|Severe humanitarian crisis|
|Situation of concern|
- Severe humanitarian crisis
- Humanitarian crisis
- Situation of concern
- Watch list
Snapshot 10–16 December
Iraq: 700,000 IDPs, mostly in Dahuk and Anbar governorates, are living in shelters that are not adapted for winter temperatures. 945,000 IDPs are in dire need of kerosene for heating.
Afghanistan: Kabul has been hit by at least 12 suicide attacks since early November, with more attacks also carried out elsewhere, fuelling concerns about the protection of civilians.
Philippines: 3.8 million people across nine regions have been affected by Typhoon Hagupit. Nearly 157,000 are in evacuation centres, 38,000 homes have been destroyed. Emergency preparedness helped mitigate the impact of the typhoon.
Updated: 16/12/2014. Next update: 06/01/2015
Afghanistan Country Analysis
13 December: Taliban insurgents killed at least 20 people in a series of gun and suicide attacks in Kabul and Helmand, including 12 mine clearance workers (AFP).
12 December: Two ISAF soldiers were killed in a Taliban attack in eastern Afghanistan (CNN).
11 December: Taliban suicide attacks targeting a bus carrying Afghan troops and a French cultural centre killed seven and wounded another seven in Kabul (AFP).
- Nearly 8,000 civilians killed or injured over January-October (OCHA, 25/11/2014). 5,456 security-related incidents recorded 1 June–15 August, a 10.7% increase on 2013 (UN, 09/09/2014).
- 7.4 million in need of humanitarian aid at end November. Badghis, Helmand, Kunar, Nangarhar and Wardak most need assistance (OCHA, 25/11/2014).
- Nearly 283,590 Pakistani refugees in Khost and Paktika provinces need food, WASH, shelter, winterisation preparation and NFIs (UNHCR, 03/12/2014).
- 16,266 returnees in 2014 and 782,162 IDPs including 131,367 people displaced by conflict in 2014 (UNHCR, 30/11/2014).
- 7 million people are severely food insecure (IPC, 01/11/2014), while 5.4 million need access to health services and 1.7 million need protection.
- 853,000 children under five suffer from SAM, and eight provinces show GAM rates above 15%, breaching the emergency threshold (OCHA, 31/07/2014; 28/10/2014).
Natural disasters and armed conflicts in Afghanistan have caused humanitarian crisis. Assistance needs include food, healthcare, and protection.
The Afghan Government faces both internal and external challenges to its capacity and legitimacy, and the outcome of the 2014 presidential election will have implications for the country’s internal cohesion. The security environment is highly volatile and expected to deteriorate as international troops gradually withdraw from the country.
On 29 September, Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah were sworn in as Afghanistan’s new President and Prime Minister, respectively (Reuters, 29/09/2014). The pair were rival presidential candidates in disputed elections (AFP, 26/09/2014).
Peace Talks with the Taliban
Although various official and informal sources have evoked renewed preliminary contacts between Kabul and the Taliban, no substantial talks have yet been launched. Peace talks with the Afghan Taliban have been stalled since mid-2013.
Harassment and intimidation by anti-government forces, inter-tribal disputes, cross-border shilling in Kunar province, and clashes between state and anti-government forces in Farhah, Nangarhar, Ghazni, Badghis, Maidan Wardak, Parwan, Kunduz, Logar, Helmand and Kapisa provinces in 2014, are major causes of insecurity and displacement (UNHCR, 30/09/2014). Conflict was ongoing in Kandarhar, Helmand, and Farhah provinces end November (UNHCR, 30/11/2014).
7,965 civilians were killed or injured by conflict between January and September, 22% children (OCHA, 25/11/2014). Mortars and rockets caused almost 1,000 civilian casualties, a 160% increase on 2013 (UNAMA, 04/07/2014).
International Military Presence
NATO troops officially handed over security in Helmand to Afghan troops on 26 October (Le Monde, 26/10/2014). There are currently about 41,000 NATO troops in Afghanistan, down from a peak of 130,000 in 2012 (AFP, 30/09/2014).
On 30 September, the US-Afghanistan Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) was signed. After 2014, NATO’s Resolute Support mission will be made up of 9,800 US troops and 3,000 soldiers from other member states. The mission will focus on supporting Afghan forces’ fight against the Taliban, along with US counter-terrorism operations. There is widespread concern regarding the capacity of the 352,000 Afghan security forces to deal with intensified Taliban attacks as international forces slowly withdraw.
On 2 October, Taliban leader Mullah Omar claimed victory against NATO and urged Taliban fighters to continue their fight against the Afghan Government (British Agencies Afghanistan Group, 05/11/2014). Remote parts of southern and south eastern Afghanistan, near the border with Pakistan, remain under Taliban control. Taliban numbers have increased by 15% since the beginning of 2013, as the group intensifies attacks in the wake of NATO troop withdrawal.
Conflict Developments and Incidents
Two ISAF soldiers were killed in a Taliban attack in eastern Afghanistan on 12 December (CNN, 12/12/2014). A suicide attack targeting police officials in Burka district, Baghlan province, killed at least nine people and injured 18 on 1 December (AFP, 01/12/2014).
A suicide attack in Yahya Khail district of Paktika province on 23 November killed 57 civilians and injured 60, the country’s deadliest single attack since 2011 (AFP, 24/11/2014).
Three Taliban bombings in Logar and Jalalabad on 1 and 10 November killed at least 19 security personnel and wounded 20 civilians (Radio Liberty, 01/11/2014).
A major Taliban offensive in Ajristan district of Ghazni province over 20–26 September killed up to 100 civilians and security personnel (AFP, 26/09/2014).
Kabul: The capital has been hit by at least 12 suicide attacks since early November, mainly targeting foreigners (AFP, 13/12/2014). A Taliban suicide blast killed seven soldiers on 13 December in Kabul and injured 18, while a senior court official was assassinated the same day (AFP, 13/12/2014). Two Taliban suicide attacks targeting a bus carrying Afghan troops and a French cultural centre in Kabul on 11 December killed at least seven people and wounded another seven (AFP, 11/12/2014).
In October, Kabul witnessed six suicide attacks, two roadside bomb explosions, and two rocket attacks, while southern and eastern provinces saw increased Taliban activity and assassinations of district officials.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
At end November, 7.4 million of people in Afghanistan need humanitarian aid. Badghis, Helmand, Kunar, Nangarhar and Wardak most need assistance (OCHA, 25/11/2014).
Lack of access to verify displacement and respond to immediate needs of IDPs is a significant challenge (UNHCR, 30/11/2014).
Movement restrictions are increasingly being applied to aid workers. Access continues to present challenges to humanitarian actors in Helmand and the eastern region, particularly in Kunar and Nangarhar (OCHA, 31/10/2014). International military withdrawal raises concerns over reduced funding affecting the sustainability of services available to the population (Handicap International, 04/12/2014).
Security Incidents Involving Aid Workers
A Taliban attack killed 12 mine clearance workers from the Sterling Demining Afghanistan (SDA), an international demining company and implementing partner of the Mine Action Programme of Afghanistan, in Helmand on 13 December (AFP, 13/12/2014).
Eight aid workers were killed and 12 abducted in 23 incidents involving aid workers in November, compared to four killed and 13 abducted in October (OCHA, 30/11/2014). By 15 August, there had been 117 cases of violence against aid personnel, assets, and facilities in 2014, resulting in 37 deaths and 35 injuries, 114 abductions and attempted abductions and the arrest and detention of five personnel (UN, 09/09/2014).
Around 115,155 people were affected by natural hazards in between January and August, mainly by floods and heavy rainfall in northern and central Afghanistan (IOM, 01/12/2014).
At end November, there were nearly 782,162 profiled IDPs in Afghanistan, mainly in southern, western, and eastern areas, including 131,367 people displaced by conflict in 2014 (UNHCR, 30/11/2014).
3,363 IDPs were displaced in Ghazni in November, 2,643 in Maidan Wardak, 2,167 in Ghor and 1,959 in Helmand, an increase on September numbers, except for Helmand; priority needs are for food, NFIs, shelter and cash grants (UNHCR, 30/11/2014).
About 73,000 IDPs were living in urban areas in Kabul, Hirat, Mazar-e-Sharif and in settlements outside Hirat early November (OCHA, 06/11/2014). Priority needs are for food and NFIs, shelter, cash, and livelihood opportunities (UNHCR, 30/09/2014). Displaced households living in IDP camps have started leaving the camps where shelters are inadequate for the coming winter (FEWSNET, 01/11/2014). Most IDPs in conflict-affected areas are with host families, in rented accommodation or in emergency shelters.
Flood-related displacement: As of October, 3,805 houses remain completely destroyed in the north by floods earlier in the year (OCHA, 15/10/2014). Most people displaced in Badakhshan and Takhar provinces are still living in camps with insufficient WASH facilities, requiring emergency shelter, NFIs, basic health services, and psychosocial support. The situation is constrained by poor access and security issues (Red Cross, 09/10/2014).
Refugees in Afghanistan
By 30 November, nearly 283,590 refugees (37,813 families) from North Waziristan had arrived in Afghanistan’s Khost (27,403 families) and Paktika (10,410) provinces since mid-June (UNHCR, 03/12/2014).
Nearly 181,000 people (27,000 families) are in need of humanitarian assistance (OCHA, 30/10/2014). Gulan camp in Khost hosts around 4,927 families, including 400 new refugee families from Datta Khel in North Waziristan following aerial bombardments, but more than 80% of refugees live in host communities, which are often remote and difficult to access, and stretched beyond capacity (UNHCR, 03/12/2014, 19/11/2014; OCHA, 15/10/2014). Gurboz and Bermei districts have the highest number of refugees, with 9,000 and 7,650 families respectively (OCHA, 25/11/2014).
Health, WASH, food, shelter, and mine clearance are priorities; additional needs include winterisation, education, and livelihood support (UNHCR, 02/10/2014). Host communities’ resilience is expected to decrease over winter months as resources are exhausted and available shelter is limited (UNHCR, 23/10/2014).
Pakistani refugees are not expected to return to their country before March or April, due to infrastructure destruction, winter, and reduced livelihood opportunities (UNHCR, 29/10/2014).
Kabul: As of 5 November, 32,073 people were in 53 informal settlements in the capital (OCHA, 11/11/2014). The most populated are Charahi Qamber (4,570 individuals), Tape Qasaba (2,533) and Puli Campany (2,166) (Danish Refugee Council, 20/10/2014).
At 30 September, 16,266 Afghan refugees had voluntarily repatriated in 2014, a 57% decrease on 2013, partly due to the extension of Proof of Registration cards in Pakistan until 31 December 2015 and security concerns in Afghanistan. 32% returned to northern and northeastern regions, 27.6% to central regions and 13.5% to eastern regions (UNHCR, 30/11/2014). Returnees are in need of income-generating activities, vocational training, and technical education (IMC, 31/08/2014).
Afghan Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
As of 30 September, there were 2.5 million Afghan refugees in neighbouring countries (USAID, 01/10/2014).
About 7 million people (23.4% of the population) are severely food insecure (IPC Phase 3 or higher). Badakhshan is the only province classified in Emergency (IPC Phase 4); 15 provinces are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3), mainly in northern and central parts of the country, and 17 are Stressed (IPC Phase 2) (IPC, 01/11/2014).
IDPs inaccessible to humanitarian agencies, particularly in insecure districts in Helmand, are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food security, having lost much of their access to income and not received assistance. Displaced households from North Waziristan Agency in Khost and Paktika provinces will move from Stressed (IPC Phase 2) to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) if additional food and NFI are not delivered beyond November 2014 (FEWSNET, 01/11/2014).
Households affected by April-June floods in the north may enter Crisis phase if they do not receive additional humanitarian assistance October–December (FEWSNET, 30/09/2014).
Below-average precipitation in Badghis province during March and April and cold weather during crop vegetative stage led to a below-average harvest. Poor households will be Stressed (IPC Phase 2) from November through March 2015 (FEWSNET, 01/11/2014).
Due to a funding shortfall, WFP has been able to pre-position only 60% of food assistance for an estimated 830,000 people ahead of the winter this year (OCHA, 30/10/2014). 54 districts in central Afghanistan will be impossible to access in winter, affecting around 750,000 conflict-displaced WFP beneficiaries (OCHA, 15/10/2014).
Agriculture and Markets
Wheat grain and flour prices in Afghanistan have increased 17% on average due to decreased flow of imported food commodities during the prolonged presidential election dispute (FEWSNET, 01/11/2014).
An estimated 30,000 hectares of agriculture land and perennial crops have been affected by flooding this year (OCHA 15/05/2014). During recent conflicts in Helmand province, locals reported that markets did not function for several days, and farmers had difficulties harvesting their crops (FEWSNET, 01/11/2014).
Political uncertainty led to decreased investment in many sectors including construction and trade, which are key employers of casual labour. Faryab province saw the largest decline in casual labour wages: rates were 43% lower in September than in 2013 and the five-year average. They were 23% and 14% lower than 2013 in Badakhshan and Balkh provinces, respectively (FEWSNET, 01/11/2014).
Decreased prices for some cash crops compared to last year is limiting incomes (FEWSNET, 01/12/2014). Opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan has risen by 7%, from 209,000 hectares in 2013 to 224,000 hectares in 2014 (UN, 12/11/2014).
Health and Nutrition
Pneumonia and acute respiratory infections are major concerns for the upcoming winter season as many provinces and districts face extremely cold weather. Access to health facilities may also be hampered (WHO, 03/11/2014).
The number of people in need of access to health services has increased from 3.3 to 5.4 million (OCHA). Conflict is causing widespread disruption to health services (WHO 24/07/2014). In October, there were two incidents involving NGO-run health facilities, including the abduction of a midwife and other clinic staff (OCHA, 31/10/2014).
There is a shortage of trained surgeons, anaesthetists and trauma capacity in conflict-affected areas (OCHA, 25/11/2014). Nearly 80% of maternal and reproductive health needs are unmet (WHO, 10/12/2014).
Over 853,000 children under five are severely malnourished (OCHA, 28/10/2014). Provinces in need of urgent attention are Uruzgan, Nangarhar, Nuristan, Khost, Paktia, Wardak, Kunar, and Laghman, where GAM rates are breaching WHO’s 15% threshold for an emergency (National Nutrition Survey, OCHA 31/07/2014).
Less than 20% of children with SAM and MAM received the treatment they needed in 2014 (OCHA, 25/11/2014). Some 189,000 deaths of under-fives are most likely attributable to malnutrition (OCHA, 25/11/2014).
As of 26 November, 21 polio cases have been confirmed in 2014, mostly in conflict-affected areas, compared to nine in 2013 (Global Polio Eradication Initiative, 26/11/2014). Extensive cross-border movement is a major challenge. Afghan and Pakistani authorities agreed in July to cooperate in an anti-polio campaign in the border areas of their countries (DAWN, UNICEF 12/07/2014).
Sanitation, water quality and hygiene remain public health concerns in Khost and Paktika (WHO, 03/11/2014). 128,327 individuals (29,200 refugees and 98,937 individuals in the host community) in Khost need WASH assistance; priority district targets for emergency WASH response are Gurbuz, Khost, Center/Lakan, Mandozayi, Terezayi and Spera in Khost, and Barmal and Urgun in Paktika (UNHCR, 29/10/2014).
In July, around 2.4 million people were in need of WASH services as a result of landslides and flash floods during the first quarter of 2014 (UNICEF, 30/07/2014).
Shelter and NFIs
Two million people are living higher than 2,000m in Afghanistan, including 244,200 new refugees in Khost and Paktika, 32,000 displaced in Kabul informal settlements and 2,300 recently displaced by conflict, leaving them exposed to winter conditions. 423,300 under-five children and 253,920 people over 55, and 7,000 in need of shelter and 544,000 economically vulnerable living in hard-to-reach reach areas are also vulnerable (OCHA, 31/10/2014). 29,600 people will be facing winter without adequate shelter (OCHA, 25/11/2014).
Educational facilities in Khost are overstretched, with 344 schools employing 6,000 teachers and catering for around 360,000 children. There are 50,000 school-aged refugee children in Khost (Institute for War and Peace Reporting, 05/11/2014).
Around 1.7 million people need protection assistance, mainly IDPs and people otherwise affected by conflict. IDPs need durable solutions for their protracted displacement (OCHA).
Protection concerns are growing for Pakistani refugees and Afghan returnees in Khost province. Access to women and girls in Gulan camp remains a challenge (UNHCR 23/07/2014). The presence of landmines is also of concern.
The Afghan national and local police and three armed groups (Taliban, Haqqani Network, and Hezb-e-Islami) have been listed for recruitment and use of children. The Taliban has been listed for attacks on schools and hospitals (Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict 02/06/2014).
Central African Republic Country Analysis
13 December: A member of a medical NGO and his patient were assaulted and stabbed by armed men on their way to Boda hospital in Lobaye (ALIMA).
3 December: 14 cholera cases have been confirmed in two refugee camps along the CAR–Cameroon border (UNICEF).
3 December: Six measles cases have been reported in Nana Mambéré and two additional suspected cases at the ‘S’ IDP site in Bambari (UNICEF).
18 November–1 December: IOM had to suspend assistance to areas controlled by ex-Seleka in Bangui due to insecurity (IOM).
- Communal violence surged across the country in 2014, with attacks reported in nearly all prefectures. 5,186 people have died since December 2013 (Government, 16/09/2014).
- As of December, 2.7 million of 4.6 million people need immediate assistance, half of them children (OCHA, 09/12/2014). There are 854,070 people of concern (UNHCR, 05/12/2014).
- 1.7 million people are in Crisis and Emergency phases of food insecurity (FAO, 17/09/2014).
- 166,045 IDPs in displacement sites (OCHA, 08/12/2014) and 59,470 IDPs in Bangui (IOM, 01/12/2014).
- 424,070 CAR refugees are registered in neighbouring countries (UNHCR, 05/12/2014).
Fighting between predominantly Christian anti-balaka militias and majority Muslim ex-Seleka fighters, and civilian mob violence, have caused mass displacement, targeted killings along communal lines, and human rights abuses since December 2013. Health, protection, food, and WASH are priority needs, as violence, looting, and displacement have led to a massive deterioration in the humanitarian situation across the country.
After proposing the division of the country during peace talks in July, ex-Seleka proclaimed a free, independent, and secular state in north-eastern CAR in August, and rejected the transitional Government formed during the same month (IRIN 23/09/2014; Government, 24/07/2014). On 6 October, anti-balaka also demanded that the President resign and that two anti-balaka quit the transitional Government (AFP, 06/10/2014). On 29 November, the anti-balaka announced that it would lay down its weapons and become the Central African Party for Unity and Development (PCUD) (Reuters, 30/11/2014).
National elections will not be organised before late 2015, which risks worsening the crisis (Missionary International Service News Agency, 01/09/2014).
As of 12 September, at least 5,186 people had died from violence in CAR (Government, 16/09/2014). More than 1,223 security incidents have been recorded in 2014 (OCHA, 08/12/2014).
The Government is prohibited from rearming by a UN arms embargo. On 26 October, the President of the Transitional National Council called on international forces to help protect the population (AFP, 26/10/2014).
Ex-Seleka: Armed ex-Seleka took control of the northern part of CAR in January 2014, following Michael Djotodia’s resignation from the presidency. Djotodia had been a Seleka leader, but dissolved the coalition in September 2013. Bambari, Ouaka, reportedly became the ex-Seleka headquarters in May. They number an estimated 10,000 fighters, including Muslims from the northeast, and Sudanese and Chadian foreigners (international media, 30/09/2014). Rival ex-Seleka groups have clashed on several occasions: a new branch, Unity for CAR, led by General Ali Darassa, was created in October (Jeune Afrique, 27/10/2014).
Anti-balaka: Mostly made up of fighters from a Christian or animist background, the anti-balaka formed to counter Seleka.
LRA: Attacks by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) increased in 2013, as the political crisis left a power vacuum. 11 LRA attacks and 70 abductions were reported over July–September, 20% decrease on April–June. Mbomou and Haut-Mbomou remain the most affected prefectures (OCHA, 10/11/2014).
UN peacekeeping mission (MINUSCA): MINUSCA began operations on 14 September, under a one-year mandate. It numbers 6,500 troops and 1,000 police and is expected to expand to 12,000 by February 2015, compared to the 4,800-strong African Union peacekeeping force previously active in CAR (UN, 14/09/2014; Government 16/09/2014).
French forces: Half of the French Sangaris peacekeeping mission of 2,000 is deployed in Bangui. Its mandate expires in April 2015, but President Catherine Samba-Panza has asked France to extend its military presence until the presidential election.
EU forces: On 21 October, the 700-strong EU military operation in CAR (EUFOR-RCA) was extended to March 2015 to protect civilians and provide security for humanitarian operations in the Bangui area (Government, 07/11/2014).
US military assistance: The US is providing logistical support and advisers to African troops operating against the LRA in eastern and southeastern CAR
The first half of 2014 saw an increase in both ex-Seleka and anti-balaka activism and targeting of international peacekeepers, especially in Ouham, Ouham-Pende, Dekoa, Kemo, Nana-Mambere, and Nana-Grebizi (AFP, 01/08/2014). At least 146 people were killed in Kemo, Nana-Grebizi, and Ouaka between June and September (Government, 16/09/2014).
In September and October, an increase in ex-Seleka activity was reported in Sibut, Kemo, with 25 reported dead (UNICEF, 09/2014; ACF, 13/11/2014).
Intense fighting and increased insecurity has been observed in Ouaka since May (AFP, 02/10/2014). 343,210 people have been affected by renewed violence since 8 October, especially in Bambari: anti-balaka attacked Bambari on 31 October, while armed groups attacked a number of villages between Bambari and Bakala (AFP, 26/10/2014; ACTED, 06/11/2014). Communal clashes involving Muslims and Christians left 14 people dead and more than a dozen wounded in Bambari on 5 December (UNHCR, 05/12/2014).
The security situation remains fragile in the capital, with periodic eruptions of violence. A deterioration in May saw dozens killed in clashes. Conflict escalated again since end August, and a wave of violence beginning 7 October left at least 13 dead. Thousands of people were displaced, and serious violations of human rights were reported (OCHA, 23/10/2014).
Unprecedented attacks against UN personnel in October killed two peacekeepers (UN, 28/11/2014).
Bangui: The situation was tense around Beal IDP camp on 16–17 November, where ex-Seleka had threatened to blow up on-site munitions and explosive devices. Shooting and looting on 16 November led to international forces’ intervention (OCHA, 17/11/2014). Fighting between international forces and armed groups was reported on 31 October in northern Bangui (AFP, 31/10/2014).
Haut-Mbomou: Violence between Muslim and Christian communities in Zémio between 5-19 November, leaving at least three people dead and 14 injured, and marked the first major inter-community incident in the region since the country’s crisis began in 2012. 50 houses were burnt down in Zémio, Barth, and Bahou on 5 November; grenades and automatic weapons were used in the attacks (UN, 24/11/2014).
Nana-Mambéré: On 19 November, clashes between anti-balaka and MINUSCA forces in the border town of Cantonnier, killed six people and injured 10 (USAID, 05/12/2014). The border with Cameroon was closed for a week (UN, 04/12/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
As of December, 2.7 million of 4.6 million people need immediate assistance, half of them children (OCHA, 09/12/2014). There are 854,070 people of concern, including IDPs and CAR refugees in neighbouring countries (UNHCR, 05/12/2014).
Violent attacks, threats against aid workers, and roadblocks hinder the supply of humanitarian assistance outside Bangui, where humanitarian needs are significant (OCHA, 07/11/2014).
Bangui: Violence and obstruction by armed groups all impact humanitarian access (OCHA, 23/10/2014). IOM had to suspend assistance to areas controlled by ex-Seleka in Bangui between 18 November and 1 December due to insecurity (IOM, 01/12/2014). WFP reported that armed actors had looted food supplies at a storage facility in Ndim, Ouham Pendé, in November (USAID, 05/12/2014). Road and air access to Bangui was disrupted for several days in October, and anti-balaka presence in the fourth district since end October has prevented Votongbo 2 IDP site from receiving humanitarian aid ((UNICEF, 07/11/2014; IOM, 17/11/2014).
Insecurity in the capital also affects the delivery of supplies to the regions: Paoua could not receive aid from Bangui, and distributions in Ndim and Gaoundaye (Ouham Pende prefecture) were delayed (UNHCR, 24/10/2014).
Bamingui-Bangoran: Humanitarian actors suspended activities due to security incidents in September (Danish Refugee Council, 23/09/2014). The delivery of aid has reportedly been obstructed by local authorities (OCHA, 16/07/2014).
Kemo/Nana-Grebizi: Security conditions on the Kaga Bandoro–Dekoa–Sibut route are very volatile (UNICEF, 07/11/2014).
Ouaka: June clashes in Bambari have hampered access to the area (UNHCR).
At 9 June, an estimated 21,000 people, mostly but not exclusively Muslim, were trapped in 12 locations, including Boda (Lobaye prefecture), Yaloke (Ombella Mpoko), Berberati (Mambere-Kadei), Bozoum (Ouham-Pende), Boganangone (Lobaye), and the PK5 district of Bangui, where people are thought to be at very high risk, while Bouar and Baoro were considered as high risk (UNHCR, 09/06/2014). They require urgent humanitarian assistance, particularly protection, health, and nutrition (OCHA, 04/12/2014).
Security Incidents Affecting Aid Workers
A member of a medical NGO and his patient were assaulted and stabbed by armed men on their way to Boda hospital in Lobaye (ALIMA, 13/12/2014). 18 humanitarian workers have been killed and six wounded since January in 124 incidents (OCHA, 07/11/2014; OCHA, 04/12/2014), including six in Bangui between 7 and 19 October (OCHA, 20/10/2014). On 7-8 November two MSF trucks and their crew were detained by an armed group on the road from Paoua to Bangui (MSF, 11/11/2014).
The July–November rainy season has affected road conditions, and it is impossible to find fuel outside Bangui (OCHA, 23/10/2014). The absence of bridges also prevents access to remote communities (Catholic Relief Services, 24/11/2014).
Around 1,060 people (240 households) were affected by floods in Béma in Haut Mbomou between 3 and 10 November (ACTED, 24/11/2014). Heavy rainfall in Bangassou, Mbomou, on 27 October damaged or destroyed 123 houses; humanitarian assistance had not reached populations at 11 November. NFI needs are significant (ACTED, 13/11/2014).
It is estimated that 80–85% of Bangui’s minority Muslim population had fled or been evacuated at March, as well as most of that of Yaloke (previously home to 10,000 Muslims), Baoro in Nana-Mambere (4,000 evacuees), Mbaiki in Lobaye, and Boali and Bossemptele, Ouham-Pende (OCHA).
At 8 December, there are 430,000 IDPs in CAR, including 166,045 in displacement sites (OCHA, 08/12/2014). The number of IDPs in Bangui has decreased to 59,470 due to relative improvements in the security conditions of some neighbourhoods outside Bangui (IOM, 01/12/2014). The number of IDPs living with host families is unclear due to lack of systematic data collection (IDMC, 15/10/2014).
Bangui: The largest camps in Bangui are Aéroport Mpoko (20,900 IDPs), Séminaire St Marc (8,000), and Mission Carmel (6,775) (CCCM, 29/10/2014). Populations in Mpoko camp are in urgent need of food and shelter (UN, 20/11/2014). Mpoko site is planned to close by February 2015 (USAID, 05/12/2014). The number of IDPs in camps has fallen by 78% since December 2013 (IOM, 30/09/2014).
7,500 people were displaced between 7 and 16 October (UN, 28/11/2014). Much of the newly displaced population originates from Bangui’s 3rd and 5th districts, with additional displacement taking place in and around Bimbo, Ombella Mpoko (IOM, 21/10/2014). Health, WASH, and food are priority needs (OCHA, 21/10/2014).
Haute-Kotto: 13,000 IDPs fleeing violence in Bangi and Bambari early October have been reported in Bria (ICRC, 16/10/2014).
Kemo: Around 2,175 (435 families) have been displaced to Sibut due to armed group violence in Kemo prefecture since August (ACF, 28/11/2014).
Nana-Grebizi: 23,000 IDPs in the Kaga Bandoro area at early May (UNHCR). Violence in M’Bres mid-August forced 1,000 people to flee their homes (OCHA 20/08/2014).
Nana-Mambere: The 19 November attack in Cantonnier displaced 2,000 people to Gamboula and 850 to Dilapoko. Food and NFI support are priority needs (Aide Médicale Internationale, 02/12/2014). 3,000 displaced people had been reported in Bouar, at the border with Cameroon, in October (PI, 16/10/2014). 4,000 people displaced since January to Berberati town need urgent NFI support and food, shelter and protection (Aide Médicale Internationale, 05/11/2014).
Ouaka: 18,530 people have been displaced in the prefecture following renewed violence since September along the Ndassima, Grimari and Bakala axes (WHO, 31/10/2014). 4,560 had fled armed group violence in villages along the Bambari-Grimari route between 21 October and 6 November, while 3,000 have fled violence along the Batobadja-Matchika route since July, and particularly since October (ACTED, 06/11/2014; ACTED, 26/11/2014). Food, shelter, education and WASH assistance are urgent priorities (ACTED, 28/11/2014).
Ouham: The majority of the 20,000 displaced who had sought refuge in isolated rural areas following the arrival of armed groups in Boguila, Kouki, and Nana Bakassa on 25 October have returned (OCHA, 20/11/2014). Armed group violence in September–October in Paoua displaced around 2,000 people to their fields (IRC, 02/11/2014). An estimated 14,830 people have been displaced in Batafango. 2,000 people had been displaced in Kabo and Moyen-Sido in August as a result of clashes in Batafango (IOM, 25/08/2014).
Eastern CAR: At least 3,000 displaced by the surge in violence in Zémio on 5 November need NFIs (OCHA, 04/12/2014). 26,520 people remain displaced by LRA activity in eastern CAR (OCHA, 10/11/2014).
Refugees in CAR
8,012 refugees and asylum seekers are living in CAR (UNHCR, 07/11/2014), including 1,700 South Sudanese refugees at 31 March (UNHCR). 4,241 Congolese refugees are in Haut-Mbomou (OCHA, 10/11/2014).
Sudanese refugees in CAR’s Bembere camp (Ouham) faced beatings and money and livestock robbery by a large group of gunmen on 3 November (Radio Dabanga, 04/11/2014). As of 25 June, violence in Bambari reportedly interrupted a number of humanitarian programmes for Sudanese refugees in the Pladama Ouaka camp.
CAR Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
There are 424,070 CAR refugees in neighbouring countries, 188,339 of whom have arrived since December 2013. 241,231 are registered in Cameroon, 93,120 in Chad, 68,165 in DRC, and 21,554 in Congo (UNHCR, 05/12/2014).
Although the Chad–CAR border remains officially closed since 12 May, refugees continue to arrive at a number of border points and are considered vulnerable (UNHCR, 07/2014).
At 8 December, there had been 132,414 evacuees from CAR, including third-country nationals and returning migrants (OCHA, 08/12/2014).
In October, about 1.5 million people (33% of the total population) are in Crisis or Emergency (IPC Phases 3 and 4) food security. 210,000 are in Bangui and 1.32 million in rural areas (IPC, 31/10/2014); displaced populations are particularly vulnerable. The most affected regions are Ouham and most of Nana Grebizi and Kemo prefectures, Ngaoundaye, Bocaranga, and Berberati sub-prefectures in the west, Boda and Bimbo sub-prefectures in the south, and Obo sub-prefecture in the west (FAO, 17/11/2014). In Basse-Kotto and Sangha Mbaere, food security will remain Stressed until December (FEWSNET, 30/09/2014). Diminished quantity and diversity of food intake is raising serious nutrition and health concerns (FAO, 17/11/2014).
In Nana-Bakassa, there are concerns about food insecurity since the population has resorted to negative coping mechanisms (INGO, 07/10/2014). 26% of households have inadequate food consumption, compared to 15% in 2013. The percentage of households resorting to negative coping mechanisms has risen from 27 to 30% (FAO, 17/11/2014).
In the coming months, a second – in some areas a third – consecutive poor harvest, along with below-average incomes and disrupted livelihoods, will limit food access, particularly for IDPs, returnees, and the poor in conflict zones, who are projected to be in Crisis in May (FEWSNET, 16/11/2014). Nearly one million are expected to be in need of emergency food assistance by the May-September lean season (USAID, 21/11/2014).
Agriculture and Markets
Food crop production in 2014 is expected to be 58% below average, as a result of insecurity, erratic rainfall and pest attacks (FAO, 09/10/2014). Food stocks in rural areas are 40–50% below average due to recurring raids. Cattle-breeding has fallen by 77% compared to pre-crisis levels, and insecurity and poor road conditions have disrupted market linkages and led to significant increases in food prices (prices from March to August increased 30–70%) (FAO, 29/10/2014).
Health and Nutrition
3.4 million need access to health services (OCHA, 19/11/2014). Because of humanitarian access constraints, many health centres have been out of essential drugs for months (IFRC, 05/12/2014). Access to medicine in Yaloké, Ombella-Mpoko, is particularly difficult (OCHA, 04/12/2014). 45% of health facilities outside Bangui were unable to provide basic health services at May (WHO, 30/09/2014). Lack of access to health services in IDP sites is of serious concern (WHO, 31/10/2014).
Suspected cases of whooping cough (pertussis) have been reported in Ketele, Kaga Bandoro region, and particularly in Grevai, Nana Grebizi prefecture, affecting 40 (UNICEF, 07/11/2014).
14 cholera cases have been confirmed in two refugee camps along the CAR–Cameroon border (UNICEF, 03/12/2014).
Malaria cases grew from 1,574 cases over 18–25 October to 2,323 the following week. Malaria remains the main cause of mortality in CAR (WHO, 31/10/2014).
Six measles cases were reported in Yongoro-Mbolaye in Nana Mambéré, including two deaths, and two additional suspected cases were detected at the ‘S’ IDP site in Bambari (UNICEF, 03/12/2014).
550,000 children, about 45% of the children affected by the conflict, need psychosocial support (OCHA, 23/09/2014). 60% of parents whose children were admitted to Bangui’s paediatric hospital for SAM presented symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.
28,000 children in remote villages suffer from SAM and 75,500 from MAM, among 840,000 malnourished children overall (OCHA, 04/12/2014; OCHA, 19/11/2014).
According to the preliminary results of the SMART survey in Bangui, there has been a reduction in GAM, from 8% in 2012 to around 5% currently, likely due to the concentration of humanitarian activities in Bangui (WFP, 23/09/2014).
2.6 million people do not have access to improved safe water or improved sanitation (OCHA, 23/09/2014). Western areas of CAR as well as Mbomou are most affected (OCHA, 31/10/2014). The water supply has been cut off in some neighbourhoods in Bangui for several months, leaving many local residents and displaced people without safe drinking water (ICRC, 17/11/2014).
Shelter and NFIs
Nearly 442,000 people are in need of emergency shelter, while 703,975 need NFIs and 125,000 need reconstruction support (OCHA, 19/11/2014). Shortages of mosquito nets and jerrycans are significantly hindering the humanitarian response (OCHA, 23/09/2014).
Over 180,000 children are in need of education and 2,500 teachers in need of psychological training (OCHA, 04/12/2014). As of 25 June, 80% of children were reportedly out of school (WFP, 25/06/2014). Over a third of school students registered in 2012/2013, 278,000 children, had reportedly dropped out in 2013/2014.
The start of the 2014–2015 school year, scheduled for 3 November, has been delayed due to insecurity (Finn Church Aid, 03/11/2014). According to the Ministry of Education, 45% of schools remained closed across the country on 17 June, down from 65% in February (OCHA, 17/06/2014). Only 6% of schools were open in Kemo and Nana-Grebizi (UNICEF, 17/06/2014). Several schools were either attacked or occupied by armed groups or by international forces in August (UNICEF, 04/09/2014).
2.5 million people are in need of protection, particularly in Vakaga, Bamingui-Bangoran, Ouham, Ouaka, and Lobaye prefectures (OCHA, 19/11/2014; 31/10/2014). Nearly 13,000 are in need of protection following the surge of violence in Zémio in Haut Mbomou on 5 November (OCHA, 20/11/2014).
Crimes against humanity and war crimes have been, and continued to be, reportedly committed in CAR. Ex-Seleka are listed for child recruitment, killing, rape and other forms of sexual violence, and attacks on schools and/or hospitals. Anti-balaka are listed for child recruitment, and killing and maiming (Watchlist on children and Armed Conflict, 04/11/2014).
The number of children recruited into armed groups has risen to 6,000. Country-wide cross-border protection issues remain a major concern, including family and unaccompanied children protection, access to health and nutrition, WASH and shelter (UNICEF, 30/11/2014). 432 children were killed or maimed by violence in 2014 (OCHA, 04/12/2014).
In Bangui, women in IDP centres cannot leave their tents after dark, because of the risk of attack and rape (international media, 09/2014).
Democratic Republic of Congo Country Analysis
13 December: FARDC and MONUSCO began a joint operation to track ADF fighters in Beni territory, starting in Eringeti and Kokola (Radio Okapi).
9 December: 2,300 IDPs were forced to leave Kiwanja camp in Beni. Shelter and basic social services are urgent priorities for 90% of them, who are now in living in public spaces around Kiwanja and Rutschuru, or with host families (OCHA).
29 November: Pygmies attacked Mazozo village in Katanga, dozens were killed or kidnapped. Luba in Kabeke were reported to be preparing for retaliation (OCHA, 10/12/2014).
- Internal conflict in the eastern provinces.
- 4.1 million people need urgent humanitarian assistance (FAO, 11/12/2014).
- 2.6 million IDPs (UNHCR, 30/09/2014). Katanga is of particular concern, with 582,700 people displaced across the province (OCHA, 14/11/2014).
- 121,900 refugees, mainly from CAR and Rwanda (UNHCR, 30/09/2014).
- Over 2 million children under 5 are suffering from acute malnutrition (Radio Okapi, 04/11/2014).
Needs are highest in the conflict-affected regions of North Kivu, South Kivu, Katanga, and Orientale, where there is large-scale, repeated displacement. IDPs, host populations, and those unable to flee are all vulnerable as insecurity poses multiple protection risks and prevents access to basic services, although needs vary according to geographic area and conflict dynamics.
Political violence and inter-communal strife have persisted for decades, influenced by longstanding tensions with DRC’s eastern neighbours. Counterinsurgency operations and infighting between armed groups disrupt security and stability.
The Peace, Security and Cooperation (PSC) Framework agreement for DRC and the region, aimed at consolidating state authority in DRC, was signed on 24 February 2014 by Angola, Burundi, the Central Africa Republic, DRC, Congo, Rwanda, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. As of end September, the implementation was estimated not to be progressing (UN News, 22/09/2014).
National Political Context
On 27 September, over 2,000 people took to the streets of Kinshasa to protest a bid by President Kabila to modify the constitution to be able to stay in power in 2016, beyond his two-term limit (AFP, 27/09/2014).
Numerous armed groups are active in the east of the country, causing general insecurity across the region.
The UN Stabilization Mission in DRC (MONUSCO) has a mandate until 31 March 2015, as does its intervention brigade of 3,000 soldiers (RFI, 20/10/2014). The EU mission providing assistance to security sector reform (EUSEC) was extended until 30 June 2015 (EU, 25/09/2014).
On 30 May, a voluntary disarmament process for FDLR started under the auspices of MONUSCO, the African Union and the Southern African Development Community. On 2 July, 12 African countries agreed to suspend military operations against them for six months in order to give them more time to lay down their arms. Attacks by FDLR resumed in Misau and Misoke, Walikale territory over 3–5 November (Radio Okapi, 10/11/2014).
Counter-insurgency and Insecurity in the East
There are at least 40 armed groups operating in the east (ECHO, 22/10/2014). A new wave of violence intensified in eastern provinces in October, after a period of counterinsurgency operations by DRC armed forces (FARDC) and MONUSCO. In November, the former leader of M23 threatened that the armed group might resume activities if the Government does not respect its commitment regarding amnesty and release of prisoners (AFP, 07/11/2014).
Following strategic gains by FARDC-MONUSCO in July, North Kivu is experiencing a resurgence of violence in Beni, Walikale, and Lubero territories from Allied Democratic Forces/National Army for the Liberation of Uganda (ADF-NALU), Nduma Defence of Congo (NDC), FDLR, and Nyatura (OCHA, 15/10/2014; 16/10/2014; AFO, 30/07/2014). The insecurity has resulted in widespread displacement, and rape, kidnapping, and looting have all been reported (OCHA, 16/10/2014).
Beni territory: A curfew was imposed in Beni on 25 November due to insecurity. A wave of machete attacks since early October has killed more than 250 civilians, leading to a joint FARDC–MONUSCO operation to track ADF fighters from 13 December (AFP, 07/12/2014; Radio Okapi, 13/12/2014). 36 were killed, two injured, and two abducted on 7 December in Oicha (AFP, 07/12/2014), while 13 were killed and seven injured in Mulolya and Malibo on 8 December (AFP, 08/12/2014). Some hundred civilians were killed in ADF attacks in Nzuma, Tipiyomba, and Vemba on 20 November (UN, 02/12/2014). Civil unrest and violence from the local population towards MONUSCO assets and official buildings have also been recorded (AFP, 02/11/2014).
Eringeti: Three people were killed in an ADF machete attack on 2 December (AFP, 02/12/2014).
Walikale: FDLR violence over 3–5 November resulted in 13 civilians killed and SGBV in Walikale territory (Radio Okapi, 10/11/2014). NDC violence – including SGBV, kidnappings, and looting – was reported in the territory in September and October (OCHA, 08/10/2014). NDC clashes with FDLR displaced a thousand people between 1 August and 30 September (UNICEF, 30/09/2014). In August and September, FARDC launched operations against NDC between Walikale and Masisi, and against Raiya Mutomboki between Walikale and Hombo, causing further displacement (UNICEF, 30/09/2014).
Security remains volatile in South Kivu as several armed groups continue to operate and trigger displacement within the province. FARDC operations removed Raiya Mutomboki from seven villages of Shabunda in mid-November (Radio Okapi, 26/11/2014).
Mayi-Mayi Mahoro: Fighting between self-defence groups and Mayi-Mayi Mahoro group in Uvira triggered population displacements (Radio Okapi, 06/11/2014).
At end October, 15,873 incidents had been reported in Katanga (UNHCR, 30/10/2014).
Interethnic conflict between Luba and pygmies, and Mayi-Mayi attacks, continue to affect Tanganyika district. Pygmies attacked Mazozo village in Manono territory on 29 November, leading to dozens killed and kidnapped. Luba are reported to be preparing for retaliation in Kabeke village (OCHA, 10/12/2014).
Mayi-Mayi Bakata Katanga: Ten attacks were reported over 23–30 October in Moero sector of Pweto territory (Radio Okapi, 30/10/2014). FARDC offensives were making gains against Mayi-Mayi Bakata Katanga of Musumari as of 5 November (Radio Okapi, 05/11/2014). An attack in Katendeji in Pweto was reported on 4 December, causing displacement (Radio Okapi, 04/12/2014).
Mayi-Mayi Yakutumba: Repeated attacks against villages by Mayi-Mayi Yakutumba, originating from South Kivu, have been reported in northeast Kalemie despite the presence of FARDC along Lake Tanganyika since August (OCHA, 30/10/2014).
Attacks and incidents are increasingly being reported in Bakaiko, southwest Mambasa, and Irumu, in Ituri district. The Front of Patriotic Resistance in Ituri (FRPI), the Ugandan Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and Mayi-Mayi Simba are reportedly responsible (OCHA, 15/10/2014; Radio Okapi, 17/10/2014).
LRA: The LRA is increasing activities against the civilian population in Haut and Bas Uele, according to a MONUSCO statement on 8 October, (AFP, 08/10/2014). In the third quarter 2014, 27 attacks, 15 deaths, and 55 abductions were reported, which represents a significant decrease in abductions and attacks compared to the second quarter. However, only one death was reported in the second quarter (OCHA, 10/11/2014).
FRPI: The FRPI had resumed violent activities in Irumu territory since the beginning of October (OCHA, 11/11/2014). At 11 November, the leader of FRPI Cobra Matata and a hundred insurgents are said to have surrendered (Radio Okapi, 11/11/2014). 64 members of the FRPI surrendered in Bunia between 27 November and 3 December and were transferred to Rwampara camp (OCHA, 03/12/2014). Cattle raids have continued in Irumu, however, with looting reported end November (Radio Okapi, 08/12/2014).
Mayi-Mayi Morgan: On 22 October, hundreds of civilians were kidnapped in Mambasa territory and forced to work in Pangoyi goldmine, according to local sources (OCHA, 30/10/2014). On 14 October, eight civilians were kidnapped and one killed in an attack allegedly committed by Mayi-Mayi Morgan in Mambasa territory.
Other incidents: Two people were killed during a protest in Dangu over the death of a taxi driver who had hit a MONUSCO vehicle in Dangu, Orientale on 3 December (Radio Okapi, 03/12/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Around 4.1 million people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance (FAO, 11/12/2014). In Katanga, Manono, Pweto, Mitwaba and Malemba-Nkulu experience most pressing humanitarian needs in all sectors (OCHA, 13/11/2014).
The mountainous and volcanic terrain, and lack of tarred roads limit access across DRC, and access worsens during the rainy season. In the east, insecurity is a major constraint.
85 incidents involving humanitarian workers had been recorded January–May 2014 throughout the country (OCHA, 05/2014).
Katanga: Growing insecurity is hindering the delivery of assistance to up to 500,000 displaced and access to healthcare (OCHA, 06/2014; Médecins Sans Frontières, 09/01/2014).
South Kivu: Access to some 42,000 people in Fizi territory has been hampered by insecurity since June. Since the beginning of the year, a dozen security incidents against humanitarian workers has been reported in Fizi territory (OCHA, 11/09/2014).
FARDC–Raiya Mutomboki clashes have been hindering access to 120,000 people in Penekusu area, south Shabunda, since mid-August (OCHA, 03/09/2014). The rainy season has rendered 60% of roads in south Shabunda impracticable (OCHA, 15/10/2014).
North Kivu: Humanitarian access is constrained in South Lubero due to damage to roads in Kaseghe and Alimbongo (OCHA, 09/12/2014). Humanitarian access along the Mbau–Kamango route as well as to the Mutwanga health zone is also hampered by insecurity (OCHA, 03/12/2014). Renewed fighting in Bunyatenge and Kasugho areas end September led to several organisations withdrawing their staff temporarily (OCHA, 26/09/2014).
Seasonal rains are deteriorating road conditions throughout the province, threatening access to populations (OCHA, 11/11/2014). In Beni territory, heavy rains along with insecurity, intercommunal tensions, and civil unrest hamper an accurate evaluation of needs of the population displaced in October (OCHA, 04/11/2014).
Orientale: 13 INGOs have withdrawn from Haut Uele and Bas Uele since mid-2013 due to lack of funding, leaving thousands of people without assistance, with the most recent withdrawal in September. Several humanitarian organisations have suspended activities in South Irumu as FRPI has resumed activities (OCHA, 01/10/2014).
In Opienge, Bafwasende territory, humanitarian actors were having difficulties at the end of September assisting some 15,000 people displaced by FARDC operations against Mayi-Mayi Simba (UNICEF, 30/09/2014).
Equateur: Zongo area, northern Equateur, has been cut off for over a month due to heavy rains and floods (Radio Okapi, 23/11/2014).
100 families lost their homes and belongings after heavy rains in Mweka, Kasaï-Occidental, on 25 November (Caritas, 27/11/2014). Over 10,000 people were affected by floods in November in Basoko, Tshopo territory, including 8,000 left without shelter (FAO, 20/11/2014). WASH and food security are concerning. Another 1,700 people have been affected by flooding in Banalia territory, Orientale, in October (OCHA, 11/11/2014).
Over 25–28 October, heavy rains caused floods and landslides in Kalehe territory, South Kivu, causing major infrastructure damage (OCHA, 11/11/2014). 1,500 people remain without shelter as of 21 November (Radio Okapi, 21/11/2014).
Population movements are frequent and difficult to quantify and track, due to the back and forth pattern of displacement and security conditions.
There were 2.611 million IDPs at end October, including 770,000 displaced in 2014 and 95% induced by insecurity and armed conflict (UNHCR, 30/10/2014; OCHA, 14/11/2014). 80% of IDPs are hosted by families and communities, who are already facing chronic food insecurity and limited access to services and livelihood opportunities (FAO, 20/11/2014).
North Kivu: 212,054 out of 863,431 IDPs in the province are living in 60 sites near Goma (UNHCR, 05/12/2014; OCHA, 09/12/2014). There are now 242,920 IDPs in Masisi, 210,217 in Walikale, 158,340 in Lubero, and 128,535 in Beni (including 24,655 newly displaced since September) (OCHA, 09/12/2014). Authorities in North Kivu have moved to close down 60 camps for displaced people for security reasons, saying that arms were hidden in them (AFP, 03/12/2014). 2,300 IDPs were forced to leave Kiwanja camp in Beni as a result. Shelter and basic social services are urgent priorities for 90% of them now living in public places or host families around Kiwanja and Rutschuru (OCHA, 09/12/2014).
Nearly 89,000 (17,700 families) displaced along the Mbau–Oicha–Eringeti route between 14–21 November following attacks in Beni need multi-sectoral assistance; 2,100 people were displaced to Makumo in southwest Beni (OCHA, 03/12/2014; 09/12/2014). 50,000 IDPs in South Lubero were in need of health and food assistance on 22 October; the arrival of IDPs from Bunyatenge and Walikale and seasonal rains increased vulnerabilities (OCHA, 22/10/2014). 90,000 IDPs from fighting in the second half of 2013 are still in need of multi-sectoral assistance in Beni territory (UNICEF, 30/09/2014).
Around 5,400 people (1,081 families) have been displaced along the Bafianda–Okondo route since July; priority needs are for shelter, NFI, food and health (NRC, 09/12/2014).
In Rutshuru, fighting between FARDC and armed groups is triggering back and forth displacement (OCHA, 11/11/2014). As of 20 November, 10,000 people are estimated to be displaced due to fighting between FARDC and Nyatura (OCHA, 20/11/2014).
South Kivu: 618,300 IDPs are in South Kivu. The rate of displacement is increasing, with 31,500 reported in the second quarter of the year, and 68,200 in the third. The latest displacements are in Shabunda, Kalehe, Kabare, and Mwenga, and Fizi territory (OCHA, 14/10/2014; 27/10/2014). 38% of IDPs are located in Kalehe (OCHA, 14/11/2014).
More than 1,500 IDPs in Buma, Talama and Kazimiya who fled fighting between FARDC and Maï Maï Yakutumba in Kibamba and Kihingizi in November, are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, particularly shelter (Radio Okapi, 13/12/2014).
15,600 people displaced by 19–23 November clashes between two factions of the Raiya Mutomboki and FARDC operations returned to Lulingu and Tchonka on 29 November (OCHA, 04/12/2014). 22,500 recently displaced in Kalonge are in dire need of food assistance (WFP, 27/10/2014). Raiya Mutomboki are said to be hampering movement, while preventive displacement is occurring between Katchungu and Byangama (OCHA, 08/10/2014). Over 1,000 people displaced following fighting between self-defence groups and Mayi-Mayi Mahoro in Uvira need shelter and food support (Radio Okapi, 06/11/2014).
Katanga: Katanga currently hosts 582,700 IDPs compared to 50,000 end of 2011 (OCHA, 14/11/2014). 80% of IDPs are living with host families; only 117,500 IDPs are on sites. 64% have been displaced by conflict involving armed groups and 14% by intercommunal violence between Luba and pygmies. 71,500 new IDPs were recorded in the third quarter of 2014, including 26,000 in Manono, 16,200 in Nyunzu, 14,500 in Pweto and 6,800 in Kabalo (OCHA, 14/11/2014). New attacks in Manono village on 29 November led to further displacement to Mukebo (OCHA, 10/12/2014).
Pweto territory hosts 178,000 IDPs (OCHA, 20/11/2014). 31,240 people returned in the third quarter of 2014, encouraged by FARDC presence, upcoming harvest season, and the start of school year, including 20,600 in Pweto and 8,200 in Mitwaba (OCHA, 14/11/2014). 8,200 returnees along the Kishale–Kampagwe route, Manono, need NFIs, WASH, and food support and 2,300 remain displaced. 5,000 returnees in Kisele, Mitwaba, need NFIs and health assistance, while 1,500 are still displaced by insecurity (OCHA, 10/12/2014; Commission on Population Movements, 08/2014).
In Mutabi, 15,000 IDPs remain of the 46,000 who have fled their homes due to Mayi-Mayi Kata Katanga activism since January (OCHA, 25/09/2014). 48,000 people who fled clashes between Luba and pygmies into Tanganyika district between July and August remain in dire need of assistance (OCHA, 26/09/2014).
2,500 IDPs in Mwashi camp need food, shelter and health assistance, and are waiting for Mayi-Mayi Bakata Katanga to be neutralised before they return (Jeune Afrique, 24/11/2014).
Orientale: 467,500 IDPs are hosted in Orientale province, including 8,000 in the third quarter of 2014 (OCHA, 14/11/2014). 66% of IDPs are located in Ituri district, including 14,900 who arrived in the third quarter of 2014 (CPM quoted by OCHA, 11/11/2014).
Clashes between FARDC and FRPI in Irumu territory, Ituri, displaced 274,200 people in the second quarter of 2014 (DRC Commission on Population Movements, 06/2014). 80,000 IDPs are estimated to have undertaken back and forth displacement due to FRPI raids as of end October (UNICEF, 31/10/2014). 200,000 IDPs and host community members are affected by conflict in South Irumu (OCHA, 03/12/2014).
12,600 people (2,529 families) have been displaced to Tchabi, Ituri, due to insecurity in North Kivu (OCHA, 03/12/2014). Most of the new IDPs in Ituri are living with host families or in public buildings. WASH is the most pressing need (OCHA, 22/10/2014).
Around 4,300 people have been displaced to and around Ngilima following clashes between LRA and FARDC since September (OCHA, 03/12/2014).
ttacks allegedly committed by Mayi-Mayi Morgan on 5 November in Bafwasende, Tschopo, displaced 2,700 people to Bafwanduo and Bafwasende. Most IDPs live with host communities and are in urgent need of NFI, food, health and education (OCHA, 25/11/2014).
An estimated 113,000 people remain displaced in Bas Uele and Haut Uele (OCHA, 16/10/2014).
Maniema: Maniema has an IDP population of 185,300 people, including 20,000 newly displaced recorded in the third quarter of 2014. 30% of IDPs are located in Pangi, 26% in Punia, and 20% in Kasongo (OCHA, 14/11/2014). 9,500 IDPs are in dire need of food assistance in Kama (WFP, 27/10/2014).
Refugees in DRC
DRC hosts 120,567 refugees (UNHCR, 30/10/2014). DRC provincial authorities insist that assistance should only be delivered within camps, making it difficult to support refugees in host communities.
From CAR: As of 30 October, there were 68,165 CAR refugees in DRC, including 22,210 displaced since December 2013. Registration is hampered by deteriorated road conditions (UNHCR, 30/10/2014; UNHCR, 10/10/2014). 364 CAR refugees were relocated from Batalimo transit centre to Boyabu camp over 29 November–5 December (UNHCR, 05/12/2014).
From Rwanda: DRC is hosting 38,783 Rwandan refugees (UNHCR, 30/10/2014). Previously unrecorded Rwandan refugees were identified in camps in North Kivu on 28 October (Radio Okapi, 28/10/2014). Around 600 FDLR and relatives were transferred from South Kivu to a transit camp in Kisangani in November (Radio Okapi, 03/12/2014).
From Angola: 10,000 of 38,000 Angolan refugees registered in DRC have been repatriated between September and November (Radio Okapi, 26/11/2014).
At end October, there were 163,935 returnees in DRC (UNHCR, 30/10//2014).
Returnees from Congo: A free movement of people agreement was signed by DRC and Congo on 3 June. The deal, which has yet to be ratified on each side, would allow nationals living along the 1,300km frontier to cross to the other side for a maximum of three days with a laissez-passer or national identity card. Those wishing to live and work in either country must have a passport and work permit.
Both countries agreed to set up a commission of inquiry on allegations of violence and violations of human rights in the recent deportation of DRC nationals from Congo. Since May 2012, an estimated 119,000 DRC nationals have been repatriated and about 23,000 chose to stay in the Republic of Congo (UNHCR, 05/08/2014). Many forced returnees reportedly have little attachment to DRC and lack access to basic services.
Returnees from Uganda: The repatriation of an estimated 184,500 DRC nationals from Uganda was to begin in September 2014 (World Bulletin, 01/05/2014).
DRC Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
An estimated 442,633 DRC refugees currently live in African countries, mainly in Uganda (183,980) (UNHCR, 30/10/2014; 09/12/2014).
7.3 million people were food insecure at 14 October (WFP, 14/10/2014), including 6.7 million in Crisis and Emergency levels of food insecurity in September (ECHO, 09/2014).
Flooding caused crop losses up to 80% in Basoko territory, Orientale province, while prices for basic food products have risen (Radio Okapi, 18/11/2014).
Health and Nutrition
Systematic looting of health structures has been reported in various areas of North Kivu (OCHA, 01/10/2014). Lack of funding forced several health zones in south Masisi territory to interrupt activities, severely limiting healthcare access for 20,000 IDPs (OCHA, 04/11/2014). Access to medicine and tuberculosis vaccines is reportedly limited in Katanga (Radio Okapi, 03/12/2014).
18,740 cases of cholera, including 260 fatalities, have been reported in 2014 in Katanga and North and South Kivu (ACTED, 25/11/2014).
In Katanga, over 7,000 cases including 300 deaths have been recorded, compared to 13,726 cases and 348 deaths in 2013; humanitarian personnel to respond to the consequences of the outbreak is lacking (Radio Okapi, 07/11/2014; OCHA, 30/10/2014). There were 200 cases and eight deaths registered between 6 and 12 October in Haut Lomami district, Orientale province, where health workers and medical capacities are insufficient (OCHA, 22/10/2014). Several cholera outbreaks have been reported in October in South Kivu. Fizi and Nundu remain above the epidemic level, with 51 and 88 cases reported, respectively, 13–19 October, while humanitarian response capacity remains weak and the security situation fragile (OCHA, 31/10/2014).
The end of Ebola epidemic in Boende, Equateur province, was reported on 15 November. There had been 66 Ebola cases, 49 fatal, including eight among health workers (WHO, 15/11/2014). The epidemic was not related to the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
As of mid-November, 11,500 measles cases, including 100 deaths, have been reported in Katanga province in 2014. The caseloads in Bukama, Kabondo Dianda, Kilwa, Mufunga Sampwe and Kalemie health zones have reached epidemic level. Insecurity has affected access to Kilwa health zone since July and hampered measles vaccination campaigns (OCHA, 12/11/2014).
Between January and 12 October, 11,098 measles cases, including 89 deaths, were reported in Orientale province (OCHA, 22/10/2014).
Rutshuru general hospital, North Kivu, is experiencing a sudden increase in measles cases as populations have returned from Rutshuru, Buturande, Kibututu, Kinyandoni and Umoja. A total of 10,400 cases have been recorded in the province as of October (OCHA, 20/11/2014).
In 2013, DRC recorded 89,000 cases, including 1,392 deaths.
Over two million children under five are suffering from acute malnutrition (Radio Okapi, 04/11/2014). According the last Demographic and Health Survey 2013-2014, three provinces are above the 10% emergency threshold regarding acute malnutrition rates: Maniema province has the highest rate of malnutrition with 22.7% GAM, representing 553,300 children, and SAM at 8.6%; Bas-Congo experiences 11% GAM, that is 397,600 children, and Bandundu a 10% GAM, with 722,500 children affected (Government EDS-RDC, 05/2014).
38 million people in DRC (53.5% of households) do not have access to safe drinking water (UNICEF, 27/03/2014).
As of July, access to water is below the emergency standard of 15L/person/day for most CAR refugees in Equateur and Orientale provinces. It was at 13L/p/day in Boyabu camp, 12L/p/day in Mole camp, 12L/p/day in Inke camp, and far below these numbers in the host communities (UNHCR, 07/2014).
In Beni territory, North Kivu, 6,000 children have been out of school since October in Oicha and Eringeti due to insecurity (OCHA, 20/11/2014). In northern Beni, 48 schools had been damaged, occupied, or destroyed during FARDC operations against ADF-NALU militants in Kamango, Ruwenzori, and Mbau (OCHA, 11/09/2014). In Kalonge area, another 1,000 displaced children do not have access to school (OCHA, 20/11/2014).
In South Kivu, insecurity in Shabunda and Fizi territories prevents children from attending school (Radio Okapi, 25/09/2014).
70% of the 34,000 school-age IDP children in Pweto territory, Katanga province, do not attend school (OCHA, 20/08/2014).
Military, militias, and other armed groups are all accused of repeated abuses against civilians, including arbitrary arrests, extortion, looting, child conscription, sexual violence, and executions.
15,800 protection incidents have been recorded in Katanga so far in 2014, a sevenfold increase on 2013, including 14,000 in Kalemie, Manono, Mitwaba and Pweto. Forced marriage, SGBV, looting, torture and inhumane treatment had been reportedly perpetrated by all conflict parties in the province (UNHCR, 18/11/2014; OCHA, 30/11/2014).
An estimated 3,700 children have been reported as associated with armed forces and groups (UNICEF cited by ECHO, 21/10/2014).
45 cases of SGBV were recorded in Kansowe, Katanga in November, including 39 rapes. By November, more than 2,400 cases of sexual violence – over half of which were rape – had been recorded in Katanga in 2014, 2,012 in Orientale province, and 1,123 in Bas-Congo (80% rape) (OCHA, 10/12/2014, 03/12/2014; Radio Okapi, 27/11/2014). In 2013, over 5,100 incidents (75% rape) were registered in Katanga, mostly affecting children under 18 and IDPs (Protection Cluster, 05/2014).
There were 26,340 incidents of rape and other gender-based violence in seven provinces during 2011 and 2012 – and another 15,350 cases in 2013. The actual numbers may be higher (UNHCR cited by Pulitzer Centre on 10/07/2014).
15 December: As of 13 December, 2,394 Ebola cases and 1,518 deaths have been reported in Guinea (WHO).
9 December: According to WHO, response efforts face resistance in 21 subprefectures, in Forest region, central-northern Guinea, and Conakry (UNMEER).
- 11 million people are affected by the consequences of the EVD outbreak (IFRC, 25/10/2014). Almost 2,700 orphans and widows from Ebola are in need of psychosocial support, and many are being rejected by their relatives for fear of infection (UNICEF, 24/11/2014).
- The total cumulative number of reported cases across the region has reached 18,464, including 6,841 deaths (Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone each reported over 9-13 December) (WHO, 15/12/2014). The numbers of registered cases and deaths are largely inaccurate, underestimating the gravity of the situation on the ground according to the Government.
- The epidemic has since outstripped the health system’s capacity for response and control (OCHA, 16/09/2014), leading to an increase in non-Ebola related child morbidity and mortality (UNICEF, 26/08/2014).
For more information on the Ebola crisis in West Africa, visit the ACAPS Ebola Needs Analysis Project page.
After rumours about President Condé’s health, Condé accused the opposition of fuelling tension in an attempt to push for a military coup (International Crisis Group, 01/10/2014). President Condé suggested the delay of presidential elections, due in 2015, because of the EVD crisis (International Crisis Group, 01/11/2014). The opposition demanded electoral reforms by 15 December, threatening countrywide protests otherwise. On 26 November, President Conde stated that protests will not be tolerated during the Ebola outbreak (International Crisis Group, 01/12/2014).
On 15 November, France announced it will coordinate Ebola containment efforts in Guinea, at the UN’s request (AFP, 15/11/2014). Cuba has sent 465 health workers to West Africa (international media, 20/10/2014). The UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution establishing a special mission to lead the global response to contain Ebola on 18 September (UN, 18/09/2014).
The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has also been declared a Grade 3 Emergency under WHO’s Emergency Response Framework (ECHO, 29/07/2014). WHO declared the epidemic a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).
On 11 November, several opposition deputies and human rights activists went on hunger strike in Womey, Nzerekore prefecture, demanding the safe return of around 6,000 people they say fled their homes. The army was deployed in the town after after a group of EVD sensitisers was killed last September by residents, and has been accused of human rights violations (UNMEER, 12/11/2014; international media, 11/11/2014). On 12 November, the Guinean Government announced the withdrawal of the troops (UNMEER, 14/11/2014).
Tensions between President Conde’s ethnic group, the Malinke, who make up about 35% of the population, and the Peul ethnic group, about 40% of the population, have started to rise over the Ebola response (local media, 18/10/2014).
Resistance to the Ebola response
According to WHO, as of 9 December, response efforts face resistance in 21 subprefectures, in Forest region, central-northern Guinea, and Conakry (UNMEER, 12/12/2014). In Beyla prefecture, resistance from rural communities has been frequently reported (UNMEER, 02/12/2014; UNICEF, 03/12/2014). On 4 December, in Conakry, youths protested violently against the establishment of an Ebola treatment centre (AFP, 04/12/2014). On 1 December, in Conakry, a burial team was assaulted by local residents over the burial of a suspected Ebola case (UNICEF, 03/12/2014).
