared at the hands of intelligence agencies.
Tensions in the Disputed Kashmir Region
On 27–28 August, 15,000 people fled gunfire and shelling near the Line of Control between India and Pakistan. Most have since left the shelters, with 2,000 opting to remain (The Guardian, 28/08/2014). India cancelled talks with Pakistan in August, after Pakistan’s High Commissioner met Kashmiri separatist leaders in New Delhi (International Crisis Group, 01/09/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
People affected by military operations in North Waziristan face problems obtaining assistance, mostly due to lack of documentation, or identity cards. Within the IDP population female-headed households (7%), children-headed households (4%), older persons and persons with disabilities (5%) are excluded from distribution. Access to information, particularly on the registration process, available services, and support is lacking (OCHA, 15/08/2014).
Access to areas where the displaced are arriving, spreading over eight districts and as far as the Malakand region, hampers humanitarian operations (OCHA, 07/08/2014). Administrative obstacles are also hobbling efforts to provide the displaced from North Waziristan with necessary assistance (HRW, 11/07/2014).
Security Incidents Involving Aid Workers
Between January and August 2014 60 aid workers, including 12 polio workers, have been killed, 10 injured and 19 abducted. The highest number of incidents occurred in Khyber and FATA Agencies (23 each), followed by Sindh (13) (OCHA, 31/08/2014).
In 2013, 155 aid workers were killed, 171 seriously wounded, and 134 kidnapped –a 66% increase in the number killed from 2012 (OCHA, 19/08/2014).
As of 29 September, monsoon rains and floods have affected more than 2.5 million people, caused 360 deaths, and injured 646 people in Punjab (283 dead, 491 injured, 2,474,730 affected), Azad Kashmir (64 dead; 129 injured; 46,980 affected) and Gilgit-Baltistan (13 deaths; 26 injured; 1,975 affected). More than 56,000 houses have been damaged and 2.4 million acres of cropped areas affected. So far, 683,690 people have been evacuated, 14,780 of whom are residing in over 70 camps (Government, 29/09/2014).
As of 22 September, the worst-affected districts are Sheikhupura, Gujranwala, Mandi Bahauddin, Narowal Sialkot, Jhang, Jhelum, Lahore and Sargodha in Punjab province; Haveli, Sudhnoti and Kotli in Azad Kashmir; and Astore and Diamer in Gilgit Baltistan (Government, 22/09/2014).
In Srinagar, Azad Kashmir, thousands of people lost their homes and were stranded for weeks without aid. Rice fields, fruit, and vegetable crops have been severely damaged. Damage to access routes and transportation networks will reduce households’ access to food, directly impacting the most vulnerable populations. Water sources are mostly contaminated and toilet facilities have been damaged in most villages. Incidents of violence as well as risk of SGBV and human trafficking have been reported in several villages (local organisation, 23/09/2014).
Pakistan-administered Kashmir's parliament has called upon India to open the de facto border of the disputed territory to allow rescue officials to reach affected residents (AFP, 22/09/2014).
Until now, assessment and relief efforts in flood-affected areas have been hampered by stagnant water, fresh rains, and blocked roads. Priority needs are search and rescue, health, food, shelter and access to safe drinking water.
There is a shortage of essential medicines, notably vaccinations (WHO, 23/09/2014). Waterborne diseases like gastrointestinal infections, diarrhoea, and fungal and skin infections have broken out in Bajwat, Head Marala, Chaprar, and Pasrur (DAWN, 11/09/2014).
Authorities anticipate the number of people affected by floods to reach three million. A Multi‐sector Initial Rapid Assessment (MIRA) is being conducted in five of the worst‐affected districts in Punjab and in Azad Kashmir (Red cross, 18/09/2014).
In August, Peshawar and tribal areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were hit by severe rain and hailstorms, inundating low-lying areas. 31 people were killed and 130 injured (Government; DAWN, 22/08/2014).
Over the past three years, the monsoon region has shifted 100km west. As a result, heavy and unpredicted rainfall has occurred in Pakistan, especially in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, causing massive destruction (Government, 20/08/2014).
The latest flood alert from the Pakistan Meteorological Department forecasts isolated thundershowers over Kurram Agency, Malakand, Hazara, Peshawar, Rawalpindi, and Gujranwala divisions along with Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad-Kashmir (Government, 28/09/2014).
As of 1 September, the number of displaced registered from North Waziristan stands at over one million (or 97,500 families), 74% of whom are women and children (OCHA, 02/09/2014). More outflow from North Waziristan is expected based on an extension of military operations into other areas (OCHA, 15/08/2014). 40% of the population in North Waziristan has remained despite army operations and is now far from basic services and humanitarian support. Access is extremely limited as a result of military action (IRIN, 25/09/2014).
Most IDPs have taken refuge in over 1,200 schools, health facilities, or with host communities in Bannu, Karak, and Lakki Marwat districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (UNDP, 14/07/2014; ECHO, 01/08/2014). There are 930,000 pre-existing IDPs in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA (OCHA, 28/08/2014). Schools and other public buildings are overcrowded and lack basic facilities (Government/OCHA/ WFP, 31/07/2014). The majority of displaced families living in schools will face secondary displacement when schools re-open (OCHA, 15/08/2014).
IDPs need proper WASH facilities, lifesaving relief food assistance along with preventive nutrition rations, emergency livestock support, emergency primary health care, temporary shelter construction assistance in overcrowded host communities, better protection monitoring and income generation support. 82,000 displaced children also need emergency education services, while temporary learning centres urgently need to be established (OCHA, 12/09/2014).
The Sindh government decided mid-June it will not allow IDPs to enter the province for budget reasons. The Balochistan government deployed troops to the border with South Waziristan to check the influx of displaced.
96% of the people already displaced reside outside camps in Peshawar, Dera Ismail Khan, and Kohat, while 4% reside in IDP camps in Tough Sorai, Jalozai, and New Durrani (UNHCR, 09/06/2014).
Around 100,000 people have returned to FATA since November 2013, and 270,000 people are expected to return to FATA over the year, despite recent violence provoking new displacement (OCHA, 19/08/2014). Some 4,690 families returned to Tirah Valley in May and 407 families returned to Upper Kurram in June 2014 (UNHCR, 30/06/2014). Most are returning to damaged houses and disrupted livelihoods. Restoration of basic social services and livelihood support are vital to ensure sustainable returns (OCHA, 20/05/2014).
Refugees in Pakistan
There are an estimated 2.9 million Afghan refugees and undocumented migrants in Pakistan, although the exact number is difficult to ascertain (OCHA, 22/04/2014). Most are in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, and most require humanitarian assistance (UNHCR/IOM, 31/12/2013). At least 1.6 million Afghan refugees are in need. National media report that the presence of Afghan refugees is triggering tensions with host communities.
Pakistani Refugees in Afghanistan
As of 19 August, 20,813 families were assessed displaced, including 151,570 in Khost province, and 66,970 in Paktika province. In total, 7,884 families were assisted (OCHA).
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA: Distribution points for food and NFIs have been established in Bannu, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Most IDPs in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA are relying on negative coping strategies or income support (Detailed Food Security Assessment, Food Security Cluster). Increasing demand for food and NFIs has also resulted in massive inflation, which further aggravates the food security situation.
Only 5% of IDP families have a source of income (OCHA, 15/08/2014).
Health and Nutrition
An estimated 1.21 million people are in need of health assistance: basic health services and quality maternal and child health services.
In Bannu district, insufficient reproductive health services, and a lack of health staff and essential medicines are reported. There are currently no health actors in the field (ECHO, 01/08/2014; OCHA, 07/08/2014). 36,000 displaced women are pregnant and health facilities are overwhelmed by demand (UN Population Fund, 28/07/2014). Current stocks of medicines will cover less than 5% of the estimated displaced population. In addition, overcrowding and high temperatures have heightened the risk of diarrhoea, skin infections, coughs, colds, and fever (WHO, 08/07/2014; OCHA, 15/08/2014). Water and sanitation facilities need immediate attention. Another concern is the low routine vaccination coverage (WHO, 30/06/2014). WHO reported that 4% of the displaced are pregnant and those in Bannu need immediate medical attention (DAWN, 18/07/2014).
Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever
A seasonal spike of Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever has been detected. So far in 2014, 68 cases (25 laboratory confirmed), including 20 deaths, have been reported, 31 in Balochistan and 21 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (WHO, 13/08/2014). Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever is endemic in Pakistan (WHO, 25/07/2014).
As of 7 September, 25 cases of dengue have been registered in Punjab so far this year, with seven cases between 5 and 6 September (Frontier Post, 07/09/2014).
Between 1 January and 10 May, 186 lab-confirmed cases of dengue fever were reported, of which 179 cases were in Sindh province, and seven in Punjab province (WHO, 14/05/2014). The number of cases in the first quarter of 2014 was nearly three times the same period in 2013, and more than four times 2012 (OCHA, 22/04/2014).
Dengue has begun affecting areas that do not usually fall into the traditional endemic belt: in 2013, a huge outbreak in Swat district recorded 9,000 confirmed cases and 35 deaths.
Over 1.8 million cases of acute diarrhoea were reported 29 December–9 August. Another 29,573 cases of bloody diarrhoea were reported in the same period (WHO, 13/08/2014).
More than 200 people have died from malnutrition-related causes so far in 2014 (OCHA, 09/05/2014). In April, an estimated 17,000 children had SAM and 55,000 MAM (04/2014). Over 46,000 pregnant and lactating women are priorities for malnutrition assistance. Many were in Tharparkar district, Sindh province. In the remote Neelum Valley, an estimated 21% of children are acutely malnourished, well above the national average of 15%, which is already at the emergency threshold (WFP, 12/2013).
As of 2 July, 786 cases of measles have been reported in 2014 (Government, WHO).
More than 25,000 cases of measles were reported in 2013, with 321 deaths. In 2012, 15,000 cases were reported and in 2011 4,380. WHO stated this steady increase in fatalities is alarming (IRIN, 15/04/2014). OCHA reported in May 2013 that 54% of 8,844 children in Punjab and Sindh provinces were not vaccinated against the disease.
There is a high risk of measles outbreak among the recently displaced population, who had not been vaccinated due to the security situation (WHO, 08/07/2014).
As of 24 September, there were 166 wild polio cases reported, compared to 28 by this date in 2013. 21 cases were reported over 20–26 September from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, Punjab, and Sindh (Global Polio Eradication Initiative, 26/09/2014).
The total number of circulating vaccine-developed (cVDPV2) cases in 2013 was 45; there have been ten so far in 2014 (WHO, 14/05/2014).
On 9 September, Rawalpindi’s vaccination campaign was postponed to the end of the month due to the political situation and insecurity, despite 12 high-risk areas needing immediate attention (DAWN, 09/09/2014).
The huge number of people displaced by the Zarb-e-Azb offensive prompts fears of polio spreading (AFP, 26/06/2014). The densely populated Peshawar Valley is considered to be the main 'engine' of polio transmission, due to large-scale population movements through Peshawar. As of early April, the health authorities declared eight districts of Punjab highly sensitive to polio: Lahore, Rawalpindi, Khanewal, Sahiwal, Mianwali, Multan, Jhang and Toba Tek Singh.
Between January and August, 12 polio workers have been killed (OCHA, 31/08/2014). On 17 April, for the first time, Prime Minister Sharif asked the military to help protect polio vaccination workers in Waziristan and adjoining tribal areas.
87% of displaced families are not treating water at home (OCHA, 15/08/2014). An estimated 690,000 people – largely IDPs and returnees in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and FATA – urgently need assistance in accessing safe drinking water. Hygiene conditions among the newly displaced are very poor, and the probability of WASH-related disease outbreaks is rising (OCHA, 07/08/2014). Improved knowledge of household water treatment among non-camp IDPs and returnees is necessary (OCHA, 20/02/2014).
40% of displaced families in Bannu are not using latrine facilities and practise open defecation (OCHA, 15/08/2014).
Inadequate shelter services, overcrowding, harsh weather conditions, and high rental charges remain key challenges for displaced families (OCHA, 15/08/2014).
Educational supplies are a major gap in education response, such as school tents, stationery, and other teaching and learning materials. Schools used as IDP shelter will affect the school infrastructure, facilities, furniture, teaching and learning material, and liability of high electricity bills (OCHA, 07/08/2014).
At least 86,000 students from government schools in North Waziristan are affected by the current military operations. The amount of students enrolled in private schools is unknown. In addition, many educational institutions are occupied by military or security forces (DAWN, 15/07/2014).
An estimated 1.08 million people are in need of protection. This group largely consists of IDPs and returnees in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA. Women, children, the disabled, and the elderly need referral assistance and specialised protection in displacement and returnee areas (OCHA, 20/02/2014).
The current policy on registration of IDPs from NWA will not consider new Computerized National Identity Card (CNIC) card holders, and there is no plan to re-open new registration (OCHA, 07/08/2014).
There are increased reports of law enforcement agencies and workers of Sindhi ethnic parties harassing ethnic Pashtuns in Sindh province. Despite hostilities, the Pakistani army is not allowing the Pashtun to return to South Waziristan, which they fled during government military operations against the Taliban five years ago (IRIN, 04/08/2014).
A recent spate of acid attacks in Balochistan province, until recently untouched by this type of crime, suggests a new pattern is emerging. In most attacks, the victims know their assailants. The acid attacks fit a wider pattern of erosion of women’s rights, especially in separatist and previous relatively secular strongholds (AFP, 31/07/2014).
In areas where the Taliban is active, over 500 girls’ schools have been bombed. In the south and southwest of the country, ethnic violence continues to curtail women’s freedom of movement.
No new significant developments this week, 25/09/2014. Last update: 16/09/2014.
- 340,000 children are estimated to suffer from acute malnutrition, 79,000 from severe acute malnutrition, and 261,000 from moderate acute malnutrition (UNICEF, 03/2014).
Although Senegal enjoys a reputation for stability in a largely volatile region, the country has been unable to resolve the 30-year conflict in the coastal Casamance area, where separatist movements continue to oppose authorities. Attempts to restart talks in March 2013 failed.
On 25 February 2014, the Community of Sant'Egidio, which is mediating the conflict, announced that progress had been made in discussions between the Senegalese authorities and the Movement of Democratic Forces of Casamance (MFDC), with confidence-building measures agreed. Senegalese authorities agreed to withdraw an international arrest warrant against the leader of the separatist movement, Salif Sadio. MFDC has not, however, agreed on any demining. On 30 April, Salif Sadio declared a unilateral ceasefire as proof of engagement in the peace process.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
As of 30 January, OCHA reported that 14,200 refugees are in Senegal, most from Mauritania and Rwanda.
More than 738,000 people were estimated to be in Phase 3 (Crisis) food insecurity and above during the July-August lean season, as a result of the high import dependency rate for food and the impact of unpredictable seasonal rains and climatic conditions. An additional 2.9 million people were experiencing stressed food security levels, IPC Phase 2 (FAO, 05/08/2014).
In Casamance, which has an estimated population of 1.8 million, an estimated 37% of households faced food shortages as of May 2014 (IRIN, 02/05/2014).
