|Severe humanitarian crisis|
|Situation of concern|
- Severe humanitarian crisis
- Humanitarian crisis
- Situation of concern
- Watch list
Snapshot 30 September – 6 October 2015
Afghanistan: The humanitarian situation in Kunduz is deteriorating as fighting for control of the city continues. Aid organisations have withdrawn, after a Médecins Sans Frontières hospital was bombed in an airstrike, killing 22 and injuring 37.
Burundi: At least eight civilians were killed in Bujumbura over the weekend as political violence persists, and people continue to flee. Some 128,000 people are reliant on food assistance: in some of the areas affected by insecurity, food prices are up to 95% higher than average.
DRC: The number of cholera cases has been increasing rapidly since mid-August: 693 new cases reported over 7–13 September, four times the number reported in the last week of August. 800 new cholera cases have been reported in Kindu health zone in Maniema since mid-September (14-23 September). Katanga’s measles epidemic persists, with 1,200 new cases reported 21–27 September.
Nigeria: Despite advances by the military in northeastern Nigeria, Boko Haram has carried out several attacks in Borno’s capital Maiduguri and in Adamawa over the past week; the number of casualties is unknown. Boko Haram has also claimed responsibility for bomb blasts on the outskirts of Abuja, which killed 18 people and injured 41.
Updated: 06/10/2015. Next update 13/10/2015.
Afghanistan Country Analysis
5 October: Taliban forces have reportedly launched an offensive on Maimana, capital of Faryab province (International Business Times).
5 October: Despite claims of the Afghan forces to have retaken Kunduz, several media reports indicate that the Taliban is still in control of the city (International Business Times).
3 October: A hospital run by MSF was hit by an aerial strike in Kunduz, conducted by US forces engaged in the battle for retaking the town from the Taliban. At least 19 people died, including 12 MSF staff and seven patients. At least 37 were injured (CNN).
1 October: Afghan forces reported to have taken back control of Kunduz (CNN).29 September: When taking control of Kunduz the Taliban has reportedly targeted media workers, occupying the headquarters of some news agencies. Several media workers are missing. The Taliban has also torched and destroyed equipment (RSF).
- As of July 2015, at least 847,872 people are reported to be displaced because of conflict in Afghanistan (IDMC, 07/2015).
- 7.4 million in need of humanitarian aid in 2015 (IOM, 31/08/2015).
- 5.9% of people (1.5 million) report severe food insecurity compared to 4.7% in 2014. Over 200,000 are in immediate need of food assistance (FAO, 10/09/2015).- 282 civilians were killed and 1,241 injured from complex and suicide attacks by anti-government forces in 2015, almost double the same period in 2014 (UNAMA, 11/08/2015).
Natural disasters and armed conflicts in Afghanistan have caused humanitarian crisis. Assistance needs include food, healthcare, and protection. 7.4 million are reported to be in need of humanitarian assistance as of 31 August 2015 (IOM, 31/08/2015).The Afghan Government faces internal and external challenges to its capacity, legitimacy, and stability. The security environment is highly volatile and has deteriorated since the end of the ISAF mission and the withdrawal of most international forces. The outflow of people from Afghanistan has significantly increased in 2015, despite calls from the Government to stay and contribute to the reconstruction of the country.
Politics and security
After the end of ISAF mission on December 2014, only around 12,000 NATO personnel remained in Afghanistan to provide training and equipment to the Afghan security forces. Concerns have been raised regarding the capacity of Afghan forces to keep the country secure; a steep surge in violent attacks was recorded in the first months of 2015, making it the most violent year since the beginning of ISAF in 2001 (Brookings, 26/05/2015; Talk Radio News Service, 22/06/2015).
Relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan have been tense since the 1970s when Afghanistan allegedly started supporting opposition groups in Pakistani territory (Journal of Political Studies, 2015). The most recent deterioration in the relationship occurred at the beginning of September, with Afghanistan accusing Pakistan of organising insurgent attacks in Afghanistan (The Tribune, 03/09/2015).
President Ashraf Ghani and Prime Minister Abdullah Abdullah were sworn in in September 2014 (Reuters, 29/09/2014). Rival presidential candidates in disputed elections, they have been struggling to maintain a unity government (Reuters, 08/07/2015; AFP, 26/09/2014). Leaders of ethnic groups have criticised Ghani for filling key government posts with Pashtun kin (Reuters, 08/07/2015; AFP, 26/09/2014). Parliamentary elections scheduled for April 2015 were postponed because of security concerns and disagreements over vote procedure, and the current parliament’s mandate has been extended until the next vote (Reuters, 19/06/2015; local media, 01/04/2015). In September, President Ghani promised that a date would be set in the “immediate future” (1tvnews Afghanistan, 05/09/2015; Tolo News 17/09/2015).
Afghan officials and Taliban met in Islamabad, Pakistan, on 8 July for a first round of peace-talks (AFP, 08/07/2015). On 29 July, representatives of the Afghan government declared that Mullah Omar, the leader of the Taliban, had died in 2013 (Al Jazeera, 29/07/2015). After the Taliban confirmed this, they pulled out of the peace talks, likely to deal with uncertainty about new leadership. There has been no breakthrough (AFP, 24/07/2015; The Telegraph, 30/07/2015; The Age, 31/07/2015). The current Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour is considered to be in favour of peace talks, although some factions remain opposed (BBC, 30/07/2015; The Telegraph, 30/07/2015). On 13 August, Ayman al Zawahiri, leader of Al Qaeda, reportedly delivered an audio message pledging allegiance to Mansour (The Guardian, 13/08/2015).
As of the beginning of August, 1,523 civilian casualties (282 dead, 1,241 injured) have been reported in 2015, specifically from complex and suicide attacks launched by anti-government elements – almost double the same period in 2014 (UNAMA, 11/08/2015). The total reported number of conflict-related casualties in 2015 is 4,921 (1,592 dead, 3,329 injured), 90% of them civilians (UNAMA, 05/08/2015). 3,699 civilians were killed and 6,849 injured in all 2014 (UNAMA, 18/02/2015).
Incidents in 2015 have been concentrated in Helmand and Kabul, although intense fighting between Afghan forces, the Taliban, and other anti-government groups has also been reported in northern provinces in recent months, including Kunduz, Badakhshan, Nangarhar, Faryab, Baghlan, and Nuristan (Cordaid, 07/07/2015; RSF, 07/07/2015; local media, 16/07/2015). Remote parts of southern and southeastern Afghanistan, near the border with Pakistan, remain under Taliban control. The Taliban is increasingly financed by criminal enterprises including heroin laboratories, illegal mining, and kidnapping (UNSC, 02/02/2015).
On 4 October, MSF released a declaration condemning the air-strike that hit its hospital, leaving at least 19 dead and 37 wounded. The NGO considered the event a war crime and called for an independent inquiry to be performed by a neutral international entity. The commander of the US forces in Afghanistan, General John Campbell, has stated they were called in to provide air support to Afghan forces under attack from the Taliban (MSF, 05/10/2015; CNN, 05/10/2015; BBC, 05/10/15).
Balkh: On 5 September, 13 people belonging to the Shi’ite Hazara minority were killed by gunmen in the Zari district of Balkh province (DAWN, 05/09/2015). 12 Hazaras have been kidnapped and four killed in Balkh in the past month (Reuters, 05/09/2015).
Kabul: On 22 August, a suicide attack on a NATO convoy killed at least 12 people, and injured at least 67 (New York Times, 22/08/2015). On 10 August, at least five people were killed and 16 injured by a suicide bomb at a checkpoint on the road to the airport (BBC, 10/08/2015).
Kunduz: On 28 September, Taliban forces stormed and took control of most of the city of Kunduz. It is the first major Afghan city to fall to the Taliban since the war began (Belfast Telegraph, 28/09/2015). On 1 October, Afghan national forces claimed to have taken back the city, however, four days later, media reports indicated that, despite such claims, the Taliban was still in control of the city (Reuters, 05/10/2015; International Business Times, 05/10/2015).
Other incidents: On 27 September, at least nine were killed and dozens injured in a bomb attack during a sports match in Paktika province, close to the Pakistani border (BBC, 28/09/2015). In Nangarhar province, hundreds of insurgents reportedly belonging to IS attacked Afghan forces at a checkpoint in Achin district. At least three Afghan police were killed (VOA, 27/09/2015). On 20 September, one person was killed and three were injured in a bomb attack in the district of Daman, in Kandahar (Afghanistan News, 20/09/2015). The same day, at least 16 civilians were injured by a bomb attack in eastern Kunar province, near a power station, and five civilians were injured in a bomb attack in eastern Saibak, in Samangan province (San Francisco Chronicle 20/09/2015). On 19 September, five police officers were killed by a roadside bomb in Zurmat district of Paktia province (DAWN, 20/09/2015).On 14 September, Taliban fighters stormed a prison in the city of Ghazni, in Ghazni province. 355 prisoners were freed, including 148 who had been charged with national and international security crimes (The Guardian, 14/09/2015).
Despite the reported and confirmed death of Mullah Omar, historical leader of the Taliban, the Taliban seems to have regained strength, especially since ISAF forces withdrew in December 2014. The ultraconservative Islamic force’s activities have expanded from south and southeastern areas to northern provinces, especially Kunduz, Balkh and Faryab (The Telegraph, 30/07/2015; Daily Mail, 28/09/2015).
Islamic State (IS)
Militants fighting under the IS banner in Afghanistan, including an unknown number of Taliban defectors and foreign fighters, have reportedly seized territory from the Taliban in at least six of Nangarhar’s 21 districts. Uncertainty remains regarding their links with IS in the Middle East (Reuters, 29/06/2015). IS was reportedly active in northern areas of Afghanistan, especially on the border with Turkmenistan (Global Research, 16/06/2015). IS launched its first offensive against Afghan forces on 27 September, attacking a checkpoint in Nangarhar province (The Tribune, 28/09/2015).
International military presence
NATO formally ended its combat mission in Afghanistan on 31 December 2014, moving to the Resolute Support mission, comprising some 6,800 US troops and more than 6,300 soldiers from other member states as of June 2015 (Reuters, 01/01/2015). The headquarters of the mission are in Kabul, operating from the Kabul/Bagram hub. Four other bases of the mission are in Mazar-e Sharif, Herat, Kandahar, and Laghman (Nato, 27/02/2015). The focus of the mission is on supporting Afghan forces’ fight against the Taliban, along with US counter-terrorism operations (NATO 06/2015).
Afghan National Security Forces
The Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) are composed of around 350,000 personnel, including soldiers, police, and air forces personnel.
In Khanabad district, Kunduz province, the membership of U.S. funded pro-government militias, also knowns as Afghan local police, has grown to 3,000 this year, 1,000 more than last year, according to the district governor Hayatullah Amiri. This militia force was founded with the purpose of mobilizing rural communities against the Taliban. However, in recent months, civilians have reported a rise in abuse by these groups, including extortion, theft, and assault (Daily Mail, 03/06/2015; IRIN, 07/09/2015).
In 2015, the proportion of households affected by natural disasters has decreased to 6%, from 10% in 2014 (Food Security Cluster, 31/08/2015). As of 31 July, 107,000 people were impacted by natural disasters in 2015, with medium-scale floods and landslides affecting mostly the north, northeast and east of the country (OCHA, 31/07/2015).
As of July 2015, at least 847,872 people are reported to be displaced because of conflict in Afghanistan, with a peak of over 50,000 new displaced in April (IDMC, 07/2015; OCHA, 31/08/2015).
Increasing insecurity has led to a rise in internal displacement. Fighting in the north of Kunduz province since May has displaced more than 134,000 people, including 32,960 to Kunduz city, and significant numbers to Badakhshan, Badghis, Baghlan and Faryab provinces (OCHA, 25/06/2015; 28/05/2015). As of July, 139,000 people were reported to have been displaced because of conflict, only in 2015, with a surge in Kunduz and Helmand, due to continued clashes. The number of IDPs could be even higher, including remote areas made inaccessible by ongoing violence (OCHA, 31/07/2015). By the end of 2015, an additional 324,000 are estimated to become displaced because of conflict (FEWSNET, 30/09/2015).
Displacement in 2015 is expected to exceed 2014 numbers, and IDPs and returnees from Pakistan will not have access to enough humanitarian assistance (FEWSNET, 01/08/2015). Priority needs are for water, food, housing, and employment (IDMC, 16/06/2015; UNHCR 31/12/2014). The security context challenges access and identification of IDPs (UNCHR, 24/05/2015).
Refugees and asylum seekers
Displacement from Pakistan to Afghanistan’s Khost and Paktika provinces has been ongoing since mid-June 2014 and the beginning of military operations in Pakistan’s FATA region. As of 8 June, these provinces were hosting around 205,440 refugees from Pakistan, the majority in Khost (including 10,210 families in Gulan camp) (UNHCR, 11/06/2015). There are concerns about the host communities’ ability to support the refugee population, particularly in terms of food, shelter, and education (UNHCR, 15/06/2015). Between June 2014 and 23 August 2015, over 200,000 Pakistani resettled in Gurbuz district, in Khost province, after having been displaced by the military operations conducted by the Pakistani government in North Waziristan (UNFPA, 23/08/2015).
As of 1 September, since January 2015, around 90,000 Afghan refugees have been forced to return from Pakistan due to lack of documentation. This is almost six times the number of returnees reported in the same period of 2014 (RFERL, 30/08/2015). Numbers began to rise after security incidents in Pakistan, particularly the December 2014 Taliban attack in Peshawar. Some returnees report an increasing number of protection issues as the main reasons for return: eviction notices by authorities, discrimination, movement restrictions, settlement closure, and harassment (UNHCR, 31/05/2015).
The eastern region hosts almost 40% of undocumented returnees (Food Security Cluster, 31/07/2015). 30–40% of them are vulnerable and in need of assistance; 80% of Afghanistan is reportedly not safe for people to be sent back to (BBC, 16/07/2015; OCHA, 15/07/2015).
Refugees from Afghanistan in other countries
At the end of August, around 2.5 million Afghan refugees are reported to be in Pakistan. Over 1 million of these are unregistered (RFE/RL, 30/08/2015). In Sindh, only 67,000 of an estimated one million Afghan refugees are registered (DAWN, 31/08/2015).
Some Afghan refugees have reported harassment in Pakistan, and not feeling any safer than in Afghanistan. The deterioration in relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan is being highlighted by the reported increase in issues with Afghan refugees (Thomson Reuters Foundation, 03/09/2015). In August, the government of Afghanistan requested that Pakistan allow 1.5 million registered Afghan refugees to stay on its territory for another two years (ALHASAN, 24/08/2015).
Tens of thousands of Afghan refugees have crossed into Europe in 2015, most via Greece, where 32,414 Afghan asylum seekers are reported to have entered in 2015 (IOM, 20/08/2015). As of 16 September, Afghans were reported to make up 19% of more than 90,000 refugees who have reached Greek islands of Greece since 1 September (UNHCR, 16/09/2015).
As of 24 September, an estimated 10,000 Afghans are reported to be applying for passports each day. As of 7 September, the daily average was 7,000. In Afghanistan the passport is used primarily as a document for travel (VOA, 24/09/2015; 07/09/2015).
Humanitarian access is a key operational concern: tens of thousands of civilians remain trapped in conflict zones as of end June (USAID, 02/07/2015).
Access of relief actors to affected populations
On 3 October, a hospital run by MSF was hit by an aerial strike in Kunduz. At least 19 people died, including 12 MSF staff and seven patients. At least 37 were injured. On 5 October, the commander of the US forces in Afghanistan stated they had been called in to support Afghan forces under attack from the Taliban. (Reuters, 05/10/2015; BBC, 05/10/2015).
Since the beginning of the year, as of 17 August, 33 aid workers were reported to have been victims of attacks in the country: 20 national aid workers were killed, two were wounded, and seven were kidnapped. Four international aid workers have also been kidnapped in 2015 (Aid Workers Security Database, 17/08/2015). In 2014, 57 aid workers were killed in Afghanistan (Reuters, 17/08/2015).
Security and physical constraints
Deteriorated security conditions in Helmand significantly hamper the delivery of assistance (OCHA, 15/07/2015). Journalists have had to withdraw from Badakhshan and Nangarhar due to insecurity (RSF, 07/07/2015). Some reports indicate that the Taliban accessed offices of the National Directorate of Security (NDS) in Kunduz while taking the city. They have reportedly been able to gather access to addresses, phone numbers and photos of NGO staff, security operators and government officials (Amnesty International, 01/10/2015).
Food security and livelihoods
As of September 2015, 5.9% of people (1.5 million) report severe food insecurity, compared to 4.7% in 2014. 7.3 million people are moderately food insecure (FAO, 10/09/2015). Some households suffering major crop losses and most IDPs displaced by recent floods are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) (FEWSNET, 01/08/2015). In the northern Balkh, Faryab, Samangan and Saripul provinces, 80,654 people are in Crisis and Emergency (IPC Phases 3 and 4) (Food Security Cluster, 06/08/2015). The food security situation for IDPs is also worsening, with around 200,000 people in need of immediate assistance (FAO, 10/09/2015). The newly displaced people, which will likely reach 324,000 by the end of 2015, are projected to be in Crisis in the months up to March 2016 (FEWSNET, 30/09/2015).
A May-June seasonal food security assessment indicated worsening food security among urban households. 13% of households indicated food insecurity as a primary issue, compared to 3% in 2014 (Food Security Cluster, 31/08/2015). Additionally, female-headed households are 50% more likely to be food insecure than others, due largely to lower incomes and consequent poorer diet (FAO, 10/09/2015).
An estimated 500,000–990,000 people will be in Crisis food security or worse by November 2015 (FEWSNET, 22/07/2015).
Severe food gaps are reported in 14 villages in Arghanjkhah district of Badakhshan, affecting 17,940 people (Food Security Cluster/USAID, 14/07/2015).
The 2015 wheat harvest is expected to be better than the last two years, except in Ghazni, Bamyan, Daikundy, Kandahar, Hilamand, Zabul, Uruzgan, Paktya, Paktika, and Khost (FAO, 03/07/2015; FEWSNET/WFP, 07/06/2015).
As of 22 September, the prices for wheat and rice are reported to be generally lower than last year, but higher than the last 5-year average (WFP, 22/09/2015).
Below-average precipitation and high temperatures have made pasture conditions worse than normal, impacting pastoral livelihoods (FEWSNET, 01/08/2015).
The increase in insecurity and civilian casualties have impacted the work of health organizations and NGOs. High incidence of trauma, caused by widespread conflict, is making specialized trauma-care essential, especially for the remotest and most inaccessible areas of the country. Gaps in health services include lack of maternal care, problems in the delivery of treatment to victims of GBV (OCHA, 31/07/2015). On 28 September, hundreds of wounded have been brought to trauma care centres, after the offensive with which the Taliban took control of the city. Health organizations reported to be working non-stop to provide specialized trauma care to large numbers of people in critical conditions, while the Taliban have seized a 200-bed hospital in the city (MSF, 28/09/2015; Reuters, 28/09/2015).
Healthcare availability and access
There is a shortage of trained surgeons, anaesthetists, and trauma capacity in conflict-affected areas (OCHA, 25/11/2014). Only 19% of the districts affected by conflict are reported to have access to specialized trauma-care centres (OCHA, 31/07/2015).
Maternal mortality remains very high, with an average of 400 deaths per 100,000 live births. No decrease was registered since 2013 (WHO, 28/08/2015, World Bank Data, 2014). Only 4% of births are attended by skilled birth attendands (OCHA, 31/07/2015).
Women have reduced access to education, health and livelihood activities and face significant unmet mental health needs (NRC, 23/03/2015).
In the first quarter of 2015, 445 laboratory-confirmed cases of measles were reported, compared to 581 cases in all of 2014 (WHO, 26/04/2015). The Afghan Ministry of Public Health has confirmed 12 outbreaks so far in 2015 (SalamWatandar, 25/07/2015). In 2014, the measles vaccination coverage of children between 12 and 23 months of age was 66%; in 2013 it was 60% (World Bank, 2014).
In the week between 22 and 28 August, a new case of polio was confirmed in the Achin district of Nangarhar (GPEI, 26/08/2015). Eight cases have been recorded so far in 2015, as many as in the same period in 2014 (GPEI, 31/08/2015). 28 cases were reported altogether in 2014, mostly in conflict-affected areas (WHO, 26/04/2015).
As of 2015, Afghanistan has still a very high Tuberculosis burden (Medical Xpress, 28/09/2015). In 2013, the incidence of Tuberculosis was 189 per 100,000 people (World Bank Data 2014).
As of 21 September 2015, 1.2 million children are reported to be acutely malnourished (IMMAP, 21/09/2015). 48,000 children under five die of malnutrition each year (Government, 04/08/2015).
Assessments performed in Golan refugee camp in Khost province found a GAM rate of 12.3% and 3.8% SAM. In the province of Paktika, a SMART survey in May 2015 showed 7.8% GAM and 0.8% SAM in five districts among displaced households (FEWSNET, 31/08/2015).
In Afghanistan, only 27% of the population is reported to have access to an improved water source. The percentage goes down to 20% in rural areas, representing the lowest level in the world. Only 5% of the people nationwide, and 1% in rural areas, have access to improved sanitation facilities (ATN News, 16/09/2015).
Shelter and NFIs
Shelter is one of the main need identified among IDPs in Faryab, and Kabul provinces, with people living in makeshift shelters, and experiencing overcrowding (UNHCR, 31/07/2015).
In Afghanistan education has reportedly improved since the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001, with enrolment rates that are over 80% as of September 2015, from less than 40% in 2001. However, a large number of children still cannot access education and significant obstacles remain in terms of gender equality (UNHCR, 15/09/2015).
Access and learning environment
Schools have closed because of fighting and insecurity. In northern Baghlan at least 18 schools were closed in May and over 100 educational facilities were reported closed in Helmand at 24 July (Reuters, 31/05/2015; Tolonews, 24/07/2015). As of 2 September, 30 schools are reported to be closed in Baghlan as intense fighting continues, with the Afghan national forces trying to reclaim strategic areas in Faryab (Salamwatandar, 02/09/2015).
UNAMA reported a 23% increase in casualties among women and a 13% increase among children over the first half of 2015, compared to the same period in 2014 (OCHA, 31/07/2015).
Afghan local police have reportedly been involved in intimidation, physical abuse or violence, bribe-taking, salary fraud, and theft. Incidents of rape, drug trafficking, drug abuse and the selling or renting of local police weapons and vehicles have also been reported (ICG, 05/06/2015).
During the first three days of Taliban control over Kunduz, from 28 September to 1 October, mass murder, gang rapes and house-to-house searches performed by insurgent squads have been reported (Amnesty International, 01/10/2015).
Mines and ERW
22% of civilian casualties over January-June were caused by improvised explosive devices (IEDs) (US Ministry of Defense, 04/09/2015). An average of 98 civilians per month are recorded to be victims of mines or ERWs (MAPA, 14/09/2015).
559km2 (4,321 hazardous areas) are contaminated by minefields and explosive remnants of war (ERW). In 2015, a monthly average of 103 total casualties from mines, IEDs, and ERW is reported (UNMAS/MAPA, 30/06/2015). On 16 September, MAPA reported a decrease in funding that might jeopardize its long-term objective of a mine-free Afghanistan by 2023. As of 16 September, still 4,266 hazardous areas exist in 1,603 communities, over 255 districts of 33 provinces (MAPA, 16/09/2015).
On 3 September, hundreds of schoolgirls had to be admitted to hospital after inhaling a poisonous gas. Officials suspect foul play. This was reportedly the third such incident in the province in the first week of September (Voice of America, 03/09/2015). UNAMA registered 44 cases of sexual violence between January 2014 and January 2015 (UN Security Council, 15/04/2015). Sexual violence is underreported because of resulting social stigma as well as lack of access to Taliban-controlled areas.
40 reports of sexual violence against children, affecting 27 boys and 24 girls, were registered by UNAMA between September 2010 and December 2014 (UNAMA, 24/08/2015).
The Afghan national and local police and three armed groups (Taliban, Haqqani Network, and Hezb-e-Islami) have been listed for recruitment and use of children (Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict 02/05/2015). Children have been used as suicide bombers: 20 boys were killed carrying out suicide attacks between September 2010 and December 2014 (UNSC, 15/05/2015; UNAMA, 24/08/2015).
When taking control of Kunduz the Taliban has reportedly targeted media workers, occupying the headquarters of some news agencies. Several media workers are missing. The Taliban has also torched and destroyed equipment (RSF, 29/09/2015).
Central African Republic Country Analysis
3 October: Unidentified armed attackers opened fire on the headquarters of the UN peacekeeping mission, MINUSCA (UN, 03/10/2015).
26–30 September: Intercommunal violence in Bangui killed an estimated 41 people and injured 266. 42,575 people were displaced by the violence and are staying in sites; many more are thought to be staying with host families (OCHA, 01/10/2015).
- The conflict has caused over 6,000 deaths (Enough Project, 02/09/2015).
- Around 2.7 million people, over half of the population, are reported to be in immediate need of humanitarian assistance (The Global Observatory, 11/09/2015).
- 421,000 IDPs, including 69,870 in Bangui. In Bangui, 61% of IDPs are newly displaced after violent clashes at the end of September (OCHA, 01/10/2015).
- 476,076 CAR refugees in neighbouring countries (UNHCR, 30/08/2015).
- 1.28 million people are in Crisis and Emergency phases of food insecurity (FAO, 22/09/2015).
- Only 55% of health facilities are functioning (WHO, 27/04/2015).
- Less than 25% of the population is reported to have access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation facilities (OCHA, 31/08/2015).
Health, protection, food, and WASH are priority needs, as continued violence, looting, and displacement cause further deterioration of an already dire humanitarian situation across the country. Conflict has resulted in displacement, targeted killings along communal lines, and human rights abuses.
Humanitarian needs in CAR continue to exceed available resources and delivery of aid is expected to decline because funding remains low. However, on 13 May, CAR was deactivated as a Level 3 emergency response.
Politics and security
The transitional government was formed in August 2014, but was rejected by the ex-Seleka, which had proclaimed a de facto, independent, secular state in northeastern CAR in July (IRIN 23/09/2014; Government, 24/07/2014). The transitional government’s term had initially been due to end 17 August, but it has been extended (AFP, 12/08/2015).
The 585 participants in the Bangui Peace Forum agreed on a Republican Pact for Peace in May (BBC, 03/05/2015; Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, 12/05/2015). On 30 August, the transitional government adopted a new constitution, which limits future presidents to two terms in office (AFP, 31/08/2015). Members and former members of the transitional government will not be allowed to run for legislative and presidential elections (Mediapart, 30/08/2015).
Interim President Catherine Samba-Panza has blamed violence in Bangui at the end of September on supporters of former president Francois Bozizé, who was ousted in 2013. She has also called for a more robust mandate for MINUSCA and for a disarmament process for all armed groups (Reuters, 03/10/2015).
The first round of presidential and legislative elections was scheduled for 18 October, but will almost certainly be delayed given the recent violence (AP, 01/10/2015). Elections are likely to be a catalyst for further instability (Cordaid, 16/09/2015). Even prior to the September clashes, many were concerned that CAR was not ready for elections, with many people being prevented from registering to vote because they had lost identity documents in the conflict, and no plan to enable the participation of refugees in the elections (AFP, 29/07/2015; IRIN, 15/09/2015).
Boko Haram: Boko Haram has reportedly penetrated CAR (Cordaid, 16/09/2015)
Ex-Seleka: Seleka was an alliance of factions created in 2012 and dissolved by President Djotodia in late 2013. Many fighters remained active after the dissolution, and were dubbed ‘ex-Seleka’. Most moved out of the capital and by January 2014 controlled much of central and northern CAR; another 17,114 fighters were confined to three military camps in Bangui, (IRIN, 17/09/2014). Bambari, Ouaka, reportedly became the ex-Seleka headquarters in May 2014. There are reports of internal conflict, involving in particular the Front Démocratique du Peuple Centrafricain (Democratic Front of the Central African People, or FDPC), which has worsened over 2015, weakening the alliance. Members include Muslims from the northeast, and Sudanese and Chadians (IRIN, 12/01/2015; international media, 30/09/2014; Enough, 17/06/2015).
Anti-balaka: Anti-balaka formed in order to counter the Seleka; there are around 75,000 militants, though the numbers are contested, and their main leaders and political programme remain unknown (IRIN, 12/01/2015). After the coup and Djotodia’s resignation, many members of the former government army, the FACA, joined the anti-balaka.
LRA: The Lord’s Resistance Army, a faction of Ugandan insurgents, was pushed out of Uganda by the national army, but is reported to be still active in Central African Republic, attacking civilians, looting and abducting people (Stratfor, 26/08/2015; LRA Crisis Tracker, 22/09/2015).
UN peacekeeping mission (MINUSCA): MINUSCA officially took over peacekeeping operations on 14 September 2014. In March 2015, the number of peacekeepers was increased by 1,000, to better protect infrastructure and senior officials in Bangui, bringing the total to 13,000 uniformed personnel (Reuters, 26/03/2015). An international NGO reported that UN peacekeepers were responsible for the death of two civilians in Bangui, as well as the rape of a 12-year-old girl, in August. The head of MINUSCA was replaced (UN, 14/08/2015; Reuters, 12/08/2015; Aljazeera, 11/08/2015). On 11 September, seven peacekeepers were repatriated, and nine had their salary suspended (United Nations, 11/09/2015).
French forces: On 19 May, the French peacekeeping operation was formally handed over to MINUSCA (French Ministry of Defence, 22/05/2015). As of 31 August, around 900 French soldiers were left in the country, from the 2,000 that were present in May. France plans to further reduce the number of troops before the end of the year (UNHCR, 31/08/2015).
EU advisory mission: The EU launched its Military Advisory mission (EUMAM RCA) on 19 January, with the objective of reforming the security sector (Government, 16/03/2015).
US military assistance: The US is providing logistical support, special forces, and advisers to African troops operating against the LRA in eastern and southeastern CAR.
Ceasefires have been agreed by the warring parties, but never accepted by the transitional government nor fully enacted (USAID, 10/04/2015). More than 6,000 people were killed between December 2013 and March 2014 (The Guardian, 21/07/2015; BBC, 07/01/2015). Since January 2014, more than 2,054 security incidents have been recorded, more than 96% of them from January to end of July 2015 (OCHA, 10/08/2015; 24/07/2015). Peaks of violence were reached in March 2014, with 196 incidents, and have since fallen, although there are indications that violence has escalated again in September. Hotspots for incidents are Ouaka, Ouham, and Nana-Mambéré prefectures (OCHA, 31/08/2015).
Conflict began in late 2012, when Seleka fighters advanced from the north, taking control of territory on their way to the capital Bangui, where they held power until December 2013. Seleka committed numerous abuses during their advance and rule, and self-defence militias composed of mainly non-Muslims, ‘anti-balaka’, began revenge attacks in late 2013. Most ex-Seleka members withdrew to the north at the end of 2013, but fighting persisted between ex-Seleka and anti-balaka, Muslim and Christian communities, and pastoralists and farmers. About a million cattle have been reported killed or stolen, and around 1,000 livestock farmers belonging to Mbororo ethnic group have been killed by anti-balaka. Trade in livestock makes up 10% of GDP (AFP, 02/09/2015).
MISCA African Union forces, backed by France, were deployed in December 2013, authorised by the UN. The African Union had already deployed troops to CAR prior to Seleka’s assumption of power, but they had been overwhelmed by the severity and scope of the conflict. In mid-September 2014, the UN peacekeeping force took over.
Bangui: Violence in the capital over 26–30 September, after the murder of a Muslim taxi driver, left at least 41 people dead and injured 266 (OCHA, 01/10/2015). Three protesters were shot and killed during demonstrations near the presidential palace. MINUSCA is seeking to verify accusations that peacekeepers opened fire on protesters (AFP, 28/09/2015). On 3 October, unidentified armed attackers opened fire on the headquarters of the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA, 03/10/2015).
Basse-Kotto: Clashes between armed groups were reported 5–6 September in the village of Walago and 8–9 September in Sangba (OCHA, 22/09/2015). Over 2–4 August, fighting in Malegbassa between ex-Seleka and Fulani left up to 12 dead and several wounded (Reuters, 06/08/2015).
Ouaka: Violence in Bangui spread to Ouaka. At least ten people were wounded in Bambari, and 15–20 houses were reportedly set alight (01/10/2015). Tensions have been high since renewed clashes on 20 August between anti-balaka and ex-Seleka in Bambari left 20 people dead and 10 injured, including three Red Cross staff (Enough project, 27/08/2015; ECHO, 24/08/2015; UNICEF, 08/09/2015). (UNHCR, 27/08/2015). Some roads inside the city were closed, as well as the road to the airstrip (ECHO, 24/08/2015).
Ouham and Nana-Grebizi: In late September violence related to the clashes in Bangui injured four people in Nana-Grebizi (OCHA, 29/09/2015). June and July saw clashes between herding and farming communities over natural resources (FEWSNET, 31/07/2015; OCHA, 21/06/2015; UNHCR, 26/06/2015).
421,575 IDPs are estimated to be CAR as of 1 October (OCHA, 01/10/2015). There are also approximately 131,000 IDP returnees, mainly in Ouham-Pende, Ouham, Kemo and Nana-Grebizi (OCHA, 28/05/2015).
111,266 IDPs live in 72 sites outside Bangui, the rest are either in the capital or with host families (UNHCR, 29/07/2015). Priorities for IDPs include food security, healthcare, WASH, shelter, and basic household items (OCHA, 31/08/2015).
Bangui: The violence at the end of September brought the total number of IDPs in Bangui to 42,575, up from 27,315 beforehand. The displaced are spread across 32 sites (OCHA, 01/10/2015; UN, 27/09/2015). On 12 September, 114 IDPs were evicted from Saint Jean Gabaladja site; 2,700 IDPs in nine other sites are at risk of eviction (UN, 14/09/2015).
On 28 August, the government announced the decision to close Mpoko IDP site by 15 September, in order to enable the building for use as Mpoko international airport. However, the camp still hosts an estimated 30,000 IDPs, 19,000 of whom were displaced by the violence at the end of September (OCHA, 01/10/2015).
Basse-Koto: Fighting in the prefecture has led 2,000 people to flee Bianga in September (OCHA, 22/09/2015).
Ouaka: An increase in violence between armed groups since the beginning of September has reportedly led to the displacement of an estimated 10,000 people (OCHA, 22/09/2015). Clashes in Bambari between anti-balaka and ex-Seleka over 20–30 August caused 4,250 IDPs previously hosted in Notre-Dame-de-la-Victoire to flee to three other sites – Sangaris, Aviation, and Site Alternatif. A spontaneous IDP site formed inside MINUSCA’s Bambari compound, hosting about 3,000 people as of 25 August. Conditions at the site were dire, with no sanitation facilities and limited access to water and shelter (UNHCR, 27/08/2015).
Refugees and asylum seekers
As of 30 August, 7,714 refugees are being hosted in CAR (UNHCR, 30/08/2015).
CAR refugees in neighbouring countries
As of 31 August, the number of CAR refugees in neighbouring countries was reported to be 476,076: 253,042 in Cameroon, 101,866 in DRC, 30,114 in Congo, 84,223 in Chad. (UNHCR, 31/08/2015). An additional 735 CAR refugees fled to DRC between 26-29 September (UNHCR 01/10/2015).
Access of relief actors to affected populations
Dozens of humanitarian organisations’ offices in Bangui were looted between 26 and 29 September (01/10/2015). Offices in Kaga Bandoro were also looted (OCHA, 29/09/2015). 259 acts of violence were recorded against humanitarian organisations between January and July 2015 (OCHA, 14/07/2015). On 20 August, one Red Cross staff member was reported injured in a targeted attack in Bambari (OCHA, 31/08/2015).
Kidnapping of humanitarian workers is also frequent (USAID, 27/04/2015; OCHA, 09/09/2015). UN, NGO, and private vehicles are becoming regular targets on main roads (IOM, 02/02/2015). 18 humanitarian workers were killed and six wounded in 142 incidents in 2014 (OCHA, 04/12/2014; USAID, 19/12/2014).
Ouaka: On 20 August, two humanitarian workers were injured in Bambari during ex-Seleka and anti-balaka clashes (AFP, 22/08/2015). All humanitarian activities in Bambari were temporarily suspended (OCHA, 25/08/2015).
Access of affected populations to assistance
As of 15 September, around 30,000 Muslims are trapped in seven besieged communities, targeted by anti-balaka fighters, who regularly carry out attacks and prevent access to the distribution of medical supplies, food, and humanitarian aid (Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, 15/09/2015).
Security and physical constraints
Many of the those displaced in Bangui since the violence in late September still have not been reached by humanitarian actors due roadblocks and other movement restrictions (UNHCR, 01/10/2015). Crime hinders the supply of humanitarian assistance outside Bangui.
Food security and livelihoods
On 22 September, 1.28 million people were reported to be food insecure and are predicted to continue to face Crisis and Emergency (ICP Phases 3 and 4) food security outcomes through December 2015, particularly in central and western prefectures (FAO, 22/09/2015; FEWSNET, 31/07/2015; 31/08/2015).
Food assistance needs are higher than the five-year average, but the same as last year (FEWSNET, 22/07/2015).
75% of Central Africans rely on agriculture for their food and income, and food crop production in 2014 was 58% below pre-crisis levels in 2012, as a result of insecurity, looting, and the killing of livestock, but 11% higher than 2013 (FAO, 29/07/2015; OCHA, 04/03/2015). A shortfall in domestic production is likely this year, given the combination of poor rainfall and prolonged insecurity.
Grain supply is falling. Local rice is unavailable due to low production and imports from Cameroon are affected by insecurity (FEWSNET, 31/07/2015).
Markets are expected to have below-average stocks for the remainder of 2015 (FEWSNET, 31/07/2015). Displaced populations are dependent on market purchase for 60% of their food, because they have no food stocks. Markets have started charging very high prices in some villages in southern prefectures of Basse-Kotto and Nana-Mambéré, with food stocks covering a week or less (FEWSNET, 31/08/2015).
Livelihoods are reported to have been severely affected by fighting and looting, which has caused an increase in food prices and a decrease in household income (OCHA, 31/08/2015).
Two million people need access to health services (OCHA, 22/12/2014; 31/08/2015). 55% of health facilities are functioning (WHO, 27/04/2015). Only 25% of those offering services have functioning sources of energy, and 21% have access to water (WHO, 31/12/2014). Nationwide, 28% of health centres are completely or partially destroyed (UNICEF, 28/08/2015).