According to OHCHR, in Koropara subprefecture, Nzérékoré prefecture, people threatened to chase away the subprefect and health workers after three patients were transferred to Guéckédou’s Ebola treatment centre and died there. Families of the victims accused the local authorities of selling their relatives to the Red Cross. The Red Cross has suspended its operations in Koropara for security reasons (UNMEER, 25/11/2014). In Coyah, several incidents of vandalism were reported after a visit by contact tracers. Security forces intervened to stop demonstrations against the establishment of an Ebola treatment centre in Wonkifong, Coyah; sensitisation activities in this area were suspended (UNMEER, 05/11/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
11 million people – almost the entire population of Guinea – are affected by the consequences of the Ebola outbreak (IFRC, 25/10/2014).
Poor road infrastructure means many communities outside the capital are inaccessible (OCHA, 16/09/2014). Since 4 December, the National Union of Workers of Guinea Maritime have been on strike, delaying the delivery of humanitarian cargo (WFP, 10/12/2014).
Since the beginning of the emergency, 392,000 people have received food assistance in Guinea (WFP, 10/12/2014). In the Forest region, households are using severe coping strategies. In Conakry and Nzerekore, less expensive and less preferred foods are being used and portion sizes limited at mealtimes. A large proportion of households reported incurring debt to purchase food (WFP, 27/11/2014).
57% of Guinean households were already at risk of food insecurity or food insecure before the EVD outbreak (WFP, 29/10/2014).
Across Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, 1.7 million people are estimated to be food insecure, 200,000 of whom due to Ebola (WFP, 05/11/2014). 1.9 million people in the three countries have received food assistance since August (WFP, 10/12/2014).
Agriculture and Markets
All agricultural sectors have been hit by the crisis. Rice production is estimated to have fallen between 5% and 20%. Coffee production has halved in 2014 and cocoa production has declined by a third. Corn production has declined by 25% (World Bank, 02/12/2014; FAO, 11/12/2014). Fish exports have fallen by more than 40% (World Bank, 02/12/2014).
UNDP estimates that household income has dropped by 12.7% in Guinea as of October, due to the consequences of the Ebola outbreak (UNDP, 14/11/2014).
Prices for imported rice were generally stable and prices for local rice declined by less than 10% between September and October, as new supplies were brought to market (FEWSNET, 27/11/2014; WFP, 27/11/2014; Global Food Monitor, 10/12/2014; FAO, 11/12/2014). Between August and September, prices were stable, except in Labé market, where rice prices fell by 21% (WFP, 29/09/2014). Since the outbreak, food prices have risen in Guinea and Senegal border areas: palm oil prices have increased 40% and coffee prices have increased 50% in less than four weeks. Traders also indicate a 50% drop in market activities (WFP, 15/09/2014).
Health and Nutrition
The Ebola epidemic has outstripped the health system’s capacity, leading to an increase in non-Ebola related child morbidity and mortality (OCHA, 16/09/2014; UNICEF, 26/08/2014). Hospital visits have decreased by 53%, medical appointments by 59%, and vaccinations by 30% (UNMEER, 31/10/2014).
As of 13 December, 2,394 Ebola cases, including 1,518 deaths, have been reported in Guinea (WHO, 15/12/2014). However, the utility of case numbers has been questioned; statistics are reported to be highly unreliable due to a lack of a comprehensive contact tracing, timely case investigation, and rapid Ebola testing (UNICEF, 06/09/2014).
EVD transmission is persistent and, since early October, slightly increasing. 103 new confirmed cases were reported between 1 and 7 December. In the past weeks, a large number of cases were from eastern districts, mostly Macenta, Nzerekore, and Kankan. Several districts in central and northern Guinea have reported persistent transmission, including Faranah, Kerouane and Kissidougo, areas of particular concern for WHO, because the populations would likely seek treatment in the north, in neighbouring Mali in particular, rather than at facilities in the nearby southeastern districts of Gueckedou. In Siguiri, there has been persistent transmission since November. Conakry and Coyah have reported an increase in the number of new cases over the past two weeks. Although out of a total of 34 districts in Guinea, 10 are yet to report a case of EVD, there has been a geographical expansion in transmission over the past two months: in October, nine districts had reported an infection during the past week; as of December, 14 districts had reported an infection during the past week (WHO, 03/12/2014; 10/12/2014).
Containment measures: On 15 October, the President recalled retired physicians and health workers to join the EVD response (AFP, 15/10/2014). Guinea declared the Ebola outbreak a "health emergency" on 13 August. President Alpha Conde announced a series of measures including strict controls at border points, travel restrictions, and a ban on moving bodies from one town to another until the end of the epidemic. All suspected victims will automatically be hospitalised until they are cleared of infection (AFP, 14/08/2014). On 1 August, West African Ebola-hit nations agreed to impose a cross-border isolation zone at the epicentre of the outbreak (AFP).
The total cumulative number of reported cases across the region has reached 18,464, including 6,841 deaths (Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone each reported over 9-13 December) (WHO, 15/12/2014). Eight cases, including six facilities and two cured patients, have been reported in Mali (Government, 10/12/2014). The outbreak in Senegal is officially over, with no new case reported for 21 days (WHO, 17/10/2014). Nigeria is now free of EVD transmission as no new case has been reported for 42 days (WHO, 20/10/2014). Four cases in the USA and one case in Spain have been confirmed (WHO, 31/10/2014).
80% of people living with HIV in the three most Ebola-affected countries have not been able to access treatment (UNDP, 14/11/2014). Around 217,000 people are estimated to live with HIV in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone (international organisation, 20/10/2014).
44% of Guineans, about five million people, are affected by malaria each year; the disease kills at least ten people every week. The recent gains from the past 10 years in reducing malaria mortality by 50% are been seriously hampered by the EVD outbreak (international media, 14/11/2014).
Women in the three most-affected countries are no longer giving birth in health facilities (UNMEER, 03/11/2014). In addition, Ebola-infected pregnant women are often not permitted in the Ebola treatment centres because of the high risk of contamination during delivery, likely resulting in a higher maternal death rate in the three most affected countries (UNFPA, international media 29/10/2014).
Depending on the severity of the Ebola crisis, between at least 2.13 and 2.41 million people will be exposed to undernourishment (ACF, 31/10/2014).
The Government is preparing for the re-opening of schools for the end of December 2014 or early 2015 (UNICEF, 03/12/2014).
Almost 2,700 orphans and widows from Ebola are in need of psychosocial support, and many are being rejected by their relatives for fear of infection (UNICEF, 24/11/2014).
Iraq Country Analysis
12–13 December: Since the beginning of December, IS has carried out simultaneous attacks on multiple fronts (ISW). In Anbar, IS seized Al Wafa village, west of Ramadi, killing at least 10 police and causing residents to flee; in Haditha city, two suicide attacks targeted security checkpoints, killing at least 12 people (Al Jazeera). IS targeted the Shi’ite Arbaeen pilgrimage to Karbala, culminating on 13 December, and more Shi’ite sites were attacked in Baghdad and Mugdadiyah.
12 December: 700,000 IDPs, mostly in Dahuk and Anbar governorates, are living in makeshift shelters not prepared for winter temperatures (IOM).
5 December: At least 39,000 children cannot go back to learning due to IDPs occupying schools (OCHA).
30 November – 5 December: Almost 19,000 Syrian refugees in the nine refugee camps lack access to safe drinking water, latrines and bathing facilities. Over a 100,000 are lacking adequate waste disposal, and almost 150,000 are still to receive a hygiene kit. Delays in procurement, related to the funding pipeline, have meant slower distribution of stoves and tent insulation kits. In KR-I, 945,000 IDPs are in dire need of kerosene; around 88,000 IDPs need shelter assistance, and almost 57,000 need winterisation kits (UNHCR/OCHA).
24 November: Since June 2014, at least 2,714 health workers have been displaced from Ninewa, Anbar, Salah al Din and other inaccessible areas to Dahuk (2,532) and Sulaymaniyah (182).
- In 2014, approximately 12,000 people were killed and nearly 22,000 injured. In November, 936 civilians were killed and 1,826 injured (UNAMI 01/12/2014).
- 5.2 million Iraqis require some form of humanitarian assistance. 2.2 million are estimated beyond the reach of aid agencies (UN 11/2014). Access is highly constrained in Anbar, Salah al Din, and Ninewa governorates (UNHCR 10/2014).
- 2.8 million people are in need food assistance (FAO/FEWSNET, 25/06/2014)
- Up to 50% of displaced Iraqis will need medical attention this winter (OCHA 04/11/2014).
- The UN Humanitarian Country Team has increased the original displacement planning figure from 1.6 million to 2.1 million, reflecting continuing displacement from Anbar and Salah al Din governorate (UNCT 11/2014). Over 2 million IDPs are living at 2,003 sites since January (IOM 24/11/2014).
- 228,484 Syrian refugees are registered or awaiting registration in Iraq; 41% are children (UNHCR 30/11/2014).
- Long delays in obtaining official clearances from Iraqi authorities affect the efficiency of rapid response for newly-displaced people and population movements (OCHA 05/12/2014).
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 with four massive waves of internal displacement in 2014: Anbar in January, Mosul in June, Sinjar in August and Hit in October. Priority humanitarian needs are food, water, shelter, fuel and access to health care. Human rights violations violations, particularly in areas controlled by IS are of major concern. There are large information gaps on the situation of affected populations outside of the Kurdistan region of Iraq.
National Political Context
The perceived marginalisation of Sunni groups by the previous Government, led by President Maliki, is considered one of the main drivers of the current conflict. The formation of a unity government led by President Haydar al Abadi at the start of September represents the first step towards a longer-term solution to the present crisis.
Kurdistan Region of Iraq
Masoud Barzani’s Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan have ruled the autonomous Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KR-I) through a coalition government since 2005. Barzani’s term has recently been extended to 2015, a move denounced as illegal by the opposition. Mid-November, Baghdad and Erbil reached a budget agreement, following a long-standing budget dispute. The agreement which will result in oil exports from KR-I and Kirkuk, the disbursement of the KR-I government budget from the Iraqi general budget, and the payment of Peshmerga salaries (UN 02/12/2014).
Although hard to verify, particularly in IS-controlled areas, since the beginning of 2014, nearly 12,000 people have been killed and nearly 22,000 injured. Baghdad is the worst affected governorate. In November, at least 936 civilians were killed and 1,826 injured (UN 01/12/2014).
Since the fall of Mosul on 10 June, IS, with support of armed opposition groups including tribal militias and members of the former Government and military, has been in control of large swathes of Iraq’s provinces of Anbar, Ninewa, Salah al Din, and Diyala. The Iraqi army (ISF), Iraqi security (ISF) forces, popular mobilization units (PMUs) and Peshmerga and continue to cooperate in fighting IS.
Since the beginning of December, IS has carried out simultaneous attacks on multiple fronts, especially in areas north of Baghdad, in Anbar, and near Samarra, Salah al Din, according to the Institute for the Study of War (12/12/2014). In 2006, the bombing of a Shi’ite shrine in the city of Samarra was the main trigger for severe sectarian violence.
Anbar: After attacks on Trebil and Al Walid crossings last month, IS shut down communication towers in western Anbar, indicating a possible push towards these crossings again. IS also executed 21 Sunni tribal fighters near Al Baghdadi.
IS gained some territory: it seized Al Wafa village, west of Ramadi, killing at least 10 police and causing residents to flee. In Haditha city, two suicide attacks targeted security checkpoints, killing at least 12 people (Al Jazeera 13/12/2014). IS also started an offensive east of Falluja, constituting an expansion threat towards Baghdad.
IS targeted the Shi’ite Arbaeen pilgrimage to Karbala, culminating on 13 December. In the western part of Karbala city, an IS mortar bomb killed one and wounded four people. More Shi’ite sites were attacked in Baghdad and Mugdadiyah, and elsewhere. Large-scale attacks did not take place.
Ninewa: In order to control tribal resistance, IS continues to carry out security operations south of Mosul.
Salah al Din: Attacks have increased in the Samarra area, which is home to an important religious shrine. The ISF cleared IS from Mutasim, south of Samarra, while an IS attack disrupted the ISF supply route between Samarra and Camp Speicher, where most security forces in the Samarra area are concentrated. IS attempted to reclaim strategic terrain around Baiji.
Baghdad has been the scene of near-daily bombings and shootings since the beginning of November. Multiple car bomb blasts killed at least 115 people and wounded over 306. There was no immediate claim for the attacks, but IS has claimed responsibility for previous car bomb attacks.
IS, formerly the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and an outgrowth
of Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), has taken over large areas of northern and eastern Syria, as well as parts of northern and central Iraq. In June, IS declared the establishment of a Sunni caliphate, straddling Syria and Iraq, spreading from Aleppo in northern Syria to Diyala in eastern Iraq. Its chief Abu Bakr al Baghdadi was declared caliph and leader for Muslims everywhere. The CIA estimates that Islamic State has between 20,000 and 31,500 fighters in Iraq and Syria (BBC 15/09/2014).
In early August, Kurdish forces from Iraq, Syria, and Turkey joined forces in north Iraq to reclaim areas lost to IS (AFP). On 30 September, Peshmerga forces launched an operation clearing IS from the Iraq–Syria border town of Rabia, which they were reported to have taken control of by the end of October (Trust; ISW).
Government forces are involved in offences in Baghdad, Ninewa, Diyala, Anbar, and Salah al Din governorates.
US warplanes began air strikes against IS in August. On 15 September, 30 additional countries pledged to help Iraq fight IS militants by all means necessary. In November, the US announced deployment of up to 1,500 additional troops to Iraq (Al Jazeera 07/11/2014). The US has announced it will start providing arms support to tribes opposing IS, and hopes these fighters will become part of a more formal Iraqi national guard later. More budget has also been allocated to the training and arming of Iraqi and Kurdish forces (Guardian 11/2014).
The UK also pledged to send more troops to help train local forces (The Guardian 13/12/2014).
A senior Iranian official has confirmed that Iran carried out air strikes in November against Islamic State fighters at the request of Iraqi authorities (The Guardian 04/12/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
5.2 million Iraqis, including over two million IDPs, require some form of humanitarian assistance.
A Level 3 emergency was declared by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee on 12 August and was extended for six months in November (OCHA 11/2014).
1.26 million IDPs need winterisation assistance (OCHA 07/11/2014).
69% of the USD 2.2 billion Response Plan requirements remain unmet (OCHA 09/12/2014).
Humanitarian access to most of Iraq is extremely limited, therefore most of the data available is on the situation in KR-I.
An estimated 2.2 million people in areas under control of IS and affiliated armed groups are beyond the reach of aid agencies and require emergency assistance (UN 03/12/2014).
Several international NGOs have suspended activities in IS-controlled areas, but in some cases they continue to provide emergency assistance through local partners. Access to areas that had been controlled by IS and its affiliates is hindered by high levels of insecurity, booby-traps and landmines.
Long delays in obtaining official clearances from Iraqi authorities is affecting reponse (OCHA 05/12/2014).
Border crossings: The Kurdish-controlled Peshkabour-Semalka crossing is mostly closed. While the IS-controlled Al Qa’im and Al Waleed crossings are technically open, insecurity prevents most civilian movement. Rabia crossing was reportedly taken from IS by Peshmerga forces in October, however insecurity prevents cross-border movement (Trust 23/11/2014).
Anbar governorate remains largely inaccessible (OCHA 05/12/2014). Thousands of people are trapped in siege-like conditions in Falluja and Ramadi, and access to Al Qa’im refugee camp remains difficult. The siege on Al Baghdadi, imposed by IS in October, remains in place (Trust 06/12/2014).
Ninewa: Access to Mosul is impossible for humanitarian actors, while conditions have dramatically deteriorated since IS took control, and government rations stopped.
Kirkuk: The ability of humanitarian partners to assess and respond to needs remains limited (OCHA 05/12/2014). IDPs in Laylan camp have to pass through a checkpoint to reach Kirkuk city, and are denied re-entry to the camp if they do not have ID cards (OCHA 28/11/2014; PI, NRC/IRC 13/11/2014).
KR-I: Entry restrictions remain in place for IDPs trying to enter KR-I, especially for IDPs of Arab ethnicity, with exception of some medical and extremely vulnerable cases. The 19 November suicide bombing in Erbil led to further restrictions (OCHA 28/11/2014). The numerous Peshmerga checkpoints at KR-I borders and in disputed neighbouring areas significantly limit freedom of movement.
Security Incidents Affecting Humanitarian Workers
Five NGO workers were arrested and detained, without access to legal aid during the investigation period. The precise circumstances surrounding their arrest are currently unknown (UNHCR 31/10/2014).
2,004,066 IDPs – or 334,011 families – live across 2,003 sites. 130,000 are residing in across nine IDP camps in Baghdad, Wassif, Missan and Diyala governorates (IOM DTM 07/12/2014; CCCM 06/12/2014).
Most IDPs reside in Dahuk (430,000); Anbar (375,000); Erbil (196,000); Kirkuk (183,000); Ninewa (174,000); Baghdad (135,000); Sulaymaniyah (128,000); Diyala (83,000); and Najaf (81,000) governorates (CCCM/ IOM 09/12/2014).
61% of IDPs have left their governorate of origin. However, an increasing number of IDPs are forced to stay within the governorate, due to movement restrictions imposed by neighbouring governorates. (IOM; OCHA 11/2014). Kirkuk continues to receive more IDPs after ongoing clashes in the area, with few humanitarian actors to support (OCHA 05/12/2014).
The overall number and geographical spread of the displaced population pose a major challenge to assistance (IOM 02/12/2014).
Small-scale spontaneous returns have taken place in Zummar and in the Ninewa Plains. There are concerns over individuals returning to areas contaminated by ERW (OCHA 28/11/2014).
Refugees in Iraq
As of 30 November, 235,373 Syrian refugees have been registered in Iraq (UNFPA). KR-I hosts an estimated 97%. Another 4,500 refugees reside in Anbar governorate, around 1,500 of whom in Al Qa’im camp; and around 1,500 are elsewhere in Iraq (UNHCR 11/2014).
In KR-I, around 98,000 refugees are in Dahuk, almost 97,000 in Erbil, and 26,000 in Sulaymaniyah. 130,331 live outside camps. 53,000 reside in Domiz refugee camp; 9,600 in Kawergosk; over 8,500 in Darashakran; almost 5,400 in Qushtapa; 5,200 in Arbat; 3,600 in Basirma; 7,600 in Gawilan; and 1,300 in Akre (UNHCR 30/11/2014). All three KR-I governorates have different policies towards Syrian refugees.
41% of refugees in KR-I are under the age of 18. An estimated 50% of newly arrived Syrian refugees in Gawilan camp are under 18, and 25% of assessed households were headed by single or widowed women (REACH 10/2014).
Syrian refugees from Turkey: Between 10 October and 30 November, almost 22,000 refugees from Kobane, Syria, crossed into Turkey and have since arrived in KR-I. Arrivals per day decreased from around 475 in October to 295 per day in November (UNHCR 30/11/2014). New arrivals are transported to refugee camps in Erbil.
Returnees to Syria: Since the beginning of January over 25,500 Syrian refugees have returned to Syria (UNHCR 23/09/2014).
During the first quarter of 2014, the number of registered, protracted, non-Syrian refugees and asylum seekers was 39,480.
1.7 million people in host communities are affected (OCHA 07/11/2014). Local authorities are overstretched and underresourced.
Iraqi Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
Jordan: The number of Iraqi refugees continues to grow, with about 38,500 registered with UNHCR as of 1 November. About 100–150 new refugees arrive each day (UNHCR 01/11/2014).
Lebanon: Lebanon hosts nearly 7,500 registered Iraqi refugees and a further 1,200 are awaiting registration (USAID 19/09/2014).
Syria: In August, over 150,000 Iraqis fled to Al Hasakah, following the advance of IS in Sinjar, an area in Iraq bordering Syria. While most crossed back into Iraq, WFP reports that almost 3,800 Iraqi refugees remain in Newroz camp (WFP 10/2014).
Turkey: Around 200,000 Iraqi refugees reside in Turkey (ECHO 12/2014). In 2013, the numbers of Iraqis increased significantly, and there has been a further rise since the onset of the IS offensive in mid-June 2014. There has also been an increase in arrivals of Iraqis who previously lived in Syria (UNHCR 12/12/2014).
Yemen: As of September 2014, there are 3,398 Iraqi refugees in Yemen (OCHA 30/11/2014).
About 2.2 million people require urgent food assistance in Anbar, Kirkuk, Diyala, Ninewa and Salah al Din governorates.
Refugees: Most Syrian refugees require food assistance, especially extremely vulnerable individuals in and outside camp settings (WFP/FAO/UNHCR 31/10/2014). Food assistance for refugees is provided solely to those in camps (WFP/SNAP 07/12/2014). There is no clear system for food assistance for non-camp refugees in Dahuk, and scarce resources for refugees in urban settings are increasingly stretched (UNHCR 30/11/2014).
Immediate funds are required to prevent a break in the food pipeline in January 2015. There is a funding gap for farmers and pastoralists, who are in critical need due to a recent escalation in displacement (OCHA 11/2014).
The IS insurgency coincided with the wheat crop harvest; and the disruption of markets and restricted movement of food commodities remain a concern (FAO 11/12/2014; Iraqi Ministry of Agricuture/ Reuters 11/2014). In addition, IS has appropriated more than a quarter of the overall national output – around one million tons – and taken it to Syria.
Many farmers and rural households have fled their fields, and the suspension of government services in these governorates means farmers have not yet received payment for wheat, creating cash flow problems. In Ninewa and Dahuk, farmers are selling livestock at lower prices, either to generate cash or because of their inability to afford fodder and cattle vaccination (FAO 11/2014).
According to FAO, in Ninewa governorate only around 500,000 hectares of the usual 800,000 hectares of land is likely to be sown this winter and planting in Salah al Din is forecast to be down by 30%. Cereal import requirements are expected to increase in 2014/2015 (FAO 11/2014).
The deterioration of the economic situation and the breakdown of state infrastructure in IS-controlled areas is increasing unemployment. IDPs fleeing the violence face difficulties accessing livelihood opportunities.
47% of camp-residing refugees reported no source of income or cash for their household. Refugees who live in remote areas report even lower numbers of households with an income. Only 18% of female members of non-camp households are earning an income (UNHCR 31/10/2014).
Health and Nutrition
Around two million people in inaccessible areas are extremely vulnerable to public health risks (WHO 10/2014).
The Health Cluster estimates that up to 50% of displaced Iraqis will need medical attention this winter, as the lack of winter essentials will negatively impact health status.
Availability of Healthcare
A number of health facilities have been damaged by bombing and shelling. Critical shortages of essential medicines, vaccines and supplies have become an increasing concern in urban health facilities, as supply routes from Baghdad are disrupted, and the embargo on cargo flights has stopped the medical supply chain (WHO 09/2014).
Staff shortages are an additional complication: since June 2014, 2,714 health workers have been displaced from Ninewa, Anbar, Salah al Din and other inaccessible areas to Duhok (2,532) and Sulaymaniyah (182) (WHO 24/11/2014).
Salah al Din: The Iraqi army targeted a medical centre used by IS in Balad in early December (ISW 07/12/2014). Severe shortages of essential medicines and limited access to primary services causes patients from this area to seek services in Mosul, Ninewa, and Hawija, Kirkuk (WHO 24/11/2014).
Mosul: Only two units of the main hospital remain functional after damage was inflicted, staffing levels are down to 30–50%, and severe medicine shortages have been reported. Interruptions in the water supply have resulted in a rise of water-borne diseases (AFP 12/2014). IS reportedly executed ten doctors for refusing to treat wounded IS fighters, while evacuating main hospitals in the city so that they could treat injured IS members only (ISW 01/12/2014).
Ninewa: In November, a hospital was destroyed in Sinjar (WHO 24/11/2014).
Anbar: 180,000 IDPs in Hit district, Anbar governorate, are in need of health assistance, with facilities looted and damaged. Access remains limited (WHO 24/11/2014). In November, a teaching hospital was damaged in Fallujah (WHO 24/11/2014).
KR-I: Health service delivery for refugees is challenged in areas with high concentrations of IDPs, due to shortages of staff, essential medicines and medical consumables (WHO 11/2014). Since mid-June, frequent power cuts are endangering health service provision in refugee camp health centres (UNHCR 2014).
The influx of under-vaccinated Syrian refugees into KR-I increases the health risks and comprises care for those with chronic diseases, disabilities, and mental health problems (WHO 11/2014).
Respiratory tract infections (almost 13,000 cases) and diarrhoea (over 4,000 cases) are the most common ailments in refugee and IDP camps. Compounded by malnutrition, respiratory tract infections and diarrhoea account for two-thirds of deaths among refugee and IDP children under five. Numbers are expected to rise during the winter (WHO 27/11/2014).
An estimated 20% of the non-camp refugee population face key obstacles such as financial costs; shortages of medicines in health facilities mean they have to rely on pharmacies (UNHCR 11/2014).
Since the beginning of October, the number of cases of acute watery diarrhoea among refugee and IDP populations decreased steadily (WHO 27/11/2014).
A hepatitis A outbreak was confirmed in Baharka camp, Erbil, with 16 cases reported among children since 23 October (WHO 11/2014). 31 suspected hepatitis A cases were reported in Dahuk in September and October (WHO 10/11/2014).
450,000 IDPs are women and girls of reproductive age. 72,000 are estimated to be pregnant, 10,000 of whom are expected to face pregnancy-related complications (UNFPA 11/2014). Maternity services are particularly stretched in Erbil hospital (WHO 10/11/2014).
50,271 Syrian refugee women and girls are of reproductive age, including 4,166 who are estimated to be pregnant (UNFPA 30/11/2014).
So far, 1,127 measles cases have been registered in 2014. Cases are distributed in Ninewa, Salah al Din, Kirkuk and Diyala. When compared to 2013, the number of cases decreased by 50% in Ninewa; case numbers increased from 5 to 258 cases in Kirkuk, and from 1 to 178 in Diyala (WHO 11/2014).
Seven cases of malnutrition were reported from Arabat refugee camp, in KR-I, in the first week of November, compared to five reported in the last week of September (WHO 04/11/2014).
Access to safe water is a critical, life-threatening problem in conflict-affected areas, including among populations under the control of armed groups. Power cuts, fuel shortages, disruption to supply routes, and the seizure of municipal water facilities have left communities without safe water.
In KR-I, 31% of over 85,000 IDPs across 880 sites assessed they do not have access to electricity nor water (CCCM 11/2014).
Almost 19,000 refugees in camps lack access to safe drinking water, latrines and bathing facilities. Over 100,000 lack adequate waste disposal, and almost 150,000 are still to receive a hygiene kit (UNHCR/UNICEF 31/10/2014). In Darashakran camp, Erbil, drainage of waste water has been reported. Pipes need repair in Gawilan camp, Ninewa. In Al Qa’im district, Anbar, water pump stations faced difficulties leading to water shortages in the refugee camp (UNHCR 30/11/2014).
In central and southern governorates, lack of access to NFIs and hot water is affecting access to personal hygiene. Security issues are delaying access and provision of hygiene kits in Anbar and Salah al Din governorates (OCHA 11/2014).
Shelter and NFIs
There are 22 IDP camps, most are in Dahuk, Diyala and Erbil; 16 more camps are under construction, mainly in Sulaymaniyah and Ninewa; and there are three informal camps in Dahuk and Diyala. 130,000 people reside in camps in Iraq. Around 103,000 are living in KR-I camps (CCCM Cluster 06/12/2014). Most facilities and services do not meet minimum Sphere standards and other key sectoral indicators (REACH 31/10/2014). IDP camps often face capacity overflow, some require tents to be replaced.
55% of IDPs live with host family or in rented houses (REACH 10/2014).
146 new IDP families in Hay al Naser and Huzairan, Kirkuk, are in need of shelter, key NFIs, and cash assistance (OCHA 28/11/2014).
Of over two million displaced, some 34% – or 700,000 IDPs, mostly in Dahuk and Anbar governorates – are living in makeshift shelter and are not prepared for winter temperatures (IOM 12/12/2014).
Delays in procurement, related to the funding pipeline, have meant a slower distribution of stoves and tent insulation kits, and there is a shortage of kerosene (UNHCR 30/11/2014).
In KR-I, 945,000 IDPs are in dire need of kerosene; around 88,000 IDPs need shelter assistance, and almost 57,000 need winterisation kits still (OCHA 05/12/2014).
Over 800,000 displaced are estimated to be of school age, including Syrian refugee children staying in host communities. Around 252,000 school-aged children reside in KR-I; 87,000 in camps, and 165,000 in non-camp settings.
Less than 10% of education sector needs are funded (OCHA 11/2014). The KR-I government announced that from December, it will be unable to pay 664 refugee teachers’ salaries without central government support; it is unclear if the new budget agreement will offer a solution (UNICEF 31/10/2014).
In Dahuk, displacement has increased the student population by 50% (OCHA 10/2014). The school year started on 1 December, and some schools – previously occupied by IDPs – still require cleaning and minor rehabilitation (OCHA 05/12/2014).
Over 39,000 children cannot go back to learning due to IDPs occupying schools (OCHA 05/12/2014; UNICEF 31/10/2014).
Across Iraq, 660 schools are still occupied by IDPs, plus an estimated 130 schools by military (OCHA 12/2014).
Refugees: 65% of the 57,000 school-aged refugee children in Iraq are out of school. The current rate of enrolment in camps is 55% for primary education and less than 1% for secondary. Outside the camps the enrolment rate is lower, at 22% of the school-age population.
The main barriers are very limited capacity in schools with the Arabic curriculum; high dropout levels in schools with the Kurdish curriculum due to lack of language support; lack of textbooks and other education materials; and lack of teachers (OCHA 11/2014; UNHCR 07/2014).
Erbil had significantly higher rates of households reporting having no child attending school (76%) than Dahuk (45%) and Sulaymaniyah (39%). Access to education has reportedly been. compromised in Erbil by delays in the issuing of residency cards. In Zakho, Dahuk, transportation has been requested due to a shortage of Arabic schools within walking distance (UNHCR 30/11/2014)
Targeted attacks, abductions, forced conscription, human trafficking, and sexual assault against Iraqi civilians, particularly individuals from ethnic and religious minority groups, have all been reported since January (UNAMI 10/2014). Armed actors reportedly also attack civilian infrastructure, such as health facilities and schools (USAID 10/2014).
There are safety and welfare concerns for civilians recently liberated from IS-controlled areas, as they may face retaliation for their perceived support to IS and affiliates.
IDPs and Refugees
Many IDPs have fled without formal identification papers, without which it is often impossible to get residency. A UNHCR/REACH assessment found that a fifth of refugee households across KR-I did not know where to obtain birth, marriage and death certificates or residency cards; the proportion was far higher in Erbil, at 49% (09/2014).
Overcrowding of camps is causing protection concerns for unaccompanied minors, who are leaving camps prematurely (UNHCR 31/10/2014).
4% of refugee households reported having separated minors with them (REACH 20/10/2014). From mid-October to mid-November, 26 unaccompanied and separated children were identified in KR-I (UNICEF 12/11/2014).
IS is reportedly providing military training to schoolchildren in Syria and Iraq. In Mosul, IS has replaced physical education classes in local schools with martial arts classes. IS are using children as young as 13 as fighters (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty 10/2014).
IDP children are at risk of violent attack, suffer from psychosocial distress, and are at increased risk of exploitation, including child labour. There are no special services available for children with disabilities or special needs (ACTED, 08/2014).
ERW and Mines
Iraq is heavily mined, with up to 1,838km2 of contaminated territory and IS is reportedly planting more (Landmine Monitor/ICBL, IRIN 06/11/2014). An estimated 3,000 mines and explosive remnants of war were found in Jurf al Sakhr, 50km south of Baghdad, after IS left (OCHA 31/10/2014). UXO has been found mixed with scrap metal close to Deraboun camp, Dahuk. IDP children collect scrap metal to generate income (OCHA 28/11/2014).
15 December: As of 9 December, 7,797 Ebola cases and 3,290 deaths have been reported in Liberia (WHO).
15 December: The UN Security Council extended the mandate of the UN Mission in Liberia until 30 September 2015 (UNSC).
13 December: The Supreme Court has rescheduled senatorial elections for 20 December after rejecting the petition to halt campaigning over fear of Ebola transmission (international media).
- 3.37 million people are in need of assistance (OCHA, 16/09/2014).
- The total cumulative number of reported cases across the region has reached 18,464, including 6,841 deaths (Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone each reported over 9-13 December) (WHO, 15/12/2014). The numbers of registered cases and deaths are largely inaccurate, underestimating the gravity of the situation on the ground, according to the Government.
- Non-Ebola medical needs cannot be met (OCHA, 16/09/2014), leading to an increase in non-Ebola related child morbidity and mortality (UNICEF, 26/08/2014).
For more information on the Ebola crisis in West Africa, visit the ACAPS Ebola Needs Analysis Project page.
On 16 November, President Sirleaf replaced Health Minister Walter Gwenigale with George Werner (government, 16/11/2014).
Liberia's National Election Commission (NEC) has announced plans to conduct the senatorial elections, postponed from 14 October, on 16 December (international media, 21/10/2014). Official campaign activities began on 20 November, but on 28 November, a Supreme Court issued a Stay Order, instructing the NEC to cease all activities until the final decision on the holding of senatorial elections is made public (international media, 01/12/2014; UNMEER, 08/12/2014). Campaigning is permitted, but public rallies, demonstrations, and gatherings in public areas have been prohibited (international media, 20/11/2014).
On 13 December, the Supreme Court rescheduled senatorial elections to 20 December after rejecting the petition to halt campaigning over fear of Ebola transmission (international media, 15/12/2014). On 7 December, the Supreme Court lifted an Executive Order suspending all electoral campaigning in Montserrado county due to EVD risks (Government, 03/12/2014; UNMEER, 08/12/2014). On 30 September, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare released an order requiring journalists wanting to visit an Ebola healthcare facility first to get written permission from the health ministry. The ministry of information has taken responsibility for the accreditation of journalists (international media, 06/10/2014). The Press Union of Liberia had raised concerns about violations of freedom of information on 4 September (Reporters Sans Frontières, 08/09/2014).
On 15 December, the Security Council extended the mandate of the UN Mission in Liberia until 30 September 2015, in light of the consequences of the Ebola outbreak on national reforms (UNSC, 15/12/2014).
By 12 November, an estimated 2,200 US troops were in Liberia to contribute to the Ebola response (Reuters, 12/11/2014). Cuba has sent 465 health workers to West Africa (international media, 20/10/2014).
On 18 September, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution establishing a special mission to lead the global response to Ebola (UN, 18/09/2014). The outbreak in West Africa has been declared a Grade 3 Emergency under WHO’s Emergency Response Framework (ECHO, 29/07/2014). WHO declared the epidemic a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).
On 10 November, some 600 EVD workers surrounded Liberia's Ministry of Health demanding back payment of salaries and entitlements dating from early September (UNMEER, 13/11/2014).
Several police stations in Monrovia have closed after officers became ill or died of Ebola (AFP, 30/09/2014; UNMEER, 12/11/2014). In the poorest parts of Monrovia, armed attacks and opportunistic crime have increased (DRC, 24/09/2014). In Nimba county, the crime rate has increased significantly and rising inter-ethnic tensions were observed in late August in Ganta (DRC 24/09/2014; UNMEER, 12/11/2014).
The Liberian National Police has allegedly seized belongings from people breaking the curfew. Cases of extortion at Liberian armed forces’ checkpoints at the border between Grand Gedeh and Nimba counties have also been reported. Arbitrary arrests continue to increase (DRC, 24/09/2014).
Resistance to the Ebola Response
Community resistance to health workers and treatment remains high, particularly in Bomi, Grand Cape Mount, Grand Kru, and Gbarpolu counties (UNMEER, 28/11/2014; UNICEF, 03/12/2014). On 23 October, humanitarian personnel were attacked in Boegeezay town in River Cess (government, 24/10/2014). On 15 October, in Cinta township, Marbini county, residents chased an Ebola awareness team from the town (local media, 21/10/2014). There have been frequent spontaneous demonstrations protesting the presence of Ebola treatment units in neighbourhoods and bodies in the street (PI, 05/10/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
The Ebola crisis is having dramatic indirect consequences: 3.37 million people are in need of assistance, almost the entire population of Liberia (OCHA, 16/09/2014).
The humanitarian response is being hampered by road transport problems: a shortage of funds for fuel, poor road conditions have worsened due to heavy rains; and lack of vehicles are complicating the distribution of supplies and transportation of EVD patients (UNMEER, 10/11/2014; UNICEF, 03/12/2014). Gleyansiasu town in Gbarpolu county continue to report food shortages and lack of some basic medical supplies due to the bad condition of the roads (UNMEER, 21/11/2014; UNMEER, 12/12/2014). In Grand Bassa county, canoes have been banned from crossing the Timbo River, cutting residents off from of neighbouring towns (international media, 25/11/2014).
Medical and other relief items are being stored for too long in Monrovia. 63 containers have been in store for over 17 days (UNMEER, 03/11/2014). Monrovia airport can only handle one aircraft at any given time, creating delays (LogCluster, 19/10/2014).
In October–November, about 14% of households indicate having moved home since the Ebola outbreak, with more than half indicating that the person who moved internally went to Monrovia. Only 30% of these 14% left the county (World Bank, 19/11/2014).
Results of the mobile Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping (mVam) indicate that, as of October 2014, all areas of Liberia are affected by food insecurity (WFP, 10/11/2014). Rural areas have been more affected than urban areas (WFP, 27/11/2014). Households using severe coping strategies in Nimba, Bong, Margibi, Lofa, and Montserrado (WFP, 11/2014). If no changes are forthcoming, Mercy Corps has warned that households could face a critical level of food insecurity by April/May 2015 (Mercy Corps, 04/11/2014). Very poor households are expected to face at least Stressed food insecurity level, IPC Phase 2, until September 2015, with the possibility of Crisis food insecurity level, IPC Phase 3, in June 2015 (FEWSNET, 27/11/2014). Since August, about 545,000 people have received food assistance (WFP, 10/12/2014).
Over 70% of households surveyed by the World Bank said they do not have enough money to afford food (World Bank, 19/11/2014). Many households have reduced the number of meals (80%, according to the mVAM), and restricted adult consumption in order to feed children, but still more than 90% worried that their household would not have enough to eat (World Bank, 19/11/2014). People are also purchasing food on credit and borrowing money (Mercy Corps, 04/11/2014; international media, 23/10/2014).
1.7 million people are estimated to be food insecure in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, 200,000 due to the impact of Ebola (WFP, 05/11/2014). 1.9 million people have received food assistance since August 2014 (WFP, 10/12/2014).
Agriculture and Markets
Many weekly markets in border areas remained officially closed. In October, UNMEER reported that around 60% of markets outside Monrovia had closed or scaled down (UNMEER, 13/10/2014). During the week of 17 November, over 40% of surveyed respondents reported that weekly markets operated at reduced levels or were closed, especially in Lofa, Bong, Montserrado, Margibi and Nimba counties (FEWSNET, 09/12/2014).
In October, WFP and World Bank reported that imported rice prices of up to 40% above the October average due to tight restrictions on cross-border trade and currency depreciation. In Monrovia, WFP reported a 30% increase in cassava and imported rice prices (WFP, 17/10/2014, 11/2014; World Bank, 19/10/2014). The population of Margibi county lacks rice and cassava, and is relying on suppliers from outside the county (Food Security Cluster, 13/11/2014).
However, in November, FEWSNET reported that imported rice prices were stable or had risen by less than 10%, as a result of the depreciation of the national currency and increased transport costs (FEWSNET, 27/11/2014; Global Food Monitor, 10/12/2014).The price of local rice had dropped in production areas as new supplies are brought to market (WFP, 27/11/2014). Price of food items between March and June increased by 67% (UNDP, 14/11/2014).
Nationally, rice production in 2014 is estimated to decline by 12% (FAO, 11/12/2014). There has been a substantial return to agriculture since early October, but it is too early yet to estimate the impact on the ongoing harvest (World Bank, 19/11/2014). FAO warns that the 2015 cereal crop could be at risk if the outbreak continues (FAO, 11/12/2014).
Household income had dropped by 35% in Liberia as of October, due to the consequences of the Ebola outbreak (UNDP, 14/11/2014).
The self-employed have been hardest hit. Before the crisis, over 30% of working household heads were self-employed; this has dropped to just above 10%. Only 50% of people working in the wage employment sector are still working, because of business or government office closures (World Bank, 19/11/2014).
Health and Nutrition
Non-Ebola-related child morbidity and mortality has increased, as the national health system is unable to meet either Ebola or non-Ebola medical needs (OCHA, 16/09/2014; UNICEF, 26/08/2014). Only 44% of routine health services are reported to be operational by the Ministry of Health, despite a large number of health facilities being listed as open (Government, 30/11/2014; UNMEER, 12/12/2014). In Bong county, the two largest hospitals have closed, leaving over 330,000 people without healthcare (international media, 12/09/2014).
As of 9 December, 7,797 Ebola cases, including 3,290 deaths, have been reported (WHO, 15/12/2014). The utility of case numbers has been questioned; statistics are reported to be highly unreliable due to a lack of a comprehensive contact tracing, timely case investigation, and rapid Ebola testing (UNICEF, 06/09/2014; international media, 20/11/2014). The CDC estimates that only about 40% of Ebola cases are being reported in Liberia and Sierra Leone (AFP, 28/09/2014).
90% of the recent reported cases have been in the western part of the country (USAID, 10/12/2014). Reported incidence seems to have stabilised over the past five weeks, after declining from mid-September until mid-October. 160 cases were reported between 28 November and 9 December. About half of the cases continue to be reported in Montserrado county. Other areas of transmission this week include Bong, Bomi, Grand Bassa, Grand Cape Mount, Margibi and Sinoe. Lofa, however, has experienced a consistent decline in new weekly cases, with no new reported cases for a fifth consecutive week (WHO, 03/12/2014; 10/12/2014). All districts in Liberia have reported at least one case of EVD since the start of the outbreak.
Concerns have been raised by humanitarian actors over violent EVD outbreaks in remote communities in the area between Bong and Gbarpolu counties during the first half of November. Reaching these locations requires a 3–4 hour trek through the deep forest area and canoeing a river. Residents might leave the area, contributing to the spread of the epidemic (UNMEER, 13/11/2014).
Healthcare provision: Hospitals still cannot separate Ebola patients from others and there are shortages of ambulances, vehicles for case investigations, and thermometers (international media, 20/11/2014). As of 10 October, almost 80,000 body bags are required to meet needs, and 990,000 personal protective equipment kits, and 590,000 pairs of gloves are urgently needed (Government, 10/10/2014). Laboratory capacity still needs strengthening. There is shortage of mouth swabs for the collection of samples from dead bodies in Grand Cape Mount (Government, 03/12/2014).
Containment measures: On 13 November, the Liberian President lifted the state of emergency, declared on 6 August, and reduced the curfew (Government, 13/11/2014). In Grand Kru county, the Parluken community is under quarantine (WFP, 26/09/2014). On 11 August, Lofa county became the fourth county in quarantine after Bomi, Grand Cape Mount, and Gbarpolu (international media, 11/08/2014).
On 3 October, Parliament criminalised the deliberate concealment of information about people with contagious diseases such as Ebola and HIV. A similar law was passed in Sierra Leone (UN, 04/10/2014).
On 23 October, the President announced strict checks on Liberia's borders with neighbouring Guinea and Sierra Leone (AFP, 23/10/2014). Liberia closed its borders on 29 July, with the exception of major entry points and the airport (ECHO, 29/07/2014). On 1 August, West African Ebola-hit nations agreed at an emergency summit to impose a cross-border isolation zone at the epicentre of the outbreak (AFP).
Regional Ebola outbreak
The total cumulative number of reported cases across the region has reached 18,464, including 6,841 deaths (Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone each reported over 9–13 December) (WHO, 15/12/2014). Eight cases, including six facilities, have been reported in Mali (Government, 10/12/2014). The outbreak in Senegal is officially over, with no new case reported for 21 days (WHO, 17/10/2014). Nigeria is free of EVD transmission as no new case has been reported for 42 days (WHO, 20/10/2014). Four cases in the USA and one case in Spain have been confirmed (WHO, 31/10/2014).
80% of people living with HIV in the three most Ebola-affected countries have not been able to access treatment (UNDP, 14/11/2014). Before the Ebola outbreak, more than 70% of the 30,000 HIV patients in Liberia had access to treatment, but more than 60% of the facilities distributing antiretroviral medicines have since closed, according to the National AIDS Control Program (IRIN, 21/11/2014).
Women in the three most-affected countries are no longer giving birth in health facilities (UNMEER, 03/11/2014). In addition, Ebola-infected pregnant women are often not permitted in the Ebola treatment centres because of the high risk of contamination during delivery, likely resulting in a higher maternal death rate in the three most affected countries (UNFPA, international media 29/10/2014).
Between January and June, 2,300 children suffering from acute malnutrition have been admitted to treatment centres (ACF, 27/11/2014). According to the severity of the Ebola crisis, between 1.33 and 1.49 million people will be exposed to undernourishment (ACF, 31/10/2014).
Half of the population have no access to toilets (UNMEER, 20/11/2014). Two million people are in need of WASH, being directly or indirectly affected by the EVD epidemic (UNMEER, 12/12/2014).
Traditional coping mechanisms and social bonds are breaking down, as community members fear each other. People who exhibit symptoms of Ebola or are related to sick people are being rejected from communities (CARE, 30/09/2014). Families of victims and survivors are experiencing physical and verbal abuse and lack access to health facilities, food and water sources (DRC, 24/09/2014; UNMEER, 30/11/2014).
Liberia’s Institute of Statistics estimates that over two million children are affected by the consequences of the Ebola outbreak in Liberia, about 600,000 of whom are under five (UNICEF, 19/11/2014). At least 7,000 children in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone have lost one or both parents to Ebola, and many are being rejected by their relatives (UNICEF, 10/11/2014). Social workers have raised fears of child trafficking and exploitation, after some children, who have been placed into foster care and are receiving material support or onetime cash grants, have been claimed by strangers who failed to come forward previously (UNICEF, 10/12/2014).
According to Amnesty International, homosexuals have been harassed and physically attacked by people blaming them for Ebola, after religious leaders said Ebola was a punishment from God for homosexuality (Reuters, 23/10/2014).
Reports show that people quarantined for EVD monitoring often lack of food and have sometimes been denied access to wells (UNMEER, 24/10/2014; 30/11/2014).
Nigeria Country Analysis
15 December: Between January and November, media sources reported 7,559 deaths due to Boko Haram-related violence; over half of all BH-related deaths in the country since May 2011 (Council on Foreign Relations, 15/12/2014).
11 December: A double suicide attack in Jos, Plateau state, killed at least 40 people near the site of a similar attack that killed 118 in May. The attack was claimed by Boko Haram (BH) (AFP, Reuters).
10 December: 11 people were killed in a suspected Boko Haram raid on Gajiganna (AFP, 11/12/2014).
- The Boko Haram insurgency killed at least 7,000 people between July 2013 and June 2014 (VOA, 08/10/2014).
- 9 million people are affected by violence in the northeast, with three million acutely needing humanitarian assistance (OCHA, 10/2014).
- There are 1.5 million IDPs in the northeast (IRIN, 28/11/2014).
- 4.8 million people are food insecure (OCHA, 30/09/2014). Crisis levels of food insecurity are expected in the state of emergency (SoE) states (UNICEF, 06/2014).
- 628,000 children under five suffer from severe acute malnutrition (OCHA, 30/09/2014).
- Nearly half the population does not have access to safe water (UNICEF).
- 35,732 cholera cases and 750 deaths have been reported so far in 2014: lack of WASH and the consequences of violence in the northeast are increasing concern about the outbreak (UNICEF, 26/11/2014).
Up to 9 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance across the country, three million are in acute need in the northeast. Displaced and people otherwise affected by violence in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe, and neighbouring Bauchi, Taraba, and Gombe states are in urgent need of health services, protection, food, and water. The violence has displaced a large number of people, restricted movement, disrupted food supply, seriously hindered access to basic services, and limited agricultural activities.
A state of emergency was declared in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe states in May 2013. Economic decline, growing inequality, and failure to contain Boko Haram have all contributed to growing public distrust in the Government.
On 17 November, the Nigerian Government announced it will seek to extend the state of emergency for six more months, meaning the extraordinary measures will likely be in force for February polls (AFP, 17/11/2014). The state of emergency is feared to have strengthened the recruitment base of Boko Haram.
The 2015 election is expected to exacerbate violence in Nigeria (OCHA, 08/2014). On 30 October, President Goodluck Jonathan formally announced his re-election bid (AFP, 30/10/2014). According to the opposition, President Jonathan’s re-election would violate the unwritten rule that governance should rotate between the Muslim north and the Christian south every two terms.
On 10 December, the main opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) chose former president and military ruler Muhammadu Buhari as its presidential candidate (AFP, 11/12/2014).
The frequency and fatality of attacks are at their highest levels since the state of emergency (SoE) was imposed in 2013. At least 2,053 civilians were killed by Boko Haram in the first half of 2014 (Human Rights Watch). More than 7,000 people were killed in the 12 months between July 2013 and June 2014 (VoA, 07/10/2014).
The insurgent group dubbed by outsiders as Boko Haram (Western education is forbidden) was founded in Maiduguri, Borno state, and has been leading an insurgency to create an Islamic state in the predominantly Muslim regions of northeastern Nigeria. The Nigerian authorities have been fighting BH since 2009, with the insurgents using increasingly aggressive tactics.
Over January–November 2014, 7,559 deaths due to Boko Haram-related violence were reported by media sources, representing over half BH-related deaths in the country since May 2011 (Council on Foreign Relations, 15/12/2014).
Boko Haram has taken nearly 20 communities in Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa states (OCHA, 19/11/2014). Tactics have changed since August, from attacking villages and withdrawing, to seizing control. As of the first week of September, Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, was reportedly surrounded by insurgents (OCHA, 09/2014). Experts were warning that Borno state was on the brink of a takeover. A series of kidnappings, primarily of women and girls, took place in Borno state in October. Common targets remain rural communities, markets, schools, and highways.
In September, BH was advancing in Adamawa state, causing significant displacement. In October, however, media reports indicated that the military had recaptured a number of towns that had been under BH control since July (OCHA, 08/10/2014; AFP, 08/09/2014).
Counter-insurgency operations are ongoing, Nigerian soldiers have reportedly at times refused to deploy because of inadequate equipment, or fled from operations (AFP, 22/08/2014). The military has also used excessive force, resulting in large-scale destruction in civilian areas. Amnesty International has reported mass extrajudicial executions (Washington Post, 05/08/2014). Civilians have formed vigilante groups or self-defence militias, reportedly with the tacit backing of the Nigerian Government.
Borno state: Over January-November 2014, 7,559 deaths due to Boko Haram-related violence were reported by media sources. This represents over half of all such deaths in the country since May 2011 (Council on Foreign Relations, 15/12/2014).
On 10 December, 11 people were killed in a suspected Boko Haram raid on Gajiganna (AFP, 11/12/2014). On 1 December, two suicide bomb attacks killed at least ten people and wounded dozens in Maiduguri (international media, 01/12/2014). In November, several BH suicide bombings and insurgent attacks have killed at least 188 people in the state and resulted in 10,000 people fleeing to Niger.
On 16 November, the Nigerian army announced it had recaptured the town of Chibok, in a joint operation with local vigilantes. Boko Haram had seized Chibok on 13 November (AFP, 16/11/2014).
On 9 November, Boko Haram seized the city of Malam Fatori. Reports indicate that thousands fled (OCHA, 14/11/2014).
Yobe state: Over January–November 2014, 409 BH-related deaths were reported by media sources (CFR, 15/12/2014).
On 4 December, suspected BH raided Bajoga and Ashaka towns (AFP, 04/12/2014). On 1 December, BH insurgents attacked the city of Damaturu, leaving more than 150 people dead (international media, 01/12/2014; 03/12/2014). In November, two suicide attacks in Potiskum resulted in 61 dead and 130 injured (OCHA, 14/11/2014; AFP, 06/11/2014).
On 6 November, 16 men suspected of BH membership and arrested by the military were discovered shot dead hours later. On 30 October civilian groups and troops ambushed BH. Reportedly, fighters killed and then decapitated 41 BH (AFP, 06/11/2014).
BH fighters have reportedly taken control of three towns in Gujba local government area (Sahara Reporters, 10/08/2014).
Adamawa state: Over January–November 2014, 1,617 deaths due to BH-related violence were reported by media sources (CFR, 15/12/2014).
On 27 November, a roadside bomb exploded in a bus station at the Marabo-Mubi junction, killing 40 people, including five soldiers (Reuters, 27/11/2014). Boko Haram took the city of Mubi on 30 October, but was ousted on 14 November. BH then overran the neighbouring towns of Gombe and Hong. The move towards Yola raised concerns about safety in the city, where thousands of people have taken refuge (AFP, 13/11/2014: 14/11/2014).
Kano state: On 10 December, suicide attacks at a market in Kano city killed at least four people. A 13-year-old girl was apprehended carrying explosives (AFP, 10/12/2014; 11/12/2014). On 28 November, at least 120 people were killed and 270 other wounded by two suicide bombers and gunmen at the Grand Mosque (AFP, 28/11/2014). Attacks on Kano began again in May, after a lull of several months, and have become more frequent.
Niger state: On 12 November, a female suicide bomber injured four people at a teachers' college in Kontagora. Niger state had not been touched by the insurgency in more than two years and Kontagora is roughly 2,000km from Boko Haram's northeastern stronghold (AFP, 13/11/2014).
Plateau state: Over January–November 2014, 442 deaths due to BH-related violence were reported by media sources (CFR, 15/12/2014). A double suicide attack in Jos killed at least 40 people near the site where a similar attack in May killed 118 people. The attack was claimed by Boko Haram (Reuters, 11/12/2014; AFP 12/12/2014). On 14 October, 27 residents died and more than 3,000 were displaced by an attack by gunmen, suspected to be Boko Haram, on Bachi district (local media, 14/10/2014).
The Middle Belt area is home to a number of minority groups, divided between the Islamic north and the more secular Christian/animist south. Inter-communal clashes fuelled by ethnic and religious tensions flare on a nearly weekly basis throughout the Middle Belt (IDMC, 12/2014). Disputes are often over land and water. On 15 April, Human Rights Watch said inter-communal violence had escalated across Benue, Kaduna, Plateau, Nasarawa, and Taraba states since December 2013, killing more than 1,000 people.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
According to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), nine million people in the northeast have been affected by the conflict in the region, with three million people in acute need of humanitarian assistance (OCHA, 08/10/2014).
Attacks on health facilities, water points, schools and farms have severely affected local communities, particularly in Borno and Yobe (OCHA, 31/08/2014 and UNICEF, 18/06/2014). Populations are in urgent need of protection, food, and basic medical and WASH services as very few international actors are operating in the northeast (OCHA, 31/08/2014 and 01/07/2014).
Updated information on the humanitarian situation in the northeast is minimal because of access constraints. Humanitarian access is impeded by insecurity, poor infrastructure, and limited openings for dialogue with both security forces and non-state actors (OCHA, 05/2014).
In Borno state, most routes to affected areas are inaccessible. The state of emergency restricts movement and assembly in parts of Borno state, and Maiduguri airport is closed to commercial flights. Only one route to Maiduguri is possible, which is subject to insurgent attack (OCHA, 09/2014).
BH insurgents are suspected of blowing up a major bridge in Gamboru Ngala district, Borno state, disrupting transport links with Cameroon (BBC, 27/07/2014).
There are up to 1.5 million IDPs since May 2013 in the six northeast states, according to the Nigerian National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), a significant increase on the 646,700 IDPs reported from an inter-agency assessment in May (OCHA, 24/09/2014; IRIN, 28/11/2014). As of 24 November, about 400,000 IDPs were registered in Borno, 160,000 in Adamawa and 116,500 in Yobe states (OCHA, 26/11/2014). As of July, at least 268,200 were displaced in surrounding states including Taraba (108,500), Bauchi (88,570), Benue (37,000), Kaduna (15,000), Gombe (13,000), and Nasarawa (6,340) (OCHA, 01/07/2014).
Most IDP households are headed by women who have been widowed during attacks. Over 90% of IDPs reside with host families in about 200 communities; others have taken shelter in public buildings such as schools (OCHA, 06/2014; UNHCR, 31/10/2014). About 400,000 IDPs are in or near Yola, according to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), adding pressure to the city's resources. Approximately 15,000 IDPs are in camps (IRIN, 12/12/2014). There are 18 camps in Borno, Taraba, Gombe, and Lagos states.
The burden is overstretching already scarce resources and aggravating poverty levels, including food security (UNHCR and OCHA, 01/07/2014). IDPs in host communities are in urgent need of shelter and non-food items. Food, health, protection, and WASH are all priority needs in host communities (OCHA, 02/10/2014).
More than two million slum-dwellers and other marginalised people have been forcibly evicted from their homes in urban centres (IDMC, 12/2014).
Nigeria hosts some 2,557 refugees and asylum seekers of mixed nationalities, mainly from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cameroon and Côte d’Ivoire (UNHCR, 31/10/2014).
Nigerian Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
UNHCR reported that at least 150,000 refugees have fled to Cameroon, Niger, or Chad (IRIN, 28/11/2014). Temporary refugee status has been granted to those Nigerians fleeing the three states under an SoE. UNHCR has advised against forced returns to northern areas.
Niger: 10,000 Nigerians fled to Niger following the BH attack on Damassak, Borno state, on 24 November (OCHA, 27/11/2014). Some 105,000 Nigerian refugees and returning migrants are estimated to be in Niger. During September, 25,000 Nigerians entered Niger (OCHA, 14/10/2014). Concentrated in the Diffa region, most refugees are staying with local communities, and food and water resources are limited (UNHCR, 15/06/2014). In October, thousands of people fled to the Nigerien village of Bosso after being asked to provide men to join BH (UNHCR, 17/10/2014). Another 1,000 people arrived in the Bosso area, following fighting in the garrison town of Malam Fatori (UNHCR, 11/11/2014).
Cameroon: 44,000 Nigerians have fled to northern Cameroon so far in 2014, including 26,750 refugees registered by UNHCR (IRIN, 17/09/2014; UNHCR, 17/10/2014). 18,000 Nigerian refugees are in Minawao camp (FAO, 05/11/2014). Dozens are arriving every day. About 70% of new arrivals are women and children who need immediate assistance. Inhabitants of Minawao camp describe the conditions at the camp as dire (AFP, 15/11/2014). Aid and infrastructure projects in the Far North region have been suspended due to high insecurity (AlertNet, 08/07/2014). Border insecurity hinders relocation of refugees from Mindawao camp to safer areas (UNHCR, 31/10/2014).
Chad: As of 17 October, 1,500 Nigerian refugees have been registered in Chad (UNHCR, 17/10/2014). On 8 August, UNHCR reported that over 1,120 people fleeing Kolikolia, Borno state, sought refuge on the uninhabited Chadian island of Choua on Lake Chad. The refugees have been relocated to Ngouboua, some 30km from the border, where Nigerian refugees and Chadian returnees already live with host communities (OCHA, 09/2014).
4.8 million people are food insecure across 11 states in northern Nigeria (OCHA, 30/09/2014; IRIN, 28/11/2014). Access to households whose livelihoods and markets are significantly impacted by the conflict remains limited for the Government and humanitarian organisations (FEWSNET, 09/2014). Food access and cross-border markets in border communities have been further impacted by insecurity, particularly the destruction of bridges to neighbouring Cameroon (OCHA, 06/2014). The 2013/14 agricultural season has been severely impeded.
Seasonal rainfall deficits in northeastern Nigeria make prospects for agricultural production unfavourable (WFP, 23/10/2014). According to forecasts, crisis levels of food insecurity are expected to persist between March and September 2015 (FEWSNET, 11/2014).
Humanitarian partners have reported that food prices are increasing due to insecurity, reducing the coping mechanisms of IDPs living in host communities (OCHA, 02/10/2014).
Health and Nutrition
3,000 health facilities in the northeast are closed or have been partially destroyed (OCHA, 08/10/2014). Healthcare services have collapsed in the northern part of Borno state as health workers have fled (OCHA, 19/08/2014). As of March, a multi-sector assessment covering the three SoE states indicated that only 37% of health facilities are functioning, leaving residents to seek medical attention across the border. Mortality rates are increasing and vaccination programmes are severely hit. Polio vaccination campaigns are now limited to the Maiduguri metropolis.
Most IDPs in host communities have limited access to health services due to various constraints such as lack of information on services and transportation costs (OCHA, 02/10/2014).
As of late November, 35,732 cholera cases, including 750 deaths (2.1% case fatality rate) have been reported since the beginning of the year (UNICEF, 10/12/2014). Only 1,221 cases were reported within the same period in 2013 (UNICEF, 10/2014). By mid-June, 23,324 cases had been reported, including 301 deaths (CFR 1.3%) from 109 LGAs in 18 states (WHO, 14/06/2014). As of late June, Bauchi, Kaduna, Kano, and Zamfara states accounted for about 92% of reported cases.
However, between 20 September and 30 October, there had been 4,536 cases, including 70 deaths, in Maiduguri, Borno. The highest number of cases was reported 5–11 October, when around 1,500 were reported. The number of severe cases was still increasing (PI, 30/10/2014). The lack of WASH infrastructure, the impact of conflict, and the lack of reliable epidemiological data from the SoE states, all give rise to serious concerns about the evolution of the outbreak (UNICEF, 20/10/2014).
By 20 October, WHO declared Nigeria free of Ebola transmission; the epidemic has been successfully contained (WHO, 20/10/2014). 19 cases were confirmed, with seven deaths, in Lagos and Port Harcourt (case fatality rate: 40%) (UNICEF, 24/09/2014).
A February–May SMART survey revealed poorer nutritional status among the population of the SoE states (UNICEF, 06/2014). This is the second year of food consumption gaps, and the closure of several health facilities has limited access to essential health and nutrition services, so it is possible that the prevalence of acute malnutrition could increase over the coming months (FEWSNET, 08/08/2014).
As of September, 628,000 children under five suffer from severe acute malnutrition (OCHA, 30/09/2014). Severe acute malnutrition is responsible for more than a third of all child deaths in Nigeria; 350,000 children die from malnutrition every year (ECHO, 08/2014).
In 2014, 20 cases of vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) have been reported. Six cases of wild poliovirus type 1 have been reported. The most recent WPV case was reported on 24 July in Sumaila local government area, southern Kano. Kano is the only state to have reported cases of WPV since April (Global Polio Eradication Initiative, 24/09/2014).
In 2013, 53 cases were reported, and in 2012, 102 (GPEI, UNICEF). 72% of cases in 2013 were recorded in Borno, Yobe, and Kano states.
WASH conditions in IDP host communities are of critical concern, with reports of inadequate latrines and lack of access to safe water. The need for hygiene promotion activities and provision of hygiene kits is critical (OCHA, 02/10/2014).
According to reports from UNICEF, nearly half the Nigerian population does not have access to safe water, and a third does not have access to sanitation services.
10.5 million children are out of school in Nigeria, 60% in the northern part of the country (UNICEF cited by OCHA, 07/2014). One in every three primary school children and one in every four secondary school children are out of school in the northeast.
In March 2014, all state-funded education facilities were closed in Borno state (UNICEF, 23/06/2014). 500 educational institutions in the northeast have been destroyed by the insurgency (OCHA, 08/10/2014). Borno state authorities announced that 176 teachers have been killed by Boko Haram in Borno state since 2011 (UNICEF cited by OCHA, 07/2014).
Maintaining the civilian nature of places of asylum or displacement is of concern.
There is an urgent need for emergency protection, including for unaccompanied and separated children (OCHA, 06/2014).
Abduction, Torture and Forced Recruitment
In a report in September, Amnesty International said Nigeria’s police and military routinely torture women, men, and children, using a wide range of methods including beatings, shootings and rape (BBC, 18/09/2014).
Kidnappings of groups of women and girls by BH continue, and more than 200 schoolgirls are still being held captive (OCHA, 01/07/2014). Young men are being forcibly recruited (ECHO, 20/09/2014). The increase in the number of abductions since mid-2013 appears to mark a change of strategy by Boko Haram. Human Rights Watch estimates that Boko Haram has abducted at least 500 women and girls since 2009 from more than a dozen towns and villages in Borno and Yobe states. Women and girls have reported abuses such as forced labour, including forced participation in military operations; forced marriage to their captors; and sexual abuse including rape. While some women and girls seem to have been taken at random, the majority appeared to have been targeted – notably students and Christians.
Occupied Palestinian Territories Country Analysis
15 December: A Palestinian was killed during a military operation in Qalandiya refugee camp near Ramallah. Troops reportedly entered the camp to make an arrest, triggering clashes with residents (AFP, 16/12/2014).
10 December: Palestinian cabinet minister Ziad Abu Ain died after a confrontation with Israeli troops (VoA).
Early December: The Ministry of Health in Gaza had to suspend a range of medical services in 13 hospitals and 56 primary care health centres as cleaning companies halted services due to lack of payment (UNRWA).