The Food Security and Nutrition Survey (ENSAN) reported in June 2013 that rural food security levels had generally deteriorated since 2010, with rural households being more at risk. Recurrent shocks from drought and flooding, poor infrastructure, and inadequate social safety nets continue to increase the chronic overall vulnerability of the population, while household and community resilience continues to erode due to poor coping strategies.
In the north, crop conditions and moisture availability have been negatively impacted and may worsen if good rains fail to return (FEWSNET, 15/08/2014).
Sahel Food Crisis: Regional Overview
In March, more than 25 million people in the Sahel (Burkina Faso, north Cameroon, Chad, the Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, north Nigeria, and Senegal) suffered from food insecurity (FAO, 03/04/2014). Food insecurity in 2014 has risen dramatically compared to 2013, when 11.3 million people had inadequate food consumption (OCHA, 03/02/2014).
Health and Nutrition
On 29 August, a 21-year-old student of Guinea was tested positive for Ebola. He arrived in Dakar by land on 20 August, after escaping the surveillance system in Guinea (WHO, 30/08/2014). 74 people that had been in contact with him have been monitored twice daily for the 21-day incubation period, and no further cases have been found. The student is now cured (Reuters, 22/09/2014).
Although Senegal has banned all flights from other affected countries, road travellers can cross the country’s porous borders (WHO, 12/09/2014).
As a result of the closure of borders and markets between Senegal and Guinea, trade volumes have fallen 50% below last year’s levels, leading to a 40% and 50% increase in the prices of palm oil and coffee, respectively, in less than four weeks. The slowdown in economic activity is likely to have a significant impact on food security in all Ebola-affected countries, as these markets ordinarily trade in large quantities (WFP, 15/09/2014).
More than two million people, or 15% of the population, including 350,000 chronic carriers, have hepatitis B, due to untimely vaccination, prohibitive treatment costs, and lack of universal screening to curb transmissions (IRIN, 08/05/2014).
340,000 children are estimated to suffer from acute malnutrition, including 79,000 from severe acute malnutrition (SAM). These figures are an increase on 2013, when 63,323 SAM and 255,675 MAM cases were reported (2014 Humanitarian Needs Overview).
Bangladesh Country Analysis
No significant developments this week, 25/09/2014. Last update: 11/09/2014.
- Bangladesh is considered one of the world’s most hazard-prone countries, and every year cyclones cause extensive damage and floods.
- 30,000 Rohingya Muslim refugees from Myanmar are in official camps, and some 300,000 are in unofficial camps or villages, where they receive little or no humanitarian assistance.
- Food insecurity is rising due to frequent natural disasters and civil unrest. An estimated 40% of the population is considered food insecure, and western areas are more affected.
- In 2013, 507 people died as a result of political violence, making it the deadliest year since the country's independence.
Longstanding tensions persist between Islamic groups and secular activists. Violence and protests erupted ahead of the January 2014 elections, which the AL went on to win.
Protests began in January 2013, over the trial and sentencing of senior political leaders from the main opposition party – the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) – and its Islamic allies for offences and crimes committed during the 1971 war of independence from Pakistan. Several leaders are still officially on trial. By the end of the year, the strikes – or hartals – had evolved into open showdowns between hundreds of thousands of supporters of the governing Awami League and BNP.
Aftermath of the January Elections
International observers declared the 2014 elections flawed and the BNP described them as a farce. The impasse between the two dominant parties is fuelling concerns about economic stagnation and further violence. International human rights organisations report that nearly 150 people were killed and thousands injured in election-related violence.
Following inter-religious violence between settlers and the indigenous population in Khagrachari, Chittagong, around 250 members of minority groups, who have been subject to similar violence in the recent past, have crossed the border to Tripura, India (OCHA, 09/06/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Needs in Bangladesh can be difficult to assess; the humanitarian impact of frequent low-profile events is chronically underreported.
In Lalmonirhat, five villages in Kaliganjupazila were submerged by water as a flood protection embankment broke down at Modanpur under Tuhbhandar union on 24 August (Prothom Alo, 24/08/2014). In many places, embankments are in poor shape due to lack of proper maintenance, and sluices and regulators no longer function properly (INTRAC, 2010).
As of 15 September, almost 3,000,000 people are reported affected by flooding; 340,000 people are displaced, and 34,000 houses have been completely destroyed. Humanitarian actors have reported 59 deaths and 447 injured (Oxfam, 15/09/2014; IFRC, 08/09/2014, 14/09/2014, 15/09/2014). More than 20 districts are affected, with Nilphamari, Lalmonirhat, Kurigram, Rangpur, Gaibandha, Jamalpur, Sirajgonj (northwest), Sunamjon and Sylhet (northeast) being severely hit (ECHO, 25/08/2014). Kurigram is a priority district as around 100,000 people are reported displaced (PI).
The flood situation is not predicted to improve by the end of September, as more rainfall is expected. The Government has issued warnings for the districts of Sirajganj, Gaibandha, Rangpur, Lalmonirhat and Kurigram (ACT Alliance, 09/09/2014; IFRC, 08/09/2014).
Most critical needs include access to safe drinking water, sanitation facilities, and food. In addition, the affected need cooking facilities, safe emergency shelters, and medicines for water-borne illnesses (Muslim Aid, 18/08/2014).
Women, children, the elderly, and people with disabilities are among the most vulnerable. Children in makeshift shelters are less likely to receive assistance than children in flood shelters (SC 2006).
Households in Bhola, Patuakhali and Barguna had already been affected by flooding in July (OCHA, 21/07/2014). Bhola and Patuakhali districts were affected by tropical storm Mahasen in May (WFP, FAO, Food Security Cluster, 20/05/2014).
IDPs make up 0.2% of the population. Most were displaced by violence in the 1970s. The 280,000 IDPs estimated to be in Bangladesh in 2007 are unlikely to have returned, integrated, or settled elsewhere in the country given persistent tensions and fighting (IDMC, 13/05/2014).
Rohingya Muslim Refugees
300,000 Rohingya from Myanmar – even more according to local media – are in unofficial camps or with host communities and receive little or no humanitarian assistance. As of September 2013, an estimated 30,000 Rohingya Muslims were officially registered and lived in formal camps, where the Government allows only UNHCR and humanitarian organisations to assist refugees (humanitarian partners). On 24 March, the Governance and Social Development Resource Centre (GSDRC) stated that the Government had restricted aid to registered refugees living in official camps. GSDRC indicated that conditions in unofficial camps are dire: overcrowded, lacking clean water and sanitation, with poor shelter, health and nutrition, and human rights abuses. New refugees cannot register with the Government or UNHCR and cannot enter official camps. The majority of Rohingya are denied refugee status by Bangladeshi authorities.
The Rohingya crisis is regional, with a large number in Thailand, Malaysia, India, Indonesia, and Australia (ECHO, 21/05/2014).
Flood-affected have been reported as suffering from an acute food crisis (ECHO, 25/08/2014).
Around 40% of the population is food insecure, especially in western parts of the country. The lingering effects of natural disasters, violent demonstrations, and other local problems have increased the food insecurity of a large number of households. Relatively high domestic rice prices are also limiting low-income groups’ access to food (FAO, 16/06/2014).
Agriculture and Markets
On 23 June, the Government extended a ban, in place since 2008, on the exports of non-fragrant rice until 30 June 2015, following concerns over domestic price rises. Some fragrant rice varieties will be exempt from the ban.
The World Bank stated on 6 February that about 20–30% of the country is inundated each year; over six million hectares are flooded. In the post-monsoon period, soil-moisture content declines rapidly and the water deficit needs to be compensated by irrigation. Agriculture gets the largest share of available water and this affects navigation, drinking water supply, rural health, and sanitation. Salinity intrusion, waterlogging and the contamination of the groundwater aquifer by arsenic further exacerbate problems.
Health and Nutrition
Open defecation and polluted waters have greatly increased the risk of diarrhoea and water-borne diseases among flood victims. Most of those affected have not been able to reach government health facilities (Bangladesh Red Crescent Society, 25/08/2014).
In Kurigram, floods have immersed toilet facilities, causing wastewater to contaminate homes, lands and wells, creating risks of waterborne diseases (Terre des Hommes, 23/09/2014).
An increase in malaria cases was reported on 6 July by local health authorities in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. Six children died while more than 1,500 other cases were reported in the district of Bandarban (OCHA, 21/07/2014).
As reported by ECHO in late February, an estimated 500,000 Bangladeshi children suffer from severe malnutrition annually. Among children under five, 13.5% are acutely malnourished, with 3.4% of these children suffering from severe acute malnutrition.
Refugees International established in 2013 that the GAM in one unofficial camp was twice the emergency threshold.
Access to safe drinking water has been the main concern expressed for the flood affected by humanitarian actors on the ground. In some cases, the shortage has meant that some communities have been using contaminated water. Numerous hand tube wells are contaminated by flood waters (BRCS, 25/08/2014).
The lack of latrines or proper sanitation facilities has forced some populations to defecate openly (BRCS, 25/08/2014).
Thousands of houses have been either washed away or seriously damaged by flooding. Houses in the area are typically built on mud platforms (or plinths), which can be damaged and destroyed by severe flooding.
The displaced have moved to whatever high ground they can find and are staying in makeshift or temporary shelters. These arrangements offer limited privacy, poor protection from the elements, and inadequate or no sanitation. Living conditions are likely to worsen if the rain continues. (BRCS, 25/08/2014).
More than 300 schools in flood-affected areas have been shut (TRUST, 26/08/2014).
Flood shelters have inadequate WASH facilities (SC 2006). Past disasters have found that this poses risks to women and adolescent girls, who resort to a range of detrimental practices to avoid exposure (including waiting until nightfall to go to the toilet).
Legal Status of Refugees
On 24 March, GSDRC reported that unregistered status means that refugees who have been victims of violence have no legal recourse. Incidents of domestic and sexual violence have been increasing around Rohingya settlements. Unregistered female refugees are especially vulnerable to sexual and physical attacks. Many female refugees are forced into illegal activities as a survival mechanism or sell their children into domestic labour, putting them at risk of abuse and arrest.
24 September: Flood-affected populations are suffering from gastrointestinal diseases, respiratory infections, and skin diseases. 146 out of 339 communities are still affected by flooding (ACT Alliance).
- 325,000 affected by heavy rainfall and flooding across most of Bolivia (Government, WFP, and OCHA, 06/2014).
- Bolivia is prone to natural disasters including earthquakes, floods, and droughts. The 2013 drought and severe frost affected over 340,000 people and damaged 87,000 hectares of crops (Government).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
A series of natural disasters have affected Bolivia since the beginning of the rainy season in October 2013 and have had a severe impact on livelihoods and food security.
Heavy Rainfall and Floods
At 24 September 146 out of 339 communities are still affected by the flooding of the last rainy season. As of 2 June, an estimated 325,000 people had been affected in Bolivia’s Amazon valleys, lowlands, and plains during the October–March rains (OCHA). The floods caused the collapse of around 2,000 homes, the destruction of 63,000 hectares of arable land, and the death of 150,000 livestock (ACT Alliance, 24/09/2014). At least 64 people have died. Officials estimate that agriculture is the primary income-generating activity of 40% of affected families.
This has been the worst flooding in the last 60 years (ACT Alliance, 24/09/2014). The Government declared a state of emergency on 28 January. The situation worsened, and on 10 February the departments of Cochabamba, Santa Cruz, Beni, La Paz, Potosí, and Pando were placed on red alert.
In July, the nutritional status of flood-affected families in the departments of Pando, Beni, La Paz and Cochabamba was deteriorating, according to preliminary results of the Emergency Food Security Assessment (WFP, 25/07/2014).
According to FAO on 27 February, livestock is expected to be the most affected sector. Estimates indicate that close to 63,000 hectares of crops, including rice, maize, and cassava, have been negatively impacted. Despite losses in the department of Beni, prospects for 2014’s de verano season are favourable, since the main cereal-producing departments of Santa Cruz, La Paz, and Cochabamba, were less severely affected and the abundant rains may have benefited the developing crops in some places.
It is estimated that sowing harvesting will not take place before November in Beni department (WFP, 09/07/2014).
The flood-affected population is suffering from gastrointestinal infections, respiratory infections, and skin diseases; pregnant women and children are most affected (ACT Alliance, 24/09/2014).
Cambodia Country Analysis
No significant developments this week, 24/09/2014. Last update 02/09/2014.
In January, following a two-week dispute and strikes over pay, government security forces launched a violent crackdown on garment factory workers and on a camp of anti-government demonstrators. The military police reportedly opened fire on the workers protesting outside a factory in Phnom Penh, killing five people and wounding at least 20. Following the crackdown, the UN human rights agency urged Cambodia to launch an investigation into the "disproportionate" use of force by security forces. The latest series of demonstrations comes after several similar events rocked the country in December.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
As of 20 August, heavy seasonal rain has caused flooding along the major river systems. 45 people have been killed and over 80,000 people (16,000 families) affected. Water levels are already reported to be receding (OCHA, 25/08/2014).
Over 1.7 million people, more than 10% of the country’s population, were affected by weeks of extensive flooding in September–October 2013, which hit 20 of 24 provinces.
Côte d'Ivoire Country Analysis
No significant developments this week, 24/09/2014. Last update: 04/09/2014.
- 3.13 million people in Côte d’Ivoire do not have access to potable water and sanitation (OCHA 12/2013).
- In the region of Zanzan, on the eastern border with Burkina Faso and Ghana, 60% of the population live below the poverty line and 75% lack access to safe drinking water (UNICEF).
- Agricultural production is still impacted by over a decade of civil unrest.
On 11 August, the new Electoral Commission, responsible for the election scheduled for October 2015, was officially established (AFP, 11/08/2014).
As the 2015 election approaches, attempts to unite the opposition parties into one common front have faced delays and obstacles. Five of the 11 invited parties have declined to sign the founding document proposed by the Ivorian Popular Front (FPI), accusing it of consistently refusing to join other common opposition efforts developed by the Permanent Framework for Dialogue over the past two years.
A framework of direct dialogue was initiated over a year ago between the Government and the FPI: the two sides met for the first time in five months in January. Tensions date back to the 2010-2011 crisis, and remain strained due to the FPI’s position that the current President Ouattara is not eligible to put himself forward for the 2015 election.
National Reconciliation Process
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission announced in February that listening centres will be set up to facilitate dialogue between victims and executioners. Legal clinics will be opened to enable civilians’ access to justice. The Commission was created in 2011, and its initial two-year mandate was extended to early 2015. The investigations and public hearings are yet to be carried out.
In February, the Ivorian Government released 70 senior army officers and politicians who had been detained for crimes including murder, kidnapping, and corruption. President Ouattara announced in January that ultimata on 80,000 people in exile, of whom 300 are soldiers, have ceased and that the Government would prioritise the facilitation of return for all, including safety guarantees. Critics of President Ouattara’s Government have expressed concern that such political compromises undermine the authority and independence of the judiciary.
A UN human rights report published in January indicated that despite some improvements, the security situation remains fragile due to a persistent culture of violence and a large number of ex-fighters who have not yet benefited from disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) programmes. On 10 February, it was reported that more than 27,000 ex-combatants had been demobilised. In addition, large quantities of illicit arms are still circulating in the country.