Malaria remains the primary cause of mortality. 19,890 cases were reported between 4 May and 7 June (WHO, 30/04/2015; 30/06/2015).
As of 28 August, more than 12,000 children under five currently need treatment for severe acute malnutrition (SAM). SAM prevalence stands at 1.9%, and beyond the 2% emergency threshold in some prefectures (UNICEF, 28/08/2015). A SMART survey of enclaves and IDP sites in Kaga Bandoro, Bambari, and Batangafo indicates that global acute malnutrition is approaching 9.2%, and rates of severe acute malnutrition are at 2.2% (UNICEF, 08/09/2015).
At 31 August, less than 25% of the population is reported to have access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation facilities (OCHA, 31/08/2015). Newly displaced people in sites in Cotonnerie and PK8 in Bangui have reported difficulties accessing water (OCHA, 29/09/2015). If displaced people remain in sites, the need for WASH facilities in displacement sites will increase (OCHA, 01/10/2015).
Assessments conducted in Bedaya 2, Bedogo 1, Bembo, and Bedam villages, in Ouham Pendé, indicated that around 17% of households are using non-improved water sources (Danish Refugee Council, 06/08/2015). Around 98% of the population practice open defecation; 2% have access to non-hygienised latrines. Only 5% of households have access to soap (Danish Refugee Council, 06/08/2015).
Shelter is a high priority need following the surge in displacement caused by the violent clashes in Bangui in late September (Retuers, 29/09/2015). Shelter conditions are insufficient in most IDP sites and IDPs with host families face lack of space and tensions. IDPs tend to move to rental housing after being in IDP sites or with host families but struggle to keep up with rent. Abandoned housing taken up by IDPs is mostly shelter left by Muslims, but only provides minimal protection after having been burned or pillaged (NRC 12/2014). Some returning IDPs find their homes destroyed or occupied. Disputes and tensions when IDPs relocate are a concern (NRC 12/2014).
The need for NFIs is reported to be particularly high in conflict areas (Solidarités International, 01/09/2015).
Since 2012, 30% of schools in the country have been attacked and around 8.4% have been used as temporary bases by armed groups. On 10 September 2015, reports indicate that 78–88% of schools are open, however attendance remains low and intermittent (AFP, 10/09/2015; NZ Herald 11/09/2015).
Crimes against humanity and war crimes have been reported. Ex-Seleka are listed for child recruitment, killing, rape and other forms of sexual violence, and attacks on schools and/or hospitals (Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict, 04/11/2014). Only in the week up to 9 September, MINUSCA registered over 50 violations of human rights, with 48 victims, including at least five women and one child (UN, 09/09/2015).
Anti-balaka are listed for child recruitment, and killing and maiming (Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict, 04/11/2014). On 8 January, the UN Commission of Inquiry into human rights concluded that violence towards Muslims by anti-balaka in 2014 constitutes ethnic cleansing (Government, 20/01/2015).
20 peacekeepers were sent home following an event 10 July involving excessive use of force on four people, killing two (Reuters, 09/07/2015).
On 29 September, Democratic Republic of Congo closed its border to Central Africans seeking asylum in the country (Reuters, 29/09/2015).
The risks of sexual violence, early and forced marriage, and insufficient gender-based violence (GBV) response are highest in Bambari, Ouaka; Mbres and Kaga-Bandoro, Nana-Grebizi; Kabo and some villages in Nana-Mambere (OCHA, 28/05/2015). An increase in GBV has been reported in conflict-afflicted areas, with 45 cases of rape reported in Kaga Bandoro alone between 4 May and 7 June. Between January and June, 280 rape cases were recorded – an average of 46 per month (UNICEF, 09/07/2015).
As of 15 September, there are 17 allegations of sexual abuse or exploitation perpetrated by UN personnel (UN, 15/09/2015). At least nine allegations involve minors (AFP, 11/09/2015).
The number of children recruited into armed groups has risen to 6,000–10,000, from 2,500 at the beginning of the crisis (UNICEF, 28/08/2015). Eight major militia groups have agreed to free child soldiers and children used as cooks, messengers, or for sexual purposes (Reuters, 05/05/2015). As of 30 August, 1,832 children have been released from armed groups, including 163 in Batangafo on 30 August (UNICEF, 11/08/2015; UN, 20/08/2015; UNICEF, 28/08/2015).
There has been an increase in marriage of 12-year old girls (IRC, 17/07/2015).
Refugees are at risk of statelessness because access to birth certificates is limited (OCHA, 28/05/2015).
Democratic Republic of Congo Country Analysis
30 September: An estimated 3,000 IDPs returned to Tanganyika district in September. 45,130 have been displaced from June 2015 due to clashes between Luba and pygmies (OCHA).
29 September: DRC closed its northern border with CAR due to an increasing political violence that prompted fears of a refugee influx (AFP, 29/09/2015).
29 September: Maniema is experiencing an acute cholera outbreak. 697 cases have been reported in the last three weeks, including 37 deaths (UNICEF).
28 September: Nearly 5,000 people, including 3,000 children, have been displaced due to inter-communal clashes in Pangui territory, Maniema province (OCHA).
- 7 million people need humanitarian assistance (OCHA, 30/04/2015).
- 2.6 million IDPs (OCHA, 01/06/2015; 17/06/2015).
- Over 2 million children under five are suffering from acute malnutrition (Radio Okapi, 04/11/2014).
- 7.3 million school-aged children are not attending school (Radio Okapi, 10/03/2015).
Needs are highest in the conflict-affected regions of North Kivu, South Kivu, Katanga, and Orientale, where there is large-scale, repeated displacement. IDPs, host populations, and those unable to flee are all vulnerable, as insecurity poses multiple protection risks and prevents access to basic services.
Political violence and inter-communal strife have persisted for decades, influenced by longstanding tensions with DRC’s eastern neighbours. Operations by DRC armed forces and UN peacekeepers and infighting between armed groups disrupt security and stability.
Politics and security
President Kabila’s second full term ends in November 2016. Attempts to prolong his presidency beyond the two-term limit were met with violent protests in September 2014 and in January 2015. Violent clashes erupted again between opposition and Kabila supporters in mid-September in Kinshasa, as thousands gathered to protest against prolongation of his presidency (AFP, 15/09/2015). The ruling party is thought to be using the scheduling of elections to extend Kabila’s time in office. The majority is now pushing for local elections – which have never been held in DRC – to take place before the presidential poll, and decisions regarding the organisation of elections are being delayed (RFI, 10/08/2015). Local elections should take place on 25 October 2015 (local media, 11/08/2015).
Early September, dozens of houses were destroyed in Goma, to define a neutral area between DRC and Rwanda, and to avoid further territorial conflicts (AFP, 06/09/2015). Rwandan soldiers reportedly crossed the border into Rutshuru in April, as tensions between the two countries rose (News Central, 23/04/2015).
At least 40 armed groups are operating in the east of the country (ECHO, 13/08/2015). They range from local militias set up initially as self-defence groups (among them many Mayi-Mayi groups), to secessionist groups, and forces first set up by fighters from Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi. The UN has a peacekeeping mission (MONUSCO), and an EU mission providing assistance to security sector reform has been in the country since 2005 (EU, 25/09/2014). Efforts to demobilise armed groups are ongoing (Radio Okapi, 06/04/2015).
Front of Patriotic Resistance in Ituri (FRPI) was set up in November 2002 from among the Ngiti ethnic group (TRAC). Attacks increased in Irumu territory, Orientale, in 2015, after a failed disarmament programme at the end of 2014 (OCHA, 19/04/2015). The FRPI was reportedly neutralised by the FARDC and MONUSCO in late June (AFP, 24/06/2015).
Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) are mainly Hutu Rwandans who were allegedly linked to the genocide. An estimated 1,400 fighters are active, primarily in the Kivu regions (Reuters, 22/03/2015).
Mayi-Mayi: At least 20 Mayi-Mayi groups, formed by local leaders along ethnic lines, are active in North Kivu, South Kivu, and Katanga. The number of fighters can range from 100 to 1,000 (AFP 2013).
Allied Democratic Forces/National Army for the Liberation of Uganda (ADF/NALU) is a Muslim militant group founded in the 1990s. MONUSCO and FARDC launched an operation in North Kivu to neutralise the group in January 2015 (Radio Okapi, 07/01/2015). ADF activity decreased in January, but by early February attacks against villages in Beni territory had increased (AFP, 04/02/2015; 20/03/2015).
Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) was founded by Joseph Kony in Uganda in 1987 and spread to South Sudan, then to DRC and CAR (IRIN).
National Liberation Forces (FNL) are Burundian militants based in South Kivu (AFP 2013).
The armed forces of the DRC (FARDC) comprise 120,000–130,000 fighters (Defence Web, 2013). Seven army and police officers were banned from receiving MONUSCO support in March 2015 because they pose a risk of committing human rights violations (Reuters, 11/03/2015).
The UN Stabilization Mission in DRC (MONUSCO) is made up of almost 18,000 troops, as well as military observers and police units (OCHA, 19/04/2015). The initial mission, MONUC, was established after the 1999 peace agreement between DRC and five regional states. In March 2014 its mandate was expanded, with the creation of an Intervention Brigade, charged with neutralising armed groups (RFI, 20/10/2014). MONUSCO’s mandate was extended for another year in March 2015, although its force was cut by 2,000 troops (Reuters, 26/03/2015; AFP, 26/03/2015).
2.29 million people in North Kivu are affected by armed conflict (OCHA, 02/06/2015). FARDC began an offensive against the FDLR in February, and renewed its offensive against the ADF on 19 July (Radio Okapi, 20/07/2015; AFP, 26/02/2015). 2,960 incidents were recorded in the first half of 2015, including 519 incidents in June (International NGO Safety Organization, 20/07/2015).
Beni territory: On 24 September, clashes between FARDC and ADF were reported in Mayangose (UN, 29/09/2015). On 15 September, three civilians were killed by suspected ADF in Kokola town (Radio Okapi, 16/09/2015). At least nine people were killed in ADF attacks on two villages on 5 and 6 September (Irin, 06/09/2015; Africa Time, 07/09/2015).
Walikale territory: Intensified clashes have been observed between the Alliance of Patriots for a Free and Sovereign Congo (APCLS) and FARDC in Kashebere since mid-September. They have displaced at least 6,000 people (Radio Okapi, 24/09/2015). 10 people were kidnapped nearby Busendo village. This is the second kidnapping in one week, and is impacting on people’s freedom of movement (Radio Okapi, 03/10/2015).
In Shabunda territory, clashes between FARDC and other armed groups have intensified since mid-August. More than 25,000 people have fled their villages (MSF, 02/09/2015).
Since early 2015, Katanga’s triangle of death (Pweto, Manono, and Moba territories) has experienced a decrease in Mayi-Mayi attacks (Radio Okapi, 17/03/2015), but Luba (Bantus) and pygmies (Batwa) have frequently clashed in Kalemie, Manono, and Nyunzu territories, Tanganyika district (OCHA, 08/04/2015). In Nyunzu territory, conflict between Luba and pygmies has killed 200 people since January 2015; 60 women have been raped; 113 villages have been burned (Radio Okapi, 03/06/2015).
On 13 September, heavy rains and wind caused severe damage in Kamituga, South Kivu. Three people were injured, and 650 houses were reportedly destroyed. Eight schools were damaged (Radio Okapi, 14/09/2015).
9,000 people were affected by flooding in Orientale prefecture on 12 August. Four died and more than 1,200 homes were damaged or destroyed (OCHA, 20/08/2015).
Forest fires in Kolongo, Katanga, have left 6,000 without shelter (OCHA, 16/09/2015)
50,000 people have been affected by forest fires in Kabambare territory in Maniema province. At least 6,000 people are homeless and in churches, schools, or with host families. The fires also affected IDP shelters (AFP, 28/08/2015; Caritas, 26/08/2015).
As of end of June, 1.5 million IDPs were reported in DRC (OCHA, 20/07/2015). More than half of them are in North Kivu province and the rest are mainly in South Kivu and Katanga provinces. In addition, DRC hosts more than 225,020 refugees (OCHA, 30/04/2015).
At 30 June, there were 1.5 million IDPs in DRC, a decrease of one million due to data cleaning (OCHA, 20/07/2015). Displacement can be short-term, but repetitive, depending on the security threats in the regions.
From March to June, 220,000 people were displaced due to insecurity in Beni, Rutshuru and Walikale territories (North Kivu), southern Irumu (Orientale), Kalehe (South Kivu), and Kalemie, Manono, and Pweto (Katanga) (OCHA, 20/07/2015). 121,000 were displaced between January and March 2015 (OCHA, 30/04/2015).
North Kivu hosts 624,277 IDPs as of August (OCHA, 22/09/2015). 26,880 were newly displaced in June due to violence in Beni, Rutshuru, and Walikale territories (UNHCR, 14/07/2015). 67% live with host families (OCHA, 15/07/2015). As of 25 August, approximately 178,000 live in IDP sites in North Kivu (CCCM Cluster, 06/09/2015). Near Goma, four sites host more than 16,000 IDPs: most people have relocated to Masisi, Nyirangongo, and Rutshuru territories (ECHO, 29/05/2015; OCHA, 31/05/2015). 286,039 IDPs have returned home over the last 18 months (OCHA, 22/09/2015).
Beni: There were 152,270 displaced people in Beni as of 25 June (OCHA, 15/07/2015).14,000 IDPs, primarily pygmies, are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance in Mamove; medical assistance has been limited (Radio Okapi, 26/09/2015).
Lubero: 127,630 people were displaced in Lubero as of 24 June (UNHCR, 15/07/2015).
Walikale: There are 76,030 IDPs in Walikale as of 25 June (UNCHR, 15/07/2015). Hundreds of households are seeking refuge with host families, and lack food, clothes, and access to healthcare (Radio Okapi, 10/08/2015; 06/06/2015). 1,500 people returned to Ntoto after fleeing Mayi-Mayi clashes in December 2014 and are in need of assistance (Caritas, 21/08/2015). More than 6,000 people have left their villages since 19 September due to clashes between APCLS and FARDC in Kashebere. Their humanitarian situation has been worsening and they urgently need food assistance (Radio Okapi, 25/09/2015).
At 30 June, 317,960 IDPs were in South Kivu, a 53% decrease since end March due to a purging of data (OCHA, 10/07/2015). More than 64,000 IDPs and former IDPs need assistance in northern Shabunda territory (OCHA, 21/08/2015). Since mid-August, renewed clashes between FARDC and other armed groups have displaced more than 25,000 people. IDPs seek refuge in the towns of Shabunda and Katshungu and in the surrounding bush (MSF, 02/09/2015).
After returning to their homes on 15 August, 1,960 inhabitants of Mutarule, north Uvira territory, were re-displaced on 19 August due to a Mayi-Mayi attack (OCHA, 21/08/2015). Since 15 September, an additional 2,400 people, displaced since June 2014, have returned to Mutarule. Their main needs are shelter and healthcare (OCHA, 22/09/2015).
As of end June, there were 130,850 IDPs in Orientale province (OCHA, 20/07/2015). Violence, mainly involving FRPI, continues to provoke displacement
Since 28 September, inhabitants of Alingba and Aveba villages, Ituri district, are fleeing pillage and violence committed by FRPI (Radio Okapi, 30/09/2015).
Since 11 August, violence has displaced some 6,000 people from Djugu to Libi, north of Bunia, Ituri district (OCHA, 20/08/2015).
1,375 people who returned to four villages in Walendu Bindi after fleeing FARDC and FRPI clashes in April 2014 are in urgent need of shelter, education and NFI assistance (Caritas, 21/08/2015).
Katanga hosts 316,875 IDPs as of end June (OCHA, 20/07/2015). 45,130 IDPs were displaced between April and June 2015 due to clashes between Luba and pygmies in Tanganyika district (OCHA, 29/07/2015). An estimated 3,000 returned in September. However, the security situation remains volatile (OCHA, 30/09/2015).
17,800 former IDPs returning to Nyunzu territory do not have shelter: 43 of 50 villages that were evaluated had been burned (OCHA, 24/07/2015). More than 74,000 former IDPs are in need of reintegration assistance (OCHA, 02/07/2015).
Maniema hosts 121,525 IDPs as of 24 June (UNHCR, 20/07/2015). 24,950 of these are from South Kivu, and fled violence between April and June (OCHA, 20/07/2015).
Nearly 5,000 people, including 3,000 children, have been displaced due to intercommunal clashes in Pangi territory (OCHA, 28/09/2015). More than 6,000 IDPs, including 2,000 children under five, have arrived in Pangui territory in 2015, fleeing conflict in Shabunda, South Kivu. Pangui territory also hosts approximately 25,000 former IDPs who need access to land and household items, as well as support to develop livelihoods (OCHA, 18/08/2015).
5,000 people displaced in Kasongo territory following intercommunal violence are staying with host families in villages near Mungomba and need assistance (OCHA, 22/07/2015; Caritas, 03/08/2015).
Refugees and asylum seekers
DRC hosts more than 225,020 refugees (OCHA, 30/04/2015). DRC provincial authorities insist that assistance should only be delivered within camps, making it difficult to support refugees in host communities.
From CAR: On 29 September, DRC closed its northern border with CAR due to fears of a refugee influx (AFP, 29/09/2015). Between 28 September and 2 October, 1,086 asylum seekers from CAR were registered in Zongo, Equateur province (OCHA, 02/10/2015). Over 9–16 September, more than 3,000 new refugees arrived in northern DRC, fleeing renewed clashes (AFP, 16/09/2015). Many are women and children, and are staying with host families and in churches (Caritas, 14/09/2015).
As of 31 August, there were 101,866 CAR refugees in DRC (UNHCR, 31/08/2015). Approximately 3,000 are in four camps in Equateur and Orientale provinces. The newest camp, Bili, in Bosobolo territory, Equateur province, hosts 7,000 refugees (WFP, 06/08/2015).
From Rwanda: 117,300 refugees (UNHCR, 28/02/2015; UN 30/12/2014).
From Burundi: As of 27 September, 15,279 Burundian refugees have arrived in DRC in 2015 (UNHCR, 27/09/2015). 50% are under 12 years old (WFP, 22/09/2015). The majority are in South Kivu, 680 are in Katanga, and 230 are in Maniema. Some 6,300 are staying with host families. Lusenda camp, Fizi territory, has reached full capacity, at 8,043 people (WFP, 16/09/2015). 1,200 asylum seekers are being transferred to the camp (OCHA, 16/09/2015). Priority needs are WASH and health (WHO, 15/09/2015). The remaining refugees are in transit centres and temporary sites (WFP, 16/09/2015). FDLR presence in hosting areas is a concern (UNHCR, 05/06/2015; OCHA, 27/05/2015). Prior to the recent influx, there were 9,000 Burundian refugees in DRC (OCHA, 27/05/2015).
Angola: Between 1 January and May, 29,881 DRC citizens were deported from Angola (Soyo and Cabinda provinces) (OCHA, 04/06/2015; Radio Okapi, 17/06/2015).
Central African Republic: The repatriation of 600 returnees who were in CAR began on 3 August. They had fled LRA violence six years ago and are in Ango, Bas-Uele district in Orientale (OCHA, 20/08/2015; Reuters, 03/08/2015).
DRC refugees in neighbouring countries
There are around 442,440 DRC refugees in neighbouring countries, mainly in Uganda (178,220), Rwanda (73,560), Burundi (53,860), Tanzania (63,453), Congo (23,450), Kenya (23,091), South Sudan (14,630), and CAR (5,340) (UNHCR, 09/09/2015; 31/08/2015).
The mountainous and volcanic terrain, and lack of tarred roads, limit access across DRC, and access worsens during the rainy season. Insecurity is a major constraint in the east.
Security and physical constraints
North Kivu: Some 275,000 IDPs are hard to access due to insecurity (OCHA, 30/04/2015). Commercial flights are not serving the area (local media, 09/06/2015). There were two attacks on humanitarian organisations in Rutshuru and Walikale territories between 18 and 21 June (OCHA, 23/06/2015). The road connecting Busendo village and the north of North Kivu has been the scene of two kidnappings in one week (Radio Okapi, 03/10/2015).
South Kivu: Two NGOs have temporarily suspended activities due to an increase in security incidents on the route between Bitale and Hombo, Kalehe territory (OCHA, 10/06/2015). Insecurity has prevented humanitarian actors from accessing Lulingu (OCHA, 10/06/2015). Mayi-Mayi attacks were reported at the end of July (local media, 29/07/2015). 25,000 displaced people in the towns of Shabunda and Katshungu are hard to access because the roads are in a very bad condition. Medical supplies must be brought by cargo plane (MSF, 02/09/2015).
Orientale: 4,500 IDPs in Bili, Bondo territory, have been without assistance due to access constraints since April (OCHA, 17/09/2015). Humanitarian activities have slowed in the south of Irumu territory (Bunia, Gety, Aveba and Bukiring) due to insecurity (OCHA, 03/06/2015). Since 16 May, (OCHA, 10/06/2015).
Equateur: The Ubangi river crossing between Zongo, Equateur province, and Bangui, CAR, has been closed since 26 September (Radio Okapi, 28/09/2015). Camps in Zongo, Libenge, and Bosobolo hosting CAR refugees are experiencing pipeline breaks due to heavy rains and bad road conditions (UNHCR, 31/08/2015).
Food security and livelihoods
6.5 million people are facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or Emergency (IPC Phase 4) food security outcomes as a result of armed group activity, inter-communal violence, and displacement (FAO, 30/06/2015).
Irumu (Orientale), Boende (Equateur), Punia (Maniema), Shabunda (South Kivu), Manono, Mitwaba, and Pweto (Katanga) are all in Emergency phase, representing an increase of 523,000 people in IPC Phase 4 compared to the last assessment, in December 2014 (FAO, 30/06/2015).
Food production is estimated at 20–40% below national consumption needs (USAID, 21/07/2015).
A lack of health services have been mainly reported in the Kivus, Katanga, and Orientale. Measles and cholera outbreaks are ongoing in the country, particularly affecting children, who are already weakened by high rates of malaria and malnutrition (NY Times, 14/09/2015).
In Bili refugee camp, acute respiratory infections remain the most common cause for refugees seeking medical attention, accounting for 22% of health facility visits (UNHCR, 30/08/2015).
In Lusenda camp, malaria, intestinal parasites, and acute respiratory infections are the most prevalent illnesses (UNHCR, 13/09/2015).
Healthcare availability and access
South Kivu: 60% of the population in Uvira, Fizi, and Walungu territories do not have healthcare (OCHA, 29/06/2015). There is a lack of medical supplies in all five health zones (OCHA, 09/07/2015).
Orientale: Since May 2015, routine vaccination is not on schedule in ten health facilities, due to a lack of fuel for the cold chain (OCHA, 22/07/2015). 140 health facilities in Bunia are functioning, but without trained health personnel and without adequate medicine (Radio Okapi, 30/06/2015).
9,704 cases of cholera, including 113 deaths, were recorded 1 January–13 September, compared to 12,956 for the same period in 2014. The number of cases has been rapidly increasing since mid-August. From 24–30 August, 173 new cases were reported compared to 693 new cases reported from 7–13 September (UNICEF, 29/09/2015). On 23 September, the Ministry of Public Health declared a cholera epidemic in DRC (Radio Okapi, 23/09/2015).
Maniema: Maniema is experiencing an acute cholera outbreak. 697 cases have been reported in the three weeks until 13 September, including 37 deaths (UNICEF, 29/09/2015). From 14–23 September, 800 new cholera cases were reported in Kindu health zone (OCHA, 28/09/2015).
Orientale: In Tchomia health zone, Ituri district, 180 cholera cases were reported 31 August–14 September, including two deaths (OCHA, 17/09/2015). Local media report new cases are decreasing, with three new cases reported on 16 September, compared to an average of 40 new cases per day in August (Radio Okapi, 18/09/2015).
North Kivu: In Walikale territory, 15 cases and four deaths were reported between 23 August and 3 September. The CFR is 26.7% (OCHA, 09/09/2015). With adequate and timely treatment, the CFR for cholera should be below 1% (WHO).
South Kivu: In Uvira health zone, 186 new cholera cases, including two deaths, were reported in the three weeks to 27 September. The number of cases has been increasing rapidly because the chlorination of water dwells has stopped (WHO, 27/09/2015).
Malaria remains the predominant illness in most camps hosting CAR refugees. In Mboti camp, 39% of people seeking medical assistance were treated for malaria in the last two weeks of August (UNHCR, 30/08/2015).
Katanga: At least 23,627 measles cases have been reported since the beginning of 2015, 50% more than the same period in 2014. Nearly 400 people have died. 23 of 68 health zones are affected (OCHA, 16/09/2015, MSF, 01/09/2015; NY Times, 14/09/2015). From 21–27 September, 1,200 new cases were reported (OCHA, 30/09/2015). Lack of vaccination is one reason for the rise (OCHA, 02/07/2015).
Elsewhere in the country, 16,000 measles cases have been reported (InterHealth, 18/09/2015).
Ituri: 207 cases of rabies, including 17 deaths, have been reported in the district over the last nine months (Radio Okapi, 28/09/2015).
Countrywide, acute malnutrition is estimated at 8%, which is above the emergency threshold (SADC, 31/07/2015). As of September, 2.5 million children under five are severely malnourished (WHO, 27/09/2015).
As of 30 August, in Bili refugee camp, in Bossobolo territory, Equateur province, the SAM rate for children under five is 2.4%, and GAM 6.5% (UNHCR, 30/08/2015).
North Kivu: An estimated 4.3 million people require WASH assistance in North Kivu (OCHA, 20/05/2015).
Only 22% of the population has access to drinking water (Bond for International Development, 31/07/2015).
CAR refugees: Water supply in camps is below the minimum standard of 20 L/p/day. Bili and Boyabu camps have a supply of 19 L/person/day; Mole, 17.3 L/p/day; Mboti 17 L/p/d; and Inke, 12.7 L/p/day (UNHCR, 30/08/2015).
Burundi refugees: In Lusenda camp, water supply is 15 L/p/d (UNHCR, 13/09/2015).
Kasai Occidental: Thousands of people in Mwamba-Mbuyi, Kananga, face shortages of drinking water (Radio Okapi, 25/09/2015).
Shelter and NFIs
5,000 IDPs in Biakato, Orientale, are in need of household items (OCHA, 17/09/2015).
7.3 million children aged 5–17 (28% of the school-aged population) are not attending school (Radio Okapi, 10/03/2015). Violence in South Kivu, Katanga, and Orientale is preventing access to education.
In South Kivu, on average, 12,300 students cannot access schools every month, due to conflict and natural disasters (OCHA, 10/06/2015).
There is a lack of school materials for the start of the academic year in Mboti camp, which hosts refugees from CAR (UNHCR, 30/08/2015).
Military, militias, and other armed groups are accused of abuse of civilians, including arbitrary arrest, extortion, looting, child conscription, sexual violence, and executions.
193 ex-FDLR militants and 601 of their families have accused the DRC government of not providing them with food, so that they return to Rwanda (AFP, 20/08/2015). MONUSCO has announced it will stop providing food to 7,000 ex-fighters from September, sparking fears of renewed clashes (AFP, 26/08/2015).
In Kanaba, North Kivu, 2,700 displaced households have been threatened with eviction by the local population, because they have been settled in local agricultural zones since June 2015 (OCHA, 22/09/2015).
Prisoners in Mbuji-Mayi prison, Kasai Oriental, are suffering from severe malnutrition. Eleven died from hypoglycaemia in September (Radio Okapi, 01/10/2015).
567 children were freed from the FDLR between January and June 2015 (RFI, 06/08/2015). 207 children left armed groups in Orientale province January–June 2015 (OCHA, 22/07/2015; 20/08/2015).
Sexual violence is a common element of warfare in eastern DRC.
Orientale: On 13 September, 17 women were raped by suspected Mayi-Mayi in Mambasa territory. Between January and August, 1,198 SGBV cases were reported in Ituri district. Anti-SGBV activities have been interrupted due to funding shortfalls (OCHA, 17/09/2015). In Haut-Uele district, 110 SGBV incidents were reported in the first three weeks of May, and 138 in April (OCHA, 27/05/2015). 90% of the 2,900 SGBV cases reported in Orientale in 2014 occurred in Ituri; the rest in Uele (OCHA, 08/04/2015; 19/04/2015).
Katanga: More than 600 SGBV cases were reported January–March in Katanga; 50% from Nyunzu territory (OCHA, 22/04/2015). 1,680 SGBV cases were reported in 2014 (OCHA, 05/02/2015).
No new significant developments this week, 05/10/2015. Last update: 21/09/2015.
- 1.2 million people, including 696,000 children under 18, are in need of humanitarian assistance (UNICEF, 15/01/2015). There is a lack of updated and reliable data on the humanitarian situation due to limited humanitarian access.
- Over 60% of the Eritrean population was reported as undernourished between 2011 and 2013 (WFP).
- Torture, arbitrary detention, and indefinite national service are the grave human right concerns reported in Eritrea (UNHRC).
- Ongoing human rights abuses prompt thousands of Eritreans to flee the country every year. In March 2015, Ethiopia was hosting 133, 348 Eritrean refugees (OCHA, 20/04/2015).
- Operations and maintenance of established humanitarian systems remain a significant challenge (UNICEF, 15/01/2015).
Politics and Security
Eritrea is a one-party state governed by President Isaias Afwerk and his party People’s Front for Democracy and Justice. No national elections have been held since Eritrea gained independence from Ethiopia in 1993.
As of August 2015, there were 2,802 Somali refugees in Eritrea (UNHCR, 31/08/2015).
Eritrean refugees in neighbouring countries
The entire Eritrean refugee population is estimated to constitute more than 321, 000 people (Guardian, 21/04/2015). UN estimates that some 5,000 Eritreans, among them hundreds of unaccompanied minors, are fleeing the country every month to escape government repression and lack of basic freedoms. (OHCHR, 08/06/2015). Eritreans constitute the second biggest group of migrants arriving in Italy by boat, after Syrians (Guardian, 17/08/2015; Reuters, 24/03/2015). In 2014, more than 37,000 Eritrean refugees sought refuge in Europe, the vast majority arriving by boat across the Mediterranean (UNHCR).
The high proportion of unaccompanied minors who cross from Eritrea to Ethiopia is a priority concern (UNHCR).
Ethiopia: At the end of June, there were 139,039 Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia (UNHCR, 30/06/2015), mainly settled in four camps in the northern Tigray and Afar regions (UNICEF, 21/04/2015). Arrival rates spiked towards the end of 2014, with a total of 33,000 arriving by the end of the year (UNHCR, 09/02/2015). The influx has resulted in shortages of shelter in the camps (OCHA, 26/01/2015).
Sudan: Sudan reportedly hosts at least 119,980 Eritrean refugees (UNHCR, 01/12/2014).
Djibouti: As of 1 January, there were 1,240 Eritrean refugees in Djibouti (UNHCR, 30/01/2015).
Kenya: As of 1 September, there were 1,647 Eritrean refugees in Kenya; the majority located in Nairobi (UNHCR, 11/09/2015).
Providing direct humanitarian assistance remains a challenge due to limited access, and absence of assessments and humanitarian space (ECHO).
Delayed onset and lack of rainfall has resulted in abnormal dryness across western Eritrea (FEWSNET, 24/07/2015). Very poor rainfall since February, including extremely sporadic rain since mid-March, has led to drought conditions in eastern Eritrea (FEWSNET, 30/05/2015). Rainfall in June and July was 30–35% below average, and satellite imagery indicates severe drought conditions in coastal pastoral areas (FAO, 19/09/2015).
It is estimated that Eritrea produces only 60% of the food it needs, and markets appear to be dysfunctional. These two factors suggest that a significant part of the population may be in need of food assistance. Due to extensive national service, farmers are routinely absent during harvest periods (Economist, 10/03/2014). In addition, local food and fuel prices are likely to be high, putting severe pressure on household coping mechanisms. The government officially denies any food shortages within its borders and refuses food aid (ECHO).
According to FAO in 2013, over 60% of the Eritrean population was reported to be undernourished between 2011 and 2013.
Grave human rights violations are widespread. Eritreans are deprived of fundamental freedoms by the authorities, and are routinely and arbitrarily arrested, detained, and tortured. Disappearances or extrajudicial executions were also reported (UNHRC, 04/06/2015). Eritreans are subject to systems of national service and forced labour in which individuals are effectively detained indefinitely (UNHRC, 04/06/2015). Eritrea has the highest number of imprisoned journalists in Africa (22 known cases) and has not allowed international journalists into the country since 2007 (CPJ, 27/04/2015).
Mines and ERW
UNICEF reported in January 2015 that landmines and ERWs continue to have a serious impact on the population, including causing deaths, injuries and disabilities. Humanitarian mine action programmes in the country have been scaled down because of limited access (UNICEF, 15/01/2015).
Iraq Country Analysis
5 October: Explosions killed at least 63 people across Iraq (BBC).
4 October: Islamic State (IS) shot dead 70 members of the Sunni Al Bu Nimr tribe in Khanazir village near Ramadi (ISW, BBC).
29 September: At least 414 cases of cholera have been confirmed across eight southern and central provinces (OCHA, Kuwait News Agency).
29 September: 375,000 IDPs have returned to areas destroyed by conflict, including 20,000 in Salah al Din in the week ending 29 September (OCHA).
- 537 civilians were killed and 925 injured in conflict-related violence in September, bringing total civilian casualties to 17,013 for 2015 (UNAMI, 01/10/2015).
- 8.6 million people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, including more than 3.2 million IDPs (OCHA, 29/09/2015).
- Access continues to be severely constrained in large parts of Anbar, Salah al Din, Diyala, Kirkuk, and Ninewa (OCHA, 26/07/2015). Protection is a key concern.
- 247,352 registered Syrian refugees are in Iraq; 42% are children (UNHCR, 28/09/2015).
The Islamic State insurgency has compounded an already fragile political and humanitarian situation, leading to a level 3 humanitarian crisis and international military intervention. Iraq now hosts one of the largest internally displaced populations in the world. Priority needs are food, water, shelter, fuel, and access to healthcare. Access constraints and human rights violations, particularly in IS-controlled areas, are of major concern.
Politics and security
Political instability and insecurity and the rise of Islamic State are the main drivers of the crisis in Iraq. In June 2014, IS seized Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul, in less than 24 hours, and went on to capture swathes of Anbar, Ninewa, and Salah al Din governorates.
More than 17,013 conflict-related civilian casualties have been recorded in 2015, including 537 killed and 925 injured in August (UNAMI, 01/10/2015). Although August and September recorded the lowest total casualty figures since March, end September and early October have been marked by renewed attacks on civilians. Reports of possible use of chemical weapons by non-state actors in August are a serious concern (OPCW, 17/08/2015; OHCHR, 28/07/2015). Casualty numbers are hard to verify in conflict areas.
2014 saw more than 35,400 recorded casualties, including 12,280 deaths, in the worst violence since 2006–2007 (OHCHR, 13/07/2015; UNAMI, 01/01/2015).
The perceived marginalisation of Sunni groups by former President Maliki’s Government is considered one of the main drivers of the current conflict. Maliki stepped down in August 2014 after losing regional and international support. A unity government, led by Prime Minister Abadi and with former President Maliki as Vice President, was formed in September 2014, and a plan for national reconciliation is under consultation (UNAMI, 22/07/2015). While trying to balance sectarian tensions inside the country, Abadi has been seeking international support in the fight against Islamic State (IS) (Foreign Affairs, 16/01/2015).
Widespread protests against perceived corruption and rising unemployment took place in July amid record temperatures and electricity cuts. The protests led to a number of government reforms, including the elimination of certain senior government positions, ending sectarian party quotas at the regional level, and reopening corruption investigations (ALJ, 11/08/2015). Demonstrations continued on Friday 2 October in Babil, Baghdad, Basra, Dhi Qar, Diwaniya, Karbala, Maysan, Muthanna, and Wasit (ISW, 05/10/2015). On 9 September, Abadi dismissed 123 senior officials (ISW, 10/09/2015).
Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KR-I): KR-I President Masoud Barzani’s extended term expired on 20 August, however he continues to rule, leaving KR-I in a legal vacuum that parties are still trying to resolve. Opposition parties are reasserting objections to the political dominance of Barzani’s Kurdistan Democratic Party (ISW, 20/08/2015; AFP, 20/08/2015). Ongoing tensions between KR-I and the Iraqi Central Government around oil revenues since late January have affected infrastructure works, public sector salaries, and market stability (UNHCR, 31/08/2015; UN, 13/07/2015; local media, 26/04/2015).
Islamic State (IS): In June 2014, IS declared the establishment of a Sunni caliphate, covering the area between Aleppo in northern Syria and Diyala in eastern Iraq. Abu Bakr al Baghdadi was declared caliph and leader for Muslims worldwide. IS now controls nearly 300,000km2 of territory in Syria and Iraq (AFP, 01/06/2015). It has attracted up to 30,000 foreign fighters (Reuters, 29/09/2015).
Government forces: Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), numbering around 48,000 troops, are involved in offensives around Baghdad and in central governorates (Foreign Policy, 28/03/2015). Falling global oil prices have led to significant budget deficits, hampering the government’s capacity to undertake military operations and finance basic services for affected populations (Deutsche Welle, 11/06/2015).
Shi’a militias: Three militias have been supporting government forces on all major fronts against IS since the beginning of the insurgency, as part of the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF): Asa’ib, Kita’ib Hezbollah, and the Badr Brigades. PMF number around 100,000 fighters, including 30,000 reportedly backed by the Iranian Government (Al Jazeera, 23/01/2015).
KR-I forces: The Kurdish Peshmerga, supported by Kurdish fighters from Syria and Turkey, are engaged in a counter‑offensive against IS. Kurdish fighters receive training and equipment from multiple countries, including the United States (AFP).
International forces: In August 2014, US forces started airstrikes on IS locations. On 15 September, 30 additional countries pledged to help Iraq fight IS. Iran has dispatched members of its elite Revolutionary Guard and reportedly carried out airstrikes against IS (The Economist, 03/01/2015; The Guardian, 05/01/2015, 04/12/2014). Turkish aircraft have been striking PKK positions in northern Iraq since July 2015 (ISW, 21/09/2015; Reuters, 29/07/2015). Russia has begun airstrikes targeting IS in Syria, but has denied any plans to expand air raids to Iraq (Anadolu, 01/10/2015). Prime Minister Abadi has stated he would welcome Russian airstrikes as part of the international coalition in Iraq (ISW, 01/10/2015).