- 1.81 million people need humanitarian assistance, over 50% are children (OCHA, 09/2014).
- 1.6 million people, or 61% of the population, estimated food insecure (OCHA, 30/04/2014).
- 1.5 million people in the Gaza Strip have no or extremely restricted access to water (OCHA, 03/08/2014).
- Continuity of medical care is threatened by the financial crisis and electricity shortages in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip (OCHA).
- The ongoing blockade of the Gaza Strip limits access and movement of both people and goods.
The 50-day war with Israel has caused high civilian casualties in Gaza and large-scale destruction affecting all humanitarian sectors. Movement and access restrictions are aggravating the situation. The number of attacks on Palestinians by Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank has increased every year for the past eight years; attacks by Israeli security forces have also increased.
On 9 October, the reconciliation Government, made up of members of both Hamas and Fatah, convened its first cabinet session (UNICEF, 09/10/2014). The Government was sworn in before President Abbas in June, ending seven years of division (AFP, UN, 02/06/2014). No formal announcement regarding the passing of its six-month mandate has been made by the Government, although several media reports claim that an extension is expected (UNRWA, 14/12/2014).
There is an increase in protests demanding UNRWA accelerate its reconstruction efforts. On 13 November, in a rally in Rafah, staged by the Hamas movement and attended by some 20,000 people, senior officials blamed UNRWA and the National Consensus Government for the alleged slow pace of assessment and reconstruction. Hundreds of families continue to demonstrate in front of UNRWA headquarters against the delayed reconstruction of their homes (UNRWA, 20/11/2014; OCHA, 03/12/2014).
Israeli–Palestinian Peace Talks
Israel withdrew from the US-sponsored peace talks on 25 April, after the deal between Hamas and Fatah. Talks had begun in July 2013, following three years of deadlock. On 26 October, Palestinian negotiators announced that talks on a stable Gaza ceasefire were to resume after mid-November, instead of on 27 October as planned (AFP, 28/10/2014; 20/10/2014).
Israel has announced a series of measures affecting occupied territory since August, beginning with the appropriation of some 400 hectares in the occupied West Bank, which an anti-settlement group termed the biggest in 30 years (Reuters, 31/08/2014). This was followed by approval for almost 4,000 new housing units in the West Bank and East Jerusalem (AFP, 05/09/2014; AFP, 01/10/2014; AFP, 27/10/2014). Israel’s measures have drawn international condemnation.
A Palestinian was killed and another two injured in three separate incidents over 18–24 November in the Access Restricted Area (ARA), although the boundaries of the ARA have not yet been defined by Israeli authorities, increasing the risks to civilians (OCHA, 24/11/2014). Incidents involving Israeli forces opening fire into the ARA on land and sea have continued on a daily basis, with 20 such incidents reported over 2–8 December, including two resulting in injuries (OCHA, 08/12/2014).
Israeli troops shot dead a Palestinian farmer near the border in northern Gaza on 23 November, in the first deadly shooting since the truce (AFP, 23/11/2014). On 31 October, a rocket was fired from Gaza and hit southern Israel, the Israeli army said, There were no reports of casualties or damage. It was the first rocket to hit Israel since 16 September (AFP, 31/10/2014).
Operation Protective Edge
Israel launched Operation Protective Edge on 8 July, striking Gaza with intensive aerial bombing, aimed at ending cross-border rocket fire. A permanent ceasefire was agreed on 26 August between Hamas and the Israeli Government (AFP). At least 2,254 people were reported killed, including 538 children (UNICEF, 20/11/2014). As of 4 September, 1,473 victims were considered to be civilians (OCHA, 04/09/2014). 11,231 people have been injured (OCHA, 29/08/2014). On the Israeli side, 66 soldiers, and five civilians, including one child, were killed (OCHA, 29/08/2014). Over 485,000 people were displaced, almost a third of the population of the Gaza Strip.
The number of violent incidents in and around Gaza had already been rising before the event of July and August. Israeli raids, Palestinian rocket attacks, and border incidents had all built up tensions.
West Bank and East Jerusalem
As of 8 December, 47 people have been killed and 5,610 injured by Israeli forces in 2014 (OCHA). On 15 December, a Palestinian was killed during a military operation in Qalandiya refugee camp near Ramallah. According to sources, troops entered the camp to make an arrest, triggering clashes with residents (AFP, 16/12/2014).
On 10 December, Palestinian cabinet minister Ziad Abu Ain died after a confrontation with Israeli troops. Palestinian doctors said Thursday that an autopsy showed he died from being struck, inhaling tear gas, and a lack of medical attention. Israeli officials said a heart attack caused his death (Voice of America, 12/12/2014).
On 3 December, Israeli forces injured 85 Palestinians in clashes at the Shu’fat checkpoint, after Israeli authorities demolished a structure in that area (OCHA, 08/12/2014).
On 18 November, two armed Palestinians attacked worshippers at a synagogue on the western outskirts of Jerusalem. Four rabbis and a policeman were killed and eight others injured (AFP, 19/11/2014; Amnesty, 18/11/2014). In line with a policy decided in early November, Prime Minister Netanyahu announced that the houses of the synagogue attackers would be demolished (AFP, 19/11/2014).
Violent incidents regularly occur in the context of search operations and protests at restricted access for Muslims to the Al Aqsa mosque compound, as well as settler-related violence. On 14 November, Israel lifted restrictions on Muslims praying at the mosque after US Secretary of State John Kerry announced an agreement on steps to reduce tensions (AFP, 14/11/2014). The number of Palestinians injured by Israeli forces has declined for three weeks due to eased access restrictions to Al Aqsa mosque (OCHA, 08/12/2014). Over 4–10 November, 382 Palestinians were injured, the largest number recorded in a single week since early August (OCHA, 10/11/2014). The Israeli security forces have frequently been reported to use live ammunition.
In 2014, 313 incidents of settler-related violence have resulted in Palestinian casualties or property damage in the West Bank, and 220 incidents resulted in Israeli casualties or property damage. The demolition of 469 structures has displaced 959 people this year, compared to 565 demolished structures during the same time period in 2013 (OCHA, 08/12/2014). The number of attacks on Palestinians by Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank has increased every year for the past eight years, from 115 in 2006 to 399 in 2013 (OCHA).
On 29 November the Bilingual Arab-Jewish School in West Jerusalem was set on fire (OCHA, 03/12/2014). On 12 November, Israeli settlers set fire to a mosque near Shilo settlement and Ramallah (AFP, 12/11/2014).
Over 2–8 December, 13 Palestinian attacks on Israeli settlers were reported; four resulted in injury to Israelis and nine in damage to property (OCHA, 08/12/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Donors have pledged over USD 5.4 billion, half of which will go towards rebuilding Gaza (Reuters, 12/10/2014; 14/10/2014). The Palestinian Authority estimates it will cost USD 7.8 billion to reconstruct bombed areas (ACT Alliance, 10/10/2014).
Since the UN reconstruction mechanism agreement with Israel and Palestinian authorities on 16 September, there has been an increase in cement and aggregate material brought in to the Gaza Strip (Logistics Cluster, 26/09/2014). However, the entry of construction materials for the Qatari projects through Rafah Crossing with Egypt has been blocked since July (OCHA, 29/09/2014).
Border crossings continue to be highly restricted and border closures in response to security incidents frequently occur. The Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza has been closed since 24 October, with the exception of partial opening for travel into Gaza on four days, allowing some 3,242 of an estimated 6,000 stranded in Egypt to cross (OCHA, 08/12/2014). Around 30,000 people are waiting to exit Gaza via Rafah, including 10,000 registered with the Border and Crossings Authority (OCHA, 24/11/2014).
Egypt had imposed a three-month state of emergency in parts of northern Sinai and closed the Rafah crossing into Gaza in late October, after a bombing killed at least 30 Egyptian soldiers (AFP, 29/10/2014).
Critical infrastructure was targeted directly during Operation Protective Edge, and the energy and fuel crisis continues to adversely impact the routine provision of basic services in Gaza (OCHA, 10/11/2014). Despite efforts to repair the Gaza power plant, operations halted on 11 November (OCHA, 11/11/2014).
Security Incidents Involving Aid Workers
Nine UNRWA staff members have been killed since 20 July (UNRWA, 03/08/2014).
Over 25 November – 3 December, heavy rains and severe flooding exacerbated the poor humanitarian situation. Rainwater blocked roads, and forced around 50 families to evacuate their homes in Gaza City (OCHA, 03/12/2014). UNRWA declared an Emergency in Gaza City 27–30 November (UNRWA, 02/12/2014, UNICEF, 04/12/2014).
As of 30 November, more than 100,000 people remain displaced due to the recent conflict (OCHA, 30/11/2014). 19,569 IDPs are residing in collective shelters (UNICEF, 04/12/2014), and in October an estimated 47,000 people were living with host families (NRC, 11/10/2014). Alternative accommodation has not been arranged before the start of winter, and the living conditions of the IDPs continues to deteriorate, with many in need of additional humanitarian assistance (OCHA, 13/10/2014).
No organisation or mechanism systematically monitors the number of IDPs in oPt (IDMC, 23/09/2014).
72% of the population of Gaza are food insecure (OCHA, 12/09/2104). In August, 1.15 million people were reached by regular food assistance (Food Security Cluster, 15/08/2014). Prior to the current crisis, food insecurity in Gaza stood at 57%, unchanged from 2012, while in the West Bank food insecurity remained at 19% (UNRWA, FAO, WFP, Government, 12/08/2014).
Electricity shortages have impacted bread production and refrigeration. Delays at crossings are complicating food delivery. Destruction of tunnels bringing inexpensive goods has also impacted access to food and supplies.
Vegetable prices increased by 139% between June and August although staple food prices have remained stable due to the distribution of humanitarian supplies (WFP, 14/10/2014).
Some 85% of Israel’s separation barrier runs inside the West Bank, rather than along the internationally recognised Green Line, cutting off Palestinians from 30% of their land (AFP, 29/10/2014). Around 7,500 olive trees belonging to Palestinian farmers have been uprooted so far this year.
So far in 2014, only 88 truckloads of selected agricultural produce have been allowed to leave Gaza, the vast majority for international markets, compared to 5,007 truckloads of a wider range of goods delivered to international markets and to the West Bank in the first half of 2007, before the blockade (UNRWA, 20/11/2014).
The majority of the Gaza population lost its productive assets in the July–August conflict. The livelihoods of 28,600 households, including farmers, breeders, herders and fishers have been severely affected or totally (Food Security Cluster, 28/08/2014). Losses to the farming sector are estimated at USD 450 million (Ministry of Agriculture cited by OCHA, 18/08/2014). Up to 720 fishers have lost their livelihoods (Food Security Cluster, 28/08/2014). According to the Palestinian Federation of Industries, 419 businesses and workshops were damaged, including 128 completely destroyed (OCHA, 04/09/2014).
A quarter of the Palestinian workforce remains unemployed – 16% in the West Bank and 45% in Gaza (World Bank, 10/09/2014).
Health and Nutrition
Longstanding shortages of electricity, equipment and drug supplies persist. As of 3 September, three out of 32 hospitals remain closed since the July–August conflict, and another three have limited operational capacity. 24 out of 97 primary health centres remain closed (OCHA, 04/09/2014). Fifty primary health centres and 17 hospitals reported damage to their infrastructure during the conflict; one hospital and seven clinics were totally destroyed (OCHA, 04/09/2014WHO, 05/09/2014).
The health system was already overstretched before the conflict (WHO, 30/09/2014). In the West Bank, stocks of 150 (of 525) essential medicines were at zero in May; the main government pharmacy in the Gaza Strip reported stocks of 118 (of 481) essential medicines were at zero (OCHA, 31/05/2014).
In December, the Ministry of Health in Gaza had to suspend a range of medical services in 13 hospitals and 56 primary health centres, as cleaning companies halted services due to lack of payment since June. This has also significantly increased the risk of spread of diseases in medical facilities (UNRWA, 14/12/2014).
WHO estimates that 360,000 people in the Gaza Strip will need mental healthcare in the short and medium term, in addition to those needing routine mental healthcare services (WHO, 31/10/2014).
373,000 children in the Gaza Strip are in need of direct and specialised psychosocial support (OCHA, 03/08/2014). The number of social workers and counsellors is insufficient (OCHA, 15/08/2014).
Although extensive repairs have restored 70–80% of the water and sanitation network to pre-conflict conditions, significant constraints still impair the delivery of services (OCHA, 29/10/2014). 63 water facilities were damaged; of which 23 were completely destroyed (Gisha, 20/08/2014).
Some 30–50% of water storage capacity at the household level is damaged, putting particular strain on host families (ECHO, 02/10/2014). In addition, households without electricity and/or supplementary pumps cannot fill rooftop storage tanks when water is available (OCHA, 04/09/2014).
Only 50% of wastewater in Gaza is treated, and treatment is currently of low quality, leaving about 100,000 million cubic metres of raw sewage to be discharged directly to the sea (World Bank, 10/09/2014). Although solid waste is being collected in most areas, it is being left in temporary sites rather than dumped in designated landfills.
Gaza’s only water reserve is the coastal aquifer, which it shares with Israel and Egypt, and which is 55 million cubic metres; Gaza needs 190 million cubic metres every year, according to senior officials. The aquifer could be unusable by 2016 and the damage it has suffered may be irreversible by 2020 (AFP, 05/09/2014).
With the onset of winter, 700,000 people are in need of shelter assistance, including emergency winterisation (OCHA 30/11/2014).
6% of housing stock has become uninhabitable; an estimated 20,000 housing units have been either destroyed or severely damaged, leaving about 120,000 people homeless. This is in addition to the pre-crisis housing deficit of 80,000 units (NRC, 11/10/2014). The slow pace of reconstruction is especially concerning as winter approaches (UNRWA, 27/11/2014).
The Shelter Cluster estimates that under current conditions it will take approximately 20 years to import the materials required to complete housing reconstruction, is based on the current operational capacity of Kerem Shalom border crossing for materials (100 truckloads daily), and the estimated 97,334 housing units required. This calculation does not include public infrastructure (Shelter Cluster, 29/08/2014).
In the West Bank and East Jerusalem, demolition of houses, stop-work orders for houses and structures, as well as confiscation of building materials poses critical challenges (OCHA, 03/12/2014).
22 schools were completely destroyed and 118 schools damaged by conflict. UNRWA has reported at least 75 damaged school buildings. Many higher education facilities, including the Islamic University in Gaza, have also been damaged (OCHA, 04/09/2014).
As schools open three weeks late, children face even more acute overcrowding and under-resourcing. The education sector already had a shortage of almost 200 schools before the latest crisis (OCHA, 04/09/2014).
Palestinian Bedouin families are at risk of forcible transfer, as Israeli authorities continue to make eviction and demolition orders from an area designated as a ‘closed military zone’. Most of the around 7,000 Palestinian Bedouins and herders, some 60% of them children, have demolition orders pending against their homes and over 85% lack connection to the electricity and water networks. Two-thirds of communities reported facing settler violence during the past three years, as authorities failed to protect communities from intimidation and attacks (OCHA, 23/09/2014).
501 children have been killed and at least 3,436 injured, and 54,000 are homeless (OCHA, 04/09/2014; UNICEF 16/08/2014). Up to 1,500 orphaned children will need sustained support (OCHA, 04/09/2014).
182 children were imprisoned and prosecuted in the Israeli military court system at November, a 9.4% decrease on August (Defence for Children International, 06/11/2014).
At the end of August, 473 Palestinians were under administrative detention in Israel without trial, compared to 250 in June–July. It is the highest number since April 2009 (Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, 07/10/2014).
As of December, detention or shooting at fishers, as well as confiscation of boats and equipment, continue to be reported (Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, 07/12/2014).
Mines and ERW
It is estimated that more than 1,900 ERW have yet to be secured (UNRWA, 23/09/2014). Over 2–8 December, four children and a pregnant woman were injured by unexploded ordnance (OCHA, 08/12/2014).
In 2014, ERW has killed 31 civilians and injured ten in Gaza. This figure includes 12 children, the highest number affected by ERW in the last six years (UNICEF, 23/10/2014; 27/10/2014).
Sierra Leone Country Analysis
15 December: As of 13 December, 8,273 Ebola cases and 2,033 deaths have been reported (WHO).
12 December: All public Christmas celebrations have been prohibited. The Government’s Ebola response unit announced the deployment of soldiers to enforce the prohibition (international media).
10 December: Authorities imposed a two-week lockdown on the eastern district of Kono, following reports of new Ebola cases. People will be able to move freely within towns and villages, but will not be allowed to go beyond the district itself. Diamond mining has ceased (AFP).
- The whole population needs assistance as a consequence of the Ebola outbreak (OCHA, 16/09/2014).
- The total cumulative number of reported cases across the region has reached 18,464, including 6,841 deaths (Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone each reported over 9-13 December) (WHO, 15/12/2014). The numbers of registered cases and deaths are largely inaccurate, underestimating the gravity of the situation on the ground according to the Government.
- The outbreak erupted at a crucial period in the agricultural season for rice and other important food crops. Many farmers were not able to complete key, time-critical agricultural activities. There is a serious risk of acute malnutrition (OCHA, 16/09/2014).
- Women and children are not accessing basic health services, leading to an increase in non-Ebola related child morbidity and mortality (UNICEF, 26/08/2014).
For more information on the Ebola crisis in West Africa, visit the ACAPS Ebola Needs Analysis Project page.
The Defence minister, Alfred Paulo Conte, has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of the newly named National Ebola Response Centre (BBC, 18/10/2014).
On 4 November, a journalist in Freetown was arrested, under emergency measures introduced to fight against the Ebola epidemic, after a guest on his radio show criticised the President’s handling of the Ebola outbreak (Reuters, 04/11/2014).
About 800 UK soldiers are on the ground (international media, 15/12/2014). Cuba has sent 465 health workers to West Africa (international media, 20/10/2014). On 18 September, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution establishing a special mission to lead the global response to Ebola (UN, 18/09/2014).
The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has been declared a Grade 3 Emergency under WHO’s Emergency Response Framework (ECHO, 29/07/2014). WHO declared the epidemic a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).
On 8 December, doctors at Freetown’s main hospital went on strike in protest over inadequate equipment to fight the Ebola epidemic (AFP, 08/12/2014; UNMEER, 10/12/2014). On 24 November, burial workers in Kenema city abandoned 15 bodies at the city’s main hospital, protesting at non-payment of allowances for October and November (BBC, 25/11/2014). On 12 November, some 400 healthcare workers at an Ebola treatment centre in Bandajuma, Bo district, began a sit-down strike over hazard payments (international media, 12/11/2014).
Resistance to the Ebola Response
Authorities in Sierra Leone imposed a curfew in the eastern district town of Koidu on 21 October after tensions between youth and police over a suspected case of Ebola degenerated into gunfire and rioting (Reuters, 21/10/2014). At least 200 ex-servicemen were expected to be deployed to help enforce quarantine (international media, 21/10/2014).On 14 October, in Freetown, security forces clashed with residents protesting over delays in removing a corpse. Security forces fired teargas and live rounds to disperse the crowd that had barricaded the street (Reuters, 14/10/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
The whole population is in need of assistance due to the consequences of the Ebola outbreak (OCHA, 16/09/2014).
Delays in getting visas and security clearances for cargo and planes, as well as high customs fees, are hampering humanitarian access and supply distribution (international media, 06/10/2014).
Poor coordination between agencies and road access issues remain major challenges in rural areas, making it sometimes impossible to reach families in need of food within 24 hours of being placed under quarantine (UNMEER, 30/11/2014).
The fear of being infected or quarantined has triggered displacement. Half of the people who left Kenema and Kailahun districts between June and October did so because of Ebola. Some Ebola survivors have had to relocate because of strong stigmatisation after their return from hospital (DWHH, 06/10/2014).
Rural areas have been more affected than urban areas (WFP, 27/11/2014). Three-quarters of people surveyed by WFP have begun to reduce the number of daily meals and portion sizes (IRIN, 20/10/2014). Since the beginning of the emergency, one million people received food assistance (WFP, 10/12/2014). Very poor households are expected to face at least Stressed food insecurity level, IPC Phase 2, until September 2015. Crisis food insecurity level, IPC Phase 3, may be reached in June 2015 (FEWSNET, 27/11/2014).
The rice harvest, which usually starts in August in the east and October in the north, has been delayed due to heavy rainfall in September (International Growth Centre, 13/11/2014). Up to 40% of farms have been abandoned in the most affected areas, according to the International Fund for Agricultural Development (UN, 13/10/2014).
Across Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, 1.7 million people are estimated to be food insecure, 200,000 because of Ebola (WFP, 05/11/2014). 1.9 million people have received food assistance since August 2014 (WFP, 10/12/2014).
Agriculture and Markets
Rural and urban areas have experienced varying price changes, rural areas being more affected. There is also regional variation: the trend of price movement was upward in the northern, eastern and southern regions, whereas it declined in the western region (UNDP, 14/11/2014).
The closure of markets, roads, and banks has further reduced food availability and increased prices (OCHA, 16/09/2014). However, in a November FEWSNET survey, more than half of respondents reported that weekly and daily markets were open and operating normally. Most of the others indicated that markets were open and functioning at reduced levels. A little over half of traders reported that they believed food availability in the zone that they worked was currently sufficient to meet the needs of local consumers (FEWSNET, 27/11/2014). The number of traders selling food items in Sierra Leone has fallen. In Kailahun and Kenema, there are 69% fewer domestic rice traders than in 2012 (International Growth Centre, 13/11/2014).
Price increases range from 13% for imported rice to over 40% for fish. Other commodities affected include cassava, groundnuts, and palm oil (FAO, 22/10/2014). According to WFP, the price of imported rice has, on average, risen by 30% since May, although in November FAO reported that imported rice prices were stable, while FEWSNET reported it was stable or had increased by less than 10% (WFP, 09/2014; FEWSNET, 27/11/2014; FAO, 11/12/2014). The price of local rice has dropped in production areas as new supplies have been brought to market (WFP, 27/11/2014).
Rice production in 2014 is estimated to decline by 8% but, according to the mVAM survey from WFP, food markets, rather than own production, are the main source of food for respondents, reflecting the overall dependency on markets, especially in the pre-harvest period (FAO, 11/12/2014; WFP 09/2014).
Household income has dropped by 29.7% in Sierra Leone as of October, due to the consequences of the Ebola outbreak (UNDP, 14/11/2014). According to a survey conducted by DWHH in Kenema and Kailahun counties, 97% of households indicate that their income dropped between May and August. In the epicentres of the Ebola outbreak, 80% of surveyed households expect lower returns than last year (FAO, 22/10/2014).
Health and Nutrition
Women and children are reportedly not accessing basic health services due to the Ebola outbreak, leading to an increase in non-Ebola-related child morbidity and mortality (UNICEF, 26/08/2014). The national public health system is overstretched and struggling to deliver non-EVD care (UNMEER, 16/11/2014).
As of 13 December, 8,273 Ebola cases, including 2,033 deaths, have been reported in Sierra Leone (WHO, 15/12/2014). Reliable data collection remains a major challenge, and it is suspected that about 50% of cases are not being reported across the country (UNMEER, 02/11/2014).
All districts of Sierra Leone have reported at least one probable or confirmed case since the start of the outbreak. EVD transmission remains intense and widespread, with the country reporting 397 new confirmed cases between 1 and 7 December, including 133 in Freetown.
Transmission persists in Bombali, Kambia and Pujehun. A major issue in Port Loko, which reported 76 cases this week, has been the relatively long wait for lab results from Bo and Kenema. Patients can in holding centres for weeks. Western rural area continued to show an increase in both confirmed cases and total reported cases, with 57 cases reported last week. More than half of suspect cases continue to self-refer to holding centres, with public transport representing addition risk of transmission. Bo continues to see an increase in the number of cases reported but response teams have not been able to reach the affected villages because of lack of transportation. Ongoing transmission in Kono has overwhelmed the district hospital, with a very high death rate among admitted cases. On 11 December, 25 bodies from the past five days were found piled in this hospital. In Tonkolili, the trend is stable but burials are still taking place in secret and health worker infection is a concern, with four infections during the first week of December. In Bonthe, all cases are imported. The burial team is overwhelmed due to the challenging terrain and hard-to-reach communities (WHO, 10/12/2014; Government, 06/12/2014; BBC, 11/12/2014). However, Kenema and Kailahun have continued to experience sharp declines in incidence over the past weeks, with no reported cases last week. Kenema’s mayor declared the district Ebola-free but the central government condemned the statement (international media, 04/12/2014).
Healthcare provision: 200,000 personal protective equipment (PPE) sets are needed every month (UNMEER, 30/11/2014). The Ministry of Health and Sanitation is planning a mass distribution of anti-malaria medicine, targeting 2.4 million people, in hotspot areas in the districts of Bombali, Kambia, Koinadugu, Moyamba, Port Loko, Tonkolili, and in all of the Western Area in order to better identify Ebola cases, as the symptoms are similar (UNICEF, 12/11/2014).
Containment measures: On 12 December, all public Christmas celebrations have been prohibited. The Government’s Ebola response unit announced the deployment of soldiers to enforce the prohibition (international media, 12/12/2014). On 10 December, authorities imposed a two-week lockdown on the eastern district of Kono, following reports of new Ebola cases. People will be able to move freely within towns and villages, but will not be allowed to go beyond the district itself. Diamond mining has ceased (AFP, 10/12/2014).
On 2 December, Tonkolili was added to the list of districts under quarantine at least until 15 December (Government, 02/12/2014). On 24 September, Port Loko and Bombali, and Moyamba were put under quarantine. More than a third of Sierra Leone's 6.1 million population are unable to move freely (BBC, 25/09/2014). In June, Sierra Leone closed its borders with Guinea and Liberia, and closed schools, cinemas, and nightclubs in border areas (OCHA, 07/2014).
On 4 December, the Chief Executive Officer of National Ebola Response Centre stated he was in favour of jailing anyone caught washing dead bodies (international media, 04/12/2014). In August, legislation was passed imposing a jail term of up to two years for anyone concealing an Ebola-infected patient, and of up to six months for anyone entering or leaving Ebola-affected areas without medical authorisation. Any sport involving physical contact has also been prohibited (AFP, 22/08/2014; international media, 30/08/2014).
On 1 August, West African Ebola-hit nations agreed at an emergency summit to impose a cross-border isolation zone at the epicentre of the outbreak (AFP).
The total cumulative number of reported cases across the region has reached 18,464, including 6,841 deaths (Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone each reported over 9–13 December) (WHO, 15/12/2014). Eight cases, including six fatalities, have been reported in Mali (government, 10/12/2014). Four cases in the USA and one case in Spain have been confirmed (WHO, 31/10/2014). The outbreak in Senegal is officially over, with no new case reported for 21 days (WHO, 17/10/2014). Nigeria is now free of EVD transmission as no new case has been reported for 42 days (WHO, 20/10/2014).
8,000 people with HIV, or 80% of people previously on antiretroviral treatment, are no longer receiving treatment due to health staff shortages (UNDP, 30/11/2014).
Women in the three most-affected countries are no longer giving birth in health facilities due to EVD (UNMEER, 03/11/2014). In addition, Ebola-infected pregnant women are often not permitted in the Ebola treatment centres because of the high risk of contamination during delivery, resulting in a probable higher maternal death rate in the three most affected countries (UNFPA, international media 29/10/2014).
Vaccination rates for measles dropped from 99% in January to 76% in July, since mass vaccination campaigns have been suspended (UNICEF, 03/11/2014).
There is a serious risk of acute malnutrition for children under five as food security worsens.
Depending on the level of the Ebola crisis, between at least 1.55 and 1.79 million people will be exposed to undernourishment (ACF, 31/10/2014).
About a third of the population live without latrines (UNMEER, 20/11/2014).
As of 28 November, 100 teachers are currently under quarantine (UNICEF, 28/11/2014). Schools remain closed and nearly two million children are not attending school. According to the Minister of Education, schools are not likely to reopen until March 2015 (UNICEF, 16/10/2014).
As of 10 December, more than 10,000 children have been directly affected by the consequences of the virus, including 4,300 children who have lost one or both parents to Ebola (UNICEF, 10/12/2014; UNMEER, 10/12/2014). With two million children not attending school, UNICEF warns of an increase in vulnerability, leading to a potential increase in child labour, and in teen pregnancy (UNICEF, 16/10/2014).
According to a survey conducted by UNICEF, 96% of Ebola survivors in Sierra Leone have experienced some sort of discrimination. More than three-quarters of respondents said they would not welcome back an Ebola survivor into their community (IRIN, 31/10/2014).
Somalia Country Analysis
8 December: 94 returnees from Kenya have arrived at the border town of Dholbey, and are receiving repatriation packages (IOM, UNHCR).
- Widespread violence and insecurity, particularly in south-central Somalia.
- Insecurity and bureaucratic impediments continue to hinder humanitarian access.
- 1.1 million IDPs, mainly in the south-central region, with high concentrations in Mogadishu (OCHA, 06/2014).
- More than one million Somali refugees live in neighbouring countries, mostly Kenya, Ethiopia, and Yemen (UNHCR, 03/2014).
- 3.2 million are estimated to need lifesaving or livelihood assistance (OCHA, 19/09/2014).
- 1,100,000 people are at Crisis and Emergency levels of food insecurity (WFP, 11/2014). Two million people experience Stressed levels of food insecurity.
- More than 203,000 acutely malnourished children under five have been reported, mainly in south-central Somalia (OCHA, 05/2014).
- 520,000 children under five urgently require measles vaccination in outbreak areas (UNICEF, 06/2014).
Protracted conflict, consecutive years of drought, natural hazards, and disruption of basic infrastructure have led to large-scale displacement in Somalia and across the region. Almost half the population of Somalia, around 3.2 million people, is vulnerable to external shocks and lacking access to basic goods and services, with an estimated three million people living in seven regions affected by the Somalia–African Union military offensive: Bakool, Gedo, Lower Shabelle, Hiraan, Bay, Banadir and Lower Juba (OCHA, 05/2014). The UN warns of a looming humanitarian emergency (UN, 15/06/2014).
Somalia suffers from a chronic fragility of state institutions as a result of two decades of civil war. Infighting between presidents and prime ministers is a recurrent problem. On 6 December, the latest Prime Minister lost a confidence vote; the President has 30 days to name a successor (AFP, AMISOM, 06/12/2014). 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).
The formation of regional administrations is slowly taking shape; an agreement has been brokered with the regional state of Galmadug, and on 19 November, the Interim South West Administration (ISWA), which encompasses Bay, Bakool, and Lower Shabelle, was formed (UNSC, 23/09/2014; AMISOM, 19/11/2014).
Puntland: On 8 January, former Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali Gaas was elected President of the self-declared semi-autonomous region Puntland. In September, there was an escalation in tensions between Puntland and Somaliland, which included the deployment of military forces to border areas (UNSC, 25/09/2014). ). A number of media sources were closed by the Government in December, particularly in Puntland (Reporters sans Frontieres, 11/12/2014).
Somaliland: A demonstration turned violent after supporters of different political parties clashed in the Burao area in Togdheer. Protests began after the ruling Kulmiye party planned to unseat the Speaker of Somaliland, who is chairman of the Wadani party. Police fired on demonstrators: one was killed and eight injured. 22 police officers were injured (PI, 15/11/2014).
Over 2,200 conflict incidents with humanitarian impact were reported in the first nine months of the year, including military operations, active hostilities, and other forms of violence against civilians (OCHA, 17/10/2014). Security is said to have deteriorated since March, and the launch of the Somali National Armed Forces (SNAF) and African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) military offensive against Al Shabaab-held areas. The number of attacks and fatalities had decreased between 2010 and 2013.
Al Shabaab, a militant Islamist group linked to Al Qaeda, took over most of southern Somalia in 2006, seeking to establish an Islamic state. Defeated by Ethiopian and Somali forces in 2007, Al Shabaab was forced out of Mogadishu in 2011 and Kismayo in 2012, and lost Barawe, Lower Shabelle, in October 2014. Following the death of Ahmed Abdi Godane in a US drone attack in September, Ahmad Umar (also known as Abu Ubaidah) has been named the new leader (AFP, 06/09/2014). Numbering 7,000–9,000 militants, Al Shabaab typically targets Somali government officials, AMISOM forces, and perceived government allies. Attacks in urban centres, particularly Mogadishu and along transport axes, are common. Al Shabaab is reportedly fleeing south and northeast as the SNAF-AMISOM offensive advances.
On 2 December, Al Shabaab carried out an attack on quarry workers in Mandera, Kenya, killing 36 (BBC, 02/12/2014). On 22 November, they attacked a Nairobi-bound bus in Mandera, and killed 28 non-Muslims. A day later, the Kenyan military launched two operations on Al Shabaab camps in Somalia, reportedly killing 115 militants, and destroying camps and equipment (BBC, The Guardian, 24/11/2014).
On 5 December, Al Shabaab carried out a twin bomb attack in Baidoa, killing 15 (AFP, UN, 05/12/2014).
Mogadishu: On 4 December, Al Shabaab wounded one legislator and killed another in a drive-by shooting (AFP, 05/12/2014). On 25 October, a car bomb exploded outside a hotel, killing one (AFP, 25/10/2014). Another explosion on 12 October on a road leading to the government district killed 13 people and injured 19 (AFP, 12/10/2014). In September, a suicide car bomb targeting AU troops killed 12 civilians and wounded 27 (BBC, 08/09/2014).
In November 2013, the AMISOM force was increased to 22,000 from 17,600. Its mandate has been extended until 30 November 2015 (UNSC, 25/09/2014). The first SNAF-AMISOM offensive was launched in early March 2014 to recover Al Shabaab-controlled areas of southern and central Somalia: Bakool, Gedo, Lower Shabelle, Hiraan, Bay, Banadir, and Lower Juba regions (OCHA, 05/2014). The second phase of the offensive began in late August. About 1.5 million people live in areas that could be directly affected by the offensive (OCHA, 19/09/2014).
On 25 August, reports suggested AU and Somali government troops had seized Tiyeeglow in Bakool region (AOV, 25/08/2014). This means the Somali Government now has full control of all major towns in Bakool. On 6 October, international media reported that Somali troops had regained control of Barawe, a port town in Lower Shabelle that had been under Al Shabaab control for more than 20 years (AFP, BBC, 06/10/2014). On 8 November, Al Shabaab had reportedly retaken control of Kidha Island, 70km off the coast of Kismayo, in Lower Juba (Garowe, 08/11/2014; local media, 09/11/2014). Kidha Island gives Al Shabaab access to trade routes, which will likely increase the group’s depleted finances (All Africa, 07/11/2014). In November, there was an increase in retaliatory attacks against AMISOM and government troops, with tensions high in Bay, Gedo and Hiraan (WFP, 24/11/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
In late November, OCHA reported that by Al Shabaab is blocking strategic roads connecting Beletweyne, Xudur, and Elbarde. Outside Mogadishu, insecurity on the main roads to newly recovered areas makes needs assessments, delivery of humanitarian supplies, and response monitoring difficult (OCHA, 21/11/2014). Even in areas where there has been no active conflict, illegal checkpoints, banditry, and demands for bribes are common (OCHA, 17/10/2014).
Security Incidents Involving Aid Workers
On 3 December, a car bomb was detonated in the vicinity of a UN convoy travelling near Mogadishu International Airport (AMISOM, 03/12/2014). No UN staff, but four bystanders, were killed and nine were wounded. Al Shabaab claimed responsibility (AFP, 03/12/2014). As of September, 32 aid workers had been attacked in Somalia in 2014, with four humanitarian workers killed (USAID, 30/09/2014; OCHA, 17/11/2014). Aid workers have reportedly been targeted by armed groups for arrest and detention in Bakool, Bay, Gedo, and Lower and Middle Juba. On 18 May, a 400-strong UN military unit was deployed in Mogadishu with a mandate to protect aid workers (UN).
An estimated 1.1 million Somalis were IDPs by October 2014, 893,000 in the south-central region, 130,000 in Puntland, and 85,000 in Somaliland (UNHCR, 10/2014). 369,000 IDPs live in makeshift camps in Mogadishu. The total displaced due to the SNAF-AMISOM offensive this year is 80,000 (OCHA, 04/12/2014).
Mogadishu: As of August, a significant and increasing number of rural families were moving to Mogadishu, fleeing conflict or food insecurity (UNICEF, 20/08/2014). More than 42,900 IDPs were unlawfully evicted from Mogadishu in late August and early September, mainly from Daynile and Hodan, according to UNHCR (WFP, 24/11/2014). The evicted have moved to the outskirts of Mogadishu and remote areas, where they lack physical security and access to basic services (OCHA, 19/09/2014).
The Tripartite Agreement between the Kenyan and Somali Governments and UNHCR, signed in November 2013, establishes a legal framework for those Somali refugees wishing to return home (UNHCR 15/08/2014). Three areas have been designated to receive returnees: Luuq, Baidowa, and Kismayo. Only 3,000 refugees have registered to return, compared to the original target of 10,000. (UNHCR, 08/12/2014). Somali refugees in Kenya cite insecurity and lack of earning opportunities as their main uncertainties regarding a return to Somalia (UNHCR, East African, 02/08/2014; UNHCR, 11/08/2014).
On 8 December, the first returnees arrived in Somalia: 94 were taken to the border town of Dholbey and are receiving food rations, NFIs, and livelihood start-up grants (IOM, UNHCR, 09/12/2014).
Refugees in Somalia
As of December 2015, there are 2,540 refugees in Somalia (OCHA, 01/12/2014).
Somali Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
956,000 Somalis are refugees in neighbouring countries, around 450,000 in Kenya, 245,000 in Ethiopia, and 230,000 in Yemen (UNHCR).
Kenya: In March, the Kenyan Government ordered all city-based refugees to relocate to Dadaab and Kakuma camps, and asked Kenyans to report refugees not in camps to the police. Thousands of Somalis were rounded up, some were forcibly relocated, and hundreds have been deported to Somalia (Human Rights Watch, 11/04/2014).
Six districts in southern and central Somalia have been affected by drought. Gedo is the most severely affected, with 70% of the population being impacted (OCHA, 17/11/2014).
Heavy rains in south-central Somalia, in upper parts of the Shabelle basin along the Somalia–Ethiopia border, have caused flooding along both the Shabelle and Juba Rivers. An estimated 50,000 people have been affected across six regions (OCHA, 24/11/2014), and from 1 September to 16 November, 30,323 have been displaced in Lower Shabelle, 6,274 in Hiraan, 2,033 in Lower Juba, and 120 in Banadir (UNHCR, 16/11/2014).
Of the total population of 7.5 million, 1.1 million people face Crisis and Emergency (IPC Phases 3 and 4) food insecurity, an increase of 20% since January, and an additional 2.1 million people face Stressed conditions (IPC Phase 2) (WFP, 24/11/2014). The primary drivers of food insecurity are hot and dry conditions during recent seasons, the low supply of locally produced cereals, and disruptions to trade (FEWSNET, 31/10/2014). About 62% of those who face acute food insecurity are IDPs, 27% live in rural areas, and 11% are the urban poor (FEWSNET 30/09/2014). The most food insecure people are in northern Gedo, Bakool, Hiraan, and the coastal areas of the central regions.
WFP have warned that a pipeline break may mean 700,000 people no longer receive food and nutrition assistance from January 2015 (OCHA 24/11/2014).
Somaliland: 7,000 people are in Phase 3/4; 472,000 people are in Phase 2; there are 84,000 IDPs (OCHA, 03/06/2014; 31/05/2014).
Puntland: 60,000 people are in Phase 3/4; 240,000 are in Phase 2; there are 129,000 IDPs (OCHA, 03/06/2014; 31/05/2014). The situation has continued to deteriorate despite improvements in water and pasture following recent gu rains, due to the severe impact of six consecutive seasons of drought, and high food and non-food prices (ACT Alliance, 14/10/2014).
South-central: 155,000 people are in Phase 3/4; 1,336 are in Phase 2, and there are 952,000 IDPs (OCHA, 03/06/2014; 31/05/2014). The most affected areas include Galgaduud, Hiraan, Middle Shabelle, Bari, Mudug, Nugaal, Middle Juba, Lower Juba, and Sanaag (OCHA, 21/05/2014). Areas along the Juba River from Buaale in Middle Juba to Jamame district in Lower Juba will remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) through March 2015. Flooding in October and November destroyed planted crops and infrastructure, and reduced labour demand. Agropastoral areas in Hiraan and Gedo will most probably have a below-average deyr production, though the situation in Hiraan is likely to improve to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) after the harvest in March (FEWSNET, 26/11/2014). In Tayeeglow, Lower Shabelle, food insecurity has increased due to Al Shabaab’s roadblocks (OCHA, 21/11/2014).
Agriculture and Markets
Parts of Lower Juba, Gedo, and northeastern central regions, and many pastoral areas remain very dry. Water points are depleted and water prices are high (FEWSNET, 30/09/2014). An OCHA report in late November indicated that in parts of Lower Shabelle, drought, coupled with limited or no access to functioning boreholes, has led to the rise of prices and limited employment opportunities (OCHA, 21/11/2014).
Trade restrictions stemming from inter-clan conflicts and obstructions by Al Shabaab in rural areas of the south have impeded market flows in El Barde, Wajid, and Hudur (Bakool region); Luuq (Gedo); Bulo Burde and Jalawsi (Hiraan); and Marka and Woryoley (Lower Shabelle). This has inflated food prices and increased unemployment (USAID, 30/09/2014). Al Shabaab continues to control key supply routes, hampering commercial activities (USAID, 30/09/2014).
Cereal production has fallen 30% below the five-year average, and cereal prices have increased since the beginning of the year in Bakool, Hiraan, Juba, and Shabelle (FAO, 31/10/2014).
Health and Nutrition
Around 3.2 million people are in need emergency health services (OCHA, 04/12/2014). Due to lack of funding to humanitarian actors on the ground, as of November, 1.5 million people in parts of Central South no longer have access to primary health care services, along with 300,000 children under five who no longer have access to lifesaving primary health care services and free immunization (UNICEF, 31/10/2014).
A recent survey indicates 218,000 children under five are acutely malnourished. Of these, 43,800 are severely malnourished (FEWSNET, 02/09/2014), a 7% increase since January (OCHA, 02/10/2014). 756,000 people are in need of quality nutrition services (OCHA, 02/10/2014).Pipeline breaks in nutrition products could end treatment for nearly 95,000 moderately malnourished children, putting them at risk of severe acute malnutrition (WFP, 25/11/2014).
IDPs: Urban displacement settlements in Dhobley, Doolow, Dhusamareb, Garowe, Galkayo, Kismayo and Mogadishu have GAM rates of up to 18.9% (UNICEF, 04/12/12014). SAM among displaced communities in Mogadishu was at 5.5% in July (OCHA 24/07/2014). In Nugaal, drought has exposed IDPs to serous health risks like acute watery diarrhoea and malnutrition (ACT Alliance, 14/10/2014)
Cholera is the disease with the highest death rate in Somalia. 3,800 cases have been recorded this year, 74% of them in children under five (OCHA, 31/11/2014), compared to 1320 last year (WHO, 31/08/2014).
9,000 measles cases have been recorded in 2014; double the same period in 2013 (OCHA, 24/11/2014). Only one-third of children have been vaccinated: 520,000 children under five urgently require measles vaccination in outbreak areas. In some parts of south-central Somalia, measles immunisation coverage is as low as 15% (OCHA, 24/11/2014).
The total number of confirmed polio cases in 2014 stands at 198 (WHO, UNICEF 22/07/2014). Large, insecure areas of south-central Somalia have not conducted immunisation campaigns since 2009, leaving 600,000 children vulnerable, according to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.
Around 1.7 million children are out of school. In south-central Somalia, there is no functioning national education system (OCHA, 04/12/2014).
2.8 million people are in need of safe water (OCHA, 04/12/2014). The population of south-central Somalia has little to no access to safe drinking water. There is a severe water shortage for livestock in the northeast, parts of the northwest, central and north Gedo regions (FEWSNET, 02/09/2014). IDPs living in overcrowded camps have inadequate access to safe water, hygiene, and sanitation facilities (UNICEF, 31/08/2014).
A Protection Cluster report states that the major protection issues in Somalia are persons affected by physical insecurity during the first SNAF-AMISOM offensive; SGBV, including cases of sexual violence during interclan conflict; child protection violations; arbitrary arrest of children/youth; killing of civilians (including children); child recruitment; separation of children; and forced/secondary eviction. The areas most affected are Middle and Lower Shabelle and Lower Juba (UNHCR Protection Cluster, 10/2014).
On 11 December, following the beheading of a two women by Al Shabaab, five women were executed in a revenge attack in Bakool (AFP, 11/12/2014).
The prevalence of gender-based violence in Somalia, including rape, is reported to be one of the highest in the world, with IDPs and migrants being the most vulnerable (IOM, 08/08/2014). About 1,000 cases of SGBV were reported in Mogadishu in the first six months of the year (OCHA, 17/10/2014). On 8 September, a Human Rights Watch report stated that AU forces have been raping and sexually exploiting women and girls in their bases in Mogadishu, sometimes using humanitarian assistance to coerce them into sexual activities (HRW, 08/09/2014).
Children are at high risk of forced recruitment, sexual exploitation and abuse in many parts of the country due to conflict. 4,314 cases of child exploitation and abuse have been reported so far this year (OCHA, 30/11/2014). In Tayeeglow, Lower Shabelle, an estimated 115 children have been abducted by Al Shabaab, 80 of whom are still held. It reportedly costs around USD 2,000 to secure the return of a child (OCHA, 21/11/2014).
Journalists continue to be targeted in Somalia. On 5 December, a bomb attack killed fifteen people, including two journalists and wounded three others in Baidoa (IFJ, 15/12/2014). On 13 December, and Independent Expert on Human Rights in Somalia called on government authorities to ensure the safety of journalists (AMISOM, 13/12/2014).
South Sudan Country Analysis
Early December: Fighting persisted in Fangak county, Jonglei state, with reports indicating that people continue to flee. As of 8 December, an estimated 43,200 people were displaced in Old Fangak town. Of these, an estimated 25,000 were newly displaced from the areas of New Fangak and Pigi/Canal, with reports of continued arrivals (OCHA, 12/12/2014).
- 50,000 estimated killed in violence since December 2013 (International Crisis Group)
- 3.8 million people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance; 300,000 have not been reached (OCHA, 30/10/2014).
- 1 million people in Crisis and Emergency (IPC Phases 3 and 4) food insecurity October–December 2014 (FEWSNET, 11/2014). From January to March 2015, 2.5 million people are projected to be in Crisis or Emergency Phase, including nearly half of the population of Greater Upper Nile (IPC, 09/2014).
- 3.4 of 5.8 million people in need of health assistance have not been reached (WHO, 10/2014).
- 1.44 million IDPs since December 2013 (OCHA, 09/2014). Almost 97,000 in UNMISS bases (UNMISS, 11/12/2014). 68% of IDPs are estimated to live in flood-prone areas (OCHA, 08/2014).
- Over 483,000 South Sudanese refugees moved across borders since December 2013 (UNHCR 12/2014)
- The high number of refugees in South Sudan (mainly from Sudan, DRC, Ethiopia and CAR) is cause for concern in the current context.
Jonglei, Upper Nile, and Unity are priority states, and the priority sectors are food security and livelihoods, health, NFIs and shelter, nutrition, and WASH. Insecurity is hampering the delivery of assistance. The UN reports widespread violation of human rights and targeted violence against civilians.
Violence has spread across eastern South Sudan since December 2013. Fighting is most intense in the oil-rich northeastern states. Strife has progressively adopted the characteristics of an inter-communal conflict between the Dinka tribe allied to South Sudan President Kiir and government forces, and the Nuer loosely allied with former South Sudan Vice President Riek Machar.
Relations between Sudan and South Sudan have been poor since South Sudan gained independence in 2011. The violence in South Sudan since December has exacerbated tensions, with additional concerns in Khartoum regarding an influx of refugees and arms, as well as disruption of oil flow. In April, Sudan accused that South Sudan of using Sudanese militia groups to fight insurgents. South Sudan made similar accusations in return.
A UN report indicated the presence of 660 SPLA forces and police in Abyei in February and March, in violation of the 2011 Agreement on Temporary Security and Administrative Arrangements for Abyei. Pro-government Sudanese militias and Sudanese Armed Forces have also been reported in the area.
President Kiir’s government forces, who are backed by Ugandan troops, are pitted against a loose alliance of military defectors loyal to former Vice President Riek Machar, along with ethnic Nuer militia forces. Large-scale killings in Bentiu and Bor in April have brought the ethnic dimension of the conflict under closer scrutiny. Both sides have been accused of trying to influence the conflict through manipulation of the media.
On 20 October, SPLM and SPLM-in-Opposition signed a framework agreement in Arusha, Tanzania to address the root causes of the conflict that erupted in December 2013 (local media, 21/10/2014). On 25 August, the Implementation Matrix for the Cessation of Hostilities was signed by the South Sudanese Government and the SPLM/A-in-Opposition; it requires the immediate freezing of forces’ positions (IGAD, 27/08/2014). Talks, mediated by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), an East African regional bloc, had been repeatedly suspended and delayed. On 26 February, both parties accepted, in principle, a proposal from IGAD for an interim government, pending presidential elections.
On 27 September, President Salva Kiir agreed to install a federal system of governance, following calls for a federalist structure from SPLM-in-Opposition (local media).
Fighting persists despite a reduction in violence since January. Most violence is occurring in the oil-rich northeastern states of Unity, Upper Nile, and Jonglei.
In January, the death toll was estimated at 10,000, however, a new estimate indicates at least 50,000 may have died since December 2013, although access restrictions make numbers hard to verify (International Crisis Group, 15/11/2014). On 3 April, according to local media, representatives of the Nuer community stated that over 17,000 Nuer had been killed by pro-government forces since December. Over 5,900 people had sought treatment for gunshot wounds between mid-December 2013 and 12 March, according to humanitarian partners.
International Military Presence
In March, South Sudan approved the deployment of a regional force drawn from IGAD member states. The size, mandate, command, and deployment time frame of the contingent are still under discussion.
The UN Security Council voted on 24 December to increase the number of peacekeepers in the country from 10,000 to 12,500.
Border tensions with Sudan
On 12 November, bombs were reportedly dropped in the Maban district of Upper Nile state, which hosts over 125,000 refugees who fled fighting in neighbouring Sudan's Blue Nile state. However, Sudan has denied the reports (AFP, 14/11/2014). On 2 November, South Sudanese officials accused the Government of Sudan of a bombing raid in Khor Shamam village, Raga county, Western Bahr el Ghazal state. According to the County Commissioner, 24 people were wounded (VoA, 03/11/2014).
Clashes between the Government and SPLM-in-Opposition
In early November, heavy fighting in Khorfulus areas of Canal/Pigi and Fangak counties, Jonglei state, displaced about 35,000 people to Ayod county and the New Fangak areas. Humanitarian flights to the area were suspended (OCHA, 07/11/2014). Clashes were reported in Ayod county in August (UNICEF, 26/08/2014).
Heavy fighting was reported in New Fangak and Pigi/Canal counties from 29 November. Some 2,500 people fled to Pargak in Fangak area, with an unverified number displaced towards Keurnyang (OCHA, 05/12/2014). Fighting persisted in Fangak county in early December. As of 8 December, an estimated 43,200 people were displaced in Old Fangak town. Of these, an estimated 25,000 were newly displaced from the areas of New Fangak and Pigi/Canal, with reports of continued arrivals. There were unverified reports of people moving from Fangak into Ayod county (OCHA, 12/12/2014).
Heavy fighting occurred between government and opposition forces in Bentiu and Rubkona, Unity state, between 27 and 29 October. 340 civilians took shelter with UNMISS (UN News Centre, 30/10/2014). Despite a new ceasefire, fighting resumed on 10 November (AFP, 10/11/2014).
On 10 November, fighting between opposition forces and the Government was reported (AFP, 10/11/2014). On 28 October, fighting between armed youths killed one person and injured eight others at the UNMISS PoC site in Malakal (international media, 03/11/2014). Clashes were reported in Canal and Dolieb in September. Heavy shelling was reported in Renk (OCHA, 18/09/2014).
Inter-clan animosity stems from competition over water resources and grazing land. Deaths from inter-communal fighting have increased since the second Sudanese civil war, as have attacks, abductions, and significant population displacement.
Intercommunal violence has been increasingly reported in Lakes state since September. Partners reported an increase in the number of people fleeing Awerial county, Lakes state, for the southern part of Jonglei (OCHA, 7/11/2014).
Cattle raids have been reported in Lakes state since October. In November raids took place in Cueibet, Rumbek East, and Yirol counties (OCHA, 28/11/2014; local media, 18/11/2014). On 27 October seven people were killed in Rumbek North county in retaliation for the killing of two village chiefs in Rumbek East county (local media). On 23 and 24 October, pastoralist youth fought armed forces at Malek and Aguoc cattle camps. 59 people were reportedly killed; however, this figure has been disputed by civilians (local media, 25/10/2014).
Communal violence along the South Sudan–Uganda border in September forced 12,000 South Sudanese refugees to return to South Sudan (UNMISS, 25/09/2014).
24 people were killed in tribal clashes between Loroyo and Idali villages in Loroyo payam (district) Torit County (local media, 09/12/2014). Fears of renewed fighting and heightened tension, particularly in Eastern Equatoria, may result in increased number of people crossing into neighboring countries in the coming weeks. Over 500 people crossed into Uganda on 8 December alone (WFP, 11/12/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
As of 30 October, 3.8 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance; 3.5 million had been reached (OCHA, 30/10/2014). The delivery of aid is restricted by heavy fighting, logistical constraints, and administrative impediments.
On 2 July, international media reported that authorities prevented four UN staff from taking a plane, and confiscated their passports.
In March, the South Sudan Government announced it would implement routine searches of UN and relief organisation convoys, claiming it had intercepted arms and ammunition in UNMISS-contracted vehicles in Rumbek, Lakes state (UNHCR, 21/03/2014).
The establishment of a humanitarian corridor between South Sudan and Sudan has been approved by both Governments and will enable the delivery of food assistance by WFP (UN, 26/08/2014).
The rainy season is over, but most roads have not yet dried up. As of 28 November, WFP reported that road access was impossible between Juba (Central Equatoria), Bentiu (Unity), and Rumbek (Lakes); Mayom and Bentiu (Unity); Maiwut (near Pagak) and Guel Guk (Upper Nile State); Wau, Raja (Western Bahr el Ghazal), and Tambura (Western Equatoria), and Malakal (Upper Nile state); Guel Guk, Mathiang, Maiwut and Pagak (Upper Nile); Yirol, Nyang, and Shambe (Jonglei); Bor and Mabior, Ayod and Malakal (Jonglei); Bor, Gadiang and Akobo (Jonglei); Bor, Pibor (Jonglei), and Kapoeta (Western Equatoria).
74 incidents against humanitarian personnel and assets were reported in September. These included assault, harassment and ambush in Central Equatoria, and arrest, detention, and threats in Unity and Jonglei.
Increased insecurity in Lakes led to suspension of activities by humanitarian organisations for several weeks from October (OCHA, 20/10/2014). On 10 October, three contractors employed by UNMISS, who were working at Malakal airfield, were seized by armed men. Two men have been released, but one is still missing (UNMISS, 17/10/2014). The day before, a WFP staff member was taken at gunpoint by eight armed men at the nearby Malakal airport (WFP, 17/10/2014).
In November, ethnic tensions in Malakal PoC site hindered delivery of basic services as well as livelihood activities (UNHCR, 14/11/2014).
As of 21 November, over 1.44 million South Sudanese had been displaced internally and over 478,000 South Sudanese refugees had moved across borders since December 2013 (OCHA, 21/11/2014). Fluid displacement patterns and limited access to rural areas make numbers difficult to verify (UNHCR 11/07/2014).
As of 21 November, 1.44 million people were displaced in South Sudan: 618,800 in Jonglei, 292,300 in Unity, 256,600 in Upper Nile, and 137,400 in Lakes (OCHA, 21/11/2014). An estimated 766,000 IDPs are under 18 (UNICEF, 02/12/2014). Displacement patterns remain fluid, driven by violence, floods, and the search for emergency assistance (IOM, 03/09/2014).
875,000 IDPs live in flood-prone areas (OCHA, 15/08/2014). Flooding has been recorded in the displacement sites in Bentiu, Unity state; Mingkaman, Lakes States; Juba, Central Equatoria state; and Malakal, Upper Nile state (OCHA, 31/08/2014). Heavy rains over a two-week period in mid-October have caused flooding in the displacement sites in Mingkaman, Lakes state, which hosts around 100,000 displaced people (OCHA, 23/10/2014).
97,000 IDPs are sheltering in ten Protection of Civilians (PoC) sites on UNMISS bases: 49,000 in Bentiu, 32,000 in Juba (Tomping and UN House), 17,000 in Malakal, and 2,600 in Bor (UNMISS 11/12/2014).
An assessment found 7,300 people displaced by recent fighting in Renk County, Upper Nile State. Most displaced individuals reported to staying in host communities and abandoned homes, Key needs identified include shelter and household items, food, education, protection and health (OCHA, 09/10/2014).
Flood-related displacement: In October, thousands of people were displaced, and homes, schools, and health facilities destroyed following heavy rains in Twic East and Bor, Jonglei, and in Rumbek East, Lakes (local media, 15/10/2014; 09/10/2014; local media, 16/10/2014).
Refugees in South Sudan
245,882 refugees are in South Sudan: 223,000 from Sudan, 14,700 from DRC, 4,900 from Ethiopia and 2,400 from CAR. Over 130,000 refugees are based in Upper Nile and around 85,000 in Unity (UNHCR, 01/11/2014). Most of the Sudanese refugees in Upper Nile state reside in four refugee camps in Maban county (OCHA, 03/04/2014).
In mid-November, about 10,000 people, mostly women and children from Southern Kordofan, fled fighting in the Nuba Mountains and sought shelter in Nhialdu, Unity state. They are in need of humanitarian assistance (OCHA, 21/11/2014).
As of 28 August, 186,000 people have returned since the beginning of the crisis: 70,000 in Jonglei, 109,000 in Unity, and 5,000 in Northern Bahr el Ghazal (OCHA, 28/08/2014). This is a downward revision from 227,000 returnees in July (OCHA, 29/07/2014).
Earlier reports indicated a total of 1.9 million returnees from Sudan since 2007.
South Sudan Refugees in Other Countries
Over 487,000 South Sudanese have sought refuge in neighbouring countries since the onset of the conflict (UNHCR, 15/12/2014).
Sudan: 115,000 South Sudanese nationals have arrived in Sudan since 15 December 2013, with more than 2,000 registered per week in recent weeks (UNHCR, 15/12/2014).
As of late March, the Sudanese Government has refused to recognise South Sudanese nationals as refugees and instead considers them to be Sudanese citizens (UNHCR, 03/04/2014). UNHCR has declared that this constitutes an obstacle to access to humanitarian assistance.
Ethiopia: 194,000 South Sudanese refugees (UNHCR, 21/11/2014). The rate of arrival has seen a sharp decline as a result of the rainy season, from an average of 2,000 per day in May to 92 in the first week of October (WFP, 10/10/2014). 1,411 refugees arrived in September (UNHCR, 01/10/2014).
Uganda: 131,000 refugees (UNHCR, 05/12/2014).
Kenya: 44,100 refugees (UNHCR, 14/11/2014).
Food security improved in August and September, and the number of people in Crisis and Emergency phases (Phase 3 and 4) has dropped to 1 million from 3.9 million for October through December 2014, following normal rainfall, good conditions for crops, and humanitarian response (FEWSNET, 11/2014). 245,000 are in Phase 4 and 1.2 million in Phase 3 (IPC, 09/2014). 460,000 people are at Phase 3 or 4 in Jonglei; 365,000 in Unity; 175,000 in Upper Nile; 510,000 in Northern Bahr el Ghazal; 340,000 in Lakes; 45,000 in Warrap; 35,000 in Eastern Equatoria; 20,000 in Western Bahr el Ghazal, 90,000 in Central Equatoria (IPC, 09/2014). Households in Unity, Upper Nile, and Jonglei are expected to exhaust household food stocks by December due to 2014 production deficits of 30–50%.
Conflict is affecting major supply routes, displacing traders, and leading to a rise in food and fuel prices (FAO, 04/06/2014). The country depends on food imports, and a de facto devaluation of the national currency between 2011 and 2013, the reduction in oil exports, and the increase in imports, all have a negative impact on households’ purchasing power.
Impact of Seasonal Flooding and Dry Spells
Flooding in Panyijar county (Unity), Awerial, Rumbek East, North Cueibet, Yirol East, and Yirol West counties (Lakes) and Malakal county (Upper Nile), Akobo (Jonglei), Kapoeta (Eastern Equatoria) has affected crop performance (FEWSNET, 01/10/2014; 17/10/2014).
Outlook for Food Security
From January to March 2015, 2.5 million people are projected to be in Crisis or Emergency Phase, including nearly half the population of the Greater Upper Nile region (Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile) (IPC, 09/2014). Renewed conflict and displacement in early 2015 will limit household coping capacity in conflict-affected areas. Food security is expected to worsen in February/March, with an early onset of the lean season, and needs will peak from May to July (FEWSNET, 11/2014).
Health and Nutrition
5.8 million people need health assistance, 3.4 million of whom have been reached since January. Waterborne diseases in flooded areas, as well as kala azar (visceral leishmaniasis) in Jonglei, are the most pressing health concerns (WHO, 10/2014).
6,421 cholera cases, including 167 deaths (case fatality rate 2.6%), had been reported across the country as of 2 December (UNICEF, 2/12/2014). Incidence is reported to be decreasing (WHO, 09/2014). 47 new cholera cases (two deaths) were reported for the week 31 October–3 November in Central and Eastern Equatoria states; additional clusters of cases have been reported since then. Previous reports indicated 2,395 cases and 57 deaths in Eastern Equatoria; 894 cases and 17 deaths in Upper Nile state, and 2,378 cases and 49 deaths in Juba (UNICEF, 12/08/2014).
MSF is seeing a drastic increase in malaria cases in Pamat and Aweil (Northern Bahr el Ghazal), Bentiu (Unity), Yambio (Western Equatoria state) and Gogrial (Warrap) as a result of a long and heavy rainy season and difficulties in distribution of diagnostic tests and malaria drugs to peripheral health centres (MSF, 10/2014). In August, malaria was the leading cause of hospital consultations and deaths in displacement sites and health centres (OCHA, 31/08/2014). Malaria still accounts for a high proportion of the disease burden, especially in flooded areas (OCHA, 16/10/2014).
An estimated 200,000 pregnant women will need urgent care in 2014; 30,000 of them are estimated to be at risk of dying of complications (UNFPA, 15/05/2014).
The screening of over 600,000 children across the country in 2014 found an SAM rate of 6.7% and an MAM rate of 12.6% (UNICEF, 19/08/2014). 675,000 children are estimated to be moderately malnourished and 235,000 severely malnourished (OCHA, 29/07/2014). Twice as many will need treatment for SAM this year than in 2013 (UNICEF 15/07/2014).
GAM levels are above the emergency threshold of 15% (IPC, 27/10/2014). The highest rates GAM were recorded in Leer county (34.1%) and Panyijar (32.8%), Unity state; Akobo East, Jonglei State (31.8%) and Uror (27%), Jonglei; and Aweil South, Northern Bahr el Ghazal (26.1%) (UNICEF, 20/11/2014). According to MSF, malnutrition rates skyrocketed in parts of Upper Nile, Unity and Jonglei states after the conflict began in December.
Two vaccine-derived polio virus cases have been confirmed in Bentiu Protection of Civilans (PoC) site (WHO, 03/11/2014).
The kala azar (visceral leishmaniasis) rate continues to rise, and is likely to be related to conflict-related displacement. By end November, 6,936 cases and 196 deaths had been recorded in 2014, compared to 2,253 cases and 70 deaths for all 2013 (OCHA, 21/11/2014; WHO, 30/11/2014). 3,410 cases have been reported in Lankien, 960 in Cuil and 581 in Walgak, Jonglei state (OCHA, 30/10/2014). The worst-affected age group is 5–17 years, which constitutes 42.4% of the cases (WHO, 30/11/2014). An outbreak in Jonglei was reported Akobo and Nyirol counties, which are controlled by opposition forces, in early September. Kala azar is a chronic and potentially fatal parasitic disease transmitted by the bite of infected sandflies (Sudan Tribune, 07/09/2014).
Water supplies were reportedly insufficient in a quarter of displacement sites. Health partners have reported an over 5% increase in diarrhoeal diseases due to the disruption of sanitation and hygiene campaigns in the PoC sites (OCHA, 14/11/2014).
In 40% of sites, IDPs rely on unimproved or surface water sources (IOM 15/07/2014). Water access in the Bentiu PoC site was 12.2L/person/ in early October (OCHA, 04/10/2014). Latrine provision has improved from 99 to 69 persons per latrine (UNICEF, 20/11/2014).
Shelter and NFIs
Living conditions in the PoC site in Malakal are dire, with two families (eight people) living in one tent, for lack of space for additional tents (OCHA, 26/10/2014).
Bad road conditions and insecurity in Jalhak (Upper Nile) is delaying the delivery of NFI support to the area (OCHA, 26/10/2014).