Several assaults have been carried out on the border with Liberia, with the UN and the Government often blaming allies of former President Gbagbo.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
The situation is slowly improving following the destruction and displacement of the 2010 election crisis, although there are more needs in the west, which was most affected.
In Zanzan, on the eastern border with Burkina Faso and Ghana, nearly 60% of the population live below the poverty line, and three-quarters of the population lack access to safe drinking water. The presence of humanitarian organisations remains low in comparison with needs. UNICEF reports that the most pressing needs include child protection and gender-based violence (FGM), access to water and health facilities, malnutrition, education, and birth certificate issuance/provision.
At least 23 people have been killed and over 7,000 people displaced by floods since the start of the rainy season in June. 5,000 people are living in primary schools (OCHA 22/07/2014).
Humanitarian needs are pressing for 45,000 IDPs, and their host communities, in the west.
Ivorian Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
An estimated 70,730 Ivorian refugees still reside in neighbouring countries: 52,785 in Liberia, 8,461 in Ghana, and 6,170 in Guinea at end December 2013, according to UNHCR. This figure represents a significant decrease from 2011 (250,000) and 2012 (85,000).
Liberia: The majority of Ivorian refugees in Liberia are unwilling to return until after the 2015 presidential election.
The instability and unrest of the past decade has affected the food security and economic stability of the population, leaving households more vulnerable. This is largely due to repatriation/late return of farmer households, insecurity and population movements, delay/early end of rains, and crop loss due to flooding.
High risks of violence and abuse against children and women remain, with continued impunity of perpetrators. A recent report expressed deep concern over the increase in sexual violence and trivialisation of the offence, though comprehensive data is hard to come by.
Using Ivorian government statistics, UNHCR estimates that 700,000 people are stateless or of undetermined nationality. During the 2002 civil war and the post-election crisis of 2010–2011, the destruction of vital records and the loss of individual documents have made it very difficult for Ivoirians to prove their citizenship. Abandoned children are not covered by national legislation and do not have the Ivorian citizenship. In addition, tens of thousands of children who were not registered at birth cannot prove their nationality and are at risk of statelessness. Access to basic rights remains problematic for people who lack proper documentation. In July, the UN representative mentioned that Côte d’Ivoire is taking concrete measures to eliminate statelessness.
23 September: The Government prolonged the state of emergency for 30 days in the 16 deaprtment affected by drought (Government).
17 September: 252 people were affected by drain collapse in San Benito, Petén (Government)
- 3.5 million people are estimated to be food insecure (UN, 28/08/2014).
- Over 10,000 children under five suffering from acute malnutrition have been recorded in Guatemala so far this year (Prensa Libre, 02/09/2014). At least 500,000 children under five at risk of acute malnutrition (OCHA, 01/09/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
On 23 September, the Government prolonged its state of emergency for 30 days to monitor the consequences of the drought in the 16 affected departments (Government, 23/09/2014). 1.1 million people have been affected (UN Country Team, 28/08/2014).
73% of the country’s territory is affected (UN Country Team, 28/08/2014). The departments affected are Jutiapa, Jalapa, Santa Rosa, Zacapa, El Progreso, Chiquimula, and Baja Verapaz in the Dry Corridor; and Quiché, Huehuetenango, Retalhuleu, Totonicapán, Sololá, San Marcos, Suchitepéquez, Chimaltenango and Guatemala (Siglo XXI, 02/09/2014). The Government has appealed for international help to deal with the loss of crops (OCHA, 01/09/2014).
98% of harvests have been lost in Chiquimula, El Progreso and Zacapa (Government, 28/08/2014). 80% production losses were recorded for maize harvests and 63% for bean harvests (World Vision, 17/09/2014). 56% of affected communities have no possibility of planting (ACTED, 28/08/2014). 99,600 people are left with no income opportunities (Government, 11/09/2014).
The current crisis is preceded by two years of bad harvests and aggravated by the impact of reduced employment in the coffee bean sector, caused by the coffee leaf rust epidemic of the last two harvests (UN Country Team, 28/08/2014).
The drought is regional. Apart from Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, and El Salvador are also affected (Oxfam, 28/08/2014).
By 25 July, 63,280 people were affected by the 7 July earthquake, 9,885 homes damaged, and 6,730 people evacuated (UN, 25/07/2014). 270 people were injured and one killed. The earthquake struck off the coast of the Mexican state of Chiapas, 50km from the border with Guatemala (ECHO, 08/07/2014).
Dozens of schools were damaged and roads were blocked in the Guatemalan departments of Quetzaltenango and San Marcos. Guatemala’s national disaster relief agency, CONRED, declared an institutional orange alert (OCHA, CONRED, UN, 07/07/2014), which was extended for another 30 days by 4 August, due to the damage caused by the earthquake. The alert applied to San Marcos, Quetzaltenango, Huehuetenango, Totonicapán, Sololá, Retalhuleu and Suchitepéquez (Government of Guatemala, 05/08/2014).
Over 6–7 September, heavy rains in the departments of Petén and Guatemala affected 395 villagers, 77 houses were flooded due to lack or collapse of drainage (Government, 08/08/2014). In San Benito, Petén, 876 people have been affected by flooding during the last weeks; 50 people remain displaced (Government, 09/11/2014). On 17 September, 252 people were affected by drainage collapse in San Benito (Government, 17/09/2014). Heavy rains over 1–2 September led to flooding and landslides in Petén and Suchitepéquez, affecting 255 people, damaging 39 houses, and contaminating 20 wells (Government, 02/09/2014; OCHA, 01/09/2014).
At 25 August, heavy rains in Petén and Izabal departments had already affected 818 people and damaged 136 houses (Government, 25/08/2014).
At 4 August, it was reported that flooding in Alta Verapaz had affected 15,000 people and damaged more than 2,500 homes (OCHA, 04/08/2014).
In July heavy rains affected Alta Verapaz, Izabal, and Baja Verapaz. Bridges crossing the rivers Tinajas, Pueblo Viejo, and Zarcón were severely damaged. Around 19,200 people (4,800 households) were cut off in 76 communities of El Estor, Izabal, and Panzos in Alta Verapaz (Government of Guatemala, 15/07/2014; 28/07/2014). 430 homes were flooded and the affected families lost belongings and domestic animals (Siglo XXI, 17/07/2014).
An estimated 3.5 million people (754,919 families) are food insecure (UN Country Team, 28/08/2014). Approximately one million people (236,000 families) have partially or completely lost their harvests and have no food reserves for the coming months (UN Country Team, 03/09/2014).
Crisis conditions are expected to persist until October in El Progreso, San Rosa, Zacapa, Chiquimula, Jalapa and Jutiapa. Between November and December, food security will be Stressed (IPC Phase 2) in most of the country’s affected areas, an improvement due to prostrera harvests and the peak of labour demand. Highlands that do not harvest in this period will remain in Phase 3 (FEWSNET, 17/09/2014).
The coffee leaf rust epidemic, which began in 2012, is affecting the entire Central America region, and is one of the worst ever (International Coffee Organization). Some 70% of Guatemalan plantations have been affected, corresponding to a loss of USD 101 million and 75,000 jobs.
The Dry Corridor normally provides 20% of national maize production; recent estimates predict a 9% drop in national primera maize production compared to last year (FAO, 19/09/2014). Primera and postrera harvests will not cover the food consumption deficits of households suffering crop failures for the last two years and reduced incomes due to coffee leaf rust (FEWSNET, 05/2014).
Health and Nutrition
According to the Ministry of Food and Nutritional Security (SESAN), 10,510 children are severely malnourished (Prensa Libre, 02/09/2014). 126,000 children are at high risk of severe acute malnutrition (UN Country Team, 03/09/2014).
As of 6 August, 220 cases of severe malnutrition had been reported in Zacapa department since 20 July (Siglo XXI, 06/08/2014). On 24 July, 58 children had died from causes related to malnutrition in 2014 (Government of Guatemala, 24/07/2014). On 17 July, 17 children under five in Huehuetenango had died of malnutrition in 2014. It is feared that this year’s figures will surpass those of 2013, when 25 children died (Prensa Libre, 17/07/2014).
17 cases of chikungunya have been confirmed since 14 September (Prensa Libre, 22/09/2014).
25 September: 90% of hand pumps in flood-affected areas of Jammu and Kashmir are submerged, non-functional and have muddy water (Caritas).
20–29 September: Flash floods and landslides have killed up to 74 people and displaced 150,000 in Assam and Meghalaya states (OCHA, ECHO).
- Landslides and floods triggered by heavy monsoon rains have left 277 dead. At least 600,000 have been affected and 40,000 left homeless (Times of India 20/09/2014; Christian Aid 09/09/2014; AFP, 10/09/2014).
- The floods have caused extensive damage to livestock, water supply, livelihood, telecommunications and road accessibility, which has hampered relief and rescue operations (IFRC).
Kashmir is a disputed between the Government of India, the Government of Pakistan and Kashmiri insurgent groups, who since the Indo-Pakistan War have fought over control of the area. Pakistan controls the northwest portion (Northern Areas and Azad Kashmir), India controls the central and southern portion (Jammu and Kashmir) and Ladakh, and China controls the northeastern portion (Aksai Chin and Trans-Karakoram Tract). Although thousands have died as a result of this conflict, the situation has become less deadly in recent years. UNHCR- supported elections in 2008 resulted in the creation of a pro-India Jammu and Kashmir National Conference, which has now formed a state government.
On 27–28 August, 15,000 people fled gunfire and shelling near the Line of Control between India and Pakistan, taking refuge in shelters in the Kashmir border. Most have since left the shelters, with 2,000 opting to remain (The Guardian, 28/08/2014). India cancelled talks with Pakistan in August, after Pakistan’s High Commissioner met Kashmiri separatist leaders in New Delhi (International Crisis Group, 01/09/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Assam and Meghalaya
Over 20–29 September, flash floods and landslides killed up to 74 people. Thousands remain stranded by floodwaters (OCHA, 29/09/2014). A total of 150,000 have been displaced to 227 camps. At 26 September, the Brahmaputra River and its tributaries were still flowing above danger levels, and many areas remained inaccessible (ECHO, 26/09/2014).
Jammu and Kashmir
1,949,790 people have been directly affected by flooding, including 543,379 displaced, 67,934 left homeless and 110,000 evacuated (Caritas India, 25/09/2014). Jammu and Kashmir has seen heavy rainfall since 2 September. As of 20 September, landslides and floods triggered by heavy monsoon rains have left close to 277 dead (OCHA, 15/09/2014; Times of India, 20/09/2014).
The most affected areas are Srinagar, Anantnag, Baramulla, Pulwama, Ganderbal, Kulgam, Budgam, Rajuri, Poonch and Reasi (Corporate Disaster Resource Network, 09/09/2014). Around 137 relief camps are operating in the Kashmir valley assisting over 100,000 people (OCHA, 15/09/2014). More than 250,000 people have been rescued and communication networks have been partially restored (Government, 15/09/2014; Times of India, 18/09/2014). The water has now started to recede, revealing destroyed homes and carcasses in the streets. Work is now concentrating on pumping the stagnant water to prevent the spread of diseases (AFP, 17/09/2014).
The Prime Minister declared a national emergency on 7 September (Sphere India, 12/09/2014). On 14 September, fresh rainfall in the worst-affected areas of Srinagar hampered relief operations. Major parts of Srinagar were already completely submerged (IFRC, 08/09/2014). The floods have swept away the houses of more than 30% of the population living along the river’s path. (SEEDS 08/09/2014).
Major parts of Srinagar were completely submerged (IFRC, 08/09/2014). The floods have swept away the houses of more than 30% of the population living along the river’s path. (SEEDS 08/09/2014). Except for connectivity between Srinagar and north Kashmir's Ganderbal district, all other districts of the valley – including Anantnag, Pulwama, Kulgam, Shopian, Badgam, Baramulla, and Bandipora – were cut off (Spehere India, 23/09/2014).
While the rural poor are the worst affected, the urban poor and middle class families are also struggling to access safe drinking water, proper sanitation facilities, communication, and aid (SEEDS 08/09/2014).
National media reported that Srinagar residents attacked two rescue workers of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), angry that relatives were still waiting to be rescued (NDTV, 10/09/2014). Tensions have been rising as the government’s response has been seen as slow, with allegations of selective rescue (Times of India 11/09/2014).
Around 10-15 villages are still inaccessible Assam and Meghalaya, including Lilehar, Goripura and Bandarpore (Caritas India, 25/09/2014).
People in the affected areas are receiving limited food from neighbouring villages and community groups (Caritas India, 25/09/2014).
Many people affected by flooding are reporting severe gastroenteritis, and fear of an outbreak is high, as the population is vulnerable to waterborne disease (Times of India, 19/09/2014). Medicine and medical supplies are lacking (Times of India, 18/09/2014).
90% of hand pumps in flood-affected villages of Jammu and Kashmir are submerged, non-functional and have muddy water, and piped water is not functional due to electricity failure (Caritas India, 25/09/2014).
22 September: The Jordanian Armed Forces joined US-led airstrikes against Islamic State (IS) targets in northern Syria.
September: Twice as many Iraqi refugees have approached UNHCR for registration in Jordan so far in 2014 compared to 2013, with 100–150 people arriving per day. The majority originate from Baghdad, but an increasing number come from IS-controlled areas in northern Iraq.
- 618,100 Syrian refugees registered with UNHCR (18/09/2014). The influx of refugees has placed enormous pressure on scarce water resources and public services, which has increased tensions between host communities and refugees.
- Operational and protection concerns are growing as the Government of Jordan is increasingly restricting the approval process for humanitarian projects, and infringing the basic protection of refugees, including their right to seek asylum and freedom of movement.
Jordan has remained politically stable, and the economy appears to be recovering from the negative consequences resulting from the Arab Spring. However, this balance remains fragile as the influx of Syrian refugees has overwhelmed public services, particularly health and education, and placed major stress on scarce water supplies. Tension between refugees and host communities have manifested in localised protests, particularly in the northern Mafraq governorate, and negative media portrayals of Syrians, as well as regular reports of discrimination and harassment of refugees.
The Jordanian military has tightly controlled cross-border movements of refugees, commodities, fighters, and weapons to limit spillover of the conflict. However, hundreds of Jordanians are reportedly fighting for opposition groups with links to Al Qaeda, particularly Jabhat al Nusra.
On its social media accounts, the Islamic State (formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL) has threatened to take its jihad to Jordan. In June, a small group demonstrated in Ma’an, southern Jordan, praising IS victories in Iraq. The extremist movement in Jordan is generally dominated by anti-IS groups that support Al Qaeda and its Syrian ally Al Nusra Front, which is an IS rival (AFP, 23/06/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Since mid-2013, the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation has required aid agencies to include Jordanians as 30% of the beneficiary list of all aid programmes targeting Syrian refugees. In recent months, aid agency projects have faced an increased rate of rejection and pressure to increase the proportion of Jordanians targeted for assistance to 50%. The requirement is viewed as an attempt to pressure international donors to channel more resources through government systems and institutions.