Violent clashes are ongoing, particularly in Anbar providence, where IS is battling to take Haditha, and ISF is fighting to regain control of Ramadi and Falluja (ISW, 14/09/2015; IBT, 01/09/2015). ISF and Peshmerga forces regained territory in early 2015, recapturing populated areas of Diyala in January, and Al Baghdadi in Anbar early March (AFP, 26/01/2015; 08/03/2015). Peshmerga forces are fighting IS in Kirkuk.
Baghdad: Frequent attacks continued to hit Baghdad in September and October, despite the re-opening of Baghdad’s heavily fortified administrative Green Zone to public traffic (BBC, 05/10/2015). On 5 October, 13 died and 25 others were wounded in blast in the northeastern neighbourhood of Husseiniya (AP, 05/10/2015; BBC, 05/10/2015). On 3 October, two large explosions targeting Shia majority neighbourhoods killed at least 18 and injured 61 (New York Times, 03/10/2015). A car bomb in Saadon, a mixed area of central Baghdad on 28 September killed four and injured 11 (Reuters, 28/09/2015). On 29 September, at least 3 civilians were killed by a suicide bombing at a checkpoint in Tarmiyah, north of Baghdad (AP, 29/09/2015). On 21 September, four bombs exploded killing at least 17 and wounding 44 (Reuters, 21/09/2015; AFP, 21/09/2015). Three suicide attacks killed 32 people and wounded 68 on 17 September (Reuters, 17/09/2015). On 15 August, at least 65 were killed and 168 wounded in a single attack (AFP, 16/08/2015; 13/08/2015).
Anbar: IS shot dead 70 members of the Sunni Al Bu Nimr tribe in Khanizir village near Ramadi on 4 October (ISW, 05/10/2015; BBC, 05/10/2015). Iraqi forces and associated militias launched a second, large-scale military operation to retake Anbar from IS on 12 July, supported by coalition airstrikes. Fighting around Falluja quickly reached a stalemate, with IS planting booby traps around the city. ISF have made little progress in attempts to take back Ramadi, despite the town being a priority for coalition forces. Clashes were ongoing as of 25 September (ISW, 25/09/2015, 03/09/2015; ICG, 01/08/2015). On 25 August, ISF reportedly dislodged IS from Jubba town in Baghdadi subdistrict (ISW, 25/08/2015).
Basra: At least 10 died in an attack southwest of Basra on 5 October. IS claimed responsibility (BBC, 05/10/2015).
Diyala: Attacks – most often bombings – are frequent, as IS is growing stronger in the area (ISW, 05/10/2015). At least 40 were killed in bombings in the Shia-majority town of Khalis on 5 October (BBC, 05/10/2015). Two IS suicide attacks on Shia areas in and around Baquba killed at least 57 and wounded more than 80 on 11 August (Al Jazeera, 11/08/2015).
Kirkuk: Advances by Peshmerga in southwest Kirkuk displaced over 11,000 people in late August (IOM, 13/09/2015). Peshmerga and PMF began operations to dislodge IS from areas of southwestern Kirkuk in February (ISW, 18/03/2015). Operations continued in October (ISW, 05/10/2015).
KR-I: Airstrikes and cross-border clashes between Turkish security forces and members of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) killed at least 60 on 29 September (AP, 29/09/2015). On 2 August, ten civilians were reportedly killed in Turkish airstrikes targeting members of the PKK in Zarkel village (AFP, 02/08/2015).
Ninewa: IS enjoys support in swathes of Ninewa and continues to carry out operations south of Mosul, to control resistance and safeguard one of its most important areas of control (ISW, 06/07/2015). Heavy coalition airstrikes targeted areas around Mosul over 21–25 September (ISW, 25/09/2015).
Salah al Din: On 26 August PUK forces seized seven villages south of Daquq previously under IS control (ISW, 27/08/2015). At the end of August, IS retook the country’s largest oil refinery at Baiji, which it had lost months before (AFP, 02/09/2015, ISW, 20/08/2015; 08/05/2015). Fighting has been ongoing for 15 months and clashes continued through September (Reuters, 25/09/2015; ISW, 01/10/2015).
There are more than 3.1 million IDPs and 247,352 Syrian refugees.
As of 15 September, there are 3,182,736 IDPs in 3,430 locations in Iraq. Anbar hosts 584,748 IDPs, Baghdad 567,186, and Kirkuk 408,162. 26% of all IDPs were displaced in August (IOM, 15/09/2015, 09/09/2015).
69% of IDPs are living in private settings. 21% are in critical shelter arrangements, a 2% increase since mid-August. 22% of the IDPs in critical shelter arrangements are in Anbar, 18% in Dahuk, and 10% in Najaf. 8% of IDPs are in camps, mainly in KR-I (IOM, 09/09/2015). 35% of IDPs in critical shelter arrangements are under 15 years of age (IOM, 30/06/2015). The number and spread of IDPs pose a major challenge to needs assessment and assistance.
Anbar: More than 500,000 people were displaced from Anbar between April and August; nearly half are displaced within the governorate (IOM, 09/09/2015).
IDP returnees: As of 29 September, 375,000 IDPs have returned to areas destroyed by armed conflict, including 20,000 who returned to Salah al Din over 22–29 September (OCHA, 29/09/2015). Heavily disrupted basic services and infrastructure, mines, insecurity, and lost documentation increase risks for returnees (OCHA, 29/09/2015; UNHCR, 15/04/2015). 98% of displaced families intend to return to their place of origin, with only 51% feeling safe in their current location (IOM, 29/09/2015).
Refugees and asylum seekers
247,352 Syrian refugees are registered in Iraq and 41,700 non-Syrian refugees (UNHCR, 28/09/2015, 23/04/2015).
Syrian refugees: As of 28 September, children make up 42% of all Syrian refugees in Iraq. KR-I hosts an estimated 97% of refugees, with 112,338 in Erbil, 97,099 in Dahuk, and 29,682 in Sulaymaniyah; 4,512 were last known to be in Anbar and 1,586 in Ninewa (UNHCR, 28/09/2015). A reduced number of arrivals has been reported since 2 June due to changes in admission procedures into KR-I (UNHCR, 31/07/2015).
38% of refugees live in nine camps; nearly half are in Domiz camp in Dahuk (46,958), 10,101 in Kawergosk, and 10,344 in Darashakran in Erbil (UNHCR, 28/09/2015). 1,519 Syrian refugees were last reported in Al Obaidy camp, in IS-controlled Al Qa’im in Anbar, but access constraints limit information; information on the fate of some 2,800 urban refugees in Al Qa’im is also lacking (UNHCR, 28/09/2015; 15/03/2015).
Approximately 15,500 Syrian refugees have returned to Syria in 2015 – 3,747 in August – in part because of the high cost of living and lack of employment opportunities in KR-I (UNHCR, 31/08/2015).
Iraqi refugees in neighbouring countries
Around 180,000 Iraqi refugees are thought to be residing in neighbouring countries, mostly in Turkey and Jordan (UNHCR, 04/06/2015).
Access of relief actors to affected populations
Access to the estimated five million people in areas under armed opposition groups’ control is limited (OCHA, 12/08/2015). Several INGOs have suspended activities in IS-controlled areas, or provide emergency assistance through local partners. Long delays in obtaining clearance from Iraqi authorities also hinder access (OCHA, 05/12/2014).
Anbar remains largely inaccessible due to ongoing military operations. Only two UN agencies and eight other humanitarian organisations are operating, excluding government and the Red Crescent actors (OCHA, 31/08/2015).
Ninewa: Access to Mosul is impossible for humanitarian actors and communications with areas outside the city are allegedly cut off. Conditions have dramatically deteriorated since IS took control (OCHA, 02/03/2015; WFP, 02/02/2015).
Salah al Din: Humanitarian presence remains limited. Roads are only usable from the south through Baghdad and Samarra (OCHA, 14/07/2015).
Access of affected populations to assistance
Baghdad, Babylon, Kirkuk, and Diyala have implemented strict security policies, affecting IDPs’ movements. Bzibz bridge to Baghdad remains officially closed: 240 people are estimated to be stranded trying to access safety in Baghdad (OCHA, 29/09/2015). Two new camps with a capacity for 3,500 IDPs have opened, including one 6km from Bzibz bridge (OCHA, 29/09/2015). On 23 August, local authorities in Kirkuk asked all IDPs from Diyala to leave the governorate within one month (31/08/2015). An estimated 71,000 IDPs returned to Diyala in August, despite ongoing insecurity. An unknown number of these returns are thought to have been coerced (OCHA, 01/08/2015). IDPs attempting to enter KR-I by land require a local guarantor (UNHCR, 29/05/2015).
Border crossings: Syrian refugees’ access to safety and asylum remains a concern following changes in exit and admission procedures into KR-I (UNHCR, 31/07/2015). Most refugees enter via the Peshkabour crossing (UNHCR, 15/03/2015; 08/2015). Movement across the Ibrahim Khalil border crossing to Turkey is unpredictable, although officials have reported the crossing open as of 13 September (OCHA, 15/09/2015). Insecurity prevents most civilian movement at the IS-controlled Al Qa’im and Al Waleed crossings, as well as at Rabia (Reuters, 23/11/2014; UNHCR, 28/02/2015; 15/01/2015).
Anbar: Tens of thousands of people are reportedly trapped in Falluja and Ramadi districts, as many routes are blocked or closed (OCHA, 11/08/2015). The situation is also worrying for more than 80,000 people who have limited access to services and commodities in Haditha, including food, safe water, health and electricity (OCHA, 25/08/2015, 18/08/2015).
Security and physical constraints
High insecurity and unexploded ordnance (UXO) hinder access to affected populations (OCHA, 05/12/2014). IEDs are also a concern for returnees to recaptured areas (OCHA, 14/07/2015).
Food security and livelihoods
4.4 million people need food assistance (WFP, 15/09/2015).
The October–November 2014 and April–May 2015 agricultural seasons were significantly affected by conflict, especially in major producing areas such as Salah al Din, Ninewa, and Anbar; government seed distributions were delayed end 2014, impacting planting (FAO, 27/05/2015). Below-average wheat production is expected in 2015 (OCHA, 14/07/2015). IS controls major wheat storage silos in Ninewa and Salah al Din (FAO, 10/02/2015).
Household food consumption improved in July compared to June, particularly among IDPs, with 8.4% of IDP households reporting poor or borderline food consumption in July, compared to 21% in June. This is a departure from the deteriorating trend of April–June. However, coping mechanisms were at an all-time high in July, with 15.5% of respondents reporting having to resort to negative coping strategies. The changes are likely attributable in part to sharing food and eating well-balanced meals during the month of Ramadan, and the corresponding rise negative coping strategies indicate that food access continues to be an issue (WFP, 15/09/2015).
Food prices are particularly high in Anbar, Ninewa, Kirkuk, Salah al Din, and Dahuk due to conflict and blocked supply lines. In Anbar, the percentage of households reporting poor and borderline food consumption rose from 6% to 18% between April and June (WFP, 01/08/2015). However, the cost of a food basket decreased in Anbar by 22% in July. Kirkuk (13%) Diyala (9%) and Salah al Din (5%) also saw decreases, while in Ninewa the cost of a food basket increased by 8%. In some conflict-affected districts of Anbar, the cost of a basic food basket was 35-40% higher than the overall average for the governorate, particularly in Haditha, where it is reported to be five times the average for the governorate (WFP, 15/09/2015).
Refugees: 860 Syrian refugees in camps are estimated to be food insecure (WFP, 31/07/2015). Vulnerability-based assistance to Syrian refugees was introduced in August: 50,000 previously assisted refugees will no longer receive food vouchers; the monthly voucher value will reduce to USD 10 per person for over 47,000 moderately vulnerable refugees, while 1,000 considered the most vulnerable will continue to receive USD 19 (WFP, 06/08/2015).
3.4 million people are in need of emergency livelihood support, compared to 800,000 end February (OCHA/UNCT, 04/06/2015; UN, 18/02/2015). IDPs’ financial conditions are deteriorating, and labour opportunities and wage rates are low in conflict and IS-held areas (UNHCR, 15/03/2015; OCHA, 02/03/2015; WFP, 11/03/2015).
More than 7.8 million people need health support, 89% of whom are in critical need (WHO/GoI, 07/09/2015). 84% of health programmes supported by humanitarian agencies have shut down due to funding shortfalls, affecting more than three million people (WHO, 04/08/2015).
Key concerns include: the lack of specialised services; shortages of essential supplies; disruption of treatment for chronic illnesses; mental health support, and the risk posed by communicable diseases (OCHA, 04/08/2015; WHO, 04/06/2015).
The leading causes of morbidity in refugee and IDP camps are acute respiratory infections, acute diarrhoea, and skin diseases. The prevalence of skin diseases in particular has increased at a rate of 6% since the beginning of June due to poor WASH conditions (WHO/GoI, 11/09/2015).
Healthcare availability and access
At least 14 major hospitals and more than 170 other health facilities are non-functional or destroyed. In some areas, 80% of health facilities are non-functional. 50% of health personnel have left Anbar, Ninewa, Salah al Din, and Diyala governorates (Health Cluster, 13/09/2015).
Anbar: Health capacities are severely strained in Haditha city and al Baghdadi subdistrict, with at least six out of 14 primary health care centres not functioning due to damage in Haditha city, and two out of three in al Baghdadi (WHO, 11/08/2015). Most health facilities in Khaljdiya are reported closed since the departure of health workers in June (WHO, 07/06/2015). Ramadi’s main hospital came under IS control on 16 May, and the city hospital in Hit district is no longer accessible for civilians (OCHA, 17/05/2015; 05/05/2015). Shortages of fuel have affected healthcare delivery, leading to critical shortages of medicine.
Ninewa: The majority of health facilities in Sinjar remained closed end June due to infrastructure damage, and lack of staff and medical equipment (WHO, 28/06/2015).
Refugees: 20% of the non-camp population has difficulty accessing health services, due to cost and perceived availability. Access to specialised primary services, including mental healthcare and control of communicable diseases, remain priorities, especially outside camps (WHO/UNHCR, 30/06/2015; 28/02/2015).
980 suspected measles cases have been recorded so far in 2015, including 544 in Baghdad and 115 Babylon; 493 cases were suspected during the same period in 2013, and 563 in 2014 (WHO, 28/08/2015; 01/08/2015).
Iraq’s health ministry declared a cholera outbreak on 15 September after the illness was detected in Abu Ghraib, west of Baghdad. By 29 September, 414 cases had been confirmed in eight southern and central provinces, with most being treated (OCHA, 29/09/2015; Kuwait News Agency, 29/09/2015). Broken water supply systems as well as the use of unsafe water sources for drinking and farming contributed to the outbreak (OCHA, 29/09/2015; Reuters, 23/09/2015).
7.1 million people need WASH support, including 4.1 million in critical need (OCHA, 14/07/2015). Extreme temperatures are aggravating the already critical water access problem in areas affected by conflict or controlled by armed groups (OCHA, 11/08/2015). At least 30% of WASH programmes supported by humanitarian agencies have shut down, leaving 1.8 million without access to WASH services (UN, 27/07/2015).
Urgent WASH support is required for at least 26,100 IDPs in Habbaniya and 6,000 in Rahaliya in Anbar, 39,000 returnees in Tikrit and Samarra in Salah al Din, and for 5,300 returnees to Muqdadiya district in Diyala; shortages of fuel and chlorine are reported in Falluja, undermining efficient water supplies to displaced populations (OCHA, 18/08/2015; 11/08/2015; 14/07/2015). Purification materials are lacking or unavailable in Anbar, Salah al Din, Baghdad and Najaf, leaving a critical gap during the cholera season (OCHA, 15/09/2015). 4,000 displaced students in Abu Ghraib are in urgent need of WASH support (OCHA, 25/09/2015).
Refugees: The operation and maintenance of WASH facilities, and the delivery of WASH services in camps remain challenges. Transition to safe water supply and sanitation in Qushtapa, Kawergosk, Darashakran, and Basirma camps is ongoing, but challenged by funding constraints (UNICEF/UNHCR, 31/07/2015; 30/06/2015).
The rate of water flow in the Euphrates River has more than halved since IS took control of the dams in Ramadi and Falluja in early June. This is threatening access to drinking water in Anbar and in Kerbala, Babylon, Najaf, and Qadisiyah (WHO, 28/06/2015). Defects in Khaljdiya’s water network in Anbar have been reported (OCHA, 18/08/2015).
Shelter and NFIs
Around 2.9 million people require shelter and NFI support, mainly in non-camp settings in central and southern Iraq (OCHA/UNCT, 04/06/2015). 20% of non-camp IDPs living in critical shelter conditions are in need of winterisation assistance (Shelter Cluster, 17/08/2015).
13 camps are under construction in twelve governorates for an additional capacity of 346,995 people (UNHCR/CCCM, 11/08/2015).
Arbat IDP camp in Sulaymaniyah hosts 13,000 people instead of the planned 4,800: access to basic services is of major concern. Close to 3,700 people have been relocated to the new Ashti IDP camp, and an additional 2,500 will be relocated in August (OCHA, 14/07/2015).
Refugees: Refugees are increasingly seeking to move to camps due to the high cost of living in KR-I and lack of livelihood opportunities for low to medium-skilled workers (DRC/UNDP, 31/07/2015; UNICEF 31/08/2015). 3,134 new or improved shelter plots are required in Gawilan, Kawergosk, Basirma and Qushtapa camps, and a further 719 shelter units are required in Erbil (UNHCR, 31/08/2015). Non-camp refugee populations require shelter upgrading and community infrastructure support (UNHCR, 31/07/2015).
More than three million children did not attend the full 2014/2015 school year, and more than 650,000 who have received no schooling at all (UN, 30/06/2015). 70% of displaced school- aged children have lost a full year of education (OCHA, 29/09/2015). Shortages of space and resources remain a major learning barrier (UNHCR, 30/09/2015; OCHA, 29/09/2015).
Anbar: More than 1,500 schools have been damaged or destroyed by conflict in the province (AFP, 03/08/2015).
Refugees: 68% of school-aged refugee children are attending school, including 74% in camps and 62% outside camps. Attendance in primary school in camps varies from 67% in Arbat to 95% in Kawergosk. Challenges include overcrowded classrooms, shortages of Syrian teachers, increasing demand for schooling, and insecurity. At least 50% of Syrian teachers have been unpaid since at least April, due to KR-I’s limited budget (UNICEF/Save the Children, 31/07/2015; UNICEF, 31/08/2015). Only 5% of 15-17 year olds attend formal education (UNICEF/Save the Children 31/08/2015).
IS has committed targeted attacks, killings, torture, rape, forced religious conversion, and child conscription. Sharia courts have been established in IS-controlled territories, carrying out extreme punishments against men, women, and children (UN, 19/03/2015; 20/01/2015). As many as 3,000–3,500 people, predominantly from the Yazidi community and other ethnic and religious groups, remain in IS captivity (UN, 13/07/2015; AFP, 24/09/2015). ISF and associated militias have allegedly carried out looting, killing, torture, and abduction during their counter-offensives against IS (Reuters, 04/04/2015; 21/03/2015; Amnesty, 02/04/2015).
Increasing violence and intimidation against media workers has been reported in IS-controlled areas, particularly in Ninewa governorate (UNESCO/UNAMI 01/09/2015). In Mosul alone, 40 journalists have been assassinated since IS took the city in June 2014 (IJS, 16/08/2015). There are also reports of security forces and unidentified gunmen threatening journalists covering the protests in Basra, Umm Quasr, and Hilla (ISW, 14/09/2015).
Eviction and threats of eviction of displaced people living in public buildings, apartments and houses in Anbar, Babylon and Baghdad have been reported in September (OCHA, 15/09/2015).
Refugees: In August, humanitarian agencies received increasing reports of people smugglers operating in camps in Iraq to facilitate departures of heads of households to Turkey and Europe (UNICEF, 31/08/2015).
Around 2.4 million children are living in the most affected governorates of Iraq. Grave violations against children, including sexual violence, maiming, and forced recruitment, are prominent (UNHCR/Protection Cluster, 20/06/2015). IS has reportedly sold children as sex slaves, is using minors as suicide bombers, and providing military training to schoolchildren in Syria and Iraq (AFP, 08/06/2015; OCHA, 06/02/2015). The group abducted 400 children in Anbar during the last week of May (OCHA, 31/05/2015).
Child marriage is increasingly used as a strategy by families to protect young girls from sexual violence and deprivation (OCHA, 12/08/2015).
Refugees: 40% of Syrian refugees in Iraq are children (UNICEF, 31/08/2015). Child labour is affecting 16-30% of Syrian refugee children in Dahuk (UNHCR, 31/07/2015).
IDPs: Lack of documentation among IDPs is a key concern, especially as it is a prerequisite for residency permits and difficult to obtain outside a person’s area of origin: many children born in displacement lack birth registration, while up to 50% of IDP families are reportedly missing at least one important personal identity document (OCHA, 14/07/2015). There are reports of IDPs from Diyala and Kirkuk having their documentation confiscated and being forced to return to their province of origin (OCHA, 04/07/2015). Reports also highlight arrests of IDPs without documentation in Kirkuk (UNHCR, 30/06/2015).
Refugees: Residency permits in KR-I are only issued for 3-6 months, which has limited access to legal employment (DRC/UNDP, 31/07/2015). Many of the 37,500 Syrian refugee children aged 0–4 lack birth registration documents because their parents do not have any (UNHCR, 25/05/2015). Refugees in Al Obaidi camp in Anbar continue to lack access to legal documentation and assistance due to inaccessibility of government services (UNHCR, 31/07/2015).
Accurate numbers of women and girls affected by abuse across Iraq are hard to obtain. Reports show an increase in sexual violence, abduction, trafficking, and forced recruitment of women. IS reportedly carried out systematic sexual violence against Yazidi women and girls in northern Iraq (HRW, 15/04/2015).
Mines and ERW
The Government estimates more than 1,730km² of land is contaminated by landmines and UXO. IS is reportedly planting more (MAG, 07/2015).
Libya Country Analysis
5 October: The House of Representatives extended its term past 20 October, without specifying an end date (Reuters).
1 October: 3.08 million people are estimated to be affected by the crisis. 60% of hospitals were closed or inaccessible at least once due to the conflict between April and October 2015 (OCHA).
- 3.08 million people affected (OCHA, 01/10/2015).
- 435,000 IDPs (OCHA, 01/10/2015).
- 250,000 refugees, asylum seekers and migrants in need of assistance (OCHA, 01/10/2015).
- Indiscriminate shelling and targeting of civilian areas (UNSMIL, 04/09/2014).
- Access is a major concern (OCHA, 01/10/2014).
An estimated three million people have been affected by the conflict, which has generated shortages of food, fuel, water, medical supplies, and electricity, as well as reduced access to healthcare and public services.
Much of the fighting takes place in urban centres, posing great protection difficulties for civilian populations.
An estimated 20% of hospitals and 18% of primary healthcare facilities are not functioning. 60% of hospitals were closed or made inaccessible at least once during the six month period from April to October 2015 due to the conflict.
Politics and security
Libya has had two rival parliaments and governments since mid-2014. A struggle over resources and a sharp drop in oil production have exacerbated the crisis (Financial Times, 19/03/2015). Militias now exert much control on the ground. Some areas, notably Sabrata and Zuwara towns near the Tunisian border, have been taken over by smugglers, who are making use of official ports for their operations (BBC, 29/04/2015). Furthermore, Islamic State (IS) has exploited the volatile security situation (Asharq Al Awsat 04/05/2015).
The elected parliament, the House of Representatives (HoR), was voted for in June 2014, and moved to Tobruk in early August (AFP, 12/11/2014). The Islamist-dominated General National Congress (GNC), which preceded the House of Representatives and never stood down, voted to replace the HoR on 25 August 2014. It is supported by an alliance of groups called Libya Dawn.
Prime Minister Al Thani’s government, from the House of Representatives, was sworn in in September. In October, the House of Representatives officially endorsed former General Haftar and his Operation Dignity (now known as the Libyan National Army). On 6 November, the Tripoli-based Supreme Court ruled the House of Representatives unconstitutional. Members of the House of Representatives declared they did not recognise the ruling (UNHCR, 14/11/2014).
On 5 October, the House of Representatives extended its term past 20 October, without specifying an end date (Reuters, 05/10/2015).
The rival parliaments held their first direct meeting in March 2015, led by the UN (AFP, 06/03/2015; 11/03/2015). A new round of peace talks began on 26 June (Reuters, 29/06/2015). On 11 July, Libyan political parties agreed on a UN-proposed peace accord, but the GNC was absent (AFP, 12/07/2015). In August, talks resumed in Geneva (IRIN, 17/08/2015). On 21 September, after multiple delays, the UN announced the finalisation of the peace agreement, now awaiting signature from both parties (VOA, 21/09/2015).
The Libya Shield brigades, tied to the city of Misrata, are allied to Islamist political forces, as are the Shura Council of Benghazi Revolutionaries, a Benghazi-based alliance including Ansar al Sharia, Libya Shield units and other armed groups. Together with insurgents from Tripoli and other towns including al Zawiya and Gheryan, these groups make up Libya Dawn. Some factions are wary of the threat of IS to regional and local interests; others are willing to cooperate with IS to defeat Haftar and the Libyan National Army (ACLED, 03/2015).
Libyan National Army
Former General Khalifa Haftar launched Operation Dignity in May 2014, in support of the House of Representatives. Operation Dignity and its supporters have since been renamed the Libyan National Army (LNA), with Haftar as army chief (ICG, 05/01/2014; Middle East Eye, 24/02/2015). Support comes from the Al Qa’qa’ and Al Sawai’q brigades, allied with the city of Zintan, and fighters from the Warshefana region west of Tripoli. The House of Representatives has repeatedly appealed to the international community for more weapons (AFP, 05/01/2014).
Islamic State and allies
The Shura Council of Islamic Youth, IS’s affiliate in Libya, is not affiliated with either of the rival governments and has warned all governments and militia groups not to interfere with its activities. Territorial gains made by IS between January and March 2015 reportedly dwindled between March and September (ACLED, 19/09/2015).
Abu Salim Martyr’s Brigade
Abu Salim Martyrs Brigade, linked to Al Qaeda, are among the militias fighting IS, and they have been joined by civilians (VoA, 15/06/2015).
United Nations Support Mission in Libya
UNSMIL was established in 2011 as a political mission mandated to help restore state institutions. In September, its mandate was extended for six months, until 15 March 2016 (UNSC, 11/09/2015).
Egypt Prime Minister Al Thani announced in October 2014 that Egypt would help to train the Libyan army. The Egyptian Air Force carried out airstrikes against IS in February in response to the beheading of 21 Coptic Christians from Egypt. The airstrikes targeted IS training camps and targets, particularly in Derna (Reuters, 23/02/2015).
Islamist fighters pushed out of Mali are said to be hiding in Libya’s south. Experts see links between these groups and Islamist militias in northern and eastern Libya (AFP, 26/10/2014). Palestinian, Sudanese, and Syrian nationals have been banned from entering Libya (Libya Herald, 05/01/2015). Tuareg from Mali and, reportedly, Tebu from Chad, have joined their respective Libyan tribe members in fighting over Ubari (Al Jazeera, 05/12/2014).
The surge in violence since July 2014 has affected more than two million people (UN, 21/09/2015). Over 2,244 deaths have been reported since the beginning of 2015 (ACLED, 19/09/2015). Civilians accounted for an estimated 75% of people injured or killed by explosives in the first half of 2015 (OCHA, 23/09/2015). In 2014, there were 2,383 reported fatalities from battles and remote violence (ACLED, 15/01/2015).
Tripoli and Western Libya: Tripoli is largely under the control of Libya Dawn. On 20 March, the LNA announced an assault to recapture Tripoli (Reuters, 23/03/2015). IS was suspected to be behind attacks on the Spanish, South Korean, and Moroccan embassies in April (International Business Times, 13/04/2015; AFP, 21/04/2015).
Sirte: On 12 August, clashes broke out between IS and armed residents trying to push back against the group. IS reportedly shelled parts of the city and beheaded 12 opponents (ALJ, 17/08/2015). IS, backed by local militias and militias from Misrata reportedly seized control of Sirte in March, Sirte airport in May, as well as infrastructure supplying water to Libyan cities (NYT, 10/03/2015; BBC, 29/05/2015).
Benghazi and Eastern Libya: New fighting between IS and the Libyan National Army broke out 26–27 September in the Saberi district of central Benghazi (Al Arabiya, 28/09/2015). IS appeared to have entered Benghazi in the middle of the year, joining the fight against the LNA (Reuters, 15/06/2015).
Derna: IS was reportedly pushed out of its stronghold in June by Abu Salim Martyr’s Brigade, and in August launched an offensive to retake Derna (Reuters, 13/08/2015). On 9 August, a car bomb killed three people and wounded 13 (Reuters 09/08/2015). Derna has been hit by airstrikes several times, both by pro-HoR and Egyptian planes (Reuters, 05/05/2015; 23/02/2015).
Intermittent violence in the south, linked to intra and inter-ethnic rivalries, has been exacerbated by geopolitics and shifting allegiances. Fighting has occurred between the Tebu and the Tuareg since last September. In July, 40 were killed in inter-ethnic clashes between the Tebu and Tuareg in Sabha, southern Libya (Reuters, 21/07/2015; AFP, 22/07/2015).
The Libyan economy contracted over 23% in 2014, and is expected to contract an additional 10% in 2015, depending on domestic stability as well as international oil prices. Oil production is down to 500,000 barrels a day, compared to 1.6 million barrels before mid-2014 (AFP, 25/08/2015). Insecurity-induced supply chain disruptions are likely to contribute to increased inflation in 2015.
Libya hosts an estimated 685,000 displaced persons, including IDPs, refugees and asylum seekers, and migrants. Over 40% of IDPs have been displaced multiple times due to conflict, as have 66% of refugees and 30% of migrants (OCHA, 01/10/2015).
435,000 are estimated to be internally displaced, up from 63,985 in April 2014. The majority live with host families in urban areas but over 100,000 are estimated to live in schools or other public facilities (OCHA, 01/10/2015). At least 56,544 IDPs have been displaced since 2011 (IDMC, 23/09/2014).
IDPs’ physical security has been seriously threatened by indiscriminate shelling, attacks on IDP camps, and sieges.
Tripoli and its surroundings hosted 269,000 IDPs at end March (IDMC, 30/03/2015). Near Tripoli, an estimated 83,270 people are living in settlements, schools and abandoned buildings (UNHCR, 16/01/2015).
Benghazi hosts about 105,000 IDPs (UNHCR, 30/06/2015).
More than 8,700 displaced Tawerghas, mostly women and children, are in nine camps in Qasr ben Ghashir, Abu Salim, Janzour in Tripoli, Ajdabiya, Bani Waleed, Tarhuna and Benghazi (UNICEF, 01/06/2015).
18,492 people from Ubari are displaced in six towns: Sabha, Wadi Shati, Jufra, Ghat, Murzuq, and Lewenat (IDMC, 30/03/2015; UNHCR, 16/01/2015). Services have been severely disrupted by fighting: Schools, hospitals and markets are completely inaccessible (UNHCR, 16/01/2015; ALJ, 22/06/2015).
Third-country nationals face extreme difficulties leaving the country, as passage through Libya’s borders with Egypt and Tunisia is restricted. An estimated 100,000 refugees and asylum seekers are in Libya and 150,000 other migrants (OCHA, 01/10/2015).
Migrants continue to embark on unseaworthy vessels to reach Italy. More than 300,000 people have tried to cross the Mediterranean so far in 2015, most of them using Libya as their starting point; 2,748 are believed to have died in the attempt (IOM, 10/09/2015). More than 400 people died trying to reach Europe from Libya in August (IOM, 28/08/2015). The Libyan Naval Coast Guard intercepts many boats, which has increased the number of migrants in need of urgent assistance in Libyan ports (IOM, 12/05/2015). In 2014, 170,000 migrants departed from Libya and arrived in Italy. An estimated 3,200 people died crossing the sea (IOM, 31/03/2015).
Access of relief actors to affected populations
Since July 2014, most humanitarian agencies have relocated out of Libya, the majority to Tunisia. Armed groups often limit access to the remaining humanitarian agencies. The national agency tasked with leading the humanitarian response evaluates its own response capacity as almost non-existent (IRIN, 07/08/2014). In particular, the humanitarian impact on the civilian populations within Benghazi is severe (OCHA, 05/06/2015).
Fuel shortages are further limiting access (AFP, 19/05/2015).
Security and physical constraints
Indiscriminate fighting has led to movement restrictions. Violence and checkpoints along the route to Zawia from Tripoli are preventing people from reaching the Tunisian border. The Salloum border crossing between Libya and Egypt has been closed indefinitely (Libya Herald, 21/01/2015).
Food security and livelihoods
Insecurity is affecting the food supply chain, including a substantial decline in food imports as foreign shippers fear making deliveries (Reuters, 31/07/2015). The HoR has reported it had started tapping into the country’s strategic wheat reserves to ensure bread supplies. Some bakeries in Tripoli and Benghazi have closed or reduced production (Reuters, 04/02/2015).
Warehouses (both public and private) are situated in conflict areas, and fuel shortages are aggravating the situation. The price of basic food items has tripled since the start of the crisis (Save the Children, 18/06/2015). Basic food items in Benghazi are only available in areas controlled by the LNA (Save the Children, 18/06/2015).
Healthcare availability and access
1.9 million people are in need of healthcare. An estimated 20% of hospitals and 18% of primary healthcare facilities are not functioning. 60% of hospitals were closed or made inaccessible at least once due to the conflict between April and October 2015 (OCHA, 01/10/2015). 1.28 million people are thought to be food insecure, including 175,000 IDPs, and the prices of food staples such as flour, rice, and sugar have tripled since May 2014 (OCHA, 01/10/2015). 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.
In a June assessment, 24% of households reported having little or no access to health facilities (UN, 31/07/2015). The situation is worse for refugees and migrants, with 44% of refugees and 33% of migrants reporting limited or no access to health facilities, and those without documents often being denied healthcare. Civilian access to secondary care is particularly limited in conflict-affected areas such as Sirte, Zintan, Sabha, Kikla and Al Kufra due to influxes of wounded civilians and fighters requiring priority treatment (OCHA, 01/10/2015).
Severe shortages of medical supplies are also reported throughout the country (OCHA, 01/10/2015).
Disruptions to the main water network has led to an estimated 680,000 people needing water and sanitation assistance (OCHA, 01/10/2015). Lack of adequate WASH facilities has been reported in detention centres in and outside Tripoli where refugees and migrants are held (Human Rights Watch, 21/05/2015). Inadequate sanitation and hygiene conditions are reported in the nine displacement camps hosting Tawerghas (UNICEF, 01/06/2015).
An estimated 150,000 children are at risk of no longer having access to education (OCHA, 01/10/2015).
Benghazi is particularly affected, with enrolment rates as low as 50%. Only 65 out of 239 schools in the city are functioning, with 110 schools inaccessible due to insecurity, and 64 occupied by IDPs (UNICEF, 02/09/2015; OCHA, 01/10/2015). Many of the schools in the northeast and south are occupied by IDPs (Save the Children, 18/06/2015).
Much of the fighting takes place in urban centres, posing great protection difficulties for civilian populations. 2.44 million people are estimated to be in need of protection from violence, violation of human rights, and other forms of abuse (OCHA, 01/10/2015).
Abductions, looting, burning of homes, and other acts of revenge have all been frequently reported (UN Security Council, 05/09/2014). In some districts of Benghazi, civilians are reporting that militants patrolling the area are not allowing them to leave (Human Rights Watch, 26/05/2015). Human rights defenders and justice sector officials are targeted, intimidated, and frequently attacked (UNSMIL/OHCHR, 25/03/2015).
626 people are reported to have been abducted between February 2014 and April 2015, including an estimated 378 whose whereabouts continue to be unknown. 508 were abducted in Benghazi (Amnesty, 04/08/2015). Throughout the first half of 2015, IS has kidnapped and executed Ethiopian Christians, Coptic Christians, and foreign oil workers (AFP, 19/04/2015; HRW, 24/02/2015; BBC, 09/03/2015).
Mines and ERW
Incorrectly armed fuses or faulty ammunition have resulted in large quantities of unexploded ordnance in conflict areas (UNSMIL, 04/09/2014). In a June assessment, 57% of informants reported landmines/UXO in their communities (UN, 21/09/2015).
An assessment in May found a high incidence of child recruitment, with over 67% of informants in western Libya reporting recruitment of children from their communities, and 90% of informants in southern Libya (OCHA, 01/10/2015).
Third-country refugees and asylum-seekers, including unaccompanied children, face arbitrary arrest and indefinite detention for migration control purposes by both state and non-state actors. Torture, including whippings, beatings and electric shocks, has also been reported (Human Rights Watch, 21/05/2015). As of May, 16,000 people, mainly African migrants, were reported to be in detention, mainly in the Tripoli region and in Misrata (Reuters, 24/05/2015). There are 18 government-run detention centres and 21 operated by armed militias (PI, 05/2015; Save the Children, 18/06/2015). The centres are reported to be overcrowded and lack adequate WASH facilities (Reuters, 24/05/2015).
Over 86% of households reported having lost legal documentation due to conflict and displacement, and 77% reported difficulty registering newborn children, including over 90% of IDPs (OCHA, 01/10/2015).
Niger Country Analysis
4 October: Two Boko Haram suicide attacks killed five civilians and one policeman in Diffa region (AFP).
- 3.6 million people food insecure, including 2.7 million severely food insecure after lean season (OCHA, 30/09/2015).
- 224,424 children have been admitted for SAM treatment in 2015. 368,000 cases are expected by the end of the year (OCHA, 30/09/2015).
- At least 94,000 Nigerian refugees are in Diffa region (Government, 05/08/2015).
Politics and security
Insecurity has been rising in Niger and across the region due to crises in Nigeria, Mali, and Libya. Terrorist threats from Boko Haram (BH), Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, and the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) are all of concern. A state of emergency was declared in Niger in February and extended in June in response to BH attacks (WFP/UNCHR/ACTED, 08/09/2015; iJET, 22/06/2015).
Thousands of troops from Niger and Chad launched a major ground and air offensive against BH in southeastern Niger in March (AFP, 14/03/2015). A five-nation cross-border force, involving Niger, Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon and Benin, is soon to be deployed (AFP, 03/10/2015).
Large populations were evacuated from the Lake Chad islands in May due to military operations against BH (OCHA, 11/09/2015; UNICEF, 16/07/2015). BH attacks have since been reported in several villages in Diffa region: the withdrawal of Chad and Niger troops from northeastern Nigeria due to the rainy season has left Diffa more vulnerable to attack (UNHCR, 17/08/2015).