Children are not attending school in 70% of IDP sites (CCCM, 17/04/2014). The inability to pay teachers’ wages has limited education activities in displacement areas (OCHA, 26/10/2014). Many schools remain closed in Greater Upper Nile region.
88 schools have been occupied by armed groups or IDPs (OCHA, 5/12/2014).
In Warrap state, 60 schools are reportedly occupied by IDPs displaced by flooding, while 271 schools in the state were destroyed (OCHA, 7/11/2014). Flooding has forced 500 children out of school in Mvolo county, Western Equatoria state (OCHA, 21/11/2014). Six schools were closed in October in Rumbek East, Lakes state, due to insecurity (OCHA, 30/10/2014).
UNICEF has identified over 5,830 unaccompanied and separated children since the conflict began in December 2013 (UNICEF, 02/09/2014).
12,000 children have reportedly been recruited by armed groups in 2014 (AFP cited UNICEF, 14/12/2014).
UNFPA estimates that 25,000 women and girls are at risk of sexual violence (UNFPA, 7/11/2014). According to the UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, rape has been used as a weapon of war between government and opposition forces (International Media, 23/10/2014). Early and forced marriage, rape, and domestic violence have been reported in Maban refugee camps (Batil, Doro, Gendrassa and Kaya) (OCHA, 16/10/2014). In Melut (Upper Nile), firewood collection remains a major safety concern for women and girls, with reports of GBV in the area (OCHA, 26/10/2014). Escalated tension in Malakal has increased vulnerability of women and girls to SGBV and interrupted access to reproductive health services and psychosocial support services (UNFPA, 07/11/2014).
No water is currently available in schools in relocation sites in White Nile state. Overcrowding is also a concern in the relocation sites (UNHCR, 05/12/2014).
- Protracted insurgencies by armed groups are occurring across Darfur, and South Kordofan, and Blue Nile states. The conflict in South Sudan has also raised tensions.
- 6.6 million people (20% of the population) need humanitarian assistance (OCHA 17/11/2014): 4.4 million in Darfur and 980,000 in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states (OCHA, 11/2014).
- 3.5 million people are projected to be in Crisis, or Emergency levels of food insecurity in October and November 2014, most of whom are in Darfur (FEWSNET, 09/2014; GIEWS, 06/2014).
- 2 million children under five acutely malnourished (OCHA, 08/2014).
- Renewed fighting took place between armed opposition groups, militias, and the Sudanese army in Darfur since March.
- 2.4 million IDPs. Two million in Darfur prior to the latest clashes (OCHA, 03/2014), and 431,000 displaced in 2014 (OCHA, 10/2014).
- Humanitarian access remains a significant problem due to insecurity, mines and explosive remnants of war (ERW), logistical constraints, and restrictions placed by the authorities.
Several regions of Sudan are facing large-scale internal displacement due to violence, widespread food insecurity, malnutrition, lack of access to basic services, and recurrent natural disasters. Humanitarian access to conflict zones is severely restricted.
Numerous, protracted insurgencies are being waged by several armed groups across Darfur, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile. Darfur has been the scene of inter-communal clashes and conflict between the government and armed opposition for over a decade, and fighting intensified in March 2014. Violence in Blue Nile and South Kordofan grew significantly after South Sudan won independence in 2011. Tensions also continue to run high between Sudan and South Sudan.
Profound divisions within Sudanese society have persisted since independence in 1956, and the Government’s exploitation of intercommunal differences has aggravated the situation.
On 17 May, the head of the opposition National Umma Party was arrested for treason after allegedly criticising the Government’s abuse of civilians in Darfur. In September, 12 political activists were detained in Khartoum (local media, 28/09/2014).
In September, eight East Darfur state government officials resigned in protest at lack of response by the state to attacks by Rizeigat gunmen (local media, 20/09/2014).
Tensions between Khartoum and Juba, persistent since South Sudan’s independence in 2011, increased when violence erupted in South Sudan in December 2013. The disruption of oil flow is a key concern for both countries.
In April, according to media reports, the Sudanese Government accused Juba of using Sudanese militia groups. The week before, the South Sudanese army (SPLA) accused Khartoum of supporting the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM)-in-Opposition, according to local media. Both the opposition and Khartoum denied this accusation.
In November, South Sudanese officials accused the Sudanese Government of bombing Raga county, Western Bahr el Ghazal state, and Maban county, Upper Nile state, where more than 220,000 Sudanese refugees are living (AFP, 14/11/2014).
Sudan Revolutionary Front
The Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF), formed in 2011, is seeking a comprehensive peace process covering the whole country. The Government is only willing to discuss the conflict in Darfur.
The SRF is made up of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), mainly active in Blue Nile and South Kordofan states, as well as Darfur’s three largest opposition groups: the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM); the Sudan Liberation Movement led by Abdel Wahid Al Nur (SLM-AW); and the Sudan Liberation Movement led by MinniArkouMinnawi (SLM-MM).
SRF has said it is ready to join the national dialogue with Khartoum and enhance its cooperation with the UN–AU Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), provided the Government lifts the state of emergency and allows unimpeded humanitarian access to war zones. On 25 April, the SRF published a roadmap for a peace settlement, according to local sources.
In August, the SRF joined fellow opposition party, the National Umma Party, in efforts to bring about a transitional government; both parties announced they would not participate in elections scheduled for April 2015.
The Darfur Peace Process
The Darfur peace process is stalled, and does not include the SRF members, SLM-MM, SLM-AW, or JEM, who have consistently rejected the Doha process.
Blue Nile and South Kordofan States
While the SPLM governs the independent South Sudan, the SPLM-North continues an insurgency in Sudan’s Blue Nile and South Kordofan states, which have routinely opposed government rule. Talks between Khartoum and the SPLM-N have repeatedly failed, and negotiations last collapsed in April, reportedly over the SPLM-N’s demand for a comprehensive peace process.
Instability in the East
Despite being home to the largest gold mine in the country and Port Sudan, where all Sudan’s oil exports transit, east Sudan is one of the poorest regions. In 2006, the Eastern Sudan Peace Agreement (ESPA) was signed. But some factions within the Eastern Front, the alliance that signed the agreement, claim they wish to join the SRF because of Khartoum’s alleged failure to implement the core elements of the ESPA. The government is reportedly allowing local militias to arm, and boosting support to Arab tribes.
Extensive military operations aimed to end armed oppositionin Darfur, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile began at the end of 2013. On 11 April, local media reported that the Sudanese Defence Minister had stated that continued armed opposition would be crushed by a military offensive in 2014.Tribal fighting has also intensified during the last two years in Darfur and Kordofan regions, leading to thousands of deaths and injuries and forcing over 300,000 people to flee their homes.
On 30 November, President Omar al-Bashir called for a “clear programme” for the exit of the UNAMID mission in Darfur, saying that the peacekeepers have become a burden. Relations deteriorated following the Sudanese Government’s refusal to allow a UNAMID investigation of mass rape in Tabit, North Darfur (AFP, 30/11/2014).
Armed Conflict and Violence in Darfur
Security in Darfur has reportedly deteriorated significantly since late December 2013, with almost daily air strikes from the Sudanese Air Force (SAF). Air raids, attacks on IDPs and villagers and their shelters, and attacks on convoys, are frequent.IDPs in camps across Darfur have requested protection (local sources, 12/03/2014).
In October in North Darfur, a raid was reported in Zamzam camp, as were attacks in Um Keddada, Liwi, and Anka (OCHA, 26/10/2014; local media, 13/10/2014, 29/10/2014, 23/10/2014).
In South Darfur, on 13 October, farmers and gunmen clashed near El Salam camp (local media, 14/10/2014). On 5 September, in Kalma camp, aprotest against repeated government raids ended in four people were killed and 39 wounded by government troops violence; (local media, 05/09/2014).
In Central Darfur, pro-government forces reportedly attacked displacement sites in Zalingei, Kailik, and Niertitiin April, May, and June. Over ten people were killed, according to local media. Another militia incident was reported on 18 October, south of Deleig town (local media, 20/10/2014).
Jebel Marra: Over 30–31 October, SAF shelling killed ten people in Deribat, East Jebel Marra (local). SLM-AW claimed to have killed 37 government forces and pro-government militia in Deribat (local media). Air raids werefrequently reported in August and September. Aerial bombing was also reported in March and May.
Inter-communal violence: In Central Darfur, the Sudanese army was deployed to Mukjar, Um Dukhun, and Bindisiin June, after clashes between the Misseriya and the Salamat tribes left at least 130 people dead, according to local media.In West Darfur, local media reported in June that clashes between Misseriya clans over pasture in Babanusa locality had left 196 people dead (OCHA, 22/06/2014). In late November, several days of fighting over land among the Misseriya left more than 133 people dead in theoil-rich West Kordofanregion (AFP, 27/11/2014).
In East Darfur, at least 300 had been killed in clashes between Maaliya and Rizeigat by 20 August (local media, 20/08/2014). On 12 October, clashes between Maaliya and Rizeigat in Sheiria locality left one tribesman dead (local media, 14/10/2014).
Armed Violence and Conflict in Kordofan and Blue Nile
Information on Blue Nile and South Kordofan states is difficult to obtain as government authorities severely restrict access to the fighting zone. The Sudanese Government announced that it would expand its counter-insurgency operations in Blue Nile state on 23 May. According to an SPLM-N spokesperson on 21 April, the SAF had launched an offensive in North Kordofan. Bombings had reportedly intensified in the region at the end of May.Aerial bombardments took place in South Kordofan in late September and early October. There are reports of injured civilians, and damaged infrastructure and crops (OCHA, 22/10/2014). On 23 November, the Sudanese Air Force bombed areas in El Kurmuk locality, Blue Nile state, killing one child (local media, 25/11/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
6.6 million people (20% of the population) are in need of humanitarian assistance; more than half are in Darfur and South Kordofan and Blue Nile states (OCHA 17/11/2014).
In October, 4.4 million people in Darfur, more than half of the region’s population, needed humanitarian assistance (OCHA). This includes 2.4million IDPs, 1.9 million non-displaced severely affected by violence, and 136,000 returnees or refugees from neighbouring countries.
In South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, 940,000 need assistance in government-controlled areas (OCHA), and 540,000 are estimated displaced by conflict in SPLM-N territory. Limited access to non-government areas makes verification impossible.
Humanitarian access for international relief organisations is a major problem. Humanitarian operations are heavily hampered by insecurity, the presence of mines and ERW, logistical constraints, and government restrictions.The number of humanitarian aid workers in Darfur declined from 6,850 in November 2013 to 5,440 in August 2014 (OCHA, 17/11/2014).
August 2013 regulations ban foreign humanitarian groups and UN agencies from working for human rights, and the Government has banned humanitarian access to areas controlled by opposition groups.
Security Incidents Involving Aid Workers
Several abductions of aid workers were reported in June and July in North and South Darfur (IOM, 25/07/2014; UNICEF, 19/07/2014). On 16 October, three UNAMID peacekeepers were killed while guarding a borehole in Korma, North Darfur(UNAMID, 16/10/2014).
East Jebel Marra region has been virtually inaccessible since 2010. Access to IDPs in Darfur is constrained by militia checkpoints and insecurity.
Blue Nile and South Kordofan
The Sudanese Humanitarian Aid Commission bannedinternational staff from UN agencies and international NGOs from participating in an inter-agency multi-cluster needs assessment in Blue Nile state in November (local media, 19/10/2014). There has been no humanitarian access from Sudan to opposition-held areas in South Kordofan since October 2013.
As of 11 September, 277,000 people were affected by heavy rains and flooding (OCHA, 14/09/2014). Earlier figures indicate 70,000 affected in Blue Nile state, 32,000 in Khartoum, 22,000 in North Darfur, 19,000 in South Kordofan, 19,000 in River Nile, 18,000 in North Kordofan, 18,000 in White Nile, 14,000 in Kassala, 13,000 in Sennar, 11,000 in Al Gezira, 8,000 in Northern, and 6,000 in West Darfur (OCHA, 24/08/2014).
IDPs in Darfur
Overall, 2.4 million IDPs reside in 46 camps and 68 settlements in Darfur (82,530 orphans, 34,099 widows, and 52,352 sick and elderly), according to a survey conducted by the Darfur Regional Authority (DRA) from December 2013 to April 2014. 431,000 people have been displaced in Darfur so far in 2014: 298,000 remain displaced and 132,000 people are reported to have returned (OCHA 31/10/2014). The first half of 2014 saw more displaced in Darfur than in any year since 2004 (OCHA 20/07/2014). On 22 June, OCHA reported that government policy, preventing the creation of new camps, is an obstacle for IOM’s verification and registration of IDPs.
North Darfur: 121,000 IDPs; 130,000 returnees in 2014 (OCHA 07/09/2014). 729 villages were destroyed December 2013–April 2014 (DRA cited by local media 16/07/2014). On 21 September, it was reported that militia in Kutum locality are imposing protection fees on displaced farmers (local media, 21/09/2014).
South Darfur: 99,000 IDPs (OCHA 07/09/2014); 736 villages were destroyed December 2013–April 2014 (DRA cited by local media 16/07/2014).
Central Darfur: 35,000 IDPs; 5,000 returnees in 2014 (OCHA 07/09/2014); 778 villages were destroyed December 2013–April 2014 (DRA cited by local media 16/07/2014).
East Darfur: 8,000 IDPs as of early September (OCHA, 07/09/2014); 331 villages destroyed December 2013–April 2014 (DRA cited by local media 16/07/2014).By 16 September, community leaders reported that fighting between the Maaliya and Rizeigat tribes had led to the displacement of some 55,000 people (11,000 families) in Adila locality. Many people are taking shelter with host families. Women widowed by the conflict arereportedly vulnerable to exploitation (OCHA, 21/09/2014).
West Darfur: 1,300 IDPs were reported by OCHA in September, in stark contrast with earlier local government figure of 373,000 (OCHA, 07/09/2014; DRA cited by local media 16/07/2014).
Jebel Marra: An estimated 100,000 people displaced or severely affected by conflict (OCHA, 14/08/2014).
Blue Nile and South Kordofan: In South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, 540,000 are estimated displaced by conflict in SPLM-N territory (OCHA, 17/11/2014).With no presence in SPLM-N controlled areas, the UN is unable to verify these figures (OCHA, 19/05/2014).
West Kordofan: Violence has displaced 12,720 people to Babanusa town and El Udaiyat village; 21,000 people to Debab village and Muglad town; and 11,500 people to El Salam locality. 7,400 people in Ghubaysh locality fled conflict in North Darfur (OCHA, 21/09/2014).
Refugees in Sudan
As of 5 December, 113,000 South Sudanese nationals had arrived in Sudan since 15 December 2013, with more than 1,000 registered per week in recent weeks (UNHCR). An estimated 59,000 are in White Nile, 14,000 in South Kordofan, 31,000 in Khartoum, and the rest in West Kordofan and Blue Nile (UNHCR, 5/12/2014). An estimated 347,000 people of South Sudanese origin are in Sudan (OCHA, 30/04/2014). 6,800 displaced South Sudanese are living in the disputed area of Abyei (OCHA, 17/12/2014).
In White Nile, arrival rates increased from 500–600 people per week to around 1,000 in September, due to a surge in violence in South Sudan (ECHO, 23/09/2014). All sites in White Nile state are currently beyond capacity. Access for aid workers remains a concern (ECHO, 23/09/2014).
On 1 June, Sudan was hosting 157,000 refugees, mainly from Eritrea, with smaller numbers from Chad, Ethiopia, Somalia, and South Sudan, according to February UNHCR figures.On 12 October, UNHCR reported 1,700 refugees from CAR in Nyala, South Darfur. These refugees will be relocated to Um Shalaya refugee camp in Central Darfur (OCHA, 15/10/2014). In late November, it was confirmed that refugees from CAR had arrived in Um Dafug in May-June this year (OCHA, 23/11/2014).
6,000 Sudanese have returned from CAR to Um Dafug town, South Darfur. Needs include registration and verification, and health and WASH services (OCHA, 23/11/2014).
5,000 refugees were reported by SKBNCU to have returned to Blue Nile from Ethiopia and South Sudan in August. Returnees from South Sudan were fleeing violence in Maban. Returning refugees also reported looking for opportunities for cultivation and income generation (OCHA, 22/10/2014).
Sudanese Refugees in Other Countries
As of 31 May, OCHA reported that there were 352,000 Sudanese refugees in Chad, 216,000 in South Sudan, 33,000 in Ethiopia, and 5,000 in Central African Republic.
3.5 million people are projected to be in Crisis (IPC Phase 2), or Emergency (IPC Phase 3) levels of food insecurity in October and November; most are in Darfur (FEWSNET, 09/2014; GIEWS, 06/2014). IDPs make up 80% of food insecure people (FAO, 10/04/2014).Harvests in October improved food availability and access, income, and purchasing power of poor households. Cereal prices have decreased, although sorghum and millet prices are still above average (FEWSNET, 11/2014).
On 16 September, FEWSNET forecast that due to continued displacement and insecurity in Darfur and South Kordofan, the country would remain at Crisis level of food insecurity through March 2015, even though above-average 2014/15 harvests are expected across most of Sudan.
South Kordofan and Blue Nile
As many as 125,000 people (25,000 families) have been unable to cultivate any essential crops due to fighting (in addition to those who already were severely constrained by lack of seeds, tools, family labour, and access to farmland), and will likely face deteriorating food security for the rest of 2014 and through 2015 (OCHA, 22/10/2014).
Health and Nutrition
The UN estimated in mid-December 2013 that 165,000 children in SPLM-N-controlled parts of South Kordofan and Blue Nile do not have access to basic health services.Health clinics in El Redis and Al Alagaya relocation sites, White Nile state have reported a shortage of drugs. In El Redis clinic, lack of lighting, refrigeration, and an ambulance, severely hinder the delivery of health (OCHA, 17/11/2014).
There are indications that the health situation in Darfur is deteriorating. Local reports indicate that schistomsomiasis, visceral leishmaniasis, scabies, and ringworm have increased since 2012. About 90,000 people are living without access to any medical care in Mukjar locality (Central Darfur). 50,000 people from host communities are in need of access to health services in Bielel locality, South Darfur (WHO cited by OCHA, 03/08/2014).On 12 September, three gunmen in military uniform attacked the medical director of the hospital of Bindisi IDP camp, Central Darfur, demanding medicines. The hospital has been closed (local media, 13/09/2014).
WHO and the State Ministry of Health reported that between 28 August and 19 November 2014, 114cases (three deaths) of haemorrhagic fever had been registered in North Darfur since late August, of which 15 cases were confirmed as dengue, including three fatal cases (OCHA, 9/11/2014).
As of 21 September, 700 cases of hepatitis E have been confirmed in Blue Nile and South Darfur states, with almost half of reported cases (365) identified in South Darfur’s Kalma IDP camp. In Blue Nile state, over 80 cases have been reported. The number of cases in Kalma and El Salam IDP camps are gradually declining, due to response from humanitarian actors, but cases were increasing in El Serif IDP camp in September (OCHA, 21/09/2014). MSF reported an outbreak of hepatitis E in El Sereif camp with more than 400 cases at 21 June (OCHA 06/07/2014).
366 cutaneous leishmaniasis cases have been confirmed in South Kordofan, with 644 suspected cases in inaccessible areas. Cutaneous leishmaniasisis endemic in Abu Kershola and El Leri areas due to the presence of sand flies (OCHA, 23/11/2014).
Two million children under five are acutely malnourishedas of 30 September,an upward revision from 1.4 million at the beginning of August(OCHA, 15/10/2014). 500,000 are expected to suffer from SAM in 2014 (OCHA, 24/08/2014).
WASH support to schools in relocation sites in White Nile state remains critical; no water is currently available (UNHCR, 05/12/2014). In the Al Alagaya relocation site for South Sudanese refugees in White Nile state, the construction of 800 latrines has been delayed due to lack of space, despite the allocation of resources and staff (OCHA, 17/11/2014).
43,000 houses are reported to have been destroyed by floods since July (OCHA, 24/08/2014). On 3 October, heavy rains and strong winds damaged 700 tents in Kalma IDP camp in South Darfur (local media). On 7 October, heavy rainfall damaged 200 homes (150 shelters and 50 houses) at the Hassahissa camp in Central Darfur (local media, 10/10/2014).
In White Nile state, poor incentives for community teachers interrupt refugees’ education. Many classrooms are occupied by refugees due to lack of alternative space (UNHCR, 14/11/2014). Overcrowding remains a concern in relocation sites in White Nile state (UNHCR, 05/12/2014). According to local media in July, insecurity in Darfur is affecting the supply of teaching staff, with thousands of teachers in Nyala, requesting transfers.In North Darfur,IDP camps in Saraf Omra locality lack educational services, and IDP children cannot afford to fees to attend public or private schools in the area.
A recent review of UNAMID in Darfur has revealed that the peacekeeping force intentionally sought to cover up crimes against civilians and peacekeepers (UN News Service, 29/10/2014).
Mines and ERW
250 locations covering an estimated 32km2 are contaminated by mines and ERW, with the greatest concentrations in Kassala, Gedaref, Red Sea, Blue Nile, South Kordofan, and Darfur (UNMAS). South Kordofan is the most heavilymined area of Sudan, according to the Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor.
Sexual and Gender-Based Violence
Numerous rapes have been reported by local media in North, South and Central Darfur and Jebel Marrasince March. Reports in early November suggested that more than 200 women and girls had been raped by Sudanese soldiers in Tabit area in North Darfur. Sudanese troops denied UNAMID access to assess the situation (Reuters, 17/11/2014).Between 1 July and mid-August, 45 people, women and girls, were raped in East Jebel Marra (local media, 18/09/2014). Between mid-July and 25 September, at least 30 cases of rape have been reported across Darfur (local media).
As of late March, the Sudanese Government refuses to recognise South Sudanese nationals as refugees and instead considers them to be Sudanese citizens (UNHCR, 03/04/2014). All foreigners in Sudan had to register with the immigration administration by 1 April. UNHCR has declared this constitutes an obstacle to humanitarian assistance.
Syria Country Analysis
5–12 December: Islamic State (IS) intensified its offensive on Kobane (Aleppo), and is advancing towards Deir-ez-Zor airport (SOHR/ ISW/ OCHA).
12 December: Islamist group Ahrar al Sham has grown stronger again following the merger of two Islamic Front group members, indicating growth and consolidation within the Islamic Front (ISW).
9 December: In the first nine months of 2014, 100,000 new Syrian refugees were registered in neighbouring countries, down from 150,000 per month in 2013. In October, only around 19,000 refugees were registered. Following a pledge by the aid community, western governments have promised to take in around 100,000 Syrian refugees in the coming months (UNHCR).
- Over 200,000 deaths were documented between March 2011 and December 2014, including over 63,000 civilians, of whom almost 11,000 were children (SOHR 12/2014).
- Some 12.2 million people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance inside Syria, including 5.6 million children (OCHA/ UNICEF 11/2014). The need for winter aid has increased (UNHCR 11/2014).
- 7.6 million IDPs are in Syria (HNO OCHA 11/2014).
- 4.6 million people live in difficult-to-reach areas (HNO OCHA 11/2014).
- 3,323,031 Syrians are registered or waiting to register as refugees outside Syria as of 10 December. Lebanon: 1,147,788; Turkey: 1,165,279; Jordan: 620,441; Iraq: 228,484; Egypt: 137,671 (UNHCR 10/12/2014). Children make up 51.6% of the refugee population.
- 711 of 1,921 primary health centres and more than one-third (37 of 92) public hospitals are out of service. 26 of 41 basic emergency obstetric care centres are reported non-functional (Syrian Ministry of Health, UNFPA 30/11/2014).
The conflict in Syria is now in its fourth year and the humanitarian situation continues to worsen. There were major changes in conflict dynamics over 2014, both in terms of warring factions’ control over territory and in terms of the fault lines of the conflict.
The conflict has killed over 200,000 people and caused large-scale displacement. More people are in camps than last year, and more non-displaced are in need of humanitarian assistance. The country has also experienced severe drought. 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 as access to food, basic services, and livelihoods is obstructed.
The Syrian Government and key opponents have agreed to move towards Russia-mediated peace talks; previous attempts at talks have failed (AFP 02/12/2014). Local truces have mainly been short-term solutions for access, instead of becoming tools for a broader political solution and step towards peace talks. Led by UN Envoy Mistura, talks on the establishment of ‘freeze zones’ in Aleppo are ongoing (UN/BBC 11/2014; SNAP 07/12/2014).
In June 2014, President Bashar al Assad was elected for another seven years.
Widespread conflict and high levels of violence continue, including indiscriminate aerial bombings by governmental forces and indiscriminate shelling by armed opposition (UNSC 21/11/2014). There are believed to be as many as 1,000 armed opposition groups fighting in Syria.
More than 200,000 people have died since fighting began in March 2011, including over 63,000 civilians, and 11,000 children (SOHR 02/12/2014).
Islamic State (IS, formerly the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) was in full control of Ar-Raqqa governorate, its stronghold in Syria, as of October. On 30 June, IS declared an Islamic caliphate, defining the group's territory as running from northern Syria to the Iraqi province of Diyala, northeast of Baghdad. IS holds significant swathes of territory in Aleppo, Al Hasakeh, and Deir-ez-Zor, and has clashed with various armed groups when spreading to new areas such as Rural Damascus, Damascus, and Homs. It controls approximately 60% of Kobane, Aleppo, where violent clashes continue (SOHR 11/2014). In December IS intensified its offensive on Kobane. It is also advancing towards Deir-ez-Zor airport (SOHR 12/2014; OCHA 05/12/2014).
Jabhat al Nusra (JAN), linked to Al Qaeda, is increasingly consolidating its control in northwestern Syria, previously held by the collapsing moderate opposition. JAN has turned against other opposition factions, such as the Syria Revolutionaries’ Front (SRF) and the Hazm Movement, which are considered mainstays of the Free Syrian Army, and mainstream Islamist groups have begun trying to strengthen relations with JAN. Since the middle of the year, JAN has seized towns and extended its influence along the border with Turkey. JAN’s control of the Bab al Hawa border crossing – a major access route to northwestern Syria – could lead to its long-term closure by Turkish authorities (OCHA 11/2014). Armed opposition groups, including JAN, sustained their offensive on Nubul and Zahra villages, held by the government, in Aleppo (OCHA 05/12/2014).
In a move that might reconsolidate opposition forces, on 29 November, 72 opposition groups, including Islamic Front, the Free Syrian Army and western-backed groups, formally established the Syrian Revolutionary Command Council (RCC). Ahrar al Sham, signatory to the RCC and influential across western Syria, was reconstituted following the merger of two Islamic Front group members, indicating growth of and consolidation within the Front (ISW 09/12/2014). Armed opposition forces have pushed government forces out of Handarat district, Aleppo (OCHA 05/12/2014).
Government forces have regained control of several areas north of Aleppo, in Homs city, and in several areas in the Qalamoun region in Rural Damascus, in 2014. Syria's military is increasingly using barrel bombs. About 2,000 airstrikes across 12 of Syria’s 14 provinces have killed at least 527 and wounded 2,000 people since 20 October (SOHR/AFP 28/11/2014).
International intervention: As part of a multinational campaign against Islamist militant groups, a US-led coalition began airstrikes in mid-September on IS and JAN military installations. 865 people have been killed, including 50 civilians (UNSC 21/11/2014). In November, there were 160 airstrikes, down from 220 in October (SNAP 07/12/2014). Israeli airstrikes near Damascus in early December are in line with previous strikes targeting weapons shipments and missile components allegedly meant for delivery to Hezbollah (ISW 09/12/2014).
The southern governorates, strategically important thanks to their proximity to government-controlled Damascus and As-Sweida governorates, have become major battlefronts. Opposition groups and JAN consider the south, especially Dar’a, as a main stronghold, away from the threat of IS (SNAP 07/11/2014). Central governorates have witnessed an increase in airstrikes and the use of barrel bombs, especially Idleb and Rural Damascus.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Some 12.2 million people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance inside Syria, including 5.6 million children. Winter aid is a priority (OCHA/ UNICEF/ UNHCR 11/2014). The Response Plan funding gap stands at 46% – or over USD 1.7 billion (OCHA 12/12/2014).
Over two million people need humanitarian assistance in Aleppo governorate; food and water assistance are the highest priorities. 1.2 million are in need in Idleb, 830,100 in Ar-Raqqa, 522,580 in Deir-ez-Zor, 503,700 in Al Hasakeh, 482,500 in Hama, 381,200 in Dar’a, 346,500 in Lattakia, 108,100 in Rural Damascus, and 56,000 in Quneitra. In general, needs are more severe in rural areas, specifically in the food, health, water, and NFI sectors (MSNA 30/10/2014).
Syria has also experienced severe drought conditions in 2014, impacting the availability of drinkable water and the health status of the population, as well as reducing agricultural output and local food production.
4.6 million people in areas that are besieged or hard to access are in need of humanitarian assistance (OCHA 11/2014). 212,000 people remain besieged, a decrease from 241,000 in mid-October, in Nubul and Al Zahra in rural Aleppo; Eastern Ghouta, Daryya, and Moadamiyah in Rural Damascus; the Old City in Homs; and Yarmouk camp in Damascus (UNSC 21/11/2014).
Interference by powerful groups or people is the biggest humanitarian constraint. In government-controlled areas in Lattakia, Hama, and Idleb governorates, assistance does not reach affected populations seen to be affiliated with opposing parties.
The UN’s response efforts are chronically underfunded: only 38% of the Syria component of OCHA’s appeal is covered. Only 5.3% of the regional component has been funded (UN News service 30/10/2014).
Security Incidents Involving Aid Workers
69 humanitarian workers have been killed in the conflict since March 2011. Twenty-seven United Nations staff (including 24 UNRWA staff) have been detained or are missing (UNSC 21/11/2014).
Trapped and Hard-to-Reach Communities
Aleppo: Despite armed opposition groups taking over Handarat district, government forces remain in a position to block the Handarat route, a major humanitarian access route into Aleppo city (OCHA 05/12/2014). Approximately 300,000 civilians would be affected if the Government successfully surrounds the east of Aleppo city, as all routes would require actors to cross front lines (OCHA 07/11/2014). In October, Aleppo received assistance for the first time in 12 months (UN 10/2014).
Ar-Raqqa: Volatile security conditions and the presence of armed groups along access routes have prevented deliveries since July (WFP 11/11/2014).
Damascus: Since mid-September, there has been a significant decline in the quantity of relief items delivered to 18,000 civilians in Yarmouk Camp, with irregular aid distribution due to insecurity and lack of clearnace (UNRWA 07/12/2014). Around 200 people have reportedly died because of shortages in the camp (AFP 10/2014).
Dar’a: Intensified conflict has prevented deliveries to rural areas (WFP 11/11/2014).
Deir-ez-Zor: Volatile security conditions and the presence of armed groups along access routes have prevented deliveries since May (WFP 11/11/2014). IS restricts access to government-controlled areas, affecting approximately 150,000 civilians (UNSC 21/11/2014).
Hama: Since the end of October, the deterioration of the security situation and numerous checkpoints in rural areas has slowed deliveries (WFP 11/11/2014).
Homs: Under partial siege for the past 12 months, over half of Al Waer’s 350,000 residents are IDPs, who are mostly living in substandard accommodation (WFP 22/10/2014). Following intense negotiations, UN aid reached Homs in November, for the first time in six months (AFP 13/11/2014).
Idleb: 1.3 million people have been affected by cuts in electricity supply, following a JAN offensive on Idleb City (UNSC 21/11/2014).
Quneitra: Intensified conflict prevented deliveries to rural areas (WFP 11/11/2014).
Border closures or tight restrictions by neighbouring countries are dissuading people in life-threatening situations from seeking refuge abroad. At the two fully open crossing-points between Turkey and Syria, refugees without passports are routinely turned away unless they have urgent medical or humanitarian needs. Five registered refugees have been fired at by Jordanian border patrols; one was wounded, the other four were deported (HRW 24/11/2014). Bab al Hawa crossing was closed by Turkish authorities on 16 November, following fighting between factions of the Islamic Front (OCHA 21/11/2014). The Turkish Government has opened a new border crossing at Khirbet Jouz (ISW 02/12/2014).
Palestinian refugees are particularly affected by closed borders and forced returns from neighbouring countries (UN 24/11/2014).
Due to fighting around Kobane, the city has been cut off from the national power network for 11 months. For 9 months, the water supply has also been cut off from the station in the southern Shaioukh district (Guardian/ Bihar 10/2014).
There are 7.6 million IDPs within Syria; 50% are children (OCHA 25/11/2014). Between January and September, the number living in IDP camps grew by 56%, from 108,000 to approximately 165,000. Idleb probably has the highest concentration of IDPs, at more than 40% of the population. Elsewhere, IDPs generally account for 10–35% of the population (WFP 11/11/2014; MSNA 30/10/2014).
Changed conflict dynamics, ongoing violence, the depleted capacity of host families, depletion of savings, and the search for better livelihoods are all contributing to increased multiple displacement (MSNA 30/10/2014; OCHA/REACH 30/10/2014).
Displacement in September–November was mostly due to intensified conflict and most reported in Aleppo, Dar’a and Hama, and Lattakia, followed by Ar-Raqqa, Deir-ez-Zor, and Al Hasakeh. Lattakia (80%), Ar-Raqqa (60%) saw the biggest increase in their population (WFP 11/11/2014; MSNA 30/10/2014).
There are an estimated 29,000 Iraqi refugees in Syria. Almost 4,300 are registered in Al Hasakeh governorate, including 1,250 with special needs (UNHCR 25/11/2014).
Estimates indicate that hundreds of Syrians are returning to Syria on a daily basis; an estimated 1,000 Syrians previously seeking refuge in Iraq had crossed back into Syria by July (UN Security Council 07/2014).
Syrian Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
3,323,031 Syrians are registered or waiting to register as refugees outside Syria as of 10 December (UNHCR).
From January to September 2014, 100,000 new Syrian refugees were registered in neighbouring countries – down from 150,000 per month in 2013 (UNHCR 09/2014). In October, only 18,453 new refugees were registered by UNHCR (NRC/IRC 12/11/2014).
Following a pledge by the aid community, western governments committed to take in around 100,000 Syrian refugees in the coming months (UNHCR 09/12/2014).
Turkey: 1,165,279 refugees (UNHCR 10/12/2014), of which almost 892,000 outside, and almost 224,000 in camps. The Government has suspended pre-registration as of 20 October to focus on the full registration process: as of 11 December, at least 52,000 Syrian refugees have been biometrically registered (UNHCR). The rate of full biometric registration is reportedly 400 people a day (UNHCR 20/11/2014). At Suruc, around 1,000 people are estimated to be waiting on the Syrian side of the border. At Yumurtalik border crossing, another 500–600 people are waiting (UNHCR 11/12/2014).
Lebanon: 1,147,788 refugees (UNHCR 10/12/2014). Lebanon’s borders have been closed to Syrian refugees since 24 October.
Jordan: 620,441 refugees (UNHCR 01/12/2014). Between 3,000 and 4,000 people are camped on the Syrian side of the border. UNHCR is trying to broker their access with authorities. No entries through informal border crossings have been registered since 1 November (23/11/2014).
Egypt: 137,671 refugees (UNHCR 01/12/2014). 150 have been deported to Syria, Lebanon, and Turkey. More have received deportation orders (Amnesty International 14/11/2014).
Iraq: 228,484 refugees (UNHCR 01/12/2014). The Kurdish Regional Government’s intelligence and security services have started to legalise the stay of Syrians who crossed to KR-I via the Peshkabour border but have not been registered (UNHCR 11/2014).
Palestinians: Over 50% – or 280,000 – of approximately 540,000 Palestine refugees registered with UNRWA in Syria have been displaced within Syria, a further 12% to neighbouring countries: 45,000 have been recorded with UNRWA in Lebanon; 14,642 in Jordan and 860 in Gaza. Around 4,000 are reportedly in Egypt (UNRWA 28/10/2014).
Almost 4.5 million are in need of food assistance. On 1 December, WFP announced the suspension of food aid for 1.7 million people affected by the Syria conflict, because of a funding crisis (WFP/UNHCR 01/12/2014). The UN had already cut the food aid basket for 4.2 million Syrians by 40% in October (AFP 10/2014).
IDPs outside formal camps are most susceptible to food shortages. The most acute needs are reported from Aleppo, Dar’a, Quneitra, and Rural Damascus, including from 600,000 besieged civilians in Eastern Ghouta, Rural Damascus (MSNA 10/2014). Food dispatches are continued to be hindered by worsening security conditions, particularly in the north-east and south (WFP 25/11/2014). Bread shortages are threatening food security in many areas, particularly in the north.
Government subsidies have brought down inflation in some parts of the country. However, in parts of opposition-held Dar’a, Deir-ez-Zor, and Rural Damascus, prices have risen over 75% in just over three months (WFP 10/2014). If the conflict continues in 2015, it is expected that 60% of Syrians will not be able to secure their own food requirements (WHO 10/2014).
Agriculture and Markets
The “cereal belt” of Syria includes Ar-Raqqa, Aleppo, Al Hasakeh, Deir-Ez-Zor, Hama, and Idleb, and produces more than 80% of the country’s wheat. Drought and conflict have both impacted production. According to FAO estimates, Syria’s overall cereal production in 2014 was approximately 18% below total production in 2013 and 38% below the five-year average (2009–13) (FAO 14/10/2014).
More than half the population lived in extreme poverty at the end of 2013. Unemployment is at 54% (3.39 million people) (Syrian Centre for Policy Research, UNDP 19/10/2014). The conflict has set the economy back more than three decades. 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).
Economic pressure, erosion of livelihoods, lack of income-generating activities, and increased size of households hamper access to services and goods across all sectors (MSNA 30/10/2014).
Health and Nutrition
Over 2.4 million people are in need of health assistance, with highest numbers reported from Ar-Raqqa (627,600), Aleppo (475,270), and Al Hasakeh (356,200). 43% of areas with frequent fighting, and 37% with sporadic fighting, reported acute health needs (MSNA 30/10/2014). The winter is likely to have a large impact on vulnerable people, particularly those residing in the mountainous regions in northern Syria (WHO 31/10/2014). The chronically ill, disabled and child-headed households are the most vulnerable groups at risk of health concerns (MSNA 30/10/2014).
Tuberculosis, typhoid, and scabies have become endemic in northern Syria (AFP 28/11/2014). In Douma, near Damascus, three cases of myiasis, a non-lethal infection with fly larvae, were reported on 19 November, in another indication of the deterioration of living conditions (AFP 28/11/2014).
Since the start of the conflict, some 200,000 Syrians have died from chronic illnesses due to lack of access to treatment and medicines (PHR 10/2014). Hospitals are unable to cope with the demand for surgery, due to the increase in the number of injured – averaging 25,000 each month – combined with a lack of (female) medical staff, severe supply shortages and frequent power cuts.
711 of 1,921 primary health centres and more than one-third (37 of 92) public hospitals are out of service; as are 759 vehicles (Syrian Ministry of Health, UNFPA 11/2014). Five governorates (Aleppo, Rural Damascus, Homs, Dar’a and Deir-er-Zor) have the highest number of non-functional public hospitals. Local drug production has fallen by 70% (WHO 10/2014).
In Deir-ez-Zor governorate, contamination of the Euphrates River, heavy violence, damaged water infrastructure, hot weather, overcrowded shelters, and frequent power cuts have made the population more susceptible to the spread of communicable diseases. Typhoid and hepatitis A are on the rise, with 76% of typhoid cases between January and mid-July 2014 reported from Deir-ez-Zor (PHR 10/2014)
Attacks on Health Workers and Facilities
Between March 2011 and August 2014, 560 medical personnel had reportedly been killed, most in targeted killings (PHR 10/2014). In the same period, PHR documented 195 attacks on 155 separate medical facilities. Of these, 176 were committed by government forces, 13 by non-state armed groups, and six by unknown forces (PHR 25/09/2014).
Diarrhoea is one of the main causes of death in children under 12 months old (IFRC 24/07/2014). The number of acute diarrhoea cases continues to increase, with 60,012 reported by mid-September, up from 22,169 reported in July (WHO 22/08/2014, WHO 30/10/2014).
2,173 cases of hepatitis A were reported in July, most in Deir-ez-Zor (WHO 22/08/2014).
3 million women and girls of reproductive age are in need of care in Syria, including around 432,000 pregnant women. Every day, some 1,480 women give birth in dire conditions. 26 of 41 basic emergency obstetric care centres are reported as non-functional (Syrian Ministry of Health, UNFPA 30/11/2014).
As of mid-September, 610 cases of suspected measles had been reported (WHO 30/10/2014).
More than 350,000 individuals in Syria are estimated to suffer from severe forms of mental illness; over 2 million people suffer from mild to moderate problems such as anxiety and depression disorders, and a large percentage have moderate to severe psychological/social distress (WHO, UNHCR 19/10/2014).
In areas of IDP concentration in Syria, 2.3% SAM and 7.2% GAM was reported. Al Hasakeh, Hama, and Tartous had the highest SAM rates – above 3% – while Aleppo, Damascus, Deir-ez-Zor, Quneitra, and Rural Damascus had SAM rates above 2.5% (2014 Nutrition Assessment (preliminary results); UNICEF 21/10/2014).
Although the beginning of December marked eight months with no cases of wild poliovirus in the Middle East, indicating that transmission of the virus has been interrupted (AFP 28/11/2014; Global Polio Eradication Initiative 26/11/2014). 36 polio cases have been reported in Syria since October 2013.
As of mid-September, 2,976 cases of typhoid fever had been reported; typhoid is reportedly increasing, especially in areas with high violence (WHO 30/10/2014; PHR 10/2014).
4.6 million people are in need of WASH assistance. Six out of ten governorates report major problems in the WASH sector. Syrian families consume 40% less water than they did pre-crisis and, as of August, availability of safe water was one-third of pre-crisis levels.
All parties to the conflict are increasingly targeting vital services. One-third of water treatment plants no longer function, and sewage treatment has halved. As of September, three of four water pumping stations in Aleppo have been shut down, affecting over two million people (PHR 10/2014; WHO, UNICEF 22/07/2014). More than 400,000 are reported in acute need of water in Al Bab subdistrict of Aleppo governorate alone (MSNA 30/10/2014).
In November, after three months, UNRWA was permitted to transport limited amounts of clean water into Yarmouk camp (10/11/2014).
Shelter and NFIs
1.6 million people are in need of shelter assistance (MSNA 30/10/2041). 1.2 million houses have been damaged, 400,000 of which have been totally destroyed (UNHCR 30/10/2014). Only IDPs in government-controlled areas receive shelter response, through collective shelter rehabilitation and private shelter upgrade (UNHCR 20/11/2014).
The dispatch of non-food items (NFIs) has fallen significantly since April, while 2.7 million people are in need of NFI assistance (MSNA 30/10/2014).
Dar’a, Lattakia, and Quneitra have acute needs, followed very closely by Hama, Ar-Raqqa, Aleppo, Al Hasakeh and Rural Damascus. 40% of people identified in need of shelter are located in Aleppo governorate, as are 34% of people identified in need of NFI assistance (MSNA 30/10/2014).
420,000 Syrians aged 6–14 are in need of education services, and many of these children have been out of school for two or more years (UNHCR/ REACH 07/2014). Nationwide, 51.8% of school-age children were not going to school (Syrian Centre for Policy Research 05/2014, AFP 12/09/2014). 4,000 Syrian schools have been destroyed, damaged, or used to house IDPs, leaving the educational system on the verge of collapse. Reports indicate most schools in Ar-Raqqa are closed (UNICEF 21/10/2014). 76 UNRWA schools – more than two-thirds – have become unusable. Another 15 are used as collective shelters, housing 6,043 people (UNRWA 17/11/2014).
The primary reason for student drop-out is the need to work to support the family (Syrian Interim Government/OCHA 07/11/2014).
Ethnic and religious communities in IS-occupied areas have been targeted directly (UN Human Rights Council 11/2014). IS has executed 1,429 people in Syria since June, the majority civilians (UN Human Rights Council 14/11/2014; SOHR/AFP 17/11/2014). There are unconfirmed allegations of IS abuses against the Al Shaitat tribe for refusing to recognise IS jurisdiction, with hundreds of civilian members of the tribe reportedly abducted and detained in Deir-ez-Zor (UNSC 21/11/2014).
Other non-state armed groups also continue to commit violations, including summary executions.
Human trafficking, and reportedly organ trafficking, is reported to take
place in Syria (UNHCR 20/11/2014).
Non-state armed groups and the Government’s Popular Committees are increasingly recruiting children: over 120 cases – more than half by the Free Syrian Army – were documented between 1 January and 19 August, including girls, and some as young as eight (UNSC 08/2014). In Raqqa, IS is using education to foster a new generation of recruits (UN Human Rights Council 14/11/2014).
Over 280,000 PRS have been displaced, many multiple times. Over half of PRS are currently unemployed and coping mechanisms are stretched to breaking point. UNRWA remains most concerned about the lack of access and humanitarian aid reaching Yarmouk, Khan Eshieh, Rural Damascus areas, and villages west of Dara’a (09/12/2014).
In October and November, the government forces carried out more air strikes and barrel bombings on opposition-held areas in the central and southern governorates, killing and wounding civilians.
Improvised mortar bombs, used by Syrian fighters, killed 311 civilians between July and December this year, two-thirds in Aleppo (SOHR/Trust 12/12/2014).
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) maintains a presence in Syria (UNSC 10/2014). There has been a spate of allegations of chlorine attacks, the most recent reported on the town of Kafr Zeta on 28 August (OPCW 09/2014). An OPCW commission found confirmation that a toxic chemical was used in three villages of northern Syria earlier in the year.
Mines and ERW
In 2013, children accounted for almost half of 2,403 civilian casualties from landmines, victim-activated improvised explosive devices (IEDs), cluster munition remnants, and other explosive remnants of war (International Campaign to Ban Landmines/ Cluster Munition Coalition 19/11/204).
Landmines in a restricted zone, laid along the border decades ago by the Turkish military, killed at least three civilians trying to flee Syria and injured at least nine others (HRW 02/12/2014).
200,000 people are estimated to be in government detention, including 20,000 detainees that are completely unaccounted for (SOHR/ HRW 02/12/2014). OHCHR continues to receive reports of the use of torture and other forms of ill-treatment in government detention facilities (UNSC 21/11/2014). So far this year, 1,917 people have died in Syrian prisons from torture, starvation, and lack of medical treatment, among them 27 children under the age of 18. 11,000 detainees were allegedly freed after President Assad declared a general amnesty in June (AFP 11/2014).
Some 7,000 government troops held by opposition forces are unaccounted for (SOHR, 07/2014). Another 1,500 IS, other opposition, and Kurdish fighters have been kidnapped during battles in recent months (AFP 07/2014).
Sexual and Gender-based Violence
IS has sought to exclude Syrian women and girls from public life. Forced marriage of girls to IS fighters and the selling of abducted girls into sexual slavery have been reported (UN Human Rights Council 14/11/2014).
Journalists and other media workers are systematically targeted.
Yemen Country Analysis
15 December: Security forces shot a leading separatist in Aden (Al Jazeera; Amnesty International, Yemen Times).
12–14 December: Clashes between Islah and Houthi supporters in Arhab district of Sana’a governorate ended with Houthis gaining control over the area (Yemen Times).
14 December: AQAP claimed an attack which killed a leading General People’s Congress figure, blaming him for supporting Houthis (Yemen Times, 16/12/2014).
- 14.7 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance (OCHA, 09/10/2014).
- Over 10 million are food insecure, including 5 million severely food insecure (Comprehensive Food Security Survey 2014). Levels of food insecurity have doubled since 2009 (FAO, 06/2014).
- 8.6 million have no access to healthcare (OCHA, 09/10/2014).
- One million children under five are acutely malnourished; 280,000 are severely malnourished (OCHA, UNICEF 06/2014).
- 13.1 million do not have access to safe water and improved sanitation; 4.4 million lack access to adequate sanitation (OCHA, 09/10/2014). Open defecation remains the practice for more than 20% of the population (UNICEF 2014)
- There are 335,000 internally displaced people (IDPs), 227,000 returnees and 245,000 refugees in the country (OCHA, 09/10/2014).
Nearly 15 million people, over half the population, are in need of some form of humanitarian assistance (UN, 09/10/2014). Humanitarian agencies anticipate 15.9 million people in Yemen will require humanitarian assistance in 2015—an 8% increase compared to 2014 (USAID, 05/12/2014). The highest priority needs include food and nutrition assistance, access to health care, shelter primarily for conflict-affected people, protection including child protection and provision of water and sanitation
Yemen is undergoing a political transition process aimed at opening the way for fully democratic elections in 2015. In addition to economic challenges, it continues to face three concurrent security challenges: Houthi insurgents in the north; southern secessionists; and Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) throughout the country.
Despite interim President Hadi overseeing a US-supported political transition, instability and violence continue across Yemen.
Shia Houthi insurgents from the far north, who already have de facto control over Sa’ada and neighbouring Amran, and parts of Al Jawf, and Hajjah governorates, have rejected the proposed division of the country, claiming it is unequal in terms of wealth distribution. In the south, a large portion of leaders are still aiming for a fully independent, unified south.
Yemen’s economic difficulties are adding to the political crisis. Oil revenues declined almost 30% between January 2013 and January 2014 (Yemen Central Bank, 02/2014). In July, the Government increased the price of petrol by 60% and diesel by 95%. On 1 December, it was reported that Saudi Arabia is considering stopping financial support to Yemen, a move that could tip the country further towards economic collapse (IRIN, 01/12/2014).
On 8 November, Yemen's ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh dismissed UN sanctions against him and senior Houthi chiefs, withdrawing his General People’s Congress (GPC) party from the new Government. Saleh’s attempt to sack Hadi from the party’s leadership was rejected by senior figures within the GPC (AFP, 09/11/2014; 13/11/2014).
On 9 November, the new Government was sworn in (Al Jazeera, 09/11/2014). On 13 November, a Houthi presidential aide stated the Houthi group endorsed the new Government despite its opposition to some ministers (Reuters, 13/11/2014).
Southern Movement (Al Hirak)
Rallies in the south calling for secession have gained momentum since October due to the developments in Sanaa and other northern governorates (Yemen Times, 19/10/2014). The Southern Movement continues to ask government employees for civil disobedience (Yemen Times, 16/12/2014). On 15 December, security forces shot a leading separatist activist in Aden (Al Jazeera; Amnesty International; Yemen Times, 15/12/2014). On 8 December, security forces met renewed protests with live ammunition and tear gas, injuring several protesters. Armed supporters of the Southern Movement are suspected of being behind the kidnapping of five Yemeni soldiers in the province of Al Dhalee, in an attempt to pressure the Government into releasing a Southern Movement member who had been arrested in Aden in November (AFP, 08/12/2014).
33 members of parliament have formed the Southern Parliamentary Bloc, in support of protestors arguing for secession (The Daily Star, 27/10/2014). On 27 October, the Southern Movement’s two existing councils were merged to represent all southerners, and calling for the south’s full independence, a federal and parliamentary political system, the restoration of the legitimacy of Ali Salem Al Beidh, president of South Yemen before 1990, and his appointment as president of the south. The Southern Movement has called on Houthi support (Yemen Times, 28/10/2014).
Between the end of January and August, around 2,980 people have been killed in violence, including military and security personnel, Houthi insurgents, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants, armed Sunni tribesmen, and civilians (Yemen Times, 12/08/2014). 274 people have been killed and 470 injured in Sanaa since Houthis began taking control of the city in mid-September (OCHA, 02/10/2014).
President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi's weak central Government has failed to stop the Houthi insurgents. AQAP, Al Qaeda’s powerful Yemeni branch, backed by Sunni tribesmen, have instead fought to halt the insurgents’ advance (AFP, 20/10/2014). The inability of state forces, which suffer internal divisions, to check the Houthis' ascent or dampen sectarianism, has galvanised separatist groups, who spot an opportunity to push their own agendas (Reuters, 09/11/2014).
Various forces use the country’s oil resources to pressure the Government, and observers have warned that the economy will continue to decline if the Government cannot protect pipelines. Attacks on oil pipelines are regularly reported (Al Jazeera).
The Houthis, also referred to as Ansarullah, are based in Sa’ada governorate, but have advanced, and in 2014 there has been fighting in to Al Jawf, Amran, Al Bayda, Dhamar, Ibb, Marib, and Hajjah governorates, as well as Sanaa and Al Hudaydah. The Houthi have taken up arms before, citing political, economic, and religious marginalisation by a Saudi and Western-backed administration (Al Jazeera, 16/11/2009).
In September, after a series of mass protects in the capital and fighting between Houthis and soldiers loyal to the Sunni Al Islah party, Houthis took control of much of Sanaa. A Peace and National Partnership Agreement was signed on 21 September. A week later, hundreds of demonstrators demanded the withdrawal of all militias from Sanaa and the return of security forces, in the first protest against the Shi’ite insurgents since they overran the capital (AFP, 28/09/2014). Houthis began dismantling protest camps on 16 October, although they were reportedly still in control of the city, operating checkpoints and keeping guard outside key ministries, commercial districts, and diplomatic missions (Reuters, 19/10/2014). Despite the signing of an annex to the 21 September agreement, which covers security and military conditions in Amran, Al Jawf, Marib, and Sanaa governorates, as well as other governorates witnessing violence, violence continues (Yemen Times, 29/09/2014).
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and Ansar al Sharia
Despite the Government’s efforts, supported by the US, to destroy AQAP, based in the south and east of the country, the group has expanded its presence in Hadramaut. AQAP regularly targets army and security forces, foreigners for abduction, and oil pipelines.
According to analysts, the Houthi advance has bolstered support for AQAP and Ansar al Sharia; tribes in Ibb and Al Bayda, for example, who are opposed to the Houthi advance, have allied themselves with Ansar al Sharia (Reuters, 09/11/2014). In mid-September, a regional leader of Ansar al Sharia, an AQAP offshoot, announced that the group was increasing its presence in Sanaa in preparation for a fight with the Houthis (IRIN, 23/09/2014, 23/09/2014).
Security Incidents and Conflict Developments
Sanaa: Clashes that broke out on 12 December between Islah and Houthi supporters in Arhab district of Sana’a governorate ended on 14 December, with Houthis gaining control over the area (Yemen Times, 16/12/2014). On 8 December, five improvised explosive devices (IEDs) detonated in several areas in Sana’a, injuring a total of eight people (Yemen Times, 08/12/2014). On 3 December, a bomb aimed at the Iranian envoy to Yemen killed one and injured 17 people. Ansar al-Sharia claimed the attack (AFP, 03/12/2014).
At end November, Shi’ite and Sunni groups have met for the first time for talks aimed at de-escalating the crisis (AFP, 29/11/2014). On 11 November, clashes between Yemeni police and Houthis at Sanaa airport killed two police and a civilian (AFP, 11/11/2014). On 2 November, the secretary general of the liberal party Union of Popular Forces party Mohammed Abdulmalik al Mutawakil was shot dead (AFP, 02/11/2014).
Armed Houthi ‘popular committees’ have mushroomed at improvised checkpoints across the city. They say they are merely unpaid volunteers. Critics charge that they act as a partisan force and their presence is likely to encourage more violence. Houthis have also been accused of violently suppressing dissent (IRIN, 03/11/2014).
There was a string of bomb and suicide bomb attacks throughout October (AFP, 29/10/2014; Yemen Times, 14/10/2014). The largest attack, on 9 October, targeted a gathering for Houthi supporters, killing 47 and wounding dozens more. Al Qaeda claimed responsibility (AFP, 09/10/2014).
Al Bayda: Clashes between Houthis, AQAP and affiliated tribes began in October and intensified into more sustained conflict in November, with violence mainly centred in Wald Rabi’, Al Quraishyah and Rada’ Districts, including Government airstrikes on AQAP positions. AQAP elements have now reportedly withdrawn mainly towards Marib Governorate, and Houthis largely control affected areas of Al Bayda (OCHA, 01/12/2014). Clashes have involved the use of rocket-propelled grenades and attacks on schools and hospitals used by the warring parties (AFP, 17/10/2014; 20/10/2014; 08/11/2014). Fighting over 24–27 October killed 250 people (The Daily Star, 28/10/2014; Yemen Times, 22/10/2014). Rada is a mixed Sunni-Shi’ite area that has frequently been the scene of clashes.
Al Hudaydah: Houthis seized the Red Sea port city of Hudaydah in October. A movement representing the Tehama people launched protests over 18–19 October calling for Houthis to withdraw from Al Hudaydah governorate (Yemen Times, 21/10/2014). On 2 November, suspected Al Qaeda attacked and seized security headquarters in Hudaydah (AFP, 02/11/2014).
Al Jawf: Fighting was particularly fierce in September in Al Ghail district, through which a road linking the capital to the oil regions passes, although all parties had agreed to withdraw from the district on 18 September.
Amran: Amran governorate has been under de facto Houthi control since August, after fierce fighting between Houthi and pro-government tribesmen in June (Middle East Monitor, 30/08/2014).
Dhamar: Ten Houthi insurgents were killed during clashes on 20 October in the Anss district of Dhamar, taken by the insurgents the previous week (AFP, 20/10/2014).
Ibb: Ibb city was seized by Shi’ites in late October (AFP, 02/11/2014). Houthi insurgents also captured Radmah, on a road linking Sanaa with Aden. The Houthis now virtually control Ibb governorate, with the exception of Udain, which AQAP and its allies recaptured on 20 October (29/10/2014).
Marib: On 14 December, AQAP claimed an attack which killed a leading General People’s Congress figure, accusing him of supporting Houthis (Yemen Times, 16/12/2014). According to media reports, there are concerns that Houthi insurgents might send reinforcements to Marib to assume control over the governorate (Al Jazeera, 22/11/2014). Houthis took over the Al Maas military base in the Jedaan region on 10 November (Yemen Times, 16/12/2014). Members of the Obaidah, Jedaan, and Murad tribes signed a ceasefire agreement with the Houthis end November (Yemen Times, 27/11/2014).
Hadramaut: On 9 December, a suicide attack on the headquarters of the First Military Command in Seyoun killed at least five people, according to officials (Al Jazeera, 09/12/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
On 25 and 30 September, denial of access prevented a coordinated multi-sector needs assessment in Sanaa. The recently signed peace agreement specifically calls on all parties to facilitate humanitarian access (OCHA, 02/10/2014). Persistent insecurity makes humanitarian presence and access to Al Jawf governorate extremely limited (OCHA, 14/08/2014).
The ongoing fuel crisis and insecurity are slowing humanitarian operations and access. Road closures further hamper aid deliveries.
Several waves of conflict, lack of access, and the fluidity of displacement all make it extremely difficult to estimate new displacements and needs. In 2014, 80,000 people fled their homes due to conflict (OCHA, 09/10/2014).
As of November, there were 334,000 IDPs in Yemen (OCHA, 30/11/2014). The vast majority are hosted in five governorates: Sa’ada (103,014 people); Hajjah (88,603 people); Amran (71,548 people); Sanaa (46,228 people); and Al Jawf (24,700) (OCHA, 11/2014).
90% of IDPs are estimated to live outside camps (OCHA, 3 September 2014; Global CCCM Cluster, 27 March 2014). IDPs are reluctant to return in the absence of a political solution to the conflict, de-mining, and reconstruction of war-damaged personal property and public infrastructure (OCHA, February 2014).
Amran and the North: In Al Bayda governorate, 3,500 people remain displaced (OCHA, 01/12/2014). Clashes in October and November had displaced roughly 14,000 people. People reportedly fled seven villages in Wald Rabi', Al Quraishyah and Rada' districts, mainly seeking safety in caves or neighbouring villages (OCHA, 19/11/2014).
As of end of October, 71,627 refugees and migrants had arrived in Yemen in 2014 (OCHA, 30/11/2014). Around 800,000 refugees, asylum seekers and migrants require humanitarian assistance. More than 243,000 Somali refugees are living in precarious conditions either in the only refugee camp, Kharaz, or in urban areas. One million undocumented Ethiopian migrants also live in Yemen (ECHO, 27/08/2014).
At least 2,000 Syrians refugees have been registered in Yemen since August. The total number of Syrians in Yemen is estimated to be more than 10,000 (OCHA, 5/11/2014).
There has been a marked increase in arrivals of refugees and migrants from Africa, in excess of 10,500 people in August. Border controls have been relaxed between Ethiopia and Somalia since early 2014, which may have contributed to the increase in arrivals (OCHA 29/09/2014).
During October, IOM recorded 25,940 Yemeni returnees at the Al Tuwal border crossing point between Yemen and Saudi Arabia (IOM, 14/11/2014). Between January 2013 and September 2014, 936,408 Yemenis returned from Saudi Arabia, as the Saudi Government restricted the activities of foreign workers (OCHA, 30/11/2014). Most returnees have acute humanitarian needs.
At the end of October, 215,000 IDPs had returned home (OCHA, 30/11/2014). In October, returnees were located in Abyan (138,621), Sa’ada (66,618) and Al Bayda (8,155) (OCHA, 30/11/2014).
Poor access to basic services, a malfunctioning economic system, and weak institutions combined with another wave of violence and instability, all constrain the efforts of recent returnees to reinstate their livelihoods (FEWSNET, 16/09/2014).
Distribution of food in Haradh was suspended in October following security threats to WFP staff at one of the distribution points. Nearly 5,000 households (mostly IDPs) could not receive their food in October (OCHA, 07/12/2014).
Yemen’s macro-level food security started to deteriorate in 2007/2008, mainly because of declining oil exports and increasing food imports (Comprehensive Food Security Survey, 11/2014). The overall current food security situation shows a slight improvement since 2011, however, 10.6 million people (40% of the population) are still in Emergency (4.8 million) and Crisis (5.8 million) phases (FEWSNET, 16/09/2014). Nearly half of the rural population and over one quarter of the urban population are food insecure (Comprehensive Food Security Survey, 11/2014).
Sa’ada, Hajjah, Shabwah, Abyan and Lahj are in Phase 4 (Emergency), while Hudaydah, Rayma, Al Daleh, Al Bayda, Ibb, Taiz, Al Mahweet, Sana’a (rural), Marib, Dhamar, Amran and Al Jawf are in Phase 3 (Crisis). Sa’ada governorate has the country’s most food insecure areas; more than 40% are of the governorate’s population severely food insecure (Comprehensive Food Security Survey, 11/2014).
Crisis levels of food insecurity (IPC Phase 3) are expected between January and June 2015 (FEWSNET, 11/2014).
The combination of poor purchasing power and continued conflict is likely to limit food access for displaced households, resulting in a continuation of Crisis conditions (IPC Phase 3) through December 2014 for households in conflict-affected areas (FEWSNET, 27/08/2014).
Agriculture and Markets
As of October, seasonally adjusted wheat prices had risen by 15%, and the retail prices for fuel had increased by 48% (WFP, 27/10/2014). Purchasing power of wage workers and animal owners access to staple food commodities have declined (FEWSNET, 16/09/2014).
Yemen is particularly vulnerable to international hikes in food prices, since it imports up to 90% of its main staple foods, like wheat and sugar. Despite declining international wheat prices and stable international rice prices (FEWSNET, 01/08/2014), Yemen’s continued instability, currency depreciation, and low foreign reserve levels contributed to costlier food imports and higher local commodity prices (WFP, 31/07/2014).
Insecurity is hampering agricultural activity as well as agricultural assistance programmes (FAO cited in OCHA, 08/10/2014).
The conflict in Sanaa and the deteriorated security situation which led to displacement and in some cases fear of return, has disrupted livelihoods and hurt the local economy (Yemen Times, 06/11/2014).
The loss of remittances due to the expulsion of Yemeni migrant workers from Saudi Arabia is likely to have a severe impact on the lives of thousands of families (ECHO, 27/08/2014).
Health and Nutrition
An estimated 8.6 million people have limited access to health services (OCHA, 09/09/2014). Qualified medical staff are in short supply, as is medical equipment.
From 9-20 November, more than 11 million children were vaccinated against measles/rubella, with a coverage of 98% (WHO, 23/11/2014).
The number of acutely malnourished children under the age of five has fallen from an estimated one million at the end of last year to just over 840,000, according to the Nutrition Cluster. In the same period, the number of severely acutely malnourished children declined from 279,000 to about 170,000. However, more than one in ten children is still acutely malnourished, with boys more affected than girls (Comprehensive Food Security Survey, 11/2014).
Preliminary results of the CFSS show that GAM has improved considerably in Al Hudaydah, Aden, Lahj, Marib, Al Dhale’e, Hadramaut and Al Bayda; but severely deteriorated in Taizz, Ibb, Dhamar and Al Maharah, due to various factors including poor water and sanitation conditions, poor food consumption habits, and scarce health facilities. The net result is that national GAM has slightly improved: 12.7% of under five children are malnourished compared to 13% in 2011 (OCHA, 31/08/2014; FEWSNET, 16/09/2014). GAM is at 9.6% in Abyan, 7.5% in Shabwah, 15.3% in Hajjah, 10.1% in Lahj and 13.2% in Sa’ada governorates (FEWSNET, 16/09/2014).