Due to its relative stability and central location in a turbulent region, Jordan has historically been a reluctant host to the largest number of refugees in the world, both in terms of absolute numbers and the proportion of refugees to its resident population. Throughout most of its history, Jordan has been inundated by refugees, beginning with the 1948 influx of Palestinian refugees and again in 1967. In 2008, Jordan hosted up to 500,000 Iraqis fleeing sectarian violence and most recently has provided refuge to over 600,000 Syrian refugees.
Jordan hosts the third largest number of Syrian refugees, after Lebanon and Turkey. As of 9 September 2014, about 618,100 Syrian refugees were registered with UNHCR in Jordan. Over 80% of Syrian refugees live in local communities, with the remainder in camps.
About 1,000 Syrian refugees were registered by UNHCR in the period 4–9 September. The peak in new arrivals had been an average of 1,700 daily arrivals between January and April 2013. The Government had stated that the decrease in arrivals was due to obstacles for those trying to reach the border, but human rights groups have documented incidents where Syrians were denied entry by Jordanian authorities.
Refugees in Host Communities
Over 80% of Syrian refugees living outside of camps are located in Amman, Irbid, Mafraq, and Zarqa. Assessments by aid agencies consistently find that the priority need among refugees in host communities is for cash to pay rent. Work permits are cost-prohibitive for refugees, although many Syrians, including children, work in agriculture and construction, despite the protection risks, including arrest and detention. In the northern governorates, about 20% of Syrians live in substandard accommodation, including garages, basements, chicken houses, and tents. Housing has become increasingly overcrowded as resources are depleted. Rental costs have quadrupled in Mafraq, one of the poorest governorates, where refugees now outnumber local residents.
Originally slated to open in mid-2013, Azraq camp in Zarqa governorate opened on 30 April for new arrivals from Syria. As of 1 July, 11,600 refugees were registered by UNHCR in Azraq camp. However, it is believed that only about half this number remains in Azraq due to the isolation and poor living conditions. Many aid workers are concerned about the harsh, hot, and windy climate, long distances to reach services, and the camp’s isolation from livelihood opportunities. At full capacity, Azraq camp will be able to accommodate 130,000 refugees.
Za’atari is the second largest refugee camp in the world, and the equivalent of a new city in Jordan. The lack of security in certain parts of Za’atari camp impedes access to services, particularly for women and girls. Security incidents and protests are frequent. Thousands of refugees have left for other urban centres through both official and unofficial channels. However, authorities have cracked down on unofficial departures in 2014.
About 4,000 Syrians live in the Emirates Jordan Camp (EJC). Known as the “five-star” camp due to its high living standards and extensive support, primarily from the UAE Red Crescent. The camp provides three hot meals each day and caravans for all residents. Despite the improved living standards, a significant number of refugees have also left EJC camp for urban areas or to return to Syria.
Palestinian Refugees from Syria (PRS)
About 14,200 Palestinian refugees from Syria (PRS) have been recorded by UNRWA, which provides cash assistance for vulnerable PRS, who make up the vast majority of the PRS population. About 190 PRS are in the Cyber City facility and are subject to heavy restrictions on movement. Since late 2012, the Government has explicitly stated that it would not allow PRS to enter Jordan. Those who do enter are subject to a number of protection issues, including refoulement, the confiscation of documents and, for those with Jordanian citizenship, de-nationalisation. On 4 August, a government official stated that all Syrian refugees are treated equally, regardless of their origin, adding that Jordan cannot allow those who do not have documents to stay in the country.
The number of Iraqi refugees continues to grow, stretching registration and assistance capacities. UNHCR estimates that it is seeing about 100–150 new refugees each day, nearly matching the number of Syrian arrivals. As of 6 September, about 10,000 Iraqis have registered with UNHCR in 2014, about double the number registered throughout 2013. Like the earlier refugees, the majority originate from Baghdad, however, an increasing number are coming from IS-controlled areas of northern Iraq. UNHCR reported high levels of trauma among new arrivals.
Over 2,000 refugees and asylum seekers from Sudan, Somalia and other countries currently live in Jordan.
A food security assessment by WFP and REACH in July, which covered nearly 8,000 Syrian refugee households in all districts in Jordan, in camps and host communities, found that nearly all Syrian refugee households in Jordan receive food assistance. Of those assessed, 6% were rated as food insecure, 42% as vulnerable to food insecurity and 52% as food secure. It also found that 74% of Syrian refugee households cited WFP vouchers as their main source of income and that 85% would not have sufficient access to food if WFP ceased assistance. WFP plans to reduce the total number of refugees receiving vouchers by 10% in September.
The 2013/14 rains were only 77% of the long-term annual average, leading to a reduction in underground water reserves and a marked increase in underground water salinity in some well fields. This situation is unfortunately expected to result in increased stress on the existing water resources (UNICEF/REACH, 31/04/2014).
Since early 2014, the Government appears to be implementing a more rigorous approach to its encampment policy of Syrian refugees. The re-verification process, which aims to ensure that complete biometric data is recorded for all registered refugees, has also led to cases of refoulement by the Jordanian authorities. The joint Government–UNHCR re-verification process began in Za’atari in late 2013 and was completed in June 2014, with the process then rolled out to police stations, to check non-camp refugees, with Jordanian authorities leading the process and very limited UNHCR presence.
On 14 July, Jordanian authorities notified UNHCR that it is not permitted to register refugees in urban areas if they have left the camps unofficially, outside of the ‘bailout’ process. Refugees who have approached UNHCR for documents to access services in urban areas must now show official bailout documentation in order to obtain an appointment. An estimated 200,000 Syrian refugees have left the camps unofficially. Without official documentation to live outside of the camps, refugees are unable to access public services or receive WFP food vouchers.
According to Jordan’s sharia courts, which are responsible for legally registering marriages, the proportion of early marriages of Syrian girls (between the age of 15-17) among all registered Syrian marriages has increased from 12% in 2011 to 25% in 2013. In the first quarter of 2014, about 32% of all registered Syrian marriages were classified as early marriages. Both UNICEF and SCI reports found that early marriage was perceived as a form of security among Syrian refugees, given financial difficulties and the general sense of insecurity as refugees. Both agencies also reported that some Syrians used early marriage to circumnavigate GoJ restrictions, such as the bailout rules in the camps (which require a close relative for sponsorship), as well as those which bar single males from entering the Kingdom.
According to recent assessments, at least 7,000 refugees were residing in informal tented settlements (ITS) in five governorates in June. The vast majority originate from outside Dar’a governorate and left Za’atari camp due to conflicts with powerholders from Dar’a. In December 2013, authorities in Mafraq evicted without notice several hundred households living on public land and told the refugees that they had to enter Za’atari camp immediately. This policy seems to have been implemented again, with even broader interpretation. According to sources, about 1,270 residents of two settlements located on private land in southeast Amman were evicted in the early hours of 28 June and forced to move to Azraq camp. Evictees reported that up to six people had been forcibly returned to Syria. Unlike previous evictions, the residents were not allowed to identify other options, such as finding non-camp housing to rent. Officially, humanitarian actors are not allowed to provide any services during Government evictions, regardless of the nature of the intervention.
An estimated 3,800 defectors from the Syrian armed forces are being held at military premises in Mafraq with no freedom of movement. The government has not permitted UNHCR to conduct status determination for these people, although the ICRC has had access to this group.
24 September: Lebanon’s interior minister said for that the Government was not opposed to a prisoner swap with the Islamic State (IS) and Al Nusra Front, as families of kidnapped soldiers blocked a major highway between Beirut and the Bekaa Valley (Daily Star).
24 September: Armed fighters opened fire at army posts in Tripoli (Daily Star).
21 September: A suicide car bomber reportedly killed three people at a Hezbollah checkpoint in the Bekaa Valley, 5km from the Syria border near the town of Khreibeh (Al Jazeera).
19 September: A third kidnapped soldier was killed. IS and Al Nusra Front are said to be holding at least 21 captives. IS has asked for the release of Islamists detained in Roumieh prison, while Al Nusra Front are demanding protection for Syrian refugees and the opening of a safe passage for civilians into and out of Aarsal. (Daily Star/ Al Jazeera).
19 September: Two Lebanese soldiers were killed by a roadside bomb near Aarsal, in the first such attack since conflict in August. The army later used heavy weapons to target Syrian opposition positions around Aarsal (Al Jazeera).
- 1,163,500 Syrians are registered as refugees in Lebanon and 27,500 are awaiting registration, as of 23 September. More than 78% are women and children (53% children) (UNHCR 01/07/2014). Over 53,000 Palestinian refugees from Syria have been recorded by UNRWA.
- 77% of refugee children are under the age of 11 and 25% are at risk; 16% of refugees are aged 15–24 (UNHCR 06/2014, UNFPA 06/08/2014)
- Lebanon will need USD 1.6 billion to cope with the humanitarian situation this year; as of 1 June, only 23% had been raised. (UNHCR 03/07/2014)
- Shelter is a critical problem: as of 10 July, over 173,000 refugees are living in 1,259 informal tented settlements (UNHCR).
- Vulnerability has increased since late 2013: UN mapping indicates 242 most vulnerable localities, where 68% of Lebanese reside on less than USD 4 per day with 86% of registered Syrian refugees.
Lebanon has the highest per capita concentration of refugees worldwide. While the country struggles to deal with the refugee influx, which exceeds a quarter of the Lebanese population, tensions between host and refugee populations are increasing due to pressure on health and education systems, housing, employment, and food price hikes. The World Bank estimates that the Syria crisis cost Lebanon USD 2.5 billion in lost economic activity during 2013 and threatens to push 170,000 Lebanese into poverty by the end of 2014.
National Political Context
Lawmakers have failed to convene and elect a new president for lack of a quorum. Former president Michel Sleiman’s term expired on 25 May, leaving Lebanon without a head of state. March 8 bloc lawmakers, which include Hezbollah, have boycotted numerous rounds of voting, arguing that the sessions are futile until rival groups agree on a consensus candidate.
A new Government was formed on 15 February after ten months of political stalemate. The new Government brings together the Hezbollah movement and its allies, and the Future Movement bloc, who back opposing sides in the Syria war. Neither side has veto power over the other.
In 2013, Lebanon’s real GDP growth rate was just 0.9%, even lower than the 1.6% recorded in 2006 during the conflict with Israel. The public debt: GDP ratio in 2013 was 141%, reversing the declining trend of previous years (WFP 07/08/2014).
On 24 September, armed fighters opened fire at army posts in Tripoli (Daily Star 25/09/2014).
On 21 September suicide car bomber reportedly killed three people at a Hezbollah checkpoint in the Bekaa Valley, 5km from the Syria border near the town of Khreibeh (Al Jazeera 21/09/2014).
On 19 September, two Lebanese soldiers were killed by a roadside bomb near Aarsal. This was the first such attack since conflict in August, and the army later targeted Syrian opposition positions around Aarsal (Al Jazeera 21/09/2014, OCHA 02/09/2014). Heavy fighting took place between the Lebanese army and armed groups in Aarsal in the first week of August. The situation remains tense, with renewed fighting on 27 August, as well as reports of air raids along the border.
A major point of tension is the number of Lebanese soldiers abducted. IS and Al Nusra Front are said to be holding at least 21 captives. A third kidnapped soldier has been killed. IS has asked for the release of Islamists detained in Roumieh prison, while Al Nusra Front are demanding protection for Syrian refugees and the opening of a safe passage for civilians into and out of Aarsal. Following the news of the third soldier’s death, angry residents near the soldier's hometown kidnapped Sunnis from a neighbouring village. On 24 September, Lebanon’s interior minister said for the first time that the Government was not opposed to a prisoner swap, as families of the kidnapped soldiers brought the country to a standstill by blocking a major highway between Beirut and the Bekaa Valley (Daily Star 24/09/2014, Al Jazeera 21/09/2014).
In July clashes broke out between Hezbollah and Syrian opposition in an un-demarcated area of the border between Aarsal and Qalamoun in Syria. Between 16 April and 31 May, over 45 rockets and shells, most allegedly fired from Syrian territory, landed in Bekaa and some in Akkar. The Al Qaeda-affiliated Abdullah Azzam Brigades announced that the attacks will continue until Hezbollah withdraws from the conflict in Syria. The first major clashes between Lebanese Hezbollah fighters and Syrian opposition fighters inside Lebanese territory were reported in June 2013.
On 11 July, unidentified armed fighters began launching rockets from southern Lebanese territory towards Israel, prompting Israeli retaliatory shelling.
Refugee–Host Community Violence
The kidnapping and murder of Lebanese soldiers by fighters from Syria has sparked a backlash. Individuals and municipalities across the country have taken retaliatory measures against Syrian refugees, including beatings and evictions. In some areas, tents in informal camps have been set alight. Hundreds of Syrians in the Bekaa valley have fled their settlements (AFP 09/09/2014). In Aarsal, attempts to provide humanitarian assistance have led to hostility between the local community and assistance providers, including with respect to assistance to Lebanese (UNHCR 10/08/2014).
86% of Syrian refugees are living in Lebanon’s 242 most vulnerable locations, sharing scarce resources. Wages and work opportunities have been reduced and social services cannot cope. A perception that Syrian refugees get preferential treatment, perhaps due to humanitarian assistance directly targeting them, is adding to friction.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
The UN estimates that Lebanon will need USD 1.6 billion in funding to cope with the humanitarian situation this year; as of 9 August, only 36% has been raised (UNHCR 03/07/2014, 10/9/2014)
Refugees live in 1,700–1,750 different locations in Lebanon, making the delivery of humanitarian assistance challenging (UNHCR 13/09/2014).
As of 5 September, insecurity continues to impede humanitarian access to Aarsal (UNHCR 09/09/2014). Insecurity in parts of Bekaa, especially North Bekaa, where many refugees are living, has at times challenged humanitarian access (OCHA 28/08/2014).
In Southern Lebanon, access and movement have at times been affected by the security measures implemented by local authorities, communities, and other groups (OCHA 28/08/2014).
Refugees from Syria
As of 23 September, over 1,163,500 Syrians are registered as refugees in Lebanon and nearly 27,500 are awaiting registration. 78% are women and children. The number of Syrians in Lebanon who are not registered with UNHCR is unknown. Refugees reside in over 1,700 locations. Bekaa is hosting the largest number of refugees.
More than half of refugees coming to Lebanon have moved at least once before crossing the border; one in ten have moved more than three times (UNHCR 01/09/2014).
Palestinian refugees from Syria: An August assessment indicates the presence of 42,000 Palestinian refugees from Syria (PRS) in Lebanon (UNRWA cited by OCHA 01/09/2014).
1,000 Iraqi refugees have entered Lebanon and registered with UNHCR since June, but Social Affairs Minister Rashid Derbas considers the number to be much higher. 7,000 people had arrived before June (Daily Star 27/08/2014).
An IOM survey of Lebanese returnees from Syria indicated that 13% have specific needs such as injury, serious medical conditions, or disability. 65% of households reported living in apartments and independent houses; 27% live in single-room structures, warehouses, garages, or unfinished buildings; 4% live in informal settlements and collective shelters; the remainder are classified as homeless. Half of those surveyed had experienced lack of food or money to buy food within the last 30 days (OCHA 01/09/2014).