The first round of presidential elections are scheduled to take place 21 February 2016, coinciding with legislative elections. Relations between the ruling party and the opposition have been tense since the opposition accused President Issoufou of unilaterally forming a government of national unity in 2013 (AFP, 13/09/2015; Reuters, 15/09/2015).
BH has conducted regular attacks on civilians in Diffa region, which has suffered 23 attacks in 2015 (OCHA, 30/09/2015). On 4 October, five civilians and a police officer were killed in two explosions (AFP, 04/10/2015). On 25 September, BH killed 15 civilians in an attack in the village of N’Gourtoua as residents celebrated Eid al Adha (Reuters, 25/09/2015). Two civilians were reportedly killed in the village of Dagaya, in early September (UNHCR, 07/09/2015). In July and August, at least 24 were killed in three separate attacks in Diffa (Reuters, 27/08/2015; AFP, 18/07/2015, 10/07/2015).
Floods in seven central and southern regions since end July have killed 25 people and affected 87,037. 6,607 homes have been destroyed. Dosso is the worst affected, and Niamey is at particular risk of further flooding (OCHA, 22/09/2015).
There are 66,400 IDPs in Niger, at least 94,152 Nigerian refugees, and 52,332 refugees from Mali (Government, 05/08/2015; OCHA, 30/09/2015). 41,169 people have returned to Niger in the wake of increased BH violence in the region (Government, 05/08/2015; OCHA, 17/09/2015).
Between 80,000 and 120,000 refugees and migrants are expected to pass through the major transit point of Agadez this year, four times more than initial estimates (IOM, 15/09/2015; OCHA, 18/09/2015).
Boko Haram crisis
The BH insurgency has triggered widespread displacement in northeast Nigeria and is increasingly threatening citizens on and around Lake Chad, including in Niger, Chad, and Cameroon (UNHCR, 24/09/2015). While estimates vary, at least 94,152 Nigerians were seeking refuge in Niger’s Diffa region in August (government, 05/08/2015). An estimated 130,000 Nigerian refugees could be in Niger by the end of 2015 (OCHA, 09/09/2015).
At least 30,000 people in Diffa are entirely reliant on humanitarian aid: priority needs are for food, WASH, nutrition, health, and protection (ECHO, 08/06/2015).
An estimated 10,000 Nigerians have arrived in Gagamari and Chetamari areas since late July, following the withdrawal of Chadian and Nigerian forces from the formerly BH-controlled town of Damasak (UNICEF, 18/08/2015). Tchongourma town in Diffa is reported to have received an additional 3,990 Nigerian refugees, but the area is inaccessible to UN agencies (UNHCR, 17/08/2015).
34,000 people remain displaced from islands around Lake Chad after they left in May. 8,267 are in Kimengaga site in Nguigmi and 2,501 are in Kablewa camp (UNHCR, 17/09/2015). An additional 6,289 are at a site in Assaga, and 1,239 are in Sayam Forage camp (UNHCR, 17/09/2015; WFP, 05/09/2015). Priority needs are for NFIs, WASH, shelter, and protection (OCHA, 14/07/2015).
As of 18 September, 52,445 Malian refugees are in Niger (OCHA, 18/09/2015). 55% of the 3,612 new arrivals in 2015 are in camps, 26% in reception centres, and 18% in urban areas (UNHCR, 31/08/2015). 14,580 Malian refugees are in Intikane camp, and 13,450 in Abala camp in Tillabery region. 62% of refugees are children (UNHCR, 31/07/2015).
Access of relief actors to affected populations
Movement within Diffa, and northern parts of Zinder, Tahoua, and Tillabery regions, is possible only with military escorts (OCHA, 16/02/2015). Access to displaced populations in Bosso department is still restricted, with its southeastern part nearly inaccessible (UNHCR, 30/06/2015). On 17 August, WFP launched air operations to Lake Chad and other hard-to-access areas (WFP, 31/08/2015).
Security and physical constraints
The presence of landmines along the border between Niger and Nigeria, especially around Komadougou River, is preventing access to certain areas (UNHCR, 30/04/2015).
A peak in the rainy season has made some roads inaccessible, impacting humanitarian access, particularly in the Tazalit refugee hosting site in Tahoua region (WFP, 04/09/2015).
Food security and livelihoods
Around 3.6 million people are food insecure after the May–September lean season, including 2.7 million severely food insecure (OCHA, 30/09/2015). Although over 1.4 million people were reached with food assistance in August, a further 1.3 million severely food insecure remain without assistance (OCHA, 30/09/2015).
In most agricultural zones of Niger, conditions have improved since July, although 32 villages in Diffa were unable to sow because of insecurity (OCHA, 30/09/2015).
Insecurity driven by BH continues to limit food access in eastern Niger (FEWSNET, 26/09/2015). In Diffa, 457,000 people are estimated to be in need of food assistance, and facing Stressed and Crisis food security outcomes (IPC Phases 2 and 3) (OCHA, 30/09/2015).
In Diffa region, insecurity and poor rains in 2014 have particularly affected the livelihoods of households growing pepper and maize in the valleys of Lake Chad and Komadougou Yobe. Other activities in the south of Diffa, particularly fishing and the sale of fish around Lake Chad, have stopped entirely (FEWSNET, 31/07/2015).
Healthcare availability and access
Health services are overcrowded in Diffa region with the arrival of new IDPs, and lack medicines and qualified personnel (OCHA, 20/05/2015). Diffa regional hospital is short of staff, as are 11 of 51 health centres in the region (WFP, 01/09/2015). Health facilities in Sayam Forage and Kablewa displacement camps are weak. Sayam Forage camp’s nearest hospital is 45km away (UNHCR, 09/09/2015). Waterborne diseases such as malaria and diarrhoea are increasing among the displaced and refugee population during the rainy season (MSF, 21/08/2015).
As of 28 August, 51 cholera cases have been recorded in 2015 (OCHA, 28/08/2015). Cholera outbreaks in Nigeria and Cameroon since June threaten to spread to Niger (UNICEF, 29/09/2015).
As of 11 September, 5,546 measles cases, including at least 14 deaths, have been recorded in 2015 in all eight regions of Niger (OCHA, 11/09/2015). 60% of cases have been in Zinder region (OCHA, 12/08/2015; UNICEF, 31/05/2015).
High mental health needs have been observed among the displaced, especially children (MSF, 27/08/2015).
224,424 children have been admitted for SAM treatment up to September 2015. 368,000 SAM cases are expected by the end of the year (OCHA, 30/09/2015). SAM admissions have risen by 22% in Dosso and 129% in Diffa between 2014 and 2015 (OCHA, 31/05/2015).
GAM is at 28% among Nigerian refugee children and pregnant and breastfeeding refugee women, exceeding the 15% crisis threshold; GAM within host populations is also critical, at 19.5% (UNHCR, 22/07/2015).
An increase in children hospitalised due to malnutrition was reported in August, particularly in Zinder region (PI, 19/09/2015).
35% of households in Diffa live in shelters that do not meet minimum standards. Each host family hosts around 17 people. 60% of IDPs in sites are homeless (OCHA, 20/05/2015). In particular, recent arrivals to Assaga camp report a lack of shelter assistance (AFP, 17/09/2015).
Displaced populations have limited access to safe water and sanitation (MSF, 21/08/2015). In Diffa, 260,880 people are in need of safe drinking water, including 90,490 IDPs (WFP, 01/09/2015). 43% of populations recently displaced from Lake Chad are estimated to have insufficient access to water sources (ACTED, 01/06/2015).
37 schools are closed in Diffa due to insecurity, affecting 3,000 children (WFP, 01/09/2015).
In Bosso department, a large number of displaced people have settled near military positions along the Komadougou River, where operations are ongoing (UNHCR, 07/09/2015).
UNHCR have identified 511 unaccompanied or separated minors in Niger (UNHCR, 31/08/2015).
Migrants face significant protection risks in the transit city of Agadez, where smugglers and traffickers of people, drugs and counterfeit goods take advantage of vulnerable migrants heading north to or returning from Libya (UNODC, 20/08/2015). IOM estimates up to 120,000 migrants will transit through Niger in 2015, with between 2,000 and 2,500 passing through Agadez each week (IOM, 15/09/2015).
82% of 13,000 Nigerian refugees surveyed in Diffa did not have identity documents in a February assessment, which could impact their ability to access assistance (IOM, 23/02/2015).
Nigeria Country Analysis
2 October: At least 18 people were killed and 41 injured in bomb blasts on the outskirts of Abuja, claimed by Boko Haram (BBC, 03/10/2015).
1 October: Up to seven bomb blasts were reported in one day in Maiduguri, Borno, some of which occurred as people fled their houses after the sound of the first explosion. The number of casualties remains unknown (AFP).
30 September: 11 people died in suspected Boko Haram attacks in three villages in Adamawa state, close to the border with Borno (AFP, 02/10/2015).
- Around 7,730 deaths from Boko Haram-related violence between January and August 2015. 7,711 deaths from Boko Haram-related violence were reported in 2014 (ACLED, 22/08/2015; 11/01/2015).
- 4.6 million people in need of humanitarian aid, including 2.1 million IDPs (OCHA, 05/06/2015; IOM, 03/09/2015).
- 3.5 million people are thought to be in need of emergency food assistance between July and September (FEWSNET, 25/06/2015).
- 1.7 million are in need of nutrition assistance, including 461,000 children under five suffering from SAM (OCHA, 17/09/2015).
- 2.2 million people are in need of WASH assistance; 1 million in need of shelter and NFIs; 2.2 million in need of protection; and 3.5 million people in need of healthcare (OCHA, 06/2015).
Violence has displaced close to 2.2 million people, restricted movement, disrupted food supply, seriously hindered access to basic services, and limited agricultural activities. People affected by violence in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe, and neighbouring Bauchi, Taraba, and Gombe states are in urgent need of protection, shelter, food, and access to health services and education. Some 9.7 million people, including IDPs, are staying in 34 areas worst affected by the Boko Haram insurgency. The entire population of northeast Nigeria – 24.5 million people – is indirectly affected; 4.6 million are in need of humanitarian aid (OCHA, 30/04/2015; 09/07/2015).
Politics and security
Armed Islamist group Boko Haram’s (BH) insurgency in the northeast began to gain momentum in 2014, when 7,711 deaths were reported (ACLED, 11/01/2015). Between January and August 2015, more than 340 BH-related incidents and 7,330 deaths were reported in the northeast (ACLED, 22/08/2015). As of 11 July, 69 suicide attacks had been recorded in 2015, compared to 38 in all 2014 (ACLED, 11/07/2015).
Since the end of 2014, the conflict with Boko Haram has taken on a more regional dimension, with attacks in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger, and a strengthened multinational force. With the engagement of regional forces, the Nigerian government regained territory in early 2015, but insurgent attacks have since increased in the northeast (UNHCR, 22/05/2015).
Muhammadu Buhari was sworn in as President on 29 May, succeeding Goodluck Jonathan, whose party had led the country since 1999. Buhari is a former president and military ruler from northern Nigeria (local media, 29/05/2015; AFP, 02/04/2015). He has put strategies in place to tackle insecurity, which has led to the liberation of several towns from BH control, and rescues of people abducted by BH (AFP, 19/09/2015). Though the military claims to have made progress in recent weeks, driving insurgents out of smaller villages, much of the northeast remains dangerous and attacks against civilians continue (AFP, 22/09/2015; 24/09/2015).
Boko Haram (BH)
Boko Haram (“Western education is forbidden”) is leading an insurgency to create an Islamic state in the predominantly Muslim regions of northeastern Nigeria. The Nigerian authorities have been fighting BH since 2009. Precise numbers are not known, but BH’s strength is estimated at around 15,000 (Amnesty, 13/04/2015). In March, BH pledged allegiance to Islamic State (AFP, 07/03/2015). The group is thought to hide in the Lake Chad region and the Sambisa forest (AFP, 31/07/2015).
Recent successes in the fight against BH are reportedly improving morale among Nigerian troops, which had previously been low. Changes in command and deployment of adequate weapons are thought to have increased the army’s capacity (This Day Live, 10/09/2015; Information Nigeria, 24/08/2015).
The Multinational Joint Task Force (MJTF) has reached 8,700 military and civilian personnel, including contingents from Chad, Cameroon, Niger, and Nigeria (BBC, 03/03/2015). Deployment of the troops, which was expected in August, has been delayed (AFP, 31/07/2015; 03/10/2015). The scope and remit of the regional force is unclear. Failure to maintain control over liberated towns, such as Gamboru and Marte in Borno state in March and April, have suggested coordination problems. The force is led by a Nigerian commander (AFP, 11/06/2015; 25/04/2015; 20/03/2015).
11 confirmed and suspected BH-related security incidents have been reported so far in September, leading to around 130 deaths. This shows a continued decrease since August, when 21 incidents caused at least 224 fatalities (ACLED, 22/08/2015). Borno state continues to be most affected, but new attacks were reported in Adamawa after several months of relative calm (ACLED, 19/09/2015). July was the deadliest month since March, with 980 fatalities due to violence. 67% were related to BH; the highest proportion since January (ACLED, 07/08/2015).
BH has been using guerrilla tactics including village raids, abductions, bombings and suicide attacks, increasingly targeting civilians (AFP, 23/03/2015; US Institute of Peace, 09/01/2015). Recent military operations are pushing insurgents further east and south in Borno state, and towards neighbouring Gombe, Yobe, and Adamawa (UNHCR, 17/08/2015). The raids tend to follow a similar pattern, with houses set on fire, food and cattle seized, and a number of villagers killed. The attacks often lead to displacement (AFP, 20/07/2015).
Borno state: On 1 October, a series of bomb blasts (up to seven) were reported in Maiduguri, some of which were suicide attacks. Several bomb blasts occurred as people fled their houses after the sound of the first explosion. The number of people killed and injured remains unknown (AFP, 01/10/2015). On 27 September, suspected BH militants killed nine people and injured ten in an attack on Mailari village (AFP, 27/09/2015). On 20 September, at least 117 people were killed in three explosions in Maiduguri, the deadliest attacks in one day this year. At least 90 others were injured (BBC, 21/09/2015; AFP, 22/09/2015). In August, at least 141 people were killed in village raids, bomb blasts, and road attacks carried out by BH. Many people fled, and homes were destroyed (The Guardian, 31/08/2015; The News Nigeria, 16/08/2015; AFP, 12/08/2015; 05/08/2015; 02/08/2015; Reuters, 12/08/2015; 09/08/2015).
Adamawa state: On 30 September, at least 11 people died in suspected BH attacks on three villages near the border with Borno state (AFP, 02/10/2015). On 11 September, 12 people were killed and 21 injured in an explosion at the Malkohi IDP camp outside of the state capital Yola (Reuters; AFP, 11/09/2015; ECHO, 15/09/2015). On the same day, a suicide bomber on a bus stop in Madagali, northwestern Adamawa, killed five people (Reuters, 11/09/2015). Adamawa state had been relatively peaceful until mid-September.
Yobe state: In August, at least 230 people were killed in suicide attacks and village raids by BH (AFP, 25/08/2015; 06/08/2015; OCHA, 17/08/2015; ECHO, 20/08/2015).
Federal Capital Territory: On 2 October, at least 18 people were killed and 41 injured in two suicide bombings by suspected BH in the outskirts of the capital Abuja, targeting a police station and a bus stop. Nyanya, where one of the blasts occurred, was the target of two BH attacks last year that killed more than 90 people (BBC, 03/10/2015; AFP, 05/10/2015).
In the Middle Belt area (Benue, Kaduna, Plateau, Nassarawa, and Taraba states), inter-communal clashes flare regularly, fuelled by ethnic and religious tensions, as well as competition between farmers and pastoralists (IDMC, 12/2014).
On 22 September, 35 people were killed in Niger state, by unidentified armed men believed to be Fulani herdsmen. More than 25 houses were set on fire, several people were injured, and many fled into the bush (This Day Live, 24/09/2015). On 17 September, at least five people were killed and several houses burned in Kadunung, Plateau state. Local media reported up to 18 killed and 150 houses burned. The attack is thought to be part of religious conflict as the state falls on the dividing line between the Christian south and the mainly Muslim north (AFP, 17/09/2015). In recent weeks, inter-communal violence and attacks against IDP returnees have been reported in Taraba state (UNHCR, 14/09/2015). As of late August, daily attacks continued in Plateau state, resulting in fatalities and injury, particularly in parts of Riyom, Barkin, Ladi, Wase, Langtan South and Shedam (UNHCR, 31/08/2015). Incidents had fallen in previous months. In 2014, around 1,700 people died in inter-communal violence (ACLED, 2014; ICG, 01/10/2014).
Kebbi: Early October, 25,950 people were affected by floods in 12 local government areas. 70% of farmland in these areas is affected, and nearly 5,500 houses were damaged (AFP, 02/10/2015).
Adamawa: Since 30 August, 206,000 people have been affected by floods in 15 local government areas, including 42,800 who have been displaced or evacuated (OCHA, 29/09/2015). The floods were caused by a technological breakdown between Dadin Kowa dam in Gombe state and Kiri dam in Adamawa state, exacerbated by heavy rainfall (OCHA, 04/09/2015). Seven people were killed (TCV News, 13/09/2015). Farmland, houses, and livestock have been lost (Premium Times, 30/08/2015).
Kaduna: Late September, flooding forced more than 30,000 people to temporarily leave their homes. 2,000 houses were submerged (local media, 21/09/2015).
More than two million Nigerians have been displaced by conflict, including more than 2.1 million internally and more than 170,000 abroad. 57% of IDPs are children.
As of early September, more than 2.1 million IDPs have been identified in Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba, and Yobe states, a drastic increase (58%) from 1.4 million IDPs in June (IOM, 03/09/2015). The increase is a result of increased Boko Haram attacks in July, as well as increased access to areas in Borno state, enabling assessments in areas previously not covered by the Displacement Tracking Matrix (IOM, 03/09/2015).
More than 1.9 million are staying with host families; the remaining are staying in 59 camps and camp-like sites. More than 1.6 million (77%) are in Borno, which is the state of origin for 81% of IDPs. 195,900 are in Yobe (9%) and 118,000 in Adamawa (5%). People displaced by inter-communal violence are mostly in Taraba and Nasarawa states (IOM, 03/09/2015).
About 67% of IDPs were displaced in 2014, and 31% in 2015. 58% of IDPs are children; half are under five (IOM, 03/09/2015). Many people have been displaced several times (OCHA, 24/09/2015).
IDPs report food as a priority need, followed by shelter and NFIs. 27% of registered IDPs are not receiving any assistance. This proportion is higher among IDPs living with host families (40%) than those in IDP sites (11%) (IOM, 03/09/2015). Conditions in IDP sites are deteriorating, and needs are unmet in WASH, education, health, and shelter (UNHCR, 17/08/2015).
Returns: 262,342 returning IDPs in northern Adamawa state are in urgent need of assistance (IOM, 03/09/2015). Shelter and food are reported as priority needs. Other priorities include restoration of WASH and transport infrastructure, and repair of schools and health facilities. Farming inputs, including equipment, fertiliser, and seeds, are also needed. The returnees continue to face protection issues as sporadic attacks continue in the returnee areas (UNICEF, 01/09/2015). The majority of IDPs are not yet returning to other areas, as insecurity remains widespread (AFP, 24/09/2015).
Refugees and asylum seekers
As of May, there were 2,190 refugees and asylum seekers in Nigeria (UNHCR, 27/05/2015).
Around 15,000 undocumented Nigerian refugees have been forcibly returned from Cameroon, following BH attacks in the country. Most originate from Borno state and fled BH-related violence. They are arriving through Sahuda, Mubi South, in Adamawa (Government, 05/08/2015; IRIN, 21/08/2015). So far, 5,762 returnees have been transferred to IDP camps in Yola, Adamawa (Government, 10/08/2015). Others are staying in makeshift camps on the outskirts of Mubi (OCHA, 31/07/2015).
Nigerian refugees in neighbouring countries
Nearly 170,000 Nigerian refugees are in neighbouring countries. 58,570 registered refugees are in Cameroon and 14,160 are in Chad. More than 94,150 Nigerians have crossed the border into Niger (UNHCR, 31/08/2015; 28/09/2015; Government of Niger, 05/08/2015).
Access of relief actors to affected populations
Humanitarian assistance is very limited in remote areas that are or were formerly under BH control (UNHCR, 30/06/2015). Host communities receive very little assistance, as access remains difficult and needs are hard to assess (OCHA, 31/07/2015).
Access of affected populations to assistance
An estimated 2.3 million people do not have access to humanitarian aid and are in critical need of assistance (INGO Forum, 17/07/2015).
Security and physical constraints
The security situation in the northeast continues to impair access to affected populations. Those humanitarian actors who are present have difficulty accessing populations and assessing the extent of needs in remote areas (ACF, 30/06/2015).
Media access has also often been prohibited, with BH having destroyed communication and media infrastructure (Reporters without Borders, 05/02/2015). Infrastructure damage reaches 80% in some areas controlled by BH (IRIN, 05/06/2015).
Food security and livelihoods
4.6 million people are estimated food insecure. 3.5 million people were thought to be in need of food assistance in the northeast as of September. An estimated two million people residing in Borno state and much of Adamawa and Yobe are facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food security outcomes, and worst-affected areas, including Maiduguri IDP settlements, are experiencing Emergency (Phase 4) outcomes. Availability of and access to food remain severely limited due to the conflict (OCHA, 08/06/2015; FEWSNET, 30/09/2015; 07/08/2015).
Most areas outside the northeast will be facing Minimal (Phase 1) food security outcomes through December (FEWSNET, 07/08/2015).
The October harvest will somewhat improve food security outcomes, but much of Borno and parts of Yobe and Adamawa will continue to face Crisis outcomes between October and December (FEWSNET, 07/08/2015). The main harvest in October is expected to be well below average for a third consecutive year, limiting market supply and availability of household production stocks (FEWSNET, 07/08/2015; 30/09/2015). For households most affected by conflict, food stocks will be exhausted much earlier than usual (FEWSNET, 26/09/2015).
Inter-communal conflict and conflict between farmers and pastoralists continues to disrupt agricultural activities in areas of Bauchi, Kaduna, Benue, Nasarawa, Plateau, Taraba, Katsina, FCT and Zamfara states. In some areas, markets are also negatively affected (FEWSNET, 07/08/2015).
Major urban markets, such as Maiduguri, Potiskum, Yola and Mubi, continue to operate, but are functioning at reduced levels due to limited demand and production, and disrupted trade routes. Some markets in areas not directly affected by the conflict are also negatively affected (FEWSNET, 07/08/2015). Access to markets is restricted for households affected by conflict (FEWSNET, 26/09/2015).
Boko Haram enforces rigid movement restrictions and some limitations on trade, negatively impacting people’s access to obtain food and ability to gain a livelihood (Amnesty, 13/04/2015; FEWSNET, 25/06/2015).
Lack of access to IDPs for food distribution, mostly in urban areas, is a concern (FEWSNET, 20/05/2015). Lack of access to food has been reported in 11 out of 42 displacement sites. Borno state is most affected, with 10 sites lacking access to food (IOM, 30/06/2015).
Communities in northeastern rural areas largely depend on farming for their livelihoods. But families returning from displacement will not be able to support themselves, as staple crops have not been planted (INGO Forum, 17/07/2015). Business activity is estimated to have decreased by 80% in areas affected by violence (OCHA, 25/09/2015). Insecurity prevents those who remain in the northeast from carrying out typical farming activities (FEWSNET, 25/06/2015; 07/08/2015). Fishing and cross-border trade, particularly with Niger, have also fallen due to insecurity (OCHA, 24/09/2015).
Only 14% of registered IDPs have a source of income, compared to 66% prior to displacement (IOM, 03/09/2015).
3.5 million people need health support (OCHA, 09/07/2015). Mortality rates are increasing and vaccination programmes are severely hit. There is an increased risk of malaria, measles, and diarrhoea due to the disruption of health services (Inter Press Service, 26/08/2015).
A cholera outbreak is affecting 13 of 16 states. Most cases have been reported outside of northeastern states, but several IDP camps in Maiduguri are also affected (ECHO, 18/09/2015; MSF, 17/09/2015). Malaria is the most prevalent health problem among IDPs in camps (IOM, 30/06/2015).
Healthcare availability and access
Less than 40% of health facilities are operational in areas affected by the conflict (Inter Press Service, 26/08/2015). 75 health facilities had been destroyed in Borno state as of May. Only half of the local government areas have access to healthcare facilities (USAID, 17/06/2015). IDPs lack access to adequate healthcare and medicine, which is resulting in high mortality rates for common illnesses (ECHO, 18/09/2015).
Victims of BH attacks are dying needlessly of their injuries, as they face difficulty accessing treatment, particularly due to financial barriers (IRIN, 23/09/2015).
A cholera outbreak has been reported in four IDP camps in Maiduguri, Borno state, and surrounding communities. As of late September, at least 737 cases and 22 deaths had been reported. 64% of cases occurred in IDP camps. The number of new cases in the camps is decreasing, but surrounding communities are reporting an increase in new cases (MSF, 02/10/2015). The outbreak is thought to be due to overflowing sewage after heavy rainfall and inadequate water supply (WHO, 24/09/2015). A risk of the disease spreading remains, as camps are overcrowded and healthcare is insufficient.
The majority of IDPs are staying outside official camps, where access to WASH facilities is severely limited. In September 2014, more than 4,000 IDPs in Borno state were treated for cholera (ECHO, 18/09/2015; MSF, 17/09/2015).
People displaced by violence have witnessed atrocities and often face post-traumatic stress. Families have been separated and people have lost their homes. Signs of depression are common, as well as sleeping disorders, severe emotional reactions and trauma-related anxiety (MSF, 27/08/2015).
An estimated 461,000 children under five will suffer from severe acute malnutrition (SAM) in 2015, in addition to 1.7 million suffering from moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) (OCHA, 17/09/2015).
Food insecurity and a lack of safe water and health services are likely to cause an increase in malnutrition in the northeast (OCHA, 19/08/2015). In May, GAM in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe IDP camps was around 12% among children under five. Malnutrition is thought to be worse among IDPs in host communities, as they lack access to nutrition services. In April, a nutrition assessment found 29% GAM among IDPs under five in Borno state (USAID, 23/07/2015).
2.2 million people are in need of WASH assistance (OCHA, 09/07/2015).
WASH conditions in IDP host communities are critical, with reports of inadequate latrines and lack of access to safe water (IDMC, 16/04/2015). In the northeast, only 46% of the population have access to improved sources of drinking water and 21% to latrines (UNICEF, 13/01/2015).
More than 75% of IDP camps lack handwashing and drainage facilities. The number of people sharing a toilet far exceeds the Sphere standard (USAID, 23/07/2015).
Shelter and NFIs
One million people are in need of shelter and NFIs (OCHA, 09/07/2015).
IDP sites are often overcrowded (IRIN, 05/06/2015). The number of IDPs in formal camps has been growing since April, and shelter and other basic needs have risen (OCHA, 08/06/2015). There is a reported need for shelter repair materials in half of IDP sites. 4% of IDPs in camps (some 4,450 individuals) are living in self-made tents, while others are staying in public buildings, such as schools and community centres, and government buildings (IOM, 30/06/2015; OCHA, 19/08/2015).
45% of registered IDPs report that their houses have been completely burned down or destroyed, while 24% report that their houses are partially burned down or damaged (IOM, 03/09/2015).
The rains are affecting living conditions in IDP camps, particularly in Maiduguri (OCHA, 19/08/2015).
10.5 million children are out of school in Nigeria, including 60% in the northeast of the country (UNICEF, 04/2015). 300,000 children in Borno state have been unable to attend school for more than a year (USAID, 17/06/2015).
Low numbers of qualified teachers, scarcity of teaching materials, and fear of sending children to school are main concerns for IDP children’s access to education (UNICEF, 01/06/2015).
2.2 million people are in need of protection (OCHA, 09/07/2015). Reported protection incidents include killing of civilians, forced displacement, destruction of property, and arbitrary detention. Priorities for IDPs are the denial of access to assistance and family separation (UNHCR, 31/08/2015; UN, 29/09/2015).
In Taraba, returning IDPs have been attacked in disputes over land, as land and property had been taken in their absence. In some cases IDPs are facing stigma, discrimination, and isolation (UNHCR, 31/08/2015).
IDP camps are facing a significant threat from militant infiltration; some cases of BH militants disguised as IDPs have been reported from Maiduguri (UNHCR, 29/05/2015). Young men have been forcibly recruited and executed (Amnesty, 13/04/2015).
Cases of extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrests, detention, and torture have been documented among Nigerian forces in the course of security operations against BH (Amnesty International, 03/06/2015). Amnesty has raised concerns about the tactics used by security forces in the offensive against BH. More than 8,000 people are said to have died in detention as of June (Reuters, 23/06/2015).
Women and girls kidnapped by BH have experienced physical and psychological abuse, forced marriage and labour, and sexual slavery (OCHA, 24/09/2015). Women are at particular risk of sexual violence and trafficking in displacement sites (OCHA, 30/04/2015).
So far in 2015, women have carried out most of the largest suicide attacks. There are reports that BH is using intellectually disabled women to bomb civilian areas (Action on Armed Violence, 10/08/2015).
Nearly 1.2 million children, half of whom are under five, have been forced to flee their homes, and have increased protection needs (UNICEF, 18/09/2015). Physical and emotional abuse of children is reported in many IDP sites. The majority of unaccompanied and separated children are in Borno state, followed by Yobe and Adamawa (IDMC, 16/04/2015; UNICEF, 13/04/2015; OCHA, 07/07/2015; Protection Sector Working Group, 17/07/2015). The increasing use of children and women for suicide bombings is of great concern (UNHCR, 29/05/2015; OCHA, 25/09/2015).
Somalia Country Analysis
2 October: Areas around Hudur town, Bakool region, cannot be accessed by humanitarian actors due to ongoing clashes between insurgents and security forces. Health facilities in the area are not functional (FSNAU).
2 October: 61,000 people are facing Emergency (IPC Phase 4) food security outcomes. More than half are in Banadir region; the majority are IDPs (FSNAU).
2 October: Acute malnutrition remains critical in areas of Awdal, Woqooyi Galbeed, Hiraan, and Bakool regions. The proportion of children suffering from severe acute malnutrition is increasing in Hudur (Bakool) and Bulo Burde (Hiraan) (FSNAU).
- Widespread violence and insecurity, particularly in south-central Somalia.
- Insecurity and bureaucratic impediments continue to hinder humanitarian access.
- 1.1 million IDPs, mainly in the south-central region, with high concentrations in Mogadishu (UNHCR, 11/08/2014).
- 2.75 million people need safe water (OCHA, 29/09/2015).
- 3 million are estimated to need emergency health services (OCHA, 29/09/2015).
- 855,000 people are facing Crisis and Emergency (IPC Phase 3 and 4) food insecurity outcomes (FSNAU and FEWSNET, 31/08/2015).
- Some 214,700 children under five are estimated to be acutely malnourished, mainly in south-central Somalia, including 39,700 severely (FSNAU and FEWSNET, 31/08/2015).
- 1.7 million children are out of school (OCHA, 29/09/2015).
- Nearly one million Somali refugees live in neighbouring countries, mostly Kenya, Ethiopia, and Yemen (UNHCR, 11/08/2015).
Protracted conflict, consecutive years of drought, natural hazards, and disruption of basic infrastructure have led to large-scale displacement in Somalia and across the region. Almost half the population of Somalia, around 3.2 million people, is vulnerable to external shocks and lacking access to basic goods and services, with an estimated 1.5 million people living in seven regions affected by the Somalia–African Union military offensive: Bakool, Gedo, Lower Shabelle, Hiraan, Bay, Banadir, and Lower Juba.
Politics and security
Somalia suffers from a chronic fragility of state institutions as a result of two decades of civil war. Infighting between presidents and prime ministers is a recurrent problem. Vision 2016, the Federal Government’s policy covering constitutional revision, the establishment of regional administrations, and transition to multiparty democracy, is opposed by key figures in the state (UNSC, 25/09/2014; ICG, 01/11/2014). Government and parliament have agreed that for planned elections in 2016 it will not be possible to collect votes from all individuals, given current political and security conditions (AFP, 28/07/2015; UNSOM, 03/08/2015).
Between January and September, more than 855 incidents involving Al Shabaab were reported, causing more than 2,000 deaths. Nearly 20% of all reported incidents were attacks against civilians. In the first half of 2015, insurgent attacks and inter-clan conflict had a high impact on people’s lives and livelihoods in southern areas of Lower Juba, south and east Gedo, south and west Bay, Bakool, Lower Shabelle, southern Hiraan, and central Galgaduud. (FSNAU, 02/10/2015).
The number of reported security incidents increased in July and August, as Somali armed forces and the African Union launched new offensives. The number of reported fatalities increased dramatically in these months, with 355 deaths in July and 514 in August. The majority of fatalities followed clashes between Al Shabaab and security forces (ACLED, 26/09/2015). Most incidents between January and May 2015 were reported in Mogadishu, Baidoa, Belet Weyne and Kismayo (FSNAU, 26/06/2015).
Over 2,200 conflict incidents with humanitarian impact were reported in the first nine months of 2014, including military operations, active hostilities, and other forms of violence against civilians (OCHA, 17/10/2014).
Al Shabaab is a militant Islamist group and off-shoot of the Islamic Courts Union. It took over most of southern Somalia in 2006, seeking to establish an Islamic state. Numbering 7,000–9,000 militants, Al Shabaab typically targets Somali government officials, AMISOM forces, and perceived government allies. Attacks in urban centres and along transport axes are common. Al Shabaab has also carried out a number of attacks in Kenya. Al Shabaab was forced out of Mogadishu in 2011 and Kismayo in 2012, and lost Barawe, Lower Shabelle, in October 2014.
In November 2013, the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) force was increased to 22,000 from 17,600. Its mandate has been extended until 30 November 2015 (UNSC, 25/09/2014). The Somali National Armed Forces (SNAF) and AMISOM started launching military offensives against Al Shabaab-held areas in March 2014 (OCHA, 05/2014). New offensives started in July, affecting Bay, Gedo, Bakool, Galgaduud, Hiraan, and Lower Shabelle regions (AMISOM, 19/07/2015; OCHA, 20/08/2015).
New offensives by SNAF-AMISOM since July and parallel operations by Ethiopian and Kenyan defence forces have affected areas of Bakool, Bay, Galgaduud, Gedo, Hiraan, and Lower Shabelle, leading to new displacement (OCHA, 20/08/2015). In the past few months, Al Shabaab has made substantial advances in Lower Shabelle region, taking control over towns that were in the hands of government and AU troops (Horseed Media, 18/09/2015; Reuters, 06/09/2015). A shift in Al Shabaab’s tactics has seen it concentrate attacks on small and remote AU bases (CNN, 03/09/2015).
Nonetheless, Al Shabaab continues attacks on civilians, humanitarian personnel, and government officials. So far in September, at least 74 incidents involving Al Shabaab have been reported, leading to 214 fatalities. At least 15 incidents were attacks against civilians. Throughout 2015, an average of 16 attacks against civilians has been reported per month (ACLED, 26/09/2015). However, for many incidents no number of casualties is confirmed. The number of deaths from Al Shabaab-related violence is thus expected to be much higher (ACLED, 11/07/2015).
On 26 September, a bomb blast in a restaurant in Kismayo by suspected Al Shabaab killed four people, including three civilians, and wounded several others (Xinhua, 27/09/2015). On 18 September, local media reported Al Shabaab had taken control of Janaale town in Lower Shabelle, southwest of Mogadishu, after AU troops withdrew (Horseed Media, 18/09/2015). Al Shabaab attacked the AMISOM base in Janaale on 1 September (01/09/2015). On 5 September, Al Shabaab captured two towns on the road between Mogadishu and Barawe in Lower Shabelle (Reuters, 06/09/2015). On 26 August, dozens of government forces and personnel were killed in an Al Shabaab attack on a convoy in Gedo region near the Kenyan border (01/09/2015).
Mogadishu: Al Shabaab attacks in Mogadishu mainly target political figures. On 21 September, at least seven people were killed and ten injured when a car bomb exploded near the presidential palace in Mogadishu. The majority of the victims were civilians. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack. The same day, four civilians were killed in a car bomb explosion near a police station (AFP, 21/09/2015). In July and August, several car bomb attacks were reported, killing at least 17 and injuring dozens more (AFP, 22/08/2015; 27/07/2015; BBC, 26/07/2015).
An estimated 1.1 million Somalis were IDPs by June 2015, 893,000 in the south-central region, 129,000 in Puntland, and 84,000 in Somaliland. 369,000 IDPs live in makeshift camps in Mogadishu (UNHCR, 02/09/2015). The same figures have been reported since December 2014 (OCHA, 04/12/2014).
Conflict continues to cause displacement. Between May and July, about 46,000 people were newly displaced, mainly due to insecurity. 24% of the new displacement was caused by military offensives in South-Central Somalia, particularly in Lower Shabelle and Bay regions (OCHA, 10/08/2015; 16/07/2015; ECHO, 21/07/2015; FSNAU, 02/10/2015). The majority moved to safer places within the affected regions, others moved to Lower Juba and Mogadishu. Many are staying in settlements, particularly in Baidoa, Elwak, Luuq, and Mogadishu, while others are staying in host communities. Priority needs are protection, food, safe water, shelter, household items, and healthcare (OCHA, 20/08/2015).
Many IDPs returning to Bardhere and Dinsoor, in Gedo and Bay region, respectively, are in urgent need of support. Due to prolonged inaccessibility, these areas have received little assistance. Looting and burning of public facilities during recent military operations further increased the need for support. Priorities are food, safe water, and basic services (OCHA, 21/08/2015).
Between 8 December and 20 September, 4,217 Somalis returned from Kenya: 2,488 to Kismayo, 858 to Baidoa, 703 to Mogadishu, and 103 to Luuq (UNHCR, 20/09/2015). Afgoye, Balcad, Belet Weyne, Jowhar, and Wanla Weyne have been identified as new areas for return (OCHA, 20/07/2015). The original target for voluntary return of Somali refugees from Kenya was 10,000 in 2015 (UNHCR, 08/12/2014).
As of 2 September, UNHCR repatriated 33 Somali refugees from Eritrea to Hargeisa. Further repatriations are anticipated in the coming months (UNHCR, 02/09/2015).