An estimated 13.1 million people do not have access to safe water (OCHA, 09/09/2014), 12.1 million are without access to improved sanitation, and 4.4 million lack access to adequate sanitation (OCHA, 28/02/2014). Open defecation remains standard practice for more than 20% of the population and appears to be higher for young children (UNICEF 2014).
750 houses have been damaged due to fighting in Sanaa (Yemeni Red Crescent cited by IRIN, 29/09/2014).
Unverified reports estimate that between 200 and 500 houses were damaged in the Amran conflict (OCHA, 04/08/2014).
Nationwide, an estimated 2.5 million children are not in school (OCHA, 04/2014).An estimated 1.14 million children aged 6–14 years (compulsory school age group) are out of school— 69% are girls (UNICEF cited in Yemen Times, 04/11/2014).
Over 350 damaged schools require rehabilitation or reconstruction, affecting some 72,000 children. Every governorate in Yemen is operating schools that are not equipped with buildings (Yemen Times, 04/11/2014).
Fighting in Al Bayda and Ibb has disrupted education, as schools were closed for periods of time due fighting (OCHA, 05/11/2014).
In Sanaa, four schools have been severely damaged and 20 moderately damaged. Ten schools used for military purposes during the fighting have since been vacated. In Amran governorate, 24 of 62 schools affected by fighting needed rehabilitation before reopening (OCHA, 05/11/2014).
Conflict in Sanaa has raised critical protection concerns regarding systematic violations of human rights and international humanitarian law. There are also reports that parties to the conflict commandeered civilian residences for military purposes, including the storage of weapons and munitions (OCHA, 08/10/2014).
About 10% of Yemenis are believed to be muhamasheen, – a group that often faces discrimination due to perceptions within Yemeni society that they are descended from servants. In Taizz governorate, only 9% of muhamasheen families have piped water in their homes compared to 29% of the general population, and only 39% of muhamasheen children aged 6–17 years attend school, compared to the national average of 69% (OCHA, 05/11/2014).
Refugees and Migrants
A group of around 200 Eritreans have been detained for several months upon crossing into Yemen and were confronted with homelessness after being released in January 2014. Most refugees spent between three and 20 months in a prison in Hudaydah governorate (Yemen Times, 19/08/2014).
The Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict has reported that Houthis, Ansar al Sharia, AQAP and state forces are all recruiting children (01/10/2014). Child recruitment by armed forces and armed groups was also reported during the Amran conflict (UNICEF, 31/07/2014). Armed children guarding checkpoints indicates the prevalence of recruitment of children by armed groups (OCHA, 08/10/2014).
Incidents of grave violations against children were recorded in Sanaa city and Sanaa and Amran governorates during the recent conflict. In Sanaa city, 17 incidents were documented in September. Sixteen boys were recruited and used by parties to conflict, while one was abducted (OCHA, 05/11/2014).
In the first half of 2014, 285 cases of gender-based violence have been reported in Aden; many more remain unreported (OCHA, 05/06/2014). Women and children in Al Dhale’e face harassment from soldiers (Protection Cluster, 28/04/2014).
Mines and ERW
Landmines and explosive remnants of war are a major concern in the northern governorates. On 29 September, three children in Sanaa were wounded by unexploded ordnance (OCHA, 08/10/2014). In October, four children were injured by unexploded ordnance in Saada and Al Dhalee governorates. Six incidents were reported with 12 boys killed and 14 children injured in the governorates of Sa’ada (4), Amanat Al Asimah (1) and Ibb (1) (UNICEF, 31/10/2014).
In 2013, there were 49 casualties from mines or ERW, including 40 children (Landmine & Cluster Munition Monitor, 19/11/2014).
No significant new developments this week, 11/12/2014. Last update: 04/12/2014.
- 131,000 refugees have arrived from CAR since December 2013, bringing the total to 238,500 (UNHCR, 09/2014).
- Cameroon hosts approximately 43,000 Nigerian refugees (IRIN, 17/09/2014).
- The 2011–2012 drought impact continues, with 615,000 people in the north at risk of food insecurity and malnutrition (WFP).
- 30% of Cameroon’s 20 million inhabitants have access to piped drinking water. In Yaoundé, needs surpass the current capacity by three times (Government).
The spillover from fighting between the Nigerian army and Boko Haram militants impacts on Cameroon and threatens regional security. Conflict in both Nigeria and CAR continues to displace vulnerable refugees to Cameroon (OCHA, 30/09/2014).
Boko Haram are intensifying attacks in neighbouring Cameroon, targeting new villages with increasingly sophisticated weapons amassed from the Nigerian army, and Cameroon fears more violence in the approaching dry season; attacks are spreading south. The number of security incidents has increased drastically over 2013–2014, compared to previous years (UNICEF, 08/2014).
Cameroon has deployed around 2,000 soldiers in the northern region (AFP, 20/11/2014). On 11 November, three civilians died in six coordinated attacks around Kolofata and Fotokol, in the Far North (AFP, 11/11/2014). Fighting between the Cameroon military and suspected Boko Haram militants took place in towns and villages in the north throughout October, with at least 250 people killed. People have been fleeing border communities, including Amchide, Banki, Fotokol, Makambara, Djokana, Tourou, Dingding, Dombam and Damang (VOA, 27/10/2014). Authorities in the Far North region have imposed a curfew and banned vehicle and motorcycle movement at night (IRIN, 15/08/2014).
In August, it was reported that some 450 young locals from the town of Kolofata alone had joined Boko Haram in the course of two months, reportedly often following economic incentives (AFP, 28/11/2014).
In early December, following reports of increasing recruitment of Cameroonian youth into BH, Cameroon has announced it will recruit 20,000 more defence and security forces to fight the militants (VoA, 02/12/2014).
On 25 November, it was reported that the Cameroonian army had killed around 100 Boko Haram members in a military operation that targeted a training camp in Bornori town in the Far North region. The camp was reportedly destroyed (World Bulletin, 25/11/2014).
The security situation is unstable in East region. As of early December, the humanitarian situation continued to deteriorate along the CAR–Cameroon border following armed violence between anti-balaka militia and Cameroonian forces in late November, which caused displacement. Frequent security incidents in this region led to the closure of the CAR–Cameroon border over 19–27 November (OCHA, 04/12/2014; local media, 21/11/2014).
Local authorities asked UNHCR in May to expedite the transfer of CAR refugees from the border entry points of Kentzou and Gbiti in order to allow them to undertake search operations in the area (UNHCR, 22/05/2014). The Gbiti site has been closed. UNHCR and Cameroonian security forces are seeking possible locations for security posts at the refugee sites of Lolo, Mbilé, and Timangolo in East region (UNHCR, 04/07/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Congestion at the port in Douala has resulted in extended delays for the arrival of food. This has impacted the effective delivery of food to WFP operations for CAR refugees (WFP, 17/09/2014).
With the deterioration of the security situation, access to the Far North is extremely difficult. The limited number of humanitarian actors involved in the response has made comprehensive humanitarian intervention almost impossible. There are reports of several thousands of Nigerian refugees stranded at the border (ECHO, 25/11/2014). UN agencies have only been undertaking priority activities such as assisting refugees and some host communities, according to WFP (IRIN, 15/08/2014).
Flooding in Bibemi, Benoue department, in the North region at the end of August affected nearly 3,500 people, destroying 223 houses, and washing away farms and crops (OCHA, 09/09/2014).
As of September, there are 291,000 refugees in Cameroon and 20,000 IDPs and returnees (OCHA, UNHCR, and partners, 09/2014).
Refugees from the Central African Republic
As of 28 November, 240,918 CAR refugees are in Cameroon: 134,924 have arrived since December 2013 (UNHCR, 28/11/2014; UNHCR, 05/12/2015). At least another 17,670 third-country nationals and returnees have arrived (UNHCR, 07/2014 and IOM, 25/07/2014). MSF said most new arrivals are in critical need of medical attention (Voice of America, 13/08/2014). ECHO found in May that arrivals at the border were in acute need of almost all services (ECHO, 05/2014). Bad road conditions delay the provision of assistance. Moreover, the border is open and extensive, and there are refugees who cross without being registered.
The number of new CAR refugees is expected to reach 180,000 by the end of 2014 and 30,000 third-country nationals are expected to need assistance (UNHCR, 17/07/2014). However, Access is reportedly hindered by militia requesting an ‘exit fee’ to leave CAR.
Close to 60% of newly arrived refugees are children, of whom 20% are under five years of age. 96% of refugees are Muslim. The refugees are spread across the East (95,075), Adamawa (23,060), Douala (3,820), Yaounde (3,540), and the North (3,540) (UNHCR, 31/08/2014). 59,160 refugees have been transferred to sites. In the East: 10,750 in Lolo, 17,540 in Gado, 9,700 in Mbilé, 5,900 in Timangolo, and 760 in Ngari-Singo. In Adamawa: 11,380 in Borgop and 3,120 in Ngam (UNHCR, 19/09/2014).
In most locations, the number of refugees and third-country nationals exceeds the local population, and living conditions have become very difficult for host communities. Access to water and sanitation remains below standard. In Gado, Mbilé, and Borgop, the quantity of water provided per day to refugees remains below 15 litres (UNHCR, 07/2014).
Security is a concern: local authorities reported the presence of armed anti-balaka in the village of Diel, and have doubled the number of soldiers guarding the border and patrolling the village (UNHCR, 22/08/2014).
Refugees from Nigeria
44,000 Nigerians are estimated to have fled to northern Cameroon over the past year, including 26,700 refugees registered by UNHCR (UNHCR, 31/10/2014; IRIN, 17/09/2014). As of September, 18,475 Nigerian refugees have been registered in the Far North region, primarily in the districts of Mayo Tsanaga (7,685), Mayo-Sava (1,966), and Logone-et-Chari (8,824). Another 1,530 refugees are in the Southwest region (UNHCR, 09/2014). The needs among the refugees are largely WASH, health, and nutrition-related. 17,000 refugees have been registered in Minawao camp (ECHO, 25/11/2014).
Due to cross-border movements by BH, Nigerian refugees are being encouraged to settle in Minawao camp, whose population rose from 6,000 to 18,000 between August and mid-November, putting a severe strain on services and exceeding the maximum capacity of 15,000 (UNHCR cited by IRIN 06/10/2014; AFP, 15/11/2014; FAO, 05/11/2014). About 70% of new arrivals are women and children who need immediate assistance in the form of food, shelter and medical care (AFP, 15/11/2014).
Insecurity means refugees are no longer opting to stay in villages close to the border, but asking to be relocated further away (UNHCR, 31/10/2014). Those living outside Minawao camp do not receive humanitarian assistance and lack of identification is a concern.
As of September, 1.8 million people are food insecure (OCHA, 30/09/2014). Cameroon is currently facing several food emergencies, due to dryness in the Sahel belt, and the strain of hosting almost 300,000 refugees from both Central African Republic and Nigeria (FAO, 05/11/2014).
Cameroon's Far North and North regions have the highest rates of food insecurity in the country, with 54% of households facing shortages. It is feared that more will not have enough food over the current lean season, before harvesting starts in October–November (WFP cited by IRIN, 15/08/2014).
The arrival of refugees has increased pressure on resources. There will be breaks in food supply at Minawao camp, in Far North region, by November if there is no additional funding, according to WFP.
Growing food shortages are compounded by prolonged water scarcity. The impact of the 2011–2012 drought is also still being felt, although 2013 aggregate cereal production was tentatively put at about 3.1 million metric tons, 5% up on the previous year’s output, and 10% above the average of the past five years.
In July, more than 20 million people in the Sahel (Burkina Faso, north Cameroon, Chad, the Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, north Nigeria, and Senegal) were suffering from food insecurity (Donor, 24/09/2014).
Health and Nutrition
Malnutrition, malaria, and respiratory infections are the most common health problems among refugees from CAR, according to an ECHO needs assessment. A number of measles cases were also reported among recently arrived child refugees.
Cameroon's Far North, North, Adamawa, and East regions suffer chronic shortages of health workers. In the Far North region, the ratio is 0.47 doctors for 1,000 people (IRIN, 06/08/2014). The concentration of health staff in wealthier areas leaves around 40% of Cameroonians without access to healthcare. 45.7% of health centres do not have access to electricity and 70% do not have piped water (Inter Press Service, 19/08/2014).
As of September 2014, 6.8 million people are in need of health services (IOM, 09/2014).
Families often use unauthorised clinics. The Ministry of Public Health has started a campaign to ensure the creation of legally registered clinics that meet national standards with regard to staff, equipment, and hygiene. The Ministry said it would close down unregistered clinics.
A cholera outbreak in Sadje health centre in northern Cameroon has been aggravated by rains and insecurity caused by Boko Haram (UNICEF, 08/2014 and 09/2014).
As of late November, 3,188 cases and 178 deaths (case fatality rate: 5.6%) have been recorded since the beginning of the year. Over the reporting period, new cases continued to be registered every week. Only 22 cases were reported within the same period in 2013 (UNICEF, 12/2014). Hardest hit is the locality of Mogodé, in the Far North region (IFRC, 20/10/2014). The first cholera case was in a Nigerian refugee family in April (IRIN, 06/08/2014).
As of 20 November, 14 cholera cases have been confirmed following an outbreak on 1 November along the CAR–Cameroon border. 13 have been reported in Gado village in Garoua Boulai, home to CAR refugees, and one case in the Timangolo refugee camp, along the border with CAR’s the Mambere Kadei (OCHA, 20/11/2014).
A Cameroonian government spokesperson announced in August that all borders between Cameroon and Nigeria had been closed in order to prevent the spread of Ebola (AFP, 19/08/2014).
As of September, there have been 63,000 cases of severe acute malnutrition among children under five in 2014 (OCHA, 30/09/2014). In August, 48,780 children under five were suffering from SAM in Far North, North, Adamawa, and East regions and targeted for assistance. This includes new refugees from CAR and Nigeria (UNICEF, 08/2014).
Between March and early July, more than 1,600 refugee children with severe acute malnutrition were admitted to therapeutic feeding centres. Another 9,000 children and 2,000 mothers received supplementary feeding (UNICEF and WFP, 03/07/2014). In one village, GAM was 25% (the emergency threshold is 15%).
As of June, up to 30% of refugees from CAR under the age of five were suffering from acute malnutrition (UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP): 7–8% of cases were infants under six months and 18% children over five years.
Mortality rates were over 20% at some locations in June, due to dehydration, hypothermia, and severe anaemia. Approximately 15% of all children with SAM required hospitalisation, and it was estimated that inpatient facilities will need to triple their capacity (OCHA, 06/2014).
An epidemic of wild poliovirus centred in Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea is spreading in the region. Since the onset of the outbreak in October 2013, nine cases have been confirmed in Cameroon (UNICEF, 11/09/2014). On 17 March, WHO elevated the risk assessment of international spread of polio from central Africa, particularly Cameroon, to very high. Wild polio had not been reported since 2009.
Several cases of yellow fever were reported in an area previously considered at low risk, and therefore not covered by the preventive campaign of 2009 (WHO, 04/07/2014).
As of September, 2 million people were in need of WASH (IOM, 09/2014). Regions affected by the CAR refugee crisis have particularly poor access to drinking water (East: 54% and Adamawa: 70%) and basic sanitation (East: 22% and Adamawa: 64%).
At least 130 schools have been closed near the country’s northern border with Nigeria, according to the Government. In 2014, more than 200 trained teachers did not take up their posts in the Far North Region (IRIN, 01/12/2014). Most students have left the area for safer places in the country’s interior (VoA, 25/11/2014). With some schools either destroyed or occupied by BH, the Government has said it will relocate populations to more secure areas (Voice of America, 08/09/2014).
Over 36,000 child refugees have arrived from CAR since January: approximately 50% have not attended school for extended periods of time. Only a small number of CAR refugee children reportedly attend public schools in host communities (UNHCR, 07/2014).
On 3 April, Cameroonian police reported that an estimated 200 young people (aged 15–19) from Kolofata area in the Far North region have been recruited by Boko Haram since February and reportedly transferred to training camps in the Nigerian bush. Early August, police sources confirmed that hundreds of children continued to be forcibly recruited (AFP, 06/08/2014).
Chad Country Analysis
No significant developments this week, 08/12/2014. Last update: 18/11/2014
Central African Republic Crisis
Chad’s President Idriss Déby announced in May that the southern border with CAR would be closed to all except Chadian citizens until the CAR crisis is resolved. The Government expressed concern that armed fighters might be infiltrating refugee populations in the area, and deployed additional security forces to the border. Concerns over reports of refusal of refugee entry were raised.
Chad withdrew its troops from the African Union Peacekeeping Force in CAR in April, after accusations of violence against civilians. Chad has always denied the charges.
In August, France deployed a 3,000-strong counterterrorism operation across the Sahel region based in Chad. Operation Barkhane is active in Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger (local media, 01/08/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
5.5 million people are affected by humanitarian crisis, including 2.2 million children and 3.2 million people in need of humanitarian aid (UNICEF, 10/11/2014; OCHA, 31/08/2014).
Floods in Salamat region mid-August made 1,000 people homeless and displaced 7,000 (IOM, 25/08/2014). Shelter, food, health, NFI and WASH services are needed in Am-Timan (IOM, 30/09/2014).
Nearly 90,000 IDPs are living in protracted displacement in the east, facing difficulties in accessing shelter, land, and income-generating activities (OCHA, 19/11/2013). The arrival of CAR refugees since December 2013 is further increasing competition for scarce resources (IDMC, 24/10/2014).
As of 2 November, Chad hosts 460,000 refugees; 365,400 are from Sudan, 93,120 from CAR (including 20,000 since December 2013), and 1,900 from Nigeria (UNHCR, 02/11/2014).
Most refugees are in Wadi Fira (157,500), Ouaddai (114,350), Sila (84,650), and Logone Oriental (47,500), while 22,750 are in Dosseye camp and 26,420 in Belom camp, Moyen Chari (UNHCR, 02/11/2014).
Some 200,000 Chadians have returned from Libya and CAR, placing additional pressure on already scarce resources (OCHA, 08/12/2014).
Evacuees from CAR
As of 2 October, there are 113,086 evacuees from CAR without refugee status (IOM, 06/10/2014). Returnees in southeast areas, of whom 7,000 have been identified in Salamat, are less targeted and reached by humanitarian assistance and have little means of subsistence (CICR, 19/11/2014).
Although the Chad–CAR border remains officially closed, people continue to arrive at a number of points and are in a very vulnerable condition (UNHCR, 07/2014). 92% of arrivals lack any form of identity documentation (OCHA, 16/07/2014).
90% of evacuees are in camps (OCHA, 15/10/2014). The Government has increased the maximum stay in transit centres from ten days to one year to allow the restoration of family links and better prepare relocation (OCHA, 30/09/2014).
Transit sites: The situation in southern transit sites remains critical. As of end September, 41,547 people were located in the transit sites of Sido and Doyaba (Moyen Chari), Kobitey and Mbitoye (Logone Oriental) and Djako (Logone Occidental) (OCHA, 30/09/2014).
Population relocation, notably from Doyaba and Sido transit sites to Maingama temporary site, is ongoing (UNHCR, 07/11/2014). As of 15 October, over 12,752 returnees were still in Doyaba transit site (OCHA, 15/10/2014).
7,599 people are estimated to be in Kobitey transit site, 3,358 of whom were relocated from Doba transit site in August (IOM, 06/10/2014). Urgent humanitarian needs are reported in all sectors; 1,200 shelters need to be built (OCHA, 15/10/2014).
There are 17,300 returnees in Sido transit site (OCHA, 15/10/2014). Sanitation and hygiene are major concerns (OCHA, 30/09/2014).
Temporary sites: 21,231 people are in temporary sites in Chad (OCHA, 30/09/2014).
The Maingama temporary camp, in Moyen Chari, does not have sufficient shelter and WASH capacity to host the entire population of Doyaba and Sido sites, although relocations are ongoing (OCHA, 18/09/2014; 25/10/2014). Maingama holds 7,182 returnees as of 7 November. 1,025 Chadian returnees (276 families) were transferred from Doyaba to Maingama over 3–18 November (UNHCR, 21/11/2014), while 2,400 had been transferred at end October (UNHCR, 07/11/2014). Work is under way to increase the hosting capacity to 30,000 people (OCHA, 30/09/2014).
Danamadja temporary site, in Logone Oriental, has reached its current maximum capacity with over 11,000 inhabitants, although only 40% of the camp is completed. Humanitarian actors are in discussion with authorities to prepare a new site, a few kilometres from Goré and Danamadja, as an extension (OCHA, 16/07/2014).
30% extra shelters are needed in Gaoui sites, in Zafaye, close to N’Djamena (OCHA, 30/09/2014). 4,252 returnees are hosted there as 15 October (OCHA, 15/10/2014).
Host communities: Over 25,000 people who entered Chad since the CAR crisis are living in small villages and remote communities throughout the south (OCHA, 30/09/2014). 18,150 returnees live in host communities (OCHA, 30/09/2014). 22 villages host around 15,000 CAR evacuees in Mandoul and Logone Oriental. The assistance provided outside transit sites and temporary camps is very limited and humanitarian needs are significant, particularly in WASH (OCHA, 30/09/2014). There are 3,700 vulnerable returnees in Baibokoum and Mbitoye, Logone Orientale, in urgent need of shelter. In Moyen-Chari region, 1,091 returnees living in Kouno and surrounding villages have urgent shelter, food, health, WASH and livelihood needs (IOM, 22/08/2014). In Am Timan, shelter and NFIs are needed, as many individuals are currently living in makeshift shelters (IOM, 22/09/2014).
Chadians in Neighbouring Countries
1,500 third-country nationals, the majority of Chadian nationality, fled from CAR to northern Congo. They live in isolated and difficult conditions, and many have been in border towns for up to two months, receiving no assistance and relying on host communities (UNHCR, 07/2014). 150 of them have been repatriated to Chad by IOM at the request of the Chadian government in late August (IOM, 01/09/2014).
As of 1 September, another 1,350 Chadians who fled the violence in CAR via Cameroon were transported to Chad and accommodated in Djako new site (IOM, 01/09/2014).
2.6 million Chadians are food insecure (18% of the total population), including half in the Sahel strip, a 9% increase on January (OCHA, 15/10/2014, 30/09/2014).
The food security situation deteriorated during the lean season from May to September, as 681,000 were considered to be severely food insecure as of 30 September, compared to 500,000 at Crisis or Emergency levels (IPC Phases 3 and 4) of food insecurity as of March 2014 (OCHA, 30/09/2014; 31/08/2014).
Deficit pockets have been identified after the September harvest in Wadi Fira, Guera, east Batha, Kanem, and Bahr El Ghazel in the Sahel strip, and early exhaustion of food stocks is likely to put poor households in these areas in Stress (IPC Phase 2) from February (FEWSNET, 25/10/2014).
Refugees: Funding difficulties and cuts to transport budgets have forced WFP and UNHCR to severely cut food rations for refugees since 1 July (international media, 12/09/2014; WFP, 14/08/2014). Some 300,000 refugees, primarily from Darfur and CAR, are reported to be among the worst affected.
The additional cost of refugees and returnees in Logone Oriental, Moyen Chari, Mandoul, and Salamat, in border areas with CAR, is putting pressure on household demand, consumption, and spending (WFP, 07/2014). Staple food prices increased throughout the country in July. In northern Chad, insecurity has influenced negatively the price of cattle and put additional pressure on farmer livelihoods (FEWSNET, 10/10/2014).
Regional Outlook: Sahel
24.7 million people are suffering from food insecurity in the Sahel as of 30 September, compared to 11.3 in 2013 (OCHA, 07/10/2014; 03/02/2014). As of 29 October, some 6.5 million people have moved from being moderately food insecure to facing an acute food and livelihood crisis, an increase of four million since January, due in large part to ongoing conflict and instability in CAR, northern Mali and northeast Nigeria (IRIN, 29/10/2014).
Health and Nutrition
2.5 million people are in need of healthcare (OCHA, 31/08/2014). 30 of the 102 health districts are considered non-functional by the Ministry of Health due to lack of resources. Access to quality healthcare is a particular concern for over 330,000 people in Kanem region due to particularly high malnutrition rates and food deficit in the lean season from May to October (OCHA, 19/09/2014).
Vaccination coverage is weak despite efforts to scale up routine immunization. Only 34% of children under 1 have been vaccinated in Eastern Chad returnee sites (UNICEF, 10/11/2014).
As of early October, 35 cholera cases were reported in Mayo-Kebbi (Map Action, 30/10/2014).
Malaria cases have increased in the south as rains have intensified (OCHA, 25/08/2014). In Moyen Chari, an international NGO has warned about risks of malaria drug shortages (OCHA, 15/09/2014). In Djako, Doyaba, Kobitey, and Maingama sites, a resurgence of malaria has a 50% mortality rate (OCHA, 30/09/2014).
The number of malaria cases nationwide has increased compared to last year, with a 28% increase (UNICEF, 14/08/2014).
152,000 children are severely malnourished and 310,000 moderately malnourished as of 31 October (OCHA, 31/10/2014). Kanem, Bahr-El-Gazel, Gera, and Wadi Fira all report GAM above the emergency threshold of 15% (OCHA, 19/09/2014).
1.3 million people are in need of WASH assistance: only 50% of the population have access to safe water and 12% to adequate sanitation at the national level (OCHA, 31/08/2014).
In the camps for people coming from CAR, new arrivals are impacting on the quantity and quality of available water (UNHCR, 31/06/2014). Access to WASH facilities for host communities has also been affected by the presence of evacuees (UNHCR, 31/07/2014).
Access to primary and secondary education is a need in Danamadja, Kobitey, and Djako sites (OCHA, 31/10/2014).
A trend of increasing SGBV incidents has been notified in Doyaba, Maingama, and Kobitey camps; 28 incidents were recorded 15 September–15 October.
UNICEF has reported over 600 unaccompanied minors and separated children and 44 children associated with armed groups among the CAR returnee population since December 2013 (OCHA, 31/08/2014). Family reunification is a major protection challenge (OCHA, 25/10/2014). Only 59% of identified unaccompanied and separated children have been reunited with their families as of mid-November (UNICEF, 10/11/2014).
Second and third-generation Chadians from CAR have been recognised as de facto nationals by the Government, and UNHCR is working with authorities to formalise recognition and avoid statelessness. The Government will provide birth certificates to every child born in a transit site (UNHCR, 07/2014).
No new significant developments this week, 16/12/2014. Last update: 08/12/2014.
- The estimated number of people in need of humanitarian assistance in the country is around 300,000 people, including more than 24,000 refugees (ECHO, 01/08/2014; OCHA, 30/11/2014)/
On 24 May, Al Shaabab carried out an attack in Djibouti’s capital. Two suicide bombers attacked a restaurant, killing one and injuring 11 international soldiers. Al Shabaab claimed they carried out the attack in retaliation for Djibouti hosting a US military base in the country (The Guardian, BBC, 25/05/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Stress on rural livelihoods has triggered movements from rural areas towards peri-urban areas of the capital, putting additional pressure on the delivery of basic services (UN, 12/06/2014).
A lack of access due to insecurity, on top of reductions in assistance, has placed Obock in a particularly precarious situation (FEWSNET, 25/08/2014).
IOM estimates that over 100,000 migrants transit the country every year. Almost 90% are Ethiopian, while the rest are usually Somali. Migrants arrive in dire conditions, and a large number need medical assistance, which is putting a strain on local health facilities in Dikhil, Tadjourah, and Obock (IOM, 21/11/2014). Migrants/refugees continue to report lack of access to food and water during their transit through Obock, while they wait to cross to Yemen. During transit, migrants/refugees are also exposed to theft by criminal gangs, and detention by authorities (Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat, 31/05/2014). In 2014, 241 migrants have been reported dead or missing, compared to 15 in 2013 (IOM, UNHCR, 21/11/2014).
Refugees in Djibouti
24,430 refugees, the majority of Somali origin (20,190), are registered in Djibouti (OCHA, 30/11/2014, ECHO, 01/08/2014). There are also 4,220 asylum-seekers, mostly from Ethiopia (3,230). They reside in two camps: Holl Holl and Ali Addeh (UNHCR).
107,000 people are food insecure in Djibouti (OCHA, 30/11/2014). Competition for natural resources is increasing in rural areas, particularly along the migration corridor that runs across the country. Throughout the year, extended dryness and depleted pasture and water resources have led households in Obock and Southeast areas to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food security levels (FEWSNET, 25/08/2014). As of November, the situation in some areas stabilised, as the karan rains improved access to water and forage resources. Next year, pastoral areas of Obock are forecast to receive xays/dadaa rains that will improve the situation to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) until March (FEWSNET, 27/11/2014).
Health and Nutrition
In 2014, OCHA reported that 300,000 people are in need of healthcare services. Communicable diseases, such as diarrhoeal diseases, have a high morbidity rate.
According to OCHA, 277,000 people are in need of nutritional aid, compared to 195,420 in 2013. A food security survey conducted in November 2014 shows that those who are more food insecure are suffering from malnutrition, acute diarrhoea, and other diseases (GIEWS, 11/11/2014). WHO reported in May that malnutrition rates among children in the most affected areas have surpassed the organisation’s emergency thresholds (FEWSNET, 05/2014).
During transit, migrants/refugees are exposed to theft by criminal gangs, and detention by authorities (Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat, 31/05/2014).
No significant developments this week, 11/12/2014. Last update 26/11/2014.
- An estimated 384,000 individuals have been affected by drought (OCHA, 02/09/2014).
- 14,615 people in drought-affected areas are in severe food insecurity and 70,815 in moderate food insecurity (WFP, 13/11/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
An estimated 384,000 people have been affected by the most severe drought since 1977 (OCHA; Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources 02/09/2014). It is estimated that 65% of basic grain producers registered crop losses 82% of producers affected in the east of the country reported having lost all crops. The drought has affected 65% of agricultural land (FAO; 19/09/2014), and 105 municipalities in 12 departments (La Prensa Grafica, 12/09/2014). 175,000 staple crops farmers are affected by food insecurity due to the lack of rainfall in July and August, according to a national Food Security evaluation conducted September–October (WFP, 20/11/2014). The worst damage has been recorded in the eastern region, namely Usulutan, San Miguel, Morazan, and La Union, which cultivates 30% of the country’s maize production (FAO, 19/09/2014). Drought consequences have caused losses up to USD 70.1 million since June (OXFAM quoted by local media, 08/11/2014).
As of 13 November, 14,615 people in drought-affected areas are in severe food insecurity and 70,815 in moderate food insecurity. 10% of affected households cannot fulfil their basic food needs according to a national food security evaluation (WFP, 13/11/2014). Two out of four households affected by drought report having food reserves for consumption for no more than 2.5 months as of September. At least 56% of households have already adopted negative coping strategies such as selling assets, which will limit their resilience in the future (OCHA, 10/12/2014).
Small-scale coffee and bean farmers will be under Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food security conditions from October to December in eastern and western parts of the country (FEWSNET, 30/09/2014). Poor households in coffee-growing, agro-industrial, and daily labour regions are likely to be affected by high prices for basic food grains and low-income from coffee production (FEWSNET, 31/10/2014).
94,400 more people are at risk of food insecurity if the crop situation deteriorates (WFP, 13/11/2014).
Agriculture and Markets
Rains have improved since mid-August, but dryness from poor primera season rains lingers (FEWSNET, 12/09/2014). The drought has caused total or partial losses of primera crops across the country and failure of primera staple grain crops in eastern and western areas. Up to 30% of the annual maize harvest and 90% of the total bean crop have been lost (EU, 20/08/2014). Food reserves are said to be exhausted, and year-end prices will remain high (FEWSNET, 30/09/2014). Bean prices have increased by 87% and maize prices by 33% over the third quarter of 2014 (WFP, 27/10/2014).
Compounding the impact of the drought, nearly three-quarters of coffee trees are infected with leaf rust, threatening livelihood security for small-coffee producers (Save the Children, 29/09/2014). An estimated 100,000 farmers who directly depend on coffee for their livelihood have lost their jobs this year (Money News, 11/09/2014). In Honduras, Nicaragua, and El Salvador, 655,000 people are estimated to be food insecure due to the coffee leaf rust infestation (WFP, 15/10/2014).
Health and Nutrition
In mid-September, the Ministry of Health stated that the country remains on national alert due to chikungunya and dengue epidemics. The alert was first declared on 25 June (The Tico Times, 15/09/2014).
National authorities consider that the chikungunya outbreak is following a downward trend, as 5,800 cases were recorded 12–19 November (La Prensa Grafica, 19/11/2014). In total, 123,072 people have been affected, including 157 confirmed cases, since the beginning of the outbreak in June (PAHO, 21/11/2014).
As of 6 November, 49,448 suspected dengue cases have been reported in 2014, including 15,341 confirmed cases and 385 of severe haemorrhagic dengue (PAHO, 06/11/2014).
Ethiopia Country Analysis
8 December: Water trucking has helped drought-affected communities in Oromia (OCHA).
6 December: 5,667 refugees of 15,000 awaiting relocation have moved from Matar to Pugnido sites (UNHCR).
1 November: 264,298 children have required treatment for severe acute malnutrition so far this year (UNICEF).
- Armed insurgencies continue to affect Ogaden region, with inter-communal tensions contributing to frequent violence.
- There are 643,955 refugees, mainly from Kenya and South Sudan (UNCHR). Over 250,000 South Sudanese refugees are in Gambella region; 90% are women and children, 68% children under 18 (OCHA).
- 3.2 million people in Ethiopia will require emergency food assistance in 2014. 2.7 million people are in IPC Phase 3 and 4. The most affected regions are Oromia, Somali, Amhara, Tigray and Afar (FAO).
- 1.2 million people are in need of improved access to safe water and water sources (UNICIEF, 31/10/2014).
- A majority of the refugee camps have reached, or are reaching, full capacity. Main concerns include the building of a new refugee camp, malnutrition among refugees, as well as critical shortfalls in humanitarian aid.
Ethiopia is considered comparatively stable, but deep clan tensions and intra-communal violence persist. Two decades of deadly conflict in the southeastern region of Ogaden have had a severe impact on the Ethiopian Somali population, especially after years of a relatively successful government counter-insurgency campaign. The Government has yet to address the root causes of the violence.
However, weak political opposition, and the Government’s determination to accelerate economic growth all make continued stability likely.
Protests against projects to expand the boundaries of Addis Ababa into lands currently hosting the Oromo community, which has reportedly been marginalised by successive Governments, began on 25 April. In May, dozens of people were reported killed in violence across the region, according to local sources.
Elections are scheduled for May 2015 (Amnesty International, 22/09/2014). Four opposition party members were arrested in July for alleged connections with terrorist organisations (Crisis Watch, 01/08/2014). In September, Amnesty International has reported violations of civil and political rights.
Participation in Regional Military Operations
Ethiopia has historically been a key player in peacekeeping and counter-terrorism operations in East Africa. Peace talks on the South Sudan conflict, under the mediation of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, are taking place in Addis Ababa. In 2014, Addis also hosted peace talks over conflict in Sudan.
In January 2014, according to official reports, the Government pledged that Ethiopian troops, currently part of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) would remain in Somalia until durable peace and security is achieved. The Somali militant group Al Shabaab has repeatedly threatened Ethiopia since Ethiopian troops arrived in Somalia. On 13 October 2013, a bomb blast killed two people in Addis Ababa. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
The start of the rainy season has posed access problems to refugee camps and the Burubiey border crossing point for months; Burubiey has been closed (UNICEF 15/07/2014). Humanitarian interventions in Leitchuor and Nip Nip were severely affected, but general food distribution has now commenced in Nip Nip (WFP, 10–16/10/2014). By 2 October, only 50km of the road from Gambella to Leitchuor was accessible, and the rest was completely under water. This has prevented any possibility of pumping out the water or opening new bypass roads (IOM, 02/10/2014). Helicopter drops proved difficult due to poor weather conditions, therefore agencies opted to move assistance by boat (WFP, 15/10/2014).
Security conditions have made some camps in Benishangul‐Gumuz inaccessible (IOM, 09/09/2014).
As of 22 October, there are signs of the ground within the camp drying after flooding in August and September. Flood water from Baro River has continued to recede. Heavy rains flooded 95% of Leitchuor and most of Nip Nip IDP camps throughout August and September (UNICEF, 15/08/2014). Flooding affected the border crossings at Matar and Pagak. 171,733 refugees were evacuated from Gambella and 2,439 from Benishangul-Gumuz (IOM, 21/09/2014). The rain destroyed homes, temporary structures, latrines and sanitation facilities (UNHCR, 03/09/2014).
The majority of displaced refugees remain where they self-relocated, in different parts of Nyinyang and along Nip Nip–Jakawo corridor and Gambella–Matar highway (UNHCR, 10/11/2014).
Heavy rains in September also caused flooding in areas of Afar, SNNP, and Somali regions. End October, 50,700 were displaced and required assistance (OCHA, 27/10/2014). More than 100,000 people were affected in Somali region, particularly in Adadle, Argele, Berano, Dollo Ado, Dolo Bay, East and West Imy, Ferfer, Korahe, Kelafo and Mustahil woredas. 28,000 people were affected in Afar region, in Amibara and Dulecha woredas, with 14,000 losing their homes. More than 35,000 individuals in Dasenech and Benatsemay woredas of South Omo in SNNP region were affected, with properties damaged and livelihoods lost (OCHA, 10/11/2014).
As of September, Ethiopia had 426,700 IDPs (OCHA, 30/11/2014).
Refugees in Ethiopia
Ethiopia is now the largest refugee-hosting country in Africa (UNHCR, 19/08/2014). As of 15 October, Ethiopia hosts up to 643,955 refugees; mainly Somalis, South Sudanese, Eritreans, and Sudanese (WFP, 16/10/2014). South Sudanese account for the biggest refugee population in the country (UNHCR, 20/10/2014).
South Sudanese Refugees
As of 1 November, 196,596 South Sudanese have sought asylum in Ethiopia since December 2013 (UNHCR, 01/11/2014). The majority of arrivals come from Upper Nile state and are predominantly from Gajaak, Gajiok, and Luo-Nuer tribes (UNHCR, 03/07/2014). They are arriving through Pagak (50%), Akobo (21%), Burubiey (24%), Matar, Raad, Pugnido, and Wanke entry points (UNHCR, 25/07/2014). 90% are women and children, and almost 68% are under 18 years old, and arrive in critical nutritional conditions (WFP, UNICEF, 15/08/2014). Most new arrivals cite insecurity and poor food security as their main reason for flight (UNICEF, 15/08/2014). UNHCR projects that 300,000 new refugees from South Sudan will have arrived by the end of the year (UNCHR, 22/10/2014). 46,362 South Sudanese refugees were in Ethiopia before 2013.
According to UNHCR, as of 25 September, 157,570 individuals need to be relocated to other camps due to flooding (WFP, 06/10/2014). Leitchuor, Nip Nip, and Matar way station were dismantled due to the continued risk of flooding and are now being rehabilitated. The relocation of 15,000 refugees from Matar to Pugnido camp was planned for October (UNHCR, 10/11/2014). As of 10 December, 5,676 refugees have been transferred (UNHCR, 10/12/2014).
Refugees are rejecting the relocation proposals, citing insecurity as their main concern, including attacks by the South Sudanese armed forces from border areas (IOM, 23/09/2014; UNHCR, 01/10/2014). Okugo can only absorb 29,000 refugees in addition to the current population of 6,000 (IOM). A new proposal has been made by UNHCR for two new campsites, able to accommodate 120,000 refugees, in the vicinity of Okugo (UNHCR, 20/10/2014).
As of 30 November, Ethiopia hosts 107,000 Eritrean refugees (OCHA, 30/11/2014). There was a spike in daily arrivals in September, with more than 200 Eritreans crossing the border each day. About 5,000 refugees, mainly from Asmara, arrived in Ethiopia during October, and an additional 3,588 in November (OCHA, 24/11/2014). New arrivals are transferred to Hitsat camp, which is now hosting 27,561 people (OCHA, 24/11/2014). The recent spike has led to a shortage of health services, shelter, and core relief items. UNHRH highlighted that the large number of unaccompanied minors was cause for grave protection concern (OCHA, 30/11/2014).
Ethiopian Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
As of 1 July, there are 30,343 Ethiopian refugees in Kenya (10/07/2014, UNHCR).
An estimated 6,820 Ethiopians made their way to Yemen in May, slightly fewer than the 6,865 who arrived in April, and a 31% increase on the number who arrived in May 2013. New arrivals came predominantly for economic reasons and fear of persecution. New arrivals in Yemen have reported cases of arbitrary detention and torture as a result of perceived affiliation to the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), and repression premised on political affiliation in light of the general elections scheduled for 2015 (RMMS, 31/05/2014).
According to UNICEF, 3.2 million people in Ethiopia will require emergency food assistance in 2014 (UNICEF, 30/10/2014). In June, an estimated 2.7 million people were in Phase 3 and Phase 4 food insecurity (WFP, 06/2014). This is a 12% increase compared to the first half of 2013. The most affected regions are Oromia (897,000 people in need of humanitarian assistance), Somali (690,970), Amhara (548,000), Tigray (321,400), and Afar (152,600).
As the meher harvests have started, parts of Tigray, Amhara, Oromia, SNNPR, and western areas have improved to Minimal Food Security (IPC Phase 1) (FEWSNET, 10/12/2014). However, below-average production of maize and sorghum is expected in areas of eastern Amhara and southern Tigray, central and eastern Oromia, and areas along the Rift Valley in SNNPR, causing these areas to either remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2) or move into Crisis (IPC Phase 3) between December and March, as households exhaust their food stocks (FEWSNET, 10/12/2014). Critical water shortages are persisting despite ongoing karan rains in parts of the Somali region.
Previous flooding in September along the Shabelle River has destroyed and limited access to grazing areas in South Omo Zones in Afar, and Nationalities in SNNPR. This has led to deteriorated livestock conditions, and diminished household access to food and income by (FEWSNET, 24/11/2014).
Agriculture and Markets
The bega 2014-2015 season forecast indicates that eastern, northeastern, and central parts of the country will be negatively affected by unseasonal rainfall, and harvest and post-harvest activities will be hampered.
In July, year-on-year general inflation rate increased to 6.9%; food inflation to 5.8% and non-food to 8.2%. The terms of trade between shoat and staple cereals has deteriorated for producers and consumers in most areas of the Somali region and Diredawa markets (WFP, 31/07/2014).
Health and Nutrition
A survey carried out among South Sudanese refugees residing in Ethiopia indicate a serious public health emergency (OCHA 15/08/2014). Malaria remains the main public health concern in all the refugee camps, followed by respiratory tract infections and diarrhoeal diseases (OCHA 01/09/2014). Monitoring in Gambella region has shown “critical gaps” in medical personnel and supplies, as well as funds for public health clusters (OCHA, 11/08/2014).
Between late May and late August 354 cases of hepatitis E and jaundice were detected among the refugee population (MSF, 04/09/2014). Ten new cases were reported in the last week of September (UNHCR, 01/10/2014). As of November, the overall trend in cases was decreasing in all camps (UNHCR, 07/11/2014).
Cases of malaria have significantly increased in refugee camps due to flooding and poor use of treated bed nets (OCHA, 01/10/2014). In July, the death rate from malaria in Kule 1 camp was reported as 5.9/1,000/week, in Leitchuor 5.6/1,000/week and in Tierkidi 5/1,000/week (UNHCR 03/07/2014).
The Government and humanitarian actors on the ground have responded to more than 200 measles outbreaks this year (OCHA, 11/08/2014). Close to 2,600 measles cases were recorded between until mid-January and May in Gambella, Amhara, Oromia, SNNP and Somali regions (OCHA, 12/05/2014).
264,298 children required treatment for severe acute malnutrition so far this year (UNICEF, 31/10/2014).
As of 1 November, Results of a SMART survey in Leitchuor, Kule, and Tierkidi show GAM rates of 25.8%, 28%, and 30.3%, and SAM rates of 5.7%, 7.8%, and 10%, respectively (UNHCR, 01/11/2014). Crude mortality rates in Kule 1 were 1.47/10,000/day and Leitchuor 1.03/10,000/day. Under-five mortality rates at Kule 1 were 5/10,000/day and Leitchuor 2.73/10,000/day (WFP, 15/08/2014; UNICEF, 15/07/2014). The overall trend shows a deterioration in the nutritional situation in refugee camps.
On 17 March, according to OCHA, a new case of polio was confirmed in Somali region, bringing the caseload in Ethiopia to ten since the outbreak started in May 2013. All cases were reported in woredas that share borders with Somalia, where the regional polio outbreak started.
According to UNICEF, 1.2 million people are in need of improved access to safe water and water sources (UNICIEF, 31/10/2014). Critical water shortages exist in Afdera, Berhale, Bidu, Dubti, Elidar, Erebti and Kori woredas (OCHA, 01/09/2014). In the Somali region, seven out of nine zones are reportedly suffering from water shortages, causing people and livestock to migrate in search of water and pasture (OCHA, 06/10/2014). Seasonal rains have recently improved water availability in Oromia, and water trucking has commenced in Borena, Bale, East Hararge and West Hararge woredas (OCHA, 08/12/2014).
The ratio of latrines per person in Leitchuor is 76:1, in Pagak 1:76, and in Burbiey 1:103, considerably higher than the UNHCR standard of 1:50 (UNHCR, 01/11/2014).
In December, women have been more susceptible to attacks and assaults outside Leitchuor refugee camp as lack of firewood and cooking gas forces them to travel further in search of wood (UNHCR, 11/12/2014).
In mid-February, human rights NGOs reported that a government-run land clearance plan had affected an estimated 7,000 indigenous people in the lower Omo Valley in the southwest. This raises concerns over indigenous people’s livelihoods. Forced resettlement of indigenous people in the area has also been reported.
A government land development plan to allow sugar-cane plantations, dam construction, and commercial agriculture is expected to relocate 150,000 indigenous people into permanent sedentary villages.
No significant developments this week 08/12/2014 Last update: 11/11/2014
- Almost 290,000 people are in need of healthcare (OCHA, 31/08/2014).
- 202,500 people are food insecure and in need of food assistance. 49,000 children are acutely malnourished (OCHA, 31/08/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
289,200 people are in need of humanitarian assistance, given increasing commodity prices, resurgence of epidemics, and limited access to basic social services (OCHA, 31/08/2014).
Refugees in the Gambia
As of September 2014, around 9,500 refugees, mostly Senegalese from the Casamance region, live in the Gambia (OCHA, 31/08/2014). Smaller numbers of refugees come from Liberia, Sierra Leone, Côte d’Ivoire, and Togo.
202,500 people are food insecure (OCHA, 31/08/2014). Agencies are warning about the increase in food and fuel prices, which may constitute a high food security risk to rural and urban households (OCHA, 31/08/2014).
Growing conditions for cereal crops and pastures have been poor in several parts of the country, mostly in central and western regions, due to irregular rains at the beginning of the cropping season in May/June, which delayed planting, and subsequent erratic precipitation in July and August. Aggregate cereal production in 2014 will drop by 75% compared to 2013, to about 57,000 metric tons. Production of groundnut, the main cash crop, is anticipated to decline by over 80%. Access to food will further be restrained by high prices of cereals and the depreciation of the national currency, which has increased domestic prices of imported food commodities (FAO, 05/11/2014). The Ebola epidemic in neighbouring countries is further aggravating food insecurity, as the crisis has affected tourism, a significant source of income (Reuters, 01/10/2014).
Sahel Food Crisis: Regional Overview
24.7 million people in the Sahel (Burkina Faso, north Cameroon, Chad, the Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, north Nigeria, and Senegal) are suffering from food insecurity as of 30 September (OCHA, 07/10/2014). Food insecurity in 2014 has risen dramatically compared to 2013, when 11.3 million people had inadequate food (OCHA, 03 /02/2014).
Health and Nutrition
Around 290,000 people are in need of healthcare, over 15% of the population. The supply of essential drugs is low, as is laboratory capacity. Staff and equipment are not sufficient to meet the most urgent needs (OCHA, 31/08/2014).
There have been sporadic outbreaks of meningitis in all regions, but particularly in the east of the country; in the Upper, Lower, and Central River regions (OCHA, 31/08/2014).
Around 49,000 children are reported to be acutely malnourished, of whom 7,800 children suffer SAM (OCHA 31/08/2014). This represents 3,000 more SAM cases than in July 2013 (OCHA 25/07/2014). The nutrition situation is particularly dire in Central and Upper River regions, with GAM rates above the 10% serious threshold (OCHA, 31/0809/2014).
287,000 people are in need of WASH assistance. Inadequate access to safe drinking water, basic sanitation, and poor hygiene practices continue to be an issue. 20% of deaths among under-fives are WASH-related (OCHA, 31/08/2014).
6–7 December: Thousands took to the streets in Port-au-Prince in protest at the delayed elections (Al Jazeera).
2 December: Around 67,500 Haitians (16,000 families) are reportedly affected by the drop in cereal production in Central Plateau, Nord-Ouest, Sud-Est, and Ouest departments (FAO).
- Ongoing severe dryness, particularly in the southern peninsula and the Central Plateau, and likely below-average rainfall through December, has resulted in the second consecutive below-average harvest and is likely to increase food insecurity (FEWSNET, 28/10/2014).
- Despite a progressive decrease of cholera cases since January, weekly cases have significantly increased since the rainy season mid-September (PAHO, 02/12/2014).
- 800,000 people rely on humanitarian assistance in 2014 (UN, 27/10/2014).
- 85,430 IDPs (22,741 households) remain in 123 camps as of September as a result of the 2010 earthquake (OCHA, 04/10/2014).
- The resilience of the population and its capacity to cope with new crises are generally weak.
An estimated three million Haitians have both chronic and acute humanitarian needs, and are facing displacement, food insecurity, and malnutrition. Haiti’s political and economic situation is extremely fragile, and the country is vulnerable to natural disasters, including hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, landslides, and droughts. The resilience of the population is extremely low.
On 23 September, Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe said that elections will be held no later than early 2015, more than three years behind schedule (ABC News, 23/09/2014). Thousands took to the streets in Port-au-Prince over 6–7 December to protest the delayed elections (Al Jazeera, 07/12/14).
The indefinite postponement of parliamentary and national elections since 2011 has contributed to a polarised political climate. While the UN stabilisation mission, MINUSTAH, maintains police in regions, the Haitian National Police are not yet fully capable of dealing with civil unrest (OCHA, 31/07/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
So far in 2014, 800,000 people are relying on international humanitarian assistance (UN, 27/10/2014).
36,270 Haitians have been affected after heavy floods hit northern and western departments between 31 October and 6 November. 6,000 were evacuated to temporary shelters – including in Cap Haitian and Fort Liberté. Five people were killed and 14,000 houses damaged (IOM, 11/11/2014; local media, 07/11/2014).
85,430 IDPs (22,741 households) remain in 123 camps as of September following the 2010 earthquake, a 17.5% decrease on June numbers (OCHA, 04/10/2014). Delmas (38%), Port-au-Prince (27%) and Croix-des-Bouquets (10%) account for 75% of displaced households (CCCM, 08/10/2014). Port-au-Prince has the highest number of IDP sites (37% of sites), followed by Delmas and Carrefour (IOM 07/07/2014). Priority needs include the provision of minimum basic services, protection monitoring and response, and promotion of durable solutions (OCHA, 03/11/2014).
Population numbers in open camps grew over the first six months of 2014, as other camps closed, and insecurity elsewhere has increased (OHCHR, MINUSTAH, Protection Cluster, 30/06/2014). 60 families supposed to be transferred from camp KID in Christ-Roi on 3 December were dissatisfied by the lack of relocation support from local authorities (GARR, 04/12/2014).
Basic services in camps have declined faster than the pace of return or relocation. Only one-third of camps have access to water and access to healthcare is problematic due to lack of infrastructure and funding (OCHA, 31/07/2014).
As of October, 1,448 Haitians in the Dominican Republic had been forced to return to their home country (local organisation, 15/10/2014).
As of July, 2.6 million Haitians continue to be affected by food insecurity, including 200,000 severely food insecure (OCHA, 20/08/2014).
In October, populations in Artibonite, Nord-Ouest, Sud-Est, and Nippes departments faced Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food security levels (OCHA, 04/10/2014). Parts of Sud, Sud-Est, and Nippes departments are likely to enter Crisis (IPC Phase 3) by March 2015 (FEWSNET, 18/11/2014). Below-average food stocks due to the prolonged drought are expected to result in higher food prices between March and April 2015 (AlterPress, 21/10/2014).
Heavy rainfall at the beginning of November affected agricultural output, with 62% and 29% losses in breeding production in the north and northeast, respectively. The North and Nippes also saw 76% and 18% livestock losses (Government, 20/11/2014).
In contrast, dryness persists over parts of the northwest and south, with below-average rainfall forecast through December likely to increase moisture deficits (FEWSNET, 02/12/2014). Drought during January–March led to a 30% loss of seasonal harvests, and drought since May has affected the spring and autumn agricultural seasons, suggesting that the 2014/15 crop production is likely to be significantly below average (OCHA, 04/10/2014; FEWSNET, 18/11/14). Around 67,500 people (16,000 families) are reportedly affected by the drop in cereal production in Central Plateau, Nord-Ouest, Sud-Est, and Ouest departments (FAO, 02/12/2014).
Health and Nutrition
Five million Haitians (half of the total population) lack access to basic health services (UN, 27/10/2014).
At 31 October, 14,869 suspected cases of cholera and 132 deaths had been recorded in 2014, a 69% decrease compared to the same period in 2013 (UN, 27/11/2014).
Weekly reported cases have been rising since the rainy season began in mid-September, to an average of 918, compared to 250–290 between January and September. The departments of Artibonite, Centre, Ouest, and Nord are most affected (PAHO, 02/12/2014). Daily cases observed in Port-au-Prince have nearly doubled, due to the reduced number of dedicated centres, increase in rainfall activity, and hygiene conditions (local media, 17/11/2014).
Overall, nearly 717,203 suspected cholera cases and 8,721 deaths have been reported by the Ministry of Health since the start of the epidemic in October 2010 (PAHO, 02/12/2014).
100,000 children under five suffer acute malnutrition, 20,000 of whom are severely malnourished. Ten communes have above 10% GAM (OCHA, 20/08/2014).
Malnutrition rates in IDP camps are of great concern. At May, GAM rates in 20 camps stood at 12.5% (OCHA, 20/08/2014).
More than 3.4 million Haitians lack access to safe water (one-third of the total population and 47% of the rural population) (UN, 30/09/2014). 38% do not have access to improved water sources and 69% lack access to improved sanitation (World Bank, 30/09/2014). As of June, 50% of camps lack adequate sanitation facilities; only one-third have a water point. 60% of schools have no toilets and more than three-quarters lack access to water (HRW, 08/10/2014).
Waterborne diseases are one of the main causes of infant mortality (World Bank, 09/10/2014).
94% of people left homeless by the 2010 earthquake have been relocated outside camps. Their living conditions are poorer than before the earthquake (UN, 27/10/2014). IDPs living in informal settlements are at risk of eviction (OCHA, 20/08/2014). 5,966 IDP families are at risk of eviction from camps; few are targeted by a return programme (OCHA, 25/11/2014).
17% of IDPs in camps surveyed in 2014 have not received any education services (OHCHR, MINUSTAH and Protection Cluster, 30/06/2014).
The number of rapes reported in the first half of 2014 is double that of the same period in 2013. More than two-thirds of the rapes reported involved minors (OHCHR and Protection Cluster, 30/06/2014).
Gender-based violence continues to be of great concern in IDP camps, where most cases of sexual aggression are reported among women (OHCHR, MINUSTAH and Protection Cluster, 30/06/2014).
Kenya Country Analysis
16 December: The Government has shut down 510 NGOs, accusing them of having links with terrorist organisations (The Guardian).
15 December: A controversial new security bill has been introduced following the attacks in Mandera (HRW, Kenya Daily Nation).
- Violence is ongoing in the capital Nairobi, as well as the northeastern and coastal areas; two-thirds of attacks have been attributed to the Somali Islamist Al Shabaab movement.
- Inter-communal tensions are running high: 491 people were killed and 47,000 displaced by tribal conflict in 2013. Tana River, Mandera, Marsabit, and Moyale counties are the most affected.
- There are over 586,095 refugees in Kenya, including at least 426,500 Somalis and 87,129 South Sudanese (UNHCR 01/12/2104, 07/08/2014).
- 1.5 million people are acutely food insecure (FEWSNET).
Kenya is considered relatively stable in the Horn of Africa and held peaceful presidential elections in March 2013. However, the country remains ethnically polarised and affected by two decades of conflict in neighbouring Somalia. The implementation of a devolution process, land reform, and national reconciliation all challenge stability in a country where institutions are perceived to be weak.
On 5 December, charges against President Uhuru Kenyatta him, including crimes against humanity, stemming from 2007–08 post-election violence when more than 1,000 people died, were dropped (BBC, 07/10/2014, 05/12/2014).
Following the attacks in Mandera in late November, a new security bill has been introduced to limit the rights of people who are arrested and accused, add harsh criminal penalties, and restrict freedoms of expression and assembly. These measures have been widely criticised by human rights group (Human Rights Watch, Kenya Daily Nation, 14/12/2014).
On 16 December, the Government de-registered 510 NGOs, accusing them of using their charitable status as a front for raising funds for terrorism. Many of the NGOs appear to be aid agencies, Christian organisations, orphanages, or organisations working in development and health (The Guardian, 16/12/2014).
The frequency and scale of militant attacks in Kenya have increased dramatically since 2011, when Kenyan troops began operating in Somalia, as has the nature of the violence, with 40% of events targeting civilians. Al Shabaab has built a cross-border presence and clandestine support network among the Muslim population in the northeast, in Nairobi, and on the coast. The increasing radicalisation of the ethnic Somali Muslim population is allegedly fuelled by systematic ethnic profiling and discrimination. Muslims make up 11% of Kenya’s 40 million population.
In addition, deadly inter-communal violence remains common in a number of areas.
Al Shabaab-related Violence
On 22 November, Al Shabaab gunmen pulled passengers from a Nairobi-bound bus in Mandera, and killed 28 non-Muslims – including 24 teachers – in retaliation for Kenyan police raids of suspected radical mosques in Mombasa earlier in the month (OCHA, 28/11/2014). In response, the Kenyan military launched operations in Somalia, reportedly killing 115 Al Shabaab militants (BBC, The Guardian, 24/11/2014). The attack is yet to be independently confirmed; Al Shabaab denied that any attack took place (Al Jazeera, 24/11/2014).
500 non-locals and professionals fled to a military landing strip, hoping to be evacuated (Red Cross, 03/12/2014). The Government did not respond, and on 27 November, significant numbers were reported to be leaving Mandera, mainly health workers, teachers, and civil servants (Kenya Daily Nation, 27/11/2014). Workers unions have continued to urge their members in Mandera to leave until their security is guaranteed (Kenya Daily Nation, 03/12/2014).
On 1 December, one person was killed and 12 wounded in an attack in Wajir, close to Mandera (AFP, 01/12/2014). On 2 December, Al Shabaab carried out a second attack in Mandera, killing 36 quarry workers (AFP, 02/12/2014).
Hand grenades and pistols were seized during raids of mosques in November; one person died in the raids. (AFP, 17/11/2014). Three mosques were closed (BBC, 19/11/2014).
In June and July, attacks in Kenya’s coastal region left 102 dead. Soweto in Mombasa, Mpeketoni, Poromoko, Panganguo, the villages of Witu and Kibiboni, and Gamba police station were all targeted. About 500 families reportedly fled the area (Reuters, 06/07/2014). Although evidence points towards Al Shabaab involvement, the Kenyan Government insists local political networks are to blame, flaring political and ethnic tensions in the coastal area (IRIN 23/07/2014).
A growth in the population of both people and livestock has led to more frequent cattle raiding and violence, fed by the availability of small arms. As of end of November, inter-communal violence in Kenya had caused 310 deaths, 214 injuries and displaced 220,177 in 2014 (OCHA, 31/11/2014). The areas most affected by inter-communal violence are the northern Rift Valley and north-eastern regions.
On 7 December, 25 houses were burned down and several acres of plantations were destroyed in Kakamega county, following tribal clashes between Nandis and Kabras (Kenya Daily Nation, 08/12/2014). On 20 November, five villagers were killed and 12 injured in North Horr, Marsabit, after fighting between Gabbra and Dassanach communities (Kenya Daily Nation, 20/11/2014).
Conflict in Mandera and Wajir
On 22 August, fighting resumed in Mandera county. By early October, total fatalities had risen to 48, with 68 wounded and 19,000 displaced (Kenya Red Cross, 05/09/2014). Clashes between Garre and Degodia communities along the border between Wajir and Mandera counties caused at least 60 deaths and displaced 75,000 people between May and June (OCHA, 23/06/2014). The Garre and Degodia Somali clans have been feuding over natural resources since March 2012.
Conflicts in Samburu and Turkana
On 17 November, clashes over cattle between Samburu and Turkana left ten dead. On 18 November, four more people died as Samburu raided Garuchu village, in Isiolo (Kenya Daily Nation, 18/11/2014). Four more people were killed in another raid in Turkana on 21 November (Kenya Daily Nation, 23/11/2014).
Turkana has also seen an increase in the frequency of violent attacks by raiders of Pokoto and Turkana communities. On 4 November, at least 22 police officers and three civilians were ambushed and killed in Kapedo, and their weapons and ammunition were stolen (Kenya Red Cross, 04/11/2014). On 7 November, Kenya defence forces raided Kapedo in an attempt to recover the stolen weapons. More than 30 people were injured and several properties were burned down (Kenya Daily Nation, 08/11/2014). Residents fled Kapedo to Pokot North in West Pokot County and Turkana South (Kenyan Daily Nation, 20/11/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
According to national authorities, 300,000 famine-stricken people (60,000 families) in drought-hit Wajir South constituency need humanitarian assistance. The National Drought Management Authority said most of the water points in the northeastern constituency had dried up due to the prolonged drought (Kenya Daily Nation, 08/09/2014).
Garissa county, in northeast Kenya, has also been experiencing severe drought. Water pans are drying up quickly, livestock has begun to die, and Garissa residents are urgently appealing for food, water and medical services (Kenya Daily Nation, 10/11/2014).
On 5 December, over 300 people were displaced as mudslides and floods destroyed their homes in Jomvu, Mombasa (Kenya Daily Nation, 05/12/2014). On 14 November, heavy rains in the Tana Delta have caused floods in Bura and Hirimaru division in the southeast. Houses and WASH facilities have been destroyed. Close to 180 households are camping in nearby villages (Kenya Red Cross, 17/11/2014).
On 1 December, the total number of IDPs in Kenya was 309,200 (OCHA, 31/11/2014).
As of 31 November, inter-communal violence had caused the displacement of 125,107 people in Mandera, 84,980 in Wajir, 4,920 in Lamu and 1,730 in Turkana.
As of 1 December, Kenya is hosting more than 586,095 refugees and asylum-seekers. 177,454 are located in Kakuma, 227,953 in Dabaab, 129,392 in Alinjugur, and 51,296 in Nairobi (UNHCR, 14/10/2014). Somalis make up 75% of the refugees, South Sudanese 13% (UNHCR, 30/07/2014). As of 21 September, humanitarian actors have registered a decline in the number of refugees entering the country (IOM, 21/09/2014).
WFP has reported that resource constraints will cause a significant pipeline break in refugee operations in December, worsening an already critical nutrition situation among children (WFP, 15/10/2014). On 14 November, WFP announced that food rations to the entire refugee population in Kenya will be halved, as a result of insufficient funding (WFP, 14/11/2014).
From Somalia: As of July, 427,000 Somali refugees were in Kenya (UNHCR, OCHA). Most are in the northeastern Dadaab and Alinjugur refugee camp complex, which in July hosted 340,000 Somali refugees. 55,468 Somali refugees are in Kakuma camp, Turkana, and 32,014 are in Nairobi (UNHCR, 01/07/2014).
The Tripartite Agreement between the Kenyan and Somali Governments and UNHCR, signed in November 2013, establishes the legal framework for those Somali refugees wishing to return home. A first group of refugees will test the viability of returning the 337,500 Somali refugees still registered at the camp (Kenya Daily Nation, 07/09/2014). On 8 December, the first returnees arrived in Somalia (IOM, UNHCR, 09/12/2014).
From South Sudan: As of 10 December, more than 44,457 South Sudanese refugees have crossed into Kenya through Nadapal border since mid-December 2013 (UNHCR, 15/12/2014). 75,038 South Sudanese refugees are in Kakuma camp, Turkana county (UNHCR, 07/07/2014).
Kakuma camp is hosting 179,218 refugees, surpassing its capacity of 150,000 (UNHCR, 08/12/2014). Flooding from heavy rains on 25 August and 3 September has caused further displacement, and hampered access by humanitarian actors (OCHA, 27/08/2014; UNHCR, 17/09/2014). The need for land is critical. Regular relocations from the reception centre have stalled as a result of the rains, and the need for dry, safe areas is urgent (UNHCR, 08/12/2014). Government officials have authorised the construction of a new camp, but no land has been granted (UNHCR, 15/10/2014). UNCHR has reported that the overpopulation in Kakuma is causing friction among refugee communities, and security forces are finding it more difficult to manage situations (UNHCR, 14/11/2014).