All 446 host communities surveyed in August perceived access to water, waste water management systems, affordable housing, and employment opportunities as insufficient or inadequate. More developed urban locations enjoy higher levels of connectivity to public infrastructure and services than rural communities. In Akkar, surveyed communities’ main concerns were inadequate access to water, wastewater management, and electricity. In Bekaa, health services and livelihoods were additional concerns. Water supply and availability of affordable housing were high priorities in Mount Lebanon and Beirut. In Tripoli governorate, water, wastewater management, and affordable housing topped the list of priorities, along with livelihoods. In southern Lebanon, communities also mentioned the lack of electricity. Findings highlight the need to address shortcomings in public service delivery and infrastructure in order to enhance levels of social cohesion (OCHA 01/09/2014).
Refugees make up one-third of the population of Akkar governorate, where 63% of the host population lives below the poverty line. Competition for scarce income-generating opportunities, more expensive goods and services, and less affordable accommodation, are all creating tension (REACH 05/08/2014).
Due to a funding shortfall, in October, the value of the WFP monthly electronic voucher will be reduced from USD 30 to USD 20 per person. Food parcels for new arrivals and vouchers for Palestinian refugees will be discontinued (WFP 18/09/2014).
Monitoring in August indicates that 27% of new Syrian refugees have poor to borderline food consumption scores (UNHCR 14/08/2014).
As of August, almost 13% of households were classified as moderately or severely food insecure. Nearly 68% of households reported having reduced the number of meals (VASyR 10/08/2014).
Agriculture and Markets
Aggregate cereal consumption has increased from 0.9 million metric tons a year (2004–2008) to 1.2 million, but the supply side has not responded: national grain production has remained stagnant at just under 200,000 metric tons over the past decade (WFP 07/08/2014). 85% of cereal requirements are imported.
A severe drought has resulted in a substantial decline in agricultural production throughout the country. The most affected products are fruits and vegetables, for which prices have increased (Inter Press Service 23/07/2014).
77% of refugee households were found to rely on non-agricultural casual labour and debts or loans. Approximately 80% of households borrowed money or received credit and/or money to buy food (VASyR 10/08/2014). In assessments carried out between January and March, 68% of refugee households reported that WFP vouchers were their main source of income. 17% of households reported exchanging their e-cards for cash to cover rent, health/medicine and to buy other types of food (WFP 07/09/2014).
28% of Syrian refugee households resorted to emergency coping strategies in 2014, up from 22% in 2013, according to preliminary results of the 2014 VASyR. Between 70% and 91% of Syrian refugee households are in debt (MSNA 05/2014). Half of households had debts amounting to USD 400 or more (WFP 28/07/2014).
UNHCR reports that newcomers arriving in 2014 are in general more vulnerable, having spent their savings and assets while in Syria and finding conditions more difficult on arrival: 39% of refugees surveyed in July were unemployed for over 12 months in Syria before fleeing to Lebanon; 65% stated their standard of living in Lebanon deteriorated compared to Syria (UNHCR 13/09/2014).
Unemployment in border areas hosting Syrian refugees has doubled since the refugee influx (Reuters 03/07/2014). As of May, unemployment rates among Lebanese ranged from 58% in Wadi Khaled, to 44% in Sahel Akkar, and 23% in Bekaa (Save the Children 27/05/2014). Most working Syrians endure harsh conditions, and the average monthly income for a Syrian refugee in Lebanon is almost 40% less than the national minimum wage (ILO).
Palestinian refugees from Syria: More than 37% of PRS have reported cash and food aid as their main source of income (UNRWA, 03/2014). The majority of employed PRS cannot rely on wages to ensure a decent standard of living. Only 11% of PRS households were able to rely on previous saving and remittances.
Health and Nutrition
The Rafic Hariri primary healthcare centre needs structural repair after being damaged during the violence around Aarsal (UNICEF 22/08/2014).
72% of primary health centres assessed by UNICEF lack sufficient essential drugs, 67% lack sufficient medication for chronic diseases, and 49% lack sufficient antibiotics for children (UNICEF 22/08/2014).
Many refugees still find it difficult to cover the costs of medical treatment; distance is also a barrier to accessing healthcare. High costs, coupled with unhygienic living conditions, have resulted in a rise in waterborne diseases amongst the refugee population in Lebanon.
A recent needs assessment conducted by ACTED in Beirut and Mount Lebanon highlighted the frequent occurrence of diarrhoea and scabies among refugees, with children particularly affected (UNHCR 10/08/2014).
Palestinian refugees from Syria: Almost 75% of PRS children aged between six months and five years were sick in the two weeks prior to the UNRWA survey in March. 42% of surveyed households had at least one member who required hospitalisation. More than a quarter (27%) of households reported at least one pregnant or breastfeeding woman within the household. Households living outside the refugee camps access UNRWA’s health services less frequently than households in the camps (UNRWA, 03/2014).
Between 21 May and 20 June, 77 of 16,531 Syrian refugee children under five were diagnosed as moderately malnourished; 25 were severely malnourished without complications (UNICEF 22/08/2014).
Palestinian refugees from Syria: 91% of PRS children did not meet the minimum acceptable meal frequency levels and 86% did not have acceptable dietary diversity.
Around 300,000 displaced Syrians are estimated to be most vulnerable to mental health concerns, 60% of them being women and children (WHO 16/07/2014).
Lebanon is now considered one of the top 13 countries with high polio vulnerability (Global Polio Eradication Initiative). Lebanon has been polio-free for 12 years.
33% of refugee households do not have drinking water, compared to 28% in 2013. Approximately 12% of households (twice the percentage in 2013) do not have access to a place for washing/bathing, and of those who had access, over 7% were sharing bathrooms and latrines with 15 people or more (VASyR 10/08/2014). Demand for water has increased 7% due to the refugee influx (UNHCR 01/07/2014).
In Aarsal, 544 latrines in informal settlements and communal shelters were destroyed during recent fighting, as was 623,000 litres of water storage capacity in informal settlements. 1.3 million litres are needed to meet standards (UNHCR 19/08/2014).
WASH conditions are worse for Syrian refugees living in informal settlements, and for Syrian refugees in difficult-to-access locations in the Bekaa Valley and the north. 26,000 PRS are also considered to be among those most in need of WASH assistance (UNHCR 01/07/2014).
2014 is likely to be the driest year in 100 years. Average rainfall in 2014 is estimated at 470mm, far below annual averages of 824mm, according to the Rafik Hariri International Airport Meteorological Department (Inter Press Service 23/07/2014). Ageing and inefficient water systems result in over 50% water loss through leakage (UNHCR 14/08/2014).
Waste management: The lack of adequate sanitation is a particular concern in buildings and settlements that were not originally intended as living spaces. In informal settlements, wastewater is not properly evacuated (UNHCR 01/07/2014).
Housing is the most serious concern for most refugees both in terms of quality and monthly cost (UN Habitat 09/08/2014, VASyR 10/08/2014). 59% of refugee households live in apartments and independent houses, while 41% live in tents, collective shelters, unfinished constructions, and garages; 14% live in tented settlements.
The Government agreed on 11 September to establish camps along the Syria–Lebanon border to accommodate approximately 20,000 Syrians (UNHCR 19/09/2014).
As of 1 September, 1,392 informal settlements house 186,243 refugees. This is a vast increase on 282 informal settlements in June 2012 (UNHCR 03/09/2014, UNHCR 27/07/2014). Akkar has over 300 settlements of four or more tents, and the Bekaa 700. Threats of and actual evictions are growing: a recent assessment of the 200 largest informal settlements in Bekaa revealed an increase in potential eviction cases (OCHA 16/07/2014). The multi-sectoral assessment of informal settlements in Bekaa indicates congestion, low quality drainage systems, and great need for repairs.
Shelter is the primary reason for widespread secondary displacement (MSNA 05/2014). Only 10% of registered Syrian refugees possess a written rent agreement.
Aarsal: According to initial assessments, the shelters of 822 Syrian families in 14 informal settlements and seven families from a collective shelter were affected by the recent fighting (UNHCR 21/08/2014). General rehabilitation of damaged shelters in informal settlements, and especially in residential areas, was not advised by the municipality as the delivery of shelter materials could aggravate social tensions (UNHCR 26/08/2014).
Palestinian refugees from Syria: An assessment of all 42 unofficial Palestinian communities in Lebanon, or ‘gatherings’, found the population to have increased from 110,000 to 140,000 since 2011: 26,000 are Palestinian refugees from Syria. Pressure on already inadequate basic services has increased. Shelter needs are a priority, with many housing units in need of intervention (OCHA 01/09/2014).
PRS households are residing in alarmingly crowded dwellings, with an average of 4.6 persons per bedroom; 8.4 people on average share one bathroom. Most households (71%) reported paying rent for shelter. Slightly over a quarter of households (27%) were hosted free of charge.
Lebanese returnees: Some 50,000 Lebanese nationals are expected to return from Syria by the end of 2014, with the majority obliged to rent or live with host families. At least 51% are shelter insecure and require assistance to cover rental costs or shelter repair (UNHCR 01/07/2014).
462,300 school-age children are in need of education assistance. The Lebanese education system is predominantly private, and the Syrian influx has increased demand on the limited public school places by almost 134% (UNHCR 01/07/2014).
The enrolment rate of Syrian refugee children is approximately 20%, and the dropout rate in Lebanese public schools is approximately 70% (UNHCR 01/07/2014; Middle East Research and Information Project 07/09/2014). Language barriers and safety concerns contribute to this high dropout rate. Transportation is another need. Child protection actors report that bullying and violence in schools are causing high tensions and resulting in children dropping out (UNHCR 18/07/2014). Since the beginning of 2014, more than 48,651 children have been enrolled in non-formal education classes (UNHCR 01/09/2014).
6% of Syrian refugees aged 15–24 years are enrolled in education in Lebanon; representing just 16% of those who had been studying in Syria (UNFPA 05/08/2014).
Aarsal: The clashes resulted in substantial damage to three UNICEF learning spaces, affecting the education activities of 600 children (UNICEF 22/08/2014)
Palestinian refugees from Syria: School enrolment rates have doubled since the last academic year, to 64%. Most PRS children are enrolled in UNRWA schools, which are predominantly located within refugee camps, resulting in lower enrolment rates for those outside camps. Enrolment rates decrease as a child’s age increases (even within the same household): children aged 13 years and older are facing difficulties adjusting to UNRWA’s Lebanese curriculum, taught in English or French.
Restrictions on freedom of movement due to security checkpoints, curfews, and lack of identification expose refugees to many vulnerabilities (UNHCR 13/09/2014).
Only Syrians with valid and undamaged identification cards or passports can enter Lebanon. While most Syrians are granted access, there is a reported increase in arrests and detentions of Syrians for illegal entry and stay (UNHCR). An average of 13% of registered refugees have entered through unofficial border crossings and are not able to pay the prohibitive regularisation fees. Many of those who have entered through official crossings have difficulties meeting the residency renewal fees (UNHCR 13/09/2014).
On 31 May, Lebanon’s Interior Minister announced that displaced Syrians registered with UNHCR must refrain from entering Syria from 1 June, or they will lose their status as refugees in Lebanon.
Since May, PRS entry to Lebanon has been almost entirely limited to those transiting to a third country. The restrictions on entry and visa renewal mean that an increasing number of PRS remain in Lebanon without legal stay. They face an array of protection concerns, including limits on their freedom of movement and ability to complete essential civil registration procedures such as birth registration (OCHA 01/09/2014).
Statelessness: Stateless refugees in Lebanon include Syrian Kurds who were denaturalised in Syria in 1962. Between March 2011 and July 2014, 31,879 Syrian refugees have been born in Lebanon and, according to a January survey, 72% do not possess an official birth certificate (UNHCR 13/09/2014).
Mines and ERW
Lebanon has nearly 1,400 confirmed minefields and 520 cluster munitions strike areas, including in areas hosting refugees. In March, refugees were living within 10–20m of known minefields in West Bekka and Rashaya (Mine Action Group).
Sexual and Gender-based Violence
Unaccompanied girls and adolescents, single heads of households, child mothers and spouses, and women and girls living with disabilities are among the most at risk of SGBV. 25% of survivors of reported SGBV cases are under 18 years of age (UNHCR 13/09/2014).
Scarce economic opportunities coupled with high costs of living lead some families to negative coping mechanisms including early marriage, child labour, survival sex. Refugee women in Lebanon report that fear of sexual harassment and exploitation has restricted their mobility (UNFPA 13/08/2014).
A weak legal framework, limited resources, and social barriers prevent refugees at risk of SGBV, or victims, from seeking and receiving adequate protection. Other challenges include lack of documentation, overcrowding, and growing tension between refugees and host communities.
There are no official statistics on child marriage, which exists in some areas; but the rate has risen with the influx of Syrian refugees, according to a UNICEF child protection expert (AFP 28/08/2014).
Child labour is reported to be increasing across the country, and children are engaging in dangerous forms of work. There is a noted increase of unaccompanied or separated children amongst working children. Within Mount Lebanon, there are reports of men approaching girls on the streets. Increased restrictions on visa renewals and entry into Lebanon of Palestinian refugees from Syria is also increasing concerns about the impact on children (UNHCR 18/07/2014).
No significant updates this week, 24/09/2014. Last update 01/09/2014.
- More than 100,000 people are in need of food assistance and over half a million people are at risk of food insecurity from June to December 2014 (Food and Nutrition Security working group, 22/07/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
117,600 people are affected by a food security crisis and around 557,900 people in rural areas are at risk of food insecurity (Food and Nutrition Security Working Group 22/07/2014).
The northern regions have been worst affected, with the largest number of food insecure in Kavango and Ohangwena. Households have employed negative coping strategies, including reducing the numbers of meals and increasing consumption of wild foods.
Agriculture and Markets
National cereal production is provisionally forecast at 122,390 metric tons, an increase of 50% from last season's harvest but still 2% below average (OCHA, 19/05/2014). Maize production is expected to increase by nearly 70%. The millet harvest is expected to increase by 48%. Pasture and livestock conditions have also improved in most parts of the country this year.
Crop harvest between 16-22 September decreased by 20-50% compared to the same period in 2013, while agricultural labour employment opportunities were reduced by 40-65%. Targeted livestock feed subsidies and temporary relocation of rural farmers’ livestock, along with provision of water for livestock is needed in most drought-affected areas (OCHA, 23/09/2014). In May, water deficits have continued to negatively impact pasture development in the northwestern region of Kuene (FAO, 19/05/2014). OCHA indicated that 40–50% of water points no longer function.
Cattle from drought-affected regions Kwanza Sul and Benguela in Angola are reportedly crossing the border in search of food, fuelling tribal tensions.
Health and Nutrition
As of July, GAM among children under five is at 7%, while 15% of the population is underweight (OCHA, 25/07/2014).
Nepal Country Analysis
No significant developments this week, 24/09/2014. Last update: 11/09/2014
125,000 people affected by landslides and massive flooding in August caused by heavy monsoon rains in 21 districts (IFRC, 08/09/2014)
Humanitarian Context and Needs
The monsoon season had a normal start until early August, when heavy rains created massive landslides in Jure, Mankhaa village, Sindhupalchowk district, killing 134 people. Mid-August rains caused further flooding and several landslides in 21 districts, the majority of the in the mid-west. 225,000 people were affected, but the number decreased to 125,000 as waters receded (IFRC, 08/09/2014). As of 11 September, the death toll had risen to 180, with 17,000 still displaced (GDACS).