Returnees and refugees from Yemen
The number of new arrivals from Yemen has increased significantly since April. As of 1 October, 29,306 have been registered: at least 19,731 have arrived in Bosaso, Puntland, and 9,282 in Berbera, Somaliland. As information on living conditions of new arrivals in Somalia reaches people who intend to leave Yemen, fewer people are coming to Somalia. Nearly 500 people arrived in August, and 338 people have arrived so far in September, a large decrease from the 9,860 arrivals in July (IOM, 01/10/2015; 01/09/2015; UNHCR, 21/09/2015).
89% of arrivals are Somali returnees, 10% Yemeni refugees, and 1% third-country nationals (IOM, 24/09/2015). 75% of arrivals are women and children (OCHA, 10/08/2015). More than half of returnees intend to continue to Mogadishu (UNHCR, 21/09/2015). People in Mogadishu and Hargeisa are reportedly staying in IDP settlements (UNHCR, 14/07/2015; 14/09/2015). Priority needs for new arrivals in Somaliland include shelter support and food (UNHCR, 21/09/2015).
Somali refugees in neighbouring countries
There are 967,046 Somali refugees in neighbouring countries, of whom around 5,000 were registered in 2015; at least 420,199 in Kenya, 248,894 in Ethiopia, and 246,648 in Yemen, with the remainder in Uganda, Djibouti, Eritrea, and Tanzania (UNHCR, 11/08/2015; 31/08/2015; 09/09/2015).
Restricted humanitarian access continues to affect aid delivery to affected populations in south-central Somalia (OCHA, 10/08/2015). Even in areas where there is no active conflict, illegal checkpoints, banditry, and demands for bribes are common (OCHA, 17/10/2014). The new SNAF-AMISOM offensive may further restrict population movement, trade, and humanitarian access (USAID, 17/08/2015).
Access of relief actors to affected populations
Over 20 incidents of violence against aid workers were reported in May and June. In the first six months of 2015, there were more than 60 security incidents involving aid workers. Eight people were killed, 14 injured, five abducted, and 30 arrested or detained (OCHA, 16/07/2015; 20/07/2015). The majority of incidents involving aid workers include shooting (25%) and abduction (20%) (INSO, 09/2015). A 400-strong UN military unit was deployed in Mogadishu with a mandate to protect aid workers in May 2014 (UN).
Al Shabaab has cut off road access to towns controlled by AMISOM, including Rabhure and Wajid in Bakool (FEWSNET, 16/04/2015). However, some goods are coming into these towns through community networks (OCHA, 20/07/2015). Roadblocks in Hudur, Bakool region, have eased somewhat in recent months, facilitating the movement of goods to the town. However, surrounding areas continue to be affected by violent clashes and cannot be accessed by humanitarian organisations (FSNAU, 02/10/2015).
Security and physical constraints
Between January and August 2015, 3,217 security incidents were reported in Somalia. Monthly fluctuations of reports are relatively small, with 360–440 incidents reported every month (INSO, 09/2015). Insecurity on the main roads makes needs assessment, delivery of humanitarian supplies, and response difficult. Inaccessibility of major supply routes is disrupting markets and livelihoods (OCHA, 10/08/2015).
The new military offensives have further complicated access to areas in Bakool, Bay, Gedo, and Hiraan. Non-state actors are blocking roads and limiting movement, as they are staying close to areas that have come under control of pro-government forces. Humanitarian actors and commercial transporters have suspended movement in affected areas, including in Waajid and Hudur (OCHA, 20/08/2015). Access to some areas in Bay region is extremely limited (OCHA, 20/07/2015). Bulo Burde, Hiraan region, is only accessible by flights via an airstrip secured by AMISOM (FSNAU, 02/10/2015).
Food security and livelihoods
Food insecurity has increased by 17% since February–June, with 855,000 people facing Crisis and Emergency (IPC Phase 3 and 4) food security outcomes through December. The increase is attributed to below-average cereal harvests, poor rainfall in agropastoral and pastoral areas in the north, trade disruption due to insurgent activities, and continued displacement (FSNAU and FEWSNET, 31/08/2015; FSNAU, 08/09/2015). IDPs make up 68% of the severely food insecure, rural populations 25%, and urban populations 7% (FSNAU, 02/10/2015). 240,000 people in Somaliland are severely food insecure due to drought (Somalia NGO Consortium, 17/09/2015).
Areas with the highest proportion of households facing Crisis and Emergency (IPC Phase 3 and 4) food security outcomes include Banadir, South Mudug, North Mudug, and Lower Juba in south-central Somalia; Awdal and Woqooyi Galbeed in Somaliland; and Bari in Puntland. Vulnerable urban populations that have been affected by trade disruptions due to the insurgency in Bulo Burde, Hiraan region, and Hudur and Waajid, Bakool region, are also a priority for humanitarian assistance. 61,000 people are facing Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes; more than half are in Banadir, and the majority are IDPs (FSNAU, 02/10/2015).
2.3 million additional people are facing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food security outcomes through December (FSNAU, 02/10/2015).
Above-average October–December rains are expected to improve food security conditions across most pastoral livelihood zones in south-central Somalia (FSNAU, 02/10/2015).
Food security deteriorated in agropastoral areas in Awdal, Hiraan, Middle Juba, and Woqooi Galbeed regions, following poor gu rains (FEWSNET, 01/08/2015). In Somaliland, the main food-producing regions of Awdal, Maroodijeeh, and Gbiley are worst affected by drought (Somalia NGO consortium, 17/09/2015).
Below-average gu harvest in August–September also affected riverine areas of Middle Shabelle, where poor households are facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food security outcomes (FEWSNET, 30/09/2015).
In agropastoral areas of Awdal and Woqooyi Galbeed gu maize harvest was low, resulting in higher sorghum prices increased food insecurity. The karan harvest in November is expected to be below average (FEWSNET, 30/09/2015).
Until December, a deterioration in food security is projected in agricultural livelihood areas of Bay, Bakool, Hiraan, Middle Juba and Middle Shabelle, where reduced crop yields are expected (FSNAU, 26/06/2015; FAO, 27/07/2015).
Prices of essential staple foods in areas affected by trade embargos in Bakool, Gedo, and Hiraan have stabilised due to the delivery of aid, improved seasonal harvest, opening up of secondary supply routes, and adjustments by local traders for food transportation (FSNAU, 02/10/2015).
In agropastoral areas of Middle Juba, sorghum prices are at their lowest since February 2014 thanks to supplies from Bay, resulting in improved access to food. Many poor households will face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food security outcomes from October–December, as income from agricultural activities increases (FEWSNET, 30/09/2015).
Income from milk and livestock sales in agropastoral areas of Woqooyi Galbeed and Awdal are low, while staple food prices have increased. Households will face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food security outcomes through December (FEWSNET, 30/09/2015).
From November–January, flooding is likely to affect agricultural activities in Middle Shabelle, resulting in poor households facing Emergency (IPC Phase 4) food security outcomes due to low revenues (FEWSNET, 30/09/2015).
Above-normal livestock deaths have been reported since July in coastal pastoral areas of Awdal and Woqooyi Galbeed, due to a lack of pasture. Along the Golis Mountains, livestock died of hypothermia during the karan rains. Most poor households are facing Crisis (IPC Phase 4) food security outcomes, even with humanitarian assistance (FEWSNET, 30/09/2015).
In most parts of Coastal Deeh pastoral livelihood zone in the central regions, pasture conditions deteriorated and water sources were only partially replenished. In most pastoral areas, depletion of water sources and deterioration of rangeland conditions have been faster than normal (FEWSNET, 01/08/2015).
Around 3 million people are in need of emergency health services, particularly in Bay, Bakool, Galgaduud, Middle Juba, and parts of Gedo. Children under five are a priority group (OCHA, 27/08/2015; UNICEF, 31/08/2015). In August, leading causes of morbidity were diarrhoeal diseases, influenza-like illnesses, confirmed malaria, and suspected measles. Alerts of acute watery diarrhoea are increasing in Juba and Shabelle regions (WHO, 31/08/2015).
All IDP sites in south-central Somalia had a serious under-five mortality rate May–June (1–1.9/10,000/day) (FSNAU, 06/2015). The situation in Dhobley, Lower Juba, is considered a humanitarian crisis, with critical death rates (1.47/10,000/day), mainly due to acute malnutrition (FSNAU, 06/2015).
Healthcare availability and access
1.5 million people are without access to primary health services, including 300,000 children under five, due to funding shortfalls (OCHA, 16/07/2015). Ten hospitals have closed or majorly scaled down services since May. Basic health posts and clinics are struggling to meet primary health needs. Many aid agencies have withdrawn health workers due to lack of funds (WHO, 23/07/2015). Hospitals in Dhobley, Galkayo, Jowhar, and Kismayo risk having to suspend services. In 2014, 20 health facilities closed due to limited funding (OCHA, 16/07/2015).
Health facilities outside Hudur, Bakool region, are not functional and humanitarian actors cannot access the areas due to insecurity (FSNAU, 02/10/2015).
Suspected measles cases continue to be reported in all zones of Somalia, though underreporting is probably underestimating the actual caseload (WHO, 31/08/2015). From January to July, 5,350 cases of measles were reported (UNICEF, 31/08/2015). The measles outbreaks in 2015 and 2014 have each recorded at least double the caseloads of 2013 (OCHA, 14/07/2014). Most cases in 2015 come from the south-central region. Banadir, Middle Shabelle, and Lower Shabelle reported the highest number of cases. This reflects high measles transmission due to low vaccination coverage (UNICEF, 30/06/2015). At least 500,000 children are estimated to be unvaccinated due to insecurity (WHO, 31/08/2015).
343,400 children are expected to suffer from acute malnutrition from August–December 2015, including 63,400 from severe acute malnutrition (SAM) (FSNAU and FEWSNET, 31/08/2015). Nationwide, global acute malnutrition (GAM) is at 13.6%, including 2.3% SAM (FSNAU, 08/09/2015).
Priority groups for nutrition are pastoral, agropastoral, and riverine populations in Gedo region; people of Belet Weyne and Mataban districts in Hiraan region; coastal pastoral areas and the cowpea belt in Mudug and Galgaduud regions; Bay region; and IDPs in Dolow, Baidoa, Dhobley, Garowe, and Galkayo (FSNAU, 02/10/2015).
In pastoral areas of northern Awdal and Woqooyi Galbeed in Somaliland, GAM is 22.3% as of September, and SAM 5.9%. Children up to 29 months and girls are at higher risk of SAM (FSNAU, 02/10/2015).
In September, 20.6% GAM and 15.7% SAM ware observed in Hudur, Bakool. Though this is a decrease from the 33% and 19% GAM and SAM, respectively, measured in a MUAC assessment in July, the situation remains very critical. The proportion of severely malnourished children has dramatically increased to 76% of the total caseload, which poses a problem for the response, as current treatment supply for SAM is already insufficient (FSNAU, 02/10/2015; 27/07/2015).
Though a continued decline in overall acute malnutrition is observed in Bulo Burde, Hiraan, the situation remains very critical in September, with 18% GAM and 14% SAM. The prevalence of SAM has barely decreased since June, and its proportion of overall acute malnutrition is increasing, which indicates and increased risk of mortality (FSNAU, 02/10/2015).
Malnutrition among IDPs is particularly critical. A May–June nutrition assessment found a significant deterioration among IDPs in Kismayo and Dhobley in south-central Somalia. Five sites have over 15% GAM: Baidoa, Dhobley, Garowe, Galkayo and Dolow. In the last three sites, acute malnutrition has been above the critical threshold over the past two years. Among Dhobley IDPs, GAM has nearly doubled since the last assessment (October–December 2014), from 11% to 20.7%. SAM levels are above 4% in Baidoa, Galkayo, and Dolow (FSNAU, 08/09/2015).
2.75 million people are estimated to be in need of safe water. There is a need for maintenance of WASH infrastructure, particularly in displacement settlements and areas affected by drought. Newly displaced people, including those evicted in Banadir and Lower Shabelle, are in need of access to water and sanitation services (OCHA, 27/08/2015).
Shelter and NFIs
An estimated 937,000 people are in need of shelter. Needs have increased due to ongoing forced evictions and conflict (OCHA, 27/08/2015; UNHCR, 07/09/2015). Returnees from Yemen in south-central Somalia are in need of support for shelter repair. Yemeni refugees arriving in Hargeisa are struggling to find and pay for accommodation (UNHCR, 11/08/2015).
IDPs in Mogadishu are living in makeshift shelters. The most pressing needs are in Aladala, Aslubta, Beelo and Maslac in Dayniile district, and Ikashi in Hodan (OCHA, 03/06/2015).
1.7 million children are out of school. 78% are in south-central Somalia (OCHA, 30/07/2015). Children of displaced families remain the most vulnerable and neglected in access to education (OCHA, 02/06/2015).
Access and learning environment
At least 2,000 children in Tarebunka IDP settlements in Banadir region have no access to education. The few schools that are functional do not have the capacity to meet the needs. Other schools are used as accommodation for IDPs (UNICEF, 30/06/2015).
Teaching and learning
There is a lack of teachers and learning materials, and learning facilities are inadequate (OCHA, 20/07/2015).
1.11 million people are considered in need of protection, mainly due to physical insecurity during the SNAF-AMISOM offensive and inter-clan fighting; SGBV, including cases of sexual violence during inter-clan conflict; child protection violations; killing of civilians (including children); separation of children; and forced/secondary eviction (UNHCR Protection Cluster, 10/2014; OCHA, 29/09/2015). Protection of civilians living in areas affected by the new SNAF-AMISOM offensive remains a key challenge (OCHA, 20/08/2015).
AMISOM forces have been accused of killing civilians in their homes on several occasions. Human Rights Watch has called for an official investigation (HRW, 13/08/2015).
Forced evictions of IDPs surged in 2015. In the first five months, 96,000 people were forcibly evicted, compared to 32,500 in the whole of 2014 (OCHA, 20/07/2015). Thousands more are at risk of eviction, mainly in Kismayo and Mogadishu (OCAH, 30/07/2015). The majority of those evicted from Mogadishu fled to settlements in the outskirts of the city. They are in need of shelter, safe water and latrines, access to food, and health services (Food Security Cluster, 23/03/2015). Human Rights Watch reported that authorities beat some of those evicted, destroyed their shelter, and left them without food, water, or assistance (HRW, 20/04/2015). Forced evictions have also been reported in Kismayo, Bosaso, Baidoa, and Luuq (UNHCR, 28/02/2015; ECHO, 25/03/2015; NRC, 18/05/2015; OCHA, 20/07/2015).
The lack of privacy for women and girls at the reception centre in Bosaso is a serious protection concern and poses an SGBV risk (UNHCR, 07/07/2015).
167 grave child rights violations were recorded in June, compared to 125 in May. The majority of cases were related to abduction (UNICEF, 31/05/2015; 30/06/2015).
Both Somali national armed forces and Al Shabaab have been accused of killing and recruiting children (Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict, 01/09/2015). More than 1,000 grave violations were recorded January–April 2015. Grave violations include recruitment or use of children, killing, maiming, rape or other sexual violence (UNICEF). Boys are more affected than girls. 291 cases of child recruitment into armed groups and the national army were reported in the first four months of 2015 and 75 cases of sexual violence against children, compared to 370 and 30, respectively, during the same period in 2014 (OCHA, 03/06/2015).
South Sudan Country Analysis
5 October: The ICRC has withdrawn from Leer county, Unity state, after its compound was looted and staff threatened by armed men (ICRC, 05/10/2015).
4 October: President Kiir announced the reorganisation of South Sudan into 28 states, from the current 10 states. The SPLM–IO has stated that this decision may jeopardise the peace agreement (Sudan Tribune, 05/10/2015; VOA, 05/10/2015).
2 October: Criminality targeting humanitarian actors in Juba increased in September (UNHCR, 02/10/2015).
29 September: 28,000 people who were displaced by fighting in southern Unity have been displaced to Panyijar county. They are in need of WASH and shelter assistance (Radio Miraya, 29/09/2015).
- 6.4 million people in need of humanitarian assistance in 2015; 4.6 million people to be assisted by the end of 2015 (OCHA, 08/01/2015; UN, 12/06/2015).
- 2.8 million estimated to be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3), and 1 million in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) food security outcomes as of September (ECHO, 21/09/2015).
- An estimated 250,000 children are severely malnourished (OCHA, 13/06/2015).
- 1.64 million IDPs since December 2013. 194,500 IDPs are sheltering in six sites on UNMISS bases (UNICEF, 24/09/2015; UNMISS, 28/09/2015).
- 265,296 refugees in South Sudan (mainly from Sudan, DRC, Ethiopia, and CAR
- 620,762 South Sudanese refugees since December 2013 (UNHCR, 21/08/2015).
Violence began to spread across eastern and northern South Sudan in December 2013. Fighting was focused in the oil-rich northeastern states during the first six months of 2015. Strife has progressively adopted the characteristics of an inter-communal conflict between the Dinka tribe allied to South Sudan President Kiir and government forces, and the Nuer, loosely allied with former South Sudan Vice President Riek Machar.
Jonglei, Upper Nile, and Unity are priority states of humanitarian need, 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.
Politics and security
Relations between Sudan and South Sudan have been poor since South Sudan gained independence in 2011. The violence in South Sudan since December 2013 has exacerbated tensions, with additional concerns in Khartoum regarding an influx of refugees and arms, as well as disruption of oil flow. Sudan has accused South Sudan of using Sudanese militia groups to fight insurgents. South Sudan has made similar accusations.
On 2 July the UN Human Rights Council sent monitors to South Sudan, following an UNMISS report on atrocities in Unity state (AFP, 02/07/2015).
On 4 October, President Kiir announced the reorganisation of South Sudan into 28 states, from the current ten states, as of November. Breaking up the states may enable the SPLA to reduce the area controlled by supporters of the SPLM-IO. The SPLM–IO has stated that the move may jeopardise the August peace agreement (Sudan Tribune, 05/10/2015; VOA, 05/10/2015).
The Ugandan army has allegedly occupied contested land involved in a border dispute, displacing 300 farmers from Eastern Equatoria state (UNHCR, 15/08/2015).
Since violence broke out in December 2013, President Kiir’s SPLA, who are predominantly Dinka and backed by Ugandan troops, are pitted against a loose alliance of military defectors loyal to former Vice President Riek Machar, the SPLM-IO, along with ethnic Nuer militia. After several weeks of intense conflict, fighting calmed significantly in January 2014. However, violence persists, and escalates periodically. By November 2014, 50,000 people were thought to have died, although access restrictions made numbers hard to verify (ICG, 15/11/2014). Fighting is concentrated in Jonglei, Unity, and Upper Nile states.
In August, first Machar and then Kiir signed a peace deal, but fighting has continued, and Machar has lost allies (Sudan Tribune, 05/08/2015). In a sign that the peace agreement is in place, the SPLA was preparing bases for its forces outside Juba at the end of September, for when they leave the capital (AFP, 25/09/2015). At least seven ceasefires have been signed and broken since the civil war started (The Daily Star, 29/06/2015).
Parliament voted to extend President Kiir’s term by three years in March, until mid-2018, cancelling elections (AFP, 24/03/2015).
International military presence
The mandate of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) expires on 30 November 2015. As of 28 February 2015, there were 11,669 uniformed UN personnel in the country.
Government forces have failed to retake ground they have lost (ACLED, 31/08/2015; Small Arms Survey, 01/07/2015). Clashes intensified in the first months of 2015, with another significant escalation in March. In April, the capital of Unity state was transferred from Bentiu to Mankien, Mayom county (UNMISS, 15/04/2015).
In late June–July, as the rainy season reached its peak, the number of violent clashes between the SPLM and SPLM-IO decreased. Fighting was even less intense in August, partly due to the peace talks. Nonetheless, between April and September, 1,000 civilians were killed in Leer, Mayendit, and Koch in Unity state; 1,600 women and children were abducted. These figures are higher than those for the entire country over the previous 15 months. Witnesses have said the SPLA were the main perpetrators (UNHCR, Protection Cluster, 25/09/2015). On 29 September, the African Union announced the creation of a court to look into suspected war crimes in southern Unity (BBC, 29/09/2015).
The ceasefire was reportedly broken by both sides in Unity, Upper Nile, Jonglei, Central Equatoria, Eastern Equatoria, Western Equatoria, and along the White Nile between 23 August and 21 September (Sudan Tribune, 23/08/2015; 28/08/2015; 31/08/2015).
Central Equatoria: As of 10 September, clashes continue to be reported in the state (Sudan Tribune, 23/08/2015; 10/09/2015). On 23 August, there were reports of government and opposition forces along the Juba–Yei road near Lainya.
Unity: On 21 September, clashes were reported in Leer (Sudan Tribune, 21/09/2015). Clashes were reported in Nihaldiu and Payinjiar end August (Sudan Tribune, 23/08/2015; 28/08/2015). Opposition forces accused government forces of killed 200 civilians in Leer county in July (Sudan Tribune, 12/08/2015). Sporadic clashes continue to be reported around Bentiu (IOM, 07/09/2015; PI, 11/09/2015).
Upper Nile: There has been intermittent fighting south of Malakal since 1 September (UNHCR, 18/09/2015). On 30 August, SPLM and SPLM-IO reportedly clashed near Malakal (Sudan Tribune, 30/08/2015).
East Equatoria: On 22 August, there were reports of fighting along the River Acca (Sudan Tribune, 23/08/2015).
Violence between communities, is frequent, but underreported. Ownership of cattle is a common source of tension, particularly among pastoralists. The displacement of people and cattle due to conflict has intensified inter-communal clashes (UNHCR, Protection Cluster, 25/09/2015; IRIN, 15/01/2015). In July and August, clashes were reported in Unity, Central Equatoria, Lakes, Warrap, and Western Equatoria: over 50 people were killed and as many as 30,000 were displaced. Inter-communal clashes have also taken place in IDP camps (UNHCR, 08/2015; Sudan Tribune, 07/2015; 08/2015; Radio Tamazuj, 07/2015; 08/2015). Following the large number of violent incidents and displacement since April in southern Unity, an increase in intercommunal violence motivated by revenge is expected. This is because of the increased number of cattle whose ownership is likely to be disputed among the displaced population and those who remained (UNHCR, Protection Cluster, 25/09/2015).
6.4 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in 2015 (OCHA, 08/01/2015). The delivery of aid is restricted by heavy fighting, logistical constraints, and administrative impediments. The rainy season and insecurity have led WFP and ICRC to deliver aid via air drops. For ICRC, this is the first use of air drops for 20 years in some areas (ICRC, 30/06/2015).
Access of relief actors to affected populations
34 aid workers have been killed since December 2013 (OCHA, 18/09/2015). Six aid workers were killed in Unity since May 2015 (UNHCR, Protection Cluster, 25/09/2015). On 10 September, an aid worker was killed in an armed robbery at an NGO office compound in Juba (OCHA, 18/09/2015).
Assault, burglary, harassment, arrest, and detention have all been reported in 2015. Crime targeting humanitarian actors in Juba increased in September (UNHCR, 02/10/2015; PI, 11/09/2015). The ICRC has withdrawn from Leer county, Unity state, after its compound was looted and staff threatened by armed men on 3–4 October (ICRC, 05/10/2015).
Access of affected populations to assistance
Some organisations are returning to sites in Unity and Upper Nile state as the intensity of fighting has fallen. UNICEF and WFP resumed operations in Malakal in August (OCHA, 31/08/2015). WFP resumed food distributions in Koch county, Unity state, in mid-September, after more than six months (WFP, 26/09/2015).
Humanitarian staff from several organisations have been evacuated from Katigiri, Central Equatoria (PI, 11/09/2015).
Security and physical constraints
The security situation in Unity, Jonglei, and Upper Nile remains volatile, and the rainy season is also impeding access and continues to restrict humanitarian access following heavy fighting April–June.
Insecurity in Western Equatoria in September has limited WFP’s movement in that state (WFP, 21/09/2015). Armed attacks on vehicles on the Juba–Yei road are hampering humanitarian access, particularly to Lasu refugee camp. Reports of attacks in Lainya, situated along the road, as well as clashes between government forces and armed opposition groups along the road, led some humanitarian organisations to evacuate their staff to Yei (PI, 24/08/2015).
An estimated 11,500 people are only accessible by air drop in the swampy terrain surrounding Toch, Jonglei (ICRC, 03/09/2015). Heavy rains are preventing humanitarian actors from using the Rubkona airstrip in Unity (Logistics Cluster, 30/08/015). Malakal’s airstrip is back in use as of 7 August (WFP, 08/08/2015).
Reports from 11 September suggest that persistent floods have displaced 2,000–3,000 households (14,000–21,000 people) around Bor, Jonglei state (Sudan Tribune, 11/09/2015).
As of September 2015, around 2.27 million people have been displaced, both internally and to neighbouring countries since December 2013 (IOM, 21/09/2015). Fluid displacement patterns and limited access to rural areas make numbers difficult to verify and registration problematic (UNHCR 18/09/2014).
As of 24 September, there are an estimated 1.64 million IDPs in South Sudan. Around 877,000 are children (UNICEF, 24/09/2015). This is an increase of nearly 35,000 IDPs (2%) since August 16 (OHCA, 15/09/2015). Confirming the location of IDPs is difficult, but reports suggest that at least 590,000 IDPs are in Jonglei, 445,000 in Unity, 75,000 in Central Equatoria, 270,000 in Upper Nile, 125,000 in Lakes, 4,700 in Western Equatoria, 7,600 in Eastern Equatoria, 15,600 in Western Bahr el Ghazal, 11,100 in Warrap, and 6,700 in Abyei (ECHO, 21/09/2015).
194,575 people are in UNMISS Protection of Civilian sites (PoCs). This is approximately 7,000 less than the number recorded on 24 September. 117,942 are in Bentiu, 27,950 in Juba UN House, 45,462 in Malakal, 2,289 in Bor, 700 in Melut, and 232 in Wau (UNMISS, 24/09/2015). Nearly 100,000 more people are seeking shelter in PoCs in 2015 than in 2014. The decrease in new arrivals in Bentiu, from 2,155 between 21 and 28 August to around 1,200 a week in September, may be due to a fall in the number of violent clashes in northern Unity. 59% reported their displacement was due to food insecurity. 26% of new arrivals were from Koch county, 28% from Leer, 30% from Rubkona, and 13% from Guit (IOM, 07/09/2015; 21/09/2015). Malakal PoC total population is now around 45,000 despite being designed for 18,000. This has resulted in a complete lack of shelter for some IDPS (IOM, 21/09/2015; MSF, 08/09/2015, UNMISS, 19/08/2015).
18,000 people have arrived at Nyal IDP camp, Unity state, so far in September, bringing the total camp population to 78,000. The new arrivals require nutrition assistance. 300 unaccompanied children were with the group (OCHA, 18/09/2015). 28,000 people who were displaced by fighting in southern Unity have been displaced to Panyijar county. They are in need of WASH and shelter assistance (Radio Miraya, 29/09/2015).
Reports suggest that around 5,600 people have been displaced near Katigiri, Central Equatoria, following fighting in the area in early September (PI, 22/09/2015).
Refugees and asylum seekers
265,235 refugees are in South Sudan: around 235,000 are from Sudan, 15,500 from DRC, 4,900 from Ethiopia, and 2,040 from CAR. There are 100,94 refugees in Unity, 134,435 in Upper Nile, 2,339 in Jonglei, 18,484, in Central Equatoria, 18,484 and 9,083 in Wetsern Equatoria (UNHCR, 31/08/2015).
Most Sudanese refugees in Upper Nile state reside in four refugee camps in Maban county (OCHA, 03/04/2014).
As of 26 September, over 2,100 Sudanese refugees are being relocated to the Lasu refugee camp from near Yei town in Central Equatoria. Lasu camp already has a population of 8,300 refugees, mostly from DRC (UNHCR, 26/09/2015).
70,007 refugees are in Yida, Unity state, although the number is fluid as people move across the border and safety and needs dictate (UNCHR, 30/06/2015; PI, 03/07/2015). On 10 August, 1,547 Sudanese refugees arrived in northern Unity state (UNHCR, 15/08/2015). Refugees have cited aerial bombardments, ground attacks and lack of livelihood and education opportunities as reasons for leaving Sudan (OCHA, 21/02/2015; UNHCR, 30/01/2015). The South Sudan government wants to close Yida camp and relocate refugees further from the border.
Local authorities have banned refugees from leaving camps in the Yida area to fish and farm, after tensions with host communities in June (UNHCR, 14/07/2015).
South Sudanese refugees in neighbouring countries
65,000 South Sudanese have fled the country since the beginning of 2015, bringing the total of South Sudanese refugees arriving in neighbouring countries since December 2013 to 620,762. 68% of South Sudanese refugees are under 17 (UNHCR, 07/08/2015; 21/08/2015).
Sudan: As of 2 October, 193,049 South Sudanese nationals have arrived in Sudan since December 2013 (UNHCR, 02/10/2015). The Sudanese Government refuses to recognise South Sudanese nationals as refugees and instead considers them to be Sudanese citizens (UNHCR, 03/04/2014). UNHCR declared this constitutes an obstacle to accessing humanitarian assistance.
Ethiopia: 224,955 South Sudanese refugees (UNHCR, 02/10/2015).
Uganda: 168,372 South Sudanese refugees (UNHCR, 02/10/2015).
Kenya: 46,653 South Sudanese refugees (UNHCR, 02/10/2015).
Acute food insecurity in South Sudan peaked in June and July (FEWSNET, 11/08/2015). In September, it is predicted that there are around 2.8 million people experiencing Crisis (IPC 3) and Emergency (IPC 4) food security outcomes (ECHO, 21/09/2015). This is a drop from the peak of 4.6 million during the lean season, before the harvests began. However large areas of the conflict-affected states of Unity, Jonglei, and Upper Nile are expected to remain in IPC 4 as food stocks have been depleted (FEWSNET, 27/08/2015). Populations in Unity who fled to the bush during the intensification of violence from April have lost food stocks, further decreasing food security. This has led to some reports of famine in the worst-affected areas of Koch and Leer counties (AFP, 01/10/2015; FAO, 15/09/2015).
Due to conflict and erratic rainfall throughout August, planting in Unity, Upper Nile, and Jonglei (Greater Upper Nile) remains severely limited for the second consecutive year due to conflict. Significant soil moisture deficits remain and pasture conditions are well below average. As of late August, the harvest has begun in most areas, two months late (FAO, 23/09/2015; FEWSNET, 31/08/2015).
Poor and IDP households are expected to exhaust food stocks by December (FEWSNET, 19/08/2015). Food stocks are depleting in Bentiu PoC camp, owing to rapid population increase. Significant interruptions to the delivery of food assistance are expected after September due to funding constraints (WFP, 08/08/2015). 26,000 IDPs in Melut PoC are in dire need of food assistance (UNHCR, 15/08/2015).
On 5 August, UNHCR implemented a 30% reduction in food rations, starting in Doro and Gendrassa refugee camps (UNHCR, 15/08/2015).
The lean season is over but their remains high levels of trader uncertainty, fuel shortages and economic crisis continue to increase inflation (FAO, 31/08/2015). The consumer price index is 51.9% higher in July than the same month in 2014. There has been a dramatic increase in fuel costs (FEWSNET, 31/07/2015).
Compared to the same period in 2014, sorghum prices in Juba were 167% higher at the end of August, and 23% higher than in July. Similarly, maize prices were 158% higher than in 2014, and rice was 217% higher (FAO, 31/08/2015). Food prices are expected to continue increasing faster than normal nationwide (WFP, 31/08/2015). Most households spend 80–85% of their income on food (FAO, 02/07/2015; IPC, 27/05/2015).
The affected population, particularly in Unity, Jonglei, and Upper Nile state, have reportedly prepositioned supplies in case of displacement. However, increased use of coping strategies during 2014 due to fighting and a difficult lean season has diminished their effectiveness and long-term food security (PI, 01/07/2015). Reports suggest that coping mechanisms are completely exhausted in Koch and Mayendit in Leer, Unity state (ICRC, 12/09/2015)
The livelihoods of an estimated 610,000 people, more than half in Juba and Wau, are severely undermined (FAO, 02/07/2015).
Intensive and abnormal migrations due to insecurity have seriously depleted livestock health throughout the country (FEWSNET 24/06/2015). Greater Equatoria and Greater Bahr el Ghazal have been particularly affected by disease outbreaks, cattle raids, and conflicts over cattle (FAO, 15/09/2015).
4.6 million people need health assistance (UN, 12/06/2015). Responders are unable to conduct the measures necessary to tackle preventable diseases. The response is further hampered by conflict (international organisation, 24/07/2015).
Healthcare availability and access
In Bentiu PoC, overcrowding is affecting health. 456 measles cases, including 14 deaths, have been registered since the beginning of 2015, with a case fatality rate of 3.1%. An increased number of hepatitis E cases has been reported (WHO, 27/09/2015; USAID, 04/09/2015)
Malakal PoC’s health services are overwhelmed and health indicators are deteriorating. The weekly number of diarrhoea cases reported at facilities has doubled since June. Respiratory tract infections increased 80% from June to July (MSF, 21/08/2015).
Fashoda county, Upper Nile, reportedly has no drug stocks (Cordaid, 03/09/2015).
Malaria among IDPs increased to 38.9% in the week ending 27 Septemberreaching epidemic proportions (WHO, 27/09/2015). MSF reported that the number of cases has tripled in Yida, increasing from 200 on 6 September to 700 on 20 September (UNHCR, 01/10/2015). The number of malaria cases recorded per week in Malakal PoC in August was almost triple the figures recorded in June (MSF, 21/08/2015). Outside camps, there were approximately 989,400 cases of malaria and 445 deaths from January to August 2015, compared to nearly 744,200 cases and 303 deaths during the same period in 2014 (OCHA, 31/08/2015).
In the week ending 13 September, under-five mortality dropped to 1.76 per 10,000 per day, falling below the emergency threshold, which it had exceeded the previous week. Malaria continues to be the main cause of death (WHO, 13/09/2015).
The current cholera outbreak began on 18 May in Juba PoC. 1,814 suspected cases and 47 deaths have been recorded nationwide as of 4 October. 1,618 cases and 45 deaths were in Juba. Incidence seems to be falling, with no new cases being reported 28 September–4 October. The case fatality rate is 2.59% (WHO, 04/10/2015).
In 2015, 1,516 hepatitis E cases and 13 deaths have been reported in Bentiu, Unity state, with a case fatality rate of 2.7% (WHO, 28/09/2015).
An estimated 250,000 children are severely malnourished, according to an OCHA representative (OCHA, 16/09/2015). GAM is above 15% in most parts of the country. Unity, Upper Nile, Jonglei, Warrap and Northern el Ghazal are the worst affected (WFP, 09/09/2015). Malnutrition is particularly high among pregnant and lactating women, with an average GAM rate of 26.6% recorded for them in IDP camps, and 29.8% among in Doro refugee camp (UNHCR, 18/09/2015, UNHCR, 26/06/2015).
Initial reports suggest that the new arrivals at Nyal IDP camp un Unity are suffering from malnutrition and require assistance (OCHA, 18/09/2015). In the week ending 13 September, Bentiu PoC recorded 20.8% GAM and 4.9%SAM (WHO, 13/09/2015). In Malakal PoC, GAM was recorded at 18.9% and SAM at 4.6%. In Mingkamen IDP site GAM was at 14.1% and SAM at 3.2%. In Upper Nile, screening found 9.1% GAM and 2.8% SAM, with 24.8% GAM and 3.9% SAM in Jonglei (UNICEF, 10/09/2015). In Yida refugee camp, Unity state, 9.7% GAM was recorded, as well as 0.9% SAM, in September (UNHCR, 02/10/2015). The emergency thresholds are 15% and 2%, respectively.
Nationwide, 55% of people have access to safe drinking water (OCHA, 15/07/2015). 6.4 million people are in need of WASH assistance (UN, 12/06/2015).
80% of people in Juba report a lack of access to clean water (OCHA, 01/07/2015). Due to the increasing cost of fuel, the price of water has dramatically increased, causing more people to resort to drinking water from unsafe sources (OXFAM, 31/07/2015).
Water coverage slightly deteriorated in the PoCs in July. In Melut, Bentiu, and Malakal PoCs 11, 9.4, and 12 L/person/day were available, respectively (IOM, 22/07/2015; 25/06/2015). In Yida refugee camp, crude water coverage was 14 L/p/d (UNHCR, 22/06/2015). In Ajuong Thok refugee camp 12 L/p/d was recorded (UNHCR, 18/09/2015).
Sanitation provision nationwide has generally remained stable, with some slight improvement in Malakal PoC in July. Malakal PoC, Bentiu PoC, and Melut have 44, 21, and 55 people per latrine, respectively (IOM, 22/07/2015; 25/06/2015). Over 80% of the latrines reported in Ajuong Thok camp (Unity state) lack roofs or doors, and are not gender-separated (UNHCR, 29/05/2015).
An estimated 2 million people are in need of education assistance (UN, 12/06/2015). Only 6% of 13-year-old girls have completed primary school (Plan, 10/06/2015).
In Ajuong Thok, Napere, and Makpandu refugee camps, the pupil: teacher ratio is 72:1, 52:1 and 43:1. All fall short of the UNHCR standard of 40:1 (UNHCR, 24/07/2015; 14/07/2015). There has been a 37% drop in educational attendance between August–September (UNHCR, 18/09/2015).
Reports of torture, rape, censorship, and targeting of civilians are widespread. Seven journalists have been killed in 2015 in allegedly targeted attacks. On 20 August a journalist was killed soon after President Kiir threatened journalists who reported “against the country” (Reuters, 20/08/2015; AFP, 05/08/2015)
Rape has been used as a weapon of war between government and opposition forces (HRW, 21/07/2015). At least 1,300 women and girls were raped between April and September in Leer, Mayendit, and Koch in Unity state (UNHCR, Protection Cluster, 25/09/2015). Some were burned alive inside their homes after being raped Human Rights Watch has published evidence of rape and violence in Unity state by government and government-aligned forces (HRW, 21/07/2015). The abduction of IDP women from outside PoCs continues to be reported (UNHCR, 12/06/2015).
Early and forced marriage, rape, and domestic violence have been reported in and around PoCs (MSF, 08/09/2015). In Melut (Upper Nile), firewood collection remains a major safety concern for women and girls, with reports of GBV (OCHA, 26/10/2014).
It is difficult to obtain SGBV figures as people collecting information on SGBV face intimidation and threats. This was most recently reported in Central Equatoria (UNHCR, 14/07/2015).