Humanitarian workers on the ground have reported that poor roads, hilly terrain and protection concerns along the northern Rift Valley and north-eastern regions have hampered the delivery of aid to affected communities (OCHA, 31/11/2014).
In major agricultural areas, conditions have started to improve, as long-rain crops have been harvested and are therefore more available in local markets. Following these harvests, the number of food insecure people is expected to decline until the end of the year (GIEWS, 13/11/2014). The food security situation is expected to improve in December, with most households likely to be Stressed (IPC Phase 2) (FEWSNET, 24/11/2014).
Agriculture and Markets
Poor rains have affected pasture and water availability in most pastoral and agro-pastoral areas (GIEWS, 19/09/2014). Peste des Petits Ruminantes, a contagious disease that affects goats and sheep, and East Coast Fever, which affects cattle, sheep and goats are also currently affecting the livelihoods of pastoralist communities in arid and semi-arid regions (Inter Press Service, 20/10/2014).
Maize lethal necrosis disease has damaged more than 260,000 hectares of crops in the Rift Valley and 10,000 hectares in Nakuru (Kenya Daily Nation, 06/09/2014, 21/09/2014). Small-scale farmers are most affected, forcing some to revert to negative coping mechanisms (Kenya Daily Nation, 30/09/2014).
Health and Nutrition
The malaria incidence rate has increase by 13.3% in refugee camps. 1,164 new cases were reported in the second week of November, compared to 1,009 in the week before (UNHCR, 14/11/2014). The number of new cases of malaria is likely to increase exponentially due to the high camp population and ongoing rains (UNCHR, 26/11/2014).
SAM rates among South Sudanese refugees arriving in Kakuma between 14 and 20 October were at 15.4%, up from 10% in May. GAM was at 29.3%, up from 16.3% in May (UNHCR, 23/05/2014, 23/10/2014). Statistics show that malnutrition rates are higher among the most recent arrivals from South Sudan (UNHCR, 11/07/2014).
There is a critical need for clean water nationwide. Households are currently having to walk long distances to access water, much of which does not meet health standards (ACTED, 08/08/2014).
Since December 2013, 6,197 unaccompanied children have arrived in Kakuma camp, bringing the total to 12,174 (UNHCR, 01/10/2014).
5–8 December: The execution of a hostage by Jabhat al Nusra (JAN) on 5 December led to serious unrest, including security incidents targeting Syrian refugees. Qatar ended its mediation of the hostage crisis, stating its efforts failed (Daily Star).
- 1,144,706 Syrians are registered as refugees in Lebanon. 10,985 are awaiting registration (UNHCR 04/12/2014). 39% have specific needs (UNHCR 22/10/2014). Over 45,000 Palestinian refugees from Syria have been recorded by UNRWA (04/11/2014).
- Shelter is a critical problem: some 132,000 families – or 55% of Syrian refugees – in Lebanon live in substandard housing. 92,400 families need winter assistance (OCHA 04/11/2014).
- An estimated 420,000 school-aged refugee children need education services (REACH 11/2014).
- Only 30% of Syrian children born in Lebanon have birth certificates (UNHCR 10/11/2014).
Lebanon has the highest per capita concentration of refugees worldwide. While the country struggles to deal with the refugee influx, which exceeds a quarter of the Lebanese population, tensions between host and refugee populations are increasing due to food price hikes, and pressure on health and education systems, housing, employment. The World Bank estimates that the Syria crisis cost Lebanon USD 2.5 billion in lost economic activity during 2013 and threatens to push 170,000 Lebanese into poverty by the end of 2014.
On the grounds that elections would currently present too much of a security risk, the Lebanese Parliament extended its mandate for another two years and seven months at the beginning of November, after a similar move in 2013. The Reform and Change bloc, which had boycotted the extension vote, announced it would challenge the extension law at the Constitutional Council (Daily Star 12/11/2014).
Some observers state the extension might pave the way for dialogue regarding the five-month presidential vacuum (Daily Star 06/11/2014; 05/11/2014). Former president Michel Sleiman’s term expired on 25 May. The March 8 bloc, which includes Hezbollah, has boycotted voting for the new president, arguing that the sessions are futile until rival groups agree on a consensus candidate.
The Government was formed in February after ten months of political stalemate, and brings together the Hezbollah movement and its allies, and the Future Movement bloc, who back opposing sides in the Syria war. Neither side has veto power over the other.
Hezbollah’s involvement in Syria, and the alleged presence of JAN and IS in Lebanon, is raising destabilisation concerns in Lebanon. Along its northern and northeastern border with Syria, Lebanon is engaged in a battle against the Islamic State (IS), JAN and affiliated armed groups. JAN hinted at attacks on Hezbollah strongholds in November, which observers perceive as consistent with JAN’s stated strategy to force Hezbollah to withdraw from Syria and refocus on Lebanon.
Lebanon’s army has declared an open-ended war with Islamist militants (Daily Star 05/12/2014). Violence in Arsal in August, and sporadic incidents across the country, have been followed by an increase in raids and arrests by the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF). Around 950 people were arrested in November, for residing in Lebanon without a valid permit, or on terror or drug-related charges, among others (Daily Star 06/12/2014).
Bekaa Valley: Since mid-October, several instances of shelling have taken place, as well as gunfire, armed clashes, and border violations (OCHA 30/11/2014). Unidentified gunmen ambushed a Lebanese army patrol in Tal al Sayl, Ras Baalbek, killing seven soldiers on 2 December.
In August, armed fighters briefly took over the town of Arsal, in the Bekaa Valley, with air raids along the border and bomb attacks targeting military and Hezbollah in Arsal and Bekaa Valley.
Tripoli: There have been several bouts of fighting in Tripoli between Sunni groups sympathetic to armed opposition groups in Syria, and Alawite groups supporting the Government of Syria. Fighting was recurrent before the alleged presence of IS and JAN, and is mostly a manifestation of long-standing socio-economic grievances and sectarian tensions (SNAP 06/11/2014).
In October, fighters occupied the Old City. LAF drove them from the city. The fighting caused major damage to the impoverished Sunni neighbourhood of Bab-al-Tabbaneh, home to some 100,000 people, including over 6,600 registered Syrian refugees (SNAP 06/11/2014; UNHCR 07/2014).
Since clashes in early August, IS and JAN are believed to be holding about 25 Lebanese soldiers and members of security forces. Qatar was mediating the crisis, but stopped in early December, stating its efforts failed (Daily Star 08/12/2014). On 5 December, JAN executed a hostage, a Lebanese policeman. JAN vowed to kill another captive unless the Government releases the women and children related to IS leader Baghdadi and an IS commander who were detained last week.
The execution led to protests and road blockades in eastern Lebanon, Beirut and northern Lebanon by families of the remaining captives and their supporters. The families called for the Government’s resignation. The execution also caused a spike in security incidents targeting Syrian refugees: a Syrian child was killed by unidentified gunmen, and two refugees were wounded, while tents were set alight in Mashha, Akkar. (Daily Star 07/12/2014; Al Jazeera 06/12/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Waste water management, water supply, electricity supply, employment and health services are the priority needs (OCHA/REACH 31/10/2014).
Refugees live across 1,750 different locations in Lebanon, making the delivery of humanitarian assistance challenging (UNHCR 09/2014). northern Bekaa, Tripoli and Akkar are areas of higher risk for humanitarian workers (OCHA 30/11/2041), and parts of those areas been designated by the UN as a security ‘red zone’, allowing critical missions only (WFP 03/12/2014). In southern Lebanon, access and movement have at times been affected by the security measures implemented by local authorities, communities, and other groups (OCHA 08/2014).
Protesters recently blocked the Beirut–Tripoli road, potentially obstructing the delivery of humanitarian assistance (Daily Star).
In May, the Government introduced measures to limit the Syrian refugee influx. In October, the Government formally agreed to stop welcoming displaced people, barring exceptional cases, and to ask UNHCR to stop registering the displaced. The policy has resulted in a substantial reduction in refugees registering (UNHCR, AFP 24/10/2014). The impact on children of increased restrictions on visa renewals and entry into Lebanon is raising concerns (UNHCR 07/2014).
An average of 13% of registered refugees have entered through unofficial border crossings and are not able to pay the prohibitive regularisation fees. Those who entered through official crossings often have difficulties meeting the residency renewal fees (UNHCR 09/2014). All Syrians without legal residency status will be exempt from overstay fines until the end of 2014 (Government 08/2014).
Palestinian refugees from Syria: Since May, PRS entry to Lebanon has been almost entirely limited to those transiting to a third country. An increasing number of PRS remain in Lebanon without legal stay, and face an array of protection concerns (OCHA 01/09/2014).
The shortage of surface water due partly to little rainfall last winter has reduced hydroelectric power generation, leading to a scarcity of electric power (UNHCR 10/11/2014).
Refugees in Lebanon
1,144,706 Syrians are registered as refugees in Lebanon. 11,588 are awaiting registration. Bekaa is hosting 404,261 refugees; Beirut 322,589; north Lebanon 283,298; and southern Lebanon 134,558 (UNHCR 04/12/2014). 79% are women and children. 53.4% are children. 32% of registered families are headed by women. Over 38% of households include at least one person with specific needs (UNHCR 09/2014). More than half of refugees coming to Lebanon moved at least once before crossing the border; one in ten moved more than three times (UNHCR 01/09/2014). The number of Syrians in Lebanon who are not registered with UNHCR is unknown.
The population of seven informal tented settlements were relocated from the Tripoli area following damage during clashes between the military and armed fighters at the end of November (OCHA 30/11/2014).
Palestinian refugees from Syria: 45,000 Palestinian refugees from Syria (PRS) reside in Lebanon (UNRWA cited by OCHA 04/11/2014).
Iraqi refugees: Lebanon hosts nearly 7,500 registered Iraqi refugees and a further 1,200 are awaiting registration (USAID 19/09/2014).
According to a 2013 assessment, most Lebanese returnees from Syria arrived in 2011 (36%), 2012 (40%), with a smaller proportion arriving in the first half of 2013 (IOM 14/11/2014).
Communities and municipalities are struggling to cope with the pace of the crisis and the surge in needs (UNHCR 09/2014). All 446 host communities have reported inadequate or insufficient access to water, waste water management systems, affordable housing, and employment opportunities. Conditions in more developed urban locations are better than in rural communities (OCHA 09/2014).
Due to a lack of funding, WFP announced at the beginning of December the immediate suspension of food aid in the countries affected by the Syrian crisis. Lebanon is worst hit by these measures, with more than 800,000 Syrian refugees receiving WFP food voucher support (AFP 02/12/2014). In October, WFP reduced the voucher value, and food parcels for new arrivals and vouchers for Palestinian refugees were discontinued (WFP 10/2014).
As of August, 12% of households were classified as moderately food insecure, and less than 0.5% were considered severely food insecure. Nearly 68% of households reported having reduced the number of meals (VASyR 08/2014). 27% of new Syrian refugees have poor to borderline food consumption scores (UNHCR 08/2014).
Agriculture and Markets
A severe drought has resulted in a substantial decline in agricultural production throughout the country (FAO 11/11/2014). Average rainfall in 2014 is estimated at 470mm, far below annual averages of 824mm (Inter Press Service 23/07/2014). Fruit and vegetables are most affected, and prices have increased.
Aggregate cereal consumption has increased from 0.9 million metric tons a year (2004–2008) to 1.2 million. Lebanon relies heavily on imports: national grain production is tentatively put at just under 200,000 metric tons, similar to last year and the five-year average (FAO 11/11/2014).
78% of refugee households are not able to generate an income, citing a lack of work as the main issue. 28% of Syrian refugee households resorted to emergency coping strategies in 2014, up from 22% in 2013. Newcomers arriving in 2014 are in general more vulnerable (UNHCR 09/2014). 39% of refugees surveyed in July were unemployed for over 12 months in Syria before fleeing to Lebanon (UNHCR 09/2014).
Approximately 80% of households borrowed money or received credit and/or money to buy food, and 68% of refugee households reported that WFP vouchers were their main source of income (WFP 09/2014).
77% of refugee households are relying on non-agricultural casual labour and debts or loans (VASyR 2014). 30% of refugees are unemployed and 88% of the employed are paid 40% less than the minimum wage in Lebanon, according to a livelihood assessment by the ILO. Female Syrian workers earn 30% less than male workers. The high cost of living forces households to move into substandard accommodation (UNHCR 09/2014; ILO 04/2014).
Unemployment in border areas hosting Syrian refugees has doubled since the refugee influx. In Akkar, unemployment is increasing, reaching over 58% in some areas (UNHCR 10/11/2014).
86% of Syrian refugees are living in Lebanon’s 242 most vulnerable locations. Competition for scarce income-generating opportunities, more expensive goods and services, and less affordable accommodation, are the main drivers of tensions (UNHCR 09/2014; REACH 08/2014).
Palestinian refugees from Syria: More than 37% of PRS have reported cash and food aid as their main source of income (UNRWA, 03/2014). The majority of employed PRS cannot rely on wages to ensure a decent standard of living. Only 11% of PRS households were able to rely on previous saving and remittances.
Health and Nutrition
72% of primary health centres assessed by UNICEF lack sufficient essential drugs, 67% lack sufficient medication for chronic diseases, and 49% lack sufficient antibiotics for children (UNICEF 08/2014).
Lebanon has a private healthcare system, and cost is therefore a major obstacle for refugees despite UNHCR covering 75% of medical charges (MSF 19/11/2014). Short opening hours and lack of trained health personnel further limit access. In Akkar, Tripoli, and Bekaa, people have to travel over 2km to access services (OCHA/REACH 31/10/2014).
Palestinian refugees from Syria: Almost 75% of PRS children aged between six months and five years were sick in the two weeks prior to an UNRWA survey in March. 42% of surveyed households had at least one member who required hospitalisation. Households living outside refugee camps access UNRWA’s health services less frequently than households in camps (UNRWA, 03/2014).
Around 300,000 displaced Syrians are estimated to be most vulnerable to mental health concerns; 60% are women and children (WHO 07/2014). 89% of Syrian youth (18–25 years of age) described themselves as depressed, anxious, or afraid most of the time (UNFPA; UNHCR 10/2014).
Demand for water has increased by 7% due to the refugee influx: 33% of refugee households do not have drinking water, compared to 28% in 2013 (VASyR 08/2014; UNHCR 07/2014). In some areas water shortages can only be addressed through infrastructure projects (UNHCR 30/09/2014). An estimated 55.4% of households reported storing water in containers at home, which can increase the risk of infectious disease transmission (UNHCR 10/2014).
Informal settlements have limited or no sanitation facilities. Approximately 12% of households (twice the percentage in 2013) do not have access to a place for washing. Of those who had access, over 7% were sharing bathrooms and latrines with 15 people or more (VASyR 08/2014). WASH conditions are worse for refugees in informal settlements; for those in difficult-to-access locations in the Bekaa Valley and the north; and for PRS (UNHCR 07/2014).
In Akkar and Bekaa, the use of open fields and pit latrines is common, (OCHA/REACH 31/10/2014). In Arsal, 544 latrines in informal settlements and communal shelters were destroyed during fighting, as was 623,000 litres of water storage capacity in informal settlements (UNHCR 08/2014).
Waste management: Waste management remains poor in most places where refugees live, diminishing funding has reduced waste management activities in Bekaa and the north, and municipalities do not have the capacity to collect (UNHCR 09/2014).
Shelter and NFIs
Shelter remains an urgent concern, especially as refugees run out of resources to pay rent. The number of evictions is growing every month (UNHCR 30/09/2014). Refugees live in substandard dwellings, with limited privacy and protection from the elements. 55% of Syrian refugees live in substandard housing, including 38% in insecure dwellings; and 17% in improvised informal settlements. The Government agreed on 11 September to establish camps along the Syria–Lebanon border to accommodate approximately 20,000 Syrians (UNHCR 19/09/2014).
As of 1 September, 1,392 informal settlements house 186,243 refugees. In June 2012, there were 282 informal settlements (UNHCR 09/2014, UNHCR 07/2014). Bekaa has over 700 settlements of four or more tents; Akkar has over 300 settlements, some of which were severely damaged by heavy rainstorms in October. In Akkar, the majority of informal settlements had existed for a year or more, and are generally on private land, on the outskirts of host communities. The populations are highly dependent upon assistance and loans (UNHCR/ REACH 17/11/2014).
Winterisation: Over 60% of Syrian refugees live in the north or the Bekaa Valley, where winter conditions are more severe than in the rest of the country. Two refugee babies have died of the cold and cases of pneumonia and respiratory problems are expected to rise in the absence of heating (Daily Star 24/11/2014). 92,400 families are in need of winter assistance, including shelter, fuel, clothing and blankets (OCHA 04/11/2014).
Palestinian refugees from Syria: An assessment of all 42 unofficial Palestinian communities in Lebanon, or ‘gatherings’, found the population to have increased from 110,000 to 140,000 since 2011: 26,000 are Palestinian refugees from Syria (OCHA 01/09/2014). PRS households are residing in alarmingly crowded dwellings, with an average of 4.6 persons per bedroom; 8.4 people on average share one bathroom. Most households (71%) reported paying rent for shelter. Slightly over a quarter of households (27%) were hosted free of charge.
Lebanese returnees: Some 50,000 Lebanese nationals are expected to return from Syria by the end of 2014, with the majority obliged to rent or live with host families. At least 51% are shelter insecure: 27% live in single-room structures, warehouses, garages, or unfinished buildings; 4% live in informal settlements and collective shelters; 4% are classified as homeless (IOM/OCHA 09/2014; UNHCR 07/2014).
The school-aged population has increased by almost 480,000 as a result of the refugee influx. More than 420,000 children are in need of education services (REACH 11/2014; VASyR 2014). Roughly 65% of community representatives in Akkar and Tripoli reported improving access to education as urgent or critical (OCHA/REACH 10/2014).
The biggest barrier to schooling is financial. Other obstacles are a lack of awareness of available educational support; a lack of space in public schools; and the cost of transportation. Language barriers and safety concerns contribute to a high drop-out rate among refugee children (REACH 11/2014; UNHCR 09/2014).
90,000 Syrian refugee children between the ages of 5 and 17 were enrolled in public schools in 2013/2014. More than 30,000 of these children were enrolled in a second shift programme that delivers a lighter certified curriculum in Arabic for Syrian students who were not able to enrol in the first shift (REACH 11/2014).
Palestinian refugees from Syria: School enrolment rates have doubled since the last academic year, to 64%. About 6,600 PRS students have enrolled in 60 UNRWA schools for the 2014/2015 school year (UNRWA 03/12/2014). Enrolment rates are lower for PRS living outside camps, and decrease as children grow older (even within the same household): children aged 13 years and older are facing difficulties adjusting to UNRWA’s Lebanese curriculum, taught in English or French.
Members of the Lebanese army have committed serious violations, including right violations of detained refugees, evictions, and threats of eviction. In addition, 45 Lebanese municipalities have imposed curfews on Syrian refugees since the August Arsal clashes. Such curfews violate international human rights law and appear to be illegal under Lebanese law (HRW 03/10/2014).
Stateless refugees in Lebanon include Syrian Kurds who were denaturalised in Syria in 1962. Between March 2011 and August 2014, 34,272 Syrian refugees have been born in Lebanon. 72% do not possess an official birth certificate (UNFPA 30/11/2014). The exact number is difficult to ascertain.
Palestinian refugees from Syria: PRS face an array of additional protection concerns, including limits on their freedom of movement and ability to complete essential civil registration procedures (OCHA 09/2014; UNRWA 11/2014).
Sexual and Gender-based Violence
Displacement increases the risk of SGBV, as does overcrowding and lack of privacy. Unaccompanied girls and adolescents, single heads of households, child mothers and spouses, and women and girls living with disabilities are the most at risk (UNHCR 14/11/2014). 25% of survivors of reported SGBV cases are under 18 years of age.
The mobility of refugee women in Lebanon is reportedly restricted due to fear of sexual harassment and exploitation (UNFPA 13/08/2014).
A weak legal framework, limited resources, and social barriers prevent refugees at risk of SGBV, or victims, from seeking and receiving adequate protection. Other challenges include lack of documentation and growing tension between refugees and host communities.
Only 30% of Syrian children born in Lebanon have birth certificates (UNHCR 10/11/2014).
There are no official statistics on child marriage, which exists in some areas; but the rate has risen with the influx of Syrian refugees (UNICEF, AFP 08/2014). Child labour is also reported to be increasing across the country, and there is a noted increase in unaccompanied or separated children among working children. The national child protection system is struggling to provide appropriate care and services (UNHCR 30/09/2014).
Mines and ERW
Lebanon has nearly 1,400 confirmed minefields and 520 cluster munitions strike areas, including in areas hosting refugees. In March, refugees were living within 10–20m of known minefields in West Bekka and Rashaya (Mine Action Group).
Lesotho Country Analysis
No significant new developments this week, 31/10/2014. Last update, 17/10/2014.
- The number of food insecure people, estimated at 30%, has doubled since February 2014. Around 450,000 people in all districts will require humanitarian assistance for a period of 4–5 months from October–November 2014 (FAO, 03/07/2014).
- As of July, acute malnutrition rates among children under five stand at 8%. 16% of the population is underweight (OCHA, 25/07/2014).
- More than 25,000 new HIV infections occur every year in Lesotho.
After weeks of crisis, King Letsie III reopened parliament on 17 October (Mail&Guardian, 18/10/2014). It has been agreed that elections will be held two years early, in February 2015. Prime Minister Thabane has announced that he will contest the elections (BBC, 03/10/2014; Reuters, 02/10/2014). Thabane returned to Lesotho in September following an alleged coup.
In June, the leading party, the All Basotho Convention (ABC), suspended Parliament for nine months, following the opposition’s attempt to pass a motion of no confidence on the governing coalition. Tensions escalated between the Lesotho Defence Force and the Lesotho police, which side with different political parties (Institute for Security Studies, 29/07/2014; 03/07/2014). At the end of August, Prime Minister Thomas Thabane fled the country, alleging a military coup (UN, African Union, 31/08/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
The number of food insecure doubled to 447,760 people, or 30% of the population, between February and July. These people will require humanitarian assistance for a period of 4–5 months from October/November 2014 to February/March 2015 (OCHA, 31/07/2014; FAO 09/10/2014). Staple food prices have started to increase in line with seasonal trends. Combined with poor production and reduced income opportunities, this will result in poor households facing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity outcomes between October and December (FEWSNET, 27/08/2014).
The highest concentration of food insecure people is located in the western districts of Maseru, Mafeteng, and Mohale's Hoek (FAO, 01/08/2014).
Agriculture and Markets
In southern Lesotho livelihood zones – namely in the lowlands, the Senqu river valley and the foothills between the lowlands and the highlands – the areas most affected by reduced production, prices for maize, a staple, are 220–290% above prices at the same time in 2010, the reference year (FEWSNET, 31/07/2014).
Despite a significant 26% increase in the area planted with maize this year, heavy rain and frost damage contributed to a reduction in yields (FAO, 01/08/2014). Maize accounts for almost all of the cereal harvest (83%).The 2014 cereal crop, which was harvested in May–June, is estimated at a comparable level to the previous year’s near-average output. Sorghum production is estimated to be 29–75% lower than in 2013 (FEWSNET, 14/08/2014; FAO, 01/08/2014).
Health and Nutrition
On 7 March, international media reported that contribution shortfalls from donor countries – cutbacks of around 30% in 2014 and another 20% in 2015 – threaten adequate treatment of HIV/AIDS patients in what is an already underfinanced healthcare system. HIV prevalence is 23.5% among adults, and more than 25,000 new HIV infections occur every year. Lesotho also has particularly high HIV–tuberculosis co-infection rates (ICAP, 01/07/2014).
As of July, acute malnutrition rates among children under five stand at 8%. 16% of the population is estimated to be underweight (OCHA, 25/07/2014).
Libya Country Analysis
8 December: New UN-led peace talks have been postponed to mid-December and will include both parliaments (Reuters).
3–5 December: Airstrikes were reported near Tripoli and close to the Tunisian border. Accounts of casualties and targets varied (Reuters, 04/12/2014, 05/12/2014; Asharq Al Awsat, 6/12/2014).
- The conflict has affected more than two million people (UN, 03/09/2014)
- There are 393,420 IDPs in 35 cities and towns in Libya (UNHCR, 14/11/2014). More than 150,000 people have sought refuge abroad (UNHCR 10/10/2014).
- Over 331,000 people are at risk and in need of humanitarian assistance (OCHA, 08/10/2014).
- Indiscriminate shelling and targeting of civilian areas (UNSMIL, 04/09/2014).
- Access is a major concern (OCHA, 03/09/2014).
It is estimated that two million people have been affected by the conflict, which has generated shortages in food, fuel, water, medical supplies and electricity, as well as reduced access to health care and public services (OCHA, 07/11/2014).
The rapidly deteriorating security situation continues to cause new waves of displacement, particularly in the western outskirts of Tripoli and in the eastern city of Benghazi. The renewed fighting is deepening the humanitarian needs of IDPs and communities affected by the fighting. The price of food and basic items such as cooking fuel and wheat flour, have doubled.
Most displaced people are living in schools and host communities under growing strain from the influx. Access is difficult, with blocked roads preventing the delivery of food and medical supplies to areas most affected by conflict.
The political crisis has led to worsening armed conflict over the course of the year. Libya has two rival parliaments and governments, with militias exerting much control on the ground. Rival economic policies and a potential struggle over the control of resources is likely to exacerbate the crisis, and worsen the economic situation (Financial Times, 08/12/2014).
The House of Representatives (HoR) was elected in June. It moved to Tobruk in early August and recently moved its headquarters to the town of Shahat (AFP, 12/11/2014). Prime Minister Al Thani’s Government was sworn in on 28 September. On 21 October, Libya’s elected parliament officially endorsed former General Haftar and his Operation Dignity against Islamist militias. On 6 November, Libya’s Supreme Court ruled the House of Representatives unconstitutional. Certain members of the House of Representatives declared that they did not recognise the ruling (UNHCR, 14/11/2014).
The Islamist-dominated General National Congress (GNC), which preceded the House of Representatives and had never stood down, reconvened and voted to replace the House on 25 August.
New UN-led peace talks will include both the House of Representatives and the General National Congress, but have been postponed until mid-December (Reuters, 08/12/2014). On 29 September, UN-brokered talks began between the House of Representatives and elected members who have boycotted the assembly and have links to the General National Congress (Reuters, 01/10/201). The talks did not gain much support from armed groups: the Libya Dawn coalition in Tripoli denounced the dialogue and declared that it was continuing with its military operations. The Shura Council of Benghazi Revolutionaries (SCBR) issued its own statement rejecting the initiative (AFP, 30/09/2014). Libya Shield Central has said it remained open to involvement in potential peace talks (Libya Herald, 02/10/2014).
The surge in violence since mid-July has affected more than two million people (UN, 03/09/2014). Casualty figures continue to rise in the west and east, mainly in Tripoli and Benghazi, as fighting persists. An abundance of weapons from the NATO-backed uprising against Gaddafi are sustaining warring factions (AFP, 14/07/2014). The United Nations Stabilization Mission for Libya (UNSMIL) left the country in mid-July.
The Libya Shield brigades, tied to the city of Misrata, are allied to Islamist political forces, as are the Shura Council of Benghazi Revolutionaries (SCBR), a Benghazi-based alliance including Ansar al Sharia, Libya Shield units and other armed groups. Together with insurgents from Tripoli and other towns including al Zawiya and Gheryan, these groups make up the Libya Dawn.
Ansar al Sharia has declared an Islamic emirate in the eastern city of Derna and pledged allegiance to Islamic State (Al Arabiya, 06/10/2014).
The Al Qa’qa’ and Al Sawai’q brigades, allied with the city of Zintan, and fighters from the Warshefana region west of Tripoli, back the House of Representatives, as does former General Khalifa Haftar, supported by units of Libya's regular armed forces. Haftar launched Operation Dignity in May, aiming to break the strongholds of Islamist forces. At end October, the House of Representatives declared a formal alliance with former General Haftar (Reuters, 20/10/2014).
Egypt, Tunisia, and Algeria are all concerned that the violence will spill into their territories (Reuters, 11/10/2014). In August, the United States said Egypt and the United Arab Emirates secretly bombed Islamist militia positions near Tripoli's airport (AFP, 08/10/2014). On 8 October, Prime Minister Al Thani announced that Egypt would help to train the Libyan army.
According to intelligence sources, Islamist groups operating in northern Africa have set up three secret training camps in southern Libya. Jihadists pushed out of Mali following French intervention are also 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).
Islamic State (IS) has also set up training camps in eastern Libya for several hundred fighters, according to US officials (BBC, 04/12/2014). In late September, 15 members of Islamic State crossed from Egypt into Libya (Reuters, 13/10/2014).
Tuareg from Mali and, reportedly, Tebu from Chad, have joined their respective Libyan tribe members in fighting over Ubari (Al Jazeera, 05/12/2014).
On 28 November, former General Haftar announced an offensive to retake Tripoli. He vowed to recapture Benghazi within two weeks and Tripoli within three months (AFP, 29/11/2014).
El Sharara oilfield in the south of the country was attacked and shut down by gunmen supporting Libya Dawn in early November; Libya Dawn has taken control of the field by early December (Reuters, 11/11/2014; Daily Mail, 08/12/2014).
Tripoli and Western Libya
Tripoli has witnessed continuous violence since 13 July, when Operation Dawn was launched. On 7 December, at least a dozen people were killed and sixteen injured in fighting (Libya Herald, 07/12/2014). Over 3–5 December, airstrikes were reported near Tripoli and close to the Tunisian border. Accounts of casualties and targets varied (Reuters, 04/12/2014, 05/12/2014; Asharq Al Awsat, 6/12/2014). On 2 December, airstrikes targeted a food warehouse and a factory in Zwara, 110km west of Tripoli. The strikes were reportedly carried out by Haftar’s forces (AFP, 02/12/2014; Al Jazeera, 03/12/2014). In November, clashes between Libya Dawn and Operation Dignity forced the closure of Mitiga airport. The airport was bombed by Operation Dignity. Reports indicated the airport was later reopened (AFP, 16/11/2014; NYT, 24/11/2014). The airport was taken by Operation Dawn in August.
Operation Dawn has expanded south into the Nafusa mountain region, with factional fighting taking place between Zintan militia and Misrata and other tribal and city-based militia groups (ACLED, 24/11/2014).
Over 11–12 October, militias from Zintan attacked the neighbouring town of Kekla, which supports Libya Dawn (AFP, 13/10/2014). By 24 November, authorities had confirmed 140 deaths and more than 450 injured (WHO, 24/11/2014).
Benghazi and Eastern Libya
Ansar al Sharia is reported to be firing missiles indiscriminately into Benghazi (Libya Herald, 07/12/2014). On 19 November, UNSMIL announced a 12-hour humanitarian truce, which was reportedly broken by Ansar al Sharia (UNSMIL, Libya Herald, 19/11/2014). Operation Dignity began an offensive on 15 October. Reports indicated warplanes and military helicopters over the city, as well as anti-aircraft fire (AFP, 09/10/2014). By 1 November, pro-HoR forces had recaptured parts of the city, including army positions and the entire east of Benghazi, and were advancing in the south of the city (AFP, 01/11/2014). Benghazi appears to have been mostly under SCBR control since mid-July (UNSMIL, 04/09/2014). Haftar’s forces had been forced to retreat to Benghazi airport. Several residential areas have been subjected to regular shelling. (UNSMIL, 04/09/2014).
On 12 November, twin suicide bombings in Tobruk wounded at least 25 people.
In addition to recent developments in the west and east, the situation in the south has reportedly deteriorated since January. Intermittent violence linked to inter and intra-ethnic rivalries has been exacerbated by geopolitics and shifting allegiances. Conflict, particularly in and around the cities of Sabha and Ubari, has resulted in displacement (UNHCR, 14/11/2014). As of end November, the security and humanitarian situation in Ubari, Wadi Al Haya municipality in western Libya, remained critical. Fighting has resulted in significant displacement of Tuareg families seeking shelter and medical aid outside the city (WHO, 24/11/2014). Ubari has seen armed clashes between the Tebu and Tuareg communities since mid-September. They began when Tuaregs supportive of Libya Dawn, and reportedly from another region, tried to take over Ubari’s main fuel station (Reporters sans Frontieres, 14/10/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Indiscriminate fighting has led to restrictions of movement for people trying to flee conflict areas. Violence and checkpoints along the route to Zawia from Tripoli are preventing people from reaching the Tunisian border.
Access to areas most affected by conflict is difficult, with security constraints and blocked roads preventing the delivery of food and medical supplies. Armed groups lack knowledge of humanitarian organisations and restrict their access to people in need. Parts of Benghazi are inaccessible and entire neighbourhoods devastated by shelling (UNHCR, 14/11/2014). On 8 December Libyan Red Crescent Society said its staff and volunteers had been forced to relocate to safer areas in Benghazi because of fighting (The Guardian, 08/12/2014). The closure of the Gharyan–Kikla road means supplies cannot be delivered to Kikla, where authorities have described the humanitarian situation as catastrophic (WHO, 24/11/2014).
Most humanitarian agencies have left. Even before the worsening security situation, there were few humanitarian agencies with staff on the ground in Libya. The lack of available cooperating partners is a major challenge for aid delivery (IRIN, 30/09/2014). The national agency tasked with leading the humanitarian response evaluates its own response capacity as almost non-existent (IRIN 07/08/2014).
Security Incidents Involving Aid Workers
On 4 June, an ICRC staff member was assassinated in Sirte, prompting the ICRC to suspend its work in the country (UN Security Council, 05/09/2014).
Power outages of up to 19 hours a day in Tripoli impede communications (IRIN, 01/10/2014). Shortages of diesel have been reported (UNHCR, 14/11/2014). The battle for Tripoli airport resulted in the damage or destruction of numerous civilian aircraft and the ignition of a large fuel storage facility on the airport road. Bridge 27, linking Tripoli and western Libyan cities, has also been damaged (UNSMIL, 04/09/2014). Significant damage and destruction has been reported to public installations in Tripoli’s southern and western suburbs (UN Security Council, 05/09/2014).
As of 14 November, there are 393,420 IDPs in 35 cities and towns in Libya (UNHCR, 14/11/2014). Additionally, at least 56,544 IDPs are still displaced by the 2011 conflict (IDMC, 23/09/2014).
56,500 people have fled Benghazi since October. Still more people have fled the eastern coastal town of Derna, but UNHCR is unable to confirm how many. Local crisis committees in the southeast confirm some 11,280 people have fled fighting in Ubari, while in the west civilian groups report 38,640 people have been displaced by fighting in Kikla, including many women and children (UNHCR, 14/11/2014). 100,000 people have been displaced from the area around Warshefana since mid-September (UNHCR, 10/10/2014).
As of early October, most displaced people are living with local families who, in some cases, have opened their homes to several families (UNHCR, 10/10/2014). However, many IDPs are now reported to be living in schools. Some local councils have stopped registering new arrivals due to limited response capacity.
According to UNSMIL, the Benghazi Local Council has registered some 34,000 IDPs in need of basic assistance (UNHCR, 14/11/2014). Al Marj, near Benghazi, has had to close its schools to accommodate people unable to stay with host families. Al Bayda and Tobruk are also under pressure to house the displaced. Schools in Tobruk will also be closed so they can host IDPs.
Of particular concern are some 2,500 Tawerghans who fled their camp in Benghazi in mid-October, and are now staying in parks, schools and parking lots in Ajdabiya and neighbouring towns, with only thin plastic sheets and some tents for cover (UNHCR, 14/11/2014).
Migrants, Refugees and Asylum-seekers in Libya
Prior to the crisis, in addition to IDPs from the 2011 conflict, Libya was supporting an increasing population of refugees and asylum seekers using the country as an exit point to Europe. There are approximately 200,000 migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers in Tripoli, Misrata and Benghazi. Among them, 7,000 are deemed particularly vulnerable and need immediate evacuation assistance (IOM, 05/09/2014).
Detention of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees in Libya is widespread and prolonged; conditions, which were poor prior to the current fighting, have worsened (UNSMIL, 04/09/2014). Third-country nationals face extreme difficulties in leaving the country as passage through Libya’s borders with Egypt and Tunisia is restricted (IOM, 14/09/2014).
While some migrants have been displaced towards the south of the country, others opted to attempt leaving Libya by sea (IOM, 05/09/2014). Main departure points to Europe have shifted from Tripoli towards Benghazi, from where the journey is longer and more dangerous (IRIN, 06/08/2014). According to estimates, more than 3,000 migrants have died trying to cross the Mediterranean so far this year, more than double the previous peak in 2011 (IOM, cited in AFP 02/10/2014). 2,200 died between the beginning of June and 15 September (AI, 30/09/2014). The vast majority of refugees and migrants who arrived in Italy in 2014 had departed from Libya (AI, 30/09/2014).
Refugees and Third-country Nationals in Neighbouring Countries
More than 150,000 people, including third-country nationals (estimated at 15,000) have sought refuge abroad (OCHA, 03/09/2014). Since mid-July, a steady flow of Libyans and migrants has crossed to Tunisia through the two main land crossing points. In August, 6,000 people were crossing from Libya into Tunisia every day; most were third-country nationals (TCNs) (ICRC, 22/09/2014).
Since 2011, approximately 1.8 million people have fled to Tunisia (NYT, 09/09/2014).
Shortages of basic food supplies have been reported in all areas of Tripoli and food prices have risen drastically (IOM, 12/08/2014; UNHCR, 14/11/2014). Warehouses (both public and private) are situated in conflict areas, and fuel shortages are aggravating the situation.
People in Benghazi and Tripoli specifically, and in other cities in general, have been facing regular electricity cuts, plus interruptions to the internet and wider communications. In Tripoli, fuel shortages and water cuts have affected livelihoods (IFRC, 12/08/2014).
Health and Nutrition
Large numbers of expatriate medical personnel have left Libya, and such staff make up 80% of all medical personnel, according to the Ministry of Health.
Access to health services has become a major concern mainly in Benghazi. Ongoing fighting has led to restrictions of movement for people and health workers in the conflict areas (WHO, 24/11/2014). Al Jala hospital was occupied for several weeks by Ansar al Sharia, and closed in October after fighting when locals tried to remove Ansar al Sharia forces (IRIN, 02/09/2014; Libya Herald, 04/10/2014).
The hospitals that remain operating in Tripoli and Benghazi have been overstretched dealing with casualties. Many national medical personnel have not been able to work due to insecurity. Tripoli hospitals have been hit by shelling, leading to suspension of services. Ambulances have been stolen. In Warshefana, fighting has disrupted health services (ICRC, 17/09/2014).
Hospital staff in Tripoli and Al Zawiya reported that medical supplies were could not be retrieved as storage facilities were inaccessible or had been destroyed (UNSMIL, 04/09/2014). Vaccines have been stolen from warehouses (IOM, 12/08/2014). The Libyan Red Crescent Society branches in Zawia, Khoms, Eljmail, and Zwara have reported difficulties in accessing and transporting medicines and medical supplies (IFRC, 12/08/2014). Zahra hospital reported severe shortages of medicines and medical supplies (ICRC, 17/09/2014).
In Tripoli, shortages of water have been reported (UNHCR, 14/11/2014).
Increased shelling on residential areas has been observed mainly in Tripoli and Benghazi (IFRC, 28/07/2014). Alongside civilian properties, factories, mosques, and shops have also been destroyed in residential areas (Amnesty International, 08/08/2014).
With some exceptions, civilians have not been given the chance to evacuate before hostilities commenced and severe fighting has taken place in and around houses and other places of refuge (UNSMIL, 04/09/2014).
Abductions, looting, burning of homes and other acts of revenge have all been frequently reported in relation to ongoing hostilities (UN Security Council, 05/09/2014). In Benghazi and nearby Derna, there have been at least 250 politically motivated killings in 2014 (HRW, 24/09/2014). Peace activists as well as senior army officers and journalists were killed in ten coordinated assassinations on 19 September (The Guardian, 20/09/2014). In Tripoli, a number of activists and other public figures have been abducted, received threats or had their homes looted or burned since July (UNHCR, 14/10/2014).
Armed militias controlling Derna are reported to have carried out summary executions, public floggings, and other violent abuse (HRW, 27/11/2014).
According to the UN, threats and intimidation have been used by people claiming affiliation with Libya Dawn against Libya’s national human rights institution in Tripoli, the National Council for Civil Liberties and Human Rights (NCCLHR) (UN, 24/10/2014).
Abduction and Detention
In addition to the detention of fighters or suspected fighters, dozens of civilians are remain missing solely for their actual or suspected tribal, family, or religious affiliation (UNSMIL, 04/09/2014).
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 and ill-treatment has also been reported (AI, 30/09/2014).
Mines and ERW
Incorrectly armed fuses or faulty ammunition have resulted in large quantities of unexploded ordnance in conflict areas (UNSMIL, 04/09/2014). According to Islamist militias, approximately 600 anti-personnel mines have been cleared since Islamists seized Tripoli airport on 24 August (HRW, 05/11/2014).
Mali Country Analysis
No significant developments this week, 11/12/2014. Last update: 08/12/2014.
- Security, particularly in the north, remains volatile, and access is limited for aid workers. Security in and around the northeastern region of Kidal is of particular concern.
- 136,000 children suffer from severe acute malnutrition (OCHA, 07/10/2014).
- 263,000 people are in IPC Phase 3 and more than 1.6 million people are in IPC Phase 2 (Cadre Harmonise, 09/11/2014).
- 2.5 million people are in need of healthcare and one million people are in need of WASH (OCHA, 10/09/2014).
Violence and conflict in the north have led to a degradation of the humanitarian situation and large-scale displacement.
Civilian rule was re-established in mid-2013, but Mali continues to face security and political challenges. The truce in the north remains fragile, and key government institutions need strengthening. Limited access to basic social services and the poor capacity of public administration are key drivers of the crisis.
The Tuareg Rebellion and National Reconciliation
On 15 June, three armed groups from northern Mali – the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), the High Council for the Unity of Azawad (HCUA), and the Arab Movement of Azawad (MAA) – signed the Algiers Declaration with the Government of Mali. The groups have agreed to engage with the Government on a path of dialogue and negotiation after several bouts of violence broke a June 2013 peace agreement (AFP, 01/09/2014).
However, continued violence has put the peace talks on shaky ground (UN, 07/08/2014). On 28 October, the Azawad Movements Coalition (HCUA, MNLA, and MAA) announced united military efforts to stem insecurity in north (ICG, 01/11/2014). The third round of negotiations began on 20 November (Reuters, 20/11/2014).
The situation in Kidal and Gao remains tense since Tuareg and Arab insurgents took Kidal and the smaller settlement of Menaka in May. Clashes were reported between pro-government militia GATIA and a coalition of MNLA and CPA 16 October in Intillit, Gao region (ECHO, 19/10/2014).
The stability of the Sahel region relies on the presence of foreign troops. Malian and French forces, the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), and the EU military training mission (EUTM) are all present, mainly in Bamako (53% of forces) and in northern cities such as Kidal, Gao, Timbuktu, and Menaka (28%) (OCHA, 31/05/2014). MINUSMA’s mandate expires on 30 June 2015. MINUSMA is to set up a military headquarters in Kidal, while French forces have increased their presence in northeast Mali near Tessalit and Angueldoc, and set up a military base in Madama, at the Nigeria border, since late October (AFP, 23/10/2014).
On 1 August, France deployed a 3,000-strong counterterrorism operation across the Sahel region. Based in Chad, Operation Barkhane is active in Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger (Local Media, 01/08/2014).
There has been a series of attacks on MINUSMA vehicles, camps, and peacekeepers in northern Mali since mid-August (AFP, 21/09/2014). Landmines and IEDs are a particular threat. The total death toll since the start of the UN mission in July 2013 stands at 31 deaths and 100 injuries. On average, one UN peacekeeper has been killed or wounded every four days (international media, 27/11/2014).
On 4 December, three civilians were abducted by an armed group in Menaka, at the border with Niger (AFP, 04/12/2014).
On 25 November, two soldiers died and nine were injured after a convoy hit a mine (international media, 25/11/2014). On 30 October, a French soldier was killed and two others wounded in a clash with jihadist insurgents. He was the tenth French soldier to be killed since France sent troops to Mali in January 2013 (RFI, 30/10/2014).
On 27 November, dozens of Chadian peacekeepers deserted their posts over pay and conditions; around 160 troops from the Chadian contingent did the same in Tessalit in September 2013 (AFP, 27/11/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
The limited deployment of security forces and poor road conditions during the rainy season is restricting access to populations in need (EU, 12/09/2014; OCHA, 23/09/2014).
Several humanitarian organisations suspended their activities in the Intillit area following violent clashes on 16 October, and six INGOs preventively evacuated part of their staff from the Timbuktu region fearing the spread of the conflict (ECHO, 19/10/2014; OCHA, 24/10/2014). Certain areas requiring assistance in Mopti region, such as Tenenkou and Youwarou villages, remain inaccessible due to insecurity and poor infrastructure (WFP, 01/10/2014).
Security incidents involving NGOs have almost tripled in the past few months. Since January 2014, 20 violent incidents involving humanitarian personnel have been recorded (Première Urgence - Aide Médicale Internationale, 10/10/2014).
Improvised explosive devices, looting, and rockets continue to threaten civilians and hamper access to vulnerable populations (OCHA, 23/09/2014).
Due to lack of funding, the UN Humanitarian Air Service has reduced its fleet in Mali from two planes to one, seven destinations are still served, but at a reduced frequency (OCHA, 31/10/2014).
As of 4 December, about 86,000 people are internally displaced as a consequence of the 2012 conflict, which is a decrease from 101,300 recorded in August (OCHA, 04/12/2014). 13,200 IDPs are in northern Mali, including 12,000 in Kidal (IOM, 16/10/2014). As of 31 August, more than 35,200 IDPs were in Bamako and 15,000 in Koulikoro. The overall number of IDPs is 340,000 (EU, 12/09/2014).
Clashes in Intillit, Gao region, on 16 October displaced more than 5,000 people, a quarter of the population, to neighbouring areas and Burkina Faso (OCHA, 24/10/2014). 710 newly displaced from Kidal were recorded in Gao in October (IOM, 16/10/2014).
In September, around 9,700 IDPs were considered vulnerable (IOM, 10/09/2014). 55% of IDPs in the south are children (IOM, 08/2014).
Refugees in Mali
As of 31 July, Mali hosts over 14,525 refugees from countries including Mauritania (12,900) and Côte d’Ivoire (1,110) (OCHA, 16/09/2014).
361,000 IDP returnees have been identified in Gao, Timbuktu, Kidal, and Mopti (IOM, 10/09/2014). 35,800 IDPs went back to their place of origin between June and September (IOM, 10/09/2014). The arrival of returnees in the north has exacerbated needs (OCHA, 10/09/2014). The majority of people displaced within Gao since 2012 have returned, although fighting in October has led to new IDPs (IOM, 16/10/2014).
The number of returning refugees has been decreasing over the past months: 603 returned in August (UNHCR, 19/09/2014). So far in 2014, more than 31,000 Malians have returned: more than 10,000 from Burkina Faso; about 12,000 from Niger; around 7,300 from Mauritania; and 2,200 from Algeria (UNHCR, 14/08/2014).
Mali, Niger, and UNHCR signed a tripartite agreement on the voluntary repatriation of Malian refugees on 3 May. The situation in northern Mali is, however, not yet favourable to the promotion of massive returns. In January, UNHCR stated that there is a risk of reprisal attacks on returning refugees and IDPs, and socio-economic conditions have not been restored to pre-conflict levels. However, UNHCR said it will work together with both governments in seeking durable solutions for the refugees.
Malian Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
As of 30 November, an estimated 143,500 Malians refugees are recorded in neighbouring countries (OCHA, 04/12//2014). As of 9 September, 54,000 Malians were recorded in Mauritania, 50,000 in Niger, 32,000 in Burkina Faso, and 1,500 in Algeria (OCHA, 10/09/2014; UNHCR, 30/11/2014).
As of October, 263,000 people are in IPC Phase 3, Crisis food insecurity. More than 1.6 million people are in IPC Phase 2 according to the Cadre Harmonisé, an improvement compared to last year (FEWSNET, 09/11/2014). Mopti and Timbuktu regions are particularly vulnerable as they experienced rain deficits from May to October (FEWSNET, 14/10/2014).
The harvest will improve food security conditions from October to March. Nonetheless, there are pockets of deficit in some regions of Timbuktu, Gao, Mopti, and Kayes, where under-average harvests and livestock products are expected (FEWSNET, 25/10/2014; Food Security Cluster, 27/10/2014). Provisional early end of stock is expected in Gao, Bourem, Goundam, Niafunké, and in some areas north of Koulikoro, Kayes, and Douentza area. Poor households from agro-pastoral areas are likely to remain in IPC Phase 1 (FEWSNET, 25/10/2014). In north riverine areas, vulnerable households are likely to reach Crisis levels of food insecurity (IPC Phase 3) as of April 2015 (FEWSNET, 16/11/2014).
Recent rainfall has improved the situation in northeast and central Mali, inducing reconstitution of water reserves and pastoral vegetation (WFP, 30/09/2014; Food Security Cluster, 27/10/2014).
However, livestock farming conditions are likely to worsen as of February in agro-pastoral areas previously affected by rain deficits in May-October, and those which recorded high cattle mortality impairing farmers’ livelihoods (Food Security Cluster, 27/10/2014).
A combination of overfishing and the use of illegal fishing gear has seen fish stocks in Lake Malawi diminishing to the point that local people's livelihoods and food security are now under threat (IRIN, 07/11/2014).
Sahel Food Crisis: Regional Overview
24.7 million people in the Sahel are suffering from food insecurity as of 30 September (OCHA, 07/10/2014). Food insecurity in 2014 has risen dramatically compared to 2013, when food consumption was inadequate for 11.3 million people (OCHA, 03/02/2014). As of 29 October, some 6.5 million people have crossed the emergency threshold from being moderately food insecure to facing an acute food and livelihood crisis; this an increase of four million people since January due in large part to ongoing conflict and instability in CAR, northern Mali and northeast Nigeria (IRIN, 29/10/2014).
Health and Nutrition
2.1 million people are considered to be in need of healthcare (OCHA, 17/11/2014). 6.4 million people are considered to be at risk of epidemics (OCHA, 31/10/2014).
Eight cases of Ebola, six deaths and two cured patients, have been reported as of 11 December (Government, 11/12/2014 Arrivals from Guinea at the Kourémalé border are being filtered through one entry point, with reinforced health controls, and a new quarantine centre was to be installed (AFP, 17/11/2014). The United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) is establishing an office in Mali (international media, 23/11/2014).
As of 30 September, 136,000 children suffer from severe acute malnutrition, and 360,000 suffer from moderate acute malnutrition (OCHA, 07/10/2014). According to a nutritional survey, GAM rates are particularly concerning in Yelimane, Kayes, and relatively high in most of the country, apart from Sissako and some areas of Mopti and Kayes (OCHA, 27/08/2014).
2 million people are considered to be in need of WASH (OCHA, 17/11/2014), including one million people do not have access to drinking water in their community in Timbuktu, Gao, Kidal, and Mopti as a consequence of conflict (OCHA, 10/09/2014).
Shelter and NFIs
567,000 people are in need of NFIs in the conflict-affected areas of Timbuktu, Kidal, Gao, Mopti, and Segu (OCHA, 10/09/2014).
Education access is disrupted for 639,500 children, and 11,600 teachers need support in terms of material (OCHA, 17/11/2014). Preliminary data for the 2014–2015 school year in the north indicate a decrease in the number of functioning schools compared to the 2013–2014 school year. The situation is particularly worrying in Menaka and Wabaria areas, Gao region, where only half the schools are open. In Kidal, only three schools are open. The main cause is the lack of teachers, who have fled insecurity (OCHA, 31/10/2014).
Explosive remnants of war have caused 101 casualties from 2012 to June 2014 (OCHA, 30/06/2014).
In early May, a UN report on the situation of children in Mali noted grave violations by armed groups active in the north and, to a lesser extent, by Malian armed forces and pro-Government militias, including killings, sexual violence and recruitment (UN Security Council, 15/05/2014).
Allegedly carrying out forced recruitment, suspected Islamist fighters kidnapped ten children and killed two who tried to escape on 22 November, near Aguelhoc and Kidal (Reuters, 22/11/2014).
Mauritania Country Analysis
No significant developments this week 08/12/2014. Last update: 18/11/2014
- 384,000 people estimated to needing humanitarian assistance in 2014 (OCHA, 08/2014).
- 800,000 people are estimated to be food insecure, of whom 190,000 are severely food insecure (OCHA, 02/2014).
- 31,000 SAM cases up to March 2014 mean that acute malnutrition level has already surpassed the estimated caseload for the year (UNICEF, 03/2014).
- Security challenges continue to be a problem in Mbera refugee camp on the border with Mali. Mauritania is the largest recipient of refugees fleeing the conflict in Mali (UNHCR, 06/2014 and OCHA, 04/2014).
National Political Context
On 21 June, President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz was elected for another five-year term. Most opposition parties boycotted the poll, citing a lack of electoral reform.
The first legislative elections since 2006 were held in 2013, and the country’s ruling Union for the Republic and its allies won 76 of 147 seats. The National Electoral Commission announced a record turnout of 75% of 1.2 million registered voters. However, the vote was boycotted by most opposition parties. The credibility of the Government continues to be questioned by much of the northern population, who claim they are being marginalised concerning the provision of basic services.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Mauritania hosts almost 55,000 Malian refugees as of 1 September (OCHA, 08/09/2014). Almost all refugees live in Mbera camp, a remote desert location on the border that has significant security challenges, and where food insecurity and malnutrition are high. According to UNICEF, 60% of camp residents are women and children, and many have been in the camp for two years, resulting in overlapping emergency and medium-term needs.
Security problems and the inaccessibility of areas of northern Mali make it difficult to obtain return figures. A tripartite agreement is being prepared between UNHCR, Mali, and Mauritania to facilitate the safe return of refugees.
Poor households in northwestern areas of the agropastoral zone will continue to have difficulty maintaining regular food access and will remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2) through December (FEWSNET, 09/2014). Access to food is difficult for some due to high prices of coarse grains such as sorghum and wheat. Sorghum prices in Nouakchott increased by 57% between February and August (FAO, 11/2014).
In February, nearly 800,000 people, a fifth of the total population, were food insecure, including 190,000 severely food insecure (OCHA, 02/2014).
Delays in replanting have been recorded as a result of delayed and below-average rainfall in some parts of the country (FEWSNET, 14/10/2014).
Without additional, well-targeted emergency assistance, more than 600,000 households could face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity by June. An Emergency (IPC Phase 4) is possible by September 2015 in the absence of emergency response (FEWSNET, 18/11/2014).
Poor rainfall during the June to October season in south-central Mauritania will result in significantly below-average main and off-season harvests, reduced seasonal labour incomes, and reduced income from livestock sales. Prices of sorghum are also expected to rise above the five-year average due to below-average local production and atypically low trade flows (FEWSNET, 17/11/2014). In February/March 2015, more than 300,000 poor households in affected areas of the Senegal River Valley (near the border between Mauritania and Senegal) and western agro-pastoral zones (southwestern Mauritania) will begin to face food consumption gaps.
Food Security in the Sahel Region
24.7 million people in the Sahel (Burkina Faso, north Cameroon, Chad, the Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, north Nigeria, and Senegal) are suffering from food insecurity as of 30 September (OCHA, 07/10/2014).Food insecurity in 2014 has risen dramatically compared to 2013, when 11.3 million people had inadequate food (OCHA, 03/02/2014).
Health and Nutrition
Late March, UNICEF reported that 125,300 children will acutely malnourished in 2014, including 30,740 children with severe acute malnutrition; an increase of almost 30% compared to the 2013 caseload.
Preliminary results of an August survey indicate that the national GAM rate has decreased from 13.1% to 9.8%, with SAM at 1%. Guidimakha region is reported to have GAM of 16%, exceeding the emergency threshold. GAM is over 10% in Gorgol, Assaba, Tagant, Hod El Chargui and Hod El Garbi (UNICEF, 10/2014).
Myanmar Country Analysis
5 December: IDP camps near Laiza, Kachin state, are facing a shortage of food supplies amid reported government restrictions on UN and NGO humanitarian aid deliveries (local media).
- Repeated bloodshed between Buddhists and Muslims in Rakhine state since 2012, with human rights abuses against the Muslim minority reported (UN).
- 640,000 IDPs, resulting from years of internal conflict, including 137,400 IDPs, mainly Rohingya Muslims, in Rakhine state (OCHA, 08/2014).
Myanmar’s first democratic elections in 25 years are scheduled for October or November 2015 (local media, 21/10/2014). In October, unprecedented talks were held between President Thein Sein and his political rivals, including Aung San Suu Kyi, as well as senior military and election officials. On 31 October, government officials stated that Parliament would consider amending the country's constitution – which currently bars Suu Kyi, released from house arrest in 2010, from becoming president – ahead of elections next year (AFP, 31/10/2014).
Nonetheless, local activists report that the prosecution of dissidents is continuing. In October, civil society representatives stated that political reform has stalled (HRW, 17/10/2014).
Minority groups make up some 30% of the 51.4 million population, and ethnic and political groups have conducted protracted insurgencies mainly in remote and economically marginalised areas such as Kachin, Kayin (Karen ethnic group), Kayah (Karenni), Rakhine, and Shan states (Government, 28/08/2014).
In 2013, authorities signed several peace deals with various insurgent movements, with the exception of the Kachin Independence Army (the armed wing of the Kachin Independence Organisation, or KIO), and the ethnic Ta’aung army (TNLA). In mid-August, leaders of ethnic groups announced that the Government had agreed to include their longstanding demand for a federal system in a draft accord (Center for International and Strategic Studies, 22/10/2014). However, in October, a leader of the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC), the main ethnic coalition, warned that the military’s refusal to give up its parliamentary veto to any amendment to the constitution, and the failure to provide more powers to ethnic states, would make efforts to forge a nationwide ceasefire meaningless (local media, 24/10/2014). At end November, the Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT) stated a ceasefire would be impossible by the end of 2014, following the Myanmar army’s attack on a military camp near Laiza, headquarters of the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) (local media, 26/11/2014; 28/11/2014).
Despite peace negotiations, the security situation remains tense in parts of Myanmar. The Government came under criticism in October, for what has been perceived as a series of offensives against ethnic armed groups in Kachin, Karen, Mon, and Shan states (local media, 20/10/2014). In the west, massive human rights infringements against the Rohingya Muslim minority in Rakhine state continue to be reported.
In early December, the UNFC announced the establishment of the Federal Union Army (VoA, 02/12/2014).
Tensions remain high in Rakhine state, with authorities imposing restrictions on the displaced Muslim minority after government attacks on Rohingya Muslims were reported in January. The Government denies the incident. Over 17–18 November, robberies and arbitrary arrests were reportedly carried out by security forces in Maungdaw Township. The victims were Rohingya Muslims (local media, 20/11/2014).
The KIO still has administrative control over several key areas of Kachin, and clashes between its army, the KIA, and the Myanmar army have been intermittent since the termination of a 17-year ceasefire in June 2011 (local media, 06/10/2014). Over 22–23 November there were reports of shelling by the government army near Laiza and Mai Ja Yang, and the situation remains tense (OCHA, 24/11/2014). On 19 November, 23 militants were killed in an attack on a KIA camp near Laiza; the victims were not Kachin, but members of affiliated militias (local media, 28/11/2014).
According to reports from early December by local activists, government military forces have been expanding their presence in Kayah state with various measures, including the confiscation of land for military purposes (local media, 08/12/2014).
Kayin and Mon States
On 14 October, the commanders of units of different Karen armed groups, including the Democratic Karen Buddhist Association (DKBA) and parts of the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), the armed wing of the Karen National Union, announced they would begin military cooperation in order to confront the increase in army operations in their areas over past months (local media, 14/10/2014).
In November, fighting between a Karen armed group and the military displaced 700 people (WFP, 15/11/2014). Fighting in October reportedly displaced 2,000 people towards Thailand (local media, 08/11/2014). Tensions and occasional incidents escalated into full-scale clashes between government forces and the DKBA on 26 September. In some of the worst fighting since 2012, mortar fire and rocket-propelled grenades were reported in Mon state’s Kyaikmayaw township and near Kayin state’s Myawaddy town (local media, 29/09/2014).
Fighting continues in eastern Shan state, and hundreds of people have fled insecurity since June. On 21 October, two soldiers died in a rocket-propelled grenade attack during clashes with armed Ta’ang in Loilen district’s Namsang township, and two were injured, according to opposition groups (local media, 24/01/2014). Over 15–17 October, fighting occurred in northern Shan state between allied forces of the TNLA, KIA, and Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) and the Myanmar army (local media, 17/10/2014). In July, two civilians were killed and at least ten children wounded after fighting between government troops and opposition fighters. Fighting between the regular army and the Shan State Army-North (SSA-N) has continued despite a ceasefire agreed in January 2012.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
According to local NGOs, the delivery of aid to conflict-affected communities in remote areas within Shan and Kachin states is hampered by the categorisation of some areas as “black zones” by the Myanmar army, restricting foreign groups’ access (IRIN, 08/10/2014). Insecurity also impedes access.
Kachin State: IDP camps near Laiza, Kachin state, are facing a shortage of food supplies amid reported government restrictions on UN and NGO humanitarian aid deliveries. There are more than 20 IDP camps under KIO management, with an estimated total population of 50,000. It was not verified whether aid delivery restrictions were imposed in connection to fighting near Laiza in November (local media, 05/12/2014).
Rakhine State: Access to services is impeded by tension and restrictions on freedom of movement. As of mid-July, a vulnerability mapping exercise showed that 36,000 Rohingya Muslims in 113 isolated villages in Rakhine state have no or limited access to basic services, including markets, education, and healthcare (OCHA). Buddhist Rakhine activists and politicians have campaigned to restrict healthcare and other aid for the Rohingya living in the state.
International media reports from the end of July indicate that access to northern Rakhine state along the Myanmar–Bangladesh border is tightly restricted. The Government has designated a specific area of Sittwe – the Southern Quarter – for relief organisations to establish offices and accommodation. NGOs and UN agencies say limited space in the Southern Quarter is a key constraint to operating at full capacity (USAID 02/07/2014).
More than 100 homes, farms, and plantations in Magwe division’s Kanyin village were flooded after heavy rains on 17 October. Residents who were most affected were evacuated to a temporary shelter (local media, 20/10/2014).
As of 1 August, there are 639,500 IDPS in Myanmar (OCHA, 08/2014). An estimated 236,000 IDPs require humanitarian assistance in Kachin, Rakhine, and Shan states (USAID, 20/10/2014).
As of end October, 3,300 people remain displaced in Meiktila, Mandalay region, following inter-communal violence that broke out in March 2013. With winter approaching, mats, blankets, and other essential items are needed (OCHA, 31/10/2014).
Rakhine: There are approximately one million Rohingya in Rakhine state; most are considered crisis-affected and need humanitarian assistance. 139,000 people, mainly Rohingya Muslims, continue to be displaced as of end October, after the Government moved some 140,000 Muslims into closed camps following inter-communal violence in 2012 (IRIN, 05/11/2014; OCHA, 31/10/2014).
Rohingyas not living in camps are restricted to their communities in northern Rakhine state and unable to move freely (Refugees International, 14/11/2014). An estimated 50,000 displaced people live in host communities and 50,000 in isolated villages (OCHA 31/07/2014).
Kachin: 98,371 people are displaced in Kachin and Shan states, with more than half living in areas where government services are not available (OCHA, 12/2014). An estimated 20,000 IDPs live with host communities. Many have been displaced for up to two years, triggering both emergency and medium-term needs. Shelters and water systems in IDP camps need repair or replacement and families lack the means to generate income (OCHA, 30/09/2014). IDPs who have been resettled in Ngwe Pyaw Standard Village, a purpose-built village near Myitkyinar township, are reportedly facing severe shortages, as access to livelihoods is extremely limited (local media, 08/11/2014).
Land taken by the military, the state, and companies close to the Government impede the orderly future return of refugees, particularly from Thailand, and the resettlement of IDPs to their home communities or new sites (Center for International and Strategic Studies, 22/10/2014).
Refugees from Myanmar
According to UNHCR as of late March, over 415,000 refugees originate from Myanmar. In early November, UNHCR reported that an increasing number of people, mainly Rohingya, are setting out to sea on smuggling boats; many capsize. In mid-November, about 12,000 Rohingya had left Rakhine since 15 October, thought to be heading for Thailand, and a month later had not yet reached their destination, according to relatives and an advocacy group (VOA, 28/10/2014; Reuters, 15/11/2014). As of end November, the number of Rohingya who have fled since early October was thought to have reached 19,000 (AFP, 30/11/2014).
Bangladesh: To date, most Rohingya are denied refugee status by the Bangladeshi authorities. An estimated 30,000 Rohingya Muslims live in official camps, where they are assisted by aid agencies, and another 200,000 refugees reside in unofficial camps or Bangladeshi villages where they get little or no humanitarian assistance and almost no protection from human rights abuse. On 6 November, the Bangladeshi Government announced that Rohingya refugees will be relocated from the existing camps, as the area will be developed for tourism (local media, 09/11/2014).