A two-kilometre dam created by August's landslides in Sindhupalchowk district, which blocked the Sunkhosi River, burst on 7 September, damaging homes as far as 6km downstream (National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 18/09/2014).
Landslides have blocked Arniko highway, the main trade route between China and Nepal, hampering access to affected areas (International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, 04/08/2014).
The submerging of a hydropower station led to a 10% decrease in electricity generating capacity and caused power shortages across the country, according to media reports (National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 18/09/2014).
No new developments this week. Last update: 10/09/2014.
- Over 245,900 people have been affected by heavy rainfall and flooding across Paraguay (WFP, 07/08/2014).
- Paraguay is prone to a variety of natural disasters, particularly seasonal floods and droughts.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
The National Emergency Secretariat asked 50,000 IDPs, who have been living in shelters in Asunción for the last three months, not to return to their homes, as heavy rains were forecast for the coming days (local media, 03/09/2014).
245,900 people in 11 provinces were affected by flooding in June. As of early August, 83,500 people (17,000 families) remained displaced (WFP, 07/08/2014).
Rural residents in eight departments were displaced, crops were lost, homes inundated, and roads blocked. Several health centres lost equipment and sustained structural damage, which, along with access problems caused by road closures, compromised their ability to sustain health service delivery. Lack of access to safe water and inadequate sanitary conditions increase disease risks (WHO & PAHO, 23/08/2014).
Outlook: The level of the Paraguay River reached its highest level on 10 July, at 7.38m. Water levels may rise again with the beginning of the rainy season in October. El Niño is also likely to start at the same time (local media, 03/09/2014).
24 September: A hazardous eruption of Mayon Volcano is possible within weeks. 53,350 people (11,545 families) in two cities and five municipalities of Albay province were moved to 50 evacuation centres (Government, 24/09/2014).
18–23 September: More than 300,000 people have been affected by Typhoon Kalmaegi (IFRC, 23/09/2014). Five Pangasinan towns were declared to in a state of calamity in Luzon’s northern provinces. 236,175 people were affected in Dagupan City (Government, 18/09/2014).
18–22 September: As of 22 September 2014, Tropical Storm Fung-Wong (known locally as Mario) has left at least 16 people dead, 16 injured, and four missing. 1.8 million people (400,410 families) have been affected across 27 provinces, with some 63,000 people (14,855 families) currently accommodated in 261 evacuation centres (IFRC, 22/09/2014; Government, 25/09/2014). People have begun returning home.
- A shortage of viable evacuation centres in areas hit by Typhoon Haiyan will leave survivors without alternative accommodation if another typhoon hits during this season (IRIN 23/06/2014).
- The Philippines is one of the most hazard-prone countries in the world, experiencing several large-scale natural hazards a year.
- In November 2013, Typhoon Haiyan affected over 14.1 million people (OCHA).
A series of natural disasters, most significantly Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013, has caused widespread damage across the Philippines and affected millions.
The overall political situation is relatively stable, and the Philippine authorities are finalising a peace deal with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the biggest Muslim insurgent movement in Mindanao. However, various breakaway armed groups continue the insurgency.
Since October 2012, the Government has been engaged in finalising a lengthy peace process with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the country’s largest Muslim separatist group. However, the historic peace settlement, signed in March, is at risk of falling apart as Muslim insurgents accuse the Government of going back on its word over a proposed law to create self-rule for the war-torn region of Mindanao. A new draft bill to create the autonomous region, was submitted to the president by the joint rebel and government negotiators committee in late August as per international media reports.
The Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, signed 27 March, ended four decades of fighting that has claimed over 150,000 lives. It provides for the creation of a new autonomous region to replace the current Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). Under this deal, MILF will cease as an armed opposition force and reform into a political group, which will rule the newly established region by 2016. The draft legislation for Bangsamoro was submitted to Congress in September (AP, 10/09/2014).
However, the peace deal excludes important stakeholders: the hardline Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), which split from MILF in 2009; the Al Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf and Khalifa Islmiyah Mindanao.
Splinter groups on Mindanao and smaller neighbouring islands continue their violent opposition to the Government. In May, the Government and MILF announced the creation of regulatory bodies to oversee the peace process.
The MILF has condemned extremist jihadists in Iraq and Syria, vowing to stop their spread into the Philippines. Abu Sayyaf and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) have recently vowed allegiance to Islamic State (AFP 28/08/2014).
Insurgents and Counterinsurgency Operations
In August, five were injured by a bomb explosion in Cotobato city (Government 20/08/2014).
Abu Sayyaf has about 300 armed fighters who are split into several factions. On 28 July, 21 people were killed and 11 wounded by Abu Sayyaf militants in Talipao on Jolo island, according to international media. Abu Sayyaf holds about ten hostages, according to international media in July.
On 11 September, two soldiers and an unknown number of BIFF fighters were killed during clashes in North Cotabato, SOCCSKSARGEN (VOA; AFP, 11/09/2014).
BIFF split from MILF in 2008. Eighteen people were killed in one day due to fighting between the Philippine army and BIFF in Maguindanao in July. Over 300 families fled the violence (IRIN 22/07/2014). Fighting in January displaced 11,000 people and killed 53 (OCHA).
In September and October 2013, a Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) faction led by Nur Misuari assaulted the southern city of Zamboanga in western Mindanao Island, igniting three weeks of fighting. Zamboanga has a mixed Christian and Muslim population and the attacks were largely seen as an attempt to sabotage peace talks between authorities and MILF. Officials estimated that 202 were killed in the fighting, including over 160 militants, and 324 injured. 140,000 were displaced (UNHCR).
New People’s Army
Sixteen people were killed in southern Mindanao on 15 July as a result of clashes between the New People’s Army, the armed wing of the Communist Party, and armed tribesmen (AFP 15/07/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Insecurity in parts of Mindanao and nearby areas is limiting humanitarian access. Concurrent natural disasters have hampered further aid delivery to affected populations.
Prolonged dry spells and strong storms are expected to impact the country in 2014, as it braces for what could be its worst El Niño in 17 years. The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration has also warned of strong tropical cyclones when the rainy season begins in June, with the peak of El Niño’s impact expected in the last quarter of 2014 or early 2015 (OCHA, 31/05/2014).
A hazardous eruption of Mayon Volcano is possible within weeks; alert Level 3 was declared on 24 September. 53,350 people (11,545 families) in two cities and five municipalities of Albay province were moved to 50 evacuation centres (Government, 24/09/2014).
Tropical Cyclone Fung-Wung
As of 22 September, Tropical Storm Fung-Wong (known locally as Mario) has left at least 16 people dead, 16 injured, and four missing. 1.8 million people (400,410 families) have been affected across 27 provinces, with some 63,000 people (14,855 families) accommodated in 261 evacuation centres (IFRC, 22/09/2014; Government, 25/09/2014). Families have begun to return home (IFRC, 22/09/2014; Government, 25/09/2014).
426 houses were reportedly totally damaged. 503 areas in Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Pangansinan and La Union in Ilocos Region Region I and Pampanga and Bulacan in Central Luzon are still flooded (Government, 24/09/2014).
On 14 September, Typhoon Kalmaegi (known in the Philippines as Luis) made landfall in northern Luzon, causing flash floods and landslides. As of 23 September, more than 300,000 people had been affected (IFRC, 23/09/2014). 236,175 people were affected in Dagupan City. On 18 September, five Pangasinan towns were declared to be in a state of calamity. (Government, 18/09/2014). As of 15 September, three people had been killed, three injured, and 17,633 people were displaced (ECHO, 15/09/2014).
Floods in Mindanao
In late August over 5,532 families in Tulutan and 688 families in Pikit (Cotobato province, ARMM region) were affected by flash floods caused by heavy rains. 3,770 people have also been affected in Cagayan de Oro city (ECHO, 04/09/2014). Supplies for schools and health centres have been damaged (Government 02/09/2014). Heavy rainfall since 25 August led to flooding and three landslides in eastern Maguindanao, affecting 79,000 people (OCHA 01/09/2014).
Already by mid-July, over 160,000 people had been affected by floods in Maguindanao province and in some areas of North Cotabato province (OCHA, 14/07/2014).
In August, some 15,769 people were affected and two killed by Typhoon Halong in Pangasinan, Ilocos Norte, and Bataan; rice crops were damaged in Pangasinan (ILOCOS region), and road access was affected in some areas (Government 08/08/2014).
Over 1.6 million people were affected after Typhoon Rammasun hit the Philippines on 15–16 July, leaving 97 dead and 460 injured. 28,795 houses were destroyed and 89,486 partially damaged) (OCHA 22/07/2014). Crops, fisheries and agricultural facilities also suffered damage. A state of calamity was declared in the regions of Cagayan Valley, CALABARZON and Eastern Visayas (NDRRMC 22/07/2014)
24,000 remain displaced ten months after Category 5 Typhoon Haiyan, locally known as Yolanda, made landfall on the east of the Philippines on 8 November 2013. It was one of the strongest storms in recorded history. 6,201 people were reported killed and over 28,600 injured. 14.1 million people were affected (OCHA): 5.9 million in Central Visayas, 3.9 million in Eastern Visayas, 466,000 in MIMAROPA, and 70,000 in Caraga. Authorities reported that 550,000 houses were destroyed. According to initial government estimates, the cost of rebuilding houses, schools, roads, and bridges could reach USD 5.8 billion.
IDPs in Maguindanao
By late August 1,135 families were displaced in Sultan Sa Baronguis Mangui in Maguindanao, as result of violent confrontations between two different MILF armed groups (Government 01/09/2014). In July and early August, 2,875 people were affected by conflict between an armed group and government forces in Maguindanao. 1,150 were living in one evacuation centre (Government 09/08/2014).
In Basilan, ARMM, seven were killed and over 5,250 displaced as a result of fighting between Palaman and Sandiki groups (Government 07/08/2014).
Disease outbreaks in the camps for people displaced by violence in Zamboanga have left about 160 evacuees dead, many of them children, and sanitary conditions are a major concern (OCHA, 09/09/2014). Around 40,000 remain homeless one year after fighting between an MNLF faction and the army (IRIN, 10/09/2014). Mainly ethnic Moro, 15,130 people were in evacuation centres and 9,790 in transit centres at the end of August (OCHA 02/09/2014).
On 5 September, the first camp, Cawa-Cawa Boulevard, closed, and evacuees have been transferred to transitional shelters (Government, 08/09/2014). 15,800 IDPs will be transferred to temporary sites while waiting for permanent accommodation (OCHA 07/07/2014). The Government have said that the two largest camps in Zamboanga city will be closed between July and December.
Over 24,000 people remain displaced ten months after typhoon Haiyan struck. They are living in 64 sites, including tent cities and makeshift camps in flood-prone coastal areas. The risk of deteriorating public health is increased with the onset of the 2014 typhoon season.
In early July, the Government announced the official recovery and rehabilitation phase for the Haiyan affected areas. IOM and the Philippines Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) have signed a partnership agreement to construct additional transitional shelters for Haiyan survivors in the Eastern Visayas region (IOM 26/08/2014).
Rehabilitation of people affected by Typhoon Haiyan is being delayed due to mixed messages about “no-build zones” in coastal areas and the time taken to develop multi-hazard mapping for areas devastated by the typhoon (IRIN 18/07/2014).
Health and Nutrition
205 deaths and 45,591 dengue cases had been recorded in 2014 by 16 August, a significant decrease on the same period in 2013, when over 80,800 cases had been reported (WHO 09/09/2014).
Food security concerns remain due to high prices and the effects of several disasters. The price of rice continued to increase in July, increasing 4.9% year-on-year (GIEWS 08/08/14).
Losses to stored crops caused by the disasters are likely to be high. FAO reported heavy losses of the staple rice crop, as well as other high-value crops such as sugar cane, coconut, fruits and vegetables.
Agriculture, fisheries and agricultural infrastructure were affected by July’s Typhoon Rammasun.
Flooding has affected 45% of the planted area in Maguindanao, affecting over 5,000 farmers (OCHA 07/07/2014).
Of the 14 million affected by Haiyan, 5.9 million workers lost their sources of income and livelihoods. More than 2.6 million of those affected were already living below the poverty line or were in vulnerable forms of employment before the typhoon, including the agriculture, fishing, and forestry sectors, or a combination of all three (Early Recovery and Livelihoods Cluster, 14/05/2014).
BIFF continues to actively recruit and train child soldiers, according to the UN and Philippine authorities.
As reported by Human Rights Watch, Philippine security forces and Muslim insurgents committed serious human rights abuses during fighting in Zamboanga.
No significant developments this week, 24/09/2014. Last update: 28/08/2014.
- 260,650 people are food insecure (OCHA 05/08/2014).
In late July, Rwandan Prime Minister Pierre Damien Habumuremyi was dismissed and replaced by Anastase Murekezi. Murekezi is the third Prime Minister since 2000 (VOA, 24/07/2014).
Twenty years after the genocide, the government is said to have put ethnic differences aside, prioritising the economic development of the country (UNHCR, 02/2014).
While the overall security situation in Rwanda is calm, the armed conflict in DRC’s North Kivu, on the border with Rwanda, has affected security (UNHRC 02/2014). The Rwandan Hutu Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), mostly active in DRC, are a destabilising factor and source of insecurity in the region. The UN has denounced FDLR as being behind forced labour, harassment, beatings, and torture in eastern DRC (AFP, 06/08/2014).
On 30 May, a voluntary disarmament process for FDLR started under the auspices of MONUSCO, the African Union and the Southern African Development Community. On 2 July, several states from the region agreed to suspend military operations against Rwandan FDLR insurgents for six months in order to give them more time to lay down their arms. 305 former FDLR, now unarmed, have been living in DRC’s Kanyabayonga’s transit camp for the past three months, while 20 others were relocated In August due to space constraints (Radio Okapi, 05/09/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Refugees in Rwanda
Rwanda currently hosts 73,336 refugees, mainly from DRC (OCHA, 16/06/2014), located in Nyabiheke, Gihembe, Kiziba, and Kigeme (American Refugee Committee, 01/2014). There has been an influx of refugees from DRC since last year, prompting humanitarian actors to prepare a fifth refugee camp in Mugombwa. The monthly arrival rate is 2,600 (UNHCR 20/08/2004).
Rwandan Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
As of 1 August, there are 1,395 Rwandan refugees in Kenya (UNHCR, 31/07/2014). Rwanda has remained peaceful since the 1994 genocide, and more than three million Rwandans have returned home since then (UNHCR).
260,650 people are food insecure in Rwanda (OCHA, 05/08/2014). The areas hardest hit by poor food availability are the eastern Semi-Arid Agro-Pastoral zone (western Rwanda), the Bugesera Cassava zone (south-eastern Rwanda), and the Eastern Congo Nile Highland Subsistence Farming zone (eastern Rwanda). These areas will most likely revert to negative coping mechanisms between July and December in order to meet food needs.