A UN Security Council report stated that all parties to the conflict since December 2013 were responsible for grave violations against children, including killing and maiming, recruitment and use, abduction, and rape and other forms of sexual violence (UN, 30/12/2014). There are over 900 unaccompanied and separated children in southern Unity (UNHCR, Protection Cluster, 25/09/2015). In the second quarter of 2015, there were at least 166 incidents of child rights violations, affecting 4,184 children (OCHA, 01/07/2015).
25,000 children have been separated from their families (UN, 16/06/2015). 13,000 children have reportedly been recruited by armed groups since the beginning of 2014 (OCHA Monitor, 16/06/2015).
LATEST DEVELOPMENTSLATEST DEVELOPMENTS
30 September–4 October: In South and North Darfur, reports of farm raids by herders have become increasingly common. They have burned houses and destroyed crops (Radio Dabanga, 04/09/2015; 30/09/2015).
27 September: Conflict has disrupted cultivation and livelihood activities, contributing to the increase in sorghum prices, which rose by 290% in central South Kordofan and 585% in West Jebel Marra between June and July 2015. Access to markets in these areas remains severely constrained (OCHA, 27/09/2015).
27 September: 5,400 South Sudanese refugees arrived in South Kordofan in September. Most are women and children, and require food and shelter assistance (OCHA, 27/09/2015).
- 5.4 million people are in need of assistance (OCHA, 22/09/2015).
- 4.4 million people in Darfur, more than half of the region’s population, need humanitarian assistance. This includes 2.5 million IDPs and 150,000 returnees (OCHA, 30/06/2015).
- 1.29 million people face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Emergency (IPC Phase 4) food security outcomes. Darfur, South Kordofan, Blue Nile, and West Kordofan are worst affected (IPC, 01/07/2015; FSNWG, 26/05/2015).
- 1 million children under five are acutely malnourished; 550,000 are estimated severely acutely malnourished (OCHA, 09/08/2015).
- 3.1 million IDPs. Two million in Darfur prior to 2014; 401,000 displaced in 2015 (OCHA, 31/07/2015).
- Humanitarian access remains a significant problem due to insecurity, mines and explosive remnants of war (ERW), logistical constraints, and restrictions placed by the authorities.
Large-scale internal displacement due to violence, widespread food insecurity, malnutrition, lack of access to basic services, and recurrent natural disasters. Humanitarian access to conflict zones is severely restricted.
Numerous, protracted insurgencies are being waged by several armed groups across Darfur, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile. Darfur has been the scene of inter-communal clashes and conflict between the government and armed opposition for over a decade. Violence in Blue Nile and South Kordofan grew significantly after South Sudan won independence in 2011. Tensions also continue to run high between Sudan and South Sudan.
Politics and security
Profound divisions within Sudanese society have persisted since independence in 1956, and the Government’s exploitation of intercommunal differences has aggravated the situation.
Parliamentary and presidential elections were held 13–15 April, and according to unofficial estimates President Omar al Bashir achieved a landslide victory. Voter turnout was reportedly extremely low (AP, 13/04/2015; international media, 19/04/2015). The Sudan Revolutionary Front, the National Umma Party, and other opposition groups boycotted the elections (Al Jazeera, 27/04/2015).
Sudanese forces moved towards the border with South Sudan’s Unity and Upper Nile states in July, reportedly in an attempt to protect Sudan’s interest in the oil-rich territory that straddles the border (World Bulletin, 13/07/2015).
Tensions between Khartoum and Juba, persistent since South Sudan’s independence in 2011, increased when violence erupted in South Sudan in December 2013. The disruption of oil flow is a key concern for both countries.
The Sudanese Government has accused Juba of using Sudanese militia groups, and the South Sudanese army (SPLA) has accused Khartoum of supporting the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement -in-Opposition (SPLM-IO). Both the opposition and Khartoum have denied the accusations. In 2014, South Sudanese officials accused the Sudanese Government of locations in Western Bahr el Ghazal and Upper Nile states, where more than 220,000 Sudanese refugees are living (AFP, 14/11/2014).
Extensive military operations aimed to end armed opposition in Darfur, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile began at the end of 2013.
While the SPLM governs the independent South Sudan, the SPLM-North continues an insurgency in Sudan’s Blue Nile and South Kordofan states, which have routinely opposed government rule. Talks between Khartoum and the SPLM-N have repeatedly failed.
On 20 September, the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) announced willingness to declare a six-month ceasefire in Blue Nile, South Kordofan and Darfur, if Khartoum accepts the dialogue process proposed by the SRF (Sudan Tribune, 20/09/2015). On 20 August, President Omar al Bashir stated that his regime was willing to offer an amnesty to armed groups in South Kordofan, Blue Nile and Darfur who were willing to join the national peace negotiations, in addition to a possible two-month ceasefire. The SPLM-N alleges that government forces bombed their positions in South Kordofan on 13 September (Sudan Tribune, 13/09/2015). The government intends for talks to begin on 10 October (Sudan Tribune, 26/08/2015; ICG, 01/09/2015).
Sudan Revolutionary Front
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).
UN peacekeeping mission
Relations between the Government of Sudan and the UN peacekeeping mission deteriorated following the government’s refusal to allow an African Union/United Nations hybrid operation in Darfur (UNAMID) to investigate mass rape in North Darfur at the end of 2014 (AFP, 30/11/2014). Despite protests from the Sudanese government, the Security Council has extended UNAMID’s mandate until June 2016 (Firstpost, 29/06/2015). UNAMID consists of 17,750 personnel (UNAMID, 2015).
August saw the lowest levels of political violence in 2015 in Sudan, partly due to the rainy season and ongoing peace talks. Nationwide, there were no reported attacks from government-aligned militias and opposition activity decreased over July–August, although attacks by unidentified gunman remain common (ACLED, 01/09/2015). At least six deaths and 22 injuries were recorded in June, similar to the figure recorded in the same period in 2014 (The Sudan Consortium, 06/2015).
Large-scale violence by pro-government militia against the IDP population in Darfur continues in 2015, and airstrikes by the Sudanese Air Force (SAF) remain frequent. Information on Blue Nile and South Kordofan states is difficult to obtain, as government authorities severely restrict access to the fighting zone. According to Human Rights Watch and local media, the Government of Sudan continues to target civilian areas of South Kordofan’s Nuba Mountains. Fighting between SPLM-N and government troops intensified in March in Blue Nile and South Kordofan (SKBNCU, 03/2015).
With the start of the rainy season, attacks by the Sudanese government have fallen by more than 50% in South Kordofan, though homes and clinics continue to be targeted in bombing raids. On 13 September, the SPLM-N has accused the Sudanese army of bombing SPLM-N held areas in South Kordofan (Sudan Tribune, 13/09/2015).
Conflict between communities over resources and due to ethnic tensions is common throughout Sudan. Tribal fighting intensified in Darfur and Kordofan regions in 2013 and 2014, leading to thousands of deaths and injuries and forcing over 300,000 people to flee their homes (SKBNCU, 03/2015). Early migration of cattle due to poorer pasture in central Sudan means that arable land in Kassala and Blue Nile states is being crossed by livestock, increasing the risk of conflict between pastoralists and cattle and local farmers (FEWSNET, 30/09/2015). Water shortages in the area have also exacerbated tensions (Radio Dabanga, 02/10/2015). In North and South Darfur, reports of herders raiding farms have become increasing common since late September. They have burned houses and destroyed crops (Radio Dabanga, 04/09/2015; 30/09/2015).
Security in South Darfur is deteriorating. The frequency of robberies near IDP camps has been increasing (Radio Dabanga, 04/08/2015). On 27 September, UNAMID peacekeepers were attacked near Mellit, North Darfur, by an armed group. One peacekeeper was killed and four were injured (UN, 27/09/2015). On 19 September, an armed group attacked and looted villages in Kutum county, North Darfur, killing four (Sudan Tribune, 19/09/2015). On 13 August, clashes broke out between the Fellata and Salamat tribes in Buram locality, South Darfur. At least seven have reportedly been killed (Sudan Tribune, 13/08/2015; Radio Dabanga, 14/08/2015).
Heavy rains and storms
On 29 September, torrential rains and heavy winds injured an un specified number of people in Ed El Fursan, South Darfur, and destroyed 50 houses (Radio Dabanga, 02/10/2015). On 19 August, heavy rain severely damaged 150 homes in Kalma IDP camp in South Darfur (ECHO, 22/08/2015).
On 14 August, 2,600 people were affected or displaced in Tadamon locality, Blue Nile, when heavy rain damaged their shelters. An additional 13,300 people have been affected by rains throughout Ed Damazine and El Roseires localities in Blue Nile state since June (OCHA, 16/08/2015).
There are a total of 3.1 million IDPs in Sudan: 2.55 million are in Darfur (OCHA, 31/07/2015). 60% of the displaced are children (UNCIEF, 31/08/2015).
Since January 2015, over 400,000 people have been displaced in Sudan. 23,000 IDPs have been displaced during 2015 in South Kordofan (IOM, 31/08/2015). As of 31 August, there 173,592 IDPs in Darfur (104,098 verified IDPs, 69,494 reported but not verified). 73% of displaced households in 2015 where female headed (IOM, 31/08/2015). Over 50,300 IDPs have reportedly returned to their place of origin in 2015 (OCHA, 31/08/2015). A total of 56,000 people remain displaced in Blue Nile, including new IDPs as well as relocated and recent returnees (OCHA, 31/07/2015). Displacement figures are similar to figures for the previous year, which saw the biggest displacement for a decade (OCHA, 31/12/2014).
2.4 million IDPs reside in 46 camps and 68 settlements in Darfur (including 82,530 orphans and 52,350 sick and elderly), according to a survey conducted by the Darfur Regional Authority (DRA) from December 2013 to April 2014. OCHA reported in June that government policy to prevent the creation of new camps is an obstacle to the verification and registration of IDPs (IRIN, 02/06/2015). The displaced in Darfur report insecurity as a major concern. Other concerns include lack of access to basic services such as water, food, shelter, and medicines (IRIN, 02/06/2015).
Jebel Marra: Up to 38,000 people were displaced between February and May by fighting between the government and armed groups. They have not been provided with any assistance since they were displaced (OCHA, 02/08/2015).
North Darfur: As of 31 August, 82,702 IDPs are verified and 16,197 are reported but not verified as having been displaced in 2015. Another 25,319 have reportedly returned to their place of origin during 2015 (OCHA, 31/08/2015). Over 22,000 IDPs remain displaced due to clashes between the Berti and Zayadia ethnic groups near Mellit in May (OHCA, 25/08/2015). The displaced are in need of NFIs, shelter, health services, and psychological support (OCHA, 26/07/2015).
Central Darfur: As of 31 August, 17,976 IDPs are verified and 47,712 have been reported as having been displaced in 2015. Another 24,985 have reportedly returned to their place of origin during 2015 (OCHA, 31/08/2015). Due to the rainy season, the needs of 5,500 IDPs in Golo Town have increased significantly. Emergency shelter, NFIs, health, and education services are urgently required (OCHA, 20/09/2015).
East Darfur: As of 31 August, there are 17,976 verified IDPs and 6,197 reported but not verified as displaced in 2015 (OCHA, 31/08/2015).
West Darfur: As of 31 August, 2,250 people are reported but not verified as displaced in 2015 (OCHA, 31/08/2015).
South Darfur: As of 31 August, 3,420 people verified as newly displaced in 2015 (OCHA, 31/08/2015). The rainy season has exacerbated already low levels of sanitation and food shortages (Radio Dabanga, 30/09/2015). There are reports that voluntary return programmes run by the government, targeting around 235,000 protracted IDPs living in Kass IDP camp, are putting pressure on the population to return, prioritising dismantling the camps rather than fascinating returns (Radio Dabanga, 22/09/2015).
Blue Nile and South Kordofan: Over 378,000 people are estimated displaced in SPLM-N territory (OCHA, 03/02/2015). 50,000 people have been displaced in Blue Nile since the start of 2015 (OCHA, 21/09/2015; 15/06/2015).
West Kordofan: More than 52,000 people were reported displaced in 2014 (OCHA, 21/09/2014).
As of 9 September, 9,000 displaced people have returned to their homes in Tawila locality, North Darfur. They are in need of health, education, livelihood and agricultural assistance (OCHA, 13/09/2015). As of 31 August, 26,000 IDPs have returned home in Blue Nile (OCHA, 31/08/2015).
Refugees and asylum seekers
There are over 310,000 refugees in Sudan (UNHCR, 30/04/2015). More than 192,000 are South Sudanese, most of whom have arrived since December 2013 (UNHCR, 17/09/2015). At least 112,000 are from Eritrea and nearly 10,000 are from Chad (UNHCR, 19/08/2015; OCHA, 16/08/2015).
From South Sudan
As of 1 October, 193,049 South Sudanese nationals have arrived in Sudan since 15 December 2013: around 134,100 are children (UNHCR, 01/10/2015; UNICEF, 31/08/2015). 109,081 South Sudanese refugees live in White Nile (approximate 9,952 in the host community), 34,381 in Khartoum, 24,406 in West Kordofan, 374 in North Kordofan, 20,982 in South Kordofan, 3,661 in Blue Nile, and 164 in East Darfur (UNHCR, 01/10/2015). 91% of households are female-headed (UNHCR, 29/01/2015).
5,400 South Sudanese refugees arrived in South Kordofan in September. Most are women and children, and require food and shelter assistance (OCHA, 27/09/2015). Over 4,800 South Sudanese refugees arrived in Kharasana, West Kordofan (OCHA, 20/09/2015).
2,496 displaced South Sudanese are living in the disputed area of Abyei (UNHCR, 17/09/2015).
Sudanese refugees in neighbouring countries
As of January 2015, OCHA reported 367,000 Sudanese refugees in Chad, 233,000 in South Sudan, 35,000 in Ethiopia, and 1,880 in Central African Republic (UNHCR, 23/02/2015; OCHA, 03/02/2015).
13,479 refugees from South Kordofan have fled to South Sudan (Yida, in Unity state) since December 2014 (UNHCR, 30/06/2015).
Humanitarian access is a major problem for international relief organisations. Humanitarian operations are hampered by insecurity, the presence of mines and ERW, logistical constraints, and government restrictions. The rainy season continues to hinder access, particularly South, West and Central Darfur (OCHA, 09/08/2015). Access to areas of active conflict in Darfur remains largely denied (Radio Dabanga, 10/09/2015). The government has banned humanitarian access to areas controlled by opposition groups (IRIN, 02/06/2015).
Access of relief actors to affected populations
An increase in carjacking incidents targeting aid organisations has been reported in 2015 (OCHA, 24/05/2015). In 2015, there have been 131 security incidents affecting humanitarian workers in Darfur. These include abductions, armed attacks, carjackings, looting and theft (OCHA, 14/09/2015). On 10 September, WHO staff were attacked while travelling in Kreinik locality, West Darfur. Two people were killed (UN, 10/09/2015). In July, healthcare facilities in Central Darfur were shut down after government forces allegedly beat and detained several workers (Sudan Tribune, 07/08/2015). 25 aid workers were abducted in Darfur in 2014, the highest number of abduction cases recorded since 2004 (OCHA, 22/01/2015).
August 2013 regulations ban foreign humanitarian groups and UN agencies from working for human rights.
Access of affected populations to assistance
Jebel Marra in Darfur has been virtually inaccessible since 2010. This has resulted in approximately 47,600 people without access to assistance, including 1,700 IDPs who have not received any food rations since being displaced between March–June in West Jebel Marra, Central Darfur (OCHA, 20/09/2015; 31/08/2015). There has been no humanitarian access from Sudan to opposition-held areas in South Kordofan since October 2013. The ICRC has not been able to fully resume operations in Jebel Marra to 2014 levels (OCHA, 30/08/2015). Between 90,000 and 250,000 in SPLM–N areas of Blue Nile state and South Kordofan are without access to humanitarian assistance (OCHA, 31/09/2015).
Security and physical constraints
Security incidents in El Fasher (North Darfur) and Zalingei (Central Darfur) reported in recent months have restricted operations in the area (OCHA, 30/08/2015).
Food security and livelihoods
1,289,000 people are reportedly facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Emergency (IPC Phase 4) food security outcomes. Areas with the highest proportion of people in Crisis food security outcomes include non-government areas in South Kordofan, Blue Nile, and areas of Jebel Marra, as well as the IDP population in South Kordofan and Darfur, (FEWSNET, 30/09/2015; OCHA, 27/09/2015). This is a less severe situation for the lean season than had been predicted (the lean season began in June), thanks to improved pasture conditions and abundant cereal production (IPC, 01/07/2015). Food security is expected to deteriorate through September, when the lean season peaks (FEWSNET, 28/08/2015).
Poor rainfall at the start of the 2015 cropping season is delaying planting and affecting crop quality (FEWSNET, 02/09/2015). As a result, the amount of land cultivated has decreased from 714,000 hectares in 2014 to 504,000 hectares in 2015 (OCHA, 16/08/2015).
The areas that remain the worst affected by food insecurity are those affected by conflict, which prevents food distribution. Newly displaced households and IDPs without access to humanitarian assistance are facing Crisis food security outcomes (IPC, 01/07/2015). Local media reports suggest that displaced people in Zamzam camp, North Darfur, have not been provided with food for eight months (Radio Dabanga, 05/08/2015).
Conflict has disrupted cultivation and livelihood activities, contributing to the increase in the sorghum price, which rose by 290% in central South Kordofan and 585% in West Jebel Marra between June and July 2015. Access to markets in these areas remains severely constrained (OCHA, 27/09/2015). However, outside of these areas, sorghum and millet remain 29% lower in August 2015 than prices in 2014 (GIEWS, 29/09/2015; FEWSNET, 30/09/2015).
The ability of communities to cope has been depleted in South Kordofan, but those who are frequently affected by conflict and displacement in South Kordofan are reportedly pre-positioning supplies in case of displacement or damage by aerial attack. Cross-frontline trading is also believed to be continuing (PI, 03/07/2015).
Mortality from acute respiratory infections, malnutrition, and diarrhoea-related causes has increased in El Salam locality, White Nile state. 12 such deaths were reported between 10 and 24 July (UNHCR, 24/07/2015).
There are indications that the health situation in Darfur is deteriorating; many have no access to healthcare and there are reports that the number of mosquitoes is increasing the risk of malaria infections (Radio Dabanga, 28/07/2015). 21 people died of malaria in the week ending 25 September in Jedda and El Jebel IDP camps in Central Darfur (Radio Dabanga, 27/09/2015).
Mortality in health centres in Central Darfur, among children from Thur and Golo areas in North Jebel Marra, has increased. It is believed to be linked to an increase in severe acute malnutrition (SAM) in Thur and Golo. There is no humanitarian access to Thur and Golo, but nutrition screening of newly displaced children and pregnant and lactating women has found global acute malnutrition (GAM) exceeding emergency thresholds at 17.3% and SAM exceeding critical thresholds at 3.8% (OCHA, 30/08/2015).
Healthcare availability and access
In Darfur, 12 functioning health facilities are inaccessible as of late August. Another 190 facilities in Darfur lack essential staff and are operating at severely reduced capacity (WHO, 27/08/2015). Deaths recorded in Murnei IDP camp, West Darfur and North Darfur’s Saraf Umra locality have been reported as being linked to a lack of funds to purchase medicines (Radio Dabanga, 29/09/2015; 03/09/2015).
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 (UNHCR, 24/07/2015).
A measles outbreak began in late 2014. As of 9 August, 3,013 confirmed cases and 67 deaths (2.2% case fatality rate) have been reported in 2015, in all 18 of Sudan’s states. The states reporting the highest number of cases are West Darfur State (666) and Kassala State (520) (WHO, 09/08/2015).
In the week ending 9 August, 37 cases were recorded, which was less than the 80 recorded in the previous week. The most recent peak was recorded the week ending 25 July (110 new cases) (WHO, 09/08/2015). According to a 2014 survey, 39% of children have not been vaccinated against measles (UNICEF, 30/06/2015).
National GAM is 16.3%, with 550,000 children believed to suffer from severe acute malnutrition (SAM), mainly in North Darfur, El Gezira, South Darfur, Khartoum, and Gedaref. 51% of all SAM cases come from these states. SAM rates above 20% are recorded in three localities in South Darfur and Red Sea (OCHA, 09/08/2015).
500,000 children are severely malnourished in Darfur, Blue Nile, and South Kordofan (ECHO, 01/07/2015). Among localities with IDPs, where 20% of the population face severe consumptions gaps, 2.2–7% of the population is severely malnourished (IPC, 01/07/2015). According to UNICEF, MAM is at 6% and SAM 2.6% in White Nile (UNICEF, 25/08/2015).
WASH conditions inside refugee camps have deteriorated with the recent new influx of refugees from South Sudan (OCHA, 31/05/2015).
Across Sudan, approximately one person in nine does not have access to a clean water supply (Kimse Yok Mu, 24/06/2015). 75% of drinking water in South Darfur has been declared unsafe by government officials (Radio Dabanga, 17/09/2015). All refugee camps, except Dabat Bosin, are below the standard of 20L of water per person per day (OCHA, 31/05/2015).
20 water pumps have stopped working in El Salam camp, South Darfur, in the past five months, affecting 80,000 people (Radio Dabanga, 04/05/2015). Kassab IDP camp in Kutum has been suffering from a severe shortage of drinking water since the beginning of May. Reports suggest that 11 of the 20 water pumps at the camp are non-operational (local media, 25/05/2015).
Reports suggest there has been no regular maintenance of hand pumps in South Kordofan for up to four years (PI, 03/07/2015).
All refugee camps, except Dabat Bosin, have dangerously low levels of sanitation. The worst conditions are in El Redis II refugee camp, were the ratio is 186 people per latrine (OCHA, 16/08/2015).
Shelter and NFIs
In White Nile, 6,600 South Sudanese refugee families (46,200 individuals) are in need of shelter and NFI assistance (OCHA, 26/08/2015).
3.1 million of 7.9 million children aged 5–13 are out of school in Sudan (OCHA, 27/09/2015). 1.9 million are of primary-school age (UNICEF, 14/04/2015). The highest percentages of non-attendance are in Blue Nile (47%), Kassala (45%), and West Darfur (46%) states (OCHA, 13/09/2015). Schools are frequently used as shelters for IDPs (UNICEF, 30/06/2015).
In some IDP camps in South Darfur, the average class size is 93 students, more than double the UNHCR maximum of 35–40 (OCHA, 25/08/2015).
Reports suggest that fear of attacks by armed groups and the long distances between camps and schools restrict access to education for children from Darfur IDP camps (Radio Dabanga, 11/09/2015).
Human rights violations including torture, targeting of civilians, rape, censorship, and arbitrary arrest are widespread in Sudan. One human rights organisation reports that in July, in Darfur, Blue Nile, and South Kordofan, 56 specific incidents of human rights abuses were committed, mainly by largely pro-Government militias. 221 people were killed during these incidents. 19 victims of abduction and cases of arrest and torture were also reported in the same month (SUDO, 31/07/2015).
Mines and ERW
On 2 August, one boy was killed and another injured when an ERW exploded in Tabit, North Darfur (Radio Dabanga, 04/08/2015). 250 locations covering an estimated 32km2 are contaminated by mines and ERW, with the greatest concentrations in Kassala, Gedaref, Red Sea, Blue Nile, South Kordofan, and Darfur (UNMAS). South Kordofan is the most heavily mined area of Sudan, according to the Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor.
Four female IDPs were raped in two separate incidents by new settlers in abandoned villages in East Jebel Marra (Radio Dabanga, 10/08/2015). Sudan Social Development Organisation reports 35 incidents of rape in July (SUDO, 31/07/2015). Rape of IDPs by pro-government militia was frequently reported by local media in North, South, and Central Darfur and Jebel Marra in 2014.
As of March 2014, the Sudanese government refuses to recognise South Sudanese nationals as refugees and instead considers them to be Sudanese citizens (UNHCR, 03/04/2014). All foreigners in Sudan had to register with the immigration administration by 1 April. UNHCR has declared this constitutes an obstacle to humanitarian assistance.
Syria Country Analysis
1 October: 1,500 people were killed in conflict-related incidents in September; 33% of those killed were women and children (SNHR).
1 October: 2.7 million school-aged children are not in school (UNICEF).
30 September: Russia carried out its first airstrikes in Syria, mainly in Idleb and Homs governorates (ISW).
- 11,000 people were killed in the first six months of 2015 (SNHR, 01/07/2015). Over 240,000 deaths documented March 2011–August 2015, including over 70,000 civilians, 12,000 of them children (SOHR, 06/08/2015).
- 12.2 million people in need of humanitarian assistance inside Syria, including 5.6 million children (OCHA/UNICEF, 12/2014).
- 7.6 million IDPs (OCHA, 28/12/2014).
- 4.8 million people live in hard-to-reach areas (OCHA, 12/2014).
- 4 million Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries (UNHCR, 15/07/2015).
12.2 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance inside Syria, including 5.6 million children. The humanitarian situation appears most critical in the governorates of Aleppo, Ar-Raqqa, Rural Damascus, and Deir-ez-Zor (SNAP, 28/01/2015).
The conflict has killed over 240,000 people and caused large-scale displacement. Protection concerns are widespread. WASH and access to food are high priorities, as well as access to health services. Humanitarian needs in areas under prolonged and ongoing siege are particularly high because access is obstructed.
Politics and security
The conflict in Syria has been ongoing since 2011, when fighting broke out between pro-government and opposition forces. More armed groups then became involved, in particular Jabhat al Nusra (JAN), Islamic State (IS), and Kurdish armed groups such as People’s Protection Units (YPG).
Widespread conflict and high levels of violence continue, including indiscriminate aerial bombing by government forces and indiscriminate shelling by armed opposition (UNSC, 23/06/2015). Civilians have been subject to direct and indiscriminate attacks, including the widespread use of barrel bombs and other explosives in populated areas (UNSC 18/06/2015). In August, government forces used barrel bombs more than 1,500 times (Syrian Network for Human Rights, 07/09/2015).
Over the first six months of 2015, 11,090 people were killed, according to the Syrian Network for Human Rights. Government forces are believed to be responsible for 77% of the deaths, including 6,928 civilians (Syrian Network for Human Rights, 01/07/2015). 1,500 people were reported killed in September; 33% of these were women and children. These figures do not include casualties among government or IS forces (Syrian Network for Human Rights, 01/10/2015).
2014 saw the highest annual death toll since the war began, with 76,000 people killed in conflict, including 18,000 civilians (SOHR, 02/01/2014). More than 240,000 people have been killed since fighting began in March 2011 and more than one million people have been wounded or suffered permanent disability (SOHR, 06/08/2015; UNICEF, 03/2015).
Government forces have control of an estimated 20–30% of Syrian territory: Aleppo city, Damascus city, Homs city and surroundings, Tartous governorate, parts of As-Sweida, Dar’a, Hama, Lattakia, and Quneitra governorates, and some areas in Al Hasakeh, Deir-ez-Zor, and Idleb governorates (ISW, 14/09/2015).
Islamic State (IS, formerly the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant): Ar-Raqqa governorate is IS’s stronghold in Syria, and under IS control since October 2014. IS holds significant swathes of territory in Aleppo, Al Hasakeh, Homs and Deir-ez-Zor governorates (ISW, 14/09/2015).
Democratic Union Party (PYD) and People’s Protection Units (YPG): Syrian Kurds have been in de facto control of Kurdish zones in the north since government forces withdrew mid-2012. This includes large areas of the northern parts of Al Hasakeh, Ar Raqqa, and Aleppo governorates (ISW, 14/09/2015).
Other armed groups include the Al Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al Nusra (JAN), which controls areas in Idleb governorate (ISW, 19/06/2015). In some governorates, JAN and other armed groups, including Ahrar al Sham and Jaysh al Islam, have joined forces in so-called Operations Rooms, including the Jaysh al Fatah Operations Room in Idleb, the Ansar al Sharia Operations Room in Aleppo governorate, and Aleppo Conquest Operations Room active in Aleppo, Hama and Idleb governorates (BBC, 02/07/2015; ISW, 20/05/2015; 28/04/2015).
International intervention: Hezbollah forces are present in government-held areas bordering Lebanon and have been a key actor in military operations against armed groups in the border areas (ISW, 14/09/2015). In early September, Russia confirmed it had delivered military equipment and advisers to Syria (SOHR, 13/09/2015; Reuters, 10/09/2015). According to US officials, several hundred Iranian troops were deployed to Syria in late September (ISW, 01/10/2015; Reuters, 01/10/2015).
A US-led coalition began airstrikes on IS and JAN military installations in September 2014. Turkey began airstrikes in Syria in July 2015 (BBC, 24/07/2015). Russia launched its first airstrikes in Syria on 30 September. Russian airstrikes have reportedly mainly targeted opposition-held territory in Idleb and Homs governorates, in addition to IS targets in Ar-Raqqa governorate (ISW, 03/10/2015).
As of mid-September, fighting and airstrikes have intensified in almost all governorates over recent months, and frontlines continue to shift (UNHCR, 08/09/2015).
The YPG, supported by other armed groups and coalition airstrikes, are challenging IS in the north (ISW, 25/06/2015). According to analysts, with the exception of the takeover of Palmyra in May, IS has mainly been losing ground since February (AFP, 29/07/2015). IS lost Tal Abyad in Ar-Raqqa governorate to YPG in mid-June, considered a significant defeat (AFP, 15/06/2015).
In late September, a six-month ceasefire was agreed in Zabadani town (Rural Damascus), and al Foua and Kefraya towns – the two last government-held areas in Idleb. The ceasefire will allow for 10,000 civilians to be evacuated from the besieged Idleb towns (AFP, 24/09/2015).
Ar-Raqqa: Intense government airstrikes on Ar-Raqqa city were reported mid-September (AFP, 18/09/2015). Ar-Raqqa governorate is IS’s stronghold in Syria.
Aleppo: Clashes between IS forces and opposition groups escalated around Mare town in early September (ECHO, 09/09/2015; BBC, 05/09/2015).
Damascus: In mid-August, bombings intensified in the besieged area of Eastern Ghouta; an estimated 3,000 people have been injured. In early September, Jaysh al Islam reportedly made some significant gains in the areas surrounding Eastern Ghouta (BBC, 14/09/2015; MSF, 10/09/2015). New areas north of Damascus have come under siege, with a population of 600,000 (MSF, 10/09/2015). Douma, Jobar, and Darayya have been under continuous government airstrikes since early August (ECHO, 09/09/2015).
Homs: Clashes between government and IS forces in the Shaer gas field intensified late September, coupled with intensified government airstrikes in the governorate (AFP, 31/09/2015). In early September, IS forces seized Jazal oil field, the last oil field under government control (SOHR, 07/09/2015). On 6 August, IS forces seized the town of Al Qaryatain in their first major offensive since May (BBC, 06/08/2015). The takeover means IS forces are moving closer to the M5 highway, a crucial supply route for government forces (IRIN, 13/08/2015).
Idleb: In early September, Jaysh al Fatah Operations Room seized Abu Duhur airbase from the government (ICG, 01/10/2015). Government airstrikes targeting Jaysh al Fatah Operations Room intensified mid-September (BBC, 19/09/2015).
Lattakia: Clashes are continuing in areas north of Lattakia (SOHR, 13/09/2015). As of early September, JAN and aligned groups have advanced closer to Lattakia city, a key government stronghold (BBC, 02/09/2015).
There are 7.6 million IDPs within Syria; 50% are children (OCHA, 31/08/2015; 25/11/2014).
As of 22 September, an estimated 1.2 million people have been internally displaced so far this year. Many of them have been displaced several times since the conflict broke out (OCHA, 22/09/2015). The largest numbers of newly displaced IDPs are reported in Idleb, Ar-Raqqa, Al Hasakeh, and Dar’a governorates (OCHA, 22/09/2015).
Palestinian refugees in Syria (PRS): 560,000 Palestinian refugees are currently registered in Syria. Of these, 80,000 have fled to other countries. Over 95% of the 480,000 Palestinian refugees who remain within Syria are dependent on humanitarian assistance to meet their basic needs (UNHCR/Protection Cluster, 31/08/2015).
Iraqi refugees: An estimated 29,000 Iraqi refugees live in Syria (UNHCR 25/11/2014).
73,500 Syrian refugees in Turkey have returned to Kurdish-controlled areas in northern Syria so far in 2015 (OCHA, 22/09/2015). Syrian refugees in Jordan are also increasingly returning to Syria, as funding shortfalls have led to a worsened humanitarian situation for refugees. Almost 4,000 Syrian refugees returned from Jordan in August (AP, 05/10/2015).
Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries
4,052,011 Syrians are registered as refugees in neighbouring countries as of 4 October; a million more than in September 2014 (UNHCR, 04/10/2015). Since the war began, 440,000 Syrian asylum seekers have been registered in Europe; more than 270,000 arrivals from Syria have been registered in Greece so far in 2015 (UNHCR, 02/10/2015; 09/2015).
Turkey: 1,938,999 registered refugees (UNHCR, 25/08/2015).
Lebanon: 1,078,338 refugees (UNHCR, 30/09/2015).
Jordan: 628,175 refugees (UNHCR, 04/10/2015).
Egypt: 132,375 refugees (UNHCR, 05/07/2015).
Iraq: 247,352 refugees (UNHCR, 28/09/2015).
PRS: 42,000 have been recorded with UNRWA in Lebanon, 14,348 in Jordan (UNRWA, 02/03/2015) and 860 in Gaza. Around 4,000 are reportedly in Egypt (UNRWA, 28/10/2014).
4.6 million people are living in 137 hard-to-reach areas, including up to two million children (OCHA, 27/08/2015; UNICEF, 12/2014; UNFPA, 31/05/2015). Delivery of aid continues to be hampered by ongoing insecurity and lack of access for humanitarian organisations to government and opposition-held areas (AFP, 28/08/2015).
Local and international NGOs are reporting a lack of staff due to Syrians fleeing the country, in particular affecting NGOs that provide health services (IRIN, 07/09/2015).
Access of relief actors to affected populations
Ten aid workers have been killed and three injured since the beginning of 2015 (OCHA, 30/04/2015; Aid Worker Security Database, 20/04/2015). 77 humanitarian workers have been killed in the conflict since March 2011 (OCHA, 30/04/2015). 27 UN staff (including 24 UNRWA staff) have been detained or are missing (UNSC 21/11/2014).
Access of affected populations to assistance
4.6 million people live in hard-to-reach communities; an estimated 2.7 million of these live in IS-controlled areas where humanitarian access continues to deteriorate (OCHA, 27/08/2015; 30/04/2015). 422,000 civilians are living in besieged areas (OCHA, 22/06/2015).
UN agencies only reached 1% of the population in besieged areas with food assistance in the first half of 2015, and only 2% with health supplies. In July, they reached none of the besieged areas. Only 12% of people living in hard-to-reach areas were reached with food assistance in the first half of 2015, only 3% of them with health supplies (OCHA, 27/08/2015).
Aleppo: The town of Mare and surrounding areas have been out of reach of humanitarian actors since late August due to heavy fighting (ECHO, 09/09/2015).
Damascus: 600,000 people living in Al Tal, Al Hameh, and Qudssaya in northern Damascus have come under siege since late July. No humanitarian supplies are reaching the areas (MSF, 10/09/2015). Eastern Ghouta remains under siege; the population is in urgent need of assistance after weeks of intense bombing and hospitals are overwhelmed (MSF, 10/09/2015). The UN has removed Yarmouk from its list of besieged areas, despite UNRWA not having been able to deliver aid within the camp for four months (IRIN, 24/07/2015).
Deir-ez-Zor: IS has cut off access to government-controlled areas of Deir-ez-Zor, leaving an estimated 228,000 civilians under siege since February: minimal relief supplies have been airlifted into the city (UNICEF, 30/04/2015).
Homs: IOM reached areas in Homs governorate in late August, however report that access is very limited (IOM, 01/09/2015).
Idleb: Lack of access due to insecurity continues to significantly hamper tracking of population movement, safe registration of IDPs, identification of lifesaving needs and provision of humanitarian assistance (OCHA, 14/04/2015).
Rural Damascus: 40,000 people are in urgent need of basic services in Moadamiyah town, which has been cut off for several months. Little to no food or water is available; access to healthcare is lacking; and there is no electricity (ICRC, 18/06/2015). As of September, the siege of Moadamiyah has tightened: humanitarian assistance cannot reach the town, and people cannot enter or leave (MSF, 10/09/2015).
Security and physical constraints
Siege tactics are used by all actors in the conflict. Parties to the conflict continue to target public infrastructure and facilities, including water supply and electricity (OCHA, 27/08/2015). Electricity is only available for two–four hours a day, or not available at all, in most parts of Syria (UNHCR, 08/09/2015). In the north, fuel shortages are severely limiting transportation (MSF, 22/06/2015). Since January 2014, prices of diesel have increased by 110%, and petrol prices by 65% (Logistics Cluster, 25/09/2015).
Food security and livelihoods
9.8 million people require food, agriculture, and livelihoods-related assistance, according to the Food Security and Livelihoods sector. Of these, around 6.8 million people live in high-priority districts and need critical food assistance (WFP, 26/03/2015). High food prices have caused households to reduce the number of meals and eat lower quality and less nutritious food (UNICEF, 08/09/2015).
Wheat production in 2015 is estimated to be 40% lower than pre-conflict levels, although higher than in 2014. It is the smallest estimated harvested wheat area since the 1960s (FAO/WFP, 23/07/2015). Government-controlled areas are suffering a shortage of wheat, as government forces have lost control over many wheat-producing areas, and insecurity causes losses during transportation (Reuters, 23/09/2015).
Crop production has been adversely affected by the lack or the high price of agricultural inputs (such as seeds, fertiliser, and fuel); damage to agricultural machinery, irrigation systems, and storage facilities; disruptions in electricity supply; and destruction of standing crops (FAO/WFP, 23/07/2015; FAO, 17/06/2015).
Food prices increased sharply in early 2015 (FAO/WFP, 23/07/2015). Since 2011, the average monthly prices of wheat flour and rice have increased 301% and 629%, respectively. In besieged areas, wheat flour and rice prices have risen by 669% and 560%, respectively. Subsidised bread prices have risen by 180%, and commercial prices by 220% (WFP, 05/2015).
More than half of Syria’s population are estimated to be living in extreme poverty (ECHO, 09/09/2015). Unemployment stood at 57% the last quarter of 2014; an 8% increase since early 2014 (FAO/WFP, 23/07/2015). Gross domestic product has contracted by more than 40%, and exports have fallen by 90%. Oil production has dropped by 96% (World Bank/IMF/AFP, 02/12/2014). Insecurity is hampering transportation (FAO/WFP, 23/07/2015).