Malaysia: As of end November, over 40,000 Rohingya registered with the UN are in Malaysia. Rohingya activists say a roughly equal number are unregistered (AFP, 30/11/2014).
Thailand: Since June, movement restrictions have been more strictly enforced; Myanmar refugees are banned from leaving the camps, confined to their homes 1800–0600, and threatened with deportation if they do not comply (Refugees International 29/08/2014). In July, the Thai authorities pledged to send back to Myanmar about 100,000 of the 120,000 refugees living in border camps (UNHCR has registered 76,000 refugees). According to senior Thai military officials, measures are in place to deter boats from approaching the country's shores (Reuters, 15/11/2014). Rohingya Muslims are reportedly subject to human trafficking in Thailand (international human rights organisations, 12/2013).
Overall, the food security situation has improved. However, recurrent inter-communal tensions since June 2012 have negatively impacted the food security situation, mainly for IDPs (FAO, 24/09/2014). 70,000 people are food insecure in Rakhine state (OCHA, 31/10/2014).
As of September, WFP expected that funding shortfalls would limit the ability of humanitarian actors to address food needs in Myanmar beginning in November (USAID, 30/09/2014).
Drier than average conditions were the norm in 2014, affecting cultivation. The central, mainly agricultural, regions were most seriously affected, although aggregate national crop production is not expected to be significantly affected (WFP, 09/12/2014).
Rohingya fishermen of Maungdaw township, Rakhine state, have been barred from fishing since 7 November (local media, 10/11/2014).
Health and Nutrition
The biggest challenge in Rakhine is access to healthcare (OCHA, 30/09/2014). If Rohingya camp residents wish to leave their camp to see a doctor, they must first obtain a referral by a government doctor and reportedly must also often bribe the security guards (Center for International and Strategic Studies, 22/10/2014). Only patients in the most critical condition tend to reach hospital. Access to health services in Rakhine state remains significantly below levels before February, when a Médecins Sans Frontières office and Malteser suspended activities, according to the World Health Organization (OCHA, 30/09/2014).
In June, 2.1% SAM and 6.8% MAM was found among 32,000 children under five screened in Rakhine. This indicates a deterioration in parts of Rakhine state since March. Severely malnourished children are being referred to Sittwe hospital; fewer referral services, high transportation costs, and fear of travelling to Sittwe are preventing many children from receiving medical care (OCHA 30/06/2014).
In Rakhine state, 15,000 people are in urgent need of shelter repair. In Kachin, there is a major need to scale up maintenance and repair work, to reduce the need for reconstruction (OCHA, 31/10/2014).
In Rakhine state, a general deterioration in the WASH situation in camps is aggravating health problems and increasing the risk of waterborne disease (OCHA, 11/09/2014).
In Rakhine state, 28,000 vulnerable children require education support. 60,000 adolescents in isolated communities are without any education opportunities (OCHA, 08/2014).
About 200 Shan people are alleged to have been forcibly recruited into the Kachin Independence Army since the start of armed clashes with the army in June 2011 (local media, 11/11/2014).
Legal Status of Rohingya Muslims
In 2014, for the first time, Rohingyas were included in the census. The census figures indicated 1.1 million people in Rakhine state, almost a million of them Rohingya Muslims (UNFPA, 30/08/2014).
Over 800,000 people, mostly Rohingya Muslims, are estimated to be without citizenship in the northern part of Rakhine state (UNHCR). Myanmar continues officially to state that the Rohingya Muslims are migrants from neighbouring Bangladesh, thus excluded from citizenship under the 1982 Citizenship Law. The Government has drafted a plan which would force Rohingya Muslims either to register as Bengalis or be detained. Rakhine authorities would construct temporary camps for people who refuse to be registered or who are without adequate documents. Rights advocates say this could put thousands of Rohingya at risk of indefinite detention. Accepting the term Bengali could leave the Rohingya vulnerable if authorities class them as illegal immigrants and attempt to send them to Bangladesh (Reuters, 27/09/2014).
In 2014, 376 children have been released from the armed forces (UNICEF 24/11/2014).
Adolescent girls in camps in Kachin and Rakhine states face increasing violence and abuse, including SGBV (OCHA, 02/2014).
In 2014, the Women’s League of Burma released a report that documented more than 118 victims of sexual violence at the hands of the Myanmar army since Thein Sein’s government took power (local media 26/11/2014).
Mines and ERW
Around five million people in Myanmar live in mine-contaminated areas (Mines Advisory Group, 05//10214). Mine clearance has not begun in Kayah state, despite a ceasefire since 2012, and around 15–20 people are injured annually, although the number of fatalities is unknown. More than 34,000 IDPs are at greatest risk due to their being in unfamiliar areas.
On 18 October, a landmine exploded outside a school in Kachin state, injuring three people including two young students (local media, 20/10/2014).
According to local media, citing intelligence reports by the Bangladeshi border security forces, Myanmar security forces have planted mines along the border between Myanmar and Bangladesh (local media, 23/11/2014). Myanmar has previously denied this practice, while Bangladesh has claimed to have found and removed mines in the border area.
Niger Country Analysis
Early December: Majority of the more recent arrivals in Diffa are Nigerian refugees, compared to the beginning of the insecurity, when more than 70% arrivals were Niger returnees. About 20,000 families have settled on islands in Lake Chad, either directly from Nigeria or from their initial refuge in Diffa. Insecurity is limiting assistance to those who have settled on the islands (OCHA, 12/12/2014).
Late November: In the Diffa region, 35 schools have been closed due to insecurity, and others occupied by new arrivals from Nigeria (OCHA, 12/12/2014).
- 5.3 million people are estimated to be food insecure (OCHA, 09/2014).
- 1.6 million acutely malnourished children, 356,320 of whom are severely malnourished. 13.3% GAM among children 6–59 months (OCHA, 31/07/2014).
- 156,250 people have fled to Niger: 51,250 from Mali (UNHCR, 31/08/2014) and 105,000 from Nigeria (OCHA, 24/09/2014).
- 1,749 cases and 64 deaths have been recorded since January in a cholera epidemic, reportedly linked to the one in neighbouring Nigeria (UNICEF, 11/2014).
Insecurity has been rising in Niger and across the region due to crises in Libya, Mali, and Nigeria. Terrorist threats from Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, Boko Haram, and the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) are all of concern. France announced mid-July that some 3,000 French troops based in Chad will operate counterterrorist operations in Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Chad (Reuters, 18/07/2014).
On 19 November, MUJAO attacked the town of Bani-Bangoe near the Malian border and exchanged fire with Niger’s security forces, killing one soldier and injuring two others. They also sabotaged the telephone network (AFP, 20/11/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
As of October, Over 68,000 people have been affected and 36 killed by flooding due to heavy seasonal rainfall that started in August. 18,000 are affected in Tillabery, 12,000 in Maradi, 9,000 in Zinder, and 9,400 in Tahoua. More than 8,100 houses and almost 2,817 hectares of crops have been destroyed (OCHA, 13/10/2014).
119,000 people have arrived in Diffa region from Nigeria since May 2013, 83,850 of whom are children and women displaced from Nigeria (UNICEF, 01/12/2014). At the beginning of the insecurity, approximately 70% were Niger returnees and 30% are Nigerian refugees (UNHCR, 09/2014). But more recently, the majority of arrivals are Nigerian refugees (OCHA, 12/12/2014)
More than 15,000 new refugees arrived in Diffa region following Boko Haram attacks in Damasack, Nigeria, on 24 November (OCHA, 3/12/2014). They have settled in villages and Diffa town. Most are young men who fled forced recruitment to Boko Haram; unaccompanied children were also reported (OCHA, 28/11/2014). 27,000 people arrived between August and September, in an increase in the arrival rate compared to the first five months of the year (UNHCR and IRC).
The newly displaced are in a critical situation, and have shelter and NFI, food, water, and health and nutrition needs (OCHA, 24/09/2014). According to the International Rescue Committee, about 20,000 families have settled on islands in Lake Chad, either directly from Nigeria or from their initial refuge in Diffa. Insecurity is limiting assistance to those who have settled on the islands (OCHA, 12/12/2014). Security has been reinforced in Diffa town, following rumours of possible attacks by Boko Haram (AFP, 28/11/2014).
The Government has decided not to set up camps in Diffa. The economic opportunities of fishing mean most new arrivals are settling around Lake Chad. Refugees who arrived earlier in the year are becoming host families for new arrivals, adding to the burden on families with very limited resources (IFRC, 03/10/2014). Internal displacement within Diffa region is increasing, driven by the search for means of subsistence and pasture: Diffa is vulnerable to both flooding and drought, and has long faced serious gaps in the provision of food staples, healthcare and potable water. The refugees and returnees add 10% to the region’s population (UNHCR, 09/2014; IFRC, 08/08/2014; OCHA, 26/07/2014).
The Government has reportedly been slow in giving newly arrived Nigerians refugee status, despite a December decree granting refugee status to people fleeing the states under a state of emergency in Nigeria. As of September, only 18% of newly arrived people had identity documents (UNHCR, 09/2014).
51,250 Malian refugees are in Niger; 3,400 crossed into Niger between May and July (UNHCR, 31/08/2014; INGO, 13/08/2014). As of March, 80% of refugees were women and children. Most live in three camps in Tillabery region: Abala, Mangaize, and Tabareybarey. Two refugee hosting areas have been established in Intikane and Tazalit, Tahoua, for refugees from nomadic communities.
In May, Mali, Niger, and UNHCR signed a tripartite agreement on the voluntary repatriation of Malian refugees, although the situation in northern Mali is not yet favourable for the promotion of massive returns. As of 31 August, over 12,000 Malians have returned to their homes (UNHCR, 31/08/2014).
Returnees from Mali constitute 14% (around 5,700 people) of the 40,800 returnees in Niger (OCHA, 31/07/2014).
CAR Crisis: Returnees
Since December 2013, 1,160 Niger nationals have been repatriated from CAR by IOM in coordination with the Government of Niger.
5.3 million people are estimated to be food insecure, compared to 2.9 million in 2013 (OCHA, 31/07/2014 and 30/09/2014).
In Diffa region, almost 161,200 people (one fifth of the surveyed host population) reported suffering from food insecurity (OCHA, 10/08/2014).
Acute food insecurity will remain at Stressed levels for households in north Nguigmi department until December. In agricultural and pastoral areas of Maine-Soroa and Diffa departments, households will experience Minimal food insecurity until December (FEWSNET, 26/09/2014).
In agricultural and pastoral areas of Ouallam in Tillabery, and Mayahi in Maradi, households will experience Minimal food insecurity until December (FEWSNET, 28/08/2014 and 26/09/2014).
Sahel Food Crisis: Regional Overview
24.7 million people in the Sahel (Burkina Faso, north Cameroon, Chad, the Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, north Nigeria, and Senegal) are suffering from food insecurity as of 30 September (OCHA, 07/10/2014). Food insecurity in 2014 has risen dramatically compared to 2013, when 11.3 million people had inadequate food (OCHA, 03/02/2014).
Agriculture and Markets
The seasonal rainfall deficit is expected to continue in eastern Niger (WFP, 22/10/2014). Disruptions in rainfall have destroyed seedlings in some areas, and farmers face serious challenges accessing seed. In Nguigmi department, Diffa region, not one village was able to sow seeds. Only 41% of villages in Diffa (250 of 606) had sown seeds by the end of July (OCHA, 26/07/2014).
In parts of Tillabery, poor seasonal rainfall since the middle of August, including prolonged dry spells, has led to late-season moisture deficits that have negatively impacted crop development (FEWSNET, 14/10/2014).
In the north, livestock are in poor physical condition due to the lack of pasture, resulting in a drastic drop in market prices for small animals (OCHA, 31/07/2014).
Boko Haram-related market disruptions have restrained trade flows towards Diffa and increased marketing costs (FEWSNET, 31/07/2014).
According to a joint assessment mission conducted in early September, poor rainfall in Diffa will affect the 2014–2015 agricultural and pastoral campaign, and is expected to cause a serious food deficit in most communities (IFRC, 03/10/2014).
Poor pastoral resource availability in parts of the northern Sahel will begin to stress pastoral households from June to September 2015. Refugees from northeastern Nigeria in the Diffa region will need continued food assistance (FEWSNET, 11/2014).
Health and Nutrition
As of 28 November, 1,749 cholera cases have been registered in 2014, including 64 deaths, representing a case fatality rate of 3.7% (OCHA, 11/2014). 641 of these cases and 38 deaths were registered in September, in the regions of Tahoua, Maradi, Diffa, and Zinder (OCHA, 09/2014). By the end of October, the number of cases had dropped to 20 cases per week from a peak of 243 cases per week in early September. In 2013, 567 cases were reported for the same time period (UNICEF, 12/11/2014).
Around 1.6 million children are acutely malnourished in Niger; 356,320 of them are severely malnourished. GAM among children 6–59 months is at 14.8% nationwide as per the SMART nutrition survey conducted between July and August, and exceeds the 15% emergency threshold in Maradi region (OCHA, 09/2014).In September, GAM was at critical levels in Agadez (14.0%), Tahoua (14.7%), Tillabery (13.4%), and Diffa (13.8%), according to OCHA.
48% of the population does not have access to safe drinking water (OCHA, 17/07/2014).
According to a joint assessment mission conducted in early September, poor rainfall in Diffa will affect the 2014–2015 agricultural and pastoral campaign, and is expected to cause a serious food deficit in most communities (IFRC, 03/10/2014).
According to a joint assessment mission conducted in early September, poor rainfall in Diffa will affect the 2014–2015 agricultural and pastoral campaign, and is expected to cause a serious food deficit in most communities (IFRC, 03/10/2014).
In the Diffa region, 35 schools have been closed due to inseucrity, and others occupied by new arrivals from Nigeria (OCHA, 12/12/2014).
Pakistan Country Analysis
8–9 December: Gunmen killed a member of a polio vaccination team in Faisalabad, Punjab, and the Taliban claimed the killing of two policemen protecting an immunisation team the day before in Buner, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (AFP).
7 December: The Pakistani Government gave the go-ahead start the phased return of IDPs to North Waziristan, signalling the near-completion of its military operation in the Agency (The New York Times).
4 December: A car bomb near Quetta killed one and injured eight (AFP).
- 1,332 civilians killed in terrorist violence in the first nine months of 2014 (SATP, 05/10/2014). Nearly 6,000 people were killed and 5,500 injured in militant, sectarian, terrorist, and politically motivated attacks in 2013, making it one of the deadliest years in the last decade (Center for Research and Security Studies).
- Over one million displaced by military operation Zarb-e-Azb in North Waziristan and Khyber Agency (Protection Cluster, 25/11/2014). There were already 930,000 IDPs in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA as of mid-December 2013.
- 2.53 million people affected by September floods, 367 killed and 673 injured in Azad Kashmir, Punjab, and Gilgit-Baltistan (Government, 11/10/2014).
Priority humanitarian needs are health, nutrition, and food assistance. The security situation remains volatile due to militant attacks in urban centres and military operations against the Taliban in the tribal areas.
Opposition protests for a probe into allegations of vote rigging by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif have been taking place in Pakistan since mid-August, led by Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Tahirul Qadri’s Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT). There are signs that the military has been exploiting these protests as a means of re-asserting its dominance over civilian authorities. Government negotiations with PTI and PAT were suspended on 12 September, after police arrested over 500 protestors in Islamabad and Lahore; a joint Parliamentary session condemned the protests (ICG, 01/10/2014).
As of 5 October, 1,332 civilians have been killed in terrorist violence in Pakistan in 2014 (SATP, 05/10/2014). Over 1,400 people were killed in more than 850 incidents between June 2013 and January 2014.
A ceasefire between the Government and the Taliban expired on 23 April. Both militant and security sources have stated that the ceasefire was used by the Taliban to preserve militant bases, and on 10 June, the Taliban vowed to start all-out war.
In early September, a new branch of Al Qaeda was announced. Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent will cover Myanmar and Bangladesh, the Indian states of Assam and Gujarat, and the disputed territory of Kashmir (Financial Times, 03/09/2014).
Security in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
The Government launched operation Zarb-e-Azb against armed groups in North Waziristan Agency on 15 June, after the Taliban’s declaration of war and attack on Karachi airport. A second operation, Khyber 1, began on 18 October in Tirah Valley in Khyber Agency. At 1 December, the army had reportedly killed more than 1,400 militants and 95 soldiers had died (Al Jazeera, 01/12/2014).
A bomb targeting a school bus in Kurram in Khyber Agency killed two and injured one on 18 November (AFP, 18/11/2014). On 11 November, at least five soldiers and 15 militants were killed and six soldiers injured in a gunfight in Orakzai (AFP, 11/11/2014). Two bombings killed four people, including two civilians, on 4 November in a village in Khyber Agency (AFP, 04/11/2014). Mortar shells fired from across the border in Afghanistan on 21 October killed one and injured two in Bajaur Agency (DAWN, 21/10/2014). At least five people were killed and seven wounded by a suicide bomb attack in Pir Mela in Khyber Agency on 15 October (AFP, 15/10/2014).
Many people fled NWA for Bannu, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, but incidents have been reported here too. A roadside bomb in Bannu exploded near a military vehicle on 11 November, killing a soldier and wounding another (AFP, 11/11/2014).
Two Pakistani civilians were killed in Peshawar in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on 15 November, by stray bullets from clashes between Afghan forces and militants on the other side of the border (AFP, 15/11/2014). At least six people were killed and three others injured by Jamat-ul-Ahrar – a TTP faction – bombing a village in Peshawar on 7 November (AFP, 7/11/2014). Two bomb blasts in the region in October killed 13 (AFP, 04/10/2014; AFP, 02/10/2014).
The United Baloch Front (UBF) has opposed the alleged annexation of Balochistan since 1948. 2014 saw a sharp rise in acts of violence. Attacks by Islamist armed groups are also a problem in the state.
A car bomb near Quetta killed one and injured eight on 4 December (AFP, 04/12/2014). Another car bomb targeting a judge had killed one and wounded 25 in Quetta on 11 November, while six had been killed in a shooting on the same day in Bolan district (AFP, 11/11/2014). At least 32 people were killed in more than five sectarian and separatist attacks in October (AFP, 19/10/2014, 05/10/2014; DAWN, 06/10/2014, 02/10/2014; France24, 23/10/2014).
Tensions along the Pakistan–India border
Fighting between Pakistan and India began again on 6 October had resulted in an estimated 20 casualties and thousands displaced by 9 October, with further firing reported at the end on the month (UN, 09/10/2014; AFP, 29/10/2014). On 2 November, 55 were killed and 120 wounded by a suicide bombing at the main Pakistan–India border crossing near Lahore. The attack was claimed by several factions within the TTP (AFP, 02/11/2014). Mortar shelling in Lahore on 5 November killed three and injured one (AFP, 05/11/2014).
A prominent Sunni Muslim leader was killed in Sukkur in Sindh on 29 November (AFP, 29/11/2014), while four people were killed and another injured in separate incidents in Karachi on the same day (Government, 30/11/2014). A grenade attack in Karachi in Sindh injured 15, including three parliamentarians, on 21 November (AFP, 21/11/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Access in Balochistan remains challenging due to hostilities between the Government and militants, separatist movements, and sectarian violence (ECHO, 20/10/2014).
Security Incidents Involving Aid Workers
At October, 66 aid workers, including 36 police escorts and 13 polio workers, had been attacked in 2014; 36 were killed, 11 injured and 19 kidnapped (OCHA, 31/10/2014). The highest number of incidents occurred in KP, FATA and Sindh (OCHA, 31/08/2014). In 2013, 155 aid workers were killed, 171 seriously wounded, and 134 kidnapped – a 66% increase on the number killed in 2012 (OCHA, 19/08/2014).
Some 137,400 people (20,505 families) remain vulnerable across Punjab and Azad Kashmir after flooding in October. They lack access to food, NFIs, shelter, WASH, health and livelihood opportunities (ACT, 26/11/2014). Recovery needs are most important in Jhang, Muzaffargarh, Multan, and Hafizabad districts in Punjab and Haveli, Poonch, and Sudhnuti in Azad Kashmir (Government, 11/11/2014).
Monsoon rains and floods affected more than 2.53 million people, caused 367 deaths, and injured 673 people in Punjab, Azad Kashmir, and Gilgit-Baltistan. More than 107,000 houses had been damaged and 971,000 hectares of cropped areas affected.
Over the past three years, the monsoon region has shifted 100km west. As a result, heavy and unpredicted rainfall has occurred in Pakistan, especially in KP, causing massive destruction (Government, 20/08/2014). Short, intense rainfall is becoming common during Pakistan’s monsoon seasons and undermining underground water resources (Trust, 04/11/2014).
Drought conditions in Tharparkar in Sindh have affected nearly 1.74 million people (259,946 families) so far in 2014 and killed 521, including 311 children. 3,814 livestock have died (USAID, 04/12/2014).
Dadu, Jamshoro and Thatta districts have been classified as calamity-hit areas (USAID, 27/11/2014). Anticipated needs are supplementary nutrition feeding, drought-tolerant agriculture inputs, animal fodder, available water management and building of water reservoirs (USAID, 29/10/2014).
On 7 December, the Government gave the go-ahead to civilian authorities to start the phased return of IDPs to North Waziristan, signalling the near-completion of military operation in the agency (The New York Times, 07/12/2014).
At December, there were nearly 1.93 million IDPs (288,603 families) in FATA and KP (Government, 03/12/2014). As of 25 November, security operations in North Waziristan had displaced nearly 500,000 people (74,400 families) to Bannu, Hangu, Tank and Dera Ismail Khan districts (OCHA, 25/11/2014). At 4 December, operation Khyber 1 had displaced 581,089 people (91,580 families) (USAID, 04/12/2014). The majority of IDP families are in host communities, while 6,657 families are in three camps (New Durrani, Jalozai and Togh Sarai) (OCHA, 25/11/2014).
2,543 families in Jalozai camp in Peshawar need shelter, WASH, health, and protection support; 300 off-camp families in Peshawar, Hangu, and Kohat in KP need shelter support, information on registration and services, winterised kits, education, and enhanced protection mechanisms (Protection Cluster, 25/11/2014).
As of October, as schools re-opened, IDPs vacated 940 schools across Bannu, Barat and Lakki Marwat in KP. They moved to host families, unused schools, or to Baka Khel camp in Bannu (USAID, 04/10/2014). 58% need food assistance, 95% lack income, and many require emergency livestock support (USAID, 04/10/2014). Temporary shelter construction assistance in overcrowded host communities, better protection monitoring, and emergency education services for 82,000 displaced children are also required (OCHA, 12/09/2014).
Among the IDP population, female-headed households (7%), children-headed households (4%), older people, and people with disabilities (5%) are excluded from distribution, mostly due to lack of documentation. Access to information, particularly on the registration process, available services, and support, is lacking (OCHA, 15/08/2014).
Refugees in Pakistan
At 20 October, there were 1.6 million Afghan refugees in Pakistan, of whom approximately one-third live in refugee villages, and two-thirds in urban and rural host communities; the exact number is difficult to ascertain (UNHCR, 1/11/2014).
As of 20 October, nearly 59,200 IDPs (8,837 families) have returned to their place of origin in 2014, including 27,780 to Kurram Agency and 31,425 to KP. In total, 165,603 families had returned to FATA between 2010 and 2014 (UNHCR, 20/10/2014).
Pakistani Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
By 1 December, nearly 253,350 Pakistanis and Afghan returnees (37,813 families) had fled to Khost and Paktika provinces in Afghanistan (OCHA, 01/12/2014). Nearly 181,000 (27,000 families) are in need of humanitarian assistance (OCHA, 30/10/2014).
1.16 million people need food assistance (OCHA, 25/11/2014). Most conflict-related IDPs rely on negative coping mechanisms and need food and NFI support (ECHO, 20/10/2014).
Tharparkar and parts of Umerkot, Sanghar, Khairpur, Sukkur and Ghotki districts in Sindh province are in Emergency food insecurity (IPC Phase 4) as a result of prolonged drought conditions (USAID, 04/11/2014). In Tharparkar, food insecurity has worsened since early 2014 due to cereal production shortfalls as a result of a second successive season of poor rains, coupled with loss of small animals (FAO, 29/10/2014).
Increasing demand for food and NFIs has resulted in massive inflation: nominal prices increased between July and September for oil (+8%) and sugar (9%), following the trend of previous quarters (WFP, 27/10/2014).
Health and Nutrition
1.21 million people are in need of basic health services and quality maternal and child health services. The influx of IDPs has severely strained health facilities and the lack of medical staff to provide care for displaced women is a critical challenge (UN Population Fund, 03/10/2014).
455 dengue cases have been reported in Punjab in 2014. The most affected districts are Rawalpindi, Sheikhupura, and Lahore (USAID, 19/10/2014).
At 22 November, over 2.7 million cases of acute diarrhoea had been reported in 2014, and 48,786 cases of bloody diarrhoea (Government, WHO, 26/11/2014).
Crimean–Congo Haemorrhagic Fever (CCHF)
148 suspected cases of CCHF have been reported from different provinces in Pakistan since February, including 40 related deaths, compared to 100 and 20 in 2013 respectively; the latest cases were in Sindh (Government, WHO, 26/11/2014).
As of 7 December, 274 wild polio cases had been reported in 2014 in Pakistan, from FATA, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, Balochistan, and Punjab; the previous peak was 199 cases in 2000 (DAWN, 07/12/2014).
Gunmen killed a member of a polio vaccination team in Faisalabad in Punjab on 9 December, as the Taliban claimed the killing of two policemen protecting an immunisation team the day before in Buner, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (AFP, 09/12/2014). Anti-polio vaccination campaigns in Jamrud and Landi Kotal in Khyber Agency, and in Quetta in Balochistan, were boycotted by health workers end November over pay and security, respectively (DAWN, 01/12/2014; 30/11/2014). Four polio workers were killed in Quetta in November, and three injured in Lahore, Punjab, and in Peshawar (AFP, 28/11/2014, 26/11/2014, AFP, 24/11/2014). Two incidents targeting polio teams were reported in the northwest in October (DAWN, 22/10/2014; AFP, 08/10/2014).
At early October, attacks on polio vaccination teams had killed 59 people since December 2012, including health workers and police providing security (AFP, 02/10/2014).
An estimated 2.86 million children and pregnant and breastfeeding women are undernourished in Pakistan (OCHA, 25/11/2014). In Sindh, 1.1 million children under five are acutely malnourished; 400,000 of them are suffering from SAM (ECHO, 20/10/2014).
By May, more than 200 people in Pakistan had died from malnutrition-related causes in 2014 (OCHA, 09/05/2014). In the remote Neelum Valley, an estimated 21% of children are acutely malnourished, well above the national average of 15%, which is already at the emergency threshold (WFP, 12/2013). In Balochistan, maternal mortality rates have been increasing due to malnourishment and anaemia (DAWN, 29/11/2014).
1.1 million people are in need of WASH (OCHA, 25/11/2014). An estimated 690,000 people – largely IDPs and returnees in KP and FATA – urgently need assistance in accessing safe drinking water. 186,000 IDPs do not have access to safe drinking water, more than 128,000 remain in need of improved sanitation facilities, and approximately 256,000 people require critical hygiene services (USAID, 04/10/2014).
Hygiene conditions among the newly displaced are very poor, and the probability of WASH-related disease outbreaks is rising (OCHA, 07/08/2014). 40% of displaced families in Bannu are not using latrine facilities and practise open defecation (OCHA, 15/08/2014).
Shelter and NFIs
Inadequate shelter services, overcrowding, harsh weather conditions, and high rental charges are key challenges for displaced families (OCHA, 15/08/2014). 50% of the population in Tirah valley in FATA has been living in makeshift shelters after having been displaced in 2013 (IOM, 14/11/2014).
960,000 displaced people are in need of shelter, including 85,637 IDP families off-camp and 6,500 in-camp in urgent need of winterised items (OCHA, 25/11/2014).
Educational supplies are a major gap in education response, such as school tents, stationery, and other teaching and learning materials. 450,000 children are in need of education (OCHA, 25/11/2014).
At least 86,000 students from government schools in NWA are affected by the current military operations. The number of students enrolled in private schools is unknown. Many educational institutions are occupied by military or security forces (DAWN, 15/07/2014).
An estimated 1.08 million people are in need of protection. This group largely consists of IDPs and returnees in KP and FATA. Women, children, the disabled, and the elderly need referral assistance and specialised protection in displacement and returnee areas (OCHA, 20/02/2014).
421 incidents of violence involving 534 women and girls were reported in Karachi province during the third quarter of the year (DAWN, 11/10/2014).
In areas where the Taliban is active, over 500 girls’ schools have been bombed. In the south and southwest of the country, ethnic violence continues to curtail women’s freedom of movement.
3 December: In the absence of assistance, approximately 850,000 people across central and northern Senegal will be in Crisis food insecurity (IPC Phase 3) by May (FEWSNET).
- 2.6 million people are food insecure as of 31 October (OCHA).
- 340,000 children suffering from acute malnutrition, 79,000 from severe acute malnutrition, and 261,000 from moderate acute malnutrition (UNICEF, 03/2014).
Separatists continue to oppose authorities in the coastal Casamance area. Salif Sadio, leader of the separatist movement, declared a unilateral ceasefire on 30 April, as proof of engagement in an ongoing peace process.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
150,000 people were affected by floods in 2014. Around 300,000 are affected every year, causing significant damage to crops and property (OCHA, 31/10/2014).
As of 30 September, there were 14,000 refugees in Senegal, as well as 2,000 IDPs and returnees (OCHA, 30/09/2014).
An estimated 2.6 million people were targeted for food assistance in 2014 by the UN and humanitarian partners (OCHA, 31/10/2014). In March, 738,750 people were in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and above as a result of the lingering effects of previous crises and the impact of the erratic rains in 2013 (FEWSNET, 13/11/2014).
Humanitarian assistance is urgently needed to prevent food consumption gaps in 2015 (FEWSNET, 03/12/2014). National production for cereals and cash crops in 2014 is 45% below the five-year average due to irregular rains over May–August (FEWSNET, 30/11/2014). Production of groundnuts is also anticipated to decline significantly, and grazing resources and water points have been depleted in the major pastoral areas (FEWSNET, 13/11/2014). Significantly lower off-season cultivation activity is expected, as it relies on irrigation, as is decreased income from livestock sales (FEWSNET, 03/12/2014).
Poor households, especially in Thiès, Louga, Matam, and northern Tambacounda, will likely be Stressed in March 2015. Approximately 850,000 people across central and northern Senegal will be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) by May, in the absence of assistance (FEWSNET, 03/12/2014).
Agriculture and Markets
Poorly distributed and significantly below-average rainfall led to poor cropping conditions for much of central and northern Senegal.
As a result of the closure of borders and markets due to Ebola containment measures, trade volumes have fallen 50% below last year’s levels, leading to a 40% and 50% increase in the prices of palm oil and coffee, respectively, in less than four weeks (WFP, 15/09/2014).
Sahel Food Crisis: Regional Overview
24.7 million people in the Sahel (Burkina Faso, north Cameroon, Chad, the Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, north Nigeria, and Senegal) are suffering from food insecurity as of 30 September (OCHA, 07/10/2014). Food insecurity in 2014 has risen dramatically compared to 2013, when 11.3 million people had inadequate food (OCHA, 03/02/2014).
Health and Nutrition
Senegal reopened its air and sea borders with Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone on 15 November. The frontiers had been closed since 21 August. Territorial borders with Guinea remain closed (AFP, 15/11/2014).
The Ebola outbreak in Senegal is officially over since 14 October (WHO, 14/10/2014). Porous borders between Senegal and Guinea and trade flows via regular weekly markets constitute a serious risk to the spread of Ebola to the country (Red Cross, 29/09/2014).
More than two million people, or 15% of the population, including 350,000 chronic carriers, have hepatitis B, due to untimely vaccination, prohibitive treatment costs, and lack of universal screening to curb transmissions (IRIN, 08/05/2014).
340,000 children are estimated to suffer from acute malnutrition, including 79,000 from severe acute malnutrition. These figures are an increase on 2013, when 63,323 SAM and 255,675 MAM cases were reported (2014 Humanitarian Needs Overview).
Ukraine Country Analysis
12 December: A ninth Russian convoy, consisting of 83 vehicles, crossed into Ukraine at the Donetsk border point (OSCE).
12 December: An increasing number of unlawful refusals of registration and financial assistance, of violations of employment rights, and limited access to social benefits for IDPs is being reported (OCHA).
- 5.2 million people in need of protection (OCHA, 12/12/2014). There is a growing need for humanitarian aid with winter approaching (ECHO, 22/10/2014).
- Bureaucratic, security and financial restrictions are impeding response (OCHA, 19/09/2014).
- The health sector has reported that the national pharmaceutical supply is “on the verge of collapse” (OCHA, 24/10/2014). 340,000 people are in need of medicine and medical supplies (WHO, 09/09/2014).
- The number of local volunteers is decreasing, (IOM, 22/10/2014). Tensions between IDPs and host communities are rising (IDMC, 15/08/2014). IDPs are subjected to stigma and structural discrimination, and are often unable to access housing and employment (OCHA, 31/10/2014).
About 542,000 people have been displaced internally and over 545,600 externally, while continued fighting and lack of transportation make it difficult for civilians to escape contested areas. The affected populations, especially in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, are in most urgent need of shelter, healthcare and protection. The capacity of absorption within host communities has been weakening and there is a critical need of winterised shelter.
Medical supplies are lacking and health services are extremely limited. The supply of fresh food is limited in some contested cities. Infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed. The human rights situation is deteriorating.
On 15 November, Ukraine's President ordered the withdrawal of all state services from the eastern regions held by armed groups, as well as the evacuation of state workers. All banking services could be withdrawn in the coming weeks (international media, 15/11/2014).
On 26 October, parliamentary elections were held. Voters in Crimea and in eastern Luhansk and Donetsk provinces – about five million of Ukraine's 36.5 million electorate – were unable to vote, so 27 of 450 parliamentary seats will be empty (AFP, 26/10/2014). On 2 November, opposition groups held elections, and Alexander Zakharchenko was announced head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic. Russia was the only state to support the elections (AFP, 03/11/2014; international media, 03/11/2014).
On 20 October, parliament ratified the EU Association Agreement and voted in favour of three years’ limited self-rule for some areas of Donetsk and Luhansk. Local elections are scheduled for 7 December. Amnesty was granted to all non-government forces, on condition that they turn in their weapons (international media, 16/09/2014).
As of 7 December, at least 4,634 people had been killed and 10,243 people wounded by the conflict (OCHA, 12/12/2014). An average of 13 people have been killed each day since the September ceasefire (UNHCR, 20/11/2014). The death toll could be significantly higher, according to the UN, since access to conflict-affected areas is restricted (OCHA, 13/09/2014; UN, 08/09/2014).
Ukraine forces and Russian generals had agreed on a temporary ceasefire around the airport in Donetsk, effective 5 December. Withdrawal of heavy weapons will start on 6 December (AFP, 02/12/2014).
Between 2 and 16 November, 105 Russian vehicles crossed into Ukraine. Some were presumably to deliver humanitarian assistance, some were identified as military trucks (OSCE, 03/11/20144; 04/11/2014; 11/11/2014; 16/11/2014). On 12 December, for the ninth time, a Russian convoy, consisting of 83 vehicles, crossed into Ukraine at the Donetsk border point (OSCE, 12/12/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
5.2 million people live in areas directly affected by the conflict and are in need of protection as of 17 October (OCHA, 12/12/2014). Humanitarian needs are significant and growing, and there is a serious lack of response capacity on the ground (OCHA, 14/11/2014; 28/11/2014). An estimate 1.4 million people are in need of humanitarian aid (UNICEF, 28/11/2014).
On 6 November, the Ukrainian President established obligatory passport controls for anyone crossing the lines separating opposition-controlled areas (AFP, 06/11/2014).
On 2 October, an ICRC delegate was killed in Donetsk due to indiscriminate shelling (ICRC, 02/10/2014). The safety and security of health workers remains a major concern in conflict areas.
The presence of humanitarian actors is increasing, but bureaucratic, security and financial restrictions are impeding response at the scale required (OCHA, 19/09/2014; 28/11/2014).
Months of conflict have severely damaged Donetsk international airport (international media, 01/12/2014). Limited rail transport to the region continues to impede humanitarian access (OCHA, 28/11/2014).
Movement to and from Crimea continues to be problematic on the Ukrainian mainland side with the almost complete stoppage of private cars (OCHA, 31/10/2014). Since 15 July, international shipping has been prohibited from the ports of Evpatoria, Kerch, Sevastopol, Theodosia, and Yalta on the Crimea peninsula (GARD, 17/07/2014).
Displacement continues and safety and security are prime concerns (OCHA, 10/10/2014).
The IDP situation is a cause for major humanitarian alert. As of 12 December, about 542,000 IDPs are registered in Ukraine since March 2014, of whom more than half have been displaced since September (OCHA, 12/12/2014). Unofficial estimates suggest that the number of IDPs could be higher, as no centralised registration system has been established (OCHA, 08/12/2014).
118,000 IDPs are in Kharkiv region, 76,000 in Donetsk region, 30,000 in Luhansk, 51,000 in Zaporozhzhia, and 48,000 in Dnipropetrovsk. 27% of IDPs are children, 21% elderly or disabled, and 65% women (UNHCR, 05/12/2014).
Most IDPs have left with few belongings, and need shelter, food, and other essential assistance. IDPs staying in private accommodation constitute the majority of the displaced population (90–95%) and are often not supported by the humanitarian community (OCHA, 12/12/2014). The absorption capacity within host communities has been weakening and tensions are rising (OHCHR, 08/10/2014; IOM, 22/10/2014; IDMC, 15/08/2014).
Back and forth movements continue to be reported (OCHA, 08/12/2014). Some IDPs are reportedly returning to conflict despite insecurity due to exhausted coping mechanisms and rising rent prices (OCHA, 31/10/2014, 14/11/2014). According to the Minister of Social Policy, as of 26 October, about 135,000 people had returned to their homes on territory back under government control (OHCHR, 15/11/2014). Many were facing challenges due to damage to infrastructure, housing, businesses, industries (OCHA, 28/09/2014).
Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
As of 12 December, about 568,000 people have fled to neighbouring countries, around 466,000 of whom have crossed into Russia since the beginning of the year (OCHA, 12/12/2014).However, the UN and Russian authorities estimate that 875,000 Ukrainians have actually fled to Russia as of end of October. Little humanitarian assistance is provided in Russia, despite signs of a long-term population shift (international media, 03/10/2014). Since July, Russian authorities have prevented Ukrainians from obtaining refugee status in several regions, including border areas and major cities such as Moscow. Most asylum seekers have been unable to collect the required documents and to access refugee status (international organisation, 09/12/2014).
In addition, an estimated 19,000 people are estimated to be displaced within Crimea (IDMC, 31/10/2014).
1.1 million people are in need of food (OCHA, 08/12/2014). Eastern Ukraine’s food reserves are fully depleted and infrastructure is partly destroyed (FAO, 14/11/2014). The most pressing needs are in Zaporizhzhia region, Donestk region, and in Luhansk region (WFP, 08/12/2014).
The price of the minimum food basket in Donetsk and Luhansk is higher than the national average by 6.3% and 12.5%, respectively (WFP, 01/12/2014; OCHA, 08/12/2014). Preliminary results from the ongoing WFP food security assessment indicate that at least 20% of the population living in the five regions of Luhansk, Donetsk, Kharkiv, Dnepropetrovsk and Zaporizhzhia have limited access to markets, due to increased food prices, disrupted transport systems, high insecurity, and remoteness. Negative household coping mechanisms have been observed, with over 80% of interviewed households reported to be relying on less-preferred and less-expensive food and missing one meal a day (OCHA, 08/12/2014).
1.2 million people are in need of a livelihood (OCHA, 08/12/2014). Around 650,000 pensioners have not received any pensions since August (AFP, 28/11/2014). Salaries and social benefits are no longer being paid in opposition-held areas. Many IDPs can no longer afford to pay the rent (UNHCR, 17/10/2014). As of 10 October, nearly 40,000 small and medium businesses in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions have ceased activity (OCHA, 10/10/2014).
Ukraine's economy is set to shrink 9% this year (international media, 19/09/2014). Industrial production had declined 60% in Donetsk region and 85% in Luhansk by September (OCHA, 08/12/2014).
Health and Nutrition
The safety and security of health workers remains a major concern in conflict areas, preventing access to emergency and primary health services in Shahtersk, Snizhne, Yasinovataya (OCHA, 24/10/2014; OCHA, 29/08/2014). On 10 October, an ambulance was hit by gunshots at a Donetsk checkpoint; three people were killed. The attack appeared premeditated as it followed media messages that some medical transport had been handed over to armed forces (OCHA, 17/10/2014).
There are concerns that civilians may have less access to inpatient healthcare than military actors (OCHA, 31/10/2014).
The health sector has reported that the national pharmaceutical supply is “on the verge of collapse”. Only 40% of required healthcare provision has been funded in government-controlled areas (USAID, 25/11/2014). As of 31 October, only 25% of required medication had been purchased (OHCHR, 15/11/2014). There are no extra-budgetary resources allocated for IDP health services, overstretching the health system in areas of displacement
1.37 million people are in need of healthcare, as they are unable to purchase out-of-pocket health services (OCHA, 08/12/2014). 340,000 people need medicine and medical supplies (WHO, 09/09/2014). At least 45 hospitals in Donetsk and Luhansk regions have been destroyed or damaged (OHCHR, 15/11/2014). Fuel shortages have halved the number of operational ambulances (OHCHR, 15/11/2014; OCHA, 28/11/2014). Conflict-affected areas are lacking about 20–30% of doctors, 20–50% of nurses, and 50–70% of paramedics (OCHA, 14/11/2014).
There are critical supply shortages and access to specialist care remains very limited for rural populations in Donetsk and Luhansk (OHCHR, 15/11/2014; 31/10/2014). Most urgent health needs are in Stanychno-Luhanskyi district of Luhansk region, and Makiivka and Novoazovskyi districts of Donetsk region (WHO, 08/12/2014).
Almost 60,000 HIV-infected patients are in urgent need of antiretroviral drugs; the current stock of antiretroviral drugs is sufficient until December, and provision of health products for HIV testing is critical (OHCHR, 15/11/2014; OCHA, 10/10/2014). However, insecurity is obstructing the delivery of supplies (UNICEF, 14/11/2014).
Extreme vaccine shortages, a low rate of vaccination – reported to be 50% – an already weak surveillance system disintegrating, armed conflict, and displacement have all aggravated the risk of polio transmission (Global Polio Eradication Initiative, 02/10/2014; UNICEF, 20/10/2014).
Doctors are warning of a worsening tuberculosis epidemic in eastern Ukraine. 48,000 people are registered with the disease; however, one in four people with TB are not officially registered, according to WHO (AFP, 18/08/2014).
Unless an urgent solution is found, starting January 2015, Ukraine will not be able to cover needs for TB drugs (OHCHR, 08/10/2014; OCHA, 03/10/2014). 11,600 multidrug-resistant TB cases also urgently need drugs (OHCHR, 15/11/2014).
On 5 November, 609,000 doses of BCG vaccine became available and the government is finalising tenders for other vaccines. 50% of the required vaccine will then be available (UNICEF, 14/11/2014).
Shelter and NFIs
850,000 people are estimated to be in urgent need of shelter and NFIs (OCHA, 08/12/2014). Most urgent needs are in Donetsk, Luhansk and Kharkiv regions (UNHCR, 08/12/2014). Winterisation is an urgent priority, including the provision of warm blankets and winter clothes for IDPs (OCHA, 28/11/2014). Lack of coal and wood is a pressing issue (OCHA, 28/11/2014).
An estimated 30,000–40,000 IDPs are believed to be staying in collective centres, which in many cases are old camps and dormitories that are in poor repair and have no heating (UNHCR, 01/12/2014). Many residents and IDPs residing in elderly centres in opposition-controlled areas are in urgent need of food, medicine, mattresses, and hygiene items (OCHA, 10/10/2014). More than 12,000 facilities have been damaged or destroyed as a result of the conflict (OCHA, 28/11/2014).
The lack of reliable energy supply over the winter is a serious concern (OCHA, 28/09/2014). 20% of electricity needs are covered in Luhansk (OCHA, 03/10/2014).
Concerns remain about how to fund the temporary accommodation of IDPs (UNHCR, 23/09/2014; OCHA, 28/11/2014). Due to lack of financial resources and facilities, Government coordination agencies often refuse free accommodation to IDPs (OCHA, 13/09/2014). IDPs renting accommodation seem to be excluded from any humanitarian assistance, and in a worse situation compared to those staying in collective centres (OCHA, 14/11/2014).
Water is now available in most areas of government-controlled territory; however, the quality of water is of major concern. People are either buying bottled water or boiling it before they drink (OCHA, 24/10/2014).
750,000 people are estimated to be in need of WASH, most vulnerable people are in Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk and Luhansk regions (OCHA, 08/12/2014; UNICEF, 08/12/2014). The delivery of drinking water and hygiene supplies in opposition-controlled areas remains a huge challenge for the humanitarian community (UNICEF, 12/12/2014). NGOs continue to report that some people are digging shallow wells (OHCHR, 15/11/2014).
In Donetsk region, shelling and intense fighting have damaged critical infrastructure, leaving approximately 30% of Donetsk inhabitants without a central water and gas supply (UNICEF, 20/10/2014; OCHA, 08/12/2014). Supply of electricity in some parts of Donetsk region has been interrupted (UNICEF, 14/11/2014). Diesel generators are needed to power water pumps and treatment units (OCHA, 28/09/2014).
In Donetsk and Luhansk regions, temporary latrines and disinfection materials are urgently required (UNICEF, 12/12/2014). Access to toilets and adequate sanitation facilities remains an issue in Luhansk city because the sewage system is dysfunctional (UNICEF, 07/10/2014).
600,000 people are in need of education in Donestk and Luhansk (OCHA, 08/12/2014). 17% of schools in affected areas are not functioning (OCHA, 14/11/2014). In November, in Donetsk city, 102 of 335 educational institutions were reported to be damaged or destroyed. In Luhansk city, 48 of 60 had been damaged or destroyed (OHCHR, 15/11/2014). 260,000 children were not able to resume their studies on 1 September (OHCHR, 15/11/2014).
Human rights abuses committed by armed groups continued to be reported, including abduction, torture/ill-treatment, unlawful detention, execution and forced mobilisation of civilians, as well as the seizure and occupation of public buildings (OHCHR, 15/11/2014). A surge in lawlessness has been reported (OCHA, 28/11/2014).
As of 31 October, about 15,000 people are reported to remain in detention in conflict-affected areas. Most are reportedly in need of food assistance, and humanitarian aid cannot reach them (OHCHR, 15/11/2014). As of September, insurgent forces are detaining around 460 civilians on allegations of violating public order, and subjecting them to forced labour. From mid-April to 25 August, at least 1,000 people have been detained on suspicion of being militants and subversives (OHCHR, 08/10/2014).
An increasing number of unlawful refusals of registration and financial assistance, violations of employment rights, and limited access to social benefits is being reported. There are still long waits for IDPs to register with the Department of Social Protection in regions near the conflict zone (OCHA, 12/12/2014). IDPs are often unable to access employment (OCHA, 31/10/2014). UNHCR has reported a pattern of discrimination and stigmatisation against IDPs from the east on political grounds (IOM, 22/10/2014).
Mines and ERW
Evidence of widespread use of cluster munitions in some 12 locations has been documented by Human Rights Watch. While it was not possible to determine conclusively responsibility for all attacks, evidence indicated that Ukrainian government forces were responsible for several cluster munition attacks on Donetsk city in early October (Cluster Munition Coalition, 22/10/2014).
Mines and unexploded ordnance have been increasingly reported in areas of Donetsk and Luhansk, with civilian deaths (UNICEF, 22/10/2014).
An estimated 260,000 Roma live in Ukraine. In August, OCHA reported that the Roma population displaced from Donbas experiences access restrictions to government health and social services: 40% do not have documentation, and many fear registration as IDPs, preventing access to humanitarian assistance. Being registered as Roma may lead to persecution upon return (UNHCR, 17/10/2014).
In Crimea, Crimean Tatars and other pro-Ukraine figures have been forcibly disappeared or gone missing since May (HRW, 07/10/2014).
The situation of people in institutional care is a major concern. Disabled people, orphans, older people and people in psychiatric hospitals are in particular need of immediate protection (UNHCR, 20/10/2014; OCHA, 12/12/2014). There are indications that 50% of state and municipal institutions for the care and guardianship of minors in Donetsk and Luhansk regions are not functioning (international media, 07/10/2014).
Women also face prohibition from leaving conflict zones by partners; rape; forced domestic labour by insurgents; and violence in collective centres (OCHA, 19/09/2014). An increasing number of cases of gender-based violence are being reported in conflict-affected areas (OCHA, 31/10/2014).
Bangladesh Country Analysis
9 December: An ecological disaster along the Shella River is feared after an oil spill in the Sundarbans mangrove area, southwest Bangladesh. No coordinated response has been launched (Al Jazeera, Common Dreams).
- Bangladesh is considered one of the world’s most hazard-prone countries, and every year cyclones cause extensive damage and floods.
- 34,000 Rohingya Muslim refugees from Myanmar are registered and living in official camps (Local media, 09/11/2014). Over 250,000 Rohingya unregistered refugees are in unofficial camps or villages, where they receive little or no humanitarian assistance (ECHO, 17/11/2014; Local media, 09/11/2014).
- Food insecurity is rising due to frequent natural disasters and civil unrest. An estimated 40% of the population is considered food insecure, and western areas are more affected.
Civil unrest and national tensions have increased since the end of September. Violent protests erupted in several towns after death sentences were pronounced against key members of the largest Islamist party Jamaat-e-Islami and a former Awami League official for war crimes committed during the 1971 independence war from Pakistan. The Prime Minister has been accused of using the tribunal for political purposes (international media, 03/11/2014; 24/11/2014). Additional police and paramilitary forces have been deployed across the country (Reuters, 29/10/2014). Protests and strikes – or hartals – over the trial and sentencing of senior political leaders from the main opposition party and its Islamic allies began in January 2013.
Aftermath of the January Elections
International observers declared the 2014 elections flawed and the BNP described them as a farce. The impasse between the two dominant parties is fuelling concerns about economic stagnation and further violence. International human rights organisations report that nearly 200 people were killed and thousands injured in election-related violence.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Needs in Bangladesh can be difficult to assess; the humanitarian impact of frequent low-profile events is chronically underreported.
In mid-September, almost 3 million people had been reported affected by flooding across 20 districts; 325,000 people were displaced, and 34,000 houses completely destroyed. Humanitarian actors have reported 59 deaths and 447 people injured (Oxfam, 15/09/2014; IFRC, 08/09/2014, 14/09/2014, 15/09/2014). Nilphamari, Lalmonirhat, Kurigram, Rangpur, Gaibandha, Jamalpur, Sirajgonj (northwest), Sunamjon and Sylhet (northeast) are severely hit (ECHO, 25/08/2014).
Over 19–24 September, additional flooding in Lalmonirhat, Gaibandha, Naogaon, Brahmanbaria, and Mymensing affected 400,000 more people and increased the difficulties of people already affected by earlier flooding. 70,000 people in the district of Netrokona, northeastern Bangladesh were particularly affected (IFRC, 20/10/2014; OCHA, 29/09/2014). Local media indicate that thousands of houses were submerged (Dhaka Tribune, 26/09/2014). 600,000 very vulnerable people in the northwest lost all crops and their houses (ECHO, 10/11/2014).
On 9 December, an empty vessel in the Shella River struck a tanker carrying an estimated 92,500 gallons of oil in the Sundarbans mangrove area. Environmentalists have warned of an ecological catastrophe, with the potential of endangering the livelihoods of local fishermen (Al Jazeera, 13/12/2014). The oil has spread over an estimated 300–350 km2. On 15 December, locals reported that there was still no coordinated response to the spill (Common Dreams, 15/12/2014).
The 280,000 IDPs estimated to be in Bangladesh in 2007 are unlikely to have returned, integrated, or settled elsewhere in the country given persistent tensions and fighting (IDMC, 13/05/2014). Most were displaced by violence in the 1970s.
Rohingya Muslim Refugees
According to official statistics, 34,000 Rohingya Muslim refugees from Myanmar are officially registered and living in formal camps (local media, 09/11/2014). On 6 November, official authorities plans to relocate Rohingya refugees from the formal camps at Kutupalang and Nayapara in Cox's Bazar, where they have been since 1991. No mention was made of unregistered Rohingya refugees living outside camps (local media, 27/11/2014).
New refugees cannot register with the Government or UNHCR and cannot enter official camps. The majority of Rohingya are denied refugee status by Bangladeshi authorities. Estimates vary widely, but the number of unofficial Rohingya refugees is generally assumed to be over 250,000, most of whom live in unofficial camps or within host communities, where they receive little or no humanitarian assistance (ECHO, 17/11/2014; local media, 09/11/2014). On 24 March, the Governance and Social Development Resource Centre indicated that conditions in unofficial camps are dire: overcrowded, lacking clean water and sanitation, with poor shelter, health and nutrition, and human rights abuses. 45,000 unregistered refugees living in two unofficial settlements are of particular concern (ECHO, 17/11/2014).
Flood-affected have been reported as suffering from a food crisis (ECHO, 25/08/2014).
Around 40% of the population is food insecure, especially in western parts of the country. The lingering effects of natural disasters, violent demonstrations, and other local problems have increased the food insecurity of a large number of households. Relatively high domestic rice prices are also limiting low-income groups’ access to food (FAO, 16/06/2014).
Agriculture and Markets
The floods have meant loss of household food stocks and damaged rice crops. Small-scale and marginal farmers, as well as day labourers, appear most impacted by food insecurity caused by the flooding (WFP, 15/10/2014). Farmers who had replanted lowland rice after the water from August flooding started receding have lost their crops for the second time (IFRC, 20/10/2014). Lalmonirhat was particularly affected, and considerable seedbed losses of winter vegetables have been recorded (The Daily Observer, 05/10/2014; Prothom Alo, 24/08/2014).
Health and Nutrition
As reported by ECHO in late February, an estimated 500,000 Bangladeshi children suffer from severe malnutrition annually. Among children under five, 3.4% suffer from severe acute malnutrition.
Access to safe drinking water has been the main concern for the flood-affected, according to humanitarian actors on the ground. In some cases, the shortage has meant that some communities have been using contaminated water. Numerous hand tube wells are contaminated (BRCS, 25/08/2014).
In Kurigram, floods immersed latrines, causing wastewater to contaminate homes, lands and wells (Terre des Hommes, 23/09/2014).
Thousands of houses have been either washed away or seriously damaged by flooding. The displaced were staying in makeshift or temporary shelters (BRCS, 25/08/2014).
Flood shelters have inadequate WASH facilities (SC 2006). Past disasters have found that this poses particular risks to women and adolescent girls, who resort to a range of detrimental practices to avoid exposure.
Legal Status of Refugees
The absence of legal status makes the Rohingya easy targets for abuse and exploitation (ECHO, 17/11/2014). Incidents of domestic and sexual violence have been increasing around Rohingya settlements. Unregistered female refugees are especially vulnerable to sexual and physical attacks. Many female refugees are forced into illegal activities as a survival mechanism or sell their children into domestic labour, putting them at risk of abuse and arrest.
9 December: The rise of Chapare River in central Bolivia has affected 2,000 people and damaged crops in the Chimore municipality. Some communities are stranded (OCHA, Los Tiempo).
- 325,000 affected by heavy rainfall and flooding across most of Bolivia (Government, WFP, and OCHA, 06/2014).
- Bolivia is prone to natural disasters including earthquakes, floods, and droughts. The 2013 drought and severe frost affected over 340,000 people and damaged 87,000 hectares of crops (Government).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
A series of natural disasters has affected Bolivia since the beginning of the rainy season in October 2013 and had a severe impact on livelihoods and food security. As of 10 November, government officials reported that around 450,000 people have been affected this year by different climatological events, including drought, floods, and landslides (local media, 10/11/2014).
Around 130,000 people have been affected by drought. Fourteen districts (Charagua, Byuibe, Lagunillas, Camiri, Cuevo, San Miguel, San Rafael, El Trigal, Saipina in Santa Cruz; Charana, Laja, Calacoto and Catacora in La Paz; Vaca Diez, Yacuma and Cercado in Beni; and Huacaya and Machareti in Chuquisaca) have issued a red alert (La Razon, 29/10/2014; Government, 08/12/2014).
Estimates indicate that close to 63,000 hectares of crops, including rice, maize, and cassava, have been negatively impacted. In six municipalities in the department of Santa Cruz, more than 54,000 acres of maize have been affected (OCHA, 27/10/2014). 16,000 head of cattle and camels have been lost (REDLAC, 17/11/2014).
Heavy Rainfall and Floods
The rise of Chapare River has affected 2,000 people and damaged crops in the Chimore municipality, Cochabamba. Reports suggest that affected communities are stranded and cannot access aid (OCHA, 09/12/2014; Los Tiempos, 04/12/2014).
At 25 September, 146 of 339 communities were still affected by the flooding of the last rainy season; 11 districts north of La Paz were under a state of emergency (Government). The floods in Bolivia’s Amazon valleys, lowlands, and plains during the October 2013–March 2014 rains were the worst in 60 years. They affected an estimated 325,000 people, destroyed around 2,000 homes, 63,000 hectares of arable land, and 150,000 livestock (OCHA 06/2014; ACT Alliance, 24/09/2014). Officials estimate that agriculture is the primary income-generating activity of 40% of affected families (ACT Alliance, 24/09/2014).
Around 850 people in Luribay, La Paz, have been affected by landslides caused by a severe hailstorm in early November. Some households are living in tents on the town’s sportsfield. The majority of the crops in the town have been lost (PAHO, 04/11/2014; Government, 05/11/2014).
Despite losses in the department of Beni, harvest prospects for 2014’s verano season (from November to March) are favourable, since the main cereal-producing departments of Santa Cruz, La Paz, and Cochabamba were less severely affected by drought, and the abundant rains may have benefited the developing crops in some places.
Health and Nutrition
The flood-affected are suffering from gastrointestinal infections, respiratory infections, and skin diseases; pregnant women and children are most affected (ACT Alliance, 24/09/2014).
12 December: The UN political mission in Burundi closed (AFP).
- 78,958 people are in IPC Phase 3 and 4 while another 610,000 are food insecure (OCHA, 30/11/2014).
Since the President’s re-election in 2010, scores of political killings, intimidation of the opposition, and a crackdown on media freedom have been reported. Most recently, observers stated concerns on restrictions on civil and political rights, following a series of violent acts by the ruling party’s increasingly militant youth wing, Imbonerakure. On 12 December, the UN political mission in Burundi closed after 20 years (AFP, 12/12/2014).
2015 General Elections: Proposed Constitutional Amendments
Deteriorating relations between the parties within the ruling coalition stem mainly from the desire of President Nkurunziza, first elected in 2005, to run for a third term in June 2015 elections. On 9 June, the Government, the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI), and all political parties and actors signed the General Principles for the conduct of the 2015 elections (UN, 10/06/2014). A Special Envoy and Head of the UN Electoral Observation Mission in Burundi (MENUB) will be deployed in January (UN, 12/12/20214).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
As of September, Burundi has 78,940 IDPs (UNHCR, 31/11/2014). They are mostly ethnic Tutsis, located in and around 120 sites across northern and central Burundi. No new displacement has been recorded since 2008 (Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre).
As of September, Burundi is host to 49,800 refugees, mostly from DRC (UNHCR, 31/11/2014). Refugees are mainly located in the border regions of Ngozi (north, alongside Rwanda), Ruyigi, Muyinga, and Cankuzo (east, alongside Tanzania) and Bubanza (west, alongside DRC).
7,000 DRC refugees living in Musasa camp, in northern Burundi, are demanding better conditions, protesting at poor food availability, reduced health services, and substandard education services (local media, 10/11/2014).
By end September, 850 Burundian refugees in the DRC had returned to their homeland in 2014 (UNHCR, 30/09/2014).
43,000 Burundians living in Tanzania have been forcibly repatriated. 65% are women and children. Many returnees have chosen to return to their province of origin without being registered, due to a lack of reception facilities at entry points (IOM, 01/2014).
The high number of IDPs and refugees returning to their places of origin is aggravating tensions over land ownerhship, as returneeds claim land where other families, often of a different ethnic background, have since settled.
Burundian Refugees in Neighbouring countries
As of 1 September, 13,400 Burundian refugees and asylum-seekers were residing in Uganda, corresponding to 3% of the total refugee population in Uganda. Most Burundian refugees are located in Nakivale and Oruchinga (UNHCR, 23/09/2014).
As of 30 September, 9,233 Burundian refugees were residing in the DRC (UNHCR, 30/09/2014).
As of 31 July, 6,101 Burundian refugees were residing in Kenya (UNHCR, 31/07/2014), most of the located in Kakuma Camp.
As of August, 78,958 people were in IPC Phase 3 and 4 (OCHA, 05/08/2014), while another 610,000 are food insecure (OCHA, 30/11/2014). Poor households in northeastern livelihood zones are expected to face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food insecurity until December, when food availability and access to harvests will improve (FEWSNET, 29/11/2014).
Agriculture and Markets
Due to Season B production deficits, staple food prices remain above the five-year average in many markets across the country (FEWSNET, 29/11/2014). Above-average rainfall has enabled Season A crop development, improving Season A production estimates (FEWSNET, 29/11/2014).
Nearly 4.3 million people in Burundi (43% of the population) do not have access to improved sanitation facilities. This facilitates the risk of waterborne disease outbreaks, and is also a major cause of dropping out of school (Belgian Technical Cooperation, 10/10/2014).
10 December: A representative survey of basic grain producing households affected by drought found that 1.24 million people are moderately and severely food insecure. In total, 1.5 million people are affected by food insecurity. 150,000 people (30,000 families) have finished their food stocks and are implementing survival strategies (OCHA).
1-8 December: 724 people were accommodated in temporary shelters due to the onset of cold temperatures in Alta Verapaz, Guatemala, Quetzaltenango, Quiché, Sacatepéquez, San Marcos and Totonicapán (Government, 10/12/2014).
- 1.4 million people have been affected by the drought (SESAN MAGA quoted by WHO, 07/11/2014)
- 12,200 cases of acute malnutrition have been recorded among under-fives in Guatemala in 2014, as of 12 October (Government, 12/10/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
On 30 October, the Government prolonged its state of emergency for 30 days to monitor the consequences in the 16 affected departments (Government, 30/10/2014). A total of 1.4 million people have been affected by drought (SESAN MAGA quoted by WFP, 07/11/2014). 944,000 people in the Dry Corridor are particularly affected, being highly dependent on subsistence farming (ACT Alliance, 15/10/2014).
73% of the country’s territory was affected as of end of August (UN Country Team, 28/08/2014). The departments affected were Jutiapa, Jalapa, Santa Rosa, Zacapa, El Progreso, Chiquimula, and Baja Verapaz in the Dry Corridor; and Quiché, Huehuetenango, Retalhuleu, Totonicapán, Sololá, San Marcos, Suchitepéquez, Chimaltenango and Guatemala (Siglo XXI, 02/09/2014).
The Government has appealed for international help to deal with the loss of crops in early September (OCHA, 01/09/2014). 80% production losses were recorded for primera maize harvests and 70% for primera bean harvests (OCHA, 03/11/2014). 98% of harvests have been lost in Chiquimula, El Progreso, and Zacapa (Government, 28/08/2014). 56% of affected communities were left with no possibility of planting (ACTED, 28/08/2014), and 99,600 people with no income opportunities (Government, 11/09/2014).
The current crisis is preceded by two years of bad harvests and aggravated by the impact of reduced employment in the coffee bean sector, caused by the coffee leaf rust epidemic of the last two harvests (UN Country Team, 28/08/2014).
The drought is regional. Nicaragua, Honduras, and El Salvador are also affected (Oxfam, 28/08/2014).
On 5 December, the state of calamity following the 7 July earthquake was prolonged for 30 days in order to monitor the consequences (Government, 06/12/2014). By 25 July, 63,280 people had been affected, 9,885 homes damaged, and 6,730 people evacuated (UN, 25/07/2014). Current needs are mainly housing reconstruction and rehabilitation (IFRC, 07/11/2014).
Heavy rains over the May–December season affected 655,201 people and damaged 9,610 houses. 9,978 people were evacuated, 4,423 were placed in shelters, 2 people disappeared, 25 were injured, 29 died and 329 houses were put at risk (local media, 03/12/2014). Zapaca department was the most affected: at least 12,000 people from 54 communities were cut off from the department capital (Siglo XXI, 19/10/2014). 30,000 people were cut off by heavy rains in La Reforma, San Marcos department as of 24 October (Prensa Libre, 24/10/2014). Over 17–18 November, an additional 270 people were affected by heavy rains and drainage collapse in Flores, Petén department (Government, 18/11/2014).