Households throughout the country will most probably exhaust their own stocks in August, relying on markets for food until November, while poor households already exhausted their food stocks in July (FEWSNET, 31/08/2014). The latter will remain in Phase 2 (Stressed) food insecurity from August to November (FEWSNET, 11/09/2014).
Agriculture and Markets
In some eastern agro-pastoral areas, where moisture deficits are significant, maize and beans outputs are 50% below average (FAO, 25/08/2014).
Cumulative rainfall from March to May was below average, and food availability over the dry season has been reduced (FEWSNET, 12/08/2014). Such climatic conditions have also affected pasture and water resources, especially in southern areas of the East and South provinces (mainly in the districts of Kirehe, Bugesera, Ngoma, Gisagara and Nyaruguru), with a consequent deterioration in livestock conditions (FAO, 15/09/2014). Land preparation for Season A started early, improving income opportunities for some poor households (FEWSNET, 31/08/2014).
No significant developments this week, 23/09/2014. Last update: 18/09/2014.
- Inter-communal tensions between the Buddhist majority and the Muslim minority are rising again.
-1.69 million people across 14 districts are affected by drought.
- An estimated 770,000 people are food insecure due to consecutive droughts and floods.
Tensions are rising again between Buddhists and the Muslim minority, who make up 10% of the population. In May, Muslim legislators asked President Rajapakse to protect their minority community from what they described as Buddhist extremist elements.
In June, three Muslims were killed and 80 people were seriously injured in sectarian violence. Clashes took place in Aluthgama and Beruwela, two Muslim-majority towns on the Buddhist Sinhalese-dominated southern coast, during a protest march led by the hardline Buddhist group Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), or Buddhist Power Force.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
On 15 August a Sri Lankan court ordered authorities to stop deporting Pakistani asylum seekers following complaints that they were being forcibly sent home without having their claims properly assessed.
Since early June, national authorities have arrested and detained 328 refugees and asylum-seekers, and deported 183 of them to Pakistan and Afghanistan (UNHCR, 12/09/2014). Some 157 asylum seekers, including 84 Pakistanis, 71 Afghans, and two Iranians, remain in detention. UNHCR has requested that the Government stop deportations immediately and grant it access to asylum seekers in detention so that its staff can assess their needs for international protection (UNHCR 12/08/2014).
A 700% increase in the asylum seeker and refugee population has been observed since 2013, with 1,562 asylum seekers and 308 refugees by 30 June, according to a government report in early August, which also states that the majority of arrivals are driven by commercial human trafficking networks.
In July, over 870 houses were damaged in Nuwara Eliya, Badulla, Ratnapura, Monaragala, and Matale districts due to strong winds, according to government sources.
Low rainfall in August further aggravated drought conditions, which are affecting more than 1.69 million people across 154 districts in six provinces (Disaster Management Ministry, 22/09/2014). Northern and eastern areas are most affected. Families are suffering shortages of water for domestic and agricultural use in Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Hambantota, Puttalam, Mannar, Vavuniya, Moneragala, Batticaloa, Mullaitivu, Trincomalee, Killinochchi, Jaffna, Kurunegala, and Ampara districts.
Rainfall has been below average every month since September 2013. By July, the north and east had not received significant rain since November. This covers the October–January northeast monsoon season, which supplies water for agriculture across the key rice-producing areas of the country.
Food security has deteriorated, affecting around 770,000 people. The areas most affected by food insecurity are the rain-fed paddy-growing areas of Ampara and Moneragala in the east. The mixed paddy and palmyra region in the north of the country (Vavuniya, Jaffna, Mullaitivu, and Kilinochchi) is also affected (WFP, 04/2014 and FAO, 05/2014).
In normal conditions, the proportion of households with poor or borderline food consumption in the northern provinces is estimated to be around 6%; in May, 18% of the population in affected areas had limited meal diversity and/or quantities (WFP, 04/2014 and FAO, 05/2014).
Agriculture and Markets
The southwest monsoon rains (beginning in May) have also been below average.
Overall, crop production has decreased by 42% compared to 2013 (Government of Sri Lanka 05/08/2014). Harvesting of the 2014 main season maha rice and maize crops was completed by mid-April and the rice output was 17% below last year’s record level. Early prospects for the 2014 yala rice crop, currently being planted, are unfavourable.
Prices for fresh fish and vegetables continued to increase in June. Dry conditions have caused shortages of many basic commodities in local markets. Rice prices have dropped as imports have increased (FAO, 31/07/2014).
On 27 August, the Defence Ministry announced that nearly 98% of landmines in the Northern and Eastern provinces have been cleared (Government, 28/08/2014).
No significant developments this week, 25/09/2014. Last update: 03/09/2014.
- 124,900 South Sudanese refugees have arrived since December 2013.
- Cholera is endemic in the region, with an ongoing outbreak in Arua and Moyo districts (25/08/2014).
- 19.9% GAM among South Sudanese refugees. GAM is above 10% in Karamoja (OCHA, 05/08/2014; WFP, 06/2014).
- The Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), an Islamist group fighting the Ugandan government and based in the DRC–Uganda border region, has been accused of recruiting child soldiers, sexually abusing women and children, and carrying out attacks on peacekeepers.
In July, Ugandan troops killed 41 people in a clash with tribal gunmen on the border with DRC (AFP, 06/07/2014). Another 90 people were killed in subsequent attacks in the same area, presumed to be the result of inter-ethnic clashes (UNHCR, 08/07/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
As of July, Uganda hosts 30,196 IDPs (OCHA, 05/08/2014).
Refugees in Uganda
As of 30 June, Uganda hosts 388,950 refugees (UNHCR, 08/07/2014), 87% of whom are women and children (OCHA, 11/06/2014).
South Sudan: By 10 September, 124,900 South Sudanese refugees had fled to Uganda since December 2013 (IOM, 14/09/2014). The total population of South Sudanese refugees in Uganda has reached 147,180 (IOM, 07/09/2014). The daily arrival rate has dropped to below 100.
Arua, Adjumani, and Kyriandongo, where most South Sudanese refugees are settled, are stretched far beyond capacity, and there is an urgent need to improve shelter, WASH, health, food, and psychological support (Red Cross, 17/09/2014). The Ugandan Government has secured additional land in Moyo district in order to settle newly arrived refugees (UNICEF, 20/08/2014).
DRC: 170,000 refugees are from DRC (IRIN, 10/07/2014). Transportation from Kyangwali to the DRC border has been set up for 3,500 refugees in Uganda who have expressed their will to return (IRIN, 10/07/2014).
Kenya: As of 22 July, 1,500 Kenyans are still living in Kiryadongo refugee settlement, from the 4,000 who crossed into Uganda during the 2007–2008 post-election violence (local media, 22/07/2014).
The rest of the refugee population is believed to be from Somalia.
Ugandan Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
As of 31 July, there were 1,263 Ugandan refugees in Kenya (UNHCR, 31/07/2014). As of 30 June, there were 1,211 Ugandan refugees in DRC (UNHCR, 30/06/2014).
As of 5 August, 560,000 people are food insecure (OCHA 05/08/2014).
Karamoja remains at Crisis (IPC Phase 3) level of acute food insecurity. Northern and central districts including Amudat, Nakapiripirit, Moroto, Kotido, Napak, Abim and Kaabong are of concern, with an estimated 824,104 food insecure (29/08/2014). 20% of households in the region are only marginally able to meet minimum food needs, with continued erosion of livelihoods through sales of livestock. As of end July, levels of humanitarian assistance were not meeting the needs of vulnerable households (FEWSNET, 31/07/2014).
As the second rainy season started, below-average pasture conditions are reported in Apac and Lira, parts of northern Gulu and Kitgum, and parts of Kaabong, Moroto, and Nakapiripirit districts in Karamoja region (FAO, 15/09/2014).
In Karamoja, the September–October harvest is expected to be only 20–30% of average (FEWSNET, 01/08/2014). Cereal crop production by November is forecast to be below average as unfavourable rains in April reduced planting (FAO, 15/09/2014).
The consumption of green harvests, which usually starts in August, is minimal and food access remains difficult for the majority of households. Food stocks are expected to be only partially replenished in November and will likely be exhausted by January 2015, extending the length of the next lean season by at least a couple of months (GIEWS, 15/09/2014).
An outbreak of foot and mouth disease, which began in May, has closed four cattle markets in Amudat, Kaabong, Nakapiripirit and Kotido, with significant reduction in sales and worsening terms of trade for pastoralists (FAO, 15/09/2014).
Health and Nutrition
Health centres in Arua, Adjumani, and Kyriandongo require additional staff, space and supplies to respond to refugee needs (UNICEF, 20/08/2014).
Morbidity levels are high across Karamoja, with more than half of the children having suffered at least one illness in the two weeks prior to assessment (WFP, UNICEF, 06/2014).
Cholera outbreaks have been identified in the northwestern districts of Arua and Moyo (UNICEF, 20/08/2014).
A rising trend in malaria has been reported (Medical Team International cited by UNHCR, 18/07/2014).
GAM among South Sudanese refugees in Uganda has reached 19.9% (OCHA, 05/08/2014).
In June, GAM among children under five in Moroto district, Karamoja, had reached 22.2%. GAM was at 14.6% in Nakapiripirit district (WFP, UNICEF, 06/2014).
In Amudat district, safe water access, latrine access, and sanitation issues are a serious concern (WFP, UNICEF, 06/2014).
Democratic People's Republic of Korea Country Analysis
22 September: People in central mountainous areas do not have access to sufficient food from the public distribution centre, and have to rely on planting risky hillside crops to supplement their daily diet (US, 22/09/2014).
No current data on child mortality, food security, food price levels, or the general magnitude of humanitarian needs is available. Therefore, DPRK is not included in the Global Overview prioritisation.
- Massive human rights infringements, including against prisoners in prison camps who face starvation and torture, continue to be reported. Humanitarian access remains extremely limited (UN).
- Information on the food security situation remains limited. As of August, an estimated 16 million people (almost 65% of DPRK’s population) are chronically food insecure and an estimated 2.4 million people need food assistance (OCHA).
- As of August, malnutrition rates, particularly in the northwest, were extremely high with global chronic malnutrition (stunting) at almost 28% and global acute malnutrition (wasting) at 4% among children under five (OCHA).
- DPRK is disaster prone, regularly experiencing seasonal flooding that, for instance, affected over 800,000 people in summer 2013 (OCHA).
On 26 March, the UN Human Rights Council passed a resolution condemning DPRK for what it considered as longstanding and ongoing systematic, widespread, and gross human rights violations. On 17 March, China dismissed the UN report on the ground that it made unfounded accusations. On 18 February, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights had urged world powers to refer DPRK to the International Criminal Court after a UN report documented evidence of widespread and systematic human rights violations and crimes against humanity. The team conducting the report recommended targeted UN sanctions against civil officials and military commanders suspected of the worst crimes.
On 29 April, Pyongyang conducted a scheduled military exercise near its sea border with South Korea, international observers reported. On 25 April, South Korean officials said that DPRK had completed all steps required prior to a potential nuclear test. Pyongyang has conducted three nuclear tests in the past.
On 12 February, Seoul and Pyongyang held talks at their fortified border in the Panmunjom truce village. In the first high-level talks in seven years, the two sides explored ways to mend ties. According to reports, although no pre-arranged agenda was set, the parties discussed a range of issues including reunions of families separated during the 1950–1953 Korean War.
On 5 September 2013, DPRK agreed to restore a cross-border military hotline with South Korea, a sign of easing tensions. The line had been shut down six months earlier. Also in September, DPRK and South Korea reopened the joint industrial park in Kaesong. Pyongyang pulled its 53,000 workers out of the park in April, at the height of tensions with Seoul and Washington over its nuclear military programme.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Humanitarian access is extremely limited. On 1 May, the UN Human Rights Council’s recommendations to the Government as part of the Universal Periodic Review included unrestricted access to prisons and prison camps for humanitarian organisations, and close collaboration with humanitarian organisations to ensure the transparent distribution of aid.
Information on food security remains limited. An estimated 16 million people, of a total population of 24.6 million, are chronically food insecure. An estimated 2.4 million people need food assistance (OCHA, 11/09/2014).
People in central mountainous areas do not have access to sufficient food from the public distribution centre and have to rely on planting risky hillside crops to supplement their daily diet, despite poor seed quality, shallow soil, accelerated erosion, low yield expectations, and the fact that most of the hillside cultivators do not necessarily have an agricultural background (US State Department, 22/09/2014).
OCHA reports that although the humanitarian situation has improved slightly since 2013, the structural causes of vulnerability persist and external assistance is needed, notably in the northeastern provinces. WFP reports that 25% of households have acceptable food consumption, while 45% have borderline and 30% poor food consumption.
Despite a small increase in the aggregate food production for a third consecutive year in 2013/14, the food security situation remains unsatisfactory. The food system in DPRK remains highly vulnerable to shocks and serious shortages exist, particularly in the production of protein-rich crops. FAO reported in March that DPRK could, in the right conditions, become self-sufficient in cereals by end 2014. However, in November 2013, the results from an FAO/WFP Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission indicated that, despite a slight increase in cereal production, most households have borderline or poor food consumption, limited in terms of quantity and quality.
Health and Nutrition
Chronic child malnutrition and poor dietary diversity among children, women, and households remain the main concern. Super cereal, biscuits, pulses and oil are needed to supplement the poor dietary intake among target vulnerable groups (WFP 06/2014).
Acute malnutrition rates have improved in recent years. The prevalence of wasting (4%) is within the normal range, according to international standards.
DPRK announced it is to publish a human rights report to counters claims of crimes against humanity made in the UN report published earlier this year (international media, 08/2014).
China is cracking down on Christian NGOs near its border with DPRK, with hundreds of people forced to leave the country. This is believed to be aimed at closing off support to people who flee and illegally enter China before going on to other countries, according to August reports in the international media.
No significant developments this week, 29/09/2014. Last update: 03/09/2014.
No accurate or verified data relating to the food security situation or food price levels in Eritrea is available, therefore Eritrea is not included in the Global Overview prioritisation.
- Torture, arbitrary detention, and severe restrictions on freedom of expression, association, and religion are common in Eritrea (UN, HRW).
- Ongoing human rights abuses prompt thousands of Eritreans to flee the country every year. In December 2013, Ethiopia was hosting an estimated 84,200 Eritrean refugees (UNHCR).
- Over 60% of the Eritrean population was reported as being undernourished between 2011 and 2013 (WFP).
Human rights abuses, including torture, arbitrary detention, and severe restrictions on freedom of expression, association, and religion are common in Eritrea, according to Human Rights Watch. Conscription to national service can last for an indefinite period of time, and is reportedly poorly paid. Interviews with Eritrean asylum seekers revealed that the main reason for fleeing the country was to avoid conscription. Harassment of citizens by authorities, on the grounds of their plotting to leave Eritrea, is reportedly widespread (UN Human Rights Council, 31/03/2014). In September, the UN Human Rights Council set up a Commission of Inquiry to investigate human rights abuses in Eritrea (Human Rights Watch, 24/09/2014).
Between 5,000 and 10,000 political prisoners are being held in a country of just over six million people. The UN human rights chief has accused the government of torture and summary executions (UN Human Rights Council, 05/02/2014).