Over 2.4 million people are in need of health assistance (MSNA, 30/10/2014).
Healthcare availability and access
25% of hospitals are not functioning, and 32% of hospitals are only partially functioning, due to shortages of staff, equipment, and supplies, or damaged infrastructure (UNICEF, 31/07/2015). Health services in Aleppo, Dar’a, Homs, Hama, Idleb and Al Hasakeh governorates have been the most affected by conflict (UNICEF, 31/07/2015). The number of available health professionals has fallen to approximately 45% of 2011 levels (WHO, 27/03/2015). Local production of medicines has fallen by 70% and many lifesaving treatments are not available (WHO, 27/03/2015).
Populations living in hard-to-reach or besieged areas have limited access to healthcare (ICRC, 27/08/2015). Health needs are growing in northeastern Syria, and humanitarian actors struggle to access al Hasakeh governorate due to insecurity (ICRC, 27/08/2015).
Since 2011, Physicians for Human Rights has recorded the killing of 633 medical personnel and 271 attacks on 202 medical facilities. Government forces were found to be responsible for 90% of attacks on medical facilities – including 51 attacks with barrel bombs – and 97% of medical personnel deaths – including 142 deaths by torture or execution (PHR, 18/06/2015).
Water shortages have led to a significant increase in waterborne diseases, including typhoid and diarrhoea. Aleppo, Rural Damascus, and Deir-ez-Zor are the most affected (UNICEF, 31/08/2015). In the first five months of 2015, 1,000 hepatitis A cases were recorded per month (UNHCR, 10/05/2015). Significant increases in hepatitis A and typhoid cases were reported over May–July in Hama, Deir-ez-Zor, Idleb, and Rural Damascus (UNICEF, 31/07/2015).
In late August, 26 cases of typhoid were reported in Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus (UN News Centre, 21/08/2015).
4.6 million people are in need of WASH assistance. Six out of ten governorates report major problems in the WASH sector (MSNA, 30/10/2014). New waves of displacement have put further strain on water and sanitation networks (UNICEF, 10/07/2015).
Syria’s water infrastructure has been severely affected by the conflict: an estimated half of the total production capacity has been lost or damaged (ICRC, 02/09/2015). The availability of clean drinking water is estimated to be less than one-third of pre-crisis levels (UNICEF, 31/08/2015). The reliability of urban piped water is severely reduced and the quality of drinking water cannot be guaranteed due to a lack of testing facilities. Fuel shortages also affect water supply (UNICEF, 10/07/2015).
Deliberate disruptions to water supply systems are increasingly being used by various parties to the conflict as a tactic of war (UNICEF, 19/08/2015). Water from the main distribution system in Aleppo was cut for the first two weeks of August, and again at the end of the month (UNICEF, 31/08/2015). During August, water prices in Aleppo increased as much as 3,000% (UNICEF, 25/08/2015). In and around Damascus, water cuts in the last weeks of August affected at least five million people. Water supplies have been restored, but not to adequate levels (ECHO, 21/08/2015). Water pumping stations in Idleb governorate are operating only two hours a day (UNICEF 10/07/2015).
One-third of water treatment plants no longer function, and sewage treatment has halved (PHR, 10/2014; WHO/UNICEF, 22/07/2014). New waves of displacement have put further strain on sanitation networks (UNICEF, 10/07/2015).
Shelter and NFIs
In late 2014, 1.6 million people were estimated to be in need of shelter and NFI assistance (2015 Syria SRP, 17/12/2014).
Extremely limited information is available on shelter needs of the 7.6 million IDPs (IOM, 31/08/2015; Shelter Cluster, 29/07/2015).
98% of IDPs live in unofficial settlements and/or in host communities; 2% live in communal shelters, (IOM, 31/08/2015). Buildings are often overcrowded and IDPs lack access to basic services (UNHCR, 02/09/2015; IOM, 31/08/2015).
More than one million houses have been damaged, 400,000 of which have been totally destroyed (UNHCR, 02/09/2015).
2.7 million children are currently out of school – approximately half of all school-aged children (UNICEF, 01/10/2015; Education Cluster, 22/09/2015). Another one million children are at risk of dropping out as a result of insecurity and displacement (Education Cluster, 22/09/2015; UNICEF, 15/09/2015). In areas of prolonged active conflict, education enrolment is estimated to be around 6% (Save the Children, 03/2015).
52,000 teachers are no longer teaching (UNICEF, 01/10/2015). Other obstacles to education include the lack of safe learning spaces and learning material, and lack of adequate WASH facilities (Education Cluster, 22/09/2015).
Schools are frequently deliberately targeted. One in four has been damaged, destroyed, occupied, or is used as shelter by IDPs (Education Cluster, 22/09/2015).
Non-state armed groups and pro-government forces continue to commit human rights violations. Ethnic and religious communities in IS-occupied areas have been targeted (UN Human Rights Council 11/2014). Human and organ trafficking are reported (UNHCR 20/11/2014). Chemical weapons attacks have been reported (Reuters, 18/07/2105; HRW, 03/06/2015).
Both government and opposition forces have reportedly carried out arbitrary detention and abduction (Syrian Network for Human Rights, 30/08/2015).
Since the start of the conflict, 11,500 people have died from torture while in detention; government forces were responsible for 99% of cases (Syrian Network for Human Rights, 26/06/2015).
Journalists and other media workers are systematically targeted. Since the conflict began in 2011, 84 journalists have been killed, more than 90 abducted, and 25 remain missing (Institute for War and Peace Reporting, 12/08/2015).
Mines and ERW
Large quantities of unexploded ordnance and many booby-trapped houses in the eastern sector of Kobane city and the surrounding countryside are preventing return (OCHA, 17/02/2015). Since late January, there have been 45 explosions and 66 people killed, the vast majority of them civilians, according to a demining NGO (IRIN, 07/05/2015).
Various opposition groups, including JAN, Kurdish groups, and IS have been found to recruit children (NOREF, 16/02/2015). In 2015, IS has trained over 400 children as fighters (AFP, 24/03/2015). 52 children recruited by IS have been killed so far in 2015, including 16 who were used in suicide bombings (SOHR, 15/07/2015). The YPG has recruited 59 children since June 2014 (HRW, 15/07/2015).
Yemen Country Analysis
2 October: More than 500 children have been killed since conflict escalated in March (UNICEF).
30 September: Fuel prices have increased by 250% nationwide compared to pre-crisis levels; and by 400% in the most conflict-affected governorates (WFP). Commercial fuel imports have not entered Yemen since mid-August (OCHA, 29/09/2015).
29 September: More than 5,200 people have been confirmed killed since March, including 2,300 civilians – the actual numbers are believed to be much higher (OCHA, OHCHR).
- 21.1 million people in need of humanitarian assistance (OCHA, 10/06/2015).
- 12.2 million people directly affected by the conflict (OCHA, 10/06/2015).
- 12.9 million people are food insecure (IPC Indicative Analysis, 18/06/2015). Six million are estimated to be severely food insecure (OCHA, 05/06/2015).
- More than 15 million people lack access to healthcare (OCHA, 03/06/2015).
- 1.6 million children under five are estimated to suffer from acute malnutrition, including 400,000 potential SAM cases (OCHA, 13/07/2015; 12/06/2015).
- At least 20 million people lack access to clean water. Since the escalation of the crisis, 9.4 million people have lost access to safe water (OCHA, 05/06/2015).
- 1.4 million IDPs in Yemen (Protection Cluster, 05/08/2015).
Yemen’s political transition has turned into armed conflict between Houthis from the north and the government. Southern secessionists, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), and Islamic State activity throughout the country compound the security and political challenges. Access to safe drinking water, healthcare, and other basic services continues to decline. The Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) has declared Yemen a Level 3 emergency based on the severe humanitarian situation.
Politics and security
Instability and violence continue across the country. 21 of Yemen’s 22 governorates are directly affected by airstrikes, armed clashes, and shelling (OCHA, 27/08/2015).
Conflict between Houthi and government forces began to escalate significantly from late March 2015, and several ceasefires have failed to hold (AFP, 27/07/2015; 13/07/2015). Equally, peace talks have not brought any agreement. The last round of UN-led talks including government and Houthi representatives concluded in Geneva on 19 June (AFP, 19/06/2015). A new round was expected to begin in mid-September, but the Hadi government has backed out and will only join if the Houthis withdraw their forces from all the territory they seized during the conflict (AFP, 14/09/2015; 10/09/2015).
Houthi forces advanced to the capital and took control in September 2014. In February 2015, the Houthis dissolved Parliament, and President Hadi fled to Aden. In March, Houthi forces advanced further south, and President Hadi escaped to Saudi Arabia. On 25 March, a Saudi-led coalition began airstrikes in support of pro-government forces. Islamist groups, including AQAP and Ansar al Sharia, have exploited the power vacuum to take control of large areas in southeastern Yemen (ICG 2015; Al Jazeera 27/03/2015; CNN 27/03/2015; New York Times 25/01/2015; UNHCR 26/06/2015). As of August 2015, Houthi forces have lost control over much of southern Yemen, but remain strong in northern governorates (ECHO, 17/08/2015; ICG, 12/08/2015).
On 22 September, President Hadi reportedly returned to Aden, following several government ministers who arrived from Saudi Arabia the week before (AFP, 22/09/2015).
As of 29 September, 5,248 conflict-related deaths and 26,191 injuries have been registered since March (OCHA, 29/09/2015). Civilians account for almost half of those killed – 2,355 deaths as of late September (OHCHR, 29/09/2015). These numbers are expected to be much higher due to underreporting (OHCHR, 01/09/2015).
The pro-government forces, supported by Saudi-led coalition airstrikes, aim to regain control over Houthi- and AQAP-controlled areas. President Hadi has been in charge of government forces from his exile in Saudi Arabia. Several ministers had returned to Aden by late July (Al Jazeera, 23/07/2015). The Yemeni army is deeply divided, with units loyal to President Hadi fighting pro-Houthi units (ABC 15/04/2015).
The Houthis, also referred to as Ansar Allah, are based in Sa’ada governorate. They have taken up arms before, citing political, economic, and religious marginalisation (Al Jazeera, 16/11/2009). Factions in the Yemeni army who are allied with the Houthis include members of the former central security force, a unit seen as loyal to former President Saleh (Reuters, 12/03/2015; ABC, 23/03/2015). Estimates put the number of Houthi militants at around 20,000–30,000 (Al Jazeera, 04/03/2015).
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and Ansar al Sharia: AQAP is based in the south and east of the country. Ansar al Sharia has gained a foothold in the south and is believed to be a local branch of AQAP (ICG, 27/02/2015). According to the national security service, there are around 1,000 Al Qaeda militants in Yemen, from 11 Arab and non-Arab countries (AFP, 17/01/2015).
International involvement: A Saudi-led coalition began airstrikes in support of pro-Hadi forces on 26 March. UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Jordan, Morocco, Sudan, and Egypt are also members of the coalition (CNN, 29/03/2015). The coalition has deployed an estimated 10,000 ground troops in Yemen (Reuters, 08/09/2015). Saudi Arabia claims that Iran backs Houthi militants financially and materially, a claim the Iranian government denies (Amnesty 26/03/2015).
In mid-September, government forces launched a new offensive aiming to regain control of Sanaa, as well as Marib and Al Jawf governorates (AFP, 14/09/2015). As of late September, the governorates most affected by conflict are Marib, Taizz, Sa’ada and Sanaa (OCHA, 29/09/2015).
As of 21 August, pro-government forces have gained control over Aden, Abyan, Shabwah, Lahj and Al Dhalee governorates (WFP, 21/08/2015). Aden was taken by pro-government troops on 17 July and as of 17 August, Houthi forces had reportedly lost all the territory they held in southern governorates (ECHO, 17/08/2015; ICG, 12/08/2015).
Al Jawf: Airstrikes have intensified in recent weeks, causing increased displacement – IDPs are being displaced for a second time (Protection Cluster, 22/09/2015).
Marib: Saudi-led coalition ground forces are advancing west from eastern Marib; heavy fighting is reported between coalition and Houthi forces (ICG, 01/10/2015; ECHO, 21/09/2015). The security situation is expected to deteriorate in coming weeks (Protection Cluster, 22/09/2015).
Sa’ada: Intensified airstrikes and continuous shelling are reported – electricity is frequently cut, and infrastructure has been damaged (OCHA, 29/09/2015; ECHO, 14/09/2015).
Sanaa: Saudi-led coalition airstrikes have increased in Sanaa and other northern governorates since early September (Logistics Cluster, 28/09/2015; ECHO, 21/09/2015). IS claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing that targeted a Shi’ite mosque in Sanaa city on 23 September; at least 25 people were killed (BBC, 24/09/2015). IS has in recent months claimed responsibility for several bombings targeting Shi’ite mosques in the capital (AFP, 03/09/2015).
Taizz: Heavy fighting continues, with indiscriminate shelling reported. As of early October, intense conflict is reported between Bab al Mandab and Mokha (AP, 04/10/2015; ECHO, 21/09/2015). During August, Houthi forces regained some territory in Taizz (ICG, 01/09/2015).
Several waves of conflict, lack of access, and the fluidity of displacement make it difficult to estimate displacement figures and needs. More than 1.4 million people are thought to have been displaced in Yemen since March – adding to an estimated 800,000 returnees, refugees, and migrants in need of assistance (Protection Cluster, 05/08/2015; OCHA, 12/06/2015).
As of early August, 1.4 million people have been internally displaced since the escalation of conflict, a 12% increase since early July (Protection Cluster, 05/08/2015). This includes 299,000 in Hajjah, 236,000 in Al Dhalee, and 195,000 in Aden governorate. IDPs originate mainly from Aden, Al Dhalee, and Lahj governorates (Protection Cluster, 05/08/2015). Sa’ada governorate has seen an influx of IDPs since mid-September (OCHA, 29/09/2015; UNICEF, 22/09/2015).
Most IDPs are staying with friends and family (OCHA, 19/06/2015; OCHA, 10/06/2015). IDPs and host communities are in need of food, shelter, health services, and fuel (IOM, 23/07/2015).
IDPs in Taizz governorate are in immediate need of food, shelter, health, and WASH services (Protection Cluster, 22/09/2015).
Refugees and asylum seekers
As of 15 September, 263,933 registered refugees are living in Yemen: most are Somali (249,583); 6,067 are Ethiopian (UNHCR, 15/09/2015). Since escalation of conflict in March, more than 25,000 Somali and 4,000 Ethiopians have returned to their countries of origin (IOM, 17/09/2015; 11/09/2015).
Conflict in areas close to refugee-hosting sites have resulted in further displacement of refugees and asylum seekers, loss of livelihoods, and a breakdown in basic services (OCHA, 19/06/2015). Insecurity is limiting access to Kharaz refugee camp in Lahj governorate, which has a population of 17,000 (UNHCR, 15/09/2015).
Other people of concern in Yemen
Estimates indicate that over 883,000 returnees, refugees, and migrants in Yemen currently require assistance, including Yemeni migrants deported from Saudi Arabia (OCHA, 12/06/2015).
Ethiopians make up the vast majority of the 18,000 people who have arrived in Yemen since March; the rest are from Somalia (UNHCR, 01/10/2015; 14/07/2015). Almost 50,000 new arrivals have been registered in Yemen in 2015, a 50% reduction of new arrivals compared to 2014 (UNHCR, 01/10/2015). Many new arrivals reported they were unaware of the security situation in Yemen before arriving. Others reported they were aware of the situation, and still preferred it to the situation in their country of origin (UNHCR, 03/07/2015).
Arrivals from Yemen in other countries
Since March 2015, more than 117,000 people, consisting of Yemenis, returnees, and third-country nationals (TCNs) have left Yemen (UNHCR, 01/10/2015). As of 29 September, 25,561 have arrived in Djibouti and 29,305 in Somalia (UNHCR, 29/09/2015). 12,000 arrivals have been recorded in Ethiopia, 5,500 in Sudan, and 5,000 arrivals in Oman. 30,000 Yemenis and 10,000 TCNs have arrived in Saudi Arabia; all but 5,000 have since left Saudi Arabia for other countries (UNHCR, 01/10/2015; 27/08/2015; IOM, 17/09/2015).
Checkpoints, insecurity, and the reluctance of transporters to access volatile areas are hampering the delivery of assistance via both road and sea (WFP, 29/07/2015). Fuel shortages are further hampering humanitarian operations (OCHA, 30/06/2015). The arms embargo on the Houthis and commercial shipping restrictions also significantly impact the supply of humanitarian relief (OHCHR, 29/09/2015; OCHA, 27/08/2015).
Humanitarian access constraints are particularly severe in Sa’ada, followed by Lahj, Aden, Al Dhalee, Taizz, Abyan, Shabwah, Marib, and Al Jawf (OCHA, 07/07/2015). As of end August, humanitarian access to Taizz governorate is extremely limited due to ongoing fighting (OCHA, 31/08/2015). Access in Sanaa has been affected by intensified airstrikes in late September (Logistics Cluster, 28/09/2015).
Access of relief actors to affected populations
On 30 September, two Yemen Red Crescent Society volunteers were killed in an airstrike in Taizz. Eight Red Cross Red Crescent staff and volunteers have been killed since March (ICRC, 30/09/2015). Humanitarian workers in Taizz governorate are increasingly being targeted, harassed, and abducted by armed groups (OCHA, 31/08/2015).
Security and physical constraints
The closure of airspace over Yemen is severely restricting air operations, as are limitations in neighbouring airspace zones (Logistics Cluster, 06/07/2015). Sanaa and Seiyun are the only airports operating international flights (Logistics Cluster, 07/09/2015). Aden airport has reopened but requires repair and is not fully operational (Logistics Cluster, 15/09/2015).
The Yemeni government-in-exile has formally banned ships from entering the country’s waters without prior inspection (IRIN, 17/04/2015). Few shipping companies are willing to operate in Yemen due to insecurity (OCHA, 16/09/2015). Hodeidah port has reopened after airstrikes mid-August, however destroyed shore cranes, security constraints, and administrative hurdles continue to hamper access to the port (Logistics Cluster, 28/09/2015). Aden port is accessible, but land transportation from Aden to northern governorates remains restricted (OCHA, 29/09/2015).
Yemen imports 70% of its fuel needs, but in August, fuel imports reached only 12% of its monthly needs (OCHA, 14/09/2015). Since mid-August, no commercial fuel imports have entered (OCHA, 29/09/2015). Fuel prices have increased by 250% compared to pre-crisis levels: fuel prices in Sana’a and Taizz have increased by 400% (WFP, 30/09/2015). The fuel shortage is creating severe challenges for the transportation of food, water, and medical supplies, and the operation of water pumps and generators (ECHO, 14/05/2015). On average, Yemenis have less than one hour of electricity per day, due to fuel shortages (OCHA, 05/06/2015).
Food security and livelihoods
12.9 million people are food insecure, 2.3 million more than before the escalation of the crisis in March (FAO, 31/08/2015). 6.1 million people (22.7% of the population) face Emergency (IPC Phase 4) food security outcomes, mainly in Saa’da, Aden, Abyan, Shabwah, Hajjah, Al Hodeidah, Taizz, Lahj, Al Dhalee, and Al Bayda, while 6.8 million people (25.7%) are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3), according to the June 2015 IPC Analysis. This is a 21% increase in food insecurity since last year (FAO, 31/08/2015; Indicative IPC Analysis, 18/06/2015). The situation is expected to further deteriorate as long as insecurity continues to severely constrain access and household purchasing power falls (Indicative IPC Analysis, 18/06/2015; FEWSNET, 30/06/2015).
While Yemen ordinarily imports 90% of its food, imports of staple foods, such as cereals, have almost completely ceased since the escalation of conflict (OCHA, 29/05/2015). Food imports increased in the first two weeks of September, but have not reached pre-crisis levels (OCHA, 29/09/2015). Cooking gas is only sparsely available in the worst conflict-affected governorates (OCHA, 13/07/2015).
Wheat and meat products are only sparsely available in 15 governorates (FEWSNET, 18/08/2015; MSF, 29/07/2015; OCHA, 13/07/2015). Wheat prices have increased by 45% compared to pre-crisis levels (WFP, 30/09/2015). It is increasingly difficult to store and transport fruit and vegetables due to fuel shortages. Fuel shortages have also affected transportation of livestock (FAO, 23/06/2015).
A 30% reduction in harvest is expected in the key cropping regions (central highlands, southern uplands, and western coastal plain) compared to previous years (FAO, 31/08/2015).
The ongoing conflict, malfunctioning markets, high cost of fuel and other inputs, high operating costs for irrigation, and below-average rainfall during the planting season have all disrupted the cropping season. Land preparation, irrigation, weeding, and access to farmlands have been disrupted by ongoing insecurity, and agricultural infrastructure and facilities have been damaged or destroyed (FAO, 31/08/2015).
A 75% reduction in fish production is estimated in Taizz, Aden, Lahj, and Abyan governorates, while in other governorates the reduction is estimated to be around 50% (FAO, 31/08/2015).
Food prices have increased by 40–100% since the start of the crisis, with the highest prices in southwestern governorates (FAO, 08/07/2015). Acute fuel shortages have affected food prices (WFP, 10/04/2015).
Airstrikes have reportedly targeted local markets and trucks carrying food (OCHA, 27/08/2015).
More than 2.5 million people have lost their source of income due to the suspension of basic services and social safety nets. Livelihoods have also been affected by the closure or downsizing of companies: only 3% of businesses were reportedly functioning normally by May 2015 (FEWSNET, 18/08/2015). An assessment in Hodeidah governorate found that 70% of households had lost some or all of their monthly income since March (UNICEF, 25/08/2015).
In areas affected by ground conflict, many people have not received public salaries since March, due to insecurity and disruptions to transfer systems (FEWSNET, 18/08/2015). Aden, Taizz, Lahj, Al Dhalee, Abyan, Hajjah, and Sa’ada are most affected (FAO, 31/08/2015). The Social Welfare Fund, which provides financial assistance to poor households, has stopped functioning (ECHO, 22/09/2015).
Farmers are struggling to sustain their income due to high input costs and low output prices (FAO, 23/06/2015). 65% of fishermen have lost their job and income, as a result of insecurity, lack of fuel causing spoilage, and market disruption (FAO, 31/08/2015; OCHA, 06/07/2015; FAO, 08/07/2015).
About 15.2 million people lack access to basic healthcare, 40% more than in March (OCHA, 03/06/2015; 14/06/2015).
Healthcare availability and access
Out of 5,642 health facilities in Yemen, 754 (13%) are non-functional and 559 (10%) partially functional as a result of the conflict (WHO, 30/07/2015). 900 health facilities have been damaged since March (UNICEF, 15/09/2015).
Health staff are increasingly unable to report to work. Qualified medical staff were already in short supply before the crisis, and the evacuation of non-Yemeni health staff, who made up at least 25% of health workers, has added to shortages (WHO, 27/04/2015). Health professionals who continue working have not been paid in months (OCHA, 27/08/2015). In three months following the escalation of conflict, nine incidents of violence against staff and in health facilities and care workers and 65 incidents against health facilities were reported (OCHA, 14/06/2015).
Ambulance services are non-functional in most areas heavily affected by conflict due to fuel shortages and security threats (OCHA, 14/06/2015). There have been reports of ambulances being commandeered by militias (OCHA, 27/08/2015).
In Sanaa, Al Sabaeen, the country’s main paediatric hospital, was closed in early September following damage by airstrikes (OCHA, 14/09/2015). Yemen’s national blood transfusion centre in Sanaa is reportedly close to closing, due to fuel shortages and shortage of essential supplies (WHO, 04/09/2015). Electricity shortages in Sanaa are posing a major threat to the functioning of health facilities (FEWSNET, 30/09/2015).
Taizz governorate’s health system has collapsed, affecting 3.2 million people. All 11 public health facilities have closed; two hospitals provide limited emergency services. Half of all private facilities have closed (OCHA, 14/09/2015; UNICEF, 01/09/2015). The remaining private health facilities are overwhelmed by the large number of severely injured, and a dengue outbreak (OHCHR, 01/09/2015). Humanitarian organisations are struggling to deliver medical and surgical supplies due to insecurity (ICRC, 28/08/2015). Taizz International Hospital is occupied by armed groups (OCHA, 02/09/2015).
Prior to the conflict, Yemen imported 80% of its medical supplies (OCHA, 30/06/2015). Medicines for diabetes, hypertension, and cancer are no longer available and there are acute shortages in critical medical supplies – trauma kits, medicines, blood bags and other necessities (OCHA, 12/06/2015). The only oxygen-generating plant in Yemen ceased to function in April due to lack of fuel (OCHA, 19/04/2015).
Outbreak response, including surveillance and early response, is no longer functioning (OCHA, 13/07/2015; 14/06/2015). 25% of Yemen’s health facilities are no longer conducting routine vaccination (UNICEF, 07/07/2015). 87 out of 333 districts lack a functioning cold room to store vaccines (UNICEF, 07/07/2015).
Dengue and malaria
In Taizz governorate, a spike in dengue cases has been reported: from 145 suspected cases in early August, to 704 suspected cases (500 confirmed) by early September (UNICEF, 07/09/2015; OCHA, 02/09/2015).
Some cases of malaria have been reported (Thomson Reuters Foundation, 12/08/2015). Insecurity is preventing vector control (OCHA, 30/06/2015). Lack of electricity and medical supplies make laboratory testing for dengue and malaria challenging (OCHA, 30/06/2015).
Around 1.7 million children are likely to suffer from malnutrition in Yemen in 2015 – one million more than in 2014. Of these, a projected 537,000 will be at risk of severe acute malnutrition, compared to 160,000 in 2014 (UNICEF, 02/10/2015).
There was a 150% increase in hospital admissions for malnutrition between March and June (WHO, 19/06/2015).
An assessment in Hodeidah governorate found global acute malnutrition (GAM) to be at 31% among children under five, 9% of whom have severe acute malnutrition (SAM) – a significant increase from 18% GAM in the governorate in 2014 (UNICEF, 25/08/2015). An August assessment in Aden found a 19.2% GAM rate in the governorate (FEWSNET, 30/09/2015).
At least 20 million people lack access to clean water (WHO, 19/06/2015). Since the escalation of the crisis, 9.4 million people have lost access to safe water due to fuel shortages (OCHA, 05/06/2015). Diesel needed to deliver public water and sanitation is either not available or only sporadically available in 20 of 22 governorates (OCHA, 13/07/2015).
Lack of power combined with damaged water pumps have forced people to resort to water collection from unprotected and abandoned wells. Access to water trucks is limited as fuel shortages are hindering deliveries (OCHA, 22/05/2015). The price of water doubled between July and August, with some families spending one‑third of their income on water (Thomson Reuters Foundation, 12/08/2015). In Sanaa, the price of water has tripled since the escalation of conflict (WFP, 19/08/2015).
The water network in Taizz city, which previously served 300,000 people, has been closed since 18 August, as insecurity makes transportation of fuel to the water pumps too dangerous (UNICEF, 15/09/2015; OCHA, 02/09/2015).
Solid waste collection has been suspended and sewage treatment plants have reduced operations in several major cities (OCHA, 19/06/2015). Garbage has been accumulating on the streets (UNICEF, 07/07/2015). In Taizz city, solid waste has not been collected since mid-August (OCHA, 02/09/2015).
Shelter and NFIs
1.2 million people are in need of emergency shelter or essential household items (OCHA, 12/06/2015).
The majority of IDPs are hosted by relatives. Some families are reportedly hosting up to six or seven displaced (IOM, 22/05/2015). The availability of housing for rent is becoming increasingly limited and costly; in some areas rental prices have tripled (Shelter Cluster, 31/08/2015).
IDPs staying with host families are reporting overcrowding, lack of food, and lack of adequate WASH facilities (OCHA, 22/05/2015). Many IDPs are staying in public buildings, such as schools or health facilities, open spaces or makeshift shelters (OCHA, 28/08/2015).
Refugees who were previously self-reliant are now dependent on humanitarian assistance and unable to afford adequate shelters in urban areas, leading to overcrowding (OCHA, 19/06/2015).
Over 1.8 million children have lost access to school since the escalation of conflict in March (UNICEF, 11/08/2015). Prior to the conflict, an estimated 2.5 million children were not in school (OCHA, 04/2014).
3,584 schools have closed since March – one out of every four schools in Yemen (UNICEF, 18/08/2015).
More than 500 schools have been damaged: 390 partially damaged and 140 destroyed (OCHA, 21/09/2015). Hajjah, Marib, Sa’ada, Sanaa, and Taizz are the governorates where most schools have been damaged. Some 20 schools are occupied by armed groups, and 422 are hosting IDPs (OCHA, 21/09/2015). The Saudi-led coalition has stated that schools are legitimate targets if used for military purposes, and have targeted school buildings claimed to be hosting military equipment (Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack, 11/06/2015).
In schools hosting IDPs, classroom equipment, such as desks and benches, is being used for firewood (UNICEF, 23/06/2015).
11.4 million people are in need of protection assistance, including about 7.3 million children (OCHA, 12/06/2015).
Use of explosive weapons in populated areas, attacks on civilian infrastructure, increased recruitment of children, and attacks against humanitarian workers have been reported since the conflict escalated in March (OCHA, 19/06/2015). Armed groups have detained children, carried out extrajudicial executions, and subjected detainees to general ill-treatment (Human Rights Watch, 02/09/2015).
At least seven journalists have been killed in Yemen so far this year. Media agencies are frequently raided, and journalists targeted and harassed (OCHA, 14/09/2015).
Mines and ERW
At least 13 governorates are contaminated by unexploded ordnance (UXO) and landmines due to previous insecurity and the ongoing conflict. Lack of access to contaminated areas is hampering mine action response (OCHA, 14/09/2015). Cluster munitions have been used by Saudi-led coalition forces (Cluster Munition Monitor, 03/09/2015).
7.3 million children are in need of protection assistance (Save the Children, 02/09/2015). As of 2 October, 505 children have been reported killed and 702 injured (UNICEF, 02/10/2015).
464 children have been recruited by armed groups since the escalation of the conflict (UNICEF, 22/09/2015). Houthis, Ansar al Sharia, AQAP and government forces are reported to be recruiting children (Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict, 01/10/2014).
Due to their marginalisation, the Muhamasheen minority (about 10% of the population) have greater humanitarian needs than the average population (International Dalit Solidarity Network, 01/10/2015; UNICEF, 20/02/2015).
No new significant developments this week, 05/10/2015. Last update: 30/09/2015.
- 81,693 IDPs in the Far North region (OCHA, 24/09/2015).
- 320,300 refugees (OCHA, 24/09/2015).
- 1.08 million people are reported to be food insecure, and around 230,283 are in severe food insecurity (IPC Phase 3 or 4) (OCHA, 24/09/2015).
- In the Far North, 76% of the population are illiterate (Amnesty International, 16/09/2015).
Conflict in both Nigeria and CAR continues to displace vulnerable refugees to Cameroon, and spillover from the Boko Haram conflict in Nigeria threatens security in Cameroon. Some 2.1 million people, 10% of the population, are in need of humanitarian assistance, primarily in the Far North, North, Adamawa, and East regions.
Politics and security
The armed Islamist group Boko Haram (BH), based in Nigeria, began to intensify attacks in Cameroon in December 2014 (ECHO, 06/01/2015). At least 37 BH attacks took place in northern Cameroon between January and end July, and then a spike in attacks, with over 20 occurring up to the beginning of September (ACLED, 27/07/2015; BBC, 03/09/2015; Amnesty International, 16/09/2015). Cameroonian authorities said on 1 September that over 600 Koranic schools will be closed, as will some mosques, in response to the surge in BH attacks (Cameroon Online, 01/09/2015). In the two weeks up to 28 September, BH carried out four attacks in the Far North: in Kolofata, Mora, Kerawa, and Gouzoudou; there have been continuous incursions and an increased frequency of attacks in the departments of Mayo Sava and Logone et Chari (OCHA, 28/09/2015).
Boko Haram (“Western education is forbidden”) is leading an insurgency to create an Islamic state in the predominantly Muslim regions of northeastern Nigeria. The Nigerian authorities have been fighting BH since 2009. Precise numbers are not known, but BH’s strength is estimated at around 15,000 (Amnesty, 13/04/2015). In March, BH pledged allegiance to Islamic State (AFP, 07/03/2015). The activity of Boko Haram in Cameroon intensified in the last months, with an increased number of attacks, performing killings and kidnappings. As of 16 September, between 3,000 and 4,000 Cameroonians are estimated to have joined the ranks of the insurgent group (Amnesty International, 16/09/2015).
2,000 extra troops have been deployed to the Far North, bringing the total to 8,500 (AFP, 28/07/2015). Operations against BH so far have included air and ground offensives (Daily Mail, 14/01/2015; New York Times, 05/02/2015).The United States is supplying equipment and logistics training to the Cameroonian military, aiding its efforts to counter BH (VoA, 12/12/2014; Reuters, 17/02/2015).
Five Nations Army
The deployment of a military force of 8,700 from Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroon, and Benin started on 26 August (Maritime First, 26/08/2015).
Recent security incidents
On 22 September, two people died in a suicide attack carried out by two women in Gouzoudou, Kolofata district, Far North region (AFP, 22/09/2015). On 20 September, at least three people were killed in a suicide attack in the town of Mora, Far North region (AFP, 20/09/2015). In the same region, seven people were killed, and at least 20 injured, in two suicide attacks in Kolofata town, on 13 September (AFP, 13/09/2015). In Far North, the situation was reported to be highly volatile and insecure as of 4 September, with incursions of insurgents causing significant displacement, especially in Logone-et-Chari department (UNHCR, 04/09/2015). Two suicide attacks in Kerawa on 3 September killed at least 30 people and injured over 100. One attack struck an infantry camp, and the other a market (IBI Times, 03/09/2015).
On 11 August, Boko Haram insurgents killed two soldiers and eight civilians, and then burned several houses in Blame, close to Lake Chad (AFP/Yahoo News, 13/08/2015). In the night of 3 August, Boko Haram attacked Kangaleri, close to the Nigerian border. Twenty people were killed and several children abducted (OCHA, 13/08/2015).
Suicide attacks killed more than 40 people in July. Raids on villages left eight dead – 135 people were kidnapped (AFP, 08/08/2015). Authorities believe the militant group is opting for isolated but targeted attacks on villages or highways (OCHA, 15/06/2015).
Central African Republic
On 21 August, Cameroon's Minister of Transport reported that militants from Central African Republic have killed several Cameroonian truck drivers in CAR, on the road connecting the Cameroonian port of Douala and Bangui (VOA, 21/08/2015). Armed groups from CAR are reported to have conducted frequent incursions into Cameroon since the beginning of the crisis in Central African Republic in March 2013: kidnappings and harassment of the local population have been reported (IFRC, 27/08/2015).
Some 40,000 people were affected by floods in the cities of Douala and Yaounde in June and July. In Douala, heavy rains caused the flooding of 60,000 hectares of land, displacing 2,000 and directly affecting 30,000 (UNISDR, 08/08/2015; IRIN, 03/07/2015; Reuters 26/06/2015). As of 17 August, floods were still reported in Douala, together with an increase in the reported cases of Cholera (Pacja, 17/08/2015)
81,693 people are internally displaced in Far North region due to BH attacks (OCHA, 24/09/2015). 36% live with host families, 28% live in shared housing and the rest in improvised, damaged, or public buildings. Food security, WASH, and health are the priority needs. Nearly half of IDPs are displaced within the same department. 35,960 people have returned to their place of origin (IOM/UNHCR, 29/06/2015; OCHA, 16/06/2015).
Refugees and asylum seekers
As of 24 September, the number of registered refugees in Cameroon is reported to be over 320,300 (OCHA, 23/09/2015).
Central African Republic: Around 260,300 refugees from CAR are reported to be in Cameroon as of 24 September. Around 166,300 are registered in East region, 65,500 in Adamawa, 14,800 in Centre region, 9,200 in Littoral region, and 4,500 in North region (OCHA, 24/09/2015). Over 135,000 of these have arrived since December 2013 (UNHCR, 07/09/2015). As of December 2014 the number of CAR refugees in Cameroon was reported to be 124,958 (UNHCR, 07/09/2015). Many refugees have not been registered.
Around 60,000 live in seven UNHCR camps, while the remaining are scattered among host communities (IRIN, 14/09/2015). More than 8,000 have settled in Timangolo, which previously had a population of 13,000; the influx is causing severe strain on food stocks (IRIN, 11/08/2015).
The Cameroonian government is reportedly arresting refugees from CAR, putting them in camps, and instructing families not to host CAR refugees, on the grounds that some refugees have been involved in kidnappings and cattle theft (VOA, 13/08/2015).
Nigeria: At 7 September, 58,104 Nigerian refugees were registered in Cameroon (UNHCR, 07/09/2015). More than 53,000 have entered the country since July 2014. The rate of daily arrivals has fluctuated: from 400 per day in April–May, 60–70 daily in June, to 150-300 in August (FAO, 30/06/2015; IRIN, 12/08/2015).
An estimated 12,000–17,000 unregistered refugees are living in the immediate border areas, and the government has begun registration (UN, 31/07/2015). The number of registered refugees spiked recently – around 1,500 people sought registration in July – due to Cameroon’s decision to increase deportations of undocumented migrants (USAID, 21/08/2015). Cameroonian authorities forcibly repatriated around 15,000 Nigerians between the end of July and the end of August (IRIN, 21/08/2015). As of 4 September, some 299 Nigerians, pending repatriation, are still living in IOM transit sites in Kentzou and Garoua Boulai in eastern Cameroon, on the border with CAR (IOM, 04/09/2015).
Minawao camp is currently hosting 45,617 people, while 11,257 are located in Logone-et-Chari, 756 in Mayo-Tsanaga, 420 in Mayo-Sava, and 54 in Diamare (UNHCR, 07/09/2015). As of 6 September, 20,088 new arrivals were recorded in Minawao camp since January (UNHCR, 13/09/2015). The allocation of new space is being discussed, due to the risk of overcrowding (UNHCR, 07/09/2015).
20% of people arriving from Nigeria are estimated to be returnees (UN, 21/07/2015).
In most locations, the number of refugees and third-country nationals exceeds the local population. Host communities and refugees are competing over already inadequate resources and living conditions have become very difficult for host communities (FAO, 11/12/2014).