Although rain has decreased in the municipality of Ixcán, in the Quiché department, houses in the villages of Tres Lagunas I, San Jorge and Nueva Maquina are still flooded as the Chixoy River spills its banks (local media; OCHA, 01/12/2014). As of 4 December, 1,300 people (260 families) are affected by flooding from the Chixoy river in Quiché department in the municipalities of San Jorge, Tres Lagunas I, Nueva Máquina, Tres Ríos, and Tres Lagunas II and III. Families lost all harvests due to the ongoing inundation (local media, 04/12/2014).
As of 28 November, heavy rains and strong winds affected more than 2,200 people in the northern regions of the country. Approximately 1,600 people were affected in Alta Verapaz and Baja Verapaz, where 335 houses were flooded. The remaining 600 affected people were in Petén department, where 300 houses were flooded (local media, 28/11/2014).
On 30 September–1 October, 785 people had been affected by flooding in San Marcos, Suchitepéquez, and Zacapa, and a landslide in Huehuetenango (Government, 01/10/2014). On 27–28 September, heavy rains caused the overflow of Coyolate and Paz Rivers, affecting 2,325 people in Nueva Concepcion, Escuintla department and 462 in Moyuta, Jutiapa department (Government, 29/09/2014). 260 people were affected by floods in Chimaltenango department on 24 September (Prensa Libre, 24/09/2014).
Since the beginning of September, heavy rains caused repeated flooding and landslides in Petén, Guatemala and Suchitepéquez, affecting a total of 1,770 people (Government, 08/09/2014; 02/09/2014; OCHA, 01/09/2014). San Benito, Petén, took the heaviest toll with 1,120 people affected and a drainage collapse in mid-September; 39 houses were damaged and 20 wells contaminated (Government, 09/11/2014; 17/09/2014).
In July-August, heavy rains affected Alta Verapaz, Izabal, Péten and Baja Verapaz. As of 13 October, 2,500 residents remain cut off from severe infrastructure damage and flooding in Alta Verapaz, which affected 15,000 people in July-early August (Prensa Libre, 13/10/2014; Government, 15/07/2014; 25/08/2014; 28/07/2014).
Over 1-8 December, 724 people were accommodated in temporary shelters due to the onset of cold temperatures in Alta Verapaz, Guatemala, Quetzaltenango, Quiché, Sacatepéquez, San Marcos and Totonicapán (Government, 10/12/2014).
A representative survey of basic grain producing households affected by drought found that 1.24 million people are moderately and severely food insecure. In total, 1.5 million people are affected by food insecurity (OCHA, 10/12/2014).
Approximately 1.5 million people are estimated to have partially or completely lost their harvests and have reduced food reserves for the coming months (UN Country Team, 25/09/2014). Thousands of families have been forced to resort negative coping mechanisms, like reducing the number of meals per day or portion sizes, and selling family assets (ECHO, 11/10/2014).
Exhaustion of food stocks and reduced income will deteriorate food security to Crisis levels (IPC Phase 3) in January–March 2015 (FEWSNET, 18/11/2014). As of 10 December, 150,000 people (30,000 families) finished their food stocks and are implementing survival strategies (OCHA, 10/12/2014).
The government declared a State of Public Calamity due to drought in August 2014 in 16 departments: Jutiapa, Chiquimula, Santa Rosa, Quiché, El Progreso, Huehuetenango, Baja Verapaz, Zacapa, Retalhuleu, Solola, Totonicapan, Chimaltenango, San Marcos, Guatemala, Suchitepequez and Jalapa. In October the decree was extended for 30 days (OCHA, 10/12/2014).
The coffee leaf rust epidemic, which began in 2012, is affecting the entire Central America region (International Coffee Organization). In Guatemala, some 70% of crops have been affected, corresponding to a loss of 100,000 jobs and a 15% drop in coffee output over the past two years (Save the Children, 29/09/2014).
70% of small-scale and subsistence farmers have suffered losses due to the drought. 47% of households affected depend on basic crop production (WFP, 07/11/2014). Over 70% crops have been lost in some affected areas of the Highlands (FEWSNET, 18/11/2014).
The Dry Corridor normally provides 20% of national maize production, and recent estimates predict a 9% drop in national primera maize production compared to last year (FAO, 19/09/2014). About 75% of maize and beans harvests have been lost (OCHA, 10/12/2014).
Primera and postrera harvests will not cover the food consumption deficits of households suffering crop failures for the last two years and reduced incomes due to coffee leaf rust (FEWSNET, 05/2014).
Households most affected by drought decided not to plant crops in the second planting season, and in eight of the 16 affected departments, producers are only growing maize. For these subsistence farmers who decided not to plant for second season, the scenario is very uncertain, not only for this year but until the next harvest in August 2015 (OCHA, 10/12/2014).
Health and Nutrition
Provision of primary healthcare has been interrupted in rural areas of several municipalities due to budget limitations (Government, 12/10/2014). Compulsory vaccination programmes, nutritional vigilance, and specific care for pregnant women and malnourished children have been interrupted (Acción contra la hambre, 30/09/2014).
49 cases of chikungunya have been confirmed since the virus was first detected on 13 August (PAHO, 10/10/2014).
At 10 December, 14,731 cases of severe acute malnutrition have been reported in 2014, which represents a 16% reduction compared to last year (local media, 10/11/2014). The highest rate of acute malnutrition was identified in the eastern part of the country with 5.4%. Overall, 4.7% presented total acute malnutrition and 2.5% presented severe acute malnutrition in girls (OCHA, 10/12/2014).
7,000 people were left without running water in Zapaca following heavy rains and drainage collapse (Prensa Libre, 22/10/2014).
23% of households in drought-affected areas are estimated not to have access to safe drinkable water (SESAN quoted by OCHA, 03/11/2014).
10 December: At least 19,559 children are malnourished as a direct consequence of the drought (OCHA).
- 930,000 people were affected by drought as of September, including 372,000 small-scale and subsistence farmers and labourers considered to be in need of humanitarian assistance (Humanitarian Country Team, 27/10/2014). Choluteca, Valle, El Paraíso, Francisco Morazán, Intibuca and Lempira departments are the most affected (EU, 20/08/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
As of September, 930,000 people were estimated to be affected by drought, including 372,000 small-scale and subsistence farmers and labourers still considered to be in need of humanitarian assistance as of 27 October (Humanitarian Country Team, 27/10/2014).
At end September, the impact of the drought was worsening in southern parts of the country as food insecurity increased in the Dry Corridor (La Prensa, 25/09/2014). The most affected departments are Choluteca, Valle, El Paraíso, Francisco Morazán, Intibuca, and Lempira (EU, 20/08/2014). The Government declared a state of emergency in the Dry Corridor on 5 August (Government, 05/08/2014).
Rains have improved since mid-August, but dryness from poor primera season rains lingers (FEWSNET, 12/09/2014).
As of 3 December, rainfall continues to cause damage in several departments. In the north, severe storms have caused damage and the death of four people; in addition, several communities have been cut off (PAHO, 3/12/2014). On 1 December, a red alert – mandatory evacuation – was imposed by national authorities in the department of Atlantida due to expected continuation of heavy rains, and a precautionary yellow alert for the departments of Cortes, Bay Islands and Colon, and northern part of the Yoro department (local media; OCHA, 01/12/2014).
Heavy rains since 14 October left at least 3,000 people stranded; 2,500 people were evacuated to temporary shelters (COPECO cited by Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Honduras, 21/10/2014). 70 roads have been significantly damaged and 5 others destroyed (La Prensa, 19/10/2014). Marcovia municipality has been particularly affected as the Choluteca River overflowed on 20–23 October (La Prensa, 23/10/2014). On 19 November, another 300 people were evacuated from flooding in Villanueva municipality, Cortés department (La Tribuna, 21/11/2014).
On 13 October, about 14,000 people from 16 communities in Valle department were affected by the Goascorán River overflowing. These communities had already been affected by drought and crop losses (La Tribuna, 13/10/2014). In Valle department, the communities of La Ceiba, Los Amates, El Olanchano, Valle Nuevo, Capulín, Guatales, Muruahaca, El Carrizo and El Conchal have been flooded since 26 September. 2,000 people are affected (Proceso Digital, 29/09/2014, El Heraldo, 29/09/2014).As of 29 September, the north of Choluteca department was almost inaccessible due to severe damage to roads and infrastructure. 4,000 people were directly affected.
On 5 October, flooding in Santa Barbara department, western Honduras, left people without drinking water as water pipes were damaged. 150 people were evacuated (La Prensa, 05/10/2014; El Heraldo, 05/10/2014).
The affected population in need of food assistance is estimated at 76,712 small-farming families, or 383,560 people (WFP, 12/2014). 154,000 were estimated to be in dire need of food assistance n October (Humanitarian Country Team, 27/10/2014). As of 22 October, 571,700 people were of concern due to the drought (IFRC, 22/10/2014).
Below-average 2014 primera harvests, reduced income from coffee sector employment and sales, and above-average basic food prices mean that vulnerable households will experience Stressed (IPC Phase 2) levels of food insecurity October 2014–March 2015 in parts of southern Honduras (FEWSNET, 18/11/2014). Early depletion of reserves after 2014 primera season losses and limited income opportunities are likely to lead to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) in May 2015 in southern areas (FEWSNET, 16/11/2014).
Agriculture and Markets
Secondary season production is not expected to offset crop production losses (WFP, 12/2014). Delayed postrera sowing due to moisture deficits in August will result in stepped production. In addition, crops are at risk of being affected by lack of rainfall through November–December (FEWSNET, 31/10/2014).
Recent estimates point to a 25% drop in maize production during the primera season compared to last year, and losses of over 8,000 metric tons of beans (FAO, 19/09/2014). 70% of maize crops and 45% of bean crops have been lost in drought-affected areas (La Prensa, 10/08/2014). Fish farms have been affected by the depletion of fish stocks (EU, 20/08/2014).
Maize prices increased by 23% and bean prices by 17% over the third quarter of 2014 (WFP, 27/10/2014).
The coffee leaf rust epidemic, affecting the entire Central American region, is further affecting the livelihoods of small-scale farmers and day labourers. In Honduras, Nicaragua, and El Salvador, 655,000 people are estimated to be food insecure due to the coffee leaf rust infestation (WFP, 15/10/2014).
Health and Nutrition
Limited access to water due to drought is having a negative impact on hygiene, in turn increasing health risks, especially acute diarrhoeal diseases. Health services in rural areas do not have sufficient capacity to meet the needs of the affected population and there is a 50% shortage of medicine stocks (OCHA, 10/12/2014).
Over 30,000 suspected cases of dengue have been recorded in 2014 (Proceso Digital, 18/11/2014). At 6 November, 506 cases had been confirmed (PAHO, 06/11/2014).
3.4% of children under five are suffering from acute malnutrition, with a greater impact on girls (5.6%). At least 19,559 children are malnourished as a direct consequence of the drought (OCHA, 10/12/2014).
The drought has affected access to safe drinking water in the most affected areas (La Prensa, 10/08/2014). 27,300 people are considered to be in need of house disinfection, health education and access to safe water according to a joint assessment between the Ministry of Health and the Water and Sanitation working group (Humanitarian Country Team, 27/10/2014).
No new significant updates this week, 16/12/2014. Last update: 04/12/2014.
- Landslides and floods triggered by heavy monsoon rains in Jammu and Kashmir have left 281 dead. 1,949,790 people have been affected and 67,934 left homeless (Times of India, 30/09/2014).
- Cyclone HudHud affected 920,000 people in October (IFRC, ECDM).
- Floods in Assam and Meghalaya in September and October displaced 164,000 and caused extensive damage. Up to 1.2 million people may have been affected (IFRC).
Kashmir is a disputed between the Government of India, the Government of Pakistan and Kashmiri insurgent groups, who since the Indo-Pakistan War have fought over control of the area. Pakistan controls the northwest portion, India controls the central and southern portion and Ladakh, and China controls the northeastern portion (Aksai Chin and Trans-Karakoram Tract). Although thousands have died as a result of this conflict, the situation has become less deadly in recent years. UNHCR-supported elections in 2008 resulted in the creation of a pro-India Jammu and Kashmir National Conference, which has now formed a state government.
As of 8 October, cross-border fire that began in August had claimed 12 lives in India, most of them civilians, and displaced thousands (AFP, 08/10/2014). Further firing was reported at the end of the month (AFP, 29/10/2014). On 27 November, an army patrol was attacked near the border in the town of Arnia, leaving seven dead, including four civilians (AFP, 27/11/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Severe cyclonic storm HudHud made landfall on 12 October on India’s east coast, around the city of Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh. Hudhud affected north coastal Andhra Pradesh, south Odisha, and Chattisgarrh (IFRC, ECDM, 13/10/2014). As of 20 October, the cyclone had left 45 dead and 135,000 people were in 223 relief camps (OCHA, 20/10/2014). 920,000 people have been affected. 41,200 houses and buildings were damaged, and about 180,000 hectares of agricultural land was inundated. (OCHA, 20/10/2014). This has been the most costly cyclone to have hit India, with total damage estimated at between USD 9.7 and 11 billion (OCHA, 20/10/2014).
Floods in Assam and Meghalaya
Over 20 September–7 October, flash floods and landslides killed up to 95 people. Over 164,000 people were displaced to 227 camps and temporary shelters; 130,000 houses were destroyed and over 87,000 hectares of crops damaged (OCHA, 07/10/2014, Islamic Relief, 28/10/2014). Experts calculate that about 1.2 million people might have been affected by the flooding (Islamic Relief, 28/10/2014).
Floods in Jammu and Kashmir
1,949,790 people were directly affected by flooding in September, including 543,379 displaced, 67,934 left homeless and 110,000 evacuated (Caritas India, 25/09/2014). On 4 October, Pakistani authorities barred actors from delivering goods intended for flood victims in India-administered Kashmir (AFP, 04/10/2014). This is the worst natural disaster in 100 years in the area, killing 284 people.
As of 10 November, the most affected areas are Rajouri, Shopia, Anantnag, Poonch, Pulwana, Kulgam and Srinagar (IO, 10/11/2014). Around 137 camps in the Kashmir valley were assisting over 100,000 people (OCHA, 15/09/2014). Major parts of Srinagar were completely submerged; the floods swept away the houses of more than 30% of the population living along the river’s path. (IFRC, 08/09/2014; SEEDS 08/09/2014). As of mid-December, local and international humanitarian actors were working on repairing houses, interim education support, temporary shelters, health services, capacity-building of local agencies for disaster preparedness, etc. Winter is threatening the status of the affected population (Sphere India, 12/12/2014).
Late September, around 10–15 villages were still inaccessible in Assam and Meghalaya, including Lilehar, Goripura, and Bandarpore (Caritas India, 25/09/2014).
With seasonal snowfall expected soon, displaced and affected populations are facing a precarious food security situation. Although the Jammu and Kashmir state governments have promised six months of free food to those affected, but populations in remote areas or with access difficulties had not received food aid as of mid-November (Reuters, 17/11/2014).
Delayed and erratic monsoon rains are expected to reduce 2014 kharif (monsoon) cereal production. Additionally, floods and high food prices in some markets are affecting the food security situation for poor households (FAO, 31/10/2014).
9 December: WFP announced that they are reinstating food assistance in countries neighbouring Syria. Refugees in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey Iraq, and Egypt will have their electronic food vouchers refilled by mid-December (WFP 09/12/2014).
8 December: Authorities contacted UNHCR to inform them that there will be an eviction from Um Al Jimal village, but reports indicate that this was a mission to warn the residents of the informal settlement of the need to relocate, rather than to evict them. Authorities indicated that they would return to the sites to check whether relocation had taken place (PI 08/12/2014).
- The key concern in Jordan remains the Government of Jordan’s increasingly restrictive entry policies, which have effectively closed the border to Syrian refugees and increasing refoulement of Syrian refugees. For months, Syrians have been forced to enter through an informal crossing in the remote eastern desert. (PI 19/11/2014)
- 620,400 Syrian refugees registered with UNHCR (07/12/2014); another 38,500 Iraqi refugees (UNHCR, 01/11//2014). The influx of refugees has placed enormous pressure on scarce water resources and public services, which has increased tensions between host communities and refugees.
- Operational and protection concerns are growing as the Government of Jordan is increasingly restricting the approval process for humanitarian projects, and infringing the basic protection of refugees, including their right to seek asylum and freedom of movement.
Jordan has remained politically stable despite spiralling crises in neighbouring Iraq and Syria and fears of infiltration by extremist groups, particularly Islamic State (IS). These concerns have increased since Jordan joined the US-led airstrikes against Islamic State (formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL) in late September. Thousands of Jordanians are reportedly fighting for opposition groups with links to Al Qaeda, particularly Al Nusra Front, as well as IS, despite the military’s tight control of cross-border movements.
In Jordan, the extremist movement is generally dominated by groups supporting Al Qaeda and there are significant divisions among Jordanians who support IS (Al Jazeera 10/07/2014, AFP, 23/06/2014). In June, however, a small group demonstrated in Ma’an, southern Jordan, praising IS victories in Iraq, and arrests of alleged IS supporters have increased (Petra News 22/09/2014).
Tensions between refugees and host communities remain a key concern and have manifested in localised protests, particularly around Za’atari refugee camp and the neighbouring town of Mafraq, as well as regular reports of discrimination and harassment of refugees. Key sources of tension include access to affordable housing and employment (REACH 09/2014)
Humanitarian Context and Needs
The influx of Syrian refugees has overwhelmed public services, particularly health and education, and placed major stress on Jordan’s scarce water supplies.
Since mid-2013, the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation has required aid agencies to include Jordanians as 30% of the beneficiary list of all aid programmes targeting Syrian refugees. More recently, aid agency projects have faced pressure to increase the proportion of Jordanians targeted for assistance to 50% (PI 06/2014). The requirement is viewed as an attempt to pressure international donors to channel more resources through government systems and institutions.
Throughout most of its history, Jordan has been host to vast numbers of refugees, beginning with the 1948 influx of Palestinian refugees and again in 1967. Today over 600,000 Syrian refugees are in Jordan.
Jordan hosts the third largest number of Syrian refugees, after Lebanon and Turkey. As of 20 November, about 620,400 Syrian refugees were registered with UNHCR in Jordan. Over 80% live in local communities, with the remainder in camps. (UNHCR 07/12/2014)
The key concern in Jordan remains the Government’s increasingly restrictive entry policies, which have effectively closed the border to Syrian refugees. The Syrian refugee influx peaked with about 1,700 arriving each day in early 2013, but has since seen a number of sudden reductions. In 2014, Syrian refugees were no longer allowed to use the informal border crossings near Ramtha, and were forced to enter through another informal crossing in the remote eastern desert. Since the beginning of November, UNHCR has registered no new arrivals coming across this border.
According to trusted sources, in early November an estimated 2,700–4,000 Syrians were waiting to enter Jordan on the eastern border with Syria. Women, children, and the elderly are thought to make up around 80%. Some refugees who were allowed to enter reported that conditions on the Syrian side of the border were poor. Due to a lack of food availability, a black market has developed, with extremely high prices. Lack of latrines is forcing women to walk into the desert. There have been protests to be allowed to enter Jordan (NYT 19/11/2014, PI 08/10/2014).
Local media reported that the Government of Jordan allowed a few hundred refugees to cross the border in late November (Jordan Times 22/11/2014). The situation on the border is still unclear, and it us unknown if the new arrivals will be permitted to stay.
The number of Iraqi refugees continues to grow, with about 35,000 registered with UNHCR as of September, stretching registration and assistance capacities. UNHCR estimates that it is seeing about 100–150 new refugees each day, nearly matching the number of Syrian arrivals. As of 6 September, about 10,000 Iraqis have registered with UNHCR in 2014, about double the number registered throughout 2013. Like the earlier refugees, the majority of arrivals originate from Baghdad, although an increasing number are coming from IS-controlled areas of northern Iraq. Over 2,000 refugees and asylum seekers from Sudan, Somalia and other countries currently live in Jordan.
Refugees in Host Communities
Over 80% of Syrian refugees living outside camps are in the northern governorates of Amman, Irbid, Mafraq, and Zarqa. The priority need among refugees in host communities is consistently for cash to pay rent. Work permits are cost-prohibitive for refugees, although many Syrians, including children, work in agriculture and construction, despite protection risks that include arrest and detention.
About 20% of Syrians in northern governorates live in substandard accommodation, including garages, basements, chicken houses, and tents. Housing has become increasingly overcrowded as resources are depleted. In Mafraq, one of the poorest governorates, rental costs have quadrupled; refugees now outnumber local residents.
Over 15,000 refugees were residing in informal tented settlements in September, according to REACH/UNICEF assessments, representing a more than threefold increase since December 2013. Many of the refugees had left Za’atari camp due to conflicts in the camp with powerholders from Syria’s Dar’a governorate. While there is a threat of mass evictions, reliable sources indicate that the Jordanian authorities will refrain from a major crackdown due to the logistical challenges and negative attention. When residents of informal settlements were asked if they are willing to go back to camps voluntarily due to the evictions, the majority said no, and said that they rather return to Syria. (REACH/UNICEF 21/10/2014)
Azraq camp in Zarqa governorate opened on 30 April. As of 29 September, nearly 15,000 refugees were registered by UNHCR in the camp. However, it is believed that only about half this number remains due to the harsh, hot, and windy climate, long distances to reach services, lack of electricity, and the camp’s isolation from livelihood opportunities. At full capacity, Azraq camp will be able to accommodate 130,000 refugees.
Za’atari is the second largest refugee camp in the world with about 80,000 residents, and the equivalent of a new city in Jordan. The number of refugees returning from urban areas to Zaatari camp still increasing. 1,081 of 1,136 people transferred to Zaatari camp 25–31 October, were from urban areas (UNHCR 04/11/2014). It is likely that the onset of cold weather is contributing to this trend – an increase in returns to the camp was also seen at the same time in 2013 – however the food assistance cuts in urban areas may also be contributing to refugees’ decision to return to the camp.
The lack of security in certain parts of Zaatari camp impedes access to services, particularly for women and girls. Security incidents and protests are frequent. Since the camp was established in 2012, at least 200,000 refugees have left for other urban centres through both official and unofficial channels. However, authorities have cracked down on unofficial departures in 2014.
About 4,000 Syrians live in the Emirates Jordan Camp (EJC), which has high living standards and extensive support, primarily from the UAE Red Crescent. Despite the improved living standards, a significant number of refugees have also left EJC camp for urban areas or to return to Syria.
Palestinian Refugees from Syria (PRS)
About 14,500 Palestinian refugees from Syria (PRS) have been recorded by UNRWA, which provides cash assistance for vulnerable PRS, who make up the vast majority of the PRS population in Jordan. About 200 PRS are held in the Cyber City facility, a former industrial complex, and are subject to heavy restrictions on movement (UNRWA 03/10/2014, HRW 04/07/2012).
Since late 2012, the Government has explicitly stated that it would not allow PRS to enter Jordan. Those who do enter are subject to a number of protection issues, including refoulement, the confiscation of documents and, for those with Jordanian citizenship, de-nationalisation (HRW 05/2014, HRW 04/07/2012).
WFP announced that they are reinstating food assistance in countries neighbouring Syria, Refugees in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey Iraq, and Egypt will have their electronic food vouchers refilled by mid-December (WFP 09/12/2014). WFP began targeting food assistance in October, due to expected funding shortfalls in 2015. The lack of funding led to all non-camp refugees being cut off from assistance in December.
Jordan is the fourth most water-scarce country in the world and was already struggling to cope with the demands of its growing population prior to the Syrian crisis. The 2013/14 rains were only 77% of the long-term annual average, leading to a reduction in underground water reserves and a marked increase in underground water salinity in some well fields. The situation is expected to result in increased stress on existing water resources (UNICEF/REACH, 31/04/2014).
Trusted sources reported that there was an increase in refoulements of Syrian refugees in September by Jordanian authorities. Those with invalid documentation appeared to be targeted, including those found to be working without legal permission in host communities. The re-verification process conducted in Za’atari camp in early 2013, which aimed to ensure that complete biometric data is recorded for all registered refugees, also led to cases of refoulement by Jordanian authorities (PI 09/2014).
Syrian refugee residents of three informal tent settlements were evicted by the Jordanian police in Mafraq governorate and sent to Azraq camp on 2 December. One of the settlements reportedly hosted 100–120 people and the evictions involved a large police presence (UNHCR 02/12/2014). Authorities contacted UNHCR to inform them that there will be an eviction in Um Al Jimal village, but reports indicated that this was a mission to warn ITS residents of the need to relocate, rather than to evict them. Authorities indicated that they would return to the sites to check if the settlements had relocated. (PI 08/12/2014).
Evictions and Encampment
Since early 2014, the Government appears to be implementing a more rigorous approach to its encampment policy of Syrian refugees. On 14 July, Jordanian authorities notified UNHCR that it is not permitted to register refugees in urban areas if they have left camps unofficially, outside of the ‘bailout’ process. An estimated 200,000 Syrian refugees have left the camps unofficially, and without official documentation, refugees are unable to access public services or receive WFP food vouchers. In recent months, UNHCR has reported an increase in the number of refugees forcibly returned to Za’atari camp from host communities (CCCM 16/09/2014).
Women and Girls
The proportion of early marriages of Syrian girls (between 15 and 17 years of age) among all registered Syrian marriages increased from 12% in 2011 to 25% in 2013, according to Jordan’s sharia courts, which are responsible for legally registering marriages. In the first quarter of 2014, about 32% of all registered Syrian marriages were classified as early marriages. Both UNICEF and SCI reports found that early marriage was perceived as a form of security among Syrian refugees, given financial difficulties and the general sense of insecurity. Both agencies also reported that some Syrians used early marriage to circumnavigate government restrictions, such as the bailout rules in the camps (which require a close relative for sponsorship), as well as those which bar single males from entering Jordan. (UNICEF 07/2014)
An estimated 3,800 defectors from the Syrian armed forces are being held at military premises in Mafraq with no freedom of movement. The Government has not permitted UNHCR to conduct status determination for these people, although the ICRC has had access. (Al Monitor 08/2013)
No significant developments this week, 10/12/2014. Last update: 01/09/2014.
- More than 110,000 people are in need of food assistance and over half a million people are at risk of food insecurity from June to December 2014 (Food and Nutrition Security working group, 22/07/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
As of July, 117,660 people were affected by a food security crisis and around 557,900 people in rural areas were at risk of food insecurity and requiring assistance, some 200,000 people less than the previous season. The food insecure population is found primarily in Kunene, and parts of Omaheke, Otjozondjupa, Omusati and Erongo regions (SADC, 08/2014).
The northern regions have been worst affected by the 2013 drought, with the largest number of food insecure in Kavango and Ohangwena. Households have employed negative coping strategies, including reducing the numbers of meals and increasing consumption of wild foods.
Agriculture and Markets
National cereal production was 136,680 metric tons over the 2013-2014 season, a significant increase from the 2012-2013 season’s harvest but still below the five-year average (OCHA, 26/09/2014). However, crop harvests as of 22 September were 20–50% lower than in the same period in 2013 due to localised dry spells, and agricultural employment opportunities had been reduced by 40–65%. Agricultural assistance is needed for the areas most affected by the 2013 drought (OCHA, 22/09/2014).
Nepal Country Analysis
No significant developments this week, 11/12/2014. Last update: 24/11/2014.
- 125,000 people affected by landslides and massive flooding in August caused by heavy monsoon rains in 21 districts (IFRC, 08/09/2014)
Madhesis, who constitute a third of the Nepali population, are stateless, and subject to discrimination and rights abuses. Recent protests in the south of the country, asking for repairs to crumbling infrastructure, have led to violent police crackdowns and incarcerations (Al Jazeera, 19/11/2014). In September, the UN Resident Coordinator (UNRC) in Nepal and local media reported daily protests involving students (UNRC,01/10/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
The monsoon season had a normal start until early August, when heavy rains created massive landslides in Sindhupalchowk district, killing 134 people. Mid-August rains caused further severe flooding and several landslides in 23 districts, the majority in the mid-west. 225,000 people were affected, but the number decreased to 125,000 as waters receded (IFRC, 08/09/2014, 24/11/2014). The death toll stands at 202, with 248 confirmed missing. More than 35,000 houses were either fully or partially destroyed (IFRC, 24/11/2014).
Tropical Cyclone HudHud
As of 13 October, the Category 3 Tropical Cyclone Hudhud has led to the evacuation of 400,000 people. Widespread destruction has been recorded (Nepal News, 13/10/2014). 17 people died in the Himalayan region and more than 100 are reported missing (International Business Times, 15/10/2014).
Damage from the Sindhupalchowk landslide interrupted power supply in several hydropower plants in the valley, which caused power shortages across the country, according to media reports (National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 18/09/2014, International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, 04/08/2014; Nepali Times, 16/10/2014).
No significant developments this week, 11/12/2014. Last update 26/11/2014.
- About 400,000 people are estimated to be affected by the drought (OCHA, 03/11/2014), 100,000 of whom are in dire need of assistance (ACT Alliance, 31/10/2014).
- Vulnerable communities will face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) Food Insecurity from October to December (FEWSNET, 01/09/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
On 14 October, a 7.4 magnitude earthquake affected large parts of the country. 100,000 people from 74 communities had been preventively evacuated from coastal areas (ECHO, 15/10/2014). Limited information is available on the status of affected and evacuated populations as of 26 November.
About 400,000 people are estimated to be affected by the drought (OCHA, 03/11/2014), 100,000 of whom are in dire need of assistance (ACT Alliance, 31/10/2014). It is estimated that 112 of the country’s 156 municipalities have reported damage or loss of crops due to the drought. Latest official assessments have revised estimated losses upward, to 77,000 metric tons of maize and 45,000 metric tons of rice. The most affected areas are the northern departments of Nueva Segovia, Madriz, and Estelí, bordering Honduras.
Nearly 75% of the primera maize crop has been lost (OCHA, 09/08/2014). Early prospects for the postrera season, which accounts for 40% of maize production, are uncertain. Severe losses of beans and groundnuts, as well as livestock, are reported. The dry spell also affected parts of the major growing areas of Matagalpa and Jinotega (FAO, 19/09/2014). The increase in temperatures in coastal areas has affected the fishing sector (EU, 20/08/2014).
Lower than average rainfall is forecasted for August to November. The situation could worsen by the beginning of 2015 if, as projected, the harvest of the second cropping season is below average (FAO, 09/10/2014).
The drought, which began in late July, has been the worst in more than 30 years. Nicaragua has requested aid from humanitarian and development actors in the country (OCHA, 29/08/2014).
Floods and Rains
A moderate preventive state of alert was declared as Tropical Storm Hanna touched land in Nicaragua on 27 October, while authorities feared severe downpours and strong winds would cause more flooding and landslides (The Tico Times, 27/10/2014). As of 13 November, no additional damage has been identified as direct consequences of the Tropical Storm, although heavy rains continued throughout the country (Government, 06/11/2014; 29/10/2014).
Heavy rains have affected more than 64,360 people within a month according to the latest official assessment (Government quoted by local media, 18/11/2014). 74 municipalities have been affected in 15 departments and two autonomous regions, 12 departments of which suffered severe damage and 3 with minor damage (Government, 10/11/2014). More than 4,500 houses have been destroyed in 134 communities (ECHO, 19/10/2014). 7,000 people remain evacuated to 25 official shelters and 82 informal shelters as of 10 November (Government, 10/11/2014).
In August, 700 people in Managua were affected by floods after more than 100 houses were destroyed (Government, 26/08/2014).
The provision of assistance will improve food security through October–December. Poor households in northwestern areas will be in Stressed levels of food insecurity (IPC Phase 2) January–March 2015 due to production losses, price rises for basic food products and reduced income opportunities (FEWSNET, 18/11/2014).
Insufficient rainfall since the beginning of the August–November postrera season has caused moisture deficits in northeast Nicaragua (FEWSNET, 17/10/2014). In Estelí, Madriz, Nueva Segovia, Matagalpa, León and Chinandega departments, farmers waited until the end of September to sow postrera seeds, which will result in stepped production. In addition, crops are at risk of being affected by lack of rainfall through November–December (FEWSNET, 31/10/2014). Bean prices have increased by 29% and maize prices by 26% over the third quarter of 2014 (WFP, 27/10/2014).
The coffee leaf rust epidemic, affecting the entire Central American region, is further affecting the livelihoods of small-scale farmers and day labourers. In Honduras, Nicaragua, and El Salvador, 655,000 people are estimated to be food insecure due to the coffee leaf rust infestation (WFP, 15/10/2014).
As of 3 December, 1,598 cases of chikingunya have been reported, the vast majority of which were reported after the beginning of November (Government, 25/11/2014; El Nuevo Diario, 24/11/2014, Government, 03/12/2014).
14 December: 3.8 million people have been affected by Hagupit. 157,000 people remain in evacuation centres. Around 38,000 houses have been destroyed. Priority needs are emergency shelter, food, water, WASH, and logistics (WFP, OCHA, BBC, Government).
- Over 26,000 people remain displaced ten months after Typhoon Haiyan struck and more than two million lack adequate shelter or housing (FAO, 09/10/2014).
- Thousands of people who fled fighting in Zamboanga in September 2013 are still displaced and being temporarily moved to the Masempla transition site, where minimum standards for WASH and basic services are currently unmet (OCHA, 01/10/2014).
- The Philippines is one of the most hazard-prone countries in the world, experiencing several large-scale natural hazards a year.
A series of natural disasters, most significantly Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013, has caused widespread damage across the Philippines and affected millions. The overall political situation is relatively stable, and the Philippine authorities are finalising a peace deal with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). However, various breakaway armed groups continue the insurgency.
The disarmament process for Philippine Muslim opposition groups started on 27 September, with the decommissioning of a first batch of firearms expected by end of 2014 (AFP, 28/09/2014).
Since October 2012, the Government has been engaged in finalising a lengthy peace process with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the country’s largest Muslim separatist group. Draft legislation for the 2014 March Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro, which gives MILF ruling of a new autonomous region to replace the current Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) as a political group, was submitted to Congress in September (AFP, 10/09/2014). The deal excludes important stakeholders, including the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), Abu Sayyaf, and Khalifa Islmiyah Mindanao.
Splinter groups on Mindanao and smaller neighbouring islands continue their violent opposition to the Government. Increased violence between the Government and opposition groups has been reported in November as a consequence of government efforts to capture outlaws.
Abu Sayyaf has about 300 armed fighters, split into several factions. On 28 July, 21 people were killed and 11 wounded by Abu Sayyaf militants in Talipao on Jolo island. On 14 November, heavy fighting between government forces and Abu Sayyaf in Sulu in ARMM (AFP, 16/11/2014). Abu Sayyaf holds about 13 hostages, including three foreigners (AFP, 16/11/2014).
Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF)
Two people were killed by a BIFF mortar attack in Pikit on 14 November (AFP, 16/11/2014). Four BIFF gunmen attacked a hospital in Sharif Aguak in Maguindanao on 23 October, killing two soldiers guarding the facility (Missionary International Service News Agency, 23/10/2014). Around 2,300 people (500 families) were evacuated to a school after alleged BIFF members set houses on fire in Sitio Balibet, Cotabato province, during the first week of October (Government, 30/10/2014). On 11 September, two soldiers and an unknown number of BIFF fighters were killed during clashes in North Cotabato (AFP, 11/09/2014).
BIFF split from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in 2008. Thousands have been displaced by fighting between the Philippine army and BIFF in 2014 (IRIN, 22/07/2014; OCHA).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Insecurity in parts of Mindanao and nearby areas is limiting humanitarian access. Concurrent natural disasters have hampered further aid delivery to affected populations.
Category 5 Typhoon Hagupit, locally known as Ruby, made landfall on the evening of 6 December over the town of Dolores in Eastern Samar province (Eastern Philippines), packing winds of up to 215 km/h, and predicted to bring storm surges, floods and landslides (GDACS, 06/12/2014). By 14 December, international humanitarian actors on the ground report that around 3.8 million people have been affected across nine regions (WFP, 15/12/2014). 156,900 people remain in 463 evacuation centres. Around 38,100 houses have been destroyed and 203,600 have been partially damaged (OCHA, 15/12/2014). The official death toll stands at 18, although national and international media have reported 27 (OCHA, Government, BBC, 15/12/2014). Priority needs have been identified as emergency shelter, food, WASH, and logistics.
Tropical Depression Queenie
On 26 November, Tropical Depression Queenie made landfall (Government, 26/11/2014). As of 30 November, 47,000 people were Southern Tagalog, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Northern Mindanao, Davao and Caraga; 1,400 are in evacuation centres. Almost 3,000 houses have been damaged and 2,600 partially damaged (OCHA, 01/12/2014).
19,640 people (4,676 families) have been affected following heavy rains in Midsayap, Cotabato province on 28 October (Government, 11/11/2014).
Flooding in Capiz province on 19–20 October affected 66 villages and submerged rice fields (Government, 20/10/2014).
At 18 October, rains since 7 October had affected 83,895 people (16,730 families) in Zamboanga city and in Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur provinces, ARMM. 940 people (225 families) were in nine evacuation centres. Four people have died and two are missing (Government, 18/10/2014).
Another 41,400 were affected in Sultan Kudarat municipality in SOCCSKSARGEN (OCHA, 13/10/2014).
Alert Level 3 was declared on 15 September over a possible eruption of the Mayon volcano, as well as an extended high-risk zone of over a 6–8km radius, covering Legazpi, Ligao, and Tabaco cities of Albay province (OCHA, 01/10/2014). As of 15 December, the volcano’s condition remains unstable due to slow but sustained ground deformation caused by subsurface magma (Government, 15/12/20214). 11,700 people out of 60,545 affected remained in 12 evacuation centres at 30 November (Government, 19/11/2014; OCHA, 30/11/2014). There are concerns over camp management, coordination, WASH, and education (OCHA, 29/09/2014).
IDPs in Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM)
By late August more than 5,000 people were displaced in Sultan Sa Baronguis Mangui in Maguindanao, as a result of violent confrontations between two MILF armed groups (Government, 01/09/2014). In July and early August, 2,875 people were affected by conflict between an armed group and government forces in Maguindanao, of whom 1,150 were living in one evacuation centre (Government 09/08/2014).
As of 14 November, security operations have displaced 1,720 people in Talipao municipality in Sulu and Sumisip municipality in Basilan. Humanitarian actors have noted difficulties in reporting as fighting continues to intensify, and the number of displaced is expected to rise (OCHA, OCD, 30/11/2014).
As of 30 November, 22,400 people remain displaced in evacuation centres and transitional sites, with an additional 15,200 who are staying with relatives, one year after fighting between an MNLF faction and the army in Zamboanga (OCHA, 30/11/2014). Initial displacement figures included 120,000 people.
Disease outbreaks in the camps have left some 160 evacuees dead; sanitary conditions are a major concern (OCHA, 09/09/2014). As two of the largest camps will be closed, people are being temporarily moved to the Masempla transit site, until the construction of permanent housing is complete. As of 30 November, 1,900 had been relocated (OCHA, 30/11/2014). Protection concerns remain critical, where women and children in particular are at risk of abuse and exploitation (OCHA, 01/10/2014). Refugees International reported in mid-December that transit sites lack water, health, education, and livelihood opportunities (Refugees International, 14/12/2014).
Resettlement has begun for families in Tacloban still living in tents. Nearly 300 families (1,500 people) have moved to relocation sites, according to local officials and 550 more are scheduled to move by end November. A further 200 families living in tents in Tanauan municipality are also being relocated (OCHA, 31/10/2014).
Ten months after typhoon Haiyan struck, more than two million people lack adequate shelter or housing (FAO, 09/10/2014). Some 456,000 people (95,000 families) live in unsafe or inadequate emergency or makeshift shelters, sometimes in flood-prone coastal areas (Government, 31/08/2014), and solutions are needed for 20,000 people still living in 56 displacement sites and requiring shelter, WASH and protection support (UNHCR, 07/11/2014).
With 89% of affected households still reporting varying levels of typhoon-related damage, longer-term assistance such as supporting self-recovery, assisting households in no-build zones, helping with safer reconstruction, and enabling access to health care, schools, public transportation, and livelihood opportunities is required (UNHCR, 30/09/2014).
In Bohol, extensive shelter needs and repair of health and school facilities are required following the October 2013 earthquake (IFRC, 13/10/2014). All evacuation centres have now been closed and families are housed in 885 transitional shelters (UNICEF, 10/10/2014).
High prices of main staple rice lead to food security concerns. A 4.7% increase on the September 2013 Consumer Price Index was witnessed in September (FAO, 10/10/14).
As of July, flooding had affected 45% of the planted area in Maguindanao, affecting over 5,000 farmers (OCHA, 07/07/2014). Agriculture, fisheries, and agricultural infrastructure were affected by July’s Typhoon Rammasun.
Health and Nutrition
By October, 117 cases of measles had been confirmed, mostly in Benguet, Baguio and Kalinga provinces, compared to 60 during the same period last year, with a reported death in Baguio city in Benguet province (Government, 20/10/2014).
26% of the population (25 million people) lacks access to improved sanitation facilities, including 8% still practicing open defecation (UNICEF, 01/05/2014).
In 2014 in Mindanao, ten attacks on schools have been reported, affecting over 3,500 school children (UNICEF, 10/10/2014).
BIFF continues to actively recruit and train child soldiers.
No significant developments this week, 04/12/2014. Last update: 21/11/2014.
- 260,650 people are food insecure (OCHA 05/08/2014).
The Rwandan Hutu Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), mostly active in DRC, are a source of insecurity in the region. The UN has denounced FDLR as being behind forced labour, harassment, beatings, and torture in eastern DRC (AFP, 06/08/2014).
On 30 May, a voluntary disarmament process for FDLR started under the auspices of MONUSCO, the African Union and the Southern African Development Community. 305 former FDLR, now unarmed, have been living in DRC’s Kanyabayonga’s transit camp for the past three months, while 20 others were relocated in August due to space constraints (Radio Okapi, 05/09/2014). However, FDLR activity persists in DRC.
On 2 July, Angola, Burundi, CAR, Congo, DRC, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Zambia, agreed to suspend military operations against Rwandan FDLR insurgents for six months in order to give them more time to lay down their arms. Attacks by FDLR resumed in Misau and Misoke, Walikale territory in DRC over 3–5 November, however, deadline set by the International Conference for the Great Lakes Region (CIRGL) and Southern African Development Community (SADC) to track remaining insurgents opposing the disarmament process is set at 2 January (Radio Okapi, 10/11/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Refugees in Rwanda
Rwanda currently hosts 73,336 refugees, mainly from DRC (OCHA, 16/06/2014), located in Nyabiheke, Gihembe, Kiziba, and Kigeme (American Refugee Committee, 01/2014). There has been an influx of refugees from DRC since last year, prompting humanitarian actors to prepare a fifth refugee camp in Mugombwa. The monthly arrival rate is 2,600 (UNHCR 20/08/2004).
By September, 4,495 Rwandan refugees had returned from DRC in 2014 (UNHCR, 30/09/2014).
Rwandan Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
As of 30 September, there were 40,244 Rwandan refugees in the DRC (UNHCR, 30/09/2014).
As of 1 November, there are 16,247 Rwandan refugees in Uganda, corresponding to 6% of the total refugee population in Uganda. Most Rwandan refugees are in Nakivale (UNHCR, 01/11/2014).
As of 1 August, there are 1,395 Rwandan refugees in Kenya (UNHCR, 31/07/2014).
260,650 people are food insecure in Rwanda (OCHA, 05/08/2014).
The areas hardest hit by poor food availability are the eastern Semi-Arid Agro-Pastoral zone, the Bugesera Cassava zone, and the Eastern Congo Nile Highland Subsistence Farming zone. Poor households in these areas continue to experience the impact of Season B production deficits and earlier-than-normal food stock depletion, and will remain in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) level of food security for the October–December main lean season (FEWSNET, 02/10/2014). These households are relying entirely on market purchases to meet their food needs, with the frequent adoption of negative coping strategies such as above-average sales of livestock (FAO, 29/10/2014).Minimal (IPC phase 1) food security levels are reported in most areas of the country (FAO, 29/10/2014).
The spread of Cassava Brown Streak Diseases (CBSD) is Bugesera will affect the cassava production, which is expected to be below average this year (FEWSNET, 31/10/2014).
Starting in January 2015, food security situations are expected to improve across the country, as harvesting of Season A will replenish food stocks, stabilize prices and increase income earning opportunities (FEWSNET, 31/10/2014).
Agriculture and Markets
Since the beginning of September, poor rains have led to deteriorating crops and compromised planting activities throughout Rwanda (Government, 08/10/2014). A reduction in the area planted with maize and beans is reported in some eastern agro-pastoral areas, where 2014 season B crops have been affected by severe moisture deficits, leading to a shortage of seeds (FAO, 29/10/2014).
2014 cereal production is projected to be 21% below 2013 output and 4% below the last five-year average due to unfavourable weather conditions.
In some eastern agro-pastoral areas, especially in southern areas of the East and South provinces, maize and bean outputs were 50% below average in July due to below-average cumulative rainfall over March-May and deteriorated livestock conditions (FAO, 15/09/2014; 25/08/2014).
No new developments this week, 11/12/2014. Latest update: 27/11/2014.
-1.2 million people across 13 districts in six provinces remain affected by drought, a significant decrease of 500,000 people since the beginning of October (Disaster Management Ministry, 21/10/2014).
- An estimated 770,000 people are food insecure due to consecutive droughts and floods (WFP, 01/10/2014).
Sri Lanka is heading into a period of political flux: presidential elections will be held in January 2015, two years ahead of schedule. The current president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, is said to be seeking a third mandate, after presidential terms limits were removed in 2010. Opposition figures have argued the removal of term limits will lead to de facto dictatorship (The Diplomat, 30/10/2014). On 27 November, Sri Lankan election monitors warned that the run-up to the election could become violent (international media, 27/11/2014).
Tensions were rising between Buddhists and the Muslim minority, who make up 10% of the population, in May-June. In May, Muslim legislators asked President Rajapakse to protect their minority community from what they described as Buddhist extremist elements (IRIN, 24/06/2014).
In June, three Muslims were killed and 80 people were seriously injured in sectarian violence in Aluthgama and Beruwela, Kalutara district, during a protest march led by the hardline Buddhist group Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) (BBC, 16/06/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Government statistics compiled by UNHCR shows 820,882 people are estimated to be displaced as of early 2014, living with host families (GIEWS, 04/11/2014). These are attributed to protracted displacement of people since the violence of 2009, who cannot return owing to housing, land, or property issues (UNHCR).
As of 30 June, there were 308 refugees and 1,562 asylum seekers in Sri Lanka, a 700% increase on 2013 numbers.
On 15 August a Sri Lankan court ordered authorities to stop deporting Pakistani asylum seekers without properly assessing their claims (Reuters, 15/10/2014.
Since early June, national authorities have arrested and detained 328 refugees and asylum-seekers, and deported 183 to Pakistan and Afghanistan (UNHCR, 12/09/2014). Some 157 asylum seekers, including 84 Pakistanis, 71 Afghans, and two Iranians, remain in detention. UNHCR has requested that the Government stop deportations immediately and grant access to asylum seekers in detention to enable protection assistance (UNHCR 12/08/2014).
On 29 October, heavy rains caused a mudslide in Haldummulla area, Badulla, central Sri Lanka. 4,460 people have been displaced and are seeking shelter in 28 welfare centres in Badulla. 37 people have died and 22 are still missing (OCHA, 17/11/2014). Deaths and damages are being blamed on a faulty early-warning system in the region (Reuters, 06/11/2014). The continued threat of landslides and rainfall hampered initial assistance and search activities in the area (Sri Lanka Red Cross Society, 30/10/2014), but improved weather conditions have now allowed for more access (AFP, 02/11/2014). WASH, NFI and mobility equipment have been identified as the most pressing needs (OCHA, 03/11/2014).
On 2 October, 400 people had been affected by landslides and collapsed buildings after high winds and heavy rainfall hit the Southern region (OCHA, 07/10/2014).
As of 21 October, 10,600 people have been affected by floods in the country, including 5,762 in Matara district, Southern region, due to heavy rains since the beginning of October (Government, 21/10/2014).
The 11-month drought following the delayed December–February northeast monsoon maha has affected more than 1.2 million people across 13 districts in six provinces, including 900,000 people in the Northern and Eastern provinces, regions that are generally poor, dependent on agriculture, and lack strong coping mechanisms or infrastructure to withstand the impact of natural disasters (Inter Press Service, 29/09/2014; Government, 21/10/2014; 29/08/2014). Families are suffering from shortages of water for domestic and agricultural use in Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Hambantota, Puttalam, Mannar, Vavuniya, Moneragala, Batticaloa, Mullaitivu, Trincomalee, Killinochchi, Jaffna, Kurunegala, and Ampara districts.
The southwest monsoon rains, from May to September, have also been below average (Economic Times, 30/06/2014).
770,000 drought-affected people are food insecure (WFP, 01/10/2014), mainly in Ampara and Moneragala in the east (WFP, 04/2014 and FAO, 05/2014).
Agriculture and Markets
Overall, crop production has decreased by 42% compared to 2013 (Government, 05/08/2014). Aggregate rice production dropped by 22% compared to 2013, and was 12% below the previous five-year average (FAO, 02/10/2014). The 2014 yala rice output, accounting for 35% of annual production, was 30% lower than last year’s, due to a 29% contraction in area planted and dry weather at the start of the cropping season, particularly in key north-central and eastern producing areas. About one-third of the paddy harvest was also lost by drought conditions in the country (WFP, 01/10/2014).
Rice prices have increased by 33% compared to 2013, due to the sharp contraction in this year’s production. Fresh fish and vegetable prices have also risen as a consequence of adverse weather (WFP, 14/10/2014; FAO, 02/10/2014).
5 December: The number of South Sudanese refugees entering Uganda has been steadily increasing since mid-November (UNHCR).
3 December: Access between Adjumani refugee camp and the Elegu border crossing has been disrupted due to flash floods (UNHCR).
- 130,204 South Sudanese refugees have fled to Uganda since December 2013. 150,000 are expected by the end of 2014 (UNHCR, 24/11/2014).
- Cholera is endemic in the region, with an ongoing outbreak in Arua and Moyo districts (25/08/2014).
- 19.9% GAM among South Sudanese refugees. GAM is above 10% in Karamoja (OCHA, 05/08/2014; WFP, 06/2014).
- The Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), an Islamist group fighting the Ugandan government and based in the DRC–Uganda border region, has been accused of recruiting child soldiers, sexually abusing women and children, and carrying out attacks on peacekeepers.
Uganda had been warned of possible revenge attacks against US targets in response to the 2 September US air strike that killed Al Shabaab’s leader, Ahmed Abdi Godane. On 13 September, the Ugandan police foiled an alleged Al Shabaab attack in Kampala, seizing large amounts of explosives and suicide vests (BBC News, 14/09/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Access was seriously disrupted between Adjumani refugee camp and Elegu border point, following flash floods that submerged sections of the road (UNHCR, 03/12/2014).
As of July, Uganda has 30,196 IDPs (OCHA, 05/08/2014).
Clashes between Ugandan and South Sudanese communities in mid-September had displaced 200 people from Moyo district to Adjumani town by mid-October. Some had taken refuge in schools (ACT, 13/10/2014).
Refugees in Uganda
As of 1 November, there were 405,300 refugees and asylum seekers in Uganda, mainly from DRC (45%), South Sudan (38%), Somalia (6%), Rwanda (4%) and Burundi (3%) and others (4%) (UNHCR, 30/11/2014).
As of 3 December, 131,392 South Sudanese refugees had fled to Uganda since December 2013 (UNHCR, 3/12/2014). They are hosted in refugee settlements in Adjumani, Kiryandongo, Kampala and Arua districts (UNHCR, 24/11/2014). 150,000 refugees are expected to arrive by the end of 2014 (WFP, 01/10/2014). Humanitarian actors on the ground believe that increased tension in South Sudan’s Western Equatoria concerning banditry and military desertion may have an impact on the number of arrivals in the coming days (WFP, 26/11/2014). The number of refugees entering the country has been steadily increasing since mid-November (UNCHR, 5/12/2014). This increase has been attributed to continued clashes in South Sudan (UNHCR, 03/12/2014).
Women and children account for 87% of arriving refugees; half are children under 12 years (FAO, 11/11/2014). Nearly 365 unaccompanied minors have been reported. At 13 October, 80,740 South Sudanese refugees were in Adjumani, the majority in Nyumanzi and Ayilo settlements (ACT, 13/10/2014). 3,750 people with special needs are in 176 adapted shelters (IOM, 26/10/2014).
The Ugandan Government has secured additional land in Moyo district in order to settle newly arrived refugees (UNICEF, 20/08/2014). Arua, Adjumani, and Kyriandongo are stretched far beyond capacity, and there is an urgent need to improve shelter, WASH, health, food, and psychological support (Red Cross, 17/09/2014). Hygiene practices and behaviours are lacking due to limited awareness among refugees (Red Cross, 30/09/2014). The onset of the rainy season in May brought new challenges, as heavy rains damaged shelter and WASH facilities in camps (ACT, 13/10/2014).
Returnees to South Sudan
Clashes that began on 15 September between the Kuku and Ma’di communities in Moyo district, northern Uganda, have displaced nearly 8,000 South Sudanese refugees in Uganda back into Kajo-Keji county in South Sudan as of 3 October. Food, shelter, NFIs, and social services are required (IOM, 05/10/2014). Voluntary repatriation of the South Sudanese to Uganda began on 3 October (UNHCR, 03/10/2014).
Ugandan Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
At 31 July, there were 1,263 Ugandan refugees in Kenya (UNHCR, 31/07/2014). At 30 June, there were 1,211 Ugandan refugees in DRC (UNHCR, 30/06/2014).
Land disputes in western Uganda have allegedly led to the eviction and brutalization of nearly 700 residents in Hoima. They have no access to medical aid and are suffering from malnutrition and SGBV (VOA, 24/09/2014).
Human Rights Watch issued a report which asserts that the government response to deadly ethnic violence and reprisals in the Rwenzori region in western Uganda in July has been inadequate. On 5 July, Bakonzo community members organized themselves in small units and attacked police and army posts in several districts, which sparked reprisal attacks by other ethnic groups and security forces, followed by what HRW calls “brutal counter-security against Bakonzo civilians” (HRW, 05/11/2014).
In Karamoja about 700,000 people remain at Stressed (IPC Phase 2) level of food insecurity. Local conditions have slightly improved, but food stocks are expected to be partially replenished, and will likely run out by January 2015 (FAO, 29/11/2014). Some localised areas in Karamoja remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity, including Kaabong and Moroto. In these areas, their minimal production is nearly consumed and low incomes will further limit their ability to purchase food (FEWSNET, 29/11/2014). Households in eastern Karamoja are projected to be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) from April 2015 (FEWSNET, 27/10/2014).
Northern and central districts including Amudat, Nakapiripirit, Moroto, Kotido, Napak, Abim and Kaabong are also of concern (FEWSNET, 31/07/2014). 20% of households in the region are only marginally able to meet minimum food needs, with continued erosion of livelihoods through sales of livestock. As of end July, levels of humanitarian assistance were not meeting the needs of vulnerable households (FEWSNET, 31/07/2014).
Below-average pasture conditions were reported at the start of the second rainy season in Apac and Lira, parts of northern Gulu and Kitgum, and parts of Kaabong, Moroto, and Nakapiripirit districts in Karamoja region (FAO, 15/09/2014).
In Karamoja, the September–October harvest is expected to be only 20–30% of average (FEWSNET, 01/08/2014). Cereal crop production by November is forecast to be below-average as unfavourable rains in April reduced planting (FAO, 15/09/2014). For the second year in a row, a well below-average harvest will lead to an early lean season in eastern Karamoja (FEWSNET, 27/10/2014).
A small reduction in income from livestock sales is expected across northern Uganda as a result of the quarantine imposed on cattle markets following an outbreak of foot and mouth disease in May (FEWSNET, 30/09/2014).
Health and Nutrition
Health centres in Arua, Adjumani, and Kyriandongo require additional staff, space, and supplies to respond to refugee needs (UNICEF, 20/08/2014).
Cholera outbreaks have been identified in the northwestern districts of Arua and Moyo (UNICEF, 20/08/2014).
Blanket feeding programmes are required to address increased GAM among South Sudanese refugees in West Nile (WFP, 01/10/2014). GAM among South Sudanese refugees in Uganda had reached 19.9% as of August (OCHA, 05/08/2014).
In Kiryandango refugee camp, self-relocation by refugees is causing delay in completing construction of latrines (UNHCR, 05/12/2014).
There are concerns over lack of water supply in Alere, Boroli and Olua I and II refugee settlements in Adjumani district, where the average supply is 9.7 litres of water per person per day, far below the minimum standard of 15 (ACT, 13/10/2014).
In Amudat district, safe water access, latrine access, and sanitation issues are a serious concern (WFP, UNICEF, 06/2014).
Democratic People's Republic of Korea Country Analysis
No significant developments this week 09/12/2014. Last update: 30/11/2014No current data on child mortality, food security, food price levels, or the general magnitude of humanitarian needs is available. Therefore, DPRK is not included in the Global Overview prioritisation.
- Massive human rights infringements, including against prisoners in prison camps who face starvation and torture, continue to be reported. Humanitarian access remains extremely limited (UN).
- Information on the food security situation remains limited. As of August, an estimated 16 million people (almost 65% of DPRK’s population) are chronically food insecure and an estimated 2.4 million people need food assistance (OCHA).
- As of August, malnutrition rates, particularly in the northwest, were extremely high with global chronic malnutrition (stunting) at almost 28% and global acute malnutrition (wasting) at 4% among children under five (OCHA).
- DPRK is disaster prone, regularly experiencing seasonal flooding that, for instance, affected over 800,000 people in summer 2013 (OCHA).
On 18 November, the UN General Assembly approved a resolution condemning DPRK for human rights abuses and recommending the prosecution of its leaders for crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court (international media, 19/11/2014). In response, DPRK threatened to conduct a nuclear test (BBC, 20/11/2014).
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights had urged world powers to refer DPRK to the International Criminal Court in February; a UN report documented evidence of widespread and systematic human rights violations and crimes against humanity and recommended targeted UN sanctions. China dismissed a March resolution by the Human Rights Council condemning DPRK for human rights violations as unfounded. DPRK announced in August that would publish a human rights report to counters the claims in the UN report (international media, 08/2014).
On 12 February, Seoul and Pyongyang held their first high-level talks in seven years, in the Panmunjom truce village. However relations subsequently deteriorated. In April, South Korean officials said that DPRK had completed all steps required prior to a potential nuclear test, as Pyongyang conducted a scheduled military exercise near the border.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Humanitarian access is extremely limited. On 1 May, the UN Human Rights Council’s recommendations to the Government as part of the Universal Periodic Review included unrestricted access to prisons and prison camps for humanitarian organisations, and close collaboration with humanitarian organisations to ensure the transparent distribution of aid.
Information on food security remains limited. An estimated 16 million people, of a total population of 24.6 million, are chronically food insecure. An estimated 2.4 million people need food assistance (OCHA, 11/09/2014).
WFP reports that 45% of households have borderline and 30% poor food consumption. People in central mountainous areas do not have access to sufficient food from the public distribution centre and have to rely on planting risky hillside crops to supplement their daily diet, despite poor seed quality, shallow soil, accelerated erosion, low yield expectations, and the fact that most of the hillside cultivators do not necessarily have an agricultural background (US State Department, 22/09/2014). Poor rainfall has been reported in parts of the country (WFP, 10/2014).
OCHA reports that although the humanitarian situation has improved slightly since 2013, the structural causes of vulnerability persist and external assistance is needed, notably in the northeastern provinces. The food system in DPRK remains highly vulnerable to shocks and serious shortages exist, particularly in the production of protein-rich crops.
Health and Nutrition
Chronic child malnutrition and poor dietary diversity among children, women, and households remain the main concern. Super cereal, biscuits, pulses and oil are needed to supplement the poor dietary intake among target vulnerable groups (WFP 06/2014).
No significant developments this week, 11/12/2014. Last update: 24/11/2014.
No accurate or verified data relating to the food security situation or food price levels in Eritrea is available, therefore Eritrea is not included in the Global Overview prioritisation.
- Torture, arbitrary detention, and severe restrictions on freedom of expression, association, and religion are common in Eritrea (UN, HRW).
- Ongoing human rights abuses prompt thousands of Eritreans to flee the country every year. In December 2013, Ethiopia was hosting an estimated 84,200 Eritrean refugees (UNHCR).
- Over 60% of the Eritrean population was reported as being undernourished between 2011 and 2013 (WFP).
Human rights abuses, including torture, arbitrary detention, and severe restrictions on freedom of expression, association, and religion are common in Eritrea (UN Special Rapporteur, Human Rights Watch). Conscription to national service can last indefinitely, and is reportedly poorly paid. Harassment of citizens by authorities, on the grounds of their plotting to leave Eritrea, is reportedly widespread (UN Human Rights Council, 31/03/2014). In September, the UN Human Rights Council set up a Commission of Inquiry to investigate human rights abuses in Eritrea (Human Rights Watch, 24/09/2014). President Isaias Afewerki, who has ruled for over 20 years, uses the pretext of previous border conflicts with Ethiopia to justify tight control over its people (New York Times, 03/10/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
There is a lack of updated and reliable data on the humanitarian situation due to limited humanitarian access. As reported in ECHO’s Humanitarian Implementation Plan (HIP) of October 2013, providing direct humanitarian assistance remains a challenge due to limited access, and absence of assessments and humanitarian space.
In November-December 2013, several projects in partnership with the UN and the Government commenced; the Government had previously ordered the end of all operations by non-state development partners by the end of 2012 (IFRC, 30/05/2014). On 24 April, according to media sources, the UAE Red Cross had access to a million children across six provinces to distribute clothing.
As of 31 May, 3,136 refugees reside in Eritrea, including 3,056 Somalian refugees (UNHCR).
Eritrean Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
According to 2012 UNHCR figures, there are 300,000 Eritrean refugees in neighbouring countries as well as in Europe and Israel. According to UN figures, some 4,000 Eritreans, among them hundreds of unaccompanied minors, are fleeing the country every month to escape government repression and lack of basic freedoms (UN, 05/06/2014). One in every 3,411 Eritreans have fled their country (All Africa, 21/10/2014)
Ethiopia: As of mid-November, Ethiopia is hosting an estimated 99,000 Eritrean refugees, who are mainly settled in four camps in the northern Tigray and Afar region (OCHA). Recent arrival rates have spiked. 5,000 Eritreans entered in October, and by 24 November another 2,173 had arrived (OCHA, 24/11/2014). 3,043 refugees crossed into Ethiopia in 2013, more than in 2012.
About 90% of those who arrived in October were between 18 and 24 years old, and cited intensified mandatory recruitment into military service as their reason for flight (local news, 15/11/2014). The high proportion of unaccompanied minors who cross from Eritrea to Ethiopia is a priority problem (UNHCR).
Sudan: Eastern Sudan received an average of 500 Eritrean refugees per month in 2013, down from 2,000 a month in 2012. Sudan reportedly hosts at least 114,500 Eritrean refugees.
Djibouti: Djibouti receives an estimated 110 Eritreans each month (UNHCR). On 30 June, 74 Eritrean refugees and asylum seekers were sent back from Sudan, after being convicted of illegally entering Sudan (UNHCR, 04/07/2014).
Yemen: Hundreds of Eritrean refugees are currently in Yemen. Reports indicate hundreds of Eritrean refugees are scattered across the streets of Al Safeyah in Sana’a, without proper shelter or livelihood. Refugees have informed UNHCR that most are imprisoned upon arrival in Yemen, who state security concerns (Yemen Times, 19/08/2014). Several NGOs have called on the Yemeni authorities to stop deporting Eritrean political refugees (UNHCR).
Kenya: As of 31 July, there are 1,641 Eritrean refugees in Kenya, most are in Nairobi (UNHCR 31/07/2014).
As indicated in ECHO’s October HIP, as a result of access restrictions imposed by the authorities, very little data on food security in Eritrea is available.; satellite-based monitoring shows above-average vegetation conditions in Debub, Maekel, Gash Barka, and Anseba zobas thanks to good kiremti rains (FEWSNET, 02/09/2014). Harvesting is expected to start in the beginning of November (GIEWS, 28/10/2014). The Red Sea coastal area, however, has seen low precipitation and moisture deficits, indicating significant deterioration of grazing resources (FEWSNET, 02/09/2014).
It is estimated that Eritrea produces only 60% of the food it needs, and markets do not seem to be functioning properly. These two factors suggest that a significant part of the population may be in need of food assistance. In addition, local food and fuel prices are likely to remain high, putting severe pressure on household coping mechanisms. The Government officially denies any food shortages within its borders and refuses food aid.
Health and Nutrition
According to FAO in 2013, over 60% of the Eritrean population was reported to be undernourished during 2011–2013.
According to a government report, malaria infections have visibly declined thanks to higher community awareness and regard for environmental hygiene (Government of Eritrea, 24/09/2014). No figures are available to confirm this information.
On 13 May, the Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea was released. It focuses on the indefinite national service and arbitrary arrest and detention, including incommunicado detention and inhumane prison conditions. Rampant human rights violations cause hundreds of thousands to leave the country (UN Human Rights Council).
Between 5,000 and 10,000 political prisoners are being held in a country of just over six million people. The UN human rights chief has accused the government of torture and summary executions (UN Human Rights Council, 05/02/2014).