Eritrea and Djibouti engaged in border wars in 1996 and 2008. During the latter, according to Ethiopian officials in 2014, a number of Eritrean soldiers deserted and became refugees in Djibouti.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
There is a lack of updated and reliable data on the humanitarian situation due to limited humanitarian access.
In 2011, the Government of Eritrea issued a directive to all non-state development partners operating in Eritrea to cease operating by the end of 2012. In November-December 2013, several projects in partnership with the UN and the government commenced (IFRC, 30/05/2104).
As reported in ECHO’s Humanitarian Implementation Plan (HIP) released in October 2013, providing direct humanitarian assistance remains a challenge due to limited access, and absence of assessments and humanitarian space.
On 24 April, according to media sources, the UAE Red Cross had access to a million children across six provinces to distribute clothing.
As of 30 April, 64 stateless persons and IDPs reside in Eritrea (UNHCR).
As of 31 May, 3,136 refugees reside in Eritrea, including 3,056 Somalian refugees (UNHCR).
Eritrean Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
According to 2012 UNHCR figures, there are 300,000 Eritrean refugees in neighbouring countries as well as in Europe and Israel. According to UN figures, 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 (UN, 05/06/2014).
Ethiopia: More refugees crossed into Ethiopia in 2013 compared to 2012. In December 2013, OCHA said that Ethiopia had registered the arrival of 3,043 new refugees from Eritrea, and as of 31 December, Ethiopia was hosting an estimated 84,200 Eritrean refugees, who are mainly settled in four camps in the northern Tigray region and two others in Afar region (OCHA). The high proportion of unaccompanied minors who cross from Eritrea to Ethiopia is a priority problem (UNHCR).
Sudan: Eastern Sudan received an average of 500 Eritrean refugees per month in 2013, down from 2,000 a month in 2012. Sudan reportedly hosts at least 114,500 Eritrean refugees.
Djibouti: Djibouti receives an estimated 110 Eritreans each month (UNHCR). On 30 June, 74 Eritrean refugees and asylum seekers were sent back from Sudan, after being convicted of illegally entering Sudan (UNHCR, 04/07/2014)
Yemen: Hundreds of Eritrean refugees are currently in Yemen. Several NGOs have called on the Yemeni authorities to stop deporting Eritrean political refugees (UNHCR). Reports indicate hundreds of Eritrean refugees are scattered across the streets of Al Safeyah in Sana’a, without proper shelter or livelihood. Refugees have informed UNHCR that most are imprisoned upon arrival in Yemen, who state security concerns (Yemen Times, 19/08/2014).
Kenya: As of 31 July, there are 1,641 Eritrean refugees in Kenya, most of them located in Nairobi (UNHCR 31/07/2014).
Good kiremti rains have had favourable effects on the main 2014 cropping season as satellite-based monitoring shows above-average vegetation conditions in Debub, Maekel, Gash Barka and Anseba zobas. The Red Sea coastal area, however, has seen low precipitations, showing significant deterioration of grazing resources (FEWSNET, 02/09/2014).
A swarm of desert locusts was treated in July. Small scale breeding will occur in the western lowlands in August, causing locust numbers to increase slightly (FAO, 01/08/2014).
As indicated in ECHO’s October HIP, as a result of access restrictions imposed by the authorities, very little data on food security in Eritrea is available. However, it is estimated that Eritrea produces only 60% of the food it needs, and markets do not seem to be functioning properly. These two factors suggest that a significant part of the population may be in need of food assistance. In addition, local food and fuel prices are likely to remain high, putting severe pressure on household coping mechanisms. The government officially denies any food shortages within its borders and refuses food aid.
Health and Nutrition
Malnutrition remains a widespread problem. As reported by UNDP, quoting the Food Security Strategy (2004) report, 38% of Eritrean children experience stunting; 44% are underweight, and 50% suffer from anaemia. About 59% of the Eritrean population consumes less than the daily calorie requirement.
According to FAO in 2013, over 60% of the Eritrean population was reported to be undernourished during 2011–2013.
According to a Government report, malaria infections have visibly declined thanks to higher community awareness and regard for environmental hygiene (Government of Eritrea, 24/09/2014). No figures are available to confirm this information.
On 13 May, the Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea was released. It focuses on the indefinite national service and arbitrary arrest and detention, including incommunicado detention and inhumane prison conditions. Rampant human rights violations cause hundreds of thousands to leave the country (UN Human Rights Council).
Ukraine Country Analysis
29 September: 13 soldiers and civilians were killed in one day in Donetsk region, in the deadliest fighting since the ceasefire (AFP).
24 September: Severe weather, including strong winds, heavy rainfall and storm surge, affected southeastern Ukraine, disruption electricity and water in Mariupol and cutting power in Crimea (ECHO).
- 5.1 million people live in areas directly affected by the conflict and are in need of protection (OCHA, 13/09/2014). The humanitarian situation in eastern Ukraine is worsening; there is increasing need for basic services such as water, electricity and health care (OCHA, 19/09/2014).
- Access to humanitarian aid in conflict areas is reportedly near to impossible (OCHA, 19/09/2014).
- Worsening tuberculosis epidemic in eastern Ukraine, according to doctors (AFP, 18/08/2014). 340,000 people in need of medicine and medical supplies (WHO, 09/09/2014).
- Competition over scarce resources and fatigue among host communities have increased tensions among IDPs and host communities (OCHA, 09/08/2014). Pressure on IDPs to return to conflict areas was reported by multiple sources (OCHA, 13/09/2014).
More than 300,000 people have been displaced, while continued fighting and lack of transportation make it difficult for civilians to escape contested areas.
Medical supplies are lacking and health services limited. The supply of fresh food supply is limited in some contested cities. Gas, water and electricity facilities in the east have been damaged or destroyed, as well as transportation infrastructure. The human rights situation is deteriorating as a consequence of the continued instability and violence.
On 16 September, the expected legislation creating a centralised registration system for IDPs was not adopted by parliament (OCHA, 19/09/2014).
Parliament ratified the EU Association Agreement on the same day and voted in favour of three years’ limited self-rule of some areas of Donetsk and Luhansk. The law authorises the use of Russian in state institutions within the opposition-held Luhansk and Donetsk regions, and the holding of local elections on 7 December.
Amnesty was also granted to all non-government forces taking part in the fighting, on condition that they turn in their weapons (international media, 16/09/2014).
On 26 August, Ukrainian President Poroshenko dissolved parliament and called for elections to be held on 26 October (OCHA, 29/08/2014).
At 16 September, 3,219 people had been killed in eastern Ukraine with 8,198 people confirmed wounded by the conflict (OCHA, 19/09/2014). The death toll could be significantly higher, according to the UN, since access to the conflict-affected areas is restricted and reliable information is difficult to collect (OCHA, 13/09/2014; UN, 08/09/2014). Civilian casualties increased sharply in August, due to intensified fighting and indiscriminate shelling in densely populated areas (UN, 08/09/2014).
A ceasefire between Ukraine and Russia began on 5 September. Though isolated violations have been reported daily, the ceasefire appears to be holding overall (international media, 17/09/2014). There are several spots of confrontation within Donetsk region, including the airport area, Makiyivka, Telmanove, Debaltseve, Petrovske, northeast of Mariupol and Yasynuvata. Movement of troops and hardware on both sides have been reported; command and control on both sides appears to be an issue (international organization, 15/09/2014). 40 Ukrainian troops and civilians have been killed since the 5 September truce (international media, 23/09/2014). On 29 September, 13 soldiers and civilians were killed in one day in Donetsk region, the deadliest fighting since the ceasefire (AFP, 30/09/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
5.1 million people live in areas directly affected by the conflict and are in need of protection as of 12 September (OCHA, 29/08/2014). There are severe needs for water, electricity, and healthcare (OCHA, 19/09/2014).
Shelling in parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions continue to impede access, increase displacement, and endanger civilians in need of assistance and support. The presence of humanitarian actors is increasing, but bureaucratic, security,y and financial restrictions are impeding response at the scale required (OCHA, 19/09/2014).
Road transportation from Ukraine to Crimea experiences many border checks by Crimean authorities and long delays at the ferry crossing in Kerch. Since 15 July, international shipping has been prohibited from the ports of Evpatoria, Kerch, Sevastopol, Theodosia, and Yalta on the Crimea peninsula (GARD, 17/07/2014). Every day passengers travelling to and from Crimea are denied passage due to a lack of documentation (OSCE, 15/08/2014).
Laws required to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance might be postponed due to the dissolution of parliament, until after new parliamentary elections (OCHA, 29/08/2014).
The IDP situation is a cause for major humanitarian alert. As of 25 September, more than 300,000 IDPs are registered in Ukraine. Unofficial estimates suggest that the number of IDPs could be up to three times higher, as there is no functioning centralised registration system (UN, 25/09/2014; UNHCR, 18/08/2014). Among the IDP population, two-thirds are reported to be women, as many men have stayed in conflict areas to protect their property (UNHCR, 23/09/2014).
Most IDPs have left with few belongings, and need shelter, food, and other essential assistance. It is impossible for authorities to restore basic services, access and supply routes are increasingly disrupted, and the cold weather is approaching (UN, 19/08/2014). Tensions between IDPs and host communities are rising (IDMC, 15/08/2014). Kharkiv’s regional social protection department says the region “has exhausted” its capacity to absorb more IDPs (OSCE, 15/08/2014). Multiple sources have reported pressure on IDPs to return to conflict areas (OCHA, 13/09/2014).
In June, humanitarian corridors were created to help civilians flee fighting but they were regularly blocked by combatants (UN, 05/08/2014). Many people were reportedly afraid to use evacuation corridors (OCHA, 10/08/2014).
Most IDPs from Donetsk and Luhansk regions have expressed their intention to return home as soon as the security situation allows (OSCE, 12/08/2014).
Around 15,000 IDPs have returned home to Slavyansk, according to the city administration, since government forces retook the area (UNHCR, 03/09/2014). Other have returned to Kramatorsk. Many are facing challenges due to damage to infrastructure, housing, businesses, and industries (OCHA, 09/08/2014).
Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
As of 12 September, more than 365,000 people have fled to neighbouring countries. About 326,000 people have crossed into Russia since the beginning of the year (OCHA, 13/09/2014).
In addition, an estimated 17,000 people are estimated to be displaced within Crimea (OCHA, 29/08/2014).
A significant number of people are crossing the border for short periods during the day, to withdraw money and to buy medicines and other supplies, and return to Ukraine in the evening (OSCE, 20/08/2014).
In Donetsk city, conflict is causing difficulties in supply for some supermarkets, and locally produced items are in short supply (Institute for War and Peace Reporting, 11/08/2014). Food access (both physical and economic) warrants concern in the east (UN, 19/08/2014).
The conflict has already impacted Ukraine's economy, which is set to shrink 9% this year (international media, 19/09/2014). Inflation and rising prices add pressure to financially stressed IDPs (OCHA, 13/09/2014). More than 70% of Donbas businesses are closed and banks are not operating at full capacity in the affected areas (OCHA, 19/09/2014).
Salaries and social benefits are not being paid (OCHA, 19/09/2014). The people remaining in the areas affected by unrest are very vulnerable as they are financially dependent on government transfers (Institute for War and Peace Reporting, 11/08/2014).
Health and Nutrition
At the beginning of September at least 32 hospitals in Donbas region were reportedly not functioning, and at least 45 hospitals were destroyed or damaged; up to 80% of health workers are absent from the conflict area (OCHA 19/09/2014).
340,000 people need medicine and medical supplies (WHO, 09/09/2014). Critical supply shortages include vaccines and dialysis treatment, as well as treatment for diabetes, cancer and rare diseases, as well as provision for the special needs of the disabled (OCHA, 19/09/2014). People living with HIV/AIDS or TB are at risk of interruption of care (OCHA, 19/09/2014).
There is an overall lack of health system coordination by the regional and local government. The resilience of local health facilities is at risk of failure if the number of IDPs increases (UNICEF, 23/09/2014).
Lack of security is preventing access to emergency and primary health services in Shahtersk, Snizhne, Yasinovataya (OCHA, 29/08/2014).
Due to low vaccine coverage rates, especially among children, there is a heightened risk of infectious disease outbreaks among IDPs and affected populations in conflict areas (UNICEF, 27/06/2014; OCHA, 05/08/2014).
Doctors are warning of a worsening tuberculosis epidemic in eastern Ukraine. 48,000 people are registered with the disease; however, one in four people with TB are not officially registered, according to WHO (AFP, 18/08/2014).
The level of preparedness for the winter is worrying (UNHCR, 23/09/2014). Some 25,500 people across Ukraine will need to be relocated before winter (OCHA, 19/09/2014; UNHCR, 23/09/2014). Already on 24 September, severe weather disrupted electricity and water in Mariupol and cut power in Crimea (ECHO, 24/09/2014).
Concerns remain about how to fund the temporary accommodation of IDPs, as some regional authorities are no longer able to accommodate IDPs (UNHCR, 23/09/2014). Due to lack of financial resources and facilities, Government coordination agencies often refuse free accommodation to IDPs (OCHA, 13/09/2014).
Returnees need building materials (OCHA, 19/09/2014).
Water supply in Donetsk is stable but insufficient, with some areas still without access to water. At 19 September, water supply in Luhansk city had been disconnected for 46 days. The state water utility company has been unable to repair many damaged facilities due to regular ceasefire violations (OCHA, 19/09/2014).
Around 290 schools have been destroyed or damaged due to fighting (UNICEF, 08/09//2014).
Armed groups have increasingly committed human rights abuses, including abductions, torture/ill-treatment, unlawful detentions and killings as well as the seizure and occupation of public buildings.
As of September, insurgent forces are detaining around 460 civilians on allegations of violating public order, and subjecting them to forced labour. Forced mobilisation and threats of the death penalty are being used by armed groups (OHCHR, 19/09/2014).
On 18 August, a reported attack on a convoy of displaced people raised concerns about the capacity of warring parties to provide a safe means for civilians to leave conflict-affected areas (OCHA, 25/08/2014).
Mines and ERW
Increasing reports of mines and unexploded ordnance have been reported in areas of Donetsk and Luhansk affected by conflict, with civilian deaths reported (UN, 19/08/2014).
An estimated 260,000 Roma live in Ukraine. In August, OCHA reported that the Roma population displaced from Donbas experiences access restrictions to government health and social services, as 40% do not have documentation (OCHA, 06/08/2014). Roma are afraid to be registered as IDPs, fearing persecution when they return (UNHCR, 05/08/2014).
In Crimea, harassment and discrimination has reportedly intensified against Ukrainian nationals, Crimean Tatars, religious minorities, and activists who opposed the 16 March referendum (OHCHR, 15/06/2014).
Elderly people are particularly affected as many were left alone after their families fled. About 20,000 older people or people with disabilities have been left alone in Donetsk region and have no access to their pensions or food (UN, 29/08/2014).
Women face a series of specific protection challenges, including: prohibition from leaving conflict zones by partners; rape; forced domestic labour by insurgents; post-traumatic syndrome and possibility of violence in collective centres (OCHA, 19/09/2014).