The limited number of humanitarian actors involved in the response in the Far North has made comprehensive humanitarian intervention almost impossible.
Security and physical constraints
The deterioration of the security situation has made access to the Far North extremely difficult (OCHA, 10/04/2015). UN agencies have only been undertaking priority activities such as assisting refugees and some host communities, according to WFP (IRIN, 15/08/2014).
Bad road conditions delay the provision of assistance. Heavy rains have prevented WFP trucks carrying food supplies from travelling between Zamai and Minawao (USAID, 21/08/2015).
Food security and livelihoods
1.08 million people are reported to be food insecure, and around 230,283 are in severe food insecurity (IPC Phase 3 or 4) (OCHA, 24/09/2015). In Far North region, food insecurity has spiked in recent months, to affect one in three people (UN, 14/09/2015). According to WFP, famine in 2016 will be unavoidable if IDPs cannot go back to their homes and cultivate the farmlands (UN Human Rights Council, 29/09/2015).
As of September 2014, 6.8 million people are in need of health services (IOM, 09/2014).
Healthcare availability and access
Cameroon's Far North, North, Adamawa, and East regions suffer chronic shortages of health workers. 46% of health centres do not have access to electricity and 70% do not have piped water (Inter Press Service, 19/08/2014).
In Minawao camp, due to overcrowding and poor water and sanitation conditions, more than 100 people died in a cholera outbreak in April (IRIN, 10/08/2015). A cholera epidemic is reportedly ongoing since 14 July, in Far North and North regions. First cases were registered in the Mogodé district in Far North region, which is also the worst hit. As of 17 September, 23 cases were recorded, including two deaths: 19 cases and no deaths in Far North, 4 cases and two deaths in North region (WHO, 17/09/2015).
7% of Cameroonian children are still at risk of contracting polio, because their families refused to participate in the vaccination campaign conducted by the government. Cameroon is trying to limit growing resistance to polio vaccination, caused mostly by fear and misinformation (VOA, 27/09/2015).
According to UNICEF, global acute malnutrition (GAM) rates exceed 12% in Cameroon (IRIN, 11/09/2015). 2015 estimates indicate that 228,178 people will suffer acute malnutrition, including 194,919 in the priority regions of Far North, North, Adamaoua, and East. 33,259 are refugees (OCHA, 05/09/2015).
Approximately 70,000 children suffer from severe acute malnutrition (SAM), including 840 in Minawao camp, and 8,500 CAR refugees (OCHA, 05/09/2015; 17/09/2015). There were 40% more cases of severe malnutrition in January 2015 than January 2014 (OCHA, 30/01/2015).
IDPs face a high risk of water-related disease due to lack of adequate water and sanitation facilities (UNHCR, 30/06/2015). In Logone et Chari 62% of the population has no access to drinking water and an additional 319 cubic metres per day are needed to fill the existing gap. Over 8,000 households throughout the department need WASH kits and NFIs (OCHA, 24/09/2015).
As of 31 August, in Minawao camp, the ratio of water provision was 17 litres/person/day. Water trucking provides 58% of the water supply. 2,269 emergency latrines are operational (UNHCR, 24/09/2015).
There are not enough classrooms or teachers nationwide (UNHCR, 30/06/2015). Only 50% of primary school-aged children are enrolled in school.
151,831 children have suffered from interruption or disruption in education. In the Far North, 39,950 children are either out of school, or forced to attend a school outside of their own community (OCHA, 17/09/2015). In Fotokol Cameroonian armed forces have occupied several schools (OCHA, 24/09/2015).
In Minawao camp, only 50% of primary school-aged children are enrolled, due to lack of classrooms. There are only 24 classrooms for 18,000 children. Lack of teachers and non-enrolment in the country of origin are also affecting the school attendance. 6,000 school kits are needed in the camp (UNHCR, 24/09/2015; OCHA, 24/09/2015).
519 schools are open in the Far North, down from 737 before the conflict (IOM/UNHCR, 29/06/2015). In 2014 over 70 schools on the northern border with Nigeria’s Borno state, were closed due to fear of attacks, and 100,000 students were relocated (VOA, 07/09/2015).
Approximately 1,500 children have been abducted by Boko Haram in Cameroon since late 2014 (AFP, 04/06/2015). 84 children were illegally detained for six months in the Far North region, after authorities raided Koranic schools under allegations that they were training to join Boko Haram. They were released on 2 July (Amnesty International, 21/06/2015; 01/07/2015).
As of July, families hosting IDPs were reported to be facing food shortages. This was pushing them to use children to find food and exposing them to dangers such as sexual exploitation and abuse (UN Human Rights Council, 29/09/2015).
The main protection issues among assessed IDPs are family separation, lack or loss of personal identity documentation, early marriage, and harassment or discrimination (IOM/UNHCR, 29/06/2015).
Chad Country Analysis
29 September: 41,000 people displaced from islands in the Lac Region since July are living across 17 spontaneous sites around Bol and Bagasola (OCHA).
21 September: UNHCR and the governments of Chad and Sudan reportedly signed a tripartite agreement for the voluntary repatriation of 300,000 Sudanese refugees in Chad and 8,500 Chadian refugees in Sudan. Local groups oppose the scheme (local media).
- 3 million affected by humanitarian crisis (OCHA, 16/06/2015).
- 435,164 refugees are reported in Chad, including 327,237 from Sudan, 91,054 from CAR, and 13,956 from Nigeria (OCHA, 27/08/2015; UNHCR, 30/08/2015).
- 3.4 million people in Chad are food insecure: 403,000 people are severely food insecure (IPC Phase 3 or 4) (OCHA, 31/08/2015; 17/09/2015).
- 154,000 children are reportedly suffering from severe acute malnutrition, countrywide (OCHA, 17/09/2015).
Politics and security
Conflicts in Nigeria and Central African Republic have affected stability in Chad: hundreds of thousands of refugees have entered the country. Chad’s military is involved in the ongoing military actions to contrast the rise of violence in the two neighbouring countries.
Chad also hosts 3,000 French troops, deployed to tackle the increasing insecurity in the Sahel region, and the capital Ndjamena serves as headquarters for a regional anti-Boko Haram force (Reuters, 11/07/2015).
On 3 September, The Senegalese court, already trying former President of Chad Hissène Habré, filed an accusation of war crimes against current President Idriss Deby. Deby is accused of torture, crimes against humanity, and genocide, committed in the period before his rise to power (AFP, 03/09/2015, ENCA, 04/09/2015).
Boko Haram (BH) launched its first cross-border attack in Chad in February and has since carried out 14 attacks on civilians and soldiers in the Lake Chad region (ACLED, 07/2015). Three suicide bomb attacks in Ndjamena during June and July killed a total of 39 people and injured 181 (AFP, 15/06/2015; Reuters, 11/07/2015). On 26 August, two suspected Boko Haram insurgents conducted a suicide attack in Kaiga Ngouboua, near Lake Chad, at the entrance of a military base (Janes HIS, 13/09/2015).
Chad first aided Nigerian security forces to reclaim several towns from Boko Haram in Borno state at the beginning of 2015; they launched a joint army operation against BH in Nigeria in March (AP, 03/02/2015; VoA, 01/02/2015; Reuters, 08/03/2015). Chad began military action in the Lake Chad area in May. In July, Chadian forces pushed BH back from the country’s islands (Vice News, 28/07/2015). They bombed BH positions in Nigeria in June, following attacks on Ndjamena (AFP, 18/06/2015). From 26-28 June, the border with Cameroon was closed, 300 Cameroonians expelled, 60 suspects arrested and a cell was dismantled in Ndjamena (ICG, 01/07/2015). Security measures have been reinforced, and 395 people of 14 nationalities were arrested in July (UNHCR, 14/07/2015). Ten Boko Haram members were executed at the end of August (The Guardian, 30/08/2015).
Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon, Chad, and Benin have agreed to a joint force of 8,700 troops to fight Boko Haram. Although operations were due to start late August, setbacks in preparation have delayed deployment. On 29 September, the Cameroonian Defence Minister reportedly declared the joint force was ready to deploy (Maritime First, 26/08/2015; Turkish Weekly, 30/09/2015).
On 12 August, the President of Chad reported that Boko Haram’s leader Abubakar Shekau had been ousted and replaced by Mahamat Daoud, one of Shekau’s deputies, who may be more open to peace talks (The Telegraph, 12/08/2015).
Recent security incidents
On 24 August, around 10 people died in clashes in the locality of Miski, in Tibesti, northern Chad, between members of the local Toubou tribe and gold prospectors from the Zaghawa community (AFP, 25/08/2015).
Around 772,000 people have been affected by chronic drought in Chad in 2015 (OCHA, 17/09/2015).
Heavy rains began in the last week of August over eastern Chad. Although rains have mitigated the effects of dryness caused by the delayed beginning of the rainy season, excess rainfall could cause severe damage to the crops (FEWSNET, 27/08/2015). As of the end of August, 206,000 people have been affected by floods, mostly in the east (OCHA, 17/09/2015; NOAA 26/08/2015).
In total, around 750,000 displaced people are in Chad, including long-term refugees from CAR and Sudan in severe need of food assistance (WFP, 04/09/2015). Displacement is mainly caused by the Boko Haram conflict to the west and the CAR conflict to the east. As of August, the total number of internally displaced due to conflict is 111,500 (IDMC, 13/08/2015). As of 21 September, 51,795 people have arrived in Lac Region so far in 2015 (OCHA, 21/09/2015).
Around 41,000 people have been displaced from islands in the Lac Region since July, and found refuge in 17 spontaneous sites around Bol and Bagasola (OCHA, 29/09/2015). Of these, around 10,000 were displaced from the town of Koulkime in Bagasola, and 6,717 from Bol (ECHO & UNHCR, 31/08/2015). Tens of thousands were evacuated from 65 villages, according to a government announcement of 5 August (ECHO, 05/08/2015). In July, 21,300 new IDPS, displaced by the ongoing conflict between the government and Boko Haram, spontaneously settled in 13 small sites in Bagasola, Bol, and surrounding areas, in the Lake Chad region. These people are reported to be in severe need of shelter, NFIs, WASH and food assistance (UNICEF, 25/08/2015, OCHA, 21/09/2015).
Nearly 85,500 IDPs are living in protracted displacement in the east, facing difficulties accessing shelter, land, and income-generating activities (IDMC, 02/2015; OCHA, 19/11/2013).
Refugees and asylum seekers
As of 27 August, the number of refugees in Chad was reported to be 435,164, almost 20,000 less than at the end of 2014 (OCHA, 27/08/2015; UNHCR 31/12/2014).
Central African Republic (CAR): As of 30 August 2015, there are 91,054 refugees from CAR (UNHCR, 30/08/2015). 84,030 live in sites in Amboko, Belom, Dosseye, Doholo, Gondje and Moyo (UNHCR, 01/05/2015; 15/05/2015). 6,690 live in host communities (UNHCR, 03/04/2015).
Nigeria: As of 31 August, 14,163 Nigerian refugees are in Chad (UNHCR, 27/08/2015). As of 21 September, 7,139 refugees were living at the Dar es Salam site (OCHA, 21/09/2015). Estimates indicate that by December 2015 the number of Nigerian refugees could increase to 30,000 (UNHCR, 22/07/2015). Resources are limited for both refugees and host communities, especially food, shelter, and essential household items (OCHA, 12/01/2015).
Sudan: As of 28 August, since 2003, 327,237 refugees from Sudan are estimated to live in Chad, most of them staying in 12 camps in the east. Since many of these Sudanese have been living in Chad for several years, the camps have evolved almost into ‘villages’ (WFP, 04/09/2015; 28/08/2015; OCHA, 27/08/2015; UNHCR, 30/08/2015). On 11 September, movement restrictions were reported by Sudanese refugees living in Touloum and Ardemi camps, with freedom to reach only within 5km from the camps. WFP reported it has been forced to reduce the rations provided to the refugees, due to lack of funding (DabangaSudan, 11/09/2015). On 21 September, UNHCR and the governments of Chad and Sudan reportedly signed a tripartite agreement for the voluntary repatriation of 300,000 Sudanese refugees in Chad and 8,500 Chadian refugees in Sudan. However, according to local media, Sudanese refugees in Chad largely reject the scheme and are not prepared to return (Radio Dabanga, 23/09/2015). Conflicting reports persist about the return of 30,000 Darfuri refugees from eastern Chad to Um Baru and Karnoi localities, in North Darfur (All Africa, 23/09/2015).
239,854 returnees are reported in Chad: 130,000 from CAR, 100,000 from Libya, and 9,854 from Nigeria (OCHA, 27/08/2015). Additionally, there are between 5,000 and 15,000 unregistered returnees (ECHO 27/07/2015).
As of end August, around 75,000 Chadians have returned to the country since January 2015 (OCHA, 13/08/2015; 21/08/2015).
Security and physical constraints
Chad’s President Idriss Déby announced in May 2014 that the southern border with CAR would be closed to all except Chadian citizens until the CAR crisis is resolved. The government deployed additional security forces to the border, after expressing concern that armed fighters might be infiltrating refugee populations in the area.
Along the border with Nigeria, Chadian security forces are screening road users and their property. Navigation on the Chari River and its tributary, the Logone, which flow along the border of Chad and Cameroon, has been halted (AFP, 30/04/2015). Severe issues reaching people in need of food assistance, including on islands, were reported end July–beginning August (WFP, 04/08/2015). On 7 September, curfews on the movement of vehicles after 1800 hours and of pedestrians after 2200 hours in Bagasola prefecture were still in place (UNHCR, 16/09/2015).
Food security and livelihoods
The food security situation is worsening. 3.4 million people in Chad are food insecure (OCHA, 31/08/2015). 403,000 people are reported to be severely food insecure (IPC Phase 3 or 4) (OCHA, 17/09/2015). At least 30,000 people in need are not receiving any food assistance (OCHA, 11/09/2015).
External support is likely to be needed up to February 2016 (FEWSNET, 19/08/2015). Food assistance needs through January 2016 will be higher than last year and the five-year average (FEWSNET, 22/07/2015).
As of 6 August, Sudanese and CAR refugees are receiving 40% less food rations, due to reduced funding (WFP, 06/08/2015). Sudanese refugees in eastern Chad report that food prices have risen.
Price spikes have been registered all over the country, although a particularly high seasonal increase in the price of sorghum has occurred in Hadjer (25%) and in Logone Oriental (30%), partly due to increased cross-border insecurity and the increase in refugees (WFP, 30/07/2015).
In the last week of August, agricultural conditions were reported to be improving because of increased rains (FEWSNET, 27/08/2015).
Livelihoods have been affected by decreased inflows of remittances from family members in Libya due to conflict (IFRC, 30/05/2015). The closure of the Nigerian border, and the consequent reduction of exports, has led to a drop in cattle prices and continues to impede trade (UNICEF, 30/06/2015; OCHA, 29/09/2015).
Due to the influx of refugees, there is a need to strengthen healthcare activities in host communities and to recruit more qualified medical personnel (UNHCR, 06/03/2015). In the Lac region, several new mobile health clinics are needed in Samiya, Kouta, Wala, Kollum, Kaya, Damatchali, Welerom, Oulaoula, Tagal, Koudouboul, and Tomboun Kouta, where IDPs have established spontaneous sites. Additional health centres are also needed in Koulkimé, Bibi, and Tagal to provide support to the affected populations (IASC, 11/09/2015).
Cholera outbreaks in early September in Nigeria’s Borno and Kaduna states risk spreading to neighbouring countries in the Lake Chad basin, including Chad (UNICEF, 29/09/2015).
The number of refugee women assisted during delivery by a healthcare practitioner remains very low (UNHCR, 31/08/2015).
Mental health needs in the Lac region are reported to be high and rising, due to widespread violence and displacement (MSF, 27/08/2015).
An estimated 210,000 people are living with HIV in Chad, and prevalence has been stable at 2.5% since 2013. However only 30% of people with HIV have access to antiretroviral treatment. 12,000 people died due to AIDS-related illnesses in 2014, and 14,000 were newly infected with HIV (UNAIDS, 07/08/2015). As of April, HIV/AIDS prevalence in Lac region was 10.1%, more than four times the national average (UNHCR, 14/04/2015).
Global acute malnutrition in Chad has reached 22.5%, in part because of the displacement caused by Boko Haram in Lac Region (VOA, 10/09/2015). 154,000 children suffer from severe acute malnutrition (SAM) in Chad, with an additional 257,000 reporting moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) (OCHA, 17/09/2015).
In Dar es Salam site, 12.3% of children suffer from severe acute malnutrition (SAM) (UNHCR, 31/08/2015).
As of the end of August, only 5% of displaced people in Lac region are reported to have access to clean drinking water (MSF 20/08/2015; IASC 21/08/2015). 49.8 litres/person/day is reported in the Dar es Salam camp at 7 September (UNHCR, 16/09/2015).
There has been only a 9% increase in access to sanitation since 1990, with little or no improvement in the last year (UNICEF, 2015). In Dar es Salam camp, one latrine per 48 people was reported on 7 September (UNHCR, 16/09/2015). 94% of the IDPs in the Lac Region do not have access to latrines (OCHA, 11/09/2015).
Shelter and NFIs
24,000 displaced people are reported to be in need of shelter and essential household items in 16 sites in Bol and Bagasola, and on the Meli-Bol axis (OCHA, 11/09/2015).
In Lac Region, the education needs of 6,970 school-age children still need to be defined (OCHA, 11/09/2015). In Dar es Salam camp, 890 out of 1,114 children are school-age: 442 males and 448 females (UNHCR, 16/09/2015).
One in five women is a victim of physical violence. 35% of girls in Chad are married before the age of 15 and 44% undergo female genital mutilation (OCHA, 26/06/2015).
On 30 June, the National Assembly of Chad ratified the law prohibiting child marriage (marrying before the age of 18) (UNHCR, 14/07/2015). Chad has the third highest rate of child marriage in the world, with 68% of girls being married as children (Girls Not Brides, 2015).
The profiling and registration of the displaced in Lac Region hasn’t yet covered all the spontaneous sites, challenging the assessment and identification of needs (OCHA, 11/09/2015).
Second and third-generation Chadians from CAR have been recognised as de facto nationals by the government, and UNHCR is working with authorities to formalise recognition and avoid statelessness. The government will provide birth certificates to every child born in a transit site (UNHCR, 07/2014).
23 September: FARC-EP and the Colombian government have agreed on a six-month deadline to sign a formal peace deal, which would end a five-decade conflict (BBC, 24/09/2015).
20 September: Venezuela and Colombia agreed on restoring diplomatic ties, but the border remains closed. More than 1,600 Colombians have been deported from Venezuela, and more than 22,000 have returned voluntarily (Colombia Reports, 24/09/2015; OCHA, 23/09/2015).
- 4.8 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance (OCHA, 10/05/2015).
- 6.3 million IDPs, including 224,300 newly displaced in 2014 (UNHCR, 30/06/2015).
- In the first half of 2015, around 2 million people suffered limitations in humanitarian access or mobility, due to conflicts, disasters due to natural hazards, or mass protests (OCHA, 03/08/2015).
- Approximately 1.3 million people are affected by natural disasters (floods, heat wave, droughts) every year (OCHA, 24/02/2015).
4.8 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in Colombia, including 1.3 million affected by natural disasters, 1.3 million people in areas with access constraints, 900,000 IDPs, and 1.1 million people in host communities (OCHA, 01/05/2015).
Five decades of armed violence coupled with the country’s frequent natural disasters have had serious humanitarian consequences. Forced displacement and landmine contamination are among the major concerns. For rural communities, movement restrictions by armed groups limit access to basic health services, crops and labour markets, especially in the country’s Pacific region.
Politics and security
Colombia’s armed conflict has spanned five decades, pitting the central government against armed groups such as the Armed Revolutionary Forces of Colombia – People’s Army (FARC-EP) and the National Liberation Army (ELN).
Attempts at peace negotiations in the 1980s and 1998–2000 failed. The latest FARC-EP–Government peace negotiations began in November 2012 in Havana, Cuba. The newest round began 20 August (Reuters, 18/08/2015). On 23 September, FARC-EP and the Colombian government agreed on a six-month deadline to sign a peace deal, which is due before 23 March 2016 (BBC, 24/09/2015).
The intensity of the armed conflict has decreased substantially since peace negotiations began in 2012. Since the start of the FARC-EP’s unilateral ceasefire on 20 July and the government suspension of air raids thereafter, military activity between the two parties has almost completely ceased, and is at its lowest since the 1970s (Colombia Reports, 22/09/2015).
The ELN has been involved in informal peace talks with the Government since June 2014, and in late August 2015 the parties are reportedly close to reaching an agreement on beginning formal talks (Colombia Reports, 25/08/2015).
On 19 August, Venezuela closed its border to Colombia indefinitely after an attack at the border injured four Venezuelan border guards (AFP, 22/08/2015). On 27 August, Venezuela and Colombia each recalled their ambassadors (AFP, 28/08/2015). On 12 September, Colombian officials claimed Venezuelan military planes had crossed into Colombian airspace (Colombia Reports, 14/09/2015). The Colombian and Venezuelan Presidents met on 20 September, and agreed to restore diplomatic ties, but the border remains closed (Colombia Reports, 24/09/2015; AFP, 22/09/2015).
FARC-EP: The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army (FARC-EP) is the oldest left-wing militant group in Colombia. It was formed in 1964 by the Colombian Communist Party, as fighting between the liberal and conservative parties led to rural unrest. Approximately 7,000 fighters make up the FARC-EP today, which allegedly makes USD 500–600 million profit from the illicit drug trade (UNRIC 2013; BBC 29/08/2013). FARC-EP has been active throughout the country, but especially in Arauca, Meta, Norte de Santander, Cauca, and Antioquia.
ELN: The National Liberation Army is a left-wing militant group formed in 1965 and composed of an estimated 2,000 fighters. On 7 January, it stated that it intended to join the peace talks and would consider disarmament (AFP, 07/01/2015; BBC, 07/01/2015). The ELN has been active in Arauca, Norte de Santander, Nariño and Cauca Departments (Kienyke, 2013).
Government forces: The Government of Colombia’s strategies to combat non-state armed groups have been closely linked to eliminating the cultivation of illicit crops in the country, which finance the armed groups.
BACRIM and post-demobilised armed groups: Criminal gangs (bandas criminales) under the names Black Eagles, and Erpac, among others, are generally made up of former paramilitary fighters and another former armed group, the United Armed Forces of Colombia (AUC). They are involved in drug trafficking and extortion throughout the country and in Venezuela and Panama. These groups are particularly active in Antioquia department, as well as the Pacific and Caribbean regions (BBC 29/08/2013).
FARC-EP has allegedly violated the ceasefire on three occasions since 20 July, and the group has admitted to the killing of a community leader in Nariño in early August (Colombia Reports, 24/08/2015). FARC-EP has claimed that the military has carried out airstrikes, however this has not been verified by observers (Colombia Reports, 17/08/2015). 70% fewer security incidents were registered after the ceasefire than in the previous month (OCHA, 31/08/2015).
The military has since the FARC-EP ceasefire began reportedly mainly focused its military operations on other armed groups, including EPL in the northeast, and the Urabeños (Colombia Reports, 21/08/2015). Clashes between ELN and security forces continue in southwestern Colombia, where 12 ELN members were killed in a military operation on 17 September (Colombia Reports, 17/09/2015).
In the first six months of 2015, more than 319,000 people were affected by disasters caused by natural hazards (OCHA, 03/08/2015).
Drought and wildfires
Drought caused by the El Niño phenomenon is expected to affect Colombia until March 2016 (OCHA, 21/09/2015). River levels across the country are well below average (Colombia Reports, 22/09/2015). The most drought-affected departments include La Guajira, Bolivar, and Magdalena in the north, Valle del Cauca on the Pacific coast, Boyacá and Cundinamarca in the centre, and Tolima and Quindío in the west (Colombia Reports, 22/09/2015).
More than 77,000 hectares of agricultural land have been destroyed in wildfires, including in Boyacá and Cundinamarca (RCN Radio, 16/09/2015). As of 18 September, at least four people have been killed in wildfires, as they continue in several departments (RCN Radio, 18/09/2015).
The El Niño phenomenon is considered the strongest in 18 years and due to last through December, resulting in an increase in rainfall and flooding throughout Colombia (ECHO, 08/08/2015). In early August, heavy rainfall damaged over 1,000 houses, public offices, and some schools in Puerto Boyacá, Department of Antioquia, and affected around 6,000 people (OCHA, 03/08/2015; Redhum, 01/08/2015).
224,300 IDPs were displaced in 2014; 79,989 were under 18 years of age. 39% of the IDP caseload between 2012 and June 2014 was concentrated in the Pacific region (OCHA, 01/05/2015; OCHA, 20/01/2015). Estimates indicate that around 190,000 people will be displaced in 2015 (OCHA, 03/08/2015).
As a result of clashes between armed groups and security forces, or as an anticipatory measure due to fear of potential clashes, communities in regions affected by armed conflict are frequently temporarily or permanently displaced. This particularly affects indigenous groups in Antioquia, Cauca, Valle del Cauca, and Norte de Santander departments (OCHA, 28/08/2015; 21/08/2015; 13/08/2015; 14/07/2015). 1,843 people were displaced in August due to insecurity, the majority in the Catatumbo region in Norte de Santander (OCHA, 31/08/2015).
As of 23 September, 1,678 Colombians have been deported from Venezuela since 21 August, following tension at the Colombia–Venezuela border (OCHA, 23/09/2015). More than 22,000 Colombians are also believed to have returned voluntarily during the same period, due to fear of persecution by Venezuelan security forces (OCHA, 23/09/2015). An estimated 7,750 children are believed to be among the returnees (UNICEF, 15/09/2015).
90% of returnees are staying in Norte de Santander, while the departments of La Guajira, Arauca, and Vichada are also hosting returnees (OCHA, 15/09/2015). Immediate needs include shelter, protection, and education support for children no longer able to attend school in Venezuela (OCHA, 15/09/2015). More than 70% of the returnees in Norte de Santander are staying outside official displacement sites, and risk not being reached by assistance (OCHA, 11/09/2015).
Colombian refugees in neighbouring countries
360,000 Colombians have sought refuge in neighbouring countries (Colombia Reports, 22/06/2015). Costa Rica: 16,620 refugees and 210 asylum seekers; Panama: 15,550 refuges and 800 asylum seekers; Venezuela: 5,000 refugees, 168,500 unregistered refugees and 250 asylum seekers; and Ecuador 121,320 refugees and 11,580 asylum seekers. 800–900 Colombians arrive in Ecuador each month (UNHCR, 30/06/2015).
Most refugees come from Norte de Santander, Chocó, Valle del Cauca, Cauca, and Nariño (UNHCR, 30/06/2015).
Between January and June 2015, conflicts, natural disasters, and mass protests restricted humanitarian access for around 2 million people (OCHA, 03/08/2015). In August, an estimated 22,000 people across Colombia suffered restrictions of movement due to insecurity (OCHA, 31/08/2015).
On 21 August, Venezuela closed several border crossings on the Colombia-Venezuela border after an attack at the border injured three Venezuelan guards (AFP, 22/08/2015). Indigenous groups in La Guajira are particularly vulnerable to the border closures, as many live and work on both sides of the border. While Venezuelan officials have allowed them to cross the border, further restrictions may impact their food security and livelihood situation (OCHA, 15/09/2015). Fuel shortages are reported in the border departments as almost all fuel in the region is imported from Venezuela (Colombia Reports, 24/09/2015).
Food security and livelihoods
1.2 million people are food insecure, due to in part to low food production, poverty, and internal displacement (OCHA, 20/01/2015). 557,000 require food assistance. Indigenous communities in Nariño are among the most affected (OCHA, 20/01/2015).
Only 30% of the population living in areas affected by armed conflict has access to healthcare (OCHA, 20/01/2015).
1.1 million people are in need of WASH (OCHA, 20/01/2015).
Only 35.5% of the population consumes safe drinking water, with only 15% of rural areas consuming treated water (OCHA, 20/01/2015).
Attacks on the oil industry in Putumayo department in 2014 are still affecting nearby communities, who have little access to water. Some oil companies are providing families with 20–40L of water per week, which is below standards (OCHA, 23/04/2015).
Shelter and NFIs
916,000 people need shelter (OCHA, 20/01/2015). Many of those displaced by armed conflict come from rural areas and have difficulty re-obtaining rights to their homes when they return. A legal process is in place in the departments of Atlantico and Magdalena in northern Colombia, though some claimants have received threats from paramilitary groups (Amnesty, 23/01/2015).
370 students have not been able to attend school due to mobility restrictions in Teorama, Norte de Santander (OCHA, 18/07/2015).
Torture and ill-treatment in various forms are reportedly common in Colombia, and measures for protection and compensation are either very limited or ineffective. As of June 2015, 72,544 people have been reported missing (Red Cross, 04/06/2015).
Mines and ERW
Over November 2012–March 2015, there were 789 victims of anti-personnel mines and unexploded ordnance, an average of 27 people per month (OCHA, 17/05/2015). In March, the Colombian Government and FARC-EP agreed to remove landmines and explosives, aiming to complete demining by 2025 (Reuters, 09/03/2015).
There have been frequent reports of landmine explosions involving both civilians and security personnel in Cauca and Caqueta (BBC, 17/06/2015; Government, 03/06/2015).
52% of displaced women have suffered some type of sexual violence after displacement, according to a study by OHCHR. Women in the Pacific region are particularly affected (NRC, 09/2014).
There are approximately 2,000 underage fighters in FARC (Reuters, 15/04/2015). By 2014, reports showed that 76% of children fighting with FARC-EP and 18% with ELN had been reintegrated into society (UNICEF, 2014).
Afro-Colombians and indigenous peoples are highly vulnerable groups, as they are minorities and generally live in areas more likely to be cut off by conflict (NRC, 09/2014).
In 2014, there were 626 registered attacks against human rights defenders, a 147% increase compared to 2013. 73% of attacks were carried out by post-demobilised armed groups (OCHA, 28/02/2015).
Democratic People's Republic of Korea Country Analysis
No new significant developments this week, 29/09/2015. Last update: 09/09/2015.
- Information on the food security situation remains limited. An estimated 18 million people (70% of the population) are dependent on government rations. 1.8 million people are in particular need of food assistance (UN, 01/04/2015).
- DPRK is disaster-prone, regularly experiencing intense rain, floods, and droughts.
- Humanitarian access remains extremely limited (UN, 01/04/2015).
Politics and security
Tensions between DPRK and South Korea increased after a landmine at the border injured two South Korean soldiers in early August (Guardian, 04/08/2015). On 20 August, the tension resulted in a brief exchange of fire at the border – no casualties were reported. On 24 August, DPRK and South Korea agreed on a deal to reduce tensions (BBC, 25/08/2015).
Humanitarian access remains extremely limited. Humanitarian agencies do not have the ability to freely access communities, conduct assessments, or run monitoring and evaluating processes. International sanctions are further complicating assistance, in particular due to the suspension of banking channels for fund transfers (UN, 01/04/2015).
Tropical Cyclone Goni
Tropical Cyclone Goni passed off the coast of the Korean peninsula late August, causing floods and landslides in north Hamgyong province (ECHO, 27/08/2015). 40 people were killed in flash floods in Rason city, 153 houses were completely destroyed, and 849 houses were partially damaged (IFRC, 26/08/2015).
A prolonged dry spell during the planting season, which lasted from April to early June, has adversely affected crops and the yield potential of 2015 food crops (FAO, 17/06/2015). So far in 2015, all provinces have experienced less rainfall than the yearly average (OCHA, 01/07/2015). The provinces of North and South Hwanghae, which contribute to the largest share of the national cereal output, have been most affected (FAO, 17/06/2015). According to South Korean officials, June rainfall has alleviated the drought in other areas (AFP, 10/07/2015).
Food security and livelihoods
1.8 million children, older people, and pregnant and lactating women are in particular need of food assistance (UN, 01/04/2015). An estimated 18 million people, of a total population of 24.6 million, are dependent on government rations and highly vulnerable to shortages in food production (OCHA, 31/08/2015). The government rations in July and August were below the three-year average, and substantially below the rations in the same period in 2013 and 2014, most likely due to the reduction in the output of early season crops (FAO, 09/09/2015).
Most households are estimated to have borderline and poor food consumption rates (FAO, 01/06/2015). Decreased production of vegetables and soybeans, a major source of protein, contributes to a lack of food diversity for the general population (UN, 01/04/2015).
The food system in DPRK remains highly vulnerable to shocks and serious shortages exist, particularly in the production of protein-rich crops. Lack of agricultural inputs, such as seeds, fertiliser and plastic sheets, is a fundamental challenge for food production (UN, 01/04/2015).
Potato, wheat, and barley crops could be reduced by up to 40–50% in drought-affected areas, compared with normal levels. Rice planting was significantly affected by reduced rainfall in 2014, and output is forecast to be 12% lower than last year (FAO, 09/09/2015). Maize output is expected to be 15% lower than last year. In 2015, 31% of rice crops suffered from serious water shortages during planting and 6% of rice crops were not planted (OCHA, 11/08/2015). Soybean production is also expected to be affected (FAO, 13/07/2015).
9% of agricultural land is unarable since the 2014 drought; in North and South Hwanghae 33% of land is considered unusable for agricultural purposes (OCHA, 01/07/2015).
An estimated six million people need access to essential health services, including vaccines. Other medical products and lifesaving equipment, such as ambulances, remain limited. Health facilities often lack functioning water systems, increasing the risks of hospital infections and the spread of disease (UN, 01/04/2015).
Indicators suggest that health facilities are stretched by an increase in cases of diarrhoea, as access to safe water is diminishing during the drought (OCHA, 01/07/2015). A joint field observation mission in June found a general increase in waterborne diseases (OCHA, 22/06/2015).
According to FAO, 10.5 million people were undernourished in 2014 (FAO, 27/05/2015).
Food shortages peak during the lean season, between July and September, and households resort to coping mechanisms such as receiving support from families on cooperative farms; reducing meal sizes; gathering wild foods; and diluting meals with water (OCHA, 01/07/2015).
Chronic and acute malnutrition remains one of the major contributors to maternal and child mortality (UNICEF, 26/01/2015). In 2012, the National Nutrition Survey reported 4% acute malnutrition among under-fives (National Nutrition Survey, 03/2013). Micronutrient deficiencies are of particular concern (OCHA, 01/07/2015).
An estimated seven million people need access to clean water and sanitation. There is a notable lack of adequate sanitation in rural areas and in social care institutions and education facilities (UN, 01/04/2015).
The quality and availability of water in domestic water wells, which many communities rely on, has been impacted by the drought. According to reports, wells are dry and water levels in reservoirs are 20–30% of 2013 levels (NRP, 18/07/2015). Irrigation activities have been disrupted by the April–June dry spell (FAO, 17/06/2015). Rainfall in 2014 was also 40–60% below 2013 levels (Reuters, 30/05/2015).
Lack of teaching/learning materials in addition to the lack of adequate sanitation facilities in school buildings remain a challenge (UNICEF, 26/01/2015).
According to Human Rights Watch, DPRK authorities arbitrarily arrest and unfairly prosecute citizens (Human Rights Watch, 08/06/2015). A 2014 UN Commission of Inquiry found DPRK to be responsible for widespread human rights violations against its citizens, including abductions, arbitrary detention, torture, extrajudicially executions, and forced labour (UN, 17/03/2014).
17 September: More than 25,000 new arrivals from Yemen since March: 2,800 of these have been registered as refugees (IOM).
- An estimated 300,000 people need humanitarian assistance, including more than 12,000 refugees (ECHO, 01/08/2014; UNICEF, 13/08/2015).
-Humanitarian organisations fear the influx of people from Yemen may worsen an already difficult humanitarian situation in Obock (ECHO, 20/04/2015).
Conflict in Yemen has led to displacement from Yemen to Djibouti since March, in particular to Obock. As of early September, 2,800 people have been registered as refugees from more than 125,000 arrivals. Djibouti also hosts more than 12,000 refugees from Somalia, Ethiopia, and Eritrea.
Refugees and asylum seekers
12,763 refugees and 2,614 asylum seekers from Somalia, Ethiopia, and Eritrea live in Djibouti, mainly in Ali-Addeh and Holl Holl refugee camps (UNICEF, 13/08/2015).
2,828 of the new arrivals from Yemen have been registered as refugees; 2,669 of them are Yemeni nationals (UNHCR, 12/09/2015). The majority of registered refugees from Yemen are staying in Markazi camp in Obock (UNHCR, 12/09/2015).
1,865 of the new arrivals from Yemen are Djiboutian returnees (IOM, 17/09/2015).
Of the 25,000 arrivals from Yemen since March, 12,172 are Yemeni nationals and 11,182 are third-country nationals (IOM, 17/09/2015).
Many who have not been registered as refugees are staying in Obock or Djibouti cities, often hosted by Djiboutian relatives. Humanitarian actors in the country are concerned about the strain on host communities’ resources (UNICEF, 13/08/2015).
Food security and livelihoods
An estimated 120,000 people, primarily in Southeastern and Obock regions, are facing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food security outcomes, which is likely to persist through December. Poor households in the Central Pastoral and Northwest Pastoral regions are expected to face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food security outcomes through December (FEWSNET, 01/09/2015).
One in 10 people in Djibouti are severely food insecure; 60% of the severely food insecure live in rural areas (FAO, 22/06/2015). In Obock, almost 60% of households are food insecure (FAO, 22/06/2015).
Two consecutive poor rainy seasons (October–February and March–May) have resulted in below-average pasture availability, particularly affecting Obock region. The poor seasons have caused depletion of pasture and water resources, and have negatively impacted livestock productivity and milk production (FEWSNET, 01/09/2015).
The impact of two poor productive seasons have reduced household food access, as a result of limited livelihood opportunities, inadequate humanitarian assistance, and few available coping mechanisms (FEWSNET, 28/08/2015).
In 2014, OCHA reported that 300,000 people were in need of health services. Rates of communicable diseases are high, including diarrhoeal disease. A lack of medicine has been reported at health facilities (WHO, 27/04/2015).
In Markazi camp, Obock, cases of diarrhoea have increased. Women have also reported not receiving milk or diapers for their children (UNHCR, 10/07/2015).
In May, the national SAM rate was measured at 6.1% (Food Security and Nutrition Working Group, 20/05/2015).
In Obock region, only 40% of the population have access to safe water and only 25% have access to adequate sanitation facilities (UNICEF, 17/04/2015). In Obock, emptying pit latrines is a challenge, as there is no functioning waste management system (UNHCR, 04/07/2